[ by Charles Cameron -- fictitious peoples (Israelis, Palestinians), approved and disapproved scriptures (Hindu, Falun Gong), religious violence (Afghanistan, Nigeria, Bethlehem) ]
So, is there some sort of contest going on between Iranian and American ex-Speakers? Perhaps Elliott Abrams‘s response to Gingrich, quoted in the Washington Post piece, applies equally well to Haddad-Adel?
There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he would say they are all invented people as well and also have no right to statehood.
And okay, what’s the point here? Is it that the Russians want to please both the Chinese and Indian governments — or that they don’t like new scriptures but are okay with old ones? Or is the problem that they haven’t decided yet on a “one size fits all” approach to unOrthodox religions?
This is brutal — and apparently intercontinental.
You might think it’s obvious what the wrong answer is, and who’s doing the killing, in Nigeria. But these things can cut both ways:
Even here, it’s not clear who threw the bomb into the madrasa, although one could hazard a guess…
And even the site of the Nativity is infected. The Guardian’s account of events there this Christmas season is harsh in tone — but consider whose Nativity is supposedly being celebrated…
I’d say the Qur’an offers a better image of Christian monks than that experienced by those Palestinian riot police… who, in the event, although they themselves were also assailed with broom-sticks, declined to arrest anyone because, as Palestinian police lieutenant-colonel Khaled al-Tamimi put it:
Everything is all right and things have returned to normal. No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God.
Still, things could be worse. It was a squabble along similar lines in which
nine several Orthodox monks were killed that triggered the Crimean War: details in Raymond Cohen, Conflict and Neglect: Between Ruin and Preservation at the Church of the Nativity — h/t Juan Cole, who also has video of this year’s brouhaha.
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.