We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My friend Barry Rubin (bio below) dissects the naivety of CNN’s Middle East Affairs editor.Excerpts:
Nasr’s basic argument is that the Iranian regime’s repression of anti-government demonstrators is contrary to Islam….
The author, who is from a strongly Christian background in Lebanon, must be most familiar with the operations of Hizballah and the civil war there. Is Nasr, the Middle East editor at CNN, telling us that she's shocked to see radical Islamists preaching an intolerant version of Islam and implementing it? And is she equally telling us that very few Muslims believe this kind of thing?...
What we should be talking about is not the purity of Islam but the battle within Islam and the aggressive efforts of radical Islamists against others. Islam is being used—you can say abused if you want--in Iran and by other groups whose activities affect millions of people, from stoning in Afghanistan or Somalia, to decapitations in Thailand, to suicide bombings even in Spain, Britain, and on the New York skyline.
The article is entitled, "'Punished mercilessly'–Is this Islam?" In your or my preferred interpretation, perhaps not. But of course this is nothing new and also something extraordinarily important. One might better use the title: “`Punished mercilessly’—This is Islamism” or an interpretation of Islam which we don't like but one that is quite well-grounded on accepted and traditional Muslim history and sources.
If Nasr were a mere academic, it would not be so surprising she would say such things. But it is frightening to see a top journalist show such a naïve view of the world and its modern history, as well as apparent incomprehension of the workings of ideology, power, and politics.