Friday, March 13, 2009

Malays dressed as arabs

The veil is more than the veil; it is a mask of aggression. Not like the matted locks of the Ras Tafarians in Jamaica, a man dulled by marginal life that has endured for generations; not like the gear of the middle-class hippy, who wishes only to drop out; these are the clothes of uprooted village people who wish to pull down what is not theirs and then take over. Because an unacknowledged part of the fantasy is that the world goes on, runs itself, has only to be inherited. 

-from Among the Believers by V.S. Naipaul

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why four eye-witnesses required to prove adultery in Islamic law

Why four eye-witnesses? It went back to a famous incident in the Arabian desert during one of the Prophet's early military adventures in 626 or 627, when the new faith was just about establishing itself, reducing small hostile communities one by one. The Prophet's favourite wife, Aisha, then perhaps thirteen, had for some reason been left behind by the caravan one evening. She didn't join it again until the morning, and then in the company of a handsome young soldier. There was an uproar among the Prophet's companions. Ali, the Prophet's cousin, thought that the Prophet should get rid of Aisha. The Prophet - now in his mid-fifties - was distressed for days. But Allah intervened; the Prophet had a revelation that Aisha was innocent; that four witnesses were needed to prove adultery; that people spreading unfounded rumours about adultery deserved eighty lashes. 
-Among the Believers, by V. S. Naipaul

Sunday, March 08, 2009

H:n blogi

H. on aloittanut blogin. Kirjoittaa englanniksi mieltään askarruttavista asioista. Kovin erityyppisiä ajatuksia, kuin mitä minä blogiini kirjoitan. Siellä osallistunen keskusteluun, ja hedelmällisemmin saan ajatuksistani mehut puristettua keskusteluissa, kuin näissä omissa kirjoituksissani, jotka pääasiassa ovat viimeaikoina olleet lukemiani kiinnostavia tekstinpätkiä. 

Friday, March 06, 2009

Emigrant business of Pakistan

The business was organized. Like accountants studying tax laws, the manpower-export experts of Pakistan studied the world's immigration laws and competetitively gambled with their emigrant battalions: visitor's visas overstayable here (most European countries), dependants shippable there (England), student's visas convertible there (Canada and the United States), political asylum to be asked for there (Austria and West Berlin), still no visas needed here, just below the Arctic Circle (Finland). They wen by the planeload. Karachi airport was equipped for this emigrant traffic. Some got through; some were turned back. ---

Abroad, the emigrants threw themselves on the mercies of civil liberties organizations. They sought the protection of the laws of the countries where planes had brought them. They or their representatives spoke correct words about the difference between poor countries and rich, South and North. They spoke of crime of racial discrimination and the brotherhood of man. They appealed to the ideals of alien civilizations whose virtue they denied at home. 

And in the wyes of the faithful there was no contradiction.

-V.S. Naipaul in Among the Believers An Islamic Journey (1981)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Varo katolta putoavaa jäätä ja lunta!

Varo katolta putoavaa jäätä ja lunta! Oikeasti. Yksi palikka putosi jo viereeni merikoskenkadulla ja H.n ikkunasta näin kuinka siellä meni lunta alas. Tänään kannattaa kiertää korkeat talot kauukaa. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Group defense and narrowing of individual conformity

A corollary development of increased efficiency in group defense is the narrowing of individual conformity. Predators counterrespond to social defensive mechanisms by watching for deviant individuals who, for reasons of health, inexperience, or whatever, fail to participate and, by failing, increase their vulnerability.


Furthermore there is abundant evidence that predators respond strongly to deviant individuals in the social groups they watch. Students of fish behaviour and ecology have observed that it is difficult to tag fish or to introduce distinctive mutants in the presence of predators. Predatory fish are stimulated by any change in appearance and attack altered individuals preferentially. 

-E. O. Wilson: Sociobiology

Sunday, March 01, 2009

V.S. Naipaul on Iqbal's ideas on Islam and the Muslim state

The idea of a separate Indian Muslim state, once it had been formulated couldn't have been resisted. The idea was put forward in 1930 by a revered poet, Sir Mohammed Iqbal (1987-1938), in a speech to the All-Indian Muslim League, the main Muslim political organization in undivided India. 

Iqbal's argument was like this. Islam is not only an ethical ideal; it is also 'a certain kind of polity'. Religion for a Muslim is not a matter of private conscience or private practive, as Christianity can be for the man in Europe. There never was, Iqbal says, a specifically Christian polity; and in Europe after Luther the 'universal ethics of Jesus' was 'displaced by national systems of ethics and polity'. There cannot be a Luther in Islam bevause there is no Islamic church-order for a Muslim to revolt against. And there is also to be considered ' the nature of the Holy Prophet's religious experienve, as disclosed in the Koran ... It is individual experienve creative of a social order.'

To accept Islam is to accept certain 'legal concepts'. These concepts - revelatory, but not to be belittled for that reason - have 'civic significance'. 'The religious ideal of Islam, therefore, is organically related to the social order which it has created. The rejection of the one will eventually involve the rejection of the other. Therefore, the construction of a polity on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a muslim. 

--- Muslims, to be true to Islam, need a Muslim polity, a Muslim state. 

-V.S. Naipaul in Among the Believers, An Islamic Journey