Call for Jihad

Thursday, February 09, 2006
I demand that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Indonesia and Egypt apologise to me. Otherwise I am unfortunately forced to threaten, beat up, kidnap or behead their citizens. Because I am somewhat sensitive about my cultural identity.

I feel offended.

Fanatics are blowing up the Buddhas of Bamiyan, marvellous cultural monuments.

But art is an expression of universal beauty and innocence to me. It is a value that makes the world better and more peaceful.; this is the tradition in which I was raised.

I demand that Hamas, the spokesman of the French Muslims and the Director of the Al-Azhar-University apologise to me. Otherwise I will never spend a holiday at the Taj Mahal, I will call for a boycott of Palestinian fruit and I will set the embassies of Tunisia, Qatar and Bangladesh on fire.

I expect understanding for this at the very least – my feelings are absolute and must be expressed globally. — "What next, bearded one?"

The article doesn't really say anything much that hadn't been said before — but what's notable to me is that the author, Sonia Mikich, was writing in die tageszeitung in Germany.


Buddy Larsen said...

Talk about an arc--from the dawn of time (tribalism) across all of the past, and disppearing just over the hill to alight at--tribalism? and quoting old TS Eliot, to 'know the place for the first time' ?

Knucklehead said...

Time for some picking of nits.

The fact that fundamentalists of all persuasions are completely incapable of self-reflection, self-criticism, and self-irony would not warrant a mention, were it not for their practice of imposing their issues on me and my world.

I suppose that which is obligatory is, well, obligatory. That doesn't mean it is particularly accurate. I know a few people I regard as Christian fundamentalists. I find them very engaged and generally quite adept at self-reflection and self-criticism. They may not be particularly fond of self-irony but from my observations it is often precisely that which precipitates the self-reflection and criticism. I don't see how it is possible to maintain the notion of sin, including personal sin, confession (whether ritualized or conducted privately between a person and his God), and forgiveness without a pretty healthy notion of self-reflection and criticism. How does one arrive at "hate the sin, love the sinner" without accepting irony?

I don't have much association with fundamentalist Jews that is close enough for me to guage their level of self-reflection, criticism, and irony. At the risk of generalizing to the point of perhaps skirting bigotry, the Jews I do have close contact with have a particularly keen sense of irony and there is no shortage of the self-irony sort. They also seem to take quite seriously the notion of self-reflection and self-criticism - at least once each year - and add to that the important notion of atonement.

They assume that we will kowtow to them as soon as we recognise who they are: "Look out! Religious feelings! We're leaving the private sphere."

Does anyone see this assumption that others will "kowtow" from any religious fundamentalism other than the Islamic variety (well, perhaps there is an element of this in Hindu, I don't see how one could get to a rigid caste system without this). But anyway, the notion of "feelings" as the highest authority is hardly limited to "religion". Fundamentalist secularists are forever having their "feelings" assaulted by even the mildest religious symbolism and are not the least bit shy about demanding those feelings be given enormous "authority".

In the self-referential world of God or Allah or Jahwe warriors, feelings are increasingly used as weapons and honoured as the highest authority. Readily summoned, merciless.

Why the need to attempt to make the "warriors" so multi-culti? I live in a environment where religious fundamentalists are nearly a dime a dozen. It is not the least bit difficult to find them or even engage with them in the basic conduct of life. Some might even describe themselves as "warriors" for whomever their God. None has ever threatened anyone I know with anything more severe or dangerous in an eartly sense than the wrath or eternal damnation and they're pretty darned quiet about even that. They have no negative impact upon my life beyond an occasional traffic snarlup and the tax cost of maintaining their various tax exemptions. No torchings, no beheadings, no AKs rattling through the day, no vile insults shrieked, they aren't mistreating the general female population (can't say about their own).

As I said, picking nits, but I'm a bit weary of the "it's all those fundies". Well, no, it isn't. It could quickly become all of them. If the west in general caves to the Islamic fundies why should any other fundie not demand the same treatement? Sauce for the goose and all that.

terrye said...

I remember when the Taliban blew up the Buddhas. I thought, My god these people still farm with wooden plows and they are blowing up thousand year old Buddhas. What a bunch of backward bigots.

I still feel that way. They really are backward bigots.

And as a woman I demand justice for the enslavement and humiliation of my gender. So I guess you could say I am calling for a fatwa too.