I am not sure what I think of this

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
It seems to me that the people who gain the most from the growing distrust and hatred of all things Islamic is the terrorists themselves. As far as that is concerned people like Sadr are not exactly subtle.

But this site is definitely different. Is everything a game?


David Thomson said...

I just found out about this site at Dennis the Peasant's site. It deserves to be bookmarked. I also am not sure what to make of it.

Alan said...

That post is friggin' hilarious.

truepeers said...

Well, my quick look at this site suggests to me it is full of over-educated "MENAs" with a rather snobbish (not really mature, experienced) grad-school attitude to the politics they discuss. In other words, they don't see themselves as part of some historically well-bounded self-governing community, but rather as some kind of vanguard for the modernization of the Umma. They are at odds with the nation state and probably dream of some future when a moderate, sophisticated Umma has lots of weight to throw around in the bodies of world governance, using victimary politics to politely extort from the guilty and to chisel ever more at the sovereignty of western nations. My best guess is that these people are the product of wealth that has been acquired without industry or productivity, but through commercial and political gamesmanship.

terrye said...


My God man, it was just an idle question.

never change.

truepeers said...

But it fits :)

eerie said...

truepeers: So we're a bunch of overeducacted Arab dilettantes? Amusing, but way off.

Half the authors are in-region expats or residents, the rest are based in Western countries but have various ties to the region (business, journalism, other expertise)

Contrary to popular belief, we are not a "Muslim blog", even if most of us are very familiar with the religion and its principles.

truepeers said...

Dear eerie, it's true i went off half-cocked and if i've got you wrong i will apologize.

I never called you Arab dilettantes. No doubt I thought some of you (like me) are dilettantes. And I assumed you were mostly from the Arab world (you give your locations but not backgrounds: are you being intentionally ambiguous?)and this in combination with your apparently elitist, western university educations and (consequently?) imperial pre- or post-national gaze created some kind of impression, for what it's worth.

I only gave my quick take on your politics. No doubt, as I said, my quick look was not a fair sampling. If it's wrong, please correct it (you will gain a reader) and I apologize.

What is your general attitude towards nation states, to Israel and the US, and to the political role of the Umma?

ex-democrat said...

"So we're a bunch of overeducacted Arab dilettantes? Amusing, but way off."

so, you're under-educacted then?

eerie said...

truepeers: It's okay, we're a bit difficult to pin down. Some of the authors are deliberately ambiguous for a number of reasons, but I will say that we have a mix of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Heretical and Indifferent/Atheist contributors.

A few of us are arrogant bastards, but that is mostly due to low tolerance for ignorance.

As for our politics: since the blog and its audience is international, our position doesn't fit neatly into Democrat/Republican niches. Some of the authors describe 'Aqoul as classic Liberal/somewhat Libertarian. Generally though, we try to be realistic about MENA issues without resorting to well-worn stereotypes, emotive arguments, etc.

Re nation states, Israel, Ummah in a nutshell (not possible but trying anyway, also can't speak for all authors):

Nation-states: Useful, no problem with them.

Israel-Palestinian conflict, neither side has the moral high ground or the stamina to continue taking whacks at each other. A two-state solution that is tolerable for both sides is the optimal solution, but trust-building with Hamas in power is going to be tough. Still, I hold out hope that Kadima will be reasonable and popular enough to move things forward. US has to be a bit cautious not to alienate the Palestinians during this process.

US: The current administration has been pretty clumsy where ME issues are concerned, but overall I like the US. Not a perfect democracy, but still an example for the rest of the world.

Political role of the Ummah: Er...none? Insofar as members of the Ummah are citizens of voting countries, they should vote according to their individual interests, just like any other citizen.

Frankly, calls for the Ummah to do anything are largely based on cheap demagoguery anyway. People in different regions have different priorities, and should act accordingly (vote, etc). I personally would not let some vague Ummah entity influence my actions.

btw ex-democrat: Oh sorry, forgot that educated people never make typos.

truepeers said...

I'm sorry. I started off with a negative charge today, but i'm glad eerie that you threw some light on the matter. Now, it's time to read your blog and give it more serious thought.

ex-democrat said...

eerie: you also forgot that properly educated people aren't quite so full of themselves.

eerie said...

ex-dem: Oh, zing. You're very clever, I'm terribly impressed.

gumshoe1 said...

"A few of us are arrogant bastards, but that is mostly due to low tolerance for ignorance."

read that one a few times.