Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ethics are for Chumps Roundup

I just found out that Maryland doesn't require one to take the MPRE. Guess where I'm taking the bar?

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Interesting study out in the Journal of Social Issues on the conscious versus subconscious value people place upon their race (full text here, may be behind a pay-wall).

Howard Jacobson's "The Finkler Question" has won the Man Booker prize.

Mormon leader's comments on gays and lesbians spark an outcry. The church is responding with the usual pablum about how -- support for institutionalized discrimination notwithstanding -- they love and respect everyone, and it inspires the usual mix of bile and contempt in me.

Jon Chait is convinced a GOP-controlled Congress will attempt to impeach Barack Obama.

Harry Reid may finally be putting some space between himself and Sharron Angle.

Alex Knapp fisks the "education" Pam Geller (and, presumably, many others) have received about Islam.

1 comment:

N. Friedman said...


You write: Alex Knapp fisks the "education" Pam Geller (and, presumably, many others) have received about Islam.

If we go by Mr. Knapp's recommendations, we find thinkers with more grotesque ideas than Ms. Geller seems to know, much less have about Islam. Take Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, father of Wahhabism. He surely holds more radical views of Islam than do any of those from which Ms. Geller is accused of reading - if she has read such writers.

The fact is that Ibn Warraq and Bat Ye'or are both major scholars of Islam and Islamic civilization, with ideas compatible with those of scholars such as Bernard Lewis. Lewis, for one, cites Bat Ye'or favorably in at least one of his books. I have not read any books by Dr. Pipes, so have no thoughts on his views except to note that he, unlike Mr. Warraq, believes in a moderate Islam - which, from the little I know about Ms. Geller, suggests that Ms. Geller may not have read much Pipes.

On the issue of Jihad, Warraq and Ye'or's views are identical to those of the Muslim scholars which Mr. Knapp recommends. Even the famed al-Ghazzali wrote in favor of pursuing Jihad as war to spread Muslim rule to the entire world.

In adding al-Wahhab to the list, Mr. Knapp basically substitutes a true radical for what, until fairly recently, was mainstream Islam. Not such a great recommendation, if you are trying to discredit that readily discreditable Ms. Geller.

And, by the way, one does not need to read all the major writers on Islam, as Knapp suggests, to form reasonably clear picture about the teachings of Islam. There are perfectly reasonable summaries of what Muslims believe, written in English by first rate scholars. This would include learning Islam's political teachings, spiritual teachings, etc., etc. And, I might add: Warraq, while he is critical, presents the views actually taught by Muslims as being classical Islam. So, Knapp's criticism of him (and of Ms. Ye'or) are simply wrong.