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  1. sly civilian
    sly civilian June 10, 2007 at 12:52 am |

    yes, paul, they are all interchangeable. they don’t really have souls, so they can’t be individuals like us westerners.

    that being said. i’ll almost entirely depart on your argument about luther. i don’t think he was particularly close to the historic early church, nor is he a beacon of individualist freedom over and against faceless and authortarian catholicism. that’s no less of an orientalist slur than the anti-semitism that the catholics cooked up, only to have Luther turn it on them. And so on.

    luther is a terribly complicated and frieghted subject…but the short version is that he shouldn’t be a stand in for the Enlightenment.

  2. Morningstar
    Morningstar June 10, 2007 at 11:34 am |

    That’s a good essay Mikey. I don’t have a problem with Ramdan at all, but he could go even further in his “reformation”:

    Berman characterizes Ramadan’s comments about stoning women as qualifications to his opposition. What does Ramadan say? Ramadan says that Islamic law should have “a moratorium” on these practices. Ramadan continues, when challenged:

    There’s no need for a moatorium since the Koran itself doesn’t say a thing about stoning women for adultery. The confusion is by short-sighted scholars who refuse to acknowledge the nuances of the Koran and instead pick and choose sayings of the Prophet to further their agenda.

    Before certain laws in the Koran were written, Muhammad followed the Mosaic law where there was stoning adultery.

    The Koranic law later changed this by saying that there needs to be four witnesses to the actual act in progress – and the punishment was a hundred lashes (and if there were any false claims, the accuser would face the punishment).

    These prescriptions for punishments aren’t demanded though. It’s not like a society has to mete out justice this way. But the Ramadan should know the Koran better, and should have pointed out that it does not say a thing about stoning for adultery.

    And that four witnesses to the act means that it’s pretty unenforceable unless you’re really bloody blatant about it.

  3. Feministe » Recapin’ Your Ass
    Feministe » Recapin’ Your Ass June 10, 2007 at 9:01 pm |

    [...] or education and goods in Africa. Mikey: In Which He Fatefully Returns to Gender Mikey: Paul Berman Should Not Fear Tariq Ramadan Piny: With [...]

  4. Ali Eteraz
    Ali Eteraz June 11, 2007 at 4:07 am |

    Great summary of the article, weak conclusion.

    The entire “reform” premise is shit. What these guys talk about “reform” is really just intellectual masturbation.

    Real reform is legislative, judicial, hard-nosed bullshit done with rubber boots in shitty regions going toe to toe face to face with mullahs and illiterate old men with Kalashnikov’s.

    Look at Eteraz.org, look at pomed.org, look at javed ahmed ghamidi, and pakistan’s women’s protection bill

    All this has nothing to do with Ramadan or Hirsi Ali. Neither are known for and cared for by Muslims.

  5. drydock
    drydock June 11, 2007 at 4:49 am |

    Hirsi Ali is not Voltaire. She’s a dupe (knowingly, I’m not sure) for the American Enterprise Institute, the neo-con outfit pushing for an insane war with Iran. They were also the right wingers peddling the “Bell Curve” a while back.

    That said, I’ve read two of Berman’s books that I thought were real interesting and a few of his essays including ones on the PC debate and another dissing Che in a movie review. Berman is a very bright guy that writes in a complex but readable narrative about politics. I wouldn’t dismiss him. I’ll be sure to check out the essay.

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