Notes and Comment Blog

Teflon child

Dec 26th, 2014 2:57 pm | By

There was a heated discussion on a post of Tom Flynn’s at the CFI blogs about whether or not to celebrate Christmas because it is or isn’t a Christian festival. I don’t really have a position on that, but it prompted me to try to figure out if I ever really saw it (or felt it) as a religious observance. I may be misremembering, but for the life of me I can’t dredge up any real religious associations with it. By “real” I mean ones that I personally experienced as religious, as opposed to elements that I was aware were religious.

It’s odd, really, because there were a good few of the latter, but to me it’s as if they were just decoration. I somehow sidestepped the real religiosity.

Like: my mother always went to this thing called “midnight mass” at the Episcopal church, and my older sister and brother always or usually went with her. I wasn’t eligible to go because it was, you know, midnight, and by the time I was old enough…I don’t remember but the custom must have stopped, because I never went. It’s as if there was this odd little cliff between my siblings and me.

Another example: one of the rituals was for us to join up with an uncle and aunt and their four boys to drive around singing carols and looking at the Christmas lights. It sounds both boring and corny but I loved it. I loved ritual as a kid, and had a habit of trying to enforce it on the elders. Now obviously a lot of those carols were religious…but I can’t remember experiencing them as such. I knew they were religious, but it didn’t make any difference I can detect.

Or there was another ritual, this one at my school, which was private and in some sense Anglican: it was called “candlelight” and we walked in a procession holding candles and singing, and then we recited the nativity bit of whichever gospel that is, the one that starts with And there were, abiding in the fields, shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks by night. I can still recite the whole damn thing, with all the pauses and emphases just as we were taught them so that the recitation would be united. Well – that’s pretty damn religious. And yet to me it was just this pretty thing. I don’t remember feeling pious about it, but I also don’t remember feeling rebellious about it. It was just a pretty performance.

I wasn’t some kind of thoughtful atheist child. Hell no. I was a daydreamer and fantasist, not a thinker. But…I was all the same a godless child. It just bounced off me somehow.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

“Our backs have turned to you”

Dec 26th, 2014 12:50 pm | By

You have got to be kidding.

Ex-NYC-cop and blogger John Cardillo has a message for us:

Late last night I was contacted by a coalition of NYPD cops, Detectives, and supervisors hundreds strong and asked to disseminate the following statement on their behalf. They requested I wait until after the plane towing a banner which reads “DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU” was airborne.

At 08:50 I received word that the plane was in the air and asked to release the statement and photo below.

The plane was in the air, towing a message to all of us:


As a large and unified group of current and retired NYC Police Officers, Detectives, & Supervisors, we are outraged by the mayor’s incendiary rhetoric, and for facilitating the current hostile climate towards the NYPD. We understand that the department and even our own unions can only go so far in their public condemnation of the mayor as to not irreparably damage the working relationship with the city, or future contract negotiations.

It is our opinion that Mayor deBlasio’s dangerous and irresponsible comments about his and his wife’s concern for their son’s safety at the hands of the NYPD fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos, as well as the continued threats against NYPD personnel. The Mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead.

We no longer have confidence in Mayor deBlasio, nor in his ability to lead New York City and promote the values that both the NYPD and the good law abiding citizens of the city hold dear. Mayor deBlasio turned his back on us long before we turned our backs on him.

That’s their message to us. Nothing about the killing of Eric Garner, just sympathy for themselves. Nothing about the need to be accountable to the people they boast of protecting, nothing about the need to use restraint and caution while they do their jobs, nothing about the responsibility they have to use those big guns they have with care.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

One nightmare over

Dec 26th, 2014 12:21 pm | By

News from Ireland: the high court has ruled that that unfortunate woman who was being kept “alive” after brain death because she was pregnant can – and in fact should – be allowed to die the rest of the way.

The woman’s family had asked the court to allow treatment to be withdrawn so she could be put to rest.

Doctors would not grant their wishes as they were unsure of the legal status of the unborn child under the Constitution.

The woman in this case was declared dead on 3 December.

The court heard evidence that her body was deteriorating and the outlook for her unborn child was very poor.

Her family wanted the life support machine to be turned off.

It’s almost as if women aren’t actually incubators. It’s almost as if there actually is a difference between a woman with a brain and a woman without one.

Lawyers represented the unborn child and the woman herself.

The lawyers for the unborn told the court that it had to satisfy that there was no real possibility of the unborn child surviving before allowing the machine to be turned off.

But there is no child. There’s no such thing as an “unborn child.” That’s a political slogan, not an accurate label. It’s grotesque having lawyers “representing” a fetus at all.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Quick, talk about something else

Dec 26th, 2014 11:40 am | By

Meanwhile Erdogan is changing the subject by telling Europe to do something about “Islamophobia” before criticizing Turkey’s approach to freedom of the press.

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan slammed European countries on Friday for criticizing deteriorating press freedom in Turkey and said they should instead try to find a solution for what he said was increasing Islamophobia in the continent.

Turkish police earlier this month raided media outlets close to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of forming a ‘parallel state’ to undermine his rule and orchestrating a graft scandal targeting his inner circle.

The European Union, which Turkey has been seeking to join for decades, said the media raids ran counter to European values, a criticism already dismissed by Erdogan. On Friday, the President repeated his discontent, with a visibly harsher tone.

Well, maybe he’s embarrassed about that schoolboy arrested for saying something harsh about him.

“We are not Europe’s scapegoat,” Erdogan told a symposium of civil servants. “We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia.”

Meh. “Europe” isn’t a thing that can point a finger or scold anyway, but if it were…it could do that. The EU can do that, the ECHR can do that, heads of state can do that, journalists can do that, rights activists can do that. Actually, anybody at all can do that…unless they’re actually in Turkey, of course.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The boy was arrested at school

Dec 26th, 2014 11:25 am | By

The teenager who “insulted” Erdogan is out of jail pending trial. Oooh really? How can they be sure he won’t insult again? It’s terrifying and reckless to let such a violent insulter walk around freely when at any moment he might say something hostile about the president of Turkey omigod.

Turkey’s penal code makes it a crime to insult the president.

As he left the courthouse in Konya, the boy said: “There is no question of taking a step back from our path, we will continue along this road.”

There has been growing concern amid rights groups in Turkey at what they see as a clampdown on freedom of speech.

Ya think?

The boy was arrested at school on Wednesday and taken for questioning.

His speech, given to commemorate the killing of a Turkish soldier by Islamists in the 1920s, was recorded on video and broadcast by Dogan News Agency.

In it, he defended secularism and the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic.

He reportedly called Mr Erdogan the “thieving owner of the illegal palace”, referring to a controversial 1,150-room palace inaugurated by the president in October.

And for that appalling crime, the police went to his school and arrested him.

The arrest sparked fierce criticism of Mr Erdogan, with Attila Kart, a member of opposition party CHP, saying the president was creating “an environment of fear, oppression and threat”.

Mr Erdogan, who was elected president in August after serving as prime minister for 11 years, has faced several corruption allegations in recent years.

He insists they are baseless and part of a “dark plot” to oust him from power by influential cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is in self-imposed exile in the US.

An influential cleric is not what Turkey needs.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The Duggars don’t want that Civil Rights ordinance

Dec 25th, 2014 5:37 pm | By

Why not celebrate Xmas or solstice by signing the petition to tell the Duggars they’re homophobic bigots?

The new law the Duggars want repealed would prohibit business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics.

According to finance and expenditure reports filed this week with the Washington County Clerk’s office, Fayetteville candidates have raised more than $44,000, **almost one-fourth of which came from Springdale residents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.**

The Duggars, who are featured in the TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” have so far donated $10,000 toward the campaigns of the three most outspoken opponents to Fayetteville’s new Civil Rights Administration ordinance. The Duggars gave $2,000 to John La Tour, and $4,000 to both Joshua Crawford and Paul Phaenuef.

The ordinance was passed by the Fayetteville City Council on Aug. 20, but a group called Repeal 119 gathered enough signatures to put the new law to a Dec. 9 public vote.

They present a nice sunny exterior but they’re reactionary theocrats who should have been left in obscurity.

Happy holidays.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The student could face up to four years in prison

Dec 25th, 2014 3:20 pm | By

Chapter 70 squillion in the annals of “arrested for insulting ____” – in this case not the prophet but the president, of Turkey.

Police in Turkey have arrested a 16-year-old student on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to local media.

He was arrested on Wednesday after criticising the ruling AK Party during a speech at a student protest in the central Anatolian city of Konya.

The teenager could face up to four years in prison if found guilty.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu defended the arrest, saying the presidential office “needs to be shown respect”.

No. No it doesn’t. It doesn’t need to be shown unconditional respect and it certainly doesn’t need to be “shown respect” in the sense of criminalizing criticism.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has it completely backward. People who hold political office are more subject to criticism than civilians, not less so. People who have power have to be wide open to criticism, because otherwise they’re free to pillage us in any way they like.

Arresting a 16-year-old student for criticizing a political party is just contemptible.

Note to the EU: Turkey is not ready.

Turkey’s penal code makes it a crime to insult the president.

It also makes it a crime to insult “Turkishness.” Turkey’s penal code is fucked up.

The boy’s speech, given to commemorate the killing of a Turkish soldier by Islamists in the 1920s, was recorded on video and broadcast by Dogan News Agency.

In it, he defends secularism and the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic.

He also singled out President Erdogan for criticism over recent corruption allegations, as the crowd chanted “everywhere is bribery, everywhere is corruption”.

And for that they busted him – dear “moderate” Turkey.



(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Consider the Deccan traps

Dec 25th, 2014 12:54 pm | By

What could be more festive than learning something new about the probable cause of the extinction event that terminated the dinosaurs?

At least, it’s new to me, although according to Science Daily it’s been on the table for 30 years.

A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago spewed enormous amounts of climate-altering gases into the atmosphere immediately before and during the extinction event that claimed Earth’s non-avian dinosaurs, according to new research from Princeton University.

A primeval volcanic range in western India known as the Deccan Traps, which were once three times larger than France, began its main phase of eruptions roughly 250,000 years before the Cretaceous-Paleogene, or K-Pg, extinction event, the researchers report in the journal Science. For the next 750,000 years, the volcanoes unleashed more than 1.1 million cubic kilometers (264,000 cubic miles) of lava. The main phase of eruptions comprised about 80-90 percent of the total volume of the Deccan Traps’ lava flow and followed a substantially weaker first phase that began about 1 million years earlier.

The results support the idea that the Deccan Traps played a role in the K-Pg extinction, and challenge the dominant theory that a meteorite impact near present-day Chicxulub, Mexico, was the sole cause of the extinction. The researchers suggest that the Deccan Traps eruptions and the Chicxulub impact need to be considered together when studying and modeling the K-Pg extinction event.

Interesting, no? Not just the uninvited visitor from space, but also volcanic explosions right here on the blue dot.

The Deccan Traps’ part in the K-Pg extinction is consistent with the rest of Earth history, explained lead author Blair Schoene, a Princeton assistant professor of geosciences who specializes in geochronology. Four of the five largest extinction events in the last 500 million years coincided with large volcanic eruptions similar to the Deccan Traps. The K-Pg extinction is the only one that coincides with an asteroid impact, he said.

“The precedent is there in Earth history that significant climate change and biotic turnover can result from massive volcanic eruptions, and therefore the effect of the Deccan Traps on late-Cretaceous ecosystems should be considered,” Schoene said.

“Biotic turnover” – that’s such a nicely chilling phrase.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Simon’s cat gets a catnip cat

Dec 25th, 2014 11:24 am | By

Prp? Prp? Rrp?


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Why steadfast

Dec 25th, 2014 11:22 am | By

Jesus and Mo dance around the Confirmation Circle.

Jesus and Mo


Can become a patron at Patreon.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

He was accused of apostasy “for speaking lightly of the Prophet Mohammed”

Dec 25th, 2014 11:11 am | By

Now a piece of horrible news from Mauritania:

A Muslim man has become the first person to be sentenced to death for apostasy in Mauritania since independence in 1960 after a court ruled he had written something blasphemous.

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, who is around 30 years old, fainted when the ruling was read out late Wednesday in a court in Nouadhibou in the northwest of the country, a judicial source told AFP.

As well he might. Imagine being sentenced to death by a court of law for writing “something blasphemous.”

During the hearing the judge told Mohamed that he was accused of apostasy “for speaking lightly of the Prophet Mohammed” in an article which was published briefly on several Mauritanian websites.

In it he challenged some the decisions taken by Islam’s prophet and his companions during the holy wars, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He also accused Mauritanian society of perpetuating “an iniquitous social order” and defended those at the bottom rungs of society who he described as “marginalised and discriminated against from birth”.

And for that they intend to kill him. They intend to kill him, with the dignity of the law behind them.

Mohamed, named by some local media outlets as Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, explained that it was “not his intention to harm the prophet”, the source added.

His lawyer asked for leniency as he said his client was repentant but the judge agreed to the prosecutor’s request for the death penalty.

No information was immediately available on whether Mohamed would appeal.

Local Islamic organisations said it was the first time text critical of Islam had been published in the country.

The verdict was met with shouts of joy from the gallery, while on the streets there were jubilant scenes as cars sounded their horns.

How disgusting. How bottomlessly horrible to welcome a death sentence on someone for having a social conscience.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

A Christmas morality play

Dec 25th, 2014 10:33 am | By

Department of Stories that we suspect didn’t happen quite the way they were described.

The New York Post reports – or, rather, melodramatizes – a tale of an evil Grumpy Passenger being thrown off a plane during boarding because he was a demonic Enemy of Christmas.

The byline is Michael Liss, Daniel Prendergast and Philip Messing, which seems like a lot for such a tiny story (in both length and import). Maybe they’re all sock puppets of Bill O’Reilly, or Murdoch himself.

The man was waiting to board American Airlines Flight 1140 to Dallas when a cheerful gate agent began welcoming everyone with the Yuletide greeting while checking boarding passes.

The grumpy passenger, who appeared to be traveling alone, barked at the woman, “You shouldn’t say that because not everyone celebrates Christmas.”

The agent replied, “Well, what should I say then?”

“Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” the man shouted before brushing past her.

See what I mean? Already I don’t believe it. I don’t believe he shouted, and as for “brushing past her” – what was he supposed to do, wait for her to carry him?

Once on the plane, he was warmly greeted by a flight attendant who also wished him a “merry Christmas.” That was the last straw.

“Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” the man raged before lecturing the attendants and the pilot about their faux pas.

“Raged”? I don’t believe you, New York Post.

The crew tried to calm the unidentified man, but he refused to back down and continued hectoring them.

He was escorted off the plane as other fliers burst into cheers and applause.

And Tiny Tim broke his crutch over the Grumpy Man’s head.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

He’s a goofball who writes funny songs

Dec 24th, 2014 5:22 pm | By

So there was this charity event. It was held at an Elks Lodge. The lodge is in Glendale, California. The host of the event was a retired cop. About half of the 50 to 60 guests were cops.

You can probably already tell this story isn’t going to go well.

Somebody took some video. Salon reports on what the video shows.

In the video, Gary Fishell, a former federal investigator, sings a parody of the song “Bad, bad Leroy Brown“:

“Michael Brown learned a lesson about a messin’
With a badass policeman
And he’s bad, bad Michael Brown

Then it gets worse; go there if you want to read the whole thing.

It’s the fascism again. It’s racism too, obviously, but it’s also the fascism I was talking about in regard to the New York police commissioner and the PBA. It’s rejoicing in superior force, even in cases where it’s not called for. It’s saying jump when we say jump or we’ll kill you, and isn’t that glorious of us.

It’s also disgusting.

In an interview with TMZ, Fishell’s lawyer says that Fishell now realizes the song was “off color and in poor taste.” “He’s a goofball who writes funny songs,” his lawyer continued. “He thought the room would get a kick out of it.”

Sigh. Point missed. Reality evaded.

Myers was unapologetic about his guest’s chosen form of entertainment: “How can I dictate what he says in a song? This is America. We can say what we want. This is a free America.”

Yes yes yes, and nobody’s arresting him (or shooting him), but there are plenty of things people are free to do that are nonetheless despicable. That “funny song” is despicable.

A representative from the Glendale Elks Lodge condemned the performance: “It’s deplorable and inappropriate and the Lodge will take disciplinary action against [Fishell] and possibly the people who organized the event,” a trustee said. “We don’t stand for any racist things like this.”

This country is shameful in so many ways. Like this one, via Amazing Maps on Twitter:

Prison Population per 100,000 people (2012)

Embedded image permalink


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The view from under the bus

Dec 24th, 2014 3:17 pm | By

Here is another reason to dislike Bill Maher.


Bill Maher‏@billmaher
#TheInterview Is that all it takes – an anonymous threat and the numbers 911 – to throw free expression under the bus? #PussyNation

He wouldn’t use #NiggerNation that way. He didn’t, and he wouldn’t. Yet he thinks it’s ok to use #PussyNation that way. (Yes, Jon Stewart also does that [unless he’s stopped], and that sucks too.)

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Can mice throw up?

Dec 24th, 2014 2:44 pm | By

The New York Public Library has a Christmas / solstice / holiday / rainy day present for us: questions asked of reference librarians in the days before The Google.

Recently some folks at the New York Public Library discovered a box containing old reference questions from the 1940s to 1980s. They’ll be posting the questions to their Instagram account on Mondays (starting today), but have shared a bunch with us today, noting, “we were Google before Google existed.”

I love it when people discover a box containing treasure.

  • What did women use for shopping backs before paper bags?
  • Are black widow spiders more harmful dead or alive?
  • Is it proper to go to Reno alone to get a divorce? (1945)
  • Are Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates the same person?
  • Can NYPL recommend a good forger?

I’ll pause a moment to let us all catch our breath.


  • Does the Bible have a copyright?
  • What percentage of all bathtubs in the world are in the US?
  • Can you tell me the thickness of a US Postage stamp with the glue on it? Answer: We cannot get this answer quickly. Perhaps try the Postal Service. Response: This is the Postal Service.
  • What does it mean when you dream of being chased by an elephant?
  • How do you put up wallpaper?

They should get the forger to put up the wallpaper.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Cory Booker

Dec 24th, 2014 11:58 am | By

The junior Senator from my home state of New Jersey sends us a shout-out.


Today is HumanLight — a Humanist holiday celebrates a Humanist’s vision of a good future on December 23. I wish you all a good future and a happy holiday!

Same to you Senator!

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Take turns

Dec 24th, 2014 11:45 am | By

The New Yorker on Facebook.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Flip the terms

Dec 24th, 2014 11:15 am | By

The first paragraph of a somewhat rambling think piece about Joan Didion snagged my attention.

EVEN NOW, even in this century, decades past the pictures with Corvettes and cigarettes and sunglasses, even after her manner, with its uneasy admixture of condescension toward the world and delicacy toward the self, became case study for how to be slightly dangerous and stylish and aloof as a writer without the compensatory aid of masculine bravado, there is always murmuring about Joan Didion.

Um, ah. That’s quite a tidy summing-up of why I don’t like Joan Didion. I think that admixture is exactly the wrong one to have, because it gets everything reversed. The condescension (or doubt, or critical view, or skepticism, or caution) should be for the self, and the delicacy (or interest, or openness, or curiosity, or attention) should be for the world.

I don’t like writers or thinkers who are more interested in their own selves than they are in all the rest of the world combined. They’re laboring under a misapprehension. No one person is more interesting than all the rest of the world. Not even Shakespeare, not even Keats – and I can say “even” about them because they both were insatiably interested in the world. Same with Montaigne – he was always talking about himself, yes, but not with “delicacy” but rather with a clinical, experimental kind of interest that combined well with his fascination with the world. I don’t like precious, exquisite little droplets of self-obsession.

I don’t like Corvettes or cigarettes, either.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

At the table

Dec 24th, 2014 10:36 am | By

Is police work the most dangerous job you can do?

No. You know what is? Construction.

Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, incurring more occupational fatalities than any other sector in both the United States and in the European Union.[27][28] In 2009, the fatal occupational injury rate among construction workers in the United States was nearly three times that for all workers.[27]

Have a table from 2006.

Construction workers are far more at risk than cops are. Maek you think.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves

Dec 23rd, 2014 5:45 pm | By

The BBC’s Paul Wood also reports on the terrible fate of Yezidi women.

Yezidis say there are still 3,500 Yezidi women and girls enslaved by IS. Three thousand five hundred. A few have escaped, and some of those told their stories to Paul Wood.

Hannan is 18 and wants to be a nurse, a future almost snatched away by IS.

Hannan says the jihadists blocked Sinjar’s roads with their pick-up trucks. She was turned back to town, where women and girls were separated from everyone else.

“There were 20 of them, with long beards and weapons. They said: ‘You’re coming to Mosul.’ We refused. They hit us and dragged us to their cars.”

She was taken with other women to a sports hall. Then, after a couple of weeks, to a wedding hall. In one place, there were 200 women and girls. These were slave markets. IS fighters could come to take their pick.

“We didn’t dare look at their faces. We were so afraid. One girl came back after she had been used as a sex slave and told us everything. After that, IS did not allow anyone else to return.

“They were shooting to scare us. They took whomever they wanted, by force. We were crying the whole time. We wanted to kill ourselves but we couldn’t find a way.”

Multiply that times 3,500.

It seems that IS has, indeed, given out orders on the proper use of women as slaves.

The group’s Department of Research and Fatwas (religious edicts) has issued a pamphlet with the chillingly matter-of-fact title: “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves”.

The document appears to be genuine. It was posted on a jihadist web forum and, apparently, given out after Friday prayers in Mosul.

Christians, Jews and Yazidi women can all be taken as slaves, it says. Women can be bought, sold, and given as gifts; they can be disposed of as property if a fighter dies.

Because they are property. They’re not human, they’re just property…Just as people of African descent used to be in the US.

The pamphlet’s Q&A format includes the following:

Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her? Answer: If she is a virgin, her master can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession. But if she is not, you must make sure she is not pregnant.

Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty? Answer: You may have intercourse with a female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse. However, if she is not fit for intercourse, it is enough to enjoy her without.

It is a depraved and depressing document, at odds with mainstream Islam, though well-researched with Koranic verses and hadiths, or reports of what the Prophet Muhammad said or approved.

Well, how much at odds? Mainstream according to whom? It doesn’t seem all that at odds with Saudi Islam or Afghan Islam or Boko Haram Islam.

IS itself has not tried to hide what it has done. As well as the pamphlet and the video, its official publication, Daqib, records what happened:

“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to Sharia [Islamic law] amongst the fighters of Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations…

“Before Satan sows doubt among the weak-minded and weak-hearted, remember that enslaving the kuffa [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly-established aspect of Sharia.”

Divide the world into believers and infidels, and watch what ensues. Nothing good.





(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)