Archive for ‘Middle East Bites’

October 2nd, 2008

A Fatwa Over Flirting

by Venomous Kate

Who ever thought they’d live to see the day when both Pakistani feminists and that country’s hardcore Islamic clergy actually agreed on something? But that’s precisely what’s happened following President Asif Ali Zardari’s flirtatious comments to Sarah Palin.

A radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for “indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.”

Feminists charged that once again a male Pakistani leader has embarrassed the country with sexist remarks.

No, it wasn’t simply that he called her “gorgeous” at the UN meet-and-greet last week. Nor was it because he said, “Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you.” What actually led the leaders of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad to issue a fatwa on Zardari was his statement to his handler that he’d be happy to hug Palin.

Fortunately for Zardari, the fatwa doesn’t recommend violence, or even any other action. To bring that down on his head, I guess Zardi would’ve had to ask Palin if she wanted to see his moose gun.

September 15th, 2008

Saudi Judge Urges Death For “Deviant” Broadcasters

by Venomous Kate

This month is Ramadan throughout Islamic countries, a month during which Muslims celebrate the delivery of the Qu’ran to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is a period during which Muslims are supposed to ask for forgiveness for their sins and to seek help in refraining from “everyday evils” while purifying their souls through self-restraint (such as fasting).

Apparently, it’s also a time for some Islamic clerics and officials to license murder in the name of religion.

Saudi Arabia’s top judiciary official has issued a fatwa authorising the murder of owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast “bad programmes”.

Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan, 79, chief of the kingdom’s highest tribunal, the supreme judiciary council, said satellite channels caused the “deviance of thousands of people”.

He was answering listeners’ questions during the daily radio programme Light in the Path, in which he and other clerics make rulings on what is permissible under Islamic law. One caller asked yesterday about Islam’s view on satellite TV channels that broadcast “bad programmes” during Ramadan.

“What does the owner of these networks think, when he provides seduction, obscenity and vulgarity?” said Al-Lihedan. “Those calling for corrupt beliefs, certainly it’s permissible to kill them. Those calling for sedition, those who are able to prevent it but don’t, it is permissible to kill them.”

In Saudi Arabia, the most popular stations are owned by members of the royal family whom earlier this year had pledged to reign in some of the country’s more militant imams by launching a clerical “retraining” program to encourage moderation and tolerance.

I think it’s fair to say that’s not working to well for them, don’t you?

May 29th, 2008

Sometimes A Scarf Is Just A Scarf

by Venomous Kate

Rachel Ray coffee ad

When is a scarf so much more than a scarf? Apparently when it’s worn by America’s culinary cutie, Rachel Ray, and said scarf slightly resembles the Palestinian keffiyeh.

After an uproar led by notable conservatives such as Michelle Malkin and LGF’s Charles Johnson — both of whom must have been terribly bored — Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled the ad at no small expense.

So what’s the story? Malkin et al. seem to believe that wearing such a scarf constitutes hate couture and somehow signals support of terrorism.

The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not so ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.

What hole do Malkin and Johnson live in that they’re convinced the keffiyeh is, in and of itself, a symbol of terrorism? Or that a woman’s wearing of it means, well, anything?

The keffiyeh (also known as the shmagh, shemagh, ghutra, hatta or mashada), is a traditional Arabic men’s headdress. It’s a functional piece of clothing designed to protect the head and neck from the arid, blistering heat of the Middle East. As such, it’s been around for thousands of years — long before Yasser Arafat, the Taliban or any other Islamic extremists.

To argue that, because terrorists have been seen wearing such clothing, anyone who wears similar items must also be a terrorist is laughable.

Why, some of those terrorists in the beheading and hostage-taking videos wore black clothing from head-to-toe. Wouldn’t that make, oh, 75% of NYC’s residents “terrorists” under the same logic? Come to think of it, I seem to recall both President Bush and John McCain dressing in head-to-toe black recently. What say you to that, Malkin: does the similarity in clothing make them terrorists, too?

Shall we call every woman who’s ever worn a caftan, a style originating in the Middle East, a terrorist? Pity the grandmas in Florida who shrug one on at poolside, then. I imagine they’ll be surprised to learn they’re considered terrorist sympathizers for having opted for comfort.

And what about the fez, that funny little hat which symbolizes Islamic identity and signals support for the Caliphate? Would that make The Shriners terrorists for wearing it, too?

Fact is, we live in an increasingly small world. Our fashions reflect this, just as they have throughout history. Those earrings Malkin so attractively wears (while dressed head-to-toe in black)? They were first worn by men… in Persia. Oh, and guess what: blush and other forms of makeup trace their origins back to Iran.

Is Malkin signaling her support for terrorism by wearing them? Of course not. And neither was Rachel Ray when her stylist wrapped her neck in a scarf that’s been in fashion for a couple of years now.

That’s what’s most disgusting about Malkin’s stance on the Dunkin’ Donuts ad: it reveals her ignorance as much as her rabid prejudice that lumps all things Middle Eastern in with terrorists. As an American and a Republican and someone with Iranian ancestry, I call foul both on Malkin and on Dunkin’ Donuts for having given in to her hate-mongering.

Shame on you.

UPDATE: I like Timmer’s idea!

UPDATE TWO: Malkin to world: do what I say, not what I do!

May 2nd, 2008

Second Aircraft Carrier Sent to “Remind” Iran

by Venomous Kate

Just one month after I pointed out moves which seem to signal the U.S. is gearing up against Iran, we’ve now sent a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf.

“This deployment has been planned for a long time,” (U.S. Defense Secretary Robert) Gates said. “I don’t think we’ll have two carriers there for a protracted period of time. So I don’t see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder.”

Funny, I doubt Tehran will view it that way.

April 25th, 2008

The Beefcake Beneath The Bisht

by Venomous Kate

You know him. You laugh at him. Now you can own a signed photo of him bare of his Bisht.

That’s right, Islamic Rage Boy is posing in the altogether, but it’s all for a good cause.

August 18th, 2007

Interpol Hunt for Hussein’s Daughter

by Venomous Kate

Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter is the subject of a worldwide Interpol warrant. Although she’d been living in Jordan under asylum last year, she’s since disappeared.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry told the BBC that Interpol had notified member countries to arrest Raghad Saddam Hussein, accused of terrorism and other offences. Last year, the pro-U.S. Iraqi government put Raghad and her mother Sajida on a list of its most wanted fugitives, alleging they supported the insurgency in Iraq.

Serious stuff, those accusations.

But what I really want to know is: what kind of a name is Raghad? Surely her father realized how very much it sounds like “Raghead”. Or is it the Iraqi equivalent of naming your kid Myron or Bertha?

Then again, Saddam always was known for his cruelty.

July 1st, 2007

Burkas Are Bad For Your Health

by Venomous Kate

Burka, the head-to-toe coverings that Islamic men insist their women must wear because the men are such weaklings when it comes to temptation, aren’t just bad fashion. They’re bad for women’s health*, too.

Scientists had previously found high rates of vitamin D deficiency in Arab and East Indian women living in the United Arab Emirates. A follow-up study investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on 178 UAE women, many of whom covered themselves entirely, faces and hands included, when outside their homes. Only two of the women did not have vitamin D deficiency prior to receiving supplements.

Not that staunch Islamic fundamentalists would actually care, of course. They’d prefer anything over allowing “uncovered meat” distract them from planning their latest jihad.

(Slink via Rammer.

May 23rd, 2007

I Am Not An Animal

by Venomous Kate

According to the Iranian government, women who do not cover their head and face are members of the animal world. As Gateway Pundit notes, I think we know who the true animals are. (Via OTB.)

However, far be it from me to offend anyone. Therefore, my head and face are now modestly covered. See?

covered face