When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization, he reportedly answered that “I think it would be a good idea.”
Over the weekend, I decided I needed just a little more stress in my life, so I wandered over to Arab News’ web site. (It’s highly recommended for those with low blood pressure, as it always seems to have at least one article guaranteed to outrage anyone.) And I got it in spades.
In Saudi Arabia, a couple’s marriage has been ruled invalid. It seems that the bride and groom are from different social statuses, and that simply can’t be allowed. It gets more entertaining when you read farther — the marriage was sanctioned by an Islamic court first, her parents had consented, the couple is very happy together, and they have two children.
But this is Saudi Arabia, remember. Women are property there. The wife’s father has died, so now her half-brother is fighting to own her. The first obstacle is to get rid of her current owner, her husband, and then he can marry her off to someone of his choosing for his own ends. And as far as his brother-in-law and the children who might call him “uncle” (but I doubt they will now)? They can go pound sand.
Next up, we have Dr. Salah Bin-Humaid, Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council. (They don’t say what that is, but it seems to be their “cabinet.”) He was quite unhappy at President Bush calling those fascists who boast of their Islamic faith “Islamic fascists,” and wants an apology. Dr. Bin-Humaid is also cordially invited to go pound sand. (Hey, it’s a freaking desert country. YOU try resisting the temptation to use that phrase.)
And then there’s this opinion piece regarding last week’s terror plot broken up in the UK. The author seems to be advocating profiling to prevent future attacks. But instead of people, we should profile flight plans. Only those planes bound for the US or the UK ought to be subject to such rigid, apparently because those are the only ones that are likely to be targeted.
Here’s a little tip for the author, Mr. Essa bin Mohammed Al-Zedjali: the terrorists have already gone past the point of a logical connection between their goals and their methods. A planeload of tourists have almost nothing to do with the foreign policy of the United States or Great Britain. Their whole modus operandi is to find the weakest point for an attack and go after it. What makes you think that they simply won’t extend their hostilities to “those supporting the US and the UK by flying out of their airports” and go after any old flight? Allah’s infinite mercy? I’d rather bet on the sun rising in the west tomorrow.
Finally, we have this particularly noxious piece by Randall B. (Nadeem) Hamud. Apparently the only functional democracy in the Middle East, surrounded by dictatorships and tyrannical monarchies and thugocracies and theocracies, is the only one truly worthy of the label “fascist.” I have two competing wise-ass observations going on.
1) Apparently it’s no coincidence that Denial is a river that runs through Muslim lands.
2) No wonder the Islamic fundamentalists hate movie theatres — they give them a run for their money when it comes to “projection.”
Islamic civilization? Sounds wonderful. Lemme know when it’s being tried out.