Crooked Timber, December 2015
There’s a mini-memoir about the time Moustafa worked as a Middle Eastern extra on “Sex and the City 2″; a Philip-Roth-like story about his discovery of a terrorist named Mustafa Bayoumi in a detective novel (that really did happen); a loving deconstruction of the Islamic undertones and overtones of John Coltrane’s music (“A Love Supreme” becomes “Allah Supreme”); a harrowing essay on how the American military uses music to terrorize and torture its victims (the phrase “Disco Inferno” takes on a whole new meaning); a long and learned history of the relationship between Muslim Americans and African Americans.2008 "Veil of Ignorance" The post isn't as offensive as the title, but the comments are.
The book ranges widely, but it’s held together by a single premonition: that the wrenching changes of the War on Terror have been not only legal and political but also cultural.
If the Farrells had been raised Muslim, Henry's sister would be wearing hijab.
The Islamic world has ample reasons for legitimate criticism. Anti-Semitism, sexism, lack of democracy, lack of opportunity, nurturing of terrorism… these are sad realities, not the hallucinations of right-wingers. Anger and criticism are appropriate, but our approach has to start with the assumption that Muslims are not going away. Short of deliberate genocide, there’s no way forward in the long run except for “hearts and minds.”"Short of deliberate genocide,..."
I missed the post just below the new one. Dec 2015, Quiggin.
Here’s a Christmas post from my blog in 2004. The theme is that nothing about Christmas ever changes, so it’s a repost of the same post from 2003. Looking back from 2015, the only change I can see is that the complaints about inclusive language to which I referred as “old stuff by now” have now become codified, as the “War on Christmas”.Careers spend mapping out the changes or lack of them in the behavior of others; incapable of mapping the changes in their own perceptions. Incapable, indifferent, or pathological.
I’ll add one new thought that the use of “War on Christmas” rhetoric reflects a larger problem for Christianists: should they be asserting their privileges as a majority (as in the demand that their particular holiday be recognised as primary) or demanding their rights as a minority (as in their unwillingness to accept equal marriage). The two strategies undermine each other.
3:AM: Have you changed your mind about anything fundamental to your philosophical position during your time as a philosopher or has it been more a process of deepening and further discovery within a rather settled framework of thought?
JR: For various reasons this is for me a difficult question. One is that I am not terribly interested in the question, and perhaps partly as a result, am often surprised when people point out, with actual quotations, what I wrote on some points in years past.Robin: "a Philip-Roth-like story". Muslims are the new Jews, darker cousins of Christian Europe, come to stay. As I've said before, the next flowering of humanist scholarship will come, is coming, out of the secularization of Islam. And also of course from the rising bourgeoisie outside the west.