Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Islamists to Pope: Stop saying we’re violent or we’ll kill you.

So the Pope’s been taking quite a bit of heat for quoting a Medieval text that described Mohammed as “inhuman” and evil (according to the Koran itself, he was a brutal warrior and assassin). The Pope didn’t mention the brutality of the early Catholic Church. I guess he forgot about that. But what do we expect… he’s the Pope. Neglecting to mention the Church’s own brutal history is disappointing, but not exactly surprising.Here’s what bugs me more:Is it just me, or are killings, fire-bombing of churches and wanton destruction a piss-poor way of responding to someone who quotes a statement about your religion being violent?Now, the man who tried to kill the last Pope warns of a potential assassination should Pope Benedict visit Turkey. From London’s Evening Standard:

Pope Benedict faces a growing chorus of demands to make an unequivocal apology for remarks seen as portraying Islam as a violent faith, despite attempts by Western leaders and churchmen to defuse the crisis.The calls came as it emerged papal hitman Mehmet Ali Agca, who is serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in May 1981, has written to Pope Benedict XVI from jail, warning him not to go to Turkey as planned in November in the light of his remarks. Agca, a Turk gave his ominous warning in a letter to an Italian daily newspaper. For many Muslims, the Pope’s attempt to explain himself on Sunday did not go far enough and observers were waiting to see if he would speak about it again at his general audience at the Vatican.The Pope enraged Muslims in a speech a week ago in Germany quoting 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything the Prophet Mohammad brought was evil “such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.The leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics said on Sunday he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the reaction caused – but stopped short of apologising for his words or retracting them. In a telegram to the order of an Italian nun killed in Somalia who may be the crisis’ first victim…Read the rest…

Most Muslims in the world haven’t responded to the Pope’s predictably one-sided comments by being total whack-jobs (and some have denounced the violence) — but as usual when it comes to organized religion, the few morons out there are doing everything they can to validate the negative stereotypes.

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Is the Boogeyman dead?

First the crocodiles are denied their chance to bring Steve Irwin to justice, and now this

The information purporting the death of the world’s most sought after terrorist is based on what the newspaper calls “a usually reliable source,” stating that Saudi intelligence sources “are convinced” of bin Laden’s death.The French intelligence report goes on to say, still according to the French daily, that bin Laden died in Pakistan on August 23 after suffering “from a severe bout of typhoid fever,” and a bacterial infection provoked a paralysis of his lower body.

The Saudi intelligence report states that bin Laden’s geographic isolation “rendered all medical assistance impossible. Indeed, U.S. intelligence sources have long believed bin Laden was hiding in remote parts of Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan, areas where sophisticated medical help would be difficult to obtain.

The news of bin Laden’s death reached the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sept. 4. If confirmed, that, in part, might explain the complete absence of Osama bin Laden from making any appearances on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon just outside Washington, DC.

The U.S. is skeptical, of course, as this wouldn’t be the first time OBL has been reported to have gone to find his 72 virgins in the sky.

Clinton Unloads on Faux News

As anyone who’s seen a brilliant trailer and then gone to find out that the movie was total crap knows, it’s easy to give a false impression with a few simple editing tricks. For the past couple days, the Drudge Report and other right-wing sites have been downright orgasmic over a 50-second clip that they claimed showed Clinton coming unhinged and being forced by Fox News to admit he failed to prevent 9-11. Watch a longer version of that interview, which has just a little bit more substance following the “I failed” part than the Fox promo would suggest.

Calling all spinners — explain how Bush has “made us safer.”

There are times when being right makes you the happiest person in the world, and then there are the times it makes you crap your pants. Guess which one of those times this is. I want every angry, slogan-spouting flag-waiver who’s ever written in ordering me to “leave the President alone, he’s making us safer” to take a second, put down your copy of the National Review (the one with the Sean Hannity centerfold), and write to me again. Write to me and explain why our intelligence agencies now say the Iraq occupation has increased the threat of terror.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document. The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.Officials with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided specific judgments about the likelihood that terrorists would once again strike on United States soil. The relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism, and the question of whether the United States is safer, have been subjects of persistent debate since the war began in 2003.National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents that the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence. Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw intelligence collected by all of the spy agencies.More…

White House punks Christians

Occasionally, Candorville features Reverend Wilfred, a Black minister who suddenly became a firebrand Republican Bush-endorser after receiving half a million dollars from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As time goes on, and more evidence emerges to corroborate what Candorville has been saying since 2004, fewer and fewer people write to me to challenge the character. In the latest in the recent parade of unsurprising surprises, a new book by a White House insider details how the Bush White House manipulated and mocked religious conservatives and used the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives as a political machine. Keith Olberman covers the book, in two parts.Part One

Part Two

George Carlin on Death

I’d love to hear what George Carlin would say about all the cartoonists who’re going to draw him doing stand-up at the Pearly Gates.

Warning: Rated R for language. Don’t listen to this at work.