Monthly Archives: September 2009

Observing Blasphemy Day

September 30th is Blasphemy Day.

Why September 30? The last day in September is the anniversary of the original publication of Danish cartoons in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad’s face. Any visual depiction of Muhammad is considered a grave offence under Islamic law.

International Blasphemy Day is a movement, not just a day, to remind the world that religion should never again be beyond open and honest discussion or reproach. Our future depends on it.

And here I am without an appropriate joke.

not helpful

not helpful

Not to be outdone, here is a good Christian getting his best threat on. He’s done his research (from PZ Myers’ blog, Pharyngula):

Just wanted to send you a note to say that if someone publicized that they were going to kidnap your wife, Mary, and your kids Alaric, Connlann, and Skatje, rape them brutally, kill them, throw them in a trashcan, and then laugh and brag about it, then you just might have just a hint of the outrage that you have caused many good people.

Let’s hope we see a lot fewer threats of violence and actual violence in response to “blasphemy.” And everything else, too.

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Sunday Cat Photo

A cold snap means moving to the quilt

A cold snap means moving to the quilt

My mom makes these gorgeous quilts. Some day I might start a blog about them.

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Compare and Contrast

Msnbc news reporting on two different men.

Person A-

A quart-sized container of homemade explosives is cheap, deadly and difficult to detect — and that is exactly why the type of chemical bomb feared to be at the heart of a terrorism investigation worries law enforcement so much.

Person B-

discovery Thursday of several vials of ricin

As little as 500 micrograms of ricin, an amount about the size of the head of a pin, can kill a human, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The only legal use for ricin is cancer research.

Person A-

Now, according to law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation, authorities are concerned that [xxx] may have been trying to put together a plot to detonate similar devices in backpacks, possibly on crowded commuter trains in New York.

Person B-

Authorities believe they recovered all the ricin in several vials found last week from the motel near the Las Vegas strip where [xxx] had stayed.

No results of the ongoing searches were announced at a press conference late Sunday morning, but FBI Special Agent Timothy Fuhrman said “There is no indication of any terrorist act or activity.”

Person A-

Investigators said they found notes describing how to make bombs in the handwriting of an airport shuttle driver arrested as part of a terrorism investigation, and they also discovered his fingerprints on materials — batteries and a scale — that could be used to make explosives.

Person B-

police said that firearms, an “anarchist-type textbook” and castor beans were found in the motel room. The book was tabbed at a spot containing information about ricin.

Why is one a terrorism suspect and not the other?


Filed under domestic terrorism

Christians Pray a Shield Around America

More from Right Wing Watch:

We’ve put together this clip featuring some of the highlights from the call itself, featuring Dobson saying the effort was designed to “put a shield of prayer around the United States of American and our world, while just praying for God’s intervention.” She was followed by Perkins, who insisted that it was not a question of whether Muslims had a right to gather to pray but rather “the focus of their prayers, are they praying for the well-being of our nation,” saying that the Islamic community has been silent when acts of terrorism have been committed against America and has been equally silent on the “threats” facing Rifqa Bary and, as such, “we have reason to be suspicious about the motives this community has for the well-being of this country. Perkins then introduced his “good friend” Lou Engle, who proceeded to warn that Americans did not “understand the spiritual implications of what is taking place” with this Muslim rally, saying they were “taking the spiritual power of 40 days Ramadan and then channeling it like an arrow right into the White House.” Eventually, others began to pray as well, asking God for a “great turning in education, a great turning in the political arena, [and to] turn the media in America over to your son” at which point Engle took over again asking God to help them win “the challenge in the spirit realm” and defeat “every demonic ideology [and] every spirit of darkness”:

You have to go to Right Wing Watch if you want to see the video. Or search for it on YouTube.

Stupidest comment I’ve seen yet, from here (Washington Times):

So if Islamic muezzins will chant out the “adhan,” the call to worship, to folks kneeling on prayer rugs on the west front lawn, does that make the Capitol dome a minaret?

Yes, indeedy, through the magical power of the adhan, a dome of many thousands of pounds of stone and metal will rise into the air, change shape, and reassemble itself as a minaret. Any architect will tell you that it happens all the time.

minaret dome mosque 1

By the way, what Perkins is quoted as saying above is complete and utter horseshit hooey, as has been shown time and time again.

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Filed under bigoted idiots, Islamic relations, religious conflict

Battle of the Prayers Tomorrow

FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! Watch Christzilla battle it out with Qur’annosaurus, prayer to prayer, to see who will emerge victorious.

Friday, September 25th about 50,000 Muslims will be converging on Washington to do this:

•The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill
•Thousands of Muslims from all races, creeds, colors and ethnicities will gather for the sole purpose of prayer
•Bonds of friendship will be formed between those in attendance, both Muslims and Non-Muslims
•Muslim youth will experience tours of the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.
•The peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America’s capitol.

Some Christian groups, appalled that “those people” are allowed to pray in public in the nation’s capital in a country where free speech and freedom of religion are enshrined in the Constitution, are going to try to out-pray them.

Right Wing Watch has had several informative posts over the last week about this. I like this one a lot.

But now it looks as the organizers have realized that their call to arms against the “rising tide of Islamic boldness” might have been a bit over the top, because they have removed the original press release and replaced it with this less confrontational version:

The National Day of Prayer Task Force is committed to prayer for the nation 365 days a year. We are thankful that we live in a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and consequently there is freedom for all to gather, pray and worship.

It is important that we understand the signs of the time and what we must do. The need is great for Christians to join together in Solemn Assembly seeking transformation in our communities today.

Therefore, we are calling Christians to join Lou Engle, Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, David Barton, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us tonight, Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern Time for possibly one of the greatest moments in the prayer movement.

Compare that with what they originally posted last night:

It is critical that the church in America understands the times and what needs to be done now. The natural things speak of the invisible. Natural happenings on the earth are revealing something that is going on in the spiritual realm. There is a great spiritual conflict with a rising tide of Islamic boldness being manifested.

Our President has recently honored the Muslim holy days of prayer and fasting called Ramadan. Interestingly at the same time a major Christian leader of the Emergent Church called for forty days of fasting and prayer in the same Ramadan period with the goal that the church will better understand our Muslim friends. We advocate for understanding, but we must have spiritual discernment as to the spiritual dark powers that are being invoked into our nation.

Therefore we are calling Christians all over America to join Lou Engle, Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us on Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern for what we believe is a critical moment in American History.

A betting person would find a way to make this fun. What’s a good way to determine which group’s prayers were the strongest? Any suggestions?

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, Islamic relations, religious conflict

Photo to Prove I’m Still Blogging

I’ve been a little busy this week and haven’t had time to post. No doubt I’ll have something this weekend. Here’s an adorable picture in which a darling puppy has for some reason plopped himself down on top of a playful kitten.

a puppy sitting on a kitten

a puppy sitting on a kitten

I don’t remember where I first saw it, but I’m guessing Cute Overload.

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Bathroom Signs Around the World

Keith Massey has revamped his blog and has a new post over there about bathroom signs around the world. It’s funny and there are a lot of pictures. The male and female bathroom signs from Qatar are fairly different from what we’re used to seeing here. Instead of one silhouette in trousers and the other in a skirt, the Qataris primarily use the color scheme to differentiate on their restroom signage.

I hope Keith’s going to post more often, because his stuff is always a mix of funny and fascinating.

UPDATE: Okay, I got chided for not having pictures of the bathroom signs here, so here they are:


On another note, here’s my first-born inspecting a basil plant on one of the most beautiful days of the year.

Enjoying the autumn weather

Enjoying the autumn weather

and her little sis practicing stealth

and her little sis practicing stealth


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Joyous Holiday


Love this image. Happy holidays to all, Eid al-Fitr, Rosh Hoshannah, Talk Like a Pirate Day. No equivalency implied.

Translation of above text: “This holiday ask about your family and friends before asking about the food.”

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Couple Things, Here and There

1- If you’re interested in the Rifqa Bary story, The Saint Petersburg Times online has a good article by Rifqa’s mother’s attorney, an evangelical Christian.

It will astonish many fellow conservatives as well as many on the left to learn that I, an evangelical Christian, have vigorously defended Rifqa Bary’s mother in court. And I believe that my former client’s cause is just.

When Mohamed Bary personally showed me photographs of his daughter in a cheerleader outfit when we met for the second time on Aug. 21 (he had driven from Ohio to Florida twice to attend court hearings), I knew that claims that he had no idea that his child was a Westernized and normal high school student were nonsense.

Knowing that the key facts first presented in Orlando were just plain wrong, and almost inexplicably wrong given that neither claim could possibly be known to anyone in Florida, I continued with my sense that something was “off” here, and kept digging.

And I also believe that many Christian conservatives have allowed themselves to adopt a narrative and thus reach conclusions about the Rifqa Bary case prematurely, just as we accuse the mainstream media of sticking to their preferred narratives instead of squaring their passions with reality.

2- Yay, Ali Eteraz is blogging again and I’m sorry that I didn’t know it sooner, but he was shy of the limelight for a long time. Anyhow, here’s a funny post with Five Reasons President Obama Can’t be Muslim.

3- There is an organized Muslim Day of Prayer on the mall in DC on September 25th and many Christians are losing their minds over it. They’re going to try to out-pray the Muslims.

“Son of a B**CH! Those lousy ragheaded imbeciles attack our country on 9/11 and that screech of theirs is heard all over that pit DC in the same month as the anniversary of the attacks?????????? WHAT NERVE! Deport em all starting with the one who illegally sits in the oval office!”

“Can we make sure that all the church bells, all the taxi-cab horns, all the bus horns, all the fire truck sirens, and all the police car sirens sound together to drown out the call?”

“How about some farmers donate a few truckloads of pigs to let loose to run through the capitol .. I am so mad I could spit nails… seriously WTF?!?! … WTF?????!!!!!??? The govt just SHIT ALL OVER EVERYONE who died on 9/11 !!! EVERYONE …. and EVERY family who lost a loved one… If THIS isn’t the spark that IGNITES some shit , then I don’t know what is…”

“I think our president is showing favoritism for his beliefs and allowing our capital to be turned into a worship place that has no business there! But big head Obama(the Messiah) wouldn’t love to be worshiped in public as their Allah! The Capital is not a CHURCH or place of worship or for giving heed to their king Hussein!”

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Filed under arab, arabian, arabic, arabist, bigoted idiots, Islamic relations

Dance, Little Parrot

If you’re not accustomed to Arabic music, you might want to turn your sound down a smidge.

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