Monday, February 19, 2018

Great Moments in Qur'anic Commentary

Oh wow:

"Tamim Khaja, 20, who has pleaded guilty to doing an act in preparation for, or planning a terrorist act, had scoped out potential target buildings in Sydney including the Parramatta District Court precinct and Timor Army Barracks... Khaja had said he was motivated not by watching YouTube videos but 'straight from the verses of Koran... Khaja [also] said he would keep in mind that 'it's happening for the sake of Allah' if anyone comes in his way. 'So I'm not going to stop firing. I'm not going to stop firing wallahi [I swear to Allah]. If there's like a two-month-old baby... I wouldn't buckle in that situation, akhi'. " (Terrorist talk was like 'planning a picnic', says judge, AAP/ Sydney Morning Herald, 17/2/18)

Hey, all of you illustrious Qur'anic commentators of the past, it's time to move over! Yes, that includes you Sahl at-Tustari of Basra (d. 896), Ibn al-'Arabi of Andalus (d. 1092), and 'Imad ad-Din Isma'il b. Kathir of Damascus (d. 1373).

There's a new boy on the block from Sydney, Australia, and his Qur'anic commentary is, like, amaaazing.. I mean, who'd have thought you could get the Parramatta District Court precinct, the Timor Army Barracks and distracting, two-month-old babies out of the Qur'an? All that, and he wears a reverse baseball cap too.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Meanwhile, Back at Sydney's Holocaust Museum:

"The new Holocaust and Human Rights exhibition completes the museum's refurbishment and looks at issues of disability, refugee, Indigenous and LGBTQI rights in Australia. A space contains a series of tables focusing on human rights achievements and challenges while a timeline notes major human rights developments and violations.

"While the timeline notes the Rohingya crisis, the partition of India, the Howard government's 2001 Pacific Solution, in which asylum seekers are processed offshore, and Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generation, it makes no mention of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"Project director Abril Alva said the issue was complex for the museum and the Jewish community, and a decision was taken to address it through education and public programs." (Museum defends omission at exhibition, Linda Morris, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/2/18)

And good on Fairfax journalist, Linda Morris, for raising the matter.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Smile

Most interesting:

"After escalating hostilities between Israel and Iran last weekend, the ABC gave Iranian academic Mohammad Marandi an unfiltered platform on Monday morning to peddle Iranian propaganda about Israel on Radio National's Breakfast. Marandi is a well-heeled apologist for the Islamic Republic who teaches American and postcolonial studies at the University of Tehran. Softly spoken with a smile like moonlight on a tomb-stone... " (Iranian slander against Israel goes unchallenged on ABC, Andrew Hastie, The Australian, 14/2/18)

Andrew Hastie, yet another ex-soldier gone on to serve his country in federal parliament, is, you'll recall, the member for Canning, WA. Now quite how he can detect Marandi's smile while listening to him on radio (not to mention the fact that he's wearing boots!) I leave for someone else to puzzle over.

My interest here is that wonderful simile he's deployed. Seems like there's a poet in the man! Is Hastie following in the footsteps, I wonder, of that other literary WA MP, Dennis Jensen? (See my 7/4/16 post Dennis Jensen MP: More Space Cadet than Sky Warrior)

Frankly, Hastie's inspired me. Next time I hear Fran Kelly interview an Israeli apologist for Israel, like Hastie maybe I'll actually get to see his smile and can describe it thus - with a smile like white phosphorus falling on a Gaza slum - or maybe thus - with a smile like that of the Israeli sniper who put a bullet between the eyes of Gaza's Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh.

Feel free to try to write your own.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Caliphate 'Exactly Like Israel'

An oldie but a goldie:

Man: Why do Muslims need a caliphate? Why?
Man: OK, I'll give you an example: Israel, a Jewish state, and the one who wants to go and live in Israel, they go and live in Israel. They come from Russia, they come from Europe, they come from everywhere. They've got this Israeli state. Khilafah would be like a country. Exactly like Israel, and the Jews go to Israel from all over the world. It's not like what people think - they're going to be cutting hands, they're killing people and lashing women and men. No, it's not like that. Islamic khilafah, it's a very fair thing. It's very fair.

David Rutledge: More voices from the streets of Melbourne, talking there with Michael Nassar. (Dreaming of the caliphate, Encounter, abc.net.au, 11/10/14)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Did Adam Bandt Really Need to Apologise to Jim Molan?

"Liberal senator Jim Molan has refused to accept the apology of the Greens MP who questioned his military record in Iraq, insisting his threat of defamation is still on the table. Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt suggested in a TV interview on Wednesday the senator may have committed war crimes during the battle for Fallujah. Senator Molan, a retired major-general who served as the chief of operations of the US-led coalition forces in Iraq, quickly threatened to pursue the Greens MP to the courts for defamation." (Greens MP Adam Bandt has apologised for questioning Liberal senator Jim Molan's military action in Iraq, after been threatened with defamation, sbs.com.au,  9/2/18)

If Adam Bandt had read the following text - IOW, if he'd done his homework - maybe he wouldn't have been intimidated into issuing his apology:

"The siege of Fallujah, carried out by US forces upon a mainly civilian population, contravened 70 individual articles of the Geneva Conventions.

"The US, an original signatory to the Conventions, is in its activities in Iraq currently in breach of nearly every major area of concern identified by them...Those in command have chosen to drive a tank trough a century and a half of delicately crafted regulations on the treatment of those involved in conflict...The Conventions are the basis of international law in times of war, and not a simple formality or series of guidelines; the American actions in Fallujah are therefore grave indeed."(The Siege of Fallujah and the Geneva Conventions, Jonathan Holmes, quoted in Fallujah; Eyewitness testimony from Iraq's besieged city, Jonathan Holmes, 2007, pp 112-13) 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WAPO/SMH Portrays Israel as Innocent Bystander in Syria

"The Syrian war has seen no shortage of twists this year, but this weekend, it saw one of its most consequential. Despite its proximity, Israel has largely stood on the sidelines over the past seven years. Saturday's airstrike suggests it may soon end up sucked into a conflict that is looking increasingly chaotic." (Biggest step yet, but what's next, analysis, Adam Taylor, Washington Post/Sydney Morning Herald, 12/2/18)

Have you ever read such bullshit? Israel, which violates Syrian and Lebanese airspace regularly and routinely attacks what it calls 'Hezbollah supply convoys' in Syria, has "largely stood on the sidelines"? Seriously?

Now see how this WAPO hack, Adam Taylor, then contradicts himself:

"Still, Israel has conducted dozens of covert airstrikes against Hezbollah weapons convoys in Syria."

Moreover, that sentence is immediately preceded by this one:

"Israel has little reason to support the Islamic State or al-Qaida-aligned Islamist groups that became Syria's primary rivals."*

Can Taylor seriouly be unaware of the much publicised Israeli hospital which patches up jihadis operating in Syria?

Far out...

[*"A former leader of Syria's Al-Qaeda branch commended Israel for striking Syria on Saturday, after the Assad regime shot down an Israeli F-161 fighter jet." (Al Qaeda leader praises Israeli strike on Syria, israelnationalnews.com, 2/11/18)]

Monday, February 12, 2018

Off the Top of Greg Sheridan's Head

In case you were wondering at Greg Sheridan's lengthy absence from the pages of The Australian, that rag's  foreign affairs editor has been on a junket to the Jaipur Literary Festival in Rajasthan. Here are some priceless thoughts by this notorious Israel luvvie on the subject of said event. Talk about off the top of his head!:

"The event is the brain child of that British lover of all things Indian, William Dalrymple, whose books about India are very good. When he strays beyond India, he's not so reliable." (The Forum, Weekend Australian Review, 10/2/218)

"The main festival site was overwhelming enough. There were nearly 20 000 people there on the day I participated in panels morning and night. I had run into the Indian politician, Shashi Tharoor, in Delhi a few days earlier. He is a kind of Indian Boris Johnson, immensely clever, flamboyant, probably too witty and humorous to be completely successful in mainstream politics, and he seems to write a new book every other month."

Truly, this goose isn't worthy to tie either Dalrymple's or Tharoor's bootstraps.