Beliefnet
City of Brass

The architect of the Rwandan genocide has been jailed:



A UN-backed tribunal has convicted Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel, of organising the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Two other former military officers were also convicted by the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday for their role
in the mass killings of minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

“Colonel Bagosora is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the court said.

The tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania, accused Bagosora of leading
the troops and Interahamwe Hutu fighters that carried out the killings,
which left an estimated 800,000 dead.

The estimated 250 people who actually financed the genocide, however, remain free. Still, this is an important step forward.

Advertisement

The Boston Globe has an astounding collection of high-resolution photographs from the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, as well as Eid ul Adha observances from throughout the muslim world. These photos are breathtaking, humbling, inspiring, and beautiful.

It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but here’s just an example of one that caught my eye and my breath:

h03_17254335.jpg

But there’s much, much more than this to see…

Advertisement

The victims of Islamic terrorists are disproportionately muslims – and we have seen that nothing is sacred to these barbarians, not women and children, not muslims praying in mosques, not the holy month of Ramadan – now, not even the Hajj itself:

Alerted by Saudi and other intelligence agencies
that al-Qaida planned to launch a bloody assault on Muslim pilgrims
taking part in the annual pilgrimage – the Hajj – the Saudi government
last week launched a huge counterterrorism operation, one of the
largest in recent memory, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

[…]

The Saudi operation began three months ago
with preemptive raids by Saudi security forces on suspected al-Qaida
cells, according to a former senior CIA official. Several hundred
suspects were taken into custody, he said.

U.S. officials
would not comment on the nature of the intelligence of a probable
terrorist incident, but in November 2007, Saudi security forces
arrested 208 al-Qaida suspects accused of planning an attack during the
Hajj. Another 28 suspects were arrested the following month.

Who, exactly, is waging a war against Islam? Given that their targets are the innocent, the pious, and the weak, Al-Qaeda’s claims of doing jihad are exposed. This is not jihad but hirabah, and they are not mujahidin but muharib.

Related: At Talk Islam, a discussion about reviving the practice of takfir. After all, the muharib use it (in Orwellian fashion) against the mainstream muslim who dares object to their slaughter of muslims engaged in prayer, so turnabout is fair play. Takfir is a political weapon, and thus far mainstream Islam has been disarmed. Time to fight fire with fire, perhaps.

(via Crossroads Arabia)

Advertisement

In my essay The Burka and the Bikini, I argued,

The bikini and the burka are so far to the extremes that they meet
again. They both serve to reduce women, from a person, to an object. In
the case of the burka, that object is “slave”. In the case of the
bikini, that object is “sex”. The burka is forced upon women, for fear
of consequences, whereas women are induced to wear the bikini, out of
desire for consequences. But in both cases those consequences are to
please males.

The bikini and the burka can both be used by women as expressions of
power and independence
. The burka, or ridah, or hijab, can be a
powerful weapon of modesty, if chosen freely (and in fact, it is in
Western countries like America that Qur’anic modes of modesty in
women’s dress do finally take on the meaning they were intended to
have, because of the freedom of choice. America is the greatest Islamic
country on earth). Likewise, the woman wearing a bikini solely out of
her personal pride in her appearance has turned the bikini into a
weapon of self-expression.

This sentiment earned me a great deal of critique, I am proud to say. The view that the burka is not necessarilyily oppressive, and that the bikini may be so, is one that threatens the basic cultural-supremacist narrative of Islam as barbaric / West as enlightened.

To argue that Islam offers the potential (admittedly, largely unrealized in most of the present-day Islamic world) for more meaningful women’s rights than Western feminism is a kind of cultural blasphemy. That’s why at least one person felt compelled to express their dissatisfaction via anonymous postcard to PostSecret:

It is encouraging to see the dogma of bikini as liberation is being questioned. The burka and the bikini are just pieces of cloth, nothing more. What matters is why they are worn – and who makes the decision.

Previous Posts