Sunday, March 8, 2015

Savages: Volume _.

IS brags about destroying Assyrian artifacts in this video it posted online:

At least the Nazis just tried to steal Europe's art.  So do we now have to worry about some IS fanatic running through the Louvre and knocking over statues?

Professor David Penault penned these thoughts on the destruction in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

 On Thursday the Islamic State assault on Iraq’s cultural heritage continued, with jihadists using trucks to wreck large statues in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, according to government officials. The rampage followed the recent release of a propaganda video showing the destruction of priceless artifacts in the Mosul Museum. In the video, one of the jihadists takes a sledgehammer to an ancient Mesopotamian statue. Another applies a power drill to the face of a winged man-bull of Nineveh. Three thousand years of history smashed, while the perpetrators celebrate with a mix of smug piety and aggressive malice.

I am a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, and my first reaction to news of this cultural vandalism was a sense of personal loss. These artifacts didn’t belong only to the people of today’s Iraq. They belonged to anyone who has ever spent a childhood reading “The How & Why Wonder Book of Lost Cities” or visited the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and gazed up into the blank stone eyes of its bearded animal-human genii (cousins of the gate-guardians that shattered on the Mosul Museum floor).

In the video, the destruction—repulsive to watch—is accompanied by the haunting, elegant sound of a jihadist chanting from the Quran. As a longtime student of Islamic culture, I know that such recitation is a demanding discipline, requiring finely timed breath control and mastery of the intricacies of seventh-century pronunciation and grammar. The fusha (“eloquent Arabic”) of Islamic scripture is revered by Muslims as a language nobler and purer than any Arabic dialect spoken today.
Listening to good Quran chanting (and the chanter on this video was very good indeed) is a pleasure akin to hearing a fine performance of Shakespeare — Patrick Stewart, say, reciting Prospero’s lines in “The Tempest.”

Yes, I can conjure all this—until I translate the particular Quranic verses chosen for the video by Islamic State. These are from Chapter 21, and involve the figure of Abraham. The Quran depicts him as having been reared in a family of idol worshipers. He condemns his own father’s paganism
—“What are these statues, to which you’re so devoted?”—and then smashes the family’s idols to bits.
Immediately after the recitation of these verses, a militant is shown reminding viewers that the Prophet Muhammad “removed and destroyed the idols with his own exalted and noble hands when he conquered Mecca.” Historic accounts say that a circle of idols once surrounded the Meccan shrine of the Kaaba. But with the prophet’s conquest in 630, the Kaaba was “purified” and the idolatrous traces of Mecca’s pre-Islamic past were expunged.

Thus Islamic State marshals both Quranic scripture and the actions of Muhammad himself as precedents to justify the group’s attack on these ancient treasures. So much for President Obama ’s claim that Islamic State’s actions have nothing to do with Islam.

No question, we’re watching a recruitment video here. Think what it offers for young extremists: a chance to re-enact actions from the life of the prophet, to imitate Abraham, imitate Muhammad himself.

Tempting, such an offer, for anyone confused by our disorderly 21st century, with its imperative that we come to terms with individualism, that we each find and test our own world views, with all their attendant doubts, in the modern world’s pluralistic societies. How tempting, then, to take a hammer to diversity, to strive to put an end to doubt—with a power drill.

Mr. Pinault is the director of Santa Clara University’s program in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. His books include the novel “Museum of Seraphs in Torment” (CreateSpace, 2013). Rest of essay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely sickening.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS