From bearded loon Egyptian cleric Abd Al-Rahman Mansour, on Al-Nas TV:
Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.
I say to every husband: Do not rush to beat her whenever a problem arises. Oh servant of Allah, Allah said: "Admonish those of them on whose part you fear disobedience, refuse to share their beds, and beat them." One should not beat out of anger.
This you must know: If the wife utters the name of God, the beating must stop. [...]
When 'Aisha thought ill of the Prophet Muhammad, believing that he did not treat her the same as his other wives, and that when he left her room, he would go to another wife, she followed him and spied on him. 'Aisha said that when the Prophet found out about this, "He gave me a shove that was painful."
This was done in order to discipline her, not because the Prophet enjoyed beating or inflicting bodily harm. The Prophet did this in order to discipline this woman. [...]
A good woman, even if beaten by her husband, puts her hand in his and says: "I will not rest until you are pleased with me." This is how the Prophet Muhammad taught his women to be.
How a totalitarian government works. Hugh Tomlinson in the Times (£):
Dozens of Iranian volunteers who distributed aid to victims of two deadly earthquakes have been arrested as the Government seeks to quash dissent at its own response to the crisis.
More than 300 people were killed and thousands injured by the quakes, which struck the northwest of the country a fortnight ago. With thousands more left homeless, ordinary Iranians clubbed together to deliver food, water and blankets to villages.
Embarrassed by this independent relief effort, which underscored widespread criticism of the Government’s response, the authorities have detained at least 35 volunteers, charging them with distributing unhygienic goods and food that was past its sell-by date, which they deny.
“The regime was furious about the solidarity shown by the public. Officials were stopping cars of volunteers going to the villages. Any independent relief group they saw, they arrested. We had to do most of our work at night, undercover,” said one volunteer, who did not want to be named.
There have been widespread, though unconfirmed, claims that the true death toll has exceeded 1,000, three times the official figure. Iranian journalists who visited the earthquake zone have been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry upon returning to Tehran and warned about reporting on what they saw.
The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.
The city of Frankfurt is slated to present the prestigious Theodor Adorno Prize, which comes with a 50,000 euro award, to a US professor who advocates a sweeping boycott of ties with Israel’s cultural and academic establishment and has defended Hezbollah and Hamas as progressive organizations.
The prize recipient, Dr. Judith Butler, a professor in the rhetoric and comparative literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley, has courted intense criticism in Germany, Israel and the US ahead of the September 11 ceremony....
Theodor Adorno (1903-1969) was a German Jewish social philosopher who fled the Hitler movement to the US and returned to post-Holocaust Germany to teach at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. Adorno wrote about modern anti-Semitism and opposed German leftist students who attacked and sought to delegitimize Israel after the Six Day War.
The Adorno award recognizes excellence in the disciplines of philosophy, music, theater and film, and is presented every three years.
In August, the German section of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) slammed the award to Butler because she is against Franz Kafka’s literary estate remaining at the National Library of Israel, and called for a boycott of the library located on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
SPME, which has a global membership of 60,000 members, said Butler’s support of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and for the annual Israeli Apartheid Week means that she “can’t be an Adorno prizewinner.”
In an email to the Post, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, wrote, “The boycott campaign is part of the wider NGO-led war targeting Israel and demonizing the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and equality – the modern embodiment of anti-Semitism.”
Steinberg continued, “If Butler were a sincere human rights advocate, she would turn her concerns to the suffering of Syrians, Iranians and millions of others who are victims of real rather than invented war crimes. Instead, Butler is one of a tiny number of token Jews who are used to legitimize the ongoing war against Israel, following a dark practice used for centuries in the Diaspora.
By giving Butler and her campaign of hate a platform, officials of Frankfurt share the responsibility and the shame for this immoral behavior.”
When asked about her statement that Hamas and Hezbollah are “social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left,” and the criticisms leveled against her, Butler wrote the Post by email on Thursday, “I am surprised that those who oppose my receiving the Adorno Prize seek recourse to scurrilous and unfounded charges to make their point.”
She continued, “My remarks on Hamas and Hezbollah have been taken out of context and misrepresent my established and continuing views."
A student asked her the following question: “I’d like you to comment on the importance of Hamas and Hezbollah. And I think since the beginning of this year—and especially when Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinian people and Hezbollah by the Lebanese—people are now supporting these violent resistance movements. But even within leftist and anti-war activists and intellectuals there is always this kind of condemnation and hesitation in supporting these two groups just because of the violent components of their resistance movements. Doesn’t our inability or hesitation in supporting these groups do more harm than good?”
The student got a round of applause from the room at the end of that question.
Here is Judith Butler’s response, with the missing context included.
“Understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements. It doesn’t stop those of us who are interested in non-violent politics from raising the question of whether there are other options besides violence.”
It’s only fair to point out that she says she’s not a supporter of violent resistance. And that’s all fine and good. But Hamas and Hezbollah both explicitly say, in Arabic and in English, that they seek the destruction of Israel. There is no non-violent way to destroy a country....
Hezbollah is notoriously hostile to every social value liberals and progressives hold dear, from women’s rights to gay rights, with one exception. Hezbollah says the United States and Israel are the Great Satan and the Little Satan. That’s it. That, all by itself, is enough to get a socially retrograde totalitarian terrorist organization labeled “progressive” even by a professor who adheres to non-violent politics.
But the city of Frankfurt can give her a prize if it wants, and it can do so on September 11. Supporting European fascism is a crime now in Germany, but supporting the Middle Eastern variety is apparently fine.
You can check out the video for Dylan's new single here. It's strikingly unpleasant, but I suppose you could drag out some significance about the cynicism of old age against the doomed romanticism of youth if you're of a mind...maybe even something about how Dylan's seen as having sold out his earlier ideals. If, as I say, you're of a mind.
His voice is still shot.
Syrian-French Writer Adnan Azzam on Al-Dunya TV (Syria), Aug 7th:
Through all these TV channels and all this money, they are trying to show the world that it is an internal Syrian conflict – Syrian groups demanding freedom and reforms facing a Syrian army that is ferociously attacking, killing, and destroying.
What is going on is, in fact, completely different. This has been a universal battle, the historical battle of Israel, ever since the inception of the Zionist movement, and its interference in global affairs – in other words, ever since they changed the course of the French Revolution, transforming it from a reformist revolution into a Zionist movement, and beheaded the king of France within 24 hours without trial. It's been going on ever since they took Napolean, that young boy from Corsica, and said to him, when he was still in military college: "We will give Corsica back to Italy and Corsica will be independent again." They cut a deal with him, recruiting him into the Zionist movement. They showered him with money and sent him to Egypt, in order to set the foundations for the state of Palestine.
What is happening today in Syria is not a new phenomenon. This is a rising Zionist movement which aims to become a superpower, and we have fallen for this ploy, and believe that this in an internal Syrian conflict - which it is not.
With that level of analysis, the latest addition to the regional TV debate should fit right in (£):
George Galloway, the Respect Party MP, is to earn almost £80,000 a year from a new Lebanese TV station accused of having links to Syria and Iran.
The outspoken Scot, known for his anti-imperialist views [!], recently began presenting a show on al-Mayadeen.
The Arabic-language station, launched in June, presents itself as a counterweight to channels such as the Qatari-funded al-Jazeera, which it sees as biased against Syria and its allies.
Analysts say its launch is part of the regional power struggle that is being played out as the conflict rages in Syria.
There has been speculation about the source of the channel’s funding, with one industry figure saying that it is backed by Iran and a cousin of President Assad of Syria. The channel has declined to comment on the identity of its backers, saying only that they are a group of Arab businessmen.
The management of al-Mayadeen, Arabic for “the public squares”, has several figures with links to Syria. The head of its news division is married to a former communications adviser to President Assad, and the general manager was previously head of al-Manar, a TV station affiliated with the pro-Syrian Lebanese militia, Hezbollah....
Asked if he had concerns about the financing of the station, Mr Galloway attacked Rupert Murdoch. He said: “The station is privately owned, but the owners are rather more respectable than the owner of The Times.” Mr Galloway used the first instalments of his show, which has subtitles for the Arabic-speaking audience, to rail against the motives of international powers who support the uprising in Syria. In one, he accused the West of seeking to replicate the Crusades. He said: “I am with the Syrian people’s legitimate demands but I will never support the destruction of Syria. I will never support the invitation to the Crusaders to come back to Syria.”
On another, he chastises Arab countries for joining forces with the West against Iran. “I’ve never understood this fear, this sense of Iran as somebody that you could unite with the Crusaders against,” he said. The MP has previously described President Assad as a “breath of fresh air” and “the last bastion of Arab dignity”.
Well, it'll be nice for George to escape from all his troubles at home. Though god knows what his constituents in Blackburn Bradford make of all this.