The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

DOS on the western Right?

The Blogmocracy is down; Breitbart went down (but is now back up). And now Roger Pearse is down.


posted by Zimri on 18:25 | link | 0 comments

The curse of the Charles Johnsons

Charles C Johnson fell for a spoof last January. How's he been doing since then?

This year, just trawling Google, I find Johnson failed to prove that Michael Brown was a killer. (Brown was no angel, and was lawfully killed in self-defence, but... he didn't do THAT.) Then he screwed the pooch again and hailed a viral photo for the "Jackie" rape-hoaxer.

I understand that there are times where you rally around your own when they make a goof. I also understand the principle of "I cannot spare this man, he fights".

But Johnson doesn't claim to be an opinion leader; he claims to be a journalist. He claims to be playing in the realm of fact. Johnson simply doesn't take enough care over his work.


posted by Zimri on 17:30 | link | 0 comments

Tim Cook never left the closet

"Proud" pervert Tim Cook goes all faggotty at allegations that Apple is not the place to work at.

In the meantime, Cook is working with Marxist censors to ban badthink from his store.

That a fundamentally bad man does evil work, and would do ANYTHING to be seen as still a good man - and would make deals with outright evil to do it - is a story as old as Oscar Wilde. Maybe even of Kit Marlowe.


posted by Zimri on 17:07 | link | 0 comments

What do #icantbreathe protestors want?

Dead cops.

We can't say no-one was warned. I'd link to Breitbart or Blogmocracy but they're 503'ed right now.

UPDATE 5:45 PM - Breitbart's back.


posted by Zimri on 15:51 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Inarah's back!

The Inarah Institute's site has returned, for all your Islamic deep-research needs. They've even restored that J. Thomas article.

Just twelve hours ago, it seems, I was locked out with a "password" prompt. It had been like that for months.

I just have two questions: first, DUDE WHAT HAPPENED and second, when's the translation of Band 3 coming out? Having the German is okay, I guess, in these days of Google Translate... but, you know, with a new translation and edition we can get, like, more current footnotes.


posted by Zimri on 22:38 | link | 0 comments

Wael Hallaq gets panned

Youssef Cherem doesn't much like The Impossible State.

I am no fan of Hallaq nowadays. I have called him "abusive, dishonest and fundamentally lazy" - also in the context of his most recent activities. But I'd found his earlier work to be quite good.

Cherem to this end appended a look at his other books, such as his “Introduction to Islamic Law”. Here, asserts Cherem, the idealization of Muslim thought and practice is also evident. Hmm. Maybe. I hadn't seen this "idealization" in The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law (2005); in fact I even found some revisionism in there. Origins was not up to par with Steven Judd's excellent Religious Scholars and the Umayyads (2014) on that period, sure; but Judd was standing on Hallaq's shoulders. Granted I haven't personally read either book Cherem's talking about, in this latter case Introduction.

If Cherem is interested, he could perhaps research where Hallaq started to go wrong. It might be a cautionary tale for the rest of us.


posted by Zimri on 18:21 | link | 0 comments

Up south

In North America and in Great Britain, the highlands are to the north and water tends to drain south. It makes sense for us to say "down south". It might make similar sense in most of southern Europe, in Rome, in Sweden, in Pakistan... anyway. You get it.

This may explain why we've aligned maps to point north as up. Really the only time I've had to think of up as south is when discussing Upper Egypt - I suppose I was about eight years old when I got my head around that.

The Egyptians were more right from a true geometric standpoint. All planets and stars bulge at the equator. Saturn is the worst but the effect isn't absent here. So when you're traveling south from the Northern Hemisphere, you're actually travelling away from the centre of the Earth. There's a word for that. The word is "up".

The top of the maps here really should be aligned south. The local maps of the Aussies and Argentines, though, are fine.


posted by Zimri on 17:45 | link | 0 comments

Archaeoastronomy II

Three years ago I asked if we could track solar-flares like we track eclipses and eruptions.

Wa-hey! I found some stuff. First here are some "red glows" under Islam from the AD 820s on: Basurah 2006. Then we have the AD 822 to 1021 measurements: Fusa Miyake 2013. Note the correlation between the 19 March 991 – 7 March 992 aurora and the 992-3* carbon spike.

*The "correction" pushes AD 992 to 993 further to 993 to 994. I would lodge a doubt at that correction. Personally.

Anyway, this is all wayyy after what I really want, which is the rainbow of the AD 670s. But then, aurorae tend to the red at the 30s latitudes anyway. They're not rainbows that far down. So the rainbow is likely something else.


posted by Zimri on 17:35 | link | 0 comments

Censoring in God's path

A book was announced for May this year - Robert Hoyland, Fighting In God's Path. Said book is currently entitled In God's Path. Google Books is still listing it as the former, with the text of the latter.

I wonder what else has changed in the meantime. And I wonder how much of that was Hoyland's idea - I'm guessing, not much.


posted by Zimri on 17:24 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

North Korea's Satanic Verses

The future does not belong to those who insult the prophets. (h/t's are all Drudge.)

As for Pascal: yeah, I agree, she's getting fired. But in sooth all of Sony's brass needs firing. They're all cowards. One reason we're talking about this at all is because Sony has let it be known they weren't going to support their own movie. When Sony told the cinema chains they were on their own, they were telling these chains that any lawsuits were on the chains. The chains aren't so brave themselves, true; but must we blame the auxiliaries for abandoning the field, if the legions themselves haven't suited up?

But maybe Sony, as Japanese, really cannot trust their authorities: Hitoshi Igarashi.


posted by Zimri on 18:10 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Never correct the caliph

I just (re-)ran across David S. Margoliouth, Textual Variations of the Koran. In it:

There are occasions when the inaccuracy of those who cite it is astounding. The caliph Mansur, when in his controversy with an 'Alid pretender he wished to prove that an uncle could be called a father, cited xii. 38: I (Joseph) followed the sect of my fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob;6 the argument depends on the name Ishmael, which is not found in the text! The proof-passage intended by Mansur is ii. 127, where Jacob's sons say to him, We shall worship the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac; where, as Mansur observes, "he began with him (the uncle) in preference to the immediate parent." Neither Mubarrad nor Ibn Khaldun, who produce the letter with the quotation from xii. 38, notices the mistake; Tabari7 omits the wrong quotation, but apparently cannot find the right one.

The footnotes 6 and 7 go to Mubarrad, Kamil ii. 322 (Cairo ed.); and to Tabari respectively. Obviously everyone involved has always agreed upon the base-text of sura 12; the Joseph story simply has no relevance to Ishmael. Even the freakin' Jews (and Christians) knew better than to cite this text with Ishmael and to turn it upon the Muslims for their ignorance. So Margoliouth asks - Why did the caliph, alone, beg to differ? and why didn't the historians call him on it?

Margoliouth thought that our caliph was not Bibelfest - not a scholar; and he implies the same of Tabari (!). I suspect, on the contrary, that our caliph did know what he was doing. (Certainly Tabari did!) I propose that our caliph attempted to interpose "Ishmael" in the hope that no Arab would dare take it out. I agree with Margoliouth that a quasi-Shia sect like the Banu'l-Abbas could use this variant.

I'll further propose that our variant predates our caliph. The variant would have been just as useful in the 120s / 740s, when Abbasid propaganda were competing with Zaydite and Hasanid propaganda.

As for why no later historians corrected the basis of this propagandum: well, the Abbasids were in these historians' time still there, in Baghdad, and nominally were still the defensores fidei if that phrase may be applied to a Muslim sovereign. The readers would understand that this variant wasn't being preached in Samanid Iran, nor in Umayyad Spain nor in Tulunid / Fatimid / whatever Africa. Best just to let it go. As time went on, the Abbasids themselves just let it go.


posted by Zimri on 18:10 | link | 0 comments

Upload #97: Push, pull

I had a lot of updating to do, to take into account current editions of all the books - including the fact of a new book.

"In Ranks" is expanded, so as to allow for an anti-Zubayrid origin of sura 61. By contrast (surat) "Joseph" is restricted (tentatively) to Abd al-Aziz in Egypt. "Shah" is better-tuned, given the career of Sulayman in the Jerusalem area (here).

Madrassa.


posted by Zimri on 18:03 | link | 0 comments

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Was ShamiWitness raped as a child?

Masroor "ShamiWitness" "Mehdi" Biswas, twitter jihadi, has been caught.

A couple of points have struck me here. First, Masroor's dad is a homeopathy doctor in Kolkata - that is, he's a quack. Second, Masroor himself has a strong side-interest in Greek love. Usually that means he been NAMBLin' - and that often means he had been NAMBLed. Based on what we've learnt from Marion Zimmer Bradley, I don't much trust those New Age types these days.

Just something for investigators to consider.


posted by Zimri on 16:56 | link | 0 comments

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bahais and the Book

I've not read up much on the Bahaiya, I'll admit. I have not been to Haifa (or to Iran) and I have spoken to vanishingly few Bahais face-to-face. I know some of the basics: the Bahais hold to a continuous revelation from God, and they derive from the Bab's Imami-Islamic reform movement. My interest lies mainly in the decades surrounding 700 CE, as you may have guessed lately. I've skimped on the 1800s.

I appreciate that the Bahais refuse the excesses of Islam while at the same time they refuse the excesses of our modern world.

All that said. I must still come to terms with Shoghi Effendi (my emphasis):

As to Muhammad, the Apostle of God, let none among His followers who read these pages, think for a moment that Islam, or its Prophet, or His Book, or His appointed Successors, or any of His authentic teachings, have been, or are to be in any way, or to however slight a degree, disparaged. The lineage of the Bab, the descendant of the Imam Husayn...

In Islam up to the year of that Imam Husayn's ill-starred demise (682ish) the Qur'an was not a "book". The Jews by contrast had, and have, a "book". The Christians have a book too especially when they're cut off from Rome (or from Byzantion). When you experience the Qur'an, you realise that it is a "recital"; it is delivered to you by way of tajwid. That's why it rhymes. And that's why when the Qur'an's suras and devotees talk of "ahl al-kitab" they're not including themselves.

The Qur'an became a book - as opposed to several haphazard collections of sura - largely thanks to the caliph Abd al-Malik and to his viceroy Kulayb the Pilgrim. So to speak of Allah's book in the context of Allah's prophet, is to accept the word of Umayyad Islam.

A true Islamic reform would open the Umayyad "furqan", also, to historical analysis. I remain unconvinced that even the Bahaiya can do this.

UPDATE: Bahai attempts at tafsir don't help their case.


posted by Zimri on 18:50 | link | 0 comments

Petitioning Amazon (and Google)

Change for justice:

I buy games through Amazon already so their advertising on Gawker is pointless to me. I'd rather Amazon passed on the savings to Amazon's customer (me).

I'm not about to *start* visiting Gawker either #gamergate

Per request, I'm not telling who sent me hither. Not yet anyway.


posted by Zimri on 18:02 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hagiography, biography

When my parents were over here, they suggested The Imitation Game - a biopic about Alan Turing. I've seen one or two of these Turing pieces on the telly during my time on this blessed Earth, so I got a bad feeling about it. I insisted instead on Theory of Everything, about Stephen Hawking. And whaddaya know. I was right. The Turing pic was yet another martyrology about that borderline paedobear; the Hawking pic adhered closer to fact.

Some producers are out to showcase their political views. Others say, to hell with THAT, we care about the guy whose story we're telling, and we're going to tell the story that is true to the subject.

Another example (on the Right) would be God Isn't Dead. At the end I sat through a lot of scrolling text about Christians being persecuted on campus. I'm sure that Christians found it very moving; but that wasn't what I saw in the movie. The movie was, thus, a fictionalisation of these events. The Imitation Game is, similarly, a fictionalisation of Turing's career professional and personal.

As for real biopics, I recommend Control about Joy Division's frontman Ian Curtis. Nobody finishes the movie thinking that Curtis was a wonderful husband and father, or even a good person. They do however finish it with some basic understanding of what Curtis suffered through with his epilepsy and depression. Theory of Everything likewise gives us some understanding of what Hawking's disease did to him and to his own family. Whether Hawking handled it all better than did Curtis isn't really the point here. The point is that the movies are faithful to their subjects, showing us what they accomplished, what they suffered, and how they met their own personal challenges - for good or ill.

With biopics you really do have to read the reviews in advance. Carefully.


posted by Zimri on 19:05 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The New Republic

I am not at all surprised that Stephen Glass's cowriter Jonathan Chait thinks the world of Mindthoughts Beauchamp's editor Franklin Foer. So I am just skimming Chait's "eulogy" for Air Force One's tabloid.

I did see, though, that Leon Wieseltier had also left. His part in the magazine wasn't bullshit.


posted by Zimri on 20:35 | link | 0 comments

The alliance of blank-slate liberalism with Islam

"Jew Among You" Hayat has reviewed Why the West Rules by Ian Morris.

The book itself is a standard propagandum in the field, like Jared Diamond's work; this text is here to deliver a comprehensive comparative history between East and West, and to explain how East and West aren't all that different, therefore racism yah-boo-sucks. Hayat notes that such east/west blather hasn't taken the south into account; defined as the Australia, New Guinea and Subsahara "global south". But this post will leave that aside.

I don't have all that much a dog in the great IQ debate. I do hold some interest in race, given that I belong to a few of them, but again not all that much interest. What I care about most is Late Antiquity. As it happens Hayat has dug up a couple pericopes on that score. First page 351:

Unlike Buddhism, Confucianism, or Christianity, Islam was born on the edge of collapsing empires and came of age amid constant warfare. Islam was not a religion of violence (the Koran is a good deal less bloody than the Hebrew Bible), but Muslims could not stand aloof from fighting. “Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you,” Muhammad had said, “but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors”… Compulsion had no place in spreading religion, but Muslims (“surrenderers” to God) were obliged to defend their faith whenever it was threatened – which, since they were pushing and plundering their way into collapsing empires at the same time as spreading the word, was likely to be quite often.

Then page 353:

They came not to bury the West but to perfect it; not to thwart Justinian’s and Khusrau’s ambitions, but to fulfill them.

I still haven't written that "prequel" to Those Two Books (plug, plug, sidebar, "Islam"), but in 2012 I did write up and post "The Keys to the Garden are Swords" as an appendix to House of War. For my take on the intrinsic pacifism of the Arab Prophet, I'll refer my gentle readers to "Keys". As for this prophet fulfilling those non-Arab empires' ambitions - I wasn't even sure where to start, but I left an initial reaction at the JAY post. All the Prophet's talk about "keys to Paradise" simply don't make sense outside Matthew's Gospel. As in - said Prophet was subverting and refuting the Gospel.

Going further, the Arab du'a grounded itself upon Ishmael's inheritance. From the Greeks' and Jews' culture, Islam took up only the Bible and the traditions surrounding it; whatever came from their ancestral pagan or secular heritage was second-hand at most (Jesus's Letonian palmtree?). The Arabs were consciously living in a post-biblical world. The notion that Muhammad was out to perfect Zoroastrianism, meanwhile, is simply laughable; the Prophet was a Semite, not an Aryan. And either way - as I'd posted on Hayat's blog - the Prophet was certainly no Westerner.

What isn't striking in Morris's book is(n't) its failure to understand Islam. Its author has to know the gist of all this already - like Esposito knows it, and Armstrong knows it. Morris is simply lying here. But lies aren't very interesting - they're barely worth a blog-post. What is striking is how liberals like Morris, when they make their arguments for liberalism, cannot rely upon liberalism alone.

Any liberal who studies history has to run across the case of Islam: that great bridge between Judaism, Christianity, and the mysterious Orient (shouts out to Eddy Said!). Then the liberal has to decide what to do about it. There's talk that Islam is rather... less liberal than are Judaism, Christianity, and any of those indigenous faiths from that Orient I'd mentioned. There even exist arguments that Islam is less liberal than some of our uglier Western nationalisms; one of those arguing that point was the Mufti. To their credit a few liberals, like Bill Maher, don't shy away from Islam's implications.

Morris ignores all that. Like the cowards in that classic movie Wishmaster he rubs his jewels and wishes it all away.

If Christ isn't to bail him out, perhaps sura 72's djinn will do it instead. Robert Ferrigno's Prayers For The Assassin had argued that lazy liberals would fall into Islam by default. Eight years later and here we are.


posted by Zimri on 19:31 | link | 0 comments

Don't read Rolling Stone

I hadn't weighed in on the UVa sex-assault case, reported by that flagship of integrity Rolling Stone. It always looked like a mess to me. But enough about Rolling Stone...

Tom "Just One Minute" Maguire recommends a few more minutes to sort all this out. (h/t, Instapundit.)

Currently, I understand that someone showed up with trauma, is now suffering from mental problems and STILL cannot consistently describe what happened. At a guess she got drunk somewhere, assaulted by someone but this "someone" isn't a someone anyone in our beloved media wants to think about.

Black townies from off campus? A professor or two? Bigshot liberal campus politician?

Whichever. We do know, at least, not to trust Rolling Stone.


posted by Zimri on 15:05 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Whitefish gets trolled

Various social-justice types tried to get Richard Spencer booted out of his home and business (in no particular order). Spencer instead got a resolution affirming his rights.

I think it started with Spencer's dressdown of that neocon fool a couple winters back. The fool whined to the Daily Beast, Yahoo passed it on, and the town felt it had to Do Something. Well - it did!


posted by Zimri on 18:45 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Evangelising the American South

The American Atheists group, led by one David Silverman, is recommending that Christians skip church three weeks from now.

The ad's certainly eye-catching. And I must disclose that I've lived in the South for some time, where on occasion I faced some pretty awful ignorance and bigotry. Mind you, I've also faced that in the North... and I'm wondering if we're seeing some of that from Mr Silverman.

David Silverman's name alone is making me suspicious, speaking as one with some Ashkenaz background myself. The man appears to have New Jersey roots. In short I think he is not a native of the South.

If I were to suggest a campaign to improve the intellectual level of the Southron, I would invest in cultural memes that showed the human face of scientists and showed the wonders of scientific discovery. Whatever negativity I'd come up with, would go against clear falsehoods and philosophical disasters like Intelligent Design - and only to show how they hurt the South. This process has been ongoing by itself anyway (especially since that Dover case, and that travesty Expelled).

I wouldn't attack the Southern culture as such. By going against church on Christmas, that is exactly what the American Atheists are doing. So they're not convincing anybody of anything.

I don't think Silverman is so tin-eared he doesn't know this. It feels like he's deliberately picking a fight with perceived enemies. It feels like Orange parades through Catholic streets in Belfast. And when the Southrons get upset, they won't see "atheists" in their mind; they'll see "Silverman from New Jersey".


posted by Zimri on 19:32 | link | 0 comments

Whose god is it anyway, II

In the previous post, I got as far as showing that Christianity and sura 4 were incompatible. This left open the question: if religion A and religion B are intrinsically incompatible, does that mean their respective adherents must worship different gods?

In a case like, say, Hinduism and African animism, the answer would be an emphatic yes, they DO worship different gods - there never have been attempts at syncretism, so the question hasn't come up. Rome and Greece, by contrast, did share contact and followed religions (really, pantheons) so compatible that the syncretism was almost automatic.

The way to understand a case like Islam is to consider Judaism and Christianity. Rabbinic Judaism has defined God in such a way that Christianity becomes impossible, more so than is Islam. Christianity for its part insists on the Jewish Scriptures (Marcion aside), and generally asserts its theological union with Judaism. The Jews don't accept that - the "Marcionite" position with respect to Christian Scripture is orthodox in Judaism.

Jews very well could say outright that Christians are worshipping the wrong god. If they don't, it's because they see something in their own scriptures and tradition (generally in the Messianic and Qabbala traditions) that might allow for something close to Christianity to arise.

I would appreciate similar understanding from Christians: that they go back to the Hebrew Bible(s), and check out where that text might allow for something like Islam. This would mainly circle around the Deuteronomic, Prophetic and Apocalyptic books - Isaiah, 1 Enoch 1-36, the Exodus and so on. It doesn't do Christianity any favours to pretend that Islam just came out of nowhere, with the (barely attested) Arab paganism standing in for "nowhere".


posted by Zimri on 19:10 | link | 0 comments

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