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« Slightly less of an open book | Main | Thus dies the stereotype of the frugal Scot »

Nov 30, 2007


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what century is this?


The children came up with the name. Execute them too. Those crazy Sudanese!

Jeffrey Sykes

The current Islamic Year is 1428 AH

Ed Cone

The Jews think it's 5768.

Jeffrey Sykes

The Jews think it's 5768.

Man, that's a long cultural memory.


Man, that's a long cultural memory.

Yeah. And bagels with a schmear will outlive us all.


I'd be stunned if all those people turned out spontaneously. Ditto with almost any other large protest. People who hold power stay in power by playing on bias and igorance to convince people that only they stand between them and evil. It's surprising how much crap people will endure if they're persuaded to hate the people someone else says hates them.

Just look around.


Meanwhile, has anyone heard any outrage from the feminist movement on this latest orchestrated campaign from the Religion of Peace?

Dave Dobson

Why is it a feminist issue? I'm reasonably sure they'd be in favor of hurting a foreign man who'd done the same thing. They may well be equal opportunity bloodthirsty zealots.

Ed Cone

Feminist thing was a talking point distributed today via emails from at least one right-wing organization. Here's one version. I was puzzled by it, too -- why it's supposed to be a "feminist" issue in the first place, and why this would be seen as the moment to attack anyone other than the people trying to kill the teddy-bear lady.

Organized: For sure. At least one report I read mentioned that the crowds didn't have automatic weapons, indicating that it wasn't organized by the government.



Look at the pushback!

And no answer to the issue......just simple deflection of a subject they can't spin to fit the program, by two of our local masters of the art!

I love it........


It's not a feminist issue. Claims otherwise are patent folly. Leaders in Sudan are simply playing another scapegoating card ("See how the evil West ridicules and hates Islam. They are the enemy. Without me, you are powerless to fight them." It's an enduring habit of many Arab regimes. The street protests are pretty much a modern version of circuses in Rome's coliseum.) The same treatment would be rolled out for any man who committed the same imaginary offense. The only reason the right has played the feminist card is because they see this as a chance to rant and rage against feminism, something they consider another example of evil liberalism. Ignore them; by tomorrow they will be back to their own brand of scapegoating.

On the organized nature of the thing: I'd guess it was organized by religious leaders. Perhaps only a single mullah. Leaders of rival mosques do try to steal congregants from each other by doing things to boost their street cred. Spread some dinars around and you'll get lots of willing people out on the streets in a place like Sudan. (Or, when the secret police are sufficiently scary, people will take to the streets simply to stay in their good graces.)

On the guns: I take the lack of automatic weapons as an indication the govenment had a role in the protest. They want to milk this incident for their own benefit. That is very probably the reason the woman was detained in the first place. The last thing they want is people on the streets with machine guns. They don't want the Teddy Bear Lady killed because the probable UK retaliation would counter the domestic benefit this gives them. If they really wanted her dead, she'd be dead by now. Most likely, she will be held in relative safety for a few days, the British will lean hard on Sudan, and, in the end, the regime will deport her, scoring more local points for its magnanimity.

Ed Cone

I don't see a deflection of the feminism thing, but an honest questioning of it.

Aside from the unanswered question of why this incident is supposed to be a feminist issue, I'm not even sure what "feminism" means at this point in history, or exactly who is supposed to be outraged. Ms. Magazine? Condi Rice?

I guess I'm an heir to some feminist thinking -- we all are at this point -- and I expressed outrage over this incident, but it never occurred to me to do so in the context of feminism.

I'm still baffled as to the logic that supports the framing of this story as a feminist issue -- beyond political posturing at an inappropriate moment against an imaginary foe.

Ian McDowell

A case might be made that a certain vocal percentage of self-proclaimed American feminists were more willing to criticize the misogyny inherent in Islam before we were actually at war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. I say "a certain vocal percentage of self-proclaimed American feminists" because I don't think there's actually a "feminist movement" anymore, at least not in this country.

That said, there are so many obvious examples of that misogyny that there's no need to cite a case in which Muslims want to kill a woman for reasons other than her sex. Does anyone really think that the outcome would have been different if the teacher had been a man? To thump one's rhetorical chest in braying enjoyment over the alleged hypocrisy of the "feminist movement" before bothering to make even a token expression of disgust at the Sudanese rioters is to expose oneself as an opportunistic jackal. It's that kind of hollow posturing that makes me loathe most Western Islamophobes almost as much I loathe modern Islam.


I wonder if there would be a similar reaction in NC if someone named their teddy bear Jesus?

Ian McDowell

I'm suspect there are some Latino children who've named their teddy bear Jesus.

I have little sympathy for Christians who get indignant about allegedly "blasphemous" art or public utterances. There's a lot about Christianity that gives me the hives. But as scornful as I am of, say, the outrage that's brewing over the upcoming film of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, bloviating pundits on FOX are preferable to rioting crowds calling for author Phillip Pullman's death, which is what would happen if the villain of his trilogy were Allah instead of Yahweh. And as someone who's still getting royalties for a short-short story ("Christmas with the Count", in 365 SCARY STORIES) that suggests that Dracula and Jesus were the same person, I have to be thankful that my literary jape didn't put my life at serious risk. I doubt I could make the same claim if my story had conflated the Frankenstein Monster and Mohammed.

Jeffrey Sykes

Hey Ian, I loathe longwindedophiles as much as you loathe Islamophobes.

That being said, there were very many conservatives and, gasp, Christians, who were very vocal about modern Islam's misogyny dating well back into the 1980s.


The whole point of this is that if Christians, Jews, Big Business, men's organizations, virtually ANY group from an established orthodoxy had treated ANY women poorly or unfairly (let alone threaten her life) over such an incident, feminists of all types would howl about the evil, repressive culture that brought such action about.

In this case however, it's clear that they don't want to offend radical Islam, a valuable affinity partner on other agenda issues that are important to Dems/Lefties/"Progressives".

It's also clear about their state of denial and the hypocrisy exposed by this situation.

Memo to Dobson: What the Islamists would do to a foreign man in an episode like this is irrelevant.

Memo to Cone: It's not a "right wing organization" thing. It's also not about "political posturing at an inappropriate moment against an imaginary foe."

The foe is real for everyone who is a part of Western culture.

Ian McDowell

The foe represented by the rioters is real and dire, making Bubba's smug sniping at straw-women all the more obnoxious. Not even the most doctrinaire extremes of the American Left treat EVERY attack on a woman as the result of misogyny.

Touche, Jeffrey. I admire Ed's prose for its calm concision, qualities my rants sorely lack, and grudgingly admit that I need editing just as much as John Hammer does. When writing for publication, I cut my draft to a third of its original length, but have yet to achieve that economy in the blogosphere.

And yes, I'm aware of those sentiments from conservatives and, gasp, Christians, and respect those who voiced them even when the Taliban were "Freedom Fighters." It's just that, as far as other Islamophobes go, I prefer V. S. Naipaul or even Christopher Hitchens to Anne Coulter.

Dave Dobson

Wow, Bubba, it's hard to be wrong in so many ways at once.

You're invoking an alliance (I assume that's what "valuable affinity partner" means) between feminists and radical Islam that doesn't exist. They've even come out against this kind of injustice and violence in Sudan before, when it was relevant to women's rights.

You're stating with certainty the actions of "feminists of all types" without even defining the hypothetical situation in which they'd act.

You're creating an obligation for every interest group to denounce promptly every bad action, regardless of whether it has anything to do with the issues they care about. I haven't seen an official NRA condemnation of this contemptible riot. Does that mean gun owners and Islam are valuable affinity partners? Nor has the KKK, or the N.W.A., or the NBA, or the AAA. Radical Muslim sympathizers and co-conspirators, all of them?

Finally, the statement that radical Islam is an ally to Democrats and progressives is just flat out insane. Religious zealotry, intolerance, and violence is a threat to everybody in a free society, regardless of the religion of the zealots. There's plenty of that coming from the Muslim world at the moment, but it doesn't define all Muslims, any more than the actions of abortion-clinic bombers define all Christian conservatives.

The only thing I'd agree with is your last sentence, assuming you define foe as nutjob bloodthirsty extremists and not the entire Muslim faith.

Ed Cone

I just don't see any indication that the situation in Sudan has anything to do with the fact the teacher is a woman.

It's an issue of religious extremism, and it involves a religion that is often rightly criticized for misogyny, but in itself does not seem to be an example of the latter.

Ian McDowell

Dave, I agree with almost everything else you say, and I used to think that violent Christian extremism is just as dangerous as the Islamic variety.

In theory, I still do. I prefer the company of the devout Muslims I know to that of most of the fundamentalist Christians I've met. And yes, the abortion clinic bombers are barbaric scum.

But I also think that my life is less in danger when I escort a female friend to an abortion clinic (something I've done in the past) than it would be if I got up on a soapbox in any public park in the Moslem world and began reciting aloud from THE SATANIC VERSES, or even if I were to be seen quietly reading from it in a coffee house there.


Misogyny might be more correctly considered a feature of Islamic society, rather than a feature of Islam. (If Islam disappeared overnight, I suspect the misogyny would remain.) Similarly, hysterical reactions to novels and movies come from elements within the Christian subculture. There are plenty of people who consider themselves Christian who don't care a twit about Pullman's book or the movie, one way or the other.

What is to be condemned, however, is the reality that this misogyny exists, whatever its cause, and little is done to eradicate it, and even less indignation expressed, within those Islamic societies. Fathers still kill wives and daughters and cite Islam as their justification. The "Muhammad made me do it" defense should be as ineffective as the "Jesus made me do it" defense is in the West.

People of faith, Christain or Muslim or whatever, need to understand that while their faith may be sancrosanct, behavior they claim is motivated by their faith is not.

Jeffrey Sykes

Greets, Ian. I too admire the host's way with words. I also share your need for an editor. Seems the faster I type, the more letters I misplace and the more I blog, the more the letters seem to run together.


Dobson and Cone continue (undoubtedly on purpose) to miss the point.

To refresh your memories, here is my original statement:

"Meanwhile, has anyone heard any outrage from the feminist movement on this latest orchestrated campaign from the Religion of Peace?"

None of the pushback/deflection even comes close to addressing the issue I raised.

It's just another agenda-based free ride for all the affinity partners, whether Dobson, Cone, et al, will admit it or not.

Why am I not surprised?


Bubba, one reason, among others, that you don't see responses is that your premise is wrong. There is no "latest orchestrated campaign from the Religion of Peace." There's just another effort by thugs-who-happen-to-rule-an-Islamic-nation to take advantage of a serendipitous incident to solidify their position with the rabble in the street. Pretty much an exaggerated version of what Fox does on any given day, if you think about it.

The gender of the Teddy Bear Lady is irrelevant in Sudan. So, why should feminists, who want women and men to be treated equally (don't you?), be any more outraged about this event than anyone else?

Ed Cone

Bob, your point has been addressed in some detail: nobody has explained why the "feminist movement" should feel compelled to respond to this particular incident.

Even so, the topic you floated has sparked some interesting conversation about feminism, Islam, and culture.

I'm not sure why you see this as an occasion to sneer at the participants in that conversation rather than joining it in a more substantive fashion.

Ian McDowell

Since I've deliberately insulted him, Bubba is within his rights to ignore me, but by refusing to acknowledge that one of the people calling him an obnoxious chowderhead does NOT consider Islam "a religion of peace," he reinforces his own image as an agenda-driven troll.

To repeat myself, I suspect that some feminists are more loathe to denounce Islamic misogyny than they were when conservatives were funding those who became the Taliban. I simply see no reason to think that this is one of those cases.


"Since I've deliberately insulted him....."


Agenda driven troll! How original........

Anything else of no particular value you wish to add?


"I'm not sure why you see this as an occasion to sneer at the participants in that conversation rather than joining it in a more substantive fashion."

Because you (and others) don't answer the question.

It's legitimate, and appropriate, and the resulting silence on the point is telling.

No amount of pushback or deflection will change the truth of that.

Nice try, though.

Ed Cone

Bob, people have attempted to answer the question in good faith.

Feminist groups seem quiet on this matter because nothing about it identifies it as an issue of particular interest to feminists.

There is plenty of outrage over it -- hence my post on the subject -- but nobody has explained what makes it a front-burner item for feminists.

Ian McDowell

In the bubbaverse, "spin" is any disagreement and the only response that can't be dismissed as "pushback" is "why yes, you're absolutely right, how stupid of me to not acknowledge it before." So it's naive (if admirably polite, a virtue I lack) of Ed to ask him to join the conversation. Since there doesn't seem to be any going on in Bubba's own blog, he may not know what it is. Arguing with him is like arguing with one of the Mickey Marxists who infested Carolina in the late 70s, right before their leadership got shot up in Greensboro.


On arguing with Bubba.

I like coming over to Ed's place, I do it a lot. But I don't post comments often, maybe 10% of the time, because I don't just don't want to deal with the Bubba. In that sense, my hat's off to the guy. He's beaten me into submission.

The truth is, I like a good debate and I work hard to hear what people on the other side of an issue are really trying to say. I also find myself changing my opinions often in response to arguments, even when they're heated. For example, BlueNC had an anonymous commenter who took me to task about comments I'd made regarding David Hoyle. I ended up talking off-line with the guy and came around to his view on a couple of important issues. I also find myself apologizing on a regular basis, though hopefully not for the exact same transgressions.

In all of this, however, I've learned to steer clear of certain voices which I know will upset, frustrate or otherwise unsettle me. Bubba's is one of those. The CA occupies a similar position, but not quite as annoying. I know I'm annoying to plenty of people, too. They tell me about it all the time.

I don't know what it is that causes us (me) to engage again and again with folks when we know it's a waste of time. I supposes it's a kind of perverse entertainment, because it certainly doesn't make any difference that matters. In some ways, I think the real driver is a fundamental desire that human beings have to be heard - and to be right.

All is well.


"Bob, people have attempted to answer the question in good faith.

Feminist groups seem quiet on this matter because nothing about it identifies it as an issue of particular interest to feminists."

Not a chance of either of those statements being even remotely true or accurate.


"In the bubbaverse, 'spin' is any disagreement and the only response that can't be dismissed as 'pushback' is "why yes, you're absolutely right, how stupid of me to not acknowledge it before."

Try a little harder to keep up.


"In all of this, however, I've learned to steer clear of certain voices which I know will upset, frustrate or otherwise unsettle me. Bubba's is one of those."

I am not responsible for your shortcomings, frustrations, and failures, Anglico.

You are responsible for those things.

Deal with it.


Here's more on the silence of the feminists.


"When queried by Fox News about their reaction to the Gibbons arrest on November 28, a spokesman for the National Organization for Women (NOW) said the group was monitoring the situation but would not be issuing a statement or taking an official position on the matter. This is contrary to past international activism by the group in countries such as Mexico and Afghanistan, the support of a United Nations treaty on women's rights and cosponsorship of an International Women's Day delegation to Hugo Chavez's Venezuela last year.

Speaking on the condition of women in Sudan in 2004, NOW president Kim Gandy said: 'The U.S. government must demonstrate its commitment to the freedom and safety of women by demanding that the U.N. do more to put an end to the atrocities in Darfur [Sudan]. And we must speak out [on] behalf of all the women and girls affected by violence around the globe.'

Tammy Bruce, a former NOW official in Los Angeles, told Fox News: 'The supposed feminist establishment is refusing to take a position in this regard [on the Gibbons arrest] because they have no sensibility of what is right anymore. They're afraid of offending people. They are bound by political correctness.'

'I'm amazed by the silence of the so-called women's rights groups like NOW,' added Project 21's Borelli. 'This is an example of their selective feminist outrage. When it fits their liberal agenda and bias, they are extremely vocal. When it doesn't, their silence is deafening.'"



More, from Tammy Bruce:

"Calling attention to abuse, violence and oppression is something the left claims it does, but these days they’re more than willing to throw those who need our voices under the bus. Their obsession is to make sure the leftist false construct of an evil George Bush and oppressive United States won’t be eclipsed by the truth — the truth of a world where our enemy targets women on a daily basis for terror, torture, oppression and murder as our troops risk and give their lives to banish that horror from the lives of tens of millions."

Dave Dobson

Deneen Borelli is a conservative activist.

Tammy Bruce is a conservative Fox News commentator.

They (and you, Bubba) are opportunistic jackals who are trying to use this sad event to manufacture domestic political talking points out of thin air. Feminists, including national organizations, have frequently and consistently criticized the excesses of radical Islam when it comes to the abuse and debasement of women, as I linked to above.

This just isn't about her gender. You've never once indicated why it would be.


"Tammy Bruce is a conservative Fox News commentator."

Really, Dave?

What else is she?

You want to continue your clownish mis-representations, be my guest.

That's much easier than addressing the issue about the lack of outrage by NOW and other orthodox feminists.


Thelede from Bruce's article:

"There has been appropriate international outrage over the treatment of Gibbons, from virtually everyone except American 'feminists.' Multiple Muslim groups in the U.K. have condemned the sentence. Even the popular little boy in Mrs. Gibbons’ class who suggested the name for the bear came to her defense, explaining that he named the bear after himself."

What rational reason is there for virtually everyone to have condemned the atrocity-waiting-to-happen, EXCEPT for a group like NOW, which has a long history of actually subverting women's interests in deference to the greater leftist agenda, as was amply illustrated in the O.J Simpson murder trial?


If you had read my comment carefully, you'd have seen that I'm dealing with it just fine, thank you. 99.9% of the time, I'm neither reading nor responding to what you write. This is one of those rare exceptions, which I already regret.



Kay Hymowitz:

"American feminists have a moral responsibility to give up their resentments and speak up for women who actually need their support. Feminists have the moral authority to say that their call for the rights of women is a universal demand—that the rights of women are the Rights of Man."

Where's the outrage from NOW and the others?


"If you had read my comment carefully, you'd have seen that I'm dealing with it just fine."


Then why bother responding at all?

Dave Dobson

Kay Hymowitz is a conservative writer who works for a conservative think tank. If you want me to stipulate that conservatives dislike feminists, I'll do so.

Here's another challenge you'll ignore: Point to where the GOP has denounced this. Point to where Rudy Guliani has denounced it. Point to where Mitt Romney has denounced it. Point to where the Southern Baptist Convention has denounced it. No? Thus, they are all also jihadi fellow travelers who hate freedom, women, and the poignantly-capitalized Rights of Man.

Ed Cone

I think people have dealt with the question of feminist response politely and thoroughly. Probably best at this point to move on, there's no need to get sucked into the personal vituperation game or to have the final word. Thnx.


Dobson, like everyone else, wants to talk about everything except why the feminists are silent on this outrage threatened against a women by the Religion of Peace.

Had this outrage been promoted by anyone else except a valued affinity group, the feminists would be all over it.

All the deflection won't cover up that fact, and is irrelevant to the question I asked, and the answer we need to get from the feminists.

Ian McDowell

Ironically, I believe we DO live in "a world where our enemy targets women on a daily basis for terror, torture, oppression and murder," and I acknowledge that the "enemy" doing this is largely Islamic. I'm even nonplussed to find myself turning into someone who believes, however reluctantly, that said enemy might just be Islam itself.

And yet I still don't see this as being a case in which that enemy targeted "women." The Sudan's barbaric theocracy arrested Gillian Gibbons for the same reason that Mohammed Bouyeri murdered Theo Van Gogh (a man) and the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

It's also ironic that, for all Bubba's claims that NOW should be expressing public outrage at the Sudanese government and the rioters, he's scarcely expressed any outrage at them himself. He appears to be enjoying this example of feminist "hypocrisy" too much to truly care a fig about Ms. Gibbons (a name that Bubba doesn't bother to mention) or to condemn her would-be murderers (for my part, I'd love to the see some withering firepower directed at the axe-brandishing mob, if it could be done without harming innocent bystanders).

I despise Bubba (and by that, I mean the online rhetorical construct, not the man behind it) not because of the conservative beliefs he pretends to espouse, but because he's such an oafish and unconvincing spokesman for them. I'm half-convinced his postings are the work of a doctrinaire liberal bent on crudely caricaturing the imagined conservative foe, so much discredit does he bring to causes I sometimes find myself agreeing with. The real Bubba may be a gentleman and a scholar, but if his web persona were rendered flesh and blood by the nerds from WEIRD SCIENCE, it would be a braying barstool boor with greasy jowls and a closet full of ill-fitting hats with furry earflaps.

Ian McDowell

Oops, sorry, Ed, I posted before seeing your last comment. Feel free to delete my rant above.


I, for one, am convinced that Bubba does not in fact exist, rather is a invented persona. Bubba's on-line oeuvre is in fact part of a fiendishly clever on-line performance piece. The Andy Kaufman influence is obvious. Bubba is nothing if not the child of Tony Clifton! But of course the whole jumping off point is the Monty Python "Argument" skit. The whole point of the piece is an exploration of Ed's patience. Bubba implicitly asks through his participation "How trollish can I be before I get banned." He wants to get banned! It's the point! Now that I "get it", I can relax and enjoy the antics. Come on, everyone, gather the family, it's good clean fun! Say something to get him going! Poke that troll with a stick!

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