The the deal that was signed with Iran in Geneva on Saturday is all over the Sunday talking-head shows today, with "the usual suspects" howling exaggerations (like demanding total dismantling) over it. Still, even the line of the howlers has changed significantly, in this regard: Netanyahu, for example, was howling for total dismantlement and is now howling about just military dismantlement. That'll work. Republicans that now have a stance to Netanyahu's right are the ones whose howls are tone-deaf. Still, Netanyahu's proclamation that this makes Iran more dangerous is what renders Iran's claim that Israel is some kind of rabid dog to the ear of the critic to have credibility, exaggeration though it may be. This isn't helping. Neither Netanyahu nor Iran forwards their respective cases one whit with this level of nonsense.
Worse, though, is the hardline positioned by rabid dog Republicans to Netanyahu's right, as they will affect the U.S. position eventually. If they held any kind of sway, then that would be a disaster, clearly.
UPDATE: I just got a challenge question that requires response. The question: why should an oil-rich nation like Iran be permitted to use nuke power at all? Answer: global warming. Duh. No nation should be forcibly condemned to be confined to only fossil fuels for energy. I'm dead certain that the international petroleum lobbies are salivating at any prospects of forcing a nation to use nothing but fossil fuels for which they'd be richly paid for drilling/mining, but it's the petroleum lobby that poses the next best reason why limited nuke power should be permitted even to Iran--the first and foremost reason being global warming.
UPDATE 2: It's just been brought to my attention that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did some excellent reporting on the behind-the-scenes negotiations that, per her report, was not just about Iran's nuclear capabilities but also its proxy involvement in Syria. She also did a recap of relations with Iran going back to Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal. Those of you who want further details, I do refer you now to the Rachel Maddow blog. Developments involving Afghanistan have become interesting, too, regarding the end-run made around Karzai via direct dealing with Afghanistan's Loya Jirga. A president that has to answer to the governing body elected by the people is indeed appropriate and I'm sure Karzai doesn't think so, with Karzai having his attitude in common with Egypt's Morsi. All of these things are definitely worth keeping an eye on
In terms of how Islamic governments have functioned historically, even under the Caliphate Empire, tribal law (sharia) was never supposed to dominate other tribes, which each had their own sharia. This imposition of Wahab sharia over non-Wahab tribes is historically unislamic; this is the reason why the House of Saud in Arabia has stood on shaky ground at its inception and is now standing on ever-thinning ground, unable to stand without international support particularly without the support of the U.S. and Britain.
It is a plain and simple fact to all reasonable Muslims that the success of the spread AND the flourishing of the Caliphate Empire was because of the local governments by different tribal sharia, not because of the central government. Also contributing to this was the spoils system set forth by the central government and adopted from Muawiya's practice of spreading Islam across the north African coast. Wahabs who proclaim they're fighting for a new Caliphate empire while imposing Wahab tenets on others simply have no realistic grasp on Islamic history whatsoever
Some months ago, a question about the difficulties of governing by the Incas came up on Yahoo Answers, and the answer I gave for that is a universal truth for all empires: the more repressive the central government gets, the higher the price gets for executing that repression gets. This was true of the Alexandrian Empire all the way through the current governing practices of the Sauds and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, and was even the case of imperial Rome after it had abandoned its republic days as it levied ever-increasing taxes to support that repression.
Repression is not sustainable no matter who commits it. The Caliphate Empire was a success as long as Shiites lived by their own tribal sharia and the Sunnis lived by theirs; this was a co-operation that lasted until the Turks came in, in the 13th century, after the Moguls flattened Baghdad, dominated repressively, and re-ignited that Sunni-Shiite schism which had been resolved with the peace accord at the conclusion of the Day of the Camel. Whether under Omayyad government or Abbasid government, the Caliphate Empire held together and flourished because the primary power was tribally local sharia. The Roman Empire was most successful when it was a genuine republic.
The Sauds rose to power pretending to be Islamic when they weren't, and the same is true for Al Qaida, and the same is true for Morsi. Allah is diminished by these who claim that their rule is his will; what transpires now is insha'allah beyond the control of any mere mortal or any collection of mere mortals who claim Allah's favor.
Any who claim that their side is what Allah wills and that Allah's honor depends on bloodshed committed by mere mortals appear to my eye as blasphemous. If Muslims intend to be the best representatives of Islam to the non-believer, then it would benefit Islam to call Islamists on their blasphemy, for they are the worst people to represent Islam to anybody, believer or non-believer.
It's on the souls of Muslim parents when they send their children schools that teach blasphemy and idolatry under the disguise of Islam. The Holy Koran is holy as a recitation, not as a book, and to revere the book (the Quran in inferior form) is idolatry. Christians who defile books titled "The Holy Quran" are just stupid--but so are the Muslims who kill fellow human beings of Allah's creation over an inferior object of Man's creation.
Should good devout Muslims suffer for the blasphemous idolaters to be the representatives of Islam to the world? Pose this question to your cleric and demand his fatwah on it. Yes, I am aware of previous fatwas on various questions regarding Islamists, but not on this question in particular, nor on the questions of whether these things are ruled to be actual blasphemy and actual idolatry. Seriously--Islamists appear to be in need of a formal declaration that their de facto blasphemy is blasphemy actual, as well as their de facto idolatry.
Is the Quran destroyed because a book or even a bunch of books were destroyed? No.
Is the book desecrated just because the written words, without their prescribed recitation present, are in that book? No because the word "desecrated" presupposes that the book was sacred, and no book is sacred without being idolized; Allah did not make that book.
Is the book which contains the written words of the Quran without their prescribed inflections in place, an inferior form of the Quran? Yes. The Quran is proper and most perfect when recited with inflections in their proper places as the Prophet (PBUH) recited it; what's in the book is more arbitrary.
Is one tribe's sharia inferior to another tribe's sharia just because it's different from Wahab sharia? No, because no cleric in the Caliphate Empire thought so. The precedent set for that answer originates from the Caliphate Empire itself even as it was run by the first four Caliphs.
These questions cry out for widespread universal fatwahs because Islamists ignore all of them, teaching what they claim is Islam which is in conflict with the Prophet's Islam (PBUH).
There have been other developments this weekend which pertain to the Middle East, like the Miami Book Fair International (I followed that with great interest for the entirety it was broadcast on CSPAN2 on Saturday..."program number 316330-1" on their website; it's been broken down into 10 separate videos HERE and the specific Middle East panel's video is HERE) and there was a broadcast this morning on Radio Australia that I want to cover, so I'll publish this entry now and add those items later in the day. (UPDATE: Sorry, but that broadcast still hasn't turned up as of Dec. 6 and I'm considering that one a total loss. Will edit this post to remove other references to it. Dang and a half)
It may be slow going, though--working from 2 different weather forecasts, one of which forecasts snow and the other, a "wintry mix" which includes sleet, which contains the threat of power/service outages again. And again, will just have to see what actually transpires and work around that.
Previous pertinent post regarding Iran is THIS one; pertinent to Syria and remaining situations in the Middle East and the history thereof are THIS one, THIS one, THIS one, and THIS one. These would be more pertinent to the discussion of what transpired at the Miami Book Fair.
Syria: BBC Newsnight aired a story of a British jihadist in Syria. Speaking of Newsnight, GAWD I miss Aaron Brown. Go Sun Devils!
Saturday UPDATE, Lebanon: The sectarianism mentioned here and elsewhere on this blog has surfaced in the Lebanese town of Tripoli, says Al Jazeera English (and pretty much most of Twitter, in that region). As I've mentioned earlier in this post and elsewhere, the differences between Shiite and Sunni were resolved centuries ago until the invasions of the Moguls, Seljuks and Uygurs in the 13th century, a time when sharia law meant something other than what it means today among the Islamists. In Lebanon, here we go again. Yesterday, I heard about unrest in Tunisia, the place that sparked the whole Arab Spring thing, a thing not confined to Arabs. So, my Muslim friends--are we looking not at unity but at Balkanization? I hope not the latter. Consider carefully, and consider the value of reversing that old Reaganism into Verify, Then Trust.