Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
As we've noted in an earlier post, Rosie O'Donnell and ABC couldn't work out a contract renewal for her slot on "The View." But when I read the "exclusive" story this morning by ABC News's Monica Nista, I noticed the reporter left out any mention of Rosie's numerous controversies such as her 9/11 conspiracy theories, her suggestion that the British hostage crisis in Iran was a conspiracy, her "ching-chong" gaffe, or her swipe at "radical Christians" being just as dangerous as "radical Muslims" like Osama bin Laden. Instead Nista focused on an a feud with rival network NBC's "Apprentice" host Donald Trump:
The left is famous for its general intolerance and suspicion of religion, especially in the public sector. Yet, increasingly, an exception seems to be made for Islam.
Scott at Power Line caught another instance of this in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune where the normally anti-religious editorial page is oddly favorable to a local college's installation of a foot-washing basin for Islamic students:
It's worth remembering that
this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion.
A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to
wash his or her feet. [...]
Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which
incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long
string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to
endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices
of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the
cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their
private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the
Update at bottom of post: other bloggers reactions.
In a column this afternoon, Politico's Roger Simon took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for giving a public prayer for the victims of the Virginia Tech gunman "in Christ's name.":
Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?
He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”
Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.
"For Hollywood's sake, he needs to return." "I miss Harvey Weinstein." "[T]he movies he made were full of class." So says Patrick Goldstein in an April 17, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times.
"[T]he movies he made were full of class"? Harvey Weinstein is best known as the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of Miramax Films. (He now heads something called The Weinstein Company.) But he is also known as a producer of a string of Catholic-bashing movies.
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
The latest Pulitzer Prize awarded to the New York Times wasn't so honored when it originally came out -- by conservatives or even by some liberals. Andrea Elliott's three-part series exploring Islam in America through the imam Reda Shata of the Bay Ridge mosque in Brooklyn was powerfully critiqued by Washington Times columnist Diana West:
Both the New York Post and the New York Sun have already pounced on the most egregious flaw of omission: not a mention, in 11,000-plus words, of the day in March 1994 when a man walked out of that same Bay Ridge mosque and, inspired by the anti-Jewish sermon of the day (delivered by a different, unidentified imam), armed himself and opened fire on a van carrying Hasidic Jewish children. Ari Halberstam, 16, was killed. The Times series, as it happened, concluded on the 12th anniversary of his death.
The Washington Post produced two very different takes on Monday in stories about motivating school children to pay attention to threats looming in their future. First, there was an urgent front-page story about the need to educate children about the cataclysmic vision of a world destroyed by global warming – "the atomic bomb of today" – with absolutely no one skeptical of the almost religious claims of hellish destruction in the very near future. One campus activist asked: "What's the use of a college degree when Wall Street is under water?"
Second, in stark contrast, came a story on the front-page of Metro about selling the religious message of Jesus along with free pizza. But this article was stuffed with skeptical students who were offended by the evangelizing – even as they snagged the lunch. "The free food they like...The praying they don’t."
Darragh Johnson’s front-page story was headlined "Climate Change Scenarios Scare, and Motivate Kids." Its beginning underlined just how dramatically young children are being frightened about their world ending around the corner:
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s "Real Time," appeared on the April 16 edition of "The View" to voice his opposition to all religion. Maher asserted that "pretty much all religion" is bad and all religion is "childish destructive nonsense." Co-host, Joy Behar inquired "What about people who just like to go to church, you know, the old ladies in my neighborhood who used to go and light a candle?" Maher responded likewise.
"They are certainly better than people who fly planes into buildings, yes. But they are enablers for some thing that is worldwide and winds up killing more people, distracting us from more good works."
According to Maher’s logic, the Salvation Army, Father Joe’s Villages, and church going conservatives who donate more to charity than secular liberals, are all "distracted from more good works."
Two weeks ago, we reported (in this NB post) that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles publicly objected to coverage of the priest abuse scandal by the Los Angeles Times. Two articles by the Times in the second half of March contained false information, contended the Archdiocese. One of the articles was cited as being particularly "insulting to all Catholics." Rebuttals to the Times were printed in the archdiocese newspaper, The Tidings, the largest diocesan paper in the United States. (Here and here are the rebuttals.)
Is the Times now retaliating against Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for calling the paper out on its falsehoods?
You know you must be watching PBS when Good Friday is a time to interview promoters of gnostic gospels and leftist preachers who equate the persecutors of Christ with "rugged individualism." On this Good Friday, April 6, Charlie Rose interviewed Princeton professor Elaine Pagels and Harvard professor Karen King, who explored with Rose how the "Gospel of Judas" shows parallels between early Christian martyrs and modern-day Islamic suicide bombers. Leftist Rev. James Forbes of New York’s Riverside Church carried the anti-individualist message.
Rose began with the professors by promising "some fascinating new information about Judas and Jesus. The New Testament presents Judas’ actions towards Jesus as the most infamous of betrayals. The long-lost Gospel of Judas tells a very different story. It shows Judas as Jesus` favorite disciple and willing collaborator."
The Washington Post Style section on Friday featured a front-page story on the gay-left group Soulforce and their so-called "Equality Ride" to conservative Christian colleges trying to stir up fights and publicity. Hanna Rosin's story was headlined "Young, Gay Christians On A Bumpy Bus Ride."
This is unfortunate timing, no? Deirdre Imus, the wife of ex-MSNBC personality Don Imus, is featured in a symposium on page 92 in this week's Newsweek lecturing to evangelicals that they shouldn't be behind the curve on global warming the way they were on civil rights for blacks in the 1960s:
Environmentalism is the civil-rights issue of the 21st century, and one doesn't have to look too far back to see that evangelicals sat on their hands when it came to civil rights for blacks. I refuse to sit on my hands and allow the evangelical heritage to be sullied again, because the very reputation of the evangelical witness is at stake. It's crucial that we not make the mistake of our fathers.
Newsbusters senior editor Tim Graham wrote earlier today about how the Washington Post chose to focus on religious controversies in its obituary of cartoonist Johnny Hart.
Not to be outdone, Post magazine humor columnist Gene Weingarten found room to slam Hart's Christian faith in his online chat today. A reader/chat participant did seem to egg him into it, but all the same it's rather tasteless to besmirch the man's faith in an ostensible celebration of the man's artistry and sense of humor. Portions in bold are my emphasis:
VA: For four months you leave us, and now you think you can just walk
in here like nothing happened? At least offer us a poop joke and some
words about Johnny Hart.
Gene Weingarten: I tried to write an
appreciation of Johnny for today's paper, but failed. It was coming out
nasty, and that was bad. [continued below jump...]
Brian Fitzpatrick of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute has compiled a handy road map showing Americans all the sights where the media have unloaded truckloads of doubt about Christianity during the weeks leading up to Easter. It's called "The Easter 'Hit' Parade." For example:
A History Channel program scheduled for Easter Sunday will question whether the Bible is God’s complete revelation to mankind.
The current – Holy Week – issue of Newsweek teases readers with the headline “Is God Real?,” and features a debate between a prominent evangelical pastor and an outspoken atheist.
An April 3 New York Times article dismisses the story of Moses parting the Red Sea as a “myth.”
You might think that Easter would be an occasion for an MSM outlet like ABC to invite in a serious Christian theologian or minister to discuss issues of death and resurrection. Please. I did say "an MSM outlet." ABC's Good Morning America decided the best way to celebrate Easter today was to devote one segment to an anti-war activist who had organized a "cluster bomb hunt" to parallel the White House's Easter egg hunt, and another segment to a mocking examination of the Easter bunny.
In the first segment, GMA's Kate Snow interviewed Brian Hennessey, organizer of the "cluster bomb hunt" outside the White House to protest the use of the weapons. Small children were shown constructing the mock bombs, and later would be sent out to search for them. Claimed Hennessey "we're not trying to politicize kids in any way." Right. When he later mentioned that the kids' parents would be "looking for weapons of mass destruction which of course aren't there," Snow didn't bother to suppress a laugh. Not surprising. This is the same Snow who a couple weeks ago who was moved to laughter by a painting that depicted Christ and his disciples as dogs.
For all Christians, Easter is an outbreak of joy, a celebration of the resurrection of the risen Lord, marking the full promise of a savior unfolding like a spring flower.
For ABC, it’s just another night to sell sex.
During a Monday night broadcast of “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC promoted its Easter Sunday lineup, starting with an inspirational episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” So far, so good. But that’s where the good ended.
Then came the plug for a typical episode of “Desperate Housewives,” with one catty middle-aged woman saying to another, “I’m this close to seducing my gardener.” The other replies, “Been there, done that.” And at promo’s end, ABC showed another scene of the first woman – fortysomething, surgically altered Nicolette Sheridan – stripping off her blouse and skirt to reveal black lacy underthings as the announcer urged: “This Easter, take off your Sunday best, and turn on your favorite shows.”
Arutz Sheva, an Internet based news outlet in Israel, reported on Friday the existence of anti-Semitic content at the liberal website Daily Kos (h/t Little Green Footballs, emphasis added throughout):
The Daily Kos blog, one of the most popular American political websites, is featuring anti-Semitic graphic content since Thursday. The Daily Kos reportedly receives 600,000 visits a day, and between 14 million and 24 million visits per month. It is often used by politicians – including Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and many others – for dissemination of their materials.
The last story of Holy Thursday’s Nightly News broadcast featured anchor Brian Williams acknowledging “we are a very religious nation.” The lead-in was for a story on workplace chaplains, a growing trend being offered by companies seeking to provide amenities that are meaningful to their employees.
The story featured the nondenominational Corporate Chaplains of America which serves 450 firms in 26 states. Corporate chaplains offer on-site opportunities for employees to talk with a person of faith about any issues that are bothering them.
Thursday home editions of the Washington Post come equipped with a Life magazine insert, and I was pleasantly surprised with the pro-religious, pro-faith content that graced its pages.
The cover for the current issue (April 6 weekend) is: "America's Coolest Churches: The amazing places where presidents, cowboys, and dog lovers go to pray."
The cover photo is a breathtaking shot of the Cadet Chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy on a bright, sunny day.
I found the photo essay by Danny Freedman a quirky but respectful tribute to some of the more unusual houses of worship across the fruited plain. Pegged to hit American doorsteps during Holy Week it's a welcome change from other media outlets that often see Easter as a time to trudge out the usual suspects of gnostic revisionism. [continued...]
Our good friends at Get Religion noticed that the New York Times's Dining & Wine section had a bit of trouble today digesting the real meanings of Easter and Passover.
Now, to be fair, no one expects a newspaper's foodies to be experts on the finer points of theology, but it's pretty safe to say that knowing Easter celebrates the physical resurrection of Christ is not asking that much of someone writng a column about foods traditionally associated with the holiday.
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.
GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:
Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"
So far the New York Times has apparently yet to do any original reporting on the lawsuit filed by six imams against US Airways and some passengers who reported suspicious behavior by the imams before a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix last year. The imams were taken off the plane in Minneapolis for behavior that included loud chanting, cursing the United States, and praising Saddam Hussein. Yet even passage by the House of a bill to protect passengers who report suspicious behavior on airlines apparently hasn't motivated the newspaper to actually cover the controversy for itself.
The kids and parents of Burlington Township can sleep better knowing that school Superintendent Chris Manno worked alongside the Burlington Township Police Department to prepare for an impending attack against "right-wing fundamentalist groups".
This is the root of liberal bias. It starts in the schools and spreads throughout from the children to the town councils and eventually to local newspapers such as the Burlington County Times where staff writer David Levinsky blends the fantasy of the mock scenario with the reality of school shootings through America. (hat tip, Girl on the Right)
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is publicly voicing its strong objections to two recent columns in the Los Angeles Times regarding the priest abuse scandal. Both articles contained substantial falsehoods, according to the Archdiocese.
1. A March 26, 2007, article in the Times claimed that Church officials and employees, when questioned in legal proceedings, could invoke something called "'mental reservation' — a 700-year-old doctrine by which clerics may avoid telling the truth to protect the Catholic Church." The article quoted Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for abuse victims, as saying of church officials under oath, "You're never going to know the truth, one way or the other."
The truth? There is no such doctrine, and the term "mental reservation" is found nowhere in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
(Updated) Saturday, CNN Headline News ran a repeat of Glenn Beck’s March 27 show, which showed footage of some of the images that ran behind Elton John during his elaborate 60th birthday bash at Madison Square Garden that included a burning church. This is the same man who said that religion promotes hatred and “it’s not very compassionate.” Beck discussed the very tolerant and “compassionate” concert:
Sometimes, Fox News Channel brings to the surface powerful stuff that you would never see on "60 Minutes." FNC is promoting Sunday night's edition of "Hannity's America" featuring exclusive interviews with some of the passengers who were on the plane with the Flying Imams when they got kicked off the plane in the Twin Cities last November. FNC promises they tell quite a different story about what happened than the Imams and the folks at CAIR. The passengers are so scared about CAIR's lawsuit and harm coming to their families that they would only speak to Hannity's people anonymously.
The show airs Sunday nights at 9 PM and midnight, Eastern time.