Friday, December 16, 2005

Sharia explained

Coming Anarchy is the evocative name of a blog that I have been looking at for a while. With a cryptic format pulling together the images of an Edwardian gentleman's club and the resources of the internet this group blog is dense with history, politics and social commentary. I sense the soggy influence of a very high, very polished, faux-ivory tower. This morning's post is very inciteful.

...when the prince of Saudi Arabia asked the British for an airplane in the early 1900s, he first had to ask the ulema in Saudi Arabia whether mankind was allowed to fly at all. Finding nothing against it, they said yes. However, just like judges in America or Europe can disagree, so too can the ulema. In Saudi Arabia, movie theaters are illegal but television isn’t. Why? Television can be used to spread Islam which is good. So why are movie theaters illegal? Because the rulers of Saudi Arabia said so and the scholars on their payroll often justify things they want. Another example is the first fatwa on birth control, which came out in favor of it. Surprised? Even more surprising is who issued it, none other than Islamic revolutionary Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini. According to him, since a man must provide for his family, would he not be able to take care of another child, using birth control (only within marriage) would be Islamic. But why even come out with such a fatwa? Look no further than Iran’s huge youth bulge and the then soaring birth rate.

It's not just the Chinese who are inscrutable.

Someone in the group is traveling.
I love these photos. They bring back those distant days when I was privileged to be a guest in a number of Korean homes.

I also am impressed with the blogroll.

These descriptions of the contributors may be of help:

*** In real life, "Curzon" has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently finishing law school. A US citizen from the east coast, he recently returned from an assignment in Japan.

*** "Younghusband" is a Canadian who recently returned to his home country after a number of years in Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English, with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia from North to South to West. He is currently doing his MA in War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.

*** "Chirol" is a US citizen studying at a German university for a graduate degree in Islamic Studies with a focus on history. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled the globe and speaks English and German fluently. He is currently studying Arabic.

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