August 31, 2003

New Blog

In the referrer logs, I came across A Dervish's Du'a', written by Maryam, which I've added to the blog roll. Like me, she's noted something a bit odd about Amir Taheri, writing about his claim that the hijab, the veil or headgear worn by some Muslim women, is a 1970s conspiracy.

While my opinion of Taheri has improved somewhat over the months, I still remember a column he wrote in December 2001 that appeared in Arab News, claiming that in Washington D.C. a mood of deep depression prevailed, and that Americans were buying and wearing Revolutionary era clothing to try to recapture some of their lost glory. Here's the lead:

Although the American capital has been bedecked with Christmas decorations for weeks, a visitor is quickly persuaded that people here are in no mood for festivities. The shopping malls that should have been teeming with end-of-the-year shoppers are all but deserted with many shutters down. The only shops that seem to be doing well are those selling memorabilia related to the American War of Independence in the 18th century. Also doing well are a few designer boutiques selling 18th-century outfits, long and elaborate dresses for ladies and tight-fit demisaison jackets for gentlemen.

I work in Washington and live in its suburbs, and I can tell you definitively that shops weren't shuttered, malls were packed with the usual throng of holiday shoppers, and except for the occasional historical re-enactor, I didn't see anyone walking around in tricorns or silk stockings.

One note about Dervish -- obviously Maryam is far more proficient in HTML than I am -- she has nifty markings next to blog names denoting a religion. She has put a crescent next to Ideofact. Though the proper symbol should be either a cross (I remain nominally Christian) or, better still, a question mark, I won't complain.

Posted by Ideofact at August 31, 2003 11:47 PM

Bill, I always imagined your symbol would be the circle with a dot at the center, the emblem of the Sufi. The dot represents God, the circle represents the Sufi path. But I think it's symbolic of all intellectual inquiry, I toyed with working that theme onto UNMEDIA but my geek instincts took over instead :)

Posted by: Aziz at September 1, 2003 09:39 AM

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH woops (blushing). Sorry that was very presumptious of me. Will fix post haste.

Posted by: Maryam at September 1, 2003 10:18 AM

The idea that I'd be a Sufi is flattering, Aziz, and frankly, Maryam, if I've written on Islam in such a way that you'd put me among the faithful, then again, I take it as a compliment.

I'm not particularly fond of Hegel's philosophy, but there is one thing that the man believed to be the homeliest philosopher of all time (and there's quite a bit of competition) said that I think makes some sense. After he had written his Phenomenology, some of his students begged him to form his own religious sect. Hegel was appalled, and reputedly said, "I was born a Lutheran, and intend to die one." (The whole tale may be apocryphal.)

Though I'm not a Lutheran, I'm more or less with Hegel.

Posted by: Bill at September 2, 2003 12:15 AM

Personally I've always felt an affinity for W.C. Fields reading the Bible on his deathbed 'looking for a loophole': my life feels like that sometime :o/

Posted by: Maryam at September 2, 2003 10:16 AM