An accountant was at a convention in Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got to the first one, he asked the madame, “Is this a union house?”
“No, I’m sorry, it isn’t.”
“Well, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?”
“The house gets $80 and the girls get $20.”
Mightily offended at such unfair dealings, the man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable shop.
His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the madame said, “Why yes, this is a union house.”
“And if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?”
“The girls get $80 and the house gets $20.”
“That’s more like it!” the man said. He looked around the room and pointed to a stunningly attractive redhead. “I’d like her for the night.”
“I’m sure you would, sir,” said the madame, gesturing to a fat fifty-year-old woman in the corner, “but Ethel here has seniority.”
Anglican Bishop Graham Tomlin, heads the diocese of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which has many of London’s most expensive residential properties, is undoubtedly a man of brains and good works.
On May 26, 2018, however, he published in The Times an article, entitled, “If this rich vein of wisdom disappears, a part of us dies”. The “rich vein of wisdom” to which he refers is the long tradition of Christian thought and experience in the region where the religion first appeared, and was handed down through centuries of Islamic rule. For the most part, the article is a well-argued defence of Christians in the Middle East:
The systematic persecution of Christians in the Middle East is a serious threat. The number of Christians in Middle Eastern countries has fallen from about 20 per cent to 4 per cent in recent years and regular bomb attacks on Christians in Egypt are becoming part of a deadly pattern.
So far so good. Tomlin’s heart is surely in the right place. But immediately after that he goes on:
Even in Jerusalem, new regulations are threatening to tax the Christian churches out of existence, prompting the recent unprecedented closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as an act of protest. The buildings from ancient times will still stand, but if Christians are hounded out of the Middle East, driven to emigrate by radical Islam, or, in the case of many Palestinian Christians, by the lack of opportunities to thrive in Israel, this rich source of wisdom will disappear just like the ruins of Palmyra.
The “ruins of Palmyra” is, of course, a reference to the widespread destruction of the famous Syrian site, one of the wonders of the ancient world, by Islamic State in 2015 and again in 2017. Referring to this desecration, however vaguely, implies some sort of moral contiguity between ISIS and Israel.
via Bishop Graham Tomlin and the Demonization of Israel
“How is Iraq?” we asked a friend just back from Baghdad the other day.
“Bad, very bad, my friend,” was the reply. “Even my cook has an opinion about how to form the new government.”
The Iraqi friend is a prominent banker who spent his youth in exile in the West and returned home only after the fall of Saddam Hussein. However, he seems to have retained the traditional mindset of many of us Middle Easterners, who see ourselves as victims of despotism and yet fear any system in which even the cook has an opinion.
To be fair to our friend, the current political scene in Baghdad isn’t exactly reassuring. The general election failed to produce an outright majority and the formation of a new government could take weeks if not months.
We are used to seeing governments formed and reshuffled in hours, if not minutes, with narrow elite of “usual suspects” playing musical chairs in and out of ministerial posts. In that system, any hitch in forming a government could be dealt with by having some ministers shot, as did Saddam Hussein in his heyday, or exiled into ambassadorial posts with a golden handshake.
via Iraq: The Banker, the Mullah, the Militia and the Cook
For any of us in the Western world, the image of our children is best expressed by the Peanuts kids.
That’s why I thought of them when trying to deal with expressing my horror at seeing Hamas using their kids to be killed in order to push their political goal of destroying Israel.
Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973
Few American Islamists receive the kind of glowing media coverage given to Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, who is sometimes described as the “most influential person” shaping the Obama Administration’s Middle East message.
Mogahed, who claims to have played an important role in the drafting of President Obama’s historic Cairo speech to the Muslim world, was appointed to serve on the President’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council released its final recommendations last month.
When European Islamist Tariq Ramadan kicked off his U.S. tour last week at Cooper Union in New York City, Mogahed and two journalists joined him for a panel discussion. Her remarks emphasized polling data showing that Muslim Americans are more affluent and socially content than their European counterparts.
Muslim Americans are no more likely to support political violence than the rest of the nation, Mogahed said. The minority of Muslim Americans who do support attacks on civilians base this position on politics, not religion.
It’s a message that Mogahed attempts to drive home at every opportunity.
via Dalia Mogahed: A Muslim George Gallup or Islamist Ideologue?