July 31, 2005

Sunday Reading

Both the numbers of ocean fish and numbers of species are declining, with large, predatory fish facing collapse.

A blogger gets credit for drawing attention to missing mom, setting off a public discussion among the media about why missing white women get such a disproportionate amount of attention. If the media can't rise above competing with the back of a milk carton, Latoyia Figueroa certainly deserves as much attention as Natalee Holloway or Laci Peterson.

When the New York GOP's donors are favoring Eliot Spitzer, it doesn't seem to say much for the chances of his potential opponent. OTOH, maybe they just really, really don't want him to be attorney general anymore.

A US muslim cleric group issues a fatwa against terrorism. As admirable as that is, they shouldn't expect American commentators to stop wondering aloud why there aren't any Muslims condemning terrorism. In other news, clerics in the formerly moderate nation of Indonesia have issued a fatwa forbidding liberal Islam and inter-religious marriages.

Update: Al-Muhajabah pointed out in the comments that a statement in that last paragraph makes it sound as if I don't think any Muslim condemnation of terrorism would be good enough. I just meant that I didn't think any condemnation would be noticed by the powers that be, more clarification here.

Al-Muhajabah asks her readers to help Niger's famine victims, marvels about what a big deal police shooting is in the UK when it hardly gets a mention here and brings us a discussion among Pakistani clerics of what Islam says about killing innocents and jihad.

Atrios: Our poor press corps is complaining about Iraq fatigue, which I guess means they haven't spent much time with soldiers caught by stop-loss orders. Following the grand tradition of his Republican contemporaries, many of whom have quite lost their marbles, Rick Santorum thinks that feminists are a huge threat, but alas, he can only remember the name of one of them. Lastly, we get a link to Arianna Huffington's ever-expanding Judith Miller file, and let me tell you, my salacious gossip quota is now filled up for the day.

The Sideshow highlights the independent Diebold audit, which really is worse than you thought. Then go here and read from the explanation of the need for investigative reporting down at least as far as the latest instance of liberal 'conspiracy theorists' being proved right over media skeptics.

Talk Left: Not only did the military JAG lawyers warn the Bush administration against their detainee policies, but the FBI echoed those concerns. Looks like Rove didn't get tipped off by reporters according to a Time magazine article just out. Though the economy continues to take hits, the private prison industry is booming.

Pandagon: Creepy Sen. Santorum on the evils of birth control. Looks like the institutionalized punishment of mothers is usually what conservatives have in mind when they talk about doing things for the children, though it wouldn't be a bad idea for them to actually give a damn about doing things for the children.

BBC: Iran will restart their nuclear program, including the processing of raw uranium. Monsoons that have caused 900 deaths in Mumbai due to flooding and mudslides have returned. This article reviews the background of the Niger crisis explores whether or not western foreign policy might be partly to blame, while this one notes that Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Mali are also facing a possible food shortage. In the DR Congo, children identified as witches face being thrown out of their homes or subjected to brutal 'exorcisms.' The government of Thailand is planning to give educational toys and gifts to every new baby because they say they need a generation of bright and engaged people to compete with the rest of the world. China picks its first crop of female astronaut trainees. Field observers get a chance to watch speciation in action. Scientists doing reasearch on genetically modified organisms are asking people to be cautious about overreacting to the discovery of a 'superweed' which seems to have picked up herbicide resistance from a GM crop grown nearby. A European Space Agency probe has discovered an ice lake on Mars, which makes it more likely that human explorers will be able to get easy access to water.

Posted by natasha at July 31, 2005 07:10 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

As admirable as that is, they shouldn't expect American commentators to stop wondering aloud why there aren't any Muslims condemning terrorism.

Could you share more on what you think Muslims ought to be doing or saying than what we already are? I see Muslims as individuals writing letters to the editor and posting to their websites. I see Muslims in communities (such as through their mosques) releasing statements and inviting people to events that they host. I see leaders releasing statements, putting ads in newspapers and on the television. I do my own small best to make sure that these get broader attention. I'm really at a loss to know what else I'm supposed to do.

Posted by: Al-Muhajabah at August 1, 2005 01:26 PM

That was actually intended as snark. I've noted before here that no matter how many loud denunciations are made by the Muslim community, our talking heads continue to ask for apologies and denunciations as if no such statements existed. It's all the same to them, it seems to me, no matter how many Muslims oppose terrorism. Maybe it will take mass street protests to get their attention, I don't know, but it's a slam on their density and not your position.

My apologies for being unclear, I'll amend the entry to make it obvious that I was being sarcastic.

Posted by: natasha at August 1, 2005 03:36 PM

Thanks for clarifying! I think I'm so used to seeing that complaint that I may see it even where it isn't intended. And I really appreciate your new post on this. :-) :-) :-)

Posted by: Al-Muhajabah at August 1, 2005 05:30 PM