April 21, 2010

Okay, I hear you. Some crazy Iranian cleric decided to issue a fatwa proclaiming that earthquakes are caused by female promiscuity.

It's a little difficult 'not' to hear you since you're screaming from the rooftops. Did I say screaming? I meant screaming into a mic attached to a state-of-the-art speaker system. Point is: the deaf person a hundred miles away heard you too. Heard you over at British Broadcasting, and The Washington Post, the Australian-news-chappies, The Sydney Morning Herald, Fox News, CBS News, Haaretz, Yahoo News, Al Arabiya News Channel, The Guardian, MSN News, The Telegraph (dot co dot uk), The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and more.

It's true I laughed with you the first time I heard this news. Then I lumped crazy-cleric in the same category as the Egyptian chappie (you know the one that decided that breast-feeding men would cure the (non)mehram problem) and decided to move on with my life. But you didn't. You went on-and-on about it until the joke just wasn't haha-worthy any more. Given that what this chappie said about as stupid as things said by many, many chappies around the world some of whom have a distinctly religious bent. So why universally (literally) pick on this one guy?

Because he is Iranian?

Or because he is Muslim?

Or both?

Think about it. Because I certainly do.


Anonymous said...

...but seriously?

Deepak Iyer said...

I can't speak for your friends who forwarded you the link, but I am an equal opportunity offender. I think that is the *only* way to not have double-standards or be a hypocrite [;)]

Religion Gone Crazy said...

Thanks for the link and happy you like our site!

May sanity be with you.


Xeb said...

Anon: Yes, yes. But look at it in the larger context please. Power politics dictate who one can make fun of, and when anther agency says the same damn thing its ignored. I resent that. So even though I think Iranian cleric is a misogynistic nutcase, I dislike the reason the entire world is picking on him.

D: I'm an equal opportunity defender :P (ha-ha)

RGM: I loved your site. Very amusing! Thanks for stopping by.

Ps: How'd you find out I linked you? Happy coincidence or is there a way to figure these things out that I don't know about?

Deepak Iyer said...

It is called a track-back :

I don't know if you were being serious, but if everyone were an equal opportunity defender, it wouldn't give people any incentive to be intolerant, which leads to an unstable equilibrium.

Xeb said...

Cool. Does blogger support a track-back mechanism?

And I agree about the unstable equilibrium re: tolerance, that said, there is that saying 'pick on someone your own size'. Power politics annoy me, primarily because they're so thinly disguised but people can't see through them anyway. It's okay to support a cause (however misguided), but its not okay to be deluded into supporting said-cause.

Or so think I. Feel free to disagree! :P

Anonymous said...

dunno, xeb, think ur being a bit defensive here; after all, mullahs are the butt of a lot of iranian jokes as well ( a long and venerable tradition-or so I'm told by my Iranian friends). Same here, no?

and, as far as i know, the christian crazies who said 9/11 was a result of all that decadence/homosexuality etc also got a lot of coverage.

of course, ur right, there might in all likelihood be a political motive to the emphasis on the story. but i'm not so sure if that's *always* the case (was the prez's holocaust 'conference', for example, something that was simply whipped up by the western media?)

Xeb said...

I'm not saying always. I'm just saying, this-is-an-instance-of. Or in my professional opinion anyway! :P

Anonymous said...

maybe ur right, xeb, it's just that i hear so much of this: they-re-against us-because -we're muslim nonsense that i tend to be a bit sceptical.

In any case, in this particular case this person's drubbing is a good thing: such comments are not just funny (or sad) but also potentially harmful in the sense that they continue to reinforce a ridiculous notion of purity (and its link with social decline).

dunno xeb, i looked at the guardian link u posted and thought: why don't they actually focus on building better houses or providing relief to those affected-instead of connecting it to their own narrow views of morality? In fact, the whole thing's pathetic, rather than funny (to me, anyway).

Xeb said...

You know, you're right. It's a silly thing to say, it's a silly way to say it, the implications are potentially very damaging for already-skewed gender relations, yes they should work on rebuilding and rehabilitation instead of moral jabberwockying.

I've accepted all of that. And I applaud your wisdom in laughing at this particular guy.

I'm just wondering why the bullies picked on this particular idiot. Because in my (potentially uninformed) view of human politics, there's always a reason for making fun of the scrawny kid. Maybe because he's smarter than you are. Or maybe because you end up looking very smart when you point out how genuinely stupid he is. Or maybe because other people will see how mean you are and desist in picking a fight with you later. Or maybe you're just conditioned to be mean.

Either way, I like picking out the reasons. This does not mean I agree with what is being said. Or even that I think one shouldn't make fun of this guy. I'm just trying to look (a little) beyond the surface.

Feel free to ignore me if it makes you uncomfortable :)

Deepak Iyer said...

"Power politics annoy me, primarily because they're so thinly disguised but people can't see through them anyway. It's okay to support a cause (however misguided), but its not okay to be deluded into supporting said-cause."

Power politics, I agree. But the best I can do is be consistent in my views. Because making sure every bit of information only gets the traction it "deserves" is not practical.

Here's a question :
How do you know that you are truly supporting a cause and not deluded into supporting it?
I could just argue that you are being delusional no matter what. Na ?

Anonymous said...

xeb, can i get back to you on that?got to run.

Deepak Iyer said...

"Or maybe because you end up looking very smart when you point out how genuinely stupid he is."

Nailed it, I think. And I would expect nothing less of you. (You are into the study of people or something like that, aren't you ?)

Xeb said...

or something like that :P

Religion Gone Crazy said...

To answer your question: We have a plugin in our Wordpress site that pulls all the websites linking to us. Your site was one of them.

Thanks again!


Deepak Iyer said...

So what exactly is it that you work on ?
Or maybe I haven't been paying attention to what you've been saying for over a year [:P]

Xeb said...

My academic background spans (political) anthropology.

And I work for a consultancy that works towards capacity-building of different actors within Pakistan's development sector.

And no, you really haven't been paying attention Deepak. That be one of your many failings! :P

Deepak Iyer said...

Now I remember why I didn't pay any attention. I didn't understand a bit of that.

P.S. : I'll make it easier. All I need to know about your work is this : Do you write software ? Yes or no ?
That's all anyone needs to know about someone else's work.

Xeb said...


Deepak Iyer said...

Aww .. that's okay. There are a few people who are like you.

Anonymous said...

okay, sorry for the late response, xeb.

In general I think ur right..those reasons do sound plausible. But in this case I'm not sure just how "scrawny" this kid is! :-)

I mean, I'd still take the side of the underdog-but in this case I don't think it's him or, rather, not mainly him; instead, it seems that he's another person with power to pronounce on the morals of other people (read:women). So, I have little sympathy for someone who relates the suffering and death of people to moral decadence of women.

the bullying aspect is interesting. I'm not doubting that there is a lot of it about but , just to put my sceptical hat on, I think muslims are increasingly falling into this victim syndrome (everyone and everything is against "us").

And for once I'd like to hear about the bullying that some muslims do (to minorities, women, the poor).

I really doubt in this case that there's any consideration of being smarter than this idiot. I mean, being smarter than an idiot doesn't make one smart.

sorry, I don't understand the other analogies you make: the media thinks that being "mean" it will stave off attacks by who, exactly? the mullahs?

Xeb said...

Okay, I'm bored. So you win. Congratulations, you were right all along! :P

Anonymous said...

err..yeah, okay xeb :-)

wasn't about winning..that was just my two cents.

Anyway, ur right, this is Zzzz...

best wishes,