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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Links - 25th January 2015

We must stop blaming ourselves for Islamist terror - "Jihadists kill because that is what they do. It does not matter if you are a French cartoonist or a Yezidi child, or an aid worker or journalist: if you are not one of the chosen few, you are fair game. Provocation is merely an excuse used by bullies to justify their actions, while ensuring the world bows to their will. In October last year, imprisoned Syrian journalist Mazen Darwish managed to smuggle a note from his Damascus cell to the free speech charity English PEN. Darwish had been singled out for an award by PEN and Salman Rushdie, and he took the opportunity to address Rushdie directly, writing: “[W]e committed an unforgivable sin in the Arab world when we responded with indifference to the fatwas and calls for your death. So indifferent were we that we colluded – even if just by our silent complicity – in excluding and eliminating difference, while acting as if the whole thing had nothing to do with us. And so here we are today, paying the high, bloodsoaked price of that collusion, and finding ourselves the main victims of the obscurantist ideology now infiltrating our homes and our cities. What a great shame that it has taken us all of this bloodshed to arrive at the belief that we are the ones who will pay the price for preventing those with whom we disagree from expressing their views – and that we will pay with our lives and our futures. What a shame this much blood has had to be spilled for us to realise, finally, that we are digging our own graves when we allow thought to be crushed by accusations of unbelief, calling people infidels, and when we allow opinion to be countered with violence.”"

No, I will NOT wrap all the presents. Why are women still responsible for the holiday joy? | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free |
Jessica Valenti's amazing achievement: getting the vast majority of Guardian commenters to bash her

About Swee Heng - "Our Mission Statement: To be the Leading Halal Bakery in Singapore"
Presumably non-Halal cakes are superior to Halal ones

Actual female zombie attacks McDonald's drive-thru window, unleashes living dead rampage for Chicken McNuggets

Yes, you can pay someone to ship glitter to your enemies

Charlie Hebdo's most famous cover shows what makes the magazine so important - "it would do a profound disservice to Charlie Hebdo and its leading cartoonists, many of whom were murdered in the attack, to describe it as an anti-Islam or anti-religion magazine, or to portray it as having provoked just for the sake of provocation. The cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were making a substantial point with their cartoons. That point is perfectly summed up, albeit in ways more subtle than first meet the eye, in one of its most famous covers, from November 2011. The title reads "Love is stronger than hate""

Mortality and Treatment Patterns Among Patients Hospitalized With Acute Cardiovascular Conditions During Dates of National Cardiology Meetings - "High-risk patients with heart failure and cardiac arrest hospitalized in teaching hospitals had lower 30-day mortality when admitted during dates of national cardiology meetings. High-risk patients with AMI admitted to teaching hospitals during meetings were less likely to receive PCI, without any mortality effect."

BDSM Versus the DSM - "Asking your partner to tie you to the bedpost, telling them to slap you hard in the throes of lovemaking, dressing like a woman if you are a man, admitting a fetish for feet: Just a few years ago, any of these acts could be used against you in family court. This was the case until 2010, when the American Psychiatric Association announced that it would be changing the diagnostic codes for BDSM, fetishism, and transvestic fetishism (a variant of cross-dressing) in the next edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published in 2013. The new definitions marked a distinction between behavior—for example, playing rough—and actual pathology. Consenting adults were no longer deemed mentally ill for choosing sexual behavior outside the mainstream... In family court, an interest in BDSM was used as justification to remove people’s children from their custody."

#FullMcIntosh - Social Justice Warriors - "Jonathan McIntosh: #JeNeSuisPasCharlie because I don't use my free speech to mock and deride the most marginalized and vulnerable in society like Charlie Hebdo"
Comment: "Same guy who celebrated christopher hitchens death, and lamented Osama bin Laden death."

Sunny Hundal on Twitter: ""Dear white liberal apologists"" - "I understand your need to want to come to the rescue of the 'poor brown Muslim' because they are the 'marginalized minorities in the bad evil West', but you are not helping anyone by saying that freedom of speech should stop where the hurt feelings of Muslims start.
You had your Christian enlightenment, with the help of the minorities within your religion...
It is now our time to do this with our (ex)religion -Islam... It is our time to bring about enlightenment. It is our time to progress. Please don't get in our way
Kindest regards,
A minority person in Islam"

Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre: We moderate Muslims must act - "Shaaz Mahboob, Trustee of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, is calling for reform within Islam. He told me: "Muslims must start actually thinking about their religion in order to counter the narrative of extremist ideology. As things stand, Muslims are not supposed to even consider the morality of Islamic scripture - it just isn't questioned. How can you begin to change things when you're not even allowed to question them?... without the same level of effort from the religious communities directly affected by extremism, we are treating the symptoms and not the cause of an ideology that is permeating our society. Unless meaningful, practical action is taken to wrest control of their faith from murderers, people will likely continue to die"

Why it's wrong to blame western policies for the Paris attacks - "It is quite appalling to see how some western media figures have responded to the Paris attacks... others like Robert Fisk have blamed historic western policies for the murders... This is the kind of apologism that facilitates radical Islam. This strategy only results in appeasement of puritanical radical Islamic ideology and only offers one solution: ‘the West is evil’. If past grievances and atrocities are considered to be the reasons behind these attacks then by this logic... Bangladeshis would carry out attacks against Pakistan since they once ruthlessly persecuted Bengalis, killing more than a million of them and raping 200,000 of their women. If Fisk were right, Vietnam and Japan would not be some of the most pro-American countries in the world today. However the most pathetic and dismal response that came from the western press was from those who castigated Charlie Hebdo and blamed the cartoonists for provoking Muslims. If one follows this flawed narrative then all liberal Muslims struggling against radical Islam on a daily basis in their own Muslim majority countries should only have themselves to blame whenever they are brutally attacked by extremist clerics and their zealot followers... Even a cursory examination of blasphemy killings in Pakistan can tell us that the real reasons why the cartoonists were attacked were not because of Western foreign policy, the Iraq War, or colonialism, but because of an ideology that has always been fanatical and dogmatic in nature and that is responsible for the misery of thousands of people, particularly in Pakistan... It’s the same ideology which sent Salman Rushdie into hiding for a decade, and that burnt 37 people to death after a mob set fire to a hotel building in Turkey. It’s the same ideology that killed prominent Pakistani politician Salman Taseer after he questioned the concept of the country’s brutal blasphemy laws... many sects of Islam also consider even questioning or doubting the origins of Mohammed as blasphemous. British Historian Tom Holland had his academic documentary on the origins of Islam cancelled by Channel 4 after he and his family received death threats and over 1200 complaints were received by Ofcom and Channel 4. To blame this ideology on recent western policies is nothing short of the murder of history. Blasphemy and critical evaluation of Mohammed’s character has always been forbidden and a highly sensitive issue among Muslims in the history of Islam. It is not a new issue. In 1929, Ilm-ud-din, a Muslim living in British India, took offence at a book published about Prophet Mohammed. He killed the publisher and was sentenced to death by the Indian Penal Code. Consequently he was considered a martyr; 200,000 people attended his funeral and he was praised by the ideological founder of Pakistan Allama Iqbal. Even today in Pakistan, Ilm-ud-din is used as an inspiration for those who would kill in the name of Islam."

On not understanding "Charlie:" Why many smart people are getting it wrong - "I think many, though perhaps not all, of Charlie Hebdo's biggest controversies are cases of what I call Onion Fail. You know, like that one time when Iranian state media quoted an article from The Onion that said Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama, or that other time when North Korean media quoted a story that said Kim Jong-Un Named the Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012. Quoting a satirical magazine is risky business, especially if the magazine is in another language or requires some understanding or the politics or culture of another country. Satire is about mockery. So, clearly, instead of actually praising Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Un, they are actually ridiculing them. Simply reporting a word-for-word translation of these farcical articles is going to get the intended message exactly backwards. You'd think the part about Kim Jong-Un having abs to rival Matthew McConaughey’s would have been a tip off, but alas, one of the truly boundless qualities of the universe is the ability to kiss ass and the willingness to receive it. Some people counter that even in a satirical magazine, they still know racism when they see it. But, not if the authors are actually saying the opposite of what you think they are saying... 'I don't think Americans in particular appreciate how intellectually free French culture is. Their thought is an open space populated by fewer sacred cows. One of the levels of freedom they have that we Americans often don't is a strong respect for others' privacy and a tolerance of intellectual independence. They seem to lack the overwhelmingly moralizing, missionary tone that suffocates American political debate just when it starts to get interesting. Also, you are allowed to defend your opinions without placating others. I feel they do a better job with respectful disagreement. As US culture polarizes and inequality increases here, Americans risk becoming a people ever less capable of this'"
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