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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] facism gaining ground in US

From: Frank T. Pohlmann
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] facism gaining ground in US
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 18:30:45 +0100 (BST)

>    The nice thing about blogging is that since they
> often
> have little pretense of balance, I can factor that
> in.

Well....personally (and I make money out of
journalism...), that doesnt quite jive with my sense
of ethics, since I would expect you to pick apart,
e.g. over-generalizations. Even if I admit that I am
trying to redress the balance, that doesnt mean I am
immune against argument & well-presented evidence.

>   Here's an interesting Saudi Arabian one:

Argh. Cant read all of them! Mercy! :)

> > expertise in the history of Islam is the most
> useless,
> > irrelevant expertise one could possibly hope for.
> That
> > was in 1991-1994.
>   If you can digest that ivory tower link I sent
> you, it
> would argue that it was the fault of "Studies"
> types. :-)

Well, may I add that your "guru" has a few "studies"
degrees himself? But seriously, I dug around in his
website and I am afraid I am not quite as impressed as
you are. Edward Said was an early example of a media
don, similar to Stephen Hawking in physics and certain
biologists like Steven Jones or Medawar. He does not
represent Middle Eastern Studies, even though he was
highly critical of scholars of early Islamic history.

Not that it mattered that much in the end.

As to your argument with regard to my situation at the
beginning of the 1990s, I believe that I was at the
wrong end of a trend in Asian and African studies
(just a general term here, not referring to Said) to
make everything relevant to the present. Inquiries
into the reception of the Qur'an among 10th century
Arabic Christians, to cite a highly controversial
topic, didnt find any support. The politics of water
in Jordan, however, did.
>   They felt Islam wasn't "important".

I am afraid I have to get some dinner and then I have
to write 2000 words. Will write again in 4-5 hours.


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