Michael Totten in Iraq
Just got back from the Apple store...

Monty Python's The Life Of Brian and the Freedom of Expression

Victor Davis Hanson has a great article about two world's colliding: the world of religious piety, and the Pythonesque Life of Brian world where nothing is sacred.

There is a great asymmetry in all this. Western notions of cultural tolerance and liberality are the benchmarks Muslims employ to condemn insensitive European journalism. Meanwhile, the Islamic Middle East is given a pass, as anti-Semitic state-run papers there daily portray Jews grotesquely.

Read the article here.

For the Life of Brian go here.

And who said

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Callimachus has the answer here.

I have reread Irshad Manji's "The Trouble with Islam Today" I highly recommend this book. The author explores faith issues with at times a painful honesty. Let us be honest about ourselves, she seems to be saying. Here is her website.

And here is a quote from her book which I found particularly apt:

There's more than one way to exploit Islam. Some Muslims exploit it as a sword, and they're goons for doing so. But just as many- or more- Muslims exploit Islam as a shield, and that's destructive too. It protects Muslims from self inquiry and non- Muslims from guilt. (p 190)

And now I am going to dust off my copy of the Life of Brian, and watch it again. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that intolerance of any kind stifles intellectual growth, and that laughter is in fact the best medicine. After all, I know that God has a sense of humor!