Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"Baghdad is not Kandahar"

You think so?
The Iraqi Ministry of Education has banned theatre and music classes in Baghdad's Fine Arts Institute, and ordered the removal of statues showcased at the entrance of the institute without explaining the move, but some of the students mull religious reasons as the real motive.

“Prohibiting theatre and music in the institute for its so called “violation” of religion is only an individual opinion touted by some people hailing from religious parties, but it is contradictory to the opinion of most religious clerics and scholars,” said Dhaya al-Shakarchi, a writer and a politicians, told Alarabiya.net.

Students have also fears that the ban will extend to include other arts such as photography, directing, sculpting, and drawing.


Yesterday there was a story in the Western press about Iraq's dying classical musical tradition which had survived the last five centuries.

Last week the authorities shut down all casinos, bars, nightclubs, social clubs that serve alcohol, something "even Saddam did not dare to do," to borrow the words of an angry Iraqi writer. A few intellectuals and writers staged a poorly covered protest a few days ago.

I guess the government of the Islamic Republic of Iraq must be really worried about all those drunk Iraqis who flock out of bars and social clubs every night to blow up innocents in churches and markets, or those radical musicians and actors with their instruments of mass destruction.

51 comments:

RhusLancia said...

That seems very silly to ban theatre & music at a Fine Arts institute. Any school really, but especially there.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

On the other hand, it's good the religious parties are overreaching. Iraqis will reject them in short(er) order. Like this guy said:

"The zealously and banning of freedoms won't be long in Iraq. There are Iraqis that reject such moves," al-Shakarchi said, adding, "the voices of intellectuals, and freedom and creativity lovers will be louder to reject all of this."


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Marcus said...

Silly?

I guess that's one way of describing it when religous fundamentalists are in the process of throwing a society a few hundred years back in time and establish an autocratic "regime of the mullahs" veiled as a democracy.

Just a few years down the line with this development and women will have acid thrown in their faces for walking outside without covering up to look like a walking bedsheat.

RhusLancia said...

The mullahs will fail, Marxus.

Oh how I wish Iraq had a two year election cycle.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

It's a mess alright. And despite RhuslanCIA's rosy predictions, it will take a lot longer for the fundamentalists to lose power than we think.

just another serf said...

Look around you. It's not just in Iraq. People all over the world are watching their basic freedoms slip away.

Marcus said...

Rhus, Bruno, I am not at all optimistic. Google "veils at Cairo university" and look at the pictures in those articles. Every decade more and more women cover up as the Muslim Brotherhood fundies get stronger and stronger. Iran is the main driver of Shia fundamentalism and Saudi Arabia of the sunni kind and I see no indication they are becoming more enlightened. Afghanistan looks like it will fall back to, perhaps not Talibanistan but some sort of fundamentalist regime. Radical political islam has been making strides for quite a while now.

As for Iraq it looks like the religous parties are well and truly entrenched. Plus, they're the ones with the guns, and guns rulez. Right?

I am not optimistic.

Bruno said...

[marcus] "As for Iraq it looks like the religous parties are well and truly entrenched. Plus, they're the ones with the guns, and guns rulez. Right?"

Right.

What's going to happen is that all the secular, modern minded Iraqis will either have to emigrate or STFU ... or get themselves killed.

Thanks to the invasion and the sweeping away of any secular forces, the fundies are now on top and seem set to stay there. I would like to imagine that modernization would soften such a religious-minded outlook, but then I look at America, possibly the most modern nation on Earth, and see that their religious crazies are not only still around, but flourishing.

Mister Ghost said...

Welcome to Shiastan, Amigos. )))

My Shiite likes to party all the time, party all the time...

"... There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

Ayatollah Khomeini

Mister Ghost said...

Sadly, the self-loathing Afrikaner is making more sense than Rhus.

I would differ slightly and say, by the end of his regime, Saddam was Islamo-semisecular, but he certainly seems to have started off as a vicious secularist and a proponent of Iraqi women's rights.

It will be very difficult with the Sunni secular class gone and the mitigating influence of the genocided Christians (who made up as I recall, 30 percent of the Iraqi professional class before the invasion) absent to change things in Iraq.

It's been what, four elections and the Shia fundamentalist parties have carried the majority of the vote in all the elections?

The Theocrats have been overreaching since the invasion and still the Iraqi populace votes for them. It's like the Democratic Party and the Black vote. )))

Jeffrey said...

Hey, I see a few familiar names here today.

Did anyone see the National Geographic 2-hour show, aired a few nights ago, called "Inside the Iraq War"?

It wasn't bad. It covered a lot of ground. It was great to see the interviews with Capt. Neil Prakash, a tanker who wrote on his blog, Armor Geddon, about being in Fallujah II. I linked to his blog quite a bit and mentioned him in this review of Iraq for 2004

Here's a little more about Prakash. Born in India, raised in Syracuse, NY.

Anyway, hello to all.

*

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

"What is happening brings us back to religious campaigns launched by Saddam during the 1990s."

Mmmm...yes, and also the campaign by Al-Sadr back when he was first rising to power. You know, the guy that Bruno thinks we should have supported more.

[Zeyad] ...those radical musicians and actors with their instruments of mass destruction.

Those tubas could suck up a person whole...

Hi Jeffrey! Hope all is well with you.

Bruno - I'll check out your replies in the other section later...although I did notice PeteS's link to your picture. :)

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Al-Sadr back when he was first rising to power. You know, the guy that Bruno thinks we should have supported more. "

Quotes.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "I would like to imagine that modernization would soften such a religious-minded outlook, but then I look at America, possibly the most modern nation on Earth, and see that their religious crazies are not only still around, but flourishing."

And do you have any theory for why modernisation is not an antidote to religion?

Bruno said...

Because we are animals at heart and belief transcends empirical knowledge.

RhusLancia said...

Hi Jeffrey & MG! MG, I can be elf-loathing if that helps ;) I just don't think the fundie current will endure as rulers of Iraq. Right now they are thriving because they have pre-existing organizations established, the inertia of the regional religion, and can rule by conviction or threat. But, without checking the numbers to be sure, haven't the fundie parties lost electoral share in each election? And didn't the secular bloc take a bare plurality of votes last time? Of course, the forming of the gov't and the influence of the mullahs tilted things back in their favor this time, but I think the secular trend will eventually prevail.

Petes said...

[petes]: "And do you have any theory for why modernisation is not an antidote to religion?"
[bruno]: "Because we are animals at heart and belief transcends empirical knowledge."


With all due respect, of the many answers to this question I have have come across, I've never seen one quite so stupid and illogical.

Petes said...

I wonder if this is belief or empirical knowledge:

Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded Ireland's debt rating to the same category as that of Libya and South Africa

:-)

Bruno said...

[petes]: "And do you have any theory for why modernisation is not an antidote to religion?"
[bruno]: "Because we are animals at heart and belief transcends empirical knowledge."
[petes] : "With all due respect, of the many answers to this question I have have come across, I've never seen one quite so stupid and illogical."

Indeed! Why don't you ask your invisible friend for the answers, then? I hear that your ilk are prone to hearing voices telling them what to do.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "And didn't the secular bloc take a bare plurality of votes last time?"

Rhusty doesn't realise that he's making a case for the popularity of the Baath party.

RhusLancia said...

I am? No, I'm not aware. The Baath party's popularity was self imposed, fan boi.

Petes said...

[bruno] "Indeed! Why don't you ask your invisible friend for the answers, then? I hear that your ilk are prone to hearing voices telling them what to do."

Cop out.

Bruno said...

[bruno] "Indeed! Why don't you ask your invisible friend for the answers, then? I hear that your ilk are prone to hearing voices telling them what to do."
[petes] Cop out.

Au contraire, I'm noting that your position is illogical, and, dare I say it, stupid.

I also see that essentially, you know this by not attempting to defend that position.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "And didn't the secular bloc take a bare plurality of votes last time?"
[bruno] Rhusty doesn't realise that he's making a case for the popularity of the Baath party.
[rhus] I am? No, I'm not aware. The Baath party's popularity was self imposed, fan boi.

Maybe you ought to research who threw its weight behind "the secular bloc" in the last elections before getting all excited.

Petes said...

[petes]: "And do you have any theory for why modernisation is not an antidote to religion?"
[bruno]: "Because we are animals at heart and belief transcends empirical knowledge."
[petes]: "With all due respect, of the many answers to this question I have have come across, I've never seen one quite so stupid and illogical."
[bruno] "Indeed! Why don't you ask your invisible friend for the answers, then? I hear that your ilk are prone to hearing voices telling them what to do."
[petes]: "Cop out."
[bruno]: "Au contraire, I'm noting that your position is illogical, and, dare I say it, stupid. I also see that essentially, you know this by not attempting to defend that position."

Perhaps you'd like to review my contributions above and tell me which one you think is a statement of position on the question I asked?

RhusLancia said...

Saddam's fan boi: "Maybe you ought to research who threw its weight behind "the secular bloc" in the last elections before getting all excited."

I'm gonna go with "Iraqis".

RhusLancia said...

Hamster to Pull an All Nighter

Jeffrey said...

Hey, Lynnette, nice to see you here. It's been pretty cold so far this winter, hasn't it? My family in the Midwest keeps me updated. Even here in NYC I'm wearing thermal underwear already while riding the bike.

RhusLancia, hope you and your family are doing fine. I don't think it's that cold where you are and so I hope you and boys are on your cycles on the weekends.

Later.

*

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hey, Jeffrey. Cold? Yes, and it sounds like it's going to get colder here. Right now we seem to be experiencing a good old fashioned blizzard. Not the kind of weather where you want to be out in the open country anyway. Or riding a bike. But I have discovered the joy of fleece, so at the moment am toasty warm. :)

Bruno said...

[petes] "Perhaps you'd like to review my contributions above and tell me which one you think is a statement of position on the question I asked?"

Your position that my response to you is a cop out.

No it is not.

My response to you highlights that however illogical and stupid you may feel my initial answer was, you yourself hold even more stupid and illogical positions.

And I'm not surprised that you don't want to defend those positions.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

*mutters to self*

Probably just tired of beating his head against a brick wall.

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "Right now we seem to be experiencing a good old fashioned blizzard."

Minneapolis has just been on the news in both the UK and Ireland. Showing pictures of the roof of the Metrodome collapsing under snow. They say you've had 50cm of snow, and that temps with windchill are about to drop to -30C. That's crazy. We've just had temps of -10C and a couple of inches of snow and the country has ground to a complete halt. I've just managed to get home for the first time in two weeks -- been stranded in Dublin in the snow. No wonder Minnesotans have to eat each other from time to time :-)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

No wonder Minnesotans have to eat each other from time to time :-)

lol! Mmmm...frozen peoplesicles.

Yeah, Saturday wasn't fit for man or beast. I hibernated all day. Right now driving through streets is like driving through tunnels that are open to the sky, the snow is piled so high in places. I hate it when it gets that high, because it's hard to see if it's clear to pull into streets. A couple of inches and you're stranded? Light weight. :)

As long as you're not out in the cold for that long it's tolerable. You just have to dress for it. This is the season for "hat hair". What's kind of scary is when you start getting used to it and zero (Fahrenheit) starts to feel warm. lol!

We made the international news? Wow! Usually everyone ignores us. But that picture was pretty spectacular. It looked like something out of one of those disaster films. I never could figure out what moron decided to build an inflatable dome with a teflon roof in Minnesota. Hello? It does snow here. Quite a bit at times too. *sigh* I know it has deflated before and they fix it. But still, unless the thing came with a lifetime guarantee it's just more expense.

That was a pretty big storm though. It seems to be affecting a large portion of the country.

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: A couple of inches and you're stranded? Light weight. :)

Ahh ... but ... before last winter we hadn't seen any snow at all for years. Snow ploughs are a bit of a rarity; we buy enough salt and grit to handle ten days of light overnight frost annually -- after a week its mostly gone; smaller roads aren't treated at all; the daytime temperatures are almost never below freezing, and there's a daily partial thaw.

So, after a couple of days all the snow on the local roads has turned to an inch of glassy ice. If there's any hills involved it doesn't matter if you're within a mile of a perfectly clear road -- you just can't drive. Oh, and snow chains are completely unheard of here. Even walking is pretty dangerous.

I never thought I'd be so thankful for our damp, boring winter days -- but they've restored normality this week. However, the freeze is coming back at the weekend, so I think I'll be abandoning ship again until after Christmas.

Petes said...

[bruno]: And I'm not surprised that you don't want to defend those positions

I didn't state any positions, despite your desperate flailings above. Obviously I won't be defending some figment of your imagination.

Bruno said...

Oh, so you don't have an invisible friend after all? My bad.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[PeteS] So, after a couple of days all the snow on the local roads has turned to an inch of glassy ice.

Oh, I feel for you there. That stuff is horrible to deal with, walking or driving. They salt the heck out of the roads here and eventually with the friction of the cars they melt off. I also have a car with anti-lock brakes and traction control. I love it. It at least gives you a chance of stopping. Although even with those features you still need to drive slow if the conditions warrant. Unfortunately, you get people with four wheel drive who think they can drive on anything at a high speed. Sorry, that's not the case.

I take your point, though, you aren't prepared like we are. The same happens down south here when that type of weather hits.

I have a feeling that we will be in for more of this extreme type of weather as global climate change occurs.

Petes said...

"I also have a car with anti-lock brakes and traction control. I love it."

Ahh, is Detroit finally moving beyond the Model T? I don't think there's been a car sold here for 10 or 15 years that doesn't have ABS. Doesn't help on the black ice though. I nearly got stranded on a flat turning cicle with just a slight camber. The new car flashed up a really useful skidding car icon on the dash. Eh, thanks auto designer, I think the telltale sign is THE CAR ISN'T FRICKIN' GOIN' ANYWHERE :-)

"I take your point, though, you aren't prepared like we are. The same happens down south here when that type of weather hits."

Stands to reason -- your south is pretty much where our weather comes from. :)

Unfortunately, our latitude still goes against us. Many days after temperatures rose to 6 or 7 degrees, the ice still isn't all melted. The sun just doesn't get high enough to hit the narrow country lanes down my way.

The good news is the evenings are getting longer as of yesterday. (Yes, the days are still getting shorter for another week until the solstice, but there's an asymmetry in the sunrise/sunset time due to a feature of the earth's orbit -- not many people know that ;-)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Ahh, is Detroit finally moving beyond the Model T? I don't think there's been a car sold here for 10 or 15 years that doesn't have ABS.

They've been around for a while, but for some reason not everyone likes them. This is the second car I have had with them, and I love them. I think part of the problem is that you have to get used to a different way of applying the brakes. Instead of pumping them, with anti-lock brakes you have to maintain continuous pressure, and some people find it difficult to change. I am not one of them. :)

Meanwhile, back in the TC they are digging out 2 feet of snow from the TCF Bank stadium field and shoveling out seating to prepare for an outdoor football game on Monday night...bwahahahahaha! Something we haven't seen in Minnesota in years. This should be interesting. :D :D :D Frostbite anyone?

Petes said...

In my wilder youth I got the knack of massaging the brake pedal to get me out of skids. But I'm not naive enough to think that an ABS won't do it a hundred times better than I ever could.

Btw, those football fans sound like frozen peopsicles in the making. :)

Petes said...

How about this ... "lighthousicles" in Ohio! I thought the pictures were pretty amazing. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Btw, those football fans sound like frozen peopsicles in the making. :)

lol! You got that right.

At the moment they're concerned because the TCF Stadium doesn't have the seating capacity of the Metrodome. Somehow I don't think not finding enough seats for the people who show up will be an issue. At least, not if people are smart. :)

"lighthousicles" in Ohio!

Ice can be a beautiful thing...to look at. :)

Petes said...

"Ice can be a beautiful thing...to look at."

... from a distance. A great distance. :)

Petes said...

Yearrrgghhh! It's back! 10cm of snow forecast for the next 24 hrs along with freezing temps and gale force winds. Northern Ireland's already had it's heaviest snow for decades last night -- 30-60cm in places. Time for me to emigrate back to Dublin for another week or two (if I haven't left it too late). Oh, and this time we're really out of salt -- 4 days supply left in the country. Bah! :(

Solomon2 said...

"when art became another branch of religion it took away an individual’s ability to think and form an independent opinion.” - Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa

Why can't the minister's order be ignored or challenged?

RhusLancia said...

Hey Jeffrey & all! We were close to the 80s til a few days ago, then we got a light rain and this morning... fog. 'Weather' is such a novelty here that it's pretty neato. But, now's the time we get the payoff for enduring the Baghdad-esque summers we have. Happy Holidays!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Today is Sunday, Dec. 19 and I've been hearing about the weather, and more that may be coming, over in the UK. Yup, you may be right Pete, it's time to find a nice warm spot to stay for a while. They're predicting 2 to 4 inches of snow here on Monday (makes that night football game even more interesting. ;)) It also sounds like they're in for a large hit out west coming in on the "Pineapple Express".

Fog, one of my favorite types of weather. Happy Holidays to you too Rhus! :)

Petes said...

It's snowing in Damascus!

Anonymous said...

don't mention the name of Kandahar!!
Kandahar is the homeland of heroic people while you arabs are the most coward people in the World. 4 million jew are fucking your mother and sisters left and right and you sons of whores are happy that you have cars, bars and etc. Kandahar has slaughtered so much invanders as your whole 200 million shemake arab nation. you sons of whores do not mention your osama bin laden and your ekhwani muslimn but the name of afghans and kandahars. fuck your all arabs

Anita said...

Forgive me if I say something stupid here because I haven’t been following what is happening in Iraq that closely for a while due to ill health. I am asking a question not stating a fact:

Isn’t this Iraq’s chance now of getting both democracy and freedom? Ok it won’t happen overnight but you now have elections and internet and many more avenues to get information, don’t you? Won’t people eventually be educated enough to make a better choice when they vote?

Zeyad said...

Anita,

Democracy in Iraq won't happen overnight or maybe not ever, but what we have now is really only a mirage of democracy. Iraqis did vote for a new government (a secular one), but it seems everyone has told us to shove it, and we ended up with the same corrupt thieves, and with the blessings of the US and Iran.

Iraq's political class and their hordes of militias tramples over the US-written Iraqi consitution that they signed in to law EVERY single day, but no one ever points that out.

Education has never been worse in the country's history and illiteracy rates are rising not falling, especially among women.