Sunday, January 11, 2009

Live to Tell

Interesting if true department. A British tabloid is reporting that prime exemplar of Western values Madonna is now being targeted for terror by groups unhappy over the current battles in Gaza. Madonna has two strikes against her: first, while she once sang a song called "Like a Virgin," she's made no bones about her lack of virginity and has been marketing her sexuality in musical form for over a quarter century. Second, she's one of the more prominent dabblers in Kabbalah, a Jewish sect. Some of the fanatics apparently think the proper method for dealing with the international superstar is to give her the Daniel Pearl treatment.

Not surprisingly, this is plenty upsetting. From the article:

Last week The People uncovered the hatred aimed at Madonna when we infiltrated secret fundamentalist Muslim websites. Our investigator posed as a British extremist to gain entry to the password-protected sites.

On the notorious Islambase site, a Palestinian terror leader says: "If I meet these whores I will have the honor to be the first one to cut the head off Madonna if they will keep spreading their satanic culture against Islam."

The vile threat was made by Muhammad Abdel-Al, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees - a fringe group of Palestinian militia who have launched thousands of rocket attacks on Israel.

Another misspelt rant on Islambase says: "What can be done to stop kuffars like maddona supporting the killing in Gaza?"

On another site called Ummah a fanatic naming himself Hammed10 writes: "Madonna is a disgrace.

"She insults us with her slutty behaviour and then she insults us further with her love of the Jewish kuffar non-Muslims.

"Some brothers were talking about what to do about this the other day on another site. I don't want to say too much on here. But you can pm me send a private message."

I don't spend a lot of time on Islamist chat sites, and this one appears to be some sort of (Don't Show Your) Facebook for chatty terrorists, so I can't independently verify the reportage here. But it rings true. It's simply not a good idea to get on the bad side of people who have shown the propensity to make good on threats. Reading between the lines, it's hard to tell if the grievance is with Maddona's 25+ years of flouting conventional norms, her dabbling in Kabbalah or that she's apparently not especially interested in dating "the brothers." In any event, there's reason for Madonna to worry. Because she has been able to parlay her gifts and her impressive ambition into international fame and fortune, she'll be able to protect herself and her children, most likely. That's the good news.

Still, I suspect that the lesson here is not that fanatic Muslim extremists are still about. Of course they are. What I think is more noteworthy is that Madonna and her pals in the entertainment industry are typically a lot more exercised with Rick Warren's involvement in the Obama inaugural than with the existential threat that radical Islam poses to the West and a way of life that allows entertainers like Madonna to operate in freedom. I'm a Catholic boy and I always watched with interest and amusement how Madonna, a not so good Catholic girl, spent a large portion of her career using the symbols of the Church in ways that were, well, blasphemous. I know that it always bothered people like William Donohue and other devout Catholics. That said, never once did it ever occur to anyone that she should be beheaded. There was a time when the Church would take a dim view of blasphemy and it usually didn't go very well for the blasphemer. Thankfully, we've left that behind. Madonna can dangle her crucifixes and her marital aids and anything else she wants and it doesn't threaten my faith. Perhaps this news might give some of the more silly celebrities pause and make them realize where the real threat lies. But I'm not holding my breath.

(H/T: Captain Ed)


Brad Carlson said...

It's similar to when the Prop 8 opponents protested outside Mormon and Catholic churches but never Mosques. All the lefties and gay activists can say it's because of religious tolerance but we know the real reason.

my name is Amanda said...

Terrorism is a threat, and Christian intolerance has a history of leading to violence as well. Intolerance is a threat in any form; what begins as vocal rumblings can easily lead to violence (remember Matthew Shepherd?).

"Nonviolent" intolerance is just a smaller bite of the same cookie.

It's not about choosing one thing to fight against; it's about populations adopting "acceptance of other's beliefs," as a mindset. Cultural pluralism.

Mark Heuring said...

"Nonviolent" intolerance is just a smaller bite of the same cookie.

I s'pose, but I'd suggest that Rick Warren is no real threat to anything that the celebrities hold dear.

What I'm suggesting, I guess, is what Brad says more explicitly: the guys who killed Matthew Shepard were haters but they didn't represent anything real except their own bigotry and stupidity, especially their stupidity. They surely weren't Christians in any real sense. These other guys are a much different matter.

And I'd add that Rick Warren is a heck of a lot more culturally pluralistic than the Islamic sorts who would behead Madonna. Your mileage may vary.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I'm all for tolerance, but I think definitions have gotten fuzzy these past few years. Tolerance simply means that I'll put up with people I don't agree with. It doesn't mean that I'm nice or that I endorse their behavior. So what exactly is "'Nonviolent' intolerance"? Because I get the sense that for some people it means vocally disagreeing with someone else. That isn't intolerance; that's disagreement.

As for Christian violence being compared to Muslim violence, that's just nonsense. One cannot (or should not) excuse the extraordinary violence perpetrated explicitly in the name of Islam by pointing to isolated or historical cases of Christian violence. In the modern world Islam stands alone in this regard and we need to have the intellectual honesty to name their problem.

Gino said...

the messages left by the muslims on those sites is surprisingly unlike similar things i've read at Democrat Underground directed toward famous republicans and religious leaders.

basically, it might just be a bunch losers with an empty ideaology blowing smoke out their asses to feel better about themselves.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty much in agreement with everything you posted here tonight, and am grateful for the reminder that I live in such a tolerant society. I am really glad that Obama is having Warren give the invocation at his inauguration, and I think it reflects well on both men and our polity that they are friends, and that they are willing to find common ground on which to stand. I would also add that I do not in any way endorse the militancy and blatantly anti-religious rhetoric of many on the left, especially those who support gay rights. And I believe that such activities will only serve to alienate moderates and set the gay rights movement back a great deal. But I also have to note that Brad is wrong to state that Prop 8 opponents protested outside Mormon and Catholic churches but never Mosques because of some left wing bias toward Catholics and Mormons. I didn't here about protests outside of Synagogues either. Protests were directed against those groups because San Francisco Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer reached out to Mormons and formed a critical alliance that was instrumental in funding, supporting and passing Prop 8. Not everything is a conspiracy.


Mark Heuring said...

Not everything is a conspiracy.

Indeed. In fact, very few things are conspiracies. I'll let Brad speak for himself on this, but just a guess -- you might be misreading what he's saying. Here's what I got from it; "the real reason" it's easier to protest Catholics and Mormons is precisely because neither Catholics nor Mormons will behead you if you get crosswise with them. The point is about moral vanity and intellectual cowardice, which are both abundant in Hollywood. And not just Hollywood, either.

Gino said...

i think its more intellectual vanity and moral cowardice.

notice: too they're too scared to protest outside the AME church,too.

Brad Carlson said...

"the real reason" it's easier to protest Catholics and Mormons is precisely because neither Catholics nor Mormons will behead you if you get crosswise with them.


my name is Amanda said...

@ W.B. Picklesworth - Nonviolent intolerance is voting to infringe upon the rights of others based on your own personal religious beliefs.

People were protesting outside the churches that were making the headlines and speaking out about Prop 8. I don't recall any mosques doing so, or that we have as significant an Islam population, as to affect the vote, as we do with the Christian population.

Brad Carlson said...

Nonviolent intolerance is voting to infringe upon the rights of others based on your own personal religious beliefs.

And therein lies the flaw in most arguments against Prop 8. Marriage IS NOT A RIGHT!! Never has been.

Bike Bubba said...

I probably shouldn't find humor in these things, but when I saw the quote of the guy saying he'd be proud to be the "first" to decapitate the singer, I had to wonder "you can do it more than once? Are they planning on krazy-gluing it back on to repeat the 'fun'?"

OK, yes, this does say these people are barbarians. But we knew that already.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Nonviolent intolerance is voting to infringe upon the rights of others based on your own personal religious beliefs.

What about someone's 'non-religious' beliefs? Because that happens all the time. The point that I would make is that we all need to respect the Constitution and the process which it sets forth for governance. That is what protects us from the whims of others, religious or not. The problem at this stage, is that courts have been disregarding the legislative process and imposing their will on society. And so we loop right back to why Prop 8 was an issue in the first place. A California court was intolerant of precedent and the will of the electorate.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Amanda, I should clarify that I am not in favor of the government passing lots of religious morality laws, even if I might agree with them. More than anything I want the government to modestly go about its appropriate business. I know that's very general, but it's a lost art that we'd do well to rediscover.

Brad Carlson said...

Victor Davis Hanson also weighed in on the left's gutlessness to protest supporters of Prop 8. Well, those who weren't Mormons and Catholics that is.