Ennahda group at the Tunisian Constituent Assembly (Flickr)
According to Reuters, Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, which platforms itself as an advocate of democratic Islamism, has lost political support as a result of what the news publication describes as an “ambiguous policy” towards radical Muslim groups within the nation. With two recent assassinations of prominent Tunisian “secular politicians” this past year, and the subsequent galvanization and union of various “secular” parties within the country (the article sites trade unions and other civil society groups), many political scientists are predicting losses for Ennahda in the upcoming elections. Ennahda has historically acted as a sort of buffer party between proponents of a more radical form of constitutional Islamism and those hoping for a more “secular” regime.
Miss Universe 2011, Dayana Mendoza of Nicaragua
Muslim clerics in Indonesia, the Associated Press writes, are calling for the government to cancel the country’s gig hosting the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. The AP quotes Amidan Shaberah, the chairman of the Indonesia Ulema Council, as stating in a news conference that the organization rejects the pageant “because exposing their bodies in a contest is against Islamic teachings.”
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office
Mother Jones has an interesting article this week on novelist Joel Rosenberg’s latest work Damascus Countdown. The book reckons the present day conflict in Syria was foretold by the Damascus prophecy in Isaiah 17. The “Damascus burden” prophecy, as Rosenberg claims one member of Congress explained to him, “posits that a war in the Middle East will leave Syria’s capital city in ruins—and bring the world one step closer to Armageddon.” Rosenberg’s books have long been popular amongst the likes of Texas governor Rick Perry and Austin Representative Louie Gohmert, the latter having actually given a copy to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in 2011
Yoel Weisshaus modeling for American Apparel, courtesy of American Apparel
Coinciding with Rosh Hashanah, American Apparel has released images of a Hasidic Jewish man modeling the company’s simplistic attire. According to Daily Mail, the model, Yoel Weisshaus of Brooklyn, can be “seen sporting a skull cap, payos, and a flowing beard, while modeling some pieces of menswear.” Weisshaus, who resides in Williamsburg, is definitely a OHJ—Original Hipster Jew.
AFA radio host Sandy Rios, the Huffington Post reports, claimed that a homosexual takeover of the United States military will “undermine” any potential strike against Syria. This statement has come with somewhat of a surprise from Sandy Rios, who has in the “past placed blame on TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress” for wide-spread acceptance of homosexuality,” in addition to suggesting that “that Hilary Clinton’s support of same-sex marriage could mean she’s secretly been a lesbian this whole time.”
If the current media maelstrom surrounding the happenings in Syria have your head spinning, CNN this week provided a nice, reductionist, religionzed explanation for all of the turmoil. The cause of the current tumultuous state? Religion, of course.
Stephen Colbert and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan
In somewhat lighter news (?), NYC Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared on The Stephen Colbert show this past week. As the Washington Post reports, the two glossed over Pope Francis’s recent remarks on homosexuality. Playing off of traditional “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” rhetoric, Dolan stated: “Yeah but we can never judge persons. We can judge actions. But we can’t judge persons. Jesus told us that. So he’s repeating the timeless teaching of the bible that we can never judge another human being. I can’t judge Bernie Madoff. I don’t like what he did. I can judge the actions. But I couldn’t judge his heart or soul.” I think it’s time to move past hating the sin, and start loving it.
– Christopher Smith, Student Assistant, The Revealer