Friday, September 17, 2010

(belated) link round-up for 9/16/10

However, compared to all other global religions, Buddhism tends to be the one least associated with warfare, even while the Sri Lankan state, constitutionally bound to “foster and protect Buddhism,” was conducting a brutally efficient elimination campaign against Tamil insurgency, with the enthusiastic support of its Buddhist community. In fact, “Buddhist warfare” was not unknown to Western observers prior to this--the first works on Japan’s militant monks were published already in the late nineteenth century. The myth of “nonviolent Buddhism” persisted, however, owing much to the pacifist leanings of Western Buddhist converts who tended to “see no evil” in their adopted religion, as well as to the widespread tendency to apply “positive Orientalist” stereotypes to Tibet, often seen as a peaceful Shangri-La of sorts in the apologetic writings of Western supporters of its charismatic Fourteenth Dalai Lama.  

FiveBooks on understanding Pakistan
Cases of corruption and extra-regional assaults have certainly not deflated the mystique of political Islam given its powerful components such as resistance, sacrifice, utopianism, shared brotherhood and austerity. Following the dissolution of the communist regimes, it has been asserting its own space and here its various manifestations are falling beyond the orbit of simplistic and monolith definitions. Many Muslims, especially from amongst the modernists, have readily internalised simplistic and solely negative explanation of Political Islam, which, accordingly, becomes the bane of all the problems across the Muslim countries and communities. 

 Zawahri urges Turks and Pakistanis to rise up against their governments due to Afghanistan involvement
Zawahri, believed to be hiding in mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border, spoke in a 44-minute recording which appeared to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
"The primary concern of the ruling class in the government and army of Pakistan is filling their domestic and foreign bank accounts with dollars, and as far as they are concerned, Pakistan and its people can go to hell," he said.

The African-American Migration that Made America
Yet no immigrant group had as profound an impact on the U.S. in the hundred years following the Civil War as the millions of African Americans who fled to the North and West -- first in a trickle and swelling, in the years after World War I, to a roaring river of humanity. By the time this movement abated in the 1970s, more than half the South's black population had resettled outside the old Confederacy.
And, as Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson makes clear in her new, improbably page-turning account of that Great Migration, the black citizens who crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to reach their new homes bore many striking similarities to those who crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

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