Tuesday, September 18, 2001  [!]

Back to Manila thangs. I'm toying with the new permanent archive link image thingie. If you don't have a permanent news item (included in many themes), you gotta first invoke it in the News Items section of the Advanced Prefs. Then and only then does the Prefs Appearance section for making your own custom image kick in. One step down, one to go.

Oops. I think I just discovered one bit of text not to put into the little permanent news item area. Offending text: <!> Note to self: Before writing email to kind people who host the site, try launching a different browser. iCab to the rescue. Bonus: I just found out that iCab supports drag-n-drop text inside the text boxes. Cool!

More terrorist aftermath websurfing: Lots of interesting reading and perspectives by following these links to Central Asia news sites.

Amazing WTC "after" satellite imagery (with a comparison of "before") [via Lance Scoble] Good InfoGraphic: This Reuters Photo takes the "after" picture and labels the various buildings.

Guardian UK: Blaming the Victim And no, this is not just about the Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson approach, but also addresses the "oh, what bad, bad foreign policy the US has had" slant as well.

(Late morning, Pacific Time) I'm listening to a live press conference with a spokesperson in the white house. Someone just asked a question— terrorism exists in Northern Ireland, Colombia, other places in the world. Is this part of what the President is going after when he says all terrorism? Answer: This is widesweeping. All terrorism. Throughout the world. and a quote, 'make no mistake.' Yow. I think I've just heard our government having bitten off more than we can chew.

Also part of the briefing, the spokesperson said that the IRS would be expiditing the process of granting tax-exempt status to relief organizations that come into existence in order to provide relief in these disasters. And (I hope I didn't hear this wrong) that the IRS was putting together a publication on disaster relief in which it would outline how to give to charitable relief organizations as well as how to set up a charitable relief organization. Like I'm gonna read an IRS publication to learn how to give money to the Red Cross.

NY TImes: The Big Terrible Thomas L. Friedman is in Jordan, and covers things from that perspective. [via New Media Musings]Read this. This article has Jordan's King Abdullah's perspective on what the terrorists want:

On Sunday I interviewed Jordan's King Abdullah, one of America's real friends. He had three wise messages: We can win if you Americans don't forget who you are. "....The terrorists actually want to provoke attacks on Arabs or Muslims in the U.S., because if the American communities start going after each other, if we see America fragment, then you destroy that special thing that America stands for. That's what the terrorists want — they want to be able to turn to your friends here and say, `Look, this is all a myth.'"

Islam 101
George W. Bush visited a mosque and spoke about respecting Islam. [transcript]
Respecting Muslim custom, Bush, his White House aides and Secret Service agents removed their shoes before stepping on the elaborate carpets in the mosque.....

At one point, the president quoted a translated verse from the Koran, saying, ``In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil.''

Yusuf Saleem of the Muslim American Society thanked Bush and said American Muslims were horrified by last week's attacks.

``We are also shocked and dismayed by the events, and dismayed especially that it should be associated with a religion that has only peace as its ultimate aim,'' Saleem said, adding, ``We are a part of the fabric of America.''

Yahoo's news page has an excellent set of links related to Islam.

Here's a highlight from belief.net: Islam's Bad Rap: Most Americans Know Little About Islam

Q: How do these people, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, fit into the larger picture of Islam?

A: Let me ask, how do Christian fundamentalists who blow up clinics fit into a Christian context? How does someone like Baruch Goldstein, who shot Muslim worshippers inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994? How did he fit into the Jewish context? The analogies are many: when we have David Koresh, whose group died at Waco, or when Mr. [Yitzhak] Rabin was assassinated, Americans frame it as extremism. The media talk about Christian cults, for instance. This [recent attack] is not a legitimate act by a resistance movement.

Beliefnet: Save a Life, Save All Humanity--Take a Life, Kill All Humanity What the Islamic scriptures really say about jihad and violence.
According to 'Abdur-Rashid, there are three levels of jihad:

Personal Jihad: The most excellent jihad is that of the soul. This jihad, called the Jihadun-Nafs, is the intimate struggle to purify the soul of satanic influence--both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one's spirit of sin. This is the most important level of jihad.

Verbal Jihad: On another occasion, the Prophet said, "The most excellent jihad is the speaking of truth in the face of a tyrant." He encouraged raising one's voice in the name of Allah on behalf of justice.

Physical Jihad: This is combat waged in defense of Muslims against oppression and transgression by the enemies of Allah, Islam and Muslims. We are commanded by Allah to lead peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone, but also to defend ourselves against oppression by "fighting against those who fight against us." This "jihad with the hand" is the aspect of jihad that has been so profoundly misunderstood in today's world.

Uh oh. The Economist: A bitter harvest.

The notion of jihad, or holy war, had almost ceased to exist in the Muslim world after the tenth century until it was revived, with American encouragement, to fire an international pan-Islamic movement after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Looking back on previous recommendations of airline safety that were rejected by airlines and conservatives: Gore commission on Airline Safety [via Geeks]