June 2006 Archives

Wafa Sultan vs the Bulletproof Religion

Named as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People for 2006, Wafa Sultan made some terrific waves in a Feb 2006 public debate on Al-Jazeera. She fought a good fight against the equally well-versed Dr Ibrahim Khouly, and some of her questions were thought provoking:

"The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

True, true. It begs the question why Muslims feel they need to resort to such methods. Violence begets violence, its a vicious cycle.

The usual response from the Muslim world was to be anticipated: she's a heretic, an infidel, etc, etc, etc. The usual response from the West was to be anticipated: she's a modern woman, enlightened, etc, etc, etc. Both would be equally wrong: she's disavowed Islam, so while she is a heretic, that condemnation means very little to a woman protected by the laws of the United States -- she can say anything she wants, and if action is taken against her, it will only serve to prove her conviction and martyr her in the eyes of the West. As for her being a hero for the West? If anyone cared to read the full transcript of her debate with Dr Ibrahim, she was pretty well beaten.

Download the FULL transcript of the debate.

The rhetoric was impressive, but Dr Ibrahim easily fended her off with the often used, and very effective defense: "the actions of one Muslim should not be projected on Islam" (as the actions of one Christian (or Jew) should not be projected on Christianity). She really had no answer (though she tried) for that, and for me, that cost her the debate.

When did Astro get a gambling license?

Quite a number of "SMS competitions" have come close to crossing the line before, but the latest from Astro has definitely gone into the "no-no land" of gambling.

It works like this: Astro puts an item up for "bidding", in this case, an item from Sony in "celebration" of its 10th Anniversary. Through a minimum of 2 SMS, each costing RM1, contestants answer 1 question correctly, then enter their bid. The idea is to bid a low figure for the item, if your bid happens to be the lowest, unique bid, then you win the item, presumably for free (not at the price you bid).

Seems like a RM2 one-armed bandit to me, absolutely no different from its more famous cousins in the casinos. Now, when did Astro get a license to open a gambling parlour?

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2006 is the previous archive.

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