Friday, March 27, 2009

March 30 - April 3 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Eco-Islam: Darn it, if we didn’t have bad luck yesterday spoiling what might have been the best program in our Inside Islam series to date. Everything was lined up: a dynamite topic with universal appeal plus three internationally prominent hard-hitters for guests. The first blow came when we got word just before noon that world famous Sufi theologian Sayyed Hossein Nasr, the lead for the show, had been taken ill and would not able to join us; the second blow came when Fazlun Khalid, who had kindly agreed to step up to the plate, got caught in a thunderstorm that knocked out his telephone lines and left us with nothing but his cell phone which crackled and gulped and threatened to drop out through most of the show.

But we soldiered on anyway, because the content was so illuminating. Who knew that the Koran was green? Who knew that the Prophet Mohammed was an environmental visionary? I learned so much from this show that it gave me a whole new appreciation for the Muslim world.

Here’s what’s coming up on Here on Earth this week:

Monday: Football Under Cover: Get a pre-view of this film we’ve chosen from the Inside Islam Film Festival. It features an all female Iranian soccer team (the women play in their headscarves) matched for the first time against a German team.

Tuesday: The Russians Are Coming! If you’re a fan of 19th century Russian novels, and perhaps haven’t cracked the likes of War and Peace in a while, here’s a chance to catch up. We’ll be talking with a husband and wife team whose 21st century translations of the Russian classics are garnering a whole new readership. Guests: Richard Peavar and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Wednesday: Engaging the Muslim World: Can we win the war in Afghanistan? How do we engage with Iran and Pakistan? Western society, according to celebrated blogger Juan Cole, is suffering from Islam Anxiety – a hangover from the Bush years and a product of fearmongering and misinformation. He reveals howwe can repair the damage of the last eight years and forge a path of peace and prosperity with the Middle East. Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, author of Engaging the Muslim World.

Thursday: We’re working on a program about a Warsaw village band.

Friday: Cheese Wars: Taylor Pipes film compares Wisconsin's cheese heritage with its artisan roots to California’s mass production while also debunking the myth of the California "Happy Cow." Filmed in 2008 in locations all around Wisconsin, it premiers at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 4.

Have a great weekend, Everybody!

And thanks for listening,



Mr. Forward said...

It appears that nearly everyone agrees the fighting has ended in Fadhil. We read that the Baghdad neighbourhood has calmed after the clashes following the arrest of Adel Mashhadani. Though some ask whether this tests the loyalty of the Awakening, it is worth mentioning that Mashhadani is the only leader accused of serious crimes. Most are reporting relative calm. That is everyone but Juan Cole, who writes today that the crisis has entered its third day and that hunger and disease are spreading.

Cole quotes Azzaman newspaper, which proudly states that its editor in chief is ex-Baathist Saad Al Bazzaz."

"During the campaign, Barack Obama made it clear that a genocide or a massacre of civlians would not prevent him from abandoning Iraq. I thought he was just talking, but now I worry he really thinks the Iraqi people aren't worth a thought. What have Obama's advisers been giving him to read? Maybe they have been handing him the absurd writings of Juan Cole, who has no respect for Iraqis. It might explain Obama's position.

Cole demonstrates his superficial knowledge of Iraq again when he writes today that the Baathists might be on their way back, and the Shiite-led government of Iraq is "uninterested in liberating Iraqi women.""

"In December 2006, Prof. Cole posted his top ten myths about Iraq. Most of the myths are just semantic arguments or strawmen, but following were emphatic:
1. Myth number one is that the United States "can still win" in Iraq
This was just six months before the insurgency came in from the cold and AQ in Iraq's dominance of Anbar ended.

5. The second Lancet study showing 600,000 excess deaths from political and criminal violence since the US invasion is somehow flawed.
This was less than a month before the Lancet study was exposed as a farce."

"Hitchens called Cole "10th rate...a sordid apologist for Islamist terrorism, and for Islamist terrorist regimes", "a complete dim bulb", "the embodiment of the mediocre", "writes as if he's drunk, because [he has] to", "[knowing] no history"."

"I'm not the only one who finds something askance in Cole's recent acrobatics in defense of Iran's tyranny. Leftist and Cole fan, Jeff Weintraub sees it too. Calling Cole's response "hysterical", he says:

"Cole's recent apologetics for the actions and statements of the Iranian regime have become increasingly strained, misleading, irresponsible, and difficult to take seriously. I am afraid that Hitchens's criticisms of Cole in this piece are entirely deserved. And that's not all. What Cole has been saying about the Iranian nuclear program can most charitably be described as disingenuous. (E.g., "The IAEA found no smoking gun."--which denies a claim no one has made, and which Cole is smart enough to realize is entirely irrelevant to the real issues.) Perhaps Cole's concern about a possible US attack on Iran--which could, indeed, lead to disastrous consequences--is pushing him over the edge, but that's no excuse. He should get a grip on himself--and on reality."

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