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Jan 24, 2013 subaltern commented on A Portrait of Muhammad as a Young Man.
@3 Actually, both folk and orthodox Islam is replete with many viivd descriptions of Mohammad, from his physical characteristics to his dress, habits etc. There are thousands of extremely descriptive biographies of Mohammad, produced largely by Muslims. The censure against Salman Rushdie was not the least because of writing about Muhammad as a subject.

The issue against depicting Muhammad as an image, from a theological point of view, comes from prohibition against idolatry - with images being the percursor of an idol. Muslim cultures are against visual depiction of any of their prophets, including Jesus. This has been my understanding of the issue, coming from an Islamic subsumed culture. (I would consider myself an atheist, but identify culturally as a Muslim).

Another point of disagreement Paul, imagery from early period of Muhammad's life portrays him as extremely vulnerable. This was the 'persecution phase' where he was harassed by everyone from local kids to neighbors. Both vulnerability and humility are important aspects of his character that feature extensively in his hagiographies.

Lesley Hazleton is great and writes with great nuance and I wish her work reached more audiences, especially more Muslims. I can't wait to dig into this work.

Jan 24, 2013 subaltern commented on Conservatives Uncover Obama's Plot to Destroy America's Military By Allowing Women to Fight for America.
It is a sad day for progressive values when the big win is gender equality in fighting morally bankrupt wars.
Nov 20, 2012 subaltern commented on Two of the Three Fronts in the Current Israeli/Palestinian War Are Virtual.
@20 and 21 - The argument that Hamas firing rockets into Israeli territory somehow justifies Israel's indiscriminate and disproportional attack on Gazan civillians ignores the facts about the conflict. The very point of my post was to establish that the Hamas rockets were not unprovoked.. In this particular escalation Israeli attacks have been killing Gazan civilians since Novemeber 8th, days before the Hamas rockets. To say that Israel is just retaliating, and Hamas just decided to rain down rockets unprovoked is not supported by the facts.
Also, your logic would indicate that it would be fair for Pakistan and Yemen to attack America to retaliate against the drone attacks being carried out in their sovereign territory. Why this awful double standard? How come the only country to use nuclear weapon, and to initiate the morally bankrupt war in Iraq gets a free pass? Is it because your white skin is worth more than my brown skin?
Nov 20, 2012 subaltern commented on Why Is the Murdoch Owned Press So Consistently Anti-Semitic?.
Hey, 19: "let's see what the US would do if 800+ missles were launched into it from another country, all targeting civilian areas."
Of course, it is easy to ignore that more often than not, it is the US raining down bombs, and drones in other countries. Case in point, Afghanistan, the totally unwarranted war in Iraq, the drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan. So, only US and Israel hold the right to retaliation? Of course, human life is a little less human when it is in far-off terrorist sounding places.
Nov 19, 2012 subaltern commented on Two of the Three Fronts in the Current Israeli/Palestinian War Are Virtual.
#11 Actually, no. It is tricky to trace the escalation of current conflict in Gaza, but facts absolutely do not support your claim. A 12/13 year Palestinian boy was killed on Nov 8th while playing soccer. The three Israeli fatalities did not occur until Nov 15th, while there already had been several Palestine civilian fatalities between Nov 8th and Nov 15th. It is intellectually dishonest to ignore events surrounding the rocket fires from Hamas.
Emily Hauser has a diligently cited timeline on the Atlantic that you can consult for verification. Also, the current death toll for Palestinians stands at 100, as reported by Reuters, including 24 children and 10 women. Out of these 53 were civilians. Israeli death toll still stands at, 3, though one must not make light of the trauma suffered by Israeli pets:…
Nov 19, 2012 subaltern commented on Is It Time to Put the Art in Storage in Israel?.
Is it time for Americans to be complacent about their tax dollars funding war crimes? Appears to be so.
Jun 20, 2012 subaltern commented on The Internet Is Hosting a Really Good Discussion About Music Piracy Right Now.
I have lived until very recently in a third world country with absolutely no means of purchasing legal music. Itunes, pandora, spotify do not offer their services where I come from. All the music that I have been exposed to has been accessed illegally one way or the other. However, in my two years of living in Seattle I have spent a few thousand dollars (two?) on live shows and merch. My 'stealing' has not cost the musicians anything, yet my exposure to their music has certainly contributed to the music industry. This is by no means a justification of illegally downloading music but a suggestion that there is more nuance to the debate than the downloading=stealing camp would suggest.

If music is a cultural good, it is also a public good. This does not necessarily imply that music is a free public good. We as a society need to be invested in the production and projection of music. What is abundantly clear is that the current model of selling/buying music is not working either for the consumers or for the musicians. Internet is a great equalizer of our times. While it (theoretically) provides people regardless of their wealth and nationality equal access to information and data, it also provides musicians the ability to come up with more creative approaches of distributing their music.

Kickstarter is a fascinating model; if it has worked on a smaller scale for all manners of products there is no reason to believe that it can not work for the music industry. A model like that can enable musicians to raise money from their audiences before the production process starts. This 'investment' amount can include production, equipment costs as well as a 'fair' profit for the musicians. What exactly is a 'fair' profit is automatically negotiated between the musicians and their audition. The kickstarter model also enables consumers to pay both according to their ability as well as the value they hold for the musician. Once the musician releases their product, it can be a part of the global public culture without depriving the musician of a livelihood, or depriving audiences from the access. Having a direct relationship with the audiences does cut out the recording studios and the distributors who are the real parasites in the current system (as opposed to those who illegally download music). Most people who listen to pirated stuff do so because they care about that music.

I am not suggesting that this is the only model that is out there. I am not even sure that this model would work. But the point remains that there are alternative models that need to be explored. It would be a sad day indeed when music can also be a luxury that only the rich of the first world can afford.
Jun 20, 2012 subaltern joined My Stranger Face