Friday, January 12, 2007

“Take My Burqa — Please!”

Remember Material Man’s list from the rabbi? It proposed a different focus of attention by each of our major monotheistic religions. Islam, he said, was mainly concerned with preserving unity.

Here’s a good example, done with humor.

School Days

Though I wonder: does the primacy of unity allow much room for poking fun at oneself? For example, I know a bunch of “nun jokes” - most of them told to me by nuns over the years. Franciscans are especially noted for their flair.

Are there “imam jokes”? “Allah jokes”? There sure are more Jewish jokes - told by Jews - than there are Jews still extant.

When unity is our primary motivation does that allow room for inside jokes that touch on our religious identity?


Hat tip: Steen of Snaphanen.

[Nothing further]

11 comments:

MikeZ said...

Somewhere online is a photo of a man taking a vacation photo of his family. The family is 4 to 5 women, in head-to-toe burkahs.

Adaneshju said...

There's a huge genre of "Nasreddin Hoja" (and many variations Nasreddin Hoca, Mullah Nasreddin, Efendi) stories. These are short stories / anecdotes that are funny, have puns, etc, and often make a point. Somewhat Aesopian, but more emphasis on humor.

Nasreddin was an imam, and there are many such stories that involve religion in one way or another.

Dymphna said...

I am familiar with Nasreddin's stories. I wouldn't classify them as jokes, though they do poke gentle fun at our human foibles.

Someone defined humor as "when you slip on a banana peel and break your leg," while tragedy is "when I have a hangnail."

Nasreddin would have liked that definition.

Dymphna said...

Mike--

I put that photo up on Gates of Vienna a few weeks ago. I think it's a fake, though. When you look at the shoes of the "women" under the burqas, and the bulk in their arms, you begin to think..."joke"?..."cross-dressers"?

But it's an infidel joke, I think.

Beach Girl said...

Out of context here but please read, Hello God!. It's a good story and reminds me of some of what we are fighting for at our keyboards while our troops are fighting with their lives and their skills. I don't know if it has gone around the internet buat it made me feel good to read it.

Thank you - all - for letting me intrude here.

Brett McS said...

An old one from Iran.

A TV repairman is called to fix a faulty TV. He gives it a thorough check, but can't find anything wrong with it. Well, says the owner, then why can't I get that Mulla off the screen?

al fin said...

Humour requires a threshold level of IQ. Most muslims do not cross the threshold. Therefore, humour will never catch on in the muslim world.

Hatred and violence do very well in low IQ populations, however.

kepiblanc said...

Al fin : Interesting point of view. I mean, does Islam reduce IQ (some sort of reverse evolution) or is Islam a result of below-average IQ ? - I guess the PC answer would be that option 1) - because option 2) requires entire nations to be born stupid ?

Do you have any documentation on the matter ?

Dymphna said...

brett mcs--

That's a good one. It sounds like Russian humor in the old days. Maybe it's recycled??

Anyway, thanks for the proof.

Al fin and kepi blanc...come on. Let's raise the level of argument here. Calling a whole group of people stupid is not going to further the debate.

Makes you guys sound like you picked up some moves from the Lefty playbook, you know. The few times I've read the left side's comments sections, there were arguments of that caliber.

-== mist ==- said...

In a roundabout way, I agree with you Al fin and Kepiblanc. In general, there does appear to be a lower level of 'education' out here (but not necessarily intelligence). Of course there are many exceptions to that rule as well.

However, There are 2 major factors which I see in the region that lead to this:

1. Day to day survival trumps 'learning'. There is no reason to learn anything outside of your survival skillset if that is all you are concerned with. Palestinians aren't wasting much time in school other than to learn how evil Jewish people are. On the other hand, it's much easier to develop that intellectual acuity in a modernized safe environment where you aren't worried about starving or finding adequate shelter every night.

2. Insh-allah. I hate that word, I hate it so much. But, in one single utterance, it completely encompasses the problem with islam and the middle east. When everything is determined by god's will, people become lazy. If every single action is pre-determined, there is no reason to make any effort to do anything. This applies to everything from wearing safety equipment to not wasting time bettering your education.

But, I do want to say, that contrary to the opinion, humor plays a big role out here. Kurds, especially, are some of the most self-deprecating people I have met. There are as many 'kurd' jokes as any other maligned population, and they are all brutal. My Kurdish translator delights in telling me how stupid his people are. And he has no qualms about telling me his opinion of islam either (*although that is only in private, I doubt he would be so open about it with others around, hehe).

kepiblanc said...

Dymphna & ==mist==

I was merely posting a question to Al Fin about IQ. Documentation, you know. I've alway wondered about the fact then when one looks at all available demographic statistics, be it freedom, economics, health, corruption, confidence, welfare, education ... you name it - you'll invariably find Islamic nations lumped together in the very bottom together with a few sub-Saharan countries....

Take the Nobel prize : Arabs and Jews are both semitic people. There are 12 million Jews in the world and yet they have received 169 Nobel Prizes. The Muslims number 1.4 billion or 117 times the number of Jews. Based upon this 117:1 Muslim-to-Jew ratio, one might expect the Muslims to have 22,260 Nobel Laureates. They have 7. and one of those is Yassir Arafat. And I guess the Arabs and the Jews all had the same needs of survival in the Middle East. The only difference I can see is Islam.

Right now there's a debate over on Infidel Bloggers Alliance about That Thar Dumb Muslim Done Married His Cousin - maybe part of the equation ?

"Insh-Allah" - Wasn't it Churchill who described the Muslim fatalism as one of the major obstacles to progress ? - Is it possible to believe that IQ is a birth-given constant independent from intellectual and physical laziness ? - I think not.