"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Maureen Mullarkey has high praise for Osama (second item), a critically-acclaimed film out of Afghanistan about a young girl living under the Taliban.
Osama is so much more than another tale of women’s oppression. Brutality toward women is seen, in context, as symptom of a larger bloodlust and a near-ecstatic elevation of cruelty to the level of a religious imperative.
I left the theater thinking of Hilaire Belloc writing from the Sahara as he viewed the Roman ruins of Timgad: “We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. … we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”
Writing in the LA Times (free registration required), a US Muslim academic complains of feeling put-upon by stereotypes of Islam since 9/11.
It is one thing to experience alienation; it is another to have it forced upon you in order to make the majority feel more secure. I didn't go into Islamic studies expecting it to require me to constantly defend my own humanity — and that of my religion.
To be honest, headlines like this and photos like this and this make it hard to sympathize.