For all the senders of “Islamophobe” accusations: facile, hysterical, stupid, or all of the above…and some notes on the corrida

6 Nov


I’ve gotten a thousand emails about my Hajj comments and about the Pakistani cab-drivers post.  Not unexpected.  And actually a quite gratifying response as it may allow me to begin a serious discussion about monotheism and my discontents and not just Islam.  Just give me some time because it’ll be a long post, its being something that I’ve been thinking about most of my life.

But some quickies…  For one writer: not only, yes, would I have been as obnoxious to an American Christian Fundamentalist — or an Orthodox nationalist crazy here in Greece or in Russia — if he had given me a hard time about my “pagan” tattoo, I would’ve ripped either of them apart much more mercilessly, because they don’t have the excuse of being born Muslim, so don’t worry about my soul’s economy of justice or fairness.

For the writer who objected to me referring to Muhammad as “just” [not a word I used] one man” — I don’t get it.  Isn’t that the point?  That he was a man?  Isn’t what so many Muslims find a ridiculous idea (in my experience), and what so many Muslim and Jewish theologians through the ages objected to — not precisely to the Christian idea of the Incarnation — that God and Man are one, that God became a Man in order in order to approach a beloved humanity?

As for the PETA chick (just assumptions — both “PETA” and “chick” — because the email address betrays neither, just the tone and content do…) who thought my reprinting Saba Imtiaz’ beautiful photo essay on Eid-al-Adha in Karachi was not only a glorification of violence against animals, but a perpetuating of stereotypes about Islam as “a religion of blood,” you haven’t read any of the rest of my blog, so I will really have nothing to say to you — as I don’t to most of you — except perhaps that I’m an avid fan of the Spanish corrida, and if there’s a good goring the better, so I don’t associate normal, biological blood-shed with Islam.

But I’ll be back.

2009 in pictures corrida goring

Photo: For those who don’t know, this is a particularly dramatic goring, as the torero had already gotten the bull with a perfect through-the-traps, into the chest cavity, sword-thrust, so it would’ve been a matter of seconds probably before it had collapsed dead, but it still managed to get the guy in the guts before dying — but that’s always the most dangerous moment in a bullfight anyway.  Most bullfighters go for the over the horns into the shoulder stab, then instinctively jump ever so slightly out of the way.  The super-majete torero, however — was it Manolete who was famous for this? – gets the sword in…and stands there…in the extremely risky hope that the animal will immediately drop dead at his feet.  As you can see, it doesn’t always turn out that way.  According to a Mexican friend and corrida aficionado, the torero in the photograph is Spaniard Alejandro Talavante, though I can’t find anything on-line about him getting hurt like this.

But see what you learn on the Jadde…


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