1. Via Prufrock Two, an op-ed in the WSJ by Salil Tripathi on how the 'London terrorists' mindset is an open book'.
"Fiction writers have that sixth sense of being able to discern subtle undercurrents and cast light on the larger truth that policy makers miss. Graham Greene did that with his 1955 novel "The Quiet American," published only a year after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which ended the French supremacy in Indochina."
"In the same vein, several British Asian novelists have been writing about the turbulence within Britain's Muslim community. But while they have been honored, their warnings have gone unheeded." (He goes on to talk about Kureishi, Rushdie, Monica Ali and their works)
"If those novels were read carefully, then the composite picture that emerges today--of disaffected youth finding a new meaning through faith, joining religious groups and following foreign-born preachers, as well as of subterranean misogyny and ostracizing, and even killing those who leave the community by marrying outside the faith--should not have surprised anyone."
"Heinrich Heine had warned in his 1821 play, "Almansor": "They who start by burning books will end by burning men." Modern Britain is not Nazi-era Germany, but in 1989, in England's northern cities, Muslim activists burned copies of "The Satanic Verses"--a chilling reminder of the massive book burnings undertaken by the Nazis in May 1933. Sixteen years later, young men from those English towns carried bombs in their backpacks and exploded them, burning--and killing--themselves and 52 other people."
Go read the entire piece.
2. A day after the Booker longlist annoucenment, the man is in the news for calling for Islamic Reformation. Methinks the man courts trouble as usual.
"If ... the Koran were seen as a historical document, then it would be legitimate to reinterpret it to suit the new conditions of successive new ages. Laws made in the 7th century could finally give way to the needs of the 21st."
"The Islamic Reformation has to begin here, with an acceptance that all ideas, even sacred ones, must adapt to altered realities."
3. On NPR's morning edition this week, an excellent four part series on the issues in the Galapagos Islands. The last two days, I timed my travel such that I get to listen to it while I am on the bus. The series talks about natural and man-made threats to flora and fauna in the Galapagos, the struggles between the fishermen and the conservationists, and the emerging tourism industry. Apparently, the creation scientists(yeah, I know, oxymoron) offer many tours to the Islands so as to reaffirm the word of God :)
Do listen to the full thing if you can.
4. The Kansas state board redefines 'Science'. In Kansas, Science is now defined as anything that's said in the Bible.