"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Compare and Contrast, Part 4 

Item - December 22, 2005:
Marluddin Jalil, a Sharia judge who has ordered the punishment of women for not wearing headscarves, was uncompromising: “The tsunami was because of the sins of the people of Aceh.”

Thundering into a microphone at a gathering of wives, he made clear where he felt the fault lay: “The Holy Koran says that if women are good, then a country is good....”

[S]etbacks and public unease have not dampened the zeal of Dr Jalil, a small, neat man with a trimmed moustache whose particular concerns are headscarves, gambling, alcohol, and girls meeting boys. “Sin starts small and gets bigger,” he said. His next target is a displaced persons’ camp outside Lhokseumawe where he has heard of young men and women freely mixing.

“Another tsunami is possible,” he said. “The Holy Koran says that if humans don’t listen to Allah they will be punished....”

In such conditions wild theories about the tsunami thrive. In a version of Pop Idol organised by the American and Indonesian Red Cross in Barak Lampaseh camp in Banda Aceh, the winner was 12-year-old Sheila Mentari, whose song told how God sent the wave as punishment for sin. She said her father, who died in the wave, would have approved.

Item - Pat Robertson, June 19, 1998:
I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you. [Refers to rainbow flags placed around the city of Orlando to celebrate sexual diversity. -Ed.] This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.




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