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various media links

Here’s something light, something informative, and something maybe scary:

  • Scharpling and Wurster send up the circus church in a segment called “Reverend Ken Miller of Newbridge Episcopalian” [mp3, pop-up]. Wurster calls in as Rev Miller, whose attendance has dropped 80% due to all the kids defecting to a Lutheran group headed up by a former rock musician. There are lots of in-jokes here; virtually every proper noun not immediately familiar is a reference to another part of the Scharpling and Wurster canon. Thirty-three minutes long, this episode tails off in the last ten minutes or so as it goes in search of a typical S&W ending.
  • Melvyn Bragg and his panel of experts at BBC Radio’s In Our Time give a brisk overview of The Pelagian Controversy [link]. To my ears the interesting moment comes with less than ten minutes to go, when one of the panelists makes reference to the Reformation without actually naming Calvin, Luther, or Zwingli, and suggests that the notion that the free will of man and the sovereignty of God are mutually exclusive was virtually unknown until Augustine.
  • Here’s an article by Ian Johnson from the Wall Street Journal of July 12, 2005 called “How a Mosque for Ex-Nazis Became Center of Radical Islam” [link, link] which details among other things the connections between Nazis and the Muslim Brotherhood. Frankly this sort of thing is more informative than anything I’ve yet heard from e.g. Robert Spencer/Jihad Watch.

Here’s a pull quote from the last article:

The soldiers’ presence in Munich was part of a nearly forgotten subplot to World War II: the decision by tens of thousands of Muslims in the Soviet Red Army to switch sides and fight for Hitler. After the war, thousands sought refuge in West Germany, building one of the largest Muslim communities in 1950s Europe. When the Cold War heated up, they were a coveted prize for their language skills and contacts back in the Soviet Union. For more than a decade, U.S., West German, Soviet and British intelligence agencies vied for control of them in the new battle of democracy versus communism.

Yet the victor wasn’t any of these Cold War combatants. Instead, it was a movement with an equally powerful ideology: the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in 1920s Egypt as a social-reform movement, the Brotherhood became the fountainhead of political Islam, which calls for the Muslim religion to dominate all aspects of life. A powerful force for political change throughout the Muslim world, the Brotherhood also inspired some of the deadliest terrorist movements of the past quarter century, including Hamas and al Qaeda.

As they say in the biz, it’s complicated. Unpleasant and complicated.

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