A weekly review of news, essays, podcasts and more from New Lines. The week of May 16 to May 20, 2022.
In Islam, abortion is permissible in many cases, like fear of not providing for the child. Sex outside of marriage also falls into this category. One fatwa states that abortion is fine for a single mother, maybe even better if she will face social stigma.
Scholar and translator Marcel Kurpershoek talks to New Lines’ Kevin Blankinship about the Nabati poetry of the Arabian peninsula and its thousand-year history from pre-Islamic oral traditions to the UAE’s smash-hit reality show “Million’s Poet.”
Shireen looked and sounded like us, and it didn’t matter that we were not even privy to her religious identity, which we learned after her death when we watched in horror as her coffin made its way to the church while Israeli soldiers beat the pallbearers.
“[They were] surprisingly pathetic,” he says of the Russian troops he encountered. “I have never seen a military force perform this badly. The Taliban had better logistics and planning than the Russian military. I don’t know if it’s basically the incompetence of their intelligence that they just expected flowers to greet them, but they are so poorly trained, so badly motivated, so underequipped that it’s outright ridiculous.”
For generations, people have been renaming foods for political reasons. Although Americans in our time are infamous for changing French fries to freedom fries, they aren’t the only folks who’ve put politics on the plate that way. Indeed, everyone from the French and Russians to the Iranians and Arabs has done something similar in the past 150 years. And they’ve done so while otherwise naming and handling foods politically, sometimes during strategic struggles and sometimes to score cheap jingoistic points.
The Taliban government should recognize that we all owe a debt to Afghan women and stop unnecessarily interfering in their lives.