Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sadly, Civilization Seems Rock-Steady

In reference to yesterday's link: the world has not yet come to an end. Also of note is that I just spent ten minutes actually tracking down the name of the Muslim holiday in question, which seems to be Laylat ul Isra' wa-l-Miraaj, to cut-&-paste from wiki. Why is this of note? Because the only people on the internet who seem to be talking about it are people who are proposing--so far as I can tell, out of thin air--that the day would be quite opportune for a unified Muslim attack on Israel. Why? No reason... just seems to be an opportune date. The closest I could find to an explanation was Bernard Lewis' claim at the WSJ that it was "indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22." But it's now 1:20 AM in Tehran (no, I have no idea why Iran is an extra half hour off of GMT), so I suppose this must have been the response in question:

Iran said Tuesday it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, but a semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon nuclear enrichment — the key U.S. demand.

Top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani delivered a written response to ambassadors of Britain, China, Russia, France, Germany and Switzerland to a package of incentives aimed at persuading Iran to roll back on its nuclear program.

Larijani refused to disclose whether the response included an offer to suspend uranium enrichment, and no details of Iran's response were released. The state-run television quoted Larijani as telling the diplomats Iran "is prepared as of Aug. 23 to enter serious negotiations" with the countries that proposed the incentives package.

Damn those crazed Persians! What fanatical audacity to give us a diplomatic statement that they are prepared for serious negotiations--and on a holiday, too!

By the way, I think it bears noting just how significance this day is in the Muslim calendar by looking at the events it commemorates (thanks to wiki):

Laylat ul Isra' wa-l-Miraaj (The Night of the Journey and Ascension) - is on 27 of Rajab. It is the night when Muhammad was, according to Hadiths, taken to "the furthest mosque" (generally understood to be Jerusalem) on a Buraq (a beast resembling horse with wings; some people consider it a cherub) and ascended to the highest level of the heavens. It is said that he negotiated with God about the number of prayers, which started at fifty a day, but on his way down he met Moses who asked him to ask for a reduction in the number because the requirement was difficult for Muhammad's people. Muhammad returned to God and several times asked for and was granted a reduction of five prayers, until the number was reduced to five in total, with the blessing that if they were properly performed, the performers would be credited with fifty prayers instead of five.

I can clearly see how one could associate a holiday signifying the importance of haggling with launching a nuclear assault on Israel.

Oh, I'm sorry. Was I lying again? I think I may have been.

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