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Then and now

This is a ring that turned up in a 9th C Viking burial in Sweden. It’s made of glass (apparently that was a new and expensive material then) and the inscription reads “to Allah” in Arabic. It was a woman’s burial in a place called Birka (ha! ha!), but the body has completely rotted away, sadly, so they can’t tell if it was an Arabic woman that somehow made it to Sweden. Here’s hoping some hardy Viking beat up and A-rab and stole his stuff to give his good lady.

Archaeologists think it confirms old stories that there was trade between the Vikings and the Islamic world. Quite possible, too — those guys got everywhere.

There’s an escalating kerfuffle between Sweden and the region. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström had planned to address the Arab League and give them a finger-wagging lecture on human rights. So the Saudis blocked her. So Sweden published the speech she was going to give (it didn’t mention the Saudis by name, but it talked up women’s and human rights — wait, there’s a difference?). So the Saudis won’t issue any more visas to Swedish businessmen. So the Swedes cut off military cooperation with the Saudis. So the Saudis have expelled Sweden’s ambassador.

All this matters, I guess, because the Swedes desperately need oil. And the Saudis desperately need…pass. I don’t know. Blondes?

Anyway, it’s not just the Saudis. The whole Arab world has its panties in a twist (wait, do they wear panties under those things?). The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which represents 57 muslim countries (wait, there are fifty seven of the buggers?) issued a statement that read in part:

“The world community, with its multiple cultures, diverse social norms, rich and varied ethical standards and different institutional structures, can not, and should not, be based on a single and centric perspective that seeks to remake the world in its own image.”

Emphasis mine. Rich and varied ethical standards. Ho ho ho.

sock it to me

March 19, 2015 — 9:14 pm
Comments: 20