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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.


Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: March 19, 2015, 9:27 pm

You know, Western Europe used to have a rich tradition of killing people, taking everything that was not bolted down, and burning everything that was. We should get back to that. But Europe has a lot of neat stuff, it would be a shame to break it. How about a good hoolie in the desert?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 19, 2015, 10:05 pm

Well of course there are 57 raghead nations. Where do you think the Chimp in Chief came up with his “57 states” line?

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: March 19, 2015, 10:18 pm

Bitch gon’ find out that in the world of SJW rock/paper/scissors moose limb beats homo, lady, & negro every day of the week.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: March 20, 2015, 1:15 am

What Jeff Gauch said.

Desert? We should make nuclear glass out of all of it.

We could call the Trinitite-like glass Arabicite, or Afghanicite, or whatever – “Made from real Muslims.”

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 20, 2015, 2:37 am

“Here’s hoping some hardy Viking beat up and A-rab and stole his stuff to give his good lady.”

It goes the other way now. Right now being Swedish in Sweden is a dangerous thing because of the Muslim immigrants. It used to be that Scandinavian countries were proud of the low rate of sex crimes. Now Swedish women are dying their hair black, because to be blonde in Gothenburg, Malmo, or Stockholm is to risk rape by gangs of Muslim immigrants. It is a crime in Sweden to write or speak of it, but a quick internet search will bring up the information. Ah, Diversity.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 20, 2015, 3:14 am

I remember a docu-drama that dealt with the issue of Vikings meeting Muslims. Richard Widmark portrayed the Viking chief. Sidney Poitier was the Muslim Emir. It was true to life, the Muslims ambushed the Vikings. They defeated the Muslims, saved a blonde chick from a fate worse than death, and discovered a golden bell inside an old Christian Church. Somehow, the bell was floated back to Viking land.

That documentary formed the basis for the American views on Islam for years to come! Current Muslims should try to look and act more like Sidney Poitier too.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: March 20, 2015, 3:30 am

We went to Stockholm 5 years ago. At the time we were warned not to wear anything that would give our religion away (Jewish). We’re going back in July, I suppose I ought to order that burqa so it’s here on time.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: March 20, 2015, 4:37 am

tom, I saw a similar documentary with Antonio Banderas as an Arab travelling with some vikings.

Maybe he gave the glass ring to that hot redhead to see if she was really a redhead.

Then he went home and laughed about how the stupid vikings didn’t know glass from diamonds.

Comment from mojo
Time: March 20, 2015, 5:00 am

“Those are my principals. If you don’t like them, I have others.” — Groucho

Comment from caseyreno
Time: March 20, 2015, 10:58 am

Tom, the name of the flick is “The Long Ships” (1964). And, as I recall the bell WAS the church, or at least the roof and it was called “the Mother of All Voices”.

Comment from tibby
Time: March 20, 2015, 4:03 pm

“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.”

Unless, of course, it’s the muslim image you’re striving for.

Comment from mojo
Time: March 20, 2015, 5:22 pm


‘Nuff said.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: March 20, 2015, 6:31 pm

Almost certainly true. Remember the Vikings got down to the Mediterranean and left rune graffiti everywhere, and the graves throughout Scandinavia are relatively littered with, oh, Islamic coins mounted as jewelry or just hoarded as silver.

(As for glass being new and rare? Well, the Romans used it like we use plastic, damn near, and Viking-age finds of glass beads are ubiquitous.

Ribe has the remains of two glass bead-making shops uncovered, for that matter.)

Comment from Nina
Time: March 20, 2015, 11:24 pm

My future grandchildren will be Vikings, but hopefully without the rapine, plunder, and allah rings.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 21, 2015, 3:07 am

Thanks for the name of the movie. I still think the Islamists are making a huge mistake by not being more like Sidney P oitier. No neck beard, clear diction, great personal hygiene! No head chopping either. Almost like a muslim John Wayne.

Comment from Nina
Time: March 21, 2015, 3:36 am

Almost. The devil is in the rest. 🙂

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 21, 2015, 1:10 pm

Or more accurately, Nina, the Allah is in the rest. Although that is indeed pretty much the same thing.

Comment from tibby
Time: March 23, 2015, 2:33 pm

Not important, but I thought the name of the movie (not a docu-drama, fiction) about Vikings with Antonio Banderas was The 13th Warrior. Good movie in my opinion. And it came out before 9/11, so the muslim is sympathetic, but not overly so.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 25, 2015, 6:46 am

There was definitely contact between Moslems and the Norse. In 860, a Viking fleet circumnavigated Iberia and went raiding around the western Mediterranean. (They hit Italy!)

And in the East, the Norse went through Russia to the Caspian Sea and Black Sea – at one time besieging Constantinople. Later the Byzantine Empire recruited an elite Varangian Guard of Norse warriors; future King Harald Hardraada of Norway served in it. The Varangians fought in many Byzantine campaigns against Moslem foes, including an attempted reconquest of Sicily.

The Thirteenth Warrior was a novel (later filmed) by Michael Crichton, a fictional take on the Moslem/Viking interface. It’s narrated by an Arab, a civilized chap sent as emissary to the Norse, who gets caught up in their fighting, including against a Grendel-like monster.

Comment from beasn
Time: March 26, 2015, 4:53 pm

Mohammad took a bit from this religion and that religion and various traders/travelers he met along the way. Voila, he has his own cult. Norse indeed.

Sitting in a cave, claiming to get his marching orders from god….like the seers.

72 raisins in Heaven….Valhalla

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