Tuesday 28 December 2010

What Ted Danson hasn't learned

Picked up a copy of the latest Esquire, which has on the cover “What I have learned” talking to various mostly Hollywood types.  See, I do read some leftie mags, not just the Squire, but also The New Yorker,Vanity Fair (UK & US editions), Atlantic MonthlyThe Guardian…. ‘nuff said.
Ted Danson is one of the interviewees. [here].
Mr Danson is a wonderful actor, I liked him a lot in Damages, and he pops up a lot in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm
And he’s learnt a lot of good stuff:
A really big test of how kind a human being is comes with how well he treats his dogs.
And he’s worried, he’s oh so worried, about the Oceans.
There are so many stresses on the ocean that we could literally collapse it if we're not careful.
Fair enuff.  Agree with that, and something must be done!
But what of this one?, in response to who he would have to dinner, if he could have anyone from any time:
Can I have as many guests as I'd like? Okay. Three. Jesus of Nazareth. Muhammad. And Buddha. We'd have some grape leaves — something simple and easy to digest. A little green tea. I'd say, "Fellas, let's talk ..."
This shows one glaring fact: no matter what else Mr Danson has learned, the amount that he has learned about Muhammad and Islam is this exact figure:
He has clearly not read the Sira, the life of Muhammad, written by Muslim scholars, and describing Muhammad’s battles, his taking of slaves, his killing of poets who mocked him, his hatred of Jews and other non-Muslims….  And why should he have read it?  He’s a busy man, with busy acting schedule and oceans to save.  But then why say something about something you know this much about: Zero? 
Nor has he read the Hadith, the reports of the actions and sayings of Muhammad, which confirm the above: a war-hungry, savage, thieving, schemer of a man, who heard voices which told him to kill the unbelievers, which he carried out with alacrity.  And told him to kill those who left Islam.  And to treat women as second-class animals, “soil” to be “tilled” whenever a man fancied.
And certainly he has not read the Koran, the base document in which the intolerance of Islam to other religions is laid out in repetitive, unrestrained, unvarnished, bloodthirsty and violent detail.
Danson could not have read any of these and then imagined having Muhammad to a lunch with Jesus. Jesus would have posed a puzzle to Muhammad, as Jesus one of the early Muslim prophets (! Yes!  according to Muhammad, and therefore according to Islam, Jesus was a Muslim and was even the first Muslim “martyr”…), so Muhammad would not have killed him, but he would have considered him gravely wrong to present himself as the Son of God, as that is, in Islam, Shirk, or the association of others with the One True God, the worst of sins.  Come to think of it, he might well have tried to kill Jesus, given the grave seriousness of the crime of shirk. And as for Buddha, Muhammad would have seen him as an idolater and polytheist and schemed to kill him, forthwith.
In any case, Muhammad would have shemed to dominate both Jesus and Buddha and would have played Danson, quite simply, for the genial, naïve fool that he is.
It would most certainly not have been a matter of “Fellas, let’s talk…” 
Danson is clearly driven by the idea that if you just close your eyes, click your heels and wish hard enough, if you’re just tolerant enough, if you “roll up your sleeves and make something in the community together, have a little green tea, make sandwiches together”, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish, no bigoted, racist, supremacist, anti-semitic homophobic, misogynous, looting, double-dealing, murderous, paranoid schizophrenic Prophet that you can’t turn around, by, just, you know, “having a talk, fellas”.
Problem is: that wouldn’t work with Muhammad. Sorry Ted, you’re 63 and learnt a lot, especially about dogs and oceans, but there’s something you still have to learn.  And that’s about the intolerance of Islam and its prophet.
Read the Koran.  Read the Sira, read the Hadith.  Read the Reliance of the Traveller, the manual of Islamic law.  Read all that, then come up with a luncheon-guest list.
Till then, stick to dogs and oceans.  Or even dogs in oceans.  Just not Islam, unless you know a little more about it.
Ted Danson's What I have learned: