Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It's official: Chalicesseurs know more about Islam than either CC or the people running the intelligence for the war
Right before a lunch meeting, I ran across this newspaper article, by a reporter who went around asking various important people what the difference between shiite and sunni was.
Such political figures as Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, Willie Hulon, chief of the FBI’s new national security branch and Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence all couldn't answer.
The best I could do was this:
My vague impression, mostly from elementary school, is that the Sunnis are the more liberal Muslims and the Shiites are the scarier ones, which doesn't mesh with the fact that I think Al Quaeda is Sunni. I'm pretty sure Hezbollah is Shiite though.
I was once taught the history of the two and what the difference is historically, but I don't remember. Boy, it's been awhile since I read up on Islam...
That's like a D+ answer, maybe. But it's not my job to know that stuff. (Ok arguably it's every American's job, but nobody literally pays me.)
So I wondered if my readers could do better.
Way, way better than either the folks in DC or Chalicechick.
I let the experiment run for six hours and came home to 18 responses. Take a gander at everybody's answers here.
I've disabled comment moderation and everyone's answers are now viewable. If you haven't looked yet and want to see how you compare, open up your favorite word processing program, type your answer, then post what you typed without making any changes.
I'm really, really impressed, y'all.