PJ MEDIA – MICHAEL WALSH
Just as every news story must now be put into the current political context — what’s the Trump angle? — so must every other story somehow be framed by its relationship with Islam. Case in point, this story from the New York Times:
The discovery of Arabic characters that spell “Allah” and “Ali” on Viking funeral costumes in boat graves in Sweden has raised questions about the influence of Islam in Scandinavia.
Let’s stop right there and unpack that lede. “Arabic characters” — designs, really — “raise questions” (in whom?) about the “influence” of Islam in the Nordic countries. You can see where this is going already.
Dr. Larsson discovered the Arabic characters in February, as she was preparing some of the items for an exhibition on Viking couture in Enkoping, Sweden. She had been trying to recreate textile patterns for the exhibits — by comparing motifs on the burial dress with a silk band found around the head of a skeleton in a Viking grave at Birka, Sweden — when she discovered Kufic characters of Arabic.
At first, she said, she could not make sense of the tiny geometric designs in both fabrics. “Then I remembered seeing them in similar Moorish designs in silk ribbons from Spain,” she said. “I understood it had to be a kind of Arabic character, not Nordic.”
Yes, of course, it just “had to be” because what other explanation could possibly exist?