- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Blaming beauty
"While attempting to defend the Miss World Competition which had arrived in Nigeria despite opposition by local Islamic authorities, columnist Isioma Daniel wrote in defense of the beauty queens: 'What would Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them.'
"Any student of Islam could back up this statement with reference to the Koran and the Hadith which enumerate the Prophet's more than a dozen wives and concubines, and document his enthusiastic appreciation of female beauty.
"President Olusegun Obasanjo declared: 'The beauty queens should not feel that they are the cause of the violence. It could happen at any time irresponsible journalism is committed against Islam.'
"During the bloody riots in Kaduna, Nigeria the enraged Muslim mobs chanted three prominent slogans: 'God is Great,' 'Miss World Is Sin' and, most revealingly of all, 'Down With Beauty.'"
Michael Medved, writing on "Blaming the victim for murderous Muslim rampages," Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnet daily.com

Setting the terms
"What's happening in Novato, an affluent Bay-area suburb in northern California, has become increasingly common across the nation as homosexual activists use 'safe school' laws and concerns over school bullying to advance their agenda.
"It works like this: First, homosexual activists tout 'hate crimes' those sad but rare incidents in which students are harmed because they are gay and then they push for laws protecting homosexual students. Once those laws pass, activists persuade schools to adopt curricula that promotes not just student safety but acceptance of homosexuality.
"The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network executive director, Kevin Jennings, made no secret of that strategy.
"'We immediately seized upon the opponents' calling card safety,' he said. 'We knew that, confronted with real-life stories of youth who had suffered from homophobia, our opponents would automatically be on the defensive. That allowed us to set the terms of the debate.'"
Candi Cushman, writing on "Unsafe at Any Grade," in the December issue of Citizen

Lone Star star
"Dr. Phil, as millions of strangers affectionately call superstar Texan psychologist Phillip C. McGraw, is huge. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he can easily block your entire field of vision, even when he is slouching a little, trying to get right up in a guest's face.
"Dr. Phil is a therapist so blunt, decisive and close (enough) to the land (he's from Texas, after all) that he might as well just club the conflicted souls who appear on his show with a magic wand and drag them back to the 'life strategies' cave. He imparts his nuggets of wisdom as though he were laying on hands.
"Dr. Phil specializes in 'wake-up calls' that help people 'get real' and change their lives.
"There is another, ultimate, fairy godmother in the story, of course, and that is Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Phil hit the self-help jackpot when he found himself in the enviable position of lending Winfrey a hand in her time of need specifically, in 1998, when members of the Texas beef industry countered an offhand mad-cow quip made by the daytime talk queen with a $10 million lawsuit. After a six-week trial, Oprah prevailed.
"Dr. Phil has made a lot out of the ways in which he helped his new, incredibly powerful friend refuse to settle out of court. An appearance on her show led to regular, weekly appearances over four years, his three books landed on the New York Times bestseller list and, in September, he got what punier gurus only dream about his very own Oprah-produced show."
Carina Chocano, writing on "Oprah's hulking stepchild," Monday in Salon at www.salon.com

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