December 02, 2002
Was Salome A Muslim?

Max Sawicky seems to think so. While abusing Steven Den Beste for alleged racism, he writes (11/27/02, 10:30 AM):

I would be amazed if SDB dealt with Arabs or Muslims on a personal basis at all differently than with, say, persons of Dutch extraction. For all I know, he'd take Salome's great great grand-daughter home to Mom. But this passage shows that, like a lot of other people, he can't shake his Islamic bug.

Salome was King Herod's niece and step-daughter, and lived in the first century. I won't object to Sawicky saying "great great grand-daughter" without repeating "great" sixty or eighty more times: that would have been tedious. But what about the clear implication that Salome was a Muslim? Though I haven't checked the sources, I imagine she was very likely Jewish. She could conceivably have been some variety of pagan, but she was certainly not Muslim, since the religion would not be invented for several centuries. Was Sawicky talking about some other Salome? Then he should have said so, since the one depicted in Oscar Wilde's play, Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations, and Richard Strauss' opera is by far the most famous holder of the name. Just more sloppiness with the facts in Sawickyland?

It wouldn't be the first. Sawicky still insists (11/11/02, 3:46 PM) that Ollie North is "favorite of a disputed number of warbloggers". The number is only in dispute because he continues to pretend that it is not zero, though he has been able to come up with no evidence at all to support his case, as shown in detail here and summarized here. (The whole thing started with this challenge.)

Posted by Dr. Weevil at December 02, 2002 08:23 PM

The way I read it, Sawicky is saying that a distant descendant of Salome would most likely be a Muslim. That's possible. Present-day Palestinians have some ancestry traceable to inhabitants of Israel who were either Jewish, Gentile, or of arguable status (such as Idumeans--wasn't Salome an Idumean?). Most of them converted to Islam after the 7th century conquest.

Posted by: diana on December 3, 2002 11:16 AM

Looks to me like he's just saying Salome would be an Arab (or some sort of non-Jewish semite). Thus den Beste would date her (this backing up Sawicky's claim about him not having a race-related issue), in contrast wiht his beliefs about den Beste's feelings about Islam.

Posted by: Sigivald on December 3, 2002 07:26 PM