Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nouri's Million Dollar Question

Several days ago The International Herald Tribune ran an opinion piece that analyzed the change in religious outlook among young Iraqis the invasion of American troops and the consequent turmoil brought on by the war years:

After almost five years of war, many young Iraqis, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.

In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.

“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara Sami, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.”

I wish the journalist, Sabrina Tavernise, had cited his sources for the “two months of interviews.” Did she conduct them herself and thus had no need to cite sources? We never find out.

However, what the interviews disclose is quite instructive if the social patterns she discusses are true:

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, said: “The religion men are liars. Young people don’t believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore.”

The shift in Iraq runs counter to trends of rising religiousness among young people across much of the Middle East, where religion has replaced nationalism as a unifying ideology. While religious extremists are admired by a number of young people in other parts of the Arab world, Iraq offers a test case of what could happen when extremist theories are applied.

Fingers caught smoking were broken. Long hair was cut and force-fed to its owner. In that laboratory, disillusionment with Islamic leaders took hold.

It is far from clear whether the shift means a wholesale turn away from religion. A tremendous piety still predominates in the private lives of young Iraqis, and religious leaders, despite the increased skepticism, still wield tremendous power. Measuring religiousness furthermore, is a tricky business in Iraq, where access to cities and towns that are far from Baghdad is limited.

But a shift seems to be registering, at least anecdotally, in the choices some young Iraqis are making. Professors reported difficulty recruiting graduate students for religion classes. Attendance at weekly prayers appears to be down, even in areas where the violence has largely subsided, according to worshipers and imams in Baghdad and Falluja. In two visits to the weekly prayer session in Baghdad of the followers of Moktada al-Sadr last autumn, vastly smaller crowds attended than had in 2004 or 2005.

I have been pondering this essay for a few days, not sure how to address it in any meaningful way. Then I came across a blogger who echoed my thoughts…and expanded upon them. He has the prerequisite knowledge and context to delve into the ideas the IHT presented; he does so with fine precision: [emphases throughout are mine - D.]

- - - - - - - - -
I wrote in 2005 that it might “take a war” for Islamism to be discredited in the same way that various nationalisms were during the Cold War (which paved the way for religion to arise as the dominant form of identity). It is my view that Islamism is not a spiritual movement - though it does have spiritual origins. It is first and foremost a sectarian movement. As Iraqis become disillusioned with their sectarian leadership, sectarian politics could either dissipate all together, or become the responsibility of the laity and become especially vulgarized and diffuse.

Islamism is the assertion of cultural and political Islam ahead of personal, spiritual Islam. It is the result of weak national and ethnic identities in a region where for centuries the highest level of social organization was the sect, be it be derived from a variation of Islam or Christianity. Secular identities were articulated with the express purpose of overriding sectarian loyalties and building national cohesion so that the imported nation-state infrastructure could be viable. While individuals became largely secularized during the twentieth century, their identities did not. Islamic modernism allowed for Muslims to live their lives almost independent of the religious establishment’s edicts all the while maintaining their Islamic identity.

These points seem so obvious that I am surprised they are not more widespread. Perhaps it is the singularly barbaric and theatrical methods of political Islam that blinds us to the facts on the ground as they appear to many Muslims:

Dismissing “popular Islam” (the Sufism, mysticism, and Islam of the hoi polloi; “traditional” Islam as practiced outside of the urban centers and elite circles), reformism called for a return to the Islam of Muhammad’s time. This salafism is the tradition of Wahhabism, the Muslim Brothers, and al-Qaeda. It has attracted young men and women educated in secular institutions in secular fields (often medical students, and engineers) more than those versed in popular Islam or the traditional centers of Islamic learning in Tunisia, Morocco, or even Damascus.

While he does not say so, and perhaps would not agree, I believe this reformism, or ‘return to the basics’ evolved out of the chaos in the 20th century. There was no ‘ism’ ready to replace the implosion of the Communist state. And the Middle East, while ignored by the big boys, was as profoundly disturbed as Europe by the worldwide hundred years’ chaos and blood. Some of the racial hatreds now embedded in Islamic reforms and tactics came directly from the fascist and Nazi playbooks. The rules seem interchangeable, or perhaps more accurately, the foundations of Islamism seem but the other side of the coin:

Anti-Western in its rejection of secular forms of identity (which are seen as imports from the West), political organization, and cultural expression, this “revivalist” Islamism is less about following the spiritual commands of Islam than its most base and superficial ones. This is perhaps why Islamism becomes so dissatisfying when its followers are given free reign, as in Afghanistan, Algeria, and militia controlled Iraq; it becomes an edifice of corruption, murder, gore, and hypocrisy without any deep spiritual backing.

Any fundamentalism, whether national, cultural, or spiritual, experiences this dissatisfaction eventually. Certainly, it was the case for western Christianity by the time of the Reformation and the rise of nationalism. The Orthodox, eastern part of Christianity avoided this fate by alliance with whomever was in power. That permitted the Eastern church to exist in the face of an evil totalitarianism, but at a heavy cost.

The Moor Next Door goes much further - and deeper - into the future than the IHT article dared to venture:

…before Westerners and so-called “liberal” or “moderate” Muslims start cheering over the decline in “interest” in Islamism among the Iraqis, it should be remembered that nothing has yet to arise in its place as a form of identity or solidarity. Islamism is still the strongest popular political force, and nationalism’s record has been dearly tarnished and greatly weakened by repeated military defeats on the part of Arab nationalist armies and sectarian infighting in Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and elsewhere. Nationalism or patriotisms revolving around the various Arab and Muslim states established by the former colonial powers is a possible alternative. Often labeled “Sadatism” (“the country first”), this alternative is often undermined by the remaining loyalties related to Arab and other nationalisms, for instance the fact that while the Arab polities have been moving away from one another politically they have been converging culturally at a rapid pace in recent years (and by the fact that it is encouraged by the United States, in a divide-and-rule effort, as many see it). On the other end, sectarianism remains high (and does not seem to be going anywhere) in many areas of the Arab world, and this leads to cross border solidarity and suspicious attitudes towards presumed compatriots. Only in the oldest Arab states - Morocco, Oman, Egypt (though its identity is increasingly undermined by Muslim and Coptic sectarianism), and to an extent Syria - is state nationalism strong. The only movements calling for the abolition of state borders in the Arab world are the Islamist movements (with the aim of establishing a universal caliphate) and the surviving Arab nationalist ones (towards the goal of a unified Arab entity). The region is still in the making.

Things that are “still in the making” are difficult to predict. Thus the Middle East is likely to remain restless, chaotic, and turbulent for some time to come. I do not agree that the U.S. has encouraged or engendered a “divide-and-rule” policy. America’s course of action vis-à-vis the Middle East is quite fragmented itself, with the many players involved seeing or seeking divergent causes and outcomes.

In particular, until someone is put in place to bring the U.S. State Department to heel, that will continue to be the case. Many Americans see Foggy Bottom as an entrenched problem to be solved, not an asset to be used. This is a generations-old problem for America and one that will not easily be resolved.

Read his final paragraph to see if you agree with Nouri’s summation. For me, the thing we cannot take into account is the evolution of a new paradigm to replace what has gone before. That requires a prescience that the great majority of us do not possess. For example, there were few who predicted accurately the implosion of the USSR and the reunification of Germany. A few people did, but for most of us, it was a complete surprise.

September 11th was a complete surprise, too, though there were far more Monday morning quarterbacks willing to intone on that event than were present for the end of Communism as a viable threat.

What is waiting to be born in the Middle East? Will there be voices heralding the eventual change? Over the din of the current chaos, will we be able to hear them?

31 comments:

Epaminondas said...

Neo-cons uber alles?

"Attendance at weekly prayers appears to be down, even in areas where the violence has largely subsided, according to worshipers and imams in Baghdad and Falluja. In two visits to the weekly prayer session in Baghdad of the followers of Moktada al-Sadr last autumn, vastly smaller crowds attended than had in 2004 or 2005"

The muslims I know in the US (all of whom are in medical research) stopped going to the mosque after insistence on the 'jews stayed home from the WTC', as a truth by imams. They also, and none of them know each other..said they are here for the same reason...'to escape the madness'

It might take a war... but a war for what? A war, meaningfully, to create a system whereby sovereignty rests with the people, not god, and the people just run around, SOONER OR LATER, making up laws out of their own heads.

Maybe TJ knew something.

I hope this story, and Nouri are accurate, but AFAIAC the jury is still out.

Maybe they are correct in THEIR understanding of the 'misunderstanders' of Islam.

laine said...

It's good to hear that there are Muslims who cross into the light and leave this resolutely 7th century belief system behind or on the sidelines of their lives, but there are others who are simultaneously being radicalized even in the bosom of Western civilization. I wonder what the ratio is?

Dymphna said...

I'll bite:

What is AFAIAC??

______________
laine--

I think it's smaller than we know, but it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil...and the media attention.

allat said...

I was reading the Egyptian Moustafa Gadalla's history of Egypt, and he says, the "arabism" is a thin veneer over the society - this includes - other countries - all the way to ALgeria and Morocco. Gadalla says the Arabs took over the top society - becoming the Elite - all the good jobs and perks go to this Arab veneer, which holds the actual Indigenous Peoples- the underclass in contempt. In Egypt, the Arabs call them fellahs. In fact, the Indigenous Peoples, resent and chafe under the arabs, the Indigenous Peoples don't really adhere to islam behind doors.

I was reading another book, entitled "Blue," recently published. The woman author traces the history of the color, in art and culture. In her tracing the route of the paint material, ground lapiz lazuli, seh traced the route back to Afghanistan and that area - a risky adventure at best. She informs that the individuals, the everyday people are NOT violent or resentful, but courteous. She tells of an instance where she was in a gem shop in Kabul speaking with the owner. When the call to prayer sounds, the man just goes to the shudders at the window, closes them, and just sits there doing nothing, until it's its safe to open the windows again.

But the long and short of it is, that the common people in those countries, are really NOT adherants to islam, but hostages to it.

It's a pity, the common people are caught in the fighting, and wars.

allat said...

I also meant to include that one large group in NOrth Africa resents the Arabs and their imposition of the foreign language, writing and culture, the Berbers. In fact, the Arabs forbid them to speak or write their own language, ancient before the days of the Romans. So the Berbers - a completely different people are now also chafing, and are striving to bring back their language and culture.

Exile said...

Dear Dymphna,

AFAIAC

Ahem; throat clearing..

As Far As I Am Concerned.... AFAIAC

Can I be excused now?

Ypp said...

" The region is still in the making."

Those people speak as if they are some impartial scientists, who know the Laws of the History and can judge from the Height of Knowledge. Actually, they fail to predict anything with their "science". They don't admit that they can be burst or crash in the plane, together with all their self-greatness.

Dymphna said...

Thanks, exile for clearing up the mystery. I was formulating something far more risqué.

NOTE from the teacher: In asking permission to be excused, one says "may I." The use of "can" refers to your ability to excuse yourself from my presence. However, it is only my noblesse oblige which allows it.

Dymphna said...

allat --

It was the same for all cultures that Islam invaded. They floated on the top, like cream. The sense of imperial superiority would not permit "mixing", thus limiting their genetic pool.

The English did the same in India, though with more success in appending the notion of English law to Indian culture.

BTW, the Turks do the same to the Kurds.

Dymphna said...

Ypp--

Precisely who are the "those people" in question? This is one person who is making observations about the current situation in the Middle East.

I found his tentative conclusions congenial to my thinking.

If you don't agree that the M.E. is in transition, please offer some observations of behavior so we can debate them.

Your small tirade is not comprehensible in its present form.

VinceP1974 said...

>What is waiting to be born in the Middle East?

This is one of the eeriest prophecies in the whole Bible:

Zechariah 5
5:5 After this the angelic messenger who had been speaking to me went out and said, “Look, see what is leaving.”

I asked, “What is it?” And he replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain that is moving away from here.”

Moreover, he said, “This is their 'eye'[0] throughout all the earth.”

Then a round lead cover was raised up, revealing a woman sitting inside the basket. He then said, “This woman represent wickedness,” and he pushed her down into the basket and placed the lead cover on top.

Then I looked again and saw two women going forth with the wind in their wings (they had wings like those of a stork) and they lifted up the basket between the earth and the sky.

I asked the messenger who was speaking to me, “Where are they taking the basket?” He replied, “To build a temple for her in the land of Babylonia. When it is finished, she will be placed there in her own residence.”


===


[0] In 4:10 the “eye” represented divine omniscience and power; here it represents the demonic counterfeit

Profitsbeard said...

Until Muslims learn how to think critically about the Koran, no temporary disappointment with the cruel methods used by its devotees will suffice to derail the brutal Juggernaut of militant Islam.

Until they see the colossal fraud at its rotten heart, their muttering around the edges is meaningless.

Any "religion" that threatens to kill you if you try to leave IS A DEATH CULT.

Until Muslims see this, they are hopelessly self-blinded.

And nothing useful will come from their ineffectual carping.

Dr.D said...

@ VinceP
The Church has long understood this prophecy to speak of the removal of wickedness from Israel to the more appropriate place, namely Babylon. It is not intended to predict the future of the Middle East in any way. It was received in a vision of the prophet Zechariah.

allat said...

"The English did the same in India"

It really is a mixed bag in this case. Yes, they were hateful, and the Indians had a right to resent them. But strangely enough, they did break the old habits of:

- Suttee

-and got the ball rolling on the elimination of the Caste system.I suspect, as I read someplace, that a great many of the Untouchables converted to islam because of that..a case of jumping into the fire...but what did the average lower class, poor things, know about the craziness of islam.

The West, unfortunately, touts Hinduism, and tantra (just glorified sex), and yoga, and raves about "Oh, the wonders of Mother India!," but the country is still struggling against the Caste system, female infanticide, bride burning, child slavery and child prostitution in Temples.

VinceP1974 said...

dr.d:

Anything that the "Church" has "long understood" about prophecy is cause for immediate reevaluation considering that for the longest time the "Church" got so much of it wrong.

Musafir said...

To Allat-
While its true that the British finally put the cork on Sati, to say that they "got the ball rolling" on Caste system does a gross injustice to indigenous Indian egalitarianism. There were several reform reform movements as early as Buddha and before. If anything, the British manipulate, enhanced, and inflamed the caste system in order to "divide and rule" the masses.

- Tantra is not just glorified sex, which simply shows your lack of knowledge of Hinduism in general.

- The caste system might be worse in some areas but it is slowly fading out with its primary usage as ethnicity (North Indian Brahmins are different than South Indian Brahmins), rather than religious mandate for discrimination.

- Sati (bride burning) is pretty much gone except for a few cases here or there. To say that it is an epidemic or anything more than isolated incidents is simply wrong.

VinceP1974 said...

Can someone explain to me what the situation in India was in relation to the Muslims vs Hindus around the time the British arrived?

I dont know much about that time period and place.

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Vince,
If you are interested you might try reading anything by Percival Spear he is an excellent English historian on India an exceptionally good read. You could also try Guttenberg.org. If you search the archives I am certain you will find many good books over Indian History, what is nice is that you can download them free. It would take me pages to even try and give you an answer. Indian history it is so complicated and surprising and full of interesting tit bits. For example 8 of the first 10 leaders of the Sikh religion were murdered by the Muslims, somethings never change. The Duke of Wellington learned his trade there, and fought more battles in India than he did in all of his European campaign. Prior to the Indian mutiny and the advent of the steam ship by which the unmarried daughters of the lower middle class could be easily shipped out to the marriage markets of Bombay Calcutta and Madras The english ruling class were certainly not dismisive of the Indians and most of the Officers and the men took Indian women as wifes or mistresses. This might account for the estimated 35,000,000 anglo-indians, who make up a part of that beautiful countries population.

Deep Regards

Yorkshire miner

Al-lat said...

Musafir: Well thanks for setting me straight. Where can I learn about the REAL India? Any books you can recommend, or websites?

Allat - Wild Amazon Polytheist

Al-lat said...

Ok, I'll also follow Yorkshireminer's reads.

I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, my overall impression upon reading the history:

when the Brits arrived, the islamics had pretty much overcome the Hindus, and were on the way to controlling the entire country. Because there was no unification of the various KIngdoms - each ruler pulling his way.

And yet, the British preferred to deal with the moslem - picking them over the Hindu ones. The British were perfidious in matters of the some heirs of a kingdom because they were adopted - instead - the Brits. put in their own puppets.

No doubt, they set up the Moslems against the Hindus, & vice versa. I think in this way, the set up backfired on the Brits, in the matter of the the 1st War of Independence (aka The Sepoy Massacre).


I've always wondered about the anglo-indians:

"35,000,000 anglo-indians, who make up a part of that beautiful countries population. "

I have an idea that both sides had contempt for the mixed race ( esp. the jealous white Mem) same as here Latin America, as in anywhere. So was the movie "Bhowani Junction" (Ava Gardner) true, in matters of racial tensions?

And where are the Ango-Indians today? There was a famous Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon. The fact that she was asheamed and hid her origins, speak for itself.

I do think times have changed a great deal, esp. in the U.S. re. race - where a "white" woman with Black Ancestry, chooses that side. The same as the American Indian, where anyone with even 1/8 Indian Blood, is proud of it.

Dymphna said...

Al-lat,

when you described yourself as a Wild Amazon Polytheist, I wondered if you meant the river or the company, Amazon.com? Then I saw further on your comment on the fate of mixed races in your area, so I presumed Brazil.

Personally, I am a Wild Amazon Consumer.

Re the disdain for mixed-race peoples, I think that is changing. At least I have seen great strides made in my lifetime.

The Personally, Perpetually Aggrieved would not agree but we have to rout out the socialist programme to make *that* go away. It's an uphill battle, but we are further up the mountain than we were when miscegenation was against the law.

In my extended family (including my various in-law groupings), we have several blacks, a Vietnamese, a Korean/black, a Mexican, and an Asian/white (sorry, don't know the exact Asian country as she was adopted by my cousin because the latter wanted children who weren't burdened with our screwy Celtic genes. I have to admit she had a point).

So we have a bunch of Celts whose children are mixed races. They seem proud of both sides...one black husband is a tad sensitive to his situation, but I think his wife works on it.

In time, the "white" race as a distinguishable phenomenon may die out. That wouldn't be a tragedy as long as my descendants reside under something very much like Western law, with its emphasis on personal liberty and personal responsibility.

This die-off would also mean that other races would also be less pronounced, too. We could judge people by other standards.

So far, I haven't seen a better template than the American Constitution for achieving that. I think that the phenomenon of America succeeded because those who came here were not only drawn to the opportunities, they were also pushed from behind by the lack of same in their own place of origin. Nonetheless it must have been wrenching to leave family and hearth for a strange, large, wild place.

When the blacks were finally freed, they acted just like all the other new arrivals: they moved around, they bought land, they settled in to try to live the American dream. Of course there were people waiting to deprive them, but in the end, they transcended those limits...until the government interfered to "help" and put a spanner in the works.

We live in a largely black community and it's peaceful. A few outlaws here and there -- of both races -- and not much social mixing, but the laws are the same for all...one of the biggest landowners, a veteran of WWII, is black.

He, and all the other blacks in this area, are descendants of slaves who were owned by the ancestors of many whites who are still here. There are a number (always dwindling) of substantial late 18th century homes, some of which have a few slave cabins remaining. They're used for storage, which I find a tad rude.

BTW, I think that several gauges test the notion of liberty (at least for the US) in a given region:

*who owns the land
*who owns the businesses
*who sits on the county council
*who maintains the policing function.
*who graduates from high school

Based on those, we live in a place that passes the liberty test. It's not perfect, but it's better than Lincoln was ever able to hope for or believe.

Dymphna said...

Vincep1974 said

Anything that the "Church" has "long understood" about prophecy is cause for immediate reevaluation considering that for the longest time the "Church" got so much of it wrong.

So what's with the church-bashing? In both Christian and Jewish books, prophetic writings are a special niche. They are eschatological and allegorical. They are *not* and never have been about history.

The most obvious example of this is Hosea.

VinceP1974 said...

Dymphna: I think we're on the same side.

I come from a Catholic background, so when I speak of the Church view in the past regarding their interpration of prophecy , I think it's all wrong.

I left the RCC in my teens and consider myself non-denominational Bible-only Zionist Christian.


I took Dr D's message to mean that the historical church view of the chapter I quoted was that it was something that had already happened, or that it is something abstract.

I dont agree with either view. That entire sequence in Zechariah has so many parellels with Revelation that I see the woman in the basket to be the Woman that rides the beast in Revelation.

And I have come to view all the Bible eschatology to be describing an Islamic adversary as opposed to the mainstream American evangelical position typified by the "Left Behind" books.


I believe that just as the reestablishment of Israel in 1948 forced a complete rethink of the OT prophecies about the restoration of Israel . That the "spiritualization" or "Church replaces Israel" view was indeed wrong and that the literal interpreation was in fact correct... i've come to the view that perhaps all the historical assumptions about who the Antichrist is and his empire also need to be reevaluated and stripped back down to the literal. And when I do that (with a few very smart people leading the path), I can't help but see the system that has eventually become Islam in our time to be what is being described.

Musafir said...

vincep1974-
Marxist work on the relations between Hindus and Muslims prior to the British would have you believe that the Muslims simply waltzed in with a beautiful caravan, immediately enriching and enhancing the "inferior" Hindu culture. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The first Caliph Omar attacked India only FIVE years after the death of Mohammad. In total, he sent six expeditions by sea which were all repulsed and his commmanders destroyed on Indian soil. The Arabs never tried to attack again.

In the 12th century, Mohammad Gori destroyed Prithviraj Chauhan and took hold of the Khyber Pass (the only economical way to enter India) and from then on began a never ending struggle between Hindu and Muslim kingdoms. There are more gray areas but the lines were pretty well drawn.

The majority were Turkish and Afghani's (with one exception being Sher Shah Suri and his grandson Hakim Khan Suri) who ravaged the Indian subcontinent beyond anything you could imagine.

If we go by the Rajputs, the North Indians who fought the Arabs, Hindus, at the earliest advent of the British, had been fighting Muslims for nearly 1000 years.

allat-
I didn't mean to sound condescending, and I hope you weren't either.

This Wikipedia article is well sourced:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system

About tantra:
Some versions of tantra do use sex, yes, but not all, and it is certainly not JUST about sex.

http://www.integraltradition.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23_25&products_id=33

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Secrets-Keys-Love-Meditation/dp/0312180586/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204825651&sr=8-1

VinceP1974 said...

hi musafil: thanks for the info.

I am aware that the Muslims have been absolutely brutal towards the Hindus.. and if I'm not mistaking , the greatest holocaust in all human history is the muslim holocaust of the hindus... i think the number i remember reading was 70 Million , though I dont remember when this happened.. maybe sometime around 1000 - 1200 ?

I'm just curious how things were playing out around the time England arrived.. (1800ish?)

I think it's a shame that we in the United States are not taught this history... we have many things in common with India because of the legacy of England's time there...and the Muslim aggression against the Hindus is one more thing that could be the basis for common cause.

no2liberals said...

So Dymphna, you must have seen the season eight episode of Goobacks.
If not, it's high time you did. BTW, season twelve of South Park begins next wednesday night.
I have a number of Persian expat friends, and they are constantly getting news from home. They have informed me that even in the largest mosque in Tehran, it is nearly empty on Friday for the sermon. The images you see of large gatherings of Iranians shouting "Death to America" are staged with stooges of the regime.
Iran's population under thirty years of age is decidedly opposed to the regime, and as a result, are turning away, not only from Islam, but religion in general. Many of my middle eastern friends, of different nations, that have been here in the U.S. for long periods of time, have converted and are now Christian. I asked a couple of them why and how they became Christian, and both had watched some televangelists, late at night on TV, and became inspired by the message of Christianity, and it inspired them to find out more.
What they found, other than redemption and salvation, was a message of peace and love, that was missing in their former religion.
Here is a snip from a WorldNetDaily article a few days ago:
"Jesus's teaching on how to treat enemies:

* Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you (Matthew 5:44).
* Resist not evil (Matthew 5:39).
* If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to them the other (Matthew 5:39).
* If someone takes your coat, give them your shirt (Matthew 5:40).
* If someone make you carry something one mile, carry it two (Matthew 5:41).
* Forgive and you shall be forgiven (Matthew 6:14).
* Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1).
* Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).
* Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
* Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not kill, but I say who ever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment (Matthew 5:21-22).
* Treat others the same way you want them to treat you (Luke 6:27-36).
* Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, whatever you do to the very least you have done unto me (Matthew 25:40).

Muhammad's teaching on how to treat enemies:

* Infidels are your sworn enemies (Sura 4:101).
* Be ruthless to the infidels (Sura 48:29).
* Make war on the infidels who dwell around you (Sura 9:123, 66:9).
* Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day (Sura 9:29).
* Strike off the heads of infidels in battle (Sura 47:4).
* If someone stops believing in Allah, kill him (al-Bukhari 9:84:57).
* Take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends (Sura 5:51, 60:13).
* Never be a helper to the disbelievers (Sura 28:86).
* Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them (Sura 2:191).
* No Muslim should be killed for killing an infidel (al-Bukhari 1:3:111).
* The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land (Sura 5:33)."

If you aren't familiar with Amil Imani's essays, I highly recommend them, especially this one.
The Last will and testament of a Suicide Bomber. It is very good.

PRCalDude said...

I was reading the Egyptian Moustafa Gadalla's history of Egypt, and he says, the "arabism" is a thin veneer over the society - this includes - other countries - all the way to ALgeria and Morocco. Gadalla says the Arabs took over the top society - becoming the Elite - all the good jobs and perks go to this Arab veneer, which holds the actual Indigenous Peoples- the underclass in contempt. In Egypt, the Arabs call them fellahs. In fact, the Indigenous Peoples, resent and chafe under the arabs, the Indigenous Peoples don't really adhere to islam behind doors.

I was reading another book, entitled "Blue," recently published. The woman author traces the history of the color, in art and culture. In her tracing the route of the paint material, ground lapiz lazuli, seh traced the route back to Afghanistan and that area - a risky adventure at best. She informs that the individuals, the everyday people are NOT violent or resentful, but courteous. She tells of an instance where she was in a gem shop in Kabul speaking with the owner. When the call to prayer sounds, the man just goes to the shudders at the window, closes them, and just sits there doing nothing, until it's its safe to open the windows again.

But the long and short of it is, that the common people in those countries, are really NOT adherants to islam, but hostages to it.

It's a pity, the common people are caught in the fighting, and wars.


Islam is the religion of the Arabs. It is an Arabist religion. A vehicle for Arab supremacism. This needs to be repeated far and wide.

PRCalDude said...

Iran's population under thirty years of age is decidedly opposed to the regime, and as a result, are turning away, not only from Islam, but religion in general. Many of my middle eastern friends, of different nations, that have been here in the U.S. for long periods of time, have converted and are now Christian. I asked a couple of them why and how they became Christian, and both had watched some televangelists, late at night on TV, and became inspired by the message of Christianity, and it inspired them to find out more.

I've heard this too. My friend is friends with an evangelist in Iran who'd been there for the past 20 years. He said that the Mullahs are in a panic about the conversions to Christianity.

Looks like Satan is still bound, and Jesus is still plucking people out of his kingdom.

Al-lat said...

dympha: Amazon women as in greek mythology, came 1st.as in, why the conquistadores named the river.

Al-lat said...

dympha: Thanks. My family are all different shades.

no2liberals said...

prcaldude
The Mad Mullahs are an embarrassment to humankind.
A good story, and I'll try and keep it short. A good friend of mine, Kurdish by heritage, American citizen by choice, has been serving with our military since before the invasion in Apr 03. He initially served with the Joint Special Task Forces-North, and was in his old home town of Erbil for it's liberation, a day before Baghdad fell. In the first months of the invasion, he was going out nightly on raids, to try and find the foreign fighters in the area, and he said it was easy to spot them, by their appearance and accents. Because he was fluent in Arabic, as well as Farsi, he was a valuable asset, and he could even detect what region/city someone was from in Iraq by their accent, and he could use different accents.
One night, they entered a home, and there was one man who stood out with his garments, and his radical appearing beard. He asked the suspect a question, and instantly knew he was from Pakistan. The suspect, detecting a Baghdad accent, thought he would protect him from the G.I.'s, and with his hands bound, tried to crawl over and kiss my friends feet, while begging not to be killed or harmed. My friend was so disgusted, he had to restrain himself from kicking the guy in the head. My friend then asked him, why are you here in Iraq, to which the detainee stated, as though it was understood, "oh, I'm here to kill the infidels." The detainee kept begging, and trying to kiss my friends feet, when my friend dropped the bomb. He told him he was a pathetic murderer of children, women, and innocent people, and a brave fighter until caught, and that now he was captured, his bravery was trying to kiss the feet of an infidel, an American citizen, and a Christian. My friend said he wished he had a camera for that moment, as the look on the detainee's face was one of incredulity.