The Bible vs. The Koran

The Battle of spreading the Holy Books is more intense than anyone would've thought.

The combination of globalisation and rising wealth is proving to be
a bonanza for both religions. The most prolific producer of Christian
missionaries, on a per head basis, is now South Korea. The biggest
Bible publishing houses are in Brazil and South Korea. An interlinked
global network of 140 national or regional Bible Societies pools
resources to reach its collective goal of putting a Bible in the hands
of every man, woman and child on the planet. The American Bible
Society, the biggest of the lot, has published more than 50m Bibles in
atheist China.

Saudi oil wealth is supercharging the distribution of the Koran. The
kingdom gives away some 30m Korans a year, under the auspices of either
the Muslim World League or individual billionaires, distributing them
through a vast network of mosques, Islamic societies and even
embassies. Go to FreeKoran.com and you can have a free book in your hands in weeks.

However…

Saudi-funded dissemination of the Koran, along with literature
promoting the stern Saudi understanding of Islam, may not have much
direct effect on Christians, or the unchurched. But it does increase
the relative weight, within Islam, of teachings which tend to sharpen
the Christian-Muslim divide. For example, traditional Muslim teaching
stresses those passages in the Koran which affirm the Christian Gospel
and the Hebrew Torah as valid revelations of God and paths to
salvation. But there is a harsher, Saudi-influenced view which insists
that since Muhammad delivered the final revelation, Christianity and
Judaism have lost their power to save.

And that is the branch of Islam that I have the biggest problem with. The Saudi view's prevelance has grown to such a degree that you can never get a straight answer from Imams now on whether or not Jews and Christians are infidels or people of the book. It's kind of like the Milk question and nutritionists: Does any of you know anymore whether Milk is good or bad for you?

I rest my case.

The distortion is of epic proportion, and so is the intolerant attitude. Long gone is the Islam of tolerance and respecting the religious rights of the country's christians and jews. Can any of you name a middle-eastern country where the christian inhabitants don't feel prosecuted by their muslim counterparts? How about a generally Islamic country. Does that work? No? How about we ignore christians and jews, and stick to islamic branches: How about a country where the sunnis don't oppress the shia, or the shia don't screw over the sunnis? I couldn't find one either. Whether we like it or not, Islam has developed a reclusive, closed ghetto mentality, mimicking those who have spent lots of money to turn it this way. But this may end up being their own undoing in the end…

The third big advantage is the West's belief in religious
freedom—guaranteed in America by the constitution, and in Europe by an
aversion to religious persecution caused by centuries of it. The
heartland of Islam, by contrast, is theocratic. The Saudi Ministry of
Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance employs 120,000 people,
including 72,000 imams. Saudi Arabia bans non-Islamic worship and
regards attempts to convert Muslims to another faith as a criminal
offence. Pakistan has witnessed the attacks on Christian missionaries.
Sudan punishes “religious deviation” with imprisonment.

Christian Evangelists complain that this creates an uneven playing
field: Muslims can build giant mosques in “Christian lands” while
Christians are barred from distributing Bibles in Saudi Arabia and
Iran. But uneven playing fields tend to weaken the home players. Open
competition is a boon to religion: American Evangelism has flourished
precisely because America has no official church. And theocracy is
ultimately a source of sloth and conservatism. “The Book and the
Koran”, by Muhammad Shahrur, which tried to reinterpret the Koran for
modern readers, was widely banned in the Islamic world, despite its
pious tone and huge popularity.

The stagnation in Islamic thought, fueled by the strict and stringent wahabbi interpretation, has been bearing fruit for the past few years, and we are seeing this in the Fatwas being released by so called islamic scholars. Hell, the majority of the current AlAazhar Ulamaswere previously hired and indoctrinated in Saudi Islamic Universities, which led the majority of them to adopt the more conservative Wahabbi interpertation, instead of Al Azhar's more moderate Al Ash3ary one, which is dying in the institution as we speak. This is why we are now getting Breast-feeding fatwas. Liberalization of Islamic thought and modus operandi may be essential now, but soon enough, with the direction it's been taking, it will be crucial for the religion's survival.

0 comment on The Bible vs. The Koran

  1. InfidelDane
    December 22, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    “Europe [has] an
    aversion to religious persecution caused by centuries of it”

    make that “an aversion to religion in general”

    When will the Muslim world have enough ?

    Reply
  2. Muslims Against Sharia
    December 23, 2007 at 1:14 am

    People talk about the need to reform Islam. Now you can stop talking and start helping.

    With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. We would like to publish Reform Koran in as many languages as possible. If you could help with translation, editing, or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at koran-AT-reformislam.org. If you could provide financial support, please visit our support page.

    In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez.

    http://www.reformislam.org/reform.php

    Reply
  3. anonymous
    December 23, 2007 at 6:31 am

    #2 MAS: editing the Quran? Interesting. Didn’t that Rashad Khalifa guy try something similar?

    Wasn’t this done to the Bible? That’s why there is an apocrypha I believe.

    Really instead of randomly deciding what did or didn’t come from Allah, as who knows who you people really are, just reject the book altogether.

    People pick and choose what they practice with any religion anyways. Depending on what’s convenient for them.

    Re; the Wahhabi/Salafi form of Islam. Don’t agree with it’s rigidity personally. It also focusses more on rules and regulations and the stupidest, pettiest aspects of life rather than on the essence of the faith. Islam is meant to be a guide, a way of life and a means of getting closer to the Divine, as are most faiths. As you mentioned, the spiritual aspects of the faith are usually ignored and bizarre fatwas are a result.

    Unfortunately, the administrators or theocrats of faith direct the masses who are less educated, do not read enough on their own and who think that if they follow the letter of the law they will find salvation. This can be said of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus etc.

    FYI they do not build big gigantic mosques on Christian lands. The French in France are giving muslims a very hard time with respect to allowing them to build a big gigantic mosque in Paris. Since 9/11 it’s much more difficult to buy land, get permits and build mosques. So that piece of information your quoting is inaccurate.

    Reply
  4. ella
    December 23, 2007 at 7:09 am

    they do not build big gigantic mosques on Christian lands
    Although not for the lack of trying, they tried in Switzerland, they try in London. Right now they might not build gigantic, they just build large, quite large in fact. ;-)

    Reply
  5. RandallJones
    December 23, 2007 at 8:21 am

    The Economist article says, “Saudi Arabia bans non-Islamic worship and
    regards attempts to convert Muslims to another faith as a criminal
    offence.”

    Why did the article leave out that the Saudis invest trillions of dollars in the United States? In additions, the United States makes millions selling Saudi Arabia sophisticated weaponry that the Saudis do not have the qualified personnel to use;, which is why they are dependent on the UNited States to defend them.

    The Economist article says, “Pakistan has witnessed the attacks on Christian missionaries. Sudan punishes “religious deviation” with imprisonment.”

    Why does the article leave out the millions of Muslim deaths Judeo-Christian countries are responsible for in Iraq? The United States had helped Saddam Hussein into power and supported him strategically and financially when he was committing his worst atrocities. Then the Iraqi people became scapegoats for the United States foreign policy. They had their infrastructure and homes bombed in two invasions and sanctions were placed against them.

    The United States recruited and trained Muslim extremists to fight its proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan. Zbigniew Brzezinski had admitted they just wanted to give the Soviets their “Vietnam.” Millions of Afghans died, their country had been bombed out, in the meanwhile the war facilitated the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States became the number one super power in the world. But the U.S. did not bother to help reconstruct Afghanistan.

    Why does the article leave out the number one region in which the most number of killings and rapes occur is the Christian Congo. The Judeo-Christian United States, Europe, and Israel do nothing for the Congolese because they benefit from the diamonds, other natural resources, the sale of weapons, and slave labor. Wealth prevents them from showing concern for their Christian brothers and sisters.

    Reply
  6. ella
    December 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Randal Jones

    They left all this stuff because in no way judeo-christians are doing it for the glory of God. Muslims doing their “stuff” are shouting from the rooftops that they are doing what they are doing for the religion and for Allah.
    And you make couple of mistakes:
    - Saudi invest millions in US and in Europe because they can not invest it elsewhere for the same returns……..they do not invest it in Palestine, now, do they?
    - the most deaths in Iraq have been due to to the actions of other muslims, you know bombs in mosques, bombs in marketplaces, and bombs in husseiniyads and bombs in any place where their co-religionists pray somewhat differently. As for the sanctions, you do forget Kurds, don’t you? Bombed by Saddam Hussein, bombed by Turks, bombed by everybody because of Kirkuk. Kirkuk, the olde kurdish city situated in the area full of black gold – Kurdish oil.
    - millions Afghans died because they fought for their country. Afghanis also died because children of Afghanistan, brought up in Pakistani camps and taught by Saudi immams returned to Afghanistan. As for Afghan war which facilitating collapse of CCCP/USSR – dream on. CCCP collapse was due to different causes, but Bin Laden Afghans have to have their legends, of great warriors destroying great empire. Warriors helped by bin Turki and Saudi Arabia with money, weapons and wahabi immams.
    Christian Congo……………..well, yes, it is Christian and Muslim (10%) but illegal diamond trade is financing the attrocities. Diamond trade there like Taliban drug trade in Afghanistan finance these atrocities. That means muslims also finance what is happening there. In fact Hezbullah and recently Al Qaeda do that, didn’t you know that? And westerners try to do something about that, although it is difficult, do the muslims do anything for the muslim population there?

    Reply
  7. Sherif
    December 24, 2007 at 1:41 am

    I’m an avid reader of your blog (a secret admirer of sorts), I really really disagree with most of what you write… Frankly i don’t even know why I keep on reading!!!!!
    Saudi Arabia (how can you even trust a country named after its ruling family) anyways it is the cradle of Wahabism, created by the British with the aid of its famous general lawerence of arabia, I’m sure you guys have all heard of him or even watched the movie, to break up the Islamic Ummah ruled then by the Ottamans in Turkey… The egyptian army faught the wahabis 3 times, Egyptians 3-0 wahabis (Goooo Egypt, masr om el donya).

    Now, in 2007 (soon to be 8) I’m telling the West ‘reap what you sow’… Wahabism was enforced on the Muslims by the west and now they’re blameing muslims for it much like al-qaeda is!!!!
    ‘JUSTICE WILL ALWAYS PERVAIL’ and thats the word of the day……………..

    Reply
  8. anonymous
    December 24, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Sherif,

    Isn’t he just mesmerizing in his writing. I hear what u r saying when u say u disagree with most of the stuff he writes, or most of the readers he attracts. But yet we continue to read.

    Frankly, I’m starting to think he writes for the sake of writing and doesn’t really reveal what he actually believes. Who knows if these are even really his opinions or those of the audience he wants to attract. I’ve been noticing a lot of flip flopping but I think he’d make a great fiction writer.

    Still good writing for the most part.

    Justice does eventually prevail…it just takes centuries sometimes.

    Reply
  9. ella
    December 24, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Sherif

    “Justice will always pervail”? Don’t be so sure. West may reap what it sowed, but the justice may not come to the ones who think they deserve it.
    Have you noticed who really is getting stronger, and I do not mean your people ;-)
    The wheel is round, so in the couple of centuries or so, the people in the ME will reap what they sowed in this, 21 century, because, as you said, “justice will always prevail”.
    In the 11 century your people conquered by sword and fire a lot of land……………in the 21 century………..and so it goes on and on.

    Reply
  10. RandllJones
    December 24, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    ella,

    You make up “facts” better than the mainstream media :)

    Reply
  11. Toady
    December 24, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Does any of you know anymore whether Milk is good or bad for you?

    I know it’s wierd to drink the milk of another species.

    Reply
  12. Xylo
    December 24, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    they do not build big gigantic mosques on Christian lands

    Primarily because Muslims are a tiny minority there.

    Reply
  13. Sherif
    December 24, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    I agree with you that we have black spots in our history whether internal fighting or injustices committed on other people, it’s just human nature I guess, greed that came with the wealth and power… but the blame game of “look what you did in the past” and “look what I did in the past” is not gona get us anywhere I didn’t live in the past neither did you, we try to answer to problems that we face now…
    what I would like from the west is to say and make it clear to everyone that “we created al-qaeda and helped them with money and weapons, we created the saudi government knowing that they were wahabis and we will stand up for it and take the blame like men”
    yes wahabism was a product of extremist islamic thought but muslims were against it while the west helped it grow and established it.

    and about the war between egypt and the wahabis well you can google it from 1811-1818…

    And please if your gona mention flip flopping or the making up of facts then PLEASE give evidence of my flip flopping or made up facts, so that I may have the opportunity to defend myself.
    Oh and by the way ella the crusades started in the 11th century so I would advise YOU to get YOUR facts right.

    Reply
  14. Sherif
    December 24, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    And I started writing on this blog because honestly its pretty one-sided its like you guys come here to prove to yourself that what your thinking is right, I thought I’d spice it up a little bit and besides the other side is rarely presented… Anyways I will not force myself on this blog, if SM wishes then I will stop writing and just stick to reading….

    Reply
  15. Sherif
    December 24, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    And ya I read my 1st comment and the way i wrote was too much, it sounded like an army general giving his speech before the troops go to battle you know like ’300′ or ‘alexander the great’ type movies (pretty good movies, don’t get me wrong) “Justice will prevail” HAHA, but you have to forgive me I get emotional when I talk about this subject… I will try to keep it down just a notch

    Reply
  16. Roman Kalik
    December 24, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Serif, you make several historical errors. Lawrence was no general, but rather an academic and an explorer who ended up being recruited by the British foreign office during the war (when he was already stuck here) to serve as a contact and go-between between the British and separatist Arabic tribes. Lawrence, on the other hand… went native, so to speak, instead of simply obeying British directives. He became emotionally tied to the tribes he was coordinating and trying to convince to work together, and largely went rogue. This is why Lawrence so avidly supported independence for the region, while the British (during and after the war) just saw the place as another colonial area.

    Lawrence’s vision of the post-Ottoman countries was radically different than what we have today, by the way. Google up Lawrence’s map of the middle-east (he had his own personal model, and I’m sure there’s a photo around somewhere) when you get the chance. It had no Saudis in it, merely tribal and trade alliances as a basis for statehood. British authorities viewed him with distaste (he was too Arabised, not British enough for the then-colonial mindset) and had no interest in granting anyone independence, but his popularity and fame (thanks to some reporters who earned quite a pretty penny from covering the adventurous Lawrence of Arabia) earned him a begrudged influence. Independence would happen, but not as Lawrence envisioned it. Instead, the British looked for powerful tribes and families, of the kind who were respected beyond mere trade.

    In short, the British were looking for royalty, something that they understood and saw as familiar grounds. And they found it. You forget that the House of Saud was a very powerful family, Seriph, and that it had already led a Saudi kingdom in the past. With them, the British did little more than restore the old order, *not* creating anything new or bringing up some fringe element. The First Saudi Kingdom spanned the entire Arab Penisula merely a century before, after all.

    As for Al-Quaeda, you confuse the Mujahedeen with Al-Quaeda and Bin-Laden. Bin-Laden wasn’t part of the Mujahedeen, he was the moneyman, the alternative moneyman in fact. He was the rick kid who gave them money and asked that they stop taking the “dirty” American funds that came via the Pakistanis. Back then, Bin-Laden was a nobody.

    Al-Qaeda came later. It wasn’t Bin-Laden’s personal brainchild, more that of his spiritual teacher, but he later took the lead. Nor did he bring Al-Quaeda to Afganistan until much later (again, highlighting that these are *separate* entities), and before that he was based in Sudan. The environs of the then-theocratic Sudan suited him and the growing Al-Quaeda nicely.

    In short, the real issue is that no one expected the House of Saud and its state dogma to sit on so much oil. So much, in fact, that the state of Saudi Arabia managed to market itself so well as a good businessman. I don’t think anyone truly realized just what was festering inside Saudi Arabia, because few ever bothered to look inside – not even those here in the Middle East. The Saudis gained the religious mandate granted to those safeguarding the holy cities of Islam, and the power that comes with a huge and seemingly neverending income… In this environment, spoiled rich sons of a father with many wives focus on the religious teachings of madmen.

    Don’t blame the West for messing up the ME, Serif. The West didn’t – it simply didn’t invest in trying to make it better.

    Reply
  17. Roman Kalik
    December 24, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Oh, and RandallJones… (so lovely to see you posting here again, you just have no idea) Do shut up, and go back to your conspiracy-laden world – the one in your head, of course, not this one. *this* one has sane people in it, people who have better things to do than read your drivel.

    So take care, and watch out for those black helicopters!

    Reply
  18. brooklynjon
    December 24, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Sherif,

    I don’t have a lot of time to respond to your posts, but I did want to greet you. I’m always interested to hear from people who, though we may disagree, do not sound like rabid haters. I think some of the generalized disagreements come from working with a different set of “facts”. Some comes from leaders trying to stir up hatred for whatever reasons.

    In any event, a couple of quickie points:

    You toss around “Judeo-Christian” to refer to the west. Be aware that the “Judeo” part was being kicked around for most of that time, only recently being able to excercise any political power (and of course being blamed for it now).

    Yes, Britain screwed up virtually everything they got their hands on. But they do make good beer.

    The Crusades were a brutal, expansionist attempt to beat back the brutal, expansionist Islamic armies. It’s really hard to decide which brutal, expansionist attacks were worse. They were both terrible. Here’s to hope that brutality and expansionism are taking their last breaths, so we can all coexist in peace, if not in harmony.

    Cheers!

    bj

    Reply
  19. Sherif
    December 24, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Roman Kalik,

    I admit that after reading your comment, I realized that I may have misunderstood lawerence of arabia, although I will do some research… as for the creation of the second saudi kingdom you disregard the fact that the british were at the time trying to break up the ottaman empire into pieces and they supported the tribes of arabia in their claim for independence. As for the wahabism issue regardless of their intention at the time whether they intentionally wanted the wahabis to be in power or not, they still did… lets face it without their support and without the notion of ‘divide and conquer’ the wahabis would still remain a small group of people detested by most muslims. They used to kill unarmed innocent pilgrims on their way to Hajj because they claimed they were infidels…

    As for al-qaeda again you disregard the fact that the majority of the people involved in the creation of this group were from the mujahideen, the west supported those same people in their fight against the soviets and when they turned against them the west claimed they have no connection to those people, instead they made people believe that those bloody muslims hate us for no reason.
    you can’t play with fire and not get burnt, and every cause has an effect, did the west intend that this be the outcome, I doubt it, but it all resulted from their interference in the world.

    “Don’t blame the West for messing up the ME, Serif. The West didn’t – it simply didn’t invest in trying to make it better.”

    I’m sorry to say that you are completely wrong here, I would say that MOST of the wests intervention in the ME was for the sole benefit of its own people, and understandably so what kind of government would it be if it worked againt its people… and from this perspective, anything good that came to the ME was extremely disproportionate and unfairly favouring the west and the result was generally disadvantageous to the ME…

    Here I’m obviously talking about the governments and not the people. I have nothing against the people (well most of them atleast).

    Reply
  20. Nomad
    December 25, 2007 at 12:34 am

    “Yes, Britain screwed up virtually everything they got their hands on. But they do make good beer.”

    you surely don’t know the good stores for beers, ever heard of belgian beer ? (even the german’s taste better than the english’s

    Roman, your sum up of lawrence of Arabia is clear and corresponds to what I read about

    I am glad that none can put the blame on the Frenchs for that though :mrgreen:

    Reply
  21. RandallJones
    December 25, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Roman Kalik,

    You tell me to shut up and say I am in a conspiracy laden world, because you don’t want to hear the truth.

    There are people who are actually interested in the truth and human rights for everyone, not just those living in the West. Too bad you aren’t one of them.

    Reply
  22. Roman Kalik
    December 25, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Sharif, the British had no other option but to divide the region once they decided that anyone here was going to be independent in the first place. The reality at hand is that this region is by far not homogeneous. Lawrence was more interested in trade routes, tribal alliances and ethnic majorities as a basis for independent states, and this would have arguably been the better approach. The British instead opted for monarchs.

    Yes, the British were acting for their own interest, and this is why the elevated nobility had very good ties with the British (at least for a brief time). But the Saudis gained power not due to the British as much as by:

    1. Already having a strong power base in the Arab Penisula.

    2. Conquering Mecca from the Seriph and the Hashemite line (the Seriph also had a legitimate and large power base in the region, and managed to hold an independent revolt against the Ottoman Empire). The Hashemites enjoyed much more British suppost than the House of Saud, and through their interaction with the British the Hashemites became a force to be reckoned with, similar to the old traditional Muslim empires. Unfortunately, the fanatical Saudis proved to be stronger.

    Reply
  23. brooklynjon
    December 25, 2007 at 6:20 am

    Never cared much for Belgian beers. Lambics are a little harsh on the hard palate.

    But a nice pint of Newcastle Brown Ale….ahhhhhh, heaven.

    Reply
  24. Roman Kalik
    December 25, 2007 at 6:22 am

    As for Al-Quaeda, you are mistaken. It wasn’t founded on the base of the Mujahedeen (who were all local to Afghanistan and the Pakistani border region), but rather on so-called “foreign mujahedeen” that Bin Laden collected and sent to Afghanistan as part of his work under Maktab al-Khadamat, an organization originally founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, of all people. These foreign fighters were funded by Bin Laden (he was recruited into MAK as the cash man), and were barely comparable to the Afghan Mujahedeen in terms of numbers (who numbered over 200,000 compared to MAK’s scant thousands). Bin Laden never did manage to convince the real Mujahedeen to take him seriously.

    Once Afghanistan was over and done with, Bin-Laden left MAK to persue his own goals (largely built on Qutbist ideology). He tried (and failed) to convince the Saudi government to use his little band of fanatics to defend against Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War, who just nodded and smiled at the little man frothing at the mouth, and called for American aid instead. This so angered Bin Laden that he started targeting the House of Saud, which resulted in him being expelled from the kingdom.

    From this point, Al Quaeda is truly born. It held a religious ideology even more extreme than the Wahabbi norm, and had many foreign contacts across Muslim countries due to Bin Laden’s recruitment operation for Afghanistan. While the actual Mujahedeen were busy forming the Taliban, Bin Laden was thinking about what would best serve as a flashpoint for a “Muslim war”.

    Yes, Al Quaeda had good ties with the Afghani Mujahedeen, which is why he found such good hospitality in Afghanistan after the Sudanese abode couldn’t be maintained anymore, but these were two very different groups – both in terms of membership and ideology.

    Reply
  25. Roman Kalik
    December 25, 2007 at 6:26 am

    By the way, Serif, it’s a real pleasure speaking with you. Like BJ, I’m always pleased to hold conversations with people who don’t base their arguments on hatred, but instead focus on reasoning and friendly debate.

    Oh, and Nomad, you forget those parts of the Middle East held by the French after WWI. It wasn’t big, but was no less a mess. ;-)

    Reply
  26. nomad
    December 25, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Roman, it’s the mess today, but not when we still had the protectorat ; the thing is the french soldiers got better involved with the populations there than the british ones ;

    even with the occupation of Istambul, the frenchs had a better reputation :lol:

    Reply
  27. Sherif
    December 25, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    It is always a pleasure to speak with people who are willing to have a civilized debate, people who are willing to listen to you. Roman and bj, I appreciate it…. Roman I do not doubt your knowledge on the subject, you know the most intricate details whether on Lawerance (and I did take a look at the map) or on the evolution of al-qaeda….

    However, my main point is this… It is mainly because of the west’s intervention that wahabism has taken a hold within islam, and it is mainly due to saudi and american aid that al-qaeda was able to be such a threat to the world (and btw when i said mujahedeen i meant the afghan arabs and the foreigners). Roman, if you look at the most basic picture, without all the details you mention, it will appear to you that saudi arabia was basically created by the british, and al-qaeda is what it is because they were trained and encouraged on by the americans and its allies.
    again i repeat, wahabism, unfortunatly, is a product of islamic thought but had it been left on its own without intervention it would not have found the support that it now has in the world.
    what i want to get through is this: do not blame islam for something it is innocent of. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but this is one thing you can not blame us for….
    Merry Xmas

    Reply
  28. Roman Kalik
    December 25, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Sherif, we can’t second-guess the past, so we can’t know what would have happened. When WWI was won, the British were the sovereign rules of most of the Ottoman Empire’s territory. No matter what they would have done, they would have been blamed for the present, because blaming the past is easy. The reality though, is that the British left a long time ago – and the region didn’t go for the better for many years now. The House of Saud stayed in power, the only revolutions were those of the Ba’ath and other pan-Arabic nationalist movements (which later turned to governments that played with the fire of religious extremists time and time again, if it seemed to suit their purposes). And today, the fanatics are gaining power…

    The British held (and I say *held* because the British today are not the British who lived and held sway in the post-WWI era) responsibility for this region once they conquered it, but they did not create the House of Saud. It was already there, waiting for a chance to restore the kingdom of Saud… The British should have crushed their resurfacing, instead of seeing them as new allies in the region, but from the sheer speed of the Saudi rise to power, especially the ease with which they took over Mecca (held as it was by much more valued allies of the British) makes me believe that the tribes were already united behind them, and that Wahabbism held as strong a sway in the Penisula as it held but a century before the House of Saud’s first kingdom.

    Most importantly, Saudi Arabia is no different than the other countries of the Middle East. We could blame the British for the rise of Iraqi nationalism, or the other dictatorships that grew like mushrooms in the post-colonial era. Those, like Saudi-Arabia, changed very little over the many years. The British could be blamed seventy years ago, but today? The region is but a reflection of the people living in it – and in their sworn belief that they are unable to improve it themselves, or in the mass illusion that all is well, or that they must but beat off some external threat to create a local Paradise…

    As for Al-Quaeda, it fed off Saudi funds, from rich kids like Bin Laden. They never saw an American penny, merely used an American-funded battlefield as a kind of live training exercise…

    Should have the British and Americans seen the danger of Saudi Arabia and their Wahabi madness? Yes. Should they have done their best to avoid, even passively, helping them? Yes. But I can’t blame them for not being omniscient. Hell, did local countries try to stop them, or see them as a major threat? Even the Hashemites sought to placate and align with the Saudis, and they had an extremely bloody history with the House of Saud.

    Who is to blame for the Wahabis? The Wahabis are. Who is to blame for the Saudis? The House of Saud. Who is to blame for Osama bin Laden? Osama bin Laden himself.

    I’m a fan of personal responsibility and accountability, Serif. Far more often than not, blaming some outside power far away is a sure way to avoid looking inwards. Don’t forget, post-colonial rulers have been blaming colonialism decades after it was gone, more often than not blaming some distant issue for their own actions and misdeeds, playing games of misdirection. Saying that Saudi Arabia is a foreign creation ignores its local roots, and the fact that the country is made up of people living here and now, people who make their own choices and have their own beliefs. The people of the Middle-East are not marionettes in some game, though they often choose to make themselves such.

    Merry Xmas, if you celebrate it, and happy holidays if you don’t. (I’m Jewish, by the way ;-) )

    Reply
  29. brooklynjon
    December 25, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Not that I’ve had cause to think much about it before, but I suspect Nomad has a point in that the French probably did administer their protectorates better than the brits. Of course, they may also have had protectorates that were easier to govern than the brits. But in general, if the brits could muck something up, they did. Except the beer.

    Reply
  30. Roman Kalik
    December 25, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    BJ, depends on which protectorates. The French weren’t exactly successful in North Africa, (or Vietnam) but I agree that their Middle-Eastern ventures worked out much better than the British ones – or at least remained better for a couple of decades longer than the rest of the region. Also, Syria isn’t much of a success story, though I admit that there was much worse around here.

    Reply
  31. Sherif
    December 25, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    HEHE, well a late happy hanuka then… i’m not a big fan of the ‘happy holidays’ thing…

    look thats what we agree on (just to mention a few):
    -wahabism was there before the british came
    -al-saud were a powerful tribe in the hijaz
    -the british came to the ME seeking their personal interests (thats what i understood from your writing) and were successful
    -the foreign mujahedeen used the afghan war as a training ground
    -funded and aided by regimes all over, eg saudi, trained by americans and so on and so on (not necessarily financial help)
    -the current state of ME countries is to some extent caused by awful moral, ethical, social, economic, political problems (and right now these are our main problems more than anything else) and this is truely my belief, overall muslims and arabs have derailed away from almost everything right they believe in

    what we don’t agree on:
    -I think you extremely underestimate the degree of foreign influence in the region (an example is that of the current crisis in lebanon)
    -I agree that personal accountability is important, but hitler became hitler because his people allowed him to be, the sauds and BL became who they are because they found the means and the assistance among their circles and but more importantly from outside (like i said before the egyptians faught the wahabis in the 19th century and beat them, hence the support within wasn’t strong enough)
    -and the most important thing is that you still do not want to accept that wahabism and al-qaeda directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally (thats not the problem now) were established on the ground because of western interference…(HEHE, just say that you accept it so i can die in peace).

    and the only reason i mention something the british did in the past is only because its effects linger on to this day… i will not critisize the italians because the romans invaded egypt thousands of years ago.

    and your right you can not second guess the past, who’d known what would happen had the british taken a different path… yet the fact of the matter is they didn’t.

    Reply
  32. Nomad
    December 26, 2007 at 12:21 am

    http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defense.gouv.fr/04histoire/articles/articles_rha/compagniesmeharistes.htm

    about the”occupation” with the french “meharists”
    small unities with camels, very useful against the guerillas
    that, we can say, never really ceased : tribal rivalties, nomad gangs… in Syria though ! and not counting the kemalism that gave some ideas there to promote a kind of nationalism called “unitarism”

    a good documentation for those who are interested in thes times, in french though, but you can use a translator

    http://pagesperso-orange.fr/calounet/resumes_livres/mourad_resume/kenizemourad_princessemorte.htm

    here a book written by the daughter of a turkish princess that lived during in Istambul during the defeat of the Turks, and experiencing the occupation first by the Englishs, then by the Frenchs. very interesting to visualise how the live was at this time

    Thans BJ for the thought

    Reply
  33. Nomad
    December 26, 2007 at 12:33 am

    “The French weren’t exactly successful in North Africa, (or Vietnam)”

    what you mean ?

    if we gave up to the colonies, that has nothing to do with the “results” of our colonisation in the previous times there

    the only war we lost was Vietnam, (because our government didn’t want to follow anymore and didn’t believe in the right of it) ; this war was an error, the independance should have been given at the end of WW2 ; but our interventions there were subventionned by american finances, who wanted that a front was kept against the communist viet min .

    Algeria war, military, was won ; Algeria got the independance as a result of a referendom in France ; because none here wanted to support the colons and that our kids get there to die for helping a few rich lobbies to stay in power. (BTW, the rebels there were financed by the US)

    Reply
  34. brooklynjon
    December 26, 2007 at 3:49 am

    Sharif,

    I’m glad you see that there is much common ground, even if we don’t agree on everything.

    Hitler is an example of the same Saddam Hussein/Al Qaeda/Afghani Mujihadeen phenomenon (sorry about the mispellings). Hitler was elected chancellor principally because people didn’t take him at his word, and because he was an effective bulwark against the communists. And he was effective right up until the treaty with Stalin carving Poland. We supported both Saddam and the Mujihadeen for their opposition to the Soviets. Like Hitler, they turned around and bit us for it. That’s life, I suppose.

    The other thing to be learned is that someone threatens genocide or other badness, you have to take their threat at face value, and not excuse it as bluster.

    Reply
  35. Roman Kalik
    December 26, 2007 at 5:10 am

    Nomad, it’s not victory or loss that matter. The British won quite a lot of military victories. It’s what happens to the country later on due to (or during) said victory or loss.

    Serif, Lebanon is a prime example of my argument – that what matters is not foreign intervention as much as the people who bring it. Lebanon’s true problem is the people’s split through sectarian lines, and said peoples’ near-blind obedience of their sect leaders. It’s what I sometimes call the Old Man syndrome. Tribes tend to follow the wise old man, sometimes blindly, in the assumption that he is bound to know better. *this* is the underlying issue in Lebanon, and has been for over sixty years of sectarian strife (and extreme violence). Who each faction brings is just a symtom rather than the real issue.

    YES, interference in the region didn’t have positive results. Often far from it. But it wasn’t Western intervention that was responsible for the creation of such bodies as Saudi Arabia or Al Quaeda. At most, they were factors that added or removed, directly or indirectly, from their abilities to gain power.

    We’ll have to agree that we disagree on this issue. I simply can’t blame the British for a core issue, at most I can see them as a negative factor. Same with the Americans. And Serif… The effects of British policies linger today only because the people and leaders of this region didn’t improve matters yesterday, because they didn’t think about what may happen tomorrow – and they had all the time and resources needed to make this region a better place to live in, but instead… Instead things only seem to change for the worse.

    Oh, and I’m no big fan of “happy holidays” either. So, would that be Eid Mubarak, then? ;-)

    Reply
  36. goolam_d
    December 26, 2007 at 10:22 am

    I have to agree with what Sherif is saying. We are bing bottlenecked by western definition and that is echoing in the writings of similar people. I personally feel obliged to the truth which obliges me to Allahs revelation and that in turn obliges me to the truth. There is a historical backdrop that we’ve been robbed of. This identity crisis is experienced by many other post-colonial non-western cultures that could not meet the present day status quo. It is decay. But we are Muslim and we will overcome.

    Reply
  37. ella
    December 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    goolan_d

    I have read what you have written and it seems to me that you put a string slogans. Let’s see what they really mean:
    bottlenecked by western definition(we want our definition to be prevailing one)………..historical backdrop we’ve been robbed of (lording over half of the southern europe, india and part of Africa)……………identity crisis (meaning: our science is stagnating, our people are poor because our rulers steal everything but we will go somewhere else and then we we will do to you what our rulers are doing to us) ………could not meet the present day status quo (meaning: we want to be powerful like the west but heck, we can not do it yet)…………..I personally feel obliged to the truth which obliges me to Allahs revelation( meaning: all other religions are lies and only ours says the truth and only truth))……….we are Muslim and we will overcome (meaning: we will do peaceful da’wa at present but hey, later we will impose our views on you and we will be powers like we have been couple of hundreds years ago)

    Reply
  38. Sherif
    December 26, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Ya it is eid mubarak, thanx….
    I guess we will have to agree to disagree, it seems like the chicken and the egg dilema, what came first, who pushed the snowball down the hill. As for lebanon, I see it as proof for my argument (what other country faced with internal disputes has had that much attention from the whole world, its weired don’t you think) but you see it as proof for your argument.
    anyways, I guess we’ll have to wait and see where the future takes us.

    The british were shrewd tacticians, strategists, they don’t care what you do as long as you give them what they think is theirs, heck they controlled india with a few thousand soldiers.
    The french however, always believed that their culture was better than yours, when they invade a country they change its education system, its culture (if you spoke another language other than french you were penalized) and they believed they were doing good. maybe thats why they were more successful because they changed the identity of the country to the extent that they lost contact with their heritage, their past, what made them who they are as a people (they also murdered hundreds of thousands, i guess thats another deterent for the people to revolt).
    But never forget, you guys are still comparing between 2 evils.

    Reply
  39. brooklynjon
    December 26, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    goolam,

    Do you believe that you, as a Muslim, are the only one who is obliged to the truth, who is bottlenecked by another’s definition, who has been robbed of a historical backdrop?

    I am sorry that you do not feel self-actualized. However, do you not realize that Islam has been on a campaign, for the last millenium plus, to do to others exactly what you believe has been done to you?

    Spend a day, or an hour at least, imagining yourself having been born as a Zoroastrian or an Assyrian or an Armenian or a Copt or a native middle-eastern Jew. You might then have a different perspective.

    I wish you peace and self-actualization. But please do not for a minute believe that you have exclusive rights to the truth.

    Reply
  40. Sherif
    December 26, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    ya, its eid mubarak, thanx…
    I guess your right we’re gona have to agree to disagree, its a question of the chicken and the egg, which came first, of who pushed the snowball off the hill… however, i do see lebanon as proof for my agrument. no other internal dispute in the world has seen so much glabal attention. but you see it as proof to your argument as well, so we’re back to square one. anyways only time will tell, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    the british are shrewd tacticians and strategists, they would let you do what you want to do as long as they get what they believe is theirs. they were able to control india with a few thousand soldiers.
    the french however, see their culture as superior to all other cultures, when they invade they impose their way of thinking on their subjects. they change the culture, the educational system (if anyone speaks languages other than french they’re penalized). I guess thats why they were more successful, they changed the identity of the country to the extent that they lost contact with their heritage, their past and everyhing that identifies them as a people. (plus they murdered hunderads of thousands of people, that acts as a deterent too)

    but never forget, you are still comparing between 2 evils.

    and to bj,
    as a muslim i obviously believe that my religion is the truth (if i didnt then trust me i wouldn’t have been muslim) but my understanding of the religion is not the absolut truth, my understanding is not perfect and it can certainly be flawed. it is limited by my way of thinking, the way i was brought up etc. etc. so many things.
    and yes minorities in egypt suffer, thats a fact that we’re living with right now, but if you look at islamic history with no bias whatsoever you would know that its not as bad as it may seem. for example, the majority of egyptians were christian for the first 3 centuries of islamic rule, there was no genocide there. i was just readin an article yesterday, the oldest jewish community in the world is in iran, it used to be egypt before the revolution (from what i read). lebanon until recently was a 3rd christian. 2 of the richest 100 people in the world are egyptian christians.
    look i can talk about the spanish inquistion and how muslims now constitue only 1% of the spanish population after a 500 year rule or about cyprus which was once a muslim country, but seriously thats not gone get us anywhere.

    Reply
  41. nomad
    December 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Sherif,

    I haven’t read all your posts, (too long for my broken english)

    anyway the last one capted my attention :

    the french however, see their culture as superior to all other cultures, when they invade they impose their way of thinking on their subjects. they change the culture, the educational system (if anyone speaks languages other than french they’re penalized). I guess thats why they were more successful, they changed the identity of the country to the extent that they lost contact with their heritage, their past and everyhing that identifies them as a people. (plus they murdered hunderads of thousands of people, that acts as a deterent too)

    (if anyone speaks languages other than french they’re penalized

    dunno yet from wich origin your, but if you had known the french “civilisation” so well as you pretend,

    then you should have known so that was the ways Gaul became France too : because a central power made it possible that innombrable celt tribes spoke the same language and didn’t fight against each other ; and may-be some north African countries are very happy to have learnt french too : it helped them to get an international position, and at least to immigrate so numerous in EU or America.

    the french however, see their culture as superior to all other cultures, when they invade they impose their way of thinking on their subjects. they change the culture, the educational system

    bizarre, bizarre, I have allready read something alike from a certain english-speaking berbere warrior !

    Anyway, BS , do you mean the anglo-saxons, the germans, the Vickings, the Italiens… Gengis Khan, and the ARABS were choir children ? who invented the concentration camps the first ? does the Boers war mean something in your partisan mind ?

    if we are successful, in a way it is due to our laws that protect us from the islamism rules ; anyway, in percentage, how many are those who want to install sharia laws in our country ? less than 10 %,; what do you think the others do ?

    they go to school, to our universities, they work or benefit of our wealthfare…

    and do you know, none forced them to do so !

    but, berbere pinailleur, escuse me, if they have the right to piss in my country, they ‘ll have to follow the rules too, no sharias, no veils… in public administrations ;

    he, I am thinking to put that on my business walls to :

    “here we speak french and we don’t practice any religion”

    I can garantie you that I get a few arab customers ; they are very cheerful, and do not want to impose “your supposed colonial blues guiltiness sharia” ;

    I think, we have not to demand “pardon” for what our ancestry did, then you “arabs and mulins”, you”ll never win your 72 virgins paradise, because you murdered a lot more than us since Mahomet decide dto convice the other populations with the sword

    Reply
  42. Roman Kalik
    December 27, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Serif,

    The history of Muslim countries is better than that of their European Christian counterparts, but it had its fair share of dark spots (Almuhadeen Dynasty, Hashisheen, to name a few). It’s most certainly not all dark.

    But so much changed for the worse… Today, the only Muslim-majority country in the nearby area where Jews can live safely is Morocco. For others, you have to look much farther away, to the former Soviet republics in Asia. In every single Arab country, the Jewish communities are gone. The biggest community of Persian Jews isn’t even Iran anymore, and the tiny remaining Jewish community there must parrot the party line – or else someone will come along to remind them what happened to the last community leader who the regime didn’t like.

    It’s not all dark, but it sure does look like it today.

    Reply
  43. Roman Kalik
    December 27, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Nomad, I must point out that a large part of your comment is irrelevant, as no one here mentioned French laws in France-proper, or any other internal French matter. Nor has anyone here painted France and the French in the colors of the ultimate world villian, or being in any way special when compared to other countries in the course of history. The only thing mentioned were French colonial ventures in recent history.

    In short: calm down a little! ;-)

    Reply
  44. Sherif
    December 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    hehe, nomad take it easy mon cheri, this is no place to start talking about other people’s religions with such ignorance and hate.

    i admited before that arabs and muslims are not perfect people, we have done extremely bad things in the past, so there’s no need to be so aggressive. and what has sharia got to do with anything we’re talking about. hehe, i didnt even start this discussion about the french.

    but i do have some problems with what you said.
    1-are you telling me that the north africans were happy you invaded them cuz now they can work in europe, hehehe, hilarious
    2-to tell you the truth i don’t know anything about the gauls, but from what your saying they were the ones that chose to speak french it wasn’t enforced on them
    3-the problem with muslim and arab integration in europe (as oppsoed to north america) is that they were uneducated people who were brought to build europe after the world wars cheaply and as time went on they remained uneducated, treated as second-class citizens and poverty and crime increased within. (my friend you needed them as much as they needed you). it has nothing to do with sharia, veils, or even islam. they revolt because they have nothing else to do.

    Reply
  45. Nomad
    December 27, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Roman,

    I am just responding with logic to Sherif, who was relating the same old BS on our supposed “superiority” feeling (that, BTW is mostly spread by anglo-saxon MSM, one wonders why ) nothing more to worry :lol:

    Reply
  46. Nomad
    December 27, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    p’tain, my response is fallen in a traquemart !
    well, I have to make a double effort, ok, I try to reformulate it :

    Sherif, mon chéri, hehe, you call me so, but “ma chérie” would have been the right appelation though

    talking about other people’s religions with such ignorance and hate.

    are you telling me that your the only “educated” that has the academic acknoledgeance to talk about religion ? then I say again BS, I speak from experience though ;
    even so you must have a problem with consciousness, you forgot already that you put the frenchs on the board, as arab civilisation destructors

    anyway sorry if my discourse seemed a bit agresive, he, it’s my broken english, I don’t catch all your subtilities :lol:

    1-no I didn’t tell that , naturally no country is happy to be invaded ; what I was actually trying to tell you , is that the french language wasn’t so unuseful for these incriminated countries as it gave them the ability to unify and therefore being able to get an international representation ; othewise, should have we left them with their little sherifs, their multiple dialects, their intestine guerillas, we could imagine how they would rule nowadays

    2- no, they were enforced too

    3- my chéri, your confused with the media bias ; the immigrants, the first day they came in as legal immigrants they had the access to the knowledge, health care, etc… so if they wanted education, they could as it is free by us, no need to be rich ; you can reasonably speak about cheap labour employees, so were our provincial employees, the smic is the most well shared salary.

    as far as medias, they only focus on problems, from there, and the conclusion is quick ;
    but I am not saying tharen’t any though, but keep in mind that they only represent 10 % of our immgrants, mostly located in big cities surburbs ; it ain’t a lonly problem of a religion integration, youth there don’t even practice any ;
    it’s more a problem of promiscuity, drugs, gangs and racism , yes, but racism doesn’t only come from the part you woud imagine, but it is also an anti-white racism that comes from ex-colonie generations, that think we owe them a lot and don’t want to get a life for themselve.

    the spectre is changing though, Sarkozy made visible the invisible, I agree there was a reconnaissance problem, due to the old fashion elite that don’t want to leave the place

    now, as far as me, I am quite peaceful with anybody who does try to impose me foreign law

    have I been clearer, my chéri ?

    Reply
  47. Nomad
    December 27, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    oh my, who doesn’t try, I ment

    Reply
  48. brooklynjon
    December 28, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Sherif,

    I have had that whole “Of course I think my religion is superior” discussion with Muslims before. By and large, my Muslim counterparts seem surprised that not all religions believe that they are the absolute truth. Judaism explicitly applies Jewish law only to Jews, and encourages others of good faith to keep doing what they’re doing. Judaism encourages you to do what you feel is right FOR YOU, without telling others what is right for them, outside the seven laws of Noah (which are pretty basic). So, no, it is not obvious that you necessarily believe that your religion is THE TRUTH.

    In any event, you do realize that had you been born under different circumstances, to different parents, in a different place, you would likely be an adherent to a different religion, and you would feel about that religion more or less the way you currently feel toward Islam (and, by the way, more power to you).

    I am well aware of the RELATIVELY benign treatment Jewish communities received at the hands of their Islamic overlords over the centuries (relative to the Christian world). But surely you are aware of how Islam was spread by violence and the threat of violence. Entire nations and religions were wiped out and homogenized into Arab Muslim culture.

    My point, though, was that goolam was upset about the things he or she sees happening to the Muslim world, but that these are things the Muslim world has itself been doing for a long time. The pot, in short, is calling the kettle black.

    Reply
  49. Sherif
    December 28, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I admit that sometimes i find the way islam was spread troubling to me personally. they normally gave the people 3 choices, either become muslim, pay the tax or prepare to fight. i always wondered if people were supposed to adhere to islam willingly then how can you force them to chose between 3 things that all seem quite unbearable.
    however, when you try to analyze something you have to understand the context that it was in, wouldn’t you agree?
    first of all, i dont think they did anything their enemies at the time would not have done to them, mainly the romans and the persians. on the contrary, when they did invade a country they provided the people with so much more freedom.
    secondly, the romans and the perians attacked the muslims first, either by killing the messengars sent to them by the muslims (which at the time was a huge thing) or by actually sending armies to fight them.
    thirdly, the persecuted people in egypt (look i’m gona talk about egypt cuz i know the details of wht happened) welcomed the arab muslims and supported them.
    fourthly, people seem to forget that arabs constitute between 10-20% of the muslim population and that 80-90% became muslim through trade and contact with muslims. countries like indonesia, india, china, west and central africa, there were no wars there.
    and finally, i want you to ask the jew or the christian if they believe their religion to be the truth. obviously they’re gona tell you yes we do. and thats exactly what i would say about my religion. and i don’t know how familiar you are with the quran but it explicitly says: let the people of the bible live, rule, deal (i dont know the exact word) with what God has revealed to them. so its not any different from what you mentioned about the jews.
    and i don’t agree with you when you say that ENTIRE nations and religions were homogenized into Arab Muslim culture or else how can there be more than 20 different sects and religions in iraq alone. obvioulsy there had to have been some assimilation (for all you trekkies out there), but the egyptian culture is entirely different from the indian or indonesian culture, they have the same beliefs but their cultures are completely different.

    and to goolam if your muslim then you’d understand from the quran that the current condition of muslims is almost entirely their fault. for God does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.

    Nomad,
    hehe, i’m actually trying to practice my french, i’m living in canada so its useful sometimes. look muslims here wanted to apply inheritance and marital sharia laws. you would’ve had the CHOICE (it wasn’t forced on you) between the canadian court system or muslim courts. it had nothing to do with non-muslims, and it had nothing to do with criminal law. they wanted to be equal to the jews of the country who do have their own courts. at the end, it was refused.
    I’m assuming its the same situation happened in france. therefore all this talk about muslims wanting to apply sharia law in europe and forcing non-muslims to follow it is non-sence.

    Reply
  50. Nomad
    December 28, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Sherif,

    we are a ¨laïc state, therefore only one court, the state court ! and t am glad of that :lol:

    Reply
  51. brooklynjon
    December 29, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Sherif,

    “i want you to ask the jew or the christian if they believe their religion to be the truth. obviously they’re gona tell you yes we do.”

    I can’t speak for christians, as I am not one, neither am I especially familiar with their theology.

    I can speak for Judaism, and I say to you that you are not correct. According to Judaism you, Sherif, should not be a Jew. You should be a Muslim and use Islam as a guide to spirituality, to knowing G-d, and to do good. As far as Judaism is concerned, if you cannot find these things in Islam, then you should look elsewhere, but you should look first where you started out.

    As far as Judaism is concerned, you don’t get any special benefits for being Jewish, just additional obligations.

    I think if you’re honest about it, you’ll realize that that is at odds with Islam’s view of the other.

    As far as Islam’s expansion into the Roman Empire, across north Africa, into Spain, into the Persian Empire, I believe you’ve limited your reading to Islam-sponsored sources. Islam was expansionistic from it’s outset, and is still expansionist. As for the Romans, they also were expansionist, but they did not require conversion of the conquered people. Rather, they often incorporated foreign gods into their pantheon (granted, this is a nonstarter for you and me), and required only that conquered peoples became culturally Roman to achieve full citizenship.

    “i don’t agree with you when you say that ENTIRE nations and religions were homogenized into Arab Muslim culture”

    It’s been going on for 1300 years, and it continues in Darfur, in South Lebanon, in the hateful rhetoric of HAMAS, in KSA where non-Muslims in Mecca are sentenced to death.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabization
    http://www.aina.org/releases/arabization.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Zoroastrians

    Reply
  52. Roman Kalik
    December 29, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Sherif, Muslim religious courts have a bad reputation these days, especially when it comes to anything that has to do with women. When you take into consideration the many Saudi-schooled Imams (who dominate the scene abroad, and come quite close to dominating it in Muslim countries – even in former Soviet republics) on the one hand, and a large immigrant population of people who were taught that *only* Muslim courts must be honored… Well, in such a situation Shari’a courts would only be optional on paper, due to major community pressure – and the verdicts would be vastly different from anything resembling justice in many cases.

    So Canada’s government feared that, and justly so. And to make everyone equal, said government stripped any legal rights Jewish religious courts held (even though there was no reason to fear them).

    By the way, Muslim conquerors didn’t always give three choices. Sometimes it was only two, which is why I mentioned the Almuhadean Dynasty. Jews living in Yemen didn’t have it all that great either, religion-wise. Not when their children could be taken into royal custody for “Islamic education” at any minute. And this is just the past, man… The present-day is a whole lot worse.

    Reply
  53. nony m.s.
    December 29, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Sherif,

    Check out http://quemny.blog.com . Read the entry of 31 August 2007. Also check out Al Maqrizi’s writings about the continuous unrest in Egypt between 717 & 720 A.D., and the outright uprisings between 725-830 AD. The Arab conquerers were not interest in social justice, only in squeezing as much as possible out of the country . I don’t know about Central Africa, but there was a lot of suffering that was inflicted on Egypt by the Arabs, regardless of our present day ‘sugar-coating’.

    Reply
  54. Sherif
    December 30, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Look you guys i have a exam on wednesday and really really have to study… WE WILL MEET AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

    bj:
    i just had one question, what happens to non-jews on the day of judgment, or after this world?

    Reply
  55. Roman Kalik
    December 31, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Sherif, as BJ hasn’t replied yet, I will.

    From the Jewish perspective, people who are not Jewish will go to Heaven, depending on the life they lead. In fact, the Jewish pathway to spiritual growth and the next world is seen as much more difficult, because Jews are expected to hold to a much stricter set of rules in this world. Punishment for a Jew who disobeys Judaism’s laws (on Judgment) are stricter than those that a non-Jew may receive for disobeying the seven Noachite laws.

    Reply
  56. sandmonkey's son
    December 31, 2007 at 9:22 am

    RandllJones and Sherif, Win hands down, no contest what so ever, they totally kicked ass big time. Reason being they are the 135th leftists on this right wing site, opposing the the awkward five, Kalik, Bjon, craig, ella , anna whatever -[wheres tedders]- who spew the same Zionistic SUPREMECY crap, we were here first, we are chosen slaughtered under-puppies. gimme a break already plz.

    Reply
  57. brooklynjon
    December 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Sherif,

    #1 Good luck on your exam.

    #2 It’s an interesting question you ask. (And, BTW, thanks Roman for stepping in for me)
    Judaism does not have a dogma, so the first answer that any knowledgeable Jewish person really ought to give to a question like this is “Ask your Rabbi”. Different opinions to this and many other questions can be given, and are given. For a glimpse into the intellectual chaos that is Jewish thought, you can crack open the Talmud (which is really more the source of Jewish law than the Bible, or Torah). In the Talmud, you’ll find argument and counterargument with typically no definitive conclusion. But I digress.

    I suppose for the purpose of your question, I’ll stand in as your rabbi (although I make no claim to have to requisite qualifications)

    Judaism does not dwell very extensively on the world to come, or on Judgement Day, or what have you. Judaism wants you to focus on doing good for the sake of doing good, not because of any reward. In fact, doing good in anticipation of receiving a reward for it is considered to have substantially nullified the goodness of the act. So we’re meant to do good strictly because G-d wills it, period. This begs the question, what is “good”.

    There is a pretty straightforward answer, which is that “good” for a Jew means fulfilling the 613 commandments given us in the Torah (and fleshed out in mind-boggling, excruciating detail in the Talmud). “Good” for a non-Jew is adherence to the 7 “Noahide” laws (laws given to Noah after the flood). I can’t remember all of them, but they’re fairly basic. Establishing courts of justice, not eating anything that is still alive, and not taking G-d’s name in vain are three of them, but they can be easily looked up.

    Note that there is no discrimination between observant Jews and non-observant Jews – it is defined as national origin. Similarly, there is no special treatment for different types of non-Jews. Bottom line: Jews are given 613 commandments to fulfill to be judged well, non-Jews have 7. Faith in G-d counts for nothing, except that it encourages you to follow His commandments. But there is no concept – as you find in certain Christian denominations – that faith can cover up for a lack of good works.

    Incidentally, what is pretty clear from any reasonable reading of Jewish theology, is that G-d views sins committed against people as far worse than sins committed against G-d. So, given the choice of cheating your business partner of eating a ham and cheese sandwich, an observant Jew is supposed to eat away. Of course many Jews, just like people of all other creeds, fall short of the ideal.

    I hope that helps.

    sandmonkey’s son,

    You should come to my house for coffee and a chat some time. I don’t think anyone’s supreme. We’re all children of the same G-d. Someday, G-d willing, you’ll release that hate for those different from you, and you’ll be much happier.

    bj

    Reply
  58. Roman Kalik
    December 31, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Good answer, BJ.

    Reply
  59. brooklynjon
    December 31, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you, Roman.

    Reply
  60. sandmonkey's son
    December 31, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Bj, trust me, that will never happen.

    Reply
  61. Sherif
    December 31, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I’m actually astonished by the answer that you guys have just given me, i thought that judaism would follow the same path of other Abrahamiac faiths.

    look i’m not here to contest a religion i believe has been revealed by God. it took me an afternoon reflecting on what you said and here’s what I could come up with. I believe that there could be more than one truth, God is limitless therefore the options are limitless as well. I read the 7 laws and find them to be extreamly logical with respect to what God whould command. However, this definition of a gentile makes sense, from my perspective, only because you can not become a jew (although i know that some denominations allow for jewish converts), unlike christianity and islam. i would find it extremely unjust of a God to say that judaism is the truth but you can’t become a jew therefore your going to hell.

    you tried to define good and your guidelines are the “Noahide” laws, therefore anyone who follows them goes to heaven. But you guys still did not answer for the billions that do not follow these laws…

    hehe, but atleast i found out i’m going to heaven in more ways than i thought.

    Reply
  62. brooklynjon
    December 31, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Sherif,

    We’ll all find out when we get there, but at least as far as Judaism is concerned, you’re probably okay. :-)

    If you don’t follow the seven Noahide laws as a gentile, or the 613 as a Jew, then presumably you don’t get a free pass up to heaven. For better or worse, Judaism is a little sketchy when it comes to the specifics of the world to come. And again, there is plenty of room for disagreement and interpretation.

    In any event, as I understand it, souls wander around in some sort of purification process if they fall short of heavenly standards. This process is supposed to last no more than eleven months, and is hastened to some extent by the prayers of those left behind (relatives, friends, etc) on their behalf. This is why we have the tradition of “saying kaddish” for the dead for eleven months less one day. We want to shorten their purification time, but to assume they need the entire eleven months is considered an insult. After this eleven-month-or-less purification, you’re off in heaven, chilling with the big G.

    Which reminds me of an interview on TV of some ultra-religious rabbi about all of this. The rabbi explained what I wrote (although certainly better than I did). Then the interviewer asked him if he was sure it was true. The rabbi gave him an incredulous look and asked, “How can I be sure it’s true if I haven’t died yet?” This pretty much sums it up: We are sure about this world. Then next one we can only guess at. So focus on this one.

    Incidentally, all Jewish denominations permit conversion into Judaism. However, it is generally frowned upon because, as you can see, it doesn’t really make theological sense. And you could observe all the jewish laws without being Jewish. However, just as you can “naturalize” as a member of the American nation, or of the Italian nation, so can you become a naturalized member of the Jewish nation (which is ultimately why there are Jews of every color and shade – I’m sure Moses did not look a whole lot like me). Tradition holds that King David is the grandson of a convert. Presumably, if a converted Jew is good enough for King David, it’s good enough for anyone else.

    Reply
  63. brooklynjon
    December 31, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    sandmonkey’s son,

    What won’t happen? Coffee at my house? Or giving up your hatred of those unlike you?

    If you would be willing to check your anger at the door, I would be honored to welcome you into my house. And if coffee is not to your liking, I’d make you tea. Or cocoa. And a little cinnamon babka – yum!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babka

    Reply
  64. Roman Kalik
    January 1, 2008 at 4:21 am

    BJ describes what I was also taught (purification process of the soul). An eternal Hell is never really discussed by Jewish wise men, and this is why a translation of the Hebrew “Gehenum” will often appear as “Purgatory” in English when the translation is made by an official Jewish body, as that is the closest meaning of the concept. Presumably, there are those who are so evil in their life that they have no part in the Afterlife altogether – but those are the people who’d really have to work at it. What happens to them, though? Good question. Are they sent down here again for another go, or do their souls get sent to some great void? No real certain answer there.

    As I said, Jewish debates in the old texts on how gentiles are expected to follow the Seven Laws of Noah tend to be lenient, and we can’t know for sure what to expect after we die anyway. We can’t predict what the Almighty will decide – at most we can make an educated guess.

    Also, the Orthodox Jewish denomination (which is also the oldest and strictest) accepts converts, and did for ages past. You can find many converts among the old wise men of the Second Temple era (mainly of Roman origin). But Judaism isn’t a missionary faith – we don’t seek or encourage converts, why would we? What, when all is said and done, would be the point? A universal framework exists, and we’re not it, we’re the extra-hard edition. It’s not like we’d be *helping* people here. Potential converts must come to us on their own, and they mustn’t come for material reasons. Starting the conversion process isn’t easy (the Rabbi is expected to try and talk you out of it three times), and it really has to be a matter of only feeling complete when practicing the Jewish religion. But if someone is truly willing, no one will refuse the conversion.

    Reply
  65. brooklynjon
    January 1, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Roman,
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Personally, I always found the whole “what happens when we die” discussion to be uninteresting. Who can possibly be arguing on the basis of knowledge? To me, it’s like a discussion about whether red or blue is nicer. Still, different religions and cultures have traditional teachings, so we can learn about those. And blue is objectively nicer.

    Reply
  66. Roman Kalik
    January 1, 2008 at 7:41 am

    BJ, presumably there were divinely inspired people over the ages that knew just what happens when we die.

    Then they hit the brick wall of trying to dumb it down to material-world-speak, so that anyone would actually understand just what it was that they were talking about. It’s like the whole omnipotence/omniscience/omnipresence thing. We pretend that we understand these three concepts fully, when in fact we are inherently limited by what we are familiar with. This is why I found the free-will vs. predestination argument to be quite pointless, really. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon summed that one up quite accurately by basically saying “Yes, the Almighty knows everything, including what choice you will be taking. This does not, in any way, take away from your ability to make this choice in the first place. Don’t ask me to explain further, trust me on this one.”

    Of course, this did not stop him from writing an entire book (Guide to the Perplexed) on this very subject, assuming that some people would still insist on the difficult option.

    Jewish mystical texts do try to explain just what happens to souls, and what are souls in the first place – but the more dumbed-down these texts are, the easier they are to misinterpret. The problem, of course, is that without said dumbing-down said texts are nearly impossible to understand. At some point, we just have to admit that we’re limited in what we can comprehend.

    Reply
  67. aaa
    January 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    As per (the Book of) AlQoraan, the Final & the Prevailing Revelation from God (until end of time), all the prophets of God were Muslims & were on Islam, the ‘Religion of God’ (ie. honored by God, meaning God-approved God-chosen religion for salvation of humankind & jinnkind, who are given freedom of choice of action, to His Paradise for eternity upon resurrection, accounting, judgment & reward). The People of all the Prevailed Revelations (ie. previous revealed books abrogated by the Final Revelation) are called the ‘People of the Book’ & constitute ‘Ahle AlFatrat’ ( or the ‘People of the Interval’, starting from the corruption of their books, {because they were not protected by God as the Final Revelation is undertaken by God to be protected until end of time as there is no further book or Messenger of God after Mohammad(S) until end of time} & they are given ‘benefit of doubt’ by God until the God’s Final Revelations reaches them If rejected by them, they constitute ‘Disbelievers’ (or ‘Koffars’ {ie. the ‘Coverers’ of the fact of existence of God by their whims either by diluting him & not acknowledging & accepting fully 100% the ‘whole
    truth’ as confirmed by God All-Knower) so disqualifying themselves from His Paradise (His Guest-house) because of their arrogance, & arrogance cannot enter Paradise, because it is the Abode of Humbleness, created so by God, (because ‘arrogance’ belongs all to the God, because he is the All-Power, every power in the creation is His created & depends upon Him for its existence, so all power is derived from God), while the created is powerless.
    All are created besides Him. If anyone challenges God in his being Godhead or Godkind, since He is the only one as God on His Throne, by arrogating himself over God thinking that his derived power is the primary power & not given by God, he is a ‘usurper arrogant’ & to show to all that He is the Only True God, He will put all His challengers in the ‘Abode of Hell-Fire’ (His Prison), which He is created to qualify all the usurper ‘Arrogant’ for eternity, so that forever there is no doubt that He is the real God only, & the rest are his creation only, qualifying good-for-good & bad-for-bad for perfect justice in-kind of the deeds, which they were free to choose.
    As per (the ‘Culminating’) Islam (ie. the ‘perfected’ Islam, by the Prevailing Revelation, culminating & perfecting the ‘Noble Manners’ of the Humanity & ‘Completing the God’s Religion’ by completing the 12 tenets of the Religion {5 of Islam, 6 of Belief, & 1 of Excellence {or ‘Al-Ihsaan’) as character-builders to perfect one’s noble character on the correct & whole knowledge of truth to ‘straighten’ on the ‘middle’ ‘straight’ path to qualify with His Mercy to His Paradise in ranks in there as per one’s best deeds along with one’s kins. Judaism & Christianity is innovation. Qoraan mentions the Prophets of the Arabian Peninsula: among others: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob (alias ‘Israel’{=Servant of God}) , Moses, Aaron, Joseph, David, Jesus, John & all other prophets of the ‘Progeny of Israel’ or Jacob) (May God’s peace be upon all of them) were Muslim. The Followers (or the ‘People’) of Moses were Muslims to distinguish themselves chose themselves to be called ‘Jews’ (not the present Jews who deny the God’s last two prophets & before their books got corrupted) (ie. ‘Yehud’ (the ‘guided’) from the words ‘Hodna Ilaik’ ie ‘we are guided to you’), but they rebelled against God, & were arrogant to deny Friday which God had given them instead they chose Saturday (so ‘Sabbath’ { or restrictions not to work as punishment } was imposed upon them for being ungrateful to God, because they refused the best day {when Adam was created & was put in Paradise} & chose the lesser), they refused the obligation of ‘Jihad’ {or ‘Striving’ against oppression} & they refused to strive & said arrogantly to Moses: ‘You & your God go & fight, we will sit here’, so as punishment God sent them into desert for 40 years until disobedient generation passed away, & as with them there were innocent, women & children, for their sake, God in His Mercy sent them food & drink {‘Mann wa Salwa’ ). They loved idolatry in heart, when they crossed the bridge, they asked Moses to build them idols, which he refused, but when he was away to meet God on Mount Sinai, in his absence they made an idol of calf from gold by melting their jewellery & worshipped it until Moses return.
    They were wicked people, & they caused the Moses’ mission to fail & caused God’s wrath on them until Moses died as a failed prophet in the desert. He gave indication of the Final Prophet to them, in the progeny of Abraham but they miscalculated to be from the Abrahamic branch of Jacob, but God surprised them by sending in the other Abrahamic branch of Ishmael, because He knew after putting His Wrath on them that they will oppose him & try to fail him as they failed Moses. God in His Mercy, then sent Jesus, the second last Messenger of God to the Progeny of Israel as last chance for repentance confirming & giving them the glad-tidings of God’s Final Prophet Ahmed (the {Most}’Praiser’ of God – the other name of the Prophet Mohammad(S){the ‘Most Praised’ of God’s Creation}. But again Jews rejected Jesus & his message & conspired to get him crucified, & they thought or ‘it resembled to them’ as they had crucified him, but certainly they did not, as God elevated him to the 3rd Firmament alive & his 2nd coming back will happen at the nearing of the Hour of Doom near the ‘White Minaret’ east of Damascus, during the time of the rule of ‘AlMahdi’ ( or ‘The Guided One’), with each hand placed on wing of an angel, his hair & face dripping with moisture, on Islam, when he will break the cross (to show that Christianity is an innovation & not the Religion of God) & kill the pig (to show that swine is prohibited in God’s Religion & they were deceived by their wrongly believing it otherwise with no authority from God), so all the Christians of that time after confronting Jesus ({May God’s}{the} peace be on him) & confirming from him that Islam was his religion will return back to Islam. The other People of Book of the Arabian Peninsula mentioned are the ‘Sabians’ (The ‘Monotheists’ from the remnants of the progeny of the other prophets such as Noah, Enoch, Jonah, John & some not mentioned) who were not in Madina nor in great numbers, so there reference was only fleeting 7 minor. The Other People of the Book outside the Arabian Peninsula, mentioned in Qoraan are the ‘Magians’ in Persia, who were the followers of God’s Prophet Zoroaster. They did not worship fire; the fire was an element of purity to them left in their temples burning as a symbol of purity as Muslims do ‘ablution’. They worshipped one God, who created the good (represented by the light) & bad (represented by the darkness). God’s Messenger to the Hindus (so named by Persians the people who inhabited on their east around the River Indus { so ‘Indians’ – people of Indus} up to Burma, because the difficulty in their alphabet to pronounce they added ‘H’ to ‘Indus’ ‘=Hindu’} so their religion of idolatry { same as idolatry of Makkans {which was introduced there from Syria in 5th century AD} came to be known as ‘Hinduism’ {or the religion of the people of Indus or around Indus}. Their holy book ‘Vedas’ are based on monotheism & does not contain any idolatry which was an innovation introduced after the Prophet Noah, as they forgot the monotheism and started making statues of their righteous heroes in remembrance, then after time the reverence turned into worship when the memories dimmed into mist of time & the original purpose was lost. The Vedas also contain vivid prediction & description to the God’s Last Messenger & to his companions.
    Since Makkah is the first patch of land which appeared as a foam over the molten Earth when it cooled, & it is the geographical center of the land between East & West & North & South, & is the most-beloved place on Earth to God, chose the place as A Sanctuary for His Worship on Earth, & so guided Adam & Eve the first couple to meet on the Mount of Mercy, when they were sent down from Paradise, their first abode where they were put after creation as a gesture of Goodwill to them before being sent down to Earth to test them & their progeny for qualifying to God’s Paradise at resurrection, precipitated their departure after eating from the Tree ‘of Eternity’ (which they were deceived to believe so by Iblis, the Satan, the Jinn, their arrogant opposer, because he wanted the vicegerancy of Earth to build, because in his limited intellect {which is equal to 10 yrs old} he argued to God that his element of creation the ‘fire’ was superior than ‘clay’ the element of creation of Adam, but in his ignorance Iblis did not know that God by breathing his ‘soul’ in Adam had turned Adam into the best of God’s creation by endowing Adam speech, dexterity{to build civilization}, mercy & justice, which Iblis lacked, so for his arrogance he was banned for eternity from paradise, as an example for humanity & not given 2nd chance because he did not repent, & so made leader of the People of Abode of Hell). Adam & Eve repented immediately & they were forgiven for their disobedience by God, & they were sent down to Earth to sow their progeny on Earth to build civilization on Earth based on God’s piety, honesty, brotherhood of humanity, equality, mercy & justice for all, being the best who is the most pious, so he will have a higher ranking in Paradise. Adam was lowered in India & Eve in Sri Lanka & both travelled to the God’s most beloved spot on Earth to build in His Sanctuary the first house for His Worship & worshipping him by circumbulating around it like they saw as the angels did it around God’s Throne to please Him. And they went to Mount of Mercy at Arafat in Makkah, & prayed to God for His Mercy for them & their progeny & God accepted their prayer & assured them that He is going to send in their progeny His Guidance with His Messenger to be an example in explaining it, & whoever lives by that guidance should have nothing to fear & shall qualify for God’s Paradise on the Day of Resurrection. Makkah is next to Africa, from where circa 500k yrs ago, their progeny multiplied into the Earth as tribes & nations into diversity of colors & tongues to build human civilization. The best of them is who builds it on God’s Guidance, so he will be full harmony with His Creator, the God, with himself, & the environment fully aware of the purpose of everything, why he exists, why he was sent to Earth, why he is mortal, & what is the destination.
    To protect His Sanctuary, He banned in the penumbra, the space around it in the Arabian Peninsula, any appearance of void, which His Messenger legislated it in the Hadith. The association with God of non-God is the most disliked action by God because it is the ultimate void, & He has made it the ultimate Capital Sin & the Ultimate Punishment of eternity in the Abode of Hell-Fire, unless repented before the test is up, because association is the biggest & the ultimate lie & the ultimate corruption, because it corrupts everything which is based upon it, the ultimate reason for the world injustice.
    So worship in any house for God’s worship facing the First House in Makkah, will be acceptable by God as per the guidance of His Messenger, towards their accepted rewardable deeds to His Paradise. The Earth is in the Solar System, the Solar System is in the Milkyway Galaxy, & the Galaxy is in the Universe & the Universe is contained in the spherical First Firmament, which is contained in the Second Firmament, which is contained in the Third Firmament, which is contained in the Fourth Firmament, & which is contained in the Fifth Firmament, & which is contained in the Sixth Firmament, & which is contained in the Seventh Firmament, & over it is the ‘Lotus Tree of the Utmost’, from where the ‘Paradise of the Abode’ starts & half way above it starts the ‘Paradise of AlFirdaus’ which ends in pinnacle (Paradise is in a pyramidical shape), at the apex there is the Palace of the Closest Person to God – Mohammad(S) with 4,000 golden doors for his visitors, & above it is God’s Throne, the most magnificent creation. Below Paradise is Hell-Fire. The Seventh Heaven is contained in the Chair, & it is below God’s Throne on the other side. Distance between ea Firmament & its next is 500 yrs, & the Lotus Tree of the Ultimate is so wide that for a fast horseman it will take 100yrs to cross it. The ratio in size between the 7 Firmaments & the Chair is like the ratio between 7 coins thrown into a shield (of fighter)(which is normally a meter wide). The ratio between the Chair & God’s Throne is like a ring thrown into a desert. God the limitless is above His Throne, nothing limits Him, not even His Throne. When He descends to the First Firmament into the last third of every night to seek if any asker asking him for help, His Throne is not vacated. Mortals cannot see Him, because they donot have the capacity to withstand His Majesty without being evaporized into oblivion as the mountain did when Moses asked for to see God. Only the Paradise dwellers will be able to see Him, the most pleasurable thing in Paradise & the Most Majestical, were they not given immortality, surely they would have died. He has taken a screen of fire & luminance (reflected light) around Him to protect is creation from His Majesty, otherwise everything will be burnt. In the beginning there was nothing except God. Above Him was emptiness. He was not known. His qualities were not known. Then He created His Throne. Then He decided to manifest His Presence & His Qualities to others. He wrote above His Throne that His Mercy shall permeate everything & that His Mercy shall precede His Wrath. He was in peace & He is in peace despite having opposite qualities. No one created Him. He is the creator of everything. His qualities are totally different from His Creation. He is Complete, Perfect & the Source of everything & all qualities which are manifest in His Creation. He is Primary & all the rest are secondary depending upon Him for their existence & well-being & provisions. Then He created the Pen & the Tablet from luminance, & ordered the Pen to write in the Tablet, the name of all his creation, the time it will come into existence & how, & how it will end, & the purpose of all, how it will fit one into another & whatever He has decreed to happen. But God is above His Decree & can change it & changes it every day upon the supplication of his creation, & like benefaction increases in the age of one by God’s will & approval. God sends the yearly budget on the Night of the Decree alternating in the last 10 days of Ramadhan (the ninth Lunar Month) to the First Firmament, from where the angels execute it. A human being is for 40 days zygote, then for 40 days leech-like embryo, then for 40 days chewed up-like embryo, then the angels blows the soul into the body & writes 4 things: age, provisions, whether his is a happy-one (Paradise-dweller) or a wretched-one (Hell-Fire-dweller). The decreed can by changed by God’s Mercy by opening one’s heart to His Guidance & supplicating to Him

    Reply
  68. Sam Seven
    January 2, 2008 at 4:20 am

    Hello there guys, I was just going through some memorable posts on some of my favorite sites, in order to stay away from the kitchen and the habit of raiding the cookie jar. I guess I am trying to stay resolute in my resolve to stop gaining unnecessary weight this ’08. Sara Lee, Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Nestle being my greatest buddies as well as foes. So here I am on Sandmonkey’s blog again after a long absence, have since started my own tired ass blog myself.

    I love discussions about faiths like the one above which has some really atypical points. Especially the last few comments by Roman Kalik, brooklynjon and Sherif. It gave me a really good idea about a an upcoming post. I just wanted to say that a few things struck me. Starting with the last.

    I believe for every action there is a reaction, just as for every lack of action there of there is still a reaction. I like what you said Sherif about God being infinite and therefore there is also the possibility of their being several truths.

    @ aaa, Wow what a very interesting synopsis, I like the way you broke it down and how you summarized the history of world religions and the Creator in less than a 1,000 words. I think most people will agree with it if it weren’t to the continual references to Islamic ideology. Due to Islam’s lashing back violently at anyone who lashes out at it by demeaning or mocking it. The problem I see some people will have, especially Jews, is how you said Moses was a failed prophet. And what about all prophets being directed to pray to Mecca, were the Children of Israel also directed to do? Please cite your sources because I believe if it werent for that, your expose is very interesting. I know the majority of Middle Eastern readers, especially Muslims will subscribe to this view. I am not expunging anything that you are saying. I just don’t believe in Wahabism or any organized form or sect of world religion. People of the book have the chance to go to heaven as mush as Muslims do based on their actions ofcourse. It’s not there fault that their books have been corrupted. Jews are an ancient people, so it is no wonder that a a thing or two might have been lost in the works. Israeli violence aside ofcourse, Jews are still capable of judging what is wrong and what is right, so there therefore will be lots of them in heaven, as long as they act accordingly. Whether Moses failed or not, doesnt negate that fact. Let the creator decide who has strayed and who has not as long as they are not harming you, let them live their own lives.

    Thanks brooklyn and Roman for explaining a thing or two about the Jewish faith, I thought the saying “kaddish” was very interesting, especially the part of if one says it for the whole 11 months it is considered an insult, I mean how fresh is that, I guess you would have to count the days pretty closely and calculate when the deadline is ay?

    Reply
  69. brooklynjon
    January 2, 2008 at 6:27 am

    aaa,

    how do you know this to be true?

    Reply
  70. Church
    January 2, 2008 at 7:24 am

    It’s absolutely correct that the battle of spreading the Holy books is more intense than anyone would’ve thought, I completely agree with the author in this post and thanks for sharing this valuable info.

    Reply
  71. SamSeven
    January 2, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Like what happened to aaa, he/she dropped a bomb then disappeared, whats the story with that?

    If you are reading this aaa then please site a realiable source here or email me, thanks.

    Reply
  72. christ
    January 3, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Both are Holy books in this world let’s we respect this Holy Scripts.

    Reply
  73. Tantor
    January 4, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Anon: “FYI they do not build big gigantic mosques on Christian lands. The French in France are giving muslims a very hard time with respect to allowing them to build a big gigantic mosque in Paris. Since 9/11 it’s much more difficult to buy land, get permits and build mosques. So that piece of information your quoting is inaccurate.”

    Pure nonsense. The Saudis built one of the biggest mosques in Europe about three miles from the Vatican in Rome. Another radical Muslim sect is attempting to build a King Kong mosque in London that will hold tens of thousands.

    RandallJones: “Why did the article leave out that the Saudis invest trillions of dollars in the United States? In additions, the United States makes millions selling Saudi Arabia sophisticated weaponry that the Saudis do not have the qualified personnel to use;, which is why they are dependent on the UNited States to defend them.”

    The Saudis do not invest in America because they love and support it but rather because it is the best investment and because they need someplace safe to put their money should there be a revolution at home.

    Nobody is holding a gun to the Saudis head to make them buy our weapons. You’re correct that they don’t know how to use them but apparently they buy them to use as scarecrows.

    After Sep 11, good luck convincing America we should send our boys in harm’s way to defend Saudi Arabia, our enemy. Deploying troops to Saudi Arabia to fight would be politically impossible to sell to the American people. There is no support for Saudi Arabia at all among Americans. Virtually all Americans would be content to see Saudi Arabia destroyed and would stand aside to let it happen.

    RandallJones: “Why does the article leave out the millions of Muslim deaths Judeo-Christian countries are responsible for in Iraq?”

    Because it didn’t happen. Millions of Iraqis have not died as you absurdly claim. Probably somewhere between 30,000 to 50,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion. Of that, Muslim extremists are killing literally 600 times as many Iraqi civilians on purpose as US forces do inadvertently.

    Sherif: “Wahabism was enforced on the Muslims by the west and now they’re blameing muslims for it much like al-qaeda is!!!!”

    This is so friggin’ crazy that merely reposting it rebuts it. It shows to what crazy lengths Muslims will go to shift blame for their madness to anyone else rather than take responsibility for anything.

    brooklynjohn: “The Crusades were a brutal, expansionist attempt to beat back the brutal, expansionist Islamic armies. It’s really hard to decide which brutal, expansionist attacks were worse. They were both terrible. Here’s to hope that brutality and expansionism are taking their last breaths, so we can all coexist in peace, if not in harmony.”

    The Crusades took place on previously Christian lands conquered by Muslims. If Muslims claim the Crusades were bad, doesn’t it follow that the original Muslim jihad which took those lands was bad as well? Certainly, the thousand year Muslim jihad which conquered all the formerly Christian lands around the Mediterranean basin were much worse than the Crusades with respect to their much larger scope and duration.

    Muslims took over Christian North Africa then nvaded Europe through Spain in the west and tried to take France. They invaded up the center of Europe, taking Sicily and parts of Italy, even invading Rome and sacking the Vatican. Muslims invaded Europe from the east, taking over most of the Byzantine empire, whose pleas for help launched the first crusade.

    In light of the massive Muslim jihad which provoked the relatively puny Crusades, it is the height of Muslim hypocrisy and obtuseness to condemn the Crusades as some sort of unprovoked aggression.

    I might also point out that the same Muslim jihad against the world continues to this day with the popular approval of the Muslim world.

    Sherif: “I would say that MOST of the wests intervention in the ME was for the sole benefit of its own people, and understandably so what kind of government would it be if it worked againt its people… and from this perspective, anything good that came to the ME was extremely disproportionate and unfairly favouring the west and the result was generally disadvantageous to the ME… ”

    America’s relationship with the Saudis lifted them up from abject poverty into the lap of luxury. America found Saudi oil, drilled it, shipped it, and allowed the Saudis the lion’s share of the profits, enough that Saudis could provide free housing for its citizens and a lavish welfare state. America built the Saudi infrastructure: roads, telephone lines, electrical grid, mass media, and on and on. There is no nation in history which has benefitted so greatly from another as Saudi Arabia has from the USA. You have to be wearing the giant size Muslim blinders to claim the terms of the American relationship with Saudi Arabia were disadvantageous to the Saudis or disproportionately favorable to the US.

    And it’s worth pointing out that Saudi Arabia, the Muslim country we have helped the most is the one which hates us the most. All our benevolent treatment of Saudi Arabia has been converted into aggression against us.

    Sherif: “-the foreign mujahedeen used the afghan war as a training ground
    -funded and aided by regimes all over, eg saudi, trained by americans and so on and so on (not necessarily financial help)”

    Most of Bin Laden’s foreign mujahideen never left Peshawar. Bin Laden only led a couple hundred of his jihadis a few miles into Afghanistan to encounter a few insignificant skirmishes with Soviet troops which had no imppact on the course of the war.

    The Saudis were not trained by the Americans nor by anyone. They were incompetent boobs with more enthusiasm than brains. Most of the jihadis Bin Laden processed through Peshawar simply stayed at his safe house for a few days and then disappeared into Afghanistan, never to return.

    American support for the Afghan resistance came through Pakistan’s ISI, which funded the Afghans in order to build up a buffer state on their border. They did not support Bin Laden’s Arabs because they couldn’t control them and because they didn’t fight. The Afghans did the fighting, though they were occassionally persuaded to take along an Arab jihadi who proved useless.

    Bin Laden was awash in in hundreds of millions of bucks from Saudi Arabia and needed no funds from Pakistan nor America. Better yet, he was not held accountable for any of it. He merely spinned his few inconclusinve skirmishes with the Soviets into decisive Islamic victories for the gullible Muslim masses at home. who lapped up his lies with both hands.

    Reply
  74. brooklynjon
    January 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Easy now Tantor,

    #1) my name has no “h”

    #2) I said, “The Crusades were a brutal, expansionist attempt to beat back the brutal, expansionist Islamic armies.”

    I think you missed the second half of that sentence before replying.

    The crusades were not without justification.

    However, they were often misguided, often aimed at the Byzantines and the Jews, rather than the Muslims who had overrun previously Christian lands. And the motivation of individual leaders of the Crusades was often less than holy. Otherwise, how do you explain, as an example, the sack of Constantinople?

    #3 “I might also point out that the same Muslim jihad against the world continues to this day with the popular approval of the Muslim world.”

    Amen. Islam and Christianity are both expansionist ideologies that believe that they have to make all the world share their ideology, which is a major source of conflict – though surely not the only one – in the world today.

    Reply
  75. Sherif
    January 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    tantor, my friend, it is 2100 B.C. and iran has control of iraq. they launched several attacks on foreign bases in jordan and and lebanon. the west with all its media power blames those nasty muslims for this. lets assume we both have kids and we both love our names so much that we give them the same names. now lets listen to their argument:

    SHERIF THE 2ND: iran was not present in iraq before the american invasion, saddam himself hated them and they would not have been able to set a foot in iraq had the americans not been so stupid.
    TANTOR THE 2ND: but they were bringing democracy and freedom to iraqies
    SHERIF 2ND: well the iraqies would’ve loved to see this democracy in 1980s or the iranians who had a few million of their own killed because of a war sanctioned by the western powers.
    TANTOR 2ND: obviously the west didn’t intend for iran to take control of iraq
    SHERIF 2ND: hehe(a synical laugh) i don’t care what they intended to do, it is only because the west interfered that iran is where it is today.

    you came very late into the discussion and you seem to have missed or chose to disregard a few posts. my explanation for how the west’s intervention lead to the creation of the saudi kingdom which was non-existent except for a few years in the early 19th century is there, and me roman and bj came to the conclusion that we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    as for how the americans “lifted them up(saudis) from abject poverty into the lap of luxury.” hehe, you make me laugh. hehe, what does that have to do with the americans. its there oil, if they get rich selling it, well its their right, your example is flawed my friend.
    you quoted me saying “I would say that MOST of the wests intervention in the ME was for the sole benefit of its own people, and understandably so what kind of government would it be if it worked againt its people” and this makes perfect sense to me, unfortunately it has caused alot of harm to the people of the ME.
    if you read all my posts you’d understand what i believe to be the reason for our countries’ current state.

    Reply
  76. Roman Kalik
    January 6, 2008 at 5:45 am

    it is 2100 B.C.

    I think you meant C.E. there, Sherif. ;-)

    Reply
  77. sherif
    January 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    hehehe, thanks roman, yes C.E.

    Reply
  78. nomad
    January 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    all that noise is all about the black gold ressources race and the “power volonty” that implies,

    let’s take another option, compressed air :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4

    I bet some of the clashes will slow down

    uh, how did ya doing for your exam little chéri ?

    Reply
  79. sherif
    January 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    hehehe merci for asking, i don’t know yet, we’ll just have to wait and see…

    Reply

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