Archive of ‘Religion’ category

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.

No christians please part 2

The discussion over the Sabaya cafe's decision to ban christian girls from entering it has reminded me of something that I've long forgotten: the reason why they don't allow christians in, is because Islam views non-Christian women the same as strange men. Hell, according to this Fatwa, it's not just christian women who good muslim veiled girls shouldn't be exposed to: 

If she is in the presence of trustworthy
Muslim women, her nakedness is only between her navel and knees. As for
what is above that, such as her chest, it is permissible for her to
uncover it in front of them, as often happens with nursing women. As
for if she is in the presence of:

  1. a non-Muslim woman, or
  2. a Muslim woman who is wicked through extramarital sexual intercourse (Ar. zina), or
  3. a Muslim woman who is wicked through lesbianism,

then it is not permissible for her to expose any of her body except
that which shows during work, this being: her head, neck, arms up to
the upper arms, and legs up to the knees (Tuhfa, 7.194,200). However,
it is better for her to cover herself [m: more than what is strictly
required] because a non-Muslim or wicked woman might describe her to a
man who is not permitted to look at her.

Ahh, see, there is LOGIC to it after all. If the good muslim chickas allow christian girls to see them uncoverd, the evil ungodly christians can go and tell men how the muslims girls really look like under the veil, and that could lead to…ehh..them imaging how the girls may look like under the veil. And that's just wrong. Very very bad.

Joking aside, this does have some serious conequences to me on the personal level, and for the entire country as well. The personal consequences to me has to do with my plan to change the current Image of Islam as a violent terrorism religion to the old image of Islam of it being just a sexist misogynistic one. There used to be a time, not long ago, when people would react to my revelation to them that I am a muslim with "Islam? Isn't that the religion where a man can have 4 wives?" instead of the current "Islam, isn't that the religion where people just blow shit up?" response, and I believe we can bring those days back again. We just have to market it right, and I figured the best way to do it is to flaunt the islamic perk of having more than one wife at a time by putting a 21st century spin on it. Something along the lines of "Islam, the religion of threesomes, Foursomes and Moresomes", you know? Cause what's the point of having two wives if you can't have threesomes, right? But, unfortunately, according to this Fatwa, the muslim women can not be naked in front of non-msulim women or women with lesbian tendencies, so that plan is all shot to shit. Can you imagine if that wasn't the case? Men all over the world would be converting like that!

And as far the implication to us as a good ole isalmic society, one has to realize that this means that the majority of women are sinning without even knowing, and some of them who do know can't even help it. Just think about it: Female Bathrooms and Locker-rooms. It's used by both Muslim and christian women, which means that there are many muslim girls who were described by their evil christian counterparts to strange men, because, u know, they have nothing better to do with their time. This also means that in a true Islamic society, there would have to be separate changing rooms and bathrooms for Muslim and Non-Muslim females in every sporting club, Gym, restaurant and public Place. Just imagine: A nice lil sign next to the bathroom that says "Muslims only" next to it, or "No non-muslims allowed". Yes. That's the way to do it, and until we do this we are just freakin western-wannabe heathens who don't care about the honor and modesty of our women.

On another note, can you imagine what Human rights organizations, or CAIR, would do if in a western country there was a bathroom- we are not even talking cafe here, a bathroom- with a "No Muslims allowed" or "Non-Muslims only" sign next to it?

Hmm… 

No christians please

*Scroll down for UPDATES* 

Forsooth received an e-mail that is the Hijaby girl's equivalent to paradise: Sabaya. Owned by the female equivelant of Ahmed El Fishawy, Hanan Turk, it's a half hairsalon/half restaurant that is  just for girls, where no men are allowed to enter and no music will be played. Their promotional e-mail lists a number of perks to those who want to frequent the place:

 Advantges of SABAYA café
– You have the freedom of taking your veil/neqab off.
2- Meeting muslim girls who are willing to get closer to Allah.
3- Increasing your 'so7ba sale7a circle'.
4-Getting the opportuinity of being inspired by real stories by the same girls you meet.
5-You can have parties.
6-Learn how to shun sin…since You won't be exposed to songs or movies JUST CARTOONS AND RELIGIOUS SHOWS.
7- Get to meet Hanan Turk. heheheheheheheheheheheh
8-Enjoy the feeling that you'r making everything which is not allowed outdoors and Allah won't be mad at you :D..

P.S.
Attending sabaya will be very useful from both the life and religious
prespective, since YOu will be helping in changing the wrong
perceptions about both Neqabis/ Hegabis that were already inheritied
ages ago.

Sounds great, right? Well, just one more thing:

– First please Don't invite Christian girls , because they aren't allowed
to the place.. Second inform all your friends that if the number of
visitors increased remarkably in the coming year..inshAllah next year
they may be able to open a branch in mohandesen or down town ..We ARE
IN DIRE NEED OF A PLACE THAT CONTAINS US 'NEQABIS' OR 'HEGABIS' SO PLEASE THINK BEFORE U GO ANYOTHER CAFE 😉

Yep. You read that correctly. They are barring christian girls. No Christian girls allowed in Sabaya. This has to be the first open for public place that bans people on the basis of faith, and it's seriously fucked up. I can't believe that this is happening in Egypt. I can't believe that people have gotten so fucked in the head that we now segregate based on religious beliefs. Unbelieveable.

I am just wondering how they will enforce their no Christian girls allowed policy. What are they gonna do? Put a "No Christians allowed" sign on the door? Card people on the door and check out their religious identity on their ID's? What if a Christian girl sneaks in? Are they gonna grab her and throw her out? Is this even legal?

 Well, here is their number and address:

Address: 6 Meet 3'amr street . . Midan Safir . . Masr El Gedida. if
u know the street that has Cook Door / McDonald's / Oriflame /Smiley's
) . . it's behind McDonald's . . when u see McD . . go right. . then
left . . Sabaya will be on ur left . . isA

Tel: 2240 2223 – 2240 2229

 So, if you are an egyptian with any sense of decency, you should call them and give them a piece of your mind. And if you are a member of the MB- and god knows they have been coming more often to this blog- well, this is the kind of place that is the inevtiable conclusion of your group's policies and ideology. This is what you are advocating. This is the Egypt that you want. Another version of Saudi. Well, assholes, it's not gonna happen. Take a good look, because this is the closest that you will ever gonna get to it.

This is the 21st century assholes, not the 10th, try to catch up!

Update: I was so incensed that I got this christian co-worker of mine- let's call her S- call them to see if they are for real. The first number didn't work, the second one did. Here is the transcript of the conversation:

S: Salamo 3alikom, Sabaya?

Sabaya worker : we 3alikom el salam, yes?

S: I read your email, and I was just wondering, I have a Christian friend, and she’s interested in Islam, is there any way I can bring her with me?

Sabaya worker: We only permit entry to Muhajabat

S: Even in your café?

Sabaya worker: Well no in the café you can come in, but she can’t.

S: I was just hoping I can bring her with me, maybe she’ll come to her senses and god will bless her

Sabaya worker: Well we just don’t want to cause any discomfort to anyone, but god blesses us all.

S: Oh too bad, it would have been a great thawab

Sabaya worker: Ok I’ll ask Madam Hanan and can you call me back in an hour?

This is a true conversation.. and it would be funny if it wasn't so messed up!

Update: This other female friend of mine called them and asked them if it's true that Sabaya is for Hejabis and Niqabis only, and they confirmed it. When she asked them if that means no christian girls are allowed, the lady said Yes, no christians, and no girl who doesn;t have her hair coverd in general. My Friend told them that she intends to sue them, and they said to "bring it". She fully intends to.

Azhar Sheikh: 80 lashes for freedom of press

So has decreed the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Mohamed Sayyed "Ok" Tantawi, as islamic punishment for those bad journalists who spread rumors about the president and the country.

"God will not respond to the invocation of the arrogant and
pretenders who accuse others with the ugliest vice and unsubstantiated
charges," said Tantawi during a religious celebration Monday attended
by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and broadcast live on television.

"The Islamic Sharia (law) subjected all the people to be equally
punished for the crime of libel which is a flagrant aggression on the
virtuous men and women," he added. Tantawi's comments were published in
Al-Akhbar newspaper Wednesday and in Sawt Al-Azhar, the mouthpiece of
Al-Azhar, the following day.

[…]

During his speech, Tantawi seemed to argue for serious punishment as
well, quoting a verse from the Quran saying that those who accused
women of adultery without necessary proof were to receive "80
floggings."

He said his example involved women but added that "libel is also
applicable to men … this punishment is set by God to protect the
honor of men and women from bad talk that hurts dignity and honor."

Nice ehh?

You know why we call him "Sayyed OK" in Egypt? Because before he became Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar (appointed by President Mubarak) he used to be Egypt's mufti, and he was famous for his ability to issue any Fatwa you would like as long as you pay him. The man is such a joke, that during the presidential elections he issued a Fatwa- when the opposition was trying to get the people to boycott the elections in order to say it was illegitimate- that egyptians have to go and particpate in the elections as their islamic duty and that it's haram not to do so, because that's suppressing testimony and god forbids that and hates those who suppress their testimony. No one, of course, listened. This is the man, who under his reign, Al Azhar became a place for breast-feeding fatwas and debates over if an actor gets married on TV, is he counted as married in real life, amongst other fun fantastic very relevant debates. And now he wants to lash journalists who libel the good honorable men of this government 80 lashes. 80.

and you thought journalists had it rough in your country.

Tantawi, do us all a favor: RESIGN! 

Christian activists killed in Gaza

who was constantly accused of doing missionary work in Hamas ruled Gazastan.

A prominent Palestinian Christian activist was found dead on a Gaza City street Sunday, sending a shudder of fear through a tiny Christian community feeling increasingly insecure since the Islamic Hamas seized control last summer.

The body of Rami Khader Ayyad, the 32-year-old director of Gaza's
only Christian bookstore, bore a visible gunshot wound to the head, and
an official at Gaza's Shifa Hospital said he was also stabbed numerous
times. Ayyad had been missing since Saturday afternoon.

Ayyad regularly received anonymous death threats from angry people
who accused him of missionary work, a rarity among Gaza's Christians.
His store, which is associated with a Christian group called the
Palestinian Bible Society, was firebombed in April.

"We feel Rami was killed for his Christian faith," said Simon Azazian, a spokesman at the Bible Society's head office in Jerusalem.

The man was survived by a pregnant wife and two Kids. Hamas denies any involvement, of course. Must be the Jooozzz!

Writing christian pop songs

You know how they say that christian pop is basically regualr pop with the word baby replaced by the word Jesus? Well, me and my co-horts at Sandmonkey Inc. have put this theory to the test, and it works. For example:

"My loneliness is killing me, and I must confess, I still believe, when I am not with you I lose my mind. Give me a sign, hit me Jesus one more time"

or 

"Jesus, come to me,
Let me put my arms around you,
This was meant to be,
And I'm oh so glad I found you
, Need you ev'ry day,
Gotta have your love around me, Jesus, always stay,
'Cause I can't go back to livin' without you." 

or if you are looking for something from this year:

"Tell me Jesus, what's your story? Where you come from, and where you wanna go this time?"

hmm..

Well, the list of "Baby" songs is here. Try it out. It's fun! 

Athiests vs. Mormons

I really shouldn't have found this as funny as I did, but it's pretty damn amusing.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Mormons. The ones I've met so far have been nothing but the perfect image of politeness, honesty and decency. Sure, me and them always had different ideas of fun, and they really made me aware of my cussing, but other than that they are really good people. That being said, seriously, lay off the Saturday Morning visits. They are just not winning you any friends, and is placing you in the same group as the Jehova's witnesses, and that's just not cool!

The Pope wants you to have unprotected Sex

Lots and lots of it. You gotta make babies people. Lot's of babies.

Here is an idea, the Vatican has lots of freakin money, so how about a cash incentive for babies? Every child born catholic gets like an ancient scroll worth thousands of dollars or something. Sure, they may get bankrupt now, but they will make it back in dividends years from now in donation money. Wait, did I just suggest that the catholic church should give money to parents so that they can have kids and send them to catholic churches so that they can become alterboys for catholic priests?

Yeah, no, scrap that. Just stick to the sex people. An Orgasm is its own reward!

On God and good behavior

Not that I want to be viewed as someone who is anti-religion, but the writer of this article may have a point, and Egypt is the best possible place to prove it. People here have been getting more religious for the past 10 years, and yet, somehow, they are not better people for it!

Hmm.. 

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