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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. According to the following source, Yet according to the same source, In relation to this I ask the following: Isn’t the basic human need for sexual intercourse, even if solely for procreation, also infected with a degree of lust and/or appetite? So if one is to abstain from “sensual lusts/appetites,” how can one avoid them during the sexual act itself? When one engages in sexual intercourse one also feels pleasurable sensations. This dilemma in part explains why Christianity historically associated holiness with monasticism, because in this state the sensual aspects of intercourse were avoided. (If the sexual act were not in part appetitive and/or lust-driven, then it might have been a different matter.) Since humans obviously need to engage in procreation, how can they suppress the “pleasurable” feelings and sensations that occur during the sexual act itself? (I apologise if this is seems a frivolous or stupid question.)
  2. @AbdusSibtayn The counterpoint to this is the contact between medieval Europe and the Islamic world. According to this study, there is very little material evidence of European conversion on any scale during this timeframe, despite the long-running wars between Crusaders and Muslims. There is ample evidence of trade (and warfare), moreover, but little, if any, of conversion, which is all the more striking. Even if there were more conversions than indicated, there is little basis for supposing that they would reflect proper Islam, rather than a syncretistic and/or relatively “liberal” version, e.g., a newfangled version of Sufism. Case in point: Christianity only succeeded on a large scale by acceding to the cultural influences of the peoples that Europeans came to directly or indirectly dominate. As more black Africans “converted,” they adapted Christianity more to suit their needs than they altered their customs and behaviours to suit Christianity. “Africanised” denominations and sects resemble native shamanism more than they do their ancestral European strains. Christianity as practised among African slaves in the Americas also came to resemble culturally the rituals and beliefs of traditional African systems rather than those of the European Church(-es). An analogous trend can be noted among Muslims: as soon as Islam was transferred outside its Arab core, it increasingly bent to the needs of other ethnicities, rather than the ethnicities to the religion as was received. That is why Bosnian, Turkic, and Indonesian Islam looks so very different from that of the Arabian peninsula and its immediate environs, even in the pre-colonial (and hence pre-Wahhabi) era. Chechen and Minangkabau Islamic practices for centuries have born very little resemblance to the sharia of revivalist movements in the Middle East. In practice, ethnicity and lineage seem to determine religious forms more than vice versa. Even the case of Christianity illustrates my point. The Romans and the Germanic tribes only “converted” to the religion of Jesus after it had been mutilated to suit the cultural practices of pagan Europe. The rituals and symbols were stripped of their Judaic/Israelite forms, if not content, and refashioned in the mould of Hellenistic culture, to not speak of Germanic tribalism. Soon the religion of Jesus simply became a disguised form of solar-cult worship, in which the tradition of Israel was subordinated to that of the Gentiles, rather than vice versa. And the resultant form of Christianity has been ossified for millennia. Regarding free will vs. determinism: what about the scientific consensus that between ~60–75%—and quite possibly up to 80%—of man’s intelligence quotient (IQ) is hereditable? (Furthermore, note that the studies found a link between specific genes, or a range of genes, and IQ, suggesting that epigenetic influence plays a comparatively minor role.) If true, this would hold implications for morality, for moral reasoning is correlated with the ability to reason abstractly. For example, individuals who cannot think abstractly tend to have less self-awareness and a higher time-preference, that is, less focus on the future and more on the immediate present. Such individuals are less able to defer gratification, are more selfish, and are more impulsive. If one is born with a deficient IQ, then one’s capacity for maximising one’s faculties would be diminished, and this would have correspondingly negative bearing on morality. I was alluding more to the notion among some “Muslim” racists that the original, primal man had the same DNA as the “purest” lineage of the Arabs (presumably including the Prophetic line), and that only individuals with this proper genetic heritage had the moral capacity to practice Islam “properly” and attain Paradise. According to these racists, while individuals of “pure” lineage are capable of sinning, this supposedly does not imply that “impure” lineages are capable of attaining Paradise, even by their own efforts. (Note that I myself do not subscribe to this line of thought, but am merely describing some individuals’ point of view, which I have heard about elsewhere.) Regardless, my point still stands: why are humans “wired” to be a little ethnocentric, tribal, and racist? After all, such an attitude implies at least some hatred of the “Other,” which is deemed synonymous with “enemy” and “evil” on some level. A lot of people tend to lump in religion with race and ethnicity as well. For example, among Islamists the retort is often made, before any other, that critics of Islam are first and foremost “racist.” Islam is not a race, so why do some Muslims fixate on the racial aspect? If you’re going to be racist and equate proper religious practice with biological lineage, then why even bother with attempting to convert people? The racists themselves are inconsistent and illogical. So why is their mentality is so common?
  3. @hamz786 Another interesting aspect of his speech is his denial that Iran exercised any influence over the various factions of the Resistance prior to and during this conflict, emphasising that the various groups within the Resistance have been acting on their own. According to Al-Jazeera the Sayyid made the following statements in regard to the Iranian “role”: Note that he mentions the Resistance “factions,” which would include not just Hamas, but also Hezbollah, Ansar Allah, the PMUs, and so on.
  4. @AbdusSibtayn I was thinking about this in light of history. Why do the majority of people tend to follow the habits of their ancestors? If this is but natural, part of human nature, then would conversion (or “reversion”) be unnatural? If so, would that imply that one’s status in the Hereafter is predetermined from birth? (Obviously, the concept of the sayyid may indicate that each bloodline contains within itself a kind of immutable, unique spiritual quality from birth. But this in and of itself does not say anything about one’s spiritual fate.) ^ According to the hadith God created a specific kind of lineage, which was man’s original state. The hadith would imply that: a) in the beginning man’s bloodline was pure but became contaminated due to sin; b) differences in socioeconomic status are a result of sin; c) these are transmitted by bloodline The problem with this is the implication that: if not for the sin, there would be no and/or few distinctions of rank among men; God needed man to sin so as to allow for a specialised, developed economy So if God: desired man’s development; the latter could only come about via specialisation; specialisation is (ultimately) a consequence of sin, Does God sanction the sin that gave rise to this economy? This is the problem with these kinds of narrations (and discrimination).
  5. I think that this thread stands on its own, as it puts the war in the MENA in context, and it is becoming very clear that World War III is about to enter a “hot” stage, given the West’s terminal decline, and the fact that the conflict between the West and the Resistance in the MENA is part of the bigger war between the West and the Rest (Global North vs. Global South). The Global South is about to win decisively, so the West has no choice but to “go out with a bang,” and is going all out on front after front. And the MENA is but the lynchpin of all this. The MENA is at the centre of the global maelstrom, in terms of trade, economics, and many other factors, being a vital source of energy and a node or “bridge” between East and West, along with the Central-Asian “Earth-Island” and the Caucasus. Everything that is happening globally is connected to the MENA, so the ongoing war is drawing the superpowers into the fray, with the multipolar Global South aligning with the Resistance against the West’s (Global North’s) unipolar Golden Billion. So the conflict in the MENA is like a singularity that ties together all other fronts. If the MENA blows up, the world does—on several fronts at once, even beyond the MENA. Here’s what we see: A common interest among stakeholders in evicting NATO’s forces from Mesopotamia, where the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia have used the secessionist Kurds (in Syria the SDF, which is linked to the PKK/PYD via the YPG/YPJ) and their Wahhabi–Salafi allies, e.g., al-Qaida and ISIS, to weaken not just Iran and its allies, but also Russia and especially China, along with an increasingly-independent Turkey. Just as the Resistance prepares to attack NATO’s regional forces, Turkey is already beginning an offensive against the SDF, while Syria‘s Assad has remained ominously quiet, in light of improving Syria–Turkey ties in the background, whose context is the ongoing, Russian-and-Chinese-mediated Turkish–Iranian–Azerbaijani rapprochement in the face of a common Western threat. The Resistance, Iran, Russia, China, Syria, and Turkey have a common interest in opposing NATO’s continuing occupation of eastern Syria and portions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Ongoing instability in the MENA, along with the implementation of the Abraham Accords, is a distinct threat to Chinese economic interests, including the BRI. The long-term U.S. military buildup in the Pacific complements the Western military buildup in the MENA as part of an attempt to contain China and split the ongoing Sino-Russian entente. Right now there is a steadily-increasing risk of armed conflict breaking out in the South China Sea, reflecting China’s frustration with the West and in part as a response to Western actions in the MENA. The South China Sea, like Ukraine and the MENA, is yet another front in the opening stages of World War III. Additionally, conflict between India and China over territorial disputes is increasing the risk of another front in South-Central Asia, which would lead to not just an India-China war, but also a renewed Pakistan-India conflict. Again, all this is connected to what is happening in the MENA. The situation right now is extremely momentous and serious. The liberation of Palestine and the eviction of NATO from the MENA will likely accompany China’s victory over the West in the Pacific (Taiwan etc.) and Russia’s over the West in Ukraine.
  6. Right now the collective West is marshalling all its resources to support Israel, with the U.S. bringing to bear not just aircraft carriers, but also thousands of special forces and Marines, along with air-defence systems. If Hezbollah directly enters the conflict, then the war will not just impact Lebanon, but also neighbouring Syria and Iraq, to not mention Saudi Arabia. In that case the combined forces of the Resistance, along with Iran, will likely be brought into play throughout the MENA, but especially in Mesopotamia and the Arabian peninsula. If Syria is brought into play, then by definition Russia will not stand aside, nor will China. No one has noticed that Putin recently stationed the Russian Aerospace Forces over the Black Sea with hypersonic missiles specifically in relation to the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, which poses a significant risk to Russia’s assets in Syria. So if the U.S. is not careful Russia will end up sinking those aircraft carriers if Israel drags America into a war with Iranian allies in Syria as a result of an expansion of the conflict to Lebanon. P. S.: it is interesting to note that in one of the links Hamas has praised Putin and Russia’s efforts...
  7. @Eddie Mecca I could, of course, be wrong, but so far the consensus in Western sources seems to be that Hezbollah is unlikely to get directly involved. Hezbollah, while powerful in its own right, is more of a deterrent to an Israeli attack on Iran than anything else, so it has more limited means of defending itself than Iran does. If Hezbollah were to become directly involved, the collective West would likely apply all its resources to an Israeli-fronted attack on Iran, which would include Lebanon. Hezbollah would likely need a considerable amount of time to recover from an all-out Israeli attack on Lebanon, given its role as a so-called “‘single-use’” deterrent. If the West had intelligence that indicated the imminent likelihood of Hezbollah’s direct involvement, it would likely be “hyping up” the threat in its major organs as of now, at least more so than it currently is. Right now most of the focus is just on Hamas. ^ I think that the Western elite, at least at the very top, is very much interested in objective analysis. After all, it certainly wants to win any potential war with Iran and its allies. Policymaking is another thing altogether. Behind closed doors, so to speak, the elites definitely place a premium on accurate information, even if they actively deceive the general public.
  8. @Haji 2003 I do believe that Turkey and Qatar are providing much more support for Hamas than Iran is, however. The following source admits as much: Another factor is that Israel has never really imposed a stringent blockade on Gaza. Had Israel done so, Hamas would have been ousted a decade ago. Israeli strategy benefits more from a Hamas–Fatah stalemate than outright Israeli control over Palestine, at least in the short term. So long as the Palestinians remain divided Israel can consolidate its hold over time. Israel relies on the Saudis to support Fatah and the Qataris (and Turks) to bolster Hamas, while excluding Iran and Hezbollah.
  9. @Diaz The fact that Russia is apparently leaning toward Hamas is extremely significant. Up until recently Russia had been acting as a neutral mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. But now Russia apparently regards Israel’s position as a threat to its own interests in the MENA and beyond, notably in Syria and the South Caucasus. With Russia’s evident sanction, Iranian–Azerbaijani relations are evidently improving over time, thereby isolating Armenia, which is now tilting westward under Pashinyan. The fact that even Trump recently criticised Netanyahu, while Putin refused to side with Israel on Gaza, is a rather telling sign that Russia is now quietly but firmly shifting decisively toward the Resistance. Russia’s flank is now increasingly secured, with Turkey hindering NATO’s agenda in Ukraine and the MENA. Meanwhile, Israel under Netanyahu is arming Ukraine. If a large-scale regional war were to erupt in the MENA that would involve Hezbollah, the evidence now suggests that Russia would be less willing to restrain the Resistance than in the past, given that there is now less daylight between Russia and the collective West (including Israel) on so many vital areas, several of which have also drawn Russia and Iran together. The fact that Israel and the U.S. are now more fully aligned than ever on numerous strategic issues is bringing about a powerful multipolar convergence of actors: Russia, China, Iran, the Resistance, India, Turkey, etc.
  10. ^ To further bolster the above, I offer the following: So the people who are condemning Hamas for conducting urban warfare should take a look at actual military history.
  11. @In Gods Name Just to be clear, let me reiterate: by no means do I endorse Zionism. Zionism is a secularist, fascist, chauvinistic ideology that is at starkly odds with Orthodox Judaism and human nature, like any other nationalistic heresy. My point is that, irrespective of this, one must not become emotionally-yet-selectively averse to the reality of warfare. Tactics are often similar on both sides, at least up to a point. Besides, the fact is that the majority of Palestinians in Gaza, if not elsewhere, rightly support the Resistance. Even ordinary civilians aid the Resistance in every possible way, just as the Israeli occupiers rely on their own citizenry. In both cases civilians are armed, forming militias as citizen-soldiers, whether they are called insurgents or not. But my support for consistency by no means vitiates the rightness of the Palestinians’ cause. In fact, I strongly concur with you in one respect: the fact that the Western Establishment is notoriously hypocritical in its framing of the conflict. The mere fact that Hamas and its supporters shoot at Israeli occupiers from behind shrubbery or within buildings is used as an excuse to indict the Resistance for “terrorism”—as though the Israeli occupiers would not and do not resort to similar tactics at their own discretion. Westerners who condemn Hamas for sheltering fighters in urban areas and for its having resorted to “cowardly” asymmetric warfare should read accounts of the American Patriots who fought the British imperialists during the Revolutionary War for Independence. The Patriots shot at the British from behind trees and from their very homes. So if the West is willing to call Hamas a terroristic gang for its tactics, it should, by the same standard, be willing to condemn the American Patriots who adopted the very same. So did the Soviets at Stalingrad who defended the Soviet and Russian land against the German fascists. So did the Chinese Communists and the Viet Minh (later Viet Cong). Hamas, like so many other mass-based movements, is resorting to the age-old guerrilla’s strategy of people’s war: relying on the support of the entire population and conducting warfare on its own terms as it sees fit. This strategy includes ambush and urban warfare as part of its toolkit. Moreover, in each case the defenders are just that: defenders. The Zionists openly state that they seek to eliminate Palestinians’ access to land. The Palestinians are as entitled to resist as the Plains Indians in the 1860s. I hope that I clarified my position.
  12. @In Gods Name But the fundamentals lie on different bases in each case. Also, people are perfectly capable of looking ahead, beyond short-term aims, and weighing ultimate considerations. At least some, if not many, of the agnostics and/or atheists would thus realise that an alliance with Islamists and/or Muslims vs. Zionism, at least in the case of the Gaza Strip, would lead to the emergence of an (enlarged) Islamist and/or Islamic government in Palestine. Even if these agnostics and/or atheists were somehow sympathetic to the ultimate aims of anti-Zionist forces, they could have at least tried to court secularist factions rather than religious in the struggle vs. Zionism. After all, at times the Soviet Union was anti-Zionist, despite espousing secularism and/or militant atheism, while at the same time vigorously combatting Islamism and/or Islamic fundamentalism. Yet today the “woke” liberal left actively promotes Hamas and its Sunni-Islamist allies. I know that the Zionists started all this, in the case of Palestine. But one must be consistent: as terrible as these things are, they are endemic to warfare. I am not so sure that an Islamic conquest would necessarily resort to different methods. Even in the Quran the killing of a child—by Khidr—is justified. The Bible obviously has no problems with total war. Methods of war remain similar, regardless of objectives. Ideally, all states and nations should stop resorting to harsh methods, much less offensive warfare, recognising that peaceful resolution of conflict is preferable. But they never have. Israel is not unique in this regard. I think that a principled anti-Zionist position might also consider going after methods as well as politics—and apply lessons consistently, on a universal basis. In the meantime, of course, the Palestinians are perfectly entitled to employ self-defence against occupiers, but in the long term a nonviolent future must be sought on all sides. The question is, Why would these secular and Salafi forces offer a helping hand to begin with? What is their aim? Surely the atheists would foresee that helping the religious anti-Zionist element among Sunni Palestinians would lead to an Islamist and/or Islamic state? Such an outcome would oppose their fundamental values. So if they are helping the religious Sunnis in this case, ulterior motives must be at work, and the Muslims are being used in part as pawns. ...except everyone has a different definition of “human” and “human rights.” Atheists’ definition(s) would be completely at odds with Muslims’. And what happens afterward? There must be ways to bring down Netanyahu that do not rely on secularists and/or Salafi. Be careful: in opposing “right-wing” politicians you may inadvertently end up opposing conservative principles. There are better ways to do so without relying on, say, liberal, secularist, and/or atheistic elements.
  13. @In Gods Name So you would not care if “woke” atheists and “hardcore Salafi” were your tactical allies? If that were the case, then shouldn’t you be a little warier? If two of my worst enemies were endorsing a particular tactic, I would do the opposite. There are ways to counter Zionism without soiling one’s hands, so to speak. You seem to be leaning excessively on some very dubious “allies”—and perhaps unnecessarily. Aren’t many, if not most, of these people secularist, if not anti-religious? How many of those “left-leaning” entities really want the Palestinian cause to succeed, if the price of success were an Islamist and/or Islamic government? So if “woke” liberals are endorsing a particular action, shouldn’t you be a little more skeptical? Honestly, I am surprised to see a self-proclaimed religious Muslim going on and on about the “right-wing” Israeli regime—as though Islam itself would even remotely favour “woke” ideological baggage. I think that Zionism needs to be countered without destroying conservative principles in this world, even in Israel.
  14. @In Gods Name @AbdusSibtayn Such a strategy would be rather risky, given that the opposition is largely secular. Its composition, in fact, is similar to that of the liberal Democrats in the U.S.: promoting socially liberal views that would be as at odds with Islam as with “religious” Zionism. Here in the West I see many “woke” types who are siding with Hamas vs. the Zionists, especially in elitist, liberal circles. I doubt that any of these people would truly wish to live under Hamas’ governance, or that of any Islamist and/or Islamic government, given their support for feminism, LBGTQ+I, and so on. This makes me question their motives, and should condition tactics. Let me be frank. There are certain circles in the West that, for some odd reason, seem to strongly favour certain Sunni factions vs. all other religious groups, despite being strongly secularist and even atheistic. Most, if not all, of the “woke” crowd has long favoured the Muslim Brotherhood—of which Hamas is part—vs. all other religious and/or right-wing groups. Yet just a few decades ago this liberal-leftist milieu tended to denigrate all religion and rightism equally, as in the former Soviet Union. Starting in the 1990s, but especially after 9/11, this group suddenly started to align with broad-based Sunni-Islamist movements. And one must not forget that Hamas has repeatedly and insistently rejected efforts by Hezbollah (and other non-Sunni groups in the MENA) to aid its struggle in Gaza, solely out of sectarian pride. Hamas itself has a record of supporting anti-Shia personalities and factions, many of them genocidal, e.g., Saddam, Osama bin Laden, and the Syrian pseudo-“jihadists”. Now Hamas can also count the secular, anti-religious, “woke” liberal left as a staunch “foreign” ally. Now I know that Iran and its friends have tried to court Hamas, seeking pan-Islamic solidarity on Palestine, but have never been requited in their efforts. Despite some people’s claims, Hamas, like many other Sunni groups, does have a brutal terrorist history of its own that is far from over. Some of Hamas’ tactics—which it and its Sunni allies have not restricted to Palestine—go beyond any legitimate defence against Israel’s genuine misdeeds. One may accuse the Zionists of lying in this regard, but Hamas’ Sunni colleagues have definitely endorsed brutal tactics vs. non-Sunnis, e.g., in Syria. None of this discredits the whole anti-Zionist movement, of course, but it certainly complicates the matter in a Sunni-majority Gaza Strip. In reality, we see two tainted ideologies at work in Palestine: the anti-Jewish, Zionist heresy and the Salafi, Takfiri-aligned Ikhwani heresy. Now these two ideological factions are at war, and the secularists who once sponsored Zionism (at the expense of the traditionally anti-Zionist Orthodox establishment) now have switched over to the Salafi ideology (which itself is a deviation from orthodox Sunni Islam), as incarnated in Hamas and its Sunni allies. My sense is that they now want to kill off the Jews who were lured from their Orthodox roots and embraced Zionism, thereby allowing a Hamas-run Palestine to align with its Turkish and Qatari sponsors against the Sunni-Arab states, Iran, Russia, and China. At this point I think that Iran and its allies are wisely staying out of this quagmire.
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