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In the Name of God بسم الله

forte

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Everything posted by forte

  1. February was a bleak month for moderates By Sandy Shanks Wednesday 15 March 2006, 15:46 Makka Time, 12:46 GMT In light of events in the past few years, those pleading for moderation, those urging a cooler-heads-will-prevail attitude, those who bypass any rhetoric about which religion is best, and those who pray for an end to the killing and destruction were dealt a severe blow in February. The month had an innocuous, but ominous, beginning. Some cartoons originally published in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, last September were reprinted in papers in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. February ended with the bloody aftermath of the bombing of the al-Askari shrine and mosque in Samarra, 96km north of Baghdad, and the Iraqi government is in disarray. Assuming that the reader is acquainted with the nature of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, there is little reason to describe them again here. They were a slap in the face to the followers of Islam, and the EU condemned their repeated publication as a "systematic incitement to violence". While protests were expected, some view what followed as a public relations disaster for Islam when the US/UK invasion of an Islamic republic is taken into account. Put a different way, the invasion of Iraq by primarily American forces engendered a tremendous amount of sympathy for the Arab nation, and, suddenly, despite 9/11, America became the bad guy. Even when Islamic extremists struck in faraway places such as Bali, Madrid, and London, somehow the US was culpable in left-of-centre circles. These same circles will defend to their last breath freedom of the press. They will also defend the right of protest. Never was there a more righteous cause for protest than the cartoons, so making placards and joining in street marches was in order. A few letters to the editor might help, too. But what followed was a PR disaster. Some sympathy for the Muslim world was lost, because what followed (violent demonstrations) was a classic example of the punishment far exceeding the crime, and that is true for both sides of the equation. Some nations and some institutions and businesses that had nothing to do with the cartoons were punished. Also, previous Islamic excesses around the world were easily blamed on extremists. What followed involved the Muslim version of the man-on-the-street participating in excess. Many were hurt. Many were killed. Many were arrested in the violent riots. During the first week of February, two people were killed as protesters assailed the US airbase at Bagram, although the US was not involved with the images of Muhammad. Iran announced that it was halting trade with Denmark as protesters pelted the Danish embassy with petrol bombs. The Austrian embassy in Tehran came under attack. Norway's embassy in Syria was set on fire. Danish and US embassies in Indonesia were also targets. A general strike was called to protest against the cartoons in Indian-held Kashmir. Five people were killed in Afghanistan and, after more rioting, the death toll rose to 11. The Danish embassy in Beirut was sacked. It (al-Qaida) wants only turmoil and a civil war in Iraq would fit in with the group's grand scheme, embarrassing the US to the utmost. Then matters really got serious. In three straight days of violent protests, five were killed in Pakistan, and at one point 70,000 people rampaged through Peshawar torching businesses and fighting police. A bus terminal was destroyed. Some are still trying to work out how the Daewoo bus company of South Korea is connected to Danish cartoons. A Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty on the cartoonist, not knowing that there were a few of them. Matters got progressively worse and in Libya 11 people were killed by security forces as protesters assaulted the Italian consulate in Benghazi. The interior minister was later fired. In Italy, Roberto Calderoli, a right-wing minister, resigned under pressure for wearing a T-shirt with the offending cartoons printed on it. He was accused of fuelling the frenzy in Benghazi. Saving the worst until last, we come to Nigeria. On 18 February, 15 people, mostly Christians, were killed by Muslims, most beaten to death on the streets of Maiduguri, and 15 churches were burnt. Later, the Christians struck back and the fighting continued between the Muslim north and Christian south, and eventually 130 or more were killed. All of this over some cartoons. Of course there is more to it than just cartoons, but serious questions can be raised over these incidents. Foremost among them is: Can Islam censor Western freedom of the press? No, of course not. Still another: Does Islam have the right to protest against Western press when offended. Yes, of course. That is one of the freedoms the West cherishes. Does Islam have the right to protest violently when offended? No. While Western viewers were gasping at the events, another outrage occurred. On 22 February an unknown group blew the golden dome off the al-Askari shrine, which had remained intact since 944. It was originally built to house the tombs of two 9th-century Muslim scholars and descendants of Ali bin Abi Talib the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, whom the Shia consider as their first Imam, and blaming Muhammad's companions for not installing him as the first caliph after the prophet's death. Al-Askari is the eleventh descendent of Ali, along with his son Muhammad al-Mahdi are seen by Shia as their twelve Imams and mentors. It is important here to say that none of those twelve scholars considered himself a Shia. Put a different way, al-Askari is a truly sacred shrine for both Sunni and Shia. This bombing occurred in the wake of the cartoon furore, and, when hearing about it, Americans murmured a collective "uh-oh". Shia reacted against the perceived culprit, the Sunni, who disagree with Shia in taking the descendants of Ali as mentors and disagree with Shia that Ali should have been the first caliph after the death of Muhammad. The Sunni reacted in kind. Iraq blew up in a maelstrom of violence. The main targets became mosques, although there were many others. American, British, and Iraqi authorities lost control and Muslim clerics tried to quell the violence, with some success. However, by the end of February the death toll ranged between 379, according to the Iraqi government, and more than 1300, according to the Washington Post using morgue statistics not death certificates, which are slowed by paperwork. Who bombed the shrine? No one knows because no group has, at the time of writing, claimed responsibility. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian prime minister, true to form blamed the US and Israel. Some Shia believe that the Sunni resistance is responsible, but it has enough on its hands with the American and British occupiers without taking on the various Shia militia, including Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army. Not surprisingly, al-Sadr also blamed Americans. What is surprising is that little has been said of the most obvious suspect group, al-Qaida of Iraq. About the last thing Americans wanted, and their leadership, was for sectarian violence to blow the lid off Iraq. The same could be said for Shias and Sunni, most of whom wish only to rid themselves of the Western occupiers. The same cannot be said for al-Qaida. It wants only turmoil and a civil war in Iraq would fit in with the group's grand scheme, embarrassing the US to the utmost. Moreover, this attack looks like an al-Qaida operation - well planned and executed brilliantly against an iconic target. While all of this was going on, athletes from China to Britain, from Russia to the US participated in the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Men and women from nearly every ethnic group on the planet enjoyed each other's company in the spirit of Olympic competition. In my ultimate fantasy, I want some day to see an Iraqi athlete take the gold in figure skating or the downhill. Considering the taxi drivers around here, how about the bobsled? Is that really so much to wish for? For those who preach moderation, dialogue, understanding, and compromise, February was truly a rugged month. Sandy Shanks is the author of two novels, The Bode Testament and Impeachment, a keen historian and a columnist. The opinions expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of Aljazeera. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/E09...D83ABC3D2A5.htm
  2. Tom and Jerry were created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at the MGM studios in 1940, NOT by Walt Disney. :lol: 'Jewish' Walt Disney :P Cartoon brain washing conspiracy :!!!: Iranian University -- accredited educational intstitute ???? :P Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic -- BUT, what is even more pathetic is that the Iranian University Professor's (..hmmm....wonder if he is tenured?.. :sick: ....... ) Iranian University students are copiously taking notes without a hint of skeptism or independent thought..........
  3. (salam) Rhetoric is one thing, practice is another. This is how Tom Fox (recently killed by his abductors in Iraq) practised his interpretation of love. This is part of his blog from http://www.selvesandothers.org/view2840.html CPTnet 2 December 2005 IRAQ: Most recent reflection by Tom Fox, "Why are we here?" [Note: The following reflection was written by Tom Fox the day before he was abducted.] The Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) Iraq team went through a discernment process, seeking to identify aspects of our work here in Iraq that are compelling enough to continue the project and comparing them with the costs (financial, psychological, physical) that are also aspects of the project. It was a healthy exercise, but it led me to a somewhat larger question: Why are we here? If I understand the message of God, his response to that question is that we are to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God. Again, if I understand the message of God, how we take part in the creation of this realm is to love God with all our heart, our mind and our strength and to love our neighbors and enemies as we love God and ourselves. In its essential form, different aspects of love bring about the creation of the realm. I have read that the word in the Greek Bible that is translated as "love" is the word "agape." Again, I have read that this word is best expressed as a profound respect for all human beings simply for the fact that they are all God's children. I would state that idea in a somewhat different way, as "never thinking or doing anything that would dehumanize one of my fellow human beings." As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. U.S. forces in their quest to hunt down and kill "terrorists" are, as a result of this dehumanizing word, not only killing "terrorists," but also killing innocent Iraqis: men, women and children in the various towns and villages. It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death. "Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exist within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls.
  4. (salam) That is a great comprehensive list - really makes you think about what was accomplished by scientists and creative inventors of the Isamic World in a relatively short period of time. Shia by Nature posted this link on another forum; it is an excellent documentary about the some of the same scientific achievements of Muslims, and a great supporting resource for the Independent news article.. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7502243539190558658 This should work.
  5. Tom fox was a Quaker - a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams - not a right-wing evangelist. But, I do agree with your assessment of the perception of why he was there. However, there are many documented accounts of the work he did in the ME to ease the suffering of the people. As to why he was there, he was questioning that himself and blogged it a day before he was abducted: CPTnet 2 December 2005 IRAQ: Most recent reflection by Tom Fox, "Why are we here?" [Note: The following reflection was written by Tom Fox the day before he was abducted.] The Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) Iraq team went through a discernment process, seeking to identify aspects of our work here in Iraq that are compelling enough to continue the project and comparing them with the costs (financial, psychological, physical) that are also aspects of the project. It was a healthy exercise, but it led me to a somewhat larger question: Why are we here? If I understand the message of God, his response to that question is that we are to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God. Again, if I understand the message of God, how we take part in the creation of this realm is to love God with all our heart, our mind and our strength and to love our neighbors and enemies as we love God and ourselves. In its essential form, different aspects of love bring about the creation of the realm. I have read that the word in the Greek Bible that is translated as "love" is the word "agape." Again, I have read that this word is best expressed as a profound respect for all human beings simply for the fact that they are all God's children. I would state that idea in a somewhat different way, as "never thinking or doing anything that would dehumanize one of my fellow human beings." As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. U.S. forces in their quest to hunt down and kill "terrorists" are, as a result of this dehumanizing word, not only killing "terrorists," but also killing innocent Iraqis: men, women and children in the various towns and villages. It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death. "Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exist within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls. The group he represented is funded by Christians - hence the reference to Christian in their title. This was his belief and mandate: http://www.quakerinfo.org/quakerism/peacetestimony.html
  6. He was suffering from heart problems - at least that is what has been reported. But I also think that his death is suspicious - and that he had information that many would not have wanted released. But he is gone from this world and will have to now face the next.
  7. As in acceptance and submission to the hieracrchical structure? Cowering to the top dog? Defeat? :(
  8. (salam) And for balance and fairness, how would you group the Muslims that come to this site - again as to their specific agendas? (salam) Excellent idea. It would provide much needed structure and direction. This forum is too often dominated by those appearing to seek attention - not dialogue. There needs to be some balance and commonality of purpose to move forward.
  9. What is the point of a gratuitous insult? This helps to promote animosity among posters. Is that what the Dev. Team at ShiaChat strive for? I would think that anyone representing the forum would need to part of the solution - not part of the problem here.
  10. the article ends with: The Muslim Students Association, which was among the leading critics of the cartoon, said Teheri-azar had never been a member of the group and denounced him on its Web site. "Regardless of what his intentions prove to be, we wholeheartedly deplore this action, and trust that our fellow classmates will be able to dissociate the actions of this one disturbed individual from the beliefs of the Muslim community as a whole," the statement said. "Peace be upon you all."
  11. (salam) I don’t wish to debate or enjoin in lengthy rambling rhetoric. It is clear that there will be no meeting of the minds here and the effort will not be constructive. As you have asked, this is my view, and last post: When the Muslim community was faced with challenges during the time of the Prophet and the Caliphate, defensive measures were needed. The wars in those cases were primarily because treaties were broken and the offending tribes needed to be dealt with as a matter of state and not religious preference. "To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to defend themselves), because they are wronged - and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory - (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right - (for no cause) except that they say, 'Our Lord is Allah'..." (The Holy Quran, 22:39-40) The Qur'an permits fighting to defend the religion of Islam and the Muslims. This permission includes fighting in self-defense and for the protection of family and property. The early Muslims fought many battles against their enemies under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad(S) or his representatives. For example, when the pagans of Quraysh brought armies against Prophet Muhammad(S), the Muslims fought to defend their faith and community. The Qur'an adds: "Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors. ...And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against transgressors." (The Holy Quran, 2:190, 193)
  12. (salam) I believe that I understand - I just clearly disagree. However, I wish you could understand what I am saying. You are rationalizing hating 'Tom' because he is a Christian and believes in a false doctrine. You say you don't hate him for his professional position but for his false beliefs. I'm sure he carries these beliefs with him regardless of other areas of his life, so you will need to hate 'Tom' at all times. It is OK to disagree with 'Tom's' beliefs, but not to hate 'Tom' based on his beliefs. Islam is a religion of peace and understanding - these words of hate do little to promote this.
  13. (salam) :huh: Well, only you know your true agenda here and only you and yours will have to live with the consequences of it. I was responding to what appears to be a theme within your posts. You obviously put time and thought into your posts but it is hard to contemplate the content when you have to dig through the offensive sarcastic put downs of brothers of the book and what I (and perhaps others) perceived as open hatred - regardless of the rationale. Christians BELIE these Attributes of the Almighty. I hate them for their Kufr! I hate them with a passion because of that. Perhaps it is your unfortunate choice of words........
  14. Disagreement and hatred are two very different things. Hatred only hurts the person doing the hating and tangentially often those that are close to him (by his consequent mood and behaviours) - for example, a man's wife and children. Being "sensitized" to your negative feelings and the impact they have on you and those you love is something worth examining. I pray that all those who feel hate and anger let go of their "hot coal".
  15. You use the word 'hate' a lot in your posts. You must be very angry and maybe very sad :( - it would be best to let go of this corrosive feeling and replace it with love of mankind. I'll steer away from Islam, Christianity and Judaism with this quote - but all religions express a similar sentiment. This one may be helpful to you - Read and Think!! Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha
  16. I apologize if I appeared to be attacking you - that was not my intention. I came to this forum to learn - but just in this thread alone I feel as though my questions are not welcome and that there is a lot of animosity towrds me - someone you don't know and don't wish to know. My questions have not been respected or validated so I am guessing my ideas will not be either. Again, I apologize for any part of your anger I am responsible for. Peace.
  17. Broad generalizations and are the seeds of misunderstanding. I find it is better to ask than assume. That is what I attempted to do here - but it was not welcome.
  18. I asked a question for understanding of a posters point. I made no judgement. Does that make me anti-Muslim?
  19. I will concede that I know little about northern Nigeria - but not "absolutly nothing". The rest has nothing to do with targeting Muslims. You have made an assumption that you know where I am coming from - and as assumptions usually go - it is incorrect. Isn't factual ideology an oxymoron?
  20. Where do Christians riot and kill Muslims out of love and respect for Jesus and the dignity of Christianity?
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