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Islam intertwined with the West
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House of Bush
House of Saud
(author ~ Craig Unger)

Islam and the West are intertwined

joel edge

Hosted by robt.shepherd

On Wed, 2 Jun 2010 14:13:26 -0400, robt shepherd wrote (in article ):

Joel, I got my first exposure to Islam (I was the nerdy kid), by being a book worm, as a kid. Same place that the young (Illinois) Ronald Reagan did -- in Bullfinch's mythology, the tales of the knights, and chivalry, and the crusades. I really have more or less been blindsided by our liberal school system. Never once did I get the least serious classroom in Islam, or in early Spain, or in Sicily, Byzantium, Alexandria, or Cabeza de Vaca.

As an adult, it has been only recently. I got slightly pissed off the way the media constantly attacked George W. Bush for his pro-Saudi policies. Remember the Bush doctrine of strengthening the conservative Sunni regimes like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc --- while launching a hopeful "exemplar" regime (sheer state-building) for a (pro-American Shi'ite regime -- in other words WE BADLY NEED A SHI'ITE ALLY to offset (and be example to) a still-hostile Iran.

Anyway, when I was sick, one summer I happened to read Washington Irving. I could not stop. Despite my smattering of Spanish, I had zero knowledge of why so many AL (prefix) words, I had almost no knowledge of before Columbus, no knowledge of all those OPERA's that were about exotic OLD Spain.

I finished one of Washington Irving's book. Then read the other. Then found out there was another --- all non-fiction about OLD SPAIN, the Moors.

Now Washington Irving, the youngest of eleven children, had once as a boy met the illustrious George Washington. Later, he fell in love with Spain, and fell in love with its history. Now, it seems, I did, too.

Well, there is as much legend as truth, but often the TRUTH is even better. Our Catholic rationalism came from there, our thomism rather largely came from there, our schoolmen, our universities in Old Europe, all were inspired or received direct impetus via that Islamic and Arabic-Hebrew Milieu Of the glory days of Islamic civilization. Antecedents of the modern world

Now we who love Islam wonder what has happened? What went wrong? Oh, the SOUTH SHALL RISE AGAIN. The old glory days shall be restored, I really hope and believe. Perhaps it will require more of the old civility, that the romantic poets sang praises of.

See Mohammad and the Christians

Or else it might require a joyous co-exploration of the sacred hadiths, gospels, scriptures, lost gospels, cherished by the scholars of all THREE religions. For starters, do we not look to father Abraham?

For a long while I was sort of hopeful that, as in the past, the great peacemakers and bridge-builders might be the secularists, the atheists (regardless of their particularist roots). Occasionally one still sees that conciliatory role played. These days I sometimes am a bit discouraged. Faith and doubt seem ever to vibrate between each other in a kind of dynamic tension

Queen Rania of Jordan Long ago, the Muslims were a bit shocked at the north-men, the Franks (crusaders), their almost total illiteracy, their filthiness, (back then our religion required no ablutions, no mikvoth, no washings or lustrations, and running water in the wet north was SCARCE. You had to go to the arid Andalus, to get running water!!!!

And the historic lament against the Euro-Christians (as opposed to the early Judeo-Christians, Ebionites or whoever) --- our idolatry and image worship.

Classic Islam has always believed the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE. It is abomination to a Muslim to worship and serve the creature more than the CREATOR, WHO IS BLESSED FOREVER.

Euro-Christianity, after Constantine, turned Jesus himself into an IDOL, and repudiated our Jewish roots, and the ONENESS of the creator. Only Muslims (and believing Jews) still strive to love and obey the one only King eternal, immortal, invisible --- the ONE only wise creator God. Thus it was the European Christians who took the monotheism of the early church, and gave it a theology, one developed in the Greco-Roman world. The simple Shema, which taught them the oneness of God, was not good enough for the European world. So they jettisoned the ECHAD, of their Jewish predecessors, and came up with a theology (and Trinity) more suitable to their northern needs.

Christendom (emphasis on the dom) came to have a theology, perhaps even more than FAITH. Christians: "strangers and sojourners" to Judaism

I dismissed the old prophecy that Jesus would raise up a religion purged of idolatry, and cast out the idolaters and swine. (swine- eaters, mammonalaters and drunks), it clearly refers to Europe- Christianity, Obviously it applies, sad to say. The news media almost every day has apostate Christians raging against the coming tides, the march of time, the "seemingly excess" MORALISM of this mighty swell of believers, the Muslims, making their voice heard in (formerly Christian) Europe.

Our lust-crazed, pleasure-obsessed world hates preachers, and hates any moralistic faith. Morality in the contemporary context seems to have become a voice crying in the wilderness

We in the states are nearly as bad as "gay Europe." I dare not broach the subject with my dear gay friends. To us, freedom of private lives is too precious, and our whiteman ENLIGHTENMENT is more important than our Biblical roots. Alas, how low have we come when even the Taliban seems an appealing last resort.

Sometimes I become very discouraged. , but the Bible is permeated with a measure of moralism. It was how my steel magnolia mother raised me. Sure, I fought her tooth and nail. (SHAME ON ME)

Thank god she got the GUY to back her up, and be a male role model (like Obama got his Indonesian step-dad, how deeply it meant to him) PS, English is not Obama's native tongue. His mother Stanley Ann gave up on the overly gifted, ambitious, mensa FATHER OF OBAMA -- who ran off to Harvard and achievement and honors and success, ending finally back in Kenya, where he heaped up laurels to his own credit, but too much genius demands all his waking time. He apparently had to get rid of two time- consuming distractions, his faith and his family.

Damn, we need our geniuses. YES, OBAMA SENIOR was a show off, and ambitious, and a academic star, an over-achiever. Kenya's Obama (British and independent)

But as a husband and a dad, he was a bit of an absentee. Reminds me of Robert E. Lee --- his own dad was gifted (military smarts), and young Robert wept as a child that his father neglected him. Always gone. Always serving America.

Then as a father himself, Robert wound up doing the same thing his own father did. See Robert E. Lee - gray knight of the confederacy world survey of public opinion, that even after various covert actions in the middle east, assassinaions and revolutions, with Obama's attacks on terrorism even more emphatic, if stealthier, than Bush, Obama's global popularity remains very high, he is regarded as "cool" not only in Europe but in the third world and middle eastern locales as well, and America is regarded more or less positively along with him.

Primordial Islam was explicitly NOT misogynistic

Most American Muslims denounce extremism
Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan rallies patriotism
Discrimination and prejudice hurting US muslims
An American calls for compassion, forgiveness, peace
Beautiful mystical spirituality of the poetess Rabia
Impressive history of the Hashemite Clan - now Jordan
Ofra Haza singing "Horashoot" ( a Yemenite Song )
Queen Rania shows us about a better side of Islam
Islamic traditionalism gets a bad rap, here's two sides
Morning has broken: a hymn (almost) to creation & nature
Jesus Messiah's roots were Shemitic-Hamitic, not Euro
Christian and Muslim dialogue over Bible being encouraged
Africa at the Crossroads : Anwar Sadat, his crime was peace
Irshad Manji: Islam's changing balance - a world transformed
We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims
Tameera, stylish & well-educated wife of Prince Al Waleel bin Talal
Abraham Friend of God : patriarch of the three great religions
Hisorical Miracles of the Qur'an : from Admonitions of Ipuwer
Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom


He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

-Ali ibn-Abu-Talib
~ The Lion of God ~
"A Hundred Sayings"

Tameera al Waleel and the Prince
2012 NYC: Tameera al Waleel ~ married to one of the richest men in the world
She is educated, poised, savvy -- and wow -- stylish as well (part of Saudi royal family)

To think about: Does the West, no less than Islam, have its problem with prejudice and hostility? Even so eminent a spiritual leader as Pope Benedict XVI gave voice to negative stereotypes about Islam, and later sought strenuously to make amends. See Rania, Benedict, and Abdullah in Jordan. So the verbal assaults go back and forth -- where will it end?

Fanaticism can provoke reciprocal fanaticism.

Adlai Stevenson, the great Democrat (American) once said, "It is often easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."

Richard Nixon, both conservative (Republican) and anti-communist, once cautioned: "We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another -- until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. "

The West needs to get off its high horse. The "glorious" Crusades of Romance and Legend were in fact not so glorious at all. In actuality, the crusades were Christendom's ill-advised jihad. All too often the over-zealous Crusaders were the terrorists, and their victims were sometimes more cultured, and inoffensive, than the Crusaders. Including the Byzantines (fellow Christians), the Muslims -- and yes, Jews.

In the West, great Christians, time and again, have spoken out in defense of the Islamic heritage. Some, like Lawrence of Arabia, have caught the imagination of history. Even theologians have weighed in.

Factoids about Islam:
Largest Islamic nation - in terms of population, Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation, with Pakistan fast closing in.
World's fastest-growing religion. At the present time, Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. Islam is even the fastest growing religion in historically Christian Europe.

The much ballyhooed Bush family connections with Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm, indeed had an all too cozy relationship with many in the Middle East, including the U.A.E., and the Reagan-inspired Gulf Cooperation Council, (GCC) comprised besides UAE, of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. These tiny monarchies or sheikdoms together control a mind-boggling 42% of the world's oil. .

Prejudice against Islam:
There is a critical irony in the rise of violent prejudice against Islam. Europe throughout its history has been known as the continent of Christendom, and these white Christians possessed the so-called "Relgion of Love." Slowly that once-Christian land has been "losing its faith" as it were. Now affluent and "enlightened," it seems to scorn what it calls closed-mindedness and superstition. Pretending to be tolerant and liberal, it attacks Muslim and other third-world regions for their traditionalism, their moralism, their homophobia and family values. NOW, Denmark rallies round its cartoonists when they blaspheme Mohammad. Amsterdam attacks its Moroccan community when it opposes (too vehemently) the city's prevalent gay culture. And Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, says that (overly modest) Islamic veils and headress are NOT WELCOME.
What is wrong with this picture?
(November 2012)

During the early part of the era known as the golden age of Islamic science, from the 8th to the 13th century C.E. and beyond, Middle Eastern scholars translated into Arabic scientific and philosophical texts that preserved the works of such renowned Greeks as Archimedes, Aristotle, Ctesibius, Hero of Alexandria, and Philo of Byzantium. * Having these and other sources, the Islamic Empire -- which stretched from Spain across North Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan -- possessed the knowledge that made it possible for them to make automatic machines.

Those machines, says historian of technology Donald Hill, could "continue working for long periods -- hours, days or even longer -- without human intervention." Why? The engineers had invented effective control mechanisms that made automation possible. The machines used water from elevated tanks to provide a steady supply of energy. Automatic switching opened and closed valves or changed the direction of water flow. The machines also had feedback systems, as well as what Hill calls "precursors of fail-safe devices." Consider some examples.

The Ingenious Banu Musa

The three Banu Musa -- Arabic for "sons of Musa" -- lived in ninth-century Baghdad. They drew on the works of their Hellenistic forerunners Philo and Hero, as well as Chinese, Indian, and Persian engineers, to make over 100 devices. According to science writer Ehsan Masood, these include water fountains that changed their patterns at intervals, clocks with visual gimmicks, and vessels that served drinks automatically and replenished themselves using clever combinations of floats, valves, and siphons. According to historian of science Jim Al-Khalili, the sons of Musa also built rudimentary life-size automatons -- a "tea girl" that actually served tea and a flute player, "possibly the earliest example of a programmable machine."

These automatic systems had much in common with modern machines. However, "they used mainly water under pressure rather than electronics, but many of the operating principles are the same," says science writer Ehsan Masood.

Al-Jazari -- "Father of Robotics"

two piston suction pump In 1206, Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari completed his work, sometimes translated Compendium on the Theory and Practice of the Mechanical Arts. It has been called "a study in systematic machine design." Some of al-Jazari's technology went far beyond that published by the Banu Musa, and his descriptions and diagrams are so detailed that modern engineers can recreate his devices.

Al-Jazari's book illustrates water-raising devices, water clocks, candle clocks, water dispensers, musical automatons, and a pump that converted the rotary motion of a waterwheel into the back-and-forth movement of a piston that pumped water with great force. Historians give al-Jazari the credit for designing hydraulic pumps three centuries before the same basic design appeared in the West.

Al-Jazari also produced whimsical, yet functional, clocks. The one illustrated here has been reconstructed in a Dubai shopping mall. The timing mechanism is a perforated bowl that sits in a water reservoir inside the elephant's belly. The bowl becomes full in 30 minutes and then sinks, triggering a series of actions that utilize ropes and balls that are released from the "castle" on the elephant's back. When the half-hour cycle ends, the water bowl is automatically refloated, and the process starts over. This device and other automatic machines attributed to al-Jazari have earned him the title "father of robotics."

See : Al-Jazari's 13th century Elephant Clock

The story of man's ingenuity is truly amazing! Yet, that story is more than just interesting history. It also gives us a sense of perspective. At a time when many boast about modern technology, we are reminded of just how much we owe to the brilliant and fertile minds that preceded us.

[following is thanks to spycatcher]

The West Has No Right to Judge Islam

Pre-Islamic Arabia's religion was one of superstition. Belief in jinns (genies), curse casting, magic stones, totems was the norm - and it was against this background that Allah arose. Although the Quran may in some sense be a heavenly writing with no earthly source, evidence of these very sorts of cultural influence is found in such places as Suras 55, 72, 113 and 114. Anthropology shows that the primordial roots of Islam are not much different from the roots of Christianity or, before that, of Judaism itself.

In ancient Arabia, animism, the belief that spirits inhabit rocks, trees and other elements was very commonplace. Some of these stones were venerated and used as a focal point for the worship of a particular tribal god. No surprise, Muhammad's family had just such a stone for their own tribe - a black stone, in fact, that they kept at the Ka'abah (where the tribal idols were set up). The pagan rites of bowing toward Mecca, making a pilgrimage to the Ka'abah, running around it seven times, kissing it, then running to the river to throw stones at the devil all found there way into Islamic practice.

The final piece of the puzzle was in found in the religion of the Sabeans, an astral religion that worshipped the moon god and planned their religious rites around the lunar calendar. One such rite was fasting from crescent moon to crescent moon, a practice which would also be adopted by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. (See Ramadan)

If these things were not present before Muhammad received them from Allah (who himself is the moon god of Muhammad's tribe), why did Muhammad not have to explain what those words meant in the Quran? How would people have known who Allah was? ( or: what a jinn was? what the Ka'abah was? what the word Islam meant? etc.). Even the word "Islam" which many believe to mean "submission" was not an original word. In Arabic it was a secular term that denoted the strength and bravery of a desert warrior (a definition that accurately reflects the war-like tribes that founded Islam, fighting, much like in the biblical book of Joshua, with violence).

The Moon God

"Allah" is from the compound Arabic word "al-ilah" or in english "the god". Allah was known before Muhammad's time without a doubt. His name has been found in pre-islamic writings and other archeological finds. At the Ka'abah in Mecca over 350 gods were worshiped, but it was built especially for the chief deity - the moon god. Allah was the personal title of the moon god. Allah was married to the sun goddess. They produced three daughters, whose worship Muhammad would later endorse. The crescent moon symbol of Arabia came from this god.

Muhammad's family revered this particular god, and it is this deity that Muhammad declared to be the only true god. So, Allah is in fact nothing more than an amplified pagan deity, much like the God of the Bible. So Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, did not re-make the pagan god, he simply removed the lower deities from the rites of worship. [above thanks to spycatcher]

Muhammad's genius was not so much radical innovation and Christians really should not get smug. It is not a competition. Muhammad truly simplified and purified, which, after all, is what Saint Augustine said about the religion of Messiah Jesus. Isn't simplifying and purifying also a prophetic task? Saint Paul had a gift as an expositor, he showed the anointing of Messiah Jesus, putting into perspective the way in which ancient prophets had, so to speak pointed forward, preparing the way for Messiah Jesus, or Issa al Masih, as Islam calls him. Roots of Modernity in Old Spain

Christians have no cause to look down upon the religion of the Prophet.

Both religions, if you look back, have very similar origins.

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