It’s a bit preachy keen, but someone “Liked” it, and so I’ve elected to share it.
In the faith communities referencing Moses, competition for power and wealth through subscription and the many demonstrations of devotion and loyalty have produced some bloody “competitions” across time and space. The pious have long fought among themselves — schisms will do that — as well as taken aim at external enemies.
Has as much not been the way of the world?
This day is a little different: we may see one another through what we have to say, and hearing and seeing more, we may think a little more as well.
Moses challenged politically absolute power and with the guidance and power of God removed from it the Jews and the “mixed multitude” that would join them. Not much has changed. No one likes to be tyrannized.
The Jewish liberation story and much else about Judaism proved potently attractive enough to inspire uptake — give Hillel the Elder some credit — by the “restive of Rome”, i.e., those tiring of the brutality and excesses of the powerful. Even with eased conversions, the tribal ethnolinguistic culture (perhaps) could not begin to absorb the numbers, and the Romans looking for a new answer may have had other cultural needs better addressed by Jesus / Paul.
With Christianity in place, General Constantine finds his mission, and about 300 years later, General Muhammad develops his.
The Jews: they appear to worry much less about subscription, power, and wealth, and it’s pretty clear where and how the Hebrews have settled.
Aside: in 12th Century Hungary, laws designed by a Christian government to discriminate against Jews were upon activation applied equally to Muslims (ref. Raphael Patai’s _The Jews of Hungary).
This may be the best time to get off the medieval merry-go-round by looking forward while leaving some attitudes and beliefs plus archaic doctrines and methods far in the past where they belong.
The prompt came also from the Qur’an (“5:82-83”) as presented this way: “You will surely find those closest in friendship to the believers to be those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks who are not arrogant.”
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people”. – https://quran.com/5/51-61
Apparently, if one is not close to a monk or priest (or perhaps a recluse with a library), one may be in danger of trusting an untrustworthy friend.
Note: one might ask whether caliphs, kings, and emperors are not inherently arrogant in their assumptions of power over all others, and therefore particularly sensitive to arrogance in those whom they would subjugate.
Compact between shaman and chief and cleric and king spans the ages but may not be a permanent feature in humanity’s intellectual and political evolution. That may be something to think about in the experience of language, both in political rhetoric and in scripture (no matter to whom the words belong), and that of power as dominion over others.
The region of the Qur’an cited, 5:82 and 5:83 presents in English through several well-remarked translations — and of a standard four — Asad, Malik, Pickthall, and Yusuf Ali — the conveyances of none would seem as sweet as the statement quoted as the prompt.
Here is the presentation of the verse as translated by Yusuf Ali:
“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: “We are Christians:” because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant.”
One thought attending the description of “men devoted to learning” and “who have renounced the world and are not arrogant” is that such men would seem less than challenging to martial or political power and therefore dismissible by any speaker intent on monopolizing and wielding such power.
Qur’an 5:83 although cited in the prompt appears not present in the statement at the top of this post. Here is that verse in the Yusuf Ali translation from the Alim library URL noted:
“And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears for they recognize the truth: they pray: “Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.”
If thou woulds’t be apostle, caliph, king, or emperor would though not note the sweetness of the complete and grateful surrender of thine greatest potential resistance?
Given that question and thought, one might appreciate attempts at transitional revisionism.
As a former anti-Semite and anti-Zionist campaigner, I am very worried about the recent wave of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents happening across the UK. I know anti-Semitism, I practised it and I can smell the threat which is on its way to the Jewish community of the UK.
“When I look at the flag of Israel, I realise the true meaning of this flag is as the symbol of those six million Jewish martyrs who sacrificed their most valuable lives for the future of their race and religion, for the future of their children and for the future of the only Jewish nation in the world.”
The true meaning of Israel’s flag isn’t about the Holocaust, which is just one event, however horrifying and ultimately ineffable it may have been, but signal of more than 5,000 years of the survival of Jewish culture, ethics, language, and law — and perhaps today signal as well of the survival of the influence of the same in others, much including Christians and Muslims, for without Moses in the hagiography, there would be neither Jesus nor Muhammad. There have been always other possibilities, but the lore and intellectual adventure of the Hebrews appears to have served the formation of the two great contemporary religions.
London, October 18, Interfax – The war on terrorism is a sacred war, and must be a common cause of all countries, not just Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told a press conference at London’s Luton Airport after his visit to the United Kingdom.
“I regret that my words were misread. I never spoke about a sacred war in Syria, I spoke about a sacred war on terrorism. I think very many victims of terrorism in Europe could subscribe to these words. Suffice to recall all that happened comparatively recently in France, in Belgium,” the patriarch said, responding to reporters’ questions about the military operation in Syria.
In effect, Kirill suggests to the Russian people and others that they may know nothing and that the conflict is religious as painted by the al-Qaeda types against the “crusader west” or Christianity in general.
What say ye, mainstream, moderate, and modern Muslim?
Is the modern “Other” too much for co-existence and pervasively so?
The real war on “Islamist” and other terrorism may involve the combined law enforcement and research practices that have long been applied in the west to extremist violence: accurate comprehension of terrorist motivation; detection of intent to commit a crime accompanied by investigation; interdiction.
There is nothing “holy” about the business of combating extremism and related criminal activity, but may God bless those who authentically engage in diminishing the threat posed to others by the same.
He has previously served Jewish communities in France and Israel, and, according to the report, has been instrumental in aiding Jews of the former Soviet Union. He is believed to have been in Haditch at the gravesite over Rosh Hashanah.
The motive for the attack remains unknown. According to the report, violent antisemitic attacks in Ukraine are rare, and there is no indication at this time that the assault was antisemitic in nature.
BackChannels wishes not to become “Yellow Press”, but given the mysterious elements in the crime described in The Algemeiner, both Ukrainian detectives and global public now need to be aware of the possibility of being fooled by old KGB method in placing a cooked-up image before “the masses”.
Let the detectives do their work, and may they do it with exemplary conscience and integrity.
As Haaretz reported, “He says the choice of Dheisheh for the Israeli students was not meant to suggest there was an equivalence or even a direct link between the Holocaust and the Nakba. They were chosen as the symbolic events that have deeply affected the psyche on both sides of the conflict.” The aim was to build mutual empathy and understanding through an appreciation of events central to the other side’s narratives and self-understanding.
None of this played well on the Palestinian street. Holocaust deniers asserted that Dajani was trying to brainwash his students by disseminating the fabrication that the Holocaust was real. He was denounced as a traitor and collaborator by students and others and warned not to enter Ramallah. The faculty union cancelled his membership.
The influence of the Soviet by way of agitation, disinformation, political manipulation (through the KGB) and sponsorship of terrorism in relation to the middle east conflict cannot be underestimated. The post-WWII leveraging of Arab anti-Semitic sentiment — involving some with power, not everyone — succeeding in developing despotic regimes benefiting the Soviet as client states.
Soviet cartoons distributed in the Middle East to leverage “the masses” into the Soviet camp.
The Soviet dissolved in financial and moral bankruptcy about 25 years ago; however, in its place has developed a feudal state in the Russian historic tradition, and it continues to entertain PFLP and to interface with both Hezbollah and Hamas.
Who has been made to suffer as a consequence of Soviet / post-Soviet Russian influence and KGB-designed manipulation?
There are differences between the medieval world and the modern one, and the modern is a much, much better world in which to live.
These too are Palestinians:
“Eshkol knew and feared the Russians,” noted Michael Oren. “War with Syria [and Egypt] was risky enough; with the USSR, it would be suicidal.” But Eskhol calculated that without U.S. support, the Soviets would find themselves compelled to get involved directly. Moscow had, after all, “invested massively in the Middle East, about $2 billion in military aid alone—1,700 tanks, 2,400 artillery pieces, 500 jets, and 1,400 advisers—since 1956, some 43 percent of it to Egypt.”
Sure enough, as the Israelis demolished the forces of the Arab coalition over the next three days and captured the Sinai, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights, reunified the holy city of Jerusalem, and began an offensive against Damascus itself, Moscow saw itself staring into the face of a geopolitical disaster. Those were, after all, Soviet-trained soldiers being defeated. Those were Soviet-made arms being seized or destroyed. Those were billions of dollars in Soviet funding to their Arab client states being poured down the drain. And—it would later be learned by U.S. and Israeli intelligence—the Egyptian war plan itself (code-named, “Operation Conqueror”) had actually been written in 1966 by the Soviets. As a result, the Soviets feared their prestige was quickly unraveling.
The things the “Islamists” do go against the grain of humanity — that’s just how I feel about that criminality — and the appropriate response by Muslims is repudiation.
Cultural blending, differentiation, and separation — there’s wisdom in recognizing and maintaining boundaries and margins in a world supporting about 7,000 living languages and what each represents. (Note that Putin plays the ethnolinguistic cultural defense and evolution card _against_ political boundaries, effectively violating margins. Also: Back-Channels credits Assad with the incubation of ISIS through deselection for bombing and combat earlier in Syria and also notes that Russia continues to maintain Soviet Era relationships with at least Hamas, Hezbollah, and PFLP. Muslims have not only to repudiate the fascist ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood organizations — that’s in that “No” to hatred, violence, and terrorism — but also to grasp Moscow’s role in the grooming and manipulation of such organizations as weapons focused toward the modern democracies).
Posted to YouTube by the Daily Mail, Aug. 4, 2016.
In the following video clip, President Putin notes, “That if you would like to stop the flow of migrants into Europe, if you want for them to live in their own countries, then you must return sovereignty to those countries where it has been taken away.”
Because of the incubating of ISIS as useful tool, BackChannels has long regarded the “Syrian Conflict and Tragedy” as a complete theater of politics and war managed off the post-Soviet Moscow hub, i.e., by Putin, Assad, and Khamenei, and by each to their own advantage but the common cause of sustaining medieval political absolutism in their respective states.
At time mark 1:44 on President Putin’s April 2016 St. Petersburg address, the President says of western criticism and opprobrium associated with both the incursion in Crimea and the conduct of the Syrian Civil War, “They realised that such destructive behaviour against our country was never going to work but nevertheless they’d like to silence our success.”
With a small nod toward conciliation, one may note of the YouTube video of Homs and the link immediately following that leads to an L.A. Times piece about the city that it had indeed been occupied by rebel forces and would be subject to state assault. Nonetheless, the intertwined battles for Syria and against the open democracies of the west have not gone so well for Moscow and its clients IF measured by areas of control, community wellbeing, and economic contribution or so many other benchmarks familiar where peace prevails and governments abet development.
The local secret police soon arrested 15 boys between the ages of 10 and 15, detaining them under the control of Gen. Atef Najeeb, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad.
In a gloomy interrogation room the children were beaten and bloodied, burned and had their fingernails pulled out by grown men working for a regime whose unchecked brutality appears increasingly to be sowing the seeds of its undoing.