Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 17th, 2009

list of posts between March 24 to April 12

240.  The Last Supper: Customs in the Levant; Chapter 3.  (March 22, 2009)

 

241.  Customs in the Levant: Figures of speech in the Bibles (March 24, 2009)

 

242.  The kid that kept asking questions (March 24, 2009)

 

243.  I left my scent in every corner (March 24, 2009)

 

244.  The Jante Law: Mediocrity is King (March 24, 2009)

 

245.  Lethal Spiritual Myths (March 25, 2009)

 

246.  The Bibles: Customs in the Near East (Part 5, March 25, 2009)

 

247.  The Bibles: A Repository of the Customs in the Near East (March 26, 2009)      
248.  “An Urban Detour” by Rania Sassine (Book Review, March 25, 2009)

 

249.  “As a flowing River” by Paulo Coelho (Book Review, March 26, 2009)

 

250.  No more Caches for Fiscal Evaders (March 27, 2009)

 

251.  Siesta: Try it (March 27, 2009)

 

252. Nietzsche: The Philosopher of Life (March 28, 2009)

253.  Who are the Israelites?  The Life of Christ the Messiah; Chapter three, (March 21, 2009)

 

254.  The Last Supper: Customs in the Levant; Chapter 3.  (March 22, 2009)

 

255.  Customs in the Levant: Figures of speech in the Bibles (March 24, 2009)

 

256.  The Jante Law: Mediocrity is King (March 24, 2009)

 

257.  The kid that kept asking questions (March 24, 2009)

 

258.  I left my scent in every corner (March 24, 2009)

 

 

259.  Lethal Spiritual Myths (March 25, 2009)

 

260.  The Bibles: Customs in the Near East (Part 5, March 25, 2009)

 

 

261.  The Bibles: A Repository of the Customs in the Near East (March 25, 2009)

 

262.  “As a flowing River” by Paulo Coelho (Book Review, March 26, 2009)

 

263.  “An Urban Detour” by Rania Sassine (Book Review, March 26, 2009)

 

264.  No more Caches for Fiscal Evaders (March 27, 2009)

 

265.  Siesta: Try it (March 27, 2009)

 

266.  Nietzsche: The Philosopher of Life (March 28, 2009)

 

267.  Who are the Israelites?  (March 30, 2009)

 

268.  Tales of Twin Cities: Beirut and Haifa (April 1, 2009)

 

269.  “Yacoubian Building” by Alaa El Aswany (Book Review, part 1, April 1, 2009)

 

270.  Bi-Weekly Report (#15) on Lebanon and the Near East (April 2, 2009)

 

271.  Acrobatic Discrimination: Zionist, Jewish, Ashkenazi, Sephardim, Hebrew, Israeli, Semitic, Hasidic, and what else? (April 3, 2009)

 

 

272.  Ideology: Not such a bad Concept before Ruling (April 2, 2009)

 

 

273.  Ye, Stiff-Necked Levantine (April 2, 2009)

 

274.  Beirut: Crazy Demographics (April 3, 2009)

 

 

275.  “The Ideological Analysis of Christianism considering Nietzsche”, by Aida Ghoussoub (Part 1, April 5, 2009)

 

276.  What Secular States we mean?  (April 6, 2009)

 

277.  What is the Meaning of Life?  (April 6, 2009)

 

278.  Affirmative Writing Style: The Levantine kind (April 6, 2009)

 

 

279.  “The Parson and the Prophet: A Study in the Origin of Islam” (Book Review, April 8, 2009)

 

 

280.  Jews against Zionists (April 7, 2009)

 

281.  The Unpublished Unifying Book (April 10, 2009)

 

282.  Amine Rihani: A Pragmatic activist Writer (April 10, 2009)

 

 

283.  Black and White (April 11, 2009)

 

 

284.  Heaven and Hell (April 12, 2009)

Cursed Cities: Karss (April 14, 2009)

 

There are geographical locations and regions that are cursed historically

This essay is not about cities that experienced frequent disasters by natural calamities. For example, we have cities that had vanished because built near active volcanoes such as Pompeii in Italy, others because of being located on seismic faults such as Beirut and lately the Abruzzi region in Italy, and others succumbing to tidal waves and hurricanes such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, the USA Gulf regions, and Rangoon… and where people perish by the hundred of thousands every year and keep rebuilding in the same devastated areas. 

This article is about cities located on major trade routes and suffered recurring genocides because of human greed for domination and power.  I will focus on the city of Karss in Turkey on the eastern side of the Anatolia Plateau (Anadol). 

Karss is built by the river Karss and a must cross location on the route from Georgia, Tabriz (Iran), the Caucasus and Tiflis. I urge my readers to recollect other cursed cities through history.

Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus form one homogeneous geographic area in economy, culture, and social communication and trades. The Armenians on both sides preferred to pay allegiance to Christian Russia and wished that Russia would grant them administrative autonomy in the Caucasus. The Moslems on both sides paid allegiance to the Moslem Ottoman Empire.

The triangle of the current States of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were the scenes of major battle fields and invasions through history and is still a hot area till now.

The Nobel Literature Prize winner Orhan Pamuk published “Snow” that described the calamities suffered by the inhabitants of the Karss region.  The Armenian people lived in that region for a thousand years and then many waves of immigrants and refugees from persecutions flocked to it.  The Karss region hosted people from the Empires of Persia, Byzantium and then Moguls, Georgians, Kurds, and Cherkessk. In the 17th century, the Karss region was predominantly of Moslems and then Armenians were second in numbers.

The Russian Empire vied for this region since the 18th century. In 1827, Russia entered Karss and chased out over 27,000 Moslems and transferred 45,000 Armenians to this city from Iran and the Anatolian Plateau. The city of Yerevan (Capital of the current State of Armenia) that was mostly of Iranians was transformed demographically in 1827.  In every Russian invasion to the Karss region, the Russian troops could rely on the Armenian population for auxiliary regiments, logistics, and intelligence services. As the Russian troops vacated the region in 1829, over 90,000 Armenians fled with the Russians fearing well deserved persecutions.

During the Crimea War, that confronted Russia against the combined alliance of Britain, France, and the Ottoman, the Russians put siege on Karss in 1855 for many months and all the Ottoman army within the city was massacred.  The Paris treaty of 1855 forced the Russians to vacate the Karss region. The Ottoman troops retaliated heavily on the Armenians.

In 1859, the Cherkessk, lead by their leader Shamel, revolted against the Russians and were defeated; many Christian Russian Orthodox were transferred to Karss to replace the Moslem Cherkessk.  The same eviction process befell three quarter of the Moslems of Abkhazia in 1867.  Thus, in less than 30 years, the Russian Empire changed the demographics of the Caucasus from mostly Moslems to mostly Christians. Over 1, 200,000 Moslems were forced to transfer to other regions; 800,000 of the Moslems settled in the Ottoman Empire. 

In 1877, the Russians amassed troops on the border with Karss; Sultan Abdel Hamid pre-empted the invasion by massacring the Armenians on ground that they will inevitably aid the Russians. After 93 days of war, the Russians entered Karss and a pogrom on the Moslems proceeded for many days. The treaty of San Estephanos relinquished the region to the Russian Empire. The Russians built a new city south of the city of Karess where the Emperor Alexander III met with his concubines and hunted. In the next 43 years, the Armenians harassed the Moslems of this region and thousand had to flee. In retaliation, Sultan Abdel Hamid formed in 1891 a special regiment of Kurdish cavalry with the purpose of harassing the Armenians of the Karss region and the pogrom around Lake Van raised an outcry in Europe.

During the First World War, the Armenians again aided the Russians and formed semi-regular armies to fight the Ottoman Empire.  Consequently, in 1915, the Ottoman Empire launched the genocide plan against the Armenians and thousands died of famine during the long march out of Turkey; the Armenians settled in Constantinople (Istanbul) and Adana shared in the mass persecution; only the Armenians in the Caucasus, within Russia, were spared.  The British occupied the Karss region in 1919 and gave some authority to the Armenians who gathered arms from the Moslems and gave them to the Armenians and another round of harassment and massacres took place.

The Turkish General Mustafa Kemal re-occupied the Karss region in 1920 after defeating the Armenian army: the Bolsheviks were then allied to the new Turkish Republic. The Russians transferred the Armenians from the region of Patum to Yerevan.

In 1927, all the properties of the Armenians in Karss were confiscated. The Armenians were robbed of a homeland because Turkey ceased Cyprus to Britain in exchange of guaranteeing the Karss region to Turkey.  Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) also negotiated a political deal with France to relinquish the Syrian region of Alexandrite to Turkey, setting the premises for future regional feuds.

Nowadays, there are no Armenians in Karss; the imposing buildings of Tsarist Russia are government Administrative offices; a vast villa of 40 rooms is transformed into hospital, and a Jewish museum. An entire century of struggles, massacres, harassment, genocides, and useless hate to their neighbors in order to gain self-autonomy rewarded the Armenians nothing. 

They had to wait for the break down of the Soviet Union to enjoy the Armenian State that is totally dependent in its economy on the neighboring States.  Kosovo, Kashmir, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Palestine are current examples of lost opportunities for stability and peace.

WOMEN IN ISLAM: Infanticide  (Part 2, April 17, 2009)

 

Note: The political applications and practises by the various Moslem sects do not necessarily correspond to the intention of the message as originaly stated by the Prophet message.

       

In Mecca before Islam, infanticide of born girls was prevalent.  The attitude of the pagan Arabian society (Jahiliyyah as opposed to Islam for historical differentiation) buried female babies alive.  This practice is nowaday widespread in India and in China and millions of girls are aborted every year and newborn girls are left to die of hunger and neglect as boys are born. The populous States are experiencing an epidemic of enfanticide under its strict population control laws that prohibit families to procreate more than one child; as most parents want sons, so girls are abandoned and allowed to die, or are killed, so that the parents may eventually have a boy. The laws for infanticide are lenient; the legal system and the administrators turn blind eyes in cases of girl’s killing. Girls are married as early as 8 of age and they are sold as slaves. Even today, many societies view the birth of a girl as bad news and negative omen.

 

       

        The Koran expressively forbids killing babies, whether by infanticide or abortion, on gounds of fear of poverty or losing face in the community.  In sourat al Anaam it is read: “Say: Come, I will rehearse what Allah has (really) prohibited you from: join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want – We provide sustenance for you and for them – come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.”  Thus, Islam gives glad tidings to a woman regardless of the gender of the foetus from the time a child is conceived,. The pregnant woman is held in the highest esteem, and her patience in bearing the discomforts of pregnancy is regarded as an act of virtue which brings her closer to Paradise. If the baby is a girl, this opens up further opportunities for the parents to attain Paradise. The Prophet gave the glad tidings of Paradise as the reward for the parents who welcomes a daughter, brings her up properly, provides a sound education and arranges a good marriage for her. In another hadith, it is stated that the fire of Hell will not be permitted to touch one who goes through trials and tribulations because of a daughter, who does not hate her for society’s prejudice but treats her well against all odds.

 

            In the sourat al Takwir it is read ” When the female (infant) is buried alive then the  question is raised- for what crime she was killed?” Consequently, the Koran says that the parents of innocent girls, who were slain for no other reason than that they were female, will be asked on the Day of Judgement for what sin they were slain.  The crime is that of the parents, not of the child. Parents should not think that they are at liberty to do whatever they like with regard to their children.

 

        Not only does the Koran protect the female infant from being murdered by ruthless parents, but it describes girls’ birth as good news, and grants her the right of inheritance from her father, husband and brother, and gives her the right to own property and conduct business transactions independently and in her own right.  In the sourat al Natal it is said: ” When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the news that he has had! Shall he retain it (and suffer contempt), or bury it in the dusts.  Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on.”

WOMEN IN ISLAM (Submission to One God); (Part 1, April 16, 2009)

 

 

Note 1:  I intend to publish a series of posts on women conditions according to the mesage of Islam as stated by the Prophet Muhammad.  Thus, the political applications and practises by the various Moslem sects do not necessarily correspond to the intention of the message.  The fact remains that the official Koran issued by the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan was emasculated and tampered with to satisfy political interests in the de facto domination of Islam to vast conquered Empires such as Byzantium and Persia by the time the Koran (of Medina) was officially transcribed.

 

It is still applicable that women are in permanent struggle for equal rights in laws and in daily practices.  Even in the most advanced State of Sweden, women are far behind in equal work conditions and pay; they are beaten and raped by their relative on a wide scale. In most religions, women have had to fight for their rights and dues, and their struggle is ongoing. Christian women have gone to the extreme of changing the text of the Bible to make it less “sexist” and more “acceptable” to women.

 

In a previous post “The unpublished Book” I stated that the Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation since a prophet is sent to every nation.  The Koran was focused on the value of life and uniting as many sects as possible satisfying common denominators in belief, stories, and myths.  The Prophet Muhammad did not regard with keen eyes the abstract theological concepts that were limiting and restrictive for particular religious sects (these abstract theological structures were the result of urban cultures prevalent in Byzantium and the Persian Empires that generated schisms to the benefit of the few power mongers of the various sacerdotal castes).

 

The social conditions of women in Mecca and Yathreb before Islam were different. In Mecca, a strict patriarchal structure was instituted; the powerful Christian-Jew sects in Mecca had contributed in transmitting the customs and traditions of the Hebraic laws that suited desert life style.  In Yathreb, a six-day journey north by camels, the independent minded women of Yathrib could divorce their husbands by just turning the entrance of their tents around; the husbands settled in and were attached to the wives’ clans.  Muhammad had a hell of a time submitting the women of Yathrib to what his men followers from Mecca were used to. The many wives of the Prophet (numbering 12 and not counting favorites and concubines) were frequent sources of calumnies and hot stories: situations that forced the Prophet to resume his month long of fasting and isolation until rumors calmed down; these meditation periods were used to re-read the Bibles for wisdoms and appropriate regulations. The Prophet had to issue many verses, as Islam gained strength around Medina, to reduce the women of Yathreb into submission and follow the customs of Mecca and obey their husbands and seclude themselves in their homes and wear the veil when out.

 

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  It is proven that Muhammad aided his elder relative parson Warkat in transcribing the Arabic version of the Bibles. In the early period of the message, 13 years in Mecca, women and men were no different in the eyes of God and they enjoyed spiritual equality of the sexes.

 

.           For example, in the sourat Al Ahzab (religious sects) it is said “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise – for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward”.   In the sourat Al Imran (dedicated to the Virgin Mary and her parents haneh and Joachim) it is read “And their Lord has accepted of them, and answered them: Never shall I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: you are members, one of another…”   In the sourat Al Natal it is read: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, and life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their action.”

     

In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohammad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him. Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arab Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorizations, and an act of devotion.

 

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Sassanide Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vanquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rime (sajaa).  Othman arranged verses by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years (The Koran of Mecca) before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest verses came afterward and dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

“Be Free is all that I am” (April 18, 2009)

 

Marguerite Porete was burned live in 1310 in Paris at the “Place de Greve”.  She wrote a mystic book “The Mirror of the simple souls”; the manuscript was in the vernacular French language, not Latin mind you, in a narrative and poetic mode, and worst, did not follow the prescribed Aristotelian logic of the theological canons. The Church did not like what it read and censured the manuscript and burned it in 1306.

Published about 1296-1305, the book describes the conquest of soul via divine love and the yielding of the soul to the total love of God. The technique is a dialogue between Love and Reason; Reason is overwhelmed and fails to comprehend truths. Marguerite claimed that when we conquer our wants and desires then the soul would be freed and would not need any kind of faith to be saved.

The freed souls cannot but express in paradoxes and scandalous propositions. The freed soul know the depth of its nullity and let humility reign and guide it to the highest sphere of kindness because the freed soul needs no intermediary. The freed soul reaches a state of innocence and indifference and allows God to act on it as He pleases. The freed soul is liberated of sins and thus, has no need to be dominated by virtue. The freed soul does no longer worry to accomplishing works of charity with purpose to be saved and has no inclink for sacraments.  As the freed soul let God will for it then nature will cater to its bodily wants.

The “Mirror” pointed the way to liberating morality and thus, a rejection to sacerdotal mediation.   Marguerite beseeched the scholars to “humiliate their knowledge” before attempting to read her manuscript.  Marguerite was accused of persevering in disseminating her message and was incarcerated by the inquisition.  She refused to talk in her defense.  The Church didn’t like Marguerite anyway.  The message of Marguerite Porete was a source for medieval mysticism. The manuscript survived because it was not written in Latin, the sole monopole language of the sacerdotal caste and scholars.

 

In a previous post “The Meaning of Life” I stated: “Most religions have to erect an ideology and sometimes slightly update it to face changes; the sacerdotal castes main job is to pressure you to accept their set values and morals as the best that characterize you.  In fact, religions do not want you to exercise introspection and learn your own characteristics; they want to “save you that hassle” and show you the proper way; they want you to be the man among all same men with preferred set of passions instead of realizing your individuality.  Only those following the preferred “type” are selected in heaven as on earth; the black sheep of strong individuality are not recognized in heaven because only the mediocre, the humbled, the naïve, the simple minded can be saved.  The sacerdotal caste doesn’t care if you have faith or if you believe in One God; the caste wants you to obey its guidance and follow blindly its daily guidelines”.

 

I tend not to exaggerate; when I do then you quickly realize that I am in a humoring mood.  Look in the sky, the vast oceans; look around you the insects, plants, and pets.  I have a question: do you think that what you have seen is man-made and created by man?  If you are an optimist then who created all that wonder?  Do you need a sacerdotal caste to tell you the obvious?  Do you need a special caste to making a career reading in the same Book or what amount to the same Book and think that they are in a position to guide your steps and meddle in your daily life?  If you are a pessimist then whatever you will hear or see is naught anyway.

Bi-Weekly Report (#16) on Lebanon and the Middle East (April 16, 2009)

 

On April 13, the date of the start of the civil war in Lebanon in 1975, contraband Mafioso of the Jaafar clan in the Bekaa Valley shot at a military convoy; they killed four soldiers and injured 13.  CNN reported that the Lebanese army was supporting an internal directive to close down drug trafficking hot spots located in towns closed to government interventions, such as the large town of Erssal where stolen cars are parked and re-negotiated with the owners. This plan of entering and monitoring enclaves has been in execution for a couple of months with some success.  Why this assault was triggered just on April 13, the date of the start of the civil war?  Maybe the contraband militants wanted to dress up their action with political undertones, such as the Americans are intervening again in our internal affairs by providing arms to the Lebanese army in exchange of relieving Israel in its drug war across the border. 

            Israel’s economy relies heavily on drug and slave trafficking; obviously, it is not in the interest of Israel to stop the influx of drugs from Lebanon; why should it buy drugs from Afghanistan or elsewhere when it is handier and less costly from its neighbors?  Cost is the main factor.  Israel is not worried on the supply side but is not happy to buy drugs at higher prices.  Israel would like to transact with clans in Lebanon and not with heavy weight militias with strong political backing.

            Egypt of Mubarak is playing the clown.  Egypt’s justice of this three decades long dictatorship is famous for being politically guided and oriented at desires.  It appears that a month before Israel launched its genocide attack on Gaza, and six months of total blockade before the genocide, a blockade that is still ongoing by Israel and Egypt, Egypt had detained a Lebanese citizen whom Hezbollah admitted to be a member.  The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah, said in a televised speech last week that this member was aiding the Palestinians of Gaza in transporting (3attal) materials through tunnels, as if helping the Palestinians in a crime and not a badge of honor.  Egypt’s justice would like you to believe that Hezbollah was organizing a vast network of cells for disturbing internal security.  Egypt’s Foreign Minister would like you to believe that Iran, that became predominantly Shiaa only in the 18th century, hates Salladin (Salah El Deen), who freed Jerusalem from the Crusaders, because he replaced a Shiaa Fatimide dynasty in Egypt with a Sunni Ayubeed dynasty in the 12th century!  

Mubarak should have thanked Hezbollah for relieving Egypt of the sustained US pressures and giving him a huge and sound excuse for maintaining a semblance of autonomy.  Instead, Mubarak is left with no cards to lick the ass of the US Administration but to show public animosity to Hezbollah. Mubarak is like those going to Mecca while the Hajjis are returning; Mubarak did not get it yet: the US in no longer interested in Hezbollah; it has much bigger problems that to be pleased by Mubarak.  How low can a mighty nation such as Egypt stoop so that its regime secures a misery two billions dollars in financial aids to distribute to its cronies and Presidential security?

The fact is, Saudi Arabia had been investing billions in the last 40 years on building new mosques in Egypt and hiring clerics to proselytize the ultra conservative and dark Wahhabit sect and for chant Saudi monarch’s praise on Friday’s prayers.  The fact is that the Mubarak regime had lost the last shred of political credibility and viability for handling Arab disunity, as if the Arab States have ever experience the semblance of unity in 60 years.  The Mubarak regime cowed in front of Israel and let the Palestinians of Gaza be massacred like sheep, like sitting ducks for three weeks.  The fact is that the majority of the European leaders, instantly after the genocide, flocked to Charm El Sheikh to offer support and bolster Mubarak’s political standing; the European leaders wanted to believe that Mubarak had a long-term plan and could be the best mediator among the Palestinian factions, that Mubarak is the rock of the Arab League.  The European leaders quickly realized that Mubarak is a cranky senile and an impotent old leader: after five months of negotiations the Palestinians failed to unite on a resolution and Gaza is suffering total blockade and daily Israeli raids.  The fact is that the European leaders and Barak Obama of the USA pinpointed the heavy weight champs in this region: mainly Turkey and Iran and have no time to waste on re-visiting a Mubarak

 

Rumors in Lebanon and Egypt would like you to believe that Hezbollah unilaterally engaged war against “mighty” Israel in June 2006 to re-create the battle of Karbala without being defeated this time around (the battle where Hussein, son of Ali, was vanquished by Yazeed bin Muawiya around 700 AC).  Rumors would like you to believe that the Sunni are not conservative, simply because they enjoyed political dominance through Islam’s history.  The Sunni sect would like you to believe that, in theory and theologically, is “Haneef” (orthodox) abiding by the premises of following common denominators among the monolithic religious sects. The Sunni females would not hastily rejoin their males’ contentions. Ironically, the Wahabit sect of Saudi Arabia (the most reductive and close minded sect that ever existed) would like to be regarded as the leading Sunni sect.

Rumors would like you to believe that the Sunni are engaging in hate extremism against the Shiaa because implicitly; the Shiaa are planning to becoming the dominant political faction in Lebanon; as if this is not already a reality demographically and organizationally. The Shiaa have earned their spot under the sun because they resisted Israel’s consistent humiliation of Lebanon for over 60 years under various pretenses. Rumors would like you to believe that the Sunni started to be apprehensive of the Shiaa power as the Syrian mandate in Lebanon gave green light to the “Amal” militia (of Nabeeh Berry, currently the Parliament Chief) during the civil war to enter the Palestinian camps in Beirut and then giving sole monopoly for resisting Israel to Hezbollah. One fact remains: the Sunni around the Arab World and particularly in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are being indoctrinated on the Wahhabit Saudi Arabia extra conservative sect. Current terrorist activities among the Moslems are rooted in the Wahhabit sect’s culture, such as Al Qaeda of Ben Laden. 

It appears that there was lately a power struggle within the Saudi family. The head of the Saudi secret services, former Ambassador to the USA “Emir” Bandar, plotted for his father, Defense Minister, to replace King Abdullah. I am not waging that the Wahhabit political proselytizing drive would end but at least a slowing down is comforting to many Moslem States.

Crazy History: Dress it any which way you desire, (April 16, 2009)

 

            Find me any hot spot in this Globe, among any belligerent populations, then scratch a little the surface and you will discover that the main grievance of the feuding parties is a crazy history of telltale, and dressed up with myths that remount to thousands of years with no sound foundations.  What the belligerents need is a plausible re-writing of history that satisfies their chimerical dreams of the brave ancestors who fought for just causes. 

It stands to reason to re-invent history since implicitly, the weakest parties strongly believe that history was written by the vanquisher. 

That should be a fun job for any astute diplomat with juicy imagination to assemble a gory and chivaleresque fiction story that would drive all the parties nodding in gleeful agreement. In no time the arms would be dropped and hugging ceremonies would make the tour in the troubled locations because no level-headed people would rather have war instead of stability and comfort. 

You will always hear that external forces had interests in fueling internal discords on the basis of “divide to govern”; a notion that stands to reason since that is how fictitious power rules, on fiction stories and calumnies.  The trouble is, as external forces desist and leave the scene, the feuds tend to rejuvenate and rekindle with vigorous hotter bloods and far shriveled brains.

You may refer to my post “Cursed Cities: Kars” and you will figure out how nationalists have this tendency to forget the biggest chunk of the history of their region in order to focus on a tiny portion that satisfy their sick ego and their immediate ideology.

One dangerous case is spreading havoc in the Middle East and Lebanon.  The culprit is religious messages being high-jacked and distorted for political ends.  This recurring phenomenon is not restricted among different religions, but mostly among the schisms within a religion. 

For example, you have centuries’ old struggles among Moslem sects such as Sunni and Shia.  The telltalers would recount secret meetings to selecting Caliphates such as when the Prophet Muhammad died without arranging his house, though he knew of his coming death because his ailment lasted ten days.  The whisperers would like you to believe that an unorthodox meeting in (Al Sakifat) took place that elected Abu Bakr for Calif while Ali was busy arranging for the burial of the Prophet.

The story would resume of how Caliphate Muawiyat promised Al Hassan (the eldest son of Ali) to succeed him and then poisoned him.  How Al Hussein, the second son of Ali, marched from Mecca in order to reclaim the promise as Yazeed, the son of Muawiya, ascended to the Caliphate. As if the promise of Muawiya was the main contentious point, as if Muawiya went to so much trouble instituting a dynasty in order to relinquish it on a promise.

Then, how Al Hussein was betrayed by the citizens of Kufa and lost the battle of Karbala and was humiliated for ten days before being executed. And how the people in Kufa regretted their decision of not aiding Hussein and mourned Hussein the next year by performing mass flagellation (Ashoura) in repentance.

The story continue on how political Shias, after the Iranian Ayatollahs came to power, has transformed “Ashoura” into vindication ceremonies against the Sunni.

This is one long story, spreading for over 14 centuries of sect warfare that boils down to dominance of one clan over another, within the larger tribe of Kureich.  That is the sort of politics that earned it the worst negative of connotations.


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