Adonis Diaries

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Book review of Genevieve Chauvel

Note: If you missed Part 1, go to this link https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2021/03/03/most-beloved-wife-of-prophet-muhammad-aicha/

Shortly after his return to Medina, Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches for a month; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bedridden.  The Prophet dies on June 8, 632; he was 63 years old.

Aicha was apprehensive that her father might succeed to the Prophet with the subsequent responsibilities, and asked Omar to preach instead, since he had a loud voice and a large body. Muhammad got irate for Aicha involvement in altering his decision, and demanded that Abu Baker resume the preaching.

Omar would not believe that the Prophet could die and threatened anyone who says so; then Abu Bakr told the congregation “Muslims, those among you who adore Muhammad, Muhammad is dead.  Those who adore God, God is living”.

Ali was to wash the body and arrange for the funeral. The Companions elected Abu Bakr Caliph in the absence of Ali who was the closest member in the prophet’s “House”.

Abu Bakr reminded the Muslims what the Prophet told him once: “All prophets were buried at the place of their death”; and thus Muhammad was buried in Aicha’s bedroom.  Aicha replaced the bed on top of the burying ground and continued sleeping there.

Abu Bakr would Not distribute the Prophet’s inheritance to anyone of his wives or family members because Muhammad has told him that prophets’ belonging went to charities. 

Fatima died 6 months later as Mohammad has predicted, aggrieved and desperate.

Under Abu Bakr, Aicha, aided by Zayd ibn Thabit, got the huge responsibility of gathering and collecting all the parchments and written verses and the early oral verses of the Koran and then sorting them, verifying their authenticity, correcting and compiling them.

Aichi was not yet twenty years old.  Abu Bakr died within two years and was also buried in Aicha’s bedroom next to the Prophet. 

At the time of his death, Khalid ibn Al Walid had vanquished the Byzantine Emperor at Yarmuk and was advancing toward Damascus. (This Khalid committed mass massacres in Damascus for 3 days and nights, and for no sane reason)

Omar was selected by Abu Bakr to be the next Caliph. Omar extended Islam to Persia by a victory in Qadissiya and toward Egypt. 

Omar was assassinated by a Christian slave while praying in the Mosque in Medina; Omar also asked permission of Aicha to be buried in her bedroom.  By then, Aicha was the ultimate interpreter of the Koran and had issued 2,210 Hadiths and was the expert in women’s legal right or “Fiqh Al Nisaa”.

On his deathbed, Omar appointed a Council of five Companions from the tribes of Quraish (excluding the Ansar leaders) to elect the next Caliph.  Uthman ibn Affan was selected and Aicha had misgivings on how he might manipulate the masses of documents collected on the verses of Islam.  Omar left the documents with his daughter Afsa to hand over to the next Caliph.

Uthman ended up exercising nepotism and appointing relatives as governors and civil servants in high offices and he built a palace and lived luxuriously with 500 serfs maintaining the palace and organizing the feasts. 

The new Caliph appointed Jewish scholars to select and revise the documents collected by Aisha and published a new version of the Koran, the one being read and accepted.

Aicha got wind of the alterations to the parchments and came out of her house carrying the sandals and shirts and hair of the prophet and shouted at the caliph: “The Prophet’s belongings had not had time to deteriorate and you started to turn your back on his teachings”.

(My conjecture is that Uthman hired scholar Jews to select and re-edit the parchments to match the messages in their Bible, and its is this Koran that is currently adopted, except the version disseminated by the Wahhabi in the Saudi Kingdom. Uthman destroyed many documents that the new Islamic empire needed to woe, especially in matters of imposing taxes, and delivering a patriarchal overtone to the Koran. So far, no original documents have been made public to study their validity. Mind you that the original documents had no punctuation or any kinds of signs or complicated embellishment you see in current versions…The documents/verses could be read as Kerouac “On the Road” or Schelinger “Catcher in the rye”, and were ripe for interpretations)

Aicha had a copy of all the documents and she rewrote her version of the Koran. (There is no information of what happened to these copies)

A large dissatisfied mob of Muslims, who were manipulated by “extremists” in Basra (Iraq), marched on Medina. Aicha had premonition that the arriving mob is bad news and got permission from Uthman to leave for pilgrimage with the harem.  The mob entered the palace of Uthman burned it asunder and stabbed and beat the Caliph to death. (Probably the invading “mob” had wind of Uthman tampering with the Koran and disseminating luxury attitudes and practices that did Not match the conservative understanding of Islam).

Ali was elected Caliph but refrained to give the revenge for the murder of the Caliph Uthman a priority. His lukewarm behavior prompted Aicha to action and she started delivering speeches in Mecca to the effect that the punishment of the leaders of assassins should be carried out first thing first. 

Her brother-in-law Zubair and another Companion Talhat excited Aicha to lead a contingent of 3,000 fighters to Basra.

Ali was on his way to Damascus to fight Moawiya, the governor of Syria, and stopped at Kufa to recruit more fighters and had to challenge Aicha before resuming his campaign. 

Aicha, Zobair and Talhat managed to recruit an army of 30,000 men against 20,000 with Ali. 

The battle of the “Camel”, the first among the Muslims, left 15,000 victims and injured among the Muslim fighters which affected Aicha for the remainder of her life.

Talhat and Zubair died in the battle. Aicha was riding hidden in a palanquin and exhorting her army to fight. Ali ordered his officer to cut the hand of the camel guide so that the camel could be moved from the center of the battle field; guides took the relay and 72 camel guides left theirs hands on the rope before the camel’s hamstrings were cut and was brought down and the battle cry and symbol of “The Mother of the Believer” finally relinquishing its effect on the troops.

Ali permitted Aicha to return to her home in Medina and she was escorted as a Queen. One of Muawiya’s delegates told Aicha that they wished she died in the battle so that the allies of Moawiya would have had an excellent excuse to fight Ali.

Aicha spent the remaining of her life in her house, receiving scholars and students who regarded her as the main resource for correct interpretations of the religious verses and taking notes of her experiences.

Aicha was initially the only virgin in the extended harem, and whatever she knew of love making was of the initiation of Muhammad. 

A specific revelation forbade Muhammad’s wives to remarry and also to remain in their homes and to be covered completely and wear the “niqab” on their face when stepping outside their doors or meeting males.

The effects of the assassination of Uthman didn’t end up there.  Muawiya raised the same reason of avenging Uthman to engage Ali in a terrible battle at Seffine in Syria: the bloodied shirt of Uthman hanging in the Mosque of Madina demanded retribution and the Arabs coined the dictum “the Shirt of Uthman” to convey the meaning that the reason offered is but an excuse for the power struggle.  

There were no victors in this battle that was leaning toward Ali army, and a large contingent of Ali’s army dissented because Ali agreed to arbitrage. These dissenters were labeled Al Khawarij and were led by Abdullah ibn Wahab (A coincidence? The actual Saudi Monarchy sect is founded on a Wahhabi preacher): they went on assassination rampage against the leading followers of both Ali and Muawiya.

The Khawarij failed to assassinate Muawiya (just injured) but killed Ali in Kufa.  Ali refused to name anyone to succeed him as Caliph and said to his followers that he would not disagree with anyone they select.

Aicha was to say “this is typical Ali’s ambiguity” as she forecasted the worst to the unity of the “Umma” or Nation of Islam.

Muawiya was elected Caliph and the power became hereditary and the period is known as the Umayyad (the most powerful tribe of Quraish) reign in Damascus, which lasted for a century before the Abbasid (The house of Abbass, the Uncle of Muhammad) succeeded in taking power in Baghdad for two centuries. 

The occupied Central Asian people converted Sunni sects and their tribes were to dominate the political and religious landscape for over 10 centuries. 

Muawiya sent assassins to ged rid of any potential leaders related to the Prophet , but spared Aisha.

Aicha lived to experience the death of many of her male family members. 

Hassan, the son of Ali, was assassinated by his wife enticing Hassan to wear the poisoned dress given to him as a gift by Muawiya.  Muawiya then slaughtered Hassan’s wife to hide his schemes with her.

Notes:

  1. The Prophet had two sons who died before the age of two.  Ali, his nephew who married his youngest daughter Fatima, was the only male in his “House”.  Muhammad appointed Ali to read the religious messages in meetings where the Prophet could not be present.  Ali and Abu Bakr were the most learned males, among the early Companions, on Islam, but Aicha was the best and she was present during many revelations of “Archangel Gabriel” in her house.
  2. Ali was the most qualified to be the Imam of Islam, but since there was yet no separation between the political and religious functions, then Ali had to seek power as Caliph.  Ali lacked the political acumen and the qualities of a government leader because he was constantly plagued with ambiguities as a result of his vast religious knowledge and his apprehension to err in his decisions. Schism developed during his short five years reign and the Shia sects (the followers of Ali’s second son Hussein) emerged as a counterpart to the Sunni sect representing the legitimate Muslims.
  3. The Prophet Muhammad was highly literate https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/the-parson-and-the-prophet-book-review/

Book review of Genevieve Chauvel

Posted on October 11, 2008 (Written in November 19, 2007)

“Aïcha la bien-aimée du Prophet” by Geneviève Chauvel

Note: This review is very large and I opted to split it into 2 parts. The second part will start when Prophet Muhammad died.

I decided to review “Aicha, the most beloved wife of the Prophet” for the chronicles of the active life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the specific circumstances that revealed the messages from Archangel Gabriel.  Aicha lived to be 67 of age and experienced Islam since she was born, and she died as Islam was splitting into schisms.

Aicha was born in 616 in Mecca and she was redheaded like her maternal grandmother.  Her father Abu Bakr, later the first Caliph, spared her life because Khadija, the wife of Mohammad, played a part in this difficult and life threatening birth.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hachim was an orphan brought up by his uncle Abu Talib, the father of Ali. The father of Muhammad died before his birth and his mother passed away as Muhammad was only 6 of age.  Ali was to be the fourth Caliph.

(Islam would like us to believe that Muhammad was illiterate to exaggerate his divine message, but I beg to differ. Read link in note #4).  

Khadija, a wealthy caravan trader, hired Muhammad to lead her caravans to Damascus.  Khadija was almost 8 years older than Muhammad (A large difference at that time with low life expectancy) when her uncle urged her to marry his nephew Muhammad. She was widowed twice and Muhammad was 25 year-old.  Khadija gave  him a son Al Qasem, who died at age two, and four daughters. Two of the in-laws became later Caliphs, Uthman and Ali.

Khadija was the first person to believe in Muhammad “prophecies/messages” and for 11 years protected him from the mockeries and sarcasms of the inhabitants of Mecca and cared for him during his fits of epilepsy when Archangel Gabriel used to appear to him.

Two of Muhammad’s daughters were repudiated by their husbands because they refused to be married to girls who converted to Islam.  Fatima, the youngest one, married Ali, Muhammad’s nephew, and gave Muhammad two grand boys, Hassan and Hussein and two granddaughters. 

Zainab, one of the daughters of Muhammad, was married to Aboul-As whom she loved so much that she preferred to stay with him in Mecca. Aboul-As fought against Muhammad at the battle of Badr and was made prisoner and later decided to convert in order to keep Zainab.

Rukaya was married to Uthman ibn Affan, later the third Caliph, and when she died, Muhammad married his daughter Oum Kulthum to Uthman because he needed his Kureich clan on his side. 

Uthman abandoned the position of his archery contingent during the lost battle of Uhud and thus had vacated a strategic position held by the archers, which allowed the cavalry of Khaled bin Al walid to defeat the Muslims in this battle and forced them to retreat..

Muhammad adopted Zaid ibn Haritha who was Khadija’s slave at the age of twelve and he used him to be his personal messenger to his wives after each battle.  Zaid was very learned and translated and interpreted the Jewish Books to Muhammad and was devoted to his adoptive father.

Muhammad married Sawda (Black) after Khadija died because he needed an experienced woman to run and maintain the household.  Sawda was widowed to a convert who fled to Ethiopia from the Quraish tribes’ persecution.

After the death of Khadija, Muhammad realized that he won’t be protected anymore from certain death; he fled Mecca to Yathrib in the year 622 (later called Medina or the first city-state of the Muslims) after foiling an assassination attempt on his life. 

It took him and Abu Bakr almost four months to arrive at Yathrib, a six days travel, to avoid the headhunters of the tribes of Quraish.  Most of the Prophet’s followers had preceded him to Yathrib and welcomed him as a hero.

Muhammad married Aisha in Yathrib when she was ten years old. 

Abu Bakr (father of Aisha) was the first adult male to convert to Islam and he was Muhammad’s closest Companion and guide.  Aicha was 8-years old when Muhammad officially asked her hand and waited to marry her at age ten.

The mother of Aicha, Oum Roummane, almost died when giving birth to Aisha and Khadija was called upon to deliver her and Muhammad saw Gabriel at the same time he was contemplating to commit suicide by throwing himself off a cliff because of the miserable life that Gabriel forced upon him. 

After the death of Khadija, Mohammad saw Aicha three times in his dreams, as a baby wrapped in green blanket and the third time it was Gabriel who removed the blanket for Muhammad to recognize the face of baby Aicha, and ordered to obey the request of Gabriel to take her as wife.  Aicha had a vast memory and was educated to read and write and she was the person who transposed the verbal messages into written verses during the revelations.

The migrating Muslims in Yathrib were suffering from miseries.

First, they were not used to the humid climate and the marshes: Many died of the malaria fever.  Aicha almost died as she arrived in Yathrib. 

Second, the emigrants could not find suitable employments and had to accept temporary jobs at the Jewish households and farms.  Consequently, the emigrants had to revert to what the tribes did when they were hungry and penniless.  They decided to raid a major caravan coming from Damascus and lead by Abu Sufyan (a chief of the Quraysh clan in Mecca). The caravan was to stop at an oasis called Badr but Abu Sufyan got wind of the raid and diverted its route and sent for troops from Mecca.  The Muslims won the battle of Badr, their first.

Sawda father and brother were killed in the battle of Badr fighting against the Muslims.  Sawda was greatly grieved and lambasted the prisoners parked in front her house and told them that they should have fought instead of being taken prisoners. Mohammad repudiated her for a while until she asked forgiveness and she opted not to have intercourse with him as the tradition regulated Mohammad nights among his wives.

Mohammad encircled the fortified castle of the Jewish tribe Banu Qaynuqa because the tribe decided to break the treaty with Mohammad rather than pay the ransom for a murdered emigrant.  The tribe capitulated when it realized the succor from Banu Khazraj was not forthcoming. 

Muhammad had set his mind to beheading all the males of the defeated Banu Qaynuqa tribe as the revelation dictated, but the chief of the Ansar (supporters) tribe of Khazraj prevented him saying: “I am a man who fears the reversal of circumstances”

The Banu Qaynuqa were allowed to leave the city and it settled in the Jewish town of Khaibar, around 20 miles north west of Yathrib.

Mohammad married Afsa (3afsa), the widowed daughter of Omar ibn Khattab, the second Caliph, because he needed Omar total loyalty.  She was eighteen. Actually, Omar insisted on Uthman to marry Afsa but he declined the request repeatedly. Muhammad had set his mind to marry his second daughter Um Kulthum to Uthman to secure the Ummaya powerful clan.  Aicha was crest fallen and suffered her first jealousy attacks.

The Muslims lost the battle of Uhud, but the forces of Quraish did not pursue their objective to enter Medina and retreated to Mecca.  Muhammad directed his angst against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadhir that secretly supported Quraich.  He ordered this Jewish tribe to leave Medina; the eye witness accounts related that the citizens in Medina never saw a caravan as opulent, rich and luxurious in their lives.

Mohammad married Zainab, the daughter of the clan leader of Bani Assad, who was widowed and 30 years of age. Zainab died three months after her wedding.

Mohammad married Hind, daughter of Abi Ummayah, a recent widow of Abu Salama who was mortally injured during the battle of Ohud, the first defeat of the Moslems against the tribe of Quraich and their allies outside the walls of Yathreb and now called Medina. 

Hind or Um Salama was about thirty of age and had many children and declined to marry Abu Bakr and Omar and even Muhammad.  Muhammad asked her hand a second time and promised to care for her many offspring.

Muhammad married Zainab bint Jahsh, a cousin thirty of years of age and of great beauty.  Zainab was the wife of his adoptive son Zaid ibn Haritha who separated from her when she welcomed Mohammad almost nude to entice him and throw trouble in his heart. 

She roamed after Muhammad reminding him that she separated because of him.  The Koran was very strict on the number of only 4 wives for the believers but Mohammad received a message from Gabriel telling him that Zainab is an offer from God that cannot be rejected.  The aggrieved Aicha interjected that God has a tendency to accord his Messenger all his desires.

Mohammad repulsed a fresh attack by Quraich on Medina by following the suggestion of Salame the Persian; Salame supervised the digging of a large and deep trench around Medina that the cavalry could not jump over. 

A violent wind followed by a torrential rain convinced the Quraishi armies to retreat.  Then, Mohammad surrounded the hold up of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza for 25 days because they were tacitly allied to Quraich. 

The Prophet beheaded 700 of the male captives and dumped their bodies in a large hole and ordered Ali and Zubair (the husband of Aicha’s sister Asmat) to participate in the performance of the executions.

(This 700 could be a magical number in tales. Even 70 beheading executions is too large a number in a single day. Why Muhammad made Ali to have blood on his hand is to be examined. Actually, the hatred of the Jews for Ali is a consequence of this narrative)

Muhammad asked the hand of Rihana, a Jewish captive girl, to marry him but she declined. After she converted, Mohammad asked her hand again and she preferred to remain slave than marry someone with several wives but she became his concubine.

Since this mass cruel beheading, troops of Muhammad had easier tasks convincing the neighboring tribes to join Islam and plundering the caravans arriving from Damascus or Alexandria.

Mohammad married Juwayriah, the daughter of the chief clan of Harith, which his last raid brought her as captive.  The Harith tribe and their allies convert to Islam. 

A turning point was reached when Aicha lost her favorite collar that her mother Em Rumana gave her for her wedding. 

Aicha joined that raid and lost her favorite collar that the Prophet had offered her during their wedding. The fighters were utterly upset for wasting precious time searching for the collar and the time for prayer was close and they were far from the nearest oasis. 

Muhammad had to receive a message allowing ablution with sand when water is not available. This revelation allowed the Muslim armies to expand its raids in the desert and later in their territory expansion.

The story goes that Muhammad took Aicha on an expedition.  Aicha lost her collar as the troop were heading to the next water well and the caravan was very short on water for the ablution before prayer. 

On the way back from the expedition, Aicha stepped away from the troop for bodily relief.  As she reached the caravan, she realized that she dropped this loose collar again.  Aicha went back to search for the collar and the troop started without her. 

Aicha would recount that she was so light that the attendants to her tent/hawdaj didn’t realize that she was Not in the cabin that was raised over the camel.  Aicha lay down.  Safwan, a young and handsome convert was a little behind the caravan, and found Aicha and mounted her on his horse. Safwan was confident that the troops will retrace their path searching for her as they reached the camp. 

Later, rumors spread that, while the 60 years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, and that his younger of wives is cheating on him.  Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ quarter and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.

When Mohammad finally arrived to see Aicha, the Angel Gabriel showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumana told Aicha to come forward and thank the Prophet.  Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent” 

Seventeen revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed as a crime, as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed. 

Mistah, a cousin of Aicha, Hassan ibn Thabit, the poet of Islam, and Hannah bint Jahsh, the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives, were flogged 100 times for their crimes of calumny without having 4 witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen”. (The Mother of the Believers). It is said that Aisha kept a deep grudge for Ali who seemed to believe the rumors of her cheating.

Mohammad had a dream while sleeping with Aicha that he shaved his head and performed the pilgrimage to Al Kaaba in Mecca.  Aicha encouraged him and Muhammad left Medina with 700 unarmed men to Mecca. 

The favorite camel of Muhammad named Qaswa parked in Hudaibiya, close to Mecca, and would not move.  By the way, Qaswa was the camel that selected the location for the Prophet house and the Mosque in Yathrib.

The Quraichi’s tribes sent delegations and they reached a 10-year non-belligerence treaty and promised Muhammad that they would permit the Muslims for pilgrimage starting next year. 

Although Muhammad was not allowed to enter Mecca, he wanted to perform the rites in Hudaibiya but the Companions refused. Um Salama encouraged Muhammad to perform the sacred rituals and shaved Muhammad’s head and then slaughtered his sacrificial camel and the believers hurried to follow suit; the party returned to Medina sanctified.

Mohammad married Safiya, a Jewish beauty and of high grace from Khaibar who was married to a brute of a husband that died during the battle of Khaibar.

Muhammad had just conquered the fortified Jewish town of Khaibar, North West of Madina in the year 630.  The lands were turned over to Mohammad and his closest Companions and the Jews agreed to cultivate the land as serfs for 50% return for their subsistence and relinquished their treasures.

Um Salama escorted the Prophet in this raid and recounted to the harem that a Jewish girl roasted a lamb for Mohammad and then he realized it was poisoned; when asked why she poisoned the lamb she replied: “You killed my father, brother and husband. If you are a King then good riddance; if you are a Prophet then you must discover the plot.” 

The girl was not punished for the rationale that she will spread her conviction that Muhammad is indeed a prophet.  Un Salama added that Muhammad liked his new wife Safia very much: he didn’t wait the customary 40 days grievance and married her on the way back to Medina and spent four whole days and nights with Safiya.  With virgins, the husbands spend 7 entire days and nights!  Aicha thought that Um Salama could have spared her added anxieties.

Mohammad married Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, his arch enemy of Quraish.  Um Habiba was a recent widow and 40-year old and living in Ethiopia with her husband who converted to Christianity; she was one of the first converts to flee to Ethiopia after the Quraish persecutions.

The governor of Coptic Egypt sent Muhammad gold and fine gifts and two Christian girls as slaves, Maria and Sirine.  Maria became immediately the concubine of the Prophet until she converts to Islam and he spent most of his time with Maria, raising a revolt within his harem.

Aicha took a definite advantage over the remaining wives.

Individuals who wanted to offer the Prophet gifts learned that the best moments were when he is with Aicha.  Aicha thus enjoyed the best fabrics and gifts and the other wives revolted again wanting fair distribution of the gifts. 

Mohammad told Um Salama that his revelations descend when he is with Aicha, but the revolt went on and the Prophet decided to retreat from his harem for a whole month, sending fear and frustration in the community of the believers. 

After a month, Mohammad revealed a message placing men as superior to women and admonishing wives to obey their husband, and permitting husbands to punish their wives if they disobeyed.  Mohammad reconquered his authority in the harem, and wives had to pay the price of this revolt for centuries after.

In 630 or the 8th year of Mohammad emigration to Yathrib , the Prophet assembled ten thousand fighters for his pilgrimage to the Kaaba and entered Mecca and destroyed the pagan Gods and became the uncontested leader of all the tribes in the Arabian peninsula. (Too large a number to be credible)

Islam arch enemy Abu Sufian converted to Islam, before the troops of the Muslims entered Mecca.  The wife of Abu Sufian, Hind, reluctantly converted to Islam also.  Hind is the famous woman who opened the chest of Hamza in the Battle of uhud and ate his liver in order to avenge her father in the battle of Badr. Hamza (an uncle of Muhammad) had killed Hind’s father in a singular fight before the battle of Bard.

Mohammad married Maymouna, a relative of both tribes of Abi Taleb and Hashim to the fainting and shock of the harem. 

A revelation descended that the messenger is allowed all the women he desires. 

Besides his 9 wives, Muhammad had two concubines, Maria and Rihana, and uncounted numbers of women who wanted to offer themselves to him to gain Paradise. 

Once, Fatima told the harem that her husband Ali wanted to take another wife and she intervened with the Prophet; Aicha was beside herself to learn that this plain woman, and not as educated, could enjoy one husband and generate four offspring, two of them males.  Aicha realized that she could not get pregnant, even after her sexual expertise led to many successful full coital with Muhammad.

Rihana died shortly after as well as Mohammad’s eldest daughter Zainab. 

Maria gave Mohammad a male son called Ibrahim and thus, Maria was released from bondage. 

The blood family of the Prophet consisted of Ali, Fatima, his two grandsons, his two grand daughters and Ibrahim; his adoptive son Zaid died during a battle in the north against the Byzantine Empire.

Mohammad organized an army of 30,000 fighters in the year 631, recruited from all over Arabia and marched to Tabuk, a city within the Syrian borders, to avenge the death of his adoptive son Zaid; he took Aicha with him on this campaign. 

The Governor of Syria didn’t deign to challenge the Prophet and Muhammad returned to Medina after securing many treaties with the neighboring tribes and oasis in Syria (among them the more civilized and more urban of tribes that will later tip the balance in the war against Byzantium).  The whole of “Arabia” was converting to Islam.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad, aged 18 months, dies.  The Prophet cried and lamented, a behavior which was not the custom of the male believers.

The Prophet went on pilgrimage to Mecca the next year with 30,000 pilgrims and the entire harem went this time.  Mohammad gave a speech alluding that it might be his last pilgrimage.

Shortly after his return to Medina Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches for a month; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bedridden.  The Prophet dies on June 8, 632; he was 63 years old.

Notes:

  1. Muhammad was mortally sick for at least a month and he knew his days were counted because Gabriel gave him a choice between this world and the Other World and the Prophet opted for the Other World.  Muhammad had time to think about the succession of power and the appropriate processes but no revelations were forthcoming. 
  2. The tribal spirit was to dominate the political landscape, the same spirit that Muhammad intended to re-direct toward a Unique God and unite the “Ummat al Islam”.  The Arab and Muslim World were tribal in structure and ended up with a caste system when the Central Asian tribes overpowered the Quraishi tribal rights for leadership.
  3. The Prophet Muhammad was highly literate https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/the-parson-and-the-prophet-book-review/

Late Oriana Fallaci visions are as senile as those of John’s

Posted on June 21, 2010

Note: I decided to abridge a previous article denouncing the rambling of late Oriana Fallaci against Muslims and comparing the new extremist factions behavior as resembling St. John’s apocalyptic vision.

Oriana Fallaci is an Italian journalist turned writer; she was dying of cancer when she published her last book “Fallaci interviews Fallaci” followed by “Apocalypse”. 

Fallaci was a very liberal personality most of her life, defending the oppressed, until she turned sour and dissatisfied with the state of affairs perpetrated by the slaughtering of foreign hostages by Muslim extremists in Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Yes, Fallaci was furious that most of the recent terrorist activities in Europe such as in Spain, Italy, France, Holland and Russia were perpetrated by Muslims. (Until the far-right movements in these countries took over the terrorist activities)

Fallaci practiced selective amnesia in this book to avoid mentioning the genocides and terrorist activities in former Yugoslavia that were perpetrated by Christians, Catholics and Orthodox, and the daily terrorism in Iraq among the Muslims sects of Sunni and Shia.  

Fallaci went as far as supporting anyone, even Nazis or fascists, as long that the political program was to stop Muslim’ immigration to Europe and to never provide them with the legitimacy of a European citizenship. 

Fallaci ended her career by lashing out at legislations that permit homosexuals and lesbians to officially marry and adopt children “because it is a sin” and contrary to human procreation process. 

Oriana Fallaci had made up her mind that there are no moderate Muslims, lest they are Muslims by birth but are no longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations. 

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Muslims, and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

 I have responded on these two premises in my previous article and will focus on the alternative apocalyptic versions.

Fallacy used St. John’s apocalyptic vision to offer her version of Islam as the Monster and enliven her ejaculations and substantiate her stand, as if a flawed concept can be clarified by a more obscure premise. 

In St. John’s apocalyptic version a Monster with seven heads and ten horns would emerge from the sea and the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders until the an angel descend from heaven and lock the Monster and punish the Beasts.

Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

The Monster is to emerge from the sea, though the Muslim World is mostly a vast desert until now.  Either the 100-years old St. John was completely dehydrated, and thus seeing mirages, or he had a vision of another Ice Age period and thus, wet continents have exchanged climatic states, or Fallaci was getting out of whack and delving into uncharted territories.

For the time being, the USA is the only superpower located smack between the Pacific and the Atlantic.

The USA has waged two World Wars and invaded Asia and Europe and the only superpower to have landed troops in all continents and are still present, even after the end of the last “hot” world war more than 60 years ago.

The USA has many heads in finance, economy, technology, sciences, mass media, music and movie production, agriculture, and a military supremacy with extra three horns in space exploration, maritime hegemony, and genetic experimentation. 

The Beast can be represented by the world States leaders executing the US Administrations orders, then the intelligencia and educated people interpreting favorably the misinformation that the successive US administrations are propagating to spread democracy by pre-emptive wars.

Many leaders are emulating the Beast, either out of fear of economic embargo, sanctions, military reprisals, ordered terrorist activities, or because of local politics, or allegiance to the neo-conservative program. 

So far, many nations have joined the Bush Junior war on Iraq without the UN approval , and most of them have ended up retrieving their troops after seeing the light or their leaders failing in elections. 

The three main Beasts to shoulder this pre-emptive war were Blair of Britain, Saudi Kingdom and Israel. 

I will only focus on the Saudi Monarchy/Theocracy Beast.

Wolfowitz has said after the US troops entered Iraq: “Now, we can get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, after twenty years, without fear of destabilizing the region.” 

There is no doubt that Saudi Kingdom not only encouraged the US with its plan to invade Iraq but also financed this campaign directly and indirectly. 

The Saudi Wahhabi sect caste was first, getting revenge on the Iraqis for giving their supremacy over the other castes in Saudi Arabia, the scare of their life in 1993: Saddam  invaded Kuwait and approached the Saudi Kingdom and

Second, the Wahhabi caste was encouraging the US to get its troops out of Saudi Arabia because Bin Laden was recruiting heavily on the basis of the “infidel Christians” spreading their impurity in the land,

Third, because the Saudi Monarchy and Wahhabi caste are completely reliant on the US to maintain their social structure, and

Fourth to keep communist China influence out of the Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The Monster can be named; it is the neo-conservatives, Evangelical “Christians” in the USA.  They are an amalgam of dozens of Baptist and Protestant sects with the single main belief in the process of how the Second Coming of their Messiah is going to happen.

The neo-conservatives are clamoring that all the Jews should be relocated in Israel and then, after the Jews re-build their famous Temple in Jerusalem, they will launch a targeted crusade toward Israel, with the intention of Christianizing the new heretics of Jews; this campaign would be effective and completed and only then the Messiah would feel comfortable to come back!

The odds are the neo-conservatives would repeat Titus’ feat of destroying the newly erected Temple and scatter the Jews all over the world.  If the Jews believe that the support of the USA is free of charge then they are under the spell of the demon; the Jews will have to pay back everything with high interest too.         

 Fallaci had a most striking interpretation of why the intelligent Oussama Ben Laden decided to televise an appearance a couple of days before the second Presidential US election of Bush Junior.  Ben Laden warned the Americans that if they re-elect Bush then he will have no option but to repeat another deadly strike. 

Bin Laden knew that his speech will galvanize the arrogant US citizens into shedding their apathy for voting and move in mass to voting heavily for Bush against the favorite Kerry. 

The Bush Administration needed Bin Laden alive to sustain their propaganda against Islam and linger a while longer in Iraq.  Bin Laden needed Bush in power to recruit heavily among the anti-American Muslims.

This is the ultimate deal between the staunchest extremist Beasts to wreak havoc in the world and create a definite cultural clash between the Christian West and the Islamic World.

The current generally rigid Islam is a major factor to the prevention of effective communication between the West and the Muslim World but it is not the only main factor. 

Most of the Muslim World is organized in Caste Systems (closed religious autonomous sects) due to the influence of India and the domination of the successive Mongol Empires to the whole region for over ten centuries. 

The most effective venue is not to lambaste mercilessly Islam but to aid our region to gradually break out of our caste structures so that we may communicate internally as a society and then open up to the West later on as people free to speak and publish our opinions without undue internal harassments.

This gradual change is not meant to impose democracy by pre-emptive wars but to allow our societies to invent alternative open systems that work in each Middle East States.

Currently, a substitute Beast will be propagandized: China.

I could not help but write a short poem related to the same theme.  Worst, I could not help but sharing it with you; it is titled “Redundant Prophets“:

Tormented youths, hearing voices, experiencing apocalyptic nightmares,

Seeking desperately a corner in a desert,

Preferably when available nearby,

In desolate locations, in complete isolation,

To exorcise their dark dreams,

Their oppressive loneliness, the demons in their soul,

And to find peace of mind.

Archangel Gabriel materialized to a few of them,

Talking to them in a centaur voice,

Vast and reaching the skies,

Or plainly in a human form, surrounded with blinding light.

Gabriel would not let them in peace,

He would harass them during their wretched life,

Urging them to fear the Unique God,

And pray and glorify God’s name, and proselytize in God’s name.

Most were not as lucky in fame,

And have never seen a divine apparition;

They did pass that critical phase in life, in good mental stability,

And reduced level of exacerbated anxiousness.

The difference between Prophets and young crazies

Can be traced to the genetic laziness of Gabriel;

Or most likely to the current glut in redundant prophets.

The assassination of Luqman Slim underlines that the scope for dissent in Lebanon is rapidly narrowing.(More like widening with the increase of calamities that are Not resolved by any institution)

The killing of Luqman Slim is another bad omen for Lebanon. Luqman was not just any activist. (Very few Lebanese have heard of him, mostly the embassies were dealing with him and funding his institution Umam)

He was a vocal critic of Hezbollah (for over 25 years and he visited Israel too), who chose to continue living in his family’s home in Haret Hreik in the southern suburbs of Beirut, an area controlled by those whom he criticized harshly. (And lived in security and safety)

I met Luqman in 2004 with the late journalist Samir Kassir and Samir’s wife Giselle Khoury. (Late Kassir was assassinated by the Druse civil war leader Walid Jumblatt, as a matter of female jealousy )

Luqman, with his wife Monika Borgmann, had invited us to watch a private screening of a movie they had produced on the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

The debate that ensued was as harrowing as it was enlightening. It was the first of many interactions over the subsequent two years around the memory of the civil war, questions of accountability, and commemoration of the victims, and their importance for Lebanon’s future. These debates dissipated after Samir’s assassination on June 2, 2005.

Luqman was also a harsh critic of Lebanon’s political class, of the repression of the uprising in Syria, of Iran’s regional involvement, and of much else. (What about US invasion of Iraq? Of Israel successive pre-emptive wars on Lebanon…)

But he was also more than that. With Monika, Luqman went on to establish the UMAM documentation and research center in his family home. UMAM aims to inform the future (generation?) by addressing past atrocities.

Since 2005, the center has been collecting information and establishing a database for all those killed, or who disappeared, during the fifteen-year Lebanese civil war. It has also made documentaries and organized discussions on some of the most painful episodes of that conflict.

Their work is critical if Lebanon is to come to terms with the war’s legacy and is essential in determining accountability for the crimes committed during that time. (The Lebanese parliament decided to absolve all the civil war leaders and those who committed crimes against humanity. And these “leaders” are still controlling and ruling Lebanon since 1992)

This work carried out by Luqman and Monika was vital in a country where the political leadership is largely made up of those who fought during the war. Lebanon’s conflict ended with the mantra of “no victor and no vanquished.”

In 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law covering most of the crimes committed during the conflict. Militia leaders moved from the streets into government to occupy the state and its institutions. The history of the civil war was never integrated into school curriculums. Knowledge of the war has largely been defined by individual points of view, not by a collective Lebanese effort to remember the war to better transcend it.

To understand the killing of Luqman one must also look at Lebanon’s broader context.

Since October 2019, when the Lebanese took to the streets to protest against the corruption of their political parties and leaders, the country has been facing an economic collapse that has impoverished more than half the population and decimated the middle class. (Bankrupt State at all levels, politically, economically and financially)

Rather than addressing the sources of discontent, the leadership has remained unwilling to implement the reforms needed to unlock international financial aid, for fear that this would undermine their influence over their constituencies.

Lockdown measures associated with Covid-19 have only hastened this economic breakdown. Without outside financial support Lebanon will continue to sink into the abyss.

Ironically, by protecting their system and continuing with a business-as-usual approach the political parties have also signed its death warrant. That may not be a bad thing, but in the meantime millions of Lebanese will suffer terribly.

The catastrophic (electromagnetic pulse bomb) explosion in the port of Beirut last August 4 further increased the anger of the Lebanese and their vocal criticism of the political leadership.

Six months later, no one has been held accountable for what happened and the official investigation is going nowhere. For many Lebanese there was no question as to who was responsible, when protestors hanged effigies of their political leaders on gallows set up at a demonstration in Martyrs’ Square last year.

Luqman’s killing underlines that the space for dissent is closing fast in Lebanon. Over the past year or so, the political leadership’s tolerance for criticism has been decreasing as more and more journalists and critics have been taken into custody by the authorities.

Yet Luqman’s killing went much further. It heralded a return to political assassinations as a means of silencing those in opposition.

The crime has sent shock waves across Lebanon and beyond, especially among opposition groups and, more so, among most of the 19 officially recognized religious sects.

For many this brought back memories of 2005 and the years that followed, when Samir Kassir, Gebran Tueni, (Communist secretary general Georges Hawi, Mohamad Chatah, Pierre Jr. Gemayel, and many security officials… Pierre Jr. Gemayel was assassinated by agents who were dispatched from the US embassy and returned to the embassy. And why was Pierre Jr. assassinated? Because he expressed his opinion during the government meeting of valuing Hezbollah resistance during the 33 days pre-emptive Israel/US in 2006)

One wonders whether Luqman Slim would have been killed had Kassir and Tueni killers been brought to justice. (Lebanon never brought to trial Israel, US, France, England… perpetrator of assassinations, Not even lesser States such as Jordan, Saudi Kingdom or the Emirate..)

That is why we should have serious doubts as to whether those who assassinated Luqman will themselves be brought to justice.

“The Apocalypse” by late Oriana Fallaci

Posted on October 24, 2008 (and written in November 8, 2007)

“Entretien avec moi-meme” and “L’Apocalypse” 

Oriana Fallaci was born in 1929 in Florence and died of cancer of the esophagus in 2006, as her mother, father, and another sister died. 

She was a journalist and covered many wars in Vietnam and the Middle East and managed to interview Khomeini for 6 hours and turned to a writer.

Of her publications we can list: “La force de la raison”, “La rage et l’orgueil”, “Un homme”, “Inchallah”, “Lettre a un enfant jamais ne”, “Entretiens avec l’Histoire”, and “La vie, la guerre et puis rien”.

Fallaci had a refuge in Manhattan for 10 years and stopped publishing anything and was treating her cancer when the Twin Towers were taken down. The rumors spread that Al Qaeda hijacked the airplanes.

She remembered seeing Ben Laden in the 1980s in Beirut when the Israeli war planes imploded a high rise to the ground and conjectured that the way the towers went down was an exact revenge of Bin Laden two decades later.

The attacks on the Twin Towers forced Fallaci to feverishly go back to write about current dangerous phenomena and stored her 800-pages novel she was writing in the drawer, waiting for an opportune time to work on her “baby”, but never got around to finish and publish it.

She wrote in her previous “Rage and Pride” that there come times in life where keeping silent is a fault and speaking out an obligation, a civil duty, a moral defiance, a categorical imperative we cannot escape from.

She felt it impossible to stay quiet and apathetic and thus, facing the enormity of the danger she was forced to resume writing. 

Fallaci wrote a long article in 3 weeks and lived on coffee and cigarettes and her crying was dry because of a congenital nervous case that occurred to her in 1943 when she was about 14 years old. The allies were bombing Florence and she got scared and started to cry and her dad slapped her hard saying: “young girls do not cry” (go figure, her scared dad reacted nervously and uttered a stupid sentence).

Fallaci fell in love once in her life with the Greek activist Alekos Panagulis who was assassinated at the age of 38 and she wrote a book about Panagulis titled “A man“.

Alekos suffered 5 years of prison in seclusion and when he was freed he cried in front of the Parthenon and repeated “Bitch of democracy, but it is democracy after all”.

Fallaci doesn’t see any other alternative political system but democracy, though it has many flaws and is unable to bring stability quickly when major upheavals strike a nation.

She never returned to Greece because the authorities removed the expensive wedding ring that she inserted in the finger of the deceased when they exhumed the body. She kept raging against the “falaka” such as hitting the sole of the feet that she says the Greek police have inherited from 4 centuries of Ottoman hegemony in Greece.

Oriana dedicated her introduction to the memories of the many foreigners who were kidnapped and slaughtered by the Muslim fanatics in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the victims in the school of Beslan by the Chechen and to the Danish Theo Van Gogh the director of a short movie on the status of women in the Muslim World.

Her previous volume “The Force of Reason” was in memories of the Madrid train victims.

She unfurled a huge Italian flag over her window to remind the Italian to be proud of their country instead of the rainbow flag of the European Union, along with two tiny US flags to thank America for deposing Saddam Hussein and fighting “Islam terrorism” and for saving Europe during the two World Wars.

Oriana was furious when her physician suggested not to mention explicitly to others that she is suffering from cancer. Most people who died of cancer were referred to as dying from incurable disease

She didn’t think that people would shun her, since cancer is not contagious and not the results of sinful activities, but people were scared to approach cancer afflicted victims.

The atrocities committed by the US forces at Abou Ghraib prison in Iraq was frustrating and she felt betrayed, offended and lied to because Western civilization cannot swallow acts of brutalities against helpless and chained prisoners; she took comfort that the perpetrators were legally judged, convicted and imprisoned.

She calls the communists in Italy the caviar left and that the left and right parties the two faces of the same coin as two soccer teams running hard to grab the ball of Power and they are homogenous; the only dirty and backward right that still exists is Islam and those sons of Allah.

She fumes that the crucifix is taken off the school rooms and Christmas crib is no longer installed in, so that not to offend the Moslems. Oriana wonders: “Who is supposed to get integrated, us or them?”

She resent the new laws that allow immigrants to vote which will alter the way the European and Italian live.

Democracy is based on the two concepts of equality and liberty and Oriana believes that people likes equality and are ready to give up on some of their liberty. Equality is understood to be legal equality under the law of the land, but it does not transfer to moral and mental equality, and equality in value and merit. Individuality and competition are what make live worth living and fighting for.

Fallaci rages against the Italian Communist party that infiltrated every municipality and the court rooms and is over lording its monolithic dogma and cultural hegemony as filtered to them by former Communist Russia. The communists have appropriated the Italian resistance to Nazi Germany although they didn’t react until the American forces were chasing out the occupying forces; worst, they intimidated and killed many Italian national resistance fighters such as Justice and Action party of which Oriana was member when an adolescent.

She lambasted Sigrid Hunke who wrote “The sun of Allah shines over the West” and her activism at smuggling African immigrants to Italy. The support that Hunke accords to the enemy of Fallaci culture and Christian civilization exacerbates her failing health.

Although Fallaci is atheist she would like to believe that Europe is a Christian culture and was upset when the European Constitution refused to state that the religion of Europe is Christianity. 

She certainly is furious at the Italian successive government acting more royal than France and Germany in matters of the European Union laws and legislations that are emptying the national character and specific culture of Italy.

She admits that she is a manichist, a cult that Mani spread in the 3rd century in Iran and reached Europe; in that the concepts of Bad and Good are totally separate entities and no shades should alter the process of distinguishing between them and taking firm stands.

Half of the interview with herself is antagonizing most of the Italian leaders and political parties for homogenizing their doctrines and not exhibiting any serious differences in politics and thus, rendering the democratic process void of any meaning.

Fallaci pinched Berlusconi ears in her two previous books but she claimed that she will not become another Maramaldo who killed an already dying man Francesco Ferruchi in Florence in 1530.

Berlusconi did not have much education and he could not believe that the Italians elected him Prime Minister, though he is a very intelligent man in business and one of the richest according to Forbes.  Even his numerous mass media television channels were not sucking up to him because he was too proud and over confident to attract the right counselors but opted to be surrounded by “yes men”. His worst enemies are of his own coalition and they have been blackmailing him all the time in order for him to remain in power.

Fallaci does not like Bush and she thinks that he lacks education and is antipathetic but much better than the insipid Al Gore. Bush is a leader because he can take stands and stick by his decision and, mostly, because he has moral and would not humiliate his wife with extra marital activities like Clinton.

Bush is not two faced and unreliable like Kerry who flaunts his 3 purple hearts that he got from fighting in Vietnam and yet condemn wars without relinquishing his war medals.

Oriana really dig Bush’s wife Laura because she resemble exactly to Fallaci mother in looks and in manners.  Oriana is starting to like Hillary Clinton after she learned that Hillary loved her book “Rage and Pride” and does not stop commending it to her acquaintances to read but she didn’t considers Hillary sympathetic before.

Fallaci considers that there are only 3 leaders in the second half of the 20th century who are Wojtyla (the previous Pope), Khomeini, and Ben Laden (the Napoleon of Islam and the prophet of darkness).

Ben laden does not need to harangue the masses but can make others execute his orders from a distance and she would gladly interview him, even though she had swore never to interview anyone anymore.  She would dwell on Ben Laden childhood and upbringing because she does not think that religion was the main factors to his megalomania.

Ben Laden was a normal adolescent, frequenting bars, drinking whisky and dating girls in abundance and bought his wardrobe from Bond Street.  She strongly believes that Ben Laden anger at the Saudi Royal family was a result of them kicking him out of the palace once King Faisal was assassinated.  Ben Laden’s father was the closest counselor to Faisal and the (Saudi Wahhabi sect caste) disliked this infringement to the rules.

Oriana appreciates the contribution of Wojtyla for the crumbling of the Soviet Union and for continuing to write at the age of 84 and for keeping up with his heavy travel schedule.  She blames the Pope for doing a lot of harm for Christianity and the West because he pacified with the Moslems.

Fallaci condemned the war on Iraq and worried that the end result would be establishment of an Islamic Republic of mullah and imams; but she supported Bush once it started. 

Unfortunately, terrorism has increased and deaths are accumulating for an obscure result because democracy has to be won by the people, and to be won it has to be wanted, and to be wanted people has to know what it is.  Thus, since the Iraqi people do not know what democracy is, then they certainly do not want it.

The Iraqis as Muslims deeply believe that destiny is not in their hands but coming from Allah. Even the educated people in Iraq proclaim that they want democracy “Islam style”. (Oriana didn’t know that the Iraqi people were the most educated and the highest readers of books)

The UN is an impotent organization ruled by many members of Islamic states and so far the Janjaweed, the pro-ultra-Muslims of the Sudan government have killed 50,000 Christian blacks and almost one million displaced to camps in Tchad, and in Kalma; the Sudan has a flourishing slave trade of girls raffled during the Janjaweed forays.

The Americans are providing the humanitarian food and the EU refuses to call what is happening as genocide and prefers to label it a complex civil war situation.  Kofi Annan is not sympathetic to her and is two faced and that is why Blair didn’t trust him and had his phone calls intercepted.  She is obfuscated that the UN declared the wall that Sharon built on Palestinian lands as illegalthough she would urge Sharon to erase the sections of walls in Palestinian lands proper and reimburse for the damage to the private Palestinian properties.

Her logic considers that anti-Americanism feelings is attached to anti-West behavior which is synonymous to pro-Islamism and thus anti-Semitism.

Fallaci loathes Arafat like the plague and describes him as a despot and totally corrupted who amassed over $200 millions and used to send his wife in Paris $12,000 a day for her expenses.  Arafat was able to control the other Palestinian factions because he held the string to the purse.  Fidel Castro has $150 millions according to Forbes.

As for the state of affairs with the adolescents in Italy Fallaci likes to refers to Plato in a section of his 8th volume of “The Republic“:

When a people, thirsty for liberty, find “echansons” that deliver whatever he wishes, to the point of drunkenness, it happens to calling despots the governments that are eager to satisfying these exigencies of citizens ever more exigent.

A disciplined individual is then decried as void of characters and servile. The scared father end up treating his offspring as equals and lose respect; the teacher refrains from reprimanding the students when they mock him; youth claims the same rights as the old and the latter submit to these claims in order not show severity. 

Under such a climate of “liberty” and in its name there vanish respect and consideration for anybody.  Within the womb of this kind of license germs and develop a bad grass: Tyranny”

Fallaci tried to glorify her old age because it is at this age that liberty might be attained; a privilege that younger people are striving all their life to grasp it. 

At old age, fear from judgments stops conditioning our behavior and we are no longer scared of the future because it is here already.  At old age useless desires, superfluous ambitions, and senseless chimeras are out the window.

At old age we are the wiser because we comprehend much better what were obscure through accumulated experience, information and reflection.  She said that she frequented death several times in her career that she has no fear at the idea of dying.

Oriana recalls asking the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie: “Have you any fear of death?” and the Emperor started screaming “What death?” and he chased her out to the park where a huge lion was eating beef steaks.  Though, as Anna Magnani said: “It is not fair to have to die since we were born anyway“.

Being able to survive so many years is the real miracle and the best gift of reaching old age.  Anyway, if there was no death then the word life would have no meaning.

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the Western World are perpetrated by Muslims, and

Second, the practices of Muslims behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

Fallacy used St. John’s apocalyptic vision to offer her version of Islam as the Monster and enliven her ejaculations and substantiate her stand, as if a flawed concept can be clarified by a more obscure premise

In St. John’s apocalyptic version, a Monster with 7 heads and 10 corns would emerge from the sea and the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders until an angel descends from heaven and lock up the Monster and punish the Beast.

Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I generated two articles from this manuscript: “Are there moderate Muslims?” and “An alternative version of Fallaci interpretation of St. John’s apocalyptic vision”

Who is Josephine Peabody?

Posted on March 11, 2010

Scores of women fell in love with Gibran and vice versa, in the US and abroad (France, Egypt and Lebanon) and love letters on both sides kept the post office pretty busy.

May Ziadi, a Lebanese author who settled in Egypt and who was a deeply literate, polivalent and a female activist, and respected by the literate Egyptian circles. Gibran and Miss. Ziadi swapped all kinds of letters until his death. She didn’t travel to the US to ever meet with Gibran and she wrote in one of her latest letters: “I refuse to be a mere flower in your garden

The Lebanese author Salim Mujais published “Letters of Khalil Gibran to Josephine Peabody”.

It is an Arabic book and the author decided on a new style: Gibran 82 letters are translated and Josephine diary “Psychic” is included, date to date, so that you are reading a joint diary of two people in love with no interference of the author’s opinions or comments.

When Josephine poems relates to Gibran, they are included in the daily commentary.  In addition, when Gibran’s works relate to Josephine, excerpts are attached to the joint diary.  It is unfortunate that Josephine’s letters to Gibran are still not found, although Gibran’s letters were gathered by Josephine.

Gibran (Jubran) sent her a drawing through his mentor F.H. Day with these words “To the dear unknown Josephine Peabody”.

In the meantime, Gibran had traveled to Lebanon to learn Arabic and French at the college of Hekmeh (Wise) in Beirut.  Three months later, Gibran receives an unexpected letter from Josephine.

The letter says, in weak English) something to the effect:

“Mr. Day showed me many of your drawings and paintings in his possession; we talked about you.  I felt ecstatic the whole day after seeing your drawings because I could understand you through them. 

I think your soul lives in a beautiful space.  This is the fate of people who can create beautiful things in arts; they enjoy complete happiness when they share their bread with others.  I live in an environment of noise in a crowded city.  I feel like a lost child seeking his true self.  Have you seen any deserts?  I think you listen to silence.  Forward me your news and I will tell you mine”

Gibran, still not mastering the English language, replied on Feb. 3, 1899 from Lebanon. The letter says: (words in brackets are as they were written)

“(When I received your letter) O, how happy, I was? How glad? So happy that the tongue of poor pen cannot put my joy in words. I feel (discontent) when I come to write (English), because I know not how to translate my thoughts as I want, but perhaps you (want) mind that, and I think I know enough to tell you that will keep your friendship in (midest) of my heart, and over that many miles of land and sea will always have a certain love for you and will keep the thought of you near my heart and will be no separation between you and my mind.  

You wrote in your letter “I always keep things of that sort” and for a certain thing I am just like camera and my heart is the plate. I will not forget when you spoke with me that night in Mr. Day’s exhibition.  I asked Mr. Day “Who is the lady in black?”. He said “She is miss (Beabody), a young poet and her sister is an artist”…

I wonder “do you ever sit in a dark silent room listening to the music of the rain so calm that is”… With this letter I send a little drawing for remembrance.”

The correspondence lasted till 1908.  Many letters are not dated and Josephine must have thrown away many letters during period of disagreement. Josephine died in 1922; she was married to Lionel Marx and had children.

Probably, Josephine was:

1. the first person to organize Gibran’s first drawing exhibition;

2. the first who compared Gibran drawings to Blake’s;

3. the first to translate his poems to English;

4. the first who wrote poems on Gibran;

5. the first woman in Gibran’s drawings and paintings;

6. The first woman hero and main character in Gibran written works.

Josephine Peabody was Gibran’s first true love and muse (his genie).

Josephine is the woman who made Gibran to experience love, pain, sorrows, chagrin, and ecstasy.

Born in 1874, Josephine started to publish poems in magazines at age 14.  She received a grant to study at Radcliff (1894-96).  Her first book is “Old Greek folk stories told anew, 1897”, then a book of poems “Wayfarers, 1898”.

In 1900, Josephine published a one part play “Fortune and Men’s eyes” and a poetic play “Marlowe, 1901”.  She taught at Wellesley till 1903.

Josephine Peabody married Lionel Marx and they moved to Germany where Lionel was teaching at a university.  The couple returned to Boston.

Josephine published her poetic play “The Wings” in 1907.  Josephine had her first daughter Allison in 1907 and she published a book of songs for children “Book of the Little Past” in July 1907.  

In 1909, she published the play “The Pied Piper” and won the Stratford award among 300 participants.

Josephine published “The Singing Man” in 1911 where she included the poem “The Prophet” that she had written around 1900 and in which she imagines Gibran’s childhood period.

In 1913, Josephine toured Europe, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria and published on her return “The Wolf of Gubbio”.  WWI generated her book of poems “Harvest Moon

Josephine didn’t meet Gibran again until 1914, while attending the play “The mask of the bird”.

In this month of February, Josephine invited Gibran to tea and showed him the album of her children. She had dinner with Gibran at Mrs Ford; and dinner at Edwin Robinson.

Gibran wrote to Mary Haskel “Josephine appears to belong to Cambridge and not the world. Josephine didn’t changeshe wore the same cloths

Josephine published her play “The chameleon” in 1918 and then “Portrait of Mrs. W” in 1922.  Josephine diary “Psychic” where she talks about Gibran is of 51 pages and span from December 1902 to January 1904.  She died in December 1922.

Gibran had to kill the “genie” of Josephine.

He wrote in an Arabic article titled “A ship in the fog”: “Hover over this white corps in white cloth amid white flowers the silence of time and the dread of eternity”

Note 1: Gibran was enamored (platonic) with several women much older than him, before he met Josephine Peabody.  For example, Louise Guiney (1861-1920) who was FH Day girlfriend; the artist Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933) who painted Gibran in Arabic attire (painting at Savannah museum); and the gifted photographer Sarah Choates Sears (1858-1935) who arranged to send many artists to Europe.

Note 2: East of USA in the early 20th century was very different from today.  People had this renaissance streak; they were polyvalent, spoke many languages, and traveled to Europe to acquire knowledge and arts.  People encouraged young foreigners with talents financially and with contacts.

Note 3: Gibran’s English was still tentative, and it will take him years to master this language, thanks to Mary Haskell who made it a point to edit all his English works. Gibran bequeathed his English work to Haskell after his death.

Note 5: Unfortunately, he missed to bequeath his Arabic works to May Ziadi. Miss. Ziadi would have spread Gibran works faster and wider in the Arabic speaking world and might have earned a new phase in her active life. Ziadi returned to Lebanon to be harassed by her relatives for her fortune, and even attempted to incarcerate her in a mental hospital.

The Mastermind behind the success of French Revolution: Chaderlos de Laclos

Posted on October 23, 2014

Pierre-Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803) is famous for his book “The Dangerous Liaisons“. Many considered him a scandalous writer at par with the marquis de Sade or Restif de la Bretonne.

Very few knows that he was the mischievous brain behind the French Revolution that managed to clench victory and ripen its fruits.

Chaderlos de Laclos was the mastermind behind the massive women march from Paris to Versailles.

He figured out that unless the center of power (King and Constituent Assembly) transfer from Versailles to Paris then the revolution might falter.

Chaderlos de Laclos incorporated famous women who used to organize orgies such as Theroigne de Mericourt, and most importantly, transvestite men carrying weapons for the next phase of the march purpose.

As the women marched, the initial slogan was “We want bread“.

Actually, Chaderlos convinced his patron Duke Philip of Orleans to refrain from distributing wheat in Paris for a couple of days to give the impression that the King is failing in his duties. Duke Phillip of Orleans hated the King and the Queen and believed he was better for that position. He is better known in French history as “Equality Phillip

The King received a delegation of women and promised them to distribute wheat and bread immediately.

The women stayed overnight outside Versailles and the next day the slogan changed to “We want the King in Paris”

The transvestite men with weapons managed to infiltrate inside the Versailles walls and committed a slaughter hood of the surprised guards and almost broke inside the King and Queen quarters.

The King had a wake up call and decided to pleasure the masses and return with all his family to Paris.

La Fayette (the general who participated in the American revolution) was chief of the National Guards and secured the safe passage of the King to Paris.

From then on, the king and his family were practically prisoners to the revolutionaries and unable to leave Paris.

Born in Amiens, Chaderlos , as the second son, was destined to the sacerdotal. Luckily for him, the first son died and Chaderlos could join the military career. He opted for the artillery since he was excellent in math.

He slowly climbed the ranks due to lack of real battle engagements and was promoted Captain in 1771

For the next 17 years, he was still captain, but he took several sabbaticals in order to finish his book.

He married Marie-Soulange Dupre in 1786. She was 24 and he was 42. This was a love marriage that endured and they got 2 kids.

In 1788, after quitting the army, he sided and joined the party of the Duke of Orleans in Paris.

When La Fayette summoned the Duke to go to exile in London on temporary basis, due to his involvement in the women’s march, Chaderlos joined the Duke in exile.

Chaderlos would be promoted General by Napoleon in 1800 and he died of dysentery at Tarente. He was quickly buried in a common grave .

A few maxims of Chaderlos:

1. Hate is more clairvoyant and more ingenious than Love

2. I was taken by surprise to notice that we can feel pleasure by doing good deeds

3. Our ridicule increases proportionally the harder we defend it

4. For him, pleasing is a means. For her it is success itself

5. For man, infidelity is Not inconsistency

6. In love, we can permit excesses only with persons we plan to leave very soon

7. Nature extended constancy to man. And obstinate tendency to women

8. I love her too much to feel jealousy. I have taken the option to be proud of (her foibles)

9. A missed occasion can be recaptured. We never return after a precipitated demand (of marriage?)

10. It is good to accustom someone destined for great adventures by him getting the habit for great events.

Read: Gonzague Saint Bris “La Fayette”

Who is Peter, Jesus disciple? Where is this town of Shame3 in Lebanon?

Posted on February 23, 2012

And what if Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story?

This is another alternative story, a hometown story.

Apparently, the Muslim Shia sect in Lebanon consider Peter (Simon), Jesus disciple, as a prophet and a close cousin to Mary (the Virgin) 

The Virgin Mary was his aunt from both her mother and father sides. Simon, Peter…is also known as Shimon Safa in the town of Shama3 (Shamaa) near the city of Tyr. Safa means the lean stone in Arabic, Kifa in Syriac, and Peter in Greek.

Peter was born around 10 BC and lived in the town of 7amoul or (Hamoun) near the village of Naqoura in South Lebanon.  Peter’s father was Hamoun Bin 3aama in the town still known as Hamoul where he is buried.

Hamoun had two sisters: Hanneh (Hanna) and Elizabeth. Hanneh married Omran and gave birth to Mary. The mother of Peter is the sister of Omran.

In the year 64, Peter fled Rome after Niro escalated his persecution of the Christian, and settled in Babylon by the River Euphrates for a while.

He wrote a letter to the community of Karkisia by the Euphrates River.  Peter travelled to Palestine and when the Jewish revolt (66 to 70 AC) started persecuting the Christian, Peter fled to Northern Galilee (Tyr district) in 67, but the Jews followed him and killed him by a blow on the head. Peter was 77 year-old.

The community of his ancestors in Hamoul buried him there by his mother in the town of Shama3, which is short for Shimon.  

The upper story is one thousand year old, but the lower one is pretty ancient.

Thousand of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Peter’s tomb every year, especially during the celebration of the 40 days of Hussain martyrdom.

An inscription on the two-story tomb reads: “Peace on the prophet of God, peace on you Shimon Safa, peace on you and on the prophet of God…”

People in that region have a saying: “O Shimon Safa, your secret has not disappeared”

Shimon and his brother Andrew were fishermen and threw the net in Lake Tiberiad (Tabaraya).  Before Tiberias, they learned the profession of fishing in the Mediterranean Sea, in current south Lebanon.

Most of Jesus disciples were close cousins and close relatives from the district of Tyr (Lebanon):  This should come as no surprise for normal people.  

As Jesus was standing trial, all the disciples huddled in a remote house and dared not step out for a week.  The disciples were scared, but mostly ashamed for following this “insane cousin of them” who kept his silence and refused to defend himself.  

An insane cousin who ended up crucified like common criminals, between two confirmed criminals.

An insane cousin who had no one to support him after a “King” entrance to Jerusalem a week ago, with a large following, a walking Rabbi, and mounted on a donkey!

An insane cousin who was warned several times Not to advance toward Jerusalem (his first visit in his entire life). The Jews in Jerusalem were very worried, especially with the rumors that Jesus wanted to “galvanize” the Jews against the Roman occupation. The Jewish clerics had an autonomous control and vested with many privileges by the Roman Consul.

An insane cousin they had high expectation to becoming an important personality and honoring the extended family back in Upper Galilee in the district of Tyr (current south Lebanon). Tyr was the administrative and judicial capital of that region , from Haifa all the way to the Lake of Tiberias, during the Seleucid Empire and after the Roman occupied this land.

An insane cousin who acted as a meek prisoner, and worse, insisted to be the Son of God, the expected Messiah.

People are suckers for stories.

When a person likes a story, the story takes a life of its own.  

What if the story is loved by 2 billion people (Christians and Muslims)?

The story goes that attitudes changed after Jesus re-appeared to the disciples…and Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story…

Note 1: This post was inspired by an article by Hala Homsi in the daily Al Nahar. The reference is author Ali Dawood Jaber “Shimon Safa: the in-between Christianity and Islam

Note 2: We owe it to the Muslim Shia communities in South Lebanon and Jabal Amel to have maintained the “hometown stories” of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Jacob, Omran, Hanneh… where they were born, raised and buried.

Note 3: Once the disciples of Jesus were pressured to leave Jerusalem, where they were huddled for many years and behaved according to the strict daily customs of the Jews of Jerusalem, their first phase was to visit their hometowns in Upper Galilee, before venturing far away.

How George Washington was elected in his first Executive Functions… Part 3

Posted on January 5, 2014

By July 2, 1788, 9 States out of the 13 have ratified the Constitutional text.

On may 29, 1790, all the Stated signed on.

Between October 1787 and May 1788, Alexander Hamilton, James Mason and John Fray published 85 open letters in New York dailies to explain their conception of the executive federal function.

These letters are collected in The Federalist in the Spring of 1788 in order to interpret the Constitution of Federation.

For additional guarantees to individual freedom, 10 amendments are joined to the initial text, and by the end of 1791, the Federal Constitution goes into application.

It was George Washington that was in the mind of the delegates when they agreed on the presidential function and central power.

Born in 1732 in Virginia, Washington leads the local colony militia at the age of 22. He fought against the French during the 7 years European war. (France lost major colonies in Canada and India to England)

The Continental Congress designate Washington as military chief as the battles with the British started.

With the aid of the French, the 13 colonies gained independence from England.

Washington was not famous as a military strategist but his competence was recognized.

At the end of the War for Independence, Washington put down the New-burgh mutiny and retired to his property in Mount Vernon.

Washington had already presided the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention and is highly qualified for the executive function.

The delegates had to work hard in order to convince Washington to accept to be a candidate.

The electoral process begins on the first Wednesday of January 1789. The legislature of each State designates its two candidates for the Presidency. (Is that how the Senate was created?)

On the first Wednesday of the next month, the Grand Electors of each State select their choices. North Carolina, Rhode Island and New York didn’t participate in the election.

Among the 12 candidates are John Jay, John Adams and the governor of New York George Clinton.

The legislature election was done in January, but the voting on the President had to wait till April 6, 1789. Washington received 69 votes and in second place came John Adams with 34 and became the vice-president according to the Constitution.

Washington arrived to New York (the capital since 1785) on April 30, the Inauguration Day.

The ceremony of investiture is done in the Federal Hall at the angle of Wall Street and Broad street.

At noon, Robert Livingston, the chancellor of New York administers the Presidential oath.

This ceremony institutes two precedents that were not covered by the Constitution:

1. Washington swore with right hand on the Bible

2. And concludes “May God assists me

Washington’s inaugural speech was the shortest in history, and then they converge to St. Paul Church for mass.

Next post will cover how Washington transformed the executive functions and added by filling loopholes and gaps in the initial Constitution

Note 1: Read part 2 on power of Executive function https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/initial-constitutional-text-on-the-usa-presidential-institutionpart-2/

Note 2: Read “Les Presidents Americains” by Andre Kaspi and Helene Harter

How George Washington filled a few loopholes in the initial Constitution…

Posted on January 8, 2014

In the previous post on how George Washington was elected first President 

https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/how-george-washington-was-elected-in-his-first-executive-functions-part-3/ 

I wrote:

“The ceremony of investiture is done in the Federal Hall at the angle of Wall Street and Broad street.

At noon, Robert Livingston, the chancellor of New York administers the Presidential oath.

This ceremony institutes two precedents that were not covered by the Constitution:

1. Washington swore with the right hand on the Bible

2. And concludes “May God assists me

George Washington had to create the Presidential functions from scratch. He was allocated a limited budget of 16% of the $639,000 spared for the executive branch that was newly provided for in the Constitution.

Washington is supported by a dozen assistants, about 1,000 tax collectors, and 700 military personnel.

He nominated Alexander Hamilton (his right hand during the revolution) for the Treasury, Henry Knox for the department of war, Thomas Jefferson for foreign affairs, Samuel Osgood as Post Master, and Edmund Randolph as Attorney General.

The Constitution didn’t provide for a cabinet of ministers and the heads of department barely met.

Philadelphia was the temporary Capital for the Confederated colonies, and on July 1790, Congress decided for a permanent Capital to the new Federal Constitution.

Maryland and Virginia ceded a portion of their lands to erect the Capital from the ground up, which was later named Washington DC. The essential building in that Capital will be operational to host the President a decade later.

In August 1789, the Senate refused to provide recommendations concerning a treaty with the Indians in the North-West and Washington decided since then to bypass Congress during the negotiation phase of any treaty.

On June 1790, Washington, bypassing Congress, dispatched 3 incursions against the Indians, 240 km inside Ohio, without declaring war, in order to tame the Indian resistance and he opened up the North-West territories for colonization on August 1794.

Alexander Hamilton created a national bank in 1791.

In 1791, Washington traveled for 2 months in the southern States, accompanied by journalists. Washington relied on James Madison to manage the executive function, initiated prepared ceremonies, and organized bi-weekly meetings with ordinary citizens to impress his position.

Internal conflicts between Hamilton and Jefferson took Washington and Congress by surprise, and the Constitution had no provisions for such instances among heads of departments.

Jefferson issued the daily National Gazette and formed the Republican-Democrat political group in order to oppose the Federalists of Hamilton.

Because of worsening foreign wars in Europe, Washington decided to run for another term of 4 years and in 1793, he obtained 132 out of 136 votes of the Grand Electors.

The Constitution didn’t discuss the number of terms a President can seek. Since Washington and Jefferson refused to run for a third term, it became a custom for Presidents not to try for a third term.

Only Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) ran for 4 terms before the Constitution was amended for only 2 terms.

In April 1793, Washington accepted the letter of credential of the French ambassador “citizen Genet” without consulting Congress, which was Not in session.

On April 22, he proclaimed the neutrality of America in the French/English conflict, a decision that cancelled the treaty of alliance of 1778 with the French, and the legislative branch had to approve this “proclamation” a posteriori.

Madison replied to Hamilton under the pseudo-name of Helvidius that grabbing the double power of deciding on and leading wars by the executive is the beginning of tyranny.

Under Washington, the effective of the military was multiplied by 7.

In 1796, Washington created a first by refusing to divulge to Congress secret documents relative to the Jay treaty with England on the ground of “State security interests“…

What were so secret in that treaty?

Thomas Jefferson resigned as head of foreign affairs department in 1794 on the ground that only France can play a counter power to England. He was proven right since British troops invaded the US and burned the new capital Washington DC in order to pressure the US government to renew the monopoly for printing US money by the Rothschild family of England…

The anti-federalists accuse Washington and Hamilton for their close ties with England, and the opposition press suggest that Washington has black blood and may have been an agent to England during the war of independence…

By Sept. 19, 1796, Washington let know that he will not seek a third term. He returned to Mount Vernon on March 4, 1797 and dies on Dec. 14, 1799.

Mason Weems published in 1800 a biography of George Washington, which was re-edited 20 times within 2 decades.

Note: How the-rothschild-family-Controlled the printing-of-the-dollars/https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/privately-owned-federal-reserve-bank-how-the-rothschild-family-controlled-the-printing-of-the-dollars/


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