Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘religion

Where are the natural counter-power intellectuals?

The natural counter-power intellectuals feel helpless when citizens are asked to vote for God or civic laws in the Arab World: The mission has always seemed insurmountable.

The hero is an Intellectual with a jihad mission to go one step further in this 100-year war…It took more than 3 centuries of such kind of “fallen heroes” to gain just a foot-hold…

La pratique intellectuelle a pour mission de s’interroger rationnellement sur le « comment » et le « pourquoi » de toutes choses.
Elle a pour essence le doute ,et le brouillard, et pour objectif le flirt avec la verite’ a travers l’acquisition du savoir pour enfin regarder le monde avec un esprit critique et le penser avec du bon sens.

La pratique intellectuelle a aussi pour mission de questionner et de faire réfléchir, elle est à la fois une gourmandise infinie et un contre-pouvoir.

Elle est même le plus puissant des contre-pouvoirs contre l’obscurantisme et le dogmatisme, l’aveuglement superstitieux et les préjugés.
L’intellectuel, se veut engager.

Or il n’y a d’engagement sans dérangement.

Le confort intellectuel est l’autre nom de la bêtise. Il faut donc frapper là où ça dérange, afin que l’on ait envie de participer activement, ardemment, au débat et finalement à la vie de la cite’.
Le plus scandaleux, c’est quand ceux-la n’alertent plus, n’avertissent plus, ne denoncent plus, gardent leur silence.

Pire c’est quand ils passent d’un cote’ de la barriere a l’autre.
Pendant longtemps, l’intellectuel dit « de gauche » a pris la parole et s’est vu reconnaître le droit de parler en tant que maître de vérité et de justice.

Meme dans notre monde arabe ce fut le cas. On l’écoutait, ou il prétendait se faire écouter comme représentant de l’universel.

Etre intellectuel, c’était être un peu la conscience de tous. (…) Il y a bien des années qu’on ne demande plus à l’intellectuel de jouer ce rôle. (…)

Les intellectuels ont pris l’habitude de travailler non pas dans l’universel, l’exemplaire, le juste-et-le-vrai-pour-tous, mais a ghettoye’ le savoir, de l’instrumentaliser au profit d’une personne, d’un capital, d’un engagement materiel.

Finies les luttes pour l’autre, on lutte pour soi, mais avec quel acharnement.
De generateurs de consciences collectives, de contre-pouvoirs, d’eclaireurs de nouvelles voies, les intellectuels des regimes arabes et ceux du printemps arabe, reduisent leur role a celui de “ la voix de leur maître” et non comme une “Voix” a part.

Ils n’ont garde qu’une cigarette en main et une chemise deboutonnee, et un esprit sclerose.

(Inspire par Bourdieu/ Foucault)

Note: The intellectuals in the Middle-East still are confused about their Nationality. Most of the are sectarians and confine their opinions within their State/regime. Many, and they are majority, implicitly dream of an illusory Islamic/Arabic Nation, just because it is Not founded on any tangible reality and they stay within the realm of daydreaming wishes because they are confused in their political objectives and appease their leaders.

The objective and engaged intellectuals should view the Syrian nation (including the States of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) as the most rational and effective strategy of a unified One People to defeat our existential enemies in Israel and expansionist Turkey of Erdogan.

Religious practices: Not meant for your state comfort

Posted on: May 3, 2020

In No period of worshipping history, religion was Not associated with killing one another, creating the notion of the sacrificial lamb, the collateral damages of the destitute, the downtrodden, the ignored, the unknown.

Worshipping is the pure definition of believing in a set of illusions and myths.

We believe in a God, a cultist system, the Nation, the Money, the Army, the Banks, artificial wealth that Not backed by readily exchangeable goods and services…

Mankind will keep worshipping any one of these fiction realities, even if half of mankind is slaughtered or trampled.

Religious freedom should Not be about “religious comfort.” In the way you want to practice your world view.

If government should protect my right to practice my religion, it does Not follow it is society’s obligation to make that practice easy or carefree.

If your faith prevents you from sitting on an airplane next to a woman who isn’t your wife, then move to another seat.

If your faith tells you you can’t go to the same bathroom with some people, then figure out how to order your life so that you use the bathroom in a place that seems appropriate for you.

If your faith tells you that you can’t sell wedding cakes to certain people, don’t go into the business of selling wedding cakes.

If you are Not a physically handicapped person, understand that we are Not obligated to satisfy your mental handicaps.

Here is story:

“Let me guess: the passengers were Not Muslims, and I leave you to guess of what religion and sects they were.
As I found my seat in the plane going from Germany to New-York, I began to notice that almost all my fellow passengers were men, all dressed alike, obviously part of a very observant religious group.

The man sitting next to me was a member of the group. I said hello and began settling in for the flight.

But just as I’d begun buckling my seat belt, my seat partner signaled for the flight attendant and explained to him that I would need to be moved to another seat: his religious freedom, he said, was violated by my presence, as his religion does not allow him to sit next to a woman who is not his wife”.

Sans la laïcité des lois au monde occidental qui permet aux Islamist fanatiques et autre religions de vivre en leur milieux, peut être que Daesh n’aurait aucune raison de se fourvoyer la bas?

A Muslim war leader, at the sold of the Caliph in Damascus, was the first to catapult Al Kaaba in order to destroy it, to kill a muslim who took refuge in Kaaba, who killed the grandson of The Prophet, who killed a Muslim while praying, and about 40,000 Muslims reneged as soon as the prophet died.

The first designated Calif Abu Baker spent his 2 years fighting these renegades with savage retribution, and led by the bloodthirsty and extremist Khalid Ibn al Walid. This same war leader who massacred thousands of civilians when he entered Damascus.

Folly of follies: Worshipping illusions

Mankind learned to fear and abhor death when he invented the notion of liquid currencies or money.

Mankind began to worship killing other humans when he realized that it generated quick money.

Only taking care of our daily tasks keeps us sane for the duration.

The folly of follies is when we indulge in maniacal routine daily tasks to avert the imminence of folly.

Task like constant dusting, frequent re-arranging furniture, cataloguing and ordering what we possess…

Why the Islamic and “Arabic” culture is unable to sustain voicing the truth?

“نحو خطاب ديني جديد “

Toward a new religious rhetoric

The poet Adonis claim that we need a new Islamic religious rhetoric or discourse that separate religion from civil administration, governance and civic life.

He claim that every monarch and dictator in the Islamic world considers himself a Calif.

If you can read Arabic that’s fine. Otherwise, I need to extend my own opinion of religion, all religion.

All intellectuals and secular forces would state : Religion has nothing to do with civil government of people, especially Islam. They are lying with every fiber of their body: they don’t want to say that religion was indeed created to govern the societies.

If religion was Not meant to govern the people, then why did every religion created a sophisticated hierarchy of clergy and invested most of its energy at opening locations for gathering, preaching and “praying”?

Even Communist Russia and China, who supposedly “eradicated” religious institutions, didn’t dare to test the influence of religion by once conducting a single “democratic” election for all the population?

Did any “democratic” State, with laws that separate religious institutions from civil institutions, tested and evaluated the influence of religious votes in elections? How many oppose any “ideal civil program” simply on the basis of religious belief systems, disseminated and tacitly supported by the clergies.

تحرير الثقافة العربية من الوظيفية :
أدونيس يفتح النار على الثقافة العربية والإسلامية
ويقول إنها لا تعلّم سوى الكذب والنفاق والرياء :

في قاعة ضاقت على حضورها بما رحبت في العاصمة المصرية القاهرة صبّ الشاعر السوري أدونيس جام غضبه على حال الثقافة العربية والإسلامية في الوقت الراهن..
واصفا إياها بأنها ثقافة القرون الوسطى..

مؤكدا أنها ثقافة لا تعلّم سوى الرياء والنفاق والكذب..
ولا تستطيع أن تجهر بالحق وليست حرة…
ومشيرا الى أن الرقابة هي جزء عضوي في الثقافة العربية، ليس فقط من أهل السلطة..
وإنما توجد الرقابة الاجتماعية والسياسية.

وتابع أدونيس:
أنا نفسي لا أستطيع أن أقول ما أفكر فيه بصراحة. ..
وأضاف أدونيس في ندوته بعنوان “نحو خطاب ديني جديد “
أنه لا يجرؤ على وصف الصورة التي يوصف بها الإسلام في العالم الآن، مشيرا أن الحرب العربية العربية لم تتوقف منذ 14 قرنا...

فضلا عن الإقصاء الذي مارسه العرب والمسلمون على الآخر.. موضحا أن الإرهاب الحالي ليس سوى تنويع على إيقاع إرهاب قديم…

وانتقد أدونيس الأنظمة العربية بلا استثناء..
مشيرا إلى أنه لا همّ لها سوى الحفاظ على سلطتهم…
ولا يعنيهم من قريب أو بعيد الإنسان العربي الفرد…
وموضحا أننا كعرب ومسلمين لا نعير الفرد أي اعتبار…
وإن كل اهتمامنا بالعشيرة والقبيلة….

ووصف أدونيس الشعوب العربية بأنها :
شعوب تعيش على ما يقوله السلف..
موضحا أننا شعوب منشطرة الشخصية….

ووصف أدونيس المثقفين بأنهم موظفون…
لا دور لهم على الإطلاق…
مشيرا إلى أنه لو كان للمثقف دور..!!!
لكان أدى هذا الدور عظماء مثل طه حسين
وعلى عبد الرازق وزكي نجيب محمود”
واعتذر أدونيس عن نسيان أسماء أخرى”.

وقال الشاعر السوري إن الثورة الحقيقية هي:
أن نثور على أنفسنا… مشيرا إلى أن أعظم معلّم للإنسان
هو نفسه إذا كان صادقا معها….

ودعا أدونيس إلى إحداث قطيعة معرفية مع الماضي…
بب مشيرا إلى أن أول قطيعة يجب أن تكون :
مع القراءة السائدة للدين.

لست متدينا ولكن

وقال أدونيس إنه ليس متدينا..
ولكنه أحرص الناس على الدفاع عن المتدينين
شريطة ألا يفرضوا آراءهم بالقوة على الآخر.
الاسلام دين لا دولة

وقال أدونيس إنه يؤمن تماما بأن الاسلام رسالة روحية..
وليس دولة..
مشيرا إلى أن من معاني الدولة أن تحمل معنى العنف، مستنكرا أن يتحول الدين من رسالة روحية إلى قمع وعنف، وموضحا أن الرسالات السماوية لم تنزل لتقييد البشر ..
ولكن لتحريرهم .

وأكد أدونيس أنه لا يوجد نص سواء من القرآن أو السنة يقول إن الاسلام دولة..
داعيا الى مدنية علمانية على المستوى العربي..
وتحرير الثقافة العربية من الوظيفية…
واتجاهها الى النضال من أجل الحرية وفتح الآفاق ….

ودعا أدونيس إلى الديمقراطية بمعناها الحقيقي..
حيث الحرية والمساواة ..
مؤكدا أن علمنة الدول هو :
أحد أهم الأشياء التي يجب النضال من أجلها .

ووصف أدونيس الحكام العرب بأنهم خلفاء …!!
مشيرا إلى أن الدولة الوحيدة التي قام فيها ثورة حقيقية نظام الحكم فيها أشبه بالخليفة وهي الجزائر..
متسائلا : فكيف الحال بباقي الدول العربية.

وخلص أدونيس الى استحالة قيام ديمقراطية عربية في ظل الأوضاع الراهنة .

Mon Cher Ado”

Note: Georges Bejani has dual citizenship (French/Lebanese) and is settled in France. He taught in France before retirement. Georges started writing a few of his childhood souvenir on FB,  I prodded him that, by the by, he will learn to be bolder. I also reminded him that I have already posted my autobiography on several years ago. It kicked and Georges is posting one of his memoirs almost everyday. Here are a few samples.

Mon cher Ado,

Ce dimanche matin du 12 août 2018 , je me suis levé du pied gauche, parce que ma femme à occupé ma place habituelle au lit , celle qui me permettait de me lever du pied droit .

Cela me rend irritable ! Et si tu rajoute une douleur désagréable qui me titille à la poitrine , alors tu comprends dans quel état se trouve ton ami .

Bref, et comme l’horloge du salon m’indique qu’il est presque huit heures , c’est à dire , neuf heures au Liban à cause du décalage , alors je suis doublement irrité car je ne pourrait pas me rendre à Mar Sessine pour la messe du dimanche , et où je pourrais me remémorer ceux de ma famille qui nous ont pré cédés au ciel , ni rencontrer ceux qui sont encore là.

Avec aussi l’espoir de te rencontrer en chaire et en os  (a Beit Chabab).

Autrefois , notre terrain de jeux était le petit espace devant l’église, (Mar Sessine ou La Vierge Marie), quelques mettre carré , on jouait à cache cache , à saute moutons , aux billes , car aux débuts des années cinquante, la petite place n’était pas encore dallée , ni d’ailleurs les escaliers du village .

Et les maisons étaient bien jolies avec leurs murs en pierres de taille et leurs toits en tuiles rouge de Marseille, et devant chacune d’elles , un jardinet et où les mains robustes de nos aïeux faisaient pousser des fruits et légumes , avec évidemment quelques fleurs en bordure du jardin, pour plaire à leurs épouses et aux passants.

Sans oublier le poulailler et pour certain une chèvre qui nous procurait du lait frais et du fromage blanc, qu’on appelait fromage vert, dont on se régalait surtout en été quand on accompagnait ce fromage avec une grappe de raisin ou une tranche de pastèque ou même une tomate bien rouge qu’on cueillait dans notre jardin

Tu pourras en rajouter si tu veux mon cher ami . Que rien ne t’en empêche ! Bon dimanche et à la prochaine !!!!

Adonis Bouhatab replied: 

Mar Sessine event day is in September 15. Are you already in Lebanon for Al Sayyidat (Vergin Marie) in August 15? I overheard from third party that probably they’ll play petanque/boule that day. Amene les toupies (belbol) aussi, and a few billes (kelal). J’entends te faucher toutes les billes, Le pied gauche est mauvais pour le coeur: ta femme devrait le savoir? A demain: on fera de sorte qu’on defriche un terrain pas dalle’

Mon cher Ado ,

En 1966 , l’école des frères Maristes de Jounieh fut transplantée à Dick el Me7di . De ce fait , nous avons déménagé à Beit- Chabab qui se trouve à quelques km de cette localité .

Ainsi j’allais tous les matins à l’école , du nom de Champville pour poursuivre mes études secondaires .

Cette année -là , à part les études , nous n’avions rien à faire car le village s’endormait dès 6 heures de l’après – midi .  (Ca n’a pas change’)

Parfois nous nous promenions jusqu’à l’orée du village , vers le pont tout en grignotant des cacahuètes et en cassant des pépins .

Par beau temps nous nous installions chez Alexandre Le Bas ( Scandar Lwati ) surnommé Le Bas parce que sa maison se trouvait au bas du village .

Et là, nous jouions aux cartes et autres jeux de société jusqu’à la fermeture de la boutique , qui se faisait au plus tard vers 8 heures du soir .

Alors nous rentrions nous coucher … Nos amours étaient courtes pour ne pas dire inexistantes . Je me souviens d’une fille charmante qui était interne au collège dès fille , et que j’aimais , mais que je n’ai plus revue depuis ce temps- là.

Je crois qu’elle s’appelait Aida , si ma mémoire est bonne . Le sort a voulu qu’ à la fin de l’année du bac , en 1968 , je partis pour la Guinée pour rejoindre mes parents . Tu dois te dire pourquoi je te raconte tout ça ? Et bien pour rien !

En 1976, nous avions quitté le Liban avec notre fils de trois ans, fuyant les atrocités de la guerre civile qui sévissait dans notre pays. Nous sommes partis pour Abidjan , capitale de la Côte – d’ivoire où j’ai trouvé un poste d’enseignant dans la ville de Bondoukou , située à plus de 400 km au nord est d’Abidjan .

Nous embarquâmes dans un taxi brousse car c’était le seul moyen pour y aller . Au bout de 100 km sur une route bitumée , mais bien sinueuse , nous avons poursuivi 

The dust invaded us from everywhere so that we arrived all red to destination and were greeted by the principal of the high school who hastened to accompany us to the hotel where we were eager to take a bath to get rid of pounds of dust that had piled up all over the body.

The next day, I walked to school, sandals and shorts. The students were very nice and applied.

One day I was writing on the blackboard, a student approached me silently: she was barefoot, like the majority of students, lack of means, and she tapped my leg. I flinched and asked for explanations!

She told me there was a horsefly who wanted to steal me! And the whole class started laughing and applauding the young girl who had just saved me from the worst disaster that could happen to me that day!

Back in Abidjan, for Christmas Holidays, I contacted the bocoum, to inquire about the health of Brigitte and Marie Jeanne who had been my students at the college in Lebanon where their father was ambassador to Ivory Coast and on leave . I wonder today if my dear Suzanne wasn’t with them?

Royan , face à l’océan !

Ce matin , je me suis promené au bord de l’Atlantique , cet océan qui a vu au cours des siècles derniers des marins s’aventurer pour aller pêcher la morue jusqu’aux confins du monde et souvent disparaître , engloutis Par ce monstre impassible …

Tôt , ce matin , je me suis donc trouvé seul , sans aucune âme qui vive alentours, et là, je me délectais à admirer le spectacle qui s’offrait à mon regard et écouter cette musique que fredonne cet océan , admiré et craint à la fois par les hommes , que Baudelaire compare dans ” l’homme et la mer ”

Adonis Bouhatab:  le morue ou les baleines? C’etait une industrie prospere dans le north east coast of USA qui a decime’ les baleines au 19eme siecle.

Georges first essay before starting “Mon chere Ado” series 

La côte Charentaise est une des plus agréable pour passer un été ensoleillé tout en évitant les grandes chaleurs. À partir de Royan, on peut prendre le bus , soit pour aller vers le Nord , vers Saint Palais ou La Grande Côte et La Palmyre , soit pour aller vers le Sud , vers Saint Georges de Didone ou encore Talmon sur Gironde .

Talmont , un petit village plein de charme avec ses petites ruelle parsemées de boutiques et de restaurant prêts à vous servir les bonnes fritures , les moules ou autres crustacés accompagnés d’un bon vin du pays car il ne faut pas oublier que le Médoc ou le Bordelais s’aperçoivent à vue d’œil .

Talmont sur Gironde avec son église du XII e siècle .

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Et là , nous pouvons visiter la petite églises de Sainte-Radegonde avec son cimetière marin du XII siècle et qui fut érigée sur la route qui mène vers Saint Jacques de Compostelle autrefois fréquentées par les pèlerins qui venaient du pays des Charentes ou d’ailleurs

Sachant qu’en 1284 , Édouard 1er d’Angleterre fut le fondateur de la ville close de Talmont . Au-delà de l’estuaire de la Gironde , nous pouvons apercevoir l’océan Atlantique confortablement installé dans son lit et toujours prêt à accueillir les navigateurs de tous bords qui se balancent à sa surface avec l’espoir d’aller tranquillement à destination , sur les bords américaines .

Voilà mon cher Ado ce que j’avais à te raconter ce matin.


Peter Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious ‘fundamentalism’

, science correspondent. The Guardian, Wednesday 26 December 2012 18.58 GMT

As public disagreements go, few can have boasted such heavy-hitting antagonists.

Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist, has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion.

The theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (Higgs boson particle) who this year became a shoo-in for a future Nobel prize after scientists at Cern in Geneva showed that his theory about how fundamental particles get their mass was correct.

(Can’t figure out this allegation or conclusion attributed to Cern: It’s None of its business)

Their argument is over nothing less than the coexistence of religion and science.

(That’s Not a new argument: Science and religion did Not Co-exist: they were anathema and harvested thousands of lives by the religious clerics)

Higgs has chosen to cap his remarkable 2012 with another bang by criticising the “fundamentalist” approach taken by Dawkins in dealing with religious believers.

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists,” Higgs said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.”

He agreed with some of Dawkins’ thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist’s approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins’ approach “embarrassing”.

Dawkins, author of the best-selling book The God Delusion, has been accused many times in the past of adopting fundamentalist positions..

In a 2007 post on his website titled “How dare you call me a fundamentalist“, Dawkins wrote: “No, please, do not mistake passion, which can change its mind, for fundamentalism, which never will. Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may ‘believe’, in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will.”

(Actually, paradigm shifts in sciences or other rooted common belief among “professionals” demand decades of struggles , producing “evidences” before change in mentality occur”. For example, the climate change, the depletion of potable water…)

The criticisms have not led the biologist to soften his stance on religion.

In a recent interview with al-Jazeera, he implied that being raised a Catholic was worse for a child than physical abuse by a priest.

Responding to a direct question from the interviewer Mehdi Hassan, Dawkins related the story of a woman in America who had written to him about abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of a priest, and the mental anguish of being told that one of her friends, a Protestant girl, would burn in hell.

“She told me that, of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse, it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about hell, she took years to get over,” said Dawkins.

Telling children such that they really believe that people who sin are going to go to hell and roast forever, that your skin grows again when it peels off, it seems to me intuitively entirely reasonable that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares because they really believe it.”

Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs’s “fundamentalist” charge.

In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. “The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible. It’s just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.

“But that doesn’t end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced, but not a dogmatic believer, can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past.”

He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. “I don’t happen to be one myself, but maybe that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”

The Higgs boson explained. Link to this video

In 1963 Higgs predicted the existence of a force-carrying particle, part of an invisible energy field that filled the vacuum throughout the observable universe.

Without the field, or something like it, we would not be here. The field clings to the smallest fundamental particles and gives them mass. The field, which switched on moments after the big bang, allowed particles to come together and form all the atoms and molecules around today.

In the interview, the physicist spoke about the announcement on 4 July that the Higgs boson had finally been found. He said he had received a call from a colleague at Cern a few days earlier who had told him he would regret it if he did not come along. At the announcement, Higgs began to cry.

“What was so overwhelming really was the response of the audience at Cern. It wasn’t like a scientific seminar, it was like the end of a football match when the home team has won, and that was what was overwhelming to me, to be a part of that … Bursting into tears was a reaction to the emotions around me and the feeling that, well, it’s arrived at last! That was hard to deal with.”

Many scientist believe that the discovery means that Higgs is odds on for a future Nobel prize. He was relieved, however, that the Nobel committee had skipped over the discovery for the physics award this year. “I was relieved, simply because since the beginning of July I’ve been so busy dealing with requests to do this and that, that I was glad not to have that on my schedule as well, so I have described it as a reprieve.”

• The original interview is copyright Pablo Jáuregui/El Mundo


Why genocide? How genocide? USA, Turkey, Germany and back to Turkey?

Political decisions are mainly directed at preserving the economic status of the richest classes and eventually promoting bourgeois consumerism.

Although religion and ethnic factors are Not initially the driving force in any genocide, they become the weapons in the hands of the masses to perpetuate and carry out the prime objective, even creating an elite power class on the ruin of the nation.

The tribal mentality of razzia takes hold as its lucrative and quick mean for wealth quicken the plunder activities of properties of the minority sects and ethnic communities.

That is why a nation that started a genocide is Not willing to admit it: It will eventually have to consider restitution of the plunder with interest.

The process of denying genocide foment new forms of genocide in the cover of national pride and integrity.

These new forms of genocide on developing countries are acted out in pre-emptive wars in the name of flawed “good intention” of demoting a dictator, defending the borders of new acquisition in lands, crushing elected leaders and political parties who dared name names and divulging multinationals that transgress laws and due processes in the weaker nations.

Nazi genocide was a blunt reminder of how the USA and the Young Turks managed their own genocide, over decades in USA expansionist policies and Turkey (195-18) against the Armenians and Christian communities.

Turkey needed the Sunni Kurds to carry out this dirty job with the tacit wish that the Kurds will become Turks. The Kurds opted to stay Kurds to the outrage of the Turks.

Erdogan fomented Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq with the purpose of committing genocide on the Kurds in these two countries.

ISIS got side-tracked by more alluring targets pinpointed by Saudi Wahhabi Kingdom. This Wahhabi extremist faction displaced all religious sects and ethnic minorities in the regions they got hold on.

ISIS strategy is to occupy region where the inhabitants are leaning to their political line and refuse to go in any region with concentration of people of different ethnic or religious sects against their entrance, like the Kurds: They will be unable to control them efficiently at low cost.

Erdogan had no other alternative but to engage the Turkish people and army in resuming the genocide on the Kurds. A nasty quagmire that Erdogan is unable to stop or make sense of.

Erdogan stationed troops inside Iraq in strategic city of Baashika, in north Mosul, with the purpose of separating the two Kurdish provinces in north Iraq. This Turkish army is to control the infiltration and influences between the two Kurdish provinces, the Barazani clan in North East (by Iran borders) and the Jalal Talban Kurds in the west by the borders with Syria and Turkey.  This North West Kurdish province was quickly becoming the refuge of the PKK, fleeing Turkish army.

The Shah of Iran was the main support of the Barazani clan in order to destabilizing the regime of Saddam Hussein. The role of support has inverted in the 2 Kurdish provinces.

Erdogan also is trying to disconnect the Syrian Kurds concentrated in the north east and north west of Syria. The battle in the town of Al Baab, for preventing the junction between the Kurdish militants, is turning a nightmare for the Turkish army.

Daesh decided that Turkish troops are the main enemy at this junction. Dozens of Turkish soldiers are being killed every day. And the Syrian factions that Turkey armed to do the job turned out Not to be motivated to fighting ISIS.

Thus Turkey is retaliating by air bombing civilians in Al Baab.

Currently, the Christian communities in Syria, and especially in Iraq, have paid the heavy price of being displaced because they had No direct support when ISIS quickly invaded their regions.


Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others

Hans Rosling had a question:

Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others — and how does this affect global population growth? Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions.

Hans Rosling. Global health expert; data visionary

In Hans Rosling’s hands, data sings. Global trends in health and economics come to vivid life. And the big picture of global development—with some surprisingly good news—snaps into sharp focus. Full bio

I’m going to talk about religion. But it’s a broad and very delicate subject, so I have to limit myself. And therefore I will limit myself to only talk about the links between religion and sexuality. 

0:30  I will talk of what I remember as the most wonderful. It’s when the young couple whisper, Tonight we are going to make a baby.” My talk will be about the impact of religions on the number of babies per woman.

This is indeed important, because everyone understands that there is some sort of limit on how many people we can be on this planet. And there are some people who say that the world population is growing like this — three billion in 1960, seven billion just last year — and it will continue to grow because there are religions that stop women from having few babies, and it may continue like this.

To what extent are these people right?

When I was born there was less than one billion children in the world, and today, 2000, there’s almost two billion. What has happened since, and what do the experts predict will happen with the number of children during this century?

This is a quiz. What do you think? Do you think it will decrease to one billion?

Will it remain the same and be two billion by the end of the century?

Will the number of children increase each year up to 15 years, or will it continue in the same fast rate and be four billion children up there? I will tell you by the end of my speech.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.|By Hans Rosling

But now, what does religion have to do with it? When you want to classify religion, it’s more difficult than you think.

You go to Wikipedia and the first map you find is this. It divides the world into Abrahamic religions and Eastern religion, but that’s not detailed enough. So we went on and we looked in Wikipedia, we found this map. But that subdivides Christianity, Islam and Buddhism into many subgroups, which was too detailed.

Therefore at Gapminder we made our own map, and it looks like this. Each country’s a bubble.

The size is the population — big China, big India here. And the color now is the majority religion.

It’s the religion where more than 50 percent of the people say that they belong. It’s Eastern religion in India and China and neighboring Asian countries. Islam is the majority religion all the way from the Atlantic Ocean across the Middle East, Southern Europe and through Asia all the way to Indonesia.

That’s where we find Islamic majority. And Christian majority religions, we see in these countries. They are blue. And that is most countries in America and Europe, many countries in Africa and a few in Asia.

The white here are countries which cannot be classified, because one religion does not reach 50 percent or there is doubt about the data or there’s some other reason. So we were careful with that.

 So bear with our simplicity now when I take you over to this shot. This is in 1960. And now I show the number of babies per woman here: two, four or six — many babies, few babies. And here the income per person in comparable dollars. The reason for that is that many people say you have to get rich first before you get few babies. So low income here, high income there.

And indeed in 1960, you had to be a rich Christian to have few babies. The exception was Japan. Japan here was regarded as an exception.

Otherwise it was only Christian countries. But there was also many Christian countries that had six to seven babies per woman. But they were in Latin America or they were in Africa. And countries with Islam as the majority religion, all of them almost had six to seven children per woman, irregardless of the income level. And all the Eastern religions except Japan had the same level.

 let’s see what has happened in the world. I start the world, and here we go.

Now 1962 — can you see they’re getting a little richer, but the number of babies per woman is falling? Look at China. They’re falling fairly fast. And all of the Muslim majority countries across the income are coming down, as do the Christian majority countries in the middle income range. And when we enter into this century, you’ll find more than half of mankind down here.

And by 2010, we are actually 80 percent of humans who live in countries with about two children per woman.

 It’s a quite amazing development which has happened.  And these are countries from United States here, with $40,000 per capita, France, Russia, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Algeria, Indonesia, India and all the way to Bangladesh and Vietnam, which has less than five percent of the income per person of the United States and the same amount of babies per woman.

 I can tell you that the data on the number of children per woman is surprisingly good in all countries. We get that from the census data. It’s not one of these statistics which is very doubtful.

 what we can conclude is you don’t have to get rich to have few children. It has happened across the world.

 when we look at religions, we can see that the Eastern religions, indeed there’s not one single country with a majority of that religion that has more than three children. Whereas with Islam as a majority religion and Christianity, you see countries all the way. But there’s no major difference.

There’s no major difference between these religions. There is a difference with income. The countries which have many babies per woman here, they have quite low income. Most of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. But there are also countries here like Guatemala, like Papua New Guinea, like Yemen and Afghanistan.

Many think that Afghanistan here and Congo, which have suffered severe conflicts, that they don’t have fast population growth. It’s the other way around.

In the world today, it’s the countries that have the highest mortality rates that have the fastest population growth. Why?

Because the death of a child is compensated by one more child. These countries have six children per woman. They have a sad death rate of one to two children per woman.

But 30 years from now, Afghanistan will go from 30 million to 60 million. Congo will go from 60 to 120. That’s where we have the fast population growth. And many think that these countries are stagnant, but they are not.

Let me compare Senegal, a Muslim dominated country, with a Christian dominated country, Ghana. I take them backwards here to their independence, when they were up here in the beginning of the 1960s. Just look what they have done. It’s an amazing improvement, from seven children per woman, they’ve gone all the way down to between four and five. It’s a tremendous improvement.

7:54 So what does it take? Well we know quite well what is needed in these countries. You need to have children to survive. You need to get out of the deepest poverty so children are not of importance for work in the family. You need to have access to some family planning. And you need the fourth factor, which perhaps is the most important factor.

 let me illustrate that fourth factor by looking at Qatar. Here we have Qatar today, and there we have Bangladesh today. If I take these countries back to the years of their independence, which is almost the same year — ’71, ’72 — it’s a quite amazing development which had happened. Look at Bangladesh and Qatar. With so different incomes, it’s almost the same drop in number of babies per woman.

And what is the reason in Qatar?

Well I do as I always do. I went to the statistical authority of Qatar, to their webpage — It’s a very good webpage. I recommend it — and I looked up — oh yeah, you can have lots of fun here — and provided free of charge, I found Qatar’s social trends.

Very interesting. Lots to read. I found fertility at birth, and I looked at total fertility rate per woman. These are the scholars and experts in the government agency in Qatar, and they say the most important factors are: “Increased age at first marriage, increased educational level of Qatari woman and more women integrated in the labor force.” I couldn’t agree more.

Science couldn’t agree more. This is a country that indeed has gone through a very, very interesting modernization.

 So what it is, is these four: Children should survive, children shouldn’t be needed for work, women should get education and join the labor force and family planning should be accessible.

The average number of children in the world is like in Colombia — it’s 2.4 today. There are countries up here which are very poor. And that’s where family planning, better child survival is needed. I strongly recommend Melinda Gates’ last TEDTalk. And here, down, there are many countries which are less than two children per woman. So when I go back now to give you the answer of the quiz, it’s two.

We have reached peak child. The number of children is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we have definitely reached peak child. And the world population will stop growing. The United Nations Population Division has said it will stop growing at 10 billion. But why do they grow if the number of children doesn’t grow?

Well I will show you here. I will use these card boxes in which your notebooks came. They are quite useful for educational purposes. Each card box is one billion people. And there are two billion children in the world. There are two billion young people between 15 and 30. These are rounded numbers. Then there is one billion between 30 and 45, almost one between 45 and 60. And then it’s my box. This is me: 60-plus. We are here on top.

what will happen now is what we call “the big fill-up.” You can see that it’s like three billion missing here. They are not missing because they’ve died; they were never born. Because before 1980, there were much fewer people born than there were during the last 30 years.

So what will happen now is quite straightforward. The old, sadly, we will die. The rest of you, you will grow older and you will get two billion children. Then the old will die. The rest will grow older and get two billion children. And then again the old will die and you will get two billion children.

This is the great fill-up. It’s inevitable. And can you see that this increase took place without life getting longer and without adding children?

Religion has very little to do with the number of babies per woman. All the religions in the world are fully capable to maintain their values and adapt to this new world.

12:27 And we will be just 10 billion in this world, if the poorest people get out of poverty, their children survive, they get access to family planning.

That is needed. But it’s inevitable that we will be two to three billion more. So when you discuss and when you plan for the resources and the energy needed for the future, for human beings on this planet, you have to plan for 10 billion.

Arbres sacrés et autels: les chimpanzés ont-ils une religion ?

Des scientifiques ont découvert que des chimpanzés en Guinée (Africa) se livrent à d’étranges rituels qui pourraient s’apparenter à un culte primitif.

Peut etre que bien plus que le rire, la religion et le sens du sacré seraient le propre de l’homme.

Pourtant, même ce trait caractéristique de l’homo sapiens pourrait ne pas être une ligne de démarcation aussi intangible qu’on le croyait.

La découverte serait historique – Via Animal Story

En étudiant un groupe de chimpanzés en Guinée, des biologistes ont mis en évidence un comportement singulier. Laura Kehoe de l’université Humboldt à Berlin a été intriguée par des arbres dont le tronc présente de nombreuses traces de choc et d’éraflures.

A lire aussi: Jane Goodall – “Tous les animaux ont besoin d’être sauvés”

En installant une caméra fixe autour de l’un des ces arbres, Laura Kehoe a enregistré une scène extraordinaire: un grand mâle s’immobilise quelques secondes puis il saisit une lourde pierre avec laquelle il frappe violemment le tronc.

Plus étonnant encore, en d’autres occasions, les chimpanzés déposent précautionneusement des pierres dans des troncs évidés. « On n’a jamais rien observé de tel écrit Laura Kehoe sur son blog. Depuis les travaux de Jane Goodall dans les années 60, on sait que les chimpanzés utilisent des pierres et des bâtons comme outils rudimentaires. Mais ce que nous avons découvert n’a aucun rapport avec la recherche de nourriture ou le statut social dans le groupe. Ce n’est pas un comportement aléatoire. Il est répété régulièrement et pourrait s’apparenter à une sorte de rituel. »

“Cela répond à la définition d’un proto-rituel, je n’ai aucun mal à l’admettre”

Les pierres empilées rappellent les autels primitifs dressés par les hommes au cours de la préhistoire.

Selon Laura Kehoe, les coups violents assénés aux arbres pourraient être une forme de communication à distance pour alerter les autres membres du groupe. Mais il est beaucoup plus délicat de trouver une explication pratique aux pierres empilées.

« Il s’agit d’une tradition propre à certains groupes de chimpanzés. Cela répond à la définition d’un proto-rituel, je n’ai aucun mal à l’admettre » explique Jill Pruetz  de l’université d’Iowa.

On doit à cette anthropologue la découverte récente d’autres pratiques surprenantes chez ces grands singes.

Face à un incendie de forêt, ils se livrent à une sorte de danse du feu à proximité des flammes alors que tous les autres animaux fuient, pris de panique. Un « rituel » similaire a été observé pendant les averses comme si, à l’instar des humains, ils vouaient une sorte de culte aux phénomènes naturels.

Bien entendu, il est encore trop tôt pour parler de religion chez les chimpanzés. Mais comme le souligne Laura Kehoe, il sera bien difficile d’en apprendre plus si le braconnage et la déforestation se poursuivent à ce rythme.

En Côte d’Ivoire la population de chimpanzés à chuté de 90% au cours des 17 dernières années.

En Guinée, leur habitat se réduit comme peau de chagrin. Si rien n’est fait, il n’y aura dans ce pays plus un seul chimpanzé en liberté d’ici 30 ans. Et le mystère des arbres sacrés aura disparu avec eux.

Le site de la Wild Chimpanzee Foundation dédiée à la protection des chimpanzés 

Only 2 religions in Lebanon

In fact, there are 18 officially recognized sects in Lebanon, and they are ruling the political and social structure in Lebanon, from birth to death, and own more than 50% of the land.

On closer scrutiny, only two religions cover the wide umbrella of diversity.

1. One religion is trained to stoop. The other one to kneel, at best.

2. One religion is trained to pray in a single direction. The other one doesn’t care about directions, as long as it is not in the direction of the other religion.

3. One religion supposedly read in one Book. The other one has the choice of two dozen Books. (The early Christian sects had their own book to read and pray. And there were many dozens of sects before Byzantium decided to label them “heretics“)

4. One religion single book is not their preferred book: they prefer to read the Hadith ( the behaviors and chatting of their prophet). The other religion are not fussy about the details in their Books, as long as the telling of  Jesus parables are close enough.

5. One religion is trained to wash in a certain manner before prayer. The other one “suggests” that you should “look it clean and decent”

6. One religion demands that you leave your “shoes” outside the entrance of the praying chamber. The other one prefers that you step in your “ceremonial shoes

7. One religion is trained to pray in open air. The other one feels ashamed if  not in an enclosed structure.

8. One religion pray facing bare walls. The other one needs at least an icon facing him to worship, a dozen is preferable. (See note 2)

9. One religion believes in Houris after death. The other one has mixed feelings about the “Virgin Mary” (See note 1)

10. One religion is ever ready to transfer a room allocated for praying into a mosque. The other one insists on the room to be “consecrated” by a Bishop

11. One religion fast from sun up to sun down (no water, no food) and gains weight for eating all kinds of sweets all night long. The other one may selectively fast on what he thinks is craving for recently. And he gains weight eating too much of everything else.

12. One religion is tight-assed in public while exhibiting the worst of rascals’ behaviors in the privacy of their homes. The other one tries to show off how libertine he can be in public, and be as a rascal in private.

13. One religion believes in One God. The other one also claims that he believes in a single God, but actually worship the Saint or icon of his choice.

It is bewildering how two religions can branch out to two dozen sects. Each sect as stupid as the next one. No badge of honor for levels of stupidity.

Note 1: The German emperor Guillaume II entered Jerusalem in 1908 and was allowed to rebuild a church dedicated to the Virgin. The church became a Lutheran Temple.

The protestants look down on the Virgin because she degraded Jesus to a mortal human, instead of being a God at a par with his father. As Guillaume landed in Beirut on his way to Damascus, the Lebanese were summoned to stay home and never welcome the emperor in the streets. At night, the people were asked to turn off all their lights so that the emperor ride in total darkness.

The emperor was hugely displeased from this silent treatment.  Possibly, there is a link between this treatment and the Turks forcing the Lebanese to starve to death during WWI, since Turkey was a vassal to Germany.

Maybe the Lebanese can be united around the Virgin against any potentates who dares to denigrates the status of Mary. Actually, the Annunciation Day that Mary will be pregnant with Christ is a national holiday.

Famine hecatomb in Lebanon

Note 2: Islam forbids images, pictures and statutes of the prophet and saint people. The Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia forbids also the pilgrimage to shrines of saint people: All shrines are burned and ruined when they occupy a country.

The Protestants in the US feel an affinity with the Wahhabi sect, maybe with the exclusion of the drastic and obscurantist punishments meted out according to Shari3a.

Pope Francis: Cooperated with Argentina Military dictatorship?

Catholic cardinals, (115 of them eligible to vote), selected Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope. The Catholic elected Pope Francis (76 of age) who headed Argentina Jesuits Order during the military dictatorship of 1976-1983.  Francis of Assisi was the founder of this order.

This is the first time a Pope is from Latin America and also the first Pope from the Jesuit Order.  There had been much hope for a non-European pope, and Bergoglio fits that bill.

Bergoglio was consecrated cardinal by Jean Paul II and was a candidate 7 years ago, the second runner, in the last election for a Pope. He was a highly conservative clergy: against abortion, against gay marriage, against women priests, and against many modern issues. He allowed baptizing children from out of wedlock.

Colin Snider posted on March 13, 2013:

Argentina military dictatorship of 1976-1983, murdered upwards of 30,000 people (as well as kidnapping hundreds of children whose parents the regime had tortured and murdered).

Unlike Catholic officials in neighboring Chile and Brazil, where priests, bishops, and even cardinals spoke out against human rights abuses and defended victims of abuses, the Catholic Church in Argentina was openly complicit in the military regime’s repression.

Bergoglio was not exempt from this involvement: military officers have testified that Bergoglio helped the Argentine military regime hide political prisoners when human rights activists visited the country.

And Bergoglio himself had to testify regarding the kidnapping of two priests who he stripped of their religious licenses shortly before they were kidnapped and tortured.

This isn’t just a case of Bergoglio being a member of an institution that supported a brutal regime; it’s a case of Bergoglio himself having ties, direct and indirect, to that very regime.

This is why the selection of Bergoglio over Scherer (Brazil cardinal) is disappointing.

Thirteen years younger than Bergoglio, Scherer’s path was notably different. The Catholic Church supported Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) in its early years. However, as Ken Serbin has demonstrated, already by the late-1960s and early-1970s, high-ranking officials in the church hierarchy were secretly meeting with representatives from the dictatorship in order to try to pressure military rulers to respect human rights, even for alleged “subversives.”

By the latter half of the 1970s, the Brazilian Catholic church had become one of the more vocal opponents of human rights violations under the regime, and the Archdiocese of São Paulo ultimately played a central role in secretly accessing, collecting, and publishing files on torture, murder, and repression under the dictatorship, eventually published in 1985 as Brasil: Nunca Mais (literally Brazil: Never Again; in English, Torture in Brazil).

Where Bergoglio was active in a context where the Argentine Church openly supported military regimes and human rights violations, Scherer was active in a context where members of the Brazilian Church openly took a stand against such abuses and against the regime that committed them.

A few weeks ago, a student asked me if I thought the cardinals would finally pick a Latin America pope. I commented that if they were smart, they’d diversify by picking a Brazilian and democratizing a bit, but I feared they’d pick an Italian and show a refusal to reform and democratize the church. With the selection of Bergoglio, it appears they’ve chosen to split the difference, diversifying beyond Europe while continuing the conservatism that defined recent popes.”

Would Pope Francisco use his past and his new position to try not only to transform the Church but to provide a platform that advocates human rights and the punishment of human rights violators?

Pope Francis has to come clean and admit his previous positions and actions. I would greatly help if he issues an explicitly statement in support of human rights under any authoritarian regimes.




March 2023

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