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Posts Tagged ‘Jahiliya

Why this rich culture still untouchable to investigation?

Mind you that Ignorance(Jahiliya) period mentioned in Islamic rhetorics meant period of the people still Not believing in the monotheistic religions

Posted on April 2, 2010

Islam calendar starts in 622 AC, the date the Prophet Muhammad fled to Medina (Yathreb) from Mecca.

The past or before date zero, or the culture and tradition of pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula, has been practically untouched by researchers and Islamic investigators. though countless wonderful poems of that period are published and even much richer than poems written after that period.

The period prior to 622 or year one of “Hegire” is lumped as the period of ignorance (Jahiliyya) by Muslims.

The Arab World still teaches pre-Islamic poetry and poets; it is mostly through these poems that the “Arabs” emulated the vocabulary and were acquainted with the very rich parts of pre-Islamic culture, traditions, and customs.

Fact is, you cannot understand Islam without the contexts that pressured the prophet Muhammad to compromise with the multitude of tribes allied to Byzantium and Persia empires.

We can claim that a curtain (hijab) has descended on pre-Islamic period simultaneously with the veil that descended on women after the Prophet death.

Thus, women were banished from political power and dealing with political affairs in public, two decades after Muhammad’s death. In these first 3 decades, the beloved youngest wife Aisha of Muhammad was the most learned in Islamic laws and the context in which they were voiced.

Aisha taught many generations of women on their Rights and how to dictate themselves the marriage contracts…and the society followed in these “liberal” new customs of free meetings and gathering, free discussions and poetic jousts…and newer fashions among the women.

And Aisha confronted many faked and false Hadiths (stories of the Prophet behavior and activities) until her death at the age of around 60.

This is no coincidence that Islam after Muhammad’s death had made the connection between pulling a curtain on the Jahiliyya period and the veiling of women in society; removing women from the public political landscape.

During Jahiliyya, each Arabic tribe worshiped idols made of wood or stone; there were many Jewish and “heretic” Christian-Jew sects (as labeled by Christian Orthodox Byzantine Empire) in Arabia and in Mecca.

The 3 most potent and powerful idols were female idols such as Al Uzza, Manat, and Al Lat.  Although the tribes made their yearly pilgrimage to Mecca where the Kaaba contained over 360 idols, this pilgrimage was mainly for doing commerce and enjoying the weeklong festivities and debauchery. 

The main pilgrimage (hajj) for the powerful tribes was to their preferred idols in other locations and towns.

The pragmatic nomads in the Arabian Peninsula and the neighboring deserts have created idols commensurate to their individualistic needs to vent their frustrations with periodic sacrifices, including “handicapped” babies of both genders.

During Muhammad’s time, baby girls were mostly the sacrificial human kind by poor families, especially in periods of great food distress.

Since violence, revenge, and frequent wars “razzias” against other clans were the norm for looting of animals, camels, and slave girls…  powerful female goddesses were purchased and erected for pilgrimage as scapegoats to the tribes’ violent activities.

Thus, female goddesses represented violence, symbol that violence and revenge are the mark of female behavior and dark spirit.

For example, goddess Manat (death) was the oldest idol and was worshiped by the tribes of Aws and Khazraj that inhabited the region of Yathreb, later called Medina (the first Islam City-State).  The original meaning of Manat is taken from a Semitic root meaning “counting of the days of life” that connote death (manya).

The temple of Manat was a natural rock (sakhra) on the coast between Mecca and Yathreb; the two tribes considered that the pilgrimage was not complete until they stopped at the temple of Manat where they shaved their head and offered sacrifices. Manat was a powerful goddess dictator (taghia) and swords were deposited in her temple.

The Prophet gave his nephew Ali bin Abi Taleb the two swords in the temple after it was demolished; one of the sword was called Zulfiqar. 

Representatives of the tribes of Aws and Khazradj had extended permission to Muhammad, after three years of negotiation, to settle in Yathreb with his converts after the tribes of Mecca decided to chase them out.

The other female goddess was Al Lat and was worshiped in Taif, a region on the eastern shores facing Persia.  The main tribe of Taif, the Banu Thaqif, erected square walls around the rock of Al Lat.  Most desert tribes, all the way to Palmyra in northern Syria, worshiped this goddess.

Al Lat had all the attributes of goddess Athena wearing battle helmet, breastplate, armor, and holding a lance.  Banu Thaqif was one of the latest tribes to submit to Allah because Muhammad failed at several expeditions to enter Taif.

Actually, it was Taif that was the preferred destination to Muhammad when he decided to flee Mecca but he was chased out of Taif after his failed negotiation to settle there.

The third most powerful “taghia” goddess was Al Uzza (dignity, physical force and power); the most powerful tribe of Quraich in Mecca consecrated her. 

Al Uzza was the most violent divine warrior and was represented in the form of a tree or three acacias trees and located way up north in Nakhla as Shamiya on the way to Iraq’s caravans.

The temple of Al Uzza was equipped with a slaughtering alter (manhar) called “ghabghab”.  General Khaled bin Al Walid was ordered to destroy the temple of Al Uzza in 630 after Muhammad entered Mecca peacefully as the victor.

General Al Walid was the Quraish leader who defeated Muhammad’s troops in the battle of Uhud; this failed campaign of the Prophet generated 3 years of civil unrest in the City-State of Medina and most of the verses that abridged female equal rights that were previously gained in the first four years.

Note: About ten years after Muhammad’s death, the Arabic Islamic Empire had extended vastly.

The governor Abu Mussa al Ach3ari wrote to the second caliph Omar bin Al Khattab: “You sent me several letters that were not dated.” Omar assembled a council to set up a calendar.

A few opted to using the Byzantium calendar, others the Persian calendar, but the majority recognized that a calendar means power and wanted an Arabic/Islamic calendar.

The discussions led to adopting the date of the Prophet’s immigration to Medina in 622 AC as Date Zero. Omar had said: “this is the year that divided truth from falsehood.”

Islam lunar calendar is of 354 days and started with the month of “Muharram”; the pre-Islamic particular month that prohibited wars and revenge among clans.

In pre-Islam, the tribes used to add one month on the third year for calibration with their commercial dealings. Muhammad forbid to add this month; thus, the Islamic calendar is one year ahead for every 33 Christian years since the year 622.

“One hundred fallacies on the Middle East (ME)”by Fred Halliday

Posted on October 22, 2008 and written in March 200

I read this book in Arabic and translated it as accurately as I could. I will try to enumerate as concisely as feasible what the author Fred Haliday considers as the 100 fallacies on the Middle East.

Most of the explanations are less than half a page of small format, so I would consider these fallacies as work in progress and sometimes indeterminate for lack of development, except the basic notion that we are no different than many underdeveloped people.

1.  The Middle East (ME) is backward; the coded terminologies used in the modern States should be understood differently in that region; three pages;

2.  The people in the ME lack the sense of humour; three pages;

3.  The current wars in the ME are extensions to previous wars; less than a page;

4.  The part of history that interests the ME is in the past; less than half a page;

5.  Social conduct could be explained through the particularities of each country; half a page;

6.  Specific European States have special relationship with the Arab World;

7.  The Arabs are desert people;

8.  The antagonism of the Arabs toward “colonial implanted” Israel is a continuation to the European anti-semitism attitude; barely a page;

9.  Since Arabs and Jews are both “semites” (whatever that means) then their enmity is different from the European racist behavior; one page;

10.  The Mossad (Israel CIA type) had previous warnings of the 9/11 attack and informed the Jews not to go to work on that day; half a page;

11.  The media coverage of the Arab World increased drastically with the launching of “Al-Jazeera” channel; one page;

12.  There is one Formal Arabic language spoken in the Arab world; less than a page; (actually, people in each State communicate in their slangs that are Not rooted in Arabic)

13.  The language of the Koran has displaced all the spoken languages in the ME; (The biggest fallacy of all)

14.  The Modern Hebrew language is a rejuvenated version of the Tora;

15.  The Kurds are one people and speak one language; one page;

16.  Variations in slangs are a good yardstick to differentiate nationalities; one page;

17.  A set of laws extracted from Islam govern the politics in the ME; half a page;

18.  The West had exhibited hostility toward Islam centuries ago; one page;

19.  We are witnessing an era where the struggle among cultures is displacing international relations; one page;

20.  Islamophobia is resultant from the switching from the communist threat to another scapegoat; half a page;

21.  The policies in the ME were the fruit of coordinated strategies by the West; half a page;

22.  The dilemma of the ME can be explained by the negative implications of the struggle with Israel on its democracy and social change; barely a page;

23.  The States of governance can be explained by the despotic Eastern or Asiatic traditions build around old fashion structures; half a page;

24. The ME societies seem immune to external transformations and whatever reforms are undertaken is purely nominal; half a page;

25.  The backward economic and political institutions in the ME can be explained by the policies of the West to plunder oil in the most convenient manners; title longer than explanation;

26.  Oil was the cause of modern conflicts in this region; half a page;

27.  The US and Gread Britain invaded Iraq for its rich reserves in oil; half a page;

28.  Iraq was invaded because Saddam had vast inventories of weapons of mass destruction; one page;

29.  It is feasible to reduce the reliance on the Gulf oil by developing the oil fields in Khasakistan, Azerbijan and the Kazween Sea; one page;

30.  The sources of fresh water will be the next struggle in the ME; one page;

31.  We can be fairly sure of the data produced in the oil industry concerning the ME even though there is lack of confidence in the data for everything else; barely a page and a half;

32.  The problem of the ME in this era of globalization can be summarized in the fact that this region has been alienated from the World Economy and needs further linkage; one page;

33.  The state of affairs in the ME must be explained through the impact of traditional values and its failure to mesh with the international laws; half a page;

34.  The ME is witnessing the emergence of civil society since the 90’s due to globalization; one page;

35.  Saudi Kingdom and Kuwait have feudal systems; one page;

36.  The ME States are supported by the outside powers while maintaining despotic systems internally, without any consideration for the people’s movements; half a page;

37.  There are no classes in the ME according to the definition of Marxism, which might have explained this region; one page;

38. Islam does not separate State from religion as understood by the West; one page;

39. We must view the economic performance in the ME as related to the religious laws; one page;

40.  The resolution of our problems can be solved by applying the “economics of Islam”; barely one page;

41.  The Islamic bank system is experiencing resurgence which forbit the believers taking interest on their deposits; a page and a half;

42.  We can explain the roots of the despotic States in the ME to the constant interference of the Western powers; half a page;

43. “Do not blame Arafat”; a page and a half;

44.  The Gulf Cooperation Council was created in 1981 to strengthen the complementarity among the Gulf States; half a page;

45.  The US encouraged Saddam to invade Kuwait in 1990, through its representative April Gillepsy; one page;

46.  “Peace” returned to Lebanon after the Taif agreement in 1989; less than half a page;

47.  It is possible to divide the States in the ME between the legitimate and deep rooted States from the created ones by the colonialists; half a page;

48.  The ME was divided among 20 States without the consent of the Arabs who explained these divisions by the policy of “Scater and Rule” adopted by the West; a page and a half;

49.  The Western policy in the Arab Gulf is based on Winston Churchil’s principle “Feed the Arabs and let the Persians go hungry”; less than half a page;

50.  We could interpret the policies of the States around the Caucasus and the Kazwin Sea as an extension of the “Big Game” that was played out in the 19th century by the powerful neighboring countries; half a page;

51. The ME is among the developing countries that suffered most from the “Cold War”; half a page;

52.  The Soviet Union conquered Afghanistan in 1979 in order to reach the warm Indian Ocean; barely a page;

53.  The Islamic Moujahideen defeated the Soviets in the eighties; one page;

54.  The lawlessness and disorganization that spread in Afghanistan in the nineties was due to the lack of interest of the West in that region, after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops; one page;

55.  We might interpret the interest of the Soviet for the Gulf in the seventies to its diminishing oil production; one page;

56.  The Palestinian Resistance Movement under Arafat was a tool that the Soviet used during the Cold War to acquire a strong presence in the ME; a page and a half;

57.  The Iranian revolution was the work of the the Soviet, the British BBC, the Afghanistani Mullas and the traders in the bazars; one page;

58.  The Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979 after the USA decided that he is no longer of good use to her interest in the region; one page;

59.  Israel received a critical aid from the US in the 1967 war in order to convey a strong message to al the Soviet allies at that time such as Indonisia, Ghana, Algeria and Greece; half a page;

60.  Egypt waged the 1973 war against Israel with the total support of the Soviet as a counter attack for the 1967 defeat and from which the Soviet managed to win the revolutions in Ethiopia (1974), Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, and Angola (1975), Afghanistan, Iran, and Nicaragua (1979); title longer than text;

61.  The Arabs used oil as a weapon in the seventies to support the Palestinian cause; one page;

62.  The 70,000 strong Egyptian army deployed by Jamal Abdel Nasser lost the war in Yemen (1962-1967); barely a page;

63.  The ME armies offered modern elite men in the fifties and sixties; half a page;

64.  The military coups that ended the Royal families in many States freed the people from political despotism; half a page;

65.  The Iraqi Baath Party was a radical and anti-imperialist movement; half a page;

66.  The ME people did not show any affinity to communism because of the “atheistic nature” of Marxism; a page and a half;

67.  Zionism or the establishment of a Jewish State in the ME was a Western strategy to partition the Arab and Islamic World; half a page;

68.  The Arab States created a Palestinian Idendity to pressure Israel; one page;

69.  Israel was established as “Light to the Nations”; one page and a half;

70.  Israel is Not a colonial or expansionist State; one page and a half;

71.  The Balfour pledge to establish a Jewish homeland in 1917 was a consequence of the pressures that the British Jews affected on its government to support Zionism; title longer than text;

72.  Zionism in 1897 did not intend to establish a Jewish State; half a page;

73.  The goals of the nationalist movements in Azerbijan and Kurdistan in the fourties were to seceed from Iran; one page;

74.  We need to recognize the importance of “Laurence of Arabia” for the consequences that befell the ME after the First World War; one page;

75. The Western States were against a stable and independent Turkey and they fomented separatist movements such as the Cypriote, Greek, Armenian, and Kurdish; one page;

76.  The Islamic World is adopting a political structure that was built during the prophet Mohammad and his Rashidine successors; title longer than text;

77.  We can understand the modern political and social evolutions in the ME through the ancient struggles such as the Median (Furse), Adnan, Kahtan, Sunna, Shia, the White tribes, and the Green tribes; half a page;

78.  The people and States in this region are still fighting ancient wars that are thousand of years old; half a page;

79.  Christianity, Islam and Jewdaism are considered “religions of peace” based on their Holy teachings; half a page;

80.  A second concept considers these three religions as “religions of war”; half a page;

81.  We can interpret the behavior of the ME States and their people by referring to a set of ancient holy stricptures verses; half a page;

82.  Ancient scriptures, considered as written by God, legitimize the contemporary political and social aspirations in governance and national identity; title longer than text;

83. We cannot logically consider the Land or the written words in the srciptures as holy; half a page;

84.  Jerusalem was for centuries a holy city for the three main religions in the ME and should have a separate status, or a variation that is related to historical legitimacy; one page;

85.  It is possible for laws extracted from divine scriptures to form clear basis and a workable one with modern laws; one page;

86.  The issue with Islam is that it needs reform; one page and a half;

87.  For religious reasons, the Muslims have hard time accepting or accommodating non-muslim governance; half a page;

88.  Islam is the religion of the desert; half a page;

89. Islam forbids alcoholic beverages; one page;

90.  Women must put the veil and cover their hair; a page and a half;

91.  The original religions and those interpreted in the right way provide equality to both gender and sometime a higher status to women; half a page;

92.  The Arab conquest of Iran in the seventh century imposed a religion not compatible with the one practiced in Iran; one page;

93.  The whole Arabian Peninsula before Islam was renowned to be typically backward and referred to as “Jahiliya”; one page (Actually, Jahel means someone who was Not exposed to the Bible)

94. Historical facts concerning Jesus are extracted from the four Evangiles; one page;

95. A Jewish State, according to the Tora, cannot admit living in a non-Jewish land; half a page;

96. The Bahai doctrine, created in Iran in the mid 19th century, is not religious but a political movement and thus, should not be given religious privileges in the ME; one page;

97.  Komeini made a “Fatwa” against Selman Rushdi in 1989 for his novel “The Satanic Verses”; three pages;

98.  A resolution for the cultural and civilization struggle could be found within the “religious dialogue” framework; one page;

99.  A new ME is about to be created in this century; a page and a half;

100. Force is the only means that the ME people comprehend; one page.

Note: There are a number of common expressions used lately by the media such as Arabicide, containment, the Akond of Swat, Bin Liner, Groupthink, slam dunk case, mouvance, Deobandi, towelhead, refusenik,

silver bullet, steganography, sexed-up information, cakewalk campaign, ground zero, corkscrew journalism, muscled behavior, imperial hubris, grief gap, fakhabochik or vahabochik (related to the Wahhabit sect of Saudi Kingdom),

mochila bomba, posse, smoking Saddam out, cojones, great game, brigade 005, blowback agents, Castle Catholic, West Brit, the Red Sea Terror Triangle, trenes de la muerte, Of ME appearance (OMEA), Operation Enduring Freedom, pundit or pandita and so on.

How current “modern” Islam radicalized into negative and oppressive precepts?

I’ll discuss three radical trends: The Moslem Brotherhood of Egypt, the Wahhabi Islam brand in the Arabic Peninsula, and the Ben Laden (Al Qaeda) for international jihadists.

1. In 1929, Egypt was relatively the most modern State in the Arab World. The Al Azhar religious university was guided by an enlightened sheikh Abdel Razeq.  Author Taha Hussein had published a very controversial book on poetry during Jahiliya period (before Islam in the Arabic Peninsula), and the Egyptian court refused to ban it.

During that period, the monarchs Fouad and Farouk and their entourage went overboard emulating the western life-style and flaunting blatantly their unacceptable behaviors to the little people.

Hassan al Banna (founder of the Brotherhood in 1929) jumped at the occasion of life-styles that obfuscated the common people and blamed the modern interpretation of Islamic teachings as a cover to the to the ill-behavior of the ruling classes.

Consequently, a return to Chariaa and fundamental “bedouin” Islam: tribal ancient customs and rules were prescribed in order to overcome the current degenerate conditions that will weaken the Moslem spirit for Jihad against the infidels…

The presence of colonial Britain in Egypt was mainly opportunistic catalysts for every time the British governor harshly confronted street demonstrations and uprisings…

Colonial western life-style was added as a practical dimension to the reactions of the Brotherhood members. The Brotherhood was implicitly regarded anti-colonial and, as a logical result, a de facto national movement…

2. The Wahhabi brand of Islam.  This sect was initiated by Abd el Wahhab in the Najd region in the Arabic peninsula in the early 19th century, during the Ottoman Empire. This Hanafi sect was quickly supported by the emirs in Najd, particularly the Saud tribe, and is currently classified as the fourth admitted sect in Sunni Islam.

Mainly, the Wahhabi movement was opposed to the Ottoman Empire, which didn’t really administered directly the Arabic Peninsula, and was funded and supported with arms by the British Empire, which had plans to occupy strategic ports in Aden (Yemen) and the Arabic/Persian Gulf.

Mind you that Islam of the Ottoman Empire was pretty loose and accommodating since the foundation of the Empire, and the Chariaa was observed with wide latitude  All that the Sultan wanted was the title of Calif of all the Moslems.

It happened that in the early 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was wide open to western culture and life-style and some Constitutional reforms were underway, called “Tanzimat” (Regulations)

The British got wary of reforms starting in the Ottoman Empire, and worked on minorities to destabilize the already shaky and declining Ottoman Empire. And how best to rally the tribes around in the peninsula if not by adopting opposite theological and radical religious positions against the Calif?

And quick to a drastic shift to the “fundamentals” of Islam, as the Protestants acted against the Catholic Church in the 15th century. What are these fundamentals? Abolishing and destroying all icons, pictures of Imams and Holy men, prohibiting pilgrimage to Imam sites wide dispersed in all Islamic world, as substitute to the expensive pilgrimage to Mecca…And back to Bedouin customs, traditions, setting more constraints on women…: The modus operandi to rooting the movement within the dominant tribes.

The Ottoman Sultan kept harassing his Viceroy in Egypt, Muhammad Ali, to send an expeditionary military force to wipe out the spreading of the Wahhabi uprising.  Finally, Ali dispatched his young 19-year old second son who entered Mecca and liberated it from the Wahhabis after many difficulties. The elder son Ibrahim Pasha carried out an extensive campaign for years and managed to enter and destroy the main City-State of the Wahhabi inside the deep desert.

And for two decades, the Wahhabi movement subsided, until the Egyptian forces had to return home. The British resumed their funding and support for the Wahhabi movement and eventually conquered all of the Peninsula in 1923.

Since Sadat of Egypt acceded to power in 1970, the Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy had been building mosques all over Egypt and hiring clerics of Wahhabi  inclination, re-publishing their own Coran and distributing it for free…

3. The Ben Laden phenomena of international jihadist movement. Ben laden kept swinging between the Moslem Brotherhood and the Wahhabi sect, driven by the political opportunities opened to him and which captured his attention. Ben laden had no fundamental theological doctrine or dogma and with no definite long-term purpose for his movement.

In the early 1980, he was a CIA agent and was dispatched by Saudi Arabia to usurp the nascent movement of Arab Jihadist flocking to the city of Peshawar (Pakistan) to be trained and sent to fight the Soviet communists in Afghanistan. The CIA wanted to be in control of the “resistance movement” against the Soviet…

After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, no Arabic State wanted these fighters to return home. These jihadists were relocated to created Hot Spots around the world. The CIA took charge of that bounty of cheap recruits who are zealot and already trained and dispatched them to “containment regions” under the Soviet dominion…It was still the Cold War era.

To make a long story short, (extensively developed in a previous article) the US became an ideal target for the Al Qaeda movement which resulted in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the reactions in conducting frequent drone attacks killing potential Al Qaeda “leaders”…

Note 1: The US has got to understand that the Arab peoples feel that an entire century was wasted, for nothing, and worse than going back to point one in 1918, where the Arab people hoped and demanded independence, and the colonial mandated powers replaced the Ottoman and created the Zionist state of Israel. More on that in a follow-up article.

Note 2: How to win war on terrorism https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/how-can-i-win-the-war-on-%E2%80%9Cterrorism%E2%80%9D-part-two/


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