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Everything posted by SlavicWolf

  1. Well, so-called miracles Jesus were probably attributed to him after his death. St. Paul (the man who de facto created Christianity) did not know Jesus personally. But he was a zealous believer. When religious figures die, their disciples begin telling stories about them and their greatness, they attribute miracles and supernatural powers to their gurus. Then, with the passage of time, these stories become even more distorted. AFAIK the whole Old Testament was created this way.
  2. Religionists would say that any crime against God is infinite as we owe our existence to him. Of course the whole concept of hell is ridiculous. The notion that God created the world so that we worship him and if we fail he burns us for eternity even though he is loving and merciful, is absurd at best. Dharmic faiths seem to be a bit more rational... being are reborn according to the karma they had in previous life and if they live good lives, they go higher in the hierarchy until total liberation from rebirth is achieved (nirvana).
  3. ... And by the virtue of rejecting them they aren't Muslims. They are munafiqin (hypocrites) and, according to Muhammad, are worse than the worst animals. There is an entire chapter of the Quran (one of the last revealed) devoted especially to Muslims who don't want to take part in war. It has vivid descriptions of how low they are and what a horrible punishment awaits them in this life and the next if they don't join the murderous rampage of their prophet. The reason why I write this is to make people familiar with Muhammad's life. Most people don't know much about him except that he founded Islam and escaped from Mecca. Some think he was a Christ-like figure - a peaceful hippie, full of love and compassion who rejected worldly pleasures in order to sacrifice himself for the sake of humanity. His biographies, of course, paint a different picture. I should continue Part 4 - The expulsion of Banu Qaynuya. After arriving in Medina Muhammad at first tried to appease the Jews living there. As Muslims were poor and depended on the charity of the Jews for their survival, Muhammad felt it was necessary to be kind to them, at least for some time. He proclaimed verses praising them and saying that they can attain salvation through their own religion. He also changed the direction of prayer from Mecca to Jerusalem. At the same time he was well aware of the danger that the Jews posed for his authority. The Jews living in Medina were literate and, as such, were able to pinpoint errors in his version of biblical stories. It obvious to them that he'd picked them from secondary sources and not from any scholars. As a consequence, Muhammad proclaimed that the Jews had purposely altered their scriptures in order to hide the prophecy about his prophethood (of course since then no Muslim has ever been able reconstruct the "uncorrupted" version of the Bible). At the same time he started plotting against them. The first opportunity came in 624 AD. After scoring a major victory at Badr, Muhammad felt that his army was strong enough to take on the Jews in Medina. He also knew that once he attacks one tribe, others won't come to their help due to the long standing rivalry between various Jewish tribes. The only thing he needed was casus belli. He finally got one when one Jew played a prank on a Muslim woman by pinning her skirt to the ground while she was squatting in a Jeweler's shop in Banu Qaynuqa' headquarters. Upon standing her cloth tore, leaving her naked. A Muslim man passing by, already filled with the hatred of the Jews by his prophet, jumped on the Jew and killed him. The relatives of the victim then killed the Muslim in retaliation. That was the opportunity Muhammad was looking for. Instead of trying to resolve the situation peacefully, he blamed all Jews belonging to Banu Qaynuqa and told them to either submit to his religion or face war. Upon hearing his words, they shut themselves in their headquarters and Muhammad laid down a siege, cutting their water supply and threatening them with slaughter. After 14 days of siege the Jews tried to negotiate but Muhammad didn't want to hear from them. He wanted them to be slaughtered. HE was only talked out of it ny Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, the chief of Banu Khazraj. He took Muhammad by his collar, claiming that he won't let him kill his allies and friends. Knowing that not listening to him would mean defeat, Muhammmad - though angered - let Banu Qaynuqa leave the city, provided that they leave all their possessions to him. "Banu Qainuqa’ were the first of the Jews to break their agreement with the apostle and to go to war, between Badr and Ohod, and the apostle besieged them until they surrendered unconditionally. `Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Salul went to him [Muhammad] when God had put them in his power and said, 'O Muhammad, deal kindly with my clients' (now they were allies of Khazraj), but the apostle put him off. He repeated the words, and the apostle turned away from him, whereupon he thrust his hand into the collar of the apostle's robe; the apostle was so angry that his face became almost black. He said, 'Confound you, let me go.' He answered, 'No, by God, I will not let you go until you deal kindly with my clients. Four hundred men without mail and three hundred mailed protected me from all mine enemies; would you cut them down in one morning? By God, I am a man who fears that circumstances may change.' The apostle said, 'You can have them.'" (From: Ibn Ishaq Sirat, p. 363) After that they were banished and their wealth was distributed among Muslims. Muhammad took 1/5 of the captured loot for himself. Anyway, shouldn't we expect that a person who claims to be the ultimate moral authority for all people for all times should do things more noble than stealing and banishing? Shouldn't his heart be filled with kindness and desire of peace and prosperity for people of all faiths, instead of psychopatic moral relativism as displayed by Muhammad? The Muslim who talked Muhammad out of the senseless massacre was later labeled as a hypocrite (munafiq) and condemned to hell. When Abdullah Ibn Ubayy died, Muhammad dug him out of his grave to spit on his body and into his mouth.
  4. Dude, Christians who do evil things do them because they DEVIATE from the teachings of Christ. the New Testament is a fairy tale but at least Jesus was a good man. He didn't raid caravans, rape women captured in battle, kill his critics or stone adulterers to death. Once the Jews wanted to test him so they brought a prostitute to him, asking what should they do. Jesus replied "let the one who is without sin cast the first stone". IT shows quire a bit of his atitude. For Christians it isn't the butchers of the Old Testaments who are the ultimate authority. It's Jesus. Muslims can't abrogate the violent teachings of Muhammad because he is the last prophet. You said that Islamic terrorism is not a religious but a political problem. I'm saying it's both. In Islam politics and religion are inseparable. Islam was not meant to be a personal religion like Christianity or Buddhism, but to be a state religion. Muhammad was at the same time a religious figure, a military commander and a despotic ruler of a theocratic state which he founded. BTW - Can you let me complete my biography of Muhammad first!? This thread is not about Christianity. Even if Jesus taught things that ar 1000x worse than what Muhammad taught, it still wouldn't justify Muhammad.
  5. I dare disagree. You have to realize that, at least in theory, 1.5 bln people consider this man to be their ultimate moral authority and try to be like him. Nothing a Muslim does can be in conflict with what Muhammad (and his puppet deity) did and said. I'm writing this precisely so that people here can decide whether Islam has anything to do with terrorism or not. So let's continue: After this one verse more was "revealed" to Muhammad: "They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah to deny Him to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque and drive out its members. Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be Companions of the Fire and will abide therein." (Qur'an 2:217) Even if the Meccans indeed drove Muslims out of Mecca (they didn't), how does it justify killing innocent caravan drivers and plundering someone else's wealth? Muslims use the same logic to this day. When they feel that they're oppressed or not given enough privileages, they riot and kill random people. Everything that Muslim terrorists do today is an imitation of what Muhammad did. He also encouraged his followers to not only fight for him but to pay for his wars: "And spend of your wealth in the cause of Allâh, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allâh loves those who do good" (Qur'an.2:195) Allah (=Muhammad) basically says that he loves those who "do good" and doing "good" means fighting in wars or financing them. Today Muslims who can't fight contribute to jihad by financing Islamic "charities". Charity in Islam is not established (as is the case with other religions) in order to help poor people all around the world, but to further the expansion of Islam, by building mosques, Islamic schools or arming Islamic fighters. A classic example of this is the copious amount of money tha Gulf countries pay to finance precisely these things, while at the same time millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Sudan etc. suffer. Allah would criticise his followers for not amassing enough cash for military excesses of his prophet: "And what reason have you that you should not spend in Allâh's way? And Allâh's is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, not alike among you are those who spent before the victory and fought (and those who did not): they are more exalted in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards; and Allâh has promised good to all; and Allâh is Aware of what you do." (Qur'an.57:10) That money is like a loan given to God: "Who is he that will Loan to Allâh a beautiful loan? For Allâh will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have besides a liberal Reward." (Qur'an.57:11) Muslims should in fact be grateful that they can contribute: "Those who spend their substance in the cause of Allâh, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, -for them their reward is with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Qur'an. 2:262) He promises them rewards: "So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allâh had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allâh, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish." (Qur'an. 47:4) Later he said: "And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allâh and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allâh knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allâh's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly." (Qur'an. 8:60) Those who fight, with their money and their bodies, are promised extravagant rewards: "Believers! Shall I point out to you a profitable course that will save you from a woeful scourge? Have faith in Allâh and His apostle, and fight for Allâh’s cause with your wealth and with your persons. That would be best for you, if you but knew it. He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams; He will lodge you in pleasant mansions in the gardens of Eden. That is the supreme triumph" (Qur'an.61:10-11) "They shall recline on couches lined with thick brocade, and within reach will hang fruits of both gardens. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny? Therein are bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee will have touched before. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny? Virgins as fair as corals and rubies. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?" (Qur'an.55:53-55) He warned those who didn't want to fighL: "And those who believe say: Why has not a chapter been revealed? But when a decisive chapter is revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein you see those in whose hearts is a disease look to you with the look of one fainting because of death. Woe to them then!" (Qur'an.47:20) Given these verses it isn't hard to understand why so many Islamic "charities" have been caught financing terrorism. What for us is terrorism, for a Muslim is an obligation and the most sure way to please Allah. Part 3 - The battle of Badr. Ok, back to history. In 624 AD, after the successful raid in Nakhla, Muhammad decided to intercept another caravan. "Then the apostle heard that Abu Sufyan was coming from Syria with a large caravan of Qurish, containing their money and merchandise, accompanied by some thirty or forty men… When the Apostle heard about Abu Sufyan coming from Syria, he summoned the Muslims and said, “This is the Quraish caravan containing their property. Go out to attack it, perhaps Allah will give it as a prey.” (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 428) The account goes on to say that some of the Muslims were reluctant to participate in the attack because they did not want to go to war. Muhammad later refers to these peaceful Muslims as ‘Hypocrites’ in the Qur’an, where he also condemns them to Hell and demands that true Muslims deal with them harshly. "After Muhammad sent his men to attack the caravan, Abu Sufyan (his Meccan adversary) learned of his plans: "When he got near to the Hijaz, Abu Sufyan was seeking news and questioning every rider in his anxiety, until he got news from some riders that Muahmmad had called out his companions against him and his caravan." (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 428) Abu Sufyan did two things at this point to avert battle. He changed his route, so as to avoid Muhammad’s army, and he sent for help. The Meccans then sent out a larger force of about 900 men to rescue the caravan. A lengthy cat and mouse game ensued between Muhammad and the Meccans, in which the latter do nearly everything they can to avoid a conflict and make their way home (Ishaq/Hisham 433 to 443). Eventually Muhammad successfully forced them into battle by deliberately stopping up the water wells on which they depended for the trek back to Mecca - and then planting his army between the remaining wells and the thirsty Meccans. At that point, the Muslims clearly had the advantage against the weary and reluctant Meccans, even though they were lesser in number. Initially, they amused themselves by killing the few men desperate enough to try and reach the water: "Al-Aswad, who was a quarrelsome ill-natured man, stepped forth and said, “I swear to God that I will drink from their cistern or destroy it or die before reaching it.” Hamza [a Muslim strongman] came forth against him and when the two met, Hamza smote him and sent his foot and half his shank flying as he was near the cistern. He fell on his back and lay there, blood streaming from his foot toward his comrades. Then he crawled to the cistern and threw himself into it for the purpose of fulfilling his oath, but Hamza followed him and smote him…” (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 443) The Muslims toyed with several other thirst-crazed Meccans in the same deadly manner before Muhammad finally gave the order to rout the “enemy.” The period following the victorious battle was one of giddy celebration for the Muslims. The decapitated heads of Muhammad’s opponents from Mecca were presented to him, and their slayers honored. Live captives were brought before him as well, where he ordered some ransomed and others executed. “I said (would you attack) my prisoners? But... The people formed a ring around us as I was protecting him. Then a man drew his sword and cut off his son’s foot so that he fell down and Umayya [the boy’s father] let out a cry such as I have never heard… They hewed them to pieces with their swords until they were dead.” (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 449) Uqba bin Abu Mu’ayt pled for his life “When the apostle ordered him to be killed, Uqba said, “But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?” [Muhammad’s reply] “Hell.” The man was put to death" (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 458) Other prisoners were ransomed but Uqba received "special treatment" because, when Muhammad was still in Mecca, he put animal guts at his back when he was praying. How does a mere mockery justify murder!? Compare Muhammad's behavior to that of Buddha who, when mocked, said: "When you do this, it is as if you threw a piece of burning charcoal at someone - you are the one who gets burned". The difference of attitudes is striking. The captured wealth of the Meccans was divided among the victors. Hamza, the man who had slaughtered the first Meccan attempting to reach water, turned his cruel amusement toward defenseless animals, cutting the humps off of camels and disemboweling them for no reason other than to relish their agony Amid the drunken carnage, Allah “spoke” to Muhammad and told him to make sure that the other Muslims gave him a fifth of the war booty. These words have become permanently recorded in the Qur’an (8:1), even though they have no relevance today. The prophet of Islam also informed his men that their victory was actually due to a legion of angels sent down by Allah (8:9) - which were, of course, visible only to Muhammad (8:50). (For some reason, the angels didn’t show at the next battle, in which the Muslims were routed at Uhud). Much of the 8th Sura, one of the Qur’an’s more violent chapters, was “revealed” following the aftermath of the Battle of Badr. Many of the verses make little sense outside of their historical context, proving that the Sira (biography of Muhammad) is necessary for interpreting the Qur’an.
  6. The first topic about Islam was closed - as it was quite messy, I decided that it would be better to create a new one in order to discuss Islam's nature in a more orderly manner. I decided to begin this discussion by writing a brief biography of Muhammad. Muslims deny that they worship anyone but Allah but in fact the status of Muhammad approaches that of God. He is viewed as the most perfect human being - to the point that students of Islamic academies learn how he slept, what and how he ate, how he washed himself and on which leg he put the most weight while defecating. Under Sharia criticism of Muhammad is punishable by death. So, if we want to understand the minds of Muslim terrorists, we must first understand Muhammad. What I write here is mostly based on two works - "Biography of the Prophet" by Ibn Hisham (a commentary of an earlier biography by Ibn Ishaq) and "History of prophets and kings" by Al Tabari - both works were written about 1000 years ago and are treated as the most authoritative sources on MUhammad's life available. Both can be read for free on the web. ------------------ The future prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, was born in Mecca in 570 A.D. Not much is known about his life prior to Islam. It is known that his father died before his birth and his mother (named Amina) gave him away to a Bedouin woman (Halima) when he was just 6 months old. Why did she reject him even though he was her only child, is not known. Muhammad's step-mother, Halima, became concerned with his mental health. He was a solitary child who would withdraw to an imaginary world, conversing with friends no one could see. When he reached the age of 5, Halima took him back to his mother who was reluctant to take him back until she was told about his bizarre behavior: "His [Halima’s own son] father said to me, ‘I am afraid that this child has had a stroke, so take him back to his family before the result appears.’... She [Muhammad's mother] asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon had possessed him, I replied that I did." Later in his life Muhammad recounted his bizarre childhood experiences: "Two men in white clothes came to me with a golden basin full of snow. They took me and split open my body, then they took my heart and split it open and took out from it a black clot which they flung away. Then they washed my heart and my body with that snow until they made them pure." (From W:. Montgomery Watt: Translation of Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad (p. 36) Muhammad's reunion with his mother didn't last for long. A year later Amina died, leaving him under the custody of his grandfather, Abdul Mutallib. His early experiences left such a deep scars on his psyche, that even 50 years later when visiting her grave, he refused to pray for her: "This is the grave of my mother; the Lord has permitted me to visit it. And I sought leave to pray for her, but it was not granted. So I called my mother to remembrance, and the tender memory of her overcame me, and I wept" (From: Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd p. 21) His grandfather, partially in order to make Muhammad happy, partially because he was the only remnant of his deceased son, Abdullah, treated Muhammad preferentially, lavishing him with love. It's reported that he received more attention from Abdul Mutallib than any of his sons. “The child was treated by him with singular fondness. A rug used to be spread under the shadow of the Ka’ba, and on it, the aged chief reclined in shelter from the heat of the sun. Around the carpet, but at a respectful distance, sat his sons. The little Muhammad was wont to run close up to the patriarch, and unceremoniously take possession of his rug. His sons would seek to drive him off, but Abdul Muttalib would interpose saying: ‘Let my little son alone.’ He would then stroke him on the back, as he delighted in watching his childish prattle. The boy was still under the care of his nurse, Baraka, but he would ever and anon quit her, and run into the apartment of his grandfather, even when he was alone or asleep" (From: The Life of Muhammad by Sir. William Muir Volume II Ch. 1. P. XXVIII) However, after two years, his elderly grandfather also died. After that, he lived together with his uncle, Abu Talib. It is reported that he was a very shy and lonely child, avoiding other children. He rarely smiled and when he did, he covered his mouth. Sometimes he would attend sheep, a job that ,at that time and place, was mostly reserved for women. The wage was low and he depended on his uncle Abu Talib for survival. Relief came at the age of 25. His uncle arranged him a job for a wealthy widow named Khadijah. He went to Syria as her trustee, selling her merchandise and buying what she had wanted him to buy. After he'd returned, they married. From then onwards, his financial security was guaranteed. He would often leave his house, spending days in a cave near Mecca (now called " The Cave of Hira") where his imagination would be set free Then, at the age of 40, he had a strange experience. After spending days in his cave, he started having strong abdominal pains, rapid muscle contractions, involuntary body movements (as if someone was shaking him violently), coupled with excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations. At first he had thought that he was possessed by a demon. IT was his wife who proposed the idea that it was in fact archangel Gabriel and that Muhammad was his mwssanger. His first follower was his wife, Khadijah, his 10 years old cousin Ali Ibn Abi Talib, his friend Abu Bakr and his adopted son, Zayd. After he had begun public preaching in 613 AD, his message did not receive much attention. His message consisted mostly of one thing - obey Allah and his messenger. As he is God's messenger, people are obliged to believe in him, praise him, obey him and even fear him. Failure to do so results in punishment, both in this world and the next. Monotheism was of secondary importance. The pagans in Mecca were not interested in Islam but they weren't hostile to it either. Pre-Islamic Arabia was a tolerant place, even by our time's standard. Pagans, Jews and Christians lived together, prayed together and converted freely between religions - Kaaba in Mecca (a black stone towards which Muslims pray) housed 360 religious artifacts, each belonging to a different tribe. The only limitation was that members of various religions were not allowed to insult each other's feelings. However, everything changed when Muhammad broke with the tradition of tolerance by insulting the gods of Meccans. This part of his life was well documented by his biographers: "When the apostle openly displayed Islam as Allah ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods. When he did that, they took great offence and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy." (From: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167) The first blood in the history of Islam was shed by Muslims: "One time, while Saad Ibn Abu Waqqas with many of the Messenger’s companions were praying in a defile as such, some men of Quraish saw them. They insulted and satirized them to the point of irritation, which led to fight. Saad hit one of them with camel’s jawbone and head wended him. That was the first bloodshed in Islam. However, the unbelievers did not insult Muhammad (Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him) himself before he started badly remembering and satirizing their gods, though they did never let him entirely be going to spread the new religion. All of Quraishis quarreled him, gibed his religion and hurt his companions" (From: Sirat Ibn Hisham, page 46, translated by Mohammad Mahdi Al-Sharif, Dar al-kotob Al-Ilmiyah, Lebanon 2006) From these two quotes it is clear that Meccans had no problem in coexisting side by side with Muhammad and his religion as long as he respected theirs. When hw began mocking their religion, they went to his uncle Abu Talib so that he convinces his nephew to stop his insults. Muhammad disregarded Abu Talib’s appeal not to insult the gods of the Quraishis as Muhammad’s insult of their gods continued. As a result, animosity between the Muslim camp and Meccans kept growing. The Meccans, unable to bear Muhammad’s continued insult of their gods, went to Abu Talib a second time. They were more forceful this time in their warning against Muhammad’s increasing insult of their gods, his discrediting of their customs and dishonoring of their forefathers. They demanded that Abu Talib put an end to Muhammad’s arrogant behavior and language. Abu Talib promised them to talk to his nephew again. Muhammad refused to listen to Abu Talib’s emotional appeal for not to insult the Meccans’ gods and traditions. When Muhammad refused to stop insulting the Quraishi gods, Abu Talib anticipated that they may harm Muhammad. So, in order to preempt any possible hostile action of the Quraish against his nephew, Abu Talib asked some lineages of Quraish (Banu Hashem, and Banul Muttalib) to join him in protecting Muhammad. All responded positively except for one man that Muslims call Abu Lahab (father of ignorance). They went to the Ka’ba with Abu Talib, where he threatened to kill the Meccans to the last one should any harm befall Muhammad. Abu Lahab was the immediate uncle of Muhammad. He had a dignified name, “Abd Al Uzza”. The word “Uzza” in Arabic signifies high status. However, Muslims changed the names of such decent persons to something horrible, just because they did not agree with the message of Islam. When Abu Talib—Muhammad’s unwavering protector despite being a Pagan—died in 619 AD, Abd Al-Uzza took the mantle of leadership of the family of Abd Al Muttalib, including as protector of Muhammad. Later on, he heard that Muhammad was consigning all of his dead Pagan forefathers to eternal hellfire. When Abd Al-Uzza asked Muhammad about it, Muhammad affirmed the same. This infuriated Abd Al-Uzza and revoked his protection of Muhammad. Nonetheless, Muhammad continued living in Mecca for 2-3 more years until he emigrated to Medina in June 622 AD. PART 2 - Migration to Medina Muhammad wasn't very successful with his message. After 13 years of preaching, he managed to convert about 70 people, most of whom were either his friends and family members, rebellious youths or slaves. After Abu Talib and Khadijah died in 619 AD, he was left with little financial resources so he decided to migrate to Medina where his followers managed to convert a few pagan Arabs. A few of his followers were reluctant to leave so Allah supposedly sent down a revelation claiming that they'll go to hell if they don't do it: “When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: ‘In what (plight) were ye?’ They reply: ‘Weak and oppressed were we in the earth.’ They say: ‘Was not the earth of Allâh spacious enough for you to move yourselves away?’ Such men will find their abode in Hell, - What an evil refuge!” (Qur'an 4:97) Muhammad himself stayed in Mecca. Then one night Allah supposedly sent him a revelation claiming that Meccans are trying to assassinate him, so he ordered his friend Abu Bakr to escort him to Medina. The verse sounds as follows: "Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against you [Muhammad], to keep you in bonds, or slay you, or get you out (of your home). They deceive, and Allâh too deceives; but the best of deceivers is Allâh" (Qur'an 8:30) It seems that Allah knew that something is going to happen but was not sure what exactly. No assassination attempt took place. Meccans had to endure Muhammad's insults for 13 years and they never resorted to violence against him. The only "persecution" he suffered from them was when they put animal guts at his back when he was praying. The night when Muhammad went to Medina marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. At that time Medina was inhabited by two populations - Jews, consisting of the tribes of Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza and pagan Arabs divided into Banu Aus and Banu Khazraj.Arabic history books trace the orgin of Medina's Jewish population back to 587 BC, when Nebuchadnezzor destroyed Jerusalem, forcing Jews to flee. Pagans, on the other hand, arrived in 450 AD when a great flood in Yemen forced many Arab tribes to seek refugee elsewhere. While the pagans in Mecca were merchants, those in Medina were mostly laborers working for the Jews whom they envied for their wealth and education It was in Medina where Islam evolved from a relatively peaceful religion into a military force that was intended to govern all aspects of society. During these last ten years of Muhammad's life, infidels were evicted or enslaved, converted upon point of death and even rounded up and slaughtered depending on expediency. Anyway, after their immigration Muslims had no source of income and relied exclusively on charity. Given that not long before that, Muhammad had promised them wealth, which, of course, didn't materialize, many Muslims began voicing discontent. Some started abandoning him. As a consequence a threatening verse was "revealed": "They [the unbelievers] long that you should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that you may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allâh; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever you find them, and choose neither friend nor helper from among them." (Qur'an 4:89) This verse told Muslims to kill those Muslims who wanted to go back to Mecca. So it seems that they weren't so horribly persecuted after all - contrary to what many apologists claim. Despite that, Muhammad still had to find a way to earn a living for himself and his followers. He told them to rob Meccan merchant caravans, claiming that the Meccans had driven them our of their homes so it was lawful to plunder them: "Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allâh is well able to assist them. Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allâh." (Quran 22:39-40) ""O Prophet! Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding." (Qur'an 8:65) “Allâh promises you much booty that ye will capture.” (Qur'an. 48:20) “Enjoy what you took in war, lawful and good.” (Qur'an 8:69) Innumerable Muslim atrocities committed through centuries have been inspired by these and other similar verses. Tamerlane whose troops killed millions of people (including 300,000 Hindus killed in a single day) said that he has two goals in mind. First - to spread Islam, second - to gain wealth as Allah has made their property lawful for Muslims. The same desire for loot and women fueled military expeditures of Moors in Spain, Ottomans in the Balkans and Crimean Khanate in Russia. After conducting a series of unsuccessful raids, Muslims finally managed to intercept one caravan (travelling from Meca to Taif) in December 623. The caravan was guarded by only 4 men while the raiding party consisted of 8-12 Muslims. It was especially vulnerable as the attack took place during the holy months - a time when various Arab tribes would abstain from fighting each other. "A Muslim raider who had shaved his head, looked down on them [the Meccan caravan], and when they saw him they felt safe and said, "They are pilgrims, you have nothing to fear from them." The Muslim raiders encouraged each other, and decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had. Waqid shot Amr bin al-Hadrami with an arrow and killed him..." (From Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 424-425) As the raid took place during the holy months and the raiders were disguised as pilgrims (making it a particularly heinous act of deception), some recent converts from Medina began doubting Muhammad and his message. The idea of killing people and robbing their wealth simply didn't match the ideals of pious life preached by previous prophets. It also didn't go well with previous Arab traditions. As a consequence, Allah "revealed" another verse: "Fighting is prescribed to you even though it's hateful to you. But it's possible that you like something that is bad for you and dislike something that is good for you. Allah knows while you don't know." (Qur'an 2:216) More soon.
  7. The whole thing is getting more and more out of control. Today an exchange of fire took place between Russian forces and Ukrainian garrison in Simferopol, as a result an Ukrainian officer was killed. Some time later a member of Crimean unit was killed by a sniper and another one was wounded. There are reports that Ukrainian nationalists began mobilization and training. Reuters reports that Ukrainian forces remaining in Crimea were authorized to use their weapons in self defense.
  8. Who said that reverting back to private education will mean regress? As long as there is demand, there will be supply. In pre-industrial world access to information was very limited (books were expensive) and most of the population was engaged in subsistence agriculture anyway so there was no need for them to learn advanced stuff. But everything has changed since then. Your stance it's like saying that we can't have private IT industry because then computers will be accessible to only a few rich people... IT industry is in private hands and electronics has become ubiquitous.
  9. I meant that for those countries that do not want to make education private Germany should be the role model.
  10. How would you describe the quality of US elementary and high school education?
  11. Today Russians moved their forces out of Crimea trying to seize something in Kherson oblast. Ukrainian army responded though we don't know hoe the response looked like. SEVASTOPOL, March 15, 17:55 /ITAR-TASS/. Unidentified persons have abducted Russian Bloc leader and City Council member Gennady Basov in Sevastopol. Nine unidentified men abducted Basov some between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, the party’s press service said. This information was confirmed to ITAR-TASS by police. http://en.itar-tass.com/world/723678 This may spiral out of control at any moment, gentlemen.
  12. Wow, I didn't know you have such a wide knowledge. Regards. BTW: By stagnation I mean Ming dynsasty and and onwards. Compared to Tang and Song which were very innovative and dynamic, Ming appears to be far less so.
  13. There are many ways to learn math. One can go to an university and attend open lectures, one can learn at home from books or the web. If the entire education system was in private hands, there would be no problem - all schools would be financed by private capital and everyone would pay for his/her own education. Flexibility would be higher as well. The problem is that in all countries schools are mostly PUBLIC - financed by money stolen from citizens. So if that's the case, the entire education should be structured in such a way to give as much benefits to the economy as possible with as little expeditures as possible, not to produce graduates who are forced to learn things they don't want to learn that won't even benefit neither them nor the society as a whole. IMHO Germany should be a role model for all countries. Elementary school last for 4 years after which most kids go to either vocational or technical schools. High schools (Gymnasia) are reserved for the best students - only about 28% of students go to them.
  14. Germany does not have too many Jews either since WW2, same for Switzerland. And they are still at the top amd their economies perform better than most economies in the world, aside from third world countries that have higher growth rates as they are catching up. Neo-Marxist equality of outcome is not what an ideal education system should aim for. Tell me - what's the point of teaching math (even such basic staff as pre calculus) to people who will never use it even a single time in their lifetime once they leave school? Isn't that a waste of money? There are lots of people (which includes, unfortunately, roughly 80% of the population) who have neither brains nor interest to learn such stuff, so wouldn't it be better to separate them early and teach them a trade so that they can earn $ for a living and (if the education is public) repay the cost of their education in taxes? How does the top 1% of students in Finland compare to the top 1% of students in USA? BTW: Ancient Chineses stagnation was mostly due to cultural limitations. Medieval European universities were centered mostly on natural sciences and were private. Chinese institutions were state run and had only one goal - to produce scholar-officials for the state's bureaucratic system. They only taught Confucianism and no math, medicine or whatever. So it's not surprising that there was stagnation.
  15. I would say that an old Soviet or German style education with a rigid curriculum to separate less talented students from smarter ones makes much more sense to me than the education practiced in Scandinavia. Aside from, maybe, good financing, there is nothing exceptional in Finnish education.
  16. We in Central-Eastern Europe, have tasted what does communism (pseudo or not) bring. There simply isn't a single reason not to hate it - it brought years of economic stagnation that will take years to fix. All people looked at Western Europe with envy and wanted to have cars, houses, clothes, infrastructure etc. like them. Everyone who had a chance to flee, fled.
  17. There is a difference. However, there are countries that are culturally and demographically the same or very similar - North Korea and South Korea, West Germany and East Germany, China and Taiwan, Botswana and Zimbabwe etc. Even within a single country there are sharp differences between economic growth before liberalization and after - compare for example China in 1950-80 vs 1981-2013, India before and after 1990 etc. Even Somalia despite being in total anarchy has a 1-2% annual growth rate while in communist times it had a... negative growth. So much for the efficiency of the command economy - it has none. Some time ago I had a discussion with an apologist who said that the reason why communist economies fared so badly was that evil imperialist-capitalist West purposely issued embargo on them to suppress them. What he didn't know is that 1.- embargoes are always a double edged sword so the one who issues it loses as much, 2 - the Warsaw Pact market was as large as the western one.
  18. That countries which initially have very similar economies will have very different outcomes once one chooses free market and another one chooses command economy. Before the free market reform of early 1990s Indian economy grew by average 3% annually. Now it has a growth rate of 6-8%/year. Had the reforms been deeper and they might have reached 12-15% annual growth rate. Is the whole thing really so hard to grasp!?
  19. BTW: Socialist India, Pakistan and Bangladesh vs capitalist South Korea. GDP per capita as % of USA's:
  20. Wrong... USSR and PRC did develop but the costs of massive loss of life. And the result wasn't even close to what might have been achieved had these countries remained capitalist. For example in 1970 North Korean GDP per capita was on par than that of South Korea Today North Korean GDP per capita is roughly 15 times LOWER than that of South Korea In 1990 (right after communism) Polish GDP per capita was 30% of that of Germany Now Polish GDP per capita is more than 50% of German one. etc. etc. I don't have data for most of the cold war era.
  21. Some scholars (Rushton, Lynn) say that some races, whites and east asians in particular are more intelligent than other populations and that this difference is mostly genetic. The explanation given is that these two populations evolved in harsh Eurasian climate with cold winters, which selected for such traits as higher intelligence, lower levels of aggression, more stable family structure, better social cohesion etc. It kinda makes sense but I am not entirely convinced. For example, in pretty much every country where mized white-black populations exist, blacks have lower levels of education and far higher crime rates and even in these black-majority countries in which blacks have lower crime rates than most western countries, whites have even lower so it is impossible for these differences to be entirely cultural. Blacks in the US have the highest levels of testosterone in the world and the highest levels of prostate cancer, they also commit 50% of homicides while constituting ~15% of the population. East Asians on the other hand are far more educated and have negligible crime rates. This topic has been discussed on variou boards and so far no meaningful conclusion has been reached.
  22. These evils are present in other TOTALITARIAN systems, right. But how would you explain the fact that the more countries identified themselves with communism, the more brutal they were? Why was it that countries that weren't based at communism at all (Western Europe, USA etc) were richer and far more free than the ones that had communism as their official ideology (USSR, PRC) Were Western countries closer to communism than them? Every communist society must first answer the question how to deal with those who don't want communism. But this question has been answered a long time ago.
  23. As far as I know there are hardly any examples of communist communities that have survived and prospered on their own. Robert Owen tried to create a communist colony in the US and it collapsed in a few years. Others disintegrated within 2-3 generations. What the communist parties all around the world did was a direct consequence of what Marx and Engels (and later Lenin) taught. A notion that there is a constant class warfare with all means necessary that a large group of people called capitalists must be eliminated and that the members of the working class who think otherwise are enemies of the people who are in denial leads directly to a catastrophe. Every society must be based on freedom. Any attempts to forcibly create an ideal society will fail. Also note the communist belief (that's what it is... belief) that all people must work for the "common well being of the society" is an absurd. Society is a distributive set so a collection of all humans being isn't a human being so there is no such thing as common good or something like that. There are just interests of individuals.
  24. You have to consider the fact that in every place taken over by communism, it's casualties were counted in millions or dozens of millions. No other ideology has spilled so much blood and brought so much misery upon people in such a short period of time (maybe National Socialism)
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