The Jewish and Christian Bibles in Sindhi, published in 1870

By: Gul Agha

Jewish & Christian Bibles in Sindhi, published in 1870. We have now lost Jewish Sindhi songs to history.. don’t know what shape the remains of the synagogue in Karachi، Sindh and other cities are (possibly unrecognizable, as thousands of other temples in Sindh).

Courtesy: Gul Agha’s facebook wall, July 2012.

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Islamic State secretly planning to provoke ‘end of the world’ by attacking India to try and entice USA into all-out war, document reveals

Urdu document passed to U.S. media by Pakistani with links to the Taliban
Preparations underway to attack India as a way of enticing U.S. into battle
Urges Taliban factions to join with ISIS in bid to form a worldwide caliphate
Worldwide caliphate will ‘behead every person that rebels against Allah’
U.S. intelligence officials say they believe the document is authentic

By ELAINE O’FLYNN FOR MAILONLINE

A recruitment document understood to be written by ISIS militants has revealed the terrorist group’s plans for all-out war to bring about ‘the end of the world’.

The Urdu document, passed to the American Media Institute by a Pakistani citizen connected to the Taliban, reveals the scale of the ambition of ISIS, including targeting India to provoke the U.S. to intervene.

It details how they are urging the units of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into one army with ISIS, and asking al-Qaeda to join ISIS to forge a caliphate.

See more » Daily Mail
Learn more » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3178327/Islamic-State-secretly-planning-provoke-end-world-attacking-India-try-entice-USA-war-document-reveals.html?ito=social-facebook

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3178327/Islamic-State-secretly-planning-provoke-end-world-attacking-India-try-entice-USA-war-document-reveals.html#ixzz3hJbipsC8
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A sufi’s perspective on relationships

By Joe DiSabatino

Sufism and the layers of the heart

A Sufi is someone who has made a total commitment to return to the One by traveling the path of the heart, the path of love. Sufis are experts on the inner landscape of the heart. Sufis say it is only in the awakened heart that we can begin to taste and experience our true divine nature. The great Sufi mystics of the past gave us a model or map of the heart’s road that leads back to the Source. Early writers such as al-Hakim al –Timiridh describes four primary layers of the heart, and subsequent writers elaborated on the 28 “stations” or subdivisions of the four primary layers of the heart.

For the sake of simplicity, I have found the “four-layers of the heart” model to be an extremely useful and timeless spiritual perspective on all aspects of my life, especially for understanding relationships. Put simply, the four layers of the heart are as follows:

Layer 1: the uppermost layer of the heart, or the ego self. Layer 1 is where the ego is rooted in the heart; it is the emotional underpinnings of the ego. We all need a healthy ego to function in the world but the downside comes from the ego needing to be in control, to dominate, criticize, put itself first, to grasp and horde. The Sufi word for the lower tendencies of the ego is “the nafs”. The ego uses emotions from the surface layer of the heart—such as anger, jealousy, fear—to fuel and justify its limited and separative view of itself and the world.

The ego also has a higher side—the rational mind with its capacity for logic and objectivity. The rational mind can hold and reflect a certain degree of spiritual light, according to the Sufis, if it is connected to the deeper layers of the heart.

 Layer 2: the inner heart. In Arabic, the word for heart is “qalb” which means “that which turns”. This definition is profound because the heart does seem to turn. Sometimes it feels OPEN and full, other times it feels contracted and empty—oftentimes for no reason we can identify. Sometimes the heart faces the world and is overly influenced by externals that disturb it; other times the heart faces the Source within and finds itself at peace despite whatever is happening on the outside.

In Layer 2, the heart begins to FREE itself from the demands of the grasping ego. It is in Layer 2 that the expansive feelings of unconditional love, joy, compassion, awe, prayerfulness, gratitude, the appreciation of beauty, serenity and contentment are experienced. Greater sensitivity and the ability to attune to subtle shifts in feeling, atmosphere, mood (your’s or others’) come in at this layer.

Layer 3: the soul. This layer is less personal than Layer 2 and even further removed from an ego-based perspective. Sufis teach that it is in the soul where our spiritual jewels or divine qualities reside in seed form. The divine qualities are the archetypes that find expression in the world in manifold ways. Expressions of power, love, wisdom, justice and patience are examples of the divine qualities made manifest, although usually they are distorted by the personal heart and the ego. There is a deep stillness and profound silence to be experienced in the depths of Layer 3 that contrasts with the waves of emotion closer to the surface in Layer 2 of the heart.

Layer 4: the secret. What is the secret? According to the Sufis, it is the truth of our oneness or unity with the Divine. It is difficult to use words to describe this experience. At Layer 4, the bubble of the separate self dissolves and transforms into the Ocean. All definitions of ourselves—“I am this”, “I am that”—are experienced as temporary illusions that veil us from the reality of our true Self.

Each layer of the heart has a corresponding inner “voice” that whispers advice in our ear and urges us to take certain ACTIONS based on its own perspective. Sufi learn to discriminate between these voices, to distinguish between the voice of the “nafs”, for instance, and the voice of the deep heart.

So how can this Sufi map of the heart be APPLIED to relationships?

When in relationship, particularly in romantic relationships, the first three layers of each person’s heart, consciously and unconsciously, come into contact. When in the throes of “falling in love”, the average person experiences feelings from Layer 2 at a deeper level than he/she usually does on their own. Those expansive feelings tend to recede after a few months because they are dependent on an outside source. Then the relationship gradually settles into default mode, an arrangement where person A’s heart Layer 1 is relating to person’s B’s heart Layer 1. In other words, ego to ego.

That can WORK as long as each person’s ego needs—for affection, passion, attention, security, material goods, laughter, excitement, whatever— are getting mostly fulfilled. But let something important change in that formula and then there’s trouble. “My needs are no longer getting met in this relationship” goes the old refrain. “You’re not the same as you used to be.”

Partners who are listening to the voice of their “nafs” will blame, punish the other in various ways, manipulate, dominate, submit, threaten and strive to control the emotional climate and amount of intimacy permitted in the relationship.

Sufis are taught how to ACCESS the deeper feelings in the 2nd layer of their hearts without relying on another person or “falling in love” to awaken that capacity. Every heart is thirsty for love but once you realize that the Source of the love is within you, then you stop seeking or demanding it from another person. That doesn’t mean Sufis become self-sufficient, no longer INTERESTED in relationships.

The shift that occurs is that a Sufi SHARES the love with a partner that he/she is already getting internally from the Source. When both partners are able to do that, then there is a qualitative difference in the nature of the relationship–it’s lighter, sweeter, deeper, more expansive, with much less conflict of wills than in ego-based relationships.

A Sufi not only feeds the heart of his/her beloved but also strives to be a “container” during the times when the partner’s heart is contracted with difficult feelings. This means staying grounded in one’s own inner connection to the Source while “being there” for the other. Sufis learn the art of intuitive listening and the deeper skill of literally feeling into the heart of another person.

When your partner is talking, you listen not only to the words but, with inner ears and inner eyes, to the condition of the partner’s heart. Healing love energy can be sent into the specific places in the other person’s heart where there is pain. This is done without giving advice which usually comes from the head and not the heart. I recall a trained Sufi healer and friend saying to me once, as I was SHARING some difficult feelings, “Joe, when I look into your heart, here is what I see.” And then she told me what she saw and it was totally accurate but not at all evident from the words I was speaking. I never felt so understood.

In this kind of relationship, person A’s heart Layer 2 is primarily relating to person’s B’s heart Layer 2. In other words, deep heart to deep heart. The exchange of love is much more unconditional because the giving is not dependent on what you are receiving from the other person, but rather it is a sharing of what is received from the Source.

Partners listening to the voice of their deep heart will strive to understand, nurture, forgive, provide support, be generous with appreciation, and express their love in novel and creative ways. A Sufi friend of mine occasionally arranges surprise holidays for he and his wife–she doesn’t know where they are going until they get on the plane. Is it possible to actually see and experience your partner’s soul, to see beyond their personality to the spark of divinity that lies at Level 3 of their heart? This is what the great spiritual masters through the ages do. They are not interested in your personality, they are only interested in watering the seeds of your divinity that they can see in your soul. This ability is latent in all of us.

Of course you will only see in others what you see in yourself. Although there are certain moments when insight into the soul of another comes as a gift– I have spoken to mothers who say that during pregnancy or shortly after birth, they became aware of their child’s soul, the unique divine essence inhabiting the physical body of the child. Some could see the beautiful light that the child’s soul carried with it into the physical plane.

Two people can live together for decades and never really know each other’s deep heart or soul. One way to do this is during meditation when you are feeling connected to your own soul. Then spend a few moments traveling inwards and try to “see” your partner’s soul. A Sufi teacher I know conducted family workshops where one of the exercises was for the parent to do that and to send love to their son or daughter’s (who were not present) soul. It was not uncommon for a mom or dad to report back later that their teenager, who they had been in conflict with, had run up to them upon returning home and say with a big hug “I love you, mom!”, “I love you, dad!” You can communicate with your partner’s or to a family member’s soul. You just have to connect to your own soul first and then move around in the borderless world of the 3rd layer of your heart to connect to the soul of a loved one.

Partners listening to the voice of their soul at heart Level 3 will support and encourage their partner’s spiritual growth. They meditate together, read inspiring spiritual literature to each other such as Rumi poetry, attend workshops with a spiritual theme together, do community service together or simply delight in the sparkle in their beloved’s eyes that comes from his or her’s joyful connection to the Source.

Sufis marry for the sole (soul) purpose of supporting each other on their journey Home. Experiencing the 4th layer of the heart, the secret, is an individual achievement. The 4th layer of the heart is deepest place within us that no one else can enter except the Real Beloved. You can’t take another person there or go there with them. Two souls can temporarily merge as one in sexual union or at other times but that is not the final goal. Sufis understand this and therefore do not place unrealistic expectations on their partner. Unending union with the partner is not the goal; whereas unending union with the Real Beloved is. Knowing this fosters a healthy sense of spiritual independence rather than co-dependence.

Partners listening to the silent voice of the secret at heart Layer 4 keep that part of themselves hidden from everyone except the Real Beloved. No other human being can go there. It’s the secret garden. In Sufi relationships, everything is given but something essential is withheld. That is why they WORK—because Sufis are married not only to each other but to the Real Beloved within.

What if one partner is a Sufi, and the other person isn’t a Sufi? Will it still work? 

Love is self-communicative. The partner with a Sufi perspective can awaken the other’s deep heart and touch his/her soul with or without their conscious knowledge or PARTICIPATION. Research at Heartmath has demonstrated that the heart of a person feeling love or appreciation sends out frequency waves that alters the brain and heart rhythms of another person within a measureable distance of five feet (the distance is probably greater, the physical equipment is limited to a short range).

“Love has to spring spontaneously from within; it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but while love cannot be forced upon anyone, it can be awakened through love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response that, in itself, is the nature of love. True love is unconquerable and irresistible. It goes on gathering power and spreading itself until eventually it transforms everyone it touches. 

Courtesy: YogiTimes
Read more » http://www.yogitimes.com/mobile/article/sufism-relationships-four-layers-of-heart

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Christianity’s faith-based freakout: Why atheism makes believers so uncomfortable

Rather than respecting the right of atheists to disbelieve, christians are constantly forcing them to fake it

By , ALTERNET

Why do so many religious believers want atheists to lie about our atheism?

It seems backward. Believers are always telling atheists that we need religion for morality; that we have to believe because without religion, people would have no reason not to murder and steal and lie. And yet, all too often, they ask us to lie. When atheists come out of the closet and tell the people in our lives that we don’t believe in God, all too often the reaction is to try to shove us back in.

In some cases, they simply want us to keep our mouths shut: when the topic of religion comes up, they want us to tell the lie of omission. But much of the time, they actually ask us to lie outright. They ask us to lie to other family members. They ask us to attend church or other religious services. They sometimes even ask us to perform important religious rituals, like funerals or confirmations, where we’re not just lying to the people around us, but to the god they supposedly believe in.

Why would they do this?

Read more ⇒ SALON
See more ⇒ http://www.salon.com/2014/04/28/christianitys_faith_based_freakouts_why_atheism_makes_believers_lose_their_minds_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

The Muslim Call Girl Who’ll Marry You First

By Nico Hines

An hour with London escort Kamillah is $450. But for $100 more, she’ll enter into a nikah mut’ah—a temporary marriage that some Shia say makes sex outside of marriage permissible.
LONDON—The Kim Kardashian of Islamic call girls is blazing a trail for British Muslims who are embracing a traditional form of marriage to absolve themselves of the sin of premarital sex.

By entering into a nikah mut’ah, a temporary marriage for as little as an hour, sex between two lovers suddenly becomes legit in the eyes of Allah, at least according to some generous Shia interpretations. Plenty of other scholars argue that the practice, which was laid out in the Quran, had already been rejected during Muhammad’s lifetime.

To Kamillah, a London escort with 80,000 Twitter followers, nikah mut’ah is merely an optional extra available for less than $100. On an extraordinary online photo page, she puts Kim Kardashian’s butt to shame in a “break the Internet”replica shot. Her backside and just a hint of her left breast are obscured only by baby oil, while her head is modestly covered by a traditional veil.

Indeed, the $450-an-hour escort wears a veil or hijab in most of the photographs on her booking site, even when a nipple is squarely in the center of the frame. Thus, civilizations collide in 21st-century London.

Among the reviews on the Trip Advisor-style site, a satisfied customer concludes: “Allahu Akbar! Had the best mutah experience everr.”

Another recent client was an undercover reporter for The Sun newspaper. Using the name “Fairuza,” Kamillah told him that her quickie marriage, quickie divorce service was in great demand. “It’s very popular,” she explained.

The biggest concern for Kamillah, who says she is half-Iraqi, half-Iranian, was apparently the fear that Romanian and Eastern European call girls were muscling in on her turf by pretending to be Middle Eastern and offering the same ceremony.

While there is a debate among Shia clerics about the permissibility of mut’ah, it is completely outlawed for Sunnis. Kamillah told The Sun: “I did it with one Saudi who converted to Shia Islam only so he could do mut’ah. He did it just for that reason.

“He was in London for two months. I was his wife for the two months. I lived with him and I wasn’t allowed to be with any other man. He paid very good money. He is coming back next year and we’ll do it again. It’s common for Arabs to do it.”

Nikah mut’ah is used in varying degrees of openness all over the Shia world. Iranian officials suggested last year that it should be used more frequently by Westernized couples who wanted to avoid committing adultery—a crime punishable by death.

In Britain, young Muslims are coming to similar conclusions, not just for sex but if they want to experience a Western boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, which is otherwise haram, or sinful. Omar Farooq Khan, former president of the Islamic Society at Bradford University, told the BBC Asian Network that the practice had become common on campus and was seen by many as halal, or permissible. “Definitely nikah mut’ah is on the rise now…Students are educated people so obviously they look around for a solution to their problems from an Islamic perspective,” he said.

Read more » The Daily Beast
See more » http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/25/the-muslim-call-girl-who-ll-marry-you-first.html

400 men cut their testicles off believing it would help them meet God

NEW DELHI, Feb 27, 2015: An Indian spiritual guru-turned- movie-star allegedly convinced up to 400 men to castrate themselves because it would bring them closer to God.

The procedures are thought to have taken place around the year 2000.

However, victims are only coming forward after overcoming initial fears of speaking out against the widely-beloved Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who has around 40 to 50 million followers worldwide, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Known as “the guru in bling” and worth an estimated US$40 million (RM140 million), Gurmeet reportedly urged his followers that having their testicles removed would allow them to meet God and speak with Him directly.

Witnesses of the castrations say they were conducted at a hospital owned by Gurmeet’s spiritual organisation, the Sydney Morning Herald added.

Several witnesses have agreed to testify in court, possibly putting an end to his history of avoiding conviction.

See: http://elitedaily.com/news/world/men-cut-balls-off-believing-theyd-meet-god/948597/

Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/world/2015/02/27/400-men-cut-their-testicles-off-believing-it-would-help-them-meet-god/#ixzz3T3Jiq2tF

One Thousand Year Writers Block

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 95By Omar Ali

William Burroughs famously remarked that Islam had hit a one thousand year writer’s block. Is this assessment justified?  First things first: obviously we are not talking about all writing or all creative work. Thousands of talented writers have churned out countless works of literature, from the poems of Hafiz and Ghalib to the novels of Naguib Mahfooz and the fairy tales of innumerable anonymous (and amazing) talents . There is also no shortage of talent in other creative fields, e.g. I can just say  “Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan” and be done with this discussion.  But what about the sciences of religion and political thought, or the views of biology, history and human society to which these are connected? Is there a writer’s block in these dimensions?

The correct answer would be “it depends”  or “compared to what”? After all, it’s not so much that everyone else in Eurasia stopped thinking 500 years ago, but rather than an explosion of knowledge occurred in Europe that rapidly outstripped other centers of civilization in Eurasia. And after a period of relative decline, the rest of the world is catching up. Culture matters, but cultures also evolve. For better and for worse, cultures in Japan and Taiwan are now full participants in the global knowledge exchange, both as consumers and as producers. Iran has been trying to move beyond previous (and obviously flawed) models of personal autocracy and hereditary rule interspersed with violent and devastating civil wars, for over a hundred years,  and the Islamic republic, for all its problems, is not a brain-dead culture.

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‘Muslims don’t believe in freedom of speech’ – radical cleric Chaudry

Radical British preacher Anjem Choudary has come under heavy criticism for controversial remarks regarding Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Paris.

London based Choudary wrote a letter, published by US news outlet USA today, claiming that Muslims“did not believe in the concept of freedom of expression,” and that the Sharia (Islamic law) was more important than the legal systems of liberal democracies.

“Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires,” he wrote.

“Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Read more » http://rt.com/uk/221123-muslims-freedom-speech-chaudry/

Will religion ever disappear?

By Rachel Nuwer

Atheism is on the rise around the world, so does that mean spirituality will soon be a thing of the past? Rachel Nuwer discovers that the answer is far from simple.

A growing number of people, millions worldwide, say they believe that life definitively ends at death – that there is no God, no afterlife and no divine plan. And it’s an outlook that could be gaining momentum – despite its lack of cheer. In some countries, openly acknowledged atheism has never been more popular.

“There’s absolutely more atheists around today than ever before, both in sheer numbers and as a percentage of humanity,” says Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and author of Living the Secular Life. According to a Gallup International survey of more than 50,000 people in 57 countries, the number of individuals claiming to be religious fell from 77% to 68% between 2005 and 2011, while those who self-identified as atheist rose by 3% – bringing the world’s estimated proportion of adamant non-believers to 13%.

Read more ⇒ BBC
Learn more ⇒ http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141219-will-religion-ever-disappear

 

Author’s journey inside ISIS: They’re ‘more dangerous than people realize’

By Frederik Pleitgen, CNN

(CNN) — Juergen Todenhoefer’s journey was a tough one: dangerous, but also eye-opening. The author traveled deep into ISIS territory — the area they now call their “caliphate” — visiting Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in Syria, as well as Mosul in Iraq.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was taken by ISIS in a Blitzkrieg-like sweep in June.

Todenhoefer managed to visit the mosque there where the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, gave his only public address.

And he saw the realities of daily life under ISIS, with all shops having to close for prayers in the middle of the day.

“There is an awful sense of normalcy in Mosul,” Todenhoefer said in an exclusive interview with CNN.

“130,000 Christians have been evicted from the city, the Shia have fled, many people have been murdered and yet the city is functioning and people actually like the stability that the Islamic State has brought them.”

Nonetheless, he says, there is an air of fear among residents: “Of course many of the them are quite scared, because the punishment for breaking the Islamic State’s strict rules is very severe.”

Read more » CNN
Learn more » http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/22/world/meast/inside-isis-juergen-todenhoefer/index.html?c=&page=0

Muslims must confront Islamism

BY , TORONTO SUN

TORONTO – We can only weep for the scores of children massacred by the Taliban in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Just a day before this slaughter, another Islamist took innocent cafe patrons hostage in downtown Sydney. Two of them were killed, along with him.

Not long ago, Islamist extremists took the lives of two Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Montreal.

When will this religious madness ever end?

Just when we consider beheading by ISIS to be the worst inhumanity, we learn the Taliban butchers made pupils watch their teacher being incinerated.

In this competition of evil, we must now wonder who has cultivated the most brutal brand: Boko Haram in Nigeria, ISIS militants, al-Qaida or the Taliban?

Revenge prompted the bombings of the army-run Pakistani school.

“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said the Taliban leaders who claimed responsibility.

Read more » Toronto Sun
Learn more » http://www.torontosun.com/2014/12/18/muslims-must-confront-islamism#.VJSsFQymnmk.facebook

10 questions Pakistan Army fans can’t answer

Pakistan has lost 70,000 of its people to terrorism. The figure of policemen and jawans killed stands somewhere between ten and twenty thousands. Earlier this week, Taliban launched the deadliest of all attacks of Pakistan’s history which (to last counts) has killed 162 including 140+ children in APS&C Peshawar. There is no national consensus still and Pakistan Army and its cronies continue to confuse masses with their usual conspiracy theories and blaming neighboring India and Afghanistan while running away from any responsibility by trying to prove terrorists were not Muslim and came from some unknown place. The fact remains that the terrorism in Pakistan is an outcome of policy of strategic depth of Pakistan Army which is enabled by the Jihadi narrative popularised in Pakistan by Deobandi madressah network, on behest and funding of Pakistan Army. The chicken have now come home to roost but Pakistan Army continues its policy of good and bad Taliban and is not willing to reverse its narrative and take on extremism. What is more tragic is the unflinching support that Pakistan Army enjoys, specially in urban centers by young educated lot who find it unpatriotic and traitorous to question Pakistan Army. So, here are my ten questions to Pakistan Army fan boys and girls….

1. Who lets Mullah Omar operate from Quetta?

Read more » AleXpressed
Learn more » http://blog.ale.com.pk/?p=2572

Militant siege of Peshawar school over, at least 141 killed

By Agencies | Zahir Shah Sherazi | Mateen Haider | Hassan Jahangiri | Abdul Hakim

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials say the siege at an army-run school on Warsak road school is over, and authorities are now sweeping the area.

At least 141 people, most of them children (132), died when Taliban gunmen attacked the school in the morning. The overwhelming majority of the victims were students at the school, which has children and teenagers in grades 1-10.

Read more ⇒ DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1151203

Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction, Study Finds

babiesBy  | By

Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.

Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories — religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.

Read more ⇒ Huffington Post
Learn more ⇒ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/children-religion-fact-fiction_n_5607009.html

“No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism

Author’s note: This article was adapted from a lecture I presented at the Ayn Rand Institute’s OCON conference “The Jihad Against the West,” in Boston, MA, on October 21, 2006.

Author’s note: This article was adapted from a lecture I presented at the Ayn Rand Institute’s OCON conference “The Jihad Against the West,” in Boston, MA, on October 21, 2006.

By John David Lewis

The Greek historian Thucydides, writing about the calamitous war that had destroyed his own world, made an important observation about the causes of historical events: Even though circumstances may change, human nature remains the same; and certain human elements—especially moral and psychological factors—are at the root of all wars. We can disagree with Thucydides about the identity of those factors, and reject his pessimistic view of human nature, but we will benefit from accepting his challenge to rise above particular circumstances and focus on the principles of human action that are common to all time. Differences in technology, politics, or economics will always remain secondary to the ideas that motivate aggressors to launch bloody attacks and that empower—or restrain—defenders opposing those attacks.

In that spirit, let us begin by considering an event of cataclysmic proportions, a deadly attack against Americans, and then examine two possible responses to it. This approach will show us that the crisis we face today—a series of highly motivated attacks against the heart of civilization—is not unique, can be understood, and can be ended—if we choose to understand and end it.

The attack under consideration kills thousands of Americans. Foreign governments, well known to us, have sponsored such attacks for years in their pursuit of a continental-scale totalitarian empire. The fire motivating the slaughter is a militaristic, religious-political ideology that values war as a demonstration of loyalty to a deity, demands obedience to its spokesmen, and imposes its edicts over millions of people. Thousands of individuals, indoctrinated as youths, are eager to engage in suicide attacks, and many more are willing to die through acquiescence and submission, should the state so demand. The enemy soldier is highly motivated, thoroughly brainwashed, and willing to die for his god and his cause. The enemy’s children and soldiers memorize words such as these:

The battlefield is where our army displays its true character, conquering whenever it attacks, winning whenever it engages in combat, in order to spread our deity’s reign far and wide, so that the enemy may look up in awe to his august virtues.1

They accept, as moral imperatives, ideas such as these:

[F]ight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war; but if they repent, and practice our way, then accept them. . . . You shall fight back against those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what God and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the religion of truth.2

Millions of people embrace such injunctions as unquestioned commandments. Their suicidal attacks continue for years.

Read more ⇒ The Objective Standard
To read full article » https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-winter/no-substitute-for-victory-the-defeat-of-islamic-totalitarianism/

How Did Moses Part the Red Sea?

The science of tides may have saved the Israelites from the Egyptians The science of tides may have saved the Israelites from the Egyptians

By BRUCE PARKER

Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which opens in movie theaters across the country Dec. 12, will include, of course, the most famous of all biblical miracles: the parting of the Red Sea. But its depiction will look quite different from the one in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 classic “The Ten Commandments.” In the earlier movie, Charlton Heston as Moses parted the sea into two huge walls of water, between which the children of Israel crossed on a temporarily dry seabed to the opposite shore. Pharaoh’s army of chariots chased after them only to be drowned when Moses signaled for the waters to return.

Mr. Scott has said that his new version of the story will have a more realistic and natural explanation of what happened and won’t rely on Moses to bring forth God’s miraculous intervention. He has decided to have the waters “part” as the result of a tsunami caused by an earthquake. Before a tsunami strikes, coastal waters often recede, leaving the seabed dry before the giant wave arrives.

But there are problems with this version of the story, too. The period during which coastal waters draw back before a tsunami usually lasts only 10 or 20 minutes, too little time to get all the children of Israel across the temporarily dry seabed. Also, there would have been no way for Moses to know that the earthquake and tsunami were going to happen, unless God told him. That’s fine, but then the story would retain some element of the miraculous.

There is a much better natural explanation for how a temporary path across the Red Sea could have been revealed. It involves the tide, a natural phenomenon that would have fit nicely into a well-thought-out plan by Moses, because Moses would have been able to predict when it would happen.

In certain places in the world, the tide can leave the sea bottom dry for hours and then come roaring back. In fact, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte and a small group of soldiers on horseback were crossing the Gulf of Suez, the northern end of the Red Sea, roughly where Moses and the Israelites are said to have crossed. On a mile-long expanse of dry sea bottom exposed at low water, the tide suddenly rushed in, almost drowning them.

Read more » THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
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GRAPHIC IMAGES: Thousands of buffaloes slaughtered during ‘Gadhimai Mela’ festival

Despite protests by animal rights activists the Hindu festival in Nepal went on. In 2009, some 200,000 animals died, according to reports.

BY  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Some 5,000 buffalo have been slaughtered in Nepal during what is thought to be the largest animal ritual ceremony in the world.

The animals are killed as part of the Hindu Gadhimai festival, reports Al Jazeera.

As well as buffalo, rats, birds, chicken, goats and pigs are also sacrificed.

The event takes place every five years and during the same festival in 2009, some 200,000 animals were slaughtered.

It is thought around 100,000 animals will die during this year’s event, reports The Independent.

Read more ⇒ New York Daily News
Learn more ⇒ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/graphic-images-5-000-buffaloes-sacrificed-nepal-festival-article-1.2027506?cid=bitly

Pope Francis Stepping Down, Says ‘There is no God’

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VATICAN CITY, Rome – Pope Francis shocked the Catholic world today announcing that he plans on stepping down from his position. Papal Resignation is extremely rare, and this will only be the 7th time in the history of the church. Pope Francis made his announcement from his balcony in Vatican City to thousand of shocked spectators. 

“I have come to the conclusion there is no God,” said Pope Francis, a man who has become known for his unorthodox views on the Catholic church. “I have dedicated my life to the church. Clearly, so many wasted years of unanswered prayers. I can no longer in good faith head the church anymore, as whatever spirit that had filled my heart is gone.”

A shocked crowd of onlookers became extremely quiet as the Pontiff continued, many of whom openly wept.

“I will stay on long enough for another Pope to be chosen, of course. I know many of you will be upset, but please be happy for me and my new life. I plan on spending my remaining years traveling, maybe finding a good woman and settling down. Hell, maybe even a good man. Who knows? It’s a new day, and I solemnly believe that everyone should choose to live their life the way they want. I wish you all the best and don’t let my decision stop you from believing in an imaginary God, if that’s what you want to do.”

”Pope Francis’ decision comes as no surprise to Vatican insiders, his hard-line stance on altar boy molestation, his generosity to the poor, and his blessing of gay marriage have made unpopular among priests of the church,” says Vatican reporter  Francesco Rinaldi. “Some say the Pope was being blackmailed to step down by Church officials. Whatever the reason, most look forward to his departure so the Church can get back to business as usual – hating gays and bashing sinners.”

Courtesy: EmpireNews
http://empirenews.net/pope-francis-stepping-down-says-there-is-no-god/