“Fact is Muslims kill far more Muslims than non-Muslims.”

“Fact is Muslims kill far more Muslims than non-Muslims.”

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Umar, Founder of the Ummayyad Dynasty

 

I don’t understand when people state this obvious fact as if it is a totem against Islamic extremism or judgment thereof.

This is a horrid fact. It is a wretched statement about the lunacy of Islam. To be an apostate in Islam is a death sentence and nearly every group of Muslim lunatics has their own definition of apostacy. Much like the Catholics and Protestants (pick your denomination) in the age of Christian insanity, to fall in with a group of Muslims is to inculcate their beliefs or risk death in non-conformity. In the West, non-conformity is to risk at best ostracism from a desired group. At worst and if one acts violently, one may risk imprisonment or exile (ala Manning & Snowden). In Islam, non-conformity is a possible or probable death sentence. Depending on the country, region or group of lunatics in one’s immediate geographic area, probable/possible can proceed with alacrity to certainty.

According to some researchers, 15% of the world’s Muslim population actively or passively supports extremist views of Islam. This is certainly not true. For to be a Muslim is to believe that the Qu’ran is infallible. Much of the Qu’ran is extremist. Certainly, there are passages in the Qu’ran which imitate the New Testament of the suicidal Messiah. However, most of the Qu’ran is about conquest and akin to the Old Testament and the Judaic God of Omnipotent Fury.

One can read the Qu’ran and come away with passages of love for humanity. Yet, Islam is not Christianity. Islam is it’s own religion. Islam asserts it’s ascendancy over all other religions. Islam states that it is well and good to convert via conquest even as it states that no Infidel or non-believer should be forced into conversion (or reversion as the Muslims believe). Instead of forcing one to “revert,” Islam creates a second class of citizens and a third class of citizens all the while asserting that this well and good.

Islam, as of this time, has no real global political power. The judge of the character of a religion or cause is not it’s actions during impotence but in it’s age of power. How does it treat those when it has the power to coerce, tax and to impose it’s will.

One must look to the Nations wherein Islam IS the power. Where Islam is the Law. For this, we have Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lybia and assorted other nations such as Indonesia. The outlook is not favorable for Islam as peaceful and tolerant religion.

Look to Jerusalem during the Jordanian occupation. How did the Jordanians treat non-Muslims in their holy city. How do Muslims treat the holy places of the other? In the history of Islam, they have mostly been want to demand respect for their holy places while desecrating those of all others. To be sure, there are exceptions. Omar, Babar and Saladin are fine examples of Islamic tolerance. Omar was an early Islamic leader coming soon after Mohammad. Babar and Saladin were not of the Arab/Gulf school of Islam. They grew up under the Mystics and Sufis of the deserts.

The brand of Islam that has arisen again out of the Nejd and which is spreading like a disease of the soul throughout the Muslim world via Wahhabism and it’s children in the Muslim Brotherhood is not of the desert Sufis or Mystics. Wahhabism is severe.  Wahhabism is a cancer being spread via oil pipelines and capitalistic greed. It is apocalyptic.  It is messianic.  It is a potential world devourer for it cares not whom it kills, how many it murders or what it destroys.  It’s mission is to spread throughout the body of humanity by any means necessary even unto the death of the host.  We can wish that this latest Muslim movement was one of tolerance and we can pretend that the 15% are the only Muslims about whom we must be concerned. However, in the history of man, it is not the 85% who carries the day and rules history or crafts the stories of blood and violence that rends peace and creates war. It is the 15% who terrorizes and leads the other 85% into the rift of war, violence and conquest.

Certainly, Muslims kill more Muslims than they kill outsiders. They are neighbors.  The fight is more personal. They are convenient targets for one another. The idealistic are always a lunatic fringe and when carried into the future by extremist views of any ideology, they will carry the day. For they have the passion and the will to force their views on the masses.

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Islamic Tolerance would, today, be called Apartheid

Islamic Tolerance would today be called Apartheid

“I call you to God and to Islam. If you respond to the call, then you are Muslims: You obtain the benefits they enjoy and take up the responsibilities they bear. If you refuse, then you must pay the jizyah. If you refuse the jizyah, I will bring against you tribes of people who are more eager for death than you are for life. We will then fight you until God decides between us and you.” (Al Tabari, Volume XI)

Khalid bin Al-Waheed (Muslim General, 632AD)

It is truthful to say that Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.

Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Tolerance is sometimes a first step towards elimination or assimilation. We can tolerate the influx of immigrants in the United States until (or only if) they assimilate. It’s the same with Islam.

Islam tolerates Christians and Jews (and whomever else) as long as they eventually assimilate. At the apex of Islamic Empire, this tolerance worked in their favor. They were THE World Power, especially in the Eastern Hemisphere, and those below them were of little consequence. Islamic law made it difficult to be an outsider or less difficult to revert (convert). Non-Muslims in Islamic lands were required to pay a special tax (jizya). No buildings were to be created or built that were for the purpose of worship or exercise of any other religion. Non-Muslims could ride on a horse in many (most) Muslim lands. Non-Muslims could not own Muslim slaves. Though Muslims could own Muslim slaves. Any non-Muslim in a Muslim country was characterized both culturally and legally as a dhimmi.

So, yes, Islam has a strong tradition of tolerance. At that point in Islamic history, tolerance worked in Islam’s favor. Let’s not confuse tolerance with true acceptance, though. Non-Muslims in the Islamic world were little better than second class citizens. In today’s parlance, the existence and lifestyle created by Islamic tolerance would be called Apartheid. Apparently, Mr. Obama believes that this is a thing to be tolerated when it exists in Islam.

In the modern age, most Islamic nations are small despotic, tyrannical States with no real power outside of their borders. Tolerance does not work. In order for Islam to survive, no other religion can be allowed to have influence over the people or the culture. Islam will not survive if people are allowed to make choices contrary to Islam.

Islamic civilization was definitely a tolerant society at one time. In some cases in some countries, it still is today. However, I hardly would call this Apartheid-like tolerance any better than Southern Jim Crow.

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted. (Al Tabari, Volume XII)

Umar ibn al-Khattab during the conquest of al-Basrah (636 CE)
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Somewhere in America (Westernized Muslim Women and Hijab Pride)

These are Muslim women who do not understand Islam and the meaning behind the hijab. The hijab is humility and chasteness. There is nothing humble or chaste about most of the women in this video.

The hijab, chadori and other Islamic accoutrement that these women are wearing are nothing more than an expression of their being from an Islamic culture. It is not an understanding of Islam or a representation of their Islamic beliefs.

These women have a choice, obviously, as to how they wish to live their lives. let them go to Saudi Arabia and prance around as they do in this video. That would be an excellent and hard lesson for them in the realities of Islam.

American Muslims are, apparently, no longer Muslims. They’ve lost their “Islam.” lol Muslims in name only. haha

This video is not a vision of reality for Muslim women in the Muslim world. It is an expression of Women who grew up Muslim in the West and, apparently, in extremely liberal Muslim families. This would not be possible in most of the Islamic world.

Body fitting pants and a hijab are as compatible as liberty and slavery. One may as well be a Nun and wear a bikini.

This video says nothing except that Muslim women in America do not to understand Islam or the realities of Muslim women in Muslim countries. The Hijab, the Chadori and other Muslim clothing articles of this type are meant to convey a sense of humility before Allah. They are meant to be a sign that the woman or girl is chaste. These women almost universally wear curve revealing clothing. This completely negates the head coverings that they’re wearing.

I challenge any of them to move to Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Live for a year or two in Egypt or Turkey or many other traditionally Muslim countries outside of the larger Metropolitan areas such as Cairo. Try dressing their as they dress in America. Experiment with going out in public without their hair covered. After that, then come back and tell us how free you felt to dress as you please.

Muslim women outside of the Muslim world have fooled themselves into believing that they have choices. They have fooled themselves into believing that if they wear the hijab that they are good Muslims.

Reality would beat these girls and throw acid in their face almost anywhere outside of the West.

Enjoy those freedoms but understand that you have those freedoms because you DO NOT live in a Muslim society.

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ELECTIONS: America VS Iran

ELECTIONS:  America VS Iran

Iran: Religious Leaders offer pre-approved candidates for whom the people of Iran are allowed to vote. One of these (usually two) pre-approved candidates are elected to do the bidding of the true leaders of the Nation.

America: Corporate (Religious) Leaders offer pre-approved candidates for whom the people of America are allowed to vote. One of these (usually two) pre-approved candidates are elected to do the bidding of the true leaders of the Nation.

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The Pledge of Ignorance

The Pledge of Ignorance

These children had no idea to what they were pledging allegiance. What Five, Ten or Thirteen year old could or would? They’d have to be wise beyond their years and, if that were the case, they’d never pledge allegiance to a flag.

Pledge to know, protect and uphold the Constitution? Perhaps.

Pledging allegiance to a symbol that at any moment and to any person could mean anything. I think not.

This does not take into account the fact that the pledge was authored by a socialist. Nor does it take into account “GoD” being later added in order that children may be coopted forcibly into the Christian religion.

This in a state that is supposedly opposed to socialism and is supposed to be a Nation opposed to religious establishment or preference. The United States Bill of Rights guarantees Freedom of Religion. Even the founding fathers were fans of a multiplicity of religious belief in our nation.

“The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation…All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens;” wrote George Washington.

“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.”- Thomas Jefferson

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”- Thomas Paine

[He] sais “neither Pagan nor Mahamedan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.”
 — Thomas Jefferson, quoting John Locke, 1776


“If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews or Christian of an[y] Sect, or they may be Atheists.” George Washington

The Founders of this Nation were accepting of all peoples. They found no need for a pledge to the flag under which they fought for Independence from Britain.

Yet, somehow, 200 years removed, Americans find themselves in need of a test, a pledge for citizenship.

The founder likewise accepted all persons as newcomers to this nation. Yet, today, we want no part of new peoples who are escaping poverty and destitution, despotism and tyranny. Today’s American is too good for the immigrant, too fearful of the immigrant, too greedy to share of their bounty.

I dare say that both the Founders of this Nation and the GoD whom Christians worship would be ashamed of these Americans.

But, pledge away, simple people. Pledge away. And pray that your GoD is not real. For if this GoD of the Christian Bible is real, surely there is another plague, another great flood, another calamity heading your way.

The pity is that you’ll drag me along with you. Oh, iniquitous, prideful fools.

Religion Hates Me! How Can I Respect That?

 

 

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I    do not understand “respect” for an archaic vision of hatred. That, to me, is the essence of religion. Religion separates humanity. It categorizes and labels. It creates “the other.” Oftentimes, or more realistically, most often it prejudices it’s adherents AGAINST the other.

Religion unifies one part against the other. It divides.

Certainly, it unifies. However, it does so in a negative manner.

Religion says; “We are this and you are that. AND THAT is an abomination. THAT is wrong.”

What is good about that? What can I find to respect about that?

What if religion were to say; “We are all one. We are different but we are all part of the same whole. It is ok that you are different. We can find common ground and live peaceably and honorably.”

Religion does not do this. Religion names the other sinner, infidel, heathen, savage, heretic, unbeliever, abomination. Religion dehumanizes and allows it’s adherents to think of the lives of all others as unworthy. Unless “the other” converts, submits, reverts or otherwise becomes a part of that religion.

Religion is false. It is simply a means of falsely dividing the people of the earth and controlling that subset in accordance with the whims of “the GoD” of their leader.

Religion keeps us divided.

Religion is false.

Why would I respect that? What earthly reason do I have to respect the religion of the crusades, of jihad, of honor killings, of genocide. This notion that we should respect the beliefs of others is insanity.

No person who truly believes in Islam or Christianity can be tolerant or accepting of other religions or of persons who do not “believe.” Inherent in the beliefs of those two specific religions is the law, judgment, understanding that those who do not believe are going to a hell or will be punished for living their lives outside as a non-believer. There is no real tolerance and can be no real acceptance of others for those who truly believe in the writings of the Bible or the Qu’ran.

To a true believer, you are as good as judged by their GoD. You are unworthy. You are infidel. You are perpetual outsider with no hope of redemption or salvation UNLESS you become one of them…unless you join their FAITH.

And, like the song by Queen, there can be only one.

The two cannot coexist in any true sense. To believe one is to believe the other false. To be one is to believe that the other is not fully human…not worthy of “everlasting life.”

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Inherent in the beliefs of those two religions is a disrespect for all other living creatures who dwell upon this planet. You are unclean. You are infidel. You are heathen. You are savage. You are abominable. That IS the belief.

Am I supposed to respect that fundamental hatred of who I am?

 

 

 

The Women’s Bazaar

Each week, Camp Eggers stages a bazaar at which local venders come and sell their wares.  The Afghans sell everything at the bazaar.  One can purchase everything from rugs, tapestries, paintings by local artists, jewelry gems and bootlegged products ranging from Rolex Watches to newly released movies or TV programs.

Today, however, was the Women’s Bazaar.  This event is specially sponsored to give women in Kabul a chance to develop their micro-businesses and, I think, to give them the experience of mixing with other cultures and peoples.  A sort of manner in which to broaden these women’s horizons and opportunities.

It’s a bit nerve tingling to walk through this bazaar.  It’s much smaller.  Much more open and airy than the usual bazaar.  The items on offer are much more limited.  There were no carpets, no bootleg DVDs, no fake Rolex watches.  It was mostly handicrafts and jewelry with a smattering of paintings thereabouts.

The dynamic was quiet and a bit odd for me.  There weren’t too many Afghan men there.  I remember seeing only one Afghan male and one young boy thereabouts.  I spied, perhaps, twenty young girls ranging in age from 6 or 7 to 14 or 15.  A couple of them were quite pretty little ladies.  I counted roughly 30 different booths with one or two women therein.  Each selling scarves, jewelry or paintings.  No huge collections of gems or rings and necklaces.  All offered a small selection.  I think mostly they were selling scarves.  I’ve purchased dozens of scarves in Afghanistan and have no desire to purchase more.

The prices at the bazaar are no longer a bargain.  Not for what is on offer.  I think all of the good bargains were bought out in ’05 and ’06.  After that, somehow the pricing of everything became inflated.  I, for one, refuse to be haggled out of a good price simply because fools came before me and would pay any price.  So, I’ve pretty much foregone the “bargains” to be had at the bazaar since my return.  I purchased a few items and sent them to Unny but nothing like before.

Back to the Woman’s Bazaar.

The only person whom I recognized out there was the woman from the Afghan Scouts.  She is at the other bazaar each Friday.  I suppose she is sponsored by some US scout master and that allows her to gain and edge on the Men in the weekly bazaar.

I bought an item from her a couple of weeks ago.  A special order for Unny.  She was a nice woman and speaks decent English.  She smiled and said hello as I left the bazaar.

And that was the strange thing.  I’m not accustomed to Afghan women smiling at me, greeting me, talking to me.  I wanted to take photos of some of their jewelry but I was nervous about hauling out my phone and snapping away.  Would someone get offended?  Would it freak them out as much as their presence unnerved me?

I don’t think the children would have minded.  They’d have posed prettily more than likely and asked for a tip.  Something along those lines, I’m sure.  However, Afghan women are, for the most part, a mystery to me.  I don’t know how to act around them.  What I might do to get myself or them in trouble.  What cultural faux pas I might make in an effort to be nice and casual about the whole ordeal.

So I walked through the bazaar trying not to make TOO MUCH eye contact.  I smiled and met them eye to eye when they attempted to sell me something.  But didn’t act my usual self as I would have walking through the other bazaar.  And I overpaid for two bracelets simply to support the women who were there.

And therein lies a problem.  I paid double for an item simply because it was an Afghan woman and I felt like it would be idiotic, rude, somehow un-chivalrous to haggle with a woman in Afghanistan.  These women are destined to a life of toil in a land where men rule absolutely.  They will live out their lives as nothing more than baby factories and what little money they can make will be taken from them by their husbands or family.

We think we can somehow make their lives better by staging this “woman’s bazaar.”  It will make very little difference.  I have not seen the attitudes of men change towards women in Afghanistan in the decade that I’ve come here.  Certainly, some men have softened and some who have left Afghanistan will have changed their attitudes and will adapt to the West.  By and large, though, a woman’s bazaar and anything similar to it is a ruse that will make us feel better.  It will do very little for the lot of women in this land.

I wish it were not so.  I can’t say that it will be, though.  That is shame to humanity as a whole.

We hold on to our petty religions and beliefs and the weak pay the price.

I did not intend to write in this manner but this is what ushered forth and this is what I’ll post.

The Civil War

“You were such a sweet child in America.  I told Baba to send you back.  For your own good,” shouted Wali.
“I’m not American!  I am an Afghan.  You would do well to remember that part of you as well.  We live in Afghanistan.  We are Muslim.  Our family is Muslim.  This is who we are.  It is our heritage.  Our pride!”  came the raging rejoinder from Amir.

“Our sister is not a donkey to be sold at market.  She is our blood.”

“She will do as she is told.  That is a woman’s place.  She knows this.  She will do her duty.”

“Her duty?  What is wrong with you?  Have you no shame?”

“What of you?  Have you no shame?  You are Muslim.  You are one of us.  You should understand.”

“I am not Muslim.  That is the faith of our fathers.  I never accepted it.  I refuse to acknowledge it.”

“Be careful brother.  That is apostasy.  Blasphemy.  You would do well to remember where you are.”

“And that is why i am leaving this god forsaken Muslim land.”

“We will see what Baba says about that.”

“Father has no say.  I have reached my majority.  The choice is mine.  I have my passport.  I am an American citizen.  As are you.”

“I have renounced America.  I will fight the American imperialist.  Together with my brothers, we will re-take our country and return it to it’s Islamic glory.”

“Islamic glory?  HA!  There is no glory in the oppression…the madness that you contemplate.  You speak of glory and Islam.  Yet, what you want is a reversion to an Islam that never existed.  You and your ‘brothers’ are quite insane.”

“America invaded and occupied our lands.  They bomb our countrymen.  They attack Islam.  They burn our Holy Qu’ran!  They are infidels.  They do not belong here.  We shall repel them and send them scurrying back to their homes as happened in Vietnam.”
“That was a different time and place.  America is different now.  If you would lay down your arms and let them help us, Afghanistan could be a place for all of our people.  Instead, you wish to place women back in the burqa, you wish to repress the Shi’a.  You wish to force Islam on everyone as the taliban did in the ‘90s.  You are no better than the fascists.  You are no better than the communists who invaded.  The Americans would help us but we will not let them.”

“The Americans are here only for our resources.  They do not care about Afghans.  They hate Muslims.  They hate Islam.”

“That is your own hate speaking.  Listen to yourself.”

“This is the Afghan in me speaking.  It is the Muslim.  You have lost yourself in your love of America.  Baba should never have taken us there.  It was the act of a traitor.  The act of a coward.”

“So Father is a coward?  You have done nothing in your life.  With your big words and lack of deeds.”

“You know nothing of what I’ve done.  I am with my brothers.  We continue the war against the infidel.  We fight for Islam.”

“You fight for oppression.  You fight for the Saudis.  The Islam of your people is a blasphemy to humanity.  Mohammad would not know you.  He would think you a monster.”

“But this is not why we fight today.  Our sister has been given to marriage.  This marriage will fulfill all of Baba’s obligations and allow him to live his life out free of debt.  If Ameerjan seeks to not fulfill her obligations to this family, she will bring dishonor to us.”

“And what will you do?  Will your honor demand Ameerjan’s blood?  Will you murder her for honor’s sake.”

“I will do what is necessary.  She is bound by blood to us.  You are bound by blood to us.”

“I am bound by humanity.  I am bound by familial love.  I am not bound by this disgusting honor code that demands my Sister’s blood for disobedience to an archaic system that enslaves her to the men of this family.”

“So what will you do?”

“I will do what is necessary…”

“Then you will be the author of your own sadness.”

“Our sister will fulfill her obligations to this family.  She will marry Mullah Alam Khan.  It will be done.  She will bring honor to this family.  Her selfless act will give Baba the means to resurrect our family name and to build a future for our family in our homeland.”

“She will not marry that antiquity of a man.  That wrinkled bastard will not touch her.  It will not happen.”

“It will happen.  You will go back to America…to your beloved infidels.  You will not stand in the way.”

“It is already done.  Ameerjan was taken away in the night.  We knew that you plotted against us.”

“Here is your passport.  In the envelope is a ticket to America.  Return to your beloved corruption and never return.  You are no longer my brother.  If I see you again, you will not live to tell of the meeting.  Be gone.”

“You bastard!  This is not the last of this.  Shoaib will undo this evil bargain that you have made with our sister’s life.”

“Be careful brother.  Your forget your place.  You are older than me but Baba takes my counsel.  I have the influence here.  Kabul is my home now.  You are a stranger here.  You are an infidel.  You border on apostasy.  One word from me and you will find yourself in prison.  You will not long live in a Kabul prison.  With a word, your life is forfeit.”

“I will leave.  Have no fear of that.  This land is dying because of you and your brothers.”

“Speak no more brother.  We should part now while I am still willing to allow it.  Sister will marry Alam Khan.  You will be well financed in America.  Keep your own counsel.  Do nothing foolish.  Tell Shoaibjan nothing.  Even with his American friends and training, he can do nothing.  If he tries to take our sister, he will die.  She is, even now, on her way to Lashkar Gah.  There is nothing for him there but death.  Rash acts will only  serve to endanger Ameerjan.”

“We shall see.”

I flew back to America that night.  On the layover in Dubai, Shoaib met me at the Trader’s Hotel.

“Shoaib, my brother.”

”Wahid, how are you?  What word on Ameerjan?”

“They have sent her to Lashkar Gah.  It will be dangerous for you there.  It is the Taliban homeland.  Helmand Province is violent.  Terrible men prowl the countryside.  The Taliban are all powerful there.”

“I did missions there when I was still in the Army, Wahid.  Don’t worry.  I know the place well.  I know people there who will help me.”

“You must take care.  Ameerjan must not be made to go through with this corrupt marriage.  The thought of that old man touching my sister pains me.”

“Wahid, give me all of the details that you have.  I’ll make contact.  I have a plan.”

Palestinian Problems

I was a little into my cups in this vid.

So, I went to Jerusalem a couple of years back with my girlfriend and another friend.  We had a good time strolling through the old city. We saw a lightshow in the Citadel of David.  We grooved through all of the old Christian sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  It was easy on the Christian side.

The Jewish sites were open to the public and easily accessible.  No threatening presence.  No people staring you down for daring to enter their domain.

We walked  the Via do la Rosa.   The path of pain.  That being the path that Jesus, according to tradition, took from his judgement to his torture to his death via the most horrendous method of judicious murder ever devised by mankind — hanging on the cross.  It’s a strange tradition to follow the death of a man so closely but that’s Christianity.  It’s all about death.  They love their Jesus and celebrate his death.  I don’t understand it and especially do not understand why they don’t concentrate more on his life.

That said, there is not much known about his life.  If he actually existed.  There is no real proof that Jesus existed.  Most of the “proofs” have been found to be fakes or hoaxes.  The Shroud of Turin has been proved false.  Yet, folks still flock to see “his” death shroud.  More celebration of death.

On the Muslim side, it was a little bit more difficult.  The Muslim side is segregated.  Not only do women have their places and places that they can not go but the Muslims have made rules such that Infidels must pass through certain gates to enter their holy places.  Non-Muslims could not walk through certain areas and were prohibited from entering places like the Dome of the Rock.

The Muslims themselves looked to be near to breaking out in violence at all times.  They didn’t look happy even in their own little areas.  That’s not to say all of them.  But even the puniest punk tried to stare down folks.  That happened even in the markets.

It’s a shame as I know many Muslims who lead happy lives.  As happy as can be as most Muslims whom I know live in war torn nations.  Could there be a pattern to that?  Someone might want to think about that.

Why are most Muslim areas poor and violent?

I know.  America.  Right?  It’s all the fault of the Great Shaytan and the little Shaytan.  America and Israel.

Only that doesn’t account for the fact that Muslim areas have been in strife before contact with Europe or the existence of America.

Was Genghis Khan America’s fault?  Was Tamerlane the fault of America?  Were the Turkish tribes the fault of America or Europe?

Something to think about I suppose.

Overall, though, we encountered very few problems in Jerusalem.  Unless you count the impossibility of finding a good cheeseburger.

The Girl in the Cafe

Ray and I were sitting in the City Center Cafe when an attractive young woman sat down at the table next to us.  This was usually a sign that she was interested in talking to us.  It happened a few times before that women would sit near us and wait for an invitation to join our table.  The problem with this was that it nearly always caused an uproar.  Afghan men did not like “their women” talking to “the damn Americans.”
We were careful.  Ray and I furtively searched the cafe for intrusive or fundamentalist looking characters.  Long hair and full beards were usually sure signs of a fundy freak but sometimes the young guys would stare at us.  It seemed sometimes that they were waiting for some pretense to raise a scene.  Seeing no one especially alarming, Ray invited the young girl over to our table.  I didn’t really pay her too much attention.  She and Ray spoke for a while until she rose and bid us good day.  As she departed, she sat a piece of paper in front of Ray, smiled and walked off.

“Another phone number?”
“Yeap!”
“Ray, that’s going to get you killed.”
“I know.  But it’ll be worth it.”

A few days later, the young girl met us at the roof top cafe of our hotel.  Amazingly, she was unescorted.  We drank tea as she related her story to us.
“My Mother and Father are selling me to an old man.  I do not want to go.  I’m educated.  I graduated last year from one of the best schools in Switzerland.  Now, I’m going to be sold to this old man because my parents need money.”
“Well, run away.  Leave.  Can’t you find a way to get back to Switzerland?” Ray asked.
I just stared on incredulously.  It’s not that I’d not heard this story before or that I was surprised but it’s not something to which one grows accustomed.  Parents sell their daughters all the time in Afghanistan.  Still, the injustice of this girls plight angered me.
“To run would bring dishonor to my family.  Besides there is nowhere that I could hide and running would be dangerous.  I’d either be thrown in a dirty prison or killed.”  She answered Ray.
I sipped my tea.
She continued; “I was raised to be obedient.  Still, I never thought that I’d be sold like this to an old man.  I allowed myself to believe that I could have a normal life like my friends in Switzerland.”
Ray stared at her.  He looked upset.
“Do not worry Ray.  There is nothing that you could do.  If you involved yourself, it would be trouble.  Dangerous for you.”
I had heard similar stories while in Afghanistan.  However, I’d never met the story in flesh and blood.  This girl was beautiful.  Even wrapped up in her hijab (scarf) and dressed in the drab black so common to Afghan women, she was stunning.  She was cultured, educated, sophisticated.  None of that mattered.
“Ray, this man is a fundamentalist.  I will spend the rest of my life in a closet.  I will be expected to give him boys.  Once I have a baby, I will be hidden away in the dark for the rest of my life to protect his honor.  No one will see me.  I will have no friends.  I will be comfortable but useless.  This is not life.
I contemplated killing myself but I do not have the strength of those girls.  I can only pray that this old man dies before he can consummate the bargain that my parents have made.”
This is one of the more maddening aspects of Afghanistan.  American politicians such as Laura Bush are constantly yammering away at the improvement in the lives of Afghan women.  I’ve not seen it.  There was an improvement in the lives of women in the three to six months immediately following the “liberation” of Afghanistan.  However, the moment that Sharia was enshrined in the Afghan Constitution the curtain fell on women’s rights in the land of the Pushtoon and Tajiks.  Women’s rights are now a pipe dream in Afghanistan.

The Crusades through Muslim Eyes

Basically, the Crusades about which Muslims eternally whine were made possible by the internecine squabbles of Muslim rulers of the era and were conducted against a group of “Muslim” rulers who had taken control of Islam and the area in which the Crusaders attacked for one hundred years and less.

I find this ironic and humorous.

The Crusades through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf

Read it.  It’s an eye opener.

Basically, the Muslim world knows nothing of their own history.

Baghdad of this era was fought over by a group of brother rulers/caliphs over a period of 30 months.  In that time, Baghdad changed hands eight times for an average of every one hundred days.

Seljuk Princes were constantly squabbling with each other over the lands eventually taken by the “Franj” (Franks/Crusaders) which made it possible for the invading Europeans to take the Syria, Palestine and other areas piecemeal and quite literally at their [the Franj] leisure.

Muslim leaders also made and/or offered political alliances to the “Franj” against their brother Muslims.

Yet, the Muslims whine constantly about the Crusades.

Muslims learn your history before you whine again about the crusades.