Tag Archives: Sunni

Creation of doubt

We all have doubts and sometimes we create them. I like many others are appalled by the beheading in France, as the news gives us “The teacher killed in a suburb of Paris in an Islamist terror attack has been named as Samuel Paty” as well as “The history teacher, who is said to have discussed images of the Prophet Muhammad with his pupils, was beheaded”, as a Catholic I am appalled, yet as an academic I wonder why the matter was set into motion. In 2015 many learned “If you set aside for a moment the issue of whether satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are insulting, there’s a separate and complicated debate about whether any depiction – even a respectful one – is forbidden within Islam. For most Muslims it’s an absolute prohibition – Muhammad, or any of the other prophets of Islam, should not be pictured in any way. Pictures – as well as statues – are thought to encourage the worship of idols”, as such we see that Islam FORBIDS any representation of the prophet Muhammad. So is the stage one where a person was beheaded, or is the stage where secular France, knowingly and intentionally disrespects a religion? This is a much harder question isn’t it? I took the events of 2015 at I was against them, yet at that point I was not aware about the Islamic rule of their prophet. As a Catholic, I have an issue of people intentionally disrespecting any religion, it is for that same reason that I refused to read the Satanic verses by Salman Rushdie. I have nothing against the man, I was in those days completely in the dark on Islam and the book was an open attack on Islam. I heard people I knew commenting on how brilliant a book it was, but I knew that they too had no knowledge, none what so ever on the rules and believes towards Islam. As a Catholic, I still laugh over the joke Sir Ken Robinson made “He shares this story of a teacher who asks a 6 year old girl, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of god.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what god looks like.” And the girl said, “They will in a minute””, idols and images of the Catholic faith are not a taboo, it sets the joke of anticipation and the premise towards the willingness to fail, a fear most Christians have in abundance. 

As such, why would Samuel Paty create a situation where he got ahead of himself? I do not condone what was done to him, but in defence of any Islamic person, why did he openly offend any religion in a school class? There is no way that there were no Islamic children in that school. I wonder if there is any school left where we share the classrooms with non-christians. Can we set the stage where we openly mock a religion whilst demanding respect from these very same people at the same time? As I personally see it, we create doubt, in ourselves and we create doubt in others. Why is that?

When we take a step back and we consider the Crusades (1096), we need to realise the state where we see “The crusader presence remained in the region in some form until the city of Acre fell in 1291, leading to the rapid loss of all remaining territory in the Levant. There were no further substantive attempts to recover the Holy Land after this”, consider the middle east being in a war for 196 years, this sets a stage (in those days of close to 7 generations that know a stage of war, a never ending war where hatred is taught (to at least some degree) from grandfather, to so to grandson, and that stage is made worse by intentionally disrespecting Islam, and you wonder why there are angry people? This is a stage that goes back to the Council of Clermont, where in 1095 it was decided that “capture Jerusalem for Christendom from its Muslim occupiers. The Pope’s speech to the church hierarchy and crowd of laymen at Clermont famously promised all participants a remission of their sins, a strategy which proved hugely popular amongst Europe’s nobility and knights and which was copied in all crusades thereafter”, apart from the stage where the reward was ‘promised all participants a remission of their sins’, basically on the promise of killing any saracen in sight. Can someone enlighten me where slaughter was approved in the Bible? All whilst Pope Urban II was viewed as “a reformer and active promoter of the idea of expanding Christendom by whatever means necessary. Hailing from a noble family from Burgundy, France, Urban II would establish himself as one of the most influential popes in history”, yes and a war lasting a few centuries longer 196 years achieved that? 

So as we get to “On 27 November the cream of the French clergy and a crowd of laymen gathered in a field just outside Clermont for the finale of the council. It was here that Urban II made his now famous speech in an obviously pre-prepared set piece. The message, known as the Indulgence, was addressed in particular to Christian nobles and knights across Europe. Urban II promised that all those who defended Christendom and captured Jerusalem would be embarking on a pilgrimage, all their sins would be washed away, and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In case anyone was concerned, a group of church scholars later went to work and came up with the idea that a campaign of violence could be justified by references to particular passages of the Bible and the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)”, The man (not the actual Hippo) got his fame with the Just War theory. A stage where we are taught “The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: “right to go to war” (jus ad bellum) and “right conduct in war” (jus in bello). The first concerns the morality of going to war, and the second the moral conduct within war. Recently there have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory—jus post bellum—dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction”, perhaps the French UN essay writer, might reflect on the Just war theory, I mean, she has such a great handle on fiction, might it not be an idea to set the record straight on historic events? I see and understand the stage of ‘Just war theory’, there is nothing wrong with it, but consider the stage we were at in 1095, the middle east was not a christian bastion. In 1000bc Jerusalem was Jewish, in 586 bc it became Babylonian, Alexander the Great made it Greek, after that is became Egyptian, then Roman, after that it became Muslim, 400 years before the first crusade. Can anyone even tell what Jerusalem was supposed to be? 

But Christians needed expansion and the famine and destitute in Europe gave them the idea to tap into the wealthy reserves of the Arab nations. This is a stage that had war upon war, all whilst none had any clue who they were up against, merely that their enemy was non-christian, can we afford a repetition? Well, I actually do not care, if it decimates 96% of the population, I’ll be happy, because this planet will end up with all kinds of live stopping it become extinct. So back to Christians, can we tell how many versions there are? There are dozens of bibles all different, there are Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, 7 day advents, Quakers and a whole range of subversions and additions. Yet there are as far as I can tell, two forms of Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam and they both have the same Quran, to the letter. Sunni’s and Shia’s pray together and their pilgrimage takes them all to the same to places. I believe that we create the doubt in ourselves and I do not care on secularism, armistice or atheist values, which of them allows for the open and wanton disrespect of Islam we see?

It does not make the violence acceptable, but we created that stage ourselves, we need to see that and we need to see it quickly. In case you wonder if it is just Islamic violence. I offer you the setting of another challenge. Buy a cow, go into Mumbai with that cow and slaughter your own cow, good luck getting out alive, your changes are not that good. If that setting offends you, then why allow the entire stage towards an image of Muhammad, in a school no less.

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About that news

Yup, we always have news, news we agree with and news we disagree with, this is not new, this is a mainstream setting. Yet this is not about news that is fake or false. Even if news is completely true, we might disagree because we do not like the subject, or because we differ on the facts that we know and accept. News becomes subjective and optionally not wrong, incorrect or false. It is a setting we all to some degree battle with. Pretty much all sport fans are in the setting when they read the news on Monday morning. So I had to consider a few things when I saw ‘Canada charges man for lying about joining ISIL’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/26/canada-mounties-charge-man-with-falsely-claiming-extremism). Now I have no real setting towards it, I do not understand why you would only join ISIL in the mind, but there you have it. On one side we can argue the only the truly unbalanced minds will join a terrorist organisation, implying that any person making it as a false claim is an optional mental health patient. One source, Isabella Frances Teti in 2016 via the presidential leadership academy at Penn State, gives us “ISIL’s ideology represents radical Salafi Islam, a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam 

I do not judge, because I am not islamic, yet I feel that any person who truly believes in Sunni Islam would join the armies of either Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Syria and from there protect Sunni Islam, I left Turkey out of the equation in light of the fact that they seem to side with Iran (a Shia nation) all the time. In addition, the I personally do not understand the stage of ‘radical Salafi Islam’, as such I feel a little lost, but I do know that going the path of terrorism is not a solution, so there is my view on the stage, yet was a news article and there are other considerations, the more important one comes next

In light of the data

Consider the we see “Police said the criminal charge against Chaudhry stems from ‘numerous’ media interviews in which he described travelling to Syria in 2016 to join ISIL”, so not only did it a little while for the police and intelligence players a while to catch on, this farce had been going on since 2016, so for 4 years we see that the players were not in the know, their intelligence is that flawed the they could not see through the lies? When we see “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement on Friday the criminal charge against Shehroze Chaudhry stems from “numerous” media interviews in which he described travelling to Syria in 2016 to join the armed group and committing acts of “terrorism”” OK, I agree the there is another way to read this and it had not taken 4 years, yet the setting of ‘“numerous” media interviews’ makes me wonder how many interviews there were and how the information was vetted. From my point of view there is the stage on where Shehroze Chaundry joined, if it included travel from Canada, how was this investigated? So how should we read “charged with a criminal code offence of perpetrating a hoax related to terrorist activity”, as such can I be charged by virtually knocking up a desirable woman? (sorry Natascha McElhone) 

Now, I am not making light of the situation (my desire for Natasha McElhone is real), yet when we see how much is spend on terrorist intelligence and data gathering from 2001 onward, how come it took so long to get a complete picture? 

I understand why there is a charge, especially when I see “the RCMP takes these allegations very seriously, particularly when individuals, by their actions, cause the police to enter into investigations in which human and financial resources are invested and diverted from other ongoing priorities,″ said deGale, commander of an RCMP security enforcement team”, that makes sense, but the stage I see is the timeline between the claim and the discovery. As the article ‘hides’ behind ‘numerous’ as the stage of amount of interviews, which is merely a part in al this. A larger part is the fact that the boy is 25, if this started in 2016, it implies he was 21 at the point, so what travel papers, what modes of transportation and what settings of smuggle were used? How can any person be so in the know that 2-3 interviews would not have brought serious doubt into the mix? And even as I agree with the setting of “The RCMP said it collaborated with several other agencies during its investigation”, which is a proper setting for any investigation, I wonder at what point did Commander deGale become aware that this was not a blood soaking terrorist, but someone with a vivid imagination (which got me to Natasha McElhone), I admit there is nothing wrong with my imagination, other that in some spectral views (the intimate kind), it is massively disconnected from reality, and who does not have that at times?

I myself, would have started by looking into Shehroze Chaudhry’s religious past, talk to his imam on the views that Shehroze Chaudhry might have and if the imam could explain the stage of Chaundry moving towards a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam. Let’s be honest, this might hold water in the US, but Canada? The is the place where boys are born wearing hockey skates and where we hear “Darn, I forgot to close the kitchen door, everyone, there is a bear in the kitchen, lets get a pizza, dinner and the bear will be gone in 5 minutes”, I am not stating that strict Sunni Islam is out of the question, but there seemingly would not be any reason to join ISIL (as I personally see it). There was Islamic places of worship all over Canada, it does not mean that there is a strict Sunny Islam all over the place, but as I see it there are a few options before someone go’s towards ISIL, I got all this in 30 minutes, it is not that some results and data would not be shared, yet the timeline seems off (by a lot). 

Still, the stage of perpetrating a hoax towards being a terrorist could only happen in Canada, in the US that person would most likely be in a Black site until December 2037. I reckon Canada saved itself a few bills.

 

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ISIS is coming to town!

Many have seen the news. Iraq is facing another brawl between the Sunni and Shiite. I do not proclaim any side, or even to know and comprehend the difference between the two beyond a limited and basic level. Is it required? There is an interesting article on it all in the Huffington Post (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-barbanel/the-current-incarnation-isis_b_5509461.html), whether this is something you can connect to is up to you. It is the last paragraph that gives me pause and even some worry.

Unfortunately, what’s needed is for the West to man-up and send in a multi-national force (Americans, Brits, French, Germans, etc.) and squash ISIS (which has ambitions of spreading their Islamic revolution to London and New York). It won’t take many planes or drones. ISIS has no air force. It won’t even take many troops to confront the several thousand ISIS fighters. What it will take is will power and if there’s absence of that we will be left only with the words of the 18th Century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

First of all, the US has no intent of getting involved (at present), more important should they? Remember the old issue when between the 2nd and the 4th of August 1990, Iraq took over Kuwait? It was condemned and after a while the US instigated Desert Storm and it was in that time between 17th January and 28th February 1991 that Sadam Hussein was removed from Kuwait. It was after this when at some point Bill O’Reilly made mention that at this stage, the hold of Sadam Hussein was weak and the Iraqi people could have overthrown their government if they truly wanted freedom. He was correct in a sense, but was he correct overall? I did not consider that part until this week. You see, the issues around Operation Iraqi Freedom (a dubious choice of name to some extent), was that this situation was never completely and correctly resolved (I admit that my use of correct is debatable). So as the US established democratic elections and formation of new Shia led government, we should wonder, even though the Shiite is in a massive majority, how the Sunni’s would react. Last week we saw the escalation of that sentiment in all its brutality. Giving a lot more weight to the consideration Bill O’Reilly left me with when he made the initial statement.

I needed to get another view, so I looked and I found this statistic Shia Muslims constitute 10-20% of the world’s Muslim population and 38% of the Middle East’s entire population, So that is a sizeable chunk, another gave me: “Most Muslims are of two denominations: Sunni (75 – 90%) or Shia (10 – 20%)“, which makes me wonder at first, yet the view from Professor Sue Hullett gave me: “Let me review, while Shia Islam makes up only 10%-20% of the world’s Muslim population, Iraq has a Shia majority (between 60%-65%), but had a Sunni controlled government under Saddam Hussein“, As she is the Distinguished Professor and Chair of Political Science at Knox College, her numbers should be regarded as reliable and they are in line with other numbers I found.

This leaves me with a much clearer picture that we are facing a change where Iraq goes back into the shape it had under Sadam Hussein. More important, the Shiite majority seems to be unwilling to fight the Sunni’s in this matter. Linked to this is a second quote from the Huffington Post “Tens of thousands of Iraqi troops just ran away, abandoned their equipment and abdicated their duty. Had even a fraction of them stood and fought, ISIS probably could have been thwarted.

This is exactly in the light Bill O’Reilly stated several years ago. So is this a case of ‘Barbarians’ attacking ‘Pacifists’? More important, is it the job of the USA to just intervene every time? The issue of ‘deserting’ Shiite’s, for whatever reason, gives clear indication that not only was the exit strategy poorly chosen, an exit strategy should not have been considered. In other light, if the Iraqi’s are not willing to fight for their country and resources, what rights are they enabling themselves with?

Is there a solution?

I am not sure if there is. I have my doubts whether 300 advisors will help when troops run away leaving plenty of resources behind for ISIS, the fact that ISIS was active in Syria and is now armed to the teeth and entering Iraq should also give way to additional questions. The strategic position of ISIS at the borders of Iraq, Syria AND Jordan should also be seen as a dangerous escalation. The destabilisation of Jordan (if made threats are accurate), will push millions of refugees in all kinds of direction; none of them could be seen as a positive one. This is at the heart of the strategy of ISIS, which with my apology for a lack of better phrasing is actually brilliant. They have area control to move large amounts of goods and the US is not clear on what to do and where to do it. If they openly start an opposition war, whether from Iraq or not, they will derail whatever achievements the US state department had made with Iran, this will open up more options for Syrian escalation and the one almost ‘stable’ part there (Jordan), will now be in direct threat as well as its Royal family. Unless King Abdullah II of Jordan finds an acceptable alliance and added support, it runs the risk of destabilising really fast. Now we have ourselves a true Clambake as ISIS ends up with resources at the bulk of the Israeli borders. There is then a direct threat to Eilat (via Jordan) as well as the option to enter the Sinai with from there a path to Hamas. Israel could find themselves in a direct war on two fronts whilst having only limited options to reflect the invader ISIS without direct consent of Jordan, which ties the hands of Israel, with likely direct threats to the cities of Eilat, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva, which puts Israel in clear and present danger of having to instigate a massive offensive. This changes the Sinai into a powder keg and whilst there is no outspoken hostility against ISIS by Egypt, even if it was, Egypt will not allow an increased presence of Israel in the Sinai, making this “no man’s land” a good haven for ISIS, would they proceed in this direction.

ISIS is there for a massive danger for overall stability. That part is called to order even stronger when we consider the headline of the Financial Times ‘Diverse funding and strong accounting give Isis unparalleled wealth‘, by Sam Jones, Defence and Security Editor yesterday afternoon. This gives way to several issues. Not only are they a threat, they are a well-funded threat, which means that they could support Hamas with materials allowing for even more attacks on Israel, giving us an easy escalating situation. I reckon my initial advice for Israel to take back the Sinai in 2012 would have been the best course of action. Not in any anti-Egyptian way, but considering the pressures President Sisi is dealing with at present, having to deal with ISIS in his back yard might have been the one part he preferred not to deal with.

It would also have limited several explorations by ISIS, yet that did not happen, which means that unless a direct solution for Iraq can be found, we will see escalations all over the Middle East. If ISIS does get a hold of Iraq, the US will be forced into a financial and military corner, requiring a solution in a multinational way and very likely in several nations. Will that ever be an acceptable option?

In my mind, the most direct meed would not be Iraq, but Jordan. It is dealing with millions of refugee’s and a dwindling amount of resources. You should by now realise that until Iraqi’s pick up arms (instead of fleeing), that theatre could be lost. If we accept the roman principle of war (the installation of defences against enemy retaliation), then adding strength to the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as a massive increase of Humanitarian aid will be a first priority. It makes Israel less of a target and it limits the movement of ISIS in regards to Syria and Iraq. Yet in the end, until an offensive is launched, ISIS cannot be dealt with and that is something that needs to be done, the question remains: ‘how to do it?’

 

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