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the world of fundamentalism 2

New translation, the Magna Carta
article archives at abelard's news and comment zonethe world of fundamentalism archives
1 2 III-2004: 28

the world of fundamentalism 2

how we got here—the islamic madrassahs

A short outline of the medievalisation and politicisation of 'education' in the islamic madrassahs, on 5 pages of slow download.

page 1


“This canon rejected any significant role for reason in religious matters and dictated that religion be the focus of a Muslim’s existence. The madrasas adopted a core curriculum that divided knowledge between “revealed sciences” and “rational sciences.” The revealed sciences included study of the Koran, hadith, Koranic commentary, and Islamic jurisprudence. The rational sciences included Arabic language and grammar to help understand the Koran, logic, rhetoric, and philosophy.”

page 3

“General Zia’s model spread throughout the Muslim world. Maulana Samiul Haq, headmaster of the Haqqania madrasa, is a firebrand orator who led anti-U.S. demonstrations soon after the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. When I asked if he thought it appropriate to involve his 5- and 6-year-old charges in political demonstrations, Haq remarked, “No one is too young to do the right thing.” Later, he added, “Young minds are not for thinking. We catch them for the madrasas when they are young, and by the time they are old enough to think, they know what to think.” ”

“Modern technology has also played a role, whether by creating international financing networks or new methods of spreading the message, such as through online madrasas. Pakistan had 244 madrasas in 1956. By the end of last year, the number had risen to 10,000. As many as 1 million students study in madrasas in Pakistan, compared with primary-school enrollment of 1.9 million.”

page 4

“Tahir’s teacher carries a cane and can often be brutal. One madrasa in Pakistan has resorted to the practice of chaining students to pillars until they memorize the day’s lesson. But compared with life in a squalid refugee camp, the harshness of the madrasa probably is a blessing. Tahir’s day begins with the predawn prayer and a breakfast comprising bread and tea; it ends with the night prayer and a dinner of rice and mutton. And if Tahir does well at the madrasa and earns a diploma, he can expect to find a job as a preacher in a mosque.”

page 5

[link from maria]

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listen to what i think, not to what i say

“What I say does not definitely reflect what I think. What I do does not necessary reflect what I say. Therefore, not everything that I do necessary contradicts everything that I think." This explanation of "Middle Eastern Logic" issued by the British ambassador in Tehran two decades ago may help clarify the candor and transparency of recent statements coming from countries like Iran and Libya.”

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short ‘incomplete’ item on the dhimmi from the church of rome

“As for the countries belonging to the "house of war," Islamic canon law recognizes no relations with them other than "holy war" (jihad), which signifies an "effort" in the way of Allah and has two meanings, both of which are equally essential and must not be dissociated, as if one could exist without the other. In its primary meaning, jihad indicates the "effort" tsmen, excluding women, children, and the old and infirm, and pay a tribute, called the haram, on the lands in its possession.”

“ But those belonging to the "people of the Book" are subject to the dhimma, which is a kind of bilateral treaty consisting in the fact that the Islamic state authorizes the "people of the Book" to inhabit its lands, tolerates its religion, and guarantees the “protection” of its persons and goods and its defense from external enemies. Thus the "people of the Book" (Ahl al-Kitab) becomes the "protected people" (Ahl al-dhimma). In exchange for this "protection," the "people of the Book" must pay a tax (jizya) to the Islamic state, which is imposed only upon able-bodied free men, excluding women, children, and the old and infirm, and pay a tribute, called the haram, on the lands in its possession.”

Iit gets much worse than this. For a much more detailed examination see Islam and dhimitude: where civilizations collide by Bat Ye’or , 2002, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, pbk 0838639437, $19.95 ( This is a long and heavy 400-page read.

[item link obtained at Limbic’s blog ]

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“to plan, strategise, and then to counter-attack”



“24. We are now 1.3 billion strong. We have the biggest oil reserve in the world. We have great wealth. We are not as ignorant as the Jahilliah who embraced Islam. We are familiar with the workings of the world's economy and finances. We control 57 out of the 180 countries in the world.....

“25. We are enjoined by our religion to prepare for the defence of the ummah. Unfortunately we stress not defence but the weapons of the time of the Prophet. Those weapons and horses cannot help to defend us any more. We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships for our defence. But because we discouraged the learning of science and mathematics etc. as giving no merit for the akhirat, today we have no capacity to produce our own weapons for our defence. We have to buy our weapons from our detractors and enemies......

“34. It cannot be that there is no other way. 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategise and then to counter attack.......

“51. The enemy will probably welcome these proposals and we will conclude that the promoters are working for the enemy. But think. We are up against a people who think. They survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.”

brought to my attention privately...

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appeasing the abortion fundamentalists of America: cloning ethics

The problem with absolutism is that it is irrational to its core.
The lesson is, If you want to stay sane, don’t play in the park!

The problem is the anti-abortion fundamentalists, so we have the pro-cloning theologians in the US government twisting and turning in order justify what they want to do.

The cloners are being drawn onto the idiotic ground of the anti-abortionist fundamentalists who want ‘no cloning not now not ever’.

The cloner’s argument amounts to—it is not human cloning if the cell has not been fertilised. Trouble is, producing (cloning) humans without fertilisation is coming ever closer.

And these fine people do not want the fundamentalists on their backs, and they do want to play with life! So, they are trying to appease the fundies on one hand, while attempting to fast-talk their way into business.

Have a laugh and watch the tricky monkeys at work.
As Will Rogers said, “I’m not a comedian, I just read the news”.

Here we go—

Orrin Hatch:

“No doubt somewhere, some – such as the Ralians – are trying make a name for themselves and are busy trying to apply the techniques that gave us Dolly the Sheep to human beings. Frankly, I am not sure that human being would even be the correct term for such an individual heretofore unknown in nature.


“As we have done so often in biomedical research, it is in the interest of our nation to lead the way in this new field and to help set the ethical and moral standards for the rest of the world.”

Well, thank you kindly, sir—Pope Orrin, Church of the US Senate.

Let’s see what else Pope Orrin has to say:

“The first part of the legislation was easy. There is near-universal agreement that attempts to clone a baby should be stopped at all costs. This would directly interfere with God’s sacred plan for human reproduction by a man and woman within the bounds of marriage. Accordingly, our bill will criminalize any attempt to clone a human being.”

“At all costs”, eh? Perhaps we should nuke New York, just in case some fiend enables a clone. Just in case, you understand, it must be right ’cos Pope Orrin says so. He clearly has a direct line to “God’s sacred plan”. Why isn’t this guy running Iran or the Vatican? How do people like this get anywhere near power?

More from the lunatic:

“Some, including many in the Right to Life community, oppose this research on the grounds that the new cell created in the laboratory becomes a new human life at the moment it is electronically activated. That is a view I respect, but with which I do not agree. At the core of my support for regenerative medicine research is my belief that human life requires and begins in a mother’s nurturing womb.

“As I considered the ethical appropriateness of nuclear transplantation in regenerative medicine research, two facts stood out:

  • The egg, with its nucleus removed, is never fertilized with sperm;
  • The resulting unfertilized, electrically activated embryo will not be implanted into a woman’s womb so there is no chance of a birth.

“I should add that our bill would prevent implantation into any type of artificial womb that may one day be developed.”

So dear old Orrin is legislating for all future time as well. I’ll just bet he gets messages from ‘god’ and next will be declaring himself infallible!

“Electronically activated”, obviously Doctor Frankenstein knew his cl-onions.

“Every sperm is sacred....” as Monty Python taught us.
And don’t forget those holy wombs, so that’s Huxley out the window as well. No chance of a Brave New World!

Next they’ll be putting out fatwas—sorry about that—anathemas on all those dastardly hysterectomies!

Can’t be human without the sacred sperm, or next the women won’t need us.

You will be pleased to know that Orrin Nut-Hatch is a Mormon and is descended from mormon polygynists!

But, of course, Pope Orrin has another agenda besides ‘ethics’ or whether or not the clone is ‘human’:

“Americans deserve the best treatments available. To ban human somatic cell nuclear transfer research would be a tragic mistake. It could force Americans to travel abroad to seek the latest treatments. Prohibiting this research in our country could also drive many of our young, talented scientists overseas.”

Good old American commercial advantage.

Another senator, Feinstein (no, not Frankenstein!) becomes more up front in a recent interview:

“There are four of us—Senator Kennedy on our side, the Democratic side, Senators Hatch and Specter on the Republican side—that have put together a bill which has very strong sanctions against human cloning, and there are none at the present time. This would be up to 10 years in federal prison, plus a million-dollar fine or three times the gross profits, whichever is higher.”

and ...

“I think we’ve evolved legislation that has very strong support, of 30 Nobel laureates, of the entire scientific community. It has to be known that embryonic stem cell research is really the bright frontier...”

Ah, the 50 million flies argument again, always good for a chortle:
“Eat shit—50,000,000 flies can’t be wrong!”

And then Feinstein comes clean:

“I think if only an unfertilized embryo is utilized, I think that removes the sort of abortion politics that have dominated this debate. There are some people that, I guess, are believing that life begins when an egg is fertilized.”

Yes, this is the nub—how to appease the myriad funda-mental christianists of America. Far better they were told to grow up but, of course, they have the vote.

And what is at the core of this fine kerfuffle in the nunnery? Why it is attempting to argue life from a fundamentalist position in the first place?

When exactly are you ‘human’? Is it at the magical time of orgasm, so’s you mustn’t then interruptus with the devilish condom as the Roman pope says? Or is it at the time of the magic fertilisation, as the Protestant fundamentalists of great American new empire want?

Or is it etc, ’til the number of angels on the pin become countless?

Of course, the heart of their problems go back to daft ‘laws’ based on time or age, rather than laws based on rationality and sentience.

For more, see franchise by examination.

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