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Munamania #6: Headaches

 
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Munan
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:15 am    Post subject: Munamania #6: Headaches Reply with quote

Headaches

I have a Muslim father and a Catholic mother. Apparently, people therefore take me to be the ideal person to ask what I think about that whole business of Muslims being pretty aggressive lately because the Pope told them they were being a bit… well, aggressive. I tell them that the Pope, by quoting an 11 th century emperor, showed the world the medieval character of his thinking, while those Muslims remind me of the kid who beat me up when I was 12, because I told him he had violence issues. What else can you say?

People probably expect me to provide inside knowledge of the two religions to explain to them why these believers act the way they act. But I do not think that there is much in either Catholicism or Islam that explains why certain Catholics or Muslims do what they do. Both creeds provide as much inspiration for violence and nitpicking on other religions as for peace and tolerance. I have always wondered why the Quran became a bestseller after 9/11. History and psychology books will give you a clearer insight into the minds of terrorists than the holy books they read, since the same holy books are read by believers who would never take violent action. I remember a comic from those days, showing an exhausted woman telling her husband: "I thought, I'll read the Quran, but it only gives me severe headaches."

Yes, I guess when you are looking for information about terrorism, the Quran will give you severe headaches. However, the Bible may have the best stories, the Tao Tse Tsjing may be the intellectually most challenging book, but of all the holy books, the Quran is the most aesthetically pleasing to me. It is a book without much logic but with a supreme rhetoric, style and flow. Take one of my favourite chapters, 'The Loosed Ones', that starts with the lines:

By the loosed ones successively
storming tempestuously
by the scatterers scattering
and the severally severing
and those hurling a reminder
excuse or warning,
surely that which you are promised is about to fall!


I dare you to make any sense of it – but the beauty… ah, it is so beautiful, it could give me a headache!

Edit: fixed the link for "Catholic". Also, when you click on the name of the chapter, you can actually hear it being recited in Arab.


Last edited by Munan on Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:22 am; edited 2 times in total
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little afraid to say this, but Muslims haven't been high up on my well-to-do list lately. Not all Muslims of course.

I'll post again after some deep thought and a chicken parm sub.
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wrincewind



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sometimes, religion isn't a belief, its an excuse.
(note the 'sometimes'. Not all the time, or in all pepole. Just 'sometimes')
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cfos



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that this is necessarily the same thing as religion, but I have similar headaches concerning my job. I fear this particular question:

The Stranger: "So, what do you do?"

It's not that I hate my job (well... maybe I do), rather I hate what people always say after I explain it:

Me: "I do research in the field of drug abuse."

I don't know why, but everyone thinks they are being hilarious when they reply, with a laugh:

The Stranger: "Do you need any subjects? huh huh huh huh huh"

Yeah, I haven't heard that one before.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Munamania #6: Headaches Reply with quote

Munan wrote:
I tell them that the Pope, by quoting an 11 th century emperor, showed the world the medieval character of his thinking...
I have to disagree with that. In due time I'll post a full-fledged argument, but right now it's 21:00 and I'm too tired to think let alone engage in intellectual debate.

Whoo-ah the rat barge!
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Munan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking forward to it, Simon.

Also, I've got a teaching stint for a month at the Budapest Protestant University - yes, not Catholic, nor Muslim, but Protestant.

Because of that, the next Munamania will be on monday for the coming six weeks, since that is more convenient with my classes.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go...

Quoting figures from the past isn't a sign of archaic thinking, as you seem to have implied. Consider Shakespeare. People quote him all the time now even though it's been 400 years. What about Aristotle or Sun Tzu, who both lived in B.C. times? Hell, what about Fred Flinstone?

To me, it would seem that using the words of those that have said before what you try to say now is a sign of intelligence and free-thinking than 'medieval'. One must only look at the many teenagers I have in my school alone, who think, consciously or not, that they know everything and everyone else knows nothing. They do not even consider taking thier parents advice or wisdom seriously. So now Pope Benny comes out an borrows the words of an 14th century (not 11th) Byzantine emperor:

Manuel II Palaiologos wrote:
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Now consider the context. Pope Benedict XVI used the words of a past figure, and yet his ideas sound pretty 'modern', or at least he didn't seem like a ludite. Although the evidence is old, that only helps his argument, the pope took that quote in his hand and practically said "look, my thesis isn't unfounded." What would have been 'medieval thinking' would be if he just said all he said without reference/evidence to back them up (e.x. look a witch, burn her!) The quote itself might seem pretty outdated, but in the context and purpose it stood up.

And now that we got that out of the way, I'm now on to a related subject: What the fuck did everyone get excited about when the speech was made? What the fuck is happening that everyone seems to be shitting their pants trying to appease some radical assholes who are using any excuse to throw shit at the fan? First some Dutch cartoonist draws some pictures of Mohammed, and suddenly we're hearing cries of "Jihad Jihad!", some "We're misunderstood and unfairly treated" bullshit, and a little boycotting. The fact that people reacted harshly and violently isn't helping their reputation or arguments that Islam is a peaceful religion.
Then some dumbass kid who ran from the police goes and zaps his own dumb ass up and this time Monsieur Chirac declares 'Crisis Mode', and alot of people light up alot of bonfires.
Then the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church makes a perfectly innocent little speech and we get protests circulating around one single line. The quote is by a dude from the 14th century saying muslims are violent and irrational. Now Greek Orthodox and Anglican Churches (which are UNAFFILIATED WITH ROMAN CATHOLICISM) are lit up, a thousand different death threats, and Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin of Somalia's Supreme Islamic Courts Council saying "...wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion. Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim."

Islam is a peaceful religion my ass. What frightens me is not how illogically touchy these people are, it's just that political leaders everywhere (except a notable few) are buckling in, becoming paranoid, are not looking at anything rationally and objectively, and are not standing up and saying "If you don't like it, too bad." Really, they should stop trying to please everyone, it's impossible, and there are some people who will always hate you no matter what you do.
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an ad for islam at the top of this page in the ad banner.

I thought that was funny.
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Digitaaliklosetti



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koko wrote:
There's an ad for islam at the top of this page in the ad banner.

I thought that was funny.

You can BUY Islam?
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Robot Chicken Koko



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Digitaaliklosetti wrote:
Koko wrote:
There's an ad for islam at the top of this page in the ad banner.

I thought that was funny.

You can BUY Islam?


apparently yes: Islam on a stick!!!
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