(Over the past few days, I have been busy with tablet and Win 8 PC headaches, so have been delayed, pardon.)
Let us roll the captioned quiz and feed in answers:
ANS: In this Hadith -- sacred tradition of the prophet of Islam that is held authoritative -- the prediction is that the end of days will not come about until there is a ME defeat and massacre of Jews in which if a Jew hides behind a rock or tree, it will call out to a pursuing Muslim, Servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come kill him. Save for the Gharqad -- Boxthorn, it seems -- tree, the tree of the Jews. This tradition is cited in Clause 7 of the Hamas covenant, and obviously expresses an irreconcilable hostility to Jews that has to be understood. Just this alone reveals a fundamental gulf between Islam and the Judaeo-Christian traditions that cannot be bridged, regardless of attempts to talk of three Abrahamic Faiths. (Cf. here and onwards for Bostom's disturbing citation of current thought and underlying analysis.)
ANS: Such inclusion shows both the underlying commitment to Islam in Islamism, and where it points, irreconcilable enmity, perpetual hostility that can only be managed by determination to restrain it through superior force that suggests "the time for fulfillment is not yet ripe," a perpetual need for vigilance.The Middle East conflict is fundamentally irreconcilable as there can be no reasonable agreement between two parties where a fundamental commitment on one side is the anticipation of the defeat and ruthless massacre of the other. Let us cite it with some context, to make the matter crystal clear:
ANS: This references another eschatological Hadith, as has been discussed before here at KF. In this case, the rise of Mahdi, the end of days world-subjugating figure of Islam, who is also often viewed as final Caliph. An army of the black flag -- typical of Muslim war flags -- is seen as arising from Khorasan (part of the old Persian zone of rule in today's Iran and eastwards) that would have Mahdi among them. It would be all-conquering and would conquer the ME -- which logically would be tied to the answers at 1 and 2 -- and them Mahdi would rule the world to the East and the West. (Note the cluster of hadiths cited here and the blog here.) The counsel, then, is that even if one has to crawl across ice and snow, one should join this army when it arises. In that context, it is no coincidence that Al Qaeda and the Taliban have consciously used this stream of thought in recruitment. And the current American/NATO retreat from the region and the Arab Spring/Islamist Winter uprisings of the past few years will all be seen by the radicalised through this lens. And that is so, regardless of disputes that rank the quality of this hadith lower than the first cited. Observe this sermon by a muslim cleric that specifically ties this line of thought to Afghanistan:
ANS: Watch the video, then understand that the Iranian leadership's more ideological factions see themselves as vanguards of the Mahdi's army. Their thrust to nukes is in the context of providing weapons of the class they perceive Mahdi as requiring. The Islamist radical thought is predisposed to see events in that zone as a fulfillment that is emerging. The Western retreat over this year is bound to give a major boost to such thinking and will likely trigger further instability, violence and radical uprisings across the ME and beyond. Multiply this by the ever volatile oil market and oil's role in the economically vital energy sector. Mix in the Iranian approach to nuclear weapons, and Pakistan's already having such.
ANS: 318 years, less one day, from the lifting of the 1683 siege of Vienna by Jan Sobieski's winged hussars and other cavalry amounting to 20,000 horse. So, Usama Bin Laden was symbolising that he was taking off from where the Ottoman Caliph left off at the previous high water mark of Islamist expansion. Multiply by his association with Al Qaeda and the Taliban as well as radical factions of Pakistan's ISI and the hints of the Black Flag Army jump out at us. UBL was claiming to at least be paving the way for Mahdi, and the talk of Western collapse on a successful decapitation strike in the captured tapes underscores this. Mix in the Black Flags of the Arab Spring uprising and the pattern of militant IslamIST apocalypticism is plain. Where also it is not without symbolic significance that in the attack on the leading global financial centre, in New York, UBL's minions crashed airplanes into skyscrapers . . . both American, iconic inventions tied to American prestige and power. [And, oh yes, there is a constellation, Scutum, short for Scutum Sobieski, named after the relief of Vienna.]
ANS: This broadens to a look at the underlying history and legitimacy of modern Israel, cf. discussion here and example of why that is needed, here. In essence, since the 1870's, Jewish resettlement and rebuilding of their homeland had proceeded apace. During World War I, in 1915, Britain desperately needed Acetone to make cordite, the propellant used from .303 rifles to 15-inch battleship guns. Weizmann, a chemist, invented a bacterial process. He was offered anything he wished as reward; nothing personally, restoration of his people to their historic homeland. This led to the 1917 Balfour Declaration supportive of such, compatible with the needs of existing peoples in Palestine. Then, consequential on defeat of the Austrians, Germans and Ottomans and the collapse of Russia, empires collapsed and new nation-states emerged based on desires of peoples, such as Finland, Poland. Czechoslovakia etc. In the ME, Britain supported an Arab uprising and promised to fulfill the Balfour Declaration. Feisal Hussein was one son of the leader of that revolt, and Weizmann represented the Jewish people, The Jan 1919 London Agreement was for the mutually supportive development of Jewish and Arab nations in the ME. It therefore lays out the first great opportunity missed in the ME.
By far and away, most people could not answer the six questions, even though the resources to do so are readily accessible, the issues are important and we have an unprecedented access to media.
This points to willful blindness on the part of the media, and to unwillingness to publicly state unpalatable truth on the part of major international figures. In part, understandably.
But, without such understanding, we cannot build a sound consensus on the ME.
So, we need to face some very unwelcome facts here. END