Friday, October 07, 2005

WHAT THEY'RE DEBATING IN THE ARAB WORLD?

While some people are "outraged" (G-d said Bush did) at the "revelation" in the new BBC report that states that Bush "supposedly" told Palestinian 'gov't officials' in 2003 that g-d told him to "get the terrorist in Afghanistan, end the tyranny in Iraq, get the Palestinians a state and give Israel security, so that's what I'm going to do". Judith and Damian quesion the validity of the conflated reports and the BBC.

While there is nothing more delicious for the 'unbiased' BBC than to show the President to be a "Christian fundamentalist" here is what is actually being debated in the Arab world. This from a Law Professor in the "moderate" state of Jordan. And you don't need to rely on Palestinian "gov't officials" with a history of lying either, you can watch the video on MEMRI.

Hat tip post below -

Christianity isn't the only major religion to be conducting a debate about the extent to which the holy scriptures should be regarded as truth or as metaphor. Thanks to MEMRI we're able to see a debate (#859 - Former Jordanian Minister of Religious Endowments Explains the Science behind the Annihilation of Jews on Judgment Day) broadcast last month on Al-Majd TV, with former Jordanian minister of religious endowments 'Ali Al-Faqir and Jordanian professor of religious law Khaled Al-Qudha.

The scripture in question is the hadith where the Prophet states:

  • "Judgement Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him' - except for the Gharqad tree."

As these are the words of the Prophet, there's no doubt in the minds of the learned gentlemen that this will indeed come to pass:

  • Khaled Al-Qudha: The decisive battle between the Jews and us will take place on the Jordan River, Allah willing. This is inevitable. This is a hadith of the Prophet, who does not talk idly.
  • Host: Did the hadith relate to the battle's outcome as well?
  • Khaled Al-Qudha: Of course. "Until the Jew hides..." - because, as is well known, the Jews only fight from behind walls, when they are hiding. They don't fight face to face. That's why the tree and the stone will talk and say things.
  • Host: The hadith says: "The Muslims will kill them..." So this will be a victory of the Muslims.
  • Khaled Al-Qudha: Yes, and an overwhelming defeat for all the Jews, Allah willing. And this is not at all difficult for Allah.
    [...]
    This battle will take place. It is inevitable. Even if we go to Oslo, and so on, the battle must take place. The Jews know this, and that's why they plant a lot of Gharqad trees. They know the hadith.
  • 'Ali Al-Faqir: They surround their settlements with Gharqad trees.

That explains all those Gharqad trees, but what of the stones and trees talking? Is this to be interpreted literally?

  • 'Ali Al-Faqir: One may ask: "How can a tree possibly talk? The hadith means that we should fight them with sticks and stones." This is not true. We either accept these things as fact or as a metaphor. If you cannot accept it as a fact then it's a metaphor. As long as it is impossible to accept the facts...
  • But brothers, the Prophet has told us that the time will come when man will talk without using his voice - the cell-phone, the cordless phone. This cordless phone - where did it come from? From the earth. Plastic comes from petroleum. The wires, the iron, and the copper – where do they come from? From the earth. Furthermore, some communication devices are now made of wood. It is not impossible that "the tree and the stone will speak" refers to the advanced scientific instruments that warn you about people. Today you have, for example, early warning stations in Sinai. Early warning stations exist in the Golan. They give the Israelites information about the other side's movements.
  • Host: Sir, this is if we interpret (the hadith) metaphorically. But isn't it possible that the tree and stone will actually talk? That the tree itself will talk, and the stone itself will talk?
  • 'Ali Al-Faqir: Sir, it has been proven scientifically that the trees and the stones have languages of their own. But we don't have the ability to invent the instruments that will convey the tree's voice and the stone's voice to us.
  • Science has progressed so much that there are instruments that are placed in gardens. The plant produces certain waves, which are received by the instrument, and the plant says: "I am thirsty, water me, I am sick, heal me."

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