Jihad Against the Ahmadis

Some news of the Religion of Peace and Tolerance courtesy of Jihad Watch. A conference held in Lahore, Pakistan called for a boycott against the Ahmadi population of the city with the goal of ridding the city of such contemptible infidels. Here is the story in the International Herald Tribune.

LAHORE: Speakers at an anti-Ahmadi conference on Saturday vowed to expel all members of the Ahmadi community from the city.

The Radd-i-Qadianiyat Conference was held at Jamia Naeemia. The participants were told they had a duty to wage a holy war against Ahmadis. The audience which included a large number of students of the Jamia, vowed to wage ‘jihad’ against Ahmadis through their writings, speech, charity funds and corporal strength.

Maulana Ghulam Hussain Kiani, one of the speakers, said they would force Ahmadis to leave the city. “Their presence has polluted the city… their so-called places of worship are in fact centres of conspiracies against Muslims,” he said.

Kiani said that he had the ‘honour’ of ensuring the removal of Kalma Tayyeba from Darul Zikr, an Ahmadi worship place, at Garhi Shahu.

Advocate Badiuz Zaman, another speaker, told the participants not to befriend any Ahmadis. “Sharing utensils with Ahmadis is sinful,” he said, “Being friends with them is worse… the Holy Prophet (pbuh) disapproved of that.”

Zaman asked the participants to promise that they would do everything in their power to oppose Ahmadis in every way.

Stage Secretary Maulvi Muhammad Asghar urged the participants to take practical measures against the ‘blasphemers’. “How can you eat your meals in peace while there are Ahmadis living peacefully in your city?” he said. Asghar accused former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jehangir of committing blasphemy, “That must be stopped at all cost,” he said.

Asghar also told the participants to stop consuming foods and beverages produced by Shezan. “They are made by Ahmadis. Buying these helps their movement against Muslims,” he said.

“There are 1,200 Ahmadis currently fighting for the Israel Defence Forces,” Asghar said, “They torture innocent Muslim Palestinians… Muslims shouldn’t even shake hands with Ahmadis.”

Sahibzada Syed Ibrarul Hasan Shah was also critical of the Ahle Hadith.

He said, “I don’t know why they think they are the ‘thekedars’ (guardians) of Khatam-i-Nabuwat … they don’t even have the proper respect for the Holy Prophet (pbuh).”

The head of Jamia Naeemia said that according to the law, Ahmadis could not call themselves Muslims or preach their faith. They could also not call their places of worship mosques, but did.

The state should take action against them for violating the law, he said. “All schools of Islamic thought agree that Ahmadis are not Muslims,” he said.

Several people recited poems insulting Ahmadis and their religious leaders.

Mufti Haseeb Qadri, another speaker, regretted the language and criticised the conference organisers. “There should be some difference between the language used in the streets and a conference in a religious seminary,” he said, “The speakers should not have used indecent language. They should have focused on the subject.”

Munawar Ali Shahid, a member of the Ahmadiya community told The Express Tribune that the Anti-Ahmadi campaign was making their lives difficult.

He said the community in Lahore feared for their lives. “Many Ahmadi businessmen have left the city… instead of curbing such hateful speech the government provides these people security,” Shahid said.

How terrible that some people are allowed to live in peace. They should be driven out, along with the Jews, Christians and other infidels.  Then, everyone will know that Islam stands for the peaceful coexistence of diverse groups and anyone who says otherwise is an intolerant islamophobe.

The Ahmadis, in case you were curious, are a reformist sect of Islam that was founded in British India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad towards the end of the nineteenth century. The Ahmadis share most of the beliefs of orthodox Sunni Islam. They agree that Mohammed was the final prophet and accept the authority of the Koran and Hadiths. There are some differences, however, and these differences have resulted in savage persecution by more mainstream Muslims. While the Ahmadis do not believe that Ahmad was a prophet, they do consider him to be the Messiah. Unlike orthodox Muslims who believe that Allah took Jesus to Heaven and substituted another person in the crucifixion, the Ahmadis believe that Jesus died a natural death in the Kashmir and that Ahmad fulfills the prophecies that Christians attribute to the Second Coming. They tend to reject jihad and emphasize the peaceful spread of Islam and look forward to the day when all humankind is united in peace under the banner of Islam. They also reject the doctrine of abrogation, in which conflicting verses of the Koran indicate that Allah has abrogated the earlier verse in favor of a new revelation. Ahmadis hold that all the verses of the Koran are equally valid and that any contradiction must be resolved according to the appropriate circumstances.

These differences appear minor to the outsider, but somehow it is the minor heresies that inspire the most hatred. The more orthodox Muslims of India and Pakistan view the Ahmadis as heretics and apostates and assign the same status to them as kafir or infidels. As the article above shows, they are definitely not considered to be Muslims. Their insistence that they are indeed Muslims, and closer to the primitive doctrine than mainstream Islam only makes the prejudice of the Muslims against them even worse than any bigotry against Christians or Jews. This hatred is so great that the only Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize, Abdus Salam, was largely ignored by the Pakistani government because he was of that sect. The description “Muslim” was ordered to be erased from his tombstone by the courts.

I guess as long as these people are planning jihad against such despicable infidel and heretics, they don’t have to worry about Pakistan’s real problems, such as a collapsing economy or a corrupt government.

 

Redrawn Map

I have been having fun with the e-mails that I have been receiving from the Democrats for quite a long time now, but fairness demands that I also have some fun with the e-mails that conservative groups send me, at least when they descend into silliness or apocalyptic paranoia. Such is the case with this one I got from Townhall.com.

Dear Reader,

The America you know and love could look completely different in a matter of weeks.

Under a plan circulating the D.C. corridor right now, up to 16 states are at risk to be terminated due to epic fiscal mismanagement.

These states would simply be wiped from existence and merged into their neighbors.

We’ve even seen the redrawn map of the U.S. and it’s nothing less than terrifying.

California may be forced to become a part of Mexico without any state strong enough to absorb it!

Last week Treasury Secretary Jack Lew even took the time to urge congressional leaders to take action before events unfold that could lead to this national tragedy.

But it may already be too late.

To see the redrawn map of the U.S. and learn if your state is targeted for potential termination, it’s essential that you watch this short video we’ve produced.

It could be the slight head start that saves your entire future.

View it here, for free, right now.

This is an advertisement for Wall Street Daily, some sort of financial newsletter that seems to cater to survivalists and doomsday preppers. The link leads to a video of a fake news report of the federal government defaulting on its debts. I didn’t have the patience to watch it all the way through so I haven’t seen the redrawn map. I think Indiana would be relatively safe since our fiscal situation is strong thanks to former governor Mitch Daniels. I hope they don’t add Kentucky or Illinois to our state. I don’t want them. I also have no objections at all to giving California back to Mexico. The nuts and the crazies have long since taken control of that state and run it into the ground. Let the Mexicans straighten them out.

 

Shameless Vultures

There has been another terrible crime committed and once again the vultures are circling overhead to take advantage of this crime to further their political objectives. I am referring to this article in the Washington Times which highlights the disgraceful push for gun control by President Obama and Senator Feinstein measures not twenty-four hours after the event occurred. It is as if they were waiting for some tragedy or crisis to take advantage of.

Just hours after the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, gun control advocates tried to reignite the national debate over gun laws that had only just subsided.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and a longtime gun control advocate, denounced “the litany of massacres” over the past few years and asked rhetorically, “When will enough be enough?”

Mrs. Feinstein, who was first thrust into the national spotlight as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors announcing the shooting deaths of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, said, “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”

President Obama was one of the first to link Monday’s incident to the larger issue of gun violence and the legislative effort to curb it, though he did so without explicitly calling, as he has done repeatedly, for gun control measures.

“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital,” Mr. Obama said as he opened an economic speech at the White House.

“Obviously, we’re going to be investigating thoroughly what happened, as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened, and do everything that we can to prevent them,” the president said.

The National Rifle Association had no comment on Monday, and pro-gun groups generally take the stance that days of particularly shocking crimes are not the time to discuss policy. Popular conservative blogger and former CNN commentator Erick Erickson admonished the rush to politicize the shooting, saying “seriously people, grow up.”

“I would not dare step in the way of America’s national pastime of bitching about the politics of everything on Twitter, but there has to be a better time for it than as the temperature of bodies on the ground in the Navy Yard are not even yet cold,” he said. “If you don’t have the judgment and good sense to understand that now is not the time to say it, you have no capacity to understand why.”

I compared these people to vultures but that is really not fair to vultures. After all, vultures play an important role in the environment. I cannot say the same for the likes of Obama and Feinstein.

 

 

Hero of Alexandria

Who invented the steam engine and when did he do it? Most people would say James Watt invented the steam engine around 1776. That is not quite true, however. Although Watt was a brilliant scientist and inventor, he really only improved an earlier design by Thomas Newcomen, who had developed a device to pump water out of mines in 1712. Should Thomas Newcomen get the credit for inventing the steam engine? He wasn’t the first person to experiment with machines powered by steam. Who was the first and when? How about Hero of Alexandria way back in the first century AD? That’s right. The first machine to use steam power was invented at around or just after the time of Christ.

Hero of Alexandria was a Greek mathematician and scientist who lived in the city of Alexandria, Egypt from around AD 10-70. He worked at the famous Library of Alexandria. This library was not just a collection of books. The library was part of a larger institution called the Musaeum (our word museum is derived from this. The Musaeum was not a museum in the modern sense, a collection of art or artifacts arranged for public viewing. Rather, it was a sort of home and workplace for scholars which was set up and subsidized by the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. The Musaeum was the closest thing the ancient world had to a university. Here, Euclid developed the principles of geometry and Eratosthenes accurately measured the circumference of the each. Archimedes taught there, Aristarchus proposed the first heliocentric theory of the solar system, Hero of Alexandria conducted experiments in what would now be called mechanics and thermodynamics.

Hero has been credited with several inventions,including a windmill, a vending machine to distribute holy water, a syringe, and special effects for the theater. He developed a method for calculating square roots, Heron’s formula for calculating the area of a triangle from the length of its sides and was the first mathematician to explore the concept of imaginary numbers. He also invented a steam engine, or aeolipile. This device consisted of a boiler or tub of water which was heated. The steam from the water was conducted through tubes to a sphere or cylinder which has nozzles sticking out of it. As the steam escaped through the nozzles, it caused the sphere to whirl around. Here is a diagram which might better explain things.

Aeolipile_illustration

Here is a picture of a modern reconstruction of the aeolipile.

Aeolipile

The aeolipile wasn’t really much more than a toy and couldn’t be used for any practical purpose. Still, I have to wonder, why wasn’t the device further developed until someone invented a working steam engine 1600 years before Watt and Newcomen? Why wasn’t there an scientific and industrial revolution in the time of the Roman Empire? Was it because the large number of slaves discouraged the invention of labor saving devices? Was the Greco-Roman intellectual elite averse to getting their hands dirty with experiments and practical inventing? Was work like Hero’s too uncomfortably close to being the sort of work the lower classes did? There is no way to know. For that matter, why did the scientific revolution only occur in Western Europe around 1500? Why did the industrial revolution begin in England in the late 1700s and no where else? Europeans are not noticeably more intelligent than people from other regions, so why?

Africa,the Americas, and Australia are easy to explain. The largest landmass on Earth is Eurasia, or the continents of Europe and Asia. This is where the great majority of the people on Earth have lived. Most of what we consider to be history has occurred in Eurasia, especially in a band roughly between 30 and 50 degrees of latitude. Northern Europe and Britain is a bit north of this and India extends to the south but it is close enough. According to Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, this band has a roughly similar climate, length of growing season, etc and travel and trade is relatively easy along this band.  The Americas and Australia are separated from this landmass by ocean and Africa by the Sahara Desert. Tropical Africa is not very conducive for the development of advanced civilization because of its climate and ecology. This still leaves about four centers of civilization, Europe, the Middle East, India, and China. Each of these centers had certain advantages and disadvantages, yet only Europe developed modern science and technology. This isn’t a case of Europe happening to be first. None of the other centers were even beginning the process. If some plague had wiped out the entire population of Europe, perhaps a more virulent form of the Black Death, it is likely that we would still be at a medieval level of technology. Why?

The Chinese were gifted inventors and observers of the natural world. The records of Chinese astrologers are more complete than anything in the West and modern astronomers find their records useful. The Chinese invented the printing press, paper, gunpowder, the compass, and many other things. Yet, somehow, they never managed to develop a continuous scientific tradition. Chinese history has examples of scientist discovering things, only to be forgotten and rediscovered centuries later. They invented the printing press, but this invention didn’t have the sort of disruptive effect it had in the West. Was Chinese culture too conservative? Did the existence of a centralized state for much of Chinese history discourage innovation?

The Indians were great mathematicians. They invented the zero and “Arabic numerals”. Their achievements in practical technology were somewhat less impressive. Why? Did Hindu pantheism and the concept of the material world being an illusion discourage investigation into the natural world? The Moslems were also good mathematicians and made some progress in the sciences of chemistry and optics. They had the advantage of controlling the trade routes of Eurasia and could benefit most from the achievements of other cultures. They also had the heritage of Greek philosophy in the lands they conquered. Yet ultimately their progress slowed and from being among the most advanced civilization in the world, they slipped to being among the most backward. Did Islamic contempt for secular philosophy play a role?

These questions are unanswerable. It is interesting to speculate on what might have happened and alternative history is one of most favorite sub-genres of science fiction. Perhaps it is just as well the industrial revolution didn’t occur in Roman times. The Romans were not a kindly people and it might be better than they didn’t have guns or nukes.