Sunday, January 11, 2015

Takbir and Charlie Hebdo

**This is a better re-write of this badly written post

It's back! The terrorists yelled Allahu Akbar as they killed the cartoonists.  I want to say, again, so what?

Andrea Peyser, a columnist at the New York Post writes
Get real, for Charlie’s sake
The three savages who murdered 12 innocents in an attack on the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, whose cartoonists dared to ridicule Islam, shouted “Allahu Akbar!’’ (Arabic for “God is great’’) before unloading automatic weapons Wednesday.
Yet Western leaders, including President Obama, have been loath to call the monsters what they evidently are: radical Muslims. The enemy is not Islam itself, but the brutal — and growing — fringe. Only by identifying the monsters can we stop them.
Allahu Akbar, (Takbir) says nothing about killers except that they speak Arabic.  Here is a real response from Islam to insulting the Prophet, who was insulted when he was alive as well.

Takbir, Allahu Akbar, God is Great
Like I wrote in May,

we use OMG everyday without thinking twice about it.  It's only when we hear Arabic that we give it a second thought,

even though we have our own religious laws about blasphemy and using God's name in vain in the 3rd Commandment.

Punishment for blasphemy
The most common way to punish the ones who committed blasphemy was through hanging or stoning, due to what is said in Leviticus 24:13-16. Then the LORD said to Moses: "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him."
The last person hanged for blasphemy in Great Britain was Thomas Aikenhead aged 20, in Scotland in 1697. He was prosecuted for denying the veracity of the Old Testament and the legitimacy of Christ's miracles.
Examples of use of Takbir (From Wikipedia)

In times of distress

This phrase is also used in times of distress.
Just before a Garuda Airbus A300B-4 crashed into the jungle near MedanIndonesia, the pilot screamed "Aaaaaah! Allahu Akbar!" into his radio. According to a radio communication transcript, the pilot's conversation with the air controller had been in English, but his last words were this Arabic phrase as the plane crashed on September 26, 1997, killing all 235 people aboard in Indonesia's deadliest crash. It was suspected that the crash may have been due to either disorientation or engine failure caused by local dense smogresulting from forest fires.[5][6]
After a failed attempt to climb the world's second highest peak, K2, according to Greg Mortenson's book, he was greeted by his porter with the phrase, "Allah Akbar! Blessings to Allah you're alive!"[7]

In times of joy and gratitude

When Reshma Begum was discovered alive 17 days after the 2013 Savar building collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1129 people, crowds jubilantly cried Allahu Akbar to express their joy and gratitude that she had survived.[8][9]
As a multi-purpose phrase, it is sometimes used by Arab football commentators as an expression of amazement.[10]

Following births and deaths

The phrase is used after the birth of a child as a means of praising God.[11]
In the hadithMuhammad is reported to have spoken the Takbīr after a funeral.[12]

During the Eid Festival and the Hajj

During the festival of Eid al-Adha and the days preceding it, Muslims recite the Takbīr. This is particularly the case on the Day of Arafa.[13][13]

Jihadist usage

The phrase is well known in the west for its common use as a battle cry in Islamist protests, Islamic extremism, and Islamic terrorism.[14][15][16]

John McCain actually schooled Fox News about this (although he is wrong that arming rebels or bombing/invading is an answer to violence)
“For someone to say Allahu Akbar is about as offensive as someone saying thank God,” McCain said.
Kilmeade told the senator he had an issue with recently obtained video that reportedly shows Syrian rebels shooting down a Syrian fighter jet and shouting, “Allahu Akbar!”
“I have a problem helping those people out, if they’re screaming that after a hit,” Kilmeade said.
“Would you have a problem with American Christians saying, thank God, thank God?” McCain retorted. That’s what they’re saying. Come on. Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates.”
McCain is right about the simple translation and use of the phrase in most cases, and while this sounds right, the guy criticizing McCain is wrong. 
Sen. McCain has no idea what he’s talking about.
Allahu Akbar is what the terrorists said before flying jetliners into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Thank God is what they said when Americans discovered their loved ones survived the attacks.
In my original blog post I mentioned an Egyptian airplane crash where the pilot is heard saying things in Arabic.  I thought that he had said "Allahu Akbar" and that while the crash was an accident and the pilot was scared and was praying to God, people in the West thought he had taken down the plane on purpose.  In researching the plane crash again to write about it, that is not what happened.

I wrote
Like the Malaysian plane in the news recently, there was another airliner that crashed, and we know it crashed because we found it and the black boxes, and listened to the flight recorder, and listened to the pilot's words. Immediately many assumed that this was terrorism, a deliberate crash intended to send a message of jihad, and to kill the innocent passengers on the plane. The investigation showed that this was not terrorism, but instead just another tragic plane crash [I'm not sure now reading these articles]. And as the plane went down, the pilot was scared, and he prayed to God, Allah. Allah hu Akhbar. OMG.
EgyptAir Flight 990

Western media speculation

Long before the NTSB issued its final report, Western media began to speculate about the meaning of the taped cockpit conversations and about possible motives (including suicide and terrorism) behind Al-Batouti's actions on the flight. The speculation, in part, was based on leaks from an unnamed federal law enforcement official that the crew member in the co-pilot's seat was recorded as saying, "I made my decision now. I put my faith in God's hands."[22]
The co-pilot of EgyptAir Flight 990, which crashed off New England in 1999, killing 217 people, deliberately crashed the plane as an act of revenge, according to a source close to the investigation.
Gamil el-Batouty had earlier been reprimanded for sexual misconduct and the executive who told him he would not be allowed to fly US routes again was on board the plane.
The Atlantic 
The news of the NTSB's theory only two weeks after the tragedy was taken in Egypt as an American assault on Egypt's national pride. The Egyptian press, columnists, pundits, and government officials expressed dismay that the investigators had barely begun their investigation when they seemed to have settled on an explanation without considering alternative theories. They also emphasized that the phrase el Batouty allegedly uttered before the 767 began its precipitous drop, tawakilt al Allah, is often used when, for example, Arabs start a car and is meant in a way that God should look after them. As a result, the Egyptians rejected the hasty conclusion that Gamil el Batouty, a former military pilot, flight instructor, and long-serving first officer for Egypt's flag carrier was responsible for the crash. Experts informed viewers of Egyptian television that it was impossible for el Batouty to have taken his own life because he was a good Muslim and suicide is haram (forbidden) in Islam.
Rumors of suicide had circulated in the press almost since the airplane hit the water, but it was only after the voice recorder was recovered that the reports began to make uninformed reference to Muslim prayers. Three days before Hall's press conference The Washington Post ran a headline saying, "PILOT PRAYED, THEN SHUT OFF JET'S AUTOPILOT." Television stations speculated that the "prayer" was the shahada ("There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God"), as if this were what one might say before slaughtering infidels. When the actual Arabic words—Tawakkalt ala Allah—became public, some news outlets gave the following translation: "I have made my decision. I put my fate in God's hands." This was reported so widely that the NTSB took the unusual step of announcing that "I have made my decision" had never been spoken. By implication, "I place my fate ..." had.
When NTSB investigators explained their lack of control over the American press, the Egyptians scoffed and pointed out—correctly—that the reporters' sources were people inside the investigation. And anyway, the Egyptians added, what Batouti had said was not "I put my fate in God's hands"—as the NTSB's interpreter had claimed—but, rather, "I rely on God." The investigators blinked at the subtlety of this distinction, and made the necessary changes to the transcript. Then the Egyptians produced a letter from an Islamic scholar in Cairo who certified that the meaning of Tawakkalt ala Allah is "I depend in my daily affairs on the omnipotent Allah alone." The Egyptians wanted the letter inserted into the record, but were willing to allow "I rely on God" to remain in the transcript. Again, the investigators blinked. This was not the sort of thing they normally dealt with. They tried sometimes to bridge the gap as they might have with Americans, with a nudge and a smile, but it got them nowhere.
I wrote my blog post as a general observation in May.  Then Bowe Bergdahl was released, his father went to the White House and spoke Arabic and Fox News et al freaked out, comparing the Christian Republican hunter whose son joined the military after 9/11 to the Taliban.

The Daily Beast
Bergdahl began by explaining why he was at a political event at all.
"I grew up in a conservative family in Los Angeles," he said with a smile. "My father was for Goldwater. He wore a Nixon button in our liberal Jewish neighborhood. I was the lone U.C. Santa Barbara surfer who voted for Ronald Reagan." Many in the audience nodded in approval, and then Bergdahl talked about the work of retrieving his son.
Rolling Stone
Rather than put their kids in the local school system, Jani and Bob home-schooled Bowe and his sister. Devout Calvinists, they taught the children for six hours a day, instructing them in religious thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. "Ethics and morality would be constant verbiage in our conversations," his father recalls. "Bowe was definitely instilled with truth. He was very philosophical about perceiving ethics."
By the age of five, Bowe had also learned to shoot a .22 rifle and to ride horses. He developed a love for dirt bikes and immersed himself in boy's adventure tales – anything that had to do with sailing and the ocean.

OMG. Allahu Akbar.

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