Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Monday, June 30, 2014

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Islamic Fundamentalism frightens the West and that fear has motivated a fierce retaliation deploying more weapons and inflicting more slaughter. But in not understanding what drives the jihadists the military strategies may be making matters worse, observes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.
By William R. Polk
The Arabic word used for Fundamentalist Islam is salafiyah. Though it is now usually associated with revolutionary Islamists, native Arabic speakers usually translate it as “reactionary.” But the concept is far more complex. The word salafi in classical Arabic means a person who stands both in the rearguard and in the vanguard — Arabic delights in such contrasts.
The logic of the apparent paradox was brought out by the teachings of jurisconsults, experts on the law, from the beginning of the “impact of the West.” In the Eighteenth Century, they began to search for means to protect their civilization. Some argued that “real” strength was not gained by copying the practices of the West but had to be derived from fundamentals as laid out in the Quran and elucidated in the practices of the Prophet and his intimate circle (the Hadith).
Sayyid Qutb, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.
Sayyid Qutub, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.
Weakness, they believed, came from the innovations and perversions that encrusted Islamic thought and Islamic society in the long dark ages of decline of  its power and civilization.
The movements of “purification” were inspired by such men as the Arabian Ahmad ibn Abdul Wahhab, the Algerian/Libyan Muhammad bin Ali al-Sanusi, the Sudanese Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi, the Iranian activist Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani and the Egyptian theologian Muhammad Abduh.
In a fundamental aspect, their teachings and movements resembled those set off in northern Europe by Luther and Calvin. These Christians and Muslims shared a belief in the absolute authority of the unalterable word of God as presented in the original texts. Their task was to go back to discover the “pure” message and lead their followers to implement it. However much they differed, both the Muslims and the Protestants were in this sense salafis. 

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