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Gaddafi's Jesus
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-03-26 10:14:50
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What can you do when Libya’s Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi comes out with comments, such as the one he made at the opening of a giant mosque in Uganda? The man said that the Bible was forged, since it didn't mention the Prophet Muhammad.

This is the part you sigh, you shake your head and a smile comes to your lips, but then you say it as a joke and you realize that the man meant what he said, plus there were thousands of people cheering what he said. You realize that just a year ago you were forced to find out that it is forbidden to picture or describe Muhammad in Islam there are thousands of people who don’t understand that even historically – putting aside faith – Jesus lived centuries before Muhammad - this is the part where the word 'infidel' takes on different dimensions.

How do these people identify the word 'infidel'? If we take seriously what Colonel Gaddafi said then it must be anybody outside of Islam, since in Ancient Greece the Greeks considered anybody not Greek a barbarian, not educated, uncultured and somehow not equal. Do Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi and the thousands who were listening and cheering him that day think that everything started with Islam and the rest of us are just barbarians in need of ‘education’?

Perhaps that these words came from Gaddafi’s name make them a bit ridiculous but they don’t change the message, most of all it doesn’t change the fact that ignorance between the rulers of the Muslim countries is not laughable but is totally dangerous. The man stood there amidst thousands of faithful believers and said something so stupid that nobody, just nobody around him – and there were a few hundred Muslim clerics present – bothered to make a statement, even after Gaddafi left Uganda. Nobody from the clerics in the entire Muslim world bothered to correct him, they let the Ugandan clerics point out the Bible was written before Muhammad was born; but it didn’t matter because even Ugandans are …infidels!

However, what Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi said is one thing and what the puppet president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often says is another, but what people listen to is altogether another issue because among these thousands of people where some, just a handful, need a little flame to ignite their feelings into hate and want to join any terrorist who can promise them the end of the infidels. Perhaps what Gaddafi said is just the tip of the iceberg and the iceberg shows the ignorance these people have about the west, about Europe and the US. Perhaps the only thing they see is barbaric nations without history, faith and culture who are ready to eat them alive.

Do you remember in the early years of the Cold War, sometime in late-fifties and early-sixties, how we learned about Communism? They were armies of wild men with ugly faces, dirty and unshaved, ready to come to Europe, rape the women and take our money and houses. Perhaps that’s how they imagine us in the Muslim countries. Yet if you judge from Gaddafi’s comments that we have a long way before they understand we are all the same and unfortunately the American invasion to Iraq and whole handling of the case hasn’t helped much either.

The Ugandan Church leaders very cleverly, I have to admit, have asked Christians to forgive Libya's leader for suggesting the Bible was forged as it didn't mention the Prophet Muhammad. Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga told an Easter mass congregation to forget Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi's remarks. "How can we be blamed for not including what was not in existence?" said Archbishop Lwanga in his sermon for Easter prayers at Rubaga Cathedral, "I ask fellow Christians to forgive Gaddafi like Jesus forgave those people who crucified him on the cross."

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Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 11:21:41

Indeed, Thanos, one has to wonder if Mr. Gaddafi took Mr. Sand’s advice and read the above article by Macksoul Aftab (editor of Islam’s Herald) which one assumes constitutes for Mr Sand a corrective of sort to the notion that European monks laboriously prepared the way for the Italian Renaissance with their transcriptions and agriculture and other inventions. Why else would he have suggested it? That in turn might have inspired Mr. Gaddafy's hilarious gaff in Uganda. Indeed, birds of a feather flock together. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 11:26:09
In such an article (see above site) it is mentioned that Islam originated the concept of the college. Obviously Mr. Aftab has never heard of Plato’s Academy, nor of Aristotle’s Lyceum. It is mentioned that the university began in Paris and Oxford in the 13th century. Again, it seems that Mr. Aftab has never heard of the University of Bologna which was established in the 11th century mostly with books and manuscripts which were in monasteries which themselves together with the cathedral’s schools functioned as centers of learning since the times of Charlemagne.

This is not to deny that the Arabs did great strides in mathematics, medicine and the transcriptions of Aristotle and other classics of antiquity and that Cordoba was a great center of learning and civilization which left the Northern barbarians still running in the woods and plundering away, astonished when they saw it; but to dismiss the whole of the medieval period as “Dark Ages” as Mr. Aftab does is to be ignorant of what makes the West tick and allows a Mr. C to declare that the Renaissance was prepared by the Moslems and only by the Moslems and we in the West are ingrates for not acknowledging it. He makes the Renaissance begin in Spain when in reality it began in Italy in the century of humanism, the 13th century with the discovery of ancient manuscripts in Christian monasteries by Francesco Petrarca. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 11:28:28
What Mr. Aftab seems to ignore is that if it is true that the Arabs transcribed Aristotle (as also did the Benedictine monks), it is even more true that Aristotle was the gift of the West to Islam while medicine and more advanced mathematical concepts were the gift of Islam to the West. The cathedrals obviously needed some mathematics and geometry to be built and the centuries in which they were built were far from dark. Indeed, there is much ignorance we need to unburden ourselves of, on both sides of the fence. What is even more shocking is that the ignorance is often that of one’s own culture.

Sand2008-03-26 15:01:41
I take it that Paparella's bizarre attempt to insinuate that I have Gaddafi's ear is manufactured out of his delight with the former Senator McCarthy's techniques. It fits very well with his personality.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 15:21:49
I see the voices have been visiting. Is that what they told you? Do not listen to them. They are deceivers and slanderers.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 15:44:44
P.S. Nothing was insinuated. It was a humorous way of showing how far people with an ax to gring against the Church will go in their bashing. Of course those who lack a sense of humor saw no humor and proceeded with their bashing and slander to the imaginary crowd they think they are addressing.

Sand2008-03-26 16:30:34
In have heard that much humor was stimulated at Abu Ghraib. Lotsa laughs.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 18:01:20
Do I smell an insinuation there hanging in the air? Indeed, it wouldn't be the first time. It seems to be part of the character of most Grand Inquisitors and watchdogs of political correctness and rationalism eating its own tail.

Sand2008-03-26 19:00:16
Anyone with his head where the Sun don't shine is bound to smell something.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 19:57:17
Is that the last wise crack at the subject matter? Indeed, it fits quite well within the poetics of defecation.

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