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Civilization and Culture

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Introduction.

We live in a world, of people, animals, plants, inanimate objects all on a planet called the Earth.   This earth is one of the smaller planets in the Solar System, which is one of the systems in the Universe as we know today.  Astronomers have access to instruments which aid their eyes and observation powers.     There have been new observations about our universe since Galileo started this process, and we feel we are wiser for it.   Unfortunately, the Universe is larger than our power of observation, and as the means improve, so too our observation of the facts.    Humans can not create these facts, but presume that they have existed long before their own species might have evolved.    Just as the power of observation is limited to the scope of our organs of sight, and other senses, aided by the instruments we have managed to invent to assist these natural organs, so too our other powers of Intellect and understanding are limited by our own physical capabilities, which vary from person to person.   Outstanding intellects do not grow on trees, but arise among humans from time to time, rarely, and make an impact by their observations.    Such were the human beings in history of mankind, who made the difference, and some of them are the Greeks: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.    Arabs: Ibn Sina, Abu Rub, Al Jaber and others from whom we got the translations of the Greek Philosophers, and the development of astronomy and algebra.   Al Jaber was the founder of the branch of mathematics we call Algebra.    Indians: Manu, Valmiki and other Sages. Mesopotamia: Hamurabbi the Law Giver.    Ancient Egyptians: Hieroglyphics and the beginning of the written script to record the human word and thought.

Historical events changed the way humans live on this planet.   Their curiosity, need for living space for themselves and their animals made them venture outside their normal abodes, and discover other groups of people and the style of living and these got assimilated and absorbed by the new comers.    The memories lingered in the minds, and the good endured and the bad was engendered in myths which sustained hostile views of the new comers.    We live in a world today in the 21st century, and I am writing this article in English, a language of the British Isles, far away from where I live and work, and the only connection I have is that my ancestors were colonized by the British, and left behind their language, which we have continued to use, due to advantages it has offered us, and not out of love for the colonizers.    Thus every event in human history leaves behind good and bad, and it is up to us to lift the good and move forward.

Among the good things that we have carried forward is our belief in a God, whom most of us give the credit for having created this Universe.    However the negative is also true, that some of our colonizers, or the people who influenced us, also left behind their bad habits, and these have given rise to agnosticism.    While the vast majority did not have trouble in accepting a belief that an external force was needed for the creation of what we see. a small group of influential thinkers among the Colonizers, found the belief in God was preventing them from expanding their wealth, as it put strictures on their greed, violence, intolerance, and profligate way of life which was now within their reach.    It suited them perfectly well, to eliminate this belief and consider this world and its possessions as belonging to those who could grab them, and in doing so, they were not guilty or answerable to any higher authority, to the rights of those human beings whom they  necessarily deprived and dispossessed.    This has been noticed by others too, and have carried forward this notion amongst our own communities, and claimed independence from the laws  of nature our ancestors believed which kept our Society in harmony .

At what stage did man stop believing in God?   

It was after the Industrial Revolution in England, and the French Revolution in France, we got these philosophers who were popularized by these colonizing countries, as it backed their plundering of the host countries, and promoted these ideas, in their school curricula, so much so, in the United States their war has gone in a fight for the thought: Creationism vs. Evolution !    Who seems to win?   The ones who have a handle on the wealth of the nation.   It should give a clue, why they are so reluctant to give a space to those who disagree with them.    The European Union has deliberately tried to erase their belief in God, which guided them till the present era.    In India BJP has found it difficult to accept Secularism which they seem to attribute to these new European thinkers, who removed religion from the agenda of politics in the Western World.    Actually, Secularism was a administrative solution for the dual jurisdiction which the State and the Church had over the same subjects.   Thus in the administration of land and property rights and the governance thereof, it was agreed that the Church would not interfere, in exchange the State will not interfere in the belief of its subjects, in relation to the Super Natural.    What is happening is not what the subjects want, but what the powerful lobbies who fund these politicians want.    This leads us to the upheavals in the Social development of human societies we find all around us today.

War of Civilizations.

When the west speaks of its civilization, it really talks about the way of life the Western 'modern' thinkers created for themselves on the ruins of the dispossessed people whom the colonialists trampled upon.    Just look at the Continent of America in the western hemisphere.   It had no trouble until  500 years ago.   The troubles started after Columbus discovered it.    It was created by the greedy wealth hunters who migrated there and the effect was sought to be minimized by the religious missionaries who accompanied them.     The struggle of Capitalism and Communism is a quarrel between two agnostic systems of the West.    Both have excluded God from their calculations.    The Capitalists give lip service to God and the beliefs of those whom they bring under their control.    They have been able to manipulate the extent of their belief by the laws they have managed to pass with the power their money gave the law givers.    This double standard is becoming more and more glaring between Republicans and Democrats.    The Republicans have ambiguous standard, one for their own followers and one for the rest of the world which is their 'market' which has to bend to their 'national interests'.    When God is out of the equation,  then it is their 'god' versus the 'god' of their opponents.     Thus believers in Islam become 'Islamic Fascists' and their own followers become 'Christian Zionists'.    This is a phenomenon that has grown as a result of the vast divide that was engineered after the Industrial Revolution, with the help of the agnostics and rationalists.    This was more glaring in the Protestant dominated areas, rather than Catholic dominated ones.   Thus Portuguese and Spaniards intermarried with native Indians, but the Anglo Saxons who populated United States were intent on dominating the natives and expanding their control to the west as they went acquiring lands of the dispossessed and claimed them to themselves on the basis of the new found civilization.    The former were not Saints, but were ruthless in their acquisition of lands and its control and made laws to safe guard these possessions.    The Church managed to hit a middle path, leaving the wealthy in their own niches, and benefiting from their munificence and managing and humanizing the poor natives.    The education which could be provided was controlled  by the wealthy ruling classes who believed that equality will ultimately lead to their being dispossessed themselves. This was the uniform policy of all colonizers, including those who colonized our country.   Our colleges could teach  only Arts and Humanities in the beginning.   Medical studies where only available in centers like Madras, Bombay and Calcutta.     Indian Civil Service exams were to be taken in England.   Western music was limited only to the reading of music notation and the instruments.    Higher musical learning was not available in the colonies, and those who wanted it had to travel to European centers.    The local music was not hindered.

Compare this to the Islamic management of their colonies.    Islam spread in the 7th century onwards from its birth place in Mecca and Medina.    It grew in a region controlled by the Eastern Roman Empire.   In the 4th century  Nestorius the Patriarch of Constantinople, had given rise to the heretical interpretation of Christian belief, and was banished from the empire.    His followers were spread outside the empire and were to be found in Mecca and Medina together with a band of Jewish traders.    Koran according to Mohammed was a revelation from Angel Gabriel, whom both the Nestorians and Jews believed, and it bridged the divisions of these two people, who were engaged in trade and commerce.     Thus the Jews had the satisfaction, that Trinity was out of the game.    Jesus was not Son of God, but a mere prophet and that suited the Nestorians, and  both he and his mother Mary were welcome, and respected but not worshiped.   Both traditions believed in the importance of praying so the 5 time praying was made obligatory.    Fasting also was common before Lent.   The month fell in Ramadan, in the Arabic calendar.    The Pentecost was renamed the first Eid (feast).     Ascension became the Second Eid.    The language of religion was Arabic.   The local Christians found it a convenient compromise and the religion of peace and prayer spread through Arabia and then northwards into Palestine, to the east into Mesopotamia, and Persia.   From there to Central Asia, and back into Turkey after the fall of Constantinople, after which the traditional Christian churches became the minority.    Islam did not touch the Western Empire, except in Southern Spain, for a short period.

Thus in the 10th century the Islamic belief took strong roots in Palestine, they did not feel that they were outsiders in their own country.   Their allegiance had shifted from Constantinople to Mecca.    It was still their Holy Land.     Saladin, the great Muslim warrior conquered Palestine from the Eastern Roman empire and the Church of St. Sofia was converted to a Mosque, the Al Aqsa Mosque.    For the Muslims of Palestine, the change signified little, but the religion had seen a modification in practice.    For the Western Roman Empire the shift seemed ominous, and they branded the Muslims as Non-Believers and Usurpers.   So this gave rise to the Crusades, which started as an attempt to re-claim the Holy places to the true Worshippers, but ended as Political Wars.    A misunderstanding of historical events and the long distance which divided the combatants, gave rise to this catastrophe, the after effects of which are felt to this day.

The Muslims then conquered Egypt and whole of North Africa shifted its allegiance to Islam from Eastern Christianity, which was controlled from Constantinople.    Those who did not convert to Islam had to pay a tax as enjoined in the Koran.

In the meantime, from Persia the Zoroastrians were driven out as they did not want to convert to Islam.  Many traveled to India, and settled down in Gujarat, and were known as Parsis (Persians).    Islam also spread to Afghanistan, and from there these people who had trade links with Northern India thought of bringing their religion to this area as well..   Indians as was their nature, were accommodating to the new religion and absorbed it as their own.    But soon, the wealthy and strong chieftains of Afghanistan were more greedy and went on a rampage, and gaining converts, as these would be depended upon as allies in a foreign land.   Throughout Colonial times, converts were the preferred community for the outsiders to deal with and ally themselves with.    This left a bad taste in the mouths of those who did not convert and were treated as second class citizens.    This animosity was transferred to the Religion itself, as usually happens and the quarrels between religious communities became common.      Migrations on account of religious persecution were common, as I mentioned the Zoroastrians migrated to India.    Hindus of Goa migrated southwards to other areas.    Christians migrated to Mangalore, to work as the allies of the Portuguese in the trading posts, and later when the Muslims became strong in Goa during the declining years of the Portuguese empire, they also fled to Mangalore.  Not all Catholics of Goa were the pets of the Portuguese.   There were independent minds as well, like two Pinto brothers who were persona non grata to the Portuguese and they fled Goa, trudged through forests and landed in Puttur in South Kanara.    People did not differentiate between religious beliefs and the conquerors

Islam did not come to India only through the conquerors.   The Arab traders, brought it with them peacefully too, and this was evident on the West Coast of India, where they had large settlements in Cochin, before the Portuguese set foot there.    They also took it to the Indonesian archipelago as far as China.    On the eastern coast of Africa, the traders took Islam and today their belief is spread in Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania.    In central Africa they are populous in Nigeria.. 

Differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Judaism is the mother of the other two later religions.    Jesus, a Jew wanted his people to go back to the roots and live as God intended his people to live.   He showed where they had lapsed and how to remedy the situation.    His precursor John the Baptist, also a Jew called upon the Jews to repent and he baptized them as a sign of repentance in the waters of the river Jordan near Bethany.    Jesus traveled the length and breadth of Palestine, and seemed to have gone to Cana, which some say, as the Qana which the Israeli Jews bombed in their recent August 2006 war.    He changed water into wine at the wedding of his mother's friends' son.    Though his primary mission was the repentance of the  fellow Jews, he did not exclude others, like the Canaanite woman or the Samaritan woman.   His followers were enjoined not to discriminate between the beliefs of their audience and tell them the truth as it is and leave it to them to accept it or reject it.

With this understanding, his apostles spread all over the region announcing the good news of Jesus and many followed his teachings and were baptized.    St, Thomas came to the western coast of India and the Kerala Christians trace their Christianity to him.    Later in the 7th century onwards, the Arab traders brought Islam and they lived in harmony.  

Islam can be observed to have aspects of Judaism and Christianity.    Certain doctrines of the Christians are eliminated such as the doctrine of Trinity, the divinity of Christ, but his virgin birth is accepted.     He is not accepted as the crucified one, as according to Islam, Jews are exonerated of this crime, as they actually executed a look alike.    Thus a sore point of dissention between the Jews and Christians of the 7th century removed, and the society lived in harmony.    This dissention surfaced in the West, in Europe through the Middle Ages and Jews took refuge among Muslims during this period.    In the 20th century when they felt insecure in Germany, they migrated to England and from there to America and funded the British Empire to topple the Ottoman Empire and facilitate their creation of a Jewish State in erstwhile Palestine, which was ruled by the British, under mandate of the League of Nations after the first World War. The boundaries and rulers of  Jordan, Iraq, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula were also  demarcated the British from the territory of the Ottoman Empire.    They also demarcated the boundaries of  North Africa n territories    The boundaries were redrawn after the second world war, again by the Super Powers, through the United Nations, but lingering differences at the local level, where these boundaries were not accepted due to historical and familial ties which were at logger heads with the foreign powers' interests and we have the current boundary problems at the present moment.

The root cause of present difficulties.

Islamic Fundamentalism is a result of the Capitalist policies of the West.    Having divorced themselves from the concept of God as the Sole Ruler of Humanity, they have manipulated religion to their own goals.   They go to wars, with the blessing of their 'God' to whom their children can not pray in their schools as it is against the 'laws' and justify their consciences as to their correctness in bombing others whom they consider threat to their 'national interests' - (read Capitalist Possessions).    They have set up  rulers in their 'protectorate' areas by carving boundaries which are favorable to their Capitalist goals, and sanctioned these boundaries through a Legal Mechanism of their own creation called the United Nations, and then fight wars to bolster their position.    This is a vicious circle of misinformation, unjust laws, coercive politics, all in the name of safe guarding 'their national interests'   where 'their' seem always to be equated to all those ex-colonial powers.    Thus actions taken by the Chinese, or the Russians or the Indians are not acceptable when they are taken in their own 'national interests'.   It is a power play.    If one is more powerful, has better weapons, and has a weak enemy who can be eliminated, without much loss to themselves, then 'the national interest' can be achieved and war is 'justified'.  Where you can not do it, you get your 'allies'  to do it, and you give them air-cover.    It is better to take an UN-umbrella to safeguard yourself against future criminal litigation at World Courts, in case the power balance shifts.    This is how far, a society has managed to degenerate itself, following the triumph of the agnostics and rationalists, and the elimination of God from their societies.   

In the face of this Agnosticism of the West, and lip service religious adherence, the Islamic people have felt they have no legal recourse through their nations, who are in the strangle hold of the West, especially their rights were given to them as a result of the British Mandate after the first and second world wars.    The heavy price Saddam Hussein paid for defying these boundaries, is known to everyone.    All the states of the Middle East have to serve the Western Interest of preserving the security of Israel, which was created in 1948 by a sanction of the Super Powers in the United Nation's Security Council.

The ordinary Muslim on the street does not understand these high level politics, and they have been frustrated ever since the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the first world war.    This frustration gave rise to Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, PLO in Palestine, and so on.   These western style guerilla movements too seem to have been side lined by the West, by showing 'olive branches'.    Ever since the show of disregard to their 'national interests' the Muslims of the Middle East have decided to take their interests to the street, and hit were it hurts the hardest.    Killing of innocent civilians, (soft targets)  have been their new strategy which  they have embraced.      They feel that their lives have no value, either to the West nor to their  own rulers, so why not use them as weapons of 'local destruction' - by giving them a martyr status, and a place in 'heaven' they do not mind losing their lives, as they will have gained a new place in the other world.    If Agnosticism can be justified, this belief too has to be taken seriously by those who have denied God.

The ultimate solution

As problems of societies started ever since God was given a leave of absence in the West, it is high time, he is called back.   Let the Agnostics and their henchmen politicians take a vacation for some time, and spend some time meditating on their folly, and thus perhaps save themselves.    With God in the right place in men's hearts,  old unjust laws will have to be abrogated.    People and their beliefs have to be respected, and the Teachers of Religion, should start proclaiming their Founder's beliefs, rather than their adapted versions which were created for the benefit of the Agnostics.    When that is done, you will find the same harmony between communities, that one found in the early centuries on the west coast of India, when their minds were not contaminated by the Western virus of disbelief and ungodliness.    This dispossessed should be truly given a chance to voice their grievances and the Powerful should be ready to share their wealth from whom their forefathers stole it in the first place.

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