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47 thoughts on “As We Say in Tashkent

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  • Craig


    Thank you. Whether he’s Cameron or Kamran depends on which country he is in! Nadira is bringing him up as a Muslim, you will be glad to hear. Jamie and Emily were brought up as Christians, so we are a pleasant example of inter-communal harmony!

  • anticant

    Oh dear! No – I am not glad to hear that. Why can’t you let the poor little thing grow up religion-free and make his own choices when he reaches the age of discretion?

  • Craig


    Oh I don’t doubt he’ll have his own mind. But I received a very good ethical grounding from my own religous education which did me no harm, and made up my own mind on the theology later.

  • anticant

    Craig, you seem very muddled about the relationship of faith and ethics. They don’t go together like a horse and carriage. At the very least teach him Sufism, not Wahabbi’ism!

  • Arsalan Goldberg

    Craig you do know I was joking about the Kamaran thing don’t you?

    Sorry Craig, for hijacking your Eid Greeting thread with the following response but I really feel I need to make it.


    With all due respect, what you said crossed the lines between joking and ignorance.

    So I’m going to have to put you straight.

    There is no sect called Wahabism, no one calls themselves a Wahabi.

    It is simply used as an insult, or a label to justify imprisonment, torture and execution, when those in power want the wider community to assume that they are not targeting the1/4 of the world’s population who are Muslim but instead only targeting a minority amongst them.

    It is used in Uzbekistan and China to get rid of people who pray, fast or have beards. Things which are universal amongst all Muslims, not just a tiny minority who really do not even exist.

    Secondly, the likes of Karimov and the neocon gang state Sufism is the acceptable form of Islam. They describe it as an Islam without rules as opposed to what they label as Wahabism which they state is an Islam full of rules. This is blatantly untrue, true Sufis are people who follow all the rules of Islam diligently, and on top of that they do other good deeds such as dhiker(remembrance of God) and abstaining from worldly pleasures to get closer to God. That is actually where the word Sufi(Suf means wool) comes from! They were known to wear coarse woollen garments as a means of sacrificing the comforts of this world.

    The word Wahabi comes from the name of a 18th century Arabian reformer called Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. He is mainly known for attacking the practice of visiting the graves of saints and asking help from them. So the term Wahabi is often used to attack those who condemn local practices which may have no bases in the scripture. But it is used by the Neocons/Karimov gang to attack any Muslim who practices Islam to any extent. It is used in the same way the Zionists use the word Antisemitic to describe anyone who attacks Israel in anyway, or even people who defend Israel, but not sufficiently to please the more rabid Zionists.

    Anyway I really don’t want to talk about this. I just posted to return Craig’s Eid Greetings. Just encase you don’t know this already, this is the bigger of the two Eids. In this one Muslims celebrate Abrahams great sacrifice when God told him to Sacrifice his son. This is the holiest day in the Muslim calendar. So I will end my response to you anticant by wishing you a very Happy Eid, Eid Mubarak!

    If you want to know more about so called Wahabism, Here is his book:

    You can read it if you can be bothered. But no one including people accused of being Wahabi consider it as a Holy book.

    It is just considered as a book written by a Human, all readers whether they like or hate the author agree with somethings and disagree with others things in it.

    The Book ALL Muslims consider as holy, and believe in every part of it, including both Sufis and so called Wahabis is this one:

  • lwtc247

    Thanks for the greetings Craig and the same to you and family.

    Interesting but not the slightest bit surprizing was anticants first comment which expressed disappointment about Cameron but nothing about Jamie and Emily.

    Completing the square then, best not bring Cameron up with the morality that says it’s wrong to have sex with ones parents hey!

    Still on the theme of Islam. he then applies his vision of life and religion to sit in judgement about Craig’s. Lastly sufiism is ok because anticant’s endorsed it.

    I appalud Craigs lack of fear of Islam. Pity others can’t learn from it.

  • anticant

    To all those above who know my mind so much better than I do myself, I simply think it is socially divisive – especially in these feverish days – to teach small children that any one faith is “the truth” as opposed to all the others, or to having no religious beliefs. This is indoctrination, not education.

    Children should be taught the history (too often bloody, alas) of ALL major religions and traditions, and then be allowed to make their own free choice, as young adults, which (if any) they choose to adhere to.

    What is “anti-Muslim” – or “anti-Christian” or “anti-Jewish” – about this?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I’m not religious myself, but religion can be tolerant or intolerant. When it’s tolerant it’s not as bad as teaching school-children that they should be proud to be British/American/whatever and that their country is inherently good and can do no wrong. There are plenty of secular ideologies – nationalism and others – that have caused as many wars as any religion when taken to extremes, as they often are by governments looking for excuses to do something they know is wrong.

  • lwtc247

    Sorry, the dodge didn’t work. It was you who illuminated your perceptions, here and elsewhere, like when you said you hope not to live for the day if the people of the UK becomes a Muslim country. It’s obvious to anyone who knows something about you as to why one particular faith is a lot more bitter to you than others.

    To someone who doesn’t like religion and in particular Islam, of course you will think religious faith is socially divisive when people follow it. It’s YOU causing the division!

    Isn’t it the responsibility of any parent to give their kids a grounding in what they think is the truth? Look at it from the other way around… One believes, rightly or wrongly, that one holds ‘the truth’ pertaining to life and various standards of ethics. What then of the person who DOESN’T teach that to ones children? How terrible, how negligent! And to believe there aren’t many levels of indoctrination (I use the word in it’s un-hijacked form) in a parent-child relationship, or that there shouldn’t be any, is simply stupid. It is the clear hope of some, that by denying a moral compass to the child, and for many, childhood sets their personal foundations, that they will continue to be aimless in the future. All this betrays the advocate as having a hopeful planted seed of a long term ulterior socio-political motive to blossom in the future.

    The Protestant churches have Confirmation do they not? I was pressured to partake of Confirmation, but I avoided it, but to those young people who do take confirmation fair dos.

    Who said children are NOT taught about all religions?

    I like Duncans (29/11/2009 3:16 AM) comment as the secular beliefs are hardly ever focused on at the expense of the religious ones. Strange that huh?.

    Building on his comment, I’d say that wars in the name of religion will most often NOT actually be grounded properly in religion, like Bush being told by God to invade Afghanistan etc.

    How many of these were -actually- religious wars:

    ECW/US war if independence / US CW / Waterloo / Crimean / Boer / WW1 / Russian CW / WW2 / Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos / Iraq-Iran/Desert-storm / enduring freedom(>pukes) / Rwanda / Angola / Liberia and so on…

    And the ‘showing’ of religion isn’t good enough I’m afraid, e.g. The Iran-Iraq wasn’t a religious war.

    From my experience, almost every human being will see it as normal/acceptable that other parents encourage their kids to follow their traditions. Society has a role to play in moderation/buffering of that e.g. Satanism, child sexual abuse among clearly recognised cults etc.

    Do people who say teaching children about religion, e.g. Dawkins –really– believe it’s child abuse?? or do they believe they’ve found a ‘clever’ way, difficult to argue against [have you stopped beating your wife] way of making it appear teaching children religion or one particular religion os the truth is wickedly wrong?

    Religion like all communally held social beliefs and traditions are cohesive. The brotherhood between Japanese Muslims, African Muslims, European Muslims, and American Muslims is fantastic (when the self interest serving politics doesn’t poke its poison laced claws into the equation)

  • anticant

    The only realistic path to a more peaceful world is the cultivation of greater religious and social tolerance and a spirit of “live and let live”. Religions which claim that theirs is the only ‘truth’, and that those who don’t accept their beliefs are ‘infidels’, inferior, and so on, make no contribution to this aim. They are socially divisive. They cannot all be right, and their pointless squabbles resemble bald men fighting over a comb.

    Religion is a large part of the problem ?” not the answer. (And, I agree with Duncan, so is nationalistic patriotism, the last refuge of scoundrels.)

  • lwtc247

    Some telling replies to my past points anticant.

    In a similar fashion that I pointed out your hijacking and spin on the word indoctrination, I’m going to do the same with ‘infidel’. Infidel means disbeliever. The term is neutral. You seek to impose a nasty aura around it, resembling colonial terminology. You should know better, but when you’ve got a corner to fight ‘n all…

    Just wondering when you’ll start throwing the word Jihad around.

    I think every religion proclaims itself as being the truth as so all non-religious philosophies. So what? And that they can’t all be right is another ‘so what’? The HUGE majority of people who choose to follow a religion DO actually respect those choose something different – within wide societal norms of course. As such, your words “Their pointless squabbles resemble bald men fighting over a comb” shows ghastly ignorance of the tolerances of people of faith and the thousands of interfaith groups across the planet. Well, it serves your purposes to project false divisions doesn’t it.

    Stop trying to give the spurious impression taht not being religious your existence is some kind of dangerous enterprise.

    Lets not forget that you too believe your ultra-liberal views are the truth offering the way forward for the profession of man.

    Fact is as Europe’s belief/practice of religious ethics has weakened, occurrence of social problems has increased.

    The belief that man can rule over man better than God is laughable, but heck, don’t let that stop you picking out handfuls of men in positions of power who abused religion, to demonise religion itself and blow things out of all proportion.

  • anticant

    What people do matters more than what they say. We all of us – religious and non-religious alike – stand or fall by that test. I have never said there are no good religious people. I’ve known some quite saintly ones. As well as some most benevolent non-religious people.

    What I object to is the “We’re OK – you are not OK” stance that is quite explicit in the pronouncements and actions of some prominent religious leaders – especially, these days, Muslims – who pronounce fatwas, death threats etc. aqainst writers like Salman Rushdie and the Danish cartoonists. Was the murder of Theo Van Gogh not inspired by religious fanaticism? Are the fulminations of primitive bigots like Al Qaradawi against gays, adulterers and apostates not prompted by their religious faith?

    If you want to convince me that Islam really is a gentle religion of peace, and that all these incidents are the work of a few deluded mavericks or prompted solely by misguided Western foreign policy, you really must try harder.

  • arsalan goldberg

    Anticant, isn’t your lack of religion your religion?

    It looks like you are claiming your beliefs are the only truths too!

    And you look down on those who do not share your beliefs, such as the people you call Wahabis?

    Your idea that people should all be without belief has already been tried, and Communism died!

    Anyway, this thread was meant to be a happy thread.

    Just someone wishing others a Happy Eid.

    I’m so glad I don’t know you in the real world and I feel really sorry for your friends and family.

    Anticant’s Mum: Merry Christmas Anticant

    Anticant: Religion is the opium of the masses! Christmas is religious indoctrination, to brainwash children in to followers of religion!

    Like Craig my family is mixed as well. Very mixed!

    the Muslims of my family consists of people you would call Sufi and people you would call Extreme Wahabi, but they are all what I call Uncles. In weddings we make sure there is enough veg because of our Hindu and Buddhist friends.

    The last two funerals I want to were those of the husband’s of two of my aunts.

    They were both converts to Islam. in the first one we did the Islamic rights and someone in his family said a catholic prayer. In the second the aunt’s husband had a very large number of brothers and sisters, half chose Islam the other half chose Christianity. In that one everybody took part in the Islamic prayer(janaza). I actually gave my place at the front row to one of his brothers.

    Anticant, that is the key to people getting along. It isn’t removing every body’s beliefs. it is recognising differences and accommodating the differences.

    I am what you would call a Muslim extremist as opposed to what you might call the acceptable face of Islam. I believe in what I believe completely, and yes I believe others are wrong. And do you know what?

    So do you!

    Everyone does.

    That is the difference between a person of religion and an agnostic. I am a Muslim and not an agnostic.

    If you want kids to be brought up the way you would like. No one is stopping you. have a bunch of kids and bring them up how every you want to bring them up. And I will bring my kids up the way I want to.

    And Anticant, One last thing, Happy Eid!!!!

  • anticant

    Now you see, arsalan, one difference between you and me is that you are “so glad you don’t know me in the real world”, and that you – so patronisingly! – feel “really sorry” for my friends and family.

    I’d be happy to know you in the real world – you sound really nice, and so do your family, and I wish a Happy Eid to you and them, and to everyone else on this thread.

    If you did know me in the real world, you might shed some of your misconceptions about me. I do not at all look down on those who have religious belief. I am simply saddened and dismayed by all the hatred, violence and harm that is unleashed and perpetrated in the name of religion.

    Quite honestly, I think it is the responsibility of you, and others posting here who deem themselves to be religious, to face down the ignorance, the violence and the hatred within your own ranks, and to restore religion to what it professes to be its true purpose: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all Men (and Women).

    My Mum, alas, has been dead for quarter of a century. In her later years she found much comfort in attempting to comprehend the opaque ramblings of Mrs Eddy, the founder of ‘Christian Science’. I would not have dreamed of trying to undermine her faith in this intellectual crap, because I knew it helped her to cope better with her life and she made some very nice friends through it.

    Scepticism, by the way, isn’t another religion: it is lack of conviction that religious doctrines are true, or even probable. But all honest sceptics are willing to be convinced by credible evidence.

    Apologies to Craig for hijacking a festive thread. Roll on Christmas…..

  • arsalan goldberg


    I didn’t mean those lines literally. That was my figurative way of explaining your first post on this thread.

    The traditional Eid greeting was to give some of the meat from the animal slaughtered Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son and God replacing that human sacrifice with a Sheep.

    I can’t give you any mutton but I did have to goats slaughtered so I can give you some chevon, and that goes to you to Craig that is unless your vegetarian?

    Anticant I think I need to mention again, I’m not a part of one of those those liberal trends in Islam. I am one of those wild eyed fanatical fundamentalist extremist types that are always in the media.

    What I was trying to say in the previous post is whatever peoples views or opinions, everyone can behave decently. Just because someone believes he is right and others are wrong it doesn’t mean there ever needs to be conflict. People always have and always will use any excuse for conflict. For example the riots between Algerians and Egyptions, both Arabs, both Muslims, African over a football match!!!

  • lwtc247

    “I think it is the responsibility of you, and others posting here who deem themselves to be religious, to face down the ignorance”

    I tried: 10:59 AM, 7:18 AM, 11:41 AM

  • arsalan goldberg

    Getting back to the topic of Eid:

    Traditionally people used to keep the Eid Animal in their homes as a pet. Sometimes for a whole year! That way when it became time to slaughter it, it became easier to visualise what Abraham went through when he had to slaughter his son. In Bosnia they buy a calf a during the previous Eid, raise it as a pet for a year and slaughter it in the next, My friend’s wife says she used to cry every time her family calf was slaughtered.

  • arsalan goldberg

    A friend of mine told me when he was a boy he was sitting amongst his family who were talking about how cruel the Muslims in India were because the Muslims keep a sheep as a pet and treat it like one of their children, then on Eid they slaughter it.

    I actually believe that is the best way of doing it. Because if you just go to an abattoir and do it, it isn’t much different to going to a butcher the way you do every other day of the year.

    Eid is the day when Abraham went to slaughter his son, but God had mercy on him and replaced his son with a ram. I don’t think going to a butcher and picking up some meat quite does that justice?

    Oh ,,,,

    My mum just phoned, I need to drive around distributing meat to friends and family for her.

    Bye, and Eib Mubarak everybody

  • anticant

    lwtc247, how typical of you to deliberately misquote me out of context. Your first comment is just insulting and doesn’t deserve a reply.

    Thanks for the meat offer, arsalan – but no, thanks. I don’t approve of halal slaughter methods, which are inhumane.

    And pleased tell me what sort of a god is it who commands his followers to slaughter their own children as a fitting sacrifice? Oh dear me….

  • MJ

    anticant: oh dear, might this help? It is probably useful to remember that all three of the great Middle Eastern monotheistic faiths are but variations on the ‘pagan’ mystery religions from which they arose. All those blood-curdling references to slaughter, sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection are but metaphors by which an initiate is encouraged to achieve personal spiritual growth and transendence. Those who insist on a literal interpretation of the fairy-tales are missing the point rather drastically and are sadly unlikely to progress beyond square one of their spiritual journey.

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