Intro. & Con. [Grace]

Research Introduction

There are many things that make up a religion such as guidelines, languages, rules, beliefs, and events – but does anyone ever wonder how food ties in with some type of religion? Afterall, food itself reflects the identity of a person. In truth, I think that a lot of people concentrate on one of the more well-known topics, such as beliefs and national holidays. However, that doesn’t make up the whole religion. Besides, in many religions, laws are established about food. I chose this topic because I am quite close to many Muslim people. I knew that they couldn’t eat pork, but I really didn’t know why it was so important. When I asked them, they would say that pork was dirty because it consumed dirty food. However, if the food was dirty, why would other religions allow it? That was when I started wondering about how all of this ties in with the religion itself and how it originated. What are the Muslim dietary rules and how did it develop/originate? Well, surprisingly enough, food ties in with a lot of the ingredients that make up a religion.

Research Conclusion

The Muslim dietary laws are said to have been composed by the prophet, Mohammad shortly after his first revelation. From source 3a, it is said that the angel Gabriel dictated the laws to Mohammad around 620 AD. The 3 main things that make up the laws are sunnah, the deeds, hadith, the sayings, and the Qu’ran. Main points covered in this research are: what Muslims can and can’t eat, the origins of the Muslim dietary laws, halal and haram, the Ramadan fasting, abstinence, Halal certification, and the differences between Islam and Judaism concerning food. Muslims cannot eat haram food, wich includes pork and alcohol. When in Ramadan fasting, it is required that the follower not drink, eat, spray perfume, or have sexual intercourse from dusk to sunset, or when a black thread can be distingused from a white one. Since the sources I got were all informational as opposed to interviews or news articles, I found them quite neutral apart from when they were talking about how valid a Halal certification really was, since they kind of hinted that there were probably some organizations out there that are not actually valid. Food plays a huge role in the lives of the Muslims. Since many of their holidays have something to do with abstinence, it is often that on their holidays they would not eat, like the Ramadan fasting for example. Also, the Muslim dietary laws are based purely on what Allah has written in the Qu’ran.

Mission in Afghanistan: Through Night Vision Goggles [Fah]

The link below will take you to an audio slideshow. The pictures in these slideshows were taken by the narrator of the slide show; Taylor Hicks. In this slideshow the photos are taken from cameras with night vision goggles placed in front of the lens. 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/05/13/world/asia/20090513-nightvisionjournal/index.html

Who Are the Taliban? [Fah]

Taliban. Who are they? They have created such chaos in the Middle East that the U.S military had to get involved in the fight against their extremist ways. From 1996-2001, they were the main government in Afghanistan, and they ruled so that everybody was treated ‘fairly’ and the women & girls living in the country were in a ‘secure’ and ‘safe’ environment.
The Taliban are one of the mujahideen groups (holy warriors or freedom fighters) that formed during the war against the Soviet rule in Afghanistan, from 1979-1989. After the Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan, the government being backed up by the Soviet got taken over by the mujahideen. Soon after, there were groups that were unable to cooperate with each other and they started to fight each other, instead of trying to build a government. Afghanistan was now filled with a collection of territories that ‘belonged’ to warlords competing against one another.
Then, in 1994, the many small groups of talibans joined together into one big ring of talibans. In the late 1994, a group of trained Taliban were chosen to protect a convoy that was trying to open a route from Pakistan to Asia. They fought off rival mujahideen and other warlords. The Taliban then took over the city of Kandahar.
Over their time in power, they made many rules that affected woman and girls. The Taliban were very secretive group, never letting information about themselves out to the world. The punishment for any rules broken were harsh. Women could get whipped or even executed if any rules set for them were broken.

Here is another link to a video that could not be embedded:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyAerxHEWQo&NR=1
(This video was secretly filmed by a hidden camera.)

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban_treatment_of_women

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/taliban.html

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/taliban-time.html

The Taliban’s Rules for Women [Fah]

During the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan many people were affected, the women especially. Now that the Taliban were in power, woman were restricted to staying home, and if they ever went outside, they had to go with a male relative escort. If they were caught outside without a male escort, they would be whipped, and even executed. The Taliban allowed marriages for girls under 16, and in some cases, it was even encouraged. It is reported that about 80% of marriages were considered forced. Here are the other laws that the Taliban had for women:
-Women should not appear in the streets without wearing a Burqa (also Burkha, Burka or Burqua).The Burqa that Women are Required to Wear

-Women should not wear high-heeled shoes as no man should hear a woman’s footsteps lest it excite him.
-Women must not speak loudly in public as no stranger should hear a woman’s voice.
-All ground and first floor residential windows should be painted over or screened to prevent women being visible from the street. A Taliban representative explained that “the face of a woman is a source of corruption for men who are not related to them”.
-The photographing or filming of women was banned as was displaying pictures of females in newspapers, books, shops or the home.
-The modification of any place names that included the word “women.” For example, “women’s garden” was renamed “spring garden”.
-Women were forbidden to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses.
-Ban on woman’s presence on radio, television or at public gatherings of any kind.

Buses even segregated genders, making sure that the women and the men never sat together on the same bus. Women were also put out of job, since the ban on the employment of women in a mix gender workplace. When that happened, 25% of the government was gone, since that was the amount of women working at the government. Many families fled to Pakistan since they could not support their families in Afghanistan, since the income from the wife was also needed.
The education for the women also changed. It was decreed that girls above 8 could receive education. The female emeployment ban also affected the education system in Afghanistan since many teachers were women, and forced 63 schools to close due from lack of teachers.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban_treatment_of_women

Islamic Food [Grace]

Muslims, like Jews, follow strict dietary regulations. Foods that Muslims are able to eat are called Halal and the food that they are not allowed to eat are called Haram. Questionable foods are called Mashbooh. Pork products as well as meat not properly slaughtered in any name other than Allah cannot be consumed, since they are considered Haram. Also, Muslims are not allowed to eat carnivorous animals or birds of prey such as dogs, donkeys, monkeys, cats, lions, frogs, crocodiles, turtles, worms, flies, cockroaches, owls, and eagles. Alcohol, coffee, and tea are also considered Haram since they are considered drugs. Halal food that has come into contact with Haram food are also considered automatically Haram.

http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/foods/islam.html

Siege of Jerusalem [Grace]

Capture of Jerusalem, 1099

The Siege of Jerusalem raged on from June 7th till July 15th, 1099, during the time of the 1st Crusades. On this event, the crusaders captured Jerusalem from Fatimid Egypt, which was a dynasty in the name of the ˤAbdullāh al-Mahdī Billah’s daughter, Fātima as-Zahra. The Siege of Jerusalem in 1099 was about two groups of people: the Crusaders and the Fatimid Egyptians. Their main goal was to recapture the Holy Land, Jarusalem. The Christians belived that they had to gain back their Holy Land from the Arabs because the Arabs, in their eyes, were lowly and did not deserve claim to Jarusalem. Therefore, they sent soldiers and knights from Europe to recapture what they had thought of as theirs’.

credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/siege_of_jerusalem_(1099)

Arab vs. Israeli [Grace]

How it started…
The Arab vs. Israeli conflict has been raging on ever since Abraham was said to give his promises to Issac, since Issac was the legal wife and Ismael being the son of the slave wife. Sarah, Abraham’s legal wife (after a lot of mocking coming from Ismael to Issac) suggested Abraham send Ismael off somewhere else. Since the Arabs were the descendants of Issac, the believed that they were of higher power and status, therefore despising the Jews for not converting to Islam.

And then there was World War II…
Although part of the conflict started because of the feuding sons, another aspect of the problem can be found in modern history. After World War II, the UN (United Nations) gave the Israelis Palestine’s land. That caused an uproar in the Arabian people who have already settled there in the first place. This made the Israelis and Arabs fight for land and for power. In many people’s perspectives, this was caused by the British, since they had promised the Arabs earlier to give Palestine to them but when the British needed the Israelis on their side, they changed their words and turned on the Arabs, giving the Israelis in the land instead.

A political map distinguishing between Arabs (green) and Israelis (red) in the Middle East.
A political map distinguishing between Arabs (green) and Israelis (red) in the Middle East.

credits http://www.science.co.il/arab-israeli-conflict.asp 

British Airline ‘BMI’ Apologizes for Omitting Israel [Fah]

The British airline ‘BMI’ apologized to Israel after the flight maps from the London-Tel Aviv did not show Israel.

The flight maps on the airplane from London-Tel Aviv showed Islamic holy sites but it only showed the city Haifa in Israel, but called it by its Arabic name, Khefa. Many Iraeli officials said that BMI was trying to “hide the existence of Israel”. BMI said that it was a technical mistake, and that the maps had not been changed since the planes were taken over from another airline which had flights to the Middle East.

“If BMI had any political agenda in order not to anger neighbouring countries, it would not have invested so much in the Tel Aviv line,” AFP news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.

BMI airlines withdrew the two airplanes that had the map errors form service and are currently installing new maps. The spokesman of BMI told BBC that customers had been quite upset but the mistake on teh map had been an error and they were sorry if they had offended anyone.

 

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8029156.stm