Discovering the “Demons” of Islam: A Crash Course in Understanding the Djinn, From Multiple Perspectives.

First Posted: May 27, 2013 by LVCIFER (sharing his work) https://diabolicalconfusions.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/discovering-the-demons-of-islam-a-crash-course-in-understanding-the-djinn-from-multiple-perspectives/

Within my own research into the world of the paranormal, I began to start digging into anything I could to find out details in regards to malevolent hauntings and/or certain spirits. And at first, myself being Roman Catholic, obviously began to look inwards to my own religion for answers, but unfortunately, the topic of demonology pre-dates even my religion. So, my answer, it seemed, was to begin digging into other faith systems. I began to start studying the Hebrew religion of Judaism, and as you could imagine, that took up quite a lot of my time. Then, however, I came across something that made me take a step back, and reassess some patterns of thoughts that I had been forming.

This article is going to be a special one, because it is going to contain contributions from people who are more familiar with certain matters of faith than I am. They are not authors for the site, but simply people, both of which who choose to remain anonymous, who either have insight or personal experience in regards to this topic.

We are going to go in-depth the “demons” of the Islamic faith, the Djinn.

Now, I myself will openly admit that I am not particularly familiar with the Muslim religion, however, in the past few months, I have become increasingly interested in it from an academic point of view. You should also know that while this article is being published to coincide with the new year of 2013, I have been specifically researching this topic wince the year 2010, digging into forums, and weeding out people who I believed to be telling mistruths, etc., This article will be a collaboration between myself, sharing what I have learned, one other woman who has given her insight to this field from the point of view of a devout and faithful muslim, and a man, who, due to circumstances early on in his life with the Djinn, witnessed an honest-to-goodness exorcism of the Djinn, performed in Jordan. Both of these people have chosen to use the media of simple text to express themselves and offer their inputs, but this comes as the result of many phone interviews, facetime video calls, e-Mails and text messages, to make sure that during the fabrication of this article, I got every detail correct. In regards to their input, nothing has been changed, and every detail I included was given to me by these people. I have not changed a single thing, nor have I “beefed it up” to make it more entertaining or “commercialized”. When you read their contributions, it is 100% exactly how they intended for you to understand it.

With that being said, let me start off by explaining my understanding of the Djinn. I am going to be explaining this from the point of view of a Westerner, who is of Roman Catholic faith, and my views may not reflect those of Muslims or Hebrews. However, being that I have my hands into so many aspects of multiple religions, I personally feel that I have made some connections which others may argue and contest. Note that nothing I say should be taken as hard, concrete proof or evidence. I will state a great many facts, and then offer my insight to this, so please be warned.

For an extended view into what these entities are, you can watch videos by one of the authors who wrote a book or two on the topic, a Ms. Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Here are the links:

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE DJINN?

From my understanding, the Djinn are sentient beings created by God/Allah. They were the masters of the Earth before mankind was, and it was taken away from them because God/Allah was displeased with how they were utilizing it. They do not remain on the same plane of existence as we are, and I will not even begin to try to tackle why that is. I do not pretend to know the answers to that, and anyone who does should be treated with skepticism.

The Djinn were beings, who were created from smokeless flame, and as such, are alleged to be extremely hot tempered. They are impulsive, intense, and very focused on their task at hand. At one point, they were the preferred species of God/Allah. As explained below by “Hana”, they were a vast and expansive race of beings. They engaged in much of the same function that we do: they had a purpose (“job”), they had families, they had communities and clans, and they had rulers (“kings”). One of these Djinn, named Iblis, forms a direct parallel to the Judeo-Christian Character of Haylel (הילל), otherwise known as Lucifer, or the Greek Phosphoros. The one main difference is that he was never an Angel. He was however, the most powerful of all of the Djinn, and he was even granted access to walk amongst Heaven “with the angels”, and he was also the only Djinn allowed to do this.

When God/Allah created man, Adam, he commanded all his angels and all of the Djinn to bow and kneel before this creation, and to love him. And at first, all did – except for Iblis, much like the story of Lucifer.

It is We who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis;

He refused to be of those who prostrate.

(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?”

(Iblis) said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.”

(Allah) said: “Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).

Be thou among those who have respite.”

(Iblis) said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: Then I will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left. Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).”

(Allah) said: “Get out from this, degraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all.”

So as you can see, Iblis, once again prideful and arrogant, rebelled against the desires of God/Allah, and was forever cast out of Heaven, but also given the opportunity to terrorize mankind as a test to see who was loyal to the holy ways of the Lord, and who would stray.

Now, on top of that, there are other correlations between the demonic, as well as the Djinn, and Angels. While in my opinion, encountering ANY angel would be a terrifying experience due to their dual-existence being some of the holiest of creatures but always having one wing dipped in blood to enforce the wrath and vengeance of God/Allah as well, I could imagine that encountering one of these Djinn, being bitter envious of mankind in general would be quite a horrifying experience.

There are different “classes” of the Djinn, with each one having unique identifying traits. Some of the notes I have taken would explain these, so I’ll just simply dive into it and explain what those classes are: to “simplify” the information, I will not be referring to them in their native language, I will be using the “western” definitions here.

WHERE DOES “AZAZEL” COME INTO THIS?

There have been numerous claims that the fallen angel Azazel (עזאזל) was actually the name of Iblis before he was distorted and cast from heaven. As a matter of fact, the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, pages 17 & 18 address this issue. Let me first say though, that I have heard this numerous times before this book published it, however, I will quote them, as they did a rather decent job of explaining this.

In some early Islamic accounts, Iblis was once a powerful angel named Azazel. The name “Azazel” means “God strengthens” and this angel may have originally been a Semitic god of shepherd’s flocks who became demonized as Abrahamic religions flourished. Azazel is associated with the ritual of scapegoating as an expiation of sin, as described in Leviticus 16. In verse nine, God tells Moses that his brother Aaron shall take two goats and sacrifice them: one is to the Lord for sin and the second is for AzazeI, to be presented live for atonement, and then sent into the wilderness supposedly to the demon. This reference to the wilderness has led to beliefs that Azazel was a demon of the desert. Coincidentally, the desert is also considered to be Iblis’ home when Allah permits him to enter our world.

In the apocryphal story The Apocalypse of Abraham, Azazel is mentioned as the angel of disgrace, lies, evil, wrath, and trials. He is the lord of hell, confined to earth by God because he became enamored with it. In Judaic lore, AzazeI figures prominently in folk tales, along with another fallen angel, Samyaza (sometimes spelled Shemihazah or Shemhazai). Azazel refuses to bow to Adam when presented to God and the heavenly hierarchies. Islamic lore also tells of Azazel refusing to bow to Adam, and God casting him out of heaven and changing him into Iblis as a result. Although the angelic origin of Iblis contradicts Islamic beliefs, it is still considered by some scholars as a possible origin for this rebellious spirit.

According to Islamic belief, the evil that exists everywhere is due to corrupt humans and djinn who have turned their backs on Allah. Demons, fairies, ghosts, demonic possession, and even sightings of extraterrestrial aliens are believed to be the work of djinn, or in some cases, spiritually corrupt humans who have joined Iblis. If we take into account the reality of the existence of djinn, we can understand the paranormal’s great diversity. Rarely do djinn present their true identity to us. Instead, they enjoy taking on many disguises. Many djinn merely play a harmless game with us for their amusement, but some have a more deadly agenda.

Stories about the djinn reveal a long history of perceived injustices and indignities from their perspective, creating valid reasons (in their minds) for many of them to plot against humanity. Believing themselves to be wronged by God in favor of human beings, some djinn have carried a deep grudge for millennia. Add to that the abuses they believe they’ve suffered at the hands of one of the few men to ever have dictatorial control over them – King Solomon. In order for us to understand the djinn and their feelings about humans, we must study both their past and present interactions with our race.

Further than that, not that this is any type of authority, you can also view the entry on Wikipedia for Azazel, where even in there, it states basically the same information as above, under the “Azazel in Islam” section. You can view that informationhere.

THE DIFFERENT CLASSES / VARIANTS OF THE DJINN

THE GREEN DJINN

The classes of the djinn or divided amongst many, the first and weakest being that of the green djinn. They are the youngest of them all, and are not actually green, that is just how they’re classified in levels of rank and power. They can do many things such as manipulate the physical universe, but they are all different. It would be the equivalent of the youngest, and the most naïve. They can be playful, vengeful, sometimes kind, and most of the time cruel. As with people, they have different areas of expertise and talent. Some are better at different areas of skill such as the sciences, math engineering, art and other things.

It is been said that the green djinn only enter our world because they are curious about us. It is like a temporary vacation, from their world. One of the more common Islamic beliefs is that they live in holes.

One of the worst things that a person can do is to somehow find a way to offend this hole. That means any littering, disturbance, urination, or any other type of offensive activity that involves this hole could eventually wind up leaving a person to severe emotional, spiritual, and physical woes at the hands of the djinn. It is also said that these holes, which these djinn live in, eventually lead into an entire subterranean network otherwise known as the djinn world. Others believe something similar, such as these holes are simply entrances to portals which will lead us into the world of the djinn. As stated in The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, it is believed that just to enter into one of these portals will bring you into a different plane of existence. A different dimension in which the djinn are allegedly the masters in control.

Throughout history, these entities have taken on many different shapes and forms. Some of those shapes all depended on what type of mood this entity was in at the time that it chose to materialize. The shapes include: dogs, elves, a fairie, and even in some instances, they were known to take on the shape and form of an angelic entity.

THE BLUE DJINN

Then, there is the next class up ladder, the blue djinn. They are also called the marid, but despite their jump in class, there are not very many of them. Surprisingly, they are considered by many to be the most powerful of all of the djinn. They are known for being extremely reclusive, and if given the choice, they would rarely if ever interact with the human race. It is said in is Islamic believes and folklore, that the blue djinn, As heinous as they are, are responsible for saving the entire race of the djinn in a battle between all of them and the red djinn. For those of you who do not know, the red djinn are a different class of entity, and we will talk about them soon. Just for inclusion in this section of the article, the red djinn are worshipers of the Islamic equivalent to the Roman Catholic devil, Iblis.

In terms of strength and power, it is said that the blue djinn are the oldest and most powerful of them all, with their strength lying on a scale just that below the strength and power of an angelic being.

It is also said that the blue djinn were involved in a war. A war against heaven. According to the Islamic religion, when Allah ordered them to leave the physical world because they had to submit it to Adam, the blue djinn resisted and put up arms. They decided that they were going to literally launch a war against the Angels, and fight for their right to stay within this physical world. In the end, it is said that this war lasted a millennium, and the Angels eventually overtook the blue djinn. Not all of them agreed to go quietly, however, and many of the blue djinn chose to stay in our world, with their clans.

As time goes on, the blue djinn sit and wait, quiet, and calculating, and as they get stronger, their only purpose it is believed is so that they can use that strength and engage in a second war with the Angels so that they can fight to regain and retain their ability to live in our world.

THE RED DJINN

The red entities seemingly have only one reason to exist: to bring forth the destruction and the downfall of humankind. In Islamic folklore and belief, these entities would be the closest thing to the Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian demons. They have abandoned all previous ties to their leaders, their families, their clans, and their God, in order to follow Iblis. They are most commonly described as being either the voice of reason, or the voice of destruction. As a matter of fact, a very common depiction of this particular breed of entity, is the popular notion of having one demon sit on your shoulder, and one angel sit on your other shoulder, and throughout your life, at every action, one or the other of them will whisper in your ear and sway you to make a decision of either good, or bad.

It is also believed that these entities, being the closest to the demonic, throughout history have been confused with such. The issue is, they are known for appearing in the form of reptilian-like creatures, and because they have no allegiances to anyone or anything other than that of pure evil, they are also allegedly responsible for many things such as possession, physical illness and some severe/intense hauntings.

THE BLACK DJINN

Not much is known about these reclusive entities, but in one mention, it has been said that they are the leaders and the rulers of the blue djinn. They are also known to rule over other large clans and it may in fact be possible that they are kings or in the least, a ruling class of entity over others. As I said, not much is known about this particular entity. It may be so simple that there is only one black djinn, and that he is the ruler of them all. This is not as far-fetched as you would think. However, not much is known so it cannot be proven one way or the other.

There is one very, very famous legend, known as the Testament of Solomon. In this testament, at the side of King Solomon, there was a black djinn. King Solomon had complete control over this entity, and whenever a green or a blue djinn defied their orders, it was the black djinn’s responsibility to punish these entities. In any event, regardless of who or where these legends came from, you can view the Testament of King Solomon here.

The other thing that is note worthy, is that at the current time, with what little is known about these particular entities, it seems that no matter what their status is, they are very important amongst the food chain in the djinn world. They are in positions of power, and it is power that has been gained by the rule of an iron fist. This is not something that they are elected to, this is something that they seem to have deserved, possibly by birthright, possibly by the natural selection. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.

THE YELLOW DJINN

There are different types of classes as we mentioned above and as you can tell from the writing of this article, not much is known about very many of them, but the least known of all of them is the yellow class of djinn. Quite honestly, there is nothing that I can tell you about them. The issue is, is that they are reclusive not only from humankind, but from their own kind as well. They seem to be the hermits and the recluses of their species.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THE DJINN

Apparently, they are very sensitive entities. They take offense very, very easily. They are known for being vindictive, and if the situation arises, they will try to get revenge against anyone who engages in any activity against them regardless of what the or original intent was. For example, if a human being has the audacity to try to exorcise these entities from a person that they have possessed, these entities will literally take offense and even though the exorcism may be successful if the conditions are right, just like in Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian faiths, they may leave temporarily, but come back with a much greater tenacity and a larger force. In Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian belief, it is said that when a demon is exercised, if the demoniac does not do something to change their life and live for the better, then that demon will return and it will be seven times as strong as it was, and it will bring seven times as many demons with it then were originally present. This is interesting to me, because it shows such a mirror in the three different faiths. So I guess we could chalk this up to being one of the many similarities that the djinn share with the classical definition of a demon.

Another similarity that I have noticed, between these djinn and the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons is that while neither one of them can actually perform genuine miracles, what they can do is perform the illusion of a miracle. Meaning, that they can make everything seem as realistic as possible, and they can confuse everyone into believing that they had just genuinely witnessed a miracle, but in fact in the end it was all just an illusion designed to get them closer to their goal, whatever that may have been. Another famous example of what the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons are guilty of, in this regard, is sickness and disease. What they are known for doing, is they will intentionally get a person sick and cause all types of physical ailments, and then when the person is at their spiritual and mental breaking point, this demon will suddenly appear as their miraculous savior, and agree to make them “better“, in exchange for something. Usually, a grant of permission of some kind. Sometimes, it will even be so bold as to promise the person perfect health, until the day they die, in exchange for “a piece of their soul“, their entire soul, or just a declaration stating that they turn away from or abandoned God. So in essence, the game is very simple: they create the problem, and then show up to fix it. Once they do take away what they had given in the first place, they wind up looking like the good guy and someone that you can trust, and in the end you wind up getting screwed. This is Manipulation 101. And they are masters of it.

It is said that these entities can influence a person’s thoughts, and dreams simply by whispering into its ear. It has also been said that they can even aggressively enforce suggestions that eventually become actions from this person that they are oppressing. Well they cannot actively engage with the physical world, they have been known to do small and minor yet distracting things that could affect a person, especially during a critical moment. For example, a man can be cleaning a firearm in his home, and when he puts it back together, a very loud crash could be heard in his house that startles him, accidentally forcing his finger to pull on the trigger which would eventually cause his death and look like a suicide. They can also lightly influence the environment causing you extreme stress and lack of sleep. What do I mean? Imagine going to bed, getting under the covers, and preparing to fall asleep. Now just as you are about to fall asleep, imagine that you hear a noise in or outside your bedroom. Imagine a phantom footstep that walks across your door’s threshold, or someone clearing their throat in the corner of your bedroom where you know there is no person there. Imagine hearing a whisper, or a whistle sound from within the room that you are currently in. Your eyes show you that there is no one there, your nerves start to wind up, setting you on edge. Your sixth sense kicks in, and all you can do is sit there panicking, and getting ready to run like hell. Now, imagine this every single day, for months at a time. It would be safe to assume that you would be constantly tired due to your lack of peaceful sleep at night. This would drain you, and force you eventually to both your mental and physical breaking point. For whatever reason, this is exactly what their endgame is.

Also noteworthy, the symbol of an evil djinn is a camel. They appear in many dreams.

NOW, MORE ON THIS “POSSESSION” BUSINESS…..

As stated at the beginning of this article, the djinn have been known to take possession of a person. The exact reasons for why they do this or how they are allowed to do this are currently unknown, but the fact remains that many times, this does in fact happen, and it crosses over throughout multiple religions. What do I mean by this? Many times, the activities of a djinn in your home will be naively classified as having a “poltergeist” when it is not the case. The same goes for possession. Many times, people not of the Muslim faith will be undergoing the entire ordeal of possession, and often times, once it escalates to the point where the Roman-Catholic church is involved, they will send out an exorcist to conduct the rituals, but upon completing multiple exorcisms, there will be no effect. Usually after much investigation, and much time being expended, the Priest-Exorcist will conclude that the possessing entity is not one of the Roman-Catholic faith, and but either of the Hebraic faith or of the Muslim faith, and at that time, the Priest-Exorcist has to contact and involve the clergy of those respective faiths. It is not uncommon for Priest-Exorcists to work with an Imam or a Rabbi to evict the possessing entity from it’s victim.

One of the most interesting things about the possession involving these entities is the fact that they claim to enter the body, and then travel through the person while being in the blood. This is, of course, after a period of what the Roman Catholics/Judeo Christians described as “diabolical oppression“. Just like possession in other religions, these entities are responsible for causing all types of physical ailments, such as problems speaking, problems hearing, problem seeing, and other events such as the inability to stand up straight, or chronic pains. Anyone who is familiar with the topic of possession in any of the previous religions I had mentioned will know that one of the set signs are of such possession is the nonsensical and maniacal activity that happens from a person who can no longer control themselves. They will appear to be genuinely insane, such as tearing their clothes off, or laughing hysterically. There are reports of the possessed being known to dance wildly, and engage in extreme sexual promiscuity. These entities can also be responsible for uncontrollable fits, loss of control of bodily functions, spasms, paralysis temporary or permanent, and many other physical ailments as well. Other forms of emotional assault, much like the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demon, involves a severe depression of the person which can cause long-term depression, and consistent thoughts of suicide. Another issue, is that these entities can also enforce their own will upon a person they are possessing, which could result in acts of violence and or homicide. In time, this form of inflicted insanity can be used as their weapon, and as stated above, can push a person towards all sorts of crime and dangerous activity.

In the event that you were ever possessed by a djinn, the first thing that you would have to do is to try to figure out which religion this entity believes in. Much like people, they have a complex belief system. They are not bound to one particular religion, as they have been granted free will. Just like people, they can believe in many different forms of religion or belief. So, for example, if this entity believes in the religion of Islam, obtaining the help of a Priest–Exorcist will be useless to you, because this entity does not believe in the God that this agent is trying to force it out in the name of. The same goes with the Jewish religion. If this entity believes in the Jewish religion, that Priest or Imam would not be able to expel this particular entity from a person, because that would not be appealing to the faith of the actual entity. Once you obtain an idea of what faith this entity believes in, then you would have to get a type of religious clergy from that particular religion to take care of this problem. And, as with most cases, that cannot be guaranteed to be successful, but your chances would greatly increase.

A QUESTIONABLE GENESIS?

Now, scholars have argued over the fact of whether or not the Prophet Muhammad was visited by an Angel, or a Djinn at first. This is in reference to the event that awakened him to begin acknowledging the visions that he was experiencing, and writing them into what eventually became the holy Quran. The Prophet Muhammad was known for going off into caves and meditating, and engaging in trances. Djinn are known cave-dwellers, and many of the Muslim religion believe that caves house portals into the realm that the djinn reside in. The story is as follows:

In the year 610, while in the cave one night during Ramadan, Muhammad was visited by a “creature” who ordered him in an authoritative, almost threatening voice, “READ!“. Muhammad replied to the creature, “I do not know how to read.”

The creature grabbed him with such a great force that he almost suffocated. It released him, and repeated the same command three times. On the third time, the creature gave him what later became the opening lines of sura 95:

Recite in the name of thy Lord who created,

Who created man of blood coagulated.

Read! Thy Lord is most beneficent,

Who taught by the pen,

Thought that which they knew not to men.

Now, even further, this “entity” followed the Prophet around for some time after this event, and this is the rest of that story:

Tradition holds that after issuing its commands, the creature disappeared. Muhammad went to sleep and awakened in the morning to hear words that seemed to be written on his heart: “O Muhammad, you are the Apostle of God and I am Jibril.”

According to the Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, a biography of the Prophet by Ibn Kathir, written in the fourteenth century, Muhammad ran from the cave, all the way back to Mecca, trembling with fear. He ran into his house and found his wife and implored her, “Cover me, cover me.” His wife asked him what was the matter. He told her of the creature he encountered in the cave and said he had to leave because he feared for his life. It is not clear at this point whether Muhammad thought the creature was a djinni or angel, but it was obvious he was very afraid of the creature that had accosted him.

From historical accounts of djinn and demons, we know they often make people do things they don’t want to by threatening them or using physical force. In Biblical accounts of angel encounters, people often feared the angels because they usually appeared when God was unhappy with a person; the angel was sent to chastise or punish. In the Arabic world, however, djinn would have been even more feared than a powerful angel.

Muhammad was able to see the creature from any angle he looked, implying it was multidimensional in nature. However, there is no record of an exact description of the entity. Muhammad was skeptical of the creatures true identity. He saw it on several occasions after the first encounter, but no one else could see it. The creature followed him from the cave and often appeared in his home.

Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, wanted to discover the true identity of the creature and so told her husband to inform her when the entity was present. When the creature finally appeared, she asked Muhammad to sit on her left thigh and asked him, “Can you still see the creature?”

He replied that he did. She then threw off her veil and asked Muhammad to sit on her right thigh. Khadija then asked him, “Can you still see the creature?” He replied, “No, it is gone.” Khadija then told Muhammad, “Be firm, by the name of Allah, he is an angel and not a demon.”

Islamic scholars interpret the test above as meaning that an angel would not stay to look at the uncovered part of a female body, but a demon would. Also, the creature was visible only when he sat on her left thigh and not her right. The pre-Islamic people believed that the proper sequence of things was from right to left. If the creature was also visible on the right, this meant to them that it would have been moving from left to right and against the balanced movement of the universe and against the will of Allah. Only evil djinn can do this – angels can’t. This test convinced Khadija that the creature was an angel, and not just any angel, but the Archangel Jibril. Muhammad still remained skeptical.

The Angel “Jibril” is also known in Judeo-Christian religion as “Gabriel”. And in this situation, since even the Muslim religion/community has decided that this creature was not a djinn or demon, it is to be taken as fact (for the intents and purposes of this story) that in this one case, an Angel did indeed appear in the form of a demon, or a djinn. Muhammad’s validity was questioned by his own people ferociously after this encounter, because they believed that this creature was indeed a djinn, and not an Angel, and accused him of retroactively fitting this part of his story to be told as if it were an Angel, to “clear the air“, I guess.

An interesting note though, is that many of the people in the day of Muhammad believed that he was in fact djinn-possessed due to his hobby of traveling to caves and meditating in an area that was known to house the djinn.

BUT WAIT, THEY CAN SHAPE SHIFT?!?

Yes. You read that correctly. They can change forms, and manipulate their appearance, just like demons can, in order to accommodate their purposes. One of the most identifying traits of the Djinn is the fact that ultimately, they are extremely insidious, and mischievous. They have been referred to throughout history as being “tricksters”, and they “get off” on completely confusing the minds of mankind. Many, many cultures throughout history have their own version of the “trickster”, but as time will attest, this is an instantly identifying feature that should begin to raise red flags if you begin to experience these types of things.

This is also one of the reasons that Muslims caution their children not to throw water, rocks, sticks, or other projectiles at black dogs or cats, because those are some of the preferred forms of the transforming djinn. They are also known famously for taking on the forms of birds, goats, mice, and even humans, depending on their agenda. Extremely interesting to note, the djinn cannot take the form of the Prophet Muhammad, but they can take the form of other prophets, especially in dreams.

Most of the time, however, the particular class of djinn that takes on a habit of using shapeshifting are the young, “green” djinn. Make no mistake though, when I refer to them as young, I mean that they are the youngest of the djinn, but they can still be hundreds and in some cases thousands of years old, and even though they are the “weakest” of the djinn, they are stronger than any human, and should be treated with caution. And some of the things that these types of djinn enjoy doing are haunting people who they feel deserve it for whatever reason. They will appear as apparitions in the middle of the night, if the opportunity arises, they will distort your vision, affect your reality, they will terrorize you through mirrors or other reflective surfaces, they will take on the form of animals to scare the hell out of you, they will appear as shadow figures, and so on. They will engage in such activities as banging on the walls, giving the appearance of a disembodied voice, whisperings, having particular items move from one place to another unexplainably, etc. They will also appear as creatures which are grotesque and intimidating in order to scare the living hell out of you. A rather common belief is that the djinn have seen how people react to hauntings, so they mimic the activities to further conceal their identities, and enforcing their existence of being “the hidden ones”.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE DJINN, ANGELS, AND DEMONS

In the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, they offer a rather interesting take on the connection between the djinn and other paranormal entities. While this book is not widely accepted by Muslims, the connections that they offer are interesting to say the least. The chart that they offer can be found on pages 122 and 123, and has been re-created below:

DJINN ANGELS DEMONS
Have gender Have no gender Shape shift their gender
Live for thousands of years, eventually die into oblivion Live until the end of the universe Live longer than humans, eventually die and wither to their primordial state
Had original ties to angels Closest beings to God Had original ties to angels
Outcasts from God’s favor Enjoy God’s favor Outcasts from God’s favor
Inhabit dirty, polluted places Inhabit heavenly realms Inhabit dirty, polluted places
Eat and drink Do not eat or drink Eat and drink
Organized in families and clans Organized in hierarchies of powers and duties Organized like the military
Have sex with each other Do not have sex with each other Have sex with each other
Have sex with humans; can impregnate Some have sex with humans; can impregnate Have sex with humans; can impregnate
Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form
Usually invisible unless they choose to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen
Follow their own wills; some of the will of Iblis; converted follow the will of Allah Follow the will of God Follow the will of Satan
Duty is to self and own agendas; some to Iblis; some to Allah Duty is to glorify God Duty is to Satan to subvert humans
Do not speak directly to God Speak directly to God Do not speak directly to God
Deceitful, Trickster nature Messengers of God Deceitful, Trickster nature
Opportunistic interference in human affairs No intervention without direction from God Opportunistic interference in human affairs
Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune Provide support and help Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune
Possess humans and animals Do not cause possession Possess humans and animals
Can enter dreams Can enter dreams Can enter dreams
Knowledge of present and past but not future Knowledge of past, present, and future Knowledge of past, present, and future

So, as you can see, the similarities are striking and sometimes shocking. While there are more similarities and differences, the above chart provides a great “quick reference” visual to help you out in the event of a quick, basic question.

While there are many other connections that people have suggested or proposed, such as the connection to the djinn and extraterrestrials, ultraterrestrials, and other entities, I will not be including those due to the official content of this blog being almost exclusively dealing with matters of religious faith. And now, with that being said, that is the basic, Westerndescription of the Djinn. Now, I will include the beliefs of the Muslims directly from one of their faithful, a woman who only wants to be referenced as “Hana”. The below is in her own words, with no changes to her original contributions except to otherwise format it to “flow” with the rest of the article.

A WORD FROM THE FAITHFUL

The Mischievous Djinn: A Muslim View of the Paranormal

In recent years, thanks largely impart to the work of “PRS” (the Paranormal Research Society) and the show ‘Paranormal State’ on the A&E television network, there has been a growing discussion of spirituality and the paranormal. People are now asking questions about the origins of the experiences they have had, and the things they are seeing. After all of the “debunking” is done and evidence has been collected, sometimes you are still left with something that cannot be explained with known science. In those cases, we are left to wonder: is it the spirit of a dead loved one, a demon, a nature spirit (“elemental spirit”), or something else? How do you live with it, get rid of it, or understand it? The answers almost always return to the person’s religious beliefs. Each of us will carry our own answers to those questions based on what we believe in. What one person will accept as a deceased loved one coming by to say “hi” is viewed as a dark and evil entity trying to trick mankind. The reality though is that we may never know the complete answers. But, that does not stop us from seeking that knowledge.

I find it fascinating to learn from other people’s view points and sources of information. It is a comparative religions study; a mix of attempting to break modern misconceptions, going back to scriptural texts, exploring deep rooted mythologies, and opening new doorways of understanding; all to try to answer the questions which still elude concrete answers. To offer one more view point, one more color palette in the mosaic of religious understandings, I am sharing the teachings of my own faith: Islam.

As Islam is an Abrahamic religion (monotheistic religion that worships the universal God of Abraham), there are many similarities with Judaism and Christianity. Yet, for all that is so similar, there are always details that are very different. One of the most obvious areas of similarity and difference is right at the beginning of the story… the creation of intelligent life.

The Three Intelligent Beings

The Quran (the Muslim book of Scriptures) tells us that God (Allah) created three beings of great intelligence: Angels, Djinn and Humankind.

The Angels are described as beings made from pure light, most likely the first of God’s creations. In the Quran, Angels are said to be completely obedient to God as they have no free will. Thus, Angels are assigned all sorts of tasks according to the will of God.

Djinn, however, are described as creatures made of smokeless fire. These are the first of God’s intelligent beings to be given the gift of free will. Like Angels, the Djinn exist on a separate plane of existence from Humankind. They can see and interact with us, but we cannot see them in their natural state.

Humankind was the third of God’s intelligent creations. It is described that God made Adam from the mud of the earth and also bestowed him with the gift of free will.

Iblis and the Resentment of Humanity

When God created Adam, God commanded all of the Angels to bow down to Adam and all did except for Iblis. This part gets a little confusing for many. This basic statement is given twice in the Quran (Quran 2:34 and Quran 18:50). In both, Iblis is listed as being with the Angels during this event. In the first passage (Quran 2:34), Iblis is said to be proud of being among the disbelievers who have disobeyed God. In the second of the two (Quran 18:50), Iblis is said to be (or become, depending on the translation) a Djinn. Most scholars accept Iblis as being a Djinn as he obviously, from both passages, had free will and was thus able to choose to disobey the commands of God.

Because of this disobedience, Iblis is sent away from God and cursed to Hell for eternity. He begs God for a respite to his punishment and is granted the time to wait until Judgment Day. During his time on Earth waiting for his final judgment, Iblis is granted permission to test Humankind to sin.

Basically, this is an Islamic version of the Judeo-Christian story of the Fallen Angel (Lucifer), but in this version the culprit is Djinn rather than Angel. Because so many people correlate the story of the Fallen Angel with Lucifer, Lucifer is a common translation for Iblis. However, the Biblical scriptures do not assign any name for the Fallen Angel, so there is some debate. I have recently read from several sources that Samael, Azazel, and other names have also been connected to the Fallen Angel story. As I am not a scholar, so, I will not attempt to argue one way or the other. These are just the facts.

But, from this beginning, Iblis holds anger toward God and Humanity, in much the same way that a middle child will show resentment toward their parents and new baby sibling. But, the anger grows even more so for Iblis as he is punished for his disobedience. And like the story of the Fallen Angels in the Bible, many chose to follow Iblis in this show of anger and new purpose to tempt Humankind to sin.

In this rebellion against God’s command, Iblis then earns the title of Shaytan (Satan). In Arabic, Shaytan means “mischievous, insolent or rebellious one”. It is a title given to all who rebel against God. Thus, all of the Djinn that follow Iblis are also called ‘Shaytans’. Though the word is actually a direct version of the English word Satan, in context it is much more similar in use to the word Devil, with Iblis being THE Devil, and his minions are little, lesser devils. And it is here, knowing the Devil and his minions, that we then venture into the world of paranormal experiences.

Djinn, Demons and the Paranormal

Remember here that Djinn are beings with free will. Not all Djinn follow the leadership or desires of Iblis. There are Djinn that are said to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or other religions. Some are nice toward Humankind while other are ambivalent or mischievous. But, many have chosen to follow Iblis and show malice and/or malevolency toward Humans. But, what does any of this mean for the paranormal?

Well, let’s look at their role in the religious mythology of Islam as well as their capabilities.

Djinn are said to fall into five (5) main categories: dwellers, souls, devils, evil spirits, or strong spirits (rough translations of the actual categories). The “dwellers” (also called haunters) are those that choose to live with or around Humans, and these are the weakest. Think of these ones as the basic ghost hauntings. The “souls” are the ones that specifically attach themselves to children. I understand these to be more of the “imaginary friend” types. The “evil spirits” are stronger than the typical “devils” and just as malicious in intent. The strongest are the “strong spirits” (Ifrits), and these are possibly the most famous for being written in the “Jinni of the Lamp” stories from the Arabian Nights. They are strong, ill-tempered and rather slow in intelligence.

The “devils” are a bit more interesting. As we commonly hear from some Christian groups, many believe that there are no human spirits wandering the earth, but rather they are all Demons or Angels and nothing in between. From there, you have some people who have expressed a view that Demons are the Fallen Angels that chose to follow the “Fallen Angel” that was caste out of heaven. Others say that Demons are creatures created by Satan to do his bidding. I certainly will not argue either way on that one either. But, in both cases, Demons are viewed as evil beings doing the bidding of Satan and working to tempt Humankind into sin. In this way, the “devils” (Shaytans) of the Djinn are holding the same role as Demons.

Now, as I mentioned before, Djinn are beings that God created of smokeless fire. They exist on a separate plane of existence from us so that they can see and interact with our world, but we cannot see them unless they choose to show themselves. The very name “Djinn” basically translates to “those who are hidden or concealed from sight”. They quite literally can live in our homes, our places of work or anywhere else and we would not know unless they choose to make themselves known. Because they are naturally not very fond of Humanity, they tend to prefer to live in places with less Human traffic, such as forests, cemeteries, warehouses, abandoned buildings, attics, closets, and even restrooms.

Djinn are reported to be able to move objects in our world without us seeing them, as they are exceptionally strong, can live for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years, can learn several languages, are incredibly fast, capable of speaking to us or making noises that we cannot see where they originate, able to show themselves to us as they choose (changing shapes to look like animals, deformed beings, or even like Humans depending on their goals), with some that are able to fly, able to invade a Human’s mind and affect their dreams, or speak to them personally, even affecting a person’s health.

Right here, you can see why this can be interesting in the field of paranormal research. These beings are connected to reports of object levitation, phantom noises, disembodied voices, strength, speaking in tongues, looking like deformed creatures or dead Aunt Betty, and possession… and they tend to live in cemeteries, attics, and other creepy abandoned places. So yeah, this seems to sum up a large percentage of paranormal reports.

Impact?

Should we fear Djinn? Well, honestly, it seems that those Djinn who are ambivalent about Humankind are simply not as likely to interact with us. So, those that do interact are mostly going to be those of strong feelings one way or the other. And as even the nice ones can get pissy if they feel insulted or if they fall in love with a human (yes, there are reports), then I would say you just don’t want to interact with them. Better to be safe than sorry.

Can Djinn control us? No. Djinn have been permitted by God to interact with us and to tempt us. They cannot force anyone to do something they don’t want to do. But they can, however, much like the demons of the Judeo-Christian world, take possession of our bodies.

Can Djinn be controlled? Yes. The Quran tells stories of King Solomon controlling the Djinn and forcing them to work for him. They helped him court the Queen of Sheba, build palaces and more. There are many other reports of controlling Djinn, but it is mostly seen as witchcraft and thus shunned by most Muslim communities. However, there is still the common use of Quranic verses being carved or painted on walls, amulets, blue clothing, and other things being used to try to keep Djinn away. That in itself is an attempted form of control.

Once again, you can read the ‘Testament of Solomon’ in it’s entirety HERE.

Can we exorcize Djinn? Yes. As with many religions where possessions are reported, there are Islamic exorcisms. However, it is interesting to remind everyone here that Djinn can be of any religion. Some possessions can occur where the Djinn doing the possessing is not of the same faith as the person they possess. This can complicate things when the exorcist tries to remove them in the name of X, Y, or Z faith and the Djinn does not acknowledge their authority, based on the faith of the individual Djinn conflicting with that of the holy person conducting the exorcism. This is, however, very rare. Most possessions tend to be by Djinn who are serving Iblis. They do not follow a monotheistic religion as they have rebelled against God. In those cases, it is the power of God himself that casts them out. Remember, they most likely believe in God, as they are choosing to defy him. So, a Priest, a Rabbi, or an Imam could all effectively exorcize the Djinn through strong faith and the will of God.

There are a lot of other interesting facts and folklore stories of Djinn to talk about. But, I hope this helps everyone to understand just what Djinn are and how they relate to the paranormal. If you would like to learn more about Iblis or Djinn, I would suggest some of the sources listed below at the end of the article:

SO, YOU’VE BEEN POSSESSED BY A DJINN….

We touched upon this a little bit higher on in this article, but we didn’t go into too much detail about this, because what it all boils down to is the fact that there is not an incredible amount of information that is offered to people outside of the Islamic faith. For thousands of years, the Djinn have been successful in staying hidden from the prying eyes of mankind, and it is this exact reason why most people – those who have not come into contact with them – only pass on verbal stories of them, oral tradition, folklore and superstition. I personally know that I have not given all of the details I couldhave given, because ultimately, I feel that it would be straying off the topics and by delivering more statements and facts, they would only raise more and more questions, much like in the topic of demonology, and this article would be written with no end in sight, as it would be constantly updated indefinitely. So in regards to Djinn possession and exorcism, I decided that instead of writing about suppositions and guesswork, I would attempt to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth. I have conducted interviews with a few people, and listened to their stories. There is one interview that will be posted here, as an update to this article in the near future, but let me tell you, “chilling” is the proper word to use for this descriptive encounter.

Even further than that, there are quite a few YouTube videos depicting what is allegedly an authentic Islamic exorcism of the Djinn. While I cannot verify the authenticity of said videos, I can state that just as with Catholic and Hebrew exorcisms, information such as this is extremely hard to come by, if not completely impossible. Video of such an event – authentic video – is a rarity that you should be considered lucky to come by. Here are a quick few that you can take a look at:

CONCLUSION

After everything is said and done, as with most things involving faith, no one can tell you what to believe. These entities are manipulative, vindictive, playful, mischievous, envious, vengeful, irrational, violent, and most importantly, powerful. There are very specific ways on how to remove one of them from your home, life, or body, but in each one of those situations, it is extremely plausible that on their way out, they will do something to severely damage you, as a last act of defiance. These are not entities to be played with, and I certainly do not recommend summoning them to do your bidding, as things almost always turn out badly. There are literally so many things that I opted not to include in this article, as I stated above, because it can all be found out via your own research. Such things could potentially be dangerous to the reader who becomes excited at the things the djinn can do for the amateur conjurer. I did not go into the magic they possess, or how they can affect someones lives if you can “properly control them”, as King Solomon did. These are things that I have left out with good reason, and I hope that you, reader, can understand that.

There is no denying that these entities seem to have an uncanny similarity to the demons of other religions. They share too many of the same traits to be ignored, or to be simply discarded. While the fact remains that the djinn are not the same entities as demons, their trickster nature allows them to portray themselves as demons by simply mimicking them perfectly. Since the Djinn were never angels, they could never properly be referred to as demons. Many people will generally refer to them as “demons” to avoid taking the time to properly explain what and who they are. Unfortunately, I myself have been in this exact situation, where I had to dumb myself down, and simplify the terminology so that people could understand better, but I hated referring to the djinn as a demon. This is my response to that, because from this point on, whenever I am asked what the djinn are, I can refer them to this article. And now, so can you. Once again, I truly hoped that you enjoyed learning about this elusive and intense collection of entities that have been around much longer than we have. And also, please take the time, if you are genuinely interested in the topic, to read some of the books and resources listed below. They are literally chock full of knowledge and information.

FURTHER READING:

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What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?

This article first appeared in the online version of the newsmagazine
‘Outlook India’ (issue dt. 23 August 2004) at the URL
http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20040823&fname=UCol+Koenraad&sid=1

In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave in to Muslim pressure in the Shah Bano affair. Overruling a secular court�s decision that the repudiated wife Shah Bano was entitled to alimony from her ex-husband, he enacted a law abolishing the alimony provision in conformity with the Shari�a. Since India, unlike secular states, already had religion-based Civil Codes, this concession merely brought the minor matter of alimony under the purview of the prevailing arrangement. More importantly, it prevented riots.

Only months later, Gandhi restored the balance by giving the Hindus something as well: he ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider as the birthplace of Rama, the prince posthumously deified as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Fundamentally, this decision didn�t alter the Ayodhya equation. Architecturally, the building was and remained a mosque, while functionally, it had been and continued to be a Hindu temple. That is why in my opinion, not taking this decision wouldn�t have changed the Ayodhya developments except in their timing. The different players, their strategies and goals, and their resolve to pursue these, all remained the same. The Babri Masjid Action Committee and the Vishva Hindu Parishad would have gone about their �business� just the same.

However, the VHP would have been forced to continue pushing the rather petty demand for removing the locks, rather than move on to the more ambitious and more mobilizing next step of planning the construction of a new temple. Most probably, the BJP would likewise have reaped smaller dividends from such a campaign. In 1989, it might not have jumped as high as 86 seats. Conversely, Congress might not have lost the North-Indian Muslim vote to the Janata Dal. In 1989, it could have remained just strong enough to cobble together a coalition rather than leave the initiative to the unwholesome and unstable Janata-BJP-Communist combine. So, at the level of party politics, Rajiv Gandhi�s decision may have made a big difference. Continue reading “What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?”

Traditionalist ulema lead educational revolution in Kerala

Written by Yoginder Sikand · December 13, 2007 · 452 views

December 13, 2007

Kerala’s Muslims are unique among their co-religionists in India in fashioning a system of education that enables their children to attend both religious as well as regular schools at the same time. Muslims account for around a fourth of Kerala’s population, and the state’s Muslims, known as Mapillas, are among the most literate of the various Muslim communities in the country. Madrasas and schools run by literally hundreds of Muslim religious organizations in the state have made this possible. A recent study by Zubair Hudawi, himself a madrasa graduate from Kerala and presently a doctoral candidate at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, titled ‘Development and Modernisation of Religious Education in Kerala: The Role of the Samastha Kerala Jameyyat ul-Ulama’, discusses this contribution in great detail.

The Samastha Kerala Jameyyat ul-Ulama (SKJU) represents a traditionalist theological position, quite opposed to Islamic modernists on numerous points. Yet, as Hudawi argues, it has not hesitated from championing modern education. Hudawi, who spent several years studying at the Dar ul-Huda Islamic Academy, the SKJU’s leading centre for higher Islamic education, seeks to explain this enigma through an in-depth analysis of the organisation’s evolution and development, arguing against the notion that the traditionalist ulema are necessarily and wholly opposed to ‘modernity’. He argues that the SKJU is an excellent example of a traditionalist Muslim religious organization that, rather than opposing ‘modernity’ outright, actually facilitates it, albeit selectively. Thus, today, he writes, the SKJU runs not just several thousand madrasas but also numerous English- and Malayalam-medium schools, and scores of women’s and technical colleges. Continue reading “Traditionalist ulema lead educational revolution in Kerala”

“Danish Queen Masterminded Muhammad Cartoon Affair”

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was the villain behind a hate campaign against Islam and Muslims which culminated in the Danish Cartoon affair. At least that is what some Danish imams maintain. On 30 September 2005 the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. According to the imams it was the Queen who instigated this when in April 2005 she urged the Danish people to resist Islam.

This allegation was made to Arab newspapers, officials and politicians by Danish imams, touring the Middle East nine months ago in order to stir up hatred and violence against Denmark. The imams claimed Margrethe had urged the Danes to fight the Muslim minority in the country.

This information was revealed last Summer by the Danish Foreign Ministry, which had been informed by Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute. The imams also claimed that the Danish government and the Danish people were behind the hate campaign. Hanna Ziadeh, the media researcher for the Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, said the imams’ aim was to make the entire Danish people responsible for the Muhammad cartoons.

The imams also told the Islamic world that their voice was excluded from the Danish media and that more “horrible reviles” against Islam were being planned in Denmark, including blasphemous films and threats to burn down mosques. Ziadeh said the information he gathered was only from about ten interviews given by the imams to as many large Middle Eastern newspapers. However, the imams talked to many more Arab media, including several TV stations. Only a small part of the false information which the imams spread in the Middle East is actually known in the West. Continue reading ““Danish Queen Masterminded Muhammad Cartoon Affair””

Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice

The U.S. Air Force recently released new data indicating that Pagans (sometimes called Wiccans) have nearly 1,000 registered members, more than Muslims or Jews. Of course they should have their own chaplain in the military since there are Pagan adherents serving their country. Pagans are as entitled to having their religious needs met as are Southern Baptists. Religious freedom is religious freedom is religious freedom. That cannot be said too frequently today.

Paganism is very poorly understood. It is sometimes called “the Old Religion” as it claims to be a revival of indigenous religious traditions violently suppressed by Christianity as it spread throughout Europe. Contemporary Pagans or Wiccans celebrate diversity and put a high premium on personal responsibility and not doing harm. Feminists such as Feminists have been prominent in contemporary Wicca or Paganism and emphasize the repressed Goddess traditions and the spirituality of women as expressed in witchcraft.

Paganism has an important role to play in American religious culture as it explicitly regards women as capable of embodying the sacred. It has been my personal experience that conservative Christianity in particular regards all women, regardless of their faith, as vaguely Pagan. Christian conservatives do not value women’s religious leadership as highly as that of males. Women are called the “weaker vessel” and considered less capable of embodying the sacred. This is why women are not ordained by Catholics and conservative Protestants. Women are deemed incapable of “imagining Christ” despite the fact that Genesis 1:27 clearly states that both female and male are created in the image of God. Continue reading “Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice”

Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA

The Associated Press
Friday, March 9, 2007; 12:20 AM

GUATEMALA CITY — Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate “bad spirits” after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

“That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture,” Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday. Continue reading “Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit”

Hilaria

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh

on p608 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

 

HILAʹRIA (ἱλάρια) seems originally to have been a name which was given to any day or season of rejoicing. The hilaria were, therefore, according to Maximus Monachus (Schol. ad Dionys. Areopag. Epist. 8) either private or public. Among the former he reckons the day on which a person married, and on which a son was born; among the latter, those days of public rejoicings appointed by a new emperor. Such days were devoted to general rejoicings and public sacrifices, and no one was allowed to show any symptoms of grief or sorrow.

But the Romans also celebrated hilaria, as a feria stativa, on the 25th of March, in honour of Cybele, the mother of the gods (Macrob. Sat. I.21); and it is probably to distinguish these hilaria from those mentioned above, that Lampridius (Alexand. Sever. c37) calls them Hilaria Matris Deûm.a The day of its celebration was the first after the vernal equinox, or the first day of the year which was longer than the night. The winter with its gloom had passed away, and the first day of a better season was spent in rejoicings (Flav. Vopisc. Aurelian. c1). The manner of its celebration during the time of the republic is unknown, except that Valerius Maximus (Val. Max. II.4 §3) mentions games in honour of the mother of the gods. Respecting its celebration at the time of the empire, we learn from Herodian (i.10, 11) that, among other things, there was a solemn procession, in which the statue of the goddess was carried, and before this statue were carried the most costly specimens of plate and works of art belonging either to wealthy Romans or to the emperors themselves. All kinds of games and amusements were allowed on this day; masquerades were the most prominent among them, and every one might, in his disguise, imitate whomsoever he liked, and even magistrates. Continue reading “Hilaria”

Hindutva & Ayodhya

Babri Masjid It is twelve years since the Hindutva fanatics demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Perhaps no other day in independent India’s history signifies and symbolizes the communal polarization, mutual hatred, and a contempt for rule of law, so blatant in our society today, as that black Sunday in December 92. We saw Golwalkar in action, “teaching” Indian Muslims how they should lead their lives in India as “second rate” citizens — citizens without any rights. Though I had known it very well that these fanatics could stoop to any low to gain political mileage, I hadn’t thought till that day, in fact till the All India Radio confirmed the demolition in its evening news, that the struture would actually be grounded. I had the rather simplistic impression that the “karsevaks” would enter the disputed site, with the help of the friendly police, and might even damage the masjid a little bit, but wouldn’t dare to do the total demolition. As a not so politically conscious teenager, this perhaps was understandable. Unfortunately the then prime minister Narasimha Rao, it appears now, was just as naive, willing to trust an Advani and a Kalyan Singh on their word that the Masjid wouldn’t be demolished. In the days followed, people were behaving in pretty strange — or was that more natural then? — ways. I could see many friends of mine from the Muslim community keeping a distance from me and other non-Muslims. The behaviour of several of my Hindu friends was even more strange. Many were ecstatic about the destruction that took place in Ayodhya — several ordinary Hindu teenagers parrotted local RSS hooligans, for a short period though. When our college reopened after a fortnight of bandhs, hartals, strikes, and a general everything-isn’t-alright atmosphere, my closest friend confessed to me that though he couldn’t justify Gandhi’s assassination — many on the “secular” side were talking a lot about the parallels between the Masjid demolition and Gandhi’s assassination — he sympathized with Godse’s position. As one can see, talking in extremes was the norm. This was the period when I started taking a keener interest in political matters. Though never very active in day-to-day activism, I decided to pay more attention to what such local activists say. I found that those who actually work with people and their problems weren’t floundering at difficult times, unlike some of the bookish liberal intellectuals. In societal matters, words of those who are willing to make sacrifices, started appealing to me more, than the dull rigour of “academic” logic. Back to Babri Masjid, for a “secularist”, today it is politically correct to say that the issue should be settled in court. On the whole, our judiciary is exemplary, and I believe this issue can be settled in court. But I think a truly secular government should be willing to undo the wrong, and the right thing to do is to rebuild the masjid there. If I advocate anything less than this, I can’t but feel that I’m indirectly siding with the demolishers.

Black day of so called Indian Secularism

(Babri Masjid and associated complex were totally destroyed on December 6, 1992.)

“Every civil building connected with Mahommedan tradition should be levelled to the ground without regard to antiquarian veneration or artistic predilection.” British Prime Minister Palmerston’s Letter No. 9 dated 9 October 1857, to Lord Canning, Viceroy of India, Canning Papers.

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‘One group of karsevaks blocked all entry points into Ayodhya to keep out central security forces, while another began to loot and burn Muslim homes’

Did the leaders know beforehand what was going to happen that afternoon? There can be no final answer to that question. Perhaps some did, others did not. Certainly one answer seems to emerge from our narrative, another from the likes of editor Chandan Mitra. Not that the leadership of the parivar comes off any better from Mitra’s graphic description of their behaviour during that crucial period when the attack on the mosque was mounted — the giggling political sanyasins, Uma Bharati and Ritambhara; Joshi overcome by the size of the mammoth crowd; Singhal, convinced that the karseva would go along expected lines and giving precise orders, to a crowd that could not care less, about how to wipe and clean the site of the projected temple; the moment of reckoning when the crowd goes berserk on seeing two karsevaks on the top of the domes of the mosque while the high command sat, ‘tense’, ‘sombre-faced’, ‘hopelessly sullen’, with faces like ‘grim death’; the lament of Rajendra Singh, the de facto supremo of the RSS, ‘the ministry is gone’; and finally the pathetic and belated attempts to calm down the crowd by the leaders taking turn in appealing to the karsevaks, while others like Acharya Dharmendra tried to interest an uninterested crowd in a bhajan. Continue reading “Black day of so called Indian Secularism”

NAMES of PROPHETS’ APPEAR IN THE EBLA TABLETS,

Dating back to around 2500 BC, the Ebla tablets provide very important information regarding the history of religions. The most important feature of the Ebla tablets, discovered by archaeologists in 1975 and which have been the subject of much research and debate ever since, is that they contain the names of three prophets referred to in holy scriptures.

The discovery after thousands of years of the Ebla tablets and the information they contain is extremely important from the point of view of clarifying the geographical location of societies revealed in the Qur’an.

Around 2500 BC, Ebla was a kingdom covering an area that included the Syrian capital Damascus and south-east Turkey. This kingdom reached a cultural and economic peak but later, as happened to a great many civilizations, it disappeared from the stage of history. It was apparent from the records that were kept that the Kingdom of Ebla was a major cultural and commercial center of the time. (1) The people of Ebla possessed a civilization that established state archives, built libraries and recorded commercial contracts in written form. They even had their own language, known as Eblaite. Continue reading “NAMES of PROPHETS’ APPEAR IN THE EBLA TABLETS,”

The war for Islam

Osama bin Laden may go down in history not only as the murderous criminal who declared holy war on the United States, but also as a radical figure in what has come to be called the Islamic Reformation–the epic struggle to define the faith of over a billion people

Osama bin Laden (left). At right, Cairo's revered Al-Azhar mosque, the traditional center of Islamic scholarship.
Osama bin Laden (left). At right, Cairo’s revered Al-Azhar mosque, the traditional center of Islamic scholarship. (AFP File Photo at left)

ON JULY 6TH, 2005, in an unprecedented display of intersectarian collaboration, 170 of the world’s leading Muslim clerics and scholars gathered in Amman, Jordan, to issue a joint fatwa, or legal ruling, denouncing all acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

This belated attempt by the traditional clerical institutions to assert some measure of influence and authority over the world’s Muslims was surely one of the most interesting developments in what has become an epic battle to define the faith and practice of over a billion people. Never before in the history of Islam had representatives of every major sect and school of law assembled as a single body, much less come to terms on issues of mutual concern.

Yet what made the Amman declaration so remarkable was not its condemnation of terrorism-since Sept. 11, 2001, similar statements have been issued by countless Muslim organizations throughout the world, despite perceptions to the contrary in the West. Rather, it was the inclusion of an all-encompassing fatwa reminding Muslims that only those who have dedicated a lifetime of study to the traditional Islamic sciences-in other words, the clerics themselves-could issue a fatwa in the first place.

This statement was a deliberate attempt to strip Islamic militants like Osama bin Laden of their self-proclaimed authority to speak for the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims. Continue reading “The war for Islam”

Islam and the Left

Islam and the Left

by Tariq Ali
April 02, 2006

International Viewpoint


The following interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Alex De Jong and Paul Mepschen of the SAP (Dutch section of the Fourth International) at the Ernest Mandel symposium held in Brussels in November 2005. It was published in the March-April 2006 issue of the SAP’s journal, Grenzeloos.

Grenzeloos: It is of course the assassination of the film-maker Theo van Gogh and the threats made against the liberal member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali which have particularly drawn attention to Islam in the Netherlands. Like her, you are an unbeliever who comes from the Muslim world. Have you already felt threatened?

Tariq Ali: No, never. I travel a lot both in the Muslim world and in the rest of the world, but I have never yet felt threatened. Why is that? It is no doubt because people who don’t agree with me about religion know that I am an enemy of imperialism. I unceasingly criticize imperialism and all its works, more than the believers do. Whereas Hirsi Ali and people like her in the United States and in Europe make a profession out of attacking Islam. There are other important questions in the world.

Why do these people concentrate endlessly on Islam? In the way that they attack Islam, they go along with existing prejudices. And for that they are hated. There is no excuse or justification for acts of violence against these people. It is necessary to discuss with them. But these acts are a sign of despair: people are so much at the end of their tether that they have recourse to violence.

Don’t you think that the violence and threats against these people also represent a threat to all those of Muslim origin who do not correspond to the norm? To the unbelievers, the feminists, the homosexuals?

Certainly. But you have to understand that the Muslim community is very diversified. People are very uninformed about the Muslim world. The image that they have of it comes to a large extent through the immigrant communities in Europe, who are, besides, very different from each other. Life in the Muslim world is not monolithic: there are believers, unbelievers, atheists. Continue reading “Islam and the Left”

PAGANISM-Druids:-Functions and Powers

1. Druids: their Functions and Powers

Druidism

No trustworthy information regarding the religion of the pagan Irish comes to us from outside : whatever knowledge of it we possess is derived exclusively from the native literature. There were many gods, but no supreme god, like Zeus or Jupiter among the Greeks and Romans. There was little of prayer, and no settled general form of worship. There were no temples: but there were altars of some kind erected to idols or to the gods of the elements (the sun, fire, water, &c.), which must have been in the open air. The religion of the pagan Irish is commonly designated as Druidism: and in the oldest Irish traditions the druids figure conspicuously.

All the early colonists had their druids, who are mentioned as holding high rank among kings and chiefs. There were druids also in Gaul and Britain; but the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland were separated and isolated for many centuries from the Celtic races of Gaul; and thus their religious system, like their language, naturally diverged, so that the druidism of Ireland, as pictured forth in the native record differed in many respects from that of Gaul.

In pagan times the druids were the exclusive possessors of whatever learning was then known. They combined in themselves all the learned professions: they were not only druids, but judges prophets, historians, poets, and even physicians, There were druids in every part of Ireland, but, as we might expect, Tara, the residence of the over-kings of Ireland, was, as we are told in the Life of St. Patrick, “the chief seat of the idolatry and druidism of Erin.” The druids had the reputation of being great magicians; and in this character they figure more frequently and conspicuously than in any other. In some of the old historical romances we find the issues of battles sometimes determined not so much by the valour of the combatants as by the magical powers of the druids attached to the armies. Continue reading “PAGANISM-Druids:-Functions and Powers”

The Thinning Veil- Samhain

The Thinning Veil by Copperlion

To the ancient Celts, the year had two “hinges”. These were Beltaine (the first of May) and Samhain, (the first of November), which is also the traditional Celtic New Year. And these two days were the most magical, and often frightening times of the whole year.

The Celtic people were in superstitious awe of times and places “in between”. Holy sites were any border places – the shore between land and water (seas, lakes, and rivers), bridges, boundaries between territories (especially when marked by bodies of water), crossroads, thresholds, etc. Holy times were also border times – twilight and dawn marking the transitions of night and day; Beltaine and Samhain marking the transitions of summer and winter. Read your myths and fairytales – many of the stories occur in such places, and at such times.

At Samhain (which corresponds to modern Halloween), time lost all meaning and the past, present, and future were one. The dead, and the denizens of the Other World, walked among the living. It was a time of fairies, ghosts, demons, and witches. Winter itself was the Season of Ghosts, and Samhain is the night of their release from the Underworld. Many people lit bonfires to keep the evil spirits at bay. Often a torch was lit and carried around the boundaries of the home and farm, to protect the property and residents against the spirits throughout the winter.

Many Irish and Scottish Celts appeased their dead with a traditional Dumb Supper. On Samhain Eve, supper was served in absolute silence, and one place was set at the head of the table “for the ancestors”. This place was served food and drink without looking directly at the seat, for to see the dead would bring misfortune. Afterwards, the untouched plate and cup were taken outside “for the pookas”, and left in the woods. In other traditions, this is the night to remember, honor, and toast our beloved departed, for the veil between the living and the dead is thin, and communication is possible on Samhain Eve
Continue reading “The Thinning Veil- Samhain”

BELIEFS of Druidism

BELIEFS

One of the most striking characteristics of Druidism is the degree to which it is free of dogma and any fixed set of beliefs or practices. In this way it manages to offer a spiritual path, and a way of being in the world that avoids many of the problems of intolerance and sectarianism that the established religions have encountered.

There is no ‘sacred text’ or the equivalent of a bible in Druidism and there is no universally agreed set of beliefs amongst Druids. Despite this, there are a number of ideas and beliefs that most Druids hold in common, and that help to define the nature of Druidism today:

 
Theology

Since Druidry is a spiritual path – a religion to some, a way of life to others – Druids share a belief in the fundamentally spiritual nature of life. Some will favour a particular way of understanding the source of this spiritual nature, and may feel themselves to be animists, pantheists, polytheists, monotheists or duotheists. Others will avoid choosing any one conception of Deity, believing that by its very nature this is unknowable by the mind.

Monotheistic druids believe there is one Deity: either a Goddess or God, or a Being who is better named Spirit or Great Spirit, to remove misleading associations to gender. But other druids are duotheists, believing that Deity exists as a pair of forces or beings, which they often characterise as the God and Goddess.

Polytheistic Druids believe that many gods and goddesses exist, while animists and pantheists believe that Deity does not exist as one or more personal gods, but is instead present in all things, and is everything.

Whether they have chosen to adopt a particular viewpoint or not, the greatest characteristic of most modern-day Druids lies in their tolerance of diversity: a Druid gathering can bring together people who have widely varying views about deity, or none, and they will happily participate in ceremonies together, celebrate the seasons, and enjoy each others’ company – realising that none of us has the monopoly on truth, and that diversity is both healthy and natural.

Nature forms such an important focus of their reverence, that whatever beliefs they hold about Deity, all Druids sense Nature as divine or sacred. Every part of nature is sensed as part of the great web of life, with no one creature or aspect of it having supremacy over any other. Unlike religions that are anthropocentric, believing humanity occupies a central role in the scheme of life, this conception is systemic and holistic, and sees humankind as just one part of the wider family of life.


 
The Otherworld

Although Druids love Nature, and draw inspiration and spiritual nourishment from it, they also believe that the world we see is not the only one that exists. A cornerstone of Druid belief is in the existence of the Otherworld – a realm or realms which exist beyond the reach of the physical senses, but which are nevertheless real.

This Otherworld is seen as the place we travel to when we die. But we can also visit it during our lifetime in dreams, in meditation, under hypnosis, or in ‘journeying’, when in a shamanic trance.

Different Druids will have different views on the nature of this Otherworld, but it is a universally held belief for three reasons. Firstly, all religions or spiritualities hold the view that another reality exists beyond the physical world, rather than agreeing with Materialism, that holds that only matter exists and is real. Secondly, Celtic mythology, which inspires so much of Druidism, is replete with descriptions of this Otherworld. Thirdly, the existence of the Otherworld is implicit in ‘the greatest belief’ of the ancient Druids, since classical writers stated that the Druids believed in a process that has been described as reincarnation or metempsychosis (in which a soul lives in a succession of forms, including both human and animal). In between each life in human or animal form the soul rests in the Otherworld.
Continue reading “BELIEFS of Druidism”

Christianity and Druidry, strange bedfellows or a match made in heaven?


by David Lindholm

“In the beginning God created heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1)

Being a Christian myself I know full well that the above quote is not one that has enjoyed any greater degree of attention during the last millennia of Christian faith. This is very unfortunate and has created a tension that has estranged most of the modern western world from a natural life and a connection to the natural world and her cycles and rhythms.

I joined OBOD in the roaring 90’s (Imagining being able to say that!) and worked my way through to the Druid grade. It was a transforming journey and the diploma (don’t know if that is an accurate term, but it will do) hangs over my desk where I work daily. Druidry changed my outlook on life drastically and fundamentally in a way that was profound. How does this connect with the title above? Well I have been close to the Christian tradition all my life. My grandfather was a priest and later converted to the Catholic Church with his wife, my dear grandmother. At their knees I heard all about the lives of saints like St. Francis, George, Dominikus and more like them. But I also heard at the age of five the tales of Arthur and his knights from my grandfather, and when the tales were told and I asked for more, he wrote more stories for me to enjoy about these immortal heroes. These were magical and held within them a Christian message, but a bit different from what I later snapped up at the services. It was a Christianity that was filled with good men and women, very few priests and even fewer churches.

These tales stayed with me and I read even more as I grew older, and I learned to read English books at the age of 13 for this very reason. I continued to go to church now and then but felt estranged; all this talk of sin, the badness of the body and the general ugliness of things material rhymed very poorly with what my grandfather had told me. Then I discovered sexuality, and we do not need to go into the general church policy on that issue.
Continue reading “Christianity and Druidry, strange bedfellows or a match made in heaven?”

Christianity and Druidry, strange bedfellows or a match made in heaven?


by David Lindholm

“In the beginning God created heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1)

Being a Christian myself I know full well that the above quote is not one that has enjoyed any greater degree of attention during the last millennia of Christian faith. This is very unfortunate and has created a tension that has estranged most of the modern western world from a natural life and a connection to the natural world and her cycles and rhythms.

I joined OBOD in the roaring 90’s (Imagining being able to say that!) and worked my way through to the Druid grade. It was a transforming journey and the diploma (don’t know if that is an accurate term, but it will do) hangs over my desk where I work daily. Druidry changed my outlook on life drastically and fundamentally in a way that was profound. How does this connect with the title above? Well I have been close to the Christian tradition all my life. My grandfather was a priest and later converted to the Catholic Church with his wife, my dear grandmother. At their knees I heard all about the lives of saints like St. Francis, George, Dominikus and more like them. But I also heard at the age of five the tales of Arthur and his knights from my grandfather, and when the tales were told and I asked for more, he wrote more stories for me to enjoy about these immortal heroes. These were magical and held within them a Christian message, but a bit different from what I later snapped up at the services. It was a Christianity that was filled with good men and women, very few priests and even fewer churches.

These tales stayed with me and I read even more as I grew older, and I learned to read English books at the age of 13 for this very reason. I continued to go to church now and then but felt estranged; all this talk of sin, the badness of the body and the general ugliness of things material rhymed very poorly with what my grandfather had told me. Then I discovered sexuality, and we do not need to go into the general church policy on that issue.

As I grew older I ventured through all kinds of spiritual paths, never feeling at home or being able to believe in what they said. It was all a bit too glib, if you understand my meaning. So by the time I got to Druidry I felt quite disillusioned with the whole idea of spirituality, no matter what flavour, to be frank – and ordinary churchgoing was not an option. But as I worked my way through the coursework I discovered several things. The most important thing for me in retrospect was that there had existed a different Christian tradition, one that was really the Good News, rather then the depressing and life denying rigmarole that you get served on Sundays. I also learned that the nature that I love, man and woman, and the whole Universe had been and could again be viewed in a totally different light.

I read about St. Patrick, Columba, Brendan, and the unjustly wronged Pelagius, the Celtic church and its venerable age and its efforts in spreading the Good News when the world grew darker and colder. This rekindled a hope in the possibility of finding again a Christianity that was indeed Good News to all, not just to a select and isolated few. I am a trained historian and archaeologist with the Middle Ages as my specialty so I know full well that the tradition as such is dead and gone. Or is it?

I went back to the original sources in the years after I completed the coursework. I read the desert fathers, gospel of Thomas, apocrypha, Gnostic works, orthodox works, the remains of the Celtic church in the form of missals and prayers. I read and read and read. Then I went again to the most important work of all, The Gospels themselves and actually tried to read what they said, not what I have been taught that they were supposed to mean. It was a rewarding read my friends. I then turned to those writers of today that are striving to if not resurrect but bring to life a faith that does somersaults of joy for life itself. Some are of a more Celtic vein, others like Matthew Fox more modern. I read Thomas Merton and Willfred Stinnissen, good Christians all with bright ideas.

A new birth is taking place, and it must be so. The old church is dying, literally, only the old are churchgoers today and the reason is that we feel in our hearts that what is preached from the pulpit is simply not true. The tragedy is that even if we want to believe in the Good News, the very institution of the Church kills that longing in the heart oh so quickly. And it was then that I thought again about Druidry. Christianity needs to be reinterpreted in the light of existence; I mean seriously, God himself in Genesis says that creation is GOOD! That he is pleased! How can the church go against that, after all is he not the Boss? Well they can’t and neither can they twist the Good News anymore if you do not let them.

There is a very important little secret that the church does not want you to know. Jesus said “Whenever two or more of you are gathered, I will be among you” and he also said “I will be with you until the end of time”. If you read the Good News and Acts it is quite plain that God is not asking for churches, altars, robes, chandeliers, crosses in gold, and churchgoing once a week. Our Lord is a stern taskmaster he asks for nothing less than your whole life. Period. But the catch is that you must live his words everyday in your daily life, Jesus has some very severe words for the hypocrites that visit him once a week and then act like demons out of hell the rest of the week.

The truth is that if you live his words, you do not need any church at all. Whenever we gather together it should be in joy and simplicity, very much like the early Celtic church. This is where Druidry comes in. There is a great interest in the early Christianity of the British isles and it is not possible to understand it without an understanding of its pagan roots. We need to find our way back to a veneration of God in all things, Panenthesim as Matthew Fox coined it. God is in all things, but things are not God and God is more than them. Druidry stands astride both traditions, Christianity and Paganism, and if Christianity is going to flourish again it must find its way back to the simple life and we must learn to learn from each other.

For too long Christianity has persecuted those who do not agree with them – there is not much love in that. “Do unto others as you want others to do unto you” the Lord said. Well if we Christians mean what we have done, we have a very long and unpleasant reckoning to expect. It is my belief that it is both possible and necessary to come together outside of the established churches. Let them wither as they will, and let us come together, Christian and Pagan as Good Friends that hope for the same things but choose to understand them differently. It is my belief that God in his love (I say his although I believe that God is neither man or woman, or maybe both. Who knows? I sure don’t!) does not really care so much about where we choose to worship, but that we are good men and women. We must become good brothers and sisters to each other, and then we will be doing the Lord’s bidding. To do this we must turn to the Mystical, to experiencing God personally, not settling for a second-hand account once a week. I can think of no better way than to conclude with a short prayer that is one of the most beautiful ever written.

Christ ever with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me
Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ to my right side, Christ to my left side
Christ in his breadth, Christ in his length, Christ in depth
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.

David Lindholm
Stockholm, Sweden April 2005

Thomas Jefferson’s Quran

Something that I picked up while blog surfing. The way that the west or Americans to be exact views us as Muslims is sickening. Can they fathom the train of concequences of their actions and hate for what isTRUE.

From the blog named ‘Atlas Shrugs’

 http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thomas Jefferson’s Quran

So we are all supposed to kiss Keith Ellison’s ring for using the Quran of Thomas Jefferson? CAIR is bouncing off the couch a la Tom Cruise on Oprah sending out their CAIR alert with the following ABC News article;

The first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, attacked for planning to use the Koran at his swearing-in instead of a Bible, will use a copy of the Muslim holy book once owned by Thomas Jefferson, an official said on Wednesday.

And CAIR salivates over the excitable Washington Post piece: BUT IT’S THOMAS JEFFERSON’S KORAN! –Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, 1/3/07

Sorry dhimmis it wasn’t Jefferson’s prayer book.  Jefferson had a copy of the Quran so that he might understand the enemy. WAR GAMES. Jefferson, in defense of America, was studying the  enemy’s war plan, their “Art of War.” Maybe Ellison ought to read Andrew Bostom’s, “America’s First War on Terror” here;

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as American ambassadors to France and Britain, respectively, met in 1786 in London with the Tripolitan Ambassador to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. These future American presidents were attempting to negotiate a peace treaty which would spare the United States the ravages of jihad piracy—murder, enslavement (with ransoming for redemption), and expropriation of valuable commercial assets—emanating from the Barbary states (modern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, known collectively in Arabic as the Maghrib). During their discussions, they questioned Ambassador Adja as to the source of the unprovoked animus directed at the nascent United States republic. Jefferson and Adams, in their subsequent report to the Continental Congress, recorded the Tripolitan Ambassador’s justification:

… that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Thus as Joshua London’s Victory in Tripoli  elaborates in lucid prose, an aggressive jihad was already being waged against the United States almost 200 years prior to America becoming a dominant international power in the Middle East. Moreover, these jihad depredations targeting America antedated the earliest vestiges of the Zionist movement by a century, and the formal creation of Israel by 162 years—exploding the ahistorical canard that American support for the modern Jewish state is a prerequisite for jihadist attacks on the United States. Continue reading “Thomas Jefferson’s Quran”

Haditha killings

Haditha killings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Haditha killings
Part of the Iraq War

Location on map of Iraq

Haditha

This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

 
 
 


The Haditha killings (also called the Haditha massacre) occurred on November 19, 2005 in the town of Haditha, Iraq. The incident was provoked when a convoy of United States Marines was attacked with an improvised explosive device which killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas. Up to twenty-four Iraqis were subsequently killed; it is alleged that they were non-combatant local residents who were massacred by Marines in the aftermath of the insurgent attack.[1]

 

A Marine Corps communique initially reported that 15 civilians were killed by the bomb’s blast and eight insurgents were subsequently killed when the Marines returned fire against those attacking the convoy. However, media reports contradicted this story.[2] The evidence uncovered by the media prompted the US military to open an investigation into the incident. Evidence collected by this investigation “supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot civilians, including unarmed women and children”, according to a Pentagon official. [3] On December 21, 2006, eight Marines were charged in connection with the incident. [4] [5]

 

Contents

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//

 

Events

 

 

Background

 

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US military forces have been stationed in and around Haditha to control the Haditha Dam, a major hydroelectric installation. The predominately Sunni-inhabited area was, from the start, a major centre of insurgent activity. As early as June 2003 American soldiers attacked an insurgent training camp near Haditha.[6] Many insurgent attacks followed in the next three years, and the area gained a reputation as one of particular danger for US and Iraqi government forces.

 

On August 1, 2005 six marine snipers were killed outside or near Haditha.[7] Two days later, on (August 3, 2005), 14 Marines were killed in their Marine amphibious assault vehicle by an IED.[8]

 

 

Killings and immediate aftermath

 

On November 20, 2005 a Marine press release from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi said the deaths of the civilians was a consequence of a road side bomb and Iraqi insurgents. The initial US military statement read:

A US marine and 15 civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately following the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another[9][2]

Soon after the killings, the mayor of Haditha, Emad Jawad Hamza, led an angry delegation of elders up to the Haditha Dam Marine base allegedly complaining to the base captain.[2]

 

Marines paid a total of $38,000 to families of 15 of the civilians killed. [10]

 

 

Investigations

 

On February 14, 2006, a preliminary investigation was ordered by Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, after video evidence was released, which conflicted with the initial US report. On March 9 a criminal investigation was launched, led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, to determine if the troops deliberately targeted Iraqi civilians.[9]

 

On March 19, the US military officials confirmed that contrary to the initial report, 15 civilians were accidentally killed due to the US marines and not Iraqi insurgents.

 

On May 29, 2006, The Times published the result of its investigations and interviews with eye witnesses. It noted that the “official investigation has already resulted in the removal of Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, the commanding officer, and Captain Luke McConnell and Captain James Kimber, two company commanders, from their duties with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.”[11] Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the squad leader, is currently being investigated.

 

Currently several official investigations are underway. The first, under US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, is investigating how the incident was reported through the chain of command. A second investigation, headed by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is looking into the criminal aspects of the incident, and are expected to finish their report in June. [12] A third investigation is being launched by the Iraqi government.

 

As of June 2, 2006, news outlets had reported that 24 Iraqis were killed, none as a result of the bomb explosion.[13] The news comes in anticipation of the results of the military’s investigation, which is said to find that the 24 unarmed Iraqis—including children as young as two years and women[14]—were killed by 12 members of Kilo Company in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.[15]

 

 

Evidence of the killings

 

Video shot by Iraqi journalist and founder of Hammurabi Human Rights Group[16] Taher Thabet and cellphone photos reportedly taken by one of the Marines[17] the day after the killings have been put forth as evidence that the killings were methodical and without resistance.[2][18] The term “execution-style” has been used by US military officials to describe the killings. [19]In particular, the video shot by Thabeth shows the bodies of the children and women with gunshot wounds, bullet holes in the interior walls of the house, and bloodstains on the floor.

 

 

Reaction

 

According to Sidney Blumenthal in a June 8, 2006 Salon Magazine article, “The coverup at Haditha reportedly began instantly. However, an Iraqi journalism student shot a video the day after of the bloodstained and bullet-riddled houses where the massacre had occurred. That video made its way to an Iraqi human rights group and finally to Tim McGirk, a correspondent from Time magazine. When Time made its first queries, the Marine spokesman, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, who had issued the first statement on Haditha as an action against terrorists months earlier, told reporters that they were falling for al-Qaida propaganda. ‘I cannot believe you’re buying any of this,’ he wrote in an e-mail. Nonetheless, word reached Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the second-highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq, that there had been no investigation and he ordered one immediately.”

 

According to the Los Angeles Times, military and congressional sources distinguished between two squads: the original Marine squad involved in the explosion and shootings, and a Marine intelligence squad that took photos shortly after the shootings. According to LA Times sources, although the intelligence squad’s photos were inconsistent with the Marine squad’s report of a firefight, no investigation occurred until after a March 2006 Time Magazine story alleging a massacre. According to the story, military officials blamed the delay of the investigation on the Marine squad’s efforts to cover up the events:

Military officials say they believe the delay in beginning the investigation was a result of the squad’s initial efforts to cover up what happened.

However, both military and congressional sources said that the intelligence team that took photos after the firefight did not appear to participate in any improper action:

[m]ilitary and congressional sources said there was no indication that the members of the intelligence team did anything improper or delayed reporting their findings.

In the same LA Times story, Republican Representative John Kline of Minnesota was quoted as saying:

There is no question that the Marines involved, those doing the shooting, they were busy in lying about it and covering it up — there is no question about it. But I am confident, as soon as the command learned there might be some truth to this, they started to pursue it vigorously. I don’t have any reason now to think there was any foot dragging.[18]

Eman Waleed, a nine-year-old child who claimed to have witnessed the incident, described the US marines entering their house. She said:

I couldn’t see their faces very well – only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny[2]

The director of the local hospital in Haditha, Dr Wahid, claimed that the 24 bodies were brought to the hospital around midnight on November 19th. While the marines claim that the victims had been killed by shrapnel from the roadside bomb, Dr Whaid said that there were “no organs slashed by shrapnel in any of the bodies”. He further claimed that it appeared that “the victims were shot in the head and chest from close range”.[2]

 

The intentional killing of civilians, or indeed of any unarmed people, is prohibited by modern laws of war derived from the UN Charter, the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions, and constitutes a war crime. The Marines and officers are expected to face courts martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is U.S. military law. Due to a Status of Forces Agreement with the Government of Iraq, the troops will not be subject to Iraqi law.

 

 

Comments by Representative Murtha

 

On <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_17&#8243; title=”May 17″>May 17, 2006 U.S. Congressmember John Murtha, a retired Marine colonel and critic of the war, stated at a news conference that an internal investigation had confirmed the story.[19][20][21] He was quoted as saying:

There was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.[22]

On August 2, 2006 Marine Corps staff sergeant Frank D. Wuterich, who led the accused squad, filed suit for libel and invasion of privacy. The filing states Murtha “tarnished the Marine’s reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” Murtha also said repeatedly that the incident was covered up.”[23] Wuterich was charged with 13 counts of murder on December 21, 2006.

 

 

Rationales

 

James Crossen, who was sitting next to Terrazas, was also injured by the roadside bomb. In an interview with King5 television in Seattle, he alleged that children in the area often helped insurgents by counting vehicles in a convoy. Crossen suggests that it is likely women and children had given information about US patrols to insurgents, and that this information led to the roadside bomb attack. When asked whether he had any emotion about the villagers who were killed, Crossen responded “No… Probably half of them were bad guys and you just don’t know, so it really doesn’t cross my mind. […] Being so far away and it being so hot… you just lose control sort of and kind of stop caring what happened and I’m pretty sure that’s what happened over there.”[24]

 

Martin Terrazas, father of the dead Marine, has been quoted as saying that Marines his son had fought with had told him that, following the bomb explosion, the Company was attacked by insurgents who used civilians as human shields, and that the Marines had done “only what was necessary to survive.”[25]

 

 

Conditions in Kilo Company Camp

 

On June 20, 2006 the BBC ran an article alleging that conditions in the Kilo company headquarters were “feral”. The four hundred men were based at a dam three miles from Haditha. The camp was described as a “decaying rabbit-warren”. As a result, unofficial shacks had been set up outside the building to house Marines. Oliver Poole, a reporter who visited the camp, called the conditions filthy and disgusting. He said:

The fact that the officers had let conditions deteriorate to the level in which where people living [sic] in such basic environment, that says something,” he said. “Where were the officers keeping the standards that the US military keeps in the field?” [26]

Conditions in Haditha itself were known to have been deteriorating under militant rule, and attacks on U.S. troops as well as executions of suspected informants were common.[27]

 

 

Ethics seminars

 

The US Army has announced that coalition troops in Iraq are to undergo ethics training following the incident in Haditha.

 

 

Comparisons with My Lai Massacre and other incidents

 

Many news reports have compared the Haditha Killings to the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, with some commentators describing it as “Bush’s My Lai” [28] [29] or “Iraq’s My Lai”.[30] Very often, the killings have been described as part of a wider pattern of perceived human rights abuses committed by coalition forces in Iraq. As a Spiegel reporter notes in an interview with Michael Sallah (who won the Pulitzer Prize for his investigation of atrocities committed by the Tiger Force unit in Vietnam [31]), “you would have difficulties finding a single newspaper in Germany or elsewhere in Europe which does not deal with My Lai, Abu Ghraib and Haditha in the same commentary.”[32] It is suggested the Haditha killings may, like the My Lai Massacre, result in further reduction of American public support for the conflict.[29] The comparison is not accepted by everyone, including Christopher Hitchens, who characterized the My Lai comparisons as “all the glib talk about My Lai is so much propaganda and hot air.”[33]

 

Comparisons have also been made to the case of Ilario Pantano, who was cleared of charges of premeditated murder in Iraq after it was determined there was no credible evidence or testimony. Pantano himself has spoken out in defense of the “Haditha Marines,” objecting to the “rush to judgement.” [34]

 

 

See also

 

References

 

  1. ^ U.S. military mourns ‘tragic’ Haditha deaths, CNN. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f McGirk, Tim. Collateral Damage or Civilian Massacre in Haditha?, Time. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  3. ^Evidence suggests Haditha killings deliberate: Pentagon source“, Associated Press, Wed, 02 Aug 2006.
  4. ^ [1] Yahoo News
  5. ^ U.S. marine faces 13 Haditha murder charges, CBC. Accessed December 21, 2006
  6. ^ “Battles rage across Saddam heartland where 70 Iraqis are killed by US forces”, The Independent, June 14, 2003
  7. ^ Six snipers among seven Marines killed in Iraq CNN August 2, 2005
  8. ^ 14 more Marines from Ohio unit die in Iraq AP August 4, 2005
  9. ^ a b BBC News Haditha: Massacre and cover-up?
  10. ^ Eric Schmitt and David S. CloudGeneral finds senior Marines lax in Haditha killings probe New York Times News Service July 8, 2006
  11. ^ Hamdani, Ali and Ned Parker, Marines and the ‘massacre’: a neighbour tells of aftermath, Times online. Accessed May 29, 2006.
  12. ^ Perry, Tony. House to Look Into Probe of Pendleton Marines, Los Angeles Times. Accessed May 20, 2006.
  13. ^ Poole, Oliver. ‘Worst war crime’ committed by US in Iraq, Telegraph.co.uk. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  14. ^ Death certifcates describe in horrific detail how Haditha civilians were killed, CNN. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  15. ^ Pentagon sources: Civilians likely killed without provocation, CNN. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  16. ^ Haditha defense questions key videotape, Iraqi group, Reuters, June 15, 2006
  17. ^ Ghosh, Aparisim. Picking up the Pieces in Haditha, Time online. Accessed May 30, 2006
  18. ^ a b Perry, Tony and Julian E. Barnes. Photos Indicate Civilians Slain Execution-Style, Los Angeles Times. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  19. ^ a b Miklaszewski, Jim and Mike Viqueira. Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood’, MSNBC (NBC News). Accessed May 17, 2006.
  20. ^ Bowman, Tom. Pentagon Investigates Alleged Massacre in Iraq, All Things Considered, National Public Radio Accessed May 19, 2006.
  21. ^ Goldenberg, Suzanne. Marines may face trial over Iraq massacre, The Guardian. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  22. ^ CNN News, Lawmaker says Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood
  23. ^ Josh White Marine Names Murtha in Defamation Suit Washington Post August 2, 2006
  24. ^ Video: Local marine injured Haditha talks of massacre, May 30, 2006
  25. ^ Alicia Caldwell, Father of Marine backs son’s Iraq comrades, May 31, 2006
  26. ^ BBC News, US braced for Haditha effect, 20 June 2006
  27. ^ Omer Mahdhi and Rory Carroll, Under US noses, brutal insurgents rule Sunni citadel, Guardian UK, 22 August, 2005
  28. ^ Bush’s My Lai, Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com, May 30, 2006
  29. ^ a b Haditha Massacre: Iraq’s Mai Lai, Al Jazeera, May 29, 2006
  30. ^ Haditha Killings Recall Vietnam’s My Lai, Washington Post, June 2, 2006
  31. ^ “2004 Pulitzer Prize Winners – INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING”, The Pulitzer Prizes. Accessed November 27, 2006.]
  32. ^ “In Vietnam war es genauso”, Spiegel Online, Accessed June 5, 2006
  33. ^ Why Haditha Is Not My Lai, Christopher Hitchens, Slate, June 5, 2006
  34. ^ Mr. Murtha’s Rush to Judgment, Ilario Pantano, Washington Post, May 28, 2006

 

 

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