Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lawrence and Islam

Originally uploaded by trudeau

World War I, 1914 - 1918, is when Lawrence won his fame.

WWI marked the opening of the modern era (examples):
* chemical warfare ("mustard gas")
* modern machine gun
* airplanes
* armored tanks
* England & France & allies Vs. Germany (whose allies included Turkey)
* In the Mid East, England controlled Egypt and Turkey was Germany's ally. The Turks controlled Arabia and most of the Mid East.
* The US entered the war in 1917. The isolationist spirit of America kept us out of the war for 3 years.

Teacher's thesis:
That the events of WWI as described in Lawrence of Arabia were part of the misunderstandings and frustrations that led to the founding of Arab-based, Muslim extremist groups such as al qaeda and led to the destruction of the WTC on 9-11, 2001.
The basics of Islam

Holy Mosque Mecca at night
Originally uploaded by chrisuk.
Islam: "submission to the will of God."
Muslim: "one who submits to the will of God."

* Spelling variation in Arabic vocabulary (Muslim, Moslem, etc): because it is difficult to translate Arabic vowels, the western world is undecided about which vowels to insert.

* fastest growing religion
* 1 billion adherents (global pop. 5 to 6 billion)
* 2nd largest religion, after Christianity.
* ex: US Army accomodates US soldiers who are Muslim; that group may be as large as 10,000 soldiers, according to The Nation.

While many Muslims in Persian Gulf nations and SE Asia are poor and poorly educated, American Muslims are often people of high educational achievement.

Abraham, 2000 BC Father of the Jews. Also Father of the Muslims.
Jesus of Nazareth: 1 AD
Muhammad: 600 AD, prophet of Islam.

Jerusalem, a city of 3 holy days each week. Friday the Muslims go to mosque for prayers. Saturday the Jews have shabbat (rest). Sunday, of course, is the Christian sabbath.

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