THIS PAGE CONTAINS SHORT ARTICLES ON TOPICS THAT ARE OFTEN SPARED ELSEWHERE, ESPECIALLY IN

MAINSTREAM PRESS AND OFTEN DO NOT GO ALONG WITH MAINSTREAM PUBLIC IDEOLOGY OR PERCEPTIONS,


BUT WHICH ARE BACKED BY SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND HISTORICAL RECORDS


ISLAM: A NONRACIST, PACIFIST WORLD RELIGION
JESUS OF NAZARETH: A SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY
THE MYTH OF RACE
TROUBLED AMERICAN SOCIETY


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ISLAM: A NONRACIST, PACIFIST WORLD RELIGION

Islam is a religion founded by the Prophet Mohammad in the 7th Century. Adherents to Islam are called Muslims. Today, there are more than 1 billion Muslims in the world, most of which live in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. In the United States there are 5 to 6 million Muslims, many of which live, for example, in Houston, Texas.

The birthrate among Muslim populations in the Middle East ranges on an average between 5 to 6 children per women (compared to an average birthrate of about 1.5 children that is common in the mostly Christian-dominated Western World). Intermarriage with adherents to other religions is only allowed when the other spouse also adopts Islam as his/her religion. These facts lead to an ever-increasing number of Muslims in the World, and the extended influence of Islam on the world as a whole.

The meaning of Islam encompasses the concepts of peace, greeting, surrender, and commitment, and refers to an individual's commitment to God through adherence to the religion by the same name. In ancient times, Islam transformed a culture of warring tribes into a family of believers in a way of life that demanded cooperation, peace and understanding. As a consequence, Arabs, Africans, Persians, Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians and people of other cultures and nationalities begun to see each other as one community.

Of course, the common idea of community, implies borders-that is, borders that separates the family/community of believers from non-believers, which troubles us so much also nowadays. Every religion is based on its boundaries; boundaries of adherence, culture, costumes, and even food.

Islam was founded by Mohammad who wanted to cure the Arab society from its terrible social and societal problems. Mohammad lost his parents when he was very young. But in ancient Arab society this meant almost certain death, since life and the right to live, the right for shelter and food was based on kinship relationship, especially the family as the last resort of refuge. When the husband died, the wive was usually married to the eldest brother of the husband.

Children like the young Mohammad who lost both parents faced a hard life, if they were not deemed to die; mostly, when adopted by someone else, such as their uncles, they had to serve as servants to other family members. Knowing this, it becomes clear what has driven Mohammad, and what was the real cause of establishing the Islamic faith.

When growing up, Mohammad also envisions the plague of permanent warfare that virtually encompassed all clans and tribes across the Arabian Peninsula. To end this, he engineered a new religion, Islam, a religion to cure social problems.

Mohammad never envisioned warfare or terrorism as a cause of Islam. Islam itself was thought as a means for regaining and ensuring peace, peace across family and blood relationships, before within Arabia and, nowadays, around the globe. Mohammad, as Jesus and Karl Marx, was a "social policy man", a social engineer, a caretaker, a revolutionary, and the head of a powerful sociopolitical/religious movement that transformed the world.




JESUS OF NAZARETH: A SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY

Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem as a son of a working-class family. When grown up, he became a wonder doctor, a faith healer. This profession was of high demand and, thus, not as unusual as it may look today. He got famous because of his spectacular death, because he sacrificed his life for his believes and political agitations.

Jesus of Nazareth was a faith healer that turned into a powerful leader of one of Israel's first broad-based social movements. He wanted to overthrow the high priests, the elite of ancient Israeli society. He aimed at destroying their political, societal, and religious legitimacy; their exclusive rights to heal people; and their many economic monopolies that created their tremendous wealth among thousands of poor, socially excluded people who waited in caves and beside Temples to be finally healed by a chosen one.

Jesus after recruiting some fishermen and craftsmen (but no woman) as his followers, told them to come with him in order to achieve a greater cause, that of healing the Israeli nation as a whole. He wanted to put an end to social exclusion of the sick and the handicapped; who were believed to get sick or handicapped due to their own failures (quasi as a punishment) and became untouchables, and were not allowed to return to their villages once sent away and never allowed to enter temples to undergo the highly important spiritual ritual of bathing in holy water.

Jesus loved also prostitutes, the poor, and even the enemies of the Israeli state (as he occasionally, or at least once, healed a foreigner who passed his route).

He was a nightmare to the powerful religious establishment, and an instant threat to the traditional Israeli way of life. Knowing that, Jesus pursued with his mission to overthrow the ruling elite; he fought for social justice and the liberation of Israel's people from the cruel, irresponsible, asocial regime of his time; also and especially in the final hours of his life.

Jesus of Nazareth was a social reformer, a social revolutionary; he fought social exclusion and social injustice. Here, the true significance of the historical figure Jesus is to be found, and not so much in his healing people with his hands or words.

Christians see in Jesus as the one and only Messiah, the Son of God. Jews and Muslims see Jesus as a prophet (one out of a number of prophets); Hindus see Jesus as "avatar" (a reincarnation of a god).



THE MYTH OF RACE

A "race" is often seen as one of the group of populations constituting humanity. The differences between "races" are marked by hereditary transmissions of same physical characteristics. The genes responsible for the hereditary differences are very, very few; in fact, a minimal faction of a percentage point of all human genes. The concept of "race" is ultimately unscientific and "racial" categories are arbitrary designations.

All humans belong to the same species, that of Homo Sapiens. Differences in groups of populations ("races") aroused from mutations, selection, and adaptional changes in human populations. There has been a common evolution for all different groups of populations ("races") and "racial" differentiation occurred very late in the history of Homo Sapiens. Geography and population movements were possibly the main driving forces behind the process of differentiation of physical characteristics of different groups of population (tribes, communities, and peoples).

The "white kind" of people originated in Central Asia, most White Americans and White Europeans have forgotten that, Irish folks would not like to think of themselves as having Ukraine ancestors; the English and the Germans are not delighted in general to think of Uzbekistan as their home country where they also share common roots with people from Northern India (that is why scientists refer to Indo-European languages as one group of languages).

Chinese are Mongolians, so are Koreans, Hungarians, and the Finns. Mongolians may well have originated from population groups living in today's Turkish-dominated areas, ranging from Turkey to the Western Provinces of today's China. American Indians, look (and may speak to some extent) like Northeast Asian people.

The further we go back in history, the closer to come to East Africa, the origin of all Homo Sapiens.

Language in general is hard evidence for common roots of population groups living today far apart from each other. The Japanese and Turkish languages, for example, share the same unique grammatical structure. It is for this reason that Japanese students find is easy to study Turkish. When comparing a Japanese- and a Turkish-speaker, their similarities become obvious (the melody, and the endings of sentences, especially).

So, who are we? We are members of the same family, of which sons and daughters went to far away places a long time ago.

Why do we look/speak different or sometimes the same? Because of geography and population movements, in combination with different survival and birth rates.




TROUBLED AMERICAN SOCIETY

Today the United States is plagued with a series of threads to its society. Many of which are still homemade. But, recent terrorist attacks on America may also help to cushion these further. Americans when traveling abroad often speak themselves of the "American hell" instead of the "American Dream", or simply agree when others pinpoint at particular serious problems America is facing today.

America is also threatened by its own nonresponse to a number of serious social problems that are caused by "racial" and economic cleavages between those in command (that is, those controlling the country's economic resources and political power) and those living excluded from the "American Dream." Nowadays, these disadvantaged, socially excluded Americans certainly constitute a majority of the population.

Not only a large share of Caucasian Americans (the "white folks") has learned to be trapped in poverty, suffering sociopolitical exclusion from education, health care and political power brokering, but also most people belonging to America's large minorities, especially African Americans and Spanish-Speaking Americans ("Latinos"), share the same experience.

The "racial" bias of poverty and social, economic, academic, and political exclusion is vital for the understanding of social and societal policy in the US, since solidarity and concern for others often stops when there is more than one large population group featuring a distinct skin color and/or mother tongue.

In the United States, alcohol and illegal substance abuse cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. It has become a not unusual thing that primary school children bring real guns and granates to school, and act as drug couriers. More people have died from non-combat gun violence in the last two decades than were killed in battles since the country was founded (NCHS). Each year, one out of every ten teenage women aged 15 to 19 gets pregnant without wanting to do so (see National Vital Statistics Report).

In America, a woman is raped every few minutes (RAINN); one in five adults is functionally illiterate (NCES); nearly 45 million people lack any sort of health insurance (US Census Bureau, Health); and at least fourteen percent of the population lives below the official poverty line (US Census Bureau, Poverty).

America is a model for other countries, a model for social disaster. A model that needs to be studied, in order to avoid its negative outcomes.

In technology, America leads the world, also in military capabilities; but in social peace, equality of economic opportunities, political participation, etc. America lags far behind many other countries-that is, most countries in the developed world, and also many developing countries/economies (like South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, etc.).




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