THE MAHDI: ANALYSIS OF THE HADITH QUOTED BY AS-SAFFARINI AS PROOF OF BELIEF IN THE MAHDI PT 4

Figure 1A: Arabian Peninsula, the place of the Final Mahdi’s appearance.

Imam `Abdul Qadir Ibn Badran Ad-Dumi, may Allah be pleased him, goes on to say:

2-

Explaining the States of the Ahadith which are deduced by Imam As-Saffarini as proof of the compulsory belief in the appearance of the final Imam, the Pure and Eloquent Arab, Muhammad Al-Mahdi

 

Imam As-Saffarini stated:  

It is authentically narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that he said (meaning in regard to the reality of the Mahdi), “He shall have the same name as mine and his father shall have the same name as my own.” This is collected by Abu Nu`aim from the Hadith of Abu Hurairah and the exact wording is that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “If there did not remain but one day for this earthly life, Allah would have lengthened that day until a man came from my Household. He shall have the same name as mine and his father shall have the same name as my own. He shall fill the world with righteousness and justice just as at that time it shall be filled with oppression and tyranny.”

This was collected by Imams At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’ii, Al-Baihaqi and others from the narration of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud. And in one narration from the hadith of Ibn Mas`ud also is the wording, “The earthly life shall not end until a man from my Household takes rule and he shall have the same name as myself and his father’s name shall be the same as mine. He shall fill the Earth with justice and righteousness just as at that time it shall be filled with tyranny and oppression.” This was collected by Imam At-Tabarani in Al-Mu`jam us-Saghir.

Imam At-Tirmidhi collected the same hadith but with the wording, “Until a man from the people of my Household shall take rule over the Arabs.” Imam At-Tirmidi said, “This hadith is authentic and sound.” Likewise, Abu Dawud narrated this in his Sunan and Ibn Mas`ud also narrated an attributable hadith, “The name of the Mahdi is Muhammad.” And in the attributable hadith of Hudhaifah is the wording, “His name is Muhammad ibn `Abdullah.”

I would like to say that the discussion mentioned with him has two statements:

Firstly, these Ahadith on the Mahdi are bearing a striking similarity to the methodology sought as evidence by the people of this understanding and the chain of transmission is not devoid of flaw.

In relation to the hadith of Ibn Mas`ud, this was collected by Abu Dawud in his Sunan, At-Tirmidhi in his Jami`, both of which come through chains of transmission that all centre and revolve around `Asim ibn Bahdalah.

The scholars of analysis and criticism have spoken about `Asim. Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim did not use anything from him but instead used a contemporary besides him. This man – `Asim ibn Bahdalah – is known as Ibn Abin-Nujud. It is either the mother or the father of `Asim that bears the name Bahdalah.

The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, said of `Asim Ibn Abin-Nujud, “He was a righteous man, a recitor of the Qur’an, good and trustworthy; but Al-A`mash is better than him.” Al-`Ijli said, “There was difference about him among Zirr and Abu Wa’il and the weakness of his narration is mentioned from both Zirr and Abu Wa’il.”

`Asim only narrated this hadith from Zirr. Muhammad ibn Sa`d said, “Zirr was trustworthy except that he made many mistakes when he narrated his hadith.” Ya`qub ibn Sufyan said, “There is confusion in his hadith narration.” `Abdur-Rahman ibn Abi Hatim stated, “I said to my father (Abu Hatim) that Abu Zur`ah said that `Asim is trustworthy.” Abu Hatim said, “This is not the place for discussion of the matter. Ibn Alyah has spoken about him before. `Asim is sound but has mistakes in the memorisation of the hadith.”

Abu Hatim further said, “The place of `Asim in my estimation is one of trustworthiness and righteousness and good hadith although he is not a hafiz of hadith. There are differing statements of An-Nasa’ii regarding him.” Ibn Kharrash said, “There are things in his hadith that deserve repudiation.”

Abu Ja`far Al-`Uqaili said, “The only drawback in `Asim’s hadith is poor memorisation.” Ad-Daraqutni said, “There is an issue with his memorisation of hadith.” Adh-Dhahabi said, “He is trustworthy in recitation indeed while in hadith he is less than established.”

In the chain of the hadith from Abu Dawud is `Ubaidullah ibn Musa. Imam Abu Dawud said about him in his own words, “He was Shi`ii.” This statement was narrated from Al-Hafiz Adh-Dhahabi in At-Tahdhib. In this same hadith is also Muhammad ibn Al-`Ula.

Abu Hatim said, “He is truthful.” An-Nasa’ii said, “There is no harm in him.” This speech intends that `Ubaidullah ibn Musa is truthful but not strong in narration.

Also in this chain is Fatar ibn Khalifah Al-Qurshi. In At-Tahdhib, it is said of him, “Imams Ahmad, Yahya ibn Ma`in, Al-`Ijli and Ibn Sa`d all declared him trustworthy.” At-Tahdhib also narrated, “There are some people that also declared him weak.” The Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, “He is a transgressing Khashabi.” He meant by this that he was from the Khashabiyyah, which is a subset of the Jahmiyyah.

As-Sayyid Al-Murtada said in Sharh ul-Qamus, “The Khashabiyyah are a movement from the Jahmiyyah. This was also said by Al-Laith ibn Sa`d.”

The Khashabiyyah Jahmiyyah declare that Allah does not speak and that the Qur’an is created. Ibn Al-Athir said in An-Nihayah, “They are the students of Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi `Ubaid.” It has also been said that they are a branch of the Shi`ah. They were named Khashabiyyah on account of that when Zaid ibn `Ali was crucified they kept a piece of wood.

In the beginning of the situation, it was narrated in a hadith that Ibn `Umar used to pray behind the Khashabiyyah and the crucifixion of Zaid occurred quite a number of years after Ibn `Umar.”

Source: Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah fi Jid il-As’ilat il-Kuwaitiyyah, pp. 79-86

Evolution: Anglo-Israelism Returns and the possible end of the Original People’s Doctrine

An artist’s reconstruction of Graecopithecus freybergi, left, with the jawbone and tooth found in Bulgaria and Greece CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Please see the following article below:

____________________________________________

Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa, scientists find

BY Sarah Knapton,

The history of human evolution has been rewritten after scientists discovered that Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa.

Currently, most experts believe that our human lineage split from apes around seven million years ago in central Africa, where hominids remained for the next five million years before venturing further afield.

But two fossils of an ape-like creature which had human-like teeth have been found in Bulgaria and Greece, dating to 7.2 million years ago.

The discovery of the creature, named Graecopithecus freybergi, and nicknameded ‘El Graeco’ by scientists, proves our ancestors were already starting to evolve in Europe 200,000 years before the earliest African hominid.

An international team of researchers say the findings entirely change the beginning of human history and place the last common ancestor of both chimpanzees and humans – the so-called Missing Link – in the Mediterranean region.

To some extent this is a newly discovered missing link 

Professor Nikolai Spassov, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

At that time climate change had turned Eastern Europe into an open savannah which forced apes to find new food sources, sparking a shift towards bipedalism, the researchers believe.

“This study changes the ideas related to the knowledge about the time and the place of the first steps of the humankind,” said Professor Nikolai Spassov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

“Graecopithecus is not an ape. He is a member of the tribe of hominins and the direct ancestor of homo.

“The food of the Graecopithecus was related to the rather dry and hard savannah vegetation, unlike that of the recent great apes which are living in forests.  Therefore, like humans, he has wide molars and thick enamel.

“To some extent this is a newly discovered missing link. But missing links will always exist , because evolution is infinite chain of subsequent forms. Probably  El Graeco’s face will resemble a great ape, with shorter canines.”

An artist’s impression of Graecopithecus CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – SOFIA, ASSEN IGNATOV

The team analysed the two known specimens of Graecopithecus freybergi: a lower jaw from Greece and an upper premolar tooth from Bulgaria.

Using computer tomography, they were able to visualise the internal structures of the fossils and show that the roots of premolars are widely fused.

“While great apes typically have two or three separate and diverging roots, the roots of Graecopithecus converge and are partially fused – a feature that is characteristic of modern humans, early humans and several pre-humans,”, said lead researcher Professor Madelaine Böhme of the University of Tübingen.

The lower jaw, has additional dental root features, suggesting that the species was a hominid.

The tooth of Graecopithecus CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF TUBINGEN

The species was also found to be several hundred thousand years older than the oldest African hominid, Sahelanthropus tchadensis which was found in Chad.

“We were surprised by our results, as pre-humans were previously known only from sub-Saharan Africa,” said doctoral student Jochen Fuss, a Tübingen PhD student who conducted this part of the study.

Professor David Begun, a University of Toronto paleoanthropologist and co-author of this study, added: “This dating allows us to move the human-chimpanzee split into the Mediterranean area.”

During the period the Mediterranean Sea went through frequent periods of drying up completely, forming a land bridge between Europe and Africa and allowing apes and early hominids to pass between the continents.

The jawbone of Graecopithecus CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF TUBINGEN

The team believe that evolution of hominids may have been driven by dramatic environmental changes which sparked the formation of the North African Sahara more than seven million years ago and pushed species further North.

They found large amounts of Saharan sand in layers dating from the period, suggesting that it lay much further North than today.

Professor Böhme added: “Our findings may eventually change our ideas about the origin of humanity. I personally don’t think that the descendants of Graecopithecus die out, they may have spread to Africa later. The split of chimps and humans was a single event. Our data support the view that this split was happening in the eastern Mediterranean – not in Africa.

“If accepted, this theory will indeed alter the very beginning of human history.”

However some experts were more skeptical about the findings.

Retired anthropologist and author Dr Peter Andrews, formerly at the Natural History Museum in London, said: “It is possible that the human lineage originated in Europe, but very substantial fossil evidence places the origin in Africa, including several partial skeletons and skulls.

“I would be hesitant about using a single character from an isolated fossil to set against the evidence from Africa.”

The new research was published in the journal PLOS One.

 

 

Evolution: When in doubt…Redate and Rework

A map showing the main areas of immigrant populations that contributed to Egyptian heritage between 1400 BCE and 400 CE

The surprising ancestry of ancient Egyptians: First ever genome study of mummies reveals they were more Turkish and European than African

  • Researchers performed a detailed analysis of the DNA of ancient mummies
  • They found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to European populations 
  • Traditional communities in the Levant and Neolithic Europe were close relatives
  • Study found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did

The first ever full-genome analysis of Ancient Egyptians shows they were more Turkish and European than African.

Scientists analysed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from 1400 BC to 400 AD and discovered they shared genes with people from the Mediterranean.

They found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to ancient populations in the Levant – now modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.

They were also genetically similar to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe.

The groundbreaking study used recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques to undertake a closer examination of mummy genetics than ever before.

Scroll down for video

The study, published in Nature Communications, found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did.

The data shows that modern Egyptians share approximately eight per cent more ancestry on the nuclear level with Sub-Saharan African populations than with ancient Egyptians.

Egypt is a promising location for the study of ancient populations because it was a world-wide trading hub.

This is likely the reason that ancient Egyptians had such a diverse genetic heritage, the authors, from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, said.

‘The population history of Egypt is complex because it is found at the ispus of Africa, the gateway to a continent, and has seen much historical turnover,’ Max Planck Director for the Science of Human History and study lead author Professor Johannes Krause told MailOnline.

‘Ancient Egypt in the 1millenium BC had been dominated by many foreign powers.

The team’s research involved unravelling the genetic history of Egyptians by comparing DNA samples taken from both modern and ancient natives.

The researchers were aiming to establish an exhaustive genetic database to study the ancient past of Egypt for the first time.

‘It has been much debated whether foreign dominations such as Assyrians, Nunbians, Greeks or Romans changed the gene pool of ancient Europe, making them more or less African,’ Professor Krause told MailOnline.

‘We wanted to test that and found that there is genetic continuity between the old kingdom and Roman period.

A new DNA analysis of Ancient Egyptians shows they were more Turkish and European than African. This image shows the sarcophagus of Tadja, Abusir el-Meleq, one of the mummies whose DNA was analysed in the new study
Map of Egypt, showing the archaeological site of Abusir-el Meleq (orange X), from which the ancient mummies were taken, and the location of the modern Egyptian samples used in the study (orange circles)

HOW THE STUDY WAS DONE

Mummified human DNA is normally difficult to study because of chemical treatment of the bodies before mummification, and due to the warm environment they are kept in.

But new genetic techniques used by the team allowed them to study mummified DNA in greater detail than ever before.

The team sampled 151 mummified individuals from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq, along the Nile River in Middle Egypt.

In total, the authors recovered mitochondrial genomes from 90 individuals, and genome-wide datasets from three individuals.

The genome-wide samples are the first ever taken from mummified remains.

The team compared this ancient Egyptian DNA to genome samples from modern Egyptians to analyse differences in genetic makeup.

‘However in the last 1,500 years Egypt became more genetically African, whereas the ancient Egyptians showed almost no sub-Saharan African ancestry and high affinity to ancient Near Eastern and European populations.’

The team sampled 151 mummified individuals from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq, along the Nile River in Middle Egypt.

Recent advances in the study of ancient DNA present an intriguing opportunity to test existing understandings of Egyptian history using the ancient genetic data.

The new study managed to extract accurate, full-genome DNA data from three ancient Egyptian mummies, and usable segments of DNA from 90 mummies.

Pictured is the principal component analysis and genetic clustering of the genome-wide DNA from three ancient Egyptians analysed in the study
Scientists analysed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from 1400 BC to 400 AD and discovered they shared genes with people from the Mediterranean (stock)

WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO EXTRACT MUMMY DNA?

Although some of the first extractions of ancient DNA were from mummified remains, scientists have previously raised doubts as to whether genetic data from mummies would be reliable even if it could be recovered.

The hot Egyptian climate, high humidity levels in many tombs and some of the chemicals used in mummification techniques contribute to DNA degradation.

Scientists had therefore assumed that the long-term survival of DNA in Egyptian mummies was unlikely, making mummy genetic data unusable.

But using recent advances in modern genetics technology, the new study managed to extract accurate full-genome DNA data from three ancient Egyptian mummies, and usable segments of DNA from 90 mummies.

The team used next-generation sequencing methods to read stretches of any DNA present in a sample and retrieve those that resembled human DNA.

The complete reads allowed the team to spot telltale damage patterns associated only with ancient DNA.

This makes the new study’s results much more reliable than those of any mummy DNA research that has come before.

The ability to extract nuclear DNA from such mummies, as well as show its reliability using robust authentication methods, is a scientific breakthrough that opens the door to further direct study of mummified remains.

The team used next-generation sequencing methods to read stretches of any DNA present in a sample and retrieve those that resembled human DNA.

The complete reads allowed the team to spot telltale damage patterns associated only with ancient DNA.

This makes the new study’s results much more reliable than those of any mummy DNA research that has come before.

The extraction of reliable nuclear DNA from Egyptian mummies is hence a breakthrough in genetics that opens the door to more detailed studies of mummified remains.

They were able to use the data gathered to test previous hypotheses drawn from archaeological and historical data, and from studies of modern DNA.

The team found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to ancient populations in the Levant and Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe. Image shows researcher Verena Schuenemann at the Palaeogenetics Laboratory, University of Tuebingen

Professor Alexander Peltzer, from the University of Tuebingen, said: ‘In particular, we were interested in looking at changes and continuities in the genetic makeup of the ancient inhabitants of Abusir el-Meleq.

‘We wanted to test if the conquest of Alexander the Great and other foreign powers has left a genetic imprint on the ancient Egyptian population.’

The team wanted to determine if the investigated ancient populations were affected at the genetic level by foreign conquest and domination during the time period under study, and compared these populations to modern Egyptian comparative populations.

The study found that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations in the Levant (modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon), and were also closely related to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe.

Coauthor Wolfgang Haack, group leader at the Max Planck Institute, added: ‘The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300 year timespan we studied, suggesting that the population remained genetically relatively unaffected by foreign conquest and rule.’

 

Caught Slippin’: Remember, People vote for THESE people to run their affairs…

Labour leader Jeremy CorbynCredit: PA Images
Posted On:  30th May 2017

LISTEN: Jeremy Corbyn unable to spell out how much Labour childcare policy will cost in painful radio interview.

The Labour leader fumbled with his iPad and asked to return to the issue later when probed on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour.

Labour wants to offer the parents of two, three and four-year-olds universal access to 30 hours of free childcare a week.

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Asked by the show’s presenter Emma Barnett how much it would cost, Mr Corbyn said: “It would cost um… It would obviously cost a lot.”

As the interview went on Mr Corbyn left long silences and asked: “I’ll give you the figure in a moment… Can we come back to this?”

Asked by the show’s presenter Emma Barnett how much it would cost, Mr Corbyn said: “It would cost um… It would obviously cost a lot.”

As the interview went on Mr Corbyn left long silences and asked: “I’ll give you the figure in a moment… Can we come back to this?”

[Please listen here]

But asked whether his failure to spell out the costings spoke to the lack of trust in Labour on economic issues he insisted: “All of our manifesto is fully costed and examined.”

He added: “The important thing is all children get a chance to grow up together at the moment we have a system which separates out.”

Mr Corbyn’s gaffe comes after Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott suffered a similar moment on police costings in a radio interview earlier this month.

Labour say over a million families will benefit from the party’s plans on childcare.

As it stands, all three and four year olds, as well as around 40% of two-year-olds, are entitled to 15 hours of free early education per week.

The Conservatives have legislated to extend this to 30 hours for working parents of three and four-year-olds.

But Labour are proposing to spend an extra £5bn a year on childcare than the Tories by the end of the next parliament and pledged to spend £2.7bn on nursery buildings by 2022.

The party say their plans will help mothers re-enter in the labour market, and to “bridge the gap between maternity leave and full-time schooling in the long run.”

They add that the current system is “difficult to navigate” while “many providers refuse to accept children claiming their free hours”.

CHILDCARE ‘SHOULDN’T BE A BARRIER’

Mr Corbyn said the reforms would halt a system that is currently “holding back” families.

“The Labour party believes every child, no matter what their background, deserves a good start in life, and that childcare costs shouldn’t be a barrier for parents who want to go back to work,” he said.

“High quality childcare can transform a child’s life chances and make it much easier for parents to work.

“Labour will roll out 30 hours of free childcare a week to all two to four-year-olds to give all our children the best possible start in life, as part of our plan to build a country for the many, not the few.”

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “The Conservatives’ 2015 promise to provide parents 30 free hours of childcare a week has unravelled, as they have failed to give the policy the funding it needs.

“Too many parents have been let down, unable to go back to work due to the cost of childcare”.

CND

Elsewhere in the Women’s Hour interview, Mr Corbyn seemed to be unaware that he is honorary vice-president of CND – a position bestowed on him by the anti-nuclear campaign group in 2015.

“I’m a member of CND. I don’t think I’m a vice-president… I resigned from those positions when I became leader of the party,” he said.

He also refused to answer four times when asked if he would resign as Labour leader if – as the opinion polls suggest – the Conservatives win the election.

Mike Huckabee and Israel’s Apocalyptic Temple Movement Set the Stage for a Summer of Holy War

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

GRAYZONE PROJECT

Hours before the sun rose Monday morning, the former governor of Arkansas, presidential candidate and proud father of President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Mike Huckabee, set out on a politically provocative journey.

Joined by 5,000 messianic Israeli settlers, Huckabee led an incursion under the armed guard of the Israeli army into the occupied West Bank city of Nablus to perform religious rituals at Joseph’s Tomb.

By Huckabee’s side was Bezalel Smotrich, the fanatically right-wing member of parliament who recently unveiled his proposal to slaughter Palestinians who refuse to accept inferior status under Israeli apartheid rule.

“I hope the days comes when the freedom for God’s People to come and to pray is uninhibited and unhindered by any violence,” Huckabee intoned inside the tomb, “… that you could do it in the daylight, in the sunshine, and not in the darkness of night.”

Days later, Huckabee met with member of parliament named Yehudah Glick, the man that Israeli police labeled the “most dangerous man in the Middle East” following a long period of bloodshed sparked by his provocations.

Glick is the public face of the Temple Movement, an apocalyptic outfit masquerading as a campaign for Jewish prayer rights. The movement aims to wrest control of the Al Aqsa compound from its Muslim stewards by bulldozing the Islamic holy site, building a Jewish temple in its place.

Next, it plans to install a rigid theocracy over all residents of the Holy Land that wages genocidal wars of conquest across the Middle East and beyond, carrying out ISIS-style beheadings against anyone who dares to resist.

“God commanded us to go from city to city, conquering them,” Chief Rabbi of the Temple Movement, Yisrael Ariel, explained in a closed meeting in 2014.

“If they surrender and say ‘From now on, there will be no more Christianity, no more Islam…’ then we will let you live. If not, you kill all of their men by sword!”

In Glick’s Temple Movement, Huckabee has found the Israeli counterpart to American Christian Zionism: an apocalyptic crusade hell bent on waging civilizational warfare against the followers of Islam.

It has been a partnership long in the making, with Glick winning fans through extended appearances on Christian Zionist online channels like “The Coming Apocalypse” and “In the Last Days.”

Huckabee night jaunt came days before his former rival President Donald Trump made the second stop of his “Tolerance Tour” in Israel, following the billionaire commander-in-chief’s bizarre sword dance and terror-orb spectacle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

While media coverage was focused was on Trump’s miscues and gaffes, Huckabee was forging alliances with two of the most extreme figures in a country whose government is already dominated by them.

Consisting of a tiny number of extremists on the fringes of Israeli society just a few decades ago, the Temple Movement has grown exponentially over the last decades. As its ideological home in the Religious Zionist camp has taken control of the country’s institutions, they have developed into a highly organized movement with broad public support, political influence and deep pockets.

Throughout the week, the Jerusalem municipality put on festivities celebrating the Israeli military’s conquest of the city 50 years before. Hours before Huckabee’s prayer march, several hundred Israelis gathered to watch a light show projected onto an outer wall of Jerusalem’s Old City and into the night sky, depicting Israel’s bullet-ridden conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967 as the latest stage in the reincarnation of biblical Jewish kingdoms.

“The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared. The mention of the Temple Mount was a new development for the Prime Minister – a nod to the political power of the emergent Temple Movement.

This past week, dozens of religious figures and members of parliament launched an unprecedented video campaign calling for Jewish incursions to the compound. The campaign’s most prominent leader was Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, who made headlines when she wore a dress depicting the al-Aqsa compound and Jerusalem skyline at the Cannes Film Festival last week.

“I am calling on all of you – women, men, religious and secular – come ascend the Temple Mount to Jerusalem Day,” Regev said standing at the Western Wall plaza with the al-Aqsa compound visible in the background.

Dozens of other political bigwigs released videos calling for Jewish ascent to the compound, from Likud’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely to Yehuda Etzion, a leader of the 1980s Jewish Underground militant network who served a brief prison sentence for plotting to blow up the Dome of the Rock.

As Jerusalem Day kicked off, at least 1,000 settlers heeded the calls for Jewish ascent to Al Aqsa, flocking from religious seminaries around the country and West Bank settlements to the Moroccan Gate of the Old City. There, they entered the compound under military protection as soldiers assaulted Palestinians who challenge their presence.

While Jewish prayer at the compound is forbidden according to the status-quo agreed upon in 1967 – and per a nearly 2,000 year old rabbinical ban that forbids any Jewish presence at the compound, let alone prayer, because of its holiness in Judaism – Temple Movement agitators see praying at al-Aqsa as a way to instigate violence and force Israeli authorities to accommodate them.

In 2008, then Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, conceded that Jewish prayer at the al-Aqsa compound would lead to “provocation, resulting in disorder, with a near certain likelihood of subsequent bloodshed.” (Now a member of the Likud central committee, Dichter panders to the Temple Movement, promising its members in March that he would personally visit the al-Aqsa compound to “strengthen Israeli sovereignty.”)

Though Israeli public discourse about al-Aqsa is couched in a liberal discourse of “prayer rights,” the ideological core of the Temple Movement actually wishes to abolish the concept of prayer entirely. It aims instead to revert to what it considers the purest form of worship: animal sacrifice.

Indeed, the hardcore organizers at the heart of of the movement, the Temple Institute, often put on animal sacrifice events in public spaces in preparation for the construction of a Jewish temple  – or what would more accurately be described as a slaughterhouse of worship.

According to their teachings, ten to fifteen thousand animals would be sacrificed on the Passover holiday and priests would smear animal blood on the walls as it filled the temple’s central chamber and rose to the ankle. Jews who refuse who participate in the Passover sacrifice by eating a morsel of the animal flesh would be beaten to death.

As hundreds of Israelis toured the premise of the Al-Aqsa compound, several dropped down into prone position and began to recite Shema Yisrael, the daily Jewish prayer, before being brisked away by Israeli police. Another group of settlers sang HaTikvah, Israel’s national anthem, as they entered the compound. Palestinian security guards who protested were beaten and detained by Israeli police.

As it gains influence over the Israeli government, Temple Movement activities have fueled the flames of violence across the Holy Land. In 2015, Glick and his far-right acolyte, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, successfully lobbied Prime Minister Netanyahu to outlaw the Mourabitat and Mourabitoun, groups of Muslim worshippers who posed no physical threat to Jewish worshippers but who heckled settlers attempted to ascend to the al-Aqsa compound by shouting “God is great!”

The ban sparked clashes across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, with numerous incidents of Palestinians killed by Israeli police in the streets of East Jerusalem and at checkpoints in Hebron – most notably when Israeli medic summarily executed Abdel Fatah al-Sharif.

Palestinians incensed by the escalation of violence launched demonstrations across Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, sometimes attempting to stab Israeli soldiers. Those bearing knives, and those falsely seen as attackers, were typically shot to death, often execution style. Israel’s security establishment pointed to Glick and the Temple Movement’s activities as a driving factor in the violence.

With tension brewing again around Jerusalem, Israeli escalations at the Al-Aqsa compound and the rising power of the Temple Movement could spark a bloody summer of holy war. As one Israeli soldier recently remarked, “Every year, in spring you train. In the summer, you find out if it will really happen.”

Dan Cohen is a contributing writer at AlterNet.

The Death of the Republic

Posted on May 21, 2017 (Courtesy of Truthdig)

By Chris Hedges

The deep state’s decision in ancient Rome—dominated by a bloated military and a corrupt oligarchy, much like the United States of 2017—to strangle the vain and idiotic Emperor Commodus in his bath in the year 192 did not halt the growing chaos and precipitous decline of the Roman Empire.

Commodus, like a number of other late Roman emperors, and like President Trump, was incompetent and consumed by his own vanity. He commissioned innumerable statues of himself as Hercules and had little interest in governance. He used his position as head of state to make himself the star of his own ongoing public show.

He fought victoriously as a gladiator in the arena in fixed bouts. Power for Commodus, as it is for Trump, was primarily about catering to his bottomless narcissism, hedonism and lust for wealth. He sold public offices so the ancient equivalents of Betsy DeVos and Steve Mnuchin could orchestrate a vast kleptocracy.

Commodus was replaced by the reformer Pertinax, the Bernie Sanders of his day, who attempted in vain to curb the power of the Praetorian Guards, the ancient version of the military-industrial complex. This effort saw the Praetorian Guards assassinate Pertinax after he was in power only three months. The Guards then auctioned off the office of emperor to the highest bidder. The next emperor, Didius Julianus, lasted 66 days. There would be five emperors in A.D. 193, the year after the assassination of Commodus.

Trump and our decaying empire have ominous historical precedents. If the deep state replaces Trump, whose ineptitude and imbecility are embarrassing to the empire, that action will not restore our democracy any more than replacing Commodus restored democracy in Rome. Our republic is dead.

Societies that once were open and had democratic traditions are easy prey for the enemies of democracy. These demagogues pay deference to the patriotic ideals, rituals, practices and forms of the old democratic political system while dismantling it. When the Roman Emperor Augustus—he referred to himself as the “first citizen”—neutered the republic, he was careful to maintain the form of the old republic. Lenin and the Bolsheviks did the same when they seized and crushed the autonomous soviets.

Even the Nazis and the Stalinists insisted they ruled democratic states. Thomas Paine wrote that despotic government is a fungus that grows out of a corrupt civil society. This is what happened to these older democracies. It is what happened to us.

Our constitutional rights—due process, habeas corpus, privacy, a fair trial, freedom from exploitation, fair elections and dissent—have been taken from us by judicial fiat. These rights exist only in name. The vast disconnect between the purported values of the state and reality renders political discourse absurd.

Corporations, cannibalizing the federal budget, legally empower themselves to exploit and pillage. It is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries can hold sick children hostage while their parents bankrupt themselves trying to save their sons or daughters.

Those burdened by student loans can never wipe out the debt by declaring bankruptcy. In many states, those who attempt to publicize the conditions in the vast factory farms where diseased animals are warehoused for slaughter can be charged with a criminal offense. Corporations legally carry out tax boycotts.

Companies have orchestrated free trade deals that destroy small farmers and businesses and deindustrialize the country. Labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders have been defanged.

The Supreme Court, in an inversion of rights worthy of George Orwell, defines unlimited corporate contributions to electoral campaigns as a right to petition the government or a form of free speech. Much of the press, owned by large corporations, is an echo chamber for the elites. State and city enterprises and utilities are sold to corporations that hike rates and deny services to the poor. The educational system is being slowly privatized and turned into a species of vocational training.

Wages are stagnant or have declined. Unemployment and underemployment—masked by falsified statistics—have thrust half the country into chronic poverty. Social services are abolished in the name of austerity. Culture and the arts have been replaced by sexual commodification, banal entertainment and graphic depictions of violence. The infrastructure, neglected and underfunded, is collapsing.

Bankruptcies, foreclosures, arrests, food shortages and untreated illnesses that lead to early death plague a harried underclass. The desperate flee into an underground economy dominated by drugs, crime and human trafficking. The state, rather than address the economic misery, militarizes police departments and empowers them to use lethal force against unarmed civilians. It fills the prisons with 2.3 million citizens, only a tiny percentage of whom had a trial. One million prisoners work for corporations inside prisons as modern-day slaves.

The amendments of the Constitution, designed to protect the citizen from tyranny, are meaningless. The Fourth Amendment, for example, reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The reality is that our telephone calls, emails, texts and financial, judicial and medical records, along with every website we visit and our physical travels, are tracked, recorded and stored in perpetuity in government computer banks.

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The state tortures, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantanamo Bay, but also in supermax ADX [administrative maximum] facilities such as the one at Florence, Colo., where inmates suffer psychological breakdowns from prolonged solitary confinement. Prisoners, although they are citizens, endure around-the-clock electronic monitoring and 23-hour-a-day lockdowns. They undergo extreme sensory deprivation.

They endure beatings. They must shower and go to the bathroom on camera. They can write only one letter a week to one relative and cannot use more than three pieces of paper. They often have no access to fresh air and take their one hour of daily recreation in a huge cage that resembles a treadmill for hamsters.

The state uses “special administrative measures,” known as SAMs, to strip prisoners of their judicial rights. SAMs restrict prisoners’ communication with the outside world. They end calls, letters and visits with anyone except attorneys and sharply limit contact with family members. Prisoners under SAMs are not permitted to see most of the evidence against them because of a legal provision called the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA.

CIPA, begun under the Reagan administration, allows evidence in a trial to be classified and withheld from those being prosecuted. You can be tried and convicted, like Joseph K. in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” without ever seeing the evidence used to find you guilty. Under SAMs, it is against the law for those who have contact with an inmate—including attorneys—to speak about his or her physical and psychological conditions.

And when prisoners are released, they have lost the right to vote and receive public assistance and are burdened with fines that, if unpaid, will put them back behind bars. They are subject to arbitrary searches and arrests. They spend the rest of their lives marginalized as members of a vast criminal caste.

The executive branch of government has empowered itself to assassinate U.S. citizens. It can call the Army into the streets to quell civil unrest under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which ended a prohibition on the military acting as a domestic police force. The executive branch can order the military to seize U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists or associated with terrorists. This is called “extraordinary rendition.”

Those taken into custody by the military can be denied due process and habeas corpus rights and held indefinitely in military facilities. Activists and dissidents, whose rights were once protected under the First Amendment, can face indefinite incarceration.

Constitutionally protected statements, beliefs and associations are criminalized. The state assumed the power to detain and prosecute people not for what they have done, or even for what they are planning to do, but for holding religious or political beliefs that the state deems seditious. The first of those targeted have been observant Muslims, but they will not be the last.

The outward forms of democratic participation—voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation—are meaningless theater. No one who lives under constant surveillance, who is subject to detention anywhere at any time, whose conversations, messages, meetings, proclivities and habits are recorded, stored and analyzed, who is powerless in the face of corporate exploitation, can be described as free. The relationship between the state and the citizen who is watched constantly is one of master and slave. And the shackles will not be removed if Trump disappears.

 

One of the Most Important Videos You Could Watch

Figure 1A: Tommy Robinson is yet again in the firing line.

The video below is powerful and worthy of consideration. Major changes are afoot. Keep in mind that Tommy Robinson was arrested not long after this for unsubstantiated charges. Much of what he goes through he said at the Oxford Union but he gives new details. Understand that major changes are occurring in the United Kingdom.

I ask that the readers just watch the video, analyse it in detail along with the additional slides he has provided and answer this question, “What EXACTLY did he do wrong?”

 

Why Gender Matters

The following video demonstrates why certain jobs have always been gender-oriented. Certain jobs require certain strengths and abilities. It is not based on any patriarchal, socio-economic conspiracy. It’s based on certain facts of biology surrounding bone density, girth and muscle mass.

 

It is for this same reason that female boxing are not 12 rounds. It’s biology, not society.