A problem with metonymy

February 2, 2008 at 12:30 am (Arabic, Christianity, English, Hebrew, History, Islam, Judaism, Languages, Religion, Religions, Urdu/Hindi)

In the English language (and, in this specific regard, many other languages), “church” is a versatile word. It can refer to a particular building (or building style); it can refer to a particular congregation; it can refer to a particular denomination. So when someone says “the Catholic Church” (and here “says” is more important than “writes” because capitalization provides more clarity than the spoken word in this case), one can be referring to a particular building (St. Mary of the Angels Parish Church, perhaps), to a congregation (those that meet in St. John Cantius Parish Church), or to Roman Catholicism as a whole. The same applies to other denominations, almost all of which can be described as the “X Church” (the Lutheran Church; the Mormon Church; the Episcopalian or Anglican Church; the United Methodist Church; the Presbyterian Church; the Church of Christ, Scientist; the Orthodox Church; the Reformed Church; perhaps even the United Church of Christ). (Obviously this does not apply for everyone: exceptions I can think of are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, Pentacostals, Evangelicals, Christadelphians, Disciples of Christ. With Baptists, often “the Baptist church” refers to a specific building and/or congregation as there is no united Church of Baptists, each congregation being autonomous even in conventions or groups.)

But this is something only in Christianity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of Pakistan and its terrorism woes

July 16, 2007 at 2:53 am (Idiots, Islamism, Military, Pakistan, The United States, Turkish, Urdu/Hindi, World War III)

The recent operation of the Pakistani military government against the Red Mosque (لال مسجد, lāl masjid; Türkçe’de: Kızıl Cami) was a fantastic move. Although there were a lot of deaths — some of which was due to the military’s restraint — the fact remains that one den of terrorists has been flushed. And this den in heart of the capital of Pakistan, to boot.

What annoys me is the utter stupidity and idiocy of a variety of Pakistani entities. The Supreme Court of Pakistan condemned the campaign; the Pakistan Bar Council has called for an investigation; a key opposition leader has announced he will resign in protest; the expected riots and protests have swept through Pakistan.

Can someone explain to me how anyone can be opposed to the destruction of a den of terrorists? I am shocked that anyone would be so stupid as to support the Red Mosque and/or its militants and leaders.

The opposition leader — Qazi Hussain Ahmed (قاضى حسين احمد, qāzī husseyn ahmed; Türkçe’de: Kazi Hüseyn Ahmet), head of the Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (متحده مجلس عمل, muttahidah majlis-e amal; Türkçe’de: Müttahida Meclisi Amal veya Hareket Birleşik Meclisi), the pan-Islamist party — said he will resign during the next session of Parliament in protest of the military government’s actions against the Red Mosque. I say: Good riddance! Frankly, I think the entire MMA should be banned and its members arrested for disturbing the peace. Each and every one of these men have been responsible for fanning the flames of radicalism and militancy in Pakistan, which is a threat to Pakistan’s stability and security. Of course, they see their actions as part of a campaign to purify Pakistan of infidel influences. Well, someone should tell them that Zia-ul-Haqq (Türkçe’de: Ziaül Hak, Pakistan İslam Cumhuriyeti’n önceki cumhurbaşkanı) has been dead for a long time now, so the era of an Islamist Pakistan is over!

The usual players will undoubtedly come out and exploit this opportunity to erode the people’s support for Musharraf (Türkçe’de: Pervez Müşerref, Pakistan İslam Cumhuriyeti’n cumhurbaşkanı), playing along the usual like that Musharraf is the West’s faithful dog, doing its bidding, attacking innocent worshipers and students out of bloodlust.

See, the people are so blinded by Islamist propaganda and conspiracy theories that they have no idea what the actual situation is in Pakistan. I find it sad that we in The United States have a clearer picture of what is going on in Pakistan than those in Pakistan itself. All the time Islamist entities accuse the military government of planting evidence against them — such as ammunition and bombs and missiles and the like — in an attempt to eradicate “true Muslims”, which the West is trying to do. There is no Usama bin Ladin, nor did he ever exist. He’s a puppet created by the evil West. There is no Islamist terrorism: it’s all acts by the West to frame Muslims so the West can kill them. Or, if a Muslim were involved, he or she was undoubtedly paid by the West (or by Jews or by Israelis or by Zionists or by imperialists or by Christians or by Crusaders or by Freemasons…the list can go on and on and on) to do it so that Muslims can be framed.

Honestly, Pakistan is full of idiots.

The only way to save Pakistan from terrorism is to stamp it out. Every terrorist enclave should be flushed out. Close all the madrassas. Ban weapons in mosques and other places of worship. Ban the use of sermons to inflame hatred, extremism, or radicalism. Shut down their training camps, their publishing houses, their video production and distribution facilities, their ammunition depots. Ban all forms of terrorism and radicalism, and enforce this ban vigorously. Arrest and execute all clerics who defy this ban. Arrest and execute all politicians who defy this ban.

These militants are trained not to surrender. Expect major casualties. But then fight smart. Don’t shoot them: flatten them. Raze their buildings; fire missiles and rockets at their establishments.

This may sound drastic, but such is the situation. It’s quite dire, and I remain pessimistic. Even though the military might have the resolve and even though Musharraf may have his military’s support, the people — especially the opposition politicians and the militants and the Islamists — will not permit such a campaign to succeed. The people prefer to not see the threat right before them. And there is nothing we can do to make them see.

One good thing from the recent campaign is that an agreement may be effectuated between Pakistan and The United States’ Armed Services for the latter to go and destroy terrorist enclaves across the border in Pakistan. It will be unofficial of course, but we have the capability to strike at the terrorists in the northwest region of Pakistan; Pakistan’s military does not have the capability.

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The veiling of Muslim women

October 8, 2006 at 5:09 pm (Arabic, Blogs, Islam, Religion, Urdu/Hindi)

This is according to the best of my knowledge. If I make a mistake, please let me know and I will correct my error. (Thought I’d turn into a post what I left as a common in the comment thread of “Mr. Imam, Tear Down That Veil!” by RightWingDuck of IMAO.)

There are various forms of veiling among Muslim women. Here are some words and some forms of veiling. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reading and writing Urdu vs. Hindi

July 28, 2006 at 9:46 pm (Languages, Urdu/Hindi)

Reading Hindi is far easier than reading Urdu. This is because Urdu is based on Arabic, which is a script that indicates consonants for the most part. So when I come across a word in Urdu I have not come across before, I have to guess what the vowels may be. It doesn’t help that consonants used as vowels have no standard use: it could indicate a short vowel or a long vowel or a consonant. In some cases, pronunciation may not correspond exactly with the script. An example is the Urdu for “forgiveness”: according to its script (and the Arabic it came from), it should be pronounced as “mucāf”; instead, it is pronounced as “māf.” Read the rest of this entry »

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War between India and Pakistan: an important point

July 11, 2006 at 9:03 pm (Military, South Asia, Urdu/Hindi)

If it wanted to, India could invade and conquer Pakistan in a matter of days. (Of course there’d be guerilla resistance once that happens.) One reason why it’s good there hasn’t been a war. Nukes notwithstanding, India would beat Pakistan easily.

अगर उनको चाहीए तो भारत पाकिस्तान पे हम्ला करके दिनों मैं आसानी से जीतजा सकता है। (आम लोग मुज़ाहिमात तौ करें गे।) ऐक अच्छा वजह क्यूं अच्छा है कह जन्ग नहीं हूअ। “न्यूक्लीअर” हथ्यारों के बा वजूद भारत पाकिस्तान को आसानी से हरा सकता है।

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Bomb blasts in Mumbai / मुंबई मैं बम धमाके

July 11, 2006 at 8:07 pm (Islamism, South Asia, Urdu/Hindi)

In an apparent imitation of the terrorist attacks on the transportation system of London and Madrid, there were bomb blasts in Mumbai’s commuter rail. So far more than a hundred people have died. It is assumed that this could be the work of Kashmiri terrorists. If it isn’t their work, it could be the work of Tamil Nadu’s / Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers. So far no group has claimed responsibilities for these attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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For Urdu and Hindi(stani) readers

July 11, 2006 at 5:43 pm (Blogs, Personal, Urdu/Hindi)

السلام علیکم میرے عزیز مہمان! خوش آمدید بہ بیت “مصلحون”!
میرا ارادہ ہے کہ اردو میں بھی “بلوگ” کروں. کیونکہ میرا اردو کم زور ہے برائے مہربانی میرے زبانی غلطیاں کو معاف کیجیے

नमस्ते! आदाब! अस्सलामु अलैकुम!
बैत-ए “मुस्लिहून” (मुस्लिहून-नगर) पे ख़ूश आमदीद!
(यह हिन्दी नहीं है बलके हिन्दुस्तानी है। मुझे उर्दू आता है और हिन्दी पढ़ सकता हूं मगर बहोत संस्क्रिती हिन्दी मुझे नहीं आता है। वैसे पढ़ने मैं हिन्दी उर्दू से काफ़ी आसान है। इस मैं कोई शक नहीं।)
मेरा इरादह है कह उर्दू मैं भी “ब्लॉग” करूं। क्यूंकह मेरा उर्दू कमज़ोर है कृप्य मेरे ज़बानी ग़ल्तीयां को मुआफ़ कीजीए।

Update: A translation of the above.
First section: Urdu.
Assalamu alaikum my honored guests! Welcome to the domain of “Muslihoon”!
It is my intention to blog in Urdu as well. Because my Urdu is weak, please forgive my language-related mistakes.

Second section: Hindi.
Namaste! Adaab! Assalamu aleikum!
Welcome to the domain of “Muslihoon” (Persianized version supplemented with a more Hindi equivalent in parentheses)!
(This is not Hindi. In fact this is Hindustani. I know Urdu and can read Hindi but I do not know very Sanskritized Hindi. As it is, Hindi is easier to read than Urdu. Of this there is no doubt.)
It is my intention to blog in Urdu as well. Because my Urdu is weak, please forgive my language-related mistakes.

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