Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 am

greentara wrote:Just a reminder that most Indians were converted by force to Islam centuries ago by the moguls and it was not uncommon for masjids to be built ontop of Hindu temples.
Same thing happened in Greece, in terms of Christianity, with Christian churches being built on top of Ancient Greek temples. Does this mean that Greece is not a Christian country or that Greeks are not Christian?
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby yegyal » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:26 pm

Today is the anniversary of Hiroshima.

Nothing else to add, but I just thought that fact might bring a little perspective to a thread titled "Small bomb hits Indonesian temple" in which people are arguing that terrorism is worse than military actions.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:09 pm

Yes, well, I kind of find that unlikely, but anyway...


My sister is a community voluneter with the Lesbian community. There are huge pride events here in Canada. People march and complain about, for example, Putin, but no one has taken up the rights of sexual minorities in Muslim countries as a cause- I ask here point blank. "There is the anti-vodka brigade but nothing about the people being hung for sodomy." She agreed that this was true, again this was all in the context of the conversation with the Saudi man who I mentioned above.

So you are saying that the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechenya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, Tamil Sri Lanka, etc... and the funding of dictatorships in various 3rd world countries are morally superior actions, and that those opposing these actions are morally inferior?


Does "opposing" mean strapping bombs to oneself and blowing up a bus, or driving planes into office towers, Greg?

I don't like the funding of third-world dictatorships either, or false pretenses to overthrow regimes like non-existent WMDs. However, the same people who decry American actions in Afghanistan and Iraq ask why the US is not involved in Syria- it is a little ironic.

There is a possibility that if the military occupation forces were not there in the first place that the terrorist actions would not be taking place.


I doubt it, Isreal alone would be fuel enough for the fire of this fundamentalist terrorism. And while I think the modern state of Isreal behaves reprehensibly, the Jews of Isreal have just as valid a claim to the land as the Palestinians historically (see your Sri Lankan example above).

Because Mecca and Medina do not have indigenous Hindu or Buddhist populations whereas India has an indigenous Muslim population?


And why is that? Why do no Muslim countries have indigenous Hindu or Buddhist populations, especially considering that Afghanistan, for example, was once home to a vibrant Buddhist culture? Or is that question too uncomfortable?



As for not having worship centres of other faiths in Saudi Arabia, it has more to do with Saudi policy on religious freedom than anything else:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_freedom_in_Saudi_Arabia
Children born to Muslim fathers are by law deemed Muslim, and conversion from Islam to another religion is considered apostasy and punishable by death. Blasphemy against Sunni Islam is also punishable by death, but the more common penalty is a long prison sentence.

Moreover, the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited.[1] The Saudi Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) enforces the prohibition on the public practice of non-Muslim religions.


The Government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services, although some come under other auspices and perform religious functions in secret. Such restrictions make it very difficult for most non-Muslims to maintain contact with clergymen and attend services. Catholics and Orthodox Christians, who require a priest on a regular basis to receive the sacraments required by their faith, particularly are affected.


I wonder why there are no Buddhists or Hindu places of worship there, despite the large migrant worker populations in Saudi Arabia from India and Thailand, for example. Could it be because of these draconian policies?
Last edited by JKhedrup on Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby greentara » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:46 pm

j khedrup, "I wonder why there are no Buddhists or Hindu places of worship there, despite the large migrant worker populations in Saudi Arabia from India and Thailand, for example. Could it be because of these draconian policies?" Well you've answered it yourself....of course thats the reason.
I don't mind a country that retains it's traditions and faith based cohesion and doesn't cave into the latest passing fad but some Islamic countries are totally rigid and unbending in their views.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby greentara » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:54 pm

Greg, Yes Christian churches were built on top of Ancient Greek temples. Christianity and Islam have always needed to dominate and show whose 'top dog' You can clearly see the battle for souls taking place in Africa between these two great religions right now, as we speak!
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:04 pm

Which is exactly why dharmic religions like Budddhism and Hinduism are at risk. Traditional Islam, and Christianity in its pure form, advocate that conversion is the only way to save souls. And Islam functions not only as a religion, but also as a political system. The Saudi man I spoke to said this is something that Westerners simply don't understand. Islam is not simply a personal religious faith, but also a political and judicial system. To not understand that context means that we will not understand the current tension between the Western and Islamic worlds.

Personally, if the Dharmic traditions are at risk of disappearing (which I think they may well be), I will speak in their defense, but never advocate violence. The truth of the matter is that according to the texts of Islam, Christianity and Judaism we are idolaters and false believers. So conservatives of these faiths will not respect the rights of our dharmic communities. That is the bottom line.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:11 pm

Does "opposing" mean strapping bombs to oneself and blowing up a bus, or driving planes into office towers, Greg?
Yes, it unfortunately includes actions such as these.
I don't like the funding of third-world dictatorships either, or false pretenses to overthrow regimes like non-existent WMDs. However, the same people who decry American actions in Afghanistan and Iraq ask why the US is not involved in Syria- it is a little ironic.
I never asked this question, but I'll take the bait. Ironic is the fact that America (and the coalition forces) claim to have invaded Iraq (where the dictator was installed and kept in power by them for decades) and Afghanistan, in the name of freedom and democracy, but do not intervene where people are actually trying to bring about freedom and democracy. I'm sure the US would be quite happy to invade Iran in the name of democracy but not Syria (Egypt, Israel, etc...). Ironic ain't it?
I doubt it, Isreal alone would be fuel enough for the fire of this fundamentalist terrorism. And while I think the modern state of Isreal behaves reprehensibly, the Jews of Isreal have just as valid a claim to the land as the Palestinians historically (see your Sri Lankan example above).
They may have a valid claim to live in the land, and share political and economic power with the Arab Palestinians, but they have no valid claim in owning and running the land exclusively. Anyway, if you read the bible, you will find that the original Jewish tribes actually invaded Palestine (they were nomad tribes living in Egypt), around the time of Moses, conquering and killing the indigenous populations. So, historically speaking, the claims to validity are completely invalid.
And why is that? Why do no Muslim countries have indigenous Hindu or Buddhist populations, especially considering that Afghanistan, for example, was once home to a vibrant Buddhist culture? Or is that question too uncomfortable?
Not uncomfortable in the slightest. Afghanistan also had a huge Greek population (originally invaded around 300BC) for a long time. It was destroyed by (in temporal order): The Scythian Sakkas, then the Chinese Yuezshis, then by the Persian (not Muslim yet) Sassanids, then by Muslim Arabs before being completely destroyed by the Mongols. Oh, did I happen to mention it was a Buddhist empire too? Anyway, the answer is impermanence. Anything that is compounded is bound to decay (or be destroyed). Human folly. The eight worldly dharmas. etc... But I thought that this would be obvious.

What happened to the Ancient Greek religions? Destroyed by Christianity.

What happened to the Ancient Egyptian religions? Destroyed by the Romans, then by the Christians, then by the Muslims, then by... and samsara just keeps on spinning on!
I wonder why there are no Buddhists or Hindu places of worship there, despite the large migrant worker populations in Saudi Arabia from India and Thailand, for example. Could it be because of these draconian policies?
Saudi Arabia is not the entire Muslim world. Anyway, up until about 10 years ago, it was not legal to build a Buddhist centre in Christian Democratic Greece. Athens currently has a huge Muslim population, due to the influx of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc... and yet they have not allowed for the building of a mosque yet. :shrug:

PS All religious systems are also political systems, that is due to the fact that they are social systems.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:16 pm

Interesting discussion, thank you, Gents. Good to put things in perspective and try to see things "from the other side." But also good not to shy away from looking at the theological support for this phenomenon.

On a positive note you may want to take a look at this (from from our local news):

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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:44 pm

One day The Hodja was walking around in the market place. He saw a bright-coloured bird for sale for 12 gold coins. Hodja was amazed. He approached the crowd gathered around the bird and its seller.
`How can a bird be so expensive?' he asked the people watching the bird.
`This is a special bird,' they explained, `it can talk like a human being!' This gave Hodja an idea. He went straight to his home, grabbed his turkey and brought him to the market place. He stood near the man selling the parrot.
`Turkey, for sale, ten gold coins!' he yelled.
`Hodja Effendi, how can a turkey be worth ten gold coins?' the shoppers protested.
`There is a bird there for 12 gold.' insisted the adamant Hodja.
`But Hodja Effendi, that bird can talk like a human being.' the people tried to reason. But Hodja was unbending.
`And this turkey can think like a human being.' he countered.
http://www.readliterature.com/h010420.htm
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:09 pm

PS All religious systems are also political systems, that is due to the fact that they are social systems.


I am not sure this is such a valid argument. There are certain Christian sects who attempt to rely on the Bible exclusively as their guide in social and political matters (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses), but the Bible has never been truly used as the basis for any government, unless you count Vatican City or the monastic community of Mt. Athos. Rulers using the monarchy system or right-wing politicians in the states have tried to use Christianity to legitimize their rule, but the there is not much discussion in the Bible on how to establish a political system. Think the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family etc.

Islam's scriptures, on the other hand, lay out very clear parameters on how to establish a political system, and the religion lays out clearly a system of law and parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_aspects_of_Islam

Unlike Christianity, Islam does not separate religion from state, and many Muslims argue it is apolitical Islam not political Islam that requires explanation and that is an historical fluke of the "shortlived heyday of secular Arab nationalism between 1945 and 1970."[19]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamism
In the Middle East and Pakistan, religious discourse dominates societies, the airwaves, and thinking about the world. Radical mosques have proliferated throughout Egypt. Book stores are dominated by works with religious themes ... The demand for sharia, the belief that their governments are unfaithful to Islam and that Islam is the answer to all problems, and the certainty that the West has declared war on Islam; these are the themes that dominate public discussion. Islamists may not control parliaments or government palaces, but they have occupied the popular imagination.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:15 pm

Judaism has it's own entire system of law as well.

Don't know if/why one would argue that modern Zionism is an expression of it, but the concept sure does exist outside Islam. While Islam is in the limelight now (maybe for good reason), there are plenty of examples of trans-national political organization based on religion and scripture.

In the Middle East and Pakistan, religious discourse dominates societies, the airwaves, and thinking about the world. Radical mosques have proliferated throughout Egypt. Book stores are dominated by works with religious themes ... The demand for sharia, the belief that their governments are unfaithful to Islam and that Islam is the answer to all problems, and the certainty that the West has declared war on Islam; these are the themes that dominate public discussion. Islamists may not control parliaments or government palaces, but they have occupied the popular imagination.


That's actually a great quote, because it begs the question - why have hardline Islamic movements gained popularity, is it something intrinsic to Islamic culture, the result of alienation and a desire to "win back" something perceived as lost (which is very similar to many 3rd world liberation etc. movement,s also with bloody histories), or are both the nature of modern Islam, and these factors involved.

I'm willing to admit it's probably both, the trouble is..any time we talk about "what Islam is like" we are talking about this decent chunk of humanity, you can try and pretend they all do the same thing, and support the same things, but they don't. Even within "Islamist" thought there is a range of beliefs, though I grant plenty that we might find repugnant.

Further, if we are going to talk about Islamist movements and governments and what is wrong with them, we have to draw a line somewhere..is it possible for there to be an acceptable version of an Islamic state, what would make one? Certainly if you just want to complain about non-secular governments that are bad to relligious minorities, we can find alot of examples of that outside of Islam if we look. Especially if we were to dispense with the somewhat false division beng made here between religion that promotes violence, and supposedly non-religious ideology (political, ethnic etc.) that promotes violence.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:00 am

Some Muslims believe there is a 'holy war' between the godless-atheist West and Islam, that the former is bent on destroying religion and traditional Muslim culture by the imposition of what they see as alien and fundamentally godless values. Although I totally and completely abhor and repudiate their repulsive violence and utter disrespect for the sanctity of human life, I do understand why they think that, and I don't think there are any easy solutions to it.

I have found two very interesting essays on this difficult subject written from a Buddhist perspective. One is David Loy's Terror in the God-Shaped Hole: A Buddhist Perspective on Modernity's Identity Crisis - be warned, not an easy read. Another is Zoketsu Norman Fischer The Violence of Oneness in response to the 9/11 attack. Both very deep reflections on the complex relationship between identity, religion, and modernity.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby plwk » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:36 am

On another note....



To all Muslims, Happy & Blessed Eid Al-Fitr tomorrow, 8th Aug 2013
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby greentara » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:17 am

Sufiism is wonderful but mainstream Islam is too unbending. In hinduism the mundane and the sacred are more fluid ,coming as purusha-prakriti. Buddhism also emerges with fluidity but without the baggage of the the caste system.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:50 pm

I'm willing to admit it's probably both, the trouble is..any time we talk about "what Islam is like" we are talking about this decent chunk of humanity, you can try and pretend they all do the same thing, and support the same things, but they don't.


I agree completely. We do have Indonesia, as mentioned above, as an example of a pluralistic, rather progressive Islamic society. We also have examples in Islam such as the Sufi tradition and the Ahmadiyya movement as examples of progressive traditions within the Muslim religion.

However the growth of fundamentalism within the Islamic world is a real concern... While most countries are veering towards secularism (debatable whether this is good or not), many Middle Eastern societies are veering towards extremely fundamentalist beliefs.

Western exploitation may well have played a part in this. But Westerners, to speak frankly, exploited most of the world. Why have movements advocating terrorist actions overseas not become a part of the political landscape of the Viet Nam, Southern Africa, South America etc? I would say it is linked with some of the aspects of jihad contained within the Islamic scriptures, some Islamic scholars say the real Jihad is within oneself, but many others do say it is a concept regarding the external enemies of Islam.

It is very important that this discussion of Islam in the modern world take place (like the one happening in Catholicism right now). The Gulf States and the Arabian Peninsula are strongly petroleum based economies. At the moment because of the world's greed for petroleum resources there is a great amount of money flowing into those countries. However alternative sources are being discovered (dirty as they may be), other forms of energy are being considered, and the amount under the ground if finite.

If the Conservative Islamic world is not integrated somehow into the broader global community, when the petroleum money stops flowing there will be increased poverty and desperation,and I fear the conflict playing out now will worsen.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:15 pm

I can see where you're coming from, I still think though that this concept that militant Islam has somehow reacted in this really unique way to imperialism is short sighted, look at the Khmer Rouge, or MIlitias in Colombia massacring whole villages and stuff like that (often trained by my country!), both related in unique ways to western imperialism, and both guilty of atrocity on the same level. I'm sure we could find others if we liked too. People go to Islamic fundamentalism today for the same reason people go to other ideologies (like third world Communist liberation, or right-wing ideology in Colombia) that give them hope - perceived righting of wrongs, and hope for material well being.

Anyway the point is, others have reacted with nearly indiscriminate violence both in the support, and opposition of Imperialism, so you're looking for things unique to this Islamic terrorism, violence alone ain't it. Personally the only unique thing I see is that they are exceptionally good at the "propaganda of the deed" bit. Is it related to the religion..only in the sense that the religion is also a part of various civilizations, it's hard to point to the theocracy thing as unique, since other religions also have had this in the past, and again ..arguably some still do. Again, i'm not sure what you'd call modern Zionism, maybe on a line between ethnic and religious governance, but it is undeniably similar in some ways.

I don't think Islam is guiltless by any means, but there is much more complexity there than just what is or isn't written in the Koran. Some sort of Islamic reformation might help to lessen the appeal of fundamentalism a little, but whenever there are people willing to do stuff like that, there are usually things in place other than religious proclamation and belief that are keeping them going. So I think you onto something with the poverty angle, but the scriptural angle is a weak one, it becomes a chicken or the egg thing.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:28 pm

Both sides of the debate eloquently presented:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh34Xsq7D_A

The speakers include Zeba Khan, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Doulas Murray.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:37 pm

Judaism has it's own entire system of law as well.


Sure, no argument here. Judaism and Islam are strikingly similar in many ways. And both the Arabs and Jews are very closely related racially/genetically.

I remember the Jewish kids in my school got offended when I mentioned this but at least to my untrained eye they similarities in physical characteristics are notable.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:14 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Some sort of Islamic reformation might help to lessen the appeal of fundamentalism...


That is precisely one of the reasons Islam is difficult to reform. The scholars keep a very proprietory grasp of the fundamental texts and their interpretation. Whereas in the West, the Christian tradition and the secular powers were engaged in a debate through which both sides had to evolve, refine and develop their outlooks (for better or for worse). That is how such cardinal concepts of the seperation of church and state, equal rights for minorities, and many other things we take for granted in the Western world, developed through history.

Another aspect is the role of critical biblical scholarship which forensically examined the Biblical texts and attempted to ascertain historical evidence for and against its contents. I am not familiar with all the details, but it is a process that has been going on the West since the 19th century,

I don't think Islamic culture has ever been through similar processes. I recall an article some time ago about a revisionist scholar who was attempting something like the Biblical 'critical studies' approach to the Koran. (One of the texts he was examining concerned the source of the idea that the virtuous are given '77 virgins' when they reach the afterlife. He thought there was evidence that the word translated as 'virgins' might actually have originally been something else altogether - etymollogically, he thought that the word was for a type of raisin which was considered a rare delicacy in the ancient world. Some mix-up.) But basically he couldn't get anything published, he was effectively silenced by the hierarchy. As I understand it, to study the Koran formally, you must be male, and must read it in Arabic. And I don't think 'interpretive liberty' is much encouraged.

Anyway now the gulf between the 'modern west' and the traditionalist side of Islam is now so vast, and the distrust so great, it is hard to see how it could ever be bridged. I would have thought that if you could find a way to 'engage the moderates' (see the Fatwa on Terrorism) and try and start a dialog, that might be one feasible approach, and I'm sure that there are attempts. But they tend to get drowned out by the conflicts involving 'Islam v The West' and the regular terrorist atrocities that animate the daily news bulletins.
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Re: Small bomb hits Indonesian temple

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:00 am

JKhedrup wrote:
Judaism has it's own entire system of law as well.


Sure, no argument here. Judaism and Islam are strikingly similar in many ways. And both the Arabs and Jews are very closely related racially/genetically.

I remember the Jewish kids in my school got offended when I mentioned this but at least to my untrained eye they similarities in physical characteristics are notable.


My grandmother stopped talking to me for some time after I told her that Muslims and Jews (and Christians for that matter) are all worshiping the same god of Abraham.
It's definitely a nerve for those of Abrahamic religions that have intense hatred for the other(s).

Jewish people are not one ethnic stock, but I know what you're talking about.
Middle Eastern Jews and Iraqis/Arabs can look similar because they do share similar ancestry. But then there's people with the Jewish ethnic designation that are positively European in their features because they're pretty much 100% European ethnicity. Jewish ethnicity is weird in that it only has to do with the mother's mother's mother's etc. mother and so the father's can all be something else. So I figure I'm less than one percent Abraham and 99% something else, which somehow makes me Jewish ethnicity.
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