Saturday, February 11, 2006

Practical Islam: "When you think Afghan, think Klingon"

Molten Eagle once attempted a thought experiment to identify the Earthly nationality or counterpart for the major alien species appearing in Star Trek. So difficult was that to accomplish with credibility or otherwise, that no one seemed to have worked on it seriously. Moreover, I came to suspect the creators of Star Trek anticipated just such an effort might be tried, and intentionally thwarted parallels for the sake of political correctness.

Recently, however I found a curious letter at Jim Spickard, Professor of Sociology, University of Redlands (California). The writer had spent Navy enlistment " the Persian Gulf 'til the onset of the Iranian revolution" and a decade later "spent 5 years in graduate school (1990-1995) contemplating Afghanistan and adjacent mountain environs, and even was asked by my UC Davis professor to do a tiny bit of outsourcing for the CIA while I was working on my thesis at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London." The last sentence of his fourth paragraph is quoted in the title of this post.

Read the letter and draw your own conclusions. The writer was against the war, but clearly understood "...there is a serious effort afoot to establish a new pan-Islamic, multi-ethnic polity along the lines of the medieval Caliphate via a revolution in Saudi Arabia."

A more recent experiment involved seeking a parallel to Islamic behavior reflected in current events. This was accomplished informally through use of the game called "Pass-it-on," "Telegraph," or "The Whisper Game." It's a popular exercise for demonstrating the problems inherent in verbal communication. The message received and repeated by the last person in line usually bears only a passing resemblance to the original whisper. More insight (anti-submarine type CPO) here.

Basically, the 5 Islamic terms we tend to hear too often were used as the original whisper and participants (15 non-Muslim parents with college degrees) knew the goal was to deliver a translation of each term. Islamic glossary definitions are shown parenthetically. Whisper result is shown in green highlight:

Fatwa - (legal verdict) GERD

Hijab - (burqa, veil) Diaper

Imam - (leader) Nurseryman

Infidels - (nonbelievers) Adults

Jihad - (striving) Bowel Movement

A loose theme of the result might suggest that these Islamists behave like preschool children. Someone else can try it using muslim words for rioting, beheading, and 'peace be unto him'. Almost forgot, the Islamic word for hypocrisy is nifaq. I was surprised they even have the word.


At 18 February, 2006 17:26, Blogger Skippy-san said...

See, and I would have thought of the Muslim word as The Dominion. With Founders (Ayatollahs) Vorta (Imams) and Gem Hadar (every day terrorists...)

They serve the Founders

At 18 February, 2006 18:39, Blogger Vigilis said...

That seems like a nice fit, Skippy, really had not been aware of them: Dominion (Star Trek) Thanks.


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