Samstag, 1. November 2008

Osama makes music !

Freitag, 10. Oktober 2008

Riverbend goes Theatre!

Hello to everybody,

As I often mentioned, here in Germany they got a wrong idea, a out-of-joint picture of Iraq. Another proof is that Riverbend's blog was changed to a piece in a theatre in Germany (in German only).

I don't need to repeat that there is nothing similar remembering the Iraqis who died under Saddam. Iraq's movie "Schindler's list" is still in the pipe.

I always look whether an author of this vein has written something about Iraq prior to 2003. This is not often the case.

The writer "John von Düffel" who also wrote a piece "Born in the RAF" (The RAF cooperated with the Baath in the Seventies) seems to have no clue about Iraq, but when everybody is entitled to speak about Iraq, (but not the Iraqis, of course), when everybody feels the obligation to speak against the Bush, Blair and the good old Saddam times, well done.

Maybe, someone should tell Riverbend about this piece of theatre, for copyright reasons.

Honestly, I'm in such an anger about this guy, if I would have something to say, I would like to see him kidnapped like Eichmann and tried in Iraq for pleasing supporter of the Baath party or for being silent on the crimes of Saddam. In Germany, they have a law for this. What would happen if I start a programme like this but moulded on Germany with its past?

Donnerstag, 25. September 2008

What does it mean to be an Iraqi ?

First, I am happy to have passed the Great Latinum - skills of Latin Language - that includes the whole knowledge of Latin language and literature. And I passed it with good and very good results - according to the local system of marks. They make in Germany a big deal about this Latinum, I had to pass it at the local county administration! Verum gaudeo ut vos in lingua latina scribam, I would come back to a country older than Rome.

After reading the latest article of Ibn al-Hawazin Aboosi, it took me to ask what does it mean to be an Iraqi? And that's why I refer to his article because sometimes your own views and ideas get sharpened by just referring to them. So let's start the Great Quest of al-3uruqah

Just loo at his party title "The Iraqi Ummah Party", the choice of phrase is significant because nobody dares to voice the view that Iraq as a 'nation' (Ummah) by itself in such a flamboyant manner, basically, no Arab country ever uses the phrase 'Ummah' except when it describes the Arab Nation, the Arab countries are mere 'republics' or 'states', parts of the whole, and this is yet another substantial portion of al-Alusi's maxims, the underlying suggestion in his party's title is that Iraqi Ummah is something quite separate from the Arabic Ummah, an uneasy thing to sell (other examples include Phoenician Lebanon and Pharaonic Egypt).

Of course, he's right about this stuff. On the other hand, I add, the word Ummah is an Akkadian word, related to Arabic 3amm - public. But that's not the point, the point is that Iraq is the common house for all its groups - no matter how they do define themselves! And what's Iraqi is the fact that maybe they were Black slaves in other 'arab' countries, too, but just in Iraq, in Iraqi history they left the mark of the "Zunj". Not to speak from Portugese colonies in Southern Iraq or the man from Georgia, Piotr Vasili,
who went to form in Iraq the ICP by inspiring Fahd.

But what sets al-Alusi's Ataturkian ambitions aside is

I don't know if it right to compare both men because the ideology, derived from Atatürk, Kemalism is very chauvinistic and doesn't give any breathing space for all its minorities. Something Alusi is quite the opposite of it, because we all witness this ideology, in Iraq called Secterianism.

that he doesn't seem to have much stock to invest in all those theories that attempt to link Sumerians to modern-day Iraqi Arabs

I don't know what Iraqis are so fond of Sumerians, just because they are the oldest known people in Iraq, that shouldn't exclude all the other ones: Akkadian, Assyrians, Caldeans, Medeans and so forth. There were also people before the Sumerians, called Proto-Sumerians sometimes in science literature. Iraq is not especial because of the Sumerian, but because of the Sumerians, too. You can also check out the discussion of the Iraqi terms Aku and Maku in the wikipedia for this Sumerian maladaise.

As seen in this article, we the Iraqis don't differate with each other in terms of origin. And only the Iraqis still employ words their Akkadian and Sumerian ancestors used like boori. You can check out some of strange words in Iraqi dialect to check out how much Akkadian and Sumerian we still find in Modern Arabic or in the dialect of Iraq like mallah - sailor, yep, it's Sumerian.

What does it mean? There was and there is still an unbroken chain of oral linguistic tradition out of the times of Sumeria up to now. To put it so: The Sumerian mothers taught their children their language and then came the Akkadians. The Akkadian mothers taught their children their language and then came the Aramaens. The Aramean mothers taught their children their language and then came the Arabs. And we still find in our dialect those traces . Let's say it so: Our Iraqi tongue is a living museum. One proof for Iraqi ears: How do we call a turtle in Iraq ? reggeh, and only we in Iraq (not the other Arabs) called it so like our Akkadian ancestors did it: raqqu. Isn't it amazing? I could go on like this for days. There are so special things you just find in Iraq and that makes Iraq unique - and not one of several states in the Arab League (behind Egypt of course).

Iraq is in the middle of the cross roads of three continents - that can be a blessing or a curse, but nothing proves this more than the variety of languages Iraqi dialect words are from: Russian, Sogdian, Chinese, Persian, Turkish, Hungarian (Sopa - heating), Greek and so on (Latin of course too ;))

which often has very hostile anti-Arab connotations,

It is Arab nationalism that is hostile to every thing non-Arab, it's Arab nationalists who denounce patriots as Shu3ubis. From all the Chauvenist movements of the times, Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, only Pan-Arabism plays a crucial role in the current world order.

And for me, all this Arab stuff is just a big lie. Maku 3arab mu aku kalimat aku. It was Elie Kaddourie who gave the hint that Pan-Arabism was introduced in Iraq by Lawrence from Arabia (from where else) and Getrude Belle. To claim that all those people from the Ocean to the Gulf are one people is like claiming all the people from Ocean (Portugal) to the Black Sea (Romania) are Neo-Romans and who of us would compare the noble families of England with the Normans of William the Conquerer. The Arabs, Arab nationalists dream off, vanished a long time. What they mean, are the Arabs of the Islamic conquest, and that is the past. Shall I term the Iraqis now as Neo-Sumerians ?

again , al-Alusi seem to be driven in that direction out of practicality ; Skipping questions regarding the validity of an "Iraqi identity"
ِAnd the Baath party called every country qatr, literally (tear, water...) drops (of a whole, of course).

A community can think of itself as a community BECAUSE it wishes so. There is no need of linguistic, genetic, racial proof of such s

al-Alusi embraces it unquestioningly and by embracing Iraq as the foremost homeland, he seeks to follow a program that can successfully reflect the desires of the entire spectrum of "Iraqis", bypassing Sunni and Shi'i identification and for the first time truly treating everyone equally ; it doesn't take a while to figure out that undertaking the mission of building a truly stable Iraqi identity where religion occupies second place is not necessarily in the interest of the tyrannical Sunni Arab countries that surround it, who have helped fuel the sectarian war alongside Shi'i Iran, all sides would not benefit from a strong non-aligned Iraq rising from the ashes. Therefore, Al-Alusi's only reasonable partner is the West.

As we have all learned in the movie "Three Kings" necessity comes first! And we have to ask ourselves what identity suits us? There is a common bond between all Iraqis, I call 3uruqah, because even here in Germany I notice that Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds have more in common than Turkish and Iraqi Kurds, in fact they are much more different. Maybe a hundred years ago not all the people wanted to live in this state called Iraq. But after those 100 years, we all share common experiences, good ones and bad ones, to link us with each other.

His unnecessary showmanship in visiting Israel publicly seems to solely convey this explicit fuck-you approach to Pan-Arabism and Pan-Sectarianism, he says this to Iraqis: I am of a different breed.

That's something I would call "sophisticated punk politics".

This approach is appealing, while I identify as an Arab, and have nothing personal against fellow Arabs, but the interference of Arabs in Iraq has always been misguided and negative, completely oblivious to what Iraqis want, and is as harmful as Iranian interference.

This Mithal al-Alusi stint led me thinking a lot about the proper position and identity we must have, between Iraq, the Arabs, Palestine and America. Until very recently, I had a soft spot for Arab Unity, but on thinking it over I've come to the conclusion that its best we worry about forming an Iraqi identity first before pondering ideas of what is in the interest of "Arabs".

The idea of childishly integrating vast countries together with vastly different economic, cultural and religious values seems only to have much weight in sentimentality.

For the founder of Arab nationalism, Husri, Arabs are because of a shared language and a shared history. Iraq doesn't share a history with Egypt or the Maghreb. Iraq's history of the past 500 years is linked to Iran and Turkey. Iraq doesn't share a history with Yemen. This approach is a model for, what one would call, selective history.

And the shared language doesn't exist in reality, it exists because of books, newspapers and, of course, because of Islam. When "Arabs" are born, they start to speak their local dialect, not the Modern Standard Arabic, the actual lingua franca in the Middle East. And every linguists, every mother will tell you: A child starts first to speak, than it starts to write or read. What Arab Nationalists did and do is to teach children a language, alien to them, and then to claim all the class constitute a nation because of the language the teachers taught. That is not an approach to reality, rather its modelling reality to one own wishes.
And for example the Iraqi dialect, it is a melting pot of all languages, especially the Semitic trinity, Akkadian, Aramaic and Arabic. To neglect this is to deny one's own identity, in my eyes.

My parents who are products of Arab nationalism of the sixties, that says all the programme from Naser to Baathism, still recall that in their childhood even Egypt wasn't considered an Arab nation, now it is its mouthpiece. Not to speak from Algeria, Tunisia or Morooco where you find also stiff resistance against the Arab culture imperialism.. I mean, I'm young, maybe we will experience that the USA or EU will be part of the Arab nation.

We experienced Pharaonism in Egypt and Phoenicism in Lebanon which is much more baseless because you won't find traces that easy like in Iraq. It's not just the language, look at the mosque of Samarra - the style, the building, the material - it's an Islamic Tower of Babylon!

Arab nationalism is nothing more than secularized Islam. You won't find Arab nationalist accounts of history about Philipus Arabs, the Arab Roman Emperor or the pre-Islamic Arab kingdoms in Southern Irak like the Lakhmids or about the Arabic queen who was sympathetic to the Manicheans. You won't find it because they consider that the Arabs' greatest deed was Islam. And that's all. Full stop. No further discussion or you are a jew, a zandiq, a persian, one who is bad for the Arab nation, that says for Islam, that says for God!

On the other hand, a shot at an "Iraqi" identity, however muddled and baseless historically that identity is, is quite possible. Indeed, it is known that Iraqi Shia and Palestinians share a mutual hatred, but are Sunni Iraqis any more loving of other Sunni countries? I've never met an Iraqi Sunni who identified with non-Iraqi Arabs more than he identified with his Shi'i countrymen. If anything, the similarities between Sunni and Shi'i Iraqis suggest it to be more doable than, say, a union between Sunni Jordan and Sunni Palestine.

Abbas proves to be a good observer. You can prove his words right if you consider that both sects intermarry whereby they don't marry Iraqi Jews, Christians or Mandaens (or rarely) etc.

To some comments Abbas posted in the news:

The elaph article is a hoax because in my eyes it is a contradiction in itself (contradictio in adiecto in Latin, I really annoy my reader with Latin) because a people rejecting democracy will quickly fall back to tyranny. And the idea that Alusi will impose Iraqism to Iraq cuts short because after all it were the Arab nationalists that imposed this slogan. I quote from "Republic of Fear" : Iraq "was a test case for pan-Arabism as it confronted for the first time the social realities about which it had such a firm view.“ (Page 151) and "Husri’s memoirs testify to the fact that Iraqis in the 1920s were „alien“ to pan-Arabism." (Page 214) and "Much of the violence in modern Iraqi politics is attributable to the structural incompatibility between political goals and the confessional distribution of Iraqi society.“ (Page 215). There is no better proof for this than the mass graves. Conclusion: Alusi won't need any violence to make Iraqi identity real!

To the rest of Abboossis article, I, Galgooli, will just say: Maybe Iraq will be alone, but rather be alone than being accompanied by these thugs. Maybe Iraq should keep an Isolanist approach and maybe Iraq should have relations with Israel because of lack of "friends" in this region. Maybe we should take an Autarky approach. Maybe, but Iraq's policy should not be dictated by pervert armchair Ideologists in Cairo or Tehran.

Some time ago, while reading about the Manicheans, I came across to the three Gnostic questions: Who are we? Where are we from ? Where do we go?

Coined to Iraq, the questions are: Who are we Iraqis ? Where do we come from ? And that will make it possible to answer the third question.

Arab nationalists referred to the first two questions by "you are arabs" and you come from the Arabian peninsula. That is wrong.

To start with answering those three Gnostic questions, I would like to paint the landscape of Iraq: In the last night before the Qadisiya, all of Iraq, we all were Jews, Christians, Gnostics, Mandaeans, Manicheans, Iraqi Hindus (they existed too) Buddhists, Zorastrians etc. And all our divisions, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Jews, etc. are a result of Iraq's Islamization. That is why you find Shia who share some views with Manichaens and Mandeans like the place of paradise and are all offsprings of the Gnostic landscape prior to Islam in Iraq. This is why Sunni Islam in Iraq took also a Sufi approach etc. This is not my idea but of Ali Wardi. And as more we will search in the tongue of the Iraqis, in their customs (it is for example known that people in the marches follow a lifestyle, similar to the one of the sumerians) in their religions, in their history etc. we will find an answer to the first question: Who are we ? And the answer is: We are Iraqis. And that's just.

It were the Pan-Arabists who wanted to turn their dreams in reality that became a nightmare for all Iraqis. It's now the task to turn reality in dreams by starting to answer those three questions.

There is a lot to write and to think about so I hope at least one Iraqi will start to reflect of what I have described. Because you can take a map and search for another country called Iraq. I bet you won't find it ;)

Dienstag, 9. September 2008

Several Shiite villages

About Putin's Shiite villages and his comparision to Georgia:

Samstag, 12. Juli 2008

Time of the Turncoats ?

The first German member of a government arrived yesterday in Baghdad.

Wow, maybe that was a surprise for the German public, but it wasn't a surprise for readers of, where it was announced several days ago - due to the new found friendship of other states to Iraq.

Maybe they had to repeat the mantra "secret for security reasons" ad nauseam to keep up the negative image German media likes so much of Iraq.

What to say from an Iraqi standpoint about this trip?

Well, it's very much telling that Germany's economy minister came to Baghdad, not the Foreign minister, a staunch supporter of the foreign policy of Schröder (or as my father called him: Saddam Schröder), quite the different thing from what his French colleague did. Maybe he is a bit busy with another American.

Here are my conclusions:
1. Iraq is not a market for German drill machines or other stuff of "dual use" like the gas factories provided by German companies. Not to forget this case. And after all, it was German-state sponsered poison gas that led to the conviction of several companies, but not for crimes like selling WMD to a dictator, no, not all. Companies like KOLB GmbH were punished for breaking a trade law - and that's not a crime, just an infraction. You know, killing Iraqis is in German eyes not a crime, just an infraction.
2. The German public should come to terms with the fact that Iraq is not the avantgarde of arabism nor the pin-up girl for Germany's own anti-imperalistic sentiments. Guys like this one should stop applauding the resistance! ( A very good review of this man from an Iraqi Christian is found here, but only in German.)
3. The last point is hard to swallow for the German Socialdemocrats, a party that fought the Nazis at least with a bit of courage, but turned finally under Schröder to a party for protection of dictators as seen in this case.
4. Interstingly all the right-wing bashers of the 80's who ran on a platform of contempt against asylum seekers (Iraqis, too), seem to be more ready to cooperate with Iraq. And I don't think only for business interests or due to American policy, maybe they came to term with the idea of a "greater Middle East".
5. Last but not lest, all the state should stop making lifes for Iraqis difficult in Germany, stop putting them in camps for asylum seekers, stop making trouble about residency and and and . I read about a case of an Iraqi-German boy, called Samir al-Ayash, who lived with his Iraqi father and wanted to go to his German mother but was refused German citizenship, because his mother (not his father) is German. I'm sure, Iraqis of all colours will return sooner than later to Iraq, even Iraqi Christians.

==> Iraqis, beware of the Turncoats !
  • Unless there is a true understanding between both peoples, not crossed by fantasies of 10001 nights and Mein Kampf, Iraq should avoid Germany politically and just accept the following:
  • Iraq should learn as much as possible from the Germans.
  • German companies can make their money for this, but Iraqis shouldn't be depend on them.
  • When the Germans' job is done, please leave our country. This is the saying we're hearing since we came here.
  • To cut it short: Just like the Chinese way, copy and paste until Iraqis know it by themselves.
  • Iraqis should be very aware that their country is the ideological waste disposal site of Germany, in any regard. So Iraqis should take the useful from Germany and send back the useless things like resisting the empire or reading "mein kampf" or or or.
  • We all should be aware for all these Aflaqs, Todenhöfers or Tariq Ali's who want us to send to fight for Palestine, Great Arabistan or Kashmir and all the empty slogans Iraq was crucified under the past 50 years. After all, there were times here, where money was collected in German universities for the "Iraqi resistance". Or just stop thinking Saddam was the best man for Iraq.
  • Iraq should win against Germany in soccer. They won't forget this lesson for at least 50 years, he he he.
There are a lot of things at odds between Germany and Iraq, I don't know any Iraqi in Germany who likes to be in Germany. It's not that I'm asking for the return of this truly Iraqi building or that. But a lot of people, especially Academics, the so-called elite, the intelligentisa, have to reflect about their attitude

Why turncoats? One can see that Germans are sometimes ready to make business with the devil and still being extremely ethical at the same time to the point of hypocricy.

P.S.: I'm starting to wonder whether the German minister had to keep his trip to Bagdad secret not for security reasons on behalf of Iraq and Iraqis but out of fear of Germans and Germany.

Montag, 23. Juni 2008

An ancient Iraqi religion

Manichaeism was an antique religion, to be honest an antique world religion. It extended along the Silk Road up to China and throughout all Spain, Southern France and Adria. It was founded by Mani, a man born in Babylon, nowadays in Iraq, on 14th april 216. (There’s a very good historic novel by Amir Maalouf, called "The garden of lights", a Manichaean term I’ll refer later on. I’ll get this book in a German translation in about 2 weeks, so I’ll tell you more. Here is it by amazon )

This man conceived, almost alone or we are believed he did it alone, a religious system out of many religions in this part of the world with a striking message, a sophisticated complexity and an almost omnipotent influence till today. (I shall remind you about the Word Manichaean in a political sence or in discussions.)
Mani was born in Babylon, said to have being born to a Parthian noble family or as slave boy. (Parthians are the ancestors of the -called Fayli Kurds in Modern Iraq.) His real birth name is said to have been Corbicius.
There are three contradicting stories about his origin:
He was born to a Parthian noble family, to Pattik and Mirjam. His father went from Hamadan to Ctesiphon / ﻦﺋﺍﺪﻤﻟﺍ / ﻥﻮﻔﺴﺗ near Baghdad. He had a religious vision in one of the many pagan temples in ancient Iraq. This vision appeared to him three times and told him to stop drinking, eating meat and to stay away from his wife or any other woman. He afterwards joined a baptising sect, called the Mughtasilaﺔﻠﺴﺘﻐﻤﻟﺍ whereas his wife was pregnant.
The other account tells about sects before Mani’s birth who already had Manichaean ideas and that Mani was a little slave boy who was bought by an old woman who already had certain aspects. She is said to have been converted by a man called Terebinthus who "tried to fly off from the roof but fell down and broke his neck".
He was the slave boy of the mentioned Pattiq who followed a heresy in the eyes of his baptising community who excluded him. They called Pattiq "vessel of evil" in Aramaic "mana d’bishta". so the son was called so. (Iraqis still now the term mana in their dialect. It’s in Iraqi plate = ﻥﻮﻋﺎﻣ)
Whatever may be right or a historic fact, is still in doubt, but all three accounts unites in one founding moment of Manichaeism. When Mani was about 12 years old, his ‚cosmic twin‘ (in Nabatean Arabic it’s al-Tawm, I didn’t found the term in a dictionary of Classical or Modern Arabic) spoke to him and gave him the mysteries of the world. This cosmic twin appeared to him again in the age of 24 years old, then he told him to reveal this religion to the world. In the meantime, he often disputed with the elders of his sect, telling them about the real salvation, that is in his eyes the seperation of light and darkness. He rejected baptisim because it was not useful for the spirit or body and he questioned the use of baptising food. (E.S. Drower, a Mandean researcher, who lived in Iraq a very long time, tells us in her book about a Shia clergyman who also baptised his food in ‚dirty‘ water, but he still did it. I also should add that this baptising sect were numerous in Pre-Islamic Iraq and the Mandeans nowadays are the last tiny rest of this old ancient world.)
Mani was tried by a religious trial of his sect (they first tried his father but he refused to take responsiblity for his son’s actions) and Mani "quoted Elchasai, the founder of the sect, who in visions heard the water say that the constant ablutions were hurting it, the earth say that the plow was hurting it, and the bread say that cooking was hurting it, and he therefore stopped washing and plowing and told his disciples to stop baking bread."
Back to Mani, he openly and publicly revealed his religion at the age of 24, on the same day of the inauguration of the Sassanid King Shapur, an important person in the spread of Manichaeism). His revelation was that he was the paraclete (holy ghost) Jesus spoke of and that all religions contained a certain truth about the ‚only‘, the Manichaean religion, but were all falsified and that Mani has come to tell the pure essence of all this religions, what’s is it about human existence and the evil, hence Mani is the seal of all religions. (I won’t hint now to some similar thoughts in Islam about Islam said by Muslims, let’s just stop and state that Mohammed and Mani considered themselves seales of the prophets.)
Shapur, a violent Persian king, was astonishingly tolerant toward Mani and allowed him to spread his religion throughout his empire. Mani went before to Central Asia, India, China, the Gulf Coast, Persia and also founded many Manichaean communities along the Two Rivers in Iraq. Shapur intended to kill Mani when Mani visited the king, but he was surprised by the character of Mani and supported him. Even some members of the Royal family and the nobility turned to Manichaeism.
Mani had a tremendous success in the East because he convinced people that his revealation is no contradiction to previous religions like Zoroastrianism or Christianity or later Buddhism, but its fullfillment. To say it so, in his mind, there was one original truth poured out in the world religions in small chips.
Despite his success among populace and nobilty he had also dangerous enemies, namely in the Zoroastrian circles, who envied his succes, but also feared for the existence of their own religion. One of the driving figures in that story is Kerdir, a Zoroastrian priest, who, in power, later ordered the destruction of all non-Zoroastrian temples and the killing of those religions like Christians (who were always under suspicion of being agents of Rome. BTW, one of the main reasons why Iraq never was part of the Persian empire was that Iraq had a strong Jewish population who ,of course, hated the Romans.) or Buddhists and Hinduists in the Persian Empire (Also in Iraq there were Buddhists and Hinduists communities, imagine that! After all the Hindukush is the Mountain of the Hindus.)
Mani had many years to live and spread his religion throught the Persian Empire, he also sent disciples to all over the world, namely to the Roman empire. But he suffered a cruel death because he was accused by Zoroastrian clergy and thrown to jail. In jail he died of sufferings and torture, his body was "stripped off his skin, filled it with grass, and hung it up at the gate of Gondeshapur, still known as the Mani gate". A different account is said that the king Wahram (after Shapur) was sad about two dead people, his son Mani wanted to cure him and his jailer who was bribed by Mani when he was in prison and who was latter killed in ‚interrogation‘, so the king ordered the execution of Mani by skinning, then the body was "hung before the gates of the city, his skin to be inflated by chemicals, and his flesh to be given to the birds."
I should also mention that we have very many different accounts about Manichaeism because this religion was spread in many languages and there are certain historical layers of a story and its different adaption. There are certain canonic books, partly by Mani himself, but Manichaeism was destroyed so much, it is still hard to reconstruct things The term Manichaeism also refers to Aramaic "the living Mani", in Arabic ﻲﻧﺎﻣ ﻲﺤﻟﺍ , Mani is also said to be the founder of Persian painting up today.
what is it about his religion?
Manichaeism is about its own myth, the Ur-myth, and the instructions forced upon mankind because of this myth. This Ur-myth is the answer why there is evil on the world and how to deal with it.
In eternity, in primordial times, there are two areas, two empires, one of the good and one of the evil.
The reign of the good is ruled by the Great Father (in Arabic: ﺔﻤﻈﻌﻟﺍ ﻮﺑﺍ, in Aramaic Abba d’rabba, similar to the Arabic words ﺏﺭ and ﻮﺑﺍ, of course) and the other area by the King of Darkness, I call him the Prince of Darkness. The Good Kingdom is in the north and the Evil Kingdom is in the south. (Mandaeans have a similar description of the position of paradise and hell, and the mentioned Lady E.S. Drower tells us about her Iraqi Shi’a caddy boy (Yeah, what an idea, British ladies playing Golf in Iraq.) who also tells her that Paradise is in the north and Hell in the south and even my father confirmed that he also heard this view when he was a child in Iraq.))
So there are two principles (Manichaeism is also called the religion of the two principles): "Light vs. Darkness, good vs. evil, life vs. death, intelligence vs. stupidity, beauty vs. ugliness, peace, calm, order vs. war, disturbance and chaos.
And because Light consumes Darkness, the reign of Good, the Garden of Lights (that’s the way Mani described his paradise) squeezes the reign of Darkness from west and east until the reign of Darkness feels like a wedge and because there is eternal war in the realm of Darkness, it‘s one of its characteristics, one moment the Prince of Darkness perceived the light near the border that seperates the two empires and said: "That which I sought far away, I have found close by!" And so the danger arouses because the forces of Darkness went over to attack the Kingdom of Good.
(You see, while writing this, this post resembles more and more to fantasy. That stuff is great stuff for a novel like "Lord of the rings" J )
Being aware of this danger, the Great Father sent his own self in form of the First Man (in Arabic: ﻢﻳﺪﻘﻟﺍ ﻥﺎﺴﻧﻹﺍ), born by the Mother of Life to fight the Prince of Darkness. Because his soul consists of his five sons, who are his protection, the Forces of Darkness, the Archtons, the Prince’s sons, quickly perseive him and is consumed and numbed by them. So a part of the Light’s ‚body‘ is in the Archtons.
But that was the original plan of the Great father because he wanted that happen. He had to send himself to overcome the Darkness. (Similar to the Matrix Movies when Neo decides to go to the "Maschine city".) As Manicheans later put it: The Light will affect the Darkness like poison in a cake or a dog’s bite to a man. That’s the way Light wins over Darkness by re-poisoning the Darkness which poisened the Light in form of the First Man.
That was the first step for victory of Darkness.
Then the Great Father evokes another form of Light that is the Friend of Light (in Arabic: ﺭﻮﻨﻟﺍ ﺐﻴﺒﺣ) who creates the Great Builder who creates the Living spirit, father of his own five sons. The living spirit and the Mother of Live call for her son and this call "cuts open the darkness like a sword, revealing the shape of the First man". The First Man answers and the Living Spirit gives his right hand to the First Man to help him. Later that became a ritual move of Manichaeans. All three go back to the "Garden of Lights", point of origen, and the First Man is the first rescued one from the abyss of darkness. But the First Man, consisting of light, left a bit of the light in the darkness. So the next task is to bring the rest back by the creation of world.
The Living Spirit was also called "Demiurge" and his five sons were the Keeper of Splendor (Splenditenens), the King of Honor (Rex Honoris), the Light Adamas, the Glorious King (Rex Gloriosus) and the Carrier God (Atlas). All have the task to destill the remaining light out of the Darkness. So they kill their enemies, the Archtons, make out of their body the material of the worlds( bones = mountains, their flesh and excrements become the earth etc.). The heaven is made by their skin and the stars are some bits of the remaining light, imprisioned in Darkness. The Living Spirit creates the sun and moon, container of much Light, by showing his true form (in Greek they called it morphe) so the Archtons vomit the light out of their bodies. So the moon and the sun are created which are very important for human’s afterlife.
(If you think, we touch the border of disgusting, then just wait.)
Having settled the stage for the ultimate fight between Good vs. Evil, the Father decides to start the redeemptions by creating the Life in the World. Because Life is Light and Light is stolen in the bodies of the Archtons, the Great Father evokes the the Third Messenger and other ‚enummerations‘ of himself. They create the world in order to destill the light out of it.
Life, according to the Manichaeans, is brought in by the seduction of the male archtons. The Virgin of Light shows her beauty to the male archtons and, pinned down to the sky, they have to ejaculate their sperm, that falls in the wet part of the world, creating the Sea Monster (ﺓﻭﻼﻌﺳ ? ) "in the image of the King of Darkness". Later it is destroyed by the Light Adamas. The sperm on the dry land become trees.
The creation of carnal life
Because of his beauty the Third Messenger makes the female archtons, who are always pregnant from eternity and always make love constantly, to abort their fetus. But their Mother the, let’s say call her; Dark Queen, is afraid that light might escape so she conceived a plan to make material reproducing itself, making life. She makes love with one of the sons of the Prince of Darkness and to quote: "She instructs Ashaqlun, the son of the King of Darkness, to tell the abortions to bring him theirs sons and daughters (!) and he will make a figure of the same form. So they do, he eats the males and gives the females to his companion, Nebroel. Then Ashaqlun and Nebroel have intercourse, and Nebroel becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son they called ADAM. Next she bears a daughter, which she calls EVE. ADAM is unconscious/lies in torpor, having forgotten where he came from and his own divine [Light] origin.
Adam lies in torpor, not knowing where he’s from and full of light. He’s in danger and so the Father sends one of evocations, Jesus the Splendor, to rescue Adam. [I should add that this Jesus has nothing to do with the Biblical Jesus. This one is the origin of the Manichaean one, but they have two different roles.] Jesus teaches Adam about his origin and so Adam has knowledge [in Greek: Gnosis]. Adam now knows that his origin is of Light, imprisioned in Matter and his task is it to liberate the Light. Jesus is later replaced by several creations like Mani’s ‚cosmic twin‘ etc. On the other hand, Eve is seduced by a skin for the first sex and creates so mankind. So she spreads the bits of lights on more creatures in the world, corrupting the plan of the Great Father. (That’s why Manichaeans were keen to tell the story of her future torture in hell.)
This knowledge about the creation of the world is all you need to be a Manichaean. Once you know, you ought to live with this knowledge and its implication upon every man. Or as Socrates put it: Knowing something is good means doing something good.
Why was Mani treated so differently ?
Manichaeism proclaimed that every age and every country had its revelation about this One Truth. (Manichaeans called their religion: Teaching of the Light, Teaching of the Three Principles and Three Ages (that are the purity, before the war, the time of war, that’s now, and after the war.) and so on). But every prophet who was sent by the Great Father had an antagonist who corrupted the original meaning. In the same way, light is spread among the creations of Darkness, knowledge is spread among the books of religions. Jesus had Judas, Budda had his uncle Devadatta and Zarathustra had Zamasp, one of his followers. Every prophet had its corrupters, BUT Mani came to show the real Truth in clear words without cursing or denouncing previous religions, because he put it: I add my knowledge to the previous knowledge like streams add their water to rivers. Or. "Wisdom and deeds have always from time to time been brought to mankind by the messengers of god. So in one age they wer brought by the messenger called Buddha, to India, in another by Zardusht [Zarathustra] to Persia, in another by Jesus to the West. Thereupon this revelation has come down, this prophecy in this last age through me, Mani, the messenger of the God of truth, to Babylonia".
But this very approach implied the greatest danger and heresy in the eyes of the clerics of different religions: They had to be considered as falsifiers in the service of Evil. And what was more dangerous: The Manichaean missionaries had tremendous succes to convince the populace (or to trick as enemies would say) that they have not to change their religion, not to convert, they had just to add the Manichaean ‚layer’ on it. As one Chinese emperor, knowing this, put it in edict about Manichaeism (735): "The doctrine of Mar Mani is basically a perverse belief and fraudulently assumes to be a school of Buddhism and will therefore mislead the masses."
Mani, planning all this, formulated why his religion is superior to any other religion:
"The religions of the forerunners was in one land and one language. Them my religion was able to be revealed in every land and in all languages and be taucht in distant lands.
It’s right to say that Manichaeism was a world religion, you find texts in a lot of languages like: Syriac, Greek, Coptic, Parthian, Sogdian (an ancient Persian language), Uigurian (a Turc people) etc. (That’s why studies about this religion are so difficult, they require a lot of interdisciplinarity.)
Earlier religions were pure as long pure leaders lived as role models. But then they were corrupted by commandments and evil things. "But my religion will stand firm and through living teachers, bishops, elects, and hearers and through its wisdom and deeds it will endure until the very end."
"That the previous souls, whose deeds were not fulfilled in their own religion come to my religion and it will be itself the door to their release."
Mani’s revelation of Good and Evil is clearer than other ones in other religions.
I just repeat it: "As water will be added to be water and becomes much water, so were the ancient (earlier) books added to my writings and became a great wisdom the like of which was not proclaimed (hitherto) in all ancient (earlier) generations."
[There are more points, Mani formulated, but eventually lost.]
Manichaeans clergy were also very good in ‚translating‘, in transporting their religious essence into different religious circunstances, so there’s a whole variety of gods and names, but a stringent principle.
So Manichaeism provoked from the very beginning strong resistance from other religions.
Mankind created, what’s man’s job?
Manichaeism seperated the world into two sorts, the sinners who don’t know, and the Manichaeans, among the Manichaeans there were also two main groups: hearers and elects. The job of mankind is to destill and collect all the remaining light until the End of the World.
Mankind can rescue the world by obeying the commandments of this religions. But only the elected ones, those who choose to live a Manichaean life, can go to paradise, but the hearers have the chance to be reborn again, and maybe to be reborn again as an Elected one.
BTW, the Arabic term ﻖﻳﺪﻧﺯ - heretic was the original term of this Manichaean group. ﻖﻳﺪﻧﺯ is Eastern Aramaic (Iraqi – Aramaic) for Arabic ﻖﻳﺪﺻ with shadda. (Iraqis sometimes tended to turn shadda in the combination n+Consonant like ﺱﻮﺒﻧﺩ for Arabic ﺱﻮﺑﺩ ‚nail‘).
For the different groups there were different requirements. For the hearers, that are:
"rejection of false gods, as well as false opinions about God. that the Father of Greatness gave life and death and that the King of Darkness is a god"
purity of speech
no meat, no alcohol
proper talking about the prophets and in general
"marital fidelity, sexual abstention on days of fasting"
"helping those who suffer and abstaining from greed"
being careful of false prophets
not to hurt unnecessarly ("His ten fingers must not make the Living soul suffer."
not stealing etc.
no magic etc.
The hearers had much more regulations like :
not lying, no violence, no impurity, no meat and no goods. And they had the three seals: signaculum oris, seal of the mouth, no meat, just a vegetarian life; signaculum manuum, seal of the hands, no practical work like construction of agriculture, just religious matters, and signaculum sinus, seal of the heart, no children, no wife, celibacy.
One can imagine that an Elects life was very hard, because they just hadn’t a vegetarian life, they had to fast two days in the week and one whole month in the year. Because material was carnal and evil they weren’t allowed to eat during daytime. And Augustine told us that they just eat fruits and fruit juice or melons because they believed everything containing water also contains light. And only the Hearer can serve the Elect at diner. The Elect can’t receive food from ‚impure‘ hands. So the elect turns into a container of light, a destillation apparat. After death, the elect goes to paradise with his amount of light along the Milky Way (in Manichaen called ‚column of light‘, in Arabic: ﺢﺒﺼﻟﺍ ﺩﻮﻤﻋ), whereas the Hearer returns back.
At the end, there are differenting accounts of the end of world, there is said to be a prison for Darkness and a Judgement day for mankind where the Hearers are rescued etc.
The life in a Manichaean community consisted of fasting, confessions of sins, prayer, singing hymns, maybe also baptization, almsgiving and so on. Both communities lived a religious symbiose because the elected ones had to rely on the Hearers for means of livings whereas the Hearers relied on the Elects for their own salvation and redemption.
Because Manichaeism had an abhorrent view of sex, they also encouraged their people not to produce to many children because everyone of them is a ‚prison‘ of light, until he turns to an elected one.
What happened to Manichaeism?
As I told you, Manichaeism was very much feared: There is no much use of religion that tells you that having children is a sin (man is a prison of light until man liberates it), that making agriculture hurts the earth, that hunting is a sin (killing is a sin in general), that war is Evil, paying taxes, obeying laws and so on is bad. Mankind has to work towards its own nihilation. As King Wahram put it: "This man has come foward calling people to destroy the world. It will be necessary to begin by destroying him before anything of his plans should be realized."
In historical terms this led to the killing of Manichaens in the Roman Empire, mostly through the work of the Church father, Augustinus, who was 9 years a Manichaean hearer or by the Abbassids in Iraq or by the Chinese and after all by the Mongols in their gigantic Asian conquest. The last remaining parts were up to this century in remote areas of China.
For Iraq, it’s interesting that Manichaeism, Mandaeism and Shi’ism, at least, shares some religious views. That’s due because those three religions were offspring of an ancient intellectual movement, called Gnosis. (If you read the Matrix movies article in wiki, you’ll see that this movie also works with gnostic ideas, so my hint to Matrix was not for nothing ;))
Manichaeans in Iraq turned to the religious opposition of the Abbasids, and that were the Shia and other extreme (ghalut) sects like the Qaramits whose origin region was once a Manichaean land by heart. Mani is also told to have founded communities in Maysan (ﻥﺎﺴﻴﻣ). It were the islamized Manichaeans who spread Islam in Iraq later and more imporant, there were for the Turc peoples in Asia the first door to the religious thinking of the Middle East where they latter emigrated.
The Mandeans opposed Manichaeism, in contrary they see it necessary to have children, even two wifes or more (contrary to the Shia), and they were also respected by the Abbasids.
My personal opinion is that I admire Mani for his intellectual depth and stringence of his religion, on the other hand, it’s hard for me to believe that the world is made out of the abortions of evil demons. Second, as a consequence of the negation of reproduction, woman must have a bad standing in this religion, because they can give life, but in my eyes, the Middle East doesn’l lack another Misogyny . On the other hand, Manichaeism itself ‚poisened‘ even those, who fought against it. Augustinus had the teachings of hell and paradise and purgatory, clearly that’s Sinner and Elect and Hearer. Shi’a is said to have it’s own teachings about mankind from Manichaeism and also the teachings about the purity of its imams. I talked about the term ‚Manichaean‘ in a non-religious sense, we call a Manichaean who has a clear sense, sometimes ad absurdum, about good and evil. Even Martin Luther was called a Manichaean at the beginning, in a time, when there were hardly any Manichaens. Remaining parts of the Manichaen thinkings is found among South French sects like the Catharians or in Bosnia the Bogomils .
One could also conceive the story of Fatima and Hussein as Maria and Jesus or the Mother of Life and the First Man. In Iraq there is still the name Abd el-Zahra, servant of Zahra, that is Fatima, but also the planete Venus, one planet full of light in the firmament.
In fact, there are a lot of strings and in my opinion, Manichaeism is one of the missing links in the question: How turned the Ancient Iraq, the Iraq of Babylon and Sumer, to the Iraq as we know it today? One crucial destinction is clearly the Islamic invasion but political changes turn out to fulfil quicker than religious or ‚folklore‘ changes in the populace’s mind. It’s allowed to say that there was no cut in Iraq‘s history but a flowing.
I hope you enjoyed reading albeit it’s long and sometimes complicated. But I excuse myself for the Germanims and some missing quotations marks.
Almost most of the quotation is found in the following script. Print it, it’s worth reading:

Check also the relating wiki articles.

Samstag, 19. April 2008

Where can I get Iraqi movies?

Where can I get Iraqi movies?

I would like to know where I can either purchase or download Iraqi movies.

Especially the old ones, I mean those like 'I'm Iraq' or "min al-Mas'ul' or so on. I also would like to know where to get a movie with the Iraqi actrice "Zeinab" who died some years ago in Swede.

I'd be grateful to everyone who can help me.

Sonntag, 23. März 2008

Towards the Pagan Republic / نحو الجمهورية الجاهلية

Here's a link about current developments among Iraq's youth. And here in Arabic.

Good to see that I'm not alone. Of course, Europe's media are not interested in changing their patterns of thinking. For them, Iraqis are just a mob of fanatics.

Samstag, 22. März 2008

"If Iraq wouldn't have been attacked, it would have been Venezuela."

In time with the start of the war I found a statement that shows the madness of the entire left. It is the title of the post and was made by the "representative of the Bolivarian Republic in Germany" Cesar Mendez. He said:

The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela was also won in the street of Baghdad. If the iraqi resistance wouldn't have bound US troops there, Venezuela would have been attacked.

Maybe we now know why Iraq doesn't come to peace.

Here is the source for everyone who can read German:

Mittwoch, 5. März 2008

A short review of “The valley of wolves“

First I have to admit that I’ve never seen this movie, because I could imagine what was coming up.
Well, what’s the movie about? Turkish soldiers arrested and one is taking revenge. And, of course, all stereotypes present in Turkish minds are displayed on its length and depth.
What most missed, is that the title of the movie "valley of wolves" is already a good hint for what was coming. It’s not just the wolves, that says Americans, Kurds etc. and all who hate the noble Turk. Wolf, in Turkish kurt, is just another name for Turk. After all, it was a grey wolf that is said ,by Turkish nationalist accounts, to have led the way to Turkish nomadic tribes from Central Asia to Turkey. The Turkish Fascists are called the Grey Wolves and even we Iraqis know the wolf / kurt in the Iraqi expression قزالقرط "red wolf". So if you consider the valley to be Iraq / Mesopotamia (wadi al-nahreen / Valley of the two rivers), then the title "valley of the wolves" is just a synonym for "Turkish Iraq".
(Just put the word "bozkurt" in youtube, this will save you to watch this movie.)
About the stereotypes, well, they are what is actually in many minds of a lot of Turks: bad Americans, organ – stealing Jews, Arab traitors, Kurd "stooges" etc. What I really missed in the accounts of the movie, was an Armenian. (By the way, it’s a shame how Israel, USA and other countries act on the issue of Armenian genocide.)
What led me to this conclusions, what led me to write about this movie I didn’t see. Well, I grew up with a lot of Turks, observed them and their nationalistic, even absurd views. Some samples:

  • Have you ever known that Mohammed, Prophet of Islam, was a Turk?
  • Have you ever known that only Sunni Turks are really Muslims?
  • Have you ever known that Ali (Yes, Imam Ali, the one buried in Kerbela) is buried alongside with Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic?
  • And take care of the Osmanic empire which was ‚larger than the US today‘. Yes, they still take pride in it.
  • I remember, of course, being spat during the Iraq elections which were held in Europe, too. In his eyes, I shouldn’t support democracy but better fight Americans in Iraq (that says bomb myself like so many other fools).
  • When I was younger, we had a school festival and I took some Iraqi meals and all the mothers of the Turkish students were a bit suspicious or refused to eat it because they weren’t sure about the meat. Of course, I did buy the meat in a Turkish shop, where everything was halal. But do you really think, they believed me?
  • Of course, you can't talk with them abouth the issue of "mountain Turks" (that are the Kurds).

I shared with you these things because they touch issues like religion or politics. In my mind, some things are out of the space and sometimes they behave more Christian than Christ himself in regard of issues like meat or Islam.
With the Turks it’s just so often in the Middle East, a case of twisted identity. I don’t say that all Turks are so, in contrary, they are a lot of reasonable ones, like Orhan Pamuk, but they have no voice in Turkish societies. (I remember also a friend from childhood, whom I told what’s in Iraq like and he asked me after the liberation if it was really a liberation for me. Well, ke knew and was compassionate). And that’s why I think that those incursions in Iraq are just a drug for Turks themselves, to pretend themselves they are doing something. And because of all written above, from what I observed and from my lectures in Turkish history, I would predict that either the Turks will start a war with the Iraqi Kurds, because the Turkish nationalists can’t stand a Kurdistan doing well and free, or the Turks will end up in a civil war of any kind (coup d’état, classic civil war, militias or something like that) because Turkey faces the same problems in regard to the European Union like the problems the Osmanic empires had to deal with – and it couldn’t. The problems were how to preserve identity while entering the Modern age. In fact, Turks took refuge in genocide and a rigid nationalistic and chauvenstic policy.

At last, because Catharsis admits to know too little about Turkish history, I advise to read the book Ali al-WARDI: Sociology of Nomadism, because it describes the impacts of Turkish rule on Iraq and another book from another Iraqi is Elie Kedourie, England and the Middle East: the destruction of the Middle East , because it describes the problems and structures of the Osmanic Empire and the initial ways of the Great Powers to divide the Middle East and the actual realization of those plans.

Catharsis' link: