My node(s) in the making.
Untitled Currently, almost 1/3rd of the world population shares a single belief, Nothing is worth of worship but Allah and Muhammad is the messanger of Allah. This is the basic belief that makes a person a Muslim. Your typical American such as myself, after hearing this fact, may say something to the effect of wtf! I know I did.
5 years ago I was saying, "Why in the world would so many people submit themselves to such a ridiculous religion?" Obviously, something made me change my mind. Something attracted me to Islam. That is a story for another time. What I would like to discuss here is, why Islam seems like such an absurd relvgion.
Was, Why I don't hate Osama bin Laden. dembones has recommended I add it to my Osama bin Laden node. I think osama bin laden is too long, so this write-up will sit here for a while.
mblase recently dropped me a message asking how, as a practicing muslim, I can defend a known terrorist such as Osama bin Laden. It would have been nice if I could have just replied to his message, but I decided not to for two reasons.
1. 23 people have down-voted my Osama bin Laden write up with no apparent explanation. Therefore, there must be others wondering the same thing.
2. The sheer size of what I would like to say exceeds that of your typical msg.
So here we have it.
First off all, I don't think Osama bin Laden had anything to do with the destruction of the World Trade Center. If you take a look at mblase's write up on Osama bin Laden he gives a very nice breakdown of the terrorist actions that he has been linked over the past several years. He has admitted to all of them except the first bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. Jaez later on in the node takes the words out of my mouth. I think our accusations are complete rubbish. Osama bin Laden never even heard of the guy who performed the bombing prior to the date of the bombing. Now, if we drop the idea that Osama bin Laden planned the first bombing of the World Trade Center and take a look at the other terrorist activities that he has been accused of we realize two things:
1. They were all in so called muslim countries, which is in accourdance with my original statement that Osama bin Laden wants muslim countries to start acting it, and he wants the U.S out of muslim countries.
2. Aside from WTC events, he's admitted to every other terrorist act that we accuse him of.
Another plan that he was making, which I have recently found out isn't common knowledge is that Osama bin Laden planned to assassinate Bill Clinton when was in Northern Africa. Not when he was here in America and would have been a much easier target. It seems to me that Osama bin Laden doesn't want anything to do with American soil. He's trying to clean up the soil where the muslims tread. Why all of a sudden would he break off from his normal routine? It doesn't make any sense to me.
I don't even want to talk about it, but I feel like I need to mention, that much of the evidence that has been found in this so-called investigation seems pretty fishy.
First we find the car these terrorists rented within hours. How'd we find it? The professional terrorists got into an argument with somebody in the parking lot. After the explosion the person reported it. That was conventient. We soon find an arabic flight manual in the car. So now we are saying that the pilot looked over his flight manual and said "Ok, press this button, then this one...ok got it." Then put the flight manual back into the glove compartment? Anyone who saw the footage saw that both of those planes where flown by extraordinary pilots. Especially the second one, which slammed into the tower while banking. I've played Microsoft Flight Simulator, that's not easy! Ok, bad joke, sorry. Additionally, if you needed a flight manual, wouldn't you bring it with you?
Another thing that was reported was that a piece of luggage that was supposed to be on the flight that crashed was found. It contained a Qur'an and a flight instruction videotape. Why in the world would a terrorist who knows he is about to blow up the plane he is boarding check baggage is beyond me. Additionally, why does he have a flight videotape? Perhaps he is going to watch it on the flight?
The last bit of wonderful evidence that was found was one of the terrorists passports...six blocks away. I think people bought this one because there where so many papers that flew from the WTC. People seem to over look the fact though that very few papers flew from the WTC when the plane hit. Most of them flew when the towers collapsed. The reason for that is quite simple. The plane, the passengers, the pilot and everything on the affected floors was incinerated. Except for that passport of course. Yeah, right.
It seems to me that not only did Osama bin Laden blow up the World Trade Center, but this looks like a setup. I don't know who did it, but it sure doesn't look like Osama bin Laden. But he is after all a know terrorist right? Right! Guess what, so was President Truman. He was our leader in terror. August 6th, 1945 was the date, Japan was the place. Hiroshima, be there or be square. Cool, we bombed the fsck out of those Japs right? That's one way to look at it. The other is that we wiped one-hundred and forty thousand lives from the face of the earth, and they are still dying. Isn't radiation pretty? We wiped out another seventy-thousand in Nagasaki. At least we got back for those 2000+ that were killed at Pearl Harbor.
Lets not even get into the the discussion of slavery.
Terror is a fact of life. Anywhere there are disagreements there is terror. Osama bin Laden is a terrorist and so is America. It seems to me that our government is always screwing with somebody. Then we find out a few years later that it was happening, but by then it's too late and we continue with the excuse "That was in the past." I think not. America has a large hand in killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of muslims overseas. This isn't coming from Connie Chung. I've seen what we are capable of. I've spoken to the families. It's repulsive. We aren't the nicest country in the world. It's not everyone else's fault, the media is lying to you. Kill Your Television
I can hear it already "If you hate America then why don't you get out?" No, your mistaken. I don't hate America. May God Bless America, cause that is the only thing that is gonna get us outta this one. We have done some pretty screwed up things in the past. We're doing some pretty screwed up things up now. We will probably do some pretty screwed up things in the future. I hate the fact that we have a hand in doing these things. I, and we all, need to try and do something to change that. Sure voting is one way, but that has failed us for the last 200 years, and will probably continue. The best way to make a change is through education. If you've gotten this far, then I've succeeded in my attempt to provide a bit of education. Back to the topic at hand.
So in my mind Osama bin Laden, through his terrorist actions abroad, he is only trying to preserve his religion. I think our government is wrong this time. They are the ones with military bases in the Middle East. They are the ones worried about America's 40% cut from every dollar spent on gas in this country. They are the ones providing Israel with funds to buy weapons to kill muslims. Ever see what a Desert Eagle does to a Palestinian boy? While we are at it, let's blame the United Nations. They are the ones that literally kicked Palestinians out of their homes, moved them to another part of the country and dropped the Jews in the middle of a very hairy situation. Of course, we are the ones that said we would protect them...but that was in the past right? We are talking here and now, right? God bless america.
I guess the natural follow up to this node is Why I like Osama bin Laden, but I'll just quickly answer that right here and now. I don't. I don't know the guy. I'd have to meet him and probably spend a couple of months, if not years, with him before I could form an opinion about a person of his complexity, and that will probably never happen. But if it did...if I was able to spend time with "The Prince". If I was able to sit with "The Amir". If I was able to accompany this master mind in planning one of his acts of terror, if I found that he killed a single innocent person...I would take his head off in the name of Islam.
Was My Hajj Experience then Hajj, I'll probably put it in a March 13, 2001 when I finally finish it.
About a year ago I get a phone call from this guy who just moved here from Saudi Arabia. He had just moved to Buffalo so that he could attend Dental School at SUNY Buffalo. He needed a computer, and got my name number from another person in the Dental School. No problem. We determine that he needs to get a computer from the accursed CompUSA. I go with him to purchase the computer. After that I spend the night at his house setting up Arabic Enabled Windows, Arabic Office and America Online. After that I spend another couple of hours showing him how to use the computer. In the middle of all of this he asked me if I had ever made hajj. "Nope." He asks why. "Don't have the money." No problem he says. He says that he knows the son of the King of Saudi Arabia and he can get them to give me an invitation. It all sounded fine and dandy to me. No sweat off my back. At the time I didn't think it would come through, but what the hay. My friend, his name is Feraz, contacts me a couple of days later. He tells me he needs a copy of my, and my wife's passports. No problem. It was almost the hajj season already so he was in a big rush. At the time my son was only 8 months old, so my wife didn't want to go that year. I tell Feraz this. No problem. We put off the trip till next year (2001).
11 months go by, and no word from Feraz. I figure the trip is off, until I get a message from him one day on my answering machine. He tells me he needs to talk to me right away. I try to call him back, but his number seems to be disconnected. I jump on my bike and take a ride over to his house. He gives me the 411. It seems now I have to write a letter to Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd asking him to invite me to make the hajj this year. We were running out of time and the fact that I am the quintessential procrastinator didn't help. I gave him the letter about two weeks before the hajj season. He was pissed, to say the least. A couple of weeks go by and I finally I get a call from Feraz that I should be expecting a call from some dude from Saudi Arabia. This is where things start to get interesting.
Over the next few days I get three calls from Saudi Arabia. The first was from some Saudi Arabian woman who spoke next to no English. It took about 20 minutes to figure out that she didn't call me...and I didn't call her. Go figure. The second arrived at four in the morning. I don't know what the heck that guy was talking about. The last was the only one of any importance. Some guy leaves a message on my answering machine, in Arabic, shouting a bunch of numbers at the speed of light. I record the message onto my computer, write it to floppy disk and bring it to the mosque down the block from me to get it translated. Everyone was pretty busy, so they agree to listen to the message the next morning. I actually held off a day, being that procrastinator that I am, and showed up the following morning.
We finally sat down at 7am to try and decode the message. The person translating the message looks across the desk at me with the kind of look you get on your face when you see a person get kicked in the crotch. After listening to the message about 7 time he finally figured out that the numbers belong to a cellphone in Saudi Arabia. We gave it a call and Talaq answers. Talaq turns out to be the person in charge my invitation from Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd. Good news, I've been invited to make the hajj. Bad news, my flight leaves at 9:30pm from JFK. More bad news, my Visa and tickets are in Washington.
I rush home and wake up my wife. She didn't seem to be too thrilled about going to Saudi Arabia that day. She was even less excited about the fact that I was leaving in an hour and a half to goto Washington to pick up our Visas. After I gave her the skinny and bolted over the my job. It's about 7:30 am when I get to my job. They thought I was kidding when I told them I was taking 2 weeks off in an hour. I ran up to the robotics lab and coded for an hour and a half. Talk about coding under pressure. Alhumdulillah, no compilation errors. I figured testing this robot should hold them off for 2 weeks. I bolted home, grabbed my backpack and my skateboard, then raced to the airport. Washington D.C. here I come.
I land in God knows what airport and take a taxi to the Saudi Arabian Embassy. The guard at the front door confiscated my backpack and skateboard and direct me to the Visa office. The people behind the desk are very much like those behind the desk at the DMV. Needless to say, they weren't very excited about helping me, especially since I had no idea what I was doing. I mentioned that I got an invitation to make hajj and some dude called me and gave me a bunch of numbers. At this point I proudly displayed my numbers. Of course, neither one of us knew what they where supposed to mean. She asked me who invited me and the only name I had was Talaq. That didn't help much. After this tribulation I thought I was going to get a spanking. Forget about Saudi Arabia, at this point I was hoping to make it home. I got away with being turned away with a sneer.
I spent the next 4-5 hours trying to get in touch with Talaq, but to no avail. Finally just before the Visa office closed I called the person who spoke to Talaq. He gave me some emotional support and told me to head back over there, give them the numbers and tell them they must find your Visa. He was also nice enough to give me new numbers.
Lucky for me there was a different person at the desk. I went about the same process, but told them to find my Visa this time. It worked. The woman went to find my Visa, but after 5 minutes or so, returned empty handed. She came back with the same question that the first person kept asking "Who invited you?" Talaq is the only name I know, that's my contact. She went back into the office for another 5 minutes, but this time returned with a piece of paper in her hand and a look on her face like she had just seen a ghost. "Your invitation came from Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd. You have to go to Saudi Arabia." At this point I'm thinking; of course, doesn't everyone's invitation come from Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd? At this point she throws two applications at me and tells me to fill them out right away. "You have to have two pictures of each person." Needless to say I don't have two pictures of me and my wife. All I have are our passports. "Forget it, you don't have to have the pictures. You have to go to Saudi Arabia." As I'm sitting at the table filling out the applications the woman comes back and asks me for my vaccination records. Again, needless to say, I don't have any vaccination records. "Forget it, you don't need vaccination records. Hurry with the applications, you have to go." I turn to the guy sitting across the table from me, who I will refer to as the VisaPro, for an explanation. "Your invitation came from Prince Abdul-Aziz. You have to go to Saudi Arabia." Yeah, that's what they tell me. Maybe I'm just not getting it. "No...you have to go to Saudi Arabia. If Prince Abdul-Aziz finds out that you didn't get to Saudi Arabia because the Embassy held you up, they are going to lose their jobs. All those people back there are running back and forth to get you your Visa." I turn around and sure enough, people are running. "You better hurry with that application." As I'm filling out the application the VisaPro tells me too look behind the counter. I do so and see some guy that wasn't there before. "He is the (some title I can't remember). Without him no one can get a Visa. This is only the second time I've seen him, and I've been here everyday for years." Cool.
I finally get done with the application and get pushed of to the office of Saudi Arabian Airlines to pick up the tickets. At this point the story gets pretty boring for the next 24 hours. I get to the airport, wait for about 4 hours. I did meet one skater dude that was even older than I. That was cool. He kinda looked like Tony Hawk, and had a vicious scar on his knee. Turns out he skated with all the big boys that I grew up reading about. My wife caught the flight from JFK and I got it from an airport in D.C. The flight from D.C. to Jeddah was about 14 hours. I met a pilot on the plane that gave me the skinny on all the details of being a pilot. That rocked. I would have loved to node that, but I don't remember most of it. I should have taped it.
Finally we land in Saudi Arabia, after what felt like an eternity. Again, God knows what airport we landed it. All I know is that it was huge. Huge as in the size of a city. It also seemed to be in the middle of the desert.