Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy Birthday Mohammed! Your party's a Blast!

December 12 is the birthday of the Prophet. And something seems to have been happening.

 While there is a split among Muslims on the celebration of the date - some Muslims, Wahabis for instance don't celebrate it  because it isn't recorded that Mohammed did and they accuse those who do of 'emulating the kaffirs', who celebrate Christmas at the same time of the year. There are other Moslems who do celebrate the day as the joyous occasion when the origin of their world view and their 'salvation', the last Prophet of God, appeared on earth. Other aspects of Mohammed's life are celebrated, as indeed is most of what he said or did;  that, all, is recorded in the traditions of the Hadith and Sunnah - other sources, or guides, to understanding the Koran.

But for something that  isn't 'celebrated' the 'nativity' season got started with a bang and has proceeded with a string of  'Muslim-inspired (or blamed)  outrages'.  Since the 12th there have been a spate of incidents across Europe, Africa and Asia with ISIS, or other radical Islamic groups readily taking 'credit' through the action of an acolyte  - as if, if they didn't claim credit, we wouldn't give it to them anyway. Along with the spate of actual attacks there has been a related rise in the reports of a number of plots detected and threats eliminated - the reason we maintain those national security apparati -  to 'prevent' such attacks.

What should be interesting to us all is that the 'outrages' seem to be spreading.  Turkey, which has for years been deemed 'safe enough' to develop a burgeoning Eurotourism industry, is feeling the effects of a mass withdrawal of the western  Europeans. The hardy souls from Russia who were maintaining their share may be less likely to show up since the targeting of the Russian ambassador by a 'radicalized' Turkish cop, and a refocusing of some dissident attacks on tourism centres.  Egypt has been hamstrung in much the same way, as have the former haunts along the north African coast. A Canadian tourist was recently killed in Jordan, and her son injured, in an apparent 'terrorist' strike (or family feud with local police).  The chances of being blown, or shot up on 'hols' is increasingly daunting to all but the most reprobate sex tourist, power-drinker or Speedo idiot.

The latest form of mass killing seems to draw a page from Palestinian history, where heavy equipment or motor vehicles have been used to run people down. The latest event - disgruntled Tunisian driving a semi-rig through a Christmas Market in Berlin - attracted some attention; particularly after the accused suspect then traveled fairly freely through western Europe, with no ID (he had carelessly left that in the truck cab) before coming to eternal rest in a gunfight with Italian police in Milan. 

Not to be ignored,  'religion', too, remains under attack at the 'joyous season' : Christmas celebrations in newly-liberated (newly-subjugated?) Aleppo were targeted and Christians across Africa and western Asia were definitely threatened, if not  'under attack',  in Central Africa, Chad, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Egypt. A 'Christmas tree lighting' in eastern Ukraine was, reportedly, shelled.

Just after the stroke of midnight on the last day of 2016, Istanbul time,  two (reportedly) gunmen opened-up on a crowd celebrating in a nightclub  - 25 dead last count and manhunt underway.

The western holiday season wraps up at New Year, but a distaff, and no less troubled side, will continue into January   The 'fun' in celebration of the Prophet,  may not be finished yet.

Happy freakin' New Year! 

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