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Author Topic: Islam's part in all this
Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 17 May 2003 04:40 PM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does anyone have some ideas on what Muslims and Islamic governments are doing to help in bringing terrorists to justice?
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skdadl
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posted 17 May 2003 04:53 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not sure I understand the question.

ie:

What is "all this"?

What is an "Islamic government"?

If you're referring to the governments of the Arab states, however, I should have thought that most are at the moment scared shitless, caught as most of them are between an irresistible force on the one side and an immovable object on the other, both of which seem to be fighting for the same prizes.


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Michelle
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posted 17 May 2003 05:37 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What are Christians doing about terrorists? Buddhists? Jews? Taoists?

Won't somebody please think of the Taoists?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 May 2003 05:47 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I still say that the people doing most and best about the terrorists are European police forces.

Gee, why won't the soap-opera governments pay attention to what works? Don't they want to know what works?


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DrConway
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posted 17 May 2003 05:51 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Far better to pretend the whole thing works like professional wrestling where you wave around your biggest guns like Jimmy Cornette and that goddamn tennis racket.

After all, in WWF the object is to pander to the fans and create bread and circuses. This real-world pro-wrestling type of diplomacy and gunboating is just bread and circuses provided at taxpayer expense.

[ 17 May 2003: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 17 May 2003 05:59 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, Michelle, the Taoists don't want us to think about them! It's all part of their plot! We're playing right into their hands!

They talk about balance, equality, justice, and all that rot, but it's really just a cover! A cover, I tell you!

While we're just starting to uncover their sick plot for world domination, they're reading this and having a good laugh in T'ai-nan!


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oldgoat
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posted 17 May 2003 07:05 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pathe Eton Hogg:
Does anyone have some ideas on what Muslims and Islamic governments are doing to help in bringing terrorists to justice?

Well, just over the last few days a few of them had a chance to arrest Colin Powell, but I dunno, there might have been repercussions. He's a small fry anyway, I say wait for Cheney or Rummy to do a middle east tour.

Although if they busted Colin, maybe they could offer him a really sweet plea bargain to finger the big guys.

By gosh you're right Hogg, I guess there is more they can be doing!


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Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 17 May 2003 07:57 PM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What is "all this"?

What is an "Islamic government"?


The issues at hand involving the War on Terrorism and the war in Iraq.

An Islamic government is what I used to describe a government of Muslims guided by Shiria Law for and by Islam. I understand that It doesn't really exist in the same sense a truly Communist government doesn't exist, but all the same I have to call it something.

So in the same way that "The Church" needed to respond to the child molesters in their churches, what is the response of Islam?


From: Iraqistan suburbs | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 17 May 2003 08:01 PM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What are Christians doing about terrorists? Buddhists? Jews? Taoists?

The Christians are blowing the shit out of Afghanistan and Iraq so far. The Jews I think figure it's about time. That Buddhists don't like it but you know their Buddhists. What do they care? I don't know what a Taoist is really so I am not sure what reaction would be attributed to them.


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'lance
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posted 17 May 2003 09:42 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
While we're just starting to uncover their sick plot for world domination, they're reading this and having a good laugh in T'ai-nan!

Well, just so, meades. All things return to One Thing, and the Taoists, as we know, have a corner on that market. Mwaha.


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WingNut
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posted 17 May 2003 09:49 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The issues at hand involving the War on Terrorism and the war in Iraq.



What does one have to do with the other?

And has it occured to you at all that Iraq was not governed by Sharia law?


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Gir Draxon
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posted 18 May 2003 01:40 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

What does one have to do with the other?

And has it occured to you at all that Iraq was not governed by Sharia law?


Iraq may not be, but Iran is. I don't know the answers to PEH's questions, but I would like to.

CNN article on this subject


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verbatim
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posted 18 May 2003 01:50 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This entire thread begs the question. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 18 May 2003 10:16 AM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What does one have to do with the other?

And has it occured to you at all that Iraq was not governed by Sharia law?


If you don't know it's alright to just say I don't know.

Yes it is apparent even to me that Iraq wasn't governed udner Shiria Law. What's with trying to drag this off topic?

There are few who even are able to look at this with any for of objectivity. Please try not to spoil it as it is worthy of discussion if it can be discussed at length without being turn int some wrongly percieved attack on Islamic faith.


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WingNut
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posted 18 May 2003 10:27 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, then, I don't know.

quote:
The issues at hand involving the War on Terrorism and the war in Iraq.

What does one have to do with the other?


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skdadl
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posted 18 May 2003 10:36 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
PEH, how can we drag this off-topic if most of us are still trying to figure out what the topic is?

That was Christianity rearranging the Hindu Kush with Daisy-Cutters, eh? You coulda fooled me.


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Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 18 May 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
People talk. How much information is not repeated because of Islamic ties that Muslims have.

Let's go back to the example I gave about the Diocies covering up the child molestation problems that occured in that religion.

To say that one Muslim has no idea that another Muslim is about to cause a number of deaths is kind of a stretch. As the Qu'ran is interpreted by each person, what are scholars of the Qu'ran saying in regards to those who call for Intafada or Jihad?

Hamas and Hezbolah are both terrorist organizations and legitimate organizations. As there is a political wing of the IRA. The violence stops when someone acts to stop it.


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swallow
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posted 18 May 2003 12:46 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Taking what PEH is asking at face value, here are the views of one religious scholar and politician, who heads the largest Muslim organization in the world: Abdurrahman Wahid.
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Mandos
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posted 18 May 2003 04:03 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Note that not everyone has such a glowing opinion of Gus Dur... But whatever.
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Mandos
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posted 18 May 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, and to add, interpretation in Islam is ultimately private. There are scholars, but they very regularly have opposing views on any number of topics. This is how its supposed to work. So there isn't any unified view on the topic--just like any number of other issues. There is no Diocese...
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Mohamad Khan
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posted 18 May 2003 05:39 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i can't figure out what Mr Hogg wants to talk about either.

the thread's title reads "Islam's part in all this," which would lead one to believe that it's a thread about Islam and terrorism, but in the first post he wants to talk about how "Muslims and Islamic governments" are helping to bring terrorists to justice. the implication is either that Muslims and Islamic governments are the same thing as "Islam," or that Hogg changed his mind halfway through.

next he introduces Gulf War II into his question. so...at this point anyone responding would probably have to write six separate posts on:

Islam and terrorism
Muslims and terrorism
Islamic governments and terrorism
Islam and Iraq
Muslims and Iraq
Islamic governments and Iraq

i hope he will clarify which one it is he wants to talk about, and if he needs to change the title of the thread to accurately reflect his new, singular question, he'll find that if he edits his first post he can also edit the title.

or he could start a new thread.

the question becomes more convoluted when he defines "Islamic government" as "a government of Muslims guided by Shiria [sic] Law for and by Islam." there's a problem in the last condition, "for and by Islam," in that "Islam" is not a living entity with political agency. ostensibly he means "for and by Muslims," which is repetitious given the first condition--unless, as i suggested before, his view is that "Muslims and Islamic governments" and "Islam" are one and the same thing. again, i have no idea whether or not this is the case.

if the definition were "a government of Muslims, guided by the sharî`a"--and i think most people are responding with the assumption that this is what he's trying to say--this would be, IMO, an unambiguous definition. probably the reason that others are still confused is that they suspect that Hogg wants to talk about a much broader range of countries. the two countries that i'm aware of that claim to follow sharî`a are Iran and Saudi Arabia. if we're talking about al-Qaeda, given that Iran is predominantly Twelver Shi'i in terms of population and government i doubt they're happy with the prospect of Sunni extremism, and given that Osama bin Laden would like to put an end to the Saudi monarchy i doubt that they're very much enamoured of him. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country. it has one small province, apparently, that follows sharî`a law. Pakistan, whose American-friendly military dictator has done a hell of a lot to help bring terrorists to justice, has at least one province that recently reverted to sharî`a law (NWFP; and i'm not sure whether Balochistan province is in the same situation). parts of Nigeria, which cannot be reasonably called a "Muslim country" are, i believe, under some kind of sharî`a law. not sure beyond this; pending further info, it's possible that Hogg wants to talk specifically about these two countries and regions. he only has to confirm this.

anyhow, just when we begin to think we know what he's talking about, i.e., sharî`a-based governments, he asks,

quote:
So in the same way that "The Church" needed to respond to the child molesters in their churches, what is the response of Islam?

indicating a) that he's not talking about Muslim governments but about Islam (or that he believes that they're one and the same thing), and b) that he believes that Islam has something analogous to the Catholic Church which has the power and responsibility to restrain terrorists. the second is an honest mistake, i suppose, if rather ethnocentric.

some non-muslims are perhaps not aware that there's no Church, pope or primate in most versions of Islam. the Qur'an does not actually contain any sanction for any sort of Muslim clergy. i suppose that the Caliph was something like a supreme spiritual authority in Sunni Islam, but he ain't around no more. the Shi'is believe that spiritual authority passed from the Prophet to Ali (رح) and from him to the Imams. for the Twelver Shi’is, the line stopped at the twelfth Imam, a long time ago. but the Ismaili Shi’is, a very liberal minority within a minority, are one group who still have an Imam in the present Agha Khan, who can even abrogate Qur’anic verses, according to an Ismaili friend of mine. my mother is an Ahmadi, and this is the other group that i know of that has a particular spiritual authority. the Ahmadis believe that the Messiah appeared early in the last century in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and his successor is the leader of the sect, though he has little power compared to the Agha Khan for instance. besides, Ahmadiyya is a tiny sect, and other Muslims, who generally believe that the Messiah (Jesus) is yet to return, consider them non-Muslims. i’ve been raised within the Sunni Islam of my father, whose grandparents were Wahhabis, and i can tell you that if you ask any Sunni who the leader of Sunni Islam is, he or she will probably not comprehend the question. there’s some sort of guy in Egypt that the Western media has turned into a high figure, and he’s condemned terrorism and whatnot, if that’s what you want.

just a side question to Hogg: who are “the Jews”? if your characterisation stands, i guess Jews for Justice aren’t Jews, eh? what about “the Christians”? the Pope? the Archbishop of Canterbury? confused as hell.

[ 18 May 2003: Message edited by: Mohamad Khan ]


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 18 May 2003 05:43 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've been raised totally vanilla-flavoured Hanafite Sunni, so I'm as confused, but I guess it stems directly from PEH's assumption that a religion must have a spiritual leader. Really the Muslim world is quite anarchistic in its approach to religious interpretation.

[ 18 May 2003: Message edited by: Mandos ]


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Mohamad Khan
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posted 18 May 2003 06:12 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Oh, and to add, interpretation in Islam is ultimately private. There are scholars, but they very regularly have opposing views on any number of topics. This is how its supposed to work. So there isn't any unified view on the topic--just like any number of other issues. There is no Diocese...

exactically. anyhow, as the tired old moderatist mantra goes, لا إكْرَهَ في الدِّينِ; "no compulsion in religion" (Qur'ân 2:256).

quote:
I've been raised totally vanilla-flavoured Hanafite Sunni

yum! i'd say i'm more mango-flavoured.

here's something i've said twice already; most recently here. dunno why i feel compelled to keep repeating it:

quote:
a Syrian scholar came to give a talk at U of T last year on the subject of sharî`a and fiqh (Islamic law and exegesis). it's convenient for people who whine about moderate Muslims not speaking out against extremism that they never come to these things...anyhow, with September 11th in mind, he made a devestating attack on the idea of suicide missions. in fact, there was nothing at all remarkable about its logic, which was based on a standard reading of the Qur'an, but it was the way he delivered it. the message? Islam forbids suicide and killing civilians (déja vu, eh?), and these two transgressions are at the heart of the suicide mission.

[ 18 May 2003: Message edited by: Mohamad Khan ]


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 18 May 2003 08:41 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I forget - how many were the major colleges of Islamic interpretation in the early days? The ones who used to argue constantly? Was it seven? I'm woefully ignorant, I've only taken a coupla college courses on this. I know the differences between Shi'i, Sunni, and Sufi, but that's about it.
From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 18 May 2003 08:47 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mohamad, do you recall which sections of the Qur'an that scholar cited?
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Pathe Eton Hogg
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posted 19 May 2003 05:59 PM      Profile for Pathe Eton Hogg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
i can't figure out what Mr Hogg wants to talk about either.

Sure you can. You have touched on many aspects of it already. I am not trying to attack you or Islam. So there is no need to get defensive. I would like to get some ideas on a number of different angles that make up this who situation.

IMO one of the problems is that the Qu'ran is interpreted privatly. So if you think that blowing someone up will get you into heaven there is no one to tell you that is crazy.

I have tons of reading to do linking up and trying to understand what you have posted so far. I will post again when I find a way to make things more specific and define what I want to ask more clearly.


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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 19 May 2003 06:31 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Pathe Eton Hogg:
IMO one of the problems is that the Qu'ran is interpreted privatly. So if you think that blowing someone up will get you into heaven there is no one to tell you that is crazy.
On the plus side, there's no institution for a bad interpretation to get entrenched in. In Christianity, even the most democratic denominations have some central, official stance on just about every issue, and if bad, whacked-out hermeneutics get in there they may be there for a good long while, anchored with the permanence of dogma. Note, for example, how much trouble mainstream Christian churches are having convincing people that the war in Iraq was not justified. Apparently, even with someone to tell Bush that he is crazy, he ain't listening.

There's an up and a down to both models, near as I can tell, so the struggle will always be to maintain a balance. Obviously, the fact that most Muslims aren't blowing people up shows that some balance has been achieved. Unfortunately, Christianity has had a lot more trouble with that.


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Mohamad Khan
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posted 20 May 2003 03:31 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Sure you can. You have touched on many aspects of it already.

all i've done is to present a list of my guesses at what it might be. if i've touched on many aspects of it, i'm glad -- and surprised. there can be no comprehensive answer or fruitful debate until there's a clear question. in the absence of such a question the thread will simply degenerate.

quote:
I will post again when I find a way to make things more specific and define what I want to ask more clearly.

thank you.

quote:
I forget - how many were the major colleges of Islamic interpretation in the early days? The ones who used to argue constantly? Was it seven?

not sure, April...on this i'm just as woefully ignorant as you are. or perhaps you're referring to the four Sunni legal schools (Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i)?

quote:
Mohamad, do you recall which sections of the Qur'an that scholar cited?

i mentioned the lecture right after it happened in a post on Babble way back when; i'm trying to conway it, but Babble's search thing sucks majorly. this wasn't the main focus of the lecture; just his opening remarks, so my memory of it is fairly brief. with regard to suicide and killing civilians, i don't think he cited the verses, because it's very common knowledge--ask any Muslim whether Islam sanctions these things and you'll get the same answer. let me dig up some refs, though.

regarding suicide the Qur'anic verse is 4.29; the reference is short and to the point:

و لا تقتلوا أنفسكم

"And do not slay yourselves."

this is my translation. you'll find that some translators take it as a prohibition against infighting, e.g. Pickthall's translation: "and kill not one another." i believe that there's an important space for ambiguity in scripture--but if i were a literalist, i'd have no qualms about standing by my translation; i would say that there are other ways in Arabic to express what Pickthall wants to say.

as for killing civilians (i.e. murder), there are various verses that may be used to prohibit it. here are two:

إنَّه مَن قتل نفسًا [...] فكأنّما قتل الناس جميعًا و مَن أحياها فكأنّما أحيا الناس جميعًا

"[God told the Israelites:] Whosoever has slain a single soul, it is as though they have slain all humankind, and whosoever gives life, it is as though they have given life to all humankind." (5.32)

و لا تقتلوا النفس التي حرّم الله إلا بالحق

"And do not take the life that God has made sacred, except with just cause." (17.33)

what i particularly remember is that this scholar quoted a Hadîth (prophetic tradition) to drive the point home. it was something to this effect, i believe: the Prophet said that in battle one must not harm a single tree of the enemy's. if it is wrong to harm a tree in such a situation, how much more so it must be to take the life of an innocent human being.

as for the mini-debate on private interpretation...first of all, suicide bombers aren't necessarily "crazy"; this is a dangerous pathologisation of a political problem, one which SHH has committed in a different form and to which i will eventually respond by starting another thread. but having private interpretation doesn't mean that there's nobody around to tell you you're wrong at all.

[ 20 May 2003: Message edited by: Mohamad Khan ]


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 20 May 2003 03:58 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mohamad Khan: Yes, that sounds familiar! Thanks. I really need to hit my notes again, but I remember that legal (Shari'a) interpretation was a large part of these "schools", so those may be what I was thinking of.
From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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