Sunday, January 27, 2008

Old misconceptions recently corrected

Old view: Mohammad did not want the Koran read in translation because he wanted to tie together the religion with the common language of Arabic. Mehmet pointed out that Arabic words are highly ambiguous (like jihad meaning both military war and internal struggle) and so any translation of the Koran is highly dependent on how it is being translated. Therefore, the injuction to read it in the original Arabic.

Old view: The 911 hijackers were almost all Saudi because Al Qaeda wanted to turn U.S. public opinion against Saudi Arabia's rulers. New view: It was just easier for Saudis to get student visas to stay in the U.S.

Old view: Arizona doesn't participate in Day Light Savings time because it's libertarian attitude doesn't like government changing the time. Gary points out that Arizona doesn't want sun into the evening in the summer because it is too hot.

Old view: The U.S. nuked Japan to head off a bloody invasion. New view (from "House of War"): The U.S. wanted to show the USSR that we weren't afraid to drop the bomb.