Bombing Aleppo Into the Rock Age
Al-Farabi [Abi-Nasr al-Farabi, an Aristotelian philosopher of Baghdad called the Second Teacher [after Aristotle] was thought to have been born in Kazakhstan. He studied logic in Baghdad with a Christian cleric, Yuhanna ibn-Haylan, who died between 908 and 932. At that time, Baghdad represented the center of the Graeco-Arabic translation movement when virtually the entire Greek philosophical and scientific corpus surviving in the eastern Mediterranean until the 8th century was translated into Arabic.
Al-Farabi remained in Baghdad until 942 when he left Iraq to travel to Damascus and in Syria he lived and worked for some time in Aleppo, at the court of the local Hamdanid ruler, eventually dying in Damascus in 951.
The philosophy he practised was affiliated with the Greek Neoplatonist school in Alexandria as a philosophical curriculum among Syriac-speaking Christian clerics and intellectuals in the centers of Eastern Christianity in the Near East.
Al-Farabi treated philosophy as it was understood and classified in late antiquity where logic is considered the instrument with which to study philosophy, in turn divided into theoretical and practical parts. The theoretical portion consists of physics, mathematics and metaphysics, while the practical part includes ethics, household management and politics.
He was the most prominent member of the Baghdad Aristotelian school, flourishing in the 10th and 11th centuries as a revival of the Aristotelian tradition back to the 2nd century CE.
From: The Classical Tradition -- Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most, Salvatore Settis, editors
|Abu Nasr al-Farabi depicted on 1 Kazakhstani Tenge (issued in 1993)|
From the illustrious past to the grim present. Where once Muslim scholars investigated all branches of the arts and sciences, distinguishing themselves as doctors, philosophers, artists and writers, intellectuals and luminaries in astronomy and astrology, Islam is now reduced to the miserable ignorance of religious fervor with no respect for science evidenced in the current crop of clerics turning out fundamentalist views of Islam as the world's premier and only religion, all others pretenders to be destroyed with the final outcome the conquest of the world under one consolidated caliphate to rule every aspect of life on Earth.
Iraq, once the centre of Arab learning and the glory of fabled Babylon are historical antecedents now but a distant memory. Islam now distinguishes itself through the lethal brutality of its faithful sworn to the sacred precepts embodied in jihad. Modern-day Iraq and Syria were hostage to the nihilistic barbarian hordes of terrorists that assembled when the fragility of religious and social order succumbed to sectarian violence through unbridled hatred and contempt for the other. The catalyst was western intervention in response to Islamism sending its plenipotentiaries of violence into the West.
The Middle East countries with exception are ruled by medieval potentates, by oil sheikdoms, by not-so-benevolent dictators, by kingdoms and by theocratic ayatollahs, many of which express themselves through exterior threats and interior dysfunction; dystopian and malevolent states for which nothing is quite as sacred as filling coffers of state treasuries through the sale of the natural resources that equal energy output and industrialization throughout the world.
Syria, on the other hand, has distinguished itself by the calibre of its presidential enterprise of civilian slaughter. Ably aided and abetted by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world's foremost supporter of terrorism, and creator of Lebanon's terrorist group Hezbollah. Iran's theocracy recognizes only the legitimacy of its own Shiite Islam, all others are apostates. The Republic views itself as the modern-day inheritor of ancient Persia's influence and power in the region, eager to have it reinstated at any cost.
The Iranian Republican Guard Corps, Hezbollah militias and Iranian-backed Shiite militias all line up in support of the Syrian regime's slaughter of its people.
Besieged Aleppo, once the engine of technology and enterprise for Syria is now bisected into Sunni and Shiite enclaves; one half going about its normal business protected by the regime, the other half slowly destroyed by bombardments carried out by the Syrian regime and with the assistance of Moscow's military machine, while artillery and barrel bombs, chemical attacks and siege-starvation destroys the lives of Syrian citizens who arrive at hospitals that have been bombed out of existence, children wandering the streets where their destroyed schools barely stand.
|The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. Photograph: STR/AP|
From Russia's aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean, fighter jets take off to bomb the neighbourhoods of Sunni-majority, rebel-held east Aleppo. The rebels, Sunni Syrians who protested against their unequal status as citizens of Syria were instantly identified by Bashar al-Assad as terrorists, distinguished as such for their display of arrogance in contesting the administration of their president. The mass slaughter and destruction in Syria owes little to the presence of Islamic State and just about everything to the lethal malevolence of the Syrian president.
The millions of Syrians who have fled their country to assume refugee status in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and elsewhere -- along with African Muslims seeking to escape conflict, endemic poverty and early death as migrants travelling the dangerous sea and overland routes to Europe -- have swarmed by their millions into a continent whose nations quail at the prospect of adding to their disruptive Muslim demographics but find themselves in a quandary as desperate migrants drown by the thousands, like lemmings swarming over a deadly cliff.
So much for Islamic enlightenment, humanity, and peaceful intentions. All of which are boasted of, none of which attributes appear to raise themselves where they can be identified and admired as living realities. That reality being in stark contrast to the claims, that fundamentalist Islam has overtaken the existence of a pacifist Islam, as practised by a majority many of whom find themselves even yet in support of the clamorous and threatening aspect of Islam echoing its major pillars of jihadist purpose.
|Socrates and his students in a 13th century Syrian manuscript of al-Mubashshir Ibn Fatik's work Mukhtar al-hikam twa-mahasin al-kalim, currently kept at Topkapi Palace Library in Istanbul. (This image is in the public domain).|
The thoughtful, intelligence-seeking Islam that may once have existed appears to have melted into the mists of antiquity forevermore, never to be resurrected. All that remains is a many-headed monster, a Middle Eastern chimera, emitting a firestorm of conflict, devouring itself and aspiring to destroy the rest of the world alongside its own failed states.