U.S. Embassy Apologizes for Offensive Speech of Anti-Islamic Terry Jones

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Staff and Crew of Anti-Islamic Film Say They Were ‘Grossly Misled’

The 80 cast and crew members involved in the making of the movie that has roiled much of the Islamic world said Wednesday they were “grossly misled” about its intent and expressed sorrow over the resulting violence.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” they said in a statement to CNN about the movie, “Innocence of Muslims.”

“We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” continued the statement, which was sent to CNN by a member of the production staff who asked not to be identified for security reasons. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose Quran-burning last year sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan, said he had been contacted to help distribute the film.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Jones on Wednesday to ask him to withdraw his support for the film, according to Col. David Lapan, Dempsey’s spokesman.

“Jones’ support of the film risks causing more violence and death,” Lapan said.

Facebook sprouted several pages dedicated to condemning the film, including one called “Israelis, Jews & Americans Against Sam Bacile’s ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film.”

A post on that page simply said: “IM-Bacile.”

CNN / 13.9.2012

US Embassies in Egypt and Libya Attacked after Anti-Islamic Movie

An American State Department employee was killed in Benghazi, Libya, today, when Libyans stormed the U.S. consulate, angry about a U.S. movie reportedly linked to controversial Pastor Terry Jones.

Anger over the film that some believe insults the Prophet Muhammad also led to protests in Cairo, where demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy, took down the American flag and replaced it with a black flag.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement released tonight. “As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.”

According to The Atlantic and Egyptian media, the movie is called “Mohammed, Prophet of the Muslims” and was produced by Jones, the controversial Florida preacher whose Koran burning in March 2011 led to the deadly violence in Afghanistan.

Egyptian media also reported that two Egyptians from the Christian minority Coptic group had helped with the movie. Clips in Arabic and English have been released on YouTube.

In a statement, the U.S. embassy said it condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”

abcnews / 11.9.2012

The Oldest Temple of the World Found in Şanlıurfa, Turkey

A 12,000-year-old temple dating from the Neolithic Age has been discovered in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa in what scientists are declaring the oldest place of worship ever discovered.

In 1986, a local man known as Uncle Şavah discovered a statuette in his small field in Göbeklitepe while tilling the soil. He took the figurine to the Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum where experts determined that it was created between 6000 and 7000 B.C. The ancient people of Göbeklitepe were determined to have lived during the Neolithic Age and subsisted on some agriculture along with hunting and gathering.

The ancient temple was found in the center of the Harran Plain, 17 kilometers east of central Şanlıurfa, and was dated back to 10000 B.C. Before the discovery in Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest known temple was a structure dating from 5000 B.C. in Malta. The statuettes, which are now housed in the Şanlıurfa museum, are adorned with wolf heads, pigs, storks, foxes, fawns, scorpions, snakes and headless human figures and indicate some of the features of the belief system at the time. At the same time, the exaggerated depiction of male genitals likely suggests that patriarchal social systems were already well established in Neolithic times, according to experts. Despite the finds, experts have succeeded neither in identifying the society that created the temple and figurines nor completely sketching out the culture’s belief system.

Sabri Kürkçüoğlu, a member of the academic staff at Harran University Archaeology Department, said: “A multi-disciplinary study should be carried out to clarify these uncertainties. Archaeologists from different parts of the world have shown a keen interest in the area and the excavation site, but in Turkey only apprentice students are interested in the project.” Provincial Gov. Nuri Okutan said, “Göbeklitepe will be one of the attractions in Şanlıurfa.” Şanlıurfa Mayor Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, meanwhile, described the finds as very precious while calling for the location to be converted into a tourism site as soon as possible.

Following the initial discovery of the statuette in 1986, Harald Hauptmann, from the German Institute of Archaeology, began excavation work at the site under the supervision of the local archaeology museum in 1995. Klaus Schmidt later assumed responsibility for the dig in 1996, while the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry placed the site on its first-degree protection list in 2005.

hurriyetdailynews.com / 16.3.2010

More info: http://www.worldsfirsttemple.com


Radikal Gazetesi’nin haberine göre, 1996 yılından bu yana Alman arkeolog Klaus Schmidt önderliğinde sürdürülen kazılarda Şanlıurfa’nın 17 km doğusunda, Göbeklitepe’de Harran Ovası’nın tam göbeğinde dünyanın en eski tapınağı bulundu.

2005 yılında Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı’nca birinci derece sit alanı ilan edilen Göbeklitepe insanlarının Neolitik Dönem’de yaşadıkları tespit edildi. Neolotik Dönem Paleotik ve Mezolitik dönemlerden sonra gelen, ‘Yeni Taş’, en bilinen adıyla da ‘Cilalı Taş Devri’ne denk düşüyor. İnsanoğlu ilk kez bu dönemde doğa ile ilişkisini kendi lehine çevirdi avcılık, toplayıcılık ile birlikte tarıma geçti. Göbeklitepe, insanoğlunun ilk kez tarım yaptığı, deneme yanılma yoluyla arpa, buğday, mercimek türü ürünleri yetiştirmeye çalıştığı bir yer.

Kazıda ortaya çıkan tapınak yapılarındaki kurt kafaları, yaban domuzları, leylek, tilki, ceylan, akrep, yılan ve kafası olmayan insan kabartması o dönem benimsenen inançla ilgili önemli bulguları oluşturuyor. Kazıdan çıkan heykelcikler, şimdilik Şanlıurfa Arkeoloji Müzesi’nin deposunda saklanıyor. M.Ö. 10 bin yılına konumlanan tapınak, dairesel bir yapıya sahip. Harran Ovası’nı tepeden gören tapınağın bölgenin merkezi olduğu tahmin ediliyor.

Bu bilinmezliğin çözülmesi için her bilim dalından ekiplerin işbirliği içinde olması gerektiğini vurgulayan Harran Üniversitesi Arkeoloji Bölümü Öğretim Üyesi Sabri Kürkçüoğlu çalışmaları şöyle anlatıyor: “Tapınak yapılarından sekizi gün yüzüne çıkarıldı; 16 yapı hâlâ toprak altında. Burada dünyada bilinen en eski heykel atölyesi de var. Aynı zamanda hayvanların evcilleştirildiği ilk dönemden bahsediyoruz. Göbeklitepe, arkeoloji alanında bir çığır açtı. Dünyadaki arkeologlardan bölgeye yönelik geniş bir ilgi var. Ancak Türkiye’de sadece stajyer öğrencilerin ilgisini çekiyor! İnsanoğlunun yerleşik yaşama geçişinde açlık korkusu ve korunma içgüdüsünün etkili olduğu bilinirdi. Ancak Göbeklitepe bu tabuyu yıktı. Artık dinsel inanışların da yerleşik yaşama geçiş de etkili olduğu ispatlanmış oldu.”

Bilinen en eski tapınak, M.Ö. 5 bin yılına tarihlenen Malta Adası’ndaki tapınak. Göbeklitepe, ondan 5 bin yıl daha eski! Arkeoloji tarihinin yeniden yazılmasına sebep olan Göbeklitepe’nin turizm pazarında neredeyse hiç yeri yok. Şanlıurfa Belediye Başkanı Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, basın ve turizm camiasından geniş katılım gören Şanlıurfa Kültür ve Turizm Tanıtım günlerinde Göbeklitepe’yle ilgili olarak yaşanan sıkıntıları anlattı: “Buraya gelen turlar, önce turistlere bir sıra gecesi yaptırıp, bir de Balıklı Göl’ü gösterip turistleri götürüyorlar. Göbeklitepe’nin değeri paha biçilmez. Bir an önce ortak bir çalışmayla turizme kazandırılmalı.”

Şanlıurfa Valisi Nuri Okutan da, “Göbeklitepe, tüm dünya için oldukça önemli bir alan. Şanlıurfa’yı turizme kazandırma yolunda da en güvendiğimiz noktalardan biri olacak” dedi. Toplantıda yer alan turizmciler, iki gün boyunca gördükleri karşısında hayrete düştüklerini gizlemeyerek aynı noktada birleşti: “Doğru bir tanıtım yolu izlenirse, Göbeklitepe’ye Avrupa’dan Amerika’dan turist yağar.”

ntvmsnbc.com / 18.3.2010

http://www.dunyaninilktapinagi.com

Be Muslim for a Month in Istanbul: Pray Five Times a Day and Fast

It has the ingredients of a conventional holiday – experiencing the culture and hospitality of one of the most exciting cities in the world. But few getaways encourage its participants to pray five times a day or try their hand at fasting, especially when those people are not Muslim.

A social enterprise is offering individuals the opportunity to immerse themselves in Islam, without having to convert, through a trip to Istanbul that takes in the regular sights and sounds but also includes prayers at dawn and midnight and lessons on Islam and its basic practices.

It draws heavily on the country’s Sufi traditions – with a particular emphasis on the poet and mystic Rumi. Ben Bowler, from the Blood Foundation, which runs the project, said: “We wanted to focus on Rumi because he is a unifying figure. Turkey has a relatively open brand of Islam and Istanbul is an existing tourist destination.

“There is a willingness to engage with the west. We might not have found it in the Middle East or parts of south Asia. If we were in Saudi Arabia it would have been harder.”

The foundation has called the initiative Muslim for a Month, despite it lasting nine days, and wants to offer a 21-day programme in the future. Bowler said most people would find it difficult to take a month off and admitted even the nine-day programme, which offers bed, board, instruction and sightseeing for £600, could have limited appeal.

“We currently offer Monk for a Month, where people spend time in a Buddhist monastery in Tibet. That is successful. The difference is that there’s a curiosity about Buddhism in the west. People are attracted to it, people who do meditation for example.”

In addition to praying and fasting, participants will forsake alcohol and pork. Smoking is, however, permitted. They will also be expected to carry out pre-prayer ablutions, mastering the art of hoiking their feet into a washbasin as part of the process.

Bowler described the clash between “Muslims and the rest of the world” as one of the most “contentious issues around” and said Muslim for a Month will appeal to “open-minded” individuals who want something educational and cultural.

“Our hosts don’t want to make the prayers obligatory but I think if you’re going to do something you should dive in. They might work up to five prayers a day – including the early morning one”. In mid-May, when the programme is due to start, the dawn prayer in Istanbul is around 3.30am.

An inaugural programme in February involving participants connected to Monk for a Month attracted Catholics, an agnostic, some Jews and a Hindu from around the world. Although nobody converted – and there is no obligation to do so – Bowler said there were changed attitudes and a deeper understanding of Islam.

“If we attract people who are predisposed to like Islam, that’s fine. I would like to think people aren’t so duplicitous that they will see Muslims for a Month as a cheap holiday to Istanbul.

“There is no illusion that bowing down to Mecca five times a day makes you a Muslim. It’s what the rituals and practices represent – a constant consciousness of the divine.”

Outreach programmes about Islam are nothing new. The Living Library, which operates in 12 countries and “loans” people out to challenge prejudice and stereotypes, features Muslims in its lending scheme. Deepening ties with Muslim communities is also a central plank of Barack Obama’s presidency. Last year he hosted an entrepreneurship summit.

Television has also tried to play a part in improving people’s understanding of Islam. Make Me a Muslim, shown on Channel 4 in 2007, featured a gay hairdresser, an atheist taxi driver with a porn habit and a glamour model. Their Muslim mentors guided them in the dos and don’ts of the religion. The BBC’s offering – The Retreat – was shown that same year.

Guardian.co.uk / 21.4.2011

İngiliz Guardian gazetesi, İstanbul’a düzenlenen ilginç bir kültür seyahatini haberleştirdi. “İstanbul’da bir ay Müslüman olun” başlığıyla verilen habere göre Blood Foundation adlı sivil toplum kuruluşu, İslam’ı daha iyi tanımak isteyenleri İstanbul’a getirerek bir Müslüman gibi yaşamalarını sağlıyor.

Ramazan ayı temel alınarak hazırlanan turda, katılımcılar beş vakit namaz kılıyor, oruç tutuyor, alkollü içecek ve domuz eti tüketmiyor. İslam üzerine derslerin de verildiği 600
sterlinlik organizasyonda, şehir turu da düzenleniyor.

Mevlânâ’nın ve temsil ettiği sûfî geleneğin örnek alındığı tur bir ay olarak duyurulsa da toplam dokuz gün sürüyor. Bunun nedeni de katılımcıların işlerinden izin almakta zorlanmalar.
Ancak yine de turun 21 güne çıkarılması umuluyor.

Programın yöneticisi Ben Bowler, Müslümanlar ile dünyanın geri kalanı arasındaki çatışmayı “dünyada en çok tartışılan konulardan biri” olarak nitelendirdi ve düzenledikleri turun, eğitici ve kültürel bir tatil isteyen “açık fikirli” bireylere cazip geleceğini söyledi. Blood Foundation benzer bir turu, Budizmin daha yakından tanınması için Tibet’te de düzenliyor.

ntvmsnbc.com / 22.4.2011