1. Standard memberfinnegan
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    27 Sep '12 21:50
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the world stage and in this connection outlines six grand narratives – six big pictures, six explanatory paradigms – in competition with each other. ... he is at least as much interested in ‘us’ (non-Muslims) as in ‘them’. It is striking in this connection to note the title that he (or perhaps a sub-editor) gave to his article: ‘What we call Islam is a mirror in which we see ourselves’. His six narratives are not, he stresses, mutually exclusive. It is logically impossible, however, for someone to operate with all six with equal assurance.
    Briefly summarised, ..., Garton-Ash’s six narratives are set out below, together with a seventh. Each is an explanation responding to the prior question ‘What is the problem?’

    1. Religion
    The problem is religion in general, which is superstition, self-delusion and the abandonment of reason. The deplorable influence of religion is seen throughout the world, and in all cultural traditions – in Christianity and Judaism, for example, as well as in Islam.

    2. Islam
    The problem is a particular religion, Islam. Unlike western Christianity, it does not allow the separation of religion and politics. With its systematic discrimination against women, its barbaric punishments for homosexuality and its intolerance of other world-views, Islam is stuck in the middle ages. It needs a reformation, based on integrating religion with science and rationality and re-interpreting traditional texts in the light of modernity.

    3. Islamism
    The problem is Islamism, namely an interpretation of Islam that has its intellectual roots in organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood founded in Egypt after the first world war and subsequently developed by Sayyid Qutb in Egypt and Maulana Maududi in Pakistan. Alternative phrases or words instead of Islamism include political, militant or radical Islam; Islamic activism; Qutbism; jihadism; extremism; and fundamentalism.

    4. West Asia/Middle East
    The problem lies in the specific history of West Asia, particularly the history of Arab nations. Key events and factors of the last 100 years include the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire; the Balfour Declaration and in due course the creation of the state of Israel; processes of decolonisation and globalisation; tensions and conflicts within and between Arab countries and between Arab countries and Iran, the Sunni/Shi’a rift; and the emergence of oil-rich economies.

    5. The West
    The problem is ‘the West’. From the Crusades to colonisation, and from moral and military support for Israel to the recent invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, western powers have oppressed Muslim countries and cultures, and have developed forms of anti-Muslim hostility, Islamophobia and orientalism in order to justify their own behaviour. This has provoked, understandably, much bitterness and anti-western hostility in return.

    6. Discrimination and alienation within European societies
    The problem lies in the alienation of young people of Muslim heritage born and educated in European countries. They are marginalised and excluded by processes of religious and racist discrimination and some turn to an ideology of nihilism and terrorism, intermixed with Islamism (see above), as a rhetoric of self-justification.

    7. Conflicts of material interest
    The problem is not in the first instance to do with differences of culture, religion, ideology or civilisation. Rather, it is to do with conflicts of material interest. Globally, the key conflicts are around power, influence, territory and resources, particularly oil. Within urban areas in Europe they are around employment, housing, health and education. Such conflicts become ‘religionised’ or ‘culturalised’ – each side celebrates and idealises its own traditions and cultural heritage, including religion,
    and denigrates and demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
  2. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    27 Sep '12 22:48
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    I'll go with 1) and 4) as the primary causes.
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    27 Sep '12 23:54
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    I tend toward a view that each of the major international players, i.e., the leaders who can guide and project the power of their nation-states and subnational groups, is pursuing a course of action that in total, reflects whatever mixture of interests their sources of power impress on them. (There's gotta be a simpler way to say this.) The mixture of interests may represent more than one of the alternatives presented by Garton-Ash. In short I think that while it may be accurate to select this or that influence as driving ONE of their sources of power, few if any of the major leaders is driven by just one or two influences. But one interest needs to be considered: the leaders' major abiding interest may be simply to retain power where in some cases, staying alive is contingent on retaining power.

    I also think we should also try to avoid making a judgement that turns out to be nothing more than a Rorschach test reflecting our own personal influences that drive us. Some one-note-johnnies* will do that anyway.

    *Urban dictionary: "Someone who constantly talks about the same thing over and over again as if they had no idea that they were notorious for talking about the same thing over and over again."
  4. Joined
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    28 Sep '12 00:113 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    Added unsolicited comment. I think all seven of them represent "interests" -- and conflicts can arise within each arena. The 7th, conflicts of material interests, might, I think, also be labelled conflicts of economic interests, including not only over distribution of economic goods, but over fundamentally different economic models for the distribution of those economic goods. Historically this would be played out as in #4. I guess a devotee of Marxism would say this is what it's all about.

    PS, Ironically, this thread will belong in Debates, not in Spirituality, unless the religious angles get a lot of play.
  5. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 Sep '12 14:38
    Originally posted by JS357
    PS, Ironically, this thread will belong in Debates, not in Spirituality, [b]unless the religious angles get a lot of play.[/b]
    This is the forum that has given most time to promoting overt islamophobia under the guise of religious debate. Obviously any attempt to make such debate rational is not going to get a big following here.

    I do agree that religion is misused to promote political agendas. For this reason I thought it useful to point out that the debate about Islam is frequently quite distant from anything that might be considered "spiritual" in its nature.

    Incidentally, the seven points listed above are attempts to get people to define what they imagine to be "the problem with Islam." That begs the question whether there is such a problem in the first place. For the most part, I consider that people have a problem of their own which they project onto Islam. The problem is their own. I suppose that is a cross that Islam has to bear!

    The real reason my post will provoke little debate is because none of the points listed will make much sense to people who are totally ignorant about Islam in the first place.
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    28 Sep '12 16:37
    Originally posted by finnegan
    This is the forum that has given most time to promoting overt islamophobia under the guise of religious debate. Obviously any attempt to make such debate rational is not going to get a big following here.

    I do agree that religion is misused to promote political agendas. For this reason I thought it useful to point out that the debate about Islam is fre ...[text shortened]... sted will make much sense to people who are totally ignorant about Islam in the first place.
    There are 6 (or is it 7?) explanatory paradigms for why your post will provoke little debate... 😉
  7. Standard memberRemoved
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    28 Sep '12 16:39
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    I think it's roots, that is , in this part of the world started here...
    Gen 16:9-12

    9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand." 10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her:

    "Behold, you are with child,
    And you shall bear a son.
    You shall call his name Ishmael,
    Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
    12 He shall be a wild man;
    His hand shall be against every man,
    And every man's hand against him.
    And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."
    NKJV

    I am not saying I understand it all, but any follower of history should consider these verses. There have been problems there ever since..
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    28 Sep '12 17:185 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    Points one and two are tosh

    1. Religion is neither delusional nor superstitious, its has to do with ethics and
    morality, the idea that its unreasonable is a product of western materialism, in fact,
    it can be demonstrated that in religiously vibrant country like India, that religion
    not only has a cultural significance but that it foments thought. Even in the west, the
    Bible itself has inspired much of our greatest literature, art and music.

    2. Pakistan, the second largest Islamic state is a national socialist republic,
    the former leader General Pervaiz Musharif clearly stated on national television that
    while he was a Muslim he would not let Islam be used for political processes. Turkey
    is also an Islamic nation which exemplifies the separation of religion and state.

    The problem is Islam itself, its inherently conservative and like Judaism is guided by
    a set of rules and regulations which make it an empty ritual, thus it has no real way
    of influencing the conscience and thus represses reason and discernment. Its tenets
    also cannot be intellectually defended, it really does state that a person who
    speaks against it should be put to death. Its prophet, while being a rather colourful
    fellow cannot be criticised and thus when someone does, the reaction is emotive
    rather than reasonable, because frankly, there are no reasonable answers for some
    of his actions.
  9. Standard memberDasa
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    28 Sep '12 17:291 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am sickened by the level of Islamaphobia expressed by some contributors in this forum. This material might perhaps permit a more interesting debate, since each of the seven points offers a basis for debate that might get beyond the racist simplicities of other threads.
    The historian Timothy Garton-Ash writes principally about geopolitics and the ...[text shortened]... demonises the traditions of the other.

    http://www.insted.co.uk/anti-muslim-racism.pdf
    It is you Dear Sir who is ignorant about Islam

    Fact 1. This is a forum.

    Fact 2. Islamic violence is in the news every day - hence any post about Islam is topical.......in this forum or any forum.

    Fact 3. Islam is a violent ideaology and not true religion.

    Fact 4. Islam makes its own laws which are oppressive and cruel and unjust.

    Fact 5. Islam was founded by a man who plunderd and pillaged and mudered and raped his way across the land to estabish Islam by instilling fear into the hearts of all.

    Fact 6. This man is responsbasle for killing hudreds of thousands of Hindus and Christians and destroying their temples and raping and enslaving their women.

    Fact 7. Islam is still plundering and killing and raping people to this very day [see todays news and yestedays news and in fact everydays news to hear of corruption and murder and rape and kidnappings and torture by Muslims]

    Fact 8. The founder of Islam had no disernable spiritual qualities - being fond of under-age girls and he died from eating rotten meat and suffered a terrible inauspicious death.

    Fact 9. If the founder of Islam was still alive today he would be tried and put to death for human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

    Footnote; (Dear Moderators this content is true and has nothing to do with hate as finnegan has suggested and is simply informative for those who are uninformed)
  10. SubscriberProper Knob
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    28 Sep '12 17:34
    Originally posted by Dasa
    It is you Dear Sir who is ignorant about Islam

    Fact 1. This is a forum.

    Fact 2. Islamic violence is in the news every day - hence any post about Islam is topical.......in this forum or any forum.

    Fact 3. Islam is a violent ideaology and not true religion.

    Fact 4. Islam makes its own laws which are oppressive and cruel and unjust.

    Fact 5. Isla ...[text shortened]... o do with hate as finnegan has suggested and is simply informative for those who are uninformed)
    Does AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prubhupada share your views concerning Islam?
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    28 Sep '12 17:36
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I think it's roots, that is , in this part of the world started here...
    [b]Gen 16:9-12

    9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand." 10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." 11 And the Angel of the L ...[text shortened]... wer of history should consider these verses. There have been problems there ever since..
    This is a sort of extremist version of #2, extreme in that it holds out no hope for mere reform of Islam.

    Now we need an opposing view; presenting for example the position that in these verses the Jews reinterpreted and modified the Bible in order to justify themselves as inheritors of the Abrahamic covenant via Isaac, (later re-reinterpreted in the NT as was needed to support Christianity) and we will have a respectable debate in the tradition of this forum.

    Anyone care to argue for that opposing view? You need not argue in a pro-Islam manner, you could be supportive of #1, with all three religions being manipulative of the scriptures.
  12. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 Sep '12 20:401 edit
    Originally posted by Dasa
    It is you Dear Sir who is ignorant about Islam
    Fact 1. This is a forum.

    Certainly. This gets us off to an excellent start as we can be in complete agreement on this.

    Fact 2. Islamic violence is in the news every day - hence any post about Islam is topical.......in this forum or any forum.

    Of course it is and that is because of the way news is produced.

    Fact 3. Islam is a violent ideaology and not true religion.

    This is not a fact but an assertion. A lot depends on your clarification of what is meant by the term "true religion." Clearly it is a religion and a widely held one, indeed still growing. There is in addition a tendency to use Islam politically in ways that can be compared to an ideology. The issue of whether Islam is being correctly or wrongly applied in that case is widely disputed within Islam let alone outside.

    Fact 4. Islam makes its own laws which are oppressive and cruel and unjust.

    I think that can be the case. Americans do the same. Would you prefer to discuss the operation of capital punishment in the USA and the barbaric, unprincipled way politicians aggressively authorise judicial murder to gain political credit with a blood thirsty, moralistic electorate? Or would you like to debate the use of American drones to terrorize the people of Pakistan? (See the thread on this in Debates) Perhaps we should talk about the use of torture and other abuses by Americans in Iraq and in their self styled war on terror? Do you attribute all this and more to their Christianity? They do!

    Fact 5. Islam was founded by a man who plunderd and pillaged and mudered and raped his way across the land to estabish Islam by instilling fear into the hearts of all.

    This is a ridiculous contribution. Indeed Mohammed did live the violent life of an Arab - that is the society in which he lived. In so far as Mohammed set out to be a prophet for the Arabs, and the Arabs did discover through his teaching a remarkable cohesion which enabled them in a very short time to successfully attack both the Persian and Byzantine empires, the violence of this period is beyond dispute. In this respect he was for example very different to Jesus or Buddha. He had a very explicit political leadership role and he exercised this with immense success. As a result he was able to transform the Arabs from pagan idol worship and from self destructive tribal violence to adopt a rule of law which embraced respect for other religions including Christianity, Jews, and in Persia Zoroastrians.

    Fact 6. This man is responsbasle for killing hudreds of thousands of Hindus and Christians and destroying their temples and raping and enslaving their women.

    That rather depends on your attitude to the way in which Persians and Byzantines conducted warfare at the same time. I think we can agree that the Seventh Century was pretty rough - and most of the other centuries likewise. What was unusual about Mohammed was that he insisted on strict rules for warfare and once he conquered an area, insisted also on respect and toleration for the religion of Christians, Jews and others provided they were not "idol worshippers." I am not sure what contact, if any, there was at this time with Hindus - they were not far distant at any rate. Of course, I am well aware of the later Muslim conquests in India leading to the Mogul Empire. Setting that aside then, Mohammed contrasted very strongly with the practices od Christians in warfare. It was only in the later Middle Ages that Christianity brought some limited code of conduct into the practice of warfare. For example, their conduct in the Crusades was shocking and sickening even for those (somewhat later) times.

    Fact 7. Islam is still plundering and killing and raping people to this very day [see todays news and yestedays news and in fact everydays news to hear of corruption and murder and rape and kidnappings and torture by Muslims]

    As indicated in an adjacent thread about Syria, you are talking trash.

    Fact 8. The founder of Islam had no disernable spiritual qualities - being fond of under-age girls and he died from eating rotten meat and suffered a terrible inauspicious death.

    This is just offensive nonsense. Mohammed lived in the manner of his time and place. Let's not get into debate about the pesonal morality of the ancients. They lived in very different times.

    Fact 9. If the founder of Islam was still alive today he would be tried and put to death for human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

    Not if he was an American he wouldn't. If he was an Arab I imagine a drone would see him reduced to "bug-splat" in the charming terminology of those funny lads back in Arizona who play space invaders with the human rights of people they despise.

    You may notice that it is very easy to play your game of slandering a whole group of people with selective facts. At least I pick on the big people with power.
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Sep '12 21:20
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Does AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prubhupada share your views concerning Islam?
    You really think he is going to answer that one? Or was that a rhetorical question?
  14. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    28 Sep '12 21:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    You really think he is going to answer that one? Or was that a rhetorical question?
    either way I'm glad Proper Knob is asking.
  15. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 Sep '12 21:573 edits
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Does AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prubhupada share your views concerning Islam?
    My word you are a clever Knob aren't you. The answer is "no"
    Google reveals all:
    Bhaktivedanta Swami considered Moses, Jesus, and Mohamed to be empowered representatives of God, describing them within his writings as pioneers of the same essential message of dedication to God with love and devotion.[62]
    “ "Actually, it doesn't matter – Krishna or Christ – the name is the same. The main point is to follow the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures that recommend chanting the name of God in this age." [63] ”
    Other typical expression presents a different perspective, where Bhaktivedanta Swami would point out that "today I may be a Hindu, but tomorrow I may become a Christian or Muslim. In this way faiths can be changed, but dharma" is a natural sequence, a natural occupation or a connection and it can not be changed, because it is permanent, according to him
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada

    In these two Statements, Srila Prabhupada explains that the Is­amic religion is also teaching how to become a servant of only one God and surrender to Him with love and devotion. One can cultivate the same knowledge in the Vaishnava religion but with more detailed information. In Vaishnavism, one can learn how to de­velop his eternal loving relationships with the Supreme Lord. Although Dr. Patel could not accept that Islam is also Vaishnavism, Srila Prabhupada explained that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in his conversation with the Pathana Muslims, proved by quoting from the Holy Qur’an that Islam is also Vaishnavism. At the end of his conversation all the Pathana Mus­lims, including the great Muslim Scholar and prince Vijuli Khan, accepted the fact that Vaishavism is a true religion teaching complete surrender to the will and desire of God, which is the meaning of Islam. Later on in 197S, in Tehran, Srila Prabhupada explained that Islam is a simplified form of the Vaishnava religion. Why? Because the Holy Prophet Muhammad taught his people according to time, place, circumstances and their intellectual level. He himself clearly said, “I received two kinds of knowledge: one of these I taught — but if I had taught them the other, it would have broken their necks.” (Nadarbeg K. Mizra, Reincarnation and Islam, Madras, 1927, p. 4)

    http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/profiles/blogs/a-c-bhaktivedanta-swami-prabhupada-on-islam-islam-is-also

    2, So now you are ready to share, what do you say to Muslims? I have heard many speculations about our view on Islam & Muslims, alot of bad ones coming from Indian people & even devotees from India stating "well, the bhavishya purana says this & that. Please understand we generally cannot understand any purana unless it is explained by our founder Acarya Srila Prabhupada. With any field of teaching you want to take up please check out fully what Prabhupada says about this first. This gives us the correct angle, correct understanding, correct mood to develop, avoid treading on dangerous grounds, fully consult Srila Prabhupada first & senior devotees in the same field. There was a big devotee who once went on public radio & said the Prophet Hz. Mohammed was some kind of Hobgoblin, Muslims are followers of Shiva and more...

    Terrible! Can you find one place where Prabhupada says such things? No! What does he say? The Complete opposite, here are some quotes and more in the veda base.

    Knowing the philosophy is one thing but having the wrong mood is something else.

    We must hear, see & understand the mood of Prabhupada when he deals with different matters then we can do a better job of following him.

    A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

    1. "Hazrat Muhammad, the inaugurator of the Islam religion, I accept him as an empowered servant of God because he preached God-consciousness in those parts of the world and induced them to accept the authority of God. He is accepted as the servant of God and we have all respect for him."? ( Letter, 2-4-1976)

    2. So therefore, by that symptom, we accept Lord Jesus Christ as Saktyaves avatara, or Hazrat Muhammad, he's also. Because these two religious leaders of the world, they preached about the glorification of the Supreme Lord. And they sacrificed everything for preaching the glories of the Lord. Therefore... And their influence and their followers, there are... These are the symptoms by which we can understand that Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad was, were Saktyaves avataras. ( CC Madhya-lila 20.367-84)

    3. "Vedas means the books of transcendental knowledge. Not only the Bhagavad Gita, even the Bible or the Quran, they are also."? (lecture 29-7-68) 4. Srila Prabhupada:No, no. Christianity is Vaisnavism.

    ........

    7. They accept God. They are also our brothers because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheist don't accept God. "there is no God"? say the atheist.

    But here they are theists. They accept God. They want to please God. They go to the church, go to mosques, offer prayers. Prayers is also bhakti, devotional service. The Christian way or the Muslim way is to offer prayer. The Muslims offer obeisences & offer prayer. So that is also Bhakti (devotion). The Christians also do that, so that is also bhakti. And they accept God; We accept God. So there is no difference. But the only point is who is that God. ( room conversation, Tehran 14-3-75) So you can see what is our mission, simply to try and increase our attraction and their attraction to the Supreme personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna & help them to develop further attachment to Krsna and loving service unto Krsna (Bhakti yoga). What process they choose to follow, like Prabhupada we should leave up to each individual to decide for themselves without any tinge of label, bodily identification (you must join my group) rubbish.

    ....
    "?My mission is not turn any one from the affiliation of a particular religion but I want to let them know more knowledge about God and devotion."? 6-11-1965, (letters) Srila Prabhupada.

    http://www.vnn.org/editorials/ET0602/ET10-8910.html

    It was a tough read but I am convinced and from now on I will worship Google.
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