Saturday, August 7, 2010

Today's Arabic Vocabulary Lesson: "Mosque" & "Taqiyya"

The word mosque is derived from the Arabic word masjid, which literally means the place of prostration (sujud). This is the position in Islamic ritual prayers (Salaat), in which the forehead of the worshipper touches the ground in the supreme act of submission and surrender before God .... Unlike the Middle East where mosques are strictly sites for worship, mosques in the US play the multi-faceted roles of religious institutions, welfare organizations, community centers, locations for voter registration drives, and sites frequented visited by local political candidates.
[What is the role of Mosque? By Muhammed Khako]

The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury."

A one-word translation would be

.... The true spirit of "al-Taqiyya" is better embodied in the single word "diplomacy" because it encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of behaviors that serve to further the vested interests of all parties involved.
[Al-Islam.Org website]

Hmmm. "Diplomacy", eh?

"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie' until you can find a rock."
Will Rogers

"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
Otto von Bismark

"Diplomacy is a disguised war, in which states seek to gain by barter and intrigue, by the cleverness of arts, the objectives which they would have to gain more clumsily by means of war."
Randolph Bourne

"DIPLOMACY, n. Lying in state, or the patriotic art of lying for one's country."
Ambrose Bierce

1 comment:

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