Perhaps i should preface this by letting you know that I have recently returned from Tanzania. It is a mixed bag of Muslims and Christians. Certain areas are predominantly Muslim and some predominantly Christian. There appears to be no conflict amongst the people and they live within their religions quite peacefully. The Christians show respect and don’t make public shows of eating in public during Ramazan and live next to Mosques that wake them up at 4 o’clock in the morning and the Muslim’s let the Christians practice their faith. Now, I lived with people who lived in mud huts and mixed with fishermen and boys, cooks, shopkeepers, hotel staff, charity workers, the Masai…the Lower class (The British use the term “Working Class which is designed to keep them in their place). I was teaching English and thought I had discovered a novel way of teaching Indefinite and Definite Articles applying a little simple Logic:
Definite and Indefinite Articles: The, A and An
The definite article The is used to refer to something for the first time or to refer to a particular member of group or class. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English for both singular and plural nouns, is “The”.
The Indefinite Article (A and An). Use An for Nouns that begin with a Vowel or Vowel Sound. Use A for Non-Vowel Sounding Nouns.
Hence the Logic follows:
If X = True then
If X (Noun) is used to refer to something for the first time or to refer to a particular member of group or class. Or something that the speaker has already mentioned or it may be something uniquely specified THEN use The.
We now know that the Noun must be referred to by either A or An.
If X (Noun) begins with a vowel sound Then
I was explaining this to a fellow native teacher and he said to me “Ah, you must first teach them how to think” and this was because the method of teaching in Tanzania is Victorian, authoritative and children are not encouraged to think for themselves. This extends to their religions and Islam is certainly not questioned, that would be dangerous. I think it is fair to say that people feared offending Muslims. As I say I lived amongst people with very simple lives and all I could ask you to imagine is your country and your people but 100 years ago, law-abiding, church going Christian folk and then from abroad you see video’s like this:
You must ask yourself: If you lived 100 years ago and was a person of Faith and you saw this as a representation of the West, would you fight to save your country from Sodom and Gomorrah? What would you think? The Muslim’s in the Middle East have not learned to think, all they know is to do. I talk in general terms. The Enlightenment meant a different thing to them. It certainly didn’t involve Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”, Post Modernism, Existentialism, Rock ‘n’roll, Punk and the rest. They have not got the BBC despite its faults and oppositional views are tolerated.
A Muslim is a person of Faith and we in the West have forgotten what Faith is and to have a relationship with God. That is a big thing, and we forget this and perhaps dismiss it as silly when it is the most important thing to any human; their relationship with the Universe. For some reason and another, mostly having been born in a Muslim country, they have chosen Islam as their guide and God. The West has chosen Stuff, Sodom and Gomorrah, sugar and coffee to keep usgoing through the week and booze to help us relax on the weekend.
It is no use arguing that the excesses of the West are restricted to Sex because they also apply to things:
The Muslims are fighting against Consumerism and the Self for sale.
Syria is a religiously mixed country also but is ostensibly secular: free from religious rule and teachings.
The Terrorism that Syria is being met with is the same Terrorism that the West is facing. However, President Bashar al-Assad does not want to forge an military alliance with the West (The United States) because Assad like the Muslim’s recognises the excesses Consumerism too and also sees the corrupting influence of Free-Market Neo-Liberal policies on the West.
We have austerity and food banks and homelessness and drug addiction, sex trafficking, politicians in sex and financial scandals, corporations not paying tax, the government giving away tax payers money to the wealthy, our healthcare system falling apart, children suffering from ADHD and medicated, obesity, greed, self and the relentless echo of “I want”. If you were President Bashar al-Assad would you want to forge an alliance with Donald trump or Hillary Clinton? The US has Syria surrounded (Please study the maps) and is supplying ISIS, Al Qaeda and other Right Wing Muslims with the weapons to attack Syria for being Secular. The US wants ISIS etc to beat Syria into submission, to force them to forge an alliance with them. However, Russia has come to Syria’s aid; they both have an aversion to the United States. And the War continues. The White Helmets are on the side of ISIS as is most Western media.
There may be those that view the President of Syria only through Western eyes and ears, who cannot imagine what it must be like to rule a country that has a complicated Religious base with Islam breathing down your neck. The UK has only recently quelled the remnants of a religious war in Northern Ireland. Assad continues to keep his country together despite facing terrorism from many factions of the extreme Islam who have the military backing of the United States.