We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Obeying the commandments

I am presently in Pogradec, on the southern (Albanian) coast of the very beautiful Lake Ohrid in the southern Balkans. (The weather is awful, alas). Albania is an Islamic country of course, which might explain the modesty of the advertising billboards.

Also, I am presently using a WiFi hotspot in a bar in a betting shop. And the koran I had for dinner last night was delicious.

20 comments to Obeying the commandments

  • PeterT

    Wasn’t Albania at some point the only country in the world to have ‘atheism’ as the official ‘religion’?

  • Brad

    Well, now I’m thirsty. It’s a draw between a beer or two big glasses of milk.

  • Alisa

    PeterT: that’s quite interesting, but why the ‘quotes’?

  • Not quite sure how to interpret an advertisement which roughly translates from the Albanian as “Touch Summer” (preke verën).

    Is that the name of the girl or the origin of the taste of the beer?

  • Modesty indeed. From a Brazilian perspective, that bikini is huge…

  • JH

    I never forget flying into Turkey for the first time as a young man. I had a copy of Viz to read on the plane; as we disembarked I decided to leave it on board lest the Islamic Turkish immigration control leaf through it and by offended by the profanity.

    Upon entering a normal Turkish newsagent I then saw the hard core porn openly on display on the not-very-high top shelf, and thought I may have over-egged my concern.

  • guy herbert

    Alisa,

    I think almost all communist countries were officially atheist (rather than secular), in that the state actually encouraged atheism, at some point in the 20th century. And a number of the certainly tried to ban religion. But since atheism isn’t a religion, then it couldn’t be a “state religion” without inverted commas.

  • lucklucky

    Before Communism there were the Italians in Albania.. Count Ciano criticized Mussolini in public because he had only one mistress…

  • Fred Z

    You make a point you do not realize. The Muslims hope to convert Europe.

    I rather hope they do.

    I should very much enjoy watching the Arabs et al interact with Germans re-invigorated by Islam. The Celtic races likewise should make a great deal of pleasure in the middle east if they get all fired up with a new religion.

    And, oh dear, the mixed up races of Celtic-Teutonic-Latins of France and the UK? Scots Highlanders full of Islamic fury?

    I look forwards to the Wahhabis of Edinburgh single handedly conquering Saudi Arabia for the greater glory of Robert the Bruce, Allah and his prophet Calvin.

    You think I’m joking? I’m absolutely not joking.

  • Tom Perkins

    Wait ’til the Saudis get through with them.

  • Antoine Clarke

    Atheism is a religion. It’s the cult of Narcissus.

  • Laird

    Stupid comment. Narcissism is no more (and no less) an element of athiesm as it is of theism. It’s an element of personality, not theology.

  • bloke in spain

    To get back to the important subject, what is it about E. Euro totty?
    The club down the road from here,(OK let’s be honest about this, brothel) is packed with Romanian, Bulgarian & Russian scorchers. Did they leave their ugly sisters at home & the countries are nothing but a wasteland of munters?
    This seems to me to be one of the vital issues of our times.

  • What do you mean, you had Koran for dinner ?

    Did you send it back to the kitchen because it was burned ? ;)

  • Russ

    @Bloke:

    I think the horrible truth is that there’s simply a much greater proportion of stunners in the East-Central and Eastern-european population.

    I spent part of my fabulously misspent youth in Budapest, at an international institution drawing from the region, but also going back over to Western Europe fairly regularly for conferences. If language didn’t tell me where I’d gotten off the train, one look at the women in the station did.

    So of course the first thing I did was get an import license and established a life-lease on one. She’s transplanted remarkably well to Texas.

  • Paul Marks

    Athiesm is indeed not a religion Guy – it simply means lack of belief in God (emptyness or nothingness – rather than a belief system of its own).

    However, Marxism is a religion – or, at least, has many of features of a religion.

    Also Progressivism is a religion (as is British Fabian socialism) – techically speaking this is a different religion to Marxism (as it lacks the end state of Marxism – where there is no state and people are totally free. Under Progressivism, what a Marxist would call the “stage” of statism [tyranny] carries on for ever – it never “withers away”).

    However, in practice Progressives (Fabians in Britain) and Marxists are allied (allied in their desire to destroy what is left of civil society – the West) and are so mixed together (and influnce each other so much) that is is hard to tell them apart.

    Also one does not really need to tell them apart – as they are all enemies (total enemies – with whom any dealings are deeply unwise).

    As for Albania.

    There was once a strong Christian population there (King Zog and so on).

    But the Marxists proved better able to destroy the Christain churches than they were to destroy Islam.

    The strength of Islam (even under persecution) is worth noting.

    Presently the Marxists (not all – but most factions) are in alliance with the “Islamists” (for want of a better word) in their desire to exterminate the West. The alliance is rather like the Hyde Park area of Chicago (with Islamists and Marxists giving each other jobs on Foundations – and so on) accept it is on a world scale.

    The Marxists are (of course) planning to betray the Islamists when the West is destroyed (indeed, they tell themselves, they are laying the groundwork for the end of Islam already).

    However, they may have miscalculated.

    The left may find they are exterminated by their “friends” rather than they end up doing the exterminating.

    I do not really rate the university (and media and….) crowd – their religion has a key weakness (in comparison with Islam).

    It does not promise INDIVIDUAL survival after death. Barack Obama may talk about “collective salvation” (heaven on Earth – the old Marxist “Liberation Theolgy” way of corrupting Christianity) as much as he likes, but (turning to Islam) individual Muslims are unlikely to be tricked with such ease.

    For all the talk of “Islamic Socialism” (i.e. the de facto wipeing out of Islam – and its replacement by athiest collective salvation), the personal relationship between the INDIVIDUAL believer and God (and the promise of INDIVIDUAL survival after death) is too central to Islam to really be destoyed.

    Plunder, rape, murder – in such things the Marxists have (and will) find millions of willing allies (indeed the problem that Christian criminals face, that Jesus did not do these things [indeed denounced them], is not faced by people who happen to be Muslim – as Muhammed did all of these things, and much more).

    But the replacement of individual with collective salvation? The denial of the promise of heaven in return for a claim that Earth can be turned into a paradise?

    No – the Muslims will not fall for this. They are more likely slit the throats of their “friends” (the university, media…… crowd) who are trying to trick them.

    Many Muslims are far from stupid (indeed they are highly intelligent – and deeply skilled in such arts as saying one thing and meaning something else), and their tradition encourages (indeed mandates) the individual study of their faith.

    And dealing with “reinterprations” of Islam is something in which Muslims have over a thousand years of experience.

    They do not leave it to institutions to deal with such problems (institutions that can be infiltated) their tradition is to deal with the problem (i.e. the people who threaten to “reinterpret” their faith) directly.

    This the Marxists (and the Progressives/Fabians) will find out presently.

    They may well find out that they are not the ones using their allies – but are, in fact, being used themselves.

  • Julie near Chicago

    What Paul said. It’s Molotov-Ribbentrop writ large. And each of the two (current) leaders of the Forces of Darkness believes that after it’s claimed its ownership of mankind, it will succeed in destroying the other.

    We do indeed live in interesting times.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course some of the Marxist faction in the West have already shown how ruthless they are – in relation to Muslims.

    At the very time that he has been making speeches blaming the West for everything in the world (i.e. virutally his entire time in office) Barack Obama has also being quitely targeting Muslims for drone attacks.

    “Nothing wrong with killing terrorists” say the right (and so do not attack this policy).

    And the left (for the most part) do not attack it either – because Barack is one of them.

    However, the drone attacks have been without any of the safeguards their were under Bush.

    Mistakes were made under Bush – with tragic consequences, but under Obama the mistakes (the killing of civilains as well as terrorists) have become far more common.

    So why the ruthlessness?

    The need to eliminate Muslim actitivists who do not accept the alliance – who do not accept such compromise positions as “Islamic Socialism”.

    It is not terrorism itself that is the problem (to Obama) – after all there are plenty of Islamic Socialist terrorists (and they are not normally targeted) it certain sorts of terrorist.

    But Barack is mistaken.

    Many of the “Islamic Socialists” do not not believe in the doctrine (they see the alliance as simply a tactical one – not one of belief).

    And he will find out that he has been tricked (rather than doing the tricking) quite soon.

    It is unfortunate for all of us to live in such times.

  • Midwesterner

    The need to eliminate Muslim actitivists who do not accept the alliance – who do not accept such compromise positions as “Islamic Socialism”.

    In that case Paul, how long does ErdoÄŸan have? Doesn’t he just about pin the needle on the pro-Islam/anti-Marx gauge? And how do they get him under the bus without putting the bus in the ditch (to get slightly carried away with the metaphors).