The level of ignorance in the Arab world is staggering.
I recently re-deployed from a 14 month combat tour in northern Iraq, near the city of Kirkuk. This is a very secular area, relatively peaceful and with good education.
Early in our deployment, some of our Soldiers were talking with one of the Iraqi Army units in the area at their headquarters. The Iraqi Army (IA) officers were university educated, secular professional soldiers, most of whom held rank during the Saddam era.
As usual, a TV set was on, and everyone watched as a Space Shuttle launched toward the ISS. A short time into the launch, the shuttle began it's roll program to head East and gain advantage from the Earth's rotation. Some of the IA officers began chattering in Arabic, and the translator said they were talking about the Shuttle heading for Israel.
When American officers asked what they meant, they explained (as to idiots) that the Shuttle had to aim for the hole into space left after the Mohammed ascended into heaven all those years ago.
The clinching evidence? When Columbia and Challanger were destroyed, it was because THEY MISSED THE HOLE INTO SPACE!
This was not expressed as a joke, or as a religious story - it was explained as a simple "truth".
Monday, November 24, 2008
Hole Into Space