Tag Archives: Muslim

Almanac – May 19

1536 – Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for alledged adultery, treason, and incest.

Following the coronation of her daughter, Elizabeth, as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe.

Over the centuries, she has inspired or been mentioned in numerous artistic and cultural works, as a result, she has retained her hold on the popular imagination.

Anne has been called “the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had”, since she provided the occasion for Henry VIII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and declare his independence from Rome.

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1649 – An Act of Parliament declaring England a Commonwealth was passed by the Long Parliament.

England would be a republic for the next eleven years.

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1925 – Malcolm X born. American Muslim minister and human rights activist.

To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, and violence.

He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

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Almanac – May 15

913 – Hatto I, Archbishop of Mainz, died.

One account of his death claimed he was struck by lightning,  another that he was thrown alive by the devil into the crater of Mount Etna.

His memory was long regarded in Saxony with great abhorrence, and stories of cruelty and treachery gathered round his name.

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1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world’s first machine gun.

Puckle demonstrated two versions of the basic design: one, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets, while the second variant, designed to be used against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets, which were considered to be more damaging and would, according to its patent, convince the Turks of the “benefits of Christian civilization.”

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1948 – Brian Eno born. English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist,  one of the principal innovators of ambient music.

He joined  Roxy Music as synthesiser player in the early 1970s, but  soon tired of touring and of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry.

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1956 – Austin Osman Spare died.  English artist and occultist who worked as both a draughtsman and a painter.

 Influenced by symbolism and the artistic decadence of art nouveau, his art was known for its clear use of line, and its depiction of monstrous and sexual imagery.

In an occult capacity, he developed idiosyncratic magical techniques including automatic writing, automatic drawing and sigilization based on his theories of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious self.

Spare’s esoteric legacy was largely maintained by his friend, the Thelemite author Kenneth Grant in the latter part of the 20th century, and his beliefs regarding sigils provided a key influence on the chaos magic movement and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

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Almanac – March 04

1193 – Salāh al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb died.  Better known in the Western world as Saladin,  he was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

A Muslim of Kurdish origins, Saladin led Islamic opposition against the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.

Saladin died of a fever. In his  possession at the time of his death were 1 piece of gold and 47 pieces of silver. He had given away his great wealth to his poor subjects leaving nothing to pay for his funeral. He was buried in a mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

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1702 – Jack Sheppard born. Notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years.

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1878 – Peter D. Ouspensky born. Russian esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff, whom he met in Moscow in 1915.

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1950 – Adam Rainer died. The only man in recorded human history  to have been both a dwarf and a giant.

Born in Graz, Austria-Hungary in 1899,  in 1917, at age 18, he was measured at  4 ft 0.25 in. – a  typical defining characteristic of dwarfism is an adult height below 4 ft 10 in.

Then, probably  as a result of a pituitary tumor, he had a dramatic growth spurt so that by 1931 he had reached a height of 7 ft 2 in.

As a result of his gigantism he became bedridden for the rest of his life. When he died in 1950 he had reached a height of7 ft 8 in.

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Almanac – December 12

1098 – First Crusade: Massacre of Ma’arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breached the town’s walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants – despite having  promised them safe conduct if they surrendered.

After finding themselves with insufficient food, some  Crusaders reportedly resorted to cannibalism, feeding on the dead bodies of Muslims.

A chronicler, Radulph of Caen wrote:

    “Some people said that, constrained by the lack of food, they boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots, impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled.”

These events were also chronicled by Fulcher of Chartres, who wrote:

    “I shudder to tell that many of our people, harassed by the madness of excessive hunger, cut pieces from the buttocks of the Saracens already dead there, which they cooked, but when it was not yet roasted enough by the fire, they devoured it with savage mouth.”

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1948 – The Batang Kali massacre –  the alleged killing of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops on 12 December 1948 during the Malayan Emergency. The incident happened during counter-insurgency operations against Malay and Chinese communists in Malaya – then a colony of the British Crown. It is sometimes described as “Britain’s My Lai”.

Despite several investigations by the British government since the 1950s, as well as, a re-examination of the evidence by the Royal Malaysia Police between 1993 and 1997, no charges have ever been brought against any of the alleged perpetrators.

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1987 – Clifton Chenier died. Louisa born musician, known as the King of Zydeco.

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2007 – Ike Turner died.  American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer. In a career that lasted more than half a century, his repertoire included blues, soul, rock, and funk. He is most popularly known for his 1960s work with his then wife Tina Turner in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, but  his first recording, “Rocket 88” with the Kings of Rhythm credited as Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, in 1951, is considered a possible contender for “first rock and roll song

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Almanac – June 24th

MIDSUMMER DAY

In Great Britain from the 13th century, Midsummer was celebrated on Midsummer Eve (St. John’s Eve, June 23) and St. Peter’s Eve (June 28) with the lighting of bonfires, feasting and merrymaking.

In late fifteenth-century England, John Mirk of Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire, gives the following description:

At first, men and women came to church with candles and other lights and prayed all night long. In the process of time, however, men left such devotion and used songs and dances and fell into lechery and gluttony turning the good, holy devotion into sin.

The church fathers decided to put a stop to these practices and ordained that people should fast on the evening before, and thus turned waking into fasting .

Mirk adds that at the time of his writing,

…in worship of St John the Baptist, men stay up at night and make three kinds of fires: one is of clean bones and no wood and is called a “bonnefyre”; another is of clean wood and no bones, and is called a wakefyre, because men stay awake by it all night; and the third is made of both bones and wood and is called, “St. John’s fire”.

These traditions largely ended after the Reformation, but persisted in rural areas up until the nineteenth century before petering out.

637 – The Battle of Moira was fought between the High King of Ireland and the Kings of Ulster and Dalriada. It is claimed to be largest battle in the history of Ireland.

1314 –The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory by Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not  finally recognize Scottish independence until 1328 .

1374 – A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1519 – Lucrezia Borgia died.

1717 – The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), was founded in London, England.

1901 – Birth of Harry Partch, American composer

1916 – The First Battle Of The Somme began.

1916 Mary Pickford became the first female film star to sign a million dollar contract.

1935 –  Birth of Terry Riley, American composer

1947 – The modern UFO age could be said to have begun – Kenneth Arnold, flying near Mount Rainier, Washington State, USA, encountered 9 unidentified flying objects.
He was later to describe their motion as: “like a saucer would if you skipped it across water” – and thus the term Flying Saucer was born.
Personally, I like another quote he made to reporters: “It seems impossible, but there it is.” A good motto for Forteans everywhere.

1968 – Death of Tony Hancock, British comedian

1985 – STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission, best remembered for having Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist. And maybe a contender for the title of astronaut with the longest name ?

2007 – Death of Derek Dougan, Northern Irish footballer. The name might not mean much to you, but he was my first sporting idol, playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers. I wrote asking him for his autograph, and he sent a signed photo back – pretty thrilling for a 9- or 10-year old. I’d like to say that I still have the photo, but sadly it vanished over the intervening years.

Mr. Frankenstein

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