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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Sunday, July 16, 2006
 
Saved by a soccer emblem based on the Third Crusade : via Don Singleton
A Briton escaped being killed by Muslim fanatics — because they thought his Portsmouth Football Club sticker was an Islamic emblem. Terrified Tony Restall, 56, was ambushed by Arab fundamentalists in strife-torn Yemen. The bandits, armed with AK-47 rifles, dragged him and his armed guard out of their car and threatened to either execute or take them hostage. Then they spotted Pompey fan Tony's club sticker in a window and thought the moon and star symbols meant he was a practising Muslim.... "But they spotted my Portsmouth FC sticker and the mood changed. They thought I was Muslim as the star and moon are Muslim symbols. I was able to convince them that, although I was Western, I was helping Muslims in the area.".... Portsmouth FC based their badge on the city's 900-year-old coat of arms. The crest used the symbol of King Richard's chancellor William de Longchamp, who adopted a crescent moon and star in honour of the Third Crusade.
Original story: Sun Online approx. date May 23, 2006


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


small red cross

 
Soldier's widow fights to place symbol on husband's grave: Philadephia Inquirer
There are 38 religious symbols approved for placement on government-issued grave markers and memorials for military veterans, but the pentacle isn't one of them.

The five-pointed star within a circle that represents the Wiccan religion, a neo-pagan, earth-based belief system, is not on the list.

As a result, the space reserved for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart's memorial plaque at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nev., remains empty. Stewart, 34, was killed in September 2005 when his Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. He was a follower of the Wiccan tradition, and his wife is fighting to have the fact engraved in stone.

"My husband's faith got him through the war in Desert Storm, through life's problems. It is our spirituality," Roberta Stewart, 36, said. "This is who we are as Americans."

The effort to get the symbol of a tradition that for many conjures up thoughts of devil worship and steaming cauldrons has been going on for nine years, according to leaders in the Wiccan community. In the interim, other emblems have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The complete list of authorized emblems of belief is at Arlington National Cemetery

An example of the Wiccan symbol is on the Wikipedia

A problem with using really simple symbols like a five-pointed star is that different and divergent groups will claim it, in this case, both Muslims and Wiccans.

In the case of Muslims, they really don't have a symbol. Some Muslims reject the five pointed star, others even consider it blasphemous. The declaration on the Saudi flag "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God" is the ideal symbol of Islam.

In the case of Christians, there is a unity around the cross as its symbol.

Frankly, I am sympathetic to the bureaucratic problem religions with a small number of members have with no central authority. It is very hard to identify the bona fides of such religions. I see a contradiction here: if there's no authority, who's to say what the symbol of Wicca actually is?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


small red cross

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