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Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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2012 Reads > FOUND: Al Qaida = The Foundation

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments The Big vs. the Little.
Remember OBl used to say he would not destroy us, he would bankrupt us??

The little vs. the big

...It asserted that Isaac Asimov's 1951 classic Foundation was translated into Arabic under the title "al-Qaida"....
"This peculiar coincidence would be of little interest if not for abundant parallels between the plot of Asimov's book and the events unfolding now," wrote Dmitri Gusev, the scientist who posted the article. He was referring to apparent similarities between the plot of Foundation and the pursuit of the organisation we have come to know, perhaps erroneously, as al-Qaida.

The Arabic word qaida - ordinarily meaning "base" or "foundation" - is also used for "groundwork" and "basis". It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of "database": qaida ma'lumat (information base). ...

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments I remember reading that the US intelligence agencies are the ones credited with giving Al Qaeda its name. Al Qaeda would refer to itself as 'the foundation' in the correspondence with itself that CIA etc was reading but like you say it's just a generic term.

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments It's all speculation based on a coincidence in name -- there's no evidence that bin Laden ever read the book let alone liked it well enough to name his organization after it.

If the name does come from any Western science fiction novel, wouldn't Dune be more likely -- Paul's secret tribal name there is Usul which means "The Base of the Pillar," and has a context much closer to al Qaeda's goals than the Foundation does.

message 4: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments OBL earned his civil engineering degrees in the US so it's posssible he read it while here. More likely his CIA/Reagan handlers thought it funny. Not sure the Guardian knew of his CIA roots.

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Anne wrote: "OBL earned his civil engineering degrees in the US"

King Abdulaziz University is in the United States? I know this is the Internet, but that doesn't mean you can just make shit up.

message 6: by Anne (last edited Sep 14, 2012 07:54AM) (new)

Anne | 336 comments OBL spent a good deal of time in the US too. How do you think he got to know us so well?

In those days he was our guy to fight the Soviets.

The internet has a lot of disinformation on it. Most of the Bin Laden family studied in the US or Europe. Many still do.

message 7: by Sean (last edited Sep 14, 2012 08:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Many bin Ladens may have studied in the US, but Osama did not -- there is no evidence that he ever set foot on American soil, ever. Nor was he acting as an American agent in Afghanistan -- the US only supplied native Afghan resistance groups; the Arab groups that fought in the country were financed by the Saudis.

Anne wrote: "The internet has a lot of disinformation on it."

Indeed it does, which is why I get my information from books, as do most people here. So please stop making stuff up and expecting nobody present will notice.

message 8: by Doug (new)

Doug Luberts | 35 comments I believe Al Qaida's full name actually translates "The Base of the Jihad", and that, if I remember some info from a documentary correctly, UBL was concerned about the PR implications of the name being shortened to just 'al qaida' as it lost sight of importance of the jihad...Again, that's just what I remember from something I saw on tv a while back.

Think everyone is reading too much into this.

Kenny | 31 comments There will always be those conspiracy theorists. Osama has always been the black sheep of his family. The bin ladens are wealthy oil moguls from Saudi not crazy extremists and I'm sure some of his family has been in the states. As for al Qaeda using foundation as an organizational model, that's a total fallacy. Al Qaeda's doctrine is laid out in the Manchester document.

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Kenny wrote: "The bin ladens are wealthy oil moguls from Saudi not crazy extremists and I'm sure some of his family has been in the states."

No, they're Yemeni construction moguls who moved to Saudi.

And that article is hilarious. It draws you in with that Did Asimov inspire bin Laden? lede. Then it moves on to talk about how Aum Shinrikyo, a group that has next to nothing in common with Al-Qaeda except a high-profile terrorist attack in a major population centre, was inspired by Asimov. Then some other cults/insurrectionists/fringe groups that might have been inspired by science fiction. Only to conclude this OBL/Asimov connection is tenuous and silly. You think?

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