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Allah

Allah is the Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions. In the English language, the word refers to God in Islam; the word is thought to be derived by contraction from al-ilāh, which means "the god", is related to El and Elah, the Hebrew and Aramaic words for God. The word Allah has been used by Arabic people of different religions since pre-Islamic times. More it has been used as a term for God by Muslims and Arab Christians, it is often, albeit not used in this way by Bábists, Bahá'ís, Mandaeans and Maltese Christians, Mizrahi Jews. Similar usage by Christians and Sikhs in West Malaysia has led to political and legal controversies; the etymology of the word Allāh has been discussed extensively by classical Arab philologists. Grammarians of the Basra school regarded it as either formed "spontaneously" or as the definite form of lāh. Others held that it was borrowed from Syriac or Hebrew, but most considered it to be derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- "the" and ilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the deity", or "the God".

The majority of modern scholars subscribe to the latter theory, view the loanword hypothesis with skepticism. Cognates of the name "Allāh" exist in other Semitic languages, including Aramaic; the corresponding Aramaic form is Elah. It is written as ܐܠܗܐ in Biblical Aramaic and ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ in Syriac as used by the Assyrian Church, both meaning "God". Biblical Hebrew uses the plural form Elohim, but more it uses the singular form Eloah. Regional variants of the word Allah occur in Christian pre-Islamic inscriptions. Different theories have been proposed regarding the role of Allah in pre-Islamic polytheistic cults; some authors have suggested that polytheistic Arabs used the name as a reference to a creator god or a supreme deity of their pantheon. The term may have been vague in the Meccan religion. According to one hypothesis, which goes back to Julius Wellhausen, Allah was a designation that consecrated the superiority of Hubal over the other gods. However, there is evidence that Allah and Hubal were two distinct deities.

According to that hypothesis, the Kaaba was first consecrated to a supreme deity named Allah and hosted the pantheon of Quraysh after their conquest of Mecca, about a century before the time of Muhammad. Some inscriptions seem to indicate the use of Allah as a name of a polytheist deity centuries earlier, but we know nothing precise about this use; some scholars have suggested that Allah may have represented a remote creator god, eclipsed by more particularized local deities. There is disagreement on. No iconic representation of Allah is known to have existed. Allah is the only god in Mecca. Muhammad's father's name was ʿAbd-Allāh meaning "the slave of Allāh". Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word "Allah" to mean "God"; the Christian Arabs of today have no other word for "God" than "Allah". The Aramaic word for "God" in the language of Assyrian Christians is ʼĔlāhā, or Alaha. Arab Christians, for example, use the terms Allāh al-ab for God the Father, Allāh al-ibn for God the Son, Allāh al-rūḥ al-quds for God the Holy Spirit.

Arab Christians have used two forms of invocations that were affixed to the beginning of their written works. They adopted the Muslim bismillāh, created their own Trinitized bismillāh as early as the 8th century; the Muslim bismillāh reads: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful." The Trinitized bismillāh reads: "In the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God." The Syriac and Greek invocations do not have the words "One God" at the end. This addition was made to emphasize the monotheistic aspect of Trinitarian belief and to make it more palatable to Muslims. According to Marshall Hodgson, it seems that in the pre-Islamic times, some Arab Christians made pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a pagan temple at that time, honoring Allah there as God the Creator; some archaeological excavation quests have led to the discovery of ancient pre-Islamic inscriptions and tombs made by Arab Christians in the ruins of a church at Umm el-Jimal in Northern Jordan, which according to Enno Littman, contained references to Allah as the proper name of God.

However, on a second revision by Bellamy et al. the 5-versed-inscription was re-translated as "This was set up by colleagues of ʿUlayh, son of ʿUbaydah, secretary of the cohort Augusta Secunda Philadelphiana. The syriac word ܐܠܗܐ can be found in the reports and the lists of names of Christian martyrs in South Arabia, as reported by antique Syriac documents of the names of those martyrs from the era of the Himyarite and Aksumite kingdomsIn Ibn Ishaq's biography there is a Christian leader named Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad, martyred in Najran in 523, as he had worn a ring that said "Allah is my lord". In an inscription of Christian martyrion dated back to 512, references to'l-ilah can be found in both Arabic and Aramaic; the i

United Front Work Department

The United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is a department that reports directly to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which gathers intelligence on, manages relations with, attempts to influence elite individuals and organizations inside and outside China. The UFWD focuses its work on people or entities that are outside the Party proper in the overseas Chinese community, who hold social, commercial, or academic influence, or who represent interest groups. Through its efforts, the UFWD seeks to ensure that these individuals and groups are supportive of or useful to Chinese Communist Party interests; the United Front Work Department was created during the Chinese Civil War, was reestablished in 1979 under paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. Since 2012, the role and scope of the UFWD has expanded and intensified under Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. United front policies were most used in two periods before the Chinese Communist Revolution, namely from 1924 to 1927, from 1936 to 1945, when the CCP cooperated with the Nationalist Party ostensibly to defeat the Japanese.

The simplest formulation of UF work in the period was to "rally as many allies as possible in order to... defeat a common enemy."In the early years the CCP used United Front policies to cooperate with "disaffected warlords, religious believers, ethnic minorities, Overseas Chinese, "minor parties and groups,", front groups for the Communist Party to appear democratic. The Party's united front strategies were effective against the Nationalists, when combined with military force, "ideological work," and alliance building, which isolated the enemy; the Party communist agitators were able to persuade "minor parties and groups" in China that the Nationalists were "illegitimate and repressive while the CCP embodied progress and democracy."After seizing power the communists continued to deploy united front strategies to train new communist intellectuals, "and, using thought reform based on criticism, began the transformation of the old society intellectuals." This involved violent elimination of what were termed "bourgeois and idealistic political beliefs," to instil faith in "class struggle and revolutionary change."

The CCP required the intellectuals to have "faith in class struggle and revolutionary change." In the late 1970s the policy was used for the common cause of economic reform. From there the Party expanded the scope of its work internationally during the reform era, again following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests; the department includes a bureau tasked with handling Hong Kong, Macau and overseas affairs, articulates the importance of using overseas Chinese populations to promote reunification. It played an important role in building support for "One country, two systems" in Hong Kong during the 1980s and 1990s, operating under the name of the "Coordination Department." The UFWD has been critically described as serving to co-opt non-Communist community leaders outside China, "using them to neutralize Party critics," sometimes coercively. Scholar of Chinese political history John P. Burns presents in his book The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System excerpts from internal party documents demonstrating the role of the UFWD.

The UFWD is to "implement better the party's united front policy and to assess and understand patriotic personages in different fields... so that we can arrange for correct placements for them and mobilize and bring into play their positive role in the Four Modernizations and to accomplish the return of Taiwan to the motherland so as to fulfill the cause of uniting the whole country, to carry forward and solidify the revolutionary, patriotic united front."The UFWD was used in the early years of communist rule "to guarantee CCP oversight" over groups that were not directly associated with the Party and government. Those groups, including NGOs, were brought under the authority of the UFWD, whose job it was to “continuing to play its part in mobilizing and rallying the whole people in common struggle” after the Liberation in 1949; when the CCP "shifted its focus from the'mass line' to'class struggle', the real united front disappeared. While the United Front Department still existed, its duties of uniting with all forces for the'common struggle' shifted to serving the Party's leadership and'consolidating the proletarian dictatorship'," according to Brookings Institution visiting fellow Zhang Ye.

Based on their actions in Taiwan and elsewhere the United Front Work Department appears to be used as a cover to conduct intelligence operations against targets of interest to the CCP. The UFWD is reported to have over 40,000 personnel, it oversees and directs eight minor and subordinate political parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. It maintained a close relationship with the now-absorbed State Administration for Religious Affairs, which has overseen the country's five sanctioned religious organizations. In 2018, the United Front Work Department absorbed the State Administration for Religious Affairs and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office to become two internal bureaus; the UFWD has since taken a leading role in antireligious campaigns in China under the official pretense of "sinicizing religions."The UFWD directs the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. As such, the UFWD is China's main agency overseeing and managing ethnic and overseas Chinese affairs; the UFWD plays an active role in the sinicization of ethnic and religious minorities in Tibet and of the Uyghurs through the Xinjiang re-education camps.

Scholar Martin Thorley has described the UFWD as being able to call upon a "latent network" of civic, ed

Mitsuku

Mitsuku is a chatbot created from AIML technology by Steve Worswick. It is a five-time Loebner Prize winner. Mitsuku is available as a flash game on Mousebreaker Games, on Facebook Messenger, Twitch group chat and Kik Messenger under the username "Pandorabots", was available on Skype under the same name, but was removed by its developer. Mitsuku claims to be an 18-year-old female chatbot from England, it contains all of Alice's AIML files, with many additions from user generated conversations, is always a work in progress. Worswick claims she has been worked on since 2005, her intelligence includes the ability to reason with specific objects. For example, if someone asks "Can you eat a house?", Mitsuku looks up the properties for "house". Finds the value of "made _ from" replies "no", as a house is not edible, she can do magic tricks at the user's request. In 2015 she conversed, in excess of a quarter of a million times daily. In a Wall Street Journal article titled “Advertising’s New Frontier: Talk to the Bot,” technology reporter Christopher Mims made the case for “chatvertising” in a piece about Mitsuku and Kik Messenger:If it seems improbable that so many teens—80% of Kik's users are under 22—would want to talk to a robot, consider what the creator of an award-winning, Web-accessible chat bot named Mitsuku told an interviewer in 2013.

"What keeps me going is when I get emails or comments in the chat-logs from people telling me how Mitsuku has helped them with a situation whether it was dating advice, being bullied at school, coping with illness or advice about job interviews. I get many elderly people who talk to her for companionship." Any advertiser who doesn't sit bolt upright after reading that doesn't understand the dark art of manipulation on which their craft depends. Mitsuku has been featured in a number of other news outlets. Fast Company described Mitsuku as “quite impressive” and declared her the victor over Siri in a chatbot smackdown. A blog post for the Guardian on loneliness explored the role chatbots like Mitsuku and Microsoft’s XiaoIce play as companions, rather than mere assistants, in peoples' emotional lives; some of Mitsuku’s AIML is available for free online at mitsuku.com, Pandorabots makes a version of the Mitsuku chatbot available as a service via its API in the form of a module. As of 2019, Mitsuku had been awarded the Loebner Prize five times, more than any other entrant.

The prize is awarded to the artificial intelligence computer program, deemed the most humanlike by a judging panel. Official website