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Pedro Álvares Cabral

Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese nobleman, military commander and explorer regarded as the European discoverer of Brazil. In 1500 Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life remain unclear, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a good education, he was appointed to head an expedition to India in 1500, following Vasco da Gama's newly-opened route around Africa. The undertaking had the aim of returning with valuable spices and of establishing trade relations in India—bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade in the hands of Arab and Italian merchants. Although the previous expedition of Vasco da Gama to India, on its sea route, had recorded signs of land west of the southern Atlantic Ocean, Cabral led the first known expedition to have touched four continents: Europe, Africa and Asia, his fleet of 13 ships sailed far into the western Atlantic Ocean intentionally, made landfall on what he assumed to be a large island.

As the new land was within the Portuguese sphere according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Cabral claimed it for the Portuguese Crown. He explored the coast, realizing that the large land mass was a continent, dispatched a ship to notify King Manuel I of the new territory; the continent was South America, the land he had claimed for Portugal came to be known as Brazil. The fleet reprovisioned and turned eastward to resume the journey to India. A storm in the southern Atlantic caused the loss of several ships, the six remaining ships rendezvoused in the Mozambique Channel before proceeding to Calicut in India. Cabral was successful in negotiating trading rights, but Arab merchants saw Portugal's venture as a threat to their monopoly and stirred up an attack by both Muslims and Hindus on the Portuguese entrepôt; the Portuguese sustained their facilities were destroyed. Cabral took vengeance by looting and burning the Arab fleet and bombarded the city in retaliation for its ruler having failed to explain the unexpected attack.

From Calicut the expedition sailed to the Kingdom of Cochin, another Indian city-state, where Cabral befriended its ruler and loaded his ships with coveted spices before returning to Europe. Despite the loss of human lives and ships, Cabral's voyage was deemed a success upon his return to Portugal; the extraordinary profits resulting from the sale of the spices bolstered the Portuguese Crown's finances and helped lay the foundation of a Portuguese Empire that would stretch from the Americas to the Far East. Cabral was passed over as a result of a quarrel with Manuel I, when a new fleet was assembled to establish a more robust presence in India. Having lost favor with the King, he retired to a private life, his accomplishments slipped into obscurity for more than 300 years. Decades after Brazil's independence from Portugal in the 19th century, Cabral's reputation began to be rehabilitated by Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Historians have long argued whether Cabral was Brazil's discoverer, whether the discovery was accidental or intentional.

The first question has been settled by the observation that the few, cursory encounters by explorers before him were noticed at the time and contributed nothing to the future development and history of the land which would become Brazil, the sole Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. On the second question, no definite consensus has been formed, the intentional discovery hypothesis lacks solid proof. Although he was overshadowed by contemporary explorers, historians consider Cabral to be a major figure of the Age of Discovery. Little is certain regarding Pedro Álvares Cabral's life before, or following, his voyage which led to the discovery of Brazil, he was born in 1467 or 1468—the former year being the most likely—at Belmonte, about 30 kilometres from present-day Covilhã in central Portugal. He was a son of Fernão Álvares Cabral and Isabel Gouveia—one of five boys and six girls in the family. Cabral was christened Pedro Álvares de Gouveia and only supposedly upon his elder brother's death in 1503, did he begin using his father's surname.

The coat of arms of his family was drawn with two purple goats on a field of silver. Purple represented fidelity, the goats were derived from the family name. However, only his elder brother was entitled to make use of the family arms. Family lore said that the Cabrais were descendants of Caranus, the legendary first king of Macedonia. Caranus was, in turn, a supposed 7th-generation scion of the demigod Hercules. Myths aside, the historian James McClymont believes that another family tale might hold clues to the true origin of Cabral's family. According to that tradition, the Cabrais derive from a Castilian clan named the Cabreiras who bore a similar coat of arms; the Cabral family rose to prominence during the 14th century. Álvaro Gil Cabral was one of the few Portuguese nobles to remain loyal to Dom João I, King of Portugal during the war against the King of Castile. As a reward, João I presented Álvaro Gil with the hereditary fiefdom of Belmonte. Raised as a member of the lower nobility, Cabral was sent to the court of King Dom Afonso V in 1479 at around age 12.

He learned to bear arms and fight. He would have been age 17 on 30 June 1484 when

École de maistrance

The École de maistrance is the training school for future non-commissioned officers in the French Navy. It was set up in 1933 under this name, it is now part of the Brest Naval Training Centre and within the remit of the Direction du personnel militaire de la marine, it is headed by capitaine de frégate Gabriel Steffe. The school has an annual intake of up to 400 young people aged 18 to 25, from "bac à bac +2" level - on 14 July 2008, for example, it had 224 students in total, including 55 women; the initial course lasts 18 weeks, followed by 6 months' specialist training and 3 weeks complementary training in management. Students wear the rank badge of a "second maître maistrancier", with the blue stripes bordered in red, become second maîtres on graduation. In 1958 the École de maistrance received the banner of the École des mousses, decorated with the Légion d'honneur, the Croix de guerre 1914-1918, the Croix de guerre 1939-1945 and the Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'opérations extérieures.

École nationale des sous-officiers d'active for the French Army. École de formation des sous-officiers de l'armée de l'air for the French Air Force École de maistrance - official pages

Shah Abdul Aziz

Al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi was an Indian Islamic scholars and Muhaddith. He was considered as one of the Mujadids of the 18th century, he was of the Naqshbandi school of Sufism which emerged from a tradition of violent backlash against the modernization of Sunni culture. This tradition inspired Sunni fundamentalists, including Aziz's father Shah Waliullah. Aziz was the. Shah Abdul Aziz was born on 25 Ramadan, 1159 AH in Delhi in the reign of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. Delhi was capital of the Mughal Empire. Shah Abdul Aziz was the eldest son of Shah Waliullah, he took over as the teacher of Hadith in place of his father. He belonged to hanafi school of thought, he was a Muhaddith and Mujtahid. Shah Abd al-Aziz, had a deep hatred for the Shias. Although he did not declare them apostates or non-Muslims, but he considered them lesser human beings just like what he would think about Hindus or other non-Muslims. In a letter he advises Sunnis to not greet Shias first, if a Shia greets them first, their response should be cold.

In his view, Sunnis should not marry Shias, avoid eating their food and the animals slaughtered by a Shia. In 1770 AD, Rohilla ruler Najib-ud Daula died and Afghan control over power in Delhi weakened. Mughal Emperor Shah Alam returned to Delhi and adopted secular policy and appointed a Shia general, Najaf Khan. Najaf Khan died in 1782; this was not acceptable for Shah Abd al-Aziz and he termed it as a Shia conspiracy. To create fear among the majority and incite them, he wrote in Tuhfa Asna Ashariya: "In the region where we live, the Isna Ashariyya faith has become so popular that one or two members of every family is a Shia"; this was a clear exaggeration. This tactic of presenting Shias as dangerous and spreading fear among Sunnis has been a common trait of all militant organizations targeting Shias. In complete contrast to this claim, in "Malfuzat-i Shah Abd al-Aziz", he says that no Shia was left in Delhi after Ahmad Shah Abdali's expulsion, as predicted by his father Shah Waliullah. How could a community, cleansed thirty years ago reach such high numbers in such a short period?

The reality lies somewhat in between: expelled Shias had started to return and resettle in their homes, continue Muharram processions which had upset him. He compiled most of the anti-Shia books available to him, albeit in his own language and after adding his own ideas, in a single book "Tuhfa Asna Ashariya". Shah Abd al-Aziz published his book in 1789 AD, using a pen name "Hafiz Ghulam Haleem"; this book appeared at a important juncture in history of the Subcontinent. In the nineteenth century, publishing technology was introduced to India and publications became cheaper; this book was published at a large scale, financed by Sunni elite. An Arabic translation of it as sent to the middle east; the first Shia response came from Mirza Muhammad Kamil Dihlavi, titled "Nuzha-tu Asna Ashariya". Mirza was invited by the Sunni governor of Jhajjar under the pretext of medical treatment and poisoned to death; the leading Shia theologian of the time, Ayatullah Syed Dildar Ali Naqvi wrote separate books for its main chapters.

His disciples Mufti Muhammad Quli Musavi and Molana Syed Muhammad Naqvi wrote rejoinders. However the book which gained widespread popularity in the scholarly circles was "Abqaat-ul Anwar fi Imamat-i Aaima til Athaar" by Ayatullah Mir Hamid Husain Musavi containing 18 volumes.presents a conspiracy theory to explain the origins of Shi'ism, in which the conquered Jews, led by a Sherlock Holms type character, Abdullah ibn Saba, planned to take revenge from Islam and joined the ranks of Ali as his partisans. He intentionally ignores the emergence of Shia-Sunni split right after the death of the Prophet, over the question of Caliphate, he doesn't point towards the activism of Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, whose was the first major protest movement against the Umayyad domination. The sayings of Prophet Muhammad mentioning the term "Shias of Ali", the presence of a group of the companions of Prophet known for their reverence to Ali were excluded from his painting of Shia history; this deviation from the real origins of Shia Islam and the anti-semetic, ahistorical narrative has been an ideological basis for the crimes of genocidal nature against Shias.

His book targeting Shia history and beliefs, Tauhfa Ithna Ashari, is taught in Sunni seminaries of today's Pakistan and India. By the end of the 18th century, influence of the Wahhabi movement led by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab had started to touch Indian shores through Indian Hajj pilgrims and clerics visiting Hijaz. Shah Abd al-Aziz used to criticize making of taziya and other arts associated with commemoration of Muharram, but he authored a short treatise entitled "Sirr al-Shahadatayn", in which he described the commemoration of Muharram as God's will to keep the memory of Imam Hussain's martyrdom alive, he said that the martyrdom of Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain was, in spirit, the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad. He used to arrange public gatherings in Muharram himself. Rizvi describes: “In a letter dated 1822 CE he wrote about two assemblies which he used to hold in his own house and considered legal from the Shari’a point of view. One was held on the anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s demise and the other to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain on the tenth of Muharram or a day or two earlier.

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