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Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia

Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia included indigenous animistic-polytheistic beliefs, as well as Christianity, Judaism and Iranian religions of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. Arabian polytheism, the dominant form of religion in pre-Islamic Arabia, was based on veneration of deities and spirits. Worship was directed to various gods and goddesses, including Hubal and the goddesses al-Lāt, al-‘Uzzā, Manāt, at local shrines and temples such as the Kaaba in Mecca. Deities were venerated and invoked through a variety of rituals, including pilgrimages and divination, as well as ritual sacrifice. Different theories have been proposed regarding the role of Allah in Meccan religion. Many of the physical descriptions of the pre-Islamic gods are traced to idols near the Kaaba, said to have contained up to 360 of them. Other religions were represented to lesser degrees; the influence of the adjacent Roman and Sasanian Empires resulted in Christian communities in the northwest and south of Arabia. Christianity secured some conversions, in the remainder of the peninsula.

With the exception of Nestorianism in the northeast and the Persian Gulf, the dominant form of Christianity was Miaphysitism. The peninsula had been a destination for Jewish migration since Roman times, which had resulted in a diaspora community supplemented by local converts. Additionally, the influence of the Sasanian Empire resulted in Iranian religions being present in the peninsula. Zoroastrianism existed in the east and south, while there is evidence of Manichaeism or Mazdakism being practiced in Mecca; until about the fourth century all inhabitants of Arabia practiced polytheistic religions. Although significant Jewish and Christian minorities developed, polytheism remained the dominant belief system in pre-Islamic Arabia; the contemporary sources of information regarding the pre-Islamic Arabian religion and pantheon include a small number of inscriptions and carvings, pre-Islamic poetry, external sources such as Jewish and Greek accounts, as well as the Muslim tradition, such as the Qur'an and Islamic writings.

Information is limited. One early attestation of Arabian polytheism was in Esarhaddon’s Annals, mentioning Atarsamain, Nukhay and Atarquruma. Herodotus, writing in his Histories, reported that the Arabs worshipped Alilat. Strabo stated the Arabs worshipped Zeus. Origen stated they worshipped Urania. Muslim sources regarding Arabian polytheism include the eight-century Book of Idols by Hisham ibn al-Kalbi, which F. E. Peters argued to be the most substantial treatment of the religious practices of pre-Islamic Arabia, as well as the writings of the Yemeni historian al-Hasan al-Hamdani on south Arabian religious beliefs. According to the Book of Idols, descendants of the son of Abraham who had settled in Mecca migrated to other lands, they carried holy stones from the Kaaba with them, erected them, circumambulated them like the Kaaba. This, according to al-Kalbi led to the rise of idol worship. Based on this, it may be probable that Arabs venerated stones adopting idol-worship under foreign influences.

The relationship between a god and a stone as his representation can be seen from the third-century work called the Syriac Homily of Pseudo-Meliton where he describes the pagan faiths of Syriac-speakers in northern Mesopotamia, who were Arabs. The pre-Islamic Arabian religions were polytheistic, with many of the deities' names known. Formal pantheons are more noticeable at the level of kingdoms, of variable sizes, ranging from simple city-states to collections of tribes. Tribes, clans and families had their own cults too. Christian Julien Robin suggests that this structure of the divine world reflected the society of the time. A large number of deities did not have proper names and were referred to by titles indicating a quality, a family relationship, or a locale preceded by "he who" or "she who"; the religious beliefs and practices of the nomadic Bedouin were distinct from those of the settled tribes of towns such as Mecca. Nomadic religious belief systems and practices are believed to have included fetishism and veneration of the dead but were connected principally with immediate concerns and problems and did not consider larger philosophical questions such as the afterlife.

Settled urban Arabs, on the other hand, are thought to have believed in a more complex pantheon of deities. While the Meccans and the other settled inhabitants of the Hejaz worshiped their gods at permanent shrines in towns and oases, the Bedouin practiced their religion on the move. In south Arabia, mndh’t were anonymous guardian spirits of the community and the ancestor spirits of the family, they were known as ‘the sun of their ancestors’. In north Arabia, ginnaye were known from Palmyrene inscriptions as “the good and rewarding gods” and were related to the jinn of west and central Arabia. Unlike jinn, ginnaye could not hurt nor possess humans and were much more similar to the Roman genius. According to common Arabian belief, pre-Islamic philosophers, poets were inspired by the jinn. However, jinn were feared and thought to be responsible for causing various diseases and mental illnesses. Aside from benevolent gods and spirits, there existed malevolent beings; these beings were not attested in the epigraphic record, but were alluded to in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, their legends were collected by Muslim authors.

Mentioned are ghouls. Etymologically, the word “ghoul” was derived from the Arabic ghul, from ghala, “to seize”, related to the Sumerian galla, they are said to have a hideous

Erkki Liikanen

Erkki Antero Liikanen is a Finnish social democratic politician and a former Governor of the Bank of Finland. Erkki Antero Liikanen obtained a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Helsinki in 1975. Liikanen was elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1972. Liikanen was appointed as the Minister of Finance in the Holkeri Cabinet in 1987, he left Parliament in 1990 to become the first Finnish Ambassador to the European Union. In 1994 he became the first Finnish Member of the European Commission, he was Commissioner for Budget and administration, which included responsibilities for translation and information technology. Liikanen served as Governor of the Bank of Finland from 12 July 2004; as such he became a Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and Governor of the International Monetary Fund for Finland. In February 2012, EU Commissioner Michel Barnier asked Liikanen to chair a group of experts to assess the need for structural reforms to the EU banking sector.

Their works is known as the Liikanen report was published on 2 October 2012. Liikanen was the chairman of Finnish Red Cross between June 2008 and June 2014. In early 2019, a Reuters poll of economists found that while Benoît Cœuré was considered best-suited for the role as President of the European Central Bank, the most compromise candidate was Liikanen. Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Finland, 12 July 2004– 1995–2004 Member of the European Commission, Brussels 1990–1994 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Head of Finnish Mission to the European Union, Brussels 1987–1990 Minister of Finance 1983–1987 Parliamentary Trustee to the Bank of Finland, Speaker's Council 1981–1987 Secretary-General of the Social Democratic Party 1980–1989 Member and subsequently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Outokumpu 1978, 1982, 1988 Elected as Member of the Electoral College to select the Finnish President 1972–1990 Member of Parliament. Brysselin päiväkirjat 1990–1994 ISBN 951-1-13832-4 "Pääjohtaja Erkki Liikanen".

Bank of Finland. Media related to Erkki Liikanen at Wikimedia Commons Homepage of Erkki Liikanen Curriculum Vitae of Erkki Liikanen

Foa's red colobus

Foa's red colobus or Central African red colobus is a species of red colobus monkey found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Several other species of red colobus were considered subspecies of Piliocolobus foai by at least some authors but have since been elevated to full species; these include: Lang's red colobus Oustalet's red colobus Lomami red colobus Tana River red colobus Semliki red colobus Ugandan red colobus There is some speculation that Foa's red colobus is made of two separate species, one from highlands and the other from lowlands, which interbred into a single species. Foa's red colobus is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between the Lualaba and Oso Rivers. Foa's red colobus has long red and black fur with light underparts. Males have a body length excluding tail of between 50 and 69 centimetres with a tail, between 62 and 67 centimetres long. Males weigh between 9 and 13 kilograms and females weigh between 7 and 9 kilograms, it has smaller teeth than most other red colobus species.

Foa's red colobus is diurnal. It has a varied diet which includes leaves, buds and flowers, it is hunted for bushmeat