December 19th, 2011

Islam, Quran copies in 1500's Algiers

Hi all.

The setting: Algiers, mid1500's (around the era of the Barbary Pirates). A medieval shop of assorted curiosities, perhaps like a modern-day pawnshop with a Muslim owner. The MC is trying to buy a dagger from him, which is supposed to be cursed, making its owner murder a close family member during a happy time.

I've searched Google and Wikipedia with terms like "treatment of Quran copies," "selling Quran copies," "murder in Quran," and a couple of others I forget right now, but it hasn't cleared everything up, mostly because of the setting. So my questions are:

1. I know that certain rituals/practices must be followed before touching the actual book, but what about selling it? How possible would it be for a merchant (of that era) to have a copy out in the open? Not just lying around, but, say in a certain shelf. (and not taking the rarity of books in general into consideration).

2. Would it be appropriate to keep an allegedly cursed object in a box under the Quran, in an attempt to keep the evil at bay?

3. I know there's this passage in Quran that's against murder. In my story, the merchant brings this up to refuse the sale, but I'm having a hard time determining how to phrase this, by showing both his faith and avoid being too generic. For instance, could he say something like "The Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned us against murder, so I can't sell this to you knowing you'll go kill someone." No matter how I tweak this, it still doesn't sound authentic, so any feedback is much appreciated.

(I can scrap 1 & 2 if they don't work, but I really need 3).
  • Current Mood: frustrated

Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2003

Hi all, first time posting here!

The setting: North Carolina, 108th Training Command (Inital Entry Training) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I've searched Google and Wikipedia for details on 108th Training Command, Don't Ask, Don't Tell Dismissal, Don't Ask Don't Tell 2003, Base Camp Don't Ask Don't Tell. None of these answered any of my specific questions, so I turn to this community for help. My questions are:

1. If a service woman confessed she was gay in Boot Camp, would she be dismissed immediately?
2. How would said dismissal work?
3. If she would not be dismissed, does she have the right to leave immediately on the grounds of her homosexuality?

Thank you so much in advance!
Lillie

Moscow, Russia

Hey, it's me again! Thanks for the help about Maine, USA! But this time I need to know about Moscow, Russia!

Setting: Late November in Moscow, Russia in 2010 2012, actually. Whooops. I miscalculated something and I actually just found the original manuscript so--still valid, I think.

Scenario: Character A (American) and Character B (posing as American) go to Moscow, Russia on a lead that B got. Thanks to A's family having money, they're staying at a Hilton Hotel. While in a cafe in the city, Character B feels the presence of bad guys and they run. They happen to be close to the Vvendenskyoye Cemetery. They go there. Shit happens. Blah blah blah.

Questions!:

A)
How do Russians react to American tourists? Especially if the tourists can't speak Russian. Character B can but Character A can't. She tries, man, she really tries! XD

B) How is the 'atmosphere' in Russia? Pictures show me that the roads are usually busy but the streets aren't too crowded?

Thanks for the help, you guys!

Campaigning For Prime Minister In Contemporary Japan

Setting: Contemporary Japan (the canon is Bloody Monday, for those familiar)
 
Scenario: The protagonist (Japanese, 19 years old, male, university student) is at a politically motivated gathering with a fair number of wealthy and influential figures in Japanese society attending, at the behest of his grandfather. His grandfather is/was the Minister of Justice in 2008-ish (season 1) and will be Prime Minister by 2010 (season 2), with a majority public approval rating and good press at that time. The story is set between seasons 1 and 2 (ostensibly in 2009) and before his election, when he is actively preparing for/on his election campaign.
 
Questions!
- Could the grandfather still be the Minister of Justice while openly angling for Prime Minister?
- Would this sort of 'informal' campaigning (support gathering and fund-raising) outside of the government allowed 12 days be legally and socially acceptable by a well-respected candidate? If not, would it be allowed if the grandfather were attending a gathering (hosted by another politician/CEO/???) ostensibly as a guest, but with the tacit understanding that he’s here to network?
- Would the grandson (only surviving/clinically sane/publicly known family of grandfather) be an expected/unexpected sight at this sort of thing? How interested would the other attendees be in the grandson?
 
Hopefully I haven’t completely jumbled my understanding of the Japanese political system, but please correct me on that too if I have. The dates are assumptions based on air dates, since canon tends to err on the side of frugal re: context.

Thank you!

Googled: ‘Japan Prime Minister campaigning’, ‘Japan campaign laws’ and ‘Japan campaign finances’
Wikipedia’d: Prime Minister Of Japan, Elections In Japan and Political Funding In Japan
Websites: Government and Politics: Elections in Japan and How Campaign Finance Works

Macy's New York in the 1980s

I just have some basic questions, and that's exactly what I've googled, but I'm mostly turning up shopping links.

Was Macy's Department Store's flagship store in New York City the one at Herald Square in the mid to late 1980's?

Did they have a restaurant or cafeteria in the building, and what floor was it on and what was it called?

~answered! Thanks to all!