Friday, 13 March 2015

The Arrogance and Ignorance of Bassam Zawadi, Part I

Exposing More of Zawadi’s Gross Blunders and Mistakes

Sam Shamoun

Muslim dawagandist Bassam Zawadi has written an article where he pretty much attacks the character of Reformed Christian scholar and apologist Dr. James R. White. Zawadi insults White by calling him both arrogant and ignorant. However, a careful analysis of Zawadi’s article actually proves the exact opposite and demonstrates that Zawadi will not hesitate to distort the facts in order to serve his agenda of discrediting the opposing view in order to prevent Muslims from ever seriously considering what the other side has to say. In logic this is called ad hominem attacks and poisoning the well, fallacies that Zawadi has perfected.

In his “rebuttal” Zawadi chides Dr. White for asserting that the Quran claims that the Torah which God sent down is the Old Testament Law.

James White in his video entitled
Shirk: A Basic Definition said:

But according to the Qur'an God sent down the Torah and the Injeel. The Torah, the Old Testament law. The Injeel, the Gospel. (Time Slice: 3:10-3:16)

This is a joke, where does the Qur'an say that the Torah is the Old Testament law? The Qur'an said that the Torah was revealed to Moses. How could the Old Testament law have been revealed to Moses when even many conservative evangelical scholars even admit that Joshua contributed to it? (The Arrogance and Ignorance of James White)

In the above quoted statement, James White does not say that the Quran says the Torah is the OT Law, and the Injil the Gospel. That is merely his explanation for the uninitiated listeners as to what these words refer. The Quran simply uses the words and assumes familiarity with these terms.

Even if Zawadi thinks that White is wrong to equate them, Zawadi is twisting White’s words, since White did not say, in this sentence, that the Quran said this verbatim. So Zawadi’s personal attack is totally unfounded here.

In fact, Dr. White went on to inform his audience that Muslims will deny that the Quran refers to the Old and New Testaments and demonstrates why they are mistaken:
“Now Muslims today will argue, ‘Well that doesn’t mean, that’s not the same thing as what you have today.’ I don’t think they have any basis for doing that. It seems very, very clear that Muhammad knew of the New Testament, he knew of the Old Testament. He just couldn’t read it! He didn’t know what was in it! But he did say that Allah had nuzul, he had sent down those books and, in fact, he told us to believe them! He told us to test him by them! Which that’s what I do, and sometimes they get upset when you do that. But that’s what you have do. And so he believed, Muhammad believed that God had sent down the Torah and the Injil, and so you have the people of the Book who have a special place, uh, over against the standard pagans and the polytheists.”

And if a person that is making a claim about the Quran which this book doesn’t explicitly contain implies that the claimant is ignorant and arrogant then this applies to Zawadi since in actuality the Quran never once says that the Torah was given to Moses. Instead, the Quran says that Allah gave Moses the Book which is never once identified as the Torah.

This is a point which even Muslims agree with. For instance, in his comments on Q. 5:44 the late Rashad Khalifa wrote:

*5:44 The Torah is a collection OF ALL THE SCRIPTURES revealed through all the prophets of Israel prior to Jesus Christ, i.e., TODAY’S OLD TESTAMENT. NOWHERE in the Quran do we find THAT THE TORAH WAS GIVEN TO MOSES. (
Source; capital emphasis ours)

Appealing to the Holy Bible won’t help Zawadi since according to the inspired Scriptures, specifically the NT writings, the word Torah or “Law” is used for writings other than those of Moses’, just as the following verses prove.
“Jesus answered them ‘Has it not been written in your LAW, I said you are gods?’” John 10:34

In this verse Jesus cites Psalm 82:6 and calls it the Law.
“The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the LAW that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up?” Who is this Son of Man?’” John 12:34

There is no reference in Moses’ writings which teach that the Christ remains forever. The only places one finds such indications are Psalm 110:1,4, Isaiah 9:6-7 and Daniel 7:13-14. The Jews were evidently using “Law” to refer to the OT in general.
“But this is to fulfill what is written in their LAW: ‘They hated me without reason.’” John 15:25

Jesus calls Psalms 35:19 and 69:4 the Law here.

Paul does something similar in Romans 3:10-19 where he refers to what is written in the Law but then cites Psalms 5:9, 10:7, 36:1, 14:1-3, 51:4, 53:1-3, 59:7-8, 140:3 and Ecclesiastes 7:20.

He also does this in the following example:
In the LAW it is written: ‘Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,’ says the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 14:21

The other problem with appealing to the Holy Bible is that the inspired Scriptures clearly identify the Pentateuch, or the first five Books of the OT, as the Torah or Law which God gave to Moses:
“Yet he did not put the sons of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the LORD commanded: ‘Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins.’” 2 Kings 14:6
“And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 15:15
“Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered.” 2 Chronicles 23:18
“So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and said to him, ‘Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the LORD, and the congregation of Israel for the tent of testimony?’ For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also used all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD for the Baals. So the king commanded, and
they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the LORD. And proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the LORD the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness.” 2 Chronic. 24:6-9
“‘Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow countrymen, the lay people. Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves and prepare the lambs for your fellow countrymen, according to the word of the LORD commanded through Moses.’ Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand sheep and goats for the Passover offerings, and also three thousand cattle—all from the king's own possessions. His officials also contributed voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel, the administrators of God's temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle. Also Conaniah along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites. The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as the king had ordered. The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests sprinkled the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals. They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the LORD, as is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle. They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people. After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings.” 2 Chronicles 35:5-14
“Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.” Ezra 3:2
“Then I said: ‘O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.”’” Nehemiah 1:5-9
“On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: ‘Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths’-as it is written.” Nehemiah 8:13-15
“On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.” Nehemiah 13:1-3
“A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: ‘See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’ Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.” Mark 1:40-45
“And he said to them: ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother,” and, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.”’” Mark 7:9-11
“Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ ‘What did Moses command you?’ he replied. They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’ ‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female.” “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’” Mark 10:1-9
“Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?’ Jesus replied, ‘Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!’” Mark 12:18-27
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons.’” Luke 2:21-24
Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: ‘The man who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the deep?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:” Romans 10:5-8
“Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, ‘I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.’” Romans 10:19
“Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.’” 1 Corinthians 9:8-9
“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” 2 Corinthians 3:7-16

In the above references all of the following passages are ascribed to Moses: Exodus 3; 12; 13:2,12; 20:12; 21:17; 24-32:16; 34; Leviticus 3; 12:8; 14:2-32; 18:5; 20:9; 23:33-44; 26:33; Numbers 1:47-54; 4:1-15; 7:9; Deuteronomy 5:16; 12:5-6; 16:1-7; 24:1-4, 16; 23:3-5; 25:5-10; 30:1-4, 12-14; 32:21.

Thus, the NT ascribes Mosaic authorship to four of the five books of the Pentateuch, namely Exodus, Leviticus Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Zawadi cannot therefore appeal to the Holy Bible to prove that the Torah was given to Moses when he rejects what that Torah is according to the inspired Scriptures of God.

Turning to the hadith literature for help isn’t any better since the ahadith employ the term Torah for all of the inspired Scriptures, not just to the Book of Moses. Here is what Ibn Kathir wrote in regards to Q. 7:157:

… Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Muthanna said that `Ata' bin Yasar said, “I met `Abdullah bin `Amr and asked him, `Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger in the Tawrah.' He said, `Yes, by Allah! He is described in the Tawrah, just as he is described in the Qur'an …
(O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner.) [33:45] as a safe refuge for the unlettered ones. “You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you ‘Al-Mutawakkil’ (who trusts in Allah), not hard or harsh.' Neither uttering foul speech in the markets nor returning evil deed with one in kind. Rather, he forgives and forgoes. Allah will not end his life until He straightens through him the crooked religion, so that they might proclaim, ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.’ He will open through him sealed hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes.”’’ `Ata' then said, “I also met Ka`b and asked him the same question, and his answer did not differ from `Abdullah's answer, even concerning one letter.” Al-Bukhari recorded it from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari [up to the word] forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr then he said: “It was COMMON in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures AS THE TAWRAH, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.”
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 4, (Surat Al-Ar'af to the end of Surah Yunus), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], p. 179 ; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir writes elsewhere,

And it should be recognized that many of our forebears used to apply the word “Torah” to the books of the peoples of the scriptures. These are in their view more comprehensive than those God revealed to Moses. This fact is attested from the hadith. (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], Volume I, p. 237; bold and underline emphasis ours)

These quotes from Ibn Kathir prove that Zawadi is not a true Salafi since he contradicts the teachings of the Salaf. He only pays lip service to what the so-called rightly guided predecessors believed and practiced.

This, perhaps, explains why the following translator of the English version of Sahih al-Bukhari included the words Old Testament within parentheses next to the word Torah in the following narration:

Narrated Ata bin Yasar: I met Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As and asked him, “Tell me about the description of Allah's Apostle which is mentioned in Torah (i.e. Old Testament)." He replied, “Yes. By Allah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Quran as follows: ‘O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness (for Allah's True religion) and a giver of glad tidings (to the faithful believers), and a warner (to the unbelievers) and guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger (i.e. Apostle). I have named you “Al-Mutawakkil” (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh Nor a noise-maker in the markets And you do not do evil to those Who do evil to you, but you deal With them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) Die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” with which will be opened blind eyes and deaf ears and enveloped hearts.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34,
Number 335)

The translator knew that in this particular context Torah could not be a reference to Moses’ Book and, since he was a Salafi Muslim who knew what the Salaf taught, he could see that Abdullah was clearly using it in relation to the other prophetic writings found in the Old Testament.

This same translator, in the comments to Q. 7:157 found in the English version that he and another Salafi scholar produced, states that,
(1) (V. 7:157) There is in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), even after the original text has been distorted, clear prophecies indicating the coming of Prophet Muhammad, e.g. Deut. 18:18, 21:21; Psl. 118:22-23; Isa. 42:1-13; Hab. 3:3-4; Matt. 21:42-43; Jn. 14:12-17, 26-28, 16:7-14. (Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur’an in the English Language From Surah 6 to 9 [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Lahore, Houston and New York], Part 2, p. 221)

Thus, not only do these two Salafi scholars equate the Torah with the Psalms, Isaiah and Habakkuk they even identify Matthew and John as the Gospel!

Thankfully, not all modern Muslims try to distort the truth like Zawadi. The late Muslim translator T.B. Irving was honest enough to realize that the Torah could refer not only to the books of Moses but also to the rest of the prophetic writings. In his English version of the Quran Irving even translated the word Torah as Old Testament:

We had Jesus, the son of Mary, follow in their footsteps in order to confirm what had come before him from the Torah and We gave him the Gospel which contains guidance and Light, to confirm what he already had in the Old Testament (al-Taurat), and as guidance and a lesson for those who do their duty. S. 5:46
T. B. Irving

God has bought up their persons and their property from believers, so they may have the Garden [instead). They fight for God's sake; they kill and are killed as a rightful promise from Him [to be found] in the Old Testament (al-Taurat), the Gospel and the Quran. Who is more Trustworthy with His word than God? ... S. 9:111 Irving

So Jesus the son of Mary said: “Children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, confirming whatever came before me in the Testament (al-Taurat) and announcing a messenger coming after me whose name will be Ahmad." Yet when he brought them explanations, they said: "This is sheer magic!” S. 61:6 Irving

Those who are laden with the Old Testament (al-Taurat), yet do not carry it out may be compared to a donkey who is carrying scriptures. S. 62:5 Irving

The other problem Zawadi faces by appealing to the ahadith is that according to these sources Muhammad believed and honored the Torah in the possession of the Jews of that time:

… Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, ‘O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said…

<<Bring the Tawrah to me.>> He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying

<<I TRUST YOU and He Who revealed it to you.>>
He then said …

<> So he was brought a young man… and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi`.” These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling…
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir,
Q. 5:41; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Zawadi has desperately tried weaken the reliability of this particular narrative but to no avail since even one of Zawadi’s premiere Salafi scholars and student of the so-called renowned Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, namely Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, mentioned this very same narration in his Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion
. In his commentary he said:

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.

Abu Dawud narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qasim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said
: Allah said:
“And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

And the Torah is Allah’s word
. (Bold and underline emphasis our)

In light of the foregoing, it is apparent that Muhammad truly believed in the inspiration and reliability of the Torah which the Jews of his time possessed. And seeing that the Torah which Muhammad’s Jewish contemporaries were reading is the same as what we currently possess this means that Muhammad basically confirmed the Holy Bible that we have today!

To see more of our rebuttals to Zawadi’s failed attempts of refuting the fact that Muhammad confirmed the Holy Bible we recommend consulting the articles found in this

There you will find our replies to Zawadi where we expose his deliberate mishandling and gross distortions of scholars and sources, as well as documenting his gross misunderstanding of what these references say and his severe inability to see their implications.

Continues on Part II



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