Preface to Radical Statistics

I have recently complete a new textbook on elementary statistics which rejects the century long developments based on the approach created by Sir Ronald Fisher in the early 20th Century. It advocates rebuilding the discipline on new foundations. In particular, statistics should be treated as a modern branch of rhetoric: the art of persuasion using data. The video/blogpost below provides an introduction to the ideas that went into the creation of this new approach. Because it is in early draft form, the entire course is currently available online for beta-testing from I would request especially teachers of introductory statistics in the Islamic world to go through this course and provide me with feedback directly or on the website.

The Ghazali Project is based on the idea that a Western education imparts a Eurocentric worldview, as well as toxic moral ideas, to all students. But it also imparts essential skills for the modern world. This makes it essential to develop alternatives which impart the necessary skills but are built on Islamic moral foundations, and framed within an Islamic worldview. Understanding why a secular modern education causes damage to Muslim youth requires a study of European history of thought, very briefly sketched below.

Radical Transition in European Epistemology

  1. Over a century of wars between Christian factions led to the necessity to build political science on secular foundations.
  2. This first step eventually led to the creation of secular modernity, built on “objective” knowledge, derived purely from reasons and observations, without any moral inputs.
  3. The idea of “objective knowledge” is an illusion. ALL useful human knowledge is necessarily built on moral foundations.
  4. Knowledge created by European intellectuals over the past few centuries pretends to be objective and rational, but is built on concealed toxic moral foundations

The Ghazali Project

  1. Standard Diagnosis of Ills of the Muslim Ummah: We have fallen far behind the West in acquisition of knowledge, commanded by God.
  2. Standard Solution: Acquire Western knowledge, build schools & universities.
  3. Ghazali Diagnosis: The Western education being provided all over the globe is the SOURCE of the disease, because it is built on toxic moral foundations. Nonetheless, it also imparts skills essential for today,
  4. Ghazali Solution: Build an Islam alternative to Western education which provides the required skills, but builds them on Islam moral foundations.

Proof-of-Concept:  A Statistics Textbook

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Central Ideas Part 2

{} Video is followed by a Summary of Part 1: Central Ideas of the Ghazali Project, and a writeup of Part 2. The Ghazali Project is about the central importance of the intellectual challenge currently facing the Islamic Civilization, and how to respond to this challenge.

Summary of Part 1 (Central Ideas of the Ghazali Project – ):

Islam and West offer us two diametrically opposite worldviews. According to Islamic teachings, the final message of God to mankind, delivered to our Prophet Mohammad SAW more than 1400 years ago, launched a revolution in this world. This message is complete and perfect, and transformed ignorant and backwards Bedouin into world leaders. For a detailed explanation of this worldview, see Syed Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi’s book on What the World Lost Due to the Decline of the Islamic Civilization. In dramatic contrast, Western education teaches us that the world was in ignorance and darkness until European Enlightenment. Revolutionary advances in science, technology, and governance, based on use of reason ended the dark ages of Europe. The advances in knowledge created by the Europeans dazzled the world and continue shape every aspect of our lives today.  

Today, across the globe, Muslim youth receive a Western education which concentrates on European intellectual achievements, and makes no mention of any other contributions to the body of knowledge which is the intellectual heritage of mankind. This naturally creates the impression that the knowledge revealed by God to the Muslims is now obsolete, and not relevant for the modern world.

The central conflict is epistemological: Islam claims that the most important and valuable knowledge is the final revelation of God to mankind, while the West claims the same role for knowledge developed by European intellectuals and their heirs over the past three centuries. The goal of the Ghazali project is to resolve this conflict by proving the central importance of the revelation to our lives today. As described in greater detail earlier in The Ghazali Project: Indonesia Chapter , the project is in three stages.

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Central Ideas of the Ghazali Project

{} The Ghazali Project (discussed in detail in a sequence of 10 lectures linked in How to Launch an Islamic Revival?) is based on complex analysis and diagnosis of the current difficulties facing the Ummah. This lecture is a part of a sequence of Ghazalian Webinars delivered on Sundays to the Jakarta Chapter of the Ghazali Project, headed by Lisa Listiana. The YouTube Video provides a recording of the complete lecture. It is followed by a detailed writeup of the first part of the talk. I hope to be able to writeup the second part later.

Zoom Recording: Central Ideas of Ghazali Project

Given below is a writeup of first part of this talk articulates the issues made in greater detail:

Stating the Problem

The Message of Islam – the complete and perfect final message of God to mankind – led ignorant and backwards Bedouin to world leadership, and created a magnificent civilization which enlightened the world for over a thousand years. Today, Muslims all over the globe are ignorant and backwards, and our civilization is far behind others on many apparent measures of success.

  • DIAGNOSIS: What is the reason for our current backwardness?
  • CURE: What is the solution – the path to progress?
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A First Lecture: Motivating Students

Urdu Lecture linked below is a generic first lecture, suitable as the opening lecture for any class. The teachings of Islam created the thirst for knowledge among Muslims. Seeking knowledge from around the globe as part of the religious duty, Muslims created a civilization which enlightened the world for more than a thousand years. The decline of Muslims corresponds to a decline in the desire for knowledge. This lecture explains the reasons for this decline, and how to counter it. It encourages students to become seekers of knowledge, and to invest time, effort, and energy, into the acquisition of knowledge, as the highest form of worship. Obstacles to this goal are also discussed. The Urdu Podcast is linked below. This podcast is also available from ANCHOR: Students 2: علم کی طلب. This is followed by a brief outline of the talk in English.

English Summary and Outline of Talk:

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Tribute to Rajani Kanth

I was invited to speak at a special session entitled: “Celebrating Rajani Kanth, and His Life’s Work” held on Sat Jan 8th, at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association. For Full 2:30 hr session, see: The work of Rajani Kanth can be summarized as “reverse anthropology”. It is not well known that Immanuel Kant lectures on anthropology far outnumber his lectures on philosophy. He provided an inscrutable philosophical basis for the idea that white races were human while all other skin colors were markers of subhuman races, incapable of thinking rationally, and hence suitable for colonization, conquest, and enslavement. See “Kant: Misogynist and Racist” ( Orientalism by Edward Said argues that central to the power of Europeans is their ability to describe and characterize non-Europeans, without interference from these other races. Thus, anthropology is a tool of power, where Europeans study the eccentricities, weakness, and failings of non-Europeans. Reverse anthropology is the study of Europeans by non-Europeans, an attempt to counter the power of orientalism. In this area, Kanth’s work is of great importance. My brief 5m tribute in the 2:30 hour session is outlined below:

Females, Families, & Tribes Against Eurocentric Modernity

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Rebuilding Knowledge on Moral Foundations

{} Whoever is kept away from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have triumphed.  The present world is only an illusory pleasure.” (Q 3:185)

We human beings have only been created for worship. The central question faced by a Muslim student is: how to ensure that my study is an act of worship? If we can ensure this, then the ink of our pens will have greater weight than the blood of the martyrs, on the day of Judgment. Countless verses of the Quran, many Ahadeeth, and books of scholars, testify to the central importance of pursuit of knowledge in the way of life (Deen) given by Islam. But, there is a crucial distinction between useful and useless knowledge, which has been lost from sight and vastly misunderstood, in modern times. Our prophet Mohammad SAW prayed for useful knowledge, and sought the protection of God from useless knowledge. So, when we study statistics, or any other subject, we must begin by asking what kind of knowledge this is. If it is useless knowledge, then we must stay away from it:

They learned what harmed them, not what benefited them, knowing full well that whoever gained [this knowledge] would lose any share in the Hereafter. (Q 2:102)

Knowledge which enters the heart, and brings us closer to God, is useful. Knowledge which hinders our progress towards the recognition of God, and darkens our heart, is useless or harmful. How can we learn whether or not statistics (or other subjects) are useful or useless? We must have clarity on the answer to this question prior to beginning our study.

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Countering Effects of Western Education

English version of Lecture by Dr. Asad Zaman, Institute for Islamic Sciences, Bara Kahu, Islamabad, Pakistan delivered on 30 Rajab 1443 corresponding to Saturday March 5th, 2022. Links to Original Urdu Version: Video :: Urdu Writeup :: Podcast

Preliminaries: Modern Western knowledge was built on the foundations of atheism, after rejection of Christianity. This knowledge is new being spread globally via Western education, necessary for living in the modern world today. The spectacular technological achievements, as well as the powerful propaganda machine, has created enormous awe and respect of Western knowledge, which makes it impossible to recognize the toxic moral foundations upon which it has been built. To counter the rising tide of atheism today, we must expose these moral foundations, and construct alternative methods of teaching students the knowledge required for today.

My Personal Journey: My personal experience in the path of Tableegh led me to the realization that Faith is a condition of the heart, not achievable by intellect and reasoning. For more details see A Journey of a Thousand Miles. Eeman-bil-Ghaib asks us to reject our lifetime experience and observation that fire burns, and affirm the unseen power of Allah, which creates this characteristic property of fire, and can remove it, whenever Allah T’aala wants. Increasing faith in the Message of God led me to a GREAT Puzzle: Allah promises NOOR to believers and DARKNESS to unbelievers. But my eyes show me that the believers are enveloped in darkness, which the unbelievers have amazingly powerful knowledge which allows them to dominate the world. My heart tells me that the promise of Quran is TRUE, but my eyes show me the opposite picture. So I made dua to Allah to reveal the truth about this matter. Slowly, over a period of more than fifteen years, it was revealed to me that knowledge is really what is in the Quran – What the West has gathered over the past few centuries is not “knowledge”, according to Islamic conceptions of useful knowledge.

The Power of Islamic Knowledge: Today the value of Western knowledge is accepted worldwide. Even Muslims are not studying the Quran to find the solutions to modern problems. All seem to agree that Quranic teachings cannot help us solve the major problems currently facing humanity on all fronts – environmental, political, social, economic, and personal. This situation is very strange. The first Wahy is about knowledge:  Allah T’aala will teach men what they do not know. This knowledge – the teachings of Islam – revolutionized world history. These teachings took backwards and ignorant Bedouin to world leadership and created a civilization which enlightened the world for a thousand years. Has this knowledge LOST its effectiveness today? (see Islamic Knowledge: Still Revolutionary after 1440 Years!)

Conflicting WorldViews: Western & Islamic: There is a dramatic difference between Islamic and Western worldviews: Which is true?

  • The Islamic View: How Islam enlightened the World – Has the teachings lost their power?
  • The Western View: European Renaissance – created Light throughout the world.

Our eyes suggest that the WEST is right? HOW can this be? How can Our Uloom given by Allah have lost their power?

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Urdu Lectures At Masjid Al-Muzammil

{} A weekly sequence of one hour urdu lectures was given to Ulema at Jamia Masjid al-Muzammil in G11/3 Islamabad in the early months of 2020. This sequence of six lectures has been converted into a PODCAST. These lectures are listed below; the heading provides link to the ANCHOR Podcast. I plan to continue adding to this podcast on a weekly basis, with urdu lectures and writings.

Muzammil 1: امت کو درپیش مسائل کی تشخیص اور حل 

اس گفتگو میں واضح کیا گیا ہے کہ امت کو درپیش مرکزی مسئلہ مغرب کی طرف سے اسلامی سرزمینوں کی فتح سے پیدا ہونے والا احساس کمتری ہے۔

One hour talk in Urdu to Ulema at Jamia Masjid al-Muzammil in G11/3 Islamabad on the topic of the title on Tuesday evening 1/21/20 by Professor Asad Zaman.The talk explains that the central problem facing the Ummah is the INFERIORITY COMPLEX created by the conquest of Islamic Lands by the West. For discussion and details, with links to related materials, see 

Muzammil 2: امت کو درپیش سب سے بڑامسںلہ

امت کو درپیش سب سے بڑا مسئلہ فکری میدان جنگ میں شکست ہے۔ یہ پوڈ کاسٹ مسئلہ کی وضاحت کرتا ہے، اور ایک حل پیش کرتا ہے: غزالی پروجیکٹ

OUTLINE and sketch of talk in English:

Muzammil 3: انگلینڈ میں بینکنگ کی ابتدا

1694 میں بینک آف انگلینڈ کی تخلیق کی کہانی “مرکزی بینکنگ کی ابتدا” میں مختصر طور پر دی گئی ہے۔

یہ مواد علمائے کرام کے لیے بہت اہمیت کا حامل ہے، تاکہ آج پیسے اور بینکنگ کی نوعیت کو سمجھا جا سکے۔

The story of creation of Bank of England in 1694 has been given briefly in “The Origins of Central Banking“. Detailed explanation of the financial gimmicks used by Banks, which continue to be in use today, is given in a separate post on “Monetization, Maturity Transformation, and MMT“. This material is of great importance for Ulema, to understand the nature of money and banking today. These two posts (English) were discussed and explained in Urdu, in a talk for Ulema at Madrassa Darul Taqwa at Chauburji in Lahore, this morning at 9:00am on 27th January 2020. For the post on my blog covering this material, see:

Muzammil 4: مغربی معاشرتی علوم کی اسلامی بنیادوں پہ تعمیر نو

مغربی معاشرتی علوم کو ساینس کا نام دیا جاتا ہے جس سے دھوکا پیدا ہوتا ہے کہ یہ علومم بھی ویسے ہی معتبر ہیں ۔ تہقیقی نگاہ سے دیکھنے پر پتا چلتا ہے کہ در اصل معاشرتی علوم مغرب کا دین ہے جو انہوں نے ترک عیسایت کے بعد اپنایا ۔ اسلام ہمیں اچھے معاشرہ کی تعمیر کے بہترین اصول فراہم کرتا ہے ۔ مسلمانوں کے لیے اشد ضروری ہے کے مغربی معاشرتی اصول سے انکار کر کے معاشرتی علوم کی از سر نو تعمیر اسلامی بنیادوں پرکریں ۔ ہمارا ہزار سالہ اصول فقہ کا تعلیمی اثااثہ اس کام کے لیے مضبوط بنیاددیں فراہم کرتا ہے 

Western social sciences are called “science”, which leads to the deception that these sciences just as valid as the physical sciences (see the Grand Deception: Social Science – ). A closer look reveals that the social sciences are in fact the religion of the West, which they adopted after they rejected Christianity. Islam gives us the best principles for building a good society. It is imperative for Muslims to reject Western social norms and rebuild social sciences on Islamic foundations. The educational assets of our principles of jurisprudence, developed over a millenium, provides a strong foundation for this work. For a brief writeup, see:  

Muzammil 5: مغربی فلسفہ کی باطل بنیادیں

ییہ مسجد المزمل ممیں 5واں بیان ہے۔ ساری دنیا میں مختلف ادیان زنندگی کے تمام شعبوں کے بارے میں رہنمای فراہم کرتے ہیں۔ یورپ والوں نے مختلف وجوہات کی بنا پر غیسایت سے انکار کر دیا۔ اب انفرادی اور اجتماعی زندگی کن اصولوں پر چلای جاے؟ مغربی فلسفہ کی بنیاد اس سوال کے جواب کی تلاش ہے۔ مگر یہ ایک مسلم حقیقت ہے کہ اس سوال جواب عقل نہین دے سکتی ہے۔ مغربی فلاسفہ وحی کی روشنی سے محروم تھے اور انہین مجبورا بہت سے کمزور اورباطل بنیادوں پر اپنے علم کی عمارت کھڑی کرنی پڑی۔ اس بیان میں مغرربی فلاسفہ کی چند بنیادی غلطیوں کی نشاندہی کی گیی ہے

English Title: The Fabricated Foundations of Western Philosophy — 5th lecture at Masjid Al-Muzammil. The contents of these lectures are briefly summarized in two post on the Islamic Worldview Blog: Folk Wester Philosophy:  and the Flawed Foundations of Western Social Sciences: 

Muzammil 6: مغربی معاشرتی علوم کی باطل بنیادیں

عیسائی دھڑوں کے درمیان ایک صدی سے زیادہ خونریز جنگ نے عوام کو مذہب سےبیزار کر دیا۔

عقیدے کے نقصان کے صدمے نے یورپی دانشوروں کو تجرباتی اور عقلیت پسندی کے فلسفوں کی طرف راغب کیا جو ہمیں بتاتے ہیں کہ ہم صرف اسی چیز پر بھروسہ کر سکتے ہیں جو ہم دیکھ سکتے ہیں (تجرباتی) اور جس چیز کو ہم عقل (منطق) سے سمجھ سکتے ہیں۔

مغربی معاشرتی علوم نے عیسائیت کی جگہ لے لی۔ یہ علوم افراد اور معاشروں کے لیے مثالی طرز عمل سکھلاتے ہیں ، اور موافقت کے لیے انعامات، اور تعمیل میں ناکامی پر سزاؤں کا وعدہ کرتے ہیں ۔

مسئلہ یہ ہے کہ مشاہدات اور منطق ہمیں ہماری زندگی کے مقصد کے بارے میں رہنمائی فراہم کرنے سے قاصر ہیں اور زندگی گزارنے کا بہترین طریقہ نہیں بتا سکتے ۔ مغربی معاشرتی علوم انہیں باطل بنیادوں پر قایم کیے گیے ہیں اور علم نہیں بلکہ علمی دھوکہ ہیں

For English summary of main ideas in this episode, see:  and  

Recognizing Economics As A Religion

{} Webinar on “The Concealed Role and Function of Economics” on Friday 4th Mar 2022 (8am PK) – Economics pretends to be a science, but is actually a religion. Video below is the first part of the lecture. Link to: the full 99m ZOOM session with Q&A:

Making Victims Accept Victimization

Karl Marx: Capitalism works by making workers accept the necessity of their own exploitation, and the superiority and efficiency of a system that depends on this.

Franz Fanon: Colonization works by making the colonized accept the superiority of the colonizers, and the justice and efficiency of the rule by whites over other races.

There are COUNTLESS examples of how victims are made to accept the responsibility and blame for their own victimization. In all such cases, certain theoretical frameworks which form the basis of education create the required shaping of minds. For more details, see “The Conquest of Knowledge” and In Almost All Western Colonies, Victims Blame Themselves (alternative thoughts not allowed)  Shortlink:

Getting to Philosophy: Even though we are not aware of them, all of our knowledge is built on philosophical foundations. Clicking on the first link of a Wikipedia article will eventually get to an article classified as Philosophy. All knowledge is built on philosophical foundations, but we are unware of this.

Very brief outline of Intellectual Developments of the West

Reconquest of Al-Andalus, and massive translation project, give Europe access to the treasure of knowledge acquired and developed within the Islamic Civilization. New knowledge leads to conflicts with Catholicism, creation of Protestant faction, enormously deadly religious warfare. This leads to necessity of creating politics, economics, and other branches of knowledge on SECULAR (non-religious foundations). It also leads to a search for sources of knowledge, based solely on observations and logic – without recourse to WAHY. For more details, see previous lecture on The European Historical Experience.

The Crucial Discovery/Experience of Imam Al-Ghazali

In a previous lecture (The Grand Deception: Social Science) the video discusses the foundations of knowledge in the European intellectual tradition. In particular, how Descartes borrowed the reasoning of Imam Al-Ghazali to create the foundations for Western philosophy, but he did not get the central idea of Al-Ghazali (for details, see In searching for sources of reliable knowledge, Ghazali realized the neither our sense nor our logic can produce certain knowledge. The only certainties come from the heart, when it is illuminated by the Noor of Allah. The Western intellectual tradition continues to assume the reliable knowledge can be produced by the senses and by logic, and excludes the heart as a source of knowledge. This has led to fundamental errors in the foundations of the Wisdom of the West.

Key Western Mistake: The Quest for Certainty: “Knowledge is defined by certainty, and is different from guesswork”. The search to find items of knowledge about which we can have certainty — based purely on our human senses and logic – is certain to fail; this was the discovery of Imam Al-Ghazali. Western intellectuals have refused to accept this conclusion. The result has been a DECEPTION and an ILLUSION. Many things are claimed to be certain, when they are actually doubtful guesses, and patently false. This occurs because of fundamental methodological flaws. We have already discussed “the axiomatic method”. The axioms are taken to be certain, beyond discussion and debate. On the basis of dubious axioms, an entire structure of knowledge is constructed, and certainty is claimed for it.

WHY the Quest For Certainty? What harm is there if we acknowledge that our human knowledge is not certain, that we rely on intuition, senses, logic, guesswork, and manage our lives without being certain about anything? One has to has SOME foundational beliefs which are beyond question, simply because one cannot construct a body of knowledge without a foundation. Christianity was rejected by the West (see European Transition to Secular Thought) and therefore they were in need of something else which would serve as a foundation. They chose “Science” as their new religion — science would provide them with CERTAIN truths, and eventually solve all problems facing mankind. However the physical science suffer from a major defect as a source of knowledge: they do not provide us with any guidance on how to live our lives, individually or collectively — see Reflections on my MIT Education for a personal account. This created a HUGE gap in the European intellectual tradition. To understand this issue, it is very important to understand a TERMINOLOGICAL distinction which creates massive confusion, especially among Muslims.

Religion and Way of Life: Christianity, like Islam, was all-encompassing and provided the foundation for all forms of knowledge. Most importantly, it provided guidance on appropriate behavior for individuals and societies. More than a century of bloody warfare between Protestants and Catholics made it necessary for Europeans to construct a social science based on “secular” foundations – it was evident from historical experience that Christianity could not provide sound foundations for peaceful co-existence. This led to a RE-DEFINITION of “religion” as a system of personal beliefs, which has nothing to do with politics, economics, government, and all aspects of social behavior. Social Science became the set of rules for appropriate social conduct == The Way of Life. Now Ïslam (and other religions of the world), are NOT just a personal belief systems. Islam is a DEEN or a complete way of life. So social science comes into direct conflict with Islam, because both tell us how individuals should behave and also how we should build human societies. Both offer radically different solutions to these problems.

All guidance for human behavior, individually and collectively, MUST be built on moral foundations. Europeans rejected Christianity, and accepted science as the only source of knowledge. This led them to a huge dilemma. Where to get the moral foundations for building a “Social Science”. which would provide guidance about human societies? Once religion is rejected as a source for morality, all other sources require subjective value judgements, and consensus. But, the Western approach to knowledge eventually rejected everything other than science as a source of knowledge. This led to a hugely deceptive approach to social science. It was built on moral foundations, but these were HIDDEN in the foundations and the illusion was created that the social science are just like the physical sciences. The goal of this talk is to UNCOVER the hidden moral foundations of the Western Social Sciences (see also The Puzzle of Western Social Science and Origins of Western Social Sciences).

Before we can understand and analyze social science, it is essential to recognize it as the DEEN – the prescribed way of life – of the West. In this DEEN, Economics plays a central role, prescribing how goods should be produced, how they are to be distributed, and the rules governing the participation of members of society in the processes of production and consumption of the goods produced. These rules are substantially in conflict with Islamic rules regarding this same matters. However, the conflict is not recognized because Social Science does not present itself as a “religion”; it presents itself as a “science” supposedly objective, value-neutral, and purely descriptive. Failure to recognize that Social Science, and Economics, is the religion of the West has had extremely damaging consequences for intellectual efforts in the Islamic Civilization to rebuild knowledge on Islamic foundations. This will be discussed in later portions/segments of this talk.

When Joseph Stiglitz was asked at a private dinner party how economists can make repeated falsified claims without having their careers terminated, he reportedly answered: “I agree with you, but I don’t understand why you are so puzzled. What you should be assuming is that — as is done by most economists — economics is really a religion. So why should you be puzzled by the fact that they cling to and never give up their views despite frequent falsification?” – from Jon Elster: Explaining Social Behavior. See Quotes Critical of Economics.


Creating Islamic Alternatives to Eurocentrism

{} This is the 5th and final part of Decolonizing our Minds:

Toxic myths of Progress Under Western Leadership: “Make Hell look like Heaven”. According to end-of-times narratives, the Dajjal will have heaven and hell with him, and will put his followers in heaven, and opponents into hell. But the reality will be the reverse of the appearances. The pro-west narrative has created the appearance of extraordinary amazing progress. The facts are the individual lives have become massively impoverished and meaningless. The reason is the Western knowledge teaches us how to pursue power, profits, and pleasure, but not how to develop our inner capabilities, spirituality, and character. To summarize just a few points:

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