Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

Israel : The main problem in the middle east

January 6, 2009

The recent attack on gaza by Israel is yet another chapter in the UN’s history impotency as a world police. They have failed to stop the unjustified attack on Iraq by the US and and then in lebanon by Israel and now in Gaza. Surprisingly, it is totally unable to do anything to help in any armed conflicts involving african or middle-eastern nations.

The needless loss of civilian life and the untold destruction of civilian property such as schools, mosques and hospitals that the Israel’s  claim either as collateral damage or are being used by militants is laughable because it seems there are more collateral damage and damage to suspected military outposts than there is objective damage. The result is an unacceptably large proportion of civilian casualty.

Already the civilian populaion was under siege by the Israelis since Hamas came to power. The legitimacy of the Hamas’ democratic victory was never recognised by the very proponent of democracy itself. Hamas was isolated and shunned and demonised as a terrorist organisation that had the support of the majority of the Gazan Palestinians. So much for the much vaunted democratic ideals that the west claims to uphold.

There was practically no dialogue with the Hamas government and nothing is known about how the flimsy strip of land at the edge of the mediterranean sea has managed to subsist half a million people is indeed a miraculous mystery. The 6 month ceasefire was not siezed by the west to renegotiate any peace deals between the warring parties. The power-brokers literally sat through the whole window of opportunity.

We have seen so much of coverage given to the Israeli views and their reasons for the military assault on Gaza and yet practically no views were sought from the other side of the conflict. It makes it invitingly easy to assume that the Hamas rockets were inteneded to kill Israelis for no apparent reason other than to purely terrorise the innocent Israeli public reconfirming Hamas’ Terrorist label. But none is mentioned about the Israeli settlement expansion over Palestinian lands, unprovoked assassinations of Hamas leaders, sequestration of rich arable Palestinian lands, restricting movements of the palestinian people even if it is necessary for their livelihood. This on top of 60 years of occupation of Palestinian lands in contravention of UN resolutions. And yet the Israelis wonder why Hamas rockets are still terrorising them.  The current military assault by the Israelis on Gaza is akin to killing a fly with a sledgehammer. The Israeli response, though calculated, is grossly and unproportionally violent in gross disregard of innocent lives.
Their refusal to negotiate with hamas and then blame Hamas for the war is an insult to the intelligence of the world community. We can see what they do and that the Isralis are finding it hard to put up a successful media campaign despite getting much help from it’s allied networks of the west such as CNN and fox news routinely ignoring Palestinian views.

It’s about time the African and Middle eastern nations withdraw their memberships from the UN and form their own group that is committed to solve their own problems. Israel has time and again disregarded international consensus to solve it’s own problems unilaterally via military means. They are the problem in the middle east and they are the ones who need to be stopped

The muslims in general condemn israeli action and are sympathetic towards the palestinians as well as hamas. They tend to believe that hamas firing of the rockets is a reaction against years of oppression by the israeli government. None of the malays I have discussed about this have any empathy for the israelis. I believe the israeli excuse which is the hamas rockets being fired into israel is like a person disturbing a bee hive and then killing the bees for stinging him. The equation is simple, The israeli must stop their seige on palestinian lands first to ensure no rockets come their way. Them blaming hamas for the current debacle is an insult to any discerning person.

This gaza offensive not only sabotages any ongoing peace negotiations but will also radicalise moderates into extremist camps. The israeli objective to totally neutralise palestinian fire power by destruction of palestinian civil and government infrastructure as well as the militant hideouts works in the opposite direction. Any resulting peace via such violent means is only temporary. The seething anger of such humiliation of palestinians will continue to stoke their anger as more moderates even people like mahmoud abbas may cease to work with the ongoing peace process. The wider damage of this is far reaching. This will create more anger and give sympathy, legitimacy, grounds, support and rationalisation for terrorist activities across the islamic world. This irresponsible israeli action sabotages everyone.

The Israelis should not be allowed to conduct violent acts unilaterally with impunity as it has far reaching consequences for ongoing efforts against terrorist activities and co-operation from muslim nations.

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The Devil

August 26, 2008

Black Light

 

I am the legitimate child of fire and sin

I am the unheard whisper behind an innocent grin

 

I am the mystical tempter of the Garden of Eden

I am the nameless seducer of a fruit forbidden

 

I am the skewed logic of every good sense

I am the corruption in every pure essence

 

I am the righter of every conscious wrong

I am the author of every liars melodious song

 

I am the unrest after every ominous dream

I am the unseen hand in a deceptive scheme

 

I am the scented air in a haters breath

I Choreograph the steps to every unkind death

 

I am the aching beauty in every vixen’s face

I am the coldest sweat in every morbid embrace

 

I am the safe lair of every plotter’s thought

I am the truest idol of every Unholy God

 

I am the guardian of every faustian pact

I am the magician who changes fiction to fact

 

I am the subtle soul of every treacherous cheat

I am the blackest blood in every murderous heartbeat

 

I am the cryptic code in every evil seed

I am the beautifier of every deadly deed

 

I dance to the thundering emptiness of wicked minds

I am the pleasing intoxication in every wine

 

I am the shadow encompassing every light

I am the fabulous wronger of every right

 

I am the loving father of all fallen angels

I am the numinous tempter of all holy strangers

 

I am the visible void in every heartless breast

I am the fairest umpire of every evil contest

 

I dragged your father from heaven to earth

And have been your faceless friend ever since your birth

 

 

Iqbaldinho

26 Aug 2008

we all have a common denominator – God – it’s just that our numerators are different

July 11, 2008

our basis is the same, but our interpretations are different – that’s all – if only we can find a way to just get along and ignore all the hate mongering that goes on at all levels of western society and their ilk. We are so sold to the idea of hating people that are so eagerly and easily propagated by the media that we forget that these are real people who bleed the same blood when we cut them to pieces in the name of fighting terrorism. We forget that they have emotions, they have feelings, they love and have children, they have hopes and dreams. If only we can understand that the hate that is mongered at a political level that sent military hardware with a pretext as a lame excuse to establish control right over the body and blood of millions of innocent lives who were branded as terrorists, or criminals, if it becomes clear that they are neither – collateral casualty of war. Children who die like dogs on the streets while the oil installations are being protected. I just cannot understand how such hatred can have such wide international support? How asian governments who are too chicken to stand up against a bully and hide under the cover of terrorism and fighting it as a just cause that it is all right to break the sacred laws of humanity, acording to the innocents among the adversary, the most basic of human  dignity and respect. It is so easy to demonise that which is unknown and even easier to believe it.

The Halal-food-in-school issue

February 13, 2008

I refer to this recent furore about the establishment of halal canteen in a public school here in Singapore.

The head of the school from the perspective of principled consistency in administration was technically not wrong. But he has ignored the deeply ingrained existing realities and has thus faltered egregriously on a very sensitive issue that violated an implicit but common understanding among the different peoples here.

 He has failed to fully appreciate that:

1)  mainstream schooling here is a secular government establishment.

2) adequate provisions had been made for muslim students halal food requirements

3) the existing system was working fine for all (i.e he tried to fix a thing that was not broken in the first place)

Fundamentally, the government, due to reasons entrenched in our historical cultural demography coupled with colonial era political legacy and post-independence socio-political upheaval, finds it imperative to preserve the secular character of the school system to allow for the peaceful sharing of the fast dwindling common space here.

The idea is to allow for healthy human social interaction and engagement and peaceful co-existence while preserving the socio-cultural distinctiveness of every group. So it is a situation that not only calls for tolerance of each others cultural behaviour and practices but also to actively partake in and gain knowledge and experience of the ways of our fellow citizens who are different from each other.

In Australia New Zealand, Europe and the north-Americas, a myriad of different cultures, even including that of the indigenous population, were uncermoniously (and sometimes violently) subsumed by a single dominant culture under a socio-political policy of integration. In Singapore we adhere to a policy of pluralism in the societal administration of our social and economic policies.

Like every system of choice there are always trade-offs and one major trade-off of a policy of pluralism is the opportunity-cost of social cohesion at the expense of allowing indivdual space for cultural expression and practices of the various social and cultural groups.

So while a policy of integration works to unite people it robs the society of the colour and vibrance of the symbiotic-diversity that pluralist societies, such as that of Singapore‘s, enjoy.

Muslims, like the rest of the peoples here already enjoy their own cultural space and to push the limits of tolerance that may unduly pressurise others into grudgingly accept a policy that violates the fundamental rules of common space is not only unfair, it is downright insensitive. The principal should have known better as his only serves to play upon the weak social fabric of this pluralist society that took decades to stabilise. It puts the spotlight on the darker side cultural differences and lowers the threshold of tolerance among its peoples.

For muslims it is a double whammy because firstly they are not the dominant cultural group even though they wield a relatively stronger influence despite their small numbers. Secondly this negative spotlight will have a ripple effect on the rest of the muslims who may be treated with wariness whenever they stake their claim to theor share of their cultural pie.

The principal thus should have realised the gravity of  implementing such risky policies with scant regard for the sensitivities of others and existing realities. Such principled halal policies are only fit for a madrasah or where people are generally in agreement to such a move.

Having said that, the government also needs to do more to address the needs of muslims seeking religious education instead of the mainstream secular ones. The madrasahs need more funding and more infrastructural attention.

Paying token service to this need while statutorily and administratively restricting parents from exercising their choice to send their children to a non-mainstream schools is not a step in the right direction.

If the demand is there, the government must provide the necessary infrastructure and the required funding to accommodate a significant cultural group. Compulsory secular education could also be done in a madrasah. If the government pays scant regard to such important needs then there is always a danger that this need may spill into the common arena and cause unnecessary social upheavals.

Iran President Faces Public Dressing Down

September 27, 2007

The Ugly American Strikes Again. Columbia University president Lee Bollinger made allegations against the Iranian president while conveniently ignoring the failures, treachery and cruelty of his own government. He also almost turned the session dedicated to a speech from the Iranian President into one of his own sessions. If his agenda was about free speech, civil liberties  and human rights he should also have talked about Abu Ghraib, the wanton destruction of Iraq, Haditha, the Extraordinary resditions by Us secret services, broad wire tappings of the US citizenry, Guantanamo prison, homeland security act, racial profiling  and the list goes on. Who knows what more is to come. His accusations against Mr Ahmadinejad were thus by-and-large a matter of bigoted personal opinion than it was a reasonable acedemic comment worthy of scrutiny.

Who says right wing fascism is dead – Bollinger is a testament to the fact that fascism is still alive and kicking.

As bizzarre as it seems Mr Bollinger turned this dignified session into a public dressing down of a guest and a smeared the reputation of his guest and robbed the everyone a chance for an objective assessment of truth. This is the worst of American society.

It could have been used for lively civil exchanges and for US citizens to know more about Iran. In the end Bigotry and hatred prevailed. Mr Lee could have used this session to build bridges. But he burned what was left of it. Mr Lee Bollinger turned out to be a xenophobe in tuxedos oozing of pseudo academic arrogance. Bollingers sharp distaste for his guest was a testament to the much pervasive American ugliness and arrogance only matched by their equally repugnant bigotry. Watching the whole thing in youtube I could feel the rightwing political pressure on Bollinger’s face to publicly humiliate a guest. If the humiliation did not happen I think Bollinger would be forced to vacate his job the very next day by right wing Jewish lobbying.

Mr Bollinger, all the negative comments you made against a dignified guest speaks volumes of your own upbringing. You displayed the worst of the American culture when you could have easily done the reverse. You make various uncalled for allegations against your guest. But you should look at yourself in the mirror and see for yourself what a sly bastard you turned out to be to against your own guest after allowing for Mr Ahmedinajad to speak. You could have spoken about bush in the same derogatory terms and it would not have been further from the truth. You almost turn this diginified session into a mud slinging session. Thank God The Iranian President mantained his composure. Maybe you could have learnt a lesson or two from your guest. I hope one day you will be served your just desserts for the treachery you committed.

 All I can say is: what a terrible waste of a fabulous opportunity to showcase the beauty of American culture and civility when it was only used to show how ugly America is. And people still wonder why Muslims love to hate America?

Beautiful Poem to ponder in Contemplation of the Infinite

September 26, 2007

There is no secular definition for the word soul. The deepest recesses of the self are unknown to conscious awareness and yet we talk like we understand. In the quran it is written that nothing of the soul is known save a little.

The problem with the current secular oriented culture that tends to rob and deny the spiritual and non-material dimension of human existence. The ghost behind the machine, the will behind the volition, the very voice within our thoughts. It may seem odd that the current MTV culture is developed in such a way that life is lived in a superficial way and thoughts and actions are appraised by it’s causes and effects on the material self. What is unknown and not privy to objective materialist observation is deemed as hocus-pocus-fairy-tale stuff by secular materialism. And yet there is no denying since einstein that man has vastly underestimated the reality before him. Theoretical science (or even metaphysics) is beginning to sound more and more like religious dogma with hardly any consensus among the groups in the scientific commnity as to which is the way to go. Intellectual reach is limited by perceptual limitations and now we have infinitely more questions than we have answers for. Despite the complexities of the reality before us, the secular scholars find intellectual gratification in arrogantly holding on to simplistic answers. The m-theory, the multiverse theory, the theory of evolution gratify the base curiosities of the infinite complexities of reality.

This poem below is by a 19th century poet Khalil Gibran and he succintly puts the authors humble understanding of reality as nothing more than calculated speculation before an infinitely enigmatic reality.

Self-Knowledge

By Kahlil Gibran
(1883 – 1931)

And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
And he answered saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

Israel : The Torah, their Title deed & God, their Real estate agent – never mind the evil

September 5, 2007

Zionism made the Jews believe this for their own political ends (that the promised land is theirs only). It used this honest Jewish belief to wreck lives and destroy a whole nation. “Never again” was their slogan but they do it again and again.

No doubt the Torah and the Quran says that the land was promised by their God to the Jews. But this is a belief that is rooted in theolgy – and in no way has any justification whatsoever for action to fulfil secular objectives. So the resultant supplanting of arab Palestine must be wholly based on Judaic theocratic ideals – not on secular ideals. Because that (the torah) was their ONLY basis of their claim to the promised land.

We must understand that the Israel of Davidian times is a theocracy – not a secular (pseudo-) democracy. The land that was promised to them in Palestine by Yahweh was contingent upon 1) their unwavering belief in Him and 2) that they act righteously – otherwise they have no claim over it.

But the death of innocents, the wanton destruction, the deliberate defoliation of cultured lands, and the continued criminal land grab of the legitimately owned property is an evil beyond expression. Would Moses – who delivered the hebrews from the Pharoah condoned such an ideology of hatred called Zionism?

Some not so cool facts here about Israel that the so-called free media of the west would be reluctant to exercise it’s freedom of expression over. But when it comes to bashing palestinians, Arabs and muslims – they reserve their right to free speech – if the Danish cartoons are at all any indicator of this media and political hypocrisy.

If a picture speaks a thousand words – this three speaks in encyclopediac volumes because of the unmitigated oppression that has been imposed upon the palestinians. Apartheid did not die with Nelson Mandela – It is still alive and kicking in the heart of the middle east. Fascism and “genocidism” did not die with Hitler – it is still alive here in the blessed promised land.

If there is one terror that will divide and destroy the world – it is not not the god loving Jews, nor their religion, nor their torah, not the christians nor their bible, not Islam nor their quran – it is the terror of this secular Zionist and their secular ilk (the neo cons) and their dangerous ideolgy of hatred – so much hatred they bring into this blessed world that it would make Hitler – their erstwhile tormentor – look like a petty bicycle thief.

Somalia turning into Iraq twice over

May 1, 2007

 

“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper-use of military force in international relations that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflict,”      

Russian President Vladimir Putin, The daily telegraph

The conflict in Somalia is yet another example of the impotency of UN as an organisation as an assurance against mass carnage and genocide against helpless peoples. It failed in Kosovo, Rwanda, Lebanon, Afganistan, Iraq and most recently in Somalia. Besides speaking in chest thumping rhetoric for peace and freedom it had achieved little else as far as making the world a better world is concerned. It gives me the impression that the UN is an organisation designed to muster world resources for western interests only while paying lip service for the rest of the world.

It is now well known that the Ethiopian forces who claimed to act in their own national interests against terrorists who had taken refuge  in Somalia is a self serving myth. It is clear now that US aided the Ethiopian forces and funded the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) to bring down the courts at the pretext of tracking down Al-Qaeda fighters who had purportedly sought refuge in Somalia.

The UN had not brought to task the TNG for it’s abject failure in government and as it turned  out, they were nothing but a bunch of tribal incompetents with nothing to show for. In their 6 or so years in office the people of Somalia had only seen more crime, homelesness, abject poverty, armed conflicts and unprecedented crime that left the country in a total mess. Where the success of the ICU in governance had been one that transcended clan politics and petty tribalism, the transitional government had been a bunch of infighting warlords who achieved nothing.

The achievenments of the ICU is nothing to scoff at for after the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, the ICU established crime prevention, law enforcement and administration, education, healthcare and welfare services..

The ICU’s police forces successfuuly curbed robberies and drug-dealing, as well as sexual immorality. They had public wide support – something that was never seen in recent history of Somalia. The courts different factions (Ifka Halan, Circolo, Warshadda and Hararyaale ) worked hand in hand through a joint in promotion of security and peace. – that saw the integration and co-operation of their security forces.

No doubt Somaila under the ICU had broad based support of the citizenry and experienced unprecedented peace and security that the transitional government had failed to provide. And yet the western governments were either silent or denounced the ICU as an illegitimate government and only regarded the transitional government as legitimate.

The European Union members and the US failed to see the point when peace and security emerged in Somalia and treated the courts with supicion only because it had the label “Islamic” to it;s name. Their bigotry and discrimination in that was indeed very telling. The issue of human rights, justice and democratic freedom only applies to them and their ilk – they have a different set of rules when they deal with muslims, black and others.

The US, far from establishing peace had stoked the fire of conflict all over the world. It further confirms that the current US administration is only interested in decimating muslims wherever it goes. When peace was established in Somalia, it sought to destroy it by actively aiding the ARPCT and the Ethiopians. When the Ethiopians ran a rampage last year they, destroyed years and years of peace established by the courts causing widespread conflict and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

Putin was right after all. The Bush Administration has absolutely nothing to show for in making the world a better place. It’s hands are tainted with the blood of millions of innocents.

I would be surprised if Americans still wonder why the world loves to hate them. They should take control of their democratic intitutions that was hijacked by bad leadership and abysmal administration. This despotic administration is the worst that the world has seen in US history. It had routinely violated human rights, supported police states and despotic regimes, detroyed peace in peacful states (as in somalia), promoted war (lebanon), divided the world into a “us versus them” mindset, failed to act against genocide, failed to implement disarmament of nukes and WMDs, failed to even acknowledge an impending environmental catastrophe – and the list just goes on.

The UN had thus far been totally impotent against such a tremendously dangerous back drop. It raises the question as to whether if the UN is still relevant. It has failed to stop genocide, failed in nuclear disarmament , failed to stop the scourge of capitalist inequalities, failed to implement measures against environmental disaster, failed to get consensus on international trade, failed to ease the effect of globalisation on the inpoverished, failed to curb poverty and famine. It has failed in every aspect of it’s stated goals it was expected to fulfil. The UN IS irrelvant.

Jeffery Sach recently remarked in one of his lectures in New York:

“We learned after September 11 how incredibly fragile our institutions are. We learned how they can be hi-jacked by fear and by misguided leadership. We did not see the bulwark of our institutions holding up. If the
Iraq
war had been a rousing success we would have been on to more wars in the region, I have little doubt about it. That was the game plan. What can we do about it beyond hope? We can talk to each other, do what we’re doing now, alert each other that we are not past the risk right now. We still face real risks of self-fulfilling danger, because we are still with a mindset that is prone to a vulgarism of us versus them, a readiness to attack and bomb people whose names we can’t name, whose places we don’t know and couldn’t even locate on a map.”


 

It is indeed scary that the world will reach 9 billion in 2050 at the current population trajectory. But the speed at which the bodybags are piling in, thanks of course to bad leadership and bigotry, we may need more space to bury the dead than to feed and house the living.

Expect more wars, more poverty, more genocide, more conflict and more division from the Bush Administration and expect the UN to be nothing more than a bloated bureaucracy full of spectators watching the world burn. I have no doubts about that. May God save all of US.

Ali Eteraz and his Islamic piss-artistisms

April 19, 2007

I don’t understand why is it that people who are mainly educated in the west, make such a big deal out of the treatment of women in Islam such a big issue. Is it that big a deal as the media, popular perception and people like Eteraz portray it. Normally I would not be moved to comment on inflammatory views about Islam but this man Eteraz is passing himself off as a self-styled Islamic-scholar with deviationist views and I just have to say a few words about the views of this learned brother Ali Eteraz.From what the distinguished Ali Eteraz (and his ilk), has said, he seems to feel polygamy to be nothing more than a last surviving anachronistic remant of an archaic cultural practice of a people yet to be civilised. By reading his post I get the idea that he feels that the idea of polygamy is no longer applicable this day and age. If not for the display of such hubris of superiority over his predecessors in religion and too with no respect, in general, for men who take more than one wife, he goes on goes on with his view that unless it can be proven that men don’t have an ulterior motive, polygamy should not be allowed. His reasons are oversimplified and contorted – the kind that goes on in emotionally charged day time talk shows with no acedemic value to it at all. He also seems to think that apostasy should not be punishable by death. Not that I am categorically disagreeing to that but when one considers his reasoning and proof – this is in it’s proper islamic context is pure rubbish. The values are there and like the fundamental western democractic values – like freedom of speech – they are non-negotiable simply because without these values they lose their unique identity. I won’t be surprised if he goes on to say that the five daily prayers are not compulsory and goes on to proof it with another “almost airtight” argument.I think he finds his secular humanist ideals incommensurable with his religious convictions (if at all he has one)and as such finds an urgent need to properly marry the two ideals by convoluting Islamic values. By reading his materials I get the feeling that his religious values are dependent upon his Humanist ideals. 

I don’t know alot of things about Islam to really comment on it, but I do know that we have to see Islam and religions in general, on it’s own merit. Right thinking people would want to note that, limited as they are in thier scope vis-a-vis reality, secular-materialist values are incommensurable with that of Islam. To see Islam through the values of secular ideals would be fatal to one’s correct perception.  To put humanism as an ideal for equality and the advancement of mankind and to force it’s standard with Islam because Islam should be about equality and the advancement of mankind – is like comparing apples with oranges. Humanism, as with other western-secular-materialist “isms” are based on a concept that does not recognise the existence of a higher intelligence as a cause of all causes. It is thus limited by it’s own base assumptions. No way of life or thought can be perfect given the imperfections and complexities of life itself. As such Islam with it’s perceived flaws is regarded by muslims as the remedy to these imperfections. A lot of muslims and people of other religions believe that it is the human perception -with it’s sensory and cognitive limitations – that is imperfect. And as such cannot see the values of religions perfectly.

Eteraz’s views may hold water as far as they are about secular-materialism but they are nothing more than verbal sophistry and piss-artisms as far as they are about Islam. I think he has been adequately refuted by other muslims and I don’t need to waste any time going through a point by point refutation of his views. As I have mentioned in the muslim hedonist his ignorance is only matched by his arrogance. I hope well meaning and right thinking people would bring him to task and reject his views.