Posted: August 31st, 2011 | Filed under: "academic", News/Current Events | No Comments »
fr. The suspicious revolution: an interview with Talal Asad
NS: Since coming back to the United States, have you noticed a shift in how the West perceives the Muslim world?
TA: Well, I don’t read newspapers regularly—so you might be in a better position to answer that than I.
NS: Really? Why don’t you read newspapers?
TA: It’s not that I have any sound reason for it. I haven’t read newspapers for thirty years because I find that, for some reason, they tend to break up my mind. They write about so many different things, and you’re always going from one thing to another, and then on to another, unrelated to the last. I like to read journals—weeklies. I also watch Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! and some of the news programs on Russia Today. Listening to TV newscasts is less disruptive, strangely. So I’m not sure I can adequately answer your first question as to whether there has been a change in Western depictions of the Muslim world or not.
Posted: May 9th, 2011 | Filed under: literary, News/Current Events | No Comments »
Roper: so now you give the devil the benefit of the law?!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
This country’s planted thick with laws from coast-to-coast … and if you cut them down, you really think you could stand upright in the wings that would blow then?
Bolt, A Man for All Seasons, p66
Posted: March 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events | No Comments »
Galloway: America has given Israel missiles that can target not just every city in Lebanon, but every city in the Arab and Muslim world including Iran! Why should America be allowed to give long range missiles to Israel including hundreds of nuclear missiles, but
(Anna interrupts) Because it’s given it to a terrorist organization!
Galloway: But, they are not a terrorist organization! Only in the mind of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky and The Times and the -
(Anna interrupts) I wont, come on! I want to stop you there, Mr Galloway! Prescribed terrorist organization.
Galloway: They are not a terrorist organization! It’s Israel who is the terrorist
(Anna continues talking at the same time) One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. We know that perfectly well.
Galloway: (speaking at the same time) Precisely. Precisley.
Posted: March 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events | 1 Comment »
look away for a second, and all sorts of things happen.
George Galloway says decision to ban him from Canada ‘inappropriate’-
i’m sure the word he used was a sight more colorful than inappropriate, but CBC has a way of drifting towards the boring.
(thoughts: i don’t understand why all the columnists who write for major papers, as well as the political party reps, have to blunt the edges of their arguments protecting free speech by prefacing them with tediously drawn out notices of how they don’t like GG as a person, nor do they like his politics, and how they agree that he supports terror, blah blah blah.
My guess is that the political establishment as well as the media cannot tolerate unreserved support for anyone who speaks out against isra’-eel; as well, the influence of pro-zionist lobby in Canada is no longer something that can be overlooked.)
so, in a show of support for the one politician in the western world (besides ron paul) who speaks some sense on TV, I am posting some of GG’s more standup and standout clips:
That SKY interview -
Anna: How can you justify your support for Hizbollah and its leader Sheikh Hassen Nasrullah?
Galloway: What a preposterous way to introduce an item! What a preposterous first question!
Twenty-four years ago, on the day my daughter was born and I have just celebrated her 24th birthday, I had to dash at the maternity to see giving birth, from a mass demonstration in London against the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Israel has been invading and occupying Lebanon all of my 24 years of my daughter’s life. The Hezbollah are a prt of the Lebanese Resistance who are trying to drive, having successfully driven most Israelis from their land in 2000. Israel from the rest of their land and to get back those thousands Lebanese prisoners who are kidnapped by Israel under the term of their illegal occupation of Lebanon. It’s Israel that is invading Lebanon!
It’s Israel that is attacking Lebanon, not Lebanon that’s attacking Israel! You’ve just been carrying a report “Ten Israeli Soldiers on the border getting ready to invade Lebanon, and you ask us to mourn that operation as if there were some kind of war crime! Israel is invading Lebanon and has killed 30 times
Anna: . (Interruption by Anna)
(Galloway does not stop) more Lebanese civilians than have died in Israel. So, it’s you who should be justifying the evident bias, which is written on every line of your face and is in every nuance of your voice and is loaded in every question that you ask.
GG interview on CBC about Afghanistan
Really liked this one, he showed a lot of sympathy for the guy who interviewed him, whose name i cannot pronounce or spell, and answered his questions very kindly, like an old uncle might talk to a young nephew.
for the rest of them, see: http://www.georgegalloway.com/page.php?page=content/video.html
really too much good material to post here.
2) Guantanamo guard converts to islam.
Not the story i was expecting to see in Newsweek.
3) moved recently, alhamdullilah – liking the new apartment, need to do something with the lighting. one thing not having an ikea around does is forces you to wander through mazes of narrow souqs looking for a desk lamp. it’s quite nice, though perhaps because of my hate-to-waste-time-shopping attitude i find it kind of frustrating at times.
reflections on renting in syria:
i once read a book in school in which the main character philosophizes that “there are two kinds of people: good people, and landlords.”
while i can’t totally agree with him, i appreciate the sentiment much more fully after having lived the life of a renter and student in rukn-ad-din.
keep us in the dua’s (:
Posted: March 20th, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events | No Comments »
War wears Spider-Man T-shirts and loves soccer. But the dangers outside his parents’ home often force him to stay inside, where he’s glued to a computer screen.
His favorite game is “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” He hijacks cars, steals motorcycles, shoots pedestrians and runs over bystanders on the street. Digital blood seeps from the bodies.
Most 6-year-olds aren’t allowed to play “Grand Theft Auto.” It’s too graphic. But War has seen real blood.
In 2006 he went with his brother to pick up kebabs when an explosion tore through the market. People ran from the bakery next door burning alive. But he wasn’t scared, he said.
His father ran to the market when he heard the blast, barefoot and frightened. A neighbor saw the two boys and pulled them away from the carnage.
War recounted the tale to his father, Mohammed Abd Badr, without a trace of fear.
That same year, War sat in the car as his dad drove down the dark streets of his neighborhood one night. A car stopped in front of them, and members of the Shiite militia, the Mahdi army, pulled a man from the trunk of the car and shot him.
They left him on the street and drove away. It was one of thousands of killings by street militias at the height of sectarian violence. The body was one of many that littered the streets like garbage in 2006 and 2007. Often, 50 bodies were found a day.
Badr got out of the car to see if it was someone from the neighborhood. Some boys distracted him briefly and warned him not to approach the body. When he turned, his son was gone.
War looked into the face of the dead Sunni man.
“What are you doing?” his father asked, running up to the little boy.
“Look baba,” he said. “Poor man.”
Posted: March 19th, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events | No Comments »
fr. the recent report of Israeli soldier’s action during the Gaza massacre:
One account tells of a sniper killing a mother and children at close range whom troops had told to leave their home….
In another cited case, a commander ordered troops to kill an elderly woman walking on a road, even though she was easily identifiable and clearly not a threat.
Testimonies, which were given by combat pilots and infantry soldiers, also included allegations of unnecessary destruction of Palestinian property.
“We would throw everything out of the windows to make room and order. Everything… Refrigerators, plates, furniture. The order was to throw all of the house’s contents outside,” a soldier said. One non-commissioned officer related at the seminar that an old woman crossing a main road was shot by soldiers.
The soldiers’ testimonies also reportedly told of an unusually high intervention by military and non-military rabbis, who circulated pamphlets describing the war in religious terminology.
“All the articles had one clear message,” one soldier said. “We are the people of Israel, we arrived in the country almost by miracle, now we need to fight to uproot the gentiles who interfere with re-conquering the Holy Land.”
“Many soldiers’ feelings were that this was a war of religion,” he added.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that the findings would be examined seriously.
“I still say we have the most moral army in the world…”
Posted: March 18th, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events | No Comments »
… “In a private luncheon co-hosted by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce at the Telus Convention Centre, attendees who reportedly paid $400 for a ticket got the chance to be up close and personal with the former world leader. And guests say the controversial figure was affable and witty.”
Of course, for someone stupid enough to pay $400 to sit with this villain perhaps most anyone would be ‘affable’ and ‘witty’. My God.
On the economy, Bush said even though he is a “free market guy,” he had to step in with a bailout package in the waning days of his administration. But added the government can’t do it alone.
i.e. Even though I am a solid neo-conservative Friedmanite pupil whose aim in life is to line my pockets by helping large corporations run poor people even further into the ground, and even though my main man Friedman says that I shouldn’t hand out bailouts to ANYONE, i’ll do it, because sometimes theory has to be thrown out the window when it’s convenient for ensuring major corporations don’t go under.
“The world is better off and the Iraqi people are better off without Saddam, no ifs, ands or buts,” he said.
…. Now, an intelligent person admits their mistakes, and a sincere person apologizes. … (The three dots mean words are failing me now.) …
Denny Hop, of Hop Estate Planning Partners, said Bush brought guests to their feet as he explained his eight years in the Oval Office.
GWB also brought Muntadhar al Zaydi to his feet in Iraq, but he had much more sense and conscience than these sell-outs. Stalin also got standing ovations, and they lasted much longer than the one they gave GWB.
Posted: March 15th, 2009 | Filed under: News/Current Events, Random Mozlem Stuff | 1 Comment »
NB: i don’t like to criticize food, – when the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam liked a dish he ate it, and if he didn’t like it he he left it alone without saying anything negative – so let us just say that i always always always leave the nihari well alone if it is served at anyone’s house.
it seems only suitable, then, to relate a parable of the current economic crisis with nihari in the middle…
THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS EXPLAINED
Pajja is the proprietor of a Siri-Paya and Nehari Shop (a beef stew dish) in Lahore. Sales are low and, in order to increase them, he comes up with a plan to allow his customers to eat now and pay later. He keeps track of the meals consumed on a ledger.
Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flock to Pajja’s shop. Pajja’s suppliers are delighted and are very willing to sell more and more raw materials for the meals he prepares. Pajja shows them his ledger of receivables and they extend him credit.
A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and gives Pajja a credit line and then increases Pajja’s borrowing limit.
Taking advantage of his customers’ freedom from immediate payment constraints, Pajja jacks up the prices of his Nehari and Siri-Paye. Customers don’t mind as they are not required to pay on the spot. Sales volume increases massively; Banks and suppliers lend more; Pajja opens more outlets. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the customers as collateral.
These securities are then listed on the Stock Exchange and traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what the names mean and how the securities are guaranteed but, nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.
One day, although the prices are still climbing, a credit risk manager of the bank decides that the time has come to demand payment of one of the debts incurred by Pajja. Pajja in turn asks his clients to pay up. One by one they refuse; the clients cannot pay back the debts. Pajja refuses to serve them any more. The clients stop coming.
Pajja is really in deep trouble now. He cannot fulfill his loan obligations and therefore claims bankruptcy. All Bonds drop in price by between 80 to 95%.
The suppliers of Pajja, having granted generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with similar problems. The meat supplier defaults on payment to the sheep and cattle supplier and claims bankruptcy. The atta (flour) supplier is taken over by a competitor; Pajja lays off the cook and staff. Bankruptcies soar, unemployment mushrooms.
The bank that lent the money in the first place is set to collapse. It is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties with Pajja commuting back and forth in his Executive jet and Mercedes 500SEL, brokering the deal.
The funds required to save the economic collapse are obtained by a tax levied on the citizens, most of whom do not eat Nehari or Siri-paye.
photo: Hemanshu Kumar
(see how it glistens on top? that’s oil. Pakistanis say that the oil makes it “healthy”.)
Posted: March 13th, 2009 | Filed under: Cinema, News/Current Events | No Comments »
now this looks like a good film.
“so now brother hamza… you were a single dad, now you’re married… so you’re a married man, you’re muslim, you’re american, you’re puerto rican, you’re from the hood, you’re an artist, you’re a rapper… i mean… man, you’re like america’s worst nightmare…”
“my whole thing is just to make sure my family is alright if i get taken away…”
most people don’t realize it, but this is actually how muslims think. like, anybody who is halfway involved in their community and happens to pray and wear a hijab or have a beard has probably either been contacted by CSIS/FBI/police or else had some if not most of their friends go through something like this…
the more involvement, the higher the probability. add in an education – secular or religious, though the latter is more suspicious – and extracurricular activities like sports or just about anything else and the things you can be suspected of or accused of just goes up exponentially. running for fitness is twisted to “training”. paintball/laser tag twisted to really hardcore training. dinner party twisted to secretive meeting. prayer twisted to “some really scary activity at the mosque”. heck, flying a kite twisted to survelliance activities. it might seem like this is stretching it but it’s not.
put yourself in a lot of people’s shoes: if you do so much as write letters to your local paper or, as he said “start talking to gang members to get off drugs and change your lives, then They start worrying about that…” not just that, but you get family, friends, everyone, saying things like “maybe just stay quiet and don’t talk… didn’t you see what happened to those kids from city x or these people or… ” there are plenty of examples.
that’s hard for most people of our generation though. maybe because we didn’t live in the police-state kind of countries from which our parents immigrated and so we’ve heard of but never seen people close to us disappear. maybe because youth never think too much about authority. who knows. maybe because, coming from the west and inspired by our faith, we’ve been raised to believe that we have a right, or rather, a responsibility, to try to improve our communities and speak out against wrongs. i mean, you go for a walk to protest against violence in Gaza or Canada being in Afghanistan this is the result:
(no political affiliation, but it’s a good article)
the end result is that one either stops doing anything at all and just sits at home, or moves to some island or forest or something to live with nature and hope to be left alone, or they just keep living their lives and praying to their Lord.
but you know the hardest thing, i think – harder for people than having someone in combat fatigues with enough firepower to wage war on some african nations kick down their door before dawn, handcuff them in front of their family, and drag them out the door for absolutely nothing – harder than all of that is being misunderstood.
this was the true test of the Prophets. to be taken for villains when they were trying to improve things. to be labeled a menace/corruptor/terrorist/islamist/whatever when you’re just trying to live a normal life and do some volunteer work and be right with your Lord and be good to people.
granted the onus is also on muslims to be involved with people and not isolate themselves and so forth. but for most people, muslims are suspicious nonetheless, because all they hear in the news is how a “seemingly normal good muslim guy’ (haven’t seen any news about the sisters, except the truly heart-rending case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui ) was actually planning some horrific thing that the authorities managed to nip in the bud.
“i’m a suspect ‘cuz i say takbir*
in an atmosphere of fear
blind eyes and deaf ears
i’m a suspect…
what you see me when you see me
you see hate you see fear you see pain you see tears
you see killers and guerillas and the time that they give us…
but you don’t see clear…”
this theme is in a lot of muslim music and art now, being misunderstood.
“look into my eyes,
tell me what you see
you don’t see a damn thing
because you can’t relate to me
you’re blinded by our differences
my life makes no sense to you
i’m the persecuted one
you’re the red white and blue.
you worry about your education
and the bills you have to pay
i worry about my vulnerable life
and if i’ll survive another day.
your biggest fear is getting a ticket
as you cruise your cadillac
my fear is that the tank that has just left
will turn around and come back
see i’ve known terror for quite some time
57 years so cruel
terror breathes the air i breathe
it’s the checkpoint on my way to school
terror is the robbery of my land
and the torture of my mother
the imprisonment of my innocent father
the bullet in my baby brother
i’m terrorized in my own land -
what? am i the terrorist?”
Posted: March 8th, 2009 | Filed under: Cinema, News/Current Events, Random Mozlem Stuff | 3 Comments »
Trailer for the upcoming film about hip hop and Islam: DeenTight.
“go to Saudi Arabia and Morocco – are those cats trying to move like their great grandfathers? Or are they trying to move like Pop Master P? … so wouldn’t you want them to listen to Public Enemy? instead of G-Unit?”
just some thoughts:
1. if the medium is the message, then what does this say for islam in particular and religion in general? it seems to me that such steps are down the path of a cultural war of attrition: even if you win, you lose.
2. that brother who talked about daw’ah, saying: ‘i don’t care if people become muslim, etc, that’s… that’s not my business, etc etc’ – it’s one thing to say that people’s faith is not in my control, and quite another to say “i don’t care”… i mean, before you’re going to get anywhere you have to love for others what you love for yourself, and if you really believe in Hell, and that people who reject truth are going to go there, and you don’t care, then there is a serious problem. we have to differentiate between caring, which is essential, and measuring ourselves by our results, which are out of our control.
that being a given, then it doesn’t make sense to undertake a means that you believe is wrong for a goal that you know is noble.
then, of course, that means you have to assess the means itself and its validity, which is a whole other thing.
3. people need to purify their hearts and minds, because a container can only pour out what it holds within. ultimately, our actions are the result of intentions and ideas, and a persons’ actions grow out of them like crops out of a field. so if our fields are the equivalent of nuclear waste dumps then the crops are going to be unsightly, to say the least, and likely lethal in the long run.
the film looks really good though (: