* The avatar versus the journalist: Making meaning, finding truth
* Bangladesh bans poultry from five more countries
* Michael Palin's travel books online for free
* The Muslim mind is on fire
"Like all ideologies, radical Islam is a phenomenon of the educated class."He searches for the adrenalin of terror:
Radical ideologies of hate and violence have often seduced disaffected young men searching for some great cause. Forty years ago they would have embraced Leninist revolutionary dogma, with Che Guevara as the bin Laden of his day. Today, for Muslims, it is a violent interpretation of Islamic fundamentalism.And how to win the battle:
In a battle of ideas, no one bullet will win. We must present a positive vision for Muslim societies, be seen as a friendly and progressive force by them and thus strengthen the moderates and liberals.
"No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them."
"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears."A sign in Nottinghill tube station reads:
NOTICE TO ALL PASSENGERSThere you go! Warnings like this instilling fear into everybody. Over at Sepia Mutiny a commenter says:
Please do not run on the platforms or concourses. Especially if you are carrying a rucksack, wearing a big coat or look a bit foreign. This notice is for your own safety. Thank you.
"When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear." -Budhdha
Taslima was not allowed to read her poem 'America' during a Bengali Convention held in Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening (3rd of July 2005). 'America' is an anti-war poem which is against weapons of mass destruction while taking a stand for humanity. As she was reading this poem, many from an audience of six thousand American-Bengalis booed and did not let her continue after the first few lines of the poem. Taslima had no other alternative but to skip to the end of the poem. She was soon forced by the organiser of the convention to leave the Madison Square Garden area.From Taslima's article "Unbreathable America" (sloppy translation from French) written in 2003:
"I am applauded when I criticize Islam, but when I protest against the policy of the United States, I have to hide myself.""I still remember the shock that I felt, a few days after the attack of World Trade Center, on the road between New York and New Hampshire, doubled by a car which had a telling sign: "Fuck Allah". I do not believe in Allah, and that is quite equal for me that somebody sends it to shit. But this sign terrified me. A question came up to my mind: why its author decided to curse Allah rather than Mohammed Atta and his band? What did Allah have to do with these attacks? I immediately understood that this anger was mistaken in target: what it aimed, it was a religion."
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. We reject anyone who tries to link such brutal acts to the teachings of Islam.(Via Shappir)
Mosques are places of worship and their religious sanctity should not be breached.Meanwhile Omar of 'Iraq the Model' argues the demands of religious quarters that 'Islam has to be declared as the official religion of Iraq'. He cites example that in the 1st constitution written for a dominantly Muslim society there was no mention of Islam as the official religion of the state! This state established by the prophet Muhammad himself at Yethrib was named "Al-Madina" (which means "The City") and was based on a kind of civil governance free from coercion or oppression.
: Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites.That is the stupidest thing I have heard in recent times.
: You're talking about bombing Mecca?
Pirated Harry Potter copies started appearing on Monday, following the worldwide release in the early hours of Saturday.Well, the exact thing happened in Dhaka streets also. I also saw a slim paperback version of the book (not the big and fat one as seen on TV) in the hands of hawkers as early as Monday of this week. I was wondering how the book can pirated so professionally and in the shortest possible time right in front of the law enforcement authorities?
At almost every major traffic junction the book was being offered by hawkers. Hawkers and street book stalls are offering JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for $6, compared to the legitimate stores’ $20.
Bangladesh's top criminals have found a safe haven in Nadia, Bongaon, Dumdum, Teghatia, Thakurpukur and Kolkata of the Indian state of West Bengal. When (Bangladeshi) law enforcers turn tough or the criminals commit any serious crime here, they simply cross the border, legally or illegally. They take refuge in familiar haunts there, sheltered by official and unofficial 'protectors'.It also lists the 23 most wanted outlaws declared by the Bangladesh Police. This online weekly magazine is an interesting read.
He's just one of the thousands of people in Iraq who disappeared and ended up in one of the many jails and prisons around the country without a clear reason.The number of U.S.-held prisoners in Iraq reached all-time record levels earlier in June and has since gone down slightly. The average prisoner total in June stood at 10,783. The number of Iraqis held in Iraq's governmental and paramilitary jails is unidentified.
Please show your support for the Khalid Jarrar by posting supportive comments at Raed’s and Khalid’s latest posts. If you’re a blogger, please help spread the word by linking to them.You can sign a petition here.
Why should not Islamic terrorism pictures be labeled Islam? Is it possible to alter reality by denial? From now on, should mayhem caused by people who follow Islam – and act according to the dictares of Islam – be labeled "Martian" violence?Dilip D'Souza has answers:
Did you, or anyone, refer to Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahome outrage as "Christian terrorism"? What about the earlier terrorism that London was so used to, from the IRA? Was that "Catholic terrorism"? What about the Spanish inquisition, do we call it the "Christian inquisition"? How about the LTTE in Sri Lanka, are they "Hindu terrorists"; or the Sinhala leaders in that country who have spouted venom and instigated violence against Tamils for years, are they "Buddhist thugs"? Slaughter in Gujarat in 2002, was that "Hindu terrorism"?I would like to quote this to the people who tag religion to all explanations:
There's no reason to bring religion into it. I think we ought to have as great a regard for religion as we can, so as to keep it out of as many things as possible.Update: There is an interesting discussion going on in Sepia Mutiny on the issue of confusions of the browns as the backlash is happening to Desis indiscriminately.
- Sean O'Casey 1884-1964, Irish Dramatist
Terror Bee Equation = Poverty X Exponential (Sense of Being Disenfranchised or No Hope) + Lack of Progress + Lack of Democratic Institutions + Cultural Trappings + Lack of Visionary Leaders (Mandela, Gandhi, King in Middle East)
Most Arab terrorists are well-educated, married men from middle- or upper-class families, in their mid-20s and psychologically stable. High profile acts are committed by "elitist, richer" Arabs but most of their foot work is done by orphans in Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. The only difference between radical Islam and radical versions of other religions is that they are finding recruitment very easy.
The unrest that is transformed into hatred all starts with the news of Islam being suppressed, treated unfairly and from the feeling that Islamic peoples across the globe are under attack. Islam is seemingly under attack from the US to the Middle East and inwards to India (even China suppresses Islam and holds innocent leaders in jail). The results of suppression, the fruit of the seeds of unrest, bloom in blood in the mosques where men like Tanveer are changed, fundamentally and internally, into soldiers of a spiritual war by the ideology preached by the leaders of their faith. The belief that war is the only way to call to attention and change the fate of Islam around the globe becomes the only solution to a growing problem.
The sense of alienation need not be limited to non-democratic societies but also come from people within democratic and free societies, as recent London Bombings seems to indicate. I also think that this malaise is not related to a religion, it could happen to any of them over time.
"Probably no one of us has the True Religion. But all of us together - if we are allowed to be free - are discovering ways of conversing about the great mysteries. The pretense to know all the answers to the deepest mysteries is, of course, the grossest fraud. And any people who declare a Jihad, a holy war on unbelievers - those who do not share their believers' pretended omniscience - are enemies of thinking men and woman and of civilization. I see religion as only a way of asking unanswerable questions, of sharing the joy of a community of quest, and solacing one another in our ignorance."
- Daniel Boorstin
Every individual, every country today is a potential target of terrorism. The London massacre is not an act against Britain, nor the UK, nor the G-8, it's an act against the entire humanity. All such diabolic, yet cowardly actions must be severely condemned, censured and deterred with steeled resolve and equally resolute counteraction.While doing so, I also pray for the people and the families affected in this carnage. I hope the perpetrators will be taken to justice in the shortest possible time.
"But alas the main thrust of what Live 8 seems to be about is to induce the governments of the G-8 to take money from their taxpayers and assign it to nebulous and frequently counter-productive projects in Africa, often in effect propping up the regimes who are the single biggest cause of their own nation's problems and directly responsible for local poverty."
There comes a time when we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
and its time to lend a hand to life
There greatest gift of all
We cant go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
Theres a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
its true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
I find this "apology" completely unsatisfying. I really don’t care what language Nixon and Kissinger used to discuss Indira Gandhi in private. I care far more about the 500,000 to 3 million who died, and the 6 million to 12 million who were made refugees. These were not accidental deaths. This was an intentional mass slaughter of civilians by the Pakistani government, coupled with a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In Bangladesh, they call this genocide .