intellectual property rights: This blogger firmly believes in intellectual and other property rights. Links have been given to the material including images and maps used from outside sources. The blogger requests pointing out any material that have escaped this policy.
Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

see end of page for buttoned useful links

Friday, December 30, 2005

sisters and daughters for sale?

Are our sisters and daughters for sale? When will the horrors of dowry and bride-burning end?, asks Himendra Thakur June 1999:

Doesn't the love of one's country include love for one's countrymen? Or is it merely a fashionable thing, patriotism merely to find pride in something but not to actually strive towards a better nation? A country is her people. Years ago, Rabindranath Tagore summed it up as: Desh mrinmoy noi, desh chinmoy The country is not a chunk of earth: it is a saga of consciousness. Without the conscience of our people, this consciousness will fade. We must rouse ourselves to the daily indignities that surround us. There are a thousand places and ways we can begin loving the people of our nation, and I offer but one here. It is a journey that each of us can begin quite easily, because the victims of this malaise - dowry - are within reach, they are our mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors. People who we normally think of as "one of our own", who we ought to protect with our lives if necessary, and yet the normal course of things has fallen so low that indignities heaped on our women do little more than make us look away.

Geographical distribution of dowry deaths, 1994Source: National Crimes Bureau, Home Ministry

Andhra Pradesh - 396
Arunachal Pradesh - 0
Assam - 13
Bihar - 296
Goa - 0
Gujarat - 105
Haryana - 191
Himachal Pradesh - 4
Jammu & Kashmir - 1
Karnataka - 170
Kerala - 9
Madhya Pradesh - 354
Maharashtra - 519
Manipur - 0
Meghalaya - 0
Mizoram - 0
Nagaland - 2
Orissa - 169
Punjab - 117
Rajasthan - 298
Sikkim - 0
Tamilnadu - 83
Tripura - 6
Uttar Pradesh - 1977
West Bengal - 349
Andaman & Nicobar - 1
Chandigarh - 3
Dadra & Nagar Haveli - 0
Daman & Diu - 0
Delhi - 132
Lakshadweep - 0
Pondicherry - 4
Total - 5199

Let us begin, then, with the people whose suffering we have even ceased to notice, let alone empathize with. Let us begin with the women around us, those whose marriage through dowry we regard as normal when in fact it is apalling. Countless brides in India are constantly under harassment in their matrimonial homes because their fathers have fallen behind in the payment of endless dowry installments, or the dowry she did bring to her husband is regarded as too meagre.

Imagine the plight of a young woman, newly wed into an unfamiliar situation, and surrounded by those she has only just met, who regard her as a means to an end, little more than a device by which to enrich themselves. She knows only too well that a bride may be killed for lack of dowry ... she too must have heard the same stories we've all heard ... but she does not know what to do. She may have overheard her in-laws, even her own husband, talk casually about harassing her, and sometimes contemplate even killing her! the kind of fear that instills in a person is beyond our ability to comprehend. It isn't even fear, it is terror.

The cruelest aspect of this menace is the role that brides' parents play in perpetuating it. My inquiry at the Dowry Cell of New Delhi Police Department revealed that most of the parents of the bride do not want to take their daughters back. There is considerable social stigma in India against those parents who shelter a married daughter back in their family. In most of the cases, parents persuade the daughter to go back to her husband's home, that is considered to be the highest form of behavior one can learn from the old scriptures.

The alternative for the scared bride is to go to one of those government shelters. However, these shelters are controlled by unscrupulous bureaucrats and their politician bosses who are accused of taking full advantage of the helpless condition of the victims who come to the shelters. The reputation and working condition of most of the shelters are so horrible that a bride will prefer to die at the hands of her in-laws than to move one of those "shelters".
So, she stays in the house of her in-laws, resigned to her fate. Then, one evening, when she is working in the kitchen, someone throws a pail of kerosene on her, and someone else throws a burning match, and she turns into a ball of flames. Can she save herself by taking off her clothes ? There is no time. Petroleum products like kerosene or gasoline work very fast, aided by her own body heat. Once that splinter is thrown, there is no more chance of life.

Perhaps this sort of recital is gruesome, and we look away. We imagine that it cannot happen to anyone we know, that our education and money has raised us above these village truths. But that isn't so - we merely glamorize the slavery we perpetuate, and pretend to endow our daughters and sisters with "gifts". These aren't dowries, we tell ourselves, this is just to help her get a good start. Conveniently, we overlook the fact that there's more than one person getting married, we don't ask often enough why this good start mustn't come from both sides.
With these pretexts, we dismiss these as unimportant issues. And as we look away, an estimated 25,000 brides are killed or maimed every year in India over dowry disputes. Intellectuals pull out their calculator and say it is less than 0.003% of India's population. They slide into research mode and throw a vast array of statistics about atrocities on women in USA, UK, Pakistan, and many other countries of the world. Foundation owners refuse to help because there are so many other problems in India like street beggars, lepers, street children, bonded laborers, etc.

continue reading article ...

So, the brides keep on burning. Except, when she burns, the "problem" is one hundred percent hers, not 0.003%. She is NOT suffering from economic exploitation like bonded labor or economic deprivation like poverty : she is instead suffering from a very complex psychological set up in the minds of most of the people, the apathy of our times, and the stench of our unwillingness to eradicate dowry.

Many intellectuals do not like to talk about this subject. They open their speech with a presentation how India is doing very good in other fields like computers, space technology, etc., as if achievements in these fields can be used as excuses to burn the brides. A nation that trades in its people, sells its daughters into ready bondage, what words can describe these horrors? What kind of progress teaches us to ignore these problems, to pretend that these can never come past our doors?

One day, our daughters too will pass into slavery, and the jewel in our eyes will lead the wretched life we choose to look away from. When will it be enough? Himendra Thakur June 1999

Himendra Thakur is a founding member of the International Society against Dowry and Bride Burning in India, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt organization in the United States. He is currently Chairman of the Society's Board of Directors and Subcommittee on Fundraising.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

keeping April Glaspie under wraps?

Is the US State Department still keeping April Glaspie under wraps?
By: Kaleem Omar on: 25.12.2005 [16:51 ] (154 reads)
It is now more than fifteen years since that fateful meeting on July 25, 1990 between then-US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie and President Saddam Hussein that the Iraqi leader interpreted as a green light from Washington for his invasion of Kuwait eight days later.

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The US State Department, which is said to have placed a gag order on Glaspie in August 1990 prohibiting her from talking to the media about what had transpired at that meeting, is apparently still keeping her under wraps despite the fact that she retired from the American Foreign Service in 2002. .

In all the years since her meeting with Saddam Hussein, Glaspie has never spoken about it to the media, never appeared as a guest on a TV talk show, never written an article or a book about her time as the US’s top diplomat in Baghdad. The question is: why? What has she got to hide?

April Catherine Glaspie was born in Vancouver, Canada, on April 26, 1942 and graduated from Mills College in Oakland, California in 1963 and from Johns Hopkins University in 1965. In 1966 she entered the United States diplomatic service, where she became an expert on the Middle East. After postings in Kuwait, Syria and Egypt, Glaspie was appointed Ambassador to Iraq in 1989.

Glaspie’s appointment followed a period from 1980 to 1988 during which the United States had given substantial covert support to Iraq during its war with Iran.

Before 1918 Kuwait had been part of the Ottoman province of Basra, and thus in a sense part of Iraq, but Iraq had recognised its independence in 1961. After the end of the Iran-Iraq War (during the course of which Kuwait lent Iraq $ 14 billion), Iraq and Kuwait had a dispute over the exact demarcation of its border, access to waterways, the price at which Kuwaiti oil was being sold, and oil-drilling in border areas.

It was in this context that Glaspie had her first meeting with Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990. Glaspie herself had requested the meeting, saying she had an urgent message for the Iraqi president from US President George H. W. Bush (Bush Senior). In her two years as Ambassador to Iraq, it was Glaspie’s first private audience with Saddam Hussein. It was also to be her last. A partial transcript of the meeting is as follows:

US Ambassador Glaspie:

"I have direct instructions from President Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait. (pause) As you know, I have lived here for years and admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country (after the Iran-Iraq war). We know you need funds. We understand that, and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. (pause) We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your other threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship - not confrontation - regarding your intentions. Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait’s borders?"

President Saddam Hussein:

"As you know, for years now I have made every effort to reach a settlement on our dispute with Kuwait. There is to be a meeting in two days; I am prepared to give negotiations only one more brief chance. (pause) When we (the Iraqis) meet (with the Kuwaitis) and we see there is hope, then nothing will happen. But if we are unable to find a solution, then it will be natural that Iraq will not accept death."

US Ambassador Glaspie:

"What solution would be acceptable?"

President Saddam Hussein:

"If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (which, in Iraq’s view, includes Kuwait), then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States’ opinion on this?"

US Ambassador Glaspie:

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasise the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."

(Saddam smiles)

At a Washington press conference called the next day (July 26, 1990), US State Department spokesperson Margaret Tutweiler was asked by journalists:

"Has the United States sent any type of diplomatic message to the Iraqis about putting 30,000 troops on the border with Kuwait? Has there been any type of protest communicated from the United States government?"

To which Tutweiler responded

"I’m entirely unaware of any such protest."

On July 31, 1990, two days before the Iraqi invasion, John Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, testified to Congress that the

"United States has no commitment to defend Kuwait and the US has no intention of defending Kuwait if it is attacked by Iraq."

The trap had been baited very cleverly by Glaspie, reinforced by Tutweiler’s and Kelly’s supporting comments. And Saddam Hussein walked right into it, believing that the US would do nothing if his troops invaded Kuwait. On August 2, 1990, eight days after Glaspie’s meeting with the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein’s massed troops invaded Kuwait.

One month later in Baghdad, British journalists obtained the tape and transcript of the Saddam Hussein-April Glaspie meeting on July 25, 1990. In order to verify this astounding information, they attempted to confront Ms Glaspie as she was leaving the US embassy in Baghdad.

Journalist 1:

"Are the transcripts (holding them up) correct, Madam Ambassador?"

(Ambassador Glaspie does not respond)

Journalist 2:

"You knew Saddam was going to invade (Kuwait), but you didn’t warn him not to. You didn’t tell him America would defend Kuwait. You told him the opposite - that America was not associated with Kuwait."

Journalist 1:

"You encouraged this aggression - his invasion. What were you thinking?"

US Ambassador Glaspie:

"Obviously, I didn’t think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait."

Journalist 1:

"You thought he was just going to take SOME of it? But how COULD YOU?! Saddam told you that, if negotiations failed, he would give up his Iran (Shatt al Arab Waterway) goal for the ‘WHOLE of Iraq, in the shape we wish it to be.’ You KNOW that includes Kuwait, which the Iraqis have always viewed as a historic part of their country!"

(Ambassador Glaspie says nothing, pushing past the two journalists to leave)

"America green-lighted the invasion. At a minimum, you admit signalling Saddam that some aggression was okay - that the US would not oppose a grab of the al-Rumalya oil field, the disputed border strip and the Gulf Islands (including Bubiyan) - territories claimed by Iraq?"

(Again, Ambassador Glaspie says nothing as a limousine door closes behind her and the car drives off.)

Two years later, during the American television network NBC News Decision ‘92s third round of the Presidential Debate, 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot was quoted as saying:

"...we told him (Saddam) he could take the northern part of Kuwait; and when he took the whole thing we went nuts. And if we didn’t tell him that, why won’t we even let the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee see the written instructions for Ambassador Glaspie?"

At this point he (Perot) was interrupted by then President George Bush Senior who yelled:

"I’ve got to reply to that. That gets to national honour!...That is absolutely absurd!"

Absurd or not, the fact of the matter is that after April Glaspie left Baghdad in late August 1990 and returned to Washington, she was kept under wraps by the State Department for eight months, not allowed to talk to the media, and did not surface until just before the official end of the Gulf war (April 11, 1991), when she was called to testify informally before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about her meeting with Saddam Hussein.

She said she was the victim of "deliberate deception on a major scale" and denounced the transcript of the meeting as "a fabrication" that distorted her position, though she admitted that it contained "a great deal" that was accurate.

The veteran diplomat awaited her next assignment, later taking a low-profile job at the United Nations in New York. She was later shunted off to Cape Town, South Africa, as US Consul General. Nothing has been heard of her since her retirement from the diplomatic service in 2002. It’s almost as if she has become a non-person

keeping April Glaspie under wraps?

Friday, December 23, 2005

The story of Bismillah

bismillahir Rehmaanir Raheem

He had only two dirhams in his pocket, and no other possession.

Bashar bin Harith gave the two dirhams to a perfumer and asked him to provide the best perfume he had. The fragrance was indeed refreshing to his whole existence. Bashar left the perfumery, and sat down comfortably in a corner, took out a piece of paper from his pocket, and started putting the perfume on that piece of paper with fondness, because on the piece of paper was written:

“bismillahir Rehmaanir Raheem”

The Qureish used to begin their writings with “be Ismika Allahumma”, meaning “O Allah! (we start) in your name.” The prophet (saw) had also kept to this because its meanings are in total conformity with Islamic teachings. Then the following Ayah of Surah Hood was revealed:

“wa qaalarkubu feeha bimillahi marjaha wa mursaha”

meaning: Embark on this! With the name of Allah this boat will sail as well as stop…”. This is the story of Nuh {Noah} (as). Here Allah (swt) is teaching His vice-regents to start all lawful activities with His name by saying “bismillah”, whether quietly or audibly.

After the revelation of this Ayah, the prophet [saw] started using “bismillah”. When Surah bani Israel was revealed, in which there is an Ayah with the meaning: “(It is the same) whether you call Allah or Rehman,, (because) all of His names are Elegant”, he started writing: “bismillahir Rehmaan”. After that was revealed the Ayah of Surah Niml, in which there is a reference to the letter written by Suleman {Solomon} (as) to queen Bilqees of Saba. The Quran tells us that letter started this way: “Innahu minas Suleman wa innahu bismillahir Rehmaanir Raheem” meaning: “Definitely this letter is from Sulemaan and he begins it with the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful”.

Now the prophet [saw] also started using this sentence in full. It is very comprehensive, plain and simple but sweet at the same time. The placing of words and their phonetics are such that it charms the heart. The smallest kid is easily able to say it. No other language and no other book carried such a sentence. The first person to use this phrase was Suleman (as).

Bashar bin Harith says that he was a very intolerant and prejudiced person, always ready to pick a fight. He started going somewhere from home, when he found a piece of paper lying on the road (remember, the road then were not paved or metalled like today, they were dirt tracks). On it was written this: “bismillahir Rehmaanir Raheem”. This sentence is an ayah of the Quran, and also appears at the start of every Surah, to distinguish it from the previous one. Except Surah Taubah, every Surah starts with this sentence. Respecting the words of the Quran (which is the Word of Allah) is part of our Faith. When Bashar slept that night, he was given the glad tidings that: “you made fragrant our name; We will also make your name fragrant in this world and in the Hereafter.

What we need to understand here is that “bismillah” means the way of the deen of Allah. To make it fragrant means to act according to Islam’s way. In Islam, everything depends on your action, which are determined by the intention.

In Surah alHajj, Allah says something like: “Allah does not get the meat or blood of your sacrifice, but He receives your piety.”

Abu Hureirah relates something like: “Indeed Allah Subhanahu Ta`ala does not (judge) your bodies or your faces, but He judges your hearts.

Muaad bin Jabl was being sent as governor of Yemen. Before departure, he asked the prophet [saw] to give him some words of advice. The prophet said” “Do not let your intention be corrupted. Whatever you do, do it for the sake of gaining Allah’s pleasure. Even the littlest action will suffice for you then”.

US monitors radiation in mosques!

I would say it is a very welcome service. :)

The cost of installing radiation monitors, and staffing for regular checks must be considerable.

It is very thoughtful of the US to think of radiation mnitoring for its Muslim inhabitants. It might jsut be discriminatory, and I expect that people of other faiths would bring in a lawsuit or petition the US government to provide the same service in their places of worship.

I guess another fat contract is coming in the way of Halliburton. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How to have your cake, and eat it, too

a very interesting piece of legislation!

bans torture, specifically.

wow! really. That is great.

However, do not as yet jump with joy for human rights, for
there is a catch.

No, the CIA is not exempted.

But there still is a catch.

"If the US does torture, the victims have no right to take
that up in court."

Brilliant, simply brilliant!

The US says it will not torture; however, neither the US
government nor any of its personnel who do so, can be
challenged in court. And this is not from the President,
but the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Brilliant, simply brilliant!

Having your cake, and being able to eat it, too!

Is this what the US is all about?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Rewards are due to intentions

Two angels got down from the sky, and started talking to each other. Abdullah bin Mubarak was sleeping near the Ka`aba, and was dreaming. He saw this in a dream.

One of the angels asked the other: "Do you know how many Hajjis have come for Hajj this year?"

Angels have limited knowledge. The angel know sspecifically what that particular angel has been told. Anything more than that, they neither know, nor can deduce. The other angel did know the figure. He said: "Six hundred thousand have come for Hajj."

Abdullah bin Mubarak had also gone for Hajj, from Merv.

The first angel asked: "How many people's Hajj has been accepted?"

The second replied: "Wonder if anyone's has been accepted at all."

Ibne Mubarak was grieved to hear that. He thought! "So many people have come from all over the world, crossing so many obstacles like rivers, jungles, mountains, suffered so many hardships, and meeting so many expenses. Would their effort be wasted. Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) does not let anyone's effort go to waste".

He had thought only so far when he heard the other angel speak: "There is a cobbler in Damishq (Damascus(. His name is Ali bin alMufiq. He could not come for Hajj, but Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) has accepted his niyyah (intention). Not only will he get the reward for Hajj, but because of him, all these Hajjis will also be get the reward.

The prophet is reported to have said: "Innamal a`amalu bin niyyah", meaning the rewards of actions are dependent upon their intentions. When we pray our Salaah, we make our intention (in the heart only); when we fast our Sawm, we make the intention (in our hearts only). For the ritual Sacrifice, for Zakaah, for Hajj, for all these we have to make our intention. Action is only valid with intention. Without it, the action is simply an accident. There can be no deception in intention, but there can be in action, because intention is of the heart.

Now one gets all sort of thoughts in the heart, good as well as bad. The Sahaba (Companions) were worried, so they asked: "If thoughts or intention carry reward and punishment, what will happen about those thoughts that are not carried out?" In reply Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) gave us the last verses of Surah Baqarah, which mean that any doubts or temptations in the heart will not be questioned about.

When Abdullah bin Mubarak woke up, he decided he would go to Damishq and meet that cobbler. whose intention alone carries such a lot of weight. When the order to make ritual sacrifice for Allah was given, it was revealed: "wa la kin yyanaluhut taqwa minkum", meaning: nothing (meat, blood of the sacrifice) reaches Allah except your taqwa, i.e purity of intention.

On reaching Damishq, Abdullah ibne Mubarak located that cobbler and called him out. A man appeared from the house. Abdullah asked his name. He replied "Ali bin alMufiq". Ibne Mubarak asked: "What do you do for a living?" Ali replied: "I am a cobbler". Then he asked ibne Mubarak his name.

Abdullah ibne Mubarak is a very well-known scholar of Islam. He has a very high place among the Muhadditheen, very pious and very generous. What the Quraan says about the Muttaqeen, is exemplified by him.

The two started talking. Ibne Mubarak asked Ali to tell him about himself. Ali said "For thirty years I have lived in the hope of performing the Hajj. This year I had been able save enough to go for Hajj, but Allah (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) did not will it, so I couldn't make my intention translate into action.

Abdulah ibne Mubarak felt the purity of that cobbler's heart. Islam regards greatness not in wealth or in power, but in civility, in good manners, in goodness of heart. Abullah asked: "there must be a reason why you couldn't start on the journey?" Ali replied that yes, it was not Allah's (SubHana Wa Ta`ala) will. When Abdullah ibne Mubarak persisted in his insistense, Ali who had tried to hide his generosity, eventually told the truth.

Ali said: "Once I went to my neighbour's house. His family was just sitting down for dinner. The neighbour told me: "I am sorry I cannot invite you with us." We have been without food for three days. Today I found a dead donkey, and we have cooked his meat for a meal. It is halaal for us now, but you cannot eat it, becasue it is haraam for you."

Ali continued: "On hearing this my heart bled with tears. I got up and went home, collected the three thousand dinars I had saved for Hajj, and gave my neighbour the money. I too had to go hungry but that was to save money for Hajj, but I thought saving my neighbours' lives from hunger is more important, although I still desire to go there.

Abdullah bin Mubarak could not resist any more. He told the cobbler of his dream.

However, actions must also be in accordance with the Sunnah of the prophet (saw).

The way forward for us

Let us look at ourselves, and find what is wrong, and try to correct it. The criticism I make is not aapplicable to all of us, but to many, even a majority.

Many years ago, reading the papers, (we had printed newspapers and magazines then, no (TV), certain things were clear:

the Caliphate had declined and been abolished; the Muslim countries were colonised; and only after the world wars, did the countries become independent and that was a qualified indepenence).

I could not understand then, and I only dimly understand it now, why the Muslim countries stayed separate, and did not come together to form a Caliphate. So when Egypt and Syria came together, it was a source of joy, and when the United Arab Republic was disbanded, it was incomprehensible for me.

Earlier on in life, I thought that the Muslims had lost touch with science and technology. So, I reasoned if we turn to science, we will be able to hold our own. Science and technology are the keys to stay free.

Later on, I would find fellow Muslims saying that because five powers and Israel possessed the nuclear weapon, Muslims had no chance except to give up struggles because they did not have their own nuclear weapons.

Well, when India went nuclear, Pakistan tried and managed to develop a nuclear weapon. That somewhat ensured that India did not invade it. Beyond that, Pakistan was unable to get the Kashmir issue resolved or to provide security to Muslims in other lands.

When Afghanistan was invaded by USSR, Pakistan provided support for the refugees, and a base for the Mujahideen who drove back the USSR. But when the USSR withdrew from Afghanistan, the US put back-breaking sanctions on Pakistan, and for the first time, suicides due to hunger occurred in Pakistan.

Now, why was that? The reason was that the Pakistani elite had borrowed heavily from the IFIs (International Financial Institutions), and usurped or mismanaged the money that had come in, becoming addicted to consumer goods, without investing in production that would pay back the interest or the principal on the loans. When there was a squeeze by the IFIs on credit, Pakistan was introduced to short term, heavy interest private loans, the repayment of which became even a greater burden.

It was then that 9/11 happened, and Musharraf, struggling with an insolvent state, saw it as a chance to ditch the Talibaan, and come back in favor with the US, so as to put our finances back in controllable shape.

Our religious and political leaders have mostly condemned this about-turn, but most of them are as addicted to modern consumerism, as the other parts of our elite.

It is now understood that the "freedom" we won was in name only, and that there had already been in place a mechanism (IFIs) to keep us in bondage.

The role of the two blocks in the so-called Cold War, was also to ensure that the third world countries, (and that included the Muslim ones), stayed under control.

But ask yourself: Why did the Afghans get into a civil war after the USSR withdrew?

What is wrong with Muslim societies then?

First of all, does everyone who calls himself a Muslim understand what is meant by it, and does his life reflect that understanding?

Do we know what is meant by the declaration of the kalima? What is meant by One Deity alone?

You will find that many do not understand that One Deity means a clear understanding and internalisation of Tawheed.

What is meant by the declaration that Muhammad [saw] is the last prophet?

You will find us following many leaders, other than the prophet [saw] - all this in the name of progress, or the need of times.

What is meant by our belief in other prophets (as)? and what is meant by our belief in the old Books revealed to the prophets, and belief in the Quran?

What was the purpose behind revealing the Quran? For whom was it revealed, and how do we understand it?

Does Islam tell us what sort of society to have? Does it tell us what should be our goals in life? and what are the methods we are allowed to use?

You will find that people declare belief in the prophet [saw] and the Quran, even say prayers and keep the fast, yet they do not stop stealing or telling lies.

The structure of our societies has been feudal. The mindset of feudal society is control. Our feudal and bureaucratic leaders have limited access to schooling, to technical training, to scientific and engineering knowledge, and most of the applications of knowledge.

There is ignorance and corruption at every level. There is misunderstanding of the sharia at every level. There isn't enough investment in quality, affordable, education. There isn't enough investment in employment, and there isn't a culture of professionalism.

The prophet [saw] told us that removing small pebbles from the way is also sadaqah. It means that we are encouraged to remove obstacles from other people's paths, provided of course what they are doing is legal and moral according to Islam.

Our societies place obstacles in the paths of the common man. Our societies make it difficult for people to get their due normally.

Let us then make this rule for ourselves: If what someone is doing is legally and morally correct, if we can help, then we should do so, if we cannot, at least we should not be an obstacle.

Le us go one step further: tell others to follow this example.

I read somewhere that the prophet [saw] said: a Muslim can be anything but a liar. At least when one young man approached him with a list of his sinful ways, the prophet asked him only to give up lying.

So, let us make another rule: never to lie. And go one step further. Lead by example; before telling others to tell the truth, let us do it ourselves.

The prophet [saw] said something like: if someone gets hold of land that does not belong to him, that piece of land will be wound around his neck on judgment day. We find people taking what is not theirs, particularly land.

Let us then make this third rule for ourselves: only to take what is halaal for us, and let us show others to do the same.

Monday, December 05, 2005

sex education and parents

These links are from another blog:

muslim-kidz: Birds & Bees 101

I often post links and articles from others. Maybe I lack originality, although all my life I have faced difficulty for originality; or maybe I am just lazy. The latter is definitely true.

Islam qa: When should we teach children about removing body hair?

soundvision: 7 Tips on Talking to Kids About Homosexuality

soundvision: 12 Tips For Parents: Talking To Your Kids About Sex

islam-usa: Islamic Medicine: Sex Education For Muslim Youths And Their Parents

IoL fatwa - Sex Education From An Islamic Perspective...contribution

IoL Live Dialogue with Dr Shahid AtharOur Kids & Sex Education

Islam for today: Sex Education Acceptable In Islam