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Showing posts from 2016

Shape Up or Perish

I am not going to start by saying: I told you so, although I am tempted. Mr. Donald Trump is the president elect and the world will now be a different place. How different? Only time will tell but if the world changes, what will happen to those who are ill-prepared, unable or unwilling to change? The answer is in the title.
There is a shift in the outlook and attitudes of people world over. The working class in the industrialized world is seeing itself as a victim of globalization, of indiscreet immigration policies of governments, terrorism and its perceived causes, jobs redistribution --- disappearance of manufacturing jobs and their replacement with technology jobs which the locals cannot fill. Globalization requires capital as well as population redistribution. The introduction of ethnic diversity in a socially tranquil society creates strong undercurrents of unease, which are easily exploitable by fear mongers.
Muslims on the planet are caught in a vortex of chaos, victims of thei…

The Crisis of Competence in the Middle East: Half a Century of Humiliations

A learned friend of mine asked me a question: “Is this the lowest point in history for Muslims or was it the Mongol devastation of Baghdad?” To me the question was perhaps improperly phrased because we, as people are a part of history at this point of time and are actors in the drama which is being played out. So, are we any better or worse than the people who lived in Baghdad at that time? Let me leave the answer to the readers.
You can divide the modern history of the Middle East into five parts:
1.The colonial period 2.The Nasser Era 3.The post-six-day war era 4.The post-nine-eleven era 5.The post-Arab Spring era
I see three common elements in the dynamics of all the five parts:
a.Arab (Muslim) incompetence   b.The hostility of the Christian world spearheaded  by the United States of America c.Israel supported by the World Jewry.
All the three factors have contributed to the catastrophes that have occurred. So would it not be logical to assume that a change in any one of the three elements …

Bombs, Beards, Drones and the Clash of Civilizations

Bombs, beards, drones, Islamic extremism and Islamophobia are phenomena, which are manifest on the screen of current affairs. We also see suicide vests, rape and pillage and hear talks of carpet bombing. These are all our perceptions from the worm’s eye view, which does not allow us to see much. A bird’s eye view however, available to history philosophers like Ibn Khaldun, Spengler, Toynbee and others  would allow us to see much more in terms of cause and effect but if we have such people in our midst, their voices are muted or drowned in the noise of  irrelevance.
So, what do we need to see? Well! To begin with, let us put “clash of civilizations” in the perspective, although the term is inadequate since civilizations do not have discrete boundaries; they overlap and are sometimes diffused.
First let us begin from the dawn of the Islamic civilization, the bursting out of the spore sac of the Arabian Peninsula in the Seventh century of the Common Era. The desert dwellers of that time we…

Propaganda: An Art of War

There were two pieces of news today, which were very disturbing: one, in which a Yazidi girl, now living among Kurds, described her ordeal while in captivity in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  She was twelve years old when she became a “slave-wife” of an ISIS fighter, who performed prayers in front of her before and after raping her, declaring that it was all in accordance with the dictates of Islam. In the second piece of news, the leader of ISIS himself is reported to have taken the American hostage Kayla Mueller as his “slave-wife”. Mueller was later killed in a bombing raid by the Coalition Forces. These reports are enough to fill one with extreme disgust. However, if you are an anti-Islam propagandist, it should bring you to ecstasy. What more damaging material would you need to defame Islam and Muslims in the eyes of the world?
As a consequence of what we have been told by the news media, ISIS and Al-Qaeda could not possibly be in our approval list. Their sectarian agenda …

To the Muslims, Be Ready Here We Come!

News:
An Egyptian court sentences Mohammad Morsi, the only freely elected president in the history of Egypt, to death.Three Egyptian judges shot to death and three others injured in the Sinai desert.Secretly recorded conversations between top Egyptian generals unveil conspiracy to overthrow the Morsi government, a conspiracy bank-rolled by the Persian Gulf countries.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issues a statement (August 1, 2013), while on a visit to Pakistan, supporting the coup-d’├ętat in Egypt.



Keep those news items in the perspective and see Egypt’s agony pulsating in front. Its future is being written in blood, by script writers beyond its borders, in which the Egyptians, as usual, are silent onlookers. Military dictatorships in the Muslim World have had a morbid influence on society in general but in Egypt it has an extra dimension. In every country the military is maintained with money and resources to fight wars when ordered by the government. Some militaries are motivated …

Towheed (Monotheism)

The fundamental philosophical contradictions in theology have to do with the concept of god or gods, the functions and the scopes of this entity; how men see or imagine this entity and since we see a plurality of godly functions, whether we could virtually or conceptually break down this entity into various parts and assign them different functions.
To us, the fundamental argument is not whether there is one god or three gods in one or whether there is an assignable deity for each cosmic function. The prime argument is whether the universe was created or whether it came into being by itself. There can be valid arguments on both sides but whereas there may be no scientifically verifiable evidence to prove that there is a creator, to prove the contrary is logically impossible. So in Islam we begin with the premise that the universe has been created. Having created things, God gave them their essence and the laws that govern their behavior. These laws are inviolable. All the laws of physic…

Randomness

Randomness is the law of nature. Lightning strikes due to natural causes; doesn’t know who is being struck or what is underneath. But why am I underneath? Who or what caused it: God, fate, my sins, my deeds or none of the above? As for my deeds, I prayed; gave charity; helped a few old ladies carry their groceries; smiled at a few beauties. True, I slipped a little on the morality floor. But one who was not struck wasn’t even a believer. His morality world wasn’t even a familiar one; was beyond the scope of the scripture. So, why me is a question that lingers eternally in the consciousness and is disowned both by science and religion. Neither Professor Jinglestein nor Maulana Pandhazari is able to answer the question. Scientific reality is part deterministic part random. Religion is all destiny but it seems to me that my destiny is thoroughly randomized. So what am I to do? Shall I abandon faith, morality, civility, prayer and worship? Nay! I can’t. All these are woven into my psyche. …