99 Problems But a Cape Ain’t One:
Superhero fans, especially those old enough to have opinions, are often divided by their views on the appropriateness of real-world politics in their escapist literature. While many of us regard Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams’ socially relevant run on “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” to be a superlative example of costumed heroes confronting the hard-hitting issues of the day, just as many readers dismiss it as didactic and inappropriate given the characters’ roots in benign adolescent power fantasies. But what about when real-world issues encroach upon the mild escapism? What happens then?
These issues are being confronted again with “The 99,” a comic about a group of multi-ethnic superheroes with a basis in Islamic culture and faith. An animated series based on the comic was meant to debut last week, but it’s been pushed back to January of next year (unlike DC’s “JLA/The 99” crossover miniseries, which debuts next week with issue #1). Like New York City’s so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” itself envisioned to promote tolerance and peace between Muslims and the greater American population, “The 99” cartoon finds itself imperiled by those who’ve yet to see or even contemplate the true nature of the work.
“Cancel ‘The 99’ before it starts,” wrote the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser in an editorial this week.
Hide your face and grab the kids. Coming soon to a TV in your child’s bedroom is a posse of righteous, Sharia-com pliant Muslim superheroes — including one who fights crime hidden head-to-toe by a burqa.
These Islamic butt-kickers are ready to bring truth, justice and indoctrination to impressionable Western minds.
Conservative conspiracy website World Net Daily joined in, writing nearly 1,000 words of warning against the supposedly subversive series. Except, from all appearances, “The 99” is about as subversive as baseball and mom’s apple pie.
The superhero group was created by Muslim psychologist Naif Al-Mutawa not to promote radical Muslim values, but specifically to confront them, and challenge the xenophobia preached by radical Imams (possibly the sort of views that have resulted in an American cartoonist going into hiding after challenging Muslim extremists). In an interview with PBS, Al-Mutawa recalls his inspiration for “The 99,” which began with the familiar idea of “Pokemon,” and his desire to create something for children with that kind of potential:
My next thought was that there had been a fatwa issued against Pokemon in this region. My next thought was, “My God, who are these people, and who appointed them to be spokespeople for Islam?” My next thought was Allah, and how disappointed he must be. My next thought was that Allah had 99 attributes, and that brought me full circle back to Pokemon, which is a concept of 300 attributes.
Each of the heroes of “The 99” represents one of those virtues of Allah, such as strength, mercy and wisdom, attributes that are valued by many faiths and cultures. Praised by U.S. President Barack Obama as embodying “the teachings of the tolerance of Islam,” the young heroes also demonstrate these values in their fantastical adventures without any one character praying or even mentioning explicit Muslim scripture nor the Prophet Mohammed, according to ICv2.
Just as importantly, “The 99” are not only intended to present a moderate, tolerant face of Islam to the Western world, but also to the Islamic world itself. In the same PBS interview, Al-Mutawa recalled pitching the idea of “The 99” to investors, and describing the trading cards and stickers of suicide bombers that were sold “in the millions” to children throughout the West Bank and the Middle East. It was time for the Islamic world to find some new heroes, he said.
The inherent Middle Easternness of “The 99” does set it apart from other television cartoons; I don’t think we’ve seen this cultural context presented so obviously in children’s entertainment since Disney’s “Aladdin” in 1992 (you can count “Prince of Persia” if you like). A seven-minute preview on YouTube reveals more of “The 99’s” backstory, which has to do with Mongols plundering and burning a library in 13th century Baghdad, which contained the world’s largest collection of knowledge and wisdom. Luckily, the contents of the books were saved within 99 magic gemstones — “Noor Stones” — which are discovered centuries later by the young heroes of “The 99.”
Such a series mythology is in keeping with the tradition of the variously “ethnic” backgrounds of some of our favorite children’s adventure stories: Indiana Jones, Johnny Quest, the Immortal Iron Fist. There are differences, obviously, like the fact that all those heroes are white men inserted into “exotic” locales and cultures to become their champions, rather than heroes actually based in those milieus, as seems to be case with “The 99.”
That one female character, Batina the Hidden, wears a burka and a few other heroes wear headscarves seem to be sticking points for opponents of “The 99,” and opponents of Islam in general. Indeed, Peyser’s critical New York Post piece is called “Trading Cape for the Burqa,” as if even gazing upon such fictional children will be enough to prompt non-Muslim American children to abandon our Western fashions and adopt all the trappings of the dreaded Sharia, or Islamic Law. It’s the next dangerous fad that will get your children into trouble, like huffing paint or drag-racing down the street at night.
Andy Sullivan, a Queens construction worker opposed to the “Ground Zero mosque,” on “The 99”:
They’re taking advantage of the fact that in every middle-class household, Mom and Dad are working their asses off. They know the kids are watching TV or on the Internet. So maybe Sharia becomes OK. It’s a game. It gradually becomes more and more in their lives.
Why shouldn’t Mr. Sullivan be scared? In the United States, Sharia is most often discussed in connection with Muslim extremists such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and other places where one imagines thieves’ hands being cut off at the wrists and women being executed for having the misfortune of being raped. Sharia has also been invoked as a boogeyman by some conservative American politicians, who say their liberal opponents intend to adopt Sharia in some official capacity. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich recently came out firmly against Sharia being “considered as a replacement for American law” (even though no American politician is promoting anything of the kind). Sharia is coming for our courts and it’s coming for our kids!
In reality, Sharia is not a by-the-books law but more of a set of social and political beliefs practiced by Muslims around the world, who differ on the details depending on where you go and who you talk to. What’s generally true across the board is that Sharia is about being culturally conservative, behaving very modestly with respect to sex and money, and practicing a high level of courtesy and reverence for one’s neighbors.
But even by this most unspecific definition of Sharia, “The 99’s” connection to Islamic law seems tenuous at best. The reality is that Superman himself operates in a way that would be very agreeable by most mainstream interpretations of Sharia, and it is with pronounced irony that conservative Americans, particularly those in favor of living life like we’re all Boy Scouts, react so hatefully towards Muslims, who are truly their allies in this regard.
If “The 99” were truly promoting the kind of intolerant views so feared by detractors — if the super-strong Jabbar left an unmarried woman to burn in a fire because he found out she was banging her boyfriend, for example, or Betina the Hidden refused to stop some bank robbers unless the bankers agreed that “Israel should be wiped off the map,” then we would have a problem. But none of those things are going to happen, and for millions of Muslims around the world, those things are not what Sharia is about.
There are no doubt numerous empirical studies that suggest a wild conversion of non-Muslim American children to Islam or an adoption of fundamentalist Sharia is incredibly unlikely, but I can best speak to my own experiences as an American youth growing up not just in front of Islamic-themed television, but in actual Islamic countries. So as to deflect any accusations of religious bias, I should point out that my surname, Khouri, is Arabic for “priest,” and it’s a name my ancestors took on as they converted to Christianity. It is from within that Christian heritage that I first encountered Islam — not on my television, but living next door. As a child I lived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language. The little girls next door wore headscarves, as did all the women on our street — except for my Scottish/German mother and my half-Arabic sister, since they weren’t Muslims. The broadcasts of “Astro Boy” and “The Muppet Show” were interrupted for salah (ritual prayers), and I took a mandatory Arabic language class in school.
Strangely, over twenty years later, I remain a non-Muslim who can’t speak Arabic, and I suspect the same will be true of non-Muslim children who watch “The 99.” The worst that could happen, if you’re inclined to think of it that way, is that non-Muslim American children may actually learn that while Europe was up to its eyeballs in the Dark Ages, the Middle East was experiencing a cultural renaissance. Non-Muslim American children may actually lay their eyes upon fictional kids of perhaps unfamiliar backgrounds stepping up to become heroes themselves, rather than backwater citizens in distress waiting for Tom Cruise’s “Last Samurai” or Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” character to come save them.
In the mythology of “The 99,” these young heroes appear to explicitly embody virtues and powers that inform all superhero stories, and with a stated mission to change the world for the better by focusing on those ethics and not on any religious dogma. It is a mission that Grant Morrison and Deepak Chopra have advocated for years.
“The 99” creator Naif Al-Mutawa, in conversation with CNN:
It is finally time that all of us became more accountable for that which our children will be hearing; tiny differences setting us apart rather than celebrating those positive things that bind all good people together. If we allow small-minded men to spout fear and hate in the name of our religion, we will enable them to brainwash another generation as they did our own. And soon, the next generation will fall into a pit of dissonance. To sit by silently makes us all complicit.
There’s nothing to disagree with there, and children could do a lot worse than watch animated series based on that outlook. Assuming any children watch “The 99” at all.
You see, having broken down the bigoted, anti-Islamic arguments against “The 99,” we’re left with the inescapable fact that it just looks like hell. As you probably saw in the preview video above, the animation is like something out of a ’90s SEGA game. The characters appear utterly without any depth or attractive edge to their personalities whatsoever. Barring any surprises — like the series even airing at all in this toxic political climate — it looks like the U.S. media has embarrassed itself again by railing ignorantly against a work of little substance, a cheap cartoon that depicts only the most basic concepts of good versus evil in the plainest possible language.
Indeed, “The 99” is the superhero cartoon for which conservative parents have prayed for years!
BELOW IS A COLLECTION OF MANY MS-DOS FILE-RENAME ROUTINES, from “Experts Exchange“, FOR A VARIETY OF NEEDS.
ALL HERE IN ONE PLACE, FOR YOUR EASE & PLEASURE : )
N o t e s :
– Some code is
condensed using the ‘&’ sign (for NT/2k/XP) or the ‘|’ sign (for 98)
which often allow use of multiple commands on one line. See http://computerhope.com/issues/ch000177.htm
“Can you type more than one command at one command prompt?”. (Some of
what fails: ‘|’ after ‘if’ or ‘call’ statement; ‘&’ after ‘if’,
‘&’ after ‘set’ as in:set x=y&if %x%==y echo y; the set doesn’t
happen until AFTER a line break! Weird language…) Note: to echo the
‘&’ you must ‘echo ^&’
-The code-author’s EE id usually follows each code block.
-Some code just ‘echo’s the rename commands to be run. Must remove the ‘echo’ from ‘echo ren’ to actually do the deed.
~~ Add a suffix (*_n): ~~
FOR %%f IN (*.*) DO ren %%f %%f_n
~~ Remove a suffix (Remove b in a_b.c) ~~
@echo off&for %%f in (*_*.*) do call :ProcessFile %%f
for /F “delims=_. tokens=1,3” %%c in (“%1”) do echo ren “%1” “%%c.%%d”
~~ Add a prefix (S1*): ~~
for %%i in (*.*) do move %%i s1%%i
for /f “delims=” %i in (‘dir/b’) do ren “%i” “s1%i”
The DOS command shell, to include WinNT/2K/XP
has always acted strangely when using wildcards in the middle of
filenames. The truth is, that wildcards almost never work correctly when
the wildcard is in the middle of the filename.
“REN *.TXT *-S1.TXT” will result in the file TEST1.TXT being renamed to TEST1.TXT-S1.TXT
“REN *.TXT S1-*.TXT” will result in the file TEST1.TXT being renamed to S1-T1.TXT
~~ Remove a prefix — a fixed # of bytes. Replace with new prefix. (SFyymmddhhmm.csv->SISCR12mmddhhmm.csv ) ~~
*** “:~4%” crop feature: where is it documented? Please let me know… – callrs***
for %%i in (SF03*.CSV) do (set fname=%%i) & call :rename
::Cuts off 1st 4 characters of fname, then appends prefix
ren %fname% SISCR12%fname:~4%
~~ Add a prefix to numbers-only file-name: ~~
for /f %%a in (‘dir /b *.txt ^| findstr /I /X /R /C:^[0-9]*.txt’) do ren %%a prefix%%a
::or for 8-digit files only:
for /f %%a in (‘dir /b *.txt ^| findstr /I /X /R /C:^[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9].txt’) do ren %%a pyxbl%%a
~~ Rename to random number: ~~
for /f “tokens=*” %%a in (‘dir /b /a:-d “%FileMask%”‘) do call :process “%%a”
if exist %rnd%%~x1 goto loop
ECHO ren %1 %rnd%%~x1
~~ ??? wildcards ~~
ren ???xxx??? ???zzz???
~~ Recurse through all sub-directories (excluding current), changing extension: ~~
for /f “tokens=1 delims=” %%a in (‘dir /s /b /ad’) do if exist “%%a\*.asp” echo ren “%%a\*.asp” *.html >> rename.cmd
~~ Rename all jpg files in a folder tree (to cover.jpg): ~~
@for /R c:\ %%f in (*.jpg) do echo rename “%%~ff” cover.jpg
~~ Recurse thru sub-directories, renaming files ~~
FOR /r %1 IN (.) do MYRENAMEBAT.BAT %1
::RaviPal . Where the bat file is:
@echo off&echo This will rename all files containing ‘_fixed’.
echo CHANGE THE FOLDER&cd %1&Pause
rename *_fixed.zip *.xxx
rename *.zip *.zip.old
Rename *.xxx *.zip
~~ Suffix a date: ~~
ren c:\temp\abc.txt abc%date:~4,2%-%date:~7,2%-%date:~10%.txt
@echo off&if [%1]== goto :usage
ren strFile %strNew%%date:~6,4%%date:~0,2%%date:~3,2%.%strExt%
~~ Copy, adding system date: ~~
FOR /F “TOKENS=2-4 DELIMS=/ ” %%F IN (‘DATE /T’) DO (SET TODAY=%%F%%G%%H)
COPY /Y /B C:\TEMP\*.VCH C:\Upload\Combined.vch
REN C:\Upload\Combined.vch Combined-%TODAY%.vch
~~ Rename jpg files to their file-time-stamp: ~~
%%V IN (*.jpg) DO FOR /F “tokens=1-5 delims=/: ” %%J IN (“%%~tV”) DO
IF EXIST %%L%%J%%K_%%M%%N%%~xV (ECHO Cannot rename %%V) ELSE (ECHO
RENAME “%%V” %%L%%J%%K_%%M%%N%%~xV & RENAME “%%V”
~~ Copy, appending current date: ~~
::Change these as necessary
set Source=d:\temp\&set Dest=d:\temp2\
if “%Source:~-1%” NEQ “\” set Source=%Source%\
if “%Dest:~-1%” NEQ “\” set Dest=%Dest%\
if not exist %Source% goto :Error
if not exist %Dest% goto :Error
for %%z in (%Source%*.*) do call :ProcessFile “%%z”
set FilePath=%~1&set FileName=%~n1&set FileExt=%~x1
::Remove the echo from the next line to do the actual copy
echo copy “%FilePath%” “%Dest%%FileName%_%Today%%FileExt%”
echo Either the source or destination directory does not exist
~~ Date Image Files based on date taken etc. ~~
– http://www.hugsan.com/EXIFutils/html/features.html Rename image files based on the value of EXIF and IPTC fields
– http://www.kuren.org/exif/ How to read EXIF Tags (Similar to above)
– http://www.unidreamtech.com/index.php Powerbatch
– http://www.stuffware.co.uk/photostudio/ Photo Studio
– http://djernaes.dk/download/jpegdate14.zip – http://big.park.se/files/extra/exchange/jpgdate.zip
~~ Rename all files to 3-digit Number (001, 002, …): ~~
:: Change c:\temp\1\ with the folder your files are in. Don’t put .bat files in that folder.
@echo off&setlocal&set count=0
for /f “usebackq delims=” %%x in (`dir /a:-d /b “C:\TEMP\*.*”`) DO CALL :NUMBER %%x
echo ren “%1” “%NAME%.%EXT%”
set /a count+=1
–>Below is MS-DOS 6 version, with c:\temp\1\ being path to files to rename.
ECHO OFF|set n1=0|set n2=0|set n3=0
for %%a in (c:\temp\1\*.*) do call renameit.bat %%a
set n1=|set n2=|set n3=|set nx=
rename %1 %n3%%n2%%n1%
set nx=%n1%| call incnx.bat
if not %n1%==0 goto end
set nx=%n2%| call incnx.bat
if not %n2%==0 goto end
set nx=%n3%| call incnx.bat
if %nx%==0 goto number0
if %nx%==9 SET nx=0
if %nx%==8 SET nx=9
if %nx%==7 SET nx=8
if %nx%==6 SET nx=7
if %nx%==5 SET nx=6
if %nx%==4 SET nx=5
if %nx%==3 SET nx=4
if %nx%==2 SET nx=3
if %nx%==1 SET nx=2
~~ Rename all files to prefix + a number (images_1.jpg, images_2.jpg …) ~~
@echo off&set /a cnt=1
for %%a in (*.jpg) do call :PROCESS “%%a”
echo rename %1 images_%cnt%.jpg
set /a cnt+=1
~~ Replace First Dot ~~
@echo off&setlocal&echo.&set Test=FALSE
if %1.==. goto Syntax
if %1==/? goto Syntax
if %1==-? goto Syntax
if %2.==. goto :begin
if /i not %2==/test goto Syntax
for /f %%a in (‘dir /b /a:-d %1’) do (
set FilePath=%%~dpa&set FileName=%%~na&set FileExt=%%~xa&call :process )
if %FileName%==%FileName:.=% goto :eof
for /f “tokens=1* delims=.” %%a in (“%FileName%”) do set NewFileName=%%a-%%b
echo %FilePath%%FileName%%FileExt% –^> %NewFileName%%FileExt%
if /i %Test%==TRUE goto :eof
ren “%FilePath%%FileName%%FileExt%” “%NewFileName%%FileExt%”
echo Replaces first “.”, if any, of the file name with a “-“, but not the extension&echo.
echo Syntax: &echo repdot ^<File^> [/test]&echo.
echo ^<File^>: The specified directory/file is processed
echo /test: No renaming is done, files that would be renamed are only displayed.
~~ Move tokens around ~~
@echo off&setlocal&set Folder=%1&set Pattern=samptest.txt.*
dir /b %Folder%%Pattern% 1>NUL 2>NUL
if errorlevel 1 goto Syntax
for /f %%a in (‘dir /b %Folder%%Pattern%’) do (
set File=%%a& call :process)
echo Processing %File% …
for /f “tokens=1-3 delims=.” %%a in (“%File%”) do (
:: *** Remove the “echo” in the next line to “arm” the script
echo ren %Folder%%File% %NewFile%
echo Renames files matching samptest.txt.^<Number^>
echo to samptest^<Number^>.edi&echo.&echo Syntax:
echo ediren [^<Target Directory^>]&echo.
echo If no target directory is specified, the current directory is used.
echo The directory must be specified including the trailing “\”!
~~ Other ~~
MoveFile – Rename an existing file or a directory
renaming files but exclude newest
Comparing,moving, and renaming files in a DOS atmosphere
A batch rename operation which cannot be done with dos, can someone do it in/with vbscript?
~~ General Renaming Utilities referenced in posts: * means freeware ~~
http://www.snapfiles.com/freeware/system/fwfilerename.html File Renaming Tools*
http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php Bulk Rename Utility*
https://sourceforge.net/projects/renameit/ http://www.beroux.com/renameit/ Opensource Rename-it*
http://www.joejoesoft.com/vcms/108/ Rename Master*
http://www.kellysoftware.com/software/Rename4u.asp Rename4u (Kelly Software)*
http://www.azheavymetal.com/~lupasrename/news.php Lupas Rename 2000*
http://www.irfanview.com/ IrfanView* (File–>Batch Conversion/Rename…)
http://www.publicspace.net/windows/BetterFileRename/ Better File Rename (Not Free)
http://www.123renamer.com/buy.htm File and MP3 Tag Renamer (Trial)
~~ Below is my own code from answer to “Rename Files Instantaneously”:
Prefix ADD utility for file names: Adds the specified prefix and delim
(& optionally isolates delim by spaces) to all files that have
:: Doesn’t perform the rename, but generates & writes the commands to a bat file
:: If prefix+delim is already in the original name, then ignores the file unless doall=1
:: %1 – Prefix to add
:: %2 – Delimiter to add
:: %3 – Extension of file
:: %4 – Space – Set to 1 to add space to both sides of delim
:: %5 – Doall – See “If prefix+delim…” note above
:: v1.01 By Ravinder Singh (‘wiz’ on the quickmacros forum), May 26, 2006
:: if exists renlef+_.bat goto FILEEXISTS
if exist “%outfile%.bat” del “%outfile%.bat”
if %1.==. (set /a exitcode=98&goto USAGE)
if %2.==. (set /a exitcode=98&goto USAGE)
set adn=%1&set delm=%2&set ext=%3&set space=%4&set doall=%5&&set count=0
if %doall%.==1. goto SIMPLE
for %%a in (*.%ext%) do (
if %space%.==1. (
echo %%a| find “%adn% %delm% “
if errorlevel 1 (set /a count+=1&echo ren “%%a” “%adn% %delm% %%a” >> “%outfile%.bat” ))
if NOT %space%.==1. (
echo %%a | find “%adn%%delm%”
if errorlevel 1 (set /a count+=1&echo ren “%%a” “%adn%%delm%%%a” >> “%outfile%.bat” ))
:: separated routine here ’cause wasn’t able to integrate ’cause of weird behaviour in msdos on Win2K
:: e.g. if you SET XX=YY, then echo “%XX%” doesn’t give us XX’s value within a FOR loop, but only on exit from loop
for %%a in (*.%ext%) do (
set /a count+=1
if %space%.==1. echo ren “%%a” “%adn% %delm% %%a” >> “renlef+_.bat”
if NOT %space%.==1. echo ren “%%a” “%adn%%delm%%%a” >> “renlef+_.bat”)
if %count%==0 (
echo No files found that match criteria.&echo.
set /a exitcode=97
echo type: %outfile% To rename the above %count% files files! Or edit %outfile%.bat
echo USAGE: %~nx0 WHAT-TO-APPEND-TO-LEFT DELIMETER EXTENSION SPACE? ALL?
exit /B %exitcode%
echo renall.bat exists. (Check ^& ) Delete file first.
exit /B 99
– Prefix REMOVAL utility for file names: Cuts the specified prefix
that precedes a space and/or the specified delimiters in a file name
:: As a precaution:
:: — All rename commands are generated & then displayed on screen
:: — All rename commands are written to a file which can be run (after any optional or required user’s edits)
:: %1 – Word to remove
:: %2 – Optional delimiters, in addition to the default space, that separate %1 from the part you want to keep
:: %3 – Extension of file
:: E.g. to remove initial “PART” from all files that start with “PART # “:
:: renlef- PART #
:: v1.01 By Ravinder Singh (‘wiz’ on the quickmacros forum), May 26, 2006
if %1.==. (set /a exitcode=98&goto usage)
set cut=%1&set delims=%2&set ext=%3&set outfile=renlef-_&set count=0
if exist “%outfile%.bat” del “%outfile%.bat”
::if not exist “%outfile%.bat” set writeToFile=1
:: Let user see and verify all rename commands before we execute them
for /f “usebackq delims=” %%i in (`dir /b %cut%*.%ext%`) do @call :TEST “%%i”
if %count%==0 (
echo No files found that match criteria.&echo.
set /a exitcode=97
echo type: %outfile% To rename the above %count% files! Or edit %outfile%.bat
set /a count+=1
FOR /f “usebackq tokens=1,2,3 delims=%delims% ” %%j IN (`echo %name%`) DO @set mycmd=ren %name% “%%k
if %writeToFile%==1 echo %mycmd% >> %outfile%.bat
echo usage: %~nx0 LEFT-TRIM-STRING DELIMS EXTENSION
exit /B %exitcode%
:: Other notes
:: original basic routine, with delimiters being “- “
::for /f “usebackq tokens=1,2,3 delims=- ” %%i in (`dir /b %1*`) do echo ren “%%i – %%j” “%%j”
:: 1* — Optional code, can use if you don’t want to create %output%.bat
:: Now prompt whether or not to do the batch rename
set/p input=Enter y to execute the above commands, anything else to quit:
if not %input%.==y. goto :EOF
for /f “usebackq delims=” %%i in (`dir /b %cut%*.%ext%`) do @call :RENAMEALL “%%i”
FOR /f “usebackq tokens=1,2,3 delims=%delims% ” %%j IN (`echo %name%`) DO ren %name% “%%k
In the Quran, God says that the human race was created through one couple to teach that we are all one family and that God has evolved humanity into many cultures and peoples so as to encourage us to know and understand each other; not hate each other. the Quran teaches that in religion there should be no compulsion. The Quran also has passages hostile to othe religions, but so does the Hebrew Bible and the Christian “New Testament.” (“Allah” is simply the Arabic word for what in English is “God,” just as “Dieu” is in French, “Elohim” in Hebrew, etc.)
Far from being anathema to the majority of human beings, islam is the religion of 1.5 billion people. Christianity has a far bloodier record than Islam. It was Christians, not Muslims, who carried out the Holocaust, and although there were over the centuries some Muslim pogroms against Jews there were far more pogroms, Inquisitional burnings-at-the-stake, etc by Christians than by Muslims. In a thousand years of European history, the only time Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in peace and friendship with each other was under Muslim rule in Andalusia. The Christian recoquest of Spain climaxed with the expulsion of Jews and Musllims in 1492 and the Inquisition thereafter. Beginning in 1492, Christianity carried out genocide against the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
There are millions of peace-committed Muslims in the US, and the Muslim American Society, Cordoba House (the founders of the Park 51 Muslim-rooted cultural center in Lower Manhattan) CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) and other American Muslim organizations have repeatedly denounced terrorism. That record of commitment to peace and dialogue is available on the websites of all those organizations, and in their own behavior as well.
Shalom, salaam, peace —
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director, The Shalom Center
Cloud computing is a term used to describe both a platform and type of application. A cloud computing platform dynamically provisions, configures, reconfigures, and de provisions servers as needed. Servers in the cloud can be physical machines or virtual machines.
Figure 1: Major components for building a dynamic infrastructure to reduce costs improve service and manage risk
Advanced clouds typically include other computing resources such as storage area networks (SANs), network equipment, firewall and other security devices. Cloud computing also describes applications that are extended to be accessible through the Internet.
These cloud applications use large data centers and powerful servers that host Web applications and Web services. Anyone with a suitable Internet connection and a standard browser can access a cloud application.
The cloud computing architecture is built upon several functional component blocks (for example, compute resources or deployment environments), which are organized into specific layers of a pyramid.
The width of these layers represents the depth of technical expertise required to build and/or deploy that layer.
At the apex of the pyramid are users accessing the applications; in the center is a dynamic control plane that traverses all others and provides real-time connectivity, information coordination, and flow control between the layers.
An important strategic consideration is the integration of all the pieces of the infrastructure to create the cloud.
Users or brokers acting on their behalf submit service requests from anywhere in the world to the Data Center and Cloud to be processed.
Figure 2: Cloud architecture
The SLA Resource Allocator acts as the interface between the Data Center/Cloud service provider and external users/brokers. It requires the interaction of the defined scheduled mechanisms to support SLA-oriented resource management.
Google App Engine  allows a user to run Web applications written using the Python programming language. Other than supporting the Python standard library, Google App Engine also supports Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the data store, Google Accounts, URL fetch, image manipulation, and email services. Google App Engine also provides a Web-based Administration Console for the user to easily manage his running Web applications. Currently, Google App Engine is free to use with up to 500MB of storage and about 5 million page views per month.
Microsoft Live Mesh  aims to provide a centralized location for a user to store applications and data that can be accessed across required devices (such as computers and mobile phones) from anywhere in the world. The user is able to access the uploaded applications and data through a Web based Live Desktop or his own devices with Live Mesh software installed. Each user’s Live Mesh is password protected and authenticated via his Windows Live Login, while all file transfers are protected using Secure Socket Layers (SSL).
Both the applications of Google and Microsoft cloud initiative can be divided into divided into three phases . There are phases involved in resource recovery, scheduling, and executing.
In the second phase the best match between the set of jobs and available resources is determined. The second phase is a NP-hard Problem . The computational grid is a dynamic structure and exhibits unpredictable behaviour such as:
• Computational performance of each resource varies from time to time.
• The connection between computers and mobile phones may be unreliable.
• The resources may join or relinquish the grid at any time
• The resource may be unavailable without a notification.
The scheduling of cloud architecture is dynamic in nature and moreover Grid middleware and applications are using local scheduling and data co-scheduling. The approach of replication has been also applied and assisted in scheduling and optimization of replication.
There are different existing algorithms like the Genetic algorithm (GA) is used for searching large solution space. On other hand, simulated Annealing (SA) is an iterative technique that considers only one possible solution for each meta-task at a time. Ant Colony Algorithm (ACO) is the latest entrant to this field.
ACO algorithm can be interpreted as parallel replicated Monte Carlo (MC) systems . MC systems are general stochastic simulation systems, that is, techniques performing repeated sampling experiments on the model of the system under consideration by making use of a stochastic component in the state sampling and/or transition rules.
Figure 3: Cloud Services Under ACO
Experimental results are used to update some statistical knowledge about the problem. In turn, this knowledge can be also iteratively used to reduce the variance in the estimation of the described variables and directing the simulation process toward the most interesting state space regions.
Analogously, in ACO algorithms the ants sample the problem’s solution space by repeatedly applying a stochastic decision policy until a feasible solution of the considered problem is found. The sampling is realized concurrently by a collection of differently instantiated replicas of the same ant type.
Each ant “experiment” allows to adaptively modifying the local statistical knowledge on the problem structure. The algorithm is recursive in nature.
 Chu, K. Nadiminti, C. Jin, S. Venugopal, and R. Buyya. Aneka: “Next-Generation Enterprise Grid Platform for e-Science and e-Business Applications”, in Proceedings of the 3th IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing (e-Science 2007), Bangalore, India, Dec. 2007.
 A. Weiss, “Computing in the Clouds”, netWorker, Volume 11, No.4,pp.16-25, December, 2007. Google App Engine, http://appengine.google.com [accessed in October 2010]
 Microsoft Live Mesh, http://www.mesh.com [accessed in October 2010]
 Stefka Fidanova and Mariya Durchova,” Ant Algorithm for Grid Scheduling Problem”, Large Scale Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 3743, Springer, , pp 405-412, 2006.
 Yaohang Li, “A bio-inspired adaptive Job Scheduling Mechnism on a Computational Grid”, International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, Vol.6.No.3.B, March 2006.
 Dorigo, M., Maniezzo, V., Colorni, A.: The ant system: “Optimization by a colony of cooperating agents”, IEEE Transactions on Systems”, Man, and Cybernetics, part B, 26(1) pp. 1–13, 1996.
 S. Venugopal, X. Chu, and R. Buyya, “A Negotiation Mechanism for Advance Resource Reservation using the Alternate Offers Protocol.” In Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS 2008), Twente, The Netherlands, June 2008.
 Soumya Banerjee, Indrajit Mukherjee, and P.K. Mahanti. “Cloud Computing Initiative using Modified Ant Colony Framework” World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 56 2009
Submitted by admin4 on 15 October 2010 – 12:29pm
By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,
Kollam/Malappuram: The decision of independent MLA Manjalamkuzhi to
cut ties with the CPI (M) and to resign his MLA post has created a new
head-ache for the party. While many senior leaders such as the party
general secretary and state ministers responded to Ali’s decision
harshly, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan yesterday asked Ali to change
his decision. However, Ali replied that he was not willing to make any
change and that he would continue with his decision to resign the MLA
The decision of Manjalamkuzhi Ali was unfavourable and Ali should be
ready to change it, said Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan yesterday in
Kollam. Ali had contributed a lot to the organisation, though he was not
a member of the party. His works have been helpful in giving a big blow
to the Congress and the Muslim League in Malappuram. Ali’s help has
been good to the party. But his present stand is weakening to the left
parties and helping the UDF. This makes undone all the good deeds that
he had done, he added. He was speaking at a programme organized by the
Kollam Press Club.
VS said that he did not consider much Ali’s view that he had to face
problems because of his close relations with the former. He added that
he did not criticize Ali for such thoughts. Mr Achuthanandan rejected
the analysis that leaders from minority communities were leaving the
party. All cannot be made MLA or MP. Decisions are made by the party
according to the specific circumstances in each time, he reminded.
Manjalamkuzhi Ali stated that there was no change in his decision to
resign his MLA post. He was responding to the query of media persons
regarding the statement of VS. Meanwhile, Ali will hold a meeting
explaining his politics on October 17 (Sunday) at 4 pm. Ali is expected
to speak about his political career as well as the circumstances that
led to the resignation. MP Veerendrakumar will deliver the chief
Ali, who had represented the Mankada constituency in Malappuram in
the Assembly as an independent supported by the CPI (M), decided to cut
all ties with the party reportedly out of ‘insults from the party
leaders’. He announced his decision to resign his MLA post as well as
several other posts on October 11 in a press conference held at his
house in Malappuram. He also made it clear that he was not joining any
party, but rather would continue his social work as an independent.
A sign of minorities leaving the CPI (M)?
The decision of Ali to leave the CPI (M) is seen as the latest among
the bidding farewell of several leaders in the party belonging to the
minority communities. The trend was begun by AP Abdullakkutty, former MP
of Kannur, who rose to heights in the party through the SFI and the
DYFI. He left the party following his controversial praise of the
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Next was the turn of Dr KS Manoj
who had defeated senior Congress leader VM Sudheeran in Alappuzha. The
decision of some leaders to leave the party gradually led to the
departure of other political parties from the LDF. MP Veerendrakumar
left his own party Janata Dal (S) and the LDF and is now in the UDF with
a new party. The Indian National League which has been with the LDF
since its formation has now left it for good as the LDF was not ready to
take the party into the alliance even after 14 years of cooperation.
INL is now with the UDF, though a group chose to continue with the LDF
namely INL (Secular). The People’s Democratic Party had helped the LDF
in the last Parliamentary elections. But the party gradually went away
from the front after the elections and the gap increased very badly by
the arrest of the party chairman Abdunnasir Maudany by the Karnataka
police with the help of the Kerala police. Now the PDP is contesting the
local body elections alone, without making alliance with any party. The
Jamat e Islami had supported the LDF in the last Assembly and
Parliament elections. But the organisation has gone too far away from
the LDF and it is contesting the local body elections under the banner
of the Janakeeya Vikasana Munnani.
The departure of the Kerala Congress (Joseph group) was a big blow to
the LDF as it meant a large erosion of the Christian votes. It was also
helpful for the UDF as the party merged itself in the Kerala Congress
(Mani group), thus making the party the second biggest party of the
alliance in the Assembly. There were also reports of pastoral letters
being read out in the churches warning the believers not to vote for the
communists and atheists. If all this meant the loss of Christian votes,
the loss of Muslim votes was revealed by the departure of the INL and
estrangement of the PDP and the Jamat e Islami from the LDF. The recent
policies followed by the CPI (M) appeasing the Hindutva forces can also
be read along with this. The Chief Minister and Home minister had made
remarks which were seemingly anti-Muslim during the controversy
following the hand-chopping incident.
The party which had once been the hope of the labourers and working
class as well as the downtrodden Dalit sections is now apparently
estranged from all them. The leftist parties are losing support of these
traditional vote-banks. At the same time, the UDF which is said as
rightist is now gaining the support of some of these sections. As Ali
said, the left has become more right and the right has become more left
By Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir,
In the Ayodhya matter, has the judgement of the Allahabad High Court
unwittingly taken the law to the ideological right, and conferred
legitimacy on questionable doctrine of majoritarian supremacy, while at
the same time succeeding, I cannot say inadvertently or otherwise, in
concealing it ? Are the judges of today capable of being seen as
magicians creating illusions that make settled principles of
jurisprudence magically disappear ? The verdict has the distinction of
leaving us wondering if we are watching an illusion, in effect, though
obviously such a situation would never have been ever intended by any
Court, to distract the citizens from seeing the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth. Why is it said that justice must not only be
done but it must be seen to be done ? That is because the message matters as much as the outcome.
In the Ayodhya matter, the judgement of the Allahabad High Court has
with consummate skill allowed certain established principles of civil
law to go for a toss, caused the law to morph before the very eyes of a
stunned section of the country’s population, even as the right itself
was delirious at what it could hardly believe was happening.
Magicians have certain stock tricks and are adept at creating
illusions so that audiences reach the conclusions magicians want. The
judgement by picking stands and claims so devoid of any verifiable
content and so completely divorced from the normal realm of evidence,
proof, documentation, verification, legal sustainability, precedent,
etc., and alleged facts so impossible to prove, walked such a perilous
path that it appeared to it perfectly logical to resort to reliance on
blind faith… and in doing so it created so compelling an illusion
that it successfully blinded itself to not only binding precedent but
also threw overboard all canons of judicial propriety in decision
making, to such an extent that from that warped viewpoint, only one
outcome seemed possible. Then it seems to have used the
reasonable-seeming outcome to reverse engineer “reasons” to “decide” the
matter in the way it did and the result was to inadvertently push the
law in the right direction.
Just about all that most Indians will be interested in, in the matter
of the Babri Masjid – Ram Janam Bhoomi case, is who won or lost — the
outcomes of the cases. The court perhaps omitted to keep in mind one
other crucial factor : any judgement as a tool of legal thought-shift is
powerful because ratio decidendi of judgements forms the legal maze in
which the citizens must in future navigate for securing their rights.
So, while most public discourse is confined to simplistic issues of who
won and who lost, the courts in fact write legal manuals to govern the
future of a billion people, impacting (now in unsettling ways at that)
what the legal fraternity smugly believed were settled jurisprudential
principles of limitation, res judicata, dispossession of persons in
settled possession being by only another provided that another could
prove better title, lis pendens (no party can transact to affect any
other party during the course of litigation), evidence, probative value
Given there was a mosque there for four centuries and a half, given
the rules of evidence, given the doctrine of lis pendens, given the
problem of limitation, given the problem of a video record of demolition
of the mosque by illegal means, the judges came up with a brilliant
solution : ignore the demolition of 1992 altogether and focus on the
alleged demolition of centuries in the past… So what if there is no
proof of that alleged demolition ? So what if there is no proof of who
executed that alleged demolition ? So what if there is no proof, if
even there is actual controversy, about a specific place being a
birthplace as claimed ? So what if there is no proof of that alleged
structure allegedly demolished being a temple ? Shift focus from 1992,
of which time and act of demolition there is available evidence, to
another century, another set of allegations (as against proved fact) of
which there cannot be any proof… and fall back on the legally dubious
and logically questionably theory that because it is the faith of
millions it must be accepted. Behold, the magical result is there !
What cannot be, suddenly is ! What is, suddenly disappears… and
there is “justice for all” !!
Arre bhai, koi aur kyaa karey ? What’s a judgement by a set of
conservative justices to do, faced with a nation on the boil, an issue
that is insurmountable, a 1994 Supreme Court refusal to answer a
reference but to rush in where a Higher Court declined to tread ?
Unaware perhaps that by their judgement they erode the Law, all the
while the set of conservative justices assiduously wrote volumes in the
convenient belief that the integrity of the very nation itself was
otherwise in jeopardy. But to enable the set of conservative justices to
do their amazing work without itself getting caught in the nets of
precedent, law and logic, the judgement has been brilliant at choosing
to present resounding in its content only those claims in which what
the alleged invaders did centuries ago was not just clear, but clear
enough to adequately to sustain a legal argument on, whereas what was
seen in 1992 was… wait, how could the judgement wish that away ?
Simple – it did not ! It caused learned judges to simply ignore the
demolition of 1992 !!
What the judgement achieved is so fantastic, you would be amazed
beyond your imagination ! While the nation is watching, the
Constitutional mandate of upholding the law is sidestepped skilfully,
the principle that a change in situation during litigation cannot inure
to the advantage of any party is quietly buried, four centuries and a
half of history is disbelieved, mythology is elevated to the status of
fact, the rules of evidence are scuttled, the doctrine of lis pendens
disappears, the problem of limitation is overcome, the video record of
demolition of the mosque by illegal means evaporates, so the learned
judges can then turn their attention to the task they set themselves –
preserving the national peace while the judgement continued at its task
of destroying the rule of law.
Obviously the learned judges had no faith in the capacity of the
executive to ensure peace, prevent outbreak of violence… After all,
they did have as a stark reminder a precedent : the precedent of a State
Government holding out to the highest Court in the country the
guarantees and assurances of the protection of the mosque, and the grand
spectacle of that edifice come crumbling down… So how could any
Court now rely on the executive ? They had to ensure peace themselves !
So what if that is not the mandate of a Court ?
Did you think the reference to “the grand spectacle of that edifice
come crumbling down” was a reference to the mosque that was demolished ?
No, since the judgement chose not to refer to it I will not either –
my reference is instead to the edifice of Rule of Law. What was
reflected in that act of demolition of the mosque was aggravated first
by the very majesty of law being trampled upon by a State that breached
undertakings given to a Court, aggravated further by a Court that did
not react. When mob violence takes over, reason, logic and law take a
back seat, and edifices do come crashing down. That is in essence the
way the mob works. Which is why decisions in disputes are not left to
mobs to take, for fear that those decisions taken by mobs would not
correctly be reflective of what the law prescribes, what the decisions
of past stalwarts of legal and constitutional thought have held, and
what would uphold the highest traditions that once prevailed in the
land. Decisions in disputes are therefore left to Courts of Law.
Courts of Law to operate on the basis of Law. If however, judgements
of a Court of Law were to proceed to do to the edifice of the majesty
of law and to Rule of Law exactly what a mob did to the edifice of the
mosque, would what happened to the mosque not also happen to the
structure of the Law as we know it ?
So who thinks it is the Sunni Muslim Wakf Board that is affected by
the judgement, or the Amrohi Akhara, or the Ram Lalla idol ? The
persons affected one way or the other by the demolition of the mosque
may be those, but the persons affected by the demolition of Rule of Law
at the hands of the judgement are the likes of you and I, make no
mistake of that !
If a right is claimed and denied, the law step to correct any
imbalances. Sorry, let me correct myself, the Law would have stepped in
to correct imbalances. Now, with a verdict of three learned judges
vapourising so many legal principles at one stroke, what will now step
in will be not Law as we knew it, with inconvenient doctrines and
principles and requirements of evidence and proof and so on and so forth
disrupting national harmony, but Law as we now are told it shall
henceforth be : the belief of millions shall be the effective substitute for the law.
With that substitute there is miraculously achieved, before your very
eyes, a magical transformation, a legal-morphing causing the law of the
land to disappear and stand substituted with the belief of a majority of
the people living in the country.
Three litigants got three months’ more time to settle, or else. The
country got for free the magic of the disappearing legal rules ! Ab
Supreme Court jaaiye, das saal wahaan latgegaa maamlaa… by which time
the magical result of today would have been operational for a decade !
And who ever saw anything once granted in our country being taken back
The conservative judgement couldn’t simply overrule the problematic
legal issue of an inconvenient set of “precedents” staring at the judges
: faced with the national uproar both ways, for and against the
verdict, no one notices the silent but crucial collapse, at the hands of
the judgement, of settled legal principles. Court decisions based on
highly fragile, judicially unknown and logically unacceptable lines of
reasoning will unfortunately invariably impact all who live in a land
with “millions” subscribing to certain beliefs. If the faith of those
millions is to be the determinant of what is proper and what is not,
then things like law, precedent, judicial decision making, rule of law,
etc., pale into insignificance and stand substituted by an uncertain,
absolute, unverifiable, impossible-to-prove something else – the will of the majority.
That spells the end of the India that Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh,
Mahatma Gandhi, Moulana Azad, Swami Vivekanand, and others of that
calibre thought would come into being. We are now looking at a dubious
legal construct based on a thought-shift from the secular to the
fascist, from the multicultural to a monochromic, from the inclusive and
pluralistic to the exclusionist. What we leave for our children is up
to us but one factor is not a variable : if we are not to allow a
malevolent drift, we need to act before it is too late.
Common Wealth Games – 2010
Several English teams have delayed their arrival in New Delhi because of hygiene concerns!!!
Media is eager to find instances of poor Indian Hygiene
Now go through the following snaps from UK.
Concerns of Hygiene is not just a problem of India.
Forward this mail to all citizens, especially media people, who just see the Best of westerners and Worst of our Country.
Admit our inexperience in conducting such a big event,
Come out to support INDIA.
Younger, Westernized Muslim women are
seeking out trendy styles, with one Orange County student selling
designs inspired by Vogue and Elle. But some critics wonder whether the
stylish creations defeat the purpose of modesty.
Marwa Atik,19, right, adjusts a scarf on her friend Marwa
Ramadan, Marwa Atik chose a crowded Southern California mosque to debut
her latest creation.
It was just after midnight when the 20-year-old walked into the Islamic
Center of Irvine, dressed in a long, flowing burgundy robe, her head
wrapped in a charcoal-colored chiffon hijab, trimmed with decorative gold zippers.
After the group prayers, sermon and Koran recitation, a woman approached
Atik, gesturing at the scarf. “OK, I want one,” she said excitedly.
“How can I get it?”
Atik has taken the Muslim head scarf, often known as hijab,
and turned it into a canvas for her fashion sensibilities, with ideas
inspired by designs from Forever 21 and H&M as well as haute couture
runways and the pages of Vogue and Elle. Showing her latest design at a
mosque was her way of gauging sentiment on scarves that go beyond the
limited fashion realm they have thus far inhabited, such as floral and
geometric prints or lace and beaded embellishments.
“I knew that I wanted to do a zipper scarf, because I knew that zippers
were in style,” Atik said, her head covered this day with a sea-foam hijab, echoing the color of her light green eyes.
The hijab has long been a palette of sorts for changing styles
and designs, and shops across the Middle East are replete with colors
and shapes that can vary from region to region. Some women in the
Persian Gulf region wear their hair up in a bouffant with the scarf
wrapped around it like a crown. Syrians are known for cotton pull-on
scarves, the hijab equivalent of a T-shirt. And in Egypt veiled brides visit hijab stylists who create intricate designs and bouquets of color atop the bride’s head.
But Atik’s experiments with the hijab, which is meant as a symbol of modesty, are created with an eye toward being more adventuresome and risky.
To some, the trend heralds the emergence of Westernized Muslim women, who embrace both their religion and a bit of rebellion.
But to others in the Muslim community, what Atik is doing flies in the
face of the head scarf’s purpose. When the scarf is as on-trend as a
couture gown, some wonder whether it has lost its sense of the demure.
Eiman Sidky, who teaches religious classes at King Fahd mosque in Culver
City, is among those who say attempts to beautify the scarf have gone
too far. In countries like Egypt, where Sidky spends part of the year,
religious scholars complain that women walk down the street adorned as
if they were peacocks.
“In the end they do so much with hijab, I don’t think this is the hijab the way God wants it; the turquoise with the yellow with the green,” she said.
The conflict is part of a larger debate among Muslims on which practices are too conservative and which too liberal.
And at a time when Muslims hear stories about women filing lawsuits
after not getting hired or being barred from wearing head scarves at
work — most recently at two Abercrombie & Fitch stores and Disneyland — the message is reinforced that the hijab is still regarded with suspicion.
For women like Atik, an Orange Coast College student who works part time at Urban Outfitters, fashion-forward hijabs are an attempt not only to fill a void, but to make the scarves less foreign and more friendly to non-Muslims.
The Islamic religious parameters for hijab — that the entire body
must be covered except for the face and hands — are broad enough to
include those who wear black, flowing abayas to those who pair a head scarf with skinny jeans.
“We’ve gotten maybe just a few people saying, ‘Oh, this is defeating the
purpose,'” said Tasneem Sabri, Atik’s older sister and business
partner. “It really comes down to interpretation.”
The criticism means little to Atik, a petite young woman who favors skinny jeans, embellished cardigans and knee-high boots.
Atik sees the fashion industry’s treatment of the hijab as staid and lackluster. She wants to make the scarves edgier, with fringes, pleats, peacock feathers, animal prints.
“We want to treat the hijab like it’s a piece of clothing,
because that’s what it is, it’s not just an accessory,” said Nora Diab, a
friend of Atik who began the venture with her but bowed out to focus on
college. “We can still dress according to what’s ‘in’ while dressing
Scarves from Atik’s recent collections are sold under the label Vela,
Latin for veil. In addition to the exaggerated zippers, there are
Victorian pleats, military buttons and even a black and white scarf with
gold clasps named simply Michael (as in Michael Jackson).
A recent design features a plain scarf with a large sewn-on bow, called
“Blair,” after the “Gossip Girl” character. There is also a growing
bridal scarf collection.
The scarves have a certain unfinished look to them, with frayed edges
and visible stitching. Atik sews many of them herself, though she
recently hired a seamstress to help fill orders placed through the Vela website.
The scarves, which are not available in stores, range in price from $15
for basic designs to $60 for high-fashion styles, pricier than many on
When not in class or at work, Atik spends most of her time researching
trends, designing new scarves or filling orders. She makes frequent
trips to Los Angeles for fabric.
Atik said she is inspired by risk-takers such as Alexander McQueen, the late avant-garde designer with an eye for shock value.
“I feel he says it’s really OK to be different,” Atik said while taking a coffee break in Los Angeles’ Fashion District.
Atik, whose parents are from Syria, began wearing the head scarf in
eighth grade. She was the editor of her high school yearbook but found
herself spending more time browsing fashion websites than looking at
photos of student clubs and activities. After school she would spend
hours at Wal-Mart reading fashion magazines. In the summer of 2009 when she and Diab decided to design hijabs, she took sewing classes, the youngest among a group of elderly women making patterned quilts.
Before a photo shoot for her website this year, Atik did last-minute
hemming and sewing at her makeshift work space in the kitchen of her
Huntington Beach home. The kitchen table was covered with half-completed
designs. Bags of satin and chiffon fabric sat on chairs and lacy and
beaded scarves spilled out onto the fruit bowls.
Atik fingered a beige and pink chiffon scarf.
“I think we’re going to try a couple on you,” she told her friend Marwa
Biltagi, who had arrived wearing a loosely wrapped black and gold scarf.
“Because either way you can work it.”
In the backyard, Biltagi and others posed beside palm trees, heads
cocked to the side, backs arched. Someone commented that it looked very
“One, two, move, yeah exactly like that…. OK, I’m going to be taking
like a lot so just keep switching it up…. Yeah, I like how you had
your hand up on the wall,” Atik said as she clicked the camera. “I feel
like we need music.”
Her mother watched from the kitchen.
“There are people who say that it’s not a hijab. As long as it
covers the hair, I noticed these young people, they like these things,”
Safa Atik said. “Why I encouraged her is because … she’s making
something that looks nice.”
Alaa Ellaboudy, who runs the blog Hijabulous (“A hijabi’s
guide to staying fabulous”), is familiar with the scolding that
non-traditional scarves can prompt. The Rancho Cucamonga resident wears
her scarf tied behind her neck and has a penchant for dramatic eye
makeup and bright clothes.
“Everyone has their opinion, ‘Oh no that’s haram [forbidden], you can’t do that,'” Ellaboudy said. “But for me, it’s always about finding that balance and still looking good.”
On her blog, she defines “hijabulous” as being “exceptionally stylish yet conforming to the Islamic dress code.”
When the over-sized September issue of Vogue arrived, Atik flipped through the pages for inspiration.
A few weeks later, stocking up on fabrics and an ostrich feather in the
Fashion District, she went from store to store with the same request:
“Do you have a leopard-print chiffon?”
At her third store she saw a leopard print but thought the look and feel of the silk fabric were not quite right.
“I wouldn’t want this on my head. If only it was chiffon, I’d be all over it.”
by Stephen Lendman / October 9th, 2010
Canada, like other Western countries and Israel, is partnered in America’s War on Islam — a post-9/11 “war on terror” scheme to vilify Muslims as culturally inferior gun-toting terrorists for political advantage. As a result, thousands of innocent victims have been lawlessly persecuted, bogusly charged, imprisoned, tortured, and in some cases extrajudicially murdered in cold blood.
Two previous articles, among many others, explained what all Muslims face, accessed here and here.
Mahboob Khawaja, his son Momin and family, are Pakistani Canadians, bogusly targeted for alleged involvement in terrorism.
Dr. Khawaja is an “academic specializing in Strategic Studies with special interests in Western-Islamic Civilizations, Change and Conflict Resolution.” His books include “Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution,” as well as many published articles, his latest titled “Fallacy of the ‘War on Terrorism.’ ” Accurately described as a “self-defeating,” inhumane, “cynical framework of greed and tyranny,” it shamelessly perceives Muslims “as the culprits waging war against the Christian West.”
In fact, the opposite is true. It’s been longstanding, then intensified post-9/11 globally, claiming millions of innocent victims, thousands as political prisoners, Canada as culpable as America.
Mahboob explained how he and his family were persecuted, saying:
“It was a combined (American/Canadian/UK) project, my wife and children arrested at gunpoint in Ottawa while I was working in a university in Saudi Arabia. My family home was attacked by 50 – 60 armed (Royal Canadian Mounted Police – RCMP) without any formal search warrant, looking for a bomb,” but found nothing.
In fact, Mahboob’s door was blown open. Masked RCMP burst in, telling his family to get down on the floor, then asking “Is your house booby-trapped? Where are the explosives?” Of course, there were none nor any booby or other traps.
“Simultaneously, I was arrested in Arabia and jailed for two weeks. The Saudi Intelligence showed me the formal Canadian request, but (Security) Minister (Anne McClellan) and the Government in Ottawa denied” sending it. “The documentary evidence,” however, refutes “this public lying.” No matter. The damage was done. Canadian and global media reports destroyed his “professional career as a professor in global politics,” as well as his son, Momin’s, as a software developer.
Government-sponsored media ads and reports vilified him, his wife and children as “terrorists,” the same fate as for hundreds of others bogusly portrayed, their lives grievously impaired as a result. A family friend and president of the regional Canada-Pakistan Association, Qamar Masood, believed at the time it was a case of mistaken identity. Importantly, “Just imagine how they’re going to live through this ordeal,” he said. “And after that, living in a neighborhood with so many eyes looking at them, it’s very hard,” because of the entire cross they’ll forever have to bear.
Mahboob’s son, Momin, was falsely accused of a UK bomb plot, a March 31, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) report saying he “became the first person charged under Canada’s (2001 Anti-Terrorism Act on March 30) when police accused him of terrorist activity in Canada and in England.”
Though acquitted on that charge, he was held without trial for over four years, then convicted on October 29, 2008, and sentenced on March 12, 2009, after a bench trial, to ten and a half years (over and above time served) for donating $859 to an Afghan refugee charity, and two other changes, including:
– “making a device” that, in fact, “was to stop cell phone signals in mosques, academic institutions, hospitals,” and other facilities from being identified; and
– “attending some (alleged) unknown camp during a visit to Pakistan,” the same bogus charge against other innocent victims traveling abroad to Muslim countries, some to visit families, then linking their visits to terror plots or training for involvement in future ones.
Despite the gross injustice, the CBC reported on April 14, 2009 that Canada’s federal government appealed the sentence for a longer one, possibly for life on least one of the charges. At trial, “The Crown had sought two life sentences plus an additional sentence of 44 – 58 years,” while the defense argued for seven and a half years with “double credit for time already served.”
However, Judge Douglas Rutherford called Momin “a willing and eager participant” in a terror plot, despite no evidence whatever for proof. Nonetheless, he accused him of “assist(ing alleged terror plotters) in many ways,” adding that “It matters not whether any terrorist activity was actually carried out,” stopping short of questioning if any were, in fact, planned.
Surprisingly, he said authorities hadn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Momin had any direct knowledge, let alone involvement, an admission that should have mandated acquittal, yet he cowardly refused to release him.
Mahboob said these issues are being appealed, but after six years, Momin is still imprisoned, victimized by Canadian state terrorism like thousands of others in America and globally. In earlier writing, he explained how Canadian Intelligence Agencies and their complicit media terrorize innocent civilians. More on that below.
First, on March 12, 2009, the BBC updated earlier Momin reports, headlining its account “Khawaja: The Canadian connection,” saying:
He conspired with four other men “jailed for life in April 2007 for a UK bomb plot linked to al-Qaeda, receiv(ing) a sentence of 10 years and six months” for his alleged role.
A software developer, he “worked in the technical support department of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and had a good knowledge of electronics. Of Pakistani origin, he became fascinated by radical Islamist politics, and its focus on conflicts in the Muslim world.” He allegedly “traveled to Pakistan in 2003 and met members of a loose network of jihadi sympathizers – men who believed that violence was legitimate.”
These and other charges were alleged at trial, the BBC, like Canadian and US media, accepting them on faith – no matter that they’re entirely bogus and should have been thrown out because no credible evidence was presented, only the usual unsubstantiated government version of events, some based on secret evidence unavailable to counsel.
Yet BBC accused Momin of terrorism, saying he returned to Britain “intent on building a bomb,” his role being “to help to build the detonator.” In fact, a sting, a setup, targeted him at a claimed Heathrow Airport meeting with Omar Khyam, the accused “ringleader.” MI5 and London police allegedly monitored it. UK authorities informed Canada’s RCMP who arrested Momin on March 29, 2004, claiming they “found documents and papers sympathetic to violent jihadi courses of action” in his home, besides whatever information UK authorities provided, all of it contrived and bogus.
As a result, on October 29, 2008, a Judge Douglas Rutherford “ruled that (Momin) had knowingly participated in the (alleged) foiled plot against several British targets, including a shopping center, nightclub and the gas work.” Though bogusly charged and convicted, he’s now imprisoned and falsely branded a terrorist, an accusation that will haunt him forever.
An earlier article discussed the bogus London terror plot, accessed here.
It explained the following, a technique used repeatedly in Britain, Canada, America, and elsewhere. A government cooperator was paid to entrap and testify against targeted Muslims. The so-called London plot (called the Fertilizer Case) used Juniad Babar, a dubious character nicknamed “Supergrass” by Britain’s media.
In 2004, he agreed to cooperate with FBI agents after being indicted in June. He then pled guilty to four counts of conspiring to and providing, and attempting to provide, material support or resources to terrorists. A fifth count involved providing funds, goods, or services to benefit Al-Qaeda. In return for a reduced sentence, he copped a plea, requiring him to provide “substantial assistance,” including entrapping and testifying against targeted Muslims, ones authorities want to frame and convict.
London’s Fertilizer Case involved a half-ton of ammonium nitrate, allegedly to blow up a London shopping center, nightclub and other targets – bogus charges that nonetheless got targeted “bombers” convicted and imprisoned, including Momin, even though there was no plot and no crime. In his case, “two hired agents of the Canadian intelligence services (charged him) with two counts of ‘bomb making’ (involvement) in (Britain),” where the other alleged plotters were brought to trial, not him.
Writing earlier about media complicity with authorities, Mahboob quoted British author Adam Curtis saying, “international terrorism is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians” for political advantage. It’s “a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media.”
To advance American, UK, Canadian, and Israeli imperialism, their “ruling elite(s) invested heavily to institutionalize animosity towards Muslims and the Arabs. The new 21st century colonial masters view humanity in numbers and digits, not as living moral beings with rights and dignity.”
In America, extremist neo-cons “use racism and religious fanaticism to fuel hatred towards Muslims and Islam, and engulf the world with horror of military conquests (and occupations) to further the dictum of” global dominance.
In America, Britain, Canada, Israel, and other Western states, Muslims are treated like sub-humans, vilified as dangerous villains unfit to co-exist with superior Judeo-Christians, a subtle and overt government/media spread message. As a result, nominal democracies act tyrannically, serving privileged elites, not popular interests, and needing enemies to justify expansionist policies, including imperial wars and state-sponsored terrorism to further them.
In an earlier article, Mahboob asked:
“What did Canada achieve (by) destabiliz(ing) the Khawaja family, drain(ing)-out their human energies in arrest, torture and (persecuting them for years) as ‘Muslim terrorists’…?” The “demonstrable record (shows) Canada had no incidents of extremism or terrorism at all,” putting a lie to government accusations based on an alleged plot that never existed. Authorities even claimed they never raided the Khawaja home even though family members were terrorized and arrested. Possessions were seized, damage done, and hundreds of neighbors saw it.
The plain truth is that Western nations face no Islamic threat. Claiming one is a US-concocted lie. Authorities and media reports viciously spread it to justify state-sponsored terrorism against innocent victims like Mahboob and his family, including son Momin, now imprisoned for being Muslim at the wrong time in Canada.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. Contact him at: email@example.com. Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.
This article was posted on Saturday, October 9th, 2010 at 7:00am and is filed under Canada, Corruption, Discrimination, Human Rights, Media, Military/Militarism, Pakistan, Propaganda, Racism, Religion. ShareThis
Posted on October 9, 2010 by Rupee Wala
On the eve of a meeting between Tajikistan and Pakistan the atmosphere in Tajikistan is moving towards trans-national Islam. On the one hand the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon faces a militant insurgency. On the other hand Tajiksitan is getting in touch with its roots–rejecting Soviet colonialism.
Many in the region yearn for Greater Khorasan (khor “sun” + asa “literally, like or akin to, but usually meaning arising from”), which includes Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
The ECO is Greater Khorasan–and its presence is everywhere. The Federal Minister shared Pakistan’s view on Energy Cooperation in ECO region and conveyed Pakistan’s recommitment to the spirit, goals and objectives of the ECO.
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member countries have are enforcing the Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) by launching a Truck Carvan, which will start from Pakistan on Thursday. It will move across the region and terminate at Istanbul, Turkey after passing through Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
A symbolic send off ceremony was in Islamabad which was attended by dignitaries and businessmen. It was a Pakistani initiative of Pakistan so the Caravan was launched from Pakistan. Trucks from all Member States (One from each) including Pakistan assembled in Quetta. The Truck Caravan is being jointly organized by ECO Secretariat in Tehran and International Road Transport Union (IRU), the sources informed.
The TTFA, which provides access to the land-locked countries, was signed by the 10 member states. Increased road, rail and inland water transportation will give a much needed boost to international trade and social activities in the ECO region.
Recently the Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources of Pakistan Mr. Naveed Qamar led Pakistan’s delegation to attend the 2nd Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) ministerial meeting on energy and petroleum on October 1, 2010 at Dushanbe.
President Emomali Rahmon was eger to market the hydropower potential of Tajikistan, road and rail links. The Pakistani minister underscored that Tajikistan being ideally positioned and so close to Pakistan had a huge potential for exporting hydropower to Pakistan. Recently Russia had hosted an Afghan, Pakistan, Tajik summit which pushed for rail and road links from Pakistan to Fergana and Duhambe.
Farangis Najibullah, Zarangez Navruzshoh describe the trends in Tajikistan which goes beyond trade and economics.
Until earlier this year, one 19-year-old student from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, was known as Shohrukh to his friends and family.
But he recently decided to ditch his “purely Tajik” first name and now answers to “Muhammad,” the name of Islam’s prophet.
“I came to this decision gradually,” Muhammad says. “I learned about Islam and wanted to get a suitable Muslim name for myself.” He says that he heard that “on Doomsday, everyone will be called by their first names, so I wanted to be called Muhammad.”
So-called Islamic names are becoming increasingly popular in the predominantly Muslim country.
Like Muhammad, those who have chosen new names are largely young men in their late teens and early 20s. And an increasing number of parents are picking Islamic names for their newborn babies.
Experts say the trend reflects the growing influence of Islam among Tajiks.
Approximately every fifth baby girl born in Dushanbe gets an Islamic name, and the most popular girl’s name is Sumayah, according to officials in the capital’s civil-registration office.
“Other newly popular names for girls include Asiya and Oisha, a Tajik version of the Arabic name Aisha,” says Zebo Bobojonova, the director of the Shohmansur civil-registration office in Dushanbe.
“We wouldn’t hear such names fives ago, when Iranian and Indian names like Googoosh, Anohito, and Indira were among the most desired names by parents coming to our office to get birth certificates for their babies,” Bobojonova says.
Aisha is the name of one the prophet’s wives, while Asiya is the name of a Muslim noblewoman mentioned in the Koran. According to Islamic teachings, Sumayah was the first martyr of Islam.
Names of prominent Islamic figures such as Muhammad, Yusuf, Abdullo, and Abubakr have become a trendy choice for Tajik baby boys.
Some local mullahs and imams encourage people to choose Islamic names for their children. Hoji Mirzo Ibronov, a prominent mullah and the imam of a mosque in the southern town of Kulob, says that as a local religious leader it’s his duty to convey the hadiths, sayings and deeds attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, to Muslims.
“I tell people that Allah prefers names like Abdullah and Abdurrahmon, and generally names with the combination of “Abd” [meaning ‘servant’ in Arabic] followed by another word describing Allah, such as Abdulqahhor, Abdulmannon, and Abdurrahim,” Ibronov says. “We tell people that according to the hadiths, Allah likes such names.”
Rising Religious Fervor
Mullahs and imams enjoy enormous respect among their local communities, as Islam is on the rise in the country. Boys as young as 6 oe 7 years old usually attend evening prayers in their neighborhood mosques, followed by the imams’ sermons.
Compact discs with religious leaders’ sermons explaining Islamic values are widely available in local markets.
Dilshod Rahimov, a Dushanbe-based specialist on art and culture, says such sermons and the abundant religious literature have a vast influence on young people’s mind-sets.
“Young men who are changing their first names to Islamic names are putting their religious identity before their national identity. Everybody has the right to choose whatever name they want for themselves or for their children, but I think it is somehow superficial,” Rahimov says.
“You don’t have to have an Islamic name to be a proper Muslim. For instance, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, people follow their religion but they don’t have to bear Arabic and religious names.”
Strolling through the streets of Dushanbe, the influence of religion is ever-present. One can see young people listening to sermons instead of pop music. Religious speeches and sermons are used as ring tones and groups of students can be seen listening to the speeches and sermons of their favorite imam-khatibs out loud on their phones.
The number of people attending Friday Prayers also continues to rise, to the extent that some mosques have been required to build second or even third floors and widen the area of worship to house all the attendees.
Since he took office in 1992 following a bloody civil war that resulted in the defeat of a mostly Islamic opposition, the government under President Emomali Rahmon has prohibited polygamy, banned the wearing of the hijab in government offices and in universities, and has outlawed prayer outside of the mosque.
But Said Ahmadov, former head of the Committee for Religious Affairs, says that 70 years of living under communism has made people more focused on religion and its benefits. “Using this awareness,” he explains, “they are trying to follow Shari’a law. In the meantime, this positive move disclosed many shortcomings of Tajik secular law.”
“People have by now gained more knowledge of Islamic culture and Shari’a rules,” Ahmadov says. “And the fact that some secular laws have not been properly implemented or are not being followed appropriately plays a role here.”
‘Call Me Muhammad’
Names like Sumayah or Asiya were almost unheard of in Tajikistan just a few years ago, when many parents preferred old Persian names for their children.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the names of the characters from the 10th-century Persian poet Abulqasim Firdawsi’s epic “Shahnameh” were the most popular both for baby girls and boys.
Hundreds of thousands of Tajik girls were named after Persian princesses and queens, such as Tahmeena, Gurdofarid, and Sudoba, while pre-Islamic royal names like Siyovush, Faridun, Jamshed, and Bezhan were fashionable names for boys.
At that time, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, local media encouraged a revival of the country’s ancient Persian heritage.
But some of those Jamsheds are now trading in their names for Islamic ones, Rahimov says. After all, Jamshed was a Persian monarch who followed Zoroastrian teachings.
As for 19-year-old Muhammad, he has yet to officially register his new Islamic name. The legal process for changing your name is a lengthy, complicated, and costly process in Tajikistan.
It involves obtaining letters and references from a variety of government agencies, including local authorities, local and central registry centers, and Interior Ministry branches, among others. Applicants are also required to provide police clearance certificates from every place they have lived since the age of 16, along with a letter from their school or workplace.
In addition to bureaucratic hurdles, the rampant bribery in government agencies makes the process even more expensive. It’s a common practice in Tajikistan to pay bribes for every document or letter people get from government offices, if they want to obtain the document on time.
But it doesn’t really matter, Muhammad says. “My friends and family call me by my new name and that’s enough for now,” he says. October 06, 2010, In Tajikistan, Islamic Names Are The New Fashion
by Farangis Najibullah, Zarangez Navruzshoh
Radia Free Liberty says “Even as the Tajik government maintains tight control on religion, the majority Muslim population is increasingly turning to Shari’a law — the sacred law of Islam, which is not sanctioned by the state — to resolve disputes, family affairs, and personal matters…Said Ahmadov, former head of the Committee for Religious Affairs in Tajikistan, told RFE/RL in early August that there has been an increase in the observance of Shari’a law among Tajikistan’s majority Muslim population since the country’s independence nearly 20 years ago. A Gallup poll released in August found that 85 percent of Tajiks said religion was an important part of their lives, with only 12 percent saying it was not, making Tajikistan first among Central Asian states in terms of religiosity.”
Have you ever wondered how a woman’s brain works?
Well….it’s finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration:
Forward this to all the guys for a good laugh, and to all the ladies who have a good sense of humor.
Looking at the sea of fresh young faces standing in what appeared to be a mile long queue, I was not a little surprised could there so many students in an M.Tech. course? I turned pleading eyes to my guide, a third semester M.Tech. man, casually leaning against a marble pillar with a disdainful look on his face. Where upon he beckoned me with one lazy finger to follow him. Right up to the top of the queue we went, shouldering aside less fortunate mortals. He greeted the official at his desk warmly and was rewarded with a familiar nod. Like magic, several forms and papers appeared in my hand and I was soon registered, the No.1, ’numero uno’, of the thermal science class; while ordinary humans like my friend, Mahesh, who had arrived hours, may be days earlier had to content themselves waiting for hours, and then getting some un distinguished number like ten or twelve.
This flair for the short cut was inculcated, I later understood, into any and every IITian worth his salt. Tutorials would be given by professors who would smilingly hand you a ream of tutorial questions and casually ask you to submit the same, next day while you stood aghast.
The old IITian would take it in his stride “he was like this during B. Tech. too” one guy would enlighten us poor guys who have the incalculable misfortune (in their eyes) to have taken our B. Tech. elsewhere. And then the Alumnus would walk away with not a care in the world; while we would stand bemused by this genius who expected to find answers to 48 questions with 26 sub questions each, by the next day.
Later while you were drawing along sigh after fighting an epic battle with the questions and having managed to do them all without having to resort to psychiatric help, in saunters your old IITian; hands in pockets. “Oh by the way, old chap could you pass those tutorial sheets? You can have them back in a minute.” Later, you sit back dazed, as the efforts of a sleepless night disappear in the form of Xerox copies of your tutorial sheet into the cavernous jaws of the IITian’s bag.
You can find many students sauntering in the lawn when you come back from a sparsely attended lecture. Why didn’t you attend you ask. ”He is an old bore, why don’t you Xerox today’s notes and give it to us?” How could you not oblige such brilliant minds that can look down upon a professor with years of experience?
Take the hostels next. It is populated of creatures that emerge only for food and lock the door the moment they enter their rooms. Their names were daily called out by the professors, but silence would inevitably be the reply. ”Why don’t they come for the classes?” I once asked an old IITian “Bah! They have much better things to do.” replied that infant prodigy. ”Like what?” queried I, much intrigued by an occupation better than studying for post graduation in engineering in the most prestigious technical institution in the country. The reply shattered me. Quoth the sage “Preparing for the I.A.S.!”
In a world plagued with wars, racism, political turmoil, economic downturns, and social anguish, many people are looking for an alternative in which justice, freedom, decency, and common sense will prevail. Such societies have existed in the past, in the golden eras of Islamic civilization, and we have the hope that, if Allah wills, such a society may appear again. But until then a Muslim has to live in this society in a way which will cause that society itself to metamorphose into a just and liberal one.
Here is a picture of what a Muslim’s life in a society consisting of Muslims and non-Mulims, would look like. Drawing on the extensive research of Islamic History and contrasting the ideal with the sorry state affairs in human societies today, let us explore the religious, political, economic, social, and other facets of this Muslim’s life, illustrating everything from the responsibilities of those in authority to the interactions between individuals on the humblest levels. For those who are longing to see a better world, this life offers practical ideas and hope.
The collective lives of the people do not bear any impression of the guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The lives of luxury led by the ruling few and greed has caused many people a grave economic set-back.
Let us take a look at how an ideal Muslim woman would live in such a mixed society.
The Muslim woman never forgets that the mother’s responsibility in bringing up the children and forming their characters is greater than that of the father, because children tend to be closer to their mother and spend more time with her; she knows all about their behavioral, emotional and intellectual development during their childhood and the difficult years of adolescence.
Hence the woman who understands the teachings of Islam and her own educational role in life, knows her complete responsibility for the upbringing of her children, as is referred to in the Qur’an:
(O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones . . .) (Qur’an 66:6)
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also referred to this responsibility in his hadith:
“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; a servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”1
Islam places responsibility on the shoulders of every individual; not one person is left out. Parents – especially mothers – are made responsible for providing their children with a solid upbringing and sound Islamic education, based on the noble characteristics that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) declared that he had been sent to complete and spread among people:
“I have only been sent to make righteous behavior complete.”2
Nothing is more indicative of the greatness of the parents’ responsibility towards their children and their duty to give them a suitable Islamic upbringing than the verdict of the ‘ulama’ that every family should heed the words of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
“Instruct your children to pray when they are seven and hit them if they do not do so when they are ten.”3
Any parents who are aware of this hadith but do not teach their children to pray when they reach seven or hit them if they do not do so when they reach ten, are parents who are sinners and failing in their duty; they will be responsible before Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for their failure.
The family home is a microcosm of society in which the children’s mentality, intellect, attitudes and inclinations are formed when they are still very small and are ready to receive sound words of guidance. Hence the parents’ important role in forming the minds of their sons and daughters and directing them towards truth and good deeds is quite clear.
Muslim woman have always understood their responsibility in raising their children, and they have a brilliant record in producing and influencing great men, and instill ling noble values in their hearts. There is no greater proof of that than the fact that intelligent and brilliant women have produced more noble sons than have intelligent and brilliant men, so much so that you can hardly find any among the great men of our ummah who have controlled the course of events in history who is not indebted to his mother.
Al-Zubayr ibn al-’Awwam was indebted for his greatness to his mother Safiyyah bint ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who instill led in him his good qualities and distinguished nature.
‘Abdullah, al-Mundhir and ‘Urwah, the sons of al-Zubayr were the products of the values instill led in them by their mother, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, and each of them made his mark in history and attained a high status.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiallahu anhu) received wisdom, virtue and good character from his distinguished mother, Fatimah bint Asad.
‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far, the master of Arab generosity and the most noble of their leaders, lost his father at an early age, but his mother Asma’ bint ‘Umays took care of him and give him the virtues and noble characteristics by virtue of which she herself became one of the great women of Islam.
Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan inherited his strength of character and intelligence from his mother, Hind bint ‘Utbah, not from his father Abu Sufyan. When he was a baby, she noticed that he had intelligent and clever features. Someone said to her, “If he lives, he will become the leader of his people.” She responded, “May he not live if he is to become the leader of his people alone!”
Mu’awiyah was unable to instill his cleverness, patience and skills in his own son and and heir, Yazid, because the boy’s mother was a simple Bedouin woman, whom he had married for her beauty and because of the status of her tribe and family.
Mu’awiyah’s brother Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, who was a prime example of intelligence, shrewdness and quick-wittedness, was similarly unable to pass these qualities on to his son ‘Ubayd-Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) who grew up to be stupid, clumsy, impotent and ignorant. His mother was Marjanah, a Persian woman who possessed none of the qualities that might entitle her to be the mother of a great man.
History records the names of two great men of Banu Umayyah, the first of whom was known for his strength of character, capability, intelligence, wisdom and decisiveness, and the second of whom took the path of justice, goodness, piety and righteousness.
The first was ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, whose mother was ‘A’ishah bint al-Mughirah ibn Abi’l-’As ibn Umayyah, who was well-known for her strength of character, resolution and intelligence. The second was ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz (radhiallahu anhu), the fifth of the khulafa’ al-rashidun, whose mother was Umm ‘Asim bint ‘Asim ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was the most noble in character of the women of her time. Her mother was the righteous worshipper of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) whom ‘Asim saw was honest and truthful, and clearly following the right path, when she refused to add water to the milk as her mother told her to, because she knew that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) could see her.
If we turn towards Andalusia, we find the brilliant, ambitious ruler ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir who, having started life as an orphan, went on to establish an Islamic state in the West, to which the leaders and kings of Europe surrendered and to whose institutes of learning the scholars and philosophers of all nations came to seek knowledge. This state made a great contribution to worldwide Islamic culture. If we were to examine the secret of this man’s greatness, we would find that it lay in the greatness of his mother who knew how to instill in him the dynamic spirit of ambition.
During the ‘Abbasid period there were two great women who planted the seeds of ambition, distinction and ascendancy in their sons. The first was the mother of Ja’far ibn Yahya, who was the wazir of the khalifah Harun al-Rashid. The second was the mother of Imam al-Shafi’i: he never saw his father who died whilst he was still a babe in arms; it was his mother who took care of his education.
There are many such examples of brilliant women in our history, women who instill led in their sons nobility of character and the seeds of greatness, and who stood behind them in everything they achieved of power and status.
The Muslim as Islâm meant him to be, is a unique and remarkable person in his attitude and conduct and in his relationships and dealings with others at all levels. Throughout his long history, man has never been given the components of a virtuous and integrated personality such as Islâm has bestowed upon the Muslim through the divine guidance contained in the Qur’ân and Sunnah.
Islâm does not concentrate on filling men’s minds with philosophical ideas, or on excessive dream-like spirituality, or on physical training and perfection, or on self-serving materialistic philosophies such as exist nowadays in both East and West. Islâm drew up a balanced, integrated program for man’s development, taking into account his physical, intellectual and spiritual needs, based on the sound principle that man is formed of body, mind and soul.
The personality of the Muslim is perfectly integrated and balanced, and no aspect of it is overtaken by others, as happens in other societies where man is brought up under imperfect manmade systems which all too often are governed by selfish desires, reprehensible innovations or deviant ideas. The Muslim as has been explained in this study, is obedient to Allâh, follows His guidance, seeks His protection, accepts His decrees and always seeks to please Him.
The Muslim personality is balanced. He pays due attention to his body’s needs and his outward appearance, without letting it distract him from taking care of the inner characteristics, as befits man whom Allâh has honored, made His angels prostrate to him, and subjugated for his benefit all that is in heaven and earth. Rather, the Muslim is also concerned with that which will form sound intellectual development and ways of thinking, so that he will understand the nature and essence of things. He does not forget that man is not only composed of a body and a mind, but that he also possesses a soul and a spirit, and feels a longing for higher things that makes him rise above this materialistic life and scale the heights of goodness, virtue and light. Therefore he pays as much attention to his spiritual development as to his physical and intellectual development, in a precisely balanced fashion, which does not concentrate on one aspect to the detriment of others.
With his parents, he is an example of sincere filial piety, good treatment, infinite compassion, utter politeness and deep gratitude.
With his wife, he is the example of good and kind treatment, intelligent handling, deep understanding of the nature and psychology of women, and proper fulfillment of his responsibilities and duties.
With his children, he is a parent who understands his great responsibility towards them, which is, as well as flooding them with love and compassion, to pay attention to anything that may influence their Islâmic development.
With his relatives, he maintains the ties of kinship and knows his duties toward them. He understands the high status given to relatives in Islâm, which makes him keep in touch with them no matter what the circumstances.
With his neighbor, the true Muslim is an example of good treatment and consideration of others’ feelings and sensitivities. He puts up with mistreatment and turns a blind eye to his neighbor’s faults while taking care not to commit any such errors himself. He always adopts the Islâmic attitude whereby treating neighbors well was made a basic principle of Islâm, so much so that the Prophet thought that Jibrail would make his neighbor his heir. Therefore he never does anything bad to his neighbor, nor does he fail in his duty towards him; rather, he does not spare any effort to do favors for his neighbor, without expecting any favors, reward or thanks in return.
His relationship with his brothers and friends is the best and purest of relationships, for it is based on love for the sake of Allâh and this pure, sincere, brotherly love derives its purity from the guidance of the Qur’ân and Sunnah. Hence it became a unique network in the history of human relations.
From these strong bonds and deep love emerged a group of the best attitudes and characteristics, which make the true Muslim a wonderful example of humanity, in whom are embodied the values and morals of Islâm. He is loving, not cold, towards his brothers and friends; he is loyal and does not betray them; he is sincere and does not cheat them; he is gentle and never harsh; he is tolerant and forgiving, and does not bear a grudge or stab in the back; he is generous and prefers others to himself, and he prays for them in their absence.
In his social relationships with all people, he is well mannered, civil and noble, characterized by the attitudes that Islâm encourages. These are not the matter of superficial politeness, which conceals ulterior intentions, aims and goals. Rather it is the ongoing good behavior which is taught in the Qur’ân and Sunnah, and which Islâm has made a religious duty for which man will be brought to account.
The Muslim is truthful and sincere with all people. He does not cheat, deceive or betray. He does not envy others. He fulfils his promises. He has the attitude of shyness (modesty). He is tolerant and forgiving. He is cheerful. He is not pushy. He is patient. He avoids slandering or uttering obscenities. He does not unjustly accuse others of ‘fisq’ or ‘kufr’. He is shy and modest. He does not interfere in that which does not concern him. He refrains from gossiping, spreading slander and stirring up trouble. He avoids false speech and suspicion. When he is entrusted with a secret, he keeps it and does not disclose it. He is modest and never arrogant. He does not make fun of anyone. He respects his elders and those who are distinguished.
He mixes with the best of people. He is keen to do good to people and protect them from harm. He strives to reconcile between the Muslims. He calls others to the way of his ‘Rabb’ with wisdom and beautiful preaching. He visits the sick and attends funerals. He returns favors and is grateful for them. He mixes with people and bears their mistreatment with patience. He tries to make people happy as much as he can. He guides people to do good. He always likes to make things easy and not to make them hard.
He is fair in his judgements. He does not oppress others or play favorites. He is not a hypocrite or a sycophant or a show-off. He does not boast about his deeds and achievements. He is straightforward and is never devious or twisted, no matter what the circumstances. He loves noble things and hates foolishness. He does not exaggerate in his speech or puff up his cheek with pride. He is generous and does not remind others of his gifts or favors. He is hospitable and does not complain when a guest comes to him. He prefers others to himself as much as possible. He relieves the burden of the debtor. He is proud and does not think of begging. He knows that the upper hand is better than the lower. He gets along with people and they feel comfortable with him. He measures all of his habits and customs against Islâmic standards. He follows Islâmic etiquette in eating, drinking, giving ‘salam’, visiting people, entering their homes and sitting with them, and in other social activities. This is the clear, beautiful picture of the Muslim whose personality has been formed by Islâm and whose heart, mind and soul are filled with its divine light.
For man to reach this sublime level of noble virtues and morals and to translate them into a living reality on earth is the greatest achievement for which systems, laws, philosophies and ideologies may strive. It surpasses all other scientific and materialistic achievements which are known in our world today, and which dazzle us with their lights and colors. Man is the noblest and most precious of creatures, and all of the past efforts to establish human cultures have been aimed solely at achieving his happiness and elevating and honoring him. The way to honor him is by enhancing his humanity. The culture that concerns itself only with man’s lower desires, without developing and purifying his human nature and awakening his potential for good, is a culture that is sorely lacking. It has failed to fulfill the most important condition of human culture and has neglected the very humanity of man, which is his most valuable hidden asset.
All of the achievements and inventions of human civilization, such as cannons, missiles, satellites, transistors, television, video, etc., cannot replace the human aspect of man and indeed are worthless if they are not used to enhance his humanity, purify him and make him truly happy:
“By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it. And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right. Truly he succeeds that purifies it. And he fails that corrupts it!” (Qur’ân 91:7-10)
The development of a society is not measured solely in terms of its scientific achievements and material inventions. These are a factor, but there is another, more important, standard by which a society is also measured. That is the prevalence of human values such as love, empathy, altruism, sacrifice, uprightness and purity of thought, behavior and dealings with others.
If individuals are the basis of a society, and the pillars upon which every social renaissance is built, then rightly-guided societies pay attention to human development and enhance the positive, constructive aspects while seeking to eliminate evil, destructive motives, so that the individual will become a model citizen. It is from groups of such model citizens that clean, civil, strong, healthy, righteous societies are formed.
The Islâmic society is one which is integrated and of superior quality, and the Muslim in such a society is of the highest class because of the teachings of his religion which have instilled in him the highest and noblest human attitudes, and encouraged him to adhere to them in the field of social relationships.
The backwardness, division, hatred and cutting off of ties that we see occurring at all levels — international, regional and individual — among the Muslims are clear evidence of how Muslims are ignoring and neglecting the strong bonds of faith and brotherhood enjoined by Allâh. Hence the misguided ideologies of jâhiliyyah arose in the Muslim lands, and we have been overwhelmed by imported foreign principles that have brought poison and disease, and have made us like debris floating on the floodwaters. This would not have happened to the Muslims if their genuine Islâmic identity and the purity of their intellectual and spiritual sources had been preserved.
The attack against the Muslim world was conducted on two fronts. One was an assault directed against the Islâmic identity and aimed at distorting the Islâmic personality. The other was aimed at polluting the intellectual and spiritual sources, and diverting Muslims towards other, alien, sources. They managed in many Muslim lands to distort the Muslim identity and made the Muslims follow them like sheep in their intellectual matters and the way they behaved and felt. They deprived the Muslims of the values and morals of their religion, and took away the divine impetus which had brought them onto the stage of world history in such a remarkable fashion.
Nothing can restore the health and authenticity of the Muslim identity except a sincere return to the eternal way of Allâh, and a deep understanding of the mission with which the Muslim has been entrusted. This will enable the Muslims to fulfill their duty of conveying this message to mankind, after they have adopted it for themselves as an ideology and way of life.
When our misguided Ummah, which is lost in the mire of jâhiliyyah, subordination and tribalism, finally returns to the cool shade of Allâh, it will once again be the free, strong, integrated, supportive, united Ummah that will never be defeated. Then it will be the Ummah of faith, and Allâh has promised in the Qur’ân to support the Ummah of faith: “…and it was due from Us to aid those who believed.” (Qur’an 30:47)
Thus a Muslim or a muslimah should live in such a way as the sahabah of old, who by their very life, caused the land in which they had arrived (such as India, China or Indonesia) to embrace Islam en-masse.
Top 10 phones under Rs 10,000
been 15 years since the mobile phone made its India debut and last
decade-and-a-half has totally transformed how we communicate with each
other. India is the fastest growing mobile market in the world and the
sub-Rs 10,000 is the fastest growing segment. The phones are not only
getting cheaper, but they are also getting better. Here are 10 of the
level HTC phone, the Smart may not be Android but behaves Androidish.
While it is not aimed at the power user, the phone has in it the zing to
satisfy the needs of the average consumer and that too with a “quietly
brilliant” price tag. (Rs 7600)
Samsung Corby Pro
stylish and feature-rich Corbys have taken the youth by storm and right
at the top of Samsung’s Corby series sits the Corby Pro. (Rs 9,282)
budget baby in Nokia’s E-series of phones, the E63 doesn’t fare too bad
against it siblings and boasts of a sizeable price advantage. (Rs 8,582)
LG Cookie Plus
Samsung has its Corbys, LG has Cookies to lure the generation next.
Pegged as a social networking phone, the LG GS500v comes equipped with
3G and motion gaming. (Rs 7,200)
people like the features of the Corby but don’t quite associate with the
youthful branding. The Samsung Monte packs in features of the
successful Corby phones into a more serious-looking S5620 package. The
Samsung Monte is competitively priced too. (Rs 8,382)
HTC Touch Viva
Windows phone is the direct descendent of the HTC Touch and is an
improved version of its predecessor. For those wishing to make their
first jump into smartphones, the Touch Viva might just be the phone. (Rs
have a love for music, you might want to check the Nokia 5235 out. Nokia
also packs in free access to their Ovi Music store for free music
downloads. (Rs 8,449)
This dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) touch phone from Videocon also boasts of advanced music playback capabilities. (Rs 6,595)
Samsung Corby TV
a couch potato is pushed outside his home, he wishes he could take his
TV along. With the Samsung Corby TV he can. While TV on mobile may
become a standard feature when 3G is rolled out in its full extent, till
then you can keep glued to this CDMA phone. (Rs 7,783)
first touchscreen device from Spice, the S7000 is targeted towards the
movie buff. Its ability to play videos in multiple formats on its
3.2-inch screen makes it a nice mobile movie theatre. (Rs 6,300)
1) Porsche 959 (1986) This is the first car to touch 300+ KM speed (317 km/h) 2) Ferrari F40 (1987) This is the second car to touch 300+ KM speed (324 km/h) 3) Lamborghini Diablo (1990) This is the third car to touch 300+ KM speed (325 km/h) 4) Bugatti EB110 (1992) This is the fourth car to touch 300+ KM speed (349 km/h) 5) Jaguar XJ220 (1993) This is the fifth car to touch 300+ KM speed (350 km/h) 6) McLaren F1 (1994-98) This is the sixth car to touch 300+ KM speed (386.7 km/h) 7) Koenigsegg CCR (2005) This is the seventh car to touch 300+ KM speed (387.87 km/h) 8) Bugatti Veyron (2005) This is the eighth car to touch 300+ KM speed (407 km/h) On October 9th, 2007 Bugatti Veyron’s speed record has been eclipsed by the following super car. 9) SSC Ultimate Aero (2007) Till now this is the Fastest street-legal production car with the speed of 413.3 km/h SSC stands for Shelby Super Cars.
1) Porsche 959 (1986)
This is the first car to touch 300+ KM speed (317 km/h)
2) Ferrari F40 (1987)
This is the second car to touch 300+ KM speed (324 km/h)
3) Lamborghini Diablo (1990)
This is the third car to touch 300+ KM speed (325 km/h)
4) Bugatti EB110 (1992)
This is the fourth car to touch 300+ KM speed (349 km/h)
5) Jaguar XJ220 (1993)
This is the fifth car to touch 300+ KM speed (350 km/h)
6) McLaren F1 (1994-98)
This is the sixth car to touch 300+ KM speed (386.7 km/h)
7) Koenigsegg CCR (2005)
This is the seventh car to touch 300+ KM speed (387.87 km/h)
8) Bugatti Veyron (2005)
This is the eighth car to touch 300+ KM speed (407 km/h)
On October 9th, 2007 Bugatti Veyron’s speed record has been eclipsed by the following super car.
9) SSC Ultimate Aero (2007)
Till now this is the Fastest street-legal production car with the speed of 413.3 km/h
SSC stands for Shelby Super Cars.
Israeli female soldier confesses to her involvement in killing Palestinian child
|[ 19/07/2010 – 12:42 PM ]|
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– An Israeli female soldier admitted in a TV show entitled “soldiers behind the scenes” that she helped once her comrades to kill a Palestinian child in cold blood, but she did not disclose when and where the crime took place.
“I was monitoring through the camera at the command center the movements of Palestinian children throwing stones at the army and directing soldiers to move towards the kids, and under my guidance through the walkie-talkie, they killed a Palestinian kid,” the soldier said.
She added that she, afterwards, received congratulations from the soldiers on the killing of the child and claimed she was shocked by this news and felt her directions were the direct cause of the death of this innocent child.
She also confessed that the slain child did not constitute any threat to the heavily-armed soldiers.
Another female soldier also told the channel that she arbitrarily detained and tortured dozens of Palestinian citizens during her shift at the Shave Shomron checkpoint located between Nablus and Jenin.
She blatantly said she detained 80 Palestinians, only for pleasure, and forced them to stay under scorching sunlight while she was yelling at them without any reason and watching them suffer from boiling heat.
Meanwhile, the Haaretz newspaper reported Monday morning that the Israeli government and the military commandership are mulling over revoking the ban imposed on the entry of settlers into the West Bank cities under the control of the Palestinian authority (PA).
The newspaper added that this came as a result of the significant improvement in the security situation in the PA-controlled territories and the cooperation between Mahmoud Abbas’s security apparatuses and Israel.
The Israeli settlers were banned entry into the West Bank cities after the outbreak of the second intifada (uprising) especially when several incidents of kidnapping and killing were reported against them.
For his part, Dr. Abdulsattar Qassem, a professor of political science at Al-Najah university in Nablus, condemned the security cooperation between Abbas’s authority and Israel as a big crime against the Palestinian people.
Dr. Qassem told the Palestinian information center (PIC) commenting on Israel’s intention to allow settlers to enter West Bank cities that this matter is not political as some may believe, but it is a security-related issue resulting from the success of Abbas’s security apparatuses in guarding the safety of Israeli settlers and their high-level cooperation with Israel.
“What is happening is a big crime against the Palestinian people; the party who leads the negotiation team signed long time ago on everything and it is ready to defend the Zionists’ security by all means,” the professor underscored.