Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dialing for danger?


Does the use of cell phones increase the risk of cancer? Even if scientists are divided about it, here are some suggestions that could minimise the radiation.

Radiation is a loaded word that conjures up unreasonable fear. So let's be clear about what we're talking about. Your cell phone is a tiny transceiver — a combination transmitter and receiver. Power is radiated when you use it. But it's not the same kind of radiation produced by nuclear reactions and X-rays. That's the far more dangerous type called ionising radiation.

Cell phones produce less harmful non-ionising radiation. However, as exposure time and power level increases, non-ionizing radiation is a hazard too. The real argument is over how much non-ionising radiation is too much. To be clear, there is no proof that using your cell phone will increase your chances of getting cancer. But several scientists believe there is a correlation between heavy cell phone use and cancer.

Here are some ways to reduce the amount of radiation you get from cell phones. Even if some final study says there is no danger, there's no risk in following these tips.

So let's start with the fact that not all cell phones are created equal. Some produce more radiation than others. Use a low radiation phone. Next, consider spending less time on your cell phone. When you know the conversation will be a long one, use a wired phone. But some people don't even have a regular wired phone. That means exposure to cell phone radiation is a bigger deal than when cell phones weren't as common. So let's talk about ways regular cell phone users can reduce the risk a bit.

The closer your cell phone is to your body, the more radiation you get. Even holding a phone two inches from your ear dramatically reduces the amount of radiation zapping your brain.

You'd think clipping your phone to your belt and using a hands-free earpiece and microphone would be a no-brainer next step. But it isn't. Wired earpieces can serve as an antenna that actually concentrates the radiation that your brain receives. And many wireless earpieces are just tiny transmitter/receivers that produce their own radiation.

The safest way to use a cell phone is to hold it away from your body and use the speakerphone setting. Almost everyone agrees that radiation exposure in that mode is minimal.

Many may not routinely use the speakerphone setting. It eliminates privacy and isn't practical in many situations. But there is still a way to reduce radiation, even when you must hold the cell next to your ear. Simply shift the phone from one ear to the other at regular intervals. That means you aren't concentrating all that radiation on one side of your head.

The last tip involves those bars displayed on the cell phone screen. The bars indicate the strength of the signal. Cell phones are most dangerous when the signal is very weak. Here's why: In weak signal areas the cell phone cranks up its power automatically in an attempt to compensate. So you are exposed to more radiation during times like that.

Adopt as many of these tips as you can. Even if the radiation fears prove groundless, your stress levels and mental health are bound to improve by spending less time on the cell phone.

NYT News Service

Source:The Hindu, Metroplus dt. 22nd July 2010


So why is Narendra Modi protecting Amit Shah?


Truth had to come out some day. I'm hoping more skeletons would fall out of the closet after Modi gets out of power.

So why is Narendra Modi protecting Amit Shah?

'The calls made by the minister are not part of official decorum. Their frequency is unnatural and uncommon in nature.' — Gujarat CID report on Amit Shah's calls to encounter cops

Rana Ayyub reports from Gujarat

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Call Records from Gujarat 
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THE YEAR was 2007. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was beginning what was billed as his most crucial election campaign. He had won the 2002 election on the back of a post-Godhra polarisation but this, they said, was different. Modi had to prove he could make it on the development work he did for Gujarat. His first pitch would set the tone. "Sohrabuddin," Modi began, using the name as a sort of magic word. "What do you want me and my men to do with a man like Sohrabuddin?" he asked. The Ahmedabad crowd roared, "Kill him." Sohrabuddin. The name became a word and stuck on, in a state polarised on religion.

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Sohrabuddin became Modi's trump card, a Muslim name. A name that drew hatred on 26 November 2005, when he was gunned down for allegedly being an LeT hit squad member on his way to assassinate Modi. As Modi stepped off the dais, pumped up by the crowd response, I grabbed the opportunity to squeeze in a question. "Can you, Mr Modi, afford to call Sohrabuddin a terrorist when your own cops were in league with him?" I asked. Modi gave me a cold stare. He then walked away.

The year is 2010. Sohrabuddin's name still has political value. But Modi is now handicapped by how events unraveled after Sohrabuddin's killing. Sohrabuddin was shot dead in a fake encounter in November 2005. Tulsiram Prajapati, an extortionist, was the only witness to Sohrabuddin's killing. Apparently he was travelling with Sohrabuddin but it hasn't proven beyond doubt. Later, Prajapati was also killed in a fake encounter in December 2006.

TWO WEEKS ago, TEHELKA published details of phone calls between Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah and the policemen involved in the Prajapati killing. It was the first time such a link, between an important minister in the Modi government and the encounter policemen, has been established. The revelations set off a flurry of activity in Gandhinagar. Shah rushed to meet Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran LK Advani, who was in Gujarat then. Shah was made to wait an hour before he was allowed into a meeting of the BJP leadership. Shah, persons in the know said, wanted protection. He didn't get a commitment on that.

Shah made 20 calls to the killer cops on a day when a petition against the fake encounter was filed in the Supreme Court. He made 73 calls in January 2007, when a CID inquiry began

TEHELKA had published the details of the call records between Shah and the policemen, DIG Vanzara, SP Rajkumar Pandyan, Dinesh MN, and Vipul Agarwal, in December 2006, at the time of the Prajapati killing. On July 3, a day after the TEHELKA issue hit the stands, the Gujarat CID sought custody of the three police officers from the CBI, which was investigating the Sohrabuddin killing. The CID already had the call records with them. So, the CID's delayed move to seek custody looked specious. Finally, on July 7, the CID took custody of Vanzara and Dinesh in the Prajapati case.

have told the state BJP seniors that Shah was not to be seen with him at any public event. There was an irony in this because Modi is a pariah in parts of India outside Gujarat, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in particular not wanting to be seen with Modi in public.

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Trigger happy SP Rajkumar Pandyan being produced in court aer being arrested in the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh

There is a reason why Modi is seeking to distance himself from Shah. TEHELKA now has more details of Shah's calls, which are pointing to things worse than may have been imagined. Call records between September 2006 and January 2007 show that Shah was in constant touch with the three officers, making 155 phone calls to them. This implies that Shah was not merely talking with the policemen during the week of Prajapati's killing, but he was doing it each time there were developments in the case.

For instance, Shah made 20 calls on 7 September 2006, when the first petition was filed in the Supreme Court. He made a staggering 73 calls to the police officers in January 2007, up from 28 in September and 42 in December of 2006. The raw data of 400 calls shows that the frequency of conversations also shot up in June and December 2006. This is the time former IGP, CID, Geeta Johri started inquiring into the Sohrabuddin encounter of November 2005. Since Prajapati was the only witness to Sohrabuddin's killing, there may have been an urgency to do away with Prajapati.

In contrast, there were barely four to nine calls a month in July and August 2006, when there were no developments in the Sohrabuddin case. This is not all. There were 277 calls between Shah and SP Rajkumar Pandyan in five months between October 7, 2004 and March 7, 2005.

This was the time when Sohrabuddin and Prajapati fired shots at the office of Popular Builders to scare them and extort money. This incident put them in the spotlight and drew attention to the link between Sohrabuddin and DCP Abhay Chudasama. Chudasama was arrested and his alleged links with Shah were exposed.

The talk time between Shah and Pandyan, a man whose role has more or less been established as a key conspirator in the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati cases, is 331 minutes. Calls were made from Shah's landline and cell phone, 9824010090, 9825049392, and 079-26404230. The calls were monitored in a case under the Official Secrets Act, 2005, being investigated by the Gujarat CID's ND Solanki and Commissioner of Police PC Pande.

So astonishing were Shah's call records that the case diary in the investigation says: "There have been phone calls exchanged between MoS Amit bhai Shah and SP Rajkumar Pandyan whose frequency is unnatural and uncommon in nature. The calls made by the MoS are not a part of official decorum." Oddly, this case too was closed in 2009 without investigation. TEHELKA has accessed a copy of the case diary.

ALL OFFICERS who dared raise a voice against Shah or indicate the involvement of people close to him have been summarily transferred. Rajnish Rai, the officer in charge of the Sohrabuddin case before it was handed over to Geeta Johri, was transferred after he arrested Pandyan, Vanzara and Agarwal in an unexpected move in 2007. This, when he was brought into the case in the hope that he would save them.

Similarly, Kuldip Sharma, then CID chief, was transferred to the Goat and Sheep Department after he filed a case of corruption against Shah in 2005, the first of its kind against a minister in Gujarat. Given this history of victimising honest officers, it was not surprising that after Johri submitted an interim report on the Sohrabuddin killing, Shah told her and other officers in a meeting that they were making things difficult for him.

Shah complained because Vanzara called him to ask why the Sohrabuddin case was being investigated. Vanzara was alerted by his men who saw a CID team heading to the farmhouse where Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi were kept before they were killed.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE CID went cold on the case and did not send its officers to question Prajapati who was in an Udaipur jail. The call records corroborate every link in this chain of events. This glaring evidence should make it easy for Modi to act against Shah. But that isn't happening yet.

So what does the state fear? Investigating officers have reason to believe that there is a far deeper conspiracy in the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati encounters, which was kept hidden. "The larger political games in the two encounters have been ignored. There is no reason to kill Sohrabuddin merely because he was causing trouble for the marble lobby. Sohrabuddin and Prajapati knew something that could have been damning for the minister," says an investigating officer.

Why then is the CBI not arresting Shah? Could it be that they are claiming they don't have the call records? Or is it the bungling of the investigation, as an officer says who was involved with the case in the past? "Where is the CBI's own investigation? Why did the CBI not search Chudasama's house the day he was arrested? It does not have to rely on the Prajapati records to arrest Shah. There is enough in the Sohrabuddin case itself on the basis of which Shah can be arrested".

Some are asking deeper questions. Why should Modi, who holds the Home portfolio, and who sanctioned the transfer of Vanzara to the Border Range in December 2006, not be arraigned? This was the posting that facilitated Vanzara's participation in the Prajapati encounter. If indeed Pandyan's involvement as prime mover of the encounters has been proved by the Gujarat Police, then why should Shah, with whom he was in constant touch for two years, be left free and not even questioned? Would Modi's answer again be a cold stare?


'The manipulation by the Gujarat government is now assuming infantile proportions'

MUKUL SINHA, Advocate & Convener, Jan Sangharsh Manch, Gujarat

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THE WAR against "Islamic terrorism" fought in Ahmedabad would have scored many more heroic "victories" if it weren't for Rubabuddin's determined effort to expose the killings of his brother Sohrabuddin and sister-in-law Kauserbi. So long as they could kill with impunity, they did. From 2002 to 2006, a group of Gujarat Police officers led by Vanzara staged five fake encounters killing 15 "dreaded terrorists", and the Hindutva brigade of Gujarat hailed the killings as examples of courage and vigilance. The police did not forget to include in each of the five FIRs, filed in connection with the five encounters, that the terrorists had come to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


The first encounter claimed the life of Sameer Khan Pathan in which the sessions court threw out the terrorist conspiracy case of the Gujarat Government terming it as absurd. The next to die was Sadiq Jamal on 13 January 2003. In this case, a journalist has confessed that he had profiled Sadiq as a terrorist who was later handed to the Gujarat Police, on the request of a Gujarat politician.

Surprisingly, most of the fake encounters were exposed by the Gujarat Police themselves or the Gujarat judiciary. The exposure from within has set the alarm bells ringing and a desperate government started the manipulation game to sabotage the various investigations. But the reaction of the Gujarat Government to the disclosures in the Ishrat Jahan case is the most shocking.

The government challenged the findings of its own magisterial report of that the encounter was fake and not just that, the Advocate General appeared before the High Court imputing motives against the magistrate. A single bench of the High Court was persuaded to not only stay the operation of the Tamang report but also to pass strictures against the magistrate. The Apex Court expressed surprise at the manner in which the High Court had dealt with the matter, and has ordered the matter to be heard by a bench of two judges. It has expunged all remarks and observations of the single judge against the magistrate Tamang.

Thus, while the Gujarat Government is desperately manipulating the investigations of the fake encounters to save its skin, the manipulation is assuming infantile proportions. They reject their own magistrate but grab David Headley as their saviour, a person who was sentenced for drug trafficking in 1999 and jailed in the US and then became an undercover agent for American authorities and has never came to India before 2007. It is pertinent to point out that if David Headley indeed had inside information on LeT cadre, why didn't he name Javed, Jishan or Salim as LeT operatives? David Headley, Jai Ho!






The truth flag




By Rosemary Pennington
Posted July 8th, 2010

Cover image for Islamophobia/Islamophilia

Photo: IU Press

Book cover for Islamophobia/ Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend.

A lot has been written about islamophobia — the fear of Muslims and Islam. Less about islamophilia — the admiration, and sometimes idealization, of Islam and Muslim life.

These two concepts — islamophobia and islamophilia — help create a discourse that locks Muslims into either being “good” or “bad.” There’s no room to simply be Muslim.

A new book published by Indiana University Press, Islamophobia/ Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend, attempts to tear that discourse apart in the hopes of creating a new, less-essentialized understanding of Islam and Muslim experience.

Andrew Shryock is an anthropology professor at the University of Michigan and the book’s editor. He’s also our guest in this month’s Muslim Voices chat. Shryock took some time recently to answer questions aboutIslamophobia/ Islamophilia.

Rosemary Pennington: First, could you explain the meaning of the book’s title?

Andrew Shryock: The book is about two ways of seeing Islam, both of which the contributors and I consider deeply problematic.

One, islamophobia, is dominated by fear and dislike. The other, islamophilia, is dominated by apologetics and affection. Islamophobia is committed to the idea that Muslims are the enemy. Islamophilia is committed to the idea that Muslims are (or should be treated as) friends.

Each assumption breeds a kind of warped, illusory politics. The book tries to move beyond this kind of binary politics toward a framework that allows Muslims and non-Muslims to interact in ways that cannot be reduced to two roles: enemy or friend.

RP: You write in your introduction that “we know too little about what islamophobia signifies.” What are you attempting to tease out there?

AS: I’m amazed by how little most Americans know about Islam.

Many of the things they dread are not, in fact, common aspects of Muslim life or belief. Many of the stereotypes and prejudices we now direct at Muslims used to be directed at Jews, or Communists, or Fascists.

There seems to be, in much of islamophobic thought, an already worked out set of ideas about what should be feared, and what it is like, and very little of it is based on adequate knowledge of, or even genuine interest in, Islam or Muslim people.

RP: Why should someone not engaged in the study of Muslims or Islam care about islamophobia? Or islamophilia?

AS: Each political age has its monsters. Once we accept that certain people are monsters, we can do all kinds of dreadful things to them. Kill them, expel them, take away their rights, degrade and demean them. So we have to be very careful about how we create monsters and victims.

Islamophobia and islamophilia are now among our most active zones of monster-and- victim creation.

It’s prudent to know how these ideologies work. It’s also important to know that monsters and victims are real, and they are not always what (or where) we expect them to be.

RP: You write one problem of islamophobia and islamophilia is that — even though they’re coming from two different ends of the spectrum — they essentialize Islam/Muslim. Could you explain why that’s so?

AS: If you’re trapped in a conversation with an islamophobe, you’ll rather quickly discern that s/he believes that anything good or non-threatening about Muslims is an exception to the rule, or maybe it is just “feel good” propaganda.

You get the same thing when you encounter a committed islamophile. Anything bad or threatening Muslims do is the exception — it can be explained away. If it’s bad, then it’s not really Muslim.

Essentialism is what makes this lack of nuance possible. Essentialism can have a positive or negative spin, but either way, it leads to serious misrepresentations.

RP: You seem, in a way, to be exploring a “clash” — to use Samuel Huntington’s language — between the language surrounding the ideas of what makes a “good” Muslim and what makes a “bad” Muslim. Why have things become so polarized? Do you see any evidence that society is beginning to move away from that bipolarity?

AS: Things are polarized because we are actually engaged in warfare against societies whose populations are majority Muslim, and people in these societies are fighting back.

We/they have plenty of reasons to look for enemies and friends. That’srealpolitik. But what’s equally real, and what deserves equal attention, is the remarkable extent to which the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds are now interpenetrating each other, not just through violence, but through effective integration.

It’s really hard to keep these worlds apart today. Millions of Muslims live in Europe and North America, and their numbers are growing. The Middle East and the Muslim world are permeated by Western political and economic institutions.

One of the things we try to stress in the book is that clear lines between Self and Other, enemy and friend, are not easy to draw in today’s world. So let’s try to draw other lines.

RP: This sort of piggybacks the last question: How would you like to see the conversations surrounding the interactions of Muslims and non-Muslims reframed?

AS: This is one of the principal issues of the book. The contributors are all straining toward a discourse (a conversation) in which Muslims and non-Muslims can interact on the shared ground they already occupy, but with greater respect and mutual recognition.

Some of that ground is religious. Certain ideas are shared across the Abrahamic traditions, and religious people can see them, even if they have numerous points on which they disagree. But much of that common ground is secular and is held in place by various commitments to pluralism and civil rights.

It’s often hard for people in these two traditions to talk to each other, even when they agree in advance to be supportive of each other’s values.

Several of the contributors to the book deal with settings in which Muslims and non-Muslims interact in contexts that cannot be treated as exclusively religious or secular. Sometimes the context is stand-up comedy, or public and charter schools, or middle class manners, or a particular set of national loyalties or racial identities.

The fact that Muslims and non-Muslims co-exist in these contexts does not mean they will agree about how to live, but their interactions do tend to be more complex, and often more constructive, than those predicted (and preferred) by people who talk incessantly about a “clash of civilizations.”

Nationalism and the long road to the Caliphate


Nationalism and the long road to the Caliphate


Almost 70 years has elapsed, since the last major conflict erupted in the West, which ended in 1945. All the signs indicate peace is likely to continue, as ties between the Western nations are strengthened through various treaties, reinforcing their allegiance to a common set of values. Europe in particular, there exists is a momentum towards greater unification; the European Union (EU) has evolved from the European Economic Community (EEC) that was formed back in 1957. After the recent ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has passed another milestone.

Note the pace of unity in Europe has taken into account the desire of each nation to maintain its national identity; without coercion or any form of threat or intimidation, they relinquish part of their sovereignty, for the greater good. This notion issue of pooling some national sovereignty for benefit was raised by former Conservative foreign secretary, Francis Pym, a proponent for European Union. In his book, “The Politics of Consent”, he argued national sovereignty was less about territorial or national integrity, much more about the ability of a nation to determine the welfare of its own citizen.

After the demise of the Iron Curtain, the EU has continued to expand to incorporate the former Eastern European block countries. In addition to economic benefits, such expansion ensures the old fault lines of religion and ethnicity does not cause instability, which happened after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The West ended the conflict in 1995 through the Dayton peace accord. Now, Croatia and Macedonia are set to become part of the EU, for sure, Bosnia and Serbia will follow in the future.  Germany has also signed a historic peace accord with Russia, turning a new chapter as they look to end the historic animosity between the two nations.

From Napoleon to Hitler, history tells us nationalism is the fuel of nation states, and one of the primary factors for causing numerous bloody wars. Yet, the nation states of Europe, USA, Canada, Russia and others have managed to maintain close ties, and avoid conflicts.  Therefore, what has changed over the last 70 years in the West? This paradoxical behaviour can be attributed to the following reasons:

  • With scientific advances, the ability to cause mutual destruction has increased significantly, making war very costly to all sides. This was recognised by the West after the First World War. Europe lamented on the mass casualties caused by the use of explosives, mustard gas, air raids, machine guns, and especially the gruesome trench battles, the most notable was the battle of the Somme. They said ‘never again’ and formed the “League of Nations” which was supposed to prevent future wars. The organisation failed, and subsequently the Second World War was ignited, which ended with the Americans dropping the Atom bomb on the Japanese cities; this finally made the point about cost of wars. No wonder, the Third World War was a cold one.
  • The experience of the great wars also propelled the West to find a solution to avert future wars; the obvious remedy was to forge unity amongst nations through establishing multilateral treaties and economic blocks. The creation of common market brings mutual economic benefit and in turn creates political stability. It generates opportunities for everyone. For example, those nation facing labour shortage, which is a crucial factor for economic growth, could access the labour force from other countries, where they may have been out of work. This in turn stimulates the local and the regional economy. Instead of fighting for spoils, the West has learnt to work together and share the benefit. Multinationals companies in someway reflect that ethos. 
  • At a political level, the Western democracies have been able to create stable government that is held accountable to the masses, where the rule of law prevails; it may not be perfect, but there is no other example in the world that can rival their record of accomplishment, since the end of Second World War. This helped to create internal stability, enabling the nations to forge a common ideological outlook and unify. 

It seems the West has finally managed to tame primitive nationalism. Even countries like India with many racial groups, languages and religions has been relatively successful in maintaining unity, in comparison to the more monolithic Muslim nations of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

In contrast, the Muslims nations have failed miserably, where primitive nationalism is so pervasive that they cannot unify even on nationalistic grounds.  For example, the Arab League could not unify the Arabs at any level. Egypt did not think twice to abandon Arab unity and signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979; similarly, the Arab nations sided with the US forces during the Iraq war, legitimised as American ‘Jihad’ no doubt! The ordinary Kuwaitis were waving and kissing the American flag, thanking the American ‘Mujahideen’ for expelling Saddam Hussein’s army. Then collectively they imposed the brutal economic sanction on Iraq. After the removal of Saddam Hussein, Iraq split along racial and sectarian lines. The Palestinians to date are helpless, whenever the Israelis decide to slaughtered them, the entire Arab world remain spectators, issuing condemnation after condemnation. 

Elsewhere in the Islamic world, its the same story, the bearded Afghanis sided with the Kafir (disbeliever) Americans, and fought the fellow Muslims of Pashtun origin (Taliban). Of course, they will argue it was the American ‘Mujahideen’ helping them against the Kafir Taliban! East Pakistan seceded to become Bangladesh, after it could no longer maintain unity with West Pakistan. The Turks and the Kurds has been fighting a similar battle for decades. Recently, the barbaric killings driven by primitive nationalism was seen in Kyrgyzstan. One can go on listing numerous other conflicts amongst Muslims propelled by nationalism and intolerance of other racial groups. This is an irony given that nationalism contradicts the Islamic teachings, which demands that Muslims live as a unified body under one ruler: the caliphate. This is challenge, how do the Muslim nations overcome these nationalistic barriers and forge unity.

There are those who are oblivious to the real world, and ignorant of the history of the Caliphate, they purport that only the Caliphate will magically being about unity and remove nationalism. This is a poor assumption, as the history of the Caliphate shows otherwise. From the very early phase, the forces of nationalism was active, the battle between Muawiyah and Ali (ra) echoed the old rivalry between the two clans of, Banu Hashim and Banu Umayya. Muawiyah probably carried nationalistic sentiment as a late convert to Islam, who saw the supremacy of Islam, linked with the ascendency of Banu Hashim over his tribe. Otherwise, he was destined to become the leader of Mecca. In addition, Ali had killed many prominent family members of the Banu Umayya during the earlier battles. Thus, most of the clans from Banu Umayya fled to Damascus, and joined Muawiyah to raise the revolt against Ali (ra) of Banu Hashim.

After the death of Ali (ra), Muawiyah and his son Yazid plotted to suppress the Banu Hashim clan; this policy led to the killing of the grandson of the Prophet at Karbala, concurrently the other prominent companions from Banu Hashim were silenced and confined to Medina. This paved the way for Banu Ummayh to dominated to dominate the Caliphate, so the Umayyad dynasty as born. Subsequently, they were succeeded by the rival Arab dynasty, the Abbasids, whose roots can be traced back to Banu Hashim.

The Arab Caliphate only produced Arab rulers, their outlook towards the non-Arab Muslims was coloured with prejudice, to the extent that non-Arab Muslims were made to pay the Jizya tax at one point that is reserved for non-Muslims. Tariq Bin Ziyad, the Berber Muslim general who conquered Spain was humiliated by the Arab Caliph of Damascus. Eventually, a costly civil war erupted between the Arab rulers and the Berbers of North Africa; otherwise, the frontiers of Islam would have reached the Scandinavian countries. The Ottomans were no different; they only produced Turkish rulers from their family, in the later phase they even gave primacy to the Turkish language over the Quranic Arabic texts.

There is no specific textual evidence that illustrates how the current Muslim nations can forge unity. One cannot cite the Prophet’s reign, as he was the de facto leader of all Muslims. Nobody could setup a rival state without giving disobedience to the Prophet; therefore, at that time disunity was not possible without committing a grievous sin or apostasy. Therefore, one can only refer to historical examples as a guide. However, are there any examples of Muslims countries unifying with the Caliphate ‘willingly’? Unfortunately, the initial fragmentation of the Caliphate increased with the passage of time. Any subsequent unification was brought through the use of force, and such methods will not work today for two reasons:

Firstly, the cost of war has increased substantially; it will be detrimental to the Muslims as a whole, the costs will outweigh the benefits. 

Secondly, such unification will be short term, as the masses today are far more informed and politically aware; thus, unlikely to accept the authority of another nation.    

The test of human history shows nationalism will not be eradicated, but it can be contained, as the West has done gradually over the last 70 years, and the Caliphate did in the early years. If states with a nationalistic ideology can unify, surely the Muslims should be able to achieve the same with ease, because the Islamic teachings commands the believers to unify and discard nationalism.

Many will point to the failures of organisations like the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries), but this can be largely attributed to the leadership of the post-colonial generation. As the new generation of leaders emerges in the Islamic world, unification will be easier if there is a collective effort. Like the unification of European countries, this has to be achieved gradually by setting modest objectives, and continue to build on their experience. If the nations cannot cooperate at a basic level, then to expect the nations to merge instantly is the height of naivety.

The Islamic movements and activists should act as a catalyst by gradually introducing Islam in society and government, based on Islamic teachings they should promote the concept of electing rulers who will be held accountable to the masses, where the rule of law prevails. In each country these movements should encourage their respective governments to strengthen their ties and start to pool some of their sovereignty for the collective benefit, with the ultimate aim of producing a single Caliphate.

Parenting/Home Schooling





Nice article about home schooling/parenting. Mashallah her kid is so bright, authoring books and being a role model for others( I think she is just 10) Check out her interview on the deenshow


Flooding in China Kills 701 People This Year, Most in More Than a Decade - Bloomberg

Flooding in China Kills 701 People This Year, Most in More Than a Decade - Bloomberg

The Guardian

Flooding in China Kills 701 People This Year, Most in More Than a Decade
By Bloomberg News - Jul 21, 2010 Floods in China killed 701 people this year, the most in more than a decade, as the nation prepares for more heavy rain forecast in at least nine provinces. Flooding in southern China left 347 people missing since the ...
More than 700 dead in Chinese floodsCNN International
China Flooding Kills 701, Worst Toll In A DecadeNPR
China flood toll tops 700Sydney Morning Herald
The Associated Press -Oneindia -The Press Association
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Beer to be sold in dead animals -

Beer to be sold in dead animals -

Daily Mail

Beer to be sold in dead animals
A £500 a bottle super-strong ale is to be sold inside the bodies of dead animals. A £500 a bottle super-strong ale is to be sold inside the bodies of dead animals. Photo: Universal News And Sport The stunt has been condemned by animal rights groups as ...
Bodies of squirrels, weasels and a hare used to package ale costing $765 a
Brit firm launches world's strongest beer at $762 a bottleEconomic Times
World's Strongest Ale: 'The End Of History' Comes Packaged In Dead AnimalsRight Pundits
Atlanta Journal Constitution -The Publican
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Israeli Forces Kill Unarmed Palestinian - New York Times

Israeli Forces Kill Unarmed Palestinian - New York Times


Israeli Forces Kill Unarmed Palestinian
New York Times
JERUSALEM — Israeli forces shot to death an unarmed Palestinian man early on Thursday at the edge of a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank, Israeli military and Palestinian officials said. The Palestinian Authority government ...
Israeli troops kill Palestinian at settlementThe Associated Press
Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian inside settlementAFP
News in BriefHa'aretz
UN News Centre -Jerusalem Post
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Earthquakes Strike Southern Philippines, Indonesia; No Casualties Reported - Bloomberg


Earthquakes Strike Southern Philippines, Indonesia; No Casualties Reported - Bloomberg

New Zealand Herald

Earthquakes Strike Southern Philippines, Indonesia; No Casualties Reported
Six earthquakes struck the Moro Gulf of Mindanao island in the southern Philippines today, followed by one in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, according to the US Geological Survey. The latest temblor, with a magnitude of 5.4 ...
6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Philippines -- USGSReuters
USGS says Bay Area quake Friday was magnitude 3.2San Jose Mercury News
7.6 magnitude earthquake south of PhilippinesAustin
BusinessWeek -WireUpdate -NPR
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Causes that Lead to Apostasy (Becoming a disbeliever of Islam)

Today it seems that some people have become accustomed to expressing opinions without knowledge that conflict with the Ayaat of the Qur'an and the orders of Rasoolullah (SAS). It may please be noted that to deny or dispute with a single Ayât of the Qur'an or with any order of Rasoolullah (SAS) as given through a Sahih hadith is to leave the fold of Islam and to enter kufr. If one dies in that state, then one dies as a Kaafir. May Allah protect us from the evil of our tongues.


Remember that if you don't follow an order of Allah (for example the hijaab) due to your own weakness, that is disobedience but if you pontificate on the basis of your ignorance and arrogance and express your opinion about Allah's orders and how you don't think these orders are logical, reasonable, justified or whatever; when you are dependent on the same Allah for every breath you take into your lungs; then beware that a day will come when you will see the angels when they come for your soul. At that time you will realize the true value of your disagreement with Allah; a fate that I sincerely pray to Allah to save you from.


فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَانتَظِرْ إِنَّهُم مُّنتَظِرُونَ

33:30. So turn aside from them (O Muhammad SAW) and await, verily they (too) are awaiting.



Causes that Lead to Apostasy (Becoming a disbeliever of Islam)


By Ali Al-Timimi, Published in The Friday Report, Dar Makkah, August-September 1994

Knowing the meaning of our testimony of faith is necessary but not sufficient. One should also know the causes that may lead a person to revoke this testimony. In other words, one should know the causes that lead to apostasy from the religion of Islam. Among the more prevalent causes of apostasy in our times:
     1 - To Associate Others with Allah or "Shirk"

     The first cause of apostasy is to commit shirk. Allah said (4:48):
"Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives anything else to whomsoever He pleases, and whoever sets up partner with Allah in worship, he has indeed forged a mighty sin."

 And He said (5:72): "Verily, whosoever associates with Allah anything, for him Allah has forbidden Paradise, and the Fire will be his abode; and the wrongdoers shall have no helpers."

 There are four types of Shirk:

          Shirk through one's prayers (See 29:65)
          Shirk through one's intent in his acts of worship (See 11:15-16)
          Shirk through one's obedience (See 9:31)
          Shirk through one's love (See 2:165)

 The fourth type of shirk is explained by Allah's statement (See 9:24):
"Say (to them O Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam): 'If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, your possessions that you have gained, commerce you fear may slacken, and dwellings you love, if these are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and to struggle in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His Command (Punishment). And Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala guides not the wrong-doing people.'"

 2 - To Deny the Finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad, sallallaahu
`alayhi wa sallam

The second cause of apostasy is denial of finality of Prophethood with the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Whoever claims Prophethood or believes the claim of a false prophet has left the fold of Islam. For example, in our times, those who believe the claims of prophethood of Ghulam Ahmad, Elijah Poole, or Rashad Khalifa have left the fold of Islam.

 3 - To Deny the Binding Nature of the Sunnah

 The third cause of apostasy is denial of the Sunnah. For example, those who claim that Islam is only the Qur'an have left the fold of Islam.

 4 - To Judge by Other than Shari'ah

The fourth cause of apostasy is to judge by other than the Shari'a that Allah sent down to the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam. For example those who believe that the systems and laws devised by men are better than the Shari'a, or that it is permissible to judge by other than the Shari'a even if one does not believe that judgment to be better than that of the Shari'a, or that Islam should be restricted to the private relationship between an individual and His Lord without entering into other aspects of life.

  5 - To Ridicule Any Aspect of Islam

 The fifth cause of apostasy is to ridicule or make fun of any aspect of Islam, its Prophet (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam) its rewards or punishments. This applies even it is done in jest or for fun as in the case of people making jokes about the Prophet (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam) or Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala or the Day of Judgment, or those who consider the punishments to be too harsh and make fun of them, etc.

Allah said (S9 A65-66): "And if you (O Muhammad) question them, they (the hypocrites) will say: "We were only talking idly and jesting." Say (to them O Muhammad), "What, then were you mocking Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala and His Signs and His Messenger. Make no excuse you have disbelieved after you have believed."

 6 - To Hate Any Aspect of Islam

 The sixth cause of apostasy is to hate any aspect of Islam, e.g. its punishments, its dress code, its Shari'ah

Allah said: (S47 A9): "That is because they have been averse to what Allah has sent down, so He has made their deeds to fail."
 7 - To Perform or to be Pleased with Sorcery

 The seventh cause of apostasy is to perform sorcery or to be pleased with the performance of sorcery like bringing a man and a woman to love or hate one another.

Allah said (S2 A102): "The devils disbelieved, they teach people sorcery."

8 - To Believe that One May Obtain Salvation by Following Other than the Sharia of the Prophet (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam)

The eighth cause of apostasy is to believe that one may obtain salvation by following other than the religion of Islam or by refusing to cal the infidels, like the Jews and Christians, infidels, or to doubt their unbelief, or to say their religion is still correct.

     Allah said: "The true religion with Allah is Islam." (S3 A19)

     "Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers." (S33 A85)

     "And they say, "Be Jews or Christians then you shall be guided." Say: "Nay, rather the religion of Abraham, a man of pure faith, and he was not of idolaters."" (S2 A135)

     The Prophet has said: "By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad's soul is, anyone of this community, Jew or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in me, will be among the inhabitants of the Hellfire." [Muslim]
9 - To Turn Away from Islam by Neither Learning nor Acting Upon its

     The ninth cause of apostasy is to turn away from the religion of Islam by neither learning it nor acting upon it.

     Allah said (S32 A22): "And who does greater evil than he who is reminded of the signs of His Lord, then turns away from them? We shall take vengeance upon the criminals."

     May Allah keep us upon the testimony "There is no god (worthy of worship) but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" in this world and reward us full for it in the Hereafter.

     Allah said (S14 A27): "Allah confirms those who believe with the firm word (la ilaha ill Allah), in the present life and in the Hereafter; and Allah leads astray the evil-doers. And Allah does what He will."