Category Archives: Religion

Questions on coming events

I have spoken out in favour of Saudi Arabia and the issues that were thrown at them. Yet, I too look at issues from all optional sides (or at least try to do so). So when I saw Al Jazeera give us (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-arabia-execute-scholars-ramadan-report-190521165816192.html) ‘Saudi Arabia to execute three scholars after Ramadan: report‘ I started to wonder what was going on. You see, I am a Christian (Catholic), as such I am currently trying to comprehend the Muslim state of mind to a much greater degree as I refuse to give in to Islamophobia.

And as I see: “Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari to be sentenced to death by Riyadh” I wonder why this is, as such my first issue was to look at who these people are.

Sheikh Salman al-Awdah

NBC News (at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/saudi-cleric-salman-al-awda-called-reform-now-he-s-n840916) gives us ‘Saudi cleric Salman al-Awda called for reform. Now he’s in solitary confinement‘, and I will get back to that. It is YouTube blogger NasirAlHanbali who gives us: “Look ant take into consideration that it is permissible for the Muslim ruler to incarcerate specific people or individuals if he sees that they are corrupting the lands and the Muslims“, yet that is not what NBS News gives us. they give us: “He has since called for greater democracy and social reform, and publicly denounced extremist violence. He has also been quoted as saying that gay people should not be punished — a remarkable statement for a Muslim cleric in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by death.” in this instance we see that Muslim law is not accepting homosexuality and as such it could be seen as ‘corrupting the Muslims‘, I am not stating that this is so, I am merely extrapolating the voices that publish and trying to understand the situation. So as I read (my Arabic knowledge is absolute nil) “it is permissible for the ruler to halt them or punish them with any type of punishment that has come in the book and the Sunnah. so then this ruling has come in the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his prophet“, in first 41 seconds NasirAlHanbali gave insight and some clarity on how things seemingly are (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOo9T1a0UqY), for all its good and decent reporting, the NBC gave a view on events that never explained the actions that lead to the implied death penalty as Al Jazeera gave the readers.

We can fight Islamophobia in two ways, through grandiose actions on how great Islam is, yet if we do not comprehend the actions as many grew up not being Muslim, we fall short because the media is not explaining matters, merely fitting what we call ‘Christian humanitarian values‘ in a setting that is not Christian. Sun Tzu taught the proper reader ‘Understand your enemy‘, this applies to many settings when we use Sun Tzu (and optionally The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli into ‘Comprehend the other party‘ (read: the other person). We always seem to tell others to adjust, but when was the last time that YOU adjusted your views and standards to understand the actions of other people? The video of NasirAlHanbali gives a lot more, most of it towards the interpretation of ‘Speech of falsehood‘, it is a trip into secularism, which goes too deep for me at this point, but for some it is an interesting view into learning more of a Muslim way of thinking. I particularly liked that he speaker was not merely droning Islam verses. The man gives view on what happened, what is stated as events and explains to the audience on why this should be regarded as wrong. We might not agree as non-Muslims, but it is their right to have their point of view and he brings the view in decent clarity (as I personally see it). The speaker also speaks out to the partnership with Sufi Islamic preacher Habib Ali al-Jifri, a man who seemingly polarises some views. I have even seen a Facebook comment stating: “I genuinely feel embarrassed for Habib Ali Jifri and his followers“, I did not understand the reason and that is part of the issue. There is a lot we do not understand and still we judge others by our ‘rules and values’ on how wrong ‘their view’ is.

Awad al-Qarni

The second name is one of controversy in a few ways. As we learn that he published several books, one is stated to be very similar to a 1948 publication of “Dale Carnegie,’How to Stop Worrying and Start Living‘, 1948“, as well as “Don’t despair” published in 2011 and is found to be a 90% copy of “Salwa Al-Ódaidan,’Thus overcame despair‘,2007“, he was found guilty of plagiarism and the book was withdrawn, in addition he had to pay for compensation to the original writer (at https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/5/10/%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%88%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B6-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B1%D9%86%D9%8A). In light of plagiarism, it is odd to see him lecturing at Western Mindanao State University on March 1st 2016 when he got injured. And as Gulf News gave us only this month: “he says that after reading interpretations of the Qur’an by classical scholars, after travelling to “40 countries” and having “read thousands of books“, as well as meeting intellectuals, religious scholars and poets, he now embraces the reformist Islam of crown-prince Mohammad bin Salman“, this now interacts with the previous part. We can do the 40 countries trip easily enough, yet the thousands of books take a lifetime, we see a scholar approaching western ’embossing’ of values, or perhaps better states, we optionally see the application of ‘Speech of falsehood‘ in another way. When we realise that his hard-line views were televised a mere 9 years ago (at https://www.memri.org/tv/saudi-cleric-awadh-al-qarni-fighting-jews-religious-islamic-duty) on Al-Resala TV. Also in light of what had transpired, to see Al Jazeera refer to Awad al-Qarni as a ‘academic and author‘ whilst we see at least one convicted case of plagiarism is also cause for debate on what sets him as an academic and more debatable an author here.

Ali al-Omari

There is very little I have at present; from all sources he is a popular Sunni cleric. Even as we see: “a famous Saudi public figure and cleric whose TV shows have called for more rights for women and campaigned against violent extremism. His TV and social media appearances, particularly on Snapchat, have gained him a large following among young Muslims across the Arab world“, it calls towards the initial YouTube part, it calls towards what some call the ‘speech of falsehood’, this is pure speculation on my side (I happily admit to that), Ali al-Omari is also a member of an organisation that the Saudi government labels ‘a terrorist organisation’, I cannot tell whether that is true or not, but in light of all the American actions against who they call ‘terrorists’ I would like to see more evidence before I cast my vote one way or another.

Even as the Saudi Public Prosecutor brought more than 30 charges against him, there is no way to tell how these stack up (I have no access to these papers), still 30 charges is a lot and even as the US convicted Huawei without evidence, I think we need to see the charges and evidence before we give a non-Muslim view to a sovereign state. The Middle East eye (at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-seeks-death-penalty-cleric-ali-al-omari) gave me most information, yet it is not my only source.

In the end there is a lot we do not get, but in the NBC article we see one part that does strike a chord for our way of thinking. It comes from Michael Stephens, research fellow for the Middle East at London’s RUSI think tank. As we see: “It is an assertion of power”, as well as “It is only reform if it is reform in MBS’s image“, is that not a truth and when we realise that MBS, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, is indeed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and future ruler of Saudi Arabia when his uncle Salman of Saudi Arabia, the current King of Saudi Arabia passes away.

We see the truth. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, it is ruled by the Royal Al Saud family and the future of Saudi Arabia is theirs to guide, is any opposition not treason? Saudi Arabia is not a republic with 10,000 voices; it is a monarchy with a family in charge, not unlike the Monarchy of Great Britain, the Monarchy of the Netherlands or the Monarchy of Sweden. The big difference between one and the others is that Saudi Arabia has set their rule not to their family needs (partially debatable), but to the Quran and Islam, they even state that on their flag: ‘There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of God‘, it is there plain and simple, it was never ever hidden, we tend to forget these parts of the equation a little too often.

I wonder why!

 

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The aid package

People on a global scale, no matter what religion they preach, they have an inherent need for humanitarian action. It shows that people remain people, they have feelings and emotion. Especially now, in the Muslim month of Ramadan, which according to the Britannica is “a time for Muslims to practice self-restraint, in keeping with ṣawm (Arabic: “to refrain”), one of the pillars of Islam (the five basic tenets of the Muslim religion). Although ṣawm is most commonly understood as the obligation to fast during Ramadan, it is more broadly interpreted as the obligation to refrain between dawn and dusk from food, drink, sexual activity, and all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts.” Yet Time.com (as well as other sources give us: “Muslims believe that following these practices during Ramadan will lead to self-purification, self-control and bring them closer to Allah. Many Muslims also attend special prayer services, read verses of the Quran and engage in charity“, these are words I read before in other places. Yet it is here that we see the questions rise. First is Qatar with ‘Qatar to send $480m to help Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/07/qatar-send-480m-help-palestinians-west-bank-gaza-israel-ceasefire), this sounds all on the up and up, and I have no reason to give doubt here, and with “Qatar’s foreign ministry said $300m would go towards supporting health and education programmes of the Palestinian Authority, while $180m would go toward urgent humanitarian relief, UN programmes and providing electricity” we see this reinforced. Yet the article also gives us: “Although Qatar does not give money directly to Hamas, its support since 2012, totalling $755m, has been a vital lifeline for the cash-strapped group, relieving it from having to fund civilian and infrastructure projects“, which now brings to bare the issue of other funding as Hamas was able to afford missile barrage after missile barrage. I am not placing blame on Qatar, or other Islamic charities, but I am left with the thought. If you give any junkie money for food, and he then uses his other funds to buy drugs because the junkie knows that he will get the charity for food, are we as a people inflicting harm and additional hardship on the junkie? It makes me reflect on the act through ‘refrain from all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts‘. It also gives rise to the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48147066) where we see: ‘Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan‘, and as we are given: “President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”. But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.” does the month of Ramadan allow for this? If not, does that make them bad Muslims? I am not stating it, I am asking this.

Why is this so important?

To comprehend certain parts of Islam we need to dive deeper in what we do not know and even if there is no direct requirement to know what the Taliban does (most of us do not care), the news has been giving us other versions. The Express (at https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1122649/isis-news-latest-terror-france-jihadist-police-elysee-palace) gives us that the French stopped an ISIS attack. With ‘ISIS planned ‘violent’ attack on French palace say police‘ we see “According to AFP, the suspects had several targets, the unnamed source said, but their overall objective was to launch an attack on security forces, namely those “standing guard outside the Elysée Palace”. The men, arrested last Friday on suspicion of acquiring weapons “with a view to committing a terrorist act” are currently in provisional detention and awaiting trial. The would-be terrorists, who had been under police surveillance since early February, were spotted outside the Elysée Palace in central Paris on a reconnaissance mission shortly before their arrest“, whilst the Malayan version of the Daily Express (at http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/134811/no-hate-speech-during-ramadan-mosques-told/) gives us ‘No hate speech during Ramadan, mosques told‘, as well as “We will act firmly the actions of labelling a person as deviant and calling others infidels because mosques must be free from political party ideologies. “We must guard our mouths from uttering slander during Ramadan because it can create numerous problems which can break up families,’’ he told a media conference after launching a Let’s Celebrate Ramadan programme in the compound of the Kerian district mosque, here, Saturday.” An American might trivialise it as seeing someone from ISIS as a fake Muslim, I merely wonder on the application to Islam and Muslim faith in this case.

It is also increased pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We read (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1494481/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures‘, these people under the guidance of Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defence in Makkah are prepared through 38 fixed civil defence centres, supported by 24 seasonal centres, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defence posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims. And when you think that this is a lot, consider that the mataf area would accommodate more than 107,000 people per hour, there will be 500,000 headsets for worshippers getting access to 10 languages of the 679 lessons and lectures that are to be delivered during Ramadan. I have seen a few Christian places, I have been to Lourdes, yet I have a problem trying to comprehend the concept of 100,000 people an hour. It amounts to the entire population of Adelaide (Australia), Birmingham (UK), Dallas (US) or Calgary (CA) EVERY day for a month. For the pilgrims this has not gone unnoticed, as there was high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan. Yet a lot of this is merely seen in the Arab News and Gulf News, even as plenty of respectable papers give light to this, we see a movement as the number of respectable papers is winding down, so is the amount of information given to non-Muslims. The Sydney Morning Herald also gives us: “just as Christian holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter have become commercialised, Ramadan is increasingly associated with night-time festivities and binge eating. While, traditionally, the fasting day ends with a feast, in modern times people often attend Ramadan events at hotels and restaurants and, combined with the lower activity of fasting days, can even find themselves gaining weight during the holy month“, which is fair enough and not to be seen in a negative light, I found the images from the Four Seasons hotel lightly overwhelming, almost like a Victorian Christmas diner setup. For me, the entire issue is not an issue, although I see (read: expect additional) danger of not drinking water during the day a health issue (from my non-medical view), the Sydney Morning Herald reinforced that with: “In the Gulf states, a spike in attendances at hospitals has been reported, with problems ranging from dehydration to uncontrolled diabetes, as well as injuries from traffic accidents attributed to drowsiness“.

Errors in thinking

The first thing I accept is that I am looking at Muslim matters with a Christian eye, that is my background and I know that if I wonder about things plenty of others got at that point long before me, it is the educational part that remains lagging for me, I am not a Muslim, yet at the same moment, the image and message from one, whilst we see issues handed to us in opposition. One such view was given to me from Kuwait by Al Waqyan, in a nation that is 99% Muslim. There I was given ‘Kuwaiti journalist criticizes ban on ‘public eating’ during Ramadan‘. Now, from a Christian point I would agree, yet knowing that 99% of that nation is either fasting or trying to fast, would his view not allow for a larger pressure on those fasting? Perhaps the old movie example where a prisoner in the age of the crusades are watching the jailer just outside of reach have a large feast whilst the prisoners are begging for food. Would it not be cruel and unusual punishment to be faced with a large meal when a person should be fasting? I understand that there are conditions when a person cannot fast, yet is it too much to ask for that person to do it in private or not in view of other people?

I found the fact that there is a level of polarisation interesting, not because of what I believe, but the fact that it is in a stage where all the contestants are seemingly Muslim. I would personally be on the side of: “some believe it’s appropriate to apply it in Muslim majority countries“, there are plenty of moments when no one can see anything and having a quick sip of water then would be acceptable. It is perhaps the only part that I see happen, there is absolutely no situation where a person should be able to eat in public view anywhere, not when a person could be at home to have a bite to eat.

The opportunity

This is where we see the opportunity, when we are given ‘Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry launches new interactive portal‘, we see the place that gives us (at present) “The new portal will provide more than 30 services for pilgrims, available in Arabic, English and French, with an average of 55 pages per language. Four more languages will be added in the near future.” Most people, especially 100% of the pilgrims will see this as an excellent idea and it is. What it allows for is a much larger option; it could become a start for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam, to learn more on what is unknown. When we consider that optionally in western languages there are ‘the 679 lessons and lectures‘ that shows the spirit of Islam in the stage where it is all about the season of inner reflection, forgiveness and spiritual renewal. As such the sacred month of Ramadan might open a moment to introduce to those unaware of Islam the resources that allow us to oppose Islamophobia as well as diminish the options that anti Islamist groups like pagida and others are growing all over Western Europe, the US and the Commonwealth nations. I personally believe that education is a first step in diminishing the powers that they have. It does not requires us to become Muslim, it does not require us to agree, but at least we will be properly educated and informed and history has shown that this is a first step in slowing down and stopping the haters, and that is never ever a bad thing. Knowledge can be an exemplary aid package, it is time we all used that option to the fullest.

 

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Education off the grid

We have been watching all the impacts (250 from the west bank) and a few impacts (by the Israeli air force, but when we look outside the things the media wants you to notice and the side that they want to give to you for emotional impact. We see that there is a side that we are not made aware off, or being made aware of a little as possible. In light of all we see this is a much larger issue than you think. If you are to go beyond the sides you need to go, if you want to grow in any way, you need to reach out and start looking at things that are not usually seen.

It is a form of ‘off the grid’ education. Now, this can be done with almost every subject. There are millions of eager students when it is about biology (reproduction and fornication), and there are plenty of people when it comes to science experiments that are cool, and actually give additional respect to the creator of the golf ball. In this first example let’s look at SmarterEveryDay (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT0wx27J9xs), I will not tell you too much, because what you see is pretty amazing and in this episode he gets assistance from Mark Rober, an engineer, who is as daft as a door nail (in a good way), which is probably why he ended up being the perfect fit for NASA. And as the video shows that manpower did not do the trick, they decided to let Mark make them a rocket powered golf club (for real), it is like watching roadrunner come to life and whilst there was no obvious Wile. E. Coyote swinging the club, the results are there to be seen. We see the engineer (Overconfidentii vulgaris) take a swing at records and watch the movie to see how they go at that in test 3, it will stay with you for a long time. Long before the end of the movie, I ended up having massive respect for the golf ball and the person who invented it. The YouTube video is playful and still extremely informative and educational in an area where I had a little knowledge.

Yet is it not about Mark Rober or SmarterEveryDay (even though you should check them out). It is about learning and in this specific case learning more about culture. I have been learning more about Islam and Saudi Arabia, mostly because the large 5G opportunities will be there over the next few years and I never shy away from a challenge. Yet, as a Christian in a Muslim nation you have little options and more important, there is every risk of a person unintentional insulting the wrong person, it is a danger not unlike someone from western Europe going into Japan and thinking he can present his PowerPoint at a CEO thinking that his sense of humour get him the deal. Even in Europe, I once witnessed a large deal going sour because the person slipped up and accidentally said ‘pour toi‘ instead of ‘pour vouz‘, it translates exactly the same, but mixing up the formal and informal is a dangerous step to do in any condition.

So I started to become a lot more Islam aware. This gets us to the entire issue at hand that Gulf News gave me (at https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabia-has-most-beautiful-ramadan-experience-1.63611502). Most people know about Ramadan, we hear it around us in Muslim areas that observe it. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. I also learned that Ramadan is a lot more strict in Saudi Arabia and if caught in public eating and or drinking during the day there are indeed harsh punishments, including flogging, imprisonment and, for foreigners, deportation. So there is your step to get a chance at great fortune and you get put on the next plane to London because you had a drink in public when the sun was up.

A lot of that was unknown to me; I have had almost no exposure to that knowledge. I was amazed how little exposure to Muslim culture I seemingly had as a Christian. From my point of view, accepting that there are Muslims around me is one thing, to remain ignorant of any of the cultural issues is just stupid. Australia is not a Muslim nation, the United Kingdom is not a Muslim nation and neither is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Sweden and so on, does that mean we need to remain ignorant of other cultures?

So as I took in ‘Saudi Arabia has most beautiful Ramadan experience‘, I became curious as I knew that Muslims have a month of fasting, but that fasting was a ‘beautiful experience’ was a new label to see. The reality is that I am almost a real seal (I have a coat of blubber to protect me from the arctic cold). The quote “Gulf News spoke with expatriates who have experienced Ramadan in the kingdom and are now missing the infectious festive spirit in their home country” was interesting as I never saw fasting as a moment to rejoice, or as something beautiful. So as I was introduced to “The Ramadan vibe is almost non-existent in London. It’s so difficult to maintain the spiritual mindset that one usually tries to adapt during the holy month because of the busy hustle of London life. The fasting hours are long and coupled with the regular school routine, it’s also draining. There’s a rush to finish work, to finish eating, to reach night prayers and then get up again at the crack of dawn to resume work,” that did not make sense to me. You see there are close to 700,000 Muslims in London, it boils down to roughly 13.1% of the London population, as such there should be a decent Ramadan population, if we believe is freedom of religion, should that not matter? If we see that places in Burwood Australia (decent sized Muslim group) banks on the Ramadan event in their shop, it makes no sense that London is so largely absent of it. And let’s face it, should we feel threatened by such an event?

In the Netherlands the newspapers are full of extra protection of Mosques, yet almost nothing on the religious impact and reason for Ramadan, merely “extra attention and vigil is kept at the Mosques after the events in Christchurch“. Even as we see that acts are claimed by Pegida, we see little action to aid in lowering fear and tension to the Muslims visiting mosques. So as the reach of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) is now clearly in the Netherlands as well, we see an absence of cultural education to the people at large via media and newspapers. As we see the party created by Lutz Bachmann giving us: “Pegida believes that Germany is being increasingly Islamicized and defines itself in opposition to Islamic extremism.” we see too large a lack of countering anti-Muslim events. I believe that educating the people is a first. As a Catholic, I need not be anti-Muslim; we do not need to be anti-Muslim culture driven people. I find it hypocrite in the extreme of those claiming to be Christians, being nothing more than hooligans and criminals, people that often not having seen the inside of a church more than 4 times a year feeling threatened by a Muslim holding a Quran. In my personal view that speaks more about their lack of faith than the implied intention of a Muslim. I believe that fear is negated by information and education, when the ignorant are seeing that culture and cultural knowledge is a positive thing, they will learn more and see that there is no fear but the fear that grows within the part of you that does not know.

In the end it is up to you what you do, I am not telling you do read it all and follow it all, I am merely asking you to consider not to turn away when the information and knowledge is offered to you. We all accept that people like Mark Rober and the people behind SmarterEveryDay make knowledge (read: science) more fun to watch, it is at times harder to find that motivation when it is cultural or sometimes even religiously based, yet that does not make for an event that is less informative. Consider that Saudi Arabia is in a stage where $1.2 trillion is spend on construction and infrastructure, would it hurt to know more so that you have an option to make some serious cash? And it is not just Saudi Arabia (they are the biggest though), together with the UAE and Qatar they represent opportunities that are well over 600% of what the US and the UK combined are doing over the next decade. Cultural ignorance is but one, yet optionally the largest hindrance to connect to these opportunities. I am not stating that acquiring knowledge needs to be profit based; I have however seen over the decades that this motivates a lot more people, so should I avoid such an obvious selling technique? To be honest, I should not take that step, yet as anti-Muslim sentiments are flaring up on a global scale, upping the ante in all this is a valid point with the hopeful result to lower tensions (I might be up for the Nobel peace prize if I achieve the impossible here).

To get the smallest view, we (non-Muslims) will appreciate the evening meal that is enjoyed by the people during Ramadan (after sunset). The movie (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ev1OLMgrbo) gives a mere glimpse not only on the preparation of the meal; the end shows how thousands are enjoying a meal seemingly in silence together. In this case it is the Iftar in the UAE. I had hoped to add one from Riyadh, however I could not find an English version (or one with English subtitles). And consider the other side of all it, if our creativity is awakened by learning new things, what could we consider when we start looking into a direction that most people have never looked?

Education off the grid can be amazing, when you feel the internal motivation to learn more you tend to learn more easily, optionally not better, but there is a lot to be said for the enthusiasm factor when acquiring knowledge, you merely need to connect to the best information source you can.

 

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Remembering events

There is an issue in Palestine and Israel, I am not stating that Israel is innocent in events, but when I see the Guardian giving us (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/25/uk-cinemas-should-boycott-the-israeli-film-festival-seret) the headline ‘UK cinemas should boycott the Israeli film festival Seret‘, this was a letter and an opinion. I am not attacking the person, because everyone is entitled to an opinion. As such, I have no issue with: “We’re shocked and dismayed to see how many mainstream cinemas – among them Picturehouse and Everyman – are hosting this year’s Israeli film festival, Seret, whose funders and supporters include the Israeli government and a clutch of pro-Israel advocacy organisations“.

When we see that do these people remember the Sbarro event on August 9th 2001? You might think it was a long time ago, but it was merely the start of a lot of events by Palestinian terrorists. And the girl on the stretcher was wearing a white shirt, that is, until the explosion got to her, it is overwhelmingly red now. I don’t even know if she survived any of it. From my point of view, when you start bombing buses and civilian restaurants you have lost the plot and whatever case you try to bring, from that point onward the Palestinians were merely to be regarded as terrorists.

They even send rockets into Beer Sheva where it hit a kindergarten classroom (By Avi Ohayon GPO – https://www.flickr.com/photos/36313307@N06/3349461091/sizes/l/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6222905), yet in that case I will admit that there is absolutely no telling what they were actually aiming for, their material is unreliable at best.

So in all this, it is still an anti-Israel rally through an attack on culture. Now, I have stated that Israel is not entirely innocent, there are issues on both sides of the border but the only way to ever make any progress is not to ban cultural events, but to have more of them. So when we see “This UN report is the latest in 70 years of reports of mass expulsions, killings, house demolitions, detention without trial, torture, military occupation and military onslaught against the indigenous population, the Palestinians” we can clearly see that this is a pro-Palestinian article, leaving the Palestinian acts out of it. OK, I get that the writer is heavily pro-Palestinian and people are allowed to be that, freedom of expression and so on. We can also agree with part of the statement that gives us: “We cannot understand why cultural institutions continue to behave as if Israel is an ordinary democracy. It is not“, yet the part that is missing is that the State of Israel has been under non-stop terrorist attack since 1948; that part is ignored almost everywhere. Perhaps someone can explain to me how this will stop when Israel has been under unrelenting attack since it was founded? Now we can optionally disband the State of Israel, but only when Europe gives up 25% of Europe. Or did you forget that the extermination of 6 million Jews came with the disowning of millions of real estate locations? You see those 6 million owned some of the richest parts of Europe in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and a few more places. So if you can get those areas all to be re-annexed as original Jewish properties come back to talk, if not find another solution. By the way before you think of adding a number to that, it will depreciate Europe by well close to a trillion euros.

A choice was made in 1945 because of what lied ahead, it was perhaps the best solution for Europe and when we consider that the Jewish state was stolen from the Jews by the Italians between 1BC and the 5 centuries that followed, we see a larger issue. In that time part of Syria was also part of the 12 tribes of Israel, so in the end the discussion could go on for a lot longer than now. All elements that people tend to forget (because they ignore history). What should be remembered that any nation that has been under attack for three quarters of a century will at some point stop being polite, so perhaps lowering tension and embracing culture as an opening to commence a dialogue will be a lot more useful to set the steps towards an actual agreement based towards long lasting peace. And If I can see that with my lack of diplomacy and articulate cultural speech then all those artistic people, those directors, writers and others should know a lot better than putting their autograph under some short sighted narrow minded call to boycott any cultural event.

That is merely my limited view on the matter, yet I might be wrong too.

 

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Because skills lacked?

You have heard it, you have read it (in trashy novels), the lady waiting for an orgasm lets the plumber have a go because her man just can’t get it up, or comes before her oven warms up, so the croissant tastes as natural as it can be, like wet dough and tastes like nothing you would ever want to try.

But there is the plumber and he has loads of lead in his pencil so the problem is solved. Yet, what happens when it is not merely a domestic inconvenience?

That is the part we see in Politico a mere 4 hours ago. When we see ‘German divisions over Saudi arms embargo upset EU allies‘, the article (at https://www.politico.eu/article/german-divisions-over-saudi-arms-embargo-upsets-eu-allies/), here we see the foundation with: “Germany imposed an embargo in October after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but the measure has annoyed France and Britain, whose giant arms makers require German components that are now banned“. The issue is not that Jamal Khashoggi is still alive. He optionally left with a headache and was lost somewhere. The problem is that there is no evidence, not evidence that holds up in court and the players all know this. Moreover, there is no evidence (other than circumstantial) that it was done on orders of a government, in this case the Saudi Royal family. That is at the crux, so the entire ban is on other merits. We could argue that America likes to push, with an optional setting of growth of billions as Germany stopped the processing of commerce. If there was actual evidence, it would be a different matter. The fact that an ally of Iran who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia has been taking the limelight with accusations and innuendo, but this has not been met with evidence. The fact that most players know this and continue on the present path is a much larger concern.

It becomes even more of an issue when we see: “whether to extend or lift its ban on arms’ exports to the Middle Eastern country, which is also a leading participant in the war in Yemen” we see even more issues. Even as we saw a few hours ago ‘Saudi Airstrike Said to Hit Yemeni Hospital as War Enters Year 5‘, the people to a much larger degree are kept in the dark on ‘Yemen’s Houthi say ready to strike Riyadh, Abu Dhabi if coalition moves on Hodeidah‘, ‘Yemenis rally in support of Houthi to mark war anniversary‘, as well as ‘Arab coalition neutralize Iranian officers, dozens Houthis in Yemen‘, outside of a few select reporting sources as well as Reuters, the people are kept in the dark regarding these events. The fact that the news has been this one sided for well over a year is more than despicable. It is a stage where the players are all stopped form resolving the issues. The fact that Houthis have been delaying talk after talk and not committing to any resolution option, stopping humanitarian aid is at the heart of the problem and that is the overwhelming evidence that Iran is directly involved, including Iranian officer, currently posing as cadavers.

Yet these same players are eagerly lining up to see commerce (read: profit) go to their places of residence as 5G, construction as well as consultancy projects are raking in billion after billion. For example the intrusion detection market (the market that opposes people engaged in discrete entry and removal operations) was a mere $3 billion last year and is expected to be at $5 billion in 2020. In this light, whilst they are vying for a slice of that cake against the Netherlands, Australia, France and Canada, why is Germany optionally allowed a piece of that cake? If they cannot act on evidence, how could their intrusion system seen as reliable? When did you last buy an intrusion detection system that gave the alarm on the foundation of ‘hunch expected‘?

It would be a different setting if clear evidence and clear evidence beyond all reasonable doubt was delivered. The CIA gave a mere ‘highly likely’ that Saudi Royals were involved, highly likely? They gave much more certainty on WMD in Iraq and none were ever found, so at this point I think it is important to see that there is a much larger play being made against certain players, whilst their opponent (Iran) is given the clear marks in too many places; it is more than buttering the bread of opportunity, it is the core foundation of staging deception against certain people on a global scale.

  1. You can fool some people all of the time.
  2. You can fool all people some of the time.
  3. You cannot fool all people all of the time.

Several players have moved between stages 2 and 3, trying to set the surroundings so that they can try to get option three in play and it is important for us all to realise that this should not be catered to and we need to make certain that those trying this approach are pushed into the limelight, showing us their faces and their identities.

Even as the deadline to lift the ban does not come until Sunday, we need to see that there needs to be an account with markers on both sides of the balance and we should be told on the names of those involved. The embargo in its initial stage is an issue, but to some degree it makes sense, or better stated we understand that it happened. Yet at this stage as there is clear no evidence, at that point impede any government of tools for their defence is an issue and it also shows that Saudi Arabia is well placed to grow their own defence systems. Personally I should advice the KSA to consider buying Remington arms as it is up for sale cheap and it would also give them a global export item (not the worst idea to have), from there on, as Saudi Arabia grows more options we will suddenly see players like Germany suddenly do a 180 degree on their own actions and try to ‘smooth things over’, yet at the core of that form of diplomacy, could any player have any faith in their value as an ally, especially as the foundation was not set on something called ‘clear evidence’?

Politico gives one more gem that has larger implications. With: “both countries signed the Treaty of Aachen in January in which they agreed “to develop a common approach for arms’ exports” that applies to all joint defense projects” we see a larger issue, even as the stage was set on common sense, the polarisation in the EU at present shows that what was common sense is now stopping nations to do proceed on their common sense and value of commerce. If the evidence was clear it might have been a topic of debate, now without that it is a cinder block of discontent on two (read: four) players with skin in the game. Germany by itself, up against the commerce needs of the UK and France and Saudi Arabia as a victim of wrongful applied leverage through a treaty that did not require proper evidence to support the openly given embargo. At what point was that not clearly looked at?

You see, it goes beyond the openly seen parts. The fact that in all this the questionable part of Turkey in all this was kept below the surface and the fact that the EU players have been catering to the ‘needs’ of Turkey in all this plays a much bigger part, giving a stage of selective discrimination for the needs of the businesses of the EU in a much larger degree. It is seen in in one way (to some extent) in the Jerusalem Post, a paper that is decently obvious in their anti-Iran writing. Yet the stage we see with: ‘Germany Refuses To Disclose Iranian Attempts To Buy Nuclear, Missile Technology‘, it almost reads like ‘where there is smoke, there is a huge fire‘ which is obviously not the case, yet the stage where Germany is unwilling to disclose the materials optionally releasing Iran from blame is still a larger issue. If proven that it was the case, it would show the German government as hypocrite in their embargo of goods for Saudi Arabia, all whilst there is a clear proven case that Iran is involved in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, it is actively engaged in support of Houthi fighters in Yemen and foundational acts that Iran is not allowed to make are being made. These elements alone should be evidence to ban Germany from all Saudi Projects (an exaggerated move mind you), but the fact that this is not out in the open, proves to some extent the points of view that I am giving here. The article (at https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Germany-refuses-to-disclose-Iranian-attempts-to-buy-nuclear-missile-technology-584512) also gives us: “FoxNews.com reported on Germany’s concealment of important data that could establish Iranian regime violations of the 2015 nuclear deal – formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s missile program“, the fact that we see the EU keeping out of the light the evidence of an optionally failed JCPOA as well as the face that the EU is still protecting a stage that has failed is voice to even more issues (like the gravy train for those on the JCPOA committee), the fact that the media is not taking this into the light (proving or disproving) is a much larger issue still.

It almost reads like the story of a man who could not get his business done, so he hopes that the other interested party has a desire to read William Shakespeare and markets all the attention and optional needs in that direction, so that the actual issue can be ignored. The analogy fits to the extent that whatever there is, it is not a marriage, it is not a relationship, merely a sliding acquaintance, and that is the foundation for less and less. In finality getting back to the Iran situation, the mere setting of “The Post reviewed a German intelligence report from 2018 that wrote, “Iran continued to undertake, as did Pakistan and Syria, efforts to obtain goods and know-how to be used for the development of weapons of mass destruction and to optimize corresponding missile delivery systems.”” has nothing to do with the actual embargo and the reasoning, yet as the reasoning of the embargo is not set on evidence, the continued support and protection of Iran makes even less sense and as such we see embargo’s, accusation all linked to evidence that is not there.

It becomes even worse soon enough. It is a side that no one has looked at, but got some illumination only 15 minutes go. It is a book by Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum called ‘A Lot of People Are Saying‘, it is a book about conspiracism targeting democratic foundations. We might think it is a laughing matter, but it is not. The problem is not that people think that there is a conspiracy, the actions of the media themselves are partly to blame, the sides I exposed today. Issues that can be easily provided for through merely seeking the web and reading the newspapers, is a stage that shows the unbalance, the discrimination of one and the hiding of another party in all this, the media is part of it. Merely digging into the events that surround American Big-Pharma, the events on Khashoggi, the ‘protection’ of Turkey and Iran, the non-reported acts of Hezbollah in Yemen, as well as the issues shown in the last few days regarding Huawei. There is a much larger play based on commerce, profit and greed and the media is merely a tool to be exploited, whether the party has the word ‘news’ in its name or not.

We need to start looking without blinkers and see the whole playing field, not one that is merely being reported on for the need of emotion, lacking clear information. If certain ways are not amended, the matter will only get worse.

We can make it a tale of adultery, or a tail of incompetency, yet the foundation remains, we set in place core values and then reset the stage through presentations and require the presentation to be accepted on face value innuendo, ignoring the originally required evidence levels to be adhered to, and the media? Well, in one specific Dutch case, the event involving Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel in Nice got the front page, yet when White extremists attacked a Mosque; it was all about a racer taking a selfie, on the front page, which should be evidence enough and make my case for me. How much longer until the people are given the factuality of the world, not the perception the media gives us by making sure there is no space left to report on 50 kills and 50 non-fatal injuries. And it goes further than that; we could argue that Google is supporting that point of view. Consider the two mentioned events. Google represents the two events in a very different light, diminishing the danger of one and embossing the other, the media and digital media has gone that far out of balance, was it merely because skills lacked, or because they want the lacking skills shown so that perception shifts, I will let you decide that part.

 

 

 

 

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Darkness in Kiwiland

The end is nigh was my first thought. The one nation that has more sheep than people, the one nation where a mutant sheep would be the most dangerous creature to behold on either island now got their hands filled with terrorism, not any kind of terrorism mind you. In this case we see: “Forty-nine people have been confirmed dead after shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch“, in addition we get “Christchurch hospital is treating 48 people, including young children“. So far we know that the victims are citizens form Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Four were arrested, one is likely to be innocent, the three others are not, arrested with guns, and one has been positively identified. One of them is not merely a terrorist; he is an Australian making matters worse (for Australians that is). The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/new-zealand-shooting-what-we-know-so-far) gives us: “A man identifying himself as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia, posted online before the attack saying he was a suspect. He posted various images of what appear to be machine gun magazines and a link to what is being described as a manifesto for his actions.” It is not the end, merely the beginning. The Sun (at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8649326/east-london-mosque-attack-new-zealand-shooting/) gave us only three hours ago: ‘MOSQUE ATTACK London mosque attack – ‘Racist thug’ calls Muslim worshippers ‘terrorists’ in hammer attack hours after New Zealand shooting‘.

This is a growing concern. My personal view is simple, if I have no issue ending the lives of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, I will apply the same filter to Christian terrorists and white supremacists. In my personal book they are all equally unworthy. Yet I also look beyond and I was not alone in that. It is seen in the New York Times who gives us ‘The New Zealand Massacre Was Made to Go Viral‘, which is an opinion piece by Charlie Warzel. He (and others) give us: “The act of mass terror was broadcast live for the world to watch on social media” and more important he gives us: “A 17-minute video of a portion of the attack, which leapt across the internet faster than social media censors could remove it, is one of the most disturbing, high-definition records of a mass casualty attack of the digital age — a grotesque first-person-shooter-like documentation of man’s capacity for inhumanity“, as well as “what makes this atrocity “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it, is the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality“.

There are two sides to that. Nothing is that well engineered off the bat. It implies that this was not merely staged; this was long contemplated on how to execute the event for maximum footage; to give rise to that I need to take you to the setting of a movie to illustrate the issue. The movie Russian Ark used 2000 actors, was shot in 32 locations in one place (the Hermitage), all were rehearsed; all were on queue including three complete orchestra’s. Yet the big element is missing, the entire 97 minute movie was done IN ONE TAKE. A titanic, almost impossible feat was shown by Alexander Sokurov. It was a stage that took months of preparations to get it all in one take. Now we go back to New Zealand. As we are exposed to ‘the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality‘, some might consider the part behind this. That person was not alone in the planning; he had help and a decent amount of it. Apart from the shooting which most people can do in a video game, the setting of the locations, the actions taken as well as the stage of filming and making it stream live. All elements that one person needs to plan for, we should consider what was done ‘behind the screens’. If you ever get into a situation like that your body will be so pumped with adrenaline, the acts we see with “In minutes, the video was downloaded and mirrored onto additional platforms where it ricocheted around the globe. Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. The perpetrator could not have done this to that degree, as I said earlier; he had support and a decent amount of it.

We see part of that in Forbes through Thomas Brewster (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/03/15/after-the-new-zealand-terror-attack-should-8chan-be-wiped-from-the-web/#5c2239e36263). Here we see: “Social media channels later struggled to remove copies of that stream, while his 74-page “manifesto” also spread from 8chan across the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Long known as a haven for extremist, right-wing thought, and a wilder version of the already unruly 4Chan, the 8chan forum has courted controversy in the past. In 2015, for instance, users of the fringe site started a campaign to boycott Star Wars because it had black and female leads. In the same year, child pornography appeared on 8chan, leading Google to delist it. Channels that appear to advertise child-abuse material remain live on the site today.

Most people who want to get viral know of the machines available to them, some employ them for marketing and other options, yet what I see here is that this was an attack that had been thought through, I might go as far as speculating that he never expected to get away with it, as long as it hit the internet. That is seen when we look at the CNN quote: “there were just 36 minutes from the time police received the call about shots fired until they had the offender in custody“, I would contemplate that no police force in the world is that effective, but the readers might misinterpret that, and this is not about making some cheap jab at the police.

Part of my thought is seen to some extent in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/i-couldnt-save-my-friend-carnage-leaves-christchurch-stunned).

It is the step list.

  1. Gunman parks in alleyway.
  2. He walks into the mosque through the front door then moves from room to room firing.
  3. Gunman leaves at least once to rearm.
  4. Gunman shoots people in the street, before driving off.

He rearms? I have walked around (in my far military past mind you) holding 4 FN FAL clips, each having 30 bullets giving me a 100+ kill option, and this guy rearms?

The final giveaway is: “the suspect said he had chosen New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of “mass immigration”.

Something is not on the right rails, the man is guilty, there is no doubt about it, but all I see is ‘patsy’ (a murdering patsy mind you) he was used to start something. Even as the Guardian gives part of the Manifesto, as well as giving us “Tarrant describes himself as a “regular white man from a regular family” who “decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people”. He said he wanted his attack on the mosques to send a message that “nowhere in the world is safe”“, as well as “The document says his parents are of “Scottish, Irish and English stock” and that he was born into a “working class, low-income family”. When he was young, he was “a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist”, he says“. I disagree, someone like that seeking the limelight to this degree is not regular, now it does not mean that regular people do not seek the limelight, they tend to not kill 49 people to get there, and in all this even his political path is up for debate.

To go from a person who is part of a system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs (by not killing people), so he moves towards the anti-authoritarian political stage that advocates self-governed societies (a view by self-governing people not inclined to kill others) and then he apparently becomes a libertarian seeking maximised freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment again by not seeking violence. So basically he was rejected by all and became as he puts it an eco-fascist. That group will take any member as no one wants to be a member of that group in the first place. I don’t believe he has any significant level of intelligence. This all reads like a stage put in motion, the attack in London might link to it; it might merely be a coincidence of a few drunks being angry hearing about the New Zealand attack. I do however believe that the entire New Zealand event is giving rise that this might be larger and there are other players behind that event. The element that he was arrested in under 40 minutes, as well as the stage of “Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. Consider that 17 minutes needed to get downloaded to a device for uploading passed through for the screenshots, those and the movie needed to be uploaded, the timeframe does not match, he had support! The cyber specialists will have to look at the digital evidence on how fast and how evasive it was all done, more important there is every indication that there is a mirror to the dark web, implying now that this will resurface soon enough. In the next 15 hours the entire world will have woken up to the events in New Zealand and billions will be aware, after that I feel certain that the materials will surface again. It does not need to rely on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, there will be other pastures sowing the fields of discord with the video and images. The small matter of the Cricket match, and the fact that the New Zealand and Bangladesh test would have been on in Christchurch gives rise to that thought too. It might be mere coincidence that the Bangladesh team was in that mosque, the luck might have been that he missed that group by mere minutes; the event could have been a lot worse if these players would have become victims as well. The BBC quote: “Bangladesh cricketers were “minutes” from being inside a mosque in which a fatal mass shooting in New Zealand took place, says team manager Khaled Mashud. Players and coaching staff were “50 yards” from the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, when the shooting began” makes me think that this is larger than we can see at present. This was more than an attack; it was a planned strategy of slaughter and all the elements that I see is that a person like Brenton Tarrant lacks a massive amount of brain cells to do all this to the degree we are seeing at present, item three on that event list gives additional rise to my doubts.

I would want to state that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commissioner Mike Bush have a problem, yet I am not entirely convinced that this is merely a New Zealand problem. There is no way to tell, but I reckon in a few days the cyber dudes (as well as cyber dudettes) will have a better timeline and a better comprehension on what methods, what software and hardware was used to get this all maximised, it might reveal more over time, but we will have to wait for evidence on that. part of that is also seen when we contemplate ‘The suspects were unknown to the police‘, the planning part and the fact that no red flags were ever raised makes me think that there are more players involved, the viral part of the attack is partial evidence. I reckon that more evidence will come to light soon enough proving my point.

 

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The other view

The Guardian had an interesting view yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/03/people-in-christian-majority-countries-values-clash-islam-poll). The article starts off with a high when we see: “Large numbers of people in Christian-majority countries in the west see a fundamental clash between Islam and the values of their nation, according to a survey“. I honestly do not get that. I have started (a few months ago) to get acquainted with the Quran. I have been looking at 5G opportunities (mostly) in Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, a Muslim monarchy. As such I believe that it is important to be aware of the rules and events in such a nation. Even if I am still a Christian, I feel it is important to be aware of things so that we do not cause unintentional grief or friction in any place, which means that I will have to adjust to Muslim life. Anyone who is not willing to do that is better off staying at home. The same rules apply to many other nations (Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc. etc.)

If we ‘expect’ an acceptance of ‘our’ values and culture in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and so on, should the reverse not apply as well?

In the article I particularly liked the quote: “When asked the same question about Christianity, 25% of people in Saudi Arabia and 22% of Algerians said there was a clash with the values of their country, but the proportions fell to 13% in the United Arab Emirates and 7% in Egypt“, it seems that acceptance increases in places with more international exposure, which was a nice thing to learn.

When we see he links to YouGov dot UK and we see: “YouGov was recently commissioned to conduct a multi-country study on attitudes to religion in the West and Middle East/North Africa region“, we see that Dr Joel Rogers de Waal has the goods for an interesting piece of publication in his hands. The article (at https://yougov.co.uk/topics/international/articles-reports/2019/02/03/westernmena-attitudes-religion-portray-lack-faith– ) is even more interesting when we see the issue of ‘fundamental clash’ where Christianity is a lot less ‘accepting’ than Muslims are, which is something that actually surprised me.

It also opened the issue of consideration we look at “Campaigners for religious freedom are highlighting the significance of the historic papal visit to the birthplace of Islam, and hope Francis’s message of peaceful coexistence will be heard in other countries in the region, where many Christians are denied rights or face persecution and death.” Here we see the link to an article from December 26th stating: “The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has ordered an independent, global review into the persecution of Christians of all nationalities amid claims that not enough is being done to defend the rights of nearly 200 million Christians at risk of persecution today“. Consider the following: “Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly. Because of that Christians generally only worship within private homes” This is not a hidden event, this is not some made up rule, this is Islamic law, a person either abides or finds their fortune somewhere else, so Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE, Qatar and Oman) could be a haven for wealth opportunities for the atheists and of course Muslims, this is not some hidden idea that you can flunk with, this is clear established Islamic law, so when Jeremy Hunt is making some case of persecuted Christians on boxing day, I have no idea where he is coming from. Islamic law is also really present in Pakistan and many other places, so why are non-born national Christian there is the first place, to convert people? There is clear Islamic law against it, it is strict and it can result in capital punishment.

These were not blatant forms of misdirection, this is known and clearly stated laws in these nations, so at times, I have no idea where some people come from.

Can there be adjustment?

I would go with yes, if there is a simple infraction that can be clearly be seen as an error by the person and it can be proven to be unintentional, the courts might be lenient (I cannot speak for Islamic courts). Yet, the diligence of a person should be clearly shown. As such the entire Anti-Mariah Carey part is also a little bit of a mystery. We can accept that people feel that there is a “poor human rights record in Saudi Arabia“, yet from what point of view? Saudi Arabia is an Islamic law nation, it is a monarchy where Islamic law is rule and everyone (even the royal family) adheres to Islamic law. Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia had established high end culture and architecture in an age where the people mixed faeces and clay to make the walls of their houses in the larger area of Western Europe, so most houses did have a shitty smell to it, and those people thought it was OK. So as In Arabia and Babylonia there were sewers close to 15 centuries ago, whilst only 9 centuries ago, the western civilisation used shit in the building of the walls of their houses and for the most sewers were a non-issue, there were none. How is that for generics in civilised life?

And as we see: “human rights campaigners have urged the pope to use his landmark visit to address the war in Yemen. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led military coalition that has been accused of human rights violations in the country” we need to realise that these same people seem to lack the commitment to do the same against Hezbollah and Iran who are in the thick of it, is that not an interesting one sided part in all that? And it is not limited to the visit of El Papa Vaticano either. Even the UN has been accused of ignoring Iran’s role in all this, so there is a larger issue at play which is also fuelling the mistrust in the Arabian Peninsula nations. In addition to this I would tell people to start following Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on LinkedIn, Royalty and the current Vice President of the UAE, we can accept that he has people managing that account like any other big CEO or entrepreneur (like Bill Gates and Richard Branson), you will see that this man, this Vice President is actually really inspiring that alone should open the eyes of many to adjust the cultural glasses we wear now and learn more about Islam and Islamic law, for the simple reason that if a devout Muslim like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum can be inspiring, what other revelations are we denying ourselves?

I learned early in life that closing your eyes to other views is ALWAYS debilitating. I have been around the planet twice now, I was never rich, yet I have seen so much and I never regretted my choices (well, actually perhaps 3), which is a decent achievement to have.

So when I see the entire alleged issue regarding Saudi Arabia PR offices in London mentioned in a few places, I am at a loss why they do not get 50-200 open resume considerations a day (perhaps they do, I am merely phrasing the question out there).

So when we were told last October “British firms earning millions of pounds from efforts to improve the image of the kingdom and its regional allies in recent years, a Guardian investigation has found” I am wondering why their competitors are not fighting harder to offer to do a better job.

I digress

True, I was digressing, as I was moving towards the profits there, which is not incorrect, but it was not what the article was about. We can argue that the best opportunities are for those accepting the values of others and that is what is in play for now. You see, it is not about becoming Muslim, it never was about that; yet having a decent comprehension of Muslims and Islamic Law is merely a consideration to have, an essential consideration when you accept opportunities there, it is the only way to move forward. I reckon that I will never truly get accepted to the barrel of cream as I do not speak Arabic, yet those now about to no longer be a teenager, consider getting that skill. As economic growth in the Arabian nations is close to 500% of what America could present, as the same is pushed for China, having these skills in language and culture is an essential step in anyone’s future, even if you decide to not go there. When a place like Salini Impregilo is merely one of several companies growing multi-billion dollar contracts in that region, one after the other, when you are not a University engineer, do you think that they will offer contract work to any talented person, or to the talented person with at least a minimum knowledge of Arabian language and culture? When the option for a good future is understanding, as well as acceptance of others is the stepping stone to a bright future, why not consider that step?

So when you are confronted with: “In Germany, 53% of respondents were unfavourable towards Islam, compared with 10% to 22% who were unfavourable to other religions. In the US and Britain, smaller proportions (37% and 32%) were unfavourable towards Islam, with a similar range viewing other religions negatively“, are we accepting that 53% has ‘conservative’ values, or are we realising that 53% is throwing away a culturally driven well served lifestyle?  In the end money is always important (that pesky thing called rent comes around), yet what is your spiritual life missing out on by not knowing more about a cultural way of life that could be inspiring in several ways. When we merely a day ago:

نرحب بزيارة البابا فرانسيس لدولة الامارات  .. زيارة تاريخية هدفها تعميق قيم التسامح والتفاهم والحوار الديني … تجمعنا الإخوة الانسانية .. وتجمعنا الوصايا السماوية المشتركة .. وتجمعنا نوايانا من أجل مستقبل أفضل البشرية .. أهلا وسهلا بك في عام التسامح على أرض الإمارات

Which is translates by Google as: “We welcome the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE. A historic visit aimed at deepening the values of tolerance, understanding and religious dialogue… We are gathered by human brotherhood. We bring together the common Heavenly commandments. Our intentions are gathered for the future of the better mankind. Welcome to the year of tolerance on the land of the Emirates

So at that point, do you think there is any place left for the like of: ‘the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders‘ (to coin but one example)? There will always be opposition to any view, both Christian and Muslim, yet opposition is not ‘anti’, the moment we learn that lesson too late is the day we realise that we wasted the life we had before that realisation. It is actually that simple most of the time. As such it is my personal view that the article by Harriet Sherwood in Abu Dhabi is a lot more important than most of us realise, to learn that simple part is an initial first step for many, be not afraid to take a step outside of your comfort zone, you might learn more than you bargained for, from others and also about yourself.

 

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