Tag Archives: Islam

Stunting into stupidity

It started with an article in the Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/20/israeli-journalist-sneaks-into-mecca-triggering-online-backlash). The article gives us ‘Israeli journalist sneaks into Mecca triggering online backlash’, it gives a lot more and it gives us the man who topped the stupid bill (namely Gil Tamary) and the byline gives us “his report aired on Israel’s Channel 13 News had not intended to offend Muslim”, didn’t he? He wanted a showstopper, to be mentioned in history and he was utterly uninterested in the aftermath. He merely wanted to be first at the expense of everyone else. How did I get there? “Israel’s Channel 13 News aired a 10-minute report on Monday in which journalist Gil Tamary drove past the Grand Mosque that houses the cube-shaped Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam, and climbed the Mount of Mercy”, you see, the mount of mercy is a granodiorite hill about 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mecca. This was all premeditated, and that was essential in making an article that would upset muslims, it was a stunt from beginning to end. The quote “The report was billed as a scoop and the journalist the first Jewish Israeli reporter to document the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.” Supports my point of view. You see, if the reporter was Muslim it was not that much of an issue, but Channel 13 news did not send a Muslim, did they? 

You see only Muslims are allowed to visit Mecca, while non-Muslims cannot enter. The breach of this rule can result in a fine or deportation. And that rule has been in place before I went to primary school where we learn this. Gil Tamary needed a stunt, something to brag about over dinner for all time. He is the first non-Muslim to go to Mecca, a stunt too stupid to consider the impact of insult made to Muslims. Gil Tamary is an idiot, perhaps the biggest one in Israel, so that is the other stunt he can make claim on: “I am the biggest idiot in Israel”, but he will not try that path, will he? And in all this when we reconsider “The purpose of this entire endeavour was to showcase the importance of Mecca and the beauty of the religion, and in doing so, foster more religious tolerance and inclusion”, might optionally have been true if the film team would have been Muslim, if the reporter would have been Muslim. I saw Mecca, I saw the Hajj through the camera’s of Muslims. I spoke about it in ‘The media gets it this wrong?’ days before someone decided to sneak into Mecca. I never snuck into Mecca, people had covered their trip to Mecca, the trip of their lifetime and shared it with all others. Channel 13 had that very same option, but left it to the idiot of Israel (Gil Tamary) to make a fool of Channel 13 and to upset millions of Muslims. So if we see stories of upset Muslims if will be due to Gil Tamary a.k.a. the idiot of Israel. I feel angry, I feel angry that someone would disrespect any religion to such a degree. And you know what is even worse? When I seek ‘Gil Tamary’ I get: “5 results (0.29 seconds)”, the western media was willing (read: intent) to stay clear of this, the media who in large numbers would convict the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lacking evidence, is not willing to go near this event. The media has become this warped! And no one is asking questions. No one is demanding evidence of such levels of misrepresentation. 

So when will the media realise just how insignificant they have become? You see when other people will look at Arab News, Al Jazeera and other media and they see how misrepresented the news has become, what will they do? What excuse will they use? 

I will let you ponder that part of the equation.

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Vindaloo on the side

It started two days ago. I honestly do not remember who the source was, but it stuck in the back of my mind. It also stuck how the large media trivialised (BBC excepted) the matters at hand. So I decided to take a gander. I first stopped at Arab News who gave us (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2097311/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Muslim institutions denounce Indian official’s insults against Prophet Muhammad’, so not the western news, not the Italian daily prophet (Vatican News), no merely the Gulf States and Islamic Institutions. So as we are given “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries and Muslim institutions on Sunday condemned the remarks against Prophet Muhammad by a top official in India’s ruling party, with some demanding concrete action to end such acts of Islamophobia.” So whilst the Washington Post gives us “Sumit Ganguly, a professor of political science at Indiana University gives us “At home, a lynching takes place and Modi remains deafeningly silent. Now, he feels compelled to act because he realises the damage abroad could be extensive. When it comes to foreign policy, the stakes are high.”” Yes and there is the problem, an act merely because the international stakes are too high. It is time to get to part 2, that is the part given to us by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-61701908) where we see ‘Nupur Sharma: Prophet Muhammad row deepens India’s diplomatic woes’, and the power is given to us by “Ms Sharma’s – angered the country’s minority Muslim community, leading to sporadic protests in some states. The BBC is not repeating Ms Sharma’s remarks as they are offensive in nature”, the statement was SO offensive, to the degree that the BBC will not comment by quoting the statement. What we do see is “Analysts say that the top leadership of the party and the government may have to make public statements on the issue. Not doing so, they say, runs the risk of damaging India’s ties with the Arab world and Iran.” As I personally see it India has pissed off Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia all at the same time, a decent achievement if I do say so myself. And the setting of this is not whether thee are acts, the acts are too slow in a nation that has had its long term issues with Muslim communities. The lack of direct action against discrimination. I am a little on the fence. If others (christians) have to adhere to Muslim rules in Saudi Arabia, there would be the setting that Muslims have to adhere to India’s (Hindu) rules. But to allow blatant insults against ones religion is a dangerous step, not merely national, yet in this there is the international stage too and as I personally see it the (far too) slow reactions by its Indian government and Narendra Modi will have (or is that should have) repercussions and not merely in India. It is NDTV (New Delhi Television) gives an interesting view. They give us ‘PM Modi, The Djinn Is Out Of The Bottle And Out Of Control’ it shows that there is way too much support for the discriminatory views of Nupur Sharma, lets not forget here that she was until recently the spokesperson of the BJP, as such, how did she get there?

The Islamic community might be forced to dump all Indian goods and services and this now gives a massive handle to the US and the EU. If they get the $15,000,000,000 of crude oil that usually goes to India its nation will face a massive recession. India lives on cars, petrol and a mobile industry. If even over 25% falls away the Indian government will face a situation they never faced before, not to this degree. A setting where India faces more hardship as it deals in oil with Iran and Russia or see the average quality of life in India fall for well over 20%, how much it falls? I honestly cannot tell and my 20% might be overly optimistic. 

So even as the BBC gives us “Experts said the controversy could overshadow some of India’s recent diplomatic successes with the UAE and other nations.” I reckon it is nothing compared to the internal mess that could happen when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decides to move the oil tap from India to the US and Europe. Their worries will be over to a much larger degree, but at that point it will suck to be in India. When 300 million cars can no longer run because fuel prices went from 96.35 ₹/L to 396.50 ₹/L that is when panic and utter chaos will rule India and I reckon Pakistan will not be overly upset about that setting either. As such the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi will need another option, another direction and it seems to me that they re stuck in the mud with no one around to help them. Some will state that it was her right to speak, but is open discrimination a right? Nupur Sharma might have started something that she was unable to contain or adjust for and we will see what happens next because something has to give in this equation and your guess is just as good as mine. There is too much I do not know on the interactions in India, but I do know that tapping a tiger on the balls was not the way to go, especially if there is no fence separating the tiger from the tapper, but that might just be me.

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When you see the other fellow

That is the setting isn’t it? We do things, we create things and we create concepts and we all think that we are in control of the right one, we all do that. I am no different, yet when I saw the BBC news, I decided to reconsider my point of view. For me it all started in 2020, I set the setting to an article called ‘The stage moves on’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/02/23/the-stage-moves-on/) I wrote it on February 23rd 2021. And when the BBC gave us ‘Netflix: First Arabic movie sparks morality row’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-60091590) I saw the article somewhere this afternoon, and my mind went on a trip. The concept was initially for Amazon (as I have other elements they might want) yet the article gave me “well-known TV journalist Mustafa Bakry said he had complained to the speaker of the Egyptian parliament about the filmmakers. Mr Bakry urged the country’s authorities to halt co-operation with Netflix “since this is not its first movie that targets the values and traditions of the Egyptian and Arab societies”” I see the offence it might give and I do not think that my concept does that, and other than the alleged assassination of Dutch PVV politician Geert Wilders no one got killed, and as far as I can tell, that man is not really accepted in the Netherlands either. With the housing shortage in the Netherlands, one person less, who will notice?

Anyway, the idea that my (aka western) values would collide with Middle Eastern morality and optional Middle Eastern laws did concern me. The idea was a movie that fought and opposed islamophobia was the setup and it had a nice twist at the end (as any decent movie does), I needed the setting so that people might realise that the stage in the middle east was a lot bigger than we think it is, it is not merely about morality and the dangers, it is also about some people want certain other people to hold the bag, if anything Yemen made that clear, and this idea to create something that made it clear to all was my goal in this. The idea that I create something that could be in part filmed and created in Saudi Arabia was also appealing. The rest would be filmed in the Netherlands. There was the small consideration that creating anything that appeals to a large group of 100 million Egyptians, 35 million Saudi’s and 85 millions Turks could be a success story. The idea that a decent chunk of 220,000,000 people might like my concept is off course a really nice idea, I would take any group up to 50%, only the delusional person aims for 100% covering. There would be no chance of that and that is me not considering the 275 million Indonesians, with over 85% Muslim, the numbers would become interesting to say the least. 

So there I was with an idea, but it is merely one of several that could appeal to Amazon, and any chunk of half a billion people could optionally translate to a nice pay day and that is merely one of the IP’s I had up for negotiating. Yet still doubt is still a part of me. Like anyone, I relish the chance to go into early retirement and take up skiing 4 months a year, just to keep busy, yet not at the cost of inciting protest that I would be attacking another persons morality, my goal was completely the opposite. So for me the BBC article was a wake up call and a loud one. Still the ideas go through my head designing more and more IP. Should I stop? I personally do not think so, but like any other person I have flaws, I have weaknesses and I do relish the chance for success, wouldn’t you?

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Sliding media values

I got a little angry as I took notice of ‘Lily Cole: Model apologises for posing in a burka on Instagram’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58245304). Here we see the BBC in an alleged new attempt to create click bitches. You see, why would the legally allowed acts of a writer (Lilly Cole) require her to publicly apologise for something that is in the first not illegal and not even immoral. In the second, I hereby request a list of ALL the critics that we see in “Critics said posing in the garment, worn by some Muslim women, did not help diversity and was ill-advised given the current unrest in Afghanistan”, so I want that list of critics (and stakeholders too). Diversity is not seen through fashion, to be clear it is my view and when I see “Cole said she understood why the image upset people and wanted to “sincerely apologise for any offence caused”. She agreed it was “ill-timed” and said she “hadn’t read the news at the time”.” I personally wonder who is pushing this anti islamic bullshit. Now, I am not muslim, I do not are whether a person (disregarding religion) decides to wear a Burka, a Niqab, a Hijab, or a Chador. Is that not the freedom we signed up for? 

That same BBC is very motivated to push any link to Martin Bashir out of the news (or as far to the back as possible). So I am understandably angry. I do not know what the motivation, or the choice was of Lily Cole to give rise to diversity. And when I see the utterly slim connection of “Cole, 33, posted the pictures as Afghanistan was being taken over by the Taliban, who forced women to wear the burka when they were last in control there in the 1990s” is beyond belief. First these idiots (oops, sorry critics) will optionally be found to have been super silent in cases of Syria and Yemen as well as the inactions by America in Afghanistan, the latter part is getting all kinds of exposure. In the second, the global Islamic population is almost 2 billion, making it 25% of the world population, the Taliban is an estimated mere 230,000 making it a 0.015% of the Islamic population and a 0.00294% of the global population, so why the overreaction? I am speculating and willing to bet that this is due to anti-islamic sentiments and the BBC is reporting this, whilst allegedly ignoring all kinds of issues for their stakeholders? 

Does anyone get the drift that the BBC needs to overhaul their editorial staff? I need to be honest, the BBC has done its share in exposing anti-Islamophobia, that should not be ignored, but this piece could have been done a hell of a lot better. So when we look at some of the quotes and we see “The Times columnist Janice Turner accused Cole of “putting Instagram posturing before universal human rights”.” In this I am willing to call Janice Turner a bit of a raving loon. Why? This is about a book, Lily Cole’s book and if she thinks that she is doing the best to produce and promote her product then it is her choice. I have nothing against JT messaging Lily Cole stating that she is not taking the right route, no, the BBC made it all public and no matter how you slice it, she did it on HER instagram account. When I search for Instagram+Scandal I get 85,000,000 hits on Google. In this day and age when ACTUAL journalism is sliding, was there any value in giving Lily Cole visibility in this way? Then we see “Anjum Peerbacos, co-founder of the Hijabi Half-Hour podcast, said the pictures were “disrespectful””, which is a separate and different issue. I cannot comment on that (not Islam and lacking knowledge) and what the BBC did not give us is that she is also a member of AVOW- Advancing Voices of Women against Islamaphobia. OK, this view has merit, but the BBC did not take that path, the path was all accusing on Lily Cole and with the exception of Anjum Peerbacos it was the wrong route to take. 

We all make mistakes, there is no denying that. Yet to hammer an activist who just wrote a book it is unacceptable to take such an approach. I believe that islamic people have a decent stance to talk about dress-up, yet her answer “If you are serious about it and you’re passionate about it and you want to see diversity normalised, you bring women forward that are from that diverse background and you platform them”, is a decent intelligent one. A view that almost falls into the background, too far into the background. 

So why is it making me angry?
The BBC was ignoring several cases of houthi missile attacks on Saudi civilian targets, the BBC has been adamant on giving the highlights on many causes and that should not be forgotten. Yet in this case it could have taken a very different route, whether this is good or bad for Lily Cole is something that I cannot predict, but I wish her the best. Advocating diversity is a good cause and perhaps Anjum Peerbaco could set up a special in the Middle East Eye (a paper she writes for), or perhaps via AVOW. Let’s not forget that we all make mistakes and teaching us the why can almost never be a bad thing. It might help Lily Cole, I do not know, I am merely fishing here.

Yet I believe that the BBC with that article made a larger mistake and they should repair the damage they do, I truly believe that. And in the end, is fighting against islamophobia and for diversity to some extent not an overlapping interest area?

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The power to teach

I wrote about the idea in the past, I wrote about it specifically on one side, yet it dawned on me (whilst watching Star Wars) that I wasn’t looking at the larger picture. This happens, you, me, we all tend to focus on our own street. Yet the streamers (Google, Amazon and optionally Netflix) allows for a new setting of teachings. Just as I saw my mind create a game based around the Vatican, there is nothing stopping a nation like Saudi Arabia to create a game of education around the Quran and Islam, Israel a game around the Torah and the Jewish teachings. And these are games for all. Consider people actually learning about the Quran through playing a game, To walk the streets of Medina (optionally Mecca too) whilst rebuilding the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. And as we unlock conversations, as we unlock teachings and historical figures, we also unlock more of the Quran, and this is not something I can do, this Neds to be done by Muslims, together with Muslim clerics to give the proper allocation of passages allotting to the entire Quran, a true face of islamic teachings. If we accept that the statement “Islam is a major world religion, with over 1 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population). It is considered one of the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths, along with Judaism and Christianity. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are in fact Arab. Muslims are found all over the world, of every nation, colour, and race. The most populous Muslim country today is Indonesia, a non-Arab country”, an educational game with an interest base of 1,000,000,000 and optionally growing. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? The same for Christianity and all the other religions. 

But I personally feel that teaching people about Islam and the Quran will be an option to fight Islamophobia. Fight religious discrimination through a game, who considered that application of streaming systems? There is nothing stopping the games coming up on other consoles, but the exclusivity applies strongly to streaming solutions, and this is not a game that is done in a year and it will take growing steps, it is a large undertaking, no matter what religion is the focal point. 

Quran App

This all started longer ago when I was trying out the Quran App, I needed to learn a little more about the Quran, I do not trust any source that is one sided telling me what is true, so I tried to learn more, but having an app with the Quran is not a decent way to teach about Islam, a lot more is needed and games are an excellent form of teaching. I have that seen to be a reality for decades, I am merely surprised that no one considered teaching the young and old more about religion this way. There are a lot of questions that I cannot answer, for one, I do (only recently) know that there are no images of the prophet, but who else in the non-Islamic community knew that? If we know that, the French secular move to have a teacher show the images of the prophet is not educational, it is merely insulting against Islam, games can offer a better stage, a global stage and in all ways an educational and optionally a cultural stage. 

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Franchise to the left

And legend to the right, we all have been in that setting; we all have had grander then life dreams and imaginations. For me it started when some British bloke brought a new level of fear to the cinema (Alien), it could be the American that made us afraid to go swimming (Jaws), yet for the most we all have had that moment. For some reason that feeling got awake again with the setting of Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel, directed by William Eubank. I am talking about the movie Underwater. I am trying to make sure that I am not giving away the plot, because the movie is well worth watching. We all have made fun of Kristen Steward, not because of the girl, but because of the franchise. I have nothing against the franchise and even as I have never read the works of the writer, I get the feeling that she is well worth reading, I got that sense when I saw the movie the Host. Anyway, I got the limited Twilight edition of Charlie’s Angels (one additional romantic scene, ha ha ha) and that was that. But she shines like a well cut diamond in Underwater, the cast is awesome and the movie is a lot better then anyone realises, because in my case Underwater took me back to the original feeling of unease that Jaws and Alien instilled, I actually missed that feeling and it got me thinking. We all look at the Middle East, we all saw Aladdin, but there is a lot more than the proverbial Argo. What if we dispense with the musical dreaded scene of the room in the dark, what if the dark becomes a much larger stage, a stage where you will not sleep, never ever again with the lights off?

That was the setting I contemplated, but it never gave me the idea, the idea was already there, yet in this case the idea altered a little. I am talking about the concept of the Ifrit. Then today (yesterday as well) when I was replaying AC Origins, I stumbled upon the idea again, it was when (in the game) I entered the city of Letopolis (and the story behind it) and it gave me the idea in more degrees. Yet I was contemplating the city of Per-Amun and the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC). A stage where we see the confrontation of Egypt and the Achaemenid Empire. Now consider that an Ifrit was held captive in Per-Anum, it was taken and moved to the western province of their domain in the city of Gerrha, in a secret tomb under houses the prison of the Ifrit was kept and lost when the caretakers fell ill and it was forgotten, that prison is found after 2500 years by a western teacher exploring his connection to Islam and he is filled with the rage of a demon held captive for 3000 years. We now have a stage where Islamic doctrine might hold a solution, but the wielder is in doubt of his faith and in the mean time the rage of the Ifrit takes on a turn of another nature. When we consider that the larger stage of the Achaemenid Empire is now Iran, Gerrha is (now) in Saudi Arabia and we are confronted with a demon, not merely in thirst of blood, but also a stage of intrigue setting up a war of Saudi Arabia against Iran we get a new stage, one never seen (as far as I know). We look at horror, but what if horror is set (drenched) in political settings, as well as religious ones? Especially when we consider “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it.” A stage which we get from ‘Heavenly Journeys, Earthly Concerns: The Legacy of the Mi’raj in the Formation of Islam Routledge, 2004’ by Brooke Olson Vuckovic. We have all the markings of what could be an awesome franchise, yet as far as I can tell, no one looked in that directions, I wonder why. 

5 large streaming houses, a dozen large studio’s and no one looked or contemplated this direction of ideas? I merely watch movies, I am not (and never really had the notion of becoming) a movie director, I am for the most a storyteller and an analyst. Yet the idea of creating something totally new (not the first time) is both appealing and overwhelming. So as I (and others too) consider looking to the left hoping we have created a new franchise, we also look towards the right hoping to see the shimmer of the ‘legendary label’ in this all storytellers are the same, we love the idea of any new story we create, but to create one that becomes legendary as other great storyteller did before us is always in the back of all our minds, we all want to become the next Rowling, Tolkien, Hubbart, Sheckley or Clarke. We always want to measure how close we got to our idols, as far as I can tell, there is no exception to that rule and every storyteller has his or her own idol, the achieved person that drives us. All that and the thought of knowing the person who overhauled the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis and whatever they found under there is always the wink towards the unknown. Some merely see the “outstanding example of an ancient Roman burial ground”, yet what if this happened before and what if we ignore the old saying to keep buried what was buried? What happens when you open the door to someone who can traverse the seven stages of the Jahannam? And what happens when someone figures out that there is more to The Remorse of Orestes?

The Remorse of Orestes

We see overlaps and connections in Islamic stories that connects to Christianity (Gabriel) and Greek (Furies), what if this is not a casual link? You see most film makers never seemingly looked deeper into that side of things, why not? If they are more becoming about streaming and franchises, I think the Middle East has a whole range of stories that open up more and optionally also a larger audience. 

#JustSaying

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Discriminators big and small

It happens, we sometimes discriminate, even if that was not the intent, even if it was just a joke (obviously a bad one), or even if it was an unknown reason, merely because you never knew. The last one is actually a larger slice of the cake and it is not held against anyone. If it was unintended, and we never knew the foundation of that discrimination, we feel a little ashamed when it passes and we make a mental note not to do it again. Should the media be given a pass? Are they allowed to be ‘uninformed’? It is a much larger question than you think and it is brought to the surface today by two events. The first is ‘Saudi-led coalition intercepts Houthi drone, says state TV’ (at https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-led-coalition-intercepts-houthi-drone-says-state-tv-2021-06-14/). Here we see “air defences intercepted and destroyed an armed drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi group towards the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, state television said on Monday” they are one of THREE non muslim sources that gave me the article. So when we have the BBC, Boston Globe, NY Times, Washington Post, the Times, San Francisco Chronicle and several other large news papers, I found a total of three sources that gave me this article. Saudi Arabian citizens are under terrorist attack by Houthi forces and we see none of that, we will see teabag ladies holding up CAAT signs on arms trade against Saudi Arabia,  that makes all the newspapers, optionally the teabag lady was the human interest side. Some of us will shout all kinds of ‘evil Saudi intent’ yet these people have not been told the whole truth, why is that? Why is the media setting the stage of intentional discrimination? And it is not one nation, this is global, or should I say Christian global? We saw the French examples of pushing a ‘non-religion’ agenda, or is that a christian agenda?

Islam does not allow an image of Mohammed

It took me 3 minutes to come up with an alternative image to make sure that the classroom would understand that an image of Mohammed was taboo in Islam, so instead of the image explaining that is was against Islam to give any image of Mohammed, we see an image causing outrage and they knew it was going to lead to outrage, so why was that?

The second one is more despicable, I saw a few sources give us ‘New Zealand’s Ardern criticises Christchurch attack film amid uproar’, with the added text ““They Are Us” film about PM Jacinda Ardern’s response to 2019 Christchurch terror attacks has been slammed by New Zealand’s Muslims and others for pushing a “white saviour” narrative and “sidelining the victims””, I wonder why the powers are so afraid of Islam and Muslims, when we see “Philippa Campbell, New Zealand producer, on Monday announced that she was resigning, according to The Guardian”, when we realise that the producer is resigning, there is a larger issue in play with the director and the people behind the screens and that too does not yet make it to the forefront, why is that? 

As I see a daily dose of age discrimination and religious discrimination all over the field, do you really think that statements by others in the area of ‘Trust them, it will work out, they know what they do’, do you think there is any trust left? The media is eager to put ‘the people have a right to know’ in the drawer when it suits the needs of their friends, yet they are well versed in staging these friends into the circle of ‘unnamed sources’, so why is that? And more importantly why do we continue to let this happen? Gallup had a nice presentation (at https://news.gallup.com/poll/157082/islamophobia-understanding-anti-muslim-sentiment-west.aspx) for me there were two slides, but I will give one, here we see how massive that problem is and the media is shunning its responsibilities to the largest extent. 

Here we see that Italy seems to be the most accepting nation with 28% not accepting muslims, but with a 15% data gap the message there could be a lot worse, in the US that non acceptance is 52% with only an 8% gap, so at best it is a 50/50 premise there and why is that? Muslims have been part of investigations against extremism. In the FBI, CIA, and other players in town on a global scale all whilst we are shunning our duties as people, as citizens, as concerned people who need to be told the truth and the truth is being skewed and negated n nearly every turn, why is that? I do not expect you to have the answer, but I believe it is more important to be told the truth and the media is not part of that, why are news agencies stacking news to set an anti perception? Consider that today, today is a good day to consider just that. 

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Changing perspectives

As I was about to lose sleep again, the BBC helped me out with an article in a very different direction. The headline ‘Actor Riz Ahmed wants to stop Hollywood’s ‘toxic portrayals’ of Muslims’. And he is right, for the most there has been too much toxic portrayals. When I try to find an alternative direction, my mind comes up with a title like Traitor, an amazing piece of work by Don Cheadle, I do not believe that to be a toxic movie, it stands out as a Muslim finds a way to stop bloodshed in a very innovative way, the end is to be seen again and again. I came up with ‘How to assassinate a politician’ which might be toxic, but I saw it as a response to ultra right discrimination and unacceptable levels of anti Muslim actions. Yet it is about Riz Ahmed, and when we see “The progress that’s being made by a few of us doesn’t paint an overall picture of progress if most of the portrayals of Muslims on screen are still either non-existent or entrenched in those stereotypical toxic two-dimensional portrayals” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-57438750), he is right, there is another side given to us by Ali-Baab Khan “Muslims live all over the world, but film audiences only see a narrow portrait of this community, rather than viewing Muslims as they are: business owners, friends and neighbours whose presence is part of modern life”, there I see nothing new.

I have friends who are business owners, friends who were neighbours and still friends who live far away, they are Muslim and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet it is not merely about the narrow portrait, you see I have always considered myself well educated (three University degrees) and a whole range of experience all over the field, yet until a little after the Charlie Hedbo event I learned that the image if Mohammed was never to be displayed, it was a massive no-no in Islam, I never knew that, my schools never told me that. Now the era was out there that until I went to high school, I had never met a Muslim and even then I did not notice him for the fact that he was by himself a lot and I was in high school. Yet the knowledge behind Charlie Hedbo gave light to my version of ‘How to assassinate a politician. Yet the stage was that I did not meet any Muslims until 1982 when I entered the Middle East, and in all that the teachings of the Catholic Church that was given to us in nearly all schools was about the evil saracens and us the good christians saving Jerusalem. So was it when Ridley Scott made Kingdom of Heaven (2005) that we woke up? Some woke up a little early, but a lot of us still haven’t woken up and those who rely on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to give us the real news we will be up for a rude awakening. So as some give us “The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry” we need to recognise that it comes with the added “Most of the film’s characters are based on actual people to varying degrees. Some scenes were heavily fictionalised, such as the attack on Aqaba, and those dealing with the Arab Council were inaccurate since the council remained more or less in power in Syria until France deposed Faisal in 1920”, and as we take notice that there is no real actual and factual representation and this was until way deep past 1991, we see that not only does Riz Ahmed have a case, it is a much larger case than anyone can fathom, even if he is that one Muslim downing the Empire (a Rogue One joke). For me the massive filtering by the media gave me the clue that things are not right for almost a decade, but that means that for the longest time I was not aware of the party that was playing and that bothers me a lot. Does that not bother you? If you are in a small village like Hilversum (Netherlands) and you lived there all your life and you never looked around you might miss it too and you would be forgiven, I take it harder because I am supposed to be intelligent enough to see things, but there too is the crux, the media is a much larger problem in all this and they are banking on people staying asleep for as long as possible, and that gives light to the movie Syriana, a movie with 5 stages and the more you know the more brilliant that movie comes across. Does this help Riz? No, I do not think it does, but it does show that his claim is a lot more solid than we would have given it credit, and that matters too.

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Genuinely puzzled

Yup it happens, the news at time makes little sense, it makes little sense for several reasons and that is fair, even for me. Consider the BBC headline ‘Saudi Arabia: Authorities defend mosque speaker restriction’,  which in itself outside of any Islamic nation might be treated with a simple ‘Meh!’ This would not be a negative response, merely a response that approaches the sentiment of ‘Whatever!’, so as I read “The country’s Islamic Affairs Ministry announced last week that all loudspeakers should be set at only a third of their maximum volume. Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh said the measure was in response to complaints from the public. But the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”, I initially wondered why the BBC even took time to give notice to the event, for the most, what does it inform us about? Is it to give visibility to Abdullatif al-Sheikh? Perhaps it was to alarm us to “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”? I actually do not know, but this news also gives us that there was no space for ‘WHO to start COVID-19 vaccination in Houthi-run north Yemen’ with “Houthi authorities in control have played down the impact of the pandemic, largely denying any outbreak there”, or perhaps it is ‘UAE shows last minute unity to host Asian Qualifiers as China baulks at covid outbreaks’ with “The remaining seven matches in Group A – which will qualify teams for both the next round of the AFC’s World Cup 2022 qualifying and directly into the Asian Cup China 2023 – will be now held at the Sharjah Stadium”, neither news is seen at the BBC, so whilst we accept that speaker settings for announcements are important to the people in the KSA, the western population would all like to know the impact of Football decisions (people in the UK are weird that way), oh I reckon that the people in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy would react in a similar fashion.

So whilst it is nice to read “the measure was in response to complaints from the public”, I personally would reckon that the rules of Islam have been clear in many Arabic nations, and as these speakers tend to be set, why would there be complaints now? So whilst some might know that the 5 moments are “Fajr (sunrise prayer), Dhuhr (noon prayer), Asr (afternoon prayer), Maghrib (sunset prayer), and Isha (night prayer). Each prayer has a specific window of time in which it must be completed”, the internet also shows us “In a mosque, the muezzin broadcasts the call to prayer at the beginning of each interval. Because the start and end times for prayers are related to the solar diurnal motion, they vary throughout the year and depend on the local latitude and longitude when expressed in local time”, when we see that, some (including me) might wonder why the speaker settings are suddenly cause for concern. The sound of a person calling to prayer the islamic people is part of Islamic heritage, I wonder who the complaining people would be. I would go as far as stating that unless these calls are lately a lot louder, who would complain on speaker settings and the part we read “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media” gives rise to my puzzlement. It is fair that this news would be (and is) seen in Al Jazeera, but I saw no mention in Arab News, so Islamic news made it to the BBC and not to Arab News? What is going on? 

And when we see “Mr Sheikh said that those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” the wondering does not top and here I found that the news also made it to Radio Athens, they give us on their website with the added “In a country where there are tens of thousands of mosques, the decision was generally welcomed. However, it also provoked reactions on social networking sites, with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, I could not rely on the radio as I haven’t spoken proper Greek since 3575BC. And more important the information on Athens Radio is seemingly the same as the BBC, but the paragraph comes across different due to “with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, all whilst both sides give us the one side that is seemingly strange “The restrictions come as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues attempts to make Saudi Arabia more liberal and lessen the role religion plays in public life”, I am not sure how to react, optionally, I see in part a reason to disagree. I get that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to make liberal moves and as we can see on YouTube, several tourists are showing the world just how pretty and how amazing Saudi Arabia looks. I have seen a few of these video’s and the view we see from the Sky Bridge Kingdom Tower is amazing. It was the first time I saw this and I wonder why other media have never given a clear view of an architectural marvel like that and what it offers. Yet even if I were to go to Riyadh, I personally feel that I would miss out on the call of prayer, not that I am Islamic, but it is part of Islamic life. As a visitor we would not want to see changes that are part of the foundation of a nation. Yet, I admit that this might merely be me. And in all this I am personally more stricken by “those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” I have no idea what to make of that, but I understand that as I am not Muslim, I might not get that part. Another source gives us “The decision has angered ultra-conservatives in the country”, it is fair that there are those in favour and those opposing any decision, yet the BBC (Radio Athens neither) gives us anything on the ultra-conservatives and who they are. This sparked a revisit to the Washington Post who gave us in 2018 ‘Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression’ with the addition of “these conservatives now tiptoe on social media outlets like Twitter. In mosques and at community gatherings, they reluctantly criticise recent changes they stridently oppose, such as the easing of social boundaries between men and women”, with that in sight we see certain patterns emerge and the BBC was not informing us of that, or perhaps they assumed we knew that, which in light of the Martin Bashir caper is massively silly on several levels. In all this the one part some people overlooked. If the speakers are to be set to 33%, what stops them from upgrading the sound equipment in Mosques from 100 Watt to 300 Watt? It is merely a thought. All parts the BBC is overlooking and I know for a fact that they have faced the ‘hardware upgrade’ in the past. So the lack of information in their article is calling for a few questions. In the end, the only useful information I got from the article was the existence of Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh. From my personal point of view the BBC article was a blunder, one that the BBC should not have made. 

As such my genuinely puzzled setting is quite complete.

A new starts and breakfast is approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes away. Have a great Wednesday!

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UK Islamophobia OK?

Let me tel you the story of a stupid git, a man named Robert Jenrick no less. The BBC gives us (at  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-56523179) “Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said teachers should be able to “appropriately show images of the prophet” in class”, we see this showing us a level of stupidity seldom seen before. There is no excuse and as the UK is selecting Islam phobic pushers into places of power as they walk with senseless grins around with the view that he “described the protests as “deeply unsettling”” is a little too much for me. 

As the stupid person gives us “In a free society we want religions to be taught to children and for children to be able to question and query them”, I reckon that no one denies them, and the absence of an image of the prophet and/or Allah would be optionally explained as the simple fact that it is against Islamic rules. Christianity does permit it, and that is fine, Islam does not and that should be fine too. So when we see “We must see teachers protected and no-one should be feeling intimidated or threatened as they go into school” We need to make sure that the teachers realise that stupid actions come at a price. 

So as we take notice of “Labour MP for Batley and Spen, Tracey Brabin, condemned those who “seek to fan the flames of this incident””, I wonder if they hold the teacher who pushed the image is also held to account. So when we see “Parts of the Koran are taken to mean that neither Allah nor Muhammad can be captured in an image by human hand and any attempt to do so is seen as an insult”, the teacher should have known that, or he should not be allowed to be a teacher teaching what was taught. It is so nice to see everyone trying to push political correctness into political non-Islamic correctness. Is that truly what we want to teach the kids? 

It is not the first time and it will not be the last time, but consider how long until some people have had enough? And should that teacher get hunted down, does he or she have anything to blame but themselves? This is not me condoning violence, this is me wondering how much longer the Islamic people need to show restraint? As I see as we see flares on a global scale on anti-Asian, anti Semitic, and islamophobia we seem to forget that these stages do not have a good outcome and in the end the stage we create here is one that will haunt our grand children, are we ready for that level of hatred in the world? 

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