Tag Archives: Islam

Famine issue solved

Yes, isn’t that a good way to start Sunday? The world solved the famine issue. It took no trouble at all, the media merely needed to stop writing about it. There is so much other stuff to write about. All the things that Saudi Arabia are accused of, some sources state that an Iranian oil tanker is now ‘under terrorist command‘ (no real evidence has been presented though), and the UK is sending another ship (the third) to reinforce the anti-Iran armada. All news, there is no more famine, famine has been resolved.

How come?

Well that is the question; it is only the Independent (according to some now partially owned by Saudi players) that gives us (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-war-civil-independence-south-mahra-aden-saudi-arabia-iran-a9076546.html) the headline ‘The war to start all wars: Inside Yemen’s troubled south‘, an article by Bel Trew, a true Belle gives us the harsh reality of what we are trying not to see. Yet there is disagreement of what I read. As I am introduced to “They talk of a war within a war within another war in a nation already in the grips of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where 13 million people are currently on the brink of famine“, I see the same words again and again for many months. I believe that the situation is worse, the quote ‘where 13 million people are currently on the brink of famine‘ should actually be ‘hundreds of thousands of Yemeni, mostly children are in and beyond a stage of famine‘, my point of view is supported by data intelligence, signal intelligence and trade craft intelligence. The amount of food getting into Yemen is nowhere near the amount that should be going into Yemen and there are still Houthi clusters taking possession of food and water supplies (or destroying them). It is a lot worse and the media is looking elsewhere for optional debatable facts to publish.

In an age of these transgressions, in a stage where I see that there are no true innocent players, not on the Saudi side, not on their opposing sides, the effort that the UN needed to make is a joke (and a bad one at that). I am not placing blame on Saudi Arabia, I am merely noticing that they cannot be innocent, it is not the same. The initial option for Saudi Arabia would be to set up a refugee camp near Thabhloten. There is a tactical reason. It is 225 Km away from Yemen, there is not strategic goal there and any attack by Houthi forces would be seen as a direct reason for UN forces to open fire on attacking forces. I myself would be willing to brand an Accuracy International .338 and cull the attacking herd myself at that point. It should be a refugee camp, for children and women only; a camp to give medicine and sustenance trying to oppose the famine numbers and get the immediate help going.

It seems like a little, but let us accept no mistake here; that camp would be temporary and would settle close to 700,000 people in the shortest time, a camp offering real help and real relief to a larger part of those in the famine group. Something needs to be done, yet the media is to some extent hiding behind ‘on the brink of famine‘, as I personally see it that point was passed will over three months ago, it is worse and the media looks away for whatever reason. We cannot settle the Yemeni and Syrian issue, but the worst of the two, the Yemeni one can get relief to some extent. I have some degree of certainty that Saudi Arabia would want to be seen as the actual caretaker here, the question becomes do the Yemeni feel the same. I look at this from a Christian point of view, whilst I accept that there is an Islamic view, and it takes precedence here. In that respect the UNHCR gives us:

And if anyone of the disbelievers seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allah, and then escort him to where he will be secure. (Surah 9:6)

I believe that if this applies to disbelievers, that it equally applies to believers and the goodwill that Saudi Arabia offers in this way is not to be underestimated. When the famine lessens these people would most likely want to get back to Yemen and rebuild their lives, there too Saudi Arabia could steer these people to a better tomorrow, these people have to determine for one’s self what the better stage is, yet I believe that any stage is better than the one they face now, especially as the media is no longer interested in keeping a non-stop view of just how bad the situation is there.

That same paper (at https://www.unhcr.org/en-au/protection/hcdialogue%20/50ab90399/islam-refugees.html) refers to the hijrah, which was a new word for me. It means migration and this is where I am given: “Muhammad’s popularity was seen as threatening by the people in power in Mecca, and Muhammad took his followers on a journey from Mecca to Medina in 622. This journey is called the Hijrah and the event was seen as so important for Islam that 622 is the year in which the Islamic calendar begins“, if this is true than Yemen might start a new Hijrah, a journey for the children and women to travel (transport) from Yemen to Thabhloten, a stop, or perhaps better stated an oasis on the journey to where they end up going. We need to find an actual solution to save as many Yemeni as we can and we need to start with the women and children. We would love it to be in Yemen, yet the Houthi forces as well as the escalations make that no longer an option. The delays and obstructions are too large, the benefit is that other parties can then participate and open fire on anyone firing at these refugees. Houthi forces (the most likely transgressors) would find themselves in a stage of open war against troops that are ready and willing to protect the refugees. Thabhloten cannot be the end destination for that journey, but could allow for actual action against the famine that is now getting more and more ignored. In all this the civil war that is now sprouting in Yemen makes any other option impossible. With UN reports on Cholera outbreaks we need to do more and we need to set the stage where players like doctors without borders have a better stage to do something without getting into direct danger, or ending up in the firing line.

And matters are getting worse. The quote: “But for Elisabeth Kendall, a Yemen expert at Pembroke College Oxford University who travels frequently to the south, the training of separatist groups had “unleashed a force” the UAE may not be able to control” gives us more. You see it is not about the separatists, it is about who is training the separatists. Even as the UAE was preparing the separatists fighting the Houthi forces, we see a stage where old grievances are now a much larger issue, the old issue of north and south Yemen is returning, not a good thing. If these forces are truly in a path to a better Yemen (or better north and south Yemen) than getting the famine out of the equation would be an accepted first for both sides.

Is that actually true?

Well, it is something that I cannot prove, yet the UNHCR gives me: “In Islamic law, all individuals, including non-Muslims, have the right to flee persecution and seek protection in an Islamic community. The provision of refugee assistance is obligatory to people who flee from “injustice, intolerance, physical persecution, disease, or financial insecurity”“, if that is true than all parties would be willing to participate in the dissolution of famine, to set a stage where these people could be treated and protected.

I am merely trying to find an actual solution that would do something for the people in famine, which makes me already a much better person than any media who has been turning away from these events. I am not trying to set blame to any party, merely trying to find a solution where disease and famine might be defeated, it is not a Samaritan choice, it is not a Christian choice, it is a human choice and we are all human, no matter which faith drives us. I learned this lesson in my lifetime, and that makes me (for now) a better person than many others, no matter how much or how little life is left in me.

I always tried to steer a decent course, I stayed true to my nature, I remained creative, humane and a force for the good of others. So whether it is our heavenly father or Allah facing me where I end up being next, I will stand proudly accepting whatever judgment comes for me, I was a decent person. I wonder how many others can truly and honestly make that claim.

 

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In light of faith

We all have faith to some degree, the atheist believes in himself (or herself) and believes in science, the agnostic accepts that there is something more, optionally there is a god (the dyslexic one totally believes in the existence of ‘dog’) and the believers, where do they stand?

I grew up being a Catholic, when the news from the Boston Globe reached the world, we became confused, the matter did not help when we watched the movie Spotlight and got a better view on a global scale just how corrupt the world facilitating to the Catholic Church had become. The 2005 movie Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scott did not help the Catholic case either.

Now, we accept that the premise of the movie is not real, but the background is and there is plenty of supporting evidence. The Council of Clermont (November 1095) gives a lot to consider, the words by Pope Urban “a barbaric fury has deplorably afflicted and laid waste the churches of God in the regions of the Orient” has been accepted as a undisputed truth and for the longest of time (almost a 1000 years), we have been taught from primary school that the Saracens (Arabs) were the great evil, yet after the entire cold war and the Vietnam war, the word by government is no longer readily accepted and as the entire Catholic abuse stage has been evolving over the last decade those believing in something larger are in a internal fight of faith. Even in historic ways our place in the world is debatable. It is shown going back to the Treaty of Clermont 1095, when Georg Strack from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich gives us in his article ‘The Sermon of Urban II in Clermont and the Tradition of Papal Oratory‘ the larger issue: “Since we only have the reports of chroniclers and not the manuscript of the pope himself, each analysis of this address faces a fundamental problem: even the three writers who attended the Council of Clermont recorded three different versions, quite distinctive both in content and style, even there the scribes were all about paraphrasing giving us no clear report, a failing to be sure. Even beyond the Crusades, the Catholic Church has been the driven power to lay waste to dozens of civilisations, eradicating them all.

Fulcher of Chartres

When we look at the very first crusade we see: “a cleric who took part in the First Crusade and was probably present at the council itself. At least he asserts in his prologue that he has recorded only those events which he saw with his own eyes. Even though it has been argued that personal experience was of less importance in crusading chronicles, it is noteworthy that Fulcher explicitly mentions this topos and other sources do not“, in addition to this, we are given “he reports not only a call for the crusade but two speeches by the pope. According to this source, Pope Urban first admonished the clergy and declared the official causae of the council in an opening sermon. Probably on the first day, he addressed the gathered ecclesiastical dignitaries with an ‘eloquent address’ (adlocutio dulciflua) about the necessity of Church reform. Firstly, the pope exhorted the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities. He explained that they were called shepherds and should, therefore, ‘guard on every side of the flock entrusted to them (John 10. 12–13)’” A stage that could be seen in a few ways, but there is a call for the stage where we see the need of ‘the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities‘ and there we see the problem, the nobles pillaged the realm of Saracens to the maximum, there are indications, but no witness reports to the degree we would accept. Yet the stage between 1095 and when Jerusalem was handed to Saladin (An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub) in October 1187 (after a siege that lasted two weeks), was only the beginning, even as the Kingdom of Jerusalem shifted its capital, in the end Saladin took control of Acre, Nablus, Jaffa, Toron, Sidon, Beirut, and Ascalon, with only Tyre remaining because of the arrival of Conrad of Montferrat. In all cases those fleeing the cities took whatever of worth they could carry. It also gives more on the status of Balian of Ibelin (played by Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven), even as he was nobility, the Muslims regarded him as a king.

The movie gives a background, yet remains highly fictional, what does come to the foreground is that the pillaging by Christian nobility was almost a given, and the quote: “Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory rejecting and removing Byzantine control whenever possible. Intolerance of other faiths and traditions increased, particularly with Jews and those considered heretics. Muslims were murdered in their thousands on several occasions, as were non Catholic Christians” all this is now coming to blows in a different way.

Hajj

As we witness the Muslim Pilgrimage (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2HTiOUY8Mc), we become witness to well over 2 million pilgrims, Shia and Sunni Muslims next to one another, one Quran identical for all. One source gives: “Saudi Arabia announced Saturday that the total number of pilgrims reached 2,489,406, increased 117,731 individuals than last year“, it seems to me that we should take a closer look into Islam, not to attack it, but to learn from it. Earlier this year we were able to see the Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast), you can see the event in Mecca (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs8obP4uRa0), showing me more religiously connected people than the Vatican (read Christians) ever showed.

This does not make me a Muslim, but learning more about Islam and Muslims is an essential first. When we can no longer trust the Catholic Church, when we see now over the last two years alone on how the abuse by the clergy was seemingly tolerated up to the highest level, we need to find a balance, we need to learn what faith is, and we need to learn what it is. Even as people like Charles Stanley make speeches like ‘The Stages of Our Faith‘, where we are shown what faith is, but does Charles actually know what it is? When we hear ‘It is clear in the scripture‘, yet it is not, and more precisely, which version? The Catholic and Protestant versions are not the same. When it is followed by ‘Jesus honours faith‘, we wonder if that is true. Even if some person named Jesus of Nazareth stated somewhere between 25AD- 30AD that he honours faith, I wonder how much value it has to the sexual abuse victims his preachers created (in the US way above 100,000) it does not seem to voice and show any level of honouring faith, In Europe these numbers are a lot higher giving us a mountain of victims, in all this how can any person who accepts that the protection of children is a first remain a Christian?

I do not have all the answers; I never claimed to have them. Yet it seems to me that those in doubt of faith need to find their faith. Whilst the Christian documentation has several versions and several relations in a stage of not knowing, it seems to me that a nation like Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj is visited by all Muslims nations, including Iran has something that many cannot ignore, even this year in light of the Iranian – Saudi issues we are given that ‘Iran opens mechanized catering center in Mecca‘, it is seemingly without issues, there is a clear indications that there are no acts against people who are there for their faith, something that we have not seen in the western world ever!

These steps are now more than ever essential, as we have been sold a bag of goods again and again, and as our need for the actual truth increases, we need to start showing which sources are trustworthy and which ones are not.

Two Days Later

Today, several sources give us: ‘Muslim pilgrims pray in Mecca as hajj winds down without incident‘, the quote “Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall. Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, and its organisation of the pilgrimage. It hopes to continue expanding attendance to help to build its tourism industry“, during this event that ends after a week, we find that 88,000 Iranians attended the event. A stage where Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a proxy war, a stage where the mistrust between two nations is great, the 88,000 were able to perform their Hajj without incident. There is something wrong, it is not with them, or with Islam, it is with us and it is time that we start recognising it.

The heretic burnings in the UK (1532), the Protestant & Catholic wars in Ireland (up to the late 70’s) are two of the most visible ones, then there was the Spanish Inquisition (not the Monty Python edition) and the list goes on, versions of the same faith trying to remove the other ones, this in opposition with the versions of Islam where they all use the same Quran and as we see that they all pray side by side, no fighting. We need to take example from this, in a stage where Christians are more and more regarded as the violent ones, where we see how the Catholic church was given reprieve again and again, protecting a quoted 7% of all Catholic priests being involved in the act of sexual abuse, we need to start accepting that not only can we no longer tolerate Islam phobia, we need to start learning the simple truth that the Islam is not the evil here. We see all the humanitarian shouting is out of balance, the equal silence form these people as loud outrage is absent whilst thousands of children were sodomised is equally astounding. That evidence was shown on August 8th 2019 with the headline: ‘Paul Muschick: One year after explosive Catholic Church investigation in Pennsylvania: 300 priests, 1,000 victims, no state action‘, what do you do when you wake up in the morning, only to realise that we are the evil supporters? How would an American react when he/she is woken up in 1947, only to be told that they actively supported Nazi Germany? Is that offensive? It better be, because this is worse. We have instigated and supported a form of government and jurisprudence that refuses to prosecute a criminal clergy, whilst a homosexual population in America is prosecuted and vilified without evidence.

We as a people, we as Christians have failed humanity and we need to accept that and live with the evil that we created. Yet do not take my word on this, find out yourself and consider one source (from TEDx) which discusses ‘What I Learned by Converting from Christianity to Islam‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1yKKGchRcc), a small 11 minute video that might open your eyes.

 

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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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Media out of bounds

This time I am at a loss. I know that discrimination and racism are entities that exist, yet until last weekend I had no idea that governments would be condoning it. There is absolutely no other way to see it. There is close to 0% of the educated world that does not know that something horrific happened in New Zealand last weekend, 50 lives were lost. So for the most, the entire planet is capturing the moment for their audience, their readers, or so one would think.

There were some rumblings via Al-Jazeera initially, but I was focussed on other matters. Yet when a friend gave awareness to a front page of what might be the biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, it is time to look at the issue at hand. So this large newspaper (large in size as well) decided to use 2/3rd of a page for a photograph of a formula one racer ending in 3rd position taking a selfie. Now in fairness, it is a Dutch racer, so there is national pride at play, but for a newspaper that always has been on the front seat to blow terrorist actions out of proportions (the emotional drive) to take this step is just insane. As such a 3rd position is more important than 50 dead Muslims killed by a Christian?

Because that is the setting!

The Daily Mirror made it worse by having in one instance the stage of an ISIS Maniac (a previous event), yet in the case of New Zealand it is an Angelic boy who grew into a mass killer. The images are also staged for maximum effect. So how islamophobic has the Christian world become?

Because if this continue we are merely one step away from the stage where niggers go into the back of the bus, and will anyone react when it happens to the busses in London and the trams in Amsterdam? If this upsets you, good you should be! You need to get angry because this is just insane; to allow for two measurements, one for Christians and one for the rest? Even as a Christian I find that method of measurement revolting.

At least the Sun gave the goods and a lot more, merely on the front page. It should be offensive for the Dutch Telegraaf to be seen as inferior to the Sun, yet they pulled it off that day. I have looked at hundreds of images of newspapers, plenty in languages I cannot read (and cannot state what they say), yet nearly all papers, except the Daily mirror, all saw a monster, a madman and a terrorist, none of them saw some angelic boy reference.

There is something wrong, it has been wrong for a long time, yet this event is probably the first time that the issue gets pushed to the foreground this clearly. I have stated several times (my personal point of view) that the media facilitates to their shareholders, their stakeholders and their advertisers in that order, beyond that the audience gets served. When we take that into consideration, I wonder which individual was so set on getting the Angelic reference printed, the Catholic Church perhaps? As for the Netherlands, a nation filled with business driven needs, the idea that the front page required a 2/3 page for a photo of a driver making a selfie is equally weird. In that view, was it so weird for me to make the claim that the actions in New Zealand are seemingly just the beginning?

This view is only enhanced when we see the Financial Times giving us yesterday (at https://www.ft.com/content/13227c90-487b-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62) ‘Police believe New Zealand shooter may have acted alone‘; the reports in the last 36 hours contradict this strongly. The spread of the manifest, all set to the stage mere minutes from the attack, the stage of reloading, the setting of time until capture whilst the video and stills had been uploaded to a whole range of locations. So when I see: “Security services under pressure to explain why Brenton Tarrant was not on a watch list“, I see a much bigger issue. I think they are aware that he did not act alone, they have no way to find them at present and that is the larger issue. When Mike Bush gives the Financial Times: “He also defended the police response to the mass shootings on Friday, which saw 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant target Muslims praying at the Hagley Park mosque in central Christchurch and then drive about 5km to the Linwood Mosque, where he shot more worshippers“, I will not disagree. This is not something that New Zealand was prepared for, the fact that this person went to a second place is a larger issue and when we see: “within 36 minutes we had that mobile offender in our custody“, we see the issue. He ‘wanted’ to get captured (massive speculation on my side), more importantly in that time frame he could not have done the digital part. It shows that he was not alone in this; there was a support system in place. Another source gave us that this had been planned for two years. That might hold a truth, but the entire setting with the Bangladesh Cricket team a mere 50 meters away gives rise to slightly bad timing, this means orchestration. It is massively unlikely he had all those parts available. In this the politicians are making matters worse. This is seen with: Technology platforms, including Facebook Twitter and YouTube, are also facing growing criticism from politicians over their failure to prevent the gunman live streaming the shootings on the internet and subsequently allowing the sharing of the video“. This is seen with the Twitch statistics that report “As of May 2018 there are 2.2 million broadcasters monthly“, that comes down to 72,330 streamers every day, there is no technology that will monitor it; there is no AI that could intervene. That solemn common sense moment makes the involved politician part of the problem, not part of the solution. Consider that out of all 0.000138% uploads one is optionally an extremist (this implies one extremist every day), so the number ends up being 0.000003% is optionally too dangerous. We cannot get politicians to put in the effort of keeping up a decent information system that is 75%-80% efficient and they demand 99.999997% efficiency from technology platforms? Politicians have become that delusional. And in addition, there is no way to get them all aboard, making it an exercise in technology discrimination, so in light of what the newspapers get away with, we see no validation on these politicians being loud to get some limelight.

The ‘evidence’ that he did not act alone is seen with “She also revealed that the gunman emailed a copy of a manifesto, which outlined his extreme right-wing, white supremacist views, to her office nine minutes before the attack began. She said it did not include a location or specific details that might have enabled authorities to respond faster. The manifesto was also sent to media groups“, the flaws and other parts showed that his agenda was not some clockwork orange, and the expression fits. When you consider “something bizarre internally, but appearing natural and normal on the surface” we see the larger failure. His actions, his manifesto and his preparations, bizarre on several settings, yet he raised no flags. This is not an attack on the intelligence groups (not this time anyway), yet to do all this, to not raise flags, that requires training and coaching. Even if he was super paranoid, the weapons and ammunition required would need all kinds of assistance (optionally from the criminal elements), but when someone buys all this hardware and ammunition, there is a trail, there are other paths that would have raised a flag or two, yet apparently he had none, this can only be done if others did part of that; an IT ‘friend’ setting up the accounts, the scripts and the stage of forwarding all the images and streams to multiple locations. Was the setting of the Cricket day predetermined? That might have been very likely, yet to know where they would all go for the religious service, how did he get that information? Too many elements cannot be answered with ‘lucky’. My point of view becomes a lot more acceptable when we see: “In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5m videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2m were blocked at upload” and that was only Facebook, so they blocked less than half at upload, yet the amount of uploads and sharing gives rise to a much larger issue and even as we accept that many are not from extremists, merely from people forwarding what they saw, this was ONE channel. 4Chan, 8Chan, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter links, the list goes on and all can link to one another. This was more than being prepared; Brenton Tarrant had either direct support or a support system at his disposal. They are not the same yet at present the police and the Intelligence community cannot answer which is which. In that same light, I am not entirely sure if tightening gun laws will solve anything. It is so easy to look at guns and their laws, yet the oldest rule applies. Guns do not kill people, people kill people.

In this we must admit that PM Jacinda Ardern has a close to impossible task at present, not merely because of how rare gun violence is in New Zealand, it is the response that some of the media is giving. From my personal point of view some are facilitating to anti-Muslim events. I see the Dutch Telegraaf and the UK Daily Mirror as direct evidence of this. If there was a united front the news would have reported it as such, yet as one twitch was not stopped and 100% more in news coverage was able to give a presented minimised violence footprint, we can say that the technology platforms are a lesser concern than the media is currently showing to be.

It is in that same view that I oppose: “Terrorism experts said the Christchurch attacks showed there was a need for police to focus more on far-right extremism“, I oppose it because the statement is against one successful attack. The issue is not the person; most extreme right people tend to be dumb as fuck (a mere casual observation on American far right wing elements). The elements that made this a success is more important, the timeline, the hardware and the software shows that Brenton could not have done this alone, even if he did do most executions alone, someone taught him to remain under the radar; especially when it comes to the weapons, the ammunition, the IT requirements, the streaming and editing. He would have been on someone’s radar, the fact that he was not makes it a larger issue, not merely some extreme right issue. I can to some extent agree with Jose Sousa-Santos, director of the Strategika Group when I see “there may exist within the security and intelligence community an institutional culture in which Muslim, indigenous and activist individuals and groups are perceived to be the greater threat to national security than right-wing extremism“, yet that does not deter from the fact that Brenton should have been flagged at least once, the fact he was not gives rise to the larger concern of support towards his actions.

So in the end The Financial Times got a lot right, yet the title will remain under debate making it a much larger issue for Mike Bush and Rebecca Kitteridge for the foreseeable future.

 

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The ethical threshold

When is it too much? That is the initial question I had. I am a tweeter, I love my twitter, I will be honest on that. I tend to merely be nice there, with all the negativity in the world thinking only positive there is merely a choice. Also, why would you want to waste time attacking a person there? OK, I have to admit, when Jimmy Kimmel decided to take the mean tweets as a segment, I ended up laughing out loud, especially the Marvel cast ones. Why would anyone do this? Why would Chadwick Boseman (Mr. Black Panther himself) get confronted with: “Okay, how did the coolest blackest dude in the galaxy end up with a whitebread-a– name like Chadwick” It was fun and he laughed too, but why do that? OK, if it was just a little friendly jab, I would get it, but why would you state to Scarlett Johannson: “emotional range of a f–ing celery”? It makes no sense to me. Sometimes we have an aversion to an actor, or perhaps more direct to the role that an actor portrayed, which makes perfect sense, but why vent it? I loved her work in many movies, and if there is one I did not like, then it is ‘The Other Boleyn girl‘, I personally believed it fell flat after the Tudors, which had nothing to do with her, Natalie Portman, or Eric Bana. In the end, it might not be the actors at all, merely the vision and choices of the director. It does not matter, I was no fan of that movie, yet to go out and tweet to her (or any of the other two) on how bad they acted seems like a waste of time and totally uncalled for. Many people feel that way, when we consider she gets hundreds of (optionally mean) tweet, yet each of them has tens of thousands of fans. Is it an ethical choice not to lash out? It might be, or it is merely good manners. Whatever it is does not matter, it is a visible part in all this.

In opposition, when do you professionally make choices based on morality or ethicality? We all do them and even as my threshold there is slightly higher than the Eifel tower, I do have them. I also believe in loyalty (even as some of my bosses have never shown that distinction themselves). There we have another setting do we not? So even as some might rage on how we need to make choices, as some rage against certain settings like playing hide and seek with the corpse of Jamal Khashoggi, whilst some claim to have evidence of recordings, that recording still has not been revealed to the world, these sources have now stopped mentioning that claimed piece of evidence, so when you seek political opportunity over a cadaver, how does that go over with some people? When you are merely an Iranian tool making claims and then leaving the accusation in the dirt, how does one ethically consider that person to have any intrinsic value or reliability?

So as Reuters gives us: “CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey to investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has sought to hear a purported audio recording of his torture and murder, four sources familiar with her mission told Reuters on Tuesday” and now a week after the claims, the evidence is not forthcoming, why consider that government to be any level of ally?

Yet that is another matter, the ethicality of this is part of it all, not the rest of that stage. The entire stage of ethicality is seen in fortune as we are faced with: ‘SoftBank’s CEO Won’t Speak at ‘Davos in the Desert‘ Even Though Saudi Arabia Put $45 Billion Into His Vision Fund‘. There we should have some issue, when you get $45B invested in, should there not be some ‘tit for tat’, or is that what they sometimes call in the UK ‘tits for dad’?

So when we see: “However, according to a Tuesday report, Son has now cancelled his speaking appearance, though he may still show up at the conference“, how does that go over? I had the idea for an alternate information system that is based on something that does exist, but now on a much larger scale, a new way of driving 5G data forward, a new information system. I even came up with a new 5G device type called the ‘dumb smart device‘, not only did I not get any penny of $45 billion (which would have been way too much), I also did not get an invitation of speaking option at “Davos in the Desert”, which in hindsight makes perfect sense as I never gave my email and phone number to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so it all partially makes sense. So as we see that list of important people like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and AOL founder Steve Case had pulled out in protest, we need to also realise that they are part of a setting where the pot is calling the kettle black. Remember JPMorgan’s and their $12 Billion Bailout? They want to talk morality? And in the end, we know that Jamal Khashoggi met his death in the consulate, we do not know the details, yet the people claiming to have evidence are not showing it and in addition those people are allied with Iran who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia. I know I have said that perhaps a little too often, yet the newspapers and online media REFUSE to add that truth to their articles, is that not strange? Yet this is about certain poor choices, however they were not the poor choices of those behind ‘Davos in the Desert‘. When I see the highlighted Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and how he is not speaking at a multi-billion dollar event, is he merely proclaiming that he has ethical boundaries? Let’s not forget that apart from the fact that a journalist died under weird conditions, we have seen no actual evidence of ANY kind. We have seen actions that imply a cover-up, yet there is still not one clear piece of evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did any of it, or even order it. That evidence was never shown and the Turkish claims have never been supported by evidence, was it? That part is more important than you know, because when we take ethical and morale based evidence from equity people like Jamie Dimon or Stephen Schwarzman we truly have gone off the deep end. So whilst he might be there, he is now optionally missing out on opportunities that go beyond merely Saudi Arabia, when we see that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of United Arab Emirates, you better believe that you are selling your investors short and how does that usually go over with those ‘return on investment chasing accountants‘?

He is important in more than one way. You see, he has been very active in growing the impact of the UAE on a global scale, the vice president is using LinkedIn at every option there is and his industrious nature gives rise to forwards momentum for the UAE and that means more investments and more optional profits, so why walk away from the opportunity to speak out, whilst the cold light of evidence has shown doubt on events, no evidence is presented, not even claimed evidence; when we abandon innocent until proven guilty in light of business we merely set the stage for bias, discrimination and abandonment of good business. That is the actual reality and the media is steering clear from that one as well. Even as everyone knows that the US is broke, it claims industrial momentum, yet it is not taxed momentum, hence where ever that profit goes is beyond the US government. They are desperate to get the money flowing their way, not the other way and we see now that the demise of the US is closer than we thought it was, as Saudi Arabia and its neighbours are steaming ahead, their footprint is pushing in positive technology ways and the rest is lagging behind. The ethical threshold is not who we do business with, it is becoming, what are we willing to accept as a norm and that is the baseline that follows us to a much larger degree, especially when you realise that the baseline of this norm is slowly moving towards an Islamic one. That part is scaring the people way too much, so even as these same people ignore the fact that the Vatican has no women in places of power and that the Reuters quote “Sister Sally Marie Hodgdon, an American nun who also is not ordained, cannot vote even though she is the superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery” gives clear indications that the Vatican is still as backwards as it was 920 years ago when it decided to take over the Middle East in a setting that we called the Crusades. So how far has our faith taken us? Even as we see that members of the clergy get off on Luke 12, Matthew 10 and John 11 (boys, not passages), we claim to protect children, yet the prosecution of the church members never got there, did it? So as most pushed for agnostic and atheist values, which makes sense to some, there is still a large part that drives their forward momentum through their inner faith and is there any evidence that Islam is evil? We get the ‘terrorist’ claim left, right and centre, yet how many are Muslims are truly evil? Now take the members list of the Ku Klux Klan, the member list of the IRA, White power and Neo-Nazi’s and set that in the scale against the names of terrorists that actually acted, suddenly Islam is not that evil anymore is it?

It is not important that we become Muslim, but would it hurt to learn about Muslim law and customs? If we embrace the next age of technology drive, having that knowledge makes us more and more valuable in places where the next trillions are actually spend, is that anything but our willingness to embrace some cultural change and adapt ourselves to the work sphere that we are ultimately confronted with?

How does our moral and ethical boundaries shift as we accept the religion of others, not to become Muslims, but to merely know enough to not cause offense, is that not a good first step? The BBC gave us less than a week ago the setting that we are now too poor to consider being ethical. They did that whilst posing the question: “Would you quit your job on ethical grounds?“, we are presented with Google employees who did that, yet the jackpot was gained with: “Research by Triplebyte, a start-up which recruits technical talent for technology companies, found 70% of those who get two job offers choose the highest paying one – exactly as our parents’ generation would have done“, if we accept that income is the driver, when we realise that ethics are almost no consideration in a job, would it matter if we embrace an Islamic employer? As we see that the answer is one we can live with a lot more than a job by ethically coloured and filtered Christian employer, can we truly ignore the optional long term life and security that some growing employers are giving us. That will be the driving factors to many and as such we will see that the Middle East influence will grow straight into the Common Law nations. When we realise that last year we were confronted in the UK with the notion that ‘Just one in five Muslims are in work as report finds they are held back by racism‘, what happens when the Muslim corporations see that this could be the driving force to open shop in a much larger audience all over Europe and even in the US. It is merely another facet in ‘the cost of doing business‘ versus ‘the cost of being in business‘. We have forfeited a large option by being choosy on who we choose, often on race, age and looks and that is how the cream evaded the corporations for a much longer time. Now as we see that the momentum is no longer in their corner, the work sphere will change a lot more than we ever could have realised.

A change we started in 1095 when Pope Urban II gave us: “calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of “Deus vult!” or “God wills it!”“, now that we are entering an age where the roles are reversed because we decided to focus on profit and greed, we have no one else to blame but ourselves and the people we ourselves elected. So when we accept the history channel with: “between 60,000 and 100,000 people responded to Urban’s call to march on Jerusalem. Not all who responded did so out of piety: European nobles were tempted by the prospect of increased land holdings and riches to be gained from the conquest. These nobles were responsible for the death of a great many innocents both on the way to and in the Holy Land; absorbing the riches and estates of those they conveniently deemed opponents to their cause. Adding to the death toll was the inexperience and lack of discipline of the Christian peasants against the trained, professional armies of the Muslims. As a result, the Christians were initially beaten back, and only through sheer force of numbers were they eventually able to triumph“. How does our morality fare at this stage? In the end, whether we call them nobility or captains of industry, how many of them walked away with the setting that the benefit of all was merely their bottom line, and after all these years are you still accepting that excuse of as their profit drive?

When we see that a mere 12 hours ago we were given a Microsoft issue through: “But there’s evidence that Windows Insiders knew about and reported this problem, and Microsoft didn’t follow up on it, apparently not realizing the severity of the issue.” (at https://www.extremetech.com/computing/279368-windows-10-1809-may-have-another-file-deleting-bug-problem), another setting of profit and time pressure over quality and reliability, and this is not merely one of a few issues, this have been going on for well over two decades and in the end we end up in the same place, with a more expensive device making no headway. That part alone is part of the success that Google and Huawei gave them the forward push via their vision, driving forward momentum, so why would we want to stay in a place where the ‘status quo’ (not the band) is considered sexy?

So if my views are evil, then I am the Ifrit, the rebellious spirit that yearns for change and momentum, something that has been lacking in technology for too long, as profit boundaries has replaced ethical ones and therefor iteration trumped advancement a race that is now pushing the advantage to the Middle East and let’s not forget that Israel is part of the Middle East and they are also pushing technology boundaries through a whole range of tech start-ups, another reason to accept a much larger range of changes in our lives.
In the end, it is not where we need to go, it is where the opportunities are grown, and when we consider that “Diane Green, the chief executive of Google Cloud, also pulled out on Monday, according to the company” and gave that ‘Davos in the Desert’ a miss, whilst in the end, no evidence was given on several parts of the now accepted act of manslaughter by unknown parties, so not murder as the legal difference is proven intent, we need to ask more questions, not on merely the guilty parties, but those acting on alleged accusations that have not been met with evidence three weeks later is a much larger failure by those same people who kept quiet on years of endangered data safety (The Google+ issue), those needing a dozen billion dollars for bailout (and therefor their poor judgement) all clearly shown and proven, they are claiming some level moral high ground whilst evidence of the other act is still not given, where is our fake sense of ethical borderline now?

I call to some degree that the ethical threshold is one we live by; it is one that others call us on; that distinction is large and ignored by a lot of players. So when Al Jazeera gives us: “Fadi Al-Qadi, a Middle East human rights advocate and commentator, also denounced the photo-op as “ruthless”“, as well as “And here is the video. Salah (#JamalKhashoggi son, banned from travel) had to shake hands with who is believed to be his dad’s killer. Ruthless. Ruthless. Ruthless #Khashoggi pic.twitter.com/EKS9UZQ8Jc” that whilst evidence of ‘his dad’s killer‘ has not been given in any way shape or form, mere accusations from one of the tools that Iran employs, and until the evidence is clearly brought, that is how I will remain to see it. I feel for Salah Khashoggi, I truly do, and the pain of losing his father would be there, but is he merely in pain because of the hundreds of unsubstantiated accusations in almost all the large media? Is that not an important question in all this?

So as we see the impact of the accusations on so many levels, yet all in a setting where no evidence is handed out and whilst the global media is still using the extensive news leaks alleging that Turkey has audio recordings documenting Khashoggi’s demise and even dismemberment, no evidence has been given to the people. Claims of handing out the evidence were knocked back again and again, so how long until we make the ethical demand: “Hand over the evidence now, or be ignored for all time“, that will not happen, will it. The EU is too desperate to keep any talks with Turkey and Iran going and Turkey is taking advantage of that situation, whilst many claims by the Turkish government are a joke on many levels, even legal ones.

When will we learn that ethical, moralistic and emotional considerations are not merely different coins, they tend to be different currencies as well.

We can only choose out own path and make it the best path as we can, we need to realise that the high ethical and moralistic path is not a comfortable one and for the most, we are all about comfort, we have been so for much too long and through that we forgot what true values are, the media merely made it worse.

 

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The devil is here, who is he?

We have seen attacks on nearly every religion. There was the satanic verses that attacked Islam, a book I never read mainly I had close to zero knowledge of Islam in those days. There was Apologie (1581), a book by William of Orange who would later create the Netherlands as a nation as well as taking that territory away from the Spanish, showing that the Inquisition as merely a power behind every Catholic throne, controlling kings who became mere puppets in its hands. It was all done by sacrificing ladies who lived a natural life and brand them Witches (as well as a few other niche population groups). Then there was Awful Disclosures (1836). this book was important as the book was proven to be a hoax and Maria Monk was merely a fraud, but in the end this book ended up doing massive damage to the Catholic ’cause’ and even gave additional rise to the Ku Klux Klan later on as well as the American Patriotic Association. Finally there is American Freedom and Catholic Power (1949) which is apparently still in print today. The writer saw the Catholic Church as an anti-democratic force bent on world domination, an alien power in American society determined to keep the masses poor, ignorant, and breeding.

These books are important to the setting, a setting of both corruption and nepotism on a global scale. That evidence was seen quite recently when we were treated on the world stage by the revelations in the Boston globe, which was shown in the movie Spotlight based on the true events of the Boston Globe Spotlight team. When the world is exposed to this, the world gets treated to a setting where thousands of priests on a national scale and a scale that was unfathomable on a global scale. In the search, the 6% rule where they investigate Boston Priests gave them in the end an initial 87 out of the expected 90 and the search started for the victims. The day after the story went to print; we see that the spotlight team gets swamped by phone calls from victims coming forward to tell their stories. This could in the end become the most shocking revelation of the twentieth century.

The movie seems to keep as close to the truth as possible with the setting that one of the members had initially failed as a list of 20 paedophile priests by lawyer Eric MacLeish in 1993, which he never followed up on. Yet at this point, they have done more than merely follow up on this and the setting became a movie that got the academy award for best movie, and best original screenplay. In the end, the audience is treated to ‘Cardinal Law resigned in December 2002 and was eventually promoted to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome before presenting a list of places in the United States and around the world where major scandals involving abuse by priests took place‘ this is what disgustingly might be considered as ‘nepotism at its finest‘.

Is this going somewhere?

Yes, this is the setting that you need to consider when we have two elements. The first is given in the Guardian where we see that in Ireland, one of the most devoted nations to the catholic church (next to Italy) is giving us: ‘‘Hit-and-run’ visit: Irish protesters reject pardon plea from Pope Francis‘. Large demonstrations with slogans like “The Pope is protecting paedophiles”. It is a setting that visiting Pope Frances would not have expected; a setting where the people are confronted with literally thousands of paedophilic priests and for the most (as far as I can tell) none of them are in prison. In Australia the scandal of Cardinal Pell hit the news and even as we cannot tell just how far it went, the setting where we were confronted with ‘The most serious charges were thrown out for “fundamental defects in evidence”‘, as well as ‘credibility issues over witnesses‘ has angered the population to no end. For me, from a legal perspective it needs to be about the law and the evidence. The fact that the Catholic Church has a large following of powerful people and that Australia too is drenched in operational nepotism does not help the case for Cardinal Pell, but that does not make him a guilty party. It counts against his visibility that the setting ‘The most serious charges were thrown out for “fundamental defects in evidence”‘ was not given more clear daylight in the media. We must accept that a judge will not merely throw away ‘fundamental defects in evidence‘ because it sets the stage for acquittal, the issue had grown too much by then, but in equal measure it will fuel all manners of conspiracy theory where the people will throw themselves into speculation, I do not feel that need, but the issue remains that 6% of the clergy with most of them not getting any conviction is fuelling rage, anger and even abandonment of the Catholic church and that is the setting that the current pope is confronted with. It is interesting that we can easily find the setting of ‘Studies estimated approximately that 20,000 Muslims convert to Christianity annually in the United States‘, yet we have to really dig to get any kind of statistic to see how many people move into the other direction. Yet the previous number is opposed by CBN who gave us “A recent article in Christianity Today (Aug 20, 1990) reported that in the U.S., the average age of those converting to Islam (31) is about twice that for conversion to Christian faith (age 16)“. Even as the numbers might have been dented due to extremism on one side and sexual child abuse on the other side, we see that the media is clearly set on misrepresentation as much as possible. The churches are that powerful that even that so called independent journalistic side sways to ambiguity as much as we see. One of the examples we see in that case is ‘Media, Culture, and the Religious Right‘ by Linda Kintz and Julia Lesage. If there is one issue then it might be that this is set into the American fit in all this (which makes sense). The setting we are given with “the ideology of clarity has helped move the centre of contemporary US politics far to the right as it made a tidy fit with a media culture that privileges the quick, simple message over time consuming complexities and ambiguities and that manufactures a commoditised audience by ratings” So basically trivialisation and simplification works for the church and their masses (pun intended).

I believe that the setting is actually a little less clear. I do believe that it is within the nature of all people to grow through faith and that faith in the Catholic Church is waning because of the events that are out in the open and the actions by the Vatican are not seen as acceptable (Ireland being a perfect example in all this). The people are more and more exposed to Muslims through work and through personal interactions and we are shown that the small group of extremists and the personal interactions show us Arabian and Pakistani interactions, especially the Pakistani interactions (which is much larger), where we see a more westernised group of people and we find a kinship. People all dedicated to a healthy family life as well as a dedication towards good work ethics and an appreciation towards the finer things in life. Even as most are dedicated non alcoholics, they do show a real appreciation towards good food. It is a personal observation, but I see that there is a more readily acceptance of Muslim elements than of Judean elements in all this. Yet the numbers are very sketchy, it seems that the media is embracing the Christian need on how far the flock has grown, yet the opposite direction seems to be actively ignored by all, which is interesting because the full picture is essential for anyone to give appreciation and acceptance of what could be perceived as the whole truth.

So when the Irish were confronted with “The pope’s requests for forgiveness in his Phoenix Park sermon, including for members of the church hierarchy who covered up “painful situations”, were far too little and too late for the crowd who had gathered at the garden dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives for Irish freedom“. there are two additional parts that need to be addressed, one in the positive light, which is seen with “The author, activist and abuse survivor Colm O’Gorman organised the event, which was timed to coincide with the mass. He told reporters that the pope had apologised and met survivors but evaded Vatican responsibility for crimes and cover-ups. “I think [his visit] has made it worse”“, in this I tend to agree with Colm O’Gorman. Apart from his movie as well as the coverage shown in the BBC, we need to accept that the pressures that the church gave through ‘Crimen Sollicitationis‘ was such an unacceptable setting and the fact that the media has for the larger extent ignored this and reported close to nothing is also a fact that should be seen as evidence. Especially when the document included: “every person, who in any way belongs to the tribunal or is given knowledge of the matter because of their office, is obliged to keep inviolate the strictest secrecy (what is commonly called “the secrecy of the Holy Office”) in all things and with all persons, under pain of automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication, incurred ipso facto without need of any declaration other than the present one, and reserved to the Supreme Pontiff in person alone, excluding even the Apostolic Penitentiary“, I will soften the blow by not including the Latin part of this.

It seems to apply to both victim and perpetrator, so the priest who would eagerly accept that silence, whilst the victim would not have any options at all. Consider being an excommunicated catholic in Ireland. It seems that all things are not created equal, especially via the Vatican and in this, the pope is pleading for forgiveness? How was this ever going to work?

In opposition we must also see “Maeve Lewis, of the advocacy group One in Four, agreed. “A missed opportunity. He made not one concrete proposal about what he intends to do.”” Here I cannot agree. I understand the setting that Maeve Lewis is trying to make and I get it, but this is too big, the entire setting of ‘one concrete proposal about what he intends to do’ was never realistic. The best the Pope could have done was to merely pray for strength of the victims whilst he admitted that such a large issue requires more time. That was as good as he was going to get in all this. The priesthood of sexual release in the light of the bible on the scriptures inside Mark 10, Matthew 12 and John 11 was not going to find any insight any day soon and the amount of non-prosecuted priests was too large by every standard. In the Netherlands the Commission Deetman report gives us ‘several thousands of children between 1945 and 1985 were seriously sexually abused , an estimated 1000 cases of penetration were established‘ in this we see later ‘since 2010 the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands have fired 12 priests from their profession and removed 2 from their profession‘, in this, how many went to prison exactly, and in light of the thousands of transgressions, how many priests were never considered for prosecution in any way?

In all this, the people are in conflict with themselves, we see more and more growth of Christian abandonment, merely because of the treason by the Roman Catholic church, whilst protecting its flock of abusing priests and now we see more and more that since the 60’s the church has put in place draconian self-preservation settings like ‘Crimen Sollicitationis‘ and in addition we see the stage of Father Joseph Henn, who was fighting extradition in 2006, when the media treated us to “An American priest who is wanted in the United States on child molestation charges has gone missing while under house arrest in Rome” on August 3rd of that year and whilst we are partially informed through “is believed to be hiding in Italy while there is an international warrant for his arrest“, until this day for well over 12 years the Church seems to be actively engaged in keeping this priest form getting prosecuted in court. This is your faith and your children will remain a valid target for any priest. That is the setting that the people are confronted with and whilst the movie Spotlight gave much larger visibility to the entire setting, we see that millions of Christians now more and more in doubt of the Christian (Catholic) church as a whole. I would speculate that moving from church to church is not as completely acceptable (catholic to Baptist of protestant) to perhaps an agnostic or even a Muslim setting.

In support of my view there is in the first “Although 500,000 tickets for the papal mass were allocated, the Vatican estimated the crowd at 300,000 and other estimates were lower“, so basically in one of the strongest strongholds of the catholic church, merely 60% decided to attend, in what would have been close to a once in a lifetime event for many Irish people.

In this we now get the new setting that will play out over the next decade. As we are treated to more and more vilification that the Catholic church is bestowing on the public, are we witnessing the first steps towards the diminishing if the Christian church? Even as this is unlikely to happen in Ireland and Italy, or in England (Church of England) and Sweden (Lutheran), we are seeing a more rapid growth of Islam all over Europe. France has an estimated 2500 Mosques, and Germany seems to have well over 3000, many mosques in Germany are seemingly funded through Turkey.

What about the title?

Yes, here we need to address The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. I have not read the book, but from the settings and descriptions (read: reviews) we are confronted with the optional view that the book gives us the elements of identity, alienation, compromise, and conformity. They are concepts that confront all those disillusioned with their culture. In this, when we see the acts of the Vatican is very much in the centre of Christianity. If we accept that this is a path that a Christian in thrust upon through outside forces, at that point, we partially accept the Muslim setting that Mahound is the vilification form of Christians against  Muhammad. Yet, what if that was NOT the case? What if the path of Mahound is the path a Christian must walk to find his faith? What if the path of true faith is one that takes some people a lifetime, especially when they were on a forced faith through the pressure of parents and their surroundings from birth? To change faith is not what is done through insight of wisdom, what if the path is one we seek out because of our doubts and our love for our family to find the homestead of our lives to test the place where the safety and health of family is proven to be the correct one? Consider my thoughts in another direction, if the Agnostic wants to believe and does believe that there is a larger power, but cannot tell what it is and we see the Christian in doubt, knowing that there is a larger power, but there is now more and more evidence that they followed the wrong power, how can either find the right larger power? In my view it will take a journey that if completed within one’s life is still a great accomplishment. If we all accept that Muhammad was the true messenger of Islam, how can one set on a path to prove this to one’s self? If we see that the internet gives us thousands of books, all proclaiming that they lead to faith and immortality is the path to find the right book not a true journey? In this I give that we accept in two parts: “Every Muslim proclaims in Shahadah: “I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of God.”“. In the first nearly all Christian’s will accept that there is ‘no god but God‘ and the challenge is merely to find the true messenger, and if we are on a path where there is too much doubt on the Christian church is the Journey not merely to setting to learn the truths of Muhammad and how he is the messenger of God?

If our lives can be seen as fulfilled when we address that one part in our lives, is the switch, the conversion towards Islam that hard to believe? When we come to think of it, is the Vatican not merely giving us the additional ability to walk away from their teachings as they embrace the protection of what in the largest setting of the world is seen as a criminal act against our children as well as the children of our neighbours?

So if the devil is here, what shape has the devil taken and how can we prove that this is the shape of the devil?

In finality, it seems fitting that I make a reference to one of my all-time favourite movies: ‘the Usual Suspects‘. The quote we get is “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist“, the problem is that he does exist and we have been pointing at all kinds of people on who the devil was, yet we forgot to embark on a journey to learn who the devil was not and that is the one part where Christians and more directly the Catholic church failed that task. So when we accept that the Catholic church was not that good, perhaps we can also accept that Islam is not evil, because the data and historic evidence shows the church to be not that good (well over 17 destroyed civilisations is only one part of the evidence), so those appointed as evil are more likely than not, not the setting of evil we were told. If we also accept the evidence that in 1095, 923 years ago, at the Council of Clermont, we were told “Pope Urban II begins by reminding the clergy present that they are shepherds and that they must be vigilant and avoid carelessness and corruption. He reminds them to refrain from simony and to adhere to the laws of the church. Urban complains about the lack of justice and public order in the Frankish provinces and calls for the re-establishment of the truce protecting clergy from violence. In the Historiography of the Crusades, there is a long-standing argument as to how much the pacification of the Frankish realm was designed to go hand in hand with the “export of violence” to the enemy in the east“, important here is ‘pacification of the Frankish realm‘, as well as ‘the “export of violence” to the enemy in the east‘, it comes from Fulcher of Chartres, who was at the proceedings and gave this account in ‘Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium‘ 6 to 10 years later. The account would be given much later by Georg Strack in ‘The sermon of Urban II in Clermont 1095 and the Tradition of Papal Oratory‘. It became the foundation of Christian exponential growth into a region that was never that Christian to begin with, and through this, through the crusades the setting of hatred grew on both sides. The estimation is that over those two centuries (1095-1291) close to two million lives were lost in a time when the global population was a little short of 350 million, so 0.5% of the entire global population died in that one ‘skirmish’ that is not easy to overcome and we must realise that part too, because it polarised both parties in all this. So when we consider that we were pushed into a war by the greedy need of the church (several pieces of evidence exists), what other paths have we wrongfully considered? Now, let’s be clear that we all still openly oppose extremism in every form. Yet we also see that when we talk to our neighbours and we see that many Muslims embrace fundamental values of family and prosperity, how wrong have we been on several other fronts?

We need to realise this in the light of utter unacceptable levels of forgiveness requested whilst anti-Muslim actions are on the rise in many places. When we see politicians like Geert Wilders move into these streams proclaiming “he thinks Christians “are my allies” and that they fundamentally should want the same thing“, so how does that go over when that Christian priest sodomises his child? Are those views still aligned? Too much consideration on one side and total non-consideration on the other is merely giving view to levels of acceptance of evil and we should not ever allow for that.

Some players in this large game have been given way too much leeway and that needs to be openly scrutinised by all players.

In light of the issue I mentioned in my blogs in the last few days when we were confronted by the ‘Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest‘ that had been started months ago. We now see the Dutch Prime minister give us: “The Dutch prime minister on Friday distanced his government from a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest being organized later this year by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders. Wilders “is not a member of the government. The competition is not a government initiative,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference“, yet the competition is still held in Dutch Parliament, which makes no sense in any valid universe. In addition, we see a ‘casual’ distancing, whilst in equal measure that we are introduced to “This man, Geert Wilders, is known for testing the limits of freedom of expression. He is free to do that“, in this, if the Dutch are so ‘politically‘ correct, when we accept “Artikel 147 Sr, verbiedt sindsdien smalende godslasteringen die krenkend zijn voor godsdienstige gevoelens” (Article 147 Sr forbids blasphemy that is regarded as offensive to religious feelings), and in this the Parliament building is accepted as a suitable location for the venue of a ‘Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest‘?

The overall lack of coverage by the global media at large remains a much larger issue and it seems that giving a global light to these acts is becoming more and more important, in addition, it seems that when it comes to values, we see that some are not having any and believing in the Golden Calf called ‘Freedom of expression’ should also see vilification by the global population when it is done to intentionally inflict mental abuse of ANY ONE religion. It seems that the Dutch have liberalised themselves a little more than should be regarded as acceptable, but that is merely my view.

In the end: “I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze”, which is another nice quote by the Usual Suspects what remains for consideration is: ‘Who exactly is Keyser Soze and which identity does he have now?

 

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