Tag Archives: Islam

The jeopardy lingo

It seems fitting that I do see sort of Homage to Jeopardy, I was never a fan like a lot are, but Alex Trebek pretty much put his heart and soul into that and it seems fitting that we acknowledge that, if only for that one simple part. This article is largely based on the Al Jazeera article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/17/report-us-military-buying-location-data-on-popular-muslim-apps)

So as we see “US military buys location data of popular Muslim apps: Report”, the question becomes ‘Who bought a lot of religious tainted data?’ Yes the military did. It was a setting that was always going to happen and there is every indication that this has been going in for quite a while. It is one of the flags that I saw coming over a year ago setting the stage that Saudi Arabia with its (at present) vastly superior 5G might want to offer apps and such from their locality. Even though it is not about the apps, but consider all US and EU data missing Arabic data, it is something to think about and I saw this scenario taking shape some time ago. 

Next we get “several used by Muslims that have been downloaded nearly 100 billion times” gets us to the question ‘Who at Motherboard was unable to count and weight their data properly?’, yes another point for the blogger, the numbers indicate that the apps in question had been downloaded by every person on the planet at least 12 Tims, in light of the fact that less than to thirds of the planet has an internet capable phone makes the setting a little dubious. 

And as it is time to see “Monday found the US Special Operations Command was procuring location data from several companies”, we get to ‘What did US politicians allow to happen in light of personal privacy?’ Which is a loaded question by itself. You see there is every indication that a lot of people have all kinds of apps, there is another indication that those in the extreme know (those who know extreme actions taking place) have a digital footprint that is close to zero, as such I actually wonder how interesting the data is, as I downloaded the Quran on Android, they might have my details, well good luck to the and if they get personal details on Olivia Wilde, Laura Vandervoort, Leslie Bibb, Natasha McElhone or Olivia Munn, would US Special command please forward that to my personal phone? I gratefully thank you in advance for that. 

As such when we get to “the Motherboard investigation noted some companies obtain app location data when advertisers pay to insert their ads into peoples’ browsing sessions” we almost get to the end of round one where we wonder how foreign intelligence organisations react to the US military acquiring the location at a of its citizens. It is a slippery slope, you see if advertisers can buy it, why not the US military? Isn’t that a fair question? Stating that Halal Malik, on 34th street, best Islamic butcher in New York can get data, yet the US military can not is basically discrimination, as such there is a much larger station there and the question becomes, what additional data was given to the US Military that Malik was unable to get, which boils down to another level of discrimination. So when we get to Timmy the sea-rat Hawkins (allegedly his nickname) giving us “We strictly adhere to established procedures and policies for protecting the privacy, civil liberties, constitutional and legal rights of American citizens”, I reckon that it has the emphasis on ‘legal rights of American citizens’, anyone not in that group might not have any rights. So at that point we get to “it tracks 25 million devices inside the United States every month and 40 million elsewhere – including in the European Union, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region” we get to ‘What rights do the 40 million tracked mobile devices have?’, yup they allegedly have none, but that is a speculation from my side, in addition how many players outside of Al Jazeera have this and how much visibility will this part not get, especially in Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I reckon France (for obvious reasons) will go along with whatever the politicians connected to this will say to them. 

You see there is an almost dangerous setting when we see “US Senator Ron Wyden told Motherboard that X-Mode also admitted selling data it collected to other “US military customers”” I am setting the emphasis on ‘almost’, from my point of view if you have no issues with commercial corporations digging on your needs, then why object to governments doing the same thing? As I personally see it, there is a lot more to question when healthcare insurers get your data than the government does. It seems almost fair, they all get access, and this is what I stated again and again is the price of free apps and free social media, so now that the cat is out of the bag (he is just to the right of your peripheral vision) we will see all these people scream, shout and cry yet I wonder why and what do you have to hide? It pretty much boils down to something (I believe it was Stephen Fry) that was said “If you do not want your nude pictures on the internet, do not pose naked”, the man has a point and it is a point we can adapt or use in emphasis as the actor Chris Evans gave joy to a billion woman, whilst setting his staff to the notion to go vote. Yes that was an accidental unintended pun. 

So even if we consider both ends of the spectrum and the setting where we keep all our data sacred and separate, we will soon find that it is much to late for that. Apart from the things I reported recently giving some people 5 versions of the customer data, and part from these mishaps, there is a whole station of data that is on back-ups, legacy systems and there is close to no stage of any kind of legal rights. We saw the Guardian give us close to a year ago ‘NHS data is a goldmine. It must be saved from big tech’, if you really think that big tech is the larger danger you are quite out of your mind. Even now we see the emotional response to Islamic data on Al Jazeera, so how about your health data available for health instances to tweak your annual premium, or them adjusting the questionnaire? Did you consider the simple question ‘How often do you smoke?’, whilst most people automatically answer ‘Don’t smoke’, yet social media has you puffing something and the health records give them certain other parameters, so when they ask you for verification purposes, you unwillingly set yourself up for a massive price hike, or a stage where you might be discontinued as a customer when you actually need help, because they will claim you lied. The setting eludes a lot of people but it is an important stage, because there are close to a dozen other settings the will give you health issues when you turn 50, 60 and when you are pre-dead.

Which almost gets us to the question ‘Who, what, when, where, how, why for $50’ and you will see that the bulk of the people are not ready for what is linked behind it all.

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Freedom to insult

That is the stage that we see reopen an hour ago on Reuters. The article ‘Saudi Arabia condemns cartoons offending Prophet Mohammad’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-boycott-saudi/saudi-arabia-condemns-cartoons-offending-prophet-mohammad-idUSKBN27C0FE), which pretty much repeats my view given in ‘Creation of doubt’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/18/creation-of-doubt/) almost 10 days ago. Even as the BBC gives us ‘France targets radical Islam amid row with Turkey’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54692802), the larger issue is avoided by almost all. In a stage where we see ‘freedom of expression’ versus ‘disrespecting religion’ how can this ever be right? We see it in Hedbo in their view of christian values and in this there is no real setting, there is no doctrine against an image of Jesus, or an image of cardinals or the pope. Yet there is a clear directive on images of the prophet Mohammed, and Islam is quite outspoken of that part and that is ignored again and again.

The Reuters article gives us “Freedom of expression and culture should be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which generate hatred, violence and extremism and are contrary to coexistence”, yet we see a lack thereof by the teacher Samuel Paty, in this I believe that the action against him were wrong, yet I wonder what drove a teacher to intentionally insult Islam, yet the media is driving around that question, driving around it by well over a mile. In this the BBC gives us “The government believes the response cannot only be about law enforcement. They also need to manage social networks and associations, because this tragic case shed light on a whole network which spreads hate speeches within the population. The system needs changing”, an interesting quote, yet if we look at ‘a whole network which spreads hate speeches within the population’, yet that applies to a schoolteacher as well as the person who beheaded that teacher, and that part is largely missing. And by the time we get to “Marine Le Pen has also cast the peaceful public expression of Islam as a threat to French national identity”, in this it is not about “peaceful public expression of Islam”, it is the intentional disrespect of Islam that is the larger part here, and ever as some state that this is the need of Macron to win a reelection, the stage of intentionally insulting religion has a much larger stage all over Europe, and as far as I can tell the big newscasters are all in silence there, they will skate around the subject and most of them are doing just that.

Even as the Guardian gives us yesterday ‘Macron’s clash with Islam sends jolt through France’s long debate about secularism’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/26/macrons-clash-with-islam-sends-jolt-through-frances-long-debate-about-secularism) we get a set stage, and as such we need to look at that stage.

First there is secularism, which means “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations”, as such we need to see “rejection of religious consideration” when it is set against ‘insulting religion’. In an age of discrimination laws where some might accept “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday that insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed is not covered by freedom of expression” (source: Al Arabiya), the stage is not that clear as France rejects the Blasphemy Law, as such France is in a different pickle, yet the stage of ‘insulting religion’, and until that part is dealt with, the stage remains and might actually get worse.  So whilst we all accept and see that beheading a teacher is wrong, no one is wondering why a teacher is allowed to openly insult religion, insult Islam. Even as some papers give us “some of them caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, during a history lesson about freedom of speech and freedom of conscience”, I would have had the same stage in 2015, I protested like others Je suis Charlie, yet at that point I did not know why the action was taken. I believe that the protest was valid, but the lack of validity that goes with openly insulting religion is not addressed, not by any news paper. Why is that?

Now that I know that images of the prophet Mohammed are taboo, why would a teacher repeat the same insult? If it truly was about freedom of expression, why not use the christian examples (we christians do not object to this) and refer in that same lesson that Islam has specific rules on idolisation, yet the papers and plenty of other sources steer clear of that part, I wonder why?

It is clear that there is a gap in secularism, as such we need to take heed on how we openly insult the religions around us, why do this, what is there to gain? 

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Creation of doubt

We all have doubts and sometimes we create them. I like many others are appalled by the beheading in France, as the news gives us “The teacher killed in a suburb of Paris in an Islamist terror attack has been named as Samuel Paty” as well as “The history teacher, who is said to have discussed images of the Prophet Muhammad with his pupils, was beheaded”, as a Catholic I am appalled, yet as an academic I wonder why the matter was set into motion. In 2015 many learned “If you set aside for a moment the issue of whether satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are insulting, there’s a separate and complicated debate about whether any depiction – even a respectful one – is forbidden within Islam. For most Muslims it’s an absolute prohibition – Muhammad, or any of the other prophets of Islam, should not be pictured in any way. Pictures – as well as statues – are thought to encourage the worship of idols”, as such we see that Islam FORBIDS any representation of the prophet Muhammad. So is the stage one where a person was beheaded, or is the stage where secular France, knowingly and intentionally disrespects a religion? This is a much harder question isn’t it? I took the events of 2015 at I was against them, yet at that point I was not aware about the Islamic rule of their prophet. As a Catholic, I have an issue of people intentionally disrespecting any religion, it is for that same reason that I refused to read the Satanic verses by Salman Rushdie. I have nothing against the man, I was in those days completely in the dark on Islam and the book was an open attack on Islam. I heard people I knew commenting on how brilliant a book it was, but I knew that they too had no knowledge, none what so ever on the rules and believes towards Islam. As a Catholic, I still laugh over the joke Sir Ken Robinson made “He shares this story of a teacher who asks a 6 year old girl, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of god.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what god looks like.” And the girl said, “They will in a minute””, idols and images of the Catholic faith are not a taboo, it sets the joke of anticipation and the premise towards the willingness to fail, a fear most Christians have in abundance. 

As such, why would Samuel Paty create a situation where he got ahead of himself? I do not condone what was done to him, but in defence of any Islamic person, why did he openly offend any religion in a school class? There is no way that there were no Islamic children in that school. I wonder if there is any school left where we share the classrooms with non-christians. Can we set the stage where we openly mock a religion whilst demanding respect from these very same people at the same time? As I personally see it, we create doubt, in ourselves and we create doubt in others. Why is that?

When we take a step back and we consider the Crusades (1096), we need to realise the state where we see “The crusader presence remained in the region in some form until the city of Acre fell in 1291, leading to the rapid loss of all remaining territory in the Levant. There were no further substantive attempts to recover the Holy Land after this”, consider the middle east being in a war for 196 years, this sets a stage (in those days of close to 7 generations that know a stage of war, a never ending war where hatred is taught (to at least some degree) from grandfather, to so to grandson, and that stage is made worse by intentionally disrespecting Islam, and you wonder why there are angry people? This is a stage that goes back to the Council of Clermont, where in 1095 it was decided that “capture Jerusalem for Christendom from its Muslim occupiers. The Pope’s speech to the church hierarchy and crowd of laymen at Clermont famously promised all participants a remission of their sins, a strategy which proved hugely popular amongst Europe’s nobility and knights and which was copied in all crusades thereafter”, apart from the stage where the reward was ‘promised all participants a remission of their sins’, basically on the promise of killing any saracen in sight. Can someone enlighten me where slaughter was approved in the Bible? All whilst Pope Urban II was viewed as “a reformer and active promoter of the idea of expanding Christendom by whatever means necessary. Hailing from a noble family from Burgundy, France, Urban II would establish himself as one of the most influential popes in history”, yes and a war lasting a few centuries longer 196 years achieved that? 

So as we get to “On 27 November the cream of the French clergy and a crowd of laymen gathered in a field just outside Clermont for the finale of the council. It was here that Urban II made his now famous speech in an obviously pre-prepared set piece. The message, known as the Indulgence, was addressed in particular to Christian nobles and knights across Europe. Urban II promised that all those who defended Christendom and captured Jerusalem would be embarking on a pilgrimage, all their sins would be washed away, and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In case anyone was concerned, a group of church scholars later went to work and came up with the idea that a campaign of violence could be justified by references to particular passages of the Bible and the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)”, The man (not the actual Hippo) got his fame with the Just War theory. A stage where we are taught “The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: “right to go to war” (jus ad bellum) and “right conduct in war” (jus in bello). The first concerns the morality of going to war, and the second the moral conduct within war. Recently there have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory—jus post bellum—dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction”, perhaps the French UN essay writer, might reflect on the Just war theory, I mean, she has such a great handle on fiction, might it not be an idea to set the record straight on historic events? I see and understand the stage of ‘Just war theory’, there is nothing wrong with it, but consider the stage we were at in 1095, the middle east was not a christian bastion. In 1000bc Jerusalem was Jewish, in 586 bc it became Babylonian, Alexander the Great made it Greek, after that is became Egyptian, then Roman, after that it became Muslim, 400 years before the first crusade. Can anyone even tell what Jerusalem was supposed to be? 

But Christians needed expansion and the famine and destitute in Europe gave them the idea to tap into the wealthy reserves of the Arab nations. This is a stage that had war upon war, all whilst none had any clue who they were up against, merely that their enemy was non-christian, can we afford a repetition? Well, I actually do not care, if it decimates 96% of the population, I’ll be happy, because this planet will end up with all kinds of live stopping it become extinct. So back to Christians, can we tell how many versions there are? There are dozens of bibles all different, there are Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, 7 day advents, Quakers and a whole range of subversions and additions. Yet there are as far as I can tell, two forms of Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam and they both have the same Quran, to the letter. Sunni’s and Shia’s pray together and their pilgrimage takes them all to the same to places. I believe that we create the doubt in ourselves and I do not care on secularism, armistice or atheist values, which of them allows for the open and wanton disrespect of Islam we see?

It does not make the violence acceptable, but we created that stage ourselves, we need to see that and we need to see it quickly. In case you wonder if it is just Islamic violence. I offer you the setting of another challenge. Buy a cow, go into Mumbai with that cow and slaughter your own cow, good luck getting out alive, your changes are not that good. If that setting offends you, then why allow the entire stage towards an image of Muhammad, in a school no less.

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The mind stage

Where is the border of sanity? The is the question that is central at this point. Yes, we are having slightly too much fun with the new President of the United Stage, it is Mr. Covid, he is only 19 but running the US. As the news is exploding all over the news and the internet, we are given name after name, cluster after cluster and it is hitting the White House, the Senate and optionally Congress as well. After that there have been the dozens of attacks on Saudi Arabia, yet Iran is left outside of consideration and Ubisoft is getting hammered. Now, in part Ubisoft has itself to thank for what is happening, and I am not referring to the news that 25% was a witness or victim of unacceptable behaviour, or whatever that means. I am not making light of the situation, I truly am not. Ubisoft is part of its own problem, as marketing is trying to inflate hypes, we see this with ‘Prince Of Persia Remake Nintendo Switch Box Art Leaks Online’, as well as ‘Ubisoft Appears To Tease Rayman Project, Deletes Post After Fans Get Too Hyped’. The problem with hypes is not the they are hypes, they are the figments of illusional marketing. To set this straight I need to take you to an alternative setting

2 out of 3

There are three levers for a new house, one has the settings Cheap-Expensive, the second is called ‘Fast build – Slow build’ and the third one is ‘High quality – Low Quality’, the issues is that you can only select two, the third one will be set against you, which ones do you choose?

Marketing has a similar stage. Large visibility- small visibility, quick – slow, large placement versus small placement and high quality versus low quality. There are a few more elements, but this is merely to illuminate, in these four only two can be set and now you see the danger for Ubisoft as it ignored timing and quality, whilst keeping visibility and placement to large, and now the ignored quality is costing them. So as we see leak after leak (which I believe has been orchestrated by marketing element), we see all the setting in place and there is no consideration towards quality. So whilst we see “The players are back in the game but the way Ubisoft handled the whole ordeal didn’t hold up to a good standard. As a way to thank the players for patience with the patch, the devs offered some freebies to lessen the inconvenience caused by tardiness. One of them was the custom Desert Eagle and the other a grand total of 1,200 Skell Credits” we see the adaptation of quantity, and to fix it the gamers are treated to ‘some freebies’, as I see it the horse has left the stable and the stable is no longer theirs. And that setting is about to be set in a real live testing. The two games where things cannot go wrong for Ubisoft is AC Valhalla and Watchdogs: Legion. If either goes wrong the larger downfall stage for Ubisoft will be set. 

As I personally see it, they seemingly just will not learn, the last time they got it right was 2017, and I believe the they are at present out of options. As their marketing hands us story after story, leak after leak, they are sailing from the setting they need to be in (and perhaps behind the screens they are), and I hope they are, but the first hurdle is 40 days away and they better not miss a beat. 

So how does this touch on Saudi Arabia?

We see marketing via the media and newspapers, anti Saudi Arabia and the silence towards Iran. First things first, Saudi Arabia now has the initial setting of full 5G completed. No matter that this is Huawei, there is a stage where China now has options to open talks on all kinds of matters. Pompeo gave us via newspapers that they are using seduction and nuclear weapons, but that might merely be a second stage. Even as Huawei is opening technology, China does have the option to open up towards larger weapons contract, destabilising US interests in the middle east. All whilst Saudi Arabia with a functioning 5G becomes a testing ground for 5G, allowing Saudi engineers to create a larger benefit, optionally setting up new apps, all tested and ready to be deployed outside of Saudi Arabia. it is merely the setting on the side and the people opposing this are the ones who are afraid to lose too much coins.

Now, I am really willing to accept that it is all in my mind, but the setting stages of media marketing and media exploitation is getting out of control and that is what we now see, we see marketing driven media out of control yet the people who need to see what is going on are ignoring it. And the weird part is that it is happening to Ubisoft and it is happening to Saudi Arabia, two seemingly unrelated pawns in a much larger game, yet is it a real larger game, or one that is merely in my mind? Ignoring this is wrong, it is the same stage that these conspiracy theories have (I am always right, I am the only one who sees this). I try to back all the things I see with other links and verified news, Yet that does not stop a person to see what that person believes, but it does not mean that it does not exist. It is a larger stage of data versus insight. One cannot compare apples to pears.

So even as I see the marketing and media frenzy, I see both elements as separate ones, these two players are merely hit in a similar way. Consider the pro Saudi News, the one relating to Neom city, so a 500 billion dollar investment and we see in Google 21,000 hits? Whilst we see 54 million negative mentions towards Saudi Arabia. Does that not strike you all as weird? Now, I am not stating that Saudi Arabia is innocent, that it has no issues, but the world (pretty much all of it) tends to go coo-coo where money is concerned, and $500,000,000,000 is a lot of money. It inspired me to make four parts of my IP. And let’s be fair, out of $500 billion, even a 0.1% is well worth anyones time (I am hoping for a mere 1% and I am willing to end with only 10% of that), so as we set that trickle, do you think that the players like Google and Apple are not ready to jump in at similar settings at a moments notice? You have got to be kidding, but the media remains silent, 21,000 hits on Neom city? Are you for real? The same can be seen in light of Ubisoft, 6.5M, yet only 1.5M when it comes to Ubisoft and PS5, a lot more mind you, but there is a stage where they seemingly overlap in treatment by the media and that is what I saw. I feel justified in what I see and I feel justified in bringing it to light. Even as a lot will agree that Ubisoft has coming what it asked for, there is a larger stage which is completely absent of fair dinkum (an Australian expression meaning fair play) and I have an issue with that, just like the never ending anti-Saudi news. I saw a right wing poll with the question “Single Greatest contributing factor behind decline of UK”, from the 3237 votes, 72% voted that Islam was the reason, a stage that together with the anti-Saudi waves has become unacceptable, yet all these governments making anti-discrimination claims are massively incapable to do anything.

We are turning several corners at the same time and I for one am completely ignorant on what might be a solution. I merely wonder if we are returning to the age of the crusades, christians against Muslims and I for one had hoped that we had learned our lesson by now.

So if you think it is in my mind, fine, I get it. However, the Google Searches, the news items, they all seemingly prove me right. And this is all before we take a notice of the growing amount of anti-Islam and anti-semitism all over the western world. Is it all truly in my mind? It is (as I personally see it) not a stage that is merely in my mind, it is a growing stage and it is out there and we can no longer continue on the path that we are.

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Sweden has it too

We know that the far right is not blessed with a lot of intelligence, and as such I did not expect Sweden to get overly right winged, but the Quran burning in Sweden is proving me wrong. So when the BBC gave me ‘Protest against Koran-burning turns violent in Sweden’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53959492) I was a little surprised. And there was more, with “Earlier on Friday, police barred far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan from attending the Koran-burning rally” we see that the hatred prolongation against Muslims is a lot worse then we thought, it is a European problem and they are not dealing with it. It started with the images of Mohammed, which in turn made me come up with the script ‘How to assassinate a politician’, which could optionally be eligible for an International Oscar if it was made. I just don’t get it, I thought the Nazi’s were stupid with their book burning, which they optionally got the idea from Girolamo Savonarola, who burned my copy of the Decamerone (bloody bastard), and he became the original designer of the Bonfire of the Vanities. So the Nazi’s got a hold of that idea and now we see a repetition of stupidity by the Swedish far right. As I see it christianity is waning, after 2000 years we are finally seeing that reflections don’t help, it merely assists the greed driven in setting up shop and trying to prove me wrong merely assists the far right and the atheists. I don’t comprehend this level of stupidity, why burn books, why burn any book? In doing so it just pisses of the Muslims, which is apparently their goal and it is less intelligent than any other option and that is saying something. I have no issues with Muslims and I have no issues with people who are not pro-Muslim, but keep it to themselves. There is a level of acceptance that christian people seemingly have. Perhaps there is a sizeable group that are not cheering for Muslims, but as we are in a station where we accept other religions, I accept that we have Muslims in our midst, we have a welcoming nature, so it is fine with me. I see no problem, and I get that some people get nervous, but is it nervous out of knowledge? I doubt it.

So whilst far right politician Geert Wilders sets in motion “Geert Wilders revived a controversial Prophet Mohammad cartoon competition. The Dutch politician declared the winner to be a dark drawing of a bearded man wearing a black turban”, we see the repetitive acts of intentional insulting Muslims, and anyone doubting the idea I had on the movie project ‘How to assassinate a politician’ would be an allowed stage where a person not unlike far right politician Geert Wilders ends up being dead (in the movie that is). So as we are getting over the shock that Sweden is just as discriminating as any other EU nation, we see a larger issue making it to the surface. In a stage where people hide behind ‘freedom of speech’ whilst knowingly and intentionally whacking others is just a slime move. So as we turn back the clock to April 2019 and we see ‘presentation on Gendered Islamophobia in Europe’ (at https://efomw.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/EFOMW-Strasbourg.pdf), I wonder about that setting, I am not saying that the setting does not exist, I merely state that there is a much larger stage of ‘presentation on Islamophobia in Europe’, gender is not an issue, the discriminants see man and women of muslim faith both equally unacceptable in their region. Yet all this should not be given to you without ‘Danish man who videoed himself burning the Quran charged with blasphemy’, a situation from February 2017 with the by-line “Case is first time Danish prosecutors have charged anyone with blasphemy in 46 years”, as such I accept that there is forward momentum, yet that was three years ago and there is not much evidence that forward momentum is a given. And if we accept Danish law “Under clause 140 of Denmark’s penal code, anyone can be imprisoned or fined for publicly insulting or degrading religious doctrines or worship”, I wonder why Rasmus Paludan is still an elected official or even a free man, don’t you? 

 

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Pray for the incantation

As we prayed in the circle of light, we were given the clue we needed to proceed. Yet, for a lot of people that does not make sense and it does not need to be the case. Those who ever played the RPG Ultima 3 will know what I mean. It was an ‘other’ action that was required. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw ‘Saudi Arabia suspends prayer in mosques, exempts holy Makkah and Madinah sites‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642761/saudi-arabia),in this I wonder what the churches are contemplating. We see ‘Most Vatican offices open, but adapting schedules in wake of pandemic‘, it is there where we see the first iteration of who prays towards the need for greed and who does not. Even as we are informed in the very first paragraph to “Vatican offices will remain open to ensure “essential services for the universal church,” but each office is being asked to evaluate the best ways to provide those services while observing health precautions and guidelines on safe distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus“, it is nice that the clergy is adapting towards ‘evaluate’ even as we all realise on how they are absent of medical knowledge, they are also a little unaware of the cases in their surrounding Italy with 31,506 cases and 2,503 non-living people, increasing their nonliving population by 345 in the last 24 hours. All this whilst the Vatican has a reported 1 case of the disease and as far as we can tell that person is still alive, yet in that given environment “Pope Francis ignored the lockdown of Italy amid the country’s severe coronavirus outbreak, and shocked two churches with a special visit to soothe fears and pray for the end of the disease spreading across the planet“, what can I say? The man is a proven ideologist.

Yet we see the sober act in Saudi Arabia “Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend congregational prayers across all mosques in the Kingdom, except for the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah“, it is an act that makes sense. In addition we see a second part that makes sense “Mosque doors will be closed temporarily but they will be allowed to recite the call to prayer“, OK, I understand that, if there is one part that the Vatican and Saudi Arabia have in common it is their approach to faith, and as such we see “an amendment has been made to the call in which the usual phrase “come to prayer” in the Arabic call has been replaced with “pray at home”. The new phrase can also be translated as “pray where you are”.” It makes sense and the fact that I got this almost only from the Arab News gives rise to how large the cliff between christian media and other media is. This is all being written by me as I am listening to ‘Wish You Were Here‘ by Pink Floyd, mind and ears are in sync and we are all giving welcome to the machine that is within us. Even as we see that, we see the beginning of a new problem, one that I saw coming (ha ha ha) ‘UK mobile phone networks report problems as Brits start work from home‘, they might be the first, but they are not the only ones. I reckon that some of the networks all over Europe,all now pushed to the brink of maximum, they are all in a stage where they are close to the point of buckling. And in that light where we see governments shouting to firms that they should embrace ‘working from home’, we will see a much larger collapse. And as we are being told “Customers of all the major networks including EE, O2, Vodafone, Three and GiffGaff, reported problems. Downdetector, which monitors network problems, said outages were in cities across the UK“,
I see a much larger collapse. Even as Reuters gives us ‘Can networks cope with millions working from home? So far, yes‘. I am doubtful, when the work from home takes on larger proportions, the German and French networks will buckle like a 90 year old with a bad back. In the middle of the 5G push no one has a seemingly sober head in making sure that one does not replace the other at this stage. The timing for them is too much out of balance and it is more likely then not that we will see larger interruptions in the big 4 economic nations of the EU. 

And this is merely the beginning. Stephanie Kirchgaessner (the one that made Saudi accusations on Jeff Bezos) gives us “Google has been accused by two US senators of seeking to exploit consumers fear over Covid-19 for profit following allegations that the company is targeting “predatory” and “price-gouging” ads for scarce goods, including protective masks and hand sanitiser, to vulnerable users“, one of them Mark Warner gives us screenshots and even whilst I am not saying that he is intentionally misinforming us, my search gives us [see image], and even as I am not saying that he is misinforming us, the images are part of a much larger issue, it is the issue that some people do not understand the mechanics of a larger system, the abusers do and it seems that certain politicians (some journalists too) will always be outfoxed by abusers of any system. 

It is in that ‘christian’ view that we do not understand the setting we see in Saudi Arabia and even as I access the ‘Work-from-home policy set to help contain virus in Saudi Arabia‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642931/saudi-arabia), that part and the ‘Saudi health minister outlines Kingdom’s preventive measures against coronavirus‘, I personally belief that we all have a lot more to learn, and even as some are in prayer (both Christian and Muslim) for optional wisdom, we ened to wonder how many politicians are in it for the common good and not for personal gain, as I personally see it, there is a larger drive towards factual information, in this I am not stating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia give out more information, but they do seemingly give out less misinformation, which is a win for all who read it, no matter what your religion is. The lack of greed is seen in “Pregnant women and new mothers, people suffering from respiratory diseases, those with immune-system problems or chronic conditions, cancer patients and employees above the age of 55 are to be given 14 days compulsory paid leave, which will not be deducted from their annual entitlement“, which companies in the EU, US or Commonwealth give that as an option? A few do, but that list is really limiting to see. 

In all this Saudi Arabia is still important, when we realise that they have 171 cases (38 more than yesterday) and no reported deaths, it seems that whatever track they have in place is seemingly delaying the larger impact on the people, even as Iceland has no fatalities, that isolated island already has 247 cases (48 more than yesterday). So something is working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perhaps it is merely the dry heat, we just do not know at present. 

There is a larger story and it comes from a few, not just me. The conversation (at http://theconversation.com/what-islamic-hygienic-practices-can-teach-when-coronavirus-is-spreading-133221) gave us 2 days ago “The recent Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” illustrates how the Islamic ritual washing, known as “wudu,” may help spread a good hygiene message“, and I am reminded on how my ‘accusation’ on how pragmatic Islamic law is, I actually did not see this coming. the fact that the pragmatic approach to Wudu is still in a stage of superiority over the Coronavirus. Is that the wrong thought to have? Perhaps, but the health experts (I am not one) are agreeing on the factual benefit that Wudu has. It is almost the stage where the Wilder humor takes over the stage (as seen in Blazing Saddles): “Now go do that Wudu that you do so well” and it becomes a much larger stage to behold. If the cleaning of one has a much larger benefit, what else did Christians optionally get wrong?

So as we are told “Wudu is to be performed, as was done by the Prophet Muhammad, in a specific order before praying, which takes place five times a day. Before each prayer, Muslims are expected to wash themselves in a certain order – first hands, then mouth, nose, face, hair and ears, and finally their ankles and feet“, we (most christians) are in the belief that we are right and others are wrong (even the ones they removed from existance), in all this we see the effect that the Coronavirus has and fear takes over, as such, is this the time to see if we can cross the gap between Christianity and Islam? Even Muslim institutions are open to adjustment. That part is seen in “Muslim institutions have begun to recommend that people make sure to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap before doing wudu. Emphasizing that wudu alone cannot prevent the virus from spreading, other Islamic institutions recommend that mosques supply extra soap and hand sanitizer near the washing area“, they never claimed to be the wisest, merely that they were as wise as anyone can be, and in that light the Christians sneering at this part should consider ‘KENTUCKY MAN WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS GUARDED AT HOME BY POLICE AFTER HE REFUSED TO QUARANTINE‘, as such we see that there is a larger stage of stupidity and it is not limited to politicians, anyone can get on that stage. it seems interesting that the law allows for this and then sets the stage where a police force is required to stop this person from infecting others, was the bible his inspiration? 

No matter what faith we have, we can only hope to hear an inner voice when we pray for wisdom, whether you have a faith or you are an agnostic, we all have a need for wisdom. And in that light, when we see the clear benefits of Wudu, how much time the western media took to give the light to this practice? 

There is a much larger disruption and I believe not illuminating the things we can properly do is at the heart of this disruption. We see governments dousing panic driven flames, yet the larger fire is unattended, please feel free not to believe me, but this article is riddled with optional evidence. I say optional, because a lot of it is fueled through a lack of clarity, as I personally see this Mark Warner being one of them. When 144 characters is the maximum for an accusation, and what he sees as a ‘Google Search’ all whilst we see “These ads, from a range of different advertisers, were served by Google on websites for outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, CNBC, The Irish Times, and myriad local broadcasting affiliates,” in this we see the accusation, yet not the critical look that the mentioned “a range of different advertisers” are set to, the lack of Google Ads knowledge is at the heart of that foundation. 

The image I am showing is in none of the Wark Warner images, is that not weird too?

 

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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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