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Archive for December, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Eid-ul Adha is round the corner. It seems in India it’s going to be on 1st. Though with our crazy history, nobody can tell. Let us be positive then: let us enjoy the unpredictability. (Oh no! I can’t; my schedule will go haywire! ).

For those who do not know, it is to commemorate the incident of Abraham attempting to sacrifice his son (as God had so willed). One remembers the controversy about whether it was Ishmael or Israel who was being sacrificed. Some people have even more interesting observations. I will not get into Israel-Ishmael debate, because I feel it does not matter who (unless you want to take side with Arabs or Israelis. I am neither for one or the other. I feel it is better to be for justice, than to be loyal to a group).

All that apart, hearty wishes for everyone. May He bestow His love and forgiveness for all in this occasion.
Amen
.

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Christmas and New Year

The earth has finished one more revolution around the Sun since last december.

One more year is gone. It is a time to pause. To reflect the past, to regret the mistakes and to look forward. Shall we look back and see what we have added to The Record?

As for me, it has been a year of a lot of gain, but I have given little. I have learned a lot. I have tried to share what I have learnt, as well as to learn from others. It has been a year of gifts, as a shiny flower has been bestowed on me. May Lord grant me and all my brothers and sisters peace, righteousness and judgement, and may He guide us.

I have learnt from the next generation too. And as with all previous generations, I see despair, and a little hope too, in them. Hard times are coming. And then probably a miracle? Oh yes! Miracles do happen. All the time. Isn’t it that I am writing this a miracle? To me, it is.

It has been a year of mistakes and sins too. I regret and pray for forgiveness, and hope of being forgiven by the Merciful.

Praise unto you, O Lord! the Sustainer and Cherisher of the worlds
The Merciful, The Kind
Lord of The Day of Judgment
Only Thee do we worship, Thee only do we turn for help
Guide us through the Straight Path
The Path on which prophets and saints have walked
And not (the path) of those who have gone astray.

Amen.

Merry Christamas to all.
A very happy and prosperous and rewarding new year.
May Peace prevail.

Amen.

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In a very interesting session (1 hour) of ‘Conversations with History‘ Robert Pape talks about what causes terrorism.

I will strongly urge you to listen to Pape very seriously. I feel his contribution is very important to understand terrorism. It is quite counter-intuitive(one shocking revealation is perhaps the fact that the LTTE is the undoubtable champion of suicide attack), especially if you listen to CNN or Fox News or Zee news too often.

The prime reason, as he puts it, behind suicide terrorism is foreign occupation. Terrorists carry out suicide attack ‘in response to foreign occupation forces in lands which the terrorists prize as their land‘ and not primarily due to religious fundamentalism. He is quite substantial and convincing in his findings. They are supported by numbers and they fit quite well with what I had a vague idea about.

However, he is talking from an American’s point of view. For example he is not opposed to ‘controlling’ the mid-east oil.

He missed to (or maybe he did not) touch upon the source of the myth of ‘clash of civilizations’ or the source of the myth connecting Islam with violence and hatred. One may also listen to Noam Chomsky , needs no introduction, or to Ira Lapidus, an expert in Muslim societies.

It is important to demonize a society to justify oppressing them. Add to this the human desire to prove superior to others. Naturally the powerful has advantage in this. They tend to define what is right and what is wrong. And that is why Muslims are bad, and Islam is what causes suicide terrorism.

I have talked about his book once before.

RELATED READ:
Pape’s paper in American Political Science Review

The Myth of Muslim support for Terror Coutresy, filasteen.

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Reservation Bill Passed

The lower house passed the reservation bill on 14th. Parliament has passed it today.

AIIMS doctors have started hunger strike in response.

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I don’t want this page to look like a video showcase. But I want to share the good ones I have seen. Therefore I will link to them, but not embed them.

Politics
Doha Debates with Hamza Yusuf
(About 50 minuts. Incomplete.)
Basically concerned about terrorism.

Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land
(One hour and 20 minutes)
The Israel-Palestine fights.

History
The Empire of Faith, first part.
(All the three parts are roughly 55 minuts. Total about three hours of watch.)
The first part mainly is about the prophet of Islam, peace and blessings upon him.
The second and the third part are here and here. The second part is the subsequent history upto the Mongol invation of Baghdad. Third part talks about the Ottomans.

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Democray is in a sense rule of the majority. It has happened in the past that the minorities were exploited by a powerful minority. We think democracy can solve that. However as things stand, it still does happen, even in democracies.

On the other hand, there is a term ‘tyranny of the majority’. Popular opinion goes that test of strength of democracy lies in the status of the minority (in whatever sense: religious, racial, lingual etc. etc.).

This seems to me an inbuilt paradox. The rule of the majority( if that is what is democracy) will ‘ensure’ that minority are treated as minority, portrayed as ‘beneficiaries’ of the state. Not as partners in the rights and responsibilities. They will in fact be marginalised and exploited. That is (collective) human charecter as history seems to suggest.

If I look at ‘real world’ I see something equally paradoxical. For example in the USA ‘tyranny of the majority’ and ‘tyranny of the minority’ (so to say) are taking place at the same time and at the same place.

The dominant racial identity is white(in the USA). The blacks are definitely marginalised. This is ‘tyranny of the majority’.

Economically, however, it is the minority(the rich) who make or significantly influence policy decisions. They systematically exploit the majority (the not-so-rich, and that includes blacks and whites).

This puzzles me.

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Lies were not True

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