Depressive?

Posted May 16, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: general

It is sad that i havent posted for such a long time. Im dissappointed as well.
However, i havent lost interest or motivation…just time.
Unfortunately my school, or any other school that i am aware of, doesnt give a grade for a “good blog” and hence, limits my time to actually work on it.
Now you should ask whether my only drive for doing things is the reward in the end. It may seam so, and i do fear it quite often. but its not.
however, school comes before blog, and blog must wait till school ends. Of course school never really ends, but gives intervals of time perfect for wasting…..or taking advantage of while writing a blog.
Up till now, i havent actually posted my views. I simply copied what others had to say,

Read the rest of this post »

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When babies become fair game…

Posted March 26, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: An Outlandish Response

This was my first post when I made this blog. I obviously had more motivation then. Assuming most people should have forgotten this post, im reposting it. I find it to be one of my best.  

When babies become fair game, “Israel’s” Education minister becomes very angry.

“When terrorists declare every member of a particular society a legitimate target, when babies become fair game, they are moving humanity backwards to the age of savagery, when human society was dominated by dark, unrestrained passions, not the laws and accepted rules of civilized conduct”

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The very “civilized” “Israeli” minister says:“The laws of war in the civilized world are based on a clear-cut distinction between combatants and civilians. The civilized world has determined that acts of war may be carried out only against armed combatants not against unarmed citizens. Terrorists refuse to heed these laws and in so doing set themselves apart from civilized people everywhere.” 
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The very “educated” education minister claims:“[Palestinians] have planned military-terrorist attacks on civilians targeting places with a high density of children and young women. Remember, the attack on a Tel Aviv coffee shop in Purim? They love to murder toddlers.”

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The “oppressed” “Israeli” Education minister says:“Of course they rush to the anti-Israeli media when a bullet killed a 12 year old girl in
Gaza, a mistake by an Israeli soldier. It happened in a war.The wave of terror launched by the Palestinian Authority demonstrates complete scorn and utter contempt for the rules and principles of the civilized world, turning children and teenagers into the targets and victims of barbarous acts of murder.” 
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The “clever” “Israeli” minister claims:“As a result, the terrorist has set himself apart from the rest of humanity. He has declared an all-out war on the society he is challenging. In his view, any member of that society is a legitimate target. Even a babe in arms is fair game, because that baby may grow up to become a soldier.”

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“Yet Israel is a nation that yearns for peace. Its war is not against innocent Palestinians, but rather against the terrorists themselves, as well as those who dispatch, finance, harbor and give them succor…..”says, the “peaceful” “Israeli” education minister. 

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I pray for the Truth to become manifest. I pray for God to soften the hardened hearts, so that they may see the truth. I pray for the innocent to no longer be blamed for the oppression done against them. May God guide those who have gone astray. and May the Most Merciful grant his Mercy on all those who are oppressed

*This excerpts were taken from the article “The Slaughter of Israeli Children” in the “Jewish Post”. For those who wish to know, I do not agree with anything between “” quotation marks.

Newsweek: Islam Got It First!

Posted March 12, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: general

 Interesting to read.

I knew there was something special about those designs!

from http://www.hahmed.com

March 19, 2007 issue – Ancient, closely held religious secrets; messages encoded on the walls of Middle Eastern shrines; the divine golden ratio—readers of a recent issue of the journal Science must have wondered if they’d mistakenly picked up “The Da Vinci Code” instead. In stretches of intricate tiling on several 500-year-old Islamic buildings, Peter Lu and Paul Steinhardt wrote, they’d spotted a large fragment of a mathematical pattern that was unknown to Western science until the 1970s. Islam gave the world algebra, from the Arabic al-jabr, a term referring to a basic equation. But this pattern is far from basic; it comes from much higher math. “The ridiculous thing is, this pattern has been staring Westerners in the face all this time,” says Keith Critchlow, author of the book “Islamic Patterns.” “We simply haven’t been able to read it.” Now that we can, though, it is serving as a startling indication of how accomplished medieval-era Muslims may have been.

No one knows what the architects of the complex pattern in the tiles named it a half millennium ago. Today, scientists call it a “quasiperiodic crystal with forbidden symmetry.” It’s forbidden not for any religious reason, of course, but because at first glance it appears impossible to construct. Take a pattern of triangular tiles, rotate it one third the way around, and the resulting pattern is identical. The same goes for rectangular tiles (which look the same rotated one fourth the way around) or hexagonal tiles (one sixth the way around). But a grid made purely of pentagons simply can’t exist. The five-sided shapes don’t fit together without leaving gaps, and there’s no way to put them in a pattern that looks the same when turned one fifth the way around.

The breakthrough that took the “forbidden” out of that “forbidden symmetry” was to use two shapes, not one, to build a fivefold-symmetrical grid. In 1973, having given up on pentagons, mathematician Sir Roger Penrose designed a fivefold pattern with shapes he called “kites” and “darts.” He was the first Westerner (and at the time, he thought, the first person) to do so, and his creation turned out to have fascinating mathematical properties. Any given fragment of it, containing a finite number of kites and darts, could be infinitely divided into a never-repeating pattern of smaller kites and darts.

As the number of small shapes in the pattern increased, the ratio of kites to darts approached the “golden ratio,” a number practically sacred to mathematicians. Discovered by Pythagoras, the golden ratio is irrational, which means it extends to an infinite number of decimal places. (The actual number is 1.618033989 … and so on.) It is linked to the famous Fibonacci sequence and cited in the writings of astronomer Johannes Kepler and, yes, Leonardo da Vinci. It is also found at the atomic level. In the 1980s, Steinhardt, a physicist at Princeton, armed with Penrose’s insight, found that some chemicals had their atoms arranged in a “quasicrystalline” shape like that of the fivefold grid.

Medieval Muslims apparently figured out at least some of this math. On the wall of one shrine in Iran, Lu found, two types of large tiles are divided into smaller tiles of the same shapes, in numbers that approximate the golden ratio. The builders certainly knew about the ratio, having inherited all the Greek science and curated it, says Critchlow. “The human creation was imitating, in abstract fashion, the wondrous creation of God,” says Gulru Necipoglu, a professor of Islamic art at Harvard. Some geometric patterns, for instance, evoked the planets and stars. And throughout the medieval era and onwards, says Steinhardt, Muslims “were fascinated by fivefold symmetry and were always trying to incorporate it into their designs. Where the patterns ended up with gaps, they would cleverly place a door or a windowsill there so you couldn’t tell.” In the buildings examined by Lu, they succeeded.

Although the Penrose-patterned tiles date to the 14th and 15th centuries, the same shapes of tiles “were used all over the medieval Islamic world to generate all sorts of patterns” for hundreds of years before and after that, says Lu. The Topkapi scroll, a Persian artifact from the late 15th or early 16th century, lists many such designs. There may also be clues to ancient Muslims’ mathematical prowess in other tiling on mosques in Iran and Turkey, madrassas in Baghdad and shrines in Afghanistan and India. They would fit nicely into the increasingly common image of the medieval Islamic world as an advanced society. Scholars now know that Muslims of that era could solve equations with variables to the power of 3 and above, which are harder than the classic quadratic “x2″ ones fundamental to algebra. They also had mechanical “computers” and knew considerably more about medicine and astronomy than Europeans of the time.

What has not yet been found, unfortunately, is any record of how early Muslims designed the fivefold patterns and conceptualized the math lurking in them, since few Muslim scholars wrote down their discoveries for wide dissemination. “You absolutely do not have to understand the higher math to be able to do it,” says David Salesin, a computer scientist at the University of Washington. Lu agrees that there’s no need to project a modern understanding of quasicrystals onto an ancient culture—but he also says the pattern design was no accident. “No matter how it was constructed,” he adds, “it’s a stunning achievement.” Particularly now that the world has eyes to see it.
© 2007 Newsweek, Inc.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17553752/site/newsweek/

Combat Boots

Posted March 8, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: An Outlandish Response, general

I have some more cartoons again. I hope you do enjoy them as much as I do. I feel like they express so much, with so little. 

Some are just ironic, and dont really have to do with current issues. they make you think.

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George cartoons:

3_1_07derkaoui.jpg

carlos-latuff-brazil.jpg

david300a.jpg

najibenaji.jpg

He is just so easy to make fun of. I think it comes naturally to cartoonists.

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I think thats enough for today. Tell me what you think.

The Road to Peace

Posted February 14, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: An Outlandish Response

The Roads to Peace


The roads to peace are paths of war,
The gentle dove will leave her scar.

The moral men to say the least,
Will kill us all to get their peace.

The roads that lead to victories gained,

Are filled with people full of pain.

Only our Creator knew,
We’d kill so many to save so few.

Imam Zaid Shakir

 

If you don’t sweat for peace, then you bleed for war!

Posted February 4, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: An Outlandish Response

 An interview with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, right after his lecture at ISNA. I dont think anyone else could have given more realistic advice.

 Q: Linden MacIntyre: What are the roots of Muslim rage?

A: Hamza Yusuf: If you had one word to describe the root of all this rage, it’s humiliation. Arabs in particular are extremely proud people. If you look at what happened in Lebanon recently, the Arabs kind of raised their head– they think it’s a big victory, the fact that their whole country was destroyed and over a thousand people were killed, many of them children. Why is it a victory? Because they fought back. That’s all. “OK, you can crush us into the Earth, but you’re not going to get us to submit.” And I think that’s deeply rooted in Muslim consciousness, the idea of not submitting to anything other than God. “You can abuse me, but you’re not going to win me over. But if you treat me with respect and dignity, I’m going to fall in love with you. I’m going to sing your praises all over the world because you’re powerful and you treated me with human dignity.”

Q: Where do they see the proof of the humiliation?

A: It’s everywhere. You don’t think it’s humiliating to have a foreign force come into your land? You see, Muslims don’t have this nation state idea. There’s a tribe called Bani Tamin. It’s one of the biggest tribes in Saudi Arabia and in Iraq, and they’re intermarried. The West doesn’t seem to understand that. The Moroccans feel the Iraqi pain as their own. It’s one pain. So when you see some American soldier banging down a door and coming into a house with all these women in utter fear who’ve done nothing, that’s humiliation, and it’s going to enrage people. And what are we doing there? There are no weapons of mass destruction. They were never a threat to us. You know, Shakespeare wrote a play called Julius Caesar, and it was all about the danger of pre-emptive strikes. Brutus is convinced by Cassius to kill Caesar. Why? Because Caesar’s ambitious, because he might declare himself king. And the end of that play, everybody dies; it’s just disaster. That’s the tragedy of pre-emptive strikes.

Q: What goes through your mind when you hear about all these roundups of young Muslims who are supposedly plotting things in London and in Toronto?

A: We keep being told about these roundups, and in the end, they’re more aspirational than operational. I’d love to have been in the meeting when they thought that one up. It seems to me that they’re just a lot of bumbling fools out there.

Q: On which side of the equation?

A: On both sides. I mean, that’s part of the problem. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent, and I think that’s really what we’re dealing with here, incompetence. Both sides have been incredibly ineffective at achieving their goals– at least their stated goals.

Q: I’m trying to get a measure of just how concerned people should really be though.

A: Listen, hurricanes are a much greater threat to us right now. Katrina did much more damage than anything the terrorists could ever put together. Yeah, there’s nuclear weapons are out there and that certainly is a concern. That’s the job of these intelligence people to stop that, right? But stop making us all live in fear and telling us about orange and red levels. All that nonsense just simply has to stop. We need to calm down and think at a deeper level. People can’t think when their minds are clouded with fear. The fear tactic is a tactic that’s used by people who want to maintain control, and it’s very effective.

A democracy is predicated on an educated citizenry. You cannot have a democracy with people that are more interested in what Nicole Kidman is doing or whoever the latest fashion model is. If that’s your interest, democracy can’t survive. You also have corporate interests here. We have an arms industry in the West that is our No. 1 industry. It’s bigger than anything– automobiles, everything. Now if you don’t have reasons to build weapons, where do all those contracts go?

Q: Your job is to recruit young people into a more constructive project.

A: Well, I’m not a recruiter ….

Q: You are definitely an influence.

A: I’ve got my own personal projects, like my school and my seminary. But at this point in my life, I’m actually just trying to put some balance out there because I feel that there’s an incredible amount of disequilibrium in the way people are acting and the way they’re thinking. There are irrational fears. If you see a woman wearing a hijab and fear is your first thought, something’s really wrong. How do you racially profile terrorists when 90percent of the world falls into that? Mexicans look like Arabs, for God’s sake, and anybody can change their name. I mean Abdullah can change his name to Eduardo. It’s not going to be difficult, if they’re clever. So how do you profile people?

Q: Six years ago, there were probably the same number of disenchanted young people in chat rooms and coffee houses complaining and plotting. But given the last five years, what are the chances now that it is going to become a more real and a more sinister force?

A: A major fear for me is that it will get worse with the profiling, with the alienation. I think especially for the young people and especially in the more underprivileged groups, but don’t rule out the privileged as well. In the Communist period, the revolutionaries, the leaders were almost always– Che Guevara, people like that– they were always from the middle class and the educated. And empathy is a very powerful emotion. If you watch Al Manar Television in Lebanon, it’s associated with Hezbollah. If you watch that for any length of time, you’re going to get very angry. It’s as simple as that. They show babies blown up, they show horrible scenes, and people see that and they get angry. There’s always going to be a segment of angry people who are going to go out and do something.

Part of the real crisis of the modern age is that the individual has the power to do what pre-modern armies really couldn’t even do. In the pre-modern world, you just couldn’t do a lot of damage. In the modern world, you can. So we have real concerns. You have to go to a deeper level. Henry David Thoreau said for every thousand people hacking away at the branches of evil, there’s only one person hacking away at the roots of evil. I really think we need to go to a deeper level and look at what the root of this situation is. There are a lot of people prevaricating out there, who just don’t want to deal with the “why” question.

Q: It’s become treasonous to talk about “why.” So how do you get around that?

A: People need to know. It’s the responsibility of the fifth estate– the journalists. They need courage. I’m amazed at the courage of the journalists on the frontlines in Iraq, but we need intellectual courage in our community. We need to get rid of this hegemonic discourse that doesn’t allow for any dissent, where people’s jobs and careers are threatened by asking questions, because we have to ask questions.

Q: Well, let’s start now. Why?

A: Why? We have a thousand years of cold war between the West and Islam. Let us not forget that the West in many ways defined itself, Europe defined itself vis-à-vis Islam. The Song of Roland is really one of the earliest pieces of Western literature, and it’s about the antagonism with Muslims. So I think Islam has always been this nebulous “other” that we’re afraid of, and that is part of our consciousness. The Crusades are also part of our consciousness. And the colonial period. But ultimately what you have is extremely repressive regimes. The reality is, almost all these Muslim governments are persecuting active Muslims, not terrorists. When you have very powerful secular tyrants, religion poses a very serious threat, and religion is a very powerful force in the Muslim world. So the repression of Islam, which has been going on for so long, has resulted in certain extreme views that have emerged within the religion. But you have to look at the reasons. Now we in the West have supported many of these regimes and see them as our interest. I personally don’t think democracy is viable right now in the Muslim world. You need just governments, but you need strong governments. I think you can have situations that are not democratic but still are rooted in a concern about the people, the welfare of the people.

Q: How realistic is it to place hope on benevolent dictatorships?

A: I’m not talking so much about dictators. At this stage, you have to build democratic institutions, and in that way, the West can help. Look, we give $1billion in aid to Egypt. Do you know how much juice that is on the negotiating table, in terms of what you demand of Egypt? Because if you cut off that billion dollars, you’re cutting off the lifeblood of the Egyptian government. America has an immense amount of power, but it doesn’t use it in any benevolent way. It uses it to maintain a status quo. The same is true for almost all these Muslim countries.

Q: So what’s your biggest challenge?

A: I have challenges in both worlds. I’m very active in the Muslim world. I have very popular television programs in the Muslim world, which have, I think, a very positive impact. So I’m working there. I go quite often to the Muslim world. And then I have my challenges here. I’m one person.

Q: But there are people in the Muslim world who think you’re a heretic.

A: I think the majority of Muslims that know about me — and there are quite a few in the Muslim world that do– generally have a very good opinion of what I’m doing. I have rarely met belligerent Muslims. Every once in a while I’ll come across somebody who’s just got an axe to grind. But it’s actually quite unusual for me. The majority of Muslims I meet, I see smiles on their faces. I get hugs. People tell me, “Keep up the good work.” I really believe that most Muslims are very decent people. I’ve lived in the Muslim world. I’m always struck by their incredible generosity, by their simplicity, by their love of some really basic virtues and values that I share and that most Western people share. This is my experience as a Western person, a convert to Islam.

Q: What was your experience after your speech the other night [at the Islamic Society of North America conference in Chicago], in which you talked about the fundamental humanity of people of the Jewish faith?

A: The Jewish situation’s bad. I have to admit that. There is an immense amount of ignorance, particularly in the Muslim world. I think less so here, but we have that problem here also. There is an anti-Jewish sentiment. It’s far more politically driven, and I think Muslims have forgotten, that’s all. I think they need reminders, and I think when you remind them, they tend to respond, and that’s been my experience. I was not raised as an anti-Semite. My sister converted to Judaism, is married to a Jewish man. I have nephews that are Jewish. I was not raised with any prejudice at all. But I was infected when I lived in the Muslim world. I lived in the Arab world for over 10 years, and I think I did get infected by that virus for a period of time. But I grew out of it and realized that not only does it have nothing to do with Islam, but it has nothing to do with my core values. And I’ve rejected that and called others to reject it. I think it’s something that really needs to change in the Muslim community, and I think it will.

Q: What is your evaluation of the response of the last five years of the security apparatus, both as an American and as a Muslim?

A: Well, I think we’ve all become much more acutely aware of the state apparatus in terms of monitoring. I don’t like the feeling that I have to think about what I say when I say things. It’s not healthy, and I think a lot of people feel it now in a way that they’ve never felt it before, and that troubles me deeply about my country. I think that there needs to be a return to some real central values about this country. I think Guantanamo Bay is absolutely an unacceptable event in American history. It’s going to be looked at as a really black period in our legal tradition.

Q: At what point does this more intense, heavy-handed security become counterproductive?

A: Personally, I think the intensified security has already become counterproductive. They need to do their job, but they don’t need to do it constantly in our face. The intelligence community has a job to protect. The first principle of any government is to protect its citizens. But you also protect your citizens by being just to other countries and other peoples. You endanger your citizens by reckless behavior. You endanger your citizens by hubris. You endanger your citizens by the inability to actually apologize or to ask forgiveness for your mistakes. And that’s something I find the most troubling about the whole situation, because I think real security is based on having benevolent policies.

Q: So what’s your prescription?

A: My prescription is that we need to dismantle the pyramid of domination and we need to rebuild a house of mutual respect.

Q: Give me that in bread-and-butter terms.

A: In bread-and-butter terms, I truly believe that we need to stop being so paternalistic in our attitudes toward Muslims, toward other countries, and begin to actually speak to them as if they were human beings, fully enfranchised, with the dignity that goes with that. To stop drawing lines in the sand, to stop dictating to people as if you have some God-given authority to do that, and to really start trying to talk to people and see what you can do. I think we need commerce that is mutually beneficial and we need to stop all of this hegemonic commercial tyranny that goes on in the Middle East, in Central and South America. I mean people forget, you know, the South Americans probably hate us more than the Arabs do.

Q: How much more difficult has it become to achieve this kind of rationale?

A: We’re at the lowest ebb right now. It’s going to be very difficult to get back our credibility. In the recent war with Lebanon, it was so one-sided. If you watched Arab television and then CNN, it was like two different universes. That’s really troubling to me because like the Chinese say, “There are three truths. There’s my truth, your truth and then the truth.” If I’m unwilling to let go of my truth and you’re unwilling to let go of your truth, we cannot see objectively this truth that’s in the middle, between us. There’s good and bad in all of us, and I want to get rid of the cartoon scenario of George Bush’s world and Osama bin Laden’s world, and I want to see it nuanced. I want to see more intelligence here.

Q: We know from history that wars are generally fought by young men. What are you saying to these young people to prevent the sudden explosion of this sort of negative potential?

A: You have to give them hope. And there’s something attractive about war to young men. They need to see war for what it is. If Robert E. Lee in the Civil War said war was hell, what would he make of 20th-century and 21st-century warfare? I think we have to see war as the despicable creature that it is and really work for peace. They say if you don’t sweat for peace, then you bleed for war.

Q: But can you pull that off from inside Islam?

A: Muslims are peace-loving people generally. Among the young, yes, there are some militant attitudes. But a lot of it arises out of chivalry– and don’t underestimate the chivalrous impulse in men. A lot of these young men see women being– you know– they see soldiers breaking into houses with Muslim women. It’s really beyond the pale for the average Muslim man, and something rises up in them. And it can turn to deep resentment and rage. But generally I think the impulses are actually quite noble.

Q: So what do you say to the average person who sees some kind of a sinister threat under every hijab and behind every beard?

A: People have to be exposed to Muslims, just experience Muslims; talk to them. Reach out, read about Islam, try to find out about it. There are 20,000 Muslim physicians in the United States, Americans putting their lives in the hands of Muslims every day. You’re going under and the anesthesiologist is a Muslim, right? He’s looking out for you. He doesn’t want you to die in that operation because you’re an infidel. He’s doing his job. As is your pediatrician who’s trying to heal your child. And the mechanic who’s fixing your car? He’s not putting a bomb in your car. It’s Abdullah, the guy down at the Chevron station, right? I mean it’s one-fifth of the world’s population for God’s sake– one out of five people is a Muslim.

Muslims have been an almost entirely benevolent force in the 20th century. They did not wreak the havoc the Western powers wreaked on the world. They have not come anywhere near to the environmental degradation that we’ve done to the planet. So I think Muslims need to be seen in the proper light. They’re mostly decent, hardworking people, people with deep family values, and they want to live in peace. My experience on this planet, almost 50 years, is that if you treat people with respect, they tend to treat you with respect.

Waiting on the World to Change

Posted January 24, 2007 by peaceonscreen
Categories: An Outlandish Response

Its been ages since I have posted anything. Im very sorry for the delay. School exams and everything associated with it, has taken up most of my time. I heard John Mayer on the radio while studying, and he sounded good. So heres a video of John Mayer and the lyrics to his song “Waiting on the World to change”.

Waiting….

me and all my friends
we’re all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there’s no way we ever could
now we see everything that’s going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don’t have the means
to rise above and beat it 

 so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it’s hard to beat the system
when we’re standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television

what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that’s why we’re waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it’s not that we don’t care,
we just know that the fight ain’t fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we’re still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change