Archive for the 'International Events' Category


Why Ground Zero Mosque is Wrong

Am I the only one who seems to miss the point of this? I am not only surprised but shocked at how the responsible authorities in New York could in their right frame of mind approve such a project. It makes me wonder, what exactly were they thinking, or more importantly what were they smoking?

This is wrong on many levels and those who suggested such a proposal should be ashamed of themselves as well. The so-called moderate Muslims can go about ranting that what happened on September 11, 2001 has nothing to do with Islam and that it was carried out by a very few misguided people but it would perhaps never change the fact that those who flew the planes into Twin Towers were indeed ‘misguided’ by the teachings of Islam. Besides being insensitive to those who suffered in the attack and the city of New York there are several other implications as well.

As much as I detest the fanatical elements of Islam, I have equal repugnance for those who label themselves as ‘moderates’. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Cordoba Initiative says that people have been complaining about the lack of moderate voices of Islam and suggests that this mosque and community center will represent that voice. However, these apologists have picked a wrong place to raise the pulpit. Even for a person like me who has never visited the city of New York, any image of the Manhattan skyline brings back the nightmarish images of that fateful day. Instead of raising a monument for the memory of those innocent victims and brave firefighters who perished, the memory of Twin Tower will be putrefied by a multimillion dollar structure paying homage to a bigoted ideology.

Even if we overlook the lack of political correctness, there are still other implications which are slightly graver. It is beyond any doubt that countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are havens for nurturing jihadist, however, in some cases the inoculation of militants has taken place in countries like USA and UK. Names like Collen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane), Michael Finton and recently arrested Faisal Shahzad most probably received their first taste of jihadist doctrine on American soil. This Islamic center in the heart of New York, like several other Islamic centers around the world will also receive donations from other Islamic countries, most notably Saudi Arabia which follows the most orthodox brand of Islam. And it is a matter of simple economics that once the money starts pouring in, it also sets the direction of organizational goals.

Quite ironically the project has been named Cordoba, after a city which marked the zenith of Muslim empire and their jewel in the crown. Legend has it, that when they were driven out of Spain, the Arabs in shame untied their turbans which to this day they let hanging loose over their heads. It should not come as a surprise that once the mosque is opened in fall of 2011, there will be celebrations in various part of the world to rejoice the victory of Islam in the US of A. Almost 10 years ago the horrific events that took place in the same spot did send a proverbial ‘Mexican wave’ in most part of the Islamic world and next year the same emotions will be displayed in those very geographical locations.


Judgment day for Pakistani militant

Today the lone surviving terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008 has been found guilty of murder and waging war against India. In November 2008, he along with 9 other Pakistanis crossed border into India and unleashed reign of terror and mayhem which left 166 people dead and many other injured. The trial even in the presence of strong forensic evidence and CCTV footage of the culprit, took over a year to complete and now Kasab waits on death row. If he is executed this will be first execution since 2004 in India.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab

This whole episode took several twists and turns in which first Pakistan denied that the terrorists were its citizens (which was later proved and publicly accepted by Pakistani authorities) and many in Pakistan including government, media pundits and its citizens continued to rant that it is a plot set by Indians themselves to defame Pakistan and Islam (when have I not heard this lame response). Ajmal Kasab himself changed his own statements a couple of times first pleading guilty, then not guilty and then finally again reverting back to his original statement.

The trial was an important one for India since the emotions were high amongst its citizens regarding this issue and also for political reasons. And what is important is the fact that despite harboring sentiments of vendetta the legal process was followed. Tax payers’ money was spent in keeping this criminal safe from mobs who would have wanted to lynch him for murdering their loved ones. There are still those who are recovering from the aftermath of those events and then there are those who will never be able to recover from this incident. In the end, sanity and justice prevailed over anger and sentiments. And this is the process that is supposed to differentiate us from the barbarians.

Note: Even though, India has its own share of shameful acts towards religious minorities, lower order Hindu castes and women, mainly by right wing Hindu extremists, the above post is only meant to highlight the positive and mature approach in these events.


Brace Yourself for a Major Earth Shake!

Whooa…On 26th April 2010, the world as we know it will come to an end! And this all is going to happen because of one woman who is insisting on dressing “immodestly”.

Jokes apart, this is like one of the trump cards all zealots have up in their sleeves. I remember when in 1999 an earthquake shattered a city in Turkey which killed scores many religious nuts starting pronouncing judgments that this was god’s warning to them because Turkey has become too secular and is deviating from Islamic teachings. The same was true when in 2005 an earthquake left almost 80,000 people dead in Pakistan. This time it was because the Pakistani government was siding with the ‘infidel’ forces of US of A to fight ‘brethren’ Muslims of Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

Hojatoleslam Sedighi of Iran is not the first person to make such a shameful claim in order to control peoples’ minds and lives. There are numerous other manipulators out there who know when and how to scare people. Apparently the pet reason for these godly people for all natural disaster is ‘vulgarity’ and ‘indecency’. And the Muslims know its right, because the Quran said so:

Chapter 16, Verse 45: Are they who plan ill deeds then secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them, or that the doom will not come on them whence they know not?

Chapter 29, Verse 36 & 37: And unto Midian We sent Shueyb, their brother. He said O my people! Serve Allah, and look forward to the Last Day, and do not evil, making mischief, in the earth. But they denied him, and the dreadful earthquake took them, and morning found them prostrate in their dwelling place.

So on the 26th of this month, I will be wearing a helmet and sitting in a doomsday bunker. And I hope you do the same


The Worst of the Noughties

Since it is now perhaps a bit late, I would keep my take on recapping the noughties short and simple. During the last week of December various media organizations (both traditional and non-traditional) reviewed the decade with their own view point and highlighting the various aspects of the year and there was a lot to summarize.

As the Chinese would say, it was indeed an interesting time to live which was marked by chaos, turmoil and of course several events that changed the course of history (just as any other decade!). As the oft repeated adage goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture below should summarize the entire decade of ’00:

The photos of the Abu Gharib prison that appeared somewhere in the middle of the decade crudely sums up what the last ten years have been about. The reason why I have shortlisted this one is that it is perhaps the least graphic of all the other images of this episode. This was a decade of brutality where power corrupted all those who enjoyed it no matter if that power was gained through ballot of paper or barrel of a gun. Monsters fought monsters while the innocent continued to crumble and suffer. Those with authority and power continued to get away with what ever they could, whether it was the battlefield of  ‘war on terrorism’ or mahogany boardroom of Wall Street kings. Whether it was the media pundits & lobbyist fanning fear and hatred or disillusioned fanatics in dark caves & mountains planning atrocities, it was insanity winning over the judicious.

It was a decade where only the loud and fanatical war cries were heard which drowned and mellowed the voices of reason. Madness continued to prevail and sanity was ostracized for most part. This was indeed a low point in our history. Even though similar inhuman crimes have taken place in earlier decades and centuries the sad part is that we have refused to learn from past mistakes and categorically refused to rectify them. And we are even carrying this tarnished legacy into another decade.

We can only hope that a few good men and women who still have their integrity intact and conscious awake continue to raise the voice of reason and continue to support them by all means possible to make the future better and brighter.

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