Study: Iraqis May Experience Sadness When Friends, Relatives Die


July 25, 2007

CHAPEL HILL, NC—A field study released Monday by the University of North Carolina School of Public Health suggests that Iraqi citizens experience sadness and a sense of loss when relatives, spouses, and even friends perish, emotions that have until recently been identified almost exclusively with Westerners.

“We were struck by how an Iraqi reacts to the sight of the bloody or decapitated corpse of a family member in a way not unlike an American, or at the very least a Canadian, would,” said Dr. Jonathan Pryztal, chief author of the study. “In addition to the rage, bloodlust, and hatred we already know to dominate the Iraqi emotional spectrum, it appears that they may have some capacity, however limited, for sadness.”

Though Pryztal was quick to add that more detailed analysis is needed, he said the findings cast some doubt on long-held assumptions about human nature in that region.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, it seems that Iraqis do indeed experience at least minor feelings of grief when a best friend or a grandparent is ripped apart by a car bomb or shot execution style and later unearthed in a shallow mass grave,” Prytzal said. “Last December’s suicide-bomb killing of 71 Shiites in Baghdad, for example, produced unexpected reactions ranging from crumpled, sobbing despair to silent, dazed shock.”

Iraqis have often been observed weeping and wailing in apparent anguish, but the study offers evidence indicating this may not be exclusively an outward expression of anger or a desire for revenge. It also provocatively suggests that this grief can possess an American-like personal quality, and is not simply a tribal lamentation ritual.

Said Pryztal: “When trying to understand the psychology of the Iraqi citizenry after four years of war, think of a small American town roiled by the death of a well-known high school football player.”

According to Pryztal, the intensity of the grief does not diminish if the mourner experiences multiple bereavements over time. “If a woman has already lost one child, the subsequent killings of other children will evoke similar responses,” he said. “In the majority of cases we studied, it appeared as though those who lost multiple kids never actually got used to it.”

Though Pryztal expects the results of the study may be of some interest to students of Arab psychology, he did concede that the data may not be entirely accurate because it was gathered directly from Iraqis themselves.

“Almost all the Iraqis we interviewed said the war had ruined their lives because of the incalculable loss of friends and family,” Pryztal said. “But to be totally honest, these types of studies can be skewed rather easily by participant exaggeration.”

Psychologists and anthropologists have thus far largely discounted the study, claiming it has the same bias as a 1971 Stanford University study that concluded that many Vietnamese showed signs of psychological trauma from nearly a quarter century of continuous war in southeast Asia.

“We are, in truth, still a long way from determining if Iraqis are exhibiting actual, U.S.-grade sadness,” Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist Norman Blum said. “At present, we see no reason for the popular press to report on Iraqi emotions as if they are real.”

Pryztal said that his research group would next examine whether children in Sudan prefer playing with toys or serving as guerrilla fighters and killing innocent civilians.

The Onion

(Published in the Archive without alteration or comment. The “Humor” tag was added in a moment of blackness)

Baba Bulleh Shah


In my youth, several centuries ago, I was walking out with a young lady who gave me two books.

That young lady is long gone and those two books are all that remain of that relationship. Yet they have guided my own writing and literaric development for many years.

“Mirrors of the Soul” led me into all the wonderful writings of Kahlil Gibran. Especially his masterwork, “The Prophet”.

Edward Fitzgerald’s translations of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” opened up an entirely different mindset to me. Nearly a thousand years old, these verses spoke to me with a power I had never before experienced.

Yesterday I was blog-surfing and I was over on eteraz where I found some of the work of another Muslim poet. Baba Bulleh Shah. He was an eighteenth century literary genius from what is now the modern day Pakistan. Apparently his work is not totally approved of by the Islamic right which puts him into much the same category as my old friend Omah.

Here is the sample I found. Now I have to find more of his work.

I am free, my mind is free,
I am neither a sick person nor a physician
Neither a believer nor an infidel
Nor a mullah or syed
In the fourteen spheres I walk in freedom
I can be imprisoned nowhere.

*

Tear down the Mosque, tear down the temple
Tear down every thing in sight
But don’t break anyone’s heart
Because God lives there.

Hamas Militants vow to free BBC’s Johnston


Hamas has pledged to work to free BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who gunmen kidnapped in the Gaza Strip more than three months ago. The vow comes in the wake of Hamas’ bloody seizure of the Gaza Strip.

“We have started taking practical steps to release Alan Johnston,” the Islamic movement’s armed wing said, without giving further details. Sacked Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh has echoed the sentiment, saying in an interview that the military takeover of Gaza by Hamas is good news for the journalist.

“From now on, there will be one legitimate armed force. We will bring discipline and law to Gaza,” Mr Haniyeh said in an interview with France’s Le Figaro newspaper.  “It will thus be easier to gain the liberation of the British journalist Alan Johnston. His kidnappers will listen to us more closely.”

Johnston has been held for 96 days after he was seized from his car as he drove home from work on March 12 in Gaza City. The 45-year-old, one of the few western reporters to be permanently based in Gaza, is by far the longest-detained westerner in the territory.

The Army of Islam has claimed to be holding the veteran newsman and has demanded the release of Islamic militants, particularly Palestinian-born cleric Abu Qatada who is detained in Britain.

Hamas announced it was cutting all ties with the Army of Islam after it claimed the abduction. Hamas officials, including Mr Haniyeh, have repeatedly called for Johnston to be released.

I hope so! Some of the Palestinians are now kidnapping for the sake of kidnapping. Alan Johnston is a friend of the Palestinians, having lived there for a number of years. He is one journalist who presents the Palestinian point of view.

This action brings nothing but the contempt of the world onto the extremist fools who commit this type of affront to civilised behaviour.

Free him!  Free him NOW!

Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam, First Press Reports


“We, the Australian National Imams Council, are proud to announce that Sheikh Fehmi Naji El-Imam is appointed as the Mufti of Australia for a two-year term, Sheikh Fehmi Naji El-Imam will be working with the Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and Research under the umbrella of the Australian National Imams Council for the benefit of the Muslims and the broader Australian community.
“We recognise the great services that Sheikh Tajeddin al-Hilaly has provided over the years and we pray for his good health.”

THE new Mufti of Australia began his first full day in the role with strong and gentle words for the Federal Government.

As a clue to the Sheikh’s thinking, he has in the past, said of the Jews: “We have nothing against the Jews as Jews, but of course we have our opinion about the situation in Palestine.”

This seems to be an acceptance of Jewishness but a rejection of the political situation. If this attitude of moderation continues, it bodes well for the future acceptance of Islam in Australia.

Here two newspaper reports from today, Monday June 11th, 2007.

From “The Age”
“There is no ‘yes sir’ business here,” was Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam’s message to Prime Minister John Howard and the Government in an exclusive interview with The Age. “We always like give and take. We have to apply the Australian fair go.”

The Australian National Imams’ Council replaced Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali with Sheikh Fehmi, imam of Preston Mosque, on Sunday.

Yesterday, Sheikh Fehmi said: “We would like to tell the Federal Government that we are here, the Muslims of Australia, and we belong to this country, and we are part of it. We would like to offer as much as we can to make the country successful in every field and in every way.”

Sheikh Fehmi, who turns 80 this year, sees his task as the same as before he became mufti, just on a larger stage.

He is a frail figure on a walking stick, who finds speaking more effort than he used to, but the twinkle in his eyes is undimmed. He enjoyed sparring with the media at a news conference. “I hope you are healthy — and in a good mood,” were his opening words.

Questioned about his Australian identity, Sheikh Fehmi asked the reporter how old he was — 31. “Then I’m more Australian than you, because I’ve been here more than 55 years,” joked the sheikh, who came to Melbourne from Lebanon in 1951.

He told The Age that official decisions and comments would no longer be “haphazard”. He will work with the jurisprudence committee of the national imams’ board, so decisions will be their deeply considered consensus. “I am one of them, and so is Sheikh Hilali. He is not out completely,” Sheikh Fehmi said.

People who gathered to pray at the Preston Mosque yesterday spoke warmly of Sheikh Fehmi. “He’s a good man, very honest and straightforward,” said a Somali man. “He’s just a simple man like me and you, but he is a scholar and has the knowledge,” said another.

Changing face … the new Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam, right, with Ahmad Allouche of the Islamic Society. Photo: Melanie Dove


From ABC Online News
Speaking at his Melbourne mosque, Sheikh El-Imam tried to avoid questions about his controversial predecessor. The new mufti says his predecessor is a good man and has urged the media to be more accepting of people from other cultures. “As we say there is a freedom of speech in this country – fair enough, let us have freedom of speech,” he said.

He has also blamed the media for labelling Sheikh Al Hilali as controversial and says he wants to see a better relationship with a more accepting media in the future. He says people should also remember Sheikh Al Hilali for his attempts to free Australian Douglas Wood, who was held captive in Iraq.

Sheikh El-Imam says his predecessor has a good side and has been misunderstood. “Maybe sometimes you let your tongue go too far, but still maybe you don’t mean to harm others,” he said.

Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam, Australia’s new Mufti


Controversial muslim cleric, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilali has declined the position of Mufti of Australia and a new mufti has been elected.

An ABC Online News report states that;

The National Imam’s Council has announced Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam as the Mufti of Australia for a two-year term. Imams from across the country were at Melbourne’s Preston Mosque for a meeting of the Council.

The Council said Sheik Al Hilali was appointed first, however he declined the position and proposed Sheikh Fehmi to be appointed Mufti. Sheikh Fehmi, originally from Lebanon, has been the imam at Preston Mosque for 30 years. He is described as a moderate, but he refused to comment on whether he would be less controversial than his predecessor.

“And so we want to have a very nice relationship with everybody around us and everyone else have a nice relationship with us,” he said. “Extend [our] hand to you, you extend [your] hand to us. “Give us a fair go, we’ll give you a fair go and that’s what we want.”

Sheikh Al Hilali refused to comment on why he declined the position as he left the mosque.

Here is an interview transcript with the new Mufti from mid-2005.

No Veil?


 I found this on the ABC Online News this morning.

Jordan’s Queen says Islam does not demand veil

Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan says Islam does not require women to wear veils, and has called on Muslim moderates to “make their voices be heard”.

“Islam neither requires one to be practising, nor to dress in one way or another,” the stylish 36-year-old queen told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera during a visit to Rome.

“So imposing the veil on a woman is contrary to the principles of Islam,” said Queen Rania, who is in Rome for the launch of a Group of Seven (G7) program to develop vaccines against diseases that are endemic in poor countries.

“Unfortunately, after all the suspicion weighing on Islam, many people have begun to consider the veil as a political problem, but this is not the case. Wearing the veil is a free personal choice.”

Queen Rania urged “all moderates to stand up and let their voices be heard”.

She added: “Many people are frustrated in the Arab world. Many give in to the anger because they are accused of violence. But instead we should get up, explain who we are and what we believe in. Over the last three years, most victims of terrorism have been Muslim. So there’s not a war between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between extremists and moderates of all the religions,” she said. “What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous [thing to do] is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance.”

AFP

Is this a sign of hope, that the extremists are finally being “outed”? More work needs to be done within Judaism and Christianity (especially Catholic Christianity and American Fundamentalism) to bring about real world-wide change.

Even the modern Catholic Nun no longer “Takes the Veil”, a religious ploy which gave the impression that “Old is Holy” and that the Catholic Church is unchangeable. Of course, the Nun’s Habit was of medieval origin, not of Christ’s time. Just another of those small misdirections which lead an unthinking populace down a slippery slope, away from the Divine Leader’s teaching into the errors and self-seeking of the human fanatics who claim the direct ear of God.

Perhaps soon, within a hundred years or so, we may find, in the modern airconditioned world,  the wearing of “desert” clothing will pass out of religious fashion and into history. For all things do pass and are replaced – eventually.

But then I am a curmudgeonly old atheist who believes the world would be better off without any religion. Ethics and altruism yes, religion, NO!

I’m going to sit in my rocking chair on the porch, watch the rest of the world passing by (going to Hell in a handbasket) and grumble to myself for the rest of today!

Genealogy, Christianity and Islam


Studying Genealogy can be as dry as dust. Yet every now and then a genuine nugget of gold is unearthed. Some years ago Buff and I unearthed a will made by one of her ancestors. It showed clearly the legal status of women at that time. Here is the beginning of that will, with the bolding done for my emphasis. It is dated to April 1729, less than 300 years ago.

elsomwill1.jpg

In the Name of God Amen I Susanna wife of Robert Elsome of Whittlesey within the Isle of Ely in the County of Cambridge Blacksmith being of sound and perfect mind memory and understanding by virtue of a power for that purpose to me given by my said husband Robert Elsome in and by one Sunand[?*] it in writing bearing even[?] Date herewith or by virtue of any other power or Authority whatsoever to me given by my said husband Robert Elsome do (by and with the consent of my sd husband justified by his signing of these presents[?] make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament in manner and form following . . .

The only legal reason Susanna was able to write the will was because her husband allowed her to do so. It was required that he, a blacksmith, declare her to be of sound and perfect mind, memory and understanding. And he had to do it in writing.

These quaint little folkways were justified by a reading of the Bible which proved that woman was inferior to man. Therefore man ruled his household by divine right and all within; wife, children and servants, were subject to his will. In reality, this was a case of the Bible being bent to fit the folkways of the Saxons and Normans who successively ruled in England. After all, it was the English who burned Joan of Arc, not because she was a general fighting against them but because she wore men’s clothing!

The accepted reading of the “fixed and unchangeable” Bible has since relaxed as women have gradually gained their independence from the tyranny of men and their institutions.

With my kangaroo mind, jumping from one subject to another, I wonder if the perceived subjugation of women within Muslim society through the use of Koranic authority is of a similar nature. FGM being justified in some parts of the world and not others through the pronouncements of the Imams, the Saudi experience where women are required to wear the totally black burka in a climate where white would be much more comfortable, the Afghanistan Mujahadeen rulings that women were not permitted to leave their abode even to get food. The list goes on.

Will the move away from their tribal origins lead to the Islamic Authorities to relax their differing interpretations of a woman’s place in society?

It is interesting to see the origin of the strange word in the will extract above.

elsomwill2.jpg

* Sunnud or Sanad.. A deed of grant, charter, patent, warrant (From the Urdu and Arab = signature, deed). According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary it was first used in Britain in 1759.

Sheik Condemned by Islamic Council


At last. This is what Australia needs to remove the taint of terrorism and terror support from all those Australian Muslims who are as appalled at the extremists as the rest of Australia.

Islamic councils around Australia say a Sydney cleric who wants children to be taught the love of martyrdom should be disciplined and re-educated by a council of Australian Muslim leaders.

Please read the rest of the article. I am going to add my comments here and there.

The head of the Global Islamic Youth Centre, Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, has also referred to Jewish people as “pigs” in a DVD copy of one of his lectures.

I mentioned this in my previous post on this. The more I read it, the more I am horrified by it. If I were to call the Sheik a “Pig” he would have me in front of the racial discrimination board before I could say “Mis-interpreted!”

The Federal Government has denounced his remarks as reprehensible and the Labor Party does not want the Sheikh, who is currently overseas, to return to Australia.

Predictable, knee-jerk reaction. One of which I am guilty.

But the newly elected president of the Islamic Council of Queensland, Suliman Sabdia, says correcting the Sheikh’s attitude would do more than chasing him out of Australia in his current frame of mind. “Damage is caused and harm is caused, but I would advocate that the Sheikh be invited and be taught … [to] really understands the implications of those comments and make him see the error of his ways,” he said.

WHOA!  What was that? What a great idea, along with tremendous insight. If the Sheik is simply banned, he will harbour a resentment against Australia for the rest of his life. He will increase his efforts at terrorism and aim them at Australia. Suliman Sabdia has made an almost (forgive me for this, my Muslim friends, my own heritage pokes through.) Christ-like judgement.

Rahim Ghauri from the Islamic Council of Western Australia has also questioned whether Sheik Mohammed is a leader. “Some lousy guy stands up, calls himself a leader of Muslim, calls himself a cleric because he can read the Koran,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Ghauri questions the role of the media.

“The media makes a big issue of it, then the Government goes and takes advantage for the sake of new votes,” he said. “Now next year we’ve got the election – again there will be Muslim bashing.  “Why the hell do people like me sit here and give an interview because every Tom, Dick and Harry gets up and makes some stupid comment and we are called to account.”

I am truly sorry, Mr Ghauri. We have a Government which is in power because of its ability to manipulate the “Fear Button”. The scared little leader has done more to remove the old Aussie idea of a “Fair Go” than any previous  leader in this great nation. Every word he says can be shown to be a lie, yet he is able terrify Australians into voting for him. Unfortunately, Muslims are an essential part of his armament of fear. Please accept the apologies of an ordinary Aussie for the hurt and pain you will go through during this next election campaign.

You have done a great thing in describing the Sheik as you have, Mr Ghauri. It will reduce his credibility and increase the credibility of all Muslim Australians. A small, yet new, lever to use against Mr Howard and his Nazi-like cronies.

 

Et Tu, Mr Bush


I found this on Satirical Muslim this morning. It is too good to leave there so I have stolen it. Right below this picture is yesterdays post; “A Muslim Girl’s guide to marriage prospecting”.

et_tu_bush.jpg

Oh Dear, Another Australian Sheik Being Misquoted


AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL police are investigating

whether an Australian Islamic leader incited terror by calling on young Muslims to give up their lives in jihad, and by labelling Jews pigs.

Sheik Feiz Mohammed’s comments in a collection of DVDs called Death Series have brought widespread condemnation from politicians and community groups. The Australian Federal Police said it was looking at the DVDs and making inquiries into whether the sheik’s comments breached sedition laws and incited acts of violence. If so, the AFP would launch a full investigation and he could face charges.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma said Sheik Mohammed, the leader of the Global Islamic Youth Centre in Liverpool, in Sydney’s west, was inciting terrorism. In the DVDs, the Sydney-born cleric urges young Muslims to be prepared to sacrifice themselves for Islam.

“We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam,” he says. “Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid (holy warrior). Put in their soft, tender hearts the zeal of jihad and a love of martyrdom.” – AAP

In another report (this time the ABC online News)

Islamic Friendship Association spokesman Kaysar Trad says the comments do not reflect the sentiments of the wider Muslim community. “As a community, it is quite disconcerting for us that these comments are found from time to time and they’re broadcast all over the news,” he said. “They certainly give the public an erroneous impression about Islam and Muslims.”

I wonder how long it will take Kaysar Trad to begin trotting out his usual platitudes about “Misquoting, taking out of context and mis-interpreted. In the meantime, is he suggesting that it would be better if only the Muslim Community knew of this Sheik’s statements and that the media is wrong to let the rest of Australian society know about them?

I am beginning to wonder if Trad is the right person to be commenting about these matters. Let us look at what he says in this quote.

Firstly he says that the Sheik’s comments do not reflect the sentiments of the wider Muslim community. Not that they are wrong or repugnant, but that they “do not reflect”. Ok -

Secondly he says that “it is quite disconcerting for us that these comments are found from time to time and they’re broadcast all over the news” Which part is disconcerting, Kaysar? That the documents are found or that they are broadcast to a wider public? Inquiring minds really would like to know!

Thirdly, Kaysar, you claim that these comments “certainly give the public an erroneous impression about Islam and Muslims.” Still you will not say that the comments themselves are bad, wrong or against Islam. Of course we ignorant Westerners are going to gain an impression about Islam from people like the two Sheiks. If no one who knows Islam is willing to stand up and say outright that they are wrong, then thinking people must begin to accept that the Sheiks do in fact speak for all of Islam.

Or is your position as Spokesman for the Islamic Friendship Association only there so you may deflect any criticism without upsetting the clerics? So that you are not in your position as a friend, but as an apologist for those who seek to support terrorism?

Comments I Cannot Post


Since I cannot comment on other WordPress blogs at the moment, I shall do a post of all the comments I would have put on their posts were I not a compulsive and well known spammer. I must be, Akismet hath told me so!

So, where to start?

Samaha has done a much better job of castigating the dreaded Mufti of Australia than I ever could!

Litlove has done an excellent piece on the rescue fantasy as a part of literature, comparing it with the lack of real-life rescues. I must admit,   my first reaction was to remember the Monty Python peasant,  Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” Even in humour there is a rescue theme. Except for Bluebottle in the Goon Show – he always got “deaded” but at least had the last word – “You rotten swine!”

Reed is busy finding out how much the Taxman owes her and I can’t help feeling it is most uncivilised to have to do tax at this time of the year. Here in Australia the dreaded day is 30th June. I’ll just procrastinate until then  :)

Loricat has asked just what are the criteria for buying a $20 book as opposed to a second hand book.  If I want something to read and pass the time, I’ll buy a second-hand book. If I want something newly published because I have either read good stuff about it or because it is yet another sequel, I will buy it new. If it is a classic, or old poetry or something by a deceased author who is no longer published, again I’m off to the second-hand store (or Ebay) – cos there ain’t no choice!

Healing Magic Hands has an anti-Shrub rant and I find I agree with everything she says. Again. About the spam, I am not so sure. After all, I am an inveterate spammer. Akismet tells me so!

Bloglily has a post about not saying anything unless you have something nice to say. So I will say something nice. Bloglily.

The reclusive Afterverse continues to evocatate with his poetry. Like all artists, whether with pen or brush, he sometimes doesn’t quite do it for me. But I’ll always read him because of the good stuff because when it is good, it is very very good. Like this one.

your ruby lips no longer hide your jaded smile
you’ve given up on everything
…that constituted style

Helen at A is Alarmed has done a listing of words which describe the 70′s yet missed “Tie-dyed” and “Moire Patterns”. Perhaps my ’70′s were a little more psychedelic than hers  :)

Mist 1 has revealed why she has a cat in prevference to a dog. Anything more that I add will only get me into trouble! However, I agree with her on the fact that no house deserves more than one bitch.

The Satirical Muslim has an new article “Bush Prepped for New Year; Bin Laden is a Has Bin“. I’m still chucking. I know its offensive, but – - -

Curmudgeonly yours has found a face recognition site which has some interesting possibilities. As he says, it seems to be broken but I may give it a go when I have a spare day.

Salil has a wonderful piece on Warnies 700th wicket Envy envy envy cos I couldn’t get to Melbourne, or to Sydney.

The Food Pornographer continues to make my mouth water. Even when she posts pictures of food I know I do not like, my mouth waters!

raincoaster, the great Squid-faced wet one, has used an image I have had on my hard drive through six changes of computer. Accompanying it is a rant on one of those necessary things in life and how electrical failure can bring on huge embarrassments.

Nils has been to the theatre. His description is one which brings back an urge to do some theatre work again. Or at least go to a show. Not necessarily a full professional production. I have always felt more at home with the amateurs.

Metro has written, championing “Spocko” for his anti-radio shock jock-nazi stand. More power to him. Maybe I should begin listening to Australia’s shock-jocks!

Rhea, at the Boomer Chronicles has a bad hair day. Such a feminine thing – colouring hair – Us ex-hair people find this self-indulgent talk a little off-putting!

azahar has found some fortune cookies – the comments are wonderful. I’ll check mine out in a day or two, when I steal it for my own blog  :)

Aphra Benn has a bit of a rant about theme parks. I quite agree. I would rather experience real life than a pre-packaged time waster. Time is precious. Spend it living your own life. She has also posted a wonderful “reflection” image.

Finally, Alabaster Crippens has a typical post modern word wander which nevertheless evokes a certain ethos. As he says of himself “bloody pretentious arse is me”!

Well, that’s a mornings scribbles. It would be much easier if I was not a congenital spammer!

Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilali – again


Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has reminded controversial Sydney Muslim cleric Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilali that if he does not like Australia, he does not have to come back.

Senator Vanstone was reacting to comments reportedly made by the Sheikh on Egyptian television.

He is reported to have said that people who paid to come to Australia have a greater right to be in the country than Anglo-Saxons who arrived in shackles, and that Australian law guarantees freedoms to the point of insanity.

Senator Vanstone says Sheikh Al Hilali has used these same freedoms on countless occasions to attack Australia’s heritage, society and values.

She says her office has received a large number of calls from people who are outraged by the reported comments.

The founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, says comments made by the Sheikh have been misinterpreted.

“I certainly, when I viewed it yes I did cringe at some comments and wish [he] didn’t make them,” he said.

“But the reason I did that is because I understand that there are people who will nit-pick at his comments and will take snippets and interpret them with their own spin on them and this is exactly what has happened.”

But he Acting Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, says the comments by Sheikh Al Hilali are totally inappropriate.

Mr Vaile says the comments should be dismissed.

“Obviously they were totally inappropriate as we’ve come to expect from Sheikh Hilali,” he said.

“Certainly to be made whilst overseas on foreign television criticising the country in which he lives, they’re just totally inappropriate.”

‘Lost the plot’

The Federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, says the Sheikh has lost the plot and if he does not like Australia there are plenty of other options.

“Shiekh Hilali increasingly strikes me as being several sandwiches short of a picnic,” he said.

“When it comes to Sheikh Hilali’s remarks they are just increasingly laughable.

“Sheikh Hilali is complaining about a lack of democracy back in Australia.

“If Sheikh Hilali doesn’t believe there’s enough democracy in Australia, why doesn’t he stay in Egypt and not come back? Solve a big problem for us back home as well.”

 

That report was from the ABC site in Australia.

Two major thoughts spring to mind.

Firstly, three of my ancestors arrived here in Australia in chains. Each one went on to lead a productive life after his release. Not one of those is now alive and not one of their decendents has arrived in Australia “in shackles”. Each one of their decendents now alive has been in Australia all their life. So, does the Sheik mean that people who have lived all their lives in Australia are less Australian than those who have arrived here, with the permission of the Australian Government, as people who were born elsewhere? Hmmm. Sorry, Sheik, that DOES make you one sandwich short of a picnic.

Secondly, he complains about too much freedom in Australia. If he was still in his birth country, would he be permitted to criticize his government as he does his adopted Government? Or is he complaining because he wants to live under a controlling and dictatorial Government?

Sheik, this comment, “Australian law guarantees freedoms to the point of insanity”, regardless of its context in and of itself shows that you are at least one more sandwich short of a picnic.

 Finally, Keysar Trad, it is all very well to keep saying, “He has been mis-interpreted”. Please let us know just how he has been misinterpreted. Just what words have been misquoted or quoted out of context. The Sheik has done this once too often now. It is time he left this place he obviously hates, or it is time he shut up completely, as he said he would after the last bit of garbage fell from his bigoted and uncontrolled mouth. Obviously he had no intentions of ceasing his comments, and obviously he has not done his 600 hours in a women’s welfare organisation. For an Imam, he shows little respect for secular and human truth.

I am sorry if I cause upset to any of my Muslim friends but he is making me angry with his silly comments.

The Satirical Muslim


Satirical Muslim

I have been getting a lot of laughs from The Satirical Muslim lately.

 

It is raw, biting satire. The sort that can make you guffaw, giggle, snigger or even cringe when it hits too closely at one of your own foibles. If you have a damaged humour gene and find the blog offensive, then I will probably declare a thinwa on you.

 

I recommend a visit just to lighten your day.

 

A word of warning. These guys are Aussie larrikins and have a warning in their “About” page.

We would say something dramatic such as “leave your inhibitions at the URL” but we won’t. This website offers satirical FAKE news stories, often relating to Muslims. There is usually a source of inspiration for the piece, although it may simply be born from general observations. In no way, shape or language are contributors insulting or mocking the religion of Islam. However, it’s a free-for-all on humans and their behaviour. So if you’re sensitive and/or you don’t think any of this is funny (admittedly not a fair litmus test since it might just not be funny at all really), we can’t help you except to suggest that you don’t revisit this page. And anyway, when you have your own awesome satire page, you can criticise.

 

The only thing I don’t like about their blog is that it is impossible to comment on their postings.

 

You can expect future links to some of their articles here on the archive. In the meantime I shall exuent stage left, giggling over Mel Gibson.

 

Saddam, GW Bush, Iraq and John Donne


And so Saddam Hussein has been executed. All his victims have been returned to life and all Saddam’s wrongs have been righted.

Sorry, I got carried away. Let me start again.

And so Saddam Hussein has been executed. All his victim’s families are rejoicing at his death. All of America is rejoicing because the cause of 9/11 has been removed from this Earth.

Sorry, Again I got carried away. Saddam was not an instigator of 9/11.

And so Saddam Hussein has been executed. All of his supporters are calling him a martyr and are preparing to suicide Iraq into the stone age.

I must stop this. Iraq is already back in the stone age. GW Bush, Dick Cheney and Haliburton ensured that would happen.

So just what purpose did the execution of Saddam Hussein perform?

None whatsoever!

Well, maybe it gives closure to GW Bush et al. Perhaps it satisfies some primitive revenge reflex which seems to exist within the American and other primitive psyches. Surely revenge would have been better served cold by an ongoing humiliation. Saddam no longer feels the justified hatred of the rest of the world.

Surely holding him in solitary detention and parading him before the masses on public holidays would be better. Placing him into the stocks after the parade would give everyone with a rotten tomato, or a well matured disposable nappy (diaper) a chance to share in the revenge.

How do I feel? I feel empty. Another human being has been done to death by his fellow humans. We, Christian and Muslim, who believe in the same God, who have heard that God pronounce that vengeance is His, have again pre-empted Him and assumed that the penalty we see as appropriate is the same penalty that our God would want.

Once again I am led back to John Donne’s words which apply to ALL people, not just our loved ones, our friends or those we admire. These words apply to EVERYONE!

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece
of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by
the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s
death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for
thee.

Something Special


I admit it. I am a sports tragic. I played my chosen sport until my body wouldn’t let me, I love watching and reading about sport. All sorts of sport. I emphasise with the striving to win. About people’s efforts to be the best they can. Just because I did not reach the top of the world rankings, does not mean I did not beat myself and my own expectations. I did, and I think I am a better human being for it.

Muslim Apple posted something the other day which got me all fired up. This story may be eight months old, but it is a tale for all times. A tale of hope and belief and eventual success.

Go, Girls, Go!

(This is a big file so if you are on dial-up it may be an idea to go and have a cup of coffee while it downloads.)

Muslim Apple added only one thing. ““Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say good or remain silent.” (Bukhari and Muslim)”. This is so close to the proverb my grandmother used, “If you cannot say something good, then say nothing at all.”

We are all alike.

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