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January 2008
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March 2008

But Can't You See!

This is delicious:

I still haven’t been able to put a finger on why the vast majority of Muslim wives cannot stand to even discuss the topic without losing their cool. How do I view the situation? First of all if Allah has permitted it, how can one oppose it or be ‘totally against it’? I just cannot see the logic in it.

I have re-read the part above multiple time to fully savor the irony.

My argument is that Muslim women first need to get the ‘hang of the idea’ that if their husband wants to get married, he should be allowed to do so without the usual excessive fuss and ruckus associated with the event.

Pray tell.

Allah says, according to Hadith Qudsi, ‘Do not Takabbur, Takabbur belongs to me.”

Point being, get rid of that ego thing. Bow in front of Allah’s raza’.

Perfectly logical. Read the whole thing.

Oddly enough, many of the commenters there refuse to bow down.

Not Black Enough

Damian Penny:

Right now, the conventional wisdom among rabidly anti-American leftists - no shortage of them here in Canada, unfortunately - is that there's no way a black man could ever become President. If Obama does become President, the new conventional wisdom among rabidly anti-American leftists - the ones who don't have a nervous breakdown, anyway - will be that he's not "authentically black" enough.

What's the difference between authentic black and ... fake black?

The Limit of Halaal

Tariq Nelson: Just A Muslim.

A friend of mine who lives in a city with a Muslim community with an overwhelming immigrant community was telling me a story. The small group of brothers that prayed fajr at the masjid would get together at someone’s home once a week (usually Sunday) for breakfast. Week after week they would have an Arab style breakfast with lettuce, tomatoes, boiled eggs and hummus. There is nothing wrong with that, but the brother - who was the only convert in the group - decided to invite everyone over to his home to treat them to a traditional American breakfast (eggs, beef bacon, pancakes, etc). However, when they came, they did nothing but complain and (unintentionally) hurt this brother’s feelings. His breakfast was just not acceptable. It was somehow “un-Islamic” and the brother felt alienated and stopped attending the breakfasts. He also refused to go along with the groupthink and went right on liking his foods rather than conforming to the conventional thinking of what an “Islamic” breakfast is.

That's silly.

This Won't Hurt


The point is that the arbitration body — regardless of whether it is a Rabbinical court, a Shariah court or a secular body — derives its authority not from statute but from the consent of the parties requesting arbitration. The fact that the parties are choosing to settle their commercial or social disagreements by reference to the Qu’ran is therefore of no more consequence to society than if they decided to settle the same dispute by tossing a coin, asking a neighbour to decide, or any of the other myriad of ways in which human beings settle disagreements peacefully.

It's incredible that those three words -- Qu'ran, consequence, peacefully -- can coexist in the same sentence.

The Bigoted West Won't Allow Sharia

Indigo Jo: Ignorance and bigotry unleashed by Williams speech.

The suggestion that the personal aspects of Shari'ah cannot be applied without cutting off thieves' hands or removing apostates' heads is absurd. This is exactly what is done in many Muslim countries where the criminal law aspects of the Shari'ah were never restored after the colonial powers relinquished control.

Is this fellow suggesting that Western societies emulate that?

Moore might well ask why there has been no reported incidence of Muslim "hit squads" administering floggings or similar physical punishments, and few if any incidents of revenge killing (despite honour killings happening fairly frequently). The answer is that Muslims accept that Shari'ah law is not law in the UK right now.

[Emphasis mine.]

One has to give him credit for patience and optimism.

While some Muslims have suggested that the Archbishop's comments were calculated to produce a backlash against Muslims, in light of pronouncements from the likes of Michael Nazir-Ali, I disagree and believe that some state recognition of minority religious laws would be a good thing. Many people are concerned with the status women might have under such a system, but they may well also benefit, if it becomes impermissible for families to cut women out of their inheritance in defiance of Shari'ah, or if plural marriages were recognised for the purpose of inheritance law, under which, at present, only the first wife benefits if the husband dies intestate, even if the marriages were conducted abroad - it is, after all, only the second and subsequent wives, not the men, who lose out under the present system.

This is a most amusing reasoning. Western states don't recognize polygamy, so a part of sharia should be brought in to short-circuit Western law; thus resulting in (a) benefits for polygamists, (b) a cruel family structure and (c) further disrespect for Western law.

The author thinks this is a good thing.

We Muslims should not cringe at the mention or advocacy of Shari'ah, which is not the stereotype which has been depicted in the media over the last two days, but a sophisticated and equitable system which, even if the majority of the population here do not care for it, works well when implemented properly by people who know how.

Just like communism.

Brits Don't Like Appeasement


Following on from my post yesterday, I scanned the front pages of the main British papers today; with one or two mild exceptions, the headlines - including the Guardian - were pretty damning (David Blunkett was admirably blunt; proof that the former Home Secretary has his good points). As far as the general thrust of commentary is concerned, as well as the straight news reports, the tone is that the Archbishop has made a right royal berk of himself.

Berk? The proper word is ass.

The Immature War

Cafe Alpha provides this link:

Sixty years later the lessons from the era of Japanese reconstruction have been ignored entirely following the US-led military interventions in Afghanistan, now under the post-Taliban Karzai regime, and Iraq, after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Indeed the post-World War II paradigm of neutralizing Japan’s bellicose, religio-political creed of Shintoism, has been turned on its head with regard to Islam, and the theocratic Islamic legal code, Shari’a—imbued with jihad, and completely antithetical to modern human rights constructs.

The core problem is that the West still doesn't comprehend (or refuses to acknowledge) the true nature of the enemy. If Islam is a religion of peace which is being "perverted" by a few psychotics, then we don't have to worry about the influence of Islamic law in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reality, however, doesn't jive with this premise.

It is because of Islam that an ex-Muslim was a few days away from death in Afghanistan. It is because of Islam that Jews are not welcome in Iraq. Islam is the problem.

To be fair, our job is far tougher. Japan was and is one nation. Islam infects dozens of countries with over a billion people. If we come out and bluntly say that a state has no business implementing sharia, then this will put the West in an explicit war with the majority Muslim world. The Bush Administration has tried to avoid this scenario. They'd rather co-opt the "peaceful" majority and defeat Al Qaeda and its ilk.

The problem would still remain, though. What Al Qaeda won't gain through terror, the "peaceful" majority will achieve through demographics. The West will eventually have to broaden the scope of this war in all spheres -- in objectives, strategy and tactics.

Pump It Up

The Toronto Star:

The Toronto Board of Trade stunned city politicians this morning by recommending a special 3 per cent property tax levy on top of increase being proposed to fix crumbling roads and pay for other overdue capital projects.

The politicians were truly stunned:

Committee members seemed taken aback by the board’s message.

“So you’re actually recommending a larger tax increase than we’re recommending?” asked Councillor Gord Perks.


Another hike:

The budget committee is also considering a staff proposal to raise fees for city-run recreational centres. That includes higher fees for parents whose children use ice rinks, swimming pools and soccer fields.

Fees could increase as much as 34 per cent, generating about $5.7 million for the cash-strapped city.

I find this rationale to be odd:

[A] father said his children might not be able to participate in all the activities he used to enjoy.

"Then you have to start picking and choosing what they can do," he said.

If you or your kids use the facilities, then you or they should incur the costs as well. That's life -- full of tradeoffs. It's a good lesson to learn.

How The World Works

An Interview with Thomas Sowell:

We've frequently heard, and will hear much more I am sure if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, that women make 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. Can you give us a basic rundown of why that discrepancy exists?

There are lots of reasons. Men and women do not work the same number of hours. They do not work in the same occupations. They do not work continuously the same, and so on.

You know, if it was really true that you could hire a woman for three quarters of what you could hire a man with exactly the same qualifications, then employers would be crazy not to hire all women. It would be insane to hire men. Not only would it be insane, it would probably put them out of the business because the ones that were smart enough to hire women would have such a cost advantage that it would be really hard for the others to compete.

A lot more here.

Persian Research

A friend emailed this link:

Iran's new space center built to send a research satellite into orbit is a "troubling development" because it employs the same technology used for producing long- range ballistic missiles, the U.S. State Department said.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hours earlier inaugurated the country's first space center, which will be used to launch the Omid satellite, the first such probe designed and built by Iranian scientists, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

I'm shocked! There is such a thing as an Iranian scientist!?

Eventually they will have the capability to launch a "research" satellite. The technology is out there; it's only a matter of buying and assembling it.

Post of the Month

BerberElla: My journey out of the abyss.

The Muslim reaction to 9/11 figures into it.

I remember the day the twin towers fell, I was pregnant with child number two, and he [the husband] phoned me overly excited about something, telling me to hurry and put the news on, which I did. What brought him great joy was the death of thousands of people, he was cheering down the phone. He told me to get around to his parents house, and I hurried, as I did not want to be punished for not obeying fast enough. When I arrived the house was full of well wishers and neighbours all over to celebrate the destruction of the twin towers.

[Originally published on Feb. 03, 2008 at 5:50 p.m.]

The Holy Clown


It is well known that the Prophet Muhammad (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) was indeed the perfect man. He was a devoted seeker of Truth, a warner and exhorter, a person of good cheer and pleasantness, a brilliant leader, a courageous and yet reluctant warrior, a statesman par excellence and the teacher of teachers. He was a compassionate ruler and spiritual leader, but many do not know that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) had an extraordinary sense of humor!

Like, OMG, I wasn't taught that in my Pakistani school!

The Prophet brought an uplifting spirit that penetrated the hearts of people.

Often literally.

There is a story mentioned about the Prophet and a common merchant that tells us just a little about the spirit he carried,

Let's go through it.

“One of his companions was Zahir, who used to trade in metal objects. Once the Prophet was passing by the bazaar, he saw Zahir and playfully grabbed him from behind

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

and said, “Will anyone buy this slave?” Zahir laughed and said, “O Messenger of Allah, whoever buys this slave will be in loss.” The Prophet smiled and said, “In Allah’s eyes, your value is high.”

I have to admit: Muhammad was a joker.

Here's more regarding "the perfect man":

(1) He banned interest on money.
(2) He objected to the use of pictures that depicted humans or animals and refused to enter the premises where such works were present.
(3) He married a six-years-old girl and had sex with her when she turned nine.
(4) He approved the killing of all the post-pubescent males of a Jewish tribe called Banu Quraiza.
(5) He then took all the young males and women of that tribe as slaves and distributed them among his companions.
(6) He married multiple times and kept sex-slaves.
(7) He loathed dogs and ordered that they be killed.

Muslims aren't in on this big joke.

Uncouth Sounds


the main problems with living close to the mosque are that: one, the husband becomes lazy – he has at times insisted on praying in the balcony in “congregation”! And two, the children wake up at fajr.

These days call for fajr prayer is fifteen minutes before their usual wake up time for school but in the summers it could be as early as 4.30 AM.

Muslims have it so good.

Recently two of our neighbours have adopted dogs and these dogs get totally freaked out at fajr. Result is they bark as long as the muezzin calls out the adhan. Thus, if the adhan doesn’t wake the children, the dogs surely do. We also have some idiot who has roosters as pets. God! I hate those birds. On many mornings I have cooked up an entire recipe in my head involving those b*****d birds. Like today I was so tired, down with flu and all, that I could even cook the roosters’ owner. They crow at any odd hour; sometimes at two in the morning. So I am up against the muezzin, the roosters and the dogs.

Meh, all three sound the same to me.

More problems discussed here.

And Here We Had the ICBM...


Last year I traveled continuously from mid-May to early November, not to mention a couple other months on the road earlier that year. One of the trips was to Wyoming in July and while there Jim Bennett and I visited Frontier Astronautics rather unique home office.


It is without a doubt the only family home with an indoor rocket engine test stand.


The Old and The New

Randomizer writes about desi dilemmas:

There are lots of people who genuinely miss their motherland and ache for some aspect of their day to remind them of home. And on the other end, there are those who badly want to feel like they are in ‘a new place, away from all they know’.

A classic incident to illustrate this is my first trip on the train from Mountain View to San Francisco. This being my first mini-adventure on my own, I was excited about the whole thing and looking forward to a pseudo-modern experience. I was looking forward to being awed by the cleanliness/’hi-techiness’ of the train, and sat on a seat next to the window smiling excitedly, expecting a pleasant ride ahead.

Enter Kannada-speaking desi wife with kid and family, who take the next seat. No, it was not fun listening to hard-core Kannada(my state’s language) being spoken over the next hour :) … and similar incidents have happened at many times over the last three years as well… where something ‘new’ is almost spoiled by something ‘familiar’….


Link via Desipundit.

The Fury of Winter

What's happening here:

What forecasters believe could be the winter’s biggest storm has started its trek across the region.

February is the coldest month and this year it has started with a bang.

Environment Canada said this storm could be a punishing one as it moves across the province, possibly dropping an estimated 25 centimetres of snow and a mix of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Got a call at 6:30 a.m. Work is canceled today. :(