Archive | August 16, 2011

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

 

Text Summary

When we reflect on things that are occurring in our lives and challenges we may face, sometimes we may realize that there seems to be a pattern to problems that we face. Instead of going down the “why me?” route, we need to step back and explore what may causing it. Sometimes we see a pattern, something happens that leads to pain/anguish and turmoil and that pattern keeps repeating in our lives.

Although we may sit and pray for change, we must remember the principle, “God will not change the condition of a people unless they first change what is in their hearts”.  When we stop and think about this, it should lead us to the question- “What do I need to change about myself, about the way I do things for my circumstances to change?”. If you are unemployed and sit all day and pray for food, it will not drop out of the sky. You also need to go out and work for it.

However asking this question is a fundamental first step to helping things improve in our lives. It is requires us to let go of our egos and critically reflect about how we can better ourselves. Do we have to change our belief systems, habits, patterns of thinking? Unless we do this, we set the stage up to see ourselves as victims of a circumstance. As having no control and this can lead us to a deep sense of sadness, grief and even depression.

We pray and ask for what we want and then we do our best.

We need to forget about the voices that tell us that we “can’t do it” or those that say we always mess up. Those voices will only lead us down a destructive path, one from which no good can come. This is not what Allah wants for us. Allah knows that you and I CAN change. He gave us the ability to do so and the opportunity to seek His guidance and help so that we will succeed- not fail. It is only when we do our best can we ask for Allah’s guidance and TRUST that the help will come at the right time and in the way that will be best for us.

So brothers and sisters, we need to park our egos at the door and instead of thinking of “this is the way I do it…” and instead seriously ask ourselves what we need to change in ourselves and then begin to make those changes. At that point, we need to be patient and depend on God and know that with God’s help- success is near.

 

Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011

Iftar…

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting
Letter to the Self # 16: Knowledge or Just Information?

U.K. Riots in Context!

U.K. Riots in Context!

To those who perceive that the grass is always greener on the other side, here is a small collection of the ensuing debate by Britons about what is happening in Britain!

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The Violence of the Violated

By A. Sivanandan – director of the Institute of Race Relations

16 August 2011

Everyone is clutching at explanations for the riots – gangs, greed, family breakdown, lack of respect. But I would like to go into their deeper causes.

Society is completely polarised between rich and poor, mediated through a culture of consumerism and quick fixes. Almost a third of the population is mired in poverty and deprivation. And this affects the younger generation much more directly and violently than any other section. Directly, through unemployment, cuts in education, youth facilities and mentoring schemes – they are neither socialised by work nor by community. Violently, because they are policed over and criminalised by stop and search laws and an anti-youth surveillance culture. They have nothing to look forward to – no economic mobility, no social mobility. And they have nothing to look back on, disconnected as they are from the previous generation. The system is trying to blame the parents but they themselves have been deprived of the wherewithal to bring up their children in a decent environment. (The only thing that trickles down is poverty.)

Hence the rebellion of the youth is neither community-based nor politically-oriented – which is what distinguishes them from the disturbances of 1981 and 1985. Those were uprisings based on community organising. These are riots mobilised on a Blackberry.

I have been asked if this has happened because multiculturalism has failed. On the contrary, multiculturalism has succeeded at the point of riot: the rioters came from all communities.

We have a political culture which has been manipulated by Murdoch and the press. We’ve got a feral elite of politicians, press, police and banks running the whole system. And there’s so much anger right across society-not just in these kids. This is not the end of rebellion, it is the beginning.

http://www.irr.org.uk/2011/august/ha000011.html

There Is a Context To London’s Riots That Can’t Be Ignored

By Nina PowerThe Guardian

Since the coalition came to power just over a year ago, the country has seen multiple student protests, occupations of dozens of universities, several strikes, a half-a-million-strong trade union march and now unrest on the streets of the capital (preceded by clashes with Bristol police in Stokes Croft earlier in the year). Each of these events was sparked by a different cause, yet all take place against a backdrop of brutal cuts and enforced austerity measures. The government knows very well that it is taking a gamble, and that its policies run the risk of sparking mass unrest on a scale we haven’t seen since the early 1980s. With people taking to the streets of Tottenham, Edmonton, Brixton and elsewhere over the past few nights, we could be about to see the government enter a sustained and serious losing streak.

The policies of the past year may have clarified the division between the entitled and the dispossessed in extreme terms, but the context for social unrest cuts much deeper. The fatal shooting of Mark Duggan last Thursday, where it appears, contrary to initial accounts, that only police bullets were fired, is another tragic event in a longer history of the Metropolitan police’s treatment of ordinary Londoners, especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the singling out of specific areas and individuals for monitoring, stop and search and daily harassment.

One journalist wrote that he was surprised how many people in Tottenham knew of and were critical of the IPCC, but there should be nothing surprising about this. When you look at the figures for deaths in police custody (at least 333 since 1998 and not a single conviction of any police officer for any of them), then the IPCC and the courts are seen by many, quite reasonably, to be protecting the police rather than the people.

Combine understandable suspicion of and resentment towards the police based on experience and memory with high poverty and large unemployment and the reasons why people are taking to the streets become clear. (Haringey, the borough that includes Tottenham, has the fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%, double the national average, with one vacancy for every 54 seeking work in the borough.)

Those condemning the events of the past couple of nights in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture: a country in which the richest 10% are now 100 times better off than the poorest, where consumerism predicated on personal debt has been pushed for years as the solution to a faltering economy, and where, according to the OECD, social mobility is worse than any other developed country.

As Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett point out in The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, phenomena usually described as “social problems” (crime, ill-health, imprisonment rates, mental illness) are far more common in unequal societies than ones with better economic distribution and less gap between the richest and the poorest. Decades of individualism, competition and state-encouraged selfishness – combined with a systematic crushing of unions and the ever-increasing criminalisation of dissent – have made Britain one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.

Images of burning buildings, cars aflame and stripped-out shops may provide spectacular fodder for a restless media, ever hungry for new stories and fresh groups to demonise, but we will understand nothing of these events if we ignore the history and the context in which they occur.

‘Racist’ Stop-And-Search Powers to Be Challenged

By Vikram Dodd

Friday 8 July 2011

The high court has agreed that a full legal challenge can be brought against a police stop-and-search power alleged to be used in a racist way against African-Caribbean people.

The challenge follows officers stopping and searching a 37-year-old woman with no convictions, after they claimed she was holding onto her bag in a suspicious way.

The woman, Ann Roberts, ended up being held down by officers on the floor in front of other people, handcuffed and taken to a police station where she was wrongly accused of being a class A drug user and placed on a treatment programme under the threat of arrest if she failed to attend.

Roberts was stopped under section 60 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, brought in to tackle illegal raves. The power allows police to stop and search people without having a reasonable suspicion they are involved in criminality.

Roberts, a special needs assistant, argued that a disproportionate number of black Londoners are searched in violation of article 14 of the European convention on human rights, which bans discrimination.

Her lawyers say statistical evidence implies that a black person is more than nine times more likely to be searched than a white person. They go on to say section 60 is “incompatible” with three articles of the convention: 14, 5, which protects the right to liberty and security, and 8, which protects the right to private and family life.

Police say section 60 is a valuable tool which has been used to tackle areas plagued by violence.

On 9 September 2010 Roberts was on a bus when an inspector found she had insufficient money for her journey on her prepaid Oyster card.

Police were called when she could not produce identity documents.

According to her lawyers, she was searched under section 60 after a police officer took the view she was holding on to her bag in a manner that suggested she had something to hide.

She was told the area she was in was a “hotspot” for gang violence and the possession of knives. Few, if any, acts of gang violence are committed by married women in their mid 30s.

Roberts asked to be searched in a police station rather than in public in case it was seen by young people with whom she worked.

Police refused and when they tried to seize her handbag a struggle followed which led to officers restraining her on the floor.

Three bank cards with different identities were found in her bag. She explained they were in her name, her maiden name – having recently married – and her son’s name.

She was told she was being arrested on suspicion of fraud and taken to Tottenham police station.

She was subjected to a drugs test which she was told showed small amounts of crack cocaine, but a later test showed she was clear.

After being put in a cell, she was interviewed and told she was no longer suspected of fraud but was being detained on suspicion that she had obstructed a police search.

Later a caution was administered for obstruction.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/jul/08/racist-stop-search-powers-challenge

Related Topics:

To Be Accepted or Rejected!

British Riots: Elites “Shocked” The Poor Are Rising Up…

U.K. – Tottenham Riot and Disenfranchised Youth

Living off the Grid: How Ridiculous Can the U.K. Get!

U.K: The Affect of Globalization on Poverty

The Deserving Poor!

Anti-Austerity and Living on the Edge

Being Driven Insane!

NATO Igniting Iraq for What It Can’t Get Elsewhere!

NATO Igniting Iraq for What It Can’t Get Elsewhere!

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

 

16.08.2011

 

Bloodbath in Iraq. 45133.jpegIt has been several years since I covered a story on Iraq, after having dedicated my energies behind the scenes prior to 2003 towards mobilising forces to stop the attack, then witnessing the destruction of a country and the slaughter of its people and then the wholesale chaos which follows a NATO intervention.

Eight long years later, has Iraq the infrastructures which were destroyed by NATO military hardware back in 2003? No. Have the effects of Depleted Uranium munitions diminished? No. Has the Iraqi youth today a better future than back then? No. Then who gained what?

NATO countries lined up to sign the rebuilding contracts, NATO cronies lined their pockets, NATO cronies placed Iraqi archaeological artefacts on their shelves (may these bring them and their families and spawn the most dreadful curse). Companies from NATO countries picked up the bits after the Iraqi water supply was destroyed (war crime, unpunished), after schools were destroyed (war crime, unpunished), after the electricity grids were targeted (war crime, unpunished), after hospitals were strafed (war crimes, unpunished). I could continue all night.

And, collectively but not individually, the citizens of NATO countries sat back and did absolutely nothing, nothing at all. They carried on with their lives, they said nothing, they did nothing, they did not lift a finger.

In August 2011, we continue to see the bloodbath unleashed by NATO continues. Today, no less than 63 people lost their lives in a string of attacks which ravaged through 17 cities, mirroring NATO’s multiple terrorist attacks in Libya.

As NATO cavorts with Al-Qaeda in Libya, the same horrific organization is blamed for the attacks of today in Iraq. Why, the terrorist leader in Libya, al-Hasidi, was responsible for recruiting Benghazi suicide bombers to fight NATO in Iraq. And Afghanistan.

So if your boy goes down in Iraq or Afghanistan, then ask your government why NATO is siding with the self-same terrorists in Libya which are trying to destabilise the Government, which in turn does its best to reduce civilian casualties, and even casualties among the terrorist elements unleashed by NATO.

 

Source:

Related Topics:

NATO: A Feast of Blood

Libya: Anatomy of a Murder

Syria and the Threat of Imperialist Intervention

IMF: Neocolonialism vs. Jan. 25th Revolution

Statement on the UK Government’s Military Involvement in Libya

NATO: The Bombing of Al Fateh University

NATO’s Blood Feast Spreads

Don’t Believe Everything You See and Read About Ghaddafi

Libya: NATO Poisoning the Purest Water in the World

U.S./NATO Atrocities Against Libya

Libyans Dancing in the Streets

Of Course the Global Economy is Worsening!

Still Interfering in Egypt While Going Broke!

Call for Rumsfeld and Bush to Be Indicted

Call for Rumsfeld and Bush to Be Indicted

 

From A.N.S.W.E.R

It is hard to overstate the significance of the ruling by the US Court of Appeals that Donald Rumsfeld will face trial for torture. Every Bush-era official who committed crimes, including authorizing torture, has to be deeply alarmed.

The movement for accountability has entered a new, decisive stage and we are committed to stepping up the momentum.

The court ruled on Tuesday that two U.S. citizens who worked for a private security firm in Iraq can proceed to take Donald Rumsfeld to trial for the torture they assert they endured during months of imprisonment in 2006 in a prison set up by the Pentagon at a military base near Baghdad’s airport..

The two men say they were arrested and then brutally tortured after they tried to expose bribery and corruption in the private security firm that was on the Pentagon payroll. They informed U.S. authorities and began cooperating with them to expose bribery and corruption. In early 2006 they were unexpectedly arrested and sent to the prison at the US military base Camp Cropper located near Baghdad’s airport.

After months of imprisonment they were taken from the jail and dropped at the airport without ever having been charged with a crime.

The Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that the men have a right to take Rumsfeld to trial.

The court ruled, “We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to show that Secretary Rumsfeld personally established the relevant policies that caused the alleged violations of their constitutional rights during detention.”

http://www.AnswerCoalition.org/

Source

Related Topics:

Hosni Mubarak’s April 10 Speech

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Indictment on Abuse of Male Power

Baron Murdoch Buying Up British Media

Murdoch’s Empire: Whistleblower Found Dead

Vatican and Queen Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

Cheney Authorized Pentagon Hit on 9/11‏

Pfizer: At Last a Drug Company Held to Account!

Legal Action Against Monsanto for GM Aubergines

Legal Action Against Monsanto for GM Aubergines

Legal Action Against Monsanto for GM Aubergines

 

As Monsanto takes further steps to increase control and limit the choice of Americans over food supply, India now says that it has had enough! India, which over the past 15 years has had its legal battles with the U.S. global patenting of natural resources i.e. TRIPS, and multinationals like Monsanto is the only country that produces GM aubergines/egg plant, except that they did not produce it.

Without approval from India authorities, Mahyco-Monsanto accessed local varieties known as brinjal, to produce the GM variety known as Bt Brinjal. It is the National Biodiversity Authority of India (NBA), which will be taking the legal action, a decision which was made on June 20th 2011, the minutes of which was released on 11 August 2011.

It was discovered via a complaint filed with supporting evidence by the Environment Support Group before the Karnataka Biodiversity Board that  6 local varieties in Karnataka, and 4 local varieties in Tamil Nadu for the development of Bt Brinjal without prior approval from State Biodiversity Board/National Biodiversity Authority had taken place as an act of biopiracy. Biopiracy is the stealing of genetic resources for profit. In practical terms under TRIPS it would mean that Monsanto would own Bt Brinjal from seed to fruit/vegetable. Other participants include the University of Agricultural Sciences-Dharwar, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University-Coimbatore, Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (representing the consortium involving USAID and Cornell University-USA). This is in contravention of  Section 4 and related provisions of the Biological Diversity Act.

Monsanto is the world’s largest chemical company that has been buying up global genetic resources by becoming the world’s largest in biotechnology, preventing farmers around the world from owning and producing their own seeds, and making it incumbent through TRIPS for farmers to buy their seeds from Monsanto.  Mahyco is the Indian branch of Monsanto.

This legal step is also necessary to prevent the loss of biodiversity and contamination from GM crops which are invasive when introduced into the environment. Biopiracy impoverishes the farmers by placing them under an unbearable debt, and deprives local communities who are the guardians and the developers of local varieties. Even if consent by local communities is given their share in any benefits must by acknowledged internationally through the Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol.

 

Sources:

NBA. “Proceedings of the 20th Authority Meeting.” http://www.nbaindia.org/docs/20th_Proceedings_10_08_2011.pdf

India: National Biodiversity Authority To Prosecute Mahyco/Monsanto And Collaborators Monsanto Now Wants India’s Onions  http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11766%3Aindia-national-biodiversity-authority-to-prosecute-mahycomonsanto-and-collaborators-promoting-bt-brinjal-in-violation-of-biodiversity-protection-law&catid=63%3Acentral-asia-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=85&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IndigenousPeoplesResources+%28Indigenous+Peoples+Issues+%26+Resources%29

Related Topics:

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Aubergines (Solanum melongena esculentum)

U.S. Sought to Retaliate Against Europe over Monsanto GM Crops

Monsanto: Controlling Our Food Supply

Monsanto Expanding Control Over Global Food Supply

Is Your Stomach Reproducing GMO Bacteria?

GM Food Legislation to Be Introduced in South Africa

Africa: GM Crop Take-up on the Rise Despite Evidence

GM Sweet Potato: Forcing the Unnatural on Nature

GM Toxins Found in Human Blood

GM Foods and Fertility

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

 

Text Summary:

 

When we reflect on the way the prophet peace be upon him lived his life in his society. Like us, his society was filled with many people of all different backgrounds, religions, cultures, ages…in essence it was a diverse society. Yet, whenever he called to his people or tried to do good in his society, he always called to all his people, “ya qawmi”- “Oh my people” and never, “Oh you who believe in my message”. His approach was universal and transparent, his message was one of mercy and based on his love for all his people.

In fact, it was well known that many people, whether they were Muslim or not, including many leaders would go to him for help to resolve their disputes. Others would take their money to him and ask him to help keep it for them. This was because they knew he was trustworthy and honest. He didn’t only favour Muslims, he was honest with all people.  Yet today, we have some people who believe that they cannot interact with others outside their faith, OR still others who won’t engage with others who hold different opinions within our faith. If the prophet peace be upon him was the best example, where do we find these practices?

As we interact with those around us, we need to ask ourselves, are we being just, compassionate, merciful to all people? Are we favouring some and not others? Who are we assisting, if we are calling to people are we speaking with one common message (not one for some people and another for others)? Are we being ambassadors of mercy or are we isolating others? Are we open and caring or are we being judgemental?

Whatever we do, we must keep the interest of our community and society. By community, I do not mean only those who look like us, who believe the same thing, who come from the same place…our community are those who live with and around us. We keep the spirit of the prophet peace be upon him and honour his example by remembering that we have a responsibility to interact with all people, to share with them, to assist and to work together for the common good of all in our societies

Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011

Iftar…

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting
Letter to the Self # 16: Knowledge or Just Information?
Letter to the Self # 15: Beyond the Limited Self