Unveiling hope

The apparition of scholarship is collapsing. Compare the learning of those parroting what they learned from men before them to those targeting disease-specific antigens with mRNA molecules, leveraging the magnificent power of the human immune system. Signs on the horizons and within yourselves.

For quite some time now, a friend in my circles has been undertaking similar research targeting cancerous cells. There’s no doubt that in a century or two, chemotherapy will be considered as barbaric as we consider medieval amputation today.

It’s a pity that our politics presently seem to be taking a great leap backwards, for research science is making huge strides towards more humane ways of treating pervasive disease and illnesses.

Some so-called scholars have been intent on revealing their ignorance to all through the present crisis. Despite their leading many astray, perhaps this is a good thing, for it has revealed them. We have seen what their scholarship is truly worth. They turn out to be peddlers of little more than folk legends, calling their followers to a truth mixed with falsehood.

Others though — amongst them pious folk, grounded in profound faith — have shown us a better way, embracing true scholarship which seeks to understand the material world and respond to its challenges with painstaking research and penetrating learning. In their response we embrace a beautiful hope, where many a sage sells us only cataclysmic despair and hopelessness.

Certainly the sheikhs of the interwebs have revealed themselves as purveyors of worthless learning. Thank goodness for teachers grounded in both science and the spiritual realm. Alhamdulilah for the great unveiling.

Megacorpland

Never over-estimate your own importance. I once resigned from a job to protest the unfair treatment of my wife by an organisation we both worked for at the time. I thought I was taking a principled stand. The organisation just shrugged its shoulders and said, “Bye!”

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Hoax

Death is touching every household, but still the dissenters declare: “It’s a hoax!”

Even as we bury our dead, they reiterate: “It is all overblown; much ado about nothing.”

Until it touches them — and guilt haunts them — they will continue in kind.

They have thoroughly imbibed every scrap of misinformation, received and forwarded without pause, and have become utterly convinced by it.

So it was for our family back home too. Disbelief, until a cousin, walking the earth and smiling merrily just last week, slipped into a coma and died alone, and was buried alone, as all his family fought with their own ravaging fever, fearful of their own end.

Close friends then ring… they too have lost loved ones suddenly. A seemingly fit and healthy uncle. A sister-in-law. Their father. A young niece. A brother.

But yet again the dissenters yell: “Hoax!”

Carnival of ignorance

A failure of education? A failure of science? A failure of empathy, and the ability to understand what you yourself do not directly perceive? The age of ignorance, where ignorance is considered a legitimate choice, celebrated with pride, shunning expertise and authority, in favour of alt-knowledge, alt-wisdom. Though nearly every family we personally know has now lost someone to the virus, still the proud dissenters who brand us “sheeple” claim the pandemic is not real: a mere apparition, made real only by the “mainstream media” and their co-conspirators. How did the carnival of ignorance go so mainstream, where once it was so fringe?

Write off

If you feel the need to condemn me and write off everything that I believe because I have taken to listening to folk songwriters over recent years — but find yourself silent in the face of the abusive serial adulterer, or accommodating to men who cut down and slaughter innocents — my reflections probably aren’t for you. We’re travelling different roads.

Dawa

In the Swahili language, the word “dawa” means medicine, treatment, remedy. Some of us may have thought that it has a similar meaning in the Arabic language. However, as popularised by English-speaking activists, it seems to have taken on the complete opposite meaning. It has instead become like poison, killing everything. It has grown into something out of control, with side effects far more perplexing than the cure presumably prescribed. Ignoramuses, thinking themselves learned, parade hither and thither spouting nonsense gleaned from their predecessors, likewise unlearned, wiping out everything good and virtuous, planting only seeds that grow into rampant, bitter, thorny vines, destroying everything in their path. They offer no remedy; no cure for broken hearts, no medicine for the soul, no tonic to soothe inner pain. Daily they dispense poison instead, and daily the suffering multiplies.

You are big brother

Amusing that outrage about popular MuslimPro app allegedly partnering with data firm allegedly selling data to US Military is being expressed on Facebook and Twitter, two open, non-anonymised social media platforms vastly more problematic from a privacy perspective. Cambridge Analytica anyone?

Continue reading “You are big brother”

Activism in crisis

For the second time in a week, those apparently stalwart defenders of British Islam — allegedly steadfast and unshakeable in their obedience to the way of the Prophet — have chosen to rehabilitate a man who last year went on French television admitting to extra-marital affairs and a predilection for practices they would normally vituperate.

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Losers

Young man! Do you even know who your handlers are? These unknown others who incite you online, from behind alias account on obscure platforms, chattering away to encourage the ignorant to act on their ignorance?

For sure, they are not proponents of your religion, for what they call to is not of your tradition at all. It is something alien, ugly, repulsive, newly-invented. These unknowns you take as guides only guide you to a devilish way. What they call you to is hirabah at best — a way of life harshly punished harshly without mercy by your tradition.

I don’t know who your handlers are. For all I know, they could be more trolls from Olgino, or Upavon. They could be the editors of Dabiq or Endchan. They could be more misguided men like you, sincere in their belief that all grey zones must be eliminated if the promised one is to come, to liberate true believers from the yoke of oppression. Who knows?

For sure it is a dead-end avenue: the end of the road. What you have been called to and what you now call to too is not of the Way you claim as your own. It is anarchy, insanity, brigandage. You die a dishonourable death, accursed. You are of those who cause corruption on the earth. Losers.

Devils

Attacking worshipers in their places of worship is haram — utterly forbidden. Those that do this are devils, committing mischief in the land. It is hirabah — banditry, piracy — waging war against God.

“Permission to fight has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, God is competent to give them victory. Those who have been evicted from their homes without right, only because they say, “Our Lord is God.” And were it not that God checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of God is much mentioned. And God will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, God is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” — Quran 22:39-40

The way of God is to protect monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques — and the worshipers within — from destruction at the hands of brigands and aggressors. Any other way is the way of devils. By their fruit you shall know them.

Vigilantes

Terrorism — the act of randomly targeting civilians with violence — is nothing but a tool of imperialism. It only serves to provide states with justification to invade and occupy far-off lands. It is of no benefit to the common man, at home or abroad. Indeed, the only real beneficiaries are arms manufacturers and the ruling classes (often intertwined), who benefit directly from the never-ending wars waged to secure control of petrocarbons, tin, tungsten, tantalem, gold and water.

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New fiction

A growing chorus of voices chant: “The pandemic is a hoax!”

Parents of other children stop us to say: “I don’t believe in any of this. It’s all a plot to control the sheep-like masses.”

And yet we know a dozen people in our circles personally, who have been cut down by the dreaded virus, some of them relatives, some family friends.

We have looked on as they were sent into intensive care. Some elderly, yes, but some not. Some with preexisting health conditions — high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, cardiac problems — but not all of them.

Two of them have died. Most of them made a recovery of sorts. A few, even after months and months, still suffer the long term effects of the infection. It is a nasty bug, to be sure.

Still, the chorus of dissent grows louder. People say it is all a scheme dreamed up by Bill Gates, presumably because he has been fighting viruses since Windows 95. They say it is a plot of the new world order, or whatever Machiavellian overlords rule the day.

Once they were on the fringe. Now they are closing in, everywhere, nearby. The next-door neighbour, the school friend’s mum, the co-religionist on WhatsApp, a family member of the phone, a friend on Facebook.

It is all a hoax, and what you yourself have experienced is the fiction, unreal.

Fool me once

Counterintuitive as it may seem, I don’t have good feelings about a Biden presidency in the United States. Undoubtedly, Biden will be better for America than Trump. But for the rest of world? Continue reading “Fool me once”

Compassion

They rail against compassionate imams. I think to myself: “What’s wrong with being compassionate?”

Every verse of the Book, but one, begins, “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.”

Compassion is a trait to aspire to it. We need more of it, not less.

Guns

The society awash with guns seems to have no respect for human life. What a surprise.

Police officers use guns like mobile phones, casually firing at will at the faintest whiff of threat. A glance, a word, a silent thought: all of these can get you killed in the lands of guns. A disability, skin colour, class, sect: the same.

Arm yourselves, say the citizens of the society that values the right to bear arms over the right to life. And so the killing multiplies.

The whole world sees this society awash with guns, and thinks: if only these people were civilised.

0.1%

“It’s just the flu.” Yes, well the 1918 H1N1 pandemic was also just the flu.

We have to decide what sort of society we want to be. Do we just let the old, poor and infirm die, dismissing them as 0.1% of the population? Very rational, so long as it’s not your relative, friend or neighbour.

Refutation

Here is the refutation of the refutation of the refutation, on and on ad nauseam, droning on in full public view online and in private forums, chat groups, YouTube videos and heated arguments amongst friends and enemies. It never ends.

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Freely give

Scholars, preachers, muftis, sheikhs: please don’t monetise your content. Don’t make it a revenue stream, enabling adverts on your videos, begging for donations to support your efforts. Do it for the love of it, giving freely, teaching when you can, in between the day job which pays your bills. Let your knowledge be your charity dispensed freely. Be of those who ask no fee.

The steep path

I understand the need of disenfranchised people to stand together in solidarity, but Ex-Muslim activism comes across as just another sect, its activists behaving exactly like the fundamentalists they decry. There are former Muslims, lapsed Muslims, irreligious Muslims, agnostics, converts to other faiths, seekers and small e ex-Muslims; most of these I can get along with just fine. I was an agnostic in my youth and have been a seeker through most of my adulthood, firm in absolutes only for a few short months at the height of my convertitus. Capital E Ex-Muslims very much remind me of myself in the convertitus phase, caught up on absolutes and certainties, and overdosing in self-righteousness.

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Baloney

Once more, Muslims share via WhatsApp apparently profound insights, oblivious to their origin on nationalist forums filled with threads decrying Islam and brown people. It turns out that were it not for mutual hatred, most of these folk would get on like a house on fire. Apart from the superficial contempt for each other’s way of life, it turns out the two parties agree on most things and have more than a little in common. If only the nationalist forum would tone down the threads on the Islamification of Europe, Trump’s progress, the death of London and the martyrdom of Tommy Robinson, the chattering classes that teem Muslim social media would signup en masse and embrace them. Never mind that those apparently profound insights are in fact trite reductionist baloney, lacking any real substance at all.

The apparition of religion

Politicians the world over are masters at exploiting religious imagery and patriotic sentiment to deflect and co-opt. We will see it here, we will see it there. As the recession deepens, as unemployment rises, as general discontent worsens, we will see our leaders deploy symbols which the masses can embrace. This is happening all over the world right now, as those in power strive to remain relevant in the face of widespread public anger about the mismanagement of the pandemic and mishandling of the economy. The talking points of the religious masses usually have nothing to do with religion at all.

Wicked men

Wicked men exploit the naivety of children in the name of religion. I am not of the “throw away the key” school of thought, no matter how stupid and foolish the teenage runaways were. A fourteen or fifteen year old is not mature enough to navigate religious bullying and pious propaganda. I feel sorry for young people led astray by suspect eschatology — tales promising eternal damnation, attributed to their prophet —  to scare them into taking action a mature mind would shun. Who do I blame? Parents, maulanas, muftis and social media demagogues, themselves immature and insecure, incapable of calling children to a middle way. The tantrums of teenagers dwarfed by the tantrums of grown men and women, playing out in public for all to see. Too much religion and very few faithful ones.

Symbols

Look beyond the grandiose gestures of politicians presiding over failing economies and tanking approval ratings. It will take more than an appeal to religious sentiment to right the ship. This is mere distraction politics. Symbols made sacred.

Dear tech reviewer

I love your channel and style — have been a subscriber for years — but increasingly I wish tech reviewers lived in the same world as the rest of us.

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