Clash of ideologies among Muslims

March 31, 2008 at 12:30 am (Islam, Islamism, The West)

It cannot be denied that there is a veritable clash within Islam and between a certain aspect of Islam and the West.

The clash within Islam is between modernists and non-modernists. (Although Islamism is usually touted as the enemy, and whereas even modernist Islamists usually believe in and promote the superiority of Islam, the Islam that modernist Islamists believe in is usually modified to coexist with other religious and political systems or modified to adopt the values and standards of other religious and political systems, making that form of Islam more compatible.)

This debate used to be confined mainly among the higher levels of Islamic societies, among the thinkers and theologians and clerics, but because this debate has practical consequences for all Muslims, average Muslims are taking interest, speaking their mind, and campaigning for their preferred ideology. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clash of ideologies in Islam

March 31, 2008 at 12:04 am (Islam, Islamism, The West)

It cannot be denied that there is a veritable clash within Islam and between a certain aspect of Islam and the West.

The clash within Islam is between modernists and non-modernists. (Although Islamism is usually touted as the enemy, and whereas even modernist Islamists usually believe in and promote the superiority of Islam, the Islam that modernist Islamists believe in is usually modified to coexist with other religious and political systems or modified to adopt the values and standards of other religious and political systems, making that form of Islam more compatible.)

This debate used to be confined mainly among the higher levels of Islamic societies, among the thinkers and theologians and clerics, but because this debate has practical consequences for all Muslims, average Muslims are taking interest, speaking their mind, and campaigning for their preferred ideology. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muslimehess

March 29, 2008 at 5:20 pm (Blogs, Islam, Islamism)

Evidently, An Event occurred over at Ace of Spades HQ over virulent anti-Islamic sentiment.

Now, let me make it clear that I am no fan of Islam. Indeed, I find a number of bloggers I admire very much to be way too soft on the issue. But I cannot deny the reality that not all Muslims are the same. There are very many Muslims who love America, who are tolerant, and who are have not a violent bone in their selves. There are many who are otherwise.

While I, and others, may carry on detailed and convoluted discussions as to what “real” Islam is and as to what Islam actually teaches, the fact remains that despite the results of such a debate, Muslims remain varied and with substantial plurality amongst themselves. (And this greatly annoys extremists.)

If someone hates on Muslims, they are hating on Muslims who are quite decidedly non-violent, such as the Nizari and Bohra Ismailis. Or the Lahori and Qadiani Ahmadis. (Indeed, the Ahmadis have been excommunicated by Muslim authorities partly because of their rejection of jihad.) There are even a number of high-profile historical contextualists, such as Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and Amin Ahsan Islahi and Hamiduddin Farahi all of Pakistan, who categorically reject the relevance of violent jihad.

Indeed, the case may be made that Muslims are ferociously debating jihad among themselves, which explains the desperation and fanaticism of the mujahidun (those who wage jihad): they have enemies from within Islam. The debate continues, believe it or not, and the modernists’ message is being spread.

My point is that it benefits no one when we categorically hate on Muslims, when we engage in Muslimehess. There is a difference between hating ideologies and hating a whole group of people. It does not behoove us to engage in the sort of blanket hatred that some of our enemies are wont to do. When we do so, we loose track of the elements among the Muslims that are, wittingly or not, on our side.

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Look at the pic!

March 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm (Diabetes)

If you haven’t noticed, I have a neat little pic of High Lord Diabetes Wilford Brimley ala dhikrihi sujud in the sidebar. It was done by none other than Her Highness Princess Stoat E. Weasel of Allsexes (found in the comment thread for “Because Weasel hearts you very much”). She made it in recognition of the induction of Steamboat McGoo into the world of diabetics (as he reveals it here in “It’s 3 AM – And All Is Well”). Yashar koach! (Er, you’ll need it.)

Diabeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetus.

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Diabeeeetus!

March 28, 2008 at 8:59 pm (Diabetes)

It’s still Friday!

Diabetes is an interesting world. Yes, a world.

There are a few things that diabetics experience that are, as far as I am aware, unique to diabetics. There are two major phenomena: the urination and the intense thirst. What makes this even more weird is that both can induce a joy and relief that is beyond compare. Better than food. Better than sex.

When a person becomes hyperglycemic, his blood sugar levels become higher than normal. This results in sugar being spilled into the urine. Which means more urine building up. It is strange to experience a rapidly-filling bladder without having imbibed anything. As this excessive urination continues over weeks and months, a lot of weight is literally passed out as water.

After filling up for a while, the experience of finally letting it all out is beyond expression. (Unfortunately, depending on my control over the few days before, I have the pleasure of experiencing this quite often, sometimes waking up twice at night.)

But nothing compares to the thirst. This is no ordinary thirst. When a hyperglycemiac finally drinks water, it can be a lot at one time. This is what actually made my father suspect I had diabetes. We were at the Cairo airport waiting for our flight to Karachi. I was thirsty and had to urinate. I urinated and by the time I returned, my father got a large bottle of water for me. I finished the entire bottle in one go. (When I complained a few weeks later of waking up every night in the middle thereof to urinate, he took me to get my blood tested.)

The trials and joys of being a diabetic means one belongs to a whole other world. I rejoice when I meet diabetics. I feel like I’ve met a fellow citizen of a strange planet. Someone who understands what I talk about when I want to rant about wanting to pee and drinking water being the most sublime thing evar.

I have noticed one thing, which is not the most fortunate thing. South Asians are particularly predisposed to diabetes, especially type II. (Type I diabetes mellitus means that the body produces no insulin. Insulin has to be administered by injection. Type II diabetes mellitus means that the body may produce insulin but does not know how to use it properly. In some cases, insulin has to administered by injection. In most cases, oral drugs are used to help the body use its insulin properly.) Most of my older relatives have type II diabetes. In fact, most older South Asians I know have type II. It’s a little scary to be sitting at a table of about twelve people and all but one have diabetes.

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New plan

March 26, 2008 at 3:20 pm (Blogs, Personal)

I have a new plan. (Let’s see how long it will last.) I’m going to try to put up posts at least three times a week (I’m aiming for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

I also plan to diversify a little more: more posts about religion, religious topics, diabetes, languages, politics, and so on. Whatever strikes my fancy.

If anyone still reads here, I do appreciate your patience with me.

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We don’t tolerate anti-soldier-ism

March 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm (Blogs, Leftist idiocy, Military, The United States)

In this comment (over at “Don’t Question Their Blah Blah Blah” by Ace of Ace of Spades HQ), it is written:

I’ve told my son (a marine reservist going back for his second 7 month vacation in the cradle of civilization) that I would fully expect him to beat the poodle piss out of anyone spitting on him upon his return. Bail wouldn’t be too hard to come by.

I am grateful that while America may be full of anti-war moonbats, anyone physically spitting on a soldier would find himself or herself on the receiving end of a lot of displeased reactions from ordinary, everyday Americans (civilians especially).

We love our soldiers, we do.

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The meaning of the elections in Pakistan

March 13, 2008 at 12:30 am (Pakistan, Uncategorized)

So what do the elections in Pakistan mean?

Yes, elections took place.
Yes, they were freer than one first expected them to be.
Yes, they were competitive for the most part.
Yes, the people of Pakistan had a say.
But, no, they were not intrinsically good for Pakistan.

And, frankly, I doubt whether Benazir would have changed the above. Let me explain in a short while.

The former ruling party was PML-Q which stands for the “Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid faction”. This is because the other major faction is the PML-N, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz faction. In essence, PML-N supports Nawaz Sharif while PML-Q does not. PML-Q is Musharraf’s party, for all intents and purposes.

But since its beginning, PML-N strenuously opposed Musharraf. This is because Nawaz Sharif strenuously opposes Pervaiz Musharraf. And this mutual opposition is quite personal. Nawaz fired Musharraf, Musharraf ousted Nawaz, Nawaz tried to kill Musharraf when Musharraf was returning to Pakistan, Musharraf put Nawaz on trial, Nawaz was sent in exile. They both hate each other.

Now, what was personal has become political. PML-N and its allies have been doing everything to oppose and topple Musharraf. They are the ones primarily responsible for the meme that democracy in Pakistan is threatened (or, for that matter, doesn’t exist) as long as Musharraf has any power, as if Pakistan will become a haven for democracy the moment Musharraf steps down.

In contrast to Nawaz Sharif, Benazir was pro-Musharraf. When she returned, she realized that this certainly helped her return to Pakistan but it certainly hurts her when it comes to the elections. So she changed gears and became anti-Musharraf. What remains questionable is whether this anti-Musharraf stance was for appearance’s sake or whether she meant it. What also is questionable is whether she would have acted on anti-Musharraf demands made by her allies if she came into power. Many people expected her to be pro-Musharraf to staunch the rise of anti-Musharraf sentiment and policies, and indeed Musharraf depended on this, but it is difficult to tell how she would have acted.

Various political movements, parties, and people planned to use these elections has a launching pad for effective anti-Musharraf plans and policies. Once in power, the civilian government would begin to do everything it could do oust Musharraf, beginning with the deposed Supreme Court (which was dismissed at the end of last year when Musharraf declared emergency rule). With the proper elements in place, they planned to declare Musharraf ineligible as president of Pakistan and force him out. They may yet do it.

But Musharraf is not an idiot. Whereas he may not be able to completely stop such efforts, he can fight back. As president, he still has the power to dismiss Parliament. And he can always use his friend General Kayani, Chief of Army Staff, to help him out.

In other words, there was to be a showdown and there may yet be one. Musharraf’s options have been reduced due to no longer being the Chief of Army Staff and due to Pakistan’s need to present some semblance of respect for civilian or political rule. PML-N and PPP (Benazir’s party) made major gains in the recent elections. Let us see whether they can unite to do anything, and if they unit to oust Musharraf. If they do, there will be an intense period of instability in the political world of Pakistan. But then, this instability is the story of Pakistan.

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A dear assumption has been shot down

March 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm (Pakistan, Uncategorized)

I recognize when I have been wrong, and I now know with regard to one issue I was wrong.

My mother and I share a similar attitude when it comes to activities that seek to expose the corruption of Pakistani politics. We believe that these are futile and in vain. Whereas exposes may be made, they will change nothing. Indeed, the usual flurry of disavowals and promises occur but nothing real happens. The people in question simply seek to hide things better.

Before these last elections, there were a number of significant hard-hitting exposes of planned corruption and manipulation of the elections. It was shown that even someone like the Attorney General of Pakistan not only was going along with the expected manipulation but also would do nothing to hinder or challenge this manipulation.

But two events, both involving General Kayani, changed my mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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