Archive for June, 2012

Let me get one thing straight, i feel so privileged to live in this day and age. A day where medical science ensures i do not have a premature death from the cold or asthma. A day and age where torture devices used in the past for petty crimes have been destroyed. A day and age where most of us have freedoms to speak our hearts and minds. Yet i feel that we have moved too fast and unfortunately have had little chance to catch up with the developments of technology. Our older generations look at these inventions baffled, it is all so strange and bizarre to them- devices that do absolutely everything for us.

Indeed you’d think with our technology that the world would be connected like never before, perhaps from a worldwide basis we are closer- yet technology has without doubt destroyed community. Whether it is gadgets from the simple mobile phone, to Ipods- whether it’s an E-book or a Tablet what i have noticed is that we are speaking less to each other and our communication skills are dwindling, our manners are crumbling and the wholesome feel of community is dying- our parks are becoming empty- the outdoors are becoming isolated and the social scene i feel has never been so unnecessarily complicated to set up.

How it should be. Good company. No phones. No Ipads. No Ipods. No Tablets or E-Readers!

People who are “friends” and “family” have their eyes glued to their mobile phones, others keep headphones in their ears whilst people speak to them, others in their pretentious state slide their tablets page by page in haste to highlight their “importance”. I see it in my line of work as well, on aircraft when people are told to turn off their electronic equipment for 15 minutes during take off and 20 minutes during landing- you see people get defensive, rude, arrogant and so edgy because their fingers have nothing to play with- despite them having plenty of company around them to talk to, it is indeed a strange thing to witness, the decline of the human community and communication.

I remember my parents and i going to dinner at a busy Chinese restaurant, we were having plenty of laughs, sharing stories and almost did not stop speaking. A family of 4 next to us were seated- father, mother, son and daughter- both in their teens. I have never seen such a sad sight! Both kids had earphones in their ears, they were all eating in complete silence, not a smile was cracked, barely any eye contact and this went uninterrupted for half an hour- absolutely shocking.

Yeah, We’re like totally social!

I remember a female friend of mine who was in hysterics, i thought something serious was happening in her life. She told me her phone wouldn’t turn on, and she can’t survive without her phone, even for a few hours until she gets home, she was broken and distraught…1st world problems indeed!

Ladies and Gentleman i have been guilty of this myself, i am surrounded by people who i generally like, they are there right next to me…Once one person pulls out their phone, another one does it, then another until finally i do it. Then there are 4 acquaintances there staring down at their phones and surely it is a sight that likens us to zombies. I will never forget the time i went to Fiji for 6 days with an ex and there was no internet access and believe me, i felt SO cleansed to have a “break” from every day life INCLUDING the technologies that we rely on all day and every day.

MUST…Go..On…FACE..BOOK!!!

I always think what it was like in the old days- where we had no internet, no mobile phones, no mp3 players and no notebooks or tablets. Imagine days back then, when if we wanted to tell someone we loved them- we’d have to see them…we’d have to say it! I believe that being in the day and age of the utmost convenience we find that we get everything we want and we get it fast! It has made us extremely impatient/anti-social beings which goes all against our evolutionary upbringing. We have always relied on each other for the success of our upbringing and indeed we have always made it abundantly clear in our history that community is an integral part to our society, yet nowadays it appears each person is in their own little world, we cannot relate to others and we have lost that fundamental “human touch” that our recent ancestors had- and it is a touch that i am envious of.

So yes the world is “closer” thanks to technology but when it comes to community- when it comes to the direct communication between people locally it has effected us negatively. Let us put down these appliances of convenience and let us use our brains- let us be creative again and let us keep in line with our emotions and interactions that has made us what we are today, let us not lose track of ourselves and the importance of community…we can love technology for it’s good points but lets face it, there is something wrong with the world when we see the very foundation of mankind changing and it is changing in a way that we are not familiar with, we are NOT meant to be anti-social loners who fear community and emotions- we ARE meant to be social beings who bond with others that love community and thrive within it!

Lets get back to our roots oh people!

Peace, Salam Alaykum.

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Nowadays it seems almost imperative that a new “section” will be added to our bookshelves- a section based on the religion of Islam. The fact is not only does the media love coverage of Muslims, but the general public also are outwardly curious about Muslims and their integration into Western societies– the fact is most of these publications are negative and are written by many dishonest people, believe me when i say that Islamophobia today is a big money making business and many best sellers are written  in regards to Islam.

“A God Who Hates”, “Why They Hate Us”, “Why We Want To Kill You”, “Infidel”, “Because They Hate”, “Why I Left Jihad”, “Escaping Islam”, “Stop The Islamization Of America”, “Infidels Guide To The Quran” & “While America Sleeps: How Islam, Immigration and Indoctrination Are Destroying America From Within” – are all but a very few examples of the books you will find on bookshelves around the world and i must say when ones mind is boggled with such words- really emphasizing the “hate” within a religious community and it’s people could only feed and breed further fear in the west.

The Standard “Narratives” found on our bookshelves.

You will find the narrative in many supposed stories are very similar. Find a victim that was once a “Muslim”, go through their terrible “Journey” of forced marriage, female genital mutilation, rape, misogyny, brutality, torture and brainwashing to finally be “free” from the shackles of Islam thanks to their fight to escape to the “land of the free- home of the brave”. The thing is many of these supposed stories have very little historical or factual support, for example famous Islamophobe writer “Ayaan Hirsi Ali” stated she survived in war torn Africa, was forced into marriage, lived as a strict Muslim and escaped to Europe and then America to finally be free- atheist and liberated!

Yet a dutch documentary exposed her by going back to her homeland and speaking to individuals that grew up with her and supported her, many of these people contradict her convenient narrative of blaming Islam for her lifes struggles and need to “escape” to the west, when in fact Ayaan had made up a partial fantasy story to get citizenship in another country– she used Islam and her experience as a vulnerable and tortured woman to gain access to western nations- it was also revealed that she never tasted nor experienced any war, was never forced into marriage, and still openly speaks to her father who “forced her to marry”, her family was never particularly religious and once she was exposed in Europe she quickly fled the scrutiny to leave for America.

There is also another Islamophobe “ex terrorist” by the name of Walid Shoebat– who claims to have once bombed an Israeli bank, work for the PLO who attacked Israeli soldiers, grew up a devout and strict Muslim who had a huge grudge against Jews. He then converted to Christianity and now speaks of the “Evils of Islam” and how his faith of Islam made him entirely inclined to hate; kill; murder; commit terrorism and takeover the world in some sort of “stealth Jihad.” He now has written many books, has ties to churches and the police in training them on how “not to trust a single Muslim“. Not to mention he claims Mosques are centers of Terrorism, claims Muslims should be profiled and more! Please note he gets paid for his books, paid for his church appearances, paid for his stratagem to the police and politicians.  Yet recently CNN exposed that Walid Shoebats story simply  does not add up!!

Recently (2011) the media went out to Bethlehem Square, Israel and did a check up to see if any bomb indeed did go off at a bank there, how suprising! Not a single record! not to mention the supposed “arrest” of Mr. Shoebat has never been recorded, nor any profiles of him in any prison that he was held in for 2 weeks as he claimed. No records of any bomb or any crazy Muslim Walids trying to massacre as many Jews as possible. The moral of the story is DON’T  believe anything you read, and anyone with common sense must realize- Islam captures much peoples attention and these people know many people do not really get in depth into studying Islam, and seeming some of these people are of Arab background and were once supposed “Muslimsthey are given a token of credit that is almost undisputed despite their lack of clarity, knowledge or confirmed facts in their many narratives.

Norma Khouris book “Forbidden Love” which is a “memoir” to a Jordanian Honor Killing was pulled off shelves after it was proven to be entirely a hoax.

Don’t forget the 2004 publication “Forbidden Love” by Norma Khouri– apparently this book was a real account of her life in Jordan. The book tells the story of how she and her friend Dalia, a Muslim woman, opened a unisex hair salon in Amman in the early 1990s. Dalia fell in love with a Christian man, Michael, who frequented the salon. Despite the innocence of the affair, Dalia was brutally stabbed to death by her father in 1996. This was described as an act of honour killing. Khouri claimed she fled Jordan after this atrocity, fearing for her own life, eventually making her way to Australia. The book was a hit. The Australian press reported that it was voted one of the country’s 100 favourite books of all time.

However, they went on to say that investigations by a Jordanian journalist and Australia’s  Sydney Morning Herald in 2004 had revealed the book to be a hoax. It was then immediately pulled from the shelves. They showed that Khouri did not live in Jordan in the years the events were said to have taken place. In fact she was reared and lived in Chicago, and was in a violent marriage (To A Greek/American/Non Muslim) and had two children. To cap it all she was found to have been involved in fraudulent and violent activities herself. One was to fraudulently transfer her mother’s house into her name, and borrow against it. Yes my friends, it was all a big massive lie- a made up story! She’s also known as a Con- who has stolen millions and ran away from the US to Australia and she also threatened to kill her mother in Law. Perhaps an autobiography would make a more interesting book- a more genuine best seller.!

Forbidden Love- A “first hand” look into Islam in Jordan- was a best seller when it was actually an entire work of fiction by a con artist, thief and liar.

I will be the first to admit that the Muslim world has many problems in which needs addressing- yes indeed there ARE extremists in Islam, there are terrible examples and there are certain nations that really put a big shame to Islam– yet if you really want to learn something about Islam or Muslims- start with the basics- get to know a Muslim, ask Muslims questions and read the Qur’an. Do NOT read books by people who use half baked or entirely false stories about how they came from the evils of Islam into the “light”, do not let these people rob you blind with their fabricated stories- even if they tell you everything you want to hear, the fact of the matter is the TRUTH is what we all seek and you will not find it with these disingenuous people who only want to make a big buck whilst slandering 1.5 billion people and causing fear and mistrust in our societies.

The sad fact is most people do not realize that these stories for the most part are exaggerations and fabrications, recently i was in a bookstore in suburban Sydney and i saw Ayaan Hirsi Alis face plastered everywhere with her book “Infidel” proudly sitting on the shelf with full exposure- underneath her book was a note with  a stamp that said “STAFF PICK” which means someone that works there not only read it, but loved it. In the note the employee stated “A captivating and shocking account of this woman’s fascinating journey, this book will confront and inspire you“. The sad thing is this girl clearly does not know that much of what she is reading is not a “journey” of a poor struggling woman, but a “bait” for gullible people to bite on and feed her growing bank account.

Anti Islamophobic Book Alternatives

Some great books that combat the bigotry of Islamophobia.

In response to this clear Islamophobia many respected authors have hit back by writing books that combat the bigotry found by many supposed authors like Richard Spencer, Pamela Gellar, Brigitte Gabriel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat and more! In response to these dishonest books have come many academic, truthful and interesting reads that you really should look into some examples would be: “Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy by Peter Gottschalk and Gabriele Greenberg” , “Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims by Stephen Sheehi”, Islamophobia: And The Politics Of Empire by Deepa Kumar”, “Blaming Islam by John R. Bowen” and “The Islamophobia Industry by Nathan Lean”.

Thank you for reading ladies and gentlemen, remember to kill ignorance, get to know one another, don’t trust anything  that is clearly sensational and to keep it real.

Peace, Salam Alaykum.