Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Fe-Male Without A Male Guardian

A woman in a certain land, that believes very strongly in segregating men and women, is to be lashed three hundred times and jailed for eighteen months for filing complaints against court officials and appearing in court without a male guardian.

Miss ‘S’ was convicted last month in a court after petitioning the officials and the monarch, over what she alleged was years of abuse by local judicial officials.

On January 25, she was convicted after a month-long trial before two judges, one of whom was a plaintiff in the case and the original target of Miss S’s harassment allegations. The NGOs have asked the higher authorities to quash the verdict.

Life for women is very harsh in such countries where they must wait for their husbands, brothers or fathers to return from work and then drive them to the shopping malls. There the women cannot drive around like they do in Pakistan or other countries that insist on calling themselves Islamic. Police states insist that driving invites sin, going out on foot encourages more sin and looking at strange men does even more of the same. Every action of a citizen has an unequal and opposite reaction. But that is their law and their country—may God have mercy on their religious scholars and rulers.

Three hundred lashes and eighteen months in prison for a woman is very disproportionate punishment. When I read such distrurbing news, I thank God for allowing me to breathe a bit more freely in my own country.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Spencer Tunick Says, ‘Take Off Your Tunics!’

Very odd things happen in this world in the name of Art, and down-under Australia will not allow itself to lag behind in the race to lose its national face. It took the shamelessness of an American photographer, Spencer Tunick, to look for Australians willing to disrobe on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, all in the name of Art.

All Pakistanis must feel threatened by this skin-terrorism and refuse to remain in awe of all things western. Warlords, drug barons, and paid assassins be damned, a vast number of Pakistanis taken their wealth and children to Australia because the terrifying cows reared by the Taliban are beginning to eat whatever green grass remains on our side.

These days, one can say or do just about anything under the garb of Art. Take for example, sexual openness of European and Hindu temple art, or the peculiar sexual fantasies penned by Marquis de Sade. Over the centuries, many civilizations have remained comfortable with nudity to the extent that they first divided the sole Creator into males and females who did all what humans did, then depicted them in nude and finally worshipped their idols or representations of private parts in public.

Tunick is infamous—or ‘famous’, as they would have one believe—for capturing hundreds of naked people against industrial or urban backgrounds. He now wishes to create a Sydney ‘installation’, involving up to 2,000 nude volunteers. The photo will be called ‘The Base’ and will coincide with the city’s annual gay and lesbian Mardi Gras, which attracts participants and audiences from around the globe.

“In a way, I’m making a base for the structure, a base for the architecture, and by combining straight and gay and lesbian people I’m weaving the different sexes and society together to form this wonderful fabric that holds up this gorgeous building,” Tunick told Australian radio.

The media will listen to anything and then stoop to broadcasting it in the name of freedom of expression, but being free does not mean one must be dumb (free-dumb). God has already clearly spelled out in His revelations what He thinks about the perverts, but the likes of Tunick are hell-bent on having everyone’s tunics come off in public.

Tunick has produced almost 100 ‘installations’ around the world, including one in Melbourne in 2001, and says his ‘work is not about exhibitionism or eroticism, but instead is about the vulnerability of life in a rough city landscape.’

If this mass striptease is not eroticism, what is? If he is so concerned about the ‘vulnerability of life’, he must head for places where humanity loses everything on a daily basis; what is point in remaining glued to rich cities where, at the slightest suggestion, the well dressed are willing to disrobe in public?

My criticism of Tunick may not impress him but even the authorities in the United States remain unimpressed with his argument, where he has been arrested seven times. Perhaps they expect him to include his mother, sister or daughter in one such immodest ‘installation’ to show how vulnerable they are in a rough cityscape.

UPDATE 10 July 2015:
Sea of blue behinds: 1000's of naked bodies gather in Hull for Tunick installation

Friday, 19 March 2010

Segregate Or Die

Some countries are famous for the goods they manufacture and some for the minds they produce. Having great minds around is life’s bonus but to have clerics who are out of their minds is the scourge of Satan.

A prominent cleric, in a not-so-prominent land has issued a ‘fatwa’ (an Islamic religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic jurisprudence) calling for opponents of the country’s strict segregation of men and women to be put to death if they refuse to abandon their ideas.

Please let me know clearly within the next twenty-four hours who wishes to emigrate to such a country where citizens lose heads right after the Juma prayers. What is next, I wonder? We might hear that if people did not stop thinking, they would face lethal needles or forced to make themselves uncomfortable on electric chairs.

The cleric said, “The mixing of genders at the workplace or in education, as advocated by modernizers, is prohibited because it allows sight of what is forbidden, and talk between men and women which is again forbidden”.

I think what he meant was that men could not be allowed to ask women answers to difficult questions in an examination hall.

Entertaining thoughts associated with illicit relationships is a separate issue; what God abhors in humans is their secret meetings to go forth to multiply illicitly in motel rooms. I know, more from observation and less through personal experience, that removing such a virus from one’s mental hard drive is an uphill battle, a true ‘jihad’.

Please remember that the strict segregation of men and women is a rule that some of the most unenlightened and backward societies (even by Islamic standards) practise and which is an affront to moderation itself. Of course, I will have to respect that not-so-prominent country’s segregation laws if I were to visit it, but then again, I would probably visit it just to perform obligatory religious ceremonies and then return to the Motherland by the first available flight in order to be within the mixed gathering of my loved ones.

Loved ones need to be visible; they need not cover themselves from head to toe in black overalls in order to show they are pious. Where I live, nobody that I know has ever dared to tease my loved ones because the family’s women are all moderate, neither very fashionable nor the repressed burqa-clad types.

Governments do not have the right to put people to death if they disagree; the people must do away with governments if they lead them to economical ruin. Moderation is not an aberration and to oppose extremely liberal or extremist views is everybody’s right. God has not allowed us to put others to death only because they differ or disagree. One may stop speaking or associating with undesirable persons but must we murder others in the name of misplaced religious views? Religious bigots need admissions to lunatic asylums.

Do all such extremely strict laws produce the desired results? The answer is no. Watch how most Muslim women travellers throw off the repressive ‘burqas’ and ‘chadors’ as soon as their airplanes land at foreign destinations where they wish to mingle with the crowd.

I am happy to live in a country where women have equal rights as road sweepers, brick-baking kiln workers, and as petrol station attendants who fill us all up. Take a drive into any Asian village and you will see women working alongside men; that is how God designed them. Had God wanted all women to hide their faces from men, He might have created Eve as formless and unattractive as an Arctic seal. Imagine the poor animal kingdom’s fate had it also been given, less if not more, sense of privacy and shame, and imagine a world with dogs and cats going about their business with private parts covered with banana leaves. That, of course, would necessitate the existence of animal rights NGOs and Animal United Nations, and dogs would go about murdering men all because men ogled at uncovered bitches.

God has not prescribed for women to be obsessed with hiding their faces and bodies from head to toe—at least not the way the clerics interpret it. Women do tend to fall into the trap laid by high fashion (displaying their charms to excess), and it is this natural shortcoming that they need to tame if the entire globe is not to become a free-sex ‘global village’ inhabited by drooling village idiots.

Who gave the clerics the right to further twist misinterpretations, camouflage their cultural prejudices and force the people to lose their heads over matters that are the peoples’ business and not the state’s? If the clerics feel their women must not be ogled at, they need to ensure the women stay indoors to watch television (if that again is not punishable by death) while the men go about preaching to the converted. We, the modest but modern people, wish to live unfazed by an extremist’s view of what God prescribes.

If one were to implementing the clerical recommendation of putting to death people for minor offences—something not prescribed in the Qur’an—not many would walk with their heads held high on the shoulders. Will it not be best for harsh governments to act less hypocritically by leaving religion out of this equation and declare that all they intend to achieve is reduction in the head-count?

A ‘fatwa’, even if issued by a recognized religious authority, suffers from one snag: Islam does not prescribe a hierarchical priesthood and a ‘fatwa’ is not necessarily binding on the faithful. What one must consider before jumping into following a ‘fatwa’ is that the people who pronounce such rulings need to be wise persons who must base their rulings on knowledge as well as on wisdom, and quote the evidence for their opinions from Islamic sources. Since that seldom happens in real life, we often see scholars doing what they do in our corridors of political power: come to each other’s throats and declare one another’s followers apostate and worth killing. The emphasis must tilt in favour of living, not dying.

Miss Huda, a Muslim writer and teacher from the Middle East states: ‘As Muslims, we need to look at the opinion, the reputation of the person giving it, the evidence given to support it, and then decide whether to follow it or not. When there are conflicting opinions issued by different scholars, we compare the evidence and then choose the opinion to which our God-given conscience guides us’.

In conclusion, a ‘fatwa’ is still an opinion that cannot override God’s prescribed laws. The primary job of any government is to succeed in providing its citizens with a just and secure environment in which opportunities for earning a legal livelihood is within everyone’s reach, everything else is secondary.

Now if you would excuse me, I am expecting some guests. My mother has invited all my female cousins for dinner and, by God, I will sit with them decently, converse with them modestly and let them have the best of my brotherly love.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Line Of The Lord

I have no quarrel with Roman Catholics; they are taught to end up being sinless. While many Muslim bearded ones cause irreparable damage to our brain cells, the Church takes the cake for its novel religious innovations.

The Code of Canon Law requires all Catholics to confess mortal sins at least once a year. As a Muslim, I ask God directly for such forgiveness five times a day without any cleric taking over my soul.

We will closely look at what Catholic confessions mean but first allow me to announce the news that French Roman Catholics now have a pay-by-the-minute confession telephone line that charges 0.34 Euros plus a connection charge for mobile phones.

Bishops are upset over the religious stunt and Catholic leaders have stated that ‘the fraud had no approval from the Catholic Church in France’. This is how a male voice greets Catholics when they dial up the Le Fil Du Seigneur (The Line of the Lord): ‘For advice on confessing, press one. To confess, press two. To listen to some confessions, press three’.

A group of Catholics working for AABAS set up the phone confession service at the beginning of Lent (the forty days' Christian fast preceding Easter). The group’s leader admits that ‘it does not offer absolution for sins, but Catholics can confess minor sins. For actual absolution for sins, only a priest can help but the money from the calls got to charity’.

At this rate, all Catholics will soon outdo pious Muslims who insist on performing Umra and Hajj at Makkah, not one but multiple times. The Catholic Church, instead of helping people commit less sins, has taken upon itself to forgive them on behalf of God and His messengers.

Now let us see compare what the Church literature says with what God commands. My aim is not to offend or provoke but rather to help good Christians walk on a path prescribed by Prophet Jesus.

"There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive." Pg. 256, #982

"By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized..." P. 257, #986

"The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ..." Pg. 363-364, #1448

"Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins 'in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.'" P. 367, #1461

"The Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives." P. 255, #979

"Were there no forgiveness of sins in the Church, there would be no hope of life to come or eternal liberation. Let us thank God who has given his Church such a gift." P. 256, #983

Considering that the contents of the entire Bible do not come from God or from Jesus Christ (Prophet Isa for Muslims), let us look at what the Bible says about forgiveness of sins:

"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7

"And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"I acknowledged my sin unto thee... I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin..." Psalm 32:5.

David asks God for forgiveness: "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." Psalm 51:2,4

King Solomon was also aware that he and the children of Israel could pray directly to God to seek forgiveness for their sins: "Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive." 2 Chronicles 6:21

God commands people to come to Him for forgiveness: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

God does not require anyone to go through a church or a priest to seek forgiveness for their sins. "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

"... if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities..." Psalm 103:2-3

While almost all Christians agree that repentance and forgiveness of others are great virtues, and that forgiveness must be sought from God, many feel lost in the jungle of doctrinal differences about the process of forgiveness. This is how the books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John justify it.

In Catholic doctrine, Jesus had the power to forgive sins (Matthew 9:2, Luke 5:20).

Jesus granted that authority also to His apostles (Matthew 16:18-19, Matthew 18:18, John 20:22-23).

What is the instrument used for this process? In Catholic doctrine, the authority to forgive sins remains with the Church through the bishops as successors of the apostles through the sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as confession or the sacrament of Penance). A sinner confesses his or her sins to the priest who assigns a penance (often some prayers to recite) and grants forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.’

The old school Protestant doctrine prefers severe penances such as fasts, pilgrimages and floggings. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Church made fortunes by selling ‘indulgences’ to reduce the severity of such penances in exchange for monetary contributions to the Church, and which led to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Protestants naturally rejected the Roman Catholic Church's sacrament of Penance, its claims of apostolic succession, and its authority to forgive sins (1 Timothy 2:5).

Authority on doctrine was placed in ‘Scripture alone’ rather than in the Church. For most Protestants, the Church is instrumental in bringing people to repentance, but the power to forgive sins belongs to God and Christ alone.

According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Penance (Confession, Reconciliation or Penance according to Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sections 1423-1442) is the method given by Christ to the Church by which individual men and women may be freed from sins committed after receiving Baptism. It is not necessary to confess sins committed before baptism, as baptism itself is considered to remove the guilt of all prior sins.). While the official Church publications of the Latin-rite always refer to the sacrament as ‘Penance’, ‘Reconciliation or ‘Penance and Reconciliation’, the average Catholic continues to use the term ‘confession’.

In 1215, a requirement that every Catholic Christian receive this sacrament at least once a year was instituted in Canon 21, the famous "Omnis utriusque sexus", of the Canon Law at the Fourth Council of the Lateran. Catholics believe that no priest, as an individual man—no matter how pious—has the power to forgive sins apart from God. However, the priest does not merely announce that the penitent has received God's forgiveness but rather recites the formula of absolution and forgives the sins of the penitent in God's place. Hallelujah!

On Judgment Day, Christ will question the erring before God passes judgment on such novel religious innovations.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ranch, Love-Gum, Woes

SEVERE WARNING: Parents who are under twenty-one years of age, must be accompanied by precocious children when reading this.

With the above lame disclaimer out of my way, allow me to deliver what I promised you eager fans: an old ditty with a ‘new improved’ face—thanks to the performance of satirical cosmic surgery on this great old ditty.

If you wish to enjoy what I have done here, please open the song's video in a separate window of your browser and let it play, while you scroll to read my reintrepetated lyrics in this window.

This song stars Nivedita (as the other woman at the piano), Waheeda Rahman (as the real woman without a piano), and Kanwaljeet (as the bloke who is stuck between the pretty devils and the deep blue sea-saw of love).

Do not be surprised if, by the end of the song, you end up loving Nivedita’s baby face; the subtle spotlight on her lips lends her the desireable mystique of the other woman.

Waheeda Rahman was born in Tamil Nadu (India) and actually wound up marrying the man shown in this movie—so much for family planning in the movie industry.

I have not seen the entire movie but in this song, Kanwaljeet, who appears ready to marry the real woman also hopelessly appears to be in love with the piano-playing other women. While he may not know what he is getting onto, the keyboardist knows what ivories and ebonies to sound.

The triangle appears good and natural enough, add to that the counterfeit whiskey that appears to be causing to our man massive liver damage—something he does not mind at all.

Here is the inside insidious story of the lyrics. Enjoy!

Music: Khayyam
lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Movie: Shagoon (from 1964)
Singer: Jagjit Kaur (Khayyam's wife)


(O baby) gimme your ranch, all of the (love) gum, your (financial) woes
In the name of the (love) gum, give me V. Ronnie’s Dell (laptop) – 2X

I confess (under sadomasochistic conditions), in your eyes I’m not a (broadband) cable – 2X
What (TF) is so bad about giving me your (rubber) duck and (a lock of) hair, Ronnie? – 2X

Let me see (HTF) does this world messes you up – 2X
Let me take possession of you for a few days (alongwith the password of your ATM card) – 2X

The (latest) Dell (laptop) that I ordered, you gave away for free to (female) strangers – 2X
It’ll be a big (bloody) deal if you pay me in cash (the money you owe me for my services) – 2X

Friday, 5 March 2010

Anti-Aging Cream For 950 Years

I have always wondered about the anti-aging creams used by those who lived before us because they lived up to as long as 950 years—Prophet Noah being the best example of a grand old man. If I get lucky, I might touch sixty-five, and if my father gets luckier, he might outlive me; he is already eighty-six years old and going strong.

I have always believed that the Earth revolved at a much faster rate far back in time. The days were much shorter due to one other important factor: the lunar months being shorter than solar ones. With zero stress in life and unlimited natural resources at one’s disposal, one lived on for centuries until Death decided to issue a Gold debit card.

Richard Gross, a scientist at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, has calculated how much the axis may have changed in position following the recent earthquake in Chile. For those who cannot get over the pseudo-science of global warming caused by human activity, the thought of the magnetic pole shifting from here to there by a few centimetres every time an earthquake occurs might be too much to bear. The wonderful men of science wearing white coats tell us that that indeed happens without our noticing Mother Earth’s shifting mood.

Major Earthquakes can cause minor polar shifts. The recent earthquake, the most powerful to hit Chile in fifty years, killed more than 700 people, affected an estimated two million people with its 8.8-magnitude tremor followed by tsunamis. The earthquake sent shockwaves out from the epicentre 70 miles from Chile's second city, Concepcion. Richard Gross has calculated that if the planet's axis did shift by 8cm during the recent earthquake, days would have shortened by 1.26 microseconds. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second.

We all know that Earth days are 24 hours long because the planet takes this many hours to perform one rotational tango on its axis, hence a shifting of the axis would affect rotation. While the 9.1-magnitude tremor of Indonesia started the deadly tsunami in Asia in 2004, the Chilean earthquake shifted the Earth's axis by even more than that, according to the men of science. This was partly because the fault line responsible for the quake in Chile dips into Earth at a slightly steeper angle than does the fault responsible for the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. The different angle made the Chilean tremor was more effective at moving Earth's mass vertically and shifting the planet's axis.

Please remember that California, and specially the decadent Hollywood, lives right on the geographical and moral fault-line. One nod from the sky and the entire Box Office will be lost forever.

The 2004 earthquake of Indonesia, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, caused the Earth to move by approximately 7cm and shortened the day by an estimated 6.8 microseconds.

The combined 8.06 microseconds off the clock each day also means that those who say ‘time is money’ are at a great loss. Indeed the Qur’an’s chapter 103, The Flight Of Time, states clearly in verses 1 and 2: “CONSIDER the flight of time! (2) Verily, man is bound to lose (i.e. in a state of loss) himself.” It then indicates who will not lose themselves in the rat race of Time and Life.