discussion, religions

A Story From The Bible

Here is one of my favorite stories from the Bible. The story has been narrated in Muslims’s books as well. I might share some more passages from the bible and AlQuran as an attempt to build a bridge between Christians and Muslims in my blog.

And every man went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 7:53-8:11 in the King James Version:

What is your personal reflection on the story?

culture, Politics, religions

Two Open Letters

Dear Muslims,
  • I don’t understand why Muslims’ communities in US and around the world don’t speak up publicly in the mosques against terroristic acts like Fort Hood shooting incident and other terrorist incidents. I honestly believe that terrorists who kill innocent people in the name of Islam insult the prophet, peace be upon him, and his teaching more than the danish cartoon, because terrorist commit this awful act on Prophet’s name and damage the image of Islam around the world. So, why Muslim’s reaction is different when it comes to Fort Hood shooting. Shouldn’t you go to street, protest and speak out-load that you are against these terrorist and their message!
  • I think Muslims in US enjoy the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion more than in any country in Muslim nation. So, dear beloved Muslims, if you don’t appreciate the blessing you have here, you are more than welcome to come to live in any Middle eastern country you choose.
  • Muslims always complain that they can’t rise their children in Islam teaching and keep them away from all the seductions and immoralities of the Western society. Well, I think the seductions and immoralities are in everywhere. People can find them whether in Saudi from the TV channel and internet, or in US by simply going to night and strip clubs. So if you don’t know how to rise your child to be a good Muslim and represent the teaching of Islam here in US, you will never be able to rise them even in any of very conservative Islamic society. So stop blaming the society and start blaming your self.

Dear Non-Muslims,

  • Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan once wrote in his article Blowback from the GOP’s holy war “One most certainly does insult Muslims by tying their religion to movements such as terrorism or fascism. Muslims perceive a double standard in this regard: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols would never be called ‘Christian terrorists’ even though they were in close contact with the Christian Identity Movement. No one would speak of Christo-fascism or Judeo-fascism as the Republican[s] … speak of Islam-o-fascism. … [Many people also] point out that [it was] persons of Christian heritage [who] invented fascism, not Muslims.” That is simple what I wanna say for my dear american.
  • I am really sick of american coming to me asking these questions like: why Islam treat women badly, why Islam support terrorism! There are extremists in every religion. Catholic church has killed massive number of people when it was in power in Europe, now would it be legitimate to call the whole religion as bad religion! of course not! What about the Zionist soldiers when they kill palestine kids in the name of Judaism, would it be legitimate to blame that on all Jews! of course not.
culture, discussion, Gender, Media, religions

A lesson that should be learned

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I was watching CNN last night. It gained my attention a story about a church in Florida posting a sign of “Islam is of the devil” in front of the church building. What interesting is that people from different ages, races and religions protested against the church because of the discriminatory and racist sign. Those people stood up because they believe that it is a civil right issue. They stood up because they are against discrimination of any kinds to anyone in any place.

This is a lesson to be learned for us Saudi. When we see someone discriminating another person because he belongs to one sect or another, we should stand up against that no matter whether we agree with that sect or not. When we go to Jumu’ah prayer and heard the Imam insulting jews or christian people, we should stand up and make it clear to the imam that we are against what he is saying. When we go to work and sees that our managers or friends are discriminating  against women because of the gender issue, we should stand up and make it clear that any insult to any woman is an insult to us.

I can’t be a man unless I fully respect and recognize women rights. I can’t be a muslim unless I respect all other religions and faiths. I can’t be a human being, a real human being, unless I stand up against discriminations of any kind to anyone in any place.

discussion, Gender, poetry, Politics, religions

Would You Permit Me?

by Nizar Qabbani*

In a country where thinkers are assassinated, and writers are considered
infidels and books are burnt,
in societies that refuse the other, and
force silence on mouths and thoughts forbidden,
and to question is a sin,
I must beg your pardon, would you permit me?

Would you permit me to bring up my children as I want, and not to
dictate on me your whims and orders?

Would you permit me to teach my children that the religion is first to
God, and not for religious leaders or scholars or people?

Would you permit me to teach my little one that religion is about good
manners, good behaviour, good conduct, honesty and truthfulness,
before I teach her with which foot to enter the bathroom or with which hand she
should eat?

Would you permit me to teach my daughter that God is about love, and
she can dialogue with Him and ask Him anything she wants, far away from the
teachings of anyone?

Would you permit me not to mention the torture of the grave to my
children, who do not know about death yet?

Would you permit me to teach my daughter the tenets of the religion
and its culture and manners, before I force on her the ‘Hijab’ (the veil)?

Would you permit me to tell my young son that hurting people and
degrading them because of their nationality, colour or religion, is considered a
big sin by God?

Would you permit me to tell my daughter to revising her homework and
paying attention to her learning is considered by God as more useful and
important than learning by heart Ayahs from the Quran without knowing their
meaning?

Would you permit me to teach my son that following the footsteps of
the Honourable Prophet begins with his honesty, loyalty and truthfulness,
before his beard or how short his thobe (long shirt/dress) is?

Would you permit me to tell my daughter that her Christian friend is not
an infidel, and ask her not to cry fearing her friend will go to Hell?

Would you permit me to argue, that God did not authorize anyone on
earth after the Prophet to speak in his name nor did he vest any powers in
anyone to issue ‘deeds of forgiveness’ to people?

Would you permit me to say, that God has forbidden killing the human
spirit and who kills wrongly a human being is as if he killed all human kind,
and no Moslem has the right to frighten another Moslem?

Would you permit me to teach my children that God is greater, more
just, and more merciful than all the (religious) scholars on earth combined? And
that His standards are different from the standards of those trading the
religion, and that His accountability is kinder and more merciful?

Would you permit me?

* Nizar Qabbani is a Syrian poet whose poems have made a lot of controversies in Middle East

culture, discussion, Gender, psychology, religions

Breaking The Wall

 

the copyright of the pic is for firendarkness
the copyright of this pic goes for firendarkness

Have you ever heard of the westbank wall that separates Israel from Palestine. Well, we have exactly the same one in Saudi Arabia, but it is between men and women. This wall was built as a result of religious and social conflicts and so people thought that building such a wall is probably the best way to avoid the conflicts. Many people nowdays come to realize that the separation was such a stupid solution because separation between genders, races and religions has never  ever solved any conflicts. It has in fact caused more conflict than ever before. In my opinion, I think:

  • Separation wall is always built to give one group more power over the another one and in our case, men are taking the power over women.
  • Separation leads one group to build his understanding of the others based on an assumption that is often untrue and unreal. It is even worse to realized that people begin to behave and act based what they assume and what has been assumed of them. 
  • Separation moves the society backwards because there is no channel of communication to exchange the ideas and knowledges between men and women. Saudi women are very creative and amazingly talented. So, their absent in any intellectual and social discussion cause huge gap. 

What do you think of the idea of seperation? Do you agree or disagree? and why?

books, culture, discussion, history, literature, philosophy, reading, reflection, religions

Edward Said lecture

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I am devoting more time this term for studying and reading Edward Said’s books. I found this person  to be the most intellectual professor in the earth. He has an amazing understanding of cultures, religions, politics and even music. I am feeling so attached to him. Last night, I slept while listening to his voice talking about his book Orientalism. His pictures are in everywhere of my room. Please do me a favor and take part of your time to watch his lecture in the video below. It absolutely worth watching

 

culture, discussion, history, Media, Politics, psychology, religions

The Causes of Shia-Sunni Conflcit -1-

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Overview:

Many blogs like SaudiJeans, SaudiWoman and Living In KSA have recently talked about the story of Shia-Sunni conflict in Madina. I am not going to talk about the conflict and who is right or wrong because it is simply not in the area of my interest. I consider my self to be both Shia and Sunni in the same time. In the past, I  devoted part of my blog to resolve the conflict between Islam, Christianity and Judaism but since we have a conflict within Islam, i think it is important too to discuss the possible resolutions of the conflict here and how it can be implemented.

The Conflict:

The firs thing that psychologists and sociologists look for when they try to resolve a conflict is understanding the causes of it because simply we can eliminate the conflict by  eliminating the causes of it. So I spent a lot of time thinking and researching about the causes of the conflict. Here, I will talk briefly about the causes and you are welcome to discuss and question anyone of them.

The Causes of Shia-Sunni Conflict:

  • The Absent of Rationality and Independent Thinking in Saudi Society:

Our (web of belief) is built upon what we hear and see from our families and friends. We consider any information we get from our families and friends as facts. We don’t question, research or even doubt! We just believe what they tell us and that is it.

  • Confirmation Bias

We are very bias. We don’t feel comfortable when we see something that may  disconfirm our web of beliefs. Sometimes, We even feel threaten by that. because if what I heard isn’t true, this means that the persons ( my family and my friends) who told me about it are wrong. Therefore, we always seek to confirm what we heard or learned.

For example, if my father told me that people who belong to this sector  allow adultery in their homes, then i would unconsciously make an image about them in my mind and then i would start looking at YOUTUBE trying to find anything that can confirm that, of course without questioning the reliability of that movie!

  • The Absent of Communication Channel Between Shia and Sunni:

We live in one country and maybe in one small town but we don’t like to talk with each other. Every group views the others as an alien. Even in our universities, which is suppose to be the center of diversity, Shia students like always to be with Shia student and Sunni student like always to be with Sunni students. Even in the mosque, Sunni have their own mosque and Shia have their own mosque.

If you don’t talk to me, and I don’t talk to you, how can I understand you and how can you understand me? How can I know that what i heard about you is wrong or correct and how can you know that what you heard about me is wrong or correct? It is only by communication that we can have a better understanding of each other.

 

religions

let me say it out loud

When western media refer to Islam as Radical religion, Islamic world gets angry and really upset. When guys from Denmark made fun of our religion, Muslim went to street, scream, burn embassies and did everything. When anybody insult our religion, we declare a war on him. But when we refer to other religions like Christianity and Judaism as bad religions, when we call them apes and pigs, that is totally OK. I don’t really understand how Muslim thinks. how is it OK for us to insult other religion and people and not OK for them to insult us!

i found this video on YOUTBE. The interviewer from Saudi Channel went on the street and asked people. one of his stupid question was: “would you, as human being, be willing to shake hands with a jew and why?” most of people said without hesitation that they would never shake hands with a jew for a various of stupid reasons. Some of them said that it is because of religious values, other said that that Jews are the enemy of Islam.

the next question that the interviewer asked was “if a child asks you ” who are the jews” what would you say?”

watch the video to hear the answers because for me, it is very embarrassing to write their answers on my blog

now let me clear it out for every muslim and let me say it out loud:

  • if you want your religion to be respected among people, you should respect people’ religions too.
  • and for god sake, stop calling jews apes and pigs, and stop promoting Hatred on them. i mean it is so ridicules that some Arab school and channel i teaches children in their early ages how to hate jews.
  • religion shouldn’t be mixed with politics
  • Judaism and Christianity along with all other religions are very beautiful religions just like our religion.

Now allow me to answer the interviewer questions:

1) “would you, as human being, be willing to shake hands with a jew and why?”

I would shake hands with jews without a moment of hesitation because i love them. because Judaism is a beautiful religion, because they are human being just like i am, because we worship the same god, because they are my brothers and sister in humanity

2) “if a child asks you ” who are the jews” what would you say?”

i will tell him that jews are very nice people who got to have a wonderful religion. I hold a huge amount of respect and love for them

now you tell me, if you have been asked these question, what would you say honestly?

discussion, literature, philosophy, poetry, psychology, quotes, reading, reflection, religions

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse is a German novelist and nobel prize winner. He is actually one of my favorite novelist. Most of his novel explores the search for one’s self and the discovery of individual’s spirit. I have read his novel “Demian” more than once and then i decided that i should select the sentences that gained my attention the most. I highly recommend reading his novel. I hope my selection would give you a motivation to read more of his novels.
Please read my selections of Hesse’s book and let me which one did you like the most?and why?
“It is the story of a man, not for an invented, or possible, or idealized, or otherwise absent figure, but for a unique being of flesh and blood. Yet, what a real living human being is made of seems to be less understood today than at any time before”
“If we were not something more than unique human beings, if each one of us could really be done away with once and for all by a single bullet, storytelling would lost all purpose”
“But every man is more than himself; he also represent the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in tis way and never again” p1
“I don’t consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but i have ceased to question stars and books. I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams- like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves.” p2
“Each man’s life represent a road toward himself, an attempt as such a road, the intimation of a path, No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that- one in an awkward, the other in a more intelligent way, each as best he can. Each man carries the vestiges of his birth- the slime and eggshells of this primeval past- with him to the end of his days. some never become human, remaining frog, lizard, ant. some are human above the waist, fish below. Each represents a gamble on the part of nature in creation of the human. we all share the same origin, our mothers; all of us come in at the same door. but each os us- experiments of the depths- strives toward his own destiny. We can understand one another, but each of us is able to interpret himself to himself alone.” p2
“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. It was scandal that a breed of fearless and sinister people ran about freely, so they attached a nickname and myth to these people to get even with them, to make up for the many times they had felt afraid.” p24
“I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.” p38
“Many people experience the dying and rebirth- which is our fate- only this once during their entire life.” p41
“Their childhood becomes hollow and gradually collapse, everything they love abandons them and they suddenly feel surrounded by the loneliness and mortal cold of the universe.” p41
“You knew all along that your sanctioned world was only half the world and you tried to suppress the second half the same way the priests and teachers do. You won’t succeed. No one succeeds in this once he has begun to think.” p.53
“What is forbidden, in other words, isn’t something eternal; it can change.” p54
“It’s good to realize that within us there is someone who knows everything, wills everything, does everything better than we ourselves.” p74
“There’s an immense difference between simply carrying the world within us and being aware of it. A madman can spout ideas that remind you of Plato, and a pious little seminary student rethinks deep mythological correspondences found among the Gnostics or in Zoroaster. But he isn’t aware of them. He is a tree or stone, at best an animal, as long as he isn’t conscious. but as soon as the first spark of recognition dawns within him he is a human being.” p92
“You wouldn’t consider all the bipeds you pass on the street human beings simply because they walk upright and carry their young in their bellies nine months! It is obvious how many of them are fish or sheep, worms or angels, how many are ants, how many are fish or sheep, worms or angels, how contains the possibility of becoming human, partially even by learning to make himself conscious of them; only in this respect are these possibilities his.” p92
“Oh, yes, each and every religion is beautiful; religion is soul, no matter whether you take part of Christian communion or make a pilgrimage to Mecca.” p95
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” p97
“Sooner or later each of us must take the step that separates him from his father, from his mentors; each of us must have some cruelly lonely experience- even if most people can’t take much of this and soon crawl back.” p 106
“Someone who seeks nothing but his own fate no longer has any companions, he stands quite alone and has only cold universal space around him.” p112
“People like you and me are quite lonely really but we still have each other, we have the secret satisfaction of being different, of rebelling, of desiring the unusual.”p112
“You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself. People are afraid because they have never owned up themselves. A while society composed of men afraid of the unknown within them! they all sense that the rules they live by are no longer valid, that they live according to archaic laws- neither their religion  nor their mortality is in any way suited to the needs of the present.” p118
“one never reaches home” she said. ” but where paths that have affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time”p122
“Whatever might happen to me now, i was filled with ecstasy: that this woman existed in the world, that i could drink in her voice and breath her presence. No matter whether she would become my mother, my beloved or a goddess- if she could just be here! if only my path would be close to hers!” p123
“It is always difficult to be born. you know the chick does not find it easy to break his way out of the shell.”p123
“Yes, you must find your dream, then the way becomes easy. But there is no dream that lasts forever, each dream is followed by another, and one shouldn’t cling to any particular one.”p124
“You should, however, either be capable of renouncing these desire or feel wholly justified in having them.”p129
“The world wants to renew itself. there’s a smell of death in the air. nothing can be born without first dying.” p136
Thanks for Aysha Akusayer for introducing the Author to me
culture, discussion, philosophy, Politics, religions

relativism



People used to believe that Time is absolute which means that ” there is one standard, imaginary clock, that tells the time throughout the universe.” Albert Einstein claimed that is wrong. he believes that Time is in fact relative. ” what the time is depend on how fast one is moving relative to the speed of light” (his view is now universally accepted among physicists)

The ethical relativists change the whole conception about ethical standards. they believes “what is right and wrong depends on what where you are, when you are there, or maybe even who you are” 
“One reason relativist hold this position is that they will regard standards of right and wrong to be dependent upon or internal to particular societies, specific situations or individuals lives. outsides these, standards of right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly are simply inapplicable”
Relativism can be used in many things, in politics, economics, societies, religions and so on.  Do you agree or not with the concept of relativism ? share you thought here


source i used :
The philosopher’s toolkit  p137-138