Categories
Inspirational Muslim terrorism war

Article: Malala’s Fight for a Modern Pakistan


Malala’s Fight for a Modern Pakistan

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/12/malala-s-fight-for-a-modern-pakistan.html

Categories
Inspirational Muslim politics

Article: Seven Things You Might Not Know About Iranian Views of Israel


Seven Things You Might Not Know About Iranian Views of Israel

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/10/seven-things-you-might-not-know-about-iranian-views-of-israel.html

What do you think, is there a way for peace? God knows the world can use some right now.

Categories
Atheism Christian God Muslim Reblogs

Article: France moves to toughen ban on religion in schools


France moves to toughen ban on religion in schools

http://www.france24.com/en/20130910-france-moves-toughen-ban-religion-schools

What do you think? Should religion be part of education system?

Categories
Atheism Muslim

Scientific racism, militarism, and the new atheists


“Popular author and neuroscientist Sam Harris’ pseudoscientific characterisations of Muslims dovetail nicely with his extreme right-wing views on military intervention in Muslim-majority countries,” writes author [EPA]

Scientific racism is a term seldom used today but which has a long and ignoble history in the modern world. In the late 18th century, the renowned scientist and philosopher Christoph Meiners published his famous treatise The Outline and History of Mankind. Central to his analysis was a qualitative comparison of peoples by race – a comparison which his own popularly-accepted findings claimed revealed a clear hierarchy.

Drawing in large part on the now-discredited science of Phrenology (the measurement of human skulls), Meiners described whites as being endowed with clear superiority to all races in both their intellectual as well as moral faculties.

About blacks, his scientific analysis was far less generous – finding them not only to be inferior to whites in every mental capacity but in fact “incapable of any mental feeling or emotion at all“, as well as “unable to feel physical pain“.

As influential as it was, Meiners’ work was par for the course in the institutionalised science of racism of the age. Famous philosopher Voltaire – whose works were among the most significant of the French Enlightenment – wrote of his empirical research on those humans who possessed dark skin:

“They are not men, except in their stature, with the faculty of speech and thought at a degree far distant to ours. Such are the ones that I have seen and examined.”

While they wore a veneer of disinterested scientific analysis in their conclusions, in the context of their times it can be seen that such proponents of scientific racism had the specific goal of legitimating certain policies. With regard to those of African descent, the intention of then-contemporary scientists was often – implicitly or explicitly – to report findings which could be used to justify the socio-political institutions of slavery and colonialism against African societies.

Institutional racism

Alongside routine characterisations of blacks in scientific analyses as naturally childish and in need of patronage from “superior races”, were outright claims regarding the scientific necessity for slavery as a natural phenomenon. While the prominent American physician Josiah Nott wrote that “the negro achieves his greatest perfection, physical and moral, and also greatest longevity, in a state of slavery”, others such as Samuel Cartwright diagnosed aversion to slavery among blacks as a full-fledged disease unto itself.

Calling the purported malady “drapetomania“, Cartwright wrote that it was a legitimate mental defect which could be treated by visiting corporal punishment upon blacks – up to and including amputation.

We rightly recoil with horror today at what we know to be the false claims and methodologies of the pseudoscience of the past. The level of institutional racism masked under scientific study reached a particularly horrific apex at Paris’ infamous “human zoo” – where peoples of different races lived their lives for both scientific observation as well as the enjoyment of the general public.

Viewed in proper context it can be seen that the crudest racism has often been cloaked in the guise of disinterested scientific inquiry. Those claiming this mantle have often felt licence to engage in overt bigotry using science as a smokescreen, and yet far from being a relic of history, many celebrity-scientists of today show startling parallels with their now-dishonoured predecessors.

In the present atmosphere, characterised by conflict with Muslim-majority nations, a new class of individuals have stepped in to give a veneer of scientific respectability to today’s politically-useful bigotry.

At the forefront of this modern scientific racism have been those prominently known as the “new atheist” scientists and philosophers. While they attempt to couch their language in the terms of pure critique of religious thought, in practice they exhibit many of the same tendencies toward generalisation and ethno-racial condescension as did their predecessors – particularly in their descriptions of Muslims.

Categories
Christian Muslim

Spreading the joy of Christmas: Part One


DSC_0841_exposure
A girl smiles holding her xmas gift, as I take her picture with her Grandpa. They both work at a brick factory.

Dear friends,

I have decided to divide the post in parts. This is day one of the missionary trip.

As you know I was recently away on missionary tour. I would very much like to share the work which my family has been doing for some time now. We are a small family team by the name David Foundation, our mission is to evangelize,  preach and reach people where Christ is not known. We live and work in Pakistan among communities both non-Christians and Christians alike.

This Christmas, we planned to go to a place called Tiba (it means a sand mound) and rightly so because this place is housed on a large sand mound, about 500 homes here. Its a small village and abject poverty reigns here. You can click on images to enlarge them a little.

This whole village was burned down completely in 1993 by Muslim mobs. The government help was poor. These people were once the owners of fertile land around this place and then, especially after this place was burnt, people slowly started selling off their land, the buyers were all Muslims and now these people work as labor on the lands they once owned. The health and hygiene conditions are the worst of all.

Categories
Bible Christian Muslim Suffering

And then they burnt our homes


Okay, I have been talking about persecution in Pakistan in my last post. I think almost everyone knows that it is kind of a dangerous place, especially if you are a minority. The incident of which I am about to share happened in late 2007. The big angry mob, set fire to a whole Christian village. They caught a Christian girl in one of the homes, stripped her and dragged her on the streets, naked. No body came, no one interfered. The police stood on the side lines and saw the whole thing go down.

I am attaching a two minute clip, this part of a longer video which I can not share. This was taken live by someone I know (no names, sorry).  Some of the images and video may depict violence.

 

After the mob went home, they left that village in ash and rubble. This what it looked like when we first got there.

Categories
Bible Christian Inspirational Muslim Suffering

Stupid or brave? how we dealt with death threats


This was some time ago; it was a dreary morning for me (which later turned out to be terrible).  I had woken up around eight and was eager to get some breakfast.  I had lost my job four months ago and was searching for a new one. After breakfast all I wanted to do was to get ready and go out for interviews.

It was the by the door that I first saw that letter. Someone had pushed that piece of paper from underneath the door. The writing was very crude, written in Urdu script by someone who was probably not much literate either.

As I begin to slowly make out the words (it was written badly), I understood how important that letter really was. The message though spread over a space of 3 pages, was simple enough “stop preaching or we will kill you and your family”. Plus, in that same letter, the author had given us a chance of redemption too, there was a magnanimous invitation to join the religion of Islam too, which if we accepted, would make us (us and whoever wrote the letter) brothers and sisters and therefore we would not be further threatened. If we refused, we will be made examples of.

I read that later four or five times. When you hold something like this in your hand, you contemplate a lot of things. Had I been living in the west, I might have not taken it as seriously as it sounded or may be even thought of it as a prank. But since I live in Pakistan, as a Christian I understand the letter is real enough and so is its message.