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 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
Suffering terrorism

Drones for Children


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A drone toy for children ages 3 and up has recently sparked a forum for satire on its Amazon page. The Tailwinds toy is titled “Scale Die Cast United States Military Aircraft – US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator.”

As if kids weren’t already militarized enough, this toy normalizes our new, perhaps most abhorrent form of war for children — some of whom aren’t even old enough to read yet.

Fortunately, Amazon users began mocking the toy in its review section, disparaging drone use while managing to pull off such hilarious sarcasm. As one reviewer complimented these satirical critiques: “The reviews that this abomination has generated have restored some of my hope and faith in humanity.”

Here are the 10 most biting reviews for the drone toy:

Categories
Suffering terrorism

How do you define a terrorist?


“Remember, remember the 5th of November. The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”

These are the the lines of the movie V for Vendetta, which in my opinion, is a movie which openly endorses a terrorist as far as he is shown in the movie. It is a brilliant and yet love me/hate me kind of film. Frankly because it shows another side of the terrorist problem we seem to be facing in the real world a lot lately.

vendetta_07V: …A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.

Obvious tones to the 9/11 incident but V puts out another riddle, how do you define justice and how do you define a terrorist?

Adam Lanza made headlines around the globe and didn’t live to see it. And now I see everyone either going anti-gun or pro-gun. The question which is left in the middle is not why Adam Lanza did such a horrible thing?. The real question is what did he think he was doing? Sounds weird, right. I guess some might even find it mildly insulting that I am trying to soften the image of Adam. Far from the truth I think, there is a good deal to look at here which people aren’t looking at.

Adam Lanza probably justified himself in a horrible way. And that he ended it turning the gun to himself only means a few things:

1.He was too proud to be caught, like many other killers, especially Hitler.

2. He knew he had done wrong, and though he might have acted out in rage, he saw he did something terrible and the guilt made him kill himself too.

3. He just didn’t care about how anybody viewed him, he was tired of life. He knew he was not brave enough to speak out or make a statement and he knew that no one would listen to him or believe what he had to say. 

He was no Timothy McVeigh, no political agenda, nothing.  Adam Lanza was isolated, he was shy, he was unable to communicate properly. These are all factors, which are in many many people at his age. I was the same in school and college, hell, I am still a bit reclusive. These things don’t make anyone a mass murderer.

Out of the three IMAGINATIVE scenarios that my poor intellect can form, I am most scared by the third. Because that reflects a problem which doesn’t end with the criminal.

It starts with motive, thought, guilt, remorse, redemption and pain, tremendous amount of pain or pressure. Where the person starts to see himself as a victim against a system. That is the time when a terrorist is born.

Categories
Morality Suffering

Drones, Sandy Hook Shootings and the fair price of Terrorism


Before you read this, I advise you that some images are graphic in nature.

I first learnt of the Newtown school shootings on the internet. As I read the details, I could not help but feel terribly sad and sorry. I am not an american,and yet I cried because what had transpired was horrible and incomprehensible on all accounts. Those little children deserved the best. I have a few little ones in our family so I know if that tragedy had befallen them what I would feel like and what I would likely do.

Image from Reuters
Image from Reuters

Families were devastated, crying people everywhere.  I read article after article. I read hundreds of comments scattered across the blogosphere about who was to blame and what should we do. Anger, frustration, shock, sadness, outcry, moderation, everyone had something to say, everyone felt connected. Little angels was the word used almost everywhere, Facebook feeds were filled with 20 stars and a message “20 little angels went to heaven”.

In another part of the world, a silent aircraft hovers over rugged terrain. It is a U.S drone, flying over the mountainous region of Afghanistan. Its target is a single male, housed at the specific location at which the drone is about to strike. Thousands of miles away, in new mexico, a young but very well trained u.s officer is controlling the man-less drone as it draws closer to the target location.  This pilot has had a good record, is experienced and is one of the very best in his work. The drone has arrived closer to the target. The officer paints the house with the targeting laser and releases the hell fire missile from the drone. He and a second officer watch as the missile approaches its target. Just then they see a child coming on top of the roof of the house, but by then it is impossible to detract the missile. They watch as the hell fire missile hits the target with a loud explosion.

“Did we just kill a child?” the first officer asks already feeling uneasy.