Monday, May 31, 2010

20 Dead In Israeli Attack On Aid Flotilla

20 Dead In Israeli Attack On Aid Flotilla: A private TV channel (Aaj TV) anchor Talat Hussain and producer Raza Agha have gone missing after the attack by the Israeli forces on an international flotilla carrying aid to besieged Gaza, killing at least 20 people and injuring several others.

Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of a Turkish ship and immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians. Live image from the flotilla shows that Israeli soldiers from the helicopter and a number of speedboats boarded one of the ships at night.


Activists wearing life vests were treating what appeared to be injuries for unknown reasons.
Israeli navy on Sunday night sighted the pro-Palestinian ‘Freedom Flotilla’ bound for the Gaza Strip and ordered the convoy to dock at an Israeli harbour. Troops boarded the flotilla and clashed with the activists after they ignored Israeli orders to turn back.

The flotilla of six ships set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and was expected to reach Gaza by Monday morning, Al-Jazeera reported. The flotilla, originally made up of nine ships from Turkey, Britain, Ireland, Greece, Kuwait and Algeria, were carrying around 10,000 tons of aid including cement, water purification systems and wheelchairs.

One of the ships had not arrived and two others had been damaged. In the meantime, the deposed government of Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) condemned the Israeli naval forces attack on the ‘Freedom Flotilla’.

Source
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 I am speechless with indignation and fury at this blatant blatant act of terrorism in the name of I don't know what! at the unarmed civilans on board those ships carrying aid to the Palestinians. How can a full commando action be carried out on a bunch of civilians is just beyond me! And thankfully there are protests and anger is being shown around the world, against this inhumane act. And people say we shouldn't protest at stuff? Sit quietly? HA

By the way, the inhumane attack on Qadiyanis in Lahore on Friday was also an act where terrorists entered a mosque and opened fire on unarmed civilians. There is absolutely no difference between one terrorist attack and this latest one on activists and other civilians carrying aid. *quite furious actually*

I should be grateful

Assalamualaikum

Even though this blog is mainly a personalised and humungous piece of ''rant'', I still think that one should be really grateful for the things one has, rather than lamenting over the stuff that's not being granted etc. Most probably it has a good reason or another and we're too shallow to realise it. Hence, I'm IA going to change the name of this blog, and probably the layout too. I have decided this SO many times in the past (layout I mean) and everytime, something or the other comes up and :S.. nothing happens. This time, no matter how many days it take, I'm IA going to do a template/layout change to this blog.

Khair, that aside. What was I grateful for? There are many things of course, will mention just two of them Insha Allah.

One of them is:

A couple of days back, it was my friend's wedding. The venue (me the senseless directionally challenged person) was completely unknown to me and of course my mum (very very directionally apt MA) knew where it was. Since it was a night function and my friend had invited ''family'', both my parents went with me! The place was really far off and unknown too! But look at them.. taking out their time, and going to a place where they knew literally nobody! :):):). And MA, they were so patient about it too... because I was busy chatting with friends and then going to the bride's room and yakking around with her etc. Plus, there was no time limit (because this was a private ground, rather than a proper wedding hall), so er, it got very very late. We reached home by 1.30 am. When anybody asked parents why did they go and they could have sent me with the driver etc, they firmly replied ''How could we let her go alone? So we thought that even though we might be bored because we don't know anybody, we'd still accompany her, after all, it's her really good friend's wedding!''

Long live my caring parents :D

(and stupid me for complaining about trivial things regarding them)
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The other thing:

I never mentioned what my result was in the exams held for the 3-month Quran course I attended from Jan to April. And ... :D I stood first!

Alhamdulillah. The class strength wasn't huge, (factors that put a damper on a ''first position''), but the fact is that I was one of the people in class who had had no formal training in any kind of religious institute. So with that limitation, standing first was a huge achievement for me. And not mentioning it immediately on blog makes me guilty. Why?

If it were a university position, I probably would have written it down on that very day. And this, being so menial in our eyes, is just left as it is, and it's been a long time since this result came out. Not surprisingly, none of my folks were over the moon about it. They were happy yeah, but not as happy as they would have been if I had been a university position holder :P.

Sigh. Dad just had to say this: "Acha! 96% ?? 100% kew nahi ayee???"

:)

Monday, May 24, 2010

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg Broke Into A Facebook User's Private Email Account

Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook

Via Gizmodo

Facebook privacy policies keep going down the drain. That's enough reason for many to abandon it. Here you will find nine more:
After some reflection, I've decided to delete my account on Facebook. I'd like to encourage you to do the same. This is part altruism and part selfish. The altruism part is that I think Facebook, as a company, is unethical. The selfish part is that I'd like my own social network to migrate away from Facebook so that I'm not missing anything. In any event, here's my "Top Ten" reasons for why you should join me and many others and delete your account.

10. Facebook's Terms Of Service are completely one-sided

Let's start with the basics. Facebook's Terms Of Service state that not only do they own your data (section 2.1), but if you don't keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14). You could argue that the terms are just protecting Facebook's interests, and are not in practice enforced, but in the context of their other activities, this defense is pretty weak. As you'll see, there's no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Essentially, they see their customers as unpaid employees for crowd-sourcing ad-targeting data.

9. Facebook's CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior

From the very beginning of Facebook's existence, there are questions about Zuckerberg's ethics. According to BusinessInsider.com, he used Facebook user data to guess email passwords and read personal email in order to discredit his rivals. These allegations, albeit unproven and somewhat dated, nonetheless raise troubling questions about the ethics of the CEO of the world's largest social network. They're particularly compelling given that Facebook chose to fork over $65M to settle a related lawsuit alleging that Zuckerberg had actually stolen the idea for Facebook.

8. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy

Founder and CEO of Facebook, in defense of Facebook's privacy changes last January: "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time." More recently, in introducing the Open Graph API: "... the default is now social." Essentially, this means Facebook not only wants to know everything about you, and own that data, but to make it available to everybody. Which would not, by itself, necessarily be unethical, except that ...

7. Facebook is pulling a classic bait-and-switch

At the same time that they're telling developers how to access your data with new APIs, they are relatively quiet about explaining the implications of that to members. What this amounts to is a bait-and-switch. Facebook gets you to share information that you might not otherwise share, and then they make it publicly available. Since they are in the business of monetizing information about you for advertising purposes, this amounts to tricking their users into giving advertisers information about themselves. This is why Facebook is so much worse than Twitter in this regard: Twitter has made only the simplest (and thus, more credible) privacy claims and their customers know up front that all their tweets are public. It's also why the FTC is getting involved, and people are suing them (and winning).
Check out this excellent timeline from the EFF documenting the changes to Facebook's privacy policy.

6. Facebook is a bully

When Pete Warden demonstrated just how this bait-and-switch works (by crawling all the data that Facebook's privacy settings changes had inadvertently made public) they sued him. Keep in mind, this happened just before they announced the Open Graph API and stated that the "default is now social." So why sue an independent software developer and fledgling entrepreneur for making data publicly available when you're actually already planning to do that yourself? Their real agenda is pretty clear: they don't want their membership to know how much data is really available. It's one thing to talk to developers about how great all this sharing is going to be; quite another to actually see what that means in the form of files anyone can download and load into MatLab.

5. Even your private data is shared with applications

At this point, all your data is shared with applications that you install. Which means now you're not only trusting Facebook, but the application developers, too, many of whom are too small to worry much about keeping your data secure. And some of whom might be even more ethically challenged than Facebook. In practice, what this means is that all your data - all of it - must be effectively considered public, unless you simply never use any Facebook applications at all. Coupled with the OpenGraph API, you are no longer trusting Facebook, but the Facebook ecosystem.

4. Facebook is not technically competent enough to be trusted

Even if we weren't talking about ethical issues here, I can't trust Facebook's technical competence to make sure my data isn't hijacked. For example, their recent introduction of their "Like" button makes it rather easy for spammers to gain access to my feed and spam my social network. Or how about this gem for harvesting profile data? These are just the latest of a series of Keystone Kops mistakes, such as accidentally making users' profiles completely public, or the cross-site scripting hole that took them over two weeks to fix. They either don't care too much about your privacy or don't really have very good engineers, or perhaps both.

3. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account

It's one thing to make data public or even mislead users about doing so; but where I really draw the line is that, once you decide you've had enough, it's pretty tricky to really delete your account. They make no promises about deleting your data and every application you've used may keep it as well. On top of that, account deletion is incredibly (and intentionally) confusing. When you go to your account settings, you're given an option to deactivate your account, which turns out not to be the same thing as deleting it. Deactivating means you can still be tagged in photos and be spammed by Facebook (you actually have to opt out of getting emails as part of the deactivation, an incredibly easy detail to overlook, since you think you're deleting your account). Finally, the moment you log back in, you're back like nothing ever happened! In fact, it's really not much different from not logging in for awhile. To actually delete your account, you have to find a link buried in the on-line help (by "buried" I mean it takes five clicks to get there). Or you can just click here. Basically, Facebook is trying to trick their users into allowing them to keep their data even after they've "deleted" their account.

2. Facebook doesn't (really) support the Open Web

The so-called Open Graph API is named so as to disguise its fundamentally closed nature. It's bad enough that the idea here is that we all pitch in and make it easier than ever to help Facebook collect more data about you. It's bad enough that most consumers will have no idea that this data is basically public. It's bad enough that they claim to own this data and are aiming to be the one source for accessing it. But then they are disingenuous enough to call it "open," when, in fact, it is completely proprietary to Facebook. You can't use this feature unless you're on Facebook. A truly open implementation would work with whichever social network we prefer, and it would look something like OpenLike. Similarly, they implement just enough of OpenID to claim they support it, while aggressively promoting a proprietary alternative, Facebook Connect.

1. The Facebook application itself sucks

Between the farms and the mafia wars and the "top news" (which always guesses wrong - is that configurable somehow?) and the myriad privacy settings and the annoying ads (with all that data about me, the best they can apparently do is promote dating sites, because, uh, I'm single) and the thousands upon thousands of crappy applications, Facebook is almost completely useless to me at this point. Yes, I could probably customize it better, but the navigation is ridiculous, so I don't bother. (And, yet, somehow, I can't even change colors or apply themes or do anything to make my page look personalized.) Let's not even get into how slowly your feed page loads. Basically, at this point, Facebook is more annoying than anything else.

Facebook is clearly determined to add every feature of every competing social network in an attempt to take over the Web (this is a never-ending quest that goes back to AOL and those damn CDs that were practically falling out of the sky). While Twitter isn't the most usable thing in the world, at least they've tried to stay focused and aren't trying to be everything to everyone.
I often hear people talking about Facebook as though they were some sort of monopoly or public trust. Well, they aren't. They owe us nothing. They can do whatever they want, within the bounds of the laws. (And keep in mind, even those criteria are pretty murky when it comes to social networking.) But that doesn't mean we have to actually put up with them. Furthermore, their long-term success is by no means guaranteed - have we all forgotten MySpace? Oh, right, we have. Regardless of the hype, the fact remains that Sergei Brin or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett could personally acquire a majority stake in Facebook without even straining their bank account. And Facebook's revenue remains more or less a rounding error for more established tech companies.

While social networking is a fun new application category enjoying remarkable growth, Facebook isn't the only game in town. I don't like their application nor how they do business and so I've made my choice to use other providers. And so can you.

Dan Yoder is a serial entrepreneur and the VP of Engineering at Border Stylo, a Hollywood-based social media startup. He can be reached on Twitter as @dyoder.
Disclosure by Dan Yoder: I'm the VP of Engineering for a Hollywood-based social media startup, BorderStylo. The opinions expressed here are purely my own and are not in any way endorsed by my employer. While I do not see our applications as directly competitive to Facebook, nor have I presented them as such, it would be disingenuous not to mention this.
The author of this post can be contacted at tips@gizmodo.com

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Facebook: Social Networking or Social Engineering?

This is an amazing read because I have come to realise that spending time on FB doesn't let me at least feel very productive. Hours can fly by like anything and all I've done so far is kept up with my friends' status messages and photos (especially photos) :(. The good news is that I have noticed the change in time management since FB was blocked :). So IA I plan to improve here. Happy reading!




The big question is, ‘What is social networking and how is it useful?’
 
Of course you will hear the usual bleating saying, ‘It is so nice to know what my sister is doing….blah, blah.’
 
So ask this person, ‘Why can’t you send your sister an email asking what she is doing and she can respond to you. Or even better, if you can, call your sister and talk to her.’ But no, I must talk to my sister in a space where it is not only the sister who is listening but almost anyone who cares to listen, even if that person is a total stranger. So is it about your concern for your sister or is it something else?
 
So also in this space are pictures which really have no place outside the home – like the pictures showing you hugging your sister or wife or whoever! And so on and so on. I don’t think I need to describe all that there is to people who put it there in the first place.
 
Yes, of course there are controls. Tell me all about them. Tell me also how come almost nobody uses them. How many Facebook profiles do you know who have the maximum control activated where only their immediate family can see them? And of course in the end, all control is only as good as the techies and geeks on the Facebook site allow. After all they can access all that information anyway.
 
So what is really being achieved by Facebook, Twitter and so on? (Twitter?? Whoever coined that term was clever. Talk about under the belt. Who twitters? A twit!! – but then I suppose a twit doesn’t know that he is a twit, right?)
 
So what is achieved?
 
What is achieved is what would be the equivalent of peeping in through your window. Wanting to know what you are doing all the time. I want to know what you are doing all the time and I want you to know what I am doing all the time.
Intrusion into privacy when it is done against your will is unpleasant. So what is better? Get you into a state of mind where you will volunteer to tell people all about your internal organs on your own. See the change? An intruder is an intruder only when he intrudes against your will. If you invite him in, then he is a guest, not an intruder. Same person, same you but different rules. And that’s what it is all about, the rules of engagement.
 
So is it ‘social networking’ or is it ‘social engineering?’
 
The purpose is to change the rules of the society. Break barriers. Destroy the boundaries that protect us.
 
And where does this lead to? Addiction and intoxication. Addiction to seeing what others are doing and telling others what you are doing on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis. And being intoxicated with the false feeling that you are so interesting that people are really interested in what you are doing. Not realizing or willing to believe that these are the actions of other intoxicated people.
 
You don’t like the word ‘intoxication’? Just don’t log onto your Facebook or Twitter account for two days and monitor your heartbeat, blood pressure, tremor in your mouse, whatever and you will see what I mean.
And all this for what? What is achieved with the time that you spend reading about other’s adenoids and telling them about yours? Incidentally I know what adenoids means and that you don’t talk about them. But let us not mention what facebookers really talk about!
 
So what did you achieve? Just ask yourself this question, ‘What did I achieve by being on Facebook and Twitter (or whichever of these infernal social networks you are on) over the past month, year or whatever period.’ Remember this is a serious question because you Muslim/ah are spending your time (life) doing it. And that makes it among the first questions that you will have to answer to Allah. So what did you achieve? Prepare the answer. You will need it.
 
Social networking is social engineering. Its purpose is to change the values and ethics of people. This is done, in its most benign form, to encourage you to indulge more and more in the consumerist society that is all consuming. We think we are the consumers. But we are in reality the consumed. Just think, how many of you buy things, see shows, go to restaurants (and other places), like or dislike things because of campaigns on Facebook and Twitter? See what is happening? Your minds are invaded, your thoughts are influenced, and consequently your actions are manipulated and you may not even realize it.
 Today Muslims the world over are very angry with the latest offensive of the Facebook. But an impulsive reaction will hardly do us any good. Just staying off of the offensive site for one day, as many have advocated, will only highlight our capitulation to it.
It is time we rethink what are we doing with our lives and say no to social engineering. It is time to get off of Facebook, Twitter, and other similar sites that are destroying us from within.

Image source

The Joys of Khala-hood

The past few days have been a constant cycle of extremely late nights (why am I calling it night when it really is morning? :S), and then sleeping after Fajr at 5.30 or so, and waking up at 9.30. The waking up at Fajr part is the most tough because I've had only about an hour or so's worth of sleep :$. Um, I know this is a really bad routine and nights are meant for sleeping, but seriously, if you were baking in the heat of 40+ degrees celsius, you'd feel like zonking out in the scorching afternoons and working late into the relatively cool nights.

Anyway, this pattern was established, as I was saying. Yesterday, newphew sahib was over our place to stay. He visits once a week. Man, where are the days when I used to say sis the priss is over for the day! Ha Ha. Anyway, the lil dude was all dandy the whole day, pretty much had his afternoon nap and played and played. He is such a scaredy-chicken bachoo. I mean, get this. Sis the priss was narrating something in which she quoted TB making a scary sound. She just NARRATED it. And the kid, took one look at his mommy, and burst into tears... :D:D
Man... the dude was picked up immediately and comforted and comforted 'Hai mera bachaaa, aap darr gayyy' and what not. I am strongly in favour of not pampering lil kids this much. At least then they wouldn't turn out to be sissified tweety birds :D.

So in order to scare him, once, I started making the scariest of all faces. And boy, did the kid look extremely surprised or what. I did this war dance (junglion wala kinda) in front of him, making the face, (and :$ my plan was to stop suddenly this rhythm, and say loudly BHAOOO - and the theory was that he'll cry once, twice and then he won't be afraid!). Bhanju wanju, if you're reading this twelve years later, I'm sorry for the act, but I had good intentions betay :P. And listen to what you did next!

According to plan, I stopped suddenly (the kid's eyes were like saucers now). And I jumped at him saying a loud ''BHAO". He jumped too. And ....and .... :S... burst into such a LOUD laughter, that you can't imagine. Mum and sis who were watching this whole episode rather apprehensively burst out laughing too :$. Katchi hogai meri. So much for scaring him. I still use the BHAO routine to make him cackle with laughter. Masha Allah :D

Anyway, last night :(... I was late again in sleeping. When finally turned in at 3.00 am, the kid woke up! (and btw, he's the kind of specie who doesn't wake up at nights... he keeps on sleeping through the night MA). Khair, he woke up and sis who had a bad headache, tried to make him drink some milk and fall right back asleep. But he didn't. Usually, if he's acting this way, I pick him up and his head droops for a while, then falls on my shoulder asleep - in the terminology of my sis the priss, 'Chotu has gone boop' :)

*deep sigh*. So I picked up the whining baby, and a few minutes later, blessedly, I felt his head drop on my shoulder. Breathing a sigh of relief, I turned to put him back in bed, when I realised that... that... eugh :P he wasn't asleep. Just busy biting my shoulder! Teething apparently has weird effects on babies. Thank God I don't remember my teething phase :P.

So to cut long things short, the dude didn't sleep. The whole night, I was awake... along with his distressed mum... and after Fajr, the kid was taken away by Chotpo... on whose shoulder, he fell asleep in 10 minutes. *shakes a fist at the hilarity of events that unfolded last night*... !! Taubah.

Today was eventful for another thing... I gave him a bath! On my own. Usually, during the deed, I'm the side-helper and my sis is the main character (along with the baby). Today, it was me. And my no-nonsense ways, man! Did he look astonished or what!

Lol. I seriously think there should be a nice darjah for Khalas. I'll leave you with a picture depicting his usual state (it's not him, but still :P you get the ''picture'')


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Ugly Face of Facebook

Background
Facebook is not banning a page that was started by a miffed female artist. The page is called 'Everybody Draw Muhammad Day' and it's purpose is to propagate the fact that artists are free to express themselves, and they are not going to bow down to Muslims' "radical reactions and threats." The lady (called Molly Norris) hence began this competition, and she based it on the recent attempt of Comedy Central's South Park episode which had to be censored (because they showed ... Oh Naoozubillah! :(... Prophet Muhammad saww in a bear suit).
Good for the Muslims revolution group (whoever they are, a pat on the back to you guys) who threatened Comedy Central with dire consequences, hence putting an end to that particular episode. So much for the background.


The first interview
The lady Norris Aunty appeared on the Dave Ross show (a radio show) and talked about her launch. The weirdo part was that she didn't sound like a very ... erm, intelligent person, and basically sounded confused. Is she really behind this? Sounds fishy.

Hear for yourself.

One amazing thing she says, when asked whether she would approve of people ridiculing the Holocaust.... she says, "No" .. when asked WHY? The answer is: Cuz that's not funny!

Ha Ha Ha!

So why isn't FB banning the page? (pages NOW)
Well, listen to this: Fox News reports...

A Facebook spokesman told FoxNews.com it has no plans to censor any of the pages associated with the campaign or the counter-campaign, though threats will be removed.

"Threats of violence and direct statements of hate against particular communities violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and are removed when reported to us," reads a company statement to FoxNews.com. "Facebook is highly self-regulating, and users can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive.  Groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs -- even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some
(ooh what a clausie, mind if we express some opinion on the Holocaust???) -- do not by themselves violate our policies.(I seem to find it weird then that why were pages related to protests in Karachi and Holocaust banned? Removed within... days?)  When a group created to express an opinion devolves into threats or hate speech, we will remove the threatening or hateful comments and may even remove the group itself. (so how about you remove the offensive cartoons and pictures that are uploaded by the hundreds on the several Draw Muhammad pages now? Show us that you DO follow your policy)"

The Reaction
Predictably there was a huge uproar in the online world first and then the offline world. SMS and Facebook again played a strong role in spreading the message across to millions, so even the most disconnected of people deactivated their FB accounts (before the govt banned it) in a show of protest. Today various protests were held in Karachi regarding this issue. Furthermore, news reports reported more protests across the country. (at least we are protesting physically against this audacious move!). One of the cool things is that an anti Everybody Draw Muhammad Day FB group had more members than the actual event one: check this news report: *beams*

As of Wednesday, more than 41,000 Facebook users associated themselves to one page dedicated to the event, and a similar page was "liked" by at least 4,400 users. More than 56,000 users, meanwhile, joined a Facebook page opposing it.

The verdict... here
In Pakistan, Facebook has been officially banned. According to a report I read, Pakistani traffic comprises a mere 0.51% of the total world traffic to Facebook. But the good news is that we're not the only country which has banned the social networking website. China, Vietnam (and 5 more countries) have blocked FB some time or the other. We're not the only ones.

Waisay, I feel that when we're standing before Allah SWT on the Day of Judgement, we really have at least one thing to say, that yes, when this issue came up, our government took some action and 0.51% boycotted the website for about 11 days :S. Hope that counts :S

Now: Molly Sahiba's 180 degree brain turn
The second interview: Hear it out
She reports on her website now: My comments in brackets.

I did NOT 'declare' May 20 to be "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." (Oh yeah? Could have fooled us. The poster you made Ms Molly clearly said May 20th and clearly named the Day, and clearly named a fictitious organisation. What was the idea behind this poster? A mere joke? I think not!) 

I made a cartoon about the television show South Park being censored. I wish that was what our energies were going toward -- protesting revolutionmuslim.com's threat to Comedy Central, and Comedy Central's over reaction to it which set America on a slippery slope toward censorship!     (Now look here Ms. What Comedy Central was doing was also not acceptable for us. You see, we don't believe in ANY jokes when it comes to our religion's personalities. And highly esteemed personalities. South Park's lil joke could have been not aired in the first place and saved everybody a whole lot of trouble and time!)

At any rate...my cartoon-poster, with a fake 'group' behind it (Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor -- sigh, I WISH that were a real group as I love the name of it!) went viral and was taken seriously. (Look. Your intentions are counted by your actions. And your actions clearly indicated (especially that poster you made!!!) that you were poking fun at the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). If you didn't intend it, then you needn't have done it.)

I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this 'day' be called off.
(Ms, with all due respect. You have actually started something which doesn't intend to stop. You may very conveniently back out of it. But take a look at this:


Fox News: Mimi Sulpovar created her "Everybody Draw Mohammad" Facebook page on April 22 to protest what she calls the "manifestation of gradual silencing and subjugation" of free speech rights in the name of political correctness. "I and members of my group feel that we, as citizens of the free world, should be able to discuss Islam openly and honestly -- even if it means drawing Muhammad, being very critical of some of the elements of that religion and/or culture," she wrote FoxNews.com in an e-mail. As administrator of the page, Sulpovar said she moderates users' comments and removes any references to violence or bigotry in their posts. She said she and others in the group have received death threats, but she has no plans to stop anytime soon.


(So you see Ms, she has no plans of stopping any time soon! And whose her inspiration?? Three guesses? And this is not the end to what the lady above said. Take a look at this: 


"Our goal is to demonstrate that it's OK to talk about Islam specifically, and that if we want to draw Muhammad, we will not be intimidated or silenced by those who want to subjugate us simply because they find what we do offensive," Sulpovar wrote. She said she's received about 200 depictions of Muhammad, and more than 300 caricatures have been uploaded to her page. She said she plans on continuing the campaign well after this week.
(So you see, this one-off cartoon wasn't just a one-off thing. And yes, you're not exempted for your act by just backing out and claiming everything was a joke. How did the Danish cartoons go as jokes? Didn't their reaction show to you what sentiments to touch and what not to touch? Here is another one you inspired:


Reason.com's blogger Michael C. Moynihan says he will be contributing artwork and will post fans' work on his site as well. The fictional group Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor now has its own site that already contains some irreverent illustrations of Muhammad (Fox News)

(Oh, and screw all of you who are mad at me for not leading a 'movement'. My cartoon was the beginning and end of what I had to say about this particular episode of a totally creepy, historic censorship.)

(Oh, and I heard that. The 'feeling' is very much there huh. However much you try to sugarcoat it as a 'joke'... Ho!)

Sincerely,
Molly

(Even more sincerely, Uni)

P.S. The nicest email I have received have been from Muslims.
(No, that's not going to help. Sorry). 

----------------------------------------------
This done, I must say I was extremely extremely disappointed by Professor Tariq Ramadan's comments in a video posted on Washington post. The interview was pretty much okay. But at the end of it, when he was asked whether South Park did RIGHT in censoring the video and removing the offensive stuff in it... he said NO. South Park wasn't right in doing so. They should have shown it again, they got scared of Muslims' reaction.

He's a Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, and a pretty respected scholar. But I fail to understand why he said such a thing. How can he really justify the depiction of the Holy Prophet (saw) in such a derogatory form, I'm clueless. I kept thinking I've heard him wrong, but it's true. Find out for yourself: here

*exhausted*.. Have a nice day folks. And do you think Pakistan made the right move? What would you have done, were you President/Judge etc?



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There is a whole other world out there

This is dedicated to all those (especially Muslims) who are influenced by the media today, to such an extent that whatever is shown to them, they believe in it - they have almost no idea that whatever is happening these days, is part of a bigger picture ... and when somebody tries to remind them of the big picture (The Arrivals series, the books and videos on Dajjal, the Anti Christ), they laughingly dismiss it all as some ''conspiracy theory'' -  and even if they don't consider it as a conspiracy theory, they don't actively DO anything about it -so here goes. 


We walk along the winding road of life
Struggle for success, for achievements we strive
But rarely do we turn our heads, and look like
We have something other than 'all this' on our minds

Everything is not quite what it seems
There is a hidden layer on every light's beam
A concealed verse, a warning, not publically revealed
A craftily embedded truth, from the wandering eye, concealed

The turn of events, as they unfold everyday
Breaking news, talk shows, discussions and debate
What actually appears on the 'box' is merely part of the tale
It's up to us to find out the rest of the detail

A point of view, so carefully implanted
Our brains refuse to think beyond what's flaunted
But we rule our brains, so why are we daunted
By the task that should be the way of life adopted

It's funny how important security is today
Cryptography has quite a crucial role to play
But we just inhale and digest the news being relayed
Without pausing to reflect, to think and THEN say

"We know what's going on - we're aware of it all
What do you know, we got information that beats all
Blah Blah discussions we watched, blah blah talk shows
Blah Blah news channels, we watched it all unfold"

Nothing what we watch, is actual in totality
That is true for most of the 'happening' reality
Among every unrelated event, a definite causality
Within every human shown, a hidden personality

We have got to open our eyes to the world around us
We have got to break the shells we've built around us
We have got to look beyond what's happening around us
And this ain't no unnecessary fuss!

Whoever chooses to close their eyes -- up to them
But as Muslims, we won't be fulfilling our duty then
The biggest Fitnah is upon us, we will evade it when?
If all we indulge in is only studies, movies, music and the associated mayhem

Copyright Uni reading_too_muchoony 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Quest - prayers needed

Assalamualaikum

The Quest comprises many things - namely:
1. To learn
2. To remember
3. To repeat
4. To recall
5. To implement

:P. How cryptic. Lemme elaborate.

The very first (and quite bold :S) quest is to actually hope I will learn the whole of this:



I know it seems impossible right now. But after reading 'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown (what an inspiration, yeah :$:$), at least I've decided to firmly believe that our minds have amazing potential. It's our own lazy daisy selves that convince us that hey,
1. This is impossible
2. I won't ever be able to learn stuff
3. Memorising is tough etc etc

The brain has gazillions of cells - so they are meant to be used, yeah. We CAN learn anything. However difficult it may seem. Insha Allah!

SO I've done three rukuhs uptil now. And the quest has been tough... mainly because there is a load of repition of words. BUT, one good tip for anybody aspiring to learn this beautiful Surah is that if you know the translation - what comes after what - so when we know exactly what's going on, automatically the tongue reaches for the right word, and the mind provides it :). Khair, there are 40 Rukuhs in this Surah, and I was kinda dreaming that one Rukuh per day means the entire Surah learned up in 40 days. Ho. That ain't happening. But I still dream.

Acha, another quest is this:


More specifically Visual C++. Another bold one here. The idea is to slowly but surely digest the syntax (a base is already there, the rest of the bricks need to fall in place). And ultimately leading to:


An e-book, courtesy some kind humans on the planet :). Big thank you to them for the motivation.

And a lot of prayers needed of course. The quest isn't easy. Nothing really is :). What with exams coming up and the online job and what not. But it's relaxing to have great stuff on one's hands. Best part? Everything, every resource is within reach. You only need to have the dedication and persistence to stick on to them like a leech. May I become that leech, Ameen.

Today this doctor old classmate of Dad's remarked:
Him: You don't have your own house???
Dad: Nope
Him: WHY??
Dad: We're pretty much okay the way we are *grin*
Him: Look, go for it. Forget expanding your medical centre, take up a house. And remember, add two units to them.
Dad: Hain? Why?
Him: For your daughters of course

ROFL :D -- This isn't the first time we've been commented on for not 'going with the flow' and 'doing what others are doing' - Dad's quest remains 'trying to make poor sick people's lives a leetle bit easier' - Hope he succeeds in that Ameen.
So long!

Leaving you with a nice quote: