Category Archives: Ignorance

Islam and Science

I attended an event hosted by the Western Muslim on campus the other day titled Islam and Science. To some, the content may have been a revelation of sorts. For me, the documentary presented basically hammered home the message my father had been made sure was deeply implanted in my and my brothers’ heads.

“Do you know what Muslims were ya baba? Scientists. Everything we know, from algebra t0 algorithms to medicine to chemistry to astronomy. Muslims, they were the founders of these science, ya baba. Allah yerda3 3alaykum (May Allah be pleased with you).”

Threaded throughout this heartfelt reminisce would be the central message: we, as Muslims growing in the West, had a duty and an obligation to take advantage of our position and once again bring fame to a Muslim name (rhyme unintended).

Now you can imagine that with that kind of perfectionist personality beat into my head, I’ve grown up more than a little of anal-retentive with a touch of OCD. But that’s besides the point, especially as my professor reassures me that all great men and women have a little OCD in them.

Following this presentation, a short talk was given by our chaplain, Sh. Fayaz Tilly. Jazak Allah khair to the brother; although he is not, as he proclaimed, in any way a scientist, he did his best under what seemed to be exceptionally short notice.

What irked me, however, was the discussion that ensued. There was one gentlemen in particular, non Muslim, evolutionarist (or as my professor is wont to call them, educated beings), who seemed to be there to raise some hackles.

Question 1: Now, I’ve never read the Quran and don’t know much about it. But let’s say, hypothetically, that science proved a statement in the Quran to be undoubtedly wrong. Let’s say, it said the Earth is flat. I don’t know any real examples, but let’s say it did and science showed that no, it’s actually round. Would you admit to being wrong?

My problem with this? How on earth do you expect to be taken seriously at any form of debate or discussion by arguing a hypothetical scenario after claiming complete ignorance? HOW? Were the reverse true, were I, as an identifiable Muslim, to attend a scientific discussion and proclaim that although I know nothing of the subject matter I wanted to throw my two cents in, I would be ridiculed. Please don’t be demeaning.

Question 2: (following Sh. Fayaz’s reference to embryology in the Quran). So did Mohamed mention the reptile gills and monkey tails then?

I will admit there were other, relevant questions that were aimed to gain answers and not entice hatred. Nevertheless, I wish some people would give-up on the let’s enrage the Mozlems and see what happens game! Frankly, it’s getting old!

*edit*

A link to the documentary: 

And I will find a link for a comprehensive explanation of embryology and the Quran inshaAllah =)

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Filed under Head-Bangers, Ignorance, islam, MSA, Western Muslim

Hark, The Winds of Change

Finkelstein’s national book tour for This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.

If you’re anywhere along the line, go!!

If, like me, you have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it either a) order the book (inshAllah!) or b) take the time to read the following article.

This Time We Went Too Far – By Norman Finkelstein

Change is nigh people. Alhamdulillah.

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Filed under Ignorance, Israel, Palestine

Avatar Review – Worth Every Penny and Freakin’ Fantastic to Boot!

I walk through the door today and am told that we’re heading out to watch Avatar. After some minor objections on my part  (hey, I’d heard it was an anime movie. plus I have an ongoing battle with Hollywood – it’s been a looonnng time since they’ve released anything I’ve deigned to watch and I left not thinking “what a bloody waste of money”) and some guilt ladled on by the brothers I thought what the heck, and Horses, MiniMe and I headed out to Westhills 10 for our 3D experience. Shocker or all shockers, the movie is a) not even anime and b) it’s bloody brilliant. Lo and behold, there are real live people wandering about on the screen. Humans! Guess I shoulda watched the trailer, eh?

But that isn’t what has me breaking my 2 month silence on my blog and raving about this movie. I mean humans? You can find them everywhere.

No, it was more than that. It was the breathtaking backgrounds. The awe-inspiring imagination that had crafted such a well-thought out and executed movie – and get this: all three hours were amazing. It was not like other movies, with directors and producers expecting the masses to be content with two or three truly good scenes and a shitload of fodder for filler in a movie of two hours.

It was the plot, that gripes you, glues you to your seat no matter how persistently your bladder may call. It was Jake Sully, beta hero extraordinaire. The fantastic and heart-warming love story, during which my mind could not help but sing

You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
Can you sing with all the voices of a mountain?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

as our fierce heroine shows JakeSully the ropes of living among the ‘native’.

And, lest I forget, it was the constant mirroring or our life, our world. “We will hit them with a preemptive strike! We will fight terror with terror!”

GEORGE BUSH IN THE HOUSE!

It’s funny, yes. But it’s also quite depressing, seeing the brutality and inhumanity of our world mirrored in a fictional film. They fight our planes with arrows? Yeah, well in Palestine it’s tanks against rocks. In North America it was gun powder against arrows. “Savages.” Don’t get me started on that line of thought!

Our “veni, vidi, vici” way of life has to end.

I recommend this movie to any and every one. Open-mindedness people. You gotta have it to experience the finer things in life 😉

Happy new year all!

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Filed under Humor, Ignorance, Movies

Burn baby, burn

disclaimer: this is, by no means, a religious post. Rather, it’s an interpretation of certain events.

There are certain things in life that make us see red. Where we can, quite literally, feel our blood boil, our vision haze, and are overcome by an overwhelming urge to rip into something. Well, at least I hope it’s ‘we’ and not just ‘me’ but either way it’s there, and when it rears its malicious head, you best stay out of my way.

That doesn’t happen all that often. Or perhaps all too often depending on your point of view. Injustice is one. Blind, stubborn ignorance. Racism. JEALOUSY, thuma jealousy, thuma al-jealousy!!

I was talking to a friend of mine, and she just bought everything rushing back. The hatred and the pointless, selfish jealousy yeah sure, but mostly the horrible affects you have to deal with and clean up after when they’re done with you. Let me explain.

But first, there’s a need to differentiate between the types of jealousy, I think. There’s the “Omg, I wish I could be as good/successful/etc as so and so, mashAllah!” This is productive jealousy. It’s good because you’re striving to be a better person using another someone else as a role model, and you’ve said mashAllah, which protects said someone.

The second is benign jealousy. This one is tricky. It can turn malicious at any second. An example would be “I wish I had that car!” Notice the lack of mashAllah. Not good, not good at all. But at the same time, you’re not actively wishing them harm; rather you just want what they have.

The third is straight malicious jealousy. “Bitch! What has she done to deserve that car? Burn and die, hoebag.” Pretty much self-explanatory. This is when one wants something some one else has, and actually wishes that person didn’t have it, or loses it in some painful/humiliating manner.

Now, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the affects of jealousy. My grandma used to tell me I have a weak star. Translate: it means I’m more susceptible to the ‘evil eye’ than others. Now, I’m not going to get into the evil eye discussion. Suffice to say I believe nothing can harm or benefit you expect what Allah (swt) wills (yeah, I’m a predestined-ite), and that to ward it off there are certain things it’s your responsibility to do: specific ayas, dua’as you should read.

But, and this is a big but, that does not excuse those goddamned people who insist on harming others through their jealousy.

Examples? I have many, but here are ones that come foremost to mind:

  1. “You rented a car?? But you’ve been in the city for less than a week! My, you sure work fast!”
    Result: Kitchen burns down later in the day
  2. “You rented another car right after the first? You sure don’t wait before spending all your money, eh?”
    Result: Car accident in said rented car. Opponents: Our VW Golf vs a semi-truck. Not. Fun.
  3. At work, my coworkers are in awe of my typing speed. They call teachers in from other departments to witness. All teachers start to come to me to type up their assignments/work rather than the people who get paid to do it. “Miss. S&S, you think you can walk in here, at 19, and just because you’re Canadian become a grade 6 teacher and take away my job?”
    Result: Over the weekend, I burnt two fingers, sprained three, had the door slammed on my left hand, and fell down the stairs, scraping two of the fingers on my right hand raw. I’m not exaggerating. I wish I was.
  4. The most eligible bachelor in my Dad’s village asks me to marry him. Due to familial pressure (I’m threatened with bodily harm and ghadab (hate for life kind of thing) from my grandmother) I decide to give the guy a chance.
    Result: The day after I met him, I spend five days heaving till I vomit blood.
  5. Day before our midterm: “You barely study and yet manage to get better grades than I do. I spend all night reviewing, that’s so unfair.”
    Result: day of our midterm I wake up sick as a dog, barely make it to class, fail the test.
  6. “I love the way you dress.”
    Result: trip down stairs, breaking the heel on my boot and scraping my right hand raw (again).

There are more, but this is getting me pissed off all over again. Then you have those who, because you’re doing something they don’t have the dedication or balls to step up and do, belittle you, degrade you, and give you the worst time of it.

Here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to stop. Whoever the heck you are, you’re going to be satisfied with what you have, and leave everyone else the hell alone. Jeez. And I, I’m going to pray to the good Lord that you learn to leave others the heck alone.

Even the Prophet said: “Jealousy eats up faith (good deeds) like fire burns dry wood.”

So, really, you’re actually benefitting your conceited self if you’d just leave everyone alone.

You feel me?

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Filed under Head-Bangers, Ignorance, Rant, Syria

I’m Gonna Break the Cycle

Assiya Rafiq, right, in front of her mother, Iqbal Mai.

Assiya Rafiq, right, in front of her mother, Iqbal Mai.

And I’m not talking about Madonna here.

As a Syrian and a Muslim it pains me to say this. But, there is an Arabic proverb that says “you see the sliver in other peoples’ eyes, yet fail to see the pole in your own.” So, just because I’d rather not be own of ‘those people’ I’m going to say it like it is.

By this day and age, everyone has heard of those horrific honour killings. Your daughter, sister, mother disgraces you and your family? Off with their head! Forget that there’s a God involved here, or a shariaa law that – as a Muslim – you’re bound to obey, or even basic concepts like humanity and familial ties.

When I first moved to Syria, a video was circulating depicting the public beating and killing of a woman. Oh Allah. My cousins held me down and forced me to watch. I’m not going to go into details but those images will be with me to my dying day. Thank God there is a God who will see that justice is meted out in the end, because we live in one cruel world!

It’s so sickening. When you hear of these people who contrary to everything they should know as humans and as muslims, acting in cruel, heartless ways. Don’t they fear God?? What goes around will come around… Ya Allah!

What bought this to mind was the story of Assiya Rafiq. Assiya Rafiq was kidnapped at the age of 16 and repeatedly raped and beaten by a group of thugs. A year later, once they’d had their fill, they delivered her to a police station. Unfortunately, salvation and peace were a long time coming, and Assiya was subjected to rape by the four police officers.

This all took place in Pakistan. Now, in Pakistan, the only option available to a woman who has undergone the shame of rape is to commit suicide. That was she cleanses herself and her family name. Never mind that she is innocent, or that suicide is FORBIDDEN in Islam.

But this particular woman isn’t having any of that. She’s fighting the system, demanding to have her rights recognized and the men who raped her prosecuted.

I’m in awe of her bravery. When I was in Syria, I faced that cultural wall quite a few times, when culture dictated I do something completely contrary to my beliefs. And even though it wasn’t something as oppressing and merciless as rape, I still felt as though I were being backed into the proverbial corner. It was not a pleasant experience. Some days I stuck by my beliefs. Others a faltered. May God give her the strength to see this through and break that damn cycle!

(source)

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Filed under Cultural Observations, Head-Bangers, Ignorance, islam, News, Rant, Syria

On Chinese Stereotypes

Picture this: an Arab working for a Chinese roofing company. What I mean by Chinese roofing company though isn’t that the roofs are redone in an Oriental manner but rather the owners of the company are Chinese. Who speak about ten words of English between the three of them.

Now as a first generation adult, my brother’s cool with that. He likes these guys and they like him – they’re teaching him Chinese and he’s teaching them English. They even gave him Chinese tea – yuummm!! – and buy him Chinese food for lunch every day.

Enter an uncle who hears William’s been working for a Chinese guy. Reaction?

“I never liked the Chinese! Did you watch all those movies? They’re all two-faced! They act good but what goes on in their lives is freaky!”

*laughing because I thought he was kidding* “Why do you say that?”

*he’s dead serious* “Well, you saw their movies. Drugs, and bad sex, and gangs. Not good people.”

“You do realize those movies were directed by none other than hollywood – America? And don’t necessarily represent real Chinese people?”

“Enough already! I know them. They’re all very two faced!”

*I’m getting mad now* “But uncle, you have a daughter and a wife! You have a beard! How do you like it when other people stick us under a certain stigma or stereotype?? I want people to respect me as an individual, not as some secretive Taliban recruit with a bomb under my hijab!”

“Nonsense! We’re not like that! The media is garbage! But they are. Their movies say so. Khalas. Enough. Uncle knows best.”

Oh my God in Heaven you did not just say that! This guy is an ARAB! His daughter and wife wear the SCARF! They’ve been suffering under all those stereotypes and misconceptions for so long, and I know them personally. I know myself and the struggles I’ve faced because people are narrow-minded, biased, media-garbage guzzlers who routinely fail to exercise the grey matter between their ears!! And now this Arab who is a victim of stereotypes is actually holding prejudices against Chinese people…. because of the media!!!???

*head-desk*

Cruel irony? Or just deserts?

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Filed under Canada, Cultural Observations, Family Matters, Head-Bangers, Ignorance, islam, Islamophobia, Rant, Syria

During my jog today 02

I haven’t gone for about two weeks what with late nights studying, volunteering, and not being able to get up in the mornings, so today I said enough was enough. We didn’t wake up in the morning, so we went at around Maghrib time, which is about 9:20. I got my sweats on, my drink on (water bottle lol), filled up gas, picked up my jogging buddy and we were off down 69th like usual.

In the morning it’s quaint. Very little traffic, and all the other pedestrians are joggers who make a point to look you in the eye and smile a ‘hello.’ It’s a greeting, encouragement, and support all rolled into a flash of teeth. The world is waking and you’re witnessing it.

At night it’s a whole other world. That time of day is my favorite. A lot of people say sunrises are beautiful, alluding to fresh beginnings. But I’ve always been a sunset girl. Dusk is when I come to life, when the air fills with anticipation, the skies darken, the world comes to life in a dizzying array of colours. It’s fleeting though, close you’re eyes and open them and in that swift second the world has changed.

So there we were, collapsed on the curb  near my car in a parking lot, drinking water like it was going out of style, and discussing stand up comedians, of all things. When this car drives by twice, the first time zooming by, then slower for a closer look, with this white kid gaping at us. It parks a distance away, does  a U turn and comes in for one more go, this time outside the parking lot, on 69th. He leans out, screams a very eloquent “FUCK YOU,” and revs off.

By this time it’s full dark, and my friend was getting kind of antsy. It’s Sunday night and Calgary’s dead, or at least this area is. But why the hell should I?? Jugding by the look I got of the kid, he’s younger than I am! I was, quite literally,  here first and I’m not moving till I’m damn well good and ready to move!

After the spurt of anger, it was emptiness. These encounters, while rare, always leave me drained of hope. And soooo confused! Ugh.  I will never, ever understand racism or prejudice.

Alhamdulillah for the life I lead, which has taught me respect and tolerance above all else.

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Filed under Canada, Head-Bangers, Ignorance, Islamophobia, Rant