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Category Archives: America

stop treating Malala as pinata


[Let me clarify here, I don’t have any insider information nor I have long pattern recognizing machine working on some historical data to predict she is puppet of any western country. I am not resident of Swat but I am Pakistani and have spent long many years in Pakistan. So I don’t know the “inner story”  and I will not give any credence to such things. My view is based on what is just infront of me and it changes.}

It has been experience of being stuck between two fighting spouses, they are fighting about something but don’t know what. One is arguing about what happened on Monday party other is shouting about burned toasts in the morning breakfast.

Malala is great, Malala is enemy puppet, Malala deserves all the praise, Malala was never shot ,……  this shouting match has to stop, instead everyday it is on increase. Each day we see Malala being honored by one or other organization, being interviewed by one reputable newspapers or other TV program, and on other side we see more voices from sideline jumping in the ring.

To pro Malala supporters, supporting a person shot due to her ideas and service is something everyone should do. One should stand by that person, if that person is an innocent child one should be ashamed of society where children could be targeted. The question one should ask is are we supporting Malala or are we supporting our desires that could take in shape of Malala? Are we condemning anyone criticizing Malala’s nomination for Nobel peace prize because we feel this huge sympathy wave for her can push committee to give Pakistani citizen second one or we seriously believe she deserves peace prize?  or (which I hope is false) we believe with her we can sell the image of Pakistan that can justify certain non-democratic practices?

Frankly she does not deserve what we are doing with her. She could be great leader in few years, she could be great representative. She is eloquent, she is determined, she has charm and she knows what she wants. In her age that is more than one can ask for.

She has been given a second life, a second chance. There are many shiny steps in her way, why is this hurry of giving everything to her in a single year, without giving her opportunity to earn it. She can go miles ahead of where we are pushing her.

She does not need Nobel prize today. All the honors that have been bestowed on her are more representative of other’s desire than her doing. They are exposing her to the elements she should not be exposed to.

Why a BBC journalist be so clueless to let her make statement “you want to go outside, you must go with a man – if even your five-year-old brother goes with you it’s fine, but you must have someone else, a girl cannot go outside all alone.” and let it be representative of large and diverse country. When I heard this sentence, it appeared to me childish until I remembered it was spoken by a child. A child that, from her sentence could be assumed, has not experienced world outside the realms of male in her household. That appears to have not been to any other city of her country or met people from other parts of her country to know so little of it. (I am not saying women in my country are free and they can go out 1 am in the night alone or huge chunks of their lives are lived under the gaze of male family members)

Assed Baig is right when he calls this situation White Savior complex, although I don’t agree with his arguments. Shazia Ramzan, Kainat Riaz and  Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi are victims of war but they unfortunately are bystanders, they were not attacked because of their views, Malala Yousafzi was.

She is a teenager, a special one but still a teenager. She deserves to say erroneous things and take back. She should be given time, where she form her views, understand the world more deeply and more independently. Why should she have to declare infront of the world she still non-western girl?

To anti Malala, seriously most of you are behaving like kids in the school. I can understand the frustration, it looks like universe has decided to honor someone from among us and reason has been given that she has been our savior; only that many among us don’t agree with that. It is same frustration that one feels, when some foreigner makes tall claims about Benazir Bhutto, making her to be some human right champion. It’s frustration when people among are given projection to be our representative without our consent. But it’s not her mistake.

You are saying she is being used? you say there are other people who deserve it? we can discuss it, but again it’s not her mistake. Who among you (yes all the grown men and women) can say I don’t deserve it when given such honors? And Nobel prize? who among us has enough courage to say “No I have not done enough” when you have been shot for your cause  (few years back a very eloquent person who has never been part of anything consequential just said, he was humbled but still accepted the award).

And is it really bad that she gets Nobel Prize? people less deserving than her have gotten Nobel prize for peace. I might not believe she deserves Nobel prize, but I will be happy if she wins (people with bloodied hands have got that prize) she atleast is only accused of not doing enough.

To be very frank, this hue and cry on every Nobel Prize is getting old now, if we are really pissed that West picks less deserving people for the Nobel Prize and reason is some conspiracy, then for god sake start something good yourself. Start some prize where you can pick people on merit.

Back to Ms. Malala.

In the end, I believe she is destined to bigger things, but she needs to go through much more to get there. Being shot for your views and still stand on your ground is a big sacrifice; however it’s much more painful to live and serve. This is not a single act and it’s beginning not end.

 

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Boston: Things to do in summer


It has been a week and I have still not started making list of things to do. It has been a busy week, I should say and will going to be busy next one, however first step is going to do things is to make list of the things to do.

If you have any suggestions, any places one should visit, any events one should not miss??? and webpage listing interesting activities going around in Boston (including Cambridge, Somerville, etc…..) do tell.

It’s rough collection and very poor quality list

 
 

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Religion, gays and marriage


On the wall of a friend of mine, there was discussion going around. Gay marriage being in the court, every one has it’s opinion. A friend’s friend’s opinion was laws have been previously derived from the religion (for that being the Christian religion). I divide my answer in two portions, one is just religion and country’s laws.

As for respect of religion in making laws. Today many unfortunately are little quick in dismissing anything that comes from the religion. Almost all the religions are great source of information and knowledge (at least some parts of all of them). Both religious and anti-religious people ignore the fact that all the religions have changed with the time. They might be divine but their current shapes are due to human reasoning.

Scholars and philosophers have debated what is the meaning of the message of revelations. Why certain interpretation is more correct than other, why one should be more beneficial to society and what view will be more helpful to a person . In the process they have defined and refined it. Their debates and explanations are education for us. Religions being the books of constitution for so many centuries will always be referenced.Ignoring them is will be ignoring efforts and works of great minds.

Question is should “All” the laws be continued to be derived from religion or not. I am not American so my point of view might not matter what American society needs, but I am sharing my point of view because this issue is going to become big issue in the countries which have not legally accepted this.

Problem with the religion is there are huge number of versions of every single religion (Catholic, Protestants  Suni, Shia, Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, Hindus who believe in one Veda and not others). One might say they are all (all versions of Ibrahimic religions) are together on this issue of gays, they don’t accept it (there is still debate whether they ask society to punish them). Accepting one law just because some religion tell you, will create logical fallacy  Like any mathematician or law professor will tell you once you accept the one law just because it is coming from XYZ-religion, we set precedence that could be used to add more laws belonging to religion XYZ. It breaks the rules, is muddles the axioms.

Either religion should be used to make all the laws or it should not be, if we want  a system that accepts part of religion to be made into law but not the other part, we end up with complex set of rules. Such rules will always be pushed to be changed and that’s what is going around right now. Let me give you example we don’t have now the punishment for infidelity or adultery and I don’t believe anyone wants that to become one, but what’s the logic behind it if we are accepting marriage should be defined by religion then what about infidelity? Or what about the people belonging to other religions? should they be burned on stakes?

I am fine with any nation saying they want XYZ to be national religion, thinking we can have non-religious state where XYZ is major religion is just wrong. But sir, if it is not (which quite clearly today’s America is not) then instead enforcing religion through laws and courts you have to go back to people and make them believe in what you believe in. Same goes with the civil rights, you cannot get civil rights by laws, you get them by having size able population believing in what you believe.
In terms of , My point has always being “marriage” as a word has been something that has been derived from the religion. I don’t want government to do anything with “marriage”, in the least that word should be removed from the law books. Government should issue some nicer version of “civil union” and declare we don’t do marriages. If you want to marry, go to Churche, Masjid, Synagogue, Gurdwara or any other religious entity you want to and which ever version of it you want to. if they want benefits they can register with government and government will not discriminate against people regardless of gender, cast, belief, orientation, etc. ….
 

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Hate/lunacy hits again {Shooting at Sikh Gurdvara (temple) in Wisconsin}


Once again some lunatics have attacked the unarmed people. CNN is reporting about 6 to be dead and the shooter has been killed also. (guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/05/wisconsin-sikh-temple-shooting-live)

It’s still not clear whether this is hate crime or just some mad person going on rampage. It will put the gun laws in America under more scrutiny, there will be more calls to tighten the rules and more campaign by the gun-lobby to say guns don’t kill people. Using these violent instances to decide whether more or less guns be on street is quite absurd. Problem is not the lone, lunatic shooters, problem is access to guns by the people involved in organized or petty crime.

Regardless of that this particular instance puts one more group under pressure, i.e. Muslims. Some CNN-commentator  (still not clear whether it was official CNN commentator or someone commenting on the online story, have a look ) talked about Sikhs could be mistaken of being Muslims or Taliban. A comment left on yahoo says something like stupid think all foreigners are muslims. This causes two big problems, it makes Sikhs feel that they might be victim of false identification and their suffering is due to Muslims.  secondly it makes Muslims afraid when they are linked to Taliban so casually. In understand neither of the commentators is saying it’s fine to attack Muslims, but presenting so-called “rational” explanation of event instead of just terming it terrorism or hate crime puts unnecessary cracks in the society.

Another big question is, is this a terrorism or not? to me crimes like this the reek the hate should be declared terrorism.

Update, CNN is reporting that this event will be investigated as Domestic terrorist attack.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in America, American Media, Uncategorized

 

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Gay rights, American Muslims and religious laws


American Muslims! do you want American Laws to be based on religion? if not then why all the arguments against gay marriage are coming from religion?

If you have been to Muslim gathering, especially for Jummah namaz, you would have met many concerned muslims and heard ceremons from the pulpits. I did…..

Recent declaration by Obama to end descrimination against Gays marrige rights have stirred quite a bit of uneasynes among religious leadership (if there is something like that in Muslim community of America)

In masajids you might be Imam mentioning gay rights and getting angry on that. You will hear things like they are going to indocternate the children, if we alow gays getting married then next they will going to allow sex with animals, and even you might hear the argument it is slippery slop if we tolerate gays getting married next it might be having sex with kids (yup, for a second i could not believe when I heard such arguments), one Imam pointed out that your child might come home and say dad today my teacher Ms. Jeniffer’s husband came to visit her and her name was Andrea, what you are going to say to them.

I will not go in details about “question of consent” which an animal can’t give. Or Muslim children grow in America where most of the kids are having sex (straight or not) or atleast know that kids around them have boy friends or girl friends. So how traumatic their teacher having gay husband would be?

I will not even go and discuss that in this society people of any inclination are having sex with who ever they want and are open about it, so is big fuss is just giving them legal rights (which as a human they must have) not the physical act itself?

Keep all these aside, and acknowledging that all Ibrahimic religions (Jeudaism, Christianity and Islam) view being gay a sinful act. Question is which one of these wants to have American laws defined according to the religion? Do jews and muslims want America to have Christian laws? If not then why the reasoning they are presenting is coming from the religion?

Why I only hear God has forbiden this act, Allah destroyed a nation for that, ……. where are other detailed reasonings. Because if we start having religious argument here, where it will stop. Why not next have discussion about who could actually be called Christian or Jew or Muslim? Why not go ahead and ban any criticism of any religion? But then who will define religion? Why should Christians accept Islam to be religion? if they do then why not some Spagheti God? Should punishments be also derived from Bible, old and new Testaments?

American Muslims should know better, religious arguments about laws will lead to religions laws and those laws might not be ones that let minorities flourish.

 

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Broncos, Tim Tebow and Gainesville


You know there are people who you just like, whose success are cherish by many people who might not have any direct contact with him, the successes which might be just small. Tim Tebow appears to be one of them, a lucky one I must say.

Today he did it again, the last pass (which finally he made) resurrected his image of quarterback you should be always be watching. Although he ruined previous two chances by taking too much time before making a pass and once almost getting sacked. The last pass just put him back on the list. He should be thankful to the defense that did the hell of job in containing the competitors.

His success is being cheered by many of the people who might even not like Broncos. Most of the Gainesville wants Broncos to succeed because of Tim Tebow . He has this feel good thing about him. people want him to succeed; to be fair it has very less to do with his being religious or not. Just a microseconds Broncos made touchdown, facebook was full with the status updates and tweeter was singing.

Here is for Tim Tebow and this is for Gators and for Tebowing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/08/tebow-thomas-broncos-steelers-overtime-win-thomas_n_1193054.html

something interesting about 316 passing yards and 3:16 on his face

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/fade-black/2012/jan/8/sunday-school-tim-tebow/

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in America, Fun, Gainesville

 

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Hurry BY MARIE HOWE and Poetry Foundation.


Very interesting poem by Marie Howe, very interesting point of view. read more of her poems in http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/marie-howe. There is one interesting poem about the her childhood.

This website Poetry Foundation itself is very interesting, having huge resources of poems and selection of poets. So if you are beginner and want to study some, you can pick one of the categories and read through the listed poets. For some poems they have comments, commentary and reading material; which makes understanding those poems more easy.

 

Hurry

BY MARIE HOWE

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.
Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.
And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking   
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,   
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.
 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in America, Literature

 

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