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Haji 2003

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Haji 2003 last won the day on July 2 2016

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  1. I don't know about that. I do know that the desire to have an all singing and dancing coffin with a plush interior and metal handles is a matter of personal choice and not due to legislation. So is the use of horse drswn carriages. (I kid you not). Muslims in Britain do perfectly well with coffins made of chipboard. Ideally we'd have nothing at all, but the legislation does require some form of coffin.
  2. Yes, it never ceases to amaze me that people criticise theists for irrational beliefs, yet when it comes to things like funerals the very same atheists will spend thousands of dollars on caskets or corteges and the living will be left with debts to pay for these benefits. On the other hand I remember physically picking up the body of my aunt from a London hospital, driving her to the local cemetery and burying her for a sum of money that only included what we had to pay the local authorities and a small amount to the local imambara for the ghusl etc. but even the latter could have been done on a DIY basis.
  3. Colliding neutron stars

    There was news this week that we had observed two neutron stars colliding. And while the forces at work seemed beyond imagination, it occurred to me that much of our development has involved observing phenomena, moving onto measuring and assessing its propertles and ultimately (sometimes) using or managing it in some way. And the ways that we have been able to do this have become more sophisticated. I smile when people in the comments section of newspapers disparage solar power in countries such as the UK. because we have many days with poor sunlight. The advent of the Tesla powerwall and subsequent work in that area will surely help to address that. I think our trajectory is one where we'll be able to exert more and more control over more powerful elements in nature. On the one hand it will give theists greater understanding over the power and benevolence of the Creator and at the same time for atheists the greater material power that we have many enable them to believe that we do not need a God to determine our destiny.
  4. My reading of the material here: https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2345/ suggests that having a priest is an optional extra. Do read/ask around for a more informed opinion. But my understanding is that Islam can be far lower maintenance than other belief systems when it comes to things like marriage and funerals.
  5. My loneliness is killing me

    Tip 1 Join a student society. The primary objective isn't to make friends it's to engage in whatever the focus of the society happens to be, whether it is making robots or inviting speakers to the university. But you'll likely find that as part of the process of doing these things you get to know other people outside the study context and have a basis for having an interesting shared interest. That interest will also mean that you don't have to worry about small talk. Tip 2 Not exactly a solution to loneliness but a chance for a good laugh. If you are at a western university, it's likely that some members of the local evangelical Christian student chapter will find you out in your loneliness. Of course, it will initially seem as if they are out to care for you, but really it's just a scam to sell you Jesus (a.s.). Might be fun to play along with them, you know the same way that some people play along with Nigerian scammers. Tip 3 On the topic of Nigerian scammers, I hope the following technical paper from Microsoft cheers you up. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/why-do-nigerian-scammers-say-they-are-from-nigeria/
  6. Going by how many people don't get satirical posts in the readers' comments sections of good quality newspaper websites, I am afraid this video will pass over the heads of many and they'll think Trump was telling the truth in his last speech.
  7. Charity?

    There's a heart-warming story in the news recently. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429 So far so good. Let's look at the background: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429 That's basically the nub of the problem for me. And it is a twofold problem. First of all, you can have an economic system that exploits the vulnerable, as has happened here. The second part of the problem is that although the system provides some people with the opportunity to give large sums to charity, even this is not without cost. Because the donors can impose their own beliefs and values in terms of who they give the money to and what it can be spent on. Neither of these may always be consistent with the interests of the State as expressed in a democracy. In this specific instance, a tax based healthcare system makes it obligatory on the rich to pay, the obligations are on them an not the masses. Charity, on the other hand, places obligations on the recipient, the power balance is completely altered.
  8. You know that that blog is written by an apostate? FWIW.
  9. How the tragedy of Karbala is well documented?

    I take it you did not read the jokes in his signature?
  10. JCPOA ---Not Re-Certified

    There are people who say that anti-semitic conspiracy theorists overplay the power that Israel has. In this instance, we know that Netanyahu's problems with Iran preceded those of Trump. We now have an instance where all the other world's powers are against Trump's actions and the only person who actively pushed for them to happen is Netanyahu. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/13/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-congress
  11. Thoughts 2017

    Not to be confused with haemorroid rings.
  12. Thoughts 2017

    Oops. sorry I mixed up the forced marches. The 350 mile march I was referring to was imposed on the Navajo from north Arizona to Fort Sumner.
  13. Thoughts 2017

    The show I have been watching is heavy on its coverage of Apaches (talking with them etc.) and recounting the 300 (?) mile march, imposed by the U.S. army. But because it is a current series on the BBC (AIUI) it is not on youtube.
  14. Thoughts 2017

    Coincidentally I have been watching a BBC Ray Mears documentary about the Apache of Arizona. The following is not the same one, it's older but gives a flavour of the place:
  15. Poor Jokes [OFFICIAL THREAD]

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/09/six-men-one-moped-robbery-london-mappin-webb-regent-street-jewellers Police are looking for an Indian family.