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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Posts posted by Photi

  1. It is sometimes the case that foreign elements are attempting to destabilize the domestic politics of some countries. It is also sometimes the case that the peoples' wish to revolt is popular and legitimate. When this societal-wide support is observed, the social transformation is usually straightforward and easy to recognize from the outside. Egypt and Iran were genuine social transformations where the decision was made to throw off the bridle of negative foreign influence. In Bahrain the Shias there were not initially asking for the overthrow of the ruling Khalifa family. Only after the initial repression occurred there did the demands escalate to an overthrow of the family. In Libya, the revolt there may have been legitimate, but the foreign intervention we have witnessed is highly questionable. I cannot really tell you much about Yemen, though we have seen major defections in the government as well as a shifting of tribal allegiances.

    Sometimes there is foreign intervention, so anyone who attempts to make judgments about the legitimacy of popular uprisings without giving heavy importance to the will of the people is not making their proper due diligence.

    Syria's government is in tact and the tribal and ethnic leaders give legitimacy to Bashar al-Asad. Even though it would be preferable to actually see Assad's government popularly elected, the consensus there is that given the current political environment, Syria is better off with Bashar al-Assad at the helm. Do you think the Syrians wish to see the anarchy of Iraq visit their society? Why is it so easy to volunteer other nations for war and revolution? As if it is any of our business anyway. The Syrian government was the only Arab government to support Iran during the imposed war of the 1980s. Iran would be foolish to sell out her friends, so let's think rationally about these events.

  2. It's funny how revolutions politically inconvenient revolutions are always just schemes by evil plotters and those politically useful true manifestations of popular will. The Saudis say Bahrain is all Iranian agents, the Iranians says the Syrian revolutions are Saudi agents. The West is all over Libya and could care less about Yemen.People are all the same.

    are you saying it is never the case that evil plotters are meddling?

  3. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/syria2_04-08.html

    here's a good interview to watch about Syria. Flynt Leverett says Bashar al-Assad is essential to reform. There seems to be consensus that the uprisings in Syria have been agitated by Jordanian and Saudi forces. The uprisings, insofar as they are anti-government, do not seem to be legitimate. (which is not to say anything about the protesters' actual grievences, which very well may be legitimate)

  4. Here's a good article, though a couple days old, explaining how syria is different than egypt or tunisia:

    The Arab awakening and Syrian exceptionalism


    If Assad succeeds -- and it seems, thus far, to be heading in that direction -- the calculation by some external analysts that Assad will emerge somehow weakened by greater popular participation seems improbable: Much of his personal popularity rests precisely on his foreign-policy stance, in which he has been closely aligned with popular sentiment. More probable is that Assad will emerge with his stature enhanced, and Syria will be set on a course for resuming its traditional place at the center of Arab politics. Correctly understood, a strengthened Syria offers a better prospect for resolving present regional tensions, rather than aggravating them.

  5. Oh, oh, over here. Me! I and a number of my countrymen are of the opinion that our government is short-sighted, largely uninformed and at least in international matters largely determined by the whims of those in charge this election cycle. I sincerely doubt our government had any idea how Iraq would turn out or thought about it much in advance, much less some deviously complicated way to exploit Iraq in secret. They are making it up as they go along. If you find the prospect of our malevolence or incompetence more alarming, however, I leave for you to determine.

    For a few words on the matter at hand, US and Iranian investment don't have to be mutually exclusive you know. There is no particular reason you can't do business with both. India, China, Russia and a lot of other countries do. I'd say Iraq can use all the investment it can get from whatever quarter.

    Think again Akritas:

    How to Attack Iraq from 1998.

    Project for a New American Century

    June 3, 1997

    American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

    We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

    As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

    We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

    We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.

    Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

    Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

    • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global

    responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

    • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

    • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

    • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

    Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

  6. The West isn't so bad. Obviously they have given you a good home. :-)


    I don't generally have a problem with American domestic policy. Obviously there are problems, but what society does not have problems? My problem is that the good life I live comes at the cost of bad lives lived elsewhere. Were it not for the greedy, we would realize Earth provides enough resources for everyone,.

  7. Some US troops may stay in Iraq beyond withdrawal

    After talks in Saudi Arabia where he has reassured the king that the US remains a steady friend, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Baghdad and says the Obama administration would keep US troops in Iraq beyond the agreed final withdrawal date. ‘Iraqis need to decide pretty quickly in order for the Pentagon to accommodate the extension,’ he says

  8. That might be a good thing. Too many people use religion to justify evil actions.

    most of the time religion gets co-opted for such purposes. wars of aggression are more often than not started by the greedy regardless of faith. I would even go so far as to speculate that the imperialist tendencies of the West are more the legacy of Rome than are those tendencies the legacy of Vatican City. Constantine and the rest read into Christianity what they wanted to read. Or, stated differently, the imperialist tendencies within Western Christianity (cannot really comment on the Eastern Orthodox church) have their roots in Imperial Rome.

  9. i have not noticed my cat do sajdah, but every time i pray, he will get up from where he is at and come over and rub against my legs for a few seconds, and then often lay next to the prayer mat in the direction of qibla. of course his tail always gets in the way and so i accidentally step on it or crush it with my knee, and then he gets mad at me.

    i also think he might think i am praying to him.

  10. Your Parents are to be blamed for your situation. Islam teaches us not leave young girls alone with a namaharam. Most of the boys would have done the same thing if given the chance. Especially if their faculty of good and bad is not trained at that age in comaprision to their sexual urges. Man react very fast to sexual urge. They get sexually aroused very easily. And their urges are very frequent unlike women. A father in Islam is not allowed to sit his baligh daughter (7 to 9 yrs) on his lap. You will not understand because you are a girl and you might think him as a beast.

    You are one step away from blaming the victim. And no, most men would not do the same thing if given the chance. Nor would many fathers show their beastliness to any of their daughters regardless of age.

    Islam also teaches us personal responsibility for our actions. The cousin is to be blamed.

    As for advice to the sister, i don't have anything to add to what has already been stated. If you do decide to bring it out into the open (which might protect other young girls in your family), many unintended consequences will be the result. Not a light decision by any means. You might watch "Monsoon Wedding." I thought the issue of childhood sexual abuse was more than superficially covered in that movie, and given the Indian cultural setting, you may find it more useful than anecdotes from a more specifically western source. May Allah bring you comfort and guidance.

  11. anyone who has ever had a pet knows that animals are more than 'just mechanical.' Obviously they do not have the same sort of reasoning capabilities as the humans do but they do have unique mannerisms that set them apart from other individuals within the same breed who more or less look identical. An animal may seem insignificant, but how insignificant are the humans compared to Allah?

  12. This may be used as a pretext for yet another prolonged attack on the Gaza Strip.

    IDF plans Gaza action as Hamas vacates positions


    May Allah (swt) protect our brethren in Palestine.

    except the environment has completely changed. if the israelis are that stupid, they are likely be even stupider and expand the war to lebanon and iran. May Allah protect the righteous ones.

  13. False. Religious knowledge, like any other form of knowledge, operates in it's own sphere and is not designed to answer questions outside that sphere. Religion, for example, has no answer for scientific problems; ask how to extract energy from coal with minimal environmental impact and our knowledge of Islam has nothing to say; ask how to write the perfect novel, or paint the perfect picture and our knowledge of Islam has nothing to say.

    One could go on, but I don't mean to belabor the point. Islam is something great, but our knowledge of it is limited and even if it wasn't, which is impossible, there are many issues outside of it's purview. Furthermore, history bears out the fact that Islam and the societies of Muslims have been beset with problems they have been unable to solve for centuries. It feels good to say Islam has the answer to everything, but it is untrue.


  14. BP has $50 billion invested in Libya, therefore George Galloway alleges that the war on Libya is to protect their interests. He backs himself up, asking why nothing is being done about Yemen or Bahrain, if the west indeed is concerned about civilians.

    American politicians currently have some battle armor against BP's interests considering the devastation of the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe it's only trivial, but if the Americans keep their noses out of the internal politics as much as possible in Libya, commercial contracts can eventually be secured there only this time those contracts will be negotiated with the aim of benefiting the Libyan people instead of the Ghadaffi family. Of course that depends on the people being victorious there which in turn is dependent on realpolitik giving way to higher ideals. Oh to be blissfully naive.

  15. The Holy Prophet (as) tried to maintain good relations with his tribe for as long as he could. Bani Quraysh are responsible for the battles they had with the Prophet. The fact that the Prophet never denounced his tribal heritage (though he did put its importance as subservient to an individual's Faith in Allah) gives support to an Islamic acceptance of a national identity not based on religion. On the one hand democracy is supposed to represent the will of the people, but as in the United States, we have in our constitution the Bill of Rights. Without this bill of rights, minority rights would be much harder to secure against the will of the people. The Holy Prophet's opinions about his tribe will give us ideas on how to create an Islamically palpable nationalism.

    Can someone more versed in hadith than me expand on the Prophet's (a) opinions about his tribe? Did he ever try to dis-affiliate from Banu Quraysh for reasons other than because they were attacking him?

  16. Dear sister

    You are not crazy at all.

    Though I was born Muslim, I too have investigated several religions before I decided that Shia Islam was the right religion.

    Your wish to investigate is very healthy indeed.

    I live too far away from England to be of any real help.

    But I have made some notes on the teachings of Islam. It is in the form of a Word document. The document is not complete but I could send you what I have now and send you the final version when it is completed.

    I can send you the document if you give me your email address. If you wish to do that, it might be better if you do so by the PM (personal message) facility of this forum, as then your email will not be publicly exposed.

    Also, I like to inform you that the language of the Quran is somewhat terse. It can easily confuse the beginner.

    So, do read the Quran, but before you do so, perhaps you might like to read the book 'Ali the Magnificant' by Yusuf Laljee (sometimes spelt Yousuf Laljee). It might give you some idea of the character of Imam Ali.

    Please also try and read letter no. 53 in the book called the Nahjul Balagha. This book is a compilation of the sermons and letters of Imam Ali. And this letter that I just mentioned was written by Imam Ali, when he assumed caliphate, to his governor-designate in Egypt, a person by the name of Malik-e-Ashtar.

    Both books are available at Amazon Books, links given below :--





    The letter is a virtual charter of the declaration of human rights.


    Excellent suggestions. Here is a direct link to letter 53 in Nahjul Balagha. Melymel, that whole website is a great resource to explore. You are always welcome here at shiachat as well.

  17. However, I heavily doubt she is talking about abuse Photi.

    Poetry is abstract. I was trying not to assume too much about _jen_. I assumed the poem was about suffering and was only speaking generally about abuse as one form of suffering. Suffering is often a part of the greater Jihad all Muslims should make. Imam Hussein (as) was not responsible for the suffering he and his people endured, yet we can be sure he approached his suffering with the proper attitude. Humans usually cannot control the onset of suffering, but they do have control over the way in which they deal with suffering. If suffering is properly dealt with, the resulting struggle will lead to positive spiritual growth and will expand one's capacity to be human, subhanallah.

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