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In the Name of God بسم الله

Haji 2003

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Everything posted by Haji 2003

  1. How would an aim know about what a specific individual is doing in the privacy of their own room?
  2. I am not sure how true all of that is. Certainly in 2020 there was a lot of press coverage of private flights between Israel and Saudi carrying Netanyahu.
  3. This is on the FT, but not behind a paywall, basically because it's a big ad by the Saudis: https://ft-ithra.trunky.net/cultural-renaissance-in-saudi-arabia??utm_source=FT&utm_medium=Premium_Native_Amplification
  4. so given the fact that there are Shia murderers out there, if you look hard enough, that gives everyone else a free pass?
  5. I disagree that these platforms are naturally and purposely malign. It's like books. The vast majority have dubious content, that does not mean that there is something inherently wrong with the printed word! Your experience of Twitter depends on who you follow, what you choose to read and how you respond. For the sake of their own business model Twitter will not start sending you material that you have not shown any interest in and you can use the preferences function to suit your needs. Twitter has allowed me to get regular updates from health professionals about covid (some of which I have reposted here), in the traditional media such professionals voices have been drowned out by idiots.
  6. I am not writing about challenging the Western led economic order. The focus has been on those aspects of socialism that seem to be consistent with Islam. To that end there are Western economies (Scandinavian ones) that also seem consistent with various socialist principles.
  7. This was more than likely a throwback to the colonial era. Interestingly post Independence Pakistan and India pursued quite different policies. Pakistan was along the open-markets approach you mention, India was much more Soviet inspired. India endured some level of hardship for about 40 years (not being able to drink Coke etc.), but since then has outperformed Pakistan. I believe that the NON - open borders, free trade, supranational governance, and capitalistic economics approach can be effective for at least certain periods and at certain times of an economy's development. The development of China is another example that I think supports this idea. Now that the US does not have the advantage in every arena, we're finding Americans appreciating this as well! Ultimately adherence to social justice can be measured and societies can decide how much or little of it that they want. There is also a debate to be had about suitable proxies for social justice. One measure is the Gini co-efficient, which measures income inquality: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/gini-coefficient-by-country The quotation above refers to another measure, which is the % of the population living below the poverty level.
  8. For clarity I think it should be explained that social media has certain characteristics that no one can do anything about (I think). The concept here is referred to as a 'positive network externality', in sum, with social media the benefits you get from it depend on who else is on it. If no one you know uses Facebook, then it's useless for you. If everyone uses it, then it's great. This makes such businesses natural monopolies, you are very likely to get a tiny number of dominant players. This has implications for Mark Zuckerberg: He can't charge people for using Facebook, if he did it would put them off. He has to try and make sure that people use it as much as possible, because if they drift off, then he'll lose them. And if he can do the above he can make money from the data he collects and advertising he can offer. The above threats are very real. There used to be a dominant social media website called Myspace and everyone has seen that just because you dominate short-term gives you no God given right to continue doing so. Myspace is effectively dead. Right now there is a similar battle being played out in the travel industry, booking.com has been a threat to many different players, but Google's travel offerings are getting better by the month. Soon the company all others used to be terrified of, might see Google eat its lunch (in my opinion). Facebook sees competition from a host of alternatives - anything really that attracts eyeballs - including computer games (their annual accounts are clear about this). Meta therefore is Facebook's attempt as staying relevant. They are terrified of the next big thing and would rather introduce it than be eaten by it. I don't use Facebook, instagram for a very specific purpose but I do use WhatsApp.
  9. An interesting piece in today's Financial Times. It's behind a paywall, but other media may have covered it as well: https://www.ft.com/content/b1bb5dd0-e7ce-4e15-ac48-05d2d990f6c7
  10. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/13/hollywood-stars-back-emma-watson-after-palestinian-solidarity-post Other signatories are: Khalid Abdalla, actor; Udi Aloni, director; Carter Burwell, composer; Peter Capaldi, actor; Kathleen Chalfant, actor; Henry Chalfant, director; Julie Christie, actor; Elaine Collins, executive producer; Steve Coogan, actor, comedian; Liam Cunningham, actor; Charles Dance, actor; Andy de la Tour, actor; Frances de la Tour, actor; Stephen Dillane, actor; Brian Eno, composer; Bella Freud, designer ; Gael García Bernal, actor; Kerry Godliman, actor, comedian; Gemma Jackson, production designer; Jim Jarmusch, director; Asif Kapadia, director; Aki Kaurismäki, director; Peter Kosminsky, writer, director; Ralf Little, actor; Jim Loach, director; Ken Loach, director; Michael Malarkey, actor, musician; Art Malik, actor; Miriam Margolyes, actor; Matt McGorry, actor; David Michôd, director; Viggo Mortensen, actor; Oren Moverman, writer, director, producer; Mira Nair, director Rebecca O’Brien, producer; Maxine Peake, actor Michael Radford, writer, director; Dominic Rains, actor; Mark Ruffalo, actor; Susan Sarandon, actor; James Schamus, screenwriter, director; Elhum Shakerifar, producer; Robyn Slovo, producer; V (Eve Ensler), playwright Cat Villiers, producer Harriet Walter, actor; Mat Whitecross, director; Susan Wooldridge, actor; Ramy Youssef, actor, producer
  11. If I remember correctly the protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq were predominantly in western countries rather than Muslim ones. And the Guardians of the Two Holy Mosques actually allowed their territory to be used for the invasion. I see in the western media some surprise about the lukewarm support the Uyghurs are getting amongst Muslims. I think it's ultra cynical to assume that Muslim public opinion can be weaponised as and when it suits and then switched off when it does not.
  12. You can see where they are going with this. The Wahhabi clerics soon to be replaced by various international consultants and advisors telling them how to better follow some foreign ideology. Still clergy, but wearing different clothes. https://twitter.com/TurkiHAlhamad1/status/1481474905552175106
  13. @Northwest You said: The above reminds me of Reader's Digest articles about Muslim countries in the 1970s and 80s. At that time the challenge was very much against communism and the above perceived features of Islamic society were highlighted as a means of making common cause with western aligned Muslim countries such as Saudi and Iran. I think the Islamic reality is more complex than that. Clearly Islam is associated with mercantilism (given the profession of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). But one of the points of difference between Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) and his Umayyad contemporaries is his emphasis on social justice. Here is an extract from a commentary on the Nahjul Balagha: https://www.duas.org/pdfs/Nahjul-Balagha.pdf I'm quite comfortable with the idea that one objective for an Islamic state is social justice. The latter includes economic justice. If you take the example of healthcare and assess the health inequalities that arise in the American system, that do not arise in e.g. European ones, then certainly an Islamic state would be more likely to have healthcare systems more similar to the European version. Again more so the United States than European societies and I think the differences highlight the problems inherent in the American approach - where individuals and their tax exempt foundations start to challenge the authority of the State - this simply becomes a means by which the rich can exercise power over the poor. As for the issue of usury, I think this has very deep implications around the issue of capital accumulation by individuals and groups and also the manner in which risk taking functions in society. My understanding is that Islam encourages those with capital to take risks and therefore contribute to economic development and it discourages individuals from 'hoarding' capital which denies its application to productive use.
  14. Albeit as your quotations show, Islam regards him as a messenger and the New Testament does not.
  15. Interesting material about the sorts of people who deny vaccines and promote their alternatives:
  16. You are going to help out the rest of us a little bit here. Are you saying that: a. Jesus ((عليه السلام).) accepts whatever you do as being ok or b. believing in him results in your automatically adopting behaviours that he would appreciate (without even your needing to know about what his desires may be)?
  17. Translation: if there is a widow and she wants to do mutah with a married man, what's the ruling?
  18. Worth bearing in mind that sometimes these revolutions kick of suddenly for a reason - i.e. there is no decades long propaganda against the country in question. The example of Kazakhstan provides a possible reason why: https://www.ft.com/content/3b641286-fc89-4e80-a54e-76553ffd6c6d The Kazakh leadership had obviously paid 'protection money', but clearly there comes a point when other geo-political concerns take priority.
  19. Jurassic Park Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park says "You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you never bothered to ask if you should." Are changing attitudes towards transgenderism a function of technology? Would it be a fair assessment of human history to say that whenever we have developed the capability to do something we have, and whether or not we should has not really stopped us? The current debates around transgenderism reflect this, I think. It's more than a co-incidence that the awareness and attitudes around this have arisen at a time when the technology exists for individuals to effect gender re-assignment. The latter has made more culturally acceptable (at least in the West) an aspect of sexuality that was previously hardly discussed or even visible. In my opinion it was because westerners did not find it culturally acceptable to see transgendered men in everyday life that had been accepted in countries like India for centuries, though their status was marginal at best. Genetic modification The same issues arise when it comes to technology around genetics for example, where codes of ethics need to evolve to deal with developments about what is now possible. Clearly there will be a concomitant pressure on religious authorities to pass judgements on an increasingly wider array of issues. Some of these religious edicts will need to happen after the technology has developed, in other instances existing edicts will cover future developments, as argued in the following thread that I created about the intimate possibilities with androids. Nuclear and biological weapons come to mind as technologies that we can, but don't use. But in both instances it is the threat of retaliation which stops us. But where there has been little prospect of retaliation, people have used them, e.g. Churchil using chemical weapons in Iraq in the early 20th century. The implications for ulema As new rulings are needed to cater for technological developments that have significant moral, ethical and religious implications surely the power wielded by ulema will increase? There is the possibility that the variations in rulings between mar'je increase or alternatively they remain broadly similar. It will be interesting to see how religion evolves (or does not) as the broader technological environment develops.
  20. Inflammatory bowel disease in the Middle East https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jan/08/global-spread-of-autoimmune-disease-blamed-on-western-diet Also note (my bold): https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/dec/22/microplastics-may-be-linked-to-inflammatory-bowel-disease-study-finds
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