Archive for the ‘Religion/Faith’ Category

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Speak Up or Shut Up

Honestly, I am so tired of it. You’re having a conversation, there is a group of people discussing a topic, of course it is something controversial, aren’t most things these days? You have someone who will voice the most contentious and provocative of comments, more often that not it begins with ‘I’m not being funny but….’ and then they make some ridiculous statement….and most will let it slide. I wont.

Why? Because I am a argumentative self righteous zealot? No… well maybe.. no.. its because I truly am open to learning from others. Honest to God. I am more than willing to accept your point of view, HOWEVER, I do require you to support them. I will subjugate them to a debate. I want you to expand upon your statement, explain it, convince my of its wisdom. After all shouldnt we be talking from the mind and not out of our asses?

So why do I become the bad guy in a debate? Because I wont roll over and accept what you have to say at face value? I thought that was sensible. Forgive me for wanting you to explain why you just made the most stupid comment since they handed American Pop Stars a mic and asked them to weigh in on the Presidential race.

I come may from a specific culture, generation and faith, which of course shapes who I am and what I believe, but I have always looked for wisdom in other sources because I feel it is to be found everywhere. We are all trying to say the same thing in our own different way. The Universal Truth. So I dont close my mind off. But I do have a huge filtering process. I may take part of your truth and discard what doesnt sit with the core of what I have tested and then hold to be true.

So if I ask you to clarify your statement please do not proceed to project your insecurities upon me.

If you want to talk with me, then be prepared to justify what you say.

I want to clarify something, I don’t approach conversations with hostility or the desire to demean or crush someone in a debate. That is arrogant and can yeild no true learning, as there is no honesty and opneness to gleaning wisdom. I want to learn, so I am open. I am extremely passionate and opinionated, true, but I am open to being won over by a superior belief or value. I would be so grateful to you if you could impart a wisdom and intelligence I didn’t previously know. That is the greatest gift. I love to talk with and surround myself with people who inspire and challenge me to be the best version of a human that it is possible to be.

Perhaps it is seen as ‘respectful’ to ‘just agree to disagree’. In certain situations that definitely applies. However, when what the other person is saying, goes beyond a difference of opinion, and strays into grounds of ignorance and divisive hate, then you should challenge it. Not allow cowardice or debilitating passisitivity to allow such thoughts to fester and grow.

What you chose to ignore today may become something you have to physically fight tomorrow.

History has proved that.

If you cannot support your ideals then shut up. Why voice then unless you are willing to expand upon the thought process that brought you to holding that opinion. Maybe because there was no thought process? Living your life by headlines. Or maybe because what has brought you to believing these things is racism, ignorance, predujiscm and fear.

 

 

When did ‘debate’ become unpopular.

When did intellectual war become secondary to physical war?

When did challening anothers beliefs become rude and disrespectful.

(I have to put a HUGE DISCLAIMER here, that what I am advocating is Healthy, Productive and RESPECTFUL debate and interaction. Motivated by a genuine desire to learn and improve one another.)

I feel that if you question your own beliefs, put them through the wringer, analyse them with the sharpest eye…then you have more chance of actually embodying what you preach. I dont like to think and say one thing and do another, so I have to constantly question myself and what I am learning and believing.

If you think I’m harsh when debating with you, just know I am ten times harsher with myself. I dont allow myself leeway for ignorance, stupidity, hypocrisy or predujicsm. So I wont allow you much either.

Sorry if that makes me a contentious person. I guess you’ll either stop talking to me or apply the same process upon yourself.

So the choice is yours, Speak Up or Shut Up!

 

If you cant take it there then do us a favour and….

 …you tell em Mr T! 

 

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Love

Zishaan ‘ZuZu’ Shafi

Innocence of Muslims; Artistic? Comedic? Stupidity?

I rarely write directly about current events. My post, ‘The Price of Freedom is Responsibility’, which I posted soon after beginning my Blog, was the last time I came close to doing so. Yet I felt compelled to discuss this directly and then expand upon the general issues I feel these events have exposed.

‘Innocence of Muslims’ is a two hour long independent movie regarding the life and message of the Prophet Muhammad, of the Islamic Faith.

The man behind the film is shrouded in mystery. Originally identified as Sam Bacile, a 52 year old Israeli-born Jew, his story did not add up. The AP investigated the identity of the film maker and found him to be a Californian called Nakoula Basseley. Nakoula, 55, told AP the was a Coptic Christian and admitted he was involved in logistics and management of the film’s production.He denied being the director or posing as Sam Bacile, but AP said reporters had traced the phone number to an address near where they found Mr Nakoula. He has received support from an American right-wing extremist called Steve Klein, linked with various anti-Islamic groups in California, and also Pastor Terry Jones from Florida, whose anti-Muslim actions have included burning Qurans.It is also the cause of rioting across muslim populated countries which followed after several trailers of the film where posted on Youtube and Google.

The release of the trailers sparked immediate reactions from Muslims across the world. The majority took to Social Networking sites to express their condemnation and outrage, some took to the streets…and some took it too far.

On Tuesday, in Benghazi, Libya, demonstraters stormed the US Embassy and murdered the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and three other embasssy staff members.

Other demonstrations have been seen across muslim populated countries. In Egypt, protestors climbed the walls of the U.S Embassy on Tuesday in Cairo and brought down the flag. In Yemen, hundreds of protesters, enraged by the film stormed the U.S. Embassy on Thursday in the capital of Sanaa and burned the American flag. In Iraq, several hundred Muslims protested in Baghdad’s Sadr City,

The events have of course been hijacked by the Republican Party and its Politicians, all of whom are manipulating it to their favour, to convince Americans just why it wouldn’t have happened under their watch and how their response would be louder, stronger and more along the lines of them screaming ‘USA! USA! USA’ as bombs peppered every square inch of Benhazi.

Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, accused Barack Obama of ‘apologizing for American values’ because of a conciliatory statement from the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. Romney said Obama’s first reaction was to sympathize with the attackers rather than to condemn the attacks.

The statement from the U.S Embassay in Cario said; “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

The whole series of events is deeply saddening and further inflames tensions between groups, and for what?

There is a culture where it is seen fitting to attack Religions and Religious Figures in some bid to uphold Liberalism, Atheism and Freedom. Whether is is under the guise of ‘Comedy’ or ‘Art’, there seems to be a need for some individuals to deliberately target values and persons who are held dear to the very core of millions of people.

Is it a case of ‘Because I Can I Will!!!

However I think that any human being with a shred of compassion and intelligence can agree that just because you CAN say something does not mean that you SHOULD. Especially if it will hurt another fellow human.

Intention Dictates Result!

When your mind and heart is full of hatred, do you expect anything you say to result in positive discussion or reflection? NO! 

There are many things which I do not agree with. If I go and attack them, I am not likely to change them. If I raise questions, challenge and debate people on them, whilst demonstrating good manners and respect, then perhaps I will create change, maybe I wont. But any chance of doing so is GONE as soon as I let anger or hatred enter the equation.

Comedy is a reoffending culprit. The defence of many Comics is they are trying to make people ask questions of themselves whilst cushioning the philosophical punch with humour. I think comedy and satire can be highly effective at producing introspection. Yet increasingly, comedic routines seem to be only creating hurt and offence, rather than deep internal thought. The ‘NOTHING SHOULD BE OFF LIMITS’ argument means low brow, unintelligent, crass and base comics are taking a stab at topics far beyond their ability. The hurt and offence they cause seems to give them no trouble, which affirms that the intention behind their comedy is purely to savage something they dont like, just so that they can get it off their chest.

Freedom To Hate. How lovely. How nice that this Hate Speech is encoruaged and protected, yet in other instances it can land you in jail. So why the double standard? Why can Billy Connoly attribute false and hateful things to Islam but Producers or Actresses cant talk about Zionism without getting fired from their jobs?

This is an example where Comedy turns nasty and hateful;

Whilst this is an example where Comedy tries to make us ask questions of what we believe in;

There is a difference in approach, mind set and aim. It comes across. One turned my stomach. The other made me think. 

I despise anyone who feels it is ok to publicly hate upon, ridicule, mock, vilify and slander another human being or the lifestyle and beliefs of others. I feel that such people are accountable for the events which ensue due to their words or actions. The blood of the innocent, who died due to these events, are as much on ‘Same Bacile’ as they are upon the men who physically commited the murders.

I am angered by the reaction of some Muslims to the provocation of ‘Bacile’. He stated in a phone interview that ‘Islam is a cancer.’ This clearly declares his intention. Hate. He hates the religion, so of course the film will mirror his feelings. Hate. He then received Hate in return. Law of Attraction much?

Yet I do not feel saddened that Muslims had this opportunity to respond with intelligence and dignity, but they were robbed of their chance, as a small group of them decided to counter hate with hate. That achieves nothing. Anger only intensifies an issue. It does not Resolve. They could have mirrored the very Prophet that they are defending, by emulating his calm and well mannered response to the extreme provocation that he faced during his life. Instead they have turned popular public opinion against Islam and provided some smug satisfaction and reaffirmed in the minds of those who propeagte Islamphobia, that this is precisely why Islam should be attacked. 

I am tired of stupid people trying to convince everyone that we are different, that we should hate one another and that anything they don’t understand is evil and should be stopped. I am tired of mindless reaction to provocation. I am tired of people defending their right to hurt others.

What the hell happened to ‘If you cant say something nice, don’t say anything at all’. To ‘think before you speak’. To ‘turning the other cheek’. 

What happened to HUMANITY?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Yours Truly

Zishaan ‘ZuZu’ Shafi

Religion Is For Idiots?

These days the cry is getting louder and louder, given amplification by the scientific voices of the 21st century, that religion is for idiots. Each age has harboured such heralds, but these people have become leaders and their cries have become chants which are spoken as fact.

Richard Dawkins, David Attenborough, Steven Hawkins and many other popular and well known faces of science, vehemently affirm that an intelligent mind would not believe in the fairytale of God. They strive to look at the world and see the absence of God. They look to not see it, so of course they miss it.

They don’t have open minds, so their findings will always be flawed. If you are not open to the possibility that there could be a God, then you haven’t disproved their being one, you’ve ignored it.

They are in the business of God Refusion.

They work tirelessly to provide alternatives, why?

‘For modern day life requires it. We cannot continue to engage in time gone practices and beliefs.’

‘Why? Has man changed? Has yesterdays truth become a lie today?’

‘Modern day people are too intellectually evolved and enlightened to keep perpetuating the myth of God.’

‘Why? What do we now know that answers the fundamental questions and mysteries of life?’

The answer is: NOTHING!

Nothing has been ventured by science which answers the fundamental. All we have is more description of process and details of life. But we are being taught and forced into thinking that we do have concrete answers and explanations which you would believe in if you were not stupid.

Why is it being said that religion is the easy way out? Why is there a demonisation of believers? Why is it being said that a thinking mind will birth an atheist belief?

I have an intellectual belief in God and my Religion.

You could too, if you were able to dissect, explore and expand upon notions and processes of thinking. In order to do so however you must leave aside your prejudice, preconceptions and ego. You have to have an open mind which will lead you to the truth and then allow you to accept it. It seems that these days, over complication is the disease which is taking us from the truth.

I want to discuss just a few thinking processes, theories and signs, to clarify why i have said all of the above.

First of all I want to look at Logic. This has been hijacked by atheist science, and is used to retort all that a person of faith may say.

‘WELL LOGICALLY THAT MAKES NO SENSE!!!’

Right, so let us explore that. If you want to clutch onto logic, then you should apply it to its fullest extent. Let us apply it to the theories science has offered to explain how life began. That is where logic must first be applied.

The first explanation we are given, the one most unanimously agreed upon, is the ‘Big Bang Theory’.

(no, not that one. the other one)

The suggestion that an explosion which caused destruction and chaos, also caused the formation of our planet and solar system, a structure which is perfect in every aspect.

So what is being said is an explosion caused perfection. That is logical to you? A RANDOM collision, which was not ordered or guided, just occurred RANDOMLY, between rock and matter, along with RANDOMLY PERFECT amounts of heat, gases and forces, which all RANDOMLY were present at that moment, created perfection. Right!

(isnt that how it normally goes?)

So if I put all the components of a watch into a sealed container, fed heat and energy into it, and had it mechanically oscillate, rotate and crash the contents together, then I could expect a fully formed Rolex to be produced?

If the process is repeated a million times over, would you believe that could happen? Yet you would believe in that process being responsible for the creation of the planet you walk upon.

A planet, which sits at a degree perfect placement to the Sun. A degree closer or farther from the Sun, and Earth would not be inhabitable for life. Such PERFECTION from a RANDOM COLLISION. Where else has science ever proved such randomness to create such perfection? Where else can you see perfection being born from destruction?

Think of all the collisions you can conjure up, is there ANYTHING in it that can be predicted? Is there any aspect of it which is controlled? Has it ever produced anything but anarchy of matter?

The same intellectual ludicrousness is expected of you when science tries to explain how human life has come to be. Evolution.

(no, not that one)

(this one!)

The less spoken part of the Evolution Theory is that the whole thing was caused by Random Mutation. You’ll hear lecturers talk about that aspect for a minute, then drone on for hours about what came after. But again, I ask you to apply simple logic to it. Would you believe that a RANDOM genetic mutation could occur in today’s age and lead to the X-Men characters conjured by Marvel?

Because that is exactly what you are accepting by believing in the Evolution theory. That by chance, just one day, for no reason, purely randomly, a mutation occurred which led to a process of an extremely complicated higher life form being produced.

A mutation, a random mutation, created an infinitely, intricately, complicated creation. Cancer is caused by mutation, and it caused death and destruction of organisms. But this one. This one created life. Right!

A kind of mutation still not seen, in the millions of years since life has said to have been on Earth. Millions of years on, we still have not seen it manifest itself. But it occurred, randomly, and we have to thank it, for that is why we are here? If a student were to use random mutation to justify a theory that one day elephants will be able to walk on water, the thesis would be mocked and discarded, rightly so. But we can accept that a cell within an ape mutated and lead to a human. Right!

The Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang, rely upon heavy explanation of process rather than focusing upon what initiated the process. I could believe in the process, but not without believing that it was guided and controlled by a supreme hand, which had the supreme power to cause it.

Limitations plague all of Creation. All that lives was created. Man is the product of Creation, not of Process. So as limited beings you can only make that which is inferior in its capabilities than you. You cannot produce that which is superior in organic, physical and energy properties than you possess.

It is only logical that a Supreme Body, which due to its Higher Capabilities was the one that created, guided and initiated it all. For that is true in every other aspect of life that we accept. So why is it not accepted there.

You would NEVER believe that a baby could wash the dishes, mow the lawn, tidy the house and balance your cheque book. You would NEVER accept that a koala bear could create a mobile phone. You would NEVER accept that the most powerful and sophisticated technology created a horse foal. Because you can see the limitation all of those things have and you can see how they could never make something that is beyond their capability. So how did non living, simple structured organisms and inanimate forces create the vast complexities of LIFE?! Of Humans and Earth, and all that it carries?!

Science cannot answer the tough aspect of Creation. The Beginning. Yes, you can plant a seed for it to grow into a tree. You can incubate an egg to hatch a chicken, but can we create an egg or a seed? Can we put cells, blood and tissues together and create a human? No. The secret of life, the secret of the beginnings of all organisms is still a secret, which is irreproducible.


So I want to ask you, who is more stupid? The one who spends their life discussing process when their foundation is flawed? Or the one who is able to see the truth from simple facts?

Apply all the laws, theories and beliefs of modern science, (when it comes to explaining life), to everyday situations and you’ll laugh at what your being asked to believe, yet you believe they when it comes to the most crucial aspect of your existence.

If you know who made you and how, then you can go on to answering the why and what now.

So religion is not for idiots. It is for the smart.

 

Your Thoughts?

Zishaan ‘ZuZu’ Shafi