Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hanging a Woman Because She Spoke Against Islam

Islam is very confusing to me though I'm reading through the Qur'an in translation a second time, have lived in Palestine/Israel for seven months, have dialogged with Muslims for many years...

Consider the contradiction between the following noteworthy, positive witness against the ISLAMIC STATE by many Islamic scholars which ends: "In conclusion, God has described Himself as the ‘Most Merciful of the merciful’. He
created man from His mercy. God
says in the Qur'an: ‘The Compassionate One has taught the
Qur'an. God forgives all sins. Truly He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”’ (Al-Zumar, 39:53).And God knows best.
24th Dhul-Qi’da 1435 AH / 19th September 2014 CE"


A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to hang after she was accused of making 'blasphemous' comments about the prophet Mohammed during an argument.

While working as a berry picker in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a dispute with a group of Muslim women who objected to her drinking their water because as a Christian she was considered 'unclean'.

Hours after the incident one of the women reported mother-of-five Ms Bibi to a local cleric, claiming she had made disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed during the row.

As a result of the allegations, a furious mob arrived at Ms Bibi's home and savagely beat her and members of her family.
She was later arrested, charged with blasphemy and eventually sentenced to death - with her entire family forced to go into hiding after receiving threats on their lives.

This week, despite international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Ms Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned, meaning she now faces death by hanging.

Read more:

Human Rights Watch described the court's decision as a "disgrace to Pakistan's judiciary."
"Asia Bibi's case is an example of how Pakistan's vaguely worded blasphemy law has led to discrimination, persecution and murder since its imposition almost three decades ago," spokesman Phelim Kine told CNN.

Bibi's attorney, Naeem Shakir, told CNN on Monday that he would file an appeal once he had received a detailed copy of the judgment.
"I have a very strong case, I am sure the Supreme Court will provide us with relief. There is no concrete evidence against Asia Bibi, and the courts are only relying on the statement on those two women," Shakir said.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fish, Water, and Whatever...

First, a few quotes from David Foster Wallace’s fish story of water:

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?”

And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

“…learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.”

[Without awareness within, your only freedom will be] “The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation…”

“in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.”

“The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing is gonna come in. Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don't make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I'm gonna be pissed and miserable every time I have to shop. Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. About MY hungriness and MY fatigue and MY desire to just get home, and it's going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way. And who are all these people in my way?”

“But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently… [maybe the] lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line…been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department…”
Quotes from the 2005 Kenyon University Commencement Address by David Foster Wallace

Unfortunately, tragically, Wallace couldn't or wouldn't take his own advice in the end. For 20 years, he had been taking medicine for chronic depression. When there was a medical difficulty, he stopped taking the medication, and shortly thereafter, he hanged himself. Only 3 years after delivering this powerful speech on how one needs to be present and aware and giving, not controlled by inner or outer forces. Tragic.

The question is:
Am I (are you) living aware and seeking to understand others in the midst of daily irritants and serious trials, even tragic events?

Or are we like the two young fish?

Wallace’s wise words remind me of a passage in Scripture:

“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8


there’s the other fish story…

Two fish are swimming along not thinkingly aware (When do fish ever think aware, or humans for that matter? Read a little biology and a little human history).

Suddenly, the first fish crashes into an immovable object—and gills, “Dam!”

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox