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The religious experience that was the “Avatar”

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The religious experience that was the “Avatar”

January 07, 2014 Bloggies by Saqib Bashir Edit

I remember going to watch the Avatar a good few years back at the cinema. It was the hottest movie out at the time and I had to go and watch it. Now, for most people it was just a movie and they probably felt as they might have felt when e.g. watching Terminator 2 back in the day at the cinema. However, for me it was more than that. As I was watching the movie, I couldn’t help but see a few parallels. First of all, the world that the movie creator had come up with was something that I could never had imagined – suspended mountains, waterfalls that go nowhere, plants that glow at night – simply amazing. It reminded me of how heaven is described in my religion as being a place that no eyes have seen and no mind can imagine. It just made me think what heaven would be like as this world in Avatar that amazed me, was still a product of a human mind!

 

Secondly, the Navi reminded me of the world of today. Beings that are quite low tech, very involved in their religion being hunted by a materialistic group of people with advanced weapons who want to kill Navi to get their hands on something that is under their feet… hmmmm!

Real terrorism

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Real terrorism

February 16, 2013 Bloggies by Saqib Bashir Edit

I liked the answer of this German Muslim scholar when he was asked about terrorism and Islam :

He said :

Who started the first world war? not Muslims ?

Who started the second world war ? not Muslims ?

Who killed about 20 millions of Aborigines in Australia ? not Muslims ??

Who sent the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? not Muslims ?? killed more than 100 millions of Indians in North America ? not Muslims ??

Who killed more than 50 millions of Indians in south America ? not Muslims ??

Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves and 88% of them died and were thrown in Atlantic ocean ? not Muslims ??

No , NOT Muslims!!!

First of all, You have to define terrorism properly...

If a non-Muslim does something bad..it is crime. But if a Muslim commits the same..he is a terrorist...

So first remove this double standard...then come to the point!!! , . . . .

Where no Muslim has gone before!

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Where no Muslim has gone before!

December 18, 2010 Bloggies by Saqib Bashir Edit

The Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations had just finished giving a speech, and walked out into the lobby where he met President Bush.
They shook hands, and as they walked the Iranian said, ''You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America.''
President Bush said, "Well, anything I can do to help you, I will."
The Iranian whispered: ''My son watches this show 'Star Trek' and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, Uhura who is Black, and Sulu who is Chinese, but no Arabs. My son is very upset and doesn't understand why there aren't any Iranians, Syrians, or Iraqis on "Star Trek."
President Bush laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered: ''It's because it takes place in the future.''

I read a variation of the above joke many years ago.. I smiled and ignored it. I am a big fan of Star Trek and have been following it since 1994. I know that its just a sci-fi program and one shouldn't think about it too much but it is interesting to analyse how Americans see the future. Federation is just a future version of USA.. They go around recruiting people into their group as long as they fit into their mould perfectly. They tout a philosophy of moral higher ground and are constantly praised by the aliens for their uniqueness and their capacity to adapt and grow. However, why is it that most of the people are from what was USA (in the 24th century) or the current powers such as UK, China, France, USSR and Japan? Why are all the federation head quarters and offices in the USA? And the most important question, WHAT DID THEY DO TO the MUSLIMS?!?!

I would have loved to hear a reference to a federation office in Islamabad, Kabul or Riyadh. I would have like to see captain Sisko as a Sudanese rather than from new-orleans! The only thing that came closest of an acknowledgement of Muslims in the 24th century was Dr. Julian Bashir!! So the guy couldn't even secure a Muslim first name. He acted just like everyone else.. had the same ethics and lack of Muslim values such as romancing any woman he set his eyes on! But the crown in the jewel turned out to be a revelation that he was genetically engineered! A person who was remotely Muslim couldn't even secure a job amongst the USA born fellas without cheating! He had to genetically 'enhance' himself just to be able to compete with them! Oh well, I guess in the Americans eyes, Muslims are a lower form of life. In an idealistic view of  Americans' future, they have eliminated hunger, greed and Muslims.

Cost of assimilation

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Cost of assimilation

December 11, 2010 Bloggies by Saqib Bashir Edit

When we visit a different country, we are expected to adapt to the situation - 'When in Rome....'? E.g. when we go to an Islamic country, we dress slightly more modestly than when we are, say, on a beach. But that is when we just go for a week-or-twos' holidays. What if we have moved to a country later in our lives that is different to our native country or what if we are second or third generation citizen of that country. Regardless of whether we are born in a non-native country or we emigrated there, the question remains as to who we really are. As I said earlier, we all adapt - we pick up a different language, we pick up part of the culture that belongs to the country that we are living in etc. But do we fundamentally change who we are? Do I name my next son John Saqib Bashir? Do I encourage them to embrace the host culture so much so that the only difference between us and host culture is the colour of our skin and the country where I and parents of my son's friends were born?

I have seen both! I have seen someone named Steven Singh. I have seen someone called Jean-Philipe Phan (a guys from Chinese decent living in france). I have seen someone called Yousuf Youhanna (a Christian chap living in Pakistan). I have seen people acting so much like the people of their host country that the only difference between them is the colour of their skin. However, is that really needed? Do I need to be Zach Bashir in order to assimilate myself in the host culture? I would say no. Your heritage is a gift. Whether your roots are deeply English, Chinese, Asian or African, you should embrace who you are and not get swept away with a desire to blend in. No matter if my son was called Steven Bashir, he will be called 'Paki' in a road-rage incident or in a good ol' cussin' at school no matter if he had dyed his hair blond, had an ear stud and was wearing half-jeans!. So even if I am a third or fourth generation Kashmiri, why should I call my self John or Peter if I will always be a 'Paki' based on my skin colour when push comes to a shove?

As for language, I have a cousin who very proudly announces that her children can only speak English. Not being able to speak their native language (in this case Urdu) is a good thing for many.

Then there is religion. In a bid to become all alike, I feel everyone is distancing themselves from their religion. I work with a lot of Christian people who dont really practice their religion, I know Sikhs who dont really follow their religion and the same holds true for other major religions including Islam. Every religion is hard - it requires some sort of devotion to God, it requires us to abstain from evil, it requires us to honour marriage etc. All of this takes time and self control. Most people cant be bothered to do what their religion tells them to do and also frown upon someone who avidly follows their. The end results is that devotion to religion becomes as diluted as one's background and heritage.

So the final question is - if one doesn't have their heritage, one doesn't have their language, one doesn't have the name given by their parents (will my son Ibrahim be Ibby one day? yuk) and one doen't have the religion - what does one have? The cost of just being able to assimilate into the crowd is too high in my opinion.

But God made me this way..

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But God made me this way..

April 13, 2010 Bloggies by Saqib Bashir Edit

So being Gay is in fashion. These days we look around and find that many people in our lives are Gay. I recently found out that a guy I was friends with as a child is Gay (no - not Husham!). Whilst that will not make me shun a friend, I disagree with this phenomenon and would react unkindly if a member of family were to be Gay.

But how is it their fault? They have a tendency that makes them attracted to same sex (or repelled by opposite sex). Well, I believe that there are a few factors. When i was a young boy I hated girls. I was comfortable around boys and they are whom I socialised with and played with. Had someone told me that hating girls means that I was Gay and being gay was okay, I am quite sure I would have been one today. So the first factor is social acceptability.There are many other factors but I will not cover them in this entry.

Islam talks about ancient nations where sodomy was widespread. Allah destroyed those nations. So gays have been around a very long time. In the time of religious ignorance it becomes widespread and in the time of religious enlightenment it becomes scarce and goes underground.

Being gay is no different from being an alcoholic, thief, child molester and so forth. It is a state of mind where a person desires something which is not good for them or frowned upon by society. Gays argue that such comparison with thieves or alcoholic is not fair as in their relationship there are two consenting adults and doesnt hurt anyone. Although I see the logic, I disagree with them. They are hurting society and going against natural order. If being gay is natural than I challenge two men or women to procreate without intervention from opposite sex. I challenge a guy to breast feed 'their' child and a girl to provide a father figure. They cant. It is not natural.


There is however something that finishes the argument once and for all. If you believe in God and his books and the last day, you cant justify being gay as it is strictly forbidden. If you want to have a shot at not burning in hell for eternity, you will have to control your desires just the same way as a man controls himself when he sees a beautiful and willing woman (or vice versa), just in the same way as the person who loves money sees an old woman walking alone with a million pounds and resists robbing her, just the same way as a person who sees drugs and says no, just the same way as a person who resists telling a lie where the truth will hurt them, just the same as a person who turns away when they had a chance to cheat a gullible couple out of their life savings. Every one has their demons. Every one has to resist them. Gay men and women, you are no different than the rest of us who have to spend our whole lives fighting our weaknesses to earn the favour of our Lord.


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