Monday, April 29, 2013


Very well put this role of a 'mother' and/or 'housewife'.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Salma Javid Khan

Excellent, excellent, Divya........... :D .. no words!!!

The officer at the Driving License counter asked the lady "What is your occupation?"

The woman seeking renewal of her license seemed to be puzzled.

So the officer said "Ma'am, are you employed, have your own business or........

The woman replied "Oh, yes!! I have a full time occupation. I am a Mother"

Officer: "We don't have 'Mother' as an option for occupation. I will write it down as 'Housewife'. That takes care of all questions."

This had happened long ago, and was forgotten. Years later when I went to get my license, the Public Relations Officer was a somewhat pompous woman.

"Your occupation?" she asked in a rather authoritative tone.

I just had an inspiration and replied
"I am a researcher in the field of Child Development, Nutrition and Inter-personal Relationships"
The lady officer stared at me in amazement. I calmly repeated my statement and she wrote it down verbatim. Then, unable to conceal her curiosity, she politely asked "What exactly do you do in your profession, Ma'am?"

I was feeling good about having described my occupation so calmly and confidently... :)
So I replied "My research projects have been going on for a number of years (Mothers never retire!!). 
My research is conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field. I have two bosses. (One is God and the other is my entire family).
I have received two honours in this field. (A son and a daughter) 
My topic is considered to be the most difficult part of sociology.(All moms will agree!!).
I have to work more than 14 hours every day. Sometimes even 24 hours are not enough and the challenges are tougher than many other professions. My compensation is in terms of mental satisfaction rather than money"
I could see that the officer was thoroughly impressed.
After completing the licensing formalities, she came to the door to see me off.

This new viewpoint about my occupation made me feel much better on my way back home. I was welcomed by my 5 year old research assistant at the door. My new project (my 6 month old baby) was energetically practicing her 'music'.

I had earned a small victory over the Governmental red tape today. I was no longer 'merely a Mother', instead I was now a highly placed functionary in a service vital for Mankind -Motherhood!!
'Mother' - Isn't it a great title?
Fit to be added to the nameplate on the door!!
By this standard, grandmothers deserve to be called Senior Research Officers, and Great Grandmothers qualify as 'Research Directors'.
Aunts and other ladies of that age group can be called 'Research Facilitators'

David Versus Goliath: Dawkins, McGrath or Me – Who is the Most Rational? (Part I)

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David Versus Goliath: Dawkins, McGrath or Me – Who is the Most Rational? (Part I)

"When it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable." René Descartes

Prof. Richard Dawkins is facing Prof. Alister McGrath, who is in full view
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
In this debate or interview, the parties did not invite a Muslim, as is often the case with the Western scholars, despite the fact that God of Islam was frequently hijacked by Prof. Alister McGrath and often point of criticism by Prof. Richard Dawkins.
Why do I say that Islam was frequently hijacked by McGrath?
Many of the current Christian concepts are borrowed from Islam, without due acknowledgement.  I will give only two examples here.  Firstly, the pragmatic approach towards the offending party, rather than always turning the other cheek, which has become a hallmark of not only the Western civilization, but also Christianity, is an Islamic construct.
Secondly, when the Christian rationalists use the concept of Transcendent God, they are referring to the God of Islam, Judaism and Unitarian Christianity.  The Triune God of Trinitarian Christianity is not Transcendent, as Jesus had two natures, he was perfect man and fully divine.  His human nature was flesh and bones, born of virgin Mary and dwelled among us for more than thirty years.  Nevertheless, the Trinitarian Christians employ, bait and switch unknowingly, as they talk about God.  They mention God the Father and imply the Triune God of the Christian theology, a construction that took first 6 centuries of the Christian history to erect, through the different Ecumenical conferences and later coercion of Crusades and Inquisitions.
So, here I have taken the liberty to create a trilateral dialogue, between me and Dawkins and McGrath. They are welcome to participate and I promise that if any of them comments in this post, his comments will not be censored in any way. However, it is unlikely, at least for Dawkins that he will comment here, as I have exposed him before in the Muslim Times and have not heard from him.
In his refusal to debate Prof. William Lane Craig, he is on record saying that such a debate will look good on Craig's CV but not on his. Dawkins is apparently more concerned about his CV than the search for the truth. He fails to realize that if salvation is at stake, CV does not matter. (Al Quran 3:92)
If they will not respond, it is likely that over time my dialogue will improve through different editions, but their will be frozen in time of the actual interview. It is not to rule out contributions from other apologists for atheism or Christianity.
In Youtube the debate is loaded in 15 parts and each part of the video will be followed by my commentary.
I will make my response as a weekly series of 15 parts.
I am calling it a David Versus Goliath story, as Dawkins and McGrath are well known and current or prior professors, in the prestigious Oxford University and I have no such bragging rights.  But, I have been drinking from the fountain of the Holy Quran, as understood and taught by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani and his followers.  You be the judge if I play the role of David well or not!
Prof. Richard Dawkins will be spokesperson for atheism, Prof. Alister McGrath for Christianity and this humble one for Islam.
As a word of caution, let me say to the apologists of atheism and Christianity that I have saved the videos for the posterity, so it is no use taking them offline from Youtube.
Zia H Shah MD
First, something about the big picture, atheists are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Christian apologists want to make a case for Christianity based on laws of nature and science, by showing that there ought to be a Transcendent Creator, in one breath, and in the very next, deny all of science, by insisting on Eucharist, man-God of Jesus, who is not Transcendent, resurrection and miracles that violate laws of nature.
Now, let me present the CV of the three debators. If you look at the CVs, mine may seem minuscule compared to the two Goliaths. But, I always have the luxury of praying to the Living God of Islam, to make this a David versus Goliath story! Amen!
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941), known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist [1] and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford ,[2] and was the University of Oxford 's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.[3]
Alister Edgar McGrath (born 23 January 1953) is an Irish Anglican priest, theologian, and Christian apologist , currently Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at Kings College London and Head of the Centrex for Theology, Religion and Culture. He was previously Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford , and was principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford until 2005.
Zia H Shah MD is a practicing physician in New York state and is the Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and the Alislam-eGazette, a monthly electronic journal with a subscription of more than 40,000. He wants to show the West that there is a third theological option, other than Christianity and atheism, namely Islam as understood by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Shah also aspires to establish separation of Church and State in all countries of the world and believes wars between 'Science' and 'Religion' can be avoided by defining a domain called 'Metaphysics.' He believes that Science and Metaphysics are a litmus test for the greater accuracy of the Holy Quran compared to the Bible. In these pursuits he has authored almost 400 articles, many have been published in peer reviewed journals and most are linked in the Muslim Times and Islam for the West .
I will now return to addressing myself in the first person. I have carefully read Dawkins': The God Delusion and McGrath's: The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. I believe a careful reading of these books and our collection of materials in Islam for the West , should incline open minded and rational people towards Islam. So, now without further ado here is the part one of fifteen of the interview or the debate:
Click here to read and watch video clip in the Muslim Times.

The Muslim Times' Editorial team: If you like what you see, please forward it to friends and family.  To know more about us: click here.
'One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers': Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

[Mombasa Traffic Expose] Armed Robbery Survival and Prevention

Hi, all!

These are some very important points to remember and keep in mind.


Armed Robbery Survival and Prevention An armed...
Reishi Arun Parikh 11:40am Apr 27
Armed Robbery Survival and Prevention

An armed hold-up is a terrifying experience for victims. It is an extremely volatile situation that can potentially have a tragic ending. Whether it's a street hold-up, a home robbery or a business robbery, knowing a few key rules for dealing with armed robbers can go a long way to helping you survive or prevent these incidents. In this article, i will look at five of the most important tips for armed robbery prevention and survival, from understanding the objectives of armed robbers to installing CCTV and alarm systems for added security.

1. Understand the objectives

In any armed robbery, there are two objectives at play — the objectives of the offender and the objectives of the victim. The objectives of the victim are simple: to survive the situation and, if possible, to remain physically unharmed. For the robber, the objectives are different. They generally only want to obtain their target, whether it be money or other valuables, and to ensure the situation is 100 per cent in their control at all times. The moment the offenders feel like the situation is out of their control, things can turn dangerous.

2. Be compliant

As I have already mentioned, armed robbers want to feel in control of the situation at all times. This means you must do everything they say. If you panic or try to be a "hero", this can quickly end in tragedy for either you or those around you. While victims experience a great deal of stress in armed hold-up situations, it's important to remember that robbers will probably feel high levels of stress as well. This could cause them to act irrationally if they feel like the situation is getting out of their control; they may become violent and choose to use their weapons.

3. Learn to observe

Often, paying attention to the people around you on a daily basis can arm you with the recognition skills you need to prevent an armed robbery from occurring in the first place. Learn to recognise the warning sings; does the person in your vicinity seem agitated? Are they sweating or looking around themselves often? If you're in a public place, do they react nervously when security guards or police pass by? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, or if your suspicions are aroused in any other manner, you should notify your supervisor, a guard or the police as soon as possible.

4. Remain calm and in control

The fear, anger and shock you feel as a victim of an armed robbery will trigger the "fight or flight" response, which can cause your body to react in unexpected ways. The adrenaline hormone will be released into your body and you may feel the need to either flee or take the offender on. Take a deep breath; this can help to keep you calm and in control of the situation.

5. Install security technology

When it comes to your place of residence, home security systems such as alarm systems and CCTV monitoring can go a long way to preventing armed robberies from occurring in the first place. These technologies are even more common in a business setting. With such technologies brought into play, offenders are less likely to attempt an armed holdup because they will feel there is too much danger of them being caught.
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Some helpful hints -

 There's some quite good tips here !!
       Things you may have missed….

You can flip a toaster on its side and grill cheese in it. 

You can divide and store ground meat in a zip lock bag. Just break off how much you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later.

If you place a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water, it won't boil over.

Marshmallows can cure a sor
e throat. Perfect for kids who don't like medicine. ? really?

You can run a paper bag through your printer.

Cereal canisters make the perfect rubbish bin for your car.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the shop. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster...

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminium foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mould!
(but you can scrape off any mould and still eat the cheese without changes in flavour!)

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.P eppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are stronger flavoured.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying minced beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Use a (clean) dustpan to fill a container that doesn't fit in the sink

Place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on, and keep paint off the side of the can

Use a staple remover to save your fingernails when trying to add things to your key ring!

How to keep the straw from rising out of your fizzy drink can

Use a micro-fibre cloth to prevent frost from forming on the windshield.

Use a comb to keep a nail steady for hammering

Use a post-it note to catch drilling debris.

Prosecute Islam, but not Unilaterally

A very good idea...!


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Prosecute Islam, but not Unilaterally

Epigraph: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." President Thomas Jefferson

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
After the recent bombing in Boston last week, Jenan Moussa, a journalist for Dubai-based Al-Aan TV, retweeted the message "Please don't be a 'Muslim'" and added that the plea was "The thought of every Muslim right now." Moussa's message was forwarded more than 200 times.
A large number of the Muslims sympathized and prayed for the deceased and other victims, especially those who lost their limbs.  At the same time most Muslims had another emotion, an emotion of fear, which the non-Muslims did not have to go through.
They were afraid of a backlash.  How reasonable is it to keep millions of Muslims living in the West, in this fear of prejudice and backlash, for the crime of a few bad apples, who commit abhor-able acts of terrorism?
How wrong it will be to judge all Christians or at least all Catholics by Adolf Hitler, as he was one?
Most Muslims, who are well educated and live in the West, consider themselves to be moderate and peace loving.  They have no desire for violence.  They have no dreams of Sharia Law in the West, the strangle hold of which some of them have experienced in their native Muslim countries.
Yet, the recent bombings in Boston and for that matter any act of terrorism, gets Islam and the Muslims on trial, in the eyes of the media and as a result in the eyes of a part of the public in the West.
The Western system of justice is built carefully on individual responsibility and goes a long way to give the benefit of doubt to the accused.
Tribal thinking that if one member of the clan is guilty the whole of the tribe is guilty and should be punished is a thinking of stone age, long discarded with the development of human thought.
An Euler diagram illustrating the association fallacy. Although A is within B and is also within C, not all of B is within C.
Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.
This form of the argument is as follows:
  • Source S makes claim C.
  • Group G, which is currently viewed negatively by the recipient, also makes claim C.
  • Therefore, source S is viewed by the recipient of the claim as associated to the group G and inherits how negatively viewed it is.
An example of this fallacy would be "My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?"
A terrorist attack creates fear in the public and creates a fertile ground for hate mongering and stereotyping.
This gives some of the extreme media a chance to make all Muslims guilty in the eyes of the naive and scared public, by loose association.
Guilt by Association is an association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association.
Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion.  It works both in a positive and a negative sense.
Public has been long known to elect children or spouses of popular leaders.  Kennedy, Clinton, Bhutto and Gandhi are but a few recent names that sell well in politics of USA, Pakistan and India.
Collective punishment has been practiced as recently as last century.
In 1906, 167 Black U.S. soldiers stationed in Brownsville, Texas were dishonorably discharged by orders of President Theodore Roosevelt in response to the shooting of two white citizens in the middle of the night of August 13, 1906. One man was killed and the other, a police lieutenant, was injured and it was never discovered who the shooter(s) were, though they were presumed to have been members of the nearby Fort Brown. The soldiers of Companies B, C, and D of the 25th infantry regiment, many of whom served in Cuba and the Philippines, were punished for the crime collectively and they were not entitled to pensions.[2]
British forces in the Boer Wars and the Germans in both the Franco-Prussian War and World War I justified such actions as being in accord with the laws of war then in force.[3] During World War II, Nazi troops killed 434 men in three villages near Kragujevac on October 19, 1941 as punishment for previous actions of the Serbian resistance movement. In the next two days, the Nazis also killed more than 13,000 people in Kraljevo, Kragujevac, and Sumarice, including 300 students from Kragujevac First High School. In 1942, the Germans destroyed the village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) killing 340 inhabitants as collective punishment or reprisal for that year's assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by commandos nearby the village (the village of Ležáky was also destroyed in retribution). In the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane 642 of its inhabitants — men, women, and children — were slaughtered by the German Waffen-SS in 1944.[4] In the Dutch village of Putten[5] and the Italian villages of Sant'Anna di Stazzema[6] and Marzabotto,[7] as well as in the Soviet village of Kortelisy[8] (in what is now Ukraine), large scale reprisal killings were carried out by the Germans.
Joseph Stalin's mass deportations of many nationalities of the USSR to remote regions (including the Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans and many others) is an example of officially-orchestrated collective punishment.
When media puts Islam or the Muslims on trial for the crimes of a few bad apples, or when the right wing politicians start demanding profiling and universal surveillance of all Muslims, it becomes a form of collective punishment.  Such collective punishments may have been necessary and could have some justification,  in the centuries past, but in this day and age of cameras in public places, which could be high definition, and individual email and twitter accounts, profiling and discriminating is totally redundant and unfair.
Law enforcement should police terrorism suspects, like they would police suspects of drug trafficking and child pornography.  The society does not need to reinvent wheel to fight terrorism and in the process destroy the wisdom of 'individual responsibility,' which humanity has learnt after centuries of struggle.
After unfortunate episodes of terrorism, small or large, media often asks the question, "where are the moderate Muslims or moderate Islam in criticism of such acts of heinous violence."  We are here in the Muslim Times and else where, but our mega-phone is small.  Unless the bigger players with larger meg-phones, like CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Hufffinton Post give us a voice, the larger public does not get to hear us.
How can the media stop prosecuting Islam unilaterally?
I have a simple suggestion that whenever a news item or a talk show is going to indict Islam or the Muslims by inference or innuendo, let there be spokesperson from moderate Islam as well as for the Islamists or the Muslim fundamentalists or let them refuse the invitation.  Let the public hear different perspectives and let the chips fall, where they may.
Unless distinction is made clearly between the Moderate Muslims and Islamists or terrorists, any news coverage, by the media, can be guilty of  promoting hate and suspicion of 1.3 billion Muslims, by creating a paradigm to judge them by the lowest common denominator among them, which in the case of the Christians will be Adolf Hitler, or to pick up more recent examples, Timothy McVeigh or the recent terrorist from Norway,  Anders Behring Breivik.
Unless the moderate Muslims are allowed to constantly defend themselves, when they or Islam is prosecuted on the national airways, the media is guilty of slandering and defaming them.
Fair and equal treatment as and when extended to the moderate Muslims will become a strong incentive for the Islamists to give up their extreme ideology and move towards moderation.
If this simple idea is implemented, the West will stop suspecting the moderate Muslims and they in turn will stop suspecting the media.

Click here to read in the Muslim Times.

The Muslim Times' Editorial team: If you like what you see, please forward it to friends and family.  To know more about us: click here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

"If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known." (Karen Armstrong inMuhammad – A Biography of the Prophet)
US Supreme Court Chamber: There is a Frieze above the Bench, which includes the Holy Prophet Muhammad among the 18 Great Law-Givers

By Zia H Shah MD
This article by me was originally published in Winter, 2009 volume of Muslim Sunrise:
This examines the philosophical and historical basis of human rights.

With the election of a son of a Kenyan man to the highest office in USA we see gradual perfection of the vision expressed in the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."  But at the same time, suicidal bombings by terrorist, the outrageous violations of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the indifference to the so called collateral damage in air bombings, have again rekindled the question as to what are the human rights and where do they come from.  The events since September 11, 2001 have jolted every citizen of the planet earth with renewed quaking and put them on a quest to look for answers.  Is life of an American more sacred than a non-American?  What if he or she is a Muslim?  Are all humans truly created equal?  Where did the words, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;' come from?  To one exposed to Western media only these noble words came from the pen of President Thomas Jefferson, as he authored United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.  But a more cultured Westerner may know what Wikipedia mentions, under the heading all men are created equal, "Many of the ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from the English liberal political philosopher John Locke."  But that is where Western scholarship ends. Locke lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.  Such is the dissociation of the Western writers in terms of ignoring the beauties of Islam, that they can attribute all such liberal ideas with a straight face to Western philosophers, despite the fact the Muslim literature has been replete with mention of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, saying to a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, "All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one."  The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address, in the Muslim world, over the centuries.  This is where human equality began, not only for the Muslims but for the whole of humanity!
Fast forward to World War II.  Dr.  Andrew Conway Ivy was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors.  By 1945 he was probably 'the most famous doctor in the country.'  He wrote, "Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal."  In the Nuremberg trial he struggled with the question that if man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and politi­cal enemies; and having shaken by this perplexing trial he concluded:
If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against 'might makes right' and man's greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power.
It took the catalyst of World War II, after millions of casualties, to propel human rights onto the world stage and into the global conscience.  On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the 56 members of the United Nations. The vote was unanimous, although eight nations chose to abstain.  Articles I and II could be considered paraphrasing, in contemporary legal terminology, of what the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, had said in his address at the time of last pilgrimage, in 632 CE, or what President Thomas Jefferson wrote more than a millennium later.  Article I states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."  As the Prophet delivered his farewell speech, to an unprecedented large gathering, standing on the back of his camel Qaswa, he raised his hands and joined the fingers of one hand with the other and then said, "Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers."
The Muslim Times' Editorial team: If you like what you see, please forward it to friends and family.  To know more about us: click here.
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