Thursday, May 30, 2013

Burning garbage!

There is an empty plot next to our Umoja Estate where a tropical jungle is growing. This plot belongs to a lawyer who uses it as a dumping ground for garbage and all the dumped vegetation on her plot. 

The irony is that this so-called lawyer seems to be unaware of the law of the environment. That of burning garbage which is against the law. One wonders what kind of lawyer this is.

Then, she has no sense of neighbourliness where one does not inconvenience and be a nuisance to one's neighbour/s. She, unfortunately is all of this to our detriment.

She's also an amorphous being whom you cannot ever see or meet...., just hear about her and what she does. I have also been told by various people who work around here that she lives in Rainbow Estate, but nobody knows the house. This estate has its entrance right across from this misused plot.

Unfortunately and highly convenient for her is the fact that she does not have to suffer the consequences of her actions.

The clouds of smoke that emanate from this burning envelope our whole block of flats and enter our houses and into the very fibre of our being making everything stink and a layer of black soot covers everything. It is terrible. 

Trying to get the message through to her is an exercise in utter futility.

Over the years, I have tried getting NEMA, our questionable evironment body to take action to no avail. Oh, they have visited the place a number of times and talked to the people who border this plot and run kiosks, but, she (the lawyer), seems to be having all the right connections because, she's insolently carrying on with her obnoxious activities undeterred.

I wonder where else is one to turn to get justice?

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

This is very interesting and I'm sure that the thought has not occurred to many....

Raziya
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The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences
Epigraph:

Blessed is He (Allah) in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things; … Who has created seven heavens in harmony. No incongruity canst thou see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again: Seest thou any flaw? Aye, look again, and yet again, thy sight will only return unto thee confused and fatigued.  (Al Quran 67:2-5)

Introduction

This is a must read for every high school mathematics and physics student and every seeker, who desires to conceptualize the relationship between religion and science and desires to appreciate the meaning of one of the celebrated quotes of Albert Einstein, "That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is the title of an article published in 1960 by the physicist Eugene Wigner.[1] In the paper, Wigner observed that the mathematical structure of a physical theory often points the way to further advances in that theory and even to empirical predictions.
Wigner begins his paper with the belief, common to all those familiar with mathematics, that mathematical concepts have applicability far beyond the context in which they were originally developed. Based on his experience, he says "it is important to point out that the mathematical formulation of the physicist's often crude experience leads in an uncanny number of cases to an amazingly accurate description of a large class of phenomena." He then invokes the fundamental law of gravitation as an example. Originally used to model freely falling bodies on the surface of the earth, this law was extended on the basis of what Wigner terms "very scanty observations" to describe the motion of the planets, where it "has proved accurate beyond all reasonable expectations."
Another oft-cited example is Maxwell's equations, derived to model the elementary electrical and magnetic phenomena known as of the mid 19th century. These equations also describe radio waves, discovered by Heinrich Hertz in 1887 a few years after Maxwell's death. Wigner sums up his argument by saying that "the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it." He concludes his paper with the same question with which he began:
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
Wigner's work provided a fresh insight into both physics and the philosophy of mathematics, and has been fairly often cited in the academic literature on thephilosophy of physics and of mathematics. Wigner speculated on the relationship between the philosophy of science and the foundations of mathematics as follows:
It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of laws of nature and of the human mind's capacity to divine them.

Beginning of the article

Here is how the article starts:
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty, a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry. –BERTRAND RUSSELL, Study of Mathematics
THERE IS A story about two friends, who were classmates in high school, talking about their jobs. One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate. The reprint started, as usual, with the Gaussian distribution and the statistician explained to his former classmate the meaning of the symbols for the actual population, for the average population, and so on. His classmate was a bit incredulous and was not quite sure whether the statistician was pulling his leg. "How can you know that?" was his query. "And what is this symbol here?" "Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi." "What is that?" "The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter." "Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."
Naturally, we are inclined to smile about the simplicity of the classmate's approach. Nevertheless, when I heard this story, I had to admit to an eerie feeling because, surely, the reaction of the classmate betrayed only plain common sense. I was even more confused when, not many days later, someone came to me and expressed his bewilderment [1 The remark to be quoted was made by F. Werner when he was a student in Princeton.] with the fact that we make a rather narrow selection when choosing the data on which we test our theories. "How do we know that, if we made a theory which focuses its attention on phenomena we disregard and disregards some of the phenomena now commanding our attention, that we could not build another theory which has little in common with the present one but which, nevertheless, explains just as many phenomena as the present theory?" It has to be admitted that we have no definite evidence that there is no such theory.
The preceding two stories illustrate the two main points which are the subjects of the present discourse. The first point is that mathematical concepts turn up in entirely unexpected connections. Moreover, they often permit an unexpectedly close and accurate description of the phenomena in these connections. Secondly, just because of this circumstance, and because we do not understand the reasons of their usefulness, we cannot know whether a theory formulated in terms of mathematical concepts is uniquely appropriate. We are in a position similar to that of a man who was provided with a bunch of keys and who, having to open several doors in succession, always hit on the right key on the first or second trial. He became skeptical concerning the uniqueness of the coordination between keys and doors.
Most of what will be said on these questions will not be new; it has probably occurred to most scientists in one form or another. My principal aim is to illuminate it from several sides. The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it. Second, it is just this uncanny usefulness of mathematical concepts that raises the question of the uniqueness of our physical theories. In order to establish the first point, that mathematics plays an unreasonably important role in physics, it will be useful to say a few words on the question, "What is mathematics?", then, "What is physics?", then, how mathematics enters physical theories, and last, why the success of mathematics in its role in physics appears so baffling. Much less will be said on the second point: the uniqueness of the theories of physics. A proper answer to this question would require elaborate experimental and theoretical work which has not been undertaken to date.
Read in the Muslim Times.


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Re: Country-wide outages, local outages and area outages, etc.!

Thank you, Shaileen, for your encouraging words and of course, could not help reading the uninterrupted power supply where you are despite it being a cold and blustery day.

If it was here, we'd have had umpteen outages if not complete blackout and the weather would have been blamed for it.

And these people blame other things like trucks, birds, trees, etc., when the weather is sunny! 

There is no end to their imagination where excuses are concerned. One wishes that they would use this, instead, in their work or service provision.....:(

On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM, Shaileen Shah wrote:
Raziya your consistent 'CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM'
Should be INGESTED by our KENYA POWER 'SERVICE' PROVIDER,
So that we can achieve 99.9% uninterrupted power delivery for the PROGRESSIVE KENYAN VISION 2030.

Please be assured that we are ALL behind you in your efforts!

Regards from cold,cloudy Canary Wharf,London(power un interrupted!)

Shaileen NPN Shah:KPLC client & SHAREHOLDER!
Mr.Shaileen NPN Shah

This country of ours is planning on  a vision 2030?!

Don't believe ANY of that crap! This is NOT possible with a 3rd class power company running the show.

Imagine, when due to a technical hitch (what kind of people does this company employ?), the WHOLE COUNTRY was taken back to the 'dark' ages for most of the day on Tuesday, 28th May 2013. And power did not return (at least in our area of Mombasa), till after sunset!

But, then I started our latest predicament with this useless power company in the middle, i.e. serious outages started on Monday (the day before the country-wide one). Most of Monday we could not do anything to do with with power - which is nearly everything! Then, came Black Tuesday and after this there was yesterday when this nasty company had the temerity to, again, switch us off, and when I called Eng. Musau, his response was, 'oh, I'm not aware..'! 

Of late, this is his answer. It would seem that these people live in never, never land and don't have the foggiest idea of what they make their consumers go through and worse, don't care, either. After all they are trying to get everybody to become pre-paid. Then, they will be even more so. 

Btw, please refuse to get into this pit by accepting to become pre-paid. People who have, have found that they are now paying more per month and with the added hassles of pre-paid cards sometimes not available in the denominations that are required. Also, the headache of getting them. 

Imagine, if you become pre-paid YOU will suffer all this and still NOT have consistent power available.

Btw, I also tried, at one point to call 'emergency' and the response I got from this person (after holding on for umpteen precious minutes as all their agents [FBI?], were busy), was - there is a fault on your line and they are working on it! Seems like this is a standard reply because, she could not give me any other details other than power would return before midnight.

How many more years are we going to suffer at the hands of this awful and unaccountable power company? We are 50 years old as a country and what do we have to show for it? Not much which is thanks to our useless power company. They do great damage to all our electrical appliances, etc. Will they pay for the damage?

Country-wide outages, local outages and area outages, etc.!

This country of ours is planning on  a vision 2030?!

Don't believe ANY of that crap! This is NOT possible with a 3rd class power company running the show.

Imagine, when due to a technical hitch (what kind of people does this company employ?), the WHOLE COUNTRY was taken back to the 'dark' ages for most of the day on Tuesday, 28th May 2013. And power did not return (at least in our area of Mombasa), till after sunset!

But, then I started our latest predicament with this useless power company in the middle, i.e. serious outages started on Monday (the day before the country-wide one). Most of Monday we could not do anything to do with with power - which is nearly everything! Then, came Black Tuesday and after this there was yesterday when this nasty company had the temerity to, again, switch us off, and when I called Eng. Musau, his response was, 'oh, I'm not aware..'! 

Of late, this is his answer. It would seem that these people live in never, never land and don't have the foggiest idea of what they make their consumers go through and worse, don't care, either. After all they are trying to get everybody to become pre-paid. Then, they will be even more so. 

Btw, please refuse to get into this pit by accepting to become pre-paid. People who have, have found that they are now paying more per month and with the added hassles of pre-paid cards sometimes not available in the denominations that are required. Also, the headache of getting them. 

Imagine, if you become pre-paid YOU will suffer all this and still NOT have consistent power available.

Btw, I also tried, at one point to call 'emergency' and the response I got from this person (after holding on for umpteen precious minutes as all their agents [FBI?], were busy), was - there is a fault on your line and they are working on it! Seems like this is a standard reply because, she could not give me any other details other than power would return before midnight.

How many more years are we going to suffer at the hands of this awful and unaccountable power company? We are 50 years old as a country and what do we have to show for it? Not much which is thanks to our useless power company. They do great damage to all our electrical appliances, etc. Will they pay for the damage?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Your Coach /Gucci /MK Hand Bags......

So very true. In fact, my mom will be very pleased to read this, thinking, 'I told you so....'!

Raziya

This message is for the women in your household.  If you are a male receiving this mail, then I sent it to you to pass on to the women in your home I care about.
-Lalita Haran
HANDBAGS 
Have you ever noticed girls who set their handbags on public toilet floors, then go directly to their dining tables and set it on the table? 
Happens a lot!   It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress. Sometimes 'what you don't know will hurt you'!

Read on.......... ....
Mom got so upset when guests came in the door and plopped their handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up food. She always said that handbags are really dirty, because of where they have been.

It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our handbags, do you have any idea what's on the outside? Women carry handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their handbags, but did you ever stop to think about where your handbag goes during the day.

'I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the floor of the bus a lot,' says one woman. 'On! The floor of my car, and in toilets.'
'I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the floor of the toilet,' says another woman 'and of course in my home which should be clean.'

We decided to find out if handbags harbour a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake , and then we set out to test the average woman's handbag.

Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they usually set their handbags on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared.
Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty.

It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked..
Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the handbags tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the handbags could make people very sick.

In one sampling, four of five handbags tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. 'There is faecal contamination on the handbags' says Amy. Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without, with one exception.

The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. 'Some type of faeces, or possibly vomit' says Amy.

So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop.

Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of shoes. 'If you think about putting a pair of shoes on your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your handbag on the countertops. '
Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have walked, sat, sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied bowels, etc!

Do you really want to bring that home with you?
The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather handbags...

THIS IS WORTH SHARING!!! PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR GRANDMOTHERS, MOMS, DAUGHTERS, GRANDDAUGHTERS AND GIRLFRIENDS !! !!

Caliph Umar Farooq versus Emperor Heraclius: Who gave us our Religious Freedoms?

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Caliph Umar Farooq versus Emperor Heraclius: Who gave us our Religious Freedoms?
Epigraph:

There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  (Al Quran 2:257)
Umar Farooq found the Temple Mount to be a garbage dump for Jerusalem in the 7th century and personally cleaned and restored it!

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

At the time of advent of Islam there were two Empires, the Roman and the Persian.  The Persian Empire did not survive very long.
So, it may be reasonable to ask, which of the two surviving Empires, the Roman Empire and the nascent Muslim, did most to give us our vision of the religious freedoms, in the seventh century.
Umar Farooq (born 579 CE – died 6 November 644 CE), a close companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, led the rapidly evolving Muslim Empire from 634-644 CE.
Heraclius (Latin: Flavius Heraclius Augustus, 575 – February 11, 641) was Byzantine (Roman) Emperor from 610 to 641 CE.
Heraclius and Umar Farooq were contemporaries and each stands for their respective cultures and Empires.
By studying the two, we can track the history of religious freedom in organized human thought during the seventh century.
In this short article I want to show that Islam is a religion of peace and that revelation has contributed in a big way to human knowledge and history.
When the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, claimed Monotheism in the polytheistic society of Mecca they turned against him and he and his followers had to face persecution for 13 long years. He migrated to Medina but the Meccans did not leave him alone there and attacked Medina, it was in these circumstances that the following verses were revealed:
Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, 'Our Lord is Allah' — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques. (Al Quran 22:40-41)
By mentioning Churches and Synagogues before Mosques, the revelation was laying the foundation of genuine religious freedom for the whole of humanity.  These verses were revealed around 624 CE and these teachings through the practices of Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, in Arabia laid foundation of freedoms that were put into action by Umar Farooq, may Allah be pleased with him, in Jerusalem in 638 CE, when he took control of Jerusalem, after a relatively bloodless siege by the Muslim army.
I visited Spain with my family during the spring vacation of 2011 CE and went to the central mosque of Cordoba, which was a mosque at least for three centuries, but, it is now a Cathedral. In the year 1492, which is also famous for Columbus having discovered America, not a single Muslim was left alive in Spain, either converted on the point of sword, banished or killed.
In 2012, we visited Turkey and were very happy to see Hagia Sophia, which is a former Cathedral, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul. From the date of its dedication in 360 CE until 1453 CE, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, after Constantinople fell to the Ottoman.
This is what groups did to the places of worship of others, the so called enemies, in medieval ages!
But, now I want to share something more dramatic with you. I want you to come with me and visit the holy land of Jerusalem. If you have been to Jerusalem you would have visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the Holiest places in Christianity. The site is venerated as where Jesus was put on cross, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried. It did not suffer the fate of the Mosque of Cordoba or the Hagia Sophia, because of the generosity, wisdom and religious tolerance of one man Umar, who was the second Caliph of Islam and a very close associate of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. Jerusalem was under Muslim rule from 638 until the creation of Israel in 1948, except for a period of 80 years between the First and the Third Crusade.
After a brief and bloodless siege, initiated after the offensives by the Byzantines colonies, Muslims seized control of Jerusalem from the Byzantines in February 638. Caliph Umar Farooq accepted the city's surrender from Patriarch Sophronius in person. Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was shown the great Church of the Holy Sepulcher and offered a place to pray in it, but he refused. He knew that if he prayed in the church, it would set a precedent that would lead to the building's transformation into a mosque. He wanted the Christians to have their freedom of religion and their worship places. Therefore, he instead prayed on the steps outside, allowing the church to remain a Christian holy place.
It would take Europe several centuries to catch up with the ideal set by Umar regarding religious tolerance, based on the revelation of the Quran and the actions of the Prophet Muhammad. In the 8th century Charlemagne, Charles the Great was converting Scandinavians on the point of sword to Christianity and during the First Crusade, in the eleventh century each and every Muslim was killed in Jerusalem, according to the Christian sources, some 70,000 Muslims were killed including 10,000 in the Mosque of Umar itself.
No wonder, we owe our religious freedoms, in our great country of USA, historically speaking, to the revelation of the Quran: "And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques."
How the Emperor Heraclius saw his role in Christendom and how he converted Jews to Christianity by force is outlined here from the pen of Tom Holland, the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize:
Clearly, then, urgent as it was to restore to the redeemed provincials the long-atrophied habits of obedience to Roman rule, more urgent still was the need to reassure them that the victory won by Heraclius had indeed been a victory won by God. This was why, in his negotiations with Shahrbaraz, no more urgent demand had been pressed by the emperor than the return from its ignominious captivity of the True Cross. On 21 March 630, stripped of all his imperial regalia and walking humbly on foot, as Christ Himself had done on his way to Golgotha, Heraclius entered Jerusalem bearing with him the precious relic. Men reported that the manner of his arrival had been the result of advice given him by an angel, who had personally instructed him to take off his diadem, and to dismount from his horse. A supreme honour for Heraclius to receive: orders direct from the heavens to imitate the last journey of his Saviour.
The restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem was the profoundest demonstration imaginable of the great victory that had been won in the cause of Christ. It also served as a ringing statement of Heraclius' intent: never again would he permit the Christian empire to be pushed by its enemies to the edge of oblivion. On his approach to Jerusalem, he had made a point of stopping off in Tiberias, where he had been hosted by a wealthy Jew notorious, under the Persian occu­pation, for his persecution of the city's churches. Asked by Heraclius why he had so mistreated the local Christians, the Jew had answered disingenuously, 'Why, because they are the enemies of my faith." Heraclius, grim-faced, had advised his host to accept baptism on the spot – which the Jew had prudently done. Two years later, this order was repeated on a far more universal scale. From Africa to distant Gaul, leaders across the Christian world received news of a startling imperial decision: all Jews and Samaritans were to be brought com­pulsorily to baptism. Heraclius, conscious of how close he had come to defeat, and of the debt he owed to Christ, was not prepared to take any second chances. From now on, the Roman Empire would be undilutedly, and therefore impregnably, Christian.
While Heraclius was baptizing all Jews by force in 632 CE, Umar Farooq in 638 CE was restoring complete religious freedom to not only all the Jews in Jerusalem, but, also the Christians.  Would it be a big stretch to say that Umar Farooq gave the modern world our positive vision of religious freedom, for every one?
Read further in the Muslim Times.



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Friday, May 24, 2013

Gas Bill

While this is hilarious, I really sympathize with this guy's misadventures with his 'service' provider.

It also must remind lots of you about our own billing systems (is that one of the reasons that KPLC is going prepaid...?), where we get very strange bills sometimes. 

Fortunately, in the case below, he managed to get the court to redress his predicament though, I don't think it would be possible in this country during our lifetime.

Enjoy reading and finding comfort that we are not alone in our collective suffering at the hands of 'service' providers.

Enjoy

THE GAS BILL
Anything managed through bureaucracies!!!.You will like this! ... And it is a true story!

A man living in Kandos (near Mudgee in NSW, Australia )
received a bill for his as yet unused gas line stating that he owed $0.00.

He ignored it and threw it away.
In April he received another bill and threw that one away too.

The following month the gas company sent him a very nasty note stating
that they were going to cancel his gas line if he didn't send them $0.00 by
return mail.

He called them, talked to them, and they said it was a computer error and
they would take care of it.

The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried
out the troublesome gas line figuring that if there was usage on the
account it would put an end to this ridiculous predicament.

However, when he went to use the gas, it had been cut off.

He called the gas company who apologised for the computer error once
again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he got a bill for
$0.00 stating that payment was now overdue.

Assuming that having spoken to them the previous day the latest bill was
yet another mistake, he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as
good as their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00. This bill also stated that he
Had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to
recover the debt.

Finally, giving in, he thought he would beat the gas company at their own
game and mailed them a cheque for $0.00. The computer duly processed his
account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the gas
company nothing at all.

A week later, the manager of the Mudgee branch of the Westpac Banking
Corporation called our hapless friend and asked him what he was doing
writing cheque for $0.00.

After a lengthy explanation the bank manager replied that the $0..00
cheque had caused their cheque processing software to fail. The bank could
therefore not process ANY cheques they had received from ANY of their
customers that day because the cheque for $0.00 had caused the
computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the gas company
claiming that his cheque had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00
and unless he sent a cheque by return mail they would take immediate
steps to recover the debt.

At this point, the man decided to file a debt harassment claim against
the gas company. It took him nearly two hours to convince the clerks
at the local courthouse that he was not joking.

They subsequently helped him in the drafting of statements which were
considered substantive evidence of the aggravation and difficulties
he had been forced to endure during this debacle.

The matter was heard in the Magistrate's Court in Mudgee and the outcome
was this:

The gas company was ordered to:

[1] Immediately rectify their computerised accounts system or Show cause,
within 10 days, why the matter should not be referred to a higher court
for consideration under Company Law.

[2] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by the man.

[3] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by all the Westpac clients whose
cheques had been bounced on the day our friend's had been processed.

[4] Pay the claimant's court costs; and

[5] Pay the claimant a total of $1500 per month for the 5 month period
March to July inclusive as compensation for the aggravation they had
caused their client to suffer.

And all this over $0.00.
Who employs these idiots?

This story can also be viewed on the ABC website.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cambridge University Examines Female conversion to Islam in Britain

This is very interesting and highly informative.

Raziya


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Cambridge University Examines Female conversion to Islam in Britain

Epigraph:
"Surely, men who submit themselves to God and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women and truthful men and truthful women, and men steadfast in their faith and steadfast women, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and women who guard their chastity, and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him — Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward." (Al Quran 33:36)


Collected by
A ground-breaking report examining the experiences of nearly 50 British women of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths (or no faith) – who have all converted to Islam – was launched in London yesterday by the University of Cambridge.
Converts have the potential to be a powerful and transformative influence on both the heritage Muslim community and wider British society
Yasir Suleiman: Project Leader and Director of CIS
The report (http://bit.ly/12tv0YM), produced by the University's Centre of Islamic Studies (CIS), in association with the New Muslims Project, Markfield, is a fascinating dissection of the conversion experience of women in Britain in the 21st Century.
The first forum of its kind held in the UK, the study concludes with a series of recommendations for the convert, heritage Muslim, and wider British communities. The 129-page report also outlines the social, emotional and sometimes economic costs of conversion, and the context and reasons for women converting to Islam in a society with pervasive negative stereotypes about the faith.
Project Leader and Director of CIS, Yasir Suleiman, said: "The consistent themes flowing through the report is the need for increased levels of support for the convert community – and the converts' own potential to be a powerful and transformative influence on both the heritage Muslim community and wider British society. "Another of the recurring themes was the overwhelmingly negative portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the UK media and what role the convert community might have to play in helping to redress the balance.
This report seeks to dispel misapprehensions and misrepresentations of female converts to Islam."
A key revelation of the study was the heavily disproportionate attention, bordering on obsession in some cases, given to white, female converts to Islam by both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike.
This is often to the detriment of African-Caribbean converts, thought to be the largest ethnic group of converts to Islam, who are often ignored and left feeling isolated by both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Added Suleiman: "White converts can be regarded as 'trophy' Muslims and used in a tokenistic fashion by various sections of society, including the media. African-Caribbean converts remain largely invisible, uncelebrated and frequently unacknowledged. They can feel like a minority within a minority and this is something that must be addressed. I found this part of the conversion narratives hardest to bear."
Meanwhile, the project also reveals the complex relationship between female converts and their families, ranging from exclusion, disbelief and denial – to full and open acceptance of their faith. It also brings to light responses of converts to issues of sexuality and gender including homosexuality, 'traditional' roles of women and transgenderism.
Project Manager Shahla Suleiman said: "Considering the stereotypical and largely negative picture Islam has in the media and society at large, and considering that quite a lot of this revolves around the position of women in Islam, we wanted to understand the seemingly paradoxical issue of why highly educated and professionally successful Western women convert to Islam.
"The basis of conversion is faith and spirituality – but conversion is also a social phenomenon that has become political. In this sense, conversion concerns everyone alike in society.
"The debate is just starting and we need to have more informed studies about conversion to Islam that directly address public interest and concern. The struggle for a better future relies on overcoming the politics of exclusion and absolute difference based on an ideological dislike for multiculturality, not just multiculturalism. Fear of immigration, Islam and conversion to it are a proxy for views on race, prejudice, anxiety and fear."
The converts explored the issues of women's rights and dress etiquette at some length, with the issue of wearing the hijab and other Islamic forms of dress heavily discussed. Although all views were represented in the debate, a common approach among many coverts was the adaptation of Western style dress to accommodate Islamic concepts of modesty and decency.
Women's rights are a highly charged political issue within Muslim communities and while participants were not unanimously supportive of feminism as defined in the West, the need to raise the status of women within Muslim communities was fully acknowledged. Attempting to realise the practise of these rights has proven more difficult to achieve. Participants were especially critical of the concept of Sharia Council/courts operating in Britain in terms of the courts' potential to jeopardise the rights of women.
The report says: 'Converts serve to confound and challenge negative racist or clich├ęd narratives depicted in the media of heritage Muslims because their culture and heritage is intrinsically reflective of British culture.
'But we also find that not all conversions are equal socially in the eyes of some members of the heritage Muslim community. The conversion of white women seems to be more socially valued than African women by some. There is also greater depth to the hijab than is thought to be the case among heritage Muslims and the non-Muslim majority in Britain. There is a distinction to be made between wearing the hijab and being worn by it. This puts the convert women in control. The hijab signals modesty, but it is not intended to hide beauty.'
A ground-breaking report examining the experiences of nearly 50 British women of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths (or no faith) – who have all converted to Islam – was launched in London yesterday by the University of Cambridge.
Reference
Read more @ phys.org
Listen to a radio talk show on this issue.
The whole of the report can be read here.





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