Giuliani’s Marriage of Convenience Friday, Nov 16 2007 

I am not much in politics, but with all the hype of election and who to vote for made me curious to find out who all are running for election and their views and values. I thought who could be worse then Bush right now, but guess what! After reading this and the article below and several others, I suppose there can be someone!

This reminds me of the hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam, that in later times believers will be tested with fitan after fitan, and with each fitnah they will think that nothing could be worse then that yet to find the next fintah even bigger then the previous one. So as Bush leaves us, I hope and I pray that the next one is not a bigger fitnah then him.

I seek Allah’s refuge and His protection from the fitan, what is apparent of it and what is hidden, amin.

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Giuliani’s Marriage of Convenience
Linda Heard, sierra12th@yahoo.co.uk
I used to think of former New York mayor and presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani as a capable, benign Mr. Nice Guy; a fairly ordinary man who faced an extraordinary calling on 9/11 to put his shattered city to rights. I now know I was wrong.

Giuliani’s open countenance and wide grin belie a ruthlessly ambitious individual unashamedly using that fateful day as the headline on his presidential resume. He is even shown himself willing to forge a marriage of convenience with one of America’s best-known anti-Islamic bigots Pat Robertson to garner the sizable evangelical vote.

Scarily, Giuliani’s “go after the terrorists” strategy appears to be working even at a time when many candidates avoid the “war on terror” like the plague, concentrating instead on how to win hearts and minds and improve America’s worldwide standing.

Giuliani is currently leading the Republican race and is neck-and-neck with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. If he manages to take the White House he’ll be akin to Bush on steroids, remarked Democratic runner John Edwards. It may have been said tongue in cheek but Edwards is right. People in our part of the world may even be pleading: “Come back Bush, all is forgiven”.

From the perspective of this region a Giuliani-Robertson union will be one manufactured in hell in the event the former mayor gets the top job and for sure the hands on the Doomsday Clock will be moved even closer to midnight.

In many respects they’re a veritable odd couple. Certainly they hold very different views on gun control, abortion and gay rights. But Robertson has decided to forgive Giuliani’s propensity to swap wives for girlfriends as well as some of his more liberal stances. “To me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists,” said Robertson.

Secondly, both men are passionately pro-Israel albeit for different reasons. Both do not support a Palestinian state; Giuliani because such a state would “support terrorism” and threaten US security, and Robertson because his messianic beliefs support the ushering in of Armageddon as a prerequisite to the “Second Coming”.

In 2006, Robertson suggested Ariel Sharon’s illness was a punishment for his policy of “dividing God’s land” – a remark that no doubt referred to the Israeli pullout from Gaza prompted by the former Israeli prime minister.

When the Israeli daily Ha’aretz assembled a panel of eight US election pundits Giuliani was pronounced the best presidential candidate for Israel.

Earlier this year, Robertson announced with certainty that Iran had nuclear weapons and quoted religious texts to back up his belief there would be a war where “states in that region” would join “to move against Israel. “It’s amazing that Iran has come to the fore as it has with a president who says Israel should be wiped off the map” and “who now has atomic weapons”, he said, warning that Israel is entering “the most dangerous time of its existence”.

Giuliani has admitted he wouldn’t hesitate to use military force against Iran’s nuclear program, while his senior foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz said, “None of the alternatives to military action – negotiations, sanctions, provoking an internal insurrection – can possibly work”.

The fact that Giuliani would hire the author of “World War IV: The Long Struggle against Islamofascism” as an adviser is eyebrow raising of itself but there’s worse.

Another member of his advisory team is director of the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes who has backed the profiling of Muslims and their scrutiny as members of law enforcement, the diplomatic corps and the military.

Daniel Pipes is also the founder of Campus Watch, an organization that monitors US academia so as to stifle any criticism of Israel.

The fact that Giuliani wholeheartedly welcomed the Robertson anointment is particularly worrying. The latter is known for controversial and bigoted comments as well as calling for the assassination of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Robertson also fancies himself as a man of prophecies and regularly appears on Fox News making dire warnings such as major US cities are destined to suffer mass terrorist attacks post-September 2007 that would end the lives of millions of Americans.

But Robertson reserves his most hate-laced comments for Islam and its followers.

He says the “goal of Islam” is “world domination” and has characterized Muslims as “crazed fanatics, while labeling the religion as “satanic” and “motivated by demonic power”.

His new best friend Giuliani recently castigated those Democratic nominees who avoided using the term “Islamic terrorism” during four public debates, which Giuliani says is taking political correctness to extremes.

However, there is a chink of light. Whereas Giuliani will certainly reap a proportion of the evangelical vote now that he’s hugged Pat Robertson such a partnership isn’t likely to go down well with secular conservatives, many of whom view Robertson as a nut job.

We used to plead “anyone but Bush’. Given Giuliani’s stance on this region and the horrible company he keeps, I would sincerely say to the American voters “Please…please…anyone but Rudy“.

http://www.arabnews.com

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Paradoxes of Our Times Thursday, Nov 8 2007 

Nice Reminder…

————

Today we have bigger houses
and
smaller families.

More conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees,
but less common sense.

More knowledge, but less judgment.

We have more experts, but more problems.

More medicine, but less wellness.

We spend too recklessly;

Laugh too little,

Drive too fast,

Get too angry too quickly,

Stay up too late,

Read too little,

Watch TV too much,

And pray too seldom!

We’ve multiplied our possessions,
but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too little,
and lie too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living,
but not a life.

We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We have taller buildings,
but shorter tempers;

Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less.

We buy more, but enjoy it less.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbors.

We’ve conquered outer space,
But not inner space.

We’ve split the atom,
But not our prejudice.

We write more, learn less; plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals.

We build more computers
to hold more information,
to produce more copies,
But have less communications.

We are long on quantity,
But short on quality.

These are the times of
fast foods and slow digestion;

Tall men and short characters.

More leisure and less fun;

More kinds of foods, but less nutrition.

Two incomes, but more divorces.

Fancier houses, but broken homes.

That’s why I propose, that as of today,
you don’t keep anything for special occasions,
because every day you live is a special occasion.

Search for knowledge. Read more. Sit on your front porch and admire the view without paying attention to your needs.
Spend more time with your family and friends.
Eat your favorite foods and visit the places you love.
Life is a chain of moments of enjoyment,
not only about survival.
Use your crystal goblets. Don’t save your best perfume, use it every time you feel you want it.
Remove from your vocabulary phrases like
“one of these days“ and “someday”.
Write that letter you’ve thought about writing.
Tell your family and friends how much you love them.
Don’t delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life.
Every day, every hour, and every minute is special.

Author Unknown

Ramadan, Eid & Our Children in West Thursday, Nov 8 2007 

When I was young, I had the privilege of spending my first few Ramadans in Saudi Arabia. I must admit that if anyone has done so, they will not be able to enjoy Ramadan anywhere else.

As a child I used to have so much ‘fun’. Not only my father’s job hours would become flexible in Ramadan but even the school would pretty much stop functioning, and completely closed during last 10 days and plus the Eid vacation. Ramadan nights used to be very amusing. I used to stay awake all night. And it wasn’t me alone, almost everyone stays awake all/most part of the night in Saudi, even the markets and bazaars would stay open until 1 or 2 in the morning. Sometimes, I would go with my father to pray tarawih at the Masjid and sometimes all the kids in the neighborhood get together to play all night. So, it wasn’t like I would ‘improve’ spiritually but just having a different schedule, the yummy food, and playing all night would me look forward to Ramadhan.

For those children growing up in West, Ramadhan could be pretty much like any other month, especially if not surrounded by a large Muslim community. My children’s first few Ramadhan were spent in Houston. They loved breaking Iftaar at the majsid. Although, the iftaar would be simple dinner, but for them seeing their friends and playing with them at the Masjid was far more important. Then we moved away to a smaller community but very close to the Masjid. The Masjid here doesn’t hold iftaars every day, but children come here for Tarawih and play outside in the masjid’s huge parking lot. This made my children’s Ramadhan special again and I was happy that they still felt that Ramadhan ‘spirit’ as they did back in Houston. Of course, my husband made my son pray everyday a few rakahs, but mostly he would play. It is very important that our children look forward to Ramadhan and feel the ‘specialty’ of it even if it is by more entertainment and less spirituality for small children.

Similarly, Eid should be made very special for our children as well. They should not think that Christmas or other celebrations are more fun then our Eid. I never felt the need of doing anything ‘extra’ for my children in Houston because with all the parties our families and friends would throw and all the carnivals Houston Masajids would hold even days after Eid would make Eid special in every way. But here in smaller community my children were missing out on all that fun.

So, I planned to make our own Eid party. I let them make a list of all the friends they wanted to invite and then let them write the Eid invitation cards (I never realized children enjoy that so much!!) Next we planned the activities together. We rented a moonwalk and cotton candy machine. We went shopping together. We made goody bags together and blew balloons. My children were very excited and their glowing faces paid off my hard work. And of course, I can never thank enough my husband for his assistance in every possible way and giving me the full freedom of doing whatever I wished!! I took my husband’s suggestion of making it potluck to make it less hectic for myself! So we had a variety of food. Cotton candy was a big hit. I think I might buy it instead of renting it every time. It is cheaper that way! 🙂

The party turned out very good alhamdullialh. Not only my children are looking forward to Eid-ul-Adha but even the other kids who were invited!

I think all the parents should plan out special events for their children for Eid. Gifts are mandatory. Anything that children are not allowed to do normally should be allowed on Eid day, like candies, soft drinks etc. I told my children that there are no ‘Nos’ for them on Eid. My kids are clever enough to keep reminding me that Eid is THREE days. Although it is for Eid-ul-Adha but I guess I can spare them Eid-ul-Fitr as well!

Can’t wait for the next Eid!