April 29, 2006

What is Most Valuable?

This one came from my ustaz:

A Mufti sat next to a Reverend on a flight. The Reverend asked the Mufti, "What is your occupation?"

Mufti: "I'm into big business."

Reverend: "But what business exactly?"

Mufti: "I deal with God."

Reverend: "Ah, so you're a Muslim religious leader. I have one problem with you Muslims: you oppress your women."

Mufti: "How do we oppress women?"

Reverend: "You make your women cover up completely and you keep them in the homes."

Mufti: "Ah. I have a problem with you people: you oppress MONEY."

Reverend: "What? How can one oppress money?"

Mufti: "You keep your money hidden away, in wallets, banks and safes... You keep it covered up. Why don't you display it in public if it's a beautiful thing?"

Reverend: "It will get stolen, obviously."

Mufti: "You keep your money hidden because it is so valuable. We value the true worth of women far, far more. Therefore, these precious jewels are not on display to one and all. They are kept in honor and dignity."

April 28, 2006

The Spirit of Truth

This has to be one of the most off-the-wall videos I've ever seen. The video was taken off of a Los Angeles' public access cable program (think "Wayne's World") back in May 1997. This particular version is highly edited, with a runtime of 2:34; there's also a longer version that's 8:11. Be warned! This guy is extremely profane (especially for a so-called Christian "preacher").

April 25, 2006


This video was made by Ava Lowrey, a fifteen-year-old girl from Alabama. I've looked at a few of her videos (she's done about 70 so far), and they're very well done. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this young woman in the future.

For more videos, visit Peace Takes Courage.

Update: Not surprisingly, the wingnuts on the right are threatened by Ava's work, and have sent her the typical sexual taunts, accusations, and cowardly death threat that one would expect from wingnuts. For more information, see Animation Producer Gets Ugly Slurs

April 20, 2006

Muslims Across the U.S.

A map of Muslims as a percentage of all American residents as of the year 2000

This is an interesting map that I came across just a few minutes ago (the map is part of a Daily Kos diary, "So...where are all the Jews?". This map shows, on a county-by-county basis, where the American Muslim population is located as a percentage of the total resident population of the U.S. The data comes from the 2000 census. There are some fairly large populations of Muslims in places where I would expect (Michigan, Metro NY and DC), and a few where I wouldn't have expected (NW Ohio, NE Oregon (?), and two counties in New Mexico (??)). Also nice to see is that there is at least one county in every state that is shaded yellow (0.1 to 0.7% of the population), even in the upper mid-west and Alaska, where you wouldn't necessarily expect to find large numbers of Muslims. Of course, we have a long way to go before the map starts turning more yellow or, insha'allah, orange or brown.

For a listing of all the various maps for different religions practiced throughout the US, see here.

April 18, 2006

firaushah.com - the blog

This post is to let my readers know that I'm going to semi-discontinue one of my other blogs, Dunner's Learn About Islam. All of those posts (and their respective comments) have been imported into my new blog, firaushah.com - the blog, which is associated with the new Islamic online store Milady and I have been creating, firaushah.com. That blog will continue with the DLAI tradition of answering questions about Islam and trying to correct the many misconceptions people have about Islam and Muslims; however, I will also use that blog to let my customers know about new products that firaushah.com will be selling. The purpose of firaushah.com is to beautify Muslims, both internally and externally, insha'allah, and I think these two sides coming together will both fulfill firaushah.com's mission and benefit you, my readers.

In the meantime, I'm leaving DLAI up as it still gets a fair number of hits from people looking for information about Islam. However, firaushah.com - the blog will be getting all the new material, insha'allah. For those of you who have linked to DLAI (or would like to link to the new blog), the new URL is http://firaushah.com/blog/ .

April 17, 2006

Do It Vulcan Style, Baby!

I've started to come across ads and such for a new series on G4TV (a cable channel we don't have here in S'pore), called Star Trek 2.0. Apparently, the show will play re-runs of the original series. G4 has come out with three trailers for ST2.0, using stop-motion animation. While the trailers are a little strange, they're good enough for a laugh (e.g., Spock - with a black voice - calling Kirk a "white boy").

Star Trek Karaoke

Star Trek Coffee House

Star Trek Poolside

April 13, 2006

First Repercussion from Ports Fiasco?

[I originally posted this over at Daily Kos.]

While visiting one of my customers today, we fell into a discussion that touched on the recent ports management fiasco, where UAE-based Dubai Ports World had tried to purchase London-based Peninsular & Oriental, until the U.S. pulled a xenophobic histrionic fit.

The customer suggested that the ports fiasco had really opened the eyes of the Muslim world to Western attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims, and that a recent state visit to Singapore by Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia was a repercussion of that fiasco.  He believes that the Middle East will look increasingly toward eastern Asia for trade, investment, and military cooperation and, indeed, all of these issues were discussed in the Sultan's state visit (which included trips to Japan and Pakistan).

Now state visits between national leaders are quite common, and the Singapore government (through MM Lee Kuan Yew) had made the initial visit.  However, the fact that this was the first visit ever to Singapore by a Saudi official lends a little weight, I think, to my customer's argument.  Even if this state visit was not motivated in any part by the ports fiasco, I do think that the relationship between the Middle East and east Asia will continue to grow stronger (to the detriment of the US and Europe) because of the anti-Muslim/Arab attitudes of Western nations.

Pregnant? Or Merely Fat and Stupid? You Decide.

Sarah Everson faking her pregnancy (yet again)You have to wonder at the depths of deceit people will go to to get other people's money. Take the case of the Eversons of Grain Valley, Missouri:

The Eversons - Sarah, 45, and Kris, 33 - claimed to have given birth to four boys and two girls March 8. The babies were apparently in intensive care.

The tale exploded in the local spotlight Monday when The Examiner in Independence [Missouri] ran on its front page a photograph of the couple holding six one-piece baby outfits and announcing the births.

Those who heard the Eversons' sad story of tight finances set up a website to solicit contributions - including a new van, a washing machine and dryer, food, clothing, cash and gift certificates. A real estate agent was even working to find the family new housing.

Hours before admitting it was a scam, Sarah Everson showed an Associated Press reporter pictures of her in maternity clothes, her baring a huge pregnant-looking midsection, even sonogram images she claimed were of her infants. She showed off a tiny nursery, a closet full of baby clothes and the tiny diapers premature newborns must wear. She told of the surgeries two of the babies would undergo and detailed her discomfort during her pregnancy.

"I want to be with them all the time," she said, breaking into tears. "I don't like being away from them."

She said the entire story of her children's births was being kept secret by a court order enacted because a member of her husband's family was trying to kill the Eversons and their new sextuplets.

"I'm so afraid they're not going to make it," she sobbed. "Nobody understands how hard this is. I know that they're here. I know what I had to go through to get them here."

Of course, some people were skeptical...

“She’s been pregnant ten times since we’ve known her,” Helen Brown, the manager at a drive-in restaurant where Mrs Everson used to work, said.

...and the police naturally got involved:

Sarah Everson said a detective begin questioning her Tuesday evening; Bradley and Ambrose said the Eversons were interviewed at the police station for about an hour, during which they revealed the story was a scam. Officials have said that the Eversons expressed no remorse when they confessed to the hoax. They were released pending charges, and could face criminal charges for collecting cash and other gifts.

So why did they do it?

The couple [had] ...plenty of debts and had been sued for unpaid rent. “They said they needed the money to pay bills. It was definitely about money,” Aaron Ambrose, Grain Valley’s police chief, said.

The couple were married after meeting via a telephone chatline in March last year. It was the groom’s third marriage and the bride’s fourth. Mrs Everson soon began telling people that she was pregnant but spoke of her concern at the financial strain that six babies would impose on her and her husband.

In the meantime, editors at The Examiner, the newspaper that initially reported the story, are wiping major egg off their faces...

Examiner Editor Dale Brendel said he was considering a front-page column to readers addressing the issue. He said the incident would force a review of his reporters' verification practices.

"I think that we fell victim to the hoax. There were people out in the community who were doing fund-raisers already, and we feel bad for them and for us that we were the victims of that," Brendel said. "In retrospect, there were things we could have done better from a newspaper standpoint, in terms of our investigations and trying to flesh out some of the red flags there were about the story."

...and Sarah Everson is clamming up:

Reached by phone late Tuesday, Sarah Everson offered no explanation. "I'm not talking to anybody right now," she said, "because nobody gets it."

No, lady, you don't get it!

Couple Conceive Sixfold Solution to a Bundle of Debts
Couple's Sextuplet Hoax Busted
Missouri Couple Admits Sextuplets Story Was a Hoax

April 11, 2006

But You Already Knew That

Trash 'Little Green Footballs'

There's an interesting article over at firedoglake by Matt O., called "What Lies Beneath." The article goes into detail about the highly racist comments that LGF readers make over at that website. Two excerpts from the article:

Frequently readers post comments with racial slurs such as “raghead” and “mooselimbs,” racist anecdotes, castration, charges of a low intellect, wiping their rear with the Koran, calls for a new crusade, violence towards and mass murder of all Muslims, the destruction of Islam and white supremacist-esque language like “It’s time we asserted our culture” and “moral and cultural superiority.” It seems that liberals are now by definition terrorists and labeled as such. They speak of Arabs and Muslims in much the same ways that a racist southerner would speak of blacks in the 1950s.


If Charles [Johnson, Executive Editor of LGF] himself is not racist as he claims, though I emphatically disagree, LGF certainly is a “safe haven” for racists. It is a website that “harbors” racists. Readers that claim a moral, religious, racial and cultural superiority are consumed with an unfathomable hatred for Muslims and Arabs. They are provided with a forum where there are no consequences for their words. Instead, such responses are encouraged and thinly covered-up. Racism is what lies beneath.

But you already knew that.

April 8, 2006

Jesus (pbuh) Walked On...Ice?

Stories about the Gospel of Judas have been the rage the past few days, but I find this story even more interesting. (And the Christians are sending one hate e-mail every three minutes or so, according to the professor.)

Jesus walked on water, according to the Bible, but a professor says he may have actually walked on a hard-to-see patch of ice.

Doron Nof, a Florida State University professor of oceanography, said a rare combination of water and atmospheric conditions in the Sea of Galilee about 2,000 years ago may offer a scientific explanation for one of the miracles recounted in the Bible.

Nof, a native of Israel, said a patch of ice floating in the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a freshwater lake, would have been difficult to distinguish from unfrozen water surrounding it.

"I'm not trying to provide any information that has to do with theology here," Nof said in an interview Wednesday. "All we've thought is about the natural process. What theologians or anybody else does with that, it's their business, so to speak."

According to the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark and John, Jesus' disciples were out on the Galilee at night when a storm came up. Jesus walked to the terrified men, who thought he was a ghost, according to the accounts.


Nof's research appears in the April issue of the Journal of Paleolimnology, a publication on the reconstruction of lake histories. Nof's co-authors are biostatistics professor Ian McKeague of Columbia University and atmospheric science professor Nathan Paldor of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

They came up with the theory after studying records of long-ago water temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea, based on core samples of shells and other animal remains taken from the bottom.

The records indicated that two lengthy periods 2,500 to 1,500 years ago were chilly enough for ice patches to form during cold spells on the Sea of Galilee, said Nof.

The unfrozen water surrounding the ice would have come from salty springs along the lake's western shore, he said. Salty water freezes at lower temperatures than fresh water.

April 6, 2006

Peace and Love in the Qur'an

Dr. Juan Cole, over at Informed Comment, normally blogs about modern Middle Eastern politics and current events. However, he's recently written up some very good explanations (tafsir) regarding five (so far) Qur'anic ayat, under the general heading, Peace and Love in the Qur'an. The five ayat are:






Check it out.

April 5, 2006

Sir Charles

Charles Barkley, as a Phoenix Sun

Charles Barkley, one of my favorite NBA players, has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of consideration.

Barkley, of course, played for the Phoenix Suns from '92 through '96, and immediately led the Suns into the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls. Those were very good years for Suns basketball, and it was a pleasure to watch Barkley play those four years. (In fact, I liked Barkley's signature move, where he backed in toward the basket, so much that I now hate the "Barkley Rule" (where the player has a 5-second time limit before he has to make an offensive move).) And then there were the numerous ... heck, daily ... stories and quotations to look forward to (if you didn't live within viewing distance of Philly, Phoenix or Houston TV stations, you don't know what you missed).

While Barkley could have handled his departure from the Suns better, I'm glad that he and Jerry Colangelo have "kissed and made up." Barkley is now only the third member of the Suns organization to have been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame (along with Colangelo and Cornelius L. "Connie" Hawkins), and is one of 11 men in the Suns' Ring of Honor. The following is a brief biography for Sir Charles:

CHARLES BARKLEY, a native of Leeds, Alabama and attended Auburn University in Alabama, Barkley averaged 14.1 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game in his career at Auburn. During his career with the Philadelphia 76ers (1984-1992), the Phoenix Suns (1992-1996) and the Houston Rockets (1996-2000), Barkley was selected to 11 NBA All-Star games as well as the All-NBA First Team five times and the All-NBA Second Team five times. He won an Olympic gold medal with the 1992 United States Olympic Dream Team and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the 1993 season. A member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary team, Barkley averaged 22.1 points per game and almost 12 rebounds per game in his 16-year NBA career. He shares the single game record for most offensive rebounds in one quarter (11 in 1987).

April 3, 2006

A bear, a lion, and a chicken...

Rubber chickenA cute joke, from MENJ:

A bear, a lion and a chicken meet.

The bear says: "If I roar in the forests of North America, the entire forest is shivering with fear."

The lion says: "And if I roar on the great plains of Africa, the entire savannah is afraid of me."

Says the chicken: "Big deal. I only have to cough and the entire planet $#|+$ itself."