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When Enough is Enough

August 22, 2014

Durham, North Carolina, United States   Suicide– a recent topic in the news following the death of Robin Williams. Many people have misconceptions about suicide. It has been referred to as a selfish act and I used to agree. Then suicide affected my life. I began to understand that for someone to take their own life, there is terrible pain and suffering. My great uncle suffered from a long battle with macular degeneration and cancer. His wife had Alzheimer’s and he was the primary caregiver. When he became ill, he was unable to care for her or himself. He committed suicide-I will never forget that phone call. During that moment when he was deciding to live or die, he must have felt hopeless and desperate. His two sisters loved him and talked to him every day, but they could not help. At the time of his death, he had...

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Muslims Need Serious Self-Criticism

August 22, 2014

Almaty, Kazakhstan   If anyone, including Muslims, follows the news, s/he would probably say “something wrong is happening with Muslims”. The violence, specifically perpetrated in the name of Islam by either the states or groups or individuals against, not infrequently seeming, “others” ramps up; different Muslim communities became engulfed in the inter-community and intra-community fighting.  Anyone having some knowledge of Islam cannot help but be puzzled: Why do a number of Muslims let themselves to be led by raw emotions and not subdue their emotions to reason and compassion? Why do many Muslims entrap themselves in a kind of psychological prison of hatred, revenge-seeking but not behave like Prophet Muhammad?! Why do we Muslims in these days assign themselves a task to be like the Angels “Guardians of Hell”? Why are Muslims so jealous about the infinite mercy of God?! Paradise is not something under their monopoly, but only of God’s, who is...

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Syria, not Iraq is the key to defeating the Islamic State

August 22, 2014

Oslo, Norway   “Islamic state” or IS was born as a terrorist organisation in Syria as an undesirable consequence of the Arab Spring and its de facto caliphate has its capital in the Syrian town of Raqqa. In order to eradicate IS completely, it is not enough to simply purge IS out of Iraq but it would have to be obliterated from Syria as well.Until 2011, Syria used to be quite a stable country. Those who have visited the country remember it as an attractive tourist destination with religious diversity and a secular regime. Although the government form was not in conformity with western liberal democracy, the relations between Bashar al-Assad and many Western countries were quite good despite. It was not until the start of the Arab Spring that the West set a target under the US leadership to overthrow Assad’s government even if it required arming the...

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How Ninoy’s Legacy Took A Different Turn

August 22, 2014

Parañaque, Philippines    Yellow denotes gaiety in psychology, but the color has espoused a different tenor in Philippine politics. Ninoy Aquino turned it into the hue of protest. Even so, his indelible mark on the Filipino nation was not so much the color yellow as the courage to stand up against tyrannical leaders and fight for effective governance. But has this legacy of “the greatest president we never had” been abused overtime? Has this heritage betrayed the weakness of the Filipino masses? The weakness which is the failure to elect a capable individual into the post? Ferdinand Marcos was the tenth president of the Philippines. After him and the glorious People Power in 1986, only one leader finished his term unscathed by coups d’état and impeachment cases. The other three bore the nuisance of military rebellions or indictment charges while one never completed his tenure at all. Ninoy’s widow, Corazon, assumed...

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The 2014 Gaza and the Persian Pattern

August 22, 2014

Geneva, Switzerland   In certain contexts of the Shi’ite sect of Islam – which one may argue to be the Persian retaliatory version of the Mohammedan faith – a maxim is developed: \”the victory of blood over sword\”. In fact, the maxim acknowledges a powerful impulse of strategic, theatrical, and psychic nature; massive blood of the innocents spilled by savage bashes of maniac brutes: the protagonist former and the antagonist latter, in the eye of the public beholder. But how can one import the picturesque paradox of a victorious mutilated corpse into the factual world of realpolitik? In other words, how can the dead be a winner? The answer is in the peculiar dissociation of the victor from both the victim and the victimizer.Back in 750 A. D. the Persians found themselves on that same fork way where the Iraqi Christians are these days: to kiss their lives goodbye, or to...

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