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  1. ^ Amiin, adeer. No matter. It has been said, rather aphoristically, "in heaven, all the interesting people are missing". Dadyowga caqliga ka curyaamay midh baan odhan, oo waa halkii Cantara bin Shaddad ee: wa Jahannamu bil Hitchens, atyabu manzili
  2. I hope the poor victims appeal this feckless decision by the judge. Unless there are facts about this incident to which we are not privy, it is glaringly obvious that it is a case of vicious assault— by thuggish wenches. I'm not familiar with the judiciary system in the UK, but I would be flabbergasted if this unduly lenient sentence was not overturned by an appeals court. I think Nomads residing in the UK should send an official complaint to the crown prosecution office regarding the ridiculously lenient sentence the judge rendered. Bahasha dadku way wada cabaan, oo marmar bay maskaxda yara furtaa, laakiin waxani wax loo dulqaadan karo maaha. والخمر قد يشربها معشر** ليسوا اذا عدوا بأكفائها
  3. One of the greatest English essayists to put pen to paper. His command of logic and language are truly legendary. RIP, Hitch. I highly recommend reading his fascinating memoir, Hitch-22.
  4. NGONGE;749581 wrote: And now when the leaders of this idiotic group get blow up by some random drone, the soft hearted amongst us will lament their loss and say "sheikh fulan used to do heart warming sermons". It's unconscionable. People have a twisted sense of religious solidarity. But why express condolences over the death of someone (Awlaki or Al-Shabaab) who would relish the opportunity to disfigure your life and distort your religion? It is disturbing that Al-Shabaab miscreants continue to have daffy fan-boys on these very forums.
  5. One Lebanese-American breathes a sigh of relief. Money quote: Awlaki was a malignant cancer on the reputation of Arab- and Muslim-Americans. He was also frequently cited by those who would stigmatize these communities as a potentially dangerous fifth column requiring discriminatory special treatment from the government. The bottom line is that Awlaki preached that all Americans, of whatever origin, were fair game and should be killed at every possible opportunity. That, of course, includes Arab- and Muslim-Americans. So Awlaki not only threatened the reputation of these communities, but also potentially their members as well. This man wanted us all dead, so eliminating him was, quintessentially, an act of self-defense. Courtesy Dish.
  6. I share many of Abtigiis' concerns about the aid industry, and occasionally find it difficult to stave off the suspicion that the entire thing is utterly debauched, as though it were devised to perpetuate and exacerbate the very problems it was meant to solve. In her contentious book, Dead Aid, the Zambian economist, Dambisa Moyo, wields a sharp harpoon against developmental aid, yet much of her critique can be applied to humanitarian aid as well. It is a good read, even if you ultimately disagree with her policy proposal that all aid to Africa should be terminated. Other than a few successful aid programs, it seems that much of foreign aid militates against progress and development. It is wasteful and baneful.
  7. Sultaanoow, you should post your queries on this forum. Many faith-heads have cautioned against, with sheepish fear, listening to the whispers of Satan. Their pious refrain—that inquisitive minds suffer from spiritual maladies— will at once sound familiar and tedious . Others have insinuated, a touch condescendingly, that your questions stem from abject ignorance— if only you had adequate knowledge, your simple questions would soon disappear. Still others have piously counseled you to search for an oracle Imam who ostensibly knows the answers to all your questions. If all else fails, "the trick is to keep praying." Why— a trick indeed. The distinct possibility that there are no answers to be had is never considered. Walaal, I think you should pose your questions and ignore the flurry of facile responses you have elicited thus far. Allaa Macakum.
  8. ^^ Though I was an erstwhile aficionado of fantasy fiction and science fiction novels, I shunted it aside for less fictive pursuits. But old habits die hard. I must confess that I recently picked up the Song of Ice and Fire series-- Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings, Storm of Swords, Feast of Crows-- and found myself dangerously engrossed. It certainly exceeded expectations, both stylistically and substantively. I just might read the latest installation, A Dance with Dragons, if time permits. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any of the HBO series of this epic novel.
  9. I think there are legitimate ethical concerns surrounding the conduct of any war, and whether assassinations of this kind (or any kind) are beyond the moral pale. It's definitely a discussion worth having. Not to go off on a tangent, but I find it immensely ironic, though equally laudable, for a prominent gay blogger and lawyer, Glen Greenwald, to defend the rights of a wretched theocrat who would sooner execute him for his alleged sin of homosexuality. One has to admire Greenwald's Voltaire-like virtue.
  10. Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida cleric and top US target, killed in Yemen Obama welcomes news of Awlaki's death in US air strike, and says dual US-Yemeni citizen advanced 'murderous agenda' A missile fired from an American drone has struck and killed a radical American-born Islamic cleric in Yemen and put an end to a controversial manhunt that stretched across the globe. Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual US-Yemeni citizen, has been one of America's top targets in its fight against al-Qaida. His firebrand rhetoric had become renowned on jihadi websites and is thought to have inspired many more followers. With a blog, a Facebook page and numerous YouTube videos of his sermons, he had increasingly been regarded by the US National Security Council as one of the most dangerous al-Qaida leaders. President Barack Obama authorised a request to target Awlaki in April last year, making him the first US citizen to be a legal target for assassination in the post-9/11 years. The strike has prompted accusations in the US that the administration has carried out an extra-judicial killing. Obama welcomed the news of Awlaki's death. At a ceremony at the White House to welcome the appointment of a new joint chief of staff for the US military, Obama broke from his prepared schedule to say Awlaki's death was a major blow to America's enemies and condemned him as a dangerous terrorist. "He repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda," Obama said. Awlaki is credited with inspiring or directing at least four plots on US soil in recent years, three of which were unsuccessful – a shooting inside the Fort Hood military base, the failed Times Square bombing, the failed underwear bomber, and a parcel bomb hidden inside a printer that also failed to explode inside a passenger jet. His exact role within in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is much debated by security analysts: some claim he had a senior operational role, others say he had a more informal relationship, and some reports said he was at odds with the established leaders of the group. His key role, both locally and internationally was as a propagandist and inspiration to potential terrorist operators. Awlaki, a bespectacled and bushy-bearded cleric, usually appeared in videos dressed in traditional Yemeni long robe, headscarf and tribal dagger, but he spoke in conversational American English. With his native English and grasp of Western culture, Awlaki was able to make the often esoteric worlds of radical Islamist theology and Middle Eastern politics accessible and understable to a new audience in Europe and American, introducing political arguments more familiar to listeners who may have had limited understanding of their professed faith. Awlaki was also linked to failed plots to target British and European interests, according to security officials. The attempted murder of the MP Stephen Timms was inspired by Awlaki's sermons, and a British Airways employee, Rajib Karim, was convicted in February of plotting attacks against the airline. Reaction from American politicians was generally positive on the news. Awlaki was born in New Mexico in 1971 to Yemeni parents who took him back to Yemen after early childhood. He returned to the US in 1991 to attend college. US authorities believe he came into contact with at least two of the 9/11 hijackers while giving sermons at a San Diego mosque. He is believed to have been killed at 9.55am on Friday morning at a site 90 miles (140km) east of Sana'a between the provinces of Marib and al-Jawf in what is believed to have been an air strike. Few details have been released about the strike – not least because the Obama administration is wary of further destabilishing the embattled regime of Yemeni president Ali Abdulla Saleh. But witnesses say that Awlaki was boarding a 2005 Toyota Hilux along with five other supporters when the US drone attack hit the vehicle. Initial reports suggested that it was the drone was operated by the CIA, working alongside the US joint special operations command team that directed the Osama bin Laden assassination. A second American militant, Samir Khan, who produced the English-language al-Qaida web magazine Inspire, was killed in the attack, said Yemen's defence ministry. The death of Awlaki is the most significant blow to the al-Qaida organisation since Bin Laden was assassinated in May. He was one of the few senior operatives orientated to western ways, and in recent years had become increasingly strident in his calls for Muslims to wage jihad against the US. The CIA and the US military have used drones to target al-Qaida officials in Yemen and had placed Awlaki near the top of a hit list. Yemeni officials initially said they were not yet sure who had killed him. However, they released details of the killing within several hours of it happening, suggesting that Sana'a was either directly involved or well-briefed by the US. Perhaps mindful of the difficult circumstances in Yemen, Obama was careful to praise the country's involvement in the strike and stress that Islamic militants have carried out many attacks in Yemen. "Awlaki and his organization have been directly responsible for the deaths of many Yemeni citizens. His hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and people of all faiths, and he has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against al-Qaida," Obama said. But not all reaction was positive. The campaign to take out Alwaki has been criticised by some as a worrying development where the US government can undertake to kill a US citizen without any form of trial. Republican presidential candidate, libertarian-leaning congressman Ron Paul, spoke out against the attack. "Nobody knows if he [Awlaki] ever killed anybody," Paul said after a political event in New Hampshire where he is currently campaigning. "If the American people accept this blindly and casually … I think that's sad," he added. Paul is a long-standing critic of American foreign policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American Civil Liberties Union also condemned the attack. The organisation, which campaigns on legal and human rights issues, put out a strongly-worded statement saying the strike was a clear violation of both US and international law. "This is a programme under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public, but from the courts," said ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer. He added: "It is a mistake to invest the president — any president — with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country."
  11. Garnaqisow, kan yar ee caadifaddu heyso wuxuu mooday in diin la caayay, oo rag iska celi buu is leeyahay, oo ma innagaa diinba soo hadal qaadnay? Waxaan xusuustaa beri uu xaqiirku khuraafaat nagu afuufay oo wuxuu na yidhi "Golden Ratio" waa mucjiso weyn oo cadaynaysa inay Makkah tahay meel muqaddas ah. Dee wuxuu lasoo shir tagay xisaab ay xitaa dhallaanku ku qosli lahaayeen. Laakiin safiih maxaad ku taqaan: waabuu khashuucay intuu sidaa madaxa u foorariyay. Waar kani xitaa fractions isuma geyn karo, kolkaasaad doonaysaa inaad u sharaxdo theory of relativity iyo Newtonian mechanics. Maahmaahyada dameerada iyo suuradda maroodiga uunbuu yaqaan ee waxba wakhti haysaga lumin baan ku odhan lahaa.
  12. Good for the Saudis. Still, they are disappointingly behind the curve of moral progress by half a century. A few more antiquated, discriminatory laws should be consigned to the flames: i)segregation of the sexes ii)government enforcement of " religious morality" (e.g. enforcement of Hijab laws by theocratic thugs) ii)patriarchal laws pertaining to female witness testimony and female inheritance iv) unjust matrimonial and divorce laws v) judicial sanction of spousal abuse (i.e. allowing a husband to lay a finger -- or was it a small miswak-- on his wife)
  13. Abtigiis, sxb, over the years, I, too, had to endure my share of shrewish professors and singularly unimpressive female managers and bureaucrats. I oddly, and probably wrongly, remember more wicked and witless women than I do men. But as I used to constantly remind (and console) myself, "the plural of anecdote is not evidence." Male bitc**es exist as well. Also, I think it's prudent to say that in certain circumstances one should deal with women in a different manner. Owing to differences in psychology, one is required to painstakingly fine-tune one's responses. The old proponents of behaviorism, who erroneously asserted that men and women are "only different from the neck down", got it fantastically wrong; females differ from males from the neck up as well. The innatists' insistence-- that nature be given its proper place alongside nurture-- has been vindicated . Now, I understand some may be wary and weary of saying this because lesser minds will start sniffing whiffs of sexism as soon as so banal a fact is declared: there are innate gender-differences not only in anatomy but in behavior. Here, one is obliged to belabor the obvious. Behaviorally, mothers aren't like fathers, sisters aren't like brothers, and boys aren't like girls. Not all stereotypes are unfounded and fatuous. While social conditioning is an important variable, it is scarcely everything. To wish away biology is a fool's errand. (To insufferable feminists: Difference need not mean deficience.) Of course, Abtigiis could have articulated all this without employing provocative and colorful language. But that would be boringly disinterested. It seems that he has decided that a tinge of controversy serves him better in soliciting advice. I think this invites only screeches and screams, and disapproving scowls from us hoary liberals.
  14. I am eternally puzzled by the reaction of the faithful to scientific discoveries, ever declaiming against the authority of science. Unfortunately, their misplaced schadenfreude betrays a profound ignorance of the scientific process. Experiments like OPERA are scarcely a source of angst and dread for scientists; on the contrary, such provisional findings are a catalyst of curiosity and an impetus for further research. It is impossible to exaggerate the intellectual excitement and debate such experiments foster. If you peruse any scientific journal, magazine, or blog, you'll find lively reviews (and debates) of the original paper, arguments about methodological flaws, interpretation of the data, and its possible implications. This is science at work. And it's pure fun.