Qur'an 7.146: "So That Even Though They See All The Signs They Will Not Believe In Them""Some think of themselves as Hindus, or Muslims or Christians and everyone thinks he is right. But there is not one dharma from any of these by which you become dharmic from within. Anyone can commit any sins in the name of religion. There is no Light of Dharma." - Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi
1. I do call to witness the Resurrection Day;
2. And I do call to witness the self-reproaching Spirit.
3. Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?
4. Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order, the very tip of his fingers.
5. But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.
6. He questions: "When is the Day of Resurrection?"
7. At length, when the sight is dazed
8. And the moon is buried in darkness
9. And the sun and moon are joined together that Day will Man say;
10. "Where is the refuge?"
11. By no means! No place of safety!"
12. Before the Lord (alone), that Day will be the place of rest.
13. That Day will Man be told (all) that he put forward, and all that he put back.
14. Nay, man will be evidence against himself,
15. Even though he were to make excuses.
16. Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an), to make haste therewith.
17. It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it:
18. But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital:
19. Nay more, it is for Us to explain it:
20. Nay, (ye men!) but ye love the fleeting life,
21. And leave alone the Hereafter.
22. Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty) -
23. Looking towards their Lord;
24. And some faces, that Day, will be sad and dismal,
25. In the thought that some backbreaking calamity was about to be inflicted on them;
26. Yea, when (the soul) reaches to the collarbone (in its exit),
27. And there will be a cry, "Who is a magician (to restore him)?"
28. And he will conclude that it was (the Time) of Parting;
29. And one leg will be joined with another:
30. The Day the Drive will be (all) to thy Lord!
31. So he gave nothing in charity, nor did he pray! -
32. But on the contrary, he rejected Truth and turned away!
33. Then did he stalk to his family in full conceit!
34. Woe to thee, (O man!), yea, woe!
35. Again, woe to thee, (O man!), yea, woe!
36. Does Man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)?
37. Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?
38. Then did he become a clinging clot; then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion.
39. And of him He made two sexes, male and female.
40. Has not he, (the same), the power to give life to the dead?
surah 75:1-40 Al Qiyamah (The Resurrection)
I will turn those away from My signs,
Who behave unjustly with arrogance in the land,
So that even though they see all the signs they will not believe in them;
And if they see the path of rectitude, will not take it to be a way;
And if they see the way of error take it be be the (right) path.
This is so for they have called Our messages lies,
And have been heedless of them.
surah 7.146 Al-A'raf (Wall Between Heaven and Hell)
(Ahmed Ali, Islam: The Qur'an, Princeton University Press, 1988.)
"Middle East Overview
The Middle East witnessed some of the world's most horrific acts of terrorism in 1997.
In November, the Egyptian Islamic extremist group al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group or IG) demonstrated that it was still capable of carrying out devastating acts of terrorism by staging a brutal attack that left 58 tourists and four Egyptians dead. The attack, which occurred at Hatshepsut's Temple in Luxor, took place in spite of the Egyptian Government's crackdown on extremist groups that resulted in a dramatic decrease in terrorist incidents and calls from some imprisoned al-Gama'at leaders for a truce. . . .
In Algeria, political violence and random killings soared toward the end of the year, as Armed Islamic Group (GIA) members stormed villages and towns, some no more than a few dozen kilometers from Algiers. Killing of civilians at highway checkpoints and in outlying towns continued on a regular basis. The Government of Algeria publicly blamed Iran for providing support to Islamist militants. . . .
Suicide bombers from the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) set off bombs in crowded public places in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem three times in 1997. . .
The Palestinian Authority (PA) continued its efforts in cooperation with Israeli authorities to counter the threat posed by Palestinian terrorist groups and succeeded in 1997 in thwarting several planned terrorist attacks. At the same time, more effort is needed by the PA to enhance its bilateral cooperation with Israel and its unilateral fight against terrorism.
In Lebanon, the security situation improved incrementally as the government continued its efforts to expand its authority over more of the country. Despite these efforts, large areas of the Bekaa Valley, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and south Lebanon remain outside the effective control of the government. Terrorist groups, especially Hizballah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), used these areas in 1997 to stage attacks and engage in terrorist training.
In Saudi Arabia, the investigation to identify those responsible for the June 1996 bombing of the Khubar Towers US Air Force residential compound continued without reaching a conclusion. The bombing killed 19 US servicemen.
The Government of Algeria does not face a significant threat to its stability from Islamic extremists, but the country's domestic terrorist problem remained among the world's worst in 1997. At least 70,000 Algerians - Islamic militants, civilians, and security personnel - have been killed since Algerian militants began their campaign to topple the government in 1992. . . .
GIA terrorist operations continued, nonetheless, against a broad spectrum of Algerian civilians in 1997, including women and children. The worst incident of 1997 occurred on 31 December when more than 400 civilians were killed in Relizane, approximately 150 miles southwest of the capital. This act of violence was also the single worst massacre since the GIA began its reign of terror in 1992. Seven foreigners were killed in acts of terrorist violence in Algeria in 1997, bringing the total number of foreigners killed by the GIA in Algeria since 1992 to 133. The group did not claim responsibility for these killings, nor did it issue an official communiqué announcing a resurgence of its violent campaign against foreigners. It remains unclear whether the foreigners were being specifically targeted or whether those killed were incidental victims of violence. . . .
Bahrain continued to be plagued by arson attacks and other minor security incidents throughout 1997, most perpetrated by domestic dissidents. The most serious incident was an arson attack on a commercial establishment on 13 June that resulted in the death of four South Asian expatriates. One day later an abandoned vehicle detonated outside the passport directorate of Bahrain's Interior Ministry; the explosion caused no injuries..
Reversing a trend since 1995 of decreasing death tolls, the number of fatalities from terrorist incidents in Egypt rose in 1997 due to a heightened level of attacks during the latter half of the year by al-Gama'at. The group claimed responsibility for a brutal attack at a pharaonic temple site in Luxor on 17 November that killed 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians - the most lethal attack by the group. The six al-Gama'at perpetrators were killed in a shootout by police during their escape effort. Al-Gama'at claimed it intended to take hostages in the attack in exchange for the release of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, serving a life prison term in the United States after being convicted in 1995 for several terrorist conspiracies. The claim was belied, however, by surviving eyewitnesses who reported the perpetrators took their time to execute systematically victims trapped inside the temple.
The group also continued to launch attacks against police, police informants, and Coptic Christians in southern Egypt.
Foreign tourists also were attacked in September by two Egyptian gunmen who professed support for the Egyptian al-Jihad but who were not found to be linked to an established group. Nine Germans and their Egyptian bus driver were killed in the attack outside the National Museum in Cairo. One of the gunmen was an escaped mental hospital inmate who previously had killed four foreign nationals, including a US citizen, in an attack at a restaurant in the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel in Cairo in October 1993. . . .
Israel and the Occupied Territories/Palestinian Autonomous Areas. Israel continued in 1997 to face terrorist attacks by Palestinian groups opposed to the peace process. HAMAS launched three deadly suicide bombings over the year: a 21 March bombing in a Tel Aviv cafe, killing three Israelis and wounding 48; a 30 July dual suicide bombing in a crowded Jerusalem market, which killed 16-including one US citizen - and wounded 178; and a 4 September triple suicide bombing at a popular Jerusalem pedestrian mall, which killed four Israelis and one US citizen, and wounded nearly 200. . . .
Numerous other serious but less spectacular attacks against Israel and its citizens also occurred, including the 20 November murder of an Israeli student in Jerusalem's Old City carried out by unknown assailants. In addition, Israeli border forces stopped several attempted terrorist infiltration from Lebanon and Jordan, including a 4 March border crossing attempt from Lebanon in which two Israeli soldiers were killed. . . .
Despite an active counter-terrorism campaign, Jordan in 1997 continued to suffer from terrorism. A 22 September drive-by shooting of two Israeli Embassy security guards in Amman remains unsolved. In other violence, a Jordanian soldier on 13 March murdered seven Israeli schoolchildren visiting a peace park. The soldier, who was captured at the scene, was sentenced in July to life in prison.
Amman continued to maintain tight security along its border with Israel and to interdict individuals attempting to infiltrate into the West Bank. Jordanian security and police also continued to monitor secular and Islamic extremists inside the country and to detain individuals suspected of involvement in violent acts aimed at destabilizing the government or its relations with other states. Jordan, in early September, for instance, detained HAMAS spokesman Ibrahim Ghawsha, a Jordanian citizen, for issuing statements promoting anti-Israeli violence. In addition to HAMAS, several Palestinian rejectionist groups - such as the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Abu Nidal organization (ANO), and the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP and DFLP) - maintain a closely watched presence in Jordan.
There is no effective Lebanese Government presence in much of southern Lebanon, where guerrilla groups are engaged in fighting in the so-called security zone controlled by Israel and its surrogate militia
In these areas, a variety of terrorist groups continued to operate with relative impunity, conducting terrorist training and other operational activities. These groups include Hizballah, HAMAS, the ANO, the PIJ, and the PFLP-GC. . . .
There has been no solution to the question of responsibility for the June 1996 bombing of the Khubar Towers housing facility near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In that incident, a large truck bomb killed 19 US citizens and wounded more than 500 others."
US Government Home Page [September 4, 1998]
Prayers offered for nuclear explosions
"Pakistanis pray for their country during a special thanksgiving prayer in Islamabad yesterday, one day after Pakistan carried out its own nuclear tests in response to India's tests of two weeks ago.
Festive celebrations continued throughout yesterday, and in the nation's biggest mosques special prayers of thanksgiving were offered for the explosions. We Will Destroy India, trumpeted the main headlines in an Urdu-language newspaper."
The Globe and Mail, Saturday, May 30, 1998
Bombings hit Iraq Shia pilgrims in Karbala
Two suicide bombers have killed at least 30 people and injured more than 70 on the outskirts of the Iraqi city of Karbala, police reports say.
About a million Shia Muslim pilgrims are in the city to visit the Imam Hussein shrine. About 60 pilgrims were killed in two other attacks this week.
Friday is the last and most important day of the Arbaeen, 40 days of mourning for the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.
Meanwhile, 11 people were killed in an attack on Shias in Karachi in Pakistan...
This year's pilgrimage has already been hit twice by bombers.
A bomb planted on a cart pulled by a motorbike killed at least 20 pilgrims on Wednesday as they streamed into Karbala.
And more than 40 pilgrims were killed on the outskirts of the capital Baghdad on Monday as they began the long walk to Karbala.
BBC, 5 February 2010
Pakistan rocked by fresh attacks
A series of gun and bomb attacks on security forces in Pakistan has killed about 40 people.
In Lahore, police and militants fought gun battles at a federal security building and two police academies that left at least 26 people dead.
A suicide car bomb at a police station in the north-western town of Kohat left 11 dead, while another car bomb in the nearby city of Peshawar killed a child.
More than 150 have died in Pakistan in militant attacks in the past two weeks.
BBC, 15 October 2009
WA-LAA UQSIM BI-AN-NAFSAL-LAWWAAMAH
I do call to witness the Resurrection Day;
And I do call to witness the self-reproaching Spirit.
Concerning what are they disputing?
Concerning the Great News. 
About which they cannot agree.
Verily, they shall soon (come to) know!
Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know!
surah 78:1-5 Al Naba' (The Great News)
"5889. Great News: usually understood to mean the News or Message of the Resurrection."
Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, Amana Corporation, 1989.
Types of Kufr (Disbelief) " Adapted from 'Tafseer ibn Katheer'
1. Kufrul-'Inaad: Disbelief out of stubbornness;
2. Kufrul-Inkaar: Disbelief out of denial;
3. Kufrul-Kibr: Disbelief out of arrogance and pride;
4. Kufrul-Juhood: Disbelief out of rejection;
5. Kufrul-Nifaaq: Disbelief out of hypocrisy;
6. Kufrul-Kurh: Disbelief out of detesting any of Allah's commands;
7. Kufrul-Istihzaha: Disbelief due to mockery and derision;
8. Kufrul-I'raadh: Disbelief due to avoidance;
In Abdullah Yusuf Ali's commentary Kufr, Kafara, Kafir, and derivative forms of the word imply a deliberate rejection of faith, revelation and truth of the Holy Qur'an: "The culmination of Allah's Revelation is in the Qur'an, which confirms previous scriptures, corrects the errors which men introduced into them, and explains many points in detail for all who seek right worship and service to Allah"whether they inherit the previous Books or not. It is a universal Message ... The worst and most hardened sinner is the man to whom Allah's Signs are actually brought home and who yet prefers Evil and turns away from the Light of Allah. The Signs may be in the words and guidance of a great Teacher or in some sorrow or warning, but from which he deliberately refuses to profit. The penalty"the Nemesis"must necessary come eventually."
According to Ibn Taymiyah (1263 – 1328) "kufr is the attribute of everyone who rejects something that God has commanded us to believe in, after news of that has reached him, whether he rejects it in his heart without uttering it, or he speaks those words of rejection without believing it in his heart, or he does both; or he does an action which is described in the texts as putting one beyond the pale of faith."
However, this explanation of kufr is most lucid and applicable to the sheer gravity, importance, and dire consequences of this universal Message of Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection): "Just as faith for Muslims has to do not with believing but with knowing, so kufr, rejection, is not a lack of belief, not an intellectual position that holds that something is otherwise than is the case, and certainly it is not mere ignorance. Rather it, too, like its correlative iman, presupposes knowledge; for it is an active repudiation of what one knows to be true. This is why it is a sin, and indeed a (the) monstrous sin. It is the one final, cosmic (or some would say, the one final human) wrong; the deliberate saying of 'no' to what one knows to be right." (Wilfred Cantwell Smith, On Understanding Islam: Selected Studies, 1981, page 154)
Therefore most of the Al-Kufr ul Akbar (major disbeliefs) are applicable to those rejecting or disbelieving Allah's (SWT) Signs and surahs upholding the collection, promulgation, recital, explanation and warning of the following:
i) His Call to witness Al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection);
ii) His Call to witness His Ruh (self-reproaching Spirit);
iii) His Call to heed Al Naba (The Great News);
iv) His Call to participate in Al Qadr (The Night of Power and Destiny);
v) His Call to confirm His Revelations, Signs, and Warnings (of i-iv).
Thus kaffir (non-believer) here is applied to all humankind, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who reject the Call that God has commanded us to believe in after His Revelations, Signs and Warnings have reached us. The Qur'an clearly warns that many will disbelief, even mock, the Great News and Sure Signs of Al-Qiyamah.
So be forewarned, and in the Hereafter never deny deliverance of this clear Warning: "O ye assembly of Jinns and men! came there not unto you messengers from amongst you, setting forth unto you My signs, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?" Qur'an 6.130
And to those still rejecting, hesitant or unable to make up their minds even after hearing the Great News and shown the Signs, Allah (SWT) questions: "Are they waiting until the Hour comes to them suddenly? All the Signs thereof have already come. Once the Hour comes to them, how will they benefit from their message?" "Why do they not study the Quran carefully? Do they have locks on their minds?" Qur'an 47:18-24
The last paragraph is yet another warning from Allah (SWT) that prior to the Wrath of the End (Al Qariah) humans are offered the Mercy of the Resurrection (Al Qadr). And once the Hour of Al Qariah comes to them, how will they benefit from their contemporary message of Al Qadr i.e., from the Great News of the messengers from amongst you? How will those reading these lines benefit if they continue to doubt and wait, and the Striking Day comes suddenly? What use then will be the Mercy and Compassion of Al Qadr (Night of Destiny) if the morn of the Al Qariah (Striking Day) ends His Peace? Why doesn't the Ummah then not study the Quran with painstaking effort to avoid the errors, mistranslation and ignorance of the ulema that have presently paralyzed their minds from believing the Great News? Why don't they use their own mental faculties and intelligence to understand Al- Qiyamah, the heart and soul of the living, breathing Quran? Living and breathing because God Almighty is now talking directly to you through His Holy Book! After all, it is Allah (SWT) who has now called out to all Believers with this Decree: "I do call to witness the Resurrection Day; And I do call to witness the self-reproaching Spirit." He is specifically addressing you in particular (and Believers is general) to do so!
Only now in this modern age of universal education, mass media and publishing technology"after 14 centuries and unlike the illiterate past"is it possible to own and be sufficiently literate to "study the Quran carefully" in languages they understand best.* And just in case the Believers start studying the entire Qur'an, it must be stressed that Allah (SWT) is referring specifically to those eschatological Signs and surahs upholding His Call to bear witness of the Resurrection! They must thoroughly examine and understand the Signs that have already manifested, and set forth by messengers from amongst themselves.
Without question, to "study the Quran carefully" means using one's own mental faculties, not those of the ulema (Muslim clergy) who have for centuries put "locks on their minds" and are the very reason for the Ummah's present predicament i.e., their unprecedented kaffir-like mindset, reaction, rejection and mocking of His Call, Signs and Great News of the Resurrection. They must know that during Al Qadr no 'graves are going to open up' as this is His Night of Compassion and Mercy. So "Peace!... This until the rise of the morn!" (Quran 97:5)
"There is so much blind faith, there is so much of wrong ideas, so much of organizational fortresses they have built. All kinds of nonsensical things are going on in this world, but they'll all be finished."
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Vienna, Austria, 8 June 1988
"We are now in the Blossom Time, as I call it, because many flowers are born and they are to become the fruits. This is the Resurrection Time, which is described in all the scriptures. But it’s not like this, the way they had described us. Something wrong with them that all the dead bodies who are in the graves will come out of the graves. I mean, how much is left out of them, God knows. Must be some bones or maybe some skulls there. So they’ll come out of the graves and they will get their Resurrection!!!? This is a very wrong idea.
Once I happened to meet a fellow, a Muslim from Bosnia and he told Me, "I want to die for my religion, for God’s sake." I said, "But why? Who told you to die?" He said, "Now, if I die in the name of God, I’ll be resurrected." I said, "It’s all wrong. That’s not the way it is going to work out. Resurrection is going to work out this way that at this time, all these souls will take their birth. All these souls will take their birth and they will be resurrected. As human beings they’ll have to come."
That’s why we find all kinds of funny people these days, all kinds of cruel, criminal, all kinds of idiotic, stupid, I mean very queer, weird, funny ideas which find such, such a variety of people and such a tremendous population that we should understand they have to have their chance of Resurrection. But how many will come? That’s the point. How many are going to come?"
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Philadelphia, USA " October 15, 1993
So Peace to all Believers bearing witness to the Resurrection (Al-Qiyamah)! So Peace to all Believers bearing witness to His self-reproaching Spirit (Ruh)! So Peace to all Believers resurrecting themselves during this blessed Night of Power and Destiny (Al Qadr)! So Peace to all Believers of the Great News (Al Naba)! So Peace until the dreadful morn of the Great Calamity, the Striking Day (Al Qariah) against the Unbelievers (Al-Kafirun)!
Last, but not the least, the Qur'an insists that ample warning of impending calamity must be always delivered by His messengers:
"That is because thy Lord would never destroy the cities unjustly, while their inhabitants were heedless." (Quran 6.131);
"Never did We destroy a population, but had its warners - By way of reminder; and We never are unjust." (Quran 26:208-209);
"And never did Thy Lord destroy the townships, till He had raised up in their mother-town a messenger reciting unto them Our revelations." (Quran 27:59);
This cardinal rule has been expressly complied with and Warning of the impending Great Calamity repeatedly announced and fearlessly upheld by the incarnation of His Ruh for more than three decades until Her retirement in 2008 at the age of 85. (Since Jesus is the mandatory Sign of the Hour [Quran 43:61], and as the Comforter promised and sent by God Almighty in Jesus' name, She has also ceaselessly glorified Christ and His Message of the Last Judgment.)
"I should do something to bring sense to these people (humanity). Something should happen to them otherwise what I see is a complete disaster. It is going to happen. I do not want to frighten you like Mrs Thatcher does about the Russians. That might be imaginary. But this is real. I am warning you that the Disaster is going to come as destruction itself."
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
London, UK, 6 June 1983
"The Last Judgment has started. We are facing the Last Judgment today. We are not aware of it. And all the satanic forces have come out like the wolves in sheep's clothes. And they are trying to attract you and you do not judge them. You only sit down and judge the Reality. It has started! It is a fact! It has started!"
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Kingston, UK, 6 November 1980
"I have such respect for so many of them (Muslims). I wish they could accept that this is not Jihad time anymore but Qiyamah Time, the Resurrection Time, the Blossom Time. Are they going to miss it?"
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
" "Muslim illiteracy worldwide stands at about 51 percent for all age groups over fifteen. Despite a rapid increase in primary school enrollment, only 45 percent of Muslim children aged six to eleven attend primary school. An even larger gap exists at higher levels of research." - Martin S. Kramer, Arab awakening and Islamic revival, 1996, page 280;
" "The vast majority of Muslims do not speak Arabic as their native tongue" - Christine Huda Dodge, The everything understanding Islam, 2003, page 21;
" "The degree of knowledge of Arabic determines a person's understanding of the Islamic creed. The Quran, the Hadith and Sira traditions (Prophetic sayings and actions), and the writings of the early Islamic scholars and jurists were in Arabic. Imam Shafei (767- 820), the founder of the Shafei School of Sunni jurisprudence, advocated that every Muslim should learn Arabic, at least to the point of reciting the Quran (Hourani 1991, 68). Most non-Arab Muslims do not understand Arabic." - Elie Elhadj, The Islamic Shield, 2006, page 22;
" "If your mother tongue is not Arabic, Satan (or his troops) will encourage you to read the Quran in Arabic. Why does he do that? Because he knows that you will not understand enough of it. The majority of those who learn Arabic to study the Quran do not excel enough to understand the implication or interpretation of certain words when used in a special way in the Arabic language. They will have a lot of shortcomings. Many Pakistani and Indian Muslims are forced as children to read the Quran in Arabic and still as adults read the Quran in Arabic but they do not understand a single word of what they read... The Quran is a message, not just another beautiful language book. If you cannot read it in Arabic do not wait until the day you excel in your Arabic language, because this day may never come. Trust God and know that He is the teacher of the Quran. He will teach in any language and to any nationality, He created all things. Read your Quran today, (do not wait any longer,) in any language that you can understand and master and leave the rest to God." Dr. Rashad Khalifa, Ph.d.
Finding the Truth
There are thousands of "beliefs", political, religious or philosophical doctrines and all of them are in contrast with each other. Of course not all of them can be true. Yet their supporters claim that theirs is the only true doctrine. In my opinion truth is infinite and therefore no person, group or religion can claim to possess it. There is no book that can contain the infinite truth. All doctrines and ideologies posses a part of the truth. Things are not black and white. They come in different shades and colors. The light of the sun shines on all things, yet each thing reflects that light with a different wavelength and that is why you see the variety of colors in this world. The light is one, yet it manifests itself in millions of colors.
Truth is also one, yet each person understands it differently. We see the truth in different ways, each sees a facet of it. Who can decry the facet that someone holds true and dear to his heart? The Truth is one and only, but because each person's mental capacity, social and cultural background is different, that same Truth for each person has a different flavor. The variety is not in the Truth itself but in its containers.
The absolute Truth is unattainable. It is too big for us humans with our limited mental capacity to grasp. All we can aspire is to see and understand one or few aspects of the Truth. Think of the truth as this Earth. We are all in contact with it and experience it. But while we are standing on its surface our experience of it is limited. Since the Earth is made of mountains, plateaus, oceans, forests, deserts, and many more features, each one of us can only see what is around him. No one can claim to have the only true view of the Earth from his or her vantage point. No matter where we are and no matter how vast are the horizons before us we cannot see the entire Earth.
That is exactly how we can see the truth. We see only part of it. And what we see depends on the social, cultural and religious ground on which we are standing.
People see the same reality from different angles. What they see is different, but they are just seeing different facets of the same reality. This realization, that my truth and yours are not different, will enrich our understanding instead of becoming points of contention. Once we become aware of our limitations, we stop having "blind faith" about anything. We know that our understanding is limited and it is subject to change. So we learn to think laterally, become open to other possibilities, doubt and question. Though we may think we have found the truth, we know that the truth has other hidden facets that we have not seen yet. By having an open mind, listening to other theories, we learn more. The more we know, the more we find how little we know. This is the essence of freethinking. This is how philosophers think. It is much different from the thinking of a religious person who believes all truth can be contained in few pages of a book, and that is all there is to it, and nothing more.
Just as there is truth in everything, there is also falsehood in everything. There is nothing that can be defined as absolutely wrong, just as there is nothing that can be defined as absolutely true. In every black there is an element of whiteness and in every white there is a component of lackness. The method to arrive at the truth is through critical analysis of different ideas. Truth will sparkle when different ideas clash. If you and I never talk, you will never know my point of view and I will not know yours.
I do not believe that any religion is true. They are all man made. And just as any other man made philosophy and school of thought, every religion is partially true and partially wrong. The proportion may vary from religion to religion. But since the absolute truth is unattainable and what we can understand is relative and subject to our cultural biases and personal predispositions, what you think is true may seem untrue to me and vice versa.
So what shall we do? If we never talk, we'll never learn each other's points of view and the gap between us grows deeper. Some matters are of taste and should be left to the individual. For example, do you believe in reincarnation or you don't? Do you believe in the survival of the soul after the death or you don't? Do you believe in the existence of God or you don't? These are personal beliefs. Whether we agree on them or not, it does not change anything. We may disagree on these personal issues and still live and work together in the same society in peace and harmony.
But what if our beliefs infringe the rights of the others? What if I believe in a god as the owner of this universe that has ordered me to kill anyone who fails to recognize him? What if I believe that my god wants me to beat my wife if she is not obedient to me, or kill my daughter if I suspect lewdness on her part, or subdue and humiliate my neighbor if his religion is not the right one?
You obviously cannot sit idle and "respect" my belief. You have two choices, you either arm yourself and try to kill me before I kill you or you try to educate me and make me see that what I believe is morally and rationally wrong.
In my opinion, since we all have different beliefs, if we opt the first rout and start killing each other very few of us will remain in this world. Islam advocates Jihad, it encourages you to fight and kill the unbelievers until everyone's religion is Islam. This is the barbaric way to handle the differences. The winner is not necessarily the one who is right but the one who has the might. Hitler and Muhammad both believed in violence as a legitimate mean to impose their philosophy. The result, in both cases was catastrophic.
Faith blinds. As a believer I am incapable to see my errors. If I am only talking with my peers who also believe in what I believe they strengthen my faith and if our faith is wrong we are both confirmed in our ignorance. We will sit in our synagogues, churches or mosques and say how good we are and how evil you are; how much god loves us and how much he hates you and so on. This is the way we have done so far and it wasn't a picnic. Now imagine we who have so much hate, have also atomic and biological bombs. Pakistan has atomic bomb, and Iraq has biological weapons. Of course if they use their arsenals against the West or Israel, they will be wiped out. But they are fanatics. They are the suicide bombers. They cannot think straight. They believe that they will go to Paradise whether they kill of they are killed.
Obviously there is a lot at stake. We cannot just sit and let a catastrophe of unimaginable proportion happen. The destruction of our country, and our neighboring countries is painful and sad, yet it is nothing with what is going to befall us, if we do not stop this madness.
I suggest, let us take the other rout. Let us discuss and make each other see where we are wrong. I believe in what I believe and you have faith in yours. I am not able to see the errors of my faith and you are not able to see yours. Let us find out the truth. You show my errors, and let me show yours. I won't be offended if you tell me where I am wrong. But please don't take it personally when I point out your errors. You and I should talk and let our ideas clash, let us debate, let us find the truth, but let us be friends and love each other like brothers and sisters.
What would you do if you find out that your son or someone you love has joined a very dangerous cult? Would you sit idle and let him harm himself and others because of his beliefs? Would you hate him, punish him or kill him for it? If you are a wise person you will educate yourself about that cult and try to help him see the dangerous road that he is taking.
We humans are brothers and sisters to each other. This is the first and foremost truth that we all must be aware of. Once this feeling of love and oneness is established among all the members of humanity, we should sit and talk to each other; listen and learn from each other. We have to point out to the errors of each other and not be offended if our own errors are singled out.
Love of your brother and sister in humanity comes first. Your beliefs, ideas, doctrines and religion, come next. Only with this spirit of empathy, care and understanding, you should sit with your Baha'i, Jewish, Christian or Communist brothers and show them their errors. Only when you love them more than your religion you are not offended if they too criticize the errors of your beliefs.
I am a humanist. I love all humanity. For me, a Jew, a Baha'i, a Muslim, an Iranian, an Iraqi, an American, a black, a white or a Chinese are all the same. I hate no one. I love every human being, irrespective of his or her color, race, nationality or religion. But that does not mean that I approve of what they do, say or believe. I feel it is my duty to show them their errors if those errors harm others. And I would accept with gratitude and humility if they helped me see mine.
I know that there is something good in every religion. But as a whole religions have done more harm than good. Religion is the most powerful force of disunity among humankind. All religions, without any exception, are based on false premises. We cannot build our prosperity on false and shaky foundations. Truth, and nothing but truth will set us free. And to find the truth, we have to talk and expose the fallacies of our beliefs. I do not disagree with religion as a personal bliss. The belief in a deity that looks over our shoulders, takes care of us and comes to our aid when we need him is uplifting and very therapeutic. The faith in a personal god, gives many people a sense of peace. It helps many overcome their weaknesses. It is a crutch that they can lean on. The psychological benefit of believing, for many millions of people is incalculable. To deprive people of believing in a personal god is not fair. People must wean themselves from religions, whenever THEY are ready. They will toss aside this crutch only when THEY feel that they can walk with their own feet, see with their own eyes and understand with their own rational thinking. We should not force people out of religion. We should let them mature on their own just as we would let a chicken to hatch in the egg until it is ready to break its shell and emerge from it on its own. But when our belief becomes the cause of disunity and an excuse to kill, maim and hate others, we should not remain silent. We have to make reason prevail. We have to stop those who perpetrate crimes against humanity in the name of their god. No mater how strong is their belief and how numerous is their numbers; we have to put a halt at their insanity. If something is wrong, it does not become right just because the majority believes it."
Ali Sina, May 2001
"Pakistani authorities say nearly 4,000 religious schools are registered in the country, with 540,000 students. But thousands more unregistered schools are believed to exist, turning out students who go on to fight for Islamic parties in Afghanistan's civil war and may be ready to join other militant movements...
At a religious school in Akora Khattak, outside Peshawar, Sami ul-Haq, a Muslim cleric and senator in the upper house of Parliament, issued a religious edict threatening to launch a holy war if the government signs the nuclear test ban treaty. Many militants want Pakistan to continue development of nuclear weapons, both as a deterrent to longtime enemy India and as an equalizer for the Islamic world in its dealings with the West.
For students at the religious schools their commitment is to the Koran. Their teachers tell them that means enforcing their version of Islam with whatever it takes, including violence. "We are struggling for Islam in Pakistan like in Afghanistan," said one 17-year-old student, Abdul Ghaffar. "It is our duty to enforce it using any means." "
Associated Press, October 12, 1998
"Can people co-exist period? If there were no religions in the world than we would find something else to fight over. Humans are pathetic, they all the worst of all creatures. Only humans kill their own. No religion preaches violence. There are Muslims who drink, Christians who have sex prior to marriage, Hindu's that eat beef and Buddhist's who are violent. You have to understand religion. We have to go back to the basics for in the end the true practice of religions, that all push for love will save the world."
"It is true some Muslims are evil and terrorists but that is in other religions too. We shouldn't be attacking all Muslims, but we should be attacking all Muslim terrorists who want to stir up violence against the freedom of the world. WE SHOULD PUNISH ANYONE WHO HAS HATE FOR OTHER RELIGIONS, THAT'S ALL."
"The relationship between the two Pakistans became progressively more neo-colonial, with the protest against the West's domination growing shriller by the day in the East. The tension reached a flashpoint when in 1970, the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman swept the national elections, winning 167 of the 169 seats allotted for East Pakistan, giving it a majority in the 313-seat National Assembly and the right to form government at the center. Neither West Pakistani political leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto nor General Yahya Khan would accept this Bengali ascendancy in national politics, and the convention of the newly elected National Assembly was postponed indefinitely. The Awami League, now convinced that there could never be any political cohabitation between the East and the West, called for "full regional autonomy" and Mujibar Rahman announced that he was taking over the East's administration.
The military now decided enough was enough. At a meeting of the military top brass, Yahya declared: "Kill 3 million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands." Accordingly, on the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistan army launched "Operation Searchlight" to "crush" Bengali resistance in which Bengali members of military services were disarmed and killed, students and the intelligentsia systematically liquidated and able-bodied Bengali males just picked up and gunned down. Death squads roamed the streets of Dacca, killing some 7,000 people in a single night. "Within a week, half the population of Dacca had fled. All over East Pakistan, people were taking flight, and it was estimated that in April, some 30 million people were wandering helplessly across East Pakistan to escape the grasp of the military," writes Robert Payne in Massacre. Mujibur Rahman was arrested and the Awami League - which should have been ruling Pakistan - banned.
Then began the rapes. In Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, Susan Brownmiller likens it to the Japanese rapes in Nanjing and German rapes in Russia during World War II. "... 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women (three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped." Reporter Aubrey Menen describes an incident targeting a just-married couple: "Two [Pakistani soldiers] went into the room that had been built for the bridal couple. The others stayed behind with the family, one of them covering them with his gun. They heard a barked order, and the bridegroom's voice protesting. Then there was silence until the bride screamed. Then there was silence again, except for some muffled cries that soon subsided. In a few minutes one of the soldiers came out, his uniform in disarray. He grinned to his companions. Another soldier took his place in the room. And so on, until all the six had raped the belle of the village. Then they left. The father found his daughter lying on the string cot unconscious and bleeding. Her husband was crouched on the floor, kneeling over his vomit." (Quoted in Brownmiller's Against Our Will.) "
Debasish Roy Chowdhury, Asia Times Online