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Thursday, 14 February 2008 19:13

Danish Police Thwart Murder Plot By Islamists

It is quite shocking to hear that certain Islamists plotted to murder a Cartoonist in Denmark for his drawing, published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005. Fortunately, Danish police thwarted their plans yesterday. Today, at least 17 Danish newspapers printed a controversial cartoon of Prophet Muhammed today to stand against fanaticism. "Freedom of expression gives you the right to think, to speak and to draw what you like... no matter how many terrorist plots there are," conservative broadsheet Berlingske Tidende wrote in an editorial. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. There are plenty of good reasons why this law was put in place. This is a case example of religion contradicting the moral zeitgeist.
Source: http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/editors-risk-muslim-fury-with-cartoon-reprint/2008/02/14/1202760450484.html
Tuesday, 18 December 2007 16:07

Giant Rat Found In Indonesia

A new species of mammals have been discovered in Indonesia. They look like giant rats, weighing around 1.5 kilos. (Source)
Published in Scientific Advances
Tuesday, 18 December 2007 15:54

Saudi King Pardons Rape Victim

In Saudi Arabia, a 19-year old woman was put in jail for being with a man in a car who was not her relative. Apparently, this is illegal in Saudi Arabia. This fact was established when seven men attacked them and gang-raped her.

Rape under Saudi Arabian law is punishable by law, but from what I understand, the court did not impose it because there were no witnesses and the rapists did not confess to the crime. Furthermore, they also revoked the license of the woman's lawyer and asked the lawyer to appear before a disciplinary panel. (Source)
According to a terrorism expert, Marc Sageman, individuals who join terrorist groups have one thing in common before they commit a terrorist act: they have had 'insignificant' lives. He said, "You have a lot of people who are bored out of their minds. Joining this movement brings significance to their lives. Now they are special, part of the vanguard and better than others."
(Read the article)

This is interesting because two weeks ago I just blogged about the big reasons offered to try and understand terrorism. If Sageman is correct in his assertions, then it means that even though the leaders of terrorist groups may have some philosophy on why they do what they do, the foot soldiers at the bottom of their ranks are mainly taking part for emotional reasons.

MY THOUGHTS

If a person feels inferior because he believes he is insignificant, or that he is living an insignificant life, it is logical for him to presume that to become someone significant, or to live a significant life, he must achieve superiority over others. However, he is neither significant nor insignificant. He is neither superior nor inferior. These concepts only exist because of his perceptions. The truth is, he is simply himself.
Sunday, 20 August 2006 22:24

Frigid sperm still works 15 years on

"Sperm extracted from mice and testes that have been frozen for as long as 15 years have yielded normal, healthy offspring in a study that researchers say heralds fresh hopes for bringing back extinct species." Source.
Published in Scientific Advances
Monday, 01 May 2006 22:54

Catholic priesthood in decline

The number of priests worldwide has decreased by 3.5 per cent in the past quarter of a century, the Vatican said, noting that the overall figure was affected by a sharp decrease in Europe despite a rise of vocations in Africa. Read full article here.
Tuesday, 28 February 2006 22:24

Blood-clotting Protein In Venoms

"A blood-clotting protein found in the venom of nine snakes, including the taipan and the tiger snake, can be used to stop excessive bleeding during surgery and major trauma, the team of Brisbane based researchers announced*."
Published in Scientific Advances
Tuesday, 28 February 2006 21:22

Fig Leaf For A Terrorist Authority

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who wants peace talks with Israel to establish a Palestinian state, says that Hamas might make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to lead. Israel's acting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says that Mr Abbas "can't be a fig leaf for a terrorist authority".

Full article.
Saturday, 25 February 2006 09:21

Culture, Nudity, Religion and Politics

A bill is being passed in Bali. "Traditional Balinese art and dance could become illegal. Prohibitions against kissing and revealing bodies could be imposed against foreigners, destroying Bali's faltering tourism industry."

Gadis Arriva, a university professor says: "It states it is illegal to express any sexual desire, even imagine sex ? how do you prove that?" she asks. She sees the anti-porn movement as part of an agenda to reshape Indonesia, with pornography a symbol of Western culture to the many Muslims who believe globalisation aims to destroy their culture."

See full article here.

The striking point about this article for me is this: The Balinese people had their own culture, expressed through their art and dance, way before people with different beliefs or religions came to tell them that these forms of expressions should be banned because it went against 'morality'. Should the Balinese stop expressing their culture just because of religion or politics: because some people think nudity is 'bad'? No.
Sunday, 19 February 2006 09:43

Muslim Imams In Australia

The Australian Government have proposed a code of conduct to prevent religious leaders from inciting hateful and inflamatory statements and sermons. But Brunswick-based Sheikh Omran, probably the most radical Muslim cleric in Australia (according to The Age), is not going to cooperate.

In next month's summit of imams, Muslim groups are divided whether they should invite him or not. Some do not want him to join the meeting so as not to validate his teachings. One or two imams will not attend if he attends. The imams who want him to attend feel that it is important to keep him engaged. I guess it is important for them to debate and challenge his ideas.

The articles I read were at: www.theage.com.au, titled Speak No Evil and Imam To Defy Code Of Conduct.