ReadingIslam.com

Getting to know life outside of the Mosque.

Causes Of HDD Failure

Written By: admin - Oct• 15•13

It is important to know the range of reasons why your HDD may fail and force you to look for professional HDD recovery. When the failure happens, you will not be capable of accessing the information you store therein. It is important that you know the reasons which may lead to a loss of your hard drive. First, there are mechanical faults which usually lead to a malfunction of the drive. For example, when the spindle motors stop rotating and power supply is prohibited, the drive may be compromised. The other cause of HDD failure is the build-up of heat. When fans are not working well enough, you will notice some warning sounds from the drive. This may ultimately lead to a crash of this location.

hdd-brokenHDD recovery will be more successful when you understand the cause of the breakdown of the drive. There are drives, which have malfunctioned barely after they were purchased. In these cases, it can be rightfully assumed that the product was not tested well before being introduced into the market. Human errors are also blamed for hard drives failing to work. Improper partitioning is one case in point.

When you clearly understand the likely cause of the crash, you will know how to approach the recovery of the drive.

The Process Of Data Loss Recovery

A RAID is very useful device created to increase the performance of the computer. The secret is that the data is stored on multiple hard drives, so the user can have all information he needs just in front of his nose. However, the user can also experience the data loss or another damage of one of the hard drives, so the expert should do the recovery to fix the broken RAID array.

In many situations, it is enough to use the data recovery software in order to get back all the files, because replacing the array may not solve the problem. For instance, when it comes to RAID 5, if one array fails, the professional can replace it easily, but the data still may not be accessible. Therefore, all one needs is a professional recovery tool to fix the situation. The best thing is that there is no need to worry if there are some files lost from the RAID drive, because there are new programs where one does not have to fix broken RAID array in order to get data back. All that matters is choosing the best software. There are even demo versions that can help the user see what he really needs, and what features suits him the most.

 

Eliminate Your Skin Tags Without Pain

Written By: admin - Oct• 12•13

stThere are various people whose skin tag difficulty is not as trouble-free as others. The merging of precise exercises and also creating changes in yourdiet are able to result in decrease of those problems. Skin tag occurrences habitually increase in regularity as people grow older. People can feel a bit shy with regards to venturing out while the skin tags are openly visible portions of the body. A number of vitamins are exceedingly efficient when it is applied regularly across the affected body area. The skin tags certainly are a type of skin disease which may appear almost somewhere on body skin of the affected person. Burning skin tone tags elimination is one of the preferred skin tag removal strategies.

Although many can be treated with non-prescription drugs, it must be tested by a medical doctor prior to any home care solution is attempted.

A skin tag is called an acrochordon by the medical industry. Mostly acrochordons are found on groin, neck, armpit and eyelids. However, some might arise in any area of your body. Going to the doctors for skin tag removal are often extremely embarrassing. The skin tone tag elimination may be accomplished where you stay and you may also do it through yourself or by making use of a friend’s skill.

Tried The Dermatend Product?

I have had three moles. One on my nose, another one on my left cheek, and one on my left small finger. They make me feel embarrassed at times especially in moments when I have to address people in public. I am a public speaker which makes me attend at least three to four public functions in a week. Sometimes people refer to me as the lady who has two moles on her face. This makes me feel awful at times.

My search for a solution has not been easy. I have had to go through the internet in search for a permanent solution to it. Recently, I came across a website that has different Dermatend reviews. I learned that there are some people who have actually invested in this cream and emerged successful in getting rid of skin tags and moles. However, others are not happy about this product. They have given an awful feedback concerning the same. Some people have not experienced any changes even after using the product for days and weeks.

My aim of writing is to seek out a genuine person who has used Dermatend products. What was your experience? Have you had any challenges in using this product?

How to Keep Your Prostate Healthy

Written By: admin - Aug• 02•13

prostate-healthSince I am about four decades old, I need to be more aware of my health condition. I have trying to workout more at the fitness center to better my health. I also found a juicing book and have been doing a lot of juicing. Juicing is a great way to acquire a lot of extra vitamins into one’s eating regimen. If somebody would have told me that I would be a health nut when I got older, I would have probably told them that is not happening. I had created the most terrible diet during my college years and I still can’t believe that I am eating better. One reason I am personally eating significantly better is because I really need my prostate to stay healthy.

Keeping your prostate healthy is something older men have to worry about. When you age, your prostate can start to enlarge and cause some problems. It mostly cause problems such as how much you will use the bathroom. I have been looking for a supplement for the prostate and found a Super Beta Prostate at allholistichealth.com. It seems to be a good product based on the Super Beta Prostate reviews I have read online. I am going to get a trail and try them out soon.

Research More When You Consider Cream Brand Choices

Written By: admin - Jul• 28•13

I bumped with my Aunt yesterday while I was looking for the best wrinkle cream at the nearby beauty shop after I saw it online. I was not sure which brand to purchase and running into her was a blessing in disguise. When she learned what I was planning to buy, she told me that I should not be setting foot in any beauty shop unless I was certain of which product to make use of. I think she has a point. The market has a lot in store for sufferers of wrinkles and having to face a number of choices truly leads to confusion. My Aunt happens to be one of the people I admire when it comes to having timeless beauty. She manages to maintain her youthful aura with healthy lifestyle and right choices of products. I want to be just like her when I reach 50. I am barely 30 but wrinkles are beginning to surface on my skin. I went out of the beauty shop empty-handed. I still have to carry out some researches to be sure of which brand to give an attempt to. I better use the internet to know more about the wrinkle cream brand I am looking for.

When I was younger, I was an impulsive buyer. I always opted for the most expensive product when I shopped. But now that I have to be the one to work and provide for my own needs, I see to it that the item I will pay for is worth the value of my hard earned money. Now that I am planning to buy the best wrinkle cream, price is my foremost concern. I do not think that going for the most expensive anti wrinkle cream can guarantee that it can endow me with the most desirable result. There are cheap wrinkle creams that are likely to provide fast wrinkle elimination. All believe that to find a good product at a reasonable price; I should make an effort to carry out a research. I can ask my friends if they know of a cheap wrinkle cream that truly works. I can also rely on the internet to find the answer. There are many reviews online that talk about the caliber of various wrinkle cream. I will make use of these sources in order to come up with a really good choice. I am itching to have my youthful glow back and only with a quality wrinkle cream I can have it again.

Limit Your Snoring With Natural Remedies For Snoring

Written By: admin - Jul• 25•13

Snoring can be controlled with a few easy remedies and almost anyone can implement these remedies. If you do not snore much and it is still in early stage then you can control snoring by making a timetable for your sleep. Unusual and random sleep times often cause snoring because when you do not sleep at proper time then it causes fatigue and fatigue is snoresimpsona major cause of snoring. You need to sleep in a relaxed and comfortable position and that will also help you beat this problem. Especially if you sleep sideways then you should try and sleep straight as much as possible. If your problems increase and you cannot control it with ordinary remedies then you can turn towards anti-snoring products. There are lots of over the counter anti-snoring products that you can get without a problem. Most of these will contain pills and you can only take these pills temporarily and do not rely on these pills for too long. Just try to improve your breathing because the issue is directly related to breathing and people with good breathing never snore. Keep all of the above things in mind and consider some devices and you will eventually get rid of this awful sleep issue.

Easy To Follow Remedies For Snoring

Remember that this is a very common problem and especially when you cross 30 years of age when snoring becomes even more intense. There are some effective home remedies for snoring that can help you to control it. First of all you need to have a sound and healthy sleeping position. You can ask your doctor as well and he will tell you the best position to sleep. You may find it tough to change your sleeping position but eventually you will get used to new position. Exercise is also a good tool to control your snoring because exercise makes you good at breathing. Some people snore because of their heavy weight and extra fat and it is a very common observation as well that people lighter in weight always snore less while bulky and heavy people snore more. You should try and keep your weight at a reasonable level and it will help you. If nothing of these things work then you should check out some of the snoring pillows available and there are many such products like this. There are also mouthpieces as well, which will of course be the topic of another article.

Calgary Muslims Love Canada

Written By: admin - Jun• 29•13

Even at the late era starting in 1972, there were only 1,300 Muslims in Calgary, but Lebanese and Pakistani immigration in the 1970s and 1980s quickly swelled their numbers. The west Calgary mosque (or “masjid”) was opened in 1976 and the East Calgary centre and school in 1992. The 11-member, elected council was formed last year, to oversee the Muslim Association (running the masjid, cemetery and women’s activities), the Muslim Community Foundation (running the east-side centre) and the Islamic School (with over 200 students). In one generation, Calgary’s Muslims have flourished.

The ladies love Canada!

The ladies love Canada!

“In the Canadian business place, people do not talk religion,” says Mr. Awan. “There is respect for human beings, but the culture is not religious.” Yet when the discussion turns to religion, Christians may be surprised. “For Islam, Jews and Christians are all `people of the book.’ We believe they have much the same laws, because these laws have the same author,” he says. “We may eat with them, live with them, marry with them, because they believe God is one and almighty, and a day of judgement will come for the just and unjust.”

Omar Ibrahim, chairman of the Calgary Islamic School, agrees with Mr. Awan’s general assessment. “Most people here are not very religious,” he says. “And there are some Christians, a small number, who hate Muslims. But almost all the time, it is easier to live with Christians than secular people. We share more.” Islam–Arabic for “submission”–considers Judaism and Christianity “authentic,” he says. “We believe we worship the same God.”

World interest in Christian-Muslim relations blossomed in 1994, at the United Nations’ Cairo Conference on Population and Development. Delegates from the developed–and secularized–West went to Cairo, ready to legislate an international right to abortion. But when the conference started, an alliance of Catholic and Islamic countries branded that population control agenda as secular Western imperialism, blocking the resolution. This religious alliance widened at the September 1995, Beijing Conference on Women, when Catholics, Muslims and Evangelicals cooperated in scuttling the international recognition of gay and lesbian relationships as families.

Boston College professor Peter Kreeft, author of the book Ecumenical Jihad, argues that the threat of secularism faces Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. “There are very serious theological differences between the three great monotheisms,” he says. “But they are also being forced to cooperate with each other, in very practical ways.” The three faiths share almost the same moral law, the same obligation to defend it, and the same understanding of Providence–so that they must understand their cooperation with each other as divinely willed. “Muslims and Christians will also feel obliged to proselytize each other, but they can do that in a civilized manner,” he says.

Islam is founded upon the Koran, written by the prophet Muhammed from the year 611 A.D. until his death in 634–by which time all Arabia had been converted. Muslims are also obliged to believe that Moses’ Torah, David’s Psalms and Christ’s gospel are also divinely inspired (though their texts corrupted). Islam’s “five pillars” are, first, the confession that God is one and Muhammed his prophet; two, prayer five times daily, including congregational prayer (jummah) Friday midday at the masjid; three, the giving of alms; four, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and five, a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, if possible. It prohibits consumption of alcohol or pork, gambling, adultery and fornication.

“We are committed to the family, to the protection of children and the old,” says Muslim Council chairman Awan. “The law also commands protection of the weak and a respect for all the sons of Adam. The law is not a punishment. The law is a protection, both the `law of the book,’ and also the `law of the land’.”

For some Christians, however, the theological chasm between Christianity and Islam appears unbridgeable. The Koran explicitly denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, and that may indicate to some Christians that they do not in fact worship the same Creator. “He who sees Me sees the Father,” quotes Duane Garrett of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane. “If they don’t accept the Son as one with the Father, then some may say they aren’t worshipping the Creator. But even that wouldn’t preclude practical alliances on any range of moral issues.”

The practical issues of concern to Muslims may resonate with conservative Christians. “Alcohol does a great deal of damage,” says Islamic School chairman Ibrahim. “But Canadians really need laws to hold families together, so children can grow up knowing their fathers. A law against adultery would be good, but I don’t know if it is possible today.”

US Muslims Demand Real Rights

Written By: admin - Jun• 22•13

There may be four million Muslims in the United States, perhaps five, and they are entitled, not less than Christians and Jews, to participate as citizens and as believers in the institutions of civil society. Every gesture that makes this right real is to be welcomed. Like other communities of worship in this country, however, Muslims are not homogeneous. Like every other religion in America, then, Islam has its hyper-pious and literalists. Some simply tend to their own spiritual life, trusting in the Prophet and his Companions. Others are what Professor John Alden Williams calls revivalists, and still others are what Professor John Esposito terms radical activists. Standing at the end of a spectrum both political and spiritual, such people, in Williams’s words, view “a holy struggle against the enemies of Islam [as] not just a collective obligation … but essential individual religious obligation…. Here there is a changed attitude towards Christians and Jews…. The radical activists tend to say that, wherever they look, those groups stand on the side of evil. Therefore Islam can no longer treat them with tolerance. They are part of the conspiracy against it.”

This conspiracy is alive in the collective mind of an organization called the Council on American Islamic Relations (cair). Calling itself a human rights group mobilized to defend Muslims against prejudice, cair has, according to experts, connections to Hamas and other fanatic associations in the Middle East. Its two boards are filled with zealots, including one person whom the prosecution identified as a potential unindicted coconspirator in the World Trade Center bombing. Notwithstanding this reality, this past January, cair’s director of communications, one Ibrahim Hooper, was selected to present Hillary Rodham Clinton with a Koran at a public event in the presidential mansion by a White House that either didn’t know, or want to know, about cair’s associations.

ReadingIslam.com had its own experience with cair after we published an article on the PLO’s decision not to meet its Oslo accords obligation to annul the most virulent anti-Israel sections of its covenant. The article, by Yehoshua Porath, the first scholar in any language to do serious (and respectful) research on Palestinian nationalism, quoted Yasir Arafat as justifying his agreement with Israel with the excuse that Mohammed had also made a truce with enemies but then soon broke it. Within days of publication, tnr was the target of hundreds of abusive phone calls, letters and e-mail accusing us of defamation of the Prophet and worse. It turned out that cair had, through cair-net, its Internet site, exhorted the faithful to tell us off, and they did.

It should be noted that Hooper told his Internet followers to “be firm, but polite.” And some of the missives were just that. With these writers we have no particular quarrel. But, sadly, many, many were not. Here, to give our readers a taste of the moral and intellectual universe of cair-net’s recruits, is a selection from their postings (with no grammatical editing or sanitizing). They’re not perfectly representative but not atypical either: “I’m calling for this man here, Jehova … Jeosha Porath, Yehosua Porath, who’s a man, or professor or whatever he is … made a speech about Islam and condemned the Prophet of Islam. You guys had better watch out, ok? Because this is not going to go on further anymore, ok? You’d better watch out that f *ing Jew … tell him where he is coming from, ok? Because you know mother-f *er bastard, mother–his mom is a bastard. ok? He can’t talk about Muslim shit and you get your act together … all of you. We don’t want to hear anymore about this problem, ok? You got that right?” –An anonymous phone call left on tnr voicemail on July 20 “It should be known that Muslims will not allow the defation of its religion or its beloved Prophet, such as is the Jews continuing effort against Islam in the media outlets, which has already been accomplished by them against Christianity. Again, it would be in your best interests to print an immediate retraction and apology for such shoddy and insensitive reporting. You should take this matter very seriously.”

“The jews from back in history were the ugly decievers and BLOOD SUCKERS…. It is importatn that an apology is issued to calm down the MUSLIM all over the world. WE DO NO WANT TO SEE ANOTHER 19 AMERICANS GO A WSAY IN THA LAND OF THE PROPHET ,,, DO WE ??????? !!!!!! I am saying this because the Muslims will never tolerate the actions of the jews agains their religion. And articels like these contribute in the future loss of life of Anmericans all over the Islamic world…. We are fed up of filthy jews robbing our lands, and defaming all HOLY concepts we have. Please, save the lives of few Americans by issuing your apology.”

“Do you write honestly? Or you really do not know about the facts? OR I MAY GUESS YOU ARE JEW, BECAUSE JEWS ATTEMPTS LIKE THIS. JEWS NEVER HESITATE TO SAY NIGHT WHEN THERE IS DAY BECAUSE OF WORLDLY BENEFITS (LOOK FOR RECENT INCIDENCE OF BOMBING ON UNO BASE)”

“Only in America can someone lie and get away with murder! This anti-Semite (although a jew himself, I presume) is spreading false propaganda. Not only does this ignorant savage needs to retract his statement about Prophet Muhammad, but he owes Muslims first, throughout the universe a very big apology. Secondly, he needs to apologize to Historians all over the world for his uneducated and personal interpretation. In addition, your magazine needs to do the same for publishing and distributing such lies. Can one imagine someone disclaiming the Holocaust for example? This parasite’s comments are far more serious than such a claim. Does this writer have the right to defend history in the instance of someone disclaiming the Holocaust? You bet! However, his false and unfounded accusation is the equivalent of defaming Jesus, Moses or Abraham. He is obviously a member of some Israeli terrorist group who do not want peace … at any cost! We demand an immediate retraction and apology. Lies and false accusations belong somewhere else other than the U.S.A …

Please Note: This message [cair's statement, which the writer forwarded] has been distributed to approximately 300,000 Muslims, so far. Expect to be reading a lot of e-mail! :)” –Basema@aol.com “It is clear that the Jewish people have always hated and feared the Muslims. Throughout the years the Jews have done everything possible to destroy Islam, and cause separation among its people. However, they have only been able to prove their own inability to be trusted, and your statement is not excluded.”

“The lying Jew states the following: [Excerpt from Porath article] … I am not surprised, the Jews can not use reason to combat Islam so they have to forge lies. May he burn in hellfire for his lies.”

“I would urge you to formally apologize to Muslims and check your facts with a real historian, next time. Please! It is a matter of life and death.”

War, Peace And The Middle East – Always On

Written By: admin - Jun• 17•13

Arab Christians in Egypt, Syria and the West Bank may eventually become as embattled as Muslims in the Balkans. Because the Arab-Israeli dispute occurred in our lifetime, we tend to believe that we’ve been living through a period of momentous history. But, in fact, there has been comparatively little political change in the Middle East. Consider Egypt. For more than forty years, it has been a socialist kleptocracy ruled by the same class of Nasserist officers: some more repressive than others, some friendly to Israel, some hostile to it, but all basing their rule on emergency military law, a gargantuan and largely useless bureaucracy and parasitic entrepreneurs who produce substandard goods bought by the state and rarely pay the taxes they should.

Like it or not, the Middle East remains a place of anger for everyone.

Like it or not, the Middle East remains a place of anger for everyone.

On the other hand, there has been great social movement. On the eve of the 1967 war, Egypt had 30 million inhabitants. Now there are more than 60 million. In the 1960s, only 30 percent of all Egyptians lived in cities; now almost 50 percent do. Forty percent of the population is under 15. At some point, sustained demographic pressures may provoke fundamental political change, or breakdown. In Syria the story is much the same. It held its last free elections in 1954, and the country split along sectarian lines. Since then, political development has been arrested by sterile, neo-fascist military rulers. Syria in the mid-1990s is a more tractable and diluted version of Yugoslavia in the late 1980s–a society riven by regionally based ethnic groups but without Tito’s rotten legacy of communism. Syria will not explode as Yugoslavia did, but some sort of upheaval probably lies ahead. The end of hostility with Israel, rather than strengthening the Syrian state, may unleash social and political forces that will, one day, unravel it.

The other countries of the Arab world face, to lesser or greater degrees, these same threats. As Arab populations increase, they become increasingly difficult to control centrally, especially if some of their economies do not keep up. This is especially true in places where the regime is afforded little respect because it is uncivil or because it is dominated by a hostile group. Like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states have experienced great demographic and social changes over the past decades but little or no political evolution. In North Africa, which has among the biggest youth populations and highest rates of urbanization in the world, only Algeria so far has seen significant political evolution, and what a bloody, tumultuous evolution it has been. Iraq and Sudan, whose colonial borders are cruelly averse to ethnic ones, may not be around in ten or fifteen years. Why will Arab populations no longer remain passive in the face of their hapless, vicious governments? After all, for much of history Arabs, as well as Turks and Persians, have been misruled by illegitimate regimes. In 1891 Viscount James Bryce observed that “worse administrations” than those in the Islamic world “can hardly be imagined.” But Bryce also noted that “When in any society opinion becomes self-conscious … that society is already progressing, and soon finds means of organizing resistance and compelling reform.” There is no Islamic society that has not in recent decades become “self-conscious.”

The communications revolution is bringing European soap operas into mud-brick Arab shanties, even as Arab upper classes travel back and forth to the West and communicate on the Internet. All this, coupled with fast-forward urbanization and population growth, means that Arab cultures are dramatically evolving: the Arab middle classes are more Westernized, the Arab poor more restive. Arabs have become aware of how their societies compare to others: this is what is new–and destabilizing–about the region. And as cultures evolve national characteristics change. Anyone who has spent time in the Nile Valley recently knows that the traditional description of Egyptians as the easygoing “Italians of the Arab world” (compared to the “Germanic” Iraqis) is losing currency.

A doubling of the population and the replacement of rural poverty by urban poverty is making Egyptians increasingly hard-edged and short-tempered, particularly in the southern part of the country, where the Islamists are strong. The regime is evolving, too, each year becoming a bit more repressive. Given the scale of Egypt’s social and demographic change, there can be no political stasis. If President Hosni Mubarak is still in power a decade from now, he will preside over either a more democratic, albeit highly chaotic, river valley civilization or a substantially more repressive state apparatus. Given the extent of anti-American sentiment in Egypt today, the U.S. may prefer the latter. A grand, Peres-style peace treaty may lead to more Middle Eastern experiments with democracy.

But, as we should already have learned from the elections in Algeria, this will not necessarily increase stability. Any form of democratization–given the out-of-control demographics of the region, the growing political awareness of partially educated and unsophisticated millions and the preponderance of tired, cynical regimes–will be explosive, in some cases violently so.The coming tumult will not exclude Turkey and Iran, whose own highly dynamic populations are already undergoing immense change. In Turkey, Kurdish renaissance is further propelled by Islamization that, in turn, is tied to internal migration and urbanization, all of which erode the ability of the Ankara government to satisfy the most sophisticated population in the Muslim Near East. Close to Europe, with a middle class created by an organic process of industrialization rather than overnight oil wealth, Turkey has a social and political adhesive that other countries in the region lack. But, though change in Turkey may be more gradual, its direction is clear: greater religious identity (Islamic); greater ethnic and racial identity (Kurdish and Turkic); and lesser loyalty to a state with fixed boundaries. Turkey’s stability has often been taken for granted. It should no longer be.

The political class, as the recent elections show, is deadlocked, with Islamists a growing grass-roots force. Turkey’s cohesion is as dependent on the military as it was a half century ago, when its experiment with democracy first began. But it is Iran, with a population both larger and better educated than Egypt’s, that has the greatest chance to remake the region. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s population has doubled, and population growth has outpaced economic growth by 1.4 percent a year since 1985. In the course of this economic decline, Iran’s revolution has moved from fiery Jacobinism to ossified Bolshevism. The only remaining question is whether this is an early Brezhnev phase or a late Chernenko one.

Iranian newspapers protest government corruption. Mosques are empty and Western culture ubiquitous. Anti-Americanism is dead except inside certain government ministries and religious seminaries or when the regime hires a crowd for a demonstration; and even there one senses that the slogans have long ago lost puissance. A stranger from another era deposited suddenly in Egypt, then in Iran, might think it was the latter, not the former, where the U.S. enjoyed a large diplomatic presence and good relations.Ironically, the Iranian regime’s very internal weakness may postpone its demise. Because Iranians can increasingly say and do what they want, few feel an immediate need to replace the government. But when the counterrevolution does come it could further weaken the Iranian state, leading to upheavals in Iran’s ethnic border areas among Kurds, Azeri Turks and Turkomans. This would dramatically shift the regional power balance just as calcified Arab regimes and their corrupt elites, from Morocco to the Gulf, come under greater popular pressure than ever.

Kashmir Remains A Brutal War Zone

Written By: admin - Jun• 15•13

For 50 years, the litany of murders and atrocities committed on both sides in Kashmir has done little to rouse American interest in what has long been seen as yet another distant war over competing territorial claims. But, of all the world’s little battlefields, Kashmir now holds the heart-stopping distinction of being the only one surrounded by three avowedly nuclear powers.

China and India have a dormant territorial dispute in the north, over which the two countries fought a war in 1962. And India and Pakistan’s ongoing skirmishing along the line of control in the Kashmiri spine makes this ancient mountain kingdom the most likely spot in the world for a political misunderstanding to turn nuclear.

India and Pakistan have already fought three wars in the last 50 years, two of them over Kashmir. In 1990, a crisis between the two countries that seemed headed for a nuclear exchange was only forestalled by the last-minute intervention of American diplomats. Meanwhile, the low-level combat in Kashmir has continued unabated. In Muzaffarabad, the provincial capital on the Pakistani side, shelling lights up the horizon at night, throwing the disputed mountains into dark relief. In nearby Mirpur, the early morning shells land close enough to shake the ground. “Anytime, they can start firing,” says Bandala Seri villager Munir Ahmed.

The Kashmir conflict remains maddening.

The Kashmir conflict remains maddening.

India’s nuclear tests last month only deepened the crisis in the mountains. And Pakistan’s feeble scramble to catch up began to look like a macabre primer on how jingoism and machismo can catapult low-grade hostilities into a ruinous endgame. Almost immediately following the tests, both countries began tugging on their respective ends of Kashmir. India, run by the Hindu nationalists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who’ve long blamed Pakistan for funding an insurgency on its side of the line, warned that it would pay for fueling the conflict. Pakistan countered ominously that any Indian “misadventure” in Kashmir would be met resolutely.

Filled with foreboding, shopkeepers and goat herders on the Pakistani side of Kashmir tuned in to every word of the escalating exchange on short-wave radios. Appointments were rescheduled around the BBC World Service. In a village near Mirpur, a group of about 35 men crowded around a single television set pulled out into the street. “I have no doubt the countries will go to war again, and it will be a fatal war for the subcontinent,” said Mian Ghulam Rasool, a state assemblyman in Pakistani Kashmir. “Surely, it will be nuclear.”

If that should happen, it would be the culmination of centuries of religious conflict. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam each had its heyday here, and religion remains so central in this part of the world that hotel forms routinely ask visitors to list their faith alongside their name and nationality.

The current dispute dates to the late 1940s, when the British split the Raj into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Kashmir–wedged between the two nations both physically and spiritually–could have gone either way. The last prince of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, was a Hindu, but more than two-thirds of the province’s population was Muslim. As Hindus and Muslims massacred one another throughout the subcontinent following partition, the Maharaja bided his time, shopping around for the best deal. Then Pathan tribesmen invaded from Pakistan and decided Kashmir’s fate for him. The prince hastily signed over Kashmir to India.

Angered that Kashmir’s Muslims were never consulted, Pakistan has contested the decision ever since. U.N. resolutions for a plebiscite in Kashmir remain unheeded. The Muslim majority in India’s part of Kashmir–as well as in neighboring Jammu province–has kept up a steady insurgency against the Hindu rulers. Pakistan has supported this insurgency, even after it became clear the rebels were also slaughtering civilians.

India claims that Pakistan is sheltering the militants in border villages like Bandala Seri. Along the border, the Muslim villagers insist–not always convincingly–that the militants are elsewhere. “There are no rebels here,” says Zufkar Ali, who survived two gunshots to the stomach in the April raid on Bandala Seri. Of course, if India attacks, Bandala Seri will be ready. “We are Muslims, and we are not afraid,” he says, using a phrase so often repeated here that it begins to seem like an incantation.

Far outnumbering any potential militants is the multitude of war refugees from Indian Kashmir that Pakistan is now sheltering in camps built into the hills near Muzaffarabad. Most of the camps were started after the fighting intensified in 1989. After almost ten years, the tattered tents are giving way to brick and cement buildings, a quiet acknowledgement that little is likely to change in Kashmir before the elements have their way with temporary solutions.

Though the Pakistani government restricts reporters’ access to the line of control, it is eager to provide tours of the refugee camps. There, men who have fled border villages recount stories of torture at the hands of Indian security forces. Women tell of gang rapes and long marches in the snow. “In broad daylight they would take someone away for investigations and never return,” said Resham Jan, who has lived in the camp for three years and doesn’t expect to leave soon. “The life on the border is hard. Here, we don’t have our land, but there is peace.”

On the other side of the line, Hindu villages have suffered their own atrocities at the hands of Muslim separatists. For example, the April attack on Bandala Seri was widely seen as revenge for two earlier attacks on Hindu villages. U.S. State Department reports on human rights accuse both Indian security forces and separatist militants of executions, torture, and brutality. At least 20,000 have died in the fighting, and even foreigners have been swept into the hostilities. An American is among several climbers kidnapped in 1995 and presumed murdered during an expedition in Kashmir.

Ironically, the enmity between India and Pakistan obscures the fact that man), Kashmiris consider themselves kin of neither. “Kashmir was never part of the subcontinent,” says Raja Muhammad Muzaffar, a former chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. “We have nothing to do with them.” Muzaffar’s blue eyes hint at Kashmir’s varied heritage. Rimmed by the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush, Kashmir borders the old Central Asian trade routes. It has its own language and even a different way of making tea–an important distinction in these parts.

This is one reason that, while Pakistan and India fight over ownership of Kashmir, people like Muzaffar are calling for an independent state. It also explains why many regard the permanent division of Kashmir as unacceptable. “It would be most unnatural,” says Rasool, the Kashmiri assemblyman. “The mother is there, and the daughter is here. Why divide the families? You talk of human rights; how human is that?”

Rasool adds, conspiratorially, that only one solution exists in Kashmir: “If the U.S. doesn’t want there to be a war, then there will not be a war.” All over Kashmir, villagers repeat this same insistent plea. In Muzzaffarabad, a 32-year-old woman spent more than an hour retelling the painful details of her rape by Indian soldiers. Suddenly, she grew animated and began to speak in rapid Urdu. “You are an American,” she said. “You are a big power. You must think about us. Put us under your umbrella. Please give shelter to us.”

Honor Killings: Why?

Written By: admin - Jun• 15•13

In Jordan, home to the most candid talk about the issue, the Government under King Abdullah has promised to join in the fight, following the example set by the late King Hussein and Queen Noor, who helped to lift a lid on public discussion of the killings.

This insanity persists.

This insanity persists.

At a conference in Jordan in early June, delegates from the region were asked to develop ways to respond ‘sensitively to the situation in countries of concern.’ But those engaged in the battle say it would be hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the opposition they face. Nationalism overlain by Islam remains a powerful political force. Activists trying to call attention to honor killings say they face a similar challenge from those who portray their campaign as an assault on Arab ways.

‘They accuse me of trying to make the country promiscuous,’ said Asma Khader, a Jordanian lawyer who is a leader in efforts to tighten the laws against honor killing. Among all Arab countries, only Jordan publishes what are considered credible crime statistics, so the extent of honor killing is difficult to gauge. Often the killings are hushed up, experts say, and disguised as accidental deaths. And, most often, the killings occur outside the big cities, far from government scrutiny.

Except in Jordan, government officials tend to treat the issue as taboo, at least in response to queries from foreign journalists. But the statistics show that honor killings regularly claim 25 lives a year in Jordan alone, about one in four homicides in a country of just four million people, according to Jordanian officials.

In Egypt, which last reported crime statistics in 1995, a Government report counted 52 honor killings out of 819 slayings. In Yemen, with a population of 16 million, Mohammed Ba Obaid, who heads the department of Women’s Studies in Sana’a University, said his surveys found that more than 400 women were killed for reasons of honor in 1997, the last year for which research is complete.

The killings are also known in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries, and among Arabs in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The experts say it would be safe to estimate that the number of Arab women killed for reasons of honor amounts to hundreds each year.

A Jordanian found guilty in an honor killing can be sentenced to as little as six months in prison. If the killing is ruled to be premeditated, the minimum penalty is a year. . There is an internalized belief that the woman is the one responsible for shame. ‘We do not consider this murder,’ said Wafik Abu Abseh, a 22-year-old Jordanian, as his mother, brother and sisters nodded in agreement.

Marzouk Abdel Rahim, a Cairo tile maker, stabbed his 25-year-old daughter to death at her boyfriend’s house in 1997, then chopped off her head. He also said he had no regrets. ‘Honor is more precious than my own flesh and blood,’ said Mr. Abdel Rahim, who was released after two months.

In fact, honor is so precious that it is not unusual, experts say, for a victim to be slain on the basis of rumor alone. As often as not, said Dr. Hani Jahshan, the deputy medical examiner of Jordan, his autopsy of a woman slain for reasons of honor will find that her hymen is intact.

In Jordan, premarital sex is a criminal offense, regarded as equal to adultery, while a girl under 18 who engages in consensual sex is deemed to have been raped. A woman cannot leave home without the permission of her family, and an unmarried woman who becomes pregnant is not merely a criminal, but, by law, her child is taken away at birth to be raised in an orphanage.

Honor killings are also known in India, Pakistan and Turkey, among other places, particularly among poor rural Muslims[ldots]

ISLAM’S TEACHINGS AND CHASTITY

What distinguishes honor killings in the Arab world is that they are seen less as crimes of passion than as inherently just. ‘Women are largely looked upon as bodies owned and protected by the husband, by the father, by the brother or even other relatives,’ said Salwa Bakr, a novelist who is Egypt’s most prominent feminist writer. ‘And these crimes are committed under the pretext that these men are defending not only their honor, but society’s morality.’

Mr. Abu Abseh, the Jordanian who killed his sister with a paving stone, was doing more. He was administering God’s law, he said. ‘We are Muslims,’ Mr. Abu Abseh’s older brother said, ‘and in our religion, she had to be executed.’

For women, and for men, Islam does put a premium on chastity, and it prescribes harsh punishments for sexual misconduct – death for adultery, flogging for fornication. But Islam also teaches that religious authorities, not family members, be the judges, and that punishment be deferred until a considered judgment is reached. It is among Arab tribes, whose centuries of intermarriage have created powerful bonds, that traditional notions of honor are most enduring. Even in modern urban life, in places like Jordan, many people identify most strongly with a tribe, so that the conduct of one reflects on all.

‘When a man’s daughter does a wrong, he cannot sit amongst men,’ Banjes al-Hadid, a member of Jordan’s Parliament and a prominent tribal leader, told a visitor to his home. ‘He will be ostracized. They will not even give him coffee.’ Until the Egyptian Parliament acted in April, that thinking was built into Egyptian law, with the statute that promised a pardon to any rapist who agreed to marry his victim.

And even now, some Egyptian legal scholars argue that old provision should be restored. ‘Executing or putting a rapist in jail does not help anyone,’ said Mustafa Ewis, a senior lawyer in Cairo’s Legal Resource Research Center, ‘but if he marries the victim, then it helps both of them, giving them a chance to start fresh and to protect the girl from social stigma.’