London Reverie


 

The above video has been shared around the Internet ever since it came out. I’m just getting around to it now because I’m lazy and save topics to write about later. But this one was important to me for a single solitary reason: London

As far as I’m concerned, London is by far the greatest city that exists on this blue marble called Earth. The video elicited memories and emotions within me that hold a very dear place within my heart. In fact, they are the very essence of the creature I am today.

A distance of 3,300 miles separates me from it, but I still hear the whispers of London in my ear. It beckons me to reside within its storied thoroughfares once again and finish what I started. I can still recall how the air invigorated my senses and cajoled my melancholy down cultured and artful avenues. I vividly remember standing under the dizzying lights of Piccadilly Circus with my best mate as we stood in awe and inhaled the possibilities that surrounded us. We had inherited a city which could devour you if you so much as slipped. We weren’t afraid or proud. We were humbled and blessed.

The imagery in the video made me realise just how ingrained the city is in my mind. I can close my eyes and instantly transport myself back to my apartment in Pennington Court in the beating heart of the city. From there, I take a lengthy constitution across Tower Bridge and head down to the Queen’s Walk. And so on and so forth, as I retrace those footprints I left behind in the concrete soul of the city. Angel, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Convent Garden are not merely destinations. The Thames is not just a river. They are places of reverence where hearts were broken, love was made, drinks were had, stories were shared, and memories were forged. 

I might have left London almost 3 years ago, but its riddle still haunts me. Perhaps that’s because there are entire worlds in London that I never got to experience. I hope to return one day in a more permanent role upon its stage. Until then, London and I remain starcrossed lovers.

London: this city of dreams, this city of kings and queens. 

Ω

My Brother The Islamist: Documentary


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****UPDATE**** The documentary is from 2011. In April 2013, Rich was jailed for 6 years for his part in a terror plot. Well that didn’t take long. Another life ruined because of people like Anjem Choudhary.

I was drawn to the documentary because it takes place in a city and country that was my home for 6 years. Born into a Muslim family in the UAE, I ventured to England to complete my undergraduate and Masters degrees. I also got a taste of the working life for two years at SEGA as my dreams of working in videogames came true. My time in England forced me to grow up quick and created a significant change within me. I viewed the world through lenses I had never seen through before. I consumed information, art, culture and knowledge like the Cookie Monster devours biscuits. I enjoyed freedoms, friends and moments that I will never replace or forget.

In other words, it was an experience of such perceptual vastness you literally have to reconfigure your mental models of the world to assimilate it.

Sitting here now in Canada, it pains me to witness the way this ignorant and poisonous form of Islam is taking hold in a  country that I cherish so much. Just to be clear, I’m an anti-theist ( against all Gods) and consider religions, deification and the supernatural to be collectively reprehensible and regressive. I only focus on Islam here because it pertains to the topic of the documentary.

I consider myself to be an open-minded individual. Also, I’m aware of the irony of that statement after I just banished the possibility of the existence of a supernatural creator. Well, there is open-mindedness and then there is sheer infantile lunacy. But I digress.

There is so much wrong with the Islam depicted in this documentary that I don’t even know where to begin my tirade. 

The central storyline of brothers caught on opposite sides and a family torn apart is certainly moving. At the same time, it does an excellent job of exposing this disgusting perversion of the merits and values of Islam. People like the infamous Anjem Choudhary prey on young minds searching for meaning and a path to rectify their past. It’s never clear what the tipping point is for these individuals. I can understand an Iraqi boy seeing his family slaughtered by a wayward US bomb turning to extremism, but how does it come about in a society such as the UK? Where did the country go wrong in tending to these youths?

Just listen to the preachings of this specious self-made prophet: he wants to install Sharia law and make Britain an Islamic state! Are you bonkers, man? What’s even more troubling is the fact that people who grew up in this society want to change it for the worst. They think enslaving women and chopping off appendages for crimes is the way forward for humanity. There is nothing wrong with converting to another religion or finding one, but going archaic with your beliefs is just plain undignified. If they have such a problem being surrounded by these Kuffars, then why don’t they fuck off to places where all their wondrous heavenly laws are enacted? Hell, the fanatical brother thinks that there are egregious misconceptions about Al-Qaeda as he tries to recruit a revert on the streets. Honestly, at times the guy behaves like he’s a made-man with the mob and owns the streets of Whitechapel.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these gents are as normal as you and I when they hang with their friends. Observe them breaking their fast on Ramadan and they look as innocuous as any regular Muslim.  Some of them are trying to escape substance abuse or have just failed at life. But then things go awry. They find meaning in the causes of extremism because they are now fighting for something. As one them so malevolently states, they have three options: peace, rule or fight.

You don’t need religion or any God to give your life meaning or to help you get over obstacles in your life. That strength comes from within you. The venom these people spew is the poison instilled within them by bastards like Anjem Choudhary. He is just a criminal no different from any other instigators of propaganda found throughout history.  Why can’t they just kick people like Anjem Choudhary out of the country? All they do is spread lies and promote violent behavior. You might argue he has rights as a British citizen, but he doesn’t even want those rights in his flawed vision of human utopia. Unfortunately  these youths are just ammunition and voices for Choudhary’s own agenda to upset the balance with Jihad and perpetuate the image of the West as the ultimate evil. Hey, every wannabe martyr needs an enemy, right?

Even Ben couldn’t escape being drawn into this world of extremism. He started out as a moderate convert because he wanted more out of life than just getting drunk. Well Ben, perhaps you should have tried education or a job. His mother is completely flabbergasted when he expounds his extremist views. Why doesn’t she slap some sense into him? No wonder he went and got drunk all the time.

Seriously though,  watching Ben fall under the tutelage of Rich and thinking that burning flags and demonizing the families of dead soldiers is all part and parcel of being a Muslim. In the documentary, the idiots think that England losing to Germany is some sort of sign from Allah for these sinners to reconsider their pact with the Devil. Bollocks! That’s just England being England at football.

Ben won’t even consider any other version of Islam unless it comes from a source trusted by him. He considers all who question the written word as “idiots”. Unfortunately, all those sources are extremists and The Independent is an Islamaphobic publication. This just goes to show how flawed and uneducated they are when it comes to their religion of choice. I wouldn’t expect much more from people who think that shaking hands with non-Muslims using the right hand is the equivalent of wiping your own ass. Yes, that’s in the documentary.

A Sad State of Affairs

I feel sad for Rob and his family in the end. They lost someone they loved to an extremist ideology that teaches them to forsake all that they hold dear. For instance, Rich felt his Mother would shame him among his peers if she appeared on camera without a veil. I hazard to think any version of God would decry an individual from associating himself with his family, even if they have vastly different beliefs.

This is a serious issue even outside the framing of this documentary. Already there are signs of these ideologies spreading throughout Europe.  I lived on The Highway, which is less than 10 minutes from Whitechapel. Walking through Whitechapel really is like walking into an entirely different realm. You instantly get the feeling that you have crossed the threshold into a close knit community of Muslims that rarely venture out of the area. Of course there are people from all walks of life and demographics living in the area peacefully. Then why does a certain group feel so disconnected from the society around them? Are they truly unable to function without creating an uproar or engaging in hurtful antics? What is the impetus for them wanting to reorganize Western society?  They can shout until the cows come home about the wars and deaths in the Middle-East as their justification. The barbaric killers in Woolwich this week certainly did and they were a part of Anjem Choudhary’s class of extremist philosophy. I can assure you that even if tomorrow all Western forces withdrew they will still find a reason to advocate.

This brand of crazy is present in all religions and countries, and it has been since time immemorial. Everyone is welcome to their faith, but perversions of the truth you value should be castigated and expelled to obscurity. If it works for these nuts, then it can certainly work for the progressives and moderates. All religions have their good parts, and this is the only way to defend them from being usurped by renegades and their deceitfulness.

As for me, I would rather be dead and damned than abandon my mind to the madness of religion.

Ω

Islam vs. Atheism: The Big Debate


In This Corner…..

I invite you to watch the hotly contested debate below. It’s 2 hours long so settle in. No prizes for guessing which side I was rooting for 😉

Let’s put the jokes aside and get serious. I had hoped for an intelligent debate concerning the topic : Which is more sensible? Islam or Atheism?.

Unfortunately, the room was full of Islamist cronies and the odds were clearly stacked against Professor Lawrence Krauss. Still, the man did an admirable job and he has an almost infallible patience. My real issue was with the his opponent  Hamza Tzortkis’ approach to the debate.

Observations

  • Hamza is a bit of a celebrity amongst the Muslim youth and he is revered as someone who speaks the truth and speaks it straight. Moreover he is a strong raconteur.Sadly, he was out of his depth here in going up against Prof. Krauss with his minimal grasp of scientific concepts. For example, the professor proved to Hamza that a quantifiable infinite can and does exist (e.g. pi). This threw Hamza’s small brain into a tizzy and he outright refused evidence before his very eyes. I don’t have an issue with someone making claims of knowledge; however, Hamza should learn to accept error when someone with authority and proven answers shows you evidence to the contrary. 
  • I also thought that he was incessantly rude. For example, the professor caught him out at few points and Hamza, blushing like a naked baby, bluntly called those cheering the professor’s “slaves”. Clearly  the response of an informed and values driven mind. How about all those cheering for you Hamza? Are they slaves? Well, they sure act like they are indoctrinated by your mounteback rhetoric because they are willing to cheer any absurdity you spit out as long as it praises Allah. Furthermore, he literally said the professor was being presumptuous and spreading crap. Of course, this was the real red herring to raise the profile of his followers and divert attention away from actual facts and towards the further befuddlement of the audience.
  • In Hamza’s defense, he correctly admits he knows next to nothing about science. He doesn’t even know anything about “nothing”, as it is defined in Prof. Krauss’ book. So how does he challenge the professor? He starts babbling about the linguistic beauty of the Quran and a tirade about  inductive vs. deductive reasoning. What was even more bizarre was how all his arguments revolved around interpretations of definitions and hollow examples (e.g. temporal, causality and infinity) . How does any of this outline the sensibility of the Quran? It doesn’t and Hamza knows that . In fact, if you watch the debate closely you can see that Prof. Krauss is actually educating the crowd as he negates all of the points put forth by Hamza. He does this by presenting evidence, common sense and explanation. In contrast, Hamza resorts to cheap parlor tricks and his charm to play the crowd. Moreover, at many times he refuses to pay heed to the professor’s explanations and speaks over him and warps his explanations with ridiculous pseudoscience.
  • Hamza’s mission, similar to the mission of all these self-appointed defenders and authorities of faith, is to make an example out of the infidel Atheist. If he wanted to enter into a proper debate, which stayed on topic, then he would have brought proof and examples that speak volumes about the divinity and sensibility found with the Quran. Well, he didn’t. Instead, he danced around the questions Prof. Krauss challenged him with (e.g. Sharia law and homosexuality). He also reveals his folly by stating that homosexual people are not openly gay in the United States and that science requires testimony to be accepted, all of which is bollocks. The point is that all the science, laws, values, morality and concepts of the world found in the Quran can and have been disproved by the accomplishments of science and the advancement of societies. Additionally, many of the claims made in the Quran, especially concerning science, have been claimed by civilizations that stood long before Islam or any other of the current major religions. In fact,  just because an Arabic/Christian/Buddhist scholar enlightens the world with an idea does not mean that the respective religion has automatic claim to it. Does Christianity claim Francis Collins’ work? Don’t take my word for it because you can find all this out for yourself by scouring reputable sources on the Internet and in your local library. All this shows is that religion is not unique, special or sensible. It is a highly fallible human construct devised to alleviate our fears of the unknown and to keep the impressionable under lock and key to restrict progress and education. Conform your beliefs to the reality and evidence that surrounds you.
  • I could go on and on but I think I’ve done enough to get my point across. I would like to give a special mention to the simpleton mathematician who during the Q&A sessions belittled Prof. Krauss’ book by calling it “an introduction to logical fallacies.” Well smart-ass, I can assure you that no one anywhere will ever read anything you put out because you couldn’t even comprehend the preface of the professor’s book. The idea that nothing is something is not difficult to understand. Simply put, it means that  nothing, as defined by the professor, is a real but intangible concept (i.e. something). Also, the book contains no actual mathematics (e.g. equations etc..). I know this because I’m reading the book. It contains diagrams, but they are used schematically to illustrate the points put forth by Prof. Krauss.
  • My final point is meant to address the segregation that had become a talking point of the lecture prior to its beginning. Essentially, the organizers of the event did not allow women and men to sit together in the auditorium. Not only is this against the UCL’s stipulations, but it is also reprehensible in the 21st century. Lawrence Krauss refused to take part unless the organizers removed this ridiculous law, which they did and the show went on. Rightly so, the organizers of the event have been banned from UCL. However, in the Q&A one girl felt the need to address this. My dear, a man arriving late and searching for a seat in a non-segregated event choosing to sit beside you is not imposing himself upon you. How does this affect your values? Are your values so fickle that they are harmed by the proximity of  the opposite sex? Did he feel you up or belittle you in any way?  Also, the example you provided of the same man coming uninvited and joining your girlfriends at a restaurant is not the same thing. They are two entirely different social situations. In the altter, you have every right to be offended and claw his eyes out. You can’t do that at an open public event. Would you remove yourself from public because men are encroaching on your sacred values through their sheer proximity in public places, such as classrooms? No one is forcing you or anyone else to sit next to him because you are free to change your seat. You chose to be a part of a social convention in the secular and open society you were fortunate enough to be born into. Don’t take it for granted because I can assure you that people elsewhere would love to have a taste of the very freedoms you bemoan.