Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tricubes to charge 50 sen per email, confirms CEO?!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z0TPEPDMgo&feature=share


What?! I want in as I can make a huge fortune doing practically nothing! (Just being cheeky here!) :-)

So if 1 million account holders (for a conservative start, counting all the BN people and govt servants), each email sent will rake in RM 500,000?

How to make a fortune doing nothing ...

1. Welcome email
2. CNY greeting
3. Raya Puasa Greeting
4. Raya Haji Greeting
5. Deepavali Greeting
6. Might as well add in Thaipusam even though it is not a national holiday ...(1 Malaysia mah)
7. Wesak Day Greeting
8. Christmas Greeting
9. Might as well add in Easter (1 Malaysia mah)
10. Merdeka Day!
11. FT Day
12. Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
13. Harvest Festival
14. Melaka as a historical City day
15. Gawai
16. Awal Muharam

Ok what else ... (sorry if I missed out anyone's holiday - not meant to be exhaustive)

17. Oh yah, Agong's BD
18-30. What about the other Sultans and also the governers so they don't feel left out?

Maybe ....

31-32. 2 emails a year announcing shut downs for network maintenance? (Aren't I optimistic) :-)

33. PM 's birthday? Why not?

You add to the list ... so far I have made a cool RM 16.5 million just sending out greetings.

But if I get it up to 2 million subscribers .... then it's RM 33 million.

But I think I can get at least 4 million as a start? Why not ... Wah RM 66 million already one.

*sigh* and sorry for my nonsense. Been a tough day ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some youth camp April 2011 photos


Some photos taken by James ...

Dan and Bec - so great to have them involved in our church youth ministry.
Dan's the outdoors expert and took care of the many outdoor activities

The camp cooks - all planned by Irene (on the right)!

I love our inter generational wide age range "youth" camp!

Low tide on our branch front camp site means we can walk over to
the "island" among other things

Outing .... which as usual; I skipped so I could nap! :-)

All kinds of tents

A couple of meters from the tents ... One thing I love is that you can be next
to the ocean and smell the stench of rotting fish and raw sewage and other
pollutants :-)

more tents ...

Little "island" across our camp site

Swimming at a nearby bay

Another of Dan's fun activities - turning coke cans into mini cookers

After watching, time to make their own cooking cans

And cook pancakes!

Something edible found in the sea

Youngest camper - Emmy enjoying her pancake

Look! The Pastor has nothing to do! Everything so well organized and taken care of ...
(Now this is my kind of camp!)

On the way home - a stop over for fast food and more craziness

Fish and chips in little groups on the pier


And feeding the ducks

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Using the Word "Islamophobia" is Misleading

Why Using the Word "Islamophobia" is Misleading

By Tawfik Hamid
Name-calling with the term Islamophobia is an aggressive tactic popularized by apologists for Radical Islam to silence individuals who attempt to tell the truth about Jihadist Islam.  
In the spirit of "the best defense is a good offence," accusations of Islamophobia were first slung broadly in this country to suppress attention to the Islamic Jihadist motivations of the perpetrators of the September 11th Twin Towers attack.  Most recently Islamophobia name-calling has been utilized with renewed vigor to discredit Rep. Peter King (US) whose Congressional Hearings threatened to expose the realities of the ideological basis of terrorism. The accusations of Islamophobia have been also used to silence European Politicians such as Geert Wilders and UK Academics such as Patrick Sookhdeo.
The psychological term phobia describes an excessive and irrational fear.  So-called Islamophobia, by contrast, is appropriate willingness to heed the solid evidence of who commits terror acts and their motivations. 
The statistics are striking.  According to a recent survey by the Justice department, while Muslims constitute about 1% of the American population, they contribute 80% of the Home Grown Terrorism. According to these data, the probability of an American Muslim to conduct a terrorist act in the US is approximately 400 times the probability of American Non-Muslims to an act of terror.  Furthermore, the vast preponderance of the last decade's worldwide terror acts have been conducted by Radical Islamic groups (A list of these terror acts has already exceeded 15 thousand acts by Radical Islamists since September 11th -is available athttp://www.thereligionofpeace.com ).
In addition, the ONLY nations that punish or kill in our modern times for religious crimes are majority Muslim states. 
Likewise, one of Sharia (Islamic) Law's central ideals which is approved by ALL the main schools of Islamic Jurisprudence-even to today- is declaring wars against Non-Muslims to spread Islam across the globe. This has led several of its practitioners to believe that violent acts are a legitimate means of accomplishing that goal.  
The above can be just added to the practices of Sharia laws in Muslim countries such as killing apostates & sorcerers, hanging gays, Honor Killing, stoning adulteries and using violence against women. The reality is that, it is seldom, in our modern times, to see similar atrocities practiced in the name of any religion other than Islam. 
The lack of a powerful denouncement in the Muslim world or by leading Islamic scholars to the formerly mentioned atrocities just adds more salt to the wound.  In fact, many-if not most-of Islamic institutes and scholars actually promote such values. These are facts-NOT irrational beliefs. Therefore, labeling fear of Islam "Islamophobia" is clearly inappropriate and misleading.   

American health authorities recently have begun conducting tests to evaluate nuclear irradiation in foods imported from Japan.  The Japanese people are not labeling these actions that protect the American people from fallout from the distressed Japanese nuclear reactors as "Japano-phobia." They are not complaining that this information-gathering is a discriminatory response to Japan. 
Similarly, singling out Muslims for evaluation in the counter-terrorism Congressional hearings of Rep. Peter King or in other forms of research is an appropriate response to the facts and dangers of Islamic terrorism.   
Failure to take appropriate steps to evaluate a statistically validated danger violates the Constitutional mandate that the federal governmental protect its citizens from "domestic violence."  Moreover, the outcomes of ignoring terrorism's Islamic roots can be disastrous. Yet, perhaps because of the American spirit of goodwill plus prevailing winds of political correctness, the intimidation tactic of name-calling with the term "Islamopobia" has been all too effective in inhibiting our political leaders and the American media from pursuing an understanding of the role of religious ideology in Islamic terrorism.  The result has been a confused public and muddled understanding within our State Department, Congress, and Department of Homeland Security. 
In conclusion, fear of Islam cannot be described as "Islamophobia" as this fear is based on facts and realities rather than irrationality as the word 'phobia' would indicate. American concerns that religious teaching is the primary factor in contemporary terrorism must be heeded, not suppressed by name-calling tactics.  Americans who allow themselves to be silenced by "Islamophobia" accusations serve as radical Islam's enablers. Finally, fear from Islam can ONLY be changed when the Muslim world challenges itself to change the above mentioned frightening facts and realities. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ramblings but mostly on "Sacred Pathways"

Had a good Home group meeting - practically everybody was there so it was crowded and the discussion was interesting (albeit a bit sensitive). Then slept past midnight last night and dreamed a lot on all sorts of things :-) and then at 5.30 AM woke up wide awake ... but with a headache :-(. Think I had too much mental activity last night (and did not watch TV in case some of you were wondering). Think it also had to do with finally finishing reading "Sacred Pathways" by Gary Thomas earlier in the evening after coming back form the office.

So here's some ramblings on the book. IMHO, a very interesting book (I got it last year from a Bible College as a gift for my "services" as a Supervisor for a church  intern)

The book is easy to summarize - the sub title puts it clearly - "discover your soul's path to God".

Basically the author lists "nine sacred pathways" and then discusses each of them and then ends each discussion with the "Temptations" (i.e. dangers to look out for) of each path and a short quiz to help gauge "the dominance of the spiritual temperament in your life".


The pathways he lists are: 
1. Naturalists: Loving God outdoors
2. Sensates: Loving God with the senses
3. Traditionalists: Loving God through ritual and symbol
4. Ascetics: Loving God in solitude and simplicity
5. Activists: Loving God through confrontation
6. Caregivers: Loving God by loving others
7. Enthusiasts: Loving God with mystery and celebration
8. Contemplatives: Loving God through adoration
9. Intellectuals: Loving God with the mind


I came out of the book with a greater appreciation of each pathway though nothing was anywhere near a "mind boggling new revelation" which only helped emphasize his point that my spiritual temperament is high on the "intellectual" spectrum :-)

In a way the book has caused me to also become a little more frustrated (?) I seem to lean more strongly in some areas BUT the reality is some are not what I would consider my strengths or things I am currently passionate about. And in addition, I do not score very high in even the temperaments I am most strongly inclined. So for example when I look at the intellectual temperament / pathway, while joint highest it is not a high score at all (18 out of 30). And my answers are actually inconsistent - so  yes, "concepts and truths" are very appealing to me (4 out of 5) but I don't find myself as passionate (anymore?) about spending several hours of uninterrupted deep study time (2 out of 4). Nowadays I tend to need a lot of small breaks, even if it is 5 minutes as I can't focus for extended times as I used to be able to. And the statement on "A book on church dogmatics would be appealing to me"? I gave it a 1 out of 5 where 1 is not true at all! LOL. An intellectual? Hmmm... doesn't seem like it to me. :-)

But then again, the closeness of most scores on the temperaments does seem to indicate that I may be most naturally a generalist? That was my deliberate focus and goal back in my twenties when I first entered seminary. That was then a pragmatic based decision ... or then again, I wonder now, was it just that? :-)

But it's a worthwhile book to read.... not a difficult book at all. Down to earth spirituality and he is an excellent writer and communicator.

Anyway I hope to slowly go through the book a second time at an even slower pace using the discussion / reflection guide and I think at the end, things will be come a lot more clearer to me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Was Muslims' violent Reaction to Burning the Quran Preventable? (Tawfik Hamid)

I think more people need to spread Tawfik Hamid's views and his cause to reform Islam from within.


Was Muslims' violent Reaction to Burning the Quran Preventable?
By Tawfik Hamid
Last Friday, at least seven United Nations workers were killed (including two who were beheaded) and several more were injured after officials said a protest in Afghanistan against a Florida pastor's burning of the Quran turned violent.
On Saturday, the deadly attacks extended to Kandahar.  Nine have been killed and several were also injured.
The violent reactions of the Muslim's on the streets which have resulted in the killing of many innocents are a result of the perception that Islam has been insulted.  This has occurred on several other occasions such as the publishing of cartoons of prophet Mohamed by a Danish newspaper, the comments of one of the participants in a beauty queen competition about prophet Mohamed inNigeria November 21, 2002, and rumors that US military persons have insulted the Quran.
Preventing Islamist violent reaction in the future cannot simply occur by preventing people from insulting Islam.  This approach can be Un-constitutional and is practically impossible.
The barbaric reaction to the Quran burning demonstrates the existence of several factors that may have contributed to such unjustifiable and unacceptable atrocities.
These factors include:
1-     Tolerating - in several parts of the Muslim world the use of violence, when it empowers religious values, gives justification and prepares some Muslims psychologically to use violence or resort to its use to express their religious views and opinions.  

2-   Undervaluing the life of Non-Muslims- traditional mainstream Sharia Law books teach that the monetary compensation for killing a Non-Muslim is half of that of a Muslim.  This is an important root cause for disrespecting human life and justifying attacking and killing Non-Muslims.

3-   Failure to use Islamic Education to empower certain Quranic values that can prevent such violent reaction. These include "Not punishing someone for the mistakes of others" {Quran 35:18} and "respecting human life" {Quran 5:32}.

4-   Individual Thinking- There is a failure of the educational systems and Media to encourage individual thinking instead of the mob or "Umma" mentality.  The latter way of thinking suppresses individual thinking in favor of the thinking of the group around him. This makes that person more vulnerable to participate in such violent acts.
  
5-    Failure of legal systems to make the Mullahs who incite hatred and violence responsible for the outcome of their teaching.  The violent response against the UN personnel occurred after Friday prayer. It is vital to know what has been said exactly in the ceremony that could have led to such brutal demonstrations.

6-   Failure of the Islamic scholars to denounce the terrorists (NOT terrorism) in strong words that are powerful enough to deter Muslims from participating in acts of violence. Using expressions to describe these acts as being "Un-Islamic", or "No religion will justify such acts" are too weak to deter Muslims who are driven by religious zeal to participate in such violent acts.

Prevention of similar barbaric responses in the future MUST be holistic and Multi-Dimensional.

Suggested steps to prevent similar violent reaction in the future include:

1-     Islamic Religious scholars MUST issue a Fatwa, calling those Muslims who contributed to the violent attacks that result in killing "Apostates"-if they do not repent.  Unfortunately, such expressions are needed to decrease participation of Muslims in such violent acts in the future.

2-   Islamic teaching MUST give more emphasis on the Quranic values that can prevent generalization and show respect for Human life. For example; the Quran clearly states that it is unacceptable to punish a person for the actions of another one {Quran 35:18} and that "killing an innocent human soul is equal to killing all humanity" {Quran 5:32}.
 The above values-if taught properly-could have prevented the attack on and the killing of the innocent UN personnel who have no relation, at all, to the act of burning the Quran. 

3-   Encouraging individual thinking instead of Mob or 'Umma' mentality in the Muslim world can be achieved via proper educational tactics.  These tactics must modify the thinking process of individuals and can be assisted by certain Quranic verses that establish the meaning that each individual will be judged based upon his personal deeds and actions {Quran 19:95: "And everyone will come to the Lordsingly on the day of judgment"}.

4-   Negative reinforcementpsychological tactics MUST be used to decrease the possibility of similar barbaric attacks in the future. These tactics include clarifying to radical Muslims that such an attack on the UN is likely to create more hatred to Islam and thus can cause more Qurans to be burned-rather than the other way around.   The Muslim scholars need to explain this to the Muslim world and put the sin of burning Qurans-that may happen in the future-on the shoulders of Muslims who conduct these violent acts.

Feeling the individual responsibility for burning more Qurans as a result of the violent acts is an important deterrent factor that can prevent religiously motivated Muslims from participating in similar violent atrocities.  The Quranic verse {Quran 6:108 "Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance"} can be used as a model to teach Muslims that merely insulting others-let alone killing them-is a major sin as these acts can bring more insults to the religion.
Finally, winning the war against Radical Islam cannot only occur at the Military front.  Furthermore, it is practically impossible to stop criticism of Islam.  The prevention of future-and probably more devastating-atrocities by violent Muslims requires the proper use of ideological, educational, and psychological tactics.   

God's "breathing" intimacy

Fourth Week of Lent - April 6, 2011

"Jesus said...'My father goes on working, and so do I'." (John 5)

The relationship between Jesus and the Father is so intimate it is like breathing. God offers this same intimacy to you and me, breathing love into us, and with this breath inspiring us to breathe love into others.  'It is good for you that I'm going, Jesus said, 'because if I go, I can send you my Spirit, my breath.


- Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dr. Ng Kam Weng's response to the 10 point press statement

Dr. Ng Kam Weng's response to the 10 point press statement by Idris Jala. Always a helpful read

To read click here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sarawak and UMNO-BN's Ten Point Bible Solution (Rama Ramanathan)

No need for me to blog on this. Rama says it much better than I could ever do ... and more :-)

To read, go here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Muslims in Egypt Demand Release of Alleged Convert to Islam (ANS)

It is a scary world out there. Egypt seems to have become even worse without Hosni Mubarak. :-(

Even with reputable Muslims speaking out, many are not listening. What is more frightening to me is that forced conversion to Islam where torture is often used is not just allowed but practiced and praised by the same group of people who are making these demands.

God have mercy!


ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: assistnews@aol.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Muslims in Egypt Demand Release of Alleged Convert to Islam

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST MinistriesCAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- A Middle East journalist is reporting that hundreds of Muslims staged a protest in front of the State Council on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, during the hearing of the case filed by a number of Muslim clerics with the administrative judiciary court, contesting the validity of the detention of Camelia Shehata and Wafaa Constantine in the churches of Pope Shenouda III.


Muslims demonstrate for the release
of Camelia Shehata
Mary Abdelmassih, writing for the Assyrian International News Agency (www.aina.org) said that after a three-months pause Muslims resumed their demonstrations today against the Egyptian Coptic Church, demanding the release of Camelia Shehata, a the priest's wife, and "her sisters in faith," whom they allege converted to Islam and are imprisoned by the Church and tortured to give up Islam.
"Pope Shenouda III told Al Ahram newspaper at the beginning of this crisis in August 2010 that Camelia is a Christian and no one has the right to know her whereabouts or ask where she is," said Abdelmassih.

Camelia video declaring her Christian faith
Camelia later appeared on a video taken by the independent newspaper ElYoum7 and confirmed she is a Christian, never converted to Islam, and is staying of her free will in a place belonging to the church (video of Camelia with English subtitles can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pglZwQekZfE."Demonstrators held photos of Camelia and chanted slogans demanding her release, saying she was being held in one of the monasteries after she converted to Islam. They also distributed a statement entitled 'from Camelia Shehata to Muslims,' urging Muslims to defend her and set her free," said Abdelmassih.
"A number of Muslim leaders announced during their sit-in today the establishment of the 'Coalition for the Support New Muslims', a coalition between several Muslims and Muslim Brotherhood leaders, in addition to the Islamic Group."
She went on to say that representatives of the coalition distributed a statement that their goals were to set free new Muslims, held captives within the Church, which they claim total nearly 70 women and men. Included in this list are Wafaa Constantine, Mary Abdullah Zaki, Camelia Shehata, Marianne Makram, Teresa Ibrahim, Abeer Ibrahim and Elia Nabil Ayad.
They also demanded to hold accountable anyone involved in the kidnapping, detention or torture of any Muslim convert, and to provide legal protection and human rights for anyone who wants to convert to Islam.

An alleged re-worked picture of Camelia clad in a veil
Abdelmassih said that the demonstration was covered by the media due to the propaganda that preceded the event. Muslims announced on the web that any woman seen without Hijab or not covering her head on Tuesday March, 29, would be killed, which frightened many Christian women. This prompted the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization (EUHRO) to file a complaint against the Muslims with the office of the Head of the Military Council, accusing them of terrorizing Christian women.Dr. Mohamad Moneer Megahed, head of the organization "Egyptians Against Discrimination" condemned this threat and called on Coptic women to go out in the streets in defiance.
She stated that the media "heavily criticized this threat" both on TV and in newspapers, with Amr Adib, a prominent show master on Orbit Channel calling it "political suicide" on the part of the Muslims. But how the Muslims are denying making this threat, although it was published on their Facebook page and was distributed in the streets.
Islamic thinker Dr. Salim Al-Awa said yesterday on the popular TV program "90 Minutes" that Camellia Shehata is not a Muslim, never converted to Islam and is still a Christian. Al-Awa said: "I said on more than one TV channel that the issue of Camellia is a personal issue with her husband."
Dr. Hossam elBokhary, Coordinator of the Coalition told the independent newspaper ElYoum7 that the goal of the coalition is managing the crisis of those women who are detained by the Church, because of its seriousness saying, "We must block the way for any act of chaos which exploits the issue of Camelia as happened in the events of the bombing of the Church in Iraq and the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria.
In an interview with Coptic activist Mariam Ragy of Free Christian Voice, a Muslim demonstrator said that the reason for this protest was the follow-up of the Camelia case "according to the law". He said that Muslims have nothing against the Christians, but with those who are forcibly confining any Christian female who converts to Islam to revert her back by force to Christianity. "We have proof which we will put in front of Court", he said.
Abdelmassih stated that another demonstrator introduced himself as doctor Mohamad and said "The matter is simple, we want Pope Shenouda to bring Camelia out in a non-biased place, if she is not a Muslim he can take her back." He said that they have a rule in Sharia Law that says that as long as there is a Muslim "captive," then all Muslim have a duty to save that person. "All demonstrators believe that Camelia is a captive." He said that the matter would end as soon as Camelia comes out in a non-biased place and say that she is not under any pressure, and then whatever she says, the matter will be closed.
Dr. Georget Kellini, former member of the People's Assembly and the semi-governmental Egyptian Human Rights Organization proposed as a solution for the Camelia crisis, that Al-Azhar Grand Imam and Pope Shenouda III agree on the formation of a reliable tripartite committee to includes a member of Al-Azhar, an independent member that has the support and trust and a member of the media.
This committee plans to meet with Wafaa Constantine and Camelia Shehata separately and without interference, listen to them and write down everything. This information would then be presented to the public and as such their exact position will become clear to all and whether any one of them is subjected to any pressure, or is kept against her free will. Kellini added that no one had the right to compel a person to appear before the media against their wish.
The Middle East journalist went on to say that Muslims have organized since the outbreak of the "Camelia Episode" seventeen demonstrations demanding the return of Camelia and threatening the Pope and the Church. The last of these demonstrations was held in Alexandria, just a few hours before the bombing of the "Two Saints" Church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve 2010, in which they threatened to turn matters for the church into "Blood in Blood."
Abdelmassih concluded by saying, "The return of Camelia from the prisons of the Coptic Church was also the reason Al-Qaida gave for the massacre 58 Assyrians at 'Our Lady of Deliverance' Church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010."

Dan Wooding, 70, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 47 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly "Front Page Radio" show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried on the Calvary Radio Network throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 200 countries. You can follow Dan on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel "Red Dagger" which is available this link.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.