A $3 trillion dollar war with $615 billion in interest

“8. Add interest. The U.S. has borrowed most of the funds used to wage the Iraq war. We will have to repay this debt with interest. If we include in our tally the interest payable on what we are borrowing over only the next 10 years, this adds another $615 billion to the price tag, and brings the total budgetary cost of the Iraq war into the neighborhood of $2.8 trillion.” War as business, with Lockheed-Martin et al in the pigs’ trough, but clearly exceptionally good business for bankers. 

A hypnotic trance

What explains mankind’s rush to extinction and to destruction of the biosphere if not hypnotic trance? Allah, exalted is He, says in Surat al-A’raf about the magicians of Pharaoh: 

“And when they threw, 

they cast a spell on the people’s eyes

and caused them to feel great fear of them.

They produced an extremely powerful magic.” (Surat al-A’raf: 115)

They “magicked their eyes” literally. 

The dollar versus gold? No contest

“As a medium of exchange, money needs to have convertibility and liquidity. Paper currencies have these qualities, so does gold. To add to the store of value, money needs to retain its value over long periods.

“Gold has retained its value, though with fluctuations, over centuries. Even now its purchasing power in terms of physical assets is not far distant from 300 years ago, before Isaac Newton’s recoinage of 1717. Most paper currencies lost more than 98 per cent of their purchasing power in the 20th century alone.” (William Rees-Mogg, The Times, February 25, 2008)


Den gavmilde Qur’an

Koen – Al-Baqara


I Allahs navn, Den Alnådige, Den Nådefulde

1       Alif Lam Mim.

       Det er Bogen uden tvivl.

       Den indeholder vejledning for de som vogter sig;

2              de som tror på det usete og iværksætter bønnen

              og giver ud af det som Vi har forsørget dem med;

3              de som tror på det som er blevet sendt ned til dig

              og det som blev sendt ned før dig

              og er sikre på det endelige.

4       De er vejledt af deres Herre.

       Det er dem som har succes.

Læs mere…

Appalling level of public discourse

What the affair of the Archbishop and his thoughtful talk on the Shari’a has underlined is the appalling level of public discourse in the media today. This applies to parliamentarians, journalists and writers, intellectuals, artists, and a wide range of public figures. They were simply incapable of handling his nuanced arguments, and I am not saying that I agreed with everything he said, but they did not even understand it. They disagreed before taking the trouble to understand. But what brought about this disgraceful conduct of people many of whom have high educational achievements? It is something more than ugly prejudice, although that certainly figured in the equation. It relates very strongly to our previous theme, for this is the information culture par excellence. Not only do people not know the difference between information and knowledge, but they would furiously deny that there is any difference. Knowledge and concepts in this society are second-hand. It is the difference between going to the tailors and buying mass-market clothing off the rack. Our intellectuals, with honourable exceptions, use ready-made concepts, which they have subjected to no scrutiny. They choose them on the mere basis of whether they suit their fashion, for this is the age of fashion. All that marks them out as intellectuals is the abundant supply of concepts on which they can draw and with which they play. This exposes the rottenness at the heart of the information society, the mediocrity of people who regard the intellect and culture as higher forms of consumerism, who go shopping for culture as they would for a good wine, but when the chips are down are barbarians.

Information and knowledge

One of the vital matters for the information age is to know the difference between information and knowledge. If one is informed of something that someone else knows then that is information. When one knows it oneself with genuine knowing then it is knowledge. Quite properly in every culture there are means to verify information. This differs from discipline to discipline. In the sciences of Islam, there are, for example, the sciences of intellect (‘aql) and the informational sciences of transmitted reports (naql). For this latter there are very necessary sciences of verification of the authenticity of the chains of transmission and other sciences. So the sciences of naql revolve around isnad and ijazah.  However, if a person fulfils all of these criteria he does not necessarily yet have knowledge. He is a master of information but is not necessarily a person of knowledge. What it takes to become a man of knowledge is another matter, which is not well attended to. One of the great afflictions of the age is that people take the masters of information for people of knowledge.

The LAT points out that it was the fifth school shooting in a week.

Lecture Nightmare


By Daniel Politi

Posted Friday, Feb. 15, 2008, at 6:17 AM ET

USA Today and the Los Angeles Times lead with the shooting at Northern Illinois University, where a gunman walked into a geology class and began firing. The gunman, who was identified as a former graduate student, killed five students and injured 16 others (at least two remain in critical condition) before turning the gun on himself. Carrying a shotgun and two handguns, the shooter apparently walked into the lecture hall that had at least 100 students and, without saying a word, shot the instructor (who survived) and then began firing randomly. The LAT points out that it was the fifth school shooting in a week.

(Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2184560/?from=rss)


Shariah in the UK

We have not even got the basic elements with which to gingerly approach this issue, and while all the pundits dive into the maelstrom of debate, lining up in a strange consensus that unites odd bedfellows and produces the predictable reactions and antinomies, who is there to point out that our vaunted democratic institutions have already been cynically dismantled and that we are apparently sliding inexorably into a totalitarianism worse than anything we have seen? The rule of law and all equal before the law are admirable sentiments, but the law has never been applied to the upper echelons who actually manipulate the levers of power, let alone their moderately well-paid servants such as Bush, Blair and Brown, universally admitted war criminals who have killed more than a million people. And who is there to point out that democracy and its institutions have now achieved the status of unquestionable religious dogma, their votaries displaying more unquestioning and unthinking adherence to their doctrine and greater bigotry and intolerance than anything they ascribe to their bêtes noires? The greatest casualties in this furore are thought, reflection and the truth. The winners? Two-faced hypocrisy and programmed roboticism. And Allah has power over all things. Who could have foreseen that England’s foremost clergyman would have unleashed this bolt from the blue? Certainly not he himself. It comes as a stroke of lightning that quite suddenly illuminates the protagonists on all sides and catches them unsuspecting in their true postures, so that some we thought friends are seen in their true colours and some we previously thought enemies are seen as possible allies, even friends. Glorious is Allah Who brings the living from the dead and the dead from the living.


Qadi Iyad wrote in Tartib al-Madarik:

Know, may Allah grant you success, that the preponderance of the madhhab of Malik over others and the loftiness of his rank and his exalted degree by way of transmission and tradition is only denied by the obstinate or the shortsighted whom knowledge of that did not reach even though it is famously widespread in the books both of opponents and friends. Here we will affirm that in two proofs, the first of which is the well known sahih tradition transmitted about that from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by way of hadith from trustworthy narrators, of them Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah from Ibn Jurayj from Abu az-Zubayr from Abu Salih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is probable that people will strike the livers of camels seeking knowledge,” and in a narration, yaltamisuna (seek) knowledge, but they will not find a knowledgeable man more knowledgeable,” and in a narration, “than the knowledgeable man of Madinah,” and in some of them, “the armpits of camels,” which is the place of the camels’s livers. Continue reading “Malik”

Something strange in the state of Jordan?

What exactly is going on in Amman?

Two curious documents have issued from there endorsed by large numbers of big names. The first one, the Amman Agreement, claims, contrary to the consensus of knowledgeable Muslims, that there are 8 madhhabs and not 4, and it neglects to mention the Maturidi school of dogma, an oversight that is unthinkable for people of knowledge.

The second one, A Common Word, claims to prove that Islam is simply a form of Christianity and is based on the Two Commandments of the Gospels. Moreover, whoever designed the website thoughtfully only put the option for a ringing endorsement of these two flawed documents, and no room for disagreement or even friendly criticism.

Then there is a link to a small paragraph or two on the Hashemites, “The Hashemite led the Arab nation, and established the Arab glory since the days of the old Arab tribe Quraish, and their service of the holy sites in Mecca and Madina. History betells of the Hashemites and of their state building, as well as their endeavours to achieve Arab independence, sovereignty and dignity.” Apart from the indignities inflicted on the English language in this execrable piece of prose, such Arab nationalism has been a disaster for the Muslims, positing, as it does, the idea of the Arabs as separate from the Muslims. Moreover, the history of this branch of the Hashemite family is by no means glorious, beginning as it does with Sharif Hussein’s betrayal of the legitimate sultan of his time and his collusion with the enemies of Islam, thus contributing to the present interregnum in the Caliphate. The British created two nations, Iraq and Jordan, and placed these Hashemites on their thrones, with the disastrous results in Iraq we are still experiencing.

The way forward certainly does not lie on the road of fantasy, neither in terms of fatwa nor in rewriting history.