Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Muslim man saves 64 Christians from being executed by militants in Philippines

A Muslim man in the Philippines has been hailed as a hero for giving shelter to 64 Christians in his home while terrorists were hunting them.
Noor Lucman, a Muslim who lives in Marawi, gave shelter to Christians who were working near his home as militants were attacking Marawi, the capital city of about 200,000 people on the Philippine island of Mindanao.
Nearly 240 Christians had been kidnapped and held hostage by militants since the start of the conflict more than a week ago.
After Lucman said after he had fled the city, Christians “couldn’t leave the city, so I had to take responsibility in protecting them.”


Monday, 26 June 2017

She May Be The Most Unstoppable Scientist In The World

Two years ago, Eqbal Dauqan was going to work in the morning as usual. She's a biochemistry professor. And was driving on the freeway, when suddenly: "I felt something hit my car, but I didn't know what it was because I was driving very fast," she says.

Dauqan reached the parking lot. Got out of the car and looked at the door. What she saw left her speechless.

"A bullet hit the car, just on the door," she says.

The door had stopped the bullet. And Dauqan was OK. She has no idea where the bullet came from. But it turned out to be an ominous sign of what was to come.

Gender Canyon

Dauqan is a woman scientist in what's possibly the hardest place on Earth to be just a woman: Yemen.

The World Economic Forum ranks Yemen as the worst country for women's rights. In Yemen, many women can't leave the house without permission from a male relative.

"If she goes out with her husband or brother, that's OK. But not by herself. " Dauqan says. "Not everyone follows this. But this is our culture."

A culture where two-thirds of women can't read. About half are married by age 18  and sometimes as young as age 8.

And then there's the black veil. Many women in Yemen wear a niqab — a black veil that completely covers their faces, from except for a tiny slit across the eyes.

Daquan wears a niqab when she's in Yemen. She even wore one during her TEDx talk there back in 2014. But she doesn't wear one in other countries.

"I cover my face [in Yemen] because I respect the culture," Dauqan says. "I respect the culture."

She may respect it  but not blindly. For the past decade, Dauqan has burst through glass ceiling after glass ceiling with fearlessness and grace.

Even as a young girl, she was rebel. "I was a little naughty," she says with a snicker.

She liked breaking rules. And proving people wrong. So when her parents told her she might not have the smarts to go into science and engineering — like her dad — Eqbal thought: Watch me.

"I told my father, 'I've heard a lot about scientists in chemistry. What is the difference between me and them? So I want to try," she says.

And she did more than try. She crushed it. 

Eqbal won over her father and got his financial support. She was the first among her friends to finish college. Then she got a scholarship to do her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Universiti Kebansaan Malaysia, where she studied the nutritional properties of palm oil.

That lead to her writing a popular book about the fruits mentioned in the Holy Quran and their health benefits. For example, Indian Jujube — also known as red dates — are the most cultivated plant in the world and have 20 times more vitamin C than citrus fruit, Eqbal writes in her book.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Many terrorists' first victims are their wives - but we're not allowed to talk about that

Image result for domestic violence

In America, they call it the Day Three Story. After a mass shooting, depending on whether the suspect is young or old, white, Asian or black, Muslim or Christian, the press speculates on his motives (and yes, it is almost always a "he"). And then on Day Three, when attention has wandered elsewhere, when he's been deemed a "lone wolf" (white) or a "dangerous radical who hates our way of life" (Muslim), another piece of the jigsaw emerges. He has a history of domestic violence. 

Who are the most likely victims of an American mass shooter, by the way? Would you care to take a guess? It's overwhelmingly likely to be his family. (Of mass killers between 2009 and 2015, 16 per cent had previously been charged with domestic violence. More than half included a partner or close family member in their death toll.) We also know that the time a woman is most in danger from our violent partner is when she tries to leave - when he feels worried that his control is slipping away. 

These incidents are not often described as terrorism, despite a concerted attempt from women's groups to draw out the parallels with other mass killers. One of the most moving statements I've read this year was by the sons of Lance Hart, who killed his wife Claire, along with their daughter Charlotte, after she finally announced she would leave him. On Facebook, Luke Hart wrote:

"It was the result of decades of abuse and controlling and intimidating behaviour. He was a tyrant who wouldn’t let his family live outside of his domination. Our father was a terrorist living within our own home; he had no cause but to frighten his family and to generate his own esteem from trampling and bullying us. For over a decade we had tried to leave on numerous occasions but he manipulated and threatened on every occasion."
Lance Hart killed himself after shooting his wife and daughter - something which is typical in "family annilihation" cases. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

This Muslim Convert Is Prepping The Next Batch Of Muslim Scholars To Be More In Tune With UK Society

When Tim Winter became a Muslim in 1979, Islam was still something of a mystery to the West. He was a 19-year-old undergraduate student at Cambridge University and a self-described “freelance monotheist.”
Today, Winter, a 57-year-old native Londoner who also goes by the name Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, faces a much different reality. Islam has grown to one of the largest religions in Europe, and with it, Islamophobia.  
Winter, keenly aware of this new reality, is tackling it head-on. As one of Europe’s most prominent Islamic scholars and dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, he spends his days training graduates of Britain’s top Islamic seminaries to better navigate and engage with British society.
Both Englishman and Muslim convert, Winter is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between Islam and the West, largely because of the journey that got him here.
The late 70s were a time of religious experimentation for many British youth, and Winter was no different. He had a strong desire to understand the nature of God and humanity, and so he found himself immersed in a study of the world’s religions.
He turned to “the Far East,” then Judaism in search of something that “aimed ultimately to embrace the world.” These traditions fell short, and his own faith at the time, Christianity, had already proven flawed in his mind in part because his “school chaplain failed … to explain to our sneering, skeptical young minds the basic teachings of Christianity, the incarnation and the Trinity, the blood atonement … None of it made any sense, and [the chaplain] admitted that it was something that should just be accepted on faith and didn’t have any biblical or rational basis.