Archive for December, 2005

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Bootylicious DVDs

December 30, 2005

Be forewarned. This is a rant. I’ve seen my fair share of “African-American” comedies (or as Dr. Abdul Hakim Jackson would say, Blackamerican comedies). Actually, I’m not even going to limit this to comedies, because I’ve seen quite serious dramas deteriorate in a similar fashion. What I’m referring to here is “the booty factor.” It seems we cannot escape it, except by avoiding most Blackamerican movies.

Every time a black woman comes on the screen in one of these movies, the men are awestruck. They stare, drool, and pant. This is not surprising, as most men actually do this (present company excluded). Where these movies differ is all in the camera angle. Suddenly, the camera zooms in on the woman’s rear end, and we’re “moonstruck” by the footage. There is usually no warning for this and no justifiable reason.

You’re probably thinking that it’s my own fault for watching these low-class movies. You are right. It’s just that, ever so often, I’d like to see someone with color (who’s not Tyler Perry in a gray wig) on the screen . Furthermore, movies that, in some cases, are otherwise quite wholesome are completely demoralized and cheapened by two or three bootyzooms. It’s sickening!

The only Blackamerican movies that do not include such exploits are extremely heavy dramas, such as Rosewood. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rosewood, but it’s from a rare class.

Black women, who are much more than just round objects that move from side to side (I should know, I was raised by one and am married to one), should be outraged every time they see it, every time they’re asked to do it, and every time a man watches it and enjoys it. Why do we even need to complain about the oppression to which we’re subjected when we have become the main catalysts? It must come to an end, even if the only black face I ever see in a movie again is Samuel L. Jackson playing someone’s sidekick or an angry cop holding white people hostage. Hey, he was probably just upset from the bootylicious movie that he watched the night before, so who could blame him?

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US Plans to Nuke Iran

December 28, 2005

The United States plans to use “low-yield” nuclear weapons against Iran.

Here is the entire plan.

Some of you might argue, “How do you know?” Well, the writing is on the wall that they plan to attack Iran, just as any intelligent person knew that, before 9/11, the US already had plans to attack Iraq. As far back as the Clinton administration, plans to attack Afghanistan were already in place.

It’s a simple formula. Make unreasonable terms, such as, “Hand over Bin Laden, with no legal procedures,” “destroy all of your WMDs, even the ones that don’t exist,” or the latest, “You CANNOT have ANY nuclear technology, even for peaceful means, and even if the Nonproliferation treaty allows it.” Then, wait for the opposing country to refuse to give in, and then attack.

If the world doesn’t come to an end, it will at least be the end of the world as we know it. Get ready.

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Zahra's Birthday

December 25, 2005

Zahra eating cakeZahra turned two years old on Friday. It was quite a hectic day with relatives over our house. Taubah went all out with the food and decorations, mashaAllah. Zahra has WAY too many toys, and she knows it. You can check out some of the photos in the gallery. I still have a lot to load.

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The Place of Reason in Islam

December 23, 2005

I finally finished an article for OneUmmah.net that I had been working on for a couple of weeks. It is entitled, The Path of Reason. Please read it and let me know your comments, suggestions, and questions.

If you’d like to be a staff writer for OneUmmah.net, send me your literary bio (I just invented that, I think). I don’t really want a resume’. That might imply that you would receive monetary compensation, which you would not. 😦

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Blogging Kids

December 23, 2005

We finally set our student blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)ging in motion, after 5 months of planning (http://www.lanterntorch.org/content/view/146/0/). I started contemplating this in July and had the site designed in August. The rest involved waiting on the iBooks so that we’d have computers to use and using the stick/carrot technique with the teachers.

All seems well. The students did an excellent job, although I cannot say the same for the computers. I never realized how cheaply these Apple iBooks are made. A little wear and tear really takes them apart. I had missing keys, fried LCD backlights, toasted Airport cards, and a variety of flavors of OS X, from 10.2 all the way to 10.4. That actually presented the biggest problem, since some students were using that old crappy Internet Explorer 5, while others had Safari.

I had intended to show the students how to spell check using Safari, but that was shot down. I also had some students on my desktops with SuSE (http://www.suse.com)/KDE (http://www.kde.org) combo. Those, of course, worked flawlessly.

Drupal (http://www.drupal.org) was also everything I had hoped it would be. It allowed all students to have their individual blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog) pages, while also displaying all of them on the front page. Their teacher has the option of highlighting a particular student’s work on the front page as well. Furthermore, the teacher has full moderation over everything. A blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog) is not posted or updated without the teacher’s approval. Many thanks to the developers of Drupal, which, in case you didn’t know, is free software, released under the GPL.

Overall, I was pleased with the results. I think the kids really love blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)ging. Most of them had never even heard of it before today. My philosophy with writing has always been, write often, write well, and write about stuff you like. If you can do those three things, your writing skills will steadily increase.

Without further ado, I present our school’s blogs (http://longfellow.lanterntorch.org/).

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The Christmas Spirit

December 21, 2005

This time of year in America is always amazing to me. I wouldn’t miss it for the world; not because I celebrate Christmas, but because it feels SO good to NOT celebrate it. I remember, growing up, how stressed people got, how I would make sure my “santa” list wasn’t too much for my parents to afford, Christmas plays at school, trees, songs, movies, etc. None of it means anything. Those purist Christians, who have returned to a more traditional observance of Christmas, know it. They know the commercial mega-money-maker that it has become.

A few days ago, a news station ran a report on Anthem (one of the biggest medical insurance companies in the world), having a toy drive to collect toys for those children who cannot afford them. Two observations: 1) If I could not afford toys, then I probably couldn’t afford food and clothes either. Give me the essentials first! 2) With all of the money that Anthem steals from poor HMO plans that cost people their arms and legs (sometimes literally), why would they need to collect toys from other people and then deliver them? Why don’t they buy all of the toys themselves?

Nevertheless, my #1 reason for celebrating my lack of celebration of Christmas is the “Christmas Spirit.” It is infectious like a disease and equally as maddening. This week, while driving to and from work, people have been honking at me, yelling, giving dirty looks, driving excessively fast, having accidents, etc. People are stressed, suicide and homicide rates are on high, and the general “spirit” of the holiday is that commercialization rules and everyone MUST be a slave to it. The wife who says, “Oh honey, we don’t have to do the gift thing this year,” doesn’t really mean it. And anyone who says, “Well, it’s the thought that counts,” will probably be at Wal-Mart on December 26th exchanging their light-up singing bowtie for something they can actually wear.

I’ve heard the “progressive” Muslims ask, “Why don’t Muslims celebrate Christmas? We should appropriate American culture!” We should appropriate materialism, high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety? I don’t think so. Even if I had not converted to Islam, I would not make December 25th anything special in my family. It is not the birthday of Jesus (peace be upon him). It is a polytheistic holiday that Christians of the new Roman Empire “appropriated.” Yes, it’s true. The date, the tree, and all of the trimmings are a sham.

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Iraqi Children: Ignored Again

December 16, 2005

From this article

The biggest [reasonable] criticism of the Clinton administration was its sanctions on Iraq that led to the starving of countless Iraqi children. Sec. State Albright shrugged it off, while the Bush administration was quick to put the blame on Saddam for squandering oil-for-food money (which we all now know was a farce), but here is the evidence that, after Saddam, the US-led coalition has done nothing to improve the situation of Iraqi children. In fact, it’s gotten worse.

Acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the United States led an invasion of the country 20 months ago, according to surveys by the United Nations, aid agencies and the interim Iraqi government. […]

The new figure translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children [under five] suffering from “wasting,” a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein.

The surveys suggest the silent human cost being paid across a country convulsed by instability and mismanagement. While attacks by insurgents have grown more violent and more frequent, deteriorating basic services take lives that many Iraqis said they had expected to improve under American stewardship.

Iraq’s child malnutrition rate now roughly equals that of Burundi, a central African nation torn by more than a decade of war. It is far higher than rates in Uganda and Haiti.