In his recent article, Sam Harris, a popular critic of Islam, referred to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist, as “the best thing to come out of the Muslim world in 1,000 years.” Hidden in this comment is the idea that Malala’s fellow Muslims are backward and that her religion, Islam, is not conducive to change or progress.
Conversely to the beliefs of Harris and others like him, Muslims have actually made enormous contributions to civilization, perhaps due to the heavy emphasis that Islam places on knowledge. People who forget or blatantly ignore major trends or events in world history can be said to suffer from “historical amnesia.” Though this mindset cannot be cured in one short blog post, I hope to dispel some of the stereotypes and misperceptions exacerbated by Harris and other anti-Islam activists by highlighting the contributions that Muslims have made to civilization over the years.
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In May 2010, the richest, most powerful man in biotechnology made a new creature. J. Craig Venter and his private-company team started with DNA and constructed a novel genetic sequence of more than one million coded bits of information known as nucleotides. Seven years earlier, Venter had been the first person in history to make a functioning creature from information. Looking at the strings of letters representing the DNA sequence for a virus called phi X174, which infects bacteria, he thought to himself, “I can assemble real DNA based on that computer information.” And so he did, creating a virus based on the phi X174 genomic code. He followed the same recipe later on to generate the DNA for his larger and more sophisticated creature. Venter and his team figured out how to make an artificial bacterial cell, inserted their man-made DNA genome inside, and watched as the organic life form they had synthesized moved, ate, breathed, and replicated itself.
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THIS SHOULD MAKE MOST OF US MAD. I UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE DON’T REVERE PERSONS AND OBJECTS BUT TO BUILD LATRINES ON A SITE THAT MAY EVEN REMOTELY BE A HISTORIC – IF NOT HOLY – PLACE IS REALLY BARBARIC. Shoeb as Editor
Pilgrims follow in the footsteps of the prophet Muhammad, but there is little of his legacy left in Islam’s holiest city
Two million Muslims have flooded into Saudi Arabia’s Mina Valley from Mecca for the start of the Hajj pilgrimage this week. Dressed in simple white garments and freed from their worldly possessions, they are following in the footsteps of the prophet Muhammad. But in Islam’s holiest city, there is increasingly little sign of the prophet’s legacy – or the frugal life he espoused.
“The authorities are trying to destroy anything in Mecca that is associated with the prophet’s life,” says Irfan al-Alawi, director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, who recently returned from a trip to the city. “They have already bulldozed the house of his wife, his grandson and his companion – and now they are coming for his birthplace. And for what? Yet more seven-star hotels.”
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Saadia Asad’s thoughts on Morning Shows in Pakistan. In fact same can be said about the entertainment shows in the West. It is true with freedom of speech comes responsibility, but is it the personal responsibility and responsibility of media or outside censorship, as suggested by Saadia Asad, is required ? Once outside censorship steps in, where will it stop, especially in case of morality? ( F. Sheikh )
With freedom comes responsibility : responsibility of what to
choose,what to say and how to act.Our media has attained freedom …but
they have not acquired responsibility ,which becomes apparent by watching
the morning shows.Nothing worthwhile,decent or sensible is being aired in
these shows which are supposed to give one a fresh start to the
day.Outrageously made up hosts ,weird topics and activities ranging from
weddings on stage,dancing,shopping and haunting make up the jisst of these
shows.Crude language,indecent body language,double meaning sentences and
gestures have become a norm of these shows.
Most of the people i have talked to have negative
feedback regarding these programms.The highest viewership of these shows
are the upcoming lower and lower middle-class,who are newly being exposed to
this fake world of glamour.A very wrong message is being conveyed to this
group that education,awareness and mannerisms all become secondary in the
face of glamour and rowdiness.These morning shows actually have become a
warning for what is ahead.They are a reflection of the moral degradation
society is headed towards.It is urgently requested that electronic media
regulation authority should do something about this.Curbing the
vulgarity, bringing in some sense and common sense into the script and
topics are the right steps to improve this scenario.
by Saadia Asad