Science & Philosophy - 5 : On the Nature vs. Nurture Debate
- Our strongest asset is our own record. Let Pakistanis see how much India has
achieved in 50 years while their country has descended into a morass of
dictatorship, corruption, lawlessness, fundamentalism and economic ruin. And who
knows, in another 50 years, there may not be a Pakistan at all?
Monday, August 18, 2003
Laloo and Pakistan
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a discussion I moderated at the Infosys campus
in Bangalore. The subject was the North-South divide and I was struck by the
contempt most South Indians seemed to have for the politicians of our cow-belt.
Again and again, the audience would contrast S.M. Krishna and Chandrababu
Naidu with the likes of Laloo and Mulayam Singh Yadav. More than one person told
the story of how people like Chandrababu wanted to turn their states into the
Indian equivalent of Singapore while North Indian politicians only wanted to
engage in cheap populism.
As moderator, it wasn't my job to intervene in the discussion so I did not
tell my favourite Laloo Yadav story. Though it is almost certainly apocryphal
(and unfair to Laloo, who is a wise and wonderful man, or so my libel lawyers
have asked me to say), it has a certain ring of truth about it.
A delegation from Singapore goes to Patna. They call on the Chief Minister
and say they intend to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the State of
Bihar. All they want is that some of the laws and procedures should be altered
to make it easier to do business in Bihar.
"And why should I change my laws to suit you?" asks Laloo.
Well, say the Singaporeans, we can promise that if you give us a free hand,
in five years Bihar will be another Singapore.
"Ha!" says Laloo. "That doesn't impress me at all. Take me to Singapore, give
me a free hand and I can promise you that within five months Singapore will
be another Bihar."
I thought of this story when I read about Laloo's posturings during his trip
The great man was clearly in his element. I trust Pervez Musharraf, he
declared, he genuinely wants peace. Put me in charge, Laloo seemed to be saying, and
in five months I'll make sure that there will be peace between India and
In fact, as we all know, Lalooji is as likely to ensure peace with Pakistan
as he is to turn Bihar into another Singapore.
But his rhetoric is instructive. Nearly every open-minded North Indian who
goes to Pakistan comes back saying roughly the same sort of thing.
"My God!" they all say. "It's just like India! There's no difference at all
between us as people. And the Pakistanis are so friendly! They are so
And all of this leads, inexorably, to the same conclusion: if we are really
the same people, then there's no reason why we can't be friends. There must be
some mistake here, which is easy to sort out.
Sometimes, if the Indian visitor is gullible �?? and Lalooji seemed less
gullible than eager to be gulled �?? then he comes away taking Pakistani politicians
at face-value. They become, as Laloo says of Musharraf, people you can trust.
There's just one problem: no matter how overwhelmed Indian visitors to
Pakistan are, things never really get better.
A.B. Vajpayee can go to Lahore, receive a hero's welcome �?? and then, only a
few months later, it is back to Kargil. Laloo and his peacenik pals have only
just returned but it is safe to say that even as they were convivially sharing
kababs with their Pakistani hosts (all except for Lalooji who is, of course,
a strict vegetarian and therefore went hungry in Pakistan) terrorists were
being infiltrated into India across the Kashmir border.
The reason for this lies within the peaceniks' own rhetoric: we are basically
the same people.
Sadly, few of them bother to ask the obvious follow-up question: if we are
the same people, then why are we two separate countries?
It is the answer to that question that determines the course of
India-Pakistan relations. The reason we are two different countries is because Pakistan is
dedicated to the two-nation theory, to the proposition that Hindus and Muslims
are two separate peoples and must therefore live in two separate countries.
If you accept that proposition then two consequences follow.
One: Pakistanis must hold that Indian secularism is a sham, that Muslims
suffer from the tyranny of the Hindu majority and that Hindus and Muslims can't
live in peace.
Two: No Muslim majority region can ever really be a part of India. If the
Kashmir valley has a Muslim majority, then it is, according to the two-nation
theory's definition, an integral part of Pakistan, occupied by India by force.
Almost every aspect of Pakistan's policy towards India has been governed by
these two propositions. Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of partition. Even
while the Indian delegation was there, Pakistani politicians �?? including the
Prime Minister �?? repeated again and again that no peace was possible in south
Asia till the Kashmir issue was 'resolved' and the 'suffering' of the Kashmiri
Similarly, why do you suppose Pakistan offers shelter to the likes of Dawood
Ibrahim? Why did the ISI help organise the Bombay blasts? Why are so many
domestic Muslim militants armed and financed by Pakistan?
Because Pakistan needs to be convinced that Muslims and Hindus can't live in
peace. Any damage to Indian secularism, and to relations between the two
communities is a victory for Pakistan.
So, no matter how nice the Pakistanis are to Indian visitors, or how
impressed Laloo Yadav is with General Musharraf's 'trusting' nature, nothing will
really change between our two countries as long as the principles of the
two-nation theory are upheld by the Pakistani regime.
General Musharraf's position, repeated time and again, is that Kashmir must
be settled before anything else goes forward. And his view of Kashmir is that
the election �?? a triumph of democracy in face of terror, by any standards �??
was a farce and that the current state government has no legitimacy. We are
illegally occupying Kashmir, he says, by using troops to suppress the aspirations
of the Kashmiri people.
Does anybody seriously believe that if the General regards this as the
'centrality' of the Kashmir issue, any kind of peace or settlement is possible?
My view has always been that all those �?? like Lalooji �?? who offer
unsolicited tributes to General Musharraf do us no favours. They merely create
expectations that can never be fulfilled �?? as we saw at the Agra summit.
But there is another route, one that bypasses the General and his friends in
Our problem is that the average Pakistani is fed a steady stream of lies
about atrocities in Kashmir, about the manner in which Muslims are mistreated in
India and about the farcical nature of Indian democracy.
The truth is that despite Narendra Modi and other such aberrations, Indian
secularism and democracy do work. If they didn't, our President would not be a
Muslim; he wouldn't even be a civilian. Our top stars wouldn't be called
Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman. And the National Conference would never have lost power
The way ahead, therefore, is to let the Pakistani people see how India has
flourished while their country has gone from coup to coup, bankrupting itself in
the process. This can only be done by being open and transparent in showing
off our achievements.
Ironically, while Lalooji may have gone overboard, his peacenik pals
actually had the right idea. People-to-people contacts (dreadful phrase!) are the
only way to get around the lies and hostility of the Pakistani military
establishment. We must be willing to allow eminent Pakistanis �?? including the media �??
to come to India and to see how things are for themselves. It is instructive
that while every Indian cable operator provides PTV, Indian news channels are
banned in Pakistan. We are not threatened by their society; but clearly, they
are threatened by ours.
I was encouraged by the Prime Minister's speech on Independence Day. While he
talked tough about cross-border terrorism, he made a distinction between
Musharraf and his commando pals and ordinary Pakistanis like baby Noor who were
treated with love and affection in India.
I think Vajpayee has now got it right. He was too trusting at Lahore but that
betrayal hasn't diverted him from following a path of peace. But this time,
he knows that peace will only come when the people of our two countries break
free of the hatreds foisted on us by such proponents of the two-nation theory
as the Pakistani establishment and the lunatic fringe of the sangh parivar.
Nevertheless, we must be patient. In the short run, we must be prepared to
fight Musharraf militarily, if necessary, no matter what Laloo Yadav thinks. It
is only in the long run that a people-to-people approach can work. Our
strongest asset is our own record. Let Pakistanis see how much India has achieved in
50 years while their country has descended into a morass of dictatorship,
corruption, lawlessness, fundamentalism and economic ruin.
And who knows, in another 50 years, there may not be a Pakistan at all?
© Hindustan Times Ltd. 2003.
- SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It almost sounds too fantastic to be true, but a
growing amount of research supports the idea that DNA, the basic building
block of life, could also be the basis of a staggeringly powerful new
generation of computers.
If it happens, the revolution someday might be traced to the night a decade
ago when University of Southern California computer scientist Leonard
Adleman lay in bed reading James Watson's textbook "Molecular Biology of
"This is amazing stuff," he said to his wife, and then a foggy notion
robbed him of his sleep: Human cells and computers process and store
information in much the same way.
- Dear Sukhamaya,
Human rights is a great thing. But for once on
this earth, they criticize non-islamic countries for
those small things while they leave the big gap which
is evident in Islamic countries. Most human right
violations take place in Islamic countries than any
other country in the world. I can tell you all, one
thing for sure. In India we do not amputate people for
their crime or stone women to death. We do not make
state execution of criminals a public ceremony. Where
are the human right activists when people are chopped
of their hands or limbs??? WHERE ARE YOU...
I hate you humanists, because you are not really
humanists but politicians. You must be greatful to us
that we let you in our country to freely investigate
on human rights violatins and give freedom to press.
Why not try that in one of the Islamic countries???
To appreciate India, one needs to go and live in pakistan
or bangladesh for a few months.
--- "Sukhamaya Bain"@... wrote:
> I agree with Rajesh, it is insane to compare India__________________________________
> with Pakistan. However,
> unfortunately, a lot of people, including many major
> politicians of India, do
> I do not understand why India is willing to talk
> Kashmir with Pakistan. From
> a legal perspective, a part of Kashmir is under
> illegal Pakistani control.
> From a humanitarian, ethical and moral perspective,
> Pakistan is the number one
> reason why Kashmir should be part of India. The
> Islamist military dictators and
> politicians of Pakistan should not be allowed any
> business of talking about
> how India deals with Kashmiri problems.
> And let me remind my over-secular and pseudo-secular
> friends, even with the
> Hindu nationalist BJP in power, secularism remains
> the politics of India,
> whereas Islam has always been at the heart of
> politics of Pakistan and Bangladesh,
> and it is more so now than ever before.
> Looking at Pakistan and Bangladesh, one has to be
> afraid that if Kashmir were
> to be independent or part of Pakistan, that would
> cause a humanitarian
> disaster for the non-Muslims of Kashmir. The
> non-Muslims of that land would be
> severely violated by the state, not merely by petty
> Wishing everyone good sense and all the best,
> Sukhamaya Bain
> In a message dated 8/16/2003 9:54:23 AM Central
> Daylight Time,
> UnknownSender@UnknownDomain writes:
> > I disagree with a few points made by the author.
> > Firstly, taking about promises that was made on
> > original 15th August and that remain unfulfilled.
> > Surely, India is not 100% developed. But I think
> > issue needs close attention from a different
> angle. A
> > vast country like India, housing all faiths,
> > languages with diversity like no country has, has
> > a huge stride in the past 50 years. The author
> > to acknowledge that India is one of the top 10
> > countries in a variety of fields. From being a
> > country at the time of independence, India today
> > food surplus. From a small military some 50 years
> > India today has one of the best and well equipped
> > military. In 30 years, India has achieved great
> > strides in space research that most developed
> > countries envy. And also to note, India is today
> No. 1
> > in the world in space based remote sensing.
> > Poverty is reducing day by day, forex reserves are
> > increasing day by day and national debt is
> reducing as
> > each day passes by.
> > Education level is getting better among people and
> > leaders today are better informed today than they
> > a few years ago. India has made several
> > And India is a major IT hub of the world, all this
> > achieved in a mere 10 year span.
> > Another point about the author I seriously
> disagree is
> > the fact that he tries to relate or compare India
> > pakistan. These two countries cannot be compared
> > whatever respect. India spends close to 2.5% of
> > GDP on defence and is lower in terms of percentage
> > compared to a lot of developed countries. Pakistan
> > spends a whopping 15% on its military.
> > India cannot afford to not spend on military as
> > author talks about spending on other welfare
> > activities. A country that is strong militarily
> > politically can only build a strong economy.
> > Its a matter of time. Things are changing faster
> > India than most of the world and the economy is
> > growing at a whopping 7% annual growth rate.
> > TO COMPARE PAKISTAN WITH INDIA IN ANY DISCUSSION
> > WHETHER KASHMIR, MILITARY OR POLITICS IS INSANE.
> > is getting to the better side and pakistan to the
> > worse. Though a prosperous pakistan is always good
> > the Indian interest.
> > Thank You, Rajesh
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- You made a good point there Alamgir. But however,
Japan and Singapore and south korea are a few steps
away from destruction if attacked by a rouge nation
like pakistan. They exist because of USA. Remember the
big brother protecting those countries for their
As an Indian, I feel very proud of myself, when my
country-men are able to protect their own land.
We have experiened slavery and that will not happen
again. I know India today is simply envied by a lot of
people for her power and might and economic strides.
So be it.
And Mr. Alamgir... You can talk the same thing about
china, but the Islamic world does not seem to have a
voice raised against china... The communists. They
dont care about their people as much as we do??? You
guys are scared of china, as chinese are the last
source of arms suppliers for islamic countries.
The problem with the whole world is, that you can give
advices and suggestions to anyone and everyone. Sorry
to use this language, but you will only realize "When
your own a$$ is on fire"
lastly, you have made a lot of arguments about India's
defence, why dont you suggest pakistan to leave her
nucs and spend money on economic propserity.
--- "Dr. Alamgir Hussain"@... wrote:
> [Rajesh: India cannot afford to not spend on__________________________________
> military as the author
> talks about spending on other welfare activities. "A
> country that is
> strong militarily and politically can only build a
> strong economy."]
> Alamgir: I believe I could have done better, being
> an India-
> outsider, by not responding to this thread. However,
> Rajesh made a
> comment of universal interest as cited above.
> Rajesh's emphasizing
> that only a militarily-strong nation can make
> economical strides is
> ill-studied and made blind-folded. If Mr Rajesh
> opens his eyes, he
> would easily see those economies that emerged strong
> in Asia over
> the last 50 years are Japan, South Korea, Singapore
> etc. Japan and
> South Korea are very weak in defense as compared to
> India and even
> Pakistan whilst Singapore can be wallopped any time
> by a very
> ordinary military power of neighbour Malaysia. I
> think that suffices
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- Bangladesh is already on the way to be a Talibanistan. Just a couple of days
ago the Jamaat-e-Islami Jihadists fought an armed battle with with
Bangladesh Police. Unbelievable, isn't it? This is the first time that an
organised militant Jihdists, armed to the teeth challenged the law enforcing
authority of this country of 'moderate' Muslims. Khaleda's Government is
keeping quiet, as if nothing had happened. Guess who is financing these
soldiers of Allah?
This organised terrorist attack on our police force is just the beginning.
Please read the DS and Dr. Jaffor Ullahs essay on this.
>From: "K Chowdhury" Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Bangladeshis among the Terror Suspects!
>Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 17:39:43 -0400
>Saudi is clearing a big mess actually created by them. For the last 30
>some years Saudi was feeding innumerous Frankensteins and now,
>masaallah, they have become a big Boomerang for them. I hope soon our BD
>militants will create similar situation like Indonesia, insaallah. Only
>then BD Govt. will awake up from their dream of moderate muslims-mania.
>From: Mohammad Asghar [mailto:Mohammad Asghar]
>Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 5:55 PM
>Subject: [mukto-mona] Bangladeshis among the Terror Suspects!
>Here is an important news, published in the Independent of Bangladesh
>Dhaka seeks report from mission in Riyadh
> click here
>###New petition from Mukto-mona:
>Save the Minorities from peril and let live with equal rights:
>Mukto-mona is a cyber discussion forum that encourages freethinking,
>humanism and rationalism among the members. It, also, appears as an
>action group. Mukto-mona members raised their voice against many unjust
>acts around the globe.
>You can read our mails at http://www.mukto-mona.com/Forum/forum.html
>VISIT MUKTO-MONA WEB-SITE : http://www.mukto-mona.com/
>"I may disagree of what you say, but I will defend to the death your
>right to say it."
>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to
- More on Aisha's affair with Safwan:
Aisha claimed that people used to say that Safwan ibn Muattal was impotent.
He never touched women. (Ibn Ishak, p498-499)
How was it possible for Aisha to learn about Safwan's impotency? How did
she know that Safwan was still a virgin? It is impossible for a woman to
know about a man's innermost secret unless she is intimately close to him (I
Sahih Bukhari writes, Ali proposed that Muhammad divorce Aisha? Why was he
so serious about this divorce unless the sacndal was really palpable. Ali
even beat severely, Aisha's maid to extract the truth. Of course, the
Islamic literatures are sanitized to hide the truth.
Aisha never forgot and forgave Ali. That was why she fought the the battle
>From: Mohammad Asghar_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: [mukto-mona] Postmortem Of Aisha's Story
>Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 20:58:23 EDT
>POSTMORTEM OF AISHA'S STORY
>To clarify the implication of verse 24:11 of the Quran, Sayyid Qutb, a
>respected Saudi Arabian Muslim commentator of Quran and its related
>wrote the following in the Arab News of August 15, 2003:
>Over the last couple of weeks we discussed the stern punishment Islam
>prescribes for making false accusations of adultery against chaste women,
>producing four witnesses to support their claims. We also discussed the
>in the case of a man finding his wife with a man, and the procedure that
>takes place in such a situation. Now the surah refers to the false
>was made against the Prophet's wife, Aishah and makes it clear that the
>story was concocted by liars. Here are the details of the story as told by
>the pure and chaste lady at the center of this painful episode.
>"Every time the Prophet went abroad he made a toss among his wives to
>which of them should accompany him. At the time of Al-Mustalaq expedition,
>toss favored me and I traveled with him. At the time, women did not eat
>which meant that they were slim and light. When my transport was prepared
>me, I would sit in my howdah which would then be lifted onto the camel's
>back. When they had secured it, the camel driver would march with it.
>"When the Prophet had done his business on that expedition and was on his
>back, he encamped one night at a spot not very far from Madinah. He stayed
>there only part of the night before the call to march was again made.
>started to get ready and in the meantime I went out to relieve myself. I
>wearing a necklace, and I did not feel it drop off me before I returned.
>the camp I felt for my necklace and, realizing that it was gone, I looked
>it there, but could not find it. People were just about to move. I
>went quickly back to that particular spot and searched for my necklace
>"In the meantime, the people who prepared my camel finished their task and
>took up the howdah, thinking that I was inside, and lifted it onto the
>back and secured it. It did not occur to them that I was not inside. They
>therefore led the camel away. When I came back to where we had encamped,
>no one to be seen. The army had marched. I, therefore, tied my dress round
>body and lay down. I realized that when I was missed, someone would come
>for me. I soon fell asleep.
>Safwan ibn Al-Muattal of the tribe of Sulaym was traveling behind the army.
>He was apparently delayed by some business and did not spend that night in
>camp. When he noticed someone lying down, he came toward me. He recognized
>since he used to see me before we were ordered to wear veils. He said: Inna
>lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon, "We all belong to God and to Him we shall
>return." I woke up when I heard him. I did not answer him when he asked me
>why I had
>been left behind. However, he made his camel sit down and asked me to ride
>it, which I did. He led the camel seeking to catch up with the army. Nobody
>missed me before they had stopped to rest. When everybody had sat down to
>Safwan appeared, leading his camel, on which I was riding. This prompted
>people to invent the story of falsehood. The whole army was troubled with
>but I heard nothing."
>It is worth noting here that when Abdullah ibn Ubayy saw Aishah
>he inquired who she was. When he was told that she was Aishah, he said:
>Prophet's wife has spent the whole night with a man, and now she turns up
>him leading her camel!" This statement gave rise to the falsehood that was
>spread about Aishah. Aishah's narrative continues:
>"Shortly after our arrival in Madinah, I felt very ill. Nobody told me
>anything about what was going on. The Prophet and my parents heard the
>they did not mention anything to me. However, I felt that the Prophet was
>kind to me during this illness of mine as he used to be. When he came in,
>would ask my mother who was nursing me: "How is that woman of yours?" He
>nothing else. I was distressed and requested his permission to be nursed in
>parents' home. He agreed. I went there and heard nothing. I was ill for
>20-odd nights before I began to get better.
>Unlike other people, we, the Arabs, did not have toilets in our homes. To
>they were disgusting. What we used to do was to go out at night, somewhere
>outside Madinah where we would relieve ourselves. Women went only at night.
>night I went out with Umm Mistah (Abu Bakr's cousin).
>She asked me: "Have you not heard the story?" When I asked her what story,
>she recounted to me what the people of falsehood said about me. I swear I
>not relieve myself that night. I went back and cried bitterly until I felt
>that crying would break me down. I said to my mother: "May God forgive you.
>People said what they said about me, and you mentioned nothing to me."
>My mother said: "Calm down, child. Any pretty woman married to a man who
>loves her will always be envied, especially if she shares him with other
>I said: "Glory be to God. That people should repeat this sort of thing!" I
>cried bitterly throughout that night till morning, without a moment's
>The Prophet called Ali ibn Abu Talib and Usamah ibn Zaid to consult them
>about divorcing me. Usamah, who felt that I was innocent, said: "Messenger
>she is your wife and you have experienced nothing bad from her. This story
>a blatant lie."
>Ali said: "Messenger of God, God imposed no restriction on you in
>matters. There are many women besides her. If you would see fit to ask her
>maid, she would tell you the truth." The Prophet called in my maid,
>and asked her whether she had seen anything suspicious. Bareerah said: "By
>who sent you with the message of truth, there is nothing I take against her
>other than, being so young, she would doze off and let the hens eat the
>had made to bake."
>The Prophet addressed the Muslims in the mosque when I was still unaware of
>the whole matter. He said: "I have seen nothing evil from my wife. Those
>are also involving a man from whom I have seen no evil. He never entered my
>wives' rooms except in my presence.
>Saad ibn Muadh, the Aws leader, said: "Messenger of God, if these men
>to the Aws, our tribe, we will spare you their trouble. If, on the other h
>our brethren the Khazraj, you have only to give us your command."
>Saad ibn Ubadah, the leader of the Khazraj, who enjoyed a good reputation,
>allowed his tribal feelings to get the better of him this time and said to
>ibn Muadh: "By God, you shall not kill them. You are saying this only
>you know that they are of the Khazraj."
>Usayd ibn Hudayr, a cousin of Saad ibn Muadh, said to Saad ibn Ubadah: "You
>are no more than a hypocrite defending other hypocrites." People who
>to both tribes were very angry and were about to fight. The Prophet was
>on the pulpit and he tried hard to cool them down, until finally he
>I continued to cry for the rest of the day. I could not sleep. Next morning
>both my parents were with me - I had spent two nights and a day crying
>tears never stopped. Both of them felt that my crying would break my heart.
>While we were in that condition, a woman from the Ansar came to me and
>to cry with me.
>Shortly afterwards the Prophet came and sat down. He had not sat in my room
>ever since the rumor started. For a whole month he received no revelations
>concerning me. When he sat down, he praised and glorified God before going
>say: Aishah, people have been talking as you are now well aware. If you are
>innocent, God will make your innocence known. If, however, you have
>sin, then you should seek God's forgiveness and repent. If a servant of God
>admits her sin and repents, God will forgive her."
>When the Prophet finished, my tears dried up completely and I turned to my
>father and said: "Answer the Prophet." He said: "By God, I do not know what
>say to God's Messenger, peace be on him."
>I then said to my mother: "Answer the Prophet." She said: "I do not know
>to say to God's Messenger, peace be upon him."
>I was still a young girl, and I did not read much of the Qur'an. However, I
>said: I know that you all have heard this story repeated again and again
>you now believe it. If I tell you that I am innocent, and God knows that I
>you will not believe me. If, on the other hand, I admit something when God
>knows that I am innocent of it, you will believe me. I know no comparable
>situation to yours except that of Joseph's father (I tried to remember
>but I could not) when he said: "I will be calmly patient and I will seek
>help against your claims." I then turned round and lay on my bed. I knew
>I was innocent and that God would make my innocence known. It did not occur
>to me for a moment, however, that God would reveal a passage of the Qur'an
>concerning me. I felt myself too humble for God to include my case in His
>revelations. All I hoped for was that the Prophet should see something in
>his dream to
>prove my innocence. Before the Prophet left us, however, and before anyone
>left the house, God's revelations started. The Prophet was covered with his
>robe, and a pillow was placed under his head. When I saw that, I felt no
>or fear. I was certain of my innocence, and I knew that God, limitless as
>is in His glory, would not be unjust to me. As for my parents - well, by
>Who holds Aishah's soul in His hand, while they waited for the Prophet to
>back to himself, they could have died for fear that Divine revelations
>confirm what people said. Then it was all over. The Prophet sat up, with
>sweat looking like pearls on a wet day. As he wiped his forehead, he said:
>"Aishah, I have good news for you. God has declared your innocence." I
>"Praise be to God."
>In order to understand the narration attributed to Aisha, the youngest and
>the most beloved wife of Muhammad, we would need to look at the following
>1. Muhammad fought the Battle of Badr in 624 A.D.
>2. He consummated his marriage with her a month or two after the Battle
>3. At this time, Aisha was nine years old (Martin Lings, Muhammad, p. 132.
>4. The Battle of Moat took place in 627 A.D. After it, he launched his
> the tribe of Bani Al-Mustaliq, which must have taken place between
>and 628 A.D.
>5. At this time, Aisha was 12 to 13 years old.
>Now, let us examine some of Aisha's important statements, as reproduced
>above, with comments there against to find out if what she is alleged to
>is true or not.
>(a). "Every time the Prophet went abroad he made a toss among his wives to
>decide which of them should accompany him. At the time of Al-Mustalaq
>expedition, the toss favored me and I traveled with him."
>I am not aware of any record that says that generals or military leaders
>took their wives with them on their war expeditions. Napoleon Bonaparte
>certainly did not do it; nor any other generals of repute are reported to
>Why Muhammad had to have one of his wives accompany him on his military
>missions is beyond my comprehension.
>(b). "At the time, women did not eat much, which meant that they were slim
>and light. When my transport was prepared for me, I would sit in my howdah
>would then be lifted onto the camel's back. When they had secured it, the
>camel driver would march with it."
>Admittedly, during the time Aisha talked about, people did not have enough
>food to eat. Since in the Arabian society men fought wars and protected
>families from other human predators, they had the first right to eat
>food they could lay their hands on. Women ate the men's leftovers.
>Muhammad's wives must also have lived by their traditions. Because they
>not have enough food, all of them remained slim and light. Despite being
>the favored wife, Aisha did not enjoy any special privilege in the matter
>food. Consequently, she, too, must have remained slim and light.
>But how slim and light was she? Was she in a frail health and if she were,
>why would Muhammad have her accompany him on a military mission?
>The truth is: she was not as light as she says she was. Being a 12 or 13
>years old girl, Aisha must have weighed between 65 to 70 pounds, if not
>�. "When the Prophet had done his business on that expedition and was on
>way back, he encamped one night at a spot not very far from Madinah. He
>there only part of the night before the call to march was again made.
>started to get ready and in the meantime I went out to relieve myself. I
>wearing a necklace, and I did not feel it drop off me before I returned.
>in the camp I felt for my necklace and, realizing that it was gone, I
>for it there, but could not find it. People were just about to move. I
>went quickly back to that particular spot and searched for my necklace
>I found it."
>Muhammad gave order to his army to march while it was still dark. Aisha
>have gone a short distant away to relief herself of the nature's call. She
>not have any lamp or lantern for, having it would have drawn other's
>attention to her, thus compromising her privacy.
>The necklace consisted of a string of Zafar beads. Because she wore it
>her neck, I dare assume that the size of the beads was small. Not knowing
>where she had actually dropped off the necklace, she went back directly to
>place where she relieved herself earlier and successfully retrieved it from
>sand when it was still dark.
>An Arab camp usually takes quite a while to pack and move. It is more so in
>case of a large raiding force. Even when the main group moves on, there are
>stragglers. The camel train does not move fast either. Two miles an hour is
>good average. Therefore, to return to the camp and find no sign of the
>no sign of the stragglers, no sign of the hundreds of men and animals in a
>place where there is little cover must mean that Aisha looked for the
>least for two hours. And this she did without informing anybody about her
>whereabouts or without having any concern for being left behind by the
>Do the above claim make sense? Do we not smell rat here?
>(d). "In the meantime, the people who prepared my camel finished their task
>and took up the howdah, thinking that I was inside, and lifted it onto the
>camel's back and secured it. It did not occur to them that I was not
>Howdah is a seat or platform that mahouts and camel drivers place on
>elephants and camels. Since Aisha was required to avoid being seen by
>howdah had screen all around it. Her attendants were required to lift the
>litter from the ground and place it on the back of the camel after she had
>Aisha said that her attendants had failed to notice her absence from the
>howdah, and placed it on the camel.
>Can anyone, being in his or her right mind, believe that a girl, weighing
>to 70 pounds, was missing from her howdah and at least two of her
>would not notice it while lifting the empty howdah on to the back of the
>(e). "Safwan ibn Al-Muattal of the tribe of Sulaym was traveling behind the
>army. He was apparently delayed by some business and did not spend that
>in the camp."
>In the harsh environment of the desert, it is almost impossible for a man
>pass a night by himself without having a tent and other essentials that he
>eds to protect him from the frigid cold and sand storms. It is
>that Safwan would have spent the night by himself on account of a delay,
>precise nature of which Aisha failed to mention in her statement.
>So, where was Safwan that night and why he showed up at the place where
>was lying a long time after the departure of the caravan? Most importantly,
>where was Muhammad, her husband, during the night? Did he stay in a
>tent and thus was unaware of his wife's movements and whereabouts?
>(f). "The Prophet and my parents heard the story, but they did not mention
>anything to me. However, I felt that the Prophet was not as kind to me
>this illness of mine as he used to be."
>The entire army knew about the scandal; all the people of Medina heard it
>from the soldiers as well as from Muhammad's enemies; Muhammad and her
>were agonized by her alleged conduct, yet she claimed she did not learn
>despite living in a close proximity of those people.
>Can anyone believe her story? Did she try to hide a secret that she did not
>want people to know?
>(g). "Unlike other people, we, the Arabs, did not have toilets in our
>To us, they were disgusting. What we used to do was to go out at night,
>somewhere outside Madinah where we would relieve ourselves. Women went only
>night. One night I went out with Umm Mistah (Abu Bakr's cousin)."
>Does the above mean that for nineteen days and nights, Aisha did not go out
>to relieve herself? Or, did she go out all those nights without having the
>company of other women? Did not she feel scared going out in the pitched
>nights? What are we supposed to make out of her above statement?
>For answer my own question, I say Safwan and the necklace was one and the
>same thing (see R. V. C. Bodley, The Messenger, p. 125). As insisted by
>the sister of Zainab whom Zaid divorced to enable Muhammad, his adoptive
>to take her to bed, Aisha had an illicit relationship with Safwan and their
>rendezvous was pre-planned. She was in Safwan's company for as long as it
>possible for her. What the people said was true. Punishments inflicted on
>so-called fabricators of the rumor were unjustified. Muhammad laid down the
>punishment, as mentioned in verse 24:11, to punish those people who took
>wives to task for their indecent and immoral conduct.
>August 17, 2003.
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- Dear Friends:http://www.afpc.org/crm/crm507.shtml
This is shocking!
Isn't it time for the lawmakers and the administration to do something about the grave danger to our security?
China Reform Monitor No. 507, August 14, 2003
American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, D.C.
FBI: China has 3,000 espionage "front" companies in U.S.; U.S. permitting "smart bomb" technology sale to PRC
Editor: Al Santoli
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said this week that China will be the greatest espionage threat to North America during the next 10 years to 15 years, reports Canada's Asian Pacific Post. FBI Director Robert Mueller told the United States Congress that China has more than 3,000 "front" companies in America coordinating direct espionage efforts. Some of the thousands of Chinese visitors, students and business people who visit the United States each year also have a government intelligence task to perform, authorities say. "Left unchecked, such a situation could greatly undermine U.S. national security and U.S. military and economic advantage [in the Pacific region]," Mueller told Congress.
In Canada, intelligence reports indicate the number of Chinese front companies to be between 300 and 500. But unlike America, Canada's China experts say the political climate in Ottawa is not conducive to cracking down on the threat. "Virtually all the recent prime ministers and Paul Martin - who is likely to be the next prime minister - have strong connections to China on personal, business and political fronts," said an intelligence analyst specializing in East Asian affairs. "They find it difficult to understand this threat... some just deny it," he said. For former Canadian Foreign Service officer Brian McAdam, this week's FBI warning reads like a passage out of a report he produced for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). McAdam worked on "Project Sidewinder" which was conducted by the CSIS and aided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police between 1994 and 1996. That study mirrors this week's FBI assertions that China poses the most significant threat to North America.
Citing national-security concerns, two Democratic lawmakers are trying to stop the transfer of materials from an Indiana factory that produces critical technology used in the guidance systems of U.S. "smart bombs" to the People's Republic of China, reports WorldNetDaily.com. The Magnequench factory (originally known as UGIMAG) was sold in August 2000 to a consortium that included Chinese interests. The factory is responsible for producing 80 percent of the rare-earth permanent magnets used in the guidance systems of U.S. smart bombs, according to lawmakers. On Aug. 1, the office of Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), issued a statement indicating that he and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) were mounting a "last-ditch" effort to halt the "transfer of sensitive defense technology to the People's Republic of China."
A new Pentagon report states that China has improved its missile force with U.S technology, reports Charles Smith in Newsmax.com. The improvements enable Chinese missiles to now accurately strike the U.S. military base at Okinawa with "satellite-aided guidance" navigation technology obtained from America. The Chinese army (PLA) developed a new version of its DF-15 missile - also known as the CSS-6 - guided by advanced satellite navigation systems.
According to the Pentagon report, China is well on its way toward deploying an estimated 1,000 advanced ballistic missiles by the end of the decade. The People's Liberation Army has over 450 missiles pointed at Taiwan and is currently adding new missiles at a rate of over 75 a year. Defense intelligence sources expect China to increase the rate of missile production to 100 a year by 2005. The Pentagon noted that the ballistic missile trend poses "a growing and significant challenge" to the U.S., Taiwan and other Pacific allies.
"These missile attacks most likely would be high-volume, precision strikes against priority military and political targets, including air defense facilities, airfields, Taiwan's C2 infrastructure, and naval facilities," notes the Pentagon report. "Exclusive Taiwan reliance on active missile defenses and associated BM/C3I, however, will not sufficiently offset the overwhelming advantage in offensive missiles which Beijing is projected to possess in 2005," warns the Pentagon.
New Page 1
My House is mine; Your House is mine too!
Syed Kamran Mirza
In Islam one thing is very puzzling indeed! Islam loves to own anything and everything that is good in this world. And desperately wants to disown anything and everything that is bad or unethical. Islamists very often claims that, they acknowledge many things in USA which are Islamic. Some of them even go one step further and say: "America is more Islamic then many Muslim countries". When asked how come? They will cite some good things among the peoples and in the American administration. As if, anything good is the product of Islam. In such situation?Islamists always try to use their universal Islamic formula: "MY HOUSE IS MINE; YOUR HOUSE IS MINE TOO!" Of course, nobody will ever say how, where, when and what good things did happen in which Islamic kingdom? They do not have any example for their erroneous claims, but they will claim them anyway!
They will claim that?Allah only like the religion Islam, and all the world?s Prophets were Muslims, and Islamists usually do respect all the Prophets. But the Islamists in general do not respect the followers of the any Prophets. To them only the followers of Prophet Muhammad (Muslims) are the good human beings. Muslims will not respect/like the Christians?the followers of Prophet Jesus; will not respect or like the Jews?the followers of Prophet Moses (in fact Muslims hate Jews up to their bones) ; will not like the Hindus?the followers of Ram. But Muslims will respect all those above prophets.
In the Holy Land of Canaan, the present land occupied by Israelis and Palestinians, gave birth many prophets and many Kings. King David and his son king Solomon was simply the king of Jews, and according to Jews and Christians they were never a Prophet. Surprisingly, Islam calls them Prophets of Islam. Readers obviously heard the names of Nabi Sulaiman and Nabi Doud from the mouth of Bangladeshi Maulanas. These two Jewish Kings become the center of most superstitious stories in Islam. Quran told many miraculous stories about these two so called Prophets. Especially, prophet Sulaiman (actually King Solomon) was the most magician prophet of Islam. This so called prophet of Islam (popularly known as Sulman Poikumbar) was able to talk with all the animals and also understand the languages of all animals (as per Quran) including the Ant. Truth of the matter is these were Jewish kings, not even Muslim kings, and was never a Prophet. According to Bible (Jews and Christians), King Solomon was known as "the wise king" by virtue of his extra-ordinary intelligentsia. How then they become Muslim and prophet that is a total mystery. Muslims perhaps used the universal Islamic formula of "my house is mine and your house is mine too".
In the US, one day (several years back) I had a conversation with a Mullah who was vehemently and very bitterly criticizing western culture especially American cultures etc. He was very much worried about the contamination of his own and other generation of Muslim origin by the western nasty cultures. When I said, we are the immigrant guests to this country and we must learn to adjust with their culture rather than criticizing, or we better leave this country and settled in our own native land. He immediately jumps on me by saying: "This earth was created by Allah and this America also belonged to Allah. Muslims are the true followers (soldiers) of Allah, hence they are the true and legitimate owner of this earth. Therefore, this America also belonged to Muslims." Here also the formula is: "My house is mine and your house also mine!" Here my Mullah friend probably exercised the Quranic formula of dividing this planet of Allah into two: Darul Islam (house of Islam) and Darul Harb (house of infidels). That is according to him America is the "Darul Hurb" which should be converted to Darul Islam by the immigrant Muslims, i.e, all Muslilms must fight to covert America (Darul Harb) into Darul Islam by the same formula I am talking about.
Makka/Mecca: In the ancient city of Mecca or Bacca, Ka?aba the square house was an important shrine long before the Prophet Muhammad. It contained many images of Gods and goddesses from the Arabian pantheon. Meccan Pagan arabs had enshrined a number of idols," the daughters of Allah" within it. In the prehistoric times, a four-month truce was called each year between the warring tribes of Arabia, and people from the different tribes and towns would visit the shrine and circle round the square 7 times, running between Shafa and Marwa, stoning the devil, kissing black heavenly stone etc. Prophet Mulhammad occupied the Ka?aba and removed all the idols and made it the Islam?s holiest shrine. Today it is the most sacred duty of all Muslims to do the seven circumambulating of the Ka?aba and kissing of the black stone, stoning the Shaitan, running between the Safa and Marwa etc. That is, Muslims do the exact same rituals, which were practiced by the Pagans for many centuries before the arrival of Islam. Again Islam made the other people?s house to their own sacred house by the same old Islamic formula.
Allah:Do you know who the Allah was? Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods in the Kaaba. Allah was the name of a god whom the Arabs worshipped many centuries before Prophet Muhammad was born. Among the pagan Arabs this term "Allah" denoted the chief god of their pantheon, the Kaaba, with its three hundred and sixty idols. The word Allah was derived from al-ilah. Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka?ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. "Islam also owes the term "Allah" to the heathen Arabs.
Prophet Muhammad made the Arab pagans to believe that the same Allah (They worship) was talking with him in the Cave of Hira Mountain. He asked them to worship only the Allah (the one God) and discard the remaining gods in the Ka?ab. Thus Islam owned the Allah of Heathen Arabs as their own deity by the same Islamic formula: "My house is mine and your house is also mine."
Jerusalem: This ancient city was built by Jebusites a Canaan tribe (not Arab or Jews). Later this city was developed by the famous Jewish King David. This city was and still is extremely holy to the Jews and Christians. Islam never can claim of building this city by them. In the 7th century Caliph Omar occupied this city in the process of the expansion of Islamic-Arab dynasty. After that Muslim built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and declared Jerusalem also the sacred city of Islam. So this is also "my house" by the same old Islamic formula.
Qur?an:Holy Quran was created mostly by copying from Old Testament. Many verses can be traced back the origin from the Old Testament. Many Arab heretic-folklore stories and myths were incorporated in Koran. Many verses also can be traced back their origin from the book of Zoroastrian. When asked how those stories of Bible and Zoroastrian book came in the Quran, the common answers are?"no, no Islam did not copy from others. Actually, Bible, book of Zoroastrian also came from the same Allah. Only thing is, Jews, Christians and others had distorted the original scriptures sent to them by Allah, hence Allah has sent them again (as fresh) to Prophet Muhammad which is the Quran. Therefore, Quran is the only authentic holy book and all other holy books are distorted and should be discarded." Thus Islam made the Quran the final book from Allah by synthesizing it from the various existing holy books and by incorporating all those folklore stories and Arabian myths. Here also Islam made the other people?s holy book as their own holy book by the same Islamic formula.
Science:Islam strictly forbids freethinking. Therefore Science is totally anti-Islam, as science is incompatible to any other religions. There is a very interesting popular tactics in Islam. Whenever, any freethinking human of Muslim origin achieved something good about science which has been recognized internationally, then immediately Islamist will start beating the drum of Islamic success in science. They will claim it as the direct credit of Islam. Readers are aware that during the period of Abbasid dynasty (by virtue of the freethinking tendency of those Abbasid free minded Muslim kings) some Muslim born freethinkers were very much successful in preserving and also synthesizing the ancient scientific achievements by Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese etc.
Another interesting point is most of those renowned Muslim scientists were non-Arab. Such as: Al-Khwarizmi (Uzbekistan); Al-Razi (Tehran); Al-Ghazzali (Khorman, Iran); Al-Tabari (Tabristan); Al-Farabi (Turkistan); Al-Biruni (Khwarizm, Uzbekistan); Ibn Sina (Bukhara, Central Asia); Ibn Rushd (Cordoba, Spain) and so on. All those scientists/philosophers happened to be sons of Muslim. None of them were a Mullah or Maolana, and none of them ever claimed that they got scientific theory by reading Qur?an or gobbling the Hadiths. Then, why do all those Islamists bring religion in the field of science? Even then, Islamists quickly owned them and very often beat the drum of Islamic scientific progress. Of course, they apply the universal Islamic formula I mentioned before.
Poetry, Songs and music: Poetry, songs and music are strictly forbidden by Islam. There are dreadful divine punishments for those who practice it. But whenever somebody make poetry, songs or music to praise Allah, Prophets and Islamic principles then it is a rewarding work in Islam. Immediately Islamists will own those poet or singers as the product of Islam. Apologetic Islamists often will claim that poets like Omar Khayyam, Jalal Al Din Rumi, Al Mari etc. were Muslim poets. Fact is these were secular Muslim born poets who got even the title of Murtad by fundamentalist mullahs. Yet Islamists would like to claim those famous Muslim born poets the product of Islam. Again by the same old Islamic formula: My house is mine and your house also mine (when it is good).
Who is Muslims and what is Islam:
Islamists will agree with you that?Islam is the religion started by Prophet Muhammad.
That is, Islam was the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad when the darkness of the Arabia (Aiyame-Jahelia) was prevailing in the world. That means?Islam is the religion of Prophet Muhammad. And nobody can be called a Muslim unless somebody recites the Kolema Toiyob (conversion formula of Islam) : "There is none worthy of worship but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God". Fact of the matter is, unless one admits or agrees with this above Kolema, he can not be called a Muslim, Period.
On the contrary, Islamists will also claim that?starting from Adam and every prophet after him was Muslims. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lut, Ishmael, Isaac, Yakub, Moses, Daud (King david), Suleyman (King Solomon) Jesus etc. were all Muslims and followers of Islam?the religion of Allah.
Now the great puzzle is, how in the world they can call all those past Prophets (Adam to Jesus) a Muslim? Were they read the "Kolema Toiyob" the famous Islamic conversion formula? Were they (Adam, Noah, Lut etc.) prayed five times a day facing Mecca?
These are, of course, 64 Million dollars questions! Moses, Jesus or any other previous prophets never uttered this above mentioned Kolema (formula), neither they prayed five times facing ka?aba. Hence they can never be called Muslims by any means. But Islamists will claim those Prophets Muslims any way, because they go by the formula?My house is mine and your house is also mine!
Some After thought:
Islam is the religion, which pretends to claim all the goodies of this planet as their own. Muslims want to put all the good things into the pocket of Islam by any means. They consider Islam is the best religion, Islam is the religion of God and Muslims are the best human beings, even though world know Muslims today as the terrorists. Osama?s al- Qaeda took the vow to convert entire "Darul harb" into Allah?s pasand "Darul Islam". Islam is not only the greatest threat to the world?s civilization, but very soon whole world will realize that Islam is the biggest hoax of mankind.
Now let me conclude this essay by singing the most famous folk?s song of Bangladesh:
"porer zaiga porer zami, ghar baniya ami roi, amito shei ghorer malik noi" (I make my own house in a place that does not belong to me.)