The Doctrine of Scarcity — Calling Out Pope Francis


Being poor was thought to be a virtue, indeed, a necessity of virtue.⁉️
-ditto-  Islam too apply this same BS template. Apparently Earth is not meant for the (oppressed) devotees, and to be looked upon as a testing ground for them, and to look forward to “paradise” in the hereafter❗️

The Earth plane is only for hell-bent hell raisers … And narcissists‼️

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12405-judge2banna  Judge Anna von Reitz

For many generations, the Doctrine of Scarcity has been enshrined in the politics of the Roman Catholic Church. It has been a core teaching of the Church that the poor are blessed and that there is something precious and noble about the suffering of poverty, starvation and deprivation of all kinds.

Being poor was thought to be a virtue, indeed, a necessity of virtue.

Everything related to a healthy human life– the need to eat and drink and have sex and even wash our bodies— has been denied in the name of the Doctrine of Scarcity.

You have said that you want a “poor Church”. That’s fine. Divest it of its riches, its pomp, its self-adoring and venal glories. Make of it what it was meant to be, a simple fellowship bound together by the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus. Let all the…

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Wahhabism – Extremist perversion of theology


NYTimes

Mohammad Javad Zarif: Let Us Rid the World of Wahhabism

wahhabi

Tehran — Public relations firms with no qualms about taking tainted petrodollars are experiencing a bonanza. Their latest project has been to persuade us that the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, is no more. As a Nusra spokesman told CNN, the rebranded rebel group, supposedly separated from its parent terrorist organization, has become “moderate.”

Thus is fanaticism from the Dark Ages sold as a bright vision for the 21st century. The problem for the P.R. firms’ wealthy, often Saudi, clients, who have lavishly funded Nusra, is that the evidence of their ruinous policies can’t be photoshopped out of existence. If anyone had any doubt, the recent video images of other “moderates” beheading a 12-year-old boy were a horrifying reality check.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, militant Wahhabism has undergone a series of face-lifts, but underneath, the ideology remains the same — whether it’s the Taliban, the various incarnations of Al Qaeda or the so-called Islamic State, which is neither Islamic nor a state. But the millions of people faced with the Nusra Front’s tyranny are not buying the fiction of this disaffiliation. Past experience of such attempts at whitewashing points to the real aim: to enable the covert flow of petrodollars to extremist groups in Syria to become overt, and even to lure Western governments into supporting these “moderates.” The fact that Nusra still dominates the rebel alliance in Aleppo flouts the public relations message.

محمدجواد ظریف: بیایید جهان را از وهابیت خلاص کنیم

سعودی ها میلیاردها دلار صرف صدور این انحراف افراطی ازدین کرده اند. این باید متوقف شود.

Saudi Arabia’s effort to persuade its Western patrons to back its shortsighted tactics is based on the false premise that plunging the Arab world into further chaos will somehow damage Iran. The fanciful notions that regional instability will help to “contain” Iran, and that supposed rivalries between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are fueling conflicts, are contradicted by the reality that the worst bloodshed in the region is caused by Wahhabists fighting fellow Arabs and murdering fellow Sunnis.

While these extremists, with the backing of their wealthy sponsors, have targeted Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Shiites and other “heretics,” it is their fellow Sunni Arabs who have been most beleaguered by this exported doctrine of hate. Indeed, it is not the supposed ancient sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites but the contest between Wahhabism and mainstream Islam that will have the most profound consequences for the region and beyond.

While the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq set in motion the fighting we see today, the key driver of violence has been this extremist ideology promoted by Saudi Arabia — even if it was invisible to Western eyes until the tragedy of 9/11.

The princes in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, have been desperate to revive the regional status quo of the days of Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq, when a surrogate repressive despot, eliciting wealth and material support from fellow Arabs and a gullible West, countered the so-called Iranian threat. There is only one problem: Mr. Hussein is long dead, and the clock cannot be turned back.

The sooner Saudi Arabia’s rulers come to terms with this, the better for all. The new realities in our region can accommodate even Riyadh, should the Saudis choose to change their ways.

What would change mean? Over the past three decades, Riyadh has spent tens of billions of dollars exporting Wahhabism through thousands of mosques and madrasas across the world. From Asia to Africa, from Europe to the Americas, this theological perversion has wrought havoc. As one former extremist in Kosovo told The Times, “The Saudis completely changed Islam here with their money.”

Though it has attracted only a minute proportion of Muslims, Wahhabism has been devastating in its impact. Virtually every terrorist group abusing the name of Islam — from Al Qaeda and its offshoots in Syria to Boko Haram in Nigeria — has been inspired by this death cult.

So far, the Saudis have succeeded in inducing their allies to go along with their folly, whether in Syria or Yemen, by playing the “Iran card.” That will surely change, as the realization grows that Riyadh’s persistent sponsorship of extremism repudiates its claim to be a force for stability.

The world cannot afford to sit by and witness Wahhabists targeting not only Christians, Jews and Shiites but also Sunnis. With a large section of the Middle East in turmoil, there is a grave danger that the few remaining pockets of stability will be undermined by this clash of Wahhabism and mainstream Sunni Islam.

There needs to be coordinated action at the United Nations to cut off the funding for ideologies of hate and extremism, and a willingness from the international community to investigate the channels that supply the cash and the arms. In 2013, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, proposed an initiative called World Against Violent Extremism, or WAVE. The United Nations should build on that framework to foster greater dialogue between religions and sects to counter this dangerous medieval fanaticism.

The attacks in Nice, Paris and Brussels should convince the West that the toxic threat of Wahhabism cannot be ignored. After a year of almost weekly tragic news, the international community needs to do more than express outrage, sorrow and condolences; concrete action against extremism is needed.

Though much of the violence committed in the name of Islam can be traced to Wahhabism, I by no means suggest that Saudi Arabia cannot be part of the solution. Quite the reverse: We invite Saudi rulers to put aside the rhetoric of blame and fear, and join hands with the rest of the community of nations to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and violence that threatens us all.


Mohammad Javad Zarif is the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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The perils of speaking out against Islamic law in Malaysia


BBC | RakyatTimes

big brother

A satirical video has exposed the sensitivity over Islamic law in Malaysia – as well as the limits of online speech in the country.

It was supposed to be a light-hearted poke at proposals to expand Islamic law in one state in Malaysia. But a video starring journalist Aisyah Tajuddin resulted in death and rape threats along with a police investigation.

It all began when the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (known by its Malay acronym PAS) proposed implementing hudud laws on Muslims in Kelantan, a mostly rural state in the northeast of the country.

Hudud laws cover prohibitions against things such as adultery, apostasy, robbery and theft, and prescribe punishments considered cruel or unusual in most Western countries: public beatings, stoning, amputation and public execution. They’re also relatively uncommon in most Muslim nations with the exception of those such as Saudi Arabia or Iran which follow the most strict interpretations of Islamic sharia law.

Aisyah, a journalist with independent radio station BFM, mocked the party in a video titled “Hudud: A Rice Bowl Issue”. As she crosses an imaginary border into Kelantan, a headscarf appears on her head. Finding a rock instead of rice in a packet of food, she tosses it away and shrugs, saying “Oh well, we have hudud, don’t we?” and giving an ironic thumbs up. Her point? That instead of Islamic law, the PAS should be more concerned with issues such as the economy and reconstruction after severe floods in the region.

BFM Radio removed the video from its YouTube page the day after it was posted, but not before it went viral and was copied and pasted elsewhere on Facebook and YouTube. On just two of the more popular Facebook pages it has been viewed more than 780,000 times in total.

But along with the viral hit though came a huge backlash. One particularly threatening thread on Facebook started with the comment: “Those who insult the laws of Allah, their blood is halal for killing.” Others came to the journalist’s defence. “Making you feel offended means you can rape and kill that person….brother, do you think you need to do some self reflection and soul searching..?” commented Chiam Soon King on the Sisters In Islam Facebook page.

But some said the video was wrong even as they condemned the threats levelled at Aisyah. “It’s still wrong to make a death threat or rape or all those barbaric acts, my point is she crossed the line and should share the blame as well. Think first,” said Wan Kori.

Threats are not the end of it for the journalist – Aisyah is now being investigated by police for blasphemy, and could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

Sedition Act

Aisyah wasn’t the only person to get caught up in the controversy. The issue touched off a row online between lawyer and activist Michelle Yesudas and the country’s top policeman, Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar.

In a series of messages, Yesudas demanded to know what Khalid would do about the threats against Aisyah. “Because I am positively terrified that these crazy, rape-frenzied people are actually the majority in my country,” she wrote.

Khalid’s response was to pull Yesudas into police headquarters for questioning under Malaysia’s colonial-era Sedition Act.

Human rights groups have criticised the Malaysian police’s use of the act to crack down on those critical of the government. Twenty-nine people have been arrested or investigated under the law so far in 2015, compared to 23 in the whole of 2014, according to Amnesty International.

Khalid himself has tweeted that police take comments critical of Islam seriouslyand “had no choice” but to act against them. Previously he warned Malaysians: “Be careful about speaking about something. Don’t speak words that will invite @PDRMsia [the police] to take action. Dare to speak, dare to face the consequences.”

Human Rights Watch’s Asia deputy director, Phil Robertson, has said Khalid “patrols the Twittersphere like a shark in open water“, and opposition politicians have accused him of selective prosecution. Khalid has denied the accusations.

As for the implementation of hudud law – it’s actually very unlikely. Kelantan’s state assembly has approved the proposals, but it’s doubtful that PAS has enough support to gain parliamentary approval. – BBC Trending

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Malaysia – 8th worst in government curbs on religion, says study


The Malaysian Insider

chart

Malaysia has been ranked among the top 10 countries with very high government restrictions on religion, according to the latest findings of US-based think tank Pew Research Center.

The findings, which cover 2013, put Malaysia at the eighth spot in the “very high” category among countries known for state interference or curbs on religion.

Topping the list was China, followed by Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Malaysia was ranked just a spot lower than Saudi Arabia, while neighbouring Brunei and Singapore were placed at the 15th and 18th spots, respectively.

Malaysia increased its score on restrictions imposed by the state, climbing to 7.9 out of 10 in 2013, from 7.6 the year before.

Compared with six years ago, in June 2007, which was used as a baseline, Malaysia scored 6.4 in terms of government restrictions.

These restrictions were defined as laws, policies and actions restricting religions, as well as measures such as bans on changing one’s religion and preferential treatment accorded to a particular religious group in that country.

The Pew study also measured religious oppression in terms of social hostilities, which covered a range of actions against believers of another religion including vandalism of religious property, desecration of sacred books and violence.

Malaysia scored a decrease in this index, at 2.9 in 2013, down from 3.9 in 2012.

This was in line with an overall downward trend worldwide in social hostilities involving religion, Pew said.

However, Malaysia only scored 1.0 in the June 2007 baseline.

The increase in government restrictions on religion reflect the ongoing tensions in Malaysia over the last few years, involving several issues but notably the use of the word “Allah” by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians as well as Sikhs, and accusations between Muslims and Christians of attempts to convert one another.

Propagation of non-Muslim religions is prohibited in Malaysia.

There are also concerns over issues arising from the conversion of minors to Islam by one parent without the other’s consent, and heightened intolerance of the practices and cultural aspects of non-Muslims.

Worldwide, while social hostilities declined for 2013, a quarter of the world’s countries still struggled with inter- or intra-religious hostility, the centre said.

Worldwide also, Christians and Muslims were the groups that faced the most harassment in the largest number of countries. – March 1, 2015.

Read:

Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

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Naked truths of a confused Muslim


FMT

A fussy dresser lifts the veil on conflicts from head to toe

Muslim dressingAs a Muslim, I have learned a valuable lesson: thanks to Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, I now know that wearing Hindu attire and a garland is against the teachings of Islam.

I have learned that it is not appropriate for Muslims to wear the traditional costumes of other religions. Or is it: of other races? Hmm…

I have learned that it is okay to wear a suit but never a kurta or dhoti. I am a female, so that would mean I should wear a dress and not a saree or Punjabi dress. I take it that cheongsam and samfu are also a no-no? But wait, what about baju Melayu or baju kurung with a kurta or samfu collar or neckline? I am confused.

I now worry my faith is easily swayed by my wrong choice of attire. Sigh.

But wait, what about jubah? If it is wrong to propagate other cultures, why then propagate the Arabic culture? If I am not mistaken, at the time of the Prophet, the Arabs who consisted of Muslims and the non-Muslims, all wore jubah!

Oh, I get it now – it is okay to wear any attire from a Muslim nation. But then why did Asri say it is okay to wear a suit – Mat Sallehs wear suit and most of them are Christians! Perhaps he means wear anything that is modest (covering aurat). Err… but kurta, dhoti and samfu are all attire that are modest, right? I am confused.

What do you think about the Pakistani kameez aur shalwar? Although Pakistan is an Islamic nation, the kameez aur salwar is also worn by Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in India. So how now? Scratching my head…

How about sarong? Are we allowed to wear sarong? I sure hope Islam allows one to wear sarong because it’s so comfy, you know.

That reminds me of the pilgrims to Mecca. Why do the male pilgrims in Mecca cover themselves up like Buddhist monks and Hindu priests?
Confused… confused…

There is one thing I don’t quite understand. If one should dress like a Muslim, then why did Asri not mention anything about Rosmah not covering her head? Ayoyo I pening la. Wait, perhaps I should refrain from saying ‘Ayoyo’ (Masya Allah, may God forgive me) because it resembles the Hindus.

I have learned that Muslims are not allowed to wear garlands although it is merely an Indian way of showering respect and gratitude to guests. Perhaps Asri should also make some effort to preach to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Bangladesh where garlands are a normal practice.

Oh, a question! Does that mean I should refrain from wearing garlands when I visit Hawaii?

How about the orchid garlands used to welcome our guests during Tourism Malaysia campaigns?

Thanks to Asri, I have come to understand that as a Muslim, I should be careful in selecting which event I should attend. Any religious event should be a big fat no: that would include Thaipusam, Christmas and the Hungry Ghost Festival. But how about Ponggal, Chinese New Year, Chap Goh Mei, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween? Are those festivals religious based or cultural?

Hmmm… I am more confused.

How about inviting the non-Muslims to Muslims religious events such as Eid Mubarak? Should I stop having Raya open house? Or perhaps I shall only invite the non-kafirs?
I know now that it is acceptable to attend certain religious-cultural events if you are a leader of a nation because it is your duty and responsibility to be the leader of everyone of different faiths and cultures. Fine.

Does that mean it is okay for me to attend a religious festival organised by a very close friend? As a good friend, wouldn’t it be my duty to show my love and respect by accepting his invitation? Or does it only apply if you are the Prime Minister of a country? I am confused.

I am not only confused, I am actually getting a slight migraine now.

I would really appreciate it if our Muftis would issue a fatwa on how Muslims (including the PM and Ministers) should be attired when attending non-Muslim functions. It could save me from all these confusion.

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Malaysia – The dangers of naming God


The Malaysian Insider

The dangers of naming God – William Grimm

Zeus

I wish I could remember the exact words and who it was who said them to the effect that while Christianity can be believed, some Christians are absolutely incredible.

The same can be said of Islam and some Muslims.

The biggest threats to Islam are not from non-Muslims. The threats come from within the community.

Terrorists who claim that Islam justifies and even mandates atrocious violence come to mind immediately, of course. Their actions reinforce prejudices against the religion, giving Islam a reputation for violence.
But it is not only the perpetrators of violence who undermine the image of Islam – even, I assume and even hope, among many Muslims.

There are people who claim to speak on behalf of Islam, making ridiculous statements and performing horrific acts, which can only make non-Muslims wonder on what it takes to be a Muslim. Of course, these individuals do not represent all Muslims.

In fairness, Catholics like those who get themselves nailed to crosses in the Philippines each Holy Week, or evangelical Christians in America who handle rattlesnakes, raise the same sort of questions about Christians. Lunacy in the name of religion is not a Muslim monopoly.

A couple of years ago, an Egyptian Muslim group declared that, “Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian.” The declaration was accompanied by a photo that showed that when a tomato is cut in half horizontally its core resembles a cross.

Eventually, ridicule of the commandment resulted in the group’s issuing a revision that allowed the eating of tomatoes so long as they were not cut in a particular way.

Now, a majority-Muslim nation is joining the parade of the brainless who seem intent on making Islam a laughing stock in the world.

The Malaysian justice system has upheld a ban on a Catholic newspaper’s use of the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia-language texts to refer to God. This is in spite of the fact that such use by Christians in Arabic-speaking lands predates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed.

Much of the religious vocabulary of Bahasa Malaysia, comes from Arabic. In fact, the word “Allah” is ultimately of pagan origin, as is the English word “god”.

Those disturbed by the ban on the centuries-old use of a single word in a single publication see it as a first step toward increased suppression of religious and ethnic minorities in Malaysia. They are probably right. In that case, the country will be seen as not simply ridiculous, but malevolent.

Are the Malaysian government agencies lately promoting tourism to that country ready to see that happen? Are most Malaysian Muslims happy to see yet one more event that increases perceptions of their religion and their country as not only tritely ridiculous, but potentially dangerous?

Christians and other minorities in Malaysia legitimately fear that proscribing the use of “Allah” in the Catholic newsweekly Herald will simply be the beginning of more persecution to come.

In the meantime, however, might this ban open new possibilities for Malaysian Catholics to broaden and deepen their relationship with God?

Of course. Persecution always provides that opportunity. But, on a less dramatic level, having to search for new vocabulary can be a blessing.

A priest in Cambodia who was engaged in translating Scripture, liturgy, the catechism and other texts into Khmer, the local language, said there is a value in not using common words.

The problem with commonly used words is that people think they know what they mean. And that meaning might not capture the richness of new thoughts. They have become stale and carry no more taste. They may even carry connotations that go against what we really hope to say.

A difficult or uncommon word can stop us and make us think: “I’m not sure what that word means. What might it mean?” Thought begins and insight can happen.

This can be especially true when we begin to think that a word can encompass the reality of God. In fact, the words we use can carry “linguistic DNA” that can infect that relationship.

For example, the English word “god” is of pagan Germanic origin. The Latin “deus”, related to the Greek Zeus via “theos”, does not speak of the one true God who is love.

Both the Germanic and Mediterranean words originally denoted a domineering warrior, though mythology does present Zeus as a rather promiscuous lover in a non-Christian sense of the word.

The search for an alternative that Malaysian authorities are imposing on the Herald may be a gift in disguise.

My personal recommendation is that Herald follow Jewish custom and simply say the Bahasa equivalent of “The Name”, which is “ha-shem” in Hebrew. That might even be worth considering for English use, a way of opening up new vistas for reflection and prayer. – ucanews.com, January 26, 2015.

* Maryknoll priest Fr William Grimm is a publisher of Ucanews, based in Tokyo.

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