MCCA continues to FAIL

Every time I receive MCCA’s newsletter with my shareholder statement, I expect changes to the board of directors. Sure enough, this time, there was an announcement of a new board election. They officially have more leadership churn than post-war Iraq.

There was also an announcement of a new financial service, Tamleek. Tamleek is an allegedly shariah compliant home finance scheme based on the principle of ijara muntahiya bit-tamlik.

Tamleek has been developed in consultation with re-known [sic] international Islamic finance scholar Dr Mohd Daud Bakr and endorsed by reputable Shariah advisor in Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad.

With all respect to those scholars, many of us are just not convinced of their authority in Islamic finance. To paraphrase Marshall Bruce Mathers III, won’t the real shariah heavyweights please stand up?

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The Prophecy Continues to be Fulfilled

Story:

Plans for a mile-high tower in the Saudi Arabian desert have been unveiled by the billionaire owner of London’s Savoy Hotel.

At 5,250ft, the £5billion project, masterminded by two British engineering consultancies, will be twice as high as its nearest rivals, skyscrapers under construction in Dubai and Kuwait, and almost seven times as high as the Canary Wharf tower in London’s Docklands.

Mile-High Tower

Prophecy:

…Barefoot, naked, shepherds compete in building tall structures. [Sahih Muslim]

Friday Follies: The best of Melbourne’s Masjids

At the Friday sermon today, the Imam exhorted the congregation to conserve water when performing wudu’. He advised us to perform only one repetition instead of the recommended three, and to wipe over our socks instead of washing our feet, citing Stage 3 Water Restrictions.

Stage 3 Water Restrictions!

You know what, this is actually commendable on the imam’s part. I didn’t realise our imams were becoming so green. But I don’t see why we should stop there. Our religion gives us license to perform tayyammum when water is scarce, which allows us to purify ourselves with pure sand or dust. Taking the imam’s advice to its logical conclusion, we should disconnect the water from our wudu’ areas, and just have buckets of sand with which to prepare for the prayer.

What do you think?

Note: feel free to send us your own Friday Follies. We’ll post the more interesting ones for you to comment, kind of like a peer review for the community.

IT News offers lame headlines for the masses

IT News is running a story about cyber terrorism and electronic jihad (entitled, “Electronic Jihad’ app offers cyberterrorism for the masses”). They report that Al-Jinan.org, an “electronic jihad” group, has launched a “Web-based application [which] offers Islamic jihadis a way for even the relatively nontechnical to target and attack Web sites perceived to be anti-Islamic.”

They then proceed to quote a couple of “experts” on “electronic jihad” and monger some fear about Islamic terrorism on the Internets.

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I love myself unconditionally

It seems shameful now, but I have been through a self-help phase. Experiencing a downward spiral some time ago, I did what any intelligent person with an Internet connection would do: I ordered a bunch of self-help books from Amazon, relying on reader reviews to gauge their credibility and effectiveness.

Recently, I read the last of the books I had purchased: Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self. Littered with fluff and inane affirmations such as “I love myself unconditionally” and “Today is the best day of my life”, it was one of the most painful experiences I have endured. The entire book can be distilled to one sentence: “Positive thinking bad, optimal/constructive thinking good”. Yet the Amazon reviews raved and raved.

To the cynics among us, self-help conjures images of charismatic charlatans getting rich off the woes of the gullible. I have read my fair share of testimonials such as “Your 78-week program transformed me from a smelly hoboe to a successful male ballerina!”, and “When I put on my Enhancinator Cape ™ and recite my Enhancinator Power Statement ™, I just know I can do anything!”

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In the People’s service

Our thoughts are with the Egyptian Interior Ministry. They have been “slandered” time and again of late, first by the bloggers, and now by traditional media. In what is being billed as El-Adly’s Videogate, the Interior Ministry is accused of police brutality and torture of civilians, with leaked videos to prove it.

The motto of Egyptian police has always been el-shorta fi khedmet el-sha`b, the Police is in the People’s service. I suppose, in Captain Islam Nabih’s mind, he was in Emad El-Kebir’s service when he sodomised him with a stick. It is not the most pleasant of services, but it is a service nonetheless.

Nor is it inconsistent with the motto when Egyptian police physically abuse anti-Government protestors and jail political opponents on false charges. They are providing a service, ummm, maintaining peace and calm on the streets!

And when they are not providing their services directly, they are outsourcing them to baltagiyyah (thugs), who take much more liberty in their “service” techniques.

One interesting outcome of this incident, however, is the rising influence of blogs and the effects they have on traditional media and ruling regimes. Given the almost impossible task of silencing bloggers, it will be interesting to see how the Egyptian Government ultimately conducts itself.

In the Future, There Will Be Robots

Technology will enslave us allIn the Future, There Will be Robots is a theatrical production mentioned on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s in-game radio station. The on-air dialogue proceeded thusly:

Emanuel: Hey, it’s Emanuel from Prawn Island. I love the show. Yeah, I want to talk about technology enslaving us. You know that play In the Future, There Will Be Robots? Well, that’s a true story; in the future, there will be robots. And I’m going to hack them all. I’ll make them say funny things. You know, I can move satellites around with my computer.

Gethsemanee: Computers are evil. The Luddites of ancient Briton knew this. That’s why they destroyed the computers that created things faster and more efficient and took their jobs.

Emanuel: Oh shut up! Computers aren’t evil. It’s the people that programmed the computers that are evil. That’s a pretty big difference. I’m talking to you through a computer right now. In fact, I am a computer.

Pretty reassuring, you will agree. But is there any real cause for concern?

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