Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blame it on the Bossa Nova

Cakap cakap....Religion.

If you read the papers, watch TV or surf the NET you cannot help but see the multitudes of stories and posting depicting the brutality of Muslims against other Muslims and Muslims against others.

We see executions of infidels and stoning of adulterers, attacks on mosques and in mosques....indiscriminate killings of children, women and the aged....all Muslims!  

Everyday we are bombarded by images of the callous and unspeakable punishment, mutilation, executions, murders and crimes perpetrated by Muslims upon the non-believers. 

It would seems that everywhere where crimes against humanity are being committed, they are being done for Islam, by those who practice Islam and for the advantage and the advancement of Islam. 

Leaders who rule their people unjustly are invariably Muslims and many government that governs without responsibility, transparency and accountability do so in the name of Islam and for the advancement of Islam and they say.

From time immemorial it has always been a constant battle and the sacred duty of Muslims to impose the Muslim will upon the non-believers.  

Why you would want to call those who are not Muslims non-believers is beyond my ability to comprehend. If they are not Muslims they must believe in something else.....even if that meant that they believe that there is no God. Believing that there is no God is believing in something is it not?  Everyone believes in why call them non-believers? 

Back to the matter of all those beheading, executions and murders by those Muslims who do so in the name of Islam. 

Do you really believe that Islam allows for these acts to be perpetrated in its name? 

Do you really really believe that Islam condones these beheadings, executions and murders...for whatever reason? 

If you do then you are a bigger idiot that those Muslims doing all those killings! 

From time immemorial we have had people killing each other in the name of religion. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, any religion you like and somewhere in its history or its present, there will be killings in the name of that religion. 

Do not fault religion. 

Violence and murder do not go with any religion nor can it be the justification for it.  There is good in any religion if you seek it. There is also evil in all religion if you seek it....just be careful what you seek.  

The excesses that you now see being perpetrated by Muslims today are the results of people who are not given any other opportunity in life but to turn to religion to make their life better. Religion is their rallying cry to band themselves together to seek something better for themselves and their families and others they feel kin to. The lack of education does not not for the few but education for all......and most worrying of all....the lack of hope. 

Many of you will know what solace, comfort and hope can be found in religion when all else fails. I have long been fortunate to not have to turn to religion to better my life....and here again the term "better my life" is subjective. It is not my intention to discuss, debate or start a discourse on what that means because it means different things to different people. Whatever is important to you in your own life do not impose your life choices on others....especially in matters of religion!

Friday, August 22, 2014

What if Batman, Spiderman and the Hulk were Indians......

Delhi based artist re-imagines Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Hulk as Indians

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 - 8:20pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
'There is art as a lifestyle and there is life as a style of art'. This is how Delhi based artist and graphic novelist Raj Kamallives his life. After training to be a graphic designer, his life took a turn as he became an ad man. But even lately it's something completely different from creating illustrations and graphics that has made Raj quite famous in the virtual world.
Recently, a string of artwork on super heroes including the likes of Batman, Superman, Wolverine, The Hulk and Wonder Woman began to circulate on social media. Now, that's not something that's uncommon. Fans have been drawing renditions of comic book characters for years now. But what makes Raj's designs stand out, is that they are world famous super heroes with completely Indian likenesses.
Here's a look at some of them, while Raj explains how and why he did the whole project.
"I am not here to make a path breaking statement, I am glad I am burdened by no such perceived responsibilities. What I aspire to do is just to present the super heroes I have grown up with, as seen through my red glasses. I do what I see, and I breathe out what I inhale. So the super heroes I actually see in my mind are little figments... alternate from the alternate reality if you may...They have taken color of India, attributes of people I know. They have soaked up all that is going on in and around here they are... for what ever they are worth."
"Before this, I was working on this on other project, it was a photo project called Batman in India. Whenever I was going back home to Calcutta or roaming around in Delhi, I would carry my figurines along with me, taking them to restaurants and stuff."  Raj believed that that those people who are seeing India for the first time with all the diverse cultures and traditions of the country, they sometimes get a culture shock. That's when he began to think, 'what would Batman do if he came to India, what would he see, what would he do.'
"So that's how that began. I continued the Batman project for two-three months, and then I began to think, what's next?" That's when things really snowballed explains Raj, as he began thinking of other super heroes. "I decided to put my art college background to use, deciding to draw out other superheroes. You know, when we go for movies and stuff, we always see Caucasian superheroes, but what if there were super heroes lurking around us in India as well?"
So I decided to draw out Indian versions of famous super heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and The Hulk. I thought how would it look for an Indian Batman to be seen in a famous Calcutta yellow taxi.
Raj explained his love for comics books stems from his childhood as well, "I used to read a lot, and who doesn't love Batman and the others, we've grown up reading them." He lists Batman, The Phantom, Wolverine, Wonder Woman and The Flash as his favourites.
"The artwork was for me, I was not trying to prove any point. It was just a fun project I wanted to do, I still don't understand why this got so much traction. It still surprises and baffles me why people love this!"

"Malaysia Airlines can confirm that following allegations by a passenger travelling on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on 4th August 2014 of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a member of the cabin crew, the member of staff in question has been detained for questioning by the French police."

Australian woman records 'sex assault' on Malaysia Airlines flight

An Australian woman has revealed recordings of her alleged sexual assault at the hands of the chief steward on a Malaysia Airlines flight.
SN ART Australian woman records sex assault on Malaysia Airline
Three hours into the half-full flight to Paris, Laura Bushney claims Mohd Rosli Bin Ab Karim sat beside her and allegedly began massaging her legs under the guise of "comforting her".
In an interview with Sunday Night to air this weekend, the 26-year-old also claims he later put his hand down her pants.

She said she was terrified when the 54-year-old steward allegedly began touching her, but was "frozen in panic".
"I just keep saying why didn’t I scream, why didn’t I shout? Why didn’t I stop it? I am a strong person because I can do that, I know I can," Ms Bushney said.
"When I was in the moment I couldn’t. I felt so scared, so petrified."
However, Ms Bushney recorded the alleged incident on the mobile phone wrapped in a scarf next to her pillow.
Mr Rosli, who is married with two children, has since made admissions to police.
In the recording she can be heard whispering what Mr Rosli was doing to her.
"He's massaging my legs," she can be heard saying.
"I'm so scared, I just want to get off this plane."
After the passenger sitting in front of Ms Bushney, Canadian Sophie Lachance, insisted Ms Bushney report what happened, the flight crew sat her down with the steward again.
Canadian passenger Sophie Lachance
She also filmed this confrontation, in which Mr Rosli can be seen pleading with her and saying his "intentions were good".
Ms Bushney made a formal complaint to police after touchdown at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, saying she had told crew at the beginning of the flight of her apprehension of flying with the airline in the wake of the two recent disasters.
She claims, Mr Rosli had taken advantage of her vulnerability.
Malaysia Airlines has responded with a public statement but has not contacted Ms Bushney or offered any counseling or compensation.
"Malaysia Airlines can confirm that following allegations by a passenger travelling on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on 4th August 2014 of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a member of the cabin crew, the member of staff in question has been detained for questioning by the French police."
"Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously."

MH17 Coming Home: Condolence, Sympathy and our Prayers. We all mourn the loss of your loved ones.

Here in Melbourne it is just noon as I watch the arrival of the 747 Jumbo carrying the remains of those from the tragic crash of MH17 touched down on the tarmac of KLIA. My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with those who are waiting for their loved ones - nine from the crew of MH17 and 11 passengers...and try as I might I cannot stop my tears from falling at the first glimpse of the coffins. 

No one would have thought that the 20 would come home this way....certainly not their love ones. 

For a brief moment my thoughts went back to a time long ago when we waited for the arrival of the remains of those who died in that Nuri helicopter crash in Genting Sempah killing all of its crew. I can still feel my sadness as I saw the Heli approaching the KL GH field with the remains of its crew.....that was another moment of much sadness for all of us.

Stewardess Aruah Mastura Mustapha was the first to be brought down onto Malaysian soil. She left behind a husband and 10 year old Muhriz Marzaidi. Her remains will be brought back to Paroi for burial. Her last words to her husband were " “I won't be with you forever; one day I will go and meet Allah and never return”, through 'WeChat'.  

Ahmad Hakimi is next. He was rostered to be part of the crew on MH370 but did not make it....but he did make it on MH17....and death followed. 

As the coming home ceremony unfold I remember the ceremony in Amsterdam when the remains arrived from Ukraine - the site of the crash. I can tell you that there is as much respect and reverence shown by the Dutch to the remains of MH17 as our Malaysian government is now showing to these Malaysian coming home. 

As each coffin is unloaded and brought on to the hearse I am reminded that each and everyone of them will be taking separate routes to their final resting place..... Nirvana Memorial Park in Sugai Besi, Paroi, Nirvana Memorial Park Shah Alam, Segamat, Tambun, Taiping, Muar, Subang Jaya, Kuching, Wangsa Maju, Putrajaya...and other final resting places. 

We are told that a husband and wife ..Mabel and Paul are next but their 9 year old son, Mathew is still missing .... has not been identified.  

We are told that in a family of six on MH17, only the mother and the youngest child has been identified. The father and three other children are still missing!

As the last coffin is put into the white hearse and its doors are closed...a minute of silence is observed throughout the length and breadth of our nation....all Malaysians,,,,all religion...together we mourn those who have left us. We honor them. A Nation in silence. 

As the hearse leaves KLIA three heli started their journey to Segamat, Pagoh and Taiping to send the remains of those from there.

Al Fatihah.

Setinggimana 'takhta',
sahebat mana kuasa,
sekuat mana tenaga, 
sebanyak mana 'harta',
waima dunia kamu yang empunya....
bila sampai masanya,
maka kembali juga kamu kepada yang Esa.
Bila? Dimana? Bagaimana? Hanya Dia yang menyingkap rahsia.
Mudah2an kita pergi dalam iman, meredhai dan di Redhai......
Allah tiada pernah kita khianati
tiada manusia yang kita zalimi,
agar dalam sejahtera kita kembali,
Moga Allah meredhai Neraka dijauhi.
(with thanks to brother Fauzi Rahman)


Coming Home....

First Malaysian bodies from MH17 crash fly home


First Malaysian bodies from MH17 crash fly home
AFPFirst Malaysian bodies from MH17 crash fly home

The Hague - A plane carrying the bodies of 20 Malaysian victims of flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine in July, has taken off from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur, Dutch media reported.
There was no ceremony for the departure from Schiphol airport, local news agency ANP reported, with the plane to land in Malaysia on Friday, which has been declared a day of national mourning.
The plane will be met by Malaysia's king, prime minister and other dignitaries accompanied by a minute of silence at Kuala Lumpur's main international airport, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said last week.
The remains will then be taken to the hometowns of the victims' next-of-kin to be laid to rest.

The remains of victims aboard MH17 are stowed. Photo: AAP

The Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine on July 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 on board.
More than 220 coffins filled with remains have been taken to the Netherlands for identification.
Of those aboard, 193 were Dutch and 43 were Malaysians, including 15 crew members.
A total of 28 Malaysian victims have been identified in the Netherlands, which is in charge of the identification process.
Some victims may never be identified after the search for body parts was called off at the crash site because of ongoing fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.