Salwa Samra – SEO

Author – Poet – Writer

BLACK LIVES MATTER – NATION OF ISLAM – CAIR

Duality 

There is always two sides to a coin. Hence, there’s always a duality attributed to one subject matter. Objectivity is informative, explanatory and illustrative. Objectivity offers us the suggestion of confronting issues with a forbearance of an open mind. An open mind merits us with the ability to rightly discern. Discernment cultivates a viewpoint. This is where you, the reader/observer, hold your position of opinion.

 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives MatterBLM‬.” Is a that movement was established when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot down by George Zimmerman, who was tried and acquitted.  Black Lives Matters is a response to the anti-Black racism that seems to permeate the American society.  This is a very serious, sensitive topic and deserves respect, for the questionable conduct of what many black American’s think some police officers have seen fit to do, in their line of duty. This topic requires the decency of acknowledging the past atrocities of black history in America and throughout the decades of injustices, suffering and hardships. It also requires an honest, upfront examination of the current situation. Church planter D.A. Horton is executive director of ReachLife Ministries and the national coordinator for urban student missions at the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. Horton shares a excerpt of Anthony Bradley, associate professor of theology, at King’s College in New York City, In a culture that has done all it can to expunge moral virtue from the aspirations of human life, why are we surprised that we are shouting, ‘Black lives matter?‘” Bradley continued. “When human persons are not expected to be in communion with God and others, why are we surprised that the reverence due to the human person is lost? Black lives matter because persons are not autonomous, self-contained, individualistic creatures who do not need others for their flourishing. Black lives matter not simply because they are black but because blacks are persons — persons who are a necessary variable to the flourishing of others so that we all may attain the end for which we were created.

Understanding why black lives matter,” Horton shares, “entails understanding the systemic dehumanizing of blacks that occurred for 400 years of American history.”

Khaliah Sabra is an American born woman with associated ties to the  Muslim Brotherhood.  She’s been well known for provocative stirrings of Muslims joining the Black Lives matter movement, encouraging BLM to connect with the Muslim cause, in America, to join the revolution against white supremacy. Interestingly, Khaliah strongly supported the 2009 home-grown, Daniel Boyd, sentenced for 218 years, for being involved in a conspiracy to advance violent jihad, contributing and supporting terrorist attacks within other nations, also encouraging acts of murder, kidnapping and disfiguring random people abroad – New York Times. Infiltration’s such as these raise the question of the objectives of both groups? Why the alliance? Why the need for the connection? What exactly is the intention? Also, how closely linked are the two movements? Are BLM and Islamic groups moving towards an “all of Americans,” equality and unity, including white America, or is there a hidden agenda?

Black Lives Matter website, in their “About Section,” states – “Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement. This is Not a Moment, but a Movement. When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state.  We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.  #BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.  We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

Yusra Khogali, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter in Toronto, Canada – was brought to account concerning a tweet she posted before a rally “”Plz Allah give me strength not to cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.” The tweet caused quite an uproar in Canada and further highlighted the connection between Black Lives Matter and Islamic infiltration.  Yusra removed the tweet but not quickly enough. A keen-eyed observer archived it and complained to Toronto Police despite their claim that no one did. Also, in a 2015 Facebook post, Khogali shared, black people are a superior race because white people are sub-human who suffer from ‘recessive genetic defects,‘” also explaining how they could be wiped out.

In a public meeting with Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne, stated, “Let’s get one thing straight. The tweet was in very poor taste. It gave many Torontonians the ammunition they needed to uphold their narrow views of BLM — that its an organization full of angry black people that don’t value any lives except for black ones.  Our experiences tell you that the threats we face are very real.”  

However, in refute to Wynne’s statement, well known Toronto journalist Desmond Cole, suggest the Khogali Tweet was a harmless, “prayer like tweet” to protect her from harm, and give her wisdom in the face of racism, violence and misogyny.

Last year, 2016, BLM celebrated its fourth anniversary. BLM has broaden its horizons having rally’s and events throughout the UK. Statements, grievances and oppositions, such as the above, are going to raise suspicions. An organisation cannot deny, nor run away from controversial words or exertions their members are demonstrating. When negligence to these sorts of statements/actions are put in place, it therefore  highlights further doubt and causes the public to question the necessity of identifying how, or whether a cause/organisation can, or does, turn in to a contemptible source of an underlining effort towards something completely different.

For a further comprehensive read of the Federal Officials Close Investigation Into Death of Trayvon Martin, please select the following link – https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-officials-close-investigation-death-trayvon-martin

 

Nation of Islam

In 1930, a Detroit clothing merchant named Wallace D. Fard (a.k.a. Wali Farad Muhammad) began preaching an Islamic-flavoured message among blacks. The message? A combination of Christian principles, Islamic ideals and Black Nationalism, offering hope to an oppressed community of people.

Fard, claiming connections with Mecca, began calling black Americans to renounce Christianity (a “white man’s religion”), to embrace Islamic ideals. He founded the Temple of Islam in Detroit and by 1934 had a following of 8,000. After Fard mysteriously disappeared in 1934, his most famous disciple, Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole), carried the movement forward. Elijah Muhammad claimed that Allah had appeared in the person of Fard, he himself was a prophet of Allah, viewing white people as devils preaching against integration.

In 1947, Elijah Muhammad’s message was heard and accepted by imprisoned Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little). In 1952 Malcolm X joined the Black Muslims, known to be an outspoken minister of the group until 1963. Upon a visit to Mecca Malcolm became disillusioned with Mohammad, converting to orthodox Islam a year later. Eleven months later he was assassinated.

In 1955, Luis Farrakhan joined the Nation of Islam, becoming the leader in 1978 of the Nation of Islam, within a group that preserved the original teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Luis Farrakhan led the 1955 Million Man March organized, in part, by the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.). Farrakham emphasised that racial reconciliation offered no hope for black people. Farrakhan argued “The Seal and the Constitution [of the United States—BB] reflect the thinking of the founding fathers, that this was to be a nation by White people and for White people. Native Americans, Blacks, and all other non-White people were to be the burden bearers for the real citizens of this nation.”

The march was unsuccessful in its attempts to raise up the objectives of NOI, no new black movement/revolution proceeded, however, the march stirred the waters, being the catalyst to a political statement which would initiate in any other ways, channeling both the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements.

It’s interesting to note, N.O.I.’s most essential teachings, the creation story, according to N.O.I details a genius named Yakub, perverted the original, black human form by a process of mating lighter-skinned people, together, with the black people, akin to selective breeding, until he had created a race of pale, wicked altered individuals. N.O.I. believe Yakub to be the biblical Jacob creating a world where the lighter-skinned dominated the original darker people. This is paramount to their beliefs, which in turn, has been a prompting to motivate racism.

Louis Farrakhan has shared,  “I am giving them a Warning and a Guidance from God to help them to do that which will save America. And I warn them that these calamities are going to increase now in severity so America might humble herself to that call of God to let the Black man and woman go. It is the time that we should separate to go free and that America should provide us with land and implements that would allow us to build a future for ourselves – for they have proved to be disagreeable to live with in peace.”

Sidney Ahlstrohm, Yale University professor of history, shares his views regarding the Nation of Islam “[Their] eschatology teaches that God has come; there is no life after this life; heaven and hell are only two contrasting earthly conditions; the hereafter (which will begin to appear about A.D. 2000) is but the end of the present “spook” civilization of the Caucasian usurpers, including the Christian religion. It will be followed by the redemption of the Black Nation and their glorious rule over all the earth (1972, p. 1068).

Louis Farrakhan, continues to fight for his black brothers and sisters, his dedication to rally against oppression wherever he finds it, whether the educational system, government or urban communities. “But if I thought on it, I would like to be remembered as a brother who loved his people and did everything that I knew to fight for them, the liberation of our people.”Louis Farrakhan

Author and former nation of Islam member and friend of Farrakhan, Vibert L. White Jr., wrote  a book titled Inside the Nation of Islam.” White spent almost two decades with N.O.I. his enlightened experience shares within the book, ”What I thought was an aggressive and egalitarian movement with the best interests of the black underclass at heart was (really) about controversy, about attacking other groups for the political agenda of the leaders and about the personal empire of Louis Farrakhan and the top leaders…..” White didn’t want to believe what he was witnessing, however, he continues, “As I got closer to the center, it was disheartening.” The two decade experience led White to recount his knowledge in full details in his book.  http://www.apologeticsindex.org/n06.html

It seems Malcolm X had quite a different take and view than Louis Farrakhan, regarding his objectives, he once stated – Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.

Council of American Islamic Relations

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an American-Islamic Relations organisation, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy, according to the CAIR Website. CAIR’s vision is “to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”

CAIR’s mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

Following the horrors of 9/11, CAIR was named as being part of an extensive network supporting terriorist groups, such as, Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.  Only recently did CAIR attempt to block a bill presented to officially authorise the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organisation.  Interestingly, countries such as Israel and Egypt already have such a bill in place. CAIR rejected the notion of blocking the bill, smearing Senator Ted Cruz, stating that such a bill was written by an FBI agent who had Islmophobic tendencies and made an intentional purpose of slamming Muslim’s and Islam. Upon investigation of this FBI agent it was clarified that CAIR’s accusations were false and unfounded.

The former said agent was Agent John Guandolo, accused of drafting the 2014 Bill,  “John Guadolo had absolutely nothing to do with the drafting of the bill, nor did anyone from his  office seek his contribution,” according to Michelle Bachmann,”  former member of the United States House of Representatives. “Unable to address the findings of the bill, CAIR is engaged in a transparent attempt to attack this effort through smears and guilt by association,” Bachmann concluded.

Consequently. CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper attempted to distance CAIR away from the false claims, requesting that WorldNetDaily should be contacted, indicating they had made the claims. Upon further investigation with WorldNetDaily, Hooper’s claims were unequivocally untrue the original press release confirmed the information was indeed provided by CAIR.

CAIR establishes, the following, within the “About” section of their Website – “Top Internet Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories About CAIR” tab

Internet Disinformation #1:

CAIR was born out of a desire on the part of its founders to “concentrate on combating anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide.” The organization’s advocacy model — work closely with media and provide direct services to local Muslim communities — was developed when Nihad Awad and Ibrahim Hooper worked as community activists. CAIR is not “the Wahhabi lobby,” a “front-group for Hamas,” a “fund-raising arm for Hezbollah,” “…part of a wider conspiracy overseen by the Muslim Brotherhood…” or any of the other false and misleading associations our detractors seek to smear us with.”

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois stated, in 2003 that CAIR is “unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect.” Schumer also verified, “CAIR is known “to have ties to terrorism.”  In a letter dated 2009, Schumer identified a “cutting off contact” with the Islamist group should be government-wide policy.”

Although, interestingly, in a letter dated 2015, Schumer is found expressing his praise to CAIR and his appreciation of CAIR’s continued efforts in spreading humanity, worldwide and cultivating a supportive, mutual understanding among all Americans throughout all  cultures and backgrounds.” He states, “I know that the Council on American-Islamic Relations will continue to serve New York State and the nation for many years to come.

David Reaboi, a national security expert and political warfare consultant, advised that CAIR’s main drive is to stop the Muslim Brotherhood from being designated as a terror group.  “As the debate on the Brotherhood heats up, Americans shouldn’t be surprised to see those who’ve argued for decades that Hamas isn’t a terrorist group are also adamant that the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t one either,” Reaboi said.

FBI’s former chief of  counterterrorism, Steven Pomerantz noted “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”

Considering the controversy which has been circulating around CAIR for quite some years, now, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the IIIT who renounced the group in disgust, was an official eyewitness to the creation of the word – Islamophobia, he reveals, “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” 

Muhammad also shares his thoughts on political Islam, “Political Islam as a system of governance in which Muslims are “given superiority over non-Muslims in society” and “that superiority is codified in the laws and its presided over by a ruler with arbitrary and unchecked powers…with a class of clergy who interpret the law and impose that law.” In that political system “there’s no freedom of speech to combat those interpretations or any type of pluralism in the society, where other religions are suppressed” 

In contrast to Abdur-Rhaman Muhammed, CAIR shares on its website, “CAIR its staff, and board members are honored to have received at least 80 awards and recognitions during the 2011-2016 period. Seventeen U.S. Senators and 85 U.S. Representatives from both sides of the political aisle have praised the organization in that same period.  Major news outlets, international delegations and interfaith partners have all applauded the group.

 

The Controversy Dilemma 

A cause or social organisation usually establishes itself on good, constructive and worthy grounds. The objective, generally, is to create a service to the community, providing help in a particular area, addressing injustices and/or establishing programs that aid, educate and raise awareness in delivering an informed position to furthering their objective cause.

Unfortunately, even though many causes and organisations start off with honourable, valid and worthwhile intentions the sentiment, sometimes, fades away and is replaced with ethical and social violations. The vision may become overlooked with propositions accepted on the wayside to profit the organisation further into popularity, or maybe, politics.

On the other hand, we’re all well aware some causes and organisations are specifically set up as a front for additional masquerading purposes and therefore, become their own undoing as further investigations are explored, which in turn, uncovers and exposes their motive. We need to be very watchful

The above three organisations have been quite outspoken and widespread in their objectives. There is a common thread between them, in some form, or another, whether it be supporting each other, taking up the other’s cause with their own, or highlighting their similarities and their target audiences.

Each organisation, it appears, has their own intention for America. Each organisation is intent on forwarding their vision into America. Black Lives Matter, Nation of Islam and CAIR may also be exploiting each other to strongly forward their own agenda, it seems apparent that a common cause may be at hand. Unity is required. Division within any nation leads to a nation in crises, citizens at angst with each other, also a country in anguish with itself.

Advancing any principle through division, conflicting fixations, apart from inclusion and unity can be a liability to any cause or organisation. If there is no allowance for critical thought and planning, examination and clear identification regarding a social organisation, then it can only emphasize contention and controversy.

 

 

Footnotes

Moderate friends of Terror – http://www.danielpipes.org/394/cair-moderate-friends-of-terror

Elijah Mohammed – Nation of Islam – http://www.biography.com/people/elijah-muhammad-9417458#nation-of-islam

Hapers Magazine – Essay by By Fredrik deBoer http://harpers.org/archive/2016/01/the-charmer/3/

Freebeacon: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/muslim-brotherhood-ally-falsely-smears-senator-block-terror-designation-bill/

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin – http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/405.pdf#page=15

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin 2009 letter – http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/242.pdf

Investigative Project – http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/880.pdf

Justice News – https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-officials-close-investigation-death-trayvon-martin

 

 

Islamic Sects

Knowledge is gold

Currently, we’re living in an era infused with a common concern and threat. A day doesn’t go by where we’re not reading, or hearing the word “Islam and Muslim’s.”
It’s beneficial for us as a society, as a community and throughout the globe to remain informed concerning these ongoing concerns rising from Islam.  We live in the age of information, which enables us to access information at the touch of a keyboard.  Benjamin Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Knowledge equips us.  In the interest of knowledge and the concerns that are circulating, worldwide, I assembled information, below, on the various sects of Islam. The following information may help you untangle the different dynamics involved in the varying sects, their commonalities and differences.
Due to space restraints, I have condensed this article and its information down, as much as possible. Footnotes are provided for further research, if required.

Sects of Islam

There are many sects in Islam. These sects contain common adherences, yet, they also have disputes in their fundamental beliefs. The variances of Islam and its sects can be quite dynamic, depending on the Muslim you’re asking. The sects of Islam often argue over which sect is authentically Muslim, which in turn, primarily causes feuds, divisions and enemies.
Within these various sects lay their conflicting beliefs. Each sect collectively adhere to Mohammed, the Qur’an and most to the Hadith’s (traditions and sayings of Mohammed) and Sira (the Biography of Mohammed), however, some sects dedicate themselves to violent Jihad because of the Qur’anic coming Caliphate of the world, while other sects abhor violence and believe power and preaching, through the pen and intellectually, will bring world dominion under Islam, in and by Allah’s will.
The two main sects that are decisively divided are the Sunni and Shi’a Muslim sects. Although, there have been attempts by certain Imams to unite the sects, they’re quite opposing towards each other.
Both sects believe that the Islamic faith was established by the prophet Mohammed during the 7th Century. The dispute arose with these two sects at the death of Mohammed 632 A.D.
The dynamics of Islam may help us to uncover the atrocities of Islam, in current day events. Interestingly, quite a few groups of Muslim’s are rising on to the world stage to reform Islam, to highlight and establish Islam, in its original Meccan form as being a peaceful and academic manifestation of a belief system and religion. These movements are endeavouring, with a scholarly effort, to demonstrate Islam is indeed a poised worldview, with a history of defensive war, protecting the Muslims and their growth, rather, than an offensive war, or forceful system of beliefs.
In most Islamic beliefs it’s usually the Sufi and Ahmadi Muslim’s who are well known for their adherence to a “peaceful only,” Islam. To most Sunni’s and Shi’a Muslims, they don’t consider these two sects to be authentically Muslim.

Sunni Islam

The Sunni sect of Islam is prominently practiced in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Indonesia, Egypt, consisting of 80-85% in population – 940,000,000 – worldwide. Sunni Islam is guided by a succession of four caliphs. These Caliphs had known Mohammed and therefore, known by Sunni’s as the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. These four Caliphs Abou Bakr, being the first, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the second, Uthman Ibn-Affian, the third, who was converted to Islam by Abou Bakr and the last, Ali Ibn Abou Talib.
Sunni Muslim’s believe that Mohammed didn’t have a lawful heir, at his death in 632 A.D, therefore, it was incumbent upon the community to choose a religious leader.  Sunni’s appointed Abou Bakr – Abdallāh bin Abī Quḥāfah aṣ-Ṣiddīq – the first Caliph.  Abou Bakr was the father of Aisha, the child bride of Mohammed, also Mohammed’s army commander and close companion.
Sunni Islam has four schools of thought – Abu Haneefah, Malik, Shafi’i, and Ahmad bin Hanbal.  Schools of thought emerged consisting of their own interpretation and application of the Sharia Law. These schools split farther away from each other creating schools following different interpretive approaches and applications.
Sunni Islam consists of five pillars of faith, those being the Shahadah, belief in one God only and Mohammed his prophet.  Salat, daily rituals and prayers.  Zakat, charitable giving the Sawm, fasting for Ramadan, Jihad which some Muslim believe is a spiritual battle, however, the Qur’an and Hadith’s demonstrate it is an offensive battle and finally the Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca .
Sunna’s/Hadith’s are the traditions of Mohammed. Aside from the Qur’an Muslims also practice the rituals, customs and traditions that Mohammed himself put into place.  Sunni Muslim’s Hadith’s comprise of about 6, however, the most reputable are the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Sunni Muslim’s only ascribe to Hadith’s that they believe are “authentic.” The many Shia Hadith’s are known to Sunni Muslim’s as being weak, not strong, therefore, unauthentic. Sunni Muslim’s require Shi’a Muslim’s to provide scholar names of Hadith’s to verify their authenticity.  Most Qur’anic/Hadith practicing Sunni’s believe in the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare.

Shi’a Islam

The Shi’a sect of Islam are mainly from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Bahrai and Lebanon consisting of 10-15% of Islam’s population, numbering up to 200 million. Shi’a Muslims believe only Allah could choose a leader, not man, therefore, this leader must come from the family line of Mohammed. Ali was Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, also believed to be the fourth Caliph by both Shi’a and Sunni Muslims.
Shi’a Muslim’s believe Ali to be the first follower of Mohammed. Hussein, the second son of Ali’s, was/is greatly revered by Shi’a Muslim’s. Hussein is called “The Prince of the Martyrs” because of a martyr’s death he died while in battle with other Muslims.  Shi’a Islam adheres to the five pillars of faith, too. However, they have five additional requirements of which Sunni Muslims don’t practice.  Shi’a Islam has only one major school of thought identified as the Jafaryia, or sometimes referred to as the Twelvers.  There are also minor schools of thoughts, such as, the Seveners, and/or the Fivers. These titles are referenced to the Imams who are adhered and recognised by Shi’as. These Imams were positioned after the
death of Mohammed.
Shi’a Muslim’s have different Hadith collections. They oppose the Hadith Collections of the Sunni’s, believing their Hadith’s were not truthfully, or rightly collected. Interestingly, many Shi’a’s believe that the Harj to Mecca is not as important as visiting the tomb / shrine sites of their Shi’a martyrs.
Most Quranic/Hadith practicing Shi’a’s believe in the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare.

Sufi Islam

The Sufi Muslim’s may come under the umbrella, bearing similarities to Shi’a Muslim’s. Sufi derives from the word “Suff,” which is an undercover garment, from wool, undyed, sometimes worn by the Sufi holy men. In Arabic mysticism is called taṣawwuf , literally meaning “to dress in wool.” Sufism was founded in 675 AD. It has 9,000,000 followers. Sufi’s adhere to prayer, or dhikr – a devotion of remembrance, also the Shahādah, the profession of faith, stating there is no god but Allah and Mohammed his messenger.  Sufism challenges and encourages its believers to work on the heart and mind, through cleansing, by taking on commendable traits and characteristics, such as, giving to the poor, sharing compassion, practicing humility, honesty and justice.  Sufis refer to a variety of expressions – nafs, meaning ego/pride as the optimum cause of individual and worldwide suffering and evils, adhering to salah (prayer) and dhikr (meditation and the remembrance of God) being the purification  foundations to cleanse the heart.  Attaining tawhid, or oneness with God, is the ultimate goal of Sufism.
Sufism is often referred to as mystical Islam, formally rooted within non-Muslm sources, however, as time passed these mysticism were adopted and conformed into and with Islam.  Persian literature and other languages are important to Sufi vocabulary, in places, such as, Turkey, Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto, and Punjabi. Mystical ideas spread through poetry to the Sufi Muslims. Some leaders of the Sufi’s were involved in politics.
Sufi’s don’t align with one founder of their sect.

Sufism can be quite ambiguous. Sufi’s within the Asian / Indian areas were known to be barbaric in their practice and their actions towards Indian’s and their implementations throughout the Asian regions. In his article “Demystifying the Sufi’s,U. Mahesh Prabhu explains – Saiyyad Muhammad bin Nasiruddin Jafar Makki al-Husaini, the Khalifa of Nasiruddin Chiragh-i-Delhi ” held that there were five reasons which led the people to embrace Islam:  (link to article at Footnotes
1. Fear of death,
2. Fear of their families being enslaved,
3. Propagation (of Islam) on the part of Muslims,
4. The lust for obtaining mawajib (pensions or rewards) ghanaim (booty), and
5. Tassub (bigotry or superstition).”
[Ref: Rizvi, op. cit., p.46 citing Sijzi, Akhbar-ul-Akhiyar, p.136]

Therefore, even though Sufi’s practice a devotional religion, as opposed to a doctrinal way of life, compared to the two core Islamic sects of Sunni and Shi’a, many also adhered to the violent, oppressive, subjugation form of Islam, too. Some Sufi’s embrace chanting, dancing, poetry recitation and lean more to the emotional side of devotion in Islam.
Sufi Quranic Muslim’s are mixed in their beliefs in the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare. Some do believe in offensive warfare, other Sufi’s may not.

Salafi Islam

The Salafi sect of Islam is a strictly conservative branch of Sunni Islam who believe in the purist form of Islam. The meaning of “Salafi” refers to someone who’s attaching  himself/herself to a group of people, who Mohammed shared “The best of people is my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them, (Sahih Mulsim – Umran Ibn Husain) corresponding to the first three generations of Muslims
Their beliefs are of the most fundamentalist kind. Salafism takes its name from the expression “al-salaf al-salih” or, “the pious predecessors” They adhere to emulating Mohammed and all his teachings, literally. They’re also commonly known as Wahhabi’s.  There are established to be about 82,000,000 Salafis, worldwide. Salafism derives its ideologies from Ibn Taymiyya.
Salafi Islam is divided into three areas; there are the purists, the activists and the jihadi’s. Salafism is said to be the fastest growing sect of Islam in current day Europe. It‘s also growing progressively in China – China’s Hui ethnic group.  Salafi’s reject modern technology or anything of the innovative kind.  Boko Haram and ISIS are often associated with Salafism due to their Salafist roots. However, there are some Salafis who will tell you they adhere to the Twentieth Century, Shaykh Mohammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, his vision and “Dawah” which was to embrace and adopt the interpretation of the early generations of Muslims, the Mecca form of early Islam and its theological and legal methodology, without  being involved and active in politics. Rather, Shaykh Mohammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani believed that the rule of Islam, worldwide, would be ultimately accomplished by Allah’s hand, not mans.
Most Quranic/Hadith practicing Salafis believe in the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare.

Alawate (Alevis) Islam

The Alawate sect of Islam comprises of two groups within the sect, Alawate’s and Alevis. The similarities of the names do raise confusion. The two may seem related in their beliefs, however, they differ in certain areas of practice. Alawate’s faith was established early in the ninth century, by Abu Shuayb Muhammad Ibn Nusayr, a Shi’a adherent, some suggesting Alawate reflects the survival of Phoenician paganism as well as pre-Islamic Persian religions. The five pillars of Islam to the Alawate are considered symbolic rather than dutiful. Alawate’s celebrate not only Islamic holiday/traditions, also Christian holidays and traditions. Alawate’s also have a form of “Communion.” Wine is signified as “halal” and is partaken in the masses, with bread, consecrated by male initiates. Wine, to the Alawate’s is considered to be the very essence of God (Ali) it’s titled “The Servant Of Light” (‘Abd al-Nur). Hence, vines are treated with much respect. Interestingly, Alawate’s consider Ali Ibn Abi Talib as the manifestation of Allah. The Alawate profession of faith states: “I testify that there is no God except Ali ibn-Talib the one to be worshiped, no Veil, except Muhammad, who is worthy of praise, and no Gateway (or Path), except Salman Al-Farisi, the object of love,” which is summarised in an Arabic Poem.

Alawate’s are known to be very secretive to avoid persecution from Shia/Sunni Muslim’s, therefore, they habitually adhere to the practice of taqiyya (lying) to hide their beliefs. Alawate’s have a Holy Trinity of their own, so to speak, which is Mohammed, Ali his cousin and son-in-law, also Salman who was a companion of Mohammed.  Alawate’s believe they must attain transformation, or rebirth, seven times, before returning to a place among the stars. There, they believe, Ali is the prince.  If blameworthy, they believe that they will return as Christians or Jews, among whom they remain, until their atonement is complete. Alawate’s deny the resurrection, hell and paradise after death, rather, they regard that people experience hell or paradise in the current world.  In 1328, Ibn Taimiyya a strict Muslim scholar issued a fatwa (legal judgement), stating, “They (Alawate’s) were greater infidels than the Christians and Jews…greater even than idolaters.” He authorized Jihad against them, saying it was legal to take their property and blood, unless they show repentance.  Alevis, are considered more of a movement than a sect. Its roots derive from the 14th century mystical dissenters in Central Asia. Alevism also adheres to pre-Islamic elements of Turkish shamanism and Kurdish angel-worship.

Alawate and Alevi both correspond to the meaning of “devoted to Ali.” Alawate’s have their origins in Shi’a Islam and thus follow Ali, the fourth Caliph and successor of Mohammed. Alawate’s are considered Twelvers, although, Alawate’s believe Ali symbolises the divine, which is opposing to the conservative Shi’a’s.  Syrian and Turkish Alawate’s speak Arabic. Turkish Alevis speak Turkish; and Kurdish Alevis speak Turkish and Kurdish. Kurdish Alevis prefer to be self-governed, free of Arab or Turkish domination. This element of the culture distinguishes Alevis from Alawate’s, including established Shi’a’s.  Alawate’s and Alevis, as a whole, don’t pray in mosques, neither do they support clerics as mainstream Shi’a’s do. Alawate’s do, however, maintain shrines for their leaders (sheikhs) as compared to Alevis congregating in a ceremony known as the cem, pronounced “jem.” This is held in a meeting house.

Alawate’s Islamic texts are the Qur’an and the sermon collections of Imam Ali.  The teachings of the Alawate sect are conveyed progressively through the lifetimes of selected disciples, but denied to most lay people and kept rigorously secret.  Alevis, alternatively, possess an extensive, widely-read religious literature, mainly composed of spiritual songs, poems, and epic verse. Alawate’s and Alevis beliefs are probably the farthest away from Islam, compared to other Shi’a groups. Shia and Sunni Muslim’s don’t consider Alawate’s or Alevis to be Muslims.    

Whahbi Islam

The word Wahabism is derived from the name of its founder and leader Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab – 1703 – 1792. He adhered to the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah, (as the Salafis did) although, interestingly, his family and friends vehemently disagreed with Ibn Taymiyyah. Wahabism surfaced temporarily in the start of the 18th century in Uyayyinah but it was put down and its protagonists jailed. It resurfaced for the third time in mid 19th century under Abd al-Aziz Bin Abd al-Rahman.  Wahabi’s beliefs are rigid and focus on direct interpretation of the words of the Qur’an. The word Wahabi is derogatory and no one following the sect refers to himself as a ‘Wahabi, as such. The Wahabi sect of Islam, some would state, are one and the same as the Salafi sect, however, other Muslims may disagree with the statement.  Many Islamic schools (Madrassas), mosques and 

charity organisations are funded by Saudi Arabia/Wahabi, worldwide.  The ruling class of Saudi have advocated Wahabism, stating it’s for its Salafi piety, referring it to, “its adherence to the original practices of Islam – and the movement’s vehement opposition to the Shi’a branch of Islam.”  Wahabism is a lot more violent than Salafism, also known to be extremely intolerant.  During the rise of Wahabism many of the Sunni and Shi’a families were killed, their women raped and their sons decapitated. Salafism did not encourage this sort of violence and barbaric behaviour.  Wahabis are very strict in their worship and their daily living, condemning acts they consider polytheistic or “shirk.” The sort of acts, parallel to praying at holy shrines, praying to saints or Islamic Prophets, akin to the Shi’a Muslims. The Wahabis strict adherence to the Qur’an and Islam causes them to reject, or pander in philosophical interpretations of Qur’anic interpretations they consider these  apostasy.  Generally, all Wahabi’s are Salafist’s, however, not all Salafist’s are Wahabi’s.  Quranic/Hadith practicing Wahabi’s believe in the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare.

Ahmadi Islam

The Ahmadiyya  Muslim’s, also known as Ahmadis mainly derive from Punjab, India. Although, Ahmadiyya Islam is now spanning over 206 countries with membership growth spreading tens of millions, globally. The Ahmadiyya believe that a long awaited Messiah came in the form and person of a man called, Mirza Ghulam – 1835-1908, who claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus Christ. As opposed to the Sunni and Shia, who believe Jesus Christ will return at the end time battle of Muslim’s and Non-Muslim’s. Because of the Ahmadiyya fundamental beliefs they are considered by Sunni and Shia Muslims to be non-Muslim.  Ahmadiyya unequivocally disagree with terrorism of any sort. Ahmad was more in favour with the Jihad of the pen, rather, than the Jihad of the sword. He preferred the intellectual Jihad. Ahamdi Muslim’s advocate their faith, mainly through mainstream media. They openly discuss matters, such as, peace, current day Islamic violence and ethics, with a hint of sarcasm and mockery.  Interestingly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are known to be the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Ahmad encouraged and taught his followers to adhere to the sanctity of religion and government, separately, by becoming righteous souls as well as loyal citizens.  Quranic/Hadith practicing Ahmadi don’t adhere to the literal sense of Jihad – offensive warfare.

Ibadi Islam

The Ibadi Muslim’s is another sect of Islam. Ibadi’s don’t unite themselves with the Sunni or Shi’a sects, rather, in the 7th Century an Islamic sect known as the Khawarij sect, which adheres to establishing a righteous Muslims society, also holding the belief that true Muslim’s are those that are derived from their own Ibadi sect. The Kharijites/Ibadi Muslim roots derive from the first Islamic civil war in 656–661 AD. Ibadis adhere to the five pillars of Islam. However, they do have doctrinal differences to the Sunni and Shi’a sects.  Ibadi’s mantra is “Judgment belongs to God, alone” rather, than the prophets of old and the inner feuding of Muslim sects. During the second civil war of 688–692 AD agroup living in Basra, Iraq, were known as the Ibadiyya. The name originated from Abdallah B. Ibad, he happened to be the political mentor of Ibadis. The first Imam of the Ibadis was Jabir b. Zayd.  There are similarities of belief which the early Kharijites supported, for example, infidels had no legal existence or protection unless they were Jews or Christians. Muslims shouldn’t live among or be associated with infidels. Ibadi’s support warring with infidels until they are converted or killed. Ibadi’s usually are located in isolated areas. Oman and Zanzibar, Tripolitania, the mountains of Libya, the island of Jerba in Tunisia, and the Mzab area of Islamic Algeria are where most Ibadi’s can be found. Ibadis refer to themselves as “the Muslims” or “the people of straightness” (ahl al-istiqama).  Nonetheless, nowadays, Ibadis see themselves as quite different from Khawarij Muslim’s.

Please Note: Due to space restraints and the consideration of my readers, regarding long articles, I have condensed this article as much as I possibly can. There’s an enormous amount of information on Islamic sects, too much to include in an article length structure.  The below footnotes will provide references for the reader to refer to, if required.

 

Footnotes:

Shia org –        http://shia.org/

Sunni Islam –   http://www.patheos.com/Library/Sunni-Islam

Wahabi Islam – http://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-wahhabism-in-saudi-arabia-36693

Sufi Islam – http://blogs.ivarta.com/Demystifying-Sufis-India/blog-338.htm

The biography of Mohammedhttp://www.cspipublishing.com/pdfs/TheLifeOfMohammed-TheSira.pdf

The biography of Mohammed – https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/Guillaume–Life%20of%20Muhammad.pdf

Yaqeen Institute Dubaihttps://yaqeeninstitute.org/

Healthy Muslim.comhttp://www.salafipublications.com/sps/sp.cfm?subsecID=SLF02&articleID=SLF020001&pfriend

What is Wahabismhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/29/what-is-wahhabism-the-reactionary-branch-of-islam-said-to-be-the/

Peaceful passages of the Qur’an

Quran (2:208)

Quran (2:262):

Quran (2:256)

Quran (5:8)

Quran 4:90

Quran 4:94

Quran 5:82.

Quran (8:61

Quran (17:33)

Quran (24:22)

Quran 25:63.

Quran 28:55

Quran (109:6)

Credit: https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/articles/quran-peaceful.aspx

Violent passages of the Qur’an

Chapter Verse per Sura Running Count
002 178-179, 190-191, 193-194, 216-218, 244 10 10
003 121-126, 140-143, 146, 152-158, 165-167, 169, 172-173, 195 25 35
004 071-072, 074-077, 084, 089-091, 094-095, 100-104, 144 18 53
005 033, 035, 082 3 56
008 001, 005, 007, 009-010, 012, 015-017, 039-048, 057-060, 065-075 34 90
009 005, 012-014, 016, 019-020, 024-026, 029, 036, 038-039, 041, 044, 052, 073, 081, 083, 086, 088, 092, 111, 120, 122-123 27 117
016 110 1 118
022 039, 058, 078 3 121
024 053, 055 2 123
025 052 1 124
029 006, 069 2 126
033 015, 018, 020, 023, 025-027, 050 8 134
042 039 1 135
047 004, 020, 035 3 138
048 015-024 10 148
049 015 1 149
059 002, 005-008, 014 6 155
060 009 1 156
061 004, 011, 013 3 159
063 004 1 160
064 014 1 161
066 009 1 162
073 020 1 163
076 008 1 164

Credit: –  http://www.answering-Islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html#horizontal

Considering Romance….in the workplace?

The “that” Question

Eyes wide open now, yes, I’m going to pull out the “that” question. Does romance in the workplace work for employees and employers?

We’re all aware that romance in the workplace does happen. Colleagues working together closely, diligent in getting the job done, mutually, accompanied with long hours, daily. Is it so surprising that attractions may spark? Temptations may be tempted?

There are those employees who are free to acquaint themselves with the possibilities and surely the possibilities are many! However, there are some employees who don’t have the work place policy freedom to entertain romantic connections.

Have you ever asked yourself, what is it about the workplace that lures employees to take the next step with a colleague and pursue intimacy? Physical pleasure, impending excitement, coupled with that enticing escape. Does it benefit the workplace?

I’m not going to answer these questions. I simply would like to take you on a journey of thoughts, in your vocational minds. You, yourself, can answer the very question, whether romance in the workplace is profitable.

Romance and the Workplace – A compatible couple?

There’s always that common risk that lurks around one’s mind when thi
nking about connecting with someone romantically, within the workplace. Sure, there are attractions that occur and playful gestures that may be had. Sometimes bonds and strong friendships form with workmates, too. However, does romance and the workplace actually make a compatible couple? Can a harmonious flow of work continue if there are two people attracted to one another, taking the added step to becoming involved with the other person of interest, intimately?

“No one truly needs to know. It can be kept under wraps”….and all the other thoughts we comfort and reassure ourselves with.

Work is work. Romance is romance. They are separated in their interaction. Or are they?

Interestingly, more than half of American professionals say they have participated in an office romance, according to Vault.com’s annual office romance survey.

Closely working together

The workplace is an area where most employee interact closely. We spend numerous hours throughout the day in neighbouring proximity, sharing thoughts, ideas and mutual work tasks, that at times can become a continual, mundane routine. There’s always the usual banter that occurs throughout the office, the light hearted flirting that may sprout up, from time to time, too.

Then, without warning, the banter turns to deeper conversations, the flirting intensifies to deeper thoughts, maybe philandering and impromptu feelings. The feelings can take a life force of their own, obliterating everything else around the prospective couple. Emotions are ignited and work seems to be a happier, more expectant place to arrive at and remain. Working longer hours is now also appealing. The flutter and excitement alluring and sometimes filled with deep seeded fantasizing.

It becomes almost like the romance is in a chasm of its own, refusing to release the interested parties. Capturing the couple into an energising, stimulating territory. The feeling of the unknown desiring to become known. The sense of the untouched longing to be touched.

Concentration levels are beginning to wane. Opposing feelings appear to fan into flame the anticipation of work. Early arrivals start to occur. Motivation towards the work tasks increase. On the flip side, distractions, diversions and deviations are all craving for attention and of course, the thought process of these characteristics weighing on fantasies, are becoming too strong to maintain a process of productivity.

The possibilities

Both can feel the stares piercing from the others desk. When you walk by you sense that maybe, just maybe, you’re being examined with what you have to offer. What would it be like? Could work and relationship truly combine to produce a better workplace arrangement, a productive, inspiring office? The mind continues to offer up ideas, questions, doubts, of relationships coupled together all day, every day. The proposed secret, or the open legitimacy. The pact to perform the best to finish the workloads. All the chaotic thoughts cuddling the corner of the clouded mind, weighing the pro’s and con’s.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ” Oscar Wilde

Dating Policies

Various workplaces have in place policies concerning romantic relationships, it’s a “no go zone.” Policies focused on areas, such as, favourtism, sexual harassment, performance and productivity.

However, playing thoughts are highlighting by, maybe, the enjoyment of sneaking around, in an energised determination, making it all the more enthralling. The pull of the forbidden apple. Taking risks is all about fun and the unforeseen. Consequences are far from the minds play. Jobs come and go. We live in an era where job jumping is encouraged, sought after and viewed as growth. Ignoring the obvious risks can potentially result in something meaningful, lifelong, unexpected. Rules are meant to be broken. That’s what we’re told. As long as no one is being hurt, the work load not lacking behind, then it all seems above board.

Office Romance – an asset or a liability?

Some may argue a workplace relationship can boost and enhance the workload of an employee. Having something new, fresh, exciting within the workplace may bring a spark of genius inspiration, or a little more passion to the job. It could be advocated that a workplace relationship could very well enrich the employees work style? Two mature adults are mature enough to set boundaries. Both are consenting adults able to put aside their conflict towards maintaining a strong work ethic to eliminate anything coming in between their impending tasks. Both parties are alert, and well-intended in their joint efforts to keep work at top priority. Work can continue to be produced, and maybe now at a faster, more tenacious pace, especially with the luring aspect of romance, that’s enough to encourage any employee to perform at their best!

Where is the harm, really? An office romance seems to highlight more advantageous than disadvantages, it seems.

Effects of an Office Romance

The office environment is paramount to producing productive outcomes. Each employee has their individual tasks. Each employee is part and parcel of the entire function of keeping the wheels turning within an organisations. Therefore, as much as possible, liabilities or downfalls in the workplace are strictly avoided, or policies are put into place to identify the risks of such liabilities, guidelines must be adhered to. Employees are responsible for taking into account any negative outcomes that may affect an ongoing productive office environment.

Do office romances rear unpleasant traits or consequences that hinder us from reaching our full capacity within and throughout the workplace? There’s always that dangling thought of…”what if the romance doesn’t last?” Will other unsightly characteristics come out of a romance separation? Accusations, exposure, gossip, if the secret is uncovered? What about the legal ramifications of being involved with a co-worker? Can there be a productive loss to the organisation if the romance ends terribly and co-workers decide whether to remain or leave their positions? Boundaries being overstepped and stretched may not always offer a saving from the fall of grace for employees. There are valid questions and outcomes we should ask ourselves.

Relationship’s examinations

The sexual, romantic drive that is alive and well in all of us should require an examination of sorts. Boundaries are often put into place for our protection, well-being and caution, where the workplace and romance are concerned. The pros and cons of an office romance are worthy to be departmentalised through appeals of wisdom and discernment. Evaluating the future consequences to an office romance is also advantageous.  Is the ongoing success of a career worth the weight of a workplace romance that may or may not succeed?

At the end of the working day, will romance in the workplace be an asset, or a liability to you? The choice is yours for the choosing.

 

Footnote: 2016 Office Romance Survey Results 

  • 22% of men and 15% of women have had a random workplace hookup,
  • Fewer than 10% of either gender met their spouse at work.
  • 71% of men would do it again, while 43% of women would not.

Islam, Fascism and Western Democracy

Ever since the horrific events of 2001 there has been an enormous rise in Islam, in the economic, business, educational and workplace sectors. It is important, as citizens, communities, business owners, families and educators, we remain on the forefront and informed in areas that may impact our spiritual, family, educational, financial and business dynamics, consequently, bringing in change and altering our Western laws, values and lifestyle.

Islam: Due to ongoing facts and events concerning the vast influence Islam is aspiring to have on the Western world, it has been interesting and somewhat alarming in its parallels and ideological characteristics of Fascism. Currently, there is a purposeful and significant impact that the Islamic Sharia Law is endeavouring to widen its claws into Western businesses, Western Financial Institutes and many other areas, throughout Western society.

Mohamed Sifaoui was born on July 4, 1967, and spent most of his childhood in Algeria. He holds a master’s degree in political science and studied theology for two years at the University of Algiers and for two additional years at Zeitouna University’s Institute of Theology in Tunis.

When asked regarding, the term Islamo-fascism, Mohammed said, “I certainly am one of the first Muslims to consider Islamism to be fascism. This is not a subjective decision but rather a serious, academic argument. Fascism and Islamism are comparable in many aspects: Fascism, without evoking all its particularities, bears similarities to trends also present in Islamism. I am, of course, making a reference to their will to exterminate the Jews. On this point, the Islamists may go even further in their doctrine than the Nazis did, considering that the end of the world could only occur when there are no Jews left on earth.” http://www.meforum.org/1870/mohamed-sifaoui-i-consider-islamism-to-be-fascism

Hamed Abdel-Samad is a German-Egyptian author and an apostate from Islam. His life is under the constant threat of death, requiring 24-hour police protection. Below is his interview with German public broadcaster ZDF, concerning Islam and Fascism, it was originally published in Die Welt.

“Fascism is also a kind of religion, a political religion, with all that belongs to a religion absolute truth, secrets, prophets, leaders, division of the world into friend and enemy. The first fascist movement was militantly Catholic it was not secular. Islam has a political element, a political ideology with very strong fascist traits. The division of the world, the ideology which ends in violence, the humanisation of the enemy, the feeling of chosenness the moral superiority that’s all fascistic and the philosophy of fighting is the same for Islamists and fascists. One does not fight to live, but one lives to fight. The mystifying of the fight and the elevation of the death cult, the martyrdom, that unites them both.

Interviewer: “In your book you don’t refer only to ”Islamism” but to “Islam” itself. You write that fascism is rooted in Islam, and you connect this to the prophet Mohammed himself. What has Mohammed to do with Hitler or Mussolini?” Abdel-Samad’s reply, “He too was an untouchable leader, which it was forbidden to criticise. One had to obey him blindly. He had the holy mission to unite the Arabs and to vanquish the enemies. The modern Islamists did not invent ‘Jihad’ they did not divide the world into believers and infidels. This was done by the prophet himself, this absolute claim to “the truth,’ claim to rule over the world, to help Islam to victory. The first wars of conquest were not waged by the Muslim brothers, but by the prophet and his companions. The roots are in Islam. I have never said that Mohammed is fascist, because the term “fascism” is modern. But Mohammed has not remained in the 7th century. With his commandments and thoughts he entered the 21st century and has political power. And that’s why I transpose a modern concept onto Islam, even though Islam is much older than fascism.” http://gatesofvienna.net/2014/04/fascism-is-rooted-in-islam/

Fascism: It’s well known for its aggressive Nationalism. Fascists, like Islam, require its citizens to be fiercely patriotic and loyal. Fascism, like Islam, have a deep sense of hate for Jews, also a vision for the Jews eradication. Like Islam, Fascism had a military prepared force which committed to defending its values, beliefs and political system.

Islam, in its raw form and according to the Qur’an, Hadith’s of Mohammed and the Islamic Sharia Law is embedded in racism. Non-Muslim’s, like Fascists, are viewed as lesser citizens, with lesser rights and equality.Fascism endorses the strict rule of State over the individual. Islam also adheres to Islamic Sharia law over the rights of the individual.

Many of the Fascist ideology is irrational, mystic and infused with pagan rituals throughout their fascist doctrines. Islam’s ideology is, also, in many ways irrational, misogynist, oppressive, has many pagan rituals involved in its worship and adherence’s and enforces on the individual requirements which are tyrannical to the individual.

Italian, dictator, fascist Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) rose to prominence and power during World War I as a leader of Fascism. Benito was originally known for his revolutionary Socialism. Forging the paramilitary Fascist movement in 1919, he later became Prime Minister of Italy in 1922. He shares his thoughts of Fascism. “Fascism is a religion. The twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism.” Benito Mussolini

Western Democracy

The Middle East, Africa and some Asia countries where Islam rules and reigns, in and through the Islamic Sharia law, is entirely contrasting to Australia and its Western counterparts having our rule of law in democratic society.

A democratic society is a society that consists of the supreme power invested by the people for the people, who in turn freely vote for an elected leader. Islamic Sharia Law and Fascism hold the complete opposite rule of law. Both these ideologies are enforced on the people, from the State, for the Sate and by the State. It seems, as we’ve witnessed on news reports and social media, Islam is attempting to infiltrate and invade Western laws, values and lifestyle.

Western laws and values were founded by the Judaeo / Christian framework, richly advocating freedom, justice to and for all, free speech, fairness in edicts, decrees, statues and laws based on the values and framework throughout the political, financial, vocational, social and religious sectors. A democracy is the belief in the individual. Addressing the individual who is believed to be both moral and rational. Democracy rests in the belief of reason and progress, working towards growth and development is the natural condition of mankind, also, politics encompassing the art of compromise. Democracy offers a society that is consensual, with the vision of order and co-operation, as opposed to disorder and conflict and finally, a democracy is a shared power between people and State. Democracy holds vasts differences and values to Fascism and Islamic Sharia Law, which has complete power over the people, their lives, their freedoms, their values, their lifestyles and the law of the land.

Protect Western Democracy

The protection of the Western countries and its sovereignty, is the right of every individual within these countries. Any outside forces who oppose and reject our Western democratic laws, values and lifestyle require our full attention.

Before Hitler came to rise, many in Germany were trying to warn others. Many tried to eradicate him. However, warnings were not accepted, nor acted upon, and thus, became Hitler’s Fascist Germany.

In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

Protecting and guarding our Western democracy, laws, values and lifestyles falls on the laps of the people to protect, for the people, by the people and towards the people.

 

Salwa Samra © 2017 – All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or partwithout permission is prohibited.

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Social Media Stifle

We live in a society that seems to define itself via social media.

Each and every one of us, from time to time, stand on the scales of self worth, weighing our success or failures by means of our social media presence and posts. Social media has a way of feeding us. We wake to social media. Feed our stomachs with its current posts. Swallow its varieties of social food, and eventually have a gut full of stomach aches.

Social media can consume our lives, our very existence, if we’re not careful to tame it. I made a conscience decision six months ago to take a four month break off Facebook. I’m very active on Facebook. One of the reasons why I chose to fast four months off Facebook was to test and try myself in the absence of such a potency – social media.

Social Media Doesn’t Defisocial-mediane

I needed to come to the knowledge and acceptance that social media doesn’t define who I am. It’s not who I am. It’s not my means for significance, importance or value. Social media is simply something I’m a part of and able to utilise as a tool, rather than myself being its tool, working hard to keep up with it all.

Throughout my time away from Facebook I came to a discovery. My self worth is sufficient enough. My very own person, whether on social media, or not, has substance that social media cannot give me. The world appeared different. I started noticing more things around me. I was able to separate myself from the online world that keeps so many of us, full to the brim.

Nature spoke to me, as only nature can. The quiet was refreshing and invigorating. The disconnection had me embracing life around me. I became challenged and aware to other areas in my life that I knew I needed to pay more attention to.

Living life out of Social Media

Life was being lived in the physically, natural realm, as opposed to an online platform. I could see, feel, touch hear, witness the emotions, thoughts, and actions of those around me, compsocialared to reading the posts a person happens to share. Boundaries were adhered to. The sound of laughter was the sweet harp of a group of friends. Deciding g and maintaining the time of separation, from social media, became extremely pleasant and liberating!

Self worth, self preservation isn’t dependent on the amount of time we spend on social media. Nor, is it incumbent on requiring to know everything about everyone, neither feeling you’ve missed out because you’re not up to date with it all, in your absence.

Social media can and does stifle many things in day to day living. Self worth and preservation of our life and living out our lives is distinctly in who we are, as people, as individuals, with aspiration, talents, dreams, relationships and with our very own selves.

Allow yourself to take time away from social media, its a sure way of feeling alive, again.

 

Racism, it’s a word that we hear and read about so frequently, nowadays.

Discrimination against race, or creed should never be tolerated. We have witnessed, throughout the pages of history, how ugly, unjust and heinous racism is when it’s alive and well, and penetrating, in our society. Men and women have fought, throughout the ages, regarding the equality for race, and rightly so.

However, are there groups, individuals or the media using the racists card for their own agenda’s? This is a question we require to ask of ourselves, especially in this age of political correctness.

Depicting Australia

Three years ago, I was asked to contribute to an Australian Anthology. I readily and happily accepted. The theme of the Anthology was to depict Australia.

My objective was to think carefully and creatively regarding the means of how to depict Australia. It was requested, of me, to write in prose and poetry. This was going to be quite a challenge. However, I love challenges, therefore, took this project on with eagerness and anticipation.

One of my main focus areas was to depict the essence of Australia. The love and friendliness of the people. The fair go attitude of this nation. The “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free,” mantra.

How did I achieve my vision? By starting with our wonderful, inspirational and fascinating indigenous people – the Aborigines.

Australia’s Natives

I searched and researched and delved myself into the Aboriginal culture. What an amazing, productive and longevity of tenacity, livelihood and rich traditions the Aboriginal people had and continue to have! The love and respect for family, heritage and the desire to keep their cultural legacy alive was exemplary. I learned much and I began to love much about our indigenous people. I titled my story, “Dreams Didgeridoo.”

Racism and Australia

Only recently, in Australia, we’ve had the perception of racism spreading and growing to an impressional amount. The media, our leaders and our sports men and women have had concerns regarding Australians being racist.

Australia has always been a multicultural society, embracing the diversity, differences and cultures of the many people who live, work and play, in this nation of ours.

Having researched and honed in, a little closer, into Australia and its dynamics, regarding race, I must give verification of a time when Aborigines were mistreated, unfairly, unequally and with an enormous amount of injustice. It was a time, in history, that was unfavourable and greatly unwarranted. Thankfully, a national apology was given to our natives, the Aborigines, and the acknowledgement of the injustices enacted by our forefathers.

We are a multicultural society and we embrace other cultures. Australians are a fair and laid back people. Casual and caring in our attitudes, thoroughly enjoying and experiencing the arrays of the multicultural experience, ranging from friendships, foods, festivals, restaurants, the many advantages different cultures have brought to the workplace, neighbourhoods and sporting arenas of Australia has been welcomed and included.

Maybe an agenda?

Although, some people like to corrupt the Australian way of life by bringing to the forefront a very serious topic, a very important topic, such as, racism. Using racism for their own purpose. I believe this is happening right here and now, in Australia.

Adam Goodes is a brilliant football player. He’s had his fair share of taunts and triumphs, on the football field. The past few days Australia has been bombarded with the news of “booing,” during one of Adam Goodes’ games. Yes, there has been booing towards Goodes. Yes, there have been unjustifiable scoffs, jeering and mockery concerning Goodes with a few ignorant people, not, Australia, as a whole.

Currently, the latest account of booing has caused Goodes to ride the racism train. Why have I labelled this incident “riding,” simply because many Australians do not believe, me being one of them, that this current incident of booing has anything to do with racism. Nor, does it have anything to do with the Australian people being racists, or, for that matter, Australians trying to trample Goodes’ nationality and background. The booing of the Australian people, within the football crowds, is simply about Goodes on field attitude. His behavior. His poor sportsmanship. His desire to revenge with his tribal dancing displays.

Racial or revenge?

Goodes’ attempt to make this racial is simply not true. Here is an indigenous man, an Australian who has the opportunity to rise above these sort of incidents and be an example to the Australian public and to his people, however, Goodes’ has chosen to incite racial division.  Australia is proud of their indigenous sports people. They are talented. Loved. Admired.

Racism is unacceptable and should never be tolerated. Goodes’ should be mature and enlightened to know that he has an opportunity to set an example for sports people who may follow through to represent this country. Instead, because of the booing, regarding what most thought about his sportsmanship, rather, than racism, Goodes appears to be determined to avenge one or two, in the crowd, by labelling all of Australians as racists.

His example should be the fair and standing of sportsmanship, rather than the seduction of playing the racism card. Goodes’ had the opportunity to do so, instead he chose to raise an issue that was irrelevant to the booing.

Racism is not part and parcel of the Australian culture.

Work and Marriage – a progression

Value the workplace

The workplace can be the most stimulating and energizing area of a person’s life. It’s in the workplace that we can showcase our value, as an employee, our significance to the corporation, or business, and our impact on what we personally implement and bring to the workplace.

Certainly, the workplace invigorates us to achieve, encourages us to succeed and determines us to decisively triumph. We do our utmost to make all of the above happen. It’s our duty, isn’t it?

The workplace and our occupation is what provides bread on the table. It’s what feeds our appetite for all things pertaining to life and living.

Or is it?

Work vs marriagemarriage

If you are married, or on the verge of marriage, what would you think if someone told you, that in order for your professional life to succeed your marital life would require work, on your part, for a stimulating, energizing, significant impact. Which in turn, may reward you with a stimulating, supportive, encouraging, and successful marriage?

Akin to our professions and / or jobs, marriage is a work in progress. Marriage is a developing journey. No marriage is perfect. No marriage is at its optimal happiness, at all times. No marriage is habitually supportive, encouraging and uplifting 24 hours a day.

Marriage breakdown

My husband and I have been married for 24 years, we have witnessed many people, within family and friends, endure marriage breakdowns. It’s been both humbling and frightening to view the flippancy with which marriage is behaving. Granted, sometimes, divorce is absolutely required. This article, however, is not about divorce, nor its validity. I want to share the importance of knowing and understanding marriage is a conscience, willing and agreeable work in progress, of which requires both partners to mutually contribute in a productive, constructive, conscientious effort.

Throughout these marriage breakdowns, it has been interesting to witness many of those who vocalised, “I need to get out. I need a fresh start. I can’t do this anymore,” are actually more unhappy, unsatisfied, disgruntled and discontent with their life after their separation. It’s imperative that we understand the grass is never really greener on the other side. The other side is usually filled with problems, difficult situations, troubling issues, providing you with another “work in progress.” Society is somewhat misguided into thinking that if the marriage is dissolved life will be fulfilling, less dramatic, exciting and hopefully successfully passionate.

Maintain your own garden
The grass that’s maintained, at home, if you’re willing, and I know that most are able, is a healthier and happy garden to focus on. Yes, from time to time, that grass will need cutting, of our own self needs, our self-desires, and our self-yearnings. Although, once that grass is cut, and disposed of, what remains is a well manicured lawn of self-awareness, compromise and self-giving, in the endeavour of a continuation to a mutual, loving, supportive and decisive resolve to work, faithfully, towards a fulfilling marriage and partnership.

In every breath you breathe, throughout every day you open your eyes, with every moment you work, play, retreat, make it a mutual, conscientious decision to do marriage “together.” To protect your marriage “together.” It’s a mutual and joint adventure. Marriage is a union of two people, comprising of two different personalities, desires, visions, and ongoing change. It’s a working through two people into a shared and combined effort of determination and strength to accomplish both person’s needs and requirements, endeavours and dreams.

Marriage’s marvelshappy-marriage

The result? A sacred and revering desire to intimately draw closer to one another. The intimacy continues as you work together with your children. Children are the jewels in the marriage crown. Our children are watching our lives. Every reaction we display, in and through our marital union.

Marriage can provide you with so many delicacies. It requires both party’s attention and care. It’s not always an easy outcome, however, it is a doable and rewarding journey.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of marriage, or if you’re in the process of marriage, make sure it’s a marriage that both parties are committed to work through. Endeavour to keep romance and communication alive and well, thriving – prospering from each other.

Above all, honesty and integrity is of utmost importance. In this computer age we co-exit in, temptation follows us wherever we turn. Be honest with your spouse, share your feeling, thoughts, struggles and day’s event, with them. In return, you will experience an ever present intimacy, liberating you, both, to a satisfying, liberating and edifying marriage to be proud of.

Coveting the new comer

Prospective Employee

The organisation you’re working for has opened up a new position. It’s a position you’ve been longing to possess, for quite some time, now. There was talk around the table, at work, that this position was going to be advertised for those in your department. You know it’s the role for you. You’re confident that you were the one in mind, when this position was created. You’ve worked so hard, for many years. You’ve proven your abilities, loyalty and your innovative talents, to your workplace and within your position. This is your time, now. Your time to shine and move forward.

Then… suddenly…the announcement is made. The upcoming position will be opened to others, within your department and outside your organisation. You’re understandably, completely gutted, to say the least! For years you’ve committed your hours, days, and overtime, to prove your worth. Many moments and occasions sacrificed to demonstrate your loyalty, only to have what you’ve worked for – the promotion, the elevated advancement, which could see your career soar to greater heights, opened up to a stranger.

Selection Process

The time to sell yourself has arrived. Preparation and willingness is at its peak. You’ve planned the words to say, the pitch to lock you in to the upcoming position. You’ve got it all worked out. It’s exciting, thrilling and you’re quite sure you have this one in the bag. Surely, your superiors have noticed your efforts, your outstanding contribution to the organisation, and your willingness to go that extra mile, for the advancement of the organisation. The interview went exceptionally well. You’re more than confident that this position will be offered to you, and all should work to plan. You’ve been informed that the successful candidate will be notified within the coming week. You’re quietly confident that the job is going to be awarded to none other than, you!  coveting

Successful Candidate Selected

Nerves have been invading your days, relentlessly, since the interview. For the love of all that is good, you so desperately want to know how you feared in the interview. You’ve had moments of elated anticipation, yet, other instances of dreadful doubt, questioning yourself on whether you answered this, or that question, or suggestion, correctly, throughout the interview? Were you suitable enough for their selection process? Did you articulate yourself adequately? Or, did you communicate a little too much? Agony is at your doorstep, grinding away at your thoughts, with expectations and doubts.

Your mobile phone interrupts you, out of your contemplation’s. It’s the call! It’s the call you’ve been fretting about! It’s the call you’ve been anticipating. Composing yourself to not sound, or appear too overly expectant, you manage a few slow breaths and in calm serenity, outwardly, yet inwardly, shaking like a leaf, you answer the long awaited call.

In utter silence you disconnect from the call. You cannot believe the outcome, disillusioned, you stand stunned, not knowing how to react. You didn’t get selected for the position! Gutted, downcast and enormously discouraged you wondered where you went wrong. What happened in that interview that caused you to be unsuccessful? Reeling in utter shock you take a seat to mull over the entire process. The time and preparation spent, the long hours of work throughout the past years, and the effort to go that extra mile, all to come down to a grave rejection.

Coveting the New Comer

Today, is the day the person who has been appointed to the new position, commences. How do you control your outrage? How can you possibly allow this person, who has come off the street, into your workplace, the workplace you dedicated yourself to, for so many years, the workplace that has taken a piece of your pride, self-assurance and affirmation, and allowed a stranger to fill and work in the position, that you believed you alone deserved?

Introductions are made. Your new colleague seems lovely, charming and endearing. An aura of pzazz radiates from his personality, and that irks you to no end! The new employee virtually seems too hard to dislike. Watching him for the first day is torture! Everyone seems to get along with him, he’s fitting in exceptionally well, and then there’s…you. Unsatisfied, dreadfully wanting to shift what’s happening in the office environment, yet, unable to revert the situation, at hand.

Weeks and months pass by. The new colleague is now part of the furniture and succeeding well, at his job. You’re still so frustrated and confused. Time isn’t helping to heal any of your exasperations. Everyone in the office is happy, satisfied and working alongside their colleague. All you can think about is the hard work you’ve contributed for the long period of time you’ve dedicated to this organisation. All you can concentrate on is the injustice of the entire situation. Granted, you’re still working at your job, succeeding, being the perfect employee, but, inwardly you feel unappreciated and hard done by.

Bearing the Unbearable, Happily

What to do? Where to go? How to react? These questions have been lurking about in your mind, and lingering thoughts, for months. Considerations and deliberations on whether to make a change, leave the organisation, and simply move on.

In an epiphany of the moment you come to a point of asking yourself, “What has changed?” Realising that the only thing that has changed is that you didn’t get the position. There’s another person in that position that didn’t and hasn’t worked as hard as you have, within your organisation. You still love your job, enjoy your work and have the opportunity to rise to greater heights, within your workplace.

covetYou’ve been recognised by your superiors, you’ve also been awarded with bonuses that have gone a long way, and now you know you’re beginning to realise you can utilise the disappointment and work it to your advantage. Therefore, you decide to refrain from the negativity that has consumed you, for months.

You make a conscience decision to move away from coveting the newcomer’s position, which has interrupted your focus. You decide to conscientiously deny the dark thoughts that have tried to divert you from future prospects. It’s simply a decision. Solely a choice, and a choice you’re willing to make, for the good of your future, and your future vocation.

Happily, you’ve decided to un-peel yourself from the burden that has clothed you throughout these past months. You’re ready and willing to change your attire to a healthy, productive employee. There’ll be other positions, other opportunities, and surprisingly they may be more enticing than the former position. It’s a new mindset that you’ve decided to adopt, and remarkably it seems to be working for you!

Not in my Job Description

 

We’ve all read those words, maybe heard them, or for that matter, spoken the words, ourselves.

It’s rare, nowadays, to enter into a position, without signing and adhering to some sort of contract, drawn up as your Job Description. A job description usually contains the duties you’re required to perform, the purposes of the job, and the employees essential responsibilities, accompanied with your job title, whom the employee reports to, etc, etc. A Job Description typically customises the basis of that specific job’s specification.

Most likely, anything out of the sphere of the specific requirements, employees refrain from doing, simply because it is not in the job description that they signed up for.

I recall being in a position, quite some years ago, I saw a few things around the o
ffice that required attention. One was emptying the bins, and the other was cleaning some coffee mugs. I saw these necessary items being unattended to and I really didn’t like it. I believe a working environment needs to be in order for the productivity of that environment. Therefore, I proceeded to empty the bins and clean the coffee mugs. In fact, I was more than pleased to tackle these little things, for the comfort and productivity of the office. Well, the manager saw me doing these tasks and was aghast, to say th
e least!

Happy to go that extra mile

With firm resolve and decisive conviction the manager called out to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “What are you doing that for? Don’t touch that. That is not in your job description.”

I continued to clean the coffee cups, turned to the manager and explained, “I’m more than happy to do this, whether it’s in my job description or not. I cannot be in an office that is out of order and quite dysfunctional. I’m not concerned whether it’s in my job description,
or not. I think it’s important that we all work together for the success of this office.”

The life of the Ant

Which brings me to the topic of ants. I wonder whether any one of you have followed the life of an ant. Absolutely fascinating creatures! Ants, like humans, are social beings. They love to be around their own kind and work with their own kind. Ants do not compete. They are happily agreeable to work within a team, for that team, accomplishing anything towards the objective, of that team.

Ants lay claim to their territory, or working area together, as a team. Colonizing and commuting in small or large numbers, aspiring to the trustworthiness of unity, one towards the other. Ants are known for tapping into resources that will better their colony and community. When ants work, they work cooperatively, not competing, one towards the other, nor shrinking back from working in the lowliest of jobs. Their aim is to get the job done, as a team, and be successful in doing so.ants

Ants are extremely active and do not buy into laziness. If ants see a job that requires to be done, they do not look around for the person that is supposed to do that job, they do the job themselves, as part of the team. They are not ones that would slumber or slack off in their work. Ants tirelessly work towards the end product. Ants are known for overcoming obstacles.

Ants are visionary, plan ahead, innovative creatures. This is crucial for them and provides a guarantee for those rainy days, that come along. Therefore, if something is at hand, that may be required for future purpose and future productivity of the colony, ants tackle it with enthusiasm and determination.

The benefit of the Colony

Finally, everything that the ant does is for the benefit of their colony.

The challenge to all of us, as leaders in our field, managers, or employees is whether we are we willing to work like ants? Are we prepared to aspire to the trustworthiness of unity, refusing to bicker, one towards the other, arguing who’s job description it is, and whom should be doing what?

As employers and employees can we raise a mantel, as an example, contributing to the lowliest of jobs to help get the objectives done, and successfully so? Can we, as dedicated leaders and workers, decide to put aside sluggishness, spouts of laziness, or pride, to achieve the optimum objective for the good of the team?

Most importantly, will we lay claim to the vision in sight, planning ahead in enthusiasm and determination, knowing that eventually this too will pay off, for a successful and happy team environment?

Culture in the Workplace

Australian Culture
Australia is a diverse and dynamic country to live in. It’s embellished with cosmopolitan charisma, cultural character and ethnic equality. Australian’s love to boast about the multi-cultural and pluralistic country, they call home. The many cultural highlights that the workplace, public arenas, neighbourhoods and professional sectors offers is both enlightening and educational.

Australia truly prides itself in its ability to connect and join together with the varieties of nationalities, cultures and ethnic groups. The array of restaurants, cafes, added to the assortments of choice in experiencing these enjoyable cultures is simply gratifying.

Australian’s have a culture of their own. The typical Australian is laid back. They love to banter with the best of them. Their insatiable love for the outdoors and the Aussie barbeque, mixed with sun, surf and a multitude of family and friends is just part of the Aussie way of life. The Australian ever-present jolly and outspoken personalities can be confronting to some. They possess that quirky sharp tongue and whiplash-fast retorts, which separates them apart, as a breed of their own.

Most Australian’s say things as they see them, and are not entirely occupied with prettying a situation up. Their blunt honesty and casual conduct can be uncomfortable to some, but to an Australian it’s part and parcel of being a true blue Aussie.

Australians have a knack to be able to relate to many different cultures. Australian’s thoroughly relish in interaction at the multi facets of this diverse nation.

Other cultures

In the workplace and online, we are met by many differing individual cultures and nationalities. It’s quite an array, especially, online. Throughout my online experience of other cultures and nationalities, I’ve learned to be very considerate of that specific person. We need to understand, and appreciate that the online world is a silent world. What do I mean by silent? Well, I refer here to not being able to hear a person’s voice or see their gestures, therefore, our approach to content, or to comments may be so very different to another person’s approach.

One culture may be very expressive and forthcoming, while another culture may view expression and forth coming comments as being offensive or rude. One nationality may behave in an overly friendly manner, as opposed to another nationality that may view the excessive friendliness as overbearing and unwarranted. It’s these areas that we need to keep in mind, when interacting with multi-cultured people, online.

The same nculture-1otion also applies to the workplace. As part of the work culture, there are so many diverse people, of different nationalities that behave according to their culture. Further, they may conduct themselves rendering to their beliefs, values, or expression, due to their nationality. The cultural demeanour, in the workplace, may also cause a different approach of how each person tackles their work, thus, performing accordingly to their cultural viewpoint.

Some cultures are high achievers, while other cultures may be a little happy to go with the flow. Some people, culturally, take the work principles to the highest of conformit ies, whereas, others may culturally be a bit more relaxed, with their principles. There are some ethnic groups who have been ingrained in working hard, long and durably, with passion and resolve. While other ethnicities can be unperturbed, have no need to work under strict, lengthy and tiresome resolution. They’re happier to play it by ear and do what needs to be done, without going that extra mile.

National Culture

When speaking of culture, I need to address our very own national culture, no matter what nation we’re from, I do think this applies. I have lived in the city and the country and there is a huge difference in the way the city folk and country dwellers relate, communicate, and interact. City people are fast and furious, in many ways. Country people are easy going and take their time, they tend to play it by ear, so to speak. City people seem to be vigorous in their online and professional networking. While country people like to sit back, contemplate, then, connect with their workmates, or online friends. Country people like to weigh up all options. City people love to take risks and can be quite impulsive. Therefore, in our own backyard, there are varied cultures, and we, as business owners, employers, employees, or online users, need to be careful to consider each and every individual we interact with.

Cultivate Culture – Online and in your Workplace

I believe it’s imperative, online and professionally, to develop a sensitivity to the different cultures of each person we interact with, or have connections to. The reason being, is many things can go terribly wrong, online and professionally, if we don’t take these dynamics into consideration. Misunderstandings can be had. Unnecessary disagreements may unfold, when they could have been spared. If we keep in mind each person, and their cultural tendencies, we will not be so easily offended, or affronted by comments, interactions and work dealings. Greater understanding and insight will begin to resonate, resulting in these daily connections being a much more comfortable, productive, enjoyable and inspiring relationship to be a part of.

Let’s all try to cultivate culture by nurturing our cultural difference.culture-2

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