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Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Ah hell I'm too lazy to format this time. Especially after I've been tired out by the SOC training yesterday.

I'm worried about my RAM chip though. Copying any files greater than 12MB in size each across my hard drives causes a blue screen, but it seems to work in DOS. And disabling fast boot, letting the BIOS check the RAM, didn't result in any RAM flaws detected.

Maybe it's my messed up system (that's what comes from installing too much rubbish) or my HDDs, or the connections.


On to the book out post.

A few thoughts on the Chechen hostage taking furore:

At least they didn't cite as their motives the trite issues of the Israeli-Palestinian tussle, or an attack on Islam by malicious foreign powers with nothing better to do. They did, of course, proclaim their eagerness to be martyrs and how they would go to the Islamic heaven where every man gets 40 virgins to bed every night, who miraculously have their flowerheads restored the next day for another night of wild debauchery, but primarily, their motives were nationalist.

The repression and outrages perpetuated in Chechnya are really much worse than those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Somehow, all the Muslims are fixated on how Arafat and friends have their sheds smashed to bits, but no one cares about the 100,000 or so civilians that have died in Chechnya due to Russian oppression which is arguably much more unwarranted that what the IDF is doing to the families of the suicide bombers. Perhaps no one cares about you if you're not Arabic, unable to rally pan-Arabic nationalism, and not in the Middle East. And of course, they forget how the "Anti-Islamic" West saved Muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia, but that's another story altogether.

Warning: something on a topic which I've become enamored of recently:

Here's an article by a Dr Maznah Mohamad to counter the claim by some MUIS official who wrote the the Straits Times claiming that Muslim scholars agree that the tudung is compulsory as the Prophet said that "when a woman reaches puberty, the only parts of her body visible should be these, and pointed to his face and hands". Apparently the verse above came from one of the Appendixes to the Koran, which means that they codify not the word of Allah, but just lay down traditions practiced at the time.

The verse from the holy Qur�an from which this edict is derived, reads, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husband's fathers �...And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment." (Surah An Nuur, verse 31, from Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, 'An English Translation of the Glorious Qur�an').

And a little research on this issue reveals an article Alfian Sa-at wrote for the BBC, one line of which says, "There is a Quranic line that reads, 'There is no compulsion in religion'." Well, so much for the Saudis lopping off your head with a sword if you're an apostate.
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