I keep reading in the news that United States President George W. Bush maintains his claim that the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from office was sufficient justification for the American military attack on Iraq. I feel extremely upset over this issue so I will try to make my response brief. Even as I have to depend on largely ‘managed’ news reports as to what is happening in Iraq several things have become very clear. Although the US government and their military forces apparently do not care enough for the lives of the Iraqi people to even bother to count the numbers of Iraqis they have killed, given the available information it would be difficult to believe that less than 100,000 Iraqi citizens, and probably many more, have had their lives stolen from them as a direct result of the murderous American military attack on Iraq.From my knowledge of Iraq before the American attacks on their country I have no doubt that that there are few areas in the life of the ordinary Iraqi people that are better now than they were before those brutal attacks. In polls the Iraqi people and many members of the present Iraqi government have left no doubt that they believe the American attacks on their country and people, followed by a brutal military occupation of their nation, have resulted in a severe deterioration in most aspects of daily life. Whatever good, if any, that has come from the American attacks on Iraq pales in comparison with the massive harm wrought upon the nation and its people.
I find it just so incredible that here in the 21st Century the governments of the world, supposedly represented and given voice by the United Nations, would remain relatively silent as they accept or at least permit one very powerful country, the United States, under no known threat from another almost helpless country, Iraq, to make such a costly and lethal military attack upon a mostly innocent civilian population. How can the lives of 100,000 or more Iraqi people, virtually all of them innocent civilians mean so little in the eyes of the world’s governments? I am truly appalled by this great and cruel wrong that has been perpetrated directly upon the people of Iraq and indirectly upon all the people of the world. For the survival of the human race we must have peace in the world, and we are never going to have peace in the world when there is a nation among the society of nations that is willing to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings to achieve their goals regardless of whether those goals be envious or foul.
I say to you my dear Muslim brothers and sisters; we must make sure no more military attacks such as the anachronistic American attack on Iraq ever happen again. The human race has been placed here by Allah with a purpose of such immense importance that we cannot allow selfish nationalistic ideologies to endanger Allah’s Plan for His Creation.
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Punishment is always harmful to the child even if it seems to achieve the parent’s goal. It is impossible to punish your child without harming him/her. Research studies in child development have consistently shown that among the undesirable side effects of punishment are:
- The child will try to escape from or retaliate (fight) against the punishing situation.
- The child will have negative feelings toward whoever punishes him/her.
- Punishment usually remains effective only when the possibility of punishment is clearly present.
- And, very importantly, punishing a child teaches the child that using punishment is the right way to raise children so they are likely to use punishment with their children – thus perpetuating (continuing) forever the use of punishment in society.
The alternative to punishment should not be permissiveness (meaning to let your child do anything they want), if there is anything more harmful to the child’s development than punishment it is permissiveness. The right alternative to punishment in raising a child is called “directed positive influence.” Directed positive influence means to reward (with praise, your positive attention, or an occasional small gift) your child after they do things that are good and right, while gently providing correction when your child does wrong. In Islam if it becomes necessary to correct your child for some wrongdoing this must be done according to a certain rules:
- First, you should explain to your child in a gentle way how they have overstepped some limit from rightness into wrong, explain how their behaviour is not consistent with the Will of Allah and offer them guidance as to what Allah has told us is the right way to act.
- Second, if the gentle instruction does not result in the child correcting their wrong behaviour, you should indicate your disapproval of that wrong behaviour by withdrawing your favour (for example, do not give smiles, hugs or kind words to your child at such times).
- Third, and only as a last resort, your child can be physically punished (beaten) if they do not correct their wrong behaviour.
In Islam, while you are allowed to beat your child it is most certainly not encouraged. If it becomes necessary for you to beat your child there are specific rules and limitations:
- You may not hit your child on the face or stomach.
- You may not hit your child more than a maximum of three times.
- And, you may not hit your child hard enough to leave a cut or bruise on the skin.
Additionally, You should never hit your child when you are angry. Not only are you then more likely to become excessive in your punishment, but doing so will teach your child that it is right to hit people when they are angry. It is important to realize that if you reach a point where you feel it is necessary to beat your child then something has gone badly wrong, and you previously have not done all you could have done to avoid this becoming necessary. Since it is a fact of learning that you cannot punish a child without harming him/her, so punishment can only become necessary if you have no positive alternative, and the good that comes from being punished will outweigh the harm you do to your child. Remember, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never once in his life hit a child, a woman or a servant.
Filed under All, Parenting
Many believe that everything which happens is the Will of Allah – that is of course true, but we should not think all that is the Will of Allah is what Allah would 'want' to have happen. Allah has imbued all physical matter with some degree of free-will, that portion being allotted in varying amounts based on the complexity of the organization of that physical matter. It is the Will of Allah that some actions be due to the exercise of free-will, and it is the nature of free-will that its exercise will result in some of these actions being what Allah would 'want' and some of the actions not being what Allah would 'want'.
Filed under All, Aphorisms
Matter at every level of complexity has certain orderly rules it must follow. Within the parameters of that order there is allowed an expression of free-will. That is the 'choice' within the 'necessity'. The free-will aspect is perhaps described by 'chaos theory' and at its most basic level is governed by quantum uncertainty.
Filed under All, Aphorisms
As soon as possible after your child does something good comment on that thing (be specific as to what the good thing was), and give your child praise for having done that good thing. Example – Your young daughter falls, hurts her knee, and begins crying. Your son seeing this goes over to his little sister, helps her get back up, and comforts her. Having observed all this take place you go up to your son right away and say something like,
“I saw you help you sister get up after she fell and then tried to make her feel better. That was really nice of you to do. I feel good to have a son who loves his sister so much.”
Also say to your son,
“Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will be very pleased with you for helping your sister.”
Things to remember…
- Give the praise as soon as possible after the good deed.
- Say specifically what the good deed was.
- Give the praise sincerely and in a loving manner.
- Have variety in how you give praise, don’t always say the same thing.
NOTE – Notice how in the above example the praise given had three parts. First the mother told her son what he did was a nice thing to do, second she told him how it made her feel good, and third she took the opportunity to let him realize how much he loves his little sister.
Filed under All, Parenting
Said a Benjamin Netanyahu supporter, “We need a prime minister who will start a war to put an end to the Palestinians’ violence.”
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