Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions

1. impulse control
2. anger management
3. gain up to and maintain weight at 40 kg at least.
4. reduce spending on clothes.
5. survive one more semester of cpu and secure a place at canadian uni. gradute with a 90+ average and passing ielts with band 8.
6. less swearing
7. be a proper muslimah. oh ganti puasa 10 days.
8. be more kind to people
9. be more grateful of blessings in life
10. complain less.
11. no more boyfriends. no more relationships. no more flirting (yeah, like I do! pfft)
12. BE A NERD once school  starts.
13. reduce posting weird irrelevant Facebook status. will only post work-related statuses.

Day 26

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May it be a great year ahead for all of us.

Okay. What do I think of my friends?

To be fair, I won't name anyone.

SKLK friends:

I've known you guys for so long, and some of you ended up finishing highschool together, so I wasn't really close with you guys, but thanks to Facebook, we meet again, and I'm glad I'm still friends with you. Some of you did leave quite an impression on me. Thanks for being part of my life and play games together in my lifetime as a kid.

Faris friends:

yep, at first thought it was, "I can't wait to get out of this hell and be through with you!" I hated the jaga tepi kain orang, close-minded-ness, but at the end of the day, here I am, bersyukur gila-gila I've met people like you, and I still go s earching for you guys. We've been through growing pains together, and I'd rather not have anyone else to go through it with except for you guys. You guys are one of the most IMPORTANT parts of my life. I can never thank you enough.

PKTR friends:

you guys are the bomb! you're almost like high school friends without the growing pains and two whole weeks of pure awesomeness!

Taylor friends:

I've always been the weird one at school. and I'm kinda glad of meeting you guys because you're all weird in your own special way. no offense. it's a compliment. kinda refreshing to be around people who I can discuss ideas with.

okay. That's about it.


HAPPY NEW YEAR once again.

2010

1. FREEDOM FROM SCHOOL for 7 months.

2. sakit jiwa dengan lesen. I had to be tested 3 times.

3. Wanted for PLKN. First time, they were supposed to send me to Kuala Lipis, but I asked to tunda because I had Sime Darby interview and PKTR. PKTR one of the best times of my life. Second time I was supposed to go to Sematan, Sarawak. I didn't go atas alasan scholarship interviews. The third time they wanted to send me to Sarawak again, but then they changed to Kem Tegas Mesra, Perak. Tunda because I was going off to college. Entahla if they'll still remember me after I finish my degree. Otherwise, I go find a man and get married. hahaha. no lah, joking.

4. sakit jiwa dengan scholarship applications and interviews. and ni pun dapat rayuan JPA. alhamdulillah. lesson learned: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS INSTANT GRATIFICATION. you work your ass off even though it seems like everybody else has it easier than you.

5. Being in a relationship where you guys are totally poles apart from each other. Unfortunately, I don't have time to make it work out. So, bye-bye. Yep, an actual heartbreak this time, but I've picked up the pieces. Can't ruin my future over a boy, of all things!

6. CPU rocks! Taylor's too.

7. Overcoming my stage fright when singing. The Musical was a big thing for me.

8. Learning to put my past behind me.

9. Learn how to get around in KL via public transport.

10. Reflecting more on religious issues this year. Evaluating my morals.



well, my posts get simpler now, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 25

What would you find in your bag?

Okay:

1. wallet. I don't know why I never call it a purse.
2. pen. probably out of ink.
3. apa dah orang panggil, the penyata that the cashier gives you after you've purchased something? receipt?
4. shillings
5. folded notes
6. candy wrappers

and that's just my handbag.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 24

A letter to your parents.

Ala...aku seganlah nak post kat sini..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 23

Something I Crave For A Lot

1. cheesecake
2. swiss roll
3. kek lapis sarawak.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 22

What makes you different from everybody else?

Well, so far, I've never met anyone else with an uncontrollable temper like mine. Yep, it's always that temper of mine that gets the attention, which is not exactly a good thing. People will remember me as the crazy cussing chick who likes to spark controversies and rebel. duh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 21

A picture of something that makes you happy.


cute animals. apart from food la.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 20

Someone you imagine being with/ marrying in the future.

Sh*t. What kind of question is this? I'd rather not answer it. No.













Can I have Gordon Ramsay?

Friday, December 24, 2010

DAY 19

Nicknames you have and why you have them.

Earliest is "Nana". That's because when I was small, I used to insist everyone to call me "Nana" and it stuck. I think I wrote about this before, so I don't want to do it again.

Next is "Kakak", that's because I'm the eldest.

Then, in school it was either "Kamilah" or "Nurul" for those who are not close with me.

In Form 1, it was "N.K." That was because I wrote my initials on my book, and Alia started calling me that.

In Form 3, it was "Kam", because Mek Ya started calling me that.

Anything else? I don't remember.

Just My Imagination

Nowadays, there seems to be many things on my mind:

1. my future

2. lots of other stuff especially regarding morals, ethics and religion.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 18

Plans/dreams/goals that I have.

Short term:

1. Finalize OUAC.


Intermediate:

1. Study Physics really well. That goes the same for Calculus and ENG4U. am so gonna be a nerd when school starts.
2. Do well on my IELTS and OSSLT. Target for IELTS band 8. (should I do the essays I owe Miss Chin?)
3. Graduate CPU with a 90+ average.


Long Term:

1. Graduate with a Biomedical Engineering degree. (the plan is to go all the way to Phd).
2. Get a job.

Fun stuff:

1. Learn to play a guitar and post one song on youtube.
2. learn to drive properly.
3. go places in Canada.



marriage? I'll leave that aside. I'm a girl on a mission. There's too much to experience in life than being tied down.

hopefully all goes well.

amiiiin

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 17

Someone I want to switch lives for one day and why?

hmm..I don't feel like switching my lives with anyone, but oh well, since it's just for a day, I'd like to switch lives with a person who goes through hardship, like, really miskin, deprived of laptops and all this luxury, opportunities and education. I don't know who that person is specifically, but whoever who fits in the bill will do. Maybe by doing so, I'd appreciate my own life a lot more? and complain less?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 16

Another picture of you.



I miss school. period.

Monday, December 20, 2010

DAY 15

First 10 songs on my ipod:


  1. Fragile-Sting
  2. My Baby Left Me- Rox
  3. You Can't Take Me- Bryan Adams
  4. God Is The Light- Raihan and Yusuf Islam
  5. Breathe In- Lucie Silvas
  6. Alien Nation- Scorpions
  7. Well, Well, Well- Duffy
  8. Wish I- Jem
  9. I've Heard Your Love Songs- Marit Larsen
  10. Jika- Melly Goeslow.


So, how's this playlist?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 14

A picture of me and my famiy.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 13

A letter to a person who has hurt you recently.

I DID write a letter, but I didn't send it to him. And to post it here is too public. So, I guess I won't do this one.

And case closed. Move on.

Day 12

How I found out about blogs and why I made one.

Hmm..it all started after UPSR. My dad made me a blog and named it Nana's World (I have retained the original url). Nana is my pet name. I didn't know why when I was small I insisted people to call me that and it just stuck, but you rarely hear it nowadays. "Nana" is for my family members' use ONLY.

Since then I started posting my poems on it. I didn't blog that often, well, what could a twelve-year-old do with a blog? Over time, I started blogging more frequently because I kept writing stuff and I started to have many things on my mind and many things just happen that I have to write it down. I started posting my essays and it became sort of like a public diary where I vent, and sometimes I just blog about my opinions or share info, post photos. I used to criticize my school in my blog ;) oh, and Malays.

The blog name changes over time, well, malas nak mention. I guess that's about it for now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 11

Another picture of you and your friends.


My debate team mates. Well, actually most of them are BM debaters, but I miss debating so much!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DAY 10

Songs I listen to when I'm Happy, Bored, Sad, Hyped and Mad.

Well, my song selections are seasonal. I listen to almost everything, and my music choice spans from 1960's to current and from heavy metal to jazz. Sometimes its goody-two-shoes, sometimes it's bad ass rock and dirty lyrics. It all depends. But this is what I can come up for, for now.

Happy:



Sheena Easton- Morning Train

Bored:



Eliza Doolittle - Skinny Jeans

Hyped:



10 000 Maniacs - Rainy Day

Sad:



Roy Orbison and KD Lang- Crying

Mad:



The Used- Pretty Handsome Awkward


So, how's my playlist? hahhaha

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 09

Something I'm Proud Of these last  few days.


I survived one semester of CPU.

my posts are getting simpler day by day.

DAY 08

Short Term Goals For This Month:

1. Settle my uni applications.
2. Study Physics.
3. Read up my Add Maths module.
4. Improve my religious obligations.
5. Swear less.
6. Anger management.
7. I can't think of anymore.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 07

A picture of someone or something that has a great impact on you.

Hmm...looking at the most current scenario in my life, I do have something in mind, but it'd be sensitive to talk about it openly like this, because I'm not sure whether I was affected positively or negatively by it, but let's keep it at that, shall we?

To compensate, I don't have anything else in mind. I could possibly put up anything like high school, or some incident that happened in high school, but it'd be just typical. who wouldn't be affected by highschool eh?

I'll put up something when I think up of one.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 06

My Favorite Superhero:


no need for introduction. It's obvious who he is.

well, I could have put down some other cartoon because I watched a lot of cartoons. I grew up with Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Transformers, Ultraman, Power Rangers, Disney heroes, Sailormoon and lots more.

I chose Batman because, well, I've seen all the Batman movies and he's cool because he doesn't have any powers, yet he's still competent. He's sort of an anti-hero, and he has a scandal with Wonder Woman in Justice League, no lah, I'm joking. I love his gadgets and his cape.

Imagine being a billionaire and you're so bored that you use your money to fund your own hi-tech gadgets then you go undercover fighting crime. How cool is that? A more realistic take than just hoping for a radioactive spider to bite you and change your DNA or get zapped by gamma radiation that your skin turns green. However, I think the Hulk is a closer approximation to my personality. Refer to post Day 04. hahaha.

Day 05

A picture of somewhere I've been to:



I could have just added a picture of some place exotic, like a holiday getaway or something, but I came across this picture of us at Zah's school and I kind of liked it.

Tagged By Pok Jack

1. Apa benda paling penting dalam hidup korang?
Keluarga dan makan. Tanpa dua-dua aku tak boleh hidup. haha.

2. Benda terakhir yang korang beli guna duit korang?
Makanan.

3. Dimanakah tempat korang akan langsungkan perkahwinan korang dan apakah temanya nanti?
Not in my plans yet .

4. Adakah korang sedang bercinta sekarang?
No.

5. Berapa lama korang akan mencintai kekasih korang?
since it's "akan" and I don't have one for the time being, and if I correct the question from "kekasih" to "husband", I'd say, as long as the marriage lasts.

6. Di manakah korang selalu jumpa kekasih korang?
wtf??

7. Novel/buku/majalah terakhir dibeli?
Wicked. 


8. Apakah nama penuh korang?
what the heck? tak yah le tau. cukup orang yang kenal aku je tahu.


9. Antara mak dan ayah, mana korang lebih mesra?
selalu tanya soalan macam ni. isy. 


10. Namakan orang yang betul2 korang nak jumpa dalam hidup korang?
erhhh...nobody in mind for the time being.

11. Adakah korang basuh baju korang sendiri?
like, d-uh.

12. Dimanakah tempat yang betul2 korang nak pergi?
Canada.



13. Pilih salah satu, peluk atau cium?
kalau peluk dan cium tu dengan orang dibolehkan peluk dan cium. em, cium = saliva. peluk = full body contact. tough choice for a non-affectionate person like me.



14. Beritahu 3 benda tentang orang yang beri tag?
1. macho.. (boleh la..)
2. one of my closest friends from school
3. i love talking to him


15. 5 benda yang paling disayangi dalam hidup anda?
-laptop
-manusia (tahu-tahula siapa manusia-manusia tu, malas nak sebut)

-diri
-makanan (lagi..)
-tak tahu apa dah nak tulis..


16. Lagu yang paling anda suka dan selalu dengar?
erhh..ikut musim. tapi sekarang tengah gila JOAN JETT.


17. Bila tarikh lahir dan kat mana korang sambut tahun lepas?
2nd May. Mm.. sambut ke tak eh? kat skolah, but seriously, tak ingat langsung what I did that day.


18. 5 rakan Blogger yang korang nak tag a.k.a suspek2 yang perlu di cari...

 tak tahu. ikut ske hatila sapa-sapa nak buat. malas nak tag.
-

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 04

A Bad Habit I Wish I Didn't Have.


I wish it was bad habits, I would have listed out a lot!

Procrastination, laziness, my habit of taking things for granted, and lots more.

But two of my worst enemies is the fact that I am an egoistic person and my anger is beyond control.

I don't know why I'm so obsessed on having a stand on everything, and I have this need to express my opinion in every chance I have. I just can't shut up unless I don't have my say. I guess it's the fact that I've always been the consult of many during my school days, it gets to my head that what I think was important. And yes, having a blog is a sure guarantee I get to express my opinions all the time. Regardless of whether or not it'll get me in trouble. No worries, I stay away from politics nowadays. I hardly take much interest into it. Imma go to Canada.

So, anyway, my problem now is not being able to keep my mouth shut. Most of the times, my opinions are downright "different" from the majority because I am made to think differently. And I'd be debating about it. Trying to drive my point home, at the cost of friendships and stuff like that. I didn't know why it mattered so much to me to win a debate, especially when I'm so sure of where I stand. Sometimes, when I debate, my emotions get out of hand, I mean, out of hand, and this brings us to my uncontrollable anger.

The thing about my anger is, I don't realize when it creeps in, because once it does, it goes all the way to full-blown. I don't have a chance to think or even register, "oh, I'm angry." this usually happens when someone uses a "trigger" word. There's lots of trigger words, some I have yet to identify, but there are a few, and I'm not going to post it here. It's a bit too sensitive. Well, the reason I'm doing this post anyway, is not just because of the challenge thing, and it's not so that by revealing my weaknesses I'm allowing you to manipulate me, but rather it's for reasons so that we can share. Like, if there's a person out there having the same problem as I do , which I kind of doubt there is because my temper is really short, hot and fierce, you know you're not the only one, and it's kind of like a self-reflection.

Just so you know, if I'm angry, stay out of my way, you won't like me when I'm angry. I throw stuff, and if I can't get my hands on the person I'm angry with, I let it out on you if you happen to say the trigger word. Once it's unleashed, I am no longer aware or in control of myself. Yes, I swear a lot too.

So, I guess that's about it.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Day 03

A picture of me and my friends:


High school graduation.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

DAY 02

The meaning behind my blog name:

I've had many blog names in the past. It all started off with Nana's World, and so far, I've maintained my url as such. Nana was my pet name. I didn't know why when I was small, I insisted people to call me by that name. And it was my dad who gave that name. I was only 12 when my dad opened up this blog account.

Then after yearsss.....I can't remember in what year, but towards the end of my highschool years, I changed it to La Tahzan, which means "don't be sad" in Arabic. I was crazy over Ayat-Ayat Cinta that time, and they keep giving motivational books as prizes for doing well in your exam. I was jealous that my friends got better books than I did, like La Tahzan and Quran Saintifik.

Later I changed it to Gambar Gajah on impulse. It sounded funny.

Now, I've changed it to Crossroads and A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Crossroads because I am at an important phase in my life where I have to make important decisions (feel the pressure) and A Rush Of Blood To The Head, because I was listening to Coldplay's song of that same title.

I think I'll change it to "Holding On and Letting Go" later...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Day 01

Yeah, I'm doin' that 30-day challenge thing for fun.

1. Recent photo of me.

(I tell you, this is very recent at the moment I am typing this post).


I went out with Jaja and Che Dah today at Midvalley. There were Christmasy decorations and lots of huge teddy bears. I ripped out that bear's heart. hahah. no lah.

2. 15 facts about me.

haissyyy...narcissism alert!

1- I hate Taugeh. (obvious fact number one)
2- My biggest enemy is my temper.
3- I love Yellow Cab pizza, thanks to Eddy for introducing it to me.
4- I love keropok lekor forever. I will not tire of eating it.
5- I love spaghetti. Another food fact, I must be hungry.
6- I believe in female empowerment.
7- I believe that my religion is not a form of oppression, nor is it rigid and limiting.
8- I am a born rebel.
9- I tend to hurt the ones I love. 
10- I am currently experiencing an identity crisis and a mild split personality disorder.
11- I have vowed to stop cussing.
12- I am proud of my ability to speak Kelantanese. I have no friggin' idea why.
13- I don't like being tied down.
14- I have yet to rid of my prejudice of a 'certain' group of people. Well, I don't want to be a bigot! No, it has nothing to do with interracial issues whatsoever because it concerns my own race.
15- I am also starting to believe that the society thinks its better for me to keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself in order to avoid conflict although it will make me feel like a hypocrite.


okay, done.


Regarding The Previous Post

You're all free to scrutinize on this issue. I am taking a neutral stand on this issue and I am open for criticism, opinions and ideas. The more unconventional the ideas are, the better. Recycling typical arguments wouldn't do for me, I am well aware of them.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Just Some Article I Copy Pasted

The Conference on Secular Islam
by Andrew Bieszad
Islam began as one of many religions in Arabia. It taught simple monotheism, emphasized divine justice, and encouraged helping the poor, widowed, and orphaned. Mohammed was convinced that he had divine truth, but few paid attention to him except to mock him. After twelve years of unsuccessful preaching and persecution, he went to Medina with his followers in 622 AD. There he unsuccessfully attempted to convert the city's inhabitants. Historically, this failure marks the beginning of the politicization of Islam and the subjugation of non-Muslims within Muslim-ruled areas.
Mohammed's revelations changed. He began talking about Islam as both a religion and a divinely mandated way of life for mankind, to be imposed by force if necessary. Politics married theology, and Mohammed started a bloody military campaign to conquer and convert Arabia. This spelled the end of religious pluralism in the Arab and Muslim world.
It has been almost 1400 years since Mohammed claimed his first revelation, and the Muslim mixture of politics and religion remains a problem. But this past spring witnessed a historical first with the Secular Islam Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida. Religious Muslims, secular Muslims, and ex-Muslims from around the world gathered to discuss how to separate Islam as a religion from political affairs. While there many differences, all speakers agreed that Islam cannot remain both a political and religious teaching. For its own survival, it needs to choose.
Ibn Warraq stated that Islam itself is the problem that leads to terrorism. He denied that poverty, the Arab-Israeli conflict, or U.S. foreign policy caused terrorism, but rather an Islamic ideology found in the theology. He emphasized defending human rights, protecting Western values in Western society, and teaching Islamic nations to take responsibility. He encouraged Islamic nations to hold their leaders, particularly in Iran, accountable for crimes against humanity, and he demanded accountability from Saudi Arabia and Syria for promoting hate through school textbooks, "tinpot Mullahs," and national leaders.
Invoking the secularization of the West through Biblical criticism, Warraq reasoned that aggressively promoting Koranic criticism and intellectual debate would facilitate a secularized environment. He also proposed creating human rights centers, pushing for restructuring the "hopelessly politicized" UN Human Rights Commission, and defending minorities in Muslim societies, such as Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, apostates, and atheists. He especially urged the West to take a strong stand in supporting these minorities by demanding their fair treatment, while shunning political Islamic movements.
While Warraq encouraged Koranic scholarship in order to prompt Muslims to question their faith and its practices, others believed that Islam itself encourages such questioning and exploration. One of these was the self-proclaimed Muslim "refusnik" and author of the bestseller The Trouble with Islam, Irshad Manji. Manji advocates that Muslims claim the right to consider alternative interpretations of Islam in their daily lives.
Manji, who was raised a Muslim and still considers herself one, said that Islam taught her discipline, self-control, and helped her to stem desires such as greed. Although she is a fervent critic of Islam, she believes that Islam is capable of great things when distinguished from fundamentalism. Instead of adhering to what she defined as a dogmatic, fearful Islam, Manji wants to build on the creativity and beauty of Islam's past through great Muslim thinkers such as Ibn Rushd, Rumi, Moghul Emperor Akbar, and others. In order for Islam to modernize, it must reclaim this breadth. This tradition of pluralism, called "ijtihad" in Arabic, is one of the keys to restoring Islam to its potential.
In accordance with ijtihad principles, Manji emphasized the importance of a society in which all religions can co-exist. Calling herself a Muslim pluralist, she chastised George Bush for "empowering theocrats" who want to institute an Islamic theocracy and Sharia law in Iraq's new constitution. She also said that it was an insult to Islam to believe that Muslims can only live in an Islamic society. For Manji, any kind of Islamic teaching that values ignorance, violence, or hatred is not a part of Islam at all.
Another speaker, Tawfiq Hamid, was a former associate of Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zarqawi and was active in the Egyptian radical movement Jamaat Islamiyya (JI) during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hamid was born into a secular family, but joined JI as a teenager when he became interested in religion. Zarqawi assigned him to train as an anti-Christian polemicist, but after reading the Bible Hamid began to question JI's teachings, as well as many of Islam's more violent practices. Instead of following Zarqawi, Hamid formulated a peaceful version of Islam and left JI and, later, Egypt.
Hamid gave a profound insight into Islamic terrorist psychology. Speaking from his own experiences, he described three steps used to indoctrinate young men into radicalism. First, new members are forced to cease asking questions about Islamic doctrine and to merely accept what is taught in the mosque. He explained how terror groups do this by using passages from the Koran and Hadeeth to threaten the disobedient with hell and eternal damnation. Second, terrorists emphasize the afterlife over the present life, with promises of wealth and especially lustful women for the faithful. In conservative, poor, class-stratified, and culture-bound societies, dreams of an extravagant life are very appealing. Finally, they teach new jihadis to hate non-Muslims or Muslims not living in strict accordance with the law. This hate justifies violence against innocent people.
Although Hamid still considers himself a Muslim, he doesn't believe that Islam should be allowed have political power. He described the Islamization of government in terms of a cancer, infecting and destroying a healthy body unless it is removed with quick and direct force. In his view, terrorists and Islamic political activity need to be squashed without apology and a secular, pluralistic worldview maintained in order to preserve peace between people.
While Hamid encouraged the secularization of Islamic society, some speakers asserted that secularism has enjoyed a long history in certain Muslim societies. Speaking along these lines was Jordanian scholar Shaker Nabulsi. He traced this history, beginning with the Islamic Umayyad dynasty in 656 AD with Uthman's (the third Islamic caliph) death and the struggle for the next caliph.
According to Nabulsi, the secularization of Muslim society began less than thirty years after Mohammed's death, due to competition between two potential successors. One claimant, Mu'awiyah, the son of Muslim devotee Abu Sufyan, was elected by the majority of Muslims. The second claimant was Ali, Mohammed's cousin, who believed that Mohammed wanted leadership to be kept within Mohammed's family line. Ali and his followers (Shia) rebelled against Mu'awiyah. Although Ali reached a peace with Mu'awiyah, Nabulsi argued that the conflict counterposed secular and sacred power.
Nabulsi then traced a contentious relationship between the ulama (religious scholars) and the Umayyad, Abbasid, and even Ottoman states. Some caliphs not only downplayed God, Islam, or the Koran but openly rejected God. One such leader was Umayyad caliph Yazid. Upon his ascension to power, it was said that he closed the Koran, looked at it, and said "This is my last obligation to you." Other leaders, such as caliph Abdel Malik suppressed religions and mosque-state relations, at one time telling a group of ulema that "I will behead a person who is telling me to fear god." This same tension continued into the Abbasid, and even the later Ottoman dynasties.
For Nabulsi, the most secularized Islamic caliphates corresponded with the greatest religious pluralism, prosperity, and intellectual discussion. In contrast, rulers who wanted the unity of deen (Islamic religious power) and dunya(secular power) found themselves facing infighting and unrest. Secularism turns out to be a requirement even for a Muslim majority society in order to sustain democracy and coexistence with non-Muslims.
Bengali human rights activist, journalist, filmmaker, and secularist Shahriar Kabir expressed similar secularism. Kabir proudly proclaimed that in 1972 Bangladesh became the first Muslim nation to adopt a secular constitution. Quoting Sheik Mujib, the founder of modern Bangladesh and the key proponent of the secular constitution, he noted that secularism does not mean the suppression of religion, but rather the separation of religion from the state in order that faith "may not be used as a political weapon." However, Kabir noted that the constitution was short-lived. After Mujib's assassination in 1975, Islamic groups took power and now militant Islamic groups are plentiful.
Kabir reported that Bangladesh had a long history of religious tolerance and acceptance with Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims. Bangladesh's first experiences with Islam involved the peaceful and mystical Sufi Islam. He also noted how throughout all of Bangladesh's history, there has been a strong secularist tendency. He concluded that the goal of secularism in a Muslim-majority country is to stop the political use of religion.
But can Islam really be separated from politics? Ex-Muslim secularist Wafa Sultan did not see how. In her view, the only fix would involve replacing the entire theological foundations of Islam.
While she praised the idea of moderate Islam, she questioned where the moderate Muslims were in speaking out against terrorism. She called for a renewed look at Islam, emphasizing that Islam must be changed in order to accommodate modern sensibilities. Muslim clerics should stop promoting violence, killing, or hatred in the name of Islam. Additionally, the West must stop fearing being called prejudiced by Muslims for their suspicion of them, while the Muslim world must accept criticism for supporting terrorists. Most importantly, it is crucial for the West to defend itself.
Media commentator Walid Phares noted that the process of modernizing Islam and stopping terrorism is inherently connected to intellectual and societal change. He warned that terrorists have been very clear about their goal of dividing the world into Muslim and non-Muslim "planets." He criticized Western society, and particularly the educational system, for failing to address these problems in a non-partisan manner. Phares called for an "intellectual revolution within the Islamic community by Muslims and non-Muslims," with the goal of creating pluralism and coexistence for Muslims worldwide.
In addition to these speakers, there were many others with fascinating backgrounds. Speaker Nonie Darwish was the daughter of an Egyptian military commander and Muslim Brotherhood supporter assassinated by Israeli special forces. She now runs Arabsforisrael.com and is a speaker in support of human rights in Muslim nations. Speaker Afsheen Ellian fled Iran at 17 by camelback to Afghanistan. He came as a refugee to the Netherlands, where he is now a professor. Bengali-born Canadian speaker Hassan Fatemolla, who works as a journalist, playwright, and activist, presented his experiences in opposing the addition of Sharia law into Canada's justice system.
The conference culminated in the St. Petersburg Declaration, an appeal to Muslims, non-Muslims, and non-religious people to unite for freedom of religion. It denounces the rigid Islamic orthodoxy commonly preached in Western mosques and demanded rejection of Sharia law, honor killings, and any teachings that promote hate or violence. It also supports the idea that Islam can survive as a personal faith that can coexist alongside other religions, but not as a political and religious ideology. Delivered in English, Arabic, Farsi, and Bengali, it marked a historical first where Muslims and non-Muslims stood together to call for reform in the Islamic religion and in Muslim nations.

Andrew Bieszad's report on the Conference on Secular Islam will appear inTELOS 139 (Summer 2007).

I'm Back

I know Finals is not over yet, but one week is a HUGE gap!


Here's my re-write of the Life's Brief Candle poem in Macbeth for English. The theme was either sports, politics, or some other random thing.



Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow,
Stuck in this monotonous routine from day to day,
To the last coffee break of my pathetic life.

And yesterday's news have lighted fools
The way to complete ignorance. Off, off the TV!
Life's but a false minister, a poor governer,
That struts and frets his tenure in the office,
And then is heard no more. It is a financial report,
Drafted by an idiot, full of fancy statistics and graphs,
Signifying nothing.