Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 19 September 2012

Armed Police?

Following the latest murder of two lady police officers by a cold-blooded killer in Greater Manchester there is, once again, a call to arm the police. I doubt that in this case, as in many others, it would have done any good. The question people should be asking is why this obviously dangerous man was released on bail after being earlier held following another shooting. Surely the main function of the police and the Home Secretary is to ensure the safety of the public. The law is written in such a way that criminals are favoured over the victims in a measured way that gives the former the benefit of the doubt. Magistrates and prosecutors have their hands tied by such as the Human Rights brigade for fear that a police state will result from detention without trial legislation. The result is that the Home Secretary and the Police cannot offer the public the quality of safety that they might expect.
Isn't it time to look again at the bail laws to see if more known violent people can be held in detention for longer? If necessary make room in the prisons by releasing non violent criminals like Asil Nadir.
Living in Spain, I know what it's like to be policed by the gun toting Guardia Civil. They are formidable officers that retain a military like bearing and reputation for fierce policing. You do not mess with the Guardia! Would they seem so tough without their guns? I don't really know; it's part of their uniform and I live in a low crime area. I only know that they scare the shit out of me.

At the moment, the detained man, Dale Cregan, is unknown to the public. We know he was born in Droylsden and was a roofer but what about his family? Are his parents alive? Does he have any brothers and sisters? What do they think of their son and sibling? Only thirteen years ago he was presumably going to school; possibly in shorts. What was he like then; where did it all go wrong?

Friday 14 September 2012

What if the Duchess of Cambridge was the Prophet's wife?

Imagine the furore from the Muslim world if it had been the Prophet's wife who had been photographed topless whilst she bathed in private. No magazine would have dared publish the pictures and it is unlikely that the photographer would have escaped a death penalty. Not so for the Duchess of Cambridge who will have to suffer her fate at the hands of an opportunistic pervert and a magazine desperate for sales and a dishonest profit at the expense of an innocent lady's dignity.
The difference of course is that in the world of Islam, the faithful are co-erced into behaving by rule of fear rather than reason. Why are so many people on the streets of Egypt, Libya and Yemen over what appears to be a dire film about the Prophet? Why aren't they at work or with their families doing something useful? Why is it they take umbrage at the slightest mark of perceived disrespect for their religion? Is it a mark of the insecurity or lack of confidence that makes the Muslims so defensive and leads them to believe that the world is mocking them?
Or do they? Or is a fact that the only Muslims who really get upset are the Imams and they bully the people onto the streets. What is it they intend by this? What are they nervous about?
Islam is about 1300 years old and we might ask what it has done for the followers in all that time.

Once world leaders in mathematics and the sciences, the Muslim nations now deny anything that casts doubt on what is said in the Q'ran. As a consequence they are now backwards in the world of technology.

Education has suffered, particularly for women who for years have been denied an opportunity to proper learning. Until recently it was impossible for a woman to drive in Saudi Arabia.

Alienated half the world with the Arab sponsorship of international terrorism such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Stoning to death of defenceless women, buried up to their neck, is barbaric. End of; no excuses. None.

Little crime. A better sense of Justice for victims although some punishments particularly for women are disproportionate. see above.

No Saturday night alcohol induced violence by yobs in the City centres.

The Middle East, the cradle of the religion sits on an ocean of oil. However it is not an exclusive gift from Allah because other regions, non Islamic, also have oil that is likely to last longer. Once the oil boom is over I can see the Arab countries retreating into the past unless they make some concessions to modernity.

Er...That's it.

It's no good people protesting that this is not fair when not even the power of prayer has been useful. There are 1 billion Muslims, each praying five times a day. That makes 1825 billion prayers a year or since the days of the Prophet, 2.3725 million, billion prayers. Yet despite this extraordinary level of  supplication, Allah failed to halt the tsunami in South East Asia, killing thousands of innocent women and children, failed to quell the unrest in the heartland of the religion where again it is the women and children who suffer most.
Allah didn't help the followers of Islam in the Yom Kippur or 6 Day war or defend Iran from Israeli attack. The followers of the Prophet have not even been told whether it is better to follow Sunni or Shi'ite practice. One is bound to ask what they and the other followers of the God of Abraham want, because to my mind none of them are being properly served.

I cannot help but think that rather than the rest of the world mocking Islam it is the Muslims, themselves, self conscious of the position their faith puts them in and bowing to the urging from the Imams, who are responsible for the very disrespect they rail against.

Friday 7 September 2012

The Big Questions

Continued from previous blog:

The first homo sapiens wrongly distinguished the two parts of the universe as light and dark, goodness and evil,  right and wrong and other characterisations available to the wise men at the time. (It was the earliest realisation of the rule of two. See here) Unfortunately, the ideas were seized by the priest classes who saw the potential of creating an imaginary heaven and hell scenario which suited their purpose of controlling the masses at a time when mankind was forming the first cities. The relics of those early beginnings are seen and felt in the religions of today.
Because people knew no better, the ideas of the priestly classes were largely unchallenged because much of what they said pertained to an unknowable life beyond the grave. Religious people and those of faith whilst probably acknowledging that science is changing how people see the world, still refuse to answer the questions set as long ago as the Old Testament character, Job. They still will not address the question that God, himself, could not answer and that was why there was so much distress in the world. God's response to Job was to give him a list of all his creations and challenged the earthling to do better.

A blogger who styles himself, 'His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer', recently wrote of the disgraceful abuse of children by clergy in the Church of England diocese of Chichester. See:
He wrote: 'An interim report by the Archbishop of Canterbury's office talks of the 'abiding hurt and damage' caused by 'an appalling history' of 'dysfunctional' local safeguarding measures, which had fallen 'woefully short' for two decades.'
He added: 'It is appalling, damning, and utterly inexcusable.' He might have been talking about similar acts of gross indecency in all the other major religions.
His blog received 111 comments, of which mine was number 2. I simply asked where God was when all this was going on? Not one of the other 109 comments attempted to answer this simple question, a question asked of their God by the Jewish prisoners held in Auschwitz. In a trial they found that Yahweh was guilty of negligence for allowing their suffering. I have no knowledge if any of the prisoners decided that as a result of the verdict, God should be abandoned as they were.
The point is; why do the faithful avoid asking these big questions? Why does an omnipotent and caring God allow so much suffering on earth? Why does he visit disasters on earth such as the South East Asia tsunami, the earthquakes and Hurricanes of Haiti to annhialate women and innocent children? It is almost the fiftieth anniversary of Aberfan, the disaster that first made me seriously doubt there was a God. At the time the Church would have told the bereaved mothers and fathers that God needed more angels but as these poor people look back on their lives, empty of their children, their grandchildren and possibly, by now, great grandchildren it will be little comfort. Where was God's mercy at this time of great suffering by those left behind? Tell me that you followers of hopeless dreams; believers in the impossible ambition of everlasting life. If God cannot give peace on earth to all men what is the point in Him at all? Why, when women and children are dying by the thousands all around them, do Syrians bow down and pray five times a day to a God that is clearly not listening. It was the same in Iraq, Egypt and Libya.

Many of the faithful are, these days, having doubts and challenging  the more difficult areas of their religion. The transubstantiation and resurrection, for example. I hope that eventually these people will be able to appreciate a spiritual side to Human Beings that does not involve a creator with all the trappings of 'Messiahs' and 'Day of Reckonings', for example. Why do I say this?  Because I fervently believe that the Churches have a role to play in society, addressing all those ineffable traits of man's spirituality. Who should lead the mourning at the passing of the heroic and famous, such as Princess Diana, and the commemoration of the fallen at the Cenotaph? Who should lead the nation at the Coronation of Kings and Queens. In these difficult, austere times we need spiritual leadership to promote charity before mammon, compassion before greed without colouring the argument with religious waffle and ideological claptrap.

Variable Speed of Light?

The BBC's 'Horizon' programme last week hinted that scientists have found evidence that the speed of light might not be constant, after all. Light of varying wavelengths and therefore varying energy has been received from Gamma Ray Emission (GRE)  events at the edge of the visible universe, up to 10 billion light years distant. They have discovered that the highest energy photons take 5 seconds longer to traverse the almost unimaginatively enormous distance.
Readers of my blog will know that this is not surprising as different particles may travel along a different time line than normal. See my blog:

It is taking time but the world is slowly waking up to my concept of negative dimensions and the probability that the earliest theologians were right in accepting that the universe is of two parts but incorrectly attributing the differences, through lack of knowledge, to metaphysical rather than physical traits.

Go to my next blog: 'The Big Questions'.