Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Start of Ramadan; an Annual Political Excercise

Ramadan is based upon a lunar calendar and starts officially upon the sighting of the new moon. Thus, the holy month whereas Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset might start tomorrow or Saturday. Throughout the Muslim world, people will try and spot the new moon (hilal) within an hour window at dusk time. In the Muslim countries, there is an official committee who hereby hears testimony from the witness(es) that have spotted the hilal and declare the start of Ramadan.

The irony is that this becomes a political affair whereas certain countries take the sighting of the moon in another country as applicable to their own country, while others do not. Thus, a religious and simple affair has to suffer at the hands of politics throughout the Muslim world. Instead of rejoice and solidarity amongst Muslims, the occasion become fraught with disharmony and divide. The masses suffer as a result and become disenfranchised from their political leadership.

I call upon key opinion leaders throughout the Muslim world to condemn this political grandstanding and unite behind the masses in having one start to the Holy month of Ramadan. This should be simple and benefits all Muslims throughout the world as the religion is inclusive and not exclusive. Please show us the Ramadan spirit.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Changes to Medieval Traffic Laws

Yesterday, it was reported in the local newspapers that a Filipino man was ordered to pay 100,000 AED as blood money because his wife died in a car accident while he was driving. She was his passenger. The story went on to state that he is in jail right now as he does not possess the money.

Now, the newspaper did not elaborate upon the reason for this fine and the reasoning behind the court order. I only hope that the rationale is that he was intoxicated, or that he was driving without insurance. It would be interesting to know the rationale because I find it mind-boggling to say the least that this poor man has to suffer twice.

Firstly, he has to endure the pain, suffering and guilt of helping caused his wife's death in an accidental manner. Also, he suffers having to bring up his children without their mother. Secondly, he has to pay the blood money to her parents instead of to himself. Without the money, he suffers by being incarcerated.

So, without further ado, I propose that this medieval law serves no basis and the concerned authorities take it upon themselves to investigate the matter further. I pity the person who has to suffer under this law. It does not seem to make any sense whatsoever.

The other solution (and I am taking it to an extreme) is for everybody to stay single and not get married. Or at the very least, to ensure that their wife to be has her own car and drives you around. Now, that would be ideal!