Quotes and links (including the worlds best mobile phone!)

As usual, some quotes and some links. Enjoy!


  • Do not feel certain in the reliability of your own opinions. – Sahl bin Hunayf (this is often alternatively translated as ‘Treat your own opinions with suspicion’ or ‘Find fault with your own opinions’)
  • Don’t make excuses for nasty people. You can’t put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase. – Anon
  • There is always more to thank for than there is to complain about. – Anon
  • The less of the world, the freer you live. – Anon
  • What I want to say is that today, what just happened doesn’t have to be used against Islam. Fanaticism is everywhere, but it concerns just a minority of people. The rest are just simple Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims. I think that it’s important to take the long or historical view. If we just focus on current affairs, if we limit our view to today’s news, it’s like things never happened before. It’s important to recall that all this has already occured, it’s already happened with terrorist groups which were not Islamic…The danger would be to say that all Muslims are like that, but I’m convinced that 90% of Muslims feel very uncomfortable today and are ashamed of what’s happened. It’s important not to say, that a Muslim, is “moderate”, if he’s just a citizen like you or me. What does “moderate” mean anyway? Does it mean that Islam is an extremist religion? This is a latent provocation, you see? And it’s very dangerous. We don’t have to paint everybody with the same brush. That’s the danger I think. – Eric Cantona, in an interview with euronews, talking about the Paris Charlie Hebdo incident
  • The words you speak become the house you live in. – Hafiz (14th-century Persian mystic and poet)



Book extract – Tina Fey on “car creepery” from her book Bossypants

Tina Fey is an award winning American writer and actress. She has written a book called Bossypants, which I highly recommend as it is rather funny and insightful, especially from the perspective of a woman living in today’s world. I have no doubt that I will feature further extracts from this book in many future blogs, but to begin with below is an extract about the painful transition from girlhood to womanhood.

As I read this I was a wee bit worried that this is how young girls feel and how they are treated, Perhaps some naivety on my part. In Islam we are instructed to lower our gaze, to not stare and to be respectful of each other. Like many things in Islam, this is easy to theorize but harder to put into practice. Anyways, here is the extract. Enjoy!

WARNING – there are rude words in the extract, so please do not read if easily offended.

When Did You First Know You Were a Woman?

When I was writing the movie Mean Girls — which hopefully is playing on TBS right now! — I went to a workshop taught by Rosalind Wiseman as part of my research. Rosalind wrote the nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes that Mean Girls was based on, and she conducted a lot of self-esteem and bullying workshops with women and girls around the country. She did this particular exercise in a hotel ballroom in Washington, DC, with about two hundred grown women, asking them to write down the moment they first “knew they were a woman.” Meaning, “When did you first feel like a grown woman and not a girl?” We wrote down our answers and shared them, first in pairs, then in larger groups. The group of women was racially and economically diverse, but the answers had a very similar theme. Almost everyone first realized they were becoming a grown woman when some dude did something nasty to them. “I was walking home from ballet and a guy in a car yelled, ‘Lick me!’” “I was babysitting my younger cousins when a guy drove by and yelled, ‘Nice ass.’” There were pretty much zero examples like “I first knew I was a woman when my mother and father took me out to dinner to celebrate my success on the debate team.” It was mostly men yelling shit from cars. Are they a patrol sent out to let girls know they’ve crossed into puberty? If so, it’s working.

I experienced car creepery at thirteen. I was walking home from middle school past a place called the World’s Largest Aquarium — which, legally, I don’t know how they could call it that, because it was obviously an average-sized aquarium. Maybe I should start referring to myself as the World’s Tallest Man and see how that goes? Anyway, I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, “Nice tits.” Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, “Suck my dick.” Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I didn’t hold in my anger.

Thankfully, blessedly, yelling “Suck my dick” is not the moment I really associate with entering womanhood. For me, it was when I bought this kickass white denim suit at the Springfield mall.

Tina colour

I bought it with my own money under the advisement of my cool friend Sandee. I wore it to Senior Awards Night 1988, where it blew people’s minds as I accepted the Sunday School Scholarship. That turned-up collar. The jacket that zipped all the way down the front into a nice fitted shape. The white denim that made my untanned skin look like a color. Just once I’d like to find an Oscars or Emmys dress as rad as this suit.

 – from the book Bossypants by Tina Fey

It all conspires to make you feel absolutely helpless.

Sorry about the rather depressing title for this particular blog post, but it’s a line taken from the recent always excellent Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, which began with a rather cutting analysis of ISIS and the media. The rest of the show is also hilarious, as we all have now come to expect. Below is a link to the latest Wipe, followed by a transcript of some of the ISIS analysis. Enjoy!

Charlie Brooker: We start with ISIS…

BBC News reporter: “Tonight at 10, outrage in Jordan as one of its pilots is burned to death by IS extremists…”

Charlie Brooker: It feels like ISIS is engaged in a kind of sickening game of one-downsmanship with itself, daring itself to produce something more barbaric than the last killing. It’s hard to know really how to even wrap your head around this level of horror, coupled with its total accessibility. Not so long ago we had to fall asleep to experience nightmares. We now live in a world where, at any moment, your phone could buzz in your pocket and it might be someone tweeting a photo of their lunch, or a video of someone dying in agony. Then there’s the question of whether to look or not to look. Spoiler – the sane answer is “not to look”, which isn’t made easy for you. The numb and frightened faces of the victims appear on the front pages of newspapers and in search results. It becomes unavoidable. Not that everyone tries to avoid it. In the Daily Mail, Piers Morgan claimed he was “glad” he watched the video depicting a caged man being burned to death because it helped him understand how evil ISIS can be, which betrays an ASTOUNDING lack of imagination. Fox News meanwhile broadcast an exhaustive spoken word moment-by-moment description of the video from host Shepherd Smith, who watched it so you wouldn’t have to, which you didn’t have to anyway.

Shepherd Smith: We’re not going to show you the video obviously. It’s 23 minutes plus, that video.

Charlie Brooker: And you’ve got to cut to commercials in ten minutes!

Shepherd Smith: I’m going to tell you about it, all of it, every bit of it.

Charlie Brooker: Fox also garnered much criticism for embedding the entire video, uncensored, on their website. It tells you something about America’s stomach for violence really, that while a terrorist snuff video can be carried uncensored, an innocuous report about a nudist beach on the same website comers with black boxes super imposed over the buttocks. Because it’s important to confront the reality of murder, but oh my BLEEP we can’t handle a bum! If ISIS ever started killing people in the nude, Fox is going to have a real editorial dilemma on its hands. Of course, TV news is helplessly, institutionally addicted to relaying eye-popping imagery wherever it comes from and whatever it shows, as this shocking footage of the recent Taiwan air disaster makes clear. As a consequence, the slickly-crafted video output of ISIS has effectively turned swathes of the Western media into an unofficial jihadist propaganda distribution network. It all conspires to make you feel absolutely helpless.

– from Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, first shown 12 Feb 2015

The story of the Chinese farmer and a verse of the Qur’an

There is part of a verse of the Qur’an (chapter 2, verse 216) that says “…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Sahih International translation). In other words, things happen in life and we don’t really understand the full and proper effects of what just happened.

With this in mind, below is a story read by the late philosopher Alan Watts, about such matters. Further below is the full transcript to the video, which is less than two and a half minutes, but to me it brilliantly describes how weird and wonderful life can indeed be, and how we often get it so wrong when assessing whether or not things are going well or otherwise. Enjoy!

The Story Of The Chinese Farmer

From Sustainable Man.

A parable narrated by Alan Watts, animation by Steve Agnos, and with music by Chris Zabriskie, words by Alan Watts.

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer who lost a horse, ran away. And all the neighbors came around that evening and said, “That’s too bad.” And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day the horse came back, and brought seven wild horses with it. And all the neighbors came around and said, “Why, that’s great. Isn’t it?” And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day his son was attempting to tame one of these horses and was riding it and was thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors came around in the evening said, “Well, that’s too bad. Isn’t it?” The farmer said, “Maybe.”

The next day the conscription officers came around, looking for people for the army and they rejected his son, because he had a broken leg. And all the neighbors came around that evening and said, “Isn’t that wonderful?” And he said, “Maybe.”


The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity and it is really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad. Because you never know what will be the consequences of the misfortune, or you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.

More irrational hatred of mobile phones

I have in the past spoken at length about my irrational dislike of those pesky mobile thingies. Well, let the irrationality continue unabated!

Some quotes:

  • Very few things in life force you to put your phone down and concentrate. And when you do concentrate on the non phone thing, you rarely do so with as much brain power as you would with your phone. – Anon
  • People used to say ‘Bismillah’ before they started to eat. Now they say ‘Instagram’. – Anon

Some images that prove my point rather well:

Phone 1

Phone 2

A brilliant article by Umm AbdelRahman Murphy entitled ‘Cell Phones vs. Qur’an‘:

I wonder what would happen if we were to treat the Qur’an the same way that we treat our cell phones.

What if..

…we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
…we made sure to go back to get it if we forgot it?
…we flipped through it several times a day?
…we used it to receive messages from the text?
…we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
…we gave it to our kids as gifts?
…we used it as we traveled?
…we used it in cases of emergencies?

Hopefully this short reminder makes us stop and think, “Where is my Qur’an?” Remember to use your time in Ramadan for Qur’an, insha’Allah (God willing)!

Quotes and links

As usual, some quotes and some links. Enjoy!



  • If you look around the table and you can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you. – from the movie Quiz Show (1994)
  • Maybe we enjoy sleeping so much because it’s the only part of the day where our souls return to Allah. – Anon
  • Treat people according to how they appear and leave it to God to take care of what’s in their hearts. – Anon
  • When you have nothing left but God, you realise that God is enough. – Anon
  • Never reach out your hand unless you’re willing to extend an arm. – Pope Paul VI
  • Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. – Henry Ward Beecher
  • Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours. – Anon
  • We worry about tomorrow like it is promised. – Anon

The blatant religious hypocrisy defies belief…

A Muslim does something wrong and the “media” go bat poop crazy, this I am sure we already know. However, how does the media react when Muslims are the victims? And the perpetrators happen to be non-Muslim? How do you react media? You don’t. That’s how. The following three articles will explain my current frustrations some more…

Please pray for the victims. Thank you.