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by Jamshyd Osman

The house is empty
Heart’s gone cold
The mantel’s gone dusty
Littered with spider webs & mold

An unusual feeling
Unwanted, Deserted
Involuntary tears
Of disgust & anguish
Guilt stuck at the throat
Another chance, another wish

Weaving tales of sorrow
A wasteful pastime
Bitter nothingness of tomorrow
No rhymes no smile

An oddity of emotion
Can’t dare to share
Errors in their judgment
Makes the truth look bare

Once these halls echoed laughter
Bore witness to joy
Nights & mornings after
Playing wild, playing coy

The romance of monsoon
Blessings after the gloom
Moments becoming hours
Tending to beds of flowers

We owe it all to Thee
That window of glee
I‘m glad that had to be
Both the bitter & the sweet
Wouldn’t have ventured any other street

Yesterday created today
Here now silence can only prevail
Echoes of yester-steps
Landmarks stay still as memoirs appear
Like an oasis in another hemisphere

Feels like a grave
Inside these heavy & lonely
Four walls

Forward & Rewind
Hitting stop is a crime
This random play is cramping the growth of my mind
Entangled, entwined
A slave to the vibe

Advancing hindered by wine
The usual line
Enraged & nonsensical
Mind so fickle
Like an inconsolable child
In the abyss of vulnerability, I comply

The logical mind rejects
Yet the heart requests
Logic has its limitations
Whereas love is infinite compassion
Forgiving, kind
Logic is cold & regulated
Limited, blind

The intoxication of rage
Leaves trains of regrets
Scars remain
Even if time forgets

Anger & envy are satanic
Uncontrollable at times
Sins of the ancient
History of the impatient

The heart cries
Because its kind
The mind takes over & acts vile
A whisper guiding one to be unforgiving
The heart desires to be pleasant, to laugh & smile

The whisper returns unrelenting
Saying: to forgive is a crime

Bangladesh, one of the top ranking contributors in global peacekeeping, on Tuesday joined other nations to observe the International United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Day.

Bangladesh lost its 76 peacekeepers during the last 19 years, while working with the UN peacekeeping force in the trouble spots across the world.

The day was observed with due solemnity and acclamation of the forces for the first time, although the day has been observed throughout the world since 2002, a press release of the defense services said on Tuesday.

Bangladesh Armed Forces took different programs to mark the day, which bears a great importance for the country as its 9,683 soldiers are working now in 11 different trouble spots of the world.

The day’s program began with “peacekeepers run” which was inaugurated by Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman here on Tuesday morning.

Chief Advisor of Bangladeshi caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed laid the foundation stone of “Peace Monument” in memory of the fallen soldiers of Bangladesh during peacekeeping at the parade ground.

A reception of the nearest relatives of the fallen soldiers and crippled ones was held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Center in the capital Dhaka in which Fakhruddin Ahmed attended as the chief guest. Besides, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Renata Dessallien was present on the occasion.

On the occasion a theme song and a documentary on UN Peacekeeping operation was telecast on television channels, while national dailies published special supplements.

In his message on the eve of the day, Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed said, “Our peacekeepers have elevated the image of Bangladesh in the international arena by displaying a very high standard of professionalism, dedication, sincerity and courage.”

He also paid his highest tribute to all the peacekeepers for their sacrifice and selfless efforts in promoting global peace.

Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed in a message paid his highest respect to those who have sacrificed their lives for restoring peace and stability in strife-torn countries of the regions.

He said: “We reiterate our firm commitment here for promotion of global peace under the aegis of the United Nations and wish the peacekeepers all success in their humanitarian endeavors on the occasion of International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.”

Source: Xinhua

SYNDICATED
by makeprofilelink(“Pam Spaulding”); Pam Spaulding · 8/24/2007 02:00:00 PM ETmyCount

I watched the third part of CNN’s documentary with Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors” and it will have the fundies hopping mad. Parts one and two dealt with extremist movements in Judaism and Islam. Last night’s installment took a look at religious fundamentalists in the U.S., the “Christian” right wing. The transcript is here.

Amanpour conducted the last TV interview with Rev. Tinkywinky at Liberty University the week before Falwell died. He again recanted the apology he made for saying “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians” were responsible for 9/11. He calls his young Liberty University scholars “pit bulls for Christ;” his goal is to graduate as many fundie lawyers as possible, to infiltrate and influence the judicial system in favor of God’s law.

Michael Jensen has a great piece up at AfterElton about this part of the doc series. A snippet:

It would be hard to imagine a documentary examining the impact of Christian fundamentalists on American culture that didn’t include a look at the part played by gay issues. Fortunately, God’s Christian Warriors doesn’t disappoint and the result is a fascinating and often frightening look at the religious right that any progressive — but especially any gay progressive — would be well advised to watch.

…While watching Amanpour interview some of these fundamentalists, I hoped she would ask just what would happen to gay people should they get their way: stoning to death, as suggested in Leviticus? After all, fundamentalists claim the Bible should be the foundation upon which America is built and that would be the logical conclusion.

…If looked at through the prism of understanding what the religious right wants for America, however, then the documentary can be considered a success if even only a few Americans — especially gay ones — wake up to what these Christian fundamentalists aspire to. And for anyone paying attention for the last twenty years, no explanation is needed as to what it is the religious fundamentalists want for America.

As God’s Christian Warriors makes amply clear, their goal is an America that is governed by biblical principles; principles that leave no room for gay people to co-exist in any meaningful way except by going deeply back in to the closet.

CNN has done a fine job on this series; I am curious how the documentary is being received by fundamentalists, considering it is quite harsh (but accurate) about the violent history of the religious right regarding abortion activity, showing the shootings of doctors and bombings of clinics — acts Falwell condemned when the topic was raised by Amanpour. I’d venture a guess that being lumped in with extremist factions of Islam and Judaism is going to cause a massive uproar in the fundie press shortly.

Oh wait…take a look at the drivel already up at WingNutDaily.

What are your thoughts on CNN’s documentary series, ‘God’s Warriors’?

And the headline of the related story, which has all of the expected hysteria:
CNN airs ‘one of the most distorted programs’ ever
Documentary compares Jews, Christians to Muslim terrorists

CNN will proabably re-air all three parts over the weekend. Check listings.

How paradigms can change
How innocence is slain
Minuscule are we
Tripping on free will
Love is born, Love is killed
Unkind origins of sin
Come to gather & separate
Are we all born ingrate

I lay probed
Investigated
Molested
Open as a book
For all eyes to see
Filled with contempt they look upon me
Their tongues hissing at yours truly

Did they find what they were probing for?
Their frowns might tell a story
Couldn’t say owing to my current state of misery
As i lay self-conscious & timid
Like a traumatized wild animal
Struggling with the reality of being caged & probed
Intoxicated & bound with rope
I set my vision on the window as i lay
Watching the aftermath of the setting sun
Turning the vivid orange sky to grey

No hope
Only Dismay
They throw me back in my dark corner cage
Probings done for the day
In shock & horror i shivered away
Flooding of thoughts of mistakes made
Scenes of moments when i felt like a spade
Little did i know that the curtains would be raised
All my sins & my deeds
Would one day be projected onto screens
Your antics would but seize
A lab rat you would seem

Not black not white
Just Grey
Its the order of the day
Too much or too little to say
For my sins I must pay

Hebrew Scriptures . . . Leviticus | ToC

Clean and Unclean Foods

11 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them: 2Speak to the people of Israel, saying:
From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat. 3Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chews the cud–such you may eat. 4But among those that chew the cud or have divided hoofs, you shall not eat the following: the camel, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 5The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 6The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 7The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.
9 These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the streams–such you may eat. 10But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters–they are detestable to you 11and detestable they shall remain. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall regard as detestable. 12Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you.
13 These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14the buzzard, the kite of any kind; 15every raven of any kind; 16the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 17the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18the water hen, the desert owl,a the carrion vulture, 19the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.b View full article »

Pahela Baishakh  first day of the Bangla year. Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal. In Bangladesh Pahela Baishakh is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.

Under the Mughals, agricultural taxes were collected according to the Hijri calendar. However, as the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, the agricultural year does not coincide with the fiscal. As a result, farmers were hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. In order to streamline tax collection, the Mughal Emperor akbar ordered a reform of the calendar. Accordingly, Fatehullah Shirazi, a renowned scholar and astronomer, formulated the Bangla year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bangla solar calendars. The new Fasli San (agricultural year) was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from Akbar’s ascension to the throne in 1556. The new year subsequently became known as bangabda or Bengali year. View full article »


Dr. Muntasir Mamun.

 

 THE first day of the Bengali calender-year is celebrated as the New Year in Bangladesh. As Enamul Huq has written: “The first day of the festivities performed to mark the commencement of the New Year is actually a specific festival day.”


One such day is the Bengali New Year. Its main characteristic is that it is not a festival of the Hindus or the Buddhists alone. It is universal in nature. In fact, festivals not related to faith but secular in character are rare in the world. Enamul Huq visualizes this universality in the collected prayer for rain when men and women long for the clouds during the hot Bengali calender-year (corrsponding to Mid-April to Mid-May). He writes-“Praying to the clouds for water is another popular ritual of he Bengali New Year.”
View full article »

The Tower of Babel

After the Deluge, Noah’s descendants settled in the lowlands of Sinear, not far from the Euphrates. The spoke a common language and formed a single community. Genesis 11 tells their story: ‘And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ In addition, the tower had to serve as a landmark to keep people together, despite the fact that God had commanded Noah and his sons to ‘replenish’ the earth (Genesis 9:1). Also, the tower could be used as a safe haven in case of a new flood.The Tower of Babel

God looked down upon these industrious souls, and judged that in their ambition they were trying to equal him. So he decided to punish them with the Confusion of Tongues. Since people could no longer understand each other, they were scattered over the earth at last. The site of the event would from that day on be known as Babel, apparently meaning ‘confusion’. View full article »