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Archive for April, 2011

The easy way out

Suicide is defined as the deliberate killing of oneself. Nowadays, suicide has become the most growing cause of death among youth between 15 and 25. The difficult question is; “why do the students kill themselves?”

Some of the reasons may be the pressure the students face as they must succeed with the expectations back at home from parents. The shame in the classroom mixed with the shame at home marks the students deeply. Suicide does not come to mind immediately but slowly grows stronger as the person feels lost, lonely, confused, anxious, depressed and stressed. The major victims are those who come from a small town or village and are harassed by the “cool” students from the metro cities.

South Korea

Korea is famous for its education and one of the effects of this pressure has increased the suicide rates among students down to teenagers. A total of 146 students have committed suicide in 2010 alone.

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is one of the nation’s top universities, but it has become known for the rising suicides among its students. Four students and one professor have committed suicide in the last three months at this prestigious university. KAIST’s students have blamed the pressure of intense competition and the unique penalty system which charges the students extra fees for underachievement that has contributed to the suicides. If the grades falls below 3.0, the student is forced to pay 63,000 Korean Won (around 58$)

KAIST University was established by the Korean government as the nation’s first science and engineering institution and has received huge government financial and legal support. Therefore, many have argued that KAIST students should not complain about the stress and competition since they are being supported by the government and enjoy privileges while ordinary students have none of these benefits. They are also excluded from military duty while all able bodied Korean men are obliged to take.

Mental Weakness

Right after the 4th suicide, President of KAIST, Suh Nam-pyo said in a press conference that the school will scrap its penalty system but it was not enough for the public who called for the President to resign since he had created this system. His comments after the suicide made people go against him as he meant that the students who committed suicide were suffering from mental weakness.

India

Between 2006 and 2008, 16,000 school and college students committed suicide according to the health ministry.  The World Health Organization (WHO) along with experts and doctors has demanded that a long term strategy needs to be put in place to tackle problems like anxiety, depression, stress and suicidal tendencies. As Cherian Verghese, a specialist with WHO India said; “The mental health system needs and overhaul. Our schools might be giving good education but we need education in life skills.”

The social taboo around mental health is a problem and the country needs more psychiatrists and social counselors who can counsel people during post-disaster trauma disorder. In a country with almost 1,21 billion people, living with social stigma, growing competition and the desire to succeed in every field, there are almost 3,500 psychiatrists trying to cope with the mental health.

From the beginning of 2010, more than 20 students committed suicide in Mumbai, India’s biggest financial capital. One of the mistakes of the schools is that, the schools pay more attention to results than to the “total education” of the child. And when parents are caught up with work, it creates a lack of attention and love but the expectation of good grades remains.

Japan

According to a report issued by the national police of Japan (NPA) as an annual study of suicide on March 3, 2011, suicide rates in Japan have increased 20% in 2010 and those who commit suicide mostly are unemployed. NPA report mentions the unemployed who committed suicide were mostly students or scholars. In 2009, the rate of student suicide unemployment counted 23 people and this number increased in 2010 with 53 people, 130% more.

China

As millions of students graduate every year, one in three graduates is unable to find a job. Already in 2009, suicide was listed as the leading cause of death among students. With 1.5 million graduates from 2009 still out of work, there are simply not enough jobs to go around, and the problem has been exacerbated by the impact of the global financial crisis.

In a country where university education has become crucial for the future success, the government has tried to manage the problem by offering soon-to-be-graduates positions as teachers and low level government positions in rural areas, but few are willing to return to the country side since their degrees was supposed to guarantee them escape and a better life.

Self-poisoning suicide attempts among students in Tehran, Iran.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on self-poisoned students admitted to Loghman-Hakim Hospital in Tehran, Iran and the study included age, sex, substance abuse, personal history, familial history and the immediate precipitant for the suicide attempt.

The results showed that a total of 248 students (200 F and 48 M) Self poisoning with a pharmaceutical agent was the most common attempt modality (87.5%). The most common precipitant for the suicide attempt was family conflict (54.4%), followed by romantic disappointment (29.4%). The most common psychiatric disorders were adjustment disorder (84.3%). and depression (18.1%).

Facts about suicide (religious tolerance.org)
  • Industrialized countries tend to have a higher suicide rate than poor developing countries.
  • U.S. suicide rates are highest in the western and rocky mountain states and low in the northeastern states.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among the population.
  • The most common method used my male are firearms (58%) and women to choose poisoning (40%).
  • More females than males attempt suicide.
  • More males than females succeed at suicide.
  • Married people have a lower rate of suicide than those who are divorced, separated, widowed or single.
  • Among the most common faith groups in the U.S., protestants have the highest suicide rate, Roman Catholics second and Jews as the lowest rate.
  • A person has a higher risk of committing suicide if their parent, close relative or close friend has taken their own life.

Click at the picture for a larger image

What are the reasons?

According to WHO, in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% around the world and are placed among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 and almost 30% of the suicides in the world occur in India, Japan and China. India stands for 10% of the suicides in the world, Japan has 30,000 suicides every year, in South Korea, one human life is ended by suicide every 40 minutes and in China, 287,000 people take their own life vey year.

Now that we have seen the numbers and statistics of suicide, the focus should actually be on the reason why people choose to end their life, and researches have shown many various reasons combined with the culture and environment of the country they live in. But one important reason is economic hardship together with the society becoming more and more materialistic and the people’s struggle to keep up. In the urban areas, stress and depression is the major causes for suicide.

Japan has always had very traditional societal structure and for a person to lose his/her job is considered as the ultimate shame and suicide preserves the person’s honour and makes them avoid shame. Then there is the pressure placed on the Korean students that the exam season is known as the “suicide season”. Now, the Korean government has started to launch public campaigns against suicide as well as educational programmes to avoid signs of depression and prevent suicidal tendencies. In China, there is awareness of the problem but there is still no strategy put forward to prevent it.

I have collected various reasons from different sources and put them together as a small guideline to prevent students in any age to commit suicide.

1. Lack of harmony between child and parents.

Many parents work to make an earning and as they are pressured with time, tension from work, tight schedules, family problems and worries about life, they become unable to pay attention to their children. The only thing they achieve is to fulfil the children’s basic needs and provide money. The children feel lonely and pressured to not fail as this will bring them shame. Another important aspect is that parents must find time to follow what the children are doing, where they go, who their friends are and etc.

2. Inefficiency

Some parents expect too much of their children and this imposes a heavy burden on the child. The parents must not be disappointed, angry or insult the child in case of a failure but rather encourage them to succeed next time as failure is the pillar of success.

3. Admission process

India is one of the countries with this problem where students have to wait in long queue throughout the day in rural areas or at computer centers as t electricity comes and goes. Situations like this bring frustration and anger. Here the government or the school must provide better ways for the students to get the necessary tools they need.

4. Keeping happy atmosphere at home.

Parents should not involve the children in their tensions and listen carefully to them. The children will be stronger if the parents give them discipline together with love and good culture. By this, the parents will manage to transfer confidence to the children.

5. Frequent meetings between parent-teacher and child.

Frequent meetings make aware of children’s real position and their right things as well as wrong things can be checked out. Parents and teachers should encourage children by giving rewards and explain when they have done something wrong. These remedies will build the child for the future to handle failure much better.

 

Lesotho – A country of Women Upliftment

Independent from British colonial rule in 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho was used to be trouble state where just like rest of Africa the power struggle leads into the greed of politicians & affects innocent citizens. Gripped in the variety of law codes which decides the fate of the people of Lesotho who are by origin are from Buntu descent results of the early Buntu migrations who got settled down in this hilly country. Lesotho is the highest ground level in the world making it the only country who’s even the lowest point from the sea level is 1455mtrs above. It is sovereign state with constitutional Monarchy or parliamentary monarchy system where King has no public role with its capital at Maseru. Surrounded on all sides by South Africa; It has the healthiest sex ration in Africa where for 100 women there are 95 men. After the introduction of a proper constitution & democratic system in 1998 the condition of women has been lifted on a very wide scale. The involvement has reached at such a stage that now women shares equal number of ministries, public servants positions, Army ranks, in Lesotho political & public structure. The literacy rate of 95% among women & 75% literacy rate among men which is the highest in Africa & one of the highest in the world makes women more advantageous & opportunistic. This situation has now completely transformed the family per capita tally where in Lesotho there are more women earning members than men now.  Now women are serving in every field where in early years men used to dominate.

Concerns: As per UNAID 2009 report Lesotho has the world’s highest number of HIV/AIDS infected people where in every 4 women are infected out of 5 & the same of men as well. With the non availability of hygienic & proper medical facilities in the kingdom & poor sanitation & high poverty levels make Lesotho more vulnerable to the highest infant mortality rate in the world & the lowest life expectancy due to highest number of HIV/AIDS infected people which counts for Men 45 years & same for Women 45years too. The ration of doctors / physicians is 5: 10000

It is among the poorest countries in the world & majority of population lives below poverty line. 75% of the population is rural & 25% is Urban. Population growth rate is 0.13% with a total GDP of 2.13billion USD.

The Social Network

We all have access to computer and internet today. Some of us use it related to work, others for study and the third just to be online and social. We all hear the message and advice; “build social network.” It is a great way to introduce and to meet new people that might be useful and important to us.

Let us think about our daily life. Communication with colleagues, customers, clients and some friends happens through social network places or emails. We read news on the internet instead of buying newspaper as before. Information is searched on the internet, discussions happens in forums online and invitations and advertisements happens through various web pages. And then there is the e books that are sold online that are scaring the booksellers all over the world.

When we apply for a job, we are told to send the application and cv as email. For those who don’t have time to study at university or college because of job or children, apply to internet studies. Post offices, banks and other institutions have much information and application forms available online so that you don’t have to move outside the home. When we want to speak with our friends, we tend to chat with them.

This week, the post office in Norway introduced digital mailbox to the citizens. Now we don’t even have to walk out our door to check the mailbox, but log onto the internet and see what mail we have. We will also be able to send, receive, manage and archive important mail on our account that is as safe as using online bank. 2 days after the launch, the Digi mail had 40,000 users.

But what is the purpose of internet? The mission is to share information fast and to far destinations as possible where it will be available for many. The more the information is shared, the more we need to add.

Numbers from World internet usage data from June 30, 2010 has put together statistics from each region of population and internet users.

Region                         Population (estimate 2010)     Internet users, dec 30, 2010

Africa                                        1,013,779,050                    4,514,400

Asia                                            3,834,792,852                    114,304,000

Europe                                      813,319,511                          105,096,093

Middle East                            212,336,924                         3,284,800

North America                     344,124,450                        108,096,800

Latin America                       592,556,972                         18,068,919

Oceania / Australia            34,700,201                           7,620,480

WORLD TOTAL                  6,845,609,960                    360,985,492

Facebook – the anti-social network


The power Facebook has seized today is unbelievable. It has become a part of most people’s daily life. Some use it to keep in touch with family and friends and to post pictures and share information like a dairy or blog. Others use it simply for marketing as it is a goldmine for marketers.

Statistics from Facebook shows that there are:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • 70% of the users are outside the United States

What are the positive and negative aspects of Facebook?

As for the positive aspects, we are able to track down friends and family that we wouldn’t have found so easily and we can keep in touch with each other much better rather than using other ways. Second, others use it to promote their work and find clients and customers. Marketing has become a huge thing and we use it intensively by posting ads on our wall, sending messages and creating various groups.

But for the negative aspects, unfortunately we cannot trust everybody with the information that it is shared. Some people create false profiles or write false information to attract friends. We add or send request to people we don’t know to expand our network for various reasons and this point can actually be both good and bad.

Like or dislike?

There are millions of reasons that can make us unhappy, but a research from the Stanford University called; “Misery has more company than people think” that was published in the scientist magazine Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in January 2011.

Alex Jordan, who was a PhD student at the time at Stanford, found out that people constantly undervalued how miserable others were. Alex Jordan got the idea for the research after observing his friends reactions on Facebook. He especially did notice that his friends seemed unhappy with themselves after logging in and browsed through others happy statuses, photos and achievements. They all seemed to believe that everybody else had a perfect life.

But the importance of feeling or being better than everybody else is affecting women more than men. According to Slate.com, the last year women’s happiness has been lower than ever. Meghan O’Rourke and 2 economists from University of Pennsylvania studied the difference of happiness of men and women. What the economists found out that the increasing possibilities to succeed in many different ways for the women have led to probability that their own life is not good enough. Women are especially targeted as there are more female than male users on Facebook, and the females are more active according to Forbes.

University of Texas in Austin has revealed results showing that men use Facebook mostly for sharing information associated with news or work/marketing while women often use it for personal communication such as posting pictures, videos and share it with family and friends. This kind of things easily make women more unhappy as for another example from last fall when Washington Post had a an article about women with fertility problems who couldn’t avoid to see and read the happy news from their friends who had babies.

In the end, I want to refer to a quote from the philosopher named Montesquieu (1689-1755);

We wish to be happier than others, and this is difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.

World News Headlines of April 11

France and U.N. Hit Ivory Coast Strongman’s Home and Palace

BOUAKÉ, Ivory Coast — French and United Nations helicopters fired missiles on Sunday at key positions held by forces loyal to the entrenched strongman Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, partly destroying Mr. Gbagbo’s residence, according to one of his top aides. The United Nations said the attacks were part of its…

Gaddafi accepts ceasefire: AU mediator

Tripoli, April 11: South African President Jacob Zuma says embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has accepted the African Union’s roadmap for a ceasefire to end the war in Libya. An African Union (AU) mediation delegation held talks with Gaddafi’s team on Sunday about a peace plan to put an end to the conflict, AFP reported….

Many dead in battle for Libya town

Many people are reported to have been killed in renewed fighting as pro-democracy fighters repelled an attack on the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya by forces loyal to longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. A Reuters news agency correspondent said he had seen at least 15 charred bodies next to vehicles belonging to Gaddafi’s forces which had…

A divided Poland marks 1st anniversary of plane crash that killed president

WARSAW, Poland – Poland on Sunday relived the deep pain that engulfed the nation a year ago with a day of prayers and other ceremonies marking the anniversary of the plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many other prominent civilian and military leaders. But deep political and social divisions that have simmered since the…

Pro-Gbagbo forces deny attack on rival’s HQ

ABIDJAN (AFP) – The government of Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo denied carrying out an attack Saturday on a hotel in Abidjan where his rival, UN-recognised president Alassane Ouattara, is headquartered. A UN spokesman and witnesses told AFP earlier the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, where Ouattara has been holed up since disputed November…

China tells US: Stop preaching on human rights

China has told the US to stop preaching on human rights, after the state department’s annual report on the issue criticised China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the US should concentrate on its own rights issues and stop interfering. Chinese authorities have launched a major crackdown on dissent recently….

In Libya, an Odd-Couple Alliance

WASHINGTON — At home in France, he has long been called “Sarko l’Américain.” But it took an American president and the threat of a massacre in Libya to give President Nicolas Sarkozy the chance to channel his inner American. With his call for military action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, his recognition of the…

Egypt army kills 1 dispersing overnight protest

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Health Ministry says one person was killed and 71 injured after the army charged into a central Cairo square to disperse a protest. Hundreds of soldiers stormed the square, beating protesters with sticks and firing volleys of gunfire in the early hours of the morning to disperse a demonstration carried over from the night…

Syrian city of Deraa hit by deadly clashes

At least 23 protesters have been killed during anti-government rallies in the southern Syrian city of Deraa, witnesses have told the BBC.

Latest World News

 

World News Headlines of April 06

Libyan rebel says strikes too little, late

BENGHAZI, Libya – A rebel military leader lashed out at NATO yesterday, saying that it was falling short in its mission to protect Libyan civilians. But the alliance said ruler Moammar Khadafy’s forces position heavy weapons in populated areas, preventing some airstrikes. Abdel-Fattah Younis, chief of staff for the rebel military and Khadafy’s…

International pressure mounts on Yemen leader

International pressure is mounting on Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, after at least 19 people have been killed in anti-government protests in the last two days. Strong statements from the United States, United Nations, European Union, Britain and Italy came as Saleh backers clashed with protesters in the capital,…

Radioactive water stops leaking from Japan plant

TOKYO (AP) — The utility that owns the crippled Japanese nuclear reactor says that highly radioactive water has stopped leaking into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesperson Naoki Tsunoda said Wednesday the company’s attempt to stem the leak by injecting 1,500 liters (400 gallons) of “water glass,” or sodium silicate, and another agent near…

Ivorian leader denies move to surrender

Wednesday, 6 April 2011, 11:42 am Press Release: Al Jazeera Ivorian leader denies move to surrender Laurent Gbagbo, Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent president, said that the Ivorian army had called for a ceasefire but denied…

Libya: Rebel leader accuses Nato of failing civilians

The Libyan rebel commander, Gen Abdul Fattah Younis, has accused Nato of standing idly by while pro-Gaddafi forces kill people in Misrata. If Nato waited another week to intervene, the besieged city’s people faced extermination, he told…

Libya: Rebels set to export first oil shipment

The first export of oil from rebel-held areas of eastern Libya for almost three weeks is due to begin later. Libya’s opposition groups are making plans to load a tanker believed to have now docked at a terminal near Tobruk.

France says Gbagbo in talks over departure

Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is negotiating his departure from power after several days of heavy fighting in Abidjan between his forces and those loyal to rival Alassane Ouattara, according to his government spokesman. “There are direct negotiations based on African Union recommendations which said Ouattara is president,”

Afghan policeman kills 2 U.S. soldiers

KABUL, Afghanistan – Two U.S. soldiers were shot to death by an Afghan police officer yesterday in northern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said. It was at least the third time this year that Afghan security personnel had turned on coalition soldiers. The shooting came after three days of…

Radiation in water rushing into sea tests millions of times over limit

Tokyo (CNN) — Japanese utility and government authorities suffered fresh setbacks Tuesday with the detection of radiation in a fish and news that water gushing from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific had radiation levels more than millions of times above the regulatory limit. Readings from samples taken Saturday in the concrete…

Final battle rages in Ivory Coast, forces close in

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast-United Nations and French forces closed in on Ivory Coast’s presidential palace early Tuesday after launching full assaults on the residence of the entrenched leader, the republican guard, two major military bases and state TV. Fighters aiming to topple strongman Laurent Gbagbo had succeeded in taking nearly the entire…

Latest World News

Russian journalists fear for their life

Journalists and media workers all over the world have been targeted every day all over the world for their work to cover important happenings and to report it to the public. They have been experiencing torture, beating and murder and most of the crimes go unpunished.

A joint report says that since 1993, more than 300 journalists have been killed in Russia with only 52 of the murders with confirmed motive.

Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta was founded in April 1993 of former journalist from Komsomolskaja Pravda. It is published 4 times a week in 14 Russian cities. This is one of the few Russian newspapers that are critical towards Kremlin and has been known for its journalism about the Chechen conflict. In June 2006, the former President in the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbatsjov and the representative Aleksandr Lebedev bought 49% of the newspapers stocks. The rest of 51% is owed by the editorial collective. Gorbatsjov has supported the newspaper from it was founded and it has been said that he used some of the money he got from the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 to establish it. Unfortunately in the last 10 years, 5 journalists working for Novaya Gazeta been killed.

The first thing Vladimir Putin did when he became President in 2000 was to go to war against Chechnya and also against the freedom of speech. Even if everybody has internet, the freedom of speech is almost none existing. According to journalist Elena Milashina in Novaya Gazeta says that the freedom to travel abroad, that there is still open borders is the last thing left of the freedom of speech, a last sign of democracy according to her.

Elena Kostyuchenko works also at Novaya Gazeta with criminality as specialty. “The worst part is not the threats, but the phone calls from Kremlin telling us what to do and what not to do and to think about our murdered colleagues. We ask ourselves; who is next? We try not to think about it and continue our work.” The sensor is the most important media law as they always call and warn journalists of what they can write about and not to write. Many journalists have no choice to follow this rule and get paid.

Anna Politkovskaja


The journalist in Novaya Gazeta, Anna Politkovskaja gave a truthful picture of Russia through her 15 years of the bloody wars in Chechnya and North Caucasus. October 7th 2006, she was executed with several gunshots outside her apartment in Moscow.

Anna Politkovskaja was known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and for her criticism of then Russian President Vladimir Putin. She wrote several books about the Russian and Chechen wars including the book Putin’s Russia. Her murder occurred on Vladimir Putin’s birthday and was describes as a contract killing.

The Russian government is playing double standard when it comes to journalism. They want the journalists to be the puppy of the government and write exactly what the government wants them to write. Others who want to give a true picture of the situation pay with their lives.

Dark future for paper

The paper version of the newspaper is currently under pressure as they publish 200,000 newspapers in 14 cities 4 times a week. The future looks dark for the paper version but bright at the internet. The newspaper has most readers between 30 and 50 years that are educated. Now, the new major in Moscow has imposed that the small avis kiosks are going to be removed and banned. This will hit the Novaya Gazeta hard as the avis kiosk is the most important income source. They don’t have many ads because the companies fear to publish their companies’ names as the Kremlin also calls them with warnings. Instead, the government has offered the Newspaper to sell through new newspaper in wending machines. These newspaper wending machines have space for a total of 1200 examples in a city with 16 million residents.

Terry Jones – The insane provocateur

In the last first decade of this century many worst incidents occurred which changed the world’s environment 360 degree. These guerilla attacks gave rise to fundamentalism in every corner of the world after the silence of 60 plus odd years after WWII & Hitler’s holocaust which had fill the world with hatred all around. The fall of WTC ignite the fire of new dimensions of orthodoxies. Once the peaceful & acceptable nature of Christians in the west has now turned anti Islamic fill with hatred with the eyes of discrimination towards the Muslim world. This has now became a major issue for all the nations of the world especially those who have been affected by the so called famed War on Terror which though started as a retaliation by the west to solve this radical mess but now has turned into an eye sore for the world with lives in millions have been lost on both the sides which just broaden a gap between the two theological worlds. If we people are serious to bring peace & harmony in the world then we together have to change our mind sets & follow the path of true light which never differentiate among the creatures of this world. As just the environment heated the events carried out by the `The Florida based pastor Terry Jones announced on July 12th, 2010 that he was planning to burn the Quran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11. The statement caused many protests and condemnations among not only Muslim organizations, but also organizations such as National Association of Evangelicals, German Evangelical Alliance and International Humanist and Ethical Union. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and various others gave their negative reaction fearing that the event would cause harm and have negative effect on the foreign security forces. President Obama called the burning event a stunt and urged Jones to not go through with the plans. The fear of the western leaders was right as Jones got the much needed publicity which sparked even the calmest corners in the most disturbed areas of the world costing lives of several innocents & risking more of another hundreds. A pastor is a shepherd used in Old Testament where it denotes that he has a responsibility to guide the herds of knowledge seekers & the followers who are following him for his role in their religion. If the leader started to follow the path which not only against the communal harmony but also denied theologically will not only disturbs the peaceful co existence of all the religions but also give rise to social in difference.

Though previous to 9/11, Jones had negotiation conversations with Imam Mohammad Musri and told him that he would cancel the burning if they would move the planned mosque away from Ground zero since no Americans wanted it there. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf rejected this statement and said there were no plans of stopping the construction. So the negotiations between Jones and Musri continued and Jones wished to meet with Imam Rauf who did not want to meet “someone who isn’t committed to pursue peace.” Finally after much pressure, Jones announced on September 10th that he was not going to burn the Quran after all, but had no guarantees for the future. And indeed he was right, for after almost 7 months of silence, Terry Jones got his 15 minutes of fame together with the Christian fundamentalist Wayne Sapp when they burned the Quran in a church in Florida March 20, 2011. It is just an insane behavior of Terry Jones who just wants to force his views on others creating a huge divide in already a much divided society which still struggling to stand on its feet for its peaceful survival. Before they burned it, the Quran had to go through a trial as the law states; Innocent until proven guilty. So these 32 people (including some ex-Muslims who have converted to Christianity) found the Quran guilty of a variety of crimes such as murder, rape, deception and being responsible for terrorist activities around the world. The punishment for these crimes was to be soaked in kerosene for an hour and then burned on a barbeque grill in a ceremony lead by Wayne Sapp. This made me think about which haunts they had in Europe and America in the 1400th-1600th century when women and girls were trialed for being witches and of course they would be burned alive on the stake as a punishment. This is completely unjustified of taking Holy book to trail which from ages since its formation has never taught its followers to take laws in their hands, to hate other religions & deny others of their freedom. Every religion & every book of his teachings never taught against the nature of Almighty & the human society. It we who have divided ourselves with greed, hunger, who seeks the social comforts of the changing environment, human civilizations has been a witness to several such incidents where whenever the hate spreads its roots it had just affected those who are the planters of its seeds. Humans harvest only which they sow & the history is the best place to seek into it. If we still not wake up from our self centered theology then the day is not far when we will turn ourselves into a cannibal beast killing the very existence of the small share of the harmony which still lives in our hearts.

Who is Terry Jones?

Jones is a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and was born in October 1951. Jones received no academic degree in theology but was given an honorary degree from the unaccredited California Graduate School of Theology in 1983, which now seeks to disassociate itself from him.

In 2002, Jones was fined $3800 by a Cologne court for falsely using the title “doctor” when all he had was an honorary degree from an unaccredited school. And according to the German Evangelical Alliance, Jones was released from the leadership of the Christliche Gemeinde Köln in 2008 due to his indefensible theological statements and his craving for attention and fraud. A leader of the Cologne church said that Jones, “didn’t project the biblical values and Christianity, but always made himself the center of everything.” German press agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that church members said Jones ran the Cologne church like a sect leader and used psychological pressure on members, “subordinating all activities to his will.”

In addition to the church, the Dove World Outreach Center maintains an unaccredited boarding school, called the “Dove World Outreach Academy”. The Gainesville Sun has resembled the academy to boot camp as students are prohibited to have family contact from outside, including attendance at family weddings and funerals. They also work without compensation, selling, packing, and shipping furniture for TS and Company, a business owned by Sylvia Jones, wife of Terry Jones.

In 2009, Terry Jones posted a lawn sign which stated in large red letters “Islam is of the Devil” which also became the title of a book published by Jones in 2010. The signs drew protests by local activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR responded to another sign which read, “Koran 9:5 Kill the disbelievers wherever you find them.” saying the quote was out of context, and aimed at antagonizing Muslims.

Outcome of the burning

A peaceful protest on April 1st ended up in a bloody attack when 8 people were killed when a group of mob started to attack the UN building in the city of Mazar-e Sharif. There were also many Afghans killed and injured in the protests that have continued every day in Kandahar. To this, Terry Jones has answered that the Church is startled by the outcome but doesn’t feel responsible. The western leaders haven’t said much in order to not give Terry Jones more publicity and attention, but everyone is exited waiting for what will be said and done. Obama has already condemned and referred to the episode as “an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry.” President Karzai did also condemn the episode of burning and the attack on the UN compound but the Afghans is not satisfied as they feel they have been violated in the worst thinkable way. The outcome which was expected & feared by the concerned corners has now resulted in much shame for the west which though always preaches its own terms for peace now left with no reasons to act as a centre for justice & peace of the world. The incidents like Quran Burning & its Trail by Pastor Terry Jones will just increase the already widen fault line where as publicizing these incidents & instead of preventing these events if we promote them & avoid reforming our ideological patterns then fighting for democracy, peace & human rights will be a cheating to the world of innocent people who needs the guidance of our leaders to show them the true path for peace & love, sermon for killing Terry Jones will only give rise to hatred & will promote these events which in reality should not happen & must be prevented by all means & by all religions

Freedom of speech

In a democratic society, burning the Quran goes under the freedom of expression and not something that can be prosecuted in court. The caricatures done several years ago were the symbol of the same; to spread hate and discrimination and violating people’s faith, but the burning of the Quran now was done to offend and nothing else. I have always supported the freedom of speech but freedom of speech does not mean that you can insult other religions, cultures or ethnicities. My common sense tells me that I don’t have to agree with everybody, but I must respect others. It’s very sad that innocent people have to suffer because of an ignorant and extremist man who doesn’t consider the safety of others but rather wishes to have attention. USA must also understand that these kinds of stunts does put US’s image lower in the rest of the world and makes them more isolated and target for terrorist attacks. One ignorant man that doesn’t know what he is doing will cost many innocent people their lives.

So what is the benefit of burning the Quran? Did it make Islam vanish? Did it help him in the cause of “fighting Islam,” or evil as Terry Jones likes to refer to Islam as. If Terry Jones had been a Christian man, he would never have insulted a religion with almost 1.5-1.6 billion followers. Christianity is also a peaceful religion that pursues peace and not hate like Jones do. Christianity does not insult other faiths but gives a message to love with your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. If he instead of turning on a great turmoil in the world, had tried to pursue towards peace and understanding in a time where people easily gets divided, he would have earned more and probably get the fame he so deeply desired.

In today’s world there is an urgent need for theological reforms in all the religious ideologies & various schools of thought where just only brainwashed fundamentalism exists. The organizations like Dove World Outreach Centre, Madarsas, Institutions & the representatives should think that if someone is doing wrong & is been hurt then they should come forward to aid him not retaliate in a negative manner which not only disturbs the nations image but also puts a big question mark on the efforts of the peaceful & affected corners of the world where even a minor spark of negativism ignites the emotions of the people & puts the lives in danger not only of the locals but also lives of those who are just doing their but to make this world a peaceful place to live. Now the west & east should also initiate a reform process in its Church & Imam system as if they dictate & support reforms across the world & intervene in the national policies of each other’s then they must first rectify the overall theological system of them which has been affected by their own neo external affairs policies & approach.

Churches & Madarsas are the institutions for our respected religions that have never taught violence & have always promoted peace while asking their followers to preach the message of love & harmony not hatred. So, it’s the duty of every human to promote peace & to bring those people to trail who are affecting our society with their orthodox ideologies which do not have any place neither in any religion nor in the world.  If we support freedom of speech as the right for every human then we should also respect that where bearing a responsibility of our own perceptions which not only sour the peace bowl but disturbs the brotherhood of the social nature. Hate speeches & events which support hatred as their core must be prevented or if possible stopped by the authorities responsible for maintaining law n order including those who know of their existence. If something did wrong or gone unjustified by other than it should not be retaliate in the same manner. If our leaders talks about global multicultural society then it is also their duty to protect the dignity of one’s personal society which is free from the dirt of all the radical ideology of orthodox sentiments with no means to serve for the society of their own, creates a world of discrimination which quenches the thirst with the blood of innocent peace makers. Voice is free but not the thoughts which if exposed turns out to be a disaster, so just calms your mind & sees through hearts let see the world with a peaceful thought where there is no violence, hatred & class but just the Almighty which showed always the brighter path.

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