Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Everybody is exempt

Jul 15th, 2014 4:16 pm | By

The Muslim Council of Britain and Diabetes UK got together and put out a pamphlet for diabetics who plan to fast for Ramadan. It’s a little better in some ways than the NHS advice, but it’s still not good. It nowhere says you just shouldn’t fast if you have diabetes, period. It nowhere says you shouldn’t fast if you have diabetes and you don’t have to. It nowhere says fasting is optional.

It opens with

If you are planning on fasting and have diabetes, it is important to speak to
your diabetes healthcare team as early as possible before Ramadan. For some
people with diabetes, fasting can be dangerous or can cause problems to your
health. Your diabetes team

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The challenge of responding to the hardest facts of life

Jul 15th, 2014 3:30 pm | By

The New Yorker offers its Nadine Gordimer archive, which is well stocked.

Over the decades, Gordimer wrote dozens of pieces for The New Yorker. Her first, a short story called “A Watcher of the Dead,” was published in 1951.

After that, she continued to publish stories about life in South Africa, with occasional excursions into other genres. In 1954, she published a memoir of her childhood, called “Allusions in a Landscape”; in 1995, she wrote about being a juror at Cannes; and, in 2001, she recalled, in a short, pensive meditation on memory, running into an old friend on a London street.

But it was through her short fiction that Gordimer made her presence felt the

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Hatred of sex workers is one of the few things they have in common

Jul 15th, 2014 3:05 pm | By

Sex workers in Iraq are being murdered in wholesale lots.

AFP reporters were able to pass unchallenged through the main police checkpoint into Zayouna, where the previous evening police said gunmen stormed two apartment buildings and killed 27 women with silenced weapons.

“This is the fate of any prostitution,” read a inscription on the door of the one of the raided buildings.

Zayouna residents say that local apartments have long been used for prostitution and that alleged sex workers are found murdered every few months, with police unwilling or unable to prevent the attacks.

“If a person got shot right next to a policeman they wouldn’t say anything. They’re afraid. It’s the rule of the strong over the weak,”

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Many will put themselves at risk of serious illness

Jul 15th, 2014 12:55 pm | By

Is it Islamophobic to point out the dangers to health of Ramadan, especially Ramadan in July? If so, prepare to be shocked by this June 27 article in the notoriously Islamophobic Guardian.

Tears ran down the cheeks of an elderly Asian man sitting in his hospital bed during Ramadan last year as he sought reassurance from Muslim chaplain Siddiq Diwan because he could not participate in the annual religious month-long fast.

“I know I am ill and do not have to fast, Imam,” the old man said to Diwan at Manchester Royal Infirmary. “But I have never missed one in seven decades, and I really feel bad about it.”

While this patient had reluctantly accepted that fasting was not

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I never pented, so how can I repent?

Jul 15th, 2014 10:25 am | By

Hi, people in government, whether at the federal or state or local level, here’s something I don’t want you to do: tell us to “repent” and join together in prayer. Ok? Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa has been doing just that to the citizens in his state and I think he should apologize and stop and apologize again. It’s none of his god damn business. Repent, governor, not in the churchy sense but in the secular sense. You’re a governor, not a priest. You live in a secular democracy, not a theocracy. It’s not your job to tell citizens to repent.

An official proclamation signed by Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) has called

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The non-sexual worth of a woman never occurs to him

Jul 14th, 2014 6:23 pm | By

Some detail on Feynman’s view of and behavior toward women.

In Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, chapter You Just Ask Them?, Richard Feynman frequented a bar and desired to have sexual intercourse with the women there. He discovered that the women in the bar did not provide sexual favors in exchange for monetary compensation in the form of drinks. Although he gained a reputation for spending money on drinks for women, he was frustrated at the fact that the women did not consider alcoholic drinks to be payment for sexual services.

So he got some advice, and followed it. The advice was to treat the women like shit.

On the way to her motel she says, “You

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You are not less than

Jul 14th, 2014 3:48 pm | By

Malala Yousafzai went to Nigeria in solidarity with girls who are prevented from going to school there.

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One of the great guerrillas of the imagination

Jul 14th, 2014 3:22 pm | By

The Guardian on Nadine Gordimer.

Born in Gauteng, South Africa, in 1923 to immigrant European parents, Gordimer was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1991 for novels and short stories that reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule.

Many of her stories dealt with the themes of love, hate and friendship under the pressures of the racially segregated system that ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.

She was called one of the great “guerrillas of the imagination” by the poet Seamus Heaney, and a “magnificent epic writer” by the Nobel committee.

Gordimer became active in the then banned African National Congress after

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Adios Nadine Gordimer

Jul 14th, 2014 3:08 pm | By

Bruce Gorton sent me the link to an excellent local tribute, which included this by Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand:

Gordimer epitomised all that Wits University holds dear

Wits University has learnt with deep sadness of the passing of one of its most illustrious alumni, a great South African writer, and one of the world’s most esteemed literary figures, Nadine Gordimer. The University wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to her family, friends and the entire South African literary and academic community.

Gordimer was a dear friend to Wits, maintaining a lifelong connection to the University, and giving generously of her time. She often appeared on campus to participate in colloquia and

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Perhaps listening to them would help you

Jul 14th, 2014 12:07 pm | By

Janet Stemwedel has a brilliant post at the SciAm blog about the perils of idolizing human people.

The coordinated effort to build a reliable body of knowledge about the world depends on a baseline level of trust between scientists. Without that trust, you are left having to take on the entire project yourself, and that seriously diminishe[s] the chances that the knowledge you’re building will be objective.

That also applies to the rest of life. Morality is a product of the benefits of co-operation; if you’re not moral you’re not trustworthy, so unless you’ve very good at dissimulation, you’ll lose the benefits of co-operation if you’re not moral.

What about someone who is scrupulously honest about his scientific contributions

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HALEA needs help

Jul 14th, 2014 11:17 am | By

The IHEU reports that a humanist group in Uganda that does terrific important work needs help in the wake of a robbery.

The Humanist Association for Leadership, Equality and Accountability (HALEA) runs education and support services for children in some of the poorest parts of Kampala.

They go into schools running workshops centered around human rights and the rights of the child in particular, as well as democracy, confidence-building, and other issues. They run debates on ethical and humanist topics that otherwise may never be discussed. HALEA even publish a regular magazine written and produced by school students; it’s a rare and valuable opportunity for children to see themselves in print and to be heard! Through leadership training at their

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Who will be excluded is obvious

Jul 14th, 2014 10:47 am | By

Southall Black Sisters point out a bad new bit of proposed legislation.

Earlier this week, the House of Commons approved regulations which are intended to implement residence test for most of the 46 forms of civil legal aid.

Civil legal aid was first introduced through the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1949. Since then, its availability has always depended on three things: the type of case must be prioritized in the legal aid scheme; it must be strong and important enough to justify public money being spent on it; and the financial resources of the person involved must be so limited that it would be impossible for them to pay for a lawyer themselves.

If implemented, the residence test

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Some scholars say the asthma inhaler breaks the fast

Jul 13th, 2014 6:18 pm | By

And now, the NHS’s FAQ page for Ramadan.

Is fasting harmful when a woman is expecting a baby? Must pregnant women fast?
There’s medical evidence to show that fasting in pregnancy is not a good idea. If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy, she may do so.

Wtf? It’s not a good idea, but she may do so if she’s strong? Why would they say that?! That’s not medical advice – it’s contrary to medical advice. But it gets worse.

If she doesn’t feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives her clear permission not to fast, and to make up the missed fasts later. If she

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If you are unable to stand up due to dizziness

Jul 13th, 2014 5:42 pm | By

Another NHS page on how to deal with the health risks of Ramadan; this one is much more forthright, so that’s good.

Some common health complications that can arise from fasting and how to prevent and deal with them.

The following advice has been provided following consultation with medical experts and Islamic scholars.

Um…they’re the Health Service; they shouldn’t be consulting religious “scholars” on health issues.

They start with heartburn. They have some suggestions for how to minimize it,

Then they tackle diabetes. They say people who take insulin regularly shouldn’t fast at all; it’s too risky.

People who have their diabetes under control using tablets should seek careful advice from their GP before starting a fast.

Regular self-monitoring of

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Hello Columbus

Jul 13th, 2014 4:55 pm | By

The Student Secular Alliance had a conference – SSA Con East – this weekend.

Look who met there – three of the best!

Via Facebook

That’s Heina, Leo, and Hiba.… Read the rest

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Starving and dehydration can be good for you!

Jul 13th, 2014 4:20 pm | By

The NHS has advice on Ramadan fasting and health.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan can be good for your health if it’s done correctly.

When the body is starved of food, it starts to burn fat so that it can make energy. This can lead to weight loss. However, if you fast for too long your body will eventually start breaking down muscle protein for energy, which is unhealthy.

Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford, says there’s a strong relationship between diet and health.

“Ramadan isn’t always thought of as being an opportunity to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasised more generally than the health aspect,” he says. “However, it’s a great chance to get

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Smashed to pieces

Jul 13th, 2014 3:48 pm | By

Diana Darke reports for BBC News Magazine on the destruction of Syria’s ancient treasures. There are many photographs.

The Krak des Chevaliers has been bombed and shelled.

The Great Mosque in Damascus took a hit to some gorgeous mosaics.

The Temple of Bel in Palmyra has been battered.

The temple is one of the most important religious buildings of its time in the Middle East – it represents a synthesis of Roman with Greco-Persian-Babylonian architecture.

Many finely carved sculptures and blocks formerly stood inside the sanctuary, including a crowd scene with fully veiled women centuries before Islam. Whether they are still there, and still intact, is unknown.

Aleppo’s Great Mosque has also taken a hit, and its minaret was … Read the rest

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Bent over a pool table

Jul 13th, 2014 11:46 am | By

Kirsten Gillibrand – you know, the wild and crazy “radical feminist” US Senator – tweeted about a must-read article in the New York Times today, so I read it.

It’s an extended look at one investigation of a sexual assault complaint at a college.

She was 18 years old, a freshman, and had been on campus for just two weeks when one Saturday night last September her friends grew worried because she had been drinking and suddenly disappeared.

Around midnight, the missing girl texted a friend, saying she was frightened by a student she had met that evening. “Idk what to do,” she wrote. “I’m scared.” When she did not answer a call, the friend began searching for her.

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No smoking, no drinking — not even water

Jul 13th, 2014 10:43 am | By

This is a bit weird. I don’t mean in a “help help omigod US soldiers are being told to be polite to Moooslims” way, but in a “wait what about the health and safety of the soldiers themselves” way. US troops have been told to respect Ramadan.

Some 5 million people live in Baghdad but its busy sidewalk restaurants are now empty. No smoking, no drinking — not even water.

And yes, no sex. At least not during daylight hours.

“When I’m fasting and I see someone who is eating or smoking,” said a merchant on Karada Street, “I get very irritated.”

It’s clear that U.S. soldiers, including those with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, are getting the message.

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Forced to fast during Ramadan?

Jul 13th, 2014 9:20 am | By

Kiran Opal is calling on all closeted Ex-Muslims who are forced to fast during Ramadan to send her their stories.

Are you someone who’s been fasting, pretending to fast, or forced to lie about fasting to your Muslim family and friends? Are you under pressure to stay hungry and thirsty for several hours in the hottest part of the year? Are you someone who doesn’t believe in Islam anymore, but has to remain ‘in the closet’ about it?

If so, I want to hear from you.

I am working on an idea for a blog article to be posted soon for Ramadan on ExMuslimBlogs.com.

Similar to the International Women’s Day post from a few months ago, this one requires participation

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