25 things … Crystal’s Articles (Imran O Kazmi)

I shall be uploading my articles here…

1 Born to be wild
2 Love the wild
3 Get wild quickly
4 Wildly imaginative
5 Hair-gone-wild
6 Wildly passionate
7 Lost in my own wilderness
8 Ok I give up, I’m not THAT wild
9 Sometimes I see a VAMPYRE in me
10 Be afraid, be very afraid of me
11 I love Mr Beans, esp “Hair by Mr Beans” and all his movies (the painting one too)
12 Jim Carey makes me laugh AND vomit at the same time
13 Mike Myers only makes me vomit, but I still like him
14 Salman Abedin is a freak
15 William Adelman wasn’t born yesterday
16 Gershon’s mission is not quite impossible
17 Asim Syed should have been a writer
18 I hate 4x4s (not cos I can’t afford them! 🙂
19 I love CADDYs (Caddilac) esp the old ones, I have 94/98 both are like “boats”
20 I am not a show off, but I like to show off
21 The best thing is: I have nothing to show off 🙂
22 What goes up, stays up (try dying!)
23 Money, mind or mistress? What do they have in common (of course the letter M!)
24 Changing the world is easy, just support my lunatic thoughts on http://www.ahappyworld.info
25 Don’t just commit suicide yet! I’ll be back with the next part of 25evers next week LOL

ANSWERING WARS AND HATE with “Kode of Konduct”

KoK or how to get humans to act like humans after all 🙂

Comments comments all, hurry be the first before a million people share this and a quadzillion start talking about the NEW RELIGIONS FOR HUMANITY “KOK”

KoK or KodeOfKonduct
By His Royal and Spiritual Highness, Crystal Heart Kazmi
A new code of conduct or perhaps an amalgamation of whatever is “good” in different religion, for the open minded.

The fundamental questions

Throughout ages, mankind has struggled for answers to two questions, why we exist? and how to have some form or manner of order in this world?

Answers to where we came from and why? Are we going someplace else, somehow, till mortal life do us part? Or just dust and bones or meals perhaps for the food chain? The second being a quest for order, predictability, sustainability of life that requires rules and someone to implement those rules, and of course, some basis for those rules.

Religion, Atheism and existence

Mark Knopfler sang almost 30 years back “a long time ago came a man on this track, walking thirty miles with a sack on his back,
Thus came religion, whether man or God made, that is a debate only the end of life can confirm, or deny. Religion explained the where we came from and why, and also gave rules to live life by, gave a name to relationships, father, mother, siblings, cousins, friends, community, nation or faith and of course, enemies; who to go to bed with and whom not to. It gave a concept of what belongs to us and what doesn’t our rights and obligations and what happens if we fail to meet them, punitive measures implemented by the community or as we now call them the police and judiciary.

There were rules to live and die by, rules to kill by and rules to trade by. But then there wasn’t just one faith or religion controlling humanity, there were many. The prominent ones being Judaism, Christianity, Islam and to a lesser extent Hinduism and Buddhism. While religion united mankind it also sowed the seeds of dissension, envy and hate.

There existed through the ages a people who didn’t feel the need for an Almighty or His rules to lead them on, they used their own logic or sometimes religion borrowed principles that suited them and hence were born the Atheists. Liberal and welcoming towards humanity but with a chip on their shoulder when it comes to the religious kind. And vice versa for the Atheists were not approved off nor are by most faiths and faithful.

Thus today we have the three core faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam polarizing humanity and Atheists who mock them for what they call “adults with imaginary friends.”
And in between the faiths we have, for thousands of years, seen war, rape, murder, hate, in the mosque or synagogue or the church or the temples of the faithful. Each group claims supremacy in this and the “other” world and claims that the heavens are theirs and that hell belongs to the rest, if they aren’t murdered or abused while still alive, more likely, those who disagree with their eternal spiritual religious views.

I have a thinking, logical and rational mind, and it refuses to buy into religious rhetoric but it does observe science and notes facts like the origin of life, the vast expanse of the universe measured by millions of light years and yet no signs of life anywhere but on planet earth. The works of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan and Erich Von Daniken have shed light on possibilities of other creatures existing or a clear challenge at the laws of Physics at the quantum level. In some cases proof of aliens inhabiting planet earth and perhaps indoctrinating our ancestors with some “faith”

Different Gods, identical Demons

For some it’s Yahweh, Holy Trinity for others, Bhagwan for some and Allah for others.

No matter what the Deity is called, the outcomes aren’t very different, blood on the streets of Myanmar, or at Ground Zero near the once World Trade Centre, or the London or Bombay Subway, or the Pakistan Army School near Peshawer, or the streets of Gaza, or the bus in Tel Aviv, or the streets of Srinagar. Horror, murder and fear reigns supreme. All in the name of some God, they say He loves and is bountiful but on the streets one see blood and death, all over media, all over this world.

The demons are pretty obvious, but the loving part, sadly, is not. Yet to its credit, were it not for religion many of the morals or ethics that define society, trade and relationships would not exist either.

I often watch with immense amusement the “faith” and conviction with which the “faithful” defend their faiths, whether with arguments, from the light and polite to the aggressive to the verbally or physically abusive. Conviction doesn’t impress me, kindness does. And most people who swear allegiance to some “Holy” God have not an iota of kindness in them … for their counterparts, going by own logic, were the others or “gentiles” creation of another “God”? Was it not an accident of birth that one was or is called the follower of so and so faith? How many change their “faiths” through their lifetime? Hardly any in percentage terms, then why be so proud of what your parents believed in and demeaning of what someone else’s believed in? For is this not what it boils down to? Imagine twins exchanged at birth and I do recall an instance where they grew up in different faiths. Ironic that their “real” parents were allied to a God that was perhaps at loggerheads with the God their adoptee parents had.
Sadly, tons of logic wouldn’t move the faithful to the simple realization that even IF a God existed and He or She happened to be one that they believed in, there is no logical argument for a God to hate his disbelievers for He created them as well! And hence since one loves one’s creations, one would want them to love each other too, despite any racial, ethnic or religious divide for the source is the same for all, going by religious notions of Adam and Eve as the first humans.

Making the faithful concur

Now isn’t that the trillion dollar question? Many firmly believe that there are certain “secret societies” and “rich families” who perhaps worship the devil and would never let peace prevail upon earth.

I could partly agree that money and power can result in the collusion of many in our world today to wreak havoc on helpless, poor and powerless mankind, however, the internet and social media have empowered the helpless too. Which is where I come in; as a peace activist for the last decade almost I’ve left no stone unturned that a lone man can possibly use to spread my message of love and peace to the world.

Hence I present to you, the masses of this world, the reader of this “new way of life”, it’s borrowed heavily from the “good” in religious teachings as well as scholarly work of Atheism; or KoK (Kode of Konduct) – the goodie bag of happiness and peace.

Embrace it, adopt it, adapt it, propagate it and I am sure the world will become a much happier place that what it is today.

Founding principles of KoK

Given the background of KoK we are ready to delve into the proposed founding principles of this “faith” or “way of life” or “kode of konduct” as I call it. The objective being to ensure humanity lives in peace and happiness.

1 All men and women are created equals, race, gender, ethnicity does not make one better than another
2 All people who follow any faith or Atheism deserve respect as long as their followers do not impose their views on others or in physical, verbal or emotional terms intend to harm another
3 All faiths contain good and bad elements when seen from the perspective of peaceful coexistence

a. The good elements of all faiths, for example

i. “love thy neighbor”
ii. “speak the truth”
iii. “do not steal or rob”
iv. “help the poor and needy”
and so forth can be summed up as “commandments” into a Least Common Denominator of all faiths

b. The not so good elements of all faiths, for example

i. Discriminating people within the faith (as in Hindu caste system)
ii. Forcing people to not marry or have sex even if its’ willful (some Church members, Nuns, Buddhist Priests)
iii. Expecting people to be bound in a bond (some Hindu widows not allowed to remarry, forms of slavery)
iv. Rites and rituals putting the young or old in harm’s way (“Matam” or mourning using knives by the Shias among Muslims)
v. Asking people to ridicule other faiths, destroying their places of worship and even kill them (in Islam making fun of other faiths or their practices, among Jews calling others “gentiles”, the Buddhists in how they treat the Rohingyas in Myanmar and so forth)
vi. Child marriages as apparent in different faiths (Islam, Hinduism and others)
vii. Forced marriages in different faiths (among Muslims not by the teachings but practices and rituals, Hindus, and others)
viii. Family marriages by force (as in Parsis or Fire Worshippers originated from Iran, by practice in Muslims, Hindus and other faiths)
ix. Unequal rights of men and women (as in Hinduism, Islam and other faiths)
x. Harsh punishments for “sins” as in cutting hands for robbery (Islam), and other faiths
xi. Child and women abuse (allowing to beat women and children as in Islam and perhaps in other faiths too)
xii. Restricting or disallowing divorce (Hinduism, Christians, some sects of Islam)
xiii. Restricting or disallowing marriages in other faiths (almost all faiths) or making the same conditional (conversion)
xiv. Satan and devil worshippers, cannibals, flesh eaters and so forth that defy basics of peaceful co existence

This list as you’d have gathered is not exhaustive, however, indicative of how religious teachings are used to restrict basic rights of people and even enslave or torment humankind.

How do we implement KoK

Here’s the real challenge! Easy to brainstorm and improve upon principles but hard to make sense of them to the world, especially “the powers that be” whether they are for or not for religion or Atheism, have their own agendas often contradicting with peaceful coexistence due a lust for power and money often in collusion. Sadly, many a times the troika of evil cuts across different faiths.

All that is required for a person to “embrace KoK” is to call himself a Kokasian and lo and behold the Lords of the Universe, Angels, good Spirits and Saints, not to mention His Holiness the late Bertrand Russel and Sri Sri Ravishanker of the Art of Living all shower their blessings on you

What do we achieve out of KoK

Benefits are not limited to the following:

• A happy and peaceful world
• A war free world
• A prosperous world where people trade freely and happily across borders
• A world where human potential is given importance
• A common quest to alleviate suffering, poverty and discrimination from the world

So whatever you think of it – religion, doctrine, guidelines, just think of it as a more human friendly approach!

What has Malala Yousufzai done to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Answer by Michael Moszczynski:

Giving Malala Yousafzai the Nobel Peace Prize is like giving the Nobel Prize for Literature to the winner of the National Spelling Bee.

This is nothing to take away from her; she is a tremendously courageous person and, in my opinion, a force for good in the world. She is an inspiration, and everyone in the world should see her as such. It is completely possible – and perhaps even likely, based on her activism so far – that in the decades to come she will have an impact on the world that is worthy of the Nobel Prize. It is also possible she will retire to obscurity, or simply devote her life to projects that turn out to be unsuccessful. We simply don't know; but as courageous a person as she is, she hasn't done much to further the lot of children in the world yet. She was thrust into the international spotlight by a brutal attack, and has impressed us all with her perseverance, intelligence and principles, but she hasn't yet had the time to accomplish much. Winning the Spelling Bee is a tremendous accomplishment, something only a truly exceptional person could achieve – but it's not the same as writing a great work of literature, nor should one of its contestants be judged by that standard.

This is a problem that has dogged the Nobel Peace Prize in recent years – the awarding of speculative prizes in the hope that the recipient will eventually do something to deserve them, the most obvious example being that of Barack Obama when he was elected. In every other field, the prize is awarded to those who have spent a lifetime excelling in their fields, and it is often given only many years after the work it rewards, after the effects of that work have been seen – it takes years for a paper to have a major impact on the world of physics, and it takes years for a person or an organisation to do something that truly makes the world a better place.

In every news story I've seen, Yousafzai gets top billing while Satyarthi is relegated to a subheadline, sometimes not even getting a picture. Yet his organisation has helped, if the reporting is correct, tens of thousands of children in a very tangible way. This is an achievement worthy of the prize; Yousafzai, meanwhile, has done very little on the ground, having mostly completed books and speeches for a Western audience. No knock against her – no one could have accomplished much in such a short time at such an age! – but the fact is the prize is supposed to be a reward for accomplishments, not a statement of support for someone who might have them in the future. The standards of the Peace Prize aren't really appropriate for someone like her who is only just starting out her humanitarian activist career ­– none of us know if that career will be worthy of such an award, though of course we hope it is.

There's a larger point, however, that has nothing to do with Yousafzai or Satyarthi, and that's the obsession with 'awareness' that has gripped so much of the West – there seems to be a belief that making Westerners aware of the injustices of the world is more important than helping the victims of those injustices. Many recent recipients of the prize have been these kinds of symbolic nods to Western public opinion, as though the committee was using the prize as a million-dollar upvote, wanting to indicate that they like Obama's speeches, they like speaking out against the PRC, they like inspirational schoolgirls. And those were all good things! But ultimately, people are being judged by the media impact they have in the West, not by what they accomplish for the people they're trying to help. Satyarthi has organised to help children in India escape child labour, and lobbied his government to change its laws. Yousafzai may be an inspiration, but her impact on Western public opinion has been far, far greater than her impact on schooling in Pakistan, but it seems that nowadays, the former is far more important than the latter.

Malala Yousafzai may one day deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, but she certainly doesn't today.

Edit to respond to some of the more upvoted themes in the comments.

On Malala Yousafzai's character: First of all, as I thought was clear from my answer, I am in no way a critic of her or her work. I think she is doing great work and I think she is an incredibly brave person worthy of all of our admiration. I merely disagree with the awarding of this particular prize at this particular moment. She won the Sakharov Prize last year, and she is a richly deserving winner, and the access of women to education around the world is one of the great moral issues of our time. I simply believe that the Nobel, in its capacity to greatly amplify the efforts of humanitarians, would be better awarded to those who have already shown tremendous success in their efforts. I believe that a better use would be to amplify those efforts, as with Satyarthi, rather than to kickstart them, as with Yousafzai.

On the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize: Nobel wrote in his will that this prize should be awarded to "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Needless to say, we no longer heed that definition, but to say that she deserves it because they chose her is a tautology: the criterion is being selected by the committee, therefore anyone who receives it deserves it. And I do understand that it is ultimately a political symbol – but choosing a Pakistani to "balance out" the Indian and send a message about those two countries is a bit cynical (not that Yousafzai is merely a "token" choice, which she most definitely isn't). Again, I think the best direction for the Peace Prize would be to promote and amplify existing efforts, not future ones.

On Obama and Kissinger: These are obviously much, much worse choices than Yousafzai. They have been actively detrimental to world peace and should have their prizes rescinded based on their subsequent action. A case can be made for Arafat and Kissinger that they signed peace agreements, but obviously those agreements didn't stick. If the Oslo Accords had genuinely resulted in peace, Arafat and Rabin would have deserved the prize despite any history of violence they had had, because it would have been such a monumental achievement. But the prize was vastly premature – again, symptomatic of 'aspirational' prizes, what we hope will be achieved rather than what was.

On feminism: A few comments suggest that I'm against Yousafzai's prize because she is a woman, which could not be further from the truth. I applaud the prizes of Wangari Maathai, Tawakkul Kerman and others whole-heartedly. And I consider myself a feminist without reservation. Being able to go to school in safety is in many places a male privilege, and there is no doubt that this has to change. I merely contend that her accomplishments in the field of increasing access to education have not yet had enough time to be worthy of this prize, and I don't think there was anything anti-feminist in my answer. I think some people look to take offence where there is none – and this is supported by the fact that many of these comments contain random, YouTube-style personal attacks suggesting that I'm some sort of envious, video-game playing (?) shut-in. I'm not terribly offended, but it's odd and not germane to the topic. Also, I really object to everyone referring to her by her first name, which is an infantilisation that only happens to women; she's a symbol, not a human being – we might vote for Hillary, but we voted for Clinton, not Bill, and Obama, not Barack.

On Western awareness: A lot of commenters take the assumption, as I stated above, that Western attention is the primary prerequisite for tackling problems of global import. They say Yousafzai has changed the world, but she didn't for Pakistani girls – thousands upon thousands of them still are denied their basic right to education. I hope she can change this, but she hasn't yet. What she did change was the issues the Western world currently sees as important – she changed the way Westerners perceive the world, but that's not what the world really is. Moreover, as someone who works in the aid field, I can say categorically that it's a myth that Western attention is correlated with humanitarian success. We have short attention spans for problems that require decades of aid. The greatest successes – such as the tremendously successful fight against malaria – never made headlines, and many that do get forgotten the second the next news cycle rolls around. What ever happened to Joseph Kony anyway? I assume the Western attention caught him and solved the problem of child soldiers forever.

Anyway, those are some of my responses to the comments below. I want to thank everyone who upvoted, downvoted, or left comments both positive and negative. I think it's a topic worthy of legitimate debate, and I think the discussion here has been far more civil than it would be in other corners of the internet.

What has Malala Yousufzai done to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?