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The Brotherhood of Humanity

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

The Almighty has given humankind dignity and honour, and breathed into him of His own spirit. Since we have all been created by one and the same God, for this reason we belong to one brotherhood. As such we are all united in Him and through Him, and apart from our other human attributes, we are substantially the same and no tangible and actual distinction can be made among us, on account of our differences such as nationality, colour or race.  

The Holy Qur’an declares: “O mankind! Indeed we have created you as male and female; and have placed you in groups and tribes so that you may have mutual recognition. Indeed the most honourable of you, in the sight of the Almighty is he who is most God-conscious!” (Quran 49:  13)

After all, humankind originates from one source – Adam and Eve – and as such we have to accept that the next person is not only of the same “species” as ourselves, but they experience the same feelings, emotions, anxieties, etc. like us. Therefore we are one community of brotherhood in the sight of our Lord and Creator. The human race is inter-connected regardless of our race, tribe, colour, creed, ethnic, linguistic and all the other so-called differences. Despite these differences we have to learn to accept the oneness and the brotherhood of mankind. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "All creatures are of the ‘family’ of The Almighty and the most beloved to Him, amongst His creatures, is the one who is best (in treatment) towards His ‘family’ – i.e. creatures.”

If we look even closer especially at the founding religious beliefs of the great religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, we will begin to realize that they share many common beliefs so much so that they can be considered ‘sister’ faiths because they have common roots of geographical, ethnic and linguistic origins of the Middle East. They share the same lineage of the great Prophets; Prophet Abraham had two sons Ishmael and Isaac. The great Prophet Moses and Jesus Christ were from Isaac’s ancestry and In Islam, Prophet Muhammad was from Ishmael’s ancestry. May Peace be upon them All.

This closeness is further borne out in a Quranic verse: ‘we Muslims believe in Allah, and the Revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Jacob and the tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to all the Prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between one and another of them and we submit to Allah (Quran 2:136).

Once we accept that there is a common thread in humanity we have to live a life that reflects and shows the brotherhood of the human race. This means that we should promote a feeling of fellowship by showing and treating others with respect, kindness compassion and all the brotherliness as if we were like members of the same large family after all, we are all of the same species of creation.

This is borne out and is part of our religious upbringing, guidance, teachings and edicts. Spreading it wider, all the traditional and cultural values and upbringing of virtually every race of the planet, has always reflected those brotherly traits. Modern man has deviated from this and we each tend to live in our own isolated ‘bubble’ as it were. Almost echoing (as recorded in the Bible) what Cain said; ‘am I my brother’s keeper?’ when asked by our Lord ‘where is thy brother Abel’.    

Unfortunately we have drifted away from living as a community to, living for me and my family. We have literally built walls around ourselves. This is in stark contrast to the Setswana saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It has now become; each one for himself and God for us all.   

We need to bring back that ‘community spirit’ back into our societies so as to bring back the mutual respect, tolerance, neighbourliness and compassion that were the foundations of our upbringing. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said "Those whose hearts are devoid of mercy for others, will not obtain the mercy of Allah Almighty."
 
‘…..the giving of food in a day of hardship to the orphan…or to the indigent down in the dust……… He will be of those who believe and enjoin patience, constancy and self-restraint and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the companions of the Right Hand’ (Quran 90: 15-18)
Our indifference to one another's plight contributes to the cause of most of today’s problems in the world. It sometimes is the root cause of all trouble, at the various levels social, economic, legal, educational, political, etc. – due to our disregard of the rights of others by not fulfilling them or attaching any importance to them. There can be no real peace and happiness, until we attach an equal importance to the rights and claims of others upon us, as we attach to our rights and claims on them.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said "The Most-Merciful Lord will have mercy on those who are merciful.  Show mercy and compassion to the dwellers of the earth, then the One in the heavens (The Almighty) will show mercy and compassion to you!" 

In applying this we will need to go beyond the ties of kinship of blood, racial superiority, linguistics and economic privileges to a level of accepting the brotherhood of mankind. Our societies have many strata of people from the rich and famous to the poor and forgotten; the strong to the weak; the young and the old; the well fed and the hungry; the leaders and the followers; the arrogant down to the modest; and so it goes. We therefore have to ensure that we protect the rights of those we consider ‘lesser’ than us.

There has to be a degree of mutual respect and cordial feelings, this will in turn promote peace and harmony between us. We need not only to protect their rights but ensure that we do everything to assist them in whatever way possible.

Let us thus protect the rights of the weak and the downtrodden: Let us not take undue advantage of the women, the children, the old, the sick and the ailing. Let us show the greatest respect for our women’s chastity and honour under all circumstances. Let us feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and  treat medically the wounded or diseased, irrespective of whether they belong to the one’s own community or not.  

Let us recognise that we are one community and as such we should respect the rights of humanity as a whole. We must observe and practice righteousness at all times – as a duty to God Almighty. Class, creed or ethnicity does not matter in the sight of our Lord – these are only manmade distinctions between us. 

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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