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Live by these principles


Regardless of our status in life, our religion, culture, social background, heritage and all those classifications that we have created, there is one thing for certain -That, in our upbringing there have always been a basic set of universal principles and values that were infused into us by our parents. Do they still exist today?

There were certain values that were taught and practiced and they became part of our daily lives. If we were all to live by and practice those as part and parcel of our daily lives this world would surely be a better place. There are also a basic set of commitments for Muslims, as individuals and as people that make up the principles and the universal values of Islam. When followed they bring justice, peace and happiness in this world and success and salvation in the Hereafter. Let us all try to make these our daily commitments.

These principles may have been written about in my previous articles, but, since they are so important to infuse into our lives, please bear with me should you feel I am being repetitive. To show that these principles are universal I will attempt to quote verses from both the Quran and the Bible.

To worship Allah alone: This means to recognize Allah as the Lord, with no partners, to worship Him with all sincerity and to submit to Him in every aspect of life. A Muslim’s life is nothing but total commitment to Allah; He is the centre of our life and He is our total and ultimate concern. ‘Your Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him…. (Quran 17:23)

Similarly when one looks at a like verses from the Bible ‘I alone am the Lord your God. No other god may share my glory; I will not let idols share my praise. (Isaiah 42:8).   “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20: 2-3);

To be respectful and kind to the parents: This is to acknowledge the compassion and kindness of the parents, to be grateful to them and to do our utmost to reciprocate that love and compassion they gave to us in our years of growing up. After all they brought us into this world therefore respect and kindness to parents is not just a social duty for us; it is our religious duty and obligation. ‘We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth… (Quran 46:15).

‘….And that you show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour……’ Quran 17: 23-24. And: ’We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents…show gratitude to Me and your parents’. (Quran 31: 14).

In the Bible: “Honour your father and mother” (Exodus 20: 12);

To be good to your relatives, neighbours, to the poor and to the needy: Our responsibilities are not only towards ourselves and our immediate families, but also to society at large. We are all in need of each other as we are all fellow travellers in this path of life. Muslims have to live a life of social responsibility. That responsibility begins with our immediate family, other relatives and it includes all those who are in need. ‘Show kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, the orphans, the needy, and unto the neighbour……. (Quran 4:36).‘And render to the kindred their due rights, as also to those in want and to the wayfarer…’ (Quran 17: 27)

The Bible says: “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:7). “… Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).
Take good care of your children: As we recognize the rights of the parents, we should also recognize the rights of children upon us. Our children are our future therefore we must see that we raise healthy, intelligent and morally responsible children.

Our commitment should be to raise them in safe and healthy environment. We must protect their life as well as their sprit and mind, their morals and manners, this, is in addition to our other responsibilities such as providing food, shelter, clothing and giving them the best education possible. For our children to grow into responsible adults it is necessary that we as parents ensure that our actions and behaviour have to be exemplary. As oft stated children may not follow what you tell them but they will find it easier follow your example.

‘Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas God, with Him is a great reward (Paradise).’ (Quran 64:15) ‘O, you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) (Quran 66:6)
Prophet Muhammad said: ‘No father can give a better gift to his child than good manners’

The Bible says: “Lo children are the heritage of the Lord”…Psalms 127:3. “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be peace oft thy children” Isaiah 54:13

Take care of the orphans: Orphans are vulnerable and must be taken care of. Their rights upon us must be recognized and they should be shown kindness and be protected. Due to the scourge of AIDS and other factors there are many orphans in our midst who are in dire need of our support. This support can be in many forms; from financial, material and right down to showing them love, caring and compassion. The plight of orphans cannot be underestimated nor can we who have families understand what they go through. We cannot even begin to imagine the emotional turmoil and stress their young minds go through without the guidance, care and support of a loving family structure that many of us have been fortunate enough to enjoy.

We need to do more to show love and compassion towards orphans – they have lost their parents; they need a sense of belonging and of being wanted, but most of all they need, role models, ‘parental’ care and love. One of the attitudes believers have to adopt is to do good for orphans and “never to treat them harshly”. ‘See you one who denies the Judgement to come? Then such is the man who repulses the orphan with harshness, and encourages not the feeding on the indigent’. (Quran 107: 1-7). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: Whosoever passes his hand over the head of an orphan, but for the sake of Allah, shall have the blessings for every hair over which hand passes.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”. (James 1:27)
……to be continued

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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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