18 May 2007

Idiots: Nobody can Bomb Islam!!

"The most anti-Islamic site will die if it faces a frozen counter. That would happen if you just leave it alone. But if you are out there telling everyone about it and asking them to do the same, you are in effect volunteering as their publicity department."

The alert letters keep coming. Beware here is the latest anti-Islamic site. Then a URL so you can verify that it is indeed as described. Then a passionate request to tell all the Muslims in the world about it.

Sincere. Misguided. Counter-productive.

Little do the senders realize that they are actually helping the very sites they are trying to fight.

The failure is in realizing that the Internet is a very different medium and the rules that applied to the previous media do not always apply here. If there is a bad magazine or book out there, you can tell others about it. We can be sure that nobody will rush to the closest bookseller to buy it. The warning may be useful, if there was a chance that some people could have bought the book out of ignorance.

In the click-click world of the Internet, the first thing most people will do is to click on the URL, thereby increasing the hit counts and boasting the morale of the site owners. Second, it will help it with search engine placement, as some of them will use the increased curiosity traffic as a sign of popularity. You just helped create the monster you wanted to fight!

It is common sense. If you don't want people to visit a site, just don't tell them about it.

It is very easy to setup a page on the Internet. It is very difficult to draw traffic to it. The most anti-Islamic site will die if it faces a frozen counter. That would happen if you just leave it alone. But if you are out there telling everyone about it and asking them to do the same, you are in effect volunteering as their publicity department. That is exactly what they need.

If there is a well-established site (like CNN) it makes sense to launch a protest campaign. But for most of the sites the prudent course is just the opposite. Leave it alone. Let it die of neglect. A natural death. The greater the lack of attention, the faster will be the death of this would be monster.

So the next time you receive an alert letter about an anti-Islamic site, just delete it. If you respond to the sender, do not include the original text of his alert email, because even that may help some search engine ranking.

There were dozens of anti-Islamic sites that sprang up recently but died soon after because, luckily, our enthusiasts had not noticed them and had not publicized them through their alert letters. The ones that receive the alert letter mention will, unfortunately, survive and may thrive.

On the Internet, the best use of your energies is to promote the good Islamic sites. Let the good drive out the evil.

Source URL: http://www.islamfortoday.com/baig01.htm

16 May 2007

MIB

seeing that its apparently the week of arb blogs: (can we get judges & prizes?!)
I have not done this in a while- blog about something totally arb- but as technical guru for a world of bean counters, I find myself really short pressed for time. So here I make a prolific attempt to maintain the flow of verve through my blog and optimistically we will see some signs of intelligent life~!

Mib- an amazingly simple tool that some of us cannot do without. It serves its purpose well, but only with it’s compulsorily ingredient. But what makes me expound the unanticipated merits of this insignificant instrument is the surprising effect on its non-users!

Following a visit to the place of use of the Mib, a colleague, looking beleaguered in thought, trying to figure out the reason for the Mib. Forced to explain the use of the gadget, I endeavoured to do so in as simple a fashion as possible- not that such explanation could ever swoop over anyone’s head.

My simplicity and logic of my elucidation found the above mentioned colleague totally astonished- he seemed to struggle to find, deep in his cultured and enlightened self, the reason for not thinking before of something so vitally important and easy.

Just goes to show that you never know what could apparently insignificant item, or in that case event, could prove to pave the way forward for spreading some light.

*** Mib = mobile istinja bottle ***
** mobile istinja bottle = a vessel to carry water, in my case usually valprĂȘ or bon aqua **
* istinja = cleaning impurities *

10 May 2007

Inner City Incidents




Last night we almost had an orchestra- a set of drums beaten in tune with the regular guitar as well as an additional guitar, carried by its owner through the streets of the city in a kreepy krawly box, his only possession that he holds onto for dear life.
The setting, as usual, is an abandoned building, dark and smoky, due to the open fire in the centre of the room. The song is a prayer, of a form very different to which I am accustomed to, but have come to enjoy over the past year. What the bearded ones will think of my being there, I can imagine but care not.
There is goodness and sincerity in this room, of an intensity that I rarely get to witness. Together with what have become fond memories in a fairly short time.

Ebrahim is 60 years old and has been living on the streets for 11 months. He is clearly a stubborn man, especially when it comes to family politics. But regardless of what happened, we are there to try and convince those who can, to get off the streets and make a life.
Uncle Eb: Ok, I guess you are right.
Me: Of course. (I guess the cold of the night, helped my argument!) Whatever happened, your family is probably missing you now and worried about you.
Uncle Eb: I will give you the number, call my sister. Is this soup Halaal, I haven’t eaten the whole day?
Me: I don’t know, but if I was you I would eat it. (I honestly don’t care if it is Halaal or not!)

It’s a busy night, the streets are full. Mr Louw knows a Bilal in Eldo’s. What a character: so drunk so often, that he is actually quite sober and coherent now, even while drunk!

The numbers grow on the street coz of the constant inflow. Rashid is from Ghana. Came down 2 months ago on a ship with 3 others- but still no jobs, no money and no food! Dreams of gold and glitter in the ‘City of Gold’, the economic powerhouse of Africa- clearly not so glamorous after all.
My advice- I visited Ghana last year- Accra, your hometown, is a growing city.
The work I did there for a major bank indicated that there was significant economic growth. Maybe only growth of the first economy, but spill offs must create more opportunities back home than here. Back as a home that you definitely have. With friends and family and everything you know and like. That’s the best.
Accra is better than Joburg inner city!


From the past: click here

07 May 2007

Road Trip 2007

African Safari: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Namibia!
**This post is currently under construction- watch this space:)**