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Posts tagged ‘Qur’an’

Only In Unity Do We Stand A Chance – Karo Orovboni.


By Karo Orovboni

As most Nigerians are religious or should I say portray to be religious, I will start by taking two quotes, one from the Bible, and the other from the Quran.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” – Matthew 12:25

“Do not be like the ones who became divided and disputed, despite clear proofs that were given to them. For these have incurred a terrible retribution” – Quran 3:105

Nigeria has become an extremely polarised nation, to the extent that the white on the national flag, which signifies unity, is crying for a colour change. Almost every national discussion you hear will most certainly have a sectional undertone. Political officers are chosen based on what part of the country they are from or to satisfy some political interests and not necessarily for their leadership capabilities or the intellectual skill set they possess. It is now endemic in Nigeria that a person who steals from the public purse is not a thief if he or she is from the same ethnic region; they are termed “my brother” or “my sister”. This in itself is shocking!

Almost every Nigerian you speak to is dissatisfied with the state of the nation; people are angry and blame each other for the deterioration of the nation. The northerners will tell you it is the southerners, the southerners will tell you the northerners have ruled Nigeria for too long. Some have even conceived that the amalgamation of 1914 was a terrible mistake; that we would have been better of if there was no amalgamation. But before we start pointing accusing fingers and blaming the problems on the other ethnic region, I have some advice. Why not look inwards and ask your regional or ethnic leaders that are in political positions or have held political positions in the past some salient questions like:

What have you done with the allocations given to you from the treasury?

Can you point to the projects you have executed with utmost transparency and accountability?

Where are the policies you initiated that have benefitted the average Nigerian and alleviated the level of poverty?

Can you in all sincerity tell us that you have not soiled your hands in the public purse?

This list of questions is in no way exhaustive but you can begin to form an idea of the kind of questions you need to ask them.

The secession of Nigeria is far from the solution, in fact, it will indeed worsen the problems. If Nigeria splits into many parts, the prevalent problems of today will still remain. If we don’t learn how to live in unity as Nigeria, we will never be able to live in unity even if Nigeria splits into fifty parts. There are only two sets of people in Nigeria – the good and the evil, and they both exist in every geopolitical zone of the country. The ethnic and religious division is nothing but a deceitful seed sown by greedy politicians that has now grown into a mighty forest that has since been nurtured by the same group. The divide and conquer rule is not a myth, it works, and it will continue to as long as you allow yourselves to be divided along ethnic and religious lines. The more the ethnic division continue, the more the greedy politicians increase in political and financial power – the division suits their purpose.

I have said it previously that the problem of Nigeria is not the Northerners or Southerners, it isn’t the Christians or Muslims, but the major problem is corruption in high places. This is the common evil that we need to wade at all cost. A poor man from Calabar is of no better than a poor man from Sokoto. The same denominator, poverty, joins them.

I will like us to ask ourselves some questions. Of what benefit is it to you personally if the president is from your region but you have just lost a close family member because you could not afford to pay for sound health care, or when pregnant women in your region have a slim chance of surviving child birth due to bad health care service that is in its own coma? Of what use is it to you personally if the governor is from your village but yet the probability of it snowing in Nigeria is higher than you finding a job after graduation? What benefit is it to you if the local government chairman goes to your church or mosque but yet the road to your house is still impassable?

As the body is of many parts, so is Nigeria of many ethnicities, languages, and dialects. God that made the human body didn’t make a body of the same part but of different parts. There are many parts of the body but they all work together. The eye cannot say to the mouth that I do not have need of you, neither can the feet say to the hand let us depart in peace. The nose cannot perform the functions of the stomach, neither can the ear do the functions of the mouth, each member has its own important part to play in the body. The tender tongue in the midst of 32 soldiers (teeth) cannot do without each other, even though they fight at times (teeth bites the tongue), they still live together and cannot be separated.

Nigeria is a diverse country; we should draw strength from our diversity and not division. We should understand that we have different religions, ethnicities, and culture; we should learn to respect each other, live with our differences and treat everyone fairly. Every Nigerian should be able to live the way he wants in conformity with his culture, ethnic preference, and religion.

The future of Nigeria is indeed bright and it needs the brightest of brains from the north, south, east and west to joins hands to move this nation forward. We should see people for who they are or what they can contribute to the emergence of a better Nigeria and not for the geographical location they represent. If we follow the holy books we claim to believe in, we realise that we stand a better chance if we unite to advance this great nation.

Karo Orovboni

You can engage Karo on twitter @K_Orovboni

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters 

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Islamisation Tricks: The Second Coming Of Jesus Is A Doctrine Every Muslim Must Believe, Says Imam.


Islamisation

The  Imam of Federal College of Technology, Yaba Mosque, Imam Saeed Salmon  has said that contrary to some belief by Muslims, Islam also subscribes  to the widely held Christian belief that Jesus Christ will return in  what has been described as his ‘second coming’, emphasising that any  Muslim, who does not believe in it, is not a true follower of Prophet  Muhammad (PBUH).Salmon, who spoke at a special lecture  held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Tinubu, said Jesus is a messenger of  God and would still return to a mosque in Damascus.“The  second coming of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that every Muslim must  believe. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad talks extensively about this.“The  Qua’ ran Chapter 4:157-159 teaches this but the teachings of Islam does  not support that Jesus was killed or resurrected, rather, he was raised  by Almighty Allah to his majesty.“Jesus is coming  again to refute the claim of the Jews that he was crucified and to  correct the doctrine of the Christians that he is the son of God.“Again,  the second coming of Jesus is to establish that there is a close  relationship between Prophet Muhammad and Jesus himself”, he said.The  Chief host and organiser of the lecture, Amir Ajala Kamardeen, noted  that he is under obligation as a true adherent of Islam, to educate the  public and to correct any misconception about the religion.“Jesus is a prophet and messenger of Allah and as a true Muslim, we are bound to believe all prophets of Allah.“The  holy book ,Qur’an points to the fact that the second coming of Jesus  Christ is a sign of end time but there are some group of Muslims in  Harvard University and in Cairo known as the fatimists and also  Ahmadists who are saying otherwise, so, I have put it upon myself to  correct them”, Amir Kamardeen added.

Source: Radio Biafra.

The Stigma of Jesus’ Virgin Birth.


Mary and Jesus

The discussion I had with the late Yasser Arafat during my first visit with him in Ramallah in 2002 was almost entirely theological. I stressed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins. Arafat reached for his Quran to show me something he thought would impress me. Pointing to a certain passage (as if I could read Arabic), he said, “Did you know that the only woman mentioned in the Quran is the Virgin Mary?”

“Well, how interesting, Rais [Arabic for president],” I replied, “it sounds as if the Quran is proving that Jesus had no earthly father and therefore must be the Son of God.”

Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin and had no earthly father? Muslims do. In fact, one of the most successful evangelistic approaches when talking to Muslims is to focus on the virgin birth of Jesus. They are committed to the Quran, which teaches this truth.

And yet Muslims say they do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. Noting the contradiction in their beliefs, you can lovingly point out to them that if Jesus had no earthly father, it can mean only one thing—that God Himself is His father, and Jesus is therefore God’s Son.

The virgin birth of Jesus is one of the clearest teachings in the New Testament. The accounts in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38 are unambiguous and leave no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth had no earthly father but was born of Mary, who had never known a man.

Why is this fact significant? Primarily because it is in the Bible. But there are other reasons for exploring the truth of the virgin birth.

First, it shows the stigma, or offense, Christians must bear in upholding this truth. The word stigma is a Greek word. It refers to a mark or tattoo on the body, often used on a runaway slave in the ancient world so he would be easily identified. Paul used the word to show he was unashamed of being a slave of Jesus: “I bear in my body the marks [stigmata] of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17, NKJV).

The stigma of the virgin birth is made clear in the New Testament. Consider what an offense it was for Joseph to accept Mary after she disclosed to him that she was pregnant. It was a horrible moment for him—and for her.

Why should he believe her when she assured him that she had been faithful to him, knowing he had never slept with her? They were engaged, but “before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:18). Joseph’s immediate reaction was to break their engagement quietly.

To have remained engaged would have demanded that he bear a stigma of incalculable proportions. Being pregnant out of wedlock is no big deal today. But in Joseph and Mary’s day, having sex before marriage was possibly the worst thing a couple could do. Everyone would assume this is what Joseph and Mary had done. The couple knew they hadn’t, but who would believe them? And why should Joseph believe Mary?

This is the reason God graciously stepped in on Mary’s behalf. “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit’” (Matt.1:20). That was news to Joseph, but it made sense in the light of what Mary had claimed. It meant she had certainly not been unfaithful to him.

But it also meant that he had a major decision to make—namely, whether to leave her entirely and let her bear the stigma of being a single parent, or to stay with her and be seen for the rest of his life as the man who got Mary pregnant out wedlock. If he stayed with her, they would bear the offense together. They alone would know the truth and would be able to comfort each other in this sublime knowledge—that it was a miracle of God.

Could they tell anyone? No. For one thing, nobody would believe them. But also they would not tell because they had to be willing to suffer for the glory of God.

This unseemly situation meant the loss of their reputations, a stigma for which they suffered the rest of their lives. They would never outgrow it.

As a matter of fact, more than 30 years later, people were still talking about it. As long as Jesus was performing miracles and feeding thousands with the loaves and fishes, the people appeared to be willing to overlook the rumor that He had been born an illegitimate child.

But the moment Jesus said things such as, “‘I am the bread which came down from heaven,’” they resorted to the gossip of the day: “‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?’” (John 6:41-42). This comment shows that the followers of Jesus probably suspected Jesus was illegitimate but let their suspicions surface only when His message became a stigma too.

In any case, Joseph made the hardest decision of his life. When he woke up from the dream, he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son” (Matt.1:24-25). Joseph determined to live with his decision and became the unsung hero of the Christmas story.

An Untold Mystery 

There is another reason the virgin birth of Jesus is relevant; it shows the importance of being able to keep God’s secrets. Consider this comment by Luke: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). There is reason to believe that Mary never told the miracle of Jesus’ birth until years after He had died and ascended to heaven. At that point she apparently broke her silence and told Luke what had happened.

In the very first chapter of his Gospel, Luke records the occasion when the angel Gabriel came to Mary unexpectedly and said, “‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you’” (Luke 1:28). Mary was puzzled by the angel’s greeting, but the angel said to her, “‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus’” (v. 31).

Mary questioned the angel: “‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ [The NIV translates the last part of Mary’s question, “since I am a virgin?”] And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’” (vv. 34-35).

Imagine having an experience with God like this and keeping quiet about it for many years! Yes, she did stay during her pregnancy with her cousin Elizabeth, who discerned Mary’s condition by the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:39-45). But there is no indication that anybody else knew, not even the disciples of Jesus.

Mary must have been tempted to reveal this extraordinary secret a thousand times, but she didn’t. Why? First, she would have been doing so largely to clear her own name. She chose instead to bear the stigma. Second, it might have been like casting a pearl before swine (see Matt. 7:6). The enemies of Jesus would not have believed her, and the news could have been counterproductive. So Mary did not tell it until she revealed it to Luke before she died.

There’s a good possibility that the followers of Jesus were willing to follow Him not knowing what Mary knew and very possibly assuming that Jesus really was an illegitimate child, as implied in John 6:42. What would have been their thinking in following Jesus if indeed they believed He was born out of wedlock?

Peter could answer: “‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (John 6:68-69). And yet it must have been a sweet consolation to their souls to have the word spread among the church many years later that Mary was in fact a virgin when Jesus was born, showing that He was truly the Son of God.

The virgin birth of Jesus reveals our helplessness in the face of God’s commands and our need for His power to fulfill them. When Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her what God wanted, she had a significant question: “How can I have a child since I am a virgin?” (see Luke 1:34).

“‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you,’” the angel replied, and added, “‘For with God nothing will be impossible’” (vv. 35,37).

An Essential Truth 

The virgin birth lays the foundation for the most essential truth of all—that Jesus was and is the God-man; He was man as though He were not God, and God as though He were not man. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” the apostle John tells us (John 1:1,14, emphasis added).

Only God could have performed the miracle of His Son’s conception. He caused the Word to enter the womb of Mary and become a seed. At that moment, the Word became flesh. Even as an embryo, He was fully human as well as fully God. The God-man lived in Mary’s womb for nine months and then was born.

God chose a virgin from the tribe of Judah living in Nazareth to be the mother of our Lord. She had the genealogical credentials to qualify, being in the line of David. God chose a virgin to prove that only He could have been Jesus’ father.

The virgin birth of Jesus further demonstrates that salvation is ultimately the work of God. It was His idea alone and was brought about solely by His initiative. God had promised that the seed of the woman would ultimately destroy the serpent’s head (see Gen. 3:15).

The virgin birth of Christ shows that salvation can never come through human effort; it must be by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. In His perfect timing “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). The purpose of Jesus’ coming was for Him to save His people from their sins (see Matt. 1:21). He was born to die.

If God had made Jesus a complete human being in heaven and then sent Him to earth without any human parent, it would have been impossible for Him to be human as we are. If, on the other hand, God had brought Jesus into the world with two human parents, both a father and a mother, it would have been impossible for Him to be fully God.

Besides the supernatural component of God’s sending His Son to earth, there was a natural one that was essential for Jesus to be born: Mary had to agree to God’s plan! She might have said “No,” or perhaps, “Let me think about it.” I fancy that all heaven waited with baited breath for Mary’s consent.

That consent came immediately. “‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word,’” was her reply to the angel (Luke 1:38). In that moment the eternal Word left His glory with the Father and the Spirit and became flesh, to be the God-man forever and ever. It was the greatest moment in heaven and earth since creation.

Do you believe in the virgin birth? Will you accept the stigma of being a follower of Jesus, especially in this day of pluralism when His words, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6) are a tremendous offense?

Will you bear this stigma? Joseph did. Mary did. Let us follow in their steps and be willing to let our vindication come long after we are gone, in order to prove to the world that Jesus, born of a woman, was indeed the Son of God.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years. He is well-known internationally as a speaker and teacher and is the author of more than 50 books.


IS CHRISTMAS BAD?

Tired of people bashing “Christ’s-mass”? Go to christmas.charismamag.com to find out the rich meanings behind the symbols of the season.

How Jonathan insulted Muslims by visiting Israel – By Sheikh Gumi.


Sheikh-Gumi

I am not a keen political commentator probably because my brain also filters information through the prism of religion, but I definitely now believe that Mr. Jonathan is neither a politician nor does he mean well for other Nigerians.

His ‘tourism’ to Israel is a big political blunder, I said tourism because its never in the annals of true Christianity to partake pilgrimage as it’s a cardinal tenets of Islam to go on such pilgrimage to three most Ancient mosques in the World. In a hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Huraira, the prophet – peace be upon him was quoted as saying: “No religious journey is allowed except to three mosques”. They are the Makkah mosque, the Medina mosque and the Jerusalem mosque.
Nigeria along with many other African and world countries has sided with the plight of the Palestinians that were forced out of their homeland, killed and scattered.

There are still Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and all over the world. They are prevented from entering their mother land just because it was confiscated by the Western powers with Israel used as a ‘front’. It’s a share case of colonization with expulsion of the rightful occupants. For this reason no Nigerian president in the past, Muslim or Christian has visited Israel in order not to honor such injustice.

Today Nigeria riddled with insurmountable political, economic and social problems, our least priority is a state visit to a controversial state where human suffering is the norm of the day. What do we stand to gain from Israel? For one, the Jews -I am saying this without any prejudice- are traditionally known to be misers while we African are seldom not beggars. Charity is not in there lexicon. Jesus – alaihis Salam- has condemned them in the most explicable terms no other human has done. ‘Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?’M’t:23:33.

In the Quran, Jews were also cursed with misery and lowliness; they can only parasite on other nations to survive and on Allah’s mercy on occasions. Allah said: ” Shame is pitched over them (Like a tent) wherever they are found, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from Allah, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the Signs of Allah, and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds”. Q3/112

Notherless the Quran in fairness said “Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. ” Q3/113.

What concern us now, is that Jonathan has succumbed to the pressure to support the Jews at the detriment of the oppressed Palestinians and the teaming millions of Nigerians living under the most appalling conditions, our children out of schools, and the ostentatious life style of his ministers, cronies and oil thieves.

If Jonathan wants religious peace in Nigeria, his visit to a religiously controversial state is a mistake. The message is that he is insensitive to Muslim’s sensibility. There is share recklessness in such an adventure. Truly Islam has enjoined Muslims to interact, mutually benefit with the Jews in business and marriage. Muslims are allowed to eat their food, therefore it should be understood that the Muslim’s apathy towards them is because of Zionism and the plight of their fellow Muslims. The Jewish experience is Spain under the Muslim rule is well documented. They prefer Muslim’s treatment to the Christians. Even in recent history what the German Nazi did to the Jews cannot be effaced.

My advice to Israel is that they should not interfere with Nigerian problems, treat Mr. Jonathan as a simple tourist. As I also beseech them to facilitate Muslims going on pilgrimage to Jerusalem as instructed by the prophet of Mercy.

May Allah protect us from all evil! Amin.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Cracking God Particle, Boxing the Sun By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo.


On August 25, 2012, while all of humanity was sleeping, Voyager 1 crossed the heliosphere – that is the magnetic boundary that separates the solar system’s sun and planets from the rest of the galaxy. It was the first man-made object to cross that line. It’s now floating in the cosmic seas of interstellar space. In another 40,000 years, it will fly near stars that used to be beyond our reach. The Voyager 1 carries time capsules in the form of golden disc of images and sounds that will tell extraterrestrials about us.

NASA launched voyager 1 and 2 in 1977. Voyager 1 is 18.8 billion miles from earth while Voyager 2 is still 15.3 billion miles away from our planet. Though they each have storage space of 68KB memory scientists hope to learn from them what else is out there.

Sorry, I digressed.

How old did the Bible say the earth is? And did the Qur’an say that the earth is flat?

Ask these two questions and you immediately encounter a vigorous defense by adherents of these two holy books. Their defense is all centered on making sure that their holy books do not run counter to what modern science know to be true.

The universe, we now know, is about 14 billion years old and the earth is 4.5 billion years old. According to a study published last month by researchers at the University of East Anglia in Britain, human race has another 1.7 billion years before the earth moves into the sun’s hot zone. That’s when the temperature of the earth will be so high that it would be uninhabitable for mankind. At that point all lives on earth will come to an end. There is hope that by then man must have figured out how to move to another planet or even another galaxy.

Though the Bible did not say specifically how old the earth is, researchers used biblical genealogies to arrive at the conclusion that following the letters of the Bible the earth and the universe are 6,000 years.

Obviously, that cannot be true. Carbon-dating of human fossils found in Africa has shown that the first modern man showed up on earth some 200,000 years ago. Bible followers do not want the Bible to be wrong so they go to the limit to prove that the genealogies of the Bible cannot be followed on face value. They say that many words of the Bible are deeper than they appear – and that “only the deep are called to the deep.” In fact, some argue that there are some things that God deliberately left vague in the Bible.

When it is apparently wrong, it’s said to be metaphoric or an allegory or a hyperbole or simile and should not be taken literally. At other times, the error is attributed to “something lost in translation”- like mentioning insects with four legs; rabbits that chew their cud; bats that are classified as birds; snails that are described as animals that melt.

Several times, references were made in the Bible about the ends of the earth as if the earth was flat.  And time and time again, it says the earth is fixed and immovable. Of course, we now know that the earth moves. The Bible also says that the moon is the lesser of the two great lights God made. The moon of course has no light. It only reflects the rays of the sun.

In Creation story, God made night and day before he made the sun which determines when it’s night and when it’s day. How is that possible? He made plants before the bees and the butterflies that pollinate them or even the sun that will bring about photosynthesis.

It is the same with the Qur’an. The Qur’an says that Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out). That Allah has spread out or flattened the earth on the back of a great fish and used the mountain to keep the earth from shaking due to the movement of the fish.

Believers will go to any length to prove that it was all a misunderstanding of what the holy book was saying. They argue, for example, that the crust of the earth is the carpet in question. And that in any case you can spread a carpet on objects that are round, too, and not just flat objects. They conclude that the Qur’an actually confirms what science now knows.

At one point the Qur’an wonders why and how the sun and the moon do not collide. Did Allah create the stars as missiles to be thrown at the devils?

The Qur’an and the Bible were written to be for all times. They are vague enough for adherents to find verses in them to explain new phenomenon of the new world. But for how long can they provide plausible answers? Despite what Jesus said, the mustard seed is not the smallest seed there is.  Just the way atom is not the smallest indivisible particle there is, as Dalton once propounded. This new struggle to align these holy books with modern science is a new thing.

The Biblical age of the earth was not challenged until the late 18th century when researchers abandoned the Bible and, instead, used geological factors like the cooling of the molten lava in their calculation. That was when the church rejected the global flood and the biblical age of the earth.

Because the Bible reported that a rib was taken from man to make a woman, everyone believed it until 1543 when the physician, Andreas Vesalius showed that the number of ribs in a man was the same as the number in a woman. When in the 17th century, the Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei, stated that the sun was at the center of the universe and not the earth, the Catholic Church was alarmed. In February of 1615, the church tried Galileo by Inquisition as a suspect of heresy. The church forced Galileo to recant his scientific finding and kept him under house arrest for the rest of his life. It took almost 400 years before Pope John Paul II expressed regret over how the church handled the Galileo affair.

Different religious groups have essentially abandoned the mission of attacking many of the mainstream scientific findings- with the exception of evolution. They now fall over themselves to ensure that the teachings of their religion conform to these understandings. But for how long?

This is how the French Nobel laureate in physics Pierre-Gilles de Gennes described the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (ITER) project now going on in France: “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty,” he said. “The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.”

Well, with over $20 billion dollars invested by seven member entities – the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, the box is under construction in Cadarache, south of France. When completed, it will be the first machine to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction.

ITER project is essentially man’s effort to replicate what happens in the sun. It plans to heat up two hydrogen isotopes under pressure until they form plasma and begin to fuse into helium. This will release energy for electricity.

What are the implications of such an accomplishment? Could it lead to an era of cheap and environmentally friendly energy production? What are the potential dangers of neutron bombardment in a tokomak reactor? We may never know until 2027 when the deuterium-tritium fusion operation is expected to start.

In 1960, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, amongst others, came up with the idea of Higgs particle, otherwise called God Particle. They used it to explain why particles have mass. The Standard Model of particle physics will make no sense if there is no Higgs boson.

The hunt for Higgs boson immediately ensued.

Again, the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, the United States and others came together to build the $10 billion dollar Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In it protons moving in a 17-mile long circular tunnel at near the speed of light smashed against each other 11,000 times per second. It created mini-Big Bangs each second. Last year, after months of analyzing data, scientists announced the discovery of the God Particle.

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics last week for their genius in predicting the existence of the God particle. While some were concerned that the mini-Big Bangs produced in the Large Hadron Collider would create a black hole and swallow everything on earth, determined scientists stayed on the experiment until they proved the theory.

For over 2 billion years now, nature has been converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen in a process known as photosynthesis. Using photocatalytic water splitting means, scientists at the California Institute of Technology’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis are working to replicate what nature does in their laboratory. Using nano-engineered materials they hope to effectively utilize the excess carbon dioxide on earth to produce carbohydrates.

In other breakthroughs, scientists have grown ears, teeth, livers and blood vessels in the lab. They have also produced industrial level 3D printers that can make items like guns and gongs by mere pressing of a button. The self-driving cars are being tested as we speak.

Today, some are memorizing the holy books while others are putting the sun in a box. Tomorrow, we wonder why those who put the sun in a box are so blessed.

Please correct me if I’m right.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Shekau is dead, security agencies insist • We have no mandate to dialogue with Shekau —Minister.


ihejirika-shekau

INVESTIGATORS of the Joint Task Force (JTF) who have been probing the video of the leader of the dreaded Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram, Mallam Abubakar Shekau have rubbished a supposed video of the militant leader, which indicated he was still alive.

A report put together by the team of investigators on behalf of the security agencies said that the investigators have been able to fault the video in “a number of ways.”

Though the real location of the militant leader is yet to be ascertained by the security forces, there was a strong belief in the forces that Shekau was not alive.

Analysis of the last video said to have been made available to authorities indicated that Shekau was cloned.

Sources in the know quoted the report as submitting that Shekau in previous video appearances would start with a recitation of a full verse of the Holy Quran that sometimes could last up to five minutes.

The report indicated that the stand-in Shekau in the video never observed that tradition.

Reports also indicated that in previous occasions, Shekau’s speech was never interrupted by hailing from the background and that the last video had such features.

Investigations by the JTF was also said to have identified that the movement on the lips of the man presented as Shekau in the video did not synchronise with the words he pronounced, an indication according to the report of “a recorded message inefficiently manipulated to sustain a non-existent continuum in leadership.”

The report according to the sources also indicated that following the failure of the alleged attempt to mimic Shekau’s voice in the opening part of the video, alleged stand-in Shekau reverted to his real voice.

“The intonation was different as well as the fact that Abubakar Shekau does not drag his voice,” the analysis further stated.

Meanwhile, Minister of Special Duties and inter- governmental affairs, who is also the Chairman of Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of conflicts in the Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki on Tuesday declared that he has no mandate to dialogue with the perceived leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau,but rather to identify the key members of the sect and engage them in dialogue.

This is coming just as the minister disclosed that remarkable achievements had been made by his committee in encouraging the repentant members of the group to embrace dialogue towards putting an end to the insurgents while the defiant ones among them would continue to face the military forces as the nation has the full capacity to bring them down to their knees for peace to reign in the troubled region.

The minister who fielded questions from newsmen in Abuja shortly after he briefed the National Working Committee (NWC), of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by its National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, acknowledged that though President Goodluck Jonathan directed the committee to identify the key members of the terrorist group and engage them in dialogue, the president did not direct that they should locate him (Shekau) and engage him in a dialogue.

When asked about the whereabouts of Shekau, Alhaji Turaki jokingly said “I think I will also ask you where is Shekau. Now with all sense of responsibility, we have been directed by Mr President to identify the key members of the Jamaa Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihad and then engage them in dialogue. Mr President did not ask us to look for Shekau and engage him in dialogue.”

According to him,” it is important for Nigerians to appreciate that in matters of this nature you don’t just wake up one day even as a dialogue committee established by government, and say you are discussing with the highest leadership of insurgents.

“Usually, what happens is that after that we have been able to establish confidence because it is necessary, they now deploy lower rank of their membership to us, like a water-testing mechanism. They would come to us we will discuss with them, when they go back without any molestation then at the next meeting they would deploy a higher set of members.

“And this is how it has been going to the level where we now are, where we have started to engage key members of these insurgents. But for us it does not have to be Shekau. If these are the people we are now sending as our representatives for the purpose of liaison with the committee we cannot determine for them who should represent them (Boko Haram). For us as far as we know that these are genuine members of the organizations, we deal with them and we have several ways of determining it,” he further explained.

According to Alhaji Turaki, “In the course of this assignment we have seen some people who are fake members of this insurgency groups that have come for the purpose of getting money, but I want to assure that we have been talking to genuine members of the insurgents and these are members that are key as far as peaceful resolution of this matter is concerned,” Turaki added.

The minister who assured Nigerians and the International community that the security challenges would soon be history based on the level of achievements recorded by the committee said, “the Dialogue committee has laid solid foundation for sustainable peace to be achieved in Nigeria. Release of captives on the order of the president has also reduced the level of insurgency in Nigeria. The dialogue committee has achieved an advanced level of negotiation.”

Speaking on how far the committee had gone, the minister added “we have almost concluded our assignment, 99 percent has been concluded. In the next few days, probably before the end of this week we will finish the one percent. Then as soon as we do that we will also inform Mr President that we have finished and he will give us date and time to present the report.”

Responding, Alhaji Tukur commended the minister for the good work he and his team had been doing in the new ministry despite its financial constraints, saying that they were in line with the PDP manifestos and the Transformation agenda of President Jonathan.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Bangladeshi Christians Told to Close Church, Convert to Islam.


Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church
Construction of Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church, in Bilbathuagani village, was halted by local officials. (World Watch Monitor)

A local government official in central Bangladesh has halted the construction of a church, forced Christians to worship at a mosque and threatened them with eviction from their village unless they renounce their faith.

The Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church in Bilbathuagani village, Tangail district, about 100 kilometers north of Dhaka, was created Sept. 8 by a group of about 25 Christians who had been meeting secretly for three years.

However, local council chairman Rafiqul Islam Faruk joined around 200 demonstrators Sept. 13 to protest against the start of the building of the church.

The following day, the Christians were summoned to his office. More than 1,000 Muslims waited outside, following an announcement at all local mosques to gather at the chairman’s office.

Ordered to Embrace Islam
Mokrom Ali, 32, told World Watch Monitor he was forced to accept Islam.

“The chairman and the imams of the mosques interrogated me for accepting Christianity. They asked me why I had become a Christian. It is a great sin to become a Christian from Islam,” Asli said. “If I did not accept Islam, they would beat me, burn my house, and evict me from the society.

“Their threats chilled me to the bone. That is why I pretended to accept Islam, but faith in Christ is the wellspring of my life. Now I am no longer a Muslim; I am a Christian.”

Mojnu Mia, 31, told World Watch Monitor he was also forced to accept Islam against his will.

“The chairman and the imams asked me what my religion is. I said I was a Christian. Then they threatened to beat me and evict me from the village unless I recanted my faith in Christianity,” Mia said.

“They had browbeaten me into accepting Islam. I accepted it only to get out from that predicament. But later, I embraced Christianity by swearing a confession in the court.

“The chairman came to know that I became a Christian again, by affidavit. He threatened that it would not be possible to practice Christianity in that area. If I stick to this religion, I must leave this place.

“The chairman is clipping the wings of our faith. I do not know how long we can grin and bear it. We want religious freedom. We want to practice our religion freely.”

Eight Christians agreed to return to Islam since Sept. 14, under the chairman’s orders. The chairman and his associates had already beaten some of those Christians three years ago for accepting Christianity.

‘They Were Derailed’
Local chairman Faruk told World Watch Monitor that some Christians had been acting against Islam, due to their incorrect interpretation of the Quran.

“The imams and other elders of the society called them for rectification because of their aberrant behavior. They were derailed, so we tried to put them on the right track,” he said.

“Eight people who had deviated came back to Islam. We are trying to bring back others. To change a religion, a person needs to swear his or her name, and should inform a local magistrate. If the magistrate permits, then he or she can change religion. But what they are doing is completely wrong.”

World Watch Monitor asked Faruk if he would protest if any of those people filed an affidavit with the court re-affirming their Christianity.

Faruk said there would be “huge pressure from the society against it. As a representative of the local people, I cannot go against the public sentiment.”

The chairman warned the Christians not to resume the construction of the church, saying it was anti-Islamic.

The Bangladesh constitution grants every citizen the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion. Every religious community or denomination has the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

Rev. Mrinal Kanti Baroi, the group’s leader, told World Watch Monitor they had tried to show the constitution’s clause on religious freedom to the chairman, to no avail.

“We took one copy of the constitution to the chairman and other elders of the society, but they did not listen to us and did not want to see it,” Baroi said.

On Sept. 15, members of the congregation wrote a letter to the district administrative chief, requesting safety and protection.

Deputy commissioner Anisur Rahman of Tangail district told World Watch Monitor that necessary steps had been taken to ensure their safety and security.

A Plea for Harmony
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been leading a secular government in the Muslim-majority country since 2009, on Sept. 3 called upon her countrymen to work together to protect the communal harmony “being nurtured in the country for thousands of years”. She  made her remarks after inaugurating reconstructed Buddhist temples, which had been damaged and burnt by criminals in September 2012.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom removed Bangladesh from its Watch List after the victory of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League in the 2008 general election. Her center-left party is considered to promote secular policies and to be favorable toward minority rights. Her announcement to implement religious freedom reforms was another cause for Bangladesh to be removed from the Watch List.

Of Bangladesh’s 154 million people, Sunni Muslims constitute 90 percent and Hindus 9 percent, according to the 2001 census. The remaining 1 percent is mainly Christian and Buddhist.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

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