Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"The World Is Flat"

Book Review
Author Thomas L. Friedman

Part 1

On the first part of this book the author (Thomas L. Friedman) gave an idea that the world is not round but it is flat. What he means was the world is no longer round as was discovered before. Strange isn't it? But as going deeper into this book, the main idea of his words is the world are going through a globalization era. An era where there is no boundaries, no wall and no friction.
He started with the history of globalization with the journey of Christopher Columbus in 1492 where this era it was called globalization 1.0. This era is mainly about muscle and imperialism power. Country like Holland, Portuguese and England were competing to conquer the world so that they can monopoly whatever source and wealth of other country. Thomas continues to discuss on the next stage that is globalization 2.0 periods between 1800 till 2000. This was an era of World Wars 1, 2 and others wars that have been occurred between this periods. During this time, America and Russia were competing with each others in developing technologies especially space technology. Furthermore, in the period between 2000 until today the globalization has reached the next level which called globalization 3.0.
What the author means on globalization 3.0 is that people around the world can communicate with each other, built link for business purposes, exchanging information and so on so forth in a very simple way. He gave an example of Bangalore in India has been transformed to be a hub for America communication and transaction whereas Dali an in China has been transformed by Japan to be their hub of research and development. Both of this economic super power has transfer their technology and communication to central Asia. Reason for their act was that the logistics such as labor, land and raw materials in these countries were cheap and still cheap until today. Take an example, three engineers in China is the cost for one engineer in Japan and for India the cost of labors were three times cheaper than America. No wonder both of these big countries like to transfer their technology to these two countries. When this thing happen both places which are Bangalore and Dali an have enjoyed an economic development and the people have also upgrade their living style. An example for this income for the people in Bangalore has been increased drastically from $200 to $600 within 6 months.
Furthermore the author wrote the 10 aspects of flattener. The first flattener is the 9th November 1989 factor. This date was a historical date when the wall of Berlin which separated east and West German been demolished. This was the time that only one big system prevails which is the capitalism. Fight between two systems Capitalist and Communism has come to an end.
Second flattener is 9 August 1995 when the first internet i.e Web been introduced and Netscape went public. During this time individual can use personal computer to browse internet and doing business within it. Before this only big company which has big main frame computer has do their jobs and business transaction.
Thirds flattener is work flow software. Beginning this period it showed how much software technologies have been developed by big companies like IBM and also computer geeks and freelancers. These geeks have created software named Apache which IBM cannot surpass it and currently jointed them.
Flattener four is uploading. This type of flattener gives people to upload their own movies, pictures and even articles. As long as people have computer to connect to the internet they can do whatever they want with it. When uploading becomes much easier it helps other people to get information at their own fingertips. For example in Wikipedia it helps people to find meaning and information. This is because it has over 200,000 definition and information rather than Microsoft which only has 30,000 definition and information. Furthermore in when people uses Wikipedia they uses it for free whereas if they use Microsoft they must buy it.
The fifth flattener is Outsourcing. For this factor of flatten the author brought us to the develop world of India where they have outsource America in IT business. Example for this was when the world was shocked by Y2K bug. This can brought big problems if it does not been solve. Before this our computer can only received 2 digit numbers for recognizing the year like (99). When the calendar become 2000 the computer cannot recognized it. For this the software engineer in India has solved this problem and that was something astonishing. India rose up from somewhere and most people in America shocked with what have their done…..
The sixth flattener is Off shoring .The Japanese business consultant Kenichi Ohmae has once said that “China is a threat, China is a customer and China is an opportunity. You have to internalize China to succeed. China is becoming a country that been favor by big companies that like to get an easy access, labor and raw materials. Companies like IBM and Microsoft also have their base in China. Development in China has been increased aggressively. Thus when China agreed to join World Trade Organization (WTO) it was the first step to open their market to the world. Although Mexico has agreed to accept NAFTA but they seems to be backward rather than forward.
The seventh flattener is supply chaining. Wal Mart a retailer company from America has benefited from this flattener. They have become no 1 retailer shop in America which provides cheap and quality good. How they do it? They buy it from the source and furthermore they also built warehouse for goods coming from offshore. They have cut their expensive from 5% to 3% when they built warehouse for the goods and provides truck to send goods all over America.
Flattener eight is in sourcing. What is mean by in sourcing is that the delivery system has been increased. Example for this is the UPS Company which has been established since seventies. Delivery system that been used by this company has increased its company profits and also put a trust from other companies with them. DELL company has given their trust to UPS in established one stop center to repair their customer computer, rather than 2 months to repair the customer computer UPS has decreased it to 2 weeks only.
For the 9th flattener the author brought us to the maximum use of the internet especially web browsing like Google. A lot of information can be deriving from these sources and for companies to get listed in web search. Many individuals become rich using the internet to make money. What make them reach, this is because it is easy to upload info, business and so on so forth and also it is also easy to buy online.
The last factor of flattener is the steroids. Steroids happen when countries like Japan and South Korea has develop their wireless system that are cheaper for their user unlike America which has slowest wireless system among above countries and it also expensive. When there is wireless system, it is easier for individuals to do their jobs and get information. This is an era for individuals to become influential and wealthy….

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Why Muslim Women must wear Hijab?"

The answer to the question is very simple - Muslim women observe HIJAB (covering the head and the body) because Allah has told them to do so.

"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." (Qur'an 33:59)
Other secondary reasons include the requirement for modesty in both men and women. Both will then be evaluated for intelligence and skills instead of looks and sexuality. An Iranian school girl is quoted as saying, "We want to stop men from treating us like sex objects, as they have always done. We want them to ignore our appearance and to be attentive to our personalities and mind. We want them to take us seriously and treat us as equals and not just chase us around for our bodies and physical looks." A Muslim woman who covers her head is making a statement about her identity. Anyone who sees her will know that she is a Muslim and has a good moral character. Many Muslim women who cover are filled with dignity and self esteem; they are pleased to be identified as a Muslim woman. As a chaste, modest, pure woman, she does not want her sexuality to enter into interactions with men in the smallest degree. A woman who covers herself is concealing her sexuality but allowing her femininity to be brought out.

The question of hijab for Muslim women has been a controversy for centuries and will probably continue for many more. Some learned people do not consider the subject open to discussion and consider that covering the face is required, while a majority are of the opinion that it is not required. A middle line position is taken by some who claim that the instructions are vague and open to individual discretion depending on the situation. The wives of the Prophet (S) were required to cover their faces so that men would not think of them in sexual terms since they were the "Mothers of the Believers," but this requirement was not extended to other women.

The word "hijab" comes from the Arabic word "hajaba" meaning to hide from view or conceal. In the present time, the context of hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. The question now is what is the extent of the covering? The Qur'an says:

"Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..." (Qur'an 24:30-31) These verses from the Qur'an contain two main injunctions:

A woman should not show her beauty or adornments except what appears by uncontrolled factors such as the wind blowing her clothes, and the head covers should be drawn so as to cover the hair, the neck and the bosom. Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some requirements must be met. The first of these requirements is the parts of the body which must be covered. Islam has two sources for guidance and rulings: first, the Qur'an, the revealed word of Allah and secondly, the Hadith or the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S) who was chosen by Allah to be the role model for mankind. The following is a Tradition of the Prophet:

"Ayesha (R) reported that Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr (R) came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands." (Abu Dawood)

The second requirement is looseness. The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the woman's body. One desirable way to hide the shape of the body is to wear a cloak over other clothes. However, if the clothing is loose enough, an outer garment is not necessary. Thickness is the third requirement. The clothing must be thick enough so as not to show the color of the skin it covers or the shape of the body. The Prophet Muhammad (S) stated that in later generations of his ummah there would be "women who would be dressed but naked and on top of their heads (what looks like) camel humps. Curse them for they are truly cursed." (Muslim) Another requirement is an over-all dignified appearance. The clothing should not attract men's attention to the woman. It should not be shiny and flashy so that everyone notices the dress and the woman. In addition there are other requirements:

Women must not dress so as to appear as men.
"Ibn Abbas narrated: 'The Prophet (S) cursed the men who appear like women and the women who appear like men.'" (Bukhari)

Women should not dress in a way similar to the unbelievers.

The clothing should be modest, not excessively fancy and also not excessively ragged to gain others admiration or sympathy. Often forgotten is the fact that modern Western dress is a new invention. Looking at the clothing of women as recently as seventy years ago, we see clothing similar to hijab. These active and hard-working women of the West were not inhibited by their clothing which consisted of long, full dresses and various types of head covering. Muslim women who wear hijab do not find it impractical or interfering with their activities in all levels and walks of life. Hijab is not merely a covering dress but more importantly, it is behavior, manners, speech and appearance in public. Dress is only one facet of the total being. The basic requirement of the Muslim woman's dress apply to the Muslim man's clothing with the difference being mainly in degree. Modesty requires that the area between the navel and the knee be covered in front of all people except the wife. The clothing of men should not be like the dress of women, nor should it be tight or provocative. A Muslim should dress to show his identity as a Muslim. Men are not allowed to wear gold or silk. However, both are allowed for women.

For both men and women, clothing requirements are not meant to be a restriction but rather a way in which society will function in a proper, Islamic manner.

In the Quran: " And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display theri beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw theri veils over their bosoms adn not display their beauty except to their husbands, tathers, husbands' fathers, sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women or the slaves whom their right hand possess or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sence of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah(S.W.T) that ye may attain Bliss (Surah 24:31)
Kadang2 ALLAH sembunyikan Matahari,DIA datangkan Petir dan Kilat.Kite menangis dan tertanye2 kemene hilangnye matahari.Rupe2nye ALLAH hendak memberikan kite pelangi..

" The Islamic State Model Works"

with Hatta Ramli and Farid Shahran
"The Islamic State Model Works"

In recent years, Malaysia has demanded a normative Islamization of society. Relations with the other religions in the multi-faith, multi-ethnic country have thus become a frequent topic of debate. Two Malaysian Islamic activists spoke with Qantara.de about democracy, the Islamization of society and their experiences with Europe

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Dr. Farid Shahran is a member of the Malaysian NGO Angakatan Belia Islam Malaysia / Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), which works in the educational and social sectors to improve civil society | Dr. Shahran, can an Islamic organization like ABIM play a formative role in spreading social change and reforms, and in the democratic process?

Farid Shahran: My organization is a nongovernmental organization; we are not a political party. But we are nonetheless strongly involved in the process of developing civil society here. We organize seminars and conferences and are engaged in the social sector. We are active throughout the country, sending our staff members to help people in need, and we also work in the field of education. All of this in our opinion strengthens democratic values. We want to make our own contribution, based on our religious beliefs.

In a pluralistic society like Malaysia, in which many religions coexist, doesn't the Islamization of politics contribute to a division in society?

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Dr. Hatta Ramli is a leading member of the Malaysian opposition party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), which advocates a straightforward Islamization of Malaysian society | Hatta Ramli: Societies are always divided, for example along economic lines. But the main dividing lines are religious and ethnic. In Malaysia we have not yet experienced any major religious conflicts, but we did have rioting in 1969 based on ethnic strife. Responsible for the problems were enormous economic inequalities. As an Islamic party, we have not driven any kind of division. We must fight for the votes of Muslims as well as those of non-Muslims.

Shahran: I don't think that we split society. We consider the values we stand for, which also form the foundation of our work, to be universally applicable. They are just as valid for Muslims as they are for people of other faiths. Of course, our background always remains Islam, but we do not try to proselytize or to contribute to religious enmity. We want to improve human coexistence, irrespective of faith.

There are many prejudices against the Islamization of society, especially thanks to the rhetoric of the "war against terror." Dr. Shahran, do you see yourself criticized unjustly or limited in any way as an Islamic movement, on either the national or international levels?

Shahran: Because of prejudices both in the Western media and in the context of national conflicts, there is a tendency to stereotype all Muslims. Violence has nothing to do with the ideology of Islam. There are many reasons why radicalism and terrorism evolve, but they always have political roots and not religious ones. Some Islamic groups unfortunately link the conflicts with religion and faith. We, too, feel the prejudices, fear and skepticism that are projected onto us. But we are not extremist and do not encounter any problems with our work attributable to the fact that we are an Islamic organization.

Can Malaysia, as a country with religious pluralism and an Islamic state model, still build secular structures?

Ramli: The current system is working. And we do not believe that secularization is the right path. We want to work and live with religious people; we believe that this instills a system of values that is indispensable to our politics.

Shahran: Islam can coexist with any religion – that is the principle behind the faith. We concentrate on strengthening the community of Muslims. This doesn't mean that we simultaneously want to weaken others; we want to contribute to better understanding, but not to the secularization of the system.

What kind of experiences have you had with regard to the dialogue between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds?

Shahran: For me, dialogue doesn't only mean finding out what we have in common. There are major differences in the interpretation of religion and religiosity. In the West, people see religion as something personal, while for us Muslims it is a way of life. This is why Islam intervenes in all areas of life. A dialogue must therefore address these differences in order to really bear fruit.

You have close contact with Germany, a western, European society. What are your personal impressions?

Ramli: In Germany, as part of Europe, a strong feeling of solidarity can be discerned, the "European Union feeling"! At the same time, we encounter here a fear of Islam and Sharia; people are suspicious of our political ambitions. But Germany is nonetheless seeking dialogue, not least because there are inner tensions here with the Muslims. Turkey, as a Muslim country, can likewise contribute to this dialogue – this is something that is not discussed enough.

Shahran: Many Muslims hope that Germany and the European Union will be able to offer a counterweight to the superpower USA. Germany should try to overcome its religious and cultural problems with the Muslims living on its own turf.

Interview: Anna Zwenger