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Jul 15, 2010

Interesting, if not easily accessible for all, is an article starting page 66 in the 2nd issue of Constellations, by IMASE (International Muslim Association of Scientists and Engineers): Islamic Legal Perspectives on Genetically Modified Food (GMF), Dr Anke Iman Bouzenita, Assistant Professor, Department of Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, International Islamic University Malaysia

"Genetically modified food (GMF) is part of our realities as consumers worldwide. The techniques and possibilities involved do require an Islamic legal (fiqh) study as to assess GMF with regard to its consumption, production and related research. The paper focuses on placing the study of GMF within a holistic context, under consideration of the societal background and rationale it has been developed under. It investigates into the possibility of transferring fiqh devices such as istihalah (chemical transformation), istihlak (extreme dilution) and others to GMF combining genetic material from permissible and non-permissible sources. It raises a number of deliberations and concerns with regard to the usage of the ‘maqasidic’ scheme and discusses the permissibility of GMF under the aspects of changing creation or harnessing nature."

The author ends the abstract with a quote from the Quran:
“God cursed him, but he (Iblis) said: ‘I will take of Your servants a portion marked off, I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires. I will order them and they will surely slit the ears of cattle, and I will verily command them, and they will certainly change the creation of God.’ And whoever takes Satan as a patron instead of God has indeed suffered a great loss.” (Quran, An-Nisa/ The Women, 118-119)

And for those who don't have time to read (those who want to be taken on the journey first: look away now!), the key conclusion: "Considering the impact of GM food holistically with regard to its consumption, production and research, we may conclude that the entire conceptualisation of GMOs for human (or animal) consumption follows a rationale that is not in agreement with the Islamic way of life. As the rationale for bringing about GM food for animal or human consumption is in contradiction with Islamic concepts, my conclusion is that Muslims should seriously re-evaluate their participation in this field."

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Posted: Jul 15, 2010 1:32pm
Apr 12, 2010

A sad indictment of what seems to be our priority setting according to an article in The Guardian:

"Sales of the world's top 100 arms companies totalled $385bn in 2008, an increase of $39bn over the previous year, Sipri [Stockholm international peace research institute] says. This compares with the total $120bn spent on development aid by the world's major industrialised countries in 2008."

Also, if a country now wants aid from the US in order to combat the effects of climate change, it'd better have signed up to the Copenhagen Accord (a non-legally binding document that appeared after no legally binding just agreement could be agreed during the Dec '09 climate negotiations), as also today in the news. And little hope - unless we all do our 2p, collectively and individually! - for a better outcome from Mexico this December.

At least the US army appreciates that peal oil is coming and we'd better prepare, God willing proactively and peacefully! Examples are the Transition movement and permaculture.

Added quote on 22 April as relevant as to our priorities: "The sums in the [UK Government] budget are a start, but they’re dwarfed by the amounts used to subsidise the banks, and are like sending someone out to organize a wedding with only enough money to buy a packet of peanuts.", Andrew Simms, Policy Director and Head of the Climate
Change Programme at the New Economics Foundation, talking about the
Green Investment Bank (found in BFoE mailing list)

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Posted: Apr 12, 2010 5:47am
Jan 10, 2010

Some say we should focus on Muslims with security measures as 'though majority of Muslims are not terrorists, current terrorists are all Muslims'... well, what about the van with explosives found in France today (read in Dutch newspaper)? What about the attack on the Greek parliament yesterday (again, read in Dutch newspaper)? What about the latest acid attack in Hong Kong? What about the Togo footballers attacked in Angola?

NO, I am NOT trying to justify terror in the name of Islam ('others do it too'): I wholeheartedly CONDEMN ALL TERROR, by whomever committed and for whatever purported reason. All I'm suggesting is let us ALL please think peace and long-term... I sadly see an increasing 'them & us' (amongst all sides), which will only in my opinion make matters worse.

Continuing on the off topic theme (normally use this blog for environment related thoughts), thought I'd share what I recently bumped into (am a humanitarian aid worker by day): The Right to Asylum between Islamic Shari’ah and International Refugee Law: A Comparative Study
a UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) funded report published in June 2009.

BTW: why do Malaysian Muslims object to Christians using the word 'Allah' for God? In the UK I speak English and use the word God (English) instead of Allah (Arabic). We're supposed to be worshipping the same One God anyways, whatever name we choose to use (Quran 17:110).

Let's get to know one another as fellow brothers and sisters in humanity (Quran 49:13) ...

In peace, Rianne

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Posted: Jan 10, 2010 3:49am
Jun 9, 2009

On 19 May, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) put out a press release calling for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Modified (GM) foods because "GM foods pose a serious health risk". Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes "there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects" and that "GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health."

I think these doctors know better what's good for us or not than those working for commercial companies making/ dependent on GM telling us it's all fine and we 'need' it for all kinds of reasons...there is NO food shortage (there are now more overweight/ obese people than those malnourished), it will NOT solve poverty (being forced to keep buying sterile seeds from a global behemoth will only increase wealth gap), it will NOT help combat climate change (most GM are only pesticide resistant, so not using pesticides in first place is more sustainable & there are many plant varieties we could use), and, last but not least, how dare we think we can mess around with God's Creation (Satan disclosed some of his plots to confound us saying: "Verily of Your servants I shall most certainly take my due share, and shall lead them astray and fill them with vain desires. And I shall command them so that they cut off the ears of cattle (in idolatrous sacrifice), and I shall command them and they will CHANGE GOD's CREATION.", Quran chapter 4:119)?

A good site with information on Islamic view on GM is Muzammal Hussein's site.

An unrelated, but important piece of news I wanted to share is that it seems we still have a strange set of priorities: according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world governments spent a record $1.46 trillion on upgrading their armed forces last year despite the economic downturn (see article in The Independent), while for $40-60 billion a year we could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (according to research by the Worldbank)

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Posted: Jun 9, 2009 5:05am
May 3, 2009

Enjoying your salmon/ chicken/ beef? Did you know how your food got raised? Its impact on communities of people and animals elsewhere?

"He created the earth for all creatures... Which of your Lord's marvels can you deny?" (Quran chapter [55]10, 13)

And: "There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end." (Quran [6] 38)

Watch this video as a reminder that being a believer is not just about our prayers in church/ mosque/ synagogue etc, but these prayers are more like a reminder to be God conscious in all our actions, God willing.

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Posted: May 3, 2009 3:15am


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Rianne ten Veen
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