Guru Nanek’s Birthday

Our Sikh colleagues at work celebrated the birthday of Guru Nanek today. He’s the guy who founded the Sikh religion in the 1400’s. A man way ahead of his time who tried to get rid of the gender inequality and the caste system in India.

The Sikh community at work brought a lot of food in to share with everyone. Definitely not expected, but really nice and a very kind gesture.

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Dress The Desk

We’ve begun to dress the desk, or the bay as it is. Our Halloween theme is fortune telling, which has annoyed certain people. See my previous post for more information on that. It seems to be one particular person that is really not liking it.

We’ve chosen a theme for our decorations. We’ve set up a fortune telling scene with two skeletons. I’ve taken in many of my own personal things such as tarot cards, candles, runes, Ouija board, crystal balls, pendulums, etc. It looks really good. There is a prize of pizza for the winning team. As far as we know we are the only team to have a theme for our decorations. So we reckon we have a good chance of winning. Now that will be interesting.

Even though certain people are not wishing to take part it would be very churlish if the rest of the team refused them pizza if we win. I certainly would not say no to them. However, if I hear any comment about ‘halal’ I will explode. It won’t just be any old explosion. It will be of nuclear proportions. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.


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Racial & Religious Hatred, Prejudice, Slander, Defamation

Something was given to me at work today that could be seen as labelling a particular religious group as devil worshipers. I know that they are not.

The information was copied off a website and was given to several people so I asked for a copy. I read it through with interest. Some of it was factual information but then came the lovely sentence referring to, ‘…idol worshipers and devil worshipers…’.

I sent off an email to all of our team pointing out that this particular religion does not worship the devil, and that it was defamation and slander. Thinking about it afterwards it seems to me that it could also be seen as inciting religious or racial hatred. It has been passed to several people, some of whom do not know anything about the religion in question, so it could manipulate their way of thinking.

I’ve spoken to my family about this also. They think that this is a ‘sackable’ offence. They think I should lodge a formal complaint and take it further. Even though the information was obviously copied and pasted from a website.

If you are reading this you may be wondering what religion I am talking about. Well, usually when this type of thing crops up we are hearing about people saying things about Islam and Muslims. People are then in uproar screaming about racism and prejudice.

This particular information was taken from a Muslim website. It talks about the origins of Halloween, or Samhain, which is actually factual information. It then goes on to give basic information of the Christian church labelling it ‘evil’. After that it discusses the Islamic view of Halloween and tells Muslims they shouldn’t take part in any ‘idol worship or devil worship’.

As I put in my email to the team:

1) Pagans do not worship the devil. You have to believe in the devil to worship it and Pagans do not have any concept of this entity. Also, if you check back in Christian history, the devil was actually put into the bible by the Council of Nicaea back in AD326, or sometime around then. It doesn’t actually exist – only in the minds of people who believe in it. Pagans do not.

2) Pagans do not worship idols. We, yes WE, have Gods or Goddesses or both, who we worship. Our deities are as real and as important to us as Allah is to a Muslim.

I don’t call Muslims devil worshipers because they do not follow my religion, so what gives them the right to label me as such because I am not Muslim? Some people need to grow up. Tolerance is something that some people do not understand. Accept of course when they want people to show it towards them. But then some people are used to getting everything they want aren’t they?

Many people celebrate Samhain in the UK as a religious celebration. If you don’t like it go live elsewhere.

HAPPY SAMHAIN PEOPLE!

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Refugees or Migrants?

This week we’ve seen some horrible images of babies and children being tear gassed. These people are trying to get away from this kind of barbarism and they’ve walked straight into it. But have they? I mentioned in my last post about the men coming from Pakistan and mixing with the refugees. It’s my opinion that it’s because of these illegal migrants that the genuine refugees are being treated so badly.

Refugees are people fleeing from a war zone, torture, genocide, etc. You’d expect the biggest majority to consist of women, children, elderly, ill, and disabled. But instead what we see is groups of men who look fully able-bodied. In Calais some of them are armed with machetes and are attacking trucks. You’d think that these men would be trying to help their countries get rid of ISIL. You’d think that these men would not be running away but would be trying to help their fellow countrymen.

The media has mentioned that there are women and children travelling alone, and even lone children, amongst the refugees. So it’s even more disgraceful that groups of men are coming from Pakistan to mingle with them. I really hope that they sort them from the genuine people and march them straight back to where they came from.

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Refugees

You would have to be a very hard person not to be moved by the picture of the little boy who drowned. The photo has moved a lot of people around the world. The people who took money from his family have been arrested and will, hopefully, face many years in jail.

We all know that people are leaving Syria and neighbouring countries to get away from the threat of ISIL. But amongst these genuine refugees are those who are taking advantage of what they think is a quick way to get into Europe. So there are many Pakistanis, mainly young men, who are mingling with the refugees in the hope of getting to Europe without the proper protocol. The authorities are faced with the question of whether to spend the vast amount of time and money needed to sort out the fake from the real, or to just accept them all regardless.

These fake refugees are putting the lives and well-being of the genuine people at risk. We’ve all seen the refugees being given food and clothing as they have none – but some of this is going to people who are migrants not refugees. These scoundrels are taking food that is badly needed by people – often children – who fled a war-torn country.

Someone said to me that this is human nature – to take advantage. I say that we all know right from wrong and this is very wrong. These people should be ashamed of themselves putting these vulnerable people at risk. They are no better than these monsters who are overcrowding unbalanced boats.

Then there is the question of the root cause of the matter. Should the military of Western countries be used to wipe ISIL off the map? Many people would say yes because of the atrocities they are committing. But wouldn’t this be against our own fundamental rights of ‘freedom of speech’, ‘freedom to worship how we choose’, ‘freedom to believe in what we choose’? Where do we draw the line between ‘freedom’ and ‘going to far’?

Many Muslims in this country say that ISIL propaganda is not true Islam. Indeed there are Islamic countries that are fighting the ISIL threat. There are many people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who are having their freedom took away. There are people being sold into sexual slavery or murdered because they won’t convert to ISIL ideology, and this includes Muslims. People are terrified that their children will be taken so they are choosing to flee their homes on overcrowded boats in the hope that someone in the West will help them.

Which brings up another question. Is it really a matter of religion for ISIL, or is it more about power and money? Power over people using fear and manipulation. Making money from selling children into sexual slavery. We are living in the 21st century. We know that we are all connected, all living on one planet, breathing the same air, eating the same foods. We should not be allowing this type of horrendous activity. We should all be standing up against it and if that means blowing ISIL off the map then so be it. No one should have to live in this type of fear.

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Good News For Animal Lovers

BREAKING NEWS: Bear bile replacement breakthrough in China

06 August 2015

Taken from:
https://www.animalsasia.org/uk/media/news/news-archive/bear-bile-replacement-breakthrough-in-china.html

Hopes for an end to China’s bear bile farms have been boosted as Chinese manufacturer Kaibao Pharmaceuticals announced it has successfully synthesised a substitute for use in traditional medicine.

Animal welfare charity Animals Asia is calling it a step that could eventually save thousands of protected moon bears from farms.

In addition, with Kaibao’s project being backed by the Chinese government – Animals Asia believes it shows a clear intent at the highest levels to move away from the current extraction of bile from bears. This is also in accordance with statements by China’s President Xi Jinping to create an “eco civilisation” and a “green China”.

State-run media Wen Hui News this week ran a prominent article on the breakthrough acknowledging the current format of bear bile production as incompatible with animal protection and conservation.

Wen Hui News reported:

“In recent years, some bear species numbers have been reduced due to the bear bile trade, and the emergence of bear bile farming cannot serve as a sustainable solution to medicines made from animals. The medical field is faced with an ethical dilemma between animal protection and human needs.”

“Kaibao Pharmaceuticals’ project, first announced last year, is heavily backed by state funds having attracted more than US$1.8 million in government funding.”

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“This project has the potential to drastically scale back China’s bear bile industry by providing an alternatively-sourced product that traditional medicinal practitioners and patients are happy to use.

“The fact that it is government-funded and sanctioned is hugely important. It shows that both businessmen and policy makers have realised there is no future in bear bile farming and are actively seeking ways to make it obsolete.”

While ursodeoxycholic acid, the active ingredient in bear bile, has long been artificially produced around the world for use in health care, the entire chemical make up of bear bile has never been successfully synthesised.

Kaibao Pharmaceuticals is currently the number one consumer of bear bile purchasing around 18 tonnes of powdered bile annually, approximately half of all purchased. The new artificial bear bile is created using poultry bile.

Over 10,000 bears are currently believed to be held on industrial scale bile farms around China. The animals are kept in highly unsuitable conditions with little regard for their welfare and endure regular bile extraction.

Hong Kong-based charity Animals Asia runs two bear sanctuaries for bears rescued from the bile industry. Since 1998, the NGO has rescued over 500 bears and offers them a lifetime of care in rescue centres in Chengdu, China, and Tam Dao, Vietnam. They have been campaigning to end bear bile farming for over 17 years.

Dave Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director said:

“For those of us who choose to live cruelty free lives – pharmaceuticals offer their own dilemma. Not just for our own use but also for the people we care for. The vast majority of mass-produced drugs contain either animal products or are tested on animals.

“The campaign to make medical and pharmaceuticals industries cruelty free is a global one. The pragmatic view in this case is it’s unlikely chickens will be killed specifically for these drugs as chicken bile is already available as a byproduct of meat processing – while its introduction is likely to help end the suffering of thousands of bears.

“With that in mind we welcome this move by Kaibao and the Chinese government as a step in the right direction. Clearly we also believe that all industries worldwide utilising animals, ultimately have to go further. In that respect pharmaceuticals join a long list of products including food, cosmetics and clothing – but what we are seeing here is undoubtedly progress.

“While it would make little economic sense to breed chickens specifically for bile – should that ever prove to be the case then obviously our position would change.”

Find out more here:
https://www.animalsasia.org/uk/media/news/news-archive/bear-bile-replacement-breakthrough-in-china.html

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