Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Is Islam a Peaceful Religion?

Over the past few weeks we have been told over and over again that Islam is founded on peace and non violence. However, when you actually look at the Quran and at Mohammed's own life it does seem to be a bit violent:

1. What the Quran says

Qur’an 2:191 “And kill them wherever you find and catch them. Drive them out from where they have turned you out; for Al-Fitnah (polytheism, disbelief, oppression) is worse than slaughter.”

Qur’an 33:60 “Truly, if the Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the City do not desist, We shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Then they will not be able to stay as your neighbours for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy—a fierce slaughter—murdered, a horrible murdering.”

Qur’an 5:33 “The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and make mischief in the land, is to murder them, crucify them, or cut off a hand and foot on opposite sides...their doom is dreadful. They will not escape the fire, suffering constantly.”

Qur’an 9:5 “When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, torture them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an 8:12 “Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: ‘I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.”

Qur’an 4:94 “Believers, when you go abroad to fight wars in Allah’s Cause, investigate carefully, and say not to anyone who greets you: ‘You are not a believer!’ Coveting the chance profits of this life (so that you may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils and booty.”

Qur’an 47:33 “Believers, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger. Do not falter; become faint-hearted, or weak-kneed, crying for peace.”

Qur’an 9:3 “Allah is not bound by any contract or treaty with non-Muslims, nor is His Apostle.”

Qur’an 9:12 “If they violate their oaths and break treaties, taunting you for your Religion, then fight these specimens of faithlessness.”

Qur’an 9:88 “The Messenger and those who believe him, strive hard and fight jihad with their wealth and lives (in Allah’s Cause).”

2. Battles fought by Mohammed

624 - Battle of Bani Qainuqa'
624 - Battle of Sawiq
624 - Battle of Ghatfan
624 - Battle of Bahran
625 - Battle of Uhud.
625 - Battle of Humra-ul-Asad
625 - Battle of Banu Nudair
625 - Battle of Dhatur-Riqa
626 - Battle of Badru-Ukhra
626 - Battle of Dumatul-Jandal
626 - Battle of Banu Mustalaq Nikah
627 - Battle of the Trench
627 - Battle of Ahzab
627 - Battle of Bani Quraiza
627 - Battle of Bani Lahyan
627 - Battle of Ghaiba
627 - Battle of Khaibar
630 - Battle of Tabuk

2. Battles fought by Mohammed's successors

633 - Battle at Oman
633 - Battle at Hadramaut.
633 - Battle of Kazima
633 - Battle of Walaja
633 - Battle of Ulleis
633 - Battle of Anbar
634 - Battle of Basra,
634 - Battle of Damascus
634 - Battle of Ajnadin.
634 - Battle of Namaraq
634 - Battle of Saqatia.
635 - Battle of Bridge.
635 - Battle of Buwaib.
635 - Conquest of Damascus.
635 - Battle of Fahl.
636 - Battle of Yermuk.
636 - Battle of Qadsiyia.
636 - Conquest of Madain.
637 - Battle of Jalula.
638 - Battle of Yarmouk.
638 - The Muslims defeat the Romans and enter Jerusalem.
638 - Conquest of Jazirah.
639 - Conquest of Khuizistan and movement into Egypt.
641 - Battle of Nihawand
642 - Battle of Rayy in Persia
643 - Conquest of Azarbaijan
644 - Conquest of Fars
644 - Conquest of Kharan.
658 - Battle of Nahrawan.
659 - Conquest of Egypt
661 - Ali is murdered.
662 - Egypt falls to Islam rule.
666 - Sicily is attacked by Muslims
677 - Siege of Constantinople
687 - Battle of Kufa
691 - Battle of Deir ul Jaliq
700 - Sufism takes root as a sect of Islam
700 - Military campaigns in North Africa
702 - Battle of Deir ul Jamira
711 - Muslims invade Gibraltar
711 - Conquest of Spain
713 - Conquest of Multan
716 - Invasion of Constantinople
732 - Battle of Tours in France.
740 - Battle of the Nobles.
741 - Battle of Bagdoura in North Africa
744 - Battle of Ain al Jurr.
746 - Battle of Rupar Thutha
748 - Battle of Rayy.
749 - Battle of lsfahan
749 - Battle of Nihawand
750 - Battle of Zab
772 - Battle of Janbi in North Africa
777 - Battle of Saragossa in Spain

Obviously these were different times, but when you look at other religions they do not seem to have this widespread violence carried out by their founders and their immediate successors. For example Jesus and the Apostles don;t seem to have been involved in any violence at all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

RSGB Suggestions

Well, following my post to (about the RSGB renewal) various people suggested trying to change it.
The problem with that is that there is no means of communication with the RSGB.
You can write to them or phone them, but that would only put you in contact with the paid staff.
You could possibly write to the board of directors as a whole but I guess the secretary would field that.
One person can;t actually make any difference. As we all know democracies tend to favour the status quo because thats the average opinion of people who vote on such things. Even if one "pro change" candidate was elected it would not make any
difference to the voting on the board. As not all members change every year a "coup" is actually impossible even if the membership voted 100% for pro change candidates. It would take years.

Interestingly the RSGB does not send communication to members by email.
It does not have a news announce list like the ARRL, although you can get GB2RS by email. I think the RSGB's communication with members is very poor in general.

If I retain my membership I may go the whole hog and stand for election at
the next board meeting. Imagine a board member for Scotland who was actually born here and has lived here for a long period of time. Normally they parachute in candidates....

The problem is that I am not "anti rsgb" I am just "pro amateur radio" and the two sometimes cross over.I don't agree with a licence for life because it will skew the licence statistics and lead to a bad database.
I also don't think a paid 5 year livcence is wrokable commercially for accounting reasons. Its likely to cost more than five times the one year fee to run a system like that (and I do have considerable experience running subsrcription services
with a one to ten year period).

Here are some suggestions:

1. The RSGB should reduce the cost of membership by 10 to 20% and offer one
free year to all new licencees.
The uptake on renewals and increased membership base would bring in enough
cash in a year or two to keep it going.

2. The RSGB should review Radcom as its not hitting the mark for anyone
these days.
They should look at electronic delivery options or other ways of
distributing the same information. Use the internet to deliver some of the
services electronically.

3. The RSGB should review the success of GB4FUN to determine what the actual
outcome has been before throwing any more cash at it.

4. The RSGB needs to look at its staff recruitment policies to make sure
they follow modern human resources procedures (no nepotism).

5. The RSGB should review all overseas trips for board members and how these
are funded. Any benefits to board members should be published in the annual
report so its clear who is getting what and why.

6. The RSGB should review the QSL bureau as there may be simpler ways of
sorting the cards and handling them. No services should be provided for non

7. The RSGB should review all book publishing activities to see if they make
a profit and if they are worthwhile.

In general they need to reduce their cost base and increase the number of
Both of these will lead to an increase in profits which can then be
covenamted back to the RCF whuch itself is a whole can of worms that needs
to be scrutinised.

Thats some suggestions to set the ball rolling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Eugene Sully G0VIQ

The first radio amateur to become a big brother housemate is Eugene Sully G0VIQ.

I am sure the RSGB will want Eugene as a spokesman when he gets out, but is this the right image?

Apparently he had to spend a day dressed as a dog doing dog type things....

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Depression and the speed bump

Friends of the Earth have finally won in thier battle against the car.

They tried increasing the price of petrol; they forced the fitting of catalytic convertors, but the car manufacturers fought back with technology to make cars more economical and more powerful.
In the end it was something much more mundane that has stopped me fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

Having spent two weeks seriously looking for a second hand Ferrari I finally realised that there is no way it would get over the speed bump at the entrance to our street. It would end up as an expensive seesaw for the local kids. I then thought about getting some workmen to remove the speed bump, but unfortunatley the local cable company recently laid a cable INSIDE the bump. Yes, I know that makes no sense. They did not even ask the owners permission (its a private road and their general permission to dig only covers council owned roads).

So, the outcome is no Ferrari.
I think a Porsche would get over the bump, but its not the same thing is it?

Saturday, July 9, 2005

How to load a leica camera without cutting the film

I noticed this in Amateur Photographer magazine (25th June 2005) which was a special edition to celebrate 80 years since the first Leica camera and the 80th anniversary of the magazine.

Normally you need to cut the film to make a long leader but this method lets you load the Leica scre cameras without modifying the film.

  1. Draw the film out of the cassette and insert tip of leader into the takeup spool.
  2. Lower the cassette and take up spool into the base of the camera.
  3. As it is part way in, insert a business card between the film and shutter blind, pushing it lightly until there is resistance (the card should be seated against the central part of the shuter housing).
  4. Start to wind the film on.
  5. Once you see the film winding freely (by viewing the movement of the rewind knob) remove the card, attach the baseplate and advance a couple of frames.

You can now start using the camera.