By: Yvonne Ridley
Coca-Cola is building a factory in Gaza, but before you applaud such an investment in an area where the economy is shattered and unemployment ranks among the highest in the world, let’s examine the deal more closely. Who will actually benefit from this? It’s a rhetorical question really, because the Palestinians living there will be the long-term losers while the neighbouring State of Israel will count the shekels rolling in.
The first of the materials to build the factory came via Israel with a convoy of 10 trucks carrying assembly line machines through the Yitzhak Rabin border terminal; from there the lorries were processed by the Israeli military into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing last week. This, in itself, is amazing, since only 130,000 tons of construction materials have been allowed into Gaza since the latest Israeli blitz; five million tons are needed to try to rebuild the factories bombed to destruction by Israel in its last two wars against the civilians of Gaza.
Thousands of families are still without homes in the depths of a Gaza winter and some of the dead are still buried under the tons of rubble where tower blocks stood before the Israeli military destroyed them. Despite international promises of humanitarian aid and a massive rebuilding programme nothing of any substance has happened because of the ongoing siege of the territory led by Israel and Egypt.
Argentinian artist Elisa Insua shows AJ+ how she addresses power, money and consumer society though her artwork using recycled materials.
Camouflage is the use of any combination of materials, coloration or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see, or by disguising them as something else.
SPECIAL REPORT: A row is brewing over claims that Israel is earning millions of euros from a de facto policy of preventing non-Israeli reconstruction aid from entering the Gaza Strip.
Possessing child porn is now illegal in Japan – but depicting children as sexual objects in cartoons or animation isn’t.
The sale of pornographic materials is rampant in Japan. Go into any convenience store and you will find mainstream pornographic magazines sold alongside consumer publications; while a “for adults only” sign demarcates the violent, hardcore porn magazines. But it isn’t only adults whose bodies are on display: Underaged girls are routinely portrayed in suggestive ways – from teen pop groups posing in lingerie or pubescent children engaging in sexual acts in manga comic books.
There’s No Tomorrow is a half-hour animated documentary about resource depletion, energy and the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet.
Inspired by the pro-capitalist cartoons of the 1940s, the film is an introduction to the energy dilemmas facing the world today.
“The average American today has available the energy equivalent of 150 slaves, working 24 hours a day. Materials that store this energy for work are called fuels. Some fuels contain more energy than others. This is called energy density.”
“Economic expansion has resulted in increases in atmospheric nitrous oxide and methane, ozone depletion, increases in great floods, damage to ocean ecosystems, including nitrogen runoff, loss of rainforest and woodland, increases in domesticated land, and species extinctions.”
“The global food supply relies heavily on fossil fuels. Before WW1, all agriculture was Organic. Following the invention of fossil fuel derived fertilisers and pesticides there were massive improvements in food production, allowing for increases in human population.The use of artificial fertilisers has fed far more people than would have been possible with organic agriculture alone.”
What Are The Jinn?
Allah has created at least two beings that have the freedom of choice: Mankind and Jinn.
Animals, birds, and other organisms do not have this freedom. They can only do what they were created to do. They can only obey Allah.
The angels do not have this freedom either. They were created to obey Allah also and cannot choose to disobey Him at all.
But the Jinn can choose to worship Allah or worship Iblis (Satan).
Perhaps I should give a brief explanation of what the Jinn are.
The word Jinn comes from the the Arabic word meaning hidden. This is because typically, the Jinn are invisible to human eyes.
The Jinn are a separate creation apart from mankind. They have their own world, with their own animals. They sort of live in a parallel universe from humans.
However, whereas humans cannot “cross over” or enter the world of the Jinn, the Jinn can, and often do, come into our world. In fact, the Jinn have heavy influence over human events.
Here are some things the Jinn can do that affect humans:
- The most important thing they do is whisper to humans and influence us to do evil deeds. These Jinn are Shayateen (devils) and work for and with Iblis (Lucifer).
- Consult with sorcerers to make black magic. Usually, the sorcerer will give something to the Jinn in return for the Jinn harming another individual.
- Advise fortune tellers with secrets stolen from the heavens.
Before the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), the Jinn used to steal secrets from the heavens. They would then pass this information on to human fortune tellers who would then use this knowledge to gain power and influence over other humans.
However, after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came with the message of Islam, the angels now protect the heavens from the Jinn by hurling meteorites at them.
And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires.
And verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.
Chapter 72; verse 8-9
However, many Jinn still have the secrets they stole before Islam. They give this information to fortune tellers who then mix it with lies and tricks to fool gullible humans.
Now, let’s take a look at some basic, yet important, facts about the Jinn.
Some Jinn Are Muslim
And among us are Muslims, and among us are the unjust. And whoever has become Muslim – those have sought out the right course.
Chapter 72; Verse 14
As mentiond earlier, the jinn have free will like humans. Therefore, they have the option to choose any religion or faith they want. Just like humans.
So, some Jinn are Muslim, some are Christian, and some are Jewish.
Just like humans.
And there are some Jinn that work for, and worship, Iblis (Lucifer).
Just like humans.
They Were Created From Smokeless Fire
And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.
Chapter 15; verse 27
Allah mentions three intelligent creations in His book. He also tells us what they were created from.
- Angels – Created from light.
- Mankind – Created from clay.
- Jinn – Created from fire.
Aisha reported that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: The Angels were born our of light, and the Jinn were born out of the spark of fire, and Adam was born as he has been defined for you (i.e. out of clay).
The fact that they are created from fire is well established in the Quran.
And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.
Chapter 15; verse 27.
This verse also proves that Iblis, also known as Satan or Lucifer, is also a jinni. He is not a “fallen angel” as other faiths assert. Remember, the Angels cannot disobey Allah so there is no way any of them would have refused to bow down to Prophet Adam (AS).
(Allah) said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant, or were you among the haughty?”
He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”
Chapter 38; Verses 75-76.
Even more direct proof that Iblis was a jinni is in the following verse:
And when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord.
Chapter 18; verse 50.
The Jinn Have Amazing Powers
The jinn are not like us humans. They have abilities and powers well beyond anything a man can do. For instance, when Prophet Sulayman (Solomon, pbuh) wanted to bring Queen Bilquis’ throne to his palace as proof of the authority and power that Allah had given him:
A powerful one from among the jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this strong and trustworthy.”
Chapter 27; verse 39.
This powerful jinni (known as an ifreet) was going to bring the Queen’s throne all the way from Yemen to Jerusalem in an instant. some Jinn can fly and others can take the form of certain animals.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The jinn are of three types: a types that has wings, and they fly through the air; a type that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its journey.
The Jinn Are Used In Sorcery
There are many people who practice sorcery and use the Jinn in this endeavor. They may get the Jinn to hurt others or they may use the Jinn for protection.
And there were men from mankind who sought refuge in men from the jinn, so they increased them in burden.
Chapter 72; verse 6.
You must understand that the Jinn can harm you. They have been known to cause serious harm to people. However, they can only harm by the leave of Allah, so it is imperative that we seek His help and put our trust in Him.
Lo! Conspiracy is only of the devil, that he may vex those who believe; but he can harm them not at all unless by Allah’s leave. In Allah let believers put their trust.
Chapter 58; verse 10.
There are some forms of black magic practiced by the People of the Book. They say this magic (Kabalah) was taught by Prophet Sulayman (pbuh). However, Allah confirms that this was actually taught to them by devils.
It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut.
Chapter 2; verse 102.
To protect yourself from sorcery or black magic, recite Surah Al-Falaq.
To protect yourself from the whispers of the devils (jinn), recite Surah Al-Naas.
The most important thing is to put your trust in Allah.