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Spoiler Review: Justice League and Thor Ragnarok

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So I've seen both Justice League and Thor Ragnarok recently and it's strange how these movies stack up.

Acting Both these movies offer pretty good acting for Super Hero action films. There's nothing spectacular, but no big flaws either. This was especially true of Justice League, where I had my doubts due to the number of characters being introduced, but they casted them all well.

Action The action and CGI in both moves is spectacular. I'd actually give the upper hand to Justice League here. The action sequences simply look amazing. Some of the slow motion, flash and superman scenes are particularly well done.

Humor Both movies try to play on some humor and they hit the notes quite well. In going with the more fun theme, I'd say Thor had a few more laughs. Though the humor was well placed in Justice League.

Plot Now the plot is where these movies really diverge. It's a very strange thing as well. DC has tried to play on the more and dark and serious tone. Whic…

Tribalism

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I've had some thoughts about tribalism lately and I've blogged about it a few times. I've been meaning to do a general blog about tribalism trying to tie in all my thoughts. Then I came across this great article that really summarizes tribalism.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/04/04/the-ideology-is-not-the-movement/

There's a reason I chose a fairly neutral topic picture when talking about tribalism. I did not choose an angry mob with pitch forks. I did not choose an African tribe. I did not show the KKK. I simply showed groups of people with division. That's really all tribes are. All the values and differences people like to talk about are generally not the issue.

Pure Tribalism I recall my first true understanding of tribalism when I went paint balling. I went to high school with a lot of Punjabi Sikhs. My friend and I were Muslim. Anyways, we got invited to go a paintball event with the Punjabi Sikhs. So we go as friends. Anyways, there were a lot of pretty trad…

Expecting Muslim Holiness

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I can't even recall if I've blogged about this before, but this article showed up on my Facebook feed today.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/xymnwz/how-muslim-drug-dealers-square-their-job-with-their-faith
Talks about how young British Muslim men square their Muslim identity with drug dealin
NEWS FLASH: MUSLIMS ARE JUST REGULAR PEOPLE  This bothered me as a Muslim and it bothers me now. I don't know where this mystique or special nature people seem to attribute to Islam.Maybe it is some kind of Orientalism. I won't discuss the history too much. I'll leave that to far better minds.

It is rare to see the Western world ponder how criminals who are born Christian square their Christian faith. Yet, somehow the average Muslim criminal must have some mystique to them to square their religion with their behavior.

Tribalism More important to many people than faith is tribalism. This article does capture it as well; though in a positive light.
"the boys demonstrated m…

Racism and Preference

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The origin of the post is kind of interesting. As many of my childhood friends have grown up, it has been interesting to see everyone growing up, getting job, moving into new homes. It's an interesting time to reflect.I was a BBQ with a friend and he commented
I would never raise my kids in Brampton. It's too wild and Desi now. Brampton
Brampton is I spent my high school years. It's a place that went through a large transformation. When we (of South Asian descent) moved in, it was largely a white suburb. As more people of South Asian descent moved it, various areas became dominated by South Asians. There was a perception that white people were leaving as South Asians moved in. There's actually be an article written about it.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/brampton-a-story-of-political-importance-power-and-ethnic-enclaves/article30273820/  I found an interesting article from Macleans that talks about London from a similar perspective.
http://www.macleans.ca…

Carl Jung - Modern Man In Search Of a Soul

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This truly is such an amazing book. I'll limit my commentary on it as I just came to write about a small paragraph. But really this book is a must read. It really does take you on a journey through man. I wish I had read it sooner.

In any case, the little paragraph that got me thinking about writing this is as follows:
We have come to a serious pass. The exodus from the German Protestant Church is only one of many symptoms which should make it plain to the clergy that merely admonitions to believe, or to perform acts of charity, do not give modern man what he is looking for
It really resonated with me as that is how I sadly viewed my religion. Now of course that has to be viewed within the cultural and religious confines of Indian Sunni Islam. I just didn't see anything in it. The culture, the people... all seemed empty for lack of a better word. All they could do was try and show how much charity they could give and out religious each other on pointless things.

For all the t…

The Voice of Reformers

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So I was listening to my Sam Harris podcast

https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/the-politics-of-emergency

 It was a pretty good conversation with Sam Harris and Fareed Zakaria (CNN). I enjoyed most of it, but then they got stuck on a point of how to reform Islam. In essence, it boils own to the following:

Sam Harris wants to talk honestly about the Koran from a religious and textual point of viewFareed Zakaria (also non religious) wants to emphasize that less and focus on politcal and social reform and let the religion play catch up. He believes talking about the 'truth' of the religion just causes people to resist and is not productive.
I've had this conversation numerous times, and the one thing that always puzzles me is why there has to be a single way of reform. Just as there are lots of path into religion. There are many paths to reform it. There are many paths out of it.

There is a role for the one who exposes the religion/texts/core beliefs for its flaws and false…

Expansive Values

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This is a bit of a complex topic, so I think the best way to talk about it is through an example.

Riba and Monetary System
Growing up Muslim, I was always fairly interested in how the system worked. So for example, while most Muslim took the idea of Riba (Banning Interest) to generally mean they abstain from mortgages or credit cards, I tended to think of it as part of the system.

http://yaminb.blogspot.ca/2012/10/morality-and-sources-of-income.html

For example, at one point the idea of a fiat monetary system appeared blatantly UnIslamic to me as the entire economic system is based on Riba. Creating money out of nothing. I won't get into it much here, but there was a time I thought remaking the fiat economic system was the reason there was so much poverty and that the solution was to move towards an Islamic gold standard. I spent an inordinate amount of time learning and figuring all this out. You can just google 'Fiat money Islam' and you'll probably get a bunch of hi…