Basic Utilities every PC needs

AVG – free

Spybot Search & Destroy is a free antispyware utility that targets adware, malicious code, and other threats. It also cleans security tracks, shreds files, and tweaks the Registry. The optional TeaTimer feature protects the Registry from real-time attacks.

ALSO use ::


Round up all of your stray notes and information sources and stick them all into Evernote for easy access across multiple devices,holiday-project-move-all-of-your-information-to-evernote.aspx


Restoring your smartphone data – or changing to a new phone – can be a breeze with the right app.,video-how-to-backup-and-restore-your-android-phone.aspx




Design – Free


Despite the name, the program isn’t just for NETGEAR users. Whoever made your router, you can use the program to check your internet connection, run a speed test, view and be notified of other devices on your network.

A typical home network connects two or three computers, via a wireless or Ethernet connection – useful enough. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) takes things much further, though, by offering the same convenient LAN-like connectivity to many more friends and colleagues, wherever they might be in the world. It’s perfect for everyone from online gamers to businesses with distributed teams, and there’s no easier way to set up a VPN than with Hamachi 2.0.

TeamViewer 8 is the latest release of the popular remote access/control program.

Wireless Network Watcher is a compact NirSoft tool which can scan your network (wired, as well as wireless, despite the program’s name), and report on everything that’s currently connected.

For every device and computer it uncovers, Wireless Network Watcher will list its IP address, device name, MAC address, network adapter, and (sometimes) an additional description that may tell you what the device actually is (“Your Router”, say).












Really Pakistan has few resorts and Snow SHUTS them down ! Amazing.

Must read it …
مری ……… مری میں پڑنے والی برف وبال جان بن گئی، سیاح پھنس گئے، 39 گھنٹوں سے بجلی بند، پانی جم گیا، سڑک پر پھسلن اور گاڑیاں پھنسنے کے باعث اسلام آباد مری روڈ بند کر دی گئی جبکہ بانسرہ گلی کے قریب برف صاف کرنے والے بلڈوزر کا بلیڈ گاڑی پر گرنے سے نوجوان جاں بحق ہوگیا۔ مری میں جمعرات کی شب سے شروع ہونے والی برف باری کے بعد انتظامیہ رابطہ سڑکوں سے برف ہٹانے میں تاحال ناکام رہی، مری کی رابطہ سڑکوں پر 3م 3 فٹ برف جمی ہے جس کے باعث شدید پھسلن سے ٹریفک بری طرح جام ہے اور سیاح کل رات سے مری میں پھنسے ہیں۔ جمعرات کی رات 12 بجے کے بعد سے مری شہر کی بجلی منقطع ہے جسے تاحال ٹھیک نہیں کیا جاسکا۔ مری میں پھنسے اپنے ایک دوست کو وہاں سے نکالنے کیلئے جانے والا پنڈی کا 26 سالہ نوجوان علی رضا بانسرہ گلی کے قریب برف ہٹانے والی گاڑی کا بلیڈ گرگیا جس سے گاڑی 2 ٹکڑے ہوگئی اور علی رضا موقع پر ہی جاں بحق ہوگیا۔ ترجمان موٹروے پولیس کے مطابق مری میں گاڑیاں پھنس جانے کی وجہ سے مری جانے والی اسلام آباد ایکسپریس روڈ بند کر دی گئی ہے۔ تاہم مری سے اسلام آباد واپس آنے والی سڑک ٹریفک کیلئے کھلی ہے۔

FGM by USA Muslim women’s League

Female Genital Mutilation

by Muslim Women’s League
January 1999

Until recently, the majority of the world’s over one billion Muslims had scarcely heard of female genital cutting (also known as female circumcision and female genital mutilation (FGM)). When the subject began to receive international media attention, many Muslims responded with disgust, easily dismissing any possible connection between this practice and the religion of Islam.

Enhanced awareness of the cultural significance of FGM in some Muslim countries requires a more detailed look at the relationship of FGM to Islam. In July, 1997 the Egyptian government overturned a ban on the practice of FGM. This event was celebrated by some Muslim figures, particularly Sheikh Youssef al-Badri, an outspoken proponent of the circumcision of Muslim women. Later the ban was reinstated, an act celebrated now by feminists and under assault by a few Muslim activists, again, led by Sheikh al-Badri. For the general public, with only limited exposure to Muslims and Islam, the natural conclusion would be that the practice of FGM must somehow be part of the faith, since those who seem to be the most religious are the most ardent supporters. Unfortunately , this simply represents how the sexuality of women is used, under whatever philosophy or world-view, to perpetuate their subjugation.

Female genital cutting is practiced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike residing mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa in countries that include but are not limited to Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad. A more minor form of the procedure is also performed in some parts of the Middle East and South Asia. Degrees of mutilation exist ranging from excision of the hood of the clitoris or clitoris itself to complete infibulation which involves removal of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora, leaving a small opening for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. As expected, normal sexual intercourse is not possible without a corrective procedure and childbirth frequently involves severe trauma that can result in life-threatening hemorrhage. Other complications include chronic urinary tract and other infections, infertility, psychological trauma, sexual dysfunction, menstrual problems and several other negative medical and emotional outcomes. The procedure is performed on girls between the ages of infancy and pre-adolescence and is either carried out by a physician, midwife or designated woman from the community. Lack of sterile technique, use of the same instruments on more than one child, and lack of anesthesia all contribute to the complication rate which can even include infection with HIV. Medicalizing FGM by performing it in hospitals with appropriate surgical technique will not eliminate all of the complications associated with this practice and therefore cannot legitimately be considered as a solution that reduces the health risks. Current estimates by the World Health Organization state that over 100 million women and girls have been affected by some form of genital cutting.

This practice dates to the time of the pharoahs in Egypt and is perpetuated in a given community for a variety of reasons. When the majority of women have been circumcised, those who are not are considered abnormal by themselves or their families. This has tremendous significance in terms of the desirability of a young woman for marriage which provides a major means for achieving economic strength and independence; thus, being unsuitable for marriage further worsens a woman’s ability to prosper. In addition, circumcision is believed to ensure cleanliness, chastity and to minimize the sexual appetite of women and thus reduce the likelihood that they will bring shame on themselves or their families through sexual indiscretions. The guarantee of a young woman’s purity further enhances her attractiveness to potential suitors. Religious leaders in many of the communities that practice FGM also support the custom, linking the moral benefits listed above to religion; therefore, a devoted believer who wants to carry out religious duties to her or his utmost is convinced that FGM is associated with righteousness and purity, both valued by all religions, including Islam.

The circumcision of girls, in any form, predated Islam by many centuries. It was practiced in some parts of Arabia at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and was evidently a custom of the time that may have been a practice of some but not all of the local tribes. As a pre-established tradition, therefore, female circumcision was not introduced by the Prophet to the early Muslim community. Several sayings (hadith) of the Prophet indicate that it may have been the norm for women to be circumcised (see al-Muwatta of Imam Malik) but the extent of circumcision, excision or mutilation is not specified. In addition, the existence of female circumcision in the community does not necessarily mean that it was to be recommended or made obligatory. Indeed, it is possible to argue that any form of female genital cutting actually violates very basic precepts in Islam.

The Qur’an, as a text providing mainly general guidelines (with some injunctions or laws spelled out specifically) does not address the issue of circumcision of either males or females. The Qur’an does however refer to the sexual relationship in marriage as one of mutual satisfaction that is considered a mercy from Allah (swt):

It is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the (day’s) fast: they are as a garment for you and you are as a garment for them (2:187)…and He has put love and mercy between you (30:21)

Several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) highlight the importance of giving and deriving pleasure from intimacy between a husband and wife. This is clear from sayings that informed the community regarding the types of sexual behavior that were considered lawful and from others that addressed the sexual needs of men and women. Clearly, any act that interferes with a fulfilling sexual relationship contradicts the essence of Islam based both on Qur’an and hadith.

In addition, the argument for ensuring chastity with a physically debilitating procedure blatantly violates the premise of individual accountability exemplified in the Qur’an (17:15, see below). Sadly, the notion that honor and shame fall so heavily on the shoulders of the women of any given family is pervasive throughout the Muslim world, including those countries where FGM is not known. As a result of patriarchal influences, a woman’s sexuality is something that does not belong to her, but rather is ultimately controlled by the dominant male of her family (father, elder brother, husband, etc.) Yet, again, the Qur’an explicitly tells Muslims that no one can bear the burden of another with respect to sin, dishonor, or shame:

Whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray, goes but astray to his own hurt; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burden (17:15)…and if one weighed down by his load calls upon (another) to help him carry it, nothing thereof may be carried (by that other), even if it be one’s near of kin (35:18)

Those who advocate for FGM from an Islamic perspective commonly quote the following hadith to argue that it is required as part of the Sunnah or Tradition of the Prophet:

Um Atiyyat al-Ansariyyah said: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (pbuh) said to her: Do not cut too severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.

This is known to be a “weak” hadith in that it does not meet the strict criteria to be considered unquestionable (classified as mursal, i.e. missing a link in the chain of transmitters in that none was among the original Companions of the Prophet.) In addtion, it is found in only one of the six undisputed, authentic hadith collections, that is in the Sunan of Abu Dawud (Chapter 1888). According to Sayyid Sabiq, renowned scholar and author of Fiqh-us-Sunnah, all hadiths concerning female circumcision are non-authentic.

Even if the words attributed to the Prophet were actually spoken by him, an analysis of the text itself reveals that he is making a statement that does not translate into an injunction for circumcision. Interestingly, many leading scholars of the four major Sunni schools of thought considered female circumcision to be at least recommended if not required. Yet we cannot ascertain from the hadith what type of circumcision was being performed or even which body part was being discussed. The scholars later specified in general terms that only a small piece of skin (the clitoris or its hood, presumably, or perhaps part of the labia minora) the size of a “cock’s comb” (the small appendage that sits atop the head of a rooster) was to be removed. At the very least then, one can say that infibulation goes far beyond the description given here and so this hadith cannot be used to justify the more severe forms of mutilation. If a Muslim truly believes that female circumcision is part of the Sunnah, she or he wouldn’t have enough detailed specifications to know how to carry out the procedure since the terms as mentioned above are so vague.

Despite the opinion of the scholars, female circumcision never became widespread among Muslims around the world and is essentially non-existent among the native inhabitants of Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim countries today. In contrast, male circumcision is universally practiced among Muslims; this is considered the continuation of a practice enjoined upon Abraham and his followers and is explicitly mentioned in several well-known sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Some proponents of female circumcision argue that removing the clitoral hood (the anatomical equivalent of the foreskin of the penis) can enhance a woman’s sexual experience which would not violate her rights to sexual fulfillment. Yet, it is practically impossible when examining the genitals of a young girl (and especially an infant), to distinguish between the hood and the clitoris itself. Also an exposed clitoris that is stimulated due to friction from clothing would result in discomfort and pain and would not necessarily enhance a woman’s ability to achieve sexual fulfillment through orgasm.

Islam is a religion that guarantees the integrity of the human being- both in body and in spirit. Female genital cutting violates that integrity, insulting Allah the Creator Whose creation needs no improvement:

Such is He who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind: the Almighty Dispenser of Grace, Who makes excellent everything He creates (32:6-7)

It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape- and made your shapes beautiful – (40:64)

Our Sustainer! Thou hast not created (any of) this in vain (3:191)

And spend in Allah’s cause and let not your own hands contribute to your own destruction and persevere in doing good: behold, Allah loves the doers of good (2:195)

Muslims are called upon by Allah (swt) to enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong. Clearly, mutilating a woman’s genitalia in the name of Islam violates the most sacred tenets of our faith. Therefore, we must oppose this practice and join efforts with others who are working to educate women and men about its harmful effects. We applaud the work of Muslim leaders who challenge the view that female circumcision is required in Islam. These views have been expressed by Dr. Hassan Hathout, renowned Muslim gynecologist and scholar, and by Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi of Al-Azhar and Sheikh Abdel Ghaffer Mansour. Like many others, they urge the discontinuation of this harmful cultural tradition due to the numerous devastating consequences that result.

The Muslim Women’s League strongly supports the work done by organizations and individuals who are from the countries and communities most affected by FGM. To find out more about ongoing efforts, we encourage those interested to begin by visiting the following website:

Muslim Women’s League
3010 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #519
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(323) 258-6722

Mutilating Facts: Setting the Record Straight About Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation

The modern distribution of female circumcision [excision of the clitoris] among Muslims cannot be explained in terms of geography, nor in terms of pre-existing cultures before the arrival of Islam. The Acehnese in Indonesia were Hindus before converting to Islam, yet they practice female circumcision, while Indian Muslims, who also converted out of Hinduism, do not generally follow the practice. The simple explanation for the distribution of female circumcision among Muslims in the world today is that, while all four schools of Sunni Islam allow the practice, it is only the Shafi‘i school which makes it mandatory. Wherever female circumcision is widely practiced among Muslims, this is a region where the Shafi’i version of Sharia law prevails. In this case it is belief which determines behavior, not perfectly, but to a very significant degree.
Another excerpt from Durie’s book, (Kindle Locations 496-503)

Mutilating Facts: Setting the Record Straight About Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation

April 26th, 2012 21

Mutilating Facts:Setting the Record Straight About Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation
© 2012, Afroz Ali

Female circumcision today has been made synonymous with female genital mutilation. This has added to much confusion as well as has raised legitimate as well as ill-motivated concerns regarding the position of either act under Islamic Law. As such, and preamble to the discussion submitted in the Paper below, it must be publicly and categorically stated that female genital mutilation is prohibited under Islamic Law. The prohibition is such that it is considered a crime under law deserving of full compensatory considerations. One of the most senior Jurists of all time, Imam Malik, considered it similar to a person losing any other bodily limb, and subject to full force of the law.[1]
This entire discussion is underpinned by a Hadīth which states:
On the authority Of Abdullah bin Yazid Al-Ansari, The Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, forbade robbery and mutilation of bodily limbs.[2]


Circumcise: /ˈsəːkəmsʌɪz/, verb, to cut off the foreskin of (a young boy or man, especially a baby) as a religious rite, especially in Judaism and Islam, or as a medical treatment; cut off the clitoris, and sometimes the labia, of (a girl or young woman) as a traditional practice among some peoples.[3]
It is noteworthy that the English term ‘circumcision’ is defined to include the practice of mutilation of the female genitalia, i.e., cutting off of the clitoris. Furthermore it is as noteworthy that the supposed practice of the cutting off of the labia is a ‘traditional practice among some peoples.’ We will see in this Paper that such definitions themselves are prejudicial and inaccurate in their attempts to define the act. Presumably they reflect a toeing of the line of secular and modern claims against some forms of such acts or against some religious practices in general. The definition itself is normatively accurate, but descriptively presumptuous.

But this Paper is not a polemic against definitions and presumptions per se’; it is more aimed at setting the record straight regarding what Islam’s position is on two kinds of acts: female circumcision in the one hand and female genital mutilation in another. They are, in fact, two very different, and unrelated, kinds of acts; the former being permissible and the latter completely forbidden under Islamic Law. The butchery that this issue has received in modern times is as barbaric as what some customs and cultures have practised; the worst culprits being western academics, including Muslims. Such academics have written scores of influential Papers from social anthropology, making highly inaccurate theological conclusions, such that it is almost impossible to search for the practice of female circumcision without it being connected to genital mutilation. Interestingly, the practice of female circumcision is alive and legally permissible in many western nations (that have whipped the horse to death so to speak), including nations like USA and Australia, but under a very different and almost inviting name. But more on that later, if only to encourage the reader to keep reading in order to get a better grasp of the subject.

Undoubtedly, malpractice of circumcision is not uncommon in Muslim communities. But that is a highly deceptive statement; the practice of female circumcision and its malpractice which includes genital mutilation are quite global in distribution. Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, as well as Brazil, Peru, China and the Aboriginal tribes of Australia are not exempt from such practices.[4] Such malpractice also occurs in countries like USA and Australia through the legalised procedures, leaving many women unable to sexually function.[5] The criminal malpractice is a human problem, violating the rights of women the world over, through various means of manipulation of women , e.g., religious claims, cosmetic beauty, and the like. The rhetoric that exists in social research and reporting on this issue is acutely prejudicial despite the facts, and women remain the victims, despite the investigations and reports claiming to advocate for women’s and indeed human rights. The clearer, and apolitical, we are regarding the prohibition of female genital mutilation, the better the results will be in protecting the rights of women. This means also to be clear regarding the legal permissibility of female circumcision, as discussed and explained below.

This topic is a hotspot for securing “research” grants, particularly if it also includes vilifying religion through it. My targeting of academics in the west in this Paper is solely because they are an incredibly influential body today which shapes much of societal thinking. Just as it is relevant to educate the academics so that they do not keep wasting valuable paper and resources writing factoids, there is also relevance in raising awareness amongst the many cultures that are doing the wrong thing. Both groups play their proportionate role in maligning the facts. This short Paper aims to set the record straight for whoever chooses to read it in full, and aspires to be amongst the many wonderful resources that are already available from those who truly want to help uphold the rights of women in full without prejudice.


Before looking into specific evidences and guidelines regarding what Islamic Tradition has to say about female circumcision, it will be important (particularly for those who are unfamiliar withHadīth science and its diversity) that one understands the fact that ‘Hadīth’, from which Islamic Law is derived, includes not only the collections of Bukhari and Muslim, or The Verified Six (or the Collection of Six),[6] but in fact scores of other authentic Collections. The methodology of classification of Hadīth is a complex science, particularly in terms of which one of the Five Rulings would fall under as derived by any one of the four Schools of Law. Furthermore, it is simply untrue that if an authority like Bukhari did not include a Hadīth in his Authenticated Collection, this somehow means that it is inauthentic. This Paper does not go into any detail regarding Hadīth classification and the science pertaining to it for deriving the law itself; it should be clear to the reader that such a science will need scholarly study. Unfortunately, numerous modern writers have either taken it upon themselves to render certain Ahadīth ‘weak’ or ‘inauthentic’ and thus somehow unfit for legal purposes, or quote someone else to assert the same thing. I suspect this is because many Muslims writing on this matter are either embarrassed or lack knowledge and assume that all aspects of it are inhumane; particularly regarding the blurred distinction between circumcision and genital mutilation. Statements like “even if the Prophet had said so….” are rampant in academic literature, mainly from Muslims, who seem to find it difficult to come to terms with what is evidentially true; that female circumcision is permissible in Islam, as it is in secular law of countries like USA and Australia.

The problem in reality is not in the statement I have just made, but in that the vast majority of people (the mal-practitioners, the academics, the lay Muslims, as well as many clerics altogether) simply do not know what that statement means. i.e., that female circumcision is permissible in Islam.

So what does female circumcision refer to, first and foremost within the Islamic Legal Tradition? Some of the verified Ahadīth that refer to circumcision in general (i.e., male and female) and to female circumcision in particular are as follows:

The Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, said, “Five matters are from the Fitrah [i.e., primordial human nature that inclines to goodness and wellbeing]: circumcision, shaving off of pubic hairs, trimming of one’s moustache, removing of hair from the armpits and cutting of nails.”[7]
The Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, said, “Circumcision is from my practice for men and kindly honourable for women.”[8]
The Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, said, “When the circumcised part touches the circumcised part, purificatory bath becomes obligatory.”[9]
Here is an important Hadīth that needs some explanatory comments, and which will also be referred to later in the Paper in some detail:
A woman who was known as Umm ‘Attiyah was known in Madinah to perform female circumcision [probably even from before the advent of Islam] and the Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, said to her, “Umm ‘Attiyah, when you do circumcise, restrict yourself to cut a minute part and do not excise the glans. That will be far more pleasant for the wife and satisfying for the husband.”[10]

Commonly in popular articles, this Hadīth is claimed to be a sole reporting in the Abu Dawud collection and, as such, claimed to be weak and unreliable. For example, the following comment is not uncommon:
“This is known to be a “weak” hadith in that it does not meet the strict criteria to be considered unquestionable (classified as mursal, i.e. missing a link in the chain of transmitters in that none was among the original Companions of the Prophet.) In addition, it is found in only one of the six undisputed, authentic hadith collections, that is in the Sunan of Abu Dawud…….”[11]

There are significant errors in the statement above: The Hadīth in question is reported by other narrators with sound chains of narration and Abu Dawud is not the sole narrator at all; MursalAhadīth are in fact subject to legislation and have several levels of legal usage; contrary to the claim, a Mursal Hadīth is not a weak Hadīth… that should suffice to know that such careless and ignorant statements are neither proofs against female circumcision nor conducive to expert consideration. We will refer to this particular Hadīth as the Umm ‘Attiyah Narration when we return to it for further details. It is noteworthy that this Hadith clearly distinguishes between circumcision and genital mutilation or cutting, but presumably the subject article either ignored this fact or confused one with the other.

Given that it is clear that female circumcision is at the very least permissible in Islamic Law (as to which one of the Five Rulings it takes is beside the point for now), it is absolutely critical to understand what ‘female circumcision’ means. The key misconception and misrepresentation arises from varied levels of ignorance regarding this simple yet important point: definitions. We will return to what Islam defines it as, but firstly it is noteworthy to understand what current explanations and descriptions exist amongst researchers, social commentators and those who work in the field of advocacy against the mixed understanding of female circumcision/female genital mutilation. It is rather unfortunate that the two terms are commonly used interchangeably when, as we will see, they are two completely different things, and should be treated as such to help in removing the confusion.


There are numerous descriptions and definitions of the two terms and they are unfortunately commonly interchangeably used. In truth, what is a violation of human rights of a female isgenital mutilation, and the World Health Organisation classifies it into four kinds:[12]

i) Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
ii) Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).
iii) Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
iv) Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
It must be stated clearly that Islamic Law has explicitly prohibited all such kinds of procedures since approximately 1433 years ago, except the removal of the extra labial or prepuce skin without damaging the clitoris where such a need arises; a legal practice in secular nations like USA and Australia today.[13]

Cultural practices around the world do practice such violent methods, and WHO lists some reasons for such inhumane practices:
– Where FGM is a social convention, the social pressure to conform to what others do and have been doing is a strong motivation to perpetuate the practice;
– FGM is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl properly, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage;
– FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behaviour, linking procedures to premarital virginity and marital fidelity. FGM is in many communities believed to reduce a woman’s libido and therefore believed to help her resist “illicit” sexual acts. When a vaginal opening is covered or narrowed (type 3 above), the fear of the pain of opening it, and the fear that this will be found out, is expected to further discourage “illicit” sexual intercourse among women with this type of FGM;
– FGM is associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty, which include the notion that girls are “clean” and “beautiful” after removal of body parts that are considered “male” or “unclean”;
– Though no religious scripts prescribe the practice, practitioners often believe the practice has religious support;
– Religious leaders take varying positions with regard to FGM: some promote it, some consider it irrelevant to religion, and others contribute to its elimination;
– Local structures of power and authority, such as community leaders, religious leaders, circumcisers, and even some medical personnel can contribute to upholding the practice;
– In most societies, FGM is considered a cultural tradition, which is often used as an argument for its continuation;
– In some societies, recent adoption of the practice is linked to copying the traditions of neighbouring groups. Sometimes it has started as part of a wider religious or traditional revival movement;
– In some societies, FGM is practised by new groups when they move into areas where the local population practice FGM.
Again, it must be stated clearly that all such motivations and reasons for practising female genital mutilation are also rejected in Islamic Law.

What are the evidences that Islam rejects and prohibits the practice of clitoral removal, clitoral cutting, and the like?
Firstly, the very definition of the Arabic term used for female circumcision – khafđ al-mar-āt – is defined by Classical Lexicons as follows:
Removal of the uppermost skin at the top of her glans.”[14]
The academic misconception (or dishonesty) in many Papers and government documents incorrectly refers to khafđ al-mar-āt (female circumcision) as Clitoridectomy in relation to the removing of part or the whole of the clitoris! This is totally false.
Secondly, the Umm ‘Attiyah Narration is key to the rejection of all forms of genital mutilation, including the excising of the clitoral glans, as it explicitly states that:
“Umm ‘Attiyah, when you do circumcise, restrict yourself to cut a minute part and do not excise the glans. That will be far more pleasant for the wife and satisfying for the husband.”[15]
Thirdly, the most authoritative analyst of Hadīth, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, has this to say to define circumcision for the male and the female (in relation to the Hadīth quoted earlierregarding the “two circumcised parts meeting and necessitating purificatory bath):
“What is meant by the dual form in the phrase “the two circumcised parts” is the circumcised genitals of the man and the woman respectively. Male circumcision (khatn) is the removal of the skin of the head or glans of the penis. Female circumcision (khafđ) is the removal of a tiny piece of skin above her glans which resembles the crest of a rooster [referring to the skin forming a clitoral hood]…”[16]

One of the Principles for deriving Legal Rulings is the principle of limitation where the particular ruling cannot be applied beyond the stated limitation itself. Female circumcision (and indeed male circumcision) is limited by definition explicitly to avoid all harmful actions and procedures. In other words, Islamic Law manages its Laws not by exhaustive lists of do’s and don’ts, but by prescribing limits, everything beyond which is not permitted. In the case of female circumcision – by definition, by Prophetic statement and by practice – the limits are set to include nothing but the extra clitoral prepuce and any associated labia, (which we will discuss more on in the next section of this Paper).

It ought to be abundantly clear, that:
i) Islamic Law prohibits Clitoridectomy, Excision, Infibulation and other harmful female genital surgical procedures;
ii) Islamic Law permits – by definition, by Prophetic Statement and by practice – female circumcision. The definition under Islamic Law for female circumcision is exclusively the removal of the uppermost extra skin at the top of the clitoral glans.
Some statements of the most authoritative Scholars will also help to understand and reinforce these two points of clarity that must not be confused:
i) Imam Nawawi said (commenting on the Abu Hurairah Hadīth stated earlier), “Circumcision is obligatory according to al- Shafi`i and many of the scholars, recommended by Sunnah according to Malik and the majority of them. It is further, according to Shafi`i, as regards to males it is obligatory to cut off the whole prepuce or skin which covers the glans or head of the penis, so that the latter is wholly denudated. As regards to females, it is obligatory to cut off a minute part of the skin in the highest region of the genitals. The sound view in our school (Shafi`i), which is shared by the large majority of our companions, is that circumcision is allowed in a youthful age but not obligatory.”
ii) Shaykh Nuh Keller’s Translation of al-Misri’s “Reliance of the Traveller” (Shafi`i school) p. 59: “Circumcision is obligatory (Sh. `Umar Barakat: for both men and women). For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce of the clitoris (Keller: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (Sh. `Abd al-Wakil Durubi: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but recommended by Sunnah, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.”
iii) It is not obligatory for women either in the Maliki school or in the Hanbali school. Both schools consider it merely recommended. See Al-Qayrawani’s “Risala” p. 161, 305; and “al- Mughni” 1:85. Ibn al-`Arabi al-Maliki says in “Tuhfat al- ahwadhi” (1:167): Khafđ for the woman is like khitan for the man and consists in removing a piece of skin the size of a rooster’s crest in the uppermost region of the genitals.

Unfortunately modern texts, in particular the highly erroneous book titled “Fiqh as-Sunnah”[17] loses true scholarship and confuses the prepuce with the actual genital and clitoral glans and erroneously states:
The first of the features of natural religion [fitra] is circumcision. It is the removal of the skin which covers the head or glans of the penis… As for the woman, it consists in removing the upper part of the genitals. The opinion of the large majority of scholars is that it is obligatory….[18]

Proof is entirely against two claims made here in the book Fiqh as-Sunnah: female circumcision neither refers to the removal of the genitals/clitoris, nor is it a dominant opinion that it is obligatory. In fact, the obligatory nature stated in the Shafi’i School is conditional, and will be discussed later in this Paper.

Another important fact that must be highlighted is that there is no evidence at all that female circumcision can be performed upon an infant girl. In fact, evidence and inferences clearly point to the permissibility (or conditional obligation) of female circumcision upon puberty, as explained below. This highlights another important fact completely ignored in the discourse regarding female circumcision: that it is the female herself who would elect to take up the permitted procedure by her own consent. It is quite obvious to realise that it is only at the post-pubescent stage that the female would become fully cognisant of any arousal conditions. It may be that she does not become aware of it until she is legally married and when she enters into sexual intimacy with her husband. The female in question, due to certain anatomical factors affecting her sexual arousal, may decide to take up the voluntary procedure of female circumcision through a legal and professional service. With such an understanding, it would be unthinkable and preposterous to justify the practice of female circumcision on a pre-pubescent female child.

Imam Nawawi states regarding female circumcision and age:
The sound view in our school (Shafi`i), which is shared by the large majority of our companions, is that circumcision is allowed in a youthful age but not obligatory.[19]

Imam Shawkani states:
Nothing has been transmitted with regard to its timing nor its obligatory nature.[20]
Furthermore, one may want to return to the previous quotes stated above; they refer to post-pubescent women, as ‘woman’ and ‘wife’. It is absurd to suggest that female circumcision refers to its practice on female children.

Once the reasons for female circumcision are understood it becomes evidently clear that the decision is solely in the hands of the female adult herself. The question then arises as to why female circumcision would be allowed in the first place. And that is when the laws of nations like Australia and USA help shed some light on this; countries that rightfully ban female genital mutilation but that refuse to make an attempt to understand female circumcision (as defined and explained above), although their laws already permit it!


In the secular west, you may not hear the term ‘female circumcision’ as a legally approved practice. This may be because the term is popularly interchangeably used and therefore confused with genital mutilation. Regardless, it is legally practised under a more nuanced and an almost attractive genre of…. cosmetic surgery. To be exact, the procedure, exactly as outlined under Islamic Law in relation to the clitoral prepuce and associated extra-labial skin, has a specifically technical term. The procedure is called labiaplasty (and sometimes labioplasty).

Labiaplasty is defined as:
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that will reduce and/or reshape the labia minora and the associated prepuce – the skin that covers the female clitoris and vaginal opening. In some instances, women with large labia can experience pain during intercourse, or feel discomfort during everyday activities or when wearing tight-fitting clothing. Others may feel unattractive, or wish to enhance their sexual experiences by removing some of the skin that covers the clitoris. The purpose of a labiaplasty is to better define the inner labia. During this procedure the urethral opening can be redefined, and if necessary improvements to the vagina may be made.[21]

The most common reason for women today to seek labiaplasty is for cosmetic, aesthetic and beautification reasons, although a lesser number of women elect to have the procedure for medical reasons, e.g., discomfort, pain, sexual inhibition and the like. According to statistics of USA, the procedure is not commonly elected for by women regardless.[22]

Unfortunately it is a rising trend (up by 30% in USA), heavily driven by cosmetic surgery campaigns, where more and more women are taking up the procedure purely from a perceived cosmetic, aesthetics and beautification perspective.

It is also important to highlight that malpractice also occurs in these legalised procedures. Whilst malpractice is never satisfactory and cannot be excused, the point being highlighted here is that it does occur, and there is an equitable responsibility for us in the western world to advocate, at the very least, for safer standards and practices for labiaplasty in countries like Australia and USA, just as there is a call for the more acute problems in African nations, for example. The rights of women must be protected and upheld not through geo-politics but through ethical standards.

There is a more specialised cosmetic surgery that is legal in countries like UK, USA, Australia, etc. It is called clitoridotomy, or more commonly known as clitoral hoodectomy. These procedures specifically specialise in clitoral prepuce surgical procedures to reduce or shape the skin, such that a woman can experience better sexual pleasure, when without the procedure she would not be able to and may not ever experience an orgasm. Clitoridotomy is very often also referred to as female circumcision, to distinguish its legal nature from the illegal act of female genital mutilation.

These procedures are for exactly the same reason as the Islamic Law permits them, to the extent that the Shafi’i School considers it a personal obligation to undertake the procedure so as not to be sexually deprived.

When the clitoral prepuce is abnormally large, thick or heavily and tightly covering the clitoris, women can suffer from a condition called Clitorial Phimosis. This causes the sensitivity of the clitoris to be greatly reduced to almost having no sensation at all. If this were the case, women during sexual intimacy with their husbands could experience pain and high levels of stress and frustration due to being unable to reach orgasm. In other cases, particularly in warm climates, such a condition can lead to unintended sexual arousal simply by the friction caused between the clitoris and the tightly covering prepuce.[23] Without going into any further detail, I am certain that anyone can understand such a problem; sexual frustration ruins individuals and marriages. It is with these facts in mind that one should read the Umm ‘Attiaya Narration in relation to the permissibility of female circumcision:
The Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God the Exalted be upon him, said, “Umm ‘Attiyah, when you do circumcise, restrict yourself to cut a minute part and do not excise the glans. That will be far more pleasant for the wife and satisfying for the husband.”[24]


Islam’s permissibility is entirely based on a sincere concern regarding the natural wellbeing (fitrah) of the female, and her human right for sexual pleasure within her marriage. Female circumcision under Islamic Law, as is the case for legal labiaplasty and clitoridotomy, allow for surgical procedures that protect and enhance a woman’s arousal via the clitoral glans. Neither the laws of the secular west nor the Islamic Law tolerate or allow female genital mutilation in any form whatsoever. However, it can be argued that Islamic Law has the principle of limitation, but the secular law does not necessarily. As a result some of the legalised procedures in nations like Australia and USA may well be genital mutilation even if carried out with the express consent of the female. Whilst that is for lawyers of the secular jurisprudence to deal with, one thing is undoubtedly certain – Islamic Law protects the right of the woman and permits her to make a personal choice for female circumcision, in order to eliminate any arousal problems that may have been present for her. Islamic Law also prohibits any form of genital excision, mutilation and surgical alteration regardless of her consent. In other words, it is not only prohibited for a woman to seek genital mutilation, it is as prohibited for people to facilitate or perform acts of genital mutilation. The reason is simple: the former permission is part of the primordial human nature that leans to good and wellbeing (permitted sexual satisfaction is part of wellbeing). The latter prohibition is because it is against human nature even if the human has a depraved desire for mutilation, and is similar to the responsibility of authorities to stop a person from harming themselves even if they may consent to such a depraved action.

An interesting but sad fact that surrounds the issue of female circumcision is that there is a great deal of opposition to it because it is seen as a “religious” practice. This may be the paradigm of many religions, but it is not of Islam. Islam’s Five Rulings – from obligation to prohibition – are not only a matter of ritual devotion but also a mode of living by such values because in them are inherent human benefits that outweigh harm or have no harm. And at the same time, whilst a Muslim may rarely seek to understand the inherent material benefits, her Faith in God is sufficient to participate in an act as a ritual devotion which is permissible. What is damaging and dangerous is the ongoing and accelerating attack on actions because their basis arises from a religious instruction. This is not only prejudicial, extreme and undemocratic, it is also simply unacceptable. It is like banning Muslims from washing their hands before and after eating because the act arises from a religious instruction! Washing hands for hygiene may be simply understood today, but it was not always the case, to the extent that in Australia, the Department of Health has had to run media campaigns to educate teenagers and youth to wash their hands before eating.[25]

Call it by whatever name we choose to, female circumcision as explained in this Paper is permitted under Islam Law, and the choice to undertake the procedure is entirely upon the woman, upon her puberty, when she becomes aware of any sexually inhibiting or arousal conditions.

The confusion, malpractice and criminal activities surrounding female genital cutting, i.e., either mutilation or legal circumcision, must first be properly understood by those who advocate for human rights of women. Otherwise, false claims and rhetoric against religious practices, often driven by geo-political agenda, will only force communities which are in breach of the law and human rights to disengage. The real problem of violence against women that female genital mutilation is part of, cannot in that case be properly addressed. Currently the blazing fire of crime against women is largely fuelled by the academics and activists themselves, who are armed with the wrong information. To disarm a society obsessed with violence means they must first arm themselves with unbiased and accurate facts.

Communities around the world that practice female genital mutilation under whatever name and excuse they give it, commit an unacceptable crime against women and female children. Proper education regarding the act must be a priority. Community leaders must reject female genital mutilation. Indeed in Muslim communities, influential and educated leaders must become aware of the facts in order to help curb the practice of female genital mutilation in their communities. But this will only happen if those in leadership and positions of influence themselves understand the facts. Every reader of this Paper has a responsibility to promote a better and clearer understanding of the subject by stopping ignorant and misguided claims and teachings from spreading.

Governments, service providers, authorities and the media must refrain from misguiding the public by spreading false information as part of an agenda to malign religions, and indeed Islam. They need to redefine their intentions and purposes, which must solely be for the care and concern for the women and children who are suffering from criminal malpractice of what is commonly referred to as female circumcision. Global organisations like the United Nations should not have their websites optimised to search engines where a person seeks information on female circumcision but gets directed to pages on genital mutilation; this is grossly irresponsible and contrary to helping the victims themselves. Female circumcision in its legitimate form is a personal and human right of a woman; genital mutilation is a horrible crime. We must inform the people of the difference.

In summary, female circumcision under Islamic Law is not different to the legally practised procedures called labiaplasty (or labioplasty) and clitoral hoodectomy (or clitoridotomy) under secular laws of nations like Australia, UK and USA. Islamic Law limits such a procedure to a female adult who may experience mild or severe clitoral phimosis, i.e., formation of extra skin as prepuce and connecting labia which affects sexual arousal, either through a lack of clitoral stimulation due to the heavy and tight layer of extra skin, or through unintended sexual arousal through friction when, for example, a female would merely be walking or running.
From Islam’s point of view, female circumcision is not only a human right; it is a Divinely Ordained right of a woman. And if it helps the sceptic, it may be worth reflecting that we as humans evolve in our knowledge and understanding, and it is for that very reason God The Creator has revealed Laws and Guidelines so that the human does not have to wander in darkness for centuries before being enlightened with knowledge which help in the wellbeing of the human. We the human might not know everything but our Lord has not abandoned us. God’s Final Messenger, Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, was sent as Mercy to the entire creation. He had a deep sincere concern for the wellbeing of the human being, and so lived God’s Word in full, giving us the best of examples to follow – there is no doubt about that. The argumentation and misleading information human beings spread is a devastating force and, in the context of the subject of this Paper (whether claiming that genital mutilation is somehow Islamic, or that legal circumcision is somehow equivalent to mutilation), is ruining the lives of innocent women and children. And so it may be apt to end by quoting from Divine Revelation that God Almighty said:
Here you are – those who have argued about that of which you have little knowledge; but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you do not.
[Qur’an 4:109]
We may want to take counsel from that.

[] Muwatta of Imam Malik, and can be found in the section dealing with “Blood Money Matters” (Compensatory Laws)
[] Hadīth recorded by Bukhari
[] Oxford Dictionary Online
[] Female Genital Mutilation, L.P. Cutner (Obstetrical and Gynaecological Survey, p40, v7, 1985)
[] To be discussed further below under section 5.
[] I refer to the Hadīth here and not the Qur’an, because the key evidences to consider regarding this subject is in the Hadīth literature, which is a record of the Sunnah of the Messenger of God, upon whom be peace and blessings of God The Exalted, and forms part of the Primary Sources from which Islamic Law is derived.
[] Hadīth recorded by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Malik and numerous others.
[] Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, al-Tabarani (Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, latest print edition- 2009); recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad and by others.
[] Al-Muwatta, Malik, and recorded by numerous others.
[] Majma al-Zawa’id, al-Haythami (Dar ul-Kutb al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut, 1999); also in al-Mu’jam al-Awsāt, al-Tabarani (Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, unknown date of publication); and numerous others with verified chains of narration.
[] Female Genital Mutilation, Muslim Womens League (Paper presented, January 1999 and available at their website:
[] Female Genital Mutilation, World Health Organisation (Fact Sheet no. 241, February 2012). It can be accessed via their website at
[] Refer to Section 5 of this Paper.
[] One may refer to lexicons like Lisān al-‘Arab, as well as Lanes Arabic-English Lexicon. A modern collection of the classical definitions is also a good reference, titled Muj’am al-Lughāt al-Fuqara, Rawwas and Sadiq (Dar al-Nafa’is, 1985).
[]Majma al-Zawa’id, al-Haythami (Dar ul-Kutb al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut, 1999); also in al-Mu’jam al-Awsāt, al-Tabarani (Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, unknown date of publication); and numerous others with verified chains of narration.
[] Fath al-Bari, ibn Hajr al-Asqalani- this is a well-known work and is available from numerous current-day publishers.
[] A book which is unauthorised for legal teachings, and which contains dubious and erroneous claims.
[] Fiqh as-Sunnah, Sayyid Sabiq (Dar al-Bayan lil-Turath, Cairo, 1987)
[] Al-Minhaj bi-Sharh Sahīh Muslim, Imam Nawawi
[] Nayl al-Awtar Sharh Mantaqa al-Akhbarmin Sayyidil-Akhyar. Imam as-Shawkani
[] For detailed information regarding labiaplasty, including definitions and scope of procedures, go to Warning: the web pages have graphic images and must be avoided unless the textual explanations are difficult to comprehend. Individuals with a genuine concern to understand this issue properly should be the only ones accessing such information. Any abuse of the graphical information, including desire to view it for sexual gratification is prohibited under Islamic Law.
[] American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2000/2005/2006 National Plastic Surgery Statistics: Cosmetic and Reconstructive Procedure Trends: commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=23628
[] A beneficial website that provides sound and professional advice on these matters can be found at
[] I remind the reader to note that the reference is explicitly to an adult female.
[] I recommend reading information available at

Block sites to stop kids

The free web content control software that block acess to any website on your computer.

The only problem with most of the existing techniques or applications is that they require a fair level of knowledge and computer ability to configure and get running properly. However, if you are like the many parents out there that would simply like to block a few specific sites you know about that you absolutely don’t want your kids visiting, then a program like Any Weblock may be perfect for you.

Setting Up Any Weblock


EXPERT LEVEL is below ::

How to block a website using HT Employee Monitor

Selectively Block a Website Based on User or Time of Day



Backup your Android SMS, MMS, and phone logs to Gmail

Backup your Android SMS, MMS, and phone logs to Gmail

By Jack Wallen
November 6, 2012, 9:13 AM PST
Takeaway: Jack Wallen takes a look at Backup Message & Call to Email, a free application that can help you save your SMS, MMS, and phone logs to your Gmail account.
When you purchase a new phone, Android does a great job of migrating your data. It’s easy to move mail, contacts, and applications, but it’s more difficult to transfer SMS, MMS, and phone logs. Thankfully, on the Android platform, there’s an application called Backup Message & Call to Email that can help you save your SMS, MMS, and phone logs to your Gmail account. This application, created by Lucky-dog, is free and works like a champ.
Automatically sign up for our Smartphones newsletter!


Backup Message offers the following features:

  • Backup/restore SMS to/from Gmail
  • Backup/restore call log to/from Gmail
  • Backup/restore MMS to/from Gmail
  • Gmail XOAuth support
  • Hide application icon
  • Auto backup
  • Configure how many items to backup
  • Open app from system dialer


The installation of Backup Message is very straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for “backup message & call to email” (no quotes)
  3. Tap the correct entry
  4. Tap Install
  5. Tap Accept & download
  6. Allow the installation to complete

Set up

When you first open the app, you’ll see the main window (Figure A). Tap the Go button next to Please setup Gmail first. This will begin the process of configuring the backup to connect to your account.
Figure A

Here you see Backup Message on the Verizon-branded Motorola RAZR Maxx HD.

After you tap the Go button, you’ll see the Authentication settings screen (Figure B). Tap to enable the Connect option.
Figure B

After you enable this, you’ll be warned that a browser will open for your credentials.

When the browser opens, enter your Gmail credentials and tap the Sign in button. A new browser window will open, asking you to Grant access to the application. Tap the Grant access button to complete the process.


All you have to do is tell Backup Messages what you want to back up.  Go back to the main window and tap to enable the features you want backed up. After you’ve made your selections, tap the Backup button and the backup will begin.
By default, the application will backup 100 of each item. The caveat to this is that texts are not counted by threads when they back up – so each text sent and received is considered an item. The maximum number of items you can back up at a time is 200. If you have quite a lot of texts, the backup could take some time.
When the backup is complete, go to your Gmail account and look for the following new folders:

  • Calls
  • Messages

Both SMS and MMS will be located in the Messages folder.
The restore feature is simple:

  1. Tap the More button on the main screen
  2. Tap the Restore button
  3. Wait for the restore to complete

Since I have multiple mobile Android devices, this allows me to do a pseudo-sync of SMS/MMS/Call logs to all of those phones, which is very handy.
If you’re looking for a cheap, easy way to backup and mine the data from texts and phone logs on your Android phone, Backup Message & Call to Email is about the best you can find for free. Give this tool a try, and then let us know what you think about it in the discussion thread below.

Polio problem in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Here is my attempt to EXPLAIN how Polio will be DESTROYED like Smallpox was DESTROYED in 1980 from World !!

The global eradication of smallpox was certified, based on intense verification activities in countries, by a commission of eminent scientists on 9 December 1979 and subsequently endorsed by the World Health Assembly on 8 May 1980.[3][74] The first two sentences of the resolution read:

Having considered the development and results of the global program on smallpox eradication initiated by WHO in 1958 and intensified since 1967 … Declares solemnly that the world and its peoples have won freedom from smallpox, which was a most devastating disease sweeping in epidemic form through many countries since earliest time, leaving death, blindness and disfigurement in its wake and which only a decade ago was rampant in Africa, Asia and South America.”

Bangladesh’s SMALLPOX victim.

Below is POLIO Victim still more victims we will see in PAKISTAN and AFGHANISTAN etc
ONLY BECAUSE Mullah is destroying education and reality.


Idiot Mullah supporters = “The WHO website, updated in October 2012, states: “Failure to stop polio in these last remaining areas could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.”
Wow !! = “…He added that, in spite of this, “the first national campaign was initiated by your government in 1994 and that year Pakistan reported 25,000 polio cases, and the number was just 198 last year, which clearly shows that the programme is working.”[26]

In December, 2012 a 3 day vaccination campaign sponsored by the United Nations agencies the World Health Organization and UNICEF in Pakistan was suspended following the murder of 6 vaccination workers.[29]
Above words are written in following Wiki ::

Shame on Mullah supporters ::

Global caseload

Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries then, to 650 reported cases in 2011. In 2012, only parts of three countries in the world remain endemic for the disease–the smallest geographic area in history–and case numbers of wild poliovirus type 3 are down to lowest-ever levels.

Bill and Melinda Gates of  USA Windows Software ZINDABAD for saving many Muslim lives UNLIKE KILLER Taliban ::

HERE below is Taliban warning ::

Where polio is a weapon of war

Date: December 22 2012
Nine health workers have been killed as efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan become mired in brutal payback, writes Ben Doherty.

HIS bargaining chip was the lives of children. In June, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a government-backed warlord in the lawless Pakistan province of North Waziristan, issued his ultimatum: until American drone attacks on the territory he controls stop, there will be no polio vaccinations.

The unilateral decision, made by the old men of the High Council of Mujahideen and announced by Bahadur, declared the villages of his dominion were willing to chance a polio outbreak in an effort to force America’s hand.

”As long as drone strikes are not stopped in Waziristan there will be a ban on administering polio jabs,” a statement from the council said.

Drones are feared, and deeply resented in the north-west of Pakistan. Forty-four attacks have killed 333 people this year. But the US will not cease the drone strikes it says are precision attacks on terrorists who wage war in Afghanistan before retreating to Pakistani mountain hideouts.

Bahadur’s desperate demand knowingly put a quarter of a million children at risk of a disease that kills or disables for life, and which, once caught, has no cure. The drones, he argued, are worse: ”Polio infects one child in a million [sic], but hundreds of Waziri women, children and elders have been killed in drone strikes.”

His ultimatum came, too, with the threat of violence. If polio vaccinators came to villages he controlled, ”no one will have the right to complain about … any violation”.

But for all the brinkmanship, the demands and dares haven’t helped the children of North Waziristan.

For the moment, they live with both. The dual threats of a drone strike and a polio outbreak remain very real.

The global effort to eradicate polio, spectacularly successful across so many countries, is now focusing its efforts on the final three nations from where the disease has never been wiped out, and where vaccination efforts are most difficult: Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

And for the moment, it is meeting its fiercest opposition in Pakistan, where a public health issue has been conflated with geopolitical disputes, the spillover from a war in Afghanistan, and virulent anti-American sentiment, to the harm of those who live there.

Pakistan’s long-running, but low-level, resistance towards the UN-run polio vaccination program erupted into unprecedented violence this week, with the slaying of eight polio workers in three days, during a nationwide immunisation drive. A ninth health worker died on Thursday in hospital from injuries sustained in one of the attacks.

Six of those killed were women. The youngest was 17.

The murders were in Peshawar, the capital of north-western Khyber Paktunkhwa province, and in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, in the south. In most cases, polio workers on the streets were gunned down by men riding on motorcycles, in what appear to be planned, and carefully co-ordinated, attacks.

In response, the UN has suspended its polio program, and pulled its workers out of dangerous areas.

”Those killed or injured, many of whom are women, are among hundreds of thousands of heroes who work selflessly to eradicate polio,” the World Health Organisation and UNICEF said in a joint statement. ”Such attacks deprive Pakistani’s most vulnerable populations – especially children – of basic, life-saving health interventions.”

The Pakistani Taliban has denied responsibility, but the network has previously declared the polio eradication program ”haram” (forbidden), and the co-ordinated nature of the attacks has meant suspicion has fallen on its members.

Without naming the organisation, police deputy inspector Shahid Hayat blamed ”the militants who have issued a fatwa against polio vaccination in the past” for the killings.

(It’s been supposed the Taliban’s uncharacteristic silence may be out of a desire to avoid the sort of public backlash that followed its shooting of 15-year-old girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai in October.)

But the attacks this week strike at the very heart of the polio eradication effort. Polio is transmitted person-to-person, through faeces, so usually infects children living in unsanitary conditions, typically slum neighbourhoods without toilets.

Polio can paralyse or kill within hours of infection. Once caught, there is no cure. But eradicating the disease is not a complex, high-tech endeavour.

The Sabin vaccine, developed half a century ago, is a pink liquid. Children aged under five receive two drops orally, ideally at least four times (in countries like Pakistan where birth certificates are rare, children are asked to reach over their head with their right arm to touch their left ear. If they can reach they are old enough not to require the vaccine).

But immunising a country’s population is a mass effort, requiring mass compliance to be effective. Pakistan wants to reach 33 million children this year. This requires an army of volunteers to go door to door to every house in every neighbourhood across the country during nationwide drives to vaccinate every child.

The attacks this week demonstrate that those volunteers, the most visible and vital components of the polio immunisation program, are also its most vulnerable.

The volunteers don’t wear uniforms, but they are clearly identifiable. They walk, door-to-door, in teams of three or four, wearing name-tags, and carrying clipboards and small styrofoam containers containing vials of vaccine. It is undoubted that they were specifically targeted this week.

In the Peshawar attack, men on motorbikes stalked two sisters as they walked from house to house. Once the sisters entered a quiet street, the gunmen opened fire. One of the sisters, Farzana, was killed instantly, the other was uninjured.

The volunteers mark the door jamb of every house visited with chalk hieroglyphs that tell subsequent vaccinators the number of children who live there, and the date of the last vaccination.

One team can immunise up 200 children a day. For their work, volunteers are paid a little over $2.50 a day.

The majority of polio vaccine volunteers are women: they are more readily granted access into the inner rooms of homes, and mothers are more willing to hand over infants and children to another woman.

International agencies run Pakistan’s polio program, but the country’s government says it is committed to the cause.

President Asif Ali Zardari claims the polio eradication campaign as a ”personal mission”, while Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said in the wake of this week’s attacks ”we cannot and would not allow polio to wreak havoc on the lives of our children”.

Earlier this year, the government said it would fine the parents of non-immunised children, and also appealed to clerics in Saudi Arabia, asking them to issue fatwas to counter Taliban decrees against vaccinations.

There has been success. In 1994, there were 20,000 cases of polio in Pakistan. Last year, it was 198 and this year, just 56. But among swaths of the Pakistani population there remains a deep mistrust of the polio program, seen in parts of the country as an American conspiracy.

In the places vaccinators can reach, only about 1 per cent of homes refuse the vaccination. But in pockets where resistance exists, widespread and long-standing attitudes have been stubbornly inimical to change.

Many clerics, particularly in the country’s north, are openly hostile to the vaccinators, and have campaigned against immunisation, telling followers it is a Western plot to sterilise Muslim girls.

Mullah Nazir, an influential cleric in North Waziristan, described the vaccine as the ”ethnic cleansing” of Muslims.

Suspicion of an ulterior motive has been strengthened by the case of the Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, whose bogus hepatitis B immunisation campaign helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden.

Afridi used the immunisation campaign cover to obtain samples from bin Laden family members. Afridi’s samples allowed the US to confirm that members of the al-Qaeda leader’s family were hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, ahead of the raid by navy SEALs that killed the terrorist kingpin last May.

Afridi was subsequently sentenced to 33 years in jail, under Raj-era treason laws, by a tribal Pakistani court (in a move that has further strained US and Pakistan relations).

In banning polio vaccinators from the territory he controls, Hafiz Gul Bahadur cited the bin Laden case. ”Polio campaigns are also used to spy for America against the Mujahideen, one example of which is Dr Shakil Afridi,” he said.

A simple accident of geography has also helped frustrate the effort to wipe out polio from Pakistan. It is in the same poor, restive north-west border regions, where government control is weak and insurgent influence strong, that polio is still prevalent, and that drone strikes occur. That allows critics of foreign intervention in Pakistan to conflate the two issues, and in the case of Bahadur, use one as a bargaining chip against the other.

Sometimes, however, it is far more prosaic issues that halt the progress of the polio vaccination mission.

This year, a grand Jirga – council of elders – of four tribes in North Waziristan voted to boycott polio vaccinations until the Pakistan government provided electricity to their villages.

The Asa Khel, Dhur Dhanee, Muskee and Dosalee tribes outlawed polio vaccinators from entering their villages. ”We have been without electricity for the last 30 years and the government is ignoring the problem,” Dhur Dhanee elder Malik Mashal Khan said. ”We will continue our boycott until the government fulfils our demand. Our children die of scorching heat and mosquito bites, what difference does it make if they die of polio?”

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[ SMH | Text-only index]

PAKISTAN’s SHAME uneducated Mullah ::





Chrome this year toppled Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser.

The browser wars are back – but this time it’s a struggle over which company will control the mobile world.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome ... Google hopes the mobile Chrome browser can continue Chrome's computer success.Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome … Google hopes the mobile Chrome browser can continue Chrome’s computer success. Photo: AFP

When Google took a video camera to Times Square in 2009 and asked passers-by what a browser was, most of the answers were hilariously incorrect, from “a search engine” to “broadband” to “Yahoo.”

But even if consumers are not so sure what web browsers are (programs such as Internet Explorer and Firefox), they have become a crucial business for tech companies such as Google and Microsoft. That is because they are now the entry point not just to the web but to everything stored online, such as web apps, documents and photos.

And as the cloud grows more integral, both for businesses and people, the browser companies are engaged in a new battle to win our allegiance that will affect how we use the internet.

Alternative ... Rockmelt web browser for the iPad.Alternative … Rockmelt web browser for the iPad.

It’s an echo of the so-called browser wars of the 1990s, when Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator fought for dominance on the personal computer. This time, though, the struggle is shaping up to be over which company will control the mobile world — with browsers on smartphones and tablets. Entrenched businesses are at stake. Google’s browser-based business apps, for instance, threaten Microsoft’s desktop software, and mobile web apps threaten Apple’s App Store.


“Twenty years ago, we didn’t know how the internet was going to get used by people, and we for sure didn’t know about mobile or tablets,” said Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the first major browser, Netscape Navigator, and an investor in Rockmelt, a browser start-up. “Mobile is a whole new level of reinvention, so it feels like we’re in the most fertile time of invention since the early ’90s.”

Browsers give Web companies more control over how people use their products, and data about how people use the web, which they can use to improve their products and inform advertisers. Faster browsing leads to more web activity, which in turns leads to more revenue for web companies — whether searching on Google or shopping on, which built a Kindle browser, Silk.

Decisions, decisions ... from top, Mozilla Firefox, Apple's Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Rockmelt.Decisions, decisions … from top, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Rockmelt. Photo: The New York Times

As Andreessen put it, “Why let something be between us and our users? Let’s have as much control of the user experience as we can have; make sure our services are wired in.”

Google’s Chrome browser, for example, makes Google searches faster and simpler because people can enter search queries directly into the address bar. And its apps — such as Gmail, Drive for file storage and Docs for word processing — are all accessible through any browser.

“Chrome makes it much easier for you to search, browse the web and use Drive, Docs and apps, and we are fortunate to be in a position where when people do those things, we do better,” said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome at Google. “Chrome is a platform, the underlying layer on which all our cloud operations run.”

Most people use Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari. In the biggest disruption to the market in 15 years, Chrome this year toppled Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser, even though it does not come loaded on computers as Explorer and Safari do. It has 36 per cent of the global market, while Internet Explorer’s share has dived to 31 per cent, according to StatCounter, which tracks browser market share.

A host of smaller companies, like Rockmelt and Opera, are also trying to grab market share, largely by focusing on mobile devices.

Browsers themselves are not lucrative businesses. Some, such as Firefox, earn money from search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing that pay when people use the search bar built in to the browser.

“No one is doing a browser to make money,” said David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School who was co-author of a book about the first browser wars. “Suddenly now, the browser has become the interface for the cloud more broadly, not just for traditional websites.”

In their search for dollars, browser companies are redesigning their products to follow consumers to mobile devices, social networks and cloud-based apps.

For example, new mobile browsers let people swipe through tabs with their fingers, automatically resize or zoom in on web pages so they fit a phone’s screen and load pages faster than older mobile browsers. Some also sync with other devices, so things like most-visited websites, passwords and credit card numbers are available everywhere.

Nonetheless, browsing the web on a mobile device is still inferior to using the desktop web or smartphone apps. Apps, such as those downloaded from Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android devices, have more exciting features, are faster to load and are better optimised to small screens.

But technologists say that mobile browsers will improve when HTML5, the new set of tools for designing websites that has been in development for years, becomes pervasive. That is because its technologies enable websites to be as functional and visually rich as apps are today, with features like advanced video or the ability to read a website offline.

“If HTML5 really starts to take off, then it certainly is possible that mobile browsers could become much more significant,” Yoffie said. “That world is not here today, but it’s one that people are betting on for tomorrow.”

Although few people have so far downloaded Chrome to mobile devices, Pichai says Google hopes that with a better mobile browser, Internet users will be able to do more complex things, such as shopping or playing games, on the mobile web.

Microsoft is also betting on HTML5. Its latest version of Internet Explorer is designed with tablet-size touch screens in mind. It wants to encourage software developers to build websites that are more app-like, such as responding to finger gestures, said Ryan Gavin, general manager for Internet Explorer. On the new browser, for instance, readers of news articles swipe to turn a page instead of touching “next page” with a fingertip.

Firefox is trying to incorporate the social web in its latest version, with a sidebar that shows updates from services like Facebook, and lets users chat without switching between tabs or apps.

Rockmelt, the start-up, has reimagined the browser most noticeably. Its new iPad browser, instead of showing the blank space inside a typical browser, incorporates images, posts and articles from around the web.

“All the problems with the desktop browser, that it is a big, dumb, empty window, other companies just took and put on mobile,” said Eric Vishria, Rockmelt’s co-founder and chief executive. “But there’s been a shift to a whole new generation of visual interfaces.”

Although more people probably know what a browser is today than when Google interviewed passers-by back in 2009, browser companies nonetheless say their goal is to do their job well enough that people forget about the browser.

“People don’t care that much about browsers,” Gavin at Microsoft said. “They only care about what’s on the web.”

The New York Times

SMH Article :: Do you rip movies to avoid the scratched disc tax?

Do you rip movies to avoid the scratched disc tax?

December 10, 2012 – 4:15PM
adam turner

Gadgets on the go

Adam Turner is a gadget guru who contributes news, features, reviews, blogs and podcasts to various publications

Couch potatoes ... television watching has barely dropped, according to research.Photo: Roger Cummins

Do you break the law to copy your own movies?

Most people know the pain of destroying your favourite album or movie by scratching the disc. Maybe your kids were a bit too rough with it, maybe your disc player decided to chew on it or maybe you were just unlucky.

They’re all just ones and zeros on an optical disc, but movies get special protection under law.

I recently destroyed one of my kids’ DVDs when staying at a friend’s holiday house. The television has a slot-loading DVD player built into the back of the screen, so I reached around to insert a disc but forget there was already a disc in there. The spinning disc inside the television dug a huge groove into the disc in my hand, after which the damaged disc refused to play.

I haven’t scratched many optical discs over the years, because I tend to copy the disc to my computer and put the original away for safekeeping. It’s easy to do this with music CDs using iTunes or a range of other music software. To be honest I also do the same with many of my DVD and Blu-ray movies at home, copying them to my Windows Media Centre using software such as AnyDVD HD and HandBrake. I recently added a 2TB external USB drive to my media centre to cope with our burgeoning movie and music library, with the option to stream content around the house.

My DVD jukebox lets the kids watch their favourite movies without getting their grubby fingers on the discs. It’s possible to rip a movie without sacrificing the picture quality, or to downscale it to watch on a handheld gadget. After scratching my first movie I’ll now try to leave our DVDs at home when we travel — either carrying them on a tablet or on a little media player which will plug into any television.

Ripping movies is just as simple as ripping music, except one is legal under Australian law and the other is not. Under Australia’s convoluted copyright laws it’s legal to rip your music CDs to your computer, but not to rip your movies from DVD or Blu-ray. They’re all just ones and zeros on an optical disc, but movies get special protection under law.

I know it’s possible to buy movies and music as digital downloads to avoid discs completely, but movie downloads don’t match the picture quality of DVD and Blu-ray discs. There’s more to a good picture than simply resolution and you’ll notice that a 720p or 1080p iTunes video often offers less detail in the shadows than a 1080p Blu-ray movie. Opting for digital downloads can also mean compromising on audio formats.

Hopefully next year’s review of Australian copyright law will finally make it legal to make a backup of a movie you own, although our obligations under the US Free Trade Agreement could cause problems because ripping a DVD or Blu-ray involves circumventing the encryption on the disc.

It remains to be seen if Australian politicians put the interests of consumers ahead of the demands of the powerful US copyright lobby. When iTunes was first released in Australia it was still against the law to rip music from CDs to play on your iPod, but the government looked the other way until the law was finally changed. Let’s hope common sense also prevails when it comes to movies.

How do you avoid the scratched disc tax?

Reader comments ::
We use DVD Shrink and Handbrake too, but for discs that aren’t movies where you want to easily preserve menu screens, subtitles, etc, we just leave it as a rip of the DVD from DVD Shrink (ie just leave it as the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders and don’t use Handbrake to convert to MP4 or AVI) and have set Windows Media Center to read the raw VOB files. It takes up a bit more space but works brilliantly.