Wireless Network

My Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B Cable/DSL Router is installed and working.

Working on my laptop instead of Amber’s extremely slow ancient PC is a lot more fun. After all, my laptop is more than 6 times faster and has 4 times the RAM compared to Amber’s machine. These are the only two machines connected to our LAN right now since we need to create some space to unpack my desktop and the printer.

The wireless network works everywhere in the apartment and in the stairwell. I should try it outside the building as well.

Here is what I did to secure my wireless network:

  1. Changed the Linksys admin utility password.
  2. Changed the default SSID on the router.
  3. Disabled SSID broadcast.
  4. Enabled WEP on both the router and the laptop.
  5. Set up MAC filtering on the wireless network to allow only my notebook access.

Anything else I need to do?

Women, Gays, Sex, Islam

Muslims should not just look at the halal and haram aspect of homosexuality but also try to be compassionate towards gay Muslims. The issue of women’s spaces in mosques is also an important one.

Here is an article about gay Muslims from a fellow Muslim blogger.

For years, I had fallen into the trap of the haraam/halaal debates that often produce nothing but frustration and inflated egos (my own included). Though I still get sucked in every so often, I try to stay away from that kind of thing and take a position similar to Sulayman X:

I no longer care. The issue is really quite simple, and there is no need for endless talk: gay people are human beings with human feelings and needs, and spiritual needs too, and the love they feel for others is the same love anyone feels for anyone else. Rejecting or hating them serves no useful purpose. Just because some homophobic people get a buzz from hating gays and lesbians does not mean that Allah agrees with them.

[…]What I do know is that each of our souls has the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, and that the meanings of “right” and “wrong” are subject to infinite conditions only God is capable of sorting out. I also know that my knowledge pretty much ends at the one-God thing, and my conscience won’t allow me to disregard or reject someone who feels differently than I do. Voices condemning homosexuals to hell are abundant, but those voices don’t seem to mesh well with the themes that rise off the page every time I pick up the Qur’an.

Whether you agree or disagree with the positions that al-Fatiha [a gay Muslim organization] takes, understand that it provides a safe space for those Muslims who identify as queer, and that is a lot more than one can say about the mainstream Muslim community.

That is a very important point. Compassion and respect for others who are different from us in any way, whether in religious doctrine or in sexual orientation, is something we need to have a lot more of in the Muslim community.

While we are on the topic of Muslims and persecuted groups, Hijabman talks about women’s spaces in mosques. He cites a Hadith [saying of Prophet Muhammad] where he appointed a woman, Umm Waraqah, to lead prayers and both men and women prayed behind her. I must say I was unfamiliar with this and have only seen rulings about women being allowed to lead other women in prayer. I can’t excerpt HijabMan’s post properly, so I urge you to visit his blog and read it in full.

While we are breaking taboos, Muslim Wakeup started a Sex and the Umma series of fortnightly columns which have featured some short stories. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the stories can be thought-provoking as well a good read.

Mau Mau and Kenya

This is another book recommended to me by Conrad Barwa.

Mau Mau and Kenya: An Analysis of a Peasant Revolt by Wunyabari O. Maloba is a good book, though it is written somewhat in an academic language and hence can be dry at times. I guess that couldn’t be avoided since the book is based on the author’s Ph.D. thesis.

It covers the peasant revolt in Kenya in the 1950s against the British. Since I had no knowledge of these events, I found the details about the causes, the military campaign and the aftermath fascinating. The book gives an interesting look at the insurgency as well as British counter-insurgency operations.

Reading books about the history of colonialism always surprises me in how much racism and prejudice were not only common but quite open.

Another issue that piqued my interest is the role of church in Africa. Both Africa : A Biography of the Continent show direct and indirect support of the church and devout Christians for colonial authority. I wonder if there is a study on the role of Christianity (and Islam, for that matter) in Africa. Conrad?

Which Extremity of the World Are You?

I am Mount Everest!
Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

Via Randy McDonald

Commenters Looking for Marriage

I don’t understand how much interested/desperate some of my commenters are for marriage that they are not only looking for a spouse online, they are asking about it on a page about forced marriage.

Here are some samples.

SANT5OSH:

WANT MARRY WITH YOU

That’s the most direct marriage proposal I have ever heard of. Especially since Sant5osh seems to be a guy. Do you think he knows I am a guy?

m , h.:

i am 29 years maile i want to marrige any poor girl can you help me this mater xxx[…]xxx than you

If he is a plant, why does he want to get married? But his intentions seem good since he wants to marry “any poor girl.” Or does he mean that any girl who consents to marry him must have poor luck?

gohar:

i am looking a beautiful girl who marry me and settle me on his country.i am a poor gay , handsome and smart, good looking, contact me on my mail address prince_somi2005@yahoo.com

A gay man wanting to marry a beautiful girl! And that too for immigration purposes. Plus he is poor but a “prince.” Talk about fraud on so many levels! He doesn’t mention which country he would like the girl to be from. Here is a chance for the Nigerian 419ers to branch out.

Umed Ali:

HI IAM 23 MALE LOOKING FOR SINCERE GIRL RITH FROM THE AGE OF 18 TO 35 FOR MARRIAGE , WHOM I CAN SHARE EVERYTHING ABOUT LIFE , U CAN CONTACT TO ME BY MY NO WHICH IS 00923002252908

A 23 year old guy looking for a girl who could be 12 years his senior. How often does that happen in Pakistan? And he gave his cell phone number. Any of my readers in Pakistan adventurous enough to call him and then comment here about it?

bassem

bassem
how are you im a good man im looking for woman for marry

At least, Bassem had the courtesy to ask how I am doing before going on about his desire for marriage. It seems he’s a simple man since all he’s looking for is a woman, no age or beauty restrictions, no passport desires, not even a requirement for the woman to be alive.

How Obsessed Are You With LotR?

I'm Level 2 obsessed!

On a scale of 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest, you are…….Level 2 obsessed! You’ve seen the movies, probably read the books, and know that Tolkien is a truly fantastic author, and that Middle-earth is THE place to be.

How obsessed are you with LotR?

brought to you by Quizilla

Via Randy McDonald

Pregnancy Pics

I guess it’s time for some pictures since it’s the 27th week.

Amber in Week 27 Amber in Kameez Shalwar Amber and me

The pregnancy is finally showing, though it can be somewhat hidden in Amber’s Pakistani kameez shalwar.