Tuesday, January 02, 2018

How To Do Arranged Marriage Wrong (Especially Girls)

I once wrote an article defending arranged marriage in response to a nonsense CBC 'article'. In this post, I want to talk about some of the regressive attitudes and behaviours that make arranged marriages a fiasco in some South Asian families.

Warning: The writing may be blunt and to the point. It may make you uncomfortable, especially if you are one of the liberal secular feminist type. It's the truth.

More and more it seems arranged marriages in the South Asian diaspora are becoming a type of "last resort". The boy has played the field and now wants some "domesticated girl" so turns to his mother for help. The girl has been with a boyfriend for so long but suddenly the mother of the said boyfriend decided her "golden boy" would be better off with someone she chose, and the boyfriend is too spineless to say otherwise, so now the girl is left looking for a poor sucker who has no idea where she has been before.

Now these people are in the same 'market' as the boy and girl who has kept away from any physical relationships, kept themselves pure and looking to get married, but finding it extremely difficult to do so.

Parents of Girls

Don't reject a good proposal from a boy just because he is not a doctor or engineer. Despite it being 2017 2018, there is ... unbelievably ... desi parents who still are looking for a doctor or engineer for their princesses. Any other proposal from a thousand other good professions, be it teacher (2 months off, hey), public policy (stable job for life yay), consultant (travel the world, wow), lawyer (moolah much), writer (intelligent people), and so on are all rejected. Automatically, without even a glance. Now that is serious limitation to a good prospect for your girl. In the end she does end up marrying a doctor ten years older than her. Good, bad?

The other thing they do is they tell, convince, argue, threaten and cajol their daughters to please ... PLEASE ... do not get involved in any relationship ... we WILL find someone good for you, and the poor daughter believes it.

And then when it's time to look for a groom, they have all these reasons to reject perfectly good candidates:

He's not a doctor or engineer (civil doesn't count).
He's still living with his parents.
He does not want to leave his job and resettle to where WE are living.
He's not from our biraderi, gram, upojela and so on.

Meanwhile the girl who managed to land herself a good boy is looked at upon jealously.

Oooh oder to chokkor choltesilo (oooh they were having an affair)

Parents of Boys (especially the mother)

Your son is not the Prince of Persia. He's not even the best looking boy in your street. Yet you reject any girl who falls short of Aishwarya Rai standard. You are rejecting girls because you saw her once at a party and she was talking too much. You rejected a girl because she was from Borishal and everyone knows Borishali girls are like this (replace Borishal with Noakhali, Chittagong, Dhaka, NSU, Foridpur, English Medium, as appropriate). You are rejecting girls because they are only three years younger than your son and everyone knows 4 is the ideal number. You are rejecting a girl because she is a Project Manager at BoA and everyone knows career oriented women do not make good wives.

And when I say everyone knows I mean your fellow aunty circle and the good old Indian television serial.

Meanwhile the poor boy doesn't even know of any of this and is wondering why there is a shortage of girls and he should just have tried his luck with the Vietnamese girl in his study group.

Please ... PLEASE ... have an honest discussion with your son to find out what matters to HIM. Half the stuff people write in their biodata is pretty much useless. Who cares what your uncle's son's occupation or grandfather's place of birth was.

Girls

You are at a serious disadvantage in this process. Just accept it. Guys and their families (usually) hold all the cards. If you are aware of this fact, you can definitely not screw up even more.

One definite way to screw up is to have a relationship before and then broadcast it to the world, and then something happens, and now you are screwed. Your heart is a precious real estate - not just anyone and everyone should be let into it. Be very wary of falling for playboys and smooth talkers and please, for goodness sake, stop watching rubbish Indian serials. Life is not Bollywood. Life is more like the Quentin Tarantino movie.

If a smooth talking boy charms you, it's not spiritual abuse - you have been played. Be smart.

Also, Liberal feminists like to say to women that a) you are all pretty b) you are all good just the way you are. OK ... false, and false.

First - looks matter, whether you are a guy or a girl. So, rule number one. Please shape up. Maintain yourself physically. Now I know this is rich coming from me, but it is the uncomfortable truth that looks do matter more for women than men.

Second, be educated. It's a common myth that man-hating feminists like to spread that men are scared of a women who is educated. We are not. No man I know is turned off because a woman has a Ph.D. It's usually other reasons.

Third, have an opinion.
DO
NOT
BE
A
DOORMAT.

Another common fallacy by feminists is that men are turned off by women who are opinionated, strong willed or confident. No... we are turned off by women who are cocky. There's a big difference. If you want to know, its the answer to this question.

Question: What do you think of Justin Trudeau ?
Wrong Answer: Oh he's so cute .. heheheh
Right Answer: I think he has governed well enough, but I don't like the fact that he couldn't get a pipeline built in Alberta ... and so on.

Contrary to what feminists say, a young pretty intelligent girl will win over a young pretty dumb girl any day.

And that's the last point. Be young. If you know marriage is something you want to do, do it when you are young.

Boys

Please grow up.

Really.

I could go on and on but half the problems would be solved if desi boys would simply grow up, let go of their mother's apron strings and grow a spine.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

10 Key takeaways from the SecTor

This week I was lucky enough to attend the SecTor conference.

 

It was interesting to network with a group of people whose job it was to find weaknesses in computer programs and defend against them. Not to mention, the lunch was pretty good as well.


The whole conference had lots of interesting sessions and tracks.

Here are my 10 Key takeaways from the conference on IT security:

1. Phishing is the no.1 way to get control of a laptop (so be aware of the emails that you click on). Once you get some control over a laptop, then you can use it to gain access on other networks. We saw how you can use a Git repo to execute malicious programs without leaving a trail.

2. Keep backups offsite and disconnected from the web.

3. If it's not in the budget it's not getting done. If you want to increase security for your site/business/developers etc. make sure it's in the budget.

4. Cheap "smart" devices (especially from China) are easiest to hack into as they have numerous vulnerabilities. We learned in one session how to get control of a smart lock, a smart fridge, a smart thermostat etc. One of the smart coffee machines used to broadcast the wifi credentials of the house in plaintext as part of its programming! Once you have that, you can gain access using packet sniffing and detection of other devices in the house. The presenter showed us how he was opening someone's garage door who had installed a cheap remote garage opener, bought online from China. So buy devices from reputable companies who do patches and upgrades all the time.

5. Security often remains an afterthought. For example, most ATMs run on Windows XP, an old operating system that is now no longer supported.


6.To my surprise, there are a lot of women who work in IT security. This is an anomaly compared to rest of IT sector, especially developers, where there's 1 woman for 10 men.

7.You need to prepare a playbook and drill for incident breaches and have policies in place on what to do.

8.You have to have a "baseline" of activities of what is considered "normal". Any deviation from that is when you should be suspicious. Most breaches are detected on average 6-12 days after when they occur.


9. The simplest common sense measures often thwart costly breaches. For example a difficult password policy, or employees sharing credentials because creating accesses for new users takes too much time, is often how security breaks down.

10. You are more vulnerable common failures and innocent mistakes, and rarely due to malicious activity. Such as not patching regularly, or sharing credentials. Once you tackle those, then the serious criminals can be your focus.


It's a two day conference in Toronto, and it's returning next year in October. If you are in IT, this is a worthwhile conference.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

When Feminism Is Superior to The Prophet, Reevaluate

When your feminism causes you to downplay the Prophet, you gotta rethink your values.

Take a look at this article: "Give Muhammad A Chance"

In this article, the writer (cheered on by other women of similar ilk) says Khadijah was the prize, not Muhammad (pbuh) , and she married down and gave him a chance (and then compares herself to Khadijah and her husband to Muhammad (pbuh) and then congratulates herself).

Now I wish this writer all the best in her life. But Khadijah liked Muhammad and proposed to him. In a society where women weren't respected much, this shows the elevated stature and maturity of a woman like Khadija (who was around 3 years older than Muhammad (pbuh)). Why did Khadija like Muhammad (pbuh)?

Because he was different from other men. He was honest. He was trust worthy. He cared for the oppressed. He cared for the orphans. He never wished ill on others. This is what Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) herself testified on the night of the first revelation.  
 
The writer says, "At the time of marriage, Khadijah (ra) was the prize, not Muhammad (saw)."
 
I am not going to say either of them was the "prize", or that one of them married down or up. Theirs was a holy marriage made in heaven where each partner supported the other. Trying to twist that marriage to fit one's feminist narrative is falsehood at its worst.

Again there are many things wrong in our society. But we don't need to twist Islamic history to fit our narrative agenda to "solve" these problems.

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Nouman Ali Khan "Scandal"

The last two weeks or so had seen the Nouman Ali Khan scandal ( with various hashtags such as #NAK #NAKScandal #MakeDuaMyHotFantasy ) trending on the Muslim social media, particularly in North America. When it came out, it immediately captured everyone's attention as Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan enjoys such a high and stellar reputation. His work on making the Holy Quran accessible in the English language is unparalleled in the modern times.

Of course, he denied all allegations, while claiming to be never a perfect man. And to be fair to him, there were really no allegations - simply slander, innuendo and hearsay. Spread mostly by feminist blogs, all the accusers were mute on what he exactly did or stands accused of, except that they called him an 'abuser' or a 'predatory daee'.

Now at that time, after remaining silent for some time, I released a video.


My thoughts on Nouman Ali Khan "Allegations", the curse of feminists

At the time the scandal broke, we only had one duty. We had to presume our brother was innocent, and we MUST demand a proper evidence from the accusers, and an exact accusation. This was the summary of my video.

One of the bloggers, someone whom I have a lot of respect for the work she does otherwise, later stated: "The public revelation regarding NAK was not handled in an ideal manner."

Exactly.

When making an accusation against someone with a stature like Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, there should be no ambiguity, and the accusation should be crystal clear. If the accusers had come out straight away and said exactly what they accused the preacher of, and the witnesses, and time of alleged incidents, there would no fitnah, and they would be following the proper way to do things. Instead, we had a huge mess, and the community was "either you support a molester and you are anti-women" or "you hate Islam and are trying to take down one of the men of God".

On October 3, 2017, a statement was released by a few prominent Muslims on this scandal.

This statement should certainly make anyone pause. While you defend your brother, you must also keep an open mind when an evidence is presented. Here, very strong, credible people are saying your brother has done something wrong, so their statement must be given proper weight.

However, while this statement is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of innuendo. What exactly is "spiritual abuse"? Also, the scholars should have listed the exact behaviour they found "conduct unbecoming of any believer". For example, if you strictly believe in zabiha slaughter, if I eat a Big Mac at McDonalds is that "conduct unbecoming of any believer"? 

Thus, if the original victims are NOT ready to come out and say exactly what they are accusing the preacher of, then this discussion is still moot. those who "broke" the original story: you should not have said anything unless the 'victims' are ready to come out and say it. Until they are ready to be public, this is a private matter and best left private.

I do not subscribe to this mentality of hiding the victims' name. Nor do I even know for sure if they are victims, or spurned women now out for revenge. This is not a "bro club" thing. It is following proper process. The women who are involved with the Ustadh, allegedly, were not forced or coerced into a relationship. They went in with full eyes open, supposedly. They are adults. This notion of hiding the names of women accusers, believing them blindly, and blaming the man all the time is a very extreme feminism trait. If we are to support the victims, we have to know who the victims are and how they have been victimized.

You have to ask yourself, at the end of all of this mess, what exactly has been achieved? How has justice been supported? What is the end game?

The only thing that is remaining is a big, holy mess.