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دوشنبه 14 شهریور‌ماه سال 1390 ساعت 13:11

716. Sheworships.com Gateway Sin


In one of my recent internet searches I've come across the website sheworships.com. I was actually trying to see if I could coin the expression "gateway sin" but I realize it had been used long before me in several places, including this website. So I went through some of what the author of the site had written and was genuinely interested in her blog. Although written from a Christian standpoint -and usually on subjects directly related to Christianity- I found that many of her topics could be extrapolated within an Islamic framework and many things could be learned from her.

Anyways, here are excerpts from her post on sins which could lead to greater sins i.e. "gateway sin", which I recommend everyone to consider:


<Proverbs 25:28 - A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

... Gateway sin: I am stealing this term from the frequently used “gateway drug,” a term refering to minor drugs which lead users into more serious habits of addiction. A person starts out using pot, thinking it’s no big deal, but eventually moves on to harder substances as the desire for a bigger high gets stronger.

It is the same with sin. We start out with a small sin, thinking it’s no big deal, but it leads us to into more serious habits of sin. This kind of struggle can range anywhere from lust, to gambling, to pride–as soon as you indulge your temptation, it’s much easier to do it again.

... As long as you haven’t indulged a sin and you haven’t tasted its sweetness, it’s much easier to stave off attacks. You have built up momentum that you need only maintain, so the walls more readily stand firm. But once you give into it, the walls come crumbling down.

Why? The first reason is that you feel less guilty recommitting the sin since you’ve already done it before. For instance, you may have been saving yourself for marriage, so you held off having sex for years. But then one day you mess up and sleep with someone. Now you’re not a virgin anymore, so all that waiting and holding off feels like it doesn’t matter. The gift is gone, so abstinence no longer seems urgent, or even important.

But the second reason that your proverbial walls fall down following that initial sin is that you now yearn to experience that pleasure again. As bitter as its consequences may be, sin is usually very sweet at the time–hence the reason that people keep doing it. So in the same way that I will not crave a dessert I’ve never tasted, it’s easy to resist a sin we’ve never experienced. But once I have a bite of that molten chocolate lava cake, it’s very difficult to resist having another. Very difficult indeed.

In this way, the initial breach of your “wall” is the most crucial point to guard against. Once you allow the behavior into your life, it’s exponentially more difficult to keep it out. After all, it’s much easier to maintain a wall than to completely rebuild one.

So don’t believe the lie that a small sin is no big deal. It may actually be a gateway sin that tears down your walls and leaves you vulnerable to even greater temptations. If, however, you’ve already allowed that initial breach in security to take place, there is still hope. With God’s help you can rebuild that wall, but it requires discipline. You must see sin for what it really is–no matter the size, it is all spiritually fatal. That is why a recovering alcoholic cannot even risk taking a sip. Even the smallest amount is enough to consume us.>


P.S.: In a comment on her work I've written:

<Hi. I enjoy reading your pieces, including this one. Anyways, near the end of your post you've mentioned that "don’t believe the lie that a small sin is no big deal." It might be interesting to note that in Islam, considering a sin to be small, is considered a big sin itself. So in fact, there is an internal mechanism to stop this mistake from happening. Allah bless you, and keep up the good work.>

I once learned form a wise man who said:

"Do not look at the smallness of the sin you're committing, but rather, at the greatness of Him whom you're disobeying"


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جمعه 20 خرداد‌ماه سال 1390 ساعت 17:23

693. The Anti-Corruption Agencies of ECO Member States


A couple of weeks ago I got a job offer from the General Inspection Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This organization is designed for fighting corruption across the country as well as acting as an obdusman. I'm quite happy that I was able to contribute in the First Meeting of the Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies and Ombudsmen of ECO Member States as the Editor in Chief of the summit's newsletter. It was intense work as we had to prepare the entire 16-page document in only 48 hours. In addition, we were under high pressure due to the sensitivity of the issue at hand as we interviewed high profile individuals as well as reported on the developments of the landmark summit. Overall, although several errors and flaws exist in our newsletter, I'm rather happy with the quality of our work - not to mention so was the Inspection Organization. Here I'll put the JPG files of some selected pages of our work so that those who are interested can briefly read about the meeting held in Tehran on May 21-22, 2011.










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شنبه 14 خرداد‌ماه سال 1390 ساعت 23:08

691. TIME magazine person of the year 1979 - Ayatollah Khomeini


At the end of every year, TIME magazine selects a person, group of persons, or an idea that (for better or worse) has most influenced events during the year. As a young kid I once used to think that such lists were honestly composed. However, growing up moving past the naive optimism of my childhood years, I was quick to notice the dishonorable intentions and motives behind such fabrications.

I'm not writing this post to undermine TIME magazine in particular; what I am trying to do is point out the biased manipulations of the media -while using this particular article of TIME magazine as a blatant example of such disgusting behavior.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was undoubtedly the most beloved figure in contemporary Iranian history. The Islamic Revolution in Iran and the blessings he brought upon the country, the region, and the world, led to his funeral being one of the largest gathering of human beings for a mourning event in history. The millions of individuals who attended the ceremonies in the scorching summer heat of Tehran, and the numerous individuals who died just by hearing the news of the Ayatollah's passing are a testament the popularity of this holy man.

The inscription on the gravestone reads: "Samiollah Akbari, son of Shirdel, who hastened to the hereafter upon hearing the news of the passing of the Revolution's grand leader."

Now let's review some choice quotes from the article written by TIME, alongside the hideous cover picture designed to make the Ayatollah look as evil as possible.


“The dour old man of 79 shuffles in his heel-less slippers to the rooftop and waves apathetically to crowds that surround his modest home in the holy city of Qum. The hooded eyes that glare out so balefully from beneath his black turban are often turned upward, as if seeking inspiration from on high—which, as a religious mystic, he indeed is.” -  The article starts by giving a negative physical image of Ayatollah Khomeini to match the cover art in etching a negative first impression.

“As the leader of Iran’s revolution he gave the 20th century world a frightening lesson in the shattering power of irrationality, of the ease with which terrorism can be adopted as government policy.” - playing the terrorism card, trying to make one of the most peaceful revolutions of the ages seem what it was not.

“ The Ayatullah even insisted, in an extraordinary interview with TIME, that if Americans wish to have good relations with Iran they must vote Jimmy Carter out of office and elect instead a President that Khomeini would find “suitable.”" – When I read this, I quickly went to read the Time’s interview. You’ll be amused to know that no such statement from the Ayatollah exists in the interview. The most he said was that the US should vote Carter out of office, but nothing was said that it should be replaced by someone he finds suitable. Given that suitable was in quotes, I expected there to be something like that, but no such thing exists in the interview. {
*Courtesy Smileiran.com}

“The revolution that he led to triumph threatens to upset the world balance of power more than any political event since Hitler’s conquest of Europe.” - and who could doubt Hitler connections being right around the corner!

Today was the 22nd anniversary of the Ayatollah's passing. Once again, his shrine in southern Tehran was overfilled with peacefull mourners (estimated as much as 2 million people) who the western media outlets either inadvertently neglect to see, or unfortunately, intentionally turn a blind eye towards.


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پنج‌شنبه 28 بهمن‌ماه سال 1389 ساعت 13:53

648. نطق تاریخی ترومن


آگوست، 6، 1945

رئیس جمهور آمریکا "هری اس ترومن" اعلام می کند:

"شانزده ساعت پیش، یک هواپیمای آمریکایی، یک بمب بر هیروشیما که یکی قرارگاه های نظامی مهم در ژاپن است انداخت. این بمب بیش از بیست هزار تن تی ان تی قدرت داشت. این بمب بیش از دو هزار برابر از بمب "گرند اسلم" انگلستان که تا به امروز قوی ترین بمب دنیا بوده است قدرت داشت."

ترومن می دانست که هیروشیما یک شهر عادی پر از زن و بچه و پیر و جوان است؛ نه یک قرارگاه نظامی.

On August 6, 1945, President Harry S Truman announced: "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British 'Grand Slam' which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare."

Truman -and his fellow American politicians- knew very well that Hiroshima was a city full of women, children, the young and the old; and most definately not a military base.


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یکشنبه 24 بهمن‌ماه سال 1389 ساعت 02:45

646. Portrayal of Iran in Hollywood Movies


Last week I gave a talk at a conference taking place at the Milad Tower Complex in Tehran, Iran. The conference was entitled Hollywoodism and it was on how Hollywood shapes and influences the thoughts and behavior of its audience. My presentation was on how public political opinion is affected by Hollywood; in particular, how Iran is referred to in several blockbuster hits.

For my blog, I’ve cut out a piece of my talk to present to you. This piece is about the case study I put forth about the movie Transformers. I gave the talk in front of fifty or so renowned filmmakers, producers, critics, university professors, journalists and others who were affiliated with the media in one way or another.

You can download the clip of my talk from this link. I'm sorry for those who have slow internet connections. The clip is nearly 20 MB in size.


The jist of my talk was that through attractive pictures, movies are able inject ideas into the hearts of minds of unsuspecting viewers. It is much easier for an individual to learn from movies than to go through thousands of pages of hard cold facts. It is too much of a chore to try to carefully understand everything; whereas it is much easier to just sit back and let the media pick and choose the thoughts that you're fed.

In the words of Donald N Wood: "Freedom, democracy, progress, economic theories, scientific concepts: these are all ideas and abstractions... The more time we spend in the right hemisphere (of the brain)--watching pictures, listening to music, and approaching life with an intuitive or holistic attitude--the less our brains will be able to manipulate written words and mathematical symbols; the less we will be able to deal with ideas, theories, abstractions, and analytic chores; the less we will be able to handle the intellectual demands of a democratic government. The problem is not that television brings us bad programming (which is what concerns most critics); the problem is that television brings us good pictures."


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