Something that you may to know about Saudi Arabia
"The Kingdom ... strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs."
So reads the statement issued by Saudi Arabia, where I grew up, the day the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" came under attack, with the loss of 12 lives.
Last Sunday, to show further solidarity with the victims, the Saudi ambassador to France joined other world leaders in Paris for a unity rally to celebrate free speech.
This is consistent with the face Saudi Arabia presents to the outside world. Visitors to the website of the Saudi embassy in Washington are invited to "learn ... how the Kingdom´s political system is rooted in Islam´s traditions which call for peace, justice, equality, consultation and respect for the rights of the individual."
Just two days before the Paris rally, my friend Raif Badawi was removed, in shackles, from a mini-bus outside the Al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah as a large crowd gathered around him after Friday prayers. According to eyewitnesses, he closed his eyes and raised his head skyward as a security officer approached him from behind with a large cane and started to beat him. Witnesses say Raif was lashed 50 times. Afterwards, he was taken back to prison where he is serving a 10-year sentencefor blogging.
Raif´s next flogging was set to take place today, but Saudi authorities postponed it due to medical advice, his wife said. She expects he will be flogged again next weekand every following weekuntil his sentence of 1,000 lashes is complete.
Raif is officially charged with "adopting liberal thought," "founding a liberal website," and "insulting Islam." He has become the latest symbol of the two-faced policy his country takes towards human rights.
Saudi Arabia is a strong American ally that has enjoyed virtually unconditional support from the United States for decades. President Bush famously held hands with its monarch, King Abdullah, as the two strolled through his Crawford, Texas ranch during the King´s 2005 state visit. President Obama was widely criticized for appearing to bow to Abdullah at a G-20 summit in London.
In the same month that ISIS horrified the world with its brutal beheading of journalist James Foley, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 19 people, for crimes ranging from smuggling cannabis to sorcery. Limb amputations for theft are sanctioned by the state religion.
In addition to oil, Saudi Arabia is the world´s leading exporter of Salafism, an ultra-conservative strain of Islam. The country touts itself as the birthplace of the religion of peaceyet underlines the Islamic declaration of "Shahadah" on its flag with a sword. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.
Why does a world outraged by the horrific actions of ISIS and the Taliban turn a blind eye to the way this country treats its own citizens?
The first reason is obvious. It isn´t just our governments. Every time we fill our cars with gas, we all bow to the Saudi king.
The second is more complex.
Online videos of Raif´s flogging show worshipers from the mosque, including young children, running excitedly towards the square to watch the beating. Afterwards, the crowd erupts into cheers and applause, chanting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great!) in unison.
This isn´t surprising. The public likely considers Raif guilty of blasphemy and apostasy. A 2013 Pew Research poll found that large numbers in Muslim countries favor the death penalty for leaving Islamincluding 88% of Egyptian and 62% of Pakistani Muslims, as well as majorities in Jordan, Malaysia, Palestine, and Afghanistan.
Of course, these views don´t represent all Muslims. But contrary to what we´re usually told, they aren´t just held by a fringe minority either. Many of these countries don´t have populations willing to rally en masse to support free speech and pluralism the way France did. The change has to first come from within.
Raif has sacrificed a great deal to make this change happen. The world must support him and call Saudi Arabia out on its hypocrisy.
Some time ago, just 50 miles east of where Raif is being held today, another dissident once spoke of change, of challenging the status quo, of radical new ideas that would ultimately transform his society. He was ostracized, persecuted, and eventually driven from his city by those wanting to kill him. He was Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam; his persecutors, the Quraysh tribe of Mecca.
Muslims endeavor to emulate the life of Mohammed. Saudi Arabia has instead chosen to emulate the Quraysh.
This week, Raif spent his 31st birthday imprisoned and wounded. With enough awareness, we can put enough international pressure on the Saudi government to ensure that he spends his next one with his wife and their three beautiful children.
Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer and friend of Raif Badawi. He grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and is an advocate for secularism and reform in the Muslim world. He is currently writing his first book, "The Atheist Muslim."
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The city and the 7 steps to positive thinking
Most of us keep a constant mental conversation . We talk with ourselves every day, and unfortunately, many times these "internal" discussions are negative, often marked by guilt about the past or worry about the future. Such negativity can destroy any sign of hope that we have about the realization of our dreams.
Our actions are based on our thoughts. If we change the way we think, we can begin to change the actions we take. Humans are always in pursuit of personal growth financial, emotional, physical or spiritual. Practicing positive internal conversations can help us going to take actions that lead to great results.
Then I leave seven steps to achieving a positive self-talk. Following these steps you will be able to start eliminating your negative conversations and replace them with thoughts that will motivate you to improve.
1 Eliminate negative self-talk
The first step is realizing. Would difficult to make a change without know intimately the thoughts that are in our head.
No doubt that if you have a long history of negative internal conversations, will be a challenge. Their conversation becomes negative over the years for various reasons. For example, if a child constantly told you that you were "dumb", you could incorporate as a truth. Then you will discover your inner self there is a little voice that often repeats phrases like "I´m too slow", or "it costs me learn something." If you constantly pass on negative stories, your actions will reflect their low self-esteem. Going to be difficult for you to get somewhere if you´re always pulling back.
Ordinary conversation includes the negative "can not." When you say to yourself "I can´t" or "it´s very difficult," you are creating resistance. A mental block are prevented you from doing things that could succeed.
Whenever you find yourself saying "I can´t ...", stop the game and challenge yourself with a "why?". Studies show that most geniuses become outstanding people after years of commitment and more commitment. So if you want to be successful need to start saying "I can" more often.
A good method I have found useful is to say "stopping, stopping" whenever I notice myself saying something negative about myself, both mentally and verbally. This method works if you have a sincere interest in positive thinking.
2 Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are positive expressions of a desired outcome or goal. Expressions are generally short, believable and focused. By repeating them over time, we opened new paths in our subconscious, creating the possibility of a new order of thoughts.
An important step in repeating affirmations is to read them aloud and with feeling. But read does not help unless you really feel what you say.
Surely you have any questions about this technique at the beginning. Nevertheless, if you follow these simple instructions to his disbelief will soon be replaced by faith in yourself.
3 Create positive screenplays
One thing you can see is that it´s easy for your mind to generate negative thoughts, based on other negative thoughts. This cycle never ends, but increases, creating a strong limitation.
From now on, let´s do this exercise. Invent a positive, uplifting story that flows like a movie script. Visualize the situation. Build the story with a positive ending; how bigger the storyline better. Better yet if you can develop a story that tells how all your goals are reached. When you do begin to internalize your goals and dreams as if they were something you already did.
4 Replace negative influences with positive
It is important to identify external negative factors in your life that are limiting your thoughts. For example, your mood can poison with friends and people who are negative. If you are not careful enough, you will begin to adopt their negative thoughts. So be alert to negative influences. Whether they come from friends, limit your exposure to these thoughts as much as you can. Additionally, avoid discussing your plans with people who did not encourage and help you in your dreams and goals.
Instead, look to surround yourself with the thoughts and actions of people that motivate you. Before long you will see the transformation of a pessimistic ball in a good and pleasant aura . This positive energy that surrounds you will begin to improve their internal conversations too.
5 Posts in present time
What can help you is to focus about the steps you can take now. If you find yourself locked, think: "what can I do now?." Change your self-talk, letting anxiety about the future and start to act in this time. You can not control what happens in the future, but if you take the necessary steps now, it allows you to have a better tomorrow. Focus your thoughts on today and now.
6 Controlling fears
Fear is often what prevents you from achieving the goals. Are you afraid to take risks for fear of losing the security that enjoys now. You try to convince yourself that you are happy in their current state when, in reality, is not . Your inner self may seem positive in trying to lie to himself. Yet somehow, you know you´re cheating.
Ask yourself what are your fears. What ´s the worst that can happen? Follow a step-by-step approach - to discuss their fears and see if there is any way to see things more positively. When you confront your fears, often going to realize that the worst case scenario is not as bad as thought. On indeed, the benefits of change tend to justify the risk.
7 Enjoy the good times
It´s much easier to have a positive attitude if you focus on the good moments of your life instead of the bad. Although it is inevitable to have problems and challenges, remember that life consists of ups and downs, and that the good times are forged through the bad times.
So choose to fill your mind with positive thoughts and images. Make it a conscious habit. To start, if you can be grateful for what you have now, your internal conversation will begin to change and align yourself with that sense of joy. A state of gratitude helps a lot to your mind.
Bones, like muscles, are living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. In general, women and young men who exercise regularly reach a higher bone density (the highest level of consistency and strength of bones) than those who do not exercise. Most people reach peak bone density between 20 and 30 years old. From that age usually bone density begins to decrease. Women and men over age 20 can help prevent bone loss hacienda exercise frequently. The exercise allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination and balance, which in turn helps prevent falls and fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
The best exercise for your bones is required weight-bearing. This type of exercise makes you strive to work against gravity. Examples of these exercises include weight lifting, walking, hiking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis and dance. In contrast, exercises that do not require weight-bearing include swimming and cycling. While these exercises help strengthen and maintain strong muscles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, are not the most effective in strengthening bones.
If you have health problems such as heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, or if you are 40 years old or more, consult your doctor before you start exercising regularly. According to the Surgeon General, the optimal goal is to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days; preferably daily.
Pay attention to your body. When starting an exercise routine, you may have some pain and discomfort in the muscles, but should not be painful or last more than 48 hours. If this occurs, you may be working too hard and need to slow down. Stop exercising if you feel any pain or discomfort in the chest and talk to your doctor before your next workout.
If you have osteoporosis, it is important to ask your doctor what activities are safe for you. If you have low bone density, experts recommend that the column is protected and avoiding exercises or activities that cause bending or twisting of the back. Moreover, should avoid high-impact exercise to reduce the risk of breaking a bone. You can also consult with an exercise specialist to teach you the proper progression of their activities, to stretch and strengthen muscles safely, and correct bad posture habits. An exercise specialist should have a degree in exercise physiology, physical education, physiotherapy or similar specialty. Be sure to ask if you are familiar with the special needs of people with osteoporosis.
Remember, exercise is only part of a regimen for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. Like a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. But it is possible that good nutrition and exercise are not enough to stop the loss of bone density caused by medical conditions, menopause or certain habits such as the use of snuff and excessive consumption of alcohol. It is important to talk to your doctor about your bone health. Ask if you are a candidate for a bone density test. If densitometry shows low bone mass, ask what medications may help maintain healthy bones and fight osteoporosis.