Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

Democracy and Islamic Sharia Law — Can They Coexist?

You decide:

  • Democracy —  a : government by the people; especially rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
  • Sharia — Islamic law based on the Koran.
    Imposes theocracy over democracy, its abuse of human rights, its institutionalized discrimination, its denial of human dignity and individual autonomy, its punishment of alternative lifestyle choices, and for the severity of its punishments (Iran, Afghanistan’s Taliban — you get the picture). (Full Story)

An individual who chooses to immigrate to another country should respect the language, custom, and the culture of his adopted nation; just as a guest would respect the ways of his hosts when invited to their home. 

Preserve your culture at home.  Outside of the home, assimilate.  It was your choice to come to our country.  No one dragged you here. (Full Story)

Democracy and Islamic Sharia Law will never coexist. (See also Why I Renounced Jihad).

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January 16, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Education, God, Introspection, Islam, Soul, Spirit, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Life and Happiness — 70 Percent Lifestyle, 30 Percent Genes

How encouraging!  We have way more control over our lifestyle than we’ve ever imagined!  Genes are predetermined; lifestyle, we can change!

Someday, we’ll all be centenarians — pursuing our passion with the people we love!

Here are eight simple secrets to living longer, better:

  • Believe (spiritual or religious participation)
  • Family First (listen, laugh, appreciate what we have)
  • Belong (to a healthy, social network)
  • Move (simple activities like walking and gardening)
  • Live with a purpose (hobbies, work, contribute to the greater good)
  • Eat plant-based diet
  • Eat until 80 percent full
  • Drink one or two glasses of red wine each day (antioxidant — Polyphenol — scrubs away artery clogging materials)

Full Story

Curriculum Guide for Educators

April 25, 2009 Posted by | America, Asia, Attitude, Body, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Europe, Food, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, International, Introspection, Islam, Japan, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Stress, Success, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Educate is To Empower

To educate is to empower — to unleash the problem solver and the life-long learner within.  (Anonymous)

Meet Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea.

In 1993, Greg Mortenson and four others set out to climb K2, the world’s second highest mountain in northern Pakistan.  A 75-hour life-saving rescue mission to save the fifth climber abruptly ended the climbers’ 70+ days journey to ascend the world’s no. 2.

On his way down, Mortenson strayed from his group.  The weak, exhausted climber came across Korphe, a small ordinary village; shortly thereafter, greeted and taken in by the village chief, Haji Ali.

Mortenson promised to repay the people’s compassion by building schools for the remote village.

Mortenson faced daunting challenges in his quest to raise funds for the building of more than 55 schools in Taliban territory, including death threats from Islamic mullahs, long periods of separation from his family, and being kidnapped by Taliban sympathizers.  Mortenson became a one-man mission with the goal of bringing educational structures and resources to young girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (see Three Cups of Tea)

“One of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time, Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is proof that one ordinary person … really can change the world.(Tom Brokaw)

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Asia, Attitude, Book Review, Change, Compassion, Dream, Education, Heart, International, Islam, Leadership, Love, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran from the Eyes of Iranian-Jews

When you hear a story, do you listen to one side, both sides, or three or more sides?

A friend once said, “Idiots believe everything they hear; the average listen to both sides; the wise stay out of others’ affairs.”

Mr. Cohen shed valuable insights into my ignorance on Jews in Iran.  The New York Times Op-Ed Columnist describes the peaceful coexistence of Iranian-Jews with their fellow citizens:

  • There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran. Perhaps 25,000 Jews live in Iran — descendants of an almost 3,000-year-old community — the largest such community in the Muslim Middle East.
  • At Palestine Square, opposite a mosque called Al-Aqsa, is a synagogue.  Over the entrance is a banner saying: “Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from the Jewish community of Esfahan.”
  • Death to Isarel — “Let them say it,” one merchant said.  “I’ve been in this store 43 years and never had a problem. I’ve visited my relatives in Israel, but when I see something like the attack on Gaza, I demonstrate, too, as an Iranian.

I (Cohen) am a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran. Or perhaps I was impressed that the fury over Gaza, trumpeted on posters and Iranian TV, never spilled over into insults or violence toward Jews … the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric.

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Fifteen years ago, a then “emotionally disabled” first-grade student wrote a rap to Aesop’s Fable, Tortoise and the Hare.  The boy insisted the hare was framed.  All the other animals were jealous of hare’s ability to run quickly and wanted to stop him from winning the race.  Here’s the rap:

When you hear a story, you may be hearing lies.  Try to keep an open mind and listen to both sides.  Both sides, uh huh.  Both sides, uh huh.  Please listen to both sides.

Full Story

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Asia, Attitude, Compassion, Education, God, International, Islam, Journalism, Love, Peace, Politics, Soul, Spirit, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love vs. Hate — Why I Renounced Jihad

A friend once said, “The ignorant believe everything they hear, the average listen to both sides, the wise stay out of others’ affairs.”

Today, where ideological warfare continues to fuel the passion and purpose among millions of the worlds’ disenfranchised, we, the international community, must listen to both sides and get involved! Our way of life, our civilizations, our existence are at stake! Terrorism IS our business. Ignorance is death!

We must listen — to both Islamic and Western perspectives (not extremists. Extremists of all faiths are out to ostracize and destroy — “My way or die!”).

 

According to Nonie Darwish, Egyptian-American journalist and author of NOW THEY CALL ME INFIDEL: WHY I REOUNCED JIHAD, “Islamic Terrorists [not Muslims] are pirates. They have their eyes set on beautiful and welcoming democracies, to rob those democracies of their soul and ruin the value system and culture that made them great.”

Darwish calls:

  1. For reform and tolerance in the Islamic culture: this movement beginning with the Muslims living outside of Islamic nations.
  2. The Arab leaders to accept responsibilities for the failings of their own society.
  3. The Non-Arab-Americans to hold terrorist-sponsoring nations accountable:
  • Define our enemy by name and location
  • Protect the rights of moderate Muslims who speak out for reform
  • Apply swift, harsh consequences for those who financially support, make excuses for, and defend terror
  • Censor American mosques whose clerics are spreading Anti-American, Anti-Semitic doctrines [alert local authorities]

Grassroots movement + momentum = Change

Change begins with awareness.  Change begins with me. Change begins with us!

January 4, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, International, Islam, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Spirit | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment