Tuesday, May 4, 2010

upholding article 10

upholding article 10


upholding article 10

Posted: 04 May 2010 10:22 AM PDT

the speakers' square at the esplanade in penang was finally launched by the chief minister of penang yesterday morning at 8.30am. i was there to take photos and notes. among many of the journalists, met susan loone. wow! she was quick. her story was up at malaysiakini at about noon.  (non subscriber can read from it here after my post).

there were about 100 people present – about half of them from the press, i think. and most of the crowd of course were from NGO.  i arrived at the same time the CM arrived! didn't even know it was him – yes, he never has siren ringing loudly when he arrived, unlike many umno VIP. i was walking along the pavement and suddenly sense a car behind me so i quickly moved to the side then realise it was the CM's car!

YB chow kon yeow, was the first to give a short speech and followed by…. surprise!… my long time church friend, andre loh. andre representing the speakers' square founding committee.  (see his speech below).

last to speak was of course YB lim guan eng.  you can read about what he said in susan loone's (or other mainstream/online paper).  i do have his press statement copy but not going to mention what he said here. i want to mention his departing shot (which was not in the press statement), which i thought was nice – "bebaskan media, selamatkan rakyat" which means "free the media, save the people".

when he unveiled the speakers square board, at one time, he pointed to the board and said "article 10, federal constitution. the penang government upholds article 10."

video by my fellow CJ, jimmy on the launch.

(please remember to click on' read more' to read susan loone's piece from malaysiakini and andre loh's speech. all photos here were taken by yours truly here)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Malaysiakini
Speak freely but rules apply
Susan Loone
May 4, 10
12:04pm

Penang took a step forward for freedom of expression by officially launching its first Speakers' Square at the Esplanade today.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that citizens must use the avenue provided by the state in a responsible manner to demonstrate their views. In other words laws like the Sedition Act and on slander still apply.

They should be mindful that the police have said they are unable to provide any legal immunity from prosecution. However I wish to ask the police to exercise discretion and allow views to be freely expressed."

About 100 people, including civil society representatives, turned up at the Esplanade to witness the historic launch of the square by the state in conjunction with Press Freedom month in May.

However, freedom to speak comes only twice a week at this space, which is available from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Speakers are not allowed to use megaphones and should not be surprised if the police act against them if they do so.

Lim said that the space should be used for gatherings, candlelight vigils, peaceful demonstrations, press conferences and other forms of expression.

He added that he is prepared to face the consequences of making available such a space for freedom of expression.

"The speakers' corner may result in unfair criticism, including of the state government. However I believe we are all mature enough to listen to different views and allow people the freedom to express them freely," he added.

Former Asia Pacific regional advisor on Urban Governance for the United Nations Anwar Fazal (left), said speakers should refrain from using loudspeakers when expressing their views.

"This would ensure that their voices do not disturb the neighborhood," added Anwar, an award winning social activist based in Penang.

He added that part of speech training was to allow one's voice to grow without being aided by artificial voice appliances.

He also urged the Toastmasters Club to use the space freely for public speaking.

————————————–

speech by andre loh:

On behalf of the Speakers' Square Founding Committee, I wish to thank the Penang State Government and its various departments including MPPP for making today a moment in History.  Speakers' Square is for all Malaysians.

We hope to bring about a newness to Democracy by being inclusive.  The Rakyat and NGOs working hand in hand with Government and law enforcement to develop a richness in our Country not experienced by the younger generation.

The Speakers' Square is for :-

1.   Public Forums, Dialogues & Debates

2.   Vigils & Peaceful Demonstrations

3.   Press Conferences; and

4.   Various other forms of Peaceful & Artistic forms of expression

We wish to preach the language of Love, Peace, Hope and Desire. Today, it is becoming commonplace for developing and developed nations to graduate towards community policing where the people and law enforcement work together to ensure peace and harmony.  Under the principles of public responsibility and accountability.

Let us together exercise our right enshrined under the Constitution of this GREAT NATION which Guarantees the Freedom of Speech, the right to assemble peacefully & the right to form associations, to realise our dreams of advancing our people in the spirit of true democracy and freedom.



Indian Sadhu survives without food & drink for 70 years?

Posted: 04 May 2010 09:38 AM PDT

Indian monk Prahlad JaniAn 82-year-old Indian Sadhu (wandering monk, or holy man) Prahlad Jani has claimed that he has been living for 70 years without food or water.

Jani states that he is living as a monk since he was seven and was blessed by a Goddess when he was 11; since that blessing he gained his sustenance from nectar that filters down through a hole in his palate, and has not passed urine or stools since then.

In 2003, Jani was kept under surveillance for 10 days in Ahmedabad's Sterling Hospital. He was given no food and only a small amount of water to wash his mouth and the water was later measured to confirm that he did not swallow any of it. He survived the ordeal, but lost a bit of weight, which cast doubts that he could survived without food over a much longer period.

His story caught the attention of India's Defence Research Development Organisation, which hopes further research could help soldiers survive longer without food, or disaster victims to hang on until help arrives. Jani has again entered the hospital since April 22, 2010, where he is closely monitored for 15-20 days. We'll see what happens in a week or less. Updates then.

[With reference from Amazingabilities and Telegraph]

Indian Sadhu survives without food & drink for 70 years? from YeinJee's Asian Blog


Karpal: Air Mani Mungkin Diletakkan Pihak Tertentu

Posted: 04 May 2010 09:18 AM PDT

Sampel air mani yang diperoleh dari dubur Saiful Bukhari Azlan berkemungkinan besar telah diletakkan pihak tertentu untuk menganiaya Ketua Pembangkang Anwar Ibrahim, tegas peguam Karpal Singh beberapa ketika sebelum Mahkamah Persekutuan menolak rayuan Anwar.

Ini kerana laporan dari tiga doktor kerajaan di Hospital Kuala Lumpur mengesahkan bahawa tidak ada kesan tusukan pada dubur penuduh.

"Jika tiada tusukan, bagaimana mungkin adanya kesalahan?" soal Karpal di hadapan Hakim Besar Malaya Arifiin Zakaria, Hakim James Foong dan Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan Suriyadi Halim Omar.

"Kehadiran air mani seraya mencadangkan bahawa bukti ini telah diletakkan di situ. Logik akal mengatasi segala syak kerana para doktor sendiri mengesahkan tidak ada tusukan. Lantas, dari mana datangnya sperma ini?" tegas beliau.

Sebelum itu, Peguamcara II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden yang mengepalai pasukan pendakwaraya terhadap Anwar Ibrahim memberitahu mahkamah bahawa calitan empat putik kapas membuktikan kehadiran air mani.

Yusof berkata penemuan spermatozoa pada putik kapas ini diperoleh dari calitan keatas dubur penuduh, seraya menunjukkan adanya perlakuan sodomi.

Selepas mendengar hujah dari kedua-dua belah pihak, panel tiga hakim di Mahkamah Persekutuan menolak rayuan Anwar Ibrahim menggugurkan pertuduhan fitnah liwat.

Hakim Besar Malaya Arifin Zakaria berkata hujah kedua-dua pihak sewajarnya dibuktikan dalam perbicaraan penuh. -TVS


More cops on drugs, says SAC Jalaluddin - POLICE IS GETTING WORSE

Posted: 04 May 2010 11:03 AM PDT

Friday April 30, 2010 

More cops on drugs, says SAC Jalaluddin

By DESIREE TRESA GASPER
desiree@thestar.com.my

JOHOR BARU: Drug abuse among police personnel in Johor has become a serious problem with 15 new cases reported this year alone.
Johor deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the latest case involved four policemen from Kulai­jaya who tested positive for drugs on Monday.
"All the cases identified this year involved the abuse of synthetic drugs such as methaphetamine and ketamine," he said, noting that 31 cases of drug abuse among policemen were also recorded last year.
SAC Jalaluddin was speaking to reporters after attending the monthly meeting with Johor contingent staff and appointment ceremony for assistant superintendents here yesterday.
"This is a very serious offence and policemen who are confirmed to be involved in drug abuse will be immediately suspended from duty and charged in court.
"I urge all supervisors to keep an eye on men under their command," he said.
On a separate issue, SAC Jalaluddin said police had yet to identify the man whose body parts were found in three garbage bags at a rubbish processing centre here yesterday.
"So far, we have identified that the victim was a man aged between 25 and 30 years," he said, adding that the remains had been sent to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital for a postmortem.
"We will also speak to workers of the hypermarket where the body was initially disposed of," he said.
SAC Jalaluddin urged anyone with information to contact the nearest police station or the police hotline at 07-221 2999.
  
Last week, while chatting with a colleague over the shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah and the sorry state of the police force, she happened to mention that her cousin's friend was a policeman and involved in drug abuse. Hmm...perhaps, just another 'off-the-record' case! ;)



Chilli peppers to kill pain - bbc online

Posted: 04 May 2010 09:00 AM PDT

'Hot' substance in chilli peppers key to killing pain

Capsaicin causes the burning sensation in chilli peppers
Studying chilli peppers is helping scientists create a new type of painkiller which could stop pain at its source.A team at the University of Texas says a substance similar to capsaicin, which makes chilli peppers hot, is found in the human body at sites of pain.
And


PAS denies paying RM4 mil to Kickdefella

Posted: 04 May 2010 08:24 AM PDT

UPDATED 7.40PM PAS sec-gen Mustafa Ali said there is no record of RM4 million ever being paid to blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz to tarnish the image of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali has denied claims that the party had paid a blogger millions of ringgit

NONEHe told a press conference at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today that he had
checked with PAS Kelantan and there was no record of RM4 million being used to pay Syed Azidi (Syed Abdul Aziz) and said PAS hoped that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would perform a thorough probe into the matter. 



NOTICE

Posted: 04 May 2010 07:27 AM PDT

With effect tomorrow May 5, 2010, I will be out of Kuala Lumpur, and will only return home on Sunday, May 9,2010. Since I am likely to have a tight visit schedule, it is most unlikely that I will not be able to post any article during the period. I will certainly be back on the air with an article upon my return, and it is only then that my readers will know where I was during the 5 days break.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION


Stephen Tong's Evangelistic Rally In Sibu (唐崇栄萬人佈道會) - Part 17

Posted: 04 May 2010 06:34 AM PDT

Pray with all urgency for Sibu churches of all denominations that in the weekly prayer sessions they offer prayers for the evangelistic rally. The power of prayer is far beyond our imagination. We are incapable, but God is all-powerful! In Him we trust, then all things are possible.

The above picture shows Stephen Tong Gospel Rally of Singapore 2008. The theme was "Who Is Jesus?".


Kanaung Mintha, great grandfather of June Rose and Burma’s ‘Meiji’ from Wikipedia

Posted: 04 May 2010 06:31 AM PDT

Kanaung Mintha, great grandfather of June Rose and Burma's 'Meiji' from Wikipedia

Kanaung Mintha ( 31 January 1820 – 2 August 1866) was a son of King Tharrawaddy and younger brother of King Mindon of Burma. Towards the end of the Second Anglo-Burmese War, they overthrew their half brother Pagan (1848-1853) which put Mindon on the throne. Kanaung became the Heir Apparent on July 11 1853. Kanaung tried to modernize the country by sending scholars to Western countries and building an arms industry. His efforts were cut short by his assassination in 1866 by two of his nephews, who wanted to be king.

Moderniser

King Mindon was dedicated to religion but Kanaung was skillful in administration.

  1. He tried to rebuild the Burmese Army with modern weapons by sending men to study in Western countries and established an arms industry.
  2. He was the fiery "War Prince" and the peoples' idol, expected to succeed King Mindon. He was considered a visionary who attempted to modernise the country.
  3. One story relates to his efforts in testing depth charges in order to repulse British troops sailing up the Irrawaddy being thwarted in the end by the head of the Buddhist Sangha who protested against their deadly effect on the fish!

Another story tells of his visits to the factories on cold early winter mornings wrapped in a blanket. He was also known for his waywardness in a famous love song, written by his wife Princess Hlaing Hteik-hkaung Tin, called Seinchu Kya-nyaung bawlè.

Assassination

In an unsuccessful palace coup on 2 August 1866 by the princes Myingun and Myinkhondaing (sons of King Mindon), Kanaung was killed and the king himself had a very narrow escape. He was buried in the grounds of the Sandamuni paya built in his memory at the foot of Mandalay Hill by Mindon. In 1878, King Mindon died and his son Prince Thibaw became king. Thibaw was defeated by the British in the Third Anglo-Burmese War in November 1885 and sent to exile in India. Many, to this day, believe that Burmese history would have been very different if Kanaung were to survive and succeed to the Burmese throne. The loss of this prince has been mourned by the Burmese nearly as much as that of Aung San a century later. And as with Aung San the British were believed to be behind the assassination plot by many Burmese.

Epilogue

June Rose Bellamy, aka Yadana Nat-Me (Precious Angel), a great granddaughter of Ka Naung, daughter of Princess Hteiktin Ma Lat and Herbert Bellamy, an Australian orchid collector long settled in Burma, became the fourth wife of General Ne Win later divorcing him.

Please read her blog_ Studio June Bellamy Cooking School

Pic Nyi Lynn Seck

Pic NYI LYNN SECK

Pic NYI LYNN SECK

The Associazione Culturale Arte e Gastronomia Orientale Studio June Bellamy is situated in the artisan quarter of San Frediano, in Florence, Italy. Since its foundation, it has been home to food, history and traditions of both the Oriental and Italian culinary arts.

When Studio June Bellamy was first created in Florence, in 1983 it was done to provide a home to the art of International Cooking;  its purpose was to provide a space where lovers of Oriental food and culture could meet and also attend cooking classes. Since that day, the  history of spices, recipes for steamed buns and coconut rice appear alongside the history and uses of Italian cheeses, olive oil and pasta in the reference files of the Studio.
Learning and teaching are but two sides of the same coin, both giving pleasure, a sense of discovery and satisfaction. June has  in fact, spent these many years discovering and collecting on that long trail of  the evolution of these rich and fascinating traditions of both worlds.
At her Studio in the heart of Florence, courses or single lessons are built around individual or group requirements, and are held in both Italian and English.
Today Via Camaldoli has become the seat of the new Cultural Association which not only holds cooking classes, but is also an attractive and characteristic place for lectures, meetings and private gatherings.

Welcome to Suvannabhumi,
the Golden Land

A place dedicated to multicultural encounters which aim towards a better understanding of the cultural and culinary traditions and customs of the many peoples of the world

"May your merits be large, your life long and your

Studio June Bellamy

Associazione Culturale Arte e Gastronomia
Via di Camaldoli 12 r
50124 Firenze
tel/fax 055.224130
e-mail: info@studiojunebellamy.it



Malays are racist - the rest are Not...

Posted: 04 May 2010 06:20 AM PDT


From: reborner

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is wondering why a Malay is swiftly
condemned as a racist while the rest are spared when they champion the
interests of their own race.

The former Selangor menteri besar also questioned MCA and Gerakan's
decision to pin the blame on Malay pressure group Perkasa for the loss
of Chinese support in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

He pointed out that just like the Chinese education movement Dong Jia
Zhong, Perkasa does not have any links with Barisan Nasional or Umno.

"Does this mean that Malay voters would not support a BN candidate
from MCA because of MCA and Gerakan's ties with this organisation
(Dong Jia Zhong)?" he asked.

According to him, MCA and Gerakan should have explained to the Chinese
voters in Hulu Selangor that Perkasa is a non-governmental
organisation which is not affliated to BN.

"Do MCA and Gerakan want to be parties that would balance the need of
the Chinese community with that of the other races by going to the
ground and providing rational explanations.

"Or are they only interested in gaining the support of the Chinese
community by being a champion of that race's interests just like DAP?"
he added in a blog posting.

The Umno leader also failed to understand why his attack on DAP had
led senior leaders in MCA and Gerakan to brand him a racist.

Khir was also perplexed as to how his statement - that the lack of
Chinese support for BN is a sign for the prime minister to review
certain policies - could be construed as racism.

The Sungai Buaya Umno division head had urged Prime Minister Najib Tun
Razak to re-look the '1Malaysia' concept and the New Economic Model.

"BN must find ways to pull in the votes. If existing polices are not
supported, then they must be reviewed. Is this being racist?" he
asked.

Chinese youths easily 'incited' by DAP

In an obvious referrence to Perkasa boss Ibrahim Ali, the former MB
said he had never asked for the Chinese voters to be punished.

"Nobody can be angry at them for not supporting BN. That is their
right," he added.

Following the April 25 by-election, Ibrahim urged the government to
withhold its election promises for the Chinese community, since an
overwhelming majority voted for the opposition.

Khir explained that he had merely stated his view that the Chinese
support for PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahum was an attempt to strengthen
the Chinese-dominated DAP in Selangor.

"If MCA and Gerakan have a different viewpoint, they should disclose
it. What is odd is that my attack on DAP saw MCA and Gerakan (leaders)
getting riled up," he said.

Khir said it is MCA and Gerakan's task to explain the BN concept of
power sharing among the various races to the younger generation of
Chinese.

"But is this being done today?" he asked. "How many Chinese youths
actually understand and appreciate this concept?

"I find that most of them are seperated from the historical roots with
regard to the formation of this country and are now easily 'incited'
by DAP," he added.

Khir's comments come on the heels of Najib's advise to Umno leaders to
play a more significant role in roping in the non-Malay votes,
especially Chinese support.

Confirming this with a news portal today, Khir, who attended the Umno
retreat over the weekend, said the prime minister does not want BN
leaders to confine themselves along racial lines.

The prime minister, said Khir, even suggested that Umno leaders attend
Chinese functions instead of leaving the task to their Chinese
counterparts in BN.


Defamation from Wikipedia

Posted: 04 May 2010 05:53 AM PDT

Defamation from Wikipedia

Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. It is usually, but not always, a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

In common law jurisdictions, slander refers to a malicious, false and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts, which arises where one person reveals information that is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person. "Unlike [with] libel, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy."

False light laws are "intended primarily to protect the plaintiff's mental or emotional well-being." If a publication of information is false, then a tort of defamation might have occurred. If that communication is not technically false but is still misleading, then a tort of false light might have occurred.

In most civil law jurisdictions, defamation is dealt with as a crime rather than a tort.

A person who destroys another's reputation may be referred to as a famacide, defamer, or slanderer. The Latin phrase famosus libellus means a libelous writing.

History

In the later Roman jurisprudence, from which many of modern laws descend, verbal defamations are dealt within the edict under two heads. The first comprehended defamatory and injurious statements made in a public manner (convicium adversus bonos mores). The Praetorian Edict, codified cica 130 A.D., declared that an action could be brought up for shouting at someone contrary to good morals: "qui, advesus bonos mores convicium cui fecisse cuiusve opera factum esse dicitur, quo adversus bonos mores convicium Weret, in eum iudicium dabo." (Digest 47. 10. 15. 2.) In this case the essence of the offense lay in the unwarrantable public proclamation. According to Ulpian, not all shouting was actionable. Drawing on the argument of Labeo, he asserted that the offense consisted in shouting contrary to the morals of the city ("adversus bonos mores huius civitatis") something apt to bring in disrepute or contempt ("quae… ad infamiam vel invidiam alicuius spectaret") the person exposed thereto (Digest 47. 10. 15. 3-6.). Any act apt to bring another person into disrepute gave rise to an actio injurarum. (Digest 47. 10. 15. 25.) In such a case the truth of the statements was no justification for the public and insulting manner in which they had been made. But even in public matters, the accused had the opportunity to justify his actions by openly stating what he considered necessary for public safety to be denounced by the libel, and proving his assertions to be true. (Book 9, Title 36.) The second head included defamatory statements made in private, and in this case the offense lay in the content of the imputation, not in the manner of its publication. The truth was therefore a sufficient defense, for no man had a right to demand legal protection for a false reputation. In the first Satire of their second book, Horace alludes to this provision in a dialogue with the lawyer Trebatius, by punning on mala carmina at lines 82-84:

si mala condiderit in quem quis carmina jus est
judiciumque. esto, siquis mala; sed bona siquis
judice condiderit laudatus Caesare?

Horace's pun turns on the two possible meanings of mala, "evil and unlawful," or "of poor quality".

Roman law aimed at giving sufficient scope for the discussion of a man's character, while it protected him from needless insult and pain. The remedy for verbal defamation was long confined to a civil action for a monetary penalty, which was estimated according to the significance of the case, and which, although vindictive in its character, doubtless included practically the element of compensation. But a new remedy was introduced with the extension of the criminal law, under which many kinds of defamation were punished with great severity. At the same time increased importance attached to the publication of defamatory books and writings, the libri or libelli famosi, from which we derive our modern use of the word libel; and under the later emperors the latter term came to be specially applied to anonymous accusations or pasquils, the dissemination of which was regarded as particularly dangerous, and visited with very severe punishment, whether the matter contained in them were true or false.

Types of torts

Slander and libel

The common law origins of defamation lie in the torts of slander (harmful statement in a transitory form, especially speech) and libel[5][6] (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast), each of which gives a common law right of action.

"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication.[7] The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander. If it is published in more durable form, for example in written words, film, compact disc (CD), DVD, blogging and the like, then it is considered libel." The debate whether Internet blogs or Bulletin Boards are publishers is a key subject being addressed, whereas an Internet based community is more akin to conversations in a bar or pub, with content being written as an ongoing dialogue that is generally not edited or regulated such as in the publishing industry.[8]

Criminal defamation

Many nations have criminal penalties for defamation in some situations, and different conditions for determining whether an offense has occurred. ARTICLE 19, a free expression advocacy group, has published global maps[9] charting the existence of criminal defamation law across the globe, as well as showing countries that have special protections for political leaders or functionaries of the state.[10]

The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) has also published a detailed database on criminal and civil defamation provisions in 55 countries, including all European countries, all member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the United States and Canada.[11]

Defenses

Even if a statement is derogatory, there are circumstances in which such statements are permissible in law.

Truth

In many legal systems, adverse public statements about legal citizens presented as fact must be proven false to be defamatory or slanderous/libel. Proving adverse, public character statements to be true is often the best defense against a prosecution for libel and/or defamation. Statements of opinion that cannot be proven true or false will likely need to apply some other kind of defense. The use of the defense of justification has dangers, however; if the defendant libels the plaintiff and then runs the defense of truth and fails, he may be said to have aggravated the harm.

Another important aspect of defamation is the difference between fact and opinion. Statements made as "facts" are frequently actionable defamation. Statements of opinion or pure opinion are not actionable. To win damages in a libel case, the plaintiff must first show that the statements were "statements of fact or mixed statements of opinion and fact" and second that these statements were false. Conversely, a typical defense to defamation is that the statements are opinion. One of the major tests to distinguish whether a statement is fact or opinion is whether the statement can be proved true or false in a court of law. If the statement can be proved true or false, then, on that basis, the case will be heard by a jury to determine whether it is true or false. If the statement cannot be proved true or false, the court may dismiss the libel case without it ever going to a jury to find facts in the case.

Under English common law, proving the truth of the allegation was originally a valid defence only in civil libel cases. Criminal libel was construed as an offence against the public at large based on the tendency of the libel to provoke breach of peace, rather than being a crime based upon the actual defamation per se; its truth or falsity was therefore considered irrelevant. Section VI of the Libel Act 1843 allowed the proven truth of the allegation to be used as a valid defence in criminal libel cases, but only if the defendant also demonstrated that publication was for the "Public Benefit".[12]

In some systems, however, notably the Philippines, truth alone is not a defense.[13] Some U.S. statutes preserve historical common law exceptions to the defense of truth to libel actions. These exceptions were for statements "tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead" or "expose the natural defects of one who is alive".[14]

It is also necessary in these cases to show that there is a well-founded public interest in the specific information being widely known, and this may be the case even for public figures. Public interest is generally not "what the public is interested in", but rather "what is in the interest of the public".[15] [16]

Noonan v. Staples is sometimes cited as precedent that truth is not a always a defense to libel, but the case is actually not valid precedent on that issue because for some reason Staples didn't argue First Amendment protection for its statements. (see footnote at bottom of page 15 of the courts decision) The courts often don't decide cases on issues not argued by the parties, and thus the court assumed for the sake of that particular case that the Massachusetts law was constitutional under the First Amendment.

See also: Substantial truth

Privilege and malice

Privilege provides a complete bar and answer to a defamation suit, though conditions may have to be met before this protection is granted.

There are two types of privilege in the common law tradition:

  • "Absolute privilege" has the effect that a statement cannot be sued on as defamatory, even if it were made maliciously; a typical example is evidence given in court (although this may give rise to different claims, such as an action for malicious prosecution or perjury) or statements made in a session of the legislature (known as 'Parliamentary privilege' in Commonwealth countries).
  • "Qualified privilege" may be available to the journalist as a defense in circumstances where it is considered important that the facts be known in the public interest; an example would be public meetings, local government documents, and information relating to public bodies such as the police and fire departments. Qualified privilege has the same effect as absolute privilege, but does not protect statements that can be proven to have been made with malicious intent.

Other defenses

Defences to claims of defamation include:

  • Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true are generally treated the same as true statements; however, the court may inquire into the reasonableness of the belief. The degree of care expected will vary with the nature of the defendant: an ordinary person might safely rely on a single newspaper report, while the newspaper would be expected to carefully check multiple sources. However in UK election law, a true statement made during an election campaign by someone who didn't know it was true is still actionable.[citation needed]
  • Opinion is a defense recognized in nearly every jurisdiction. If the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable. However, some jurisdictions decline to recognize any legal distinction between fact and opinion. The United States Supreme Court, in particular, has ruled that the First Amendment does not require recognition of an opinion privilege.[17]
  • Fair comment on a matter of public interest, arguments made with an honest belief in their soundness on a matter of public interest (such as regarding official acts) are defendable against a defamation claim, even if such arguments are logically unsound; if a reasonable person could honestly entertain such an opinion, the statement is protected.
  • Consent is an uncommon defense and makes the claim that the claimant consented to the dissemination of the statement.
  • Innocent dissemination is a defense available when a defendant had no actual knowledge of the defamatory statement or no reason to believe the statement was defamatory. The defense can be defeated if the lack of knowledge was due to negligence. Thus, a delivery service cannot be held liable for delivering a sealed defamatory letter.
  • Claimant is incapable of further defamation–e.g., the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof", since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person had such a bad reputation before the libel, that no further damage could possibly have been caused by the making of the statement.
  • No Third-party communication: If an employer were to bring an employee into a sound-proof, isolated room, and accuse him of embezzling company money, the employee would have no defamation recourse, since no one other than the would-be plaintiff and would-be defendant heard the false statement.
  • No actual injury: If there is third-party communication, but the third-party hearing the defamatory statement does not believe the statement, or does not care, then there is no injury, and therefore, no recourse.

In addition to the above, the defendant may claim that the allegedly defamatory statement is not actually capable of being defamatory—an insulting statement that does not actually harm someone's reputation is prima facie not libelous. Also, the public figure doctrine, also called the absence of malice rule, may be used as a defense.

Public figure doctrine (absence of malice)

Special rules apply in the case of statements made in the press concerning public figures, which can be used as a defense. A series of court rulings led by New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) established that for a public official (or other legitimate public figure) to win a libel case, the statement must have been published knowing it to be false or with reckless disregard to its truth, (also known as actual malice).[18]

Under United States law, libel generally requires five key elements. The plaintiff must prove that the information was published, the plaintiff was directly or indirectly identified, the remarks were defamatory towards the plaintiff's reputation, the published information is false, and that the defendant is at fault.

The Associated Press estimates that 95% of libel cases involving news stories do not arise from high-profile news stories, but "run of the mill" local stories like news coverage of local criminal investigations or trials, or business profiles.[citation needed] Media liability insurance is available to newspapers to cover potential damage awards from libel lawsuits.

Defamation and freedom of speech

Defamation laws may come into tension with freedom of speech, leading to censorship or chilling effects where publishers fear lawsuits. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights permits restrictions on freedom of speech when necessary to protect the reputation or rights of others.[19]

Jurisdictions resolve this tension in different ways, in particular in determining where the burden of proof lies when unfounded allegations are made. The power of the internet to disseminate comment, which may include malicious comment, has brought a new focus to the issue.[20]

There is a broader consensus against laws that criminalize defamation. Human rights organizations, and other organizations such as the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, have campaigned against strict defamation laws that criminalize defamation.[21][22] The European Court of Human Rights has placed restrictions on criminal libel laws because of the freedom of expression provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. One notable case was Lingens v. Austria (1986).

Defamation laws by jurisdiction

Internationally

Article 17 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Singapore

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have argued that "the misuse of defamation suits by ruling People's Action Party (PAP) leaders has contributed to a climate of self-censorship in Singapore and restricted the right of those Singaporeans with dissenting opinions to participate freely and fully in public life".[27]

Owners of cybercafes may be held liable for libelous statements posted or possibly viewed in their establishments.[28]

In 2001, DBS Bank was fined S$2 million (approx. 1 million euros or 1 million US$ at the time) for accidentally publishing a mildly libelous statement during the heated discussion of a takeover bid for Overseas Union Bank. The mistake was corrected very quickly, and there was no intent to do harm. In fact, it was reported that no harm seems to have been done. Nevertheless, the offended parties were awarded SG$1 million each. Apparently confirming the stringency of Singapore's defamation law, Business Times declined to report on the matter because one of the libeled parties objected.[29]

On September 24, 2008, the High Court of Singapore, in a summary judgment by Justice Woo Bih Li, ruled that Hugo Restall, as editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review defamed Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by publishing an interview containing critical (and, in the court's opinion, defamatory) remarks by opposition leader Chee Soon Juan.

Related torts

Some jurisdictions have a separate tort or delict of "verbal injury", "intentional infliction of emotional distress", "outrageousness", or "convicium", involving the making of a statement, even if truthful, intended to harm the claimant out of malice; some have a separate tort or delict of "invasion of privacy" in which the making of a true statement may give rise to liability: but neither of these comes under the general heading of "defamation". Some jurisdictions also have the tort of "false light", in which a statement may be technically true, but so misleading as to be defamatory. There is also, in almost all jurisdictions, a tort or delict of "misrepresentation", involving the making of a statement that is untrue even though not defamatory. Thus a surveyor who states a house is free from risk of flooding has not defamed anyone, but may still be liable to someone who purchases the house relying on this statement. Other increasingly common claims similar to defamation in U.S. law are claims that a famous trademark has been diluted through tarnishment, see generally trademark dilution, "intentional interference with contract", and "negligent misrepresentation".

Criminal laws prohibiting protests at funerals, sedition, false statements in connection with elections, and the use of profanity in public, are also often used in contexts similar to criminal libel actions.

The boundaries of a court's power to hold individuals in "contempt of court" for what amounts to alleged defamatory statements about judges or the court process by attorneys or other people involved in court cases is also not well established in many common law countries.



Menyanggah Kenyataan Ketua Polis Negara

Posted: 04 May 2010 05:54 AM PDT

Jangan pertikai tugas polis: Musa

SERDANG: Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, mengingatkan orang ramai termasuk pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) agar tidak mempertikaikan tugas polis berikutan insiden seorang remaja Aminulrasyid Amzah yang mati akibat terkena tembakan polis pada Isnin lalu.

Beliau berkata, polis mempunyai tugas dan tanggungjawab bagi menjaga keamanan dan keselamatan negara dalam membanteras jenayah.

"Apa yang mereka (NGO) nak cakap itu hak mereka dan tunggu sehingga siasatan kita selesai. Saya mahu menjalankan siasatan secara adil untuk mencari keadilan," katanya.

Musa berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas melawat anggota trafik Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Subang Jaya, Sarjan Roslan Bachik, 49, di Hospital Serdang yang patah kaki kanan akibat dirempuh penunggang motosikal yang cuba melarikan diri dalam sekatan jalan raya petang kemarin.

Beliau berkata, kes yang membabitkan anggota polis sehingga mengalami kecederaan atau kematian dalam menjalankan tugas tidak mendapat perhatian daripada NGO atau masyarakat.

"Sebagai contoh kes yang melibatkan seorang anggota trafik kita kelmarin sehingga patah kaki kanan, ini disebabkan oleh anak orang yang 'baik-baiklah' sehingga jadi macam ni," katanya.

Katanya, walaupun polis berjaya melaksanakan tugas dengan baik namun ia tidak pernah dipuji dan dihargai masyarakat.

"Jangan perlekehkan tugas polis kerana kita mempunyai tanggungjawab dalam menjaga keselamatan negara.

"NGO yang campur tangan dalam tugas polis tidak prihatin dengan tugas kita melainkan pihak kerajaan yang mengambil berat terhadap anggota polis yang cedera atau maut dalam menjalankan tugas," katanya.

Musa berkata, kertas siasatan berhubung kes Aminulrasyid, 15, akan diserahkan semula kepada pihak Peguam Negara dalam masa terdekat selepas siasatan kes tersebut lengkap.

Jumaat lalu, pihak Peguam Negara menyerahkan semula kertas siasatan itu dan mengarahkan polis melakukan siasatan lebih lanjut.

Semalam tiga saksi utama, Azamuddin Omar, 15, rakan kepada Allahyarham Aminulrasyid serta kakak dan abang iparnya iaitu Tuty Shaninza Anom Amzah, 36, dan Muzafar Mahali, 36, dipanggil semula untuk memberi keterangan bagi melengkapkan kertas siasatan.

Dalam kejadian 2 pagi itu, Aminulrasyid mati terkena tembakan yang dilepaskan polis yang mengejar kereta yang dipandu remaja itu sepanjang enam kilometer pada kadar kelajuan tinggi sebelum terbabas di Seksyen 11, Shah Alam, Selangor.

Rakan remaja itu sempat melarikan diri. - Bernama

Ulasan GB

Itu kenyataan dari seorang bergelar Ketua Polis Negara!

Menunjukkan kepada kita KPN tersebut bertugas bukan demi untuk negara, tetapi untuk dipuji dan puja... selain mengumpulkan pangkat, harta dan nama!

Musa Hassan, dengar sini.

Tiap-tiap orang memilih bidang pekerjaan masing-masing dan setiap orang ada peranan dan sumbangannya kepada negara.

Anda memilih untuk bertugas sebagai anggota polis sepastinya anda mengetahui tentang risiko yang perlu ditanggung.

Anda buta? Selain polis ramai lagi yang bekerja demi untuk negara tetapi tidak merungut jika tidak mendapat pujian kerana itu adalah KEWAJIPAN yang perlu dilaksanakan. Apatah lagi sebagai penjawat awam, anda telah dibayar GAJI untuk perkhidmatan anda, malah polis dimanjakan dengan sedikit kelebihan apabila tatkala anda semua menikmati kenaikan gaji, penjawat awam lain terlopong dan ternganga luas mulutnya! Anda tahu itu?

PM mengumumkan kenaikan gaji untuk polis. Bukankah itu satu penghargaan? Dan PM menaikkan gaji bukan dari duit poketnya atau duit adiknya yang menjadi saudagar bank, tetapi dari duit cukai yang dibayar oleh rakyat.


Saya katakan lebih ramai di sana yang bukan anggota polis tetapi bekerja demi untuk kesejahteraan rakyat dan negara tanpa memperdulikan pujian dan pujaan sekalipun ada diantara mereka menyabung nyawa. Itu anggota tentera, pengawal keselamatan, wartawan, guru, kerani, posmen, malah nelayan di lautan, peladang dan petani di bendang, pemanjat tiang eletrik dan telefon, buruh kasar binaan malah setiap wargangara yang bekerja, ada risiko yang mereka tanggung dan kesemua mereka telah, sedang dan terus memberikan sumbangan terhadap negara.

Malah jangan terperanjat jika saya menyatakan para blogger juga ada peranan dan sumbangannya untuk kemajuan dan pembangunan negara. Jadi, apa besarnya kamu polis-polis sampai kamu tak boleh ditegur dan tak boleh disentuh lansung oleh rakyat dan NGO?

Justeru itu, kamu jangan pertikaikan hak orang lain untuk mengkritik kredibiliti polis yang jatuh merudum sejak kamu menjadi ketuanya. Kalau tak mahu dikritik dan ditegur, letak jawatan semua, jangan ambil gaji dari duit rakyat, ramai yang sedang menganggur sedang mencari pekerjaan yang boleh mengisi kekosongan yang bakal ditinggalkan oleh kamu-kamu semua.

Mengambil kata-kata Ahmad Nisfu: kecik-kecik tak nak mampos, dah besar menyusahkan orang.



Gossip from Wikipedia

Posted: 04 May 2010 05:39 AM PDT

Gossip from Wikipedia

Gossip is idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. It forms one of the oldest and most common means of sharing (unproven) facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and other variations into the information transmitted. The term also carries implications that the news so transmitted (usually) has a personal or trivial nature, as opposed to normal conversation.

In the last decade, gossip has been researched in terms of its evolutionary psychology origins.[1] This has found gossip is an important means by which people can monitor cooperative reputations and so maintain widespread indirect reciprocity.[2] Indirect reciprocity is defined here as "I help you and somebody else helps me". Gossip has also been identified by Robin Dunbar an evolutionary biologist as aiding social bonding in large groups.[3]

The term is sometimes used to specifically refer to the spreading of dirt and misinformation, as (for example) through excited discussion of scandals. Some newspapers carry "gossip columns" which detail the social and personal lives of celebrities or of élite members of certain communities.

Etymology

The word is from Old English godsibb, from god and sibb, the term for godparents, i.e. a child's godfather or godmother. In the 16th century, the word assumed the meaning of a person, mostly a woman, one who delights in idle talk, a newsmonger, a tattler.[4] In the early 19th century, the term was extended from the talker to the conversation of such persons. The verb to gossip, meaning "to be a gossip", first appears in Shakespeare.

Functions of gossip

This Soviet war poster conveys the message: "Don't chatter! Gossiping borders on treason" (1941).

Gossip can serve to:[1]

  • normalise and reinforce moral boundaries in a speech-community
  • foster and build a sense of community with shared interests and information
  • build structures of social accountability
  • further mutual social grooming (like many other uses of language, only more so)
  • provide a mating tool that allows (for example) women to mutually identify socially desirable men and compare notes on which men are better than others.
  • be used as a form of passive aggression, as a tool to isolate and harm others
  • provide a peer-to-peer mechanism for disseminating information in organizations

Workplace gossip

Mary Gormandy White, a human resource expert, identifies workplace gossip by factors or "signs":

  • Animated people become silent ("Conversations stop when you enter the room")
  • People begin staring at someone
  • Workers indulge in inappropriate topics of conversation.[5] She suggests "five tips … [to] handle the situation with aplomb:
  1. Rise above the gossip
  2. Understand what causes or fuels the gossip
  3. Do not participate in workplace gossip
  4. Allow for the gossip to go away on its own
  5. If it persists, "gather facts and seek help."[5]

Peter Vajda identifies gossip as a form of workplace violence, noting that it is "essentially a form of attack." Gossip is thought by many to "empower one person while disempowering another" (Hafen). Accordingly, many companies have formal policies in their employee handbooks against gossip.[6] Sometimes there is room for disagreement on exactly what constitutes unacceptable gossip, since workplace gossip may take the form of offhand remarks about someone's tendencies such as "He always takes a long lunch," or "Don't worry, that's just how she is."[7] TLK Healthcare cites as examples of gossip, "tattletailing to the boss without intention of furthering a solution or speaking to co-workers about something someone else has done to upset us." Corporate email can be a particularly dangerous method of gossip delivery, as the medium is semi-permanent and messages are easily forwarded to unintended recipients; accordingly, a Mass High Tech article advised employers to instruct employees against using company email networks for gossip.[8] Low self-esteem and a desire to "fit in" are frequently cited as motivations for workplace gossip. There are five essential functions that gossip has in the workplace.

  • Helps individuals learn social information about other individuals in the organization (often without even having to meet the other individual)
  • Builds social networks of individuals by bonding co-workers together and affiliating people with each other.
  • Breaks existing bonds by ostracizing individuals within an organization.
  • Enhances one's social status/power/prestige within the organization.
  • Inform individuals as to what is considered socially acceptable behavior within the organization (DiFonzo & Bordia).

According to Kurkland and Pelled, workplace gossip can be very serious depending upon the amount of power that the gossiper has over the recipient, which will in turn affect how the gossip is interpreted. There are four types of power that are influenced by gossip:

  • Coercive: when a gossiper tells negative information about a person, their recipient might believe that the gossiper will also spread negative information about them. This causes the gossipers coercive power to increase.
  • Reward: when a gossiper tells positive information about a person, their recipient might believe that the gossiper will also spread positive information about them. This causes the gossipers reward power to increase.
  • Expert: when a gossiper seems to have very detailed knowledge of either the organization's values or about others in the work environment, their expert power becomes enhanced.
  • Referent: this power can either be reduced OR enhanced to a point. When people view gossiping as a petty activity done to waste time, a gossipers referent power can decrease along with their reputation. When a recipient is thought of as being invited into a social circle by being a recipient, the gossipers referent power can increase, but only to a high point where then the reciepient begins to resent the gossiper (Kurland & Pelled).

Some negative consequences of workplace gossip may include:[9]

  • Lost productivity and wasted time,
  • Erosion of trust and morale,
  • Increased anxiety among employees as rumors circulate without any clear information as to what is fact and what isn't,
  • Growing divisiveness among employees as people "take sides,"
  • Hurt feelings and reputations,
  • Jeopardized chances for the gossipers' advancement as they are perceived as unprofessional, and
  • Attrition as good employees leave the company due to the unhealthy work atmosphere.

Turner and Weed theorize that among the three main types of responders to workplace conflict are attackers who cannot keep their feelings to themselves and express their feelings by attacking whatever they can. Attackers are further divided into up-front attackers and behind-the-back attackers. Turner and Weed note that the latter "are difficult to handle because the target person is not sure of the source of any criticism, nor even always sure that there is criticism."[10]

It is possible however, that there may be illegal, unethical, or disobedient behavior happening at the workplace and this may be a case where reporting the behavior may be viewed as gossip. It is then left up to the authority in charge to fully investigate the matter and not simply look past the report and assume it to be workplace gossip. All illegal, unethical, or disobedient behavior that is reported to the appropriate personal should be taken seriously until otherwise proven innocent.

Informal networks through which communication occurs in an organization are sometimes called the grapevine. In a study done by Harcourt, Richerson, and Wattier, it was found that middle managers in several different organizations believed that gathering information from the grapevine was a much better way of learning information than through formal communication with their subordinates (Harcourt, Richerson & Wattier).

Various views on gossip

Some see gossip as trivial, hurtful and socially and/or intellectually unproductive.

Some people view gossip as a lighthearted way of spreading information.

A feminist definition of gossip presents it as "a way of talking between women, intimate in style, personal and domestic in scope and setting, a female cultural event which springs from and perpetuates the restrictions of the female role, but also gives the comfort of validation." (Jones, 1990:243)

In early modern England

In Early Modern England the word "gossip" referred to companions in childbirth, not limited to the midwife. It also became a term for women-friends generally, with no necessary derogatory connotations. (OED n. definition 2. a. "A familiar acquaintance, friend, chum", supported by references from 1361 to 1873). It commonly referred to an informal local sorority or social group, who could enforce socially-acceptable behaviour through private censure or through public rituals, such as "rough music" , the cucking stool and the skimmington ride.

In Thomas Harman's Caveat for Common Cursitors 1566 a 'walking mort' relates how she was forced to agree to meet a man in his barn, but informed his wife. The wife arrived with her "five furious, sturdy, muffled gossips" who catch the errant husband with "his hosen about his legs" and give him a sound beating. The story clearly functions as a morality tale in which the gossips uphold the social order.[11]

Gossip in Judaism

Judaism considers gossip spoken without a constructive purpose (known in Hebrew as lashon hara) as a sin. Speaking negatively about people, even if retelling true facts, counts as sinful, as it demeans the dignity of man — both the speaker and the subject of the gossip.

According to Proverbs 18:8: "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels: they go down to a man's innermost parts."

Gossip in Islam

Islam considers backbiting the equivalent of eating the flesh of one's dead brother. According to Muslims, backbiting harms its victims without offering them any chance of defence, just as dead people cannot defend against their flesh being eaten. Muslims are expected to treat each other like brothers, deriving from Islam's concept of brotherhood amongst its believers and non believers.

Gossip in Christianity

The Epistle to the Romans associates gossips ("backbiters") with a list of sins including sexual immorality and with murder:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:28-32)

Jesus also taught, in Matthew 18, that conflict resolution among church members ought to begin with the aggrieved party attempting to resolve their dispute with the offending party alone. Only if this did not work would the process escalate to the next step, in which another church member would become involved. After that if the person at fault still would not "hear", the matter was to be fully investigated by the church elders. At no time did Jesus authorize exposing faults to anyone else. This process is meant to encourage Christians to get along, overlook offenses and if possible, work things out directly between the two parties involved. Since "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), Christians are called to loving forgiveness and the spread of positive information rather than evil gossip that destroys relationships.

Backbiting from Wikipedia

Backbiting or tale-bearing is to slander someone in their absence — to bite them behind their back. Originally, backbiting referred to an unsporting attack from the rear in the blood sport of bearbaiting.[1]

In Baha'i, Christian and Islamic doctrine, backbiting is considered a sin. The Baha'i leaders condemned it as the worst of sins as it destroyed the 'life of the soul' and provoked divine wrath.[2] Thomas Acquinas classified it as a venial sin, being commonly found in all mankind, but considered it to be the gravest sin that one could commit against one's neighbour.[3] Islam considers it to be a major sin and the Qur'an compares it to the abhorrent act of eating the flesh of one's dead brother.[4]

Causes

Backbiting may occur as a form of release after a confrontation. By insulting the opposing person, the backbiter diminishes them and, by doing so, restores their own self-esteem. A bond may also be established with the confidante if they are receptive to the hostile comment. Such gossip is common in human society as people seek to divert blame and establish their place in the dominance hierarchy.[5] But the backbiting may be perceived as a form of delinquent behaviour due to an inferiority complex.[6]

Notable examples

Gordon Brown notoriously accused Gillian Duffy of being a "sort of bigoted woman" after conversing with her pleasantly during his 2010 election campaign. This remark was made to his staff as he was driving away but was picked up by a live microphone. This incident caused him great embarrassment and he returned to apologise, declaring that he was a "penitent sinner".

Lashon hara from Wikipedia

Lashon hara (or Loshon hora) (Hebrew לשון הרע; "evil language/tongue") is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising. By contrast, Motzi Shem Ra ("spreading a bad name") consists of untrue remarks, and is akin to slander or defamation.

Speech is considered to be lashon hara if it says something negative about a person or party, is not previously known to the public, is not seriously intended to correct or improve a negative situation, and most importantly, is true. Statements that fit this description are considered to be lashon hara, regardless of the method of communication that is used, whether it is through face-to-face conversation, a written letter, telephone, or email.

According to the majority of Torah scholars, lashon hara is considered to be a most serious sin. Therefore, they[who?] proclaim, how much more serious is such a statement that is false?

Etymology

"Lashon" is translated as "language" or "tongue". The phrase is generally translated as "evil speech". It is true that the concept of lashon hara is regarding true and correct statements. Lies and false and exaggerated information fall into a worse category called Hotzaat Diba, or derogatory/slanderous or defamatory speech which is, in fact, worse than lashon hara in many ways.

Source

The main prohibition against lashon hara is derived from Leviticus 19:16: [1] "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD." The Talmud (tractate Erchin 15b) lists lashon hara as one of the causes of the Biblical malady of tzaraath. In Sotah 42a, the Talmud states that habitual speakers of lashon hara are not tolerated in God's presence. Similar strong denouncements can be found in various places in Jewish literature.[2]

In Numbers chapter 12, Miriam gossips, or commits lashon hara, with her brother Aaron. She questions why Moses is so much more qualified to lead the Jewish people than anyone else. G-d hears and strikes her down with tzara'as. Miriam must stay outside of the camp for a week due to the tzara'as. During this time, all of Israel waits for her.

The two major halakhic works on lashon hara are Chafetz Chayim and Shmirat HaLashon ("guarding [of] the tongue") both by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1873). Chafetz Chaim lists 31 speech-related mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. The English book Guard Your Tongue anthologizes the teachings of these two books and provides many examples of prohibited speech.

Exceptions

There are times when a person is obligated to speak out, even though the information is disparaging. Specifically, if a person's intent in sharing the negative information is for a to'elet, a positive, constructive, and beneficial purpose, the prohibition against lashon hara does not apply. Motzi shem ra, spouting lies and spreading disinformation, is always prohibited. And if the lashon hara serves as a warning against the possibility of future harm, such communication is not only permissible, but, under certain conditions, compulsory.



Blogger of The Week

Posted: 04 May 2010 05:35 AM PDT

Jom Saham




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Bible Verses about Backbiting

Posted: 04 May 2010 05:31 AM PDT

Bible Verses about Backbiting

Proverbs 25:23 ESV / 7 helpful votes

The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

 Leviticus 19:16 ESV / 7 helpful votes

You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

 2 Corinthians 12:20 ESV / 5 helpful votes

For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

 Proverbs 17:9 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

 Proverbs 16:28 ESV / 5 helpful votes

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

 Psalm 15:1-3 ESV / 5 helpful votes

A Psalm of David. O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

 James 3:8 ESV / 4 helpful votes

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

 James 3:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

 Proverbs 26:20 ESV / 4 helpful votes

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

 Proverbs 25:17 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

 1 Corinthians 10:15 ESV / 3 helpful votes

I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.

  Corinthians 2:15 ESV / 3 helpful votes

The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

 Romans 16:17-18 ESV / 3 helpful votes

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

 Romans 12:1-2 ESV / 3 helpful votes

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 Romans 1:30 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

 Romans 1:28 ESV / 3 helpful votes

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

 John 8:44 ESV / 3 helpful votes

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 Luke 12:57 ESV / 3 helpful votes

"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

 Ecclesiastes 5:2 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

 Proverbs 18:21 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

 Proverbs 18:8 ESV / 3 helpful votes

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.

 Proverbs 11:13 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

 Psalm 39:1 ESV / 3 helpful votes

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence."

 Revelation 21:8 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

 James 4:11-12 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

 James 3:2 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

 Hebrews 7:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes

He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

 Ephesians 5:15-18 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

 Matthew 12:37 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

 Matthew 7:15 ESV / 2 helpful votes

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

 Matthew 7:1-5 ESV / 2 helpful votes

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

 Matthew 7:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes

"Judge not, that you be not judged.

 Psalm 105:1-45 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, …

 Psalm 5:9 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

 Numbers 6:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes

He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.

 1 Peter 3:15 ESV / 1 helpful vote

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

 Romans 2:1-3 ESV / 1 helpful vote

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?



Islam on Backbiting, Bitching and Gossip

Posted: 04 May 2010 04:48 AM PDT

Islam on Backbiting, Bitching and Gossip

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (Quran 24:16)

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God (24: 15)

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53)

Prophet Muhammad  said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "God and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of God  said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim)

 = Peace and Blessings of God be upon him.

Prophet Muhammad  said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Bukhari and Muslim)

"I asked the Messenger of God : Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of God replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands." (Muslim)

"When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, 'Fear God as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.'" (At-Tirmidhee)

Among the destructive major sins are backbiting and slandering. These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they sow enmity, evils and discord among people and lead to destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household and between neighbors and relatives. They can decrease in good deeds and increase in evil ones and lead to dishonor and ignominy.

Backbiting and slandering are shame and disgrace. Their perpetrator is detested and he shall not have a noble death. Allah forbids these acts, as He says in the Qur'an:

"Backbiting and Gossiping are from the most vilest and despicable of things, yet the most widely spread amongst mankind, such that no one is free from it except for a few people."

Backbiting (gheebah) means mentioning something about a person (in his absence), that he hates (to have mentioned), whether it is about: His body, his religious characteristics, his worldly affairs, his self, his physical appearance, his character, his wealth, his child, his father, his wife, his manner of walking, his smile, it is the same whether you mention that about him with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with your eyes, hand or head.
As for the body, is when you make fun of how someone looks, or mentioning any bad quality in him, as saying: "he is blind", "he limps", "he is bleary-eyed", "he is bald", "he is short", "he is tall", "he is black", "he is yellow", "he's too thin", "he's too fat". As for his religious qualities, it is when you say: "he is a sinner", "he is a thief", "he is a betrayer", "he is an oppressor", "he doesn't pray", "he prays so fast", "he does not behave well towards his parents", "he does not pay the Zakat duly"." As for the worldly matters, then it is when you say: "he has poor manners", "he does not think that anyone has a right over him", "he talks too much" …etc

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is The One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful" (Qur'an 49: 12)

In this verse, Allah strongly forbids backbiting, and he compares the backbiter to one who eats the flesh of his dead brother. If he would hate eating the flesh of his brother, he should also hate to eat his flesh while he is alive by backbiting and slandering him.

Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of Allah said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him."

Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) once passed by two graves and said:

"Verily, they (occupants of graves) are both being tormented and they are not being tormented for something major." In the report from Al-Bukhari:
"Rather, it is indeed something major. As for the first one, he used to go around spreading gossip (nameemah) and as for the other, and then he used not to protect himself from his own urine." [2]
The scholars say the meaning of "and they are not being tormented for something major" is "something major" according to their opinion or "something major" for them to have abandoned doing.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also said:

"Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse; I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise."

Also Abu Mousa Al-Ash'aree narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

"I asked the Messenger of Allah: Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands."

And Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

"When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, 'Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked."
Allah ordered Muslims to defend, help and stand by each other,

"strong against unbelievers but compassionate amongst each other"[Qur'an 48:29].
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

"when any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels the pain".(Sahih Muslim)
Abu Ad-Darda narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

"The one who rebuts another from backbiting has protected himself from the fire."

And when they hear Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not the ignorant. (28:55)

…And if Shaitan(evel) causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Zalimun (unfair, wrong-doers,etc.. (6:68)

Prophet Muhammad advised Muslims to love each other, he said:

"…no one believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."(Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

"If a man's Muslim brother is slandered in your presence, and you are capable of defending him and you do so, God will defend you in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, God will destroy him in this world and the next."(Baghawi).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A man might speak a word without thinking about its implications, but because of it, he will plunge into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and west." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6477) and Sahîh Muslim (2988)]

Once Mu`âdh b. Jabal, the illustrious Companion, asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to inform him of some good work that would admit him into Paradise and distance him from the Hellfire. The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned to him the virtues of many good deeds, then said: "Shall I inform you of the foundation of all of that?"

Mu`âdh said: "Certainly."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) took hold of his own tongue and said: "Restrain yourself from this."

Mu`âdh then asked: "O Prophet of Allah! Are we held to task for the things that we say?"

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu`âdh! Does anything topple people headlong into the Hellfire save the harvests of their tongues?" [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2616) and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (3973)]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever can guarantee to me what is between his two lips and what is between his two legs, I can guarantee for him Paradise." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6474)]

The Prophet (peace be upon him), when he said "what is between his two lips" was alluding to the words that a person speaks. To guarantee it means to only speak what Allah is pleased with. When he said "and what is between his legs" he was alluding to sexual relations, meaning that the person guarantees that he will not engage in any unlawful sexual activity that is prohibited by Allah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him)

"Do you know what backbiting is?"

They said: "Allah and His Messenger know best."

He said: "It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him." [Sahîh Muslim (2589)]

Al-Nawawî comments [al-Adhkâr]:

Mentioning about your brother something that he would dislike includes what concerns his body, his religious practice, his worldly station, his physical appearance, his moral character, his wealth, his parents, his children, his spouse, his servant, his clothing, his activities, his smiles and frowns and anything else that pertains to him. It does not matter if you mention it explicitly by word or implicitly by indication or a gesture… This includes the likes of saying "O Allah, pardon us all!" "O Allah, forgive us!" "Allah keep us safe!" All of this is backbiting.

The Prophet goes on in the same hadîth to explain the difference between backbiting and slander. He said: "It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him."

Someone enquired: "O Messenger of Allah! How do you see it if what I said about him is true?"

He replied: "If what you said about him is true, then you have backbitten him. If what you said about him is false, then you have slandered him." [Sahîh Muslim (2589)]

Slander is a false statement of enormous sinfulness deserving of severe punishment. Allah says: "And those who malign believing men and women undeservedly bear upon themselves the guilt of slander and a manifest sin." [Sûrah al-Ahzâb: 58]

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said: "Backbiting has three manifestations, all of which are discussed in Allah's Book. They are: backbiting, tale-telling, and slander. As for backbiting, it is to say about your brother something that is true about him. Tale-telling is to say something that you have heard about him. Slander is to say about him what is not true."

Evidence from the Qur'ân

1.Allah says: "O you who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor that. And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful." [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 12]

Ibn `Abbâs comments on this verse, saying: "Allah prohibits backbiting a believer with the least thing, just as he prohibits eating carrion."

Abû Ya`lâ discusses the comparison that this verse makes between backbiting and eating carrion, saying: "This emphasizes just how prohibited backbiting is. Eating the flesh of the dead is severely proscribed. It is also something for which people have a natural abhorrence, and people should have the same loathing for backbiting as they have for eating such flesh."

2. Allah says: "O you who believe! Let not some men among you deride others who may be better than they (are), nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Evil is a bad name after faith." [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 11]

Ibn Kathîr, in his commentary on this verse, says about Allah's words nor defame one another:

Sneering and defamation of people is condemnable and accursed behavior. Allah says: "Woe to every sneering defamer." [Sûrah Humazah: 1] Sneering is carried out through one's actions and defamation is carried out through one's words.

Al-Shinqîtî says: "Sneering is by way of action, like rolling one's eyes or making a show of contempt or derision. Defamation takes place by way of one's words and includes backbiting."

3. Allah says: "Woe to every sneering defamer." [Sûrah Humazah: 1]

We have already discussed its meaning. We should note that he verse starts off by proclaiming woe upon those people. The Arabic word used here is wayl. It is a word that implies a threat, conveying the meaning of debasement, punishment, and perdition. Wayl is also the name of a valley in Hell that Allah has set aside for sinners who are obstinate in their sinfulness and for unbelievers who are also wanton sinners.

4. "Neither obey thou each feeble oath-monger; detractor, going about with slander." [Sûrah al-Qalam: 10-11]

Al-Shawkânî describes the "detractor" mentioned in the verse to mean one who goes about backbiting people.

Ibn Taymiyah says about this verse: "(It tells us) that the liar and oath-invoker are not to be obeyed, telling us by implication not to conduct ourselves in the same manner. Indeed, prohibiting the acceptance of the words of those who exhibit shameful moral conduct is a more eloquent and emphatic reprimand than to merely prohibit the conduct itself."

Evidence from the Sunnah

1. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Your blood, your property and your honour are sacred to you like the sacredness of this day in this place in this month." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1741) and Sahîh Muslim (1679)]

Ibn al-Mundhîr makes the following observation: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) had prohibited backbiting in his farewell address to his followers, linking its prohibition to the prohibition of transgressing against another's life or property. Then he emphasized how prohibited it is by declaring its prohibition to be as the sacredness of the sacred land and the sacred month."

2. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "One of the greatest of the major sins is to stretch out one's tongue without right against the honor of a Muslim." [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4877)]

3. `Â'ishah relates that she said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): "It should tell you enough about Safiyyah that she is short."

To this he replied: "You have said a word that if it was to be mixed with the water of the sea, it would contaminate it." [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2502) and Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4875)]

Al-Mubârakfûrî, in his commentary on this hadîth, writes: "It means that backbiting, if it were something that could be mixed with the water of the sea, it would noticeably contaminate it in spite of the vast and copious amount of water that the sea contains. How then is it going to be when it is mixed with our paltry good deeds?

4. Two Companions once criticized a man who had been punished for committing adultery. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was traveling and he passed by the carcass of a donkey. He said: "Where are those two people? Get down and eat from the flesh of this donkey!"

They said: "O Prophet of Allah! Who would eat this?"

He said: "What the two of you have recently done by defaming the honor of your brother is far worse than eating from this." [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4428)]

Some words of the Pious Predecessors

`Amr b. al-`Âs, while traveling with his companions, once passed by the dead, rotting body of a mule and said: "I swear by Allah, it is better that one of you should eat from this until he fills his stomach than for him to eat the flesh of a Muslim."

Ka`b al-Ahbâr said: "Backbiting nullifies a person's good deeds."

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said: "I swear by Allah, backbiting is swifter in consuming the religion of a Muslim than a gangrenous infection is in consuming the human body."

Sufyân b. `Uyaynah said: "Backbiting is worse than a debt. A debt can be paid out, but backbiting cannot."

`Ali b. al-Husayn once heard two people engaged in backbiting and said: "Keep away from backbiting, for it is the broth of the mongrels among people."

Reasons why people fall into the sin of backbiting others

1. Weakness of faith and impiety make a person likely to speak thoughtlessly and carelessly and transgress against others when he speaks.

When `Â'ishah was accused of impropriety, her co-wife Zaynab bint Jahsh was asked about her. Zaynab said: "O Messenger of Allah! I safeguard my hearing and my sight. I know nothing but good."

`Â'ishah later commented: "She was my rival among the wives of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him). Allah restrained her by way of her piety." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2661)]

2. Another reason that people participate in backbiting is on account of the company they keep. They backbite people to please their peers and acquaintances. Allah says, conveying to us the words of the denizens of Hell: "We used to speak in vain with those who speak in vain." [Sûrah al-Mudaththir: 45]

3. Another reason is hatred, enmity, and envy towards others. Ibn Taymiyah says: "Some people are inspired by envy to backbite, and in doing so, combine between two ignoble traits: backbiting and envy."

4. Love of the world and the pursuit of status and power make people backbite others. Fudayl b. `Iyâd said: "No one has ever loved leadership without envying, transgressing, tracking down the faults of others, and loathing to hear anyone else mentioned in a good way."

How to rid ourselves of this ignoble trait

1. We can protect ourselves from speaking ill of others by cultivating our fear of Allah and our sense of shame before of our Lord. This can be achieved by reflecting often upon the verses of the Qur'ân and the hadîth of our Prophet (peace be upon him) that speak about Allah's punishment, that encourage us to repent, and that warn us against evil deeds.

Allah says: "Or do they think that We do not hear their secrets and their private counsels? Indeed we do and our messengers are by them to record." [Sûrah al-Zukhruf: 80]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Feel shame before Allah as you ought to feel shame before him. So guard the head and what it contains, guard the stomach and what you put in it, and think upon death and returning to dust." [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2458)]

2. We can reflect upon just how much we lose every time we utter some bad words about another person.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) once asked his Companions: "Do you know who is bankrupt?"

They replied: "The person among us who is bankrupt is the one who possesses neither money nor provision."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The one who is bankrupt from among my followers is he who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, charity, and fasting to his credit. However, he had insulted this person, struck that person, and seized the wealth of another, on account of which his good deeds will be taken from him. Then, if his good deeds are exhausted, the sins of those whom he wronged will be taken from them and foisted upon him and then he will be cast into the Fire." [Sahîh Muslim (2581)]

3. A beneficial remedy that can help us to rid ourselves of this evil habit is to reflect upon our own shortcomings and work to improve ourselves. If we preoccupy ourselves with our own faults, we will not find time to worry about the faults of others. We should fear that if we speak about someone else's shortcomings, that Allah might punish us by afflicting us with the same.

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said: "We used to remind one another that whoever faults his brother on account of a sin and he had repented for it will be punished by Allah by falling into it himself."

Abû Hurayrah said: "One of you sees the dust in his brother's eye but fails to see the crud in his own."

4. Keeping to the company of righteous people and avoiding bad company helps us to avoid backbiting.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The likeness of a good companion and a bad companion is that of a person carrying musk and another who works the bellows. The person carrying musk might give you some of it or at the very least you will enjoy the pleasant scent. The person with the bellows will either singe your clothing or at least make you suffer from the bad smell." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2101) and Sahîh Muslim (2628) and the wording is that of Muslim]

Al-Nawawî writes, commenting on this hadîth: "It discusses the virtues of keeping the company of the righteous and people who carry out good works and possess good manners… It prohibits us from the company of people who engage in bad deeds and innovations, those who backbite others, and those who are habitually sinful and idle."

5. A person who has a habit of backbiting others needs to make a firm and determined resolution to stop.

We can look at the example of Rasûl b. Wahb who said: "I swore an oath that for every time I backbite someone, I would fast a day. This just wore me out, since I would backbite and fast. Then I resolved that for every time I backbite someone, I would spend one silver coin in charity. Then, for the love of money, I gave up backbiting."

"Fear Allah and obey Him. Be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned; and they shall not be dealt with unjustly" (Al-Baqarah 2: 281) 

"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful" (Al-Hujuraat 49: 12) 

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said, "Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of Allah said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim) 

Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet said in Mina on the day of slaughtering (10th day of Dhul-Hijjah), "Verily, your blood, property and honour have become sacred to one another as the sacredness of this day of yours in this month of yours and in this city of yours. Indeed, have I conveyed the Message?" (Al-Bukharee and Muslim) 
Sahl ibn Sa'd narrated that the Messenger of Allah said

"Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Bukharee and Muslim) 

Abu Moosa Al-Ash'aree said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah: Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands." (Muslim) 
Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, 'Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.'" (At-Tirmidhee) 

Mu'aadh ibn Jabal said, "I said: O Messenger of Allah tell me of a deed that will make me enter Paradise and keep me away from the Fire. The Prophet said, 'You have asked of a great matter but it is easy for whosoever Allah makes it easy. You should worship Allah without associating anything with Him, perform Salaah, pay Zakaah (charity), fast during the month of Ramadaan and perform pilgrimage if you are able to.' He said further, 'Should I show you the gateways to good? Fasting is a shield (from evils), charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire and praying in the middle of the night.' He then recited this verse, 'Their sides forsake their beds to invoke their Lord in fear and hope and they spend (charity in Allah's cause) out of what We have bestowed them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.' (As-Sajdah 32: 16-17) The Messenger of Allah then said, 'Should I tell you the head of the matter, its pillar and its peak?' I said: Yes O Messenger of Allah. He then said, 'The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is Salaah (prayer) and its peak is Jihaad in the way of Allah.' He then asked, 'Should I tell you of the foundation of all that?' I said: Yes O Messenger of Allah. He then took hold of his tongue and said, 'Hold back this.' I said: O Messenger of Allah, are we going to be held responsible for what we utter? He said, 'May your mother be bereaved of you[1] does anything cast people into the Fire on their faces except what their tongues have uttered?'" (At-Tirmdhee) 

Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "When I was ascended to heaven, I passed by a people who had copper nails with which they scratched their faces and chests, and I said, 'O Jibreel, who are these?' He said, 'These are those who used to eat other people's flesh and attack their honour.'" (Abu Dawood) 

Therefore do not treat the issue of backbiting with indifference because it is a great sin. Allah says, " You considered it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great." (An-Noor 24: 15) 
The Messenger of Allah(SAW) said, "Usury has seventy something kinds, the smallest of which is for a man to have intercourse with his mother and the highest act of usury is for a Muslim to attack the honour of his Muslim brother." He also said, "Whoever protects the honour of his brother, Allah will protect him from Hellfire on the Day of Resurrection." (At-Tirmidhee) 

So prevent the backbiter of affronting the honour of Muslims. Allah says, "O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah and fear Him and speak (always) the truth." (Al-Ahzaab 33: 70) 

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah for whoever fears Allah, He protects him from torment and doubles reward for him. Allah says, 

"And indeed We have created man and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our knowledge). (Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being after he or she has attained the age of puberty), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions). Not a word does he or she utter, but there is a watcher by him (ready to record it." (Qaaf 50: 16-18) 

"And obey not everyone who swears much, and is considered worthless. A slanderer going about with calumnies." (Al-Qalam 68: 10-11) 

The Prophet(SAW) said, "The gossiper will not enter Paradise." 

Exemptions from Backbiting

Firstly, a person who was unjustly treated. He can go to who is in position to remove the unjustness, like a judge or leader, and talk about how the other person took away his rights. Because the people cannot preserve their rights except this way. This is not backbiting because Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat An-Nisa' (Verse 148), what can be translated as, "Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him to whom injustice has been done." Also reported by Imam Bukhari that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Not paying a loan back, when able to do so, allows a person, the loaner to mention it publicly, and the lender be punished." The point here, then, is that complaining to whom is in position to remove the unjustness, is not considered backbiting.

Secondly, asking for fatwah, (an Islamic legal opinion) from a person with knowledge. In such a request, he might mention things that happened between him and somebody else. Some of the things might not be good. But, Islam allows you to mention them as long as your intention is to know the hukum, (legal Islamic ruling) in those matters. The proof comes in the following of the prophets tradition, reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim that Hind, the wife of Abu-Sofian said to the prophet, "Abo-Sofian is a stingy man, and he does not spend enough money on me and my child; except if I take from his money without his knowledge. The prophet (S.A.W.) told her, "Take what is enough for you and your child, with fairness." In this narration, Hind mentioned Abu-Sofian, her husband, in a bad manner as a stingy man, yet prophet (S.A.W.) allowed it.

Thirdly, advising the Muslims about what is good for them in their daily life. For example, if somebody asks you about a man or women whom he intends to marry or is a partner in business. You are required to tell what you know about him in terms of his suitability for what you are asked about. The proof comes from the prophet's tradition reported by the group of hadith collectors except for Imam Bukhari, that Fatemah, daughter of Ques came to the prophet (S.A.W.) and said, "Abo-Jahm and Moa'weyah both proposed to marry me who should I accept?" The prophet (S.A.W.) replied that, "Moa'weah is a poor man, and Abo-Jahm beats his woman." In this tradition, the prophet mentioned something that the two men hated to be mentioned; yet he said it because he was trusted for an advice.

Fourthly, warning Muslims and raising up their awareness of the enemies of Islam, especially if the enemies are from inside, such as they might be Muslims but they work, think, and plan against Islam. The proof comes from the prophet's tradition, reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim, that a man asked for permission to enter to see the prophet (S.A.W.). The prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Let him come in. What evil, he is." (That person was a Muslim, but he's not a good person). The prophet (S.A.W.) said so, to warn the Muslims around him from that man. Imam Bukhari also reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said about two persons mentioning their names, "I do not think that those two persons know anything about our dean". He means that they are hypocrites, who show Islam, yet hide their unbelief. Imams Bukhari and Muslim also reported that Zaid Ibn-Arqam said that they were traveling with the prophet (S.A.W.) and there was a hardship on everybody. Abdullah-Ibn-Obai', a well known hypocrite, said, "Don't spend money on the companions until they leave the prophet (S.A.W.); When we reach Madinah we will kick the prophet (S.A.W.) out of Madinah. Zaid told the prophet (S.A.W.) about what was said. The prophet (S.A.W.) asked him about his sayings, but he swears that he did not say any such thing. Zaid was sad until Allah (S.W.T.) revealed, through, some, which proved that Zaid said the truth. In this tradition Zaid told the prophet (S.A.W.), what that hypocrite said, and the prophet (S.A.W.), agreed to what he said. The point then, is we are allowed to tell about the enemies of Islam.

The Fifth and the last case in which Muslims are allowed to talk about others, without considering it as backbiting, is when you identify someone as the blind, deaf, mute, and handicapped person. The objective is not to put him down, but only to identify him as he is known. However, if we can avoid mentioning his handicap, and finding other ways to identify him, such as his name, then this would be better.

Let's be careful and watch our tongues from any backbiting. Tongues are one of the main reasons that make many people to enter the Hell Fire. Let's stick to these exemptions we had mentioned, and not to extrapolate other.

"Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is most Forbearing." (Quran – 2:263)

"Allah does not love the utterance of evil words in public except by one who has been wronged. Allah is He Who hears and knows all things." (Quran -4:148)

'Abdullah Bin 'Amir (raa) narrated that the Prophet (saw) never used bad language. He used to say, "The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character." (Bukhari 4/759 and 8/56)

Narrated Anas:   The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till  he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." Sahih  Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12.

Narrated Abu Huraira:  Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbor…"  Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 482.

Narrated AbuHurayrah:   Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) know best. Thereupon, he (the Prophet) said.  "Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner that he does not like." It was said to him,  "What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He said, "If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbiten him, and if that is not in him it is a slander. Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6265, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, others…

and

Al-Muttalib ibin Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah said, 'Gheebah (gossip, backbiting) means that a man mentions about a person something which is true, behind his back."(Al_Suyuti, Zawa'id Al Jami from the report of al Khara'iti in Masawi Al Akhlaq.  Malik reported something similar  with a Mursal Isnad as mentioned in Al-Sahihah, No. 1992)

Hasan Ibin Al Makhaariq reported that "Once a woman visited Aisha and  when the woman got up to leave, Aisha made a sign with her hand indicating to the Prophet that the woman was short.  The Prophet immediately chastised her, saying, "You have backbitten!"  (Ibin Jareer tafseer Al Quraan al AdHeem, vol. 4, p. 328)

and

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:   I said to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him): It is enough for you in Safiyyah that she is such and such (the other version than Musaddad's has:) meaning that she was short-statured. He replied; You have said a word which would change the sea if it were mixed in it… Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 41, Number 4857:

O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.  49:12
 

Allah described backbiting as an act of eating our brothers or sisters flesh.  But don't think of this as only metaphorical.  Our beloved prophet proved this to us in one of his great miracles.

Ubaid, the freed slave of the Prophet, reported that someone came to the Prophet and showed the Prophet two women who were fasting and said that they were dying of thirst.  The Prophet turned away silently refusing to give permission for them to break their fast.  So, the man begged him again, mentioning that the women were on the verge of death.  The Prophet then said, bring them to me and bring along a bowl.  When they turned to him, he turned to one and told her to vomit in the bowl. She complied, spitting up a mixture of vomit, blood, pus and pieces of flesh which half filled the bowl.  He then turned to the other and had her do the same.  After the bowl was filled, he said, "Verily these two have fasted from what Allah has made halal for them and broken their fast from what Allah has made haram.  They spent their fast eatting the flesh of others." Ahmad

These women gave up food and drink – halal substances, and instead partook of the flesh of their brothers and sisters.  So distasteful was this fare that it made them sick to the point of near death.  Subhanallah!
 
Further,  our scholars have warned us and have warned us to repent from it:  Al Qurtubi said, "The scholars agree that it is a major sin, and that the committing of this sin necessitates repentance (tawbah) to Allah" (Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir of Surat Al Hujirat).

The Prophet has warned us of great punishments which may befall us as a result of committing this sin:

Narrated AbuBarzah al-Aslami: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in the open for everyone to see, even if he hid it in the innermost part of his house. Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 41, Number 4862, Sahih Sunan Al Tirmidhi (1655), Ibin Hiban, Hasan by Al Albani, Ghaybah al-Muram, 420

Narrated AbuHurayrah:   Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: Do you know who is poor? They (the Companions of the Prophet)  said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.   He (the Prophet) said: The poor of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with  prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of  one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be  entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire. Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6251

Allah says,

On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did. 24:24

And Our Prophet warns us to be careful of our tongues, what we say.  He also encouraged us with the rewards we get for doing so.

Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd:   Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 481:

and

Narrated AbuHurayrah: Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: The servant (whose fault) Allah conceals in this world, Allah would also conceal (his faults on the Day of Resurrection. Muslim: Book 31, Number 6266

and

Narrated Uqbah ibn Amir:: Whoever covers the faults of  believer is like one who has brought to life a female child buried alive. Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 41, Number 4873



‘Powerless’ panel in boy’s death

Posted: 04 May 2010 04:05 AM PDT


Lim Kit Siang today described the government's special panel on Aminulrasyid Amzah's shooting death as "powerless" and asked the Cabinet to put an end to what he called the Home Ministry's "guerilla" response to rising public anger.

The DAP leader also criticised the ministry for flip-flopping on the "powers" of the panel.

"The powerless Special Panel into Aminulrasyid's police killing is neither fish nor fowl even with Tun Haniff as member, as well as other members including former Suhakam commissioner Denison Jayasooria, crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief executive officer Dr Michael Yeoh and UiTM deputy vice-chancellor Prof Abdul Halim Sidek.

"The guerilla response of the Home Ministry could be seen from the on-the-run chop-and-change as to what the Special Panel can and cannot do," he said.

Lim had proposed a royal commission of inquiry to probe the shooting of the 14-year-old schoolboy and for such a panel to be chaired by former Inspector-General of Police Tun Haniff Omar.

However, the ministry announced today that Haniff would be appointed as a member of the special panel headed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusup.

Lim said the Cabinet should be decisive in quelling public confusion on the panel.

"There is profound confusion as to the actual powers and terms of reference of the Special Panel which is neither fish nor fowl even with Tun Haniff as a member

"The Cabinet tomorrow should boldly and decisively put an end to such 'guerilla' responses to the police killing of Aminulrasyid, as the repercussions have reached far and wide as to affect public confidence in the independence, efficiency and professionalism of the police force," he said.

He added that the Cabinet should take a "holistic decision" to establish a royal commission of inquiry into all police shooting deaths since 2005.

Lim also ridiculed Abu Seman over his indecisiveness surrounding the formation of the special panel.

"Abu Seman now claims that the Special Panel is powerful because it is empowered to scrutinise the investigation papers at any time without needing the approval of the police or Attorney-General's Chambers.

"Where did Abu Seman get such powers? How did a powerless Special Panel become a 'powerful' panel overnight? On what basis are the powers of this Special Panel derived from, when the Cabinet had not met on the matter?" he asked.

Aminulrasyid allegedly tried to ram into police officers in Section 11, Shah Alam, which caused them to shoot him in apparent "self-defence", in the incident which happened at 2am on Monday.

However, the allegation was refuted by Azamuddin Omar, 15, who was the lone passenger in the car.

The young boy died about 100 metres away from his house.


The super sniper: Hero picks off two Taliban from a mile and a half away

Posted: 04 May 2010 03:57 AM PDT

I remember the famous reply that a British sniper made to an obviously disapproving Western TV interviewer in Afghanistan - " and what do you feel when you shoot dead another human being?'. ' a slight recoil in my shoulder" he calmly replied. A job very well done Cpl Harrison. - Peter, Devon

Left: The Hero.

An army sniper has earned a place in military history by killing two Taliban machine gunners from more than a mile and a half away. Craig Harrison's record breaking shots felled the insurgents with consecutive bullets - even though they were 3,200ft beyond the official range of his rifle. The Household Cavalry veteran's kills from a distance of 8,120ft beat the previous record by 150ft. He was using the British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle, the Army's most powerful sniper weapon.

He was so far away that the 8.59mm-calibre bullets took almost three seconds to reach their target. Scores of Taliban gunmen h-ve fallen to the gun which has been nicknamed The Silent Assassin. It is only designed to be effective at up to 4,921ft - just less than a mile - and capable of only ' harassing fire' beyond that range.

But Corporal Harrison took his record-breaking shots after his commander and Afghan soldiers were attacked during a patrol in Helmand in November last year. His vehicle was further back on a ridge, with his sights trained on a Taliban compound. He said: 'We saw two insurgents running through its courtyard. They came forward carrying a machine gun and opened fire on the commander's wagon. 'Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility.


'The first round hit a machine gunner in the stomach. He went straight down and didn't move. The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and my second shot hit him in the side.' The previous sniper record, 7,972ft, was held by a Canadian soldier. Corporal Harrison, a married father-of-one from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, killed 12 more rebels and wounded seven others. During an extraordinary six-month tour of duty he also survived a bullet that went though his helmet and a roadside bomb. The blast broke both his arms but he was eventually able to return to his accuracy unaffected. Source-Daily Mail Well done to this British soldier. Meanwhile in Malaysia our "heros in blue shoot a 14 year old schoolboy.


Solat Maghrib, Membaca Yassin dan Solat Isyak di Surau Pangsapuri PKNS SS8

Posted: 04 May 2010 02:22 AM PDT

6 Mei 2008
7.00 petang
Surau al-Quddus, Pangsapuri PKNS SS8


Klinik Khidmat Rakyat di Dataran Glomac

Posted: 04 May 2010 02:19 AM PDT

4 Mei 2010
9.00 malam – 11.00 malam
Pusat Khidmat Rakyat DUN Seri Setia, C-1-5 Jalan SS6/5B, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya


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