Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge  
Wednesday, 5 January, 2011, 08:55 AM - Murad
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

Isn't Facebook just fantastic? I'm not one of those dreary old stick-in-the-mud Shaikhs that neglects modern technology. I'm really hip and with it Shaikh, who is cool with all this new fangled interwebby type stuff. Isn't it just amazing how this plucky young programmer built a new form of communication up from nothing to a $50 billion company?

But absolutely amazing and fantastic and wonderful as all this brilliant new technology superbly is, there are still dangers. Governments can spy on us, identity theft can take place, there is cyber bullying and worst of all, evil corporations can harvest our digital footprints to send us junk mail!!!

Recently I met some real people, not Facebook friends but real descendent of the Prophet. They didn't use all this new fangled technology to be friends with one another. As descendent of the Prophet, they shared hospitality, told stories around the old camp fire and generally did what real humans have been doing for thousands of years.

Facebook "friends" trivialise and belittle the word "friendship". It devalues the true meaning of friendship. That's what all this trashy new technology does to human relationships. Facebook is just rubbish, I don't know why I even bother with it.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Friday, 1 October, 2010, 09:20 AM - Science, Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

The news wires and blogs are full of the sensational new discovery by scientists: some forms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder might have a genetic component.

If only these scientists had taken the time to consult an Islamic theologian, they would have realised that ADHD is really a complex mix of conditions. The only reliable cure for all of them is beating. It's no coincidence that the increase in this, so called "condition" has occurred as religion has declined. "Honour thy father and thy mother" or beat them until they do. If they're still hyperactive or start screaming, tie them down and put duct tape over their mouths, then keep beating them with a good stiff stick. Tell them it's God's will and it's all for their own good.

This is all part of this modern fad of finding causes of things. You all wanted to be free of divine control so you could "do your own thing" and look where you are, at the mercy of all those crazy scientists going around discovering things.

Well the Koran says you're going to be held accountable to the Invisible Magic Friend and that's that. Don't think you're going to get away with excuses like "the genes you gave me made me do it", because you won't. This can be proven using complex and intricate theology that I'm not going to explain to you and you wouldn't understand anyway.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Friday, 24 September, 2010, 08:00 AM - Science, Murad
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

The 15th Robot World Cup was dominated by Far Eastern teams last week. Speculation is rife, that by 2050, these robots will be good enough to challenge human players.

As androids become more and more skilled and their cognitive abilities increase, philosophers will have new questions to address about the rights and expectations of electronic brains. Theologians will be tasked with important questions such as, do androids have souls.

The answer is "no" - the Koran says so.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Tuesday, 4 May, 2010, 08:07 AM - Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

A study has shown that too much TV harms toddlers. It makes them underachieve and more likely to be bullied. So add this to the list of junk food, cigarette smoke and Edwardian style discipline. What this shows is that parents should look after their children.

This is exactly what Islam teaches, proving one again the usefulness and rightness of that great religion. The story goes that the prophet Mohammed (I did think about talking about another Muslim prophet, but decided to settle on Mohammed), took a young boy on his lap. The young boy promptly urinated on the prophet. I would ask you all not to picture this in graphic detail. This may cause you to regard the incident as hilarious in a way that would be disrespectful to him and which I'm sure you would not intend.

The boy's father shouted at the boy, "What are you doing? Have you any idea what that guy does to people who piss on him?" But the prophet was in a good mood that day and simply said that it doesn't do to be too harsh. "I really don't want my religion to turn out to be too harsh on people," he said, as he smiled, slapped the man on the back and invited him for a beer.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge  
Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 08:23 AM - Science, Murad
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

As always, I want to talk to you about a great topical issue in the news headlines. I have decided therefore to talk about a telly programme.

Stephen Hawking thinks we should avoid alien intelligences, at least until we're big enough to beat them in a straight fight. But even as I speak, this very radio signal is setting out towards the stars to give aliens a more nuanced and intelligent view of humanity than they might get from soap operas or reality TV shows. Is E.T. likely to be friendly?

This is one of those mildly amusing ethical dilemmas that science, in its brash unsophisticated way, tosses towards experts on morality such as myself. I can state with absolute certainty that we are made in the image of the Invisible Magic Friend, but is an eight legged blob, swimming the oceans of Europa?

It would not do to be dismissive of the opinions of an eminent scientist like Professor Hawking (I certainly wouldn't wish to go on national radio and not so subtly snigger at his views). But unlike Professor Hawking (a fellow academic here at Cambridge doing some obscure subject called "physics" ) I am able to do the calculations and can tell you, as the Muslim chaplain here, that alien life is extremely unlikely.

You may think that, as life appeared almost immediately on planet Earth, that this suggests a high probability of life getting started. In fact, when you examine the biochemical pathways that scientists have yet to discover, you will see that the evolution of bacteria is statistically highly unlikely.

I have also calculated the probability that life, in its battle for survival, would develop anything as absurd as an intelligent strategy for doing so and can once again announce the important scientific result that this also is highly unlikely.

The most unlikely thing of all, since nature is exclusively red in tooth and claw and has no examples whatsoever where cooperation turns out to be a viable survival strategy, is that humanity would develop a moral conscience towards other human beings. This is totally inexplicable by science and just goes to prove that there must be an Invisible Magic Friend, who is statistically 100% likely.

If only scientists would drop all that silly dogma of theirs and approach this problem rationally and statistically, like what I do.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge  
Tuesday, 20 April, 2010, 08:35 AM - Science, Murad
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Thousands of people around the world will be huddling around their internet connections this morning listening to me in far away places, stranded because of the airport flight ban. Because we all know, that the one thing we can't miss while being trapped far from home, is Thought For The Day. Many will be thinking they would be especially disappointed to miss me, Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, who has been unjustly absent from the airwaves for so very long.



Isn't the volcano just amazing - a great fiery hole in the ground, evoking primeval fears and causing untold disruption. Many of you won't even have noticed when it last erupted in 1821. Nowadays, those clever scientists with their measurements and their computer model thingies can predict where the ash from the cloud will go and where to avoid sending planes. But despite all their cleverness of inventing jet engines that send people half way around the world, and despite being able to monitor and predict the track of tiny pieces of ash, they're not that clever that they can build jet engines capable of flying through the plume of a volcano, which just goes to show how useless and rubbish science is.

On a more positive note, the Koran says that the Invisible Magic Friend gave us this nice friendly biosphere, sitting precariously between the molten magma below and the freezing cold of space. Wasn't that nice of him?

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge  
Friday, 18 December, 2009, 08:58 AM - Environment, Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Happy Climate Change Conference everyone! This is really, really, really important. As Gordon Brown said, "Please let me have a sound-bite that doesn't make me sound like a dour Scottish Presbyterian." But some things don't change. Wealthy nations won't be giving up their gas guzzlers or opening their doors to global warming refugees. The haves and the have nots will remain as they are.

For once, you can't go around blaming religion for this. I'm not even going to blame atheists for it. The division now is between we humble people, going around being humble and being nice to the planet, and nasty arrogant people, going around being nasty to the planet. Thankfully, all religions are full of humble people. People really don't come much more humble than us. With all the authority of a Muslim Shaikh, let me just assure you that in the global humbleness stakes, we're the humblest you can possibly be. Not only are we outstandingly humble, we're also 100% correct because we have the literal words of the Invisible Magic Friend written down in the Koran. One of the nice bits of the Koran says, "We humble believers really are brilliant!"

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 08:49 AM - Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The tinsle's down, the decorations are back in their box, the kids have got bored with their presents. Yes, the hussle and bustle of Eid is finally behind us all and it's time to get back to normal life again. Sadly, for asylum seekers in Calais, yesterday was not so happy. Of course we can't have open borders, but neither can we ignore the plight of those who have paid thousands of pounds to unscrupulous people traffickers to try to make a better life for themselves by being employed at below market wages. Even that serial offender Baroness Scotland, who keeps breaking her own laws, has now been fined for employing an illegal immigrant (she was much cheaper than a white housekeeper). Religion, all religion (but not nasty atheists), teaches us to welcome strangers. Just as the people of Medina welcomed the prophet Mohammed, so should all good people with an Invisible Magic Friend welcome asylum seekers.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Wednesday, 16 September, 2009, 09:51 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Murad
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Dan Brown's new novel is available from all good book stores from today. This one's about the Freemasons - a secret society that everybody knows about who conspire to run the world for their own benefit. Doubtless this'll be a best seller and a box office hit in due course. The masses inevitably read rubbish like this instead of listening to intellectual, sensible, rational people like me. His latest piece of fiction is nearly as loopy as the "Da Vinci code" where Jesus is reputed to have had a wife and descendants. I mean, how likely is that? Conspiracy theories abound amongst the gullible out there. Whether it's faked moon landings or US government involvement in 911, there are always nut cases who just can't deal with reality. It seems people will believe any old rubbish, no matter how absurd it sounds or how clearly deranged the person telling the story is. Some people even believe in hidden forces, like magic and the occult. Phew, what a bunch of loonies!

We're coming up to the end of Ramadan, when the Invisible Magic Friend decides what's going to happen in the year ahead. We know this for a fact because Mohammed told us that an angel told him all about it. So don't forget to tell the Invisible Magic Friend that you've been good little boys and girls this year and ask for lots of nice things as a reward.

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