Beauty in Diversity

November 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Dilnawaz Qamar

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The majority of those who have an antagonistic attitude and behaviour towards other religions have closed personalities. They are never open to those who are different. They are over-defensive and overprotective of their own superior beliefs

In the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, ‘diversity’ is defined as: “When many different types of things or people are included in something.” Diversity is a gift of God and different research and studies demonstrate that nature encourages diversity and it matters. If we just focus on our bodies we are blessed with different organs and these different organs have different functions. Diversity in bodily organs not only adds beauty to our physical being but also adds to the functionality of the body. We would not have been able to do various jobs if we were given a body with uniform functionality. Each and every part has a significant role to play in the body.

Cultural diversity is the multiplicity and variety of human cultures in a specific region or in the world as a whole. This world would be a boring place if we had to live in a homogenous society. Cultural differences include differences in language, dress, art, literature, values and traditions. As human beings we respect these differences.

Whenever we find ourselves in a different culture we try to accommodate, temporarily or permanently, the specific culture. Cultural diversity is a source of strength in society. Diversity becomes strength when society learns to value and respect differences. Doctors, engineers, soldiers, teachers, politicians, artists, singers, cricketers — all professionals make society a unified whole with diverse professions. Everyone is different with different talents and capacities and this variety is the most positive feature of any society. When we respect differences we actually create an environment where self-esteem and self-worth is promoted and where selfishness is discouraged. Nations are destroyed when there is intolerance and hostility to differences. Melissa Etheridge, an American singer, rightfully said, “I feel my heart break to see a nation ripped apart by its own greatest strength — its diversity.”

Many of you who are reading this article already agree that diversity, whether in mankind or culture and society, enriches life. But when it comes to religious diversity, a different evaluation is utilised. In all ages diversity in religions has been a fact but unfortunately this diversity has been a source of contention rather than community and kinship. We offend others by assuming that our religion is the superior one. People who entertain hostile feelings for other religions are considered to be the ones who are most faithful. Hostile people become satisfied as they assume that the hostility, aggression and enmity to the communities of different religions is an important component of religious commitment. Intolerance for people who are religiously different has become an important religious problem.

The thought that other religions are inferior to our religion is so deep rooted that many fundamentalists have become indifferent to other people. James Russell Lowell, an American poet, critic and essayist gives the following insight: “Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.”

Having difference in views is a human right and prevention of this right gives birth to defence, protection, selfishness, judgementalism and indifference.

In the Quran, God tells humanity: “Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female and have formed you into tribes and nations so that you may get to know one another” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:13). It shows that diversity is God’s will. God encouraged diversity so that we may appreciate the unity and equality of the whole of mankind.

Jesus preaches the same, “If you love those who love you, what thanks you can expect?…Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return.”

Today, the majority of those who have an antagonistic attitude and behaviour towards other religions have closed personalities. They are never open to those who are different. They are over-defensive and overprotective of their own superior beliefs. They have encaged themselves in their protective shells, making it impossible to welcome other viewpoints, thus shutting out all the opportunities of insights, learning and growth. Not to speak of other religions, many of these closed individuals have no tolerance for different sects within their own religion, believing themselves to be the true owners of the religion.

Nowadays Pakistan is the biggest victim of religious intolerance. Human life is sacred as God gives it and harming it or killing it in the name of religion is a hideous act. In the last few years, many people have been killed in the name of religion. We need to chuck out the intolerance that is lying within us as well as those around us.

We need to restructure our thinking patterns even if others are going against what we believe to be true. Let God be God and let us not interfere in His will. Now is the time for concerned Muslims, Christians, religious minorities, intellectuals, religious leaders and community leaders to mutually probe this matter. Pakistan is in dire need of getting rid of hatred, cruelty, intolerance, aggression and fanaticism. A significant paradigm change is required. Together we have to strive for mercy, justice, freedom and human dignity and respect.

DAILY  TIMES

The writer can be reached at dilnawazqamar@fccollege.edu.pk

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Hologram

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

tufail holoHOLOGRAPHY is the process of recording a three-dimensional image of an object using the special properties of light from a LASER. Unlike photography, which only records the brightness and contrast of an object, a HOLOGRAM records brightness, contrast and DIMENSION. This allows holography to display the final image in true 3D.

You do not need any special glasses to view a hologram. Although the hologram is most famous for 3D images, holograms can also be of a 2D image as well. What both share in common is that they were created through the use of a LASER.

The first hologram was conceived of, and produced in 1948 by Dr. Dennis Gabor, a researcher at the Imperial College of London. For his theories and work, he received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971. Gabor’s early holograms were created without the use of a laser, since the laser wasn’t invented until 1960. Therefore his holograms were only capable of showing the slightest amount of depth (about the thickness of a postage stamp). His light-producing instrument was a mercury-vapor lamp.

With the invention of the laser in 1960, researchers had the proper type of light to begin recording an object dimensionally. Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks in the United States (University of Michigan), along with Yuri Denisyuk in the former Soviet Union, all familiar with the work of Gabor, applied this special new light of the laser to produce the first practical holograms.

These early holograms required a laser to both record and view the image. It wasn’t long however, before new techniques allowed the hologram, although still requiring a laser to record, to be viewed with ordinary light (such as a light bulb). Also, many different types of holograms were developed, each with their own technique used to produce them.

The excitement of viewing a hologram is only exceeded by the thrill of actually making one. Today, in 2011, it is fairly easy to make small holograms using inexpensive and easy-to-find equipment. Students from elementary school to high school are making holograms. The expensive lasers of the past have been replaced by the inexpensive laser pointers of today.

Holograms are made in laser laboratories, but they are also made in homes and schools every day. There are a few important things that need to be done before you can make a hologram, but none of those things are very hard to do. To give one example, a hologram must be made in a very quiet and darkened room. That’s not too difficult, right? We can’t give the full directions to make a hologram here, but we can say that simple holograms are made using a laser, a lens, and a recording medium, such as a light-sensitive film or glass plate.

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