Constellations - Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2013 - January 2014 (Dhul-Hijjah 1434 - Muharram 1435)

Dear Readers, 



This edition is packed with important goods on a number of themes important to the Muslim committed to understanding and making social and technological change. This is after all a space where global, regional and scientific politics can converge.


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In this vein, following recent internet surveillance scandals, we observe that Brazil is taking steps to become more independent in its internet presence. We also highlight the Union of Concerned Scientists, founded at MIT in 1969, and their work on demilitarising science and pressing for sustainable policies.


With sorrowful events continuing to unfold in Egypt and Syria, we turn to Shafiq Morton for his characteristically decent journalism tackling the barbed issues of the military state within a state and sectarian dimensions of seeing the war(s) in Syria.


On a literary note Alan Raynar takes us on a journey through Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials Trilogy’, and Michael Finesilver muses on the geometrical poetry of the torus.


Islamic environmental principles and institutions are revisited by Najma Mohamed’s contribution where we discover how the pesantran schools of Indonesia are applying the sanctuary concept to river conservation.


Being a truly pan-disciplinary publication, the presence of a Qur'anic content analysis is a feature we are especially happy to include, here Ahmed Moosa’s key to where and how the Qur’an speaks about itself. On the theme of enterprise, we are lucky to have a contribution on starting up your own company from an established technological entrepreneur


 

The Journal section features more in-depth pieces on 1) the relationships between the energy markets and the recent politics of the Middle East, and 2) a write-up of a South East Asian Women’s Peacemaking conference.  Often, the voices of women in conflict are drowned out by the machismo of the combatants. Yet they have to deal with the problems long after the conflicts are ‘resolved’ and forgotten. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS



QUOTES

5

NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

7

INTERESTING WEBSITES: The Union of Concerned Scientists

(www.ucsusa.org)

14

ARTICLE 1: Egypt: Re-erecting the Wall of Fear

Shafiq Morton

15

ARTICLE 2: Space, Dust and the Co-evolutionary Context of ‘His Dark Materials’

Alan Rayner

18

ARTICLE 3:Syria and the Middle East: Taking Sides

Shafiq Morton

27

ARTICLE 4: Torus: Archetypal, Pre-physical, Embryonic Living Form

Key to a Coherent Understanding of the Evolution of Life Forms

Michael I. Finesilver

30

ARTICLE 5: Islam, Ecology and Education: Muslims Taking Action

Najma Mohamed

33

ARTICLE 6: Why be an Entrepreneur?

Suleyman Tan Eng Tong

38

INFLECTION 15: The Qur’ān Provides its Own History

Ahmed Moosa

41

IMASE REFLECTION 19: Tribute to a Mother

Shafiq Morton

43

JOURNAL SECTION

IMASE Extreme Energy Series No. 3

47

Report on Women in Armed Conflict Workshop

Aceh (Indonesia) and Pattani (Southern Thailand), 21 April - 3 May 2012

Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN)

57