Film review: Suicide Squad and losing the moral compass

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The franchise of superhero movies will be with us for some time to come, with Marvels Studios constant release of films with a plethora of superhero characters at their disposal. It seems DC Comics wants to cash in on the big money to be made from converting comic book characters into film franchises too. Suicide Squad is part of a DC world of films inhabited by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, seen earlier this year in the blockbuster; Superman V Batman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

The films plot revolves around a rescue mission however, this rescue mission is to be conducted by some of the worst serial killers, assassins and ‘bad’ people that live. They are so bad they are locked up in one of the most secure and secret prisons in the US; many of these villains either have superpowers, or are highly skilled in killing people. But how do we, the audience, watch such deprived personalities with our own moral compasses, and end up ultimately rooting for them to win?

This is the part where film psychology comes in; it turns individuals who are so bad, that they are locked up for life in high security prisons, into individuals that the audience can identify with and eventually wish for them to succeed. Firstly, these individuals, like every normal person, must be shown to be funny and have a sense of humour. It is very hard not to connect with people that make you laugh, and it is even harder not to like someone when they are funny or can demonstrate humour.

Secondly, most of these individuals, like Deadshot (Will Smith), have a deep appreciation of family and love; Deadshot loves his daughter so much that he stops fighting at her request. Another psychotic individual with a strong lack of moral compass and taste for violence is Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and yet the audience is directed to like her, because of her sexual persona demonstrated throughout the film, her witty one liners and by the strong love she feels for The Joker (Jared Leto).

By using psychology, the film maker’s draw the audience into liking, and then cheering on, these psychotic villains to fight and overcome an even bigger evil that threatens to ruin the world and the lives of every person on the planet. Since these villains are fighting the greater evil, they automatically become the good guys.

A problem arises with films like this for the untrained mind, posing questions on the definitions of abnormalities and evil, causing the minds of the youth to accept it all as normal and good. A psychopath that kills and hurts others, or an assassin that murders for money, have been turned into heroes and the saviours of a fragile world. Not only does this confuse young people into seeing the world in very warped perspective, but it makes evil ideologies and misguiding politics normal. Do we want our youth to be raised thinking that it is acceptable to kill, to hurt and to destroy in the name of greater good?

At one point, Amanda Weller (Viola Davis), a US government agent who heads the special task force is asked by Harley Quinn: “Are you the devil?” to which she replies, “Maybe.” What does this say about those people who are charged with looking after our societies, to maintain the security and justice in our countries? Amanda Weller at one point kills several innocent FBI agents with her own hand gun because they worked with her in her command centre room, but were not authorised to know classified information. When innocent individuals are killed so easily on the screen, why are we surprised when the law enforcement in our countries act in a heartless and authoritarian manner? Do we want a generation of youth to believe those in power and authority don’t take issue in being called the devil, and will do whatever it takes for them to achieve their goals, with a great deal of morality missing. What is the justice we seek built on?

Technically this film has it all, action, special effects, editing, quick pace and adventure. But I felt as though this film morally drained me, and tricked me into sitting through two hours of cinema, wishing the murderers, assassins and the psychopaths of the film to win and not end up killed. I find my moral compass complete spinning and no longer pointing North.

Suicide Squad is one of many films to come out of the Hollywood studio system that reinforce ideologies that will do more harm than good to the youth.

 

(Halal Notes: strong violence, sexual innuendo, and black magic)

From: Muslim Vibe

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Email from GOD

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Click on this to listen to, as you read.

TO: Me

FROM: God

SUBJECT:  I miss You more

In the Name of Me, who created you from pure love

My beloved and my dear,

I have missed you more than you could imagine. I have waited to hear from you, and for you to remember me. I know of your pain and suffering, and I know how hurt you are finding all that is around you.

I know all the bad things that have been done to you and all the goodness that I have sent you. But this is not important, for every goodness you receive is nothing compared to what I have prepared for you when you come to me. And all the sadness and hurt that is caused to you is only a step for you to climb by which to get closer to me, for every step you take towards me I will take many more towards you.

My beloved, would you have thought of me if your life was perfect and full of ease? Would you have thought of me if you had no hardship and no challenges to overcome? You cannot imagine the joy it gives me when you speak to me, and when you express yourself to me in the darkness of the night through your precious tears. These tears that drop for me, are more valuable to me than the rarest pears from the deepest depth of the ocean.

Your remembrance of me is more valuable than all the gold in the world. If only you knew, how precious a moment of your reflection about your existence was worth?

I value you more than you could imagine, and comprehend. I love you more than you could fathom. You are more important for me than I am for you. You mean more to me than I do to you. When you forget me, I still remember you, when you are sad with me, I am still happy with you, when you are angry with me, I am compassionate towards you. So how can I not love you more than you could ever love me? When you cause injustice and hurt, and come back to me, I still forgive you. When you don’t follow my advice and return seeking forgiveness am I not merciful!

I may have many things to look after in the scheme of things, but I am always hear for you, you never need an appointment to speak to me, you do not need to obtain permission to approach me, you just need to think of me, and I am already here for you. I am closer to you than you beating heart.

I will never turn my back to you, I will never let go of your hand even if you let go of mine. I love you so much, that no matter how much you hurt yourself or me, my arms are always open for you, my Mercy ready to wash away your tears, my Grace ready to blanket you, my Compassion ready to comfort you, my Love ready to inspire you, my Bounty ready to nourish you, and my Honour ready to raise your dignity

Come to me, as I never left you.

Love,

God

Twitter @barrpictures

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Email to GOD

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Listen to: A Way of Life by Hans Zimmer

TO: God

FROM: Me

SUBJECT:  I miss You

In the Name of You, who is the most Gracious and Compassionate

Dear God,

It’s been a while since I spoke to You last. A lot has happened in my life, some good, and some bad. I don’t need to go into detail as You are very well aware of everything that has happened.

I wanted to write to You, because I am somewhat lost at the moment. I didn’t know where to turn to and who to speak to but You. I didn’t want to speak to others, because those who care can’t do much but say it will be ok, and those who don’t care will only become happy at my sadness. So I thought I can come to You, and speak directly to You.

I don’t know where to begin but with the part where my heart feels sad and hurt. I can’t pin point which of the bad things that’s happened, maybe it’s all of them that have come together.

I don’t like feeling like this God, I know that there are many people in the world who are worse off than me, but sometimes I feel the sadness and pain is so much that I can’t help but cry. Sometimes I cry and it doesn’t stop. But when I finish crying I feel lighter and I feel the pain reduced.

God, I want to be a better person, I want to help more people, I want to be like the examples You sent us. But it’s so hard, the distractions in my everyday life, the heavy darkness that engulfs me. I feel like I am moving at a snail’s pace and I am not getting far.

I want to say something to You, and I hope you don’t get upset with me, sometimes I feel like; You turn your back on me, as if You don’t love me anymore. I know You do, but sometimes the darkness is so great that I think maybe I have been so bad that You are unhappy with me.

I am not worried about the things that I don’t have, they come and go. The thing that worries me the most, is what if You don’t want me anymore, what if I am on my own, what if I have been so bad that You turn away from me and You leave me to my own devices. That thought pains my hurt more than all the hardship I have faced and will face.

Sometimes I can’t put my feelings into words, even in my own head, I can’t figure out how to express myself to You, so I cry, each tear is a sentence from me to You. Each tear is an expression of my inner soul to your Eternal Existence. If I didn’t have these tears, I wouldn’t know how to talk to you.

I know You are busy God, I know You are running all that exists and there are people more needy than me who You must attend to. But if You have time in Your busy schedule please send me a reply, it will mean a world to me.

Yours truly,

Me

Twitter @barrpictures

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Day Two – In a holy land

What a first day we had.

After seeing our Master and Hero, Imam Ali (as), and bringing what felt like long lost feeling back to our hearts again. We were energised for the next day of treasurs to be found in the great holy city of Najaf and Kufah.

Its important to say at this point, that the company you keep specially on a spiritual journey like this can help make the group and activities that much greater.

What a brilliant group of people have come with us this year. The faithful travelling from far corners of the world, Leyla and her mother, who came on a 13 hour trip to Istanbul from Los Angeles and then another 3 hours and a 5 hour wait in the Baghdad International Airport. And yet after such a marathon their patience and their love for Ahlul Bayt shines through and replenish any tiredness they may have.

Day Visit To Kufah.

There is no better way to visit Kufah but to visit Kumayl ibn Zeyad first. What can you say about this great man and one of the closest companions of our Master Imam Ali (a). When you enter his haram which is a beautiful garden like area. A piece of heaven on earth. His tomb or zaree is elevated and you have to climb the stairs to reach it. When you go up these stairs you feel lighter in spirit and mind.

It goes with out saying, that Kumayl has a special place in every believing person, and follower of Ahlul Bayt. His place in eternity was sealed when he dared to go forth at the end of Imam Ali’s (a) sermon in Basra, and ask his Master to teach him the Dua Khizr.

When Imam Ali (a) saw in Kumayl the potential he had, the dua’s name was changed to Dua Kumayl and he was taught it.

No one can recite this dua and not be moved by its power and majesty.

O’ my Lord! By Thy honour truly do I swear that, if Thou wilt allow my power of speech to be retained by me in the hell, I shall amongst its inmates cry out bewailingly unto Thee like the cry of those who have faith in Thy kindness and compassion And I shall bemoan for Thee (for being deprived of nearness to Thee) the lamentation of those who are bereaved, and I shall keep on calling unto Thee: “Where art Thou o’ Friend of the believeres!

O Kumayl. I had never been so envious of any companion of our Master until I realised the reality of who you were, and who you were close to!

O Kumayl truelly you must have been great for the Gate of the Prophets Knowledged to overflow his knowledge into you and for you to give your life in honour and loyalty to our Master and the Beloved of the Holy Prophet (s) and Fatemeh Zahra (a).

Kumayl setting the scene and spiritual tempo of our day to visit more than a thousand years after his martydom, we enter the city of Kufah and see its glorious mosque with its golden dome and beautiful light brown marble walls and floors.

But alas there is one more point of reference before we can enter the magnificient Kufah Mosque.

O Maytham Tammar, the loyal servant of Ali

The carer of this tree and the one steadfast in the love of Ali

O Maytham, hearing your story helped me grow my love for Ali

The Ocean of knowledge of future calamities and Quran is our Master Ali

Your loyalty to Ali is like a beacon that shines for all to see.

With such great companies to set the mood, the walk towards Kufah Mosque is almost hard to bare. The excitment of going to the Mosque where our master’s government was based durring his leadership.Many forget that world had two pure and infalible rules in its history of tirents and blood thirsty rulers.

The brown marble walls so gentle. conceal within them one of the greatest pieces of land any where in the world. Only four places in the world a pilgrims prayer is prayed in full, and Kufah is one of them.

Were Adam walked, where the flood of Noah was started, the tomb of Muslim ibn Aqeel and Mokhar Thaqafee resides. There is so much in kufah that ones mind can not fathom its magnitued. Overwhelming, powerful

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Interview with Reza John Vedadi for HAJI magazine (Persian)

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The pain with in

Please play this as you read the words below.

At first I was happy and excited from the news. Then as time went passed by and the days passed, I became humbled almost nervous. The more we raised money for the children the more I realised we haven’t really done much.

OK, we have raised more than a thousand pounds, that may help some children for some months, give them some assistance in the hardness they bare.

Such innocence lost in the world of destruction, forced on to them by armies from other nations who have brought with them pain, suffering, hardship and destruction.

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But I wasn’t so much saddened and humble by the fact that these little angels, these innocent children did not have much in this world. Maybe they didn’t have one parent or maybe they had lost both. For a child to not have a mother or father, the pain is so great we can not even imagine what they go through on a daily bases.

But the pain was some thing else. Some thing greater. It was from within.

Every day we are consumed with our own lives, and distracted from the great purpose that we were sent for, by trivial matters. Matters that once accomplished have no value or no positive effect on our spiritual well being and development. We have been given a gift, a gift of peace from war, destruction and we have been given safety and security. But what do we do with it, with these gifts that Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon us.

We work hard to gather more wealth, and more material goods. We gather so much that we become consumed by the things that we consume. The cycle becomes so strong we don’t see further than our own nose. We forget about the young children who live there lives, day by day, not knowing if their mothers and fathers will ever come home when they leave their house to go and make enough, literary, to buy bread.

We don’t see the children who have no access to clean water, no education, no medical care. To such extent that they become paralysed from the waist down from lack of hygiene.

And yet we moan about our latest mobiles, television sets, cars, clothes, hand bags and shoes. Which of these items will testify to our love, or to our devotion to justice and worship of Allah.

When prophet Noah (as) was met by the angel of death, he became sad, angel of death asked him why are you sad, he replied; “if I realised life was this short, I would have not even rested against the wall for one second and would have worship Allah more”.  This is prophet Noah (as) who lived at least a thousand years. How many years will we live?

And yet we spend hours searching for the latest items to buy on line and in shops.

Worship of Allah comes in many forms, fasting, praying, and helping the believers of Allah. Giving away from our wealth, be it our money or our time to those who need our assistance.

We should remember that being able to assist those people less better of is not a burden but a blessing. It is Allah’s mercy that he gives us the ability to reach closer to His Grace by helping those who he guides us too.

Some times I used to wonder how did the Imams and the Holy Prophet (s) always used to give away all the wealth so easily to the poor. Then I read this hadith;  the Holy Prophet (s) said: “When charity (alms) is delivered out of the hand of its owner, it (the thing being given) says five things: ‘At first I was perishing and you gave me life; I was insignificant and you made me great; I was an enemy and you turned me into a friend; you used to protect me then but now I will protect you up to the Day of Resurrection’.”

When we leave this world we have to remember that when our folder of actions and deeds is opened on the day of Judgement, and believe me that day will come. We can only look to those actions that we found hard to do, like giving to charity and assisting the more needy than our selves. Those are the actions that will shine and save us. And when you do them in the name of the Holy Prophet (s) and his holy Ahlul bayt (as) you will know that they will intercede on your behalf and that day when every face is saddened your face will be bright and joyous at the mercy of Allah. Inshallah.

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Before you break your fast take a moment!

Please play this music as you read the post, some times our hearts need to be warmed before they open…

During the month of Ramazan many of us think of many different things. We realise how much we are attached to food and water. We realise how weak we are and how much not eating for several hours makes us cranky and Moody.

We realise how others around the world may be hungry and struggling. We may realise how much we take all the blessings we have, for granted and reflect on all the bounties that Allah has granted us, and actually be thankful for it instead of thinking about what we don’t have.

We may even realise that we haven’t been worshipping Allah as well as we used to, and that in the month of Ramazan we will try harder with the help of Islamic programs and good friends reminding us of our relationship with Allah.

We may realise that we have not been keeping in contact with family and friends that we love and during this holy month they may invite us for iftar to break fast with them and encourage the blessing and mercy of Allah upon that gathering.

We may realise how much we love the first Imam who was born in the Kabbah and martyred in Mosque of Kufah. We realise from his biography how we should think, act towards others and worship Allah. When we gather to cry for the martyrdom of this imam, we gather together as a group amongst fellow believers and lovers of Ahlul bayt.

We may realise how much we are the created and Allah is the creator on the Nights of Power (Leylatol Qadr), as we beg for forgiveness of our sins we may have committed and ask for guidance, bounty and faith for the coming year.

But let me tell you some thing, that will bring tears to your eyes, O’ you who believe.

When we feel sympathy for those who are hungry, the Imam of Our Time, The Guide, The Proof of Allah on Earth, Imam Mehdi (af) hears and sees their cry.

When we gather to listen to sermons from the scholars, he is alone waiting, for the order to come.

When we visit our families and friends to break fast, the Imam of Our Time opens his fast alone, with no family or friends, but with the comfort of the love of Allah.

When we gather to cry for the martyrdom of Imam Ali (as), Imam Mehdi (af) recites the eulogies on his own, comforting his broken heart with the Quran.

When we cry for forgiveness of our sins, and for bounty and blessing for the future years on the Night of Power, Imam Mehdi (af) prays to Allah, asking, “will this be the final Ramadan before my appearance, O’ Lord of the Worlds”.

So next time you are about to break your fast, take a minute to think, you have your family around you, you have your friends around you, but the Yousof-e Zahra (af) is alone, waiting.

He is eating his iftar alone, with no helper, no friends, no family, but the only thing that keeps his heart warm is the thought that the Creator will permit him to come to us soon, and deliver us from the suffering and oppression that surrounds the world.

Eltemase dua.

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