Stem cell technology is an emerging science field; it is the unique regenerative ability of the pluripotent stem cell which scientists hope would be effective in treating various medical conditions. While it has gained significant advances in research, it is a sensitive subject involving human embryo destruction and human experimentation, which compel governments worldwide to ensure that the related procedures and experiments are conducted ethically. Based on face-to-face interviews with selected Malaysian ethicists, scientists and policymakers, the objectives and effectiveness of (...) the current Guideline for Stem Cell Research and Therapy are examined. The study’s findings show that the guideline is rather ineffective in ensuring good ethical governance of the technology. A greater extent of unethical conduct is likely present in the private medical clinics or laboratories offering stem cell therapies compared with the public medical institutions providing similar services, as the latter are closely monitored by the governmental agencies enforcing the relevant policies and laws. To address concerns over malpractices or unethical conduct, this paper recommends a comprehensive revision of the current stem cell guideline so that adequate provisions exist to regulate the explicit practices of the private and public stem cell sectors, including false advertising and accountability. The newly revised Malaysian stem cell guideline will align with the Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation of the International Society for Stem Cell Research containing secular but universal moral rules. However, a regulatory policy formulated to govern the technology remains the main thrust of empowering the guideline for compliance among the stakeholders. (shrink)
Amid the growing coalescence between the religion and ecology movements, the voice of Muslims who care for the earth and its people is rising. While the Islamic position on the environment is not well-represented in the ecotheology discourse, it advances an environmental imaginary which shows how faith can be harnessed as a vehicle for social change. This article will draw upon doctoral research which synthesised the Islamic ecological ethic (eco-ethic) from sacred texts, traditions and contemporary thought, and illustrated how this (...) ethic is enlivened in the educational landscape of Islam. Knowledge of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, of the creative order upon which the world was created, and of right living, is essential in this educational project and the global ecoIslamic movement employs a range of institutes, from the masjid to the maktab, to impart the environmental message of Islam. Despite the manifestation of environmental education activities across the educational establishment, much of what passes as Islamic education today is not representative of the holistic, integrated and comprehensive educational philosophy of Islam. Contemporary social concerns, such as the environmental question, can, in my view, act as an impetus to develop a pedagogy which endeavours to be true to the religious traditions, values and ethics of Islam, while also displaying the transformative force of this faith. Muslims, at more than one-fifth of the world population, own a fair share of global concern around the earth’s health and well-being. Across the world, many continue to base their life and lifestyle decisions on the teachings of Islam, and are showing the relevance of traditional resources and institutions in meeting one of the greatest challenges facing humanity—the health of our planet. (shrink)
This article presents the Islamic bioethical deliberation on the issue of sex assignment surgery for infants with disorders of sex development or intersexed as a case study. The main objective of this study is to present a different approach in assessing a biomedical issue within the medium of the Maqasid al-Shari’ah. Within the framework of the maqasidic scheme of benefits and harms, any practice where benefits are substantial is considered permissible, while those promoting harms are prohibited. The concept of Maqasid (...) al-Shari’ah which is the mechanistic interpretation of Qur’an and Hadith presents the holistic attention of Islam on many life activities, including healthcare. Indeed, this concept encompasses many aspects of worldly life, both for the human individual and collectively for the whole society. In healthcare, the practice of SAS on DSD newborns has presented an assortment of implications on the future livelihood of the affected individual. The process of decision-making seems to be very multifaceted since every element such as the determination of the ‘correct’ sex and the urgency of early surgery must consider the benefits and harms, as well as the child’s rights and best interest. The application of the concept of Maqasid al-Shari’ah, would convey a pragmatic approach that is often disregarded in Western medicine. This approach considers the right of the individual to live life optimally, individually and socially and practice his faith, precisely, in accordance with the assigned gender. (shrink)
The Islamization of the Malaysian media industry has created a debate on whether Islam has been truly adopted for its religious significance or simply manipulated for commercial gains. While Islamic content is abundant, it seems to grow in size but not in value. This paper offers a political-economic look into this problem by 1) contextualizing the Islamization process in relations to Malaysia’s socio-political environment, 2) delineating the development of Islamic media in Malaysia and, 3) identifying the influence of media ownership (...) on the Islamization process by locating the role of Islam in contemporary Malaysian media. (shrink)
One of the main challenges that we face is the accurate prediction of pore-fluid properties with the highest possible resolution. The seismic resolution is the most limiting factor, especially in our case, in which the main reservoirs are deepwater turbidite channels and their thin beds typically fall below the seismic tuning thickness. Therefore, we designed a new workﬂow that combines the geostatistical inversion and the neural network analysis with the aim of predicting a 3D high-resolution water saturation, overcoming the limitation (...) of seismic detectability and providing better reservoir characterization. The power of the geostatistical inversion is that it provides multiple model realizations, and each realization honors the well data and the seismic data. These realizations are more reliable and high-resolution versions of the elastic parameters. On the other hand, the main advantage of the neural network is that it establishes a stable nonlinear link between the input seismic and inversion results and the target water saturation. The available data set for this study includes three angle stacks and seven wells from Scarab field, offshore Nile Delta. The resulted high-resolution saturation volume was tested using blind-well analysis and revisit post the drilling of a new well later on. It gave spectacular results in both cases. The normalized correlations between the predicted saturation volume and the real saturation logs are 0.87 and 0.89, respectively. The results prove the validity of the workflow to accurately predict water saturation with a higher resolution than ever before. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether online news that are shared onFacebook set the agenda for its readers. In response to the importance ofsocial networking sites as sources of information, news media organizationshave set up Facebook channels in which they publish news stories or links toarticles. This allows for a wider news reach as well as audience participation.When audience members read and subsequently comment on news articles onFacebook, it becomes possible to identify public opinions and sentiments on theissues being covered. To investigate (...) whether user comments mirror the issuesand sentiments presented in the news articles, the agenda-setting approachwas applied. Content analysis was used to analyse audience comments onover 450 news articles from 4 major newspapers written during the Rantauby-election in Malaysia. The findings showed that while thenewspapers and the readers do share some issue salience, the relationshipdoes not typify a traditional agenda-setting dynamic. The news readers are notjust the ones receiving the news and issues. Rather, they are also commenterswho are influencing how others receive news and issues hence disrupting theconventional public opinion model. (shrink)
This paper provides a conceptual framework to explain why disparities may exist in food safety code compliance by food stores in different neighborhoods. Explanations include market dynamics, community characteristics, retailer attributes, inspector characteristics, and enforcement approaches, and interactions among the factors. A preliminary and limited empirical test of some of these relationships in Detroit, Michigan shows a higher rate of food safety violations by stores in poorer neighborhoods and in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of African-American residents. Stores inspected by female (...) inspectors also scored higher numbers of critical violations, suggesting a need for greater examination of the social relations associated with enforcement interactions in food safety studies. (shrink)
In the new era of technology, internet turns to be one of the main sources of information, since it is considered cheaper and easier to use. Hence in tourism, two main pull factors influencing potential tourist to visit a destination are recognized as nature and culture which a destination offers. The acceptance of culture as one of the important factors in tourists’ motivation, heritage sites become popular in many countries especially those which are nominated as world heritage sites. This paper (...) is to analyze the condition of available online information about George Town world heritage spots (Penang, Malaysia). As far as heritage is one of the products of tourism and tourism, on the other hand, is a big help for sustainability of heritage sites, providing sufficient information about tourism heritage sites as a promotional key is very important. Top ten tourism websites were chosen and content analysis was performed to find the current situation of those websites. By recognizing heritage as tangible and intangible, the result shows that although the intangible heritages need more concern in sustainability matter, but the information about them are not as complete as the tangible ones. Lack of proper information was seen in most websites and the focus of information was more on tangible heritage and among intangible heritage, the main focus was on food. To support the result of analysis, in-dept interviews were conducted by couple of heritage offices in the city. The main reason behind the lack of sufficient information about intangible heritage seems to be the lack of complete list of them and moreover, promoting this division of heritage needs negotiation with the local residence involving in those activities. The paper suggests providing a complete list of George Town world heritage as far as some of them are disappearing lately, and keeping this valuable world heritage sustainable for next generation needs detailed study and completing the list as soon as possible. In this regard those intangible heritages which are in hazard of disappearing can be maintained by the effort of key holders of the field. Moreover, providing the mentioned list helps the information providers, especially related websites to focus equally on tangible and intangible George Town world heritage. (shrink)
Joseph Medill's Chicago Tribune was an influential voice for civil rights and equality in the age of slavery. By 1883, however, when the Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875, the Tribune 's commitment to its moral principles had been compromised. The paper abandoned its editorial support for equality in favor of shoring up the declining fortunes of the Republican Party in the post-Reconstruction era. A content analysis of Tribune news and editorial items on the civil rights (...) law shows strong support for the statute in 1875 when it was passed, and an equally strong support for the Supreme Court decision that annulled it in 1883. (shrink)
In spite of numerous HIV/AIDS?prevention education efforts, the HIV infection rates in sub?Saharan Africa remain high. Exploring and understanding the reasons behind these infection rates is imperative in a bid to offer life skills and moral education that address the root causes of the pandemic. In a recent study concerning effective HIV/AIDS?prevention education, conducted in Tanzania and Kenya among teacher trainees and their tutors, the notion of mila potofu (defined by educators as ?deceptive? cultural practices) emerged as a key reason (...) for educators? difficulties in teaching HIV/AIDS prevention education in schools and for high HIV infection rates. Since these cultural practices cause harm, and in many cases lead to death, they are of moral concern. This paper outlines some of these cultural practices identified by educators, including ?wife inheritance?, ?sexual cleansing? and the taboo against certain foods, and discusses how these practices contribute towards HIV/AIDS vulnerability. It then offers recommendations for classroom?based life skills and moral education following Jean Piaget?s theory of cognitive development in understanding how ?assimilation?, ?accommodation? and ?adaptation? can help people discard mila potofu in a culturally sensitive manner. (shrink)
This paper investigates the short-term effects on the price of the ethically screened stocks of the Dow Jones Islamic Market World Index quarterly revisions. Using a sample of 8250 stocks from May 1999 through June 2012, we find a significant price reaction of the ethically screened stocks following additions and deletions. The results show that additions from emerging stock markets tend to experience a greater and significantly positive price response than additions from the developed markets. Further tests reveal that the (...) price reactions following DJIMWI revisions are likely to be driven by shifts in investor sentiment rather than changes in firm fundamentals. (shrink)
"Not but by the spirit understood" : Milton's plain style and present-day Messianism -- Areopagitica and the ethics of reading -- Liberty before and after liberalism : Milton's politics and the post-secular state -- Samson, the peacemaker : enlightened slaughter in Samson Agonistes -- Can the suicide bomber speak?
This book critically explores and analyses the scientific and ethical debates surrounding cognitive enhancers. Including contributions from neuroscientists, neuropsychopharmacologists, ethicists, philosophers, public health professionals, and policy researchers, the book offers a multidisciplinary, critical consideration of this topic.
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn (...) how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity. With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion. “Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century “From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal. (shrink)
The term takyīf fiqhī stands for one crucial concept in Islamic jurisprudence and refers to one of the important steps in the process of formulating fatwā. It basically revolves around the categorization of particular issues under the appropriate rules and precedents established in Islamic juristic thought. The present article attempts to examine the concept of takyīf fiqhī in a comprehensive manner in terms of its meaning, authority, types, importance, and governing criteria as can be gleaned from the works of Sharī‘ah (...) scholars. This is then followed by an exploration of its application to modern contracts, taking as a case study the Central Provident Fund Nomination in Singapore. The article concludes with the view that the Central Provident Fund Nomination, in terms of its essential characteristics and objective, resembles the Islamic will contract as discussed in books of Islamic Jurisprudence. (shrink)