Monthly Archives: June 2009

A remedy for fear of the American Muslim takeover

IndyStar.com | Thou Shalt | The Indianapolis Star

June 29, 2009
A remedy for fear of the American Muslim takeover

That noise you may now hear is the collective wailing from the small crowd of folks who are convinced America is on the verge of becoming an Islamic theocracy.

The sound erupting from the host of web sites that purport to keep us safe from the coming takeover is a result of two happenings: One of the nation’s most prominent Muslim groups announced Friday it will give copies of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, to 100,000 state and national leaders. The other is the fact a second major Muslim organization is preparing to hold a convention that will bring 40,000 Muslims to Washington, D.C.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization is giving away the Qurans to leaders. In the past, it has attempted to raise money to put Qurans in every American library — all in the name of trying to educate them about Islam.

“Through this ground-breaking outreach initiative, we hope not only to educate policy-makers and opinion leaders about Islam, but also to provide an opportunity for American Muslims to reach out to their fellow citizens of other faiths,” CAIR Board Chairman Larry Shaw, a state senator from North Carolina, said in a press release.

The announcement of this “Share the Quran” campaign comes just ahead of this week’s 4-day convention in Washington of the Indiana-based Islamic Society of North America, which could draw as many as 40,000 Muslims to the nation’s capital over the Fourth of July weekend.

Both CAIR and ISNA are two groups that are frequent targets of criticism of the blog watchers. I know CAIR a little bit. They have a reputation of being bullies — toward reporters, toward businesses, toward politicians. But they are prized, among many Muslims, as a group willing to take a stand for their civil rights when few others will.

ISNA, however, is into such radical things as building friendships with Jews, Christians and people of other faiths. They have urged for the greater inclusion of women in mosques. They are working with government agencies to build better relationships between the U.S. and Muslim countries. Really subversive stuff.

For those who will go into a full-blown conniption over these moves over the apparent Muslim takeover, there is a remedy.

Call a local mosque. Ask if there is a Muslim there with you who will sit down and talk. Be polite. They might be afraid of such a rare entreaty. Sit down and talk to them about what they value about America. Report back here what you find. You might be surprised that what they treasure isn’t so different from you.

Most people who hate Muslims, I find, have never met and talked with a Muslim. But don’t rely on what you read on the Internet, even folks like me. See for yourself.

Islamic society grows in central Jersey

Islamic society grows in central Jersey

Monday, June 29, 2009
BY CHRIS STURGIS
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Dalya Youssef wants her son, Yousuf Abdelfatah, to feel more confident about practicing the Islamic faith than she did when she attended public schools.

The Franklin Township mother, who is also a lawyer, remembered feeling timid about doing her midday prayer ritual in school when she was growing up in Monroe Township.

She said she didn’t begin the Muslim practice of covering her hair with a headscarf known as a hajib until her freshman year in college. The practice of covering oneself usually begins at puberty.

“I delayed it because I didn’t have enough confidence,” she said.

Therefore, she and her husband sent their son to Noor-Ul-Iman School on the South Brunswick campus of the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey, which has a full-time parochial school covering pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Enrollment at the Route 1 school was 480 last year and is expected to top 500 in September.

Now Youssef’s son prays alongside his classmates, not in isolation, as she did.

“Plus, I think he gets an excellent education,” she said.

Earlier this month, the society broke ground on $5 million of infrastructure improvements to be followed by the building of a new, two-story 70,000-square-foot school, which will have the library, auditorium and gymnasium the school now lacks.

More critical, though, is that the license from South Brunswick to use modular buildings for the school expires in December, said Islamic Society president Aly Aziz.

“We have to show the township we are working on permanent facilities,” he said.

The infrastructure, consisting of water lines, electrical cables, a detention basin, new street entrances, a 600-car parking lot, and a concrete platform for the school building, is literally laying the groundwork for a much broader expansion plan that will take years to construct, he said.

South Brunswick has approved a master plan for a new mosque and an income-generating office building on the 16-acre campus. Four Rutgers University graduates seeking a sense of belonging founded the society 40 years ago.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Youssef said. “I would love to see my son have a real high school with all the facilities.”

Another mother, Heba Macksoud, said she sent her twin daughters, Jenna and Jada, age 7, to the society’s preschool, but has since put them in public school. They come to the Islamic society for weekend religious education classes, she said.

Macksoud, a former vice president of marketing at MTV, said she loved the school’s attentive atmosphere, but hated paying tuition for substandard facilities.

“It’s a huge investment,” she said. “I’d rather save the money for college.”

Macksoud, a native New Yorker who first came to the Islamic Center at age 8, said the new school shows the Islamic community can sustain a parochial school system like other religions.

“We will soon have something that my kids can be proud of that is beautiful and institutional, rather than something slapped together from trailers,” she said.

School principal Janet Nazif said the new school will be more spacious and comfortable for students and staff. The essence of the program won’t change because it is the dedication of the teachers and the parents who support their efforts.

She started as a teacher with the school founded 16 years ago. There were only 27 students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. The school expanded by a couple of grades per year, until six years ago when the first class of high school seniors graduated.

“When it started, there were a lot of naysayers, who said we wouldn’t be able to help these children succeed, but they have been proven wrong,” she said.

All of the high school graduates have been accepted to college, including some Ivy League institutions, she said.

There are 220 Islamic schools in the U.S., including 17 in New Jersey, according to the Islamic Schools League of America based in Falls Church, Va.

The schools are growing the fastest in areas with large Muslim populations, including New York State, Michigan and Washington, D.C., according to the organization, which formed 11 years ago to help new schools benefit from the experience of established institutions.

Yet, as the Muslim community gains prominence in American society, members say they are unfairly associated with Middle Eastern terrorism.

Macksoud said terrorism comes from uneducated, unemployed youth who can be convinced the U.S. is the source of their misery.

By contrast, the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey comprises well-educated professionals with successful careers, she said, noting her pride that the society donated statutes to adorn the entrance to the South Brunswick Public Library.

“It shows that we love our community and want to get involved every which way,” she said.

The society includes immigrants from 20 nations around the globe and first-generation Americans like herself.

Aziz said the diverse 2,000-member society counters prejudice by issuing statements condemning terrorist acts.

He said Islam is at its essence a peaceful religion. Muslims greet each other with the words, “Assalamo Alikom” meaning “Peace be upon you.”

The response is to say it in reverse, “Alikom Assalamo.”

“We do not consider (terrorists) Muslims because Islam is a religion of peace,” Aziz said.

US forces withdraw from Iraq cities

US forces withdraw from Iraq cities

The US withdrawal has sparked celebrations in Iraq [AFP]

Iraqi forces have assumed formal control of the capital, Baghdad, and other cities, six years after US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq.

US troops began withdrawing from the country’s major cities and towns as the midnight deadline passed on Tuesday for troops to hand over security to Iraqi forces.

“The withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities, after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security,” Sadiq Al-Rikabi, a senior adviser to Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said.

Al-Rikabi told the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that Iraq is “now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty”.

Fears of attacks

In depth


 Video: Security handover ignites concern in Iraq
 Video: Iraq security concerns grow over US pullout
 Video: Residents afraid to return to Baghdad district
 Video: Fear of violence grips Mosul
 Video: Iraq blast mars US pullout
 Interview: Most Iraqi provinces ‘safe’
 Your views: US troop pullouts
 Focus: Pinning hopes on the Iraqi army
 Focus: The scramble for Iraq’s ‘sweet oil’
 Riz Khan: US troops pull back in Iraq
 Inside Iraq

Iraqi security forces increased checkpoints and banned motorcycles from the streets of Baghdad, amid an increase in violence ahead of the US withdrawal.

Al-Maliki on Monday described the June 30 deadline for the US withdrawal as a “turning point” for the country and he declared Tuesday the country’s National Sovereignty Day and a public holiday.

But all police and army leave has been cancelled amid fears of fresh attacks.

“Our expectation is that maybe some criminals will try to continue their attacks,” said Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, the interior ministry’s operations director and spokesman.

“That is why orders came from the highest level of the prime minister that our forces should be 100 per cent on the ground until further notice.”

Motorcycles have been banned indefinitely after they were used last week in three separate attacks, killing more than 100 people.

Airport closed

Iraqi officials have also warned citizens to avoid crowded places.

Despite heightened security, a roadside bomb attack on a US convoy in eastern Baghdad wounded six bystanders a day earlier, police said.

In western Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in the parking area of a police academy in Al-Furat district, killing one police officer and wounding seven policemen.

In Sunday’s attacks, fighters were believed to have taken advantage of a major sandstorm that reduced visibility to just a few metres in some parts of Baghdad.

The sandstorm forced Baghdad’s airport to close and delayed Iraq’s first oil bidding process in more than 30 years as international oil companies and representatives could not land in the capital.

The top US commander in Mosul has warned Iraqi army generals that the time has not yet come for his forces to pull out.

“The most dangerous thing that can happen to you and me is that the insurgents separate us, to put a wedge between us,” Colonel Gary Volesky said.

The Iraqi army and government have asked that Volesky’s troops remain in Mosul past the scheduled withdrawal date.

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

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Far left: Golda Meir meeting with the man who planned the Lavon Affair: Pinhas Lavon. Next, the photo that appeared in Haaretz with the caption “President Katzav presented three surviving members of the ‘Lavon affair’ with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony Wednesday.”

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Israel honors Jewish terrorists who attacked America
– Israeli President calls them “heroes”

By David Duke

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How does America deal with a country that commits terrorism against us and then honors the terrorists?

Answer: We give it billions of dollars every year as well as our most advanced military technology.

The Israeli President, Moshe Katzav, in recent formal ceremonies honored the Israeli agents who made terrorist attacks against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke an American war with Egypt.

In ceremonies reported by the major Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli President Moshe Katsav stated the following at a ceremony honoring the Jewish terrorists who attacked American facilities:

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

In the Lavon Affair, named for the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, Pinhas Lavon, the Israeli government launched a false flag, terrorist operation against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke American bombing, retaliation and war against that nation. The Israeli terrorists targeted American sites such as American Cinemas and American libraries around Cairo. Only the premature detonation of one of the Jewish terrorist’s bombs led to the exposure and halt of the plot before the extensive loss of life and property.

If this terrorist operation would have been successful, not only would it have cost many American lives, it would have launched an American war against an innocent nation which in turn would have caused the death of many thousands of innocent American and Egyptian lives as well as untold billions of dollars.

Israel’s terrorist plot against the United States in the Lavon Affair was one greatest acts of treachery that any nation has ever committed against an ongoing ally. There have certainly been many times in history where a nation attacked a supposed ally, but I know of no cases where an “ally” attacked another and then the attacked nation remained an ally and continued to support the attacking nation financially and militarily! For that to occur there has to be an incredible level of subversion in the attacked nation. And shockingly, this was only the first Israeli act of treachery against the nation that stood by Israel more than any other: America. There have repeated acts of Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States of America.

In 1967, Israel attacked the USS Liberty with both fighter jets and torpedo boats in a surprise terrorist attack that killed 34 Americans and wounded 173. Both the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, both have stated that it was a pre-meditated attack against the United States. (see “Attack on the Liberty” at http://www.davidduke.com)

In the Jonathan Pollard case, an Israeli spy devastated America’s Eastern European Intelligence Network, and Israel honors Pollard today as a hero and lobbies for his release from American prison. (see “The Pollard Case” at http://www.davidduke.com)

And very recently, important figures in the Israeli lobby AIPAC, arguably the most powerful lobby in Washington, D.C., are under investigation by the FBI for spying against the United States. The fact that the President of the United States and most of the members of Congress have close ties to this lobby for a foreign nation, a lobby which is now in the middle of spy scandal should obviously be a huge story in America’s press, but it is suppressed in the Jewish dominated American media.

Israel knew that the U.S. Government would certainly respond to terrorist attacks against it (supposedly by Egypt) — with bombing and war against that nation. Terrorist acts of war were committed against America and traditionally nations respond to such in kind.

But, once America discovered that it was Israel who committed such terrorist acts of war, why was there no military retaliation against the offending nation?

In fact, American money and even military equipment continued to Israel unabated. Such shows the high level of Israeli subversion and dare I say it, treason, in the United States Government. It also clearly reveals the Jewish supremacy in the press that has whitewashed and kept this treachery from the knowledge of 99 percent of American people. In fact, 99 percent of Americans will never hear of the Lavon Affair nor will they know anything about the recent Israeli government official ceremony that honored the Israelis who committed these terrorist acts against America.

For years Israel denied knowledge of the event, just as Israel denied the murderous attack on the USS Liberty, denied their involvement with the damaging spying of Jonathan Pollard, and denied the overwhelming evidence that indicates Israeli prior-knowledge of the 911 attack. (See my article, “How Israel Caused the 911 Attacks” at http://www.davidduke.com) The Israeli defense minister, Pinhas Lavon had to resign after the bungled terrorist attacks in Egypt, and the excuse was given that it was a “rogue operation.” Yet, obviously, launching terrorist attacks against United States installations in Egypt that included American cinemas and libraries, would have certainly had to have been approved by the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Golda Meir.

But now, the Israel government is having formal, public ceremonies honoring the Jewish terrorists that attacked American facilities! Now that’s enormous Chutzpah when one considers Israel is receiving billions of American tax dollars every year, the lion’s share of America’s entire foreign aid budget, and the fact that America is the only major nation that defends Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in the U.N. Yet, it shows just how firmly Israel has the government and media of America in its grip that they can get away with honoring terrorists who have attacked America!

How can America still support a nation that formally honors those Jews who clearly committed terrorism against the United States?

Any President, Congressman or Senator that who supports sending Israel American tax dollars after the clear record of unrepentant Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States, is equivalent to any American who sent money to the Japan after the attack at Pearl Harbor!

It is important to note that no Arab or Muslim government, including that of Saddam Hussein, has ever launched a terrorist attack against America. No Arab or Muslim government has ever had even a single, highly placed spy do damage to the United States. No Arab or Muslim nation has corrupted our political process with massive bribery, threats and coercion of thousands of U.S. politicians.

In truth, the Iraq War is just another form of a false flag operation like the Lavon Affair.

It was spawned by Israeli loyalists in the United States, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and coterie of Jewish supremacists (including the man in charge of the evidence of Iraqi misdeeds in the CIA , Stuart Cohen, who was behind much of the false intelligence) that led America into a war against Iraq, a nation that had never harmed and posed absolutely no threat at all to America.

This treasonous war was never a war for America, but only a war for Israel. It has so far led to the death of almost 1600 Americans, grievous injuries of up to 20,000 of our men and women, expenditures of a national treasure of over 300 billion dollars, damage to American business around the world, trillions of dollars in higher costs for oil and gas, and has only increased hatred against America and increased support for Al Qaeda and other anti-American terrorists.

And again, for what is all this the blood and treasure lost?

For Israel, that’s what, a nation that honors terrorists who bombed American facilities!

My God in Heaven, when will real Americans wake up to this treachery and treason!

Here are some excerpts from the article in Haaretz and the article on the terrrorist attack in Wikpedia

Israel honors Egyptian spies 50 years after fiasco Wed., March 30, 2005 Adar 2 19, 5765

By Reuters

After half a century of reticence and recrimination, Israel on Wednesday honored nine Egyptian Jews recruited as agents-provocateur in what became one of the worst intelligence bungles in the country’s history. Israel was at war with Egypt when it hatched a plan in 1954 to ruin its rapprochement with the United States and Britain by firebombing sites frequented by foreigners in Cairo and Alexandria.

But Israeli hoped the attacks, which caused no casualties, would be blamed on local insurgents collapsed when the young Zionist bombers were caught and confessed at public trials. Two were hanged. The rest served jail terms and emigrated to Israel.

Embarrassed before the West, the fledgling Jewish state long denied involvement. It kept mum even after its 1979 peace deal with Egypt, fearing memories of the debacle could sour ties.

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

What went wrong in the “Lavon Affair” — after Pinhas Lavon, Israel’s defense minister when the plot came to light — remains a matter of debate in a country more used to tales of espionage coups…

The situation recurred in 1985, when U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for passing military secrets to Israel’s scientific liaison office…

“As with Pollard, this (Lavon Affair) was a rogue operation,” said David Kimche, a former Mossad deputy chief. “We knew never to go down that road again…

Meanwhile, the agents locked up in Egypt were ignored, excluded from several prisoner exchanges with Israel after the wars of 1956 and 1967. Now that they have been officially recognised in Israel, the former agents are campaigning for a full account of their operation to be included in the high-school syllabus.

“This is a great day for all of us, those who were hanged and those who died,” said Marcelle Ninio, the only female member of the cell. “We are happy we’ve got our honour back.

And here is the Wikipedia article on this terroristic attack:

Lavon Affair
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from Lavon affair)

The aim of the 1954 Israeli Mossad project, codenamed Operation Suzannah was to bomb United States installations in Egypt, such as the United States Information Service offices, and blame Arabs, hoping it would harm Egyptian-American ties. It became known as the Lavon Affair or the Unfortunate Affair (Hebrew: העסק הביש pronounce: haesek habish), after the Israeli defense minister Pinchas Lavon who was forced to resign because of the incident.

Israeli Mossad agents from “Unit 131″ 1 planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and intentionally left behind evidence implicating Arabs as the culprits. The conspiracy was intended to disrupt U.S. relations with Egypt but one of the bombs detonated prematurely and the Egyptian police swiftly found one of the terrorists. This arrest quickly led to the capture of eleven of the thirteen members of the spy ring. Some of the spies were Israeli, while others were Egyptian Jews recruited by Mossad. Two of the conspirators were sentenced to death and executed. Six others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Lavon claimed that he had no knowledge of the conspiracy and he attempted to scapegoat and fire his deputy, Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharett, appointed a board of inquiry consisting of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Isaac Olshan and the first chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Ya’akov Dori. The board failed to uncover who had ordered the conspiracy yet Lavon resigned in disgrace from his position as minister of defense and David Ben-Gurion resumed the post under Sharett. Lavon became head of the Histadrut.

Six years later, a district court found the intelligence operations chief guilty of perjury and forgery during testimony presented to the Olshan-Dori board of inquiry. Lavon demanded that Ben-Gurion clear his name but Ben-Gurion refused. The controversy broke out into open Knesset debates, fatally wounding the ruling Mapai Party. Eventually the Mapai Central Committee voted to expel Lavon from his position in the Histadrut.

The legacy of the Lavon Affair was especially unpleasant for Egyptian Jews and for Jews living in other Arab countries. They faced suspicion as a potential Fifth column and even persecution (including having their banks accounts frozen). While the Lavon affair may have acted as one catalyst for emigration to Israel, it could add little to the overall persecution of Jews which started roughly at 1948, and which reached a peak in the wake of the 1956 Suez War, when the Egyptian government expelled almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent approximately 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps. The Lavon Affair also generated deep suspicion of Israeli intelligence practices and encouraged speculation and conspiracy theories that terrorist attacks against Arab and American targets could be the result of Israeli false flag intelligence operations or agent provocateurs working on behalf of Israeli intelligence, a belief that is still popular (especially in Arab countries).

And They Called it Women’s Liberation

How Women Were Lured Out of the Home in the USA

Areeba bint Khalid
Friday, June 26, 2009
http://www.ummid.com/news/June/26.06.2009/and_they_called_it_women%27s_liberation.htm

From the 1800s to the present day, family life in the West has
remarkably changed. While the West calls this change part of the
women freedom movement, a look at history may show otherwise.

America before the 1800s was a farming country and ninety percent of
the population lived and worked on private farms. Households were
mainly self-sufficient–nearly everything needed was produced in the
house. The few things that could not be produced at home were bought
from local craftsmen. Some other things, especially imports from
Europe, were bought from stores. Males would take care of the fields
and females would take care of the home. In addition, they would
engage in spinning, knitting, weaving, and taking care of the farm
animals.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, which began around the early 1800s,
brought a major change to this way of life. In 1807, in the wake of
the war between Great Britain and France, President Jefferson signed
the Embargo Act, which stopped all trade between Europe and America.
The Act meant that European goods would no longer be available in
the US and Americans would have to produce them. One major European
import to America was cloth, and so merchants used this opportunity
to create a cloth industry in America.

In 1814, Francis Cabot Lowell, a man from Boston opened the first
modern factory. Work here was to be done way faster than before.
Instead of manually making things in houses, things were to be made
at higher speeds in a factory and all stages of the work were to be
completed under the same roof. Now what Lowell needed were workers.
He found out that women, especially unmarried daughters of the
farmers, were more economical to use in labor than men. They were
also more willing to work as hired people in factories.

But Lowell had to make the working outside of home acceptable in a
society which was not used to it. He assured parents that their
daughters would be taken care of and kept under discipline. And he
built a boarding community where the women workers lived and worked
together.

Soon after, more and more factories emerged across America. Factory
owners followed Lowell’s example of hiring unmarried women. By 1850
most of the country’s goods were made in factories. As production of
goods moved from the country to the city, people too moved from the
country to the city.

For money to be earned, people had to leave their homes. When women
worked on the farm, it was always possible to combine work and
family. When work for women moved outside the home, however, the
only women who could follow it were those without family
responsibilities or those who had no husband or no income. Likewise,
the only women who could take care of their families were the ones
that didn’t have work.

This working out of home became a part of life for unmarried women.
They would work until their marriage. But as time passed, women
found family life interfering with their work life and instead of
viewing working out of home as optional, they viewed family life as
such. Many women started delaying marriage even more and some
decided to stay single.

Married women however stayed home and dedicated their time to their
children. Now that there wasn’t any farm work to do, women had even
more time to spend with the children. In 1900 less than about 5.6%
of married women worked outside. If a married woman were to work, it
would be considered that her husband was invalid or that she was
poor.

World War I

The first major entry of married women to the workforce came during
World War I in 1914. Men went to fight the war and the country
needed workers to take over the jobs they left behind. Unmarried
women were not sufficient for the labor needs, so employers started
to invite married women too, to work. By 1919, 25% of the women in
the workforce were married. But this was only the beginning.

Another change World War I brought was the entry of women to the
army. About 13,000 women enlisted in the US Navy, mostly doing
clerical work–the first women in US history to be admitted to full
military rank.

Great Depression

The Great Depression came in the 1930s. The unemployment rate
climbed from 3.2% in 1929 to 23.6% in 1932. Jobs became scarce for
skilled people and men. Fathers went to search for jobs. Some, under
despair, deserted their families. The responsibility of earning fell
on mothers in many families.

Most women and children, however, found jobs more easily than men
because of the segregation of work categories for men and women.
Although 80% of men during the Great Depression opposed their wives
entering the workforce under any circumstances, economic factors
made it necessary for the women to work. Hours were long and pay was
low. Twenty percent of white women were in the workforce.

World War II

World War II came in the early 1940s. Men were drafted to fight, and
America needed workers and supplies. Again, the employers looked
towards the women for labor. Unmarried and married women were
invited to work, as had been done during World War I.

But still, public opinion was generally against the working of
married women. The media and the government started a fierce
propaganda campaign to change this opinion. The federal government
told the women that victory could not be achieved without their
entry into the workforce. Working was considered part of being a
good citizen, a working wife was a patriotic person.

The government founded the Magazine Bureau in 1942. The Bureau
published Magazine War Guide, a guide which told magazines which
themes stories they should cover each month to aid war propaganda.
For September 1943, the theme was “Women at Work”. The slogan for
this was “The More Women at Work the Sooner We Win.” Magazines
developed stories that glorified and promoted the placement of women
into untraditional jobs where workers were needed. The idea was that
if smaller, unexciting jobs were portrayed as attractive and noble
more women would join the work force.

The media created Rosie the Riveter, a mythical character to
encourage women into the workforce. Rosie was portrayed as a
patriotic woman, a hero for all American women. “All the day long,
Whether rain or shine, She’s a part of the assembly line. She’s
making history, Working for victory, Rosie the Riveter… There’s
something true about, Red, white, and blue about, Rosie the
Riveter.”

The propaganda efforts worked. More than six million women joined
the workforce during the war, the majority of them married women. In
1940, before the war, only 36% of women workers were married. By
1945, after the war, 50% of women workers were married. The middle
class taboo against a working wife had been repealed.

Post World War II

The 1950s marked an era of prosperity in the lives of American
families. Men returned from war and needed jobs. Once again, the
government and media got together to steer the opinion of the
public. This time, however, they encouraged women to return home,
which shows that the women were brought out not for their freedom
but because workers were needed.

But this effort was not as successful and was abandoned quickly.
First, women from lower economic ranks had to remain in the
workforce because of economic necessity. And second, there came the
rise of consumer culture.

The baby boom took place during the 1950s as well. Women who
returned home dedicated their lives once again to their children.
But around the same time an important change had come in the
American life. This was the spread of the television. By 1960, 90%
of the population owned at least one set. Families would gather
around the screen for entertainment. In the early days, everything
including commercials was watched with great interest.

Most middle-class families could not afford the goods the television
declared necessary to maintain or enhance quality of life with one
paycheck alone. Many women returned to work in order to live
according to “the American standard of living,” whatever that meant
to them.

The number of American women in the workforce from 1940 to 1950
increased by nine percent. From 1930 to 1940 there had only been a
three percent increase.

Effects

As mothers returned to work, the television became the most
important caretaker of a child. Children in the 1950s spent most of
their non-sleeping hours in front of the television screen.

In 1940, less than 8.6% of mothers with children under eighteen
worked. By 1987, 60.2% of women with children under eighteen were
working.

As wives assumed larger roles in their family’s financial support,
they felt justified in demanding that husbands perform more
childcare and housework. Across the years, divorce rates doubled
reaching a level where at least 1 out of 2 marriages was expected to
end in divorce. Marriage rates and birthrates declined. The number
of single parent families rapidly increased. People grew unhappy
with their lives, when compared to the lives of people on
television.

Women working affected the society in many different ways. The first
and most important of these was that children with working mothers
were left alone without the care of a mother. As the number of
working women increased, the number of children growing up
unsupervised increased, and with this increased crime among teens.

Since most women placed their career ahead of family life, family
life was greatly affected since unmarried women were generally able
to make more money than married ones. For example, according to a
study by a Harvard economist, women physicians who were unmarried
and had no children earned thirteen percent more per year than those
who were married and fifteen percent more than those with children.

Today

The majority of women still work at the lower levels of the economic
pyramid. Most are employed in clerical positions, factory work,
retail sales, or service jobs. Around 50% of the workforce is
female. While about 78% of all cashiers and 99% of all secretaries
today are female, only 31% of managers and administrators are
female. Equality in the workplace has been a mirage but it has
conned millions of women into leaving their homes and destroying the
family structure.

It was only when economic or political factors made it necessary to
get more workers that women were called to work. The Industrial
Revolution, the Great Depression, and the World Wars, all the major
events which increased the proportion of women workers, were times
when the capitalists required more workers in order to be successful
in their plans and so they used women.

The move of women from home to the public workforce has been
gradual. First poor women went. Then unmarried women. Then married
women without children. Then married women without young children.
And then, all women. The same thing can be seen to be happening in
developing countries around the world, as the West spreads its
propaganda of freedom for women to work. The results of this move
will probably be the same too.

Bibliography

-Hawes, Joseph M., ed. American Families: A Research Guide and
Historical Handbook. New York: Greenwood Press,- 1990.

-Mintz, Steven. Domestic Revolutions. New York: the Free Press,
1988.

-Gary B. Nash, American Odyssey. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill,
2002.

-Wilson, Margaret Gibbons. The American Woman in Transition.
Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1979.

-Goldstein, Joshua S. War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War
System and Vice Versa. Cambridge University Press, 2001.

-U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. Women in the Force,
1900-2002. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/0/1/0/4/6/7/A0104673.html

-The Library of Congress Rosie the Riveter: Real Women Workers in
World War II. http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/rosie-transcript.html

*

Muslims leading team of doctors treating Hindu Extremist Bal Thackeray

Muslims leading team of doctors treating on Bal Thackeray | TwoCircles.net

Muslims leading team of doctors treating Bal Thackeray
Submitted by admin4 on 21 June 2009 – 5:06pm.

* Indian Muslim

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who has spent better part of his life calling Muslims names, is presently being treated by some leading Muslim physicians at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. Two of four-member team of doctors treating on the octogenarian leader of the extremist Hindutva organization are Muslims.

Thackeray was admitted to Lilavati Hospital with complaints of breathlessness on Thursday night. According to the doctors Thackeray is suffering from two ailments-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and ischemic heart disease.

Muhammad Jaleel Parkar, consultant pulmonary physician at Lilavati Hospital and MohammadAbdus Samad Ansari of the critical care medicine department of the Hospital are the two doctors besides Prakash Jandani and Dr Anil Ramani treating Thackeray.

‘For the past four months I have been visiting Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Bandra (East) on daily basis and prescribing medicine for him,’ Jaleel said.
Subhanallah – Strange are the ways of Allah
Submitted by Arif Jameel (not verified) on 22 June 2009 – 3:17am.

All I can say is that “Firaun ke ghar Moosa” is one of the old adages that come to my mind. What an irony. The community against which the infamous Thackarey has endlessly run a tirade throughout his life is now depending on members of the same community to add extra moments of life to his roten personality.

Subhanallah.

UN withholding Israeli war crimes probe results

UN withholding Israeli war crimes probe results

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 15:40:37 GMT

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Palestinian civilians and medics run for cover during Israeli airstrikes on a UN-run school in northern Gaza (January 17)

The United Nations has once again delayed disclosing the findings of its investigation into the recent Israeli bloodshed of the Palestinians.

Having missed two previous deadlines, on Thursday, the world body said the results from its probe into the 22-day Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip were not yet ready.

“It is not done yet. As we indicated last week, it might be about another week or so from now before it is done,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said at the organization’s headquarters in New York on Friday in response to a Press TV correspondent question.

Last week, spokeswoman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Michele Montas had assured that the final report would be delivered up this week. “We have asked for a little more time to finalize the report. The secretary general agreed with that….I can tell you it is going to be next week,” she had said.

Our reference to Montas’ confirmation was, however, met with the body’s denial. “No. We had a statement last week, I believe last Wednesday or Thursday, that it would be possibly another two weeks,” Haq added to his Friday remarks.

This is while the independent board of inquiry, commissioned by the secretary general to file the report, had originally promised to have the report ready by the end of March.

The international body had also promised to help end the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli attacks which wrought havoc on the strip in late 2008 and early 2009. Close to 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the operations — most of them civilians.

UN shelters — swarmed with refugees — were also targeted three times during the attacks, prompting the body to commission the report.

With Tel Aviv having opted out of cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council on the matter, Ban’s inquiry is the only one left to have access to the both sides of the conflict.

This is while, UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann refers to the organization’s record of failures to address the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The UN had been failing in its commitments dating back to 1947 when it promised to establish both a Palestinian state and Israel, he said. “That is the single biggest in the history of the United Nations: The lack of fulfillment. Because we still do not have a Palestinian state officially declared and we still have turmoil.”

HN/MMN


Jewish Terrorists Assassinate U.N. Peacekeeper Count Folke Bernadotte

September 1995, pgs. 83-84

Middle East History—It Happened in September

Jewish Terrorists Assassinate U.N. Peacekeeper Count Folke Bernadotte

By Donald Neff

It was 47 years ago, Sept. 17, 1948, when Jewish terrorists assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden as he sought to bring peace to the Middle East. His three-car convoy had been stopped at a small improvised roadblock in Jewish-controlled West Jerusalem when two gunmen began shooting out the tires of the cars and a third gunman thrust a Schmeisser automatic pistol through the open back window of Bernadotte’s Chrysler. The 54-year-old diplomat, sitting on the right in the back, was hit by six bullets and died instantly. A French officer sitting next to Bernadotte was killed accidentally.

The assassins were members of Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel—Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), better known as the Stern Gang. Its three leaders had decided a week earlier to have Bernadotte killed because they believed he was partial to the Arabs. One of those leaders was Yitzhak Shamir, who in 1983 would become prime minister of Israel.1

Bernadotte had been chosen the United Nations mediator for Palestine four months earlier in what was the U.N.’s first serious attempt at peacemaking in the post-World War II world. As a hero of the war, when his mediation efforts on behalf of the International Red Cross saved 20,000 persons, including thousands of Jews, from Nazi concentration camps, Bernadotte seemed a natural choice for the post.2 The terms of the mediator’s mandate were to “promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation in Palestine” and to allow him to mediate beyond the terms of the Partition Plan.3

It had been only on Nov. 29, 1947 that the U.N. General Assembly had voted to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. Yet, as had been widely predicted, that action had led to war. Fighting intensified after elements of five Arab armies moved into Palestine the day after Israel proclaimed its establishment on May 14, 1948. Bernadotte’s first action had been to arrange a truce, which lasted from June 11 to July 9.

During the lull, Bernadotte had put forward his first proposal for solving the conflict. Instead, it was to seal his fate. Bernadotte’s transgression, in the view of Jewish zealots, was to include in his June 28 proposal the suggestion that Jerusalem be placed under Jordanian rule, since all the area around the city was designated for the Arab state.4

The U.N. partition plan had declared Jerusalem an international city that was to be ruled by neither Arab nor Jew. But the Jewish terrorists, including Shamir and Menachem Begin, the leader of the largest terrorist group, Irgun Zvai Leumi—National Military Organization, also known by the Hebrew acronym “Etzel”—had rejected partition and claimed all of Palestine and Jordan for the Jewish state. These Jewish extremists were horrified at Bernadotte’s suggestion.

By July Sternists were already threatening Bernadotte’s assassination. New York Times columnist C.L. Sulzberger reported meeting with two Stern members on July 24, who stated: “We intend to kill Bernadotte and any other uniformed United Nations observers who come to Jerusalem.” Asked why, “They replied that their organization was determined to seize all of Jerusalem for the state of Israel and would brook no interference by any national or international body.”5

Since Bernadotte’s first set of proposals had caused criticism from all parties, he spent the rest of the summer working up new proposals, which he finally finished on Sept. 16. Unknown publicly was the fact that in his new suggestions Bernadotte dropped his idea of turning over Jerusalem to Jordan and instead reverted to the partition plan’s designation of it as an international city.6 Thus when Shamir’s gunmen cut down Bernadotte the next day, they were unaware that he no longer was advocating giving Jerusalem to the Arabs.

The assassination brought an official condemnation from the Israeli government and promises of quick arrests. However, no one was ever brought to trial nor was there any nationwide outcry against the assassination.7 None of Lehi’s leaders or the actual gunmen were ever caught, although they were early known to Israel’s leaders.8

Israel’s obvious reluctance to prosecute the assassins brought the first U.N. Security Council criticism of the new country. On Oct. 19, 1948, the council unanimously passed a resolution expressing its “concern” that Israel had “to date submitted no report to the Security Council or the Acting Mediator regarding the progress of the investigation into the assassination.”9 An official inquiry by Sweden produced a report in 1950 that charged Israel’s investigation had been so negligent that “doubt must exist as to whether the Israeli authorities really tried to bring the inquiry to a positive result.” 10

Israel later admitted the laxity of its investigation and in 1950 paid the United Nations $54,628 in indemnity for Bernadotte’s murder.11

The assassination and Israel’s failure to punish the culprits struck a hard blow against the fledgling United Nations. The first secretary-general, Trygve Lie, said: “If the Great Powers accepted that this situation in the Middle East could best be settled by leaving the forces concerned to fight it out amongst themselves, it was quite clear that they would be tacitly admitting that the Security Council and the United Nations was a useless instrument in attempting to preserve peace.”12 To Secretary of State George Marshall, Lie had written on May 15, 1948 that Egypt had warned him it was about to send troops beyond its borders and against the Jewish state in Palestine, saying: “My primary concern is for the future usefulness of the United Nations and its Security Council…I must do everything to prevent this, otherwise the Security Council will have…created a precedent for any nation to take aggressive action in direct contravention to the Charter of the United Nations.” 13

But, as author Kati Marton has observed: “If the United Nations spoke with ‘considerable authority’ early that summer, by fall its voice was barely above a whisper in Palestine. Unwilling or unable to enforce its own decisions, the U.N. [United Nations Organization, as it was generally called in 1948] became for many Israelis in Ben- Gurion’s memorable putdown, ‘UNO, schmuno.'” She also observed: “So muted was the world body’s reaction, so lacking in any real sanctions against the Jewish state for its failure to pursue the murderers of the United Nations’ mediator, that for Israel, ‘world opinion’ became an empty phrase.”14

Indeed, the ideal of the U.N. acting as the world’s peacemaker and peacekeeper was badly wounded with Bernadotte’s death in Jerusalem. After this display of weakness, other nations did not hesitate to thumb their noses at the U.N. when it suited their purposes. The Serbian successor to the former Yugoslavian government is only the latest in a long list of countries that have contributed to the weakening of the world body that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

RECOMMENDED READING:

*Chomsky, Noam, Pirates & Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World, Brattleboro, VT, Amana Books, 1986.

Green, Stephen, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1984.

Kurzman, Dan, Genesis 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War, New York, The World Publishing Company, 1970.

Lie, Trygve, In the Cause of Peace , New York, Macmillan, 1954.

Marton, Kati, A Death in Jerusalem, New York, Pantheon Books, 1994.

Persson, Sune O., Mediation & Assassination: Count Bernadotte’s Mission to Palestine in 1948 , London, Ithaca Press, 1979.

Tomeh, George J., United Nations Resolutions on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1947-1974, Washington, DC, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1975.

U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States 1948 (vol. V), The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Washington, DC, U.S. Printing Office, 1975.

NOTES:

1Marton, A Death in Jerusalem , p. 208. Also see Kurzman, Genesis 1948, pp. 555, 563; FRUS 1948 for a contemporaneous report on Bernadotte’s assassination, “The Consul General at Jerusalem (Macdonald) to the Secretary of State,” Urgent, Jerusalem, Sept. 17, 1948, pp. 1412-13; Avishai Margalit, “The Violent Life of Yitzhak Shamir,” The New York Review of Books, 5/14/92.

2Persson, Mediation & Assassination, pp. 225-29. Good background on Bernadotte is in Marton, A Death in Jerusalem.

3The text is in Tomeh, United Nations Resolutions on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, pp. 14-15.

4FRUS 1948, “Text of Suggestions Presented byCount Bernadotte, at Rhodes, to the Two Parties on June 28, 1948, pp. 1152-54.

5C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times, 9/18/48.

6FRUS 1948, “Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator in Palestine” [Extracts], undated but signed and sent to the U.N. on 16 Sept. 1948, pp. 1401-06.

7Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, p. 85; Green, Taking Sides, pp. 38-44.

8Marton, A Death in Jerusalem, pp. 233, 238.

9 Resolution No. 59, 10/19/48; the text is in Tomeh, United Nations Resolutions on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, p. 129.

10The Middle East Journal, “Developments of the Quarter: Comment and Chronology,” Vol. 4, No. 3, July 1950, p. 338.

11New York Times, 6/30/50.

12Lie, In the Cause of Peace, p. 76.

13Marton, A Death in Jerusalem, pp. 22-23.

14 Ibid., pp. 242, 260.

*Available from the AET Book Club.

Donald Neff is author of the recently published Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy Toward Palestine and Israel Since 1945. Volumes of his Warriors trilogy on U.S.-Mideast relations are available through the AET Book Club.

Jewish terrorists rampage through Arab village

Jewish terrorists rampage through Arab village

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Eyewitnesses: settlers went from house to house shooting indiscriminately

Israeli occupation troops and paramilitary Jewish settlers on Saturday rampaged through several Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, killing at least one Palestinian civilian and injuring several others, including three people suffering critical gunshot wounds.

The most serious incident took place at the village of Asira al Qibliyeh, south of Nablus, when heavily armed Jewish settler terrorists rampaged through the village, shooting indiscriminately on Palestinians and vandalizing their homes and property.

According to the head of the local village council, dozens of armed settlers took part in the rampage which lasted for several hours.

Hosni Sharaf said the settlers carried out their aggression in broad daylight as Israeli soldiers were watching passively.

“It was abundantly clear that the soldiers were not dealing seriously with the terrorists. The settlers behaved and acted as if they had received a green light from the army.”

According to local and hospital sources, at least six villagers were injured, including two who reportedly suffered critical gunshot wounds.

One eyewitness described the settler rampage as “barbarian acts against innocent civilians.”

“I am speaking about heavily armed rabid fanatics ganging up on innocent and unprotected men, women and children,” said Ibrahim Asayrah.

“And they did what they did in full view of Israeli occupation soldiers who did try to stop the thugs.”

The settlers said they were retaliating for an earlier incident in which a settler boy was lightly hurt reportedly at the hands of an Arab boy.

Palestinian sources described the incident as a small altercation between two boys. The settlers however insisted that Palestinian boy stabbed a 9-year-old settler minor.

There was no third-party affirmation of what exactly happened.

However, it was clear that the wanton settler rampage against Palestinian villagers had no justification, irrespective of the exact circumstances surrounding the earlier incident involving the two boys.

“There was an incident involving an Arab boy and a Jewish settler boy. Does that give these herds of barbarians (the settlers) the right to carry out a rampage of terror and bloodshed against our village,” asked Asayrah.

An Israeli peace group, Peace Now, denounced army flaccidity toward the settlers and urged the Israeli government to revoke the gun licenses of the settlers.

“It is obvious that the settlers don’t miss any opportunity to cause harm to Palestinians and endanger human lives,” said Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer.

Human rights organizations operating in the West Bank have argued forcefully that the Israeli army is effectively encouraging settler terror against Palestinian civilians by refusing to arrest let alone prosecute Jewish terrorists.

Indeed, following Saturday’s violence near Nablus, not a single armed settler was arrested despite the gravity of what happened.

The latest attempted pogrom by messianic Jewish terrorists near Nablus coincided with other terrorist acts by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians, which observers in Palestine contend underscores the harsh treatment Palestinians are receiving at the hands of the Israeli occupiers.

In Hebron in the southern West Bank, an Israeli army military vehicle driving at high speed on Saturday ran over a Palestinian child.

The child, identified as Mehran al Jabaari, was reportedly critically injured with a brain hemorrhage. He was transferred to the emergency unit at the Ahli hospital.

Earlier, an Israeli army officer manning a notorious roadblock outside the city of Nablus deliberately prevented a Palestinian woman in labor from proceeding to hospital, causing her to give birth to a stillborn baby boy.

The woman’s husband said he pleaded with the officer in charge to allow his wife to proceed to hospital in order to save the baby, but to no avail.

“My wife, my mother, my sister and I arrived at the Huwwara checkpoint at 12:00 midnight after my wife started to feel the labor contractions. However, the officer was so callous and inhuman. He told me he would shoot me if stepped forward again.” said Muayad Abu Reeda.

“My wife gave birth to a baby boy we had decided to name Zayd. But Zayd needed a special care since he was two months premature. But because the Israelis wouldn’t allow my wife to reach hospital, the baby died a few minutes later.”

According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, when the Israeli officer in charge made sure that the baby was dead, he allowed the mother and the husband to proceed to Nablus .

“On the next day, said Muayad, “we carried our baby in a small cardboard box to bury him in the graveyard of the village. On our way home, and while passing through the same inauspicious checkpoint, the soldiers started to laugh telling each other ‘do you want to see a dead child, come over here. He is there inside the box.’ “

A spokesman for the Israeli army acknowledged the “gravity” of what happened, saying that the company commander involved in the incident has been sentenced to two weeks in jail for his role in the death of the Palestinian baby.”

In another deadly incident, Israeli occupation soldiers on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian boy at the village of Tquo’o near Bethlehem .

The latest victim of organized Israeli terror was identified as 16-year-old Hassan Humeid.

The Israeli occupation army has killed and maimed hundreds of Palestinian civilians, especially children and minors, involved in the mostly innocuous stone-throwing.

Israeli troops are instructed to shoot to kill stone-hurling Palestinian boys even if soldiers’ lives are not directly at risk.

In contrast, however, soldiers have absolute orders to refrain from shooting at settlers under any circumstances, even if the settlers are seen committing acts of murder.

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Attacks by the Irgun and Stern Gang

Palestine main logo

Kidnappings, Beatings, Murders and Hangings

Jewish resistance to the British mandate had begun before the Second World War when Jews extremists set up an organization called, “Irgun Zvia Leumi” (IZL) or simply, “The Irgun”. Their aim was to campaign for the establishment of the state of Israel.

At the outbreak of the Second World War most of the Irgun selected to support the Allies and fight the common enemy, “Nazism. “A splinter group led by a Abraham Stern decided to continue the fight against the British. This group, better known as the “Stern” gang, was responsible for many terrorist atrocities and murders in the following decade, though Stern himself was killed in a gunfight with the Palestine Police in the early 1942.

The IrgunIn 1944, with the end the war in sight, Irgun, now under the leadership of Menachem Begin , the future Prime Minister of Israel 1977-83, began to attack the British administration in Palestine, starting with bomb attacks on the immigration offices, tax offices and police stations. Because the war was not yet over these activities met with condemnation even from the Jewish Agency and Haganah, the main Jewish Defense Force, and the forerunner of the Israeli Army. This disapproval did not deter Irgun or the Stern Gang, and in 1944 the Stern gang murdered Lord Moyne the British Minister of state for the Middle East in Cairo, and started a series of bomb attacks on British installations.

In November and 1945 there were some serious Arab Jewish riots in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. These riots were put down by the 3rd Parachute Brigade part of the newly arrived 6th Airborne division. These riots lasted seven days resulting in some loss of life.

During December 1945, the focus of the Jewish attacks shifted to RAF airfields, police stations and armories. There was frequent exchanges of fire and some loss of life on both sides. The High commissioner, Lord Gort , left Palestine in November 1945 and was replaced by another British general Sir Allan Cunningham. Cunningham decided to mount a major blow against the IZL and on the 28 to June 1946, 17,000 British troops flooded into Jerusalem to carry out Operation Agatha. The Jewish Agency offices were raided, arms found and the agency shut down, with a large number of Jews suspected of terrorism being arrested. Jewish terrorists soon started planning the a reprisal for Operation Agatha and made plans for the bombing attack on the King David hotel.

The British response to the King David bombing was another 48 hour cordon and search, code named Operation Shark. This operation was mounted by the men and 6th Airborne division. The aim of Operation shark was to remove the few remaining hard core terrorists left on the scene. British and American press agencies were quick to take the opportunity to sell more newspapers but the result was to place the British Army in a bad light, as in Aden years later, propaganda pictures of British soldiers seemingly being brutal to women and children were splashed in the world newspapers.

Truck used by Irgun to hide Kidnapped officersOn January the 27th 1945 the first kidnapping took place. Judge Windham was kidnapped from his own courtroom in Tel Aviv . Windham was released when the British government gave in to his kidnappers demands, which was the release of Jewish detainees.  On the 18th of June 1946 the kidnappers struck again. This time they held up the British Officers Club in Tel Aviv and took five British officers and one one RAF service man and dragged them to get away cars out side. One of the officers had to be clubbed to subdue him. The object of this raid was to obtain hostages to hold against the two Jews who had been captured in a arms raid at Sarafand in March. Four days later two of the kidnapped officer were released. They said that their captors had not been violent towards them, but they had been kept shackled in chains on their hands and feet. The remaining three officers were held captive for another 12 days. They were released after the two condemned Jews had their sentences commuted. Before releasing them the Jews first chloroformed the three officers. The three officers were then unceremoniously dumped still unconscious, on a street corner in Tel Aviv, where passers by took no notice of their predicament.

The American media were strongly pro Jewish and very anti British. One Hollywood motion picture Mogul declared in the British press that he had a holiday in his heart every time a British soldier was killed in Palestine. and large sections of the American media echoed this sentiment.  At one point early in 1945 Winston Churchill became so irritated with continual American shouting about Palestine that he suggested that since the Americans were so unhappy about the way Britain was handling Palestine, “the best solution would be for them to take the job  over themselves, I’m not aware that Britain has to vaunt about this painful and thankless task, he said, and someone else should have their turn and the sooner the better”.

Not all of violence took place on land. Royal marines and paratroopers were regularly sent a board the illegal immigrant ships as they tried to enter Palestine. Some boarding parties were met with scolding steam hoses, firebombs, pistol shots and attacks from men wielding axes. A number of sailors soldiers and immigrants were killed in these sea counters.

On the 25th of April 1945 the Stern Gang carried out their most cold blooded attacks to date. A large car park in Tel Aviv was being used by the 6th Airborne Division as a transport deport. The car park was surrounded only by barbed wire and guarded by a section of 8 men and from the 5th Parachute brigade who were billeted in tents near to entrance of the car park.  At 20:30 hours, three trucks pulled up un-observed outside a house opposite the car park entrance.  From these trucks 25 armed members of the Stern gang got out. The Jewish terrorists entered the house and held to occupants at gun point as they set up firing postions towards the car park entrance. About 15 minutes later a bomb was thrown at the main gate of the car park and the the terrorists opened fire on the British Paratroops.

Those not killed in this initial hail of fire took cover in the tents.  About 20 terrorists then left the house and entered the car park.  They entered the first tent and found two British soldiers and a NCO who had been off duty and were now trying to take cover from the fire from the house. All three were shot at close range with machine guns.  The NCO was somehow not hit and pretended to be dead.  The terrorists then moved on to the next tent were they murdered another two unarmed Paratroopers.  In all 7 british soldiers were killed, most were unarmed. This attack had a serious effect on the British Army, which had previously been very sympathetic to the  Jewish cause. The 6th Airborne Division had seen a lot of fighting in northwest Europe towards the end of the war and had first hand experience of liberating the Nazi concentration camps in. As a result the airborne soldiers had  arrived in Palestine prepared to help and support the Jewish community. But the Stern gangs attack and the murders of the August 25, 1946 changed all that.

In December 1946, a new twist was added to the story of terror in Palestine. A court sentenced two Irgun youths to a long term in prison and 18 strokes of the birch for taking part in bank robberies. In reprisal the Irgun kidnapped four British soldiers and a Major of the 6th Airborne Division and flogged them.

British courts now started sentencing Jewish prisoners to death for murder or terrorist acts, such as the terrorist bombing of the British Officers club in Haifa where over 30 people were killed and injured. These men were sentenced for murder and bombings and not for the religious or political beliefs, but the Jews refused to accept this, in their eyes these men were martyrs and the hatred of the British and the bloodshed continued.

Officers club in JerusalemA typical episode occurred on the evening of the 28 to June 1947 in Haifa when the Astoria restaurant in which a number of officers of the 6th Airborne Division were dining was attacked.  Two Jewish terrorists in a taxi in drew up opposite the restaurant and fired Thompson sub machine guns through the windows at the Offices inside. Captain Kissane of the 9th parachute battalion was killed and two other officers were wounded. The remaining Officers who escaped injury took up the fight and forced the terrorists to withdraw. The taxi was hit repeatedly as it sped off and was abandoned by the two Jews who ran down a side street. One of them sustained wounds from the barrage that struck the taxi. On March the 1st 1947 the IZL blew up Goldsmith Officers club in Jerusalem, killing 13 and wounding another 18

One incident that stands out most is the hangings of Sergeants Martin and Paice.

On the 16th of June 1947, a sentence of death had been passed by the British courts on three Jews who had participated in the attack on Acre prison in which many Jewish prisoners had regained their freedom. Almost a month later in the early hours of the 12th of July, two British field security NCOs Sergeants Paice and Martin were on duty in Nathanya in the company of the Jewish Clerk. They were held up by five armed Jews and driven off to a secret hiding place. For the next two weeks and British security forces diligently searched for the kidnapped sergeants but no trace of them was ever found.

On the July 29th British authorities, unable to bow to the blackmail of the Irgun, even though British lives were at stake had no alternative but to allow the sentence of death on the three Jews to take it’s course. Two days later, on the 31st to July, the bodies of the two British NCOs were found hanging from a eucalyptus tree one and a half miles from where they had been kidnapped. They had been dead for about two days. The area around the bodies was mined. The bodies had also been booby trapped. As the bodies were being cut down a hidden device on one body exploded. In this explosion a British officer was severely wounded. A few days later the Irgun posted notices in Hebrew on the walls around Haifa which read :

Announcement

The two British spies, Martin and Paice, who were under arrest by the underground  since the July 12th have been put on trial, following the inquiry into their  criminal anti Hebrew activities in. Martin and pace had been accused of the following crimes

1. Illegal entry into our home land :

2.  Membership of the British criminal terrorist organize Asian known as the British army of occupation in Palestine, which is responsible:

for depriving our people of the right to live;
for cruel, oppressive acts;
for tortures;
for the murder of men, women and children;
for the murder of prisoners of war;
and deportation of Hebrew citizens from their country Homeland.

3. Illegal possession of arms intended for the enforcement of oppression and despotism :

4. Anti Jewish spying, disguised in civilian clothes :

5. Conspiracy against the Hebrew underground, it soldiers, bases and arms, the arms of freedom :

The court has found two to be guilty of all charges and sentenced them to die by hanging by their necks until their souls would leave them. 

The request of the condemned man for clemency has been rejected.

The sentence has been carried out.

The hanging of the two British spies is not a retaliatory act for the murder of Hebrew prisoners-of-war, but it is an ordinary legal action of the court of the Underground which has sentenced will sentence the criminals who belong to the criminal Nazi British army of occupation. 

We shall revenge the blood of the prisoners war who have been murdered by  actions of war against the enemy.

The Court of Irgun Zvai Leumi
In Eretz Israel.

There are many more recorded incidents like these. It has to be said that the measure of restraint show by the British forces in Palestine, who were faced by these acts of terrorism, was of the highest standards. There were however a some members of the British forces who took matters of revenge into their own hands. The night after the Tel Aviv car park attack, troops of the 6th Airborne Division stationed at Qastina took the law into their own hands for a short time and damaged several Jewish houses. The ringleaders of this revenge attack were caught and punished.  On the 31st of July 1947 just after the bodies of Martin and Paice were discovered, 5 Jews were killed and 15 wounded in Tel Aviv in reprisals be members of the Security forces for the murder of the two sergeants. ( Authors note : Information on this last incident is scant to date.)

Report: Olmert, Livni may face war crimes charges in Norway

Report: Olmert, Livni may face war crimes charges in Norway – Haaretz – Israel News

Report: Olmert, Livni may face war crimes charges in Norway
By Haaretz Service
Tags: Norway, Gaza, War Crimes

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Tzipi Livni may face war crimes charges in Norway over their role in Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza, AFP reported Tuesday.

The news agency said six Norwegian lawyers announced plans Tuesday to accuse the pair, as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and seven senior Israel Defense Forces officers, of the crimes.

The lawyers, who planned to file their complaint with Norway’s chief prosecutor on Wednesday, were quoted as saying they would also call for the arrest and extradition of the Israeli leaders.
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Under the Norwegian penal code, courts may hear cases involving war crimes and other major violations of human rights.

The lawyers released a statement quoted by AFP accusing Israel of “massive terrorist attacks” in the Gaza Strip from December 27 last year to January 25, killing civilians, illegally using weapons against civilian targets and deliberately attacking hospitals and medical staff.

“There can be no doubt that these subjects knew about, ordered or approved the actions in Gaza and that they had considered the consequences of these actions,” the lawyers’ statement said.

It also said the lawyers were representing a number of people living in Norway.

“It involves three people of Palestinian origin living in Norway and 20 families who lost loved ones or property during the attack,” one of the lawyers, Kjell Brygfjeld, told AFP.

Israel’s stated goal in the three-week offensive was the halting of the cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza.

Gaza officials have said over 1,300 Palestinians died during the campaign, a majority of whom were civilians. But the Israel Defense Forces has disputed these claims, stating that the vast majority of the dead were Hamas militants.

Related articles:
# Time to believe Gaza war crimes allegations
# UN envoy: Gaza op seems to be war crime of greatest magnitude
# IDF: War crime charges over Gaza offensive are ‘legal terror’

Jewish Terrorists Have Carried Out More Than 60,144 & counting Deadly Terror Attacks Worldwide including 9/11, London, Bali…

Jewish Terrorists Have Carried Out More Than

60,144 & counting

Deadly Terror Attacks Worldwide including 9/11, London, Bali…

Jewish settler terrorists rampage at Arab village, casualties reported

By Khalid Amayreh • Apr 8th, 2009 at 9:47 • Category: Human Rights, Israel, Khalid Amayreh, Newswire, Our Authors, Palestine, Religion, Zionism

The Beit Ayn settlement outpost near Hebron

WRITTEN BY Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil

8 April, 2009

 

Religious Jewish terrorists on Thursday attacked a small Arab village north of al Khalil (Hebron), shooting randomly on civilians and vandalizing homes and businesses.

Eyewitnesses said as many as a hundred settler terrorists descended on the small village of Safa, 10 kilometers north west of al-Khalil, with the purpose of carrying out a pogrom against local inhabitants.

 

The terrorists were escorted by several Israeli army soldiers who reportedly made no effort to stop the terrorists who were shouting “death to the Arabs.”

 

The Palestinians, fearing for their lives, hurled stones at the rampaging  settlers to prevent them from setting fire to Palestinian property, prompting Israeli soldiers to open fire at the Palestinians.

 

At least 28 people were reportedly wounded with live ammunition, including a boy who was shot in the chest.

 

Medical sources said Thaer Nasser Adi, 17, was in serious but stable condition at the Ahli hospital in al–Khalil.

 

The mayor of the nearby town of Beit Ummar, Nasri Sabarna, described the settler rampage as “an unprovoked criminal act against innocent and peaceable people.”

 

Sabarna said the settlers wanted to terrorize the Palestinian villagers in order to take over their land and property.

 

He accused the right-wing Israeli government of giving Jewish terrorists a green light to attack Palestinians and vandalize their property.

 

“The present government is a government of settlers, by the settlers, for the settlers. I believe there is a full coordination between the settlers and the army.”

 

Muhammed, a local villager, called the settlers “savages and Nazis.”

 

“These people go to their religious Talmudic schools in the morning, and in the afternoon they come here to attack us, terrorize our women and children  and sabotage our property. What kind of religion are they following?”

 

Muhammed called on the international community to provide protection against “these barbarians who want to kill us and expel us from our land.”

 

He lashed out at the Israeli army for its “connivance and collusion” with the settlers, saying that the army and the settlers were “two sides of the same coin.”

 

Al-Khalil Governor Hussein al Araj, who arrived at the village soon after the disturbances, accused the Israeli army of failing to protect Palestinians from the settlers.

 

“I believe the settlers wouldn’t dare attack the village without at least a tacit approval from the Israeli army.”

 

Al-Araj held the Israeli army fully responsible for this “pogrom,” saying that Palestinians in the occupied territories needed international protection.

 

He added that settler attacks and terror would continue as long as “these criminal squatters remain here.”

 

The small settlement outpost, known as Beit Ayn, is home to extremist settlers who are indoctrinated in Jewish supremacy.

 

A few years ago, some of the settlers from Beit Ayn were caught implanting a large explosive charge at a Palestinian school near Jerusalem.

 

The explosion would have killed and injured dozens of Palestinian children.

 

Last week, a settler was killed, ostensibly in retaliation for the murder  of Palestinians by settler terrorists.

 

Normally, the Israeli justice system deals extremely lightly with settlers who murder Palestinians.

 

During the al-Qsa intifada,  the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish terrorists killed thousands of Palestinians, the vast majority of whom innocent civilians, to suppress Palestinian aspirations for freedom from decades of the Nazi-like Israeli military occupation.

 

According to an Israeli human rights organization, only a handful of cases of murder were investigated.

[jewish_terrorists.jpg]Palestine 1948

Little Kids Are Not Spared

 

Who Bankrupted General Motors?

The Zionist Gang that Bankrupted General Motors

Christopher Bollyn
Thursday, 18 June 2009
http://www.ziopedia.org/articles/money/the_zionist_gang_that_bankrupted_general_motors/

General Motors did not fall due to natural forces. Like the twin towers on 9-11, GM was taken down. Like 9-11, GM was sabotaged from the inside. The corporate raiders who took down GM are part of the same network of Jewish Zionists who brought down the World Trade Center.

The bankruptcy of General Motors (GM) is very similar to the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Both catastrophic events are described in the controlled media as having occurred due to natural forces, while actually they are both the results of sabotage carried out by insiders. In both cases, the people who brought down the operation were Trojan Horses, people who had bought their way into positions of control in order to destroy them. The people behind the destruction of GM and the WTC are corporate raiders of the worst kind.

General Motors did not simply collapse as a result of market forces; it was bankrupted by corporate raiders who had infiltrated the company and taken control of its finances. Likewise, the evidence indicates that the twin towers of the World Trade Center did not collapse due to the stresses associated with the plane crashes; they were prepared in advance to be demolished using extremely powerful explosives, including tons of nano-thermite, or super-thermite. This was facilitated by the people who had obtained control of the towers shortly before 9-11, namely Larry Silverstein and the former Israeli commando Frank Lowy.

What is most remarkable is that these events are closely related. The same people are involved in the conspiracy to plunder and destroy both the World Trade Center and General Motors. This article identifies some of the key people and reveals the strategy behind the destruction of one of America’s oldest companies.

BANKRUPTING GENERAL MOTORS

General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy on June 2, 2009, as the Zionist-run Obama administration provided unprecedented federal funding and oversight. The bankruptcy filing by GM was the third-largest in American history and the largest ever in U.S. manufacturing. Now that GM is facing restructuring, its assets will be taken over for pennies on the dollar. The notorious corporate raider Carl C. Icahn, for example, is reportedly looking at taking over Delphi Chassis Systems.

So, how did GM go bankrupt? If one looks at the sales figures for GM, it simply does not make sense. In 2007, GM was the largest producer of vehicles in the world, manufacturing 13 percent of the total, and had the largest slice of the U.S. car and truck market with 23.4 percent of domestic sales.

In 2007, GM led in global production and U.S. market share. Graphics from Wikinvest.

Globally, GM sold 9.4 million cars and trucks in 2007, an increase of 3 percent over 2006. GM’s 2007 tally was, in fact, the second best global sales total in the company’s 100-year history and marked the third consecutive year the company had sold more than 9 million vehicles. That doesn’t sound like a company on the brink of collapse, does it? In its 100-year history GM had been through much worse downturns, such as the Great Depression and the Second World War, yet GM managed to survive and thrive. What is so different about the management at GM in the past few years that it caused America’s biggest auto manufacturer to go into bankruptcy despite three consecutive bumber years of global sales?

George Richard (Rick) Wagoner became president and chief executive officer of GM on June 1, 2000. The value of GM stock started the month of May 2000 at its peak of over $93 per share. The day Wagoner became CEO the stock finished at $69.81. By the end of the year it was worth less than $51 per share. GM stock had fallen to about $35 when Wagoner was elected chairman on May 1, 2003. Why promote a CEO who was clearly taking the company down the drain?

Despite the falling stock price, Wagoner remained CEO and chairman of GM until March 29, 2009. Under Wagoner’s leadership GM suffered more than $85 billion in losses — losing $82 billion in the last 4 years! Why wasn’t Wagoner replaced earlier? How was GM selling more cars than ever but losing more and more money? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Were his hands tied? Rick Wagoner (center) with Mark Neporent (left), COO of Cerberus, and Eric Feldstein (right), chief executive of GMAC and treasurer of General Motors Corp. This photo is from the 2006 announcement of the Cerberus deal for a majority stake in GMAC in which Bernard Madoff’s partner-in-crime, J. Ezra Merkin, became chairman of GMAC. Is Wagoner responsible for $85 billion in losses at GM – or was he just a useful idiot?

In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest market is the U.S., followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, and Germany. Despite three years of record sales, GM lost $18.8 billion during the first 6 months of 2008; by late October, its stock had dropped 76 percent, and it was considering a merger with Chrysler.

At the time the GM-Chrysler merger was being considered, Chrysler was primarily owned (80.1 percent) by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., headed by Stephen A. Feinberg and Jacob Ezra Merkin. Cerberus is named after the mythological three-headed dog of Hell. It should be noted that Feinberg and Merkin also controlled General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC), the financial services branch of GM.

GM sold 51 percent of GMAC in 2006 to Feinberg’s private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, and Jacob Ezra Merkin became chairman of GMAC. Had the merger gone through, Feinberg and Merkin would have probably become majority owners of both GM and Chrysler. This appears to have been the plan. Feinberg and Merkin, the owners of GMAC, had plundered and conspired to bring down GM so that they could take it over.

When Cerberus gained control of GMAC, they hurt GM’s domestic sales by raising the credit requirements for car loans. Feinberg and Merkin reportedly raised the credit requirements so high that they caused a very sizable chunk of sales to be lost due to customers’ inability to secure financing. Cerberus reportedly used this tactic to pressure GM into selling or trading their remaining stake in GMAC.

Ezra Merkin became a controlling owner of Israel’s Bank Leumi shortly before he got his hands on GMAC in 2006. Here he shakes the hand of the notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon as he hands him a check for $500 million. Ehud Olmert (center) held secret meetings in New York City on September 10, 2001. Merkin’s private Israeli bank has a branch in Switzerland that contains billions of stolen dollars held in secret numbered accounts.

Merkin is clearly a criminal. He is one of the key players of the multi-billion dollar criminal fraud carried out by Bernard Madoff. Merkin secretly diverted untold billions to Madoff’s fraudulent investment fund. One of Merkin’s funds lost $1.8 billion of investor cash with Madoff. Merkin was seen as “the Golden Boy controlling the Golden Goose.”

Feinberg and Merkin were also controlling co-owners of Israel’s Bank Leumi, which had been privatized in 2005 under finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bank Leumi also has off-shore banks and a branch in Switzerland in which billions of dollars are held in secret numbered accounts.

It was reported on December 30, 2008, that the U.S. Treasury would provide $6 billion more for GMAC, headed by Merkin and the extremely secretive Feinberg. Feinberg is so secretive his Who’s Who biography says he is deceased!

Stephen A. Feinberg, Ezra Merkin’s partner-in-crime.

The U.S. Treasury was reportedly buying a $5 billion stake in GMAC and lending $1 billion to GM. This “loan” was in addition to $13.4 billion of taxpayer dollars the Treasury had already lent to GM and Chrysler LLC. Once again, a plundered and bankrupted company was being “bailed-out” with taxpayer funds.

Merkin had been chairman of GMAC since November 2006. GMAC reportedly lost nearly $8 billion while Merkin was in charge. Despite Merkin’s huge losses at GMAC and his involvement in the Madoff criminal scam, the U.S. government evidently had no problem providing billions of taxpayer dollars to Merkin, whose Ariel Fund was one of the largest funds feeding billions to Bernie Madoff’s financial black hole. Madoff reportedly “lost” some $50 billion, or more.

Jacob Ezra Merkin, orthodox Jew and devoted Zionist, finally resigned as chairman of GMAC on January 9, 2009. How was Merkin allowed to remain in control of the privately-held GMAC operation for so long despite his history of financial fraud?

WHO RAN GMAC?

GMAC is a very interesting operation. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors since 1919, GMAC provided customers with more than $1.4 trillion in credit to finance more than 162 million vehicles. Originally designed to provide financing for people buying GM vehicles, it branched out into other fields, such as real estate. GMAC Commercial Mortgage (GMACCM), for example, provided the funds for Larry Silverstein and the former Israeli commando Frank Lowy to take over the World Trade Center in July 2001. The towers served as the collateral. GMAC Commercial Mortgage sold $563 million in bonds backed by a loan to Silverstein Properties for its purchase of the towers. If Silverstein and Lowy were part of the conspiracy to destroy the World Trade Center, the people controlling GMACCM would probably also be. Who was controlling the purse strings at GMAC in 2001 when Silverstein was negotiating to obtain control of the World Trade Center?

Larry Silverstein, here with his daughter Lisa, made billions of dollars from the destruction of the World Trade Center. He is the former chairman of the UJA-Federation of New York, the largest Zionist fund-raising organization in the world.

At GMAC, the person in charge of the money was Eric A. Feldstein, born in Brookline, Mass. in 1959. Feldstein had worked in the office of the treasurer at GM Corp. from 1981-91 and was regional treasurer in Europe from 1991-93. In 1993, he returned to New York as assistant treasurer. In March 1996, he was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of GMAC and chairman of the GMAC Mortgage Group, where he oversaw corporate activities responsible for general finance, audit, and worldwide borrowings.

Feldstein became treasurer of General Motors in November 1997, and was elected vice president the following month. In June 2001, Feldstein was named General Motors’ vice president, finance, and corporate treasurer. When GM and GMAC failed in 2008, Feldstein went to work for Feinberg and Merkin at Cerberus, joining the team named after the three-headed dog of Hell. At Cerberus, Feldstein was made executive vice president.

Eric Feldstein, the treasurer of GM, laughs with Rick Wagoner and Mark Neporent, COO of Cerberus, as the Zionist-run fund took majority control of GMAC. By this point, GM was well on its way to losing $85 billion – all during Feldstein’s term as GM corporate treasurer and vice president in charge of finance.

Eric Feldstein is the son of Donald Feldstein, a high-ranking member of a number of Zionist organizations in New York and New Jersey. The elder Feldstein is one year older than Larry Silverstein and has a long history of leadership in the same Zionist organization as Silverstein. Donald Feldstein was an executive director of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation Jewish Philanthropies in New York City from 1976-81. This is the huge Zionist fund-raising organization that Larry Silverstein headed as the chairman of the board and where he is an honorary board member. The connection between Donald Feldstein and Larry Silverstein at this Zionist organization certainly played a role in Eric Feldstein’s decision to use GMAC money to back Silverstein’s bid for the World Trade Center. It is through such Zionist organizations like the UJA-Federation and the secretive order of B’nai B’rith, an international organization of Jewish Freemasons, that the Zionist network functions. In this way actions and decisions that affect whole nations can be made without anyone outside the “community” being aware.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., under the leadership of Donald Feldstein’s son, provided an $800 million loan to fellow Zionists Silverstein and Lowy to back their bid for the soon-to-be privatized World Trade Center in the summer of 2001. This privatization deal, initiated by the Zionist Ronald Lauder and managed by Lewis Eisenberg of the Port Authority, was finalized at the end of July 2001. The WTC complex was finally put into private hands – Zionist hands – only 6 weeks before it was demolished and pulverized with super-thermite.

FELDSTEIN JOINS ETON

After being fired from GMAC, Eric Feldstein went to work for Cerberus in March 2008. Three months later he became CFO at Eton Park Capital Management. Eton Park is a hedge fund run by 42-year-old Eric M. Mindich, formerly with Goldman Sachs, and Alan R. Batkin, the vice chairman of the fund. Batkin, 64, is the senior partner at Eton Park. Although Feldstein lost billions as the head of GMAC and was fired because he had destroyed the 90-year-old company, Mindich and Batkin made him chief financial officer at Eton Park. Feldstein’s colossal failure at GMAC evidently did not bother them. He was clearly being rewarded for a job well done.

Alan Batkin, the vice chairman at Eton Park, is very highly connected. Batkin was, for example, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates Inc. from 1990 through 2006. It is, however, his executive positions at some of the biggest companies of Israel, such as Israel Discount Bank (IDB) and Discount Investment Corporation, Ltd., that reveal the intense Israeli character of Eton Park. (The IDB has been privatized and is also closely tied to the Madoff scam.)

Alan R. Batkin is a member of the board of governors of Tel Aviv University and is treasurer of PEC Israel Economic Corp. (part of Discount Investment Corporation, Ltd.) where he has served as CEO, president, and director. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Orama Ltd. (a venture capital firm founded in 1999 to support companies in the Israeli technology sector; a subsidiary of IDB Group, Ltd.)

From 1972 to 1990, Batkin was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, where he a Managing Director for 14 years. Batkin has been, since 1999, a director of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG), which owns and manages a large fleet of transatlantic oil tankers. As a director of OSG, Batkin works with Solomon Merkin, the brother of Jacob Ezra Merkin. Their father, Hermann Merkin, was one of the owners of the company along with the Recanati family of Israel Discount Bank. Batkin is also vice chairman and a director of Hasbro Inc. since 1992.

Solomon Merkin

Batkin was a director of Infinity Broadcasting Corp. since April 1992. Infinity provided popular talk radio with a distinctly pro-Israel point of view. Foremost among Infinity’s talk show staff was Howard Stern, a vulgar and controversial radio personality. Other national radio performers employed by Infinity included Don Imus, Larry King, G. Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh. Infinity merged with CBS Radio in 1997.

Alan Batkin is a scion of the intensely Zionist Batkin and Tenzer families and the son of Stanley Irving Batkin, a leading Zionist figure since the 1930s. Stanley Batkin is a recipient of Israel’s Prime Minister’s Medallion (1974) and the City of Jerusalem Medal (1976). These awards are given to Zionists for extraordinary service to Israel. The elder Batkin has served, since the founding of the state of Israel, as an executive of the following organizations (among many others): the Zionist Organization of America; the State of Israel Bond Committee; the Jewish Theological Seminary; State of Israel Bonds; Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science; Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Inc.; and Yeshiva University Museum.

Recommended Reading:

Bollyn, Christopher, “The Israeli Who Will Run the Obama White House,” November 6, 2008
Bollyn, Christopher, “Update on Madoff’s Guilty Plea,” March 12, 2009
Bollyn, Christopher, “Who is Bernard Madoff, the man behind the $50 billion fraud?” updated March 24, 2009
General Motors Data, Wikinvest
General Motors’ U.S. Sales History, Domestic Brands, 1908-2008, Automotive News, June 1, 2009
General Motors’ Top Ten Markets in Europe, 2008
“Obama gambles on reviving GM from bankruptcy,” Reuters, June 2, 2009
Source: Christopher Bollyn

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WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

The language that absolves Israel – Los Angeles Times

The language that absolves Israel
A special political vocabulary prevents us from being able to recognize what’s going on in the Middle East.
By Saree Makdisi
June 19, 2009

On Sunday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech that — by categorically ruling out the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state — ought to have been seen as a mortal blow to the quest for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Monday morning, however, newspaper headlines across the United States announced that Netanyahu had endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state, and the White House welcomed the speech as “an important step forward.”

Reality can be so easily stood on its head when it comes to Israel because the misreading of Israeli declarations is a long-established practice among commentators and journalists in the United States.

In fact, a special vocabulary has been developed for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. It filters and structures the way in which developing stories are misread here, making it difficult for readers to fully grasp the nature of those stories — and maybe even for journalists to think critically about what they write.

The ultimate effect of this special vocabulary is to make it possible for Americans to accept and even endorse in Israel what they would reject out of hand in any other country.

Let me give a classic example.

In the U.S., discussion of Palestinian politicians and political movements often relies on a spectrum running from “extreme” to “moderate.” The latter sounds appealing; the former clearly applies to those who must be — must they not? — beyond the pale. But hardly anyone relying on such terms pauses to ask what they mean. According to whose standard are these manifestly subjective labels assigned?

Meanwhile, Israeli politicians are labeled according to an altogether different standard: They are “doves” or “hawks.” Unlike the terms reserved for Palestinians, there’s nothing inherently negative about either of those avian terms.

So why is no Palestinian leader referred to here as a “hawk”? Why are Israeli politicians rarely labeled “extremists”? Or, for that matter, “militants”?

There are countless other examples of these linguistic double standards. American media outlets routinely use the deracinating and deliberately obfuscating term “Israeli Arabs” to refer to the Palestinian citizens of Israel, despite the fact that they call themselves — and are — Palestinian.

Similarly, Israeli housing units built in the occupied territories in contravention of international law are always called “settlements” or even “neighborhoods” rather than what they are: “colonies.” That word may be harsh on the ears, but it’s far more accurate (“a body of people who settle in a new locality, forming a community subject to or connected with their parent state”).

These subtle distinctions make a huge difference. Unconsciously absorbed, such terms frame the way people and events are viewed. When it comes to Israel, we seem to reach for a dictionary that applies to no one else, to give a pass to actions or statements that would be condemned in any other quarter.

That’s what allowed Netanyahu to be congratulated for endorsing a Palestinian “state,” even though the kind of entity he said Palestinians might — possibly — be allowed to have would be nothing of the kind.

Look up the word “state” in the dictionary. You’ll probably see references to territorial integrity, power and sovereignty. The entity that Netanyahu was talking about on Sunday would lack all of those constitutive features. A “state” without a defined territory that is not allowed to control its own borders or airspace and cannot enter into treaties with other states is not a state, any more than an apple is an orange or a car an airplane. So how can leading American newspapers say “Israeli Premier Backs State for Palestinians,” as the New York Times had it? Or “Netanyahu relents on goal of two states,” as this paper put it?

Because a different vocabulary applies.

Which is also what kept Netanyahu’s most extraordinary demand in Sunday night’s speech from raising eyebrows here.

“The truth,” he said, “is that in the area of our homeland, in the heart of our Jewish homeland, now lives a large population of Palestinians.”

In other words, as Netanyahu repeatedly said, there is a Jewish people; it has a homeland and hence a state. As for the Palestinians, they are a collection — not even a group — of trespassers on Jewish land. Netanyahu, of course, dismisses the fact that they have a centuries-old competing narrative of home attached to the same land, a narrative worthy of recognition by Israel.

On the contrary: The Palestinians must, he said, accept that Israel is the state of the Jewish people (this is a relatively new Israeli demand, incidentally), and they must do so on the understanding that they are not entitled to the same rights. “We” are a people, Netanyahu was saying; “they” are merely a “population.” “We” have a right to a state — a real state. “They” do not.

And the spokesman for our African American president calls this “an important step forward”?

In any other situation — including our own country — such a brutally naked contrast between those who are taken to have inherent rights and those who do not would immediately be labeled as racist. Netanyahu, though, is given a pass, not because most Americans would knowingly endorse racism but because, in this case, a special political vocabulary kicks in that prevents them from being able to recognize it for exactly what it is.

Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA. He is the author of, among other books, “Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.”

Israeli troops humiliate Palestinians – and put it on YouTube

Last update – 10:55 19/06/2009
Israeli troops humiliate Palestinians – and put it on YouTube
By Uri Blau
Tags: Border Police, Palestinians 
Forty-three seconds: that’s the duration of a video clip uploaded to YouTube less than a year ago under the category of “Comedy.”

For the “hero” of the clip, an unidentified young Arab, they were probably eternally long seconds and far from amusing. He was forced to slap himself and sing to the jubilant shouts of the photographer and his buddies – all of them members of Israel’s Border Police.

This clip, which has been viewed more than 2,800 times, shows the unknown Palestinian standing in a desert setting while a disembodied voice orders him in Hebrew to hit himself: “Yallah, start, do it hard!”

The viewers hear the chuckles of the other policemen and a clear voice telling the Arab: “Say ‘Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul’ [“I love the Border Police? in a mix of Arabic and Hebrew]. Say it!”

They see him obey in a subdued voice and with a frightened look, even as he goes on slapping himself. They hear the “director” laughing and the faceless voice shouting: “Again! Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul.”

After a little more than 30 seconds, the voice says, “Say ‘Wahad hummus wahad ful'” – and the Arab man obeys and then is told to complete the rhyme: “Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul.”

After 40 seconds, the abusers appear to have had enough and the voice impatiently orders the victim: “Yallah, rukh, rukh, rukh” (“go”). The camera turns and for a fraction of a second a Border Police Jeep is visible.

A few dozen viewers sent comments. “Hahahaha, it was great the way he excruciated himself.” Another added: “That’s how it should be!!!!! Stinking Arab.”

And a third pointed out, “He should have been shot!! Sons of bitches.” A few viewers took pity on the victim, though with reservations. One person remarked, “Mercy on the guy, even if he’s an Arab. What’s it in aid of? He didn?’t do anything.”

Old City lions

The clip just described is not the only one that has been circulated among members of the Border Police and found its way onto the Web. Haaretz found several others like it, in which Palestinians are seen being abused and humiliated by Border Police troops. The faces of the tormenters are rarely seen, and it’s also not clear where the clips were filmed – but what is clear is the atmosphere in which this cruel theater is played out.

For example, one 53-second clip that was uploaded in the past year and has had about 1,800 hits opens with the caption, “And a little poison – C Company, the lions of the Old City.” This clip, during which the caption “Respect” appears, consists mainly of stills of Border Policemen and is accompanied by an original soundtrack: “Let every Arab mother know that the fate of her children is in the hands of the Company, C Company in the Old City; with protective vests and clubs we break apart gun clips on Arab mothers; hours in the alleys, in every corner, at every moment, a police patrol with green beret is on the prowl and the others are plenty scared; C Company’s in the Old City, so let every Arab mother know.”

(This is a play on a famous quote by David Ben-Gurion, who said that every Jewish mother should know that her son is in good hands in the army.)

Another clip is accompanied by the following explanation: “They were bored (my buddies) so they grabbed one guy and laughed with him and he did it serious.? The visuals show a mustachioed Palestinian wearing a blue shirt and a green hat, sitting in what is probably a police vehicle. He raises his hands and asks “Now?” and gets an affirmative reply. Then, to the sounds of “One, two, three” and rhythmic clapping, he declaims, “Wahad hummus, wahad ful, ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul.”

After a few rounds of this he asks, “Yallah, enough?” The policemen, who are seen for a split second, reply, “More! More!” And he continues.
This clip has had more than 2,500 hits, with similar reactions. ?Hahaha, what a dumb Arab,” one viewer writes, and another chimes in, “You gonna see me there in too weeks and then we shute Arabs to the death.” (The English written here reflects the level of the Hebrew.)

One clip clearly shows the face of a Border Policeman as he speaks into the camera: “Shalom. I am now at [checkpoint] 51,” he says. Behind him, in the background, a Palestinian is seen crossing the road at a distance. The photographer urges the policeman on: “Run to him quick.”

“Hey, there’s an illegal − I want to show how I catch an illegal,” the policeman says, and starts to chase the Palestinian. The photographer is heard chortling and sniggering as he documents the event. The clip ends as the policeman returns to the Jeep with the youngster he has caught and says, “A Hamas terrorist has just been captured. Wow!” Standing behind him, the Palestinian, obviously fearful, intones, ?No, I am not Hamas, I am not Hamas.”

Yet another clip, entitled “Magavnikim” ?(Border Police, in the Hebrew acronym?), features an old, apparently ailing man. He is asked what he thinks about the “blue police” and replies, “Ass-fuckers.”

“So the blue police are fuckers, eh? And the Magavnikim?” he is asked. “What are Magavnikim – soldiers?” the elderly man asks, and gets a positive reply. “Ah, kapara [absolution] on them,” he says in a raspy voice.

Another video, which, according to its captions, was filmed by soldiers from the Lavi battalion in November 2007, features stills describing the unit’s daily routine. A series of photos depicts Palestinians crouching on the floor of a room in which an Israeli flag is displayed, blindfolded and with their hands bound. In one photo, an Israeli soldier appears smiling next to one of the bound men.

Via the Internet, Haaretz tried to contact everyone who uploaded the clips to YouTube, no responses were received, with one exception − and that person refused to comment substantively.

Border Police spokesman Moshe Pintzi stated in response: “In recent years there has been a decrease of tens of percent in complaints filed against Border Policemen, both over the unauthorized use of force and inappropriate behavior. One can attribute this trend to educational efforts in cooperation with human rights organizations and a policy of zero tolerance. The Border Police has vowed to maintain values, first and foremost, human dignity and human rights, and the fighters are taught to respect these values.”

According to Pintzi, the high command of the Border Police has known about the YouTube videos since 2008. “The Border Police is trying to find those who took the videos and if they are still in the force, they are being called in for clarification. From our experience, the videos are mostly uploaded to the Web after they are discharged because they understand our policy of zero tolerance. If we find evidence of a possible criminal offense we at the Border Police command transfer it to the internal investigation department. As for the song by Company C, following Haaretz’s request, the Border Police has begun to deal with the matter through our educational and disciplinary frameworks. The content of the song is contrary to the values in which we educate our fighters. We condemn the cynical use of David Ben-Gurion?s words by the creator of the song, and the Border Police intends to see this matter through.”

Unofficial anthem

Forcing Palestinians to sing songs of praise to the Border Police is not a new phenomenon. In May 2007, for example, a field worker for B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, took testimony from Mohammed Abu Mohsen, a 15-year-old boy from the village of Abu Dis, which abuts East Jerusalem. He described abuse he had suffered at the hands of Border Policemen close to his home. One of the policemen, he said, ordered him to chant, “Ful hummus ful, I love Mishmar Hagvul.”

“Again and again [he] wanted me to say that, but I wouldn’t do it,” the boy testified.

This unofficial Border Police anthem has been cited in indictments filed against abusive members of the corps. In 2005, two Border Policemen, Yaniv Aharoni and Assad Bader, went on trial in Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on charges of attacking and abusing Palestinians who had entered Israel illegally. According to the indictment, Bader “demanded that the complainants sing ‘Hummus ful, I love Mishmar Hagvul’ – saying that anyone who did not sing would be hit on the head.? Aharoni and Bader were convicted of aggravated assault, abusing helpless victims and making threats, and were sentenced to prison terms.

Worse than singing

From conversations with Border Policemen who recently completed their service, it turns out that the “Wahad hummus, wahad ful” chant remains very popular. A. is an officer who served in the Border Police for 10 years, mainly in the Jerusalem area and along the separation fence. Asked whether this is a widespread phenomenon, he replies, “Yes, because the Arabs also know this song and, you know, laugh.”

Sometimes, A. notes, when Border Policemen detain a Palestinian for a check, “until he [the policeman] records his ID number, [in order] to amuse the guys they bring in a new recruit to run the show – They line them up in a row and udrub” ?(get going?).

Isn’t there anyone who says this behavior is wrong?

“No, who would say that? They take it as clowning, you know.”

Don’t you think it’s humiliating to make people do that?

“From that point of view, yes, but it’s a relative thing, which is still at a higher level than the other things they do, which are more humiliating.”

Such as what?

“A lot of things. Blows, ‘sit on my knees,’ ‘lower your head,’ ‘pull down your pants,’ ‘strip.’ In my opinion, those are worse things than singing.”

Why do you suppose they film it?

“They film it so they can boast to the guys and show it to friends in civilian life.”

V., a Border Policewoman who served in Jerusalem and Hebron, relates, “It’s a song that I would say has been rooted in the Border Police for years. When I got to the company I heard it from locals [Arabs] who sang it. It’s passed on to each new group.”

Who films these things?

“In my opinion, it’s isolated cases of fighters who want to leave their mark or somehow try to educate the residents, but it’s not something that every Border Policeman does.”

Have you ever seen films like that?

“I saw one or two. For example, a bus that was carrying people to East Jerusalem and they stopped it and made everyone get off and took their ID cards. That’s a check of probably a quarter of an hour and a delay, so they try to pass the time: they talk to them, sing with them. Something like that.”

Y., another Border Policeman, tries to explain the phenomenon: “I got to know that song when I was drafted and was getting into the groove. Then, when I was in Hebron, the Arabs would say ‘Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul.'”

Why would an Arab sing that on his own initiative?

“I have no idea. It depends on the guy that arrested him, what went on in his head.”

Good for the group

“What makes an ordinary Border Policeman humiliate others? What satisfaction does he get from it? Where does the need come from? Was it taught to them by someone?”

These rhetorical questions are posed by Dr. Ruhama Marton, a psychiatrist who is the president of Physicians for Human Rights. “The answer is yes: his squad commander, his platoon commander and the silence of the higher commanders taught him. They get the practice from the small-fry and the approval from the big guys.”

In an attempt to explain the behavior of Border Policemen, Marton cites the theory of the British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion (1897-1979.)

“Bion,” she says, “divided people into groups and argued that each group has basic assumptions, which are almost always unconscious, that dictate its behavior. An example is what he called a fighting group, which is characterized by a deep need for a leader to whom the fighters will delegate many demands and longings. The leader has to be the savior of the group, which resembles any typical battalion in Givati or Golani [IDF infantry brigades], and do the thinking for it.

“The fighting group has a collective morality. In other words, the members of the group do not develop the personal areas of morality, conscience and personal distinction between good and bad, or they try to ignore them … A phenomenon of group morality results, which is characterized by the view that what is good for the group is good, right and just, and what serves the group is moral.”

Is that reflected in the case of the Border Police?

“If the spirit of the group says ‘the Arabs are not really human beings,’ that is the determining factor. And if they are not really human beings, then to humiliate them is not the same as humiliating me.”

A humor thing

How does the high command in the Border Police treat the phenomenon? All the policemen who were asked said they had never been reprimanded.

Did your commanders ever talk to you about this?

“No,” says Y. “Never. You don’t do anything that’s not all right.”

So it’s all right to make someone sing?

“I don’t know how to explain the phenomenon. As long as it doesn’t involve the use of force or violence, I don’t think it’s not all right. But I didn’t do things like that, because it’s making fun of people…

The Palestinians are definitely afraid of your uniform, not of who you are, and there are some who take advantage of the power of their uniform … to hit someone here, hit someone there. You see it; you live it on the ground. But in my opinion, the people who do those things are miserable types who just want to show off. Some do it because they?re feeling down and there are another thousand and one reasons for doing those things.”

How widespread is it?

“It depends on the guy’s craziness.”

V., the policewoman, says, “We were not specifically told ‘don’t do that’ or ‘do that.’ It’s not something that hurts their rights, it doesn’t cross the border of the resident?s rights. If they flow with the singing, it’s not that they are being ordered or [being threatened] with a pistol.”

Can a Palestinian tell a Border Policeman “I don?t want to sing”?

“In my opinion, yes – It’s a humor thing and if they flow with it, terrific, and if not they just move on.”

Degrading and unacceptable

Major General ?(ret.) David Zur, who was commander of the Border Police from 2002 to 2004, says he is not familiar with the ditty mentioned above or the phenomenon of forcing Palestinians to sing it.

Of abusive treatment in general, he says, “Probably it happens more in groups of Border Police, because their point of friction at checkpoints and in dealing with illegals − which is the main occupation of the Border Police − is sharp. … We cannot ignore the fact that it happens once every so often, and it does not have the tacit agreement of the high command.”

According to Zur, “The Border Police is a collection of fighters who come from many different cultures. People who might not integrate in the army’s combat units integrate in the Border Police. Some people might say that is a bad thing, but some might say it is even Zionist service. There is a very high percentage of new immigrants. I offer this background in order to explain that in the final analysis, to introduce these people into the combat formation in a very short time is no simple matter and a great deal is invested there … There is an effort to root out phenomena like that, and all the types of abuse or of despicable behavior are dealt with … The Border Police does amazing work in the realm of education.”

Fighters I spoke with don’t even understand that it’s not right. They call it humor.

“It is degrading and it is unacceptable, period.”

How can it be that this basic understanding is nonexistent?

“I can tell you that this phenomenon has decreased significantly, for many reasons. Because of education, greater supervision and also because of the women in Machsom Watch [who document the activity of soldiers and Border Policemen at checkpoints] who did work in this area, and some of their photographs reached us. At the time, I allowed the Red Cross and an international human-rights organization to enter Border Police bases and talk to the troops. There are results, but it’s quite hard and it takes time and I am not sure that immediate results are visible.”

Do you think that lengthy service in the territories leads to insensitivity?

“Yes, yes. The people rub up against them [the soldiers], some of them experience difficult things, but none of that justifies it. The expectation is that people will rise above the grinding duty and the frustration and behave accordingly.

Plane Collission Photo from inside the plane

Photo by an extraordinary photographer, who kept his cool even in his last moments of life and took this photo. Hats off to him!!!
LET ALL DEPARTED SOUL REST IN PEACE

 The world saw the disappearance of an A330 Air Frane during a trans Atlantic flight between Rio to Paris. Very ironic that a day before I got a mail of the photos taken a a passenger on a flight mins after a mid air collision, and mins before the crash of the said aircraft

Two shots taken inside the plane before it crashed. Unbelievable! Photos taken inside the GOL B 737 aircraft that was involved in a mid air collision and crashed…..

A B737 had a mid air collision with the Embraer Legacy while cruising at 35,000 feet over South America. The Embraer Legacy, though seriously damaged with the  winglet ripped off, managed to make a landing at a nearby airstrip in the midst of the Amazon jungle. The crew and passengers of the Embraer Legacy had no idea what they had hit. The B737
however crashed, killing all crew and passengers on board.

The two photos attached were apparently taken by one of the passengers in the B737, just after the collision and before the aircraft crashed. The photos were retrieved from the camera’s memory stick. You will never get to see photos like this. In the first photo, there is a gaping hole in the fuselage through which you can see the tailplane and vertical fin of the aircraft. In the second photo, one of the passengers is being sucked out of the gaping hole.

These photos were found in a digital Casio Z750, amidst the remains in Serra do Cachimbo.. Although the camera was destroyed, the Memory Stick was recovered. Investigating the serial number of the camera, the owner was identified as Paulo G. Muller, an actor of a theatre for children known in the outskirts of Porto  Alegre. It can be imagined that he was standing during the impact with the Embraer Legacy and during the turbulence, he managed to take these photos, just seconds after the tail loss the aircraft plunged. So the camera was found near the cockpit. The structural stress probably ripped the engines away, diminishing the falling speed, protecting the electronic equipment but not unfortunately the victims. Paulo Muller leaves behind two daughters, Bruna and Beatriz.

Judge: Christian group can’t walk with literature at Arab festival in Michigan

Judge: Christian group can’t walk with literature at Arab festival in Michigan – San Jose Mercury News

Judge: Christian group can’t walk with literature at Arab festival in Michigan

By David N. Goodman

Associated Press
Posted: 06/18/2009 02:16:55 PM PDT
Updated: 06/18/2009 02:16:55 PM PDT

DETROIT — A federal judge today denied an evangelical Christian group’s request for permission to hand out literature on sidewalks at an Arab festival in the heart of the Detroit area’s Middle Eastern community.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds denied Anaheim, Calif.-based Arabic Christian Perspective’s request for a temporary restraining order.

The group describes itself in its court filing as “a national ministry established for the purpose of proclaiming the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims … (that) travels around the country attending and distributing Christian literature at Muslim festivals and mosques.”

A lawyer for the group said it would seek a permanent injunction against the city of Dearborn.

“It’s not over,” said Robert J. Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, an Ann Arbor-based Christian rights advocacy group.

Another lawyer on the case said the Dearborn officials action could be part of what he described as a broader Muslim legal attack on critics of Islam in our “Judeo-Christian nation.”

“Muslims are using the courts in this country to stop our free speech rights,” said William J. Becker Jr., a Los Angeles attorney who has represented a number of prominent critics of Islam.

The 14th annual Dearborn Arab International Festival is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors Friday through Sunday to the city that has the Detroit area’s greatest concentration of Arab-Americans.
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Festival organizer Fay Beydoun said the evangelical group was being offered a good spot in an area with a number of other religious, nonprofit and political groups.

“You have to pass right in front of it to get anywhere,” said Beydoun, executive director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Southeastern Michigan has about 300,000 people with roots in the Arab world. It includes large numbers of both Muslims and Christians.

The group sued Dearborn after police told the Rev. George Saieg members would need to restrict literature distribution to a designated table-and-booth section of the festival site.

The city said safely accommodating the 150,000 daily festival-goers requires limits on where people can leaflet. It said other Christian and Muslim groups already have tables and booths for distributing material at the festival.

City officials say anyone is free to have conversations — but not leaflet — on sidewalks within the festival’s barricades.

“It appears to be a legitimate governmental interest for crowd control and safety,” Edmunds said in denying the request. “The festival area is more akin to a fair than a normal city street.”

Becker said the case is similar to one he handled in Los Angeles, in which Jews for Jesus member Cyril Gordon won about $250,000 after being arrested for trespassing in 2006 outside an Israel Independence Day event in a park.

“This is a case where your right, my right and anybody’s right to walk down the street and express their views is being disrupted by a police action,” he said.

An official of the Council of American-Islamic Relations said Arabic Christian Perspective was asking for special treatment.

“They should abide by the rules and purchase a booth like the other religious groups,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the group’s Michigan chapter. “Christians can talk about Christianity and Muslims can promote Islam. This is the right we have as Americans.”

Money won’t stop south Thai violence, Muslims say

Money won’t stop south Thai violence, Muslims say
Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:30am EDT
By Martin Petty

BAN TALUBOH, Thailand, June 18 (Reuters) – In the rustic villages of Thailand’s Muslim south, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s promise of large-scale development aid to tackle a brutal insurgency sounds all too familiar.

“Money can’t change what’s happening, no one can buy an end to the problems here,” said Yousuf, referring to a shadowy five-year rebellion that has claimed nearly 3,500 lives in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

“It’s the policies of Thai governments that are to blame,” he said in a village tea shop in Pattani. “They have to understand that our way of life is different to other Thais and money won’t make a difference”.

Other villagers gave similar views on Abhisit’s three-year plan to win “hearts and minds” by pouring 54 billion baht ($1.58 billion) into the region bordering Malaysia. [ID:nBKK414765]

They are ethnic Malay Muslims who speak Thai as a second language, and dismiss the plan to boost fisheries, rubber and palm oil industries as another example of Buddhist Bangkok’s failure to understand a region more than 1,000 kms away.

“Corrupt officials will keep the money for themselves. This is a useless idea,” Arware said. “It could end up in the hands of the militant groups. Investment won’t stop the violence.”

Bearmah, a burly Muslim with teeth stained by sickly-sweet tea, said a better idea would be to withdraw the 30,000 soldiers deployed in the region and scrap an emergency decree that grants them broad powers of arrest with immunity from prosecution.

“The rebels are fighting the military. We don’t need them here because we can protect ourselves,” he said, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette.

“The emergency laws let them arrest innocent people, jail them for a month, and sometimes they torture them — how can this win hearts and minds?,” he said.

MOSQUE ATTACK

The three provinces were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate annexed by Buddhist Thailand a century ago, and its people have long resisted Bangkok’s attempts to assimilate them.

A separatist insurgency from the 1970s and 1980s resurfaced in 2004, and attempts by successive Thai governments to quell the unrest with military force, investment and even free cable television have all failed.

The violence has intensified in the last two weeks, with Buddhists and Muslims among the 31 people killed and more than 50 wounded in the all too familiar gun and bomb attacks, for which no credible group has claimed responsibility.

The unrest has heaped more pressure on Abhisit’s coalition government as it struggles to revive an economy hit by a global downturn and protracted political strife since a 2006 coup removed ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Nestled in the jungles of Pattani, villages like Ban Taluboh have been traditional strongholds of Abhisit’s Democrat Party. But few here believe his government, or any other, is capable of ending the violence.

“Each government is the same,” said Abdulloh, who like many southern Muslims wears a traditional “kapiyoh” skullcap and checked sarong.

“They have never listened to the people. Our culture is a Malay culture and we follow the rules of Islam.”

Bearmah said the failure to arrest the gunmen who shot dead 10 Muslims at prayer in a Narathiwat mosque on June 8 had intensified peoples’ feelings of injustice and resentment.

“If they really want to end this violence, they have to arrest these killers,” he said, rejecting Bangkok’s denials security forces were involved in the mosque attack.

“I suspect the authorities are behind it, because no one has been arrested,” he said. “Muslims don’t kill other Muslims praying in a mosque.” (Editing by Darren Schuettler and Jerry Norton)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

CAIR says US Government Unfairly Targets Muslim Charities




17 June 2009

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a report that says US federal laws targeting financing of terrorism have suppressed Muslim charities. But Federal prosecutors say some charities have served as fronts for terror-financing operations.

A grab of the report's cover page
A grab of the report’s cover page, 17 June 2009

According to the ACLU report, government efforts to stop terror financing are too vague and are often applied unfairly to Muslim charity organizations.  

Post 9/11 policies counterproductive, need to change:

The author of the report, Jennifer Turner, speaking to VOA by telephone from New York, says policies implemented in the days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks need to be changed.

“Terrorism finance laws and policies that were developed after 9-11 are impeding Muslim Americans’ ability to practice their religion through charitable giving,” Turner said.

Turner notes that giving to charity is one of the five pillars of Islam, and that U.S. Muslims are being denied an important part of their religious practice by policies that target their charities. She also argues that such policies are counterproductive.

“They undermine America’s reputation in the Muslim world, they alienate American Muslims who are key allies in the war on terror financing, and they kill legitimate humanitarian aid in parts of the world where charities’ good works could be most effective in winning hearts and minds,” Turner said. 

Turner says she interviewed 120 people, including at least two former U.S. government officials, in preparing her report. In the report, she criticizes the US Treasury Department for closing down nine American Muslim charities, only one of which was found guilty of funneling money to a terrorist organization. She says the charities have been denied due process of law and have no way to appeal the government action.

President Obama recognizes the problem:

Jennifer Turner says she hopes President Obama will take action soon to change such policies.

“In his recent remarks in Cairo, President Obama recognized that American Muslims are facing a barrier to giving to charity and fulfilling their religious obligations to give to charity,” Turner said. “He also pledged to take action to reform these policies.”

But the ACLU allegations are viewed with skepticism by U.S. government agents and prosecutors. Jim Jacks served as the lead prosecutor in the federal government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation in Dallas last year. He read the ACLU report and found it wanting.

“There is essentially nothing in there that presents the evidence from the government’s point of view,” Jacks said. “We were never, obviously, contacted or sought to be contacted by the author, so, in that sense, you have to question the bias of the report and its validity.”

The Holy Land Foundation was the biggest U.S. Muslim charity at the time the Treasury Department shut it down in December, 2001. The government had found evidence that foundation money was being sent to Hamas, a Palestinian group the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization. Five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Misrepresentation:

Jim Jacks says the government targeted men who were members of a terrorist organization and misrepresented their effort as a charitable cause. He says only the leaders of the conspiracy were charged, not the people who gave money, thinking in most cases it would be used for humanitarian projects.

“There was never an instance where a donor has been prosecuted or sanctioned for making donations to the Holy Land Foundation,” Jacks said. “The people who were prosecuted and held accountable were the people that set up and ran the Holy Land Foundation and knew what they were doing.”

Jacks says he can only speak about the case he prosecuted and cannot comment on U.S. government policies as a whole regarding Muslim charitable groups. But he says in the Dallas case, the government acted only after receiving credible information supplied by a suspect arrested in Israel and then conducted an investigation that produced evidence against the Holy Land Foundation leaders.

 

Debate: Where Will the Power Lie in Iran?

June 16, 2009, 12:00 pm <!– — Updated: 10:08 pm –>

Where Will the Power Lie in Iran?


(Photo: Ben Curtis/Associated Press) Hundreds of thousands protested the result of the election in Azadi Square in Tehran on Monday.

Updated, June 16, 9:15 p.m. | Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, an economist at Virginia Tech, reports from Iran on how young people in small towns are different from their urban counterparts.

Updated, June 16, 4:05 p.m. | Janet Afary, a professor of Middle East history, discusses how gender politics became a central issue in the election.


In the largest antigovernment demonstration since the Iranian revolution of 1979, thousands of people took to the streets in Iran on Tuesday to protest the disputed presidential election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared winner this past weekend.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for an examination of opposition charges of vote-rigging and the country’s powerful Guardian Council said Tuesday that it would order a partial recount. That concession was rejected by the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, and other opponents, who demand that a new election be held.

We asked some experts to give some background on the developments over the past few days, and what the Obama administration’s reaction should be.



A Middle-Class Uprising

Abbas Amanat

Abbas Amanat is a professor of history at Yale and author, most recently, of “Apocalytic Islam and Iranian Shi’ism.”

This election and the post-election protests are by far the greatest challenge the Islamic Republic of Iran has faced since its inception in 1979. Neither the downfall of President Banisadr in June 1981 nor the election of Mohammad Khatami to presidency in June 1997 matches in size and intensity the events of the past few weeks.

Even though the outcome is uncertain, the ongoing protests reflect a remarkable phenomenon: the rise of a new middle class whose demands stand in contrast to the radicalism of the incumbent President Ahmadinejad and the core conservative values of the clerical elite, which no doubt has the backing of a religiously conservative sector of the population.

The protesters are far more urban, more educated and more interested in creating their own indigenous secularism than ever in the past.

Nevertheless, this new middle class, a product of the Islamic Revolution that supports Mir Hussein Moussavi and the reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi, the two moderate opponents of Mr. Ahmadinejad, is a force to be reckoned with. This middle class has a different vision for the Iranian society and state. It is much larger in size and younger in age, politically more engaged and less timid.

Nearly 80 percent of today’s Iranians are urban or semi-urban and with a substantial percentage of them residing in provincial centers with populations over one million. In the 1950’s urban population was around 25 percent and at the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 barely exceeded 50 percent. The new middle class wants to participate in the discourse of democracy and create its own indigenous secularism.

Like any other middle class it demands better living standards, more cultural and social freedoms, greater gender balance and women’s rights, ethnic and religious inclusion and better access to the outside world. It wants accountability from the government and it demands to be heard. It is sensitive to Iran’s image abroad and does not wish to be portrayed as extremist and uncouth. It is more articulate, better educated, technologically savvy, and more confident of its own place.

If the conservative forces within the Iranian regime crush the peaceful protest movement they stand to alienate the largest, the most productive sector of the population. This may severally paralyze, even destroy, Iran’s chances to emerge as a prosperous and stable country pivotal to the stability of the whole region.

Read more…



Why Engagement Failed

Meyrav Wurmser

Meyrav Wurmser, the former executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, is director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute.

Ahmadinejad’s recent election “victory” completes a process begun in June 2005, with his first election as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After that, Iran went through a quiet revolution consuming the theocracy, which is anchored in the clerics of Qom.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), particularly the veterans of the Iran-Iraq war, had seized ownership of Iranian revolution from the clerics, whom they accused of being weak-willed opportunists who retreated at the first sign of trouble.

The elections represented the last desperate attempt by the clerics of Qom to reassert their legitimacy against a crowd that had already essentially wired all power.

As they have said clearly in their statements, these veterans of that war believe they are the true defenders and vanguards of the revolution, and they have come back to “save” it. For want of better terminology, this can best be described as a theo-fascist coup against a theocracy.

The June 12 elections had come to represent the last desperate attempt by the clerics of Qom to reassert their legitimacy against a crowd that had already essentially wired all power. Knowing that they lacked the repressive powers of the IRGC-run state, they hoped for an “Orange” revolution and sought support from abroad. This took place while we in the West spent immense energy searching to no avail for moderates and moderation, thus ignoring the nature of the regime that we were confronting.

Our ill focus originated in the second Bush administration and culminated in the Obama administration’s heightened attempts to engage the Iranian regime. A string of failed policies and efforts has created dynamics in Tehran that bolstered the most extreme elements and brought about the current crisis. Israel failed to deliver a withering blow against Iran’s proxies in Lebanon and Gaza in the war of 2006. Then the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate validated Ahmadinejad by claiming, despite evidence to the contrary, that Iran had stopped working on its nuclear program in 2003. The West engaged — and thus legitimized — the Iranian regime over the last few years.

Read more…



The Supreme Leader Is Supreme

Mohsen Milani

Mohsen M. Milani, the chairman of the political science department at South Florida University, is the author of “The Making of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.” He is also the author of “Tehran’s Take: Understanding Iran’s U.S. Policy,” an essay in the current Foreign Affairs.

Will there be a fundamental change in the strategic direction of Iran’s foreign policy? The answer depends on the outcome of the disputed election, as Mir Hossein Mousavi and millions of his supporters have accused the government of staging a premeditated but clumsily executed “electoral coup” against the forces of reform.

Tehran views the U.S. as an existential threat and to counter it has devised a strategy that rests on both deterrence and competition in the Middle East.

Unless there is a fundamental change in the existing structural configuration of the Islamic Republic, or in a change in the institution of the Supreme Leader, it is unlikely that Iran will radically change its foreign policy. If anything, the next president of Iran is likely to rely increasingly on nationalistic sentiments in order to bring harmony to a divided, dynamic and assertive Iranian electorate.

The strategic direction of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been determined by the Supreme Leader, in consultation with the main centers of power in Iran’s highly factionalized polity. As the second most powerful man in the country, the Iranian president has profound impact on strategy and policy, but the Supreme Leader — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — is the final “decider.”

As the country’s most powerful figure, he is the commander of the armed forces and in charge of the intelligence and security forces and serves for life. He — not the president — makes the key decisions regarding war and peace, Iran’s nuclear policies, and relations with Washington. The Islamic Constitution was deliberately structured to insure that the unelected component of the government, or its Islamic part, dominates its elected or the republican part.

Read more…



What if Ahmadinejad Really Won?

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani is a professor of economics at Virginia Tech and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Iran’s young people helped energize this election with the hope that it would bring relief to their twin problems of unemployment and social restrictions.

Moussavi appealed to young Iranians in cities, but not in small towns.

Young people ages 15-29 make up 35 percent of the population but account for 70 percent of the unemployed. In addition, they feel constantly harassed by restrictions on how to dress and who they can hang out with. In the weeks before the election, they had come to believe that, thanks to their sheer numbers (40 percent of the voting age population) and strong determination, they could take control of their destiny by electing a new president. Their optimism was underscored by the fact that though they have no memory of the Islamic Revolution, its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, or of the 8-year war with Iraq, they chose as their leader — Mir Hussein Moussavi — a well-known figure with strong ties to all three.

Now that the results have gone completely contrary to their expectations, they are naturally very disappointed, and, as the world has witnessed, they are taking great risks to express it.

So far, protests are confined to Tehran and a few large cities, and smaller towns and rural areas have been very quiet. True, large crowds in large urban centers offer a degree of safety that is lacking in rural areas and small towns. But, behind the difference in reactions to Ahmadinejad’s election may lie real divisions among the young Iranians in large cities and in small towns and rural areas. Mr. Moussavi’s main appeal to them was on social, not economic, issues, which are more important to the more affluent youth in Tehran and large urban centers. Indeed, he confined his campaign to Tehran and a few large cities.

Read more…


A Political Wife, a Women’s Movement

Janet Afary

Janet Afary will hold the Mellichamp chair in Global Religions and Modernity at the University of California, Santa Barbara, this fall and is author of “Sexual Politics in Modern Iran.”

The presence of Zahrad Rahnavard, the wife of Mir Hussein Moussavi, was a significant factor in the election. Mr. Moussavi, who is not a very charismatic speaker and had left politics nearly 20 years ago, saw his prospects for victory increase when his wife joined him in the campaign. The well-publicized picture of them holding hands was not merely symbolic.

During the campaign, both spoke out for greater women’s rights, which is an issue that resonates with Iranian voters. Her presence also encouraged other candidates to campaign with their wives, the first time this has happened since the 1979 revolution.

Sexual politics was a dominant focus of the campaign.

Ms. Rahnavard was a leftist long before she became an Islamist, and in that sense she and her husband are different from the more conservative rightist Islamists.

Leftist Islamists were moved by social and economic concerns of the poor and dispossessed, and thought that Islam would be a unifying ideology toward greater social progress and democracy in Iranian society. Since 1979, both she and her husband have gone through a series of changes. She has become a strong advocate of women’s rights and headed al-Zahra Women’s University until President Ahmadinejad removed her from that post in 2005.

Read more…

Forbidden fruit

Posted by desert_blogger

* Tuesday, 7 April 2009 at 08:01 pm

There is a fair amount of media interest today in Dubai. Not all of it fair. Some such reports have in fact spawned a genre all of their own – popularly known as “Dubai bashing.” In the words of a very popular man, to be revealed below, “Only a fruit laden tree has stones thrown at it.” So this will be a brief post, but one that I feel a certain duty to write.

Though many aspects of life here should indeed be put under the microscope, it should not be forgotten that the city, and its burgeoning growth, has repackaged the Middle East in the thoughts of many people. The means of its arrival on the world stage were questioned by last night’s documentary, rightly so, but a huge experiment is underway , that mixes culture, ethnicity, and religion. It was never going to be easy.

This is a city experiencing ardent growing pains, that had planned to grow when growth became systemically impossible. I’ve written before that there is no shame in taking a hit due to the behaviour of a posse of greed-fuelled, unregulated, Western-centric, champagne-guzzling, yacht-sailing, cigar-waving bankers, injected to the hilt with bonus cheques and platinum credit cards, too busy getting their nails manicured, their empty suits fitted, their egg-shell-white-with-raised-gold-type business cards printed, and their lazy, sponging sons into the same company as them, to notice that they were dragging not just their partner for the night, but also the entire capitalist system, to its grubby knees.

It’s true. The economy of the state of Dubai has taken an unfair battering from the international press of late. Dubai found itself in an unfortunate position when the credit situation turned from crunch to bite. The city was in the midst of inflating a real estate bubble, like many tiger-economies before it.

To draw a parallel, In Hong-Kong, property crashed in 1997, sliding 40%-60% as a result of the collapse of the Thai baht and subsequent Asian financial crisis. Within months, a penthouse overlooking Hong-Kong’s Victoria Harbour shed so much value it was worth little more than, well, a shed.

So when the worst global recession since the great depression reared its ugly head last year, and the international liquidity river ran dry, Dubai, busy whistling away, blowing up balloons in the corner of the room and generally minding its own business, found its throat was particularly parched.

Add to this the fact that Dubai has opened its doors to the world, inviting those from all over to come and help build a nation. When you consider that around 90% of the population are non-UAE citizens, you begin to get a hold on the importance of foreign cash (and labour) to the economy. Again, not an easy situation to be in, when a global recession chooses to attack.

Paint a picture, if you will, of a grinning magician – circa Paul Daniels – who came along at the close of 2008 and in a flash swept the tablecloth from beneath Dubai’s tea-set. But here’s the point. The tea-set is still standing, albeit on shaky ground.

Dubai bashing is a very real phenomenon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it as the exhibition sport at the next Olympics. Now, I’m not one to cast doubt on other’s work. But, to raise some choice points from recent articles on Dubai: No, the Palm island is not sinking; No, the streets are not plagued with broke expats dusting the sand from their clothes after another night sleeping in the sand dunes; and I’ve turned on the taps THOUSANDS of times, and a river of cockroaches has never come pouring out (thank the NY Times for that pearl!)

The point of this post is that it’s important to get things in perspective. The lack of media freedom here, that I have touched on numerous times, has the unfortunate side effect of destroying credibility – it is simply not possible to differentiate the truths from the half-truths, and the assumptions from the down right lies, unless you are here, staring it in the face.

That’s why I pay my respects to Ben Anderson, the journalist behind Panorama: Slumdogs and Millionaires. Yes, OK, I still haven’t seen it, but the man was here, for three months, and he raised a deeply important issue; that of the exploitation of migrant workers. But such sterling work must be separated from that which is less so.

I will not give up on the case of the construction labourers. It’s too important and unjust. In three weeks, thanks to an event organised by a good friend of mine Oscar Wendel, I am set to be in the same room as the UAE Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash. And who else will be in the same room? Ellie Larson, the director of the Solidarity Centre, a US-based NGO seeking to build a global solidarity movement. There will never be a more golden opportunity to raise the labour issue back up the flag-pole of the local media where it belongs.

So rest assured, there is still much work to be done. Wrongs to be righted. Sometimes I genuinely do love my job, despite the occasional frustrations. As for Dubai, as it finds itself again thrust into the international media spotlight – and not out of choice this time – the truth is out there. Allegedly. Maybe it’s a place that grew so fast, the wheels of legislation could not keep up. Well if so, they now have their chance.

In a rare moment of solidarity, I’m going to quote Dubai’s ruler, who said last year, at the height of the upsurge in Dubai-bashing: “Only a fruit laden tree has stones thrown at it.” A most articulate point. But who planted the fruit, that the minority may enjoy?

Muslim prosecutor charges discrimination

YOUNGSTOWN — An assistant city prosecutor, who is Muslim, filed a federal lawsuit against the city, the mayor, law director, city prosecutor and co-workers, claiming discrimination and retaliation.

The suit also claims the defendants made a concerted effort to keep him from practicing his religious beliefs.

Ally attends weekly prayer services at his mosque about 1:30 p.m. each Friday as required by his religion, according to his lawsuit filed by Daniel M. Connell, his Cleveland-based attorney.

The city accommodated the request to worship on Friday afternoons until the end of 2007, when co-workers complained to city Prosecutor Jay Macejko that Ally “was receiving preferential treatment,” the lawsuit reads.

“Ally was also subjected to comments regarding his religion and/or national origin” by co-workers, according to the lawsuit.

The issue escalated and on Jan. 11, 2008, the lawsuit contends, Macejko scheduled a staff meeting to discuss the problem on a Friday afternoon conflicting with Ally’s attendance at his mosque services.

“Despite these obvious threats to his job and livelihood, Mr. Ally chose to attend his Friday religious service,” Connell wrote in the lawsuit.

That led to Macejko firing Ally, who earns $61,620 annually as an assistant prosecutor. Guglucello sent a letter three days later putting him on administrative leave, according to the lawsuit.

Ally — described in his lawsuit as a “devout Muslim” — filed a charge of religious discrimination on Jan. 15, 2008, with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He returned to work Feb. 4, 2008.

“Defendants took a host of actions designed to harass, intimidate and humiliate” Ally in retaliation for filing the charge, the lawsuit states.

In the lawsuit, Connell wrote that his client was reassigned to a court that meets regularly on Friday afternoons after serving in one that wasn’t in session during that time.

Also, he “began to experience various physical ailments, which, according to his doctors, were occasioned by work-related stress,” the lawsuit reads.

When Ally returned, he was assigned to five straight weeks of night court, a deviation from the normal practice, according to the lawsuit.

Ally is suing the city, Guglucello, Macejko, Mayor Jay Williams and 10 co-workers — listed as John Does 1-10 in the lawsuit — for more than $75,000 accusing them of harassment, creating a hostile work environment and retaliation based on his religious beliefs.

The defendants “deprived [Ally] of federal constitutional and/or statutory rights, including, but not limited to the free exercise of his religious beliefs and equal protection,” the lawsuit reads.

Ray Nakley, spokesman for the Arab-American Community Center of Youngstown, said this is the first lawsuit in the area he knows of involving an employer accused of religious discrimination against a Muslim.

“I have to say it’s new to me,” he said.

Also, a former city worker filed an appeal to a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge’s decision to dismiss Youngstown in a wrongful-termination lawsuit.

Gregory A. Gordillo of Cleveland filed the appeal with the 7th District Court of Appeals for his client — former city council Clerk Arlene Bahar — claiming Judge Maureen Sweeney erred in her Feb. 18 decision to throw out the case.

The judge decided city council “likely fired” Bahar because of her “job performance.”

Bahar contends she was fired Feb. 15, 2006, from a job that paid her $62,886 annually, as retaliation after complaining about being sexually harassed by then-Councilman Artis Gillam Sr. for more than four years. Gillam insisted that wasn’t true and sued Bahar for defamation. She countersued for wrongful termination. That case was settled and dismissed Feb. 23.

The dark side of Dubai

The dark side of Dubai

Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging. Johann Hari reports

Construction workers in their distinctive blue overalls building the upper floors a new Dubai tower, with the distinctive Burj al-Arab hotel in the background

Workers wait for a bus


The Palm, a man-made archipelago off the coast of Dubai

Workers excavate a building site next to the Emirates Towers

The wide, smiling face of Sheikh Mohammed – the absolute ruler of Dubai – beams down on his creation. His image is displayed on every other building, sandwiched between the more familiar corporate rictuses of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders. This man has sold Dubai to the world as the city of One Thousand and One Arabian Lights, a Shangri-La in the Middle East insulated from the dust-storms blasting across the region. He dominates the Manhattan-manqué skyline, beaming out from row after row of glass pyramids and hotels smelted into the shape of piles of golden coins. And there he stands on the tallest building in the world – a skinny spike, jabbing farther into the sky than any other human construction in history.

But something has flickered in Sheikh Mohammed’s smile. The ubiquitous cranes have paused on the skyline, as if stuck in time. There are countless buildings half-finished, seemingly abandoned. In the swankiest new constructions – like the vast Atlantis hotel, a giant pink castle built in 1,000 days for $1.5bn on its own artificial island – where rainwater is leaking from the ceilings and the tiles are falling off the roof. This Neverland was built on the Never-Never – and now the cracks are beginning to show. Suddenly it looks less like Manhattan in the sun than Iceland in the desert.

Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.

I. An Adult Disneyland

Karen Andrews can’t speak. Every time she starts to tell her story, she puts her head down and crumples. She is slim and angular and has the faded radiance of the once-rich, even though her clothes are as creased as her forehead. I find her in the car park of one of Dubai’s finest international hotels, where she is living, in her Range Rover. She has been sleeping here for months, thanks to the kindness of the Bangladeshi car park attendants who don’t have the heart to move her on. This is not where she thought her Dubai dream would end.

Her story comes out in stutters, over four hours. At times, her old voice – witty and warm – breaks through. Karen came here from Canada when her husband was offered a job in the senior division of a famous multinational. “When he said Dubai, I said – if you want me to wear black and quit booze, baby, you’ve got the wrong girl. But he asked me to give it a chance. And I loved him.”

All her worries melted when she touched down in Dubai in 2005. “It was an adult Disneyland, where Sheikh Mohammed is the mouse,” she says. “Life was fantastic. You had these amazing big apartments, you had a whole army of your own staff, you pay no taxes at all. It seemed like everyone was a CEO. We were partying the whole time.”

Her husband, Daniel, bought two properties. “We were drunk on Dubai,” she says. But for the first time in his life, he was beginning to mismanage their finances. “We’re not talking huge sums, but he was getting confused. It was so unlike Daniel, I was surprised. We got into a little bit of debt.” After a year, she found out why: Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

One doctor told him he had a year to live; another said it was benign and he’d be okay. But the debts were growing. “Before I came here, I didn’t know anything about Dubai law. I assumed if all these big companies come here, it must be pretty like Canada’s or any other liberal democracy’s,” she says. Nobody told her there is no concept of bankruptcy. If you get into debt and you can’t pay, you go to prison.

“When we realised that, I sat Daniel down and told him: listen, we need to get out of here. He knew he was guaranteed a pay-off when he resigned, so we said – right, let’s take the pay-off, clear the debt, and go.” So Daniel resigned – but he was given a lower pay-off than his contract suggested. The debt remained. As soon as you quit your job in Dubai, your employer has to inform your bank. If you have any outstanding debts that aren’t covered by your savings, then all your accounts are frozen, and you are forbidden to leave the country.

“Suddenly our cards stopped working. We had nothing. We were thrown out of our apartment.” Karen can’t speak about what happened next for a long time; she is shaking.

Daniel was arrested and taken away on the day of their eviction. It was six days before she could talk to him. “He told me he was put in a cell with another debtor, a Sri Lankan guy who was only 27, who said he couldn’t face the shame to his family. Daniel woke up and the boy had swallowed razor-blades. He banged for help, but nobody came, and the boy died in front of him.”

Karen managed to beg from her friends for a few weeks, “but it was so humiliating. I’ve never lived like this. I worked in the fashion industry. I had my own shops. I’ve never…” She peters out.

Daniel was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at a trial he couldn’t understand. It was in Arabic, and there was no translation. “Now I’m here illegally, too,” Karen says I’ve got no money, nothing. I have to last nine months until he’s out, somehow.” Looking away, almost paralysed with embarrassment, she asks if I could buy her a meal.

She is not alone. All over the city, there are maxed-out expats sleeping secretly in the sand-dunes or the airport or in their cars.

“The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems,” Karen says at last. “Nothing. This isn’t a city, it’s a con-job. They lure you in telling you it’s one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it’s a medieval dictatorship.”

II. Tumbleweed

Thirty years ago, almost all of contemporary Dubai was desert, inhabited only by cactuses and tumbleweed and scorpions. But downtown there are traces of the town that once was, buried amidst the metal and glass. In the dusty fort of the Dubai Museum, a sanitised version of this story is told.

In the mid-18th century, a small village was built here, in the lower Persian Gulf, where people would dive for pearls off the coast. It soon began to accumulate a cosmopolitan population washing up from Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and other Arab countries, all hoping to make their fortune. They named it after a local locust, the daba, who consumed everything before it. The town was soon seized by the gunships of the British Empire, who held it by the throat as late as 1971. As they scuttled away, Dubai decided to ally with the six surrounding states and make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The British quit, exhausted, just as oil was being discovered, and the sheikhs who suddenly found themselves in charge faced a remarkable dilemma. They were largely illiterate nomads who spent their lives driving camels through the desert – yet now they had a vast pot of gold. What should they do with it?

Dubai only had a dribble of oil compared to neighbouring Abu Dhabi – so Sheikh Maktoum decided to use the revenues to build something that would last. Israel used to boast it made the desert bloom; Sheikh Maktoum resolved to make the desert boom. He would build a city to be a centre of tourism and financial services, sucking up cash and talent from across the globe. He invited the world to come tax-free – and they came in their millions, swamping the local population, who now make up just 5 per cent of Dubai. A city seemed to fall from the sky in just three decades, whole and complete and swelling. They fast-forwarded from the 18th century to the 21st in a single generation.

If you take the Big Bus Tour of Dubai – the passport to a pre-processed experience of every major city on earth – you are fed the propaganda-vision of how this happened. “Dubai’s motto is ‘Open doors, open minds’,” the tour guide tells you in clipped tones, before depositing you at the souks to buy camel tea-cosies. “Here you are free. To purchase fabrics,” he adds. As you pass each new monumental building, he tells you: “The World Trade Centre was built by His Highness…”

But this is a lie. The sheikh did not build this city. It was built by slaves. They are building it now.

III. Hidden in plain view

There are three different Dubais, all swirling around each other. There are the expats, like Karen; there are the Emiratis, headed by Sheikh Mohammed; and then there is the foreign underclass who built the city, and are trapped here. They are hidden in plain view. You see them everywhere, in dirt-caked blue uniforms, being shouted at by their superiors, like a chain gang – but you are trained not to look. It is like a mantra: the Sheikh built the city. The Sheikh built the city. Workers? What workers?

Every evening, the hundreds of thousands of young men who build Dubai are bussed from their sites to a vast concrete wasteland an hour out of town, where they are quarantined away. Until a few years ago they were shuttled back and forth on cattle trucks, but the expats complained this was unsightly, so now they are shunted on small metal buses that function like greenhouses in the desert heat. They sweat like sponges being slowly wrung out.

Sonapur is a rubble-strewn patchwork of miles and miles of identical concrete buildings. Some 300,000 men live piled up here, in a place whose name in Hindi means “City of Gold”. In the first camp I stop at – riven with the smell of sewage and sweat – the men huddle around, eager to tell someone, anyone, what is happening to them.

Sahinal Monir, a slim 24-year-old from the deltas of Bangladesh. “To get you here, they tell you Dubai is heaven. Then you get here and realise it is hell,” he says. Four years ago, an employment agent arrived in Sahinal’s village in Southern Bangladesh. He told the men of the village that there was a place where they could earn 40,000 takka a month (£400) just for working nine-to-five on construction projects. It was a place where they would be given great accommodation, great food, and treated well. All they had to do was pay an up-front fee of 220,000 takka (£2,300) for the work visa – a fee they’d pay off in the first six months, easy. So Sahinal sold his family land, and took out a loan from the local lender, to head to this paradise.

As soon as he arrived at Dubai airport, his passport was taken from him by his construction company. He has not seen it since. He was told brusquely that from now on he would be working 14-hour days in the desert heat – where western tourists are advised not to stay outside for even five minutes in summer, when it hits 55 degrees – for 500 dirhams a month (£90), less than a quarter of the wage he was promised. If you don’t like it, the company told him, go home. “But how can I go home? You have my passport, and I have no money for the ticket,” he said. “Well, then you’d better get to work,” they replied.

Sahinal was in a panic. His family back home – his son, daughter, wife and parents – were waiting for money, excited that their boy had finally made it. But he was going to have to work for more than two years just to pay for the cost of getting here – and all to earn less than he did in Bangladesh.

He shows me his room. It is a tiny, poky, concrete cell with triple-decker bunk-beds, where he lives with 11 other men. All his belongings are piled onto his bunk: three shirts, a spare pair of trousers, and a cellphone. The room stinks, because the lavatories in the corner of the camp – holes in the ground – are backed up with excrement and clouds of black flies. There is no air conditioning or fans, so the heat is “unbearable. You cannot sleep. All you do is sweat and scratch all night.” At the height of summer, people sleep on the floor, on the roof, anywhere where they can pray for a moment of breeze.

The water delivered to the camp in huge white containers isn’t properly desalinated: it tastes of salt. “It makes us sick, but we have nothing else to drink,” he says.

The work is “the worst in the world,” he says. “You have to carry 50kg bricks and blocks of cement in the worst heat imaginable … This heat – it is like nothing else. You sweat so much you can’t pee, not for days or weeks. It’s like all the liquid comes out through your skin and you stink. You become dizzy and sick but you aren’t allowed to stop, except for an hour in the afternoon. You know if you drop anything or slip, you could die. If you take time off sick, your wages are docked, and you are trapped here even longer.”

He is currently working on the 67th floor of a shiny new tower, where he builds upwards, into the sky, into the heat. He doesn’t know its name. In his four years here, he has never seen the Dubai of tourist-fame, except as he constructs it floor-by-floor.

Is he angry? He is quiet for a long time. “Here, nobody shows their anger. You can’t. You get put in jail for a long time, then deported.” Last year, some workers went on strike after they were not given their wages for four months. The Dubai police surrounded their camps with razor-wire and water-cannons and blasted them out and back to work.

The “ringleaders” were imprisoned. I try a different question: does Sohinal regret coming? All the men look down, awkwardly. “How can we think about that? We are trapped. If we start to think about regrets…” He lets the sentence trail off. Eventually, another worker breaks the silence by adding: “I miss my country, my family and my land. We can grow food in Bangladesh. Here, nothing grows. Just oil and buildings.”

Since the recession hit, they say, the electricity has been cut off in dozens of the camps, and the men have not been paid for months. Their companies have disappeared with their passports and their pay. “We have been robbed of everything. Even if somehow we get back to Bangladesh, the loan sharks will demand we repay our loans immediately, and when we can’t, we’ll be sent to prison.”

This is all supposed to be illegal. Employers are meant to pay on time, never take your passport, give you breaks in the heat – but I met nobody who said it happens. Not one. These men are conned into coming and trapped into staying, with the complicity of the Dubai authorities.

Sahinal could well die out here. A British man who used to work on construction projects told me: “There’s a huge number of suicides in the camps and on the construction sites, but they’re not reported. They’re described as ‘accidents’.” Even then, their families aren’t free: they simply inherit the debts. A Human Rights Watch study found there is a “cover-up of the true extent” of deaths from heat exhaustion, overwork and suicide, but the Indian consulate registered 971 deaths of their nationals in 2005 alone. After this figure was leaked, the consulates were told to stop counting.

At night, in the dusk, I sit in the camp with Sohinal and his friends as they scrape together what they have left to buy a cheap bottle of spirits. They down it in one ferocious gulp. “It helps you to feel numb”, Sohinal says through a stinging throat. In the distance, the glistening Dubai skyline he built stands, oblivious.

IV. Mauled by the mall

I find myself stumbling in a daze from the camps into the sprawling marble malls that seem to stand on every street in Dubai. It is so hot there is no point building pavements; people gather in these cathedrals of consumerism to bask in the air conditioning. So within a ten minute taxi-ride, I have left Sohinal and I am standing in the middle of Harvey Nichols, being shown a £20,000 taffeta dress by a bored salesgirl. “As you can see, it is cut on the bias…” she says, and I stop writing.

Time doesn’t seem to pass in the malls. Days blur with the same electric light, the same shined floors, the same brands I know from home. Here, Dubai is reduced to its component sounds: do-buy. In the most expensive malls I am almost alone, the shops empty and echoing. On the record, everybody tells me business is going fine. Off the record, they look panicky. There is a hat exhibition ahead of the Dubai races, selling elaborate headgear for £1,000 a pop. “Last year, we were packed. Now look,” a hat designer tells me. She swoops her arm over a vacant space.

I approach a blonde 17-year-old Dutch girl wandering around in hotpants, oblivious to the swarms of men gaping at her. “I love it here!” she says. “The heat, the malls, the beach!” Does it ever bother you that it’s a slave society? She puts her head down, just as Sohinal did. “I try not to see,” she says. Even at 17, she has learned not to look, and not to ask; that, she senses, is a transgression too far.

Between the malls, there is nothing but the connecting tissue of asphalt. Every road has at least four lanes; Dubai feels like a motorway punctuated by shopping centres. You only walk anywhere if you are suicidal. The residents of Dubai flit from mall to mall by car or taxis.

How does it feel if this is your country, filled with foreigners? Unlike the expats and the slave class, I can’t just approach the native Emiratis to ask questions when I see them wandering around – the men in cool white robes, the women in sweltering black. If you try, the women blank you, and the men look affronted, and tell you brusquely that Dubai is “fine”. So I browse through the Emirati blog-scene and found some typical-sounding young Emiratis. We meet – where else? – in the mall.

Ahmed al-Atar is a handsome 23-year-old with a neat, trimmed beard, tailored white robes, and rectangular wire-glasses. He speaks perfect American-English, and quickly shows that he knows London, Los Angeles and Paris better than most westerners. Sitting back in his chair in an identikit Starbucks, he announces: “This is the best place in the world to be young! The government pays for your education up to PhD level. You get given a free house when you get married. You get free healthcare, and if it’s not good enough here, they pay for you to go abroad. You don’t even have to pay for your phone calls. Almost everyone has a maid, a nanny, and a driver. And we never pay any taxes. Don’t you wish you were Emirati?”

I try to raise potential objections to this Panglossian summary, but he leans forward and says: “Look – my grandfather woke up every day and he would have to fight to get to the well first to get water. When the wells ran dry, they had to have water delivered by camel. They were always hungry and thirsty and desperate for jobs. He limped all his life, because he there was no medical treatment available when he broke his leg. Now look at us!”

For Emiratis, this is a Santa Claus state, handing out goodies while it makes its money elsewhere: through renting out land to foreigners, soft taxes on them like business and airport charges, and the remaining dribble of oil. Most Emiratis, like Ahmed, work for the government, so they’re cushioned from the credit crunch. “I haven’t felt any effect at all, and nor have my friends,” he says. “Your employment is secure. You will only be fired if you do something incredibly bad.” The laws are currently being tightened, to make it even more impossible to sack an Emirati.

Sure, the flooding-in of expats can sometimes be “an eyesore”, Ahmed says. “But we see the expats as the price we had to pay for this development. How else could we do it? Nobody wants to go back to the days of the desert, the days before everyone came. We went from being like an African country to having an average income per head of $120,000 a year. And we’re supposed to complain?”

He says the lack of political freedom is fine by him. “You’ll find it very hard to find an Emirati who doesn’t support Sheikh Mohammed.” Because they’re scared? “No, because we really all support him. He’s a great leader. Just look!” He smiles and says: “I’m sure my life is very much like yours. We hang out, have a coffee, go to the movies. You’ll be in a Pizza Hut or Nando’s in London, and at the same time I’ll be in one in Dubai,” he says, ordering another latte.

But do all young Emiratis see it this way? Can it really be so sunny in the political sands? In the sleek Emirates Tower Hotel, I meet Sultan al-Qassemi. He’s a 31-year-old Emirati columnist for the Dubai press and private art collector, with a reputation for being a contrarian liberal, advocating gradual reform. He is wearing Western clothes – blue jeans and a Ralph Lauren shirt – and speaks incredibly fast, turning himself into a manic whirr of arguments.

“People here are turning into lazy, overweight babies!” he exclaims. “The nanny state has gone too far. We don’t do anything for ourselves! Why don’t any of us work for the private sector? Why can’t a mother and father look after their own child?” And yet, when I try to bring up the system of slavery that built Dubai, he looks angry. “People should give us credit,” he insists. “We are the most tolerant people in the world. Dubai is the only truly international city in the world. Everyone who comes here is treated with respect.”

I pause, and think of the vast camps in Sonapur, just a few miles away. Does he even know they exist? He looks irritated. “You know, if there are 30 or 40 cases [of worker abuse] a year, that sounds like a lot but when you think about how many people are here…” Thirty or 40? This abuse is endemic to the system, I say. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands.

Sultan is furious. He splutters: “You don’t think Mexicans are treated badly in New York City? And how long did it take Britain to treat people well? I could come to London and write about the homeless people on Oxford Street and make your city sound like a terrible place, too! The workers here can leave any time they want! Any Indian can leave, any Asian can leave!”

But they can’t, I point out. Their passports are taken away, and their wages are withheld. “Well, I feel bad if that happens, and anybody who does that should be punished. But their embassies should help them.” They try. But why do you forbid the workers – with force – from going on strike against lousy employers? “Thank God we don’t allow that!” he exclaims. “Strikes are in-convenient! They go on the street – we’re not having that. We won’t be like France. Imagine a country where they the workers can just stop whenever they want!” So what should the workers do when they are cheated and lied to? “Quit. Leave the country.”

I sigh. Sultan is seething now. “People in the West are always complaining about us,” he says. Suddenly, he adopts a mock-whiny voice and says, in imitation of these disgusting critics: “Why don’t you treat animals better? Why don’t you have better shampoo advertising? Why don’t you treat labourers better?” It’s a revealing order: animals, shampoo, then workers. He becomes more heated, shifting in his seat, jabbing his finger at me. “I gave workers who worked for me safety goggles and special boots, and they didn’t want to wear them! It slows them down!”

And then he smiles, coming up with what he sees as his killer argument. “When I see Western journalists criticise us – don’t you realise you’re shooting yourself in the foot? The Middle East will be far more dangerous if Dubai fails. Our export isn’t oil, it’s hope. Poor Egyptians or Libyans or Iranians grow up saying – I want to go to Dubai. We’re very important to the region. We are showing how to be a modern Muslim country. We don’t have any fundamentalists here. Europeans shouldn’t gloat at our demise. You should be very worried…. Do you know what will happen if this model fails? Dubai will go down the Iranian path, the Islamist path.”

Sultan sits back. My arguments have clearly disturbed him; he says in a softer, conciliatory tone, almost pleading: “Listen. My mother used to go to the well and get a bucket of water every morning. On her wedding day, she was given an orange as a gift because she had never eaten one. Two of my brothers died when they were babies because the healthcare system hadn’t developed yet. Don’t judge us.” He says it again, his eyes filled with intensity: “Don’t judge us.”

V. The Dunkin’ Donuts Dissidents

But there is another face to the Emirati minority – a small huddle of dissidents, trying to shake the Sheikhs out of abusive laws. Next to a Virgin Megastore and a Dunkin’ Donuts, with James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” blaring behind me, I meet the Dubai dictatorship’s Public Enemy Number One. By way of introduction, Mohammed al-Mansoori says from within his white robes and sinewy face: “Westerners come her and see the malls and the tall buildings and they think that means we are free. But these businesses, these buildings – who are they for? This is a dictatorship. The royal family think they own the country, and the people are their servants. There is no freedom here.”

We snuffle out the only Arabic restaurant in this mall, and he says everything you are banned – under threat of prison – from saying in Dubai. Mohammed tells me he was born in Dubai to a fisherman father who taught him one enduring lesson: Never follow the herd. Think for yourself. In the sudden surge of development, Mohammed trained as a lawyer. By the Noughties, he had climbed to the head of the Jurists’ Association, an organisation set up to press for Dubai’s laws to be consistent with international human rights legislation.

And then – suddenly – Mohammed thwacked into the limits of Sheikh Mohammed’s tolerance. Horrified by the “system of slavery” his country was being built on, he spoke out to Human Rights Watch and the BBC. “So I was hauled in by the secret police and told: shut up, or you will lose you job, and your children will be unemployable,” he says. “But how could I be silent?”

He was stripped of his lawyer’s licence and his passport – becoming yet another person imprisoned in this country. “I have been blacklisted and so have my children. The newspapers are not allowed to write about me.”

Why is the state so keen to defend this system of slavery? He offers a prosaic explanation. “Most companies are owned by the government, so they oppose human rights laws because it will reduce their profit margins. It’s in their interests that the workers are slaves.”

Last time there was a depression, there was a starbust of democracy in Dubai, seized by force from the sheikhs. In the 1930s, the city’s merchants banded together against Sheikh Said bin Maktum al-Maktum – the absolute ruler of his day – and insisted they be given control over the state finances. It lasted only a few years, before the Sheikh – with the enthusiastic support of the British – snuffed them out.

And today? Sheikh Mohammed turned Dubai into Creditopolis, a city built entirely on debt. Dubai owes 107 percent of its entire GDP. It would be bust already, if the neighbouring oil-soaked state of Abu Dhabi hadn’t pulled out its chequebook. Mohammed says this will constrict freedom even further. “Now Abu Dhabi calls the tunes – and they are much more conservative and restrictive than even Dubai. Freedom here will diminish every day.” Already, new media laws have been drafted forbidding the press to report on anything that could “damage” Dubai or “its economy”. Is this why the newspapers are giving away glossy supplements talking about “encouraging economic indicators”?

Everybody here waves Islamism as the threat somewhere over the horizon, sure to swell if their advice is not followed. Today, every imam is appointed by the government, and every sermon is tightly controlled to keep it moderate. But Mohammed says anxiously: “We don’t have Islamism here now, but I think that if you control people and give them no way to express anger, it could rise. People who are told to shut up all the time can just explode.”

Later that day, against another identikit-corporate backdrop, I meet another dissident – Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, Professor of Political Science at Emirates University. His anger focuses not on political reform, but the erosion of Emirati identity. He is famous among the locals, a rare outspoken conductor for their anger. He says somberly: “There has been a rupture here. This is a totally different city to the one I was born in 50 years ago.”

He looks around at the shiny floors and Western tourists and says: “What we see now didn’t occur in our wildest dreams. We never thought we could be such a success, a trendsetter, a model for other Arab countries. The people of Dubai are mighty proud of their city, and rightly so. And yet…” He shakes his head. “In our hearts, we fear we have built a modern city but we are losing it to all these expats.”

Adbulkhaleq says every Emirati of his generation lives with a “psychological trauma.” Their hearts are divided – “between pride on one side, and fear on the other.” Just after he says this, a smiling waitress approaches, and asks us what we would like to drink. He orders a Coke.

VI. Dubai Pride

There is one group in Dubai for whom the rhetoric of sudden freedom and liberation rings true – but it is the very group the government wanted to liberate least: gays.

Beneath a famous international hotel, I clamber down into possibly the only gay club on the Saudi Arabian peninsula. I find a United Nations of tank-tops and bulging biceps, dancing to Kylie, dropping ecstasy, and partying like it’s Soho. “Dubai is the best place in the Muslim world for gays!” a 25-year old Emirati with spiked hair says, his arms wrapped around his 31-year old “husband”. “We are alive. We can meet. That is more than most Arab gays.”

It is illegal to be gay in Dubai, and punishable by 10 years in prison. But the locations of the latest unofficial gay clubs circulate online, and men flock there, seemingly unafraid of the police. “They might bust the club, but they will just disperse us,” one of them says. “The police have other things to do.”

In every large city, gay people find a way to find each other – but Dubai has become the clearing-house for the region’s homosexuals, a place where they can live in relative safety. Saleh, a lean private in the Saudi Arabian army, has come here for the Coldplay concert, and tells me Dubai is “great” for gays: “In Saudi, it’s hard to be straight when you’re young. The women are shut away so everyone has gay sex. But they only want to have sex with boys – 15- to 21-year-olds. I’m 27, so I’m too old now. I need to find real gays, so this is the best place. All Arab gays want to live in Dubai.”

With that, Saleh dances off across the dancefloor, towards a Dutch guy with big biceps and a big smile.

VII. The Lifestyle

All the guidebooks call Dubai a “melting pot”, but as I trawl across the city, I find that every group here huddles together in its own little ethnic enclave – and becomes a caricature of itself. One night – in the heart of this homesick city, tired of the malls and the camps – I go to Double Decker, a hang-out for British expats. At the entrance there is a red telephone box, and London bus-stop signs. Its wooden interior looks like a cross between a colonial clubhouse in the Raj and an Eighties school disco, with blinking coloured lights and cheese blaring out. As I enter, a girl in a short skirt collapses out of the door onto her back. A guy wearing a pirate hat helps her to her feet, dropping his beer bottle with a paralytic laugh.

I start to talk to two sun-dried women in their sixties who have been getting gently sozzled since midday. “You stay here for The Lifestyle,” they say, telling me to take a seat and order some more drinks. All the expats talk about The Lifestyle, but when you ask what it is, they become vague. Ann Wark tries to summarise it: “Here, you go out every night. You’d never do that back home. You see people all the time. It’s great. You have lots of free time. You have maids and staff so you don’t have to do all that stuff. You party!”

They have been in Dubai for 20 years, and they are happy to explain how the city works. “You’ve got a hierarchy, haven’t you?” Ann says. “It’s the Emiratis at the top, then I’d say the British and other Westerners. Then I suppose it’s the Filipinos, because they’ve got a bit more brains than the Indians. Then at the bottom you’ve got the Indians and all them lot.”

They admit, however, they have “never” spoken to an Emirati. Never? “No. They keep themselves to themselves.” Yet Dubai has disappointed them. Jules Taylor tells me: “If you have an accident here it’s a nightmare. There was a British woman we knew who ran over an Indian guy, and she was locked up for four days! If you have a tiny bit of alcohol on your breath they’re all over you. These Indians throw themselves in front of cars, because then their family has to be given blood money – you know, compensation. But the police just blame us. That poor woman.”

A 24-year-old British woman called Hannah Gamble takes a break from the dancefloor to talk to me. “I love the sun and the beach! It’s great out here!” she says. Is there anything bad? “Oh yes!” she says. Ah: one of them has noticed, I think with relief. “The banks! When you want to make a transfer you have to fax them. You can’t do it online.” Anything else? She thinks hard. “The traffic’s not very good.”

When I ask the British expats how they feel to not be in a democracy, their reaction is always the same. First, they look bemused. Then they look affronted. “It’s the Arab way!” an Essex boy shouts at me in response, as he tries to put a pair of comedy antlers on his head while pouring some beer into the mouth of his friend, who is lying on his back on the floor, gurning.

Later, in a hotel bar, I start chatting to a dyspeptic expat American who works in the cosmetics industry and is desperate to get away from these people. She says: “All the people who couldn’t succeed in their own countries end up here, and suddenly they’re rich and promoted way above their abilities and bragging about how great they are. I’ve never met so many incompetent people in such senior positions anywhere in the world.” She adds: “It’s absolutely racist. I had Filipino girls working for me doing the same job as a European girl, and she’s paid a quarter of the wages. The people who do the real work are paid next to nothing, while these incompetent managers pay themselves £40,000 a month.”

With the exception of her, one theme unites every expat I speak to: their joy at having staff to do the work that would clog their lives up Back Home. Everyone, it seems, has a maid. The maids used to be predominantly Filipino, but with the recession, Filipinos have been judged to be too expensive, so a nice Ethiopian servant girl is the latest fashionable accessory.

It is an open secret that once you hire a maid, you have absolute power over her. You take her passport – everyone does; you decide when to pay her, and when – if ever – she can take a break; and you decide who she talks to. She speaks no Arabic. She cannot escape.

In a Burger King, a Filipino girl tells me it is “terrifying” for her to wander the malls in Dubai because Filipino maids or nannies always sneak away from the family they are with and beg her for help. “They say – ‘Please, I am being held prisoner, they don’t let me call home, they make me work every waking hour seven days a week.’ At first I would say – my God, I will tell the consulate, where are you staying? But they never know their address, and the consulate isn’t interested. I avoid them now. I keep thinking about a woman who told me she hadn’t eaten any fruit in four years. They think I have power because I can walk around on my own, but I’m powerless.”

The only hostel for women in Dubai – a filthy private villa on the brink of being repossessed – is filled with escaped maids. Mela Matari, a 25-year-old Ethiopian woman with a drooping smile, tells me what happened to her – and thousands like her. She was promised a paradise in the sands by an agency, so she left her four year-old daughter at home and headed here to earn money for a better future. “But they paid me half what they promised. I was put with an Australian family – four children – and Madam made me work from 6am to 1am every day, with no day off. I was exhausted and pleaded for a break, but they just shouted: ‘You came here to work, not sleep!’ Then one day I just couldn’t go on, and Madam beat me. She beat me with her fists and kicked me. My ear still hurts. They wouldn’t give me my wages: they said they’d pay me at the end of the two years. What could I do? I didn’t know anybody here. I was terrified.”

One day, after yet another beating, Mela ran out onto the streets, and asked – in broken English – how to find the Ethiopian consulate. After walking for two days, she found it, but they told her she had to get her passport back from Madam. “Well, how could I?” she asks. She has been in this hostel for six months. She has spoken to her daughter twice. “I lost my country, I lost my daughter, I lost everything,” she says.

As she says this, I remember a stray sentence I heard back at Double Decker. I asked a British woman called Hermione Frayling what the best thing about Dubai was. “Oh, the servant class!” she trilled. “You do nothing. They’ll do anything!”

VIII. The End of The World

The World is empty. It has been abandoned, its continents unfinished. Through binoculars, I think I can glimpse Britain; this sceptred isle barren in the salt-breeze.

Here, off the coast of Dubai, developers have been rebuilding the world. They have constructed artificial islands in the shape of all planet Earth’s land masses, and they plan to sell each continent off to be built on. There were rumours that the Beckhams would bid for Britain. But the people who work at the nearby coast say they haven’t seen anybody there for months now. “The World is over,” a South African suggests.

All over Dubai, crazy projects that were Under Construction are now Under Collapse. They were building an air-conditioned beach here, with cooling pipes running below the sand, so the super-rich didn’t singe their toes on their way from towel to sea.

The projects completed just before the global economy crashed look empty and tattered. The Atlantis Hotel was launched last winter in a $20m fin-de-siecle party attended by Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan and Lily Allen. Sitting on its own fake island – shaped, of course, like a palm tree – it looks like an immense upturned tooth in a faintly decaying mouth. It is pink and turreted – the architecture of the pharaohs, as reimagined by Zsa-Zsa Gabor. Its Grand Lobby is a monumental dome covered in glitterballs, held up by eight monumental concrete palm trees. Standing in the middle, there is a giant shining glass structure that looks like the intestines of every guest who has ever stayed at the Atlantis. It is unexpectedly raining; water is leaking from the roof, and tiles are falling off.

A South African PR girl shows me around its most coveted rooms, explaining that this is “the greatest luxury offered in the world”. We stroll past shops selling £24m diamond rings around a hotel themed on the lost and sunken continent of, yes, Atlantis. There are huge water tanks filled with sharks, which poke around mock-abandoned castles and dumped submarines. There are more than 1,500 rooms here, each with a sea view. The Neptune suite has three floors, and – I gasp as I see it – it looks out directly on to the vast shark tank. You lie on the bed, and the sharks stare in at you. In Dubai, you can sleep with the fishes, and survive.

But even the luxury – reminiscent of a Bond villain’s lair – is also being abandoned. I check myself in for a few nights to the classiest hotel in town, the Park Hyatt. It is the fashionistas’ favourite hotel, where Elle Macpherson and Tommy Hilfiger stay, a gorgeous, understated palace. It feels empty. Whenever I eat, I am one of the only people in the restaurant. A staff member tells me in a whisper: “It used to be full here. Now there’s hardly anyone.” Rattling around, I feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, the last man in an abandoned, haunted home.

The most famous hotel in Dubai – the proud icon of the city – is the Burj al Arab hotel, sitting on the shore, shaped like a giant glass sailing boat. In the lobby, I start chatting to a couple from London who work in the City. They have been coming to Dubai for 10 years now, and they say they love it. “You never know what you’ll find here,” he says. “On our last trip, at the beginning of the holiday, our window looked out on the sea. By the end, they’d built an entire island there.”

My patience frayed by all this excess, I find myself snapping: doesn’t the omnipresent slave class bother you? I hope they misunderstood me, because the woman replied: “That’s what we come for! It’s great, you can’t do anything for yourself!” Her husband chimes in: “When you go to the toilet, they open the door, they turn on the tap – the only thing they don’t do is take it out for you when you have a piss!” And they both fall about laughing.

IX. Taking on the Desert

Dubai is not just a city living beyond its financial means; it is living beyond its ecological means. You stand on a manicured Dubai lawn and watch the sprinklers spray water all around you. You see tourists flocking to swim with dolphins. You wander into a mountain-sized freezer where they have built a ski slope with real snow. And a voice at the back of your head squeaks: this is the desert. This is the most water-stressed place on the planet. How can this be happening? How is it possible?

The very earth is trying to repel Dubai, to dry it up and blow it away. The new Tiger Woods Gold Course needs four million gallons of water to be pumped on to its grounds every day, or it would simply shrivel and disappear on the winds. The city is regularly washed over with dust-storms that fog up the skies and turn the skyline into a blur. When the dust parts, heat burns through. It cooks anything that is not kept constantly, artificially wet.

Dr Mohammed Raouf, the environmental director of the Gulf Research Centre, sounds sombre as he sits in his Dubai office and warns: “This is a desert area, and we are trying to defy its environment. It is very unwise. If you take on the desert, you will lose.”

Sheikh Maktoum built his showcase city in a place with no useable water. None. There is no surface water, very little acquifer, and among the lowest rainfall in the world. So Dubai drinks the sea. The Emirates’ water is stripped of salt in vast desalination plants around the Gulf – making it the most expensive water on earth. It costs more than petrol to produce, and belches vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as it goes. It’s the main reason why a resident of Dubai has the biggest average carbon footprint of any human being – more than double that of an American.

If a recession turns into depression, Dr Raouf believes Dubai could run out of water. “At the moment, we have financial reserves that cover bringing so much water to the middle of the desert. But if we had lower revenues – if, say, the world shifts to a source of energy other than oil…” he shakes his head. “We will have a very big problem. Water is the main source of life. It would be a catastrophe. Dubai only has enough water to last us a week. There’s almost no storage. We don’t know what will happen if our supplies falter. It would be hard to survive.”

Global warming, he adds, makes the problem even worse. “We are building all these artificial islands, but if the sea level rises, they will be gone, and we will lose a lot. Developers keep saying it’s all fine, they’ve taken it into consideration, but I’m not so sure.”

Is the Dubai government concerned about any of this? “There isn’t much interest in these problems,” he says sadly. But just to stand still, the average resident of Dubai needs three times more water than the average human. In the looming century of water stresses and a transition away from fossil fuels, Dubai is uniquely vulnerable.

I wanted to understand how the government of Dubai will react, so I decided to look at how it has dealt with an environmental problem that already exists – the pollution of its beaches. One woman – an American, working at one of the big hotels – had written in a lot of online forums arguing that it was bad and getting worse, so I called her to arrange a meeting. “I can’t talk to you,” she said sternly. Not even if it’s off the record? “I can’t talk to you.” But I don’t have to disclose your name… “You’re not listening. This phone is bugged. I can’t talk to you,” she snapped, and hung up.

The next day I turned up at her office. “If you reveal my identity, I’ll be sent on the first plane out of this city,” she said, before beginning to nervously pace the shore with me. “It started like this. We began to get complaints from people using the beach. The water looked and smelled odd, and they were starting to get sick after going into it. So I wrote to the ministers of health and tourism and expected to hear back immediately – but there was nothing. Silence. I hand-delivered the letters. Still nothing.”

The water quality got worse and worse. The guests started to spot raw sewage, condoms, and used sanitary towels floating in the sea. So the hotel ordered its own water analyses from a professional company. “They told us it was full of fecal matter and bacteria ‘too numerous to count’. I had to start telling guests not to go in the water, and since they’d come on a beach holiday, as you can imagine, they were pretty pissed off.” She began to make angry posts on the expat discussion forums – and people began to figure out what was happening. Dubai had expanded so fast its sewage treatment facilities couldn’t keep up. The sewage disposal trucks had to queue for three or four days at the treatment plants – so instead, they were simply drilling open the manholes and dumping the untreated sewage down them, so it flowed straight to the sea.

Suddenly, it was an open secret – and the municipal authorities finally acknowledged the problem. They said they would fine the truckers. But the water quality didn’t improve: it became black and stank. “It’s got chemicals in it. I don’t know what they are. But this stuff is toxic.”

She continued to complain – and started to receive anonymous phone calls. “Stop embarassing Dubai, or your visa will be cancelled and you’re out,” they said. She says: “The expats are terrified to talk about anything. One critical comment in the newspapers and they deport you. So what am I supposed to do? Now the water is worse than ever. People are getting really sick. Eye infections, ear infections, stomach infections, rashes. Look at it!” There is faeces floating on the beach, in the shadow of one of Dubai’s most famous hotels.

“What I learnt about Dubai is that the authorities don’t give a toss about the environment,” she says, standing in the stench. “They’re pumping toxins into the sea, their main tourist attraction, for God’s sake. If there are environmental problems in the future, I can tell you now how they will deal with them – deny it’s happening, cover it up, and carry on until it’s a total disaster.” As she speaks, a dust-storm blows around us, as the desert tries, slowly, insistently, to take back its land.

X. Fake Plastic Trees

On my final night in the Dubai Disneyland, I stop off on my way to the airport, at a Pizza Hut that sits at the side of one of the city’s endless, wide, gaping roads. It is identical to the one near my apartment in London in every respect, even the vomit-coloured decor. My mind is whirring and distracted. Perhaps Dubai disturbed me so much, I am thinking, because here, the entire global supply chain is condensed. Many of my goods are made by semi-enslaved populations desperate for a chance 2,000 miles away; is the only difference that here, they are merely two miles away, and you sometimes get to glimpse their faces? Dubai is Market Fundamentalist Globalisation in One City.

I ask the Filipino girl behind the counter if she likes it here. “It’s OK,” she says cautiously. Really? I say. I can’t stand it. She sighs with relief and says: “This is the most terrible place! I hate it! I was here for months before I realised – everything in Dubai is fake. Everything you see. The trees are fake, the workers’ contracts are fake, the islands are fake, the smiles are fake – even the water is fake!” But she is trapped, she says. She got into debt to come here, and she is stuck for three years: an old story now. “I think Dubai is like an oasis. It is an illusion, not real. You think you have seen water in the distance, but you get close and you only get a mouthful of sand.”

As she says this, another customer enters. She forces her face into the broad, empty Dubai smile and says: “And how may I help you tonight, sir?”

Some names in this article have been changed.

Thai Army Fuels South Unrest

Thai Army Fuels South Unrest

IslamOnline.net & News Agencies

Image

Impunity of Thai soldiers in the Muslim south is blamed for fueling unrest and anger in the violence-ravaged region. (Reuters)

BANA,
Thailand — Sixteen-year-old Muktar was walking to a local football
match in the Muslim-majority south when Thai soldiers shot him in the
head, kicked him into a ditch and left him to die.

Three weeks later, he is now breathing through a tube in his neck.

The gunshot had entered his skull and blown away both eyes.

Two cotton pads now cover
the spots his deformed face where his eyes once were, soaking up the
tears which still, somehow, emerge.

“I feel so much anger
towards the soldiers because I don’t know why they did this,” Muktar
told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday, July 7.

“I want them to be shot like they shot me, and prosecuted.”

Two months after the
shooting, Muktar now spends his days using his feet to navigate the
floorboards in his corrugated iron-framed home, with brain damage which
makes him feel disoriented and wet his bed.

His parents received only a
third of the four million baht (120,000 dollars) they sought from the
government. A promised apology from the soldier never came.

“If the government had more justice we would receive more care from them,” Muktar’s father Jaema said.

The southern provinces of
Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, an independent Muslim sultanate until
annexed officially a century ago, have been ravaged by an armed
conflict since 2004, leaving more than 2,800 people dead.

Poverty and meager economic development in the Muslim south are blamed as one of the factors fuelling the unrest.

Impunity

Experts say impunity of Thai soldiers in the Muslim south is fueling unrest and anger in the violence-ravaged region.

“Impunity has always been
the root cause of this kind of alienation and anger,” said Sunai
Phasuk, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.

“All that’s important for the radicalization and recruitment of insurgents.”

Before the incident,
Muktar’s village of Bana had been largely safe, but the day after the
shooting, insurgents burned down the local school in the village.

“Residents feel that
they’ve been physically abused by the government so they suddenly turn
a blind eye to whatever insurgents want to do,” Sunai said.

Outrage in the south worsened after a Muslim imam died in the custody of the Thai army in March.

According to an official autopsy, the imam’s body had nine cracked ribs, and an inquiry is underway.

Last month, another imam was shot dead as he walked between a mosque and his nearby home.

The imam’s wife Tuantimoh
said her neighbors suspect soldiers shot him dead because a car was
seen entering a nearby military base shortly after the shooting.

“I don’t trust the military anymore. I want more justice,” Tuantimoh told AFP. “Why don’t they try to find some suspects?”

The Thai military denies soldiers were involved, but this does little to reassure Muslim residents.

“I cannot trust the soldiers now,” one 73-year-old man in Yala told AFP.

“Sometimes they arrest good people who haven’t done anything,” added shopkeeper Asma, 22.

Experts say the conflict will continue until justice prevails in the south.

“With impunity it’s a
vicious circle — people see things starting to fall into place but
before you can end impunity there’s a new case. Just as trust starts to
be built, it collapses.”

Covered life gives new perspective

Covered life gives new perspective

Ana McKenzie

Daily Texan Staff

Print this article

Published: Friday, June 5, 2009

Updated: Friday, June 5, 2009

Spencer Wall

Mary Kang/The Daily Texan

Spencer Wall, fourth-year English and sociology major, talks about her
experience wearing a hijab on Wednesday night at Kerbey Lane Cafe.
Wall, a Christian from West Texas, embarked on a personal experience in
which she dressed as a Muslim woman for a year, starting in April.

I first noticed Spencer Wall in my religion and society class toward
the end of last semester. She wasn’t particularly outspoken, but the
shawl that covered her hair, neck and shoulders made her stand out in
the large class.

I usually gave her nothing more than a completely unconscious
glance. But when she revealed to the class the decision that she made
on April 27, I suddenly became aware of the attention I gave her.

Wall, a 20-year-old sociology and English senior, decided to assume
the characteristics and attire of a “typical” Muslim woman for a year
starting in late April.

She wears the traditional veil, or “hijab,” and loose-fitting
clothing everywhere she goes and does not consume pork or alcohol in
public. She avoids eye and physical contact with men and has adopted
modest habits like walking with her arms glued to her sides or crossed
in front of her to hide her chest. 

I witnessed the looks Wall gets on a daily basis when we met at Kerbey Lane on the Drag recently.  

She’s wearing a hijab splashed with vibrant shades of green and
blue. A long-sleeved, black shirt and floor-length aqua skirt reveals
only a few inches of skin.

 Some who pass us try to be inconspicuous with their intrigue,
limiting themselves to quick side glances. But most don’t even try to
be candid with their exaggerated double-takes or blatant stares.

She passes by a group waiting to be seated, and all of them stare at
the back of her head as she walks away. One guy even rolls his eyes.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” she says when I tell her about the group. “But look around. They’re not the only ones.”

She insists her decision is not a social experiment but more of a
personal learning experience. As a white female from a small, West
Texas town, Wall says she wanted to know what it would be like to be
part of a “noticeable minority.”

“I’m not representing Muslim women or the Muslim community,” she
says. “I just want to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a
while.”

Initially, Wall elaborates on her “learning experience” when people
would ask her questions, the most common being “So, where are you
from?” She has abandoned these efforts. Now, when people ask about her
attire, she simply says she is not Muslim but wears the hijab because
she chooses to do so.

This explanation is not entirely untrue, as Wall admits to not being able to leave her home without the clothing. 

“I decided a while ago that I was going to try and not wear the
hijab for 24 hours,” she says. “I couldn’t even make it for half that.”

Wall says she receives different reactions when she wears the hijab.
A man once fell into a display at Wal-Mart because he was staring at
her. One day a group of male patrons at the restaurant where she works
refused to be served by her. The same group called her derogatory
names. But most of the time she said she is just respectfully avoided.

“I wouldn’t say guys don’t hit on me, but they do so in a very
different way now,” she says. “It’s more respectful, less forward.”

The experience has taught Wall to pay attention to smaller details
that would make a traditional Muslim lifestyle difficult to follow in
the United States.

One day at a clothing store, Wall had to ask for a sheet to cover a
gap between the floor and dressing room door so she could hide her bare
legs as she changed. Her job as a waitress presents one of the most
awkward situations as it naturally entails a lot of physical contact
with strangers, which is not allowed for Muslim women, she said. 

Wall has grown to appreciate this sort of privacy and, in some ways,
respect it. Perhaps the most unexpected outcome of the experience is a
newfound devotion to her Christian faith. The Islamic faith requires
followers to pray five times a day, the first prayer being at 5 a.m.
Though Wall has not yet assumed this tradition, she admits she may in
the future, and finds herself praying more often.

“You know we live in a society that is very unconscious of daily
religious activities,” she said. “Throughout this experience, I have
noticed myself becoming much more aware of God.”

Throughout our conversation, I find myself wanting to discuss the
most obvious topic, but can’t bring it up without having to continually
justify myself. Doesn’t she feel constricted and even oppressed by the
practices she is assuming?

Wall’s candidness to discuss such issues validates my impression of
her. She constantly reassures me to ask even the most probing questions
and to present any debate, illustrating a maturity and intelligence
uncommon for a 20-year-old.

“This experience has taught me to respect a woman’s decision to stay
home with her children or wear a hijab or go out and become CEOs,” Wall
said.

She finishes her sentence, as I notice a young woman staring at the back of Wall’s head.

Her eyes momentarily follow the outline of the brightly colored veil
and then quickly move away. Instead of feeling sorry for Wall and
assuming that the attention is warranted by feelings of resentment or
fear, I soon wonder if the girl is instead intrigued by the hijab.

Wall admits to only showing her hair in the most intimate of
settings, and I realize that I’m slightly jealous of someone who
respects something I easily take for granted.

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Comments

44 comments

islamvoice

Thu Jun 11 2009 02:59

You look at me and call me oressed
Simply because of the way I’m dressed
You know me not for what’s inside
You judge the clothing I wear with pride
My body’s not for your eyes to hold
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold
I’m an individual, I’m no mans slave
It’s Allah’s pleasure that I only crave
I have a voice so I will be heard
For in my heart I carry His word
” O ye women, wrap close your cloak, So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”,
Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way
It’s a Law from God that I obey
Oressed is something I’m truly NOT
For liberation is what I’ve got
It was given to me many years ago
With the right to prosper, the right to grow
I can climb mountains or cross the seas
Expand my mind in all degrees
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY
When He sent Islam
To You and Me

islamvoice

Thu Jun 11 2009 01:44

You look at me and call me oressed
Simply because of the way I’m dressed
You know me not for what’s inside
You judge the clothing I wear with pride
My body’s not for your eyes to hold
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold
I’m an individual, I’m no mans slave
It’s Allah’s pleasure that I only crave
I have a voice so I will be heard
For in my heart I carry His word
” O ye women, wrap close your cloak, So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”,
Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way
It’s a Law from God that I obey
Oressed is something I’m truly NOT
For liberation is what I’ve got
It was given to me many years ago
With the right to prosper, the right to grow
I can climb mountains or cross the seas
Expand my mind in all degrees
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY
When He sent Islam
To You and Me

Juvy

Thu Jun 11 2009 01:02

I disagree with the comment that Muslim women are not allowed to have
physical contact with people . I am a Muslim female doctor, and by
necessity of my profession, I have physical contact with men on a daily
basis! For purposes of my job I also have eye contact with them. Allah
does allow this (special situations) so that women can be free to
practice medicine if they so desired.

Hera

Thu Jun 11 2009 00:22

I would like to see this woman attempt to go without a hijab in an
Islamic country. Pakistan for example. That is an act that requires
real courage, as some women have been disfigured for life in acid
attacks for not being “covered” in Pakistan and some other countries in
the “Islamic world”. Walking around with a hijab on your head in the US
is not particularly heroic.

Adam

Thu Jun 11 2009 00:05

What a beautiful outlook this woman has!


Your name

Wed Jun 10 2009 18:59

Thank you for the prespective, Mrs. Wall!


David Williams

Wed Jun 10 2009 17:17

I think this will prove to be a great eye opening experience for her.
One of the things that makes the human race great is the ability to
empathize with others and have compassion. I believe she is finding out
how great and practical the practices of Islam are and will find a very
strong appreciation for it. Even Christian nun’s cover and are modest
till this day. This is a practice that has been abandoned recently, I
hope that Allah guides her, through this experience to the true path
and know that the main reason for this modesty in Islam is to prevent
unwanted sexual glares and glances, of which people would find interest
in a woman for her body and looks, not for her mind and personality.
This is the greatest form of respecting yourself for a woman in a
society that has began to make it “unnormal” if you don’t show your
skin, cleavage and hair. That beauty of a woman should be only kept for
the one who will be able to act according to witnessing that….her
husband!

Louis Bertmans

Tue Jun 9 2009 03:44

Only in the US (so called free world) this kind of problems exist. In
Europe, we don’t have any issues with women covering their heads or
dressing in any other way.


Lover of Truth

Sun Jun 7 2009 17:40

Keep up the good work Ms. Wall, you are inspiring to all.

renita burwell

Sun Jun 7 2009 16:58

Amen, Shayma. A person’s religion and its practices are not for
outsiders to experiment with just for the sake of curiousity! This is
not a museum! Also I’ve known quite a few Muslims, none ever ran around
with their eyes cast down or folded their arms to hide their body. If
they did cross their arms, it meant they were mad as hell and you had
better run and fast. If Spencer wants to present a more modest
appearance than what is necessary in American society, then let her do
so. But do it in a way that doesn’t make you appear to be something
you’re not.

Nikolai Royas

Sun Jun 7 2009 16:55

i found this story incredibly fascinating. absolutly remarkable. this
young woman should be congradulated on her maturity and forthright
attitude.



Fayzah

Sun Jun 7 2009 00:10

“I just want to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a while.”
You’d
be surprised at how many people are open or tolerant toward the idea of
a woman covering herself up. More surprising yet is the level of hatred
people can feel toward a complete stranger because she won’t let you
see her body/hair. What an interesting way to find out for yourself (a
whole year)! I’ve seen something of the like on YouTube; a woman called
the Non-Muslim Hijabi experiments with the veil.
By the way, I’m a Hijaabi AND a Trekkie!

Fayzah

Sat Jun 6 2009 23:19

“I just want to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a while.”
You’d
be surprised at how many people are open or tolerant toward the idea of
a woman covering herself up. More surprising yet is the level of hatred
people can feel toward a complete stranger because she won’t let you
see her body/hair. What an interesting way to find out for yourself (a
whole year)! I’ve seen something of the like on YouTube; a woman called
the Non-Muslim Hijabi experiments with the veil.
By the way, I am a Hijaabi AND a Trekkie!

Amane

Sat Jun 6 2009 22:13

You know ,i think what she did was great as for me im a muslim, that is
having a hard time wearing the hijab ,it takes alot .


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Have we forgotten Shibli Nomani ?

Have we forgotten Shibli Nomani ?


A Rememberance on his 152nd birth anniversary:

By Kaleem Kawaja,


“Yeh maana tum ko talwaron ki tezi aazmani haiy,

Humari gurdanon pur ho gaa is ka imtihaan kub tuk”

( We know you want to display your military might,

But for how long will it be at our cost.)

………..Shibli Nomnai in “Shahar-e- Aaashob-e-Islam” (The ruined city of Islam” )

In recent years whenever I have enquired from well educated
north-Indian Muslims about Allama Shibli Nomani, they have told me that
I should talk to someone from Azamgarh, because that is where he was
from, and that is where the Shibli Academy and Shibli National College
are located. So recently I traveled to Azamgarh, visited both
institutions and Shibli’s grave there and talked to a few of Shibli’s
descendents. What I discovered is that despite his awesome services and
contribution in furthering the causes of the Indian nation, the culture
and heritage of the Musalmans of South Asia and his yeoman services in
spreading education in the community, the Qaum has relegated him as a
remote figure in the pages of history. Further some people do grave
injustice when they say that Shibli was a personality largely from
Azamgarh and easten U.P.

The fact is that from the young age of 25 Shibli lived away from
Azamgarh, serving in institutions all over the country and abroad and
returned to live in Azamgarh only a couple of years before his untimely
death at age 57 in 1914. It is injustice to Shibli that the Aligarh
Muslim University, Nadvat ul Uloom and Osmania University where Shibli
spent thirty-one years of his life have done little to retain his
memory. Next only to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Shibli was a crusading
pioneer in the Aligarh movement to spread modern education in the
Muslim qaum that was badly ravaged by the 1957 war of independence.
Indeed Shibli, who was a child of India’s first war of independence,
was born on June 3, 1857 in Azamgarh.

Shibli completed his education in fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Usul
(Islamic principles), Hadith (traditions of prophet Mohammad), Munazra
(comparative religious debate), Maqulat (rational science) and
astronomy under illustrious scholars like Maulana Farooq Chiryakoti,
Hakim Abdullah Jairajpuri and Maulana Irshad Hussain of Rampur. Shibli
began his career by first working as a lawyer in Azamgarh and Jaunpur.
But starting in 1878 Shibli was increasingly drawn to scholarship,
comprising of learning and teaching. Thus he started writing discourses
in ‘Awadh Panch’ and ‘Payam-e-yaar’, two contemporary newspapers of
U.P. that talked of retaining the established values of the Muslim
society.

At Aligarh College:

In 1881 Shibli visited Aligarh to meet Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.
Subsequently as the then Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College , then also
known as ‘Madrasat al uloom Musalman’ needed a teacher for Eastern
languages, Shibli applied for the position. Shibli’s interview for that
position by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is an interesting anecdote. On the day
of his interview Shibli was asked to seat himself in the college’s
library. In the library Shibli found that the book-shelves were
unlocked and a few chairs were placed; he proceeded to browse through
the books. The whole day passed but Sir Syed never came. Instead he
sent word to Shibli to come to the library the next day. Again on the
next day Shibli waited, browsing through books the entire day but again
Sir Syed never came. Instead he again sent word to Shibli to come the
next day. The same occurred on the third day. At the end of the third
day, Sir Syed came to the library and told Shibli, “ Maulvi Shibli, the
interview is over, go and start your teaching work”. On February 1,
1883, at the young age of twentyfive Shibli was appointed Assistant
professor of Arabic and Persian at a monthly salary of forty rupees.
Two years later he was promoted as professor and his monthly salary
increased to seventy rupees.

Thus began the father-son like partnership of Shibli Nomani with Sir
Syed Ahmad Khan who was forty years older than Shibli, to develop the
Anglo Mohammedan college to impart modern education to the Mussalmans
of India. Shibli was immensely popular among the students at Aligarh;
some of them being Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Mohammad Nazir, Sajjad
Haider yaldram, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar. Soon Shibli became the
first editor of the Urdu version of Aligarh Institute Gazette. He
brought in distinguished writers of the period like Altaf Hussain Hali
and Munshi Mohammad Zakaullah. In the events at the college, Shibli
often spoke eloquently about the crestfallen position of Muslims and
the importance of the Aligarh movement. To raise funds for the nascent
college he will often participate in events along with Thomas Arnold,
Kennedy, Smith, Anthony and Yusuf Vakil. At Aligarh he also established
students’ societies like ‘Akhwan ul safa’ and ‘Lajinatul Adab’.

Shibli Steps Out

In 1892 Shibli took leave from the Aligarh College and left for a
six month travel through various countries in the middleeast. In this
travel Shibli visited Aden, Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Istanbul, Jerusalem,
Beirut and Cairo. He met luminaries like Saiyad Tahir, Maulana Ali
Pasha, Sheikh Abduh, Sheikh Hamza Fathullah, Syed Raza Misri among
others. In these countries he studied the system of education in a
variety of madrasas and colleges and became familiar with the
literature of those countries. Upon his return from this travel Shibli
introduced common boarding houses, common dining halls and uniform
dress for students at the Aligarh school.

Also upon his return the British Indian government awarded Shibli
with the honorific title of ‘Shams ul Ulema’. Shibli was also appointed
a fellow of the then illustrious Allahabad University, member of the
Bombay branch of Royal Asiatic Society, and he attended the Government
Oriental conference in Shimla (1910), and the Coronation Durbar (1911)
where he was introduced to King George V. In 1912 the Indian Government
accepted many of Shibli’s recommendations for the reform of the
syllabus in schools.

In Hyderabad and Turkey

In 1901 the Nizam of Hyderabad invited Shibli to Hyderabad to help
set up the syllabus and systems at the new Oriental university that in
time grew into the Osmania University. Shibli wrote the plan for the
university entitled ‘Hyderabad ki mashraqi universirty’. In Hyderabad
Shibli was appointed the secretary of Education and Arts at a monthly
salary of five hundred rupees. In this position in Hyderabad, Shibli
completed many works such as Al Ghazali (1902), Ibn al Kalam (1903),
Sawaneh Maulana Rumi (1904). Also during his stay in Hyderabad he
composed ‘Sher al Ajam’ and ‘Muwaznah Anis o Dabir’.

In 1913 Shibli was invited by the Ottoman Sultan of Turkey to develop the text books for the proposed university at Madina.

Shbli departs Aligarh for Nadvat ul Uloom, Lucknow

Despite his long and dedicated service to the Aligarh College, in
the late 1890s Shibli started getting uncomfortable with uncontrolled
modernity at the college. In fact Sir Syed himself was uncomfortable
with the growth of over-anglicized trends at the Aligarh College. It is
said that Sir Syed’s appointment of his son Syed Mahmood, a highly
anglicized person as his successor as the secretary of the Aligarh
Education Society, in preference to several of his staunch colleagues
like Maulvi Samiullah, Karamat Hussain, Shibli Nomani etal led to a
situation where several of these luminaries left the Aligarh college
ultimately. It is said that a fortnight before his death in 1898 a
major quarrel occurred between Sir Syed and his son Syed Mahmood due to
the later’s very anglicized lifestyle, that caused Sir Syed to move out
of the house and start living with his friend Haji Ismail Khan, where
he soon breathed his last.

In 1896 Shibli first expressed a desire to leave the Aligarh college
but was persuaded by the principal of the college, Theodore Beck to
stay. Finally after the death of Sir Syed Shibli Nomani resigned from
the Aligarh college in 1899. It was in 1905 after return from Hyderabad
that Shibli Nomani joined Nadvat ul Uloom at Lucknow as the secretary
of the institution. As at other institutions, Shibli threw himself with
all his zeal to build Nadva into a quality institution and introduced
new subjects and curriculum. He also started the journal Al Nadva that
revolutionized the thinking of Ulema and broadened their outlook. At
Nadva some of Shibli’s distinguished students were: Saiyed Sulaiman
Nadvi, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Maulana Masud Nadvi – the same
people who later gave concrete shape to Shibli’s dream of Dar ul
Muannifin at Azamgarh.

It was during his decade long sojourn at Nadva that Shibli visited
Bombay and the nearby princely state of Janjirah in 1907. That is where
he wrote the classic ‘Sher al ajam’, the history of the Persian poetry,
and his treatise on ‘Islam and tolerance’.

However some of his critics at Nadva opposed Shibli for the modern
syllabus that he institutionalized there as too modern. In fact for
some of his compositions in ‘al Kalam’ some of his opponents charged
him even with apostasy, just as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was similarly
charged for his Aligarh College movement. It is an irony that at the
Aligarh college some of Shibli’s critics considered him as too
conservative, while at Nadva some of his critics considered him a
radical. Finally in 1913 Shibli Nomani resigned and left from Nadva
after a decade of dedicated service to the institution.

Shibli and Maulana Azad

It was during his stay in Bombay that Shibli Nomani met the then
youthful Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was then the editor of the Urdu
journal ‘Lisan-ul-sidq’. Soon Shibli and Azad became close friends and
colleagues and Azad spent some time at Nadva. Shibli invited Azad to
join him in writing the magnum opus ‘Sirat ul Nabi’, considered Shibli
Nomani’s landmark achievement, even though he did not live long enough
to complete it. Such was Azad’s devotion to Shibli that after Shibli’s
death when Syed Sulaiman Nadvi asked Azad if he will like to serve as a
honorary fellow at the Dar ul Musannifin, Azad is reported to have
said: “ I will willingly serve even as a porter”.

Shibli returns home to Dar ul Musannifin, Azamgarh

In 1913 at the age of fiftysix, after being away from his hometown
of Azamgarh for thirtyone years, and having lived and worked all over
India and having travelled abroad extensively, Shibli Nomani returned
to settle down in Azamgarh. In Azamgarh he soon established Dar ul
Musannifin (abode of writers) – that is today also known as Shibli
Academy. In the short time before his death in November 1914, despite
poor health Shibli did much to give a concrete shape to the new
institution. It is a tribute to Shibli’s illustrious life and work that
his students built his dream institution into a major center of
learning and research related to Islam, Islamic civilization,
Indo-Islamic culture and the Indian culture itself.

Shibli’s legacy

Shibli Nomani was a visionary and a restless soul who travelled wide
and lived in places remote from his home in pursuit of learning,
spreading knowledge, building institutions and bringing about a
revolution in the thinking of Ulema, learened scholars and ordinary
Muslims. Shibli was one of the most ardent nationalists devoted to his
nation and to freeing it from the yoke of colonialism. At the Aligarh
college he dedicated himself to providing modern education to Muslims.
His letters to sir syed Ahmad Khan from Istanbul, Cairo and other
places show his deep concern that Muslims study sciences. He admitted
the importance of Western learning but was not prepared to ignore
oriental subjects or belittle the merit of Islamic sciences. He
disagreed with those who wanted to emulate the western ethos so much
that it could destroy the identity of Muslims.

Shibli’s spirit of national integration is demonstrated by the
manner in which he established a school in 1883 in his hometown of
Aligarh, and named it ‘National School’; it is now a large
post-graduate college with an enrollment of about 9,000 students. He
instructed that the students in this school speak English language by
the time they reach Standard V. A century ago Shibli was of the opinion
that much of the Muslim antipathy to Western learning arose because of
their ignorance of European languages. He was not satisfied with mere
writing, learning and attending conferences, but also believed in
action. For example when in 1912 Burn, the chief secretary of United
Provinces government initiated a move to introduce Urdu in Devnagri
script, Shibli opposed it stoutly and fought for the preservation of
Urdu in Nastaliq script. Also in 1912 he introduced a resolution in
Delhi demanding withdrawl of books that created discord among Indians
of diverse faiths from schools and colleges.

Shibli praised the Congress party for raising the demand of
self-government. While Shibli believed that the Congress party may not
best represent the interests of the Muslim community, at the same time
he dismissed the claims of Muslim League as the exclusive
representative of Muslims. He did not subscribe to the fears expressed
by Muslim League that by virtue of their numerical superiority Hindus
would overwhelm Muslims. Indeed men like Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar
and Maulana Azad who were Shibli’s close younger colleagues and who
were considerably influenced by Shibli may be viewed as his political
successors.

Have we forgotten Shibli?

In the aftermath of Shibli Nomani’s death his favourite pupil
including the renowned Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, dedicated themselves to
nurturing and building on his legacy. Syed Sulaiman Nadvi completed
Shibli’s unfinished ‘Seerat un Nabi’ and together with others built Dar
ul Musannifin in Azamgarh into a most illustrious institution of
learning, research and publications in the area of Islamic thought and
civilization that it became in the next few decades.

However, after 1947 Shibli Nomani’s name has suffered neglect by
people outside his close circle and outside the Muslim community of
Eastern U.P. For instance the Muslim qaum has not given Shibli the
all-India stature that others like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Maulana
Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Maulana Azad with whom he cam be easily ranked
among the Muslim luminaries of the last 150 years. Aligarh Muslim
University and Nadvat ul Uloom, Lucknow, the two institutions that he
served for so long with so much untiring zeal and devotion and where he
made so much contribution have not done much to perpetuate his memory.

It was only recently that Aligarh Muslim University built a students
hostel in his name; but they did not name any of their better
institutes, eg the library or one of the colleges after Shibli.
Similarly Nadvat ul Uloom did not name any of its significant organs
after him. Hardly any Muslim community university has named any major
awards in Shibli’s name. And hardly any alumni of AMU memorialize
Shibli by organizing annual lectures in his memory. The unkindest cut
is that when you enquire about Shibli from north Indian Muslims they
indicate that he is a historical figure from eastern UP and Azamgarh.
This despite the fact that Shibli spent 31 of his 57 years serving
educational institutions of the Muslims all over India, away from his
home base. Today we need to make up for lost time and take steps to
give Shibli a place of pride among the all-India luminaries of the
Muslim qaum of the last two centuries.

_________________________________________________

The writer a community activist in Washington DC, can be reached on kaleem kawaja@hotmail.com

Link:

http://www.shibliacademy.org/

Malegaon 06’ blast accused being coerced to turn approver

 | TwoCircles.net
Malegaon 06’ blast accused being coerced to turn approver
Submitted by admin4 on 3 June 2009 – 11:12am.

* Crime/Terrorism
* Indian Muslim

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

Mumbai: Abrar Ahmed is one of the accused in the September 2006 Malegaon blast case. He turned approver but only to turn hostile later alleging he was being pressurized to give testimony against the rest eight Muslim accused in the case. Seemingly not ready to face the new turn in the case, Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad is reportedly pressurizing Abrar, and his family also, to again turn approver. Part of the tactic, some plain-clothed policemen yesterday brutally beat up his nephew who had gone to meet him in Byculla Central Jail.

Abrar turned hostile this April and through his brother Advocate Jaleel Ahmed filed an affidavit wherein he alleged that some officials were pressurizing him to give testimony against the accused in the case. In the affidavit he leveled serious charges against Rajwardhan, then Superintendent of Police (Nashik Rural), and few other police and Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials. He alleged that SP Rajvardhan was involved in hatching the conspiracy to implicate Muslim youths. Soon after the affidavit, the police allegedly started putting pressure on him and his family to turn him approver again.

On June 1 Advocate Jaleel’s son Aftab Ahmed had gone to meet his uncle Abrar lodged in Byculla Central Jail in Nagpada, Mumbai. He was not allowed to meet him, and when he came out of the jail compound, some plain-clothed ATS men pounced on him and brutally beat him, says Urdu Times daily.

Advocate Jaleel, who had prepared his brother Abrar’s affidavit, has been quoted by the daily as saying: Yesterday my son went to meet his uncle Abrar Ahmad. Not allowed to meet, Aftab went out of the jail compound to the Clear Road where some policemen in plain clothes asked him whether he was son of advocate Jaleel. When Aftab said, ‘yes’ they started beating him and dragged him into a van. However, Aftab managed to get rid of them.

Jaleel alleged that since the affidavit was filed the police have been troubling Abrar to make him withdraw the affidavit. To put Abrar under pressure the relatives also are being threatened. Jaleel added that the policemen while beating Aftab were saying, ‘You and your father are daring Rajwardhan (SP). We won’t spare you.’

He also said that his son was so brutally beaten that he is not in a position to face his viva voce scheduled on June 3.

On September 8, 2006 Malegaon was shattered with a series of blasts taking place at Bada Qabrastan and Mushawarat Chowk on the day of Shab-e-Barat after Friday prayers. The explosions that claimed 31 lives and injured more than 250 persons were allegedly attributed to some alleged SIMI outfit. The ATS arrested nine Muslim youths and imposed MCOCA on them.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting probe in the case and it is delaying submission of its report, reportedly due to a petition pending in the Supreme Court challenging the MCOCA against the accused.
Why indian muslims killing muslims in bomb blast
Submitted by Pushkar (not verified) on 3 June 2009 – 12:52pm.

Looking at all blast across main cities like jaipur,mumbai,bangalore,delhi,surat,malegoan,karnavati all muslims youths were involved belonging to SIMI &amp; IM. WHy muslims are killing muslims?? WHy they are killing innocent people in the name of allah?? can somebody from community denounce this &amp; stop talibanisation of india

* reply

Wake up Mr. Pushkar
Submitted by Moash (not verified) on 4 June 2009 – 2:40pm.

Mr. Pushkar, May be you are sleeping, or pretending to be so. May be you doesn’t read the news daily. Who issued fatwa condemning the terrorist activities from Deoband. In Delhi also Muslim Ulema issued fatwa against such activities, for what purpose the learned ones from the Muslim community assembled in Hyderabad at end of the last year? In which swamis from the Hindu community also participate. How often do we ask Hindus to condemn violence against Christians? Terrorists are terrorists. There are no Muslim terrorists, Hindu terrorists or Christian terrorists. This is a term that was coined by US, for their own reasons. Why IRA terrorists are not called Christian terrorists? What would you call LTTE terrorists? Why only Muslim leaders should be required to condemn perpetrators of violence. We as a society must realise two things. Number one…Please do not assign religion to terrorists…they are criminals and need to be treated as such. Secondly let us not jump to conclusions. If police takes years to arrest terrorists, how can we in seconds confirm that arrested individuals are terrorists? Emotional knee jerk reactions will not help in curbing criminal activities. It is too serious an issue to be treated so trivially.
Is it Indian Christians, Indian Muslims or the Hindus who are giving India bad publicity?
Hindutva Hindus who are enraged need only answer the question:
Is it Indian Christians, Indian Muslims or the Hindus who are giving India bad publicity?
Who burnt a Christian missionary and his son, both of who were serving the poorest Hindus? It was the Hindus.
Who attacked Christians and intimidated them in Dangs? Who mobilized kar sevak mobs when they feared losing the Gujarat elections?
Who organized a pogrom in which 2000 Muslims were killed, women were raped, and where a pregnant woman’s womb was cut and the foetus was speared with a trishul? It is always the Hindus in India who indulge in this barbarity and go scot free.
India can only become a major nation if the majority community has some qualities. Such actions put into doubt whether the Hindus are fit to lead India.
If you read, Pitts letter to Rice, it says that (1) Hindu extremists have persecuted Christians (2) conducted a pogrom against Muslims in which 2000 were killed and (3) propagated Nazism in schools through textbooks.
So who has disgraced India?
Which Indian Christian or Muslim is accused of such criminality?

* reply

Dear Pushkar, its not yet
Submitted by Bal Thackeray (not verified) on 4 June 2009 – 10:19am.

Dear Pushkar, its not yet proved that Muslim youths were involved in those blast,but the new findings have found that Hindu terrorists were involved in all those blasts.Now you know why HINDU TERRORIST ARE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.AND PLEASE,CAN SOMEBODY FROM UR COMMUNITY,DENOUNCE THIS AND STOP TALIBANISATION OF INDIA.
AND MY REQUEST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, TO BAN ALL SANGH PARIVAR OUTFITS AT THE EARLIEST AND HANG THESE HINDU TERRORIST.JAIHIND.

* reply

Pushkar Sharm se kaho ham Hindutva Hindu hain
Submitted by Anti Chaddhiwala (not verified) on 4 June 2009 – 7:12am.

Pushkar, most of your postings are incomprehensible ! Drunk on gomutra perhaps ?

The rest of the world eats your god, the cow, and is none the worse for it.

Pushkar, I do not hate Hindus, I have contempt for Hindutva Hindus.

It is evident that not all Hindus are reactionary.

I can see the difference between you and Hindutva Hindus for instance.

Hindutva Hindus have felt they can attack minorities. I can dish it out to them in return – and make them cry in public

Pushkar, name me the RSS leader who went to prison for India’s freedom.

Vajpayee was an RSS fellow and he was arrested during a demonstration where he was a spectator. He obtained his release by naming the freedom fighters, who were then caught and imprisoned.

Laloo made the quip in the Parliamentary debate after Vajpayee was sworn in “All the previous PMs of India went to prison for India’s freedom, but Vajpayee was the first PM to send Indians to prison for his own freedom !!!”

Godse was a member of the RSS and he had to be hanged.

Savarkar of the HM escaped on a technicality. So what are you talking about Pushkar ?

The RSS has an inferiority complex about it, so they claim they were against Nehru, but they were with Gandhi and Bose !!!

Pushkar, I have never persecuted any Hindu, and the party I support has not done this either. I have not branded anyone untouchable, or prevented him from drawing water. I have not joined a mob to lynch any Hindus.

I observe Brahmins have persecuted Indians by labelling the majority as untouchable. The concept of equality is unknown to him. The Muslims and British brought the concept of equality.

So why don’t you start with the Brahmin ? He is responsible for India’s degradation.

Pushkar, I do love saffron jokers !

Read RSS pamphlets for the news and live in make-believe Hindu world !

After 60 years of independence, one has to conclude that the Hindus do not have what it takes to transform India. The Mughal empire was famous through out the world, and so was the British empire. Both the Mughals and the British left a lasting impact on India. The Hindus are too wracked with self-doubt, they wallow in self-pity and they are intrinscially divisive to lead India. The last comes from their caste system.

Observing all these Hindutva jokers here one can see in their hearts they also feel the same way. They are just venting their frustrations because in their hearts, they realise the inadequacies of the Hindus.

Can one conclude that due to the bad karma notched up by Advani and Modi, the BJP could not win ? It seems to be the obvious conclusion, but as usual you look for something devious.

Who is this famous journalist ? Is he a Brahmin astrologer ?

According to your joker, there is something wrong with India – all these blasts happining in the last few years for example ! Karkare found that ugly, saffron sadhvis and purohits were planting bombs and blaming others. So the Hindus came to realise the BJP was taking them for a ride. All the BJP wants is power, and for that they will not only massacre minorities, but they will have Hindus killed as well.

Pushkar, under Aurangazeb, the Mughal empire had the largest land mass of any that ruled India. At that time, the empire included what is today Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. By the time the British came, the empire had fragmented and was a collection of principalities. They reunited it, but Afganistan never became part of the empire. The Mughals always strove to unite India under central rule from Delhi – that is a concept that emanated from them. The British and Hindus inherited the concept from them. It is a fact that the advent of Hindu rule led to break-up. The Hindu mentality is intrinscially divisive and you are the proof.

The BJP Hindus are even worse. Their predecessors, the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, created an environment that made partition inevitable. India had a larger territorial mass under the Muslims and the British. India shrunk on the advent of Hindu rule. Is it not proof of your incompetence ? And if matters are left to the BJP, civil war and further break up would be inevitable.

* reply

Pushkar, I think you have
Submitted by Ravi (not verified) on 4 June 2009 – 5:53am.

Pushkar,

I think you have the wrong idea. Many muslim organisations have already denounced these attacks not only against muslims but against all indians.

The problem is that these attacks don’t invovle SIMI or IM but hindu taliban organisations like abhinav bharat, bajrang dal and RSS who want to start hindu-muslim riots and benefit from it.

Yes somebody from the community must denounce the HINDU TALIBANISATION of India. Its about time! So tell me are you denouncing these groups?!

Merciful storekeeper changes robber’s mind, religion

Merciful storekeeper changes robber’s mind, religion

  • Story Highlights
  • Long Island storekeeper Mohammad Sohail faces man wielding baseball bat
  • Sohail grabs shotgun; stunned man begins to cry, says he has no food at home
  • Man’s story tugs at Sohail’s heartstrings, and he offers man money, bread, milk
  • After act of compassion, man says he wants to become a Muslim like Sohail


  • Next Article in Crime »
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From Kiran Khalid
CNN

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NEW YORK (CNN)
— A potential victim became a compassionate counselor during a recent
robbery attempt, changing the would-be criminal’s mind — and
apparently his religion.

Surveillance video shows storekeeper Mohammad Sohail holding a robber at bay with a shotgun.

Surveillance video shows storekeeper Mohammad Sohail holding a robber at bay with a shotgun.

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Storekeeper Mohammad Sohail was closing up his Long Island
convenience store just after midnight on May 21 when — as shown on the
store’s surveillance video — a man came in wielding a baseball bat and
demanding money.

“He said, ‘Hurry up and give me the money, give
me the money!’ and I said, ‘Hold on’,” Sohail recalled in a phone
interview with CNN on Tuesday, after the store video and his story was
carried on local TV.

Sohail said he reached under the counter, grabbed his gun and told the robber to drop the bat and get down on his knees.

“He’s crying like a baby,” Sohail said. “He says, ‘Don’t call police,
don’t shoot me, I have no money, I have no food in my house.’ “

Amidst the man’s apologies and pleas, Sohail said he felt a surge of compassion.

He made the man promise never to rob anyone again and when he agreed, Sohail gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.

“When he gets $40, he’s very impressed, he says, ‘I want to be a Muslim
just like you,’ ” Sohail said, adding he had the would-be criminal
recite an Islamic oath.

“I said ‘Congratulations. You are now a Muslim and your name is Nawaz Sharif Zardari.'”

When asked why he chose the hybrid of two Pakistani presidents’ names,
the Pakistani immigrant laughed and said he had been watching a South
Asian news channel moments before the confrontation.

Sohail said the man fled the store when he turned away to get the man some free milk.

He said police might still be looking for the suspect but he doesn’t intend to press charges.

“The guy, you know, everybody has a hard time right now, it’s too bad
for everybody right now in this economy,” said the storekeeper.

All About IslamLong Island

To Protect an Ancient City, China Moves to Raze It

To Protect an Ancient City, China Moves to Raze It

Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Preservationists say the demolition of the Old City section of Kashgar,
top, is a blow to China’s Islamic and Uighur culture. But work has
already begun, center, to raze about 85 percent of the area.

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Published: May 27, 2009

KASHGAR, China — A thousand years ago, the northern and southern branches of the Silk Road
converged at this oasis town near the western edge of the Taklamakan
Desert. Traders from Delhi and Samarkand, wearied by frigid treks
through the world’s most daunting mountain ranges, unloaded their pack
horses here and sold saffron and lutes along the city’s cramped
streets. Chinese traders, their camels laden with silk and porcelain,
did the same.

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Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Preservationists say the demolition of the Old City section of Kashgar is a blow to China’s Islamic and Uighur culture.

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The
traders are now joined by tourists exploring the donkey-cart alleys and
mud-and-straw buildings once window-shopped, then sacked, by Tamerlane
and Genghis Khan.

Now, Kashgar is about to be sacked again.

Nine
hundred families already have been moved from Kashgar’s Old City, “the
best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found
anywhere in central Asia,” as the architect and historian George
Michell wrote in the 2008 book “Kashgar: Oasis City on China’s Old Silk Road.”

Over
the next few years, city officials say, they will demolish at least 85
percent of this warren of picturesque, if run-down homes and shops.
Many of its 13,000 families, Muslims from a Turkic ethnic group called
the Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), will be moved.

In
its place will rise a new Old City, a mix of midrise apartments,
plazas, alleys widened into avenues and reproductions of ancient
Islamic architecture “to preserve the Uighur culture,” Kashgar’s vice
mayor, Xu Jianrong, said in a phone interview.

Demolition is
deemed an urgent necessity because an earthquake could strike at any
time, collapsing centuries-old buildings and killing thousands. “The
entire Kashgar area is in a special area in danger of earthquakes,” Mr.
Xu said. “I ask you: What country’s government would not protect its
citizens from the dangers of natural disaster?”

Critics fret about a different disaster.

“From a cultural and historical perspective, this plan of theirs is stupid,” said Wu Lili, the managing director of the Beijing Cultural Protection Center, a nongovernmental group devoted to historic preservation. “From the perspective of the locals, it’s cruel.”

Urban reconstruction during China’s long boom has razed many old city centers, including most of the ancient alleyways and courtyard homes of the capital, Beijing.

Kashgar,
though, is not a typical Chinese city. Chinese security officials
consider it a breeding ground for a small but resilient movement of
Uighur separatists who Beijing claims have ties to international
jihadis. So redevelopment of this ancient center of Islamic culture
comes with a tinge of forced conformity.

Chinese officials have
offered somewhat befuddling explanations for their plans. Mr. Xu calls
Kashgar “a prime example of rich cultural history and at the same time
a major tourism city in China.” Yet the demolition plan would reduce to
rubble Kashgar’s principal tourist attraction, a magnet for many of the million-plus people who visit each year.

China supports an international plan to designate major Silk Road landmarks as United Nations World Heritage sites — a powerful draw for tourists, and a powerful incentive for governments to preserve historical areas.

But
Kashgar is missing from China’s list of proposed sites. One foreign
official who refused to be identified for fear of damaging relations
with Beijing said the Old City project had unusually strong backing
high in the government.

The project, said to cost $440 million,
began abruptly this year, soon after China’s central government said it
would spend $584 billion on public works to combat the global financial
crisis.

It would complete a piecemeal dismantling of old
Kashgar that began decades ago. The city wall, a 25-foot-thick earthen
berm nearly 35 feet high, has largely been torn down. In the 1980s, the
city paved the surrounding moat to create a ring highway. Then it
opened a main street through the old town center.

Still, much of
the Old City remains as it was and has always been. From atop 40
vest-pocket mosques, muezzins still cast calls to prayer down the
narrow lanes: no loudspeakers here. Hundreds of artisans still hammer
copper pots, carve wood, hone scimitars and hawk everything from
fresh-baked flatbread to dried toads to Islamic prayer hats.

And
tens of thousands of Uighurs still live here behind hand-carved poplar
doors, many in tumbledown rentals, others in two-story homes that vault
over the alleys and open on courtyards filled with roses and cloth
banners.

The city says the Uighur residents have been consulted
at every step of planning. Residents mostly say they are summoned to
meetings at which eviction timetables and compensation sums are
announced.

Although the city offers the displaced residents the
opportunity to build new homes on the sites of their old ones, some
also complain that the proposed compensation does not pay for the cost
of rebuilding.

“My family built this house 500 years ago,” said a
beefy 56-year-old man with a white crew cut, who called himself Hajji,
as his wife served tea inside their two-story Old City house. “It was
made of mud. It’s been improved over the years, but there has been no
change to the rooms.”

In Uighur style, the home has few
furnishings. Tapestries hang from the walls, and carpets cover the
floors and raised areas used for sleeping and entertaining. The winter
room has a pot-bellied coal stove; the garage has been converted into a
shop from which the family sells sweets and trinkets. Nine rooms
downstairs, and seven up, the home has sprawled over the centuries into
a mansion by Kashgar standards.

Women’s education key to progress: Rabey Nadvi

| TwoCircles.net
Women’s education key to progress: Rabey Nadvi
Submitted by admin4 on 2 June 2009 – 7:03pm.

* Indian Muslim
* Women

By RINA,

Kairana: President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadvi said that if a woman is given education then, it will pave the way for the development and progress of the whole family. Similarly, if a woman is deprived of the education then, the whole family would plunge in the darkness of ignorance and superstition. Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi was giving away certificates of Khatm-e-Bukhari to the students of Jamia Ummul Momineen Aisha Siddiqua Lil Banat here yesterday.

Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi further said that in fact the establishment of Madaris and Makatib is a means of acquiring and gaining Allah’s grace and mercy. In the Madaris the students are acquainted with fundamentals of a moral life as well as paths to realize Allah’s chosen way. Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi mentioned that Allah has created everything on this earth for his service and hence everything is compelled to do Ibadat. However, Allah has given the man Ilm (knowledge), and Aql (intellect) simultaneously so that he can himself judge between the virtues and vices and chart out his own path.

Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi further said that Aql without Ilm is a waste rather in some extreme cases it is a crisis. To keep the Aql under control Ilmul Wahi is conditioned. Maulanan Rabey stressed the need for acquiring the Ilm of Quran and Hadith because these ‘Ilms are a key to a leading peaceful and moral life in this world as well as for the success in the hereafter. Ilm is a food for self moral fiber. He said that the world must be grateful to the Islamic Madaris because they are fulfilling the mundane as well as the moral needs of the world.

Only in Gujarat: cheques for riot victims go to riot accused; probe ordered

| TwoCircles.net
Only in Gujarat: cheques for riot victims go to riot accused; probe ordered
Submitted by mumtaz on 2 June 2009 – 8:24pm.

* India News
* Indian Muslim

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent

Ahmedabad: A scam in the distribution of compensation to the riot victims of 2002 in the worst hit Naroda Patia has come to light. A senior official of the Ahmedabad district administration P R Patel has been asked to look into the scam.

The Ahmedabad district administration, instead of issuing compensation cheques to the victims, issued as many as 21 cheques worth Rs. 20 lakh to one Prabhashankar Pandit, an accused involved in the loot and killing of Muslims in this locality. Pandit is out on bail.

Prabhashankar claimed over Rs. 15 lakh as compensation from the state government. The latest cheques issued in his name are from the union government’s compensation package announced for the Gujarat riot victims of 2002 on the pattern of Sikh victims of 1984.

The Muslim dominated Naroda Patia, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city, had several clusters with Muslim population. One of the clusters was known as Pandit-ni-Chali where 28 Muslim families lived.

When the riots broke out, Muslims left the place to save their lives, leaving behind their home and hearth. Their houses were looted and damaged by the miscreants. When they were still taking shelter in Shah Alam Dargah and were not able to return due to security reasons, the administration began survey of the damaged property.

In connivance with the local talati (land revenue official) and the government surveyor, Prabhashankar’s father Shivshankar Pandit forged the documents showing that he was the owner of all the 28 houses in Pandit-ni-Chali.

This helped Shivshankar to get compensation from the state government amounting to Rs. 15 lakh approximately. According to locals, the Pandit-ni-Chali houses were constructed on a piece of land belonging to Dhanush Dhari Mata Trust with Hukumsih Bhagwansinh as its trustee. However, Shivshankar was mentioned as a caretaker in the records.

“But after the death of Hukumsinh, Shivshankar declared himself as owner of the land’’, says Nazir Pathan, a riot victim and a school teacher. According to him, the ownership of the land should either go to the government or to the Muslim occupying the houses and not to the Shivshankar. However, the state government officials did not give any attention to these things and paid compensation to Shivshankar after the riots though Shivshankar was not the victims.

When the security situation improved, Muslims returned and occupied their houses after repairing them. But no one could question Shivshankar about the compensation he illegally claimed for their houses because of an undercurrent of communal tension. Meanwhile Shivshankar died.

However, the Muslim victims raised their voice when the Ahmedabad district administration handed over as many as 21 cheques of compensation to Shivshanker’s son Prabhashankar after the Gujarat High Court issued an order to expedite the compensation payment to the riot victims recently.

The victims are now demanding that the administration must take the cheques back from Prabhashankar.

On June 1, victims led by Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) representative Shamshad Pathan complained to the district officials. City Mamlatdar Mamta Sojitra, in-charge of compensation distribution in Ahmedabad city, told Pathan and victims that the compensation was given to Prabhashankar because the talati and surveyor report mentioned Prabhashankar’s father as owner of the houses.

However, district collector Hareet Shukla has asked additional collector P R Patel to inquire into the matter.

Pathan said that his organization would move the court in case justice was not done by the district officials.
<

Astronauts Set to Launch Aboard Russian Spacecraft

Astronauts Set to Launch Aboard Russian Spacecraft

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



By Clara Moskowitz


After a decade of construction, the International Space Station will
finally live up to its name this week when the first six-person crew
takes up residence with astronauts from five different countries.

The second half of the station’s inaugural six-member crew is poised to launch Wednesday at 6:34 a.m. EDT (1034 GMT) aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.

They will arrive on Friday to join the first wave of their crew already aboard the station.

• Check FOXNews.com at 6:34 a.m. EDT Wednesday for live streaming of the launch.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com’s Space Center.

When the new Soyuz crew joins the three astronauts already waiting on the orbiting laboratory
, it will be the first time, ever, that all five of the station’s
international partner agencies — NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency
(Roscosmos), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the
European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) — will
be represented on orbit at once.

It’s fitting the cosmic line-up coincided with the station’s first six-person crew.

“At
this time we will have Canadian, Russian, American, European and
Japanese guy on board space station, and I would say it’s [an]
outstanding event,” Expedition 20 space station commander Gennady Padalka,
a Russian cosmonaut, said in a preflight interview. “You know that all
these countries have been participating in ISS project for 10 years as
a minimum, and now it’s pretty high time to have all these astronauts
and cosmonauts together working in space.”

Construction
on the International Space Station began in 1998, with the first
three-man tenants setting up shop in 2000, once living quarters
arrived. Today, the station is home to Padalka, American astronaut Michael Barratt and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Related Stories

On Wednesday, russian cosmonaut Roman
Romanenko will command the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraftthat will launch
himself, Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne of ESA, and Canadian
astronaut Robert Thirsk.

The three spaceflyers are due to dock at the space station Friday morning.

“When
we all get together at the table we will see that we are people from
all corners of the world, working together as a single team to execute
our mission program, and I want to believe that we will be able to find
a common language and that we will all be happy to be part of this
family,” Romanenko said in a NASA interview.

The astronauts will have more to drink at their dinner table. Last week, the station crew officially began consuming water recycled from their own urine and sweat, part of vital life support gear designed specifically to support a full six-person crew.

New arrivals

Romanenko,
a former Russian air force pilot, will be making his first trip to
space after joining the Russian Space Agency in 1997. He is married and
has one son.

De Winne is a former test pilot for the Belgian air force, and joined ESA in 2000. He is married and has three children.

De
Winne is a veteran of a 2002 Soyuz trip to the space station and is set
to assume command of the Expedition 21 mission after Padalka flies home
in October. When he takes the helm he will become the first European
station commander.

“This is the first for
Europe that there will be an ESA astronaut commanding the International
Space Station, and that’s of course very important for ESA, our
European agency, which has invested a lot in the International Space
Station,” De Winne said.

Thirsk was a
medical doctor before he joined the CSA in 1983. In 1996 he flew on the
space shuttle science mission STS-78, which was devoted to materials
and life science research. He is Canada’s first long-duration astronaut.

Getting crowded

Padalka,
Barratt and Wakata on the station now are currently serving as the
station’s Expedition 19 crew. They will shift to Expedition 20, with
Padalka still in charge, when their new crewmates arrive Friday.

“I
think for us to expand our frontiers in space, international
cooperation is essential,” Wakata said in a preflight interview. “The
ISS project has demonstrated that it’s possible.”

The
members of the double-sized crew will have their work cut out for them,
with a full schedule of research and space station maintenance planned.
The international nature of the crew should also provide some fun
chances for cross-cultural learning.

“We
look at each other as much more as colleagues than ambassadors but at
the same time we’re well aware that we represent nations and agencies
and we want to serve the best interests of all of those as well,”
Barratt said in an interview before his flight. “We enjoy one another’s
food and company and we just have a great time together.”

The
astronauts are prepared for some wrangling to take place as they try to
adjust to a more crowded space station than they’ve been used to.

“The
ground is doing a great job, and they try to take into account on all
details, and they try to envisage all problems,” Padalka said. “But at
the same time we are ready to put up with some tiny problems and ready
to work with the ground as one team to resolve them.”

More science

With
the start of large crews, the space station is entering a new phase
where spaceflyers hope to move beyond the basics of building the
station, which has been the focus of most missions so far.

A
major goal of the Expedition 20 mission is to “help transition the
space station program from a phase that has been dominated by assembly,
to one of utilization to help the station fulfill its new
responsibility as a world-class facility for doing research and
development,” Thirsk said.

And if the
space station starts to feel crowded when the first six-person crew
arrives, wait till the space shuttle Endeavour visits during its June
STS-127 flight.

“If you consider that the
permanent crew will be six, a visiting shuttle will be seven, now we’ll
have up to 13 on the space station,” Barratt said. “As far as I know,
that’s the most we’ve ever had on a single platform in space in
history, so we’ll look forward to seeing how all that works.”

Copyright © 2009 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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USA can be Muslim world’s role model

Muslim world’s ‘role model’
LONDON – THE United States can be a ‘role model’ to the Muslim world, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

‘The thing that we can do most importantly is serve as a good role model,’ he told BBC television in an interview on the eve of a trip to Europe and Egypt, where he plans to deliver a much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world.

He said he hoped his visit would begin a new relationship between America and the wider Muslim community.

‘Democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, those are not simply principles of the West to be hoisted on these countries – but rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity,’ President Obama said.

He said the danger was when the US or any other country thought they could impose these values on another country with different histories and cultures.

‘(But) absolutely you can encourage and I expect we will be encouraging,’ he added. — REUTERS

As the Myths Abound, So Does Islamic Outreach

As the Myths Abound, So Does Islamic Outreach

By Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aida Mansoor expects a skeptical crowd for her diversity training class, so she arrives an hour early to create a reassuring atmosphere. She tapes serene posters of mountains and rivers to the walls of the Hartford Public Library and displays a stack of pamphlets emphasizing that, yes, “Muslims also love and respect Jesus.” A snack table outside the room is divided into two sections, with homemade samosas on one half and generic sugar cookies from a local grocery on the other.

“We don’t want to risk insulting anybody,” says Mansoor, 41.

Seventeen years in this city, a house in the suburbs, almost a decade spent explaining Islam at training seminars across the state — and still Mansoor walks on eggshells. Even in Hartford, a liberal city rich in diversity, practicing Islam in 2009 means she ignores the jokes about her hijab and dismisses the hate mail sent to her mosque. It means she spends a Thursday morning in late May standing here, a few steps inside the entrance to the library, repeating a Muslim greeting to 30 strangers as they file silently past. “Assalaam alaikum,” she says, over and over, and then translates. “Peace be with you.”

Her attempts at cross-cultural connection can sometimes feel futile, Mansoor says, but her energy this year has been fortified by a powerful new ally: President Obama, a Christian who has promised unprecedented outreach to the Muslim world. More than 85 percent of Muslims in the United States approve of Obama’s performance as president, according to a recent Gallup poll, which is his strongest endorsement from any religious group. Obama will travel to Egypt to give a speech about Islam on Thursday, his attempt to bridge two cultures — America and Islam — so often at odds.
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“What he says could go a long way toward dispelling the myths,” Mansoor says. “For a long time, Muslims have been the bad guys in this country. There is so much hate and misunderstanding, and he might be able to help the world overcome some of it.”

Before Obama hosts his global diversity seminar, Mansoor begins her local equivalent. Her class of 30 includes Christians, Jews, blacks, whites and Latinos. Most are here at the recommendation of their bosses. A nurse and a teacher were told that diversity training would help them interact with Muslim clients; a human-relations expert from the city of Hartford takes copious notes to share later with co-workers. Three representatives from the U.S. Census sit in the front row with a list of basic questions — “How do you greet a Muslim? What are the Muslim holidays?” — aimed to improve their 2010 survey.

Mansoor has enlisted help from a few Muslim panelists and Kashif Abdul-Karim, the resident imam at her mosque. She sits near the front of the room while Abdul-Karim begins the seminar with a question.

“What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Muslim?’ ” he asks the students. In his hand, he carries a packet of statistics from the American Religious Identification Survey that offers some possible answers: 67 percent are younger than 40; 46 percent are college-educated; 12.4 percent are engineers. “Just shout out your answers,” Abdul-Karim says, and the students oblige.

“Poor, uneducated immigrant.”

“Arab!”

“Foreigner.”

“Terrorist.”

Mansoor watches intently, sensing a crossroads that will send the seminar in one of two directions. Maybe this will be one of the good sessions, when attendees exchange business cards and say, “Peace be with you,” as they walk out the door. Or maybe it will be one of the bad sessions, such as when an attendee said he was surprised she spoke English, or a student undermined her by distributing fliers headlined, “What They’re Hiding: The Real Islam.”

The mother of two pre-teens, wife of a cardiologist and a recent participant in an American Patriots tour of Civil War battlefields, Mansoor had never planned to answer for so much hostility. Originally from Sri Lanka and raised in England, she moved to the United States in early 1992 and rarely spoke publicly about her faith to non-Muslims until Sept. 12, 2001. Hours after the terrorist attacks, a church in nearby Newington, Conn., invited Mansoor and her husband, Reza, to explain their faith to the Catholic congregation. The Mansoors asked for time to consider. A local imam had told all hijab-wearing women to stay in their homes for at least three weeks, and the local newspaper had printed a story about the possibility of Muslim internment camps.

“We were terrified, but we decided either we face this now or we pack up and leave,” said Reza Mansoor, also originally from Sri Lanka. “If we were going to stay, we had to explain our faith. What was the other choice? To live in a country without self respect or dignity?”

The Mansoors walked into St. Mary’s in Newington on Sept. 12 to eerie silence. They explained the basic tenets of their faith, condemned terrorism and left without incident. News of their visit spread to more churches, to more towns, and the Mansoors were transformed into accidental ambassadors.
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If the passage of time has eased Aida Mansoor’s timidity as a public speaker, it has done little to soften her audience. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 29 percent of Americans see mainstream Islam as advocating violence and 48 percent have unfavorable views of Islam, the highest such percentage since 2001.

Mansoor’s class includes Rickey Reed, a census worker in attendance because he wants to “know more about them beyond September 11th.” Ken Steller, 63, came in part so he can educate friends who believe all Muslims are extremists. “In America, we hear one thing and assume it’s that way for all Muslims,” Steller says. “So many people just wait for the information to come to them. I like to go get it.”

After Abdul-Karim finishes his introductory lecture at the library, Mansoor plays a series of media clips compiled during the past year. The 2008 presidential election, Mansoor says, revealed the worst of Islamophobia in the United States. “Anytime you turned on the TV, they were saying, ‘You know, maybe Obama is a Muslim,’ ” she tells the class. “Well, first of all, he’s not a Muslim. But more important: So what if he was? What’s wrong with that?”

Mansoor turns out the lights and starts the projector, which the class takes as a cue to relax. The nurse pulls out her BlackBerry and types out an e-mail. The human-resources director for the City of Hartford doodles on her notepad. One of the census employees closes his eyes as Mansoor plays the first sound bite, from a broadcast of Michael Savage’s radio show:

“We have a right to know if [Obama’s] a so-called friendly Muslim or one who aspires to more radical teachings,” Savage says.

Then comes a clip of Sen. John McCain at one of his campaign rallies, responding to a woman who asked whether Obama was Arab: “No ma’am,” McCain says. “He’s a decent, family man, citizen . . . .”

Eventually, Mansoor finishes with a video of an experiment conducted by a television station. The clerk at a bagel shop pretends to refuse service to a Muslim woman, and the camera focuses on other customers’ responses. Three customers congratulate the clerk for taking a stand against “un-American terrorists.” Several others leave the store in protest. One man, moved to tears, tells the clerk, “Every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity.”

Mansoor stops the tape and turns on the lights. She’s crying. The attendees set down their pens and cellphones. They’re watching now.

“This always brings tears to my eyes when I see it,” Mansoor says. “This is what we face every day. Every day. Maybe it gives you a little bit of an idea what it must feel like. What are your reactions?”

Nobody speaks.

In a few minutes, Mansoor will begin to collect a stack of forms labeled “Professional Development Evaluation,” on which attendees rate their experience in diversity training class. They will judge Mansoor’s effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 4, and she will receive mostly 2s, for “satisfactory,” and some 3s for “very good.” But the feedback she cares most about is whatever happens next, standing in front of 30 strangers, teary-eyed, and waiting for somebody to respond.

Finally, Lillian Ruiz, the human-relations director, raises her hand.

“I think we need to stand up like we did in the 1950s,” Ruiz said. “You watch things like this and it makes you want to just fight back and do something, because it’s so sad. Obviously, discrimination is still very alive.”

“Yes,” Mansoor says. “Yes. Thank you.”

Railway track installation – New Technology in Saudi Arabia

Railway track installation – New Technology in Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

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لكن هنا يقول المهندس أن الحساس قد تعطل قليلاً وقد تم إصلاحة من قبل الفنيين لم يستغرق بضع دقائق

 

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صور من اصلاح الحساس

 

 

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وهنا نشاهد العربة تضع الصبات على الأرض بالسانتيمتر

 

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وهنا نشاهد العمال بكثرة لأن العملية تحتاج لدقة وموازنة وترتيب للصبات أثناء تركيبها

 

 

 

 

 

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صورة أخرى لكثرة العمال

 

 

 

 

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وهنا عربة لصف الصبات على الأرض وموازنتها وقبل ذلك إيصالها إلى المكان المحدد

 

 

 

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وهنا صبات وحديد سكة القطار

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هنا عربة أخرى لموازنة الخرسانة على سكة القطار

 

 

 

 

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وهذه عربة تعمل على ترسية وضغط الخرسانة تحت وجانب الصبات الخرسانية لسكة الحديد

 

 

 

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وهذا المصنع أو المقر لانطلاق العربات المحملة بالصبات والحديد

 

 

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وهذه المركبة تحمل صاحب مجموعة ابن لادن ( عمر ) والوفد المرافق له من مهندسين واستشاريين
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وهولاء المهندس وقائد العربة والمساعد

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وهذه العربات لنقل الخراسانه لسد الفراغات مابين صبات السكة وكذلك زيادة تثبيت وترسية الصبات التي أسفل الحديد

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وهذا هو الشكل النهائي لسكة الحديد بعد تركيب العربات

 

 

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وفي الختام تحياتي العطرة للجميع

 

China’s Attempts to Modernize Ethnic Uighurs’ Housing Creates Discord

China’s Attempts to Modernize Ethnic Uighurs’ Housing Creates Discord

The government, citing danger and overcrowding, began moving Uighur families out of Kashgar's labyrinthine old city.

The government, citing danger and overcrowding, began moving Uighur families out of Kashgar’s labyrinthine old city. (By Maureen Fan — The Washington Post)
Buy Photo
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, March 24, 2009; Page A08

An Ancient Culture, Bulldozed Away

KASHGAR, China
— For hundreds of years, Uighur shopkeepers have been selling bread and
firewood along the edges of Kashgar’s old town to families whose
ancestors bought their traditional mud-brick homes with gold coin and
handed them down through the generations.

Now, this labyrinth of ancient courtyard homes and narrow, winding
streets is endangered by the latest government plan to modernize a way
of life that officials consider dangerous and backward.

Left behind are piles of brick and rubble, houses without roofs and
hurt feelings. It is the most recent fault line to develop between
Chinese rulers and Xinjiang province’s majority ethnic Uighur
population, a Turkic-speaking people who have long chafed under
Beijing’s rule and who worry that their culture is slowly disappearing.

Like Tibetans, Uighurs resent the influx of Han Chinese immigrants
who dominate government and economic positions and have pushed for more
autonomy and economic opportunity. Some Uighurs have waged an
occasionally violent campaign calling for independence. Beijing has
cracked down hard during periods of unrest and its tough line against
suspected separatists has made many Uighurs reluctant to speak on the
record about their objections to government policy.

Here in China’s westernmost city, a $448 million plan to move about
50,000 residents out of the old city and into modern apartment
buildings kicked off last month with the first 100 families
transitioning into government housing. Officials say some houses are
too far away from fire hydrants and that the old city is dangerously
overcrowded. While the earthen homes have stood for centuries, the
deadly earthquake that hit Sichuan province last May only added urgency
to the project

“Because many houses were built privately without any approval, the
life of residents is not convenient and the capability against
earthquakes and fire is weak,” a local state-run news report said
recently. “Our target is every family has a house, every family has
employed members and the economy will be developed.”

About 220,000 people, or 42 percent of the city’s residents, live in the old town.

On the streets, where some houses have already been demolished and
others have been marked for removal, feelings of resentment were
evident. A bilingual education program begun in local schools several
years ago, for example, had been welcomed by Uighurs who agreed that
learning Mandarin Chinese would be good for business. But recently,
some schools have started teaching just Mandarin, angering parents who
want their children to also use their own language.

“They want us to live like Chinese people but we will never agree,”
said a 48-year-old woman in a red jacket and brown head scarf, who
declined to give her name. “If we move into the government apartments,
there are no courtyards and no sun. Women will need to cover up to go
outside and we will have to spend money to finish decorating our rooms.
This is our land. We have not bought it from the government.”

A 60-year-old man with a neat beard and a wool hat expressed his
disapproval as he walked to evening prayers along a narrow road that
would soon be widened to 20 feet under the government’s plan. “If the
government gives me money, I will go. Everybody is unhappy about this,
but government is government, we can do nothing,” he said.

For now, community service officers are visiting families one by
one, urging them to come to their offices and discuss compensation
plans for moving out. “Let’s see when they bring the bulldozers,” the
woman in the red jacket said. “We will talk then.”

Chinese officials in Kashgar could not be reached for comment.
Chinese authorities are often criticized for not being sensitive to
groups outside their own majority ethnic Han culture. During the
Olympic Games, for example, officials could not understand objections
to their use of Han Chinese models and actors to stand in for members
of China’s minority tribes.

Large-scale, raw-earth building complexes are rare, according to Wu
Dianting, a professor of regional planning at Beijing Normal
University’s School of Geography, who did field research in Kashgar
last year.

“The buildings are very scientific. They are warm in winter and cold
in summer. The technology used saves material and is environmentally
protective,” Wu said.

The old town is also one of the few authentic representations of
Uighur culture left, he said. “The old town also reflects the Muslim
culture of the Uighurs very well — it has the original taste and flavor
without any changes,” he said. “Here, Uighur culture is attached to
those raw earth buildings. If they are torn down, the affiliated
culture will be destroyed.”

Kamala Suraiya: The literary star of Kerala is no more

Kamala Suraiya: The literary star of Kerala is no more

By Najiya O., TwoCircles.net,

The epitome of love, the dear writer of Kerala Dr. Kamala Suraiya
has bid farewell to this world. Malayalis’ own Madhavikkutty who
secured an unforgettable place in the world of literature will now live
in the hearts of millions through the works that eternalize her. The
great writer who had been ailing for some months passed away at 1.55 am
on 31st May in the Jahangir Hospital in Pune. She will be interred at
the Palayam Juma Masjid in Thiruvananthapuram with State honours
tomorrow. She was 75 and is survived by three sons.

Kamala was born in a family of eminent writers in a traditional
Hindu family in 1934. Her mother Nalappattu Balamaniyamma was a famous
Malayalam poet. She spent her childhood in Kerala and Kolkatta where
her father worked. She got married to Madhav Das when she was only 15.
It was after she gave birth to her first child that Kamala began
writing. Madhav Das offered his whole-hearted support to the budding
writer in his wife. Her very first book ‘Summer in Calcutta’ (1965) was
indeed promising. She wrote mainly of love, betrayal and the anguish
that follows. She was never a feminist but brought out the problems of
women through her works. Loneliness was a presiding factor in most of
her works. She believed in writing everything openly, without any
reserves, be it about anything. And this very nature gained her
garlands and thorns alike. She wrote her autobiography when she was
only 42 – ‘My Story’. And the work brought her more applauses and
criticism than any of her other works. Besides poems, short-stories and
novels, she also wrote columns about various topics. She made her
presence felt in the field of painting too.

She has received many awards in the country and abroad. She received
the Asian Poetry Prize, the Asian World Prize, the Kerala Sahitya
Academy Award and the Ezhuthachan Award among others. She was even
nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in 1984. Her important works
are ‘The Descendants’ and ‘Only the Soul Knows How to Sing’ (English)
and ‘Neermathalam Pootha Kalam’, ‘Thanuppu’, ‘Vandikkaalakal’, etc in
Malayalam.

She wrote in three names which clearly state three stages or parts
in her life. She wrote in the name Kamala Das in English. She adopted
the pseudonym Madhavikkutty when she wrote in Malayalam. And after she
reverted to Islam, she wrote under her new name, Kamala Suraiyah.
However, she was fondly called Aamy by those who loved her.

Madhavikkutty embraced Islam in 1999, when she was 65. She announced
her becoming a Muslim while speaking at a public function. As always,
she received much criticism for this turn in her life too. Majority of
the intellectuals and writers who speak high of freedom of expression
criticized this decision in her life, but her sons stood by her in all
crises. Especially her eldest son M.D. Nalappatt gave his complete
support in whatever decision she took in her life.

In the final days of her life she was in Pune with her youngest son.
Her sons wanted to take her with them due to her oldage ailments. She
left for Pune in1997 since she felt that she was no more loved in
Kerala.

“If love is not to be had, I want to be dead…” So she wrote in her
poem ‘Suicide’. She lived for love, and when she felt she was not
receiving love back, she felt very bad.

And her fear is now repeated in the words of many writers after her
death. Dr. M. Leelavathi, renowned writer and Padmavibhushan
Award-winner, says, “Kamala Suraiyah did not get much recognition from
the Malayalam literary field. Her demise has brought irreparable loss
to Indian literature.” Dr. Leela Menon, renowned journalist, and
Sukumar Azheekode, famous critic, both feel that they should not have
let Suraiyah go away to Pune. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed
grief at the death of the great writer. He recalled that Suraiyah’s
“achievements extended well beyond her verses of poetry.” M.D.
Nalappattu recollects that his beloved mother wanted to come back to
Kerala, towards her death, but fate had decided otherwise.

And thus Kerala has lost its dear Madhavikkutty, and the world of literature a daring and loving writer.

Cracks show in Bulgaria’s Muslim ethnic model

Cracks show in Bulgaria’s Muslim ethnic model
Sun May 31, 2009 8:17pm EDT

By Anna Mudeva

KRUMOVGRAD, Bulgaria (Reuters) – Twenty years after Bulgaria’s then-Communist regime mounted an official campaign of persecution against its Muslim minority, Mustafa Yumer fears rising xenophobia could bring the nightmare back.

Yumer led resistance and hunger strikes against a drive to force Muslims to adopt ethnic Bulgarian names in the spring of 1989. Now he says growing anti-Muslim rhetoric is fomenting ethnic hatred and opening old wounds.

“We are all very worried,” said the 65-year-old philosopher and former teacher. “People are scared by far-right parties who preach and want to see Bulgaria becoming a single ethnic nation.”

Muslims make up about 12 percent of the Balkan country’s 7.6 million people with most of the rest belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The country won praise for avoiding ethnic clashes after the end of the Cold War, in contrast to the former Yugoslavia which borders it to the west.

Bulgaria is the only European Union member country where Muslims are not recent immigrants. Most are the descendants of ethnic Turks who arrived during five centuries of Ottoman rule that ended in 1878. They live alongside Christians in a culture known as “komshuluk,” or neighborly relations.

But the rising popularity of the ultra-nationalist Attack party and hardening attitudes of other rightist politicians toward the Muslims ahead of a July parliamentary election have exposed cracks in the Bulgarian model.

Attack is unlikely to form part of the next government, but it has helped set the tone for the election campaign.

Ethnic Turks and Pomaks — Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule — are shocked and dismayed at accusations that they aim to create autonomous enclaves and that some of their villages are nests for radical Islam.

“If we sit and don’t work like Bulgarian patriots, one day they will conquer us indeed. They will annex whole regions,” Attack’s leader Volen Siderov told an election demonstration in May.

There have been over 100 incidents of vandalized mosques and other Muslim buildings in the last 2-3 years.

Girls have been banned from wearing the traditional Muslim scarf in some schools and universities — Bulgaria’s first glimpse of an issue that has raised tensions in western Europe.

RADICALISATION?

Some Muslims fear losing civil rights, gained in the past two decades, and a possible repeat of the repression of the 1980s if nationalists join a coalition government after the July 5 vote.

Commentators say the rise of nationalism has been helped by a combination of voter apathy and discontent at low living standards, high-level corruption and organized crime.

A “revival process” launched by the late communist dictator Todor Zhivkov to forcibly assimilate Muslims culminated with a campaign to force them to change their names, and the exodus of over 300,000 ethnic Turks to neighboring Turkey in 1989. <

Crucial papers related to Babri Masjid case missing from UP govt. secretariat

Crucial papers related to Babri Masjid case missing from UP govt. secretariat


By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: Some important documents related to the Babri Masjid case
seem to have been destroyed in the Lucknow secretariat of the Uttar
Pradesh government as it has been unable to produce them before the
special court since 2002.

Despite several orders by the special court hearing the case, the
state government could not produce the files comprising correspondence
between the Chief Secretary and the authorities of Faizabad district.
In 1949 Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had sent a telegram to the
chief minister of Uttar Pradesh asking the authorities to remove the
idols forthwith. That important telegram is also missing from the files
of the secretariat.

“The 1949 correspondence between chief secretary and authorities of
Faizabad includes different letters and a telegram of PM Jawaharlal
Nehru to Chief Minister of UP that idols should be removed forthwith.
The court has been seeking the documents since 2002 but the government
was delaying. When the court became tough the chief secretary appeared
before the court in person last week. He told the court there was no
such file in the secretariat,” Advocate Mushtaque Ahmed Siddiqui
looking the case along with Advocate Zafaryab Jilani told
TwoCircles.net on phone from Lucknow.

“When the court asked chief secretary to submit the files comprising
correspondence between Faizabad DM and chief secretary, he came up with
the files in which letters sent from Faizabad DM are intact but there
is no letter sent by chief secretary to the DM. The telegram of PM
Nehru was also missing in the files,” Advocate Mushtaque said.

The court has taken in its possession the files presented by the
chief secretary and asked him to produce the telegram and the letters
sent by chief secretary to Faizabad DM on July 6. The court has gone on
vacation and first hearing will take place on July 6.

The court has expressed its anguish on how the papers were destroyed when the case is open.
How significant are the missing papers? “Though the Babri Masjid is
established with other evidences, if court gets the government records
it will be weightier,” the advocate said.

Could there be some conspiracy to destroy or misplace the documents?
“Some authorities below the chief secretary level want that those
papers do not reach the court. Their purpose could be just to delay the
case,” Advocate Mushtaque said.

He, however, said the state government will be forced to find the
papers. The court asked the government to either declare that the
papers were never with them or give details as to how and when they
were destroyed and what action was taken against those responsible for
it.