Muslim student, nun refuse to remove religious symbols, do not take AIPMT

Muslim student, nun refuse to remove religious symbols, do not take AIPMT



Muslim student, nun refuse to remove religious symbols, do not take AIPMT
A girl (left) puts on her hijab after taking the test in Kozhikode on Saturday, while another wears her earrings. (Right) Sister Seba in Thiruvananthapuram.
NEW DELHI: A 20-year-old Lucknow Muslim student on Saturday opted out of the All-India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) as she did not want to take off her abaya (loose over-garment worn with a headscarf) in line with the Supreme Court order upholding ban on headscarves and long sleeves during the exam. 

“I would rather not take the exam than put my religious sentiments at stake,” said Rehana (name changed), who has been wearing abaya since childhood. She said she was asked to take off her abaya (over garment) and take the exam with her headscarf on. 

Rehana said this was not the end of her aspiration to become a doctor. “This would have been my first attempt at AIPMT, but I do not mind wasting a year and appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre-Medical Test if the call is a ban on my attire or my thinking. I do not regret taking this stand,” she said. 

Rehana, who had taken a year off to prepare for the exam, was not alone. In Thiruvananthapuram, 19-year-old Catholic nun Sr Seba was not allowed to take AIPMT after she refused to remove her head veil and cross attached to it.

READ ALSO: SC upholds ban on hijab and long sleeves in pre-medical test

AIPMT: Muslims dismayed by SC remark on dress code 
The nun, who attended coaching classes for a year for the test, said she was aware of the Supreme Court order. 

“But I thought that the school would permit me to use the head veil after frisking and I reached the centre by 8 am. I was subjected to checking at 8.30 and was waiting in the line when the school principal approached me demanding that I remove the veil to write the exam,” Seba told TOI. 

She agreed to remove the veil but pleaded that she be allowed to cover her head with a scarf. But Sathyadas, the principal of the school where her examination centre was located, said he understood her religious sentiments but had no choice but to comply with the order. 

“I then consulted my mother provincial over the phone. My superiors informed me that I should not remove my veil as it was against our custom. Following this, I came back to convent without writing the exam.” 

The principal said they did not allow Seba into the exam hall since she was not ready to undergo frisking. “We were given written guidelines to be followed for the conduct of the examination. She was not ready to allow anybody to even touch her veil.” 

Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis of Malankara Catholic Church said the incident was disturbing and raises questions regarding the rights of a citizen. 

“We do not wish to rake up a controversy over the issue but it is disturbing to note that the nun was not allowed to wear her religious paraphernalia even though she was ready to undergo security check. What is it that is being targeted — religious symbols or exam malpractices?” 

The strict dress code, which barred students from wearing full-sleeved shirts, metallic items and shoes as well, forced five baptized Sikh students in Punjab, Chandigarh and Jaipur to remove their articles of faith before taking the exam. 

Three baptized Sikh students were allowed to take the test in Bathinda after they removed their ‘kirpans’ (small swords) and ‘karas’ (iron bangles). 

Two female students, Gurpreet Kaur and Harsimrat Kaur, too had to leave their articles of faith behind before taking the exam. 

At an exam center in Chandigarh’s Sector-47, Karanbir Singh from Patiala was asked to remove his ‘kara’ and sword before he was allowed to take the test. 

The youth’s father, Jarnail Singh, said, “I wanted to lodge a complaint but did not as my son was getting late for the exam. He finally handed over the articles to me.” 

The curbs have angered Sikh religious bodies. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee additional secretary D S Bedi said they were fighting a battle for the right to wear religious symbols outside the country and it is worrisome that Sikhs have to face all this here 

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjit Singh GK said they would challenge the decision of a Jaipur school to not let a baptized Sikh student, Jagjit Singh, enter the AIPMT exam centre until he had taken off his ‘kara’ and ‘kirpan’.

UN Report Reveals How Israel is Manipulating ISIS Militants Inside Syria

UN Report Reveals How Israel is Coordinating with ISIS Militants Inside Syria

21st Century Wire says…

The Syrian conflict continues to develop into a proxy war, pitting various foreign ‘national interests’ against one another, including US vs. Syria, US vs Iran, Saudi Arabia vs Syria, Qatar vs. Syria, Turkey vs. Kurdistan and Iran vs. Israel – to name only a few.Upon closer examination, the real truth begins to emerge: that the support network behind Washington’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ and terrorist groups fighting to depose the Assad government in Syria – is an inter-agency network , comprised of many contributing covert intelligence agencies, including  the CIA, MI5/6, Mossad, France, NATO, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

21WIRE reported back in December 2014 and again in January 2015, how the State of Israelhas consistently provided both material, medical relief and IDF airstrike support to various terrorist and ‘rebel’ insurgents fighting in Syria. 

Last month Israel launched its sixth airstrike inside Syria in the last 18 months, which is described as a ‘targeted killing’ against Hezbollah, whom Tel Aviv maintains is backed by their sworn enemy Iran – which leader Benjamin Netanyahu claims, affords Israel the right to kill them at any time, or any place. Back in 2013, the Assad government in Damascus invited Lebanese Hezbollah militia into Syria to help eliminate terrorists in Syria, and now the uncomfortable reality is finally surfacing – that Israel has been picking off Syrian military and Hezbollah targets who are trying to fight-off ISIS, al Qaeda and al Nusra terrorists – which means that Israel is actually helping ISIS. 

the UN report identified what the Syrians label a crossing point of forces between Israel and ISIS, a point of concern brought before the UN Security Council. – See more at:

The UN report identified what the Syrians label a crossing point of forces between Israel and ISIS, a point of concern brought before the UN Security Council.”

According to the United Nations Documents on UNDOF (official UN source) Israeli interactions with the Syrian rebels have been documented. If the international community were to pull-up Israel on this fact, they would do what Washington, Saudi Arabia and others have done – which is claim they are only dealing with the fictional “moderate rebels” – most of whom have been shown time and time again – to be defecting over to ISIS.

This story has been completely blacked out in the US and UK English-speaking corporate media, even though the Israeli press has actually reported this numerous times (see multiple links below).

In addition, today Israeli Newspaper Haaretz also reported how the ISIS hysteria has helped war hawk Netanyahu’s prospects for remaining in power, stating, “The Israeli prime minister is about to win another term thanks to the rise of Islamic terror — and the paralysis of the center-left.”

Israel may very well believe that it is acting in the interest of its national security by adopting the axiom, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. However, judging by these and other findings, it’s fairly clear that Israel has blood on its hands in the Syrian conflict, but is trying very hard to conceal their involvement in order to avoid any public outrage over their direct role in the violence in Syria, and by extension, in Iraq as well.

Either way, it’s an ugly edition to an already horrific picture in the Middle East. 

The details of these latest findings have been assembled in this excellent report from Your News Wire…

Your News Wire

A new report from the UN reveals that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) maintained regular contact with members of ISIS since May 2013. The UN identified contact with IDF forces and ISIS soldiers. reports:

“In a new report from the UN, it is revealed that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) weremaintaining regular contact with members of the so-called Islamic State since May of 2013. Initial reports from the IDF stated that this was only for medical care for civilians, but that story fell apart when the UN observers identified direct contact between IDF forces and ISIS soldiers, including giving medical care to ISIS fighters. Observations even included the transfer of two crates from the IDF to ISIS forces, the contents of which have not been confirmed at this time. Further the UN report identified what the Syrians label a crossing point of forces between Israel and ISIS, a point of concern brought before the UN Security Council. This report from the UN strengthens the claims by the Syrian regime that Israel is heavily involved in operations within the nation.”

This is part of a continuing pattern of Israeli support for the Islamic State. It was only two months ago that Israel attacked Syrian forces in opposition to ISIS forces. Israeli attacks even killed an Iranian military adviser for the Syrian military just two weeks ago. The U.S.’s financing of ISIS, part of the effort against Syrian president Assad, is well documented, as well. That the efforts to undermine the Assad regime were in turn strengthening the same terrorist group which recently set a Jordanian pilot on fire to set an example is conveniently ignored by the higher up military command.

When the United States began operations against ISIS, Israeli high command seemed reluctant to give any support and called the move a mistake. The support of ISIS fits in with Israeli concerns in the region, namely that of Syria and Iran, and U.S. opposition to ISIS has put the United States in the awkward position of once again arming the enemies we will be fighting tomorrow.

Syria and Iran both pose a threat to Israel with their sizable conventional forces and political clout in the region, in much the same way Iraq was before the elimination of Saddam Hussein. With the toppling of Saddam, pieces of concern remain, and Israel appears to still maintain the old axiom that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Supporting ISIS for Israel enables them to eliminate two issues at once, only once Syria is no longer a concern — a move which would in turn neutralize Iranian influence in the region — Israel then would turn its attention to ISIS, bolstered by other anti-ISIS forces from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States. That would take several more years, however, during which time ISIS would continue to grow in both size and power. By the time they turn their attention to ISIS, it is quite possible that ISIS would have toppled the nations which Israel is counting on for support of such an operation. Too little, too late.

Traditionally such groups as ISIS have relied upon Saudi Arabia for support, but Saudi money is conspicuously absent from ISIS coffers. Unlike groups before, ISIS has gone self-financed, relying upon prostitution, slavery and oil for its financial well-being. This, in turn, removes the protections which Saudi Arabia has relied upon for almost a century to prevent such organizations from turning on the House of Saud and potentially conquering the kingdom which is now in the sights of the Islamic State.

In turn, the ISIS forces have all but forced the Kurds to become a mighty force unto themselves, much to the anger of neighboring Turkey. Rather than helping to fight ISIS, Turkey is insteadattacking the forces standing in opposition to ISIS. The entire situation has spiraled out of control.

In effect, there is no side to support here, as each side is being supported at once in opposition to the other side. By enabling the creation of ISIS, we have taken an already unstable situation and poured gasoline over it. Now we are facing a true threat, not from ISIS or Iran or Syria, but against our own arrogance. We have been blinded to the death and destruction created by our actions in the Middle East.

We once were respected throughout the region, as neutral peace-brokers, the nation which oversaw the breakup of the Barbary pirates and a country which became eternal friends with the people of Iran when all of Europe ignored them. Now we are Israel’s expected muscle, to carry out their dirty work in an effort to destabilize the region and de-power those the tiny nation views as a threat. They will support anyone, if it meets a short-term goal, even if the result is a plot more complex and ridiculous than an episode of “Passions. This can, and will cost them long-term.

The United States cannot be party to this. Whatever the political and economic cost, the U.S. must disengage from all sides in the Middle East, before it is too late.

Israel exploits Syrian chaos to plan looting of Golan oil

Israel exploits Syrian chaos to plan looting of Golan oil

Israeli soldiers patrol near the occupied Syrian town of Majdal al-Shams in the Golan Heights in 2011.

Oren ZivActiveStills

According to Geoff Rochwarger, CEO of Afek, energy independence is the new Zionism.

The Afek oil and gas exploration company has almost completed its second drilling test in the Golan Heights, a part of Syria which Israel has occupied since 1967 and annexed in violation of international law.

The test is part of a three-year program to see if hydrocarbons in the area could lead to oil or gas for Israel.

Israel is fuel-poor and its domestic energy woes could be eased in the interim if the government progresses ondeals in relation to the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition, Israel is now taking advantage of the chaos in Syria to look for precious resources to extract from the occupied Golan Heights.

Israel relies heavily on imports to meet its energy consumption, and with frequent vicissitudes with its neighbors, its need for energy resources continues to shape the nature of its occupation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as the Golan Heights.

With the Syrian government in disarray, Israeli authorities gave the go-ahead to Afek, a subsidiary of Genie Oil and Gas, to conduct drilling in 10 wells in the occupied Golan Heights in their search for fossil fuels.

According to Howard Jonas, chairman and CEO of Genie Energy Limited, the parent company of Genie Oil and Gas, the company’s team of experts believes that what lies under the Golan Heights could make Israel energy independent and “contribute to the diversification of the free world’s energy supply away from a crippling dependence on unfriendly sources” (see the Genie Energy annual report for 2014).

“Kill them all”

Genie Oil and Gas has some high profile investors and advisors: Media baron Rupert Murdoch, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, American hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt and British investment banker Jacob Rothschild are all members of the company’s “Strategic Advisory Board.”

Murdoch stated in 2013 that “Israel is the greatest ally of democracy in a region beset with turmoil and radicalism.” This was an audacious statement given his investment in a company breaking the basic tenets of international law.

The chairman of Genie Israel, Effie Eitam, who lives in the Golan Heights settlement of Nov, is a former military commander and member of the National Religious Party. He once referred to Palestinian citizens of Israel as a “ticking bomb” causing a “cancer” in Israel. He also told The New Yorker in 2004, that Palestinians were “creatures who came out of the depths of darkness” adding that “we will have to kill them all” before backpeddling slightly: “I know it’s not very diplomatic. I don’t mean all the Palestinians, but the ones with evil in their heads.”

Afek claims on its website that Syria’s occupied Golan Heights is part of the “State of Israel.” The company was granted a petroleum exploration license by the northern regional planning and building committee, in direct violation of international law by completely ignoring the Annex to the Fourth Geneva Convention — which applies to the occupied territory.

In February, an Afek subsidiary started drilling its first exploratory well and drilled to a depth of 1,000 meters. The samples extracted are now undergoing analysis and drilling continues. In the event that the company finds oil, it will request the required licenses to begin the production stage.

There are grave breaches of international law as well as environmental concerns at play here. Firstly, the type of oil expected in the area may not be in liquid form and could require fracking — a process that involves injecting large amounts of scarce water and toxic chemicals into the ground in order to force the hydrocarbons to the surface.

Whether it is conventional oil or shale oil, fracking or drilling could lead to oil seepage into the underground water table, polluting Lake Tiberias — the biblical Sea of Galilee — potentially rendering local water supplies undrinkable and destroying the ecosystem for generations to come.

Looting Syria’s resources

The Golan plateau was occupied by Israel during the 1967 WarUN Security Council resolution 242 and several other resolutions since have called for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory and condemned Israel’s actions there.

These have included: annexation and imposition of Israeli law in 1981, an action the UN Security Councildeclared “null and void.” Israel has also transfered its own population into the area for the purpose of colonization and the use of the territory’s resources for its own economic interests.

The Golan’s fertile land and water resources have been a strategic interest for Israel and now its energy potential may bring huge financial rewards.

Despite international criticism, Israel’s inherently discriminatory and exploitative policies inside the Golan continue without sanction. Israeli ministers have voiced their desire to capitalize on the destabilization of Syria as an excuse to cement Israel’s illegal hold on the territory.

Whilst Israel continues to exploit the natural resources of the territories it occupies, the international community continues to do nothing to enforce its decisions as the occupation of the Golan verges on reaching the 50-year milestone.

The Syrian government had planned to build a pipeline across the Middle East into Lebanon and the Mediterranean for the European markets. It had signed agreements with Iran and Iraq towards this end.

With Syrian oil reserves in decline and the country in chaos, the government has no capacity to challenge the current Israeli exploitation of the country’s Golan resources.

It seems likely therefore that Israel will have a free hand to loot Syrian oil from the Golan, backed by the West.

Paul Fallon is a legal researcher and writer with Al-Marsad, a human rights group in the occupied Golan Heights.


New Research Confirms Vaccines CAN disable and kill healthy people

Casualties in the War: New Research Confirms Vaccines Do Have a Dark Side

Casualties in the War: New Research and a Medical Textbook Confirm Vaccines Do Have a Dark Side

Vaccines can and do disable and kill healthy people. When billions of people take them, year upon year, even remote risks translate into huge numbers.

Call it the Great Vaccine Blitz. In the past six months legislators have bombarded state capitals with new bills  — more than 65 of them in 25 states – which could prove to radically transform notions of religious freedom, medical consent and American liberty.  They are not all identical – they seek to do away with religious exemptions to vaccines, to expand adult vaccination, to mandate new vaccines, to identify and detain dissenters to public health policy – but they all serve the profit interests of the Big Pharma Public Health conglomerate.  Senate Bill 277 which marched through California’s state assembly and was signed into law last month is just one that overrides parents’ personal beliefs and will force them to have their children injected with the full roster of shots before nursery school — 49 doses of government mandated vaccines by kindergarten.

The mainstream media has driven this legislative blitz. They whipped up panic about a run-of-the-mill non-epidemic of a non-life threatening spate of measles at Disneyland, cast dissenters as terrorists par ISIS, threatened them with job loss and imprisonment, and failed to report salient facts — such as that drug companies doled out millions to lawmakers in the past year leading up to the Blitz and legislators like Richard Pan who underwrote the California bill forked in $95,000. And that the World Health Organization and its labyrinth of Bill and Melinda Gates-funded vaccine promoters are cheerfully predicting the global vaccine market to soar from the current $25 billion a year to $100 billion by 2025. Nothing to report? Throughout the blitzkrieg Big Media have stoked fear and stifled dissent, all while reciting the “safe and effective” vaccine mantra like they were in a pharmaceutically-induced trance. 


No Dark Side

But journalists have to be careful these days. Like those two reporters at the Toronto Star who obviously missed a memo and interviewed mothers whose daughters fell ill after getting theGardasil vaccine against HPV, including one girl who drowned mysteriously in the bathtub without medical explanation two weeks after the shot. Before they could say “vaccines are safe and effective,” health “experts” piled on the reporters like a pack of Rottweilers. The story had “hurt public trust in [the] vaccine,” said the CBC quoting a weight-loss specialist. TheWashington Post called it a  “botched expose” and quoted the Star‘s editor saying, “It’s too bad there isn’t a vaccination to prevent journalistic misstep.” The paper’s publisher apologized for the “failure,” scrubbed the story from the internet and ran a letter from a bioethicist who forced Catholic schools to give out the HPV vaccine and a  Bill Gates-funded  immunologist interested in circumcision. It was titled: “Science shows HPV vaccine has no dark side.” 

But could there really be no dark side to any pharmaceutical? Are vaccines such wonder drugs that they have no serious side effect for anyone?


Vaccine-Induced Narcolepsy

Consider another newsflash last spring that the vaccine blitzers would rather keep off the radar, astudy in the journal Science Translational Medicine by Stanford scientists. They were researching a link between a swine flu vaccine (one of two that were widely distributed in the great 2009“false pandemic to sell vaccines”) and a spike in cases of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an incurable disease that affects the brain’s sleep-wake cycle so victims suddenly fall unconscious, sometimes dozens of times a day.  They also frequently suffer night terrors and cataplexy, remaining conscious but losing all muscle control so they randomly flop on the spot like rag dolls. It is life altering: with narcolepsy you can’t be a pilot or a football player or a cab driver. Swimming is out.  For the rest of their lives narcolepsy victims need minding because they might just collapse while crossing the road or riding an escalator. Who would have dreamed a vaccine could do such a thing?

Thankfully it’s quite a rare disorder – usually affecting only two people or so in every 10,000. However, following distribution of GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix flu vaccine, a child neurologist in Finland noticed a sharp uptick in cases and eventually epidemiological studies confirmed that children who received the vaccine were 12.7 times more likely to develop narcolepsy. Later studies in France and England corroborated the data.


A “Hit-and-Run” Attack on the Brain

Enter the Stanford researchers to figure out what was wrong with the vaccine. They sifted massive databases and found a flu protein that looked very much like the receptor for hypocretin (also called orexin) which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates wakefulness. It turns out the Pandemrix vaccine contained 72% higher levels of that orexin-lookalike flu protein than the other non-narcoleptic flu vaccine in circulation the same year. To confirm their findings, they tested 20 blood samples from vaccine-induced narcolepsy patients; 17 of them had antibodies that reacted to both the vaccine protein and the orexin receptor. It’s called a “cross-reaction.”

So here’s how it works: in goes the vaccine with ingredients designed to powerfully amp up the immune response to the flu protein. The immune system starts manufacturing masses of antibodies, which are like drones programmed to destroy the flu protein and they hang around for a long time vigilantly on the lookout for it (that’s what’s supposed to keep you flu-free all season). Except, the scientists figure, sometimes either large numbers of antibodies or inflammation breach the blood brain barrier and the drones slip into the brain where they mistakenly triangulate the orexin receptors and launch a full-on assault. Researchers call it a “hit-and-run”. They figure it’s the narcoleptic patient’s own immune system that destroys a hub of 70,000 or so orexin-producing cells in their brain that regulate wakefulness. Hence narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease against ‘self’.


Vaccines and the Autoimmune Epidemic

The swine flu narcolepsy saga is so important to the Great Vaccine Blitz because it so starkly contrasts the “no dark side” mantra from the Bill Gates crowd. And the narcolepsy findings are just one example in an emerging boatload of scientific evidence that vaccines induce autoimmune diseases.

That evidence was neatly rounded up in a medical textbook released last week called Vaccines and Autoimmunity (Wiley). It’s a collection of papers by more than 75 doctors and scientists and is edited by pre-eminent immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld, founder of the Center for Autoimmune Diseases at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel and a prolific research with more than 1,800 references to his name on PubMed and author of now 26 medical textbooks including foundations of clinical practice. Last year at the  9th International Congress on Autoimmunology (ICA)  in France, which he founded, he was introduced to the 2,300 or so doctors in attendance as the “Godfather Autoimmunology”– the youngest branch of medicine and one of the fastest growing, 

From Page One the textbook breaks with public health’s “safe and effective” slogan regurgitated by Big Media.

“[O]ur major aim is to inform the medical community regarding the various autoimmune risks associated with different vaccines,”

says the introduction co-authored with Nancy Agmon-Levin, President of the Israel Association for Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Lucija Tomljenovic from the Neural Dynamics Research Group at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

“Physicians need to be aware that in certain individuals, vaccination can trigger serious and potentially disabling and even fatal autoimmune manifestations.” 

Vaccines are “an important tool of preventative medicine,” the editors allow, but the fact they are injected into billions of healthy, not sick,  people means they should be held to very high safety standard and the current lack of “preliminary screening for underlying susceptibilities is thus of concern.”  

In other words: vaccines can and do disable and kill healthy people. And when billions of people take them, year upon year, even remote risks translate into huge numbers. In the US alone, 10 million shots are given annually just to babies under one year of age. If just a tiny fraction, only one in 10,000, vaccines trip the immune system, that is 1,000 American infants with lives marked by poorly understood immunological damage and potential disability — each year.  Of each billion people vaccinated worldwide, that’s 100,000 afflicted with immune-mediated diseases that disable and can kill.

But what if the odds are much greater than that? Is it just a coincidence that autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus and celiac’s disease are soaring? In the United States, autoimmunity isnow a leading killer of girls and young women and second in line for all chronic illness, affecting about one in five Americans. Fifty years ago, Type-1 diabetes, anaphylactic food allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and seizure disorders were almost unheard of in children. However, since the number of vaccines given to children began rocketing in the 1990s, so have all of these immune-mediated diseases. Today 32 million American children —   43% of them– suffer from one of 20 chronic illnesses not including obesity. Compared to their parents, children today are four times more likely to have a chronic illness. And while their grandparents might never have swallowed a pill as children, in any given month one in four children is taking at least one prescription drug.  

There are more than 100 identified different types of autoimmunity (for different types of cells the immune system attacks and the symptoms produced). Genetics can’t be responsible for such a rapidly rising tide, and public health has offered no explanation. But if one vaccine ingredient can induce an attack on a single protein and trigger a disease as devastating as narcolepsy, are other proteins vulnerable to similar attacks? Is that why another study found a huge spike in miscarriages among pregnant women who received the swine flu vaccine?  What about all the other ingredients in vaccines?

Recipe For an Immune System Train Wreck

Not five pages into Vaccines and Autoimmunity is a formidable list (two pages long) of ingredients and known contaminants in vaccines which most people haven’t thought about. Ever heard of Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium or porcine circovirus types 1 and 2?  There’s the more familiarthimerosal (that’s mercury), aluminum hydroxide, formaldehyde, monosodium glutamate (MSG), MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein and WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts (measurable contaminants from aborted fetuses), processed bovine 14 gelatin, neomycin, glutaraldehyde, monkey kidney cells, polysorbate 80, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide, insect cell, viral protein…and so on. Who’d have guessed such things could be turned into remarkable health-giving preventative medicines?

“What is obvious,” say Shoenfeld et al., “is that a typical vaccine formulation contains all the necessary biochemical components to induce autoimmune manifestations.” And as for the residual contaminants, long presumed to be inconsequential, new studies “suggest that even these trace amounts may not be inherently safe.”

Immunology’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’

But the book focuses especially on the trouble with adjuvants — ingredients such as aluminum, mercury and squalene added to many vaccines to stimulate the immune response against the disease antigen in the vaccine. Live vaccines don’t need this help, because the organisms provoke the desired response, just like real infection but they also carry risks of causing the infection they’re meant to protect. (Everyone knows about how the live polio vaccine was replaced — in rich countries – because, as in the Cutter Incident, it caused more cases of polio than wild polio, right?). But killed virus vaccines don’t provoke the immune system enough to offer protection, unless they are delivered with adjuvants.

One chapter calls adjuvants as “the ‘dirty little secret’ of immunologists” because, just like the natural infections they are used to deter, they carry a risk of triggering chronic disease. Scientists knew this at least as far back as 1956 when they induced arthritis in Wistar rats – known as “adjuvant’s disease” in the industry. It’s incredibly ironic that rather than removing them from vaccines immediately, they tailored this “right nuisance” and for six decades now have widely injected adjuvants into animals to create lab models of arthritis, allergies, asthma, lupus and more — so they can test drugs for the diseases that are increasingly plaguing humans injected with adjuvants. 

ASIA Syndrome

Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA) was first described  in the medical literature in 2011 but in reality it just identifies the old phenomenon of  vague post-vaccine symptoms including muscle and joint pain, numbness and tingling, weakness and chronic fatigue, which vaccine researchers and physicians have dismissed and ignored, but which actually signify progressive and insidious immune system damage that can take years to manifest into full blown autoimmune disease.  

It is probably adjuvants in the heavily vaccinated farmed salmon, say scientists from the University of Padua Italy, reviewing their effects in animals, that frequently cause them to “develop mild to severe pathological changes” including impaired growth, decreased carcass quality, spinal deformities, eye disease and gut inflammation. Who knows what else they would develop if we didn’t eat them first.

Toxic Aluminum

Throughout the book’s 37 chapters, aluminum — the most common vaccine adjuvant — is fingered dozens of times as a likely suspect for triggering many diseases since it’s a well-known neurotoxin.

At the ICA last year, dozens of scientists reviewed a terrifying catalogue of recent findings about aluminum in vaccines:  how it persists in the body long after injection and can migrate to brain, lymph, and spleen where it wreaks inflammatory havoc; how it was found in the nerve tissue of  paralyzed Spanish sheep who wasted away and dropped dead in a post-vaccination plague that wiped out flocks, and how post-mortems revealed that it may have acted like a “Trojan Horse” carrying  HPV-vaccine components into the brains of two young girls who died suddenly in their sleep following Gardasil shots.


“There is a major unmet need for safer and more effective adjuvants suitable for human use,”

says Shoenfeld in his latest book.

I contacted the CDC in February to ask if, in light of new research on aluminum, any steps have been taken to address the problems with the adjuvants and I got a flippant response from someone in the public health labyrinth named Melissa Brower.

How the “Jewish Holocaust” was faked



Thursday, March 27, 2014

How the “Holocaust” was faked

The alleged “Holocaust” of “6 million Jews” at the hands of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany during WWII is the biggest lie ever foisted upon humanity. The very idea that the Germans organized and executed a complex conspiracy involving “homicidal gas chambers” and other barbaric, sadistic forms of mass murder designed to exterminate European Jewry during WWII is laughable on its face when you stop and objectively think about it.

National Socialist Germany and her allies were fighting a multi-front war against some of the most powerful nations in the world at the time, including the United States, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union. The idea that they would divert their precious and extremely scarce resources and manpower towards implementing a systematic campaign of mass murder specifically designed to annihilate European Jewry is absurd.

There was no German conspiracy to systematically genocide and destroy European Jewry during WWII. There were no “homicidal gas chambers” utilized to murder Jews and other “undesirables”. The system of concentration camps throughout much of Europe developed and administered by the Germans and their allies during WWII was simply a network of labor, transit, industrial and detention facilities – not “death camps”. Jews, political prisoners and Communist subversives (many of whom were in fact Jewish), homosexuals and many others were detained and either put to work or imprisoned in German-administered concentration camps and industrial facilities throughout Europe.

These forced laborers and prisoners were well-cared for, at least until the end of the war when Germany’s supply lines broke down and chaos ensued as a result of the Soviet and Anglo-American invasion of German territory. They were well-fed, well-provided for, and given medical treatment and entertainment. They were allowed to attend concerts, organize plays, make music and play sports. If the Germans were hell bent on murdering these people, why would they provide medical care for them and allow them to entertain themselves?

The entire WWII narrative, especially the fake “Holocaust” story, is basically the exact opposite from what we’ve been told and taught.

The Jewish Bolshevik terrorists who overthrew the Russian monarchy during WWI and their allies – the USA and the UK, primarily – committed the real atrocities and genocides against the German people and their sympathizers during and after WWII. The British and Americans engaged in a systematic fire-bombing campaign specifically targeting German industrial and urban areas for destruction. Major cities all throughout Germany were fire-bombed on a regular basis, resulting in the horrific death for millions of innocent German civilians – men, women and children.

The Allies sunk German civilian ships escaping the rampaging Soviet Red Army towards the end of the war, ending the lives of countless innocent civilians including, ironically enough, many Eastern European Jews fleeing from the advancing Red Army. The barbaric, out-of-control Red Army was encouraged to rape, pillage, torture and murder Germans as they advanced into German territory, and they did. Hundreds of thousands of German POWs and civilians were starved and murdered after the war, often suffering gruesome deaths from exposure, thirst and torture at the hands of the victorious and ruthless Allies. The National Socialist political, cultural and educational establishment was systematically dismantled and destroyed, with many top officials and leaders murdered, tortured, robbed, imprisoned and otherwise mistreated.

Jewish propagandists have entirely reversed the reality of the situation using their control of the media, and have blamed the Germans for starting the war and committing all the alleged atrocities, when in reality the Germans and their allies were the most disciplined, honorable and righteous forces fighting in that fratricidal Jewish-instigated war. The German people and their allies were the ones who experienced a genuine holocaust – a real genocide – during WWII, not the Jewish population of Europe.

The simple fact of the matter is that the “Holocaust” narrative – 6 million Jews persecuted, abused, and systematically exterminated by “those evil Nazis” during WWII – endlessly promoted and perpetuated by the Jewish-owned mass media, Hollywood and “entertainment” complex, and educational and political establishment is 100% bogus in virtually all respects. The Germans simply wanted the Jews out of Germany, clearly and correctly recognizing them as an alien, hostile and treacherous force working to subvert, pollute and destroy the German nation and Western civilization.

Jews were encouraged to leave Germany, and many did. Others were imprisoned or detained in the various labor and concentration camps established and administered by National Socialist Germany, and were well provided for. They were certainly not killed using “homicidal gas chambers” and other sadistic forms of murder in a systematic campaign to eliminate European Jewry.

But how exactly was such a monstrous hoax manufactured and presented to the public as if it actually happened? What follows is a brief overview identifying the primary means in which the alleged Jewish “Holocaust” during WWII was faked and sold to the public as if it were a genuine aspect of our collective history in order to advance certain geopolitical, cultural and economic agendas.

The role of Allied propaganda before, during and after WWII

The fake Jewish “Holocaust” narrative is really just an extension of an on-going anti-German propaganda campaign going back to WWI. During WWI, Western (often Jewish) propagandists targeted Germany and her armed forces with ridiculous “atrocity propaganda”, alleging in their newspapers and other media outlets that the Germans were engaging in barbaric, ruthless behavior, including raping and murdering innocent civilians.

Typical anti-German propaganda: the Germans were the most honorable and righteous fighting force during WWI and WWII.
This propaganda would be true if it depicted a Soviet Bolshevik Jew Commissar rather than a German.

The fabricated idea that “millions of Jews” in Europe were being exterminated by the Germans and other “fascists” was regularly promoted by Jewish propagandists and their allies in the West beginning in 1915 during WWI. This slanderous, entirely false accusation had been and continues to be endlessly promoted to the often gullible and susceptible Western public, resulting in extremely negative anti-German sentiment, not to mention the widespread belief that the Germans did in fact commit these outrageous (although quite ridiculous) atrocities. The following video demonstrates this point perfectly:

During and immediately following WWII, deceitful propagandists continued to level this “atrocity propaganda” against the Germans in order to demonize them and prepare the Western world for the institutionalization of the myth of “6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis”. Western and Soviet propagandists, including psychological warfare specialists in the United States Army and individuals connected to Hollywood, were involved in manufacturing “evidence” – including fake, altered or otherwise misrepresented photographs and videos, “human lampshades”, “shrunken heads” and other absurd props – which was used to “demonstrate” to the world that the Germans did in fact commit outrageous atrocities during the war, particularly at the various concentration camps and industrial facilities under their administration. Dave Mansfield of and Mike King of recently collaborated and produced the following video underscoring the points I am making here:

The propaganda used to sell the idea of a “Jewish Holocaust” is extremely emotionally and psychologically exploitative, resulting in psychological trauma and an inability for the broad masses to objectively evaluate the information they are being presented with. This will be discussed in more detail as we continue.

The role of the Nuremberg show trials

Following Germany’s defeat in WWII, the Allied countries organized a series of military tribunals often referred to simply as theNuremberg Trials. The trials consisted of the International Military Tribunal and the Nuremberg Military Tribunal. The Nuremberg Trials were a total sham – “show trials” if there ever were any.

The trials were essentially organized to not only demonize, vilify and falsely blame the Germans for initiating the war and committing all of the “atrocities” and “war crimes”, but also to whitewash and cover up the very real crimes committed by the Allies in addition to officially institutionalizing the fake Jewish “Holocaust” narrative.

Fabricated evidence and false testimony was introduced by the Allies, and many of the German defendants were physically and psychologically tortured or otherwise coerced into making false confessions during the trials.

The role of fabricated, altered or otherwise misrepresented imagery associated with the “Holocaust” and alleged “Nazi death camps”

Virtually all of the iconic imagery associated with the alleged Jewish “Holocaust” turns out to be either entirely fabricated, altered orextremely misrepresented and taken out of context.

The imagery associated with the “Holocaust” – photographs of piles of dead bodies, emaciated prisoners, Jews being “rounded up”, train cars filled with dead people, etc. – has been used to psychologically traumatize the masses, rendering them vulnerable to manipulation and facilitating the fake narrative of “6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis” to be literally implanted in their minds.

A prime example is this iconic photograph, which a simple Google search for “Buchenwald concentration camp” turned up:

Or this one:

Images like this showing piles of dead, emaciated bodies have been shown to unsuspecting audiences, inducing psychological trauma and fear in their minds, in order to sell the idea that the Germans systematically murdered millions of people (especially Jews) in “death camps”. The fact of the matter is that when the war was ending, the German-administered labor and industrial camps were not supplied and many people did in fact perish in horrible conditions. But that does not prove that the Germans were systematically murdering people in these camps. It simply demonstrates how deceitful, brazen and ruthless the Western and Soviet propagandists were in their efforts to demonize and slander the Germans.

Also, some of the iconic imagery associated with the Jewish “Holocaust” turns out to be photographs of dead German civilians murdered in Allied fire-bombing campaigns, which were presented to the masses as “proof” of German atrocities. Again, the shameless, deceitful behavior of the Western Allies and their Soviet Communist partners knows no bounds.

The iconic “Holocaust” imagery shown repeatedly to mass audiences is never put into context. The images are simply shown, and we are expected to believe that the “Holocaust” was a real event.

The aforementioned Dave Mansfield of produced the following short video highlighting some of the more brazenly fabricated photographs that have been used to demonize the Germans and support the fake Jewish “Holocaust” narrative:

The vast majority of people have never objectively investigated the claims being made about the alleged “Holocaust” simply because of the psychological trauma and fear induced by the imagery (and “Holocaust survivor” and other “eye witness testimony”, which is also extremely traumatic and psychologically and emotionally exploitative).

The role of “Holocaust survivors” and other “eye witnesses” of “Nazi atrocities”

In addition to the iconic imagery associated with the fake Jewish “Holocaust”, which as we’ve seen has been either taken out of context or entirely fabricated, the testimony of alleged “Holocaust survivors” and other “eye witnesses” of “Nazi atrocities” has been used to effectively psychologically and emotionally exploit the masses in order to instill in their minds the entirely fabricated and deceitfully manufactured narrative of “6 million Jews murdered at the hands of the National Socialists” during WWII.

The courageous historical revisionist and film producer Eric Hunt has done a masterful job not only debunking the claims about the fake Jewish “Holocaust”, but also demonstrating how entirely ridiculous and absurd the “testimony” alleged “Holocaust survivors” have given truly is.

In virtually all cases, the alleged “Holocaust survivors” are either entirely fabricating or outrageously embellishing their experience during WWII or they are providing testimony that actually discredits and disproves certain aspects of the official “Holocaust” narrative (particularly as it relates to the alleged “extermination camps” in the East often referred to as the “Aktion Reinhard death camps” or “death factories”). I recently interviewed Eric Hunt on The Realist Report, which you can download here. Be sure to take the time and watch The Last Days of the Big Lie and The Jewish Gas Chamber Hoax, both of which were produced by Eric.

The role of Jewish Hollywood and the organized international Jewish community

Since WWII, an entire industry relating to the fake “Holocaust” has arisen in the West. Disgusted by the outrageously brazen corruption emanating from the deceitful, exploitative leaders and representatives of “Holocaust survivors”, Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein wrote a book discussing and exposing what he calls The Holocaust Industry. Organized Jewish interests and their lobbies have successfully created an extremely lucrative financial and sympathy racket based on their false, entirely fabricated narrative of “6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis” during WWII.

“At the end of the twentieth century, the ‘Holocaust’ is being bought and sold,” wrote Tim Cole, a Professor of History specializing in the “Holocaust” at Bristol University, in his book Selling the Holocaust: From Auschwitz to Schindler, How History is Bought, Packaged and Sold“In short, ‘Shoah [Hebrew word for Holocaust] business’ is big business.” (See here and herefor more.)

The “Holocaust” is indeed an industry at this point – a commodity endlessly pushed and promoted by academia, politicians, government officials, international political organizations such as the UN, media moguls, Hollywood producers, organized Jewish groups, the Jewish state of “Israel” and others connected to the “Holocaust” racket.

Hollywood and the “entertainment” complex in the West – which is virtually entirely owned and dominated by Jews with deep ties to the Jewish state of “Israel” and the “Holocaust” industry – have produced countless propaganda films masquerading as objective depictions of experiences of European Jews during WWII. These films and documentaries have served to perpetuate, reinforce and even expand upon the false, entirely fabricated narrative of “6 million Jews systematically genocided by the Nazis” which has been manufactured and sold to the public during and after WWII.

There are countless “Holocaust” museums and memorials all across the globe, many of which receive official state funding and endorsement, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Not a day goes by without a mention of the fake “Holocaust” story in the mass media, entertainment complex, or political establishment. This false narrative is constantly being reinforced and perpetuated to the public on a daily basis, often in the most crass, deceptive, and emotionally exploitative ways imaginable.

The fake “Holocaust” narrative has advanced a number of important geopolitical, cultural and economic agendas primarily benefitting international Jewry and the illegitimate Jewish state of “Israel”, including:

  1. Elevating the alleged “suffering and persecution” of the Jewish people during WWII specifically, and all throughout history generally, over all others;
  2. Covering up the crimes committed by Jewish terrorists, Communists and propagandists prior to, during and after WWII by projecting those crimes (and even fabricating new ones) on to the German armed forces and their allies;
  3. Creating an extremely lucrative financial and sympathy racket, netting the Jewish state of “Israel” and the organized international Jewish community billions of dollars annually;
  4. Serving as a basis for the creation of the Jewish state of “Israel”, while excusing and justifying the genocidal, illegal policies she has pursued since her founding;
  5. and demonizing the one man – Adolf Hitler – and his political movement who stood up for their country and race against the Talmudic forces of internationalism and globalism seeking the subjugation and ultimate destruction of the White race and all genuine nationalities, ethnicities and cultures.
That is how the “Holocaust” was faked, and what agenda this fabricated, insidious and deceitfully manufactured narrative has and continues to advance on a daily basis.

Writing in Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler described the Jews as having an “unqualified capacity for falsehood,” and would go on to explain the concept of the Big Lie technique of psychological warfare and propaganda, which organized Jewry has used masterfully throughout history and to this very day, especially concerning the alleged “Holocaust” narrative, in order to falsify history and psychologically exploit mass audiences:

[…] in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.

Keep these profound insights in mind the next time you are exposed to the endless barrage of “Holocaust” propaganda emanating from Jewish Hollywood, the mass media and the educational and political establishment in America and around the world.

Muslims reach out during Ramadan

After spate of attacks, area Muslims reach out during Ramadan to foster better image

 July 16 at 7:25 PM 

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends Friday, a spate of recent terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists — including massacres in Tunisia and Kuwait— has marred a time intended for contemplation and prayer.

But for Muslim American immigrants in the Washington area, this Ramadan has offered an opportunity to send a contrasting message about Islam and to engage in unprecedented public outreach.

Dozens of interfaith events have been held in mosques, embassies and government offices. Muslim charity drives have raised funds for damaged African American and Pakistani churches. Families have opened their homes to neighbors and colleagues to break the daily fast with evening feasts.

One of the largest events was an interfaith Ramadan dinner Sunday at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque in Sterling, Va., where the hundreds of guests included FBI officials, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D), local politicians and candidates for office, and leaders of area churches, synagogues and other worship communities.

“We condemn all terrorism, and we condemn ISIS, which is a twisted, horrific deviation from Islam,” Rizwan Jaka, outreach director for ADAMS, said in an interview, using a common term for the Islamic State. He said the rise of the group — whose leaders vowed to make Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels” — had created “a lot of confusion” and abetted “anti-sharia hysteria” in American society.

 Sonia Rehman, a Fairfax psychologist, uncovers the main courses for an Iftar meal that she and her husband, Tariq Rehman, hosted at their home on July 14. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

“We are asked left and right what we are doing to counter radicalization,” Jaka said. “Well, we are leading the way.”

Other parts of the country have experienced scattered incidents of violence and confrontation in recent months, including the shooting deaths of three Muslim college students in North Carolina and the attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas by gunmen who claimed a link with the Islamic State.

But the Washington area has become a relative oasis for Muslim Americans, a fast-growing immigrant populace that has attained increasing social integration, economic success and political clout.

Many recall feeling ostracized after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; some described hateful outbursts from strangers or scarf-pulling in school. But no one interviewed at mosques, homes and public events across the region this month said they had faced anything more discomfiting since the rise of the Islamic State than stares in the Metro or extra questions at airport security checkpoints.

The change, they said, is partly a result of growing familiarity, with Muslims more numerous in the region and the country than 14 years ago. The Pew Research Center in Washington estimates that the number of Muslim Americans reached 2.6 million by 2010 and will grow to 6.2 million by 2030. In the Washington region, the Council on American Islamic Relations puts the populace at about 250,000.

A growing voice in the area

In some regions, the growing number of Muslim families, businesses and mosques has created tension and suspicion. But in the Washington area, Muslims have become better organized, more confident, and more connected with government and law enforcement agencies, as the high-level official turnout at the ­ADAMS dinner suggested.

“In other areas, there is still a lot of ignorance, but people here are educated, they know us and our kids have grown up together,” said Qaith Abdo, 68, a technology specialist from Jordan who attends a mosque in Silver Spring. Once, Abdo said, a driver shouted at him to go back to his country. “That was back in 2003, and there has been no such incident since,” he said.

On the other hand, many Muslims here said the surge of extremist violence abroad, paralleled by the growth of Islamophobia in parts of the United States, had galvanized them to try to foster a magnanimous, nonviolent image of Islam.

To this end, Muslim organizations are increasingly aiming their efforts at victims from other minorities and faiths, especially African Americans. One group distributed food in Baltimore after a surge of unrest over the death of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries he suffered in police custody in April. During Ramadan, an Internet campaign raised $45,000 in Muslim circles to help rebuild black churches that had been burned down.

Another kind of venture is using innovative business marketing to break down religious barriers. One of the Muslim practices least understood by Westerners is the use of water for washing after using the toilet instead of relying on toilet paper. Sonia Rehman, a Pakistan-born psychologist in Fairfax, has worked with her husband, Tariq to design a variety of attractive water jars called “Aquabeans” and promote them for sale as an environmentally-sound alternative to toilet paper.

“Our goal is to connect American cultural identity with Muslim lifestyle,” Rehman said. She noted that thousands of American restaurants now sell “halal” food, ritually blessed for Muslims. “You can even get halal Philly cheese steak,” she said. “But with watering jars, people usually hide them from white guests or colleagues to avoid questions. Now we can tell them Aquabean is another way to go green.”

In the shadow of attacks

Although local Muslim immigrants have faced relatively little harassment, they are keenly aware of the tensions percolating in other parts of the country. Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced laws to ban Muslim practices in the name of curbing “foreign” ideologies.

They also worry that their efforts to cultivate a moderate image are competing with images of each new Islamic State atrocity, domestic terrorist attacks such as the Boston marathon bombing and Internet recruitment of Muslim youths by extremist groups. Authorities are also investigating the shooting deaths of four Marines at a Navy facility in Tennessee on Thursday as a possible terror attack.

In the Washington area, there have been several high-profile cases, including the indictment of 11 Muslim men for using paintball exercises to train for attacks on India, and the FBI pursuit of a Somali cab driver for allegedly supporting Islamist militias in Somalia.

“It feels like there is a split personality within Muslims these days,” said Ahmed Mahmood, a Muslim student leader at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “We may feel very secure in our own communities, and internally we have resolved this debate about terrorism, but externally it feels like there is a shadow that looms over you.”

At ADAMS, Jaka said leaders have counseled young Muslims who seemed drawn to militant ideas and have formed close ties with county police and the FBI. A Northern Virginia group called MakeSpace enrolls Muslim students and young professionals to “develop an American Muslim identity” through education, civic engagement and community service.

Other ideas have emerged from recent “hackathon” conferences, including a project called “champions of Islam,” which aims to create superhero role models for Muslim youths. “Groups like ISIS recruit on the basis of Islamic masculinity and say they are defending the community,” said Maryland lawyer Asma Uddin, who created the project. She said this appeal has created a “crisis of manhood among Muslim men, and they need positive champions.”

Neighborly acts

Many local Muslims said the best method of countering public fears is not making grand gestures, such as holding interfaith dinners or giving money to charities, but simply being a good neighbor or colleague.

One mosque leader said he won over a suspicious new neighbor by plowing the person’s driveway after several snowstorms. Tariq Rehman, a urologist, said he first met with suspicion when he set up a medical practice in rural West Virginia but that over time he built a good reputation and starting introducing patients to his faith. “I add 10 minutes to each appointment, and I talk with clients about what Islam is really about,” he said.

Muslim women in the area have become especially active as ambassadors for their faith, in part because wearing a headscarf immediately identifies them. By contrast, young Muslim men in jeans and short beards may easily blend into ethnically diverse campuses and social gatherings.

Nada Mousa, 19, a student at American University, said she had not been harassed since she was a Maryland high school student and someone pulled off her scarf and called her a terrorist. Now, she said, her college peers are “more mature and aware,” but the brutal behavior of the Islamic State has made life more difficult in other settings.

“When you go for a job interview, you have to decide whether to wear the hijab or not. It becomes a struggle between your faith and your profession,” she said. Mousa said she was working on a Web site aimed at showing that Muslim women are “normal, we like to draw and sing and dance.” And when people ask her questions about Islam, even ignorant or offensive ones, she said, she is always polite.

“I want to present them with a choice,” she said. “Do we trust people who behead others and claim to represent Islam, or do we trust this sweet girl on our street?”


Pamela Constable covers immigration issues and immigrant communities. A former foreign correspondent for the Post based in Kabul and New Delhi, she also reports periodically from Afghanistan and other trouble spots overseas.

Is the boycott movement a threat to Israel?

Is the boycott movement a threat to Israel?

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is gaining momentum as it turns 10.

11 Jul 2015 08:12 GMT | Human RightsBusiness & EconomyMiddle EastPalestineIsrael

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It started a decade ago with one aim: to boycott Israel as a non-violent movement in order to defend the Palestinian cause. The campaign now has thousands of volunteers worldwide, lobbying to sever ties with Israel.

BDS has managed to gain strength in recent years. Some Israeli officials, who simply ignored it, now view as a “strategic threat”. What worries Israel most is that some of the movement’s positions on goods produced in the West Bank settlements are now being embraced by some European governments.

A counter campaign against BDS is being mounted in the US, with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton joining the chorus.

So, what’s the true impact of BDS? And does it help Palestinians?


Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Husam Zumlot – Deputy Commissioner for Fatah.

Dan Diker – Author, “Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends”.

Source: Al Jazeera

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Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.


9 hours ago
Colin Gardner
PaliNAZIS are subhunam vermin that needs to be toasted with white phosphorous


1 day ago
Good to see MSM (yes, AJ is part of the MSM) give airtime to an articulate and senior Palestinian like Husam Zumlot, who succeeded in making the revolting Dan Diker appear exactly the arrogant little supremacist Hasbara-monger that he is – “Judea and Samaria” my arse! Towards the end, Diker had to deflect the real question from Finigan, which was, “How badly is BDS impacting the Israeli economy?” by borrowing heavily from Naftali Bennett’s Book of Psalms (mobile `phone chips, irrigation systems). We may thus infer that BDS is already affecting the Israeli economy adversely, which is why it has been upgraded to a “strategic threat” by Bibi and the Likudniks; and the call has gone out to their apologists in the USA to undermine it. La Clinton’s position on BDS (and other matters Israeli) for the benefit of Haim Saban and his ilk recalls Winston Churchill’s conversation with a well-known socialite:
Churchil­l: “Madam, would you sleep with me for £5,000,000?”
Woman: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… “
Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for £5?”
Woman: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?” 
Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”

First photo of Pluto’s surface

3 billion miles later, the first ever photo of Pluto’s surface is here.

Well, hello, Pluto. Nice to finally meet you!

3 billion miles. That’s quite a trek.

star trek, if you will.

GIF from “Star Trek.”

It’s more than a million road trips from New York City to Los Angeles. Or, for those of you who’d get carsick, roughly 32 trips to the sun. 

It’s also about the distance between Earth and Pluto — a historic journey completed by NASA’s New Horizons probe on July 14, 2015.

NASA launched the piano-sized spacecraft into space back in 2006 with the goal of capturing images very close to Pluto’s surface.

The probe, called New Horizons, had been zooming toward the cold, mysterious dwarf planet at recording-breaking speeds ever since.

This second, the real New Horizons spacecraft (not the illustration above) is propelling thousands of miles per hour through space! Illustration courtesy of NASA.

As of July 14, 2015, we officially have our first up-close photos of the ex-planet.

And Pluto was more than ready for its close up.

Here’s what New Horizons caught on camera:

This photo — which took several hours to get from the New Horizons spacecraft to Earth — was taken at about 4 p.m. Eastern on July 13 and debuted on Instagram the morning of July 14. It marks the first of its kind taken of Pluto.

Pluto may look close (and it is, relatively speaking), but this image was snapped about 476,000 miles from the dwarf planet’s surface!

“I’m thrilled,” Katie Bechtold, a flight controller on the team, told Upworthy. “It’s almost unbelievable that after all these years of hard work, our little piano-size robot is finally getting to show us Pluto.”

That incredible image is part of a bigger mission to learn a lot more about the icy dwarf planet billions of miles away.

Sure, we know some things about Pluto. Take, for instance, gravity: It isn’t as much of a thing there. If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you’d weigh 7 on Pluto! Or, consider its massive orbit around the sun: 248 Earth years = 1 Pluto year. And as far as its size? We’re talking smaller than our own moon.

But New Horizons wants to dig deeper! Bechtold explained to Upworthy that New Horizons will hopefully give us Earthlings a more in-depth look into things like Pluto’s composition, geology, atmosphere, and surface temperature. The probe will also check out Charon, the largest of Pluto’s five known moons.

That’s great, you might be thinking, but isn’t that info sort of … useless knowledge? No way!

Look how small Pluto is compared to Earth! The smaller round object is Charon, Pluto’s largest moon. New measurements completed by New Horizons confirmed Pluto’s small stature — its diameter is just 18.5% that of Earth’s. Image by NASA.

A better glimpse at Pluto helps us understand our own home here on planet Earth.

For one, there’s Pluto’s unique atmosphere. It’s escaping into space! And nothing like that is happening anywhere else in our solar system. But scientists think it used to happen here on Earth, too, when our atmosphere was hydrogen-helium (a long, long time ago). By studying Pluto, the team at New Horizons is hoping to better understand the evolution of our own atmosphere.

New Horizons may teach us more about comets, too. Pluto is in the Kuiper Belt — the outermost region of our solar system. This frigid “third zone” is where tons of cometary impactors come from, including — quite possibly — the one that wiped out the dinosaurs!Documenting the sizes of craters on Pluto and its moons may provide helpful context about comets and how they affect the planets around us.

The New Horizons mission hasn’t just been a success for space exploration — it’s been a big win for gender equality, too.

Bechtold, a self-proclaimed “intersectional geek feminist activist,” said she’s proud to be on a team where women have played critical roles in the group’s success. Half of New Horizons’ mission operations team is women. That may seem like no big deal, but considering the hurdles women face in science, tech, and math-related fields, it’s an impressive feat.

The mission is one of the most female-driven space explorations in history, according to New Horizons. 

It may be a man’s world. But outer space is for women. Photo courtesy of NASA/New Horizons.

The mission is far from over, though. The team already has post-Pluto plans in mind.

The probe may be far away, but there’s plenty to discover out there on the Kuiper Belt, such as thousands of comets and dwarf planets. A few of these objects — known as Kuiper Belt Objects, or KBOs — are possible flyby targets for the spacecraft in the coming years. The New Horizons team and NASA are working to nail down which one the probe can check out while it’s near our solar system’s peripheral. All the candidates are about a billion miles past Pluto!

Pending a few things, like NASA’s approval and funding for the extended trip, the next phase in New Horizons’ journey could begin in 2017.

So space nerds, rejoice! We may not have seen the last from what New Horizons has to offer.

GIF from “Star Trek.”



Thanks to NASA for providing images used in this post and to the New Horizons team for giving us the details on its impressive journey to Pluto.

Jul 14, 2015



Could looking at pictures of kittens really increase your productivity? Actually …

5 Reasons BDS Is Actually Working

5 Reasons BDS Is Actually Working

It’s a nonviolent, rights-based movement that represents the concerns of all Palestinian stakeholders—and the reasons for its existence are increasingly urgent.


Ten years ago, on July 9, 2005, groups from Palestinian civil society issued a call to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel until it respected Palestinian human rights. What became known as the BDS movement was born. A decade later, what was thought of as a marginal movement is being described as a strategic threat to Israel, second only to a potential Iranian nuclear weapon; and it has presidential hopefuls for 2016 responding to it as well. How did we get here in just ten years? Why was BDS able to grow and succeed as a movement? There are several reasons that both explain BDS’s growth and suggest it will continue to grow and advance in coming years.

A decade after its founding, BDS has gone from a marginal movement to being described as a strategic threat to Israel.
 It is nonviolent.
 BDS asks people to fight with advocacy and their wallets, not with guns. Israel, which is well-equipped to fend off armed threats, is ill-equipped to deal with this. By characterizing BDS in the same terms as it characterizes militarized threats, Israel and its leaders seem increasingly unhinged and unreasonable. As an Israeli major general said regarding Israel’s handling of nonviolent protest in the West Bank, Israel “does not do Gandhi very well.” Israel’s failed attempts to coherently and convincingly respond to a nonviolent, rights-based movement only add to the movement’s momentum. Israel may be able to convince people that militant groups like Hamas are hellbent on destroying Israel, but that is a much tougher sell when we are talking about organizers—young and old—voting to divest from corporations that profit from occupation at church conventions or protesters seeking to take SodaStream products off store shelves.

It represents the concerns of all Palestinian stakeholders. Unlike other recent Palestinian movements that have had to deemphasize certain stakeholders in the outcome of the Palestinian national question like Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian refugees, the BDS movement’s three pillars place the rights of all Palestinian stakeholders on equal footing. The traditional Palestinian leadership, which had accepted the Oslo process, will likely never admit to forgoing the interests of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel, but the Oslo process undoubtedly compromised the interests of those two groups. BDS, which remains laser-focused on rights, does not have to worry about threats to the legitimacy of the movement emerging from dangerous and unjust compromises. Recent public opinion polling among Palestinians shows that support for boycott efforts against Israel (86 percent) is greater than the support for Fatah, Hamas, and all other political parties combined.

It is decentralized.­ The BDS movement is based on a set of principles and tactics and operates largely among global civil society. No one person runs the movement, and anyone can engage in BDS activity. A community in North Carolina, Egypt, Malaysia, or Scotland can independently and spontaneously start a BDS initiative to address their own community’s complicity in Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights. The decentralized nature of the movement makes it far more difficult to anticipate and to repress.

It gives concerned people a plan of action. People around the world who are concerned about the rights of Palestinians have often wanted to do something to change the situation, but found few ways to do that. BDS offers an answer. In the United States in the past, countless legislative advocacy efforts have been made on Capitol Hill, which is as occupied by Israeli interests as a hilltop in the West Bank. People grew tired of banging their heads against the wall that is Congress. Grassroots fervor never dissipated, however, and instead took off in the direction of BDS organizing. But interestingly enough, these BDS efforts have contributed to a shift in US public opinion, particularly among progressives, which is laying the foundation for reengaging Congress in the future.

Its reason for being still exists and is getting more urgent.This is perhaps the most important driver behind the BDS movement’s growth and success. BDS exists as a response to Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights, and with an occupation as entrenched today as ever before now nearing its 50th year and a right-wing government insisting on continuing it, more and more people are realizing that BDS is the only worthwhile place to invest their energy and activism. When the “peace process” was dominating action, even as it became a parody of itself over the years, many argued that the process should be allowed to play out. But now even this is gone, and all that remains is de facto apartheid, necessitating pressure on Israel to bring it down. Of course, this means Israel truly has in its grasp the single most important weapon it can use to bring an end to the BDS movement—it can take away the movement’s raison d’être by choosing to end its abuses of Palestinian rights. But this would require bold, honest, and visionary Israeli leadership, something very different from what exists today.

For all these reasons, the BDS movement has grown by leaps and bounds over the past ten years and is set to continue on this pattern in its second decade.

The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists

The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists [Slide Show]

Without the flourishing of science in Muslim lands in the past, the modern world might not have algorithms or algebra

© Ali Amro /

A millennium ago a physicist under house arrest rewrote the scientific understanding of optics—the study of the behavior and properties of light. In a book that has been compared in its revolutionary effect with Newton’s Principia more than 700 years later, a Muslim scientist in Cairo—Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (or as he is known in the West, Alhazen)—proved that light traveled in straight lines via various experiments that employed mirrors and refraction. In a stroke, Alhazen pioneered the modern scientific method (hypothesis rejected or not rejected by experimentation) as well as experimental physics.

He also was the first to describe the camera obscura—a box with a hole in it that captures an image for the purpose of drawing it precisely, a precursor to the modern camera—as well as examining optical illusions in-depth and the thought processes behind human visual perception. His contributions also include the first explanation of dawn and twilight as effects of atmospheric refraction. All in an era when the Normans had yet to invade the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England and Viking raiders burned the Greek and Roman scientific legacy in the transcribed books of Irish monks.

Alhazen is just one of a multitude of scientists working in the Muslim world in centuries past who made significant contributions to the advancement of science. In fact, the golden age of Muslim science lasted nearly a millennium, as depicted in a traveling exhibition, “1001 Inventions,” now showing at the New York Hall of Science.

View a slide show of Muslim scientists and some of their innovations.

The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists

The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists [Slide Show]

Without the flourishing of science in Muslim lands in the past, the modern world might not have algorithms or algebra
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Considered by some the inventor of algebra, Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a Persian mathematician working at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad in the ninth century. In fact, the very name of this form of math is derived from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning “restoring,” which is how al-Khwarizmi referred to the operation of removing roots and squares from a quadratic equation by adding the same quantity to each side of the equation. And algorithms, like those devised to deliver search results on the modern Internet, derive from the Latin version of his name: Al-goritmi. You can also thank him for the modern numeral system, which is based on Hindu-Arabic numbers derived from Indian mathematics. He also contributed to astronomy, trigonometry and even geography.

Less ]  [ Link to this slide ]


Courtesy of John L. Esposito







British satellites set to ride Indian rocket into space

British satellites set to ride Indian rocket into space

The PSLV's second stage is hoisted onto the rocket during stacking operations at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India's east coast. Credit: ISRO

The PSLV’s second stage is hoisted onto the rocket during stacking operations at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast. Credit: ISRO

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is set for liftoff Friday with five satellites built in Britain to look down on Earth and test a solar sail’s ability to clean up space junk.

The PSLV is counting down for launch at 1628 GMT (12:28 p.m. EDT) Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast, where liftoff is timed for 9:58 p.m. local time.

India’s workhorse launcher, first developed more than 20 years ago, will make its 30th flight Friday, aiming to delivery its five satellite payloads to an orbit 647 kilometers — 402 miles — above Earth.

Three Earth observing satellites made by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., or SSTL, are the main passengers on Friday’s launch. The spacecraft are the fruits of a 2011 deal inked between Chinese and UK companies worth approximately $170 million to provide high-resolution satellite imagery of China’s growing cities.

The trio of satellites are part of the so-called DMC3 constellation, and together the three platforms can image the same place on Earth daily, according to SSTL officials.

The DMC3 satellites were manufactured under contract to DMC International Imaging, or DMCii, a subsidiary of SSTL. DMCii coordinates a network of Earth observation satellites owned operators based in the UK, China, Spain and Nigeria for commercial imagery sales and humanitarian emergencies.

The acronym DMC stands for Disaster Monitoring Constellation, and DMCii is based in Guildford, near SSTL’s headquarters.

DMCii ordered the three new satellites after it struck a deal with Beijing-based 21AT, which sells imagery to the Chinese government to monitor urban growth, land and water resources, pollution and natural disasters. Under the terms of the agreement, 21AT is leasing 100 percent of the imaging capacity of the three DMC3 satellites over their seven-year design lifetimes, while DMCii will own and operate the spacecraft.

Officials said the structure of the deal gives 21AT access to high-resolution imagery without the complexity of flying its own satellites.

Each DMC3 spacecraft weighs 447 kilograms, or 985 pounds, at liftoff and uses an electric xenon-fueled propulsion system for attitude control and orbital maneuvers.

The CBNT-1 and DMC3 satellites (left to right) inside a clean room at the PSLV launch base in India. Credit: ISRO

The CBNT-1 and DMC3 satellites (left to right) inside a clean room at the PSLV launch base in India. Credit: ISRO

Once the satellites are in space, ground controllers will spread the spacecraft 120 degrees apart along a single orbital plane. Together, the satellites will observe up to a million square kilometers — nearly 400,000 square miles — per day by pointing up to 45 degrees off their ground tracks to image targets, SSTL officials said.

The satellites carry electro-optical cameras with one-meter (3.3-foot) resolution in black-and-white mode, the highest-resolution Earth observing spacecraft ever built by SSTL.

Another SSTL spacecraft, known only by the acronym CBNT-1, is also mounted aboard the PSLV rocket for Friday’s launch. According to a press kit released by the Indian Space Research Organization, CBNT-1 weighs 91 kilograms — 200 pounds — and will test Earth imaging technologies.

Photos posted on ISRO’s website show CBNT-1 as a cube-shaped spacecraft.

A small shoebox-sized CubeSat named DeorbitSail is the fifth UK-made spacecraft on Friday’s PSLV flight.

Funded through a grant by the European Commission, DeorbitSail is packed with four Kapton solar sail membranes that will deploy once the satellite is in orbit to cover an area of up to 16 square meters, or 172 square feet.

The DeorbitSail project is led by the Surrey Space Center at the University of Surrey, and its goal is to prove solar sails can hasten a satellite’s descent from orbit by creating drag from solar light pressure.

Proponents of solar sail technology often point to it as a way to explore the solar system by using solar photons, or light particles, to propel spacecraft to tremendous speeds. The same technique could pull old satellites from space back into the atmosphere, helping rid orbital pathways of space debris.

Officials expect it will take about six months for the CubeSat’s solar sail to bring DeorbitSail into the atmosphere for a destructive re-entry.

ISRO’s launch press kit says the five satellites weight 1,440 kilograms, or 3,174 pounds, making the payload the heaviest commercial package ever sent into orbit by PSLV. DMCii booked the PSLV launch with Antrix Corp., the government-owned commercial sales arm of ISRO.

Friday’s flight will be the ninth launch of a souped-up version of the PSLV with six enlarged strap-on solid rocket boosters. The 14-story rocket will blast off with a peak power of 2 million pounds of thrust and initially turn southeast, then veer south in a safety measure to keep from flying over Sri Lanka.

It will take about 19 minutes to release all five satellites into orbit. ISRO has published a timeline of the mission:

  • T+plus 0: The PSLV’s solid-fueled first stage ignites, followed less than one second later by ignition of four of the rocket’s six solid rocket boosters.
  • T+plus 25 seconds: The PSLV’s other two solid rocket boosters ignite at an altitude of 2,680 meters, or nearly 8,800 feet.
  • T+plus 1 minute, 10 seconds: The PSLV’s four ground-lit solid rocket boosters burn out and jettison in pairs.
  • T+plus 1 minute, 32 seconds: The PSLV’s two air-lit solid rocket boosters burn out and jettison at an altitude of 47 kilometers, or about 155,000 feet.
  • T+plus 1 minute, 50 seconds: The PSLV’s first stage burns out and jettisons, and the hydrazine-fueled Vikas second stage engine fires.
  • T+plus 1 minute, 55 seconds: The PSLV initiates closed loop guidance.
  • T+plus 2 minutes, 34 seconds: The 3.2-meter, or 10.5-foot, diameter aluminum payload fairing jettisons once the PSLV flys above the dense lower atmosphere.
  • T+plus 4 minutes, 22 seconds: The PSLV’s Vikas engine shuts down and the second stage separates at the conclusion of its burn at an altitude of 231 kilometers, or about 144 miles.
  • T+plus 4 minutes, 23 seconds: The PSLV’s third stage solid-fueled motor begins a 112-second burn.
  • T+plus 6 minutes, 15 seconds: The PSLV’s third stage motor burns out, and the rocket begins a coast phase.
  • T+plus 8 minutes, 37 seconds: The PSLV’s third stage separates from the fourth stage.
  • T+plus 8 minutes, 47 seconds: The PSLV’s fourth stage, powered by two hydrazine-fueled engines, ignites to propel the DMC3, CBNT-1 and DeorbitSail spacecraft into orbit.
  • T+plus 17 minutes, 19 seconds: The fourth stage shuts down after achieving a circular target orbit with an altitude of 647 kilometers, or 402 miles, and an inclination of 98.06 degrees.
  • T+plus 17 minutes, 57 seconds: The three 447-kilogram (985-pound) DMC3 satellites deploy from the PSLV’s multi-payload adapter.
  • T+plus 18 minutes, 36 seconds: The experimental DeorbitSail CubeSat is released from its canister atop the PSLV’s fourth stage.
  • T+plus 19 minutes, 16 seconds: The 91-kilogram (200-pound) CBNT-1 Earth observation technology demonstration satellite separates from the PSLV.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


Nasa approves ‘impossible’ space engine design that seemingly defies laws of physics

Nasa approves ‘impossible’ space engine design that seemingly defies laws of physics

Nasa approves ‘impossible’ space engine design that seemingly defies laws of physics
Space shuttle Atlantis blasts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on July 8, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This lift off is the last in the 30-year-old shuttle program. (Getty Images photo)
LONDON: In a quiet announcement that has sent shockwaves through the scientific world, Nasa has cautiously given its seal of approval to a new type of “impossible” engine that could revolutionize space travel.

In a paper published by the agency’s experimental Eagleworks Laboratories, Nasa engineers confirmed that they had produced tiny amounts of thrust from an engine without propellant — an apparent violation of the conservation of momentum; the law of physics that states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.

Traditional spacecraft carry vast amounts of fuel with them into orbit in order to move about, using the thrust created by this fuel to move in zero gravity like a swimmer in a pool pushing off against a wall. This method works fine but it’s costly — in both obtaining the fuel and then launching all that extra weight into space.

Nasa’s engineers have tested an engine known as a ‘Cannae Drive’, a machine that instead uses electricity to generate microwaves, bouncing them around inside a specially designed container that theoretically creates a difference in radiation pressure and so results in directional thrust.

The International Space Station orbiting Earth. (European Space Agency/Nasa photo via Getty Images)

All this might be theoretical no more. Nasa’s scientists tested a version of the drive designed by US scientist Guido Fetta and found that the propellant-less engine was able to produce between 30 and 50 micronewtons of thrust — a tiny amount (0.00003 to 0.00005 per cent of the force of an iPhone pressing down when held in the hand) but still a great deal more than nothing.

(Fetta has said that the name refers to the Battle of Cannae when a small Carthaginian force led by Hannibal improbably defeated a much larger Roman army — although many have suggested that he is also referring to the engineer Scotty in the Star Trek series and his recurring and plaintive protest that he ‘cannae change the laws of physics’.)

The results, first reported by Wired UK, are less than a thousandth of the thrust produced in tests by Chinese engineers of a similar invention known as the EmDrive — another fuel-less thruster designed by British scientist Roger Shawyer. Bother Shawyer and Fetta have spent year evangelizing their designs but this has invited as much suspicion as it has support, with many looking sceptically on claims that apparently violate the laws of physics.

A view of Earth from Moon’s surface. Photo taken by the Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969. (Via Getty Images)

It’s not surprising then that Nasa is presenting its positive test results as objectively as possible, with its engineers making no attempt to explain the mechanisms at play and instead only reporting on the integrity of the test procedures and their results. They did, however, allow themselves a brief moment of speculation:

“Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.” (emphasis added).

This ‘quantum vaccum’ is what the microwave drives might theoretically be ‘pushing off’ against — it’s essentially a dimension of the Universe that represents the lowest energetic state physically possible; a ‘base layer’ of reality that physicists sometimes suggest might be the origin of the equally mysterious ‘dark energy’.

View Of Skylab 4 in Earth’s orbit. Picture taken on February 1, 1974. (Via Getty Images)

If all this sounds like the realm of science fiction, well it is — so far. Despite multiple experiments now confirming that these ‘impossible’ drives work, there’s still plenty of room for mistakes (see for example the 2011 CERN experiments that mistakenly observed faster-than-light neutrinos) and recreating the physical vacuum necessary for the tests could go wrong in countless ways.

Still, if further experiments continue to confirm the reality of these microwave thrusters then it could trigger a new era of space travel. Nasa’s involvement is no guarantee of success, but it does suggest that scientists are taking the possibility of ‘impossible’ engines seriously.

Perhaps we should too..

New Horizons gets ready for Pluto flyby

New Horizons gets ‘all clear’ for Pluto flyby


Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Artist’s concept of the New Horizons spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

After an exhaustive search for heretofore unseen rings, small moons or other space debris, senior managers concluded Wednesday that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, hurtling toward a July 14 flyby of Pluto at more than 30,000 mph, can safely stay on its current course without undue fears of a mission-ending impact.

“We’re breathing a collective sigh of relief knowing that the way appears to be clear,” Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, said in a statement. “The science payoff will be richer as we gather data from the optimal flight path, as opposed to having to conduct observations from one of the back-up trajectories.”

Using the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI, engineers have been studying the space around Pluto and its retinue of five moons since mid May, on the lookout for any potential hazards. At New Horizons’ velocity, even impacts with tiny bits of debris could prove catastrophic.

The hazards analysis team was formed in 2011 after the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting Pluto, a total that since has increased to at least five. The concern is that the gravity of the smaller moons would be too weak to capture debris kicked up by impacts, leaving possible clouds of rocky dust in New Horizon’s path.

Playing it safe, engineers developed an alternative “safe haven” trajectory, a slight detour that would have carried New Horizons farther from Pluto during its upcoming flyby to avoid any potential debris. A decision on whether to fire the spacecraft’s thrusters to change course had to be made this week.

In the latest set of LORRI images, taken June 22, 23 and 26, Pluto, its large moon Charan and the smaller moons Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx can be seen, but there are no signs of any faint rings or other obvious debris.

The camera is sensitive enough to detect objects 15 times dimmer than Styx, Pluto’s faintest known moon, and engineers concluded that if any rings are present, they are reflecting less than one 5-millionth of the sunlight reaching the outer solar system.

In short, no obvious threats could be seen.

This illustration shows some of the final images used to determine that the coast is clear for New Horizons' flight through the Pluto system. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

This illustration shows some of the final images used to determine that the coast is clear for New Horizons’ flight through the Pluto system. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

“Not finding new moons or rings present is a bit of a scientific surprise to most of us,” Alan Stern, the mission’s principal investigator, said in the NASA statement. “But as a result, no engine burn is needed to steer clear of potential hazards. We presented these data to NASA for review and received approval to proceed on course and plan. We are ‘go’ for the best of our planned Pluto encounter trajectories.”

John Spencer, leader of the hazard analysis team, said the suspense — “at least most of it” — is now behind the New Horizons team as the spacecraft races toward its once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the famous dwarf planet.

“As a scientist I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t spot additional moons to study, but as a New Horizons team member I am much more relieved that we didn’t find something that could harm the spacecraft,” he said. “New Horizons already has six amazing objects to analyze in this incredible system.”

Adding to the margin of safety, New Horizons will fly through a zone “swept out” by Charon, which orbits in gravitational lockstep with Pluto, completing one revolution every 6.4 days.

“As it turns out, where we’re going is a place called the Charon instability strip where the big moon Charon plows through and carves out a clean place every 6.4 days,” Stern said in an earlier interview. “Looking back on it, although we chose it for other reasons, (we) couldn’t have picked a safer place to go according to everything we know today.”

If all goes well, New Horizons will race past Pluto at a distance of about 7,750 miles a few seconds before 7:50 a.m. on July 14. Because of Pluto’s 3-billion-mile distance, the spacecraft must carry out its observations autonomously, following a detailed command sequence to aim itself and its instruments at Pluto, Charon and the other moons.

Timing is critical. For all of the observations to work out, New Horizons must fly through an imaginary targeting box measuring 60 by 90 miles within about 100 seconds of the ideal time. And it must do so at the end of a 3-billion-mile voyage spanning nine-and-a-half years.

Late Monday, New Horizons carried out a 23-second thruster firing, the third and final planned burn to fine tune the spacecraft’s preferred trajectory. It was only the ninth trajectory correction maneuver, or TCM, carried out since the spacecraft was launched in January 2006.

The firing increased the probe’s velocity by about one-half mile per hour. Without it, New Horizons would have been 114 miles off target for critical observations of Pluto’s atmosphere. The observations require the spacecraft, flying into and out of Pluto’s shadow, to capture radio signals from Earth after they pass through the dwarf planet’s atmosphere. Similar observations are planned for Charon.

The thruster firing Monday “was perfectly performed by the spacecraft and its operations team,” said Stern. “Now we’re set to fly right down the middle of the optimal approach corridor.”

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: Muslim Women and Religious Freedom


1000px-US-EEOC-Seal.svg.jpgOn June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 8-1 judgment, ruled in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Samantha Elauf, a 17-year-old American Muslim woman who was denied employment at the popular retailer Abercrombie & Fitch because the headscarf she wore for religious purposes conflicted with the store’s “look policy.” Elauf was found to qualify for the position, but the interviewer expressed concern to her superiors that the Islamic attire violates the ban of “caps.” They ended up rejecting her for that reason. She then filed a civil rights complaint seeing both favorable and not-so-favorable decisions until the last judgment made by the Supreme Court.

This decision is a victory, and not only does it reinforce America’s commitment to religious freedom, but supports the civil liberties of Muslim women who face constant discrimination in the professional world for choosing to observe the headscarf. Elauf is not the only one to challenge the status quo. Since 9/11, Muslim women have been turning to the judicial system in order to ensure their constitutional right of religious freedom is being exercised in school, at work, and the public domain.

For instance, the Oklahoma Muskogee Public School District settled a civil rights case in 2004 involving a sixth-grade Muslim student, Nashala Hearn, who was unjustly suspended for eight days after refusing to remove her hijab. Nashala and her family sued, with thesupport of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the district modified its policies to guarantee future religious accommodations.

In 2013, Safia Abdallah filed a religious discrimination lawsuit through the EEOC after an Albuquerque hotel refused her request to wear the hijab at work. The hotel’s refusal violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits the dismissal of any employee because of religion or religious practices. The case was settled out of Court.

There is a diversity of voices from Elauf to Hearn to Abdallah that highlight the injustices of Muslim women and religious freedom; and research studies show these challenges are ongoing.

Carnegie Mellon conducted a research experiment on how the hiring behavior of U.S employers is affected by their online search information about job candidates found through social networks. What they discovered was that discrimination varies greatly against Americans who are evidently Muslim than their Christian counterparts on Facebook and LinkedIn. The profiles created for the study qualified all the candidates equally in education and skills, and differed in aspects such as religious affiliation, fluency in other languages, activities and interests, and profile picture.

Another study by the University of Hawaii found that Muslim women who wear the hijab encountered discrimination when seeking employment, and that “hijabis had lower expectations of receiving job offers than Muslim women who did not wear the hijab, and that Hijabis were more likely to be hired by organizations with high employee diversity.”

Elauf successfully proved to the country that Abercrombie & Fitch chose not to hire her because of the headscarf. An employer cannot make an applicant’s religious practice, apparent or otherwise, a factor in the hiring process. All in all, while we cannot pinpoint exactly what implications the Supreme Court’s ruling will have on religious minorities, what we do know is that this is one step forward in making stronger the agency and activism of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab in public life and still have their constitutional protection as Americans.

Sabrin Qadi is an intern with the Arab American Institute

Does Israel have the right to turn millions of the people under its control into prisoners

A most moral occupation: Keeping the prisoners in line

Does Israel have the right to turn millions of the people under its control into prisoners simply because it is afraid of what might happen once they are released?

An olive tree in front of the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem. (

An olive tree in front of the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem. (

The UNHRC report on Gaza and testimonies published by local watchdog group “Breaking the Silence” have sparked yet another round of debate over the IDF’s moral standards, or lack thereof. These debates have become yet another way for Israeli society — and at times, the international community — to talk about the occupation without actually discussing it. My heart goes out to the people at Breaking the Silence, since I have a feeling that this time around they are in the midst of a war they cannot win.

The objective of the Israeli occupation is control. In fact, that has long been Israel’s goal vis-a-vis the entire Palestinian people, even before 1967. Unlike many Palestinians, I do not think that the Zionist movement made a decision to ethnically cleanse the land of its residents; 1948 was the exception — not the rule. In the years following the war, and to this day, Palestinians have beenremoved from their homes and land, but in most cases they are not expelled from the country. In fact, the Israeli strategy stems from a recognition — on the part of the ruling elites, including both Labor and Likud — that the Palestinian population will ultimately remain here alongside the Jewish population.

There is zero chance that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will ever agree to their current situation of their own volition. And unlike most other occupying powers eventually do, Israel is not interested in granting them citizenship. Therefore, Israel’s only course of action is to control the Palestinians by force. This has been the objective of Israeli policy for decades, again, with the support of Labor and Likud alike.

This objective is the only way to explain the many actions Israel takes, which are sometimes improvised, other times planned ahead of time, and often seem to contradict each other. In practice, they are all put in place to maintain a system of control. This is the line of thinking that connects the anti-democratic legislation in the Knesset, the military operations in Gaza and the prime minister’s declared war on the BDS movement.

Testimonies: ‘This is how we fought in Gaza’

In order to maintain this policy, Israel has turned the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into a giant prison (Egypt helps by sealing in Gaza from the south). Like in all prisons, the guards strip the prisoners of almost all their rights, aside from those that they are willing to grant, usually in return for good behavior. Such privileges can include work permitstravel permits, or visitation rights. A Palestinian needs permission from the army to leave and return to the country. A foreign national who lands in Israel risks deportation should they openly state their intention to travel to the West Bank (save for a few exceptions).

Take note of how Israelis see nearly every “right” granted to Palestinians in the occupied territories as a “concession” or a “privilege”— the privilege to leave the country (which was recentlygiven and then subsequently denied to 500 people due to a single crime that none of them had any connection to); the “privilege” tobuild homes; the “privilege” to host friends; the “privilege” of being given work permits. None of these rights are granted simply because Palestinians are human. They are carrots and sticks used to leverage an entire population, whose only goal is to maintain quiet (“peace”). This is how prison works. That is how guards speak.

The new camera-equipped weapon installed on the separation wall in Bethlehem. (photo:

The new camera-equipped weapon installed on the separation wall in Bethlehem. (photo:

Israel is a democracy that maintains a sub-regime that is a dictatorship. The prisoner cannot resist his or her imprisonment, which is how Israel sees every political (or military) action by the Palestinians. The Palestinians cannot, obviously, attack their guards. They cannot throw stones, they cannot call for boycotts, they cannot turn to the UN, they cannot go on hunger strike, they cannotattempt to sail to Gaza, etc. In the spirit of the times, every single one of these actions is labeled “terrorism”—meaning that they are beyond the pale of legitimate political conduct, and therefore must be fought using any and all means.

Israeli society has become accustomed to this guard-prisoner relationship over the last few decades. The IDF went from being atraditional military, whose expertise is in large-scale, offensive maneuvering, to an army that leads the world in maintaining order (over prisoners, that is). Actually, many places in the West Bank and on the border with Gaza already look very much like a prison. Israel’s technological developments — tracking systems, remote crowd dispersal methods, UAVs, remote assassination methods that cause as little collateral damage as possible — are intended to maintain that prison at both minimal cost and minimal victims. Groups of Israeli generals travel the world in order to market the experience we have gained in holding a civilian population under our control. This kind of expertise will always be in demand.

Read: How an army of defense became an army of vengeance

Alongside the generals is an entire system that creates an ideology of occupation — a public sense of justice. We can read about it in the weekend edition of every major newspaper. The differences are insignificant between Yedioth columnist Ben-Dror Yemini with his BDS obsession, the military correspondents who talk about “security challenges in the territories,” Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit’s talk of delegitimization and proper right-wing ideologists. Their goal is to justify the various aspects of controlling the Palestinians, without actually talking about the elephant in the room: the degree to which that control is legitimate in the first place.

Israel has no intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under its control. In contrast to what Israelis tell themselves, we have no intention of separating from even some of the Palestinians either (full separation is impossible since the two populations are far too mixed at this point). If Israel intended to, we would have already left the West Bank and stopped controlling everything that happens there. But we won’t do it, since such a move carries an internal political price, not to mention serious dangers. The Right’s nightmare scenario  —rockets on Tel Aviv, for instance — is a real possibility.

It is also obvious that no agreement will fully ensure Israel’s security; even if Mahmoud Abbas becomes a card-carrying Likud member tomorrow, there is no telling who will be in charge of a Palestinian state five years from now. Therefore, any withdrawal, regardless of a peace agreement, is a real risk. This was true 10 years ago, it is true now, and it will be true in the future.

Yet this is precisely the issue of putting an end to foreign rule — once you no longer control the other side, you have no idea what it will do, and you need to come up with other ways to maintain relatively peaceful relations with it. The risks is such a case are unavoidable and Israelis are simply not willing to take them. This is why they choose leaders who promise not to reach peace agreements, and why there is a better chance for a temporary agreement with Hamas in Gaza than a permanent accord with Abbas, which could translate to an irreversible loss of control with the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014.  The Al-Najjar family flew their homes in Khuza'a to take refuge fi-urther west.  Israeli attacks have killed 550 Palestinians in the current offensive, most of them civilians. Khuza'a has been under heavy attacks and many fled their village as the Israeli army physically occupies the village. Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive.

Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. The Al-Najjar family fled their homes in Khuza’a to take refuge further west. (photo:

Israel receives special attention from time to time because the occupation is exceptional among the nations of the world. What other legitimate member of the international community seeks to continue imprisoning (at least) a third of its population? This is the real issue that lies at the root of all military operations and their many victims. The occupation systematically denies Palestinians their human rights, and it continues unabated, regardless of the circumstances of every flare up or round of violence.

At the end of the day, the debate over the IDF’s morality — which makes headlines every time an NGO publishes a report or the murder of an innocent person is exposed — is a distraction. It is convenient for Israel and its citizens to cope with that question, since if we prove that the army makes every effort to continue controlling Palestinians with the minimum amount of innocent victims, we will feel better about ourselves and our international image won’t be tarnished. And when we cannot prove as much, we can always replace the question of morality with one of discipline: the soldier who didn’t follow orders, the commander who gave problematic orders. And hey, what is happening in Syria is way worse.

But even if another army killed 4,000 people — or 40,000 — in Gaza, would that make Israel’s policies legitimate? Does this country have a right to turn millions of the people under its control — a civilian population — into prisoners, because it is afraid of what will happen once they are released? Can we expect anything from this policy but repeated cycles of “security challenges” and “military responses?” I do not believe so, but I appreciate the honesty of the few who are willing to say “yes.” Most Israelis simply ignore the question.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, wishes that FIBA would catch up to FIFA

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, wishes that FIBA would catch up to FIFA


It was the spring of 2014 and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had just capped off her college basketball career by leading Indiana State in scoring.

While moving on to graduate school, Abdul-Qaadir’s plan was to play abroad, and she was already taking the next steps to make it happen. She hired an agent, made an online basketball profile and was excited for the next stage of her life. After setting the high school career scoring record for Massachusetts, her dream of playing professionally was in sight.

And then the dream was crushed.

Abdul-Qaadir’s agent told her of FIBA’s headgear policy, which would prevent her from playing in the FIBA-run professional leagues she had been targeting, because the Muslim Abdul-Qaadir wears a hijab.

“It kind of broke my heart,” said Abdul-Qaadir, 24. “I was that close to the dream and then just because of my religious beliefs or something that I wore was going to stop me from playing.”

The policy doesn’t just ban hijabs but all headgear more than five centimeters in width. That means athletes around the world who wear turbans or yarmulkes are also prevented from participating.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with safety hazards or just a piece of material, I think it’s the fact of what I’m representing,” said Abdul-Qaadir, who now travels the country raising awareness of the ban. “They don’t want that affiliated with their organization.”

But after FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, lifted its headgear ban in 2014, FIBA enacted a two-year trial beginning last September that allowed basketball players to play with headgear. But FIBA’s allowance applies only at the national level, and only if a player or team’s national federation has submitted a request to FIBA.


Only a week after the FIBA trial period began, members of the Qatar women’s national team had to withdraw from an international competition, the Asian Games in South Korea, because they refused to remove their hijabs.

USA Basketball CEO and FIBA central board member Jim Tooley told USA TODAY Sports that FIBA would be gathering information during the course of the trial for a report that would be evaluated after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He said the study was focusing on whether all modifications to uniform pose safety issues, threaten the look and feel of the uniform or impede or enhance the sport in other countries.

Though he noted that USA Basketball has received no request to wear head gear, when asked if the policy limits the opportunities of athletes of certain faiths, he said, “I’m not certain it does or it doesn’t. We have not had that issue here in the United States, and I don’t want to speak to the issues that Muslim countries have experienced.”


For Abdul-Qaadir, who was born in Springfield, Mass., the ban creates many barriers. The policy restricts her from playing in leagues abroad, and even if she had the ability to play for Team USA, she wouldn’t be able to wear her hijab because the team participates in international competitions.

Ibtihaj Muhammad, a sabre fencer training for the 2016 Olympics and a hijab wearer, said the requirement that federations make requests on behalf of athletes was an added insult to athletes of Muslim faith.

“That reminds of me of middle school and high school where my parents had to submit an official letter from the religious head from our local mosque,” Muhammad said. “We would have to get like a local Imam to sign a letter my parents drafted that said I was wearing my headscarf for religious reasons.

“It’s a little frustrating that you have to, not only be different, but explain why we’re different and then from there explain to the governing body okay, now it’s OK for you to be different to still play sports.”

FIBA, however, is adamant the rule has never had anything to do with religion.

“FIBA regulations apply on a global scale and without any religious connotation,” read a statement provided to USA Today Sports. “While certain groups have interpreted the provisions of the Official Basketball Rules on uniforms as a ban against the participation of players of certain faiths in basketball competitions, the uniform regulations are of a purely sporting nature.”


But Abdul-Qaadir can’t see how something like a hijab could ever be a threat to another player’s safety.

“I don’t even drape it around my neck when I play, it’s tied up in the back and I’ve never caused injury to myself or anybody else for the 10-plus years that I’ve been playing covered,” Abdul-Qaadir said. “For them to say it’s a safety hazard, nowadays women are getting extensions and I’ve been slapped in the face by braids plenty of times. So I’m playing with my hair tied up, tight, it just doesn’t make sense.”

When asked whether a headscarf specifically was a safety concern, Tooley said, “I don’t know. That’s what FIBA has come out and said. Jewelry, if someone wants to wear a cross around their neck, you can’t do that because it’s a safety issue. I’m not aware of what safety issues there could be.”


According to Shireen Ahmed, a former University of Toronto soccer player and sports activist who has written about headgear bans for, the path has been laid for FIBA to put an end to the ban.

She said that when FIFA ended its headgear ban, the organization provided an outline for how the change would come into effect. She has yet to see any outline or goals for FIBA’s two-year trial.

The end to FIFA’s ban was also led by an executive committee member, Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan, who wanted to make sure the Jordanian national team would be able to play soccer internationally. She said FIBA might see a significant change to its ban if it had someone that high ranking leading the way in the basketball association. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone as motivated for the cause.

“It doesn’t impact them on a financial level,” Ahmed said of FIFA.

When Ahmed thinks about Abdul-Qaadir’s struggle, she thinks of her own daughter who has taken up soccer and basketball. She hopes to one day play in college, but that could be as far as the sport takes her.

“It’s almost like for her, the choice has already been made,” Ahmed said. “If she chooses to wear a headscarf, there’s no point in going forward with basketball because there will be nowhere to go.”


US, UK, France behind 1995 massacre of Bosnia Muslims: Report

Sun Jul 5, 2015 3:19PM
The file photo shows Muslim refugees fleeing Srebrenica in 1995 on the runway of Tuzla airport, Bosnia.

The file photo shows Muslim refugees fleeing Srebrenica in 1995 on the runway of Tuzla airport, Bosnia.

Newly revealed documents from the 1990s Bosnia war and the carnage of Muslims there by Serbian death squads show that the US, Britain and France were behind the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

A new investigation on how the massacre of over 8,000 Muslim Bosnian boys and men came about shows that British, American and French governments were prepared to cede UN-protected safe areas to armed Serb militias during the war in Bosnia.

The Serb death squads butchered male Bosnians in Srebrenica over the course of four days in July 1995 and the new details about the massive genocide by the Serbs emerge 20 years later, just prior to events marking its anniversary.

According to declassified US cables, cited in a Saturday report by the UK-based daily The Guardian, details of the killings reached Western intelligence agencies and decision-makers soon after the carnage began on July 13, 1995.

File photo of Serbian commander Ratko Mladic (L) with troops as Bosnian Serbs enter Srebrenica in 1995. 

“CIA operatives watched almost ‘live’ at a satellite post in Vienna. From that day, spy planes caught what was happening. Standing men held by armed guards. Later pictures showed them lying in the fields, dead,” added the report, quoting one of the cables.

The report quoted a senior US State Department official as saying that “all US partners were immediately informed,” but the slaughter went on with no attempts to deter the killers, or to locate the victims.

According to the UK daily, a day after the carnage, the UN Security Council said it feared “grave mistreatment and killing of innocent civilians.” The council had received “reports that 4,000 men and boys had gone missing.”

File photo of a Bosnian Muslim praying between graves of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre 

However, The Guardian report said, “the diplomats continued business as usual.”

The bloodshed took place after Bosnian Serbs ran over the Bosnian town, even though it was formally declared a UN-protected area.

The declassified cables also unveiled that prior to the massacre, Washington called on the so-called UN peacekeeping forces in Srebrenica to pull back from safe areas, a decision backed by Paris and London.

Moreover, former Dutch Defense Ministry officials have stated that the UN provided 30,000 liters of fuel gas to Serbs, facilitating the takeover of Srebrenica and the brutal carnage there.

All the decisions adopted by Western leaders prior to the massacre came with the clear knowledge that Serb leaders had pledged to uproot Muslims even if there was “blood up to their knees.”

Meanwhile, the genocide was never mentioned in the peace negotiations with the Serb leaders. The new revelations pose a serious challenge to the official Western version of events that has long described the Srebrenica massacre as a shocking and unforeseen incident.


Man Admits To Plotting To Massacre Muslims, Judge Sets Him Free Anyway

Man Admits To Plotting To Massacre Muslims, Judge Sets Him Free Anyway

 POSTED ON JULY 5, 2015 AT 9:01 AM


Robert Rankin Doggart, a former candidate for Congress, admitted in federal court to “plotting the annihilation” of a village in New York that is home to many Muslims. Doggart’s plans included “burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria,” according to the criminal complaint.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart allegedly said according to the transcript of a wiretap cited in the complaint. He also allegedly tried to recruit other individuals to participate in his plot through a Facebook group.

As part of a plea agreement, Doggart pled guilt to “interstate communication of threats” and faces up to five years in prison. He was in jail awaiting final sentencing.

But a federal judge, Curtis Collier, may not accept the guilty plea. He’s ordered the prosecution and defense to produce briefs proving that Doggart was a “true threat.” Meanwhile, a different federal judge, Magistrate Susan K. Lee, released Doggart from jail “into the custody of two family members.”

Lee had previously found that Doggart was a “danger to the community.” The government appealed the decision to release Doggart to Judge Collier, who affirmed Lee’s decision.

Doggart’s release has drawn criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group. “It is deeply troubling that an individual who has admitted to planning a religiously-motivated terror attack on American Muslims is now free, while the intended targets of his plot remain unprotected,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. CAIR had previously criticized the prosecutor’s decision not to treat Doggart’s conduct “as an act of terrorism and to charge the alleged organizer of the attack as a terrorist.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center — and academics studying the issue — the United States has focused on combating Islamic extremism but given short shrift to other threats like domestic attacks by right-wing radicals. Since 9/11, “more people have been killed in America by non-Islamic domestic terrorists than jihadists.”

ജനങ്ങള്‍ ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്കു വേണ്ടി പാലം നിര്‍മ്മിച്ചു; രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാര്‍ക്ക് പ്രവേശനമില്ല

ജനങ്ങള്‍ ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്കു വേണ്ടി പാലം നിര്‍മ്മിച്ചു; രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാര്‍ക്ക് പ്രവേശനമില്ല

ഹരിയാനയിലെ സിര്‍സ ജില്ലയിലെ ഗ്രാമീണരെല്ലാം കൂടി അവസാനം ഒരു തീരുമാനമെടുത്തു… പത്തുനാല്‍പ്പതുവര്‍ഷമായി തങ്ങള്‍ കാത്തിരിക്കുന്ന പാലത്തിന്റെ പണി ഇനി തങ്ങള്‍ തന്നെ ഏറ്റെടുക്കുക… അതെ, ഗാഗ്ഗര്‍ നദിക്കു കുറുകെ 214 അടി നീളത്തില്‍ 16 അടി വീതിയില്‍ കോണ്‍ഗ്രീറ്റും ഇരുമ്പു കമ്പിയുടമുപയോഗിച്ച് സ്വന്തം കാശുപയോഗിച്ച് അവസാനം നാട്ടുകാര്‍ തന്നെ പാലമുണ്ടാക്കി… ഇതോടെ 40 കിലോമിറ്ററുകളോളം അവര്‍ ചുറ്റിസഞ്ചരിച്ചത് 10 കിലോ മീറ്റരായി ചുരുങ്ങി.

”ഞങ്ങളുടെ കുട്ടികള്‍ വളരെ ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടിയാണ് സ്കൂളില്‍ പോയിരുന്നത് ആരും ഞങ്ങളെ സഹായിക്കാനെത്തിയില്ല… അതുകൊണ്ട് പാലത്തിന്റെ നിര്‍മാണം ഞങ്ങള്‍ തന്നെ ഏറ്റെടുക്കുകയായിരുന്നു.”- ഗ്രാമവാസിയായ രാജേന്ദ്രര്‍ ബെനിവാല്‍ പറയുന്നു..

അന്തരിച്ച മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി ദേവി ലാല്‍ മുതല്‍ നിലവിലെ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി മനോഹര്‍ ലാല്‍ ഖട്ടറിനെ വരെ ഒരു പാലത്തിനായി ഗ്രാമവാസികള്‍ പോയി കണ്ടു..

”സര്‍ക്കാരുകള്‍ വന്നും പോയും ഇരുന്നു… എല്ലാവരും വാഗ്ദാനങ്ങളും തന്നു… പക്ഷേ സഹായങ്ങള്‍ മാത്രം ഉണ്ടായില്ല, മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിമാരെ, മന്ത്രിമാരെ, എംപിമാരെ, എല്ലാ രാഷ്ട്രീയ പാര്‍ട്ടികളുടെയും നേതാക്കന്മാരെ എല്ലാവരെയും ഞങ്ങള്‍ പോയി കണ്ടു. എല്ലാവരും പക്ഷേ വാഗ്ദാനങ്ങള്‍ വാരിക്കോരി തന്നു.. പാലം മാത്രം വന്നില്ല” എന്ന് പറയുന്നു പാലനിര്‍മ്മാണ കമ്മിറ്റിയുടെ സെക്രട്ടറിയായ മജോര്‍ സിംഗ്.

അവസാനം കാര്യങ്ങള്‍ നേരിട്ട് ഏറ്റെടുക്കാന്‍ തന്നെ ഗ്രാമവാസികള്‍ തീരുമാനിച്ചു. പ്രായമായവരുടെയും വിധവകളുടെ പെന്‍ഷന്‍ വരെ പാലനിര്‍മ്മാണത്തിനുള്ള ഫണ്ടിനായി നീക്കിവെക്കപ്പെട്ടു. അങ്ങനെ പാല നിര്‍മ്മാണത്തിന് ഗ്രാമീണര്‍ സമാഹരിച്ചത് ഒരു കോടിയാണ്… കഴിഞ്ഞ ഏപ്രിലിലായിരുന്നു നിര്‍മ്മാണപ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് തുടക്കം കുറിച്ചത്. അഴിമതിയും കയ്യിട്ടുവാരലും ഇല്ലാത്തതിനാല്‍ പാലം പണി ഏകദേശം പൂര്‍ത്തിയായപ്പോഴേക്കും ചെലവായത് 90 ലക്ഷം രൂപ മാത്രം…

അങ്ങനെ ഗ്രാമീണരുടെ നിശ്ചയദാര്‍ഢ്യത്തിന് മുന്നില്‍ പാലം പണി പൂര്‍ത്തിയായി… ഇനി അവര്‍ക്ക് അവരുടെതായ തീരുമാനങ്ങളുണ്ട്… അതിലൊന്ന് തങ്ങളുടെ ആവശ്യങ്ങള്‍ പരിഗണിക്കാതെ, തെരഞ്ഞെടുപ്പ് അടുക്കുമ്പോള്‍ മാത്രം തിരഞ്ഞുവരുന്ന രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാരെ ഇനി അടുപ്പിക്കില്ല എന്നുള്ളതാണ്… രണ്ടാമതായി, നാട്ടുകാര്‍ നിര്‍മ്മിച്ച പാലം ഉപയോഗിക്കാനുള്ള അവകാശം നാട്ടുകാര്‍ക്ക് മാത്രമായിരിക്കും… ഒരു വിഐപിക്കോ, അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഏതെങ്കിലും രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാരനോ ഈ പാലത്തില്‍ കാലു കുത്താന്‍ അനുവാദമുണ്ടാകുകയില്ല… ജനങ്ങള്‍ ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്കുവേണ്ടി ജനങ്ങളാല്‍ നിര്‍മ്മിച്ച ഒരു പാലമാകുകയാണ് ഹരിയാനയിലെ ഗാഗ്ഗര്‍ നദിക്കു കുറുകെ ഉയര്‍ന്നിരിക്കുന്നത്….

Schools within madrasas in Kerala, no board for madrasas in Gujarat

Schools within madrasas in Kerala, no board for madrasas in Gujarat


Maharashtra says madrasas not schools without formal subjects; a look at how states run their madrasas


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Education being on the concurrent list, madrasas are in the domain of the state governments, officials in the HRD Ministry say. (Source: PTI file photo)

By: Express News Service | Published on:July 3, 2015 1:21 am

The nature of madrasa education varies from state to state, with some making it the equivalent of mainstream education and some such as Gujarat and Maharashtra without a board to register its madrasas. Education being on the concurrent list, madrasas are in the domain of the state governments, officials in the HRD Ministry say.

Maharashtra: All private

Madrasas function as private institutions, either affiliated to Charity Commission or State Wakf Board, or independent. Most focus on religious teachings. Of the 1,889 madrasas with 1.5 lakh students, 550 do teach maths, science and English and qualify for grants under a scheme started by the previous government. The new government’s latest declaration about madrasas not being schools unless they teach formal subjects such as English, maths and science comes ahead of a survey to count how many children are out of the formal education system.

Gujarat: No board

None of 150-odd major madrasas providing religious education are registered with the state government. “Among the two types of madrasas, those that provide religious education and those offering primary education, the former type does not require permission. Government permission is required and given only to madrasas that offer primary education,” said education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.

Mufti Ahmed Devlavi, president of Board for Protection of Madrasas in Gujarat, said no madrasa is registered. Devalvi’s madrasa also runs an independent school up to class 12; this is affiliated with the HS board. He said the government a couple of years ago proposed a board but those running madrasas did not accept. Madrasas run mostly on charity. Devlavi said almost all madrasas teach English and maths, though not necessarily based on the state or central syllabus. Some also have arrangements for students who wish to take board exams privately.

Kerala: Parallel education

Madrasas in themselves impart only religious education, timing their classes so as not to coincide with regular schools. Simultaneously, a few madrasas have started running unaided schools under either CBSE or the state board, with classes after madrasa hours. Some have computer labs, funded under a central modernisation programme.

The state’s 12,000 madrasas are run by various groups, with 10,000 under Samastha Kerala Sunni Vidhyabhaysa Board. These have one lakh teachers paid by various masjid committees; they also benefit from charity. The board decides academic matters and conducts annual exams for students of classes 5, 7, 10 and 12.

Bihar: Multiple courses

Over 3,700 madrasas are affiliated to Bihar State Madrasa Board that gives matriculation and +2 certificates, equivalent to those of the state board and CBSE. Teachers are paid as much as those at state government schools. The board also used to givegraduation degrees until three years ago, when Nitish Kumar government granted this provision to Maula Mazharul Haque University. Apart from Urdu and Persian, madrasas teach English, maths and Hindi. Lack of facilities restricts science subjects, teachers say; few madrasas have labs. The board had 1,320 affiliated madrasas until 2010, when a 1990 ban on new madrasas was lifted, bringing in 2,459 more since.

Uttar Pradesh:

Multiple levels The state madrasa board recognises 7,000 madrasas. These include 1,500 Tahtania madrasas (classes 1 to 5). Fauqania madrasas for sixth to eighth number 3,000. Aalia madrasas (up to tenth) and Uchh Aalia (intermediate to PG) number 2,500. The government recognises Aalia students as HS after the student clears munshi and maulvi exams. In Uchh Aalia, intermediate status is granted if a student clears the aalim exam. The BA and MA degrees are not recognised but those clearing the 12th equivalent can go mainstream, though many prefer not to. Maths, English and science are taught. Also, 466 madrasas get grants-in-aid with salary paid by the government at par with their counterparts in similar institutions. Many other, unregistered madrasas focus on religious teachings.

Madhya Pradesh:

Up to 8th, with maths Madhya Pradesh’s madrasa board holds exams up to the eighth standard. These teach English, maths and science alongside religious subjects. After eighth, students have to take private tuition if they want to study further. For them, exams of classes 10 and 12 are conducted by Madhya Pradesh State Open School. Former chairman of the madrasa board Rashid Khan says about 80 per cent students drop out after seventh. Incidentally, the state Sanskrit board holds exams till 12th. Out of 7,000-odd madrasas in MP, about 1,500 get grants. Khan says the state government does not give any grant of its own but disburses the central grant.

West Bengal:

Board equivalent Mamata Banerjee’s budget allocated Rs 500 crore for madrasa and Muslim education and she has set up an Aliah University for Muslim higher education. West Bengal has three types of madrasas. In its 500 high madrasas, the government appoints teachers, gives grants and sets the syllabus, at par with HS schools, with Arabic replacing Sanskrit or Hindi. High madrasa finals are equivalent to class 10 under the secondary board, enabling students to join college. The 200 senior madrasas, affiliated to the state Madrasa Board, deal with Islamic studies with some doses of modern education. Khariji madrasas are run by private individuals or organisations. They frame their own syllabus and appoint their own teachers. Abdul Aziz of Milli Ittehad Parishad, an umbrella body of Muslim organisations, said there are about 500 unrecognised madrasas with about 1 lakh students. An NIA terror probe recently concluded that some khariji madrasas in the border districts were being used for terror training.


Boards again The state madrasa board lists 707 madrasas — 524 pre-senior madrasas equivalent to middle school up to class 8, 164 senior madrasas (ninth to 12th) and 14 title madrasas with courses equivalent to MA in Arabic. The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1995, has provincialised the services of employees of senior madrasas, title madrasas and Arabic colleges. The state secondary board recognises 188 high madrasa schools for a high madrasa examination, equivalent to class 10 with the same subjects but with Arabic compulsory. Students can do HS and, if science, can go on to engineering or medicine. A few high madrasa schools have started 11th and 12th, with Arabic added to the mainstream course. Assam has some 100 private madrasas called khariji and hafiziya madrasas. These are purely religious institutions.


There are close to 6,000 madrasas in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad has 1,200 madrasas which are affiliated to Deeni Madarsa Board, the Nizamia, or other institutes not affiliated to state boards. Some 160 madrasas are affiliated to the state board through Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan. Jammu and Kashmir has more than 700 madrasas. Most of these are affiliated to the Deoband and Nadva institutes. Students of an estimated 20 per cent of the madrasas can appear in exams under the J&K Board of School Education. – See more at:

Amnesty slams India on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir

Amnesty slams India on AFSPA; wants spl. rapporteur for probe on disappearances

File photo of students seeking the repeal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast, in Srinagar. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
File photo of students seeking the repeal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast, in Srinagar. Photo: Nissar Ahmad



A detailed fact-finding report on the effects of Armed Forces Special Powers Act portrays a disturbing picture of Indian Army.

In a report that called for an end to the use of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, human rights group Amnesty International has released a detailed report on the basis of 58 case studies of alleged excesses by the armed forces in the State.

The report, which is likely to spark a strong response from the government, recommends that India withdraw AFSPA, turn over cases of alleged human rights violations and disappearances to civil courts, and invite the UN Special Rapporteur and the UN Working Group on disappearances to visit with “unimpeded access” to victims and witnesses.

“By not addressing human rights violations committed by security force personnel in the name of national security, India has not only failed to uphold its international obligations, but has also failed its own Constitution,” said Minar Pimple, senior director of global operations at Amnesty International, while releasing the report in New Delhi on Wednesday. “Impunity only breeds further violence and alienation, making it more difficult to combat abuses by armed groups,” he said.

The report — “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu &Kashmir” — suggests that the government has neutralised all the allegations with AFSPA’s Section 7, which allows the armed forces to kill anyone in the State on the basis of a mere suspicion.

Amnesty researchers had interviewed the family members in the 58 cases and they said they hold the armed forces responsible for the deaths of their dear ones at various stages of the 25-year-long Kashmir conflict.

While it acknowledges progress on a few cases like the Machil ‘fake’ encounter, where five soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment, the report concludes that most cases involving areas where AFSPA is used go uninvestigated.

“Till now, not a single family interviewed for the report was informed by the authorities of the status or outcome of a sanction request in relation to their case,” adds Divya Iyer, Research Manager at Amnesty International India.

The issue of AFSPA has often been a point of contention between the Centre and State government, with the latter repeatedly demanding the withdrawal of the law that protects Army personnel, especially from areas where the Army is not operating. However, despite several promises in the past, the Cabinet has never accepted the demand.

One of the grim examples of AFSPA’s disastrous consequences, says Amnesty International, is the case of Javaid Ahmad Magray, 17-year-old student of Nowgam district. According to the report, on April 30, 2003, Magray was picked up by personnel of Assam Regiment. A few hours later, his family found him dead in a hospital.

The report suggests that an enquiry, led by then district magistrate of Nowgam, concluded that “deceased boy was not a militant…and has been killed without any justification by a Subedar [a junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army] and his army men being the head of the patrolling party.”

The State Home Department, as per the Amnesty report, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Defence in July 2007, seeking the prosecution of nine Army personnel of Assam Regiment. After six years, the report says, the Ministry rejected the application, arguing that “the individual killed was a militant from whom arms and ammunition were recovered. No reliable and tangible evidence has been referred to in the investigation report.”

The Amnesty report says the Army has dubbed “more than 96 per cent of all allegations of human rights violations against its personnel in Jammu & Kashmir as false or baseless.”

“However the evidence for finding the majority of allegations false is not publicly available. Few details of the investigations or military trials conducted by the security forces are available to the public,” the Amnesty report states.

Exclusive: Read “How I was deported from India“, a first-person account by Christine Mehta, a former researcher with Amnesty International India, on how she was forced to leave India her report on the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.

10 amazing facts about coconut oil

10 facts about coconut oil

This tropical trooper comes with a host of health benefits. Here’s 10 reasons to pick up some coconut oil today.

10 facts about coconut oil


From beating sugar cravings to aiding weight loss, there are more benefits of coconut oil than most of us may realise.


All fats are not created equal

Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately coverting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.


Controls weight

One 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women’s consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.


Eases digestion

If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.


Manage type 2 diabetes

A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.


Supports immunity

Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.


Boost metabolism

A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body’s immune system and keep weight off. 


Slows fine lines

Coconut is not just for your cooking – it’s a wonderfully hydrating treat for skin too. It keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on your face and body for a healthy glow. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.


Cooks in high temperatures

Because coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.


Stops sugar cravings

Instead of reaching for the lollie jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings. This is because good quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar you will feel less ‘ravenous’. Most of us do not realize but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly.  With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly, and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.


Coconut oil is simple to cook with

Try this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat.


1 teaspoon of Niugini Organics Coconut Oil (available from health food stores)

1 cup of almonds or walnuts

1 cup of organic dates

3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder

Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. 


Michele Chevalley Hedge is an accredited nutritionist, author and presenter. Visit her


76 Kerala Coconut Oil Uses For Everyday Life

76 Genius Coconut Oil Uses For Everyday Life


We’re going a little nuts for coconuts—or its oil, at least. But can you blame us? It turns out that this miracle oil is the solution to many of life’s little (or big!) problems. Whether it’s dry skin, lackluster hair, digestive problems, or athlete’s foot, this smooth, slick, tropical-smelling elixir will help get you and your body back on track to healthy town. And it’s all thanks to its stellar all-natural makeup. Coconut oil’s main fat is lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that positively impacts cholesterol levels. It also contains vitamins E and K, and iron, and has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties. 

What really takes the (coconut) cake is that it’s super affordable—a 14-ounce jar can cost as little as $7, making it the most wallet-friendly all-in-one product yet. Seriously, it’s a beauty product, household cleaner, and more. Check out these 76 ways to use coconut oil in your day-to-day life.

1. Care for our cuticles.

Treat dry, flaky cuticles by rubbing coconut oil into your nail beds. Use your fingers to massage some oil into the area—it’ll moisturize your hands in the process!


2. Treat your tresses to some TLC.

Store-bought hair conditioning treatments can get pretty pricy and are often made with some sketchy toxic ingredients. Enter: coconut oil. Beauty experts say the fatty acids in coconut oil will soften your strands. One way to use it: Whip up an at-home hair mask, like this coconut oil and honey concoction, coat your hair, throw it up into a bun, let it sit for up to 40 minutes, and then rinse it out in the shower.

Bonus: You can also use coconut oil on its own to prevent the ends of your hair from drying out. Just rub some onto the tips of your hair, and then shampoo as you regularly would to keep your strands shiny, healthy, and hydrated.

3. Use it as a frizz-fighter and flyaway-tamer.

Spread a tiny bit (apply sparingly—unless, of course, you dig greasy-looking hair) of coconut oil into trouble areas. The natural oils actually repel moisture, which is the culprit behind misbehaving hair.

4. Go for the glow.

To brighten up lackluster skin, combine coconut oil with baking soda, which is a superstar exfoliant. Just mix a little bit of the two together, gently rub into your skin in circular motions, and then rinse.

5. Whip up an at-home face mask.

Another combo for a better complexion? Coconut oil and honey. Mix the two for a hydrating, antibacterial face mask. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then rinse.

6. Nourish your lips.

Thanks to extreme weather, our lips sometimes need a little extra TLC to keep them soft and smooth. Slough off any dry, flaky skin with a DIY coconut-oil-and-brown-sugar lip scrub. Plus, who needs Chapstick when you’ve got coconut oil on hand? Just smooth some on your lips for instant hydration. It’ll look a little glossy, so let it sink in for a few minutes if you want a more matte look.

7. Buff your skin.

Speaking of scrubs, coconut oil is a fantastic ingredient for DIY body scrub. Just mix it up with brown sugar or salt, and add a drop or two of the essential oil of your choice for a gentle but effective exfoliating scrub.

8. Make bath time better.

Add a generous scoop of coconut oil to a bath to (literally) soak in its moisturizing benefits. Make bath time even better by throwing in some Epsom salts (they help soothe muscles and beat bloating) and your favorite essential oils.

9. Tint your lips.

Anyone who’s ever used lipstick is familiar with how frustrating it is when you’re down to that last, hard-to-access bit of lip color left in the applicator. Instead of tossing the tube, scoop out the remaining product and melt it together with coconut oil for a homemade tintedlip balm.

10. Remove your makeup.

One beauty editor’s secret: Use coconut oil to remove heavy makeup. Just rub a scoop of the stuff into your skin, leave it on for a few minutes, and wipe it all off with a warm cloth. Plus, this trick works on even the most stubborn eye makeup (we’re looking at you, waterproof mascara). Just apply some coconut oil to a cotton makeup pad and gently wipe off any product.

11. Moisturize your skin.

To keep your skin soft and supple, swap out your regular moisturizer for coconut oil. Don’t worry—it sinks in pretty quickly and will leave your skin feeling baby-soft.

12. Swap out your shaving cream.

Coconut oil is actually a great way to get a close shave and hydrate your skin in the process. Plus, it’s especially good for people withsensitive skin. If you’re in a DIY mood, you can even make your ownshaving cream with it.

13. Clean your makeup brushes.

Just about every beauty and skincare expert stresses how important it is to keep your makeup brushes as bacteria-free as possible—for the ones you use daily, that means cleaning them once a week. Mix antibacterial dish soap with coconut oil (which also has antibacterial properties and will help condition the bristles) and give your brushes a good cleaning. Check out this guide for the step-by-step.

14. Improve your acne.

Real talk: Breakouts are always a bummer. To help minimize acne-related inflammation, experts recommend using coconut oil, which will also combat redness and irritation. Cleanse your face as you regularly would, and then apply a thin layer of oil (which will also moisturize your skin—see No. 11) to your skin. (Protip: If you’re doing this before bed, let it sink in so that excess oil doesn’t mess with your bedding.)

15. Smooth your skin.

Creams that boast anti-aging properties usually come with a pretty shocking price tag. Luckily, coconut oil can minimize the appearance of wrinkles. This totally works for the delicate skin around your eyes, too. Feel free to gently pat some coconut oil onto the area with your ring finger.

16. Improve scalp health.

Massage coconut oil into your scalp to fight dandruff. Get ready to bid adieu to those pesky flakes!

17. Soothe sunburns.

If you’ve spent too much time in the sun (and have the lobster-like appearance to prove it), use coconut oil for burn relief. It’ll calm your skin and moisturize it to help minimize peeling.

18. Quiet down eczema flare-ups.

Because it’s both a moisturizer and an anti-inflammatory, coconut oil can help calm itchy and irritated skin related to eczema.

19. Make your own massage oil.

It’s no secret that massages in the spa feel awesome. The ambience, the pampering, and the oils, oh my! Though it might be hard to set up the same Zen-like atmosphere at home, you can definitely get in on the massage oils, no appointment necessary. Just warm up somecoconut oil (and maybe add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil) and get massaging.

20. Banish B.O.

Smooth some coconut oil on your armpits. The lauric acid can help kill the bacteria that causes stinky sweat. But be warned: Some experts believe it may not be powerful enough to be your sole method for deodorizing your pits.

21. Polish your pearly whites.

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to regular toothpaste, try going the DIY route. Your plan: Mix coconut oil with baking soda until it’s pasty enough to spread on a toothbrush.

22. Soften and deodorize your feet.

Between working out and running around, our feet get a beating on a day-to-day basis. Before bed, soften cracked, rough skin and calluses by exfoliating your feet and then applying a generous layer of coconut oil. Since it has natural antibacterial properties, it’ll deodorize as it softens. Then slip on some socks to wake up with much smoother, better smelling soles.

Bonus: To enhance its benefits, add a drop or two of tea tree oil to the mix and apply both before bed and throughout the day. Treating your feet to this combo not only keeps stinky smells at bay, but may also help treat athlete’s foot.

23. Enhance your eyelashes.

Similar to the way it can help strengthen your head of hair, coconut oil can also help strengthen lashes—and that’s especially good news considering it’s all too easy to damage those short hairs. Just apply some oil to a cotton swab and spread it onto your lashes before going to bed.

24. Wax on, wax off!

If your hair removal routine involves at-home waxing, use coconut oil to remove excess wax from your skin—or from any surfaces in your waxing workspace. Just smooth some of the oil onto any area that’s still sticky, and then wipe it off with a warm washcloth.

25. Make patent leather shine.

By definition, patent leather should be shiny and sleek. The next time yours is lacking in the gloss department, wipe some coconut oil onto its surface to return it to its high-shine finish.

26. Get rid of gum residue.

Chewed gum any place besides inside a mouth is generally a good cause for despair—until now. Use coconut oil to remove any tacky gum residue from the surface in question. It even works on hair and carpet!

27. Keep your shower squeaky clean.

To avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your tub, douse a rag with coconut oil and watch the shower scum wipe away.

28. Condition wooden flatware and furniture.

Keep your wooden spoons, cutting boards, and any other wooden utensils in top shape by conditioning them with coconut oil. To keep wooden furniture looking good, it’s important to clean and treat the wood. Enter coconut oil. Just like you would with your wooden utensils, apply generously and letting it seep into the furniture. Consider buying in bulk if you’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

29. Clean metal items.

Metal that’s gotten lackluster is just another material that can benefit from a layer of coconut oil—it’ll clean bronze and help deepen its color, and remove rust from steel.

30. Fix squeaky hinges.

Is anything more annoying (or potentially creepy, depending on the time of night) than a squeaky hinge? To silence the squeak, use coconut oil to lubricate the hinge in question.

31. Care for your guitar.

For the more musically-talented among us, consider using coconut oil to condition and lubricate guitar strings.

32. Unstick a stuck zipper.

Whether a broken zipper is holding you hostage inside your own jacket or preventing you from opening a bag, coconut oil can save the day. Restore stubborn zippers to working order by coating them in coconut oil.

33. Treat leather.

If you’re rocking a leather coat or some sweet leather pants, give leather apparel new life by rubbing them down with coconut oil to clean and condition and restore lost sheen.

34. Start a campfire—safely.

If there’s one item on this list that deserves a merit badge, this is it. Instead of depending on lighter fluid, soak cotton balls in coconut oil and use them to start your campfire. To get a good fire going, add them to the kindling you’ve assembled and give the mixture a light.

35. Keep motors in working order.

If any of your electronics or kitchen appliances have motors, they could benefit from coconut oil. Use it as a lubricant to keep the motors running and humming at peak performance.

36. Season cast iron cookware.

Because cast iron pots, pans, and skillets don’t have a nonstick surface, they require a prep step before you can actually use them. Though you can season them with vegetable oil and shortening, you can also coat them in coconut oil. Take a look at this step-by-step on how to season your cast iron pans.

37. Cut down on hairballs.

Coconut oil is good for our furry friends, too! To help keep your cat from hacking up hairballs, coat your kitty’s paws with a bit of the oil.

38. Condition your pet’s fur.

Just like you would condition your own human hair with coconut oil, rubbing some through your cat’s or dog’s coat will keep it healthy and shiny.

39. Supplement your pet’s diet and health.

Introducing a little bit of coconut oil to your dog or cat’s diet may boost their overall health—just be sure to check with your vet before you make any changes. Doing so may help with everything from weight management, to protection against arthritis and ligament problems, and can even help eliminate bag doggie breath.

40. Relieve your pet’s itchiness.

If you notice your pooch scratching a specific spot more than usual, rub some coconut oil into the area to help relieve any itchiness or irritation. This one’s another remedy to run by your vet before you test it on your pet.

41. Add it to coffee or tea.

The next time you’re readying your morning drink, ditch the sugar and honey, and flavor your beverage with a drizzle of coconut oil instead.

42. Make your own nut butter.

Who needs store-bought nut butters when you’ve got fresh nuts, coconut oil, a food processor, and some key flavoring ingredients? That’s seriously all you need to whip up the nut butter of your choice.

43. Cook up a storm.

If a recipe calls for cooking at high heat—like a stir fry, for example—consider using coconut oil. It’s got a high smoke point, meaning it won’t emit harmful free radicals as readily as other oils.

Coconut oil is also an awesome option when you’re roasting vegetables—especially winter veggies like sweet potatoes (it canpump up the flavor). Throw in some herbs and a splash of lemon juice, and you’ve got a scrumptious side dish.

And whether you enjoy them sunny side up, scrambled, or over easy, eggs are yet another food that are perfect candidates to be cooked in coconut oil. The options in the kitchen are really endless!

44. Dress your salads.

Olive oil is a gold standard in many salad dressings. To give your salads a different kind of flavor, try using coconut oil as the base of the dressing. Try this simple recipe with a subtle flavor.

45. Make your own granola.

Okay, homemade anything is generally better than store-bought, but there’s something about making your granola at home that makes it particularly special and tasty. Use coconut oil to whip up an oaty, nutty mixture.

46. Top your toast.

Swap out butter for coconut oil the next time you make toast. You might also want to add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top—delicious!

47. Eat it up.

Scoop up a spoonful and eat it as is for a bunch of healthy fats—seriously. Ingesting coconut oil is linked to a slew of health benefits, so feel free to swallow it.

48. Upgrade your smoothie.

Oil may not seem like a natural choice for a smoothie ingredient, but a tablespoon of the stuff can give you an energy boost—the body uses its medium-chain fatty acids as an energy source instead of storing it away.

49. Change up your baking game.

The next time you’re channeling Betty Crocker, add some coconut oil to the mix. If you’re whipping up a pie (mmm, pie!) or biscuits, consider using coconut oil instead of shortening or butter for a light consistency. The same goes for baked goods that call for a good amount of vegetable oil. In most cases, you can substitute it one-for-one.

50. Pop it like it’s hot.

We’re big fans of popcorn, particularly the homemade kind. The next time you reach for the kernels, opt for cooking them in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. You’ll get a hint of sweetness with every bite.

51. Switch up your topping.

You’ve popped your corn, now top it off! Coconut oil is a great substitute for a buttery topping, especially when topped off with a sprinkle of salt. A little sweet, a little salty…what more could you want in a snack?

52. Grease cookware and bakeware.

Use coconut oil to grease pans and trays while you’re baking. Just scoop some out and smooth it onto the sides and bottoms of your pan to keep food from sticking to it.

53. Level up your oral hygiene.

Oil pulling is an Ayurveda practice that’s all the rage at the moment, is believed to help your wellbeing in tons of different ways: it whitens your teeth, improves your skin, gets rid of toxins, and more. To give it a go with coconut oil, swish about two tablespoons of it around your mouth for three to 10 minutes a day (though some recommend pulling for up to 20 minutes). Think of it as a sweeter, (slimier?) mouthwash.

54. Fight colds and the flu.

Eating coconut oil can help boost your immune system (by improving your white blood cell count). (White blood cells are the little guys that fight viruses and bacteria in your bloodstream. The more white blood cells, the more infection-fighting power is streaming through your system!)

55. Prevent chafing.

Not only can coconut oil stop chafing from actually happening, it can also treat an area that’s already been rubbed raw (just mix with calendula for a soothing ointment). Bonus for anyone who has a little bundle of joy: Coconut oil can help your baby, too. If your little one is suffering from diaper rash, try mixing up a diaper cream to soothe irritated skin.

56. Say goodbye to scratchy throats.

Forget cough drops the next time your throat’s killing you! Soothe a sore throat by swallowing a bit of coconut oil on its own or adding it to your tea.

57. Lube up.

Proof positive that coconut oil has endless possible uses? It can make its way into your sex life. Though there hasn’t been research that focuses on the safety of coconut oil as a lubricant, it seems to work just fine, according to some experts. One caveat: Coconut oil can weaken latex condoms, so if you do want to use coconut oil between the sheets, opt for a polyurethane condom instead.

58. Relax.

It’s hard not to envision a tropical beach on a sunny day when you get a whiff of coconut—and what’s more relaxing than that? With that in mind, use coconut oil as aromatherapy. Try massaging some into your scalp and temples to relieve stress.

59. Get rid of lice.

Some believe that coconut oil is an all-natural remedy for lice. Test it out by using coconut oil as part of a two-step process. To start, rinse your hair in apple cider vinegar, let it dry, and then smooth coconut oil through your strands. You’ll have to let it sink in for up to 24 hours (sleep with a shower cap on to avoid ruining your bedding). Comb it out in the morning and then rinse your hair.

60. Treat cold sores.

The second you start to feel the telltale tingle of a cold sore on or around your lips, rub some coconut oil on the spot—the oil’s antiviral properties may help treat unsightly fever blisters.

61. Protect scrapes and scratches.

To help keep superficial cuts and scrapes clean (this isn’t for deep wounds!), apply a thin layer of coconut oil—it’ll work as a barrier, keeping out dust and harmful bacteria.

62. Heal bug bites.

Bzzz, bzzz… you’ve been bitten by a bug! Apply a drop or two of coconut oil to the area to relieve itching.

63. Calm bruises.

While it’s unclear as to whether or not coconut oil actually heals bruises, some suggest applying it to your black-and-blues can helpcalm the area.

64. Treat yeast infections.

Now, this is definitely one to take to your doctor before you testing it out, but some have found that coconut oil may help treat yeast infections when ingested and applied topically.

65. Improve your cholesterol.

Coconut oil’s star component, lauric acid, can boost your levels ofHDL cholesterol (the “good kind) to help keep your heart healthy.

66. Keep your stomach happy.

Stomach issues—whether the occasional ailment or a more chronic condition—can really hinder your lifestyle. Ingesting coconut oil may help soothe your stomach and is even thought to ease symptoms from serious disorders like Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Another healthy-stomach benefit: Adding coconut oil to your diet—even just one tablespoon per day—can help treat ulcers. That said, stomach problems can be pretty serious, so it’s best to consult a doc before you self-diagnose with coconut oil.

67. Clear up congestion.

One of the worst parts about having a cold (and one of the hardest side effects to kick) is congestion. To help clear things out, try mixing up a homemade vapor rub. All it takes is coconut oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil. Rub this trio of ingredients on your chest and underneath your nose to breathe easier.

68. Repel insects.

Not only can it help soothe itchiness from insect bites, coconut oil can also be used in a DIY insect repellent. The ingredients you’ll need: coconut oil and essential oils like peppermint, catnip, rosemary, or tea tree.

69. Treat the aches and pains of an ear infection.

After checking with your doctor to make sure this remedy’s for you, mix up a solution that can be applied behind your ear.

70. Prevent nosebleeds.

One of the biggest culprits behind nosebleeds is dry, irritated nostrils. To keep them from drying out, dip your finger in coconut oil and gently apply it to the inside of your nose to coat as much of each interior as you can.

71. Breastfeed more comfortably.

Another tip for new moms: Keep coconut oil handy to prevent your nipples from becoming cracked or painful due to breastfeeding.

72. Boost your metabolism.

While adding oil to your diet may sound counterintuitive, the fats in coconut oil—medium-chain saturated fats—are easy to digest, can be used directly by the liver for energy, and encourage fat burning.

73. Clean your dental accessories.

If you use a mouth guard or retainer (hey, you have to keep those pearly whites in place!), use coconut oil to sanitize them during the day.

74. Clean your ears.

Dip a cotton swab into coconut oil (but just for a second—you don’t want it to be soaked), and gently clean earwax out of your ears.

75. Boost your bone health.

Not only is coconut oil a stellar ingredient in its own right, but it also helps calcium and magnesium absorption in your body, which can make for healthy bones and teeth.

76. Tip the scale in your favor.

Eating coconut oil may also keep your weight in check. Researchsuggests that consuming the slick stuff may help reduce waist circumference and abdominal obesity  . Plus, coconut oil has fewer calories than other dietary fats—a serious bonus when it comes to weight management.

Latinos continue to embrace Islam in growing numbers

Latinos continue to embrace Islam in growing numbers




Muslims around the country will be celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a holiday known as Eid al-Fitr, and among those celebrants will be the Latinos who make up one of the fastest growing segments of the Muslim population. According to a Pew Center study 4 percent of American Muslims are Hispanic, and one in 10 U.S.-born Muslims claim Hispanic ethnicity.

Hispanic Muslim converts have been on the rise over for more than 10 years, according to reports. One analysis by the Divinity School at the University of Chicago says that the first wave of Hispanic Muslim converts came in the 1980s and 1990s, largely influenced by African-Americans who were part of the Nation of Islam. The second wave came following 9/11 when interest in Islam and Muslims was an an all-time high in the U.S., and the third recent wave is due to outreach efforts by Hispanic-Muslim such asIslam in Spanish organizations, a Houston-based website that focuses on translations of Muslim religions texts. Another website, lists U.S. Latino-Muslim groups around the country and also has an extensive list of groups throughout Latin America.


Katherine Ewing, a Columbia University religion professor agreed that more and more Latinos were converting to Islam, and in a 2013 interview put the number at between 50,000 and 100,000 U.S. Latino converts.

According to Houston Imam Isa Parada, in a 2012 Houston Chronicle profile, there could be more than 100 Latino Muslims in Houston alone.

Click on the slideshow above to learn more about Latino Muslims in Houston and Latin America.

20 expat workers embrace Islam

20 expat workers embrace Islam

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