Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Bavarian Education Minister Monika Hohlmeier said the scarf was increasingly being used as a political symbol. To the understandable ire of Muslims, Hohlmeier went on to say that it was acceptable to wear Christian crosses and Jewish symbols.
- In Spain, home to the original inquisition, Minister for Social Affairs Juan Carlos Aparicio was quoted as having said that the Muslim Veil was "not a religious sign but a form of discrimination against women," and having compared it to genital mtilation.
- In Britain, the government Minister for Race and Faith Relations, Phil Woolas, was quoted this week as demanding the Muslim teaching assistant Aisha Azmi, 24, who refused to remove her Veil at work, be fired for that reason.
"She should be sacked," Woolas quoted as telling the Sunday Mirror. "She has put herself in a position where she can't do her Job."
Azmi worked at the Headfield Church of England Junior School in Newbury, which took pains to state that her suspension had nothing to do with religion.
The scarf issue had already taken center stage when former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now an MP and leader of the House of Commons, voiced public objection to the wearing of the Niqab, a full-face veil, at face-to-face meetings with his constituents.
The national debate has since widened, with David Davis, a top conservative party official, taking the anti-veil stance to a new level.
"What Jack touched on was the fundamental issue of whether in Britain we are developing a divided society," Davis said. "Whether we are inadvertently encouraging a kind of voluntary apartheid."
The anti-veil arguments dovetail with a parallel campaign, which takes as its premise the concept that Islam itself renders adherents incapable of integrating into Western societies.
"If you are going to have Islamic schools, the question is whether they are going to embrace Western values," Patrick Sookhdeo, a Pakistan-born Anglican Priest in England who converted from Islam, told the New York Times this month.
"I would argue that Islamic values are not compatible with Western values," he said.
And what Western values might these be? Are they the time-honored Western values of intolerance of people of color, suspicion and marginalization of non-Christians, fear and loathing of non-Whites? Exploitation of and contempt for the residents of former imperial possessions and colonies?
At this point, there will be a pause for the springloaded Islamophobes among us to suggest that it is any society's right and duty to protect itself against elements that may foment terrorism. There will be those who will agree that the veil may both mask and encourage extremism.
Perhaps it is time for us in the Western world to declare that Islam has a right to exist.
Perhaps it is time for us to recognize that non-violent, non-Judeo-Christian religious observance is a right, not an act of war.
Scarves don't explode. Veils do not kill. The Niqab does not incite.
It takes courage to wear the Veil in the West. Certainly, no one should be forced to wear it against her will. But those who do so voluntarily, have chosen to brave ridicule, and pehaps to risk their own livelihood.
They have made a choice of self-respect, in the face of all that is vacuous in contemporary Western civilization, where the worship of the superficial has taken on the potency and universality of a state religion.
We in the West have allowed the Veil to become the symbol of all that we do not know and do not trust about Islam.
In the age of Paris Hilton, however, the West desperately needs women who devote themselves to serious pursuits, to the betterment of society, women who believe that self-esteem and dignity are worthy values.
If they choose to wear a Veil, and we take offense, that is wholly our problem. We have no business making it theirs.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Courtesy Of: Haaretz.com
By Meron Rappaport
October 22 2006
Israel has acknowledged for the first time that it attacked Hezbollah targets during the second Lebanon war with phosphorous shells. White Phosphorous causes very painful and often lethal chemical burns to those hit by it, and until recently Israel maintained that it only uses such bombs to mark targets or territory.
The announcement that Israel Defense Forces had used phosphorous bombs in the war in Lebanon was made by Minister Jacob Edery, in charge of government-Knesset relations. He had been queried on the matter by MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz-Yahad).
"The IDF hold phosphorous munitions in different forms," Edery said. "The IDF made use of phosphorous shells during the war against Hezbollah in attacks against military targets in open ground."
...Edery did not specify where and against what types of targets phosphorous munitions were used. During the war several foreign media outlets reported that Lebanese civilians carried injuries characteristic of attacks with phosphorous, a substance that burns when it comes to contact with air...
In another case, Dr. Hussein Hamud Al-Shel, who works at Dar Al-Amal hospital in Ba'albek, said that he had received three corpses "entirely shriveled with black-green skin," a phenomenon characteristic of phosphorous injuries.
Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud also claimed that the IDF made use of phosphorous munitions against civilians in Lebanon.
...Some experts believe that phosphorous munitions should be termed chemical weapons (CW) because of the way the weapon burn and attack the respiratory system...
The International Red Cross is of the opinion that there should be a complete ban on phosphorous being used against human beings and the Third Protocol of the Geneva Convention on Conventional Weapons restricts the use of "incendiary weapons," with phosphorous considered to be one such weapon.
Israel and the United States are not signatories of the Third Protocol.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Courtesy Of: Google Video
RunTime: 14 sec
Oct 17, 2006
This is a high quality video of an awespme weapon called a Bunker Buster. It has the ability to penetrate very thick structures and explode, destroying anything inside. Incredible.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
If you are seeking closeness to the Beloved,
Whether in their presence or absence.
If you want to be as clear and refreshing as
The breath of the morning breeze,
Like the Sun, have nothing but warmth and light
To your mind feed understanding,
To your heart, tolerance and compassion.
The simpler your life, the more meaningful.
The less you desire of the world,
The more room you will have in it
To fill with the Beloved.
The best use of your tongue
Is to repeat the Beloved's Name in devotion.
The shortest way to a friend
Is through selfless service and
Generosity to His creatures.
Only fools take pride in their stations here,
Trapped in a cage of dust, moisture, heat and air.
No need to complain of calamities,
This illusion of a life lasts but a minute.
If you do not give up the crowds
You won't find your way to oness.
If you do not drop yourself
You won't find your true worth.
If you do not offer all you have to the Beloved,
You will live this life free of that pain which
Makes it worth living.
Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart,
Never give up losing hope.
The Beloved says, "the broken ones are my darlings."
Drink from this heart now,
For all this loving it contains.
When you look for it again,
It will be dancing in the wind.
(Shaikh Abu Sa'id Ibn Ab'il Khair)
Whether your destiny is glory or disgrace,
Purify yourself of hatred and love of self.
Polish your mirror; and that sublime beauty
From the regions of mystery
Will flame out in your heart
As it did for the Saints and Prophets.
Then, with your heart on fire with that splendor,
The secret of the Beloved will no longer be hidden.
(Nur Ad-Din Abd Ar-Rahman Jami)
--Many Thanks To Angelina27--
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
1. "Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that abundance will continue." (The Prophet Muhammed, Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him)
2. "If you are destined for good fortune, you will be blessed; if afflictions have been ordained, no matter where you hide, they will still seek you out. Submit therefore before the will of God; be grateful in well being and endure adversity with fortitude that His light may radiate within your being." (Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilanni)
3. "Whatever you have collected more than you actually need, you are not going to use, so you will end up only acting as its trustee for another person. If you want to pray to the Sustainer for a better way of making a living, first give something in charity."
(Imam Ali, May Allah be pleased with him)
4. "Look to what is pure,
Hold to what is simple,
Let go of self interest,
Temper your desires."
--Many Thanks To Angelina27--
"Your vision will become clear when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens."
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
--Sometimes The Greatest Act Of Courage Is To Tell The Truth--
Courtesy Of: InformationClearingHouse.info
By: Patricia Foulkrod
RunTime: 78 min
In the opening scenes of Patricia Foulkrod's documentary, we're introduced to a number of young soldiers who speak candidly and powerfully about the motivations that led them to Join the military.
As their stories unfold, we hear their surprised reactions to boot camp and combat training as they were taught to dehumanize their enemy, to "kill hadjis and ragheads."
"The Ground Truth" is a documentary that should be watched by everyone who is a friend, relative or loved one who's served--or is about to serve--in Iraq or Afghanistan.
1. "I who cannot be fit into universes upon universes, fit into the heart of the sincere believer." (Hadith Qudsi)
2. "Work towards openness.
As the ten thousand things rise and fall,
Just witness their return to the root.
Everything that fluorishes dissolves,
Again into the source.
To dissolve back into the source to find peace.
To find peace is to recover your true nature.
Insight opens your mind.
An open mind leads to an open heart.
Open heartedness leads to Justice.
Justice is an expression of divinity."
3. "Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevated the spirit that laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course." (Khalil Gibran)
4. "Millions of people are suffering: they want to be loved but they don't know how to love. And love cannot exist as a monologue; it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue."
5. "Don't look at your form however ugly or beautiful. Look at love and at the aim of your quest...O you whose lips are parched, keep looking for water, those parched lips are proof that eventually you will reach the source." (Rumi)
6. "Your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it clean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets."
--Many Thanks To Angelina27--
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Members of the Israeli government never fail to pass up an opportunity to display to the world how racist and xenophobic they genuinely are.
After their abominable treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs under their barbaric occupation, now they're setting their sights on and unleashing their deadly venom against the Orientals of Asia.
This following quote is a prime example:
"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said. in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not--We are basically the white race. We are on the Western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side."
With one stroke of a quote, Tamir has managed to also say that the entire Asian continent is inhabited by Orientals and wiping out the very existence other Asiatic peoples who occupy that diverse continent.
I guess the brown skinned peoples of Central Asia, the Indo/Pakistani's, parts of Southern Russia, the Iranians and Arabs, etc, no longer exist in his world.
"[Naftali] Tamir, a carreer diplomat who served in Tokyo, Washington, Strasbourg and as ambassador in Finland, Tamir is also Israel's non-resident ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand...
Though in Australia since January 2005, Tamir was only accredited in New Zealand a year ago, following the resumption of normal diplomatic relations between the two countries after Israel extended a formal apology for its role in the "passport affair."
In 2004 two alleged Mossad agents were apprehended and Jailed after attempting to obtain a New Zealand passport by fraudulant means.
...New Zealand, which currently conducts its diplomatic contacts with Israel from its embassy in Turkey, has been frequently critical of Israel,..."
[According to Haaretz.com]
Source for Quotes:
1. "Those who believe and have faith, their hearts are comforted by the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah shall all hearts find peace. Those who believe and work good deeds shall be blessed with Joy; bliss shall be their Journey's end."
(Surah 13: 28-29)
2. "What is this longing
That nothing in the world can satisfy?
A longing for life itself,
Not for these worldly shadows,
But for the very essence of life,
A longing to awaken from this dream
And to kiss the very essence of life,
A longing to dance and sing
And become lost in the
Many faces of the Beloved
Now is the time to settle the accounts
And begin life anew
Now is the time for Ressurection."
3. "We all need to first recognize ourselves for who we really are, so we can discover what we can eventually become. Unless we recognize the transformation that we all need, we will Just spend our time on this earth as lifeless forms with no real sense of peace...
We can equate ourselves to caterpillars that one day transform into butterflies. At one point a caterpillar wraps himself in a cocoon. Immobile, he begins to slowly dissolve. There is no sense of new life about to come, Just a dissolving of the old one and the deep fears that accompany this. Inspite of his apprehension, the caterpillar turns himself into a kind of goo.
By overcoming his fears and moving into the unknown he gives up his old life...And only then can the beautiful new form of the butterfly emerge. Only then does he discover real freedom and Joy."
4. "If you don't give up the crowds
You wont find your way to oness.
If you do not drop yourself
You won't find your true worth
If you don't offer all you
Have to the Beloved,
You will live this life free of that
Pain which makes it worth living."
(Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir)
5. "If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?"
6. "If you take the responsibility for your life, you can start changing it. Slow will be the change, only in the course of time will you start; moving into the world of light and crystallization, but once you are crystallized you will know what real revolution is."
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Courtesy Of: The Guardian
By Lolita C. Baldor,
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday October 11, 2006
Washington (AP)--The U.S. Army has plans that would keep the current level of troops in Iraq--about 15 brigades--through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday.
The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, cautioned that people not read too much into the planning, because it is easier to pull back forces than to get units prepared and deployed at the last minute.
"This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better," Schoomaker told reporters. "It's Just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot."
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Courtesy Of: Palestine-Info.co.uk
Oct 8, 2006
Ramallah--In an apparent American step to ignite a Palestinian civil war, high-ranking Palestinian sources have unveilled that the United States was establishing a secret military camp in the West Bank city of Jerricho to train the PA presidential guards (Force-17).
The concealed American step comes in the framework of preparing that force for fighting against Hamas movement under American and Israeli directives, as the IOF troops sponsored munitions supplies to the PA presidential guards.
According to a report for the Reuters News Agency, a round-the-clock effort was going on at an abandoned lot of 16,000 sq. meters in the city of Jerricho to put up the proposed camp that, according to American estimates, would cost 20 million dollars.
European diplomats were quoted as saying that the money will be enough to install a similar camp in the densely populated Gaza Strip, adding that elements of the Force-17 of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas were "growing in number and quality."
The diplomats opined that Washington will pay half of the cost while Europeans and a number of Arab countries will cover the rest of the amount, asserting that American officials were pushing Israel to allow more munitions supplies to Abbas' forces.
...As reports in this regard persisted, sources in the PA presidential guards acknowledged that American military teams were secretly training the Force-17 elements over the past two months in another but smaller secret camp in the city, and that the training course will end in January next year.
The sources further unveiled that Abbas had requested more military supplies for his forces during his latest visit to Washington, especially after the short-lived mutiny carried out by vandal elements in the PA security apparatuses, including the presidential guards against the legitimate PA elected government.
Not long after Hamas movement won the Palestinian legislative elections and formed the new PA government, IOF troops escorted trucks loaded with M16 rifles and huge amounts of munitions coming from Jordan and unloaded them in the Force-17 stores in Ramallah and Gaza cities.
Israeli premier Ehud Olmert who endorsed the supplies explained, "I did that because we are running out of time and need Abbas' help."
Four more fully loaded trucks bound to that force had crossed Wednesday the Kerem Shalom Crossing Point under the watching eyes of the IOF troops guarding that terminal.
The Quds Press News Agency that unmasked the new munitions supplies affirmed that they were stored in the PA security apparatuses' complex known as "Ansar2."
Both Olmert and the US secretary of state championed bolstering Abbas' force and influence in the PA-run lands with "all available means."
But Hamas deputy in the PLC Ismail Al-Ashkar, secretary of the security and interior committee in the Palestinian legislative, considered any ammunitions supplies to the PA security apparatuses outside the law as "illegal," adding that external dictates weren't in favor of the Palestinian people.
Subverting A Democratically Elected Government:
Once again we are witnessing the current American leadership flip-flopping through an unsound foreign policy, that is drenched to it's neck in hypocrasy and double standards.
Our leadership once again highlights that it selectively chooses to fight "some" alleged terrorists, while Jumping into bed with "other" alleged terrorists.
This is the very Force-17 that several US administrations and Israeli governments accused of being a terrorist group.
The same Force-17 that was accused of partaking in "terroristic" military activities against Israeli targets.
The very Force-17 that was part of Yassir Arrafat's Fatah movement. The Yassir Arafat who was consistently shunned because he was alleged to be a terrorist.
I guess it's alright when our government intervenes in the internal affairs of other nations, yet our government goes ballistic when it finds out that some foreign governments attempted to influence some of our politicians with campaign contributions.
This is Just a case of: "do as we say, not as we do," and "the only good terrorist, is a terrorist who does our bidding."
What utter hypocrasy!!!
A couple of sources accusing Force-17 of alleged terrorism:
Monday, October 09, 2006
--Polish Consulate Says Jewish Groups Called To Oppose Historian--
Courtesy Of: WashingtonPost.com
By Michael Powell
Monday, October 9, 2006
New York--Two major American Jewish organizations helped block a prominent New York University historian from speaking at the Polish Consulate here last week, saying the academic was too critical of Israel and American Jewry.
The historian, Tony Judt, is Jewish and directs New York University's Remarque Institute, which promotes the study of Europe. Judt was scheduled to talk Oct. 4 to a nonprofit organization that rents space from the consulate.
Judt's subject was the Israel Lobby in the United States, and he planned to argue that this lobby has often stifled honest debate.
An hour before Judt was to arrive, the Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kaspryzk cancelled the talk. He said the Anti-Defamation league and the American Jewish Committee had called and he quickly concluded Judt was too controversial.
"The phone calls were very elegant but may be interpreted as exercising a delicate pressure," Kasprzyk said. "That's obvious--we are adults and our IQs are high enough to understand that."
Judt, who was born and raised in England and lost much of his family in the Holocaust, took strong exception to the cancellation of his speech. He noted that he was forced to cancel another speech later this month at Manhattan College in the Bronx after a different Jewish group had complained.
Other prominent academics have described encountering such problems, in some cases more severe, stretching over the past three decades.
The pattern, Judt says, is unmistakable and chilling.
"This is serious and frightening, and only in America--not in Israel--is this a problem," he said. "These are Jewish organizations that believe they should keep people who disagree with them on the Middle East away from anyone who might listen."
Judt has crossed rhetorical swords with the Jewish organizations on two key issues. Over the past few years he has written essays in the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books and the Israeli Newspaper Haaretz arguing that power in Israel has shifted to religious fundamentalists and territorial zealots, that woven into Zionism is a view of the Arab as the irreconcilable enemy, and that Israel might not survive as a communal Jewish state.
The solution, he argues, lies in a slow tortuous walk toward a binational and secular state.
He has, of late, defended an academic paper--co-authored by Professor Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and John J. Mearsheimer, a Professor at the University of Chicago--which argues the American Israel Lobby has pushed policies that are not in the United States' best interests and in fact often encourage Israel to engage in self-destructive behavior.
...The Mearsheimer and Walt paper, however, has drawn praise in some quarters in Israel, particularly on the left. So, too some Israeli writers, not least Israeli historian and social critic Amos Elon, have praised Judt's writings on Israel.
Nor are Judt's arguments without historical precedent: Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky, who is Jewish, has advocated a binational solution in Israel, a view that three decades ago sparked such anger that police stood guard at his college talks.
More recently, the ADL repeatedly accused DePaul University Professor Norman G. Finkelstein, who is Jewish and strongly opposes Israeli policies of being a "Holocaust denier." These charges have proved baseless.
"There is an often organized and often spontaneous attempt to marginalize anyone in the Jewish world who offers a critique of Israeli policy," said Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the liberal magazine Tikkun. "It's equated with anti-Semitism and Israel denial."
...Judt replies that he only reluctantly talks of his Jewishness, in no small part to inoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism. "For many, the way to be Jewish in this country is to aggressively assert that the Holocaust is your identification tag." Judt said. "I know perfectly well my history, but it never occurred to me that my most prominent identity was a Jew."
Sunday, October 08, 2006