Condemned Christian woman to take blasphemy case to top Pakistani court

October 21, 2014

Nasir Khan,  October 21, 2014

First of all, as a Humanist I fully acknowledge the positive aspects of all major religions including Islam. But what ignorant people do in the name of a religion is a different thing; they negate or pervert the positve  sides of religions. Unfortunately the case of many indoctrinated and misled Pakistani people and their support for the blasphemy laws shows the degree of ignorance that prevails in that country. The misuse of the religion of the majority by the lawmakers shows how they enacted such laws in violation of basic human rights including the freedom of speech. No surprise if the judiciary upholds these laws and proves pivotal in perpetuating gross injustice and denial of justice on flimsy grounds. Thus Pakistani religious minorities suffer, they are victimised in the name of ‘safeguarding Islam’ as we can see in the case of Asia Bibi.

————————————

By Adeel Raja and Susannah Cullinane, CNN
October 20, 2014

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan plans to take her case to the country’s highest court after a high court last week rejected her appeal, her attorney says.

Asia Bibi, a mother of five from Punjab province, was accused of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed during a 2009 argument with Muslim fellow field workers.

The workers had refused to drink from a bucket of water she had touched because she was not Muslim.

In November 2010, a Pakistani district court found Bibi guilty of blasphemy. The offense is punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan’s penal code, and Bibi was sentenced to hang.

Continues >>

A Note on Leon Trotsky

October 18, 2014

-

by Nasir Khan, Oct. 18, 2014

Leon Trotsky has either been demonised or idealised within the socialist movement for various reasons. Those who have demonised him saw only a personification of counter-revolutionary in him. But those who idealised him see in him the only great revolutionary in the twentieth century. Thus unluckily the evaluation of Trotsky has become a question of putting him in one category or the other, nothing in between in these two extremes. Such modes of thinking are still common among his supporters or detractors. But this is not the way the historic role of an eminent Marxist leader and revolutionary should be judged and described. Neither hagiography nor calumnies do justice to a great revolutionary who despite his differences with the Bolsheviks came to the side of Vladimir Lenin and became a dynamic voice defending and serving the October Revolution. But he was not the man who could have survived the tumultuous times once Lenin was no more. What happened to him after the death of Lenin in 1924 is well-known story.

US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History

October 17, 2014

For many years after the Vietnam War, we enjoyed the “Vietnam syndrome,” in which US presidents hesitated to launch substantial military attacks on other countries. They feared intense opposition akin to the powerful movement that helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. But in 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush declared, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!”

With George W. Bush’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama’s drone wars in seven Muslim-majority countries and his escalating wars in Iraq and Syria, we have apparently moved beyond the Vietnam syndrome. By planting disinformation in the public realm, the government has built support for its recent wars, as it did with Vietnam.

Now the Pentagon is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by launching a $30 million program to rewrite and sanitize its history. Replete with a fancy interactive website, the effort is aimed at teaching schoolchildren a revisionist history of the war. The program is focused on honoring our service members who fought in Vietnam. But conspicuously absent from the website is a description of the antiwar movement, at the heart of which was the GI movement.

Continues >>

For more on the antiwar movement in US, see also: http://depts.washington.edu/antiwar/gi_mvmt.shtml

Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state

October 17, 2014

Editor’s remarks: Netanyahu is saying what is obviously Israeli position despite the charade of ‘peace negotiations’ and the mouldy mantra of the ‘two-state’ solution that has been the stock-in-trade of the Israeli deception and thereby misleading the Palestinians and the world public opinion. Most of the Arab states and their servile rulers are dependent upon US imperialism for their survival. Except for an occasional pronouncenment of solidarity with the people of Palestine, mostly for domestic consumption and to please the Arab masses, the countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are furthering the Israeli designs. What makes these countries partners of Israel and for which objectives is not always divulged openly.

Nasir Khan, Editor

———————

Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state

Philip Weiss, mondoweis.net,  July 15, 2014

Lots of folks are talking about this. Last Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a press conference in Hebrew in which he stated that he would never accept Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank because Israel’s security needs are too great in an era of Islamic radicalism. His remarks have been summarized by David Horovitz in the Times of Israel, with limited quotations.

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Netanyahu said, leading Horovitz to say: “That sentence, quite simply, spells the end to the notion of Netanyahu consenting to the establishment of a Palestinian state.” Just Bantustans, what we’ve observed again and again in recent years.

Continues >>

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/netanyahu-palestinian-state#sthash.wBUJGjva.dpuf

Imperial Pax Americana (Video)

October 16, 2014

What is the health of the American empire? How does the American empire differ from all other empires in history? What factor will inevitably be the collapse of the American empire? Is it supporting policies that actually play against US interests?

CrossTalking with Eric Draitser, Bruce Fein and Vassilis Fouskas.

Click on the link below to see the video:

http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/195320-us-empire-collapse-policy/#.VEAHOp4KVws.facebook

Why Do Americans Hate Beheadings But Love Drone Killings?

September 29, 2014

Editor’s (sacrcastic) remarks: The Drone way is good; it is almost like mercy killings. American killers don’t see their victims and the victims get no time to see their killers. In fact, if the victims had a few seconds before they are killed they should kneel before their god and thank the Americans for their act of kindness. This also shows that American way is far superior to Islamist thugs’ cruel and inhuman way. It is not for nothing that American exceptionalism is respected over the world. The Islamist thugs need to learn humane and American values from their American counterparts and do as they do! That’s the way to go forward and bring peace to the troubled regions of the world.

Nasir Khan, Editor

———————————————–

Why Do Americans Hate Beheadings But Love Drone Killings?

by Coleen Rowley, Huff Post, September 28, 2014

The answer lies in human psychology. And probably like the old observation about history, people who refuse to understand human psychology are doomed to be victims of psychological manipulation. How is it that even members of peace groups have now come to support US bombing? One lady framed the issue like this: “I request that we discuss and examine why the videotaped beheading of a human being is understood to be more egregious than the explosion (almost totally invisible to the public) of a human being by a missile or bomb fired from a drone.”

There are at least four main reasons that explain why Americans care far more about the beheadings (thus far) of two Americans and one U.K citizen, than they care — here’s the polling — about the thousands of foreign victims of US drone bombing. Here’s how people are likely being manipulated into believing that more US bombing is the answer to such terroristic killings even when almost all military experts have admitted that it won’t work and “there’s no military solution”.

Continues >>

Palestinian leaders help Israel evade ICC, again

September 13, 2014

Riad Maliki during his visit to the ICCRiad Maliki during his visit to the ICC

In 2009, Palestinian leaders attempted to bring Israel’s actions during “Operation Cast Lead” to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the bid was refused by the then prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on the grounds that only states could do so and Palestine was not recognized as a state, the move fuelled hopes that one day Israel could be held accountable.The United Nations General Assembly approved Palestine’s 2012 statehood bid, upgrading Palestine to a non-member observer state and therefore making it eligible to bring a case to the court. The chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, has stated that “the ball is now in the court of Palestine,” “Palestine has to come back” and “we are waiting for them.”

When Palestinian foreign minister Riad Maliki visited The Hague in early August, the seat of the ICC, hopes were once again raised- would Palestine’s leaders finally follow through with its ICC threats? Maliki told reporters that the visit was made in-order to discuss the implications of signing the Rome Statute. Signing the Rome Statute would make Palestine a member of the ICC with the authority to call for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel.

 Continues >>

Stephen Lendman: Abbas Scuttles Fatah/Hamas Unity

September 8, 2014
 -
Last April, Fatah and Hamas agreed on establishing unity Palestinian governance. Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said issues separating both sides were resolved. Fatah confirmed the report. Both sides agreed to form a “government of independents.” It would be “tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year.”

PLC deputy head Dr. Ahmad Bahar called the agreement historic. Gaza’s coalition of independent figures head Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi said it breaks new ground. It offers reconciliation hope. Earlier unity talks failed. Israel sabotaged them. In April 2011, both sides met in Cairo. They announced a draft reconciliation agreement.

Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported “a complete understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for elections.” Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said differing issues between both sides were resolved.

Fatah’s delegation head, Azzam Al-Ahmad, confirmed it. Both sides agreed on unity governance, he said. They’ll be “tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year.”

Reconciliation didn’t follow. Agreed on terms were ignored. A similar Doha 2012 agreement followed. Announced national unity governance wasn’t consummated.

Netanyahu reacted as expected. He demanded Abbas “choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.”  “There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly,” he said. “I think that the very idea of reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took control of the Gaza Strip.”

Continues >>

Peter Hart: Israel, Gaza and False Balance

September 5, 2014

-

Media construct a symmetry of violence where none exists

By Peter Hart, Fair, September 1, 2014

-

 Extra! cover, September 2014Striving for a deceptive “balance,” US media miscast the devastating violence of Israel’s attacks on Gaza and obscured the lopsided nature of the death toll.

This started with the timeline preferred in much of the press. By most media accounts, the conflict started when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12; their bodies were discovered on June 30. The Israeli government immediately declared Hamas responsible. Days after the discovery of the victims’ bodies, a Palestinian teenager was abducted and murdered by Israeli extremists, in what was called a “revenge” attack. Hamas rockets started falling in Israel, and “Operation Protective Edge” was Israel’s response.

This narrative of Israeli response to Palestinian aggression was set from the beginning: “Striking back. Israel hitting hard overnight with 34 precision airstrikes on a Hamas compound,” declared ABC World News’ Alex Marquardt (7/1/14). A USA Today editorial (7/15/14) explained that the war started when “Hamas began its latest round of mostly ineffectual rocket attacks on Israel.”

Continues >>

The truce between Gaza and Israel

August 27, 2014

Nasir Khan, August 27, 2014

All the well-wishers of the people of Palestine around the world are relieved to hear about the recent truce arranged between Gaza and Israel in the hope that it will put a stop to Israel carrying out further destruction and massacres in Gaza. Many people have voiced their opposition to the Israeli savagery in Gaza. But how long will the truce last or how will Israel behave in the days, weeks and months to come is yet to be seen. Zionist rulers of Israel can never be trusted for anything positive except for their unmatched expertise in deception and manipulation. As things stand at present, it is prudent to say that this truce means the temporary end of hostilities and nothing more.

Israel’s overwhelming military power in the hands of a rabid rightist government was used in the most destructive way over a population that practically has been defenceless and beleaguered by Israel. Despite all the destruction and massacres of a captive people, the resistance forces of Gaza have faced Israel with incredible heroic courage and determination. If they also had the sort of advanced weapons Israel used in Gaza then the carnage we watched on television screens would not have taken place.

Killing a defenceless people is easy and cowardly. What Israel did was to rain bombs and missiles on the Gazans without incurring any damage or loss itself because the Palestinians had no weapons to use against them. As a result Israeli military forces were free to indulge in an orgy of death and destruction with impunity. Despite this, the Palestinian resistance forces remained steadfast and unyielding. As a gesture of defiance they continued to fire rockets into Israel that did little or minimal damage. But their defiance against the brutal occupier and aggressor adds a new and glorious chapter in the history of the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation and emancipation. However, the road ahead will be long and tortuous.

We solute the brave sons and daughters of Gaza for their determined opposition to the Zionist barbarism in Gaza. They were alone to face a ruthless and insensate military power that was backed by the United States. They received no military help from any powerful state to fight off the aggressor. While powerful Western countries sided with the aggressor, the US-friedly Arab regimes remained either silent or followed the lead of the United States and the Zionist ringmasters. But large number of people in the world have stood with the people of Gaza. They showed this by public demonstrations against the incredible savagery of Israel in Gaza. They showed their solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza in their dire situation.

Lastly, Facebook users have also done much to inform the world of the suffering and destruction in Gaza. Among my Facebook friends some people have given much needed information and views with courage and determination. I thank all such friends in my personal capacity as a Facebook and internet user as well as many owners of websites that publish online newspapers and journals sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,593 other followers