Archive for August, 2012

PAKISTAN: Barbarity in the name of religion at its height

August 30, 2012

Pakistan is known in the international community and declared in the country’s Constitution as an Islamic nation where Islam is glorified as the superb religion and its followers are pious Muslims. There is no doubt that Islam teaches tolerance, love, respect for other religions, and that life and death are in the hands of Allah. The killing of any human being is forbidden and in the Quran it is the highest form of sin.

But how Islam is defined in practice is yet a big question in Pakistani society. In the absence of any clear definition about the implementation of Islam a strong perception has been widely spread that it can be implemented only through the violence and exemplary punishment to those who do not properly follow its precepts. Saudi Arabia, being the role model of Shariah and a real Islamic country, demonstrates its commitment every Friday by handing down death sentences that are then carried out by beheading. At the same time thieves have their hands removed.

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Are Human Rights Becoming a Tool of US Smart Power?

August 28, 2012
 
By Coleen Rowley,  Veterans Today, Aug 27, 2012

Some nonpartisan commentators finally recognize that current US foreign policy continues to escalate militarily as though on steroids. It has become evident that use of deadly force by a US-dominated NATO is not only outside the parameters of international and constitutional law, but also in some cases outside basic legal principles that have stood the test of time not only for decades, but for centuries.  One explanation, however, for why American civil society, in general, has not pushed back is the “better rhetoric” now being used to sell war. 

What is this better rhetoric and newly minted impetus for US-NATO’s same dumb (actually insane) war agenda, what used to be blurted out as “We must bomb the village to save it”? Constantly flitting through the revolving doors of their official appointments, foreign-policy think tanks and directorships of “human rights” organizations, proponents of  ”Smart Power” make their compelling case for more (endless) war in successfully urging us to “recast the fight against terror and nuclear proliferation… from a dark, draining struggle into a hopeful, progressive cause aimed at securing an international system of liberal societies and defeating challenges to it.”

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The Saudi destruction of Islamic heritage and Islamic symbols

August 26, 2012

A mini documentary on Al Saud’s systematic destruction of Mecca and Madina.

 

John Pilger: The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism

August 23, 2012

John Pilger, Aug. 23, 2012

assange.jpg

The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorismin London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

Threatening to abuse a law designed to expel murderers from foreign embassies, while defaming an innocent man as an “alleged criminal”, Hague has made a laughing stock of Britain across the world, though this view is mostly suppressed in Britain. The same brave newspapers and broadcasters that have supported Britain’s part in epic bloody crimes, from the genocide in Indonesia to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, now attack the “human rights record” of Ecuador, whose real crime is to stand up to the bullies in London and Washington.

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11 Years old Pakistani Christian Girl Falsely Accused of Burning 10 Pages of The Quran

August 18, 2012

Editor’s remarks:  When Pakistan was transformed into a gutter of barbarism by the ignorant mullahs in the name of pure ‘Islam’ and their political bosses, both old and the new ones, the people of Pakistan have been killing each other on sectarian grounds. The seeds sown by Maududi have wrought havoc in Pakistan. In this vicious cycle of violence and inhumanity, the Sunnis have specially targeted Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.

The Christians of Pakistan have been the most oppressed and marginalised socially, economically and politically. They are also the most vulnerable people in Pakistan and they become an easy prey of the rage of ignorant Muslim masses, who are always provoked by their preachers and mullahs to commit crimes against the Christians. Now in the name of the so-called blasphemy laws, any Muslim mischief-monger can accuse a Christian of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran or Islam. As a result, innocent Christians are victimised and penalised by the Muslims. It is high time for the democratic forces and all people of good-will in Pakistan to stand for the equal rights of all religious communities in Pakistan and call for the abrogation of the blasphemy laws. Instead Pakistan should have laws against those people who preach hatred against any religious sect or religious minorities and provoke violence in the name of a pure ‘Islam’. What is happening in Pakistan in the name of pure ‘Islam’ has nothing to do with Islam; it is barbarism, pure and simple.

                                                           Nasir Khan, Editor

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11 Years old Pakistani Christian Girl Falsely Accused of Burning 10 Pages of The Quran

August 18, 2012   Christians in Pakistan

We have received news of another very unfortunate event in Pakistan. A 11 year old Christian girl with Down syndrome named Rimsha daughter of Misrak Masih, resident of Umara Jaffar, sector G12/0 Islamabad, has been falsely accused of burning 10 pages of the Quran. She was arrested on August 17 by the women police station with the FIR no as 303/12 at 6:45 pm. The complainants name is Alsyed Muhammad Ummad.

The whole community is now threatened by extremists wanting to burn down the village. 2-300 people have left their homes and are in hiding due to threats from mobs declaring that they will soon attack the village. APMA has been providing for their food expenses since many have left their residence. Dr. Paul Bhatti along with APMA members have so far controlled the situation by reporting the incident to the police.

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Gareth Porter: Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence

August 17, 2012

Gareth Porter, truthout, Aug 17, 2012

DroneAn aerial drone launches from the guided-missile frigate USS Thach. (Photo: U.S. Navy / Flickr)

Detailed information from the families of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan and from local sources on strikes that have targeted mourners and rescue workers provides credible new evidence that the majority of the deaths in the drone war in Pakistan have been civilian noncombatants – not “militants,” as the Obama administration has claimed.

The new evidence also shows that the statistical tally of casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan published on the web site of the New America Foundation (NAF) has been systematically understating the deaths of large numbers of civilians by using a methodology that methodically

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Stephen Lendman: Drumbeat for War on Iran

August 16, 2012

by Stephen Lendman, Veterans Today, Aug. 16, 2012

Haaretz knows better. Still it misreports on Iran. On August 12, its editorial headlined “Netanyahu’s dangerous demagoguery on Iran” saying:

“Iranian nuclear weapons are a threat to Israel – but its leaders’ demagoguery is just as dangerous.”

Haaretz, Israeli officials, US and other Western ones know Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It likely has no intention of pursuing one. It abhors them and wants a nuclear-free Middle East.

Israel alone in the region is menacing. It has a powerful arsenal and declared intention to use it if threatened. Instead of pointing fingers the wrong way, Haaretz editorial policy should report responsibly.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn’t attacked another country in over 200 years. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. No one in the region and beyond is safe.

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Stephen Lendman: Israeli Crimes Against Humanity

August 13, 2012

by Stephen Lendman, Veterans Today, Aug. 12, 2012

 

Israel commits daily crimes against humanity. Intermittently, crimes or war are committed.

For decades, Palestinians have been ruthlessly persecuted and denied justice.

Dozens of incidents occur daily. Media scoundrels suppress or ignore them.

On July 30, Israel placed 10 International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists in administrative detention uncharged. ISM resists Israeli repression nonviolently.

Activists are frequently arrested, detained, mistreated, then deported. Israel considers supporting right over wrong illegal.

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials enforce Israeli lawlessness. Collaborationist leaders betray their people. Maliciously they accuse internationals of anti-PA incitement.

Al Haq said the PA’s “persistent disregard for international law, combined with recurring abuses committed by several Palestinian security agencies in the West Bank have done nothing to appease the frustrations of Palestinian people.”

Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad lack legitimacy. So do those around them. “Palestinians have come to expect little more than the suppression of freedom of expression, arbitrary arrest and even worse from their governing authority.”

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Toynbee: Revolts against Caste in India

August 12, 2012

The Toynbee Convector, April 18 2008

The impact of Religiosity upon Caste in India has begotten the unparalleled social abuse of “Untouchability”; and since there has never been any effective move to abolish or even mitigate “Untouchability” on the part of the Brahmans – the hieratic caste which has become master of the ceremonies of the whole caste-system and has assigned to itself the highest place in it – the enormity survives, except in so far as it has been assailed by revolution.

The euphemism “Scheduled Castes” came from the Government of India Act 1935.

The earliest known revolts against Caste are those of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism (occubuit prae 500 B.C.) and Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism (vivebat circa 567-487 B.C.): two creative personalities who were non-Brahmans themselves and who ignored the established barriers of Caste in recruiting the bands of disciples whom they gathered round them to wrestle with the moral problems of the Indic “Time of Troubles”. If either Buddhism or Jainism had succeeded in captivating the Indic World, then conceivably the institution of Caste might have been sloughed off with the rest of the social debris of a disintegrating Indic Society, and an affiliated Hindu Civilization might have started life free from this incubus. As it turned out, however, the role of universal church in the last chapter of the Indic decline and fall was played not by Buddhism but by Hinduism – a parvenu archaistic syncretism of things new and old; and one of the old things which Hinduism resuscitated was Caste. Not content with resuscitating this old abuse, it embroidered upon it. The Hindu Civilization has been handicapped from the outset by a considerably heavier burden of Caste (a veritable load of karma) than the burden that once weighed upon its predecessor; and accordingly the series of revolts against Caste has run over from Indic into Hindu history.

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Bees and Birds

August 12, 2012

 by Badri Raina

When was the last you saw  bees and birds

Sing or chirp their free-floating fancies,

Settling on or passing by  that expectant

Tree or twig?

Or droves of raucous rooks homing in

With sharp  collective mind

Into  a Peepal of nooks and cranies

With the soothing fading of the light?

The sparrows  that never failed to dot

With  teeny delight the ground below

Our feet, or the parapet above—

Into what undiscovered country have

Their  soulful little wings  taken flight?

Or the bulbul that used to feed like spoiled child

Off  my  mother’s unfailing palm?

Nothing may bespeak  our hollow selves

More than the  fact  that our rejection

By bees and birds  touches us not.

Our brains  emptied of thought,

Our  hearts no longer wrought,

We are  eyes without sight,  bodies

Without souls, cacophony without calm.

Our leather skin and metal mind

Find  solace in purchases of similar kind.

Lest you think this a backward-looking lament

About  “modern life,”  disfigured by nostalgia,

I am here to tell you that modernity

Need not have been so crass and  fatal,

But something pretty, provided  our reason

Had looked beyond our skins, embracing

Equally  the thorn with the petal,

The  sweet pea with the nettle.

If only we  had  done to the universe

As we wished the universe to do to us.

Alas,  our   unrepentant  prowess,

Our  brainless scramble  may sooner than

We think mix us back with stone and bramble

In one  unlovely molten heap,

As the seas climb to the mountains,

And the  cities that   glitter sink into the deep.

August 11, 2012

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