Showing posts from February, 2016

Islamophobia Is Ruining America

Haroon Moghul, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has written a very good article "Islamophobia Is Ruining America—But Not How You Think" in the Time magazine. You can view this by clicking here .

Bangladesh Police: time for reform

Many years ago I was listening to the speech of a police officer in Canada who told his audience that he was trained to be Polite, Obedient, Loyal, Intelligent, Courageous, and Efficient – the very acronym for POLICE. That acronym seemed very proper for police whose prime tasks include prevention and detection of crime, preservation of law and order, and protection of life and property of the law-abiding individuals in a civil society. But these days when I hear about police involvement in crime and corruption, I smell something fishy, something very rotten! Then the other acronym comes to my mind: Persons Of Low Integrity Controlling Everyone. And that is unfortunate for any society! In recent months, the precarious role of the police in Bangladesh has become a much talked about subject. On February 13, a constable with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and four others (including a female) were arrested for alleged involvement in demanding extortion of one lakh Taka (

Guantánamo Prison: will it be ever closed for the right reason?

President Obama wants to shut down the  Guantánamo Bay prison. No one takes him seriously any more. I don't. I found him untrustworthy - he promised the closure during his first term, and it is now more than seven years, and still the prison is open and holding up many prisoners who have not been charged yet. It is a disgrace! It is a shameful act tarnishing US image globally, and has been a recruiting tool for radicals around the globe. "Guantánamo   has been a pockmark on our society ever since it opened. The detention facility itself is a human rights abomination, but it’s not just the physical center that is a problem – it is the spirit it embodies," writes Trevor Timm. "The policy of indefinite detention in Gitmo makes a mockery of the US constitution. That’s why, as Barack Obama  makes his latest impassioned and forceful plea  to close it once and for all, it is shameful that he is leaving in place the practices that enabled it to flourish in the first place.

Hayden's motivation for selling drones is ignoble

Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden,  former director of both the NSA and CIA,  has been great advocate for drone attacks, which have killed more civilians than suspected radicals. He  has been making the media rounds over the last few days,  discussing  and  defending   some of the most emblematic policies of the post-9/11 era in an effort to promote his new book.  Last weekend, Hayden spent some 2,000 words defending one example of a policy taken to the edge: the Obama administration’s embrace of drone warfare and so-called targeted killing (what many describe as a euphemism for assassination). In  an article  for the  New York Times  op-ed page, Hayden strived to present the role drones play in U.S. counter-terrorism missions as inherently fallible, but on the whole, effective, careful, and necessary. “The program is not perfect. No military program is. But here is the bottom line: It works,” Hayden wrote. “I think it fair to say that the targeted killing program has been the

China's women mosques

Here is a story that you may like to read about Hui Muslims of China, esp. its women.  The Islamic world is wide and various, its points of view almost as numerous as its people. And Islam in China, with its long tradition of women-only mosques, provides a good illustration, says Michael Wood.

TV anchors played judge and jury in the JNU case

The debates on TV often set the tone of the national discourse not just here in the West but also in places like India. As noted before, some innocent students at prestigious JNU in Delhi, India have been charged with sedition. It was all based on false TV footage fed by right-wing Hindutvadi - Zee News - where its anchors played the devil's role. They  played judge and jury on JNU students and ‘anti-nationalism’. It could be called The Judge and the Jury, now playing on the small screen in drawing rooms and running houseful for over a week ever since the JNU row broke out. In this hyper-nationalist blockbuster, the overworked and overwrought anchor doubles as both prosecution and judge — scolding, smirking, shouting, pronouncing verdicts. You can read the full story by clicking here .

Latest Hindutvadi crime in Maharashtra reminds me of Ehsan Jafri's lynching

Hindutvadis are showing their ugly intolerance against minority Muslims and Christians since BJP's coming to power with Narendra Modi as the prime minister. Maharashtra has been a key state for these bigots.  Yunus Sheikh, the Assistant Sub-Inspector,  who has served Maharashtra Police for 38 years,  was assaulted, forced to carry a “saffron flag” and paraded through a town in Maharashtra’s Latur by members of a fringe right-wing group. They  forced him to chant ‘Jai Bhawani, Jai Shivaji’. He has said that he was let down by his own colleagues who failed to save him. The 50-year-old’s family has demanded a departmental probe into why reinforcements from Renapur police station failed to arrive in time to tackle the mob at Pangaon, around 15 km away, on Saturday. Sheikh, who is posted at the Renapur station, was on duty at Pangaon chowky. On Monday, speaking to The Indian Express from his bed at the Latur Civil Hospital, Sheikh said, “I phoned the control room and appraised th

Kudos to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung of Delhi

Kudos to Delhi's Lt. Governor, Najeeb Jung for  approving the prosecution sanction request against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and four others in a case of promoting enmity among religious groups. Delhi government’s home department had sent the file seeking approval for prosecution sanction to the Lt. Governor (L-G) in January. The government communication to the L-G had stated, “A news article titled ‘How to wipe out Islamic Terror’ was published in an English daily, DNA, on July 16, 2011 under the name of Dr Subramaniam Swamy. In this regard a complaint dated August 5, 2011 was received from Ms Esther Kar, Joint Secretary, National Commission of Minorities … After perusal of this complaint, commission was of the view that said article amounted to commission of criminal offence, since it promoted disharmony, ill will and enmity between religious groups.”  Mr Swamy is a known bigot with expansionist ideas for India. As a powerful member of the BJP, his agenda is Hindtuva, a fas

SIPRI Report on Arms Trade

The peace research institute SIPRI has provided new data relating to the international arms trade. The biggest exporter is the US, well ahead of Russia. The main customers are in Asia and the Middle East. Fourteen percent more arms were exported worldwide in the last five years than the five years that preceded them.  Between 2011 and 2015, India was the only country to import more weapons that Saudi Arabia. Compared with 2006–2010, the oil sheikhdom's arms purchases have almost trebled. Number four in the list of the biggest importers of arms is the United Arab Emirates, with a population of barely five million. More than half the arms imported into Africa are brought in by just two countries: the neighboring states of Morocco and Algeria.  On the side of the arms exporters, the USA and Russia have developed their positions as the most important suppliers of military equipment. The USA alone accounts for one-third of arms exports worldwide: Its exports increased by 27 percen

Israel ramps up demolitions of Palestinian homes in West Bank

Amira Hass writes from Israel, " Since the beginning of this year, especially in early February, Israel’s Civil Administration has significantly increased the pace of Palestinian home demolitions in the West Bank’s Area C under full Israeli control (about 60 percent of the West Bank). It has demolished 293 homes in just six weeks, compared with 447 for all of 2015. The average has surged to 49 from nine per week. The demolitions have left more than 480 Palestinians, including 220 children, homeless." You can read Amira's article by clicking here .

Zee News producer quits for falsifying slogans

We live in a world of intolerance, hatred and bigotry, or so it seems. In Bangladesh and India, any slogan in favor of Pakistan can land the person behind the prison on charges of sedition and treason. And so may be the case inside Pakistan for chanting Joy Hind, which I simply don't know but can only guess given the poisonous environment of suspicion that is so pervasive in South Asia.  Recently, some students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi have been charged with sedition.  They are accused of organizing an event at JNU against  Afzal Guru’s hanging (who was   convicted of being behind the attack on the Indian Parliament)  and  chanting 'Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan).  ( To learn about the hanging of Afzal Guru, please, click  here .) It was a doctored news clip.    The f ootage telecast on Zee News formed the basis of the Delhi police’s suo motu FIR on the incident following which JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested. He was

Minority jobs in the Indian Central Government - clear case of disparity

MINORITIES in India constituted 8.71 per cent of central government recruitment in 2014-15 with 13,571 of them obtaining jobs from a total of 1.56 lakh, according to information obtained by The Indian Express under the RTI Act. It should be noted that a ccording to the Census, the total percentage of minorities in the country is over 20 per cent, including Muslims (14.2 per cent), Christians (2.78 per cent), Sikhs (2.08), Buddhists (0.84) and Jains (0.45).  The government has disclosed that it was unable to compile data for recruitment of minorities for 2013-14 because its ministries either did not provide information or delayed the process. In 2012-13, records show, the recruitment of minorities constituted 7.37 per cent of the total.  Although the actual percentage of Muslims in this new recruits has not been shared, earlier reports have shown that their share in government jobs is below 2 percent, way below their national share. So, India has a long way to bring in some parity

Quran passages or Bible verses?

You've probably noticed that anti-Muslim sentiments have become more common and more blatant recently. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris by ISIS ( Daesh ) extremists and the mass shooting in San Bernardino by two people who claimed to be Muslim, a lot of Americans are allowing their thinking to be replaced by fear.  Some people  are even  reacting violently . Others are working hard to find justification for their beliefs — even if they're not acting out.  Laura Willard has written a very eyeopening article that must be read by everyone to understand the issue of double standard in our society. Please, click here to read this .  Don't forget to see the video on prejudice in the bottom of the  article .

Trump - is he following Hitler's trail?

Donald Trump is selling Islamophobia. And since bigotry and racism always sell in a country where minorities live in the midst of an ocean of majority - here in the USA, by that I mean, Christians - Trump has been able to use bigotry against Muslims and racism against the Latinos to polarize Americans who are helping him to become the front runner within the GOP presidential hopefuls. Remember, years ago, he also raised President Obama's birther issue. I am sure if the current president was not the son of a Kenyan Muslim such charges against the president would never have aired. You may know that conservative Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia had died last week.  While Obama did not go to Scalia's   funeral , he attended Friday's public viewing at the Supreme Court building as the late justice's casket laid in repose.  Vice President Joe Biden attended Saturday's funeral. But see below how Trump used Scalia's funeral service to sell bigotry. Donald Trump

Kalamazoo killings

While checking news around the USA, I came across a little publicized news from Kalamazoo , MI where  Jason Brian Dalton has been arrested in connection with three shooting incidents that killed six people and injured two more . Prosecutor Jeff Getting  expects Dalton to be formally charged Monday. There is "no reason to believe" that the Saturday evening shooting rampage is related to terrorism, Getting said. Dalton, the lone suspect, apparently picked his victims at random, the prosecutor said.  No motive has been determined yet, he said. Dalton is  a white American.  I am sure if a similar shooting incident was caused by a Muslim, insane or sane, the media will be abuzz now with smells of terrorism, and Mr. Getting would have 'reason to believe' that the shootings may be terrorist related.  That is what's happening in the USA, which is, sadly, very disconcerting! This again also demonstrates how the media create the opinion that is feeding Islamophobia. 

Hillary, the Bible and Israel - by Robert Fantina

Robert Fantina’s  latest book is  Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy  (Red Pill Press).  In his latest article, he writes, " The various campaigns for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations are in full swing, with caucuses and primaries raining down upon us like plagues of locusts, sending all and sundry scurrying for the shelter of their homes, where they can watch the unfolding, dual tragedies on their television screens. And what a spectacle we are subjected to! The Republicans (this writer refers to them as the Tweedle Dums) and the Democrats (the Tweedle Dees), don’t agree on much other than their shared adoration of Israel, but another rather odd similarity can be unearthed. That is their summoning of God to justify, in one form or another, their racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, xenophopic and/or generally deadly tendencies. Those who believe in a supreme being, as this writer does, must feel sorry for him, feeling that ha