Showing posts from June, 2015

Christian Group decides to divest from Israel

The United Church of Christ on Tuesday voted to divest from companies that it says profit from the occupation of Palestinian lands. The move passed 508-124 with 38 abstentions at the 1.1-million member church’s General Synod meeting in Cleveland. It instructs the church to divest from companies that have “been found to profit from the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the state of Israel” and specifically singles out Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard Development Co., G4S and Veolia. The companies are among a wider group that the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement has targeted, and the wide-reaching vote instructs the United Church of Christ Board, the Pension Boards United Church of Christ, United Church Funds, conferences, local churches, members and other related United Church of Christ entities to divest. While the entities' investments in the companies are considered to be substantial, a church spokesman told HuffPost Tues

Media Treatment of White Terrorism in the USA

On Wednesday night, June 17, 2015, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, was having Bible Study. Hours later, 9 Black church members were shot to death by Dylann Roof, a 21 year old White male. Did Dylann Roof choose the date to send a message to the black community in the USA? After all, the 199-year-old church is the oldest AME Church in the South. Often referred to as "Mother Emanuel", it has played an important role in the history of South Carolina, including the slavery era, the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the 2010s. Its history is closely tied with its co-founder, Denmark Vesey, a former slave who purchased his freedom in 1799. The AME Church was founded in 1816 in response to the exclusion that Blacks received from the broader Methodist denomination; it was a safe haven site for the Underground Railroad. Vesey was suspected of planning a slave rebellion in Charleston at the s

Hatemongering is big money for many born out-of-wedlock individuals

Here is an interesting article from MDI - Islamophobia is big money for well known Islamphobes Why do Pamela Geller et al. do it? Sure, they believe it. But they get bankrolled to do it—and on a major scale. People keep asking me why does Pam Geller spew so much anti-Muslim crap? Is it part of her work as a pro-Israel activist? Did she once get food poisoning at a Middle Eastern restaurant? Is it simply because she really, really hates Muslims? Probably all the above, but one other thing is certain: Geller gets paid pretty well to demonize Muslims. I’m talking to the tune of $200,000 a year. True, that might be walking around money for Donald Trump ( who actually bashed Geller this week for her draw the Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest ), but that puts her in the top 5 percent of all Americans in terms of annual income. Now, $200,000 doesn’t make a person rich these days (although the $9 million in combined  divorce settlement and life-insurance payments  she reportedly got cert

Homegrown terror from extremists

According to a recent report in the New York Times, in the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants. But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed radical Muslims, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center. Homegrown Terrorism In the United States since Sept. 11, terrorist attacks by antigovernment, racist and other non-Muslim  extremists have killed nearly twice as many people as those by radical Musli

The Real "Fox Dix Five" story

Do you believe everything that is fed n the popular media? Facts are that many such information may not be true at all. And that is the sad part. Thanks to the media, an innocent person can be turned into a villain and conversely, a villain can be made a saint. Most of us have heard about the Fort Dix 5 who were found to be guilty of planning to commit a terrorist activity against service men. On the evening of May 7, 2007, 48-year-old Lata Duka was doing dishes in the kitchen of her home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when she heard a loud bang come from the front of the house. “It wasn’t a normal sound. I was very scared,” Lata recalls nearly a decade later. Thinking someone was breaking in, Lata grabbed a chair from the kitchen table and hoisted it above her head, waiting for the intruder. Moments later a swarm of armed men burst through the front door and ran into her kitchen. “Put the chair down or I’ll shoot!” she says one exclaimed, pushing his gun against her chest. The

China Violates Religious Rights of Uyghurs

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun last week. Because of its religious significance, hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world are expected to fast from dawn to dusk. In total disregard to the religious rights of its Muslim minorities, the Chinese government has, once again , banned observation of Ramadan in parts of the far western Xinjiang province (formerly Eastern Turkestan) affecting millions of its indigenous Uyghur (also spelled as Uighur) people. There is much to criticize the Chinese government action. China is long known for her harsh treatment of Muslim minorities. The Uyghurs are Turkic speaking Muslims who are one of the worst persecuted people in our time. In recent years, the Chinese authorities have blamed separatist Uyghurs for a string of attacks on Han settlers (of Chinese descent) and government institutions, but the group has consistently denied involvement. The Chinese government has forbidden Muslim party members, civil servants, stu

Rohingya refugee crisis can be solved only if Asean musters the will to do so

Professor Syed Munir Khasru is chairman of the international think tank, the Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance. His recent article on the plight of the Rohingyas of Myanmar has appeared in the South China Morning Post. You can read his analysis below or by clicking here . ---------------- For the boat people of Southeast Asia, each day begins with a thickening sense of uncertainty, despair and a fading glimmer of hope. Thousands have been rescued in the past month by authorities and fishermen in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia after being stranded in the Andaman Sea. While some are Bangladeshis migrating for better jobs abroad, the majority are Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution in Myanmar. After last month's regional summit in Thailand in which 17 countries participated, along with the UN refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migration, the host said major progress had been made. However, the meeting failed to address the root cause of the pr

China is again violating rights of Muslims to fast during the holy month of Ramadan

China is long known for her harsh treatment of Muslim minorities. The government there has, once again , banned Ramadan in parts of the far western Xinjiang district for Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers. Muslims throughout the district have been told not to fast during the Holy Month. This is a serious violation of religious rights of Chinese Muslims, esp. the Uyghur who are the indigenous to the Xinjiang province. The Uyghur leader, Dilxat Raxit, sees the move as China’s attempt to control their Islamic faith and warned that the restrictions would force the Uyghur people to resist the rule of the Chinese government even more. She added: “The faith of the Uyghurs has been highly politicized and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance.” In recent years, Chinese authorities have blamed separatist Uyghurs for a string of terrorist attacks on civilian crowds and government institutions, but the group has consistently denied invo

Another Uyghur man killed by Chinese police

Another Uyghur (also spelled Uighur) man has been killed today in the Chinese city of Xian. According to government report the man approached a ticket counter with a brick, as if to harm, ticket buyers, and when he didn't stop, he was killed by a Chinese police man. Given China's censorship and tense relationship with the ethnic Uyghurs, we shall probably never know the whole truth on sensitive matters of this kind. Exiled Uyghur groups and human rights activists say the government's repressive policies in Xinjiang, including restrictions on religious practices, have provoked unrest.

Attack on a medical clinic in the Gaza Strip was to “raise morale” of Israeli soldiers

Adding to concerns about the Israeli military’s deliberate targeting of civilian facilities during last summer’s Gaza War, Major Amihai Harach confirmed today that the attack on a medical clinic in the Gaza Strip was deliberate, and was done to “raise morale” among Israeli soldiers invading the area. The attack on the clinic killed five people, four of whom were civilians seeking treatment, and 45 others were wounded in the strike. Rights groups condemned it, as with many other Israeli strikes on civilian targets, as war crimes. Israeli officials insisted at the time that Hamas was operating out of the clinic, and they continued to maintain that story today, irrespective of the major’s comments that the attack was primarily about boosting the morale of occupation forces with a revenge attack on a civilian target. You can read the news by also clicking here .

A year of Modi's rule in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has completed a year of his rule. In this period at least 43 deaths, 212 cases targeting Christians and 175 cases targeting Muslims, 234 cases of Hate Speech have been recorded between 26th May 2014 and June 2015. The number of death does not include the 108 killed in Assam in attacks on Muslims by armed tribal political groups. You can read more about the subject by clicking here .

Ramadan Mubarak

The blessed month of Ramadan has started. Ramadan Mubarak to everyone. May this month find you in the best of your character! Here is something to remind all of us about its importance: On the last day of one Sha'ban, Prophet Muhammad , gave a Khutbah about the upcoming month of Ramadan. It is a very important Khutbah that we should carefully read before every Ramadan to prepare ourselves mentally for the sacred month. It begins: "Oh people! A great month is coming to you. A blessed month. A month in which there is one night that is better than a thousand months. A month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer to Allah by performing any of the voluntary good deeds in this month shall receive the same reward as is there for performing an obligatory deed at any other time. And whoever discharges an obligatory deed in this month shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other tim

Petition drive - Burma must allow unfettered access for humanitarian relief, human rights, and equal access to citizenship for Rohingya

There is an on-line petition drive towards - "Burma must allow unfettered access for humanitarian relief, human rights, and equal access to citizenship for Rohingya." Please, consider voting by clicking here . Thanks.

Is Modi failing to deliver on his promises?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims to be a devout Hindu who likes to visit Hindu temples wherever he visits. In spite of his short visit to Bangladesh , thus, he did not miss visiting the Dhakeshwari Mandir and Ramkrishna Math in Dhaka . I have no problem about anyone’s religion and devotion to it. I have, however, serious problem when religion is exploited to hype up communal tension, and harassment and persecution of a group. Modi's BJP and its parental group RSS have been portrayed by many political analysts as politically divisive and religiously polarizing, if not fascist, organizations that want to rewrite India 's history to suit their Hindutvadi agenda. Modi, of course, denies such accusations.  When a 30-member delegation of Muslim clergy and professionals as part of his outreach program met him a few days ago, he said that he should not be judged by what his opponents have been saying about him but by his actions and performances. The unfortunat