Sunday, February 27, 2011
- The volatile Lybian situation live streams here.
Live Blog Libya - Al Jazeera. here.
Hmmm....by the way it seems Al Yazeera is now available on cable in Canada?"If you live in Canada, contact the following cable and satellite providers to subscribe to Al Jazeera English" Bell TV: 516 - Cogeco: 182 - Rogers: 176 - Shaw: 513 - Videotron: 173
- Tunesia - We don't care about revolution - we just want to go to Europe.Chaos, militant Islam and thousands fleeing Tunisia in the aftermath of uprising.On a rocky outcrop a few miles up the coast from the Tunisian port of Bizert, an abandoned concrete ruin overlooks the Mediterranean, whose waves pound the desolate beach below. Across the water lies Sicily, a gateway to Europe. The single-storey building is one of numerous hideouts for Tunisians who pay agents to smuggle them into Italy. Since Tunisians ousted dictator President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 after 23 years in power, the once-omnipotent police force has lost its grip on the throat of the people. As uncertainty reigns, the coastline has become porous. In recent weeks, 6,000 Tunisians have paid human traffickers smuggle them into Italy.My guide says this building has been used recently. It’s a departure point for illegal migrants who pay an agent up to £1,500 for a place on a boat that will take them to Europe. Days before leaving, they arrive at safe houses such as this one and survive without water or sanitary facilities. Once the coast is clear, a fishing boat docks, loads its human cargo and sets off, under cover of darkness. Now, after massive pressure from the European Union, the Tunisian government is cracking down on the people-smuggling trade.Illegal migration is a part of the complex picture that is unfolding here. The media caravan has moved on to new flashpoints in other parts of the region as the most momentous political change since the 1989 collapse of the European communist bloc unfolds. But what happens after the revolution is won? The answer lies in Tunisia, which was the first North African nation to overthrow its reviled leader. What has followed is uncertainty and a political vacuum as the country struggles to build a democratic framework. Protests grip the capital Tunis, strikes cripple the country, the old power is dead and new forces are rising – including the Islamists. But while many Tunisians celebrate the downfall of Ben Ali, others are seeking to escape to the prosperity of Europe, raising the spectre of a migratory flood.European countries close to North Africa are alarmed that, as chaos spreads across the region, there will be more people like Muhammed coming to their borders. EU officials have been meeting the transitional government to form a strategy to prevent the thousands of Tunisian migrants becoming tens of thousands. The Italian government says 300,000 may try to reach Europe.The day before I arrived in Tunis a mass protest took place against a brothel that has been in existence for decades. More than 1,000 Muslims gathered as a result of a Facebook notice and rallied outside the brothel, demanding its closure.I met one protester the next day. Abou Rabab, a shopkeeper, whose business is near the brothel, told me: ‘We are a Muslim country and we do not accept this shame in our midst.’He said Islam was a peaceful religion, but he warned that the Islamist campaign to clean up Tunisia would continue. ‘This time the whores had a verbal warning. Then it will be a written warning. Third time it will be the other thing.’Islamist protests have already led to the closure of several brothels across the country.Hmmmmm.......Perhaps time to step in the Burka businesss?Read the full story here.
- Related : 100,000 have fled Libya, UN refugee agency says.Nearly 100,000 people have fled violence in Libya in the past week, streaming into Tunisia and Egypt in a growing humanitarian crisis, the UN refugee agency said on Sunday.They include Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and third country nationals including Chinese and other Asians, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement. About half of the 100,000 have gone to Tunisia and half to Egypt."We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said.The Geneva-based UNHCR began an airlift of shelter and other relief supplies on Saturday night to Djerba, Tunisia, and the aid will be brought to the Libyan border, it said.Hmmmm........Time for the Muslim world to show their Charity to fellow Muslims?Read the full story here.
- HT:BNI.Is Barack HUSSEIN Obama planning to bring 50 – 100 million MUSLIM refugees into America?According to Arabic language broadcasts, “The Muslim world is saying that President Obama wants amnesty for the current Hispanic 12 million illegal immigrants in the US in order to pave the way for the next wave of tens of millions of illegals from the Middle East to the United States, leading to 50 to 100 million Muslims living in the US. before the end of Obama’s second term.“Is Barack Obama Really A Saudi/Muslim ‘Plant’ in the White House?” The answer is obvious. The video claims that “for years before” the 2008 election, Lipkin’s wife, who worked for the Israeli government monitoring Arabic radio broadcasts, picked up broadcasts of Saudis saying, “We will have a a Muslim in the White House in 2008.”Avi Lipkin has a source with a senior United Nations official that the U.S. will be a Muslim country by the end of Obama’s second term. It is now easy to see who that can happen, and quickly, since the economies of Egypt and other Mid East nations will likely fall apart under impending rigid Islamic rule with the new regimes. Lipkin outlines Obama’s three prong plan in the Middle East.Hmmmmm.....If he wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- We have to find common ground: Obama's plea as threat of government shutdown looms in Congress budget war.They've got a week. The threat of the first government shutdown in 15 years is looming closer - and President Barack Obama is urging Congress to work harder as the clock runs down. Mr Obama warned that failure to find common ground on how deeply to slash spending will cause gridlock and stall the economic recovery.The current budget expires next Friday. That means lawmakers must adopt a new spending plan before the March 4 deadline to keep much of the government from running out of money and closing. But the Republican House and Democratic Senate disagree over how much to cut spending - and neither is willing to give way. 'For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail,' Mr Obama said today in his weekly radio and Internet address.Hmmmm.....Lets see if the Gov shuts down who will order to stop paying benefits to the unemployed & sick and pensioners?"For the benefit of the people"? Read the full story here.
- Historian Bernard Lewis "A mass expression of outrage against injustice".Historian Bernard Lewis diagnoses the fundamental cause of the region-wide explosion of protest, and dismisses Western notions of a quick fix.Bernard Lewis, the renowned Islamic scholar, believes that at the root of the protests sweeping across our region is the Arab peoples’ widespread sense of injustice. “The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation,” he notes. “The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant.” But Lewis regards a dash toward Western-style elections, far from representing a solution to the region’s difficulties, as constituting “a dangerous aggravation” of the problem, and fears that radical Islamic movements would be best placed to exploit so misguided a move. A much better course, he says, would be to encourage the gradual development of local, self-governing institutions, in accordance with the Islamic tradition of “consultation.”Lewis also believes that it was no coincidence that the current unrest erupted first in Tunisia, the one Arab country, he notes, where women play a significant part in public life. The role of women in determining the future of the Arab world, he says, will be crucial.Once described as the most influential post-war historian of Islam and the Middle East, Lewis, 94, set out his thinking on the current Middle East ferment in a conversation with me before an invited audience at the home of the US Ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, a few days ago.
Excerpts: Broadly speaking, the notion of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is much disputed – from being perceived as essentially benign, unthreatening, even secular, according to one remark (later corrected, by US National Intelligence Director James Clapper), to being perceived as a radical and terrible threat. How would you judge it?
To say that they’re secular would show an astonishing ignorance of the English lexicon. I don’t think [the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt] is in any sense benign. I think it is a very dangerous, radical Islamic movement. If they obtain power, the consequences would be disastrous for Egypt.I’m an historian. My business is the past, not the future. But I can imagine a situation in which the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations of the same kind obtain control of much of the Arab world. It’s not impossible. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but it’s not unlikely.And if that happens, they would gradually sink back into medieval squalor.Remember that according to their own statistics, the total exports of the entire Arab world other than fossil fuels amount to less than those of Finland, one small European country. Sooner or later the oil age will come to an end. Oil will be either exhausted or superseded as a source of energy and then they have virtually nothing. In that case it’s easy to imagine a situation in which Africa north of the Sahara becomes not unlike Africa south of the Sahara.
As we look at this region in ferment, how would you characterize what is unfolding now? Can we generalize about the uprisings that are erupting in the various countries? Is there a common theme?
There’s a common theme of anger and resentment. And the anger and resentment are universal and well-grounded. They come from a number of things. First of all, there’s the obvious one – the greater awareness that they have, thanks to modern media and modern communications, of the difference between their situation and the situation in other parts of the world. I mean, being abjectly poor is bad enough. But when everybody else around you is pretty far from abjectly poor, then it becomes pretty intolerable.Another thing is the sexual aspect of it. One has to remember that in the Muslim world, casual sex, Western-style, doesn’t exist. If a young man wants sex, there are only two possibilities – marriage and the brothel. You have these vast numbers of young men growing up without the money, either for the brothel or the brideprice, with raging sexual desire. On the one hand, it can lead to the suicide bomber, who is attracted by the virgins of paradise – the only ones available to him. On the other hand, sheer frustration.If we have different potential Islamic paths that these peoples could now go down, how strong is a more moderate Muslim tradition? How likely is it that that would prevail? I ask you that because of your bleak characterization of the Muslim Brotherhood which, again, some experts claim is relatively benign.I don’t know how one could get the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood is relatively benign unless you mean relatively as compared with the Nazi party.There are other trends within the Islamic world which look back to their own glorious paths and think in other terms. There is a great deal of talk nowadays about consultation. That is very much part of the tradition.The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation. They are a result of modernization. The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant. You can see this from a number of contemporary descriptions. And the memory of that is still living.It was a British naval officer called Slade who put it very well. He was comparing the old order with the new order, created by modernization. He said that “in the old order, the nobility lived on their estates. In the new order, the state is the estate of the new nobility.” I think that puts it admirably.
When you look around the region, which are the potential enemies which may be regarded as the greater threat?
At the moment, principally the Iranian revolution. On the one hand they’re afraid of what you might call Iranian imperialism, and on the other hand of the Iranian Shi’ite revolution.The Sunni-Shi’ite question is obviously different according to which country you’re in. In a country like Iraq or Syria, where you have both Sunnis and Shia, the distinction between Sunni and Shia, the clashes between them, are very important. In a country like Egypt where there are no Shia, which is 100% Sunni, it’s not an important issue. They don’t see the Shia threat as an issue.There’s one other group of people that I think one should bear in mind when considering the future of the Middle East, and that is women. The case has been made, and I think there is some force in it, that the main reason for the relative backwardness of the Islamic world compared to the West is the treatment of women. As far as I know, it was first made by a Turkish writer called Namik Kemal in about 1880. At that time an agonizing debate had been going on for more than a century: What went wrong? Why did we fall behind the West?He said, “The answer is very clear. We fell behind the West because of the way we treat our women. By the way we treat our women we deprive ourselves of the talents and services of half the population. And we submit the early education of the other half to ignorant and downtrodden mothers.”It goes further than that. A child who grows up in a traditional Muslim household is accustomed to authoritarian, autocratic rule from the start. I think the position of women is of crucial importance.That is why I am looking with great interest at Tunisia. Tunisia is the one Arab country that has really done something about women. In Tunisia there is compulsory education for girls, from primary school, right through. In Tunisia, women are to be found in the professions. There are doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians and so on. Women play a significant part in public life in Tunisia. I think that is going to have an enormous impact. It’s already having this in Tunisia and you can see that in various ways. But this will certainly spread to other parts of the world.Elsewhere, the question of women and the role of the women is of crucial importance for the future of the Muslim world in general.And so to the Israel question. Israel, like everybody else, was taken completely by surprise.
How should Israel be responding to these protests?
Watch carefully, keep silent, make the necessary preparations.And reach out. Reach out. This is a real possibility nowadays. There are increasing numbers of people in the Arab world who look with, I would even say, with wonderment at what they see in Israel, at the functioning of a free and open society. I read an article quite recently by a Palestinian Arab whom I will not endanger by naming, in which he said that “as things stand in the world at the present time, the best hope that an Arab has for his future is as a second class citizen of a Jewish state.” A rather extraordinary statement coming from an Arab spokesman. But if you think about it, he’s not far wrong. The alternative, being in an Arab state, is very much worse. They certainly do better as second class citizens of the Jewish state. There’s a growing realization of that. People would speak much more openly about that if it were safe to do so, which it obviously isn’t.There are two things which I think are helpful towards a better understanding between the Arabs and Israel. One of them is the well-known one, of the perception of a greater danger, which I mentioned before. Sadat turned to Israel because he saw that Egypt was becoming a Russian colony. The same thing has happened again on a number of occasions. Now they see Israel as a barrier against the Iranian threat.The other one, which is less easy to define but in the long run is probably more important, is [regarding Israel] as a model of democratic government. A model of a free and open society with rights for women – an increasingly important point, especially in the perception of women.In both of these respects I think that there are some hopeful signs for the future.Hmmmmmm........The main question is do we have enough peacetime left?Read the full story here.
- Pakistan clamps down on U.S. contractors after construction worker held over visa violations.An American detained for visa violations in northwest Pakistan has been revealed to be a contractor working on a U.S.-funded construction project, a security official confirmed.Pakistan's intelligence agency said it is scrutinising the details of all Americans in the country after the arrest last month of a CIA employee for shooting dead two men in Lahore.It was unclear if the arrest of Aaron Mark DeHaven in Peshawar on Friday was directly related.The killings in Lahore have sharply raised tensions between Pakistan's spy agency and the CIA, which cooperate behind the scenes in the fight against Islamist militant groups inside the country.A wave of anti-American protests have erupted in the wake of the shootings.Yesterday, more than 300 Islamists from the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, which has militant links, staged a demonstration in Lahore urging the government to hang the CIA contractor Raymond Allen Davis.Amir Hamza, a leader of the charity, said: 'Expel all the CIA agents.'The rally came hours after DeHaven appeared in court in Peshawar and a judge ordered he remain in custody for 14 more days pending a police investigation.A security official said DeHaven was a contractor who had worked on a least one construction project for the U.S. government in the region, but gave no other details.He said the 34-year-old, from Virginia, is married to a Pakistani woman. DeHaven's work visa application listed him working for Catalyst Services.The company's website said it performs logistics, 'life support' and construction services around the world and that its management teams have U.S. Army and Defense Department backgrounds.Hmmm.....Perhaps Senator Kerry couldn't walk on water eighter?Read the full story here.
- North Korea threatens to attack South Korea, US.North Korea threatened Sunday to attack South Korea and the United States, as the allies prepared to start annual joint military drills — maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.The North has routinely issued such war rhetoric against South Korea and the U.S. The latest warning, however, came nearly three weeks after the rival Koreas failed to reach a breakthrough in their first dialogue in months.Tensions on the Korean peninsula rose sharply last year over two deadly attacks — the sinking of a South Korean naval ship blamed on the North and a North Korean artillery barrage that killed four people on a front-line South Korean island. North Korea denies it was involved in the ship sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.On Sunday, the North used harsh rhetoric against South Korea and the U.S., calling their joint drills a "dangerous military scheme.""Our military and people will take stern military countermeasures against the American imperialists and the (South Korean) traitors' group, because they are challenging us with aggressive military action," the North's military said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.Hmmmm........Perhaps the President can ask Gladys Knight for advice tonight?Read the full story here.
- HT:MiddleEastForum.Turkey's Ambassadors vs. 'Sultan' Erdoğan.In June 2010, the deepening rift between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) unexpectedly came to the public eye when seventy-two retired ambassadors and consul-generals issued a written statement protesting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's lack of respect in dubbing them "mon chers" and criticizing the government's foreign policy. Why did the prime minister publicly snub his diplomats? By way of answering this question, this article reviews the ongoing rift between Erdoğan and his diplomats before carrying an English translation of the ambassadors' statement and interviews with two retired senior diplomats.The tension between the AKP and the retired diplomats is but one aspect of the wider polarization in Turkish state institutions and public opinion at large, reflecting concerns about the AKP's ulterior motives. According to some, AKP initiatives aim at a "civilian dominance" under the disguise of democratization and at transforming Turkey into a state governed in accordance with Islamic values, if not Shari'a law. Yet some liberals regard them as important improvements for Turkish democracy and view objections to them as simple anti-government prejudice.For instance, the government reforms on the organization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July 2010 include several improvements, such as the creation of new departments, area specialization, and foreign language education. The new law stipulates that the diplomats will represent not only the Turkish Republic and its president but also the government. It also allows appointment of non-ministry individuals as ambassadors and the recruitment of graduates from several fields, including theology.According to a senior diplomat, these modifications will give all bright graduates a chance to enter the ministry and will break the elitist and status-related approach of the old school. However, others maintain that these changes may facilitate the entrance of the AKP's own cadres into the foreign ministry (e.g., through political appointments and the recruitment of theology graduates) and tighten its grip over the foreign policymaking process.Similar reservations and debates revolve around other key state organizations. The AKP has dominated the Turkish parliament with 341 out of 550 seats since the 2007 elections, which enabled the election of a prominent AKP figure, Abdullah Gül, as president. This exacerbated the secularists' fears, who argued that his election endangered one of the fundamental principles of democratic governance, namely the separation of powers, and that the constitutional reforms—approved in a referendum in September 2010—would strengthen the president's authority. In June 2010, several members of this camp applauded the constitutional court's rejection of the AKP's proposed changes in the election of members of the legal system, including the constitutional court itself, the supreme council of judges, and public prosecutors, which they believed would consolidate the executive's control over the judiciary. The new constitutional package also foresees a more transparent and accountable military, which is considered by both the AKP and liberals a sine qua non for democratization. On the other hand, many regard this change as an attempt to weaken the military, the bastion of Kemalist principles and thus impregnable to the Islamists.Turkish diplomats have continued to do their jobs with courage and levelheadedness at the cost of their lives in Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Somalia. It must be noted that courage and dynamism in foreign policy do not mean adventurism. Those who claim to know history well should always remember the misfortunes wrought on our country by such cheap promises as "to perform prayers together in Jerusalem." Making our innocent people pay for the cost of such cheap bravery [i.e., the Gaza flotilla incident which ended with the killing of nine Turks by Israeli soldiers] is an additional reason for sadness. The republic's foreign ministry corps has never acted as the hands, arms, and eyes of other countries or circles. It has been proud of its high self-esteem engendered by the long-standing accumulation of the nation's history and morality and its existence in this land freely for centuries.
MEQ: Would you care to elaborate?
Loğoğlu: Should the current political dynamics and trends persist, Turkey will be a very different country in both domestic and external terms. Seeking partnerships and joining or creating new schemes, Turkey will probably abandon its EU accession drive altogether. It will be a power not just from, but also, of the Middle East region. Its ties with NATO may come under increasing questioning. In short, Turkey's place may no longer be in the Euro-Atlantic community, but elsewhere. (IRAN?).The meaning of such an eventuality may differ in accordance with one's outlook. Yet it is certain that Turkey will no longer be the secular democracy it has been since its foundation, a society with a commitment to progressive civilization.
MEQ: What is your view on drawing parallels between the Ottomans and the AKP, neo-Ottomanism?
Pamir: At times, the AKP's foreign policy is reminiscent of that of the Ottoman Empire. Its foreign policy impulses give the impression that they are predicated on ideology. For instance, the AKP rightfully argued that Hamas was elected through democratic elections and that it should be, therefore, recognized by other states. But if it were to follow this line to its logical conclusion, the AKP should have commented on the rigging of the Iranian elections in June 2009. Similarly, Erdoğan participated in the Srebrenica memorial in July 2010 and rightfully declared that the massacre had become a dark stain on the Balkans, Europe, and the entire world. Yet in November 2009, he invited to Turkey the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of committing genocide. These contradictions inevitably raise questions about the role of religion in Turkish foreign policymaking.Hmmmm....So much for the Obama Administration's view that nothing has changed in Turkey's policies,another Obamination?
The Ambassadors' Statement :Until now we assumed that it was only Armenian terrorism that targets Turkish diplomats. During the past year, we have had difficulties explaining the behavior of our honorable prime minister, who has been verbally attacking his own country's diplomats on every available opportunity. MEQ: Is Turkey in the midst of an orientation shift as some argue?Foreign policy cannot be conducted through the misuse of a few foreign words, scornful statements against diplomats and commoditized initiatives—which are in contradiction with each other—for the sake of short-term expediency. Should [our foreign policy continue to be] conducted in this fashion, there will be a heavy cost. The sad part is that the cost will not only be paid by those who have adopted a thoughtless, shallow approach, but also by our entire nation.
Ambassador : Loğoğlu: There is certainly a paradigm shift in Turkish foreign policy away from its traditional moorings in the Euro-Atlantic community and toward new directions, mostly the Muslim world. This change is a consequence of the fundamental shift of Turkish polity as a whole—away from a secular democracy toward a regime that will continue to resemble democracy in some formal aspects, but one with progressively non-secular underpinnings. The space of Islam and religious precepts, rules, and norms is growing at the expense of other spaces and societal points of reference. There is thus a coherent and consistent mindset and outlook driving Turkish foreign policy today.
We would like to end this statement with a short rhyme inspired by one of our late ambassadors, which demonstrates our sadness: "No fairness is left in human beings/ We were considered martyrs when it suited them/ And mon chers when it didn't/ In this disloyal world."Hmmmm.......Once more i say GET TURKEY OUT OF NATO NOW !A MUST READ !Read the full story here.
- HT:RightTruth.Must See Video.Protetsters deface War Memorial in Wisconsin Capitol.The losers and looters befouling the Wisconsin Capitol have gone and done it now. They decided they would use a War Memorial in the rotunda as a bulleting board for their ignorance. They taped a bunch of their mindless dreck all over it. Ann Althouse is UW Law Prof and a very cool and interesting blogger.She and her husband saw this an he confronted the clowns beautifully.Hmmmm......Anyone calling for a new world 'order'no respect needed?Read the full story here.
- Dark Days for Solar Power......And their defenders?Ever heard of the Solyndra solar-cell plant in Fremont, Calif.? Most people haven’t. That’s a shame, considering how much taxpayer money has been poured into it.Solyndra’s in serious financial trouble. Despite getting a $535 million bailout -- part of the taxpayer-funded “stimulus” -- the company subsequently announced that it would lay off more than 17 percent of its workforce the day. They also had to close one of their manufacturing plants about a year after they got the money. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is launching an investigation.That’s understandable. After all, it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way for Solyndra and other solar-cell producers. President Obama and Sen. Barbara Boxer both campaigned at the plant, touting the “green jobs” that would flow from government investment in companies that produce renewable energy.You can think solar panels are the most wonderful thing in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should fund them. Consider this November 2010 headline from the San Jose Business Journal: “Solar Panel Glut Projected in 2011.” Supplies of the panels, the article says, will be nearly three times higher than demand this year.Faced with a forecast like that, nobody with any business sense would invest in solar panels. But government would -- with our money.You can call that a lot of things, but “stimulus” isn’t one of them.So what made Solyndra an attractive choice for government largesse? As Heritage Foundation energy expert David Kreutzer points out, it has more to do with political rates of return than economic ones: The company spent $140,000 on lobbyists in the first quarter of 2010.In the end, though, it didn’t help them. Maybe they should have invested that money in a viable source of energy.Hmmmm......Another Obamination.Read the full story here.
- "Child Brides" - Married at 13, abandoned at 30, woman now lives on streets of Saudi Arabia.When she was 13-years old, Salma (full name withheld) from Saudi Arabia was forced to marry a man aged over 60.The man paid her father a dowry of SR250,000 ($68,000), but Salma says it was like she was actually sold.Salma, now in her 30s, has no home and is deprived of seeing her six children following her divorce. When she tried to take them, she was thrown in prison for six months.As if all this was not enough. After she was divorced and her children taken away, her father tried to sell her again - this would-be husband refused to offer more than SR100,000.But it was her not her father who turned down that offer. Feeling that she had enough, she packed and fled her home.“I was only 13 when this rich old man came and paid my father SR250,000. I was forced to marry a man who is as old as my grandfather… I was snatched off my fifth class at that age,” said Salma, from the central town of Makkah.“He took me to his home in Madina and there I found that he already has three wives… I then started to spend my time playing with his children as I was a child and had no idea about marriage life.”Salma, now in her 30s, said her marriage lasted around 17 years, during which she gave birth to four daughters and two sons.“During my marriage to this man, I suffered from torture and very bad treatment… I then fled to my family’s house and stayed there with my children for nearly three years, after which I was divorced.”“I refused to be 'sold' again and fled home… I have been staying at mosques and parks all this time. My ex-husband still refuses to let me see my children. Sometimes I go to take a glance at them while going or leaving school and I could see clear marks of violence on their bodies. I think they are being tortured at home.”The paper did not say where it met Salma or whether she has a home now. But it quoted a Saudi human rights activist as urging the woman to come along and present her case.“If she comes and proves that her children are subject to torture by their father, then will we will talk to the police. We will also ensure protection for her and her children,” said Mohammed Kalantin, member of the Saudi Human Rights Commission in Makka.Hmmmm.......Obama"Islam is a great religion".Read the full story here.
- Controversial F-35 fighter plane hits milestone, takes to the skies. OTTAWA -- The fighter plane at the centre of one of Ottawa's hottest political debates has taken its first test flight over the skies of Texas.The first production F-35 made its inaugural flight on Friday marking another milestone for the F-35 program.The hour long flight at Lockheed Martin's Forth Worth facilities included basic flight maneuvering and engine tests. Pilot for the afternoon sortie, company test pilot Bill Gigliotti, was pleased with the jet's performance."The aircraft was rock-solid from takeoff to landing, and successfully completed all the tests we put it through during the flight," said Gigliotti. "The Air Force is getting a great jet that represents a huge leap in capability, and we’re looking forward to getting it into the hands of the service pilots in just a few more weeks."AF-6, as the jet is called, is the first of two F-35A air force jets from the LRIP 1 production lot funded in 2007. Earlier jets delivered by the program have been development aircraft. Previously AF-6 was to be delivered to the 58th FS at Eglin AFB last fall. Instead it will transfer to Edwards AFB in a month's time to support development testing. Last year's restructuring of the F-35 program diverted three production jets destined for operational testing in an effort to speed up the development phase. The three jets will effectively be on loan to the development test program. Consequently delivery of AF-6, which has received the serial number #07-0744, was delayed as the jet was refitted with instrumentation equipment in order to conduct flight testing.2011 will also see the first production deliveries of the U.S. Marine Corps variant F-35B STOVL. The U.S. Navy will have to wait until 2012 for their first production F-35C carrier jet.In all seventeen F-35s have been delivered since December 2006. More than 650 flights have been completed in addition to extensive ground testing.Read the full story here.HT: f-16.net.
- HT:TheJawaReport.Start now to plan your participation at the One Million Muslim March, July 4th, 2011 Washington DC, Anacostia Park!Independence Day? Will they have fireworks and stuff? Most of the success of the ill conceived scheme to demonize Islam resulted from the rush to judgment that took place following 9/11, and the failed 9/11 investigation which wrongly concluded that Muslims had carried out criminal terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.Hmmm.....I just hope there's burger and bacon stand there,don't forget to bring your fourlegged friends also,people love dogs!Read the full story here.
- HT:UnDhimmi.‘Convert to Islam and You Can Have Your Daughter Back’.… and this was Police advice from Muslim North Sudan, illustrating precisely why the largely Christian and traditionalist South voted by an amazingly slim margin of 99.57% to separate from it:A Christian widow in north Sudan is agonizing over the kidnapping of her daughter eight months ago by suspected Islamic extremists in Khartoum.“Since my daughter was kidnapped, I have been living in a state of fear and terror,” said Ikhlas Anglo, 35, a mother of two daughters.She said her 15-year-old daughter, Hiba Abdelfadil Anglo, went missing while returning from the Ministry of Education in Khartoum on June 27, 2010. Hiba, a member of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum, had gone to the education ministry office to obtain her transcripts for entry to secondary school.Two days later, the family received threatening telephone calls and SMS messages from the kidnappers telling them to pay 1,500 Sudanese pounds (US$560) in order to secure her return.“Don’t you want to have this slave back?” one of the kidnappers told Anglo from an unknown location by cell phone, she said.Anglo and others said they believe the kidnappers are Muslim extremists who have targeted them because they are Christians, and that police are aiding the criminals. She said that when she went to a police station to open a case, police bluntly told her she must first leave Christianity for Islam.“You must convert to Islam if you want your daughter back,” officer Fakhr El-Dean Mustafa of the Family and Child Protection Unit told Anglo, she said. Recently transferred to another station, Mustafa was not immediately available for comment.In a pattern seen across the Muslim world, Christians are subjected to the most appalling and degrading treatment in Islamic countries; and – again a common trait – the police are usually at least unsympathetic, if not in actually collusion with (as was intimated in this case) the abusers.Forced conversions and kidnappings of teenage Christian girls are a common occurrence.This is only going to get worse. The country’s president, Omar al-Bashir, a genocidal maniac wanted by International prosecutors for crimes against humanity for the Darfur atrocities, stated prior to the secession referendum that he would assert Islamic supremacy even more aggressively than he already does, should there be a vote for a split.His record strongly suggests that this will happen.We think that It’s time for any remaining non-Muslims that are able to leave North Sudan by whatever means are at hand and move South.Hmmmm.....Obama "Islam is a great religion".Read the full story here.
- Iran's two opposition leaders, their wives are placed in safe house.(CNN) -- Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi and their wives were placed in a safe house for their own welfare, but they have not been arrested, Iranian government sources told CNN Saturday."The opposition movement is very much looking for martyrs so if this is true it's for their own safety," one source told CNN.The pro-reform opposition movement "is always looking for an excuse to create something, so this may be done to keep someone from doing something to them," the source added.But the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expressed concern for the safety of the leaders and their wives."Moussavi and Karrubi and their wives have been disappeared; they are being held incommunicado in an unknown location, a severe breach of Iranian and international law," Aaron Rhodes, a spokesman for the campaign, said in a statement."Given the lynch mob-like calls for their execution by numerous Iranian politicians and clerics, there is reason to be deeply concerned for their safety and well-being," Rhodes said.State-run Press TV aired video of Iranian lawmakers earlier this month chanting, "Moussavi, Karrubi ... execute them."The human rights organization also pointed out that "a 'safe house' is considered a place for the secret detention of high security-value detainees, which is not under the control of the judiciary or any other monitoring mechanisms. The Revolutionary Guards and Iranian intelligence agencies are well-known for using safe houses for all methods and techniques to get confessions from detainees without scrutiny or pressure from other legal bodies.""Given the use of so-called safe houses to mistreat opponents of the government in the past, the campaign finds it deeply disturbing that Moussavi and Karrubi have reportedly been removed to such a facility," the statement said.Iranian authorities began rounding up many government opponents this month amid calls for protests like those that have swept across North Africa and the Middle East.International journalists have been limited in their ability to gather news in Iran, where the government has cracked down on the media and maintains tight control of state-run news organizations. During the protests earlier this month, foreign journalists were denied visas, accredited journalists living in the country were restricted from covering the demonstrations, and internet speed slowed to a crawl in an apparent attempt to restrict information from being transmitted out of the country.Hmmmm........Off course no word from Pres Obama.....Sorry....ah yes to busy organising parties.Can't even attend church anymore.Read the full story here.
- Muslim Shelf Stockers Can Refuse to Handle Alcohol.A Muslim supermarket employee in Germany was sacked when he refused on religious grounds to stock shelves with bottles of alcohol. Now the country's highest labor court has ruled that the man's objection was justified.It's not the first time a Muslim worker in Germany has gone to court over the right to practice his or her religion in the workplace. A number of high-profile cases in recent years have involved Muslim women who wanted the right to wear a headscarf while doing their jobs. But the particulars of this case are unusual -- and controversial: Germany's highest labor court has ruled that a Muslim supermarket employee can refuse to handle alcohol on religious grounds.The case in question involved a Muslim man who was employed in a supermarket in the northern German city of Kiel. He refused to stock shelves with alcoholic drinks, saying that his religion forbade him from any contact with alcohol, and was dismissed as a result in March 2008.In a ruling Thursday, Germany's Federal Labor Court confirmed that employees may refuse to perform a specific task on religious grounds. If there is an alternative task they can do which is acceptable to their religion and practical for the company, then the employer is obliged to let them do it. The firm can only dismiss the worker if there is no realistic alternative.The case has already raised eyebrows in Germany. Media commentators have pointed out that the Koran only forbids drinking alcohol, not touching bottles. A front-page editorial in the Friday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's leading conservative newspaper, criticized the fact that the man had apparently only discovered his religious leanings in 2008; he had previously worked in the supermarket's alcoholic drinks section without complaint.Hmmmm.....Never knew that the Germans used leaking bottles.BUT ! Somehow the same religious law doesn't stop them from cultivating opium poppies!Read the full story here.HT:Planck'sConstant.
- And now for something completely different.Russians choose 3 mascots for 2014 Winter Olympics.Leopard, polar bear and hare were chosen mascots of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics following in a nationwide SMS-vote which finished on Saturday.Russians submitted sketches of about 24,000 candidates to the official website of the 2014 Olympic Games mascot. Only 13 characters, including dolphin, polar and brown bears, matryoshka dolls, snowflake and bullfinch, have made it into the final."I think choosing three mascots was a right decision," said Oleg Serdechny, a resident of the 2014 Olympic host city, who designed the polar bear character. "As a team, we have more chances to successfully perform at the Olympics."Hmmmm.....Can't seem to make up my mind which one i like best.Read and see the full story here.