Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Abu Hanifa


Here is a link to a good article on Imam Abu Hanifa (R).

The Encounter of Imams

Here is the link to an excellent piece on the encounter between two of the great Sunni Imams of the past.
Here is the link to another excellent piece on the encounter of two Imams of Shi'a and Sunni Islam.

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent by Robert J. Burrowes

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

Robert J. Burrowes

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere.[1] Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not. To illustrate the distinction and the relationship between these two spheres, and to highlight their vital importance, this article discusses them within the simpler context of nonviolent actions.
Every nonviolent action has a political objective and a strategic goal. When planning an action, it is vitally important to distinguish between its objective and its goal. The political objective of the action is a statement of what the group wants to do: to demonstrate in the city square, to hang a peace sign on the nuclear warship, to picket a factory, to blockade the bulldozer, to occupy the embassy, to go on strike. But why does the group want to do this? Usually, it is to persuade one or more sections of the community to act differently in relation to the campaign issue. So the strategic goal identifies, first, who the group wants to influence, and second, what they want them to do. For example, if the political objective is to demonstrate in the city square, one possible strategic goal might be to cause members of the public to speak out in support of the activist perspective. If the political objective is to picket a factory, the strategic goal might be to cause workers (through persuasion) not to enter it. If the political objective is to blockade a bulldozer, the strategic goal might be to cause workers to stop logging, or, if the media is present, to cause television viewers to not buy old- growth timber from a particular company.
As can be seen from these simple examples, it makes more sense to decide the strategic goal first, and to then design an action to ensure that the goal is achieved. In other words, it is superior strategy to 1. decide who you want to influence and what you want them to do (derived from the political and strategic assessment that guides your struggle), 2. decide on a tactic that will do this, and 3. design the action so that it will do this most effectively. Thus, a strategic goal should be stated using this form: to cause a specified group of people to act in a specified way. Further examples of strategic goals that conform to this formula include: to cause trade unionists to place work-bans on ships carrying uranium, to cause more men to speak out publicly against domestic violence, to cause builders to stop using old-growth timber.
Once the strategic goal has been carefully and specifically defined, equally careful thought should be put into working out what tactic (at this stage of the strategy) will most likely achieve this goal and how it should be designed (so that it will cause the specified audience to act in the specified way). Of course, good action design requires an awareness of what makes nonviolent action work in the first place.
Nonviolent action works because of its capacity to create a favourable political atmosphere (because of, for example, the way in which activist honesty builds trust); its capacity to create a non-threatening physical environment (because of the nonviolent discipline of the activists); and its capacity to alter the human psychological conditions (both innate and learned) that make people resist new ideas in the first place. This includes its capacity to reduce or eliminate fear and its capacity to ‘humanise’ activists in the eyes of more conservative sections of the community. In essence, nonviolent activists precipitate change because people are inspired by the honesty, discipline, integrity, courage and determination of the activists – despite arrests, beatings or imprisonment – and are thus inclined to identify with them. Moreover, as an extension of this, they are inclined to act in solidarity.
To summarise and illustrate the argument so far, consider a nonviolent struggle in which the activists are working to end sexual violence in a local community. One strategic goal of the group might be: to cause the men in a specified group (perhaps those in a particular organisation) to take specified action (sign a personal pledge to not use pornography? put a sign in their front window saying they abhor sexual violence? undertake to speak out publicly against all forms of sexual violence? join a group that organises counselling for male perpetrators?) to help halt sexual violence in that community. The strategic goal will be achieved, at least in part, if some men respond by doing the specified act(s). So what should be the political objective of the action; that is, what nonviolent action will best cause the specified men to act in this way? To ‘out’ known perpetrators by putting their photograph in public places? To conduct a street rally involving local women? To repaint a billboard that objectifies women? To picket the local hotel or brothel every Saturday night? To organise an exhibition of artwork by survivors of sexual violence? Or something else? For the action to be strategically effective, it must be planned to achieve the strategic goal.
And how might the action be designed to maximise its effectiveness? What qualities (truthfulness? dignity? respectfulness?) can the activists demonstrate that will most influence these men? How can the action be carried out in a way that engages these men? For example, human needs theory suggests that if you want people to change their behaviour, activists must provide opportunities for involvement that allow people to enhance their self-esteem and/or security, at least.
If the strategic goal of a nonviolent action is achieved, then the action was strategically effective; this does not mean or require, however, that its political objective was achieved. In fact, it might not have been. This is because strategic effectiveness is unrelated to the achievement of the political objective. For example, the political objective of activists might be to blockade a bulldozer. However, the (usually unspecified) strategic goal of the bulldozer blockade should be something like this: to cause consumers to stop buying (the specified) paper products that are made from woodchips taken from old-growth forest (by a specified company). In this case, as long as the action is well-designed, it does not matter if the activists are arrested before the blockade takes place, because the message of their truthfulness, commitment, discipline, courage and sacrifice, together with the solidarity action they are calling for (which will undermine the power of their opponent), will still go out to their audience. In short, the failure to physically stop the bulldozer is strategically irrelevant.
It is the failure to distinguish between the political objective and the strategic goal that often causes a great deal of confusion, particularly around such questions as the role of secrecy and sabotage, in planning nonviolent actions. Many groups attach great importance to the political objective of their action, and use secrecy to improve their prospects of being able to carry it out. But this is invariably counterproductive, in the strategic sense, and is based on a flawed understanding of how and why nonviolence works. This is because, as explained above, achievement of the political objective is not equivalent to achievement of the strategic goal. And while many activists achieve their (secret) political objective, they fail to achieve (what should be) their strategic goal (to cause specified people to act in the specified way) because the qualities (such as honesty and integrity) of activists that inspire their audience are not allowed into play. (There are, of course, many other reasons why the use of secrecy is strategically counterproductive.)
For some types of action – such as a rally, a picket or a strike – no one would even suggest using secrecy. But whatever the action, as explained above, strategic effectiveness is unrelated to whether the action is successfully carried out or not (provided it is strategically selected, well-designed and sincerely attempted). This point was classically illustrated by the Indian satyagrahis who attempted to nonviolently invade the Dharasana salt works in 1930.[2] Despite repeated attempts by many hundreds of activists to walk into the salt works during a three week period, not one activist got a pinch of salt! But an account of the activists’ nonviolent discipline, commitment and courage – under the baton blows of the police – was reported in 1,350 newspapers around the world. As a result, this action – which failed to achieve the political objective of seizing salt – functionally undermined support for British imperialism in India.[3] If the activists had resorted to the use of secrecy, there would have been no chance to demonstrate their honesty, integrity and determination – and to thus inspire empathy for their cause – although they might have got some salt![4]
For essentially the same reason (as well as many others not discussed here), sabotage is strategically counterproductive when employed as part of a nonviolent struggle. If the important aspect of a nonviolent action is its strategic goal, then activists who plan acts of sabotage (that is, for example, their political objective is to disable a bulldozer or to destroy the nose cone of a nuclear missile) must be able to identify how this act will cause their specified audience(s) to act on the issue in the specified way(s). If they cannot, the action might well be strategically ineffective or even counterproductive, no matter how much media attention is gained if the political objective (damaging the equipment) is achieved. Thus, although this act might mobilise some people (and recent conflict theory provides several thorough explanations of why it will be few), the fact remains that activists who use sabotage (and the secrecy that almost invariably accompanies it) are placing too much emphasis on their political objective (the act of sabotage itself) rather than their (unidentified) strategic goal. As explained above, this limits the possibility of activist qualities that inspire the audience being allowed into play.
Whether or not activists achieve their political objective is strategically irrelevant. This is because an effective nonviolent action is designed to achieve its strategic goal, irrespective of the response of opponents or the authorities to the political objective of the action. Whether or not activists achieve their strategic goal, however, is always strategically determinative.
Endnotes:
1. See The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.
2. Because it illustrates the point so effectively, I have simply repeated the example that I cited in an earlier article. See ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’.
3. For an account of the salt raids at Dharasana, see Thomas Weber. ‘”The Marchers Simply Walked Forward Until Struck Down”: Nonviolent Suffering and Conversion’.
4. If salt had been removed secretly, the British government could, if they had chosen, ignored it: after all, who would have known or cared? However, they could not afford to let the satyagrahis take salt openly because salt removal was illegal and failure to react would have shown the salt law – a law that represented the antithesis of Indian independence – to be ineffective.
This article ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ was originally published in Nonviolence Today 48, January-February 1996. pp. 6-7. It has been widely republished since then.
Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/political-objective-strategic-goal/

Burned Qur'an, cut up pages left outside California mosques

Here is a belated hate crime report, filed by the CNN, from California that happened during the last days of Ramadan.

Two Islamic centers in Northern California were the sites of possible hate crimes during the last days of Ramadan, law enforcement officials said.
A burned Qur'an filled with bacon was found outside a Sacramento mosque Saturday, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said. It was hanging by a handcuff from a temporary fence outside the Masjid An-nur Islamic Center.
"Sheriff's Hate Crime detectives were called to the scene to begin their investigation into the possible hate crime," the department said in a statement.

The center, which is the largest mosque in the greater Sacramento area, is next to a police station but it has been targeted in the past.

Another center was targeted about 20 miles west in Davis, California.

Is Tajmahal not a part of Indian Culture? by Ram Puniyani

Is Tajmahal not a part of Indian Culture?
Ram Puniyani
 
 
Culture is a fascinating aspect of our life. To understand the culture one examines the social life and observes multiple facets of life, food habits, clothes, music, language, literature, architecture and aspects of religion, among other. In a plural diverse country like ours’ there is a mosaic which gives us the understanding of the complexity of our culture. In India there is a heavy intermingling, of facets of cultures contributed by people of different religions. So what is Indian culture? One can say the totality of plural expressions of people is Indian culture. It is inclusive and has syncretism in all the aspects of social life. This view of Indian culture is held by the Indian nationalists. And till now most of the time this belief in composite culture guided the practice of those in seats of power.
 
With the ascendance of Hindu nationalists from last few decades and more so from last three years; the attempt is being made to give sectarian slant to this understanding of our culture. All things which are non Brahmanical are being sidetracked and undermined. One of the examples of this came in glaringly when Mr. Adityanath Yogi, the Chief Minister of UP, went on to criticize the practice of gifting the replica of Taj Mahal to the visiting dignitaries (June 16, 2017). As per him Taj Mahal is not a part of Indian culture, Yogi upheld the practice of gifting Gita, the Holy Scripture, initiated by Narendra Modi.
 
Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site, to be given protection. It is also regarded as one among Seven Wonders of the World. Apart from being a global tourist attraction it symbolizes the great architectural achievements of India. It was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. There is another prevailing controversy about this great monument. The propaganda had been done that this was a Shiv temple which has been converted into a mausoleum. It is totally wrong. Historical records and documents tell a different tale.
 
Shahjahan’s Badshahnama makes it abundantly clear that the structure was built by Shahjahan. A European traveler Peter Mundy writes that the emperor Shahjahan is in deep grief due to the death of his favorite wife and is building an impressive mausoleum in her memory. A French jeweler Tavernier who visited India at that time corroborates this. The daily account books of Shahjahan do give the detailed record of the expenses incurred, like the money spent for marble and the wages for the workers etc. The only base of this misconception of it being Shiv Temple (Tejo Mahalay) is the mention that the land was bought from Raja Jaisingh for a compensation. It is also to be noted that Jaisingh to whom this Shaiva temple is attributed was a Vaishnav and it is not possible that a Viashnav king would build a Shaiv temple.
 
Funnily, first it is regarded as Shiva temple and now it is being asserted that it is not a part of Indian culture? Also question comes as to why Gita is being given such a primacy? One recalls that earlier, very often, our visiting leaders were gifting the autobiography of Gandhi, ‘My experiments with truth’, to their hosts. Gita is being presented as the representative book from among our many sacred books like, Guru Granth Sahib, Kabir Vani, and writings of Basavanna, Naryan Guru etc. We may find the answer of this from none other than Babasaheb Ambedkar. Ambedkar points out that Gita is Manusmriti in nutshell, which in turn is core of Brahmanism. Ambedkar’s central mission was to fight against the values of Manusmrirti. The other symbol which is being promoted lately is Holy cow. Both these are symbols of Brahmanism, as the current ruling dispensation is promoting Brahmanism in the garb of Hindutva and Hinduism.
 
As such the Indian culture as understood by freedom movement, Indian nationalist ideology, regards symbols of all religions, regions and languages as Indian. As per that the contributions of Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs are all part of Indian legacy. This gets reflected in our daily life. As such India is one of the places where all religions have flourished without any discrimination. People have been following these religions from centuries. Some of these were born here and some of these came in and spread through different mechanisms, like the teachings of saints, Sufis, missionaries etc. Islam mainly spread through the teachings of Sufi saints, Christianity through missionaries working for charity in the arena of education and health. All aspects of Indian culture have rich sprinkling from people of different religions.
 
Our food habits, many of the practices coming from West Asia and other parts of the World, our clothing our architecture has a strong imprint of from people of different religions and different parts of World coming and contributing to the evolving culture. While Bhakti and Sufi are the high point of this interaction, today one can discern the contribution of different religionists in the various rituals and practices of people. One knows that Bhakti saints had following among Muslims as well, while many Hindus visited the Dargahs of Sufi saints. Saint Guru Nanak drew heavily from both the main religious traditions prevailing here.
 
Mahatma Gandhi had been the best interpreter of Indian culture and Indian history. He did not see antagonism in religions. In his book Hind Swaraj he writes, “The Hindus flourished under Moslem sovereigns and Moslems under the Hindu. Each party recognized that mutual fighting was suicidal, and that neither party would abandon its religion by force of arms. Both parties, therefore, decided to live in peace. With the English advent quarrels recommenced… Should we not remember that many Hindus and Mohammedans own the same ancestors and the same blood runs through their veins?”
 
Accordingly the aspects of culture contributed by people of different religions become Indian, in contrast to present dispensation for whom only Brahmanical symbols alone represent this nation, and that’s what Mr. Yogi is trying to assert.  

A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat Genocide by Robert J. Burrowes

It is a tragic measure of the depravity of human existence that genocide is a continuing and prevalent manifestation of violence in the international system, despite the effort following World War II to abolish it through negotiation, and then adoption and ratification of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is any act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and/or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
While this definition is contested because, for example, it excludes killing of political groups, and words such as ‘democide’ (the murder or intentionally reckless and depraved disregard for the life of any person or people by their government,) and ‘politicide’ (the murder of any person or people because of their political or ideological beliefs) have been suggested as complementary terms, in fact atrocities that have been characterized as ‘genocide’ by various authors include mass killings, mass deportations, politicides, democides, withholding of food and/or other necessities of life, death by deliberate exposure to invasive infectious disease agents or combinations of these. See ‘Genocides in history’.
While genocide and attempts at genocide were prevalent enough both before World War II (just ask the world’s indigenous peoples) and then during World War II itself, which is why the issue attracted serious international attention in the war’s aftermath, it cannot be claimed that the outlawing of genocide did much to end the practice, as the record clearly demonstrates.
Moreover, given that the United Nations and national governments, out of supposed ‘deference’ to ‘state sovereignty’, have been notoriously unwilling and slow to meaningfully respond to genocides, as was the case in Rwanda in 1994 and has been the case with the Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma) for four decades –  as carefully documented in ‘The Slow-Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya’ – there is little evidence to suggest that major actors in the international system have any significant commitment to ending the practice, either in individual cases or in general. For example, as official bodies of the world watch, solicit reports and debate whether or not the Rohingya are actually victims of genocide, this minority Muslim population clearly suffers from what many organizations and any decent human being have long labeled as such. For a sample of the vast literature on this subject, see ‘The 8 Stages of Genocide Against Burma’s Rohingya’ and ‘Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar’.
Of course, it is not difficult to understand institutional inaction. Despite its fine rhetoric and even legal provisions, the United Nations, acting in response to the political and corporate elites that control it, routinely fails to act to prevent or halt wars (despite a UN Charter and treaties, such as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, that empower and require it to do so), routinely fails to defend refugees, routinely fails to act decisively on issues (such as nuclear weapons and the climate catastrophe) that constitute global imperatives for human survival, and turns the other way when peoples under military occupation (such as those of Tibet, West Papua, Western Sahara and Palestine) seek their support.
Why then should those under genocidal assault expect supportive action from the UN or international community in general? The factors which drive these manifestations of violence serve a diverse range of geopolitical interests in each case, and are usually highly profitable into the bargain. What hope justice or even decency in such circumstances?
Moreover, the deep psychological imperatives that drive the phenomenal violence in the international system are readily nominated: in essence, phenomenal fear, self-hatred and powerlessness. These psychological characteristics, together with the others that drive the behaviour of perpetrators of violence, have been identified and explained – see ‘Why Violence?’ and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice – but it is the way these (unconsciously and deeply-suppressed) emotions are projected that is critical to understanding the violent (and insane) behavioural outcomes in our world. For brief explanations see, for example, ‘Understanding Self-Hatred in World Affairs’ and ‘The Global Elite is Insane’.
Given the deep psychological imperatives that drive the violence of global geopolitics and corporate exploitation (as well as national, subnational and individual acts of violence), we cannot expect a compassionate and effective institutional response to genocide in the prevailing institutional order, as the record demonstrates. So, is there anything a targeted population can do to resist a genocidal assault?
Fortunately, there is a great deal that a targeted population can do. The most effective response is to develop and implement a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to either prevent a genocidal assault in the first place or to halt it once it has begun. This is done most effectively by using a sound strategic framework that guides the comprehensive planning of the strategy. Obviously, there is no point designing a strategy that is incomplete or cannot be successful.
A sound strategic framework enables us to think and plan strategically so that once our strategy has been elaborated, it can be widely shared and clearly understood by everyone involved. It also means that nonviolent actions can then be implemented because they are known to have strategic utility and that precise utility is understood in advance. There is little point taking action at random, especially if our opponent is powerful and committed (even if that ‘commitment’ is insane which, as briefly noted above, is invariably the case).
There is a simple diagram presenting a 12-point strategic framework illustrated here in the form of the ‘Nonviolent Strategy Wheel’.
In order to think strategically about nonviolently defending against a genocidal assault, a clearly defined political purpose is needed; that is, a simple summary statement of ‘what you want’. In general terms, this might be stated thus: To defend the [nominated group] against the genocidal assault and establish the conditions for the group to live in peace, free of violence and exploitation.
Once the political purpose has been defined, the two strategic aims (‘how you get what you want’) of the strategy acquire their meaning. These two strategic aims (which are always the same whatever the political purpose) are as follows: 1. To increase support for the struggle to defeat the genocidal assault by developing a network of groups who can assist you. 2. To alter the will and undermine the power of those groups inciting, facilitating, organizing and conducting the genocide.
While the two strategic aims are always the same, they are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals which are always specific to each struggle. I have identified a generalized set of 48 strategic goals that would be appropriate in the context of ending any genocide here. These strategic goals can be readily modified to the circumstances of each particular instance of genocide.
Many of these strategic goals would usually be tackled by action groups working in solidarity with the affected population campaigning in third-party countries. Of course, individual activist groups would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or a few of the strategic goals (which is why any single campaign within the overall strategy is readily manageable).
As I hope is apparent, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.
Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of those conducting the genocide.
It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals, which should be identified and prioritized according to their precise understanding of the circumstances in the country where the genocide is occurring, is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).
I wish to emphasize that I have only briefly discussed two aspects of a comprehensive strategy for ending a genocide: its political purpose and its two strategic aims (with its many subsidiary strategic goals). For the strategy to be effective, all twelve components of the strategy should be planned (and then implemented). See Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.
This will require, for example, that tactics that will achieve the strategic goals must be carefully chosen and implemented bearing in mind the vital distinction between the political objective and strategic goal of any such tactic. See ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.
It is not difficult to nonviolently defend a targeted population against genocide. Vitally, however, it requires a leadership that can develop a sound strategy so that people are mobilized and deployed effectively.
========
Robert Burrowes, Ph.D. is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? Websites: (Charter)  (Flame Tree Project)  (Songs of Nonviolence) (Nonviolent Campaign Strategy) (Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy(http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com)  Email: flametree@riseup.net
 This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 June 2017.

Nearly half a million refugees are fleeing Myanmar

The news below should not surprise anyone except fascist Buddhists of Myanmar.

In an embarrassment for the Myanmar Government, which is effectively led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the latest study released by the United Nation’s refugee agency says the number of people fleeing Myanmar is now almost half a million.
By the end of 2016, according to the UNHCR’s annual global trends study released on 20 June, refugees from Myanmar rose to 490,300, up from 451,800 the previous year. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy came to power early in 2016 after 50 years of military rule. Myanmar is now the eighth largest refugee producing country in the world after Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Bangladesh hosts 276,200 Myanmar refugees while Thailand looks after 102,600, Malaysia 87,000, and India 15,600.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh initially offered a relatively safe haven to Muslim Rohingyas from Rakhine state, who faced ongoing conflict there with Buddhist ethnic Rakhines. In 2013, however, Bangladesh sealed off its border with Myanmar and refused entry to boatloads of fleeing Rohingyas.
After a deadly Rohingya militant attack against Myanmar border police on 9 October last year, some 75,000 Rohingyas still managed to cross the border to Bangladesh to escape the subsequent crackdown. Action by security forces left about 600 people dead, dozens of women were raped and Rohingya villages were razed. Around 30,000 people have reportedly since returned to their villages, with temporary shelter provided by the UNHCR.
Fr Thomas Htang Shan Mong, director of the Myanmar Catholic bishops' office for peace building and justice, blamed a range of political and economic factors for the rise in refugees. “There has been 70 nearly years of conflict and unrest in Myanmar, especially in ethnic areas,” Fr Mong told ucanews.com.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, said while there are many issues facing the minority Muslim group, “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya is not taking place.
Cardinal Bo has been a strong advocate for better treatment of the Rohingyas, and in February called on the Myanmar Government  “to allow unhindered access to all parts of Rakhine State,” as well as to allow “international humanitarian aid agencies, media and human rights monitors.” Cardinal Bo pointed out that all religious minorities, including Christians, face problems in the Buddhist-majority country.
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Bangladesh, where Pope Francis may visit later this year, said on World Refugee Day last month that the new arrivals from Myanmar are “human beings who have a right to dwell in their own traditional way. They have a right to live where they have been living, but now they are refugees.”
The Myanmar military maintains control of 25 per cent of the seats in the national assembly, enough to block reform of a national charter that entrenches the armed forces within the corridors of power.  Aung San Suu Kyi told the BBC earlier this year that the army was “not free to rape, pillage and torture” but was “free to go in and fight. And of course, that is in the constitution.” She said she aimed to amend the constitution.

Terrorism: call it by its name

Call It By Its Name by Tanika Sarkar

India needs to legally reclassify hate crimes as acts of terror.

Last week, Makram Khan, a British Muslim, was stabbed to death in a vicious hate crime in London. Immediately, the entire political class condemned it in the strongest words and a probe was launched into similar crimes at the highest levels. Significant sections of the mainstream media focused on the brutality and on the bereaved family, sensitively, and at considerable length. Horrible as it was, the event received the attention it deserves.
Two things stand out especially. First, such responses came in the wake of a series of severe Islamist terror attacks on London, and a large-scale one at Manchester, in very quick succession. Each was followed with calls for harmony — from religious organisations, from police forces and politicians, from large sections of urban publics. Second, and more important, the attack by a lone individual was immediately classified as terrorism, and is now being investigated within that format. Admittedly, this is a new departure in British civic and political life, partly shaped by the larger matrix of changes brought about by a marked leftist turn in Labour politics that Jeremy Corbyn, a long time anti-racist activist, has recently initiated.
This should lead to serious soul-searching in India where Junaid, a young man, looking forward to Eid , was first abused and then brutally knifed to death while his brother lies wounded in a hospital. The cause? They are Muslims, hence beef eaters, hence Pakistanis, and hence easy and natural target for butchery. Note the logic: All beef eaters and all Pakistanis — and by extension, therefore, all Muslims — are meant for slaughter.
Nor is it the logic of a few drunken oddballs, as it is made out to be. The killing has been preceded by so many others, of Dalits and Muslims, accused of cow slaughter or beef consumption, that we have simply lost count and memory of them. If they were calibrated by Far Right Hindu outfits in the past — nobody enquired into their possible organisational or mobilisational links — such bloodlust has now pervaded very large numbers of ordinary people, drunk or sober. It is a part of a broader pattern where a certain group proclaims something as punishable by death and torture — be it in the name of Bharat Mata, or cow or temple, or nationalism — and violence ensues. Atrocities have been naturalised in the past few years, they are a far too familiar landscape, part of the new normal.
Do we dare draw a contrast between political responses to the two deaths? At an NDTV debate, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli remarked that our prime minister does occasionally condemn such violence. That no corrective action follows from his observations seemed, after all, a small matter to him. An exalted figure like the PM cannot possibly react to such daily trivialities. We live in strange times. Modiji embraced President Trump in the US, and we do not know that Trump abstains from beef. The Swachh Bharat campaign does not provide poor women with toilets, but when they are forced to relieve themselves in public places they are photographed by civil servants who allegedly beat another Muslim man to death when he objected to the gross abuse.
Have we had enough? Even some of us, even a few of us? Could we initiate a movement, asking that hate crimes be legally reclassified as acts of terror and be treated on par with them? May we demand that the entire Opposition — if it still deserves that name — unite under this demand immediately? After all, we have a useful precedent in a country which has, in recent times, suffered many more terror attacks than we have, and which has refused to discriminate between terror and terror.
The writer retired as professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU

Modi to boost ties with Israel

Next week, Indian prime minister Modi and Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will hold talks on ways to increase cooperation in key strategic areas, and are expected to sign a slew of agreements in the fields of innovation, development, science, technology and space. Such normalization of relations with the Zionist state is nothing new for Modi's India. To read more, click here.

Junaid Khan lynching

Junaid Khan lynching: Delhi govt employee among four held in connection with murder.

Last week, Junaid Khan was stabbed to death while returning from Delhi along with his two brothers. An argument over train seats escalated and religious slurs were hurled at the brothers.
In a big breakthrough in the lynching of Junaid Khan, Haryana Police arrested four accused in connection with the case, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday. The arrests come a day after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
“We have arrested four more persons, including three youths, aged between 24 and 30 years and a 50-year-old man,” Kamaldeep Goel, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Government Railway Police (GRP), Faridabad, told PTI over phone.
The 50-year-old arrested today is a Delhi government employee while the three others were doing some private jobs, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), GRP, Faridabad, Mohinder Singh said.

Earlier, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu condemned the stabbing. “Any incident of such nature is condemnable. It is brutal, atrocious. It will not be acceptable at all. People who are responsible for the same should be identified and dealt very firmly,” Naidu told reporters outside the Parliament.
Last week, 15-year-old Junaid was stabbed to death while returning from Delhi along with his two brothers after Eid shopping. An argument over train seats escalated and religious slurs were hurled at the brothers. A day after the incident, police took into custody a 35-year-old man who claimed that he was in a inebriated condition when he stabbed Junaid. The man, identified as Ramesh Kumar, also claimed that he was egged on by the crowd inside the train

Thousands Gather At Jantar Mantar To Protest Against 'Targeted Lynchings' Of Muslims

Thousands of people gathered today at Jantar Mantar and other parts of India as a joint endeavour to protest against the growing incidents of lynching on minorities and especially, the Muslims.
Triggered by the recent lynching of 15-year-old Junaid Khan who was stabbed to death onboard a Delhi-Mathura train on June 22, the anti-lynching movement gained traction after Saba Dewan, a documentary filmmaker, posted on Facebook about a protest she wanted to organise at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Similar marches have also been held in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru.
Actors Shabana Azmi and Konkona Sena Sharma were among those who participated in the protest held at Carter Road in suburban Bandra this evening.
Protesters marched silently, holding posters and placards bearing slogans. "Killing over food. Not in my Name," read a placard.
"Today's protest was against the savage culture of mob lynching," journalist and author Rana Ayyub said.
To see the videos, click here.

Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem

Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. Her article is posted below.

Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
In my view, such articles both define the injustice done to Palestinians deceptively and are meant simply to normalize the idea of Palestinian Jerusalemites becoming Israeli citizens, in the same way I might normalize the poll that American Jews are increasingly losing their connection to Israel by writing about it, especially if I were to headline my article “Breaking Taboo”, as Maayan Lubell does, or make the title echo a classified ad for the lovelorn, or question “Jewish identity” by “layering it with complexity” – i.e., by tying it to Israel.
Lubell’s article (Haaretz, Aug 5, 2015) is titled “Breaking Taboo, East Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship: In East Jerusalem, which Israel captured during the 1967 war, issues of Palestinian identity are layered with complexity.” It begins with this:
“I declare I will be a loyal citizen of the state of Israel,” reads the oath that must be sworn by all naturalized Israeli citizens. Increasingly, they are words being uttered by Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan during the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed, a move not recognized internationally, issues of Palestinian identity are layered with complexity.
While Israel regards the east of the city as part of Israel, the estimated 300,000 Palestinians that live there do not. They are not Israeli citizens, instead holding Israeli-issued blue IDs that grant them permanent resident status. While they can seek citizenship if they wish, the vast majority reject it, not wanting to renounce their own history or be seen to buy into Israel’s 48-year occupation. And yet over the past decade, an increasing number of East Jerusalem Palestinians have gone through the lengthy process of becoming Israeli citizens, researchers and lawyers say.
So what is the reader to conclude from the “and yet” at the end of the quotation above? One way of looking at it is to see “the increasing number” of Palestinian Jerusalemites seeking Israeli citizenship as finally surrendering to the imperative of power and brutal facts on the ground, impelled by an otherwise unlivable life.
Another is to regard these Palestinians as traitors to the Palestinian cause, normalizing and legitimizing their enemy’s power, as there is often the implication in references to Palestinians seeking Israeli citizenship that Jerusalemites, through their applications for such citizenship, are signaling approval for the Israeli state, when in fact they seem to be doing it for practical reasons- so they can acquire some basic rights that Israel otherwise denies them.
A third is to see it from the point of view of Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tafakji – as yet another defeat for the Palestinian Authority in the context of Oslo’s so-called “peace process”.
Tafakji is quoted in this Haaretz report as saying, “If this continues, what will the Palestinians negotiate about? They want to negotiate on the land – they have already lost the land. They want to negotiate for the population and the population is being lost.”
In other words the Palestinian view that Tafakji expresses is a lose/lose situation, not the win/win one espoused by another Haaretz article on the subject like the following.
Nir Hasson’s article (Haaretz, June 20, 2017) also has clues as to the function of such articles in the Israeli “liberal” media and co-dependent publications like the New York Times. These are often embedded right in the title or subheading – in this case: “50 Years After Six-Day War, East Jerusalem’s Palestinians Remain Prisoners in Their City: Study shows how ambivalent Israeli policies and denial of the problem have created a status that doesn’t exist anywhere else on earth: Native-born residents who are not citizens of the state in whose capital they live.”
One glance at the word “capital” in the subheading frames it all for us, hasbara style. What may lull the suspicions of the unwary reader is that the piece does, in fact, highlight the severe problems created for Palestinians by Israeli policies of judaization in the expanded municipality of Jerusalem. But in the end, this kind of article is Israeli “self-criticism” of the worst kind, meant to play games with one’s head.
The subtext you may miss is that, similar to the past and ongoing judaization of Israel proper, the goal behind Israel’s policies in Jerusalem is to create, expand and preserve the Zionist Jewish state.
Hasson describes Israeli policy in 1967 in East Jerusalem, when the population was 60,000, as follows:
The [Israeli] ministers assumed that, as in 1948, when a large number of Arabs likewise didn’t get automatic citizenship, over time the East Jerusalemites would request citizenship – an option granted only to them and not to other West Bank residents – and integrate into Israeli society. The ministers did not take into account the strong ties these Arabs had to the West Bank and Jordan, and the unwillingness of Israeli society to absorb a large Palestinian population …. After the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel recognized the ties East Jerusalemites had to the West Bank and allowed them to vote for the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah. This made their legal status even more complicated: permanent residents of the State of Israel with Jordanian travel papers and the right to vote in Palestinian Authority elections.
Notice the telling phrase in the above that is the blind spot of Zionism: “The ministers did not take into account the strong ties these Arabs had to the West Bank and Jordan.” It totally disregards the strong ties of Palestinian Arabs to an Arab Jerusalem, to an Arab Palestine, ties Israel has not succeeded in breaking seventy years after its establishment on a territory of Palestine as a settler-colonial Zionist Jewish state against the wishes of its native inhabitants.
Hasson goes on to say:
Another expression of the relatively enlightened policy of the early years was a law, finally passed in 1973, that enabled East Jerusalemites to be compensated for property they abandoned in western Jerusalem during the 1948 War of Independence, similar to the rights of Jews to get back the property they had to abandon in East Jerusalem during that same war. In the end, the compensation offered was paltry and very few Palestinians tried to claim it. But the debates on the law at least demonstrated an effort to right the wrong…. In recent years there has been considerable talk about the “Israelization” of East Jerusalemites, as reflected in the labor market, the desire to study the Israeli curriculum, and the increased number of requests to get full Israeli citizenship.
Again, notice the Israeli-centric formulation and framing. Palestinians are described as having “abandoned” their property in West Jerusalem, when, in fact, they were denied their right of return to their property by Israel.
Palestinians “abandoned” their property; but the reference to Jews is a reference to their “rights.”
Palestinians turned down “compensation” for no other reason than its paltry size, when, in fact, the Palestinian view on this issue is as Canadian professor Michael Lynk describes it in The Right to Compensation in International Law and the Displaced Palestinians”
“Palestinians advance the compensation issue as a right recognized in international law that would obligate Israel to return, or pay for, the refugee properties expropriated or destroyed in 1948 and afterwards. As well, they argue that Israel must pay damages for pain and suffering, and for its use of Palestinian properties over the past five decades
The dominance of Jewish companies in the labor market in East Jerusalem where many Palestinians are employed (See The Palestinian Economy in East Jerusalem: Enduring annexation, isolation and disintegration), the agonizing choice some Palestinians make in accepting a school curriculum for their children that denies Palestinian heritage and identity but allows them to get ahead at Israeli universities, and the application for Israeli citizenship (mostly denied by Israel) of a minority of Palestinians are all deceptively framed as “a desire” for “Izraelization” and a path to “correcting the injustice”.
Quoting Amnon Ramon of the Jerusalem Institute for Israeli [not for Palestinian] Studies, Hasson’s article also details the problems that Israel faces as a result of the “limbo” residency arrangement imposed on Palestinian Arabs by the Israeli Government – a “hollow sovereignty”, contributing to “instability and violent outbursts, as well as the international community’s refusal to recognize Israel’s legitimacy in Jerusalem.”
But ostensibly, the article is concerned with Israel “righting a wrong” by removing the “legal limbo” under which Palestinian Jerusalemites live, claiming that such a path, will not only relieve Israel’s problems, but is also a path to “justice” – justice as defined by Israel, the oppressor, not by the Palestinians themselves, Israel’s victims.
This brings us to the immediate present. On June 25, 2017, the New York Times published a piece by Isabel Kershner titled “50 Years After War, East Jerusalem Palestinians Confront a Life Divided.”
Again, we have to ask: What is Kershner’s point in this one? Is it really a concern for Palestinians whose lives have been “divided” by Israel or is it another deflection from the illegitimate existence of Israel as a Zionist Jewish entity in Palestine?
Even as Israelis mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the June 1967 war, the Palestinians and most of the world consider the eastern half under occupation, and the city remains deeply divided. But after five decades, dealing with Israel has become unavoidable for residents of East Jerusalem.
The deflection in the quotation above is blatant. Dealing with Israel did not “become unavoidable after five decades.” For Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and all other Palestinian Arabs who want to visit or do business there and for Palestinian Arabs denied return to their property there, or those whose property was seized and/or demolished, dealing with Israel became unavoidable the minute Israel occupied and annexed East Jerusalem.
It is true Palestinian culture and day-to-day life has been under severe assault by Israel for a long time – since 1948 to be exact. The 50-year anniversary of Israel’s brutal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem (see Living Under Israeli Policies of Colonization in Jerusalem) is an occasion to extol and marvel at Palestinian resilience and sumoud (an Arabic word meaning “steadfastness” that has entered the English language, just as the word “intifada” has). It is not an occasion to normalize and indirectly extol “the reunification of Jerusalem,” whose Palestinian Arab population now accounts for 18% of the Palestinian Arab population of Israel.
 

Robert Fisk on Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State

Al Jazeera television editors, supported by a phalanx of human rights and press freedom groups, have denounced the 10-day warning that the Qatar satellite chain must close – along with Middle East Eye and other affiliates – as a monstrous intrusion into freedom of speech. One television executive compared it to a German demand that Britain closes the BBC. Not so. It is much more like an EU demand that Theresa May close the BBC. And we know what she would say to that.
But the British Prime Minister and her Foreign Secretary, while obviously anxious to distance themselves from this very dangerous – and highly expensive – Arab dispute, are not going to draw the sword for Qatar. Nor are the Americans, when their crackpot President decided that Qatar was a funder of “terrorism” a few days after agreeing a $350bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
But surely, say the Qataris, this can’t be serious. They don’t doubt that Field Marshal President al-Sisi of Egypt, who loathes Al Jazeera, is principally behind the demand that it close down, but one of the four Arab states must have deliberately leaked the list to Reuters and the Associated Press. If so, why would Qatar’s enemies wish to reveal their hand so early? Surely such demands would be only the first negotiating position of the four Arab nations.
It’s hard to see how the Qataris can respond. If they really did close their worldwide television network and other media groups, break off relations with the Muslim Brotherhood – al-Sisi’s target, although his real enemy is Isis – and the Taliban and Hezbollah, downgrade their relations with Iran, close Turkey’s military base and expose their account books for international Arab scrutiny for the next 12 years, then Qatar becomes a vassal state.
To Qatar’s friends, this seems bizarre, fantastical, almost beyond reality – but who can plumb the brain of the new and highly impulsive 31-year-old Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia? If he can rush into a hopeless war with the Houthis of Yemen, why shouldn’t he threaten the body politic of Qatar? The Saudi royal family have several times tried to humiliate their disobedient neighbour; by isolating this little pearl of wealth with its meddlesome television station, they are forcing Qatar to eat the nearest equivalent of humble pie: food imported from Iran and Turkey.
Al Jazeera, needless to say, is no shrinking violet. Modesty has never been its chief characteristic. Its Arabic service has shown extraordinary partiality towards the Brotherhood, which the emir of Qatar continued to support after the Egyptian military staged a coup d’etat against the elected Brotherhood president of Egypt. Al-Sisi banged up a group of Al Jazeera journalists whose work for the English service had been used – without their permission – on the intrusive and anti-Sisi Arabic “Live” channel run by Qatar.
The English service, despite all the brouhaha when it first began transmitting – the American media hailed its arrival as the beginning of media freedom in the Middle East – rarely covered Bahrain or showed any critical courage in reporting Saudi Arabia. It certainly never asked why Qatar was not a democracy. When it began broadcasting Osama bin Laden’s taped sermons, President George W Bush wanted to bomb the satellite channel – which would have been a slightly more extreme step than the 13 demands of the four Arab nations who now wish to isolate Qatar. An American version of Al Jazeera was a total failure; it began to sound and look like just another version of CNN/Fox News – tat journalism that then infected its worldwide English language service.
So while we should not be too romantic about Al Jazeera, its Arab detractors, fortified by their all too romantic new relationship with Trump, are trying to crush any dignity which Qatar claims for itself. To insist that it pays cash compensation for lives lost due to its foreign policy is like asking Saudi Arabia to fund the rebuilding of Yemen, pay indemnity to its 10,000 civilian dead and care for its tens of thousands of cholera victims.
In its earlier days, I asked one of Al Jazeera’s senior staffers if the channel, on which I sometimes appeared, was merely a propaganda plaything of the Qatari royal family. No, I was told firmly. It was a “foreign policy project”. And so it clearly is. Tiny Qatar thought it had become an imperial power upon whose satellite channel the sun would never set. But if it one day acquired the power of land – by rebuilding Syria, for example – this might add territory to oil and liquid gas and Al Jazeera; something which the Saudis would never accept. Is this why Qatar’s nationhood is now being threatened?

Jonathan Cook on Israel's efforts to hide truth

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net. His latest article is posted below.
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Israel’s Efforts to Hide Palestinians From View No Longer Fools Young American Jews


Few books on Palestinian history become bestsellers. But one, titled A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era, managed to rocket to the top of Amazon’s charts this month.
Its author, Assaf Voll, an Israeli academic, claims to have reviewed “thousands of sources” to explain “the Palestinian people’s unique contribution to the world and to humanity”.
However, when Amazon realised all the book’s 130 pages were blank, it hurriedly excised the title from its site. But not before hundreds of customers paid nearly $10 to enjoy the puerile joke. Speaking on Israeli radio, Voll observed: “Someone needs to tell them [the Palestinians] the truth, even if it hurts.”
A History of the Palestinian People has famous antecedents. In 1969, Golda Meir, then Israel’s prime minister, declared to the world: “There were no such thing as Palestinians.”
Fifteen years later, a book called From Time Immemorial won acclaim from scholars and newspapers across the United States. It argued that the Palestinians were not the native people of Palestine, but recent economic migrants taking advantage of advances made by the Ottoman Empire.
A talented Jewish doctoral student, Norman Finkelstein, exposed the book as a fraud and it was gradually forgotten.
An Israeli official called Peters in 2015, shortly before her death, to thank her on behalf of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu “for all she had done for Israel”.
Both Voll and Peters were only echoing Israel’s popular historical narrative. In Israeli museums, the Palestinians’ presence is obscured with cryptic references to an “Ottoman” period. Like the Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks and British, the Ottomans are presented as temporary occupiers. Israeli politicians and media regularly speak of modern Palestinians as squatters and trespassers.
Israelis have been only too happy to make the Palestinians vanish. Who needs to feel guilty about the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of “Arabs” in 1948, or about Israel’s brutal domination of millions more for half a century in the occupied territories, if they had no right to be there in the first place?
The antidote to Voll’s empty book is a new anthology of essays, including by leading Jewish and Israeli writers, that never forgets the Palestinians’ deep roots in the land and keeps its gaze fixed on the crushing realities of Israel’s occupation.
Last week, Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon said he had faced a barrage of abuse since the publication of Kingdom of Olives and Ash, designed to warn off others from following in his footsteps.
Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan, whose book on a love affair between a Palestinian man and Jewish woman was recently banned from Israeli schools, observed that visiting the West Bank was a way of “taking off the blindfold and opening our eyes to what is happening around us”.
One can understand why making the Palestinians invisible is the tactic of choice for Israel’s supporters. But a new report suggests that it would be wise for them to keep Israel in the shadows too.
The Brand Israel Group found that the more US college students knew about Israel, the less they liked it. In the six years to 2016, support for Israel among the next generation of Jewish leaders dropped precipitously, by 27 percentage points.
Traditionally, Israel has nurtured bonds to overseas Jews. Over the past 20 years the Birthright programme has brought half a million young American Jews on free summer trips to Israel for an intensive course of indoctrination.
The students are supposed to leave fervent ambassadors for Israel – or better still, devotees who will immigrate to help in a demographic war against the Palestinians.
But organisers are aware that a growing number sneak off afterwards into the occupied territories to discover first-hand a history their elders have kept from them. It can have a profound effect. Many get involved in protests in the occupied territories or become leaders of boycott activism against Israel on campuses back home.
Tellingly, when Israel announced earlier this year it was banning entry to foreigners who support the boycott movement, hundreds coming on this year’s Birthright signed a petition asking whether they would be allowed in.
Signs of Israel’s troubles with the next generation of American Jews are already apparent. They are at the heart of a new project near Hebron in the West Bank of non-violent direct action against the occupation. Sumud Freedom Camp – “sumud” is Arabic for steadfastness – is a project between Palestinians, Israelis and foreign Jews who refuse to turn a blind eye to Palestinian suffering. It offers a new model of joint protest.
These young Jews hope their presence will protect Palestinians trying to reclaim lands stolen by Israel. But the army has repeatedly torn down the camp. One American Jewish participant wrote in the Israeli media of how her experiences had disabused her of the image of Israeli soldiers as “superheroes who’d protect me from harm”.
Increasingly, American Jewry is becoming polarised, between an older generation whose ignorance allows them to advocate unthinkingly for Israel and a young generation whose greater knowledge has brought with it a sense of responsibility. In an ever-more globalised world, this trend is going to intensify.
Young American Jews will have to choose. Will they conspire, if only through their silence, in the erasure of the Palestinians carried out by Israel in their name? Or will they stand and fight, in the occupied territories, on campus, in their communities and, soon enough, in the corridors of power in Washington?
     
 
 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Rohingya Man tortured to death and two men missing

Here below is a very disturbing news about Rohingyas of Myanmar, which is reported by RB News.

The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) tortured a Rohingya Man to death in Southern Maungdaw last night (on June 26).

This morning, the Police arrived at his home in the village of Baggona and took a forced confession that he died suffering from diseases.

The victim was trapped and arrested by the Police when he visited the village's market on the Ocassion of Islamic Eid Festival.

The victim is identified as 'Hafiz Mohammed Sadek' S/o 'Mv Nazir Ahmed', 35, and was a student of religious studies.

"He was Hafiz, who knew the Holy Quran by heart. He was arrested by the Border Guard Police from 'Maggyi Chaung' Camp at the village's market yesterday. He was tortured the whole night.

In the morning when he died due to the extreme tortures, the Police came to his wife and FORCED her to give a statement that he was suffering from multiple diseases and hence died in the Police lock-up", said a said an elderly man in Southern Maungdaw asking not to be identified.

His dead-body was sent to the Maungdaw Hospital for autopsy and hasn't been handed over to his family (as of 11 AM Myanmar Time).

Another village man, Mohammed Toyub (son of) Nazir, a magician by profession, was arbitrarily arrested by the Border Guard Police in Baggona village on June 25. He has been incommunicado since then.



 
In a separate news, Rohingya Vision reports the following about missing Rohingyas.
 
Northern Maungdaw: In the violent attack and raid conducted by the military and BGP in collaboration with Rakhines on Botali Hamlet of Kyun Pauk Pyu Zuu Village Track, Northern Maungdaw yesterday on Eid Day, two men are missing and several others severely injured.
The missing men are identified as Abu Salam, son of Abdul Majid, 50 and Abu Siddique, son of Keramot Ali, 65, from Botali Hamlet (1). There were total 20 persons missing, but 18 of them returned home in the evening with injuries.
They are still missing, while the villagers have traced a location in the mountain with blood and so, they are worried about the fate of the two victims.
Today (on 27/06/2017), since morning another hamlet called Pa Li Pyin has been under siege, attack and raid by military, BGP and Rakhine extremists. In the morning, some villagers have fled to neighboring village, but currently they have besieged the hamlet from every sides.
All the villagers are forced to gather at a place vacating their homes, while the Rakhines are looting them, moving all the valuables, destroying them and vandalizing sacred sites and things.
Normally these villages were stable even in post-2012 period and 9/10 operations, but the local authorities and Rakines were extremely trying to destabilize.
Finally exploiting the disputes between four Rakhines on 24/6/2017, the armed authorities and Rakhines have started violent attack afresh on Rohingya villages one by one.
For a couple of hours, we have been losing our contact at the region, as the village is under siege and being attacked.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

M15 agent confessed killing Princess Diana

Here is the link to a very interesting news on the death or alleged assassination of princess Diana.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Why Saudi Arabia hates Al Jazeera so much?

To read the Washington Post article, click here.

Teen brutally killed in attack on train in India

The news below filed by Vidhi Doshi is very disturbing and shows how cheap Muslim life has become in Modi's India. It is heartbreaking and simply shocking!
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DELHI — It was going to be a weekend of celebrations. Sixteen-year-old Junaid had just earned the esteemed title of “hafiz,” given to Muslims who memorize the entire Koran. Junaid would need a new suit for the festivities, so his parents sent him to the Indian capital, New Delhi, with his brothers, and 1,500 rupees ($23) in his pocket.
Junaid would never wear the suit. Nor will he have the honor of reciting the Koran in the mosque ever again.
The teenager was brutally killed Thursday evening by a mob on his way home from the city. They slashed his ribs and stabbed him in the chest and then threw him off the train. They called him “mullah,” mocking his religion. They accused him of being a beef-eater, an anti-national, a Pakistani.
A video shows Junaid being cradled by his brother at the platform of a train station just after the attack, with a crowd of people looking on. Junaid's brothers told NDTV that the attackers threw their skullcaps to the floor and pulled their beards.
The family's last name has not been released by authorities or reported by the media.
Junaid's slaying was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks during the holy Islamic period of Ramadan, known in India as Ramazan.
“He was a child. He was just 16. How could they hate us so much to have killed him so brutally?” Junaid's father, Jallaluddin, told the Hindustan Times. “When I reached the spot, my son Hashim was sitting on the station with Junaid’s body soaked in blood in his lap,” he said.
Hashim, Junaid's brother, said the teenager was pinned to the ground by three men as others stabbed him. “Three men held me when I tried to intervene and stabbed me thrice in the back and shoulder. One of us even tried to pull the chain to stop the train, but it was not working,” he told the Hindustan Times.

Onlookers on the train, Hashim said, refused to intervene as the mob closed in on the Muslim passengers. “Instead, they asked those men to finish us all,” he said.
Police are saying the deadly altercation started over a seat space on the train. “There are also allegations that some words which hurt religious sentiments were also said after which things got out of hand,” a police spokesman told NDTV. At least one man has been arrested.
Violence has surged since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government introduced new rules in May, restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter. The move was widely interpreted as an effort to stop people eating the meat of cows, considered sacred by Hindus. It enraged Muslims, who often sacrifice cows on Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of a period of austerity and fasting during Ramadan. Some have protested; others have just kept their heads down.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is known to have close ideological ties with a far-right organization called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has long advocated banning the sale of beef in India. Such efforts during Modi's reign have pitted beef-eating Muslims and low-caste Dalits against the Hindu majority and invigorated young vigilante Hindu bands, who launch attacks on anyone they suspect is a beef-eater. The BJP has often been criticized for failing to rein in such attacks.
Modi has tried to distance himself from cow-related violence. In a speech in 2016, he said such vigilantism was the work of “antisocial elements.”
Eid al-Fitr — marking an end to the month Muslims believe the Koran was revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad — is supposed to be a time of peace and atonement for Muslims. In India, the holiday has become prime season for anti-Muslim violence, as it is also a time when animals are sacrificed to God, a ritual considered immoral by many Hindus. In 2015, a man named Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from bed and lynched to death by a mob after he was accused of keeping beef in his fridge.
Islam is the second-largest religion in India. Muslims make up 14.2 percent of the nation's population. Tensions between the majority Hindus and Muslims have remained high since the fall of the British Raj in 1947. A Muslim-majority portion of the subcontinent was split off from India, creating the state of Pakistan that same year. In the partition, millions of people were displaced, adding to the ill will.
Muslims in other Indian provinces have pressed for independence. In the northern conflict-torn state of Kashmir, where sectarian violence usually slows down during Ramadan, recent years have seen an uptick of attacks on either side of the separationist divide. This week, a police officer, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, was lynched to death by a mob at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, where a sermon supporting al-Qaeda leader Zakir Musa was apparently being held. The details of the incident are unclear, but reports suggest that the plainclothes officer was attacked because he was shooting video at the mosque or because he fired into the crowd. According to the Hindustan Times, Pandith was one of 43 people killed in violent attacks during this year's Ramadan.
For Junaid's family, the tensions struck home. His mother, Saira, only learned about her son's death on the day of his funeral. “I got to know only when his body returned home this morning,” she said Friday. “When he did not reach home last night, I kept asking his father about his whereabouts, but no one answered me. ... No one ever told me that he was no more. How could they hide it from me?” she said.
She will never celebrate Eid again. “This time it was special,” she said. “My son became the hafiz — the preserver [of the Koran]. And a day later I lost him. How can this be justified?”

Thoughts on this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr

This Sunday Muslims in the North America are going to celebrate their Eid-ul-Fitr after a month of fasting. Many parts of the world will celebrate the Eid later based on local citing of the crescent moon.

This Ramadan, like some other previous ones in recent years, has not been trouble-free for many Muslims, esp. for those living in war ravaged countries. They had to run for their lives away from harm’s way, and many are living in refugee camps as they fled from war. The lives of ordinary Muslims, esp. the Rohingya, in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have not improved an iota despite overwhelming worldwide condemnation of Suu Kyi and her government’s handling of on-going genocidal activities against them.

Just hear a 11-year old Rohingya Muslim girl’s story as told to Ilona Alexander of the United Nations. “Her father went into hiding from the military and took her two older sisters with him so that they would be safe. He left the girl at home with her mother and two little brothers because he thought the military wouldn’t hurt children. The military came back to their house twice. The first time, the military came and removed her clothing and kicked her. After the clothing was removed and the girl was beaten, the military suddenly left. The next day they returned with seven soldiers and removed the mother from the house. The soldiers locked themselves in a room with the girl and gang raped her.

The girl told me that she doesn’t even know how many of them raped her because she fell unconscious at times and awoke bleeding and injured after.”


More than half of Rohingya refugee women who were interviewed by the UN reported being raped. The actual numbers are higher. Think of how many nameless 11-year-olds are silently living with this trauma with no access to health and psychological care. Their plight doesn’t end there, they are still vulnerable to exploitation in the refugee camps, where 80% of refugees are women and children.
The Rohingyas continue to face extinction while Suu Kyi denies any charges. What a joke the Nobel peace prize has become because of moral depravity of people like Suu Kyi!

The criminal outfit Daesh (IS) is still active in Iraq and Syria, trying to hold on to their rapidly shrinking territories. Some of their supporters, comprised of the ‘losers’ in both the worlds (here in this world and the hereafter), living in the western countries have tried to kill and/or get killed in their nihilistic attacks. [As can be seen, here, I agree with President Trump in calling these ragtag fighters for the cause of Daesh as losers because nothing can describe them better. Before joining the Daesh and/or purporting to be its brain-washed foot-soldiers they have been mostly losers in life with no direction. They did neither know Islam nor cared about its do’s and don’ts.] To them, anyone who did not agree with their nihilistic goals is a fair game. To them, the vast corpus of hadith literature and Qur’anic dictums forbidding committing fitnah and fasad, let alone suicide attacks, have no meanings. With powerful messaging and videos, nonetheless, they continue to recruit many brain-dead individuals to their nihilistic causes. Thus, the lives of many people – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – have been threatened by these losers.

We are told by the Saudi Interior Ministry that a terrorist network intended to violate the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on Earth. Security authorities confirmed that the attacker blew himself up when surrounded by security men. They also confirmed that before the incident, security men, on Friday morning, had arrested a wanted criminal at a house in Al-Asilah neighborhood in east Makkah. The criminal led authorities to the location of the terrorist in Ajyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, behind Al-Safwa Hotel. Another terrorist was arrested in Jeddah. Last July, a terrorist blew himself up near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. Suicide attacks also occurred in Jeddah and Qatif that month.

Just imagine their audacity and the criminal intent! Which Muslim would ever dare to commit such a grievous crime in either Makkah or Madinah that house two of the most visited mosques in our planet? Still these criminals try to sell their identity as Islamic! What a perversion of faith in the hands of extremists and what a joke!

Equally problematic has been the emergence of non-Muslim vigilantes and terrorist outfits that are trying to kill anyone who looks like a Muslim. Muslims have been stabbed, shot at and mowed over by speeding vehicles. In London, the attacker who killed a Muslim and injured many near a mosque — identified as Darren Osborne, a white 47-year-old man — was said to have screamed “I want to kill more Muslims” before being confronted and handed over unharmed by Muslim bystanders to the police.

President Trump who has been rushing messages when groups like the Daesh are suspected to be involved is regrettably silent when Muslims are victims. Don't forget that early in his tenure, Trump was publicly quiet after a white supremacist shot up a mosque in Quebec City. Such double standards from Trump should not surprise anyone.

As recently noted in the Washington Post by Ishaan Tharoor, “Trump campaigned on anti-Muslim demagoguery and has since sought to implement edicts that many analysts (and some federal courts) consider discriminatory toward Muslims. His administration enlisted senior advisers who don't see Islam as a real religion.”

This year, bucking an annual tradition that stretches back to 1996 — and by other accounts, more than two centuries — the White House did not host an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan. “The absence of such an event now speaks volumes — louder, perhaps, than Trump's supposed overtures to the Muslim world while visiting Saudi Arabia last month. Even then, Trump made no mention of the millions of Muslims in his own country and avoided talk of the rich achievements of Islamic empires when extolling the greatness of the Middle East's history. The inference one is compelled to make is that the president has a callous disinterest in the successes of Muslims and is almost exclusively animated by their perceived misdeeds,” Tharoor writes.

Attacks on Muslims in the West does not and did not occur in vacuum. Years of anti-Muslim headlines in tabloid newspapers and Fox TV channels (many owned by Rupert Murdoch), combined with toxic Islamophobia that Muslims are here to impose Shariah and force western women to wear burqa – preached by hate groups like Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of Europe, Stop Islamization of America – had prepared the groundwork for not only fundamentally dehumanizing Muslim communities living in the West but also providing the necessary ammunitions needed for committing terrorist crimes – against Muslims. [Of course, such heinous crimes are depicted here as only hate crimes and not terrorism (as if the terrorism is synonymous with Muslims).] The Trump White House even includes some of the hateful, anti-Muslim provocateurs.

Trump’s trip to the Middle East has also divided the GCC (seen more as a Gulf Coercive or Conspiracy, and not a Cooperative, Council today) and the Arab world; such a fissure is bound to enrich all those connected with the military industrial complex. Relations with the progressive Qatar by its regressive Arab neighbors have been severed, who have demanded (among 13 outrageous, sovereignty-threatening demands) that Qatar stop Al Jazeera TV network from operating, severe ties with Iran and close the Turkish military base inside Qatar.

Free press has been a threat everywhere to despotic rulers. The latter see it as a mortal challenge to their unbridled authoritarianism. Even in the ‘liberal’ western democracies like the USA, Trump administration has been very hostile to the free press, calling it (all but the Fox News) the ‘fake news’ outlets. So, when it comes to countries that are not even ‘illiberal’ (forget about being liberal) democracies and are, instead, ruled by despots, autocrats, kings and monarchs, one can understand why they want to see Al-Jazeera – the most trusted news media in the world (and not just the Middle East) - shut down.

Thanks to the generous seed money provided by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, Al Jazeera has been a Godsend bringing to the fore the dirty secrets, excesses and abuses of the unpopular regimes and images of depravation and suffering of the ordinary Arabs in that part of the world. Its reporting from the besieged Gaza and bombed-out, mass-murdering fields and streets inside Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush II era have made it an unsubdued foe of the apartheid state of Israel and its powerful patron - the USA government. [No wonder that the American air raids repeatedly targeted Al Jazeera stations in war-torn countries, even jailing (and inducing such in client or friendly states) its reporters on false charges. In 2003, an Al Jazeera staff member was killed and three other employees were wounded by an American airstrike during the U.S. push into Baghdad. Donald Rumsfeld did not like Al Jazeera coverage on high casualty figures of civilians.] Its real-time coverages of the Arab Spring gave voice to criticisms of autocratic governments in a region where such talk was largely out of bounds. [The network's coverage of the anti-military popular movement in Egypt quickly drew the attention of the new usurper government of El-Sisi, which in 2014 arrested three journalists working for the outlet's English-language division. Its journalist Mahmoud Hussein remains detained since December 20, 2016 after traveling to Cairo for a holiday.]  

All those unpopular, criminal regimes obviously prefer Al Jazeera to simply disappear. They love the status quo; no toppling of their hated regimes, no revolutions that could kill them!

In our time when no opinion of a pundit is 100% unbiased, Al Jazeera, to its credit, has remained reasonably neutral and objective, thus enjoying much admiration all over the globe. So, we can understand why Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners – all patrons of the extremist Wahabi brand of Islam that morphed monsters like the Daesh – want moderately Salafi state of Qatar to close the only free press in that part of the world.

We can also understand why the US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on Qatar, accusing it falsely of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism. He obviously wants to kill more than one bird with that crisis!

Turkey has backed, and rightfully so, Qatar during the three-week-old crisis. It sent its first ship carrying food aid to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there on Thursday, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.

We surely live in a difficult time where state despotism is becoming a new normal almost everywhere where the ruling class feels that they can do whatever they like, whether those ruled like it or not; they are there to stay forever. They are a remorseless bunch totally oblivious of their accountability before God on the Day of Resurrection.

The ultimate objective of fasting during the month of Ramadan is to create that God-consciousness (taqwa), which elevates a person to become a real human being that is mindful of its deeds and accountability. If this Ramadan has failed in awakening that nourishing spirit, the coming days will only be more painful. May Allah help us all to be conscious of Him in everything we do!

Eid Mubarak!