Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Invite Abbas to a Seder

By Michael Curtis

The Passover Seder is an occasion when Jewish people around the world remember their history. That complex past, embracing both suffering and happiness, is symbolized in the Seder service by the mixture of bitter horseradish with sweet parsley, representing spring and renewal. The collective memory is of ancient persecution, exile, pogroms, the Holocaust, perpetual anti-Semitism, present-day terrorism but also one of emancipation in democratic countries and the creation of the State of Israel. Above all, this story depicts the liberation of people 3,300 years ago from slavery and subjugation in the Egypt ruled by Pharoah to liberation, freedom, and sovereignty in a land promised to them.

The central part of the Seder is the asking and the response to four questions about the nature and significance of the festive ceremony, and the traditions observed and different foods that are eaten on the occasion. Those answers recall the struggles of Jews in their desire to be free: the coming forth from Egypt, and the struggle and rebellion against the Romans who destroyed the Second Temple. The memory of those struggles against persecution and discrimination is still echoed in the challenges today requiring the struggle against discrimination and anti-Semitism, the response to those who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State of Israel or who deny or minimize the relationship to the area of the Middle East that is still disputed, and also the answer to the bigoted and biased boycotters of Israel.

At the heart of the Seder story is the escape of Jews from bondage to a life of freedom and political sovereignty. For Israel today, and for the hopes of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the four questions asked in the Seder can be boiled down to one: in spite of the incontestable evidence, why will Palestinians not accept the historical relationship of Jews to the area of Palestine, and why do they so strongly oppose the sovereignty and the legitimacy of the Jewish State?

A/T

British Woman May Face Execution in Iran for Insulting Islam

by Shadi Paveh

    The notes from Dr. Azam's medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing fingernails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet [and] extensive damage to her genitals.

    Dutch authorities expressed shock and sadness over her execution and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran for approximately 20 days.

Roya Nobakht, 47, presently being detained as a political prisoner in Iran, may face execution for insulting Islam. She has lived in Stockport, England with her husband for the last six years and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.

Her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, has stated that his wife was arrested while visiting a friend at Iran's Shiraz airport last October for comments she had made on a Facebook group calling the government of Iran "too Islamic." According to a copy of her charge sheet seen by the UK's Independent; she was transferred to Tehran and charged with "gathering and participation with intent to commit crimes against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities"-- crimes punishable by death.

In an interview, Mr. Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News that "his wife is not well at all...she has lost three stones [42 lbs]… and is scared that the government will kill her." He also said that a confession had been extracted from his wife "under duress." As is well documented, torture is systematically used by Iranian authorities to obtain confessions from political dissidents and even from some common prisoners.

Ms. Nobakht's fears are not unfounded. Iran's persecution of expatriates is nothing new. The first known case was that of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died under torture in 2003 while in custody. Ms. Zahara Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian, was hanged in 2011. Three Canadian-Iranians; Saeed Malekpour, Hossein Derakhshan and Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, along with American Amir Hekmati, were all arbitrarily arrested while visiting relatives in Iran on vague anti-government charges. With the exception of Mr. Ghassemi-Shall, who was recently released, each one presently languishes inside Iran as political prisoners under dire conditions.

Gatestone Institute

Did Muslim hardliners try to infiltrate and takeover TWENTY FIVE Birmingham schools? Probe into 'Trojan horse' plot expands

By Harriet Arkell

Thousands of schoolchildren's education could have been threatened by a hardline Muslim plot to force out moderate school governors and heads and replace them with extremists.

It emerged today that 25 Birmingham schools are now being investigated for links to the alleged radicalisation plot, and while Birmingham City Council has refused to name the schools, some of which have upwards of 600 students, it means that vast numbers of pupils could have been at risk.

The number of schools allegedly involved rose today from 15 to 25 as Education Secretary Michael Gove is said to have told Ofsted inspectors to fail any school 'where religious conservatism is getting in the way of learning and a balanced curriculum'.

This afternoon Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed the investigations, saying schools should not be allowed to become 'silos of segregation'.

Daily Mail

Allah's wrath killed Rajiv, Sanjay Gandhi: SP's Azam Khan

Bijnor (Uttar Pradesh): Uttar Pradesh's Minority Affairs Minister Mohd Azam Khan seems uncontrollable. He told a stunned gathering at Bijnor town that the untimely deaths of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay Gandhi were "acts of Allah".

The Election Commission banned all public meetings, speeches and campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls hours after the comment.

The senior minister in the Samajwadi Party government of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said both Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi had committed "serious crimes" and were "punished by Allah" and which is why they met brutal deaths.

Addressing an election rally in Bijnor Friday evening, Khan said while Sanjay Gandhi was responsible for mass and forcible sterlization during the emergency rule of his mother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, he accused former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi of incurring the "wrath of gods" as he had presided over the opening of the Babri mosque to Hindus for prayers.

ZEENEWS

Liberal Europe is a Breeding Ground for Sectarian Islamist Killers Entering Syria

Salma Zribi and Lee Jay Walker

The vibes of multi-cultural Europe, gender rights, numbing down on Christianity, progressive age based on new technology, growing atheism, and so forth, appears to be bypassing Islamist sectarians going to Syria in order to kill from this continent. Recent accounts highlight that the number of European jihadists, either Muslim born zealots or recent converts, is much larger than is being recognized by European Union (EU) officials. Therefore, the new multi-cultural Europe is now a breeding ground for vile Takfiri sectarian killers and Islamist rent-a-mob murderers that glorify beheading and butchering people.

Media incitement against the government of Syria and mass propaganda towards this secular nation means that powerful Gulf and Western media outlets are also part of the problem. Since outside nations, Gulf petrodollars and the open connivance of Turkey began to formulate a sectarian, terrorist and mercenary policy against Syria – then international jihadists began flooding to this nation from all over the world (terrorists apparently don’t need to worry about passport controls and airport security check inns). Despite this reality, farcically the Gulf and Western media mantra continued with its false terminology of “civil war.” After all, the reality of international jihadists; Gulf petrodollars; meddling by Turkey; security agency involvement of players like the CIA, DGSE, MI6, and others; mass shipments of military arms from Libya and other compliant nations assisting sectarian killers, terrorists, mercenaries and covert operatives via NATO Turkey; and other international intrigues; all point in the opposite direction. Therefore, the crisis in Syria is based on “a Gulf and Western sponsored agenda.” This agenda emanates from elite NATO and Gulf powers that have utilized the mass media and the international jihadist agenda – just like Afghanistan in the 1980s and early 1990s and this would be replicated to different degrees in Bosnia and Libya.

Afghanistan and Bosnia would mainly witness international jihadists emanating from mainly Muslim nations that fought on the side of major Western and Gulf powers. This reality is changing because in Syria vast numbers of international jihadists are coming from Belgium, France, Germany and other European nations. These sectarian killers openly reside throughout the EU and if these Islamist fanatics can slaughter fellow Muslims and attack minority Christians with so much hatred in Syria; then clearly multi-cultural Europe is beset by a barbaric religious ideology based on Gulf petrodollars and a liberal agenda that is creating mass confusion.

MTT

2014 Muslim Day at the Capitol


As one of the nation’s most educated and civically engaged faith communities, American Muslims play a critical role in shaping our society’s social and political fabric.

Recognizing the major influence that Muslims have in the political sphere, CAIR-CA will host its 3rd Annual Muslim Day at the Capitol on April 22, 2014.

cairlesscapitolday

U.S. right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists

By Peter Bergen and David Stermann

Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden -- From 9/11 to Abbottabad." David Sterman is a research assistant at the New America Foundation.

(CNN) -- On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted "Heil Hitler" after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now let's do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting "Heil Hitler" after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar." Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.

CNN