Since the death of Gaddafi, the rights of Libyan women have been rolled back by decades, with them now having to leave the house covering their heads, if not also their faces.
It should be noted that the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Abdelhakim Belhadj – whose group was backed by NATO air strikes and who afterwards had his photograph taken with Washington’s leading warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham, is now said to be leading ISIS in Libya.
Hillary proclaiming herself a feminist, and her claim that women’s rights are important to the Obama administration’s foreign policy, is crude and absurd...
Washington’s Al Qaeda Ally Now Leading ISIS in Libya
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart."
True, the Americans didn’t create Iraqi sectarianism. The latter always brewed beneath the surface. However, sectarianism and other manifestations of identity politics in Iraq were always overpowered by a dominant sense of Iraqi nationalism, which was violently destroyed and ripped apart by US firepower starting March 2003.
To destroy sectarian identities prevalent in the Middle East region today, the rules would have to be redesigned, not by Paul Bremer type figures, but through the creation of new political horizons, where fledgling democracies are permitted to operate in safe environments, and where national identities are reanimated to meet the common priorities of the Arab peoples.
"The earth is your mother;
she gave birth to you from her insides. She is the one who nursed you and fed you. Do not be disobedient to your mother — and do not shear her hair, cut off her limbs, rip her flesh, or wound her body.
You must only trim her nails, make her body clean of dirt or filth. Give her medicine to cure any disease. Do not place great weights above her breast, weights of mud or stone above her ribs. Respect her, and remember that if you are too harsh with her, you will not find another."
Muammar Gaddafi (in: “Escape to Hell and Other Stories”)
Green politics is based on the belief that everything matters. All people matter, and they all have valuable contributions to make to the ordering of society.
Green politics is based on the belief that everything is interconnected. Green politics is thus holistic politics.
It stands in opposition to all kinds of reductionism. Human society and the non-human world are deeply interconnected.' (Source)
April 22 is Earth Day, the annual event meant to raise awareness about Mother Nature’s health and the efforts being made to protect it.
Environmental groups in countries all over the world are gearing up to take their message of good stewardship to millions of people. Below are quotes and sayings to share on Earth Day 2015 to help spread the word.
Earth Day events commemorate what is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 on college campuses across the U.S. and was the invention of Gaylord Nelson, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Wisconsin whose idea for Earth Day was born out of watching the momentum of the student-led anti-war protests of the 1960s...
Sayings that pay homage to Mother Nature:
* “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein
* “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Walt Kelly
* “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” Theodore Roosevelt
* “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” Frank Lloyd Wright
* “The earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry
* "That's the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn't care what economic bracket you're in." Whoopi Goldberg
* “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.” Mahatma Gandhi
* “I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.” Stephen Hawking
"Are You Ready for Teddy?"|
Campaign slogan used when Roosevelt was trying to run for a third term
White House Welcomes Saudi Halt
Theodore Roosevelt, President of the USA, received the Peace Prize for having negotiated peace in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5. He also resolved a dispute with Mexico by resorting to arbitration as recommended by the peace movement...
In domestic policy, Roosevelt was a radical within the Republican Party. He went in for social reforms and for state control of big capital. Roosevelt's term as President ended in 1908.
Yemen’s influential former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, urged his rebel allies Friday to heed UN demands to withdraw from territory seized in months of fighting so Saudi-led air strikes can end and reconciliation begin.
Saleh, who still holds sway over army units allied with Houthi rebels who now control large swaths of the country, had welcomed this month’s Security Council resolution as a way to “stop bloodshed” in Yemen.
In a statement read on his Yemen Today television channel, he said: “I call on (the Houthis) to accept all UN Security Council decisions and to implement them in return for a halt in the coalition forces’ aggression.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday urged the rebels to come to the negotiating table and end the unrest in the Gulf nation.
“This has to be a two-way street,” he told reporters, adding: “We need the Houthi and we need those that can influence them to make sure that they are prepared to try to move… to the negotiating table.”
Saleh, who still heads the influential General People’s Congress party, called for UN-brokered Saudi-Yemeni talks to be held in Geneva.
He proposed that all provinces be handed over to “the army and security apparatus under the control of local authorities in each province” and called “on all parties without exception… to talk and show forgiveness”.
Arab Nationalism & the power of the lawThe General People’s Congress (GPC) was founded in 1982. The party is dominated by a nationalist line, and its official ideology is Arab nationalism, seeking Arab unity.
The party has represented a powerful force in Yemeni politics since the country’s unification in 1990. The GPC has dominated parliamentary elections, winning a majority of seats in the Assembly of Representatives of Yemen in 1993, 1997, and 2003.
The party’s founder, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, served as president of Yemen after unification in 1990 until early 2012. Although Saleh resigned from office under the pressure of the Yemeni Revolution of 2011, the GPC continued to hold both majority in the Assembly. (Berkley Center)
Upon the establishment of the GPC as a political party, its goals were stated as “national unity as a basic pillar of the unity of Arab nationalism, development, tolerance, and moderation.”
A later popular slogan of the party reinforces their values:
“No freedom without democracy, no democracy without protection, no protection without application of the power of the law” (Islamopedia info)
The UN says millions have been affected by the Yemen conflict and are struggling to access healthcare, water, food and fuel.
UNICEF representative Julien Harneis said there “are hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen who continue to live in the most dangerous circumstances, many waking up scared in the middle of the night to the sounds of bombing and gunfire”.
Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday evening that he wants to be named Education Minister.
Bennett held meetings in the last few weeks with former education ministers and former Education Ministry directors, as well as school principals, in order to become acquainted with the portfolio.
There is still wrangling over the Religions Ministry between Shas and Jewish Home, but according to the report, the general assessment is that Shas will receive the ministry.
The Jewish Home's MK Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Dahan has been mentioned as a Deputy Education Minister or as Head of the Knesset's Law, Constitution and Justice Committee.
"He said in an interview that the souls of all Jews are higher than those of Christians or Muslims or anybody else, yet his job is secure."
Imagine for a moment that the religious affairs minister in some democratic country – England or Switzerland for example – were to make a public statement that “the souls of all Christians are superior to the souls of Jews.”
Would Israel not make a fuss? Would not the ADL and the Weisenthal Center cry out in protest? Would not Jews in that country demand the immediate resignation of such an official?
But in Israel, the man who fills such a slot – Deputy Religious Services Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan – recently said just that about Christians. He is quoted as saying in an interview which he knew would be published that the souls of all Jews are higher than those of Christians or Muslims or anybody else...
Nearly a week has passed since his outrageous statements were printed in Ma’ariv and, to the best of my knowledge, nary a peep of protest has been heard from any member of the government, from the president and prime minister on down, nor from our esteemed chief rabbis, who should know that silence is equivalent to consent.
I have waited to hear the head of Ben-Dahan’s Bayit Yehudi party, Naftali Bennett, who supposedly represents enlightened Orthodoxy, say, “it isn’t true, all humans are equal,” but that hasn’t happened.
Nor has Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid favors progressive religion and who is responsible more than anyone else for Ben-Dahan having his position, denounced this teaching.
A government that had an ounce of integrity or shame would have insisted on the resignation of a person in charge of religious affairs who dared to make such a statement.
How can he represent Israel to leaders of other religions or be allowed to represent Judaism to Jews?
Unfortunately Ben-Dahan’s view of the inherent superiority of Jews over gentiles is not his alone. He represents a well-known teaching prevalent in certain circles, including many hassidic texts such as those of Chabad.
These concepts, that view the gentile as somehow inferior to the Jew, are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Judaism’s basic texts – the Torah and the prophets, as well as to those of many great rabbinic sages.
The most fundamental teaching of the Torah is that human beings – all human beings, men and women, Jews and non-Jews – are created in the image of God.
“And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
When the prophet Amos said, “To Me, O Israelites, you are just like the Cushites – declares the Lord” (Amos 9:7), he was expressing the concept that although Israel has a covenantal relationship with God, there is no inherent superiority in the people of Israel. All peoples are God’s equal creation.
The Sages taught the same lesson. “Why was only one human being – Adam – created? So that no one should say to his fellow, ‘My father was greater than your father’” (Sanhedrin 4:5).
The pernicious doctrine that Jewish souls are higher than other souls is a perversion of these Jewish teachings and should be denounced as a dangerous heresy.
It is dangerous because any such teaching of superiority of one group over another leads to actions in which humans can be treated as inferior, as less than human and eventually can be disposed of as well.
We have suffered from this ourselves, and teaching it to our children will only lead to Jews treating others badly, as indeed has already happened.
The writer is a former president of the International Rabbinical Assembly, whose most recent book is The Torah Revolution.
The Torah Revolution
Dr. Reuven Hammer presents fourteen radical ideas found in Torah, explains their original intentions, and shows how understanding these "truths" can help you better understand the narrative and laws of Judaism.
God is eternal, without physical needs, just, and merciful - There is no supernatural evil force in the world - God expects people to act properly.
Ritual is secondary to right conduct.- God does not need sacrifices - Worship helps people, not God
Human life is sacred - All people are equal - Men and women are equal - Humans have free will and can choose their actions
Land and wealth should be distributed equitably - Slavery of all kinds should be mitigated - The needy must be cared for.
Racial policy of Nazi Germany
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The racial policy of Nazi Germany was a set of policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany, asserting the superiority of the "Aryan race", and based on a specific racist doctrine which claimed scientific legitimacy.
It was combined with a eugenics programme that aimed for racial hygiene by using compulsory sterilizations and extermination of the Untermenschen (or "sub-humans").
These policies targeted peoples, in particular Jews, as well as Gypsies, ethnic Poles and Russians, who were labeled as "inferior" in a racial hierarchy that placed the Herrenvolk (or "master race") of the Volksgemeinschaft (or "national community") at the top.
SS chief Himmler: "We must be loyal, and comradely
to members of our own blood, and to no one else."
For the SS Man, one principle must apply absolutely: we must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood, and to no one else.
What happens to the Russians, the Czechs, is totally indifferent to me. Whatever is available to us in good blood of our type, we will take for ourselves, that is, we will steal their children and bring them up with us, if necessary.
Whether other races live well or die of hunger is only of interest to me insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture; otherwise that doesn't interest me. (Himmler's speech in Poznan)
"We have suffered from this ourselves, and teaching it to our children will only lead to Jews treating others badly, as indeed has already happened." Reuven Hammer
1. Jewish men who have sexual relations with Jewish women
9. Male Goyim (gentiles or non-Jewish persons)
10. Female Goyim (The most lowest species)
See also Saddam's Death, Page48
Former Meretz education minister Sarid
Whether we like it or not, we live and practice modernity, because it is not just a collection of statements that one can accept or reject, or even select.
Modernity is an essential part of our life that we practice in every moment; it shapes our relation with the surrounding world and the society we belong to.
However, some people reject modernity – even though they practice it – till the point of rupture, whereas other people identify with it to the point that they see their heritage, and related historical context, as an obstacle to progress.
This contradiction reflects the deep fragmentation and tension of the contemporary [Islamic] consciousness...
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (traditions & modernity)
The crisis of the [Islamic] mind lies in a lack of harmony with time and space, or – better – in a lack of harmony between time and space:
the traditionalist lives “here” but is estranged from the “now”, because he dwells in the glorious past;
the modernist lives “now”, but is estranged from the “here”, because he lives “there”, conceptually, in the West.
The main characteristic of the contemporary [Islamic] discourse is indeed the lost harmony between the “now”, with its past history, and the “here”, with its surrounding context.
In its natural environment (i.e. the West), the appearance of modernity has implied the rupture with the traditions of the past, to the point that this breakup has become one of the prominent features of the notion of modernity itself.
However, the modernity we have known in the [Islamic] world has interacted with tradition in a different manner. It has established a complex relation with heritage, in which each of them has managed to adapt to the other and take control over it, while, at the same time, rejecting and fighting it...
It is a third culture, which relies on principles contrasting with those that have given rise to modernity, as it is understood in the West.
This third culture has not allowed the creative forces and the potentialities of rationality to break free.
Instead, the mechanisms of modernity have worked at preserving the mentality of the religious discourse; they have supported it – by creating close ties with both the political institutions and the ideological apparatuses – while inhibiting, at the same time, the rational, enlightened discourse.
Saddam Hussein On Religion and Tradition 1977
When we speak of religion and tradition we must understand that our philosophy is not tradition and religion per se. Our philosophy is what is expressed by our intellectual premises and the policies related to those.
…Some opposing forces have begun to use religion for political purposes; therefore you must not use religion for political purposes and must not confront them in a direct and traditional manner...
What is required of us is to be opposed to the politicization of religion…and to oppose the insertion of the Revolution into religious matters and to return to the foundation of our ideology.
Those who are incapable of innovation are the people who imitate and copy others, and in our society there are two types of imitators:
One type that imitates the old and they are the reactionaries and right-wingers, and another type that copies from the new, and some of them form political parties that borrow the experiences and solutions of other nations, including their position with regard to religion.
But we have the capacity to innovate and to produce creative and advanced solutions, and life requires dealing with progressive ideas and methods.
Even if everyone had the same belief and way of expressing it…it is still would not be possible to contain our approaches and dealings in everyday within the narrowly defined boundary of religion and religious law.
This is the case because the problems of our modern society are profoundly different from the problems that were faced during the early Islamic era…
Speech by Saddam Hussein, 8/11/1977
WASHINGTON DC – The Obama administration is opposing a US defense bill that authorizes “direct military assistance” for Kurdish forces and Sunni tribal forces and recognizes them as “country,” the State Department said on Wednesday.
“The policy of this Administration is clear and consistent in support of a unified Iraq,” acting State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said during a daily media briefing.
“We’ve always said a unified Iraq is stronger, and it’s important to the stability of the region as well. Our military assistance and equipment deliveries, our policy remains the same there as well, that all arms transfers must be coordinated via the sovereign central government of Iraq. We believe this policy is the most effective way to support the coalition’s efforts...”
“The draft bill, as currently written on this issue, does not reflect Administration policy,” she added.
Section 1223 of the NDAA that was released by the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday has appropriated $715 million in aid to Iraqi forces combating ISIS. A quarter of the budget will directly go to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Sunni forces...”
In an unprecedented move, the bill calls for recognition of Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni forces as a country.
“Finally, this section would require that the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country, which would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the United States under this section,” the bill says.
The Iraqi government has strongly opposed a bill proposed by the US Congress that allows the Iraqi Kurds to be armed directly, bypassing Iraq's central government, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said in a press release.
The Iraqi Prime Minister added that countries working alongside Baghdad in combatting the ISIL have respected Iraq’s sovereignty, and stressed that nobody will receive weapons without the consent of the central government.
“There is no double dealing with the outside parties… We stress that arming any group will not occur unless via the Iraqi government, in accordance with its military plans,” al-Abadi added.
General Jay Garner: 'There is not an Iraq'
Spencer Ackerman, theguardian.com, 15 August 2014
Retired US army general Jay Garner, who served as Washington’s first occupation chief in Iraq, said the country has functionally ceased to exist and urged the Obama administration to decisively support and arm the forces of Iraqi Kurdistan as a fallback.
“The Iraq that we knew no longer exists,” Jay Garner told the Guardian.
"The havoc wrought by Isis has rendered Iraq permanently fractured, and US diplomacy – currently focused on aiding a new government in Baghdad – should stop trying to set the bones."
“There is not an Iraq,” he said. I think Iraq is now partitioned and we ought to accept that.” Should reintegration not work, he added, “I believe that we should support an independent Kurdistan.”
The Kurdish state will be a close ally of Israel
Guy Bechor, YetNet 3-8-2011
Turkey may fall apart. This is the case after the Kurdish leadership in the country declared on July 15 the establishment of a democratic Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey, with its capital in Diyarbakir....
In Syria, that very same day, we saw another important development. For the first time, a Kurdish liaison committee was established that brings together all the new Kurdish parties in Syria on the basis of the “Kurdish people’s unity.” They demand Kurdish autonomy in the wake of the Assad regime or at least a federation within Syria.
The Syrian Kurds enjoy a particularly sympathetic home front in the Kurdish autonomy in Iraq.
Slowly, the pieces of the Turkish puzzle in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran are connecting into a giant state that will be home to 18 million people
At this time already, the Kurdish region of Iraq is in fact a state with its own flag, leadership and sovereignty.
And another thing: The Kurdish state will be a close ally of Israel, just like South Sudan. The Kurds are close to Israel and view it as a twin sister with a difficult history and non-Arabic identity.
What we see are four states hostile to Israel in one way or another that will have to fall apart in order to give rise to an ally of Israel.
MK Zuhair Bahloul (Labor) said Thursday that the Labor party is “not a Zionist party,” and that the name given to it in the elections – 'The Zionist Union' – was “a temporary one.”
Speaking on Channel 20, Bahloul said that the name “Zionist Union” is “spiteful” toward the Arab sector, and that “the Arab public cannot be Zionist.”
“The state is Zionist,” he said. “So? Where do I go? I cannot be Zionist because I am an Arab.”
Asked by panleists if he thinks that the Jews of Israel should be scattered throughout the Diaspora again, he replied: “One must recognize the fact that the state of Israel was established on the ruins of Palestine, and Arabs have an aboriginal right in the state and they, too have rights. How can you deny the fact that there were Palestinians here and 500 villages were destroyed?”
Israeli Labor party Platfrom 2013
1. Civil Society, Democracy and the Rule of Law
The Labor Party sees the principles of the rule of law, separation of powers, and independence of the legal system as the cornerstones of Israeli democracy.
The Labor Party will work to impart the values of democracy and equality to the entire Israeli public.
The Labor Party will work to establish a constitution in Israel. Civil and human rights will be enshrined in the constitution, alongside social rights that will ensure the right of each person to high quality education, proper health, and living in dignity.
The Labor Party will work to strengthen the constitutional status of local governments in Israel and work to replace the current British mandate-era legislation regarding municipalities, local and regional councils, with progressive and modern legislation which will provide local governments with the proper status of government authorities.
2. Zionism: 'an exemplary society'
The Labor Party will work to strengthen the State of Israel as the physical and spiritual center for the Jewish people from all Diaspora communities. This center must be an exemplary society based on the values of equality, justice, freedom, and peace in the spirit of the vision of the prophets.
3. Arab, Druze and Circassian citizens of Israel
The Labor Party – a Party of Jews, Arabs, Druze, and Circassians – will work to establish wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary, and long-term government policy to diminish the economic disparities within the general population, and eradicate all types of racism and discrimination, out of a belief in the equality of human value and dignity for all populations and cultures.
4. Gender and the status of women
The Labor Party will strive to advance gender equality and freedom in Israeli society in all aspects of life, for women and men alike. In order to do so the Party will work to increase the representation of women in all areas of government... The Labor Party is committed to promote full, substantial equal rights for the LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – community in Israel, based on an uncompromising faith in the equality of human value. (www.labor.org.il)
Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922.
In 1932 Mussolini declared that the 20th century would be the "Fascist century" by stating:
"If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain.
It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."
Fascism was ultimately born out of, and supported by, conservatism and the belief that Western Civilization had become decadent and self-ruinous.
In his 1935 essay on fascism, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, Mussolini wrote: "Fascism denies, in democracy, the absurd conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility…"
The development of fascism, and its eventual popular support, was a total rejection of Marxism...
The principle tenets of Marxism are equality, democracy and atheism/materialism. Marxism champions the pursuit of the equality of race, gender, and economic status. Marxism stated that democracy as it was practiced was not truly representative of all people, it was only representative of establishment interests, and thus Marxism was a call for "true" and total democracy where every citizen was totally equal in their political influence.
Fascism was based on the fundamental rejection of all of these ideas.
Mussolini states in his 1935 essay on fascism:
The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State.
The "Liberal State" is not a directing force... On the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious, and has itself a will and a personality...
The individual in the Fascist State is not annulled but rather multiplied, just in the same way that a soldier in a regiment is not diminished but rather increased by the number of his comrades. The Fascist State organizes the nation..., the deciding power cannot be the individual, but the State alone...
God created happinessThe Gate of All Nations, also known as the Gate of Xerxes (picture left). This gate bears a trilangual inscription:
"Great is Ahura Mazda, God, who created this Earth, who created the heavens, who created humanity, who created happiness for humanity."
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has visited the historical city of Persepolis, better known as the Throne of Jamshid (Takht-e Jamshid) to Iranians, saying the site conveys the message of the Iranian nation's capability and strength.
“These historical monuments want to tell us that this nation (Iranian nation) is a great nation which can do every great job very well,” said Rouhani while on an official visit to southern Fars Province on Thursday.
“We are proud of our Iranian nationality and Islamic culture and today our identity should be an Iranian and Islamic one,” President Rouhani added.
Persepolis (Persian city) was built by Darius I and his successors over a 50-year period. Spanning an area of over 125,000 square meters, the Achaemenid capital was known for its stunning inscriptions, unique architecture and wooden columns.
Tehran, May 3, IRNA - Director and Representative of UNESCO’s Tehran Cluster Office Kuisch Laroche has said that establishing a 'culture of peace and sustainable development are at the heart of UNESCO's mandate.”
Lahorche made the remarks while she was on a visit to the eastern provincial capital city of Birjand in South Khorasan Province on April 22-23...
“Living in an environment of peace and security is fundamental to human dignity and development.
Human security is often defined as the ‘freedom from fear and freedom from want’.
When I see the images on TV of destitute Syrian or Iraqi civilians caught up in brutal conflict, or read the reports of hundreds of desperate illegal migrants dying on overloaded boats as they try to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, it seems we still have many challenges ahead in achieving that ‘freedom from fear and freedom from want’ for all.”
“Establishing a culture of peace and sustainable development are at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate.
This year we are celebrating our 70th anniversary, and since 1945, UNESCO has promoted the right to quality education and the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity for economic and social progress-- the basis of peace and sustainable development”, Laroche stated.
The right to peace is of the utmost importance in view of the violence that is currently tearing the world apart.
To build peace, we must understand the new realities of war today, and the way in which both human lives and identities are under attack in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, in violence that aims to strike at the cultural and religious values of peoples.
Nowadays, our societies and cities are ever more diverse - but intolerance is on the rise. Conflicts are aflame across the globe and one and half billion people now live in fragile or conflict-affected countries.
Half the world is under 25 years old. Ninety percent live in developing countries and face what we call a ‘crisis of future’ - without skills, without jobs. The math is simple.
The world is not safe when over one billion people live in extreme poverty. Societies are not secure when people lack access to education and health, when unsustainable practices threaten the environment, when people do not enjoy equal rights.
Aware of the ravages wrought by modern warfare, we must be as bold as they were and invest more in levers to build lasting peace.
- To counter discourses of hatred that seek to set cultures against each other, we must guarantee universal access to quality education to enable one to withstand calls to violence.
- To counter the destruction of cultural diversity and the persecution of minorities, we must protect heritage as a force for mutual understanding.
- To counter ignorance, we must guarantee freedom of expression and protect journalists. We must relentlessly combat racism, discrimination, extremism and the manipulation of cultural and religious identities.
“We should accept and be able to open a new horizon in which peace will prevail over war, tolerance over violence, progress over bloodletting, justice over discrimination, prosperity over poverty, and freedom over despotism. As beautifully said by Ferdowsi, the renowned Iranian epic poet:
Be relentless in striving for the cause of good
Bring the spring, you must. Banish the winter, you should.”
Zionism = Eternal War"Being a warrior is the role of my generation. It was and remains the role of my generation. And it is also the role of the coming generations. It is everyone's role." (Haaretz, april 2001)
"Sharon is making hypocrites of us, and we are cowards for permitting it." (The American Conservative, 1-3-2004)
"President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech played directly into Sharon’s hand, simultaneously legitimizing “unilateralism” and the undermining of international law, while claiming exclusivity of values and the right to use unbridled (and accountable) force to achieve immediate ends.
Those, precisely, have been the hallmarks of Israeli policy all along. Add to that the perpetuation of the most brutal (and last remaining) military occupation in history “enjoying” the cover of impunity provided by its strategic alliance with the US, and you have a most alarming formula for lawlessness, radicalization, violence, and destabilization.
With the facile handing out of convenient labels, the dehumanization of the “other” is thereby rendered official, contributing to the subversion of the principle of equality before the law and to the suspension of communication (dialogue, negotiations) as a means of conflict resolution."
Rather than a bold initiative to end the Israeli occupation and establish the independent (and viable) Palestinian state in accordance with UN resolutions 242 and 338, the US is turning a blind eye to Sharon’s lethal brand of ideology as practiced through Apache gun ships, F 16’s, tanks and bulldozers, while compounding the oppression by demanding that the key to the Palestinian leadership’s legitimacy is through compliance with Israeli demands and priorities."
"The world is still paying for the mistakes of the post WW II and the cold war era with all its “-isms” and “the end justifies the means” approach.
Instead of the promise of an inclusive, interactive, and integrated global approach to human development and conflict resolution, the new ideology is threatening to impose an artificial construct of exclusivity and polarization, not only as a parallel to the past paradigm, but also as a source of tremendous injustice and conflict."
I have worked in Republican campaigns at the national state and local levels for over 50 years. And it saddens me to hear almost all the Republican candidates for President try to outdo each other in their hawkishness.
There was a time, until recent years, that the Republican Party could make a legitimate claim to being the Peace Party.
Reagan was certainly no warmonger Republican, or a man eager to go to war...
President Eisenhower, one of our greatest military leaders, was another “Peacenik” Republican. He knew the horrors of war, unlike many modern-day chickenhawks.
He famously warned us at the end of his Presidency about the dangers of being controlled by a very powerful military-industrial complex. I think he would be shocked at how far we have gone down the road that he warned us against.
Sen. Robert Taft, who was sometimes referred to as Mr. Republican in the 1940s and ‘50s, once said, “No foreign policy can be justified except a policy devoted… to the protection of the liberty of the American people, with war only as the last resort and only to preserve that liberty.”
We are told that if we don’t support an interventionist foreign policy, that this means we don’t believe in American exceptionalism.
But this nation did not become exceptional because we got involved in every little war around the globe. It became exceptional because of our great system of free enterprise and because we gave our people more individual freedom than any other country...
There was much less anti-Americanism around the world when we tried to mind our own business and take care of our own people. And this nation had more friends when we followed a policy of peace through strength, not one of peace through endless war.
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. represents the 2nd District of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Prisoners of military thinking
Dwight Eisenhower's prophecy of the "military-industrial complex" running the country has come abundantly true. The danger before us is not control by the military, but the militarization of our own thinking...
All of us -- the executive branch, Congress, the press, public opinion -- are prisoners of military thinking.
I fear that the war with Iraq will prove to be not only a detour from the path of wisdom, but also a turn onto another road entirely, a way that supposes military victory is the answer to everything. (Jack Perry, Atlanta Journal 27-3-2003)
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. (Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035-1040)
Mitt Romney: "I believe in a Heavenly Father, I believe in his Son Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Ghost."
I suggest to listen carefully to the debate between the president and Governor Mitt Romney...
It's going to be about foreign policy, and I suggest that if we listen, we'll discover that we as a people are very, very far from the way of Jesus.
We want a military that will be the strongest military in the world, in all of history, even. We want to get the goods of the earth, guarantee them for us. And we declare ourselves the strongest nation.
That's not the way of Jesus.
We're not going to change our world and our nation overnight, but isn't it necessary for us to begin to think in other terms?
To think about how we can transform this earth through caring about our environment, stewarding carefully the world around us, finding ways to share the goods of the earth with all, not try to accumulate them for ourselves alone; giving up the attempt to change the world through war, through violence?
It may seem overwhelming; it may seem impossible; but I suggest that it is the way of Jesus, and that if we are to be followers of Jesus, we have to really listen to Jesus.
Matthew 19:16-22 (New King James Version)
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
20 The young man said to Him, “All those things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman said Tuesday that Gulf leaders must stand up to Iran, as Yemeni rebels attacked a Saudi border town with mortar shells.
Salman's call came at a meeting of Gulf monarchs in Riyadh that was also attended by French President Francois Hollande, who said his country was "by the side" of Gulf nations.
The Riyadh summit brought together leaders from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
All but Oman are in the Saudi-led Sunni coalition that on March 26 launched air strikes in Yemen against the Huthi rebels and their allies who have seized large parts of the country including Sanaa.
In a clear reference to Iran, Salman spoke of the need to confront an external threat that "aims to expand control and impose its hegemony", threatening regional stability and creating "sectarian sedition."
Soon afterwards, the Saudi-led coalition carrying out air raids in Yemen said mortar shells fired by Iran-backed Huthi Shiite rebels from across the border had struck the Saudi town of Najran.
Hollande said France shared the dangers facing the region and he had come "to affirm the commitment of France to be by your side." He told the summit France supports coalition efforts "to ensure the stability of Yemen".
His visit comes as Paris strengthens its political and economic relations with the oil- and gas-rich Gulf monarchies.
He arrived in Riyadh from GCC member Qatar after attending the signing of a 6.3-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal between French aerospace firm Dassault and Qatari defense officials...
On Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris and Riyadh are also discussing 20 economic projects worth "tens of billions of euros".
"We, The Royal People"
Shaked's appointment is considered a major political coup and could potentially pave the way for an historic change in Israeli politics. The judicial system in Israel is considered to be the strongest governmental bastion of the leftist founding elites, and its “activism” has hampered attempts by the Right to effectively rule Israel for decades.
Shaked has spearheaded the Right's attempts to curb judicial activism, and the Left has been expressing its distress in recent days over the possibility she will become Justice Minister.
Shaked, 38, is the young, secular face of the Jewish Home, known in Hebrew as HaBayit HaYehudi, the far-right Orthodox nationalist group.
Shaked, first elected to the Knesset in 2013, has been an integral part of the Jewish Home’s project to bring secular and non-Orthodox voters — whom Israelis call “traditional” — into pro-settler politics.
Shaked’s defining political inspiration as a youth came from reading Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” which gave her an appreciation for “capitalism, strong figures and entrepreneurs,” she said.
Shaked’s right-wing political awakening happened in the army, where she served alongside traditionally observant settlers as an instructor in the Golani Brigade, an elite infantry unit in the Israeli Defense Force.
Shaked and Bennett were elected on the Jewish Home ticket in 2013. The party is a direct political descendant of the National Religious Party...
Originally concerned with strengthening the Jewish institutions of the state, the National Religious Party morphed into a powerful, pro-settler party after the 1967 war, when its adherents, swept up in messianic fervor, established the first settlements in the West Bank.
"When I say 'capitalism', I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism — with a separation of state and economics." Ayn Rand, in 'The Virtue of Selfishness '
YM: Was there any one person or a particular event that had a profound influence in shaping your world outlook and political views?
AS: Yes. I remember when I was very young, perhaps 8-years old, I saw a debate between Shimon Peres and Yitzchak Shamir and I really liked Shamir. So I think since then, even though I was just a child, I’ve considered myself right-wing.
Daniel Pipes: Interview with Yitzhak Shamir, 1999
Question: "All of the land of Israel is ours," you say. What are its boundaries?
Shamir: From the border of the kingdom of Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.
Quesion: What are the greatest dangers facing Israel?
Shamir: The establishment of a Palestinian state in Israel.
"Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy." Vladimir Jabotinsky, Iron Wall 1923
Binyamin Netanyahu has succeeded in putting together a shaky coalition of parties that would give him 61 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament...
Netanyahu has again allied with the far, far right Ha-Bayit Ha-Yahudi or the Jewish Home Party, whose leader refers to Israelis to his left as “bacteria.” This small party opposes ever accepting a Palestinian state, which is to say, it is dedicated to keeping several million Palestinians stateless and without basic human rights. It also is dedicated to stealing even more of what little land they have left in the West Bank for new Israeli colonies there.
If such a government were elected in Europe, with such principles and goals, no other capital would receive its politicians because they would be seen as toxic for their ultra-nationalism and discrimination against minorities. And, it is a sad commentary on the Israeli electorate that they elected this government.
Israel is not only a traditional colonial State with apartheid and racism, but also a Western imperialist fortress in The Orient. Zionism also means expansion and ethnic cleansing.
Furthermore, it is an elitist ideology. It grows politically and religiously amongst the broad masses of people and is thereby strengthened. Religious totalitarianism is its ideological base with strong links to National Socialism and Fascism.
The brutal violence, the intransigence and the dehumanisation of the Palestinians can only be understood against this background... It is the background against which Israel is a "time bomb" in the Middle East policies of the US.
Zionism and its Jewish State have to be replaced by a secular parliamentary democracy with equal rights for all citizens regardless of ethnic or religious beliefs.
The grounds for a system of apartheid and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza would thereby disappear.
This is a necessary, if not conclusive, requirement if there is to be lasting peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Whether it results in one or two secular democracies is of secondary importance.
A feasible strategy for achieving democracy in Israel/Palestine would be the start of a liberation movement where Jews and Palestinians could pull together similar to the ANC movement in South Africa. Those Jews and Palestinians who are already fighting Zionism should therefore be given support first.
It is also high time Jews - both in Israel and elsewhere - started reforming the Jewish religion. The concept of Blood ties should be replaced by religious conviction, the idea of Jews as "The Chosen People" should be rejected and Jews looked upon as people like everyone else.
Einstein: Belief in God 'childish,'
Jews not chosen people
YNet News 14-5-2008
Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London...
The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fuelled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.
As a Jew himself, Einstein said he had a great affinity with Jewish people but said they "have no different quality for me than all other people".
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
"No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this," he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper.
"The Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people."
"As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups... I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."
According to coalition agreements, the new government is obligated to arrange the legal status of Jewish buildings in Judea and Samaria on land that was allegedly privately owned by Arabs.
At the request of Jewish Home chairperson Naftali Bennett in coalition talks, Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit will head a special team that will draft a plan to legalize buildings and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria that were established with government involvement and under the agreement of the state...
The talk of legalizing the buildings and communities comes after the NGO Regavim presented MKs with aerial maps showing 2,026 homes in Judea and Samaria that are in danger of demolition due to anticipated petitions by radical leftist groups.
The Jewish presence in the region has been met with international criticism, but the 2012 Levy Report conclusively proved that presence is legal according to international law.
Arutz Sheva is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism
The Levy Report, officially called Report on the Legal Status of Building in Judea and Samaria, is an 89-page report on West Bank settlements published on 9 July 2012, authored by a three member committee headed by former Israeli Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy.
The committee was appointed by Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late January 2012 to investigate the legal status of unauthorized West Bank Jewish settlements, but also examined whether the Israeli presence in the West Bank is to be considered an occupation or not.
The report concludes that Israel's presence in the West Bank is not an occupation,and that the Israeli settlements are legal under international law.
It recommends the legalization of unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts by the state, and provides proposals for new guidelines for settlement construction.
In May 2014, it was reported that the Government was covertly carrying out the recommendations of the Report.
Contrary to what is claimed in the Levy report, it is manifestly clear that the West Bank is occupied by Israel. Indeed, the Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly and consistently ruled that the territory of the West Bank is subject to belligerent occupation.
Concerning the settlements in the West Bank, it has to be emphasized that Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits a state from transferring parts of its own civilian population to territory it occupies, does not merely prohibit the occupying state from forcefully transferring parts of its population; it also prohibits any action by the occupier which facilitates such transfer.
"We keep spoiling our own case, by talking about "agreement" which means telling the Mandatory Government that the important thing is not the iron wall, but discussions. Empty rhetoric of this kind is dangerous..."
"What is impossible is a voluntary agreement. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope..." Vladimir Jabotinsky, in 'The Iron Wall' (1923)
The deal reached in Lausanne, Switzerland by Iran and five powers, led by the US, appears to be about nuclear capability. In fact, the real issue was not nuclear weapons, which Iran does not now possess, but Iran’s potential geopolitical power.
Iran, a nation of 80.8 million, has been bottled up like the proverbial genii by US-led sanctions ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution deposed Shah Pahlavi’s corrupt royalist regime.
More than a dozen American efforts to overthrow the Islamic government in Tehran have failed. Washington resorted to sabotage and economic warfare, sought to throttle Iran’s primary exports, oil and gas, to derail its banking system, and prevent imports of everything from machinery to vitamins.
The US and Israel have used the extremist group People’s Mujahidin to murder Iranian officials and scientists...
What Israel really feared was not Iran’s non-existent nuclear threat but rather its ongoing support for the beleaguered Palestinians.
Iran became the last Mideast nation giving strong backing to creation of a Palestinian state.
The Arab states opposing Israel have been silenced: Syria, Libya and Iraq crushed by war and torn asunder, Egypt and Jordan bought off with huge bribes. The Saudis have secretly allied themselves to Israel. So only Iran was left to champion Palestine...
US policy has been to keep the Iranians isolated and contained, rather as Europe’s reactionary powers did with revolutionary France at the end of the 18th century. While the reason given by Washington was Iran’s alleged nuclear threat, the sanctions regime was really aimed at fatally weakening Iran’s economy and provoking the overthrow of the Islamic government and its replacement by tame Beverly Hills Iranian exiles.
Unfortunately for US imperial policymakers, the dangerous chaos they created in Iraq and Syria, and the rise of ISIS, necessitated working with Iran to keep a lid on this boiling pot. That means easing sanctions on Tehran and allowing its economy to start coming back to life. Hence the Lausanne deal...
But lifting sanctions will make Iran stronger...
Israel and its partisans, who have successfully purchased much of the US Congress, remain determined to scupper the nuclear deal.
Israel has become the focus of latter-day anti-Semites, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday evening at the opening of the fifth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.
“Today’s anti-Semitism is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam or the xenophobic elements of the fringes of European society. Today, it wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West..."
"The champions of tolerance are remarkably intolerant of Jews and the Jewish state,” he said. “Classic anti-Semitism portrayed Jews as the embodiment of all evil in world,” while contemporary anti-Semites “do the same with the Jewish state.”
“All the boycotts and [UN] resolutions are reserved for the only true and most beleaguered democracy on earth, Israel,” he said.
The invention of the Jewish people
“Countering official Zionist historiography, Sand questions whether the Jewish People ever existed as a national group with a common origin in the Land of Israel/Palestine.
He concludes that the Jews should be seen as a religious community comprising a mishmash of individuals and groups that had converted to the ancient monotheistic religion but do not have any historical right to establish an independent Jewish state in the Holy Land.
In short, the Jewish People, according to Sand, are not really a “people” in the sense of having a common ethnic origin and national heritage. They certainly do not have a political claim over the territory that today constitutes Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.”
Question. You’re talking about root causes. Media don’t often address them. You want them to speak of Zionism as a root cause of this conflict. Why?
Two issues are very important.
The easier one is to treat Zionism as we treated the apartheid ideology in South Africa, and to ask oneself, would we engage with apartheid in South Africa without engaging the ideology of the regime.
Could we have focused on only the policies of the government and ignored the source of the policies? If you go back and look at when South Africa became a pariah state, if you look at the media, they were isolating South Africa by attacking the ideology of supremacy, exclusion, and apartheid.
What is very clear in this case is that the western media does not allow itself, maybe because of self-censorship, maybe because of pressure — it does not allow itself to do the same for Israel. Even the worst atrocity is taken out of its ideological context.
When the journalist spans a narrative of why that atrocity happened, they describe it as an Israeli retaliation against Palestinian violence...
[But] violence for Israel is not a retaliatory means of responding to Palestinian resistance, no, it is the principal means by which the Zionist vision of having as much of Palestine as possible, with as few Palestinians in it as possible, has been implemented over the years.
So that is one issue.
The second reason why Zionism has to be at the center of the media coverage, is that Zionism is not a closed chapter... We are in this paradoxical situation where Israel is both a colonialist and post colonialist state.
Recently academics defined Israel as a settler colonial state – which explains why it was a colonialist project in the past, but one that still continues today as the project is incomplete...
I think that the decision of the center and the right in Israel to focus on neo-Zionism (putting into focus not just the fate of Jews in Israel, but of all the Jews in the world) created a monster.
They manufactured a non-existent threat for Jewish life in Europe, which does not exist, and now they believe it themselves...
Last week on Shoah day, you saw some of the most important scholars in the country bringing to television and radio a kind of structural explanation for what they call the ‘new anti-Semitism’: fusing together classical European anti-Semitism, centered on the Church, Nazism, Islamic terrorism and the BDS movement...
It will not be easy [..] to challenge this fabricated war mongering – it is produced by an ideological state...
The Jewish society will not easily give up the privileged position it has – concealing the real motive for their stubbornness with national rhetoric of survival... The Jewish community abroad’s role is to help divorce Zionism from Judaism so that a spade – colonialism - can be called a spade.
Ilan Pappé (born 1954) is an Israeli historian and socialist activist. He is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university's European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.
He blames the creation of Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East, arguing that Zionism is more dangerous than Islamic militancy, and has called for an international boycott of Israeli academics. (Wikipedia info)
“The importance of relations between Russia and China is based on the principle of non-alignment and lack of confrontation against other countries.
Based on this, our relationship has reached a level of comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation. This is a prime example of relations between major powers and neighbors of the world,” Deputy Foreign Minister of China Cheng Guoping said, speaking at the Lanting Forum...
During his speech, Guoping further stressed that relations between the two countries have become a "strong positive force in maintaining peace and promoting development worldwide.”
He added that Russia and China support the UN's central role in the regulation of international issues, follow the principles of the United Nations and support the resolution of conflicts on the basis of the principle of equality.
“We [China and Russia] promote the principle of inclusiveness, respect the diversity of cultures and civilizations and promote dialogue between different nations. Together, we promote human development,” Guoping added.
The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty.
According to the treaty the Holy See switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the state of Palestine.
On November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state”...
The Vatican welcomed the 193-member assembly’s decision at the time. However, the recent treaty, which still needs to be signed, constitutes an official recognition of the Palestinian state by the Vatican.
"Yes, it's a recognition that the state exists," said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
The move comes as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to meet with Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, at the Vatican on May 16.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.
The Vatican Against the Jews
Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva Op-Ed, 14-5-2015
It is since 2012 that the Vatican, under Pope Benedict XVI, spoke of the “State of Palestine” in its official documents. So the decision of the Holy See to recognize this non-existent state should not be a surprise.
When the Vatican recognized Israel, at the beginning of the Nineties, it happened within the framework of Oslo Accords: Israel fatally recognized the PLO and the Catholic Church in exchange recognized the decades-old Jewish State...
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:26,27 -- Mt 24:37-39)
Today the situation is much different: the Palestinian Arabs are internationalizing the conflict with Israel and avoiding sitting at the same table with her, while the Arab-Islamic world feeds an enormous hatred for the “Zionists”...
The Vatican’s decision should be read as an historic stance against the rights of the Jewish people to their own land.
For over forty years after the Jewish State won independence in 1948, the Vatican adopted a diplomatic policy copying that of Israel’s enemies: total non-recognition of the Jewish statehood...
The same Church that didn’t recognize Israel opened diplomatic relations with the PLO, a terror organization whose goal is the “liberation” of the Holy Land from the Jews who live between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River....
Why has such a standard been applied to Israel? Because of anti-Semitism and the aversion they felt upon seeing Israel again among the family of nations...
And now, because of anti-Semitism, the Vatican has hurried to recognize the “State of Palestine”, this Trojan horse against the Jewish people, a tool to dismantle the State of Israel and a proto-Nazi entity from which all the Jews are to be cleansed.
We note in shock Pope Francis’ eagerness to recognize the “State of Palestine” before it has even yet arisen and we recall the eagerness of another Pope to recognize the Nazi regime just four months after it was established.
They are both declarations of moral war against the Jewish people.
Arutz Sheva is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism
The Pharisees, who formed the most numerous political party in the little Roman province of Judea, made themselves the carriers of the Levitical idea in its most fanatical form, as it had found expression in Ezekiel, Ezra and Nehemiah; they were sworn to "the strict observance of Levitical purity". The Pharisees stand ready to crush any attempt to reintegrate the Judeans in mankind.
A moderate party in Judaism was that of the Sadducees, which stood for "keeping the peace of the city" and avoiding violent conflict with the Roman overlords. They were more affluent and were also more sympathetic to the Hellenistic movement.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees were bitter foes. This internal dissension among Jews has continued for twenty-five hundred years into our time.
Under the domination of the Pharisees the Messianic idea first emerged... It was unknown to the earlier Israelite prophets; they never admitted the notion of an exclusive, master-race...
The function of the prophets was to emphasise moral values and a Just Society as the main content of the Covenant, sometimes above its more formal and religious aspects.
The mass of the Judeans expected that "the Anointed one", when he came, would restore their national glory; in the perfect theocratic state he would be their spiritual leader, but also their temporal one who would reunite the scattered people in a supreme kingdom of this world.
The Messianic idea, as it took shape under the Pharisees, was not an expectation of any kingdom of heaven unrelated to material triumph on earth...
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to death over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that eventually brought him to power.
The ruling applies to another 120 people, and is the latest in a series of mass death sentences handed down since the military overthrew Morsi nearly two years ago...
Egypt's judiciary has come under mounting international criticism since Morsi's ouster as it has handed down harsh mass sentences to Islamists and jailed secular activists for protesting.
"These sentences are yet another manifestation of the deeply troubling way the Egyptian judiciary has been used as a tool to settle political disagreements," Emad Shahin, a professor at the American University in Cairo who was sentenced to death in absentia wrote in a Facebook post...
The military overthrew Morsi in July 2013 following days of mass protests by Egyptians angered by his divisive policies. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who had been appointed military chief by Morsi, led his ouster, and was elected nearly a year ago in a vote boycotted by the Islamist opposition.
Since his ouster, authorities have cracked down on Islamists and pro-democracy activists... Thousands of Morsi supporters have been jailed and hundreds killed in street clashes over the last two years...
Sentenced to death with Morsi on Saturday were 105 defendants, including some 70 Palestinians. The defendants include the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie - who has already been sentenced to death in a separate trial - as well as one of the Arab world's best known Islamic scholars, the Qatar-based Youssef al-Qaradawi. Most defendants were tried and convicted in absentia, meaning they will receive automatic retrials if they are detained.
Supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, now outlawed and branded a terrorist group, chanted "down, down with military rule" as the judge announced the verdict in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said el-Sissi's government was returning to the "old Egypt" by rolling back democracy.
The judiciary in Egypt has become a cheap tool driven by the repressive military junta and the illegitimate coup regime...
The Muslim Brotherhood reaffirms its categorical rejection of the principle of trying the elected President, and pays tribute to the resilience and steadfastness of the patriotic President Morsi and other defendants in the face of the oppressive despots despite all the pressures exerted by the military coup authorities against them...
The sentences issued today (Saturday) by an illegitimate court against President Morsi and his companions are the biggest proof yet of how the traitor Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and his soldiers fear the elected President's power even while he is held hostage in a prison cell...
The group calls on the masses of the proud people of Egypt [..] to escalate revolutionary defiance activities every day until together we defeat the junta and topple the illegitimate military coup regime.
A prominent Qatar-based Muslim cleric said Sunday that death sentences handed down by an Egyptian court against himself and deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi violated Islam.
Egyptian-born preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi said the death sentences handed down on Saturday against more than 100 defendants, who also included Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, ran contrary to Islamic law.
"I distance myself from these rulings," he said in a statement relayed by Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera. "They have no value and cannot be implemented because they are against the rule of God and people's laws and customs."
Qaradawi and his fellow defendants were convicted on charges relating to a mass jailbreak during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak.
He is specifically charged with incitement, assistance to commit intentional murder and helping prisoners to escape.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, B-H Levy, Hillary Clinton
Yusuf al-Qaradawi (born 9 September 1926) is a controversial Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat ("Shariah and Life"), broadcast on Al Jazeera. Some of al-Qaradawi's views have been controversial in the West: he was refused an entry visa to the United Kingdom in 2008, and barred from entering France in 2012.
Al-Qaradawi has described Shi'ites as heretics ("mubtadi'oun"). Fellow member of International union of Muslim Scholars, Mohammad Salim Al-Awa criticized Qaradawi for promoting divisions among Muslims. In response, the Iranian Press Agency has described Qaradawi as "a spokesman for “international Freemasonry and rabbis". Qaradawi accused what he called "heretical" Shias of "invading" Sunni countries.
On 21 February 2011, he talked about the protests in Libya and issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi:
“...To the officers and the soldiers who are able to kill Muammar Gaddafi, to whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free the country and [God’s] servants from him, I issue this fatwa (uftî): Do it! That man wants to exterminate the people (sha‘b). As for me, I protect the people (sha‘b) and I issue this fatwa: Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!'
The Bloomberg Politics Poll of Democrats, Republicans and independents shows that 45% of Americans believe the US should support the Jewish state of Israel “even if our interests diverge.” They believe in putting the interests of Israelis and Israel above the interests of Americans and America.
When a nation as powerful as the US puts the interests of a foreign nation that is based on religious violence [..] only bad things can happen...
A major reason so many Americans believe the US should put Israel above its own interests [..] is because millions of Christians believe the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s Word.
They don’t stop and think with the innate reason God gave them. If they did, they would realize these books are not written or inspired by God, they are merely the writings of ancient Hebrews/Jews.
That is why they teach the lie that God chose the Jews “above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6)...
Zionist Christian John Hagee has a page titled “Why Christians Should Support Israel.” Since it is Bible-based it has a lot of carrot and the stick flawed reasoning. For example the first reason is based on reward and punishment, just as Christianity itself is. You become a Christian so you can get a reward of eternal life in heaven and you avoid eternal punishment in hell...
Likewise, the Jews who wrote the Bible promised blessings to those Gentiles who served Jews and Israel and threatened those who did not with curses.
Hagee writes for his number one reason to support Jews and Israel, “Genesis 12:3 ‘And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee...'
Thomas Paine, wrote in The Age of Reason:
"Could we permit ourselves to suppose that the Almighty would distinguish any nation of people by the name of His chosen people, we must suppose that people to have been an example to all the rest of the world of the purest piety and humanity, and not such a nation of ruffians and cut-throats as the ancient Jews were...
If we will not stubbornly shut our eyes and steel our hearts, it is impossible not to see, in spite of all that long-established superstition imposes upon the mind, that the flattering appellation of His chosen people is no other than a lie..."
Men without a future
The Deist Albert Einstein was born a Jew but rejected Judaism. He rejected the lie found in the Bible that the Jews are God’s chosen people.
Einstein wrote, “For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong … have no different quality for me than all other people..." "I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”
Two more quotes from Einstein could spur sincere people to think about the idea of Israel over all. One is Albert Einstein describing his take on Jews praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during his 1923 trip to the city.
Einstein wrote, “Where dull-witted clansmen of our tribe were praying aloud, their faces turned to the wall, their bodies swaying to and fro. A pathetic sight of men with a past but without a future.”
The other is what Einstein wrote regarding the new Jewish state of Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors.
Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us.”
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man"
* I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
* My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
* The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
* ...to argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead. [Thomas Paine, The Crisis, quoted in Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.127]
* The countries the most famous and the most respected of antiquity are those which distinguished themselves by promoting and patronizing science...
* As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men. There are but a few good characters in the whole book. [Thomas Paine, writing to Andrew Dean August 15, 1806]
* Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God.
The bible is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
* Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
The Saudi peace initiative first saw light some 13 years ago, and apparently there are still many key figures in the Arab world who would like to see it revived.
"Now that Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu has formed his new government, I call on him to say yes to the Saudi peace initiative. It's alive and well and didn't disappear with the regime change in Saudi Arabia," says Dr. Anwar Eshki, the director of the Jeddah-based Middle East Institute for Strategic Studies.
"King Salman and his senior advisers support it. It's time for Israel to accept it too. There is no alternative peace plan..."
"If Israel accepts the peace plan and makes a commitment to implement it, 22 Arab states and another 20 Muslim counties will commit to normalizing relations with you," Eshki says. "You need to internalize the fact that we want coexistence between the Arab states and Israel."
Eshki is well aware of the Israeli reservations. "The peace plan provides for the evacuation of the settlements and their resettling by Palestinians; but there could be land exchanges, in keeping with security requirements and mutual understandings," he says. "And the Palestinians who choose not to return will get financial compensation."
"Abdallah bin Abdul Aziz is offering Israel full peace, including political, economic and cultural normalization, in return for a full withdrawal from the territories. This is more than a mere license to exist in peace in the region and recognition of the existence of Israel...
I want Israel, in the same way that I want the United States, to embody the Judeo-Christian and, ultimately then, what I believe are human or universal values that have led to progress over a millennium.
The same values that led to the end of Jim Crow and slavery.
The same values that led to Nelson Mandela being freed and a multiracial democracy emerging in South Africa...
The same values that led to the Berlin Wall coming down.
The same values that animate our discussion on human rights and our concern that people on the other side of the world who may be tortured or jailed for speaking their mind or worshipping...
I want Israel to embody these values because Israel is aligned with us in that fight for what I believe to be true.
Hotovely (Likud member) practises Orthodox Judaism and is a self-described "religious rightwinger". According to Hotovely, "Netanyahu understood that the natural partnership is with religious Zionism and the haredim.."
New Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Thursday told ministry employees that all of the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews, and that Israel had no need to apologize for that.
“We need to return to the basic truth of our right to this land...this country is ours, all of it. We didn’t come here to apologize for that.”
“Many times it seems that in our international relations, more than emphasizing the rightness of our cause, we are asked to use arguments that play well diplomatically,” she said in a speech broadcast to Israel’s 106 representations abroad. “But at a time when the very existence of Israel is being called into question, it is important to be right.”
Hotovely, who days ago told Ynet that her hawkish views would not get in the way of her work as Israel's most senior diplomat, said that Israel had no need to apologize for its stance.
The deputy minister ended her comments by quoting from Rashi, the famed medieval Talmud commentator, on the first line of the Torah:
“Rashi says the Torah opens with the story of the creation of the world so that if the nations of the world come and tell you that you are occupiers, you must respond that all of the land belonged to the creator of world and when he wanted to, he took from them and gave it to us,” she quoted from the commentary.
Jesus roundly rejected the Talmud (Oral Torah) as misguided:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and you have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.." Matthew 23:23-24
Almost three years ago the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the U.S. Dept of Defense accurately characterized the conflict in Syria and predicted the emergence of the Islamic State. This stunning revelation has emerged as a result of a Freedom of Information Act law suit filed by Judicial Watch in connection with the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The heavily redacted August 2012 seven page intelligence report reveals the following:
- 1. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) confirmed the sectarian core of the Syrian insurgency. It says: “Events are taking a clear sectarian direction. The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Queda in Iraq (AQI) are the major forces driving the insurgence in Syria"
- 2. DIA confirmed the close connection between Syrian opposition and Al Queda. The report says: "AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media... AQI conducted a number of operations in several Syrian cities under the name 'Jaish al Nusrah' (victorious army)."
- 3. DIA confirmed that the Syrian insurgency was enabling the renewal of Al Queda in Iraq and Syria.
- 4. DIA predicted the Syria government will survive but foreign powers and the opposition will try to break off territory to establish an opposition ‘capital’ as was done in Libya. The report says, "...opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas... Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts..."
- 5. DIA predicted the expansion of Al Queda and declaration of “Islamic State” (two years before it happened).
The report says "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria and this is exactly what the supporting powers want... This creates the ideal atmosphere for Al Qaeda to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi...ISI could also declare an Islamic state..."
Syria 2012: Omar Gharba, a Wahhabi cleric and 'moderate' member of the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA)
The August and September 2012 secret reports were sent to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, State Department, Department of Defense and U.S. Central Command.
Rick Sterling is a founding member of Syrian Solidarity Movement.
Flashback 2012: Revolutionaries
The armed groups did not spring from peaceful protests in February 2011. These events in fact denounced corruption and demanded more freedoms, whereas the armed groups emerge from Islamism...
While the Syrian society embodies the paradigm of religious tolerance, a takfirist current developed within. It provided the basis for the armed groups. These have been richly funded by Wahhabi monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sharjjah).
This windfall has led to the rallying of new fighters which include relatives of the victims of the massive crackdown against the failed bloody Muslim Brotherhood coup in 1982. Their motive is often less ideological than personal. It springs from vendetta.
Over the 18 months of armed action, these armed groups structured and more or less coordinated themselves.
As it stands, the vast majority have come under Turkish command, under the label of Free Syrian Army. Hard core Islamists have formed their own organizations or have joined al-Qaida. They are under the control of Qatar or of the Sudeiri branch of the Saudi royal family. (Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network 24-7-2012)
Bashar al-Assad 2012:
"This is not a revolution"
Our utmost priority now, which is unparalleled by any other priority, is the restoration of the security we have enjoyed for decades, and which has characterized our country, not only in the region but throughout the world.
This will only happen by striking the murderous terrorists hard. There is no compromise with terrorism, no compromise with those who use arms to cause chaos and division, no compromise with those who terrorize civilians, no compromise with those who conspire with foreigners against their country and against their people.
The battle against terrorism will not be the battle of the state or state institutions alone. It is the battle of all of us. ...
Some of those really believe that they are revolutionaries. All right, let’s see what they have done and what are their attributes. Would a real revolutionary steal a car or rob a house or a facility? Can the revolutionary be a thief?
For us, the image of the revolutionary is a bright, idealistic untainted one with something very special about it. Those people have assassinated innocent people in and out of the state system.
Can a revolutionary be characterized by cowardice and treachery? They prevented the schools from carrying out their tasks and functions in society. They did the same in universities. Can a revolutionary be against education? ...
Until the end of 2011, the number of martyrs among teachers and university professors was about 30 and over a thousand schools have been vandalized, burned or destroyed.
Can a revolution be against education, against national unity? Can revolutionaries use language which calls for the disintegration of society? ...
This is not a revolution... Have we had real revolutionaries, in the sense we know, you and I and the whole people would have moved with them.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Iraq is our old reliable partner in the region. Despite all the difficulties facing the global economy and the complications in the region, our relations are developing quite successfully.
The total trade turnover may not be so great, but in the past two years, it has grown tenfold. We are implementing large joint projects and Russian companies are working in your country. This involves billions of dollars in investment.
We are developing our cooperation both in the civil areas and in military technology. This means we have a broad agenda. We are very happy to see you here. Welcome!
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadial-Abadi Haider: The relations between Iraq and Russia are strong, based on old traditions, and we strive to develop them in all areas.
As you have correctly said, there are Russian companies that help us in military technology, in personnel training, in the oil industry and in investment. We strive to develop our cooperation in all these areas, including investment, and we try to make it easier for Russian companies to operate in our country...
As you may know, Iraq has been attacked by terrorist groups. Naturally, terrorism is not limited to our country. It has affected our region and the world at large, and your country has also suffered from it...
We would like this visit to encourage further support and stronger cooperation in combatting terrorism not only in Iraq, but also in the entire region.
A number of Syrian opposition factions will gather in Cairo next month to form a new coalition as an alternative to a West-backed alliance, officials said Saturday.
More than 200 figures from the armed and civilian opposition factions are to attend the June 8-9 gathering and discuss a roadmap aimed at ending the four-year war in Syria.
The new grouping would offer an alternative to the National Coalition, the exiled opposition bloc that is widely recognized and supported by Western and Arab countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
"Arab, Kurdish and all faiths will attend the meeting to elect a political committee to adopt a roadmap and a policy charter," Haytham Manna, a veteran opposition figure and a key organizer of the event, told Agence France Presse.
The new coalition would be called the Syrian National Opposition and would be "totally different" from the National Coalition, he said.
"It will be a Syrian-Syrian meeting, 100 percent financed by us, not controlled by anyone, and managed by someone with a pure Syrian agenda," Manna said of the June conference.
Manna said Egypt would only host the conference and "not interfere" in it. He said the new grouping would be ready to negotiate with representatives of President Bashar Assad's government.
Flashback: Interview with Haytham Manna,
an opposition politician who calls himself a pacifist
by James Harkin, New Statesman, 16-5-2013
Haytham Manna leads the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB) outside the country.
It is Syria’s other opposition; the most visible one, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, is rooted in Turkey and Qatar, while the NCB has more of a political presence inside the country.
Like the National Coalition, the NCB is an umbrella of different groups; but whereas the former leans towards the exiled Muslim Brotherhood and the Sunni Gulf states, the NCB is more secular...
Much of the external opposition is happy to lead the charge for Nato arms or intervention, but Manna and the NCB would prefer to grow the democratic forces within the country...
For their reliance on the Gulf states, Manna has labelled the external opposition in Turkey and Qatar “traitors”...
He worries that Turkey and the oil-rich states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using their influence among the cashstrapped Syrian rebels to push their own agendas and jockey for regional position. Perhaps as a result, he and his colleagues aren’t often seen on al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, the two Gulfbased satellite channels that have been cheerleading for the armed revolt.
“We think that the organic structure of the society will dominate any violent action,” he says. “It will be sectarian, it will be Islamist, it will be tribal. It will be not be civil or republican.” If Islamist groups dominate, “it will be about vengeance”...
“There isn’t a majority for that. 40 per cent of Syrian society, the minorities, are not with the Islamist project.., and I don’t think that the 60 per cent who are Arab Sunnis will want it either...”
THE murder of 21 innocent worshippers and the injuring of 102 others in a mosque on Friday at Al-Qudaih in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is an act of revulsion and should be condemned by all.
This is the second time that an attack targeting Shias has taken place within the last few months. Earlier there was a gun attack in which nine innocent adults and children were murdered and also several policemen have recently been killed.
Loyalists of Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS) have claimed responsibility and have boasted of their murderous act on Twitter and other websites.
The perpetrators of these murderous acts are driven by an insane ideology disseminated by self-appointed clerics and reformers.
saudi-based salafist preacher al-arour, 2011
For too long, we have kept quiet as they used the mosques, the media and all other forms of communication to spread their evil philosophy.
We did not do anything and watched silently as some imams spewed hatred and spread falsehood about Muslims of other sects.
These illiterate bigots should have been advised to shut up and we should not have remained silent and passive allowing their hatred to continue giving them the opportunity to manipulate the minds of many.
We cannot allow this hatred to spread anymore. We must not stand idly by while evil men who are bent on rending our social fabric continue with their destructive deeds.
The time has come for all of us to stand united to save our society from further divisions and to protect the innocent.
We should all support government initiatives to identify and crack down on those who espouse hatred. The authorities have a responsibility to ban and jail anyone who by words or deeds harms the cohesive fabric of the nation.
Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi condemned the recent attack on Imam Ali (A) Mosque in the eastern Saudi Arabian town of al-Qadih, saying that the whole world has condemned this crime, including Saudi politicians and scholars.
He stressed that Wahhabism is the root cause of all crimes against Shi’a Muslims, adding that Saudi high school textbooks mention explicitly that making pilgrimage to shrines is considered “polytheism” and taking the life and property of those who enjoin such acts is permissible.
He added that Wahhabis consider Sunnis who make pilgrimage to the shrines of holy personalities as polytheists.
“Close the doors of these evil schools as it is from there that these evil teachings are emanating from!” he said addressing the Saudi authorities.
On November 3, 2014, masked gunmen stormed a group of Shia Muslims participating in a ceremony marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
There has been a lot of loose talk, since September 11, about a "clash of civilizations" between musty, backward-looking, repressive old Islam and the innovative and freedom-loving West.
It is a surprise to find, on turning to the original text - Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (Simon & Schuster) - a paragraph-long analogy between the Islamic fundamentalist movement and the Protestant Reformation:
"Both are reactions to the stagnation and corruption of existing institutions; advocate a return to a purer and more demanding form of their religion; preach work, order, and discipline..."
Like the Protestants of the sixteenth century, the Islamic fundamentalists are a relatively new and innovative force on the scene...
Islamic fundamentalism is a response to earlier strands of Islam, just as Protestantism was a response to Catholicism. Wahhabism arose in opposition to both the Ottoman Empire and to the indigenous Sufism of eighteenth-century Arabia.
Sufism is part of Islam, much admired in the West for its relative tolerance, its mysticism and poetry, its danced, ecstatic rituals. But it is also, especially in its rural forms, a religion that bears more than a casual resemblance to late medieval Catholicism:
Sufism encourages the veneration of saint-like figures at special shrines and their celebration at festivities - sometimes rather raucous ones, like the carnivals and saints' days of medieval Catholicism - throughout the year.
Just as the Protestants smashed icons, prohibited carnivals, and defaced cathedrals, the Wabhabists insisted on a "reformed" style of Islam, purged of all the saints, festivities, and music.
Theirs is what has been described as a "stripped-down" version of Islam, centered on short prayers recited in undecorated mosques to the one god and only to him.
The closest Reformation counterpart to today's Islamic fundamentalists were the Calvinists...
John Calvin was a militant theocrat, and his followers carved out Calvinist mini-states wherever they could.
In sixteenth-century Swiss cantons and seventeenth-century Massachusetts, Calvinists and Calvinist-leaning Protestants banned dancing, gambling, drinking, colorful clothing, and sports of all kinds.
They outlawed idleness and vigorously suppressed sexual activity in all but its married, reproductively oriented, form.
Calvinism - or "Puritanisrn" as it is known in America - was immensely successful. Max Weber credited it with laying the psychological groundwork for capitalism: work hard, defer gratification, etc.
Within the West, the Calvinist legacy carries on most robustly in America.. It even persists in organized form as the Christian right, which continues to nurture the dream of a theocratic state. (The Progressive, January 2002)
2011: Start of the anti-Shia rebellion in Syria
The formation of the 'Free Syrian Army' was announced on 29 July 2011 in a video released on the internet by a uniformed group of deserters from the Syrian military who called upon members of the Syrian army to defect and join them.
Riad al-Asaad, the leader of the group, has stated that the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) has no political goals except the removal of Bashar Assad as president of Syria.
General Riad Asaad announced the formation of two battalions in Damascus:
"We call on the Syrian opposition to unite it's forces and we announce the formation of Abu Ubaida Bin Al-Jarah battalion and Mo-awia Bin Sofian battalion in the city of Damascus."
Abu Ubaydah killed the polytheists.
Abū Ubaydah ibn al-Jarāḥ was one of companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was in the vanguard of the Muslim forces, fighting with might and main and as someone who was not at all afraid of death.
In one of the battles he killed his own father... Abu Ubaydah obviously did not want to kill his father but in the actual battle between faith in God and polytheism, the choice open to him was profoundly disturbing but clear: he killed the polytheism in the person of his father.
Muʿāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān (born c. 602, Mecca), was an Islamic leader and founder of the great Umayyad dynasty of caliphs.
He fought against the fourth caliph, ʿAlī (Muhammad’s son-in-law), seized Egypt, and assumed the caliphate after ʿAlī’s assassination in 661.
He restored unity to the Muslim empire and made Damascus its capital. He reigned from 661 to 680.
Ali, Reigning from 656 to 661, was the first imam (leader) of Shīʿism in all its forms.
The question of his right to the caliphate resulted in the only major split in Islam, into the Sunni and Shīʿite branches.