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Index April 2006

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2006-04-01: the 1325 Award;
2006-04-02: 9/11 re-opened;
2006-04-03: Alert for Lydia Cacho Ribeiro – Mexico;
2006-04-03: Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres CIAM;
2006-04-04: secret flights to torture and disappearance;
2006-04-05: Sanctioning of Iran by Iranians;
2006-04-07: The neighbour in predicament;
2006-04-09: War on Iraq;
2006-04-11: Petition of Complaint to the National HR Commission SUHAKAM;
2006-04-12: AIDS funding crisis;
2006-04-13: “Una criada en Líbano” … ;
2006-04-13: Mohawks pass into another millennium;
2006-04-14: opposing, challenging and resisting 37 years of occupation;
2006-04-15: The Suffering Palestinian Women Undergo Every Day;
2006-04-16: The Aliens in War of the Worlds Are Muslims;
2006-04-16: One of many Muslim Voices;
2006-04-16: The role of Culture in Areas of Conflict;
2006-04-17: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy;
2006-04-18: The Gospel of Judas;
2006-04-19: Statement by IBN WARRAQ on the World Trade Center Atrocity;
2006-04-20: Perfidious Albion and the first Kashmir war;
2006-04-20: The Woes of Muslim single Parents;
2006-04-21: The Word in Times of Crisis;
2006-04-22: Improving Children’s Environmental Health;
2006-04-23: When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said;
2006-04-24: Edward Said (1935-2003), by Anat Biletzki;
2006-04-25: Preparation for the new Human Rights Council;
2006-04-26: Cruel to be kind?;
2006-04-27: Mexico: Strikers shot and killed during steel mill occupation;
2006-04-28: Kashmir;
2006-04-29: Books and articles of K.N. Pandita;
2006-04-30: Baharistan-i-Shahi – A Chronical of Mediaeval Kashmirby.

Baharistan-i-Shahi – A Chronical of Mediaeval Kashmirby

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Linked with our presentation of Kashi Nath Pandita – India.

This work was translated by Kashi Nath Pandita, Professor of Central Asian History.

Baharistan-i-Shahi, a Persian Manuscript history of Kashmir by anonymous author and brought down to A.D. 1614, has served as an important reference work for historians from the 17th century to the present day. But it has been inaccessible to the non-Persian knowing scholars and historians. Its first English translation is made from a collated text of the two extant manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library and the British Museum. Exhaustive footnotes have been added to it to make it readable and useful.

The chronicle begins with a legendary account of the creation of Kashmir and a summary treatment of the Hindu period. It is followed by a detailed account of the Shahmiri and Chak Sultans of Kashmir taking the narrative to the year A.D. 1614. The historical work gives considerable attention to Baihaqi Sayyids, a group of Sayyids of Iranian origin who played a significant role in the affairs of the kingdom. Baharistan-i-Shahi is essentially a political history of mediaeval Kashmir, though a few aspects of Kashmiri society, such as its feudalistic character, group and factional alignments, communal tensions and recurrent internal power struggles can also be gleaned from it. The concluding portion of the book throws considerable light on relations between the ruling Chak Sultans of Kashmir and the Mughals, and the final annexation of Kashmir by Akbar in A.D. 1587 in somewhat confusing circumstances. The chronicle is also rich in topographical detail.

You will find here after the links for all the chapters of this work, or directly on the pages of our blog History – past and present:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

And here a link to the page of Kashmir Information Network which edited this book.

Books and articles of K.N. Pandita

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On this sites you will find many articles of Kashi Nath Pandita:

on Kashmir Information

Kashmir Information Network

Kashmir and IDPs

Geopolitical Analysis

History – Past and Present

K.N. Pandita’s Blog

on this site of Vedams Books from India

many articles from this site of the Kashmir Herald

Here after an older article about peace in Kashmir, a peace still not attained:

Creating atmosphere conducive for dialogue towards peace, by K.N. Pandita – This proposition has two aspects: ‘creating conducive atmosphere’ and ‘dialogue’. Creating conducive atmosphere suggests that we don’t have one at present. The question is why?
An important reason is the interplay of external armed intrusion and internal subversion. External intrusion is combated but not fully uprooted because of the gregariousness of the Indian State. We did not strike back when we should have. To hide our criminal inaction, we seek an alibi in Pakistan’s explicit ‘operations’ against us. Where do we find an enemy showering flowers and rose petals not bullets and hand grenades on its adversary?

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Kashmir

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Mexico: Strikers shot and killed during steel mill occupation

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Police shot and killed two workers, another was crushed to death in a melee, and over 40 others were wounded, most by gunshots, when authorities launched an assault to expel striking workers occupying the SICARTSA steel mill in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, Mexico on April 20. Reports from the scene suggest that others may also have been killed or may die from their wounds. Workers and townspeople retook the plant, but were then besieged by the police. Parts of the plant have been taken over by the Mexican Army and the Mexican Navy.

The new National Front for Union Unity and Autonomy (FNUAS) composed of the UNT, the Mine Workers Union and others have called for the resignation of the Mexican Secretary of Labor, Francisco Xavier Salazar, the impeachment of President Vicente Fox Quezada, punishment of those who are guilty, and recognition of the elected leader of the mine workers union.

The Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT) has requested that we circulate this information as widely as possible and urgently request that letters of protest be sent to the President of Mexico and Secretary of Labor.

You can help! Type in your name and email address, then click on ‘Send Message’ on the bottom of this page.

Cruel to be kind?

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Linked with our presentation of David Rieff – USA.

This article was written on Guardian Unlimited on Friday June 24, 2005 © David Rieff 2005.

Live Aid forced the world to confront the Ethiopian famine and raised more than £50m. But as Bob Geldof prepares his Live 8 reprise, aid expert David Rieff argues that guilt-stricken donations helped fund a brutal resettlement programme that may have killed up to 100,000.

Isn’t it better to do something rather than give in to cynicism and do nothing? This is the question familiar to anyone who has criticised organisations that view themselves as dedicated to doing good in the world. To those UN agencies, relief organisations and development groups working in crisis zones from Afghanistan to Aceh, any “non-constructive” criticism, especially the kind that implies that it might have been better to refrain from acting at all, is so much nihilist piffle. Edmund Burke’s dictum that for evil to triumph, all that is required is “for good men to do nothing” (a favourite quotation of Kofi Annan’s) encapsulates this view. Yet an alternative case can be made: in the global altruism business, it is, indeed, sometimes better not to do anything at all.

Of course, those who believe it is always better to do something tend to believe that any negative consequences of their action arise from not doing enough. The most frequently heard complaint of activists is that western countries remain too indifferent to these crises of hunger and debt. For over 30 years – as long as humanitarian action has been a principal response in the west to the crises of the poor world – a favourite metaphor has been to “wake people up” to what was really going on.

Activists who bemoan what they see as the selfishness and self-absorption of the rich world often point to Band Aid – which through the release of a single and the Live Aid concerts in July 1985 raised between £50m and £70m – as a sign of how compassion fatigue can be beaten. In the words of one aid worker: “Humanitarian concern is now at the centre of foreign policy … Bob Geldof deserves a lot of credit for that.”This is certainly Geldof’s view. He believes that the Live Aid “experience” was a profound social innovation that helped to shape the views of those western politicians who have shown real interest in addressing the crisis of development, above all in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Preparation for the new Human Rights Council

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INTERFAITH INTERNATIONAL writes today: Here is a report of the meeting called by the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ms. Louise Arbour) on 21 April 2006 at Geneva United Nations to explain the new Human Rights Council (HRC) and to prepare for it. Ambassador Arias (Panama) was present. He is the associate to Mr. Jan Eliasson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, for preparing the Human Rights Council

The new Human Rights Council will meet for the first time in Geneva on 19 June 2006 probably for two weeks. There are now at least 61 states candidates for membership in the Council – the election will take place 9 May 2006 in New York at a session of the General Assembly. Only 47 states will be chosen.

The April 21st meeting in Geneva was for the diplomatic missions and international organisations in Geneva as well as the NGOs to discuss freely with the High Commissioner for Human Rights what to do before 9 May and 19 June and to plan for an effective meeting beginning 19 June.

Various states and NGOs voiced their opinions and concerns. Pakistan, speaking for the OIC, hoped the new Council would deal with such matters as ‘Islamophobia’ and make contributions to the ‘dialogue among civilisations’. Some other governments pleaded for an early passage of the Draft Convention against Enforced Disappearances, and the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Both of these have been pending for a long time in the Commission on Human Rights.

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Edward Said (1935-2003), by Anat Biletzki

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Linked with our presentation of Anat Biletzki – Israel.

And linked with our presentation of the article When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said.

Also linked with our presentation of B’Tselem.

Edward Said was born in 1935 and died an untimely and early death on September 25th 2003, at the age of 67, having battled leukemia for over ten years. His public persona rivalled the scholarly one, so it is no surprise that the facts of his rich biography and several items in his remarkable oeuvre are so well known. The highlights constantly received extended coverage: he was born in Palestine, spent his life in the U.S., graduated from Princeton and Harvard, taught at Columbia, and was a champion – perhaps the champion – of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The keynotes of his publishing career are no less singular: most influential was Orientalism (1975), which changed the way Western intellectuals and scholars addressed their own perception of the East. Then came, among others, The World, the Text and the Critic (1983), Blaming the Victims (1987), Culture and Imperialism (1992), The Politics of Dispossession (1995) and, perhaps most recently controversial, Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). Said’s social and political involvements included his leading moral and intellectual role at the Algiers conference in 1988, where the PLO adopted the ‘mutual recognition’ position. No less significant and renowned was his long friendship and collaboration with Daniel Barenboim. This friendship culminated in the establishment of the West-Eastern Divan, a framework “of artistic cooperation in the face of divisive politics”, where young Israeli and Arab musicians could make music together.Professionally, politically, temperamentally, artistically, socially and ‘humanistically’, Edward Said stood for all that is good in enlightenment hope.

He was an intellectual of outstanding stature providing clear and unequivocal conceptual analysis of complex issues – be they in literature, in theory, or in politics. Perusing the many obituaries already published, not to mention the innumerable articles about him before his death, one encounters literature, culture, theory, music, politics, colonialism, imperialism, humanism, language – yet rarely philosophy. But in these days of rampant interdisciplinary interests we need only look, for example, at the list of subjects he addressed in his 2000 collection of essays – Reflections on Exile and Other Essays – to discover how interesting and relevant his thought was for philosophers of so many stripes. Thus, he traveled from ‘Between Chance and Determinism: Lukacs’s Aesthetik’ to ‘Conrad and Nietzsche’, from ‘Opponents, Audiences, Constituencies and Community’ to ‘Foucault and the Imagination of Power’, or from ‘The Politics of Knowledge’ to ‘From Silence to Sound and Back Again: Music, Literature and History’. In other words, his work spanned metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, critical theory, political philosophy and more.

Writers of obituaries are usually presumed to have known the deceased. I did not know Edward Said personally. But for many of us in Israel – philosophers, political scientists, literary scholars, political activists, human rights workers – Edward Said was a personal icon. He was ‘the conscience of Palestine’, teaching us – and the whole world – that the Palestinians were ‘victims of the victims’, but that the creation of such victimhood, for that reason, was no less evil, no more justified. Daniel Barenboim wrote, of late, that “the Palestinians have lost a formidable defender, the Israelis a no less formidable adversary.” I would like to dissent. I would like to say that all Israelis who desire a just peace, all who seek true humanism, have lost a rare defender. Said’s intellectual journeys among culture, politics and philosophy knew no disciplinary borders. May his legacy be just that: no borders.

© PROFESSOR ANAT BILETZKI 2004

Anat Biletzki is Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Tel Aviv University.

When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said

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Linked with the presentation of Ibn Warraq – another Muslim with a Fatwa, a Statement by IBN WARRAQ on the World Trade Center Atrocity, and linked with the presentation of Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society.

Also linked with our presentation of Edward Said (1935-2003), by Anat Biletzki.

by Adil Farooq at January 16, 2003, published on Winds of Change:

It is commonly supposed that pursuing knowledge in a systematic, scientific manner is good scholarship. There is an excellent reason for this – the frontiers of human understanding are advanced only by modifying or discarding theories that fail to explain reality in favour of those that do. In other words, it takes a theory to beat a theory. In intellectual circles, this has become the obvious standard against which the quality of scholarship is held.

And yet, in some cases, it isn’t so obvious. In an important sense, such scholarship is regarded as more valuable in some cultures than in others. In a culture driven by a sense of justice that derives itself from positional authority, as opposed to a rational authority, extending scholarship to its logical conclusions can fraught with problems. Good scholarship does not allow itself to be subordinated to issues of shame and honour – it carries on regardless. But in cultures where the claims of the community against its members take unconditional priority over individuals against the community, the costs of renegade scholarship are considerably greater than the short-term benefits. In other words, works that cross the boundaries of defection exact a very high price.

In the U.S., as well as Britain, Middle Eastern Studies seems a culture unto itself. Since the publication of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient by Edward Said, the study of the Middle East has been driven more by insidiously shaming scholars into harbouring particular viewpoints, rather than analysing the intellectual merits of the subjects under scrutiny. Never has an established academic field so widely degenerated into emulating what is meant to be the remote object of its study. And the recent, albeit timely, advent of Campus Watch reflects an overwhelming need to readdress such unwarranted bias in an era where silencing critics of Said and his followers has become more widely institutionalised ever since the days when Orientalism was first published.

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Improving Children’s Environmental Health

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Linked with our presentation of Zilda Arns Neumann – Brazil.
And linked with our presentation of The ‘Pastoral’ of the Child / Pastoral da Criança – Brazil.

Presentation by Dr. Ms. Zilda Arns Neumann, 67, paediatrician and health specialist, founder and National Coordinator of the Child Pastorate of the Catholic Church, Brazil, on prevention as only sustainable solution for a healthy future for our children. This will only be possible if we protect the environment. Her speach:
Nature is the best source of wisdom. Animals always seek the best place to ensure the reproduction of their species. Fish swim against the flow in search for calm and safe waters where they can lay down their eggs; birds fly to the top of the highest trees and cliffs to lay their eggs and protect their offspring from predators. They know that the environment is the determining factor to ensure the continuity of their kind. Humans, on the other hand, must be stimulated to take proper care of their environment, both for the continuity of their species on Earth, and for protection of the natural ecosystem. These values are most easily developed during the first years of life. Thus, environmental protection needs to become a cultural value stimulated among children and families from all social classes.

My work as leader of the Child Pastorate in Brazil started in 1983 as an initiative of the Catholic Church. During these 19 years, I have noticed the dramatic way through which the environment interferes not only in the survival of children, but especially in the development of their own citizenship. Pregnant women need sun, good nutrition, clean air and safe water in order to stay healthy and ensure their babies all that they need to have a good start in life. Talking, walking, and playing, which are fundamental for children’s development and social inclusion, are often denied, interrupted, or postponed due to the lack of even minimum household or community infrastructure. It is thus necessary to bring together all efforts to ensure a healthy environment for everyone in order to improve the health and well being of our children within their family and community.

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The Word in Times of Crisis

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Linked with our presentation of Yael Lerer – Israel.

And linked with our presentation The Andalus Publishing House.

Excerpt: …This conflict is rooted in the Zionist enterprise, in the very idea of a “land without people for a people without a land.” It intensified after the Nakba—the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 in which some 3/4 of a million Palestinians were expelled from their homeland—and continued with the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, which has now entered its 38th year. Today, one can say that this conflict is “stabilizing” (if one can use such a term in the context of ongoing horror), in the form of an Apartheid-like regime. I use Apartheid-like because there is no other term at my disposal to describe the policy of unequal separation unilaterally enforced by Israel, beginning with “roads for Jews” and “roads for Arabs”—if the latter are lucky enough to have a functional road at all—and on to separate tracks for almost every other function or facet of daily life.

Thus, it is very difficult for me to relate to the current reality as a “time of crisis,” an anomalous epoch disrupting the would-be normalcy of the times.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the current situation is particularly harsh. In the past month alone, some 430 Palestinians were injured, 140 Palestinians were killed—including 25 children under the age of 18. The Israeli army damaged at least 230 homes in the northern Gaza Strip, including 85 housing units ground to dust. The Israelis called this operation, or 2 weeks of wanton destruction “The Days of Repentance.”

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THE WOES OF MUSLIM SINGLE PARENTS

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Linked with our presentation of ICDA.

THE WOES OF MUSLIM SINGLE PARENTS IN BHADRAK IN ORISSA UNDER INDIA
(Survey Report of ICDA –an Organization Committed for the Betterment of Marginalized Women & Children).

The Indian census defines a head of the household as basically a person on whom falls the chief responsibility for the economic maintance of the family.

Households become female headed for variety of reasons. Female headedness can be temporary or permanent and the implications for the family are quite different in each case. While some households become female headed due to migration, the reason for a households becoming permanently female headed is largely death, desertion, divorce or separation of the male member of household.

There is an increasing number of single parent families and female households in Bhadrak. Women who may be widows, divorced, separated, deserted or unmarried mothers, generally head the single parent families. Female heads of households, who are not single parents, may have a migrant husband or he may not be contributing his income to the family. These women have the main responsibility thrust upon them, for which they have neither training nor experience. When they have young children to look after, they are further marginalized and fully exploited in the unorganized sector. These families are generally the poorest of the poor.

The implications of the female headedness for a household are serious, because the survival of the family depends on the women’s earning. Female-headed households are more prone to poverty, given their lower or nil control over productive resources and their greater dependency on wage income, their higher rate of in voluntary unemployment and lower level of education and literacy of the household heads.

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Perfidious Albion and the first Kashmir war

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Linked with our presentation of
By Sreeram Chaulia – (A Review of Chandrashekhar Dasgupta’s War and Diplomacy in Kashmir, 1947-48 Sage Publications, New Delhi. 2002. ISBN: 0-7619-9588-9. Price: US$17.75. 239 pages)

Peace will come only if we have the strength to resist invasion and make it clear that it will not pay.
- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Governor General Louis Mountbatten, December 26, 1947

Having won accolades for more than 30 years as one of the brightest and best Indian Foreign Service officers, the legendary Chandrashekhar Dasgupta has once again proved his mettle by writing a highly original, revelatory and myth-shattering book on the genesis of the Kashmir imbroglio. No competent historian until now has been able to portray the undeclared 1947-8 India-Pakistan war over Kashmir from the standpoint of British strategic and diplomatic calculations.

It comes as no surprise that the Promethean “CD” (as Dasgupta is admiringly called by the “old boys” of his St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and in the diplomatic corps) decided to fill the gap with a lucid and well-referenced treatise on the perfidies of Whitehall and its representatives who remained in authoritative positions on the subcontinent even after formal transfer of power to the domains of India and Pakistan.

While the origins of the Kashmir conflict are highly contested by both the claimant parties and this debated history has produced several partisan as well as impartial accounts, Dasgupta’s work is the first to unearth the complex military and diplomatic decision-making in the crowded 15-month war that was influenced and distorted by Britain.

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Statement by IBN WARRAQ on the World Trade Center Atrocity

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Linked with our presentation of Ibn Warraq – another Muslim with a Fatwa, and linked with our presentation of Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society, and also with When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said.

as of the Institute for the Secularisation of the Islamic Society, together with other known writers:

Given the stupefying enormity of the acts of barbarism of 11 September, moral outrage is appropriate and justified, as are demands for punishment. But a civilized society cannot permit blind attacks on all those perceived as “Muslims” or Arabs. Not all Muslims or all Arabs are terrorists. Nor are they implicated in the horrendous events of Tuesday. Police protection for individual Muslims, mosques and other institutions must be increased.

However, to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with Terrorist Tuesday is to wilfully ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret events. Without Islam the long-term strategy and individual acts of violence by Usama bin Laden and his followers make little sense. The West needs to understand them in order to be able to deal with them and avoid past mistakes. We are confronted with Islamic terrorists and must take seriously the Islamic component. Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, do not understand the passionate, religious, and anti-western convictions of Islamic terrorists. These God-intoxicated fanatics blindly throw away their lives in return for the Paradise of Seventy Two Virgins offered Muslim martyrs killed in the Holy War against all infidels.

Jihad is “a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of the Prophet Muhammad [the Prophet]. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Qur’an and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims”[1].

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The Gospel of Judas

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My Comments to the Judas’ Gospel: If Jesus told Judas to kill him, there can be only one logic reason: people in those days were like we are today: they wanted a saviour. And religions are the place where saviours are promised, are waited for (all 3 monotheist religions have this in their paradigm).

So, as obviously Jesus wanted them to accept him as equal, he insisted often on this point, he wanted them to move their … body, to work, to develop, to reach an ability for self determination and peaceful cooperation … instead of this they began to worship him, as a saviour, as a half god or a three quart of a god, and they didn’t move … it.

I guess Jesus could do nothing against this boring attitude of ordinary people, exactly those he wanted relieve from slavery. They wanted a saviour, not a teacher making them really move. They had the same reaction as have today all these nice people believing in Extraterrestrials, coming next to save them from this planet … from some of my friends I know there are legions today having this attitude.

So, what poor Jesus could make? He could prepare his disappearance. And as on these old days Star Trek beaming was not invented, he had only one solution: to prepare to dye.

So, I guess, he told Judas to arrange his ‘going out of the scene’.

But after his death, the poor people had not understood better. They had not imagined how to take their destiny in their own hands … then.

Yes, they didn’t got it, and the Christian Church continued this ‘misunderstanding’. They institutionalized it by insisting that Jesus would first be a higher being than an ordinary human. With this act they reached to create a difference between the ordinary people and Jesus, and with this also between the people and Jesus’ father, named God.

Once this achieved, they got the excuse to hide themselves and their hierarchic role behind this mighty God. So, as agent of this higher being, they created all the right to have an advantage to simple people in power, law creation, possession of wealth … short, in domination. The way our capitalistic system is handled now, is nothing less that the logic follow up of this old creation.

Look, today, what is happening when something is going wrong???

First, the Medias have to find any bad guy who is guilty for all the mess created. WE (we are always the good ones) we, ourselves, are never guilty, no.

Guilty is the one who made any promise to relieve us from our pains. Today we are just same, we do not take our destiny in our hands, and we wait for this or that solution, prepared by a good guy we are eager to follow. But then he is becoming the bad guy when the solution is not working.

In any way, I can understand that Jesus wanted save a mission which was not running as he wanted. And that he imagined to save it by his death. And also, I can understand, that both, Jesus and Judas, must have been aware of the following misunderstanding.

So, our nice Christian religion reveals a bug in the structure since the beginning, a bug which even poor Jesus was not able to eliminate. This, because WE are responsible of our behaviour, not Jesus, not any guy imagining any solution, not any god. Heidi.

The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy

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by Eve Goldberg and Linda Evans. See on Prison Issues Desk. The Prison Issues Desk is a project of JusticeNet. This article is published (since a long moment) on Prison Activist.org.

Some years ago already over 1.8 million people were behind bars in the United States. This represents the highest per capita incarceration rate in the history of the world. In 1995 alone, 150 new U.S. prisons were built and filled.

This monumental commitment to lock up a sizeable percentage of the population is an integral part of the globalization of capital. Several strands converged at the end of the Cold War, changing relations between labor and capital on an international scale: domestic economic decline, racism, the U.S. role as policeman of the world, and growth of the international drug economy in creating a booming prison/industrial complex. And the prison industrial complex is rapidly becoming an essential component of the U.S. economy.

PRISONS ARE BIG BUSINESS

Like the military/industrial complex, the prison industrial complex is an interweaving of private business and government interests. Its twofold purpose is profit and social control. Its public rationale is the fight against crime.

Not so long ago, communism was “the enemy” and communists were demonized as a way of justifying gargantuan military expenditures. Now, fear of crime and the demonization of criminals serve a similar ideological purpose: to justify the use of tax dollars for the repression and incarceration of a growing percentage of our population. The omnipresent media blitz about serial killers, missing children, and “random violence” feeds our fear.

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The role of Culture in Areas of Conflict

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Linked with our presentation of Izzat GHAZZAWI – Palestinian.

Text by Izzat Ghazzawi for the (See on European Parliament) – This is not a scholarly paper with references and proper documentations. It’s rather an experience from an area of conflicting boundaries and of an extreme negation of the other. All through the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, the politicians decided and the others followed their decisions. We found ourselves stuck between the claims of the Jewish people to the “promised land” and the Palestinins who held the same claims. Very few people talked about a real compromise built on genuine sharing and original integration. Instead, the values of revenge and victory over the other were cherished. Politicians wanted to win the total submission and defeat of the other. It took us a whole century to reconsider the realities around us.

It seems I will not break away from a story to make my points clear. I still remember that day in March 1992. We have been invited to Jerusalem by the Swedish consulate to meet a group of Israeli writers. As far as I was concerned, until that day I had been incapable of seeing a civil society in Israel, because everyone that I had met until then had been either a soldier, a police officer or a member of the secret service, and our lives had been filled with a sour smell and hate since “67. The daily shows, had been smothered in military uniforms, bullets and news about prisons.

The night before the meeting with the Irsraeli writers, I was very anxious. I asked myself if it wou!d be wise to speak about the relationship between the cultural project and the complex political situation at a time when wounds were still open.

My experience of the nature of Israeli culture was negligible due to the little that I had been able to read and deduce from books translated into the English language. Between February ‘89 and May ‘91, I had spent time in an Israeli prison because I was a political activist, but during the time of my detention I had managed to write a book about my memories, about past experiences and about how I was able to survive the period of my imprisonment.

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One of many Muslim Voices

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Linked with our presentation of The MEMRI TV Monitor Project.

As a result of my recent visit to Abu Dhabi I received this morning the link of an Arabian Site translating texts for our western world. Hereafter please read one of these texts. You may find it on this site of MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute:

11/11/2005, Clip No. 930

UAE Friday Sermon: Jordan Bombers Should Be Excommunicated

Following are excerpts from a UAE Friday sermon, which was broadcast on UAE TV on November 11, 2005.

Our greatest disaster today comes not from the people of other religions, but from people who profess to belong to Islam, yet commit acts that have nothing to do with Islam.

The greatest calamity is the harming of Islam in the name of Islam. Our crisis is caused by people who present our religion to others as a religion of killing, destruction and the corruption throughout the land. This harms the religion of Islam, and each and everyone of you must fight this.

The bombings in Jordan sound all the warning bells, and prove that the enemies of Islam from among the terrorists have taken their moral bankruptcy to an unprecedented level.

[...]

Whoever straps an explosives belt around his waist and reaps the lives of dozens of peaceful Muslims, claiming that this will get him into Paradise, where he will hug the black-eyed virgins – as though a Muslim’s only purpose in life is to kill himself and others in order to enter Paradise and marry the black-eyed virgins, as they claim, without even considering Allah’s wrath and the sanctity of life…

Oh worshippers of Allah, is there a doubt left in the mind of any reasonable Muslim that these people’s actions are heinous, and that Islam has nothing to do with them or their actions?

The clerics should make it clear to the public that these murderers are excommunicated, because of their ugly actions that violate the tolerance of Islam, and the mercy it has brought.

So why can’t we protect Islam by banishing these people from Islam and casting them out of the community of Muslims? This is the role of the clerics, the jurisprudents, and the scholars.

The Aliens in “War of the Worlds” Are Muslims

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Linked to our presentation of The MEMRI TV Monitor Project.

11/17/2005, Clip No. 945.

Iranian Filmmaker and Commentator Nader Talebzadeh: 9/11 Footage Appeared in Movies from the 80’s and 90’s. The Aliens in “War of the Worlds” Are Muslims

Following are excerpts from an interview with Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh. The Iranian News Channel (IRINN) aired this interview on November 17, 2005:

Talebzadeh: After Samuel Huntington’s article was published… The American government wanted this article to shape a certain trend. In an interview, Fred Halliday said about Huntington: “I would give Samuel Huntington an F for his article.” This article is that superficial.

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The most famous symbolic work in this field is Independence Day, which was made prior to the events of 9/11. Imagine: Hollywood makes a film that becomes a blockbuster and the box-office hit of that year. In this film there are aerial attacks on the skyscrapers of Manhattan – the same city where the events of 9/11 took place… The film’s escape scene, which takes place in Wall Street, Manhattan, closely resembles the (9/11) footage shown on CNN. Just like… The footage… Even before the event, we were shown footage of it. The famous American director, Robert Altman, said in an interview: “I am sure this 9/11 film was made in advance, and that people saw it in movie theaters before it took place.” He was referring to Independence Day.

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The Suffering Palestinian Women Undergo Every Day

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Linked with our presentation of Nurit Peled – Israel.

By Nurit Peled-Elhanan, hold on 30 March, 2006 at the European Parliament, Strasbourg, on March 8 on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Thank you for inviting me to this day. It is always an honor and a pleasure to be here, among you.

However, I must admit I believe you should have invited a Palestinian woman at my stead, because the women who suffer most from violence in my county are the Palestinian women. And I would like to dedicate my speech to Miriam R’aban and her husband Kamal, from Bet Lahiya in the Gaza Strip, whose five small children were killed by Israeli soldiers while picking strawberries at the family’s strawberry field. No one will ever stand trial for this murder.

When I asked the people who invited me here why wouldn’t they invite a Palestinian woman the answer was that it would make the discussion too localized.

I don’t know what is non-localized violence. Racism and discrimination may be theoretical concepts and universal phenomena but their impact is always local, and real. Pain is local, humiliation, sexual abuse, torture and death, are all very local, and so are the scars.

It is true unfortunately, that the local violence inflicted on Palestinian women by the government of Israel and the Israeli Army, has expanded around the globe. In fact state violence and army violence, individual and collective violence are the lot of Muslim women today, not only in Palestine but wherever the enlightened Western world is setting its big imperialistic foot. It is violence which is hardly ever addressed and which is halfheartedly condoned by most people in Europe and in the USA.

This is because the so-called free world is afraid of the Muslim womb.

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opposing, challenging and resisting 37 years of occupation

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Linked with our presentation of Nurit Peled – Israel.

What follows is the transcript of a speech by Nurit Peled-Elhanan of the Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum, and Laureate of the 2001 EU Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Human Rights. (See Inter Activist Info Exchange). This speech was given at Arab Media Watch’s conference on June 6 entitled “opposing, challenging and resisting 37 years of occupation“:

Those of you who watched photographs or reports from the last massacre committed by the Israeli army in Rafah, and those who watched the demonstrations all over the world, following this act of cruelty, must have noticed a new sign drawn upon walls, cars and banners. The Star of David equals the swastika. Most people who draw this new sign or use it know very little about either of the symbols except that both were drawn on tanks and helicopters which were used to destroy cities and to commit massacres for reasons of racism. Trying to reason with these people by showing them documents that differentiate between the two symbols would be inefficient and useless, to say the least. Breaking this new equation demands sacrifice.

And indeed there are people who are willing to make this sacrifice in order to prove to the world that this new sign is untrue. They aren’t many. Only six young Israeli boys, who have already spent more than a year and a half in jail. Young, gifted, idealistic boys who are called “refuseniks” by their supporters after the brave dissidents in the former Soviet Union, and who were termed by the court of justice in Israel: “Ideological criminals worse than rapists and murderers, whose positive character should be counted against them, since it helps them find followers and spread their law-breaking further into the society.”

These are the true heroes of our times, and they do it as they say: out of their deep love and devotion to their people and to the values they have been raised upon.

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Mohawks pass into another millennium

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Linked with our presentation of KENNETH DEER – Mohawk Nation, Canada.

Linked also with our presentation of an Indigenous Approach on Bridging the Digital Divide.

(See this site) – They thought it would never happen. The colonizers that is. They thought that we would fade away, assimilate or just die out before the end of the last century. But we fooled them. We’re still here, as feisty as ever.

When the Indian Advancement Act was written in 1873, there was no intention to have ‘Indians’ around for another 100 years. We were supposed to have advanced into average Canadians. We didn’t think that was much of an advancement so we tried our best to remain who we are.

Now that we’ve survived this long, we have to look at how we will continue to survive into the future.

As long as we are a minority in numbers, we will always be threatened with assimilation into the larger society. Assimilation is the greatest threat to our existence. Unlike ethnic groups in Canada who can replenish their culture and language by importing more of their people from their home country, we do not have that luxury. This is our homeland and we are all that there is.

As we look back at our situation one hundred years ago and beyond, we have shown that we are a very adaptable people. We have managed to take from the colonizers what we needed (sometimes things that we didn’t really need either and which were detrimental to our existence) and, from the time of the fur trade, used our strategic location, knowledge of the rivers and forests, strength of organization, pragmatic diplomacy and, at times, sheer force and intimidation, to ensure our continued survival.

In the future, many of these assets, and more, will be needed to continue our existence.

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“Una criada en Líbano” …

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OIT EnLínea No. 18, Jueves 13 de abril – “Una criada en Líbano”: proteger los derechos de los trabajadores migrantes ( email ):

Impulsadas por la pobreza extrema en sus países de origen, miles de trabajadoras migrantes se dirigen cada año hacia los Estados Árabes para ganar un dinero que les permita mantener a sus familias. No siempre lo encuentran. “Una criada en Líbano”, la película */ dirigida por Carol Mansour, patrocinada por la Caritas Sueca, la Embajada de los Países Bajos en Beirut y la OIT, retrata el riesgo que estas mujeres toman cuando deciden dejar sus familias e ir a trabajar al Líbano.

BEIRUT, Líbano (OIT EnLínea) – Desde 1973, más de 100.000 mujeres migraron desde países más pobres para trabajar detrás de las puertas cerradas de las casas de sus empleadores libaneses. Algunas realizan sus sueños, otras se encuentran en un aprieto financiero y emocional.

Algunas empleadas domésticas, como Nirosha, tienen empleadores amables que las tratan bien al pagar sus servicios. En estos casos, los trabajadores domésticos migrantes pueden ahorrar dinero y regresar al país de origen. “Voy a extrañar a la señora”, dice Nirosha, “ella me dio todo”.

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AIDS funding crisis

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In 2005, one of the G8’s most significant commitments was to promise AIDS treatment for all who need it by 2010. If this target has any hope of becoming reality, it needs immediate and significant financing.

But world leaders are failing to stump up the cash, and as a result are threatening to scupper the groundbreaking treatment target less than one year after they agreed to it. The Global Fund – one of the key funders of AIDS treatment in the developing world – is being left high and dry by donor governments who are refusing to pay for any new projects in 2006. This is a potentially catastrophic state of affairs.

On World AIDS Day 2005, World Leaders met with the Stop AIDS Campaign. He told that ‘we need to be getting other countries to step up to the mark’ and fund the Global Fund.

Please write a letter to your Government and tell them to do exactly this now.

The decision as to whether there will be any new grants this year will be taken at an international meeting at the end of April. The Governments must show leadership, vote at the meeting for a new funding round to be launched, and urge other countries to do the same. Otherwise millions could be denied the treatment they urgently need.

Please send a brief hand-written or typed and signed letter to the Prime Minister of your Country.

Why not send an email? They are not provided, a personal letter has much more impact and is more likely to be received.

Please include some or all of the following points:

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Petition of Complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM)

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Linked with our presentatio of Irene Fernandez – Malaysia.

Linked also with our presentation of Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development APWLD – Malaysia.

Friday, March 03 2006 – Enough is enough. There is enough evidence to show that RELA uses pure violence in its given power to arrest people. RELA has done it both to migrant workers and to Malaysians. The government has in fact turned civilians into thugs and gangsters using sheer brutal force on innocent people with impunity.

The Home Ministry protects and condones the form of violence perpetrated by RELA men. The Minister is in a continuous state of denial although numerous cases have been brought to his attention.

The attack on the Indian workers on Tuesday night, February 28, 2006 in front of the Indian High Commission is a clear case of RELA’s violent form of conducting raids and abusing innocent migrant workers.

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