The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger
By Paul Craig Roberts
On Thanksgiving eve the English language China Daily and People’s Daily Online reported that Russia and China have concluded an agreement to abandon the use of the US dollar in their bilateral trade and to use their own currencies in its place. Continue
Monday, November 29, 2010
The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger
The Real Terrorists Are Us!
FBI Thwarts Own Car Bomb
Will Americans recoil in yet more contrived fear?
The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims to have thwarted their own car bomb Friday, November 26, 2010 at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse Square.
|The Portland Patsy|
Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer.
The FBI Has A History of Creating Terrorists, to Terrorize Americans
Friday, November 26, 2010
No New Korean War!
The Obama administration and its South Korean client government led by the rabidly anti-communist President Kim Myung-bak are blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for the latest escalation of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula.
What's needed to resolve the crisis
The North Korean government stated that it was "reacting to the military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt powerful physical strike," and accused Seoul of starting the skirmish with its "reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside the territorial waters of the" North.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Pentagon blows up thousands
Borrowing a page from its infamous “pacification” effort in South Vietnam, where peasant villages were napalmed and burned to the ground to “save them from the communists,” the Obama-ordered surge in Afghanistan has been secretly blowing up thousands of homes and leveling portions of the Afghan countryside.
Join the U.S. veteran-led civil resistance to the wars
The Cowardice of America at War
By Richard Reeves
So, cry the beloved country. Shed tears for the brave. And for the cowards, too, the men and women in Washington who refuse to admit we cannot impose our will on the world. Continue
Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent
By Gareth Porter
The evidence that documents at the center of the case for a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program are fraudulent suggests the need for a strategic reset on Iran policy.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Afghan Air War Peaks With 1,000 Strikes in October
By Noah Shachtman
The U.S. and its allies have unleashed a massive air campaign in Afghanistan, launching missiles and bombs from the sky at a rate rarely seen since the war’s earliest days. Continue
Former British intelligence chairman all but calls Bush liar, says waterboarding didn’t stop terror plots
Amnesty International wants Bush on trial over torture: The London-based Amnesty International (AI) has called for a criminal investigation into former US President George W. Bush's admission of torture.
Public Like A Frog: "Where All Are Guilty, No One Is"
By Phil Rockstroh
Millions have been murdered worldwide so that these entitlement-maddened monsters can keep their SUVs topped-off with gas, and their fat brats' greedy gobs stuffed with Hot Pockets & Juicy Juice." Continue
America’s Devolution Into Dictatorship
By Paul Craig Roberts
This Justice (sic) Department, which routinely frames and railroads the innocent, argued in Federal Court on November 8 that the US government, if approved by the president, could murder anyone it wishes, citizens or noncitizens, at will.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Former president of the UN General Assembly, calls to free Tariq Aziz
I am, extremely sad and angry to see yet another great injustice perpetrated by the United States, who, in my country alone Nicaragua, recently promoted, directed, armed and financed an undeclared war of aggression that resulted in the death of 50000 people...
Obama Administration Claims Unchecked Authority To Kill Americans Outside Combat Zones
The Obama administration today argued before a federal court that it should have unreviewable authority to kill Americans the executive branch has unilaterally determined to pose a threat.
What Did WikiLeaks Really Tell Us about Iran?
Finance Has Become a New Form of Warfare
An interview with professor Michael Hudson - By Democracy Now!
"The object of warfare is to take over a country’s land, raw materials and assets, and grab them," Hudson says. "In the past, that used to be done militarily by invading them. But today you can do it financially simply by creating credit, which is what the Federal Reserve has done."
Chomsky: US-led Afghan War, Criminal
By Press TV
Noam Chomsky says US invasion of Afghanistan was illegal since to date there is no evidence that al-Qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
By Sumbul Ali-Karamali
Author of "The Muslim Next Door: the Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing"
"Repeating a lie over and over again doesn't make it true; but it certainly results in people believing the lie. That's what the Islam-haters are counting on. That, and the ignorance about Islamic tenets."
October 31, 2010 "Huffington Post"
Sept, 23, 2010 - -
Hasn't the whole notion of shariah in America gotten a bit out of control? No, it hasn't -- it's gotten hugely, obscenely, ignorantly out of control. How many of those anti-Islam protesters holding "NO SHARIA LAW" signs (as if anyone were advocating shariah law in the U.S.) actually know what the word means? I'd say, oh, none. Roughly.
Shariah (also spelled shari'ah or sharia or shari'a) is the Arabic word for "the road to the watering place." In a religious context, it means "the righteous path." Loosely, it can mean simply, "Islam."
There are six principles of shariah. They are derived from the Qur'an, which Muslims believe is the word of God. All Islamic religious rules must be in line with these six principles of shariah.
Aha! The six principles must be about killing infidels, veiling women, stoning people for adultery, honor killings and female genital cutting, right? Nope.
Here they are, the six principles of shariah:
1. The right to the protection of life.
2. The right to the protection of family.
3. The right to the protection of education.
4. The right to the protection of religion.
5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
6. The right to the protection of human dignity.
Well, bless me, as a pledge-of-allegiance-reciting, California-raised Muslim girl, these six principles sound a lot like those espoused in my very own Constitution of the United States. Except that these were developed over a thousand years ago.
This is the core of shariah -- these six principles. The term "shariah law" is a misnomer, because shariah is not law, but a set of principles. To Muslims, it's the general term for "the way of God."
But how do we know what the way of God is? Early Muslims looked to the Qur'an and the words of the Prophet Muhammad to figure this out. They filled books of interpretive writings (called fiqh) about how to act in accordance with the way of God. They rarely agreed -- the fiqh is not just one rule, but many differing opinions and contradictory rules and scholarly debates.
Sometimes, shariah also refers to the whole body of Islamic texts, which includes the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet, and the books of interpretive literature written by medieval Muslim scholars. The first two are considered divine. The interpretive literature, the fiqh, is not.
The fiqh was meant to develop and change according to the time and place -- it has internal methodologies for that to happen. It is not static, but flexible. No religion gets to be 1400 years old and the second largest in the world unless it's flexible and adaptable.
The Qur'an is old. The fiqh books of jurisprudence are old. To modern eyes, they can look just as outdated as other ancient texts, including the Bible and Torah. That's why, just like the Bible and the Torah, the Islamic texts must be read in their historical context.
Assuming all Muslims follow medieval Islamic rules today is like assuming that all Catholics follow 9th century canon law. Islam, like Christianity, has changed many times over the centuries, and it continues to change. Focusing only on the nutcases who advocate a return to medieval times is ignoring the vast majority of modern Muslims.
For example, stoning for adultery is a punishment that appears in fiqh, as well as early Judaic law. But it does not appear in the Qur'an. In Islam, therefore, stoning was a result of cultural norms imposed on the religious texts. Moreover, in the fiqh, though the punishment for adultery was stoning, adultery was made such a fantastically difficult crime to prove that the punishment was impossible to apply. Historically, stoning was very rarely implemented in the Islamic world, which is ironic, since today the Saudi and Iranian governments apply it as though they'd never heard of the strict Islamic constraints on it.
The vast majority of Muslims today do not believe in stoning people for adultery, and many are working hard to eradicate it. Stoning is horrific and has no place in our world. The miniscule percentage of Muslims who advocate it are imposing the medieval penalty while ignoring all the myriad limitations meant to make it inapplicable.
As for other scary stories attributed to shari'a, like honor killings, veiling of women, and female genital cutting, these are cultural practices and not Islamic. They are practiced by non-Muslims of certain cultures as well as Muslims.
Shari'a is a set of religious principles and is not the law of the land anywhere in the world. The 50-some Muslim-majority countries are all constitutional states and nearly all of them have civil codes (many of these based on the French system). Being Muslim does not require a governmental imposition of something called "shari'a law," any more than being a Christian requires the implementation of "Biblical law" (though there are, of course, a tiny minority of both Christians and Muslims who do advocate such things, including Sarah Palin).
As for Islam being a political system, there is nothing in the Qur'an about an "Islamic state," and the Prophet himself never tried to implement an "Islamic state," despite hysterical accusations to the contrary. Those under his leadership practiced a variety of religions.
Traditionally, in the Islamic world, the institutions that governed were always separate from the institutions that developed religion. In fact, they often checked and balanced one another. Although no civilization has been free from all conflict, every Islamic empire was a multi-religious, multicultural empire, in which religious minorities were governed by their own laws.
The term "Islam as a religion and a state" really only became popular in the 1920s, as a reaction to Western colonization of the Muslim world. In fact, Islam contains plenty of concepts consistent with modern democracy -- for example, shura (consultation) and aqd (a contract between the governed and the governing). In other words, Muslims can be perfectly comfortable in America, following state and federal laws.
The Qur'an contains many verses advocating religious tolerance, too, though the anti-Islam protesters won't believe it. The Qur'an says that: God could have made everyone into one people, but elected not to (11:118); God made us into different nations and tribes so that we can learn from one another (49:13); there is no compulsion in religion (2:256); and that we should say, "to you your religion, to me mine" (109:6).
The only verses about fighting in the Qur'an refer specifically to the polytheistic Arab tribes who were trying to kill the Prophet in the 7th century. So the Islamophobes who look in the Qur'an for the fighting verses and assume that these verses refer to them personally are simply being narcissistic. Contrary to counting Jews and Christians as "infidels," the Qur'an repeatedly commands particular respect of Jews and Christians. It is established in Islam that you don't need to be Muslim to go to heaven.
Repeating a lie over and over again doesn't make it true; but it certainly results in people believing the lie. That's what the Islam-haters are counting on. That, and the ignorance about Islamic tenets.
So the best thing to do is find out what Islam really is about.
Talk to a Muslim in person. Read an introduction to Islam (try a fun one like mine). Read Loonwatch to read about the holes in the anti-Islamic rhetoric. Or take a look at the University of Georgia's informational website on Islam, for some quick answers and further reading.
If you read the anti-Islam fear-mongering websites, all you'll learn will be tall tales.
Bigotry may be a human tendency, but America has never stood for bigotry. I believe in an America that stands for pluralism and multicultural understanding. The hysteria and hate toward Muslims - resulting in several acts of violence against Muslims just this week, such as a stabbing and arson - is un-American. We must stop it, and the first step is understanding and education.
Sumbul Ali-Karamali is an attorney with an additional degree in Islamic law, as well as the author of "The Muslim Next Door: the Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing."
Monday, November 01, 2010
Sign the 'Solidarity with Iran' Appeal!
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