http://news.yahoo.com/islamists-mali-detain-whip-90-protesters-135154792.html BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Radical Islamists in northern Mali have briefly detained about 90 protesters and whipped them in an apparent attempt to intimidate the locals, a witness said Saturday. Resident Hama Cisse of Goundam town, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Timbuktu, said members of the radical Islamic sect Ansar Dine went [...]
Afghan suicide bomber slays 23 at wedding
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A suicide bomber killed a prominent anti-Taliban politician and 22 other guests at a wedding reception in the northern Afghan province of Samangan on Saturday, officials said. Read more…
Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz20h4YJQHn
Merkel OKs circumcision, countering court ban
The Daily Mail
Friday, July 13, 2012
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised Jewish and Muslim communities that they will be free to carry out circumcision on boys despite a court ban. Read more…
Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz20h4vEQ8k
The Washington Times story about former FBI director Louis Freeh’s damning report on the Penn State cover-up of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal ends on a provocative note:
“We have a great deal of respect for Mr. Paterno,” Mr. Freeh said. “He has a terrific legacy, a great legacy. We’re not singling him out, but put him in the same category with four other people. But the facts are the facts. There is a whole bunch of evidence for the reasonable conclusion that he was an integral part of the active decision to conceal.”
Is it really “respect” that we have for Joe Paterno, the fired Penn State football coach, on learning from the Freeh report that he bald-faced-lied to a Grand Jury and others concerning what he knew and when he knew it about Jerry Sandusky’s predatory sexual pursuit of boys going back to 1998? “Respect” may be a nod to achievement, but it is also closely linked to good character. Those whom we respect we hold in high honor. What Freeh is acknowledging is Paterno’s formidable football record. It is true that his record of wins on the playing field remains unchanged by any revelations of any investigation. But as a legacy, as a measure of the man, it is forever altered.
What we learn from the Freeh report is that there were no lengths to which Paterno would not go in pursuit of excellence on game day in the stadium — even to the extent of turning a blind eye to boys being sexually abused off the field, in the locker room showers. How does such a character merit respect, great or otherwise? Stopping Sandusky, saving the boys — that would have been an achievement to hold in great esteem, regardless of whether such exposure in any way diminished the pomp and performance of Penn State.
Instead, Paterno leaves behind a monumental win-loss record. Now that the truth is out, it seems more like a monument to a crime.
SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, this is great evidence of a free press, which is part of democracy. Thank you.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
July 14, 20
FOREIGN MINISTER AMR: (Via interpreter.) I’m delighted to have Mrs. Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State here for the first time to Egypt since the revolution. It’s a very important visit, and especially in light of the U.S.-Egyptian historic relation, which serve the interest of both countries and which go back to 40 years ago.
Today, Mrs. Clinton had a very prolonged meeting with the President, and she addressed – they addressed several issues concerning bilateral relations and also the situation in the region and both parties’ visions on these issues. With respect to these issues, the talks were amicable and friendly and frank.
Without much ado, I’ll give you the way to – the chance to speak now, and afterwards we’ll take two questions from both sides.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister. And I want to thank you and President Morsi for a warm welcome and a very thorough conversation about a number of important issues confronting Egypt and the region.
This is, of course, a time marked by many historic firsts, and it is very clear that Egyptians are in the midst of complex negotiations about the transition, from the composition of your parliament to the writing of a new constitution to the powers of the president. Only Egyptians can answer these questions, but I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for your democratic transition.
This afternoon, President Morsi and I began a constructive dialogue about the broad, enduring relationship between the United States and Egypt for the 21st century. We discussed the challenges ahead and how the United States and Egypt can work together in a spirit of mutual respect and mutual interests.
First, we discussed how the United States can support the Egyptian people and their aspirations and in particular the economic package outlined by President Obama to relieve up to one billion dollars in Egypt’s debt as its democratic transition moves forward. In close consultation with the United States Congress, the Obama Administration is preparing to provide budget support to help Egypt stabilize its economy and to use debt relief to foster innovation, growth, and job creation. As Egypt takes these steps to shore up your economy, we will support you with international financial institutions and other donors.
We are also focused on increasing trade, investment, and entrepreneurship to create jobs and are ready to make available $250 million in loan guarantees to Egyptian small-and-medium-sized businesses. We are sending a high-level delegation of American businesses in early September to explore new investment and trade opportunities, and we will be creating the U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund. We’ll launch that fund with $60 million. We have prominent Egyptian and American business leaders who will run it. It is modeled on what we have done that has worked in other countries before.
Second, the President and I discussed the importance of keeping Egypt’s democratic transition moving forward, and I commended him on his pledge to serve all Egyptians, including women and minorities and to protect the rights of all Egyptians. President Morsi made clear that he understands the success of his presidency and, indeed, of Egypt’s democratic transition depends on building consensus across the Egyptian political spectrum, to work on a new constitution at parliament, to protect civil society, to draft a new constitution that will be respected by all, and to assert the full authority of the presidency.
And thirdly, we discussed Egypt’s role as a leader in the region. I commended the President for going to the African Union Summit to reassert Egyptian leadership in Africa and emphasized the importance of upholding Egypt’s international agreements. More than three decades ago, Egypt and Israel signed a treaty that has allowed a generation to grow up without knowing war. And on this foundation, we will work together to build a just, comprehensive, regional peace in the Middle East based on two states for two people with peace, security, and dignity for all.
We believe America’s shared strategic interest with Egypt far outnumber our differences. And we know that Egypt’s future is up to the Egyptian people, but we want to be a good partner. We want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people and to see a future of great potential be realized for the nearly 90 million people of Egypt who are expecting that to occur.
There was once an America that built its shining cities on a hill in the name of virtue. That nation has been replaced by another nation that builds housing projects in the name of guilt. We used to elect the best men for the job, or at least we believed we did. Now we hold elections of guilt, deciding which oppressed minority has been most shamefully overlooked, before casting our vote for a more diverse and equitable society.
Our American exceptionalism now is a small thing that takes place in the shadow of guilt. It is rarely mentioned now without implicit rebuttals of that guilt. Its advocates are forever laboring to get out from under the burden of slavery, segregation and a thousand other hissing sibilant S’s that have been used to mark us as an eternally unworthy nation.
Guilt is the shadow side of virtue. A politician who speaks about the virtues of a nation panders to his audience, and leads them with a golden halter rope to follow his policies. If he says that America is a great nation because it is a nation of immigrants, or a diverse nation or a nation where men can marry each other– his audience will internalize that lesson and repeat it back. If a foreigner accuses his country of being a bad place, he will reply that this accusation is false because it is actually a great nation where diverse gay immigrants can marry each other.
People are susceptible to building identities out of the compliments that they are given. Tell a man that he is a generous host and he is more likely to invite you, or someone else, over for dinner. That is how philanthropists are made, with dinners, awards and other social rewards for giving money. That is also how philanthropic nations are made. Americans keep giving money to the world and expect that one day an international rubber chicken dinner of some sort will be held in our honor.
Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
Ali Asani is Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He came to Harvard as an undergraduate in 1973 from his native Nairobi and has been there ever since. A concentrator in comparative religion, he later pursued his doctorate work on Near Eastern languages, developing his dissertation on the ginans, the religious texts of the Ismaili branch of Islam. Capitalizing on his multilingual fluency in Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Gujarati, Sindhi, and Swahili, he began teaching at Harvard’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Today a tenured professor, his research focuses on Shia and Sufi devotional traditions of Islam, as well as popular or folk forms of Muslim devotional life.
Using art forms, such as poetry, music, and calligraphy, Ali Asani is combating ignorance about Islam and Muslim cultures. He believes that the arts help to humanize cultures, whereas political discourses based on nationalist ideologies tend to dehumanize. He sees the arts as wonderful pedagogic bridges that help to connect peoples who perceive those different from themselves as “the other.” In keeping with his mission of promoting religious literacy, Asani held workshops for educators following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to help them better understand Islam. He also recently developed a detailed historic and cultural curriculum for the study of Muslim societies for the Islamic Studies Initiative, an international professional development program for high school teachers in Kenya, Pakistan, and Texas.
Most recently, Professor Asani, who is also associate director of Harvard’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, has been working on incorporating the arts into his “Culture and Belief” course, which is offered as part of Harvard’s new Program in General Education.
Imam Rami Nashashibi
Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Chicago
Rami Nashashibi has served as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago since its incorporation as a nonprofit in January 1997. Dr. Nashashibi holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago, and has been an adjunct professor at various colleges and universities across the Chicago area, where he has taught a range of Sociology, Anthropology, and other Social Science courses. He has worked with several leading scholars in the area of globalization, African American studies, and urban sociology, and has contributed chapters to edited volumes by Manning Marabel and Saskia Sassen.
Rami has lectured across the United States and Europe on a range of topics related to American Muslim identity, community activism and social justice issues, and is a recipient of several prestigious community service and organizing honors, including the Norman R. Bobins Fellowship presented at the most recent Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards. Rami and his work with IMAN have been featured in many national and international media outlets, including the BBC, PBS, and a front page story in the Chicago Tribune. In 2007 Islamica Magazine profiled Rami as being among the “10 Young Muslim Visionaries Shaping Islam in America,” and most recently Chicago Public Radio selected Rami Nashashibi as one of the city’s Top Ten Chicago Global Visionaries. Invited by the governor of Illinois to serve on the Commission for the Elimination of Poverty, Rami was named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in concert with Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
http://www.ciweb.org/religion-lectures-week-two/ Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the Founder of Cordoba Initiative, an independent, multi-faith, and multi-national project that works with state and non-state actors to improve Muslim-West relations. In this capacity, he provides innovative solutions to those areas where conflict between Islamic and Western communities undermines local and global security. Under [...]
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE CLUE ROMNEY IN? DON’T RECYCLE LEFTOVERS FROM PRESIDENT BUSH (BOTH) LIKE RICE AND BAKER AND NORQUIST AND OTHER “PEACE PROCESSORS’….RSK
I’ve been holding off writing this piece.
I don’t want to do anything which might risk, in any way, your defeat of Farakhan’s messiah and Reverend Wright’s virtual nephew in November 2012.
Nevertheless, I have now come to believe that silence might backfire even worse–so, here it goes…
Governor Romney, there’s much about you that any truly objective person should be able to find admirable. Having said that, I am still faced with a dilemma and will adress part of it below.
I recently heard news that former Secretary of State, James Baker III, has endorsed your candidacy… http://mittromneycentral.com/tag/james-baker/#channel=f175e8226deeb08&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fmittromneycentral.com&channel_path=%2Ftag%2Fjamesbaker%2F%3Ffb_xd_fragment%23xd_sig%3Df7012649af95c%26.
As a solid Republican who has served several occupants of the White House (especially both Bush I and II), that was to be expected. Yet, even though he is an influential figure in the Republican Party with important connections and other evidently attractive pluses, there is no doubt that Baker carries some very serious baggage along with him.
Governor Romney, it’s been really tough trying to convince many of my fellow Tribal members that Thor will not strike them dead from above with his hammer if they dare to vote against Democrats. As a former Democrat (and now an Independent), I have been working at this non-stop for years now. A close relationship between you and Baker, however, will greatly complicate these efforts.
Back in 2008, and for similar reasons, Baker was cozying up to Senator McCain as well. So, let me set the stage a bit…
Rather than reinventing the wheel, please check out these excerpts from a Jason Maoz article which appeared on May 12, 2006 in JewishPress.com:
McCain told Haaretz that as president, he would “micromanage” U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians and would dispatch “the smartest guy I know” to the region, presumably to jump-start a new push for a comprehensive accord.
Asked who that “smartest guy” might be, McCain responded: “Brent Scowcroft, or James Baker, though I know that you in Israel don’t like Baker.”
McCain foresaw “concessions and sacrifices by both sides” and indicated that Israel would be expected to “Defend itself and keep evacuating.” Asked whether that meant “movement toward the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, with minor modifications,” McCain, reported Haaretz, “nodded in the affirmative.”
Before dealing with that last paragraph above, there’s something else related to this that’s even more troublesome…
Imagine, for just one moment, the public response if you suggested appointing someone for a sensitive, high position or took on as a key advisor a person who openly stated, “f_ _ k the Blacks, they don’t vote for us anyway” and who referred to African American employees and colleagues as his “Black Boys.”
A nauseating and disastrous thought…not so ?
Well, Governor Romney, James Baker III has said just those very same things about Jews.
Christian convert from Islam beheaded on Egyptian national TV
As published by The Christian Post, a video was recently shown on Egyptian television reportedly depicting the literal carving-off of the head of a bound Tunisian man who had abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity.
A heavily edited version of the video (sans actual bloodshed) was also aired on Canadian TV’s political discussion program “The Arena” hosted by Michael Coren of Canada’s Sun News Network (please see video link, left).
Coren begins his segment by matter-of-factly stating:
“There is a video on the web right now showing a man having his head cut off slowly and agonizingly, essentially because he has converted to Christianity from Islam.”
While rolling the video, Coren went on to say:
“… various Islamic chants going on right now, and this goes on for some time before this poor man’s head is actually cut off.
They taunt him for the longest time, he’s completely unable to move or resist.
And finally, his head is cut off and held up for the camera.”
With Iranian Freedom Fighters, Roozbeh Farahanipour, Homayoun Mobasseri, and Nicole Kian Sadighi (Director of, and star in, “I Am Neda,”)
Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax03VW-k1CY
Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6Z5eVpit0w
Part III: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV2Yi4nH2Vk&feature=youtu.be