Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pence confused the US flag with the Nicaraguan flag


Do people think that subscribing to the New York Times is an act of resistance?

How insane are those standards. This is like saying that Jeff Bezos represents the working class interests of the US, or that Bill Gates is the socialist alternative to Trump.  The standards are so skewed nowadays.  If you want to undertake an act of resistance, don't subscribe to the New York Times, I say.

The alliance between Zionists & anti-Semites

"History shows that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism have never been mutually exclusive." "While the white nationalists believe that Jews do not belong in the white nation, they do admire Israel as a model for an ethnically homogeneous nation gutsy enough to dominate or expel Muslims. As the Southern Poverty Law Center reports, one of the major spokesmen of the Alt-right, Richard B. Spencer “has termed his mission a “sort of white Zionism,” that would inspire whites with the dream of such a homeland just as Zionism helped spur the establishment of Israel. A white ethno-state would be an Altneuland—an old, new country—he said, attributing the term to Theodor Herzl, a founding father of Zionism.” "

The Trump Card

The expression has a new meaning.

Trump versus the press;

My stance toward the conflict between Trump versus the press is exactly the same as my stance toward the two rival candidates for DNC chair--which is the same as the stance of Kissinger toward Iraq-Iraq war (he was opposed to both).

DNC's anti-Palestinian bigotry

"Wednesday’s debate raises a question that is all the more urgent at a time when unrestrained bigotry is again widespread in American politics: why can’t would-be leaders of the Democratic Party stand both against anti-Semitism and clearly for Palestinians’ freedom in the face of rampant Israeli violations of their human rights?"

Liberal's fear of Muslims who talk back

"Maher's Islamophobia becomes worse when he rarely discusses white terrorism, whether the recent deadly Quebec mosque shooting by Alexandre Bissonette or this week's string of white terrorist bomb plots. But most glaring, Maher rarely uses his platform to invite Muslims to combat his own islamophobia. Last year Dean Obeidallah wrote that Maher has “A Fear of Muslims Who Talk Back.” “Maher not inviting Muslims to be in his show when he lectures on ‘what Islam is really about’ is like having a discussion on Black Lives Matter with only a panel of white people. True, we see that very thing happen on Fox News, but Maher keeps telling us he's a liberal." " (thanks Amir)

Bashshar Al-Asad welcomes invaders of Syria provided they are "genuine"

""If the Americans are genuine, of course they are welcome. Like any other country, we want to defeat and to fight the terrorists," he said" (thanks Mohammed)

The entry on Al-Akhbar on Wikipedia

Someone should correct this error in the entry of Al-Akhbar on Wikipedia.  Elias Khuri was never a writer at Al-Akhbar.

Discourse of hate about Arabs

Back during the Cold War, Arabs were hated because they were seen as natural allies of communism, and that their Arab Nasserist passions were in synch with Soviet designs.  And Palestinian nationalism was seen as a mere branch of communism: do you remember the books about the PLO when I first came to the US (like books by Neil Lingstone and Jillian Becker) and how authors warned about the dangers of the PLO because it was (as was said about the ANC) under the dangerous influence and control of communists?  Only a decades later, we are now warned that the dangers of the Palestinian national movement is that it is too Islamic and non-secular.  So secularism if expressed in opposition to US/Israel is dangerous, just as anti-secularism if expressed in opposition to US/Israel is dangerous.  Just as anti-secularism if expressed in alliance with the interest of US/Israel (as in Saudi Arabia) is of no danger at all.

Academic freedoms, Zionists and Islamophobes

There is a real danger to academic freedoms of the US: just as the anti-communist fanfics (both Democrats and Republicans--lest we forget the work of Robert Kennedy on the congressional Committee on UnAmerican affairs), imposed a parameter of acceptable debate and discourse, today's Zionists and Islamophobes (and they often work in tandem) are imposing strict guidelines of acceptable discourse and rhetoric in the classroom, Congress, and beyond.  And they have been pretty successful because Congressional and local state legislatures have worked closely with them.  Imagine if discourse about Judaism by professor of Judaic studies is being subjected to the same scrutiny that professors of Islam are being subjected to.  The case of Jonathan Brown is but one recent example--although I disagree with his views and interpretations as I explained yesterday.  But you are telling me that Jewish professors of Judaic studies when they lecture in Jewish centers in the US, they are not apologetic about Judaism, just as Brown is apologetic about Islam, and just as Buddhist professors are quite apologetic about Buddhism.  It should not be the business of political operators or even writers and academics to judge the content of speech to see the extent to which it fits into their political or even moral framework.  By that token, if we were to impose the secular humanist standards (which are only applied on the discourse about Islam) to the discourse about Judaism or about Hinduism, they also will fall short.  People should be free to lecture and even preach about their religions, outside of the university system if they chose too.  But even in the university system: are you saying that Islam professors are sometimes apologetic about islam but Judaism professors are never apologetic about Judaism?   If we apply secular standards to ban apologias about religious then, only us secular atheists would be allowed to teach about religion (which does not bother me, ideologically speaking, if the same standards are applied across the board but it is not).   

James Zogby clarifies: I am not only an apologist of the UAE regime

He explains that he is also an apologist of the Saudi regime: "On my most recent visit to Saudi Arabia, I received a briefing at the Ministry of Education, I was struck by: reforms in early childhood and elementary education; the new emphasis being given to math and science; the training programs that have been developed for teachers and aides preparing them to mainstream children with disabilities; and efforts to provide online and interactive educational opportunities for Saudis of all ages. These changes combined will no doubt produce even greater transformations in the years to come."

iAngry about iMuslims

"Perhaps the most glaring illustration of the problem is when Bunt categorizes the communist, Shiite professor Asad Abukhalil, known as the Angry Arab, as part of the Islamic blogosphere (p. 173). Of course Abukhalil regularly comments on Islamic topics, but so do a large list of bloggers, hacks, and ordinary people on the Net. In fact, the Angry Arab is one of the most secular Arab blogs. Would Abukhalil mind being labeled an iMuslim? The term itself is  not convincing; it sounds a little too much like a different species. Could we for example imagine a book called iChristians, other than perhaps about very fundamentalist Christians online? By subsuming every phenomenon in Muslim contexts, or related to Islam, under an Islamic heading, we risk underwriting claims about Islam as the primary, sometimes the only valid, identity marker. The more interesting debate concerning mass media, perhaps, is how we as scholars can come to grips with contestations and intersections between revivalist Islam and secular modernity."

Friday, February 24, 2017

The comments of Jonathan A.C. Brown

No, not only right-wing commentators are condemning the comments of Brown.  I for one, condemn his apologia of Islamic slavery or his philosophizing of non-consensual sexual relations.  I know that Brown has tried to explain his comments but they are familiar to anyone familiar with the Islamic apologia of...slavery.  As for the non-consensual sexual relations, I don't know what he is talking about but the idea is repulsive regardless of intentions.  I should point out that Talal bin `Abdul-`Aziz (father of the funder of the Center of Christian-Muslim Understanding, after whom it was named) and his brothers owned slaves, not to mention that they engaged in non-conseual sexual relations.  

Johny Abdu

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Testimonies of Johny Abdu: Israel's Candidate to Succeed Bashir Gemayyel".  

"No human being is illegal": a brief comment

I understand the noble sentiments behind the slogan but please don't cite Elie Wiesel as its coiner. This is a statement that does not require originality.  Elie Wiesel the endorse of war crime and ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the apartheid state of Israel should not be our authority on humanitarianism.  Also, I have seen where people out of sympathy with Arab refugees are printing Arabic translations thus: لا يوجد إنسان غير قانوني
I think that the Arabic version should be translated as: لا يوجد إنسان غير شرعي. This carries the sentiment much better. 

Shocking: Gorka hates more than one group

"But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures."

Le Pen and Mahmoud Abbas in one week in Beirut

Beirut never stunk that bad; not even when the trash was accumulating on the streets.

The silly Washington Post motto

It is ridiculous.  And I suspect all along that the Washington Post's campaign against Trump reveals something else: perhaps a feud between two billionaires (the owner of Post and Trump).  

The Washington Media Consensus against Trump

I see now the tweets by mainstream journalists: all are in agreement on Trump.  I saw the other day one New York Times correspondents warning about the dangers of Trump.  I don't get that: 8 years of Bush and 8 years of Obama, and those same people never saw dangers of their policies, but after one month of Trump they see danger?  This is not in defense of Trump but in opposition to the media biased consensus forming.  

Western silence about Mosul civilians

From Basim: "You asked: How come they are silent about the plights of more civilians in Mosul?

My answer: because the city is held by IS, not al-Qaidah-affiliated rebel groups."

Obama and the Washington playbook in US foreign policy

"For those in search of a progressive alternative, the risk is that opposition to Trump's unconventionality will morph into embrace of what President Obama referred to as the “Washington playbook”".  But when and where did Obama defy the Washington Playbook in foreign policy except on Syria, and only partially?

Rumor-mongering versus war-mongering

"French journalists suspect a Kremlin hand in recent rumor-mongering about Emmanuel Macron".   Of course, the US engages in neither.

India approves $2.5bn missile deal with Israel

"India on Friday approved a $2.5 billion deal with Israel to develop medium range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian army, The Hindu reported.
The deal to build the missiles, reported to have a range of 50-70 kilometres, was approved during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the daily reported."

Gen. McMaster on DC think tanks

"Without naming names, McMaster ticked off a few case studies of why he believes the funding of think tanks matters.
“There is a think tank now, for example, that’s about to publish a report on the future of the Army, and it’s bankrolled by a defense firm whose business model is the integration of high technology capabilities and selling them to the Department of Defense,” said McMaster. “What do you think that answer is going to be?”"

Muslims hated more than atheists in the US

"Muslims are the least popular religious group in the U.S. They’re disliked even more than atheists".   In my case, I would be doubly hated: hated for being Muslim-born, and hated for being an atheist.  Too bad I am not transgendered to add more layers of hate.

Veteran spewing racial slurs shoots Indians he thought were Muslims

"Witnesses told local media that Purinton had spewed racial slurs and shouted, "Get out of my country!" before attacking the men. Purinton, a 51-year-old Olathe resident and Navy veteran, was arrested early Thursday morning while drinking at a bar in an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri." "In Michigan, in December, a man shot a store clerk of Indian descent in the face. The shooter, who also appeared to be a U.S. military veteran, called the clerk a "terrorist," insisted he was a member of ISIS and shouted that he "used to kill people like him in Iraq."

U.S. abandonment of NPT which requires disarmament

"The tough rhetoric against the Iran nuclear deal and the tweeted promise to “greatly strengthen and expand (U.S.) nuclear capability” imply a rejection of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the globally legitimate framework for regulating nuclear policy. Trump might prove receptive to the recommendation from a blue ribbon Pentagon panel to expand U.S. nuclear options by developing an arsenal capable of “limited” nuclear wars, which further undermine the NPT." "Without the NPT, for example, Iran as a sovereign nation would have the same right to develop and test nuclear weapons and missiles as the U.S."

What about Israeli interference in domestic politics of countries? This is bigger than the "Russian scandal"

"The strategy, articulated among others by influential Israeli think tank the Reut Institute, calls for pro-Israel groups to attempt to co-opt so-called soft critics of the state to separate them from “hardcore” critics – principally supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement." "Speaking at the Big Tent For Israel conference in 2011, Newmark encouraged pro-Israel activists to join unions to be “a voice for Israel” and combat boycott motions." (thanks Amir)

Who will speak for the civilians in Mosul?

Western correspondents in Beirut used to tweet around the clock faking tears about the civilians in East Aleppo.  How come they are silent about the plights of more civilians in Mosul? Those don't count in their propaganda campaign? 

militants using hospitals and schools

"Militants often use hospitals, schools and religious buildings in the hopes that coalition forces will be reluctant to bomb them. In this instance, American officials said they had determined that no civilians were present."  Do "militants" in Syria also use schools and hospitals or are militants in Syria different because they are "moderate" and "vetted"?

Saudi embassy in DC put out this visual


Look at the mild reaction of HRW director to Israeli ban? This is a guy who insults Russia and Syrian regime daily

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Israel joins an unsavory group in denying access to an @hrw researcher: Cuba, N Korea, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela. hrw.org/news/2017/02/2…pic.twitter.com/RmbbGj3AS8

Human Rights Watch responds to Israeli visa ban by reminding Israeli government of its close cooperation with it

"Human Rights Watch said the decision was particularly surprising given that the organization regularly meets and corresponds with Israeli government officials, including representatives of the military, the police, and the Foreign Ministry. Last year, the Foreign Ministry asked Human Rights Watch to intervene in a case involving Israeli victims of human rights abuses."  This is quite revealing: imagine if Human Rights Watch were to respond to an Iranian or Syrian regime ban by reminding the government of its longstanding relationship with it.  Also, the last reference to a "case involving Israeli victims of human rights abuses" could be explosive.  We know that this could not be a reference to Israeli repression of Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship.  So what is the reference about?  Is this a reminder that Human Rights Watch helped in cases involving Mossad agents operating in some countries?  I don't know that this is the case, but this requires further explanation especially that it refers to some secret cooperation between Israel and HRW.  Where are those "Israeli victims of human rights abuses"? Who are they? The statement by Human Rights Watch then provided a defense of Israeli government: "The Israeli government is hardly the only one to disagree with our well-researched findings".  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Compare the headline and the text of the story itself: how Saudi regime media operate

The headline: "Khamenei threatens Palestinians: ‘Continue the resistance’".
The text of the story: "The supreme leader of Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged the Palestinians to “continue the resistance” on the ground and “breakaway from the consequences of the Oslo Accords." (thanks Basim)

Both Marine Le Pen and the Lebanese Mufti are charlatans and hypocrites

Pictures have surfaced of the Lebanese Mufti meeting with a Western diplomat who had no head cover, and of Le Pen with a head cover.  Both were grandstanding to their own communities.  

How Muslims can be accepted in the West

They have to take trash of their non-Muslim neighbors; they have to one son die in a Western war against a Muslim-majority country; they have to condemns all those Muslim majority countries which are not aligned with the US; they have to support Western policies in the Middle East and beyond; they have to act passive and obedient with the White Man; they have to prove that they are not anti-Semitic; they have to state that they consider Israeli occupation of Palestine to be justified and that they would accept whatever solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict envisioned by George W. Bush and his neo-conservatie clique; they have to condemn any act of terrorism and violence by any Muslim anywhere in the world; they have to not speak Arabic or Urdu or Persian in the presence of Westerners; they have to avoid eating their native food around Westerners; they have to stick to their own race and ethnic groups when dating or marrying; they have to spy on Muslims they know to make sure that they don't pose a danger to others. And if they do all that, they will be accepted as conditional citizens with full second-class citizenship.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Harrison Ford

A hypothetical question: if Harrison Ford were to convert to Islam would he still be allowed to fly planes at the age of 74?

Bill Maher's atheism

His idea of equal opportunity attacks on religion: Muslims are all terrorists and rapists, and Jews can be talkative and Mormons can be boring.

I am so glad that Marine Le Pen humiliated the Lebanese Mufti

When I was growing up, Muftis and Muslim clerics in general had no problem in meeting with unveiled women.  My mother dressed Western style and in sleeveless dresses and it never offended Musa As-Sadr when he visited us or her cousins Abdullah Al-`Alayli or his brother Mukhtar Al-`Alayli (the latter was a candidate for Mufti in Lebanon).  The notion that you have to be veiled to meet a cleric is an import from lousy Saudi Wahhabi regime.  This Mufti deserves only humiliating for agreeing to meet with an anti-Islam, anti-Semitic far right politician.  Shame on him, and I wish she slapped him.  

Bono, as an international joke

I don't know one song by Bono, and I don't like one political stance by Bono.  This guy just likes to be in the proximity of US politicians.  

Some Arabs and their complaints about tyrants

Don't you like it when some Arabs who live under Gulf tyrannies and they complain about the tyranny in North Korea and Zimbabwe? I mean, do they think we don't notice?

Do you notice that Jewish Fatwas don't get mocked like Muslims Fatwas? Rabbinical Council of America

"Notes that Jewish law restricts Jews from most forms of physical contact with members of the opposite sex who are not closely related.

Declares that the proper norm, when in an airplane, is to comply with the ruling of leading decisors of Jewish law (including R. Moshe Feinstein; Iggerot Moshe, Even Ha’ezer 2:14) that Jews are permitted to sit next to a member of the opposite sex who is not a relative even when this unintentionally causes physical contact between them. Accordingly,"

Bill Maher's track record of hate

Here is a good compilation of Bill Maher's record of hate.

When it comes to Israeli war crimes, this guy suddenly becomes polite, restrained and diplomatic

Short sentence aside for soldier's execution of Palestinian, Israeli leaders should repudiate shoot-to-kill rhetoric