Pages

Saturday, March 31, 2012

UPDATE: Actress Sues- Belvedere Vodka's Outrageous 'Rape Ad' Goes Viral


Thing about the digital and social networking age is that something can go viral in an instant, and if it happens to be negative it can cause a huge backlash.  The Polish company Belvedere Vodka learned the hard way that social media and an asinine marketing campaign don't mix.

Apparently, someone thought it would be funny to shoot the above ad of a frightened young woman being grabbed from behind by a leering young man, with the obvious sexual connotations in the text. It was posted to their 10,263 Twitter followers and 916,970 Facebook fans, many of whom were obviously outraged. Within an hour it was removed from both sites, and eventually there was an apology of sorts:


But not enough of one, for some:

“FAIL. Never touching your product ever again."

“We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet. We continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking.”

According to Forbes, the company did make a full apology on its website, and has also donated generously to RAINN, an organization dedicated to anti-sexual violence. Belvedere is also looking into how this happened in the first place, though no-one has been fired yet.

Rape is not funny, and neither is the ad.

UPDATE 3/31:

It seems that Moet Hennessy, the parent company of Belvedere Vodka, actually stole the photo used in their tasteless ad, and the actress, Alicyn Packard, is suing.

The lawsuit, filed in a California state court in Los Angeles, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.[snip]

According to the complaint, the photo of Packard was a stolen from a video made by her company Strickly Viral Productions.

In that video, she and the man - her friend and Strickly Viral owner Chris Strickland - are asked by her parents to recreate a pose from a photo taken when they were young.

According to the Hollywood Reporter,

"While Defendants have apologized to nearly everyone else, and admitted the offensiveness of the advertisement," says the lawsuit, "they have yet to apologize to the plaintiff, whose image she says they used without permission to sell vodka, and who has now been unwillingly made the face of the Belvedere advertising campaign that jokes about rape, and has been put front and center in the worldwide controversy created by Defendants."

Not cool to use someone's photo  without their permission, and in California (as in other states) it's illegal.

The photo on their Facebook page.

Young Afghan Boy and Girl Killed After Acid Attack, No-One Claims Bodies

Here's another example of how religion and a twisted sense of honor is more important than the value of a life, or in this case, the lives of two young children. Dumped in the middle of nowhere, after being burned by acid, for unknown reasons.

Two children, unceremoniously dumped in the middle of nowhere.
GHAZNI: A 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been killed in an acid attack in Afghanistan, an official said on Saturday, with witnesses claiming it was because of their friendship in what is an ultra-conservative country.


The bodies were discovered on Friday in wasteland in the Esfandi area of Ghazni province in south central Afghanistan, provincial police chief Zorawar Zahid told AFP.


“Their bodies and faces were burnt by acid,” he said.


The police chief said officers were investigating the motive for the attack, but witnesses who found the bodies told AFP the two were probably killed because of their friendship.


No one has claimed the bodies, which are still in Ghazni hospital, police said.

What kind of parents would do this to their own children?

Friday, March 30, 2012

National Guardsman, Dad of 3, Sacrifices Life To Save Afghan Girl


No-one ever focuses on the many good things we have done over in Afghanistan, and  maybe that's because the media fails to highlight them. The Afghan people revolt over a burned Quran (inadvertently at that), urinating on dead corpses (not a good thing) and the horrific rampage of one lone soldier who flipped out.  They don't see these as isolated incidents (perhaps because they are too ignorant to make the distinction), so they blame the U.S. and turn to violence.  And all the good deeds get sidelined by the
bad.

So, it's all the more important for us to honor those who have sacrificed themselves for a mostly ungrateful country, since the mainstream media won't.

Like Spc. Dennis P. Weichel from Rhode Island, father of 3 young ones, who saved the life of a young Afghan girl and, as a result, lost his own.  The ultimate sacrifice.

While riding in a convoy in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, Spc. Dennis P. Weichel Jr., 29, and his unit, noticed children collecting shell casings on the road ahead, ABC reports.

The soldiers urged the children to get out of the way, but one girl ran back to pick up more casings underneath a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle -- a truck that can weigh more than 16 tons.

To protect the girl from the massive vehicle, the Rhode Island National Guardsman lifted the girl out of the way, but the armored truck ran him over.

Weichel later died from injuries he sustained and the girl survived, according to the news outlet.

"Specialist Dennis Weichel's life was marked by bravery, selflessness, and commitment to others -- and unfortunately it was in demonstrating these remarkable characteristics that it was lost," Governor Lincoln Chafee said, according to WPRI. “And he will be remembered, and mourned, by people across our state as a great Rhode Islander.”

Weichel was posthumously awarded the bronze star and is survived by his parents, fiancé and three children.

Flags were flown at half-mast in Providence.

Rest in peace brave warrior.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Men Forcing Wives To Undergo Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the most horrifying rituals still practiced today. And it's not just Muslims chopping off the genitals of young girls, Christians in Africa are just as guilty, in spite of widespread efforts to ban the practice.  In fact, according to one report out of Kenya,  people are going out of their way to ensure that the tradition lives on by changing the season in which it's performed- from December to August,

...to avoid media spotlight and scrutiny from Government agencies.

FGM is performed on girls as young as a few days old and usually through puberty, but now per that same report, married women who were mercifully spared the knife as young girls are being forced to have the procedure done.

"Those who evaded the cut are now being forced to undergo the cultural practice or their husbands be denied land inheritance," said Women Rights Institute for Peace (Wrip) Executive Director Mariam Suleiman while releasing the report.

This was after Wrip undertook project activities geared towards preventing attempts to subject girls to the cut in November and December in Baringo County.

Suleiman said husbands force their wives to undergo the cut to avoid missing out on family inheritance.

Some chiefs and their assistants from the areas were accused of shielding FGM perpetrators from prosecution.

Circumcision period

"In East Pokot District the community in collusion with the Provincial Administration has changed the circumcision period from December to August to avoid the public, Government and media focus that comes at the end of the year," Wrip Executive Director stated.

She added that those who escaped the practice midyear are forced by their relatives to undergo the cut in December.

The report showed that only 99 girls underwent the cut in the months of November and December while 125 escaped and sought refuge in churches and at homes of relatives who are against the vice.

Suleiman further stated that lack of awareness of constitutional rights has made some girls not to seek legal action against perpetrators of the vice for fear of reprisals from their parents.

"There is need to educate them on laws, the court processes and the outcome especially on the fact that moving to court will not have their parents arrested," she said.

The Wrip boss urged anti-FGM stakeholders to let the campaigns be a continuous process to end the vice.

It's all about control. Shameful.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saudi Woman Locked In Her Room By Her Father For 18 Years

According to Kabar, a local  daily paper, a 36-year-old Saudi Arabian woman has been locked up in her room for  18 years. 

To punish his daughter, for reasons unknown, her father locked her up when she was a teen, and she's been there ever since.

Police deny any apparent problems, however, the paper quoted neighbors and human rights activists as confirming the woman is still confined to her room in the eastern province of Qatif.

“Neighbors and human rights sources said the girl was apparently subject to family punishment and violence and was locked up in her bedroom when she was a teen ager,” Kabar reported.

“They confirmed the girl is still confined to her room and is not allowed out…the sources urged authorities to immediately intervene and free the girl as she has been deprived of education and all other needs in life.”

“What this father has done is totally unjustified and cruel…perhaps he is suffering from mental problems given the fact that he has not yet realized the consequences of this act against his own daughter all these years,” said Alia Al Fareed, a member of the Saudi Human rights Commission in the eastern area.

No apparent problems?  Just that she happens to be female. This is just how little women are regarded in countries like Saudi Arabia. Lock 'em up like animals.

Darwin Award Contender: Brit Man Wanted To Join Somalia's Al Shabaab To "Relax And Hang Out"

Here's a candidate for the Darwin Awards:

45 year-old British Muslim (born in Jamaica) Clive Everton Dennis was arrested by Somali police in Mogadishu  airport with a suitcase full of hashish and daggers, and no visa.  According to chain-smoking Dennis, who sports several earrings and short dreadlocks, he wanted to join al-Qaeda (in the form of al-Shabaab which rules the roost in parts of Somalia), because:

 " I was told by some people in Kenya that the guys in Kismayo were the best Muslims." 

But clueless Dennis has no idea about geography.

"I agreed to join them, and I was trying to find the way. I didn't know that Mogadishu was not Kismayo, I thought that there would be a plane I could catch there directly."
And the violence?  He didn't want any "of the violent stuff". Nope, none of that jihadi stuff for Dennis. He just wanted some camaraderie with fellow Muslims and little R and R.

" I wanted to go somewhere sunny where I could relax and hang-out with other Muslims without being bothered by people.
Apparently Dennis had been a bad boy in England (convicted of some 'minor' crime) and was having a hard time finding work. I guess he thought the next best thing would be to join an extremist group in Somalia. He also said he that he

"can't get a normal life there in London."

So, of course, he'll find normalcy with an ultra Islamist extremist group in Somalia that bans everything from music to women's bras, to television and practically everything else. Yeah, that's normalcy for you. And as for his hash, earrings and short dreads?  Someone forgot to tell old Dennis that those things would be a no-go with his new found Shabaab buds.

Poor old Dennis is being held

 on suspicion of entering the country illegally and plotting to join Islamic radicals waging a war to control the country according to a strict interpretation of Islam.

A Somali government spokesman said that the "due course of the law" would be followed, and that Mr Dennis would likely face charges for entering the country illegally.

He was not seen as a serious threat "compared to the terrorists we usually have to face", the spokesman added.
They're not too worried about Dennis because no-one with any sense knows to stay away from Mogadishu Airport. Security Forces said that

"Anyone who knows what they are doing, or is being sent to Somalia by someone who knows what they are doing, would avoid Mogadishu at all costs," said one.

"It's the seat of the government, the airport's swarming with intelligence [officers], and it's far, far easier simply to slip in overland or by sea from Kenya."

Oops.

I think maybe Dennis has smoked a little too much of that hashish, but he definitely deserves a spot in the Darwin Awards.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Talkback With The Taliban- Ask your questions on an on-line forum

Barbaric, most definitely, but the Taliban apparently aren't as backwards as we might think.   Believe it or not, they actually have a website "The Voice of Jihad" up and running with options  in Dari, Arabic, English, Pashto, Farsi and Urdu. And wanna get as up close and personal with a Taliban militant as you can without actually traveling to that God forsaken land?  Any burning questions you have for those enlightened souls?  They have a forum where you can ask any question you want.  According to The Guardian,  people in the 'Your questions and Zabihullah Mujahid's answers' forum  are mostly concerned about the Taliban's decision to conduct secret 'talks' with the U.S. considering they still have the upper hand.

Questioner Ahmad Ahsan said Taliban supporters had long trusted the leadership but a proposal to open an office in Qatar for talks with foreigners was causing disquiet.

"We have always believed in our leaders and elders. Now we are restless in our minds," Ahsan wrote in the Pashto language.

Mujahid defended the decision, saying the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the name the Taliban use for their movement – was led by Mullah Omar, a "person who had proved himself to the world" and that was enough.

He said the Taliban remained steadfast in their objectives. "Leave the rest to Allah and pray," he wrote.

Madiha Khalid from Germany, asked what would happen to girls' schools if the Taliban came back. The Taliban banned girls from school during their hardline rule.

But Mujahid blamed a lack of funds to ensure girls' schools were run according to Islamic tenets.

"We want our mothers and sisters to have education according to Islamic framework," he said.

Lack of funds? Really? School girls have suffered terribly at the hands of the Taliban, from poison to acid attacks, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

But it might be fun to ask a question or two- not that you'd necessarily get an answer. And the forum isn't in English, and translating the page doesn't get you much other than a bunch of squiggles with a few paragraphs of English here and there, so even Mujahid did respond, it's unlikely it would be translatable.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dad of Toulouse Murderer Mohamed Merah Wants To Sue France For His Son's Death


Mohamed Benalel Merah, the father of 23-year-old Islamist al-Qaeda devotee Mohamed Merah (the 'Toulouse Massacre' murderer) has decided he wants his son's body to be buried in Algeria.
“(God willing), I have decided to bury my son in Algeria.  [snip] Mohamed has an Algerian passport and has been listed with the (Algerian) consulate in Toulouse since his birth."
Good riddance. 

He also has said he intends on suing France for shooting his son instead of 'taking him alive.' 

“France is a big country that had the means to take my son alive. They could have knocked him out with gas and taken him in,” he said. “They preferred to kill him.”

“I will hire the biggest named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay (their) costs. I will sue France for killing my son.”
What?  I realize parents of murderers and criminals are often in denial about the evil their kids commit (unless of course he condones what his reprobate son did) but, come on. He jumped off the balcony in a blaze of gunfire (his weapon) after a 32 hour standoff and refusing to surrender. Anti-terror prosecutor Francois Molins claimed that Merah basically said it's me or them, adding “If it’s me, who cares? I’ll go to paradise.” Good luck with those 72 virgins.

What's interesting, though, is in the past he had no aspirations for martyrdom. According to Molins  Merah said " he does not have a suicidal spirit, he did not have a martyr's soul, he preferred to kill and remain alive.Things changed, I guess, once he was cornered.  Apparently, and all he wanted was to bring "France to its knees."  Molins also said that "He expressed no regret apart from not having had enough time to kill more victims." 

It's quite obvious Merah was a sick pup (he taped all 3 attacks), with a checkered, criminal past.

Two years ago, Merah "held" a 15-year-old boy in his apartment and forced him to watch videos of al Qaeda beheadings. When confronted by his mother, he assaulted her -- and she made a report to police. French media report that after the incident Merah donned military fatigues and yelled "I'm al Qaeda" in the street near the woman's house. By then, he already had multiple convictions for minor offenses, and several jail sentences.

France also knew about his travels (twice) to Waziristan/Afghanistan, where Merah claims he had contact with al-Qaeda and where he received his training.  He was even arrested in Afghanistan, and U.S. troops shipped him back to France. As a result he wound up on a U.S. 'no-fly-list.' So why was there no continuous surveillance on this guy and his brother, who both happened to belong to a Salafi group in Toulouse? French police said they were monitoring Merah and older brother Abdelkader (29) for extremist views, but they obviously didn't do a very good job. And how did he amass all those weapons found in his car: 'an Uzi, Sten pistol, revolver and pump action rifle'?

Although Abdelkader is said to have praised his brothers actions: the murder of 3 French paratroopers (several of whom were Muslim) and 4 French/Israelis (a Rabbi and 3 young children) apparently in retaliation for the French 'Burqa Ban', France's presence in Afghanistan and for the death of Palestinian children, he now denies it.  He also denies he had anything to do with the murders, but police aren't buying it.  So, in the meantime, he is being charged with complicity.

As a result, France's Sarkozy is planning to crack down on repeat visitors to extremist jihadi websites.  A little too late for Merah's 7 innocent victims, but at least it's a step in the right direction, and something every civilized country should consider.

As for suing France, good luck with that!

Other sources: TelegraphUK, The Australian,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Muslim Voice Of Reason: Progressive Kuwaiti Scholar Says: "Freedom Before Shariah'



Every once in a while a Muslim scholar surprises me with his somewhat enlightened thinking. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's quite refreshing. Kuwaiti scholar Tariq al-Suwaidan is obviously one of the more progressive, liberal Muslim types willing to take a stand against the increasingly conservative tide in the Middle East. Surprisingly, he believes that freedom trumps Shariah.


Tariq al-Suwaidan, who is head of the Kuwait-based Al-Risala TV station, and has his own TV program, was speaking at the al-Nahdha conference for a graduates association in Kuwait on Saturday when he said “If Islamists start to become tyrants in the countries that were hit by the Arab Spring, we will revolt against them just like we did against their predecessors.”
“Freedom is a holy right and is one of the principles in Islam ... Freedom is to do and say what a person wishes but in a polite manner and without hurting others.”
Suwaidan who was later defensive over his remarks, took to his Twitter page and wrote: “I gave the same lecture three years ago, and [my views] do not represent the views the graduates association or the al-Nahdha Conference, but are my beliefs.”

The scholar, who said that it was liberals who eradicated slavery in Islam and not the Islamists, added, “a human being is free in his movements and where he wants to belong, and convictions are what move people, and not force...”

Suwaidan has spoken before on freedom coming before Sharia on his TV program three years ago and was reiterating his belief.

He also questioned how Muslims shun Christian missionaries in their countries while Christians allow Muslims to propagate Islam on their lands.

Indeed. But they're not only shunned, they're also killed, like teacher Joel Shrum who was murdered in Yemen for proselytizing, even though this was not the case.

Apparently, Suwaidan was also highly critical of the recent call to ban churches in certain Muslim-majority countries. 

One has to wonder how long he's going to last before a fatwa is placed on his head. Or maybe this is the beginning of a trend towards modernizing a religion in major need of change?

Nah.

Another Afghan Woman Tortured By Husband And In-Laws

Another case of wife torture in Afghanistan.

According to Khaama Press, in the capital city of northern Baghlan province, Pul-e-Khumri, Afghan police arrested Abdul Mateen for torturing his 22-year-old wife Reeka by

.... shaving her head, putting her on snow and beating with cables.

The individual was finally detained by Afghan security forces and is currently under the investigations.

In the meantime provincial women affairs department chief Rahima Zarifee praised the Afghan security forces and said the tortured Afghan lady was taken to a secure place and her husband along with the first wife of him was detained by Afghan security forces.

Reeka who was tortured by her husband said she got married with Abdul Mateen three years back and was tortured, humiliated and insulted by her husband during these three years, and was even to prostitution.

She also said she filed complain against her husband but went to her husband’s house due to continued requests and lack of residence where she was again tortured until the police forces were informed and arrested her husband.

This comes as the wave of violence against women have dramatically increased across the country specifically in northern Baghlan province which has created concerns among the government officials and local residents in this province.

This was the same region where they found the 15-year-old bride, Sahar Gul, who had been starved, severely tortured, and kept in a dark basement by her husband and in-laws for refusing to prostitute herself.

At least they survived, 28-year-old Fatima wasn't so lucky. She was hanged by her husband's family, and then they threw boiling water over her dead body.

If violence against women is escalating now, just wait until we pull out.

Very sad!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Canadian Book Store Sells Out Of Muslim Wife Beating Marriage Manual

Indian Sunni Muslim scholar Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi died in 1943, but his book about wife-beating is still as popular as ever. His 160-page marriage manual, "A Gift for Muslim Couple" (published by India's Idara Impex) sold out, of all places, at local Toronto book store.  The booklet discusses the best ways to deal with a wife including beatings, restraint, threats and domination:

In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”

Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ”

In terms of physical punishment, the book advises that a husband may scold her, “beat by hand or stick,” withhold money from her or “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.”

According to the Toronto Sun, the owner Shamim Ahmad refused to comment, and all the manager of the store said was that the book was sold out. There was no mention of whether it would be restocked, but apparently it's available online at Islamic book stores and on Ebay, although I checked and it isn't currently for sale. The book is actually listed on Amazon.com, though also unavailable. Nothing on Barnes and Noble.

It was discovered at the bookstore in question by Eric Brazau, whose curiosity got the better of him.

Brazau bought it out of curiosity but was taken aback when he found dozens of chapters and passages giving Muslim husbands advice on controlling, restraining, scolding and beating their wives.

“At first, I thought that it is incredible that this kind of thing can be found in Canada,” said Brazau. “And then I thought, radical Islam is not coming to Canada, it is already here.”

But there are some Muslims who are equally outraged. Moderate Tarek Fatah said of the book: 


And believes the owner should be held accountable.

But sold out in Canada?  I wonder how many bookstores in the U.S. carry it?!


“I wouldn’t say it’s hate, but it is inciting men to hit women,” said Fatah, who identified the book’s author as a prominent Islamic scholar. “This is new to you, but the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten. Muslim leaders will deny this, but... ”

Grand Mufti Of Saudi Arabia Calls For The Destruction Of All Churches In Region

Not to be outdone by Kuwait's decision to ban churches from being built in that Gulf state, Saudi Arabia's head religious honcho, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, has called for the total destruction of "all the churches of the region." According to him, it's "necessary".

And yes, the Christians in the Middle East (especially Cairo and Beirut) are furious, but have they gone out on a rampage burning down mosques and killing Muslims? No, at least not yet. Had this been the Catholic Pope calling on the destruction of all mosques in the West, the Middle East would have been on fire, and the Pope would have a fatwa on his head.

But non-Muslims are a far more tolerant, civilized lot, and one Christian man in Beirut had this to say:

“I mean from a regular, end of the street mosque, this stuff happens all the time, but for the Grand Mufti of a country to say it is simply shocking.”
Because Islam is so tolerant, Abdullah believes (as do many Muslims) that their religion is the only one that should be allowed in the Arabian Peninsula, and he even encouraged Kuwaiti delegates (while speaking in that tiny country) to destroy all their churches, too.

Not all Muslims share those sentiments:

According to religious scholars, however, even during the Prophet Mohamed’s time, Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their faith openly and freely. Christians in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan largely have open access to churches and places to pray, although regulations in Egypt have been condemned by Christian leaders and activists.

“What we see with this is the turn toward ultra conservatism in the region,” said Egyptian Coptic Christian Noha, adding that “what we need to do now is bring together people and show this mufti that us Christians and Muslims can live and share the same street. And that it is a right granted by Islam for others to pray in their own place.”

Initially, Kuwaiti MP Osama al-Munawer had wanted to do the same thing with the churches in his country. Heck, he even announced those plans on Twitter, no less.  But then changed his mind and said only new non-Islamic buildings of worship would be banned, the churches could stay.

I wonder if we should do the same thing in the West- ban all new construction of mosques.

So much for religious tolerance.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Islamist Salafi Egyptian "Nose Job MP" Swears He Was Never Married To Belly Dancer

Egyptian Islamist politician Anwar al-Balkimi (or Balkimy) aka the "nose job MP", is finding himself in deep doo-doo these days. First of all, the Islamist Salafist al-Nour MP was fired for getting a nose job, which is haram (forbidden) in Islam. He also happened to lie about the cosmetic procedure claiming he had actually been beaten after 5 masked men stopped him while traveling the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway and ran off with 100,000 Egyptian pounds of his.

The latest scandal has to do with Sama al-Masri a beautiful Egyptian actress/belly dancer who filed for divorce from the married father of young children after discovering he had another wife. Of course, having multiple wives in Islam is acceptable, but Sama had no clue, or so she says. Apparently, Sama and Anwar were secretly wed- obviously something he wanted kept hidden since he's an uber-conservative Muslim and Sama is an unveiled belly dancer, of all things.

She also claims that she has received threats, and believes Balkimi is the instigator. 

Regarding the threats, Masri said that she did not want to accuse anyone in the beginning but later discovered that it was her husband who hired people to threaten her with death and with throwing acid on her face.

Although all she wants is the divorce and the pre-nup agreed upon amount of 250,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately £27,000), it wasn't always bad. After all,

Masri admitted [snip] that Balkimi has given her a lot of support since they got married. In the lawsuit, she said that he bought her a car and opened several businesses for her that eventually enabled her of producing her first movie, in which she is also the lead actress.

But this is where it gets even more interesting: al-Balkimi swears he has no clue who Masri is, and that it's a liberal plot to bring him (and Islamists) down. (They have conspiracy theories there too.)

“This is dangerous as they are aiming to tarnish the reputation of the Islamists in the country."

“I never heard of this lady except on Thursday when I was having breakfast with my wife and children and one of my friends surprised me with a phone call telling of what the belly dancer is saying against me,” Balkimi told Al Arabiya.net.

“I have never ever known her before, I swear.”

Right. Just like his nose job wasn't a nose job. But the whole story is laughably bizarre.

I can't begin to imagine what his appeal was, other than the gifts she received from him.  And whether she was married or his mistress, he's just a big 'ol hypocrite, as most of the Islamists are.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Saudi Husband Divorces Wife Over Loudspeaker At Shopping Mall

Divorce in Islam (at least for the husband) is as simple as saying "talaq" (I divorce you) up to three times, and it can be for something as insignificant as a wife cooking a meal that hubby doesn't like. Take the Saudi man who was so pissed off that his wife put cheese in his samosas instead of meat that "he beat her up, divorced her and kicked her out."

Then there's this, also out of Saudi Arabia:  A husband was at a mall with his wife and three kids when he wandered off to shop in a men's clothing store.

“When he left that shop, he saw a man giving his wife a note bearing his phone number…she accepted the paper and put it inside her bag,”

“He then used the mall’s loudspeaker to shout divorce words against his wife although she was with her three children.”

A loudspeaker?  That's pretty nasty. 

And equally cold, but not quite as humiliating, is how men in Tajikstan divorce their wives- by text message. But at least texting isn't broadcast over a loudspeaker so that the whole mall, and your kids, can witness the divorce.

Muslims take their 'talaq' so seriously that a man joking with his wife on Skype, and stupidly inquired with Islamic scholars about having done so, was actually forced to go through with the divorce. And, as per Islamic law, the wife would have to marry another man and then divorce him, before she could remarry her husband.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Egyptian Woman Argues Why Sharia Law Should Be Rejected By The West

Egyptian-born author, journalist and political scientist Elham Manea (now living in Switzerland) discusses why it is imperative that Sharia law should not be allowed into the Western legal system.
Every time the suggestion of introducing Islamic law in Western legal system is mentioned, it is tempered by its proponents with the sentence: this would only affect the family law. Ye it is precisely because this suggestion concerns family law, it should be rejected. For the issue here relates to nothing but legally sanctioned discrimination against women and children.

[snip]

The system has furthermore been instrumental in the Islamization of societies where other religious minorities live. Simply put, the supremacy of Islamic law in cases of conflict, inheritance and guardianship has led to incremental effects that gradually led to the conversion of non-Muslims.

For example, the prohibition of mixed marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man has a political function that makes sure that only Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women and so their children will automatically become part of the Muslim community. Non-Muslim women, however, are not allowed by law to inherit from their Muslim husbands unless they convert to Islam! Many will do exactly that for obvious reasons.

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Obscene Mini-Skirts To Be Banned In Indonesia

While Indonesia is considered to be the most populous Muslim-dominated nation in the world it isn't an Islamic state, although it might as well be. 

Mini-skirts- that is, anything cut above the knee- will be banned as por nographic, if Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali has his way. In 2008 Indonesia established a pornography law, and has recently created an anti-porn task force to stem the proliferation of pornographic material in the country, and to determine what exactly should be considered pornography.

"We will arrange meetings with different stakeholders from the public to get input on how they understand pornography, and I'm sure that they will come up with different definitions [of pornography]. However, there must be a set of universal criteria to define something as pornographic, of which one will be when someone wears a skirt above the knee," Suryadharma, who was tapped by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to run the body on a daily basis, said on the sidelines of a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religious and social affairs on Wednesday.

And even though the constitution allows for freedom of religion, at least for the 5 other major religions besides Islam:Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, the mini-skirt ban will apply to everyone.

Banning the mini-skirt, and any other clothing that might be deemed risque or promiscuous, was already in the works for female MPs. According to  Marzuki Alie (house of representatives speaker), since men have no control, women are asking to be raped by wearing revealing outfits.

“We know there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently, and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes,” house of representatives speaker Marzuki Alie said. “Women wearing inappropriate clothes arouse men, so it needs to be stopped.—AFP

Guess he believes that men are just animals who can't control their ever-present lust. That's not saying much for their religious piety.

Nancy Pelosi's Daughter Pisses Off The Left With Video About Welfare Freeloaders

Alexandra, Nancy Pelosi's documentary filmmaker daughter, filmed a piece on redneck voters in Mississippi last week that caused a stir. To be fair, she also filmed a piece on welfare freeloaders or "freeloading welfare queens" as she calls them, in New York City that has the left hopping mad- because it's okay to lambaste toothless rednecks who will vote Republican, but not okay to criticize  those who will vote for Obama “because he gives me stuff,” and “because he’s black.”
You have to give her and Bill Maher credit for having the cojones to air it on "Real Time" in spite of the fact that HBO honchos were dead set against it.

Pelosi said,
“We have to address the fact that this is why Democrats are losing ground. And this is a problem in America. The entitlement culture has gotten so big that we are losing our own people."  

Ouch. But she's absolutely right. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

18% of Young Asian Brits Support 'Honor' Based Violence

A poll sponsored by the BBC found that of the 500 young Asian Brits surveyed, 18% (1 in 5) think it's okay to beat the heck out of women if they've 'dishonored' their families. Killing them, not so much. Only 3% justified 'honor killings' for either

disobeying a father, rejecting a prearranged marriage, or marrying someone unacceptable by the family.

Not surprisingly, 6 percent of those were men as opposed to 1 percent of women.

A great majority of the 16 to 34-year-olds polled believe that 'honor' (as if violence is honorable) is a very important element in family life.  75% of those were men versus 63% of women. 

Violence against women is a huge global problem, but in a culture that devalues women and places more importance on 'honor' it becomes monumental.  And although Muslims aren't the only ones who participate in 'honor killings' and violence against women, it doesn't help matters that the Quran actually promotes wife beating for disobedience.

 Karma Nirvana,

...a charity that supports victims and survivors of honor based violence, reported on its Website that it receives “on average approximately 5,000 calls a year on our national helpline supporting all victims and survivors of forced marriage and honor based abuse.”

Jasvinder Sanghera, of the Karma Nirvana, fled her parent’s home when they attempted to force her into an arranged marriage at the age of 14.

She urged Asian community leaders in Britain to speak against the honor code, also known as “Izzat” in Urdu language.

“I’ve yet to see community leaders, religious leaders, politicians; Asian councilors give real leadership on this. They don’t because they know it makes them unpopular,” Sanghera told the BBC.

According to a spokesperson for the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO), last year in the U.K. there were over 2,800  cases of  "‘honor’ based violence" reported to the police.

“These figures demonstrate that ‘honor’ based violence is not a minor problem but a very serious issue which affects thousands of people each year, many of whom will suffer high levels of abuse before they seek help,”

Many feel that 'forced marriage' is a major factor in honor based violence, so in an effort to thwart violence against young women who refuse to marry men that their families match them up with, Brit authorities are considering criminalizing it.

The Home Office has launched a campaign seeking public opinion on creating a specific criminal offence for forced marriages and how it should be formulated.

I sincerely doubt anything will come of it. Arranged marriages are a long standing tradition for many Asians, and laws won't prevent them from taking place, or the violence against a daughter/sister who refuses to comply.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Educated Muslim Women In the UK Considering Polygamy

Polygamy is still legal in mainly Arab, Middle Eastern, African and southern Asian countries. Although mostly Muslim, there are a few Christian-majority lands where the practice is permitted, like Zambia, Congo and Uganda. And even in Buddhist Burma (Myanmar) polygamy is legal, though frowned upon by most.  Then you have Sri Lanka, Singapore and India all of which allow polygamous unions for their Muslim citizens only. And though it is illegal in most western countries, Australia and the United Kingdom. permit polygamous marriages as long as they were performed  in a country where it's allowed.

I was actually surprised about Australia, but not so much the U.K.  After all, British Muslims are increasingly turning to Sharia law to settle various matters, and many (not just extremists) are aiming for England to be ruled by Muslims

Since having up to four wives is allowed per the Quran, and a good man is hard to find, some Brit Muslim women are  looking to enter into polygamous unions because they'd obviously rather share a man than remain single.  These educated women want to remain in the workforce rather than become the child-bearing maid that many Muslim men expect to marry.

Mizan Raja, 35, who organizes Muslim marriages around the world, told [snip] The Sunday Times, that he has received hundreds of calls in the past six months from women asking about becoming second wives.

“The demand for these relationships is led by the women, not the men. In one generation women have become educated, entrepreneurial and professional.

“The Muslim community is struggling with this, how do you cope with women who wear trousers?” he said.

He added that many Muslim men just wanted a “homemaker”, to come home to a clean house and a plate of food on the table.

Another major problem is that eligible Muslim women far outnumber eligible men in the U.K. Maybe that's because they go to their homeland to find a nice, compliant, dutiful Muslim wife to bring back to England to cook and clean for them, and have their many babies. Or perhaps it's the fact that Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women, as long as they belong to one of the Abrahamic faiths, whereas Muslim women have to get their beaus to convert to Islam before they can marry. And they say women are equal in Islam. Right.

I honestly cannot fathom how an educated woman would choose to live in a polygamous relationship, then again, I'm not Muslim.

The Child-Bride Problem In Iran- Over 716 Girls Under the Age of 10 Married Off In 2011

Mohammed's child bride Aisha (bint Abu Bakr) was only 6 years old when she was betrothed to the Prophet by her father.  She was still playing with dolls when they finally consummated the marriage when Aisha was only 9 and Mohammed was 52, and old enough to be her grandfather. Apparently, she was his favorite wife, that's probably because as young as she was she was malleable and controllable.

You'd think that with the progress of civilization, and the fact that we now consider sex with underage children 'pedophilia', the practice would have ceased.  But it's still thriving in many regions of the world, including Iran, because many believe that if it was good enough for their Prophet, it's good enough for them.

In fact, according to activist Farshid Yazdani (of Association for the Defense of Children's Rights) the number of child brides in Iran under the age of 10 has been increasing at an alarming rate.  They jumped from 449 in 2009 to 716 in 2011. But that's not all:

Yazdani added that the number of marriages for girls under 15 years of age has increased from 33,383 in 2006 to 35,931 in 2007, 37,996 in 2008, and 43,459 last year (please note that the dates are approximate as the statistics were given according to the Iranian calendar, which begins at the start of the Persian New Year).

According to Yazdani, the rate of marriages of girls under the age of 15 has had a 45% increase compared to marriages in other age brackets. He added that these figures are based on the statistics released by Iran’s Civil Registrations Office, and they should set off alarms for social activists and policy makers.

We can thank Sharia Law for the legalization of the practice in many Muslim countries.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Video Confirms Obama's Anti-Israel Policies

As I was perusing a website last night, my eye caught an AdSense ad touting  Barack Obama's unwavering support of Israel. I was curious, knowing this not to be the truth, so I clicked on the ad which took me to Obama's website where the following video (nothing more than shameless pandering to the Jewish vote) was posted. Of course, this isn't the first time Obama has lied to get a vote. He was doing the same thing back in 2008.




Then I came across the next video on Gateway Pundit's blog while searching for articles to link to regarding Obama's decidedly anti-Israel stance. The 30 minute video entitled Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel demonstrates just how anti-Israel he is.



Last year, I posted an article by E.W. Jackson, Sr. a retired lawyer and Bishop of Exodus Faith Ministries who discusses what exactly fuels Obama's anti-Israel policies.  He also happens to be black. And then there's another video: Obama- The Anti-Israel President.

I think that's enough proof that Obama does not have Israel's back, as much as he claims he does.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oliver Stone, Chuck Norris and Other Celebrity Hollywood Nuts Who Support Ron Paul

Actor Vince Vaughn isn't the only Hollywood nut to support Ron Paul for president. Other celebrities have voiced their support for the Republican wannabee-nominee, even though he's actually a Libertarian.  I don't know how I missed this, but in January the latest to claim he will vote for Paul if he gets the nomination is, of all people, the liberal  iconic film director/producer Oliver Stone. I'm not sure if I'm shocked about this latest bit of news or not, after all, his son Sean just became a Shiite Muslim
In an interview with Rock Cellar magazine, Stone was asked if an economic collapse would lead to the fall of the American “empire.”

“I think it’s a given,” Stone said. “There’s no way that we can continue this spending spree. In fact, I think in many ways the most interesting candidate — I’d even vote for him if he was running against Obama — is Ron Paul. Because he’s the only one of anybody who’s saying anything intelligent about the future of the world.”
Of course, when it comes down to it, would he really vote for Paul?  I kind of doubt it. Talk is cheap. And Stone has always been a diehard, lefty liberal Democrat, and a strong Obama supporter. Not quite out there as Michael Moore, but pretty darn close.  His list of controversial films is a testament to how liberal he is: to name a few- Comandante (documentary about his meeting with Cuba's Fidel Castro), Salvador, Born On The Fourth Of July, Nixon, the documentary South of The Border which was criticized by many (including actress Maria Conchita Alonso) for portraying both Hugo Chavez and Castro in a positive light.

But they're not the only ones who heart Ron Paul. Although some of the celebs on this Facebook page list might just be wishful thinking on the part of the admins, some are rather surprising. Some not so much.

Other Paul endorsers:
American Idol singer Kelly Clarkson
Singer Michelle Branch (never heard of her)
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry

Chuck Norris
Clint Eastwood,

However, Nicole Scherzinger (and several groups I've never heard of) did not endorse him. They had their twitter accounts hacked by Ron Paul-ites. Way to go, Paul supporters.

But, Paul will never get the nomination, so all those Paul supporters who happen to be Democratic will probably vote for Obama.

Muslim Student Chef Gets Concession To Not Taste Pork, Wine Dishes

I will be the first to condemn any Muslim unwilling to integrate or for attempting to impose their religious dictates on the rest of us. But every once in a while I come across a story that I can actually relate to, like the problems Ikram Korkmaz had at his culinary school in Valby, Denmark. Korkmaz is a Turkish Muslim who was told by the school administration that if he didn't taste any of the dishes that contained alcohol or pork he would not graduate. The college even brought in an imam to convince Korkmaz that it was okay, but he still refused. Schooled in Turkey, Korkmaz said,
“Perhaps some Muslim students believed what that imam said and tasted pork, but I will never do so,” he told Today’s Zaman.
After trying to reason with the various school officials, Korkmaz eventually complained to the Education Ministry and came out the winner.  According to Mette Klingsey Møller, spokesperson for the Ministry, the school has now made a concession for Korkmaz (and others who might have similar problems with certain foods) whereby other students can taste the dishes for them.

According to The Copenhagen Post, both the leftist Enhedslisten party and the right-wing Dansk Folkeparti actually agreed, for the first time, on the issue.

“It is a completely crazy case,” Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, the spokesperson of Enhedslisten, told public broadcaster back in February. “I expect that the Education Ministry will take action right away. I also do not think that you can tell a lactose-intolerant person that he or she cannot become a chef.”
“It seems odd not to want to taste the food that one is going to serve,” added Dansk Folkeparti deputy leader Peter Skaarup. “But it can never become a requirement, to make someone eat or taste something specific.”

And I do too. As a vegetarian, non-drinker, I would not want to be forced to taste meat or alcohol-doused dishes of any kind. You might then say, then don't go to culinary school. But if I chose to become a vegetarian chef, I would still need to learn the basics. And, those with dietary health restrictions, as Schmidt-Nielson said- are you going to tell them they can't become chefs? There have been many times I have turned down commercial auditions because I would have had to eat meat. Does that mean I shouldn't have become an actress?

I honestly don't think that the student chef was politicizing the issue, unlike the UK MPs who insisted they get halal meat on the menu at Westminster eateries, and am glad the college made this exception.

H/T Islam In Europe

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anatomy of a Smear- Video Response By "The Third Jihad" Director To Critics Of The Film

After it was discovered that the NYPD was using the film "The Third Jihad" as a tool in their counter-terrorism training sessions, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and other radical Muslim groups, began calling for the resignation of Commissioner Ray Kelly.

In spite of the fact that the film is not an indictment against Muslims in general, but rather the threat of radical Islam (I saw the film in 2008), the radical elements in this country, including the dupes at the New York Times,  have rallied to discredit the film.

This video, by the makers of  "The Third Jihad", is in response to the smears, and is narrated by the director Wayne Kopping.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Filipina Maid and Pakistani Worker Get Two Months Jail Time For Having Consensual Sex in Dubai

Only in the Middle East:

A Filipina maid (27) and a Pakistani worker (23) living in Dubai will spend two months in jail before being deported. Their crime?  Having sex without being married.  Apparently, the couple fell in love (after they met on Facebook) and the cook (where the maid worked) snitched on the couple after he caught the worker creeping out of the maid's room in the wee hours of the morning.  According to the worker,

"We chatted for two weeks on Facebook and fell in love. She provided me with her contact number… she helped me sneak into her sponsor's villa , where we had sex," said I.A. when he was questioned by the prosecutors.

Meanwhile, another Filipina suspect, D.D., was fined Dh2,000 for aiding and abetting I.A. to trespass into the villa.

Court records said the lovers were exposed by the sponsor's cook, who spotted I.A. sneaking out of N.S.'s bedroom around 3.15am.

The cook fought with I.A. in an attempt to stop him, according to prosecution records. I.A. was said to have pushed down the cook to the ground and escaped by scaling the villa's wall.

Police identified I.A. from his passport that fell off his pocket when he jumped over the wall.

Police records said the cook informed his Emirati sponsor that he spotted I.A. leaving N.S.'s bedroom after midnight and handed him I.A.'s passport.

I guess the cook had nothing better to do than spy on the Filipina maid at 3:15 a.m.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

UPDATE: At least 90 Iraqi "Emo" Teens Stoned To Death By Religious Police


After all the blood, sweat and tears, all the violence and death that was the Iraq War, this is what they are left with:

According to activists in Iraq, religious police, last month,  stoned to death at least 90 teens for sporting "emo" haircuts after the Iraqi interior ministry declared they were "devil worshippers". 

“The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being probed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate it as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,” a statement by the Interior Ministry said.


“They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationery that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities,” the statement added.


The statement said that Iraq’s Moral Police was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter Baghdad schools and pinpoint students with Western appearances.


The activists told the newspaper that a group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led the teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, Baghdad.


“First they throw concrete blocks at the boy’s arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead by then, they start all over again,” one person who managed to escape told the daily.
The exact death toll remains unclear, but Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, an NGO dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges “between 90 and 100.”


Activists said that leaflets were distributed in Baghdad warning teenagers from donning the “emo” style, and in some regions, teenage homosexuals were killed by battering their heads also by concrete blocks.

For those who aren't familiar with the "emo phenomenon",  "emo" (emotive hardcore) is an angst-ridden rock music genre, with roots in 1980s punk, along with its requisite lifestyle requirements including fashion and behaviour.  You know that androgynous look, the dyed-black straightened hair with the bangs swept across the eyes?  Not without controversy, emo has been associated with self-injury, depression and sometimes suicide.  But devil worshipping? No. Though some satanists might be into emo, it's not a part of the emo subculture.  And for all the dangers that might accompany that particular lifestyle, they're more of a harm to themselves than to others.  Stoning to death kids that are into some stupid fad?  Barbarism at its worst.

Another country taking steps backwards that we wasted our time on.

UPDATE:

News of the killings has caused quite a stir in Iraq, including some who agree with the stonings, some who are outraged, and yet others who claim the story is a media fabrication.

“Emos” are “fools” and “experts must finish them,” the Iraq-based Al Sumaria News TV reported the firebrand conservative cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as saying on Saturday.

But on the other end of the spectrum, one of the most revered Shiite sheikhs in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said on Thursday that targeting “Emo” youth is an act of “terrorism” and a “bad phenomenon for the peaceful co-existence project.”

Another revered Iraqi cleric said in a statement on Friday that the killing of “Emo” teenagers’ in the country was exaggerated and fabricated to serve those of certain anti-religion, government agendas.

The revered Ayatollah Mohammed al-Yakoubi was reported by Al Sumaria News as saying that it should be everyone’s religious duty to advise “Emo” youth.

The cleric said that those who exaggerated the alleged “Emo” killings have a political agenda aimed at tarnishing the image of those who are religious and have problems with the current government.

And a petition to bring to justice the Interior Minister who authorized the stonings.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Michigan $1-Million Lottery Winner Loses Her Food Stamp Benefits

24-year-old Amanda Clayton ought to be ashamed of herself. So should her mother Euline.  Last September the young mother of two hit the jackpot when she won the $1-million dollar Michigan lottery. Granted her winnings dwindled to about half of that when she chose to take the money in a lump sum (less taxes), but that's still a hefty sum for an unemployed mom.  She immediately purchased a second house and a new car. But what Amanda didn't do was notify the Michigan Department of Human Services that she now no longer qualified for her $200.00 per month food stamp allotment, because, well, she thought she deserved it because she still had bills to pay.  According to an interview with Amanda on Detroit Local 4 TV station, she thought the state would cut her off, but since they didn't she figured it would be okay since she wasn't working. After all, she now has two houses to deal with. Amanda doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with continuing to collect food stamps even though she has a tidy sum in the bank, two houses, and a brand new car. No- because she has that typical feeling of entitlement that many 99%ers have, the classic 'the government owes me mentality.' 

And mama, Euline?  She won't comment on whether  what her daughter did  was right or wrong, although she did say "... it‘s nobody’s business if she’s not breaking the law.”

Well, as it turns out, it is against the law, and after much outrage Amanda is no longer receiving those food stamp benefits.   In fact, anti-fraud officials are on the case.



Bilking the government isn't anything new, it happens all the time in some form or another, and to a greater or lesser degree. Unlike the Seattle couple that were living in their $1.2 million house and collecting a lot more in welfare subsidies than the paltry $200.00 per month Amanda was getting for her food stamps, willfully stealing from the state is stealing from you and me, and that makes me angry.



"DHS relies on clients being forthcoming about their actual financial status,” Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan said in a prepared statement. “If they are not, and continue to accept benefits, they may face criminal investigation and be required to pay back those benefits.”

Pakistan's Malik Claims Government Had No Clue About Bin Laden's Presence

Pakistan continues to claim the government had no clue Osama Bin Laden was holed up in his large compound in Abbottabad, a mere 75 miles from Islamabad and a very short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy, for over five years.  

Interior Minister Rehman Malik appeared on Wednesday before the Abbottabad Inquiry Commission and claimed that at no stage was the government aware of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, an insider told Dawn.

The commission is investigating the US commando raid in Abbottabad on May 2 last year which left Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden dead.

The minister gave a detailed briefing to the commission, which lasted six hours, about the internal security system, country’s visa policy and presence of illegal immigrants in the country.

[snip] During the briefing, the minister admitted the failure of civil intelligence agencies in tracking down the Al Qaeda founder.

However, it was for the first time that a government official told the Abbottabad Commission that the government was unaware of Osama bin Laden’s presence in the country.
It seems highly unlikely that authorities weren't somehow aware of his presence after all those years. Surely someone would have questioned the need for 18 ft high fortified walls with two security gates surrounding a compound that was much larger than other houses in the area.  But what else can they say. And they will keep denying that there are elements in the government and their intelligence service (ISI) that are aiding and abetting the Taliban.  But it would be well-nigh impossible to purge those who  have sympathies with the extremists, so nothing much will change in that region.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Arabs Are Beginning to Miss the Dictators" by Khaled Abu Toameh

Many people thought the Arab Spring would bring about much needed change to that region. They believed, naively perhaps, that ousting the much hated authoritarian leaders from their countries would somehow improve their lives. After all, things couldn't possibly become any worse than they already were. Did they not realize who was waiting in the wings ready to hijack their hard-won freedom, or did they just not care?

According to award winning Arab Muslim journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, it seems people are having second thoughts about their Arab Spring. It's an interesting read.

Arabs Are Beginning to Miss the Dictators


Freedom of speech, instead of growing, has died. "We are not with this Spring of violence, war, destruction and killing." — Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, head of Lebanon's Maronite Church.

On the first anniversary of the "Arab Spring," many Arabs are beginning to wonder whether they would soon start missing the corrupt dictators who ruled them for the past few decades.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to bring democracy, transparency and reform to the Arab world. It was supposed to end human rights violations and see the birth of a free and independent media.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to promote the rights of women and minorities in the Arab world and encourage young Arabs and Muslims to abandon extremist views and terrorism.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to be led by young and charismatic Western-educated activists who would bring moderation and pragmatism to the Arab world.

The "Arab Spring" was supposed to turn the Arab countries into attraction for tourism and investors from all around the world.

But judging from the outcome of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, it is evident that the 'Arab Spring" has failed to achieve any of these goals. As far as many Arabs are concerned, their "spring" has thus far proven to be a total disaster.

Residents in several Arab countries affected by the "Arab Spring" protests said they feel less safe now than they did before the uprisings, according to a study conducted by Abu Dhabi's Gallup Polls.

The four Arab countries where the leaders have been toppled are now in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, who used the "Arab Spring" as a vehicle to rise to power.

Tunisia's Islamist party, Ennahda, is already demanding an Islamic state. Human rights activists say that with the arrival of the "Arab Spring," freedom of speech in Tunisia, instead of growing, has died.

Nabil Karoui, owner of a Tunisian Tv station, is currently on trial for blasphemy after airing the French-Iranian animated film "Persepolis," which features a cartoon depiction of God. About 150 lawyers filed lawsuits against Karoui for "violating sacred values" and disturbing public order."

Read the rest of the commentary on Stonegate Institute.

Spanish Imam Who Called On Muslim Men To Beat Their Wives Under Investigation

There are obviously some rather evolved members of a mosque in Terrassa, Spain,  because after the local imam encouraged the congregants to "discipline" misbehaving wives through 'physical and psychological violence',  the police are now investigating this unnamed Muslim cleric.

According to police, the imam is under investigation for

“disseminating discriminatory messages and violating the principle of equality and of women’s right to physical and moral integrity."

Apparently, he instructed men on the best way to punish their spouses and

“ provided concrete examples of the manner in which wives should be beaten, how to isolate them inside the family home and how to deny them sexual relations.”


I'd be surprised if the imam received anything more than a reprimand, but at least there are some in that community who aren't buying into the 'it says you should beat your wife in the Quran, so it's okay' mentality, and reporting it to the authorities.

This isn't the first controversy, however, regarding Muslims in that country. Catalonia, where Terrassa is located, has had other troubles with its large Muslim immigrant population.  The last controversy was in Lerida, where dogs were turning up poisoned, and in 2010 an imam was charged for harassing a woman for not wearing a veil.

UPDATE 3/7



Moroccan, Abdeslam Laaroussi, was arrested for promoting violence against women.

According to police, Laaroussi told his followers that it was best to punch women or use a stick on different parts of their bodies "without breaking their bones or making them bleed".

The Catalan police force, subpoenaed the man to give a statement, after complaints were filed that he was trying to encourage gender violence.

While he refused to give a statement, he was charged after investigators found that his speeches and sermons contained elements that promote violence and discrimination.

Way to go, Catalonia! Some jail time will do the oaf some good.

Update- H/T Islam in Europe

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Iraqi Women Want Equal Or Tougher Laws For Men In 'Honor Killings'

Gender equality in the Arab/Middle Eastern world is pretty much non-existent. Whether rooted in religion or culture, or a combination of both, females have never fared well in that region, especially when it comes to the law. So, some Iraqi women activists are trying to change that.

A group of female activists, headed by the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Ibtihal al-Zaidi (al-Maliki's only female cabinet member), are trying to change Article 409 of Iraq's Penal Code. According to Zaidi, Article 409, which is the law applicable to 'honor killings', unfairly favors men. Even though killing someone can land the murderer the death penalty, 'honor killings' are handled differently.  For that, you just get jail time, but women will spend far more time in prison than men.

She [Zaidi] recounted the story of a 12-year-old Iraqi girl who killed her father after she saw him committing adultery. She was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

“If a man saw one of his female dependents committing adultery, how would he be punished? Six months and he’ll get out."

“A woman, even a 12-year-old, got 15 years in jail for an act she committed out of fear and horror of what she saw.

“Definitely, we have brought up this issue and we asked ‘where is the fairness and justice?’. Here the sentence for a woman differs from a man’s. Fairness and equality is required in this issue,” Zaidi told Reuters in an interview on Sunday.

Zaidi said she was planning to present a recommendation to the cabinet to modify Article 409 to require the same sentence for male and female killers. But she believes any proposed changes to the law are likely to provoke a “strong reaction”.

“At the end of the day, we are a Middle Eastern culture where tribal norms dictate affairs,” said Zaidi, an Arabic linguist and independent member of Maliki’s ruling coalition.“We will require some time before these recommendations turn into law ... there needs to be social awareness about this issue.”

As it stands with Article 409 if a man “surprises his wife or one of his female dependents (who is) in a state of adultery or finds her in bed with a partner and kills her immediately, or kills one of them”, he'll get a max of 3 years.


She's also trying to deal with the terrible problem of domestic violence in Iraq.  Although official estimates claim 20 percent of women are abused, Sundus Abbas of  the women's rights organization 'Women's Leadership Institute', believes it's closer to a whopping 73 percent. Unlike Zaidi,  Abbas has a different perspective on Article 409.

Zaidi’s proposed changes to the honor killing law fail to address the issue, she said. Giving female killers the same rights as male killers would still provide “legal cover for violence against women”.

“It is not correct to give the husband the right to kill his wife under this pretext and to give the same right to the wife in the same provision,” she told Reuters.

“I believe (Article 409) must be abolished and instead have a law that punishes a crime regardless of the reason.”
Good luck with that. Changing the mindset of  a religiously conservative, tribal mentality, patriarchal society will take a lot more than abolishing or toughening laws, but at least they're making the effort.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Torture In Syrian Military Hospitals By Doctors

Patients in Syrian military hospitals are allegedly being tortured by those who have sworn to save lives.

The Hippocratic Oath, for those in the medical profession, was replaced (for the most part) with the Declaration of Geneva. The oath declares:

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

But according to a worker at the military hospital in Homs, doctors aren't trying to save the lives of the many wounded that the government demands are to be brought there, they are actually torturing the men, most of whom are civilians and many not even anti-regime protesters.  They are being blindfolded, chained to their beds and severely beaten. Concerned at their treatment, over several months the employee videotaped some of the patients and handed over the tape to a French photojournalist who was able to smuggle it out. After his pleas to stop the mistreatment were ignored, the worker claims he was labeled a "traitor",  and finally quit.  In an interview with the French journalist "Mani',  he told him

‘I have seen detainees being tortured by electrocution, whipping, beating with batons, and by breaking their legs. They twist the feet until the leg breaks. They perform operations without anaesthetics. I saw them slamming detainees’ heads against walls. Sometimes they have to amputate limbs and they go gangrenous because they don’t prescribe antibiotics,’ he said.

And it wasn't just the military medical personnel that abused the patients, he saw civilian doctors and staff participate as well, and handed over the names of everyone who was complicit in the torture.
This is apparently the first actual evidence of torture that  many have claimed is rampant, but were unable to provide proof of.  'Mani' claims:

‘Ordinary Syrians now consider it too dangerous to go to state-run hospitals if they’re injured. Most opt for hopelessly under-equipped makeshift backstreet clinics.

‘I met a 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the leg by a sniper. His father told me he was too afraid to bring his son to hospital. Even though he was in danger of losing his leg, the boy was treated in his own home by a nurse.’

According to the worker:

Many of those injured, he said, were kept alive so they could be interrogated.
Others were admitted to the hospital simply to revive them between torture sessions. ‘Some of the detainees used to be taken from the hospital to the prison. They’d bring them back either dead or with a brain haemorrhage.
‘The youngest I saw was 14 or 15 years old. Many detainees’ names were removed from emergency admissions lists so that no one would know where they were. There were no names. Just numbers.’

Anything to stay in power.

More photos at DailyMail.UK

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Libyans Desecrate Gravestones Of British Soldiers Over Afghanistan Quran Burnings

In retaliation for the few Qurans that were inadvertently burned in Afghanistan by U.S. soldiers, Libyan thugs purposely smashed and desecrated the gravestones of Jewish and Christian British (and Allied) soldiers in the Benghazi Military Cemetery. Yes, those same Libyans who we helped during the Arab Spring and who have consequently chosen the Islamist route for their country, are as disrespectful, intolerant and violent as their extremist Muslim brothers in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Talk about gratitude.  What a waste of time.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Joke of the day: The Taliban TV Guide

Found this on Facebook. It's obviously been around for a while, given the TV series that are now no longer airing, but it's still good for a chuckle or two. 

Someone should come up with something more contemporary.

The Taliban TV Guide

MONDAYS
8:00 Husseinfeld
8:30 Mad About Everything
9:00 Monday Night Stoning
9:30 Win Bin Laden's Money
10:00 Eye for an Eye Witness News


TUESDAYS
8:00 Wheel of Terror and Fortune
8:30 The Price is Right if Osama Says It's Right
9:00 Children are Forbidden from Saying the Darndest Things
9:30 Afganistan's Wackiest Public Execution Bloopers
10:00 My Mullah the Car


WEDNESDAYS
8:00 Beat The Press
8:30 Whose Jihad Is It Anyway?
9:00 Married With 139 Children
9:30 Just Shoot Everything
10:00 Veil Watch


THURSDAYS
8:00 Osama and Grace
8:30 Who Wants to Marry a Terrorist Millionaire?
9:00 Veronica's Closet Full of Long, Black, Shapeless Dresses and Veils
9:30 Sponge Bob Square Turban
10:00 My Favorite Martyr


FRIDAYS
8:00 Judge Omar
8:30 TeleTalibans
9:00 Captured Taliban Soldiers Say the Darndest Things
9:30 Cave and Garden Television
10:00 Allah McBeal


SATURDAYS
8:00 Death or No Deal
8:30 No Sex in the City
9:00 Supernatural Djins
9:30 Being Inhuman
10:00 The Sharmutas


SUNDAYS
8:00 koranimal Minds
8:30 Sunday Night Beheadings
9:00 Law & Order - koranimal Intent
9:30 Arselifter Roadshow
10:00 Kabul 5-0