What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?

This article first appeared in the online version of the newsmagazine
‘Outlook India’ (issue dt. 23 August 2004) at the URL
http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20040823&fname=UCol+Koenraad&sid=1

In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave in to Muslim pressure in the Shah Bano affair. Overruling a secular court�s decision that the repudiated wife Shah Bano was entitled to alimony from her ex-husband, he enacted a law abolishing the alimony provision in conformity with the Shari�a. Since India, unlike secular states, already had religion-based Civil Codes, this concession merely brought the minor matter of alimony under the purview of the prevailing arrangement. More importantly, it prevented riots.

Only months later, Gandhi restored the balance by giving the Hindus something as well: he ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider as the birthplace of Rama, the prince posthumously deified as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Fundamentally, this decision didn�t alter the Ayodhya equation. Architecturally, the building was and remained a mosque, while functionally, it had been and continued to be a Hindu temple. That is why in my opinion, not taking this decision wouldn�t have changed the Ayodhya developments except in their timing. The different players, their strategies and goals, and their resolve to pursue these, all remained the same. The Babri Masjid Action Committee and the Vishva Hindu Parishad would have gone about their �business� just the same.

However, the VHP would have been forced to continue pushing the rather petty demand for removing the locks, rather than move on to the more ambitious and more mobilizing next step of planning the construction of a new temple. Most probably, the BJP would likewise have reaped smaller dividends from such a campaign. In 1989, it might not have jumped as high as 86 seats. Conversely, Congress might not have lost the North-Indian Muslim vote to the Janata Dal. In 1989, it could have remained just strong enough to cobble together a coalition rather than leave the initiative to the unwholesome and unstable Janata-BJP-Communist combine. So, at the level of party politics, Rajiv Gandhi�s decision may have made a big difference. Continue reading “What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?”

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mezquitas (mosques) of Cordoba,Spain


The Great Mosque of Cordoba extended and revised architectural review

When the Umayyad were supplanted by the Abbasids in 750 and the centre of Islam relocated from Damascus, Syria to Baghdad, Iraq, a Umayyad prince named Abed Al-Rahman I moved to Spain where Muslims were already established & founded a dynasty with Cordoba as its capital. The kingdom flourished, lasting for nearly 300 years (756-1031). In 929 a restored Umayyad caliphate was set up in Cordoba, in rivalry with the Abbasids in Baghdad: by any standard, Cordoba was the richest, most sophisticated city in Europe.

The Great Mosque of
Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures



Magnificent
Interiors

The Great Mosque, Cordoba

 

The Great Mosque of Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures

Mosques in Spain

n/a

Related books

Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal Art historian Henri Stierlin explores a dazzling 1,000-year-old decorative tradition in Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal.

Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain The Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain offers a new interpretation of the history of gardens in Spain during the period of Islamic rule from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries.

Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque

 

Europe Features

By Sinikka Tarvainen Jan 3, 2007, 8:29 GMT

‘; var PageContent= ‘Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe\’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

\nThe southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

\nDeclared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

\nCordoba residents still often call the building \’mezquita\’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

\nA mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

\nA Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche.

\nSo who does the building, with a prayer hall measuring 23,400 square metres, belong to?

\nIs it the heritage of Arab-Berber-Spanish Moors, who ruled large parts of Spain for some 800 years and for whom emir Abd ar-Rahman I started building it in the 8th century?

\nOr does it belong to Christians, who completed their Reconquest of Spain from the Moors in 1492 and whose King Charles V financed the mosque\’s definitive conversion into a cathedral in the 16th century?

\nUntil recently, few Spaniards questioned the Catholic Church\’s exclusive use of the building, but the arrival of some 800,000 mainly Moroccan Muslim immigrants over the recent years has raised new questions about the sanctuary.

\nThousands of Spaniards have also reclaimed their Muslim roots, converting to Islam in cities such as Granada, once a Moorish stronghold.

\nMansur Escudero, a convert who heads Spain\’s Islamic Board, prayed in front of the mosque recently to claim Muslims\’ right to use it for prayer.

\nThe board has written to Pope Benedict XVI, proposing that the mosque be turned into an ecumenic temple where Christians, Muslims and representatives of other religions could pray together and \’bury past confrontations.\’

\nIt has sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

\nSpain\’s Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from Osama bin Laden\’s call on Muslims to \’reclaim Al-Andalus,\’ the traditional name for Moorish Spain.

\nThey condemned the 2004 Madrid train bombings, staged mainly by Moroccan Islamists, which killed 191 people.

\nThe mosque, a building with an \’enormous symbolic power,\’ could show the way for a \’universal spirituality,\’ Audalla Conget, secretary of the Islamic Board, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in a telephone interview.

\n\’Spain could be the key that opens the door to peace,\’ he says, recalling the Moorish period when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in a relative harmony.

\nAfter the Reconquest, however, Spanish identity was largely based on a militant brand of Catholicism as a sign of differentiation from Islam.

\nIt is only recently that Spaniards have begun toning down traditions which could be offensive to Muslims, for instance removing a statue of Saint James \’the Moorslayer\’ from Santiago de Compostela cathedral.

\nSome villages have modified traditional plays or spectacles in which \’Christians\’ kill \’Moors.\’

\nRicardo Blazquez, the head of Spain\’s Episcopal Conference, initially showed sympathy towards the idea of Muslims praying at the Cordoba mosque, but the conference quickly issued a statement saying he had not authorized any Islamic prayers at the cathedral.

\nCordoba bishop Juan Jose Asenjo rejected the Islamic Board\’s request, saying joint use of the temple would confuse believers and promote religious indifference.

\nThe Vatican has rejected earlier petitions by Muslims to pray at the Cordoba mosque, but Conget was hopeful that Benedict XVI would have a more favourable attitude.

\nThe Cordoba bishop\’s negative answer contrasts with \’interesting gestures\’ by the pope, such as praying at an Istanbul mosque, he said.

\nA spokeswoman at the Cordoba bishop\’s office declined to comment, saying the office had \’nothing to add\’ to what the bishop said earlier.

\n© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur‘; PrintArticle();//–>

Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

The southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Declared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

Cordoba residents still often call the building ‘mezquita’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

A mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

A Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche. Continue reading “Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque”

Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement

Kemalist Ideology (“Atatürkçü Düşünce”), also known as Kemalism (“Kemalizm” or “Atatürkçülük”) and Six Arrows, is based on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk‘s six principles (Altı Ok) during the Turkish national movement. The principles were not defined as an ideology during the life of Atatürk, but formulated later on. It constitutes ground rules for state nationalism in Turkey.

History

The history of the concept of Kemalism can be traced back to Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. The political experience of the Ottoman Empire, through Tanzimat, and the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire were synthesized into Kemalism.

 

Republican People's Party logo, and six principles as arrows

 

Republican People’s Party logo, and six principles as arrows

The Republican People’s Party was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on October 29th, 1923, about a week before the declaration of the Republic of Turkey on the September 9th. The party uses the ideology to symbolize itself. Continue reading “Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement”

Civilian Claims on U.S. Suggest the Toll of War

Joao Silva for The New York Times

On March 11, 2004, Miad Matar got $2,000 from Sgt. Guadalupe Sorola after her husband was killed by American forces at a checkpoint in Iraq.

By PAUL von ZIELBAUER

Published: April 12, 2007

function getSharePasskey() { return ‘ex=1334116800&en=f824038cf51e05bc&ei=5124’;} function getShareURL() { return encodeURIComponent(‘http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/world/middleeast/12abuse.html’); } function getShareHeadline() { return encodeURIComponent(‘Civilian Claims on U.S. Suggest the Toll of War’); } function getShareDescription() { return encodeURIComponent(‘The military has paid $32 million to Iraqis and Afghans for noncombat-related killings, injuries and damage.’); } function getShareKeywords() { return encodeURIComponent(‘United States Armament and Defense,Iraq,Afghanistan,American Civil Liberties Union’); } function getShareSection() { return encodeURIComponent(‘world’); } function getShareSectionDisplay() { return encodeURIComponent(‘International / Middle East’); } function getShareSubSection() { return encodeURIComponent(‘middleeast’); } function getShareByline() { return encodeURIComponent(‘By PAUL von ZIELBAUER’); } function getSharePubdate() { return encodeURIComponent(‘April 12, 2007’); } In February 2006, nervous American soldiers in Tikrit killed an Iraqi fisherman on the Tigris River after he leaned over to switch off his engine. A year earlier, a civilian filling his car and an Iraqi Army officer directing traffic were shot by American soldiers in a passing convoy in Balad, for no apparent reason.


Multimedia

A Sampling of Civilian ClaimsGraphic

A Sampling of Civilian Claims Continue reading “Civilian Claims on U.S. Suggest the Toll of War”

Growing Islamophobia

President Bush reacting to the unearthing of the alleged bombing plot over the Atlantic August 10 remarked: “This nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”

On Aug. 7, during a press conference from his ranch in Texas, he said terrorists “try to spread their jihadist message – a message I call … Islamic radicalism, Islamic fascism”. A moment later, he said “Islamo-fascism” was an “ideology that is real and profound”. White House spokesman Tony Snow told the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” Aug. 11 that the president will continue to use the phrase.

This is not the first time that Bush and members of his Administration have used this deliberate coupling of Islam with evil ideologies or actions, such as fascism or terrorism. Bush referred to “Islamo-fascism” in his address to the National Endowment for Democracy, Oct. 6, 2005. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) addressing Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held their first Washington-Israel Summit in Washington D.C., July 2006, declaring “Islamic fascism is a mosaic…” Continue reading “Growing Islamophobia”

Reclaiming Rights of the people of South Thailand

 

 

 

 

Updates from Southern Thailand is a monthly newsletter produced by the Reclaiming Rights program of Nonviolence International Southeast Asia (NISEA). The newsletter Charged! intends to inform the international community about current news on the conflict and human rights situation in the three southern-most provinces of Thailand – Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.
Background

 

The origins of the current violence in Southern Thailand lie in historical grievances stemming from discrimination against the ethnic Malay Muslim population and attempts at forced assimilation by successive ethnic Thai Buddhist governments in
Bangkok for almost a century. The Sultanate of Patani which includes present-day Patani, Narathiwat, Yala and parts of Songkhla province was annexed by the Royal Thai government in the early 20th century. Since the annexation, armed groups calling for independence have operated in the region. Their activities have ebbed and flowed over the last 100 years, but with the turn of the 21st century they increased dramatically.
Continue reading “Reclaiming Rights of the people of South Thailand”

History of Siamese stance to Terminate Islam in the South of Thailand

The beheading of a Buddhist village leader in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south has provoked worry across Southeast Asia. The murder committed by the Islamic separatists was believed to be in response to the deaths of 84 Muslims at the hands of Thai authorities. Although the level of violence is new, the conflict has a long history. In 1832, Thailand annexed the independent Muslim sultanate that now makes up its southern provinces, writes Bertil Lintner, and separatist tensions have persisted since then. Yet as modern telecommunications technology has enabled Islamic radicals to spread their message more easily, Thai separatists have also developed ties with Islamists across the region. For Thailand and its neighbors, the union of separatist and radical Islamic groups constitutes, Lintner says, “a much greater threat to regional stability than the local, isolated separatist movements of pre-Afghan war days.” – YaleGlobal

A New Battlefield in Thailand

Old grievances of an Islamic minority, reawakened in post 9/11 world, are set aflame by government brutality

 
 
On a slippery slope: Thai security forces subdue suspected Islamic militants. Many died of suffocation herded in trucks.
 

BANGKOK: In early November, a Buddhist village leader was beheaded in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south. It is too soon to say whether this incident was an isolated outrage or the beginning of a wave of revenge attacks for the October 25 deaths of at least 84 Muslims in the hands of Thai security forces. But the bloody incident in Narathiwat has exacerbated the already tense situation in the south – and caused a rift between Thailand and its Islamic neighbor and partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia. Many now fear that the Thai Buddhist majority may be drawn into a broader Islamic struggle. Continue reading “History of Siamese stance to Terminate Islam in the South of Thailand”

Qur’an Desecration – The Raw Story

THE PRESS
Newsweek report on Quran matches many earlier accounts

RAW STORY

Contrary to White House assertions, the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo published by Newsweek May 6 are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States, RAW STORY has learned.

Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram airbase prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Quran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it.

Where the Newsweek report likely erred was in saying that the U.S. was slated to acknowledge desecrating the Quran in internal investigations, and in relying on a single anonymous source to make grave allegations. But reports of desecration are manifold. Continue reading “Qur’an Desecration – The Raw Story”

Why I am saying sorry for London’s role in this horror

The state failure to issue an apology for a crime as monstrous as the slave trade diminishes Britain in the eyes of the world

Ken Livingstone
Wednesday March 21, 2007
The Guardian

Next Sunday marks the bicentenary of the abolition of one of history’s greatest crimes – the transatlantic slave trade. The British government must formally apologise for it. All attempts to evade this are weasel words. Delay demeans our country. Recalling the slave trade’s dimensions will show why. Conservative estimates of the numbers transported are 10-15 million; others range up to 30 million. Deaths started immediately, as many as 5% in prisons before transportation and more than 10% during the voyage – the direct murder of some 2 million people.

Conditions imposed on survivors were unimaginable. Virginia made it lawful “to kill and destroy such negroes” who “absent themselves from … service”. Branding and rape were commonplace. A Jamaican planter, Thomas Thistlewood, in 1756 had a slave “well flogged and pickled, then made Hector shit in his mouth” for eating sugar cane. From 1707, punishment for rebellion included “nailing them to the ground” and “applying fire by degrees from the feet and hands, burning them gradually up to the head”.

When in 1736 Antigua found there was to be a rebellion, five ringleaders were broken on the wheel, 77 burned to death, six hung in cages to die of thirst. For “lesser” crimes, castration or chopping off half the foot were used. A manual noted: “Terror must operate to keep them in subjection.” Continue reading “Why I am saying sorry for London’s role in this horror”

Sanhedrins & their claim to The Third Temple

Third Temple
Rabbi: Muslims would agree to Third Temple
1/3/07

Rabbi Dov Stein of the Jewish Sanhedrin has told YNet News that he believes Muslims would agree to the rebuilding of the Third Temple, and that Islam has not always been so hostile to Judaism. Stein believes the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built to protect the Temple Mount site specifically for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. The Rabbi made the remarks after it was revealed that the Sanhedrin has decided to purchase a flock of sheep to sacrifice at the Temple Mount site this Pesach (Passover).Quote: “Asked if his organization sought to rebuild the third Temple, Stein’s answer was unequivocal. “We want to establish the Temple again. Unfortunately, standing in our way is a hostile regime, the Israeli government, and rabbis who for political interest don’t want this to happen.” Stein even suggested that Muslims would agree to the project, saying: “The Omar Mosque (the Dome of the Rock), built by Khalif Omar, was actually intended to safeguard the site for the Jews. Islam hasn’t always been so hostile. Despite its hatred and massacres against us, Islam sees in Judaism a source and a guide. I think the moment will come that Muslims understand the need to build the Temple and go along with us.”

The Sanhedrin is not recognized by the Israeli government, but it claims to be the highest legal body in the land of Israel. The Sanhedrin is seeking to abolish the secular government and replace it with a monarchy that would rule by the Torah. For this reason I doubt the Sanhedrin will get their way this Passover. The excavations at the Mugrabi gate have been controversial enough without religious Jews plotting the destruction of the Mosque of Omar and the rebuilding of the Third Temple. The Bible says it will eventually happen though, but we’re not told how. Who knows, perhaps when the False Prophet appears on the scene, who will seemingly unite apostate Christendom, Judaism and Islam, maybe then the Muslims will “understand the need to build the Temple”.

Source YNet News

 
Third Temple
Sanhedrin buys flock to sacrifice at Temple site
1/3/07
This link from Cheryl and Jennifer…

The recently formed Sanhedrin, a legal body consisting of 71 prominent Rabbis in Israel, has arranged to purchase a flock of sheep for sacrificial rituals ahead of the upcoming Passover. The Sanhedrin was formed several years ago, and was one of the first news items that prompted me to start this website. The Sanhedrin had not existed for over 1600 years, having been dissolved after the diaspora. The group reformed on the 13th of October, 2004, and are actively seeking to re-establish the monarchy of Israel. The Sanhedrin considers itself the highest legal body in the land of Israel, and opposed the government’s decision to disengage from Gaza, stating that it was against Torah. They are also researching the exact location of where Solomon’s Temple once stood to enable Continue reading “Sanhedrins & their claim to The Third Temple”

Dummies guide to Brainwash the British Public?

Channel 4’s programme titled “The Begineers guide to Islam“, designed to put -off free thinking non-muslims from finding out the true essence of Islam.

A posh girl from chelsea (Peaches Geldof) visits Morocco trying to learn about Islam. The programme content is poor, with a propaganda outlook paints a morbid picture unrepresentative of Islam. We put the record straight.

A girl who’s already made her mind up!
A pointless exercise:- Choose a girl who is secular, dislikes religion, armed with quotes from materialists about the creation of life, life sciences and place her in an environment she is not accustomed too. This all sounds like a well scripted propaganda documentary about a girl who has already made her mind up?

The title is meant to mislead, the program does nothing to aid a non-muslim to understand the true essence of Islam. It being scripted to put-off any notion of anything meaningfully good, only draw the audiences attention to the bad. Lets walk through the programme and fill the gaps so to speak:

Girl asks questions and receives all the wrong answers (inc. comments, and remarks):

Q1. Morocco is a Muslim country with 88% Sunni muslims.
A1: Morocco is run by a kingship which is Haram in Islam and the state does not represent an Islamic system or anywhere near an Islamic World Government. The royal family (King MOHAMED VI) were installed/planted by the French colonialist and the Government is indirectly controlled by France. The country is run by a secular government that opposes Islamic values as explained by the Muslim girl who was not permitted to wear her hijab while on school campus (ref: Franch opposition to Hijab).

Q2: Why do Muslims women were Hijab or Borcha?
A2: The answer provided by the Muslim girl was wrong, it is no for protection. In fact, the Qur’an authorized the Hijab and covering of the head to the Prophets wives, thus it becomes Sunnah (recommended) giving reward to those who apply. Another important point is that Allah(swt) in the Qur’an does not give any reason for it, it is a directed command and so it was not correct for the Muslim girl to state that it is a reason soley for protection. Peach was happy that she made that slip-up and further showed the flawlessness of this reasoning by walking the streets and bazaars only to be haggled by some men folk while she was wearing a Hijab.The muslim girl was right to point out that the Hijab demands respect, after all the wearer is following the sunnah of the Prophet(saaw). Not much can be said about the men encountered while they walked the bazaars.

Q3: Do you need to change clothes while visiting a Muslim country?
What is the dress code for getting into paradise?
A3: The Muslim girl highlights the importance of being dressed appropriately for the occasion. Wearing skimpy clothes would be against the Islamic dress code. Peach was to integrate into Muslim society, however she was reluctant to do so at all attempts, wanting to impose her own way of life instead. Was this the real reason for the programme, to confuse the non-muslims and moderate Muslims watching the programme when it is aired back home?
Continue reading “Dummies guide to Brainwash the British Public?”

Secularism

History of the word Secularism

The meaning of the word secularism is not shrouded in any mystery. It is not an ancient or archaic word having been used by Chaucer or Shakespeare.A beginning may be made with the dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED Vol.IX 1978) states that Secularism is the doctrine that morality should be based solely on regard to the well-being of mankind in the present life to the exclusion of all considerations drawn from belief in God or in a future state. OED further points out, rightly, that it was George Holyoake (1817-1906) who gave this name to the definitely professed system of belief.

Earlier OED gives the meaning of the word ‘secular’ as: “belonging to the world and its affairs as distinguished from the Church and religion“.

George J. Holyoake, to whom has been credited the coinage of the word secularism, was an Owenite and had founded in 1846 a weekly called “Reasoner” for the propagation of Owenism. In an issue of “Reasoner” in 1851, he issued a statement of secularist doctrine proclaiming:

  1. science as the true guide of man;
  2. morality as secular, not religious, in origin;
  3. reason the only authority;
  4. freedom of thought and speech;
  5. that owing to the ‘uncertainty of survival’ we should direct our efforts to this life only.

There was, in the latter part of 19th Century in England, a debate as to whether atheism, the denial of the existence of God, was an essential element of secularism. It may be mentioned here that Holyoake himself was not a theist. In 1841, in a public meeting, provoked by a heckler, Holyoake had asserted that England was too poor a country to have a God and that it would not be “a bad idea to put Him on half-pay” (i.e. retire him) and had been for this blasphemous utterance sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. Continue reading “Secularism”

Black day of so called Indian Secularism

(Babri Masjid and associated complex were totally destroyed on December 6, 1992.)

“Every civil building connected with Mahommedan tradition should be levelled to the ground without regard to antiquarian veneration or artistic predilection.” British Prime Minister Palmerston’s Letter No. 9 dated 9 October 1857, to Lord Canning, Viceroy of India, Canning Papers.

“>

‘One group of karsevaks blocked all entry points into Ayodhya to keep out central security forces, while another began to loot and burn Muslim homes’

Did the leaders know beforehand what was going to happen that afternoon? There can be no final answer to that question. Perhaps some did, others did not. Certainly one answer seems to emerge from our narrative, another from the likes of editor Chandan Mitra. Not that the leadership of the parivar comes off any better from Mitra’s graphic description of their behaviour during that crucial period when the attack on the mosque was mounted — the giggling political sanyasins, Uma Bharati and Ritambhara; Joshi overcome by the size of the mammoth crowd; Singhal, convinced that the karseva would go along expected lines and giving precise orders, to a crowd that could not care less, about how to wipe and clean the site of the projected temple; the moment of reckoning when the crowd goes berserk on seeing two karsevaks on the top of the domes of the mosque while the high command sat, ‘tense’, ‘sombre-faced’, ‘hopelessly sullen’, with faces like ‘grim death’; the lament of Rajendra Singh, the de facto supremo of the RSS, ‘the ministry is gone’; and finally the pathetic and belated attempts to calm down the crowd by the leaders taking turn in appealing to the karsevaks, while others like Acharya Dharmendra tried to interest an uninterested crowd in a bhajan. Continue reading “Black day of so called Indian Secularism”

George W. Bush: A Symptom of Disease

By Charles Sullivan

01/12/07 “Information Clearing House” — – Sometimes you look around and wonder how things could have gone so wrong so quickly. America has become the antithesis of everything she purports to be. We are the greatest purveyors of violence the world has ever known; the largest weapons dealers on earth; and death and misery are our principal exports. Everything is for sale here, even men’s tormented souls—at least, those who still possess them.

Our imperial leader, an impish little man with clear sociopathic symptoms, is incapable of empathy for the struggles of the common people, as those born into wealth and privilege often are. The man with his finger on the nuclear detonator is mentally ill, incapable of remorse—a fact that should terrify every world citizen. I do not say this out of malice or to demean the president; it is simply a statement of fact based upon quantifiable evidence that any student of psychology would easily recognize. Continue reading “George W. Bush: A Symptom of Disease”

Israeli Textbooks and Children’s Literature Promote Racism and Hatred Toward Palestinians and Arabs

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September 1999, pages 19-20

Special Report

 

By Maureen Meehan

Israeli school textbooks as well as children’s storybooks, according to recent academic studies and surveys, portray Palestinians and Arabs as “murderers,” “rioters,” “suspicious,” and generally backward and unproductive. Direct delegitimization and negative stereotyping of Palestinians and Arabs are the rule rather than the exception in Israeli schoolbooks.

Professor Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University studied 124 elementary, middle- and high school textbooks on grammar and Hebrew literature, history, geography and citizenship. Bar-Tal concluded that Israeli textbooks present the view that Jews are involved in a justified, even humanitarian, war against an Arab enemy that refuses to accept and acknowledge the existence and rights of Jews in Israel.

“The early textbooks tended to describe acts of Arabs as hostile, deviant, cruel, immoral, unfair, with the intention to hurt Jews and to annihilate the State of Israel. Within this frame of reference, Arabs were delegitimized by the use of such labels as ‘robbers,’ ‘bloodthirsty,’ and ‘killers,’” said Professor Bar-Tal, adding that there has been little positive revision in the curriculum over the years.

Bar-Tal pointed out that Israeli textbooks continue to present Jews as industrious, brave and determined to cope with the difficulties of “improving the country in ways they believe the Arabs are incapable of.”

Hebrew-language geography books from the 1950s through 1970s focused on the glory of Israel’s ancient past and how the land was “neglected and destroyed” by the Arabs until the Jews returned from their forced exile and revived it “with the help of the Zionist movement.”

“This attitude served to justify the return of the Jews, implying that they care enough about the country to turn the swamps and deserts into blossoming farmland; this effectively delegitimizes the Arab claim to the same land,” Bar-Tal told the Washington Report. “The message was that the Palestinians were primitive and neglected the country and did not cultivate the land.”

This message, continued Bar-Tal, was further emphasized in textbooks by the use of blatant negative stereotyping which featured Arabs as: “unenlightened, inferior, fatalistic, unproductive and apathetic.” Further, according to the textbooks, the Arabs were “tribal, vengeful, exotic, poor, sick, dirty, noisy, colored” and “they burn, murder, destroy, and are easily inflamed.”

Textbooks currently being used in the Israeli school system, says Bar-Tal, contain less direct denigration of Arabs but continue to stereotype them negatively when referring to them. He pointed out that Hebrew- as well as Arabic-language textbooks used in elementary and junior high schools contain very few references either to Arabs or to Arab-Jewish relations. The coordinator of a Palestinian NGO in Israel said that major historical events hardly get a mention either. Continue reading “Israeli Textbooks and Children’s Literature Promote Racism and Hatred Toward Palestinians and Arabs”