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Dagelijks archief 15 juli 2013

Je wordt voorgelogen

Marit Maij van de PvdA verklaarde in haar mail van 10 juli nog dat “mensen die in hun land van herkomst voor hun leven moeten vrezen en daar geen bescherming van hun overheid kunnen krijgen, die bescherming volgens het vluchtelingenverdrag en onze wetgeving hier altijd zullen blijven krijgen”. Dat dat een hypocriete fabel is blijkt maar weer: twee dagen later werd K., over wie we eerder al schreven, gedeporteerd naar Jordanië. Hij werd bij aankomst onmiddellijk gearresteerd en naar een militaire gevangenis overgebracht. Dat was geen verrassing; het was bij de IND en de DT&V bekend dat hij als deserteur uit Jordanië gevlucht was. Maar ondanks het gevaar dat hij bij terugkomst zou lopen, kreeg hij hier geen bescherming.

De DT&V had al eerder geprobeerd om K. te deporteren, maar werd toen teruggefloten door de rechter, omdat de advocaat niet tijdig op de hoogte was gebracht. Bij de tweede poging werd Kamal zelf niet eens van tevoren ingelicht, maar simpelweg uit zijn cel getrokken en naar het vliegtuig gebracht.

Geweld van de marechaussee

Hij werd door zeven leden van de marechaussee geëscorteerd. Ondanks het feit dat Kamal aan handen en voeten gebonden was en dus op geen enkele manier een bedreiging voor de marechaussee kón vormen, werd hij meerdere malen hard in het gezicht geslagen door dienders. Nu, drie dagen later, staan de afdrukken van de klappen nog steeds in zijn gezicht. De marechaussee ‘doet slechts haar werk’?

Marteling

Op dit moment wordt K. gevangen gehouden in een militaire gevangenis in Jordanië. Hoewel de situatie in Jordanië zelf relatief rustig is, zijn de gevangenissen in Jordanië berucht om de bijzonder slechte omstandigheden en de martelpraktijken die daar worden toegepast. Uit het rapport van Human Rights Watch blijkt dat het regelmatig gebeurt dat gevangenen urenlang aan hun polsen worden opgehangen en met stokken of gevlochten kabels door de bewakers worden geslagen.

K. is in afwachting van zijn proces, maar maakt weinig kans op een eerlijk proces; het leger zelf wees hem een advocaat toe.

De laatste executie vond in 2006 plaats, maar de doodstraf is nog steeds niet officieel verboden in Jordanië. Volgens mede-gevangenen riskeert K. een zware straf, in ieder geval meerdere jaren.

Pertinente leugen

De politiek in Nederland blijft maar beweren dat zij die bescherming tegen vervolging nodig hebben, dat in Nederland ook krijgen. Het is een leugen, een pertinente leugen. K. heeft vanaf het eerste moment dat hij in Nederland asiel aanvroeg, uitgelegd dat hij als deserteur uit Jordanië gevlucht was. De IND heeft jarenlang geweigerd om zijn verhaal te geloven en beweerde dat hij Irakees was. Maar afgelopen juni veranderde de IND van standpunt en stelde dat K. inderdaad uit Jordanië afkomstig was. Als dat erkend werd, was het dan niet logischer geweest dat hij asiel had gekregen? In werkelijkheid veranderde de IND alleen van standpunt om zijn deportatie te kunnen regelen en weigerde om te erkennen dat K. gevaar liep in Jordanië. Het is niet alleen een grove schande dat dit gebeurt, maar het is helemaal krankzinnig dat politici het lef blijven hebben om te beweren dat Nederland bescherming biedt als mensen in gevaar zijn.

“Mocht u signalen hebben of krijgen van misstanden, nodig ik u uit mij hiervan op de hoogte te stellen.”, zo besluit Marit Maij, woordvoerster Immigratie van de Tweede Kamer. Bij deze, mevrouw Maij. Heeft u het rapport, dat u op 16 juni is overhandigd, inmiddels al gelezen?

(Source / 15.07.2013)

The myth of the 1,400 year Sunni-Shia war

The ‘Sunni-Shia conflict’ narrative is misguided at best and disingenuous at worst, suggests author.

In Bahrain (circa March 2011), both Shia and Sunni opposition leaders come together, holding a sign reading “No Sunni, No Shia: One unified nation.”
During the period of European rule over Rwanda, the Belgian colonial administrators of the territory accomplished an extraordinary feat in their subjugation of the local population – the deliberate manufacture of new ethnic divisions.

By formulating ethnic categorisations based on subjective judgments of Rwandans’ height and skin colour, the Belgians sought to keep the Rwandan people at odds with one another and subservient to them. Entirely fabricated histories and genealogies were concocted for the “Hutu” and “Tutsi” peoples, although these terms themselves had been taken from the dustbin of Rwandan history and had had little effective meaning for hundreds of years.

This strategy of divide-and-conquer eventually resulted in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, a bloodbath which shocked the conscience of the world and claimed the lives of roughly 800,000 people. Hutus and Tutsis, themselves only recently fabricated identities, had come to believe in a false narrative in which they had been in opposition to one another since the dawn of time.

Today it is increasingly common to hear talk of the existence of a “1,400 Year War” between Sunni and Shia Muslims. In this narrative, the sectarian violence of today is simply the continuation of an ancient religious conflict rooted in events which transpired in the 7th century. While some Muslims themselves have recently bought into this worldview, it would suffice to say that such beliefs represent not only a misreading of history but a complete and utter fabrication of it. While there are distinct theological differences between Sunnis and Shias, the claim that these two groups have been in a perpetual state of war and animosity throughout their existence is an absurd falsehood.

The conflict now brewing between certain Sunni and Shia political factions in the Middle East today has little or nothing to do with religious differences and everything to do with modern identity politics. Just as in Rwanda, Western powers and their local allies have sought to exacerbate these false divisions in order to perpetuate conflict and maintain a Middle East which is at once thoroughly divided and incapable of asserting itself.

False continuities

Analyses of the roots of sectarian conflict in the Middle East tend to look at the historical schism between Sunnis and Shias as the original driving factor behind present-day tensions. In this reading of events, the 680AD Battle of Karbalain which the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (who are particularly revered by Shia Muslims) were killed was merely the first battle in a long and continuous sectarian conflict which today is being played out in Syria, Lebanon and other countries throughout the Middle East.

Head to Head – What is wrong with Islam today?

As described by the Saudi writer Abdullah Hamiddadin, this explanation of contemporary events is as absurd as explaining modern tensions between Turkey and the EU as being rooted in the ancient conflict between King Charles and the Empress of Byzantium. Positing that present-day political rivalries can be explained by examining ninth-century conflicts between European powers is transparent nonsense. However, the same logic is readily applied to conflicts within the Muslim world.

Indeed, while modern political factions often make reference to theological differences, the usage of symbolism and rhetoric which draws upon the distant past (a tactic employed by political opportunists around the world) is very different than the existence of an actual continuity between ancient history and the present. However, thanks to the efforts of well-funded religious demagogues – themselves either ignorant of history or cynical manipulators of it – this patently ridiculous explanation of world events is gaining some purchase even among Muslims themselves.

Remembering history in the Middle East

For those who would seek to shamelessly fabricate a historical narrative in order to serve their venal political interests, it is worth restating some basic realities about the nature of sectarian relationships in the Middle East. While over a millennium of cohabitation the various religious communities of the region have experienced identifiable ups-and-downs in their relations, the overall narrative between them is vastly more of pluralism, tolerance and accommodationthan of hard-wired conflict and animosity.

For centuries, Sunnis and Shias (as well as Christians, Jews and other religious groups) have lived closely intertwined with one another to a degree without parallel elsewhere in the world. Even where they have exerted power through distinct political structures, the argument that this has equated to conflict does not stand up to even a cursory analysis. While the Sunni Ottoman Empire and Shia Safavid Empire experienced their share of conflict, they also lived peaceably alongside one another for hundreds of years, even considering it shameful to engage in conflict with one another as Muslim powers.

Furthermore, despite seething protestations to the contrary from zealots of all types, “sects” have hardly been separately self-contained entities over history. Shia and Sunni Muslim scholars have long engaged in dialogue and influenced the religious thought of one another for centuries, blurring the already largely superficial distinctions between the two communities. As a legacy of this, today the greatest seat of learning in Sunni Islam also teaches Shia theology as an integrated school of thought.

Modern Dark Ages

The contrast between this history and the unconscionably brutal wars of religion which for centuries ravaged Europe could not be starker. When describing tensions between factions in the Middle East today, Western analysts (and increasingly, many Muslims) tend to view events through a historical lens which is derived from a distinctly Western experience of intractable religious conflict. Indeed, far from being ancient history, Europe’s dark obsession with religious hatred reached its nadir mere decades ago in the form of the Holocaust – perhaps the ultimate religious “pogrom” against the long-oppressed Jewish population of the continent.

For every sectarian terrorist group or militia, there are countless ordinary Shia and Sunni Muslims around the world who have risked their lives to protect their co-religionists.

In recent decades however this dynamic has been largely reversed. Europe has taken great strides in enshrining tolerance, while the Middle East’s once unrivalled religious pluralism has degraded to the point where even co-religionists of marginally-different sects are now often violently at odds with one another. European leaders now regularly lecture their counterparts in the Middle East on the need to protect the rights of minorities; something which may be tolerable today but which would have been thought unconscionable throughout most of history.

While contemporary Muslim societies have regressed to the point where Europeans can now claim moral authority to lecture them on religious diversity, looking at history it should be noted that the periods of greatest religious tolerance within Islam have historically corresponded with the peaks of political power among Muslim empires. The lesson contained herein is something which modern leaders and religious figures – many of whom are disdainful at best towards minorities – ignore at their great peril.

A dangerous myth

Those who ignorantly claim that progress can be attained through the enforcement of strict ideological purity should take heed of the past and resist the temptation towards religious chauvinism. The conflict which some claim exists today between Sunni and Shia Muslims is a product of very recent global events; blowback from the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the petro-dollar fuelled global rise of Wahhabi reactionaries. It is decidedly not the continuation of any “1,400 year war” between Sunnis and Shias but is driven instead by the very modern phenomena of identity politics. Factions on both sides have created false histories for their own political benefit and have manufactured symbols and rituals which draw upon ancient history but are in fact entirely modern creations. Furthermore, Western military powers have sought to amplify these divisions to generate internecine conflicts within Muslim societies and engineer a bloodbath which will be to their own benefit.

While neoconservatives practically salivate in anticipation of Muslims committing mass-fratricide against one another, away from the political sphere ordinary people continue to live with the deeply engrained sense of tolerance that has traditionally characterised the once-global civilisation of Islam. For every sectarian terrorist group or militia, there are countless ordinary Shia and Sunni Muslims around the world who have risked their lives to protect their co-religionistsas well as the religious minorities within their societies. For every story which discards the nuances of todays’ conflicts and casts them as part of a narrative of spiralling sectarian violence, there are others which point resolutely in the opposite direction. In the words of an 80-year old Pakistani farmer, a man older than his own country: “I’ve witnessed this Shia-Sunni brotherhood from my childhood, you can say from the day I was born.”

In Rwanda a people who came to believe a false history about themselves ended up being driven towards madness and self-destruction. Today, the Rwandan government has done away with the artificial colonial categorisations of “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and has formally recognised all Rwandan citizens as being of one ethnicity. Similarly, it is incumbent upon Muslims to reject crude myths about a 1,400 year sectarian war between themselves and to recognise the dangerous folly of such beliefs.

Indeed, the simple truth is that if such a war existed Sunnis and Shias would not have been intermarrying and living in the same neighbourhoods up to the 21st century. Furthermore, were they truly enemies, millions of people of both sects would have stopped peacefully converging on the annual Hajj pilgrimage many centuries ago. If Islam is to continue as a constructive social phenomenon it is important that these traditional relationships and ways of life are not destroyed by modern ideologies masquerading as historical truths.

(Source / 15.07.2013)

Egypt’s military regime demonizes the Palestinian people

 

Asa WinstanleyThe Arab world is going through a turbulent period. A wave of popular uprisings that began in December 2010 with the self-immolation of Muhammed Bouazizi in Tunisia has had ripples as far west as Morocco and as far east as Bahrain.

Complicated and unpredictable revolutionary processes have been set in motion. Final outcomes will not been known with any certainty for years.

Western-backed dictators in Tunisia and Egypt were overthrown by their peoples in a matter of weeks back in the beginning of 2011. A similar popular uprising in Yemen stalled. It did did result the overthrow of dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. But he was replaced by his vice-president in a sham election that had only one name on the ballot paper.

Libya’s dictator was killed, but had to be removed under a NATO-bombing campaign. The threat of Western intervention now also looms large over Syria. There, another popular uprising erupted in March 2011, initially only demanding reforms. But a brutal crackdown by the regime of Bashar al-Assad soon pushed the protesters towards demanding “the fall of the regime,” in the popular chant that echoed on streets all over the Arab world.

Civil war

But Syria has by now degenerated into a brutal civil war, with an increasingly ugly sectarian aspect. The vicious tactics of the armed rebel groups have included car bombs and the driving out of entire religious sects from civilian areas. Some of these groups even have links to Al Qaida, and enforce tyrannical rule in the areas of the country they control.

Almost two-and-a-half years after the uprising started, Assad shows little sign of being dislodged. The increasingly vicious tactics and human rights abuses on both sides only increase the death toll.

With a heavy heart, it must be acknowledged that Egypt is now at severe risk of going in a similar direction. While the situation is nowhere near as deadly, there are ominous signs.

The recent military coup against elected president, Muhammed Morsi is only the tip of the iceberg. In power, the Muslim Brotherhood did indeed aggravate many Egyptians, who came out in force on the streets calling for him to step down.

But these Egyptians did not overthrow the elected president: the military did that. The fact remains that the military once again rules Egypt directly, with a puppet president who is supposed to be a transitional figure. This is a step backwards towards the police-state era of Hosni Mubarak. What credibility can any elections run by a coup regime have?

And if we are to talk about the millions of Egyptians who were against Morsi, what about the 13 million Egyptians who voted him into power?

The constant

In these turbulent times, many things remain uncertain. But there seems to be one reliable constant: the oppression of the Palestinian people throughout the region.

Despite widespread popular support for the Palestinian cause among the Arab peoples, regimes all over the region have used vulnerable Palestinians as easy scape-goats, abusing their human rights in various ways.

In Lebanon, Palestinians have few rights, and are highly restricted in the types jobs they can legally work in. In Iraq after the US-UK invasion of 2003, the sectarian death squads that targeted Iraqis of different faiths also drove out many Palestinian refugees, who they slandered as ipso-facto pro-Saddam Hussein.

And now it seems Palestinians have become a convenient scape-goat for the military regime in Egypt.

Under Mubarak, under Morsi and now under the military regime, the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip was often subject to arbitrary closure over long periods. Innocent Palestinians were made to suffer for the pro-Israel politics of the Egyptian army (which, due to the unequal terms of the Camp David accords, is not even allowed to operate in the Sinai without permission from Israel).

One of the first acts of the military coup regime was to re-close the Rafah crossing. Paranoid fantasies about Palestinians are also being whipped up by the Generals and the state-backed media in Egypt.

Palestinians are blamed for virtually any bad thing that happens. Attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai are blamed on Palestinians – with no evidence.

Hamas, which has its roots as the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is a spectre that lurks in many of these paranoid fantasies. Despite the fact that the Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine has tried to avoid taking sides in many of these conflicts and uprisings, that has not stopped fantasies about armed Palestinians roaming the streets in Egypt to take the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.

One retired army General speaking to the BBC accused Morsi of “collaborating to Hamas against the interests of the army” – again with no evidence.

A pro-Israel regime

Due to the Israeli siege on the coastal strip, Palestinians from Gaza travelling abroad are forced to transit through Egypt. But the military regime has recently started deporting such transiting Palestinians back to the countries they visited!

This is another aspect of the US-backed military regime’s torture of the Palestinian. Under Morsi too, the military acted to close down the cross-border tunnels between Gaza and Egypt – despite the fact that Gaza relies on them for basic goods and supplies.

Apart from Israel itself, Egypt’s military is supported by more US military aid than any other country. This is intended in ensure America has a loyal and ruthless client in the region, one which can ensure Israel is free to continue its full takeover of the West Bank and enforce its racist apartheid regime which dominates the region.

State-backed Egyptian media is happy to whip up paranoid conspiracy theories which encourage mob violence against innocent Palestinian and Syrian visitors, but are seemingly silent on such impunity for Israel, and the military’s key role in it.

According to “the Wikileaks of Israel” Richard Silverstein, the Sinai has by now become an “an extension of Israeli territory”. In a most under-reporter case in June, Israel’s spy and assassination agency the Mossad kidnapped another Palestinian – inside Egyptian territory. Wael Abu Rida had reportedly been in Egypt with his wife seek medical attention for his child before he disappeared in the Sinai. His family later received a phone message that he was being held by Israel. According to Silverstein “the Mossad operates inside Egypt with the willing collaboration of Egyptian intelligence”.

Egypt’s Generals must stop their reckless scape-goating of Palestinians before things spiral out of control. The Egyptian uprising of 25 January 2011 that removed Mubarak from power gave us all hope, including hope for the liberation of Palestine. Things now are much bleaker.

(Source / 15.07.2013)

Eerste wat je als moslim moet weten!

Het eerste wat wij dienen te weten, vóór alle andere kennis, beste broeders en zusters, is de kennis van Tawheed. Dat Allah de enige is die het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden. En dat wij ons met geen enkele aanbidding mogen wenden tot iets of iemand dan Allah.

Allah zegt (betekenis ervan):

“Weet dat Allah de enige is die het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden ..” [47:19]

Het alleen aanbidden van Allah is het doel van ons bestaan, Allah zegt:

“En Ik heb de Djinn’s en de mens slechts geschapen om mij (alleen) te aanbidden.”[51:56]

Vanwege het grote belang van dit onderwerp zijn alle profeten gezonden met de boodschap vanTawheed en hebben zij deze hun volkeren verkondigd:

“En Wij stuurden niet één van de Boodschappers voor jou (Mohammed), of wij openbaarden aan hem dat er geen andere god dan Ik het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden, aanbidt Mij daarom (alleen). [21:25]

Ook onze nobele profeet Mohammed salla allaho ‘alaihi wa sellam heeft zijn volk 13 jaar lang in Mekka uitgenodigd naar de Tawheed, voordat de andere verplichtingen zoals de zakaat en hetvasten werden voorgeschreven in Medina.

De Tawheed is het recht van Allah op Zijn dienaren, de profeet salla allaho ‘alaihi wa sellam vroeg één van zijn metgezellen:

“Weet jij wat het recht van Allah op Zijn dienaren is, en wat het recht van de dienaren (als gunst voor hen) op Allah is?” 

Hij antwoordde: Allah en zijn boodschapper weten het beste.

Daarop zei de profeet salla allaho ‘alaihi wa sellam: “Het recht van Allah op zijn dienaren is dat ze Hem (alleen) aanbidden en geen enkele deelgenoot aan Hem toekennen …” [Bocharie]

Het zich wenden met Allah’s recht, de aanbidding, tot iemand of iets dan Allah is het grootste onrecht; dit is shirk. Allah zegt:

“Voorwaar, Shirk is een enorm onrecht” [31:13]

Allah is degene die de mens heeft geschapen en hem voorziet van ontelbare gunsten, en dan richt deze zich met Zijn recht tot één van Zijn schepping. Dit is het grootste onrecht.

Tawheed is het fundament van ons geloof, want de ware Islam houdt in dat jij je overgeeft aan Allah middels de Tawheed.

Wie goede daden verricht nadat de Tawheed is gegrondvest in zijn hart en geen shirk pleegt, heeft zijn daden op een stevig fundament gevestigd en plukt de vruchten van zijn daden in dit leven en het hiernamaals.

Degene die goede daden verricht, maar de Tawheed niet heeft gegrondvest door in shirk en ongeloof te vervallen, bouwt zonder pilaren en zijn daden zijn vruchteloos.

Met het oprecht uiten van de getuigenis van Tawheed, treedt een persoon de Islam binnen. En als hij sterft met Tawheed behoort hij tot de bewoners van het paradijs, gelijk – of na te zijn gereinigd van zijn zondes in de hel. Tawheed  behoedt jou van het behoren tot de eeuwige bewoners van het hellevuur.

Beste broeders en zusters:

Van de mooie vruchten van het bezitten van kennis over Tawheed is dat jij Allah de meest Verhevene leert kennen bij Zijn vrome namen en eigenschappen. Hier vloeit uit voort dat jouw hart verbonden raakt met Allah alleen. Je houdt van Hem, hoopt op Zijn vergeving, vreest Zijn woede en bestraffing, vertrouwt op Hem. Je beseft je dat Hij degene is die voorziet, die geeft en neemt, dat niemand jou kan baten noch schaden alleen met Zijn wil …

Met Tawheed is jouw hoofdzorg Allah’s tevredenheid, wat de mensen dan verder van jou vinden wordt bijzaak. Wie Tawheed heeft gegrondvest in het hart staat daarom stevig in zijn schoenen, in tegenstelling tot degene wiens hart verbonden is met de mensen.

Wanneer deze kennis gegrondvest is in het hart, volgen de goede daden en de drang naar het aanbidden en gehoorzamen van Allah. Zoals de profeet salla allaho ‘alaihi wa sellam zegt:

“Voorwaar, er is in het lichaam een ‘vleesklomp’ als dit goed is, is het hele lichaam goed en als dit slecht is is het hele lichaam slecht. Voorwaar, dat is het hart.”  [Bocharie]

De Tawheed is dé sleutel naar het geluk in dit leven en het eeuwige geluk in het hiernamaals. Is het dan gepast om een onderwerp van dergelijk belang geen aandacht te schenken?
Abulfadl, student aan de Universiteit van Medina. Saudi Arabië.

6 Ramadan

Report: Egyptian General Sisi candidate for first deputy prime minister

General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will keep his post as defence minister, according to reports.

Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who removed Islamist president Mohammad Mursi from power following a popular uprising, has been nominated to become first deputy prime minister, Egyptian media reported on Monday.

The daily al-Masry al-Youm quoted “informed sources” as saying that Gen. Sisi will also keep his post as defence minister.

Egypt’s military-appointed leadership has been trying to install a new cabinet that would oversee the transition to parliamentary and presidential elections, according to Reuters.

Interim premier Beblawi is expected to unveil his full cabinet on Tuesday or Wednesday, Reuters reported.

His priorities include restoring security and preparing for the elections, which the interim president has said could be held by early next year.

(Source / 15.07.2013)

Protests in the Negev, the West Bank, and Gaza against the Begin-Prawer plan

Protestors took to the streets in Be’er Sheva, Bethlehem, and Gaza City calling for the Israeli government to scrap the Begin-Prawer plan that would forcibly displace between 30,000-70,000 Negev Bedouins. More protests are planned for Ramallah, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, and Jaffa.

Protestors in Be’er Sheva calling for the Israeli government to scrap the Begin-Prawer plan that would forcibly relocate tens of thousands of Negev Bedouins. (Photo by Activestills.org)
Protestors in Be’er Sheva calling for the Israeli government to scrap the Begin-Prawer plan that would forcibly relocate tens of thousands of Negev Bedouins.

The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, which represents Arab citizens of Israel at the national level, organized the protest in Be’er Sheva, along with a general strike. The large protest started at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and it was declared illegal after the protestors blocked the main road by the university.

An Israeli police spokeswoman said that 14 protestors were arrested and 2 police officers were lightly injured. Witnesses added that many protestors were assaulted by the police, including Jamal Zahalka, who is the chairman of Balad, a Palestinian political party in Israel. It was reported that Palestinian MKs Ahmad Tibi, Ibrahim Sarsour, Talab Abu Arar, and Talab al-Sani also joined the protest.

The Begin-Prawer Bill passed its first reading in the Israeli Knesst on June 24 2013. According to Adalah – The legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – the bill involves the dismantlement of “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev, and the forced displacement and relocation of the inhabitants – numbering in the tens of thousands – to settlements that will be “recognized” by Israel.

Critics of the bill claim that the Bedouin have not been consulted, and that it violates their rights to property and ignores their legitimate claims to ancestral lands. Furthermore, Adalah reports that the Begin-Prawer Bill is designed to make it very difficult for the Bedouin to receive compensation following their forcible displacement, and that state development projects that privilege Jewish Israelis will be built in place of the destroyed Bedouin villages. The United Nations announced that Israel must respect the land claims of the Bedouin, who are internationally recognized as indigenous peoples of the land.

Recently, the European Parliament passed a resolution that called on Israel to withdraw the Begin-Prawer Plan. The resolution also called for the protection of the Negev Bedouin communities, for their rights to be respected, and it condemned “any violations (e.g. house demolitions, forced displacements, public service limitations).”

(Source / 15.07.2013)

Slechte gewoontes tijdens Ramadan

By Marianna Laarif

De Ramadan, een tijd waarin het aanbidden van Allah centraal staat en waarin vele moslims zich volledig inzetten om sterker in hun geloof te worden. Eveneens een tijd waarin een aantal slechte gewoonten telkens weer terugkomen. Hier een overzicht van enkele slechte gewoonten. Laten we onszelf afvragen welke van deze slechte gewoonten op ons van toepassing zijn en ervoor zorgen dat we deze slechte gewoonten kwijt raken.

  1. Wel vasten, maar niet het (verplichte) gebed verrichten.
  2. Overdag vasten, ’s nachts zondigen. Of nog erger: dag en nacht zondigen.
  3. Alleen vasten met de maag, niet met hart en ziel.
  4. Ramadan beschouwen als een culturele traditie zonder te kijken naar het islamitische aspect.
  5. Volharden in het verrichten van haram zaken, zelfs tijdens het vasten.
  6. Snel en veel eten bij iftar en ook in de rest van de nacht.
  7. Boos en geïrriteerd zijn aan het einde van de dag of aan het einde van de maand.
  8. De hele dag slapen tot iftar of een groot deel van de dag.
  9. Snel en achteloos tarawieh bidden om de Koran tijdens de 27e nacht uit te hebben.
  10. Wel goed zijn voor vreemden, maar geen aandacht schenken aan de eigen familie.

Israel hopes to wipe out Hezbollah by destroying Syrian regime

http://on.rt.com/pwklqc

Hezbollah is like a red bull to the Israelis, and now Israel hopes to annihilate it by completely weakening Syrian regime, Middle East expert and historian Tariq Ali told RT.

RT: Foreign media reported over the weekend that Israel was behind the attack on Russian missiles in Latakia, what motivation do you think could be for Israel in it?

Tariq Ali: Its motivation, as always, is to show the Arabs, both inside Israel and outside, look this is how tough we are, we can hit any target in the Middle East that we want and no one can do anything about it. That was the aim. The attack on Latakia by the Israelis, if it was them, and the American sources are saying it was, and Israel hasn’t denied it. They haven’t confirmed it but they haven’t denied it. Informal sources in the Israeli press are saying that it was an attack designed to immobilize Russian anti-ship missiles that have been given to Syria. Well, that is an open breach of a country’s sovereignty which the Israelis have done in the past and which they carry on doing. This is a country which is above the law, or considers itself above the law, and it’s United States’ master and European friends will do nothing to stop it.

RT: But it’s obvious that Israel has no right to breach any country’s sovereignty.

AFP PhotoTA: Of course, they have no right but they’ve occupied sovereign states, they’ve taken chances on their territory in the case of Lebanon for many years. Hezbollah is like a red bull to the Israelis. It attacks, and the Israelis haven’t been able to wipe it out though they’ve tried. They are now hoping to do it by completely weakening or destroying the Syrian regime. It’s Hezbollah which is at the center of Israeli interest. It is the only group in the Arab world for a very long time which has actually inflicted some blows on Israel, first forcing them to withdraw from Lebanon, and then resisting one of their big attacks and invasions of the same country. So that is what they would like to do, but I think Hezbollah is probably the best armed and the best led liberation movement in the region. So it’s not going to be as easy as their match.

RT: Do you think the US knew beforehand about the Latakia attack?

TA: Virtually everything Israel does is coordinated with the US. You have very close links between the IDF and the Pentagon, this is hardly a secret; their intelligence services collaborate and help each other. So I have very little doubt the Israelis inform the US that they were going to attack Latakia, and the US registered it. Whether they said go ahead and do it formally, I don’t know, most probably they did. This is how Israel functions and the Americans never yet attempted to stop it.

RT: Do you think Israel could go as far as to provide actual help to Syrian rebels?

TA: The Israelis are pursuing their own agenda, they always do. However, they are not dumb, the people in Jerusalem. They know that by doing this and further weakening the regime the Syrian state could break up or be completely destroyed. So they are not unaware of what is happening in that country and indirectly I’d say yes, they are providing help to the rebels.

AFP PhotoRT: Are you surprised to learn that Syrian troops allegedly seized chemical weapons belonging to rebels?

TA: No, if it turns out to be true, and I don’t know whether it is or not, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. It’s very clear that the sections of the rebel leadership have been desperate for western military intervention and prepared to go a long way to achieve it. I remember before or just after this sarin gas attack, media emblazoned it across their front pages in some European countries to put pressure on Washington. The fact that Washington then pulled back from going beyond what they’re already doing indicates that they were not convinced. I think the Russian UN ambassador was absolutely right: the West has no proof that sarin gas was being used by the Syrian state. So if the latest claim from the Syrians is true, it’s very serious indeed.

RT: Then the US has to react to that.

TA: No, Washington doesn’t need to react at all. Double standards prevail in international diplomacy, there are very few norms. If it’s not in the interest of the US and its European Union allies to react they won’t react at all. They will not treat the rebels in the same way as they are treating the Syrian state.

RT: A FSA commander has recently been killed by radicals on his own side, now we’re hearing allegations that the rebels are using chemical weapons, surely this has got to change the stance of the West and the US towards supporting the rebels now, hasn’t it?

 

AFP Photo 

TA: I should hope so. Certainly, public opinion in the US and in Britain is opposed by a fairly convincing majority to any western intervention in Syria. In senior politicians, including conservative politicians in Britain, have said very clearly that they are not going to support any such venture. Whether President Obama will decide now – he’s been very hesitant till now to go for this – remains to be seen. I’d have thought that the chances for the western military intervention on the Libyan model are becoming more and more remote but I can be wrong.

RT: Let’s just put western interest aside. What about the friend of Syria saying that Lebanon and Iran should not be involved and yet the Gulf Arab states are clearly involved in this.

TA: Well, it’s absolutely true what you say. Both the Saudis and the Qataris have been involved. Both in Egypt by way of backing their favorite horses in that particular race, and in Syria very openly by arming the Salafi groups and the more moderate Jihadi groups. So there’s no doubt that this is indirect military intervention, clearly green-lighted by the US because without their approval it’s very unlikely that these things would be happening. I think that the Gulf States have got American approval to help. Whether they will continue to get this approval remains to be seen.

(Source / 15.07.2013)

SKIRMISHES BETWEEN THE FSA AND ISLAMIC GROUPS CONTINUE AS THEY FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF STRATEGIC AREAS

By Peter Clifford   ©    (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-2)

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

The struggle between moderate Opposition fighters and Islamist groups took another twist in the early hours of Saturday when an “armed group” attacked the Free Syrian Army (FSA) weapons store at their headquarters at Ras al-Hosn in Idlib province near the Turkish border.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

The Price of War, Zatari – Jordan’s Fourth Largest City

Some sources blamed the hardline “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” group for the dawn attack, but this has not been confirmed.

Other reports say that bullets and shells were fired at the compound containing the arms warehouses and the skirmish left 10 FSA fighters injured.

The Islamic group, an offshoot of the Al-Nusra Front, which is sometimes known as “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” and under the acronym ISIS, is made up of mainly foreign fighters.

Last Thursday, an ISIS commander was accused of shooting dead a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council after a dispute at a checkpoint in Latakia (scroll down – see report below), while other members of the FSA were injured as they fled the scene. Al Jazeera has interviewed one of the injured FSA , HERE:

After a meeting of the its Supreme Military Council, the FSA gave out a 24 hour ultimatum calling for the arrest of the ISIS commander accused of the killing, Ebu Ayman Al-Baghdadi, or “further action would be taken”.

One Opposition activist, commenting on the activities of ISIS, said,  “They didn’t come to Syria to help the revolution. They stay in the liberated areas and try to take power”.

Mohammed Faizou, a fighter with the Ansar al-Din Battalion in coastal Latakia province, said that while the Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra “fights the regime and does not interfere with others,” the largely foreign Islamic State fighters “interfere with everything” and are preoccupied with imposing Islamic law.

IN ALEPPO THE FSA ALLOWS RAMADAN SUPPLIES INTO ASSAD HELD WESTERN SUBURBS AND THE CENTRAL PRISON:

In Aleppo, local people massed on Friday at the Opposition controlled Bustan Al-Qasser crossing which is the only gateway between Western Government controlled areas of the city and the Eastern Opposition held sector, to protest at restrictions on moving food, especially during Ramadan.

Clashes were reported at the crossing on Saturday between the FSA and Islamists who had imposed a ban on moving certain foodstuffs, but the FSA’s Tawheed Brigade took charge and the flow of supplies has since increased dramatically.  Al Jazeera has a video report, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Syrian Child Photographed in Refugee Camp

An agreement has also been brokered by Opposition fighters controlling the main Damascus – Aleppo highway at Khan Al -Assal on the western approaches to Aleppo to allow dozens of supply trucks to take essential goods to Government controlled areas in the west of the city.

Agreement was also reached with the Opposition to allow the Red Cross to take 5,000 food ration parcels into Aleppo Central Prison which has been under siege for 3 months.

4,000 are believed to be still imprisoned there and at least 120 prisoners have been reported as dying due to lack of medicine and accidents from shelling as the  Opposition try to take the penitentiary and free its inmates.

The FSA/Islamist situation may become complicated further by reports that the “Pakistan Taliban” has set up a base in Syria and are sending fighters to oppose Assad. The Tehreek-e-Taliban operate mainly from Pakistan’s volatile ethnic Pashtun areas along the Afghan border and claim to have sent “hundreds” of fighters already. You can read more, HERE:

Elsewhere in Aleppo, Government forces shelled the Opposition/Kurdish held area of Sheikh Maqsoud, while Opposition fighters kept up their siege on the Alawite villages of Nubl and Zahra, shelling Syrian Army positions who in turn shelled the nearby Opposition held town of Bayanoun.

Over the weekend in Aleppo province, Opposition fighters, though lacking somewhat in fire power, attacked a large Government convoy near Al – Safirah, HERE:  and destroyed a tank, HERE:

IN BELEAGUERED HOMS UNCONFIRMED REPORT SAYS CLERICS ARE ALLOWING THE EATING OF CAT MEAT TO PREVENT STARVATION:

In Homs things have apparently got so bad that religious scholars have, according to unconfirmed reports, issued an edict permitting the eating of cat meat in a desperate attempt to ensure that people in the  besieged areas will not starve to death, the regime having cut off supplies of food, medicine and other essential supplies for the last 13 months.

Over that period the Syrian Army has systematically also destroyed grain silos, fields of crops, olive groves and orchards both around the city and across the province in order to try and eliminate food sources available to supporters of the Opposition.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/ayria-news

The Hell of Homs – Reuters

Today, Monday, the Assad regime is reported to be targeting the Al-Farouk Mosque and the Red Crescent center in the Ghouta neighbourhood.

Fighters at the Khalid Bin Walid mosque, where the remains of the Prophet’s companion, Kahlid Walid are entombed, have vowed to defend the shrine with their lives, appearing in video (Arabic only) wearing suicide explosive vests, HERE:

This important Sunni shrine is a special target of the Shia Hezbollah troops fighting alongside Assad’s forces, who would see the complete destruction of the mosque as a significant blow against the Sunni community.

Shelling on the Bab Sbaa district of Homs was particularly bad on Sauturday, as can be seen, HERE:  and an eye-witness has described Army attempts to storm Bab Houd and Wadi Al-Sayeh, with skirmishes on the outskirts of Jouret Shiyah and Khaldiya, HERE:

The Syrian Army claims to have taken control of “60%” of Khalidiya and some neighbourhoods in the Old City, Jouret Shiyah, and Al-Qarabeid. However, despite no running water or electricity the Opposition fighters and an estimated 800 families remaining still hold out.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Krac Des Chevaliers Crusader Castle Under Attack

The regime is also reported to have attacked the ancient crusader castle of Krac des Chevaliers in the Homs countryside.

Along with the nearby Qalat Salah el-Din fortress, it is considered one of the best preserved castles of its period in the world, and both are World Heritage sites.

On Friday a MIG jet bombed one of the internal towers causing serious damage.  The 12th century fortress once sheltered the famous English King Richard the Lionheart in his battles with the Islamic leader Saladin over the city of Jerusalem, and is the site is still important because of its high elevation and strategic position.  The Telegraph has a video of the jet strike, HERE:

ASSAD REGIME UNDERTAKING FEROCIOUS ATTACK ON DAMASCUS SUBURBS IN ATTEMPT TO DRIVE FSA AWAY FROM THE CAPITAL:

The Assad regime is also undertaking a ferocious attack on the Sunni suburbs of Damascus, spearpointing their attack on Jobar, Arbeen, Qaboun, Barzeh and Eastern Ghouta as well as Yarmouk and Douma.  Hundreds of families are believed trapped in some areas, unable to escape the bombardment.

On Sunday, at least 13 people were killed in shell attacks on the Qaboun district,  including 7 Opposition fighters and 4 women. Attempts by families to leave Qaboun were hampered by Government snipers positioned on the outskirts.

Between 100 and 200 people were arrested over the weekend as they attempted to leave a mosque after evening prayers and held in an underground prison nearby.  The BBC has a video report, HERE:

The Opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) appealed overnight for their release, however, latest reports suggest most of them have since escaped when Government troops left the site to rejoin the fighting.  The destruction of Qaboun can be seen, HERE:  although Opposition fighters are continuing the hunt in the district for Assad troops and Hezbollah, HERE:

For a really crazy situation watch this video from Russian TV of regime tanks and BMP armoured vehicles indiscriminately firing from the main road into Barzeh neighbourhood while ordinary traffic continues to come down the road between the military vehicles, HERE:

At Deir Atiyeh, north of Damascus, a car bomb explosion last night at a police station is reported to have killed 13 people, including a child and at least 10 policemen.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Child Killed by Assad Surface to Surface Missile, Idlib

And in Idlib province, where the Government holds the regional capital but the Opposition hold most of the countryside, the Syrian Army opened up another offensive by shelling a string of villages within its range.

A total of 29 people were recorded killed on Sunday, 13 of them in the village of Maghara, six in the village of Al-Bara, four in Basamis, three in Kfar Nabl in an air strike and three in Iblin.

It was clear that the co-ordinated offensive had been timed for Iftar, the evening meal at which all Moslems eat together to break the daily fast throughout Ramadan.

Rumours still abound about the destruction of warehouses near Latakia on July 7th, which supposedly contained Assad’s stockpile of newly delivered Russian anti-ship missiles.  The FSA (scroll down – see below) said it was beyond their firepower and Israel, following normal policy, is keeping mum.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Newshttp://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Israeli Dolphin Class Submarine

Confusion rests around where the incoming attacking missile or shells came from.

A report in the Russian media yesterday suggested that Israel had attacked the Latakia facility with jets that had used nearby Turkish air bases to avoid detection, but Turkey has quickly dismissed that scenario.

A more likely one, some intelligence sources suggest, is that the attack came from the sea using the Dolphin class submarines which Israel purchased from Germany in 2012.

The vessels would have appeared off the coast, fired and gone again before the Syrian Army even knew what was happening.  You can read more, HERE:

Lastly, a moving account of the last hours of Jordanian Army Officer who was in charge of helping Syrian refugees crossing the border. Regretably, this humane and considerate officer was killed in a car accident when a tyre blew out on the vehicle in which he was travelling back from the border. You can read more, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Drawing by Child Syrian Refugee in Turkey

Prisoners in Gilboa Prison join Anger Strike against Prawer Plan

prawer-planPalestinian prisoners in Gilboa prison announced their participation in the July 15 Anger Strike, a general strike of Palestinians in the ’48 occupied areas, against the Prawer Plan, which will displace up to 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins and destroy their villages.

Addameer reported that the prisoners of Gilboa prison had issued a statement on the strike.

Their statement reads as follows:

On Monday, July 15, when a general strike was announced inside the occupied lands of 1948 to reject the Prawer Plan, which confiscates the lands of the Negev (Naqab) and the displacement of the Bedouin, called by the Higher Follow-Up Committee in the ’48 areas.

We have decided in Gilboa prison to join the national strike within the prison, refusing to hold events on Monday and closing prison facilities, recognizing that we are profoundly connected to all of the struggles of our people and our homeland, in defense of our identity, our belonging, our land and our memory.

(Source / 15.07.2013)