Israel to approve 4,100 settlement units in Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– An expert planning researcher has revealed that an official board in Israel is on the verge of approving the construction of 4,100 houses in Jewish settlements in Jerusalem.

The Israeli interior ministry tasked the board two months ago to see that settlement construction increases in Jerusalem, said Attorney Qais Nasser, who specializes in monitoring settlement activity in holy city.

In its first session scheduled for June 14, the committee is expected to approve plans to erect 4,100 homes in Ramat Shlomo, Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev, and Har Homa.

( / 06.06.2011)

Saudische vrouwen moeten stemrecht krijgen

De Saudische Shura-raad heeft vandaag geadviseerd vrouwen stemrecht te geven in toekomstige gemeentelijke verkiezingen. Ook moeten vrouwen zich volgens het adviesorgaan verkiesbaar kunnen stellen. Volgens de raad is dat in overeenstemming met de sharia, het islamitisch recht.

In maart 2005 waren er voor het eerst gemeenteraadsverkiezingen in Saudi-Arabië. De helft van de zetels kon worden gekozen, de andere helft van de politici werd benoemd door de overheid. Dat was een hele stap vooruit wat betreft de democratie in het land, ondanks de blijvende uitsluiting van vrouwelijke kiezers of kandidaten.

De regering beloofde na de stemronde van 2005 dat vrouwen bij de volgende verkiezingen wel mochten meedoen. In maart 2011 maakte de regering echter kort voor de verkiezingen bekend niet klaar te zijn voor de deelname van vrouwen. Toch trokken honderden vrouwen naar de registratiekantoren om een stemkaart te eisen. Zij werden allemaal weggestuurd.

De Shura-raad speelt een belangrijke rol in de Saudische samenleving als discussieplatform. De leden van de raad worden benoemd door de koning. Saudi-Arabië heeft geen politieke partijen en geen nationaal parlement.

Toestemming om te werken
Vrouwen hebben in Saudi-Arabië weinig vrijheid. Zo mogen ze niet autorijden en hebben ze toestemming van een man nodig om te kunnen reizen en werken.

( / 06.06.2011)

Bahraini doctors and nurses charged

London, (pal Telegraph) – Medical staff who treated protesters accused of plotting to overthrow kingdom’s monarchy amid reports of more violence.

Scores of Bahraini doctors and nurses who treated injured anti-government protesters have been charged with attempting to topple the kingdom’s monarchy.

The 23 doctors and 24 nurses were formally charged on Monday during a closed door hearing in a special security court.

The 47 accused have been in detention since March, when the country declared martial law in order to clamp down on a wave of demonstrations that swept the tiny kingdom earlier this year.

Though the emergency law was lifted last week, Bahraini authorities have warned opposition activists of “consequences” in case of any further challenges to the government.

‘Firing on marchers’

On Sunday, Bahraini police clashed with Shia marchers at religious processions in villages across the country, the country’s opposition al-Wefaq movement and residents said.

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, sound grenades and birdshot to break up the marches, which were taking place in several Shia villages around Manama, the country’s capital, residents and members of al-Wefaq said.

Residents said that some gatherings were purely religious, while at others marchers shouted slogans against the ruling al-Khalifa family, including “The people want the fall of the regime”, a chant that has become the symbol of similar protests in Tunisia and Egypt which dethroned long-time rulers.

In Sitra, residents said that several people were injured and that a house was set on fire.

“We condemn this attack, this kind of attack will make the situation even worse,” said Sayyed Hady of al-Wefaq. “This event is so, so normal in Bahrain, we’ve been doing it for centuries … the authorities said they won’t attack religious events, but this is what they did.”

On Sunday, a government official denied that widespread clashes had taken place.

“There are no clashes really, there were some outlaws who caused some problems but these were small incidents that were quickly stopped. The situation is stable and back to normal,” he told Reuters.

Journalists have been unable to verify the reports, as police have set up checkpoints sealing many Shia-majority areas. From outside those areas, the Reuters news agency reported that its reporters heard shouting and smelled tear gas.

The Shia villagers, some beating their chests and chanting religious verses, were marching to commemorate the festival of one of their 12 Imams.

Months of unrest

The fresh unrest comes just two days after the country’s Formula One Grand Prix was reinstated. The race had been postponed from its original March date due to widespread protests at the time.

As that decision was announced, security forces were engaged in a fresh crackdown, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at activists gathered in Manama for the funeral of a protester they said had been killed by tear gas inhalation.

In March, Bahrain’s Sunni rulers asked for military support from its Gulf Arab neighbours to suppress the protests, which have in particular called for democratic reforms and more rights for the country’s Shia-majority citizens.

Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth fleet, and as such is a key ally for that country in the region. Saudi and Emirati forces appear to be set to remain the country indefinitely in order to ensure that the protesters do not achieve their goals.

( / 06.06.2011)

‘Killer-komkommer komt door moslims’

Een Duitse islamcriticus heeft een opmerkelijke verklaring voor het ontstaan van de EHEC-bacterie die de gemoederen in ons buurland momenteel flink bezig houdt. Hij meent te weten dat het virus zich in de groente-voorziening heeft genesteld omdat moslims er overheen hebben gepoept, zo meldt weblog Dagelijkse Standaard.

Udo Ulfkotte heeft geen bewijs voor zijn opmerkelijke stelling, maar kent wel verhalen uit Zwitserland, Engeland en de Verenigde Staten van moslims die poep op chocoladetaartjes smeerden en in kinderboeken kakten. Ook zouden Turkse aardbeienpluksters hun broek tijdens het werk moeten aanhouden omdat ze de vruchten met plas bevuilden.

Udo Ulfkotte is een geboren christen die zich na een korte periode als atheïst tot de islam bekeerde. Dat geloof liet hij ook weer snel achter zich toen hij de gruwelen van het geloof inzag, waarna hij weer terugkeerde tot het christendom.

( / 06.06.2011)

Monsters, politics, and a Syrian boy’s agony

WARNING: This column contains graphic details.

By Neil Macdonald

I can’t get Hamza al Khatib out of my head. Like every father, I’ve contemplated the horror of being unable to protect my children from evil. There is no worse fear.

When Hamza was snatched up at the protest he’d attended with his dad back in April, he probably thought his father would appear at the police station and sort it all out.

I can’t help wondering when he realized he was beyond help.

He must have screamed himself hoarse as the torturer crushed his kneecaps and applied the burns. When they shot him — to wound, not to kill — the hot pain would have been quickly followed by numbness and shock.

If Hamza could still talk at that point, he’d have been begging for mercy, or desperately trying to tell them something to make them stop. But of course it wasn’t an interrogation. He was only 13 years old. What in heaven’s name could he have told the Syrian mukhabarat that they didn’t already know? And in any event, shattering his jaw certainly put an end to any intelligible utterances from the boy.

I desperately hope Hamza was already unconscious, or dead, when they started hacking off his penis.

What happened to Hamza al Khatib provokes an atavistic terror, even at this distance. It’s not rational. And that, of course, was the point of the exercise. Hamza was butchered and handed over to his family in order to fill defiant Syrians with uncontrollable dread. To make it plain that the regime of Bashar al-Assad observes no boundaries.

The world isn’t supposed to stand by while dictators slaughter their own people, or at least that is what we were told when Washington and Paris unleashed cruise missiles and fighter jets to protect the people of Benghazi from Muammar Ghadhafi’s vengeance.

Human Rights Watch, which has been documenting the tactics of Assad’s bullies, put it nicely in a report this week: Syria is engaging in crimes against humanity. Posting government snipers on buildings with orders to shoot people randomly, whether they are protesting or not. Lining up prisoners at a soccer stadium and machine-gunning them. Firing live ammunition into crowds of protesters carrying olive branches and baring their chests to show they’re unarmed. Shooting any soldier who refuses to shoot his own countrymen and women. And working overtime behind closed doors on the thousands they’ve arrested. Using “medieval torture,” in the words of a Human Rights Watch official.

A thousand dead. Tens of thousands arrested.

And here’s the question: Where is the outrage? Where the hell is the outrage?

Why haven’t Western nations lined up to denounce it for the evil it is? The world isn’t supposed to stand by while dictators slaughter their own people, or at least that is what we were told when Washington and Paris unleashed cruise missiles and fighter jets to protect the people of Benghazi from Muammar Ghadhafi’s vengeance.

Why isn’t the UN Security Council meeting? Why hasn’t Bashar al-Assad been referred to the International Criminal Court, as Ghadhafi was?

Syrian children carry pictures of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib during a protest in front of the United Nations building in Beirut on June 1.Syrian children carry pictures of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib during a protest in front of the United Nations building in Beirut on June 1. Jamal Saidi/ReutersThe answer is both understandable and deeply shameful: National interest trumps the agonies of Hamza al Khatib and his fellow Syrians, and will continue to do so.

Bashar al-Assad is far more important than Ghadhafi, and that earns him a pass. The Arab League, which piously denounced Ghadhafi and effectively enabled the bombing of Libya, is saying practically nothing about the terror in Syria.

Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the League, has clearly decided this Arab Spring nonsense must end before the contagion spreads into its citizenry. It is helping Bahrain crush its rebellious Shia citizens, and will brook no initiative that might deter Assad.

Turkey is invested heavily in Syria, and has tried to perpetuate the ridiculous notion that the goofy-looking ophthalmologist in Damascus is not a monster, like his father before him, but actually a reformer.

Israel appreciates the fact that the Assads have kept the northern border quiet for nearly 40 years now, and fears any government that supplants the secular tyrants in Damascus may be infected by Islamists.

So do Israel’s allies. As President Obama has said many times, Israel’s security is America’s paramount concern. Hence Obama’s long silence while Assad massacred innocents. Even now, the president’s official position is not that Assad should be charged criminally, but that he should change his ways and institute democracy or “get out of the way,” whatever that means.

Canada, conspicuously, has said practically nothing about Assad.

Then there is Iran, which uses Syria as a land bridge to extend its influence to the Mediterranean. Iran violently crushed its own uprisings, and now, according to some reports, the Iranians are helping Assad hunt and slaughter his own people, lending technical assistance to find those who dare to post images of the dead and dying on the internet.

To be clear: the Assads are guilty of atrocities that only Saddam Hussein could have matched. That Bashar al-Assad is Western-educated, and married to a woman Vogue magazine raves about, is nothing but camouflage for the primitive, vicious dictatorship he leads. He knows, as Saddam Hussein knew, what his fate will be if he is overthrown — and if children have to be tortured to prevent that, so be it.

When Hamza al Khatib’s picture hit the internet, the regime first produced a doctor who declared his injuries inconsistent with torture. Then the government said staff at the hospital — doctors and nurses — had mutilated the body.

Then, this week, an obscenity Orwell could not have imagined. Syrian TV featured an interview with two men it identified as the boy’s uncle and father. Both praised Assad as a great president. Assad, they declared, loved Hamza as though the boy was his own son. He’d personally promised to look into the death, and that was good enough for the family.

Presumably, the father’s and uncle’s penises are still intact. They were terrorized even as they mourned. Like Syria itself.

( / 06.06.2011)

Pious Husband – Islamic Poem

Marriage to him is one half of the deen,

To please Allah (swt) is more than a dream.

He wears his beard for his Lord, to please and obey,

…He turns to Allah (swt) for Salah at least five times a day.


He prays in the night and makes sure to wake you,

And strives during daylight to provide and protect you.

He lowers his gaze with firmness because he does not desire,

To displease Allah (swt) and face His just ire,


He asks advice from the ummah, and his wife too,

Before making decisions that he might later rue.

To his wife he is humble and always most kind,

Sharing his burdens with strength and clear mind.


He opens his mouth only to say what is best,

Weighing all options ‘fore denying a request.

He takes care of himself and family too

Knowing that Allah (swt) will see them through.


He is a pleasure from Allah (swt) above

Be thankful to Allah (swt) and His blessings through love.

(Facebook / 07.06.2011)