Bahrain: One Year On


Bahrain is a tiny island country, but it provides clear examples of the various sets of hypocrisy that plague today’s world. Bahrain is the perfect example of the power of money, sectarianism, and the media. Unlike the media’s fairy tale revolutions in Egypt, Syria, and Libya, Bahrain’s revolution does not seem worthy of attention, and its oppressive regime is allowed to continue its blatant campaign of excessive force and attacks on protestors.

On February 14, 2011, Bahrain’s citizens took to the streets to protest systematic policies that denied them equal rights due to their sect. Initially, the protests were a call for reform in the monarchy-ruled country; however, the protesters were violently responded to with the use of Saudi tanks and machine guns. For one year, the people of Bahrain have protested and stood firm despite the threat of imprisonment, death, and other retaliation by the Bahraini government and its Saudi allies, who themselves carry an extensive rap sheet when it comes to human rights violations.

In honor of the sacrifices and struggles for a democratic country made by the citizens of Bahrain, below is a list of five uncomfortable realities their revolution has opened the eyes of concerned citizens to:

Bahrain has become the poster child for collective punishment. According to Amnesty International, “More than 4000 people, including teachers, students and nurses, were dismissed from their jobs or university because of their active participation in the anti-government protests. At least 30 Shia prayer centers were demolished in the aftermath of the protests in February and March 2011, on the pretext they had been built illegally.” (Amnesty International)

There is a double standard, and it is glaring. Imperialism does strange things to a country’s principles, as we have learned from Bahrain. Any country seen as legitimately striving for independence finds itself on the receiving end of military intervention and total destruction under the age old mantra of democracy and human rights. That sounds understandable, until one realizes that when it came to Egypt, Libya, and Syria, the United States and its Western allies called for those countries’ leaders to step down in the interest of democracy and freedom. What happens in Bahrain? The State Department issued gentle and kind reminder that asked Bahrain to “exercise restraint and operate within the rule of law and international judicial standards.” Restraint and judicial standards? Isn’t that what all dictators are about anyway?

It is normal for a prime minister to serve for four decades. Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa has been the prime minister of Bahrain since 1971. Coupled with a human rights track record that would offend even the most ruthless dictator and over 41 years in office, it is pretty clear that the Bahraini prime minister isn’t in power due to his excessive kindness towards the people.

Formula One doesn’t understand how human rights or boycotts work. Despite calls from British lawmakers to halt the 2012 Bahraini Grand Prix, it appears the event will continue to take place due to limited media attention towards the fact that an international race brings in millions of dollars to an illegitimate government, which uses such money to suppress peaceful protests through violent means. The Bahrain International Circuit, which is owned by the ruling family in Bahrain, fired 29 members of the staff, all of whom were Shia, for participating in antigovernment protests. The Bahraini Grand Prix can happen only if the big brands in Formula One, such as Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Red Bull, can be convinced that taking part in the race will not harm their image. This begs the question then: Is the FIA putting money before morality?

Fifty-Three Million Dollars Later… According to the Washington Monthly, “Since beginning its crackdown, Bahrain’s leadership has been assiduous about molding perceptions of the uprising, retaining major public relations firms like Washington, D.C.’s Qorvis and London’s Bell Pottinger to help shape the narrative that reaches those in the West. On social-media sites like Twitter, pro-government voices have run steady interference, bordering on harassment, in debates about the kingdom. They have tried to sow doubt about the revolt’s status as a grassroots democratic movement, casting it instead as an Iranian-led coup attempt and a grave threat to the US and Saudi Arabia.” The United States is also going through with a 53 million dollar arms sale to Bahrain.

And yet, despite all of this, the revolution in Bahrain continues to remain steadfast in its purpose and cause. Despite all the financial, PR, and military backing received by the Bahraini regime, it has failed to quell the uprising, which grows stronger and mightier by the day.

( / 22.02.2012)

NYPD Alert: Beware of Muslims!

We have recently learned that the New York Police Department has been monitoring Muslim students throughout the northeastern United States.  They have been specifically concentrating on following the activities of members of Muslim Student Associations on a few campuses.  These MSAs are suspiciously located on campuses throughout America, recruiting young Muslims into their ranks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the NYPD monitored Muslim students at numerous universities, including Yale and Penn.  The presence of Muslims at an Ivy League college is, of course, fishy.  As everyone knows, one must be able to speak English in order to attend such a dignified institution.

The NYPD even sent an undercover agent on a student whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York.  Muslims going whitewater rafting?  Very shady.  I mean, there’s no whitewater rafting in Saudi Arabia… there’s no whitewater in Saudi Arabia… there’s no water in Saudi Arabia!  But then I remembered my uncles telling me stories about how they used to dream of coming to America when they were kids… just so they could go whitewater rafting.

On that rafting trip, the undercover officer reported that the students spent a lot of time “discussing Islam.”   Creepy.  He also noted that they “prayed at least four times a day.”  Only four?  Not only were these Muslims meeting in the wilderness, they weren’t even getting all their prayers in.  Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day, not four!  Maybe they weren’t praying as much because they were spending too much time rafting.  And by “rafting,” I mean “scoping out the whitewater rivers to see how they can secretly transport a dirty bomb.”

The NYPD’s efforts, thankfully, reached far and wide.  They were keeping tabs on students in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  I did some of my own investigative journalism and found that they were monitoring Muslims everywhere.  I came across a particularly illuminating report about some Muslim students from Dearborn, Michigan.

We observed three Muslim Lebanese students for six months in 2011.  Each morning, Ali, Mahmoud, and Mohammad each buy a cup of coffee.  They purposely avoid the local Starbucks establishment.  They then go to class (usually arriving ten to fifteen minutes late).  They confidently raise their hands, even though they often have no idea how to answer the question at hand.  After school, they meet at the same café at 4:00 pm everyday.  They spend 2-3 hours talking loudly and waving their hands in explosion-type motions.  The three suspects smoke an unknown substance from a single stemmed metal instrument through a furry house.  Occasionally, they suspiciously eject the smoke from their mouths in order to form perfect circles.

Every Wednesday, the three men spend two hours meeting with many other Muslim men at Cool Blue Salon.  This salon is specifically known for eyebrow waxing and hair removal.  As the “attendees” are all men, we can only assume their presence at the salon is evidence of a terrorist cell meeting.

Perhaps most disturbingly, during the entire month of August 2011, the three men would awaken themselves at 4:30 am, eat an entire meal, go back to sleep, wake up again at 9:00 am, continue their day, and only eat again at 9:15 pm.  Clearly, they were training their bodies to endure long periods without food in order to be prepared for any potential future mission.

As we can see, Muslims are doing all kinds of suspicious things.  So for those good, vigilant Americans out there, make sure you report all dubious activity to your local authorities.  Pick up the phone whenever you see a Muslim going whitewater rafting, or going to college, or watching a football game, or eating a Big Mac.  And definitely speak up whenever you see a Muslim trying to get a driver’s license, or trying to vote, or trying to become president (well, it’s too late for that one).

I can completely understand what the NYPD is trying to do.  After all, as their spokesperson noted, some of the people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges since Sept. 11 have been former members of a Muslim Student Association.  I know… chilling.

In all seriousness, of course it was the NYPD, and not the Muslims here, who was acting in a frightening manner.  In an apparent attempt look even sillier, the agency said that it was observing MSAs because they attract “young Muslim men, a demographic that terrorist groups frequently draw from.”  Again, MSA stands for “Muslim Student Association.”  It has the word “student” right in the middle of it.  So, yes, they are attracting young Muslim men.  But they are also attracting young Muslim women.  And if the NYPD would have asked me, I would have happily told them that this is all done in order for the MSA to achieve its true goal: creating young Muslim couples.

( / 22.02.2012)


Kunst en cultuur in Amsterdam



Live and Work in Palestine

Paspoort- De Palestijnse Kunstenaar Khaled Jarrar, afkomstig uit de stad Jenin op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever, stempelt paspoorten met een visum stempel van de ‘ State of Palestine’ “ om een sterke politieke boodschap de wereld in te sturen; we bestaan en we zijn mensen.”

Hij nodigt mensen uit hun paspoorten te laten stempelen met deze bijzondere visum stempel – zijn eigen originele ontwerp met een vogel- en bloem-motief – op zowel de bezette Westelijke Jordaan oever als over de hele wereld. Tot zover heeft hij stempels gezet in Duitsland (checkpoint Charlie), België, Joegoslavië, Griekenland, Frankrijk en de Verenigde Staten. Hij is begonnen bij Checkpoint Charlie omdat, zo zegt hij zelf: “ Checkpoints nog steeds een dagelijkse realiteit zijn in bezet Palestina.”

Deze visumstempel heeft hij ontworpen nadat zijn internationale vrienden erover klaagden dat zij veel problemen ondervonden bij de paspoortcontrole op het vliegveld in Israel (een van de weinige manieren om de bezette gebieden te bezoeken, het enige vliegveld in Palestina, Kalandia, is sinds 1967 niet meer te gebruiken voor normale bezoekers). Jarrar grapte toen tegen zijn vrienden dat hij een speciale ‘greencard’ zou ontwikkelen, waarmee zij gemakkelijk en veilig zijn land zouden kunnen bezoeken. Hij zegt hierover: “ De Palestijnen zouden de enigen moeten zijn met het recht mensen te verwelkomen in Palestina. En dit is mijn slogan: Welkom in Palestina, iedereen!”.

Zijn stempel bestaat nu en siert vele paspoorten over de hele wereld. Hij vraagt mensen wiens paspoort hij stempelt hem op de hoogte te houden van hun reizen en de dingen die gebeuren bij verschillende grenscontroles als het oog valt op de bijzondere visumstempel. Tot zover zijn de enige problemen gemeld bij de Israëlische paspoortcontrole, deze varieerde van opzettelijke vertragingen tot eenmaal het innemen van een (Israëlisch) paspoort van een Israëlisch-Amerikaans staatsburger.

Postzegel – In samenwerking met de 7e Berlin Biennal for Contemporary Art (28 april – 1 juli 2012), waar Khaled Jarrar ook aan zal deelnemen, is er een postzegel ontwikkeld.

De kunstenaar heeft een embleem voor zijn toekomstige Sta of Palestine ontwikkeld, en deze op postzegels gedrukt. Hiermee wilt hij eveneens aandacht vragen voor de strijd voor erkenning van een onafhankelijke Palestijnse staat. De postzegel toont de Palestijnse zonnevogel (Nectarinia osea).

Deze postzegel is in samenwerking met Please Do Tell nu ook in Nederland verkrijgbaar. Tegen een kleine meerprijs zijn deze postzegels (waarde 1) nu ook in Nederland verkrijgbaar. Het zijn officiële PostNL postzegels en kunnen gewoon gebruikt worden voor standaard brieven en kaarten binnen Nederland. Voor het buitenland kan extra bijgeplakt worden.

Deze bijzondere postzegels worden verkocht per velletje van 10 voor 12 euro exclusief verzendkosten. U kunt de postzegels direct online bestellen en betalen via paypal.

Of u kunt een email sturen naar met uw gegevens. Na overmaking van het bedrag worden de zegels naar u opgestuurd.

Khaled Jarrar vindt het leuk uw kaartje of brief met postzegel te ontvangen, als u de postzegels bestelt krijgt u zijn adres zodat dit mogelijk is.

Over de Kunstenaar – Khaled Jarrar werd in 1967 geboren in Jenin. Hij heeft tentoonstellingen gehad in onder andere 7th Berlin Biennale 2012 Curated by Artur Żmijewski / KW Institute for Contemporary Art / Berlin,Galerie Polaris, Paris, Queens Museum of Art, New York, XV Biennale de la Méditerranée – Final stage, Rome,MACRO   Rome, Italy, FIAC 2011 Paris Grand Palais, Paris, 49th Salon October Belgrade, Curated by Bojana Pejic , Vida Knezevic and Ivana Marjanovic, Belgrade Cultural Center, Belgrade, Al Quds Underground, Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Show, Jerusalem. .

( / 22.02.2012)

Jobs needed in Palestine, help the Union for young people

On the one hand, the number of universities and colleges in the Gaza strip has increased, as well the number of college graduates, but on the other hand the complete siege by Israel  – human as well as economic – has led to a huge number of unemployed young people. Looking at the figures of the Central Bureau of Statistics, the employment rate of the first quarter of 2010 among college graduates in the Gaza Strip was 45.5%. Looking at the figures between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, we see great differences.

The employment rate for the group 20 – 24 years was for the complete Palestinian territories 43.4%, for the West Bank 35.1% en for the Gaza Strip 58.5%. For the group between 15 and 19 years the different rates were 38.4% , 30.5% and 61.6% and for the group of 25 until 39 years  the figures were 32.2%, 25.2% and 44.9%. The overall conclusion has to be that there is no work for the young people in the Palestinian territories, especial in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the years of siege.
Young people have to have the possibility to get something out of their lives, get a good job and start a family. The job market is changing to a demand-oriented trade, agriculture, engineering, technical and professional disciplines.

Important on this time is to have an Union, what  is going to create the opportunities for the young people. To do this, it is important to map the difference between education and the labor market; to develop training programs for the youngsters so that they are able to respond to the questions of the market; to create a national database on questions of labor and the available young people and job seekers (included an official website) and to open and to maintain the continuation of the tripartite dialogue between the government, employers and the representatives of the working people.

For the idea as above is described, a group of young people has started an Union who defend the rights of young workers and young unemployed people of Palestine. In the documents of the Union for young people is written what kind of ideas, plans there are for the coming years, but important is the assistance and support of financial injections and advice of Union workers, all of the world.
In the last weeks the contact persons in Palestine and the Netherlands have been looking for financial support  in Arabic countries and for advice of the FNV Mondiaal in the Netherlands. In the meantime if organizations want to support this excellent initiative, it is possible to contact the contact persons in Palestine (Mohammed Lubbad) or in the Netherlands  (Henny  Kreeft) .

Gaza in its Darkest Hour

Posted on February 18, 2012 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

Gaza, PalestineGaza, Palestine

Gaza, Palestine/-Gaza in its darkest hour after the fuel stopped getting to the only electrical plant of Gaza after Israel bombed the other plants in the assault of 2008-2009.

When we talk about Tunnels in Gaza we have to talk about the Bedouins Tribes that control the Rafah border.

Before the Egyptian Revolution I have the opportunity to talk to my Egyptian friends about all themes, but one of my favorites was to talk about Palestine.

Some of my friends have this idea that most of their economical problems, and security situation is due to Palestinians crossing illegally the border.

And that the security problem is according to them to the terrorists that are financed by Iran and Hezbollah, that was the propaganda feed thru all the regimen of Mubakark that was in bed with Israel, and kept the country deprived, oppressed, with more than 2,000,000 people incarcerated for their political views, specially the then illegal Muslim brotherhood that they said was financed from Iran to destabilize the country.
Off course this idea is not shared for the majority of Egyptians, they know their own problems were created along the way, since British Empire decided to colonize these great lands of the Nile.

With this notion I have to mention also, that they do not see themselves as an Arab people but proudly they refer themselves as the Pharaoh people, some how superior race, or  more intellectually advanced.

I m not sure that the tribes of Bedouins share the same idea, but for sure they are merchants that travel the deserts selling goods, and having a semi sedentary life only to raise their live stack..These same tribes now controlling the border with Gaza, where the tunnels are dug.
They control completely the entrances of the tunnels, and according to reports from CNN, after the revolution, No police dare to get closer to the Tribes and their controlled lands of the Sinai.
They control from smuggling weapons, food, medicines and fuel, And Fuel being of of the commodities that can bring more profits.

“For centuries their identity was nomadic. They roamed the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula with little care for national borders or sovereign rule. Modern life has persuaded many Bedouin to opt for a more sedentary existence in the various countries they inhabit, but they haven’t shaken their reputation as professional outlaws.

Nowhere is that reputation more pronounced than in North Sinai, where they control much of the smuggling into Gaza. Their motivation is profit, not any particular affinity with the Palestinian people.

And it’s big business.”  CNN

Ibrahim, from the Sawarka tribe around El Arish, the North Sinai governate’s capital, says he “chipped in” with some partners to build five tunnels into Gaza costing about $100,000 each. The tunnels are used to transport big-ticket items such as cars, most of them these days with Libyan number plates. Ibrahim shows off his array of battered old Mercedes, Kias, even a Range Rover. Usually, he sends about 10 cars through the tunnels at a time, once or twice a week.

Salem is a friend of Ibrahim’s from the neighboring Tarabin tribe. Neither wanted to use his full name for fear of police reprisal. Salem smuggles weapons, olives, tomatoes and canned food through the tunnels into Gaza. Olives cost about $100 per carton. Animals, such as a tiger or small elephant for the Gaza zoo, cost as much as $20,000, Salem said.

“But there’s a red line,” he said. “We refuse to allow suicide bombers through the tunnels to bomb Israeli targets from the Egyptian side. And we won’t smuggle hostages,either. I was once offered $500,000 to smuggle an Israeli hostage to Islamist groups in Gaza. I refused.”

Truth is that most of the problems facing Gaza; from water, food, construction material, medical equipment and most important Fuel Supplies are due to Israel Unfair and illegal blockade of the Mediterranean Port of Gaza, and Now added to the latest punitive measures implemented for Israel, punishing the innocent population of Gaza for the Unity deal reach by the two main factions, the Price Gouging in the Egyptian fuel prices had put Gaza in its darkest moments.
Hamas and Fatah have decided to work as a team and elect their leaders in the next elections, decision that was not welcome by Israel.

A Palestine United will be a invincible force against the tactics of divide and conquer used by Israel.

The Unity will boots the mood of  Palestinians and will give them a respite in this internal conflict.

The constant harassment from both of the parties in Gaza and West Bank have been a tremendous drain of energy in the fight against the occupation.

Egypt wants to stop the passage of fuel through tunnels under the border between the countries,  the official Rafah terminal is not equipped for goods transfers and its development is restricted to people only by an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. We wonder whose interest serve this close door agreement that undermine the well being of almost 2 million people in Gaza…

The agreement still in force since 2006, after Hamas won the election in 2007, Israel and PA have tried to castigate Hamas for wining the elections; for the PA a political pressure exercised to their political enemy, and for Israel to push the PA to take back Gaza.

There is no secret that PA has been a playmate to implement most of the policies dictated by Israel, and Hamas has not.

But the internal agreements convened in Cairo and Doha has not bring benefits for Gaza, even thought the fuel is a bare necessity for Gaza to run the hospitals, schools, Official business and households is not meet yet.

As Monday the 20 of February Fuel from Egypt was yet to be transferred to Gaza despite assurances it would arrive on Sunday to alleviate an energy crisis, a power authority official said Sunday afternoon.

“The current crisis is a political problem that started six years ago. The Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to provide the Gaza Strip with funds, and the policy of Egypt which is dealing with Gaza out of security calculations, have all contributed to the current situation,” said Hamas government spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

The constant battle for public support have pushed Hamas to put the PR campaign first, instead of the welfare of Gaza. The refusal t0 buy the Israel fuel has been the pivotal point in this electricity shortage. I m that sounds to said but, we know that Israel is the occupying power, and control what enters and don’t. Most of the deals are done behind doors, and what transpire is obvious.

If Israel control the money that enters Gaza, and Israel collect the taxes of the Palestinians society, and the money donated by the International community is obvious to assume that Israel and the Government of Gaza have their mechanism to transfer the money, the goods, and the embargo as well.

Israel ‘approved’ companies provide much of the fuel necessities of Gaza, the rest is bought, and smuggle thru the tunnels.

Last year when the European Union stop the funneling of funds to Gaza, the first blackest days started to feel in Gaza, and the deterioration of the electrical Plant due to the impossibility to import parts, and the lack of fuel to run it, put Gaza in the Dark.The only plant was providing electricity on schedule. Where only the people working for the government knew exactly when will the light will come.

Heart of darkness

Karl Schembri Photo

-Wasfi Al Nider sits motionless on a couch with his legs stretched looking at a small screen. Whenever it goes blank, it is the sign of yet another power cut hitting Gaza. But unlike the frustrations of thousands of others working on computers or watching TV, the screen the 63-year-old is looking at is connected to his blood and a kidney dialysis machine.
“Whenever there is a blackout, I’m in Allah’s hands,” Wasfi says. “The machine just stops, blood stops circulating, I just cry. Then we have to wait until the generator starts.”-  A journalist Jorney

Thousands of electrical devices were ruined because the electrical unannounced cuts, if you did not have Outrage Plug Protector, you were out of luck, and your computer most probably was blown out.

The entrance of fuel thru the tunnels not never stopped completely, and the smuggling of petrol that serve the private residents also never stopped. The dark side of Gaza can be see in the belt of the refugee camps, and in the impoverished neighborhoods that can not effort generators and/or fuel.

Gaza like any other society in the world, regardless of its state of war, and blockade to the outside of the world, has it blocks of ‘Rich’ families that never have felt the blockade, at least not with full force as the rest of the population.

Gaza is comprised mostly of refugee camps, where thousands of Palestinians linger waiting for freedom, not every one enjoy the benefit of being connected to the ‘Grid’, still now thousands of families live in tents, and in half destroy homes that lit their nights with candles and if they are lucky enough to have a working person they will have little money to share electricity provided by a better accommodated neighbor that have the luxury to have a generator.

Most of the petrol that enters under the line ‘Tunnels’ comes with a stiffly tag price, not all the fuel that enters Gaza is controlled by the Government.

Gaza like any other region of the world, have their hustlers, ‘this active group’ of Palestinians that would is not deterred by the occupation, or the blockade and they find the ways to make ‘little money’ even if it means doubling the prices of the already expensive fuel prices.

This business goes both ways, in the Egyptian side and the Palestinians side in Rafah where all the tunnels are situated.

Sad as it sounds it is a reality, and Money it is the wheel that moves Gaza Society.

As I m finishing this article some developments are moving along in Gaza on the order of fuel, they received some Diesel from Egypt under a contract but not enough to satisfy the whole Gaza. They were talking of 5000 littler of diesel a day will cross to Gaza, but Gaza needs 100,000 littler of Gas at least to serve a population of almost 2,000,000.

( / 22.02.2012)

Wat houdt de Sharia of, de wetten van de koran, in?

Sharia is een Arabisch woord dat “de weg” die gevolgd moet worden, betekent. Letterlijk betekent het “de weg naar een drinkplaats.” In de breedste zin, bestaat de Sharia uit wetten, die mensen uit de koran en de soenna(h) (overleveringen van profeet Mohammed (vzmh) of hadith2, zijn daden en de dingen die hij toestond), de twee belangrijkste bronnen in de islam, hebben afgeleid. De islam biedt richtlijnen voor de relatie tussen mensen en God, de relatie van de mens met het universum en de onderlinge relaties van mensen in een samenleving. Sharia verwijst meestal naar het laatste, waardoor we Sharia kunnen definiëren als de sociale afspiegeling van de islam.

Hedendaagse wetsystemen bestaan uit een grondwet die een hoogste macht toewijst en wetgevers machtigt om nieuwe regels in te voeren. De islam stelt echter dat mensen in essentie te beperkt zijn om de mens en het leven in zijn totaliteit te kunnen begrijpen. Het is dan ook op z’n minst waarschijnlijk dat de wetgeving en het oordeel van de machthebbers door politieke lobby- groepen of hun eigen menselijke zwakheden en verlangens, gekleurd en beïnvloed kunnen worden. Daarom heeft de wet een aantal tijdloze, vanzelfsprekende en universele principes nodig, die los staan van enig van menselijk ingrijpen, om schendingen van de mensenrechten te voorkomen. Het “recht op leven” is zo’n principe. Wie kan daar iets tegen inbrengen en wie kan zeggen dat het alleen op bepaalde momenten geldt? Aangezien God de mens heeft ontworpen en geschapen, heeft Hij de beste positie om ons de principes van het leven bij te brengen, opdat niemand de rechten van een ander schendt. Daarom heeft alleen God het recht de principes van de wet vast te stellen.
De islamitische geboden en verboden die de kern van de Sharia vormen, centreren zich rond het beschermen van vijf basale mensenrechten: vrijheid van mening(-suiting en geloof); het recht op leven; het recht op persoonlijk bezit; het recht op voortplanting; en het recht om (zowel geestelijk als fysiek) een gezond leven te leiden.
Hoewel de islam de Goddelijke autoriteit erkent, ligt er een inherente flexibiliteit in de islamitische wet besloten. In engste zin, gaan niet meer dan 80 verzen van een totaal van 6200 verzen in de koran, over wetgeving. In overleg met de inwoners van Medina (moslim en niet-moslimburgers) stelde profeet Mohammed (vzmh) de eerste grondwet in de menselijke geschiedenis op. Dit document laat zien dat wanneer mensen zich houden aan de principes die in de koran uiteengezet  worden, ze in staat zijn zichzelf te besturen. Een van deze principes is de sterke nadruk op rechtvaardigheid, die de aard van de Sharia onderstreept. De koran verklaart: “God gebiedt u het openbaar bestuur over te laten aan mensen met de juiste kwalificaties en rechtvaardig te oordelen wanneer u tussen mensen rechtspreekt.” (4:58).
Al meer dan duizend jaar vormt de Sharia voor moslims met uiteenlopende politieke, demografische, culturele en raciale achtergronden, een   gemeenschappelijke bron voor wetgeving en ethiek. Moslims genoten 1400 jaar eerder dan de ontwikkelde landen, de voordelen van een hoogwaardig rechtssysteem. De islam introduceerde de theorie en praktijk van het begrip “de regel van de wetgeving” in de omvangrijke moslimwereld. In de islam heeft het begrip “regel van de wet”een dubbele betekenis. Zo betekent het niet alleen dat de wet op iedereen in gelijke mate van toepassing is, maar ook dat regelgevers gelijk zijn aan een ieder van ons. Dat ze niet oppermachtig zijn en niet boven een aantal onveranderlijke principes staan. Dit geeft de wet een sterkere basis (4:135).
Het Arabische word “hadith” betekent een “gesproken woord” of een “gezegde”. In islamitische context verwijst het naar de opgetekende woorden van Profeet Mohammed (vzmh). De boeken waren in deze zijn verzameld, worden “hadith boeken” genoemd. Er bestaan zes populaire verzamelingen van authentieke hadith.
Dit zijn de verzamelingen van Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Davud, Nisai, Tirmidhi en Ibn Maja. Vanwege de strenge criteria die Bukhari en Muslim hebben toegepast om op objectieve wijze aan te tonen dat een verhaal authentiek is, nemen die van deze twee, een bijzondere plaats in. Een van de tien criteria die Bukhari toepaste om te bewijzen dat een verhaal authentiek was, was bijvoorbeeld dat er bewijs moest zijn van een aaneengesloten keten van mensen die tijdens de periode waarin het verhaal zich afspeelde, leefden en elkaar daadwerkelijk gekend hadden. Wanneer alle zes verzamelingen gecombineerd worden, zijn er meer dan 9.000 vertellingen, waarbij de overlappende verhalen niet meegeteld worden. Ervan uitgaand dat dit een selectie is uit meer dan 100.000 verhalen, hebben moslims een hoge mate van vertrouwen in hun authenticiteit.
In de tijd van de profeet (vzmh) werd de wetgeving werd zo stellig ingevoerd dat, hoewel er geen politiemacht was, de criminaliteit vrijwel te verwaarlozen was. Een joodse burger klaagde Ali, de vierde Kalief en schoonzoon van de profeet (vzmh) aan, omdat Ali hem ervan beschuldigde zijn schild gestolen te hebben. Omdat Ali niet kon bewijzen dat het schild van hem was, verloor hij de zaak. Toen de rechter Ali vroeg of hij aangedaan was, gaf hij een opmerkelijk antwoord, dat het gevoel van rechtvaardigheid laat zien, dat bereikt werd op een moment waarop de rest van de wereld nog geen echte wettelijke regels kende. Hij antwoordde: “Ik ben aangedaan omdat u, toen u ons vroeg om te gaan staan, tegen de eiser zei: ‘O, u joods persoon’ zei en tegen mij ‘O, kalief van de moslims’. Dit zie ik als  onrechtvaardigheid tegenover de eiser.” Op dezelfde wijze werd de Ottomaanse Sultan Mehmet II schuldig bevonden aan het ten onrechte straffen van een van zijn niet-moslim ingenieurs voor het maken van een fout bij de bouw van het Topkapi Paleis. Hij moest een hoge boete betalen uit eigen zak. Dit zijn slechts twee van vele voorbeelden uit de islamitische geschiedenis, die laten zien dat het staatshoofd voor de wet gelijk is aan een arme, een moslim geen voorkeursbehandeling geniet ten opzichte van een niet-moslim en het recht, ongeacht de eiser of de inhoud van de zaak, zal zegevieren.
Met hun oproep tot het invoeren van de Sharia willen sommige moslims terug naar een rechtssysteem dat op de islam is gebaseerd. Wat ze eigenlijk willen is vrijheid, rechtvaardigheid en een einde maken aan wetten die alleen in dienst van een militaire dictator staan of een onderdrukkend seculier regime dat een snel veranderende samenleving lijkt tegen te houden. Aangezien moslims zeer succesvol en gelukkig waren, toen ze een op God georiënteerde samenleving hadden, geloven zij dat hun problemen zullen eindigen door terug te keren naar een op de islam gebaseerde sociale orde.
( / 22.02.2012)

News from Syria 22.02.2012

Aleppo: Fierce clashes between the FSA and the regime army in Mengh military airport after the town of Azaz was shelled this morning

Among 100s injured in #BabaAmr of #Homs 2day a French journo in critical condition&an American in okay No1 has been treated so far#Syria

protesters in Daria, Damascus hold a sign “why can’t a Christian woman become president of #Syria?” in reference to proposed Constitution

#Arbeen #Damascus #Syria – 22nd feb 2012 anti government demonstration this evening in the Qodsaya area of Damascus

#BackWhenIwasaKid I watched my dad and all my uncles live very far away from there own country in fear of reprisals #SyriaOnMyMind

The resilience and determination of the Syrian revolutionaries will never be forgotten. So fucking proud to be a Syrian #Justice4Syria

Takes a human being with a beating pulse to know the cries in Syria are the cries of the oppressed all over the world #Justice4Syria

#IStandWithSyria not because I am Syrian but because I am human

BREAKING: Very, very strong and loud explosion in New Aleppo for an unknown reason

When Assad Won — the differences and similarities between Syria’s modern-day revolt, and the guerilla war in the ’80s

Israeli court to release hunger striker #KhaderAdnan next April

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli higher court in occupied Jerusalem decided to release Islamic Jihad official Khader Adnan who has been on hunger strike for 66 days in protest at his detention.

Informed sources told the Palestinian information center that the court canceled the administrative detention and replaced it with an actual prison term ending next April.

The sources added that prisoner Adnan suspended his hunger strike after a deal brokered between his lawyer and the court.

For her part, the wife of the prisoner told Al-Jazeera satellite channel that her husband would be released on 17 April, but if the Israelis extended his detention, he would resume his hunger strike once again.

( / 22.02.2012)

Harvard to host conference promoting Israel’s destruction

On March 3-4, Harvard will host a two-day conference at the Kennedy School of Government focused, in effect, on dismantling the Jewish state of Israel. A number of student groups and others associated with Harvard are sponsoring “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution.”

Those who promote a one-state “solution” advocate creating an entity which would, through its merger with the Palestinian Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza and an influx of Palestinians from neighboring states, lose its Jewish majority and its Jewish character. In effect, Jewish self-determination would be nullified.

According to the working definition of anti-Semitism developed by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), and recognized by the United States Department of State, the One State Conference, in implicitly “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” is an exercise in anti-Semitism.

In a conversation recorded on February 9, 2012 at Imperial College in London, even Norman Finkelstein, who describes himself as having devoted his life to the cause of the Palestinians, told his interviewer, “You know and I know exactly what we’re talking about because if we end the occupation, and we bring back 6 million Palestinians, and we have equal rights for Arabs and Jews, there’s no Israel. That’s what it’s really about.”

The “Vision & Goals” section of the conference website states:

To date, the only Israel/Palestine solution that has received a fair rehearsal in mainstream forums has been the two-state solution. Our conference will help to expand the range of academic debate on this issue. Thus, our main goal is to educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.

Conference speakers and organizers include extreme anti-Israel academics, the founder of Electronic Intifada, members of the radical Jewish Voice for Peace and an ex-PLO spokesperson. No one even remotely sympathetic to Israel appears to be affiliated with the conference.

The Kennedy School’s own notorious Stephen Walt, author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a work discredited for its shoddy scholarship and bigoted charges against American supporters of Israel, joins other Harvard figures, including law school professor Duncan Kennedy, in lending the event the imprimatur of the institution.

The One State Conference website boasts the logo of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been in the planning for a year. According to The Jewish Advocate, Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood released a statement, saying:

I want to emphasize once again that Harvard University and the Harvard Kennedy School in no way endorses or supports the apparent position of these student organizers or any participants they include. We hope that the final shape of the conference will be significantly more balanced.

Furthermore, the university is quoted saying that the event is being at least partially underwritten by “modest” funds set aside for student activities. According to Melodie Jackson, Associate Dean for Communications, also quoted in The Jewish Advocate: “Generally administrators try to be supportive of student ideas for events that they are planning.”

Increasingly, assaults on Israel’s legitimacy and survival are promoted by academics, including at the nation’s most prestigious universities.

( / 22.02.2012)

Palestinian rights activist barred from attending UN meeting

Director-General of al-Haq organization Shawan Jabarin
Israel’s security apparatus, Shin Bet, has prevented head of a Palestinian Human Rights organization, al-Haq, from leaving Israel to attend a UN meeting.

Director-General of al-Haq organization Shawan Jabarin was set to attend a UN Human Rights Council conference in Geneva scheduled for February 20 to 24, but was denied permission to leave.

It is not the first time that Tel Aviv bars Jabarin from attending meetings abroad. He has been prevented from traveling outside of the West Bank since 2006.

Shin Bet claims that Jabarin is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and that “his travel may endanger regional security” but refuses to disclose evidence on the grounds that it is classified.

Jabarin, however, denies membership in PFLP. Last year, Human Rights Watch appointed him to their Mideast Advisory Board.

Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian human rights organization based in Ramallah, West Bank. It was established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, according to its website.

It also documents human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

( / 22.02.2012)