Imagine witnessing a member of your family taken from your home by armed men andraped, or sold into sexual slavery, or imprisoned and tortured sexually. Imagine that happening to tens of thousands of other women, men and children in your country, for years on end, and living in that dangerous and traumatic environment. And imagine how you would feel if the rapists were allowed to walk free for the rest of their lives. This is the reality for millions of survivors of war zone sexual violence and the reason for our campaign. We came together because of our closeness to one … Continue reading Ending sexual violence
It is rather simple; when man is hushed into servitude, silenced from laughter, pleasure and inspiration, he will have nowhere to go but the worship house, the seminary of suppression. There is a distinct rawness to today’s modish brand of Islamic radicalism one just cannot reconcile with the antiquity and supposed perfection of the faith-based cosmos mankind has demonstrated its devotion towards for centuries. Man has not been made for the moment and neither has his history on earth been a rehearsal for some macabre epilogue written in authoritarian blood. This newfangled approach to institutionalised religion, where subjects are straitjacketed into submission to … Continue reading The business of religion
When late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was confined by Israeli soldiers to his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Mohammed Dahlan reigned supreme. As perhaps the most powerful and effective member of the “Gang of Five”, he managed the affairs of the ruling Fatah movement, coordinated with Israel regarding matters of security, and even wheeled and dealed in regional and international affairs. That was the period between March and April 2002, and it was a different time. Back then, Dahlan – a former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister, National Security advisor and head of Gaza’s Preventative Security Service (PSS)- was … Continue reading Palestinian leaders’ showdown turns ugly
More than six decades since its creation, Pakistan is still searching for its lost soul, the soul that went missing when Jinnah passed away. How many of the youth of today have had the chance to go through Jinnah’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947? A reading of this masterpiece is a must for all Pakistanis. The Quaid said: “If we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor…We should begin to work in … Continue reading Rediscovering the real ‘ideology’ of Pakistan
Madrassas of Pakistan are Islamic seminaries in Pakistan that teach mostly Islamic subjects leading to graduation as a cleric (maulvi, maulanaor mulla). There are five major governing bodies of Pakistani madrassas and their corresponding schools of thought are: Tanzim-ul-Madaras (Barelwi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Deobandi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Shia), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Ahle Hadith) Rabita-ul-Madaris (Jamaat-e-Islami). Additionally there are a number of Quran academies offering diplomas in Islamic courses. History The madaris rose as colleges of learning in the Islamic world in the 11th century, though there were institutions of learning earlier. They catered not only to the religious establishment, though that was the dominant influence over them, but also the secular one. To the latter they supplied physicians, administrative officials, judges and teachers. … Continue reading Madrassas in Pakistan
The Christian Right’s “Religious Freedom” Wants to Elevate Beliefs Above Human Rights – and It’s Working By Valerie Tarico, AlterNet Secular Americans and many liberal people of faith have been horrified by the Right’s most recent ploy: “religious freedom” claims that would give conservative business owners license to discriminate. Until Arizona made the national spotlight, the need for lunch counter sit-ins had seemed like a thing of the past. But in reality, advocates for religious privilege have been circling toward this point for some time. As a legal and political tactic, Tea Party politicians and conservative church leaders have high hopes for their “religious freedom” push. What … Continue reading Christian Right Destroys America From Within?
Saudi Arabia’s decision to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation should surprise none, the conservative kingdom’s paranoia about is not just movements that stand for freedom, human rights and democracy, but also Muslim groups or movements that believe in democracy. The Brotherhood has its own agenda yes, and its charter may have aims that sound anachronistic, but the party founded by Hassan al-Banna has been relying on the electoral process to achieve power. The Saudis welcomed the army coup that ousted the Brotherhood’s elected government headed by Morsi. Saudi Arabia is not the only one: recent days have seen … Continue reading Saudi Arabia bans the Muslim Brotherhood – who next?
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi At the closure of 2011, with the US Congress declaring economic warfare against Iran through tough new sanctions targeting the country’s central bank, 2012 could easily be predicted as a decisive year for Washington and Tehran locking horns in escalating tensions. But an important question is: can policymakers in Iran and the US chart a different path, whereby they could become partners for peace in the Middle East, instead of warring parties? As much as this question appears cut off from reality by the sheer weight of animosities piling up at the gate of US-Iran (non) … Continue reading US and Iran: From enemies to partners
Frederick II, the Great Frederick II, the Great (1712-86): King of Prussia. During his 40-year reign, Frederick II vastly increased Prussia’s wealth, doubled its size, recast it into a hub of culture and learning, and made it a great military power. Frederick was a sensitive and intelligent humanist who composed flute concertos, wrote poetry, and produced insightful essays. His series of histories, dealing primarily with affairs of state, would eventually fill 15 volumes. He became a close friend of the French philosopher Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet de, and as monarch would surround himself with artists, writers and musicians. He was host of the … Continue reading Frederick the Great
Transnational Peoples Movements Form to Respond to Transnational Injustice by: Matthew Cappiello and Kevin Zeese, Truthout | Op-Ed An anti-government protester defaces a picture of Hosni Mubarak. (Photo:Antonello Mangano / Flickr) In an era where multinational corporations and linked international security networks exert increasing control over our daily lives, we have to fight their attempts to profit off our divided and balkanized communities by establishing independent connections with one another. Even though the United States has caused many horrible things around the world, there is still a powerful movement of people in this country that will stand up for justice … Continue reading 2012 – Justice Without Borders!