Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Israel, The Jewish People's Plan B

Well Jewish people of the world left and right might speak ill of Israel, criticize its actions and trash its government, but at the end of the day, Israel is their plan B. So, every Jewish soul out there can count on the State of Israel to be their home if all things go south in their respective countries. That's the plan all calling and I certainly can understand that.

Israel welcomes them with open arms, some cash and language and career training. I wish we Palestinians have a default plan B, a country that will always be there for us. Sure, you can say, go to one of the Arab countries. Most refugees live in those lands with not passport or travel documents some of them do not even get an ID.

While, we love them and we feel close to them, we are not their problem to fix. If you break it, you pay for it. Those Arab states did not break Palestine, Britten, the UN and the Jewish gangs did that. If a county like Egypt does not let me pass via their land to go home, do you expect them to host me as one of their own?

So the luxury of plan B is not afforded to the Palestinians whom continue to live in refuges camps around the Middle East. I know many Palestinians excel outside home, and make a home for themselves away from that area. But they have earned their stripes. They almost did not get any help to get their.

So it;s unfair to tell Palestinians to go look somewhere else for a home whiles most Jewish people have at least two homes and two passports.         


Continue Reading...

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood Vs. Jihadist Salafis, The Showdown

The Muslim Brotherhood  Vs. Jihadist Salafis, The Showdown

The anti-Islam film responsible for provoking protests across the Muslim world over the past two weeks was, to say the least, a bad idea. This is a project with a lot of vile motivations behind it that must be uncovered. At the same time, violence as a response to a film is certainly the wrong way for Muslims to react. These are truths that most people seem to accept by now.

However, what demands more discussion is the fact that this film has provided one more in a long list of excuses for governments in the Middle East to confront extremists at home. The political landscape in the Middle East has changed dramatically due to new leadership in many countries and the general political pressure brought to bear by widespread political change. Let’s look at some examples.

1.           On September 17th, 2012, Hamas handed down 4 convictions to Salafi-linked extremists responsible for killing Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni last year. Two of them will serve life; the third will be in jail for 10 years. They would have sent these men to be hanged had it not been for the Arrigoni family asking that the death penalty not to be imposed. "They will find justice with God and not with this court," a relative of the one of the defendants muttered.

2.           On the same day, the Tunisian forces surrounded the house of Saif Al Hussini, a Jihadi Salafi, in his stronghold mosque in downtown Tunis. The government accuses this Al Hussini of instigating the riots surrounding the American embassy and American school that lead to the deaths of 4 people. Al Hussini, who has traveled and worked in Morocco, London, and Pakistan, is defiant and continues to criticize the government. “I do not fear the threats made by the Ministry of the Interior; this government is a dictatorship that is picking fights with the Salafis”

3.           A day earlier in Egypt, the Minister of the Interior personally went down to the streets of Cairo and led the operation to clear the streets of protesters (mostly Salafis) who are seizing on the opportunity to draw global attention to their agenda. As a result, the American embassy in downtown Cairo has been placed inside of a kind of de facto safe zone. Close to 200 rioters and violent protesters have been rounded up. Other troublemakers have been chased off.

Governments in those three places are made up of Muslim Brotherhood linked/affiliated individuals. This is somehow the new model in the Middle East: put the moderates in charge and let them reason with the ultra-conservatives. A microcosm of this model has been working in places like Saudi Arabia, where religious scholars often sit down with terrorists and potential terrorists and attempt to reason with them and get them to change their violent ways. Many young people who have been “mislead” or “brainwashed” return home.  After all, if they fail, a drone will meet them wherever they are going.     

"Our manner of protesting should reflect sense and reason," said renowned cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi in his Friday sermon. The Egyptian-born and Qatar-based Al-Qaradawi has a global following thanks to Aljazeera and YouTube.  This is a very sobering call from the same figure who called for unrest in Egypt, Libya, and now Syria. He is not the only one to make such statements.  Scholars and imams in most Muslim countries have echoed the same remarks. An Indonesian Muslim scholar, Komaruddin Hidayat, noted that Muslims have the duty to oppose anything they deem offensive to their faith, but must "avoid using violence in expressing their objections." At the other end of the Muslim world in Nigeria, a top Islamic leader, Sheik Sani Yahaya Jingir, said violence never brings "any benefit to Islam."

I am watching this with mixed feelings. Certainly, Jihadist Salafis subscribe to extremist (and sometimes violent) ideas. They come across as angry, and they hold themselves above the rest. Thus, they give themselves the right to harass other people and try to force them to submit to their strict interpretation of Islam. The right thing to do, according to these folks, is whatever they tell you. They claim to know best, when in reality they know little. Such people tend to idolize their leaders and imams to a startling level. This is why a lot of Muslims rightfully fear the Jihadi Salafi mentality. These people shun weddings, entertainment, the human body, science and oftentimes education. They expect people not to make mistakes, and often quote the Quran and the Sunnah. But when they themselves sin, it should of course be understandable and forgiven. They are often dismissed and ostracized by societies, but for the most part they are not doing anything illegal. They may stop you in the street and give you a cassette tape or a book about the virtues of modesty. They are often mocked for their uncontrollable appetite for food and polygamy. And historically, most Muslims have questioned their sources of funding, which invite a whole host of conspiracy theories.

But now things are different for these Jihadist Salafi; they are no longer facing off against a secular out of touch government. Instead, they are answering to whole new governments courtesy of the Arab Spring. Their brothers in faith--as they call them-- are firmly in the driver’s seat; The Muslim Brotherhood is well acquainted with these Salafi groups. Jihadist Salafi can no longer claim that the government imprisoning them is run by godless goons. They are both on the same moral ground, except one has a mandate to govern and a country to run and the other wants to sing the blues about the nostalgic “glory days” of his/her religion. One wants to work with everyone and the other wants to force his views on the rest of us.

The Brotherhood are now in control, but the Salafis seem to think that the new governments of the Arab world will let them get away with these shenanigans instead of arresting them like the secular dictators did for years. Little did they know, the Muslim world’s two dominant strains of political Islam are now pitted against one another, and the whole world is watching.

It isn’t clear if this change –the installation of moderate political Islamists in seats of power in the Arab world-- will pay off in the long run, but it’s certainly worth a try. Until then, this will continue to be a debate between the party that wants to play ball and the party that wants to spoil the game for everyone.

Continue Reading...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Old Dominion Speedway In Manassas, The Good And The Bad

Finally, I get my chance to see a real NASCAR race. Roa and I ended up going to the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Virginia. A 45 minutes drive from Washington, DC. I wish to go back again, as we had to leave earlier due to the very cold night and us wearing short sleeves.

The Weird Vibe

  1. The website for the speedway is outdated and needs a complete redesign. It did not give me a good vice about this adventure.
  2. The seats are made out of good and they seem to be 60 years old--the year the track was originally founded. They are OK, but you cannot help but be a bit worried.  
  3. A local church had volunteers talking to people about "changing their lives" and "Jesus", they offered to give me a free book too.
  4. It's fun to see crashes and people being out in danger. 
  5. Really long lines at the food place and it seems to lack organization. Lines cross each other and
  6. Bathrooms do the job, but nothing fancy. Men stall are kind of a communal experiences--no individual stalls. 
  7. I wish the track was better at getting people to bring food to the seating area. I would pay a little bit more to avoid the line. This is an area that can bring extra cash.  

The Good Stuff
  1. There is plenty of parking, no worries there. We had good parking karma
  2. You will actually find tourists coming to enjoy this experience--Asians, Indians and few Muslims also attend this world famous sport. 
  3. It's very easy to get into the game and cheer for your favorite race. No need for complex rules and detailed scoring systems. 
  4. Food is cheap and there's plenty of it.
  5. Lots of smoking all around--I get that we are in Virginia
  6. Everyone is friendly and super nice. They actually smile.  
  7. Jeans is what everyone at the tracks wears. Nobody seems to try to outdo the other, simple look.
  8. Big families and lots of kids attending and providing free often lovable commentary.     
Continue Reading...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

anti-Islam movie ‘weirdest movie scam of all time’

This Anti-Islam movie gets weirder and weirder. Here's a great video reporting on this movie, a person that was actually in the theater and saw the movie along with just 10 people. The promotional material is really strange as it plays like it's pro Islam, only to show a movie that's blatantly anti-Islam.

This is not the one thing weird about this film, watch the video to see more. The people who made the movie are a weird bunch who wanted to stir trouble and provoke Muslims. Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks on Current TV reports

Continue Reading...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Are The Muslims Really Forcing Their Way Of Life On The World?

Listening to NPR as my wife drove us to the grocery store, a caller calls in and says, Muslims are the only ones to blame for the murders; they are trying to force their way on us"

While, I do agree with the caller's first statement, it's his second that I take issue with. Here,s why:

If anything, Muslims have little impact on the life of an average American. On the other hand, America (or someone in America) makes money every time, a Muslim guzzles a soft drink; a bag of Doritos; washed his/her hair with Pert Plus. Every time, they go to the movies; every time they shave; every time they sport some cool sneakers; ever time, they use Google and Facebook. These are all American things, they are part of the American narrative and they have been forced (without violence) on many people around the world. The average American would be mistaken to think that Arabs/Muslims are forcing their way on America.

They are merely telling you, "Stop offending my, stop insulting my religion". It's all a misunderstanding. America fails to see how serious people are about their religion, they are no longer able to process that. Arabs/Muslims do not fully understand the freedom of speech and its almost sacred position. Some Muslims, fail to see that a crappy film made in California, has nothing to do the pop in the Vatican. Otherwise, they would never ask him to apologize for the film that I am certain he has no idea about.

Being anti-religion is a virtue (or a vice) that came in from the West. The Muslims can also claim, that the West is forcing their way of life on them. Mainstream Muslims almost never engage in any act that disrespect or violate any religion. Most scholars in Muslim countries with a stable economy have sobering messages that asked people to chill out. In poor countries, no such restrains exist.

Violence is wrong, the mob are tainting Islam and the message of Mohammad (peace be upon him). Yes, the filmmaker is an idiot, but we are the bigger fools here. Sorry, but you just do not murder people. Spreading fear is against the teaching is Islam; the sanctity of life is far more important than the holy Kaaba. 

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anti Islam Film "Innocence of Muslims" Kills People

For starter, I wish we Muslims do not get worked up as much about things that are offensive to us. This rage can be used against us and it certainly can be used to harm others among us. If we get upset every time a moron makes a vile movie about Islam, draws a cartoon of the prophet, or says dumb things, we are in trouble. Because certain people will use that to get us to react in a certain way to show others that we are not civilized. But this is what we have to deal with. We should not kill people even if we do not like them, this should be our attitude.

The teaser movie "Innocence of Muslims", depicts Muhammad as a fraud and a womanizer. that has been making the rounds on the internet had 54 actors in and and close to 50 people behind the camera it cost 5 million dollars to make. We are also being told that it was financed by a 100 Jewish funders. The director of the film is an Israeli who lives in California and now is in hiding. He made this movie despite the facts he knows what will happen. He now has blood on his hands. Why did he release the movie now?

Now this is where my opinion kicks in, Obama is trying to get elected and he is having to answer a lot of questions. Now he has to explain to the American people about the death of American diplomats in Libya and trouble in Egypt. It will not make things easier for him. If anything many ultraconservative Israelis seem not like him and are more interested in seeing him gone. The preview was also released on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

It seems the director wants to see this get worse, he is adding gasoline to the fire....with statements like "Islam is a cancer" and 100 Jewish people funded my project. I think most Jewish people are smart enough not to put a dime for such a project. And then this is this annoying Coptic activists lawyer who has been attached to the film. He is a disgrace to his people and he is making his life much worse for his peers. He is not helping them. For this reason, more than a 130 Coptic group have spoken out against this film and the activist.

The movie goes out of its way to insult Islam and the prophet. The film has nothing to say about Islam and rather an assortment of ill informed and vile interpretations of events that taken place 1500 years ago. The crew had the right to make a movie about this, I also have the right to scream fire in a packed movie theater or tell the bus people there's a bomb. This is all free speech, but we all self censor our speech for the betterment of everyone. Aside from the obvious white washing where the cast is largely made out of white actors, this movie has a bad taste and no artistic integrity.

I have said before, the West should not fear weak Muslims nor strong ones, they should only fear those who feel disrespected. It's then when people feel vulnerable and their acts do not always make sense. I hope the film crew are feeling extra American today as they watch their country men murdered by angry mob upset with a movie they made to advance their lunatic agenda.

On a personal note, a cousin of mine was murdered (and his body was disrespected) by a mob in June 2007 in Gaza. I am not the one to approve of mob justice.  

Update: The American patriots should think abut how one Israeli filmmaker is making the world is more dangerous place for Americans. It only takes on idiot to rally up the easily offended religious mobs. Why did he chose America, not Israel as a place to make his vile movie?

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman on US Embassy protests
Continue Reading...

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Free Will And Stupid Stuff Religious People Do

I have always had issue with government or entities forcing religion on people. If God wanted to coerce people into believing, no one else can do a better job than he can. But he gave us all a choice--a Free Will. This free will is too much for certain people to understand so in their attempt to try to get everyone to be "religious" they step on this right.

When we force our way of life on people, we lose so much. In my opinion this attitude poisons the well. Robbing people's soul helps no one. God does not want a bunch of zombies worshiping him because they have been coerced to doing so.

Examples that rattle me:

  1. Iran is a conservative country by many measures, Iranians away from their country open the best bars and night clubs--just go to LA and see for yourself.
  2. Saudis live in an ultraconservative Kingdom where if you do not show your religion, they will force you to live up to their standards. Most--not all Saudis come to America and London, they give strip clubs, night clubs and escorts services a lot of business.
  3. My American Christian things would not do or share certain activities with their parents or peers out of fear of being judged or condemned. Drinking energy drinks is one example, another is smoking hookah and having a gay roommate.
  4. Hindus would rather marry someone from their own religion who does not fit them nor fits their lifestyle for no good reason. That's why the government in 1955 had to step in and pass the marriage act.   
  5. Government in Gaza (Hamas) and certain Churches tend to give food to the needy only if they show up to prayer and take up the faith.      

We cannot outdo one another in silly and ceremonial religious rituals. We should only try to do one another in lifting other people up, how much we can do for other people, and not how long is our prayer. That's why I have always found myself gravitating around people who live around their own community yet chose to uphold their religion. Muslims in North America have choices yet they stick to their religion. I salute Christians living in Muslim countries.   
Continue Reading...


My Hanitizer

My Assault on Proper English Must Go On


Hanitizer Copyright © 2009 WoodMag is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template