Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
September 27, 2010
The Danger of Execution Is Still Hanging Over Sakineh’s Head
Mohsen Ejaei, spokesperson of the Judiciary power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, announced today, September 27, 2010, that Sakineh was sentenced to stoning as well as execution [for the fabricated murder charge invented by the regime], and that the punishment for murder [execution, most likely by hanging] takes priority over the punishment for adultery [stoning].
It is necessary to recall that on their recent trip to New York, Ahmadinejad and Mashaai, his Vice-President, had announced that a stoning sentence has never been handed down in Sakineh’s case.
We have previously published documents regarding Sakineh’s case in Tabriz court that clearly show there was never a trial in which Sakineh was accused of murder. After the pressure created by the international campaign against Sakineh’s stoning, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary officials stole all relevant documents and case files [regarding the murder of Sakineh's husband] in order to be able to announce that Sakineh has been sentenced to execution [on the fabricated murder charge].
Every time they reiterate Sakineh’s punishment, it puts a devastating psychological pressure on Sakineh’s children, and consumes them with worry. Sajjad, in a new call to the whole world, has asked for his mother to be saved. We once again emphasize the necessity of a powerful continuation of the international effort to save Sakineh.
The International Committee against Stoning
September 27, 2010
From Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
To 27 European Countries:
Greetings to all officials in European countries,
Perhaps I am not in a position to write a letter to 27 European and Western countries, but what can I do? I have no other hope but you, dear ones. I have no more tears to shed. The only thing I have left is a lump in my throat. I only hope that God helps me in writing this letter. I have lost my father, and now this government wants to take our mother from me and my sister for a crime that she has not committed.
You all know that my mother is innocent and has spent five years languishing in a cold black pit. For a moment, I put myself in my mother’s place and I imagine myself behind those prison bars, living the nightmare of waiting for death by stones. Imagine it for yourself. Wouldn’t life be a horror if, each time you shut your eyes to sleep, you were jolted awake with the slightest sound, fearful of hearing the words: “It is time to dig the hole for Sakineh to be stoned”? Isn’t it horrendous that for five years, my sister and I haven’t had a peaceful night’s rest? The Islamic Republic has taken our breath, and before I lose it, I wanted to write this letter to you, to ask for your help.
I don’t care about myself, but I do care for my sister and my mother. I want them to live and be happy. And I sincerely tell the Islamic Republic: if you have some need for retribution, bring it down on me! Arrest me, and free my mother so that she can hold my sister to her bosom. The truth is that I have not lost all my hope yet, as long as you politicians, you the mass media, you the humanitarians, you all the people of the world, and our lawyer, Mr. Houtan Kian, are still behind us. Yet I fear the day when the telephone rings only to hear a voice telling us, “Your mother has been executed.” From that moment, the lives of my sister and I would never be the same.
At that moment, I will again put on the same black shirt that I wore when my father died, this time for my mother. I tell you these words from the bottom of our hearts: I want the whole world to rush to our help. I want the 27 European countries to respond to this letter before the Islamic Republic has executed the sentence against our mother. I humbly thank you all.
Son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
DR. CANFIELD ON MUNICIPAL REFORM.; Speaks of Confidence as a Basis and Suggests Some Practical Reforms
....after all the mainstay of public confidence is the cultivation of moral principle in citizenship. We must break down the false distinction between so called sacred and secular duties. All duties are sacred. Hence municipal officials serve a no less sacred function than ordained clergymen, and they should be held to an equal moral accountability. A filthy and overcrowded population makes morals and piety difficult, if not impossible. Drunkenness and lust are inevitable attendants on a poisoned air. Clean streets, abundance of pure water, good drainage, open squares, well lighted and well ventilated tenant houses, economical conveyances to the neighboring parks, innocent amusements within the reach of all, cheap bread-these are the only effective means of grace to vast multitudes.Preached at St Paul's First Universalist Church, Chicago Illinois, 1895
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Somehow I think the UU blogosphere would have lit up had Bush still been Prez: FBI raids homes of anti-war activists
In a statement issued on behalf of the activists, Minneapolis activist Steff Yorek said the homes of a number of anti-war, socialist or pro-Palestinian groups had been searched by the FBI.I'm guessing, and it's pure guess, is the material aid goes the other way. Here's Fight Backs softball piece on their meeting: U.S. progressives meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Yorek, whose home was also searched Friday, called the searches "an outrageous fishing expedition."
"Activists have the right not to speak with the FBI and are encouraged to politely refuse," she said.
Several of those targeted with warrants or subpoenas are also occasional contributors to Fight Back!, a socialist newsletter that is generally supportive of leftist groups and critical of U.S. "wars of occupation" in Iraq and Afghanistan, Burke said.
"We pretty much all know each other," Burke said. "We barely have money to publish our magazine. We might write about (revolutionary groups) favorably, but as for giving them material aid, nothing."
New York, NY - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met here, September 21, with 100 leaders and representatives of anti-war, labor, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organizations. Among the participants were Sarah Martin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Margaret Sarfehjooy, board member of the Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, Ramona Africa of the Free Mumia Coalition and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.
The meeting was called by the president of Iran with the hope that a frank and honest exchange of views will help activists further the cause of peace between the people of Iran and the U.S.
Update: RBO covers with a lengthy post
Update: Ahmadinejad’s Red Stooges via RBO
But that’s not really the whole story, Baar suspects — and I concur.Read it all of course for the details.
Think on this: Instead of funds passing from anti-American groups to support the “glorious cause” abroad, is it not possible that the “glorious cause” is sending the flow of “support” in the opposite direction?
Sara Martin talking with Azam al-Sadat Farahi,
wife of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(Fight Back! News/Staff)
Martin one of those whom's home was searched by the FBI
Friday, September 24, 2010
Bill Ayers denied emeritus status at UIC: Son of RFK — now U. of I. board chair — rips prof for dedicating book to his father's assassin
Beacon Press disgraces UUism for keeping this thug Ayers on board. RFK's son finally gives him back a small bit of what this shameful man deserves. U of I (and Northwestern) let the Ayer's family's wealth sway them. At least the Kennedy's stood up to this hoodlum... finally.
Stopping the hate, finally, so what gives with Beacon Press that their so sweet on this punk? Ayer's family money too?
When retiring University of Illinois at Chicago professor Bill Ayers co-wrote a book in 1973, it was dedicated in part to Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.
That came back to haunt Ayers when the U. of I. board, now chaired by Kennedy’s son, considered his request for emeritus status Thursday. It was denied in a unanimous vote.
Before the vote, an emotional Chris Kennedy spoke out against granting the status to Ayers.
“I intend to vote against conferring the honorific title of our university to a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father, Robert F. Kennedy,” he said.
“There is nothing more antithetical to the hopes for a university that is lively and yet civil, or to the hopes of our founding fathers for their great experiment of a self-governing people, than to permanently seal off debate with one’s opponents by killing them.”
Update: Chris Kennedy via the Trib,
Kennedy said he hoped faculty, staff and Illinois residents "understand my motives and my reasoning" and concluded: "How could I do anything else?"Many tragically did something else. Thanks for showing honor here Chris Kennedy.
Update: For CC, Bill Ayer's on apologies,
Fugitive Days is I suppose the ultimate non-apology, no matter what’s in it, because, whatever else, it’s the snapshot of that excruciating decade by someone who lived on an extreme edge of it, and survived somehow intact.Read it, but I think the bottom line is, he ain't sorry.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A quote from Victor Davis Hanson today in Nat Rev with a question that ought to be asked of every candidate this November arising from Woodward's book on Obama and the war.
....the initial reports from the book reveal two very disturbing presidential admissions that, if true, Robert Gibbs should quickly address: Obama’s purported toss-off that the U.S. could absorb another 9/11-like terrorist attack (a very callous and cruel editorial about the 3,000 who were so savagely killed and are no longer with us), and his studied avoidance of any notion of “victory” (as in, How quaint) in Afghanistan.No Americans should die for Obama's expediency. Right now the administration is backing Woodward's book.
If these are accurate admissions, then we all better pray for salvation, because we won’t find it from the White House. The entire post-9/11 national-security doctrine was to be offensively minded, and to fight terror abroad rather than merely react to it serially at home. Afghanistan may be messy, confused, and non-traditional, but “victory” is no construct; it is a timeless military reality of making an enemy concede through force and diplomacy to your political objectives — in this case, a stable consensual government in Kabul, and the Taliban and its terrorist allies denied the use of Afghan soil to launch further attacks on Western interests. If Obama does not believe such a victory is possible, then he should not ask American youth to die in the next year as he finds a politically expedient method to back out of the theater.
Many of Obama's senior advisers have already obtained and read the book, "Obama's Wars," and are satisfied with the image it conveys of the president, a senior administration official said Wednesday.If that's the case, it's obscene.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Before I give the deets, let me just say, I have never attended an event like this in my life and I have pretty much attended every conservative or libertarian event known to man.This is partly because United Republican Fund ran the event efficiently, provided reliable WiFi internet access that didn't quit on me, and provided good access to bloggers for interviews with speakers who weren't, of course, Glenn Beck. This is also partly because I got to be in the middle of the craziness when Andrew Breitbart got spit on by "peaceful" protesters and called "gay" (which made absolutely no sense considering what they claimed their protest was about: peaceful discourse or something) I'm never where news happens. But I learned quickly that where goeth trouble, so goeth Andrew Breitbart.
There was a lot of God stuff, yes. There were a few jokes. But let me be really honest here - from the perspective of someone who has come to believe the hype surrounding Glenn Beck's slow descent from conservative talking head to universally-reviled public figure and who frequently answers questions about him with "I understand what he's doing, but I don't think he's moving anything in the right direction" - I actually left inspired. It was weird. I wasn't weirded out. I didn't feel like I'd listened to Adolf Hitler deliver a speech, or Father Coughlin. I wasn't offended, shocked or even surprised. In fact, I wasn't even bothered (and apparently, he's very polite, to boot). The protesters outside started to look fearful and even...dare I say it...ignorant. What was it about this man, seemingly content to deliver a universal - if not universally boring - message of faith and hope and charity - that was driving people to freak the hell out on the lawn of a rural stadium? The part where Beck blamed the Establishment for driving a wedge between Americans? The part where he asked his audience to contribute 10% to charitable causes? The part where he cried (and yes, he cried)?
Kindkill3r provides some examples of "a decent woman" as seen on the state television:A woman who chews gum is either a trafficker or a prostitute.
A decent woman always wears a men's shirt at home.
A decent woman is a woman who in the morning emerges from another room (not the same room as her husband) and bids her husband good morning.
A decent woman is a woman who wears clothing that is three or four sizes bigger than her actual size.
A decent female anchor never reveals her first name.
A decent woman only smiles at wedding parties; men are allowed to clap their hands a little.
A decent married woman stays at home; if she's single, she's allowed to work.
A decent woman is a woman who will marry the man she met in a car accident by the end of the soap opera.
A decent woman doesn't wear sunglasses, she has an Arabic name, if she's over 40 she's either washing the dishes or sewing a dress; a decent woman is never reading.
A decent woman wears only black, gray, and brown.
A decent woman is a woman who forgives her husband who has married a second wife by the end of the film.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Via Mir Hossein Mousavi's facebook
Once again chants of “God is Great” echoed in Iran’s sky: Following the recent imposed restrictions on Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi by the totalitarian government, tonight (...September 20, 2010) after about one year and half since the election coup, which brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, the cry of “God is Great” and “Death to the dictator” echoed in Iran’s sky. Green people of Iran once again went on rooftops tonight and in an organized protest chanted in support for the Green Leaders. Recently the totalitarian government attacked the office of Mir Hossein Mousavi and confiscated documents and computers also arrested his chief of staff. Also the pro-government Basij thugs and plain-clothes militias recently attacked Mehdi Karroubi’s residence and while insulting him and his family severely vandalized the building. In addition to all these in the recent days security forces have been preventing anyone from visiting Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi; anyone who attempts to visit them has been arrested on the location and interrogated on the street and then forced to sign a consent that would not return to visit the Green leaders. Tonight the loud cry of “God is Great” and “Death to the Dictator” was a warning to the totalitarians that the Green Movement is very much alive and is firmly supporting the Green Leaders as well as a loud protest to the recent restrictions imposed on the Green Leaders.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Nice catch on the OFA / SEIU folks getting bussed in on Chicago Public School buses. That's the way Chicago way... these are the folks who hurled the frame: Stop the Hate, you're a Homosexual, at Andrew Breitbart. Go figure what's at work in those minds.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Rahnavard:Outraged officials prove their faith in Quranic values رهنورد: دولتمردان صدق ایمان خود به ارزشهای قرآنی را ثابت کنند
I wish Imam Rauf would talk like this. But then I have a feeling he's on the payroll of the other side. Copied in full from Zahra Rahnavard's facebook for my Persian readers who find themselves blocked.
NOTE: Please scroll down for FULL English translation
Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi and university professor, by issuing a statement while condemning the insults against the Holy Quran emphasized that these behaviors are insults against the path toward salvation and happiness of the human; and fundamentalism wherever it is, creates violence. Rahnavard at the end of his statement addressed to the officials who have shown strong outrage regarding the insults against the Holy Quran asked them to prove their true faith in the Quranic values, which one of the most important one of them is to honor “pledge”, return to the pledge they had made to the nation in executing the constitution and release all political prisoners and fulfill other rights of the nation
زهرا رهنورد، قرآن پژوه ،نویسنده و استاد دانشگاه تهران با صدور بیانیه ای ضمن محکوم کردن اهانت به قرآن کریم تاکید کرده است که این رفتارها ،اهانت به شیوه های رستگاری و سعادت بشری است و بنیادگرایی هرجا باشد ،خشونت آفرین است.رهنورد در پایان همین بیانیه از دولتمدارانی که این روزها علیه اهانت به قران مجید شوریده اند و انرا تقبیح می کنند، خواسته است که برای اثبات صدق ایمان خود به ارزشهای قرانی که از برجسته ترین انها وفای به “عقود “است به میثاقی که بر سر اجرای قانون اساسی با ملت بسته اند بازگردند ، زندانیان سیاسی را ازاد کنند و سایر حقوق ملت
را تحقق بخشند
متن کامل این بیانیه به این شرح است :ا
انالله و اناالیه راجعون
بنیادگرایی در اتحاد با خشونت ،فاجعه می آفریند.ا
اهانت به قرآن کریم یکی از سخیف ترین هتاکی های از این نوع است.ا
گیرم که قرآن کریم را سوزاندند، آیا می توانند روح ادیان را هم بسوزانند؟ آیا می توانند روح قرآن را نیز بسوزانند؟ چه فرقی می کند؟ بنیادگرایی هرکجا باشد، خشونت آفرین است، ساحت عقل را رها می کند و در ورطه غضب و انتقام جویی دست و پا می زند.ا
چه کسی باور می کند بدون هیچ توطئه ای انسان شریف یا عقل سلیم به آتش زدن و اهانت به کتابهای مقدس تن در دهد؟
آیا این گونه اقدامات کینه توزی علیه اسلام است، یا علیه انسان؟
آیا این انتقام جویی شیطانی اقدامی علیه شیوه های رحمانی نیست ؟ زیرا می دانیم که پیوسته هدف کینه توزان و توطئه گران، اختلاف اندازان و آنانی که از آرامش ملت ها رنج می برند اهانت به مقدسات و تحریک احساسات دینی است. باید اذعان کنیم که در منطق ادیان اهانت به قرآن کریم ،اهانت به همه ادیان و اهانت به ساحت الهی و کرامت انسانی است.ا
آیا غیر از این است که در قرآن کریم به همه ادیان اشاره شده و همه آنها نیز به نوعی مورد تکریم قرار گرفته اند ،غیر از این است که لاتفرق بین احد منهم”فرقی بین پیامبران نمی گذاریم. و از واژگان مکرر قرآنی است :”یریدون ان یفرقوا بین الله و رسله ”ا
شمول و فراگیری آموزه های قرآنی هشدار می دهد که : غیر از نوح و ابراهیم و موسی و عیسی و محمد (ص) دین های دیگری هستند که یا قصه آنها را گفته یا از تکرار آن گذشته است و این نه تنها نگاه تاریخی بلکه روایت تسلسل ادیان است.ا
این هتاکی به قرآن ، اهانت به تاریخ بشری ،به انسان، به ادیان الهی و اهانت به شیوه های رستگاری و سعادت بشری است.
باید اضافه کنم که اگر چه مقامات آمریکایی این رفتارهای سخیف را محکوم کردند اما برای مهار شعله های این آتش خانمانسوز باید مهار بنیادگرایی در دستور کار قرار گیرد ،چه در آمریکا و چه در هر نقطه جهان.ا
اینک که دولتمداران علیه اهانت به قران مجید شوریده اند و آنرا تقبیح می کنند، سزاوار است صدق ایمان خود را به ارزشهای قرانی که از برجسته ترین انها وفای به “عقود “است با برگشت به میثاقی که بر سر اجرای قانون اساسی با ملت بسته اند ،با آزادی زندانیان سیاسی ونیز تحقق بخشیدن به سایر حقوق ملت ثابت کنند.ا
Full text of Zahra Rahnavard's statments is as follows:
We are all from God and we return to God
Fundamentalism in alliance with violence creates tragedy.
Insulting the Holy Quran is one of the pits affronts of this kind.
Assuming that you burned the Quran; can you burn the spirit of religions? Can you burn the spirit of the Quran? What is the difference? Fundamentalism anywhere creates violence, leaves the land of rationality and struggles in abyss of anger and revenge.
Who believes that without any conspiracy a noble human or a rational sense would commit to setting fire and insulting holy books?
Are these measures malice against Islam or against humanity?
Isn’t this evil revenge an action against divine practices? Because we know that constantly the objective of those with hatred, conspirators, those who create division and those who suffer from the peace of the nations is to insult the sanctities and provoke religious feelings. We must acknowledge that according to the logic of religions, insulting the Holy Quran is the same as insulting all regions and insulting divine values and human dignity
Is it not that in the Holy Quran there are references to all religions and all of them are respected in one way or another? Is it not that “we see no distinction between prophets” is one of the most repeated Quranic phrases?
The teachings and learning the Quranic verses gives the message that: except for Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad (peace be upon him) there are other religions that either their stories have been told or their repeating have been passed; and this not only is a historic view but also is a narrative of the continuity of religions.
This affront to Quran is insulting he human history, humanity, divine religions and insulting the paths toward salvation and happiness of human.
I should add that although the U.S. officials condemned these hideous behaviors but in order to curb the destructive flames of this fire, controlling fundamentalism should be put on agenda, either in U.S. or anywhere else in the world.
Now that the officials have been outraged about insulting the Holy Quran and denounced it, it is appropriate for them to show their faith on the Quranic values which one of them is to honor the “pledge” by returning to the pledge they had made with the nation to execute the constitution and prove that by releasing the political prisoners and fulfilling other rights of the nation.
NEW YORK — The 20-year prison sentences received by Iran's seven Baha'i leaders have reportedly been reduced.
The Baha'i International Community has learned that the lawyers representing the seven were informed orally yesterday that the 20-year jail terms have now been changed to 10 years.
The seven - Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm - were all members of a national-level group that, with the Iranian government's knowledge, helped see to the minimum spiritual needs of Iran's 300,000-strong Baha'i community.
The trial of the seven consisted of six brief court appearances which began on 12 January this year after they had been incarcerated without charge for 20 months. They were allowed barely one hour's access to their legal counsel during that time. The trial ended on 14 June.
The defendants were accused of propaganda activities against the Islamic order and the establishment of an illegal administration, among other allegations. All the charges were completely and categorically denied.
The seven were moved from Evin Prison after receiving their sentence to Gohardasht prison in Karaj.
Reports of the 20-year sentence provoked a chorus of condemnation from governments around the world - including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.A. The European Union and the President of the European Parliament also joined the protest, along with numerous human rights organizations, other groups and countless individuals.
Special Report - "The Trial of the Seven Baha'i Leaders"
The Baha'i World News Service has published a Special Report which includes articles and background information about the seven Iranian Baha'i leaders - their lives, their imprisonment, trial and sentencing - and the allegations made against them. It also offers further resources about the persecution of Iran's Baha'i community.
The Special Report can be read here.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I'm not certain the US doing itself a favor with this deal via The Weekly Standard Saudi Arabia May Receive $90 Billion in U.S. Arms (although pay attention who gets the contracts on these systems, these are Chicagoans in DC). Irfan al-Alawi and my favorite Sufi Stephen Schwartz wrote,
And then my favorite Socialist Bernard Kouchner repeats the obvious yesterday,
On Monday, September 13, the Associated Press and other media outlets reported that the Obama administration will ask Congress for approval to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60 billion worth of high-tech fighter aircraft and helicopters, with an option of $30 billion in naval armaments to follow. Because of the Iranian threat, the deal is expected to be approved, since it will give the Saudis military striking capacity across the Gulf region.
If consummated, the sale comes at a moment when Saudi society is in flux, facing heightened contradictions. Saudi king Abdullah, who has made various attempts at social and political reform, remains isolated and opposed by many of his retrogressive family members and the official Wahhabi clerics. Many of the young are turning away visibly from the authority of the monarchy and the clerics. The majority of Saudi citizens are fearful that the 86-year-old king will die soon. Abdullah could be replaced by his designated successor and half-brother Crown Prince Sultan, who is also in his 80s and ill, and then by Prince Nayef, the most rigid and anti-Western of the heirs to Ibn Sa’ud, founder of the modern Saudi state.
Nayef, who is in his late 70s, is the protector of the Wahhabi clerics and was the first Saudi leader to declare that 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy. In such hands, American-provided arms could, by the law of unintended consequences, end up turned in a more dangerous direction.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010After Nov 2010 the Obama administration will all be about Foreign Policy; by choice and necessity.
PARIS: Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar is based in Pakistan and everyone knows it, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner claimed Tuesday, calling on Islamabad to do more to help end the conflict.
"It's not a secret for anyone, everyone knows that Mullah Omar is in Quetta, if he's not now in Karachi," Kouchner told French lawmakers.
"Taliban leaders have been given shelter in Pakistan. I'm not revealing anything," Kouchner said, telling parliament's foreign relations committee why Afghanistan has called on Pakistan to help negotiate a peace deal.
It's not going to be easy.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I commented: With relief. It’s the videoed beheadings that get to me.
Were it only cartoons, Salman Rushdie, and burning texts, the world would be a far more peaceful place.
UUA ask the PeaceMaker's list for tasks for GA 2012 but Karroubi below says the world's going to have it's hands full way before 2012.
Via Mir Hossein Mousavi's facebook page.
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya TV aired Sunday said the regime in Tehran depends on creating international and domestic crises to safeguard its existence and continuation.
"The Authority considers that the continuation of its rule depends on creating crises ... it stirred a lot of problems inside universities and in various unions and within clergy as well," Karroubi told Al Arabiya TV.
“The current conditions are very tense and very difficult. It has never been like this during the last 30 years of the revolution,” he added.
Karroubi said when he and reformist leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and even Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezai decided to run for Iran's tenth presidential election on June 12, 2009, they did not expect vote rigging to take place and usher in an era of political turmoil.
Rezai was seen to be much closer to the regime than other candidates having served as former Commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from 1981 to 1997. The IRGC, and in particular its Qods (Jerusalem) Force, are tasked with liberating Jerusalem through Baghdad in stark contrast to the country’s regular armed forces which are purely for defending the country against foreign attacks.
Karroubi said that activities of the Revolutionary Guard and intelligence services continue to fuel the crisis. "Things now are in the hands of the Revolutionary Guard and the ministry of intelligence; of course I do not mean everybody under those departments is responsible, but some parties are,” he added.
Karroubi revealed that the majority of members in the Rev. Guard and in the intelligence are displeased with the current conditions.
"Following the Islamic Revolutions we experienced conflicts, but never something like this. What current authorities do is something illogical and unacceptable."
He said they authorities avoid the implementation of laws. "The situation has become worse after these people disobeyed the law and ignored the constitution”
The opposition leader attributed “constitutional violations” to what he described as the weakening of parliament. “This is what happens when you weaken the parliament,” he said.
“Even if the parliament wants to work, this man (President Ahmadinejad) who likes to act alone will obstruct its work. If I were in the parliament I would not allow such behavior.”
(Written by Mustapha Ajbaili)
Not sure what to make of it. Here's the full letter off Abbas Goya's page,
As we all know it, our battle with the Islamic Republic of Iran is multi-dimensional. The IRI appears that it cowardly has infiltrated in facebook, trying to stop the activists for "Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Campaign" on Facebook. Facebook appears that it has fallen into the trap and disabled the human rights world-wide known, award-winning activists Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie.
As for Mina I know for fact that she doesn't have time to even go online on FB. For the past 1 1/2 year she has hardly been online for ten brief times. Here is Maryam's letter. Please take a minute to send your objection note to the addresses provided at the bottom as soon as you get a chance, there is a sample letter as well. We would not let the IRI terror expands on Facebook.
To Whom It May Concern:
The Facebook accounts of myself and Mina Ahadi have been disabled. We are both campaigning on behalf of Iran Stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtianiand are well known women's rights activists. Both of us were elected Secularist of the Year and Elle Quebec magazine's 2007 Women of the Year.
Below is a post I did on it on my blog. This is before I found out that Mina's account had also been disabled. Also I was admin of a number ofnon-profit organisation sites including Iran Solidarity, Save Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani from stoning, One Law for All and others, which I now nolonger have access to.
We are speaking to our campaign lawyer to write an open letter to the heads of Facebook about this but were hoping this would be resolved before we do.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Facebook has disabled my account.
When I went to log in today, I found I could no longer access it. Other than the below general note, I can't seem to find anyway to email or speak to someone about this to reinstate it.
The reasons the general notes say it may be disabled are:
│Continued prohibited behavior after receiving a warning or multiplewarnings from Facebook
I have never received any warning - not even this time
│Unsolicited contact with others for the purpose of harassment, advertising,promoting, dating, or other inappropriate conduct
I only contact people in groups of which I am admin for. I don't even send messages to my friends as I haven't had time to add them into a list. Also I don't make friend requests but generally add anyone who asks to be my friend
│Use of a fake name
I am obviously using my real name. I am spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now, One Law for All Campaign and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. I am also a National Secular Society Honorary Associate and the NSS' 2005 Secularist of the Year award winner; amongst others. My blog has been rated one of the top 100 atheist blogs and I was selected one of the top 45 women of the year 2007 by Elle magazine Quebec.
│Impersonation of a person or entity, or other misrepresentation of identity(Again not the case here with me)
│Posted content that violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (this includes any obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit photos, as well as any photos that depict graphic violence. We also remove content, photo or written, that threatens, intimidates, harasses, orbrings unwanted attention or embarrassment to an individual or group of people)
Err, I know I have been threatened on Facebook and they are all still around but it's never been the other way around so not sure why my account has been disabled....
They do also add in the general note:
"'If you have not posted violating content or otherwise violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, keep in mind that your account may have been recently compromised by someone else. Also, our systems sometimes disable accounts temporarily for security reasons.'
Interesting that this happens whilst we are organising for September protests though isn't it?
NOTE: Make the subject of your email something very short, very clear and VERY Firm!! If you know other addresses/ways to reach FB let me know, I'll add them to the list. CC your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com . Thank you
PS - Here is a sample email, the note I sent.
From: "Abbas Goya"
To: FACBOOK [above addresses]
Cc: "Mina Ahadi", "Maryam Namazie"
Subject: Strongest Objection: FB appears fallen into Islamic Republic Terror attempt
To Whom It May Concern
This is to notify Facebook about my strongest objection for disabling two Iranian renown Human Rights activists [Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie] accounts almost simultaneously.
I personally believe that Islamic Republic agents have something to do with it and Facebook appears to have fallen into their trap.
Please reinstate their accounts IMMEDIATELY.
A thorough, detailed note is posted and shared on my wall at:
Monday, September 13, 2010
A clerical title rarely bestowed on Chicago priests since Vatican II has been revived and conferred on 20 priests in the Chicago Archdiocese, much to the dismay of some clergy who oppose the honorary distinction.
Earlier this year, Cardinal Francis George submitted the 20 priests to be named monsignors by Pope Benedict XVI after some priests reportedly cautioned him against the gesture.
Although the list includes priests serving in positions historically designated for monsignors -- the rector of Mundelein Seminary, the CEO of Chicago's Catholic Charities and the pastor of Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the Chicago Archdiocese -- it also includes 11 retired priests from a wide spectrum of ministries, including one who has served in the archdiocese for 75 years.
Also named recently is Monsignor Richard O'Donnell, the retired pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish (now Blessed Sacrament), who has served in five parishes under six archbishops. Ordained in 1935, he even recalls a time when monsignors were in vogue.
O'Donnell, who turns 100 next month, is almost positive he received the honor for his time in the pulpit: 75 years. He was pleasantly surprised to get the cardinal's call.
Mayall confesses that he initially declined the offer when the cardinal phoned him. When George argued that the pastor of Chicago's cathedral should be no different from the pastors of cathedrals in New York and Los Angeles -- both of whom hold the monsignor title -- Mayall was persuaded.
"He talked me into it because of his love for Holy Name Cathedral, and I can see that," he said. "People who belong to the cathedral think it's very just."
He also wrote a letter in the parish bulletin assuring parishioners who might get tongue-tied addressing him as "Monsignor Mayall" not to worry.
"I don't want people bowing at the ankles," he said. "Call me Dan."
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Ebadi is certain why the present Iranian regime is so afraid of women. In an article in the Guardian, she declared: "Mark my words, it will be women who bring democracy to Iran."...and then this remarkable interview in FP with Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, daughter of Iran's powerful Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani .
That socially potent coincidence of women's rights and democratic reform is something Ahmadinejad and his supporters are determined should not be permitted to arise.
It will be women who bring Democracy to Iran.
Following the disputed elections in 2009, an Iranian photographer who goes by the name of Green Bird, used the internet to reach out to hundreds of artists and designers around the world. He wrote:
"I am so sad in these days.many people died in Iran(after Iran election).the boys and girls killed in last days.my tears go by.the present issue in Iran is an international one.And in my opinion the well-known artists of the world should join the cause.you are a Great Illustrator.I urgently ask you to design a poster in support of this cause.you are an Iranian in these days like me.you are like me then help me in this way(Green Movement)."
More than a hundred graphic designers, like Milton Glaser (I "heart" NY), answered his call for support with powerful images that we believe were printed and used in the protests. One of the artists he approached, Italian designer Andrea Rauch, volunteered to host all of the posters on the website SocialDesignZine. More than 200 posters have been collected on that site. Many can be viewed here.New York's School of Visual Arts will present the first public viewing of these posters in printed form in an exhibition titled, "Where Is My Vote? Posters for the Green Movement in Iran," which runs through September 25. The exhibition will then travel to the Art Institute of Boston. More info on the exhibition can be found here. -- John Wyszniewski
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
KABUL—The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the planned burning of Qurans on Sept. 11 by a small Florida church could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.
Gen. David Petraeus said the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes, drumming up anger toward the U.S. and making it harder for allied troops to carry out their mission of protecting Afghan civilians.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Gen. Petraeus said in an interview. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
Monday, September 06, 2010
Read all of it.
Honorable Speaker Pelosi:
I heard you say that the people who oppose the construction of the Ground Zero mosque should be investigated.
Investigate me. I oppose the construction of that mosque.
This mosque, built in such close proximity to Ground Zero, is intended to send a message to America and another message to the Muslims who are gravitating toward human rights laws and secularism. We are sure that this mosque will cause nothing but division and justified ill will towards Muslims in this country.
I came to America as a political refugee, fleeing from the Islamic rule in Iran that subsumed a secular, woman-respecting government. As a human, woman, and a mother, I could not live under nor subject my daughter to such brutal, barbarian tyranny. What I see now occurring in my new home, America, is Islamists forcing their policies in bits and pieces, here and there. It is terribly disconcerting, not only to me but to all Iranian Americans and the large majority of Muslims who came to America to live in peace, freedom, and prosperity.
Madam Speaker: The Islamists are using the laws of this greatest of democracies to implement their ideology in any way they can — whether by propaganda, intimidation, the misuse of political correctness or anti-discrimination policies, or the minority status that this society puts at their disposal. Plus the most powerful of all tools, the money — the limitless petrodollars coming from foreign Islamist dictators with anti-democratic agendas.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Open Letter 2 from Sajjad Ghaderzadeh
Regarding the latest developments in the case of my mother, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, I, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, inform you of the following:
1. On August 25, 2010, our lawyer visited Branch 9 of the Supreme Court. At his urging, the court requested the original files on our mother's case from Tabriz; as the case has now been referred to the Supreme Court for review, Tabriz no longer has jurisdiction in the case. For unknown reasons, Branch 9 has also requested the files concerning my father's murder; however, the original files on his murder case have disappeared from Branch 7 in Tabriz, and the copies, which had been on file with the Homicide Unit of the Oskou Police Department, are also missing. This has led to a suspension of the proceedings in her case. I conclude this part of my letter with gratitude to human rights defenders and I wish them success in their sacred cause.
2. Subsequent to the August 20, 2010 London Times interview with our lawyer, Mr. Javid Houtan Kian, he sent the Times a photo of my mother taken when she worked at Arghavan Day Care Center in the city of Oskou. The picture was supposed to have been published the following day in the London Times; due to lack of access to the publication, there was no way for us to know otherwise. For unknown reasons, the London Times published a picture of another woman without hijab instead of our mother's picture. We do not know how that picture was originally obtained, nor to whom the picture belongs.
As we have not been able to meet our mother since her television interview, according to information coming from those released from the women's ward last night, the publication of this picture has given the prison authorities an excuse to increase their harassment of our mother. My mother has been called in to see the judge in charge of prison misdemeanors and he has sentenced our helpless mother to 99 lashes on false charges of spreading corruption and indecency by disseminating this picture of a woman presumed to be her [Sakineh] without hijab.
Later, through conversations with informed people outside Iran, I was told that the above-referenced picture, which was published instead of our mother's picture, had been provided to the Times by our mother's former lawyer (Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei), who I nevertheless thank for all of his contributions. I wish that this were not true and that they were mistaken.
I would like to clarify that our mother's court-appointed lawyers, Mr. Sohrab Samangan and Mr. Zaré, could not defend her and on the contrary paved the way for the stoning sentence and then contributed to this cruel sentence being upheld. Due to their incompetence, we approached Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei and he agreed to defend our mother both on an individual basis and as a member of a team of lawyers after having received a heavy sum of 20 million rials. According to undoubtable documents, this sum was paid to a woman lawyer sent by Mr. Mostafaei.
As he did not make any effective legal or judicial efforts to save our mother's life, and did not take advantage of existing legal avenues, according to the document sent on 30th Khordad 1389, Mr.Mostafaei was dismissed by my mother. Unfortunately, we still hear about his deeds and commentary, which suggests his unintentional collusion with those who are bloodthirsty within the system. Although I still hope that what we hear is not correct, but, today, I announce to all advocates of human rights worldwide that honorable Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei only for a short while, and via a woman lawyer, had the responsibility of the defense of our mother in her stoning case, and this case is separate from my father's murder case. This means that he [Mr.Mostafaei] could not have been aware of files [of my father's case], their contents and subject, their dates nor the responsible branch, in order to make any comment about them.
Here we renew our gratitude and thankfulness to Mr. Mostafaei and humbly beg him not to make any further comments regarding our mother's file or our father's murder case to any authority or entity that is not confirmed by us.
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413
My abridged translation of the first volume of Social Glimpses has now been published. I have already started with the second volume (Iraq between 1831 and 1872) and I hope to finish as much of it as possible during the summer.
Tribal leaders in FATA have been killed along with their female relatives. The aim of such attacks seems to be to wipe out any possibility, no matter how remote it may be, of the female heirs taking up the anti-Taliban struggleBarbarism keeping up with the times...
Miratha is a Pashto word that refers to the now obsolete practice of killing all males, adult and minors, in a family so that there are no male heirs left to inherit the family property, which is taken over by the executer of the miratha along with the female members of the family, who are considered as part of the property in the patriarchal Pakhtun society. One may find people in FATA who have know-how of the notion of miratha, whereas people in the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) abandoned miratha so many decades back that many today do not even know what the notion implies. Thus, for the Pakhtun, whether in KP or FATA, miratha is a thing from their past and irrelevant to their lives today.
But lo and behold! Miratha is back in the Pakhtun land in the form of targeted killings of anti-Taliban families all across FATA and KP. All over FATA, anti-Taliban people have been target-killed along with their male heirs. Recently, Mian Rashid Hussain, the one and only son and male heir of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of KP, has been killed. The ANP circles express the fear that next in line might be the only male heirs of the top party leaders Asfandyar Khan and Afrasiab Khattak, who both have one son each.
The neo-miratha is more robust and all encompassing than the traditional Pakhtun one. The latter excludes women, but the former entangles them.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatened on Friday to launch attacks in the US and Europe “very soon”. “We will launch attacks in America and Europe very soon,” Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior TTP leader, said on Friday. Mehsud said his group had carried out the triple bombings at a Shia procession in Lahore and an attack on a Shia rally in Quetta on Friday. The Lahore blasts killed 33 people. “It’s revenge for the killings of innocent Sunnis,” he said, adding, the group was also responsible for the suicide bombing that killed at least 55 Shias in Quetta on Friday. He told The Associated Press that although the group was fighting the US and the Pakistani government, “Shias are also our target”. agencies
The Taliban again struck at religious minorities inside Pakistan, killing 54 people in a car bombing at a protest in Quetta and one more person outside a mosque in Mardan.UUA remains totally silent. Not a word of solidarity for fellow religious minorities and dissidents. We speak out over a Hamas friendly Mosque in NYC instead and an Imam Rauf who won't dare speak out against the Iranian regime.
In Quetta, a suicide car bomb was detonated in the midst of a Qods Day protest held by Shia Muslims who oppose Israel's control of Jerusalem. Gunmen then opened fire after the blast. Fifty-four people were killed and nearly 200 were wounded, according to reports from Geo News and Dawn.
In the district of Mardan in Pakistan's northwest, a suicide bomber detonated outside a Ahmadi mosque in the town of Muslimabad Canal. The suicide bomber was armed with an assault rifle and attempted to enter the mosque to kill the worshipers, but was stopped by security guards. One person was killed and four more were wounded in the attack.
Ahmadis are a sect of Islam and are banned from calling themselves Muslims by the Pakistani government. The group is widely discriminated against in the country and is a frequent target of the Taliban and other Pakistani terror groups. On May 28, 2010, the Punjabi Taliban assaulted two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, killing more than 70 people.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/09/taliban_kill_48_in_a.php#ixzz0yYyZlfiz
via Michael Weiss from The New Criterion,
Why is Professional UUism so enthralled with the tyrants and their spokesman here in the United States? Why can't we stand up instead for the persecuted Ahmadis, our spiritural brothers and sisters, in Quetta?
The second troubling spot on Rauf’s c.v. is his certification of Iran’s theocracy. Here he cannot excuse himself with an air of scholarly neutrality since in his own writing he takes the precepts of Khomeinism at face value and describes the clerical oligarchy of Iran as a legitimate form of government. Following Iran’s sham presidential “election” in June 2009, Rauf penned the following editorial, which anyone can dial up on Cordoba’s website:
After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.
Before the election, the Iranian government allowed an unprecedented degree of political discourse so that the election would establish a legitimate ruler.
Now, on the streets of Teheran and undoubtedly in high political circles behind the scenes, Iranians are asking themselves, has this election confirmed the legitimacy of the ruler? President Obama has rightly said that his administration will not interfere with the internal affairs of Iran, unlike what happened in 1953. Now he has an opportunity to have a greater positive impact on Iranian-American relations.
He should say his administration respects many of the guiding principles of the 1979 revolution -- to establish a government that expresses the will of the people; a just government, based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, that establishes the rule of law.
Vilayet-i-faqih in practice means that the people of Iran are possessions of the state. The Council of Guardians, Rauf neglects to mention, was responsible for vetting and approving the list of “acceptable” candidates for the wholly honorific role of president, a fact that rubbishes his boast of an “unprecedented degree of political discourse.” You can tell a lot about a government that rigs its own elections beforehand, and rigs them again once all the votes are in.
Rauf published this paean to the captive mind just as many hundreds of peaceful democratic activists were being clubbed and shot on the streets of Tehran. According to the Iranian “rule of law,” torture and rape are also permissible forms of punishment for people who exercise their right to be incensed at a pantomime of self-determination.
The UU delegation left the meeting convinced that President Ahmadinejad was sincere in pursuing a relationship with the American people and the U.S. government. Rev. Sinkford remarked, “I could not imagine the current U.S. president taking the time to honor questions about his actions the way Ahmadinejad did today.”We sound obscene. Islam notes it.
Unlike some on the left, who look to European social democracy for inspiration, we favor a homegrown progressivism steeped in the classically liberal precepts of the American creed: individualism; social egalitarianism; equal opportunity, not results, within a system of competitive enterprise; a healthy skepticism toward central authority; civic self-reliance; and the conviction that America must be a beacon of liberty and democracy in the world.
Friday, September 03, 2010
با ورود بیش از ۲۰ موتورسوار و محاصره کامل منزل کروبی؛ دور جدید حملات آغاز شد /New round of attacks on Karroubi’s house started
Wonder who the Islamophobe is here? We Americans must sound perfect idiots to a Muslim world struggling with this.
According to eyewitnesses, last night Basij thugs and goons at the entrance of Mehdi Karroubi’s home attacked a woman and beat her severely. According to the report, unfortunately these so-called Muslim Basij thugs, in the month of Ramadan and in the Ghadr night after pulling hijab off this woman’s head, severely injured her.
Her husband, who was trying to defend his wife, was also injured because of being severely beaten by one of the special unit forces. Unfortunately, instead of arresting the conductors of this disaster, the special unit forces arrested this couple who are of the families of the martyrs, and detained them inside a van.
Apparently, the woman’s crime in the view of the attacker was talking with a mobile phone.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Twenty-nine people were reported killed and more than 200 people were wounded in bombings during religious processions in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore earlier today.
The first blast appears to have been caused by a car bomb, then two suicide bombers detonated among Shia worshipers who were holding a religious procession in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, another name for the so-called Punjabi Taliban, claimed it carried out the attack, Geo News reported. The Punjabi Taliban includes members and factions of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in particular is well known for carrying out sectarian terror attacks against minority Shia, Ahmadis, Sufis, and Christians in Pakistan.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is an anti-Shia terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan's tribal areas. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and serves as al Qaeda's muscle for terror attacks. The group has conducted numerous suicide and other terror attacks in the tribal areas, the Northwest Frontier Province, and in Punjab province.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/09/punjabi_taliban_kill.php#ixzz0yNx8v2xC