Mehdi Hasan and the nature of complicity.

Originally posted on Futile Democracy:

The horrifying stories and pictures coming out of Gaza as Hamas launch rockets indiscriminately across the border, and Israel bombard the isolated region resulting in innocent lives lost and fear gripping both sides, rightfully strike at our collective sense of humanity. But it is the romanticised notion of a David and Goliath situation, and the bizarre attempts to either refuse to acknowledge the crimes of Hamas (upon Palestinians as well as Israelis), any wrongdoing whatsoever on the Palestinian side, or to explain away anti-Israeli sentiment whilst willfully silent on abuses elsewhere when they crop up, that seems to be the centre of the Galloway-left response.

Mehdi Hasan’s article for Huffington Post, entitled “We Single Israel Out Because We in the West Are Shamefully Complicit in Its Crimes” was one such attempt to justify a moral compass that only swings into action on human rights and oppression, when it…

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Stop underplaying Hamas’s rocket attacks.

Originally posted on Futile Democracy:

Those innocent lives lost as a result of Israeli attacks on perceived Hamas locations in Gaza are not the victims of just one side, they are the victims of both sides and the fact that both leaderships find it easier to hurl rockets at each other, to provoke each other, than they do to negotiate a settlement that protects all civilians in the region. They are the victims of the failures of leadership not just in Israel and Palestine, but the international community also. Too often, those seeking to highlight the plight of the Palestinians and the misery caused by occupation and bombings, try hard to underplay the misery caused by those in groups like Hamas seeking to kill as many as possible.

Today, Mohammed Ansar posted this:

- I see variants of this theme all too often. Owen Jones The image of an apparent Hamas rocket on a barely…

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The Pagan Origins of Ramadan

Originally posted on Nabeel Afsar:

To all my Muslim friends/family fasting right now, you might be curious to learn about the pagan origin of Ramadan.

Fasting for the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar actually predates Islam by centuries. Before the Hijrah, Arab pagans had been observing Ramadan as a holy month of venerating their Moon god, Sin or Hubal.

Three Muses approach the Moon God adorned by the crescent

Three Muses approach the Moon God adorned by the crescent

The sighting of the crescent Moon heralded thirty days of fasting from sunrise to sunset. When the next crescent Moon was sighted, the fast was broken with a feast called al-Fitr. The breaking of the fast was also commemorated through animal sacrifice and giving alms to the poor.

To my Muslim readers, this story should be familiar. For non-Muslims: Islamic Ramadan is declared when the crescent of a new moon is sighted, commencing thirty days of fasting from sunrise to sundown, and concluding with…

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A Response to “Talibani Atheism” How it Fuels Islamophobia

Originally posted on Consigliere Del Papa:

I’ve been an atheist for a long time. I’ve come to expect a certain amount of bullshit and pettifoggery from the religious and political conservatives. It comes with the territory. I usually grit my teeth and get on with my day. Occasionally there’s what I call “honest criticism” usually from principled people inside a social group who wish to implement a change benefiting the status of that group. It’s uncomfortable, but worth the time and effort to listen and consider carefully their concerns. It’s how we grow as a civil society. When I’m looking to persuade people to be potential allies, my credibility and trustworthiness is my number one asset. If what I say can’t be trusted as being truthful in one instance, everything else I say becomes irrelevant. It follows that my criticism needs to be a truthful one. My motivation must be from a place of hope for…

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Iraq suicide bomber was once a Calgary business analyst who ‘seemed like a regular guy’

Originally posted on National Post | News:

A suicide bomber who attacked an Iraqi army base last November was a Calgary business analyst who left the country in 2012, friends said Wednesday amid rising concerns about the flow of Canadians to overseas terror groups.

Those who knew Salman Ashrafi said they had lost all contact with him after the Pakistani-Canadian suddenly quit his job and moved away. And now they know why: He apparently died seven months ago after detonating a car bomb north of Baghdad.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted his photo online in March, calling him Abu Abdullah Al Khorasani, but a Calgary Muslim community leader said the man was Ashrafi, a privileged Pakistani-Canadian.

“He seemed like a regular guy and he was one of those guys that actually had a career, had a wife,” the man said.

[related_links /]

A University of Lethbridge graduate, he had worked for Talisman Energy and…

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Censored! Pakistan blocks progressive Facebook pages

Originally posted on Journeys to democracy:

PTA censor BhensaGot the word a few hours ago. Without any notice, warning or explanation, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has blocked several progressive pages on Facebook. Interestingly, there is no bar on the pages spewing hatred and furthering the ideology of banned groups.

The blocked pages include Laal, the largest leftist page in South Asia with over 408,000 followers. The other pages include those that post largely in Urdu and therefore reach large numbers, like:

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Supernatural Superstition is Not Super

Originally posted on Secular Chaplain:

Sanal Edamuruku

Sanal Edamaruku

Last year I posted a tribute to Narendra Dabholkar, the Indian who founded The Committee to Eradicate Blind Faith devoted to anti-superstition in India.  Now, WHO wouldn’t support THAT?  Oh, yes, of course. . .those who have Blind Faith and Love their Superstition.

Narendra was shot and killed.

Now, we have the case of Sanal Edamaruku.  He “exposes the miraculous feats of holy men as tricks.”

“He has spent his life as a prominent member of India’s small band of miracle-busters, men who dedicate their life to traversing the country demystifying certain beliefs.

It’s a nation often associated with profound spirituality, but rationalists see their country as a breeding ground for superstition.”

Apparently India is not only a breeding ground for the irrational, but a Bleeding ground as well.  His investigation showed that the famous “bleeding statue of Christ” in Mumbai was due…

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