Archive for the ‘religious persecution’ Category

And while on the topic….

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Dissenters:

Dissenters opposed state interference in religious matters, and founded their own churches, educational establishments, and communities; some emigrated to the New World.

My Name is Khan!

Once again, Bollywood film star, Shah Rukh Khan (AKA SRK) has been detained at US immigration on the way to make a speech at Yale University. The first time Khan was detained was in 2009.

Khan alleges that this was due to US prejudice toward muslims, and I couldn’t agree with him more. The US has this strange bent that anyone who is muslim is a terrorist, which was made clear to me when I played with a computer that had the names on the US terrorist watch list: Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and a few other Irish Republicans didn’t set off the system, but the name Muhammad did.

The US, of course, will deny this sort of thing, but if you watch who watch how the US Homeland Security tends to bead in on Muslims to the detriment of other threats, it becomes pretty obvious.

There have been several incidents in the past of prominent Indian officials being stopped or frisked at US airports.

In December 2010, the US expressed regret after India’s then-ambassador Meera Shankar was pulled out of an airport security line and frisked by a security agent.

Some reports said she was singled out as she was wearing a sari.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was concerned about the incident and vowed to prevent a recurrence.

And in 2009, America’s Continental Airlines apologised to former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam for frisking him before he boarded a flight to the US.

Members of India’s parliament were outraged after it emerged that Mr Kalam had been frisked and made to remove his shoes at Delhi airport in April.

Protocol exempts former presidents and other dignitaries from such searches.

Khan joked about the incident saying “Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom”.

“They [immigration officials] always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5ft 10 inches. Next time I am going to get more adventurous. [If they ask me] what colour are you, I am going to say white,” he said.

Amusingly enough, SRK did a film called “My Name is Khan” was about an American Muslim with Asperger’s syndrome. I think it would be more appropriate if he did something like The Mad Adventures of ‘Rabbi’ Jacob where a rabid anti-Muslim Jew is confused with a Muslim because his name was Kahn.

After all, Muslims can also be semitic people.

Nimrata, you are such a shame!

Nimrata, why are you ashamed of being Indian?

I look at this picture and you look like a Farangi (If I were using Cantonese, the word that comes to mind is “gweilo”).  Did they lighten your skin up? Did they Photoshop you to change your looks?

Sikhism is a noble religion.  Why did you give up the kirpan for guns?  The symbolism of the kirpan is much more productive than the ridiculous chant of “gun rights” that people mindlessly chant as a mantra in your neck of the woods.

Isn’t ahimsa a better principle to live by?

Not to mention, I have a thing for Indian Food and music.  Bollywood movies are over the top, but what the heck, they are fun. I seriously think you should choreograph your next speech as a Bollywood dance routine!

So, does your American Story mean that you have to renounce Indian Culture to fit in?  Does it mean that you have to hide how you look and assimilate into the culture?  Why can’t you be proud of your Sikh heritage?  Or do you associate that with corner shops rather than being a governor?

Remember Margaret Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter when you think such thoughts! Not to mention that your father was a doctor.

I don’t know, Nimrata, but this picture scares me quite a bit about the US.  Does one have to assimilate and lose their heritage to belong to that society?  Is historic amnesia part of the American nightmare?  Does one need to become a White, Christian to be a proper American?

Somehow, all that seems wrong.  The US is headed in the wrong direction–not that I really need to care about that myself.  The society I live in is working at living with its diversity and moving forward.

What I see in the US and from its media, shows that it is a society that is moving backward to a world that I don’t want to live in. I am glad to have left it.

You should say the Punjabi equivalent of “Jai Ho”, not “Can’t is not an Option”


I will add as a postscript that my copy of Flora Steel and Grace Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which was a guide for British ladies living in Colonial India first published in 1888 on how to live in that society, just arrived today.  That seems rather fitting to add that bit of the Empire to end this post.  Maybe Nimrata is trying to be a Memsab!

Counterproductive politics

There is an interesting interview on today’s Newshour about the rise of the religious right in the US. One of the interviewees points out that the number of evangelical Christians in the US is declining due to its involvement in religion.

I’ve found that gunloon comments tend to reinforce my belief that the US needs gun control due to the fact that these people are not responsible and have no idea of what right the Second Amendment was intended on protecting. Add in that the institution of militia is pretty much an anachronism. In fact, the militia was irrelevant at the time of the Revolution (see Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations).

Anyway, we have already seen that the Heller-McDonald decisions have nor resulted in much in roads being made in the field of gun rights. And as the word of Revolution go “if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make with anyone anyhow”.

Perhaps saying that a variant of “Political Power comes from the barrel of a gun” will backfire on them as badly as failing to heed that religion and politics should not be intertwined.

Lancaster Witches? Which Lancaster?

This book came to my attention a while back, but it is my latest read.  The title is a bit deceiving since the Lancaster County in question is now known as Lancashire most of the time. Although, some people do call it the County of Lancaster: those people are few and far between.  As I said, these days it’s called Lancashire most of the time.

Of course, this is about Witch hunts from the 1600’s.  That’s more of a puritan thing.  That means that in the US the witch hunts were more of a New England thing since they pretty much kept to themselves in the New World.  On the other hand. Puritans (the puritan mentality) were all over the place in 16th and 17th Century Britain–sticking around way too long in Scotland.

The Quakers in Pennsylvania probably wouldn’t have gone around on witch hunts, preferring to see the godlike quality in the witches.  That would make the title even more interesting if it were about Pennsylvania Witches.  Although the cover would then be a bit incongruous!  Love our witch friends, not hang them!

The basic gist of this post is that there is quite a difference here between the two places.  What the hell has happened in Pennsylvania that gun freaks are running around instead of Quakers and other fringy religious types.

On the other hand, in Lancashire we have the Uni offering this course of Study these days!

My how times change!

Fundamentalist Christians and The Founding Fathers

I came across these courtesy of American Creation and the post How Religious Were the Founding Fathers?:


Unfortunately, both videos neglect the likes of John Witherspon and Patrick Henry who were religious types. But even the strongly religious believed that Government had no place in religion.

Message to Anwar al-Awlaki.

As salaam alaikum, mate, Keef Halik?

OK, I’m not a muslim, but we’ve got a few things in common.

First off, we were both born in the USA.  I bet you probably get sick when you hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as well.  On the other hand, that fact makes us both US citizens. And even though we both find that fact as appealing as (fill in the blank), it unfortunately is something which is a truth.

The next thing we have in common is that we have no love for the USA as it happens to function right now.  How we would handle this is a matter of opinion.  I have to admit I find that your sermon about killing Americans hits me as being pretty stupid.  Does that mean that the people listening to it should start with you?

I’d guess that we can come to an understanding as to why you said what you said, but you have to remember that beyond the stereotype, there isn’t such a thing as a typical American: after all you are a muslim and I am a Brit.  But we would agree that the stereotypical yank is a real dickhead.  But the problem is that by saying what you did about killing yanks, you play into the hands of the jerkoffs who say that Muslims (and any other non-Christian) American can’t be a proper citizen.  The Botox Bandit whose brain has turned to oatmeal from too many botox injections can say that Muslims weren’t also victims of 9-11.

Not every US citizen is unaware of what the US has done to the rest of the world.  The fact that what was supposed to be a peaceful nation has become a tyrranical one and wants to shove its culture down the throats of the rest of the world. Some of the US citizenry know that Israel is not the friend of anybody as well as the meaning of Al-Nakba and the USS Liberty.  Don’t listen to the rants of the Christian right who want to support that sick regime.

Where we differ is in how to address the wrongs.  You want to destroy.  I want to build.  We need to get rid of the negativity.

You can’t work outside the system or you play into the hands of the people who show shock and awe to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan in the hopes of lord knows what.  In fact, the best place for you to be is here and showing what good citizens the muslims are.  Tell the world of the zionist hypocracy as they say never again, yet have been perpetrating al-Nakba for over 60 years.  Tell the idiots that say only Christians can be good American citizens that the US was founded as a religiously neutral country.  Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

You should be given a pulpit, but you need to stop saying kill Americans: especially since you are one.

The way to stop Americans from being “parties of the devil” is to show them a different way. As the slogan goes: “be the change you want to see”.

Believe in change.

By saying what you say, you show to me that you doubt God’s/Allah’s power to change people.  Even worse, you show that you lack faith in the truth of his message.  You show a hatred for yourself as an American, which you are like it or not.

Is that what you truly want to tell the world?  Or do you want to send a different message: one that affirms God/Allah.

Take it how you will, bro.

Ma salaama.

[Quran 5:4] They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, “Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you.” You train them according to GOD’s teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention GOD’s name thereupon. You shall observe GOD. GOD is most efficient in reckoning.

The Fear Monster Doesn’t like me because…

Lots of good reasons, but I like this young woman’s

I just wish her mouth was in sync with what she’s saying.  She looks like a bad 1960s Japanese cartoon.

And she”s cut off at the end of her speech.

From the Al Tirah facebook page

Fear MonstersFear Monsters Freedom means being able to brandish a gun.

Empathy Monsters And when you accidentally shoot yourself in the foot, to have the health insurance cover to cover it.

Fear MonstersFear Monsters Let’s face it: Glenn Beck IS America.

Empathy Monsters I’m moving to Sweden.

    • Empathy Monsters Fear Monsters gets their political news from one Web site that is totally comprehensive except for spelling and fact-checking.

Al Tirah! Fear Not!

When the heroes of biblical times despaired, God would speak to them. “Al Tirah! Fear Not!” God commanded. Good advice then, good advice now

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Jedi Grand Master Yoda, known for his idiosyncratic object-subject-verb word order, shared this pearl of wisdom. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

This year, anger, fear, contempt, cynicism, racial tension and religious discrimination have all bled into the country’s political and cultural fabric. Americans are despairing at the rise of John Birch Politics and figures like Glenn Beck; the hateful rhetoric and actions targeting Muslims, immigrants, gays, Obama and other political and philanthropic leaders; the severe economic challenges facing the country. They are despairing at the limitations of the leaders they elected to create change.

While this is a Jewish movement, I think that other Americans should listen to the message of Al Tirah! Fear Not! In fact, peoples of all faiths and nationalities need to remember this message.

The Empathy Monster is Americans at our best, guided by a powerful sense of responsibility and community.
Empathy beats fear when:

I seek solutions to problems, not scapegoats
I listen
I stand up to hate
I love my neighbor as much as I love myself
I remember that my ancestors were once discriminated against

Fight the Fear Monster!

http://www.altirahusa.com/
This campaign is complete with Fear and Empathy Monsters who are already engaged in a Facebook faceoff.

Mistaken beliefs about Islam

I have become familiar with someone whom I shall call the Botox Bandit rather than her actual name. Mostly because Botox Bandit is the best thing to call this deluded ____. Any more facelifts and she’ll have a beard. But what got this going was that the Botox Bandit was talking about how offended she was that Christian and Jewish prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus were Islamic prophets.

She was really offended and her cohort who looks like Osama Bin Laden in western garb was also upset about this. I’m sorry, but someone should mistake her and the other idiot for Arabs: preferably one of the racists bastards she hangs around.

But the Botox Bandit who needs a history lesson (look up USS Liberty, cunt!) isn’t my point here.

I am curious as to whether people like the Botox Bandit realise that Islam (like Christianity) is based upon the Jewish religion? It shouldn’t come as a surprise to someone who knows anything about Islam that the prophets in the Old Testament as well as John the Baptist and Jesus are Islamic prophets? Not to mention how much culture would have been lost to the West if it weren’t for Islam. I’m sure my Muslim readers can add a few more misconceptions; actually, the Botox Bandit is a wealth of them and they are refuted here and here.

The problem is that watching the Botox Bandit attack Islam with the help of her Bloc Identitaire, the Neo-Nazi Vlaams Belang, English Defense League, and other anti-semitic buddies (Sorry, BB but Arabs are semites too! But not all Muslims are Arabs) makes me want to scream at how ignorant she is. I could see BB in 1920s Germany saying “Oh, that Mr. Hitler doesn’t mean all the things he says about Jews.” Or maybe she would be one of the Zionist Collaborators with the Nazis. After all, she is one now in ignorance to the Holocaust. Well, as Adolf Eichmann said:

“[H]ad I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.”—A. Eichmann, “Eichmann Tells His Own Damning Story”, Life Magazine, Volume 49, Number 22, (28 November 1960), pp. 19-25, 101-112; at 22.

I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised at ignorant people such as the Botox Bandit spewing hate and ignorance, but it does surprise me that someone who comes from a persecuted faith is so happy to persecute.

Never again, my arse.

So, I ask for my Islamic readers to weigh in on what sort of stupidity they hear from the infidels (of which I am one). I ask that they should realise that the people who spew the hatred come from a hateful and ignorant place.

Give us a break, Michelle

This is for a right wing, Islamophobic, racist asshole who needs to take a good look in the mirror. If she thinks that her Christianity isn’t barbaric: she needs to seriously get her shit together.

This material shows actual crucifixion in the Philippines

Warning: these people are really being crucified with real nails.


Or maybe she feels that Jesus died for you, return the favour.

Sorry, but this isn’t a joke. These Phillipino men are being crucified and it happens every Easter.

See also: http://catholicresistence.blogspot.com/2006/08/malkin-nwo-and-ties-that-bind.html

Why do they hate us?

It’s too bad that Americans are blind to their history and what goes on outside their nation otherwise they wouldn’t ask that question. I wanted to answer that question for Americans, but I am pretty sure that they won’t hear the message. They haven’t heard the message even though it is well published.

For example, Mohsin Hamid’s eponymous article from the Washington Post from 22 July 2007 which is pretty much where a good portion of this comes from. Hamid is a Pakistani who has lived half his life in the US who says: “because where I came from was Pakistan and I was about as all-American as a foreign-born brown boy could be”. The obvious answer is that the US was a rich nation (whether it is truly wealthy is up for debate these days).

But there is another major reason for anti-Americanism: the accreted residue of many years of U.S. foreign policies. These policies are unknown to most Americans. They form only minor footnotes in U.S. history. But they are the chapter titles of the histories of other countries, where they have had enormous consequences. America’s strength has made it a sort of Gulliver in world affairs: By wiggling its toes it can, often inadvertently, break the arm of a Lilliputian.

Hamid was a witness to the effects of US involvement in the Afghan War and its side effects. The US with its distance from the rest of the world can remain oblvious of the problems it causes for other people. As Mr. Hamid points out:

The residue of U.S. foreign policy coats much of the world. It is the other part of the answer to the question, “Why do they hate us?” Simply because America has — often for what seemed good reasons at the time — intervened to shape the destinies of other countries and then, as a nation, walked away.

Mr. Hamid makes some very good points. One:

Americans need to educate themselves, from elementary school onward, about what their country has done abroad. And they need to play a more active role in ensuring that what the United States does abroad is not merely in keeping with a foreign policy elite’s sense of realpolitik but also with the American public’s own sense of American values.

The other point he makes is one I have been pointing out–the the US needs to live up to its ideals:

The challenge that the United States faces today boils down to a choice. It can insist on its primacy as a superpower, or it can accept the universality of its values. If it chooses the former, it will heighten the resentment of foreigners and increase the likelihood of visiting disaster upon distant populations — and vice versa. If it chooses the latter, it will discover something it appears to have forgotten: that the world is full of potential allies.

America gives Muslims most of what they need to be a pious Muslim without it being an Islamic state. The US may not be a perfect country; however, has an Islamic state existed and given anything better than what America has? Muslims of Somalia, Cambodia, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries have found asylum and help in the US. They live a better life and are more secure in this non-Islamic country. The U.S. purports to be very tolerant of any religious life. Its constitution, particularly the First Amendment, guarantees all citizens the right to have and express their faith.

Unfortunately, some people in the US see the actions of a few fringe fanatics and then treat all Muslims with the same hatred. This is wrong. We need to work for understanding, not commit acts which lead to further hatred.

See also http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=1373&lan=en&sid=1&sp=0

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society… (via this fragile tent)

I found this to be an interesting post. This seems to apply very strongly to US society where the religious right is trying to make the US a “Christian Nation” rather than the secular one it was founded to be.

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society... Religion, according to sociologists like Durkheim, plays a vital role in society. It unites and solidifies our morality, our world view and facilitates social cohesion. According to Durkheim, religion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. Since Durkheim, there have been many discussions about the value of religion to society. Some have been critical, and seen organised re … Read More

via this fragile tent

Franklin Quote Updated

In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

Updated

“even if the Grand Imam of Iran were to send a missionary to preach Islam to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

BTW, Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims. Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote “[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed,… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.”