Posts Tagged ‘Racism’
LAHORE, Pakistan — The Lahore High Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the death sentence of a Pakistani Christian woman in a high-profile blasphemy case and dismissed her appeal for acquittal.
The defendant, Asia Bibi, 47, a farmworker, was sentenced to death in 2010 after being convicted of blasphemy. She has denied the accusations, which she said stemmed from a dispute with Muslim co-workers.
Ms. Bibi now plans to appeal the decision in the country’s Supreme Court, said her lawyer, Naeem Shakir. But given huge backlogs at the court, analysts said it would probably be at least three years before the appeal would be taken up.
The ruling was the latest chapter in a long ordeal for Ms. Bibi, whose case has focused international attention on how Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have become a weapon against religious minorities.
It was also a factor in the 2011 assassination of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province who vociferously campaigned for Ms. Bibi’s release and for overhaul of the blasphemy codes. Religious conservatives were outraged by Mr. Taseer’s advocacy, and he was shot dead by his police security guard in Islamabad. Months later, his son Shahbaz Ali Taseer was kidnapped by Taliban militants and his whereabouts is still unknown.
Meanwhile, Ms. Bibi has languished in prison, and successive governments have been reluctant to touch the issue.
The Lahore courtroom was packed with clerics and members of extremist groups who supported the prosecution, and they erupted in celebration upon hearing the two-judge panel’s decision to dismiss Ms. Bibi’s appeal. “Let us celebrate by distributing sweets!” said one cleric who was reciting verses from the Quran throughout the almost two-and-a-half-hour court proceeding.
“I am very happy,” said Qari Salaam, a co-worker of Ms. Bibi’s and the main complainant in the case. “The judges have given a verdict on merit, and Asia deserved it.”
The ‘dispute’ arose in this way,
In June 2009, Noreen was harvesting falsa berries with a group of other farmhands in a field in Sheikhupura. She was asked at one point to fetch water from a nearby well; she complied but stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well. A neighbor of Noreen, who had been involved in a running feud with Noreen’s family about some property damage, saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink the same water as a Muslim, and some of the other workers considered her to be unclean because she was a Christian. Some arguments ensued. Noreen recounts that when they made derogatory statements about her religion, she responded, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?” Wikipedia.
Later, some of the workers complained to a cleric that Noreen insulted Muhammad. A mob came to her house, beating her and members of her family before she was rescued by the police. The police initiated an investigation about her remarks, resulting in her arrest under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. She subsequently was imprisoned for over a year before being formally charged.
As reaction pours in from around the world to yesterday’s Lahore High Court ruling upholding the death sentence for Asia Bibi in her wrongful blasphemy suit, a Christian human rights watchdog group is calling on the Supreme Court of Pakistan to expedite a hearing in the case, and a London-based music band that is “disgusted” with the decision has launched a music video supporting the imprisoned mother of five children.
In an audible and visual show of its disgust at the high court decision, ooberfuse, an electronica band from Woolwich, London today released FREE, a music video crying out for an end to the persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities in Pakistan and around the world. They join a British Pakistani Christian Association protest this Saturday from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at 10 Downing Street, the London residence of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
You can hear the radio play edit by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/k3zeg3g
Cherrie Anderson, frontwoman of the band, explained: “We have been calling out for Asia’s release ever since we translated Asia’s autobiography into English. Asia’s own words inspired our defiant anthem FREE. We will carry on our campaign until religious minorities around the world enjoy the freedoms people of all faiths and none enjoy here in the UK.”
ASSIST news. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
The London Free Thinker (October the 18th) reports on the protest.
London protest over blasphemy sentence.
Bibi has since released a memoir from prison called Blasphemy, detailing her ordeal:
I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers.
I can no longer bear the sight of people full of hatred, applauding the killing of a poor farm worker. I no longer see them, but I still hear them, the crowd who gave the judge a standing ovation, saying: ‘Kill her, kill her! Allahu Akbar!’
Bibi’s case drew global criticism in 2011 when Pakistan’s minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and eastern Punjab governor Salman Taseer were killed for supporting her and opposing blasphemy laws. Taseer was killed in the capital Islamabad by one of his police guards after visiting Bibi in jail.
Bhati was killed months later by the Pakistani Taliban, who called him an “infidel Christian”.
Bibi has since released a memoir from prison called Blasphemy, detailing her ordeal.
I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers.
Bibi’s lawyer Sardar Mushtaq said:
We have the right to appeal in 30 days, and we will continue this legal battle by approaching the Supreme Court of Pakistan. We have a strong case, and we will try our best to save her life.
Kate Allen, UK Director of Amnesty International, said:
This is the latest blasphemy outrage to come out of Pakistan. It seems obvious that this is a case of religious persecution, and it’s very likely the result of a squabble which escalated out of all proportion.
Blasphemy accusations in Pakistan are often used to settle petty vendettas and persecute minority groups. It’s a complete disgrace that the courts are complicit in these vendettas.
There has also been an alarming spate of killings of people who have spoken out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Mohammad Asghar, a Scottish man, is also on death row in Pakistan after being sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Asghar, 70, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to death earlier this year after writing a series of letters claiming to be the “Prophet” Mohammed. Last month Asghar was shot and wounded by a police officer at the Rawalpindi prison where he is held.
Free, Free the Beloved Asia Bibi!
As student supporters of the NUS decision not to back the Kurdish struggle against Islamist genociders claim that the motion to commit them would “outsource” NUS campaigning to “MI5 and MI6″ we get the following claim,
the bottom line is that Malia promised to, and has, rewritten the motion to fully condemn ISIS https://www.facebook.com/malia.bouattia/posts/10154739200655331?fref=nf …
Well, it’s a claim, but her supporters seem a lot, a real lot, more concerned to “defend” Malia than to anything to defend the Kurds.
Now, this crops up.
From The Tab (October the 15th).
A motion was proposed at the Goldsmiths Students’ Assembly yesterday to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and victims of genocide.
Education officer Sarah El-alfy urged students to vote against the proposal, rejecting it as “eurocentric”.
One student added: “The motion would force people to remember things they may not want to remember.”
Another suggested she couldn’t commemorate the Holocaust because she thought the Union was explicitly “anti-Zionist”.
One of the students present said the proposal should be voted against as it would affect the Union’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The unfortunately-named President Howard Littler said after: “Someone brought up Israel-Palestine out of the blue but I made a point of information and said I didn’t want to conflate the two.”
He later audaciously added that the whole thing is just “a storm in a teacup”.
This report should be treated with extreme caution but here is the following.
The Tab asks.
Would you vote for or against the motion? Read it in full and have your say
Motion for the Student Union to commemorate the victims of genocide, totalitarianism and racial hatred
The Student Union recognises the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust, of the other genocides, of totalitarianism and racial hatred. It further recognises that commemorating the victims of genocide, racial hatred and totalitarianism, and promoting public awareness of these crimes against humanity, is essential to sustaining and defending democratic culture and civil society, especially in the face of a resurgence of neo-fascism, racial hatred and neo-Stalinism across Europe.
The Student Union shall organise commemorative events for students and members of the public on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th of January), on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism (23rd of August annually), on the Holodomor Genocide Memorial Day Act (4th Saturday in November, Annually) and on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (24th April annually).
The motion fell by one vote.
The report continues.
The SU have yet to release minutes as they agree on the contents for the next meeting on 18th November.
But those attending are encouraged to live-tweet the event using the hashtag “GSUAssembly”.
One student named T. Walpole, present at the Assembly, objected: “Our union is anti-Zionist.”
They added: “This is a colonialist motion. Vote it down.
“White people should not be proposing motions to condemn genocides without a lot of thought. This does not have that thought.”
Now let’s disregard these (reported) morally cretinous comments.
The fact is that Holocaust Memorial day is not just about the Shoah,
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) is the charity which promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). 27 January is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
The trust does not include the Ukraine (Holodomor) or the Armenian genocide (Turkey).
Bu Goldsmith does not include, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
Or, something many consider a genocide, by Pakistan and its Islamist allies, Bangladesh in 1971.
In this light, and the complications that this could cause, and vagueness about ‘civil society’, the motion appears badly worded (Hat-tip Bob B).
But the issue of how to commemorate these mass killings, even by ‘white people’, and, by people of different political ideologies and faiths or none at all, is obscured by something which cannot be wished away.
This is what the College’s “Education officer” tweeted,
She now comments (I checked on the Tweet), with no further explanation whatsoever,
Goldsmith’s SU has a lot of answering to do.
More including some (evasive) ‘explanations’ from the union on the Huffington Post.
And by the Students’ Union.
On Tuesday night a Motion was voted down by a majority at Goldsmiths Students’ Union’s Students Assembly – a democratic meeting in which all students are invited to discuss and vote on issues that are important to them.
Subsequently The Tab wrote a piece entitled ‘vile SU refuse to commemorate Holocaust [sic]’. It is worth noting at this point that the article was co-authored by the proposer of the original motion, both of whose motions were voted down at the Student Assembly.
Many baseless claims are made, however the central tenet is that the Students Assembly and the Students’ Union opposed remembering the victims of the Holocaust. This is an insulting misrepresentation. We have in the past commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day and will in the future.
A nuanced discussion about how best to effectively and collectively remember these events was had at Students Assembly. Re-drafting motions and re-entering them at a later date isn’t unusual in Students’ Unions and shouldn’t be misinterpreted as opposition. Sarah El-alfy, GSU Education officer, offered to help the proposer re-draft the motion and bring it to the next Student Assembly and this reflected the positivity in the room about the motion with the ambition to strengthen it further. A motion that includes remembering the Holocaust will be brought to the next Student Assembly in November. We feel these facts have been ignored in the subsequent reporting.
We will be writing to the Editor of The Tab in due course to seek correction of many of the factual inaccuracies in the report. Seperately, The Tab, in their article misgendered one of our students. We would like to ask for this to be corrected along with the rest of the article.
Goldsmiths SU executive team
Misgendering is the least of their problems.
What about the Tweets, starting with the one by Sarah El-alfy?
In the news this week:
The second edition of Iran’s International New Horizon Independent Conference started its programs in the capital city of Tehran, Press TV has reported.
A number of senior investigative journalists, authors, filmmakers and renowned political activists took part in the gala.
The participants flocked to the three-day event from the UK, the United States, and several countries of Europe.
The first panel of the event hosted the presentations of several experts focused on the influence of the Zionist lobby on the West in the process of nuclear talks with Iran.
The Zionist lobby has its grip deep into different layers of the US government, American investigative journalist Wayne Madsen stated at the conference.
The Islamic Awakening movement, the role of Zionist lobbies in the European and US crises, introducing international anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist figures, and Islamic resistance against the Zionist regime are some of the topics of the conference.
The first edition of the International New Horizon Independent Conference was presented in 2012 along with a film festival centered on the related issues.
The showcased films at the festival represented Islamic resistance against the Zionist regime, war threats against Iran and anti-war movements, the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Iranophobia and Islamophobia, world without Zionism, and world without terrorism and atomic weapons.
New Horizon conference and festival is aimed at providing a platform where independent thinkers can gather together, feature their films and engage in debate and deliberation on various aspects of world and the reality of Hollywood.
To give a flavour of this event here is an extract from the Conference’s agenda (Hat-Tip: Harry’s Place) ,
- Section 4 (5:15 PM – 7:15 PM)
Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat
Panelists: Thierry Meyssan, Kevin Barrett, Maurizio Blondet, & Jim Fetzer via video link
Moderator: Nader Talebzadeh
v Philosophy and False Flags: Neo-conservatism, Zionism and 9/11
v Mossad-9/11 Links: The Empirical Evidence
v History of Mossad False Flags
v Zionist Fingerprints on the 9/11 Cover-up
v 9/11 Truth Movement Strategies and the Zionism Issue
v 9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist “Public Myths”
v Uniting the Muslim Ummah for 9/11 Truth and Against Zionism
We are interested in this, ” Waliyic Islam, or Post-Secularism and its Discontents.”
The speaker Hasan Rahimpour Azghadi, a member of the Iranian Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, is noted or having said this (see link just given),
“Today, underlying all the worldwide trends of alcohol consumption, prostitution, Hollywood sex and porn, banking, usury, and sex slavery there are Zionist tendencies. This is true in the U.S., in Europe, and everywhere. There is documented data to back this up. Surprisingly, even in the days of the Prophet of Islam, they fulfilled this same role. This is true of some of them, whom the Prophet confronted for precisely these reasons. One of the allegations leveled against them in Christian Europe of the last centuries was that they are experts in controlling the markets, culture, and the media, and in seizing control of large populations by means of small groups…Zionism will not disappear through talks. The Zionist Israeli state must be annihilated.”
One aspect worth mentioning is the French collection of “senior investigative journalists” and “renowned political activists“.
Of the French attendees we learn from the Initiative Communiste-Ouvrière that they include, amongst others,
le complotiste Thierry Meyssan, la négationniste Maria Poumier, deux représentants du parti néofasciste Parti solidaire Français : Thomas Werlet et Olivier Lemoine. Sans surprise, on retrouve également le journaliste de droite Jean-Michel Vernochet (2) et Gilles Munier, ex-soutien de Saddam Husssein et collaborateur du site d’Egalité et Réconciliation. Autre proche d’Alain Soral et de Dieudonné invité à cette rencontre : le dessinateur négationniste Joe le Corbeau.
The conspiracy theorist Thierry Meyssan (famous for 9/11 ‘false-flag’ lies), the Holocaust denier, Maria Pomier (closely associated with Meyssan), two representatives of the French neo-fascist party, Parti Solidaire Français, Thomas Werlet et Olivier Lemoin, right-wing journalist, Jean-Michel Vernochet, and Gilles Munier, a former supporter of Saddam Hussein, and a contributor to the (far-right) web site, Egalité et Réconciliation. Another person present, who’s close to (Holocaust denier and extreme-right wing activist) Alain Soral, and Dieudonné, the cartoonist, Joe le Corbeau – he is also somebody who questions the existence of the Shoah.
The comrades mention the presence of a Raphaël Berland – from the Cercle des Volontaires, who claim to be independent republican journalists….
It’s to a certain Haméd Ghashghavi, an Iranian Francophone, that we owe the charming picture of him and the racist Dieudonné, from his site FanIrnaian.
The Anti Defamation League provides a summary of this event,
As in the previous conference, this year’s New Horizon Conference has drawn the participation of several anti-Israel activists, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers. A new presence at the conference is the participation of a so called American anti-war activist, Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of CODEPINK.
In addition to Benjamin, the conference’s official website published the names of several American and international anti-Semites, anti-Israel activists and Holocaust deniers that are expected to be in attendance, including Maria Poumier, a French conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier; Claudio Moffa, an Italian Holocaust denier; Kevin Barrett, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and frequent contributor to Iran’s English language propaganda news network, Press TV; Garth Porter, an anti-Israel journalist; Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian anti-Israel journalist; and Art Olivier, a former elected official from California and 9/11 conspiracy theorist.
Moreover, Iranian news agencies have reported that a number of other individuals are scheduled to also attend the three-day conference in Tehran. Iranian news agencies have reported the expected participation of Alison Weir, the director of If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest, two grassroots anti-Israel organizations; Ken O’Keefe, an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist former U.S. Marine and a regular contributor to Press TV; Wayne Madsen, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist; Cyrus McGoldrick, the former Civil Rights Manager for the New York chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations; Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French anti-Semitic comedian and the creator of the anti-Semitic “quenelle” gesture; and Mark Siljander, a former U.S. Representative (R-MI) who was found guilty in 2010 of two federal charges relating to his ties to an Islamic charity alleged to have funded terrorist groups.
The conference was opened with remarks by the personal advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mohsen Ghomi, who boasted that the conference itself is “the biggest threat to Zionists,” and that “American officials are puppets of the Zionist lobby who are taking advantage of American ignorance.” Anti-Israel journalist Garth Porter said during his presentation on Monday that the Mossad and CIA are responsible for manufacturing the nuclear crisis with Iran.
The 2nd New Horizon Conference comes on the heels of the 13th annual International Resistance Film Festival that ran in Tehran from September 22–29. The film festival included submissions from dozens of countries, including Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, and was organized by the Cinematic Community of the Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.
The “The “Islamic” State Meme, its Precursors, & the US-Israel-Saudi Triangle” appears promising.
Tehran appears ready to see the hand of Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia behind the genocidal Isis/Islamic State.
Holocaust Denier Dieudonné Faces New Charges.
The jocular Jew-hater began by observing that the deaths of Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi, hanged and lynched, had not seemed to move anybody.
The video of James Foley’s killing, by contrast “moved the cadres of the Rothschild Mafia”.
With heavy-handed irony the ‘humorist’ stated that since the guillotining of Louis XVI decapitation was a sign of civilisation and progress. The king was even executed in public, on the Place de la Révolution.
In any case the convicted anti-Semite was more concerned with the death of a Cameroonian footballer, Albert Ebossé, who was killed this August struck on the head by a missile at a game in Alegria – this he compared to a stoning (lapidation)
Dieudonné added that his editor had had a good laugh at the murder.
The video has been taken down by Youtube.
French prosecutors have launched an investigation.
A penalty of five years in prison for “justification of terrorism” may be demanded.
Those who like Dieudonné range from disaffected urban youth to the classic French extreme right. Le Pen is the godfather of his daughter and he is close to holocaust denier, Alain Soral. The ideas behind the Dieudosphère are a miasma of conspiracy theory, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Western clichés.
* A pretty hard pun on the literary word ‘feu’ (deceased), les feux follets (will-o’the-wisp) and Folly (folie, madness), and James Foley the American journalist whose decapitation by ISIS was videoed.
Ex-Tories Fall for UKIP Politics.
Controversial former Tory council leader Dale Jackson is attempting to make a comeback in this year’s borough elections in his old ward – for UKIP.
Mr Jackson, who left the council after falling out with his Conservative colleagues, has been selected as UKIP candidate for Castle Hill ward.
It is a seat that his new party is targeting – the party’s James Crossley won the Whitton and Whitehouse county council division last year and that includes part of Castle Hill.
Mr Jackson will be up against former Conservative leader Chris Stewart who stood down earlier this year after a split in his group during the borough’s budget debate.
The Castle Hill ward will now be a key battleground – with Mr Jackson well known in the area.
He was Conservative leader in 2004 when the party took control of the borough in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, but stepped down as council leader after he became subject of a Standards’ Board investigation into claims that he had sent an inappropriate letter to the teenage daughter of a fellow Conservative councillor.
He was cleared of wrong-doing, but the group did not allow him to return as leader. After that he fell out with other Conservatives, and ended up sitting as an independent councillor.
Dale, from the lunatic fringe of the Conservative Party, has plenty of other skeletons in his cupboard.
This may well be worth looking into (from UKIP Ipswich’s Twitter account),
Then there is this, from the Best Blog based in an outhouse in Ipswich :
Three weeks ago Jose Esteves was canvassing with the Ipswich Tories. Yet now he is a UKIP candidate for Alexandra Ward. I have ascertained that the Tories knew nothing of his defection, though intelligence suggests that another local blogger may have been aware of it.
There is a theory held by some Ipswich Tories that Jose was in fact a UKIP spy. But I don’t think Ipswich UKIP are organised enough to indulge in such espionage. I think that the more likely thing that has happened is that Mr Esteves worked out he was working hard for the Ipswich Tories, not being appreciated for his hard work and being taken for granted like a lot of their foot soldiers are. Then UKIP offered him a candidacy and he took it.
There are 14 UKIP Ipswich candidates standing, that is out of 16 Borough wards.
So, it’s no longer just Algar and his mate in Bridge who’ve gone UKIP.
No doubt many of the others are complete nutters as well.
Paul Anderson is a University Campus Suffolk lecturer and writer who lives in Woodbridge Road. He grew up in Dorchester Road in Bixley in the 1960s and 1970s and went to Britannia primary – and his mum lives in the ward. He’s Bixley to his bones: he used to buy sweets from ITFC legend John Elsworthy’s shop at the roundabout and took the number 4 bus into town.
He knows what Bixley residents need from the council – decent bus services, reliable rubbish collection, better social services support for old people, protection of the heaths from housing development – and will campaign for all that and more on the borough council.