I am going to tell you my story, one where violence, intimidation, letters in the night and psychological torture techniques were used to silence me.
Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Posted: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 07:00
The National Secular Society has joined other secularist organisations in calling for a full pardon and civil protection for nine people recently sentenced to death by a Sharia court in Nigeria.
The letter, organised by the Secular Policy Institute, expresses deep concerns over the death sentences handed out for blasphemy and appeals to the Nigerian President, Governor, and Ambassador to ensure the preservation of the individuals’ rights of free conscience and religious expression.
The so-called ‘Kano Nine’ were sentenced to death by a sharia court in the Nigerian state of Kano after what the BBC described as a “speedily done” and “secret” trial.
The charges centred around claims that the nine accused said that Niasse, the founder of the Tijaniya sect, was “bigger than [the] Prophet Muhammad”.
The nine are alleged to have made the comment at a religious gathering held to honour Niasse, in a venue which was burnt down by a mob before the nine (eight men and one woman) were arrested by police over the accusations.
The head of the religious police in Kano told the BBC: “We quickly put them on trial to avoid bloodshed because people were very angry and trying to take law into their hands.”
There were reports of celebrations across parts of the city when the death sentences were announced.
The Secular Policy Institute note that “comments by local-authorities expressing relief at stemming further vigilante acts” give the impression that the verdicts were the result of “political expedience rather than a fair administration of justice.”
The ‘Kano Nine’ are “being sacrificed to pacify a mob”, the signatories write.
There was extreme secrecy around the trial, and even the names of all of the accused are not known.
Nigeria operates two countervailing jurisprudences – Customary and Sharia. The Customary Criminal code would call for a maximum two-year sentence for purported violation, with the Sharia code specifying a death sentence.
The letter argues that at the very least the State should uphold civil over religious law.
The BBC gives some background:
Nigeria court in Kano sentences nine people to death for blasphemy
An Islamic court has sentenced nine people to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.
The accused, who were all Muslims, had pleaded guilty, the head of Kano’s religious police, Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, told the BBC.
The trial was speedily done in secret after a section of the court was burnt down by angry protesters last month.
It is not known if they will appeal against the sentence.
The alleged offence was committed last month at a religious gathering in honour of Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, the Senegalese founder of the Tijaniya sect, which has a large following across West Africa.
The nine, eight man and a woman, were reported to have said that “Niasse was bigger than Prophet Muhammad”, triggering unrest.
The venue was burnt to the ground by an angry mob and the nine were arrested,
“There has been consensus among Muslims scholars that insulting the prophet carries a death sentence,” Mr Daurawa told the BBC Hausa service.
“We quickly put them on trial to avoid bloodshed because people were very angry and trying to take law into their hands,” he added.
The case of a recent judgment by an Upper Sharia Court, Rijiyar Lemo, in Kano state, which passed death sentences on nine persons for blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed has caused uproar among Nigerians.
On Thursday, 26th June 2015, a group of Tijjaniyya sect members, during Maulud in Kano, blasphemed the prophet of Islam and the action was followed by widespread protest in the state. It was reported that this barbaric judgement created wild jubilation in certain quarters in Kano, this was further worsened when the Kano Government’s expressed satisfaction at the given verdict. A press release by the government stated that this judgement will serve as a deterrent to others.
After series of hearing, the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal, in a statement, said the nine were found guilty under Sections 110 and 382B of the Sharia Penal Court law of 2000.
Four other persons namely Alkassim Abubakar, Yahaya Abubakar, Isa Abubakar and Abdullahi Abubakar were discharged and acquitted as they were not found wanting by the court. However, Abdul-Inyas and Hajiya Mairo, with seven others to death, will be executed over a case of Blasphemy once the Kano State Governor appends his signature on their execution form.
Reacting to the judgement, Nigerians on Wednesday took to Twitter to appeal for the sentence to be overturned.
Using #SaveKanoNine hashtag, many have called on the intervention of President Buhari and higher-placed individuals and bodies such as Amnesty International to interfere.
Podemos Leader Faces Challenging Times.
La izquierda alternativa desafía el plan de Iglesias para las generales
The Left Alternative challenges Iglesias’s plans for the General Election.
Reports El Paìs today – translated/adapted. (Hat-Tip to SH)
Under the name Ahora en Común, a group of the left of Podemos have, on Thursday, set in motion an initiative to promote “popular unity” for the general election, candidacies in the style of the’ ‘ciudadanas’ citizen-city lists (governing in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza. The platform, with the backing of Podemos office holders, Izquidra Unida (IU – united left, groups based on democratic communists and radical left socialist and green groups, formerly the largest left alliance in Spain) and those from these lists, is a setback to the strategy of Pablo Ingelisas , who wants the other forces of the alternative left to join behind him, under his “umbrella”, for the election. IU’s candidate, Alberto Garzón, whose own proposals for unity have already been rejected by Iglesias, has welcome the proposals.
The manifesto was signed by representatives of Podemos, candidates of “popular unity”, the United Left (IU) and Equo (Spain’s Greens). These include Jorge Suarez, mayor of Ferrol (Ferrol in Common), Isidro Lopez, deputy in the Assembly of Madrid, Diego Pacheco, a member of the regional management of the organisation in Madrid, Rosa Martinez, spokesperson for Equo, Pablo Carmona, Councillor for Ahora Madrid, Mauricio Valiente, former candidate of IU Madrid and Councillor also now Madrid, IU MEP Javier Couso or Eduardo Garzon, economist and brother of the candidate of the d’ederación de izquierdas’ (federation of the lefts), Alberto Garzón.
You can see the – growing – list of those backing Ahora en Común (Now, Together! ) here.
Iglesias’s response has been to say that he does not need unity between parties, but unity between people.
“El líder de Podemos afirma sobre la plataforma ciudadana que “la unidad popular no es la unidad de partidos, es la unidad de la gente”. (El Diario).
Presumably behind, himself, and his leadership of Podemos…..
…it didn’t take long to find accusations, discussed in Podemos itself, that Igelsiais appears “proud and arrogant, and who refuses to join with anybody else, even at the cost of losing votes”. “que parece arrogante y soberbio, que se niega a confluir con nadie aun a costa de perder votos. Beatriz Gimeno and Carmen San José. Mardid Assembly Councillors Podemos. (Viento Sur. – Left grouping part of Podemos)
These problems follow Podemos distancing from Greece’s Syriza. (Guardian 6th of July)
For the past year, they have positioned themselves as allied agents of a change sweeping across southern Europe.
On the face of it, Spain’s leftwing anti-austerity Podemos party should have been crowing at the landslide victory of the no vote in Sunday’s Greek referendum. But while Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias was quick to praise Syriza and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, his overriding message was a simple one – Spain is not Greece.
With a general election due in Spain by the end of the year, Iglesias, whose party made substantial gains in local elections earlier this year, was careful to mark the differences between the two countries, worried, analysts said, that any worsening of the situation in Greece could drive crucial middle-class voters away from his party.
“We have a great friendship with Syriza, but luckily, Spain is not Greece,” Iglesias told radio Cadena Ser. “We’re an economy with much more weight in the eurozone, we’re a country with a stronger administration and with a better economic situation. The circumstance are different and I think it makes no sense to draw parallels.”
Instead, Iglesias framed the referendum as a step forward for democracy in that the Greek people had finally been handed the power to decide on austerity measures. “It’s good news for Europeans and Greek citizens,” said Iglesias. “The people of Greece have said they want change, they support a government who says that things can be done in a different way.”
The referendum was a clear success for Tsipras, said political scientist Fernando Vallespín from Madrid’s Autonomous University. “The automatic assumption is that what is good for Tsipras is good for Podemos,” he said, but he feels it is too early to say whether that is the case, pointing to the efforts made by Iglesias to distance Spain from Greece. “I think Podemos is worried that the situation in Greece won’t get better.”
Reinforcing the differences between the countries dampens the idea of contagion, he said, and maintains the party’s appeal to moderate voters. The latest polls show Podemos is in a virtual tie with the governing People’s party and opposition Socialists.
Podemos must walk a fine line when it comes to Greece, said José Ignacio Torreblanca, the author of Asaltar Los Cielos, or Storm the Heavens, which explores the rise of Podemos. “On one hand it’s good news for them, because the message of the people having voted against austerity strengthens their message. The frame for them is fantastic because its the people against the troika, David against Goliath and the weak against the powerful,” he said.
The challenge, however, is then to distance themselves from any bad news emerging from Greece. “This is where the space opens for the People’s party and others to point to issues such as the queues for cash machine withdrawals. All of the parties have been trying to use Greece to their advantage.”
Followed by this reaction:
34 People going!
Bijou Ale House.
The Galloway Campaign for London Mayor is underway and things are hotting up.
150 people crammed into a small room in Conway Hall to listen to the man who has vowed to take on Long John Silver, slay the Buccaneers and find the buried gold.
More Galloway Stuff:
Asghar Bukhari, Israel’s Covert War On Muslims: I would walk barefoot to defend my people — they can keep the shoe.
The Story that Will not be Lost!
In the interests of promoting free speech we publish the following harrowing document (only just available, thanks to CAF):
This heart-rending account of a man persecuted by Zionists to the point where even a man’s shoes are no longer safe is this year’s must-read.
Let me explain. Odd things had been happening in my home for some time. Things had been moved around, windows that my wife assiduously closed were open when we returned, the window seals on my car were pulled up, the gas on the cooker on, and on and on it went. Each time I put it down to forgetfulness, mistakes, or something none of us could explain, I just shrugged it off and got on with it.
Either way, I didn’t think much of it.
But on this night, something happened I knew was nothing to do with me being forgetful. It was all to do with a new pair of shoes.
Bravely Asghar Bukhari publicised this heinous Zionist crime.
But what happened?
Within hours Facebook had banned me and a global campaign against me started.
They also banned all videos being uploaded onto the MPACUK Facebook page. In effect stopping me communicating to the very audience that had heard my message. The timing seemed far more than chance to me. No sooner than the ban took effect, scores of Zionists started to troll my page attacking me.
The story was passed to the Media and a Zionist campaign started.
Worse was to come….
A day after my Jewish neighbours, both of whom are lawyers, stopped my wife and pointed out that they had found some slippers in their garden, they were placed, next to some feathers. They surmised a fox must have had something to do with it, they didn’t know much more as they had been on holiday.
The slippers, ripped and scuffed up, were the final nail in the coffin of any doubt that there was any plausible explanation at all for the strange and odd things that had happened over the last few months.
You see for those slippers to have been taken by an animal, that animal would have had to enter not just one door, but two, and then on the way out — lock both of them. There was no chance on earth an animal had taken my slippers or my shoes. I had been targeted for Zersetzung.
They will not win!
However, in trying to defeat me, the bungled attempt at trying to play with my mind had failed. They had made a story, where there was none. If they had left my post on Facebook, tens of thousands would never have never known about their actions — the invisible hand of Israel and its attempts to covertly destroy its opposition would have remained undocumented. But in their rush to silence me, they made a strategic misjudgement — they decided to go big with it — they panicked, and played a hand they did not have to play and that misjudgement reader — is why you are reading this right now.
One can only admire Bukhari’s pluck:
As for me — I would walk bare foot to defend my people — they can keep the shoe.
On twitter @AsgharBukhari
Charlie Hebdo. Lettre aux escrocs de l’islamophobie qui font le jeu des racists. Charb. Review Article.
Posthumous Bolt of Light.
“This text was completed on the 5th of January 2015, two days before the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo, during which Charb lost his life.”
The Lettre addresses the reader, “If you think that criticism of religions is the expression of racism” “If you think that ‘Islam’ is the name of a people.” “If you think that punishing blasphemers will open the gates of heaven for you.” “If you think that left-wing atheists play into the hands of fascists and xenophobes” “If you think that it is essential to classify citizens according to their religion” “If you think that one can laugh at everything except whatever is sacred to you.” “If you think that popularising the concept of Islamophobia is the best way of defending Islam” ………..
“So, dear reader, this letter has been written for you”
Charb (Stephane Charbonnier) would not learn of the response of those he spoke to on the first pages of the Lettre. He was absent after those seeking paradise murdered him, eleven of his colleagues at Charlie Hebdo, a police officer and four customers of the Vincennes Hyper-Cacher.
In France, and across the world, millions expressed their solidarity and love for Charlie and all the victims of the atrocities. But there remained those who responded according to the 19 ready-made ideas about Islam Charb listed. Liberals and those claiming to stand on the left, marked by every single one of them, were prominent amongst those who contributed to a torrent of abuse whose echoes still resonate.
Mark Maguire, on the Stop the War Coalition’s site, stated that Charlie was “a rather unpleasant French magazine” that published “anti-Islamic cartoons”. Others pitched in. It was ‘Zionist’ and ‘neo-conservative’, with the imprint of former Editor Phillipe Val who is said to have promoted these views. It was – it would be an easy task to cite thousands of articles – ‘Islamophobic’. It was vulgar and racist. It specialised in the pornographic mocking of sacred beliefs, above all of Muslims.
The Weekly, as the Socialist Workers Party template set out, was known for its “provocative and racist attacks on Islam”. Norman Finkelstein tried to create an industry out of this holocaust. He declared that the paper was not satire but “sadism” and compared it to the anti-Semitic Nazi Der Stürmer. An apparently anti-racist alliance, Unite Against Fascism (UAF), held a special session at their AGM on why “je ne suis pas Charlie.”
This hostility has not died down. ‘Rules’ for satirists appeared – which Charlie had apparently broken. It should have targeted the “powerful.” Will Self judged that satire ought to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”. Literary critics, enforcing these new Aristotlean unities of satirical style – breached no doubt by Rabelais, Hogath’s drawings, and the plebeian Viz comic, not to mention early Soviet anti-religious propaganda – have tried to establish their decree. (1) We could call it ‘satirical realism’. Even cartoonists joined the would-be Zhdanovs of correct caricature. As have authors. Read the rest of this entry »
“Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone … Secularism … is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.” Raif Badawi.
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi may receive second set of lashes on Friday reports Human Rights Watch.
Beirut) – Saudi authorities could resume lashing liberal activist and blogger Raif Badawi on June 12, 2015. On June 7, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld a sentence of 10 years and 1,000 lashes against him. Badawi, convicted in 2013 for setting up a liberal website and allegedly insulting religious authorities, has no more appeals. Prior to the Supreme Court review Saudi authorities lashed him 50 times on January 9.
On May 29, the Saudi embassy in Brussels sent an official statement about the case by the Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry to members of the European parliament. The statement condemned any “interference in its internal affairs,” saying that “some international parties and media … drifted into an attempt to infringe and attack on the sovereign right of states.”
“Saudi authorities believe they are the ones under attack while Raif Badawi waits to be publicly flogged merely for expressing his peaceful opinions,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “All Saudi efforts to improve the country’s image internationally cannot overcome this ugly message of intolerance.”
The charges against Badawi are based solely on his peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, Human Rights Watch said. Badawi established his online platform in 2008 to encourage debate on religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities have detained Badawi in Jeddah’s Buraiman prison since his arrest on June 17, 2012.
Saudi Arabia hosts UN-backed human rights summit ‘on combating religious discrimination’
Jennifer Cody Epstein admits was wrong to oppose Charlie Hebdo Award: We expose one basis of anti-Charlie Hatred.
Luz: New Album, Catharsis, on January Murders: On reste toujours avec toi Charlie!
The Guardian Reports.
The American novelist Jennifer Cody Epstein has said that she “fundamentally misunderstood Charlie Hebdo’s mission and content” when she put her name to a letter condemning PEN’s decision to honour the magazine with an award.
She now believes that Charlie Hebdo’s “controversial images – while arguably tasteless, offensive and not even particularly well-drawn – sprang from satire, not hate”.
“It is a profound and crucial difference: if one is to argue for freedom of speech there can be no caveats, no asterisks, no fine print qualifying that ‘freedom’ only applies to expression we don’t consider too upsetting, or doesn’t enrage right-wing fundamentalists with guns,” her letter reads.
She adds that she was “also under the misassumption that Hebdo disproportionately lampooned Islam”, and points to an article by Michael Moynihan in the Daily Beast, in which he highlights the fact that Charlie Hebdo has had more anti-Christian covers – 21 – than anti-Islam – seven – in the last 10 years.
It is worth reflecting on the words of those who oppose Charlie Hebdo root and branch:
While pontificating about “free speech”, criticism of Israel was not tolerated, and any manifestation of the Nationalist Right was regarded as requiring state repression. Charlie Hebdo advocates the “liberalism” of the Jacobins, the argument of the guillotine, figuratively, if not literally. They try to titillate the “educated” classes of France with an illustration of Jesus sodomising God, and other such puerilities on a weekly basis.
Never did they campaign in favor of genuine “heretics”, such as those who questioned the Holocaust, who are heavily repressed in France. Never did they respond to the cause of the continuously vilified, constantly prosecuted, and physically beaten Dr. Robert Faurisson. The former professor of literature at the University of Lyon, removed for his heresy, whose questioning on the matter of the gas chambers at least had the support of socialist-libertarian Serge Thion in France and in the USA of Dr. Noam Chomsky, on the basis of free enquiry. But Chomsky is a rare breed of Leftist intellectual. Most of the CH types the world over believe in free speech only as far as it aligns with their own dogmas. CH served as a mouthpiece for the ideology of the world system in a convergence of Grand Orient politicized Freemasonry, economic liberalism, Jacobinism, Zionism, and Marxism. It is this type of convergence, during the Cold War, under CIA auspices, from which the neocons emerged. A similar process has resulted in parts of the French Left taking a neocon course, Islamophobic, in the name of “universal values,” to the point of supporting U.S. (and Israeli) policies. They are like the Trotskyite luminaries during the Cold War, including Trotsky’s widow, Sedova, Max Schachtman, et al, who ended up being avid champions of the USA.
Any resemblance between the above and the below is pure coincidence.
Sadly Charlie Hebdo had been drifting away from its roots in the revolutionary events of France 1968 for some time. In the aftermath of 9/11 its output became blatantly Islamophobic and increasingly Zionist.
Tim SandersSocialist Workers Party, Socialist Review.
Some key players at Charlie Hebdo were part of the ‘Street Fighting Years’ of 1968. What do you have to say about the way they evolved?
They evolved sharply to the right, like French society as a whole. A friend of mine recently wrote: “…did I ever tell you that Cabu gave me my first job when I was still at the lycee? For five months I was at Le Canard Enchaine; that was in the late ‘80s…. Then he relaunched Charlie Hebdo and I joined him for a while, but I never felt at ease with this team and I broke off with them during the war in Yugoslavia (obviously Charlie was in favour of the NATO intervention) and I moved to London…. Then by the late ‘90s Charlie became definitely a right-wing fanzine, always trying to please the establishment and in favour of ALL the colonial wars