Sunday, September 30, 2007
I guess at a time when young people can't afford to marry, viewing polygamy on TV on daily basis is quite tantalizing (for the man at least).
When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.
When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.
When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.
I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?
How did Jacob’s sight return?
A little wind cleans the eyes.
When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us
While the judge didn't buy his "reasoning" and tried to convince him to revoke the divorce, the husband went through with it. Why not since the law of the land says he could divorce at will.
BTW, the wife was watching a religious talk show, probably about how wives should obey their husbands and not watch TV alone.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Let me try again:
Two Saudi women defended themselves yesterday against the public harassment of two members of the so-called moral police who were trying to give them unasked for fashion advice. The incident is a reminder that no woman should leave home without her bottle of pepper spray handy within reach.
The above text supposedly refers to the T-Shirt the Lebanese singer Amal Hijazi wore in one of her video clips last year which seemed to have a gay theme. Here's the literal translation:
She "wore a t shirt for those who have special "needs" from those who are "like" them in their biological make up! What the heck!!!
I don't think the text is obscure enough! How scandalous!
Shouldn't a gag order be issued to shut up those people who everyday come up with a wackier idea than the day before?
Imagine what a disaster we'd have if the actress in question has already followed the fatwa of that other genius and breasdfed her colleague so that their working together will be kosher. By acting a marriage scene with him she'd be marrying her brother!
Haydar Abdel Shafi, 88, is dead. He battled cancer for two years and battled the Israeli occupation for Palestinian national rights all his life. Abdel Shafi was someone I respected deeply: for his integrity, his independence, and his dignity. I always thought that he would have made a great president for the independent state of Palestine. But it was never meant to be. He will be missed, especially in this age of clowns, thugs, and puppets.
Below, I post the speech he gave at the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. He led the Palestinian delegation then. He eventually distanced himself from Oslo and its regime, which he felt betrayed Palestinian national aspirations and legitimized the continuation of the Israeli occupation.
Madrid 31 October 1991
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. O esteemed audience.
Allow me first to extend greetings of thanks and appreciation to the State
of Spain, king, government, and people, for hosting this historic
conference. I would also like to extend greetings of pride and
appreciation for the sons of the Palestinian people who are still
struggling for freedom and independence. I will now speak on their behalf
to you and the various democratic powers in the world in English.
Mr. Baker, Mr. Pankin, ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the Palestinian
delegation, we meet in Madrid, a city with a rich texture of history, to
weave together the fabric which joins our past with future, to reaffirm a
wholeness of vision which once brought about a reverse of civilization a! nd
a world order based on barmony in diversity. Once again, Christian,
Muslim, and Jew face the challenge of heralding a new era enshrined in
global values of democracy, human rights, freedom, justice, and security.
>From Madrid , we launch this quest for peace, a quest to place the sanctity
of human life at the center of our world, and to redirect our energies and
resources from the pursuit of mutual destruction to the pursuit of joint
prosperity, progress, and happiness.
We, the people of Palestine , stand before you in the fullness of our pain,
our pride, and our anticipation, for we long harbored a yearning for peace
and a dream of justice and freedom. For too long, the Palestinian people
have gone unheeded, silenced and denied. Our identity negated by political
expediency; our right for struggle against injustice maligned; and our
present existence subdued by the past tragedy of another people. For the
greater part of this century we have been victimized by the myth of a land
without a people and described with impunity as the invisible
Palestinians. Before such willful blindness, we refused to disappear or to
accept a distorted identity. Our intifada is a testimony to our
perseverance and resilience waged in a just struggle to regain our rights.
It is time for us to narrate our own story, to stand witness as advocates
of truth which bas long lain buried in the consciousness and conscience of
the world. We do not stand before you as supplicants, but rather as the
torch-bearers who know that, in our world of today, ignorance can never be
an excuse. We seek neither an admission of guilt after the fact, nor
vengeance for past inequities, but rather an act of will that would make a
just peace a reality.
We speak out ladies and gentlemen, from the full conviction of the
rightness of our cause, the verity of our history, and the depth of our
commitment. There in lies the strength of the Palestinian people today,
for we have scaled walls of fear and reticence, and we wish to speak out
with the courage and integrity that our narrative and history deserve. The
cosponsors have invited us here today to present our case and to reach out
to the other with whom we have had to face a mutually exclusive reality on
the land of Palestine . But even in the invitation to this peace
conference, our narrative was distorted and our truth only partially
The Palestinian people are one, fused by centuries of history in
Palestine , bound together by a collective memory of shared sorrows and
joys, and sharing a unity of Purpose and vision. Our songs and ballads,
full of tales and children's stories, the dialect of our jokes, the image
of our Poems that hint of melancholy which colors even our happiest
moments are as important to us as the blood ties which link our families
and clans. Yet, an invitation to discuss peace, the peace we ail desire
and need, comes to only a portion of our people. It ignores our national,
historical, and organic unity. We come here wrenched from our sisters and
brothers in exile to stand before you as the Palestinians under
occupation, although we maintain that each of us represents the rights and
interests of the whole.
We have been denied the right to publicly acknowledge our loyalty to our
leadership and system of government. But allegiance and loyaIty cannot be
censored or severed. Our acknowledged leadership is more than the justly
democratically chosen leadership of all the Palestinian people. It is the
symbol of our national unity and identity, the guardian of our past, the
protector of our present and the hope of our future. Our people have
chosen to entrust it with their history and the preservation of our
precious legacy. This leadership has been clearly and unequivocally
recognized by the Community of nations, with only a few exceptions who had
chosen for so many years shadow over substance. Regardless of the nature
and conditions of our oppression, whether the disposition and dispersion
of exile or the brutality and repression of the occupation, the
Palestinian people cannot be torn asunder. They remain a united nation
wherever they are, or are forced to be.
And Jerusalem, ladies and gentlemen, that city which is not only the soul
Palestine, but the cradle of three world religions, is tangible even in
its claimed absence from our midst at this stage. It is apparent, through
artificial exclusion from this conference, that this is a denial of its
right to seek peace and redemption. For it, too, has suffered from war and
occupation. Jerusalem , the city of peace, has been barred from a peace
conference and deprived of its calling. Palestinian Jerusalem, the capital
of our homeland and future state, defines Palestinian existence, past,
present, and future, but itself has been denied a voice and an identity.
Jerusalem defies exclusive possessiveness or bondage. Israel 's annexation
of Arab Jerusalem remains both clearly illegal in the eyes of the world
community, and an affront to the peace that this city deserves.
We come to you from a tortured land and a proud, though captive people,
having been asked to negotiate with our occupiers, but leaving behind the
children of the intifada, and a people under occupation and under curfew
who enjoined us not to surrender or forget. As we speak, thousands of our
brothers and sisters are languishing in Israeli prisons and detention
camps, most detained without evidence, charge, or trial, many cruelly
mistreated and tortured in interrogation, guilty only of seeking freedom
or daring to defy the occupation. We speak in their name and we say: Set
them free. As we speak, the tens of thousands who have been wounded or
permanently disabled are in pain. Let peace heal their wounds. As we
speak, the eyes of thousands of Palestinian refugees, deportees, and
displaced persons since 1967 are haunting us, for exile is a cruel fate.
Bring them home. They have the right to return. As we speak, the silence
of demolished homes echoes through the halls and in our minds. We must
rebuild our homes in our free state .
And what do we tell the loved ones of those killed by army bullets? How do
we answer the questions and the fear in our children's eyes? For one out
of three Palestinian children under occupation has been killed, injured,
or detained in the past four years. How can we explain to Our children
that they are denied education, for schools are so often closed by the
army? Or why their life is in danger for raising a flag in a land where
even children are killed or jailed? What requiem can be sung for trees
uprooted by army bulldozers? And most of all, who can explain to those
whose lands are confiscated and clear waters stolen, a message of peace?
Remove the barbed wire. Restore the land and its life-giving water. The
settlements must stop now. Peace cannot be waged while Palestinian land
confiscated in myriad ways and the status of the occupied territories is
being decided each day by Israeli bulldozers and barbed wire. This is not
simply a position. It is an irrefutable reality. Territory for peace is a
travesty when territory for illegal settlement is official Israeli policy
and practice. The settlements must stop now.
In the name of the Palestinian people, we wish to directly address the
Israeli people with whom we have had a prolonged exchange of pain: Let us
share hope, instead. We are willing to live side by side on the land and
the promise of the future. Sharing, however, requires two partners,
willing to share as equals. Mutuality and reciprocity must replace
domination and hostility for genuine reconciliation and coexistence under
international legality. Your security and ours are mutually dependent, as
entwined as the fears and nightmares of our children. We have seen some of
you at your best and at your worst. For the occupier can bide no secrets
>from the occupied, and we are witness to the toll that occupation bas
exacted from you and yours.
We have seen you agonize over the transformation of your sons and
daughters into instruments of a blind and violent occupation. And we are
sure that at no time did you envisage such a role for the children whom
you thought would forge your future. We have seen you look back in deepest
sorrow at the tragedy of your past, and look on in horror at the
disfigurement of the victim-turned- oppressor. Not for this have you
nurtured your hopes dreams, and your off-spring. This is why we have
responded with solemn appreciation to those of you who came to offer
consolation to our bereaved, to give support to those whose homes were
being demolished and to extend encouragement and counsel to those detained
behind barbed wire and iron bars. And we have marched together, often
choking, together in the nondiscriminatory tear gas or crying out in pain
as the clubs descended on both Palestinian and Israeli alike, for pain
knows no national boundaries, and no one can claim a monopoly on
suffering. We once formed a human chain around Jerusalem , joining hands
and calling for Peace. Let us today form a moral chain around Madrid and
continue that noble effort for peace and a promise of freedom for our sons
and daughters. Break through the barriers of mistrust and manipulated
fears. Let us look forward in magnanimity and in hope.
To our Arab brothers and sisters, most of whom are represented here in
this historic occasion, we express our loyalty gratitude for their
life-long support and solidarity. We are here together seeking a just and
lasting Peace, whose cornerstone is freedom for Palestine , justice for the
Palestinians, and an end to the occupation of all Palestinian and Arab
lands. Only then can we really enjoy together the fruits of peace,
prosperity, security, and human dignity and freedom,
In particular, we address our Jordanian colleagues in our joint
delegation: our two peoples have a very special historic and geographic
relationship. Together we shall strive to achieve peace. We will continue
to strive for our sovereignty, while proceeding freely and willingly to
prepare the grounds for a confederation between the two states of
Palestine and Jordan , which can be a cornerstone for our security and
To the community of nations on our fragile planet, to the nations of
Africa and Asia, to the Muslim world, and particularly to Europe , on whose
southern and neighborly shores we meet today, from the heart of our
collective struggle for peace, we greet you and acknowledge your support
and recognition. You have recognized our rights and our government, and
have given us real support and protection. You have penetrated the
distorting mist of racism, stereotyping, and ignorance, and committed the
act of seeing the invisible and listening to the voice of the silenced.
Palestinians under occupation and in exile have become a reality in your
eyes, and with courage and determination, you have affirmed the truth of
our narrative. You have taken up our cause and our case, and we have
brought you into our hearts. We thank you for caring and daring to know
the truth, the truth which must set us all free.
To the cosponsors and participants in this occasion of awe and challenge,
we pledge our commitment to the principle of justice, peace, and
reconciliation based on international legitimacy and uniform standards. We
shall persist in our quest for peace to place before you the substance and
determination of our people, often victimized but never defeated. We shall
pursue our people's right to self-determination to the exhilaration of
freedom and to the warmth of the sun as a nation among equals.
This is the moment of truth. You must have the courage to recognize it and
the will to implement it, for our truth can no longer be hidden away in
the dark recesses of inadvertency or neglect. People of Palestine look at
you with a straightforward, direct gaze, seeking to touch your heart, for
you have dared to stir up hopes that cannot be abandoned. You cannot
afford to let us down, for we have lived up to the values you espouse, and
we have remained true to our cause.
We, the Palestinian people, made the imaginative leap in the Palestine
National Council of November 1988, during which the Palestine Liberation
Organization launched its peace initiative based on Security Council
Resolution 242 and 338, and declared Palestinian independence based on
Resolution 181 of the United Nations, which eave birth to two states in
1948, Israel and Palestine . December 1988, a historic speech before the
United Nations in Geneva led directly to the launching of the
Palestinian- American dialogue. Ever since then, Our people have responded
positively to every serious peace initiative and have done the utmost to
ensure the success of this process. Israel , on the other hand, has placed
many obstacles and barriers in the path of peace to negate the very
validity of the process. Its illegal and frenzied settlement activity is
the most glaring evidence of its rejectionism, the latest settlement being
erected just two days ago. These historic decisions of the Palestine
National Council wrench the course of history from inevitable
confrontation and conflict towards peace and mutual recognition- With our
own hands and in an act of sheer will, we have molded the shape of the
future of our people. Our parliament has articulated the message of the
people, with the courage to say "yes" to the challenge of history, just as
it provided the reference in its resolutions last month in AIgiers and in
the Central Council meeting this month in Tunis to go forward to this
historic conference. We cannot be made to bear the brunt of other people's
"no's." We must have reciprocity. We must have peace.
Ladies and gentlemen: In the Middle East , there is no superfluous People
outside time and place, but rather a state sorely missed by time and
place. The state of Palestine must be born on the land of Palestine to
redeem the injustice of the destruction of its historical reality and to
free the people of Palestine from the shackles of their victimization.
Our homeland has never ceased to exist in our minds and hearts, but it has
to exist as a state on all the territories occupied by Israel in the war
of 1967 with Arab Jerusalem as its capital 's in the context of that
city's special status and its nonexclusive character
This state, in a condition of emergence, has already been a subject of
anticipation for too long, should take place today rather than tomorrow.
However, we are willing to accept the proposal for a transitional stage
provided interim arrangements are not transformed into permanent status.
The time frame must be condensed to respond to the dispossessed
Palestinians' urgent need for. sanctuary and to the occupied Palestinians'
right to gain relief from oppression and to win recognition of their
During this phase, international protection for our people is most
urgently, needed; And the de jure application of the Fourth Geneva
Convention is a necessary condition. The phases must not prejudice the
outcome. Rather, they require an internal momentum and motivation to lead
sequentially to sovereignty. Bilateral negotiations on the withdrawal Of
Israeli forces, the dissolution of Israeli administration, and the
transfer of authority to the Palestinian people cannot proceed under
coercion or threat in the current asymmetry of power.
Israel must demonstrate its willingness to negotiate in good faith by
immediately halting all settlement activity and land confiscation while
implementing meaningful confidence-building measures.
Without genuine progress, tangible constructive changes and just
agreements during the bilateral talks, multilateral negotiations will be
meaningless. Regional stability, security, and development are the logical
outcorne of an equitable and just solution to the Palestinian question,
which remains the key to the resolution of wider conflicts and concerns.
In its confrontation of wills between the legitimacy of the people and the
illegality of the occupation, the intifada's message bas been consistent
to embody the Palestinian state and to build its institutions and
infrastructure. We seek recognition for this creative impulse which
nurtures within it the potential nascent state.
We have paid a heavy price for daring to substantiate our authenticity and
to practice popular democracy in spite of the cruelty of occupation. It
was a sheer act of will that brought us here; the same will which asserted
itself in the essence of the intifada as the cry for freedom, an act of
civil resistance and people's participation and empowerment.
The intifada is our drive towards nation-building and social
transformation. We are here today with the support of our people, who have
given itself the right to hope and to make a stand for peace. We must
recognize as well that some of our people harbor serious doubts and
skepticism about this process. Within our democratic, social, and
political structures, we have evolved a respect for pluralism and
diversity and we shall guard the opposition's right to differ within the
parameters of mutual respect and national unity.
The process launched here must lead us to the light at the end of the
tunnel. And this light is the promise of a new Palestine-free, democratic,
and respectful of human rights and the integrity of nature.
Self-determination, ladies and gentlemen, can neither be granted nor
withheld at the will of the political self-interest of others. For it is
enshrined in all international charters and humanitarian law. We claim
this right; we firmly assert it here before you and in the eyes of the
rest of the world. For it is a sacred and inviolable right which we shall
relentlessly pursue and exercise with dedication and self-confidence and
Let's end the Palestinian- Israeli fatal proximity In this unnatural
condition of occupation, which has already claimed too many lives. No
dream of expansion or glory can justify the taking of a single life. Set
us free to reengage as neighbors and as equals on our holy land-
To our people in exile and under occupation, who have sent us to this
appointment, laden with their trust, love, and aspirations, we say that
the load is heavy and the task is great, but we shall be true. In the
words Of our great Poet Mahmud Darwish: My homeland is not a suitcase and
I am no traveler.
To the exiled and the occupied we say you shall return and you shall
remain and we will prevail, for our cause is just We will put on our
embroidered robes and kafiyehs in the sight of the world and celebrate
together on the day of liberation.
Refugee camps are not fit for people who were raised to the land of
Palestine in the warmth of the sun and freedom. The hail of Israeli bombs
almost daily pouring down on our defenseless civilian population in the
refugee camps of Lebanon is no substitute for the healing rain of the
homeland. Yet, the international will had ensured their return in United
Nations Resolution 194-a fact willfully ignored and unenacted. Similarly,
all other resolutions pertinent to the Palestinian question beginning with
resolution 181, through resolutions 242 and 338, and ending with Security
Council Resolution 681, have until now been relegated to the domain of
public debate rather than real implementation. They formed a larger body
of legality, including all relevant provisions of international law within
which any peaceful settlement must proceed. If international legitimacy
and the rule of law are to prevail and govern relations among nations,
they must be respected and impartially and uniformly implemented. We as
Palestinians require nothing less than justice.
Palestinians everywhere: Today we bear in our hands the precious gift of
your love and your pain, and we shall set it down gently here before the
eyes of the world and say there is a right here which must be
acknowledged- the right to self-determination and statehood. There is
strength and there is the scent of sacred incense in the air. Jerusalem ,
the heart of our homeland and the cradle of the soul, is shimmering
through the barriers, of occupation and deceit.
The deliberate violation of its sanctities is also an act of violence
against collective human, cultural, and spiritual memory and an aggression
against its enduring symbols of tolerance, magnanimity, and respect for
cultural religious authenticity.
The cobbled streets of the old city must not echo with the discordant beat
Israeli military boots. We must restore to them the chant of the muezzin,
chimes of the church, the call of the ram and the prayers of all the
faithful calling for peace in the city of peace
>From Madrid let's light the candle of peace and let the olive branch
blossom. Let's celebrate the rituals of justice and rejoice in the hymns
of truth, for the awe of the moment is a promise to the future, which we
all must redeem.
Palestinians will be free and will stand tall among the community of
nations in the fullness of the pride and dignity which, by right, belongs
to all people. Today, our people under occupation are holding high the
olive branch of peace.
In the words of Chairman Arafat in 1974 before the UN General Assembly:
Let not the olive branch of peace fall from my hands. Let not the olive
branch of peace fall from the hands of the Palestinian people. May God's
mercy, peace, and blessings be upon you.
I think the model of solidarity that Bi'lin offered is so valuable regardless of the immediate outcome: internationals, Palestinian villagers, and Israeli anti-occupation activists gather to resist non-violently the apartheid wall. This is a model for what can be done elsewhere and at a larger scale. It gives me hope.
It's sort of reviewed here. The review gives the impression that Palestinians are free to walk around the occupied West Bank, which is not the case. It's in fact dangerous business and at any moment they can be deemed trespassers and transgressors, threatening the security of settlements, army posts, checkpoints and other occupation markers.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Fayyad wrote a column criticizing Islamists in which he said, among other things, that lesbians are better looking than the Qubeiseyyat (the Islamist women followers of Muneera al Qubeisi).
As inane as the statement is, he clearly hit a nerve. Some people felt the need to defend the "femininity" of their women against such comparisons: the editor of one Islamist magazine called on his readers to urinate on the offending intellectual!! Some readers promised to answer the call!!!
So much for civilized debate!
Eye witnesses said that women formed a circle around the house and chanted slogans demanding that the soldiers leave.
Guess what? No "special" operation is possible with such publicity. The soldiers had to get reinforcement and negotiate with the villagers to leave.
And the villagers didn't need neither a Hamas nor a Fateh militia to help them clean up their village.
Way to go people of Marada!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Of course, we can't just report the good news. The story really is how women are being punished for it: the men who date them are uncomfortable with their earning power and drop them as a result. So the news ends up being a scare story, a cautionary tale, to young women: you may be "successful" but you won't get a man...
I guess now that Syria is on the US radar screen, stories like this become useful. Sorry for being so cynical, but it's hard not to.
"More than one hundred Palestinian, Israeli, and international demonstrators gathered in the village of Al-Walajah, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem today to protest Israeli limitations on Palestinian freedom of movement on Friday. Using shovels, picks, and their bare hands, a large group of protesters managed to clear a road running from Al-Walaja to nearby Beit Jala.
Minutes after the women, men, and even young children removed the earth mound, rolling massive boulders into a ravine, a small white car rolled through the newly-cleared motorway. The sight elicited a cheer from the sweaty group."
Clearly, the fact that hell broke loose when the idiotic breast feeding fatwa was issued (the issuer lost his job in disgrace) has not made an impression on this husband: he seems to have found in it a great way of protecting his wife's chastity, who supposedly after breastfeeding his friend will become forbidden to him. Yah right!
Friday, September 21, 2007
It also includes children of Libyan women married to foreigners. Needless to say, it doesn't include children of Libyan men married to foreign women.
Women's groups in the Arab world have been struggling to get equal citizenship status to women. It seems Libyan women need to join the fray now.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I hope they succeed (but I doubt it) not only for their sake, but also because I'm sick and tired of hearing that Arab women can't drive cars or that Islam doesn't allow women to drive cars or that Saudi women are morally superior to other women because they don't drive cars.
Once they are allowed to drive cars, maybe they can lobby to be permitted to attend soccer matches. Then they can lobby to be allowed to drive their cars to attend soccer matches. Now, that is radical!!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Nagm is a leftist poet who writes in the Egyptian dialect. Many of his poems were sung in the 1960s and 1970s by his long-time friend Sheikh Imam (they had a falling out at some point). He writes about the poor, corrupt leaders and regimes, fat cats, neo-colonialism, and revolution.
In the video clip below, he makes his famous remark that Roubi, an Egyptian singer, sings with her butt. I must say I never heard that word or the colloquial word for "breasts" on TV or radio ever!!! He makes a feminist point against the objectifying of women. Notice that unlike others, he does not use the occasion to rant against women or against Roub: in fact, he says that she's young and they turn her head with money. He puts the blame on those using her and on the sexist society as a whole.
Here's the Roubi clip being commented on:
It's in Hebrew. Ma'an translates it into English. I hope the Palestinian negotiating team has better translators, geographers, lawyers, and negotiators this time around than what they had during Oslo. Most importantly, better close readers. Some one who knows Hebrew would help. Someone on their team, I mean. From previous experience we know how much land Israel can take just because of its dropping of the "the" in a sentence. Thus "Israel must withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967" becomes "Israel must withdraw from territories occupied in 1967." A world of difference. Or rather, a world of settlements.
This minefield of a document has a bunch of potential disasters. And considering that the Palestinians now are weaker than at the time of Oslo, the potential for disaster is doubled.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The report mentions that the issue of homosexuality has been causing much debate in Kuwaiti society in light of the fact that those who have same sex preferences have been appearing in public and forming their own sub culture. The Kuwaiti government is particularly concerned about the the "Boyats" --women who identify as men. Parents supposedly have been complaining that their daughters are sexually harassed by "boyats," who exist in the thousands in Kuwaiti schools. In fact, the government is so concerned that it has devoted two million dollars to fight against this "phenomenon" and recruited the information and religious affairs ministries to do the battling.
Well, good luck! (not really). They may need a special police force that will go around checking on people's genitals (the hearts are a lost cause) to make sure they have the "correct" ones. This will be carried out after passing the "Your genitals should match your underwear" law. "Violators will be towed. Smaller measures will also be called for, like outlawing pants for women and arresting any woman who is not wearing lipstick and a Victoria Secret push up bra. Any woman with facial hair will be subjected to forced sessions of electrolysis paid for by the government. As to rehabilitation of any confirmed "Boya" (singular?), she will be forced to watch hours of Haifa Wahby's video "Bous el wawa" to put her in touch with her femininity!
The crowd, which was made up mainly of women, chanted slogans such as "Terrorists are not Muslims"
It's important to remember that:
Muslims are main victims of terrorism
Muslims speak out against terrorism but they don't get heard
So the candidate has to believe in God. But not any God. Certainly, not the Muslim God!
This also means that the chances of a Muslim atheist of getting elected as president of the U.S. is ... hummm...pretty slim.
Chances dwindle to nothing if the candidate was a Muslim atheist woman! (12 percent said they won't vote for a woman candidate)
This is bad news for America's favorite atheist: Ayyan Hirsi Ali. It seems to me that her chances of becoming president of the U.S are as slim as she is (even if she gets her US citizenship and forges documents that she was born in the US). Unless the media keeps reminding us that she was driven to atheism by Islam and Muslims and that makes her a different kind of atheist, the kind that is given book deals and ... a Vogue spread.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Bi'lin won. Villagers marched every Friday to protest the wall that was swallowing their farm land. Although they marched peacefully, the Israeli occupation army met them with clubs, rubber bullets, and tear gas. They persevered. The villagers were joined by Israeli anarchists and international activists who believed that they must do something against injustice. They too took risks.
I've been highlighting Bi'lin's resistance to occupation on this blog at every opportunity. They offer a model of resistance and solidarity that has immense potential if it get replicated in all Palestinian occupied villages and cities. This is resistance from the bottom up, that respects people's abilities and does not use them as pawns to score points. It's a form of resistance that left the people standing and ready for the next round, not dead and exhausted. For what is the value of a victory without a spirited round of dabkeh to celebrate it.
In Bi'lin they had their victory and their dance.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Here's an example of why:
"Although there is no distinct penalty for rape, there is a distinction - the so-called honour crimes. Those who commit them are exempt from the charge of murder, the conviction is discretionary and imprisonment is for a maximum of two years.A 30-year-old woman serving a six year sentence in Pul-e-Charkhi jail became the victim of this clause of the law.When her husband killed his neighbour during a dispute, he claimed he had been driven to murder by the man committing adultery with his "property". He received leniency from the court and his wife was jailed for committing adultery."
But there is more.
This video is causing much anger among Fateh supporters. But I don't think you need to be a Fateh supporter to be offended by this "narrative." My favorite touch is how the "Fateh rats" take the veil off the face of a munaqqaba! When did that happen? And when did Fateh burn books? Wasn't it the Hamas book lovers who banned and destroyed thousands of copies of Speak Bird, Speak Again?
When the lion squashed the rats and Gaza bloomed, a Palestinian flag was raised. Not the Hamas flag. I guess they learned how offensive it was to take down the Palestinian flag to raise their flag instead as they did when they took over Gaza. So this is a correction, it seems.
The most amazing touch was the characterization of the conflict with Fateh as the MAIN conflict: Israel is dealt with easily; it's no longer the issue (represented as a bone the lion flicks aside contemptuously). It's Fateh or the Dahlan who are the main trouble, the dangerous one.
Now that is a dangerous idea.
Or worse--until they give up and leave.