El xarab era un cóctel de frutas, especias, flores y hierbas del más diverso perfume y sabor. A mix of culture, politics, and religion of the Middle East and sometimes Latin America.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Independent resesarcher and writer

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sharia Law

The unwillingness of the Canadians to accept and legislate to allow Muslims to settle family and legal matters under Sharia law is unjust given that Jews and Catholics can settle their issues in their own religious courts. Mainly the issues that are settled and arbitrated within the context of these religious courts are marriage issues and child custody issues.

If as Premier Dalton McGuinty of Canada states that there should be "one law for all Ontarians" then the Beit Deins and the Catholic courts should be dismantled as well since there will not be a Sharia court for Muslims.

The criticisms and protests of the proposed Sharia court are misguided in believing that if they are allowed then there will be a wave of discrimination against women. The Qu'ran does not have provisions to mistreat women and degrade them as many a Westerner believes and those who would lead these courts will be well-versed in Sharia!

Canada should show the world its diversity and understanding of Islam and become the first Western country to allow Sharia courts.

Canada and the rest of the world need to wake up to the growing Islamic presence in the West and allow it the same freedoms that they allow other religions.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Peace Process - Israeli Style

As I stated earlier during the week in reference to Sharon using the Gaza pullout as "a maneuver ... (to) keep the West Bank by populating it with more illegal settlement and not turning it over to its rightful owners." Sharon himself hinted at it in March and was scolded by President Bush. That is exactly what he wants to do and annexing the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim he will limit access to Jerusalem for Palestinians and not allow adequate travel between the north and south portions of the West Bank.

This is a travesty in which the United Nations, the World Court and the flag-bearer of democracy, the United States should intervene immediately or more and larger-scale violence will ensue in Israel. Israel has already killed five young men in who were puported to be from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and one was from Islamic Jihad. The killings occurred in Tulkarm in retaliation for the stabbing death of a Jewish seminary student of British citizenship in Jerusalem.

Though Abbas has asked Palestinians not to retaliate violently violence will rear its head again because Abbas cannot act adequately to help his people. Condemnations of Israeli actions are not enough and a call to put down arms and not be provoked are not an answer either. Violence will again have to prevail to force the world to police and hold Israel accountable for all its injustices against Palestinians.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Terrorism from the Christian Right

Leave it to Pat Robertson, that wonderful man of religion to issue a Christian version of a fatwa on Hugo Chavez. Who would have thought an American would even know who he is? Maybe Pat Robertson reads and is aware of world politics and geography - unlike most Americans. Pat Robertson has become extreme in stating that Chavez should be killed to avoid another war!

He strives to know his enemies and those of his country. That's right the communist infidels and friends of Fidel Castro - Venezuelans and their president!It is interesting to listen to vitriol and understand that ignorance emanates in the elightened and democratic nation of the United States from the god-fearing Christians who are the first to condemn Islam as a religion of hate and violence.

Let's call the Christian Right what it truly is - a hate-filled movement that would like to bury all those who are not Christians!President Hugo Chavez did the right thing by claiming he had not heard the comments by Robertson and then stating that he did even know who the man is! The Venezuelan Vice President however held a press conference demanding that the U.S. guarantee Chavez' safety if he is on a state visit to the U.S. or on business at the U.N.

In the past few weeks the enemy has been Iran but now we move to another part of the third world - Latin America. The problem with Chavez is that he is a democratically elected president who refuses to bow down to hypocritical U.S. policy. Also, it does not help that his nation is the fourth-largest producer and supplier of petroleum. Chavez should stop supplying greedy Americans with oil and sell it to the highest bidder - I am certain China may be very interested.

The U.S. government should put Pat Robertson on its terror watch list and also on its no-fly list. He could be a potential terrorist and we all need to be protected in this War on Terror especially those of us who are not the right color.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Children of the Gulf War - A Review of Takashi Morizumi’s Photography Exhibit

This is an exhibit that still has relevance particulalry given the colonization of Iraq by the United States. This was to be published elsewhere and has yet to see the light of day.

The exhibit titled by Children of the Gulf War by Takashi Morizumi which has traveled throughout the United States and Europe is perhaps shocking to Americans and their sensibilities given the graphic photographs and chronicle of child who are dead in life. What we are presented with are violent and ugly images of disfigured and dying children born with no limbs, no eyes, a hole in the back, with a brown scale-like skin, with an exposed brain, with a protruding belly, and there are many more to gaze upon even though they may not please an American audience for the United States has been at the helm of the destruction of these young lives and the inability of their parents to help them.

There is an image of a bald, smiling child whose sex is indeterminate who has intrigued many of those who have seen the exhibit. The young girl’s baldness is due to chemotherapy but fortunately she has survived and is currently doing well according to the latest web posting on the photographer’s website.

There is also a child being cradled by its mother because he is too ill stand due to malnutrition. The most devastating of all is a photograph of a child with encephalathy who was left at a hospital soon after he was born by a mother who was ashamed of bringing home a deformed and diseased child and too afraid of the sick child she had produced who would probably not have lived past the age of three.

These atrocities are a direct result of the depleted uranium left by United States military forces after the first Gulf War in 1991. The disintegration of this element and its airborne nature brought about contamination to air, land, and water and a consequentially have brought with them wasting diseases and the death of many children and young adults. Leukemia, liver and kidney cancers, tumors and birth defects of a horrific proportion bring about agonizing and drawn-out death to these children.

The depleted uranium coupled with the United States’ imposed embargo on Iraq furthered the tragedy by not allowing the medication and medical technology to flow into the country for 12 years and as a result many more people died and suffered tremendously from pain, starvation and psychological deterioration.

It took the courage and viewpoint of a non-Westerner to demonstrate the atrocities of those caught in the middle of a war who do not make the decisions that have pulled them into the horrific plight in which they find themselves – children and the mothers that must watch them die. In using military might the United States must be conscious of the secondary damage and havoc it has wreaked on many lives but in the Western viewpoint, democracy is what is the most important – no matter if it brings destruction to life.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kudos to Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's new president stated on Saturday that Iran will continue with its uranium conversion and would not be intimidated by threats from Western countries. Primarily he referred to the United States and he has stated that anyone traveling into Iran with a U.S. passport will not be treated kindly.

Ahmadinejad's Iran should adopt a tougher stance in reference to the what EU countries are attempting to quell by calling an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. France, Britain and Germany extended an offer of political and economic incentives in order to be allowed to install monitoring equipment in the uranium conversion plant that Iran has outside of Isfahan and the offer was rejected because the document refuses to recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium. The next step if Iran chooses to go forward with its plans will be to refer them to the U.N. Security Council and they have every right to pursue this source of energy as many countires do.

This of course may be the big excuse the United States needs in order to attack Iran which it has deemed an enemy since 1979. The U.S. has created the Shi'ite beast in the Gulf region and is now deathly afraid of what it has done so it must eradicate the problem at all cost. If the United States attacks Iran it will not be looked upon well and we will be in an age of a U.S. dictator who attacks anyone at will.

European nations and the U.N. should respect Iran's rights rather than attempting intimidation tactics which are extremely American. No nation reacts kindly to threats and the stance of the world should change to Iran and recognize it as a strong nation with rights just like any other. Iran would like to option to exploit nuclear fuel as an alternate source to petroluem which it needs to supply the greediest consumer in the world - the U.S. Iran's attitude toward nuclear power is intelligent and they need to be allowed to do what is their right.

May the Shi'ite theocracy prevail with the help of some of its friends on the Security Council.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Terrorism at the Source

For once an Israeli has admitted that violence toward Palestinians has been perpetrated by an Israeli terrorist. It came from none other than the ultimate Israeli terrorist himself, Ariel Sharon!

Thousands of mourners have marched at the funeral of Palestinians murdered by an Israeli soldier today and extra military units were called in to quell any violent Palestinian outbursts. An Israeli private, Edan Nathan-Zaada who had deserted his unit several weeks previous, opened fire on a bus and killed four Palestinians. Two of the dead were Muslim sisters Hazar and Dina Turki and the other two were Christian Arab men, Nader Hayak and Michael Bahous

The soldier was bludgeoned to death by the angry mob after his rampage and it has been reported that he was from Tapuah an extremist settler area in Israel. There will be more of these attacks guaranteed by extremist settlers who refuse to leave "their" lands in the coming weeks and Israel and its military will have to answer for any Palestinian death most likely through more mob violence.

In addition to the Gaza pull-out Israel will need to address the issue of Jerusalem and allow Arabs to re-Arabicize the city which was controlled by them for 1100 years. Arabs were always a part of the city and those ousted in '48 and '67 (or their progeny in the event that they are dead)should be allowed to return there to make it what it truly is. The state of Israel sought to erdicate the Arab character of the city but it is a holy place for Muslims just as it is for Jews and Christians and should return to its true Arab glory.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Al-Qaida and its Message to the U.S.

Ayman al-Zawahiri's message via video to the U.S. as a warning that impending doom is near and will be far worse than what has already happened in the U.S., U.K., Afghanistan and Iraq should be taken seriously by the U.S. government. Bush's stance on being tough and going after terrorists in Iraq is a mistake that will have dire consequences for troops in Iraq as long as they remain there and for any countries involved in supporting U.S. policies in the Middle East.

In the video al-Zawihiri states, "To the people of the crusader coalition ... our blessed Shaikh Osama has offered you a truce so that you leave Muslim lands. As he said, you will not dream of security until we live it as a reality in Palestine, and until all your infidel armies leave Prophet Mohammad's lands," he said. This has been the message since the beginning and the U.S. refuses to address the root issues of what is termed Muslim anger and hatred toward the U.S. The U.S. must address the Palestine issue per international law and call to task Israel for its many violations against Palestinians and sanction them accordingly rather than funding them disporportionately as they do. As it stands they are the U.S. single most expensive ally! When Bin Laden offered Aznar and the rest of Europe a truce they all refused to take it and Aznar paid dearly by being ousted from power by being exposed as a syncophant of the U.S. and a liar in trying to blame ETA for the attack and maintaining that his stance on aiding the U.S. in Iraq was not to blame for 3/11 in Madrid!

The U.S. must stop its hypocrisy and stop sanctioning Iran, retreat from Iraq and stop trying to control Middle Eastern resources (read: OIL!), and stop supporting the puppet goverments such as Hosni Mubarek's. The U.S. created much of the problems that are currently rampant in the Middle East by placing corrupt leaders in place and keeping them as long as they upheld the U.S. agenda and that is one of the main reasons that Mubarek has held on to power as long as he has in Egypt and that is why the Saud family maintains power in Saudi Arabia even under tremendous pressure and unpopularity!

When al-Zawahiri speaks the world should listen as when he has in the past fireworks are imminent and the next U.S. attack is around the bend! The U.S. is due for the next huge attack and it will not know what to do when it does arrive for suicide bombers and their tactics cannot and will not be escaped!