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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Why do we lapse into collective silence at the persecution of minorities in our countries? Why don’t we believe in giving to others what we claim for ourselves? Why don’t we see the heart rending injustice of it all?
Someone needed to say this, so there.
We huff and puff, in a self-righteous rage, over the refusal of a few in the US of A to allow the building of a mosque near ground zero. For the bigots on either side especially, the issue has become so consuming that its is hard to distinguish their collective voice from one continuous, high-pitched, piercing blare.
Quite a few on my mailing list enthusiastically forwarded to me the amazing article written by Michael Moore (yes..of Fahrenheit 9/11 fame) titled as, “If This Mosque isn’t Built, This is no Longer America”. In the stunning piece, Michael Moore wants the mosque built ‘not two blocks away from ground zero but on ground zero’. He goes on to give a long list of his reasons for that. What really stumped me in Michael’s write-up was that, according to him, it was the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan whose rabbi has been helping the New York Muslim community in their quest since the beginning.
And I thought Jews were our worst enemies.
Bang in the midst of this controversy, another dazzling news almost drowned out. According to this Christian Science Monitor report, the hundred thousand strong Muslim community of the Italian city of Milan are pushing for building the first ever mosque in the city. And who happens to be their steadfast ally in their quest? Lo and behold; none other than the Vatican itself. Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Catholic church’s highest authority in town, says, “Milan civil institution must guarantee everyone religious freedom” and that, “Muslims have the right to practice their faith”.
All power to the Muslim communities in New York and Milan and to Michael Moore and Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi but where does that leave an ordinary Muslim like me? I am all confused now. I thought these people could never be friends with Muslims. That, as a matter fact, is an article of faith with us Muslims. I appeal to the paragons of moral consistency to now come to my aid. And pronto please. What is happening? Someone please reassure me that these friendly gestures are actually some more ‘Judeo-Christian conspiracies’ against us Muslims. And if these are, what exactly are we going to do about these? Refuse the help or refuse building the mosques?
But that is not all I am puzzled about. I need also to understand why in our holy land, a country that is a role model for the Muslim world, a kind of apartheid is practiced against non-Muslims? Christians, and other non-Muslims, are prohibited from even entering the two holy cities with signs indicating that Muslims must go to certain areas and non-Muslims to others. There are more than a million Roman Catholics in that country with not a single church for any denomination. Not allowed to practice their faith openly, these Christians are forced to worship in secret within private homes. Even articles and symbols such as Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious icons etc. are prohibited. The government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services. The blood money in that country payable for accidental death of a Christian male is half as much as that for a Muslim male (lucky, one would say, because all others i.e. Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs etc. are valued at 1/16th).
But above all what really boggles my mind is when I think that were some Christians supposedly involved in a terror attack on our holy cities, would we ever, ever contemplate allowing Christians to build a Church next to the attack sites? Not that there are any even without such attacks. Whether Muslims were or weren’t involved in the 9/11 attacks is beside the point. Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived to have been.
Not just that, people are actually killed for having different beliefs. In a country like Pakistan, Christians, along with other minorities of course, are routinely persecuted, their churches burnt, their homes and communities vandalized while we stand as helpless bystanders. Even ancient Bamyan statues, an international heritage, were not spared in Afghanistan. Yet when we go and reside in the West we foam righteous at our mouths demanding equal rights in matters of worship and daily living. We are the rowdiest, loudest and most violent protesters when we protest a seeming injustice.
Why we all forget the aforesaid facts when we cry out for equal rights and freedom of speech, thought and action in the West? Why don’t we demand the same in our own countries? Why do we lapse into collective silence at the persecution of minorities in our countries? Why don’t we believe in giving to others what we claim for ourselves? Why don’t we see the heart rending injustice of it all?
Why are we inure to these basic human values? When will we understand that fear freezes the mind keeping it forever at the mercy of ignorance? That superstition is a dagger that slaughters the intellect?
And if it is not the case of a callous indifference to basic human values or of fear or of superstition, what is it then?
Is it ignorance? Is it duplicity? Or is it dread of the unknown? Or is it the lethal mix of all three that keeps us from being honest?
Or is it plain old hypocrisy?
Copyright 2010 by Anwaar Hussain. The writer, a former officer of the Pakistan Air Force, is now based in Canada. This story was originally published in Truth Spring, Mr. Hussain's blog, and is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with the author's permission. Mr. Hussain may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on October 3, 2010.
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