Wednesday, April 26, 2006
on the Tigris River in beautiful Mosul, the sun is ours to stay,
bloody wars or not.
Sunshine From Mosul, Days of My Life - Best Young Iraqi Blogger
MG : Hello Sunshine, how are you?
Sunshine: Hello sir, I am fine thanks.
- Can you tell us what a typical or average day for Sunshine is like?
Sunshine: Well, I wake up early in the morning, I go to school at 7:30, & come back at 1:30, I take my lunch & study till bed time …. In the holidays or weekends I sometimes wake up early too if we have electricity, I work on computer (& of course if the voltage is high enough), & I like reading, I am not too interested in watching TV, actually I don't have enough time, but I like Oprah show, Dr. Phil, & the reports.. I love reports...
- Can you describe some of the changes that have occurred for your family and you since the War began?
Sunshine: Since the war we spend most of the time at home, no more fun, no more picnics, no birthdays with guests, my parents discusses policy in most of the day, and watch news many many times during the day...
- What is the most important thing to you in life and why?
Sunshine: I believe that the most important thing in any ones life is education, Iraq needs re-building, & I want to share in rebuilding my country...
MG: Sunshine, what does Love mean to you?
Sunshine: Well, I don't know, I am still too young, but I think if you love someone you should trust, respect, & to be honest with your lover... Love is important in humanity to make life peaceful … Life without love makes people the same as dolls...
MG: You mentioned during the recent Iraqi Election that you would have voted for Allawi, List No. 731. Can you tell us what you liked about Allawi? And were you happy with the election results?
- Sunshine, are you worried that Iraq is heading down a more Fundamental Islamic path? Five years from today, will you have to wear a Abbaya when you venture outside?
Sunshine: Well the word " worried" don't describe what I am feeling now, but "terrified" does… but I assure you that no one in this world can makes me wear al-Abbaya...
-Does the World Media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) present an accurate view of what's happening in Iraq?
Sunshine: NO, they don't. I hear many explosions everyday, many people die, sometimes people we know, but the media don't show that, and don't give a related view... Few days ago, a suicid bomber exploded himself in our neighborhood, all the windows were broken and no one mentioned that at all. In my mid-year exam there was a mine near my school, no one talked about that too, so many things happen every day and no one talk about them... No one show the real people's condition, not even in the Iraqi media, I don't know why?! When they make a questionnaire, for example, they ask poor, uneducated people such as an old woman with Abbaya or a cadger... They don't ask a doctor, professor, engineer, they don't do that in universities or in hospitals... I can barely recognize my country, while listening to the news or see reports about Iraq...
- Do you feel that the present conditions in Iraq and Mosul restrict your ability to learn?
Sunshine: Yes sir, absolutely. Sometimes I can't reach school and I miss classes, sometimes I can't concentrate, I keep thinking about tomorrow; my safety, orI think about my parents' safety or about sad stories I heard...
- Iraqi Schools and Teacher Qualifications: You are critical of the Iraqi schools and the educators. Can you discuss some of the problems you've experienced or heard about concerning the schools and teachers?
Sunshine: Well, most of the teachers, but not all of them (I can't generalize) are not qualified to teach. Sometimes intelligent pupils amend or correct for the teachers!!! Few months ago I saw an interview in Al-hurrah TV, with the Iraqi minister of education; he said that most of the teachers are not qualified morally nor vocationally to teach!!! When I heard that, I was shocked. Let me give you an example, I have a relative who is my dad's cousin. She is 19 years old, she didn't pass the third class for so many years, so her parents decided to send her to the teaching institution!! I talked to her few times, I saw that she has not been unenlightened at all and she can't even make a conversation!!! How could anyone imagine that she will elevate a generation!!! That what I can't understand!! The other thing that is annoying to me is that unfortunately some teachers are very extremist, especially the religion teachers. This year, I had problems like that. I had to talk to my mom and she talked with the headmistress. My teacher used to tell me that I would go to hell because I don't wear al-hijab. She always hurts my feelings and treats me like I am a bad person. My sister who is 7 years old, feels terrified from the religion teacher, she don't want to go to school and she cries a lot, because her teacher keeps telling them stories about agony and death. My sister complains from nightmares all the time!!!...
Most photos are Sunshine's, Days of My Life
Sunrise on the water, sunset from photo-montage Leap Frog
Women's Rights are Human Rights, Amir Normandi - Testing Human Rights
Layout and photo-montage "Bébé Sunshine dans les Fleurs du Canada"
& Sunshine's finger in the Sunset, Diane - Arts for Democracy
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
A Day in the Life
Salam Pax is probably sitting at home listening to tunes on his i-Pod, waiting for the craziness to die down.
Living in California now, Raed Jarrar is walking around quiet neighborhoods in the Bay Area, knocking on doors and asking people to write letters to their congressmen and congresswomen.
Faiza Jarrar, after a long trip to the US, where she was heckled by other Iraqis for being a Baathist, is back in Amman, Jordan, trying to figure out if she needs to increase her daily medication.
Omar and Mohammed are reading their daily allotments of Iraqi newspapers and getting ready to update us on the political moves in progress over the last twenty-four hours.
TAI, the half-Iraqi/half-Austrian hyper-patriot, is sitting in ... Bahrain ... and fantasizing about some mythical land of Arab Uber-Heroes.
Baghdad Treasure is deciding whether to join the "brave Iraqi resistance" or not.
24 Steps is trying to dissuade Baghdad Treasure from doing so.
Riverbend, the Baleful Baathist of Baghdad, is sitting at home on the couch, her Doc Martens up on the coffee table, wondering what to write for her ONE BLOG ENTRY for the month of April. Later she'll walk down to the vegetable seller and call him a frikking murdering Shiite bastard. In the old days under UNCLE SADDAM, she tells him, his fingernails would have been pulled out by her friends.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Islam, the cruel and Iran is the worst
Nazanin, 17, was sentenced to death by hanging for defending herself against three rapists.
A young girl who defended herself and her chastity against three male assailants who intended to kidnap and rape her causing injury to one of them who later died in hospital was condemned to death by hanging in an Islamic court in Iran. Nazanin who has seen no more than 17 Springs, all of which under the tyrannical rule of the Mullahs is now facing execution for trying to defend herself and her honor...
Islam Is The Real Source of Violence.
Ali Sina - Faithfreedom
Human rights abuses happen in many countries, but never to the proportion and the magnitude of what is happening in Iran and other Islamic countries. In the last few years, and with no little thanks to the Islamic Revolution of Iran, I noticed that the major human right abuses are perpetrated in the name of religion. I became concerned for the plight of my people in Iran and her neighboring countries and decided to investigate the cause. I asked myself whether all this is because the gentle and peaceful message of Islam is misunderstood and whether there is a way to revive the pure Islam and save my country. It was in this quest that I realized, to my chagrin, that the human right abuses are not deviations from the true Islam but they ARE teachings of Islam.
I realized that in Islam, Man has no rights! All the rights are reserved for Allah. Man has only duties. Among his duties, he has to pray five times a day, believe in the religion of Allah and submit his will, thoughts and intelligence to him. Any independence from Allah, even at the level of thought is punishable by beating, imprisonment and death.
"People around the world are breathing a sigh of relief with the news that the possible execution of confessed Afghani Christian Abdul Rahman has been solved and he will now be free to return to his life, Most people also believe this is an isolated incident..."
Read Islam Doesn’t Mean Submission—It Means Death"
By Barbara J. Stock - Faithfreedom
Karim Fahimi, also known as Karim Shalo.
From Anmesty International before he was hang.
"Karim Fahimi was sentenced to death in June. The sentence has now been upheld by the Supreme Court, and he could be executed at any time.
Karim Fahimi, a Kurd, who is married with two young children, was reportedly sentenced to death for drinking alcohol, by a court in the city of Sardasht, western Iran. It was at least the third time he had been convicted of the
offence: under article 174 of the Iranian Penal Code, the penalty for consuming any intoxicant is 100 lashes; under article 179, this penalty may be handed down twice, but a third conviction carries the death penalty."
Wine Drinking in Islam
by Abul Kasem
April 14, 2005
WINE AND LIQUEUR (including beer, whisky, brandy, Martini, vermouth, gin, vodka, Champagne , Port, Sherry…) are great taboos in Islam. It is a great sin even to hold a bottle of one of these dreadful stuffs, not to talk of dropping a single drop of these haram liquids into one’s ( I mean, a Muslim’s) throat. Ask any Muslim and he will surely attest to what I have diligently written just now. There are severe prescribed (read Islamic) punishments for the production, distribution, sale, trading and consumption of these egregious products... Read it here.
Savage Hanging in the Public - Qazvin
from Holy Crime
"Karim Fahimi, also known as Karim Shalo
Karim Fahimi has been sentenced to death in June 2005. The sentence has now been upheld by the Supreme Court, and he could be executed at any time.
Karim Fahimi, a Kurd, who is married with two young children, was reportedly sentenced to death for drinking alcohol, by a court in the city of Sardasht, western Iran. It was at least the third time he had been convicted of the offence: under article 174 of the Iranian Penal Code, the penalty for consuming any intoxicant is 100 lashes; under article 179, this penalty may be handed down twice, but a third conviction carries the death penalty... See more links
PUBLIC HANGING ON THE RISE IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
Iran Press service
By Brian Murphy (Associated Press)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The condemned man kissed the rope.
”I am not scared'', Ahmad Dowlatyari shouted to the crowd that assembled at sunrise Monday to watch his hanging. “My life is now over. I want to go with a smile''.
A tow truck's crane rose with a hydraulic hiss. The orange rope stiffened. Dowlatyari (convicted of murdering his crime partner in a fight over stolen gold) gasped once and was dead..." Read the rest here.
'NO MORE MULLAHS'
by Amir Taheri
Wall Street Journal
June 30, 2005
"In one of his rare outings during the Iranian presidential election campaign last week, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the man then designated as the likely winner by almost everyone, ran into a spot of bother. An old woman broke through his security ring, shouting, "May I have a word with you?" Once allowed to approach Mr. Rafsanjani, the woman removed his turban with a blow and shouted, "No more mullahs!"
A couple of nights before that, Mr. Rafsanjani had been booed by students at Tehran University with cries of "mullahs back to the mosques!" Acknowledging the rising antimullah sentiments, Mr. Rafsanjani had himself photographed without a turban for the last posters in his forlorn campaign.
Mr. Rafsanjani was not the only mullah to experience the adverse tide of opinion. Ayatollah Muhammad Javadi Amoli, one of the regime's five "grand ayatollahs," was slapped across the face and shouted down from the stage as he tried to deliver a sermon supporting Mr. Rafsanjani in the holy city of Qom ... Read the rest here."
"...In his revealing case study, Afshari investigates how Islamic culture and Iranian politics since the fall of the Shah have affected human rights policy in that state. He exposes the human rights violations committed by ruling clerics in Iran since the Revolution, showing that Iran has behaved remarkably like other authoritarian governments in its human rights abuses. For over two decades, Iran has systematically jailed, tortured, and executed dissidents without due process of law and assassinated political opponents outside state borders. Furthermore, like other oppressive states, Iran has regularly denied and countered the charges made by United Nations human rights monitors, defending its acts as authentic cultural practices..."
Human Rights in Iran. The Abuse of Cultural Relativism
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series.
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title.
Book review, University of Pennsylvanian Press
"...The Islamic Republic remains one of the worst violators of human rights in the world. Proportional to its population, it holds more prisoners of conscience than any other nation. It leads the world in number of people executed for political reasons on false charges of moral and other "deviations"..."IRAN'S 'UNKNOWNS': FACE THE FACTS
By Amir Taheri
New York Post
March 15, 2006
NCR-Iran.org July 2005
"...Before hanging the victims, the henchmen flogged each of them 228 times. The executioners wore masks fearing reprisals and anti-riot forces put the entire area under their control to prevent outbreak of public protests..."
The victims were charged with disrupting public order among other things. They had been imprisoned since 14 months ago, meaning that they were 16 years old at the time of the alleged offences ...Read it here.
Iran 'must stop youth executions'
By Steven Eke
Pictures of Murdered Shoaneh Ghaderi
These pictures are disturbing. Do not scroll down if you can't stomach gory scenes:
The following distressing pictures are not from Abu-Ghorreyb or Guantanama. Otherwise they would have been all over the Western media and Kofi Annan would have made a song and dance about them..
They show the pictures of a murdered Iranian pro-democracy secular activist. That's why the Western media have not reported it...
How Political Correctness Protects Islam
I was just six, I have got hope, you took it all of them with a bullet.
Additional links and photos sources:
Persian Journal - Women
Le Comité de soutien aux Droits de l'homme en Iran.
Hanged Publicly in Iran Holy Crime
Death Row Speaks
NCR : National Council of Resistance of Iran - Foreign Affairs Committee
Faith Freedom - Komeni's Speech
Published also at The Infidel Blogger Alliance and originally at Difficult Images.
Friday, April 07, 2006
HELP SAVE FATEMEH - URGENT - IMMINENT EXECUTION
Photo Faith Freedom
28 March 2006
More news on UA 281 /04
Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh is reportedly scheduled to be executed on or before 1 April 2006. She was sentenced to death for the murder of her husband.
"The stay of execution granted to Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh on 12 October 2004 was rescinded by the Supreme Court. Her execution has been reportedly scheduled to take place on or before 1 April 2006.
Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh was sentenced to death for the murder of her husband.
She alleged that her husband was a drug addict who had tried to rape her daughter from a previous marriage, who was 15 years old at the time.
Apparently he had previously told her that he had lost the girl in a gambling match. Amnesty International does not know when she was arrested, but she may have been tried in 2002.
The Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, had stayed Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh's execution after reading a letter written to him by her daughter, entitled "Don’t render my hopes hopeless", in which she appealed for clemency for her mother.
Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh was then held in Evin prison in the capital, Tehran, whilst her case was sent to the second Division of the Supreme Court for review.
According to a report in the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri on 15 March 2006, the Court has confirmed the death sentence against Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh and has reportedly approved the execution.
Her lawyer was reported to be intending to ask the Head of the Judiciary to use his powers to issue another stay of execution."
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, French or your own language:
- expressing concern that the stay of execution granted to Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh has been rescinded after almost 18 months;
- urging that the death sentence imposed on Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouhbe commuted immediately;
- urging the authorities to ensure that the victim’s family is made aware of its right, under Islamic law, to pardon the condemned;
- reminding the Iranian authorities of their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 3A: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
National Council of Resistance of Iran - Foreign Affairs Committee
Read our friend Kat - Islam, Freedom and Democracy
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Islamic Imperial Hubris?
Physical force has remained the main if not the sole instrument of political discourse in the Middle East. Throughout the region, absolute leaders still supersede political institutions, and citizenship is largely synonymous with submission; power is often concentrated in the hands of small, oppressive minorities; religious, ethnic, and tribal conflicts abound; and the overriding preoccupation of sovereigns is with their own survival.
At the domestic level, these circumstances have resulted in the world's most illiberal polities. Political dissent is dealt with by repression, and ethnic and religious differences are settled by internecine strife and murder. One need only mention, among many instances, Syria's massacre of 20,000 of its Muslim activists in the early 1980's, or the brutal treatment of Iraq's Shiite and Kurdish communities until the 2003 war, or the genocidal campaign now being conducted in Darfur by the government of Sudan and its allied militias. As for foreign policy in the Middle East, it too has been pursued by means of crude force, ranging from terrorism and subversion to outright aggression, with examples too numerous and familiar to cite.
Reinforcing these habits is the fact that, to this day, Islam has retained its imperial ambitions. The last great Muslim empire may have been destroyed and the caliphate left vacant, but the dream of regional and world domination has remained very much alive. Even the ostensibly secular doctrine of pan-Arabism has been effectively Islamic in its ethos, worldview, and imperialist vision. In the words of Nuri Said, longtime prime minister of Iraq and a prominent early champion of this doctrine: "Although Arabs are naturally attached to their native land, their nationalism is not confined by boundaries. It is an aspiration to restore the great tolerant civilization of the early caliphate."
Our last discussion was about the possibilty of democratic governance in the Middle East. Some have argued that the lack of democratic institutions in the Middle East makes this difficult at best. Others have argued that people around the world are the same and that the Iraqis will be the first to show that Muslims can in fact listen to democratically elected representatives (and not dictators or sheikhs or imams) and respect both freedom of speech and freedom of the press that allow the necessary exchange of ideas. Karsh offers an interpretation that casts doubt on the Iraqis being able to shake off fourteen hundred years of history.
What do YOU thnk?