The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism | World news | The Guardian

Muslims are constantly denouncing atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam. Yet many people seem to think Muslims don’t condemn terrorism enough. So Hashmi decided to put the notion to the test. Using Google spreadsheets, she made a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources”, which she tweeted. The list includes everything from acts of domestic violence to 9/11.“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism] is,” she explained.Her stats struck a chord. Within 24 hours, Hashmi’s tweet had been retweeted 15,000 times. A couple of her followers volunteered to help her turn her spreadsheet into an interactive website and, within a week of the tweet, was born.

This was last November, but the website has grown considerably since then and, sadly, flickers into prominence whenever a new attack takes place. Hashmi’s project isn’t just designed to prove that Muslims are constantly condemning terrorism; she made it to demonstrate how ridiculous it is that Muslims are constantly expected to offer apologies for terrorist acts. Muslims, notes Hashmi, are “held to a different standard than other minorities: 1.6 billion people are expected to apologise and condemn [terrorism] on behalf of a couple of dozen lunatics. It makes no sense.” After all, Hashmi, says, “I don’t view the KKK or the Westboro Baptist church or the Lord’s Resistance Army as accurate representations of Christianity. I know that they’re on the fringe. So it gets very frustrating having to defend myself and having to apologise on behalf of some crazy people.”

Source: The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism | World news | The Guardian

In Syria, Civilian Lives Don’t Matter

This ‘left’ has whole-heartedly adopted the ‘War on Terror’ narrative, first promoted by Assad himself, in a way which puts neo-cons to shame. It isn’t surprising that the world often sees Syrian refugees as potential terrorists when such pundits claim the same, impeding solidarity with these victims of state terror. Some of these so-called ‘progressives’ would rather spend their time slandering the aid workers who rescue the victims rather than denouncing the US’s war crimes and imperial forays. Some of the same people promoted Trump’s candidacy for the President as the supposedly ‘anti-interventionist’ option.

‘The US is attacking ISIS strongholds,’ the media likes to tell us. Yet tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Raqqa under brutal ISIS occupation. Around 400,000 are under siege in Mosul, among a few thousand ISIS militants, and food and water supplies are running out. Not only are they at risk of bombs ripping their lives apart, many fear retribution from incoming militias who may see civilians as ISIS sympathizers.

Terrorism will not be defeated by foreign bombs. Every civilian killed creates only more anger, pain and despair and feeds the narrative that groups such as ISIS wish to promote. Numerous countries are now intervening in the Syrian battleground, contributing to the whole-scale slaughter. Anti-war activists should be calling on all foreign forces to leave and holding the perpetrators of war crimes to account.

Hummus For Thought

C7HBZ_TX0AEsMqB White Helmet volunteers search for trapped victims of US airstrikes, Al Jina, Aleppo

Since Trump came to power there has been a marked escalation of the US intervention in Syria, supposedly to defeat ISIS.

The US already has hundreds of Special Operations forces fighting on the ground alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces and has backed them with hundreds of airstrikes. Now a marine artillery unit has been deployed to Syria to support the battle to take Raqqa and the US is planning on sending in more ground troops.

Since the beginning of this year there have been daily reports of civilians killed during US airstrikes on Syrian villages and towns. Some have resulted in large-scale massacres. On 16 March more than 40 civilians were killed, including children, and over 100 injured in the village of Al Jina, near Aleppo, when a US airstrike struck the Omar ibn al-Khattab mosque as…

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bellingcat – CONFIRMED: US Responsible for ‘Aleppo Mosque Bombing’ – bellingcat

It is thus clear that the Pentagon, the local citizens, activists, and journalists on the ground, as well as Bellingcat, are speaking of the very same location. But while the small building is confirmed to be a mosque, and clearly looks like one, what can we find out about the bigger building? Was it indeed a mosque?All available information from local and international media points towards it indeed being a mosque.First of all, a sign outside the western side of the building says this is the ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb mosque, indicates it is a religious school (Arabic: مدرسة شرعية), and refers to a text on people financing the construction of the mosque.

Source: bellingcat – CONFIRMED: US Responsible for ‘Aleppo Mosque Bombing’ – bellingcat

Plant an Olive Tree from Palestine



Plant an Olive tree from Palestine

Last year, while I was chatting with my Syrian friend, the long-time star in Syrian Drama, Jehad Sa’d. He suddenly jumped off his couch and said: ” I have a splendid idea. Why don’t we plant olive trees from Palestine everywhere in the world? Israelis uproot your trees, and you can plant them all over the world, not just in Palestine. The Palestine olive tree will be everywhere, at the UN, the Vatican, in parks … ”
Last month, a friend of mine who works for Al Ta’awon, the Welfare institution that works for projects in Palestine, launched the same idea. I thought they stole our idea ). But I was so proud that someone took this to an actual level of implementation.
As Al Ta’awon launched its campaign, I call all those who dream of peace for the people of the uprooted olive…

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A journey inside the General’s Son Miko Peled

Finding peace and understanding is hard but worth the effort – sometimes it is really hard but Nadia makes it easier.


A journey inside the General’s Son Miko Peled.
The answers have changed.

“If you knew what I know, if you saw what I saw, you would do the same. The pain of knowing what I know is a pain so sharp that sitting around and doing nothing stopped being an option for me a long time ago.”

I am not sure from where to start. I know, however, this will be long. How lucky I am to encounter yet another great experience between a book and its author. I should be damn lucky.
However, yet, there is more. This is not just another book, and the author is not just another writer. Moreover, of course, yes, it is the Israel-Palestine enigma. It is the cause that only its people can relate to with such “narcissist” dogma, which somehow identifies what it means to be Palestinian and Israeli. It is all…

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A journey inside the General’s Son – Miko Peled | Nadia Harhash

The General’s Son is a book that Israelis should read as much as Palestinians. Needless to say, it is a book that is so enlightening in the inner depths of one man . It is a book about spiritual purification, enlightenment, and honesty. A path human beings are meant to take .. but mostly never do. Like Einstein, he believes, that the answers have changed. It is no longer one state, two states or three states.

Source: A journey inside the General’s Son Miko Peled | nadiaharhash

Rise of Hindu ‘extremist’ spooks 40 million Muslim minority in India’s heartland | World news | The Guardian – Hindu Fascists will go after Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains…

The men, allegedly part of a religious activist group called the Hindu Yuva Vahini, cornered one of the parishioners. Smartphone footage shows the woman pulling her blue shawl tightly around herself as she answers questions about her involvement with the church. “No one is forcing me to convert,” she insists.“If the police hadn’t arrived, we don’t know what would have happened next,” Joshua says. “After the men left, everyone in the church was silent, so frightened. This is a time of testing for us.”Last week, the monk who founded the HYV, and whose firebrand Hindu supremacist vision guides the organisation, was selected by the party of prime minister Narendra Modi to lead the most populous state in India – the equivalent of the sixth largest nation on earth.

Source: Rise of Hindu ‘extremist’ spooks 40 million Muslim minority in India’s heartland | World news | The Guardian

Going Under the Knife, With Eyes and Ears Wide Open – The New York Times


Patient satisfaction, however, tends to be high. Ms. Voynow did not need a preoperative physical exam, blood work, an I.V. drip or even an attending anesthesiologist. As nurses wheeled her on a gurney out of the O.R., she looked pleasantly surprised. “I’ve had root canals that were worse,” she said.Scarcely a half-hour after the surgery, she drove herself home, using her right hand, which had just been operated on. By contrast, if she had been given general anesthesia, she would most likely have needed several hours to recover, possibly had side effects like dizziness and nausea, and required someone to drive her. An anesthesiologist would have been necessary throughout the operation. And billed accordingly.“If I want sedation, I’ll have a beer,” said David S. Howes, who has had several awake procedures (and who is himself a doctor, an emergency physician in Chicago). During his awake colonoscopy, he discussed fly-fishing with the gastroenterologist. He had two total knee replacements with only regional nerve blocks.

OPINION: ‘Sexism among women is still sexism. It’s time to stop dragging each other down’ – The Local

Sexism among women is still sexism. It’s prejudice and bullying. Judging another woman for her appearance, or because you’re intimidated by her presence or beauty, and discrediting her with other women and with men. These things seem to belong to another century, when women were burned for being witches. I spend a lot of time on social media – I’m a digital and marketing strategist – and I often have the sense that the media is like a pillory.The most absurd and painful case is that of Tiziana Cantone, a 29-year-old Italian whose boyfriend shared sex tapes filmed while she was drunk. The videos shared her full name and her face was shown clearly. Everyone, and I mean everyone, made fun of that video for two years. Even friends of mine. There were photo montages, Facebook pages, comics, parodies, songs, even people who profitted from selling t-shirts and mugs with her face or name. The ‘meme’ even appeared in the video of a song by Lorenzo Fragola, a young artist who won X Factor Italia two years ago. It had 20 million views, and the references to Tiziana was totally unnecessary. These memes and videos were everywhere – ‘ironic’ in theory but in reality, they were abhorrent.Tiziana moved house, because she could no longer leave the house, she changed her name, she attempted suicide, and her family made her come back home. Then she took legal action, but somehow lost it because of technical errors by the lawyers and an absurd justice system which denied the ‘right to be forgotten’ because the ‘news’ was judged to be ‘of public interest’. Then she was ordered to pay compensation. Days after the ruling, Tiziana took her own life.One disturbing thing I remember is that even then, after two years of insults from other women as well as men, there was a sense of ‘she had it coming’ even after her death. Again, this came from both men and women.

Source: OPINION: ‘Sexism among women is still sexism. It’s time to stop dragging each other down’ – The Local

Putin welcomes Le Pen to Moscow with a nudge and a wink | World news | The Guardian

In his remarks, Putin noted that France was currently involved in an election cycle and that Russia did “not want to influence events in any way”. The sentiment sounded slightly less than genuine given that it came as part of a one-on-one Kremlin meeting with the far-right presidential candidate one month before the vote.The mixed messaging appears to be a deliberate strategy, and is similar to some of the Russian rhetoric around the allegations that the Kremlin intervened to get Donald Trump elected. There is both an outburst of fury at those who would dare to voice such allegations, and a simultaneous revelling in them.

Source: Putin welcomes Le Pen to Moscow with a nudge and a wink | World news | The Guardian

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