There is nothing funny about the declaration of the ‘Caliphate’

And I am not laughing.

Nervana

Members loyal to the ISIL wave ISIL flags as they drive around Raqqa

Photo via Reuters

Initially published in Turkish Hurriyet Daily

It may be amusing to some, but there is nothing funny about the declaration of the “Caliphate”  by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The rise of rejectionist groups is testimony to an older, deeper struggle that still haunts the region today. It would be folly to dismiss Islamist rejectionism as a fringe ideology. The new Caliphate may be “ahistorical,” but there is growing support for this much-indulging myth among some Muslim youth. After a century of poisonous politics in the Middle East, many prefer to escape to the past instead of facing the painful present.

Rejectionist radicals are not new in the Arab world. In 1970s Egypt, an agricultural engineer, Shukri Mustafa, who turned radical in prison in the 1960s, founded the first rejectionist group, Takfir-wal-Hijra (meaning “excommunication and exile”). In his book…

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ISIS chief orders Muslims to ‘obey’ him: video | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

{Self-delusion is very comforting to the one who deludes himself – but can be devastating to those who laugh or oppose the delusion}

“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me,” he said, wearing a black turban and robe.

“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you.”

AFP was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the video purportedly showing Baghdadi, of whom there were previously only two known photographs.

The video is the first ever official appearance by Baghdadi, according to Aymenn al-Tamimi, an expert on Islamist movements, though the jihadist leader may have appeared in a 2008 video under a different name.

“God gave your mujahedeen brothers victory after long years of jihad and patience… so they declared the caliphate and placed the caliph in charge,” he said.

“This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries,” he added, sporting a long and slightly greying beard, as he addressed the faithful from the mosque’s pulpit.

via ISIS chief orders Muslims to ‘obey’ him: video | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.

Salvadoran Peasant Farmers Clash With U.S. of Monsanto Over Seeds | Inter Press Service

Seed quality is monitored and approved by the Salvadoran Ministry of Agriculture, which paid a total of 25.9 million dollars on seed purchases in 2013, most of them maize and beans which are staple foods in El Salvador.

Until the new model was implemented in 2011, 70 percent of the market was cornered by a subsidiary of U.S. biotech giant Monsanto, Semillas Cristiani Burkard. Since then, other producers have entered the field, like the cooperatives, with better quality certified seeds and more competitive prices.

Last year’s seed was purchased by an executive decree of December 2012, with the approval of Congress, and in practice U.S. companies were excluded. The U.S. embassy demanded a public and “transparent” tender process.

In January 2014, lawmakers approved a new decree allowing international companies to participate in the tendering process. However, the bidding in April was won by the same 18 producers.

Ambassador Aponte is now pressing for a different procurement process that will favour U.S. companies. This position is being criticised by social organisations and rural producers, who protested in front of the embassy in San Salvador in June.

“The embassy’s position serves to promote Monsanto’s seeds,” environmentalist Ricardo Navarro told IPS, referring to the world leader in transgenic seeds, against which many protests have been held in Latin American countries.

Aponte did not mention Monsanto in her comments, but according to Navarro “it is obvious she is referring to Monsanto, the largest company in the sector,” whose local branch “lost a market they thought belonged to them.”

via Salvadoran Peasant Farmers Clash With U.S. Over Seeds | Inter Press Service.

Saharan Dust on the Move : Image of the Day

{Interconnected – climate change and interchange? – naw say tea partiers and lots of GOP – despite proof such as this}

Saharan dust has a range of impacts on ecosystems downwind. Each year, dust events like the one pictured here deliver about 40 million tons of dust from the Sahara to the Amazon River Basin. The minerals in the dust replenish nutrients in rainforest soils, which are continually depleted by drenching, tropical rains. Research focused on peat soils in the Everglades show that African dust has been arriving regularly in South Florida for thousands of years as well.

In some instances, the impacts are harmful. Infusion of Saharan dust, for instance, can have a negative impact on air quality in the Americas. And scientists have linked African dust to outbreaks of certain types of toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and southern Florida.

via Saharan Dust on the Move : Image of the Day.

Indigenous Resistance: Paris Exclusive! Klee Benally challenges auction of sacred items in Paris

Then she called her boss, Master Alain Leroy, to inform him of the situation. In between, the protesters started to stick posters on the windows of the office. Then Master Leroy himself arrived, tore the posters, shouting that it was damaging his building (they were just stuck with tape and he could tear them without any effort).

Klee tried to explain to him that he just wanted to deliver a letter and discuss the matter peacefully. But Mr. Leroy started with denying the genocide of Native Americans, claimed that the artifacts had been sold by the Natives themselves, although he did not have a document proving it, but claimed that ‘everybody knew that Native Americans never had papers’! He claimed that nobody had any right to challenge his rights to sell sacred objects, as ‘all the courts have ruled for the 4th time that the sale was legal’. As a matter of fact, ‘all the courts’ are the court of the neighborhood, with that one Madame Judge who has no knowledge what so ever of Native Americans and just believes that Constitutions protect private property and the right to trade.

Mr. Leroy also referred abundantly to the right of private property, guaranteed by French and American Law. He also claimed that those artifacts were preserved thanks to white collectors (suggesting that Natives are not able to preserve their inheritance) and that they would not exist anymore if they had not been sold to while people.

Then, at a point, he claimed that the masks were not sacred but had been made specially for tourists, which amounts to admit that he is cheating on his customers, as they certainly don’t go to an auction to buy tourist junk.

via Indigenous Resistance: Paris Exclusive! Klee Benally challenges auction of sacred items in Paris.

Anthrax discovered in beef in Hungary | News | DW.DE | 04.07.2014

{Know where you food is from and if it has been properly inspected – give anyone who suggests privatizing inspection instructions on how to shut the door as they leave their senses!}

Five people were being monitored in hospital for a suspected infection of the disease, Hungarian health authority said ANTSZ in a statement.

The disease appeared to have been identified in frozen beef from two cattle that were slaughtered on a farm near the town of Tiszafured, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Budapest.

Authorities said the five people hospitalized had probably contracted the disease during illegal slaughtering. The ANTSZ said some of the beef had been shipped to a company that operates canteens, with the firm’s operations having been suspended.

ANTSZ added that the vaccination of animals exposed to the anthrax bacteria had already begun. “Authorities have taken the necessary measures, so there is no longer an immediate danger,” the statement said.

The health agency has also asked for people who believe they may have eaten the infected meat to see a doctor, with early treatment being vital.

It added that the matter would be reported to police, given that the canteen firm had allegedly bought the meat from illegal sources.

Anthrax, which is spread by spores, results in flu-like symptoms that can go on for several days, followed by pneumonia and often fatal respiratory collapse. Untreated, it has a mortality rate of more than 90 percent, which falls to 42 percent when treated early with antibiotics.

via Anthrax discovered in beef in Hungary | News | DW.DE | 04.07.2014.

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