Breaking the cycle of slavery: 3 generations of Kamalari women
Young girls never dream of becoming slaves, but for those growing up in the poverty of southwest Nepal there is usually little other possibility. Lila was just 14 when she was forced to follow in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, becoming a young Kamalari slave. Sold as a house servant for another family, she left home to support her family’s struggling farming business, helping them sustain a sufficient income of their own. This was Lila’s reality, but it was never her dream.
55% of Nepal’s people live on less than $1.25 per day, resulting in many poverty-stricken families seeking other— in this case illegal, and tragic — means of income to survive. Due to the cycle of poverty, these financially-stressed families often feel they have little other choice than to sell-off their young girls; as such, participation in the slave-trade – which denies young girls the joys of childhood and the protection of a safe, supportive household — becomes a rooted family tradition. Room and board are provided for Kamalari girls within their workplace, leaving less financial strain on the girls’ families. And though pay is minimal, all the earnings of Kamalari women are given directly to their fathers.
A childhood of labour alone
Unfortunately, Lila’s experience with the Kamalari trade is not unique to her or her family. As of 2013, Plan estimated that 10,000 to 12,000 Nepalese girls – some as young as five years of age – were sold into the system by their desperate families. At a young age, these girls are left deserted and vulnerable as they work away from home; their rights and safety threatened by stressful labour conditions.
“As a Kamalari I had to work hard all day,” explains Lila. Despite all her hard work, she earned a mere 500 Nepalese rupees each year — the current equivalent of less than $10 Canadian. But Lila lost out on so much more. “I had no time for school or to read,” she recalls, but fortunately, things have changed.
A new, hopeful chapter
Thanks to Plan’s support, Lila was able to leave the Kamalari system after 3 years. She was able to return to school in order to complete her education and empower herself through knowledge and training.
“I feel good,” she says, addressing her new outlook on life and the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe lifestyle. “If I have children later, I’m going to do it differently.”
Lila’s transition out of the cycle of slavery marks a new chapter in both her and her family’s life. Her mother, Aangani, has also gained valuable skills and opportunities through Plan: she, along with a group of other locals, received training for increasing farming production and starting businesses through the assistance of small loans.
As the first of her family to escape the Kamalari system, Lila vows to permanently end the tradition and prevent the suffering of future generations.
“My grandmother was a Kamalari, my mother was a Kamalari, I was a Kamalari, but I will not let my children work in this way!”
Ordinary people lived extraordinary lives during The Troubles. Conor McGale is helping to record their stories and the significance of borders in the Northern Irish conflict
Our exciting EU PEACE III funded storytelling project, Border Lives, has produced six short films capturing people’s lives and experiences along the border region of Northern Ireland, from the Troubles to the present day.
Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won’t come clean?
Israel’s nuclear reactor at Dimona. Photograph: Getty Images
Deep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran’s atomic projects are under constant international monitoring.
The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It’s just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing.
Despite the fact that the Israel’s nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence.
When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as “outdated and childish” a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason.
Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of “opacity” by avoiding all mention of the issue. In 2009, when a veteran Washington reporter, Helen Thomas, asked Barack Obama in the first month of his presidency if he knew of any country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, he dodged the trapdoor by saying only that he did not wish to “speculate”.
UK governments have generally followed suit. Asked in the House of Lords in November about Israeli nuclear weapons, Baroness Warsi answered tangentially. “Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. We have regular discussions with the government of Israel on a range of nuclear-related issues,” the minister said. “The government of Israel is in no doubt as to our views. We encourage Israel to become a state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT].”
But through the cracks in this stone wall, more and more details continue to emerge of how Israel built its nuclear weapons from smuggled parts and pilfered technology.
The tale serves as a historical counterpoint to today’s drawn-out struggle over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The parallels are not exact – Israel, unlike Iran, never signed up to the 1968 NPT so could not violate it. But it almost certainly broke a treaty banning nuclear tests, as well as countless national and international laws restricting the traffic in nuclear materials and technology.
The list of nations that secretly sold Israel the material and expertise to make nuclear warheads, or who turned a blind eye to its theft, include today’s staunchest campaigners against proliferation: the US, France, Germany, Britain and even Norway.
Read more :
PC Monte McNaughton says consultation process was a ‘farce’
The Canadian Press
Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum will be online “within weeks” for parents to see now that the consultation period has finished, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday.
School council chairs at all 4,000 schools across the province have been consulted and the new curriculum will be implemented in September 2015, she said.
“The health and physical education curriculum is out of date — in fact it’s dangerously out of date,” Wynne said.
- Premier wants Ontario students to learn about sexual consent early
- Wynne praises girls’ push for consent in sex-ed curriculum
The premier’s comments came in question period Wednesday after Progressive Conservative Monte McNaughton slammed the government, saying more parents, beyond the representatives from each school, should have been consulted.
“It’s not Kathleen Wynne’s job to tell a parent out there what’s age appropriate for their child,” he said after question period.
McNaughton said he has been “inundated” with calls, emails and petitions from parents who felt they were left out of the consultation process, but he did not point to any specific criticisms of what is already in the public sphere about the new curriculum
“The complete process has been a farce,” he said.
Wynne said she doesn’t know if McNaughton’s “fearmongering” has more to do with his party leadership bid or “with a very small group of people who want to stir up fear about the reality that kids need information.”
Curriculum will be taught in September
The curriculum is complete, now in the process of being translated into French, and what is posted online is what will be taught beginning in September, said Education Minister Liz Sandals.
The Liberal government previously attempted updating the curriculum in 2010 — the current one dates back to 1998 — but it backed off after backlash from religious leaders.
The reintroduced sex-ed curriculum is not expected to show a marked departure from what was proposed in 2010. It will teach kids about homosexuality and same-sex marriages in Grade 3, encourage discussions about puberty, including masturbation, in Grade 6, and talk about preventing sexually transmitted diseases in Grade 7, which could include information on oral and anal sex.
Wynne has said students should start learning facial cues as early as Grade 1 to give them the ability to understand the concept of consent.
Sandals said Wednesday that the government heard a “strong consensus” from the parent council chairs that they want their kids to get reliable, accurate and timely information.
“We also had a lot of confirmation that parents want the curriculum updated so their kids are getting accurate information about safe internet use, that their kids are learning about the dangers of sexting and inappropriate communication on smartphones,” Sandals said.
“What we heard from parents is they understood that they can’t necessarily control what their kids are seeing and they want their kids to get good, accurate information to counteract that.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said since changes to the curriculum were proposed five years ago, it’s about time the new version was made public.
The world is full of actors pretending to be human J.D. Salinger,
“Dare to think for yourself.” – Voltaire
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget. ” - Arundhati Roy
“If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” – Immanuel Kant
“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.” – Samuel Johnson
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel
There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it’s the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism. bell hooks
Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found dead on Tuesday
Noreen Khan from the BBC Asian Network tweeted: “No media outrcry? No angry protests? No demands for apologies? No major coverage? But Twitter on it. No surprise there.
She later added: “Please don’t tell me oh US sees shootings everyday hence no coverage. If a Muslim had shot down 3 people it would be everywhere.”
Acid Attack Survivors: Beauty Salon Owner Helps Rehabilitate Victims
- What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible. Theodore Roethke
- It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle Onassis
- Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.
Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom premiered last night and everyone is talking about protagonist Will McAvoy’s tirade on how America isn’t the greatest country in the world:
“We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories. Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending…”
In Sorkin’s honor, here are 25 other things America isn’t number one in:
- America ranks 13th in starting a business, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.
- The U.S. ranks 47th in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. So much for freedom of the press.
- The U.S. ranks 20th in international trade, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.
- The U.S., which ranks 15th in dealing with debt insolvency according to the Doing Business rankings.
- The U.S. is ranked 10th in economic freedom, according to The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.
- The U.S. is 25th among 43 developing countries for the best place to be a mother, according to Save The Children.
- The U.S. is only the 11th happiest country in the world, according Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
- There are 21 countries better than America in freedom from corruption, according to Heritage.org.
- The U.S. was ranked 24th in perceived honesty, according to Transparency.org.
- America is ranked 39th in income inequality according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Need a Hepatitis B vaccination? The U.S. is ranked 89th in percentage of children who have been vaccinated according to the World Health Organization.
- The U.S. is only 47th in infant survival? That’s true, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Want to live a long life? Don’t live in the U.S., which is 50th in life expectancy according to the CIA World Factbook.
- How well is our economy growing? The U.S. GDP growth rate is ranked 169th out of 216 countries, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Our GDP per capita is only 12th in the world, behind Qatar and Liechtenstein, says the CIA World Factbook.
- Our unemployment percentage is worse than 102 of the 200 countries listed by the CIA World Factbook.
- The U.S. is an embarrassing 142nd out of 150 countries in infrastructure investment, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- America’s budget deficit is ranked 192nd in debt relative to GDP, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- The growth rate of our industrial production is ranked 79th, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- The U.S. is only 11th in oil exports, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Our oil reserves is only the 13th most in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- The U.S. is ranked 192nd, dead last, in the net trade of goods and services, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Our reserve of foreign exchange and gold is ranked 19th, according to the CIA World Factbook, right behind Indonesia.
- The U.S. is ranked the 28th best soccer team by FIFA.
- In terms of the percentage of women holding public office, the U.S. ranks 79th out of 147 countries, says the IPU.
By Global Research News
GR Editor’s Note
The following letter by a young Ukrainian girl was brought to our attention. The letter translated from Russian depicts the drame of young girl, It describes the context of oppression prevailing in Ukraine’s capital directed against those who opposed the Maidan.
* * *
Unfortunately, I had to close all posts in my VK(VKontakte) about Maidan (they aren’t erased, but now are visible only to me) because after the Maidan “victory” in Kiev the real nightmare began. About that, people prefer not to speak because they are very much afraid. There are [Right Sector] militants everywhere.
My co-worker was beat in front of the entrance to her apartment for writing anti-maidan posts in her VK page. How did they find her? No one knows. She is in intensive care and at the first mention of that event, you can’t appease her tears.
At school the other day, my neighbor’s boy called his parents at the break using a mobile phone and spoke with them in Russian. His schoolmates took away his phone and broke it. They broke his bag, tore all his textbooks and note-books, and then beat him up. They demanded he speak only Ukrainian or “for the rest of his life be afraid because they will find and will cripple him”. This is a boy in 7th grade.
From time to time on the streets it is possible to see this picture; As a person is approaching a group of people, the group asks questions: “Were you on Maidan? Do you support Maidan? ” If both answers are “no” the group cruelly beats them and kicks them.
In Kiev now the majority of Russians and Russian-speaking people, initially and after Maidan who did not support Maidan are compelled to remember the Soviet period when “even walls have ears” and to keep mum. Because we, unlike other regions [Donesk, Lugansk] have no chance of separating from Ukraine.
In Kiev now, as many as speak in whispers at personal meetings are doomed. Here its already a totalitarian mode and probably will only get worse.
Everything is getting aggravated with that. For some reason a lot Russians, and Russian-speaking people were at Maidan and in every possible way helped Maidan’s people.
Kiev is completely split. Here associating with Russians is impossible. They are now enemies in addition to Yanukovych. Its awful that this war( the gun battles that ended Maidan) is here. Such cruelty beating on absolutely peaceful people. Their only crime is that they dared to be against vandals and cheap swindlers of people.
Please, don’t mention my nickname in context with this information.
If people find and cripple people already for posts in VK, that truth very much frightens us, “especially women and mothers”.
I asked for permission to publish the letter without mention of authorship and received the following answer:
“If you publish, state objectively that externally Kiev leads a quiet, quiet life”. But it is only a matter of visibility. Those who are joyful and complacent are for Maidan. Now it is their time.
All others are guarded and careful even with people they think they know. Russian and Russian-speaking people that haven’t faced an atrocity as opponents of the Maidan simply try to be silent in public places. They try to not attract the aggression of madmen.
And those who already suffered from them or at least as much as I know about real cases, try hard to save their families and to be silent, silent, silent.
Therefore the “picture” of Kiev is quite safe, spring comes, and so on. Actually part (and not a small part!) of the city is in silent horror.
You cannot leave everything: Your work, your house, the proof you had a life- you can’t throw it all away.
People hang on by the skin of their teeth. After all that has happened, they hope for any miracle. Though it is difficult even to assume now that anything can save the Russians in Kiev.
It is impossible to be silent. But the inhabitants of Kiev, who are Antimaidan, and faced atrocity won’t write about it openly. It’s the instinct of self-preservation
Those who aren’t aware yet are in a kind of dark hope that somehow everything will be fine. I try to be very careful. Only here I decided to write this to you for some reason. Probably, because of trust and you are after all very far away…”
Inspirational and motivational picture to those who have every thing and continue complaining.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. Swami Sivananda
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle Onassis
Watch the full documentary now
The documentary Children of God starts and a striking statement is soon made in the voice of a child. The child informs the man behind the camera, and transversely the audience, that he is 12 years old, and will die by the next year, at 13 years old. This isn’t said as a plea for help, an offer to escape his current situation, or even a doomsday prophecy of sorts. It is said and meant as a statement of warped hope for the near future of one of Nepal’s “dirty boys.”
In truth, the struggles faced and story told in this documentary happens to all of us, but likely not quite like this. We all experience loss, change, struggle of some sort, and we all get to choose, in some capacity, how we’ll handle things and whether or not it’s worth it to us to see another day. For Alesh Poudel, a young boy who has not yet hit puberty but lives with more responsibility than a lot of adults will ever be able to face, life and death are almost a simultaneous thing.
Living in the not so quiet corners of a crematorium located on the Ganges, a river believed to flow straight to heaven and the gods, he swims and bathes in the ashes of the deceased who have left their families with requests to be laid to rest there when they pass on, and he survives on what those people live behind in a variety of ways.
Poudel is quick witted, and has obviously picked up a unique sort of wisdom in correlation with his daily life filled with family strife and financial struggle, but seems unaware of the strange parallels in his life, and his lack of worldly experience makes itself evident in ways including his abstract but tangible ideas about home, heaven, and what is truly possible outside of the only land he’s ever known, as well as an unintentionally ironic metaphor he proudly makes in a moment of peace; that his four year old sister is pure like the water of the Ganges.
Familial and societal bonds in the society of Nepal are also explored in Children of God, and while you will be left with questions, it won’t be for a lack of effective story telling or direction. There are moments in the film when subtitles aren’t present. Perhaps for legal reasons or out of respect for the people being filmed, but this absence, which isn’t completely where your questions will stem from, can make you feel out of the loop as an English speaking audience member.
Kidney disease could be caused due to several factors. But most people are not aware of the fact that it can be a silent killer. It may not show any symptoms till the time the condition becomes critical. Therefore it is essential for you to recognise the symptoms of kidney diseases early so that you can seek treatment soon.
Here are 12 such important symptoms of kidney disease you need to be aware of:
1. Changes in your
The first symptom of kidney disease is a change in the amount and frequency of the urine you pass. There may be:
- An increase or decrease in amount of urine you pass.
- Dark coloured urine (darker than usual).
- Feeling the urge to urinate but are unable to do so when you get to the restroom.
- Increase or decrease in its frequency, especially at night. According to Dr Avinash Ignatius, senior consultant nephrologist DaVita, Pune Region, ‘Frequent urination at night is one of the most common and early symptom of chronic kidney disease and it should not be ignored even though it is harmless. While other symptoms of the disease usually develop at later stage of the disease after the kidney has lost approximately 80% of its function.’
2. Difficulty or pain during voiding (or passing urine)
Sometimes you may have difficulty or feel pressure or pain while voiding. This could indicate a urinary tract infection which may cause symptoms such as pain or burning during urination. A spread of the infection to your kidneys which may cause fever and pain in your back.
3. Blood in the urine
This is a symptom of kidney disease which is a definite cause for concern. Whenever you see this, do not ignore it. Visit a doctor immediately.
4. Foamy urine
This is a symptom where a person notices foam forming on their urine once passed. According to Dr Deepa Jayaram, a leading nephrologist practising in Mumbai, this is caused due to the leakage of protein from the person’s body and is another symptom of kidney disease.
5. Swelling or oedema
While this is fairly common symptom, this happens because your kidneys are responsible for the removal of waste and extra fluid from your body. When they are unable to do so, this extra fluid builds up in your body. Dr Deepa says, ‘This symptom is caused because of the body’s inability to get rid of excess water and salts from the body. So a person with this condition will notice swelling on the feet, ankles, puffiness of the face and tightness of the hands.’ This is also known as oedema.
6. Extreme fatigue, anaemia and generalised weakness
Your kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which helps red blood cells carry oxygen. When they malfunction, the levels of this hormone drop drastically. This causes a drop in the number of red blood cells in your body resulting in anaemia which also leads to symptoms like generalised weakness and extreme fatigue.
7. Dizziness and Inability to concentrate
Anaemia associated with kidney disease also depletes your brain of oxygen which may cause dizziness, trouble with concentration, etc.
8. Feeling cold all the time
Kidney disease is known to cause anaemia, which also causes you to feel cold even when in a warm surrounding. Pyelonephritis (kidney infection) may also cause fever with chills. Extreme fatigue and exhaustion can also be responsible for this symptom.
9. Skin rashes and itching
This is a symptom that is commonly confused with other more innocuous conditions like an allergy, but rashes could also indicate kidney disease and failure. Kidney failure causes waste build-up in your blood. This causes severe itching and skin rashes. Apart from kidney disease there are other reasons for itchy skin you must know about.
10. Ammonia breath and metallic taste
Another very indicative symptom of kidney disease, this is often missed while looking for indications of kidney disease. Kidney failure increases level of urea in the blood (uraemia). This urea is broken down to ammonia in the saliva causing urine-like bad breath called ammonia breath. It is also usually associated with an unpleasant metallic taste (dysgeusia) in the mouth.
11. Nausea and vomiting
The build-up of waste products in your blood in kidney disease can also cause nausea and vomiting.
12. Lack of appetite
One suffers from this symptom due to the build up of toxins and waste materials in the body. Dr Deepa Jayaram, says, ‘Since kidney disease usually presents without any symptoms, the build up of toxins tend to lead the way, when it comes to diagnosis. Therefore, when seen with other symptoms, lack of appetite can be one that indicates kidney disease.’
13. Shortness of breath
‘If the kidney disease is severe enough, it can cause a build up of fluid in the lungs leading to a feeling of breathlessness.’, says Dr Deepa Jayaram, leading nephrologist. Apart from that, anaemia, a common side-effect of kidney disease, starves your body of oxygen making you suffer from breathlessness.
14. Pain in the back or sides
This is a common indicator of kidney disease, but is not seen in all people suffering from the condition. The pain is characteristic and you may feel a severe cramping pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin. This symptom could be an indicator of a number of conditions, like:
- Kidney stone or one in the ureter could be a cause of this pain.
- Conditions like polycystic kidney disease — an inherited kidney disorder, which causes many fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys).
- Interstitial cystitis – a chronic inflammation of the bladder wall.
If you have followed gold and silver market news over the past few years, it is likely you have seen various reports on fake gold and silver products.
In March 2012, a 1 kilo tungsten gold bar turned up in the United Kingdom.
Then in September 2012 there were reports on a slew of 10 oz tungsten gold bars bought and sold in New York’s jewelry district.
The big problem with these news reports is that they have given little to no solution on how the public at large can avoid fake bullion products.
We would like to raise the general awareness of this issue both with our customers, our industry, and the general gold and silver investing public at large. With more than a year of hands on research, we have identified some of the biggest fake silver and gold counterfeit threats facing the investing public today.
This Special Report on the growing threat of fake silver and counterfeit gold products will arm you with solutions on how to best avoid being ripped off by sellers of phony bullion products.”
Source: American Civil Liberties Union
The First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution bar federal and state governments from making laws or rules that specifically prohibit women from practicing hijab. In some circumstances, however, the Constitution allows neutral rules that apply to everyone, such as a rule barring all headcoverings, whether religious or not.
The Fourteenth Amendment and numerous federal civil rights laws bar federal and state officials and some private actors from discriminating against women who practice hijab.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provides additional protection at the federal level by barring the federal government and its officials from restricting women’s ability to practice hijab (either specifically or through generally applicable rules), unless the government can demonstrate that its action was the “least restrictive means” for achieving a “compelling governmental interest.”3 Although RFRA does not apply to state governments, many states have adopted their own “mini-RFRAs” or interpreted their state constitutions to provide the same heightened protections.
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) bars government officials from restricting women’s ability to practice hijab when they are confined to any institution that receives federal funding (such as state prisons), unless the government can demonstrate that its action was the “least restrictive means” for achieving a “compelling governmental interest.”4
One federal civil rights law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits an employer from firing, refusing to hire, or disciplining a woman because of religious practices like hijab, unless the employer can show that it offered a “reasonabl[e] accommodat[ion]” or that it could not offer such an accommodation without incurring an “undue hardship.”5 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifically states that refusing to hire someone because of a concern that customers or co-workers may be “uncomfortable” with hijab is illegal.6 Many states and municipalities have additional laws protecting employees from discrimination, threats, and harassment.
Very interesting article
By: John Cruickshank
Committing blasphemy for reasons of principle seems an oddly childish act in a society as secular and as safe as our own.
Canadians experienced a shudder of distaste when the Parti Québécois introduced its secular charter in May 2013.
The law proposed stripping civil servants of the right to wear large Christian crosses or hijabs or yarmulkes. The superficial equality of treatment didn’t conceal the disproportionately hurtful impact the rules would have on Muslim women and observant Jews.
Many Canadians in Quebec and elsewhere felt it was a cruel way for a government in a multicultural state to treat its minorities. The proposed laws died with the PQ’s defeat by the provincial Liberals last spring.
Canadians are among the least religiously observant people in the world and we are extremely tolerant of religious diversity.
The PQ charter appeared to be an arbitrary attack by the powerful on the vulnerable. The Quebec government might have had the legal right to impose its will but it didn’t have the moral right to do so.
PQ leadership contender Bernard Drainville this week announced he wants to reintroduce the ban on Muslim religious symbols in the province to demonstrate that “it’s not for the extremists to make the law in Quebec.”
Stephen Harper, among many, has called the slaughter an act of war by international jihadism that endangers Canadians’ democracy and speech right.
The prime minister universalized a very specific terrorist act and promoted it into a war. This rhetoric can easily be confused with the fictitious and intellectually contemptible notion that a global clash of civilizations is taking place between Muslims and Christians.
Despite the efforts of Harper and Drainville to bring this horror home, the Charlie Hebdo massacre is very much a French phenomenon.
First, there’s Charlie Hebdo itself, a modern incarnation of the obscene and bloody-minded French revolutionary pamphlets that preached republicanism, secularism — and generous use of the guillotine.
It employs the weapons of humour and blasphemy to denigrate and undermine the role of religion in French politics and culture. In effect, its mission is to turn newcomers into good little secular French leftists.
Oddly, its position is not much different from that expressed by the very conservative former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, who said: “If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community. And if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”
Charlie’s political position deserves every possible physical and constitutional protection in a democracy. And all journalists must stand in absolute solidarity with the Hebdoists. Nous sommes tous Charlie.
But Charlie Hebdo’s mission and values are foreign to us in every sense. Canada and Toronto are richly multicultural.
The identity of our city and country is continuing to evolve as newcomers make their mark and take a full place in our politics and culture. We don’t feel sufficient anxiety as a nation to need to suppress anyone’s uniqueness as long as it falls within our laws and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Some journalists, including some of our own, argue the Star has a journalistic obligation to reprint the French magazine’s latest depiction of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. This would show that terrorists can’t cow us and that we are willing to share the peril our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo courted.
But committing blasphemy for reasons of principle seems an oddly childish act in a society as secular and as safe as our own. And this publication has no desire to try to shape its readers into good little French leftists.
More than a million Canadians say they are of the Muslim faith; more than 600,000 are Ontarians. Many recent immigrants have issues with underemployment and concerns about the future prospects of their children.
They are doubly vulnerable in a period of protracted economic sluggishness because they are both a small and a very visible minority. And they feel that events far away have put them under suspicion.
We could run the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. There is a strong news rationale for doing so. But there are important reasons of principle not to do it. Just as we would not publish racist or pornographic images, we will exercise our judgment not to print the cartoons.
We will not print them because we have too much respect for fellow Canadians of Muslim background. We will not send a message that their way of being Canadian is less acceptable or less valuable than that of any other citizen. We will not do it because it is not the Canadian thing to do.
And we won’t do it because we have too much respect for ourselves. The Toronto Star has campaigned against arbitrary and cruel acts of power for more than a century.
We stand by our legal right to free speech. But we won’t exploit it to commit a moral wrong.
John Cruickshank is publisher of the Toronto Star.
What is halal meat?
Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran.
The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry, dhabiha, involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.
Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass. During the process, a Muslim will recite a dedication, know as tasmiya or shahada.
There is debate about elements of halal, such as whether stunning is allowed.
Stunning cannot be used to kill an animal, according to the Halal Food Authority (HFA), a non-profit organisation that monitors adherence to halal principles. But it can be used if the animal survives and is then killed by halal methods, the HFA adds.
What changes are being suggested?
Campaigners and politicians are calling for clearer labelling of halal products to give consumers more information on how their food is prepared.
Jewish and Muslim leaders agree, and have called for “comprehensive labelling” of meat.
They say consumers should be told whether an animal has been stunned before being slaughtered, along with the method of slaughter.
Between the massacre at the premises of Charlie Hebdo and other event that have followed: I became a Muslim, Matic writes on her Faecbook page – See more at: Isabelle Matic reverts to Islam after Charlie Hebdo Paris attack | ummid.com
Mumbai: French director Isabelle Matic has announced her decision to revert to Islam on her FaceBook account, making the unexpected announcement only a few days after Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks. -
“Today, I passed through the first pillar of Islam. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet,” OnIslam.net quoted Matic in a message posted on her Facebook page on January 11. She followed her announcement with a series of posts in which she thanked Moroccan actor Hicham Bahloul for announcing her decision on Moroccan papers. In another message, she described how she took the decision and its effect on her beliefs in freedom of expression. “Between the massacre at the premises of Charlie Hebdo and other event that have followed: I became a Muslim,” Matic wrote. “Am I still for freedom of expression for all and Charlie Hebdo in particular?! Yes,” Matic wrote yesterday. “With regard to my position towards the caricatures of the Prophet, I will write you the text of the SMS that I received this morning from a mosque which agreed quite well with my thoughts since the beginning of the cartoons, well before I became a Muslim,” she added “They are making fun of Muhammad and do not harm Muhammad. They are making fun of a character that they have imagined and to whom they have given a name. This man is not our Prophet,” she wrote. The new Muslim referred to the early life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when non-believers rejected his calls to Islam. “The Makkans laughed at Muhammad (worthy of praise) in the appellant Modamam (worthy of name calling). The prophet peace be upon him was smiling. Yes, he was smiling! And he said: They are making fun of Modamam and not me,” Matic wrote. “The wisdom is the answer to provocations. And this is what our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) has taught us. “So when Charlie Hebdo will be published insha ‘ allah (God willing), do not pay attention. Do not respond to the provocation. And do not give them of importance,” she added. In its Wednesday’s edition, Charlie Hebdo magazine features a cartoon of a man they claim to be the prophet of Islam on the cover. The cover depicts Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) with a tear falling from his cheek, holding a sign that says, “Je suis Charlie” under the headline “All Is Forgiven.” The edition is the first after two gunmen attacked the magazine’s headquarters in Paris, killing 10 journalists and two policemen. Two of the dead were Muslims, an editor and a police cop. It culminates the magazine’s long history of offending millions of Muslims worldwide. – See more at: http://www.ummid.com/news/2015/January/16.01.2015/french-director-converts-to-islam.html#sthash.gNdWZF8h.dpuf
The Navy has positioned a pair of amphibious ships in the Red Sea for a possible evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel from the Yemen capital of Sanaa.
The USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship, and the USS Fort McHenry, a dock landing ship, were moved in recent hours from the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, nearer to Yemen’s capital, U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Kevin Stephens said. Both ships are part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, and each has Marines embarked from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“They are ready to support operations to protect Americans in Yemen if that becomes necessary,” Stephens said.
The State Department will determine whether it wants to evacuate its personnel on the basis of conditions in Sanaa, he said.
The Shiite Houthi rebel group seized the presidential palace on Tuesday and shelled the presidential residence in what President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has called an attempted coup. Hadi is still thought to be in Sanaa.
The U.S. considers Yemen’s government a close ally in efforts to dislodge the terrorist organization al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates out of the country. Houthi rebels oppose both the Yemeni government and U.S. involvement in the country, although they say they are also against al-Qaida’s operating in Yemen.
Counterterrorism experts view the al-Qaida affiliate as one of the most capable terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Its plots — which include the failed 2009 attempt by the “underwear bomber” to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner — have come close to striking the U.S. in recent years.
The group also took responsibility for this month’s attack against the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people.
“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
Winston S. Churchill
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
“How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?”
“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN.” B.W. Powe
“If I painted a dog statue to look like a cat, the people would pet it. But why paint that when I could paint politicians as honest, for-the-people people?”
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
source :Conspiracies Economy Police State
History teaches us that all great civilizations eventually come to an end.
From the Aztec, Incan, Ottoman, Persian, Roman and British Empires, to Genghis Khan and his Mongols, every great civilization in the history of mankind has collapsed.
There’s no doubt that America is a great civilization, aka, “empire”, and is in no way, shape or form an exception to the rule. In fact, while many of the above named empires lasted for hundreds, some even thousands of years, the United States of America will go down In history as one of the shortest of the great civilizations.
No one seems to be saying this out loud — yet — but to put it bluntly, the days of America’s unquestioned global dominance have already come to an end.
Most Americans don’t understand what is causing the collapse of the economy, but most of them do have a sinking feeling that something has seriously gone wrong.
For the last few years the American people have waited patiently for our politicians to “fix things”, but instead of things getting better, they have gotten much, much worse.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that America is on its last leg.
History shows us that all fiat currencies meet the same fate, and that the dollar would be no different.
The stock market itself is even telling us that tough times are here. Like any good demon, the destruction of the U.S. dollar has arrived with a smile on his face, in the form of a seemingly bright stock market. But don’t let outward appearances deceive you like the Fed, which is selling pure bullshit, with the herd buying it hook line and sinker.
“The crisis so many people have thought and written about for so many years has finally arrived on our doorstep. It’s no longer appropriate to say we’re worried about the world our children or grandchildren will inherit. We need to be worried about ourselves,” Dan Ferris, editor of Extreme Value and contributor to dailywealth.com wrote.
I remember many years ago, growing up in Germany in the 70s, 80s and early 1990s, when every store, bar, even private person would happily accept dollars for products or services. Today, no store, no bar and nobody will take Dollars for anything! Germany and the world has lost all confidence in the dollar. Nobody any longer wants dollars! Dollars, once the beloved, sought after currency of the world has become as unwanted as the plague. Germans don’t even want to trade their questionable, unstable Euros for Dollars! To me, this may be the most telltale sign of all!
Gold, the “anti-dollar”, has been telling us for 10 straight years that the crisis is coming. Gold was around $252 an ounce in the summer of 1999. It’s now around $1,350. Gold is up fivefold against the Dollar. That’s not a lot of confidence in the world’s reserve currency.
It’s important that you pay attention to this. It’s something you need to notice, but something the government, as well as the Fed and Wall Street hope you don’t notice.
Russians who are actually better off now than before the crash…
Russian Ruble Crashes 46.5%… Millions Struggling… Except the ‘Crazy’ Russians Who Are Actually Better Off Now than Before the Crash… Here’s How They Did It…
Thanks to U.S. and European sanctions, Russia’s currency took an absolute beating last year. In fact, the ruble declined a whopping 46.5% in 2014.
Not only that, inflation in Russia is now running at 8% and food staples like milk, butter and meat are 15-18% more expensive than they were a year ago.
As you can imagine, millions of people are struggling to make ends meet. But some “crazy” Russians are weathering this financial storm much better than others.
So just who am I talking about? I’m talking about Russians who put some of their savings in Gold.
You see, the price of gold in rubles increased 73% last year – which more than made up for the decline in the purchasing power of the ruble.
Here’s the lesson… Gold in Russia is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: Protect its owners against inflation and a currency that’s losing purchasing power.
Today, the ruble is in trouble. But tomorrow it could be the dollar. And trust me, when the dollar runs into trouble, you’re going to wish you owned Gold.
“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Maybe the preoccupation with technological progress has overshadowed our concern with human progress.
Should the rise of conflicts across the Middle East and Ukraine serve as a warning sign that something much more dangerous is approaching?
According to Jim Rickards, the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, the answer is yes.
In a startling interview he reveals that all 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies have begun to prepare for World War III.
Making matters worse, his colleagues believe it could begin within the next 6 months.
However, the ground zero location for this global conflict is what makes his interview a must-see for every American.
Take a few moments to watch it below and decide for yourself.
I’ve always had a burning desire to help people and make a difference in the world. I didn’t know how I could do that in modelling when it can be such a fake world. But my dad told me I could make a difference by being true to myself and teaching people what I’ve learnt about spirituality, health and nutrition.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
“The greater damage for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
“I am conscious of a soul-sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life. My physical limitations are forgotten- my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine!” Helen Keller
“I choose not to place “DIS”, in my ability.”
Robert M. Hansel
Charlie Hebdo fired Maurice Sinet (pen-name “Sine”) for alleged anti-Jewish statements in a column, which also led to the magazine facing charges of inciting racial hatred in 2009. Yet, it calls ridiculing a religion followed by 1.6 billion “freedom of speech”.
And, by the way, the Catholic Church sued Charlie Hebdo a dozen times for cartoons that ridiculed Christianity and Jesus. But no one seems to have been fired. Sorry Charlie, I call this a double standard. I cannot be you.
And just so that you know, for me as a Muslim, making fun of Jesus, Moses or any other prophet is as bad as ridiculing Muhammad. We believe in all of them.
Muslims have been posting frantic apologies for the Hebdo attack, and others like it: “Islam is a religion of peace”, “Muslims are peaceful”, they say.
You know what? The world already knows Muslims are all of that. Muslims have been living in France and elsewhere in the west for too many years for people to be ignorant.
Just look back a little. When Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011, did the media portray it as an act in the name of Christianity, putting the whole of Christendom on the defensive? No. It was seen as a crime of terrorism committed by an individual.
But when an act of terrorism is committed by a small, unrepresentative – albeit savage – group, the whole of the Muslim world stands accused. All 1.6 billion of us. And because of this, Muslims are gradually being perceived as the “other”, a scary precedent.
But here are the facts: the majority of people in Syria and Iraq living daily under the terrorism of the Islamic State group are Muslim. Thousands have been killed there.
Syrians and Iraqis, day in and day out, are trying to dodge the sword, the lash and the bullet. Do they blame Islam? No. Does the world know? Yes. But it turns a blind eye
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith.
Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good.
But he said there were limits.
By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.
“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”
Many people around the world have defended the right of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in the wake of the massacre by Islamic extremists at its Paris offices and subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket in which three gunmen killed 17 people.
But recently the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that denounced the attacks but also urged the media to treat religions with respect.
Francis, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.
Francis insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs.
“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he said. “They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Vatican has sought to downplay reports that it is a potential target for Islamic extremists, saying it is being vigilant but has received no specific threat.
Francis said he was concerned primarily for the faithful, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking “prudent and secure measures.”
“I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I’m careless about these things,” he said. But he admitted that in his prayers, he had asked that if something were to happen to him that “it doesn’t hurt, because I’m not very courageous when it comes to pain. I’m very timid.”
He added, “I’m in God’s hands.”
“Freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of saying stupidity.
** My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this , there is no need to share your sickness in my page.
I will raise my voice against discrimination, injustice, and terrorism till the last breath in my body.
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt