Archive | November 25th, 2013

ISLAM BANNED IN ANGOLA

NOVANEWS
WHERE IS ZIONIST HUMAN RIGHT PROPAGANDA ?
@[100005121366639:2048:Al Muslimah] wrote:</p>
<p>LUANDA – According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking first measures by destroying Masjids in the country.</p>
<p>“The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice,” Rosa Cruz e Silva, the Angolan Minister of Culture, was quoted by Agence Ecofin on Friday, November 22.</p>
<p>Silva comments were given during her visit last Tuesday to the 6th Commission of the National Assembly.</p>
<p>A Historical Overview of Islam in Africa</p>
<p>Is Islam the True Religion? Prove It!</p>
<p>Freedom of Non-Muslims: Fiction or Reality?</p>
<p>Prophet Muhammad & Freedom of Faith</p>
<p>Freedom of Expression: The Muslim Definition</p>
<p>Muslims and Non-Muslims: An Inevitable Clash?</p>
<p>Non-Muslims in Muslim Societies: Contemporary Ijtihad</p>
<p>Relations Between Muslims and Non-Muslims</p>
<p>She asserted that the decision was the latest is a series of efforts to ban ‘illegal’ religious sects.</p>
<p>According to the minister, the action was necessary to fight relentlessly against the emergence of congregations whose worshipping is contradicting with the customs of the Angolan culture.</p>
<p>Same as Islam, other faiths which were not legalized will face closure of their houses of worship.</p>
<p>“All sects on the list published by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the Angolan newspaper ‘Jornal de Angola’ are prohibited to conduct worship, so they should keep their doors closed," she was quoted by Cameroon Voice.</p>
<p>"In addition, we also have a long list of more than a thousand legalization applications,” she added.</p>
<p>Recurrent</p>
<p>The anti-Islam comments were not the first by Angolan officials.</p>
<p>“This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country,” President José Eduardo dos Santos was quoted by Osun Defender newspaper on Sunday, November 24.</p>
<p>Last October, Muslims from the urban municipality of Viana, Luanda, attended the destruction of the minaret of their Masjid Zengo.</p>
<p>The provincial governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, has also said on the airwaves of a local radio that "radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques."</p>
<p>He added that Muslims were not welcome in Angola and that the government would not legalize the presence of mosques in the country.</p>
<p>According to CIA Factbook, 47% of Angolans practice indigenous beliefs, 38% Roman Catholic and 15% Protestant.</p>
<p>Islam’s opinion about freedom of religion is evident from the Qur’an, which says what means:</p>
<p>{Say, ‘The Truth is from your Lord’: Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject [it] (An-Nisaa' 4:29)</p>
<p>Again,Allah says: Let there be no compulsion in religion:<br />
Truth stands out clear from Error!<br />
(Al-Baqarah 2:256)
Al Muslimah wrote: LUANDA – According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking firstmeasures by destroying Masjids in the country. “The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice,” Rosa Cruz e Silva, the Angolan Minister of Culture, was quoted by Agence Ecofin on Friday, November 22. Silva comments were given during her visit last Tuesday to the 6th Commission of the National Assembly. A Historical Overview of Islam in Africa Is Islam the True Religion? Prove It! Freedom of Non-Muslims: Fiction or Reality? Prophet Muhammad & Freedom of Faith Freedom of Expression:
The Muslim Definition Muslims and Non-Muslims: An Inevitable Clash? Non-Muslims in Muslim Societies: Contemporary Ijtihad Relations Between Muslims and Non-Muslims She asserted that the decision was the latest is a series of efforts to ban ‘illegal’ religious sects. According to the minister, the action was necessary to fight relentlessly against the emergence of congregations whose worshipping is contradicting with the customs of the Angolan culture. Same as Islam, other faiths which were not legalized will face closure of their houses of worship. “All sects on the list published by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the Angolan newspaper ‘Jornal de Angola’ are prohibited to conduct worship, so they should keep their doors closed,” she was quoted by Cameroon Voice. “In addition, we also have a long list of more than a thousand legalization applications,” she added. Recurrent The anti-Islam comments were not the first by Angolan officials.
“This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country,” President José Eduardo dos Santos was quoted by Osun Defender newspaper on Sunday, November 24. Last October, Muslims from the urban municipality of Viana, Luanda, attended the destruction of the minaret of their Masjid Zengo. The provincial governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, has also said on the airwaves of a local radio that “radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques.” He added that Muslims were not welcome in Angola and that the government would not legalize the presence of mosques in the country.
According to CIA Factbook, 47% of Angolans practice indigenous beliefs, 38% Roman Catholic and 15% Protestant. Islam’s opinion about freedom of religion is evident from the Qur’an, which says what means: {Say, ‘The Truth is from your Lord’: Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject [it] (An-Nisaa’ 4:29) Again,Allah says: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error! (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

Posted in Campaigns, Human RightsComments Off on ISLAM BANNED IN ANGOLA

I$raHell outraged over Iranian nuclear deal

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) talks with Israeli Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit (R) during the weekly cabinet meeting on November 24, 2013 in Jerusalem. (Photo: AFP – Abir Sultan)

Published Sunday, November 24, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denounced the world powers’ widely-hailed nuclear agreement with Iran as a “historic mistake” that left the production of atomic weapons within Tehran’s reach.

A grim-faced Netanyahu, who had strongly opposed any easing of economic sanctions against Iran – in a rift with Israel’s main ally, the United States – told his cabinet his government would not be bound by the Geneva deal.

He repeated a long-standing Israeli threat of a possible military assault against Iran – even as a member of his security cabinet acknowledged the interim accord limited that option.

“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it was a historic mistake,” Netanyahu said.

“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

The United States said the agreement halted Iran’s most sensitive nuclear work, including the construction of the Arak research reactor, which is of special concern for the West as it could produce material for bombs.

The deal would neutralize Iran’s stockpile of uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent – a close step away from the level needed for weapons – and called for intrusive UN nuclear inspections, a senior US official said.

The Islamic Republic also promised to stop uranium enrichment above a fissile purity of 5 percent, a US fact sheet said.

Israel was alone in its condemnations, as word powers quickly hailed the agreement as a step to defuse the volatile region and improve relations between sanction-crippled Iran and the West.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “everyone ends up winning” with the agreement, while his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi praised the deal that “will help to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation system, (and) safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East.”

French President Francois Hollande described the deal as “an important step in the right direction.”

But Netanyahu, whose government is widely assumed to be the Middle East’s sole possessor of nuclear arm, had called for a total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear enrichment capabilities.

Instead, he said, the world’s leading powers “agreed for the first time to uranium enrichment in Iran while ignoring Security Council resolutions that they spearheaded themselves.”

“Israel is not committed by this agreement. The regime in Iran is committed to destroying Israel. And Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself by itself from any threat,” Netanyahu said.

“I would like to make clear, as the prime minister of Israel: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”

But Israeli Civil Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, a security cabinet member, said the deal “makes it much more difficult, in the diplomatic sphere, to talk about a military option.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Geneva deal was Iran’s “greatest diplomatic triumph” since its 1979 Islamic revolution, and predicted an arms race could result among Sunni Arabs who also feel wary of Shia Iran.

(Reuters, AFP)

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on I$raHell outraged over Iranian nuclear deal

Countering Iranian Allegations & Removing Misunderstanding

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

Being a neighbouring and brotherly country, Pakistan always respects Iran’s sovereignty, system

of governance and its socio-political developments. But, some external elements misguide Iran

through false propaganda by manipulating various terror-incidents which take place inside Iran,

especially its province of Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s province of Balochistan.

It could be judged from the latest incident of October 25 when 14 Iranian border guards lost their

lives and six others were wounded in a shoot-out with terrorists in the border region of Saravan

in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. In this regard, Iranian lawmakers

accused that the US and Pakistani intelligence services lead the Pakistan-based Jaish-ul-Adl

terrorist group responsible for the recent deadly attack on Iranian border guards. While raising

false allegations, Iran’s Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Javad

Karimi Qoddusi said, “The key point in this case is role played by US spy agency by means of

Pakistan’s Services Intelligence (ISI) in conducting such terrorist attacks…the ISI’s control over

such terrorist like Jaish-ul-Adl Group has been authenticated.”

On the other side, Islamabad denied the charges as baseless, while Pakistan Charged Affairs in

Iran, Sohail Siddiqui stated that Iranian government urged Pakistan to further investigate the

issue. Pakistan’s government assured that that the country would investigate the issue and would

fully cooperate with Iranian officials in arresting and handing the terrorists.

Earlier, an Iranian deputy foreign minister pointed out that the country was weighing plans

to dispatch a delegation to Pakistan to probe the recent terrorist attack in southeastern Iran.

But, it is regrettable that instead of grasping reality in order to remove the misunderstanding,

Iranian lawmakers, analysts and the TV channel leveled self-created allegations against Pakistan

and involvement of ISI in terrorist attack on Iranian border guards. They must better observe

prudence by knowing the real conspirators who are not only behind this terror attack, but

also other subversive events which have continuously been taking place in Pakistani side of

Balochistan, and from time to time, in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan.

Notably, although the whole of Islamic world is target of Indo-Israeli plot, yet the same has

intensified in case of Pakistan and Iran. In this regard, US-led some western countries have also

been supporting the Indo-Israeli nexus against Islamabad and Tehran overtly or covertly.

However, we cannot blame India and Israel including US regarding the conspiracy against

Pakistan and Iran without some concrete evidence. In this context, in his interview, published

in the Indian weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008, Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer

explained regarding India’s defence arrangements with Israel by disclosing, “We do have a

defence relationship with India, which is no secret” and “with all due respect, the secret part

will remain a secret.” In reply to a question, Sofer replied, “Certain issues need to remain under

wraps for whatever reason.”

Indo-Israeli plot remained under wraps till 2003, when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

visited India to officially reveal it. In this respect, Indian ‘The Tribune’ wrote on September

10, 2003, “India and Israel took giant leaps forward in bolstering the existing strategic ties and

forging new ones” and Tel Aviv has “agreed to share its expertise with India in various fields as

anti-fidayeen operations, surveillance satellites, intelligence sharing and space exploration.” Next

day, ‘Indian Express’, disclosed, “From anti-missile systems to hi-tech radars, from sky drones

to night-vision equipment, Indo-Israeli defense cooperation has known no bounds in recent

As regards the American tactical backing to Indo-Israeli relationship, on September 5, 2003,

American Wall Street Journal pointed out, “The U.S. finally gave its approval to Israel’s delivery

of Phalcon Airborne Warning & Controlling Systems (AWACS) to India.”

Now, the matter is not confined to purchasing of military equipments only, Indo-Israeli overt

and covert links are part of a dangerous strategic game. In the aftermath of 9/11, as to how this

strategic game is being played can be judged from some developments. For example, on October

18, 2009, a deadliest suicide attack killed dozens of officers including the deputy commander

for the Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier General Nour Ali Shoushtari and the provincial

commander, Brigadier Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh in the Sistan-Baluchistan. Jundullah (God’s

soldiers), a Sunni militant group which is pro-active against the Iranians, claimed responsibility

for the incident.

The Revolutionary Guard released a statement after the attack, revealing that there was “no

doubt that this violent and inhumane act was part of the strategy of foreigners and enemies of

the regime.” Afterwards, Iran directly accused US and Britain for their alleged patronage and

funding of such type of terrorist attacks for creating instability within Iran. Parliamentary speaker

Ali Larijani blamed the US, saying, “We consider the recent terrorist attack to be the result of the

US action. This is the sign of America’s animosity against our country.”

Tehran also lodged a strong protest with Islamabad over the failure of its law enforcement

agencies to dismantle the Jundullah network in its part of Balochistan, while remarking that plan

was prepared in Pakistan. Some reports suggest that in confusion, even some Iranian leaders

expressed apprehension on some of Pakistan’s officials in cooperation with the Jundulluh

regarding that suicide attack. This is what the US, India and Israeli wanted.

While condemning the terrorist attack, the former President Asif Ali Zardari assured the then

President Ahmadinejad that Government of Pakistan would provide all out assistance in arresting

all those responsible for the attack, if they are found on Pakistani soil. Afterwards, Islamabad

ensured a visiting Iranian delegation for an appropriate investigation in relation to the mayhem.

Nevertheless, misunderstanding against Islamabad and Tehran was eliminated.

In this context, the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stated, “It

is obvious that the same forces which are working in Pakistani Balochistan are also working in

Iranian Sistan.” While, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had indicated, “The bloody

actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the

Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign

It is mentionable that on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on

Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher favoured an independent Balochistan. And

military scholar Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, while writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces

Journal of the US had suggested Washington about the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” which

would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran—and the Frontier Province

should be incorporated into Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, it would be a good sign that besides Pakistan, Iranian rulers and media must also

understand that it is a collective plot of the US, India and Israeli to sabotage Pak-Iranian ties, and

is part of their secret strategic game against the Islamic countries.

In fact, America, India and Israel have been backing the Baloch separatists of Pakistan through

their secret agencies CIA, RAW and Mossad respectively as witnessed by a perennial wave

of subversive acts such as destruction of gas pipelines, attacks on the government buildings

and murder of political leaders. They are covertly supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army

(BLA) and Baloch nationalist leaders who have been fighting for secession of the province.

As regards Jundullah, in past few years, the group has conducted multiple terrorist activities like

kidnapping and killing of a number of Iranian nationals including suicide attacks in Pakistan’s

side of Balochistan and that of the Iran. Its agents are also behind sectarian violence. On many

occasions, BLA and Jundullah claimed responsibility for terrorist acts.

According to some reliable sources, Jundullah is a small group which does not have potential to

inflict more than small attacks on security forces in Pakistan and Iran. Like BLA, this militant

group is also supported by RAW and Mossad with the technical help of CIA. Now, both BLA

and Jundullah have links with each other. And their militants are getting arms and ammunition

from Afghanistan where US-led India and Israel have established their secret network not only to

create lawlessness in Pakistan and Iran, but also to sabotage good relationship of these countries.

Notably, Afghanistan shares a common border with Pakistan and Iran, so it has become easy for

these foreign elements to achieve their sinister anti-Pak-Iranian aims.

It is notable that Jewish-Hindu lobbies are collectively working in America and other European

countries to exploit the double standards of the west in relation to terrorism and human rights

vis-a-vis Pakistan and Iran. They also accuse Tehran and Islamabad of sponsoring cross-border

terrorism in the related regions of South Asia and the Middle East.

It is worth-mentioning that US-India nuclear agreement is part of American desire to make India

a major power to counterbalance the rising influence of China in Asia and control Iran. In this

context, on May 22, 2013, Islamabad and Tehran signed the gas pipeline project without waiting

for New Delhi’s participation because the latter was tilted towards Washington, using delaying

tactics in this connection.

Moreover, it is owing to the ideal geo-strategic location of Balochistan with Gwadar seaport

which could prove to be Pakistan’s key junction, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia

and further strengthening Pak-Iranian strategic position that America has also become a part of

Indo-Israeli plot in creating instability in Pakistan and Iran so as to complete the hidden agenda.

Nonetheless, instead of leveling baseless allegations against Pakistan and ISI in relation to the

recent terror-attack on the Iranian border guards, Iran’s top officials, lawmakers and political

experts must better show realistic approach by taking note of the foreign conspirators which have

been creating misunderstanding between Islamabad and Tehran.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Iran, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Countering Iranian Allegations & Removing Misunderstanding

Under the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation, Palestinian Women Wait for Justice, But Who Will Respond?

NOVANEWS 

In 1999, the UN designated 25th November of each year as the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This designation comes as part of the UN efforts to curb violence against women in the world.

Over the past years, Palestinian women have been extensively subjected to violence due to the exceptional conditions they live under.  They have been subjected to violations of human rights by Israeli occupation forces, which have made them endure very severe living conditions, and on the other hand, they have been subjected to violence practiced against them by the society.

This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women comes while the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially in the Gaza Strip, is deteriorating.  Israel has maintained punitive policies against the Palestinian civilian population, especially the closure policy and restrictions on the right to freedom of movement, which have impacted Palestinian women, who are also subjected to domestic violence.

The Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza Strip that has been ongoing for the seventh consecutive year has led to very severe living conditions for the Gaza Strip’s population, including women.  Israeli authorities have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip, undermining the economic, social and cultural rights of about 1,6 million Palestinians, and denying them their basic needs.  The closure has led to deterioration of the economic conditions in the Gaza Strips, and consequently poverty rates among Palestinian families have mounted to 38.8%, including 21.1% of the families that live in extreme poverty, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics’ data in 2013.

The current deterioration of economic and social conditions denies Palestinian women their various rights, including the right to adequate living conditions, and complicates their lives since they are especially vulnerable to the deterioration of the human rights situation.  Consequently, the social life of women has been impacted, and domestic violence against them has escalated.

The suffering of Palestinian women because of Israeli violations of human rights is not limited to facing the tragic impacts of the closure, as they are subjected to killings, injuries, detentions and home demolitions. According to PCHR’s documentation, this year, Lubna Muneer al-Hantash, 21, was killed by Israeli forces, in a crime that reflects their disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.   On 23 January 2013, Israeli forces positioned at a military checkpoint near al-‘Arroub College in Hebron opened fire at Palestinian civilian vehicles killing al-Hantash with bullets to the head and the chest.

On 27 September 2013, Randa Abdul Hafez al-Qassir, 49, from Rafah, died of wounds she had sustained on 01 May 2001 when she was near her home, because of which she had been suffering from paralysis.

According to PCHR’s documentation, 11 Palestinian women have been wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2013.

At the level of domestic violence against women, 9 Palestinian women have been killed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2013.  Three of these women were killed for the so-called “family honor,” while the other six ones were killed in incidents related to the phenomenon of misuse of weapons and security chaos.

Palestinian women have continued to suffer restrictions imposed by the society, for which PCHR has repeatedly expressed concerned.  For instance, some provisions of the Education Law No. 1 of 2013 seek to impose segregation between the two genders at schools, including banning the employment of male teachers at female schools.

Additionally, some domestic laws that have many flaws, and which violate international human rights standards, especially those related to the minimum age of marriage, are still in force.  The marriage of two minors in the northern Gaza Strip has recently drawn the attention to the inherent flaws in relevant laws and the need to amend them to conform to international human rights standards.

In light of the continuous suffering of Palestinian women, PCHR stresses that the population of the Gaza Strip, especially women and children, is badly in need for support by the international community, which has several obligations, including compelling Israeli occupation forces to respect human rights and stop policies that undermine or violate these rights.  PCHR calls also for ending the Palestinian political split and activating the Palestinian Legislative Council as a step towards confronting domestic violence against women and ensuring consistency of laws related to women with relevant international standards.

In this context, PCHR:

1.   Calls upon the international community to promptly take an action to pressurize Israel to respect human rights, be committed to the international humanitarian law and stop violations against Palestinian civilians, especially the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip which deprives them, including women, of their rights that are ensured under the international law;

2.   Calls upon the two Palestinian governments in Gaza and Ramallah top take necessary action to stop domestic violence and prosecute the perpetrators of crimes against women;

3.   Calls upon the two parties to the political split to consider the interests of the Palestinian population, and immediately end the split and activate the legislature to endure enacting and amending laws related to women to be consistent with relevant international standards.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on Under the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation, Palestinian Women Wait for Justice, But Who Will Respond?

The Syria Chemical Weapons Attack and the Role of Saudi Intelligence. The Mint News Report

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

Following AP reporter Dale Gavlak’s attempt to disassociate from the Mint Press News report: “Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack” (see previous article for background here) Mint Press Editor in Chief Mnar Muhawesh published a statement in response reiterating her support for, and the credentials of, the two journalists involved, along with the substance of the report they had produced. The report in question included statements from residents and relatives of rebel fighters in Eastern Ghouta, who alleged that Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, had supplied extremist elements in the region with chemical weapons.

The Muhawesh statement went largely unnoticed in mainstream media, instead, the usual actors produced a variety of baseless lurid smears and conspiracy theories directed at Mint Press and Yahya Ababneh, the reporter on the ground in Ghouta, in transparent efforts to discredit them and the substance of the report.

One particularly vulgar conspiracy crafted by the BuzzFeed “journalist” Rosie Gray – reminiscent of crass attempts to play on orientalist stereotypes of “Iranian deception” abundant in civilised US media and diplomacy-speak – attempted to portray the Mint Press as bias fabricators, on the grounds of the Editors father-in-law being a Shi’a Muslim. In effect casting him and Mint Press as Iranian stooges intent on subverting the western-promoted falsehood that the Assad government ordered the alleged chemical attacks.

In recent weeks, corporate media has largely gone quiet on the whole affair. With the Russian-brokered dealto destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles thwarting a determined effort by US hawks, Likudniks, and Gulf monarchs to escalate the Syrian war; the push for overt US intervention has subsided, and along with it the incessant parroting of fantasy narratives and dubious “evidence” attempting to blame the Assad government for the alleged chemical attacks on August 21st.

Muhawesh, fearing for the safety of Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, has remained silent on the issue since the release of the aforementioned communication, but has now released a full statement outlining a timeline of events surrounding the report, which is reprinted in its entirety below, I urge all to read in full:

Dear readers,

I wanted to personally express my appreciation for your continued support and readership following our newsroom’s August 29, 2013 exclusive report titled: Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.”

I’ve been silent until today out of concern for the safety of the journalists, Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, while we worked to bring clarity to their findings and ensuing events. I’m relieved to now be able to share happenings of the past 60 days as Human Rights Watch addresses ongoing threats to co-author Yahya by Jordanian and Saudi actors in Amman, Jordan.

To be clear, my MintPress colleagues and I continue to stand by Dale and Yahya and their reporting. The tragic incident in Ghouta on August 21—and the Syria conflict as a whole—is complex and, as the article stated, some information could not be independently verified. While efforts to discredit the story and our organization have disappointed us, we have been most concerned by the tremendous pressure placed on Dale by the Associated Press and more serious threats faced by Yahya.

Since the article was published, I’ve been in almost daily contact with co-author Yahya in Amman, Jordan. He has related ongoing threats of imprisonment by the Jordanian police for his travel to Syria if he were to continue to report on this story or grant further press interviews. Yahya has also described increasing pressure from Saudi actors to retract his story and the specific allegation by Ghouta residents of a rebel link to Prince Bandar.

In line with Dale’s description of Yahya as “a reputable journalist” to the New York Times, she distanced herself from the article only after stating in emails to MintPress that the Associated Press demanded her name be removed from the byline nearly two days after the article published. She has not informed MintPress of the AP’s reason for this request—nor why they and National Public Radio (NPR), subsequently, suspended her. For background on the situation, here is the timeline of events:


  • Feb 8: Freelance journalist Dale Gavlak—an Associated Press stringer for nearly a decade—joins MintPress News (MPN) as Middle East Correspondent and files her first of 26 weekly articles on regional news and politics.
  • Aug 28: Dale pitches the Ghouta story to her MPN editors. She then conducts research, fact checks with colleagues and Jordanian government officials and writes up article based on interviews her reporter colleague, Yahya Ababneh, conducted a few days prior while on a delegation to Ghouta, Syria. Dale files the story to MPN.
  • Aug 29: Dale emails with readers about the report after it is published at MintPressNews.com with the byline note: “This is a collaborative report by Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh.”
  • Aug 30: Dale notifies MPN by email that editors at the Associated Press are demanding her name be removed from the article byline by end of day.
  • Aug 31: MPN cites editorial transparency for not removing Dale from byline and, instead, adds clarification of her exact role that now appears at top of article.
  • Sept 1: MPN receives letter from Dale’s attorney demanding it remove her name from byline completely.
  • Sept 3: Dale accepts payment from MPN for her role in the article.
  • Sept 12: Yahya informs MPN via Skype of first visit by Saudi actors.
  • Sept 13: Through legal counsel, MPN offers to remove Dale and Yahya’s names both completely from the byline and replace with the statement: “MintPress, in order to protect the authors of this story from any retribution or outside pressure, has removed the authors’ names from this story. MintPress believes in the journalistic efforts produced by all of the parties involved in this story but does not want to see any harm come to any of the parties.”
  • Sept 20: Dale claims MPN “incorrectly used my byline” in a statement to blogger Brown Moses.
  • Sept 21: Dale shares Aug 29 email to MPN on NY Times “Lede Blog”: “Pls find the Syria story I mentioned uploaded on Google Docs. This should go under Yahya Ababneh’s byline. I helped him write up this story but he should get all the credit for this.” MPN’s Mnar Muhawesh makes her only public statement on the situation.
  • Sept 26: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cites allegations in MPN report as evidence in talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and in press interviews at the UN General Assembly.
  • Oct 7: Yahya notifies MPN that the United Nations commissioned him to present his witnesses for the UN Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013.
  • Oct 14: Yahya informs MPN via email of visit by Jordanian police: “i am ok, and they find two Saudi arabia one of them his name [REDACTED], he is a Salafi, I know him before, he try to find me and give me to KSA police in Saudi, they know an old police man (he retired) they still fellow, they ask me to make a statement which say opisit of the report about Bender”.
  • Oct 28: Yahya describes conversation with Saudi actors in email to MPN: “any way, they ask me to go to Saudi and say sorry, and talk to Saud TV live to tell them that i was under pressure when i was in Syria. they (my tribe) have a pressure too in Suad, they ask them in the borders and airport about me.”

We deeply sympathize with Dale and Yahya as they continue to endure pressures from interests seeking to silence their reporting. Their courage, and that of many reporters before them, has emboldened MintPress to expose these threats to investigative journalism and has served to strengthen our commitment to in-depth reporting on social justice and human rights issues.

As an independent journalism startup that found itself embroiled in an international crisis, we’re grateful for the advice and assistance provided by experts at The Poynter Institute and Knight Foundation as well as International Federation of Journalists and Human Rights Watch.

Again, I appreciate your support and truly value your readership. I welcome any questions about the report, ensuing events and our ongoing coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Best regards,

Mnar A. Muhawesh.

Editor in Chief, MintPress News.

It becomes immediately clear from the above statement that the fantastical conspiracies posited by BuzzFeeds’ Rosie Gray and former Guardian Editor Brian Whitaker, to name but two, were clearly based on nothing more than wild speculation in a vain and somewhat organised attempt to discredit the report; it is no coincidence Gavlaks’ disassociation statement was initially handed to Brian Whitakers eager protegé “Brown Moses”, aka Eliot Higgins, to promote right alongside his lead effort in touting dubious “evidence” pointing the finger at the Syrian army as responsible for Ghouta, much of which has now been thoroughly debunked.

The immediate questions then remain: why so much effort from establishment media players to discredit and smear? Why are elements of Jordanian and Saudi security services threatening Yahya Ababneh and his family, and attempting to force him to retract the statements he gathered in Ghouta if they are merely falsehood, or baseless planted rumour? And why did the AP and NPR suspend Gavlak even though she made (futile) attempts to disassociate from the report to save her career and her colleagues safety?

The logical answer is that those reflected negatively in Yahya Ababneh and Dale Gavlaks’ Ghouta report have something to hide, and are going to great lengths to keep it hidden.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The Syria Chemical Weapons Attack and the Role of Saudi Intelligence. The Mint News Report

Naziyahu calls Iranian deal ‘historic mistake’

NOVANEWS

netanyahu911

PM reacts to deal with Iran, calling it ‘historic mistake,’ promises Israel will defend itself. Rohani also responds to agreement, praising recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights, as US attempts to quell Israeli fears

ynet

At the beginning of the government’s weekly meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the interim agreement reached Sunday between world powers and Iran in Geneva.

The agreement reached in Geneva is not a historic deal, but rather a historic mistake. It turns the world into a much scarier place, because now the world’s most dangerous regime is taking significant steps towards acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

According to the prime minister “this is the first time the world’s leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment while ignoring Security Council resolution which they led and years worth of sanctions which contain the key to a peaceful diplomatic solution. These sanctions are now being removed in return for cosmetic concessions which can be undone by the Iranians within weeks.”

Netanyahu continued, claiming that “this agreement’s ramifications threaten a number of nations of which Israel is one. Israel is not bound to this agreement while Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel. Israel has the right to protect itself in the face of any threat. I wish to reiterate that as the prime minister of Israel – Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear military capabilities.”

Meanwhile Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Sunday that Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers signaled an acceptance of uranium enrichment in Iran and that punitive sanctions were starting to crumble.

“Iran’s right to uranium enrichment on its soil was accepted in this nuclear deal by world powers,” he said in a speech broadcast live on state television. “The structure of the sanctions against Iran has begun to crack.”

According to him, talks on a “comprehensive agreement will start immediately” and that Iran had a strong will for them to commence right away, adding that the “Iranian nation has never sought nuclear weapons.”

The president also said the success of the talks so far was due to the “guidelines offered” by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On his part, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday the interim agreement was the basis for further progress, and the prayers of the Iranian nation had contributed towards its success.

“This can be the basis for further intelligent actions. Without a doubt the grace of God and the prayers of the Iranian nation were a factor in this success,” Khamenei wrote in a letter to President Hassan Rohani published by the IRNA state news agency.

Bomb blocker

An agreement between Iran and major powers would make it harder for Iran to make a dash to build a nuclear weapon and would make Israel and other U.S. allies safer, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.

Speaking after the agreement was struck between Iran and six major powers, Kerry also said that while US President Barack Obama would not take off the table the possible use of force against Iran, he believed it was necessary first to exhaust diplomacy.

Addressing one of the most contentious issues in the 10-year nuclear standoff, Kerry said that the deal does not include any recognition of an Iranian “right” to enrich uranium.

Obama hailed the deal’s provisions as key to preventing Iran from proliferating. “Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,” he told reporters.

Obama described the deal as putting “substantial limitations” on a nuclear program that the United States and its allies fear could be turned to nuclear weapons use.

“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”

Although the deal lowered tensions between the US and Iran, friction points remain – notably Iran’s support of the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. The United States has accused Iran of supporting terrorism throughout the region and of widespread human rights violations.

A White House statement called the nuclear agreement an “initial, six-month step.”

Specifically, the statement said the deal limits Iran’s existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, which can be turned into the fissile core of nuclear arms.

The statement also said the accord curbs the number and capabilities of the centrifuges used to enrich and limits Iran ability to “produce weapons-grade plutonium” from a reactor in the advanced stages of construction.

The statement also said Iran’s nuclear program will be subject to “increased transparency and intrusive monitoring.”

“Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community’s concerns,” said the statement.

In return, the statement promised “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible (sanctions) relief” to Iran, noting that “the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.” And it said any limited sanctions relief will be revoked and new penalties enacted if Iran fails to meet its commitments.

Those conditions have been highlighted by the Obama administration in its efforts to persuade Congress to hold off on any new sanctions and give the Iran accord a chance to prove its worth.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Naziyahu calls Iranian deal ‘historic mistake’

New apps let you slaughter sheep and ‘play’ the Holocaust

NOVANEWS

From 'Imagination is the Only Escape,' a satirical game that takes place during the Holocaust (photo credit: Luc Bernard)

Jewish educators and entertainers are finding inspiration in their roots for new, sometimes controversial, games.

Times of Israel

Have you heard of the new cell phone game that lets you sacrifice animals in the name of religion? Just boot up your iPhone, head to the app store, download the program “Leviticus!,” and, voila, you will be chopping off heads like a regular shohet in no time.

If that’s not your speed, perhaps you can be interested in a noir-like murder mystery game called “The Shivah.” You play Russell Stone, a Lower East Side rabbi who mysteriously ends up with a boatload of money when one of the members of his congregation is killed.

There’s also an upcoming game called “Imagination is the Only Escape,’ which takes place during the Holocaust; a satirical game, “Angry Jew,” which has you playing a Jewish character who fights back against old stereotypes; and “Let’s Bake Challah,” a game that let’s you sit down and make your own tasty and braided (digital) loaf of bread.

Video games aren’t usually considered faith-based affairs, at least not for the Jewish people. While Christianity has found its place in lesser-known programs like “King of King’s” and “Noah’s Ark” (the game, not the Bible story), Judaism has played second fiddle, with its identity and traditions relatively non-existent on touch-screen.

However, in the last few years, there has been a greater production of games involving some aspect of the Jewish people that, unique in both story and structure, are all indebted to a Jewish event or tradition.

Overall, these games can be split into two categories: some are more religious and education-based, while others focus more on events in which Judaism plays a part in the storyline, but doesn’t act as the specific anchor of the game as a whole.

'Imagination Is the Only Escape' (photo credit: Luc Bernard)

To find out what’s behind this recent trend — and to get a closer look at these products — The Times of Israel spoke to several designers and experts in the field.

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, a PhD Candidate in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU specializing in Digital Media and Games for Learning, says he’s been predicting a movement like this for several years.

‘There is a playfulness of rabbinic literature and a history of our culture tied with games and simulation’

“There’s definitely something happening in the soil. I started talking about this in 2010…and now things are starting to, I think, take off,” he says. “There is a playfulness of rabbinic literature and a history of our culture tied with games and simulation, and that’s a really important part of my work. So there’s something going on, definitely.”

Gottlieb is the founder of ConverJent, an organization that uses analog and digital games to teach Judaism (the organization is incubated at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership). After launching, he went on to design and write a mobile game called “Jewish Time Jump: New York,” which let’s you play a reporter who travels back in time to Greenwich Village in the 1900s. Using your smartphone, you are tasked with walking around the neighborhood to gather clues for your story. Thanks to your phone’s GPS, when you hit certain geographical points, historical events that occurred in that location will pop up on screen.

Another game that fits under the games-for-learning movement is Sarah Lefton’s “Leviticus!” The source material is the Book of Leviticus, specifically Chapters 1 and 2 of Vayirka. Through the Fruit Ninja-like method of using your finger to chop off the heads of healthy animals, thereby offering sacrifice, the game gives you a more entertaining (and addictive) way to connect with religious material.

No surprise that “Leviticus!” has been a big hit with teens, who may be more inclined to goof off than sit down and study an ancient text.

'Leviticus!' (photo credit: Sarah Lefton)

To Lefton, the founder of G-dcast — which produces “Leviticus!” and ‘Let’s Bake Challah,” among others — doing a game based on the Bible was always a no-brainer.

“I was sitting and reading [the Book of Leviticus] a couple years ago. I was just kind of diagramming it and I was like, ‘Man, this is just a game.’ It’s just rules and rewards and punishment,” says Lefton.

Video games as educational vehicle represents a new Jewish phenomenon, one that could bring in a younger generation whose lives are commanded by smartphones and other digital mediums.

“There’s a flowering of interest in games right now because of the whole app market phenomenon. It’s finally broken through to people that casual games are perhaps a better way to entertain than big-budget console games,” Lefton explains.

However, not all of the current and future video games steeped in Jewish identity are based on history or take place on a phone. Some only use Judaism as a vehicle for telling the overall story, like Dave Gilbert did with his 2006 title “The Shivah.”

Unlike Gottlieb’s and Lefton’s games, “The Shivah” is less about religion than it is about using Jewish traditions to help advance the overall plot.

‘Even though it’s about a rabbi, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a religious game’

“I am not particularly religious, but I was sort of inspired to write something a little on the Jewish side to reconnect with that side of myself,” says Gilbert, who is currently in the process of remaking “The Shivah” for cell phones. “Even though it’s about a rabbi, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a religious game. It’s not trying to teach or preach or convert anybody. But it’s definitely something unique to the New York Jewish experience, which is something I tried to get across in making it.”

While the response to “Leviticus!,” “Jewish Time Jump,” and “The Shivah” have all been mostly positive, that hasn’t been the case for every game in this trend. One of them, “Imagination is the Only Escape,” lets you see the Holocaust through the eyes of a child.

For creator Luc Bernard, he wanted to capture not only how horrible the Holocaust was for the Jewish people, but for humanity overall. Nevertheless, finding investors for the game was difficult.

‘Any time you mention interactive media and doing the Holocaust everybody goes “Oh my God, I can’t touch that”‘

“Imagination” was originally being considered as a potential Nintendo DS title, but was eventually passed over due to lack of funding (Bernard is now funding it himself and hopes to release it next year). That didn’t come as much of a surprise to Bernard, who knew he was treading controversial waters with a game of this nature.

“Nobody wants to touch this subject, because any time you mention interactive media and doing the Holocaust everybody goes ‘Oh my God, I can’t touch that,’” he says.

“Some people are really offended by it, some people are for it. I just think that organizations that would want to help out with more education about the Holocaust don’t really know what my medium is. They probably don’t understand video games,” says Bernard .

Anne Frank, age twelve, at her school desk in Amsterdam, 1941.

A similar dilemma has faced Kira Resari. The 26-year-old German game designer is currently making a game that’s arguably more controversial than Bernard’s. Not only does it deal with the Holocaust, it deals specifically with the life of Anne Frank. The game, which takes place in the secret annex, lets you play as Frank and make decisions as her.

“I was asked often if it was really right to do something like that or whether this played down the importance of the life of Anne Frank. But I can say it’s quite the opposite,” he says.

“It’s not like you’re too distant from what’s happening, because you’re actively participating in the life of Anne Frank and you’re putting effort into it.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on New apps let you slaughter sheep and ‘play’ the Holocaust

Palestine pre-1948, before Zio-Nazi Regime

NOVANEWS

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestine pre-1948, before Zio-Nazi Regime

MK: ‘Rabbis For Human Rights’ Distributes ‘Anti-Semitic’ Material

NOVANEWS

Jewish Home MK Zevulun Kalfa requests that group’s freedom of speech be revoked on grounds of ‘anti-Semitism’.

ed note–we are not posting this here as a tribute to the group ‘Rabbis for human rights’, as we are very skeptical about anyone adhering to their Jewishness and yet claiming to not hold anti-Gentile views.

At the same time however the story is illustrative in that the MK seeks to deprive others of their rights to free speech if the issue of ‘anti-Semitism’ is involved.

Israel National News

The Knesset Committee for Interior Affairs and Environmental Protection discussed Monday the law regulating Bedouin settlement in the Negev, prompting discussion about the role of Leftist group Rabbis for Human Rights in the controversy.

During the meeting, MK Zevulun Kalfa (Jewish Home) asked committee chairman MK Miri Regev to rescind the group’s right to free speech, alleging that the organization has been involved in distributing anti-Semitic propaganda in the wake of the new regulations.

Kalfa cited a video posted to the organization’s website which compares the forced deportation of Jews in the Nazi Camps to the decisions made by the Prawer plan, which regulates Bedouin construction in the Negev. The plan is set to legalize some Bedouin communities in the region, and relocate and give compensation to others, in an attempt to monitor what many have claimed is a widespread land-grabbing effort on the part of the Bedouin community.

Arab and Bedouin organizations have accused the government of racism over the plan, which they argue will lead to “forced displacement” of Bedouin and “dispossession of their historical lands.” Many Bedouin communities argue historic rights to land in the Negev, which they say was traditionally considered Bedouin territory despite the lack of permanent settlement in the area. But opponents counter that as nomadic tribes, the Bedouin by definition never held ownership over any land, migrating back and forth throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Kalfa fired that the “comparison of the deportation and murder of Jews at the beginning of the century with the legal regulation of Bedouin settlement is an outrageous comparison, which is inappropriate and tainted by anti-Semitism.”

This is not the first time Rabbis for Human Rights has been accused with being involved in anti-Semitic activities. In 2011, a protest gathered outside director and Reform Rabbi Arik Ascherman’s home after allegations surfaced of systemic discrimination by the group against both Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on MK: ‘Rabbis For Human Rights’ Distributes ‘Anti-Semitic’ Material

Naziyahu calls Iranian deal ‘historic mistake’

NOVANEWS

netanyahu911

PM reacts to deal with Iran, calling it ‘historic mistake,’ promises Israel will defend itself. Rohani also responds to agreement, praising recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights, as US attempts to quell Israeli fears

ynet

At the beginning of the government’s weekly meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the interim agreement reached Sunday between world powers and Iran in Geneva.

The agreement reached in Geneva is not a historic deal, but rather a historic mistake. It turns the world into a much scarier place, because now the world’s most dangerous regime is taking significant steps towards acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

According to the prime minister “this is the first time the world’s leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment while ignoring Security Council resolution which they led and years worth of sanctions which contain the key to a peaceful diplomatic solution. These sanctions are now being removed in return for cosmetic concessions which can be undone by the Iranians within weeks.”

Netanyahu continued, claiming that “this agreement’s ramifications threaten a number of nations of which Israel is one. Israel is not bound to this agreement while Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel. Israel has the right to protect itself in the face of any threat. I wish to reiterate that as the prime minister of Israel – Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear military capabilities.”

Meanwhile Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Sunday that Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers signaled an acceptance of uranium enrichment in Iran and that punitive sanctions were starting to crumble.

“Iran’s right to uranium enrichment on its soil was accepted in this nuclear deal by world powers,” he said in a speech broadcast live on state television. “The structure of the sanctions against Iran has begun to crack.”

According to him, talks on a “comprehensive agreement will start immediately” and that Iran had a strong will for them to commence right away, adding that the “Iranian nation has never sought nuclear weapons.”

The president also said the success of the talks so far was due to the “guidelines offered” by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On his part, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday the interim agreement was the basis for further progress, and the prayers of the Iranian nation had contributed towards its success.

“This can be the basis for further intelligent actions. Without a doubt the grace of God and the prayers of the Iranian nation were a factor in this success,” Khamenei wrote in a letter to President Hassan Rohani published by the IRNA state news agency.

Bomb blocker

An agreement between Iran and major powers would make it harder for Iran to make a dash to build a nuclear weapon and would make Israel and other U.S. allies safer, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.

Speaking after the agreement was struck between Iran and six major powers, Kerry also said that while US President Barack Obama would not take off the table the possible use of force against Iran, he believed it was necessary first to exhaust diplomacy.

Addressing one of the most contentious issues in the 10-year nuclear standoff, Kerry said that the deal does not include any recognition of an Iranian “right” to enrich uranium.

Obama hailed the deal’s provisions as key to preventing Iran from proliferating. “Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,” he told reporters.

Obama described the deal as putting “substantial limitations” on a nuclear program that the United States and its allies fear could be turned to nuclear weapons use.

“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”

Although the deal lowered tensions between the US and Iran, friction points remain – notably Iran’s support of the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. The United States has accused Iran of supporting terrorism throughout the region and of widespread human rights violations.

A White House statement called the nuclear agreement an “initial, six-month step.”

Specifically, the statement said the deal limits Iran’s existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, which can be turned into the fissile core of nuclear arms.

The statement also said the accord curbs the number and capabilities of the centrifuges used to enrich and limits Iran ability to “produce weapons-grade plutonium” from a reactor in the advanced stages of construction.

The statement also said Iran’s nuclear program will be subject to “increased transparency and intrusive monitoring.”

“Taken together, these first step measures will help prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we seek to negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community’s concerns,” said the statement.

In return, the statement promised “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible (sanctions) relief” to Iran, noting that “the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place.” And it said any limited sanctions relief will be revoked and new penalties enacted if Iran fails to meet its commitments.

Those conditions have been highlighted by the Obama administration in its efforts to persuade Congress to hold off on any new sanctions and give the Iran accord a chance to prove its worth.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Naziyahu calls Iranian deal ‘historic mistake’

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