Archive | July 3rd, 2015

حالف الغرب والاستبداد انتج التطرف والارهاب وارتد على اصحابه

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BAHRAINI SATANIC REGIME OF RAPE AND MURDER

تقبل الله صومكم وصلاتكم ودعاءكم في هذا الشهر الشريف وثبت اقدامكم وحماكم من كيد المستبدين والارهابيين

في ما يمكن اعتباره تداعيا قيميا غير مسبوق في المشروع السياسي والايديولوجي الغربي، يتم بناء علاقات وطيدة بين “الغرب الديمقراطي” و “النظام العربي الاستبدادي” بانماط م 78;عددة تؤكد قيام منظومة غير مقدسة بين الطرفين ستؤدي لكوارث غير محدودة في العالم. وما انتشار الارهاب بعد اكثر من عشرة اعوام على شن اطول حرب في التاريخ الحديث تحت عنوان “الحž 5;ب على الارهاب” الا مؤشر للنفاق السياسي الذي صاحب تلك الحرب وغياب الجدية عن الاطراف المشاركة فيها. الامر المقزز ان هذا الغرب “العملاق” فشل جملة وتفصيلا في الامتحانات ال 75;خلاقية والسياسية ايضا. فالمنطق الذي يستخدمه لتبرير دعم المجموعات المسلحة والمتطرفة في سوريا بالمال والسلاح يناقض القول بضرورة التصدي للارهاب والعنف. الغرب يعلم ان ا 604;اسلحة التي تعطى لاية مجموعة ستجد طريقها للمجموعات الأخرى. فهل نسي هذا الغرب “العتيد” قصة صواريخ “ستينغر” التي زود بها “المجاهدين” الافغان في منتصف الثمانينات، فاذا به ا تظهر في استعراض عسكري في قطر؟ والسلاح الذي قرر تزويد النظام الخليفي الدموي به سيجد طريقه لمجموعات التطرف والارهاب وسيستخدم لقتل الابرياء في البحرين. وحين تدعو كافة ا 604;منظمات الحقوقية الدولية لفرض حصار عسكري على الحكم الخليفي الظالم، فانما تفعل ذلك حرصا منها على تأمين سلامة  البشر ومنع انتشار الاسلحة المتطورة او وقوعها بايدي داعش ا&# 1608; النصرة او القاعدة. وما اسخف المنطق الامريكي والبريطاني حين يبرر دعم العصابة الخليفية المجرمة بدعوى انها حققت تطورا في مجالات الاصلاح الحقوقي والسياسية. فهل هناك كذبة ; اكبر من ذلك؟ وهل ثمة نفاق في العلاقات الدولية اكبر من التحالف مع انظمة ما تزال حتى هذه اللحظة تدعم تلك المنظمات بالمال والرجال والسلاح؟

في الاسبوع الماضي ارتكبت داعش جريمة كبرى حين فجر احد ارهابييها مسجد الامام الصادق بالكويت، يؤمه مئات المصلين، فاستشهد العشرات منهم. ولم يكن مفاجئا ان يكون الارهابي سع 08;دي الجنسية، غادر الرياض يوم الخميس مرورا بالبحرين التي قضى ليلة الجمعة فيها حتى وصل الكويت صباح الجمعة 26 يونيو. وما ان كان المصلون ينهون صلاة العصر من ذلك اليوم حتى باغته&# 1605; الارهابي وفجر نفسه فيهم وقتل منهم 27 على الاقل وجرح اكثر من مائتين. ما دلالات ذلك العدوان؟ فقد قام به شاب يحمل الجنسية السعودية، اقبل من ارض الجزيرة العربية ومر بالبحرين، والتقى اشخاصا هناك وربما خطط لجريمة اخرى هذا الاسبوع في البحرين، حسب ما اعلنه الخليفيون على لسان احد عملائهم، تركي البنعلي. حين يستخدم النظام السياسي الارهاب وسيلة لا 576;تزاز الشعب بتخويفه من القوى المتطرفة واظهار نفسه انه المحامي، في الوقت الذي يسلط سيفه على المواطنين ويغض الطرف عن انصار داعش. وحين يستقبل رئيس الوزراء الجاثم على صدور 5;لشعب منذ 1971 في هذا الشهر الفضيل احد رموز الطائفية الذي ما برح يشتم الشيعة ويحرض ضدهم، فان تلك المواقف تؤكد بدون شك ان الخليفيين والدواعش وجهان لعملة واحدة. فالخليفيون وال&# 1587;عوديون استخدموا الدواعش سلاحا ضد المسلمين، ضد الشيعة في اغلب الاحيان، وضد السنة حين تقتضي مصالحهم ذلك.

اليوم بعد ان انتشرت داعش في بلدان عديدة، واصبحت تحتل مواقع تنظيم القاعدة وتستقطب افرادها وتنافس طالبان في عقر دارها بشرف افغانستان، وحين اصبح على اصحاب الضمائر الحية 75;ن يحاكموا كل من دعم التطرف والعنف والارهاب باية ذريعة: الغربيون دعموا بدعوى التصدي للنظام السوري، والخليجيون دعموهم بذرائع شتى وفي حقيقتها بدافع اشغال العرب والمسلم 610;ن ببعضهم والهائهم عن مشروع التغيير السياسي، وبهدف افشال كافة الثورات. فما هي النتيجة؟ وقف هؤلاء جميعا شامتين حين كان الابرياء يقتلون بالعمليات الانتحارية في مساجد ال& #1593;راق واسواقه وشوارعه، وسعى الكثيرون، ومنهم ذوو الاقلام والمفكرون لتبرير تفجير المقدسات الاسلامية ابتداء بجامع العسكريين عليهما السلام مرورا بقبور الانبياء والصح 5;بة في العراق وسوريا. شجع خطباؤهم الشباب على الالتحاق بـ “الجهاد” في سوريا والعراق، فيما كانوا يشتمون الشيعة ليلا ونهارا ويحرضون ضدهم. فماذا كانت النتيجة؟ توسعت داعش في &# 1603;ل مكان، واصبحت وبالا، ليس على الشيعة فحسب، بل على الشعوب الاسلامية في افريقيا وآسيا. وحين فجر انتحاريان المسلمين وهم يؤدون صلاة الجمعة في بلدتي القديح والدمام بالمنطق ;ة الشرقية كانت ردود الفعل فاترة حقا، ولم يتخذ النظام السعودي اجراءات تناسب الحدث، بل بقيت قنوات التحريض خصوصا وصال تبثت سمومها وتبارك تلك الجرائم. وربما كانت جريمة تفج&# 1610;ر مسجد الامام الصادق عليه السلام بالكويت الاسبوع الماضي نقطة التحول لسبب واحد: ان حكومة الكويت اتخذت موقفا مختلفا وادركت ان الخطر داهمها في عقر دارها، فامرت بغلق قناة 08;صال واعتقلت بعض المحرضين.

وساهم في بلورة الموقف الجديد ضد داعش مجزرة تونس التي قتل فيها حوالي 40 من السياح اغلبهم من البريطانيين. هنا ذرفت بريطانيا دموع التماسيح وادركت ان الخطر اصبح يداهم الغرب وا ;ن العفريت الذي يصنع في المختبرات للاضرار بالغير يرتد في النهاية على صاحبه. تزامن ذلك مع ما حدث في فرنسا حين اقدم احد “الجهاديين” على قطع رأس مديره. لقد تعلمنا من الاسلام مب ;دأ عدم ممارسة الظلم مع البشر، وعدم استهداف الآخرين باساليب العنف المنحرفة. وأكد القرآن مبدأ ثابتا بقوله: ولا يحيق المكر السيء الا بأهله. اما الغربيون فان دعمهم الاستبدا& #1583; من جهة والمجموعات المسلحة والارهابية من جهة اخرى، على امل الإضرار بالآخرين، وإبعاد شبح الارهاب عن بلداهم وحصره ببلدان المسلمين، قد بدأ يؤتي نتائج معاكسة. الغربيون يŸ 3;لمون بوضوح ان السعودية هي مصدر الفكر المتطرف والممول الاساس لمجموعات العنف والارهاب، وانها تستخدم العصابة الحاكمة في البحرين لدعم مواقفها وسياساتها، فكلاهما روجتا تنظيم داعش في المنطقة. وفي الاسابيع الاخيرة سعى الخليفيون لاستخدام داعش شماعة ضد الشعب لكسر ارادته. اما التطور المقزز فهو موقفا كل من امريكا وبريطانيا الداعم للخليفيي 606; باعادة تزويدهم بالسلاح الذي لم يستخدم يوما ضد داعش بل ضد شعبي البلدين واخيرا ضد شعب اليمن المسالم. انها سياسة قبيحة، تتنكر للمطالبين بالتحول الديمقراطي وتدعم الارهاب والتطرف. هذه حقائق يدركها الامريكيون والبريطانيون قبل غيرهم، ولكنهم يسعون لتجاوزها والتشويش عليها بدعاوى زائفة بان الخليفيين اتخذوا خطوات جادة على طريق الاصلاح. هذا ; يعني ان الحكم بسجن الشيخ علي سلمان وفاضل عباس ونبيل رجب واسقاط الجنسية عن اكثر من مائتي مواطن اصلي، والاستمرار في ممارسة التعذيب بابشع صوره، كلها مؤشرات لذلك “الاصلاح&qu ot; المزعوم. الامر الباعث على الاطمئنان ان الشعب البحراني لم يطلب من هؤلاء الغربيين يوما دعمه او مساعدتهم لانه اعتمد على الله اولا وعلى قدراته الذاتية وصمود ابنائه ثانيا، وتمسكه بمباديء المقاومة المدنية السلمية ثالثا. هذه ثوابته وسيلتزم بها ويصر عليها حتى يتحقق النصر بعون الله تعالى، وما ذلك على الله بعزيز. انهم يرونه بعيدا ونراه قريبا.

اللهم ارحم شهداءنا الابرار، واجعل لهم قدم صدق عندك، وفك قيد أسرانا يا رب العالمين

حركة احرار البحرين الاسلامية
3 يوليو 2015

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SYRIAN ARMY BLASTS ALQAEDA IN ALEPPO

NOVANEWS

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/army4.jpg

armyALEPPO:  This is one city where our Intel is magnificent.  My wife’s nephews and their wives give us constant updates about the situation.   Yesterday, the SAA struck hard at Nusra/Alqaeda positions all around the western side of the city supported by militias and local citizens committed to killing all the British-supported rodents infesting this country.  Lt. Yusuf Dhaaher, another nephew who was one of the heroes at the Central Prison constantly gives us information about events in the city.  He sounds extremely upbeat as he recounts stories of rats defecting, killing one another and blowing themselves up with their own contraptions.

Salaahuddeen Quarter:   The rats thought they were going to give everybody a big show by performing live at the Hamdaaniyya arena.  The proposed program included rats walking a tightrope, rats running in a wheel and rats firing firecrackers in celebration of the American Independence Day.  Unfortunately, the rats did not take out a permit from the city licensing bureau and ran afoul of the army.  In an incredibly stealthy move by the SAA, the 35+ rodents found their extravaganza under fire as SAA marksmen took positions high up in the stadium and began to pick off the rats like bobbing apples in a barrel.  So sad.  These were the only Syrians out of a group described as mostly from the Caucasus:

Wadee’ Mustafaa ‘Abdul-Khaaliq

Durayd Muhammad Minkaara

Mufeed Ahmad Al-Jaamoos

‘Abdul-Hameed Karaawiyaa

Sulaymaan Idrees

Baab Al-Nayrab:  10 rats killed or wounded with one pickup with 23mm cannon disabled and confiscated for use in killing British contractors in Turkey.

Saahat Al-Na’naa’iy:  In this square, the Syrian Army backed elements of the Internal Security Directorate and killed 4 rodents belonging to Nusra.  Their names have not been revealed for reasons having to do with the documents they were carrying most of which were stolen from Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Heavy fighting reported in these areas: Al-Sukkari Quarter Baab Al-Hadeed, Al-Ma’aadi Quarter.

Al-Layramoon:  Wael reports 21 rodents have surrendered to the Syrian Army asking for Amnesty.  The ranks of the rats are collapsing leaving only foreigners to do the fighting and dying.

Al-Jabbool Village:  A van with rodents and ammunition was set ablaze by SAAF bombers.  Estimated number killed over 5.

Jubb Ghibsha:  This village is abandoned and is home to a bunch of malodorous filth supported by the illegitimate regime of David Cameron.  It is Nusra occupied and it is Nusra-dead.  The SAAF dropped a thermobaric bomb on the rats killing a slew while they were snoozing.  I have no other details.

Jibreen Village:  Details emerging vaguely at this time. Heavy fighting.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on SYRIAN ARMY BLASTS ALQAEDA IN ALEPPO

Reading Claudia Rankine On Race

NOVANEWS

by Dr: Richard Falk

We white people have lots to learn about racism in America no matter how progressive our attitudes toward race. I realized this some years ago when I found Toni Morrison’s Beloved so grimly illuminating in depicting the cruelty experienced after the abolition of slavery by our African American fellow citizens left in a malicious shadow land of unknowing, a reflection of white indifference. It made me abruptly realize that I had never effectively grasped the intensities of hurt and pain of even close black friends afflicted or threatened with affliction as a result of societal attitudes of hatred and fear that lie just below the surface, behavior socially conditioned to be ‘politically correct.’ White consciousness was preoccupied with the condemnation of hideous events that capture national attention, but remain largely unaware of the everyday racism that is the price African Americans of talent and privilege pay for ‘success’ when penetrating the supremacy structures of society that remain predominantly white.

I recall some years ago being picked up at the airport in Atlanta by a couple of white undergraduates assigned to take me to the University of Georgia where I was to give a lecture. On the way we got onto the subject of race, and they complained about tensions on their campus. I naively pointed out that the stars of their football and basketball teams were black, and since white students were fanatic collegiate sports fans at Southern universities, wouldn’t this solve the problem. I assumed that these black athletes who won games for the college would be idolized as local heroes. The students taking me to the lecture agreed with my point, but claimed that the black athletes refused to socialize with whites, displaying an alleged ‘reverse racism’ that the white student body resented. In explaining this pattern of multi-culturalism to me, whether accurate or not I have no idea, these young Southerners did not pause to wonder whether this reluctance by campus blacks, including the sports stars, to mingle socially might have something to do with the history of race relations in the South, and not just the history but an of nasty earlier experiences of racism as well, and not just in the South, but throughout whole of the country, and that this was their reason for choosing to be racially aloof!

It is with such thoughts in mind that reading Claudia Rankine’sCitizen: An American Lyric (Greywolf Press, 2014) became for me a revelatory experience, especially against a foreground filled with such extreme reminders of virulent racism as lived current experience as Treyvon Martin, Ferguson, Charleston, and countless other recent reminders that the racist virus in its most lethal forms continues to flourish in the American body politic. The persistence of this pattern even in face of the distracting presence of an African-American president who functions both as a healing ointment and as a glorified snake oil salesman who earns his keep by telling Americans that we belong to the greatest country that ever existed even as it reigns down havoc on much of the world. On a more individual level, I can appreciate the extraordinary talent, courage, and achievement of Barack Obama, hurdling over the most formidable psychological obstacles placed in the path of an ambitious black man. Yet looked at more collectively, it now seems all too clear that the structures of racism are far stronger than the exploits of even this exceptional African American man.

What makes Rankine’s work so significant, aside from the enchantment of its poetic gifts of expression, is her capacity to connect the seemingly trivial incidents of everyday race consciousness with the living historical memory and existential presence of race crimes of utmost savagery. In lyrically phrased vignettes Rankine draws back the curtain on lived racism, relying on poetic story telling, and by so doing avoids even a hint of moral pedantry. She tells a reader of “a close friend, who early in your friendship, when distracted, would call you be the name of her black housekeeper.” [48][*] Or a visit to a new therapist where she approached by the front door rather than the side entrance reserved for clients, and was angrily reproached, perceived as an unwanted intruder: “Get away from my house! What are you doing in my yard?” When informed that the stranger was her new patient the therapist realized her mistake, “I am so sorry, so so sorry.” [115].

Or when as a candidate for a university job she is being shown around a college campus by a faculty member who lets her know why she has been invited: “..he tells you his dean is making him hire a person of color when there are so many great writers out there.” She shares her unspoken reaction that is the main point: “Why do you feel comfortable saying this to me?” [66] The repetition of these daily occurrences in her recounting let’s us better understand why an African American cannot escapes the unconscious barbs of soft racism no matter how intelligent and accomplished a black person becomes in ways that the dominant society supposedly values and rewards. She invokes the inspirational memories of James Baldwin and Robert Lowell, not that of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela, or even Malcolm X, as brilliant wellsprings of understanding and defiance, acting as her undesignated mentors. This experience of racism in America has been told with prose clarity and philosophic depth by my friend and former colleague, Cornel West, in Race Matters, a similar narrative of citizenship that Rankine conveys through poetic insight and emotion, allowing readers enough space to sense somewhat our own poorly comprehended complicity. Reading West and Rankine together is one way to overcome the body/mind dualism, with West relying on the power of reason and Rankine on the force of emotion.

As Rankine explains with subtle eloquence, what may seem like hyper-sensitivity to episodic understandable stumbles by even the most caring whites is actually one of the interfaces between what she calls the ‘self self’ and ‘the historical self,’ a biopolitical site of self-knowledge that embodies “the full force of your American positioning.” Such positioning is a way of drawing into the present memories of slavery, lynching, persecution, and discrimination that every black person carries in their bones, not as something past. And as Faulkner reminds us over and over again, the past is never truly past. On this Rankine’s words express her core insight: “[T]he world is wrong. You can’t put the past behind you. It’s buried in you..” [307] Summing up this inability to move on she observes, “[E]xactly why we survive and can look back with a furrowed brow is beyond me.” [364] The mystery, then, is not the failure to forget, but persevering given the agony of remembering.

The longest sequence in the book is somewhat surprisingly devoted to the torments experienced by Serena Williams in the course of her rise to tennis stardom. Rankine, who in other places suggests her own connection with tennis, thinks of Serena as the “black graphite against a sharp white background.” She recounts her early career struggles with eminent umpires in big matches who made bad calls, trapped in what Rankine calls “a racial imaginary.” Serena feels victimized because black, and on several taut occasions loses her composure under the intense pressure of the competitive moment, raging and protesting, and then being called “insane, crass, crazy.” [193] While Rankine appreciates that Williams is likely to be considered the greatest woman tennis player ever, she still views her primarily as bravely triumphing over the many efforts to diminish her.

As a tennis enthusiast myself, it is the one portion of Rankine’s lyric that does not ring entirely true, or more precisely, that the race optic misses Serena’s triumphal presence on the public stage that has been accomplished with uncommon grace, joyfulness, and integrity. Unlike that other African American over-achiever, Barack Obama, Williams has attained the heights without abandoning her close now inconvenient associates the way Obama ditched Jeremiah Wright and even Rashid Khalidi and William Ayers so as to provide reassurance to his mainstream white backers. Williams has always continued to affirm warmly her Dad despite his provocative antics and defiance of the white establishment that controls the sport. She held out long enough so that the racist taunts she and Venus received at Indian Wells were transformed into tearful cheers of welcome on her return 13 years later after being beseeched by the sponsors. Williams, always gracious and graceful in victory on the court, with a competitive rage that is paralleled by a fighting spirit that puts her in the winners’ circle even when not playing her ‘A’ game, Serena is for me the consummate athlete of our time, doubly impressive because she does not shy away from memories of the Compton ghetto where she grew into this remarkable athlete and person and while still acquiring the wit, imagination, and poise to speak French when given her latest trophy after winning the Roland Garros final in Paris. Considering where she started from she has traveled even further than Obama, although his terrain entails a far heavier burden of responsibility and historical significance.

Somehow I feel Rankine perhaps absorbed by the preoccupations that give coherence to Citizen missed the deeper reality of Serena Williams as a glorious exception to her portrayal of the African American imaginary. I do not at all deny that Williams’ life has been framed from start to finish with the kind of micro-aggressions that Rankine experienced, and indeed a closer proximity to the macro-aggressions that the media turns into national spectacles, but presenting her life from this limited viewpoint misses what I find to be the most captivating part of her life story. And maybe a fuller exposure to Rankine’s reality would lead me to celebrate her life as also one that transcends race as the defining dimension of her experience. What is known is that in 1963 Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in New York, educated at the best schools, and is enjoying a deservedly fine career as award winning poet, honored scholar, and rising playwright.

With brief asides, coupled with a range of visual renderings that give parallel readings (Rankine is married to John Lucas, a videographer, with whom she writes notes in this text for possible future collaborative scripts on racially tinged public issues), she brings to our awareness such societal outrages as the beating of Rodney King that was caught on a video camera, and led to the Los Angeles riots of 1992 or the racist aspects of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or a series of more recent assaults, including the diabolic frolic of fraternity boys at a university who joyously recalled the pleasures of lynching or the slaying of Trayvon Martin by a security guard whose crime was followed by his unacceptable acquittal. It is this tapestry of experience that seems to be for Rankine the American lyric that provides the sub-title of her book, and silently poses the question, without offering us the satisfaction of answers, as how these awful tales alter the experienced reality of being a ‘citizen’ of this country at this time; that is, if the citizen is viewed as one who owes loyalty to the state and is entitled to receive human security, protection, and the rule of law in return, how does this relate to the black experience of human insecurity and inescapable vulnerability. Rankine leaves me with the impression that even if these entitlements of citizenship can be somehow delivered (which they are not to those struggling), the grant of loyalty in the face of persisting racism is suspect. Raising such doubts is against the background of Rankine’s surface life as mentioned is one of privilege and success, holding an endowed chair at Pomona College, someone who plays tennis and can afford to see a therapist. Rankine is telling us both that this matters, saving her from the grossest of indignities because of the color of her skin, but not sparing her from an accumulation of racial slights or relieving her of the heavy awareness that she could be a Rodney King or Trayvon Martin if her social location were different or that whatever she might do or achieve she is still haunted by the memories of a ghastly past for people with black skin. In the deep structures of composition and consciousness that informs Citizen is a brilliant and instructive interweaving of time present and past, embodying both the memories buried within Rankine’s being and the present assaults she endures as a result of headlines bearing news of the latest hideous racist incident. Despite Rankine’s own personal ascent she as citizen confronts these past and presents challenges to her being, as underscored by the everyday racism that cannot be separated from the lynchings, beatings, and jail time that the black community as community has experienced ever since being transported to this land in slave ships.        

Such displays of awareness are followed by more conventionally poetic reflections on what this all means for Rankine. In lines that epitomize her lyric voice, and that she might be choose for her gravestone:

                        “you are not sick, you are injured—

                        you ache for the rest of your life.”

And again:

                        “Nobody notices, only you’ve known

                        you’re not sick, not crazy,

                        not angry, not sad—

                        It’s just this, you’re injured”

The worst effect of such an injury is an acute sense of alienation that separates

the public self from the private self:

                        “The worst injury is feeling

                                                            you don’t belong so much

                        to you—“

Reverting one last time to my own experience from the other side of the mirror, I recall my first intimate relationship with an African American as a boy growing up in Manhattan in the 1940s and 1950s. I was raised by a troubled, conservative father acting as a single parent who warily hired an African American man to be our housekeeper on the recommendation of a Hollywood friend. Willis Mosely was no ordinary hire for such a position, being a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate from UCLA, with a desire to live in New York to live out his dreams to do New York theater, a big drinking problem, and an extroverted gay identity, but beyond all these attributes, he was a charismatic personality with one of the great, resounding laughs and an electrifying presence that embodied charm, wit, and tenderness, demonstrating his intellectual mettle by finishing the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle in lightning speed, then a status symbol among West Side New Yorkers. Willis was a challenge for my rather reactionary father who could only half hide his racist bias and on top of his, was also unashamedly homophobic; added to this my dad was counseled by family friends that it was irresponsible to have his adolescent son’s principal companion be a gay man in his low 30s. I am relating this autobiographical tidbit because despite this great gift of exposure to a wonderfully loving black man in these formative years, who influenced me greatly in many ways, I was unable to purge the racism in my bones, or was it genes.

Years later while dating a gifted former black student, whose outward joyfulness acted as a cover for her everyday anguish and deeper racial torment, she let me know gently that I would never be able to understand her because, as she put it, “we listen to different music.” It happened, I had just taken her to a Paul Winter concert that she didn’t enjoy, and so I missed the real meaning of her comment until this recent reading of Rankine’s Citizen. In effect, it took me several decades to hear this dear friend because until recently I was listening without really, really being able to hear! Of course, the primary failing is my own, but it is a trait I share with almost the whole of my race, and probably most of my species, and is indirectly responsible for the great weight on the human spirit produced by low visibility suffering that goes unnoticed everywhere in the world except by its victims. To become attuned to this everday racism, as Rankine shows so convincingly, is also to become even more appalled by the high visibility racism that in our current societal gives rise to public condemnations across the political spectrum.

What Claudia Rankine shares and teaches is that every African American citizen must live with the existential concreteness of racism while even the most liberal of American white citizens live with only an abstract awareness of their own unconscious racism or, at best, their rather detached empathy with the historical victimization of our African American co-citizens. Just as blacks have the torments of racism in their bones, whites are afflicted with resilient mutant forms of unconscious racism. We learn through this extraordinary lyric that moving on, for either black or white, is just not an option! And yet it is a necessity!    

[*] The numbers refer to the lot #s on the Kindle edition. Citizenwas a finalist for 2014 National Book Award in the Poetry category. The winner, ironically, was Rankine’s teacher at Williams College, who described her pupil as ‘a phenomenal student.’

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First ‘sharia’ judge declares: “We can’t ask Muslims NOT to have more than one wife”

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Britain’s first female sharia law judge has issued a warning stating that the “government cannot/should not ask Muslims not to have more than one wife.”

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The news comes on the back of a report by the Times newspaper which claims that Britain is experiencing a “surge” in Sharia marriages, as young British Muslims adopt a more hardline religious stance than their parents.

The Times reports:

“As many as 100,000 couples are living in such marriages, which are not valid under UK law, experts said. Ministers have raised fears that women can be left without the right to a fair share of assets if the relationship ends, while others are forced to return to abusive “husbands”.”

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A leading Islamic family lawyer warned that the increase in Sharia ceremonies among the 2.7 million-strong Muslim population in Britain was also behind a growth in “secret polygamy.”

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“Probably a quarter of all couples I see involve polygamy issues,” Aina Khan told The Times. “There has been a huge rise in recent years because people can have a secret nikah [Islamic marriage] and no one will know about it.”

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The growth in a parallel marriage system that bypassed the register office was being driven by Muslims aged below 30, who were becoming more religious, she said. Other factors include finding a way around the expectation of no sex before marriage and a fear of British family courts, which presume that assets should be split equally.

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Muslim Arbitration Tribunals, colloquially known as Sharia courts, have existed in the United Kingdom since 1996, when the Arbitration Act began to allow for different religious laws to be applied in cases such as divorce.

While the tribunals are supposed to work within UK law, recent reports suggest that young Muslims are not registering their marriages with the government under UK civil law, instead simply using nikha ceremonies, which can lead to men having a number of wives, and none of the legal responsibility towards them usually afforded to spouses under the 1949 Marriage Act.

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Now, Amra Bone, who is the UK’s first female Sharia council judge, has said that “the government cannot — ask Muslims not to have more than one wife. People have a right to decide for themselves,” implying that British Muslims are free to operate outside UK law, as a rule unto themselves and the Sharia courts they feel are legitimate.

Malaysia Polygamy Club

Muslim women who enter into marriage in Islamic ceremonies are often duped into thinking that the marriage under Islamic law is enough to protect them under UK law. As such, they receive none of the usual protections under UK law, such as assets being divided in cases of divorce.

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Austrian Institute Clarifies True Costs of the EU’s Anti-Russian Sanctions

NOVANEWS
Sputnik 

The Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) published a monograph clarifying the projected short and long-term costs of anti-Russian sanctions to the EU 28 plus Switzerland. A summary of the report published Friday has confirmed that Europe as a whole expects €92.34 billion in long-term losses, along with over 2.2 million lost jobs.

While the report attempts to downplay somewhat the losses attributed to sanctions, noting that politicized export restrictions must be considered together with the ongoing Russian recession and other factors, the figures speak for themselves.

The report projects an “observed decline in exports and tourism expenditures of €34 billion value added in the short run, with employment effects on up to 0.9 million people.” Switching to a longer-term perspective, the report estimates “the economic effects increas[ing] to up to 2.2 million jobs (around 1 percent of total employment) and €92 billion (0.8 percent of total value added), respectively.”

Commenting on the geographical disbursement of the economic and jobs losses, WIFO’s report shows that “geographical closeness highly correlates with the relative size of the effects at the national level, with the Baltic countries, Finland and the Eastern European countries being hit above the EU average of 0.3 percent of GDP in the short and 0.8 percent in the long run.” The report also notes that Germany, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of all EU 27 exports to Russia, has been hit the hardest in absolute terms, and is projected to lose €23.38 billion in losses in the long term. Italy is second, with €10.93 billion in projected losses. France rounds out the top three with €7.92 billion in losses.

The study’s figures also show that Estonia is the single most heavily affected country in both the short and the long term, with the country suffering a €800 million (4.91 percent) and €2.1 billion (13.24 percent) decline, respectively. Estonia is followed by Lithuania (-6.37 percent long term), Cyprus (-3.25 percent), Latvia (-1.87 percent), and the Czech Republic (-1.53 percent).

In employment terms, Estonia, Lithuania and Cyprus are also the hardest hit in percentage terms, and are projected to suffer 16.3 percent, 10.84 percent and 4.21 percent losses, respectively. In absolute terms, Germany (losing 395,000 jobs) Poland (300,000), and Italy (200,000) have been the hardest hit; Spain, Lithuania and Estonia are projected to lose between 100,000 and 190,000 jobs.

As for the economic sectors most heavily impacted, the WIFO study found that agriculture and food products, metal products, machine-building, vehicles, and manufacturing-related services are hardest hit in the short term, with construction, business services, and wholesale and retail trade services also projected to suffer disproportionately in the long-term.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik about the report, WIFO economist Oliver Fritz noted that while EU politicians still hope that the sanctions will have some effect on Russian policy, pressure is building on them to change their policy, since the economic consequences are rapidly beginning to add up.

While the economist noted that he does not see the sanctions being lifted in the short term, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel successfully keeping other EU nations in line, Fritz noted that as losses mount, EU politicians may eventually decide to consider rethinking their decisions.

Last month, WIFO conducted research for Europe’s ‘Leading European Newspaper Alliance’, estimating up to €100 billion in losses if anti-Russian sanctions remain in place.

Since March 2014, the United States, European Union, and other Western countries have placed sanctions on Russia’s banking, defense and energy sectors over Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. In August, Moscow imposed a year-long food embargo on the countries that had sanctioned it. Last month, the EU’s foreign ministers agreed to extend sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2016.

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Belgium to support Palestinian prisoners

NOVANEWS

Al Qassam website – The Belgian parliament decided to urgently intervene and put pressure for the release of the Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, ending violations against them and forming parliament committees to seek the truth on their detention conditions.In a special session on the issue of Palestinian captives on Wednesday, the parliament said the decision came in the wake of a detailed Palestinian report filed to the Belgian parliament on detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners as well as the Israeli violations of the international law and conventions.

The Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Commission director in Gaza Issa Qaraqi demanded, in his report submitted to the Belgian parliament, that a parliament day should be assigned for releasing the Palestinian MPs who are imprisoned in Israeli jails, visiting the detained MPs, sending inquiry committees to investigate the conditions of captives.

 

He called for boycotting Israeli companies which funds Israeli jails and for recognizing the State of Palestine in order to protect the rights of the Palestinian people and prisoners.

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Amsterdam canceles twinning with Tel Aviv

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

 Amsterdam canceles twinning with Tel Aviv

A plan to link the cities of Amsterdam and Tel Aviv ” real name TEL-ALRUSHRASH as twin towns was cancelled Thursday, June 25 after pro-Palestinian groups pressured the Dutch capital’s mayor into backtracking on his proposal.

After Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard Van der Laan had announced his intention to tighten connections between the two cities, the mayor came under a firestorm of criticism from local left-wing parties and pro-Palestinian activists. On last Thursday, he announced he was revoking the proposal, Zionist Channel 2 reported Wednesday.
In the same context, 700 intellectuals and artists of different countries signed a letter in which they declared boycotting the NAZI regime until the colonial suppression of Palestinians come to an end.
The letter, which was published by the British Guardian newspaper, states that the boycott includes not accepting invitations and funding from the Nazi regime. The main reason of the boycott is the NAZI last summer’s Holocaust on Gaza, which killed over 2100 Palestinians, the letter mentioned.
The artists in their letter pointed to the NAZI violations against Palestinian cultural institutions and banning of Palestinian theatre bands from freedom of movement while allowing NAZI Jewish bands to perform shows in settlements in the West Bank for supporting Zionist products.
Mid of March, British artists asked the UK to exert efforts for the stranded Palestinian refugees in Syria. 30 directors, musicians and actors, mostly from Britain, called for helping the trapped civilians in Syria especially the Palestinian refugees.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Amsterdam canceles twinning with Tel Aviv

The Parushim: A Secret Episode in American Zionist History

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By Sarah Schmidt

American Jewish Historical Quarterly

Sep 1975-Jun 1976; 65. l-4; AJHS Journal pg. 121

Horace M. Kallen, the social philosopher best known in American intellectual history for his theory of cultural pluralism, adopted Zionism in 1903 as a secular mode of retaining Jewish identity, an alternative to the Jewish religious tradition which seemed to him to be incompatible with twentieth century America. He had come to Zionism primarily through the influence of two of his Harvard professors, literary historian Barrett Wendell, who interpreted the Hebraic spirit of prophetic social justice as the inspiration for the American founding fathers, and William James, whose philosophy of Pragmatism emphasized the reality of meanness.

Kallen extended Wendell’s identification of Hebraic tradition with American idealism; he defined Zionism, the movement to renationalize the Jewish people, as an opportunity to found a model democracy based on the same concepts of liberty and equality, which, for him, symbolized America. At the same time he applied James’s concept of pluralism to the ethnic group; among them the Jews, who were beginning to become prominent in the United States, and argued that preservation of differences constituted the true measure of equality the Declaration of Independence had set forth. Zionism, thus, was able to fulfill two functions for Kallen- it allowed him to retain his Jewish identity and to become, thereby, a better American.

In 1911 Kallen became an instructor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Wisconsin. When he moved to the Middle West, he left his familiar environment. Lonely, and somewhat out of place in Madison; he felt the need to assert his Jewish identity more strongly and stepped up his pace of Zionist involvement. Finding little understanding within the official Federation of American Zionists for an expression of his own, philosophically oriented, ideas on Zionism, and quite some antagonism for his demand that the Zionist organization concentrate its activities on obtaining statehood for the Jewish nation in line with the 1896 Basle Platform which had sought “a home in Palestine secured by public law,” Kallen decided to form an organizational instrument through which he could effectively channel his own Zionist activity. On August 18,1913, therefore, Kallen founded a secret Zionist society which he called The Parushim, the Hebrew word which means both “the Pharisees” and “separate”.[1]

The Pharisees had flourished as a separate sect during the time of the second Jewish Temple, goading the Jewish Establishment into making the traditional “written law” more relevant to the times by adding to it the interpretations of the “oral law.” Kallen saw much the same role for his group of Parushim, whose purpose he defined as “advancement by deed and word of the cause of autonomous Jewish nationality in the interest of Hebraism.” As Kallen recalled, “The Parushim was a group much like the Peace Corps, young men and women who saw the Utopian opportunity that existed for the Jewish people in Palestine and who were willing to devote themselves to an ideal.”[2]

The Parushim was a very unusual Zionist group, organized both as a secret fraternity and as a reform movement. Unlike other social groups at the time, both men and women were eligible; “there was ascertain definite interest on desegregation of the sexes.” Enrollment was by an oath of initiation, and there was a probationary period for up to three years, during which time the initiate was to give exclusive and specific service to the cause.” Kallen invited no one to become a member until the candidate had given specific assurances regarding devotion and resolution to the Zionist cause, and each initiate had to undergo a rigorous analysis of his qualifications, loyalty, and willingness to take orders from the Order’s Executive Council. The motto of the group was the response traditionally attributed to the Jewish people on receipt of the Ten Commandments-“Nasseh V’Nishmah”-“we will do and we will hear.”[3]

A member swearing allegiance to the Parushim felt something of the spirit of commitment to a secret military fellowship. At the initiation ceremony the head of the Order informed him:

You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life-dearer than that of family, of school, of nation. By entering this brotherhood, you become a self-dedicated soldier in the army of Zion. Your obligation to Zion becomes your paramount obligation… It is the wish of your heart and of your own free will to join our fellowship, to share its duties, its tasks, and its necessary sacrifices.

The initiate responded by swearing:

Before this council, in the name of all that I hold dear and holy, I hereby vow myself, my life, my fortune, and my honor to the restoration of the Jewish nation, -to its restoration as a free and autonomous state, by its laws perfect in justice, by its life enriching and preserving the historic speech, the culture, and the ideals of the Jewish people.

To this end I dedicate myself in behalf of the Jews, my people, and in behalf of all mankind.

To this end I enroll myself in the fellowship of the Parushim. I pledge myself utterly to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims. Amen.[4]

It is clear both from the wording of these vows, which paralleled Kallen’s published phrases on Zionism, and from the handwriting on the original copy of this induction ceremony, that Kallen was its author. For him, the organization of the Parushim had many implications. It demonstrated his overriding commitment towards working for the realization of the Zionist ideal, and his need to create, if necessary, an educated militant group that would join him in the cause. It was indicative of his desire to stimulate Zionist activity beyond that of the official Zionist organization, which tended to devote its time to polemic and debate, rather than towards effecting substantial productive achievement. It showed Kallen’s trust in an elite Zionist cadre, a vanguard for the Zionist army that was to come. Most important, perhaps, it reflected his own need for a Zionist community with which he could feel comfortable, a substitute both for his own family, and for the Harvard fellowship of congenial minds that he had left behind when he moved to the Mid-West.

The kind of people Kallen considered worthy of invitation to the Parushim is indicated in a memorandum he prepared on “Signatories to the Zionist Pledge.” The list includes, among others, Alexander Dushkin, an authority on Jewish education; Dr. I. L. Kandel, an educator then with the Carnegie Foundation and Teacher’s College of Columbia University; Israel Thurman, a lawyer and “Harvard man,” who would be used to propagandize among young lawyers; and Nathan C. House, a “Columbia man” and high school teacher, who could work out plans for training Jewish high school boys “along the lines of Zionist sentiment coupled to physical development and Boy Scout discipline.”[5]

It seems from the replies to Kallen’s invitations to join the Parushim that he had hit on the kind of organization that would meet thee needs of others besides himself. The few people he invited to join the Order, all well educated, all Zionist leaders in their own communities, answered enthusiastically. I. J. Biskind, a doctor in Cleveland, who during World War I was to go to Palestine as a medical missionary, responded:

In behalf of Zion, in behalf of Hebraism I will accept a membership of the Parushim- if elected-unconditionally and for life. I want to work, work, work and not sing ”Hatikvah.” I want to be a soldier of the ranks and do actual work. We have been sleeping too long; we have been dreaming and golden opportunities have slipped by us.[6]

Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, was another early member of the Parushim. She wrote Kallen, “If … I may state the difficulties we [Hadassah] are encountering in our educational work, and so secure instructive advice from the hidden source, it will cause an increase not only in the results but also in the strength and zeal of the workers.” Her reference to “the hidden source” was, no doubt, tongue in cheek, for she continued, “If ever I emerge from under the … routine work in which I am now enveloped, I am going to devote myself to the reading you have prescribed for such as I am, and attempt to make myself more effective than I have been.”[7]

In 1913 Kallen, aware of the moribund condition of the Zionist organization, felt that the way in which he and the Parushim would-be most influential was through a program of education. His focus. was on “the play of ideas-it had to be more theoretical than practical, imaging a program or an action without doing it.” One of his first requests to Henrietta Szold, for instance, was that she provide literature for Zionist courses to be given in Temples and Sunday Schools, a request to which she readily acquiesced. Within a few months, however, Kallen was looking further afield, and by April1914 was writing to Max Nordau, a political Zionist who had been Herzl’s first and most loyal colleague and closest adviser, of his desire to internationalize his secret order.

. .. [l]t happens to be my turn to head the secret organization here in America, which is aiming to turn the Zionist movement in a political direction, from within.

Our order is called Parushim. It is the outcome of the prolonged association of a number of young men in “academic” life who observing the general trend of events in the Zionist movement decided that the higher ideals would fail unless a check were set … Members must alba of distinguished character and trained minds … Our present purposes one of quiet propaganda and education in the “political idea.” We aim to make the masses consciously “political.”

… It is our desire and plan to organize brotherhoods all over the world . . .. We hope if all goes well in a few years quietly to turn the Zionist movement back into its proper channels…. [8]

There is no written record of Nordau’s reply to Kallen, nor of his evaluation of a world-wide Zionist brotherhood, bent on secret activity and influence. Kallen recalls that Nordau “wouldn’t cotton to it. He didn’t think … a vow would be of any use.” The matter was shortly to become moot, however, for four months later war broke out in Europe, forcing the dislocation of the World Zionist headquarters from Berlin. From 1914 until1920, European Zionists lost their influence as the center of Zionist activity shifted first to the United States, then to England. Kallen’s plan for a secret world-wide Zionist society became one of the war’s casualties. But as the United States became more prominent on the Zionist stage, Kallen and his vision of Jewish renationalization were to receive an opportunity for expression wider in scope and more vast in influence than anything he had ever imagined.

On August 30, 1914, an “Extraordinary Conference of representatives of American Zionists” met in New York and organized a “Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs” with Louis D. Brandeis, the famous “People’s Attorney,” as its Chairman. Kallen had played an important part in persuading Brandeis to become a Zionist and to take an active role in Zionist affairs, by applying the reasoning of his cultural pluralist argument to the then prevalent contention that Zionist membership implied the unpatriotic condition of “dual loyalty.” Just prior to the August 30 conference, Kallen had presented Brandeis with his own plans for a Jewish State based on the same ideals of liberty and justice for all, which the American Declaration of Independence had enunciated.[9]

Kallen then argued that a commitment to Zionism, instead of being detrimental to American loyalty, actually increased it, for Zionists and Americans shared the same values and traditions, and, therefore, were working towards the same ends. Brandeis, who late in life had felt a sudden emotional pull to the Jewish people, found that Kallen’s reasoning provided him with an intellectual rationale for Zionist activism. Thereafter he looked to Kallen as one of his mistrusted advisers, and used him as his right-hand man both in formulating ideas and proposals and in carrying out schemes of an intricate or delicate nature.

Soon after Brandeis assumed the active leadership of the Provisional Executive Committee Kallen invited him to become an honorary member of the Parushim. Brandeis accepted, and began to assign the Parushim to carry out special “missions” for him.[10] In particular the Parushim were to serve as a school for leaders, and under Kallen’s direction its members initially became the leading activists of the reorganized American Zionist movement. Excerpts from several letters to and from Kallen in late 1914 show clearly that new energies were flowing through the Zionist movement; they show, also, the roles Kallen’s Parushim were assuming in leading the way.

1. To Stephen S. Wise; Prominent Reform Rabbi and leader in the Jewish Community:

Madison, Wisconsin

September 25, 1914

Dear Mr. Wise,

. . . I hope you will bear in mind what I told you about the Order [the Parushim]. We want most of all disciplined and well-trained young men and young women who have vision as well as executive ability, and spirituality, as well as force. In New York there are a good many who might be trained for leadership under proper direction, and I feel that you could play a very powerful and ideal part in the making of such leaders .

. . . As for your feeling about the secrecy of the work, it is, after all, no more secret than any important work has to be … (A)n organization which has the aims which we have must be anonymous, must work silently, and through education and infection rather than through force and noise, and can gain results only insofar as its standards are made to live in the lives of the people to whom they’re brought. But no thing could be more suicidal than the announcement of such an object, so that the secrecy is inevitable. I hope that you will join with us and take your place in our executive committee together with Mr. Brandeis.[11]

2. From Henry Hurwitz, President of the Intercollegiate Menorah Association:

Dorchester, Mass.

October 5, 1914

Dear Harry [Kallen’s favorite nickname for “Horace”],

I got your letter the other day while I was in New York. I went chiefly to attend a meeting of the Provisional Committee. The meeting was rather routine. Chiefly on how to raise the fund. Coming very slow. Brandeis anxious to have done with it in order to have energies free for the bigger problems-also before general appeal for relief floods us. Brandeis put it up to [Judah] Magnes and [Stephen] Wise to raise money among their people [rich congregants].

So far, the mass meetings seem to be little successful, except the Boston meeting…. That was really an extraordinary night for Boston Jews. Surging mob at Symphony Hall when doors opened at 7.At 7:10 necessary to open Jordan Hall for overflow meeting. Still a couple of thousand turned away from both halls. … Brookline [established well-to-do Jews] came down as well as Roxbury and West End [Jewish immigrant communities], to hear and to join. Brandeis spoke over an hour, simply but with suppressed emotion; seemed to hook the subject and reluctant to leave it. Got great ovation both before and after speech. Tremendously different attitude towards Zionism in Boston now along all classes.

I saw Oscar Straus … on a Menorah matter. Incidentally, we talked Zionism. He declared himself strongly in favor of Jewish colonization in Palestine … but only under political guarantees of one or more powers…. He is greatly impressed with Brandeis as leader; expressed a desire to meet him and talk over the problems of Zionism with him…. Wise will arrange a meeting between them.[12]

3. To Richard Gottheil, former President of the Federation of American Zionists:

Madison, Wisconsin

Oct. 14, 1914

Dear Prof. Gottheil:

… My reports from New York are disquieting. I hear of a good deal of restlessness on the part of Federation [of American Zionist] officials, who think they are being displaced…. I hope that, insofar as possible, [Louis] Lipsky, [Shemaryahu] Levin al).d Co. will be given as much kouad [honor] as possible. I am told that they feel “snuffed out”; and I fear very much that they may develop obstructionist tactics which will disgust Mr. Brandeis, and perhaps lead him to cut himself off from the organization. I am particularly concerned about the movement of the I.A.C. [World Zionist Inner Actions Committee] toward the re-opening of offices in Berlin, and the meeting in Stockholm. The situation seems to me to be very delicate, and I hope that you, Wise, Miss Szold, Brandeis and Hurwitz can find some way of suppressing what I feel will be-knowing the character of the Federation [of American Zionists] as I do-very unwise action.

Finally, there is this matter, which seems to me now to be of prime importance. I do not find in any of the foreign periodicals any recognition of the significance of Brandeis’ leadership. I think that it is necessary to make this very clear by a statement of Brandeis’ position and importance in this country, written by a number of people, e.g., you, Wise, Oscar Straus. . and sent to such papers as the Jewish Chronicle of London, the Zionist, etc. The Chronicle is ominously silent about the activities in America, and I regard that as a dangerous thing. Will you kindly put this matter also to our group [Parushim]? We shall have to depend upon ourselves, I forsee almost exclusively, if we are to save Brandeis for the -great work of the movement, without being involved in much unnecessary quarreling and personalities.[13]

4. From I.J. Biskind, a Cleveland surgeon:

Oct. 19, 1914[14]

Dear Dr. Kallen,

Your letter received . . .

We have done all in our power to make the Brandeis meeting a success. Mr. Brandeis arrived here [Cleveland] at about noon. Several of our people and one of the Uptown Jews (as you call them) met him at the station. After a few introductions we turned him over to the Germans [“uptown” German Jews] who had a luncheon waiting for him. He spoke at the luncheon and made a very good impression. None of our people was present, as our uptown Jews did not want to have a Zionist luncheon. … Towards evening 30-40 of our people had Mr. Brandeis to a luncheon of our own, where he gave us a nice talk . . .

I think, that now is the time for us to start to round public opinion and influence it in our favor. People like Mr. Brandeis, youself and Dr. Gottheil should come out openly in the big newspapers and magazines and tell the world what we want and demand…[15]

5. To Henrietta Szold: My dear Miss Szold:

Madison, Wisconsin

October 28, 1914

I am glad to hear from you at last. I have been wondering what turn matters were taking in New York . . ..

I have been in communication with Maurice Browne of The Little Theater of Chicago. He has enthusiastically agreed to organize a company of Jewish players who will present nationalistic plays all over the country…. I have undertaken the writing of one play, but we need two more, one of which must be a comedy…. If you know of any mss. already in existence or of any persons who have real dramatic power, will you kindly put them into immediate communication with me . . ..

As for the status of the Provisional Committee, I do not despair. The chief good of its organization lies not in whether its authority is forthcoming from the [World Zionist] Central Actions Committee or not, but in the fact that it has placed Brandeis definitely at the head of the movement in this country and as a member of the movement, and that has brought out the enthusiasm and practical cooperation of the student bodies everywhere-in short, that it has injected into the movement a new spirit and a new personnel, and promises, I hope, to put an end forever to Ghetto methods and petty Ghetto ideas and personalities that has marked the history of the Federation.[16]

6. To Stephen S. Wise:

Indianapolis

Oct. 25, 1914

Dear Dr. Wise:

I am writing from Indianapolis. Last night I spoke in the local reformed synagogue here-naturally on Zionism. Today I am to meet a number of members of the congregation and to urge upon them a practical allegiance to the cause. I am told … that you are to occupy the same pulpit next Friday, and I am venturing to suggest that it would be very advantageous to the cause here if you also spoke on Zionism and urged practical allegiance. The community here, impressed me all in all as being unconscious Jews and rather materialistic, but they have their possibilities and if awakened, may become potent for much good….[17]

7. To Henry Hurwitz:

Madison, Wisconsin

Nov. 7th, 1914

Dear Henry: Madison,

… We have now the difficult problem of suggesting that the Jews as a whole are rather pro-Allies, but that there is a distinct anti-Russian feeling among them that must not be confused with a pro-German sentiment. . . It becomes necessary, therefore, to write to the daily and weekly press stating why and how it is natural for the Jews to be anti-Russian and still for the Allies. I have asked [Marvin] Lowenthal and [Alexander] Sachs [two members of the Parushim] to write to the Nation. Will you get a couple of your men to write to the Times and the Sun, and write yourself, if possible. Now that Turkey is in [World War I], it is very necessary … to consider the possible alternatives before us . . .. It is absolutely necessary that we should have a dossier containing plans for meeting each of [the]. . possible emergencies, and that practical steps be taken to safeguard our own interests as nearly as possible from all sides at once .

. .. When Brandeis will be in Chicago … we could then have a meeting of  “פ” [Parushim] and consider the problems of national organization in this country and many other things. Brandeis writes that he feels this to be most important, and I am feeling pleased as Punch that he realizes its importance so soon.[18]

8. To Alexander Sachs, a graduate student in economics at Columbia University:

Madison, Wisconsin

Nov. 7, 1914

Dear Mr. Sachs:

I have yours of the 3rd inst. You will take note of these two things.

1. Let me know as fully as possible just what the situation is in the P.C. [Provisional Committee) office.

2. Please report on the progress you have made with the list of candidates for “פּ ” [Parushim] which you had sent for approval to the Executive Committee.

3. In order to show that the Jews are not unanimously against the allies, it has become necessary to publish letters stating the Jewish position from the Zionist point of view. This letter should cover the following points:

(a) That the Jews are engaged equally on all sides (b) That in the order of their treatment, their sympathies are as follows: England, France, Austria, Germany, Russia (c) That they have suffered terribly at the hands of Russia, and that they are naturally anti-Russian rather than pro-German (d) That their stake in the war is perhaps as great as that of Belgium, and that. . the great mass of them are suffering just as much (e) That the way out would lie in nationalization … (f) That. .. the attitude and feeling of the Jews independent entirely on the kind of treatment that.. . is being accorded to their helpless brethren in that region, so that their sympathies are divided between the love of England and France and the hatred of Russia.

You are directed to write such a letter and to submit it through me to the [Parushim] Council before offering it for publication. Many thanks for your personal appreciation, and please regard it as reciprocated.[19]

9. To Stephen S. Wise:

Madison, Wisconsin

November 18, 1914

Dear Wise:

.. . I have been wondering since Turkey has gone into the war whether we could not through Mr. Crane [former U.S. Senator, interested in the rights of small nations] and other Americans and Gentiles get options, or perhaps buy outright, all the… government land in Palestine. In this respect, Turkey’s need is distinctly our opportunity, and action at this moment may save us a great deal of embarrassment and difficulty later on. The thing, if it is done at all, will of course have to be done through Gentiles, and would involve a double transfer, as I am quite sure the Turks would not be willing to sell to the Jews. There are many other things that ought to be talked through; and I imagine that sooner or later our particular group [the Parushim] will need to meet and canvass the whole actual situation with its possibilities, and form plans to meet them all.[20]

10. To Mrs. Maurice Leon, Richard Gottheil’s daughter:

Madison, Wisconsin

Oct. 28th, 1914

Dear Miss [sic] Leon:

I have to acknowledge the receipt of the additional documents ….I shall have abstracts made of them and filed ….

. . . [D]o not despair. We have been badly off many times before, but we have always managed to come clear. What we need most is loyalty and discipline; and so long as we work together like true soldiers, I have no fear for the result-no matter what may stand in the way …[21]

As these excerpts make clear, Kallen, though in Wisconsin, half a continent removed from New York, was, as head of the Parushim, in reality at the center of all Zionist activity. His Parushim wrote him faithfully of all that was going on; sometimes several people wrote him of the same event, giving him a unique multifaceted perspective. Kallen’s Wisconsin address was the terminal of a wide-spread communications system and, as the leader of an intimate inner circle, he sifted, channeled, and commented on his information in ways that he felt would produce the most effective results.

The image that emerges of the Parushim is that of a secret underground guerilla force determined to influence the course of events in a quiet, anonymous way. Indeed, the repetition of military terminology in these letters is striking. “We [must] work together like true soldiers,” Kallen wrote Mrs. Leon, and he deployed his Parushim like members of an army. Like any underground leader he demanded of his followers discipline, obedience, and whole-hearted devotion to the cause; the inefficient and slipshod Federation received only his scorn and approbation. Surprisingly, perhaps, the members of the Parushim, each of whom was a leader of the highest caliber in his own right, consented to Kallen’s demands. No doubt, the secret organization dramatized the potential for effective Zionist actions. Additionally, Kallen provided constant encouragement to flagging spirits, and held out the promise, through concrete action, of tangible Zionist accomplishment.

Kallen’s constant use of military terminology was no accident. Seeking, in the words of his mentor, William James, “a moral equivalent for war,” Kallen had found one in the possibilities for action within the Zionist movement, possibilities that had become viable by Brandeis’ assumption of leadership. As leader of the Parushim, Kallen was commanding his army in the ways he felt would do the most good. A good Pragmatist, he was putting his insights about Zionism to the test of experience.

The commitment to, and insistence on, a well-run organization colored all of Kallen’s directives to the Parushim. Even more important, however, were the plans he suggested and the actions he initiated. Letter writing campaigns, both here and abroad, a Zionist Theatre group, plans for purchase of land in Palestine, the insistence on political action contingency plans, schemes-for influence of foreign diplomats- Kallen was overflowing with ideas to hasten the achievement of the Zionist goal. These were not the schemes of a dreamer, however; always practical, Kallen outlined each plan in all its details, and assigned it to the most suitable person. As leader of the Parushim Kallen was the very model of the “Messianic pragmatist”; first he defined a goal in theory, and then he proceeded to suggest its means of implementation. His followers did carry out his directions-Henrietta Szold, for instance, procured the manuscript she requested-and the Zionist organization began to function more efficiently, to receive attention, and to attract more widespread support. In turn the members of the Parushim began to experience a sense of behind-the-scenes power and influence.

Kallen’s correspondents, it is clear, ascribed to him a special relationship with, and influence on, Brandeis. He had more intimate access to the new Chairman than they and, therefore, the opportunity for recognition as one of Brandeis’ principal advisers. Kallen, however, apparently did not wish to advance his own personal interests or career through Brandeis. The letters show his concern with protecting Brandeis and with providing for him an optimal climate in which to become a successful leader. Certainly Kallen wished to “instruct” Brandeis; perhaps, covertly, even to manipulate him. But Kallen’s preference was for the role of anonymous string-puller. He knew that Brandeis could accomplish for the Zionist cause things of which he and the Parushim only dreamed, and was content to channel all his insights and energies through Brandeis. This is one of the reasons that, to now, little has been known about the Parushim.

One of the more interesting projects that the Parushim considered was the establishment of a Parushim College which would give supplementary training in leadership for members of the Order, collect data and material to be used especially for propaganda, and provide for research into Zionist problems. Students would take courses in economics, psychology, philosophy, Jewish history, Zionism, Hebrew language and literature, and read certain prescribed books. Their activity would be both leadership training and a means to keep the Parushim interested and motivated towards Zionist activity.[22]

A prototype for the Parushim College had been the School of Zionism run by Jesse Sampter, a colleague of Henrietta Szold and one of the first members of the Parushim. Various members of the Parushim taught courses in Jewish history, Zionism and Bible interpretation at the New York Young Women’s Hebrew Association and also conducted a “correspondence school” for groups and individuals unable to attend the formal classes. Miss Sampter, a writer and poetess, compiled an original syllabus (published in 1920 as Guide to Zionism) which was used extensively in education programs of groups like Hadassah.[23]

Unlike the successful New York school, however, plans for the national college never went much beyond the outline stage. Particularly disappointed were Parushim members outside of New York, like David Shapiro, an agricultural student at the University of California, who felt isolated from mainstream Zionist activity. Shapiro’s note of regret to Kallen is of special interest, for it provides succinct description of the goals Kallen and his followers had: “If our Jewish State is to be founded on justice, elimination of crushing competition, and abolishment of human exploitation,” Shapiro wrote, “these principles should become a part and parcel of the consciousness of our men…. Discipline will work much better when the men are not only trained in the habit of obedience but also to be conscious of their work.”[24]

Kallen’s inability to successfully organize the Parushim College is symptomatic of the problems he began to have with his organization by late 1915. Though he continued to receive reports from his followers, they were becoming less frequent and less detailed as the Zionist workers concentrated on projects of their own and scattered to other commitments. Henrietta Szold, for example, was the moving force, through the Hadassah women’s organization, which she had founded, behind a plan to send to Palestine a completely equipped medical ship and to recruit doctors and nurses for work in Palestine. Stephen Wise concentrated on developing his own “Free Synagogue,” and on cultivating a role as Jewish liaison with the Wilson administration.

Kallen’s leadership, particularly his neglect of Jewish tradition, irritated some members of the Parushim; they resented, instance, his calling meetings for the Jewish Sabbath. “Since I understand that ours is not a separatist Order in the sense that it does not exclude any Jew who has proved his complete devotion to the Zionist cause,” wrote Jesse Sampter, “it would be unkind, unfair• and unjust to call a meeting at this particular time [Friday evening].” Henrietta Szold concurred, “I entered into an engagement about thirty-five hundred years ago on Mount Sinai upon which the Jewish ages have put a certain interpretation. The rule of my life is to accept this interpretation and that prevents me from making my way [to the Parushim meeting].”[25]

In addition, there developed a conflict between Brandeis’ moderate position in approaching non-Zionists and Kallen’s more radical stance. Brandeis, showing the same talents for organization that had earned him his reputation as a leading lawyer and reform leader, had begun by late 1915 to make contacts and judgments of his own. Interested in broadening support for the Zionist movement, Brandeis preferred to back away from confrontations, which might upset established Jewish communities and interests. Kallen, however, despite Brandeis’ disapproval, continued to define the policy of the Parushim as “militant and aggressive”; “we must constantly, with pen and tongue, attack that part of Reform Judaism which …attacks Zionism and the leaders of Zionism,” he directed new recruits.[26]

When Kallen instructed economist Alexander Sachs, one of the original Parushim, to “counter-attack” speeches of two prominent Reform Rabbis, Sachs consulted Brandeis, who advised against it. Sachs began to feel that the separatism of the Parushimquestioned the sovereignty of Brandeis, and declined to follow Kallen’s instructions. Further, he implied that his work for the New England Zionist Bureau super ceded his commitment to the Parushim, thus questioning his oath of discipline and obedience.[27]

Brandeis confirmed his difficulty in working through the Parushim. By November 1915 he was writing to Kallen of his disappointment in the group’s performance. At the same time other Zionist factions scorned the Parushim. “I understand that [Louis]Lipsky and some others call the Group פרושי�? thinking that it is a term of opprobrium, in the sense of snobs, separatists or highbrows,” reported one of the Parushim, Alexander Dushkin, to Kallen.[28]

Elisha Friedman, President of the Collegiate Zionist League, though loyal to Kallen’s leadership, was another member of the Parushimwho began to question the group’s validity. Though acknowledging that members of his group were engaged in studying educational, industrial and economic conditions in Palestine, and that this would provide the basis for useful planning for the future, Friedman felt that the non-secret University Zionist Society (which Kallen had also helped to found) could just as effectively perform this research.[29]

Kallen was unyielding in his demands for secrecy, and, despite these signs of unrest, stood firm. He replied to Friedman,

“The bond which unites its [Parushim] members is … of a delicate and psychological sort, very different from the kind of formal organization involved in the University Zionist Society . . . . The society naturally does not bind itself by a sort of pledge to an unquestioning leadership as the group does. In point of fact, it might become the task of the group .. . to join the society and to direct its activities. But some form of separateness it must maintain.”

And he reassured Dushkin, “I am delighted that Lipsky and others call the group ‘Parushim‘ in scorn. The thing for us to do now is to turn that scorn into astonished admiration by the highest degree possible of effectiveness.”[30]

The correspondence with the Parushim, however, dropped off sharply after early 1916, though there are random letters dated1917 and 1918, confirming that the group continued to exist. Indeed, its greatest achievement was to come in 1918, when the Parushimhelped to formulate the principles of the famous “Pittsburgh Program.” Yet there is no doubt that despite the fact that Kallen felt that the need for a close-knit “community” like the Parushim hadn’t diminished, the difficulty inherent in sustaining, long-distance, the loyalty and discipline of a group of intelligent individuals with minds and leadership qualities of their own, became too great an obstacle. As Kallen wrote shortly before his death,

It [the Parushim] never became as practical as perhaps it could have been and as I thought it might be .. : I was troubled by so much of the luftmenschlichkeit, the rhetoricism among Zionists . .. and I thought that a group organized as a “guided” democracy .. . might turn interest and action toward vital change. The expressions of this notion that I drafted were to be points of departure for rules of teaming up .. . . [31]

But the “teaming up” became impossible with a leader so geographically removed from the center of power, a leader so dependent upon the cooperation of his followers, both for news and for self-sustained activity.

Though Kallen felt some disappointment that his dream of a vanguard army for Zionism was not to be, he seemed never to have lost hope. In early 1918, shortly after the publication of the Balfour Declaration, Kallen called his Parushim together once again to confront the problem of how Palestine might be developed into a Jewish State, grounded on the principles of economic and social justice, which Kallen and his followers so highly valued. According to Kallen’s account in his 1921 Zionism and World Politics, the eight or nine men and women who participated in the discussion were of all shades of opinion and of all schools of economic thought. By common consent, however, “they determined to leave doctrine as nearly as possible to the doctrinaires” and to face the realistic problem of developing Palestine into a free Jewish commonwealth. On the basis of their discussions Kallen formulated “A Memorandum on the Principles of Organization of the Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine”; the core of this memorandum, somewhat refined, became the seven statements of the so-called “Pittsburgh Program.”[32]

The Pittsburgh Program was a series of basic principles that the delegates to the 1918 Convention of the Zionist Organization of America adopted as their credo. It represented the crowning achievement by Kallen, and by the “Americanized” Zionists like Brandeis whom he had influenced, to express their faith and vision in reordering Palestine as a model democratic Jewish nationality. Like other of Kallen’s ideas, however, it was a formulation for the elite; the Zionist masses never really understood it and the American Yiddish press of the period ignored it.

Nevertheless its contents reflected well the kinds of emphases that Kallen and the Parushim envisioned for Palestine. Included in the Pittsburgh Program were provisions for political and civic equality for all of Palestine’s inhabitants, including women and Arabs; ownership and control of the land and national resources by “the whole people”; the use of “the cooperative principle” in all agricultural, industrial, commercial and financial undertakings; and a system of universal public education using Hebrew as the language of instruction.[33]

These principles appear rather commonplace today, and, as a matter of fact, the State of Israel has incorporated most of them. In 1918, however, when the Parushim presented them, the majority of Zionists considered these proposals to be the expressions of a radical group. English Zionist theoretician Leon Simon, for example, wrote Kallen criticizing his principles for being “far off; . .. in relation to the present and the future the Program simply doesn’t face facts.”[34]

The discrepancy lay primarily in Kallen’s assumption that the purpose of Zionism, and the goal of his Parushim, was to work for the immediate establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth rather than to concentrate efforts, as the European Zionists were doing, on the stimulation of a Diaspora Zionist consciousness. As he wrote to one of his Parushim, the General Secretary of the Associated Jewish Charities of Omaha, Nebraska, “The English declaration has made it important for us … to make every preparation to meet the responsibility of administration and development of Palestine that the end of the war will put upon us.”[35]

The Pittsburgh Program seems to have been the last of the projects of the Parushim. By the end of World War I, its early members had scattered-several of them to Palestine-and the American Zionist organization had grown so large, mostly with the addition of the newly arrived immigrant masses, that a small elite cadre could no longer make much impact. Perhaps it was unrealistic from the start to expect a small group devoted to anonymous activity to exert much influence on a disorganized movement of many parts, movement growing rapidly, with new leaders and new problems. Certainly Kallen’s demand for separatism did not make it easy to bead member of the Parushim, once the initial drama wore off. As Kallen recalled in 1964, “The thing didn’t function very well. …What you could do with young Italy [in the days of the nationalist leader Mazzini] you couldn’t do with young Jewry, or old …. “[36]

Yet, though the Parushim failed, its organization stands as an interesting chapter in early American Zionist history for what it attempted to do-for its ideals of disciplined leadership, for its plans for a just, perhaps Utopian state, for its implied criticism of the methods and priorities of the formal Zionist movement. Had it succeeded, the course of the development of American Zionism, and of the Palestinian Jewish community, might have been different. That it did not is a comment not only on the gap between Kallen’s ideals and those of the rest of the Zionist movement, but also on the readiness of the Zionist membership to accept the discipline implicit in assuming responsibility for nationhood. It was to take another generation, after the tragic events of the 1930’s and 1940’s in Europe, before that: American Jewish community was willing to face up to the challenge of helping to create a living embodiment of the Jewish nationality. By then Kallen and the other Parushim had long forgotten their secret organization; today the story of theParushim remains a fascinating footnote in the annals of “what might have been.”


[1] Memorandum, in Kallen’s handwriting, concerning the organization of Parushim, in the Horace M. Kallen Collection at the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio (hereafter referred to as KC-AJA).

[2] Ibid; Kallen’s recollections are all from an interview with the author, July, 1972.

[3] Memorandum and Interview. Ibid.

[4] “Induction Ceremony into the Order of the Parushim,” with corrections and annotations in Kallen’s handwriting, and marked by him “Strictly Confidential,” KC•AJA.

[5] “Memorandum of Signatories to the Zionist Pledge, Sunday, April 4th, 1915,” KC-AJA.

[6] I. J. Biskind to Kallen, Oct. 4, 1913, KC-AJA.

[7] Henrietta Szold to Kallen, Nov. 9th, 1913, KC-AJA.

[8] Kallen to Max Nordau, April 7th, 1914, Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, File A119/50/8/8.

[9] H.M. Kallen, “The International Aspects of Zionism,” an unpublished memorandum with Kallen’s handwritten notation, “Copy submitted to Mr. Brandeis August 29th, 1914, KC-AJA.

[10] Kallen to Brandeis, September 21st, 1914; Brandeis to Kallen, March 4th, 1915; Brandeis Papers, Zionist Archives, New York.

[11] Kallen to Stephen S. Wise, Sept. 15th, 1914. Stephen S. Wise Collection, AJA.

[12] Henry Hurwitz to Kallen, Oct. 5th, 1914. KC-AJA.

[13] Kallen to Richard Gottheil, Oct. 14th, 1914. KC-AJA.

[14] This Hebrew letter was often used as a heading on the reports of Parushim members.

[15] Biskind to Kallen, Oct. 19th, 1914, KC-AJA.

[16] Kallen to Szold, Oct. 28th, 1914, KC-AJA.

[17] Kallen to Wise, Oct. 25th, 1914, KC-AJA.

[18] Kallen to Hurwitz, Nov. 7th, 1914. KC-AJA.

[19] Kallen to Alexander Sachs, Nov. 7th, 1914. KC-AJA.

[20] Kallen to Wise, Nov. 18th, 1914. Stephen S. Wise Collection, KC-AJA.

[21] Kallen to Mrs. Maurice Leon, Oct. 28th, 1914, KC-AJA.

[22] “Tentative Outline of the פּ (Parushim) College,” Dec. 25th, 1915. KC-AJA.

[23] Jesse Sampter, “Report פּ , Zionist Work from Nov.  1914 to Jan. 1915,” KC-AJA.

[24] David Shapiro to Kallen, Nov. 22nd, 1915, KC-AJA.

[25] Sampter to Kallen, Dec. 26th, 1915; Szold to Henry Hurwitz, (Kallen’s chief link with the Parushim in New York,) Dec. 31st1915, KC-AJA.

[26] Kallen to Brandeis, Feb. 23rd, 1915, Brandeis Papers, Zionist Archives, New York; Brandeis to Kallen, Mar. 4th, 1915, KC-AJA: Report of Meeting of Parushim, Dec. 31st, 1915, KC-AJA.

[27] Alexander Sachs to Henry Hurwitz, Dec. 30, 1915, KC-AJA.

[28] Brandeis to Kallen, Nov. 29th, 1915, KC-AJA; Alexander Dushkin to Kallen, Feb. 8th, 1916, KC-AJA.

[29] Elisha Friedman to Kallen, Mar. 1st, 1916, KC-AJA.

[30] Kallen to Friedman, Mar. 6th, 1916; Kallen to Dushkin, Feb 15, 1916, KC-AJA.

[31] Kallen to author, June 8, 1973, commenting on some of the findings of this article.

[32] Kallen, Zionism and World Politics (New York: 1921), p. 300; “A Memorandum on the Principles of Organization of the Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine,” KC-AJA.

[33] Kallen, Zionism, cites the Pittsburgh Program in its entirety,  p. 301-302.

[34] Leon Simon to Kallen, Aug. 3rd, 1919, KC-AJA.

[35] Kallen to Jacques Bieur, Nov. 20th, 1917, KC-AJA.

[36] Kallen, Interview with Milton Konvitz and Dorothy Oko, 1964.

 

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COMPLETE GUIDE TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

NOVANEWS

 

Female-genital-mutilation

Today, an estimated 130 million women have undergone sexual mutilation.

It is performed in many African countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Chad. It is also a tradition among Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia, and in a number of countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, the UAE, and parts of rural Saudi Arabia. Lately, it is happening to Muslim girls in Western countries.

Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain: The National Health Service is offering to reverse female circumcision amid concerns that there are 500 victims a year with no prosecutions.

The NHS is to advertise free operations to reverse female circumcisions, with experts warning that each year more than 500 British girls have their genitals mutilated.

Despite having been outlawed in 1985, female circumcision is still practised in British African communities, in some cases on girls as young as 5. Police have been unable to bring a single prosecution even though they suspect that community elders are being flown from the Horn of Africa to carry out the procedures.

Sarah McCulloch, of the Agency for Culture Change Management UK, said that every year more than 500 British girls were having circumcisions. “A lot of them are done in the UK, but some still travel overseas,” she said. “What the communities do is they gather

together and collect money to pay for the ticket for a ‘doctor’ to come from Somalia, Sudan, or whatever,” she told The Times. “And when she arrives here, she goes to a house and has the girls brought to her.Times ONLINE

Islamophobic Ayaan Hirsi Ali  explains that many Muslim clerics endorse female circumision to repress sexuality in young girls, depriving their right to pleasure and causing extreme pain, and even death. Many girls die from hemorrhaging  and use of non-sterile instruments.

Islamophobic Ayaan Hirsi Ali

It appears to be driven originally by men’s desire to have power over womens’ sexualityto remove fear of paternity uncertainty by keeping women chaste and uninterested in love affairs, but the practice has become so old and rooted that it is now perpetuated by womenupon women in many places.

There is no mention of it in the Koran, and only a brief mention in the authentic hadiths, which states: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: ‘Do not cut severely, as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’ But because of this still debated hadith, some scholars of the Shari school of Islam, found mostly in East Africa, consider female circumcision obligatory. The Hanafi and most other schools maintain it is merely recommended, not essential.The small girl’s torn genitalia are stitched with thorns and her legs tied together to reduce blood loss. Many die.

Female-genital-mutilation

More than 90 percent of Sudanese women undergo the most severe form of circumcision,known as “pharaonic,”orinfibulation, at the age of seven or eight, which removes all of the clitoris, the labia minora, and the labia majora. The sides are then sutured together, often with thorns, and only a small matchstick-diameter opening is left for urine and menstrual flow. The girl’s legs are tied together and liquids are heavily rationed until the incision is healed. 

1304160044111478

During this primitive yet major surgery, it is not uncommon for girls, who are held down by female relatives, to die from shock or hemorrhage of the vagina, urethra, bladder, and rectal area may also be damaged, and massive keloid scarring can obstruct walking for life.

FGM-instruments1

After marriage, women who have been infibulated must be forcibly penetrated. This may take up to forty days, and when men are impatient, a knife is used. Special honeymoon centers are built outside communities so that the screams of the brides will not be heard. Sometimes the husband traditionally runs through the streets with a blood-stained dagger.

Female genital mutilation is carried out for cultural and religious reasons. Women across the world are affected by the practice which is widely recognized as a violation of human rights.

“I heard the sound of the dug blade sawing back and forth through my skin,” The woman used thorns from an acacia tree to puncture holes in her skin and sew her up, leaving a tiny hole the diameter of a matchstick, through which urine and menstrual blood could dribble.

“My legs were completely numb, but the pain between them was so intense that I wished I would die.” Five-year-old Waris was left in a hut to recuperate her infibulation.

Uncircumcised girls are seen as unclean and treated as outcasts. For more than 20 years Dirie suffered health problems from her radical circumcision. Menstruation was a long,  agonizing process each month, as the menstrual blood backed up in her body.

Egyptian Explain Why They Circumcise Their Daughters.

5/17/08 “Conservatives in the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt.” Following are excerpts from a television program about female circumcision in Egypt, which aired on Al-Mihwar TV on May 10, 2007. Female Circumcision of Egyptian women has been adopted and promoted by various groups.

“I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped. Yet I imagined the thing that was making the rasping sound coming closer and closer to me. … At that very moment I realized that my thighs had been pulled wide apart, and that each of my lower limbs was being held as far away from the other as possible, gripped by-steel fingers that never relinquished their pressure.

I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body.

I screamed with pain despite the tight hand held over my mouth, for the pain was not just a pain, it was like a searing flame that went through my whole body. After a few moments, I saw a red pool of blood around my hips. I did not know what they had cut off from my body, and I did not try to find out. I just wept, and called out to my mother for help.But the worst shock of all was when I looked around and found standing by my side. Yes, it was her, I could not be mistaken, in flesh and blood, right in the midst of these strangers, talking to them and smiling at them, as though they had not participated in slaughtering her daughter just a few moments ago.”  FGM

 

Posted in Africa, Health1 Comment

The doctor and father of a 13-year-old girl who died after undergoing (FGM)

NOVANEWS

Doctor Raslan Fadl was cleared of all charges alongside the father of Suhair al-Bataa, a lawyer in the case said. The practice of FGM was banned in Egypt in 2008 but is still widespread. More than 90% of Egyptian women aged under 50 have experienced it, according to government statistics.

article-circumcise-0611

The removal of all or part of the external genitalia is done in the name of promoting chastity in spite of a  ruling against it. Now-ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, tried, while he was in office, to have FGM mandated for every girl and enforced by the government. Current president al-Sisi has been trying to have the ban enforced but because so many of the FGM procedures are not done by doctors, it is very difficult.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, the dead girl’s relatives defended the practice of FGM, and insisted no-one was to blame for her death.

Campaigners against FGM – in Egypt and abroad – hoped this prosecution would serve as a deterrent. They pushed hard to get the authorities to bring the case, and hoped to see jail terms handed down. The legislation banning FGM in Egypt allows for sentences of up to two years. After both defendants were acquitted, activists said the case would put more girls at risk.

Egyptian Muslim woman explains why they mutilate their daughters’ genitals.

Female Circumcision of Egyptian women has been adopted and promoted by various groups within Egypt.

FGM: female genital mutilation

Posted in Egypt, HealthComments Off on The doctor and father of a 13-year-old girl who died after undergoing (FGM)

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