Archive | October 14th, 2015

ANY WAHHABI FATWA FOR JERUSALEM ? لأوقاف”: فتاوى علماء آل سعود “ليست من حقيقة الدين”

NOVANEWS

استنكرت وزارة الأوقاف، الفتاوى التي أصدرها رجال الدين في السعودية ضد القوات الروسية التي تحارب الإرهاب في سورية.
وقال معاون وزير الأوقاف تيسير أبو خشريف: إن تلك الفتاوى “ليست من صوابية وحقيقة الدين”، ولاسيما أن مرجعية الإفتاء تكون بالنظر إلى مقاصد الشريعة الإسلامية والمصلحة العامة للبلاد
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وأشار أبو خشريف في تصريح نقلته وكالة “سبوتنيك” الروسية للأنباء، إلى أن وجود القوات الروسية في سورية، لا يعتبر تدخلاً، بل تعاون سوري مع الصديق الروسي، “وهنا يوجد فرق بين التعاون، والتدخل الحاصل من قبل الغرب في اليمن وليبيا والعراق”. وثمن أبو خشريف وقوف القيادة الروسية المستمر إلى جانب أصحاب الحق في قضية الوطن، مبيناً أن الحرب التي تتعرض لها سورية، تستهدف تدميرها وجعلها تابعة للغرب
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وسبق أن ندد “اتحاد علماء بلاد الشام” بدعوة علماء دين في السعودية لفتح باب “الجهاد في سورية ضد روسيا”، التي تقف موقف الاعتدال مع أصحاب الحق لمحاربة حقيقية ضد الإرهاب العالمي الممنهج، مؤكداً “ضلال” هذه الدعوات ومعتبراً أنها “متاجرة رخيصة بالدماء”.

 

Posted in Arabic, Saudi Arabia, SyriaComments Off on ANY WAHHABI FATWA FOR JERUSALEM ? لأوقاف”: فتاوى علماء آل سعود “ليست من حقيقة الدين”

Zio-Wahhabi Grand Mufti: The Government Must Release Female Inmates from Prisons and Send Them to Do ‘Sex Jihad’ in Iraq

NOVANEWS
 Ugly Zio-Wahhabi

According to Saudi Zio-Wahhabi daily al-Okaz, the Zio-Wahhabi Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh, a controversial figure among Zio-ahhabi right wing high-ranking officials has suggested the Zio-Wahhabi monarch to issue a decree, exonerating all female convicts and sending them to war-ravaged Iraq in order to entertain C.I.A puppet’s ‘ISIS’ sexually.

“I know that his royal Highness, the King is eager to crush U.S. hegemony in our Islamic region and I also know that there are subtle nuance of disagreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and our Mujahidin brothers in Iraq and Levant but it is incumbent upon us to award our valiant brothers with all we can afford,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Zio-Wahhabi Al Ash-Sheikh  as saying on Tuesday.

There should be no fear of the so-called sexually transmitted diseases (STD); added  Al ash-Sheikh, for Allah, The Almighty, has invariably promised in his Holy Book thathe  shall  protect those who endeavor in his  path, thus our sinful prisoner sisters must put aside their reluctance and distress.

“It is financially irrational for a sacred institution as ours to spend money on damned souls and if the inmates want to repent of their sins before they die, they ought to satisfy the needs of Islam’s brave soldiers,” said Al ash-Sheikh.

Recently a fatwa, an Islamic edict, was widely attributed to the mufti of Saudi that orders married women to divorce and commit Sex Jihad.

Furthermore, according to local reports, Al ash-Sheikh also issued a fatwa allowing a man to eat his wife or parts of her body, if the husband was afflicted with a severe hunger. The fatwa is construed as evidence of the sacrifice of a woman and obedience to her husband and her desire for the two to become one.

Posted in Saudi Arabia1 Comment

India 3: Turning Campuses Or Factories Into Jails Is Not Only Undemocratic, It Is Also Unsafe

NOVANEWS

Image result for JAIL PHOTO

Kavita Krishnan

Is it really so difficult to understand that education requires creativity, freedom, a willingness to flout rules and think out of the box? And that stifling ‘discipline,’ punishing nonconformity and diversity and publicly shaming students who don’t toe the line is dangerous and devastating not only to the pursuit of knowledge but can be life-threatening? Why on earth are so many Indian campuses living hell for their students?

We know ragging can kill. Why can’t we recognize that ragging by school, college and hostel authorities is even worse to the self-esteem of the students? When students are publicly shamed for wearing jeans, humiliated for talking to students of the other sex or for being gay or lesbian, and forced to obey whimsical and authoritarian ‘little Hitlers’ on campus, is it not an extreme form of ragging?

Recently, students of Sri Sairam Engineering College, Chennai, shared a circular issued by the college on social media. The Circular had a series of ridiculous rules for women students, including a ban on jeans, a detailed dress code requiring dupattas to have “both sides pinned up”, prohibiting women students from interacting with male students, using social media or celebrating birthdays! After the circular went viral, the College claimed the circular was fake. But ex-students and current students of the College confirmed that in fact, the regulations are a “100% true” and many compared the College to a prison.

The College’s own website lists many of these rules including the ban on jeans and T-shirts. Students on social media have said that you can get punished in college for talking to a student of the other sex, petting a dog or using a mobile phone! Students are forced to open their Facebook accounts to allow teachers to check whether or not they have photographs with members of the other sex. While the rules for male students are bizarre and dictatorial enough, those for women students are even worse. Sairam students shared another circular banning non-vegetarian food on the campus on the absurd pretext that it would encourage mosquitoes and monkeys.

In a debate on television about these absurd rules, a representative of Sairam College and another supporter cited the ethos of ‘corporate world’ and ‘Army’ to justify the codes of conduct. But colleges and Universities ought not to be modeled on corporations and the military!
It is said that ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history’ – and the same could be said of people of any gender. Can knowledge only be produced in grim confines by people burdened by repressive codes of dress and conduct?

The arbitrary codes of conduct at Sri Sairam and other Chennai based engineering colleges have been met with incredulous laughter, derision and outrage in media and social media. What should worry us though is that instead of acting to curb these arbitrary and authoritarian regulations, the UGC is in fact proposing to impose similar draconian rules on all campuses in the country, under pretext of ‘campus safety.’

The UGC ‘Guidelines’

Ostensibly on the pretext of preventing tragedies like the drowning of students during   UGC has issued ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ on April 16th 2015 which seek to stifle and suffocate freedom of mobility and expression in higher education institutions (HEIs).

These Guidelines include:
1.        Universities/colleges and hostels to be surrounded by a “boundary wall of such height that it cannot be scaled over easily” with a “fence of spiraling barbed wires,” with armed security guards, CCTV cameras, metal detectors and physical security check of every visitor.
2.        “Biometric way of marking student attendance, both in HEI as well as hostels…digital mechanism (to) enable HEIs to keep an eye on a student’s movement and whereabouts in failsafe manner.”
3.        Compulsory wearing of identity cards by students and staff
4.        A “university police station within the premises of the HEIs,” with police personnel or “Community Service Officers” formed from among students conducting “night patrols,” “escort services to students as they walk down to hostel or nearest taxi or bus-stand.”
5.        “Teacher counselors, trained to act as the guardians of students at the college level” to “convey their growth report and feedback on attendance, examination results etc to their parents at regular interval of time.” In other words, teacher counselors and hostel wardens must spy on students and “exchange personal details of students, academic record and behavior patterns for prompt pre-emptive or corrective action.”
6.        Quarterly parents-teachers meet (PTM)
7.        In the name of self-defence against rape, students to be taught strategies of “awareness, risk reduction and risk avoidance.”
8.        “An exhaustive Code of Conduct for students enrolled in departments or affiliated colleges and display it on institutional websites for compliance.”
9.        “Mandatory for institutions to elicit consent letters from the parents/guardians of the students who are embarking on tour.”
10.      On trips, “students should be allowed to carry personal communication devices such as mobile phones and should be instructed to remain in constant touch with their parents/guardians.”

It should be noted that most of these ‘guidelines’ are already in place in private teaching-shops like Sri Sairam Engineering College. The rules listed on the website of the Sri Sai Ram Engineering College, apart from the dress code and a ban on “loitering about” in the verandah or corridor, have a requirement to display one’s identity card at all times; and stern punishment for any “disobedience to the order of a faculty” member. These rules also include a “Ward System and Counselling” according to which a faculty members is assigned to “monitor” every student for “progress in studies, regularity in attendance, conduct and health,” maintain a “personnel file” and “constantly keep in touch with parents / guardians of the students regarding their progress.” The Sri Sairam College also has CCTV surveillance, that students claim is used to monitor the interactions between male and female students.
These are exactly what the UGC Guidelines also propose. The UGC is trying to turn every campus in the country into a jail like Sri Sairam Engineering College!

Do Such Rules Keep Students Safe?

It is absurd to treat adult students as though they are children and ‘wards’ of parents. But the favourite excuse to justify draconian campus rules is that ‘parents want it in the interests of their son’s/daughter’s safety.’
Does it make students safe to allow teachers and administrative authorities to spy on their lives and report to parents? Does police presence on campuses and CCTV surveillance and compulsory display of identity cards make students safe?
The harsh reality is that such draconian rules and surveillance make students extremely unsafe, can make them more vulnerable to sexual harassment, and can pose a threat to their mental health, and even their lives. Let us look more closely at some instances that illustrate this.

Sexual Harassment

Much of the sexual harassment on campuses is faced at the hands of those in power and authority – teachers, supervisors, and administrators. Curbing such power and creating spaces (such as students’ unions, feminist organizations, and sexual harassment complaints’ committees) for students to speak and act freely without fear of those having power makes students safer.
Instead various colleges and now the UGC give untrammeled power to teachers, allowing them to spy on students, report to parents, and punish students for ‘disobedience.’ Such unchecked powers over students will inevitably breed victimization of all sorts including sexual harassment. In our experience, many complainants of sexual harassment come forward only when they are assured that their parents will not be informed: this is because they know that their parents, hearing of such harassment, might curtail the daughter’s education in the name of her ‘safety.’ The fear of their confidentiality being violated and parents informed will enforce silence on most women students who face sexual harassment.
What about students who face sexual harassment or sexual violence from other students, especially in social situations (in a friend’s room, at a party, and so on)? If the woman student has to fear that the teachers, administrators, or counselors will chastise or punish her for having male friends or attending parties, and moreover report it to her parents who may also disapprove, is she likely to complain?

Dress codes and moral codes are closely linked to victim blaming, i.e blaming women’s behavior for sexual violence. Colleges that have the most draconian codes of conduct are often those that indulge in victim blaming and try to coerce and discourage sexual harassment complainants. A recent instance is that of Patna Women’s College, where a woman student complained against sexual molestation by a male teacher. The College, instead of acting against the teacher, rusticated the complainant! The Principal launched a full-fledged campaign of intimidation, victim blaming and character assassination. The complainant, as well as all those who chose to support her, were vilified and openly threatened by the Principal, who said: “If you wear such clothes and wear your dupattas in such a style, [men’s] attention will obviously go there. It is not their fault at all, it is all your fault. If I want, I can remove all of you in one moment, and not one person will know. I can completely ruin your reputations, just you watch.” Women students on this occasion erupted in protest and anger, and supported by AISA and AIPWA, forced the College Administration to back down. (See in the end of this page for a detailed report)

In St. Stephen’s College too, we recently saw how the Principal and the college administration tried to pressurize a woman research scholar to withdraw her complaint of prolonged sexual harassment by her teacher. Power over a student is a source of lack of safety – not a panacea for safety.

The report of the UGC Task Force on Issues of Safety for Women and Youth on Indian Campuses (SAKSHAM report) recommended that an urgent and vital safety measures would be to dismantle existing discriminatory hostel rules and moral/dress codes on women students and all students, and monitoring to ensure that all campuses ensure freedom and equality, especially equal access to facilities like libraries and laboratories, to all women students. Why is the UGC issuing Guidelines in the name of safety, that are the polar opposite of what their own Task Force recommended?

Threats to Safety From Parents

‘Honour’ crimes are rampant even in metropolitan campuses, with parents or ‘guardians’ resorting to coercion and violence against women students who love or marry someone outside the prescribed caste or community. From my experience as a student and women’s rights activist in Delhi, I can cite many instances where teachers and activists have had to battle to safeguard women students whose lives are under threat from parents. Even more common than ‘honour’ killings are the instances of parents withdrawing daughters from educational institutions when they learn of consensual relationships, sexual harassment, or even political activism.
In such a backdrop, surveillance, spying by teachers and reporting to parents about the ‘conduct’ of students is not only a violation of civil liberties and Constitutional rights – it constitutes a threat to the safety and continued education of students.

Suicides on Campuses

Campuses in India have witnessed many suicides by students. Ragging has been identified as one of the causes. But parental pressure to excel academically, public shaming of women students for sexual/romantic relationships, outing of gay, lesbian or trans students, casteist harassment and victimization of SC/ST/OBC students by faculty members are some of the triggers for campus suicides.
A 2013 study found that in five years, 19 SC/ST students had committed suicide in India’s higher education institutions. Why does the UGC not recognize caste discrimination – as well as other forms of gender, ethnic, or communal discrimination – as a threat to students’ safety?

Caste and Gender Discrimination, Student Victimization, And Profiling

Even setting aside the caste and gender factors, a recent study of a Ten Member Committee in JNU documented a phenomenon of victimization and harassment of students by supervisors. If this is the case in a campus like JNU which has a strong democratic ethos and a strong student movement, can we imagine what the scene is like in other campuses?
As it is, teachers and administrators use their power to victimize, harass, and sexually harass students. SC/ST students and women are especially vulnerable. Such victimization creates conditions of stress, and can push students into severe depression.
If the UGC gives them even more arbitrary power to violate the privacy of students, it is bound to make students, especially SC/ST students and women, even more vulnerable. Further, the UGC’s proposal to force students to display identity cards at all times will make students from Dalit and adivasi backgrounds, religious minorities, and oppressed nationalities vulnerable to profiling and targeted violence.
When Universities enjoy the power to enforce draconian and arbitrary ‘Codes of Conduct,’ it also promotes and nurtures homophobia. Recently, the Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) has reportedly changed its rules for hostels to prohibit “homosexual conduct.” A student from Chennai shared with me the experience of women students in the Stella Maris hostel who were ‘outed’ as lesbian and publicly shamed. The UGC Guidelines if implemented will reinforce such homophobia that is already rampant on campuses, and will thereby endanger students.

Police, CCTV, Barbed Wire, Parental Permission: Campuses or Prison Camps?

It is laughable to imagine that police stations on campuses and police escorts will keep students safe. As students from Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU, Puducherry, Jadavpur or FTII will tell you, police specialize in brutalizing and terrorizing students and have even molested women students during protests. Police are notoriously sexist and anti-women – how can such ‘police escorts’ keep women safe?
As for ‘Community Service Officers’ – these will be the campus equivalent of the Chhattisgarh SPOs, the local shakha of the Sangh Parivar moral policing Senas and Dals. ‘Escorts’ will be Big Brothers who will keep women from exercising their choice of clothes, company and social life.
How can the UGC even think that it can demand “mandatory consent letters from parents” for trips/tours? If parents have the power to deny adult offspring, especially daughters, the right to go on tours and trips, it will obviously curtail women’s education.

Global Capital And Saffronization Hand in Hand

A couple of years ago, VIT University Bangalore dismissed two women students for conducting an online survey about gender discrimination in hostel rules and women’s safety on the campus.
Students from campuses all over India are desperately seeking help challenging draconian and sexist rules and regulations on their campuses. As a rule, in most of these institutions, students are afraid to raise their voices openly because if they do they are likely to share the fate of the two VIT students.
What can be done to help? Perhaps Courts that have stepped up to prevent ragging, ought to act to issue strictures against ragging by Administration and faculty. Can they be trusted to do so? Or will they respond with measures like the disastrous Lyngdoh recommendations that have failed to prevent brazen display of money and muscle in DUSU elections or ensure regular elections in most public and private campuses, but have attacked the best functioning model of Students’ Union elections in JNU?
These campus-turned-prisons are stunting and stifling our students’ lives – and urgent action is needed to force them to change, and to prevent UGC from turning all the campuses into prisons.
But we should also ask, why are private teaching shops like Sairam run like prisons? Why is the UGC under the Modi Government trying to transform all campuses on the Sairam model?
Private teaching shops abhor the very idea of a University – a place that is open to the Universe of free ideas and debates. They want to turn out cogs for the corporate world – and prevent students from forming Unions, falling in love, critiquing industry or Government, in fact, thinking at all. And they are perfectly compatible with the feudal family structure that imprison women, and with communal-fascist notions of culture.
Now, the Modi Government is capitulating to the WTO demand to make education into a tradable commodity. Governments in globalised times want all Universities to become profit-making machines that churn out homogenized, docile, pliant cogs for global capital.
Add to this the RSS vision of saffronized educational institutions with the Sangh’s communal, casteist and patriarchal notions of ‘culture’ imposed on all – and you get the UGC Guidelines.
It would be a mistake to imagine that these draconian codes of conduct (whether the ones in Sairam-type colleges or UGC’s proposals) are merely instances of ‘backward culture,’ at odds with global capitalism. Remember, the regime of barbed wire, CCTV surveillance, ban on mobiles or on conversations with men, ban on loitering, and public shaming for violating these gendered codes, is already in place in many Tamil Nadu garment factories that produce for global brands. (See Flawed Fabrics: The abuse of girls and women workers in the South Indian textile industry, October 2014, prepared by SOMO – Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, and ICN – India Committee of the Netherlands). In those factories, too, the management justifies these draconian rules in the name of ‘our Tamil Nadu culture’ and ‘parents’ wishes.’  Similar gendered norms of ‘Chinese culture’ and Chinese patriarchy are invoked by MNCs in China to discipline women workers. (Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism, Melissa W. Wright, Routledge 2006)
Our factories are already draconian, menacing prisons, especially for women. Many of our privatised campuses too are prisons. And now, the UGC too is attempting to turn such prisons into the template for all our Universities and educational institutions. We need to fight the UGC Guidelines with all our might. But we also need to demand change and winds of freedom in all the other colleges and factories that are already prisons.
Let’s take hope from a spirited Pinjratod campaign by students of various Universities in Delhi against draconian and sexist hostel rules – they are calling to ‘Break the Hostel Locks,’ ‘Break the Prisons.’ The ABVP has, predictably issued menacing threats to the women organizing this campaign. But they remain undeterred. Their slogan inspires – “No warden as protector/No brother who is tough/My feminist sisters are enough!”

Protest Against Sexual Harassment and Victim Blaming in Patna Women’s College

On 18th September, a massive protest was held at the PWC against the college administration that had punished the complainant and protected the accused teacher. The protesting girls blocked the Bailey Road for two hours.

Yet, the Principal refused to meet the protesters, and various faculty members try their level best to break the protest and intimidate the protesters. Later, an AIPWA/AISA delegation led by AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari met the Principal as well as representatives of the PWC. The delegation articulated the demands of the ongoing protests, and argued that democracy and women’s freedom should be defended by the college administration.

The following demands were made: an impartial enquiry should be instituted against the accused faculty member; a democratic atmosphere must be ensured in the college campus so that women feel free to express their grievances; a committee against sexual harassment should be instituted consisting of faculty members as well as students from all academic streams in the college; the rustication of the complainant should be immediately revoked and the campaign of intimidation and victim blaming against her should be immediately stopped; the accused faculty member should be suspended pending enquiry, and the notice of the same should be made public within the college. The college administration assured the delegation that these demands would be accepted. There were also protests in Darbhanga, Ara and other districts in solidarity with the students of the PWC.

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Syria ‘Home’

NOVANEWS
Image result for SYRIAN REFUGEE PHOTO

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you

breath bloody in their throats

the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory

is holding a gun bigger than his body

you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you

fire under feet

hot blood in your belly

it’s not something you ever thought of doing

until the blade burnt threats into

your neck

and even then you carried the anthem under

your breath

only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets

sobbing as each mouthful of paper

made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,

that no one puts their children in a boat

unless the water is safer than the land

no one burns their palms

under trains

beneath carriages

no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck

feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled

means something more than journey.

no one crawls under fences

no one wants to be beaten

pitied
no one chooses refugee camps

or strip searches where your

body is left aching

or prison,

because prison is safer

than a city of fire

and one prison guard

in the night

is better than a truckload

of men who look like your father

no one could take it

no one could stomach it

no one skin would be tough enough

the

go home blacks

refugees

dirty immigrants

asylum seekers

sucking our country dry

niggers with their hands out

they smell strange

savage

messed up their country and now they want

to mess ours up

how do the words

the dirty looks

roll off your backs

maybe because the blow is softer

than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender

than fourteen men between

your legs

or the insults are easier

to swallow

than rubble

than bone

than your child body

in pieces.

i want to go home,

but home is the mouth of a shark

home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home

unless home chased you to the shore

unless home told you

to quicken your legs

leave your clothes behind

crawl through the desert

wade through the oceans

drown

save

be hunger

beg

forget pride

your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear

saying-

leave,

run away from me now

i dont know what i’ve become

but i know that anywhere

is safer than here

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet and writer who is based in London. Born in 1988, she is an artist and activist who uses her work to document narratives of journey and trauma.

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India 2 : Modi Government and BJP Are Promoting A Murderous Politics of Hate

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Image result for modi cartoon

Dadri Lynching

The murder of a Muslim man by a communal lynch mob on the pretext that he had ‘eaten beef’ should be an urgent wake-up call for the country to recognize and reject the dangerous divisive politics being systematically fostered by the ruling party and Central Government.

In Bisahda village of Dadri district in Western Uttar Pradesh, close to Delhi, a mob forced its way into Akhlaque’s home, molested his wife and daughter, beat his mother, dragged Akhlaque and his son Danish away, and beat them up with stones, bricks and a sewing machine. Akhlaque was killed, while Danish is still struggling to survive after two brain surgeries. The pretext being offered by Sangh Parivar and BJP leaders for this ghastly murder has been that the mob believed, thanks to an announcement from a temple, that Akhlaque had ‘stolen and killed a cow’ or ‘eaten beef’ and thereby inflamed Hindu sentiments.

Facts however point to a larger conspiracy and an organized communal mobilization, with ‘beef’ and ‘cow’ being a mere pretext to kill Muslims and incite communal violence. The ‘Samadhan Sena,’ one of the many saffron armies of the hydra-headed Sangh Parivar, has been spreading communal venom in the area for a long time.

The deafening silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the spate of statements by Modi Government Ministers, BJP MPs and MLAs and RSS leaders rationalizing the lynching, all make it clear that the lynching was part and parcel of the BJP’s politics of hate-mongering.

VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi has warned that all those eating beef will meet the same fate as Akhlaque; local BJP leaders have demanded that a case of cow slaughter be registered against the survivors of the lynching; Modi’s Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has called the lynching a mere ‘accident’ for which no one should be punished; BJP MP and former editor of the RSS mouthpiece Organiser Tarun Vijay wrote a piece playing down the Dadri lynching. Mahesh Sharma, even more outrageously, praised the lynch mob for its restraint in ‘not lifting a finger against the 17 year old daughter’ of Akhlaque! It is clear that the Culture Minister, who seeks to ‘cleanse’ India’s culture of ‘pollution’, needs to cleanse his own mind of crass rape culture.

Modi himself is the fountainhead of the provocative hate-speech around ‘cow slaughter.’ In his election speeches during the Parliamentary elections, he repeatedly stoked emotions against eaters of beef and meat, referring to the killing of animals as ‘murder’ (hatya) and calling the meat industry ‘Pink Revolution.’

India is a vast country, where people have very diverse diets and food cultures. To impose Brahminical Hindu taboos on beef or meat on the rest of the population – through ever-proliferating food bans in various states – smacks of totalitarianism. It needs to be recognized, however, that ‘beef’ is one pretext among many others, for inciting murderous communal violence against minorities and casteist violence against Dalits.

The Dadri episode and its aftermath also makes a mockery of the ‘secular’ claims of the Samajwadi Party and its Government in Uttar Pradesh. The UP police not only failed to prevent the lynching. It began its investigation by sending the meat in Akhlaque’s fridge for forensic examination, to check whether or not it was beef, thereby turning the victim into the accused. BJP MLA Sangeet Som, accused of stoking the Muzaffarnagar riots with inflammatory speeches accusing Muslim youth of ‘love jehad’, has made violent provocative speeches in Bisahda village, threatening violence if the arrested members of the lynch mob are not released. Why was Sangeet Som, with a known history of provocative speech-making and riot-mongering, allowed by the UP Government and Police to violate Section 144 and make provocative speeches in the wake of a communal mob lynching? Clearly the SP Government of UP has learned no lessons from Muzaffarnagar, and is doing nothing to protect vulnerable minorities and curb communal forces.

What is most ominous of all is that Dadri is no isolated incident, but part of a disturbing and dangerous pattern. Just days before the Dadri lynching, a Muslim man was lynched to death in Kanpur on the strength of a rumour that he was a ‘Pakistani terrorist.’ In August this year, three young Muslim men were lynched to death by a mob in the same Dadri district on the pretext that they were ‘stealing cows.’ Last year in August, in Delhi’s Najafgarh bordering Western UP, a Dalit man was lynched to death on the pretext that he was found skinning a cow. The excuse proffered by the local BJP Councillor on that occasion that the mob has mistaken him for a Muslim who had stolen a cow! There have been many recent incidents in various parts of India where Muslim youth have been stripped, beaten or lynched to death on the allegation that they have befriended/loved/married/’raped’ Hindu women. In the past couple of weeks, Sangh Parivar elements fomented communal tensions in Ranchi and Banaras. In the latest Cobrapost sting operation, leaders of Sangh outfits confessed on camera how they use false cases of ‘love jehad’ to foment communal tensions, how they indulge in ‘Hindutva terrorism,’ and how they “are sad when they fail to kill a Muslim and hold celebrations the day they succeed.”

And can we forget that in 2002, five Dalits were killed in Jhajjar in Haryana on the pretext that they had killed a cow. The VHP leader Giriraj Kishore had then answered the question ‘Is a Dalit’s life worth less than that of a cow?’ with the words “The scriptures say that the life of a cow is priceless.”

Such lynch mobs are not spontaneous ‘reactions to rumours’ – they represent a planned, systematic injection of communal poison into the very fabric of Indian society. And the purpose of this poison is to promote the politics of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar that make no secret of their aim to transform India from a secular country into a Hindu Nation. The Prime Minister himself, while on foreign tours, openly mocks at India’s secularism and secular values.

The Prime Minister who calls the eating of beef and non-vegetarian food ‘murder’, needs to tell us if he considers the lynching to death of a human being, murder? His calculated silence on the Dadri lynching and his inability even to issue a simple condemnation of the murder, is screaming out to the whole world his approval for and promotion of the politics of divisiveness, hate-mongering and communal violence.

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INDIA 1 : Citizen’s Protest against the Dadri and Kanpur Communal Lynchmob Killings!

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On 28 September, hardly an hour from India’s capital Delhi, a 50 year old Muslim man Mohd. Akhlaq was killed by a lynch mob and his 22 year old son brutally injured after the local temple announced that his family has eaten beef.  The son was admitted to the hospital in state of coma. Less than a week ago another Muslim man was beaten to death by a lynch mob based on rumors that he is a ‘Pakistani Terrorist’.

Outraged by the brutal killings, the continued silence of the Prime Minister and the shameful attempts of the BJP leaders to justify the violence, more than 500 protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar on 2 October 2015 and registered a massive protest against the lynch mob killing of Muslims in Dadri and Kanpur. Several organisations such as AISA, AICCTU, AIPF, CPI (ML), KYS, NSI and PUDR along with noted activists like Kiran Saheen, Kumar Sundaram participated in the united protest.

Addressing the protestors, Com. Rama Naga, JNUSU general secretary and AISA leader asked, “Thousands gathered to attack a Muslim family, killing an old man, brutally injuring his son, unleashing violence on the women members of the family. Did so many attackers gather only on the basis of a rumor? Organised hate mongering against Muslims either in the name of Beti-bachao or Gow Mata, from Muzzafarnagar to Dadri is going on. Don’t we know who the mastermind is? Don’t we know that the RSS and BJP machinery have been systematically manufacturing hate and violence through mahapanchayats, whatsapp messages, youtube videos?”

Gautam Navlakha from PUDR pointed out that “Even after the killing and violence, BJP leaders are spreading further hatred against Muslims. Mahapanchyats are being convened, hate-speeches are being delivered by well known BJP leaders. Manufacturing of riot is going unabated. How much blood of minorities is needed to get the security act on punishing hate-mongers?”,

On behalf of AIPF, Com. Girija Pathak said, “The PM says in America Ahimsa Parama Dharma, while violence is being organised on minorities in India. His party leaders and ministers continue to spread venom. He must speak up.” Kiran Saheen, while addressing the protest, said- “Why has meat of animal been sent to forensic lab after the killing of human beings? Rather than acting on the well known leaders who are further spreading hatred and communal tension, why is the security busy in feeding into communal division based on food preference?”

The protesters demanded punishment of those engaged in the lynch mob killing and those who made the announcement from the temple about beef being eaten. Protesters also demanded that action must be taken against the well known leaders who are continuing to spread communal hatred and justifying the killings.

Earlier, on 1 October 2015, a fact-finding team that included CPI (ML) leaders Com. Girija Pathak, Com. Aslam and National Secretary of RYA, Com. Omprasad visited Bisada village to meet the family of Late Mohd. Akhlaq’s and other villagers. After talking to the family of  Mohd. Akhlaq and other villagers it came became clear that the murder of Mohd. Akhlaq was a planned communal attack using the pretext of the ongoing hate campaign being run by the Sangh Parivar and BJP around beef eating and cow slaughter. A detailed report has been prepared by the fact finding team.

Posted in IndiaComments Off on INDIA 1 : Citizen’s Protest against the Dadri and Kanpur Communal Lynchmob Killings!

All they want our children to do is take drugs and throw stones’: Drugs, I$raHell and Silwan.

NOVANEWS

By Alice Holt

Silwan is a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem. It has 55,000 inhabitants. In 1967, the village was occupied by Israel, and ever since has been under Israeli control and a part of the Jerusalem municipality. The taxpaying residents of Silwan hold East Jerusalem residence IDs, however, the residents are not considered citizens of Israel and thus cannot vote to parliament. Since 1967 the municipality has not invested in the development of East Jerusalem.  The education system and municipal planning have not been improved, and Silwan has been almost entirely neglected. Most of the young residents are forced into low-paying jobs. The once pastoral village sunk into poverty and neglect.

Since the 1990s the area of Silwan has come under Zionist pressure due to the building of the City of David tourist site, which makes spurious archaeological claims to delegitimise the existence of this Palestinian village and Palestinian history, and to and legitimize Israel’s claims to the land. Houses are regularly demolished to make way for the City of David and the planned ‘national park’. Additionally, archaeological excavations are carried out beneath private residences without the residents being consulted. Recently, entire sections of peoples homes have collapsed due to the excavations destroying their foundations. This archaeological site has a distinct political agenda; it seeks to eradicate the history and archaeological remains of other communities that have lived in Silwan, whilst promoting a Jewish link to the area. It is part of the wider ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and seeks to Judaize Silwan.

Increasing numbers of Israeli settlers moving into the neighborhood, are ‘protected’ by private security. Settler attacks on Palestinians are not uncommon, violent clashes and arrests of Palestinians occur almost daily. As one 43 year old resident told me ‘there is not one quiet day in Silwan.’ The arrest and detention of children accused of throwing stones in commonplace; and recently a 12 year old boy was arrested for the tenth time.

Alongside house demolitions, arrests of children, clashes with the private security, Israeli police and the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces), and the ‘uncovering’ of the City of David, Israel implements more subtle, indirect means of controlling and ultimately ethnically cleansing the population of Silwan.  A major factor underpinning this project is the drugs trade in Silwan.

 

The drugs trade

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A variety of drugs (including hashish, heroin, cocaine, and crystal) became available in Silwan during the 1980s. Although appearing to disappear during the first years of the First Intifada (1987-1993), they became readily available again after the Madrid Conference in 1991. Residents believe that the increased availability of these drugs was part of a systematic plan by Israel to draw Palestinians into dependency and out of the resistance. To this day, Israeli citizens supply the drugs trade, the Israeli secret police monitor it with the intent to fuel the self destruction of Palestinian people and Palestinian communities. It must be noted that, according to sources, drugs are not and were not made and or grown in historic Palestine or Israel. Instead, drugs are brought in through the borders by the Israeli army. As soon as drugs are imported across the borders they are directed towards cities in historic Palestine with a larger Palestinian  populations such as Lod or Akka, or into Palestinian neighborhoods like Silwan.

The trade is manufactured so that Israeli citizens operate at the top of the chain. Israelis deal to Palestinians, who then distribute the drugs throughout Palestinian communities. This system ensures that Israelis are the greatest economic beneficiaries of the drugs trade. Through CCTV and through collaborating informants on the ground the Israeli secret police monitor this network; if a Palestinian deals to an Israeli they are arrested, their drugs are seized and then filtered back into the Israeli controlled network. One fifty year old male user said that if the police catch him using, they only arrest him if he is with an Israeli. Similarly, a 60 year old ex-user explained to me that he had been imprisoned numerous times for dealing to Israelis, but when he dealt to Palestinians the police ‘turned a blind eye’. The only drugs allowed in Silwan are drugs supplied by Israelis, if a Palestinian deals drugs that are sourced outside of this Israeli controlled network then they are arrested, their drugs are seized and again filtered back into this Israeli controlled network. This ensures that the Israelis can monitor the racialized supply and the quality of the drugs sold. Highly addictive and potentially lethal drugs are circulated, leading to individual dependency, community destruction, and sometimes even deaths.

 

Why use? Why deal?

Due to the apartheid nature of Jerusalem and the political and structural violence used against them, Palestinians have every right to resist. Unfortunately resistance, whether it be children throwing stones or other forms of activism, usually results in those individuals not having a ‘clean’ criminal record. For example, in the period between November 2009 and October 2010, 1,267 children were arrested and had criminal charges brought against them for allegations of stone throwing#. It is routine for employers in Jerusalem to consult an individual’s criminal file, therefore anyone with a marked file will not be able to work legitimately. The appeal of dealing becomes apparent for some young men seeking a real economic alternative. In a capitalist world, everyone wants a piece of the pie, especially when one considers the 75 % poverty of Silwan (www.silwanic.net). In addition to this, the racist allocation of jobs – often obscured by criminal record checks – results in young men having an excess of spare time. Drug use is common for pleasure and of course for escapism from the harsh and frustrating political environment engulfing the lives of young Palestinians.  The reality of house demolitions, arrests, the Judaisation of their land, clashes with the police etc, results in drug use becoming a coping mechanism.

As well as the structural aspects of poverty and unemployment/underemployment that contributes to young men choosing to enter the drugs trade, Israel also makes direct advances to ensure more and more people are becoming dealers and users.  One way in which this is done is by Israeli police offering drugs to children who have been arrested with the hope that they will then go on to become dealers. Children are also targeted and asked to work for the Israelis as informants on the ground.  In a similar way, young Israeli women are sent into the area with the intent of seducing Palestinian men, convincing them to work as informants or dealers.

Despite dependency rates being high, at the time of writing there are only two rehabilitation centers in Jerusalem, both of which are private. I was told that it costs thousands of Shekels to enter these centers.  A twenty-two year old resident of Silwan explained to me that this is simply another way for Israel to make money from Palestinians. Two young men in their mid twenties explained to me that within these centers, apartheid is still practised. In contrast to Israeli service users, Palestinians are locked in a room, left to go ‘cold turkey’ with no medical or psychological support. For users on the ground, there is no needle exchange point, and so those who do inject run the risk of contracting life threatening and easily transmittable diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV.

 

Conclusions

The drugs trade is a systematic means by which Israel is attempting to ensure the self destruction of Silwan. Fortunately, the community has now recognized this more subtle form of ethnic cleansing and coercion, and is promoting educational campaigns which seek to highlight that fact that drugs are being used as a political weapon against Palestinians. Although drug use is still prevalent, fewer young people are being drawn in as they become aware of how Israel benefits from the trade.

Neo liberalism ensures that drug addicts always carry the blame for their addiction. Wider structural factors such as poverty and apartheid are never considered as relevant in this individualistic view. In reality, it is racialized Israeli policies which systematically ensure that the drugs trade flourishes, creating generations addicted to substances, or addicted to the money that dealing brings, providing Palestinians with the tools to effectively erode the social fabric of Palestinian society and to subsequently break down the resistance front.

The drugs trade is one of many examples of the indirect ways in which Israel exercises its hegemony and presence over Palestinians and their communities. Apartheid runs much deeper than visible symbols such as the apartheid wall and the checkpoints, it operates through the systematic control over the racialized access to drugs, and seeks to promote Palestinian self destruction.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on All they want our children to do is take drugs and throw stones’: Drugs, I$raHell and Silwan.

Nazi Jewish settler opens fire towards a female student and critically injures her

NOVANEWS
Jerusalem

The 17-year old Palestinian student Marah Bakri was critically injured on Monday after Nazi Jewish settler opened fire towards her in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Marah left school (Abdullah Ben Hussein Girls School) with her friend. While walking in the street and as they stopped at the red traffic light, one Nazi Jewish settler chased them and started harassing and insulting them and then opened fire towards Marah.

One student said that Marah fell on the ground and was surrounded by dozens of police forces and Intelligence personnel within minutes. They pointed their guns towards her while she was bleeding and screaming (as shown in one video taken by a cell phone camera); Nazi forces arrested one young man from the area.

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Video: A Martyr and a critical injury in the settlement of Pisgat Zi’ev

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استشهاد

JerusalemThe 15-year old Hasan Khaled Mahayneh passed away after being shot by Nazi army in the illegal Nazi Jewish settlement of Pisgat Zi’ev that is established on the lands of Beit Hanina north of illegally occupied Jerusalem and critically injured the 13-year old Ahmad Saleh Mahayneh.Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the Nazi occupation forces opened fire towards two Jerusalemite children and led to the immediate Martyrdom of one of them; the other was critically injured and was transferred to the hospital for treatment.12

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The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man under the pretext of attempting to steal Nazi soldier’s weapon in West Jerusalem

NOVANEWS

JerusalemThe 22-year old Mohammad Nathmi Shamasneh passed away on Monday night after being shot by Nazi army in West Jerusalem under the pretext of attempting to steal Nazi soldier’s weapon.Nazi police claimed that the young man attempted to take a soldier’s weapon and tried to choke the soldier using a knife and slightly injured him.

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