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Showing posts from June, 2013

Intolerance Breeds hatred

Every society consists of various groups following different faiths, ideologies, sectarian beliefs and social and political adherences. In some cases, there is a majority which dominates the society and makes attempts, either by force or by persuasion, to integrate these different groups into its fold. In such a scenario the majority believes that only by uniting all groups can society grow strong and defend itself from internal and external dangers. This creates conflict and instead of uniting, the society further fragments and breaks into pieces. This is what is called tyranny of the majority and its intolerance toward differences and diverse opinions. Keep reading >>>>
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Sahelistan: the beginning of a new war

Inside Story - Berbers in North Africaby aljazeeraenglish
ARE the Western powers blindly plunging head on into a new war against forces more determined, better organised and higher equipped than those they faced in Iraq and Afghanistan? The talk of the town here these days is a newly published book, `Sahelistan` by a writer who, according to his own admission, is essentially an `adviser` to investors in the most inaccessible regions of the world.  Samuel Laurent says his visits between early 2012 and early this year into the very heart of Sahelistan was supposed to be top secret. But the things he witnessed and the people he met there convinced him that Western leaders are making fatal blunders at the risk of paying enormous prices sooner or later; so it became incumbent upon him to talk about the matter publicly. But, before we proceed any further, let`s make sure we agree on what we mean by Sahelistan; we`re talking here of a 7,500 kilo-metre-wide ocean of sand and bare rocks in the c…

Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014. The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.

That has left the Pentagon in a quandary about what to do with the items. Bequeathing a large share to the Afghan government would be challenging because of complicated rules governing equipment donations to other countries, and there is concern that A…

The Greeks who worship the ancient gods

The summer solstice, 21 June, is one of the most important dates in the calendar for many followers of ancient religions, and it's a special time for people in Greece who worship the country's pre-Christian gods.
"I love the energy this place has," says Exsekias Trivoulides who has pitched his tent on what he considers to be the holy site of Mount Olympus. Trivoulides is a sculptor who studied art history and classics, and these days, he is living his passion. Along with a few thousand others he is taking part in the Prometheia festival, which celebrates the ancient Greek hero Prometheus, who helped humans by stealing fire from the gods. It's the most important annual festival for followers of The Return of the Hellenes - a movement trying to bring back the religion, values, philosophy and way of life of ancient Greece, more than 16 centuries after it was replaced by Christianity. These people consider Greece to be a country under Christian occupation. Tryphon Oly…

Anti-virus for the mind

“A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” is a concept familiar to many parents - and manufacturers of medicine. In contrast, some medicines with potential to be harmful have a purposely bitter taste. Nobody wants their toddler to swallow the “sweeties” unintentionally left within reach. Similarly, a portion of nutritious food, say a pellet of wheat meal, may very effectively carry a small but fatal payload of poison for killing a rodent pest. The mental hop from comparing the effect of poisons and antidotes on the health of the body, to health of the human mind, requires a conceptual ‘model’. There are risks of over-simplifying or over-complicating any model. One convenience of a model is that, if it appears inadequate, you can apply your intellect to revise the model. So useful is the analogy of a model, that in the majority of mind’s association with reality, models are essential to understanding. Nobody has seen an atom. We use a frequently-revised model of what an atom cou…

Banned’ Ramadan for Uighur Muslims in China Violation of Human rights: 禁止在中国维吾尔族穆斯林斋月违反人权

禁止在中国维吾尔族穆斯林斋月违反人权
如果你不想极端主义,然后允许快速穆斯林斋月期间在和平


China's Uighurs face fasting restrictions -- 10...by aljazeeraenglish


It’s not exactly breaking news that China has serious issues with freedom of religion and as an officially Atheist state is often very repressive against those observing religious rites.

China has once again leveled restrictions on the persecuted Uighurs when it comes to practicing Ramadan.

BEIJING – Unlike millions of Muslims around the world, Uighur students returning for summer vacations in northwestern China are banned from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

“They are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won’t fast on Ramadan,” Dilxat Raxit, Sweden-based spokesman for the exile World Uighur Congress (WUC), told Radio Free Asia on Thursday, June 13.

Chinese authorities have reportedly imposed restrictions on Uighur Muslim students returning for summer vacations in the northwestern region of Xinjiang ahead of Ramadan.

Under the r…

As we came from the Holy Land

“As a writer based in Jerusalem, I have an intense relationship with history. I feel that now, in a time of occupation and checkpoints, what I write is necessary in order to encapsulate and diffuse the present, but also how this period will be understood in the future.” [Aamer Hussein is a fiction writer, critic and professor of literature.]

At the border with Jordan, they took away five passports. I was the first to get mine back. The others — an American Palestinian, a British Palestinian, a London-born Turk, another Londoner who was half-Egyptian, and a young man from Manchester — were kept waiting until it was time to close the checkpoint. One or two had been called into a room and questioned; I’d only been asked to spell my grandfather’s name over and over again though I said he had nothing to do with this country.

We were a group from England — writers, a cameraman, a blogger, travelling for the sixth annual Palestine Festival of Literature. From the border we took the bus into …

USA and Peace

2012 Global Peace Index from Vision of Humanity
The most important goal for America is to reduce the size, expenditure, and use of its military Can we be number one? No, not number one in military spending (which we are). Not number one in incarceration rates (which we are as well).
What if, instead of these things, the United States became hyper-focused on becoming the most peaceful nation on earth?
The recently released 2013 Global Peace Index (GPI) placed the US 100th out of 162 countries. That’s not so spectacular. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index



GPI 2010: World Less Peaceful
The GPI, which is endorsed by a number of Nobel Peace laureates, eminent individuals, and renowned academics, considers factors related to both negative peace, that is, the absence of violent conflict, and positive peace, or characteristics of just and humane societies, like ample housing, access to education, lack of poverty, healthcare, and gender equality.

The GPI’s Positive Peace Index measur…