too many people

Posted: August 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yet their brows touched heaven. Islam brought them to their feet in this first of the Arab awakenings. Islam created Arabism, and from the start, the power of one was the power of the other. The strength of islam is the strength of absolute certainty. All is ordained, demonstrable, in the books. So, the Arabs became a great power, but even at its peak, this power was complex and contradictory, with the distinction between Church and State unclear from the beginning and in Mohammed’s own mind there was no distinction, which meant that unity stemmed from aspiration, and once having achieved success, it was difficult to sustain. And Mohammed the Prophet was also Mohammed the general: islam is the only one of the world’s great religions to have been founded on the Sword as well as the Word….

It is into this context of “unknown knowns” to which the West through various forms of Orientalism, implicated itself, embedded, into Arab affairs since the dawn of the Romantic Age, consumer society, and the rampant individualism that accompanied it, with the United States doing the heavy lifting in this regard since the end of WWII as them main arbiter in the Arab world. One aspect of this swagger, this shake and bake style of grabbing the spoils, has been the emergence of some extreme reactionary forces, fundamentalism of the most twisted variety to the exclusion of secularism and more progressive ideologies, allowing them, seemingly to crater to wilder aspects of religious anarchism and frontier justice, with the exception of taking a side opposed to that of which Saudi Arabia had major skin in the game. In the end there is much confusion as to what is germane or almost genetic to “culture” and what is inculcated and provoked by pressing the right levers and buttons…

—The death of Khalil al-Mughrabi two years before Corrie died was telling. The 11-year-old boy was playing football when he was shot dead in Rafah by an Israeli soldier. The respected Israeli human rights organisations, B’Tselem, wrote to the army demanding an investigation. Several months later, the judge advocate general’s office wrote back saying that Khalil was killed by soldiers who had acted with “restraint and control” to disperse a riot in the area.
But the judge advocate general’s office made the mistake of attaching a copy of its own confidential investigation, which came to a very different conclusion: that the riot had been much earlier in the day and the soldiers who shot the child should not have opened fire. In the report, the chief military prosecutor, Colonel Einat Ron, then spelled out alternative false scenarios that should be offered to B’Tselem. The official account was a lie and the army knew it.—Read More:

(see link at end)…Iraq has executed 21 people convicted of terror-related charges, including three women, on the same day, a justice ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The justice ministry carried out 21 executions against those condemned of terrorist charges, including three women terrorists,” Haidar al-Saadi said in a text message. He did not give any further details….

—According to an Egyptian report, Najlaa was arrested on the 30th of May, 2009; she went through four days of harsh interrogation before being transferred to a prison where she spent 20 months without trial. On the 14th of June 2011, she was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 500 lashes.
Last May, the Saudi authorities started the execution of the lashing sentence. Every week, Najlaa received 50 lashes for 6 weeks. She suffers from a deviation in her vertebral column, which only makes things worse.—Read More:

…A justice ministry official said the executions were carried out on Monday morning.

Amnesty International in June condemned the “alarming” increase in executions in Iraq, which had at that point put at least 70 people to death this year, more than all of 2011.

Iraq has carried out several mass executions in 2012, including one in which 14 people were put to death on February 7, and another in which 17 were executed on January 31….

—Justice was swift and brutal when fighters of the Al Nusra Front militia caught a man accused of raping and killing a young girl in front of her father. They beheaded the man and left his body in the street.
The presence of women and children didn’t deter them. Neither did the appeals of other rebels at the checkpoint in the embattled neighborhood of Salahuddin.
Members of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force, said that the man was a member of a pro-government militia and that they had no doubt he was guilty. They also had no objection to killing him, but they did object to a public beheading.—Read More:,0,7940241.story

UN High Commissioner for Human

hts Navi Pillay expressed shock earlier this year at the number of executions, criticising the lack of transparency in court proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty.Read More:

…(see link at end)…Human-rights activists are demanding the release of Nagla Wafa, an Egyptian wedding planner and designer sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in prison in Saudi Arabia following a business dispute with a princess.

Wafa ran afoul of a royal in the Saudi kingdom over the finances of a joint business venture, according to her family. She was reportedly accused of cashing a check from the princess but not following through on their deal to start a restaurant….

“As of May of 2012, Ms. Wafa has been subjected, on a weekly basis, to 50 floggings per week within the ‘Al-Malz’ Prison. She currently faces 200 more floggings … despite her suffering from distortions to her spine,” the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in an online statement.

Accusing Saudi Arabian authorities of unlawfully detaining the 39-year-old mother of teenage twins, the organization said the case was a “blatant violation” of human rights and filed a complaint with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Read More:


And, another cautionary tale of how liberal media supports movements which end up reinforcing the some of the worst elements of patriarchal white privilege it ostensibly exists to combat. Think here about New York Times type of reporting:

(see link at end)…Before the vigil, we reached out to many organizations to support, and 36 signed onto our cause. We also reached out to Occupy Wall Street because justice and government transparency are in its mission, and we thought we could use the numbers and networks in OWS to bring out more support for our vigil, and we also wanted to show our solidarity with OWS.

So imagine my surprise when protesters from OWS showed up with OWS signs, not to stand with others lining up for the march to Columbus Park in support, but to stand in front of everyone, trying to direct them. These people, who had not, until that very moment, put in one bit of effort into organizing this action, who had no idea what the plan was, who had no idea who we were or who the family was, decided that they were going to make this an OWS event.

Conflict erupted when one of the OWS-affiliated protesters came with a giant Communist Party of China flag. This white man decided that he was entitled to represent us, at this protest for an American soldier, with a flag that has been used by this country to vilify the Chinese American community. When people began asking him not to demonstrate that flag because it was not the purpose of the event and we were in no way representing China or political parties, he began screaming at us about how we were ANTI-COMMUNIST and trying to take away his first amendment rights. We told him that Danny Chen was an American soldier and we wanted to respect the family and their wishes, but he continued screaming violent accusations at us at the top of his lungs and disrupting the event, until one of Danny Chen’s family members, on the verge of tears, finally convinced him to leave….

…OWS protesters often make it seem like they are the birth of social justice activism, that they are here to teach us how to protest because none of us know what the fuck we are doing and need their wealth of experience to help us out. I was not at all surprised when that woman so naturally assumed that she, as a white woman, knew better than me – she thought that I had found a blowhorn somewhere and decided to play around with it. It didn’t occur to her that we had been planning this for weeks and thinking critically about every step, that it was led by a civil rights organization that has been at work for decades, that we had applied for 4 different kinds of permits so that our event could safely and effectively achieve its purpose.

The actions of these OWS protesters showed that they were at the march and vigil, not to show their support for Danny Chen’s family or the ongoing work on their case, but to provoke and garner attention for themselves and their brand, and then try to turn our strategic work and planning into a nonsensical, self-righteous tantrum. They acted like tourists on vacation in the social justice world, and our efforts and long-term goals were expendable in light of their self-interested pursuit of an interesting experience….

…This is the problem I’ve always had with OWS—that it was a movement that came to earth as Christ himself, here to save us, to make the history of struggle, and the ongoing social justice work in this country by marginalized communities, irrelevant, and then to take the moral high ground and act as if we were the face of THEIR oppression when we took issue with their tactics.

…But these incidents of ignorance from OWS have been way too frequent and predictable to be isolated events. These incidents show that the OWS movement, while creating new opportunities to change the unjust world we live in, is, in many ways, the beloved child of our racist, sexist, intolerant capitalist society….Read More:

 Read story


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s