Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Muslims, show some respect": Open letter in Dutch newspaper by a Dutch Muslima

"Why do we behave without respect in the Netherlands while we expect others to take account of us?"

Samira al-Onal is the pseudonym name of a highly-educated Dutch Muslim woman.

As exceptions to normal policy our editorial staff sometimes decides to publish pseudonym articles e.g. when the author is afraid for repercussions.
source: http://www.devolkskrant.nl/ of June 10, 2006

OPINION:

"It is time that we Muslims let go of our feeling of superiority, hypocrisy and ignorance" says Samira al-Onal.

I urge the Volkskrant to publish this article with which I pursue two goals: the first is to expose the centuries-old egoism of Muslims concerning non-Muslims. The second to show that not non-Muslims but Muslims themselves are to blame that they stand in bad light."

We demand from non-Muslims that they respect our religion, that they accept our cultural demands and that they support us financially. But what do we give in return which they demand from us?

The following:

Before Islam the Middle East was inhabited by people who adhered to an in origin Indian ideology wherein statues were venerated. Islam then proclaimed that no images of God are allowed. What happened next? Wherever statues were found these were destroyed by Muslims who then converted these people to Islam, if needed using violence and murder.
Muslim history writers wrote with pride about what they saw as successful heroic deeds. And we still live under the delusion that the quality of the lives of indigenous people is improved by replacing their temples and churches by mosques, and that we conquer their hearts by doing so. But nothing is further from the truth and why the Dutch say 'our culture is disappearing as we do see mosques everywhere' when yet another church is transformed into a mosque.

Holy names

We call our sons Muhammad, Hassan and Ali, but allow these names to be used for murders, for hitting women, for theft, and for showing no respect for other cultures. If we believe that Islam stands for peace -our excuse is that these Muslims give us a bad name. But are these names indeed holy?
The prophet and his followers waged wars and Mohammed murdered people himself. Are mosques indeed superior to the temples and churches upon which they were built? We are in fact saying that Islam is inferior to already existing religions or else our ancestors would have had no use for their 'stupid', non-holy materials.
We consider it marvellous that Islam is growing but which can only be considered the growth of blind faith. You can believe whatever you want, but believing without any proof is witnes to stupidity.With the support of my parents I plucked-up the courage to examine Islam in the past and present, and found much that makes me sad.

Decapitations

The present time: consider the decapitation of non-Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan. Those so-called heroic deeds are perpetrated in name of Allah. What is our response to this? Do we condemn this? No, we look on silently, but do demonstrate on streets when an insulting cartoon is published in a newspaper and we threaten politicians with their murder. Embassies of non-Muslim countries are attacked, and numbers of murders are committed out of our passion for heroic martyrdom.

Simultaneously, and already for centuries on end, we find it normal to ridicule holy elements in non-Islamic cultures. Why do we behave disrespectfully of Dutch culture and that while we consider that everyone must show respect for us? That people in other cultures do not protest against us shows that they are wiser then we are.
We find existing politics guilty or the media, but Geert Wilders didn't just fall out of the blue sky and if we had shown more respect, Wilders' political platform wouldn't exist. Do we ever ask ourselves why there isn't an anti-Chinese political party?

Back to violence: When people are decapitated or shot in name of Allah that doesn't mean that He condones this. And where is written that suicide-bombers will arrive by Allah as martyrs? Also non-Muslims are Allah's children. Why therefore does Allah allow that one group of 'children' humiliates, persecutes and murders the other group?
In India, and each year, and much more than in the West, trains, busses, temples and other buildings are blown-up by Muslims in name of Allah. We don't even respect Hindu religious celebrations because our ancestors did not in previous centuries. Islam attacked India around AD 700 and occupied India well into the 18th century. In those centuries Muslims occupied India using much violence and plunder. Religious men and scientists were murdered; others converted or made into second-class citizens. Christians, Jews and Hindus were not allowed to hold good jobs, had to pay religious taxes and tax and put on food-rations. This while we, and European culture, owe much to the old India, especially concerning science.

Head-scarves

Last year Salman Rushdie was given a knighthood. What was our response? Our Muslim brothers and sisters demonstrated worldwide in streets of capitals, especially in London, Pakistan and India. A few years before the same thing happened in France as caused by the prohibition of headscarves in schools. But when non-Muslims are humiliated or murdered by Muslims we remain quiet. And what is our response to Malaysia where Hindu-temples are still destroyed by Muslims? What in respect to Kazakhstan where a group of non-Muslims were thrown out of their houses in freezing-cold weather? What about Bangladesh where land of non-Muslims is confiscated by Muslims with politicians looking-on in silence? What our response to Kashmir where the same things happen? As in Iran where non-Muslims are not allowed to study in universities? And Afghanistan where non-Muslims are spat and jeered at, and driven away by Taliban-Muslims? What is our response to the Netherlands where non-Muslims are treated with comparable bullying tactics and non-Muslims preferably driving out of their suburbs?

Nothing

Why don't we demonstrate against these and other actions of our fellow-believers? Why don't we show respect in the Netherlands where we adhere to few rules and civic norms, and where we perpetrate senseless violence - while we make use of their medical facilities, ask for special attention of teachers and community-workers, complain a lot while expecting non-Muslims to take account of us?

We should get rid of our egoism, our short-sightedness and sense of superiority, and stop feigning holiness, or else it is better for us to return to our Muslim lands so that non-Muslims can live in peace and we get rid of the hatred for Muslims but which we generate ourselves.

Update: the article is authentic. Got the proof of it.

Islam and Patriarchy: sexuality

I read the post "Women in Iran" on Plateau of Iran blog.
You will find part of it here below. Its quite interesting, and never imagined that you can see it through this angle.

Islam and Patriarchy

Generally, religions have a patriarchal view of the relationship between the genders.
But some scholars point out that, in comparison with other religions, the idea of patriarchy is even greater in Islam. They mean that there are in the Koran (Quran) many verses, especially Surah 4 which clearly legitimizes gender inequality. Even hadith (stories from the Prophet’s life) and Shariah (Islamic law) have the same tendency.

Since Islam regards women as an active sexual power, it is important to restrict women’s sexual power over men. The result is isolating women and men in different worlds. A woman’s sexuality has to be concealed. Her looks and behavior must not reveal her sexual force since it will remind the man of his weakness.

Fatima Mernessi, a famous Arab feminist, explained a long time ago that the Christian portrayal of the individual as tragically torn between two poles (good and evil, flesh and spirit, instinct and reason) is very different from that of Islam, which has a more sophisticated theory of the instincts, more akin to the Freudian concept of the libido. She writes:
"In western culture, sexual inequality is based on the belief in the biological inferiority of woman. In Islam, it is the contrary: the whole system is based on the assumption that woman is a powerful and dangerous being. All sexual institutions (polygamy, repudiation, sexual segregation, etc.) can be perceived as a strategy for constraining her power (Beyond the Veil, Mernissi 1975, P 16)."

This explains why the Koran (Quran) maintains man’s superiority and domination over woman. It is men’s responsibility and duty to keep women under their control.

Day Opening - June 24



Last summer I took this picture special for Hans from Hans, during my visit to Delhi.
It was stuck for almost 1 year in my "broken" desktop untill I found it one hour ago.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Total Politics - UK online political magazine


Total Politics is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to all things political. It aims to be unremittingly positive about the political process and to publish the most interesting, informative and insightful features and commentary from across the UK and the world.

Robert Mugabe, the new Idi Amin?


Is her ready to face ICJ-CIJ?

Day Opening - June 23


Discover the world of Vladimir Kush

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Real discovery of America

After a long journey, the weary European explorers catch a glimpse of land, far on the horizon. The men grow restless, as their ships slowly sail toward the coast. Images of rich lands and adventure race through their minds. Finally they disembark and set foot on America's pristine land for the first time in history. Two continents have made contact. Yet these are not Spaniards, commanded by an Italian sailor named Christopher Columbus. These are Vikings, guided by Leif Eriksson, arriving at American shores almost five hundred years before Columbus' momentous "discovery."
This is the story of the first Europeans who bridged the gap dividing two continents. These explorers, known as Vikings, were part of a rich and complex culture. There is much to be learned behind the facade of pirates and barbarians that has commonly been attached to them. More interesting is to learn about their way of life, their prowess at sea and exploration, and the way they, in the long run, enriched European history.
Shortly Leif and his men returned home. Two years later his brother, Thorvald, organized a second expedition to the newly discovered land. He and his men spent two years exploring the coasts of the surrounding area. They also constructed more dwellings. On one occasion they stumbled upon a group of natives, which the Vikings named skraeling, and a skirmish ensued. Thorvald was mortally wounded and became the first European to be buried in America.

More about Leif Erikson Day in the USA here.

After the match


Russian coach, the Dutchman Guus Hiddink makes a friendly gesture towards his fellow country man the Dutch national coach Marco van Basten after Russia won the match againt the Netherlands.

Last night the 'friendly' Dutch fans behaved not so friendly anymore and created a mess in Basel.

According some experts, the Slovak referee Lubos Michel made a mistake by rescinding the second yellow card for Denis Kolodin: 'Russia had to play with 10 people'.

Shockvertising Monks Tibet


I really love this poster regarding the recent protests in Tibet against the Chinese government’s occupation of that country; this beautifully done poster is self-explanatory.

Using the upcoming Beijing Olympics as backdrop, the ad hopes to shock people with the purpose of galvanizing public opinion in support of the Tibetan people.

source: trendhunter

Today's 2008 Euro Matches

Spain - Italy: 0 - 0 (4 - 2 pen.)
======================
Next match Wednesday June 25:
Turkey - Germany: 21.45 EET (Semi Finals)

Day Opening - June 22


Yellowstone national park, USA.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today's 2008 Euro Matches

Russia - the Netherlands: 3 - 1
======================
Sunday Match:
Italy - Spain: 21.45

Holland lost...the revenge of Hiddink

Russia had taken the lead in normal time when Roman Pavlyuchenko volleyed home, only for Ruud van Nistelrooy to head in an 86th-minute leveller.
But the brilliant Arshavin tormented our Dutch team in extra time and he crossed for Dmitri Torbinski to prod home.
Arshavin then wrapped it up with four minutes remaining as he ran through and fired low past Edwin van der Sar.
Exit Ollanda. And yes the Russians deserved it. With a Dutch coach like 'Aussie' Hiddink you always win...

Calm down Swiss, it's only the 'Mighty Dutch' invasion


Just when the Swiss are getting used to the idea of hosting the European Championship, along come the mighty Dutch. The 'Oranjes' outnumber any other country's fans and set their eyes on the capital, Bern, ready to pay whatever the cost might be to conquer it!


These “men in Orange,” or “Oranje” as they are called at home, numbered in the tens of thousands. Some say as many as 100,000, some say 150,000. Not only did they come in great numbers, they also had the most advanced weaponry of the world such as horns designed to make loud noises. However, their real weapons were their own vocal chords. “This city shall not sleep as long as we are here,” said a commander of the Dutch army, who could barely stand on his feet due to a proudly and deservedly nightmarish hangover.

They drank, and they partied in the streets, and they shouted and cheered for the Netherlands, making it impossible for the Swiss to enjoy their good old silent days. This was it, something had to be done against the Dutch, so the Swiss sent in the police. But the Dutch were prepared; before they could stop the madness, the police officers were already dancing and singing along with the invading forces.
In the end, the people of Bern had nothing to do but give up any further attempt to stop these drinking invaders in their orange costumes. Some residents were even seen partying in the streets, trying to get along with the new owners of their city. And so it was official, Bern was no more a Swiss city, but it was a colony of partying Dutch, at least until the new owners of the city get bored with it and abandon it of their own accord. Read more here



And today Base, a city of 150.000 citizens' has rolled out not so much the red but the orange carpet as it prepares to host up to 150,000 Dutch fans this weekend when the Netherlands and Russia contest their UEFA EURO 2008™ quarter-final at St. Jakob-Park on Saturday.
'The Dutch are coming'
The three-kilometre route between the city's two main train stations is also decked out in orange while a large banner reading "Welkom Oranjefans" has been draped over the entrance gate erected on the 13th century Mittlere Brücke, or Middle Bridge. "The Dutch are coming at exactly the right time," said Hanspeter Weisshaupt, Basel's UEFA EURO 2008™ delegate.
Basel has done its bit to accommodate them all with unused giant screens brought over from Berne, venue for the Netherlands' first-round games, to ensure 60,000 people will be able to watch the action in the public viewing areas. But they won't all be Dutch - with Switzerland eliminated, many local fans are adopting the Dutch as their second team, as Kesler noted: "Many Swiss are wearing orange."

Turkey - Croatia


The last safe.

Don't shoot your guns

Many Turks cheered as the national soccer team reached the semi finals of the Euro 2008 tournament, in an exiting match against Croatia. But some celebrated by firing shots into the air, with some narrowly escaping death. One man was injured in Bursa and had to undergo surgery to remove a bullet in his back. The shootings are stil going on.
01.00 am EET

Day Opening - June 21


Midsummer fest in Sweden






Friday, June 20, 2008

Today's 2008 Euro Matches

Turkey - Croatia: 1 - 1 ( 4 - 1 in penalties)
==============================
Saturday match:
The Netherlands - Russia: 21.45

Update

Added Ertan earlier this week to the Chain of Internations. He often makes sensible comments here, but also his writings on his own blog are worth reading. Happy reading Ertan here.

Christos let me know that he is traveling the next 10 days. But he sent a picture of him, which you can see on the right bar of this blog. He looks Turkish, or Italian.. No, he is just a nice Greek..) As so many other Greek friends. We will meet with him in Istanbul or Amsterdam this summer.

Seda will be in Istanbul as well, so more quality time with my friends.

Bea is hit by floods. You can read it here. Will contact here as soon as possible.

Eva is busy with her last examinations for her study, and together we are writing an article about Turkey. You can read it soon in the Turkish media. And...in 10 days she will leave for Nepal.

Sandra is busy with work and exited to be a Mom in a couple of months. She will be a good one...

And me? We will move the next weeks to a beautiful penthouse in Tarabya, suburb of Istanbul. A beautiful Bosporus view and much more. I shall upload some pictures soon.

Hope all readers are doing well, and enjoy the weekend!

Loosing a child

Between 1996 and 2000 I had a wonderful relation with xxxx
But was overshadowed by the lost of her baby. xxxx was 25 years old when she gave birth to Ruby, on Saint Nicolas day 1990. Ruby suffered a lot: her heart was not working well, one of her hands was not grown normally and much more. She died on the first day of Spring 1991. Over dose of morphine. Ruby was in incredible pain. Euthanasia. I still don't know.

When I met xxxx, she talked about her lost, and was still not over with it; it was part of her life as a woman of 30 years. We talked and talked. And we tried to open what happened then. Self help groups, psychiatrists and so on. After three years she broke down, and accepted her 'lost' as something which can happen to everybody. We spent a wonderful time in Italy, that summer of 1999, while I was working mainly in Prague.
But all this energy took a toll. We split up and I moved to Miami.

Today I read that one of the Dutch players, Khalid Boulahrouz, his wife was hospitaized in Lausanne Swisse earlier this week. After Tuesday match against Romania, he went back to his wife Sabi. And she gave birth to a child. But died yesterday.

So, when I see child labor in Turkey or children begging on the streets, I keep these pictures in mind of these wonderful women who fought for their lives and futures.