Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
A Great YES To Life
I look into a mirror to remain afloat,
and talk an endless soliloquy
This entire torrent of words is a great yes to life,
A yes indifferent to good and evil,
A self-regarding, prudent, avid,
generous, stupid, cosmos yes,
A yes of acceptance
That in its monotonous flow fuses and confuses
past, present and future
What I was, remain and will become,
everything and everyone together
In a great exclamation
Like a sea surge that rises, falls and jumbles All things together in a whole, that has no beginning or end.
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say." (Bashar al-Assad, 9-11-2012)
The policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power." (Bashar Al-Assad, 26-1-2015)
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
9-11-2016: Donald Trump won the US presidential election
triumphing over his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
Addressing his supporters on Wednesday, US President-Elect Donald Trump pledged that "every single American will have an opportunity to realize his or her potential."
He promised to rebuild US infrastructure, put millions of people to work and "renew the American dream."
He promised to always put US interest first and to "get along well" with all nations willing to get along with the US. He added that Washington would seek "common ground, not hostility” and “partnership, not conflict."
(Sputnik News, 9-11-2016)
Michael Jackson, born 29-8-1958. Astrological signs: Sun in Virgo, Moon in Pisces
Sun in Virgo, Moon in Pisces: "The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign produces insight, an understanding mind, a profound personality. You are both intellectual and intuitive, can reason things out by cold logic, learn facts, and absorb figures, while your hunches are actively at work.
The combination blends the intelligence, analytical insight and discrimination of Virgo with the emotional sensitivity and intuitive understanding of Pisces. Thought and feeling, logic and intuition, observation and impression, all are balanced well in this configuration. (Michael McClain)
Other Virgo-Pisces personalities: Bashar al-Assad, Leonard Cohen, Johann von Goethe
A Virgo-Pisces personality is the natural enemy of fascism
- Fascism = Anti-intellectualism: Intellectuals are seen as a threat. "Intellectualism is a sort of infertile intelligence, an intelligence without virtility. Intellectualism is a disease of the intelligence .... it is a femininity that will never be material." (Itally 1929)
- Fascism = Anti-feminism: Fascists believe that females are inferior to men. A prevalence of feminine elements in a person is seen as a regression of the human being on the evolutionary scale. Exercising and modern sports activities are suggested as a measure to increase masculinity and combat any signs of femininity in one's lifestyle.
Iraq must not allow the PKK terrorist group to carry out attacks on Turkey from its territory, Iraqi Vice-President Iyad Allawi said Wednesday. Allawi made the assertion while addressing the Amman Security Colloquium, a high-level security conference that kicked off Wednesday at the University of Jordan. "We in Iraq must not allow the PKK to carry out attacks against Turkey," he said. "We must protect Turkey and Iran."
"And these two states should do the same for us," he asserted.
"In our region we face grave challenges.." Allawi added. "We therefore must develop peacefully with a view to confronting these challenges." "The concept of citizenship has begun to retreat in the region, with sectarianism and political Islam dominating our thinking," he said.
He went on to call for a "regional Arab confere nce" - in which Turkish and Iranian representatives would also participate - to discuss means of resolving conflict, fighting terrorism and addressing the rise of sectarianism in the region.
Flashback 2011: "Right now, socially, we are disintegrating." So says Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and potential candidate for president of Egypt.
Can the Arab revolts cope with "the cacophony of diversity ... the Arab world's variety of clans, sects, ethnicities and religions?" Or will we witness the disintegration of nations like Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as we did Ethiopia and the Sudan—and of African, Latin American, Asian and European nations, as well?
In the 21st century, the call of one's God and the claims of blood and soil seem more magnetic than the ideologies of the 19th and 20th century: Marxism, socialism or democracy. People do not seem to seek equality with other cultures, faiths and tribes, but a separate existence in nations that are of, by and for themselves alone. ( Patrick J. Buchanan 26 mei 2011)
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, one of his top confidants, to be White House national security adviser, which would elevate the controversial surrogate to be the chief arbiter of virtually every major defense and foreign policy decision.
Flynn’s appointment was confirmed to POLITICO by a source close to the Trump transition on Thursday night, though it was not clear whether Flynn has responded.
- Mehdi Hasan: .. There's Syria. You’re on record as saying that the handling of Syria by this administration has been a mistake. Many people would argue that the US actually saw the rise of ISIL coming and turned a blind eye, or even encouraged it as a counterpoint to Assad. And a secret analysis by the agency you ran, the Defence Intelligence Agency, in August 2012 said, and I quote, "There is the possibility of establishing -
- Michael Flynn: [TALKING OVER] Not so secret.
- Mehdi Hasan: - "declared or undeclared Salafist" – it's not secret any more, it was released under FOI. The quote is: "There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime." The US saw the ISIL caliphate coming and did nothing.
- Michael Flynn: Yeah, I think that what we – where we missed the point. I mean, where we totally blew it, I think, was in the very beginning. I mean, we're talking four years now into this effort in Syria. Most people won’t even remember, it's only been a couple of years: The Free Syrian Army, that movement. I mean, where are they today? Al-Nusra. Where are they today, and what have … how much have they changed? When you don’t get in and help somebody, they’re gonna find other means to achieve their goals. And I think right now, what we have allowed is we've got -
- Mehdi Hasan: [INTERRUPTING] But hold on, you were helping them in 2012. While these groups are -
- Michael Flynn: Yeah, we've allowed this, we've allowed this extremist, you know, these extremist militants to come in and. ..
- Mehdi Hasan: [INTERRUPTING] But why did you allow them to do that, General? You were in post. You were the head of the Defence Intelligence Agency.
- Michael Flynn: [TALKING OVER] Well, those are – those are – yeah, right, right. Well those are – those are policy – those are policy issues, yeah.
- Mehdi Hasan: [TALKING OVER] OK, So when you saw this, did you not pick up a phone and say, "What on earth are we doing supporting these Syrian rebels who are -"?
- Michael Flynn: [TALKING OVER] Sure. That, that kind of information is presented and those become -
- Mehdi Hasan: [INTERRUPTING] And what did you do about it?
Michael Flynn: Those become – those become – I argued about it.
- Mehdi Hasan: Did you say, "We shouldn't be supporting these groups"?
- Michael Flynn: I did. I mean, we argued about these, the different groups that were there and we said, you know, "Who is that is involved here?" and I will tell you that I, I do believe that the, the intelligence was very clear, and now it's a matter of whether or not policy is going to be as clear and as defining and as precise as it needs to be, and I don’t believe it was.
- Mehdi Hasan: - so you were arguing against it. But who wasn’t listening?
- Michael Flynn: I think the administration.
- Mehdi Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis -
- Michael Flynn: I don’t know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision. I think it was a wilful decision.
- Mehdi Hasan: A wilful decision to go – support an insurgency that had Salafist, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood?
- Michael Flynn: [INTERRUPTING] Well, a wilful decision to do what they're doing, which, which you have to really – you have to really ask the President, what is it that he actually is doing with the, with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing...
Jerusalem’s chief rabbi lashed out at Israel’s gay community calling homosexuality an “abomination” and earning himself a police complaint for incitement. Shlomo Amar, who previously served as the country’s Sephardi chief rabbi, told Israel Hayom newspaper that homosexuality is an “abomination,” and that Jewish law advocates the death penalty for those who choose to engage in same sex relationships.
“I call it a cult. It’s a cult of abominations, it is obvious. It’s an abomination,” he said. “The Torah says it is punishable by death. It is in the first rank of severe offenses… They say ‘leaning,’ ‘perversion’ – this is nonsense. There is lust, and a person can overcome it if they want to, like all lusts. This is among the most forbidden lusts, the most severe. ”
Amar’s comments were met with fury by members of the LGBTQ community and champions of civil liberties in Israel.
Meretz MK Michal Rozin, co-chair of the Knesset’s Gay Caucus, wrote to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked following the interview, calling for her to take action against Amar.
“Statements such as these fuel and strengthen violent attacks against the LGBTQ community and the pluralist Judaism community, especially when made by municipal rabbis. In light of these comments, I ask that you consider disciplining the rabbi, according to your jurisdiction to do so, following his comments,” Rozin wrote.
Amar also took aim at Reform Judaism, telling the newspaper that there was only a small number of Reform Jews in Israel and saying that “in recent years, they have been importing it, this culture.”
While Moses is busy making Laws, rebellious Jews are making Love!
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron.
4 And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
5 And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said: 'To-morrow shall be a feast to HaShem.' (HaShor - Hathor)
17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
20 And Moses took the calf which they (the children of Israel) had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
33 And YHWH said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.
Aaron was Moses's older brother. He was the ancestor of all koheins, the founder of the priesthood, and the first Kohein Gadol (High Priest). Aaron served as Moses's spokesman. Moses was not eloquent and had a speech impediment, so Aaron spoke for him (Ex. 4:10-16).
Aaron's most notable personal quality is that he was a peacemaker. His love of peace is proverbial; Rabbi Hillel said, "Be disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and drawing them near the Torah."
According to tradition, when Aaron heard that two people were arguing, he would go to each of them and tell them how much the other regretted his actions, until the two people agreed to face each other as friends.
In fact, Aaron loved peace so much that he participated in the incident of the Golden Calf... (Source)
Rabbi Hillel said: "Be of the students of Aaron"
Rabbi Burt Jacobson: Hillel’s ideal was not Moses, for he was neither a liberator, nor a prophet, nor a warrior. His model of leadership was Moses’ brother, Aaron. Hillel’s great legal opponent was the sage, Shammai. Tales portray Shammai as angry, arrogant and judgmental. They reveal Shammai as having been a social conservative who focused on the rigid application of the law...
When Aaron died the whole house of Israel wept, including the women
Hillel held Aaron up as an example. Aaron was an ideal priest of the people, far more beloved for his kindly ways than was Moses. While Moses was stern and uncompromising, brooking no wrong, Aaron went about as peacemaker, reconciling man and wife when he saw them estranged, or a man with his neighbor when they quarreled, and winning evil-doers back into the right way by his friendly intercourse.
The mourning of the people at Aaron's death was greater, therefore, than at that of Moses; for whereas, when Aaron died the whole house of Israel wept, including the women, Moses was bewailed by "the sons of Israel" only. (Wikipedia)
Some theories state that the golden calf
mentioned in the Bible was meant to refer to
a statue of the goddess Hathor
Hathor was worshipped in Canaan in the eleventh century BC, which at that time was ruled by Egypt, at her holy city of Hazor, or Tel Hazor (Israel, Upper Galilee, Kibbutz Ayeleth Hashahar).
The Sinai Tablets show that the Hebrew workers in the mines of Sinai about 1500 BC worshipped Hathor, whom they identified with their goddess Astarte.
A major temple to Hathor was constructed by Seti II at the copper mines at Timna in Edomite Seir. Serabit el-Khadim is a locality in the south-west Sinai. Peninsula where turquoise was mined extensively in antiquity, mainly by the ancient Egyptians. Archaeological excavation, initially by Sir Flinders Petrie, revealed the ancient mining camps and a long-lived Temple of Hathor.
The Greeks, who became rulers of Egypt for three hundred years before the Roman domination in 31 BC, also loved Hathor and equated her with their own goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.
“A hymn to Hathor says
Thou art the Mistress of Jubilation, the Queen of the Dance, the Mistress of Music, the Queen of the Harp Playing, the Queen of Wreath Weaving, the Mistress of Inebriety Without End.
Essentially, Hathor had become a goddess of joy, and so she was deeply loved by the general population, and truly revered by women, who aspired to embody her multifaceted role as wife, mother, and lover.
In this capacity, she gained the titles of Lady of the House of Jubilation, and The One Who Fills the Sanctuary with Joy.
The worship of Hathor was so popular that a lot of festivals were dedicated to her honor than any other Egyptian deity, and more children were named after this goddess than any other deity. Even Hathor’s priesthood was unusual, in that both women and men became her priests.
"Hathor was always represented as a cow (Taurus). Isis is cow-horned, the cow of plenty, and as the mother of Horus (the physical world) she is the "mother of all that lives." The snake (Scorpio), the Egyptian rattle known as the sistrum, and the papyrus reed often symbolized Hathor.
Her image could also be used to form the capitals of columns in Egyptian architecture. Her principal sanctuary was at Dandarah, which may also be where Hathor got her origins.
At Dandarah, she was mainly worshipped in her role as a goddess of fertility, women and childbirth (Taurus). At Thebes she was regarded as a goddess of the dead (Scorpio) with the title of "Lady of the West."
Taurus-Scorpio: Possessive & Jealous
Hathor: God of Love (Taurus-Venus-Ceres)
& God of Lust & Death (Scorpio-Pluto)
Taurus and Scorpio are Zodiac signs whose driving interest is wealth and the stability that goes along with it.
Taurus and Scorpio are known as a polarity -- they are opposite Zodiac signs, but both have strong desires that drive them on.
Being feminine signs in astrology, there's a magnetic quality, and holding things or energy. This gets extreme when Taurus is possessive, to the point of stifling their growth with all the heaviness of stuff.
Scorpio has its own habits of holding, when the notion of shared wealth becomes control. Scorpio gets into the business of others, and sometimes to a harmful degree. That comes from crossing over into the realm of others, and sensing what can be created, changed or wrestled into control.
During your campaign, you tweeted that “People are always amazed to find out that I am Protestant (Presbyterian).”
You are in good company. Seven other presidents were affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, including Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Many people do not know that Presbyterians provided the framework for modern democracy. In fact, King George III referred to the American Revolution as “that Presbyterian rebellion.”
You recently proclaimed, “I love God, and I love my church.” Nearly 2 million Presbyterians share this sentiment.
Presbyterians treat all God’s children with dignity and respect. The Westminster Confession of Faith states:
“It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance” (6.129).
In 1967 our church adopted the Confession of 1967. In it we state: “God has created the peoples of the earth to be one universal family. In his reconciling love, he overcomes the barriers between brothers…
God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ is the ground of peace, justice and freedom among nations which all powers of government are called to serve and defend. The church, in its own life, is called to practice the forgiveness of enemies and to commend to the nations as practical politics the search for cooperation and peace…
Jesus Lifted Me
"I am the most intensely religious man I know." "Nobody goes through six years of war without faith. That doesn't mean that I adhere to any sect. A democracy cannot exist without a religious base. I believe in democracy."
As the Cold War loomed, Christian leaders encouraged Americans to turn to God. Eisenhower agreed, saying, "Our form of government makes no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious belief, and I don't care what it is."
Eisenhower showed his commitment by joining the Presbyterian Church, in which his wife, Mamie, had been a longtime member, just weeks after taking office. He became the first president to be baptized while in office.
The following year, Eisenhower went further, signing a bill to add the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”
At the bill-signing ceremony on Flag Day in 1954, he said, "Especially is this meaningful as we regard today's world. Over the globe, mankind has been cruelly torn by violence and brutality and, by the millions, deadened in mind and soul by a materialistic philosophy of life..."
The near-bankrupt Libyan economy is facing the threat of a forced devaluation of its currency and an end to fuel subsidies in a move that could spark a wave of popular anger and the fall of the teetering UN-backed government in Tripoli. The credibility of Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord is waning, despite the support of the US, France, Italy and the UK, and with its leadership unable to unite the country.
Western leaders and financial institutions including the World Bank were forced this month to intervene directly in Libyan economic decision-making, bringing Libyan politicians and technocrats to meetings in Europe to hammer out an agreement.
As a result of meetings in Rome and London, it was agreed that a Libyan economic plan for 2017 will be published by 1 December. Calculations of Libya’s cumulative GDP losses since 2011 are at more than $200bn, arguably making the country the worst-hit from the political upheavals caused by the 'Arab spring'.
In the wake of his arrival in Tripoli in March 2016, Serraj’s authority, never strong outside the capital, has dwindled.
“Trying to get the economy to move more smoothly is an absolute requirement in terms of the credibility of this government,” said one western diplomat.. Powerful factions in the east of the country, led by Egyptian-backed General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, have resisted working with the Serraj government. He has won control of the Libyan oil crescent and driven out islamists from Benghazi, suggesting his claim to be a major player is strengthening.
The UK remains committed to Serraj. “He is a good man trying to do a very difficult job,” said one British source. “A fundamental obstacle in Libya is there is very little sense of national identity. The concept of negotiating and compromising for the greater good of the country is not something that comes naturally to people.”
"That what is sacred in the world is man"
General Mufti of the Syrian Arabic Republic, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun
"Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator". "We must create states on a civil basis, not a religious basis". "I don't impose my religion on you, nor do you impose your religion on me". (European parlement, 15-1-2008)
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart." (Green Book)
For religious humanists, it is the human and the humane which must be the focus of our ethical attention.
What differentiates religious from other types of humanism involves basic attitudes and perspectives on what humanism should mean.
Religious humanists treat their humanism in a religious manner. This requires defining religion from a functional perspective, which means identifying certain psychological or social functions of religion as distinguishing a religion from other belief systems. The functions of religion often cited by religious humanists include things like fulfilling the social needs of a group of people (such as moral education, shared holiday and commemorative celebrations, and the creation of a community) and satisfying the personal needs of individuals (such as the quest to discover meaning and purpose in life, means for dealing with tragedy and loss, and ideals to sustain us).
For religious humanists, meeting these needs is what religion is all about; when doctrine interferes with meeting those needs, then religion fails.
This attitude which places action and results above doctrine and tradition meshes quite well with the more basic humanist principle that salvation and aid can only be sought in other human beings. (about religion website)
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has strongly dismissed a United Nations proposal concerning the establishment of an autonomous region run by foreign-backed Takfiri militants in the eastern part of the strategically northwestern city of Aleppo.
“This was completely rejected... This is a violation of our sovereignty,” he said in a televised news conference following a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in Damascus on Sunday.
Muallem then made it clear that the incumbent Syrian government has no intention to decrease attacks on terrorists’ position in the eastern flank of Aleppo and the Damascus administration does not accept leaving civilians there to be taken hostage by militants.
“We agreed on the need that terrorists should get out of east Aleppo to end the suffering of the civilians in the city,” the top Syrian diplomat said. Muallem further pointed out that that government will spare militants that lay down their weapons and turn themselves in to authorities across the country. Muallem called on US President-elect Donald Trump to put an end to Washington’s support for militant groups inside Syria..
During an interview with Qatari channel Al-Jazeera last week the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Egypt of providing support to the opposition Gulen movement, led by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in July.
“We differentiate between the Egyptian people and the administration,” he told the Qatari satellite channel.
“We are against governments that come to power through coups and against the violation of freedoms,” said Erdogan. “We are the guardians of democracy....”
Professor of political science Tarek Fahmi says Erdogan is playing an old tune, and he seems determined not to change. “His comments have always conveyed a single message, that he is unwilling to recognise the regime in Egypt,” Fahmi told Al-Ahram Weekly.
Fahmi pointed to the timing of Erdogan’s statements - one day before 11 November, the date on which protests against the government’s economic policies had been called – suggesting it sends a clear message that the Muslim Brotherhood still enjoys the Turkish president’s wholehearted support.
Last month Erdogan said in an interview that Turkey can only normalise relations with Egypt if Mohamed Morsi and his allies are released from prison. He claimed the Egyptian government came to power as the result of a military coup that overthrew a democratically-elected predecessor.
Turkish-Egyptian relations blossomed during the Brotherhood’s one year rule when Cairo and Ankara signed 40 agreements covering trade, scientific cooperation, banking, tourism and other areas. They soured following Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 since when Erdogan has relentlessly criticised the Egyptian government and repeatedly demanded Morsi be released from prison. In August 2014 Erdogan called on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Egypt. Turkey’s relations with Egypt will not return to normal, he insists, until Morsi is released, all capital sentences are annulled, all political prisoners released and the ban on religious political parties lifted.
yusuf qaradawi (muslim brotherhood): supporter of nato-backed coups in libya and syria fatwa's: kill gaddafi (destroy the green party) - kill assad (destroy the baathists)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed his “shock” at Erdogan’s representing himself as a “guardian of democracy and protector of freedoms at a time when his government is arresting hundreds of professors and media personnel and tens of parliamentary members, as well as shutting down newspapers and eliminating thousands of civil servants, army officers and judges from their jobs on the pretext of their participation in the coup”. Since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 35,000 people have been arrested and tens of thousands more - military officers, judges, teachers, civil servants and journalists - have lost their jobs in the subsequent crackdown.
The Islamic State [IS] group's beleaguered Libyan stronghold of Sirte has been devastated by months of fighting, the second time in five years it has been wrecked. Tanks roar through rubble-strewn streets while explosions and gunfire rock gutted buildings. Most of the 120,000 residents have fled, either in fear of militants or forced out by pro-NATO forces who have been battling since May to oust IS from what was once its north African headquarters.
The 2011 (Islamist) uprising that toppled its most famous son, Muammar Gaddafi, laid waste to Sirte.
Residents rebuilt the city after the war, but this year's fighting has once again left the coastal town in ruins.
Apart from fighters, Sirte is now a ghost town with no electricity or phone coverage within a hundred kilometres [60 miles]. Pro-Nato Libyan forces backed by American airstrikes are gradually tightening the noose on the few remaining IS fighters holed up in District Three in the east.
For some of the fighters battling IS, the destruction of Sirte is justice.
"When we see the number of martyrs and wounded when we liberated Gaddafi's home town in 2011 and again today, we can say the residents of Sirte deserved what they got," said Mohammed, a fighter from Misrata.
Another fighter agreed: "It's war," he said. "We can't do anything about it, and they deserve what's happening to them."
"They want to punish us.." said a local official, who did not want to give his name because he feared for his safety.
"After 2011, a new militia arrived in our town every month or two," he said. "We were unarmed and every time we had to submit to their authority. Finally it was Daesh that arrived."
"The worst thing is that after calling us Gaddafists, now they label us Daesh supporters." "We can forget the destruction, the poverty and the hunger, but not the humiliation. That will stay with us for life."
On one occasion, Pharisees from Jerusalem approached Jesus because He and his disciples failed to subject themselves to the “tradition of the elders” by not ceremonially washing their hands before they ate (Matthew 15:1-2).
Ultimately Jesus revealed their true character by declaring they were the fulfillment of Isaiah 29:13 and by their actions were ones who taught for doctrines the mere “commandments of men” (vv. 7-9).
Jesus continues by stating that wicked and evil actions are a result of wicked and evil hearts. The importance of self-examination and preserving the inner man is what is in view.
In reality, the outward expressions of piety (ceremonial washings and etc.) are not the origins of faithfulness to the Father.. Jesus exposes the “traditions of men” as diametrically opposed to the will of God.
The disciples of Jesus eventually tell him how the Pharisees were offended at what Jesus had told them previously. Our Lord’s response was crystal clear: "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:13-14).
Syrian regime forces advanced quickly in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, pressing a new offensive in defiance of international concern over the fate of the city and its residents.
Both US President Barack Obama and the UN's Syria envoy expressed pessimism about the future of the city, where more than 250,000 people are besieged in the rebel-held east.
The (London based) 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor' said government forces backed by Iranian and Russian troops and fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah had captured the eastern part of the Masakan Hanano neighbourhood.
"It is the most important advance inside the eastern neighbourhoods that the regime has made so far," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. "If they take control of Masakan Hanano, the regime will have line of fire control over several rebel-held neighbourhoods and will be able to cut off the northern parts of rebel-held Aleppo from the rest of the opposition-held districts."
Abdel Rahman said the advance had both strategic and symbolic significance, because Masakan Hanano was the first neighbourhood to fall to rebels in 2012.
Syria's Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government, described the neighbourhood as the "biggest and most important stronghold of the gunmen" in Aleppo.
"As a soldier, I've served with the most brave people in an institution that's built on integrity, honor, and duty. This is why I'm working very hard to support Senator Sanders. He understands the cost of war.. A commander in chief who has a military mind-set is not someone who's talking tough, chest puffed up, wearing the Air Force bomber jacket, talking about carpet-bombing entire countries in the Middle East. A military mindset is objectively analyzing a planned course of action and anticipating the likely consequences before you take that action." Tulsi Gabbard, 11-3-2016
"I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives"
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.
According to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump's Cabinet.
She met with him this morning in his New York City offices at Trump Tower. The Trump transition source said that their sit-down was a “terrific meeting” and that the Trump team sees her as very impressive.
Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, left her position as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to support Sanders. In the House she has broken with Democrats on the Syrian civil war (she supports keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power) and Syrian refugees (she voted for a GOP bill last year to conduct stricter background checks on refugees).
This afternoon she released a long statement on her meeting with Trump, saying he asked to meet with her about "our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face.” She said they had a “frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth."
"I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the president-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government — a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families," she said in the statement, adding that she would not let politics get in the way of meeting with the president-elect. "I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives."
"We cannot allow continued divisiveness to destroy our country … I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country and the world," she said.
"We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people."
Bernie Sanders: "Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ (The Golden Rule)
And that I have believed in my whole life — I believed it when I was a 22-year-old kid getting arrested in Chicago fighting segregation — I’ve believed it in my whole life.”
It has been a rough 24 hours for the jihadist rebels in Aleppo, as they have lost four commanders during intense clashes with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah around the provincial capital.
The first major casualty for the jihadist rebels was the top commander/emir of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Abu Al-Harith Al-Halabi; this militant was killed during clashes with the Syrian Arab Army in the Sheikh Sa'eed District in southern Aleppo.
The top commander for Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, 'Umar Al-Hajji, was killed inside the Sheikh Sa'eed District after an intense battle with the Syrian Arab Army's 800th Regiment of the Republican Guard.
The situation for the jihadist rebels would not get any better on Tuesday, as two more commanders from the Karm Al-Jabal Martyrs Battalion were reportedly killed during clashes with the Syrian Army in southern Aleppo.
Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki
Ideology: Conservative Salafism, Islamism - Allies: Al-Nusra Front, Islamic Front
Opponents: Syrian Armed Forces
Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, is an Islamist group involved in the Syrian Civil War. In 2014–15 it was part of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council and received U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles. As of 2014, it is reportedly one of the most influential factions in Aleppo.
Nour al-Din al-Zenki was formed in late 2011 by Shaykh Tawfiq Shahabuddin in the Shaykh Salman area north-west of Aleppo.
It is named after Nur ad-Din Zengi, atabeg of Aleppo, an emir of Damascus and Aleppo in the 12th century. Nour al-Din al-Zenki took part in the initial battles that started the Battle of Aleppo in July 2012.
The group has gone through many affiliations since it was founded. It was initially a branch of the al-Fajr Movement, then went on to join the al-Tawhid Brigades during the attack on Aleppo, before withdrawing and allying with the Saudi-backed Authenticity and Development Front. On 24 September 2016, al-Zenki joined the Army of Conquest. (Wikipedia)
Mark Toner (US State Department): Als long as they're not attacking us.., they're good
During US State Department briefings (august 2015), spokesman Mark Toner downplayed the possibility that the US would stop arming Nour al-Din al-Zinki. Toner said that the US focus was on backing “the moderate opposition,” and differentiating Nour al-Din al-Zinki from other groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, because those groups have aspirations to attack not just in Syria, but also against the West.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:15 A.M.) - Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, confirmed his support for the Syrian, Libyan, and Iraqi armies during a live television interview with RTP TV on Tuesday.
"There should be international support for the Libyan, Iraqi & Syrian National Armies to ensure security in their countries," the Egyptian President stated to RTP TV.
In this context, Sisi urged to deal seriously with the terrorist groups in Syria and to disarm them, in order to preserve the unity of Syria and to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could help make peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Speaking to the New York Times in New York, Trump said he "would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians," adding that it would be a "great achievement," according to a reporter's tweets.
On Wednesday, Trump requested top secret security clearance for Kushner, according to an NBC News report. The request for clearance was unprecedented and would allow Kushner to sit in on Trump's presidential daily brief, despite not being an official member of the White House staff.
Kushner, a real-estate developer and publisher of the New York Observer, served as a key adviser in Trump's successful presidential campaign - including to help draft Trump’s speech to AIPAC last summer. Throughout the campaign, Trump delivered contradictory messages on the subject of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
In one instance, he said he will be "neutral" in his attempt to promote the peace process, a remark that brought criticism from Israel's supporters in the U.S. On another occasion, he said that he will not exert any pressure on Israel and will even allow as much settlement building as it wishes.
Earlier in November, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he will try and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians in order to bring an end to what he called "the war that never ends."
Priority is to dismantle the Iran deal
Before marrying Jared Kushner in 2009, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s older daughter, converted to Judaism. She went through a rigorous conversion process under the tutelage of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. She and her husband describe themselves as “Modern Orthodox”.
Modern Orthodox Judaism (also Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world. Modern Orthodoxy draws on several teachings and philosophies, and thus assumes various forms.
In the United States, and generally in the Western world, "Centrist Orthodoxy" – underpinned by the philosophy of Torah Umadda ("Torah and Scientific Knowledge") – is prevalent.
In Israel, Modern Orthodoxy is dominated by Religious Zionism; however, although not identical, these movements share many of the same values and many of the same adherents.
Modern Orthodox Jews tend to adhere more closely than Conservative or Reform Jews to the commandments of Jewish law.
The problem with Jewish Law is that it claims 'absolute truth'...
There's only one way to God: the Jewish path...
"Torah Judaism strongly believes that there is an absolute Truth which exists in the world. That Truth is the key which unlocks the riddle of our existence and purpose in this world. We also believe that that Truth is in the Torah, as it is called the “Torah of Truth” (Toras Emes)." (aish.com: ask the rabbi)
Flashback: British Chief Rabbi Sacks asks to stop printing of his controversial book
by DOUGLAS DAVIS, Jerusalem Post, 13-11-2002
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has asked his publisher, Continuum, to stop promoting and printing The Dignity of Difference until he has completed revisions for a second edition. His decision followed growing charges from a broad spectrum of the Orthodox community, including his own mainstream United Synagogue movement, that the views he expressed could be regarded as heretical.
Sacks wrote that "God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims."
He went on to assert that "no one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth; no one civilization encompasses all the spiritual, ethical, and artistic expressions of mankind... "
Bezalel Rakow and Joseph Dunner, leaders of Britain's haredi community, declared that the book is "irreconcilable with traditional Jewish teachings" in an advertisement published in London's Jewish Chronicle. Any implications that Judaism does not contain absolute truth represents a grave deviation from the pathways of traditional and authentic Judaism."
Iran's spiritual leader, ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has said that Iran would respond if the US proceeded to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) which expires at the end of 2016. The US House of Representatives voted for a 10-year extension of the ISA earlier this month, but to become law, the bill has to be endorsed by the Senate as well and signed by the US president.
“So far, the current US government has committed several violations with regard to the nuclear agreement,” Ayatollah Khamenei told members of the volunteer Basij forces in Tehran.
“The most recent of them is the 10-year extension of the sanctions. If these sanctions are extended, it will surely constitute a violation of the JCPOA and they (the US) should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it,” he added. Last week, the US House also passed a bill that would block the sale of commercial aircraft by Boeing and Airbus to Iran, with the Obama administration admitting that the legislation would be a violation of the nuclear pact.
Last week, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani addressed US officials in a strident tone, warning them about a possible breach of the deal.
“If you extend the sanctions, this will mean kicking the JCPOA away and we will confront it through implementing powerful technical packages,” he said without elaboration. US President-elect Donald Trump has said it would be hard to destroy a deal enshrined in a United Nations resolution.
In August 2015, he said he would not "rip up” the nuclear deal, but that he would "police that contract so tough they don’t have a chance.”
" A violently active, dominating, brutal youth – that is what I am after.
There must be no weakness and tenderness in it.
I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men." Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf
MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls for the EU to “respond to information warfare by Russia.” RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among the most dangerous "tools" of "hostile propaganda."
The EU Parliament's resolution demonstrates "political degradation" in regard to the "idea of democracy" in the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, commenting on the vote.
Putin pointed out that while "everyone tries to lecture" Russia on democracy, European lawmakers themselves resort to a policy of restrictions, "which is not the best way" to deal with any issues.
"The best approach is an open discussion, in which bright and solid arguments to support one's point of view should be presented," Putin said.
Adding that he hopes the Western move to "counter Russian propaganda" won't lead to serious restrictions, the president congratulated RT and Sputnik journalists on their work.
In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining.
The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc.
At the same time, Russia is accused of "information warfare," with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda "tools."
The document places Russian media organizations alongside terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
President-elect Donald Trump has offered South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and she has accepted, NBS reported on Wednesday.
It is a position of high importance to Israel, which faces opposition and condemnation at the UN at levels unknown to any other country. Israel has relied heavily on US support to veto resolutions unfavorable to the Jewish State or promote movements which strengthen its position.
Luckily for Israel, Haley has a record which seems likely to translate to a pro-Israel stance at the UN...
The Purposes of the (Anti-Zionist) United Nations are:
*** To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace...
*** To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples...
*** To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems..., and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
*** To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends. (UN website)
The Islamic State is being crushed, its fighters are in retreat and the caliphate it sought to build in the image of a bygone glory is crumbling. The biggest losers, however, are not the militants, who will fulfill their dreams of death or slink into the desert to regroup, but the millions of ordinary Sunnis whose lives have been ravaged by their murderous rampage.
The vast majority of the territory overrun by the Islamic State was historically populated by Sunni Arabs, whose interests the militants profess to represent. The vast majority of the 4.2 million Iraqis who have been displaced from their homes by the Islamic State's war are Sunnis....
"ISIS was a tsunami that swept away the Sunnis," said Sheik Ghazi Mohammed Hamoud, a Sunni tribal leader in the northwestern Iraqi town of Rabia, which was briefly overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 and is now under Kurdish control. "We lost everything. Our homes, our businesses, our lives."
The dangers are clear, analysts and Iraqis say. Sunnis are at risk of becoming a dispossessed and resentful underclass in lands they once ruled, creating fertile conditions for a repeat of the cycle of marginalization and radicalization that gave rise to the Islamic State in the first place.
Many Sunnis in the area did support the Islamic State, at least at first, as a welcome alternative to the repression and discrimination of the central government in Baghdad, acknowledged Hamoud, the tribal leader in Rabia.
"If there was no support here, they wouldn't have survived one hour. The Sunnis were very happy in the beginning. They did not know who they were, and they welcomed them as saviors," he said. "Now we consider them a disaster."
On the streets of Tikrit, people say they are glad to be home, but they wonder where their country is heading and whether their lives will ever be as they were. Ahmed al-Kareem, the head of the provincial council in Tikrit, sees hope. There is a realization among most Sunnis that extremist groups will not solve their problems, he said, as well as a recognition by most Shiites that they need to accommodate Sunnis if they are to avoid yet another incarnation of the insurgency that gave rise to the Islamic State.
"But it is hard," he said. "There is mistrust. The whole policy of the country needs to change. We need to separate religion from politics..."
Aleppo, SANA, 25-11-2016 – Children from the kindergartens of the General Women’s Union in Aleppo painted a mural on the fence of the Union’s branch in Aleppo as a message of peace and love to the people of the city’s eastern neighborhoods.
The event was attended by Tourism Minister Bishr Yazigi, Aleppo Governor Hussein Diab, in addition to members of the Aleppo branches of the General Women’s Union, the Plastic Arts Syndicate, and al-Baath Arab Socialist Party.
If the US mainstream right wants to get America back on track, it can rely on Israel, Turkey and Arab states to form a right-wing 'Jewish (Zionist-Ultra-Othodox) - (Christian Zionist) Protestant - Salafist-Wahhabbi alliance’ in the face of the ‘Shiite - (Russian) Orthodox - US leftist alliance.’
For Gulf states (apart from Oman), Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and the American Protestant right-wing, there are certainly common points of convergence on various issues.
Firstly, it is the threat of the Iranian expansion. Iranians and their allies in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria do not hide their enmity to Israel and their desire to destroy it...
With Russia's support, Iranians are trying to go ahead with what their Shiite faith describes as a "Judgment Day" scenario by accelerating the destruction of Aleppo near Turkish borders where they believe an apocalyptic sacred battle will break out between the armies of Mahdi (forces of good) and the “False Messiah” (forces of evil)... Russia’s involvement in Syria is more barefaced; it has established a naval base and intervened militarily with a daily cost of $3 million, not mentioning the four vetoes in favor of the Syrian regime. To emphasize more on the importance of the "holy war" in Syria, Russian media frequently run photos of priests blessing weaponry, including war planes, while Orthodox chaplains are embedded in most military units, at a time when the church’s dominance in Russian politics is increasingly growing. The formation of a front, or at least mutual cooperation, between Israel, Turkey and Arab states, which includes backing armed Arab and Kurdish groups while taking into consideration the fears of Ankara and Kurdish ambitions, will definitely strike a blow to the Iranian-Russian project...
For eight years, Obama's policies resulted in a retreat of the United States’ world prestige.... Obama has adhered to a barefaced leftist ideology that tends to be allied with a "disciplined and centrally-directed Shiite terrorism,” according to his advisors and to what he personally hinted months ago.
Turkey, Israel and Arab states did not hide their discontent from Obama's lenient policy towards Tehran.. Even Saudi Arabia started to feel targeted by the American left... The American mainstream left, which has big influence over the media, seems to be okay with the Obama Doctrine and does not believe in America's values.
This morning I was riding to the airport in Washington, D.C., and on the way to the airport the limousine passed by the Jefferson monument, and Reverend Andrew Young, my executive assistant, said to me, "It’s quite coincidental that we would be passing by the Jefferson Monument on Independence Day."
You can get so busy in life that you forget holidays and other days, and it had slipped my mind altogether that today was the Fourth of July. And I said to him, "It is coincidental and quite significant, and I think when I get to Atlanta and go to my pulpit, I will try to preach a sermon in the spirit of the founding fathers of our nation and in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence." And so this morning I would like to use as a subject from which to preach: "The American Dream." (Yes, sir)
It wouldn’t take us long to discover the substance of that dream. It is found in those majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, words lifted to cosmic proportions: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, Creator, with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." This is a dream. It’s a great dream.
The first saying we notice in this dream is an amazing universalism. It doesn’t say "some men," it says "all men." It doesn’t say "all white men," it says "all men," which includes black men. It does not say "all Gentiles," it says "all men," which includes Jews. It doesn’t say "all Protestants," it says "all men," which includes Catholics. (Yes, sir) It doesn’t even say "all theists and believers," it says "all men," which includes humanists and agnostics.
Then that dream goes on to say another thing that ultimately distinguishes our nation and our form of government from any totalitarian system in the world. It says that each of us has certain basic rights that are neither derived from or conferred by the state... The American dream reminds us, and we should think about it anew on this Independence Day, that every man is an heir of the legacy of dignity and worth.
Now ever since the founding fathers of our nation dreamed this dream [..] America has been something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against herself. On the one hand we have proudly professed the great principles of democracy, but on the other hand we have sadly practiced the very opposite of those principles.
But now more than ever before, America is challenged to realize its dream, for the shape of the world today does not permit our nation the luxury of an anemic democracy... And so it is marvelous and great that we do have a dream, that we have a nation with a dream...
You see, the founding fathers were really influenced by the Bible. The whole concept of the imago dei, as it is expressed in Latin, the "image of God," is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected.
Not that they have substantial unity with God, but that every man has a capacity to have fellowship with God. And this gives him a uniqueness, it gives him worth, it gives him dignity. God made us to live together as brothers and to respect the dignity and worth of every man...
This is why we must fight segregation with all of our nonviolent might. Segregation is morally wrong and sinful. To use the words of a great Jewish philosopher that died a few days ago, Martin Buber, "It’s wrong because it substitutes an ‘I-It’ relationship for the ‘I-Thou’ relationship and relegates persons to the status of things." That’s it. (Yes, sir)
Love is the way. (Yes) Love is the only absolute. More and more I see this.
I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate myself; hate is too great a burden to bear. (You bet, Yes) I’ve seen hate. Hate distorts the personality. Hate does something to the soul that causes one to lose his objectivity. The man who hates can’t think straight; (Amen) The man who hates can’t reason right; the man who hates can’t see right; the man who hates can’t walk right. (Yeah)
And I know now that Jesus is right, (Yeah) that love is the way...
So this morning there is so much that we have to offer to the world. (Yes, sir) We have a great dream. (Great dream) It started way back in 1776, and God grant that America will be true to her dream.
I tell you this morning once more that I haven’t lost the faith. (No, sir) I still have a dream...
(A dream, Yes, sir) that one day all of God’s children will have food and clothing and material well-being for their bodies, culture and education for their minds, and freedom for their spirits. (Yes)
I still have a dream this morning (Amen) that truth will reign supreme and all of God’s children will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. And when this day comes the morning stars will sing together (Yes) and the sons of God will shout for joy...
“No doubt, divine providence played a huge role in this election.” “I will boldly proclaim that. I saw it first-hand. I was there on the campaign trail. I saw how things were changing. I saw more and more people’s eyes open, and I think so much of that was based on the church in general, those people of faith who were praying to God that people would wake up.”
“Remember, our Founders dedicated this land, this new country that would be America, this idea of America, dedicated it to God,” she pointed out.
“If I were President, I’d re-dedicate us to God. When I was governor I proclaimed that, the state of Alaska, this is yours, Lord. May your will be done here. We need to do that again in America.”
“Prayer warriors across the country, we got to be on our knees asking for a change here, because we’re going down the wrong road. I was so grateful to see so many people step up in that realm,” Palin said.
She added a personal note, something she said she’s never talked about in public before: “I was very grateful to see that the church stepped up, because eight years ago, I felt that they didn’t.
Besides the attacks on my family and supporters, the most hurtful thing about the election, the vilification, the marginalization, the ridicule that hit us, my family and me, eight years ago, was that I didn’t feel that the church did circle the wagons and step up boldly and say, ‘What? No, that’s not what she’s saying,’ or ‘That’s not what she represents.’ Because some of them knew me.”
“So yes, thank God. Literally, I’m thanking God that this go-around, enough pastors, enough congregations, enough people know there is greater purpose in our lives...
More of the Church stepped up, prayed about this very hard (and they need to keep praying about it). They did their job,” Palin concluded.
Rabbi Eyal Karim stated in the past that homosexuals were sick people. He asserted that the reason for halachic restrictions on women’s testimonies in a court of law was their “sentimental nature,” although he did not claim that this perception should be implemented in civil courts.
He was also quoted as saying that the Halacha allows Jewish fighters to rape good-looking gentile women in order to maintain the Hebrew army’s high morale.
On Wednesday, in a written statement to the High Court of Justice, Karim was more resolved: “In our times, the world has advanced morally,” he admits. “There are binding values and orders in the world that are not in line with the literal halachic orders and require a new interpretation that would match, for example, the army’s values and orders.”
Rabbi Karim represents the majority opinion, or at least the Orthodox majority opinion in Israel. The mainstream halachic stance (“Israel’s Torah” in its Orthodox interpretation) is simply not in line with the universal equality values, which the State of Israel at least allegedly supports. The Halacha does not believe in equality between men and women, and it definitely does not believe in equality between Jews and gentiles. There are different rules for each of these groups, which blatantly discriminate against the group that is perceived as inferior by the Halacha arbiters.
But that doesn’t mean that these rules are always implemented...
The Halacha arbiters can issue a commentary that will halt the essence of problematic religious laws... They can also argue, as Karim did, that the world has changed, or that a different set of rules (the army’s values and orders) does not allow its implementation.
In any event, the sacred order itself and the sacred tradition it is wrapped in are not canceled. Rather, they are placed on the shelf, and the question of whether to use them halachically or not is put in the hands of the authorized commentators — namely, Rabbi Karim and his colleagues.
What will happen when “Israel’s hand will be firm,” then?
isis - right-wing sharia (religious law) cult - using law to sanctionize sadist, anti-feminist & anti-gay behavior
Cartoon from the UK Independent. It depicts The British PM and French president fighting over controls of the plane while in the back seat asleep is Obama (leading from behind) with the Emir of Qatar at the point of the aircraft with a wind direction detector to ascertain the political winds to follow.
Qatar will continue to arm Syrian rebels even if Donald Trump ends U.S. backing for the multinational effort, Doha's foreign minister said in an interview.
But Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the wealthy Gulf state would not "go solo" and supply shoulder-fired missiles to the rebels... Any move to supply anti-aircraft weapons to them would have to be decided collectively by the rebels' backers...
Some Western officials worry that Gulf states could supply such weapons. Washington fears they could be seized by jihadi groups and used against Western airliners.
Qatar is a top backer of rebels fighting Assad, working alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Western nations in a military aid program overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that provides moderate groups with arms and training.
Qatar was determined to carry on, Sheikh Mohammed said: "This support is going to continue, we are not going to stop it. It doesn't mean that if Aleppo falls we will give up on the demands of the Syrian people," he said.
"Even if the regime captures it (Aleppo), I am sure they will have the ability to capture it back from the regime..."
He said Assad was "the fuel of Daesh" because his forces' [fighting rebels] helped the hardline group motivate young Syrian recruits.
Sheikh Mohammed suggested that Trump's views about Syria might evolve once in office when he received intelligence reports about the "reality" on the ground. Sheikh Mohammed said the reality was that Assad and violence by his forces were the core security risk...
The minister hit out at Egypt, normally a close Gulf Arab ally, for appearing to side with Assad, and criticized Iran for what he said was interference in the affairs of Arab states.
"For us unfortunately Egypt is supporting the regime ... We hope that they come back and be with us," he said. Support for Assad is the same as supporting terrorism, he said, "because he is a terrorist and he is on equal footing with Daesh".
For the first time, Qatar reveals that it had soldiers on the ground across Libya assisting in the fight against Gaddafi’s regime, with the country to play a major role in integrating the rebels into the Libyan military
"We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on the ground were hundreds in every region,” said Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Atiya.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting in Doha of military allies of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Atiya said the Qataris had been “running the training and communication operations.”
“Qatar had supervised the rebels’ plans because they did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces,” he said.
Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil told the meeting that Qatar had been “a major partner in all the battles we fought.” He added that the Qataris had “planned” the battles which paved the way for NTC fighters to gradually take over Gaddafi-held towns and cities.
Atiya also said that after the departure of NATO troops, a new international coalition led by Qatar would oversee “military training, collecting weapons, and integrating the rebels in newly established military institutions.”
The coalition, named as the “Friends Committee in Support if Libya” and which held its first meeting in Doha on Wednesday, is made up of 13 countries including the United States, Britain and France, said Atiya.
Qatar, whose gas reserves and tiny population make it one of the richest countries in the world, has long pursued an activist foreign policy.. But there was still surprise when it sent most of its air force to join NATO’s operation and delivered large quantities of what were described as defensive weapons but which included Milan anti-tank missiles to the rebels.
Lattakia, SANA- Under the patronage of Prime Minister Imad Khamis, the University of al- Manara was opened on Sunday during a ceremony in its temporary headquarter in the Tenth Project area in Lattakia city. The University is one of the Syrian Trust for Development projects and is a new educational landmark to be joined to other Syrian universities.
In a speech during the ceremony, Higher Education Minister Atef Naddaf said that the opening of al-Manara University comes in response to the terrorist war waged against Syria, hailing the active role of the civil establishments, especially the Syria Trust for Development, which aims through the opening of this university to prepare a generation that is able to rebuild its country.
For his part, Mohamed Maher al-Mojtahed, Rector of al-Manara University, said that opening the University came as a testament to the ability of the Syrians to rebuild what has been destroyed by the terrorist war, adding that the University is based on following the normative foundations of international rules in the field of higher education in cooperation with international establishments in this field.
He pointed out that a part of the university’s revenues will be allocated to develop its facilities, educational and developmental activities in addition to offering scholarships for students and the families of martyrs and the wounded.
Rashid al-Ghannushi: No to Political Islam
"The ideal Muslim is not defined in the Quran;
to the contrary, it is a person who sins and makes mistakes." Daily Sabah, Turkey, 28-11-2016
Daily Sabah: "In the past months, you have indicated that you were not interested in political Islam. Could you please elaborate?"
Rashid al-Ghannushi: "I said this at the most recent congress of al-Nahda. We previously had a comprehensive Islamic ideology, which encompassed politics and Islamic and social research. I now believe that political parties should only focus on politics; civilian initiatives should take part in the remaining spheres of life. What I am saying is not a new interpretation of Islam. In our belief, the principles of Islam are clear.
The issue is how an Islamic organization or movement should be. For instance, we said that the mosques should not turn into a mouthpiece of a political party. The imams are allowed to talk about politics, but they should not be endorsing a political party.
Rashid al-Ghannushi is an Islamic scholar and the leader of Tunisia's Ennahda Party.
Divine law (Principles) versus Human law (Sharia)
"Those who have divided their religion and become sects - you,
[O Muhammad], are not associated with them in anything." (Al-An'am, 159)
Divine principles in Islam are Mercy & Compassion. This means that human laws that conflicts with these principles (rules based on hate & revenge) have to be seen as anti-Islamic laws.
Christianity (Jesus, NOT the Pope) and progressive Judaism (Hillel, NOT Shammai) give their followers the Golden Rule: "Your'e all brothers and you don't have the right to play God (or the Devil), by demonizing your neighbours."
In all ancient civilisations 'Divine Law' was represented by the world of 'The Planets' (astrology):
The Moon gives you compassion & protection, Jupiter Wisdom & Justice, Saturn is the Law-maker ('you have rights, but also duties'), the Sun gives you the right to be Happy and make Fun in life..., etc..
Qaradawi (Muslim Brotherhood):
Pro-Gov't Syrian Civilians Are Legitimate Targets
A suicide attack inside Damascus mosque kills Sunni cleric Dr Mohammed al-Bouti, leaving at least 42 dead and 84 wounded. Dr Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, Imam of Damascus' historic Ummayyad Mosque, was killed in the explosion in the Iman Mosque in the central Mezzeh district.
Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said: "We know that in the past years, he [Bouti] has been a prominent cleric against the Muslim Brotherhood movement (Political Islam)."
Regional leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party condemned the brutal crime in al-Iman mosque in Damascus: "This massacre adds to the crimes perpetrated by the mercenary terrorists against the Syrians.. they target everything including the mosques and houses of worship," the leadership said in statement. (SANA)
"The action being taken today in Libya is right.
It would be terrible tragedy if the mistakes of Iraq led to a retreat
from the principle of liberal interventionism" - Nick Clegg, 29-3-2011
Alepppo 2014: A source at the Aleppo Water Department told Al-Akhbar that “the terrorists control the pumping station in the Suleiman al-Halabi region and they do not respect any agreements with the Red Crescent...” He pointed out that “the Sharia Authority controls the station and there are major disagreements between its leaders and we as an institution have no direct relationship with them except through the Red Crescent, especially since they killed a number of our staff.”
The source pointed to the “danger of insurgents pumping water only to the neighborhoods that they control as it might lead to the collapse of the integrated water system and the difficulty of maintaining it..." (al-Akhbar, 12-5-2014)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA - For the first time in two years, the residents of Aleppo will have consistent running waterafter the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) finally expelled the jihadist rebels occupying the Suleiman Al-Halabi Water Pumping Station.
Shutting off water to the residents of government-held Aleppo was one of the ways that the jihadist rebels would punish the civilians for not backing their forces.
Over time, the Syrian government would find ways to work around this problem; however, their fixes were always temporary and limited to certain neighborhoods.
With the Suleiman Al-Halabi Water Pumping Station under their control, the Syrian government can supply water to over 1 million residents in Aleppo, ending one of the biggest problems plaguing the city.
Aleppo Governor Hussein Diab:
"Syrian Arab Army unit, in cooperation with supporting forces, establish control over Sleiman al-Halabi water station. Technicians enter the station to begin repairs in order to bring it back online as soon as possible." (SANA, 28 November 2015)