Link to Video of the week:
Link to Video of the week:
With news circulating that Iran has pulled the film ‘A Cube of Sugar’ from consideration at the Oscars over the anti-Islam film I can’t help but let out a large sigh.
I have tried to avoid writing anything about this subject mainly because I kept wrongly thinking the fuss would all die down. But to no avail as a couple of weeks in from the film first scouting controversy people are still talking, tweeting and protesting about it. Not to mention the fact that the controversy surrounding that damned film has been topically name dropped by nearly all the relevant leaders in their recent speech’s at the UN summit.
So not wanting to be left out of the fray, here are my two cents on the subject.
First things first, I believe the outrageously violent protests that were sparked by this film were firstly un-called for. I don’t care how offensive it was, you don’t respond to a movie that practically labels the people who follow the faith of Islam as savages by acting like savages. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Go ahead and protest, that is a right afforded to all, but protest like dam human beings. Having said that there were of course many protests that were carried out peacefully in many locations around the world. But with the world being the way it is, peaceful protests don’t enlist the media coverage as well as some angry flag-burning insult taunting Muslims losing their general shiz at a US embassy do.
US Focal point:
Another thing that has also annoyed me with regard to these violent protest is the fact they seem to be all aimed at US embassies or, in some cases, US franchises. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but last time I checked it wasn’t Barack Obama or any US senator or government official that was listed as a producer, director or even simple stage-hand in the credits of this nonsensical film. Too boot, I don’t remember any governmental budgets being set aside and stipulated for funding films *and to be honest, even calling it a film is in my mind giving it way too much credit* that spout hate-filled nonsense. This film was made by some twat who happened to have a U.S. citizenship. Hitler was born in Poland but you didn’t see the allied powers aiming all their ammo at Austria for simply being the homeland of the damned Fuhrer as opposed to Germany where boy had clearly set up shop during the war. Him being American is beside the point.
Another issue I find with all this controversy is the fact that the idiot who produced this beyond-a-low-budget-film-its-practically-replacing-the-Dead-Sea-as-the-lowest-point-on-Earth is that this tool has achieved what he set out to do. He has not only offended the people he set out to offend but also enraged a minority of those people enough to publicly make a**holes of themselves and further reinforce this negative ‘Muslamic Ray Guns’ rage stereotype of muslims. It’s like we Muslims aren’t complete unless we are seething with anger and burning a flag or 2. It’s utterly disgraceful. Adding to the fact that with all this extreme protesting more attention has been drawn to this film therefore affording it more publicity. The publicity means that more people are being exposed to the films insufferable views. Plus a point to note is that all the hits that are garnered on this video on Youtube do translate into money being paid to the uploader. The guy must be minted by now.
Priorities: Messed up:
And lastly I feel like these protesters who are so vehemently protesting the vilification of their prophet and religion are missing the bigger picture. Yes, the video was offensive, yes it was tacky. But can you not maybe think in this day and age of anything worse occurring that might be bringing a greater harm to your people? If you care so much about the muslim ‘ummah’ and the image of Islam surely you should be more outraged at the thousands of muslims being massacred in Syria? Have none of these hardcore touting muslims ever read this ayah in the Quran?
‘On that account We ordained for the Children of Isra`il that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole humanity.’ Surah 5, verse 32
So where is the unbridled outrage at the death toll which numbers in the tens of thousands and which by far over-shadows the one person metaphor in this ayah? Or can the US flags you have stockpiled not wait to go up in flames?
I think the adequate response to a video like this is to simply give it the attention it deserves…which is none at all. It isn’t worth anyone’s time of day. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe as a Muslim this the movie is disrespectful, grossly offensive, racist and intolerant. I just believe the response to the hate eschewed in this film shouldn’t be more exaggerated and violent hate. You don’t win by one up-ing bigots.
Today an Israeli newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjimin Netenyahu and his Defense minister would like to attack Iran’s nuclear sites before the November U.S elections. Despite their strident views they lack crucial support both within their cabinet and their military. That coupled with the fact that If a war with Iran was to be launched this would considerably shake and rupture the bedrock of ties between Israel and the US as the latter country has made it clear about its desire to avoid any conflict of sorts.
Israel Israel Israel, what are we going to do with you and your fixated paranoia? If Israel was a person by now there would be a restraining order out on its ass. The problem with all this isn’t that Israel has a problem with Iran, after all, many countries do, it’s how it goes about justifying and then exaggerating its problems. The ironic fact about this latest report by Israel is that US officials only just yesterday released a report highlighting that Iran is not only not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon but that Tehran has not even made a decision on whether or not it should pursue one. Now how Netanyahu missed this tid bit of information goes beyond me, but what this statement does is virtually punch massive holes into Israel’s current war rampant tirade.
This Israeli paranio and ‘blame Iran’ mantra was even extended to the recent attacks in Egypt which left 16 Egyptian border police dead. Israel was quick on the mark, pointing the finger startlingly at Iran. This claim against Iran is largely unfounded as even when Israel accused it of the attack it didn’t offer up a shred of evidence to justify its claim. This kind of behavior literally reminds me of playground politics. It’s like when there is a kid you don’t like in nursery because he has taken your shovel in the sand pit whilst you were busy dilly dallying about with bucket… you try and snatch it back (in kids terms that amounts to; excuse me sir, but I happen to notice that thou has attained thee’s shovel whilst thy was unaware) but the kid refuses to hand it back…so you shove over a plant pot and when asked what happened automatically say ‘Ayatollah did it’…….even though you are at home and a week has passed by and said Ayatollah is holidaying in Iran (Came together nicely in the end didn’t it?).
Now yea that analogy is a complete curve ball and if you think about it doesn’t reeeeeeally make that much sense but I just wanted to give a young kid named Ayatollah his 5 seconds of fame in this drama. Point is Israel, stop waging war on an unimagined reality. You don’t need to make-up vices against Iran to have a grudge against the country. The more you fabricate the less ingenious any of your claims will be. Plus, you know the people at the top in Israel are waning in their judgment (more so than usual) when they are ready to throw the towel in with the US for the sake of meting out this undue punishment to Iran. The funny thing is, Iran and Israel are two faces of the same coin in many respects. They both like throwing around wild accusations at their enemies whilst turning a blind eye to their disdainful policies back home. They both like to take on this ‘me against the world’, ‘David vs Goliath’ attitude when it comes to defining their place on the world map. Also they are both largely seen to be pariahs in the region they reside in. So yea, practically twins.
Basically put your spears and war paint away Israel and settle right down … because unless you’re looking to be the newly added member of the Expandables cast, you’ve got no reason to be going anywhere with your battle cry, anytime soon.
One of the things that had continually dogged the Mubarak trial had been the health status of Hosni Mubarak. With the ending of the trial on Saturday, which convicted Mubarak of having failed to intervene to stop the killings of protesters, questions regarding his deteriorating health continue to enlist coverage. Since the trials had begun Mubarak had been in and out of hospital and had also demanded to be carried into court on a stretcher re-emphasizing his overall ‘fragile’ state and health.
Now some of you may point to all this as simple theatrics. Some of you may point to Mubarak maybe having ulterior motives in his depiction of himself as a weak and frail man. So he can enlist sympathy? So he can engender concerns over a breach of his Human Rights? Maybe he has his eyes on a particular prize. An Emmy? Dare say an Oscar? Since he has lost the presidential seat he might be looking for a back-up career as a Hollywood method actor.
No No, I say. That is not what all this hoopla surrounding his health is about. It’s all a misunderstanding, and if anything, Mubarak has been in fact, wronged. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at some of the points listed below:
Firstly, Mubarak’s health further deteriorated on Monday after a visit from his wife Suzanne Mubarak who sobbed at the sight of Muabarak in his blue prison suit. I understand your pain Suzanne…. How could they do this to your husband? BLUE PRISION SUIT? Have you no sense of shame or ounce of morality Egypt? You know that BLUE isn’t his color. It clearly does nothing for his complexion and washes out his face without bringing due attention to his eyes. Savages.
But if this fashion faux pas isn’t enough to engender your sympathy for Mubarak then maybe recanting some of these events may sway you. See if you can stomach this. Right after his sentencing on Saturday Mubarak was transferred directly from the court by helicopter to Cairo prison hospital. Mubarak reportedly cried and tried to resist leaving the helicopter. Why I hear you cry? Because Mubarak was insisting he instead be flown to his luxury suit were he had been held during his trial. Mubarak…selfless as always. You see Mubarak didn’t want to trouble the doctors and nurses in the hospital with his ailments as it would divert undue attention from their care of other patients at their facility and therefore inevitably lead to an increase in their workload. He, like the selfless hero he is, instead wanted to tough it out ‘bear- grylls’ style in the harsh and barren conditions of his luxury suite. Brave man…. Putting others before himself.
But then I hear you ask, why was he seen on a stretcher being carried in and out of court throughout his trial? Surely if the man is not well enough to walk into nor sit in court he should be in a proper medical facility which can afford him the treatment he so desperately needs rather than holed up in the confines of his luxury non-medical abode? To this I say you are misunderstanding the situation. This is a clear case of Hosni simply being thoughtful. The man was simply thinking of the health of the people carrying his stretcher. He saw that a few people needed some extra bicep and tricep action and so offered to be there ‘weight-training-man’. He was simply giving them their dose of exercise for the day which as any well informed individual knows, is integral to leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
But on a serious note, Mubarak, man the F’ up. The sympathy afforded to you and the treatment you have received while being held on trial is a million times more gracious than that afforded to the political dissidents, martyrs, protesters and revolutionaries whom you crushed, repressed, tortured and beat in your quest to retain power. The tears and theatrics you and your family spill mean nothing in the wake of the destruction and corruption of your rule. You have had the wish of having your son Gamal Mubarak moved to a nearby cell near you granted. The people you held, tortured and who died in your prisons were never afforded the means to say farewell to their loved ones and family let alone having any of their wishes granted. They weren’t afforded luxury suits while they waited trial, hell most of them never even got a day in court to face the ‘charges’ brought against them.
They say you reap what you sow, but if that was true, you would be sowing a painful existence rather than a mere inconvenience to your living standards.
On Sunday Ahmed Shafiq, one of the two remaining candidates still in the running for the Egyptian presidency, gave a press conference in a luxurious hotel in Cairo. In it he stated that ‘the Muslim Brotherhood is the old regime’ and by old regime, he means that of Hosni Mubarak’s.
Now, mudslinging between opponents is unfortunately nothing new. Going toe-to-toe in the verbal ring of insults is a common fixture in many countries campaign run’s for office, and it seems Egypt is no different.
What is interesting to note though is the choice of insult Ahmed Shafiq has chosen to use. Muslim Brotherhood part of the old regime? You get ‘em son. Right in the money maker. That’ll clearly discredit them in the minds of many as who wants to be associated with that Z lister has been. Mubarak? That’s SO 1981-2011. That fad is well and truly over.
Ballsy Shafiq, Ballsy. You got this son. Not only can this guy give a punch but he can clearly take one. He can so badly take one that he is just out there metaphorically punching himself. How I hear you ask?
Well because not only did Ahmed Shafiq serve in Mubarak’s government from 2002-11 as a Minister of Civil Aviation, he was also appointed Prime Minister by the Top dog for 33 days during the Egyptian Revolutions.
So as you can see, Shafiq is clearly adopting a Kamikaze style approach to this presidential race, going all-out fight club on his own ass. Ain’t no-one gonna take down and discredit the Shafiq-inator…except Shafiq
Campaigning… you are doing it wrong Shafiq.
Bernie Ecclestone yesterday finally put rumors to rest and declared that the F1 race would definitely take place in Bahrain this year. He also claimed in his statement that everything is peaceful and quiet in Bahrain and that everybody is happy with the outcome of this decision. There had been much debate and deliberation prior to his announcement over whether or not the F1 race would be pulled from Bahrain due to the government’s ongoing heavy-handed repression and discrimination of its pro-democracy protesters. The reasons to why the people are protesting are varied and have been covered in this previous post so I wont recite the points again. But bear in mind since my post there have been have been a plethora of abuses of human rights and injustices that have occurred.
In hearing the news of the commencement of the F1 race as scheduled Amnesty responded criticizing the decision stating that:
“as the country prepares to host the Grand Prix, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly with fatal results.”
Not only that but on the same day as the announcement was made a young 14 year old boy was shot in the chest by government forces during a protest.
So peaceful and quiet Bernie says. If this is quiet and peaceful I’d like to see his idea of violent. Armagaddon is probably a walk in the park for this Hard-as-nails character. This race should not be held in a country which continues to ignore and repress the cries of its people.
But there are those who argue that the other side of the argument should be given some recognition. This side claims the F1 race will bring in revenue through tourism and jobs. To this I say yes it would, but right now ‘revenue’ is not what the country needs. Instead ‘Justice’ is what it should be seeking as the seeds of discontent and division continue to be sown. And anyway, whatever way you look at it, Bahrain is NOT exactly struggling economically. Fact: It’s not a picture of poverty and depravity. If it has survived countless years without the F1 race, I am sure it will manage to survive this year and the many more years to come without it. After all, this F1 race isn’t exactly going to be a constant yearly fixture on the Bahrani calendar.
Instead the Race should be cancelled. A message should be sent, however small, that no government who serves its needs over its peoples will be rewarded, be it with something as superficial as an international F1 race.
Injustice should not be Ignored, let alone rewarded.
On April 4th 2012 the Pentagon finally approved the charges brought forth against 5 Guantanamo bay prisoners accused of playing a part in the terrorist attacks that rocked America on September 11th. Amongst these 5 prisoners is Khaled Sheikh Mohammed who admitted during a military hearing to being the ‘mastermind’ behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They are expected to stand trial in a U.S base in Cuba in front of a military Judge in May of this year. If convicted of the charges of murder and terrorism brought forth against them, they may find themselves facing the death penalty.
11 years on and there is ultimately no clear verdict on these men’s fate and the other men like them who are still holed up in Guantanamo Bay. In this lengthy time there have been questions dogging the administration over how to try them, where to try them (civilian or military courts) and when to try them. There have also been countless questions surrounding the legality of detaining them in Guantanamo bay, with promises that Obama had made to close this controversial site down being ultimately scrapped early on in his first term in office due to ‘logistics’. Throughout all this, questions of legality and the breach of Human rights have been paramount in the highly contentious debates about both Guantanamo bay as a compound and its detainees.
But these men, who are accused in partaking in one way or another in the act which single handedly ignited America’s new age of warfare against the ever impending threat of ‘terrorism’, have been given a lengthy sentence in purgatory. A long time some would say, but even longer considering that it only took the U.S administration less than a month to declare its war on Afghanistan. The war on Afghanistan started October 7th 2001 and this was, in the eyes of the administration, ample enough time for them to launch a full-fledged war on a country which had been historically ravaged time and time again by many different foreign forces. From the Brits to the Soviets to the Mongols, everyone it seems had tried and failed to stably secure this land under their military guise. Yet this did not seem to deter the U.S administration in their quest to seek ‘justice’ for the attacks on their soil.
As of April 3rd 2012 there have been 2,853 coalition deaths in Afghanistan with the casualty figures of Afghan civilians in the tens of thousands. Unlike the deaths of coalition forces, the deaths of Afghan civilians are unfortunately not afforded the same prompt and detailed records so the estimates vary depending on which source you rely on. Afghanistan as a state is ravaged with internal conflict, corruption, lawlessness and injustice. Opium production has drastically risen since the war began contrary to the wishes and aims of the U.S. administration. The faux guise of democracy afforded to Hamid Karzai’s government also does not hide the chronic underlying problems facing the government’s structure and base, that it is weak and dysfunctional. One cannot deny that the state Afghanistan is currently in is less than ideal, but some argue nonetheless it is better than what it had before the war. I will not contest this claim but what I will contest is the idea that Afghanistan should have to settle for ‘slightly better than worse’. The reason why Afghanistan is in such a bad state is the simple fact that not enough (or hardly any) time was spent dealing with the logistics of the aftershock of war.
The issue here isn’t that people shouldn’t be given a fair and just trial regardless of how long it takes, but that this same logic of justice and more importantly time, is also afforded to the people whose lives you will ultimately change and affect when you finally decide to ‘drop that bomb’ for whatever cause. When you declare war you are ultimately passing judgment on thousands of people’s lives, be it troops and their families, or Afghan civilians and their livelihoods and lives. The balance we afford to one life over another is ironically dependent on some part on their geographic placement in the world. In our custody and on our soil the ideals of democracy, justice and fair trail are extolled in defense of what, at times, may seem like the indefensible. While the lives of the soldiers and civilians whose fate inextricably lie with the administration’s decisions, seem to be all too easily written off as ‘collateral damage’.
The logistics of war it seems are easier to handle than the logistics of the Guantanamo bay detainees. Wars are waged too easily without a thorough enough thought given to the consequences and aftershocks that it will inevitably bring. Invading and occupying a country is never going to be easy, lest one with as much of a troubled past as that of Afghanistan. Every action has its opposite reaction and consequences are born out of actions. As the U.S. has found in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, you might have won the battle but the war has clearly not been so easily won.