American Rabbi Calls for Extermination of Muslims

American Rabbi Calls for Extermination of Muslims

American Rabbi Calls for Extermination of Muslims

New York – In an alarming hate speech that went unreported in American mainstream media, an American Rabbi called simply for extermination of Muslims and a “holy crusade” against them.

In a sermon he delivered on September 29, Rabbi Shalom Lewis from Congregation Etz Chaim in the state of Georgia, said Muslims are “guilty” of terrorism and should be “exterminated.”

This sermon against Islam comes three years after another sermon where he compared Muslims to Nazis.

But this time around, he toughened his rhetoric and calls for the extermination of Muslims.

“Three years later on this bima, on this very same day, standing at this podium, I cry out not ‘Ehr Kumpt – they are coming,’ I cry out, ‘Ehr daw – they are here’,” the rabbi said.

Lewis estimated the number of Muslims worldwide to stand at 1 billion, adding 5% of them are “committed terrorists and murderers.”

“There are one billion Muslims in the world and authorities agree that 5% are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5%. Thank God it’s only 5%.”

But the furry of the rabbi against Islam did not stop there. He went on to add that all Muslims are guilty of terrorism be default.

“But what disturbs me is, where are the other 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists? Who are not bomb-blasting, acid-throwing zealots? (…) I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. I want to believe – – but where are they? A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission – it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis – but it did not matter. Most Russians were not Stalinists – but it did not matter. Most Muslims are not terrorists – but it does not matter.”

For the American rabbi, there is only one choice for what he calls the free world to live in peace and enjoy freedom is to exterminate the “evil” represented by Islam.

“The fury of ultimate evil is upon us and we must act – not to contain it. Not to degrade it. Not to manage it. Not to tolerate it, but to exterminate it utterly and absolutely,” he said.

“If we fail in this holy crusade, we will live in a world bereft of color. Empty of music, of art, of romance, of laughter, of freedom, of invention. A world barren of all beauty. Depleted of all virtue,” he concluded

How An Illinois Mom Converted To Islam And Found Peace And Joy During Her Very First Hajj

How An Illinois Mom Converted To Islam And Found Peace And Joy During Her Very First Hajj

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KRISTIN
 
 
 

Kristin Szremski is a 53-year-old mom from Palo Hills, Illinois. Born into a Missouri-Synod Lutheran family, she first converted to Catholicism before finding her place in Islam. This year, Szremski was one of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who were drawn to Mecca between October 2 – 7 to complete the fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj.

She tells Huffington Post about her experience below. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

1. How did you come to Islam and what was it about the religion that moved you?

I was a special assignment reporter for the Star Newspapers in suburban Chicago in 2000. I was assigned to cover the Arab community. At that time, I didn’t know anything about Islam — I was raised as a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and we had been taught that all religions and prophets that came after Jesus were false.

During the six weeks I had for research, I interviewed many, many Arab Muslims. My conversion was not something that happened overnight; it probably took more than 18 months. I was fascinated to learn that Islam had all the same stories as the Bible as well as the same characters.

To back up a bit — I was raised Lutheran, but converted to Catholicism when I was about 40. I always wanted to belong to a large community and I was intrigued by the Catholic Church. Since my husband at the time was Catholic, I decided to join the church. That had a huge impact on my later conversion to Islam because where the Lutheran church believed in the Bible literally, the Catholic Church encouraged knowledge, questions and also gave us the historical context for the books contained in the Christian canon. This allowed me to open my mind to the possibility that the Quran was truly the revealed word of God.

Once I came to believe this, it was an easy step to believe Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the messenger and prophet. The harder part was letting go of my belief that Jesus was the Son of God. Ultimately, it was the passages in the Quran where God tells us that He was not begotten nor has He begotten and similar ones that finally helped me. Also, Jesus figures prominently in Islam so I wasn’t letting go of him, but just the idea that he is God.

In the end, my conversion came while I was praying. The date was July 21, 2001. I was in a hotel room in Washington DC, where I’d gone to cover a meeting for a magazine I was writing for. I had the Quran open on the bed before me and I was actually on my knees praying, asking God to lead me to the truth when suddenly I declared the Shahada –- that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger. I later made a public declaration in Arabic but for all purposes it was at that moment that I became a Muslim.

I love Islam because of its purity, its simplicity and its truth. The Muslims I had met were truly pleasant, patient and well-mannered people.

kristin
2. We understand this is your first hajj. Were you nervous at all?

I was very nervous about this trip because it is a heavy spiritual journey, which means there’s a lot of personal reflection. It is also a very physical experience, with many different components taking place over several days. I’ve had two surgeries on my neck and lower back because of the degenerative arthritis and it has left me with some slight neurological deficiencies. One of the biggest of these is weakness in my legs, which things like overuse, fatigue, lack of sleep, extreme conditions can exacerbate.

3. Was there someone who showed you around? How did you know what to do?

I was traveling with a tour group, called Noor Travel, out of Milwaukee. The tour guide was extremely helpful. Plus, my lovely roommates are Arab American women who can help with the language as need be. There are also people in the group who have done this before who can offer advice. When all is said and done, though, 3 million people in one small place is pretty overwhelming and daunting so I pretty much learned as I went along.

kristin
4. Are there any parts of the hajj that you were particularly looking forward to? 
Muslims pray in the direction of the Kaaba from wherever they are in the world. Being in the presence of God in Mecca, at the very center of the Earth, where Adam and Eve came to earth from the Garden of Eden, where Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the Kaaba, and where Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived and received his first revelations from God is a tremendously invigorating and rejuvenating experience. To be able to see the Kaaba right in front of me after all these years was powerful and something I don’t believe I will ever forget.

5. How did it go?
I did much better physically than I expected. I’m actually feeling better now than before I left for the trip, mainly due to an improved state of mind that this trip brought about. In addition, Islam is always about moderation and the religion is not meant to be difficult. Therefore, certain accommodations are possible during the rites of Hajj.

There are three types of Tawafs, or circumambulations of the Kaaba. During each Tawaf, Muslims circle the Kaaba seven times.

I was able to use a wheelchair to circumambulate the Kaaba the first time.

During the second Tawaf, called Tawaf Al-Ifadah. I wanted to walk by myself so I could really concentrate on ‘talking to God,’ in my supplications and in worship. I also wanted to make the physical effort for God, as so much of Islam is about taking action with the help of God. This was an extremely beautiful experience for me, extremely spiritual. I finished the entire rite in just under three hours. Then it took me about one hour to make the usual 10 minute trip back to the hotel because I had overdone it a bit.

I was not able to finish the third Tawaf, called Tawaf Al-Wada or the Farewell Tawaf, because I was unprepared for the millions of people who were there at the same time as me. I was getting hurt and not strong enough to withstand the crush of people. So, sadly, I had to leave without completing it. To expiate for missing that rite, I paid to have a sheep slaughtered and its meat given to the poor.

Throwing stones at pillars that symbolize the spots where Satan tempted Abraham, who was preparing to sacrifice his son, is another rite of Hajj. Because of the sheer physicality it takes to walk up a steep hill to the throwing area and the danger of being in a crowd of a few million people throwing what are supposed to be pebbles but sometimes turn out larger, women, the elderly and people with health conditions can ask someone to throw the stones for them. I took advantage of this and asked some other group member to throw for me.

An integral part of the Hajj is the visit to Mount Arafah, where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed on the ninth of Dhul Hijjah when he made Hajj. The Day of Arafah is a day of atonement, when we stand in prayer from just after the sun reaches its zenith during midday until sunset. This year, it was about six hours. We were at Arafah long before that, though. We stayed in sweltering tents. It was 108 degrees outside and hotter inside because the air conditioning did not work.

If one stands in Arafah in sincere devotion and sincerely repents of his sins, all his sins will be forgiven. And we also believe that supplications on this day made sincerely will be answered. Standing is key, although allowances are made for older people or people, like me, with health conditions. I stood a great deal of the time but had to sit from time to time.

It was probably the most difficult physically and spiritually of the entire trip. But it was also extremely beautiful and cleansing. The most beautiful time came when it was close to sunset and hundreds of people gathered on a hillside, facing the Kaaba in the West, to make supplications while the sun was setting. All this was done while one imam made the supplications, called du’as, out loud. It was extremely powerful and many people, including me, were crying.

I think there’s a recurring point here. Hajj requires extreme effort but then offers extreme beauty, peace and joy in return.

kristin
6. What were you searching for during this pilgrimage? Did you find it?

What I wanted most out of this journey is to find a deeper relationship with my Creator, to get to the place where I have the confidence of my conviction that God is all I need or will ever need. I was praying for this absolute, intuitive trust because who have attained this level of faith are never worried or discouraged.

I believe I absolutely found what I was looking for, although I also realize that this is something I have to work on every day. In Mecca, in the presence of the Kaaba, I felt God’s presence in a way that I never have before at any time in my life. There was an overwhelming feeling of love that inspired trust and confidence. I could pour my heart out, ask for anything and worship God.

Now that I have experienced this pure connection to God, I want to maintain and grow it. The onus is on me to make the changes necessary to help this happen. For instance, I plan on attending congregational Fajr (dawn) prayers at the mosque everyday, God-willing.

7. What did you hope would change about you after hajj, on the inside? Did this happen?

The last 10 years have been difficult ones for me – I got divorced, moved, had two major surgeries related to the degenerative arthritis, lost my house in economic crisis, and am beginning to feel worn down by the rampant Islamophobia in this country. Islam is the perfect religion, but I am not living it perfectly. Instead of complaining, I should be thanking God for what I’ve experienced in the past few years.

I think the biggest thing that happened to me was that I realized how spoiled I am as a privileged American, how ungrateful I’ve been for my conversion to Islam and for the life that I have.

People from all corners of the world come to Hajj and many of them do not have the means to stay in hotels, let alone tents. People leave their villages with not much more than a small sack of possessions, knowing they will be sleeping without shelter on a plaza, hillside, or on the street. Would I have that kind of devotion? I would hope so, but somehow I rather doubt it. It was these people, who inspired me to walk the second Tawaf, described above.

A person’s Hajj can be invalidated for complaining, arguing, or gossiping so it is extremely important to avoid all this. Dealing with crowds of millions requires massive doses of patience, which can only happen when you start looking at individuals in the crowd as just that – individual human beings deserving of respect and gentle treatment. Exercising this kind of patience for two weeks brought about a deeper sense of humility, which I hope to remember as I go about my daily life.

Finally, God says in the Quran that He guides whom He wills to Islam. As I mentioned, I’d been struggling lately because of things like Islamophobia. Instead of cherishing the fact that God called me to the religion, I’ve been focusing on superficial things that distract me from the real beauty of what it means to be Muslim. This experience showed me that I have been taking the great gift of this faith for granted.

kristin

ALSO ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

How the Ansari X Prize Altered the Trajectory of Human Spaceflight

How the Ansari X Prize Altered the Trajectory of Human Spaceflight

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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SpaceShipOne in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Ad Meskens via Wikimedia Commons)

Looking up into the bright Mojave sky in 2004, I strained to keep my eyes on the tiny spaceship 50,000 feet up. “Three, two, one… release, release, release!” came the call over the loudspeakers.

I held my breath as I watched the rocket motor ignite and the spaceship ascend on a plume of fire with Mike Melvill at the controls. The contrail started to corkscrew and my heart dropped to my stomach in terror. A few seconds later we got the “all clear” signal that Mike had make it to space and was okay thanks to some cool nerves and some excellent piloting. Mike reminded us that day that there is a reason we call this “rocket science”.

Five days later on October 4, 2004, SpaceShipOne flew to space again, this time with Brian Binnie at the controls. With the craft’s successful return to Earth, Scaled Composites, its manufacturer, and its funder, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, won the $10 million Ansari X Prize.

Left to right, Anousheh Ansari, Amir Ansari, Peter Diamandis, Burt Rutan, Brian Binnie and Sir Richard Branson celebrate the X Prize victory on October 4, 2004 in Mojave, Calif. (Credit: X Prize Foundation)

Looking back on that historic moment 10 years ago, it’s clear that the Ansari X Prizewas a huge victory for the winners, but it is also the success story of X Prize Foundation chairman Peter Diamandis and the power of his Steve Jobs-like ability to bend reality to his will.

People told him, “It’s not possible,” and gave him polite attention while silently thinking that his idea would never work. But sometimes with enough audacity, the extraordinary really is possible. And if anyone has proven that again and again it is Peter.

In May 1996 he boldly announced that the X Prize Foundation would award $10 million to the first team that could build a privately funded spaceship capable of carrying three people on a sub-orbital spaceflight twice within two weeks.

When he made the announcement, X Prize did not have enough money to cover the purse. This is not a strategy for the faint of heart to emulate. It took a relentless, protracted experience of pounding the pavement to fully fund the prize.

Anousheh Ansari in her spacesuit. (Credit: NASA)

Finally in 2002, Anousheh Ansari, a newly minted tech millionaire who dreamed of going into space since she was a young girl in Iran, and her brother-in-law Amir agreed to put up the funds needed to fully fund the prize, which became known as the Ansari X Prize. Anousheh and Peter were birds of a feather; she had also learned the power of believing in her tech company even when no investors would!

Together they would alter the history books and swing the door for commercial human spaceflight wide open.

When I asked Anousheh what she was most proud of about the Ansari X Prize she said, “It is my pride and joy and the best investment our family has ever made. The Ansari X Prize has changed the trajectory of human access to space and kick started a whole new industry for private space companies, accelerating the pace at which we explore our universe.”

A year after the Ansari X Prize was won, Eric Anderson of Space Adventures asked Anousheh if she would want to come to Russia for six months to train as a backup for their next customer, Daisuke Enomoto. Feeling one step closer to her childhood dream, she agreed.

Enomoto was medically disqualified on August 21, 2006 and Anousheh was suddenly moved up to prime crew with less than a month’s notice for their September 18 Soyuz launch and 10-day space mission, which included a stay on the International Space Station. Even so, she was able to create a website and blog to chronicle her experience that was read by millions around the world, including many young girls in the Middle East.

When asked about her flight Anousheh said, “My flight to space has impacted me on a very deep level and has made me look at life in a whole new light. I hope as people now get a chance to experience this for themselves there will be a whole new generation of space explorers who will become the stewards of our world and make a positive impact on how we live our lives on Earth as well as the way we will extend our species into other parts of this vast and beautiful universe.”

SpaceShipOne carried aboard the WhiteKnightOne mother ship. (Credit: D. Ramey Logan via Wikimedia Commons)

Part of the Ansari X Prize legacy is also that it inspired Richard Branson to take action on his dreams of spaceflight as well. At the 2004 Ansari X Prize flights he announced a deal to commercialize the new technology and create the world’s first spaceline,Virgin Galactic (Disclosure: My husband, George T. Whitesides is the CEO and President of Virgin Galactic).

Anousheh’s sentiments about her time on orbit are exactly what motivated me and my now husband, George, to buy our Virgin Galactic tickets to space in 2005.

In the ensuing years, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic took SpaceShipOne andWhiteKnightOne (SS1′s mother ship) designs and created much larger versions of them. So large that Virgin Galactic had to build a bigger hangar just to fit them.

SpaceShipTwo (aka VSS Enterprise) took her first powered test flight in April 2013 and Virgin is now getting ready for her next few powered test flights this fall.

Eleven-year-old Barbara Schloss at the Ansari X Prize flights in 2004. (Courtesy of Barbara Schloss)

This is an exciting moment in history, the moment just before Virgin Galactic begins commercial service. It is a good time to pause on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of SpaceShipOne’s Ansari X Prize-winning flights and reflect on how far we have come and what an extraordinary endeavor we are embarking on. There is the potential for hundreds of Galactic astronauts to make a real difference as space ambassadors, sharing their experiences in countries around the world, in different languages and with a wide diversity of cultures, religions, professions, orientations and styles, just as Anousheh has.

The Apollo astronauts used to say, “We should have sent a poet…” Well, now we are about to.

(If you would like to apply to get Land Roverto fly you and three of your friends on a Virgin Galactic spaceflight, you have till October 31 to upload your 30-second video explaining why.)

This summer I had the pleasure of leading a workshop for the Virgin Galactic interns. I opened by asking them to share how they came to be interested in spaceflight. MIT senior Barbara Schloss said that she had been inspired by seeing the Ansari X Prize flights as a kid.

MIT aerospace engineer and Virgin Galactic intern Barbara Schloss in front of SpaceShipTwo WhiteKnightTwo in 2014. (Courtesy of Barbara Schloss)

“Being in Mojave at 11 years old to watch this historic launch definitely influenced me,” she said. “I was so excited about it that I had SpaceShipOne and WhiteKnightOne painted on my closet doors at home. I knew that it was a smaller company without much space background that had pulled off such an incredible feat, so I figured if they could do it, why not me? I determined that I wanted to be an aerospace engineer and now I am a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying Aerospace Engineering.”

I really look forward to the impact that we can have on millions of kids around the planet when SpaceShipTwo starts flying to space. I can’t wait to inspire them to dream big, to not be daunted by “no’s” and hopefully also to do the work required to never give up, until they too have done the impossible. Hopefully we will inspire the next Peter Diamandis, Anousheh Ansari or Barbara Schloss. If so, I can’t wait to meet them in ten years when they start their first space internship.

Loretta Hidalgo WhitesidesAbout the Author: Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides has over five hours of weightless time in a 727 aircraft as a Flight Director for Zero-G Corporation. She and her husband George Whitesides are also signed up to take a sub-orbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Trained as an astrobiologist at Stanford and Caltech, Loretta has been to the Canadian Arctic to study plant life in extreme environments and to the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean with Titanic director James Cameron to film a 3D IMAX documentary, Aliens of the Deep. Loretta’s passion is using human space exploration to inspire humanity with what is possible. Follow on Twitter @lorettahidalgo.

Shariah financing growing popular in the West

Shariah financing growing popular in the West

 

American bankers and investors are increasingly dipping thier toes in the opaue world of Shariah financing, a sector that has grown to $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades. Anne Ryan, Rene Alston

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CHICAGO — Ahmed Irfan Khan was poised to transform his family’s small but successful slaughterhouse into a specialty-meat selling juggernaut.

Just one thing stood in his way: His faith.

Khan’s thriving business in Chicago’s old stockyards — which sells halal meat — protein slaughtered in a way prescribed by Islamic law — might have made him attractive to Main Street investors. But his strict adherence to his Muslim faith made going down that path complicated.

Under Islamic law, collecting or paying interest is prohibited, making it difficult for Khan to borrow the roughly $2 million needed to expand his company, Barkaat Foods.

But Khan was ultimately able to get the capital for his business — and stay true to his faith — with the help of a traditional bank and a boutique venture capital firm willing to hammer out arrangement that Khan said was “Shariah compliant.”

“This shows there are ways to follow your principles,” said Khan, who plans to use the money to double the size of his 40-person operation. “Other entrepreneurs are going to be inspired by this.”

Big and small investors are increasingly dipping their toes in the world of Shariah-compliant financing, a sector that has grown to more than $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades. It’s one that analysts see as having the potential for even greater growth as the Muslim population grows in the U.S. and Europe.

Earlier this month, Luxembourg issued a $254 million, five-year Islamic bond, known as sukuk. Meanwhile, Hong Kong last month completed its first sale of Islamic debt raising $1 billion. That came after Britain in June became the first Western nation to issue sukuk, an Arabic word that roughly translates as “certificates.”

Sukuk act much like traditional bonds, delivering payments to investors until maturity.To comply with Sharia, the bonds have to be tied to some sort of physical asset. Instead of interest, investors are being rewarded with a share of the profit derived from the asset.

Goldman Sachs and HSBC are among western financial service behemoths that have introduced sukuk in recent years. And in the U.S. for the last decade, a number of banks have been arranging for mortgages and auto loans for their Muslim clients that are permissible under Islamic law.

 

Outside the U.S., Shariah finance is making huge strides from London to Kuala Lumpur. Assets held by Islamic banks continue to grow by more than 15% per year, and analysts predict the potential size of Islamic financial markets could reach several trillion dollars in a matter of years, according to a Council on Foreign Relations report on Islamic finance published earlier this year.

“It’s a fairly global phenomena,” said Ibrahim Warde, an expert on Islamic finance at Tufts University. “Islamic finance in general has benefited from the financial crisis largely because Islamic institutions have done better than the conventional ones. One of the fundamentals of Islamic finance — beyond not just charging interest — is there must be a direct connection in between the financial product and the real economy. That’s made it more attractive.”

 

In addition to the no-interest requirement, all parties to the deal agree that the money changing hands will be spent on activities that promote social good and the banks and investors pledge to return a portion of their profits to Muslim charity.

There are also prohibitions on money from deals being used to promote or sell certain products, such as alcohol, pornography and pork.

In the Barkaat deal, the Chicago-based venture capital firm Prairie Street Capital borrowed from Ohio’s FirstMerit bank on standard terms. Prairie Street then entered into what is known in Arabic as a murabaha, a deal that is effectively structured as a lease-to-own agreement. The firm rents back equipment and the building to Barkaat at a marked up rate.

A Chicago investment bank, Sikich, assisted Barkaat in brokering the deal.

Michael Barry, president of Prairie Street Capital, said his firm was enticed by Barkaat, even as the Midwest has seen several mainstream meat producers go out of business in recent years. With the U.S. Muslim population projected to grow by 35% in the next 20 years, Barkaat was uniquely positioned, Barry said.

“We saw a business that we felt good about owning, we felt good about being part of,” Barry said. “It’s a business we can add value to and we could make money with. It’s what drove us to the decision.”

Khan, whose first career was in IT, knows first-hand the demand for his product. When his family moved to Chicago from Bombay in the mid-1980s, they struggled to find halal meat.

For years, he looked for slaughterhouses, like the one he eventually bought in 2009, that would let him come in and slaughter his own lamb or goat, so that he could be assured his family was eating authentic halal meat.

Already, Khan is selling his meat directly to thousands of Muslim customers throughout the country, who buy his lamb, goat and veal, and have it shipped to them. (With the $2 million cash infusion, he plans to buy new equipment and retrofit parts of his slaughterhouse, so that he can begin slaughtering cattle as well.)

While most of his customers shop online, many come to check out his facility in person. Earlier this month, hundreds of Muslim families came to his slaughterhouse to kill lambs themselves to mark the holy day of Eid al-Adha.

Non-Muslims are also his customers, with much of his product being sold to a Wisconsin meat company that sells high-end organic meats to grocers.

“There’s a good chance that piece of lamb you are buying at Whole Foods is halal, even though it’s not branded as halal,” Khan said.

Some critics, including the conservative Center for Security Policy, warn that Americans should be wary of Shariah-compliant financing. They charge that certain aspects of Shariah are draconian, including requirements that women seek permission from their husbands before doing something as mundane as getting a driver license and calls for capital punishment for those who slander Islam.

“Islamists are attempting to impose Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) on Western institutions to use our own financial strengths against us,” the group writes on its blog dedicated to the issue, Shariah Finance Watch. “The most serious problem with SCF is that it legitimates and institutionalizes Shariah law… a theo-political, legal doctrine violently opposed to Western values.”

Chris Geier, partner-in-charge at Sikich, the investment bank that helped broker the Barkaat deal, said such criticism is unfair.

“This is a company in the U.S., legally domiciled, approved by the USDA to do business the way they are doing it,” Geier said of Barkaat. “We try to help companies and support their business plan and therefore support this economy. It is done without a belief about what they do religiously.”

Khan said he’s unfazed by the criticism, and instead said his deal shows that American financial institutions are beginning to see Islam in granularity that they hadn’t before.

“It’s progress when you can find a way to do business and stay true to your beliefs,” he said.

 

 
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Men come to aid of Muslim women attacked in a bigoted tirade

Men come to aid of Muslim women attacked in a bigoted tirade

STANDING UP: From left, James Turvey of Hamilton, Pattrick Burgess of Melbourne (formerly of Newcastle), Justin Lanz of Hamilton, and Mark Wojcik of Merewether, who intervened to assist two Muslim women who were victims of an alleged racist attack in Newcastle West. Picture Max Mason-Hubers

STANDING UP: From left, James Turvey of Hamilton, Pattrick Burgess of Melbourne (formerly of Newcastle), Justin Lanz of Hamilton, and Mark Wojcik of Merewether, who intervened to assist two Muslim women who were victims of an alleged racist attack in Newcastle West. Picture Max Mason-Hubers

MEET the anti-racism heroes who  came to the aid of two Muslim women as they were  being attacked in a bigoted tirade in Newcastle.

The  friends, who were skating  at Newcastle West when they intervened to help the mother and daughter on Monday night, say more people need to take a stand against ‘‘weak’’ and ‘‘cowardly’’ vilification.

Scott William Papworth, 27, has denied verbally attacking the women and threatening to kill those who came to their aid,  claiming he was only one of numerous people in the vicinity and that he had been acting in self-defence against the skating group.

It’s alleged he swore at the women and told them: ‘‘We are Westerners and you’re not meant to be here.’’

Mr Papworth, of Bingleburra outside Dungog, pleaded not guilty to five charges in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday, including that he intimidated and stalked the women,  assaulted one of the men who came to their  aid and stole two mobile phones.

Mr Papworth was refused bail after magistrate Ian Cheetham  described the verbal assault as  ‘‘made on a racial basis upon persons who were innocently going about their business’’.

Prosecutor Sergeant Karl Moir  urged the magistrate to consider the charges ‘‘in the present climate’’.

‘‘We are not just looking at a vacuum here,’’ he told the court.

In a statement tendered to court, police alleged the two women were wearing traditional Muslim hijabs as they drove  along Smith Street about 7pm on Monday.

  A man allegedly approached their vehicle and said, ‘‘We are Westerners and you’re not meant to be here’’ and  then he punched the driver’s side wing mirror.

 The daughter drove five metres and got out to fix the mirror. But as she tried to get back in the car, police allege the man forced the left side of his body into the car, took hold of the steering wheel and put his foot on the accelerator for about 10 seconds.  The car was in park and didn’t move.

The statement said Patrick Burgess, James Turvey and four other men saw what had happened and became concerned for the women’s safety.

As they approached the car they heard the man yell out ‘‘you Musi c—s’’. Police allege the man  turned on the six friends and threatened to kill them. The man allegedly  stole two of their mobile phones and ran  off but was struck by a skateboard  thrown by one of the friends. He later allegedly punched Mr Burgess.

‘‘He was saying the worst things [to the women], racist profanities [then] he started swinging at each of us while we were trying to defuse situation as best we could,’’ Mr Burgess told the Newcastle Herald.

Mr Burgess said he felt ‘‘so disgusted’’ the women had been subjected to the abuse.

‘‘People need to know that this is not OK,’’ he said. ‘‘The way this situation has gotten is so not acceptable, and people need to start taking action and actively condemning this sort of activity.

‘‘It’s the indifference of good people that is bringing us down.’’

The case comes at a time of increasing community unrest and concern that Australia’s mission against Islamic State in Iraq is fuelling attacks on Muslims in Australia.

Mr Turvey said he felt ‘‘frustrated’’ that other people had driven past while the attack was taking place.

‘‘If you look at YouTube videos of verbal or physical assaults on public transport, there’s grown men …  guys I’m sure on the weekend are watching footy talking about how tough they are – but when people are being abused or bullied on the streets these people are so quick to turn a blind eye,’’ he said.

The statement said Mr Papworth was arrested a short distance away and claimed to police that three young men had been set upon by the skaters and that he was acting in self-defence.

‘‘The accused stated he was unaware of any Muslim lady or any incident involving a vehicle,’’ the statement said.

Solicitor Bryony Barber said her client denied being the racist attacker, telling the court he was in town to go to the beach and visit his sister and was one of numerous people in the vicinity.

Mr Cheetham said Mr Papworth represented an unacceptable risk and refused him bail.

 

Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass

Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass (PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated: 
MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS HUMAN CHAIN
 
 
 

Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.

Read whole story on The Express Tribune here

men holding up hands

one nation one blood

women holding hands

men hands 2

women 2

crowd

Identifying Edible And Medicinal Plants

I

Identifying Edible And Medicinal Plants

Picture of Identifying Edible And Medicinal Plants
Ever since the Neolithic Revolution, humans have focused mainly on other things than hunting and gathering. This is still true today. With today’s high tech world, humans don’t have to focus on their very survival. They can just drive to the store and buy everything they would ever need. Back in the Stone Age, the environment was their superstore. During the Paleolithic Age (Stone Age), humans relied solely on hunting and gathering for food. Once one knew what plants to eat and how to hunt game, they could live off the land. They were nomads, meaning they had no permanent home. They followed the animals, every season coming back to the same areas to gather plants they knew grew well in that area (and maybe exclusively). Once agriculture was established, there was no need to follow the animals and travel from place to place gathering food and supplies. Since there was a reliable source of food, they could stay in one place, developing permanent shelters and growing in numbers. Since their survival basics were covered, they could look at other ways to pass the time. Tools and arts were developed because of this. Eventually, they began to rely more heavily on trade from other villages for food and supplies. This has grown into today. Now people rely fully on others to feed and take care of themselves. Every person should know how to take care of themselves.Today I would like to share with you some wild plants that natives relied on for food and supplies. Nature will provide anything you need if you know how to look.
 
 
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Traditionally, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers but both knew each others’ tasks. Step 1: Gather Materials The only materials needed are your two hands and common sense. Sometimes digging sticks were used but today we won’t need one. A digging stick is a sturdy branch with a limb sticking out of one end. The stick acts as a foot peg much like on today’s shovels. The digging stick is pushed into the ground like a shovel and is used to dig up under roots and break up hard ground, just like today’s shovels are used.
 
 

Step 2: Violets

Picture of Violets
Blue Violets: Full plant. Likes shady spots. Leaves taste the best, but the whole plant can be eaten. Note the heart shaped leaf.
 
 

Step 3: Burdock

Picture of Burdock
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Burdock: Roots. Dig around the plant with your hands, a rock, or digging stick. The root will be about the size of a carrot. Eat raw or cooked.
 
 

Step 4: Ragweed

Picture of Ragweed
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Ragweed is a medicinal plant that when the leaves are applied to bleeding cuts, it stops bleeding. This means it is styptic. If you get a cut, simply smash and roll the leaf in between your fingers and press onto cut. When it gets bloody, change it out.

 
 

Step 5: Pine Tree Needles And Inner Bark

Picture of Pine Tree Needles And Inner Bark
The needles of pine trees can be chewed on and spat out, swallowing the vitamin c rich fluids. Also, the white inner bark can gathered by knocking the brown outer bark off and peeling the inner bark off. They both are slightly bitter, but make any easy meal.
 
 

Step 6: Sassafras Leaves

Picture of Sassafras Leaves
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14 9:18 PM.jpg
Sassafras, a small and usually slender tree can easily be misidentified. There are three types of leaves: single lobed leafs, two lobed leafs that look like mittens, and the classic 3 lobed symmetrical leaf. Leaves can be eaten raw, although slimy. The smaller the tree, the better. I usually look for under 5 feet because they taste the best. A little larger and they can taste bitter. They taste like fruit loops. Also, the root can be boiled to make crude root beer.
 
 

Step 7: Passionflower

Picture of Passionflower
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14 9:18 PM.jpg
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Passionflower, or Maypop, produces a sweet tasting fruit that can be eaten raw. Consistency of bananas.
 
 

Step 8: Plantains

Picture of Plantains
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Plantains, such as broadleaf shown here, can be eaten like spinach. Also, the seeds can be added to soup to thicken it. If you are allergic to ant or bee stings, and you get stung or bit, chew up the leaf and apply to bite. It will save you a trip to the hospital.
 
 

Step 9: Dandelions

Picture of Dandelions
Common dandelion greens can be eaten raw or boiled like mustard greens. They are quite tasty.
 
 

Step 10: Yellow Woodsorrel

Picture of Yellow Woodsorrel
The whole plant can be eaten raw. Tastes great, has a citrus-lemony taste and freshens breath.
 
 

Step 11: Persimmon

Picture of Persimmon
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14 9:18 PM.jpg
Ripe persimmons taste sweeter than sugar. Unripe persimmons dry your mouth out they’re so bitter (astringent). They are however, full of large seeds. A few minutes worth of gathering off the ground provides gallons worth.
 
 

Step 12: Grapes (muscadine)

Picture of Grapes (muscadine)
Wild muscadine grapes provide a nice treat while gathering.
 
 

Step 13: Clover (white/red)

Picture of Clover (white/red)
Clover leafs and blooms can be eaten raw and added to salads.

Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass (PHOTOS)

Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass (PHOTOS) The Express Tribune  | By Web Desk / Aroosa Shaukat Posted: 10/08/2013 10:43 am EDT Updated: 10/08/2013 12:07 pm EDT Share 11116 Tweet 1205 0 Email 282 Comment 2183 Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians. Read whole story on The Express Tribune here ALSO ON HUFFPOST: Close Amazing Mosques 1 of 51   WikiMedia Next Previous Next MORE: Interfaith Lahore Christianity Islam St Anthonys Church Pakistan Human Chain

How to root Kitkat version of Micromax A350 Canvas Knight

How to root Kitkat version of Micromax A350 Canvas Knight

 
Micromax released KitKat 4.4.2 New update for Micromax A350 Canvas Knight but did not provide any app for rooting this update, So here is an easy and safe tutorial of rooting and install of CWM/TWRP recovery processes of Canvas Knight. This is the first phone from Micromax with a 16 megapixel camera, 5 megapixel secondary cameras and Octa-core chipset clocked at 2GHz. This is a MediaTek MT6592 processor chipset. Canvas Knight A350 comes with 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and 5-inch full HD and 2350 mAh Battery.

Micromax A350 is great phone and must be rooted because rooting allows you to maximise the potential of your phone without any restrictions. After rooting you can install custom apps, custom Rom and custom setting in your phone. But before rooting you must read Root Advantage and Disadvantage by this post, and then follow these steps to root your phone.

Preparation of flash/update:

1. Take a backup of your phone Click here.
2. Your phone battery should be charged to 80% minimum.
3. Read all steps then do it carefully.
4. Make sure there is a proper power backup for your PC.
 
 

Download:

1. MT6592 Scatter file Click here to download

 
2.  Driver and SP Tool V5.1352.01 for Canvas Knight KitKat update Click here to download

3. CWM Recovery Click here to download or TWRP recovery Click here to downloadand Update-SuperSU-2.1.zip file Click here to download

How to Root and install CWM recovery on Micromax A350 Knight:

Step 1: Install drivers in your PC (If you feel any problem in installing driver then watch this video Click here)  and Enable USB Debugging on your Phone. Go to Settings >>> Developer options >>> USB debugging check it ( If your phone have Android 4.2 or upper version then see how to enable Developer options here is guide of this Click here). After then switch off your phone.

 
Enable-debugging

Step 2:  Download SuperSU file and copy in your phone memory card. Now Download CWM recovery and scatter file of your phone and extract these file in a folder where you want. Extract and open the SP Tool. Sptool.exe Run as Administrator.
 
SP-Tool
 
Step 3: You will see an SP tool window, now click on the scatter-Loading option in the SP tool. Then you will get the new tab of SP Tool which you ask the location of the scatter file on your PC. Now select the “Android_scatter_emmc.txt”  fileSee in this image.

select-the-file-Android-scatter-file


Step 4: Now connect your switch off phone with PC via USB cable (Make sure your phone is switched off).

Connect-your-Phone


Step 5: SP Tool detect your phone and process will start. If Sptool is not recognize/detect your phone then install vcom driver read this post it will help you 
click here  (Driver already in phone flash drive if you don’t have these drivers then install it)


Root-via-Sptool


Step 6: Now start installing recovery in your phone by flashing.

start-downloading-recovery


Note: - Don’t interrupt this process as it can potentially brick your device. Make sure no power interruption takes place.

Step 7:  After the process complete, a green ring will appear. 

green-ring


Step 8: Disconnect your phone. 


Step 9: Do not start your phone. Press and hold vol. up & down + power button then select “recovery mode” (If your touch not work then use volume up and down key for menu up and down and Power button as a enter button)
 
recovery-mode
 
Step 10. Click on install button/ choose install and select SuperSU-v2.01.zip  file from your save location on your SD card and install this file. Now  reboot your phone.

If you feel any problem then watch this video click here.

Enjoy Rooted phone.
 
Note: I am not responsible if you make Mistakes and Bricked Devices.
 

In the Shadow of Fiction: How Television Is Making (Up) Muslim History

In the Shadow of Fiction: How Television Is Making (Up) Muslim History

Posted: Updated:
 
 
 
 

In Channel 4′s Islam: the Untold Story, aired 28 August, British writer Tom Holland – garbed Indiana Jones-style in billowing shirt and trusty hat – treks across the Arabian desert, talking to local Bedouins, and inspecting historical artefacts to investigate the origins of Islam. Muhammed, he concludes, probably never came from Mecca, but from Transjordania; the Qur’an and its teachings are largely borrowed from local religious traditions, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism; and it is questionable whether ‘Islam’ ever really existed as a distinctive, coherent faith during Muhammed’s reign. Rather, the religion of Islam was an innovation of the Arab empires, cynically manufactured to legitamise its expansion by conquest over much of what we now know as the Middle East.

To vindicate this thesis – based largely on his new book, In the Shadow of the Sword – Holland interviews a handful of sceptical Western scholars of Islam. But his narrative is replete with elementary, often laughable, errors. Perhaps the most glaring is his insistence that Mecca is only mentioned once, ambiguously, in the Qur’an – evidence for Holland that the Prophet never came from Mecca. But this is a strange inaccuracy, for the Qur’an mentions Mecca clearly: “And He it is Who held back their hands from you and your hands from them in the valley of Mecca after He had given you victory over them.” (48:24) He then makes much of the Qur’an’s references to “Becca”, as if this must be a completely different place, oblivious to the fact that in South Arabic, the language used in the south of the Arabian peninsula during the time of Muhammed, the sounds b and m were interchangeable – as documented in 1973 by Princeton University Arabist, professor Philip Hitti.

Holland also argues that the Qur’an’s frequent references to vines and olives points to the existence of an agricultural society. Mecca was barren and lacked agriculture; therefore, hey presto!, Muhammed’s message originated elsewhere. The inference is truly bizarre: neighbouring Medina, where Muhammed emigrated fleeing persecution in Mecca – and where he continued to receive a large bulk of the revelations of the Qur’an – was a thriving “agricultural settlement, with widely scattered palm groves and armed farmsteads.”

Holland’s other pillar of evidence is equally meaningless. Holland visits the site of Sodom, and highlights the Qur’an’s statement that its readers “pass by them in the morning and at night” (47:133-8) Flabbergasted, Holland asks: “What is it doing here – a thousand kilometres from Mecca?” That the Meccans were frequent travelling traders who would have routinely passed through this area – as widely documented by scholars such as William Montgomery Watt in the Encyclopedia of Islam (2008) and Ira Lapidus in his Cambridge University study (1988) – appears to be lost on Holland.

Holland’s lack of familiarity with the wider literature in Western scholarship on Islam is thus painfully obvious to serious historians. Early on, Holland speaks of the study of history in Western universities as based on “scepticism and doubt” – in contrast, presumably, to Muslim historians, who simply shape ‘facts’ to fit their faith. The problem is that even though Holland looks dapper in his Indiana outfit, he is not really a historian – and in his latest work, it shows.

Although for the last nine years Holland has written popular history, the bulk of his writing is fiction – including titles such as The Vampyre (1995), Supping with Panthers (1996), The Sleeper in the Sands (1998), and The Bone Hunter (2001). Yet he has no qualifications in history, and cannot even speak Arabic – which is why he employed a Syriac and Arabic-speaking researcher.

It is perhaps not surprising, then, to find him – in true Indy-style – adopting a 1930s colonial mindset early on, informing viewers that: “To the ancients, the Arabs were regarded as notorious savages.” As if to hit this point home, the only people he finds to endorse orthodox accounts of Islam’s origins are Bedouin Arabs living in the desert. At one symbolic point, Holland prays amongst them, then suddenly – for no apparent reason – extracts himself from the congregation in the middle of the prayer only to peer, wonderingly, around him, as if to underscore the questionable origins of one of Islam’s most sacred rituals.

Strangely, the only other Muslim who makes an appearance to represent the ‘canonical’ view of Islam’s origins is Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University. Troubled by what he conceives as gaps in the historical record, and inconsistencies between the scriptural account and hard evidence on the ground, Holland is confidently informed by Nasr that such an absence of evidence is irrelevant for Muslims who recognise the limits of reason in the face of transcendental realities.

But Channel 4′s sole selection of Nasr as representative of the orthodox historical account is disingenuous. Although he is a renowned philosopher specialising in comparative religion, Islamic esoterism, philosophy of science, and metaphysics, Nasr has contributed little on the minutiae of Islamic history. Through such selective production values and imagery, the film strikes a stark contrast between Western logic and Muslim belief. Muslims are portrayed as steeped in a strange, backward irrationality – out of touch with the modern world with its newfangled, super-scientific methods of historical analysis, and immune to the impact of reason when it comes to longstanding beliefs.

What Channel 4 viewers aren’t told is that the theories Holland regurgitates are not only heavily contested in the wider Western scholarly community, they were almost completely discarded some decades ago. One of their core proponents, Patricia Crone, makes a regular talking-head appearance in the film (as well as being heavily referenced in Holland’s book among others). Holland essentially resurrects their ideas – published back in the 1970s – with unnerving gullibility, accentuating the “black hole” of evidence on early Islam where one should expect abundance.

But, unbeknownst to Channel 4 researchers, he is simply wrong. Petra Sijpestein, Professor of Arabic at Leiden University, remarks: “In the writings of 12 years after the death of Muhammad, Muslims are referred to as a separate religious group, first using the term muhajiroun, migrants who had left hearth and home with a purpose, or Saracens, descendents of Sarah and Abraham. And from around 730AD, terms like Islam, Muslims and specific religious customs such as zakat (charity) were already being practiced and described.”

Yet Holland is a man on a mission. Uncritically parroting the Crone thesis that “there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Koran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century” – he infers that the Arab empires self-servingly concocted Islam as a radically distinct faith. For one thing, there are numerous Qur’anic manuscripts from the first century of hijra, which possess no significant textual deviations. But worse, apart from the fact that Islam has never presented itself as an entirely new religion (rather as a continuation and confirmation of the Jewish and Christian traditions), this theory has almost no currency at all in the very Western universities that Holland claims to admire.

As noted by the late Robert Seargeant, Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University, Crone’s argument “is not only bitterly anti-Islamic in tone, but anti-Arabian. Its superficial fancies are so ridiculous that at first one wonders if it is just a ‘leg pull’, pure ‘spoof’.” No wonder that the theory of a “reconstructable past” which “relies only on sources outside of Islam”, has “been almost universally rejected” according to Gordon Newsby, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Emory University. This is because, says David Waines, an Islamic Studies professor at Lancaster University, it is “far too tentative and conjectural (and possibly contradictory).”

Serious debate on Islamic historiography is welcome – including re-evaluation of hadith (oral traditions of the Prophet), and re-assessing regressive elements of ‘Shari’ah Law‘ belonging to the cultural conventions of Arab dynasties. Channel 4‘s film distracts from this urgent task by popularising outmoded anti-Arab theories, long ago dismissed by most serious Western academic institutions as Eurocentric Orientalist fictions.

by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Israel to create Nazi style concentration camps for thousands of Bedouins

Civil Administration plans to expel thousands of Bedouins from homes, concentrate them in inadequate settlement

Published: 

 17 Sep 2014

Resident of ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the Jordan Valley. Photo: 'Atef Abu a-Rub, B'Tselem, 8 Jan. 2014
Resident of ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the Jordan Valley. Photo: ‘Atef Abu a-Rub, B’Tselem, 8 Jan. 2014 

The Civil Administration has filed for objections plans for establishing a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, where thousands of Bedouins will be forced to relocate. The Civil Administration is advancing several such plans.

The current plan was drawn up without consulting the residents themselves, ignoring their needs. It is part of the Civil Administration’s repeated attempts to concentrate the Bedouins living in the West Bank’s Area C in “permanent sites”, with a view to annexing most of this area to Israel and leaving it free for Israeli use, including settlement expansion.

The new settlement, to be named Ramat Nu’eimeh, will be built in Area C near Jericho, in the Jordan Valley, and is slated to house about 12,500 people from Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley and the Ma’ale Adumim area.

The first three plans for the settlement were filed for objections on 25 August 2014. They included a settlement intended for the Rashaydah tribe, which currently lives in the area, and a road running between the two settlement clusters. On 9 September 2014, three more plans were filed – two for building residences and one for constructing a road. Local residents and Israeli human rights organization Bimkom plan to submit several objections to these plans.

Map of the planned settlement "Ramat Nu’eimeh", courtesy of "Bimkom". Click on map to enlarge
Map of the planned settlement “Ramat Nu’eimeh”, courtesy of “Bimkom”. Click on map to enlarge

The plans were made without consulting the residents, who were not notified of the scope of the plans, and were therefore unable to present their position and make their needs known. The plans ignore the residents’ agrarian way of life and will not allow them to continue shepherding as before. The new settlement will be surrounded from all sides, in part by firing zones, settlements and a military checkpoint, leaving the residents without grazing pastures for their livestock. In addition, the plans force different tribes and communities to live together, contrary to traditional practices.

Most Bedouins living in the West Bank arrived there after they left their homes in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, or were expelled from them, in 1948. Ever since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, they have been forced to relocate several times to allow for Israeli settlements, firing zones, new nature reserves declared, and more. Hundreds of demolition orders have been issued against their homes and entire communities have been repeatedly expelled.

Israeli authorities, and particularly the Civil Administration, which oversees these matters, have refrained from making master plans that meet these residents’ needs and allow them to continue living according to traditional practice. The authorities have never recognized any rights the residents may have to the land. As a result, Bedouin residents suffer from a very low standard of living: they are not connected to the power grid, only some are connected to the water grid, and their access to basic services such as health and education is extremely limited. Their main source of income is shepherding, but the Israeli authorities limit their access to grazing pastures and markets.

According to the Civil Administration, the plan’s objective is to improve the standard of living in these communities and to provide proper housing conditions. The spokesperson of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said, in response to an article published in Israeli daily Ha’aretz on the matter, that the purpose of the new settlement is to “allow the community to settle in an organized area with proper, suitable infrastructure”.

However, if the Civil Administration had the best interests of these communities in mind, it would have consulted with them in the planning stages and prepared plans that meet their needs and allow them to continue their way of life. Instead, the Administration is forcing upon them a plan that dictates an extreme change to their lifestyle, denies their sources of livelihood, and may destroy their communities.

The Civil Administration has previously forced Bedouin communities into permanent housing: during the 1990s, the Civil Administration built a settlement near the Abu Dis landfill and expelled members of the al-Jahalin tribe from their homes to live at the site in order to make way for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. That site was also planned without consulting the residents. In addition to the harsh impacts of living near a landfill, relocation to the new site destroyed the Bedouin way of life, harming the residents and community life. The land allocated to each family was not large enough to house livestock and the army restricted access to grazing pastures that had been promised. As a result, only 30% of the residents have continued to earn a living as shepherds.

School in Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community slated for demolition near which the Ma’ale Adumim settlement was built. Photo: Anne Paq, Activestills.org, 4 September 2011
School in Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community slated for demolition near which the Ma’ale Adumim settlement was built. Photo: Anne Paq, Activestills.org, 4 September 2011

The current plan is part of concerted efforts made by various Israeli authorities, over decades, to expel thousands of Palestinians living in dozens of communities scattered throughout Area C from their homes. Israeli officials have repeatedly declared their intent to take over Area C in order to create circumstances that would facilitate its annexation to Israel in a permanent agreement, and to annex it de-facto until then.

The Civil Administration’s plan runs counter to the provisions of international humanitarian law, which prohibit the forcible transfer of protected persons, unless it is carried out for their own protection or for an imperative military need. Even when the transfer meets these criteria, it must be temporary. The current case clearly fails to fulfil these conditions. Moreover, as representatives of the occupying power, Israeli authorities have an obligation to work for the benefit and welfare of the residents of the occupied territory. The plan to expel these residents from their homes, as well as impose living conditions on some that would undermine their source of livelihood, is a breach of this duty. It is clearly meant to advance political objectives entirely unrelated to the obligations of an occupying power.

The Civil Administration must withdraw the plans for establishing Ramat Nu’eimeh immediately. It must allow Bedouin communities to pursue their way of life, plan their communities and build their homes lawfully. It must connect them to infrastructure and provide them with basic health and education services.