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  • 5th March, 2011

    Review of play about violence against women

    by guest at 9:40 am    

    This is a guest post by Dr. Mitu Khurana. Mitu is a doctor and activist whose struggles and campaign have been covered here.

    Recently I attended a performance held by the “Asmita” group of artists, in collaboration with an N.G.O ‘Ekatra’ in New Delhi,. Everyone was in tears by the end of the play. The play titled –“TERI MERI USKI BAAT”- raised several questions which need to be discussed by every citizen in today’s India.

    A girl playing the role of a minor raped at the age of 7 years , asked the audience- “why was my schooling stopped, why did my friends stop playing with me, why was I being singled out and pointed out everywhere I went ,what was my fault? No one blamed the rapist; it was my life which stopped. The rape happened when I did not even realize what has happened to me, I knew of only the physical pain. My parents did not want to go to police because I would be stigmatized. Today the physical pain is no longer, but it has been replaced by a mental pain at a much deeper level- the pain of being violated, the pain of being rejected by my friends, the pain of my own stopping my life where it was. WHY? Why should be the stigma on me, when I did no wrong?”

    Another girl played out the role of a minor girl whose marriage was fixed up by her parents, without consulting her at a tender age when she was not even 18 years old. The vows of the marriage included- “I will never speak out against my husband”, “I will never ask my husband anything if he comes late”, “I will tolerate all abuses”, “I will bring gifts from my parents for my husband and in laws throughout my life” and “I will never give birth to any girl child throughout my life” among other such vows. The play showed her life after she became pregnant with a daughter. Her parents refused to support her, her siblings refused to help her save the baby, and when she went to her husband, he kicked her and beat her up mercilessly in order to cause her abortion. The whole theatre rang out with her screams – “PLEASE SAVE MY DAUGHTER, PLEASE DO NOT KILL HER.”

    Continue Reading...
    4th March, 2011

    March for India’s missing girls: march for Mitu

    by Rumbold at 3:01 pm    

    There are going to be marches in India, Canada, America and Dubai this Sunday to protest against female feticide in India, and specifically the case of Dr. Mitu Khurana, an Indian doctor who is fighting to protect her daughters and have her former in-laws and a hospital for forcing her to undergo an illegal ultrasound test (as well as poisoning her . More details below from the campaign:

    ******

    This is for innumerable daughters who lost their lives before getting their lives. And for the mother who is fighting the system to save her daughters “March for India’s Missing girls, March for Mitu” is a part of a global initiative to protest against the government indifference to the continuously declining sex ratios. This is to protest against the improper implementation of the act which bans sex determination- Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques regulation act (P.C-P.N.D.T Act), resulting in a large number of Female feticides taking place. Delhi`s sex ratios have dropped to 821 females per 1000 girls.

    The March also aims to protest against the harassment being meted out to Dr Mitu Khurana who is the first complainant under the P.C-P.N.D.T act, and is still struggling to save her daughters.

    The major Goals and Objectives of “March for India`s Missing girls, March for Mitu” are-

    1. Protest the daily murder of over 7000 baby girls in India.
    2. To create awareness and remember the victims of this genocide.
    3. To pressure the Indian government to enforce the laws to protect these baby girls and their mothers.
    4. To collect signatures for Justice for Dr Mitu, who is fighting a lone fight to save her daughters.
    5. To protest against the harassment by the Authorities who have tried their best to force Dr Mitu to withdraw her cases under P.C-P.N.D.T act.
    6. To demand that the Authorities stop shielding the guilty under the P.C-P.N.D.T act, so that more women can come forward and report sex determination and save their daughters.

    Continue Reading...

    EDL founder is a convicted criminal for child pornography / EDL’s international links to terrorists

    by Jai at 9:00 am    

    Some further disturbing facts about the English Defence League (EDL) have recently come to light:

    1. It turns out that one of the EDL’s founders, Richard Price, has a criminal record for downloading child pornography. Police discovered multiple images on Price’s computer when they raided his home after he had broken police lines and engaged in threatening behaviour at an EDL rally (for which he was jailed for 3 months). Price later admitted to downloading child pornography and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register. To make matters even worse, the EDL’s current leader Stephen Yaxley Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) actually attempted to defend him, and only backtracked after an outcry from other EDL members who had become aware of Price’s actions.

    Stephen Yaxley Lennon himself, an ex-BNP member and a convicted criminal who is actually the son of Irish immigrants to England, is of course now on record as admitting to being vehemently hostile towards Islam in general, not just extremist interpretations of the faith (ie. “militant Islam”). He publicly confirmed his stance when he was interviewed by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight in February 2011.

    2. The EDL has links to the Jewish Task Force (JTF), a Far-Right American organisation whose leader Victor Vancier is a convicted terrorist on multiple counts of attacking targets in the United States. Until 1978, Vancier was the national chairman of the “Jewish Defense League”, which the FBI has formally designated as a terrorist organisation. Vancier is banned from entering Israel due to his affiliations with the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League. The leader of the EDL’s “Jewish Division”, Roberta Moore, has stated on her Facebook page that the EDL intends to work with the JTF; her comment also included a URL link to an audio file on the JTF’s website, in which Vancier confirmed that the EDL had contacted the JTF and that they have agreed that they want to work together on “joint projects”.

    3. Numerous photographs of the EDL’s “Birmingham Division” have become publicly available, several of which can be seen below. The EDL members involved are posing (apparently with firearms) in front of a number of flags, one of which is associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The UVF is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland which is banned in the Republic of Ireland and is formally designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom. From 1966 until it officially ended its armed campaign in 2007, the UVF engaged in numerous acts of violence including multiple bombings, ultimately killing more than 480 people, the vast majority of whom were Catholic civilians.

    At the time of writing, the EDL plans to hold a demonstration in Birmingham on 19 March 2011.

    Continue Reading...
    3rd March, 2011

    Anjem Choudhary and mates latest publicity stunt: ‘Shariah 4 America’

    by Sunny at 3:51 pm    

    Remember Islam4UK? They got banned but came back as ‘Muslims Against Crusades’. Before that they were Al-Ghuraaba and before that Al-Muhajiroun.

    Yes, it’s Anjem Choudhary and his 20 idiot mates back to their old publicity stunts again. Previous luminaries from this mob includes Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri (now reportedly hiding in Lebanon).

    Anyway, their latest project publicity stunt is: Shariah 4 America. The best I can say for them is they have some competent graphic designers who are good at putting the bejeesus into any Tea Party nutjob.

    You can tell its the same lot because they have a prominent ‘media enquiries’ page which links to a mobile number (07956 600 569) frequently given out by Anjem Choudhary & co.

    Right-wingers are already hyper-ventilating, even though the chances of any of these chumps being able to fly across to the US are less than nil. I hope the US national media pay less attention than the over-the-top reaction British journalists usually exhibit.

    Update: Yup, its Choudhary in front of the camera! Explaining why they’re ‘postponed’ their demonstration. (via @xbatasi).

    Filed under: Religion

    Death of Shahbaz Bhatti

    by Rumbold at 11:10 am    

    Earlier in the week Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian member of the Pakistani government, was murdered because of his support for a Christian woman facing execution and for his desire to reform the blasphemy law. He became the second high profile politician to be killed following the murder of Salman Taseer earlier in the year. As Pakistani blogger Raza Rumi put it at Pak Tea House:

    It is time for Pakistan’s political parties to take stock of this situation and get their own ideological house in order before they are wiped out as well. Pakistani state organs have been appeasing the Right and Islamofasicsts for too long. It is time to stand up. If they think they can be safe then they ARE WRONG.

    PTH condemns this murder and recalls that Pakistan was not created for this violence and bigotry that is now our halmark and has made us a joke in the international community. Taseer’s murderers have to be booked, Benazir Bhutto’s murderers have to be brought to book and Bhatti’s murder should not go to waste. Wake up Pakistan and our appeal to Pakistanis: stand up for your rights for living in a secure, tolerant society.

    Liberals and secularists are becoming an endangered species in Pakistan.

    2nd March, 2011

    Mosque expels Imam for preaching evolution and moderation

    by Sunny at 9:30 am    

    This is very worrying. Leyton Mosque in London has expelled its imam Dr Usama Hasan for holding a lecture titled ‘Islam & Evolution’ and saying the two were not incompatible.

    He has also reported to have said in the past that Muslim women should be allowed to uncover their hair in public. You see read their letter here. (via Padraig Reidy)

    The website MuslimPolitics reports:

    In its announcement, the Mosque stated that the controversy first escalated following a declaration in late 2010 by a visiting Saudi cleric, Shaykh Salih al-Sadlan, that the Mosque congregation should not take part in prayers led by Dr. Hasan.

    Just days before his dismissal from the Mosque, Dr. Hasan published a statement stating that his “Islam and Evolution” lecture was “disrupted by a small mob of fanatics”. He also clarified his views on the subject in order, he says, to answer the “many vicious lies and slanderous statements [that] are circulating in some sections of society.”

    This is deeply troubling because it looks like we have Saudi nutjobs running McCarthyite campaigns against sensible and moderate Imams in the UK. I knew / know Dr Hasan from his time at City Circle. I’m glad he took a robust stance against these people and did not let them shout him down… but the actions of the mosque are utterly cowardly and worrying.

    Update: It seems the letter was ‘premature’ in that the people who wanted him ousted lost the vote to oust him. This letter may be fake… Dr Hasan remains an imam at the mosque I’m told… but there was/is definitely a campaign to oust him.

    Update 2 The Mosque has released a statement saying:

    This is an announcement by Masjid Al Tawhid & Sh[eikh] Suhaib Hasan that both have nothing to do with the so-called ‘Save Masjid Tawhid’ website.

    In other words, that letter was not by them.

    Filed under: Religion
    1st March, 2011

    The chances of anyone invading Libya: virtually nil

    by Sunny at 3:52 pm    

    US warships are moving towards the region and the UK government is stepping up the rhetoric. But the chances of invasion? Virtually nil.

    I’m not even sure why people are getting worked up about it. This is just grandstanding in the hope Gaddafi backs down from international pressure.

    The UK will not go in alone and the USA has no money for an invasion anyway; it’s just about keeping White House from being shut down. I thought all this was obvious?! Please give Obama some credit people: he may have been crap on civil liberties but a neo-con he definitely is not.

    Of course Cameron will say “we have to prepare for every eventuality” - to say anything is not only political suicide but incompetence. If Gaddafi started gassing Libyans enmasse would people still sit around saying there should be no invasion? Highly doubt it. The warships are there to remind Gaddafi what could happen if he even thought about it…

    As far as I can see, the US and UK are taking the correct course of action.

    Update: Surprise surprise, the Pentagon is not hot on it either.

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