Archive for the ‘Muslims’ Category

Iran’s Ahmadinejad: Barack Obama should apologise for 60 years of ‘crimes’

January 28, 2009

In his own way of saying “thank you” to Barack Obama for his expressed respect for Muslims on Al-Arabiya , President Ahmadinejad has an idea or two for the new American president….

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama apologise for the “crimes” committed by the United States against Iran over the past 60 years.

By The Telegrapn (UK)

The hardline leader also called on Washington to withdraw its troops from across the world as a proof of Mr Obama’s commitment to change.

“You were standing against the Iranian people in the past 60 years,” Mr Ahmadinejad said during an address in the western region of Khermenshah that was broadcast by state television.

Barack Obama should apologise for 60 years of 'crimes'

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the advocates of change must ‘stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals’ Photo: REUTERS

“Those who speak of change must apologise to the Iranian people and try to repair their past bad acts and the crimes they committed against Iran.”

As to the troops, he said he expected two kinds of “deep and fundamental” change.

“Meet people, talk to them with respect and put an end to the expansionist policies. If you talk about change it must put an end to the US military presence in the world, withdraw your troops and take them back inside your borders.”

Mr Ahmadinejad said the advocates of change must “stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals”.

He called on the United States to “stop interfering in other people’s affairs”.

He also said the US government should “let the American people decide their own future … Stop pressuring them,” he added, without saying what he was referring to.

Mr Ahmadinejad said he welcomed change but the “change has to be fundamental”.

Related:
 Iran Says Again, Holocaust a ‘Big Lie’

Iran Will Have Nuke This Year?

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/n
orthamerica/usa/barackobama/4370711/Mah
moud-Ahmadinejad-Barack-Obama-should-apo
logise-for-60-years-of-crimes.html

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

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Obama Stressing Civility, Bipartisanship; Can Pelosi, Others Make It Work?

January 27, 2009

Barack Obama is doing something George W. Bush only dreamed about.

Both men spoke about removing the hate and animosity from Washington DC and the world.

George W. Bush failed largely because he viewed much of the world as part of the “Axis of Evil.”  Even some Democrats seemed to qualify for the Axis.

Barack Obama, like Bush, has talked a  good game about bipartisanship and reaching out to others.

Obama reached toward the entire Muslim world on al Arabiya yesterday and today he went into real enemy country by meeting with House and Senate Republicans.

Obama is trying to set a tone George “W” also wanted to set.  Bush failed.

And a lot of players have to cooperate to make it work….

If Obama can get Pelosi on the leash, Ahmadinejad and the other Muslims should be a piece of cake….

Related:
Difficult to “Just Say No” To Obama

Republicans Swoon At Obama Visit To Lawmakers
What the President told Republicans:
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whisper
s/2009/1/27/tales-from-the-inside-what-obama-t
old-republicans.html

r-ALARABIYA-huge.jpg

Barack Obama on al-Arabiya

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Commentary by Kevin Hassett
Bloomberg

President Barack Obama’s electoral success has much to do with his grasp of the American mood. Democratic and Republican Americans coexist peacefully every day and are unanimously disgusted by the increasingly negative tone of our politics.

Obama revealed last January that he shared those feelings of disgust, in his masterful acceptance speech after the Iowa caucuses: “You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and instead make it about addition — to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States.”

It is noteworthy and accurate that bitterness and anger consume Washington. The virtue of Americans is not in question; the virtue of politicians is.

A similar theme was the high point of Obama’s inaugural address: “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

While higher virtue is in itself a worthy goal, it has a practical reward as well. It is no coincidence that the tone of our government has degenerated at the same time as its performance. One could randomly select any corner of government today and find ample room for improvement, to say the least. There is nowhere an individual foolish enough, or an addict delirious enough, to design a government that works the way ours does.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader ... 
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speak to reporters after bi-partisan meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and leading Republicans at the White House, January 23, 2009.(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Partisan Folly

There has been far too little wisdom in Washington. Obama recognizes the link between partisanship and folly.

This view is hardly new to world philosophy, foreshadowed as it was long ago by Aristotle, who wrote that “it is impossible to be practically wise without being good.” He added that “virtue makes us aim at the right end, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means.”

If there is a new spirit of hopefulness in this country, in spite of the terrible state of our national affairs, it may well have been kindled by Obama’s call to virtue. But such calls have been made before. George W. Bush himself became president because he had reached the same epiphany as Obama.

In his first inaugural address, in 2001, Bush restated a case that he had made throughout the election. “Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be petty because, in a time of peace, the stakes of our debates appear small,” he said.

He went on, “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.”

Bush’s Admission

When listing the failures of his presidency at a recent talk, Bush cited first his failure to restore civility. To succeed where Bush failed, Obama must recognize two truths.

First, civility begins at the beginning. In the next month, Obama will set a tone for Washington that will likely endure as long as he does. If he fails to live up to his rhetoric now, he will fail just as Bush did.

Second, civility begins at home. It is one thing to demand civility of one’s opponents, another thing altogether to demand it of one’s own party.

Obama faced an early test last week, when, in the midst of the debate over economic stimulus, Democrats worked to shut Republicans out of the policy process, then behaved boorishly when Republicans complained.

Democratic leaders responded with the political equivalent of a sack dance in football. “If it’s passed with 63 votes or 73 votes, history won’t remember it,” said Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois.

Yes We Did

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added to the mood by saying, “Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election.”

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=washingtonstory&sid=aaX0MEqeCGjA

Difficult to “Just Say No” To Obama; He Talks the Deal To Republicans

January 27, 2009

If Republicans want to rebuild their party after the calamity of 2008, the party leadership needs to avoid sounding like a bunch of guys that “just say no.”

That won’t work.

Today President Obama met with congressional Republicans to discuss his proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan as a critical House vote looms.
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“We had a wonderful exchange of ideas, and I continue to be optimistic about our ability to get this recovery package done to put people back to work,” Obama said after leaving a meeting with GOP House members.

“There are some legitimate philosophical differences” between Democrats and Republicans on how to stimulate the economy, Obama noted, “and I respect that.”

“I don’t expect 100 percent agreement,” he added. “But I hope we can put politics aside.”

Republicans have to put politics aside.  But so do Democrats in many ways.

Nancy Pelosi needs to learn to act like a statesman, too.

Related:
Obama Stressing Civility, Bipartisanship; Can Pelosi, Others Make It Work?

White Spokesman Robert Gibbs said the President urged Republicans to look through the lense of what will work for the economy; and to put partisan politics aside.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs speaks to the press ... 
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs speaks to the press during his daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, January 26, 2009.(Jason Reed/Reuters)

After one week in the White House President Obama has made it clear that he’s serious about:

–getting the economy moving with a stimulus bill and whatever it takes after that.

–ending torture by American people and closing the symbol of torture at Gitmo.

–ending the thought of the “Axis of evil” and restoring 99% of Muslims to American favor.

–stooping the killing and war in the Middle East.

–breaking the impass with Iran by trying something new: diplomacy.

Looks like the President is on a roll.  Now, will Congress listen?

Related:
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/
27/obama.meetings/index.html

Obama Plan with Iran an “Opportunity for Israel”

President Obama has taken an early interest in the Middle East peace process.

Middle East: President on Al-Arabiya, Mitchell Moving, Jimmy Carter Advice to Israel

January 27, 2009

President Obama was on Al-Arabiya TV telling Muslims they are not America’s enemy, envoy George Mitchell was traveling to discuss peace with all sides in the Middle East and former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Israel will face a “catastrophe” unless it revives the Mideast peace process and establishes an independent Palestinian state.

Related:
Obama: Muslims not America’s enemy, “I have Muslim members of my family”

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WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama threw his weight Monday behind Arab-Israeli peacemaking when he sent envoy George Mitchell to the region with a brief to “engage vigorously” to achieve real progress.

Obama, promising to be more actively engaged in Middle East diplomacy than his predecessor George W. Bush, set the tone for the trip after meeting Mitchell who is due to visit Israel, the Palestinian West Bank and Arab states.

In the short run, the trip is aimed at bolstering a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip — following a three-week Israeli military offensive — and tackling the humanitarian crisis there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090126/pl
_afp/mideastdiplomacyusenvoy_200901
26230346

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By PETER JAMES SPIELMANN,Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Israel will face a “catastrophe” unless it revives the Mideast peace process and establishes an independent Palestinian state.
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In an interview with The Associated Press, he said Arabs will outnumber Jews in the Holy Land in the foreseeable future.

“If we look toward a one-state solution, which seems to be the trend _ I hope not inexorable _ it would be a catastrophe for Israel, because there would be only three options in that case,” Carter said.

One would be to expel large numbers of Palestinians, which he said would amount to “ethnic cleansing.”

The second would be to deprive the Palestinians of equal voting rights, which he said would amount to “apartheid.”

The third would be to give the Palestinians equal voting rights, and therefore the majority, he said.

“And you would no longer have a Jewish state,” Carter said. “The basic decisions would be made by the Palestinians, who would almost very likely vote in a bloc, whereas you would have some sharp divisions among the Israelis, because the Israelis always have different points of view.”

Carter spoke to The Associated Press as his new book, “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land,” was released.

Read the rest:
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090127/t
wl-mideast-carter-1be00ca.html

Obama: Muslims not America’s enemy, “I have Muslim members of my family”

January 27, 2009

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” Obama said in an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite television network. “We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”

“I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries,” Obama said.

In his first interview with an Arab television station, United States President Barack Obama Monday told the Muslim world that “Americans are not your enemy” and said Israel and the Palestinians should resume peace negotiations.

See the Al-Arabiya story and video:
http://www.alarabiya.net/english.html

President Obama believes that a new era of understanding can heal difficulties between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

And Muslim like Barack Obama, despite efforts by al-Qaeda to make Obama an enemy.

“He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza mercilessly and without affection,” an al-Qaeda spokesman declared in a grainy Internet video this month.

Al-Qaeda tried ugly words to demonize Obama.  That didn’t work.

Joby Warrick of the Washington Post wrote, “The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda’s skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.”
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Muslims face discrimination and fight for jobs, religious freedom and recognition in many parts of the world.

France currently faces a troubled record with Muslim immigrants who do not feel a part of the society. Thailand continues to deal with religious trouble between Muslims and Buddhists.

In southern Thailand, the government stands accused of beating and rejecting Muslim refugees that have fled Myanmar.  And in parts of Africa, Muslims are engaged in wars with neighbors in sectarian fighting.
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“I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away,” President Obama told  Al-Arabiya TV. “I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people.”

“Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what’s best for them. They’re going to have to make some decisions,” President Obama said. “But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that, instead, it’s time to return to the negotiating table.”

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/01/27/obama.arabia/index.html

Gaza Causes Friction in France, Where Muslims Have “No Chance”

Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

Al-Qaeda Challenge: Dealing With American President Muslims Like

From Politico:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/2009
0127/pl_politico/18016

This is an undated file  photo of al Qaida leader  Osama bin ... 
During the war in Gaza, al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden issued a new audiotape urging Muslims to launch a jihad, or holy war, to stop the Israeli offensive.(AP Photo)

Gaza Causes Friction in France, Where Muslims Have “No Chance”

January 26, 2009

Many Muslims in France, especially new immigrants,  are unemployed and not included in the society or the economy.

“We Muslims have no chance here,” one man told us.

That may be why the recent fighting between Hamas and Israel has cause some disagreements as well as some new thinking in France.

The U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) says, “The recent conflict in Gaza touched nerves in France, which is home to Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities. Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, many say the fighting there has done lasting damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in France.”

Go to NPR and hear their broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.
php?storyId=99861094&ft=1&f=1004

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Related:

France Looking to Screen Immigrants Using DNA

By Peter Allen
Daily Mail (UK)

France’s hard-line new immigration minister is set to implement legislation that would allow DNA testing of new arrivals, he has said.

Eric Besson, who was appointed this month, said the tests would establish which  foreigners were claiming visas by making up family ties with those already settled in the country.

Civil liberties groups have reacted furiously to the controversial government scheme, which was approved by the French parliament 15 months ago but does not come into effect until the appropriate Minister has signed the legislation. 

Protests had delayed that move until now.
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But Mr Besson said he wanted to give it  the ‘green light’, confirming that a ministerial meeting would be held on the subject ‘in a few days’.

He added: ‘If the decree is accepted, I will scrupulously respect all individual liberties. It’s not my obsession. ”

The tests will be for applications for visas of more than three months when  there are doubts about an immigrant’s birth or marriage certificates.

The move would allow officials to ‘propose’ to applicants that they take a test at their own expense to prove a biological link with other family members.

A recent report said there was often doubt over the authenticity of papers in family  applications for visas.

It claimed that in African countries such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Togo up  to 80 per cent of birth and marriage certificates were forged.

Government statistics show there are 23,000 immigration cases a year where visa  applications involve children, meaning DNA tests could become widespread.

But immigrant welfare groups said the plan was unacceptable…..

Read the rest:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-11
27823/Illegal-immigrants-DNA-tested-new-crackdo
wn-France.html

Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

January 26, 2009

The guns are silent, or nealy so, in Gaza as Hamas and Israel try to make an agreement and forge a way ahead.

But in many parts of the world, people are choosing sides and discussing who is right, what is justice and how to respond to the Gaza fight.

In the Middle East, leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are telling people to keep an open mind.  But thousands marched in pro-Hamas rallies in Lebanon and other Middle East countries.

In London yesterday, thousands protested the BBC for not showing a video asking for aid contributions for Gazans.  The BBC sid it wanted to stay impartial; but BBC Persian was closed in Iran where the government said it was pro-Israel.

In the media world, any nation seeming to take a side, like the BBC and Sky news, is gaining criticism and scorn.

In France, Jews and Muslims are trying to live together.  But the battle of Gaza has spilled into France….

NPR says, “The recent conflict in Gaza touched nerves in France, which is home to Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities. Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, many say the fighting there has done lasting damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in France.”

Go to NPR and hear their broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.
php?storyId=99861094&ft=1&f=1004

Related:
Sky News joins BBC in not broadcasting Gaza aid appeal

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

Al-Qaeda Challenge: Dealing With American President Muslims Like

January 25, 2009

Soon after the November election, al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader took stock of America’s new president-elect and dismissed him with an insulting epithet. “A house Negro,” Ayman al-Zawahiri said.

By Joby Warrick
The Washington Post

That was just a warm-up. In the weeks since, the terrorist group has unleashed a stream of verbal tirades against Barack Obama, each more venomous than the last. Obama has been called a “hypocrite,” a “killer” of innocents, an “enemy of Muslims.” He was even blamed for the Israeli military assault on Gaza, which began and ended before he took office.

“He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza mercilessly and without affection,” an al-Qaeda spokesman declared in a grainy Internet video this month.

A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows ... 
A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden making statements from an unknown location. Reuters

The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda’s skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.

With Obama, al-Qaeda faces an entirely new challenge, experts say: a U.S. president who campaigned to end the Iraq war and to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and who polls show is well liked throughout the Muslim world.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte
nt/article/2009/01/24/AR2009012401703.h
tml?hpid=topnews

Embracing Terror, Suicide Belittles Islam

January 13, 2009

WELL-MEANING Western commentators make a grave error when they insist that Islamist terrorists want to drag the Muslim world back to the seventh century.

It’s much worse than that.

Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and related fanatics really want to take their homelands (and the rest of the world) back beyond the era of Mohammed – to the grisly ancient days of human sacrifice.

The Prophet sought to purify the idolatrous devotions of his people, to do away with heartless desert cults. He felt the fervor of one living god and shared his illumination. The faith that arose in his wake had epochs of glory and eras of infamy, but it endured.

Now Islam is under assault from within, under attack from nominal Muslims who believe their vision supersedes that of Mohammed. They invoke the name of Allah but behave in the manner of ancient priests whose robes were drenched in blood.

Jordanian kids in terrorist garb at anti-Israel protest in Gaza. 

By Ralph Peters
The New York Post

What’s the meaning of those beheading videos and suicide bombings, the slaughter of fellow Muslims and the exploitation by pagan cults, such as Hamas, of masses of the faithful as human shields? Why stone 13-year-old girls to death? What’s this celebration of blood lust all about?

It’s about the threatened collapse of the Middle East back into an age of human sacrifice – the precise sort of gruesome travesty the Prophet inveighed against.

Today’s “Muslim” terrorists have nothing to do with Islam’s golden ages. They belong to the days of winged devil-gods and stone altars stinking of clotted human blood.

The true enemies of Islam aren’t Americans or Europeans or even Israelis, all of whom could not care less what backwater Middle Easterners call their god. The worst enemies of the Muslim faith are the butchers convinced that Allah demands that rivers of blood be shed to praise his name.

The reluctance of many Muslims to speak out against this travesty – this perversion – of their faith has various causes….

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01132009/posto
pinion/opedcolumnists/blood_sacrifice_149872.htm

China, India To Shape New World Order?

January 2, 2009

CHINA and India are in a struggle for a top rung on the ladder of world power, but their approaches to the state and to power could not be more different.

Two days after last month’s terrorist attack on Mumbai, I met with a Chinese friend who was visiting India on business. He was shocked as much by the transparent and competitive minute-by-minute reporting of the attack by India’s dozens of news channels as by the ineffectual response of the government. He had seen a middle-class housewife on national television tell a reporter that the Indian commandos delayed in engaging the terrorists because they were too busy guarding political big shots. He asked how the woman could get away with such a statement.

I explained sarcasm resonates in a nation that is angry and disappointed with its politicians. My friend switched the subject to the poor condition of India’s roads, its dilapidated cities and the constant blackouts. Suddenly, he stopped and asked: “With all this, how did you become the second-fastest growing economy in the world? China’s leaders fear the day when India’s government will get its act together.”

The answer to his question may lie in a common saying among Indians that “our economy grows at night when the government is asleep.” As if to illustrate this, the Mumbai stock market rose in the period after the terrorist attacks. Two weeks later, in several state elections, incumbents were ousted over economic issues, not security.

All this baffled my Chinese friend, and undoubtedly many of his countrymen, whose own success story has been scripted by an efficient state. They are uneasy because their chief ally, Pakistan, is consistently linked to terrorism while across the border India’s economy keeps rising disdainfully. It puzzles them that the anger in India over the Mumbai attacks is directed against Indian politicians rather than Muslims or Pakistan.

By GURCHARAN DAS
The New York Times
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Read the rest:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/
01/02/opinion/02das.html?_r=1