Sunday, May 25, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE "The Brotherhood Will Be Back" By Shadi Hamidmay

Rachel Daniel holds up a picture of her abducted daughter Rose Daniel as her son Bukar sits beside her at their home in Maiduguri. Rose, along with more than 200 of her classmates, was one of those abducted by Boko Haram militants from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. Photograph:
RE  The Brotherhood Will Be Back

Dear Editor,

"The Brotherhood Will Be Back" sounds like an Islamic version of modern Zionism and Israel, with the potential to make life quite nice for a select few who benefit from having a podium, tax payers' funds and state power "defending" their idea of religion, providing better job opportunities for coreligionists plus a heavily armed modern military making life totally miserable for those who are classified as the "wrong" religion. 

States and states-within-states that advocate arming religion and favoritism tend to quickly impoverish and imperil the local people, generating injustice, sectarian strife, disenfranchisement, disaster, and escalating refugee crises. Empowering Golden Rule thinking and true respect for the rule of fair and just laws and universal human rights is a much better option- for everyone's sake.

Hussein Ibish, of The American Task Force on Palestine, rising up this week to valiantly defend the nationally- and internationally-noted Lebanese journalist Hanin Ghaddar (who is being bullied and threatened by some very obtuse and nasty people) points out that "Ostensibly Hezbollah's state-within-a-state is for "resistance" and to protect Lebanon from Israel. In reality, of course, its weapons are used mainly to enforce its domestic political agenda on other Lebanese, and in the service of its Iranian and Syrian patrons, most notably through the intervention in the Syrian conflict."

And as the very wise and witty explains in his most recent column How We Stop the Next Boko Haram : "I’m not saying Boko Haram’s actions are based on Islamic principles. I believe the opposite, and in fact, I made that very point in my article last week. Of course, the anti-Muslim crowd denounced my article as inaccurate. Having those people explain Islam is like having Mel Gibson explain Judaism."

Conservative or liberal, there is a huge difference between electing a candidate who happens to be Muslim (or Christan or Jewish or whatever) who understands and practices Golden Rule thinking which includes respect for people who would rather not be religious, and electing a candidate who seeks political power because he wants a podium and preferential treatment for his religion. 

Anne Selden Annab

   "Given the U.S. commitment to religious freedom, and to the international covenants that guarantee it as the inalienable right of every human being, the United States seeks to: Promote freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries" US State Department. 

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"Thinking about the future means we do not create "false idols" of the past or present. It means that we understand that we are human, subject to God's laws, and that we do not allow ourselves become so arrogant as to subject God to our own whims and fancy. It also requires that we reject the temptation to use means that contradict the very ends we seek to accomplish."

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"It is, of course, na├»ve to expect total reconciliation. Some grievances are so deep that the people who suffered them will never be satisfied. But the point is not satisfaction — the point is that the present is superior to the past, and it has to be cultivated as such."  Colum McCann  author of the novel “TransAtlantic” and a co-founder of Narrative 4, a global story exchange project

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STAY CONNECTED... Given the U.S. commitment to religious freedom, and to the international covenants that guarantee it as the inalienable right of every human being, the United States seeks to: Promote freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries

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All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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"The only way to honor our tragic histories is to create a future for our children free of man-made tragedy. This means making peace fully, completely and without reservation, between Israel and Palestine." American Task Force on Palestine's born in Jerusalem Dr. Ziad Asali: To honor a tragic history, we must work for peace 

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