Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vatican Urges Muslim Leaders To Condemn The Islamic State Formerly Known As ISIS



The unspeakable crimes committed by the Islamic State, a self-identified Sunni militant group formerly known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) get worse every day. Beheadings, stonings, live burials, and crucifixions are all tactics used by the extremists as they attempt to wipe out Iraq and Syria's minority religious groups, like the Yazidis and the Shiites.

As the Islamic State claims to be waging war in the name of Islam, with the end goal of restoring the Islamic Caliphate, it is up to Muslim leaders to denounce their actions and reject any sort of religious justification for the horrors they have wrought in Iraq and Syria.

Many have already done that. Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called the actions of the Islamic State a "crime that cannot be tolerated" in July. Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders from the UK made a video to condemn the Islamic State in July, and professors from the ancient and influential al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, have also publicly rejected the Caliphate. Most recently, the Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's top Muslim scholar, denounced the Islamic State as an "extremist and bloody group" on Tuesday.

The Vatican is encouraging more Muslim leaders to speak out against the Islamic State. A statement released Tuesday by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue said in part:
The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will.

All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them. If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility can the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years have?

Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with the authorities to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to reestablish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. While recalling the need for an ethical management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible.
In the statement, the Vatican noted that, "the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians" oppose the "Restoration of the Caliphate" proposed by the Islamic State.

As coexistence is the basis on which healthy relationships between religions are founded, the current atrocities perpetrated by ISIS against minority groups are a threat to interreligious dialogue, the statement implied. "No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity," it said.

My letter to the NYtimes RE The Making of a Disaster by Roger Cohen

Israel's Gaza offensive causes 5 billion USD losses: "Israel said its war was against militants and against Hamas, but this factory and other factories do not belong to Hamas. So the aim is to keep our economy weak and broken."

RE: The Making of a Disaster

Dear Editor,

Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. According to wikipedia "She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers.[1] " 

Why taint the beauty, dignity,  and history of the name Isis by dubbing the Islamist thugs "ISIS".  ISIL was the name first used and I think we should stick with that as it stands for the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

"ISIS" also is "is is", whereas ISIL sounds like "is ill" which is a much healthier subliminal message.

That was one thing I found wrong with Roger's Cohen recent column pontificating about the rise of the murderous anti-Western Islamists who killed many an Arab Muslim and many an Arab Christian before they beheaded the American journalist James Foley.  A much more glaring flaw with even more dangerous ramifications than the tainting of a beautiful name "ISIS" is Cohen's failure to even glance at Israel, as if Israeli rhetoric and Israeli actions do not matter ... and as if Israel has not played a pivotal role in the rise of religious extremism and violence in the Middle East.

Islamists and potential recruits for ISIL can not help but look at Israel's success in building a strong heavily armed state with privileges, good jobs, and preferential housing for Jews, while the native non-Jewish population of historic Palestine is pushed into poverty and forced exile- and Palestinian refugee camps are bombed to smithereens by Israel's army. 

Israel ignores the Arab Peace Initiative and sabotages diplomatic efforts to end the Israel-Palestine conflict day after day after day, perpetuating and actively exasperating the plight of the Palestinians rather than respecting international law and universal basic human rights by making peace with and for Palestine, for everyone's sake.

ISIL did not grow through American weakness. ISIL grew because it wanted to grow and it finds victory as well as funds in being cruel to the people it conquers and torments. ISIL is fully accountable for what ISIL does, and must be fully blamed and criticized for its crimes, just as Israel should be held fully accountable for what it does with American made weaponry and HAMAS should be held fully accountable for what it does with its home made rockets. 

Anne Selden Annab

The Real Middle East Crisis Is Economic "While Western observers focus on political issues in the Middle East, people in the region are themselves preoccupied with economic matters"

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

NYTimes: Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic.

Dean Obeidallah in The Daily Beast: Searching for a Palestinian Dr. King

There Are Clues

Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?

What we found was that there has been a continued erosion in the favorable ratings Americans have of both Arabs and Muslims, posing a threat to the civil rights and political inclusion of both Arab Americans and American Muslims.

"This is a time of national crisis, I will be honest with you, that does require commitment to non-violence of the kind that would give everyone the time needed to rebuild, to unify, but at the same time to agree with Israel and the world on a date certain for ending the occupation." Palestine's Salam Fayyad

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

UPDATE: American Task Force on Palestine Advocacy Efforts During the Ongoing Tragic Hostilities : As tragic and appalling hostilities erupted again between Israelis and Palestinians, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) engaged in intensive advocacy efforts to call for an immediate cease-fire to save lives and spare the innocent. On July 8th, ATFP issued a formal press release calling for de-escalation between Israel and the Palestinians...READ MORE

Normalizing Intelligent Conversations, Diplomatic Support, and Hope for Palestine: American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) Panel on Israeli-Palestinian War in a New Regional Landscape... & a firm call for an immediate ceasefire

Ziad Asali
Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:

1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine... "An eye-opening—and inspiring—new approach to thinking about one of the world’s most deeply entrenched conflicts"

"I have yet to meet a refugee who wanted to be a refugee and even less so, who wished to remain a refugee. Palestine refugees are no different. Their call for a just and lasting solution to their plight must be heard." UNWRA's Pierre Krähenbühl on World Refugee Day

America/Israel/Palestine 1776

America/Israel/Palestine 1948:
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.

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you