Monday, February 16, 2015

My letter to the NYTimes RE Roger Cohen: "Islam and the West at War"

Palestinians who were displaced from their houses due to fierce
clashes between Israel and Hamas return to check their homes in
the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, on Aug. 1, 2014
(AFP Mahmud Hams) Maan News UN officials warns of further conflict in Gaza link to the recent news story found on  The American Task Force on Palestine's website front page
RE Roger Cohen: "Islam and the West at War"

Dear Editor,

Roger Cohen is wrong. The west is not at war with Islam, nor is Islam at war with the west. The militants and hate mongers hijacking Islam for political and financial gain are not Islam, they are savage criminals and manipulative liars who lure naive and misguided youth astray.  

Cohen is also dangerously wrong in refusing to notice how Israel's long term and flagrant violations of international law and the Palestinians' basic human rights have played into shaping the rise of religious extremism and violence in the region.  Israel leads the way by generously subsidizing Jewish religious scholars as well as land grabbing Jews-only "neighborhoods" (settlements) in the illegally occupied territories.

The very real plight of the Palestinians is dire, and their suffering was well publicized through out the Middle East even before the internet and cell phones. As things are, with global communications amplifying all the worst,  "The Jewish State" VS "The Islamic State" fantasy will continue to push petty tyrants and disenfranchised impoverished people into believing Arabs and Muslims will find freedom, justice, jobs and security the same way that Israel, claiming to be "The Jewish State", has found freedom, justice, jobs, and security for Jews. 

Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict ASAP with a carefully negotiated, fully secular two state solution based on international law (including but not limited to full respect for the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return to original homes and lands) would go a long way towards curbing the bigotry, sectarian strife, terrorism, war, and poverty wrecking havoc in the region and beyond... Religion should be a personal private choice- not a state funded project.

Anne Selden Annab

World Press Roundup: Middle East News

Mideast Quartet calls for speedy resumption of peace talks... "Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues."

Global Citizenship... laying the foundation for a culture of peace

Ziad Asali

Hamas confirms that it has banned a visit by Palestinian orphans from the Gaza Strip to Israel because it was in the context of “normalization” with Israelis.

During World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedomsfreedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want—as their basic war aims.... The United Nations Charter "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member states to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion"

A Palestinian’s journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution

The United States casts its lot with the problem solvers, the healers, and the builders,”  US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in a September speech, quoted by CSM in their recent editorial 

Jordan's King: World must stand up to radicals

What Will Israel Become?

... Ibrahim's Estate... The Promised Land: In Celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Peace Day

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Hussein Ibish: Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

 “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, immigrated to the United States in 1895 where he grew up to become a beloved poet and respected writer.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies" Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) American minister, humanitarian and social activist- a cherished leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, whose inspiring words continue to influence and empower diplomatic efforts to bring more justice, more security, more peace and more jobs to more people, every one and every where.

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