Category: atheist


On March 20, 2003, I participated in a peaceful protest against the war. I was arrested, incarcerated, handcuffed, booked, fingerprinted, had mug shots taken, put on trial, convicted and sentenced. My conviction is currently under Appeal in the Vermont State Supreme Court. Courtroom procedure allows the condemned the Right of Allocution. This was the first time that I was allowed to speak freely and openly to the court. Below are my words, as I spoke them, to Judge David Suntag, in Vermont District Court, in Bennington, Vt., on October 7, 2004.

Your Honor, I would like to express my gratitude to you, the Prosecutor Mr. McManus, the members of the Bennington Police Department, to my family, especially Christine, to all those who support me, and especially to Mr. Saltonstall.

It is my profound respect for the Rule of Law that brought me to the 4 corners on March 20, 2003. At the precise moment of my arrest, the federal government of the United States was bombing civilians. The bombing of civilians is a violation of international law, a violation of U.S. treaties, a crime against humanity, and a war crime. Now that same government is sitting in judgment of many who have protested the war. Last week, in a court in Philadelphia, Lillian Willoughby, an 89-year-old deaf woman, in a wheelchair, was sentenced to prison. She had participated in a peaceful protest. Also in Philadelphia, Andrea Ferich, a 22 year old, was sentenced and she has just spent a week in solitary confinement. She also had participated in a peaceful protest. I have just been told that Michael Berg, father of Nick Berg, was arrested in a peaceful protest on Saturday, in Washington. All over this country, hundreds of those who have peacefully protested the war, are now condemned by the government. The way that this country is headed, eventually, all people of peace will be behind bars. I am in solidarity with them and all others who have resisted the government in the past, or will do so in the future.

Your Honor, it is with deep respect that I voice some concerns. How can it be that a nation, that is itself in violation of the law, can then hope to impose the rule of law on its citizens? I believe that either the rule of law applies to everyone, or else it applies to no one. Even a nation as powerful as the United States, can not have it both ways. The fact that the government of the U.S. is in violation of the law, is a fact that has been documented by many around the world. William Blum, one of the world’s leading historians, and also former member of the U.S. State Dept., has authored several books on the topic…even naming one of his books about US foreign policy, Rogue State.

I have here a copy of the Indictment of 19 charges against members of the government as compiled by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. [I held the documents up for all to see.] Also, here is a statement from a group of U.S. law professors. The statement is entitled “U.S. Lawyers Warn Bush on War Crimes.” Also, here is a report from an international human rights organization that is accredited by the United Nations. This report documents extensive U.S. war crimes in Iraq. This is just a small sample of information that is easily available. Can all of these experts be wrong? Also, I have here an Associated Press report that was released shortly before my arrest, stating that the U.S. was threatening to use nuclear weapons. That, too, is a war crime.

Your Honor, I believe that our government will not regain its legal and moral authority until it gives up its life of International Crime, and in the words of William Blum, is no longer a rogue state. It is important to say here, that the war in Iraq is not the first violation of human rights and International Law by the U.S. The abuse of people, people just like you and me, started back in 1492 and has been a consistent pattern ever since. Talk to some Native Americans, especially now that Columbus Day is upon us. Talk to our black brothers and sisters. Talk to the people of Diego Garcia or Panama or Hiroshima or Cuba….the list is endless.

As individual citizens, we all have rights and responsibilities. I believe that it is the responsibility of all citizens to resist any government, anywhere, anytime, when that government is slaughtering civilians. I, and many other protesters that I know, would gladly spend the rest of our lives in prison, if only the U.S. would stop bombing civilians.

I have always been opposed to any form of violence. Seeing the photographs of the bombed Iraqi children has changed my life and strengthened my commitment to working for justice for those children. I do not understand how anyone can stand by silently, while knowing that civilians are being bombed. If what I, and the many thousands of others who protested the war, did, was wrong…what then would be the right thing to do? If you saw a child being beaten up and murdered on Main Street by a gang of thugs, should you write a letter to the editor or call your congressman or write a book on how adults should interact with children? Of course not. When children are being killed, immediate, direct, and powerful intervention is called for. What the other protesters and I did should be criticized in only one area. We all did too little. To all of the people of Iraq, I would like to say, “I am sorry. I will try to do better in the future.”

I pray for the day when factory workers join with farmers, and police officers join with poets, and judges join with veterans in protesting the illegal acts of our government. Now is a time in history when silence is the greatest of all crimes.

What happens to me here today is not important. Since the day of my arrest, more than 13,000 Iraqi civilians, many of them children, have been killed. That IS important.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She can be reached at dissent@sover.net.

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by makeprofilelink(“Pam Spaulding”); Pam Spaulding · 8/24/2007 02:00:00 PM ETmyCount

I watched the third part of CNN’s documentary with Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors” and it will have the fundies hopping mad. Parts one and two dealt with extremist movements in Judaism and Islam. Last night’s installment took a look at religious fundamentalists in the U.S., the “Christian” right wing. The transcript is here.

Amanpour conducted the last TV interview with Rev. Tinkywinky at Liberty University the week before Falwell died. He again recanted the apology he made for saying “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians” were responsible for 9/11. He calls his young Liberty University scholars “pit bulls for Christ;” his goal is to graduate as many fundie lawyers as possible, to infiltrate and influence the judicial system in favor of God’s law.

Michael Jensen has a great piece up at AfterElton about this part of the doc series. A snippet:

It would be hard to imagine a documentary examining the impact of Christian fundamentalists on American culture that didn’t include a look at the part played by gay issues. Fortunately, God’s Christian Warriors doesn’t disappoint and the result is a fascinating and often frightening look at the religious right that any progressive — but especially any gay progressive — would be well advised to watch.

…While watching Amanpour interview some of these fundamentalists, I hoped she would ask just what would happen to gay people should they get their way: stoning to death, as suggested in Leviticus? After all, fundamentalists claim the Bible should be the foundation upon which America is built and that would be the logical conclusion.

…If looked at through the prism of understanding what the religious right wants for America, however, then the documentary can be considered a success if even only a few Americans — especially gay ones — wake up to what these Christian fundamentalists aspire to. And for anyone paying attention for the last twenty years, no explanation is needed as to what it is the religious fundamentalists want for America.

As God’s Christian Warriors makes amply clear, their goal is an America that is governed by biblical principles; principles that leave no room for gay people to co-exist in any meaningful way except by going deeply back in to the closet.

CNN has done a fine job on this series; I am curious how the documentary is being received by fundamentalists, considering it is quite harsh (but accurate) about the violent history of the religious right regarding abortion activity, showing the shootings of doctors and bombings of clinics — acts Falwell condemned when the topic was raised by Amanpour. I’d venture a guess that being lumped in with extremist factions of Islam and Judaism is going to cause a massive uproar in the fundie press shortly.

Oh wait…take a look at the drivel already up at WingNutDaily.

What are your thoughts on CNN’s documentary series, ‘God’s Warriors’?

And the headline of the related story, which has all of the expected hysteria:
CNN airs ‘one of the most distorted programs’ ever
Documentary compares Jews, Christians to Muslim terrorists

CNN will proabably re-air all three parts over the weekend. Check listings.

The Tower of Babel

After the Deluge, Noah’s descendants settled in the lowlands of Sinear, not far from the Euphrates. The spoke a common language and formed a single community. Genesis 11 tells their story: ‘And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ In addition, the tower had to serve as a landmark to keep people together, despite the fact that God had commanded Noah and his sons to ‘replenish’ the earth (Genesis 9:1). Also, the tower could be used as a safe haven in case of a new flood.The Tower of Babel

God looked down upon these industrious souls, and judged that in their ambition they were trying to equal him. So he decided to punish them with the Confusion of Tongues. Since people could no longer understand each other, they were scattered over the earth at last. The site of the event would from that day on be known as Babel, apparently meaning ‘confusion’. Continue reading

Do you remember?

from http://www.ilmfruits.com 

January 20, 2007 on 2:57 pm | In Tazkiyyah, Aqeeda
1 Comment | By Taymullah

Why are we on this earth? This time, this place. People, make the use of the situation based on a cycle. The EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle, which I believe turns out to be boring. Monday work starts, lasts till friday. Then again the same old weekend, were some claim to enjoy.

Or lets look at life as a whole. A person is born, goes to school, goes to university/ college, gets a job. marries, buys a house and he/ she starts a new person’s cycle (their kids).
The same old story again and again.
So again what are we doing here? When Allah created us he sent us down with something, can you remember?

Ibn Abbas (ضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) related that,
“When Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created Adam (عليه سلام), He took a covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafah. Then He extracted from him all of descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they all replied, ‘Yes, we testify to it.’ Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, ‘That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You, Allah , were our God. No one told us that we were supposed to worship You alone.” Allah went on to explain that it was also in case some people would say: ‘It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allah) and we are only their descendants; will you then destroy us for what those liars did?’ (Collected by Ahmed, Classified sahih, see Silsilah al-Albani’s al-Ahadith as-Sahihah)

Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said this in an explanation of the verses (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” (Tafsir At-Tabari). (Qur’an 7: 172-173)
The explanation and the ayah’s are clear proof for people, that the reason we are on earth is not for any other than recognizing Allah as our Lord, and worship Him.

Now it can be seen that MUSLIMS are so much into the EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle. And they go on and on, with the same old reasons, a good house, a good car (which are mostly mortgage based). So lets remember ( and I advive myself first) why we are here, because if we do, and abide by it, then the rewards we will receive will be infinite , unlike the perceived rewards of this world, which are limited and fragile.

References

Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. 2nd ed. Riyadh: IIPH, 2005. 61-62.

Examples are shown to me… and examples are many…sometimes i’m made to be an example of what one should not be… talk is cheap.. actions are what really counts in life..one such example was a visitor we had.. in a house he resided here, an abode of a fellow brother of ours. the place is more like a guest house…no a.. a lair!… with a rooftopp for smoking pot and gazing at the stars, engaging in idle talk and a place to waste time & get wasted..and peeping at the neighbours that just moved in was a usual past time.

I’ll call him ‘the token white guy’. He came among us at an integral time in the history of filthy political upheaval, weddings & the chills of the minute south-asian winter season..with unbelief & criticism in his mind…always looking for a jolly good story to tell from all the travels that he has made..his cultural origins & percpective a far cry from what we, the so-called third worlders know as life to be.. he brought along with him the concept of secular thought & governance, which i vehemently oppose! i might add..he was a white man & we third worlders love to lick white ass!.. but he got very little of his hindside licked on the fourth trip that he made to Sultry Dhaka!

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