Category: secular


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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Meaning to get a rifle for a while now. A high powered sniper rifle with an equally powerful scope, so I can see the look in the eyes of my prey, the moment the bullet hits their forehead. You should get one too, all of us should. We should also get accesories of battle fatigues, hunting knives, handguns, the works. Why? Why the hell not?

Then its practice, practice and some more practice. No need to practice on dumb targets or bottles, there’s plenty of crows for our benefit. If you miss, just keep practicing till you start seeing some blood oozing from your prey’s body parts. Armed and dangerous Bangladeshis should then proceed to any border town and there are many on the menu. Get a comfortable position, stock it with the essentials and start shooting anything Indian that moves. The hunt is on, it’s open season for us too. Haven’t you heard, it’s now illegal for Bangladeshis to sit idle when their fellow countrymen are being killed left, right and center. It’s illegal to be an inactive spectator and its specially illegal to feel helpless to oppression & injustice. Our elected officials are too busy lining their pockets and shipping it abroad, so stop being naive thinking that its their job. The Army is too busy making money also; check out the Trust Banks, Sena Kalyan Trust, (Destiny 2000) & the UN Peace keeping missions. I don’t want to get started with the criminals.. i meant the Police Force. They are too busy to think about lil’ ol’ you.. the common, helpless, innocent man/woman! So wake up and make your own bed, breakfast & coffee, your maid isn’t gonna clean your house for you.

If you want something done right, then do it yourself. Get yourself some machines of destruction, for the sake of defense if offense is not your cup of tea. Why? Have you looked at the newspapers recently or for a decade or so? Take a sabbatical from the world of social media, parties, hollywood, tv serieses and glamour and bite into reality. There is no security in your country. You are more llikely to die of unnatural causes at home, on the roads, in Masjids or in public places than naturally dying in bed. The Police might kill you or a speed-freak driver or your servant or a politician or even a businessman or even a student leader. It’s open season on you, because the population has boomed & life expectancy is at its highest, thus you are just another statistic. No one cares, not even the ones you pay with you taxes to protect you! So what do you do? Buy a weapon today or become a dead statistic.

Protest peacefully! haahaa, what a joke! The government goons will sweep onyou with machetes & barettas while unarmed, civilian you get a good beating or give your life on the streets. Protest with a gun and they’ll sit up and take notice. Protest by killing a corrupt cop a day or better yet a government official but the best targets would be a politician. Kill a politician a day to keep anarchy away! ACT NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action speaks much louder than words. Much louder! So why are we so inactive in chasing the dream of being a better person, a better human being? Better guardian of our fellow man, animals or the earth. We sit in front of our TV screens and see death & destruction upon the aforementioned, without lifting a finger tip to assist our brothers & sisters. One or two from amongst us do, lift a finger listening to their voices within. We criticize them too.

 

 

Silly of me to bring this up at a time like this when floods, hurricanes & political upheaval are upon us as a nation & that the “war on Islam” & victimizing innocent men, women & children are afoot worldwide, from the scrutiny of a citizen of The Nation of Islam. Still, we sit still, waiting for things to pass & be forgotten. Not a word uttered in the defense of one’s neighbour that we so fondly, (falsely) call our brother. Some of us claim that it is ‘their’ fight, trial or misery & that inactivity on the part of the onlooker is the standard action to be taken after the news or movie segment or the latest catastrophe hits. Where has this inactivity led us humans to? To inhumanness, if I may. All the lessons of our forefathers were mere folk tales of our childhood nostalgia. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it might hit your child’s conscience & one fine day he’ll question your conscience. A shrug of your shoulders or a phrase of falsehood might lead him to unaccountable ways, one day.

 

 

 

 

Words… words are nothing unlike the lies of politicians that have robbed us blind for generations. So why are we fond of speaking big words in public gatherings deafeningly. An empty drum beats loudly & the onlookers treat them like demigods. Why do these members of parliaments sit on their large behinds on towel adorned seats in the secretariats or at parliament rather than being with the people of his constituency? Listening to their grievances & solving them as is their job description. The elected officials forget their people as soon as they get elected, only to return back to beg for their votes with their propaganda blaring from rented speakers, just before the next election. Parents like politicians seem to have lost their morals also. They speak of principles & love laced words of standing by their children at times of strife & trial. Their words are proven false at their first crime & their inactivity emanates smoke signals of their claims of unconditional love being nothing but falsehood.

 

 

        Words… they cut like a knife. That must be the reason for another dictator to suppress voices & oppress his own people to keep his grip on power. Oppression has never perished the Truth. It has only made the masses conscious of it being suppressed. Some of us are blinded by the propaganda of falsehood, straining our voices to defend untruths, because it suits us & our lifestyles. My generation lives today in a world of falsehood, broken promises & conflict within the family, community or with other fellow humans of other races, religions, creeds or nations for reasons better understood by barbarians. Our previous generation takes responsibility for giving us birth & claim to have given us independence from the oppressors. We hold them responsible for the mess we see our world to be in, due to their insensitive ways with the environment, people, poverty, politics, law & order & most of all for keeping quite while their so called brothers raped our nation, tattered to shreds our culture & stained our beautiful religion, trashed our environment, among a list of things, just for personal gain.

 

        Oppressors are not solely blamed for the state of affairs today; those who stood silent & endured the oppression are equally responsible according to Holy Scriptures. Forget the collaborators of the enemy. What about the millions that stood silent during the carnage before the independence of the then East Pakistan and after? There was complete anarchy after independence. Banks were looted; innocents were raped & killed by the thousands, property was forcefully occupied, the weak were governed by the strong. A faulty foundation can never hold a sound building. It might collapse like house on cards at the hint of a moderate earthquake. Well the quake has hit & society as we know it is collapsing as we speak. Our beloved nation is wandering aimlessly for direction & leadership & so is our battered & tarnished Nation of Islam. An abstract war has been declared long ago. We just can’t wake up to smell the coffee. Then it just might not be coffee brewing in the first place. The truth isn’t just out there; it exists in your hearts & minds. One just has to look a little deep for it in this world of endless falsehood. I urge you to start acting now. Take action if you see injustice, first with your hands, if unable to, then speak against it, if one is unable to do either then possess hate for it in your hearts. Don’t just sit there!

by Jamshyd Osman

The house is empty
Heart’s gone cold
The mantel’s gone dusty
Littered with spider webs & mold

An unusual feeling
Unwanted, Deserted
Involuntary tears
Of disgust & anguish
Guilt stuck at the throat
Another chance, another wish

Weaving tales of sorrow
A wasteful pastime
Bitter nothingness of tomorrow
No rhymes no smile

An oddity of emotion
Can’t dare to share
Errors in their judgment
Makes the truth look bare

Once these halls echoed laughter
Bore witness to joy
Nights & mornings after
Playing wild, playing coy

The romance of monsoon
Blessings after the gloom
Moments becoming hours
Tending to beds of flowers

We owe it all to Thee
That window of glee
I‘m glad that had to be
Both the bitter & the sweet
Wouldn’t have ventured any other street

Yesterday created today
Here now silence can only prevail
Echoes of yester-steps
Landmarks stay still as memoirs appear
Like an oasis in another hemisphere

Feels like a grave
Inside these heavy & lonely
Four walls

SYNDICATED
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.

Pahela Baishakh  first day of the Bangla year. Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal. In Bangladesh Pahela Baishakh is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.

Under the Mughals, agricultural taxes were collected according to the Hijri calendar. However, as the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, the agricultural year does not coincide with the fiscal. As a result, farmers were hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. In order to streamline tax collection, the Mughal Emperor akbar ordered a reform of the calendar. Accordingly, Fatehullah Shirazi, a renowned scholar and astronomer, formulated the Bangla year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bangla solar calendars. The new Fasli San (agricultural year) was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from Akbar’s ascension to the throne in 1556. The new year subsequently became known as bangabda or Bengali year. Continue reading


Dr. Muntasir Mamun.

 

 THE first day of the Bengali calender-year is celebrated as the New Year in Bangladesh. As Enamul Huq has written: “The first day of the festivities performed to mark the commencement of the New Year is actually a specific festival day.”


One such day is the Bengali New Year. Its main characteristic is that it is not a festival of the Hindus or the Buddhists alone. It is universal in nature. In fact, festivals not related to faith but secular in character are rare in the world. Enamul Huq visualizes this universality in the collected prayer for rain when men and women long for the clouds during the hot Bengali calender-year (corrsponding to Mid-April to Mid-May). He writes-“Praying to the clouds for water is another popular ritual of he Bengali New Year.”
Continue reading

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance, but if the sin involved usurping a right of another human, such as stealing, then they should strive their utmost to return what was wrongly taken. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Holy Quran and Hadeeth both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

“The only religion in the sight of God is Islam.“ (Quran 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) Continue reading

 

Key historical dates:

 

1390-1902

 

Independent sultanate of Patani, comprising the present-day provinces of Patani, Yala, Narathiwat, and parts of Songkhla, ended when the

Kingdom of
Siam formally incorporated the sultanate.

 

1909

 

Anglo-Siamese Treaty recognized Siamese control over Patani and drew a border between Patani and the Malay states of Kelantan, Perak, Kedah and Perlis. The local aristocracy was deposed in favour of officials who spoke only Thai and reported exclusively and directly to
Bangkok.

 

1932

 

Constitutional monarchy was introduced with a parliamentary government.

 

1938

 

Regime of Phibun Songkhram came to power and it followed a policy of forced assimilation into mainstream ‘Buddhist Thainess’ aimed at creating the monolithic character of the state.

 

1940s

 

Emergence of Patani People’s Movement (PPM), a separatist movement fighting for an independent Patani

 

 

1948

 

250,000 Thai Malays petitioned the UN to oversee the accession of Patani, Narathiwat and Yala to the new Federation of Malaya.

 

 

28 April 1948

 

Dusun-nyor riot: clashes between Muslim villagers and police and military forces, led by religious leader, Haji Abdul Rahman, resulted in the deaths of some 400 Muslims, thousands more fled to Malaysia

 

 

1950s

 

Expansion of Malay resistance was accelerated by formation in Malaya of the Gabungam Melayu Patani Raya (GAMPAR, the Greater Patani Malayu Association), an organization set up to incorporate Thailand’s four majority Muslim provinces into Malaya and the Patani People’s Movement, a Thailand-based organization with the same goal.

 

1959 Continue reading