Story of a Martyr: Abbas Al-Hassan, the Man of Tolerance Saudi Arabia Couldn’t Tolerate

Zeinab Daher

One of the recently beheaded martyrs inside the Saudi Kingdom is Abbas Haji Ahmed al-Hassan. A Banker who had four children, was arrested from his family home, remained behind bars for over 6 years, and lost his life despite being well known for his tolerance. Instead, the regime accused him, like all other detainees, of ‘terrorism’-related charges.

The open-minded man was very tolerant to others of different viewpoints. He was raised on the Islamic value that finds the most honorable among people are those who are most pious.

His family narrated chapters of his life. They said he was open to relations with people from all sects. He used to participate in the gatherings of Sufis as well liberals. He was ready to discuss and argue with any other person. He was also having his religious studies in the Hawza. But because of his acceptance of others, he was always under the government’s supervision.

Martyr Abbas Al-Hassan was the Regional Manager of the Automated Support Unit at the Arab Bank, in addition to founding the Makarem Import and Export Establishment, and working with a touristic company whose activities include visiting the holy sites for religious, cultural and spiritual tourism when visiting the shrines of the Prophet’s household [PBUT]. The government didn’t like this, as it didn’t like all other martyrs’ activities.

His Makarem Establishment was founded in service of the Shia community and in support of holding the Imam Hussein memorial ceremonies. For that, he was firstly warned to write a pledge, but martyr Abbas didn’t accept that. So, he was detained on May 5th, among a group of the community’s elite who were all detained for unrelated crimes.

‘The martyr, who had never killed a mosquito, would never have harmed a person in his life,’ his wife stressed.

Storming the house

Abbas was brutally arrested as he tiredly returned home from work. He was planning to go with his family to perform Umrah. The moment he stepped out of his car walking towards the house, the investigations and raids groups arrested him, then told him to walk home.

He told them that they are arresting him without showing a warrant and without giving him a reason for that. “I don’t accept terrifying my children. You may only enter the house over my dead body.”

Abbas kept in mind that his wife might open the door without having the Abaya over her head. He rang the door, his son Mohammad opened the door, then told his mother that his dad is over there and some women are also with him.

The wife narrated that as she asked: “Who is there?” The martyr said Um Muhammad open the door, you are safe.

“I opened the door, the female inspector entered. She asked me: where is your children’s room? I asked her why? She said we are the police, we have some questions to ask your husband then we will leave. I didn’t believe what she said, but the moment we entered the children’s room, she brought the Abayas of my daughters Maria and Zahraa, and we saw more than 25 persons messing up everything at home. Then they asked him to sit in the hall.”

She further added:

“I told her: had you been the police, why there are all those people here and why they are dressed as civilian? You are from the investigations. Kindly don’t tell me lies again. I wanted to go to Abbas. Then a policeman put his gun and told me to sit. I sat down, then Abbas nodded his head to keep calm. I sat down until they finished messing up with the house. Then they took Abbas, and Maria caught her father’s clothes, Nasser held his leg… it was very painful. I remember it as if it was today. He told the children, my dearests let me leave…”

The martyr was accused of ‘spying for Iran, funding Imam Hussein memorial ceremonies, recruiting other people, and conducting researches for an ‘enemy’ channel, al-Alam News Channel,’ which was untrue and was hence sentenced to death, his wife stressed.

“We couldn’t visit him before two months and 16 days after his arrest. He was only able to call us for a few minutes. Over the period of investigation, he was not allowed to contact his lawyers or communicate with anyone. When we visited him for the first time, it was very clear that he had been tortured. We were only allowed to visit him twice a month. The first visit was for close family members that include his brothers and sisters, children, wife and parents only; and the second visit is specified for the wife only. As for phone calls, he was allowed to only make one call per week, with a maximum duration of 10 minutes, which is also limited with the close relatives.”

It is a matter of fact that over the five years that preceded arresting Abbas, the Shia community, particularly in Jeddah, was heavily targeted and weakened.

The man was trying to recover his economic situation to contribute to helping the needy and poor families. It is also a fact that the Shia community doesn’t receive any governmental support. The Makarem project he established was intended to improve his income and hence can stop depending on his job to support the Shia community. This was one of the issues the Saudi regime didn’t accept.

He had a joint job with Martyr Sheikh Mohammed al-Attiyah to spread awareness and culture among the Shia community, not to mention that the memorial ceremonies they held for the sake of Imam Hussein [AS] were open to and attended by all sects. Those participants had never had any problem in this, they rather welcomed being part of it.

Family members

The martyr left behind a bereaved wife and four children to take care of. The eldest among them, Mohammad, was only 14 when his father was arrested. Then came Maria (12), Nasser (9) and the youngest was Zahraa, who was less than 6 years at the time.

The last visit

His wife said that she last visited him the Sunday before the execution. “We agreed to schedule another visit for after two weeks. He was asking me about the children. They didn’t inform us. We didn’t even have a chance to bid them farewell.”

Learning the bad news

The wife said the family has learned the news from social media: “At around 14:45, the news started circulating on Twitter, and this is how we were informed about it. We didn’t believe it! It took us several hours to comprehend it. But “There is no power or strength save in Allah.”

All families of martyrs were threatened by the government not to speak up for their sufferings.

Years in prison

The martyr spent almost seven years behind bars. The overall duration was very hard to spend. He was tortured, his rights were violated and he was interrogated even after the regular duration of interrogation was done. Two years of his imprisonment were spent in Riyadh. As the interrogation started, all kinds of violations and humiliation were practiced against him. Their imprisonment in Riyadh was a tragedy for him and for us. Even the visits didn’t take place easily. There was intended humiliation for the Shia community.

When they divided the group of detained elite, a part of them was taken to the notorious al-Dammam General Investigations Prison, another part remained in Riyadh, and a group was take to the Thahban Prison in Jeddah. They abused them. Even the trials were unjust and unfair. Even their lawyers couldn’t attend their trials. Visits were marred by restrictions, sometimes harassment by some officers, long wait, and extreme nervousness. But now he has been raised as a martyr, Thanks God.

Sanders speaks at US mosque in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand

Sat Mar 23, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.

US Senator Bernie Sanders attends a mosque in the state of California in the wake of deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist shooter.

“In this difficult moment, not only in American history where we see a rise in hate crimes, and not only in a world where we see a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, where demagogues are picking on minority communities all over this world, now is the time … for us to stand up to hatred of all kinds,” Sanders said during the event Saturday.

The 2020 presidential candidate visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, where religious leaders and people from other faiths had gathered to commemorate the 50 lives lost in the mass shooting earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“To show the world that this nation in fact will be a leader in bringing our people together regardless of their religion, and to create an economy that works for all of us, an environment that works for all of us, and a world in which love will conquer hate,” said the Vermont senator.

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Bernie Sanders

@BernieSanders

In this difficult moment, where we see a rise in hate crimes and a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, now is the time for everybody to come together and to show the world that love will conquer hate.

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Fifty people died and dozens were injured in twin shootings on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

Described as a terrorist attack by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in the country.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. Muslims account for just over one percent of New Zealand’s population.

The attack revived calls for an end to Islamophobia in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Trump has been urged to assure Muslims that they are protected and that he will not tolerate violence against their community.

The US president’s condemnation of the massacre was mild and did not involve the word “Muslims.”

Ever since he appeared in office, the New York billionaire has been running and anti-Muslim agenda, including the so-called Muslim ban.

New Zealand Burials Start as PM Urges ‘United Front’ on Social Media

March 20, 2019

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A Syrian refugee and his son were buried in New Zealand on Wednesday in the first funerals of those martyred in the twin mosque massacre as Kiwis braced for days of emotional farewells following the mass slayings.

An Australian white supremacist had gunned down 50 Muslim worshippers and wounded many more at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch last Friday in a killing spree that he live-streamed.

Gunman Brenton Tarrant’s use of social media has put the spotlight on extremists’ use of such platforms, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on Wednesday for a global “united front” on the issue.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in the morning at a cemetery near Linwood Mosque, one of two places of worship targeted, to lay Khalid Mustafa and his son Hamza to rest.

The family arrived last year as refugees from the Syrian maelstrom only to find tragedy in a land where they had sought sanctuary.

A total of six burials were expected on Wednesday.

Ardern, who has vowed to toughen New Zealand’s lax gun-ownership laws following the killings, also said Wednesday the world needs to confront the dangers posed by social media.

“There is an argument there to be made for us to take a united front on what is a global issue,” she said at a press conference in Christchurch.

“This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence (and) material that incites violence.”

She had called on New Zealanders on Tuesday to deprive Tarrant of the publicity he craved by never uttering his name.

“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless,” she said.

The 28-year-old was arrested after the shootings and is expected to spend his life in prison as New Zealand has no death penalty.

Dozens of relatives of the deceased have begun arriving from around the world, some hoping to take bodies back with them.

SourceAFP

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The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.03.2019

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos.

Whitney WEBB

What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.

Tarrant’s motives and ideology, laid bare in a 74-page manifesto, show a concern over the fertility rates of non-white groups as well as the immigration of non-whites to countries like New Zealand and Australia, which he likened to an “invasion” that threatened the white majority in those countries. However, Tarrant — in his ignorance — failed to grasp that many of the Muslim immigrants he targeted had come to New Zealand after fleeing Western-backed invasions, occupations, or persecution in their home countries.

Notable among Tarrant’s views is the fact that he is a clear ethno-nationalist, promoting his view that different ethnic groups must be kept “separate, unique, undiluted in [sic] unrestrained in cultural or ethnic expression and autonomy.” Tarrant also claimed that he doesn’t necessarily hate Muslims and only targeted those Muslims {i.e., immigrants) that chose “to invade our lands, live on our soil and replace our people.”

He also stated that he chose to target Muslims because “Islamic nations, in particular, have high birth rates, regardless of race or ethnicity” and to satiate “a want for revenge against Islam for the 1,300 years of war and devastation that it has brought upon the people of the West and other peoples of the world.” His views are remarkably similar to those of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, which is unsurprising given that Tarrant named him as an inspiration for the shooting.

Though many — in the hours after the shooting — have sought to place blame and point fingers at notable demagogues like President Donald Trump or “counter-jihad” alt-right figures like Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl, it is important to place Tarrant’s motivations in context.

Indeed, while Trump’s rise to political power has brought Islamophobic rhetoric into the public sphere in an undeniable way, it is a symptom of a much broader effort aimed at propagandizing the people of the United States and other Western countries to support wars in and military occupations of Muslim-majority countries. This manufactured Islamophobia, largely a product of Western governments and a compliant mass media, has sought to vilify all Muslims by maligning the religion itself as terrorism, in order to justify the plunder of their countries and deflect attention from their suffering.

It is a classic “divide and conquer” scam aimed at keeping Westerners divided from Muslims in their own countries and abroad. The horrific shooting in Christchurch is a testament to its unfortunate success and pervasiveness, as well as a potent reminder that it must be stopped. Indeed, this manufactured Islamophobia has made it so that Muslims in their home countries are in danger of dying from Western-backed wars and, if they flee to the “safer” West, they have targets on their backs painted by the very war propaganda used to justify Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority nations.

Islam, the media and “Forever Wars”: Who’s the “real” terrorist?

Since September 11th and the advent of the “War on Terror,” mass media reporting increasingly began to conflate Muslims and Muslim-majority nations with war, terrorism and violence in general. Indeed, 9 out of 10 mainstream news reports on Muslims, Islam, and Islamic organizations are related to violence and Muslims who are named on mainstream media are all-too-frequently warlords or terrorist leaders.

This near-constant association of Islam and violence has created the false perception that the religion of Islam, by its very nature, is violent and that Muslims too must then be violent and thus dangerous. This media-driven association has had very real and troubling consequences. For instance, a 2010 study by the University of Exeter found “empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media.” In other words, Islamophobic media reports are directly related to hate crimes targeting Muslims.

This is no accident, as such biased reporting on Muslim-majority nations also began as Western-backed wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan sought to put these countries’ natural resources, namely their oil and mineral wealth, into the hands of American corporations. It should be no surprise then that top funders of media outlets that have routinely promoted Islamophobic narratives are also those who have profited considerably from the “War on Terror” and Western-backed regime-change wars in other countries.

This concerted effort to vilify Muslims has had the potent effect, likely by design, of reducing empathy among Westerners for the largely Muslim victims of Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, while mainstream news outlets often trumpet the imminent dangers Americans face from “radical Islamic terror,” the death toll of innocent people — most of them Muslim — that have been killed by the U.S.-led “War on Terror” is several orders of magnitude greater than the number of Americans who have died from all terror attacks over that same period.

For instance, from 2001 to 2013, an estimated 3,380 Americans died from domestic and foreign terrorism, including the September 11 attacks as well as acts of domestic terrorism carried out by white nationalists and supremacists. If one excludes the September 11 death toll, the number of American deaths over that same period stands at around 400, most of them victims of mass-killers who were not Muslim.

By comparison, an estimated 8 million innocent people in Muslim-majority nations died as a result of U.S. policies and wars in the Middle East and North Africa from 2001 to 2015. Yet, the magnitude of this loss of life of these “unworthy victims” is minimized by media and government silence, and the creation of a climate of Islamophobia in the West has only served to deepen the ease with which mass murder is accepted by the aggressor countries’ populations.

Beyond the staggering disparity in the death tolls caused by terror groups and Western-backed imperialist wars is the fact that many of these very Western governments that purport to be so concerned with “radical Islamic terror” have often created and funded the most notorious terror groups of all. Indeed, the U.S. government helped to create Al Qaeda and continues to protectits Syrian branch — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — in Syria’s Idlib province to this day. In addition, the CIA was just recently revealed to be helping the Islamic State regroup in Syrian refugee camps. Furthermore, the U.S. has long turned a blind eye to the funding of terror groups by allied states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The role of Western money, arms and policy in the creation and maintenance of radical Wahhabi terrorist groups is often entirely ignored by Western media portrayals of Muslim-majority nations, thereby creating a false image that such violence is endemic to these nations when, in fact, it is often imported state-sponsored terror.

These nuances of the situation are rarely heard in the narratives parroted out on mainstream media and those who regularly consume mainstream news sources are more likely than not to support those narratives. For that reason, it is easy to see how someone like Donald Trump — who is said to watch television for eight hours every day, much of it Fox News — has espoused the views that he has. Thanks to the manufacturing of Islamophobia of mainstream media, racist policies like the so-called “Muslim ban” have found wide support, as this false narrative has conflated Islam with violence so often that many have come to believe that only by banning Islam can violence and terrorism in the U.S. be reduced.

However, the recent shooting in Christchurch, as well as the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and other recent acts of domestic terrorism, should alert us to the fact that it is the hate manufactured by this false narrative that is itself endangering American lives while also covering up the mass murder that has been perpetrated by the U.S. and other governments around the world for decades.

Israel’s leading role in stoking ethnonationalism

While the realities of post-9/11 America, as well as the rise in visibility of white ethnonationalism during the Trump Era, have done much to normalize attacks on immigrants, the country that has done the most to normalize anti-Muslim terrorism over this same time frame has been the state of Israel.

Israel, from its founding days, has long been steeped in neocolonialist ideology that is remarkably similar to the ideological basis behind other settler states like the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This system of beliefs holds that the native inhabitants of the land — whether the Palestinians, the Sioux or the Maori — are “primitive” and incompetent and that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. As MintPressnoted in a previous report on the subject, such narratives cast these settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

In Israel’s case, this ideology has promoted the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert simultaneously represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development. However, the state of Israel, under the lengthy tenure of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has seen these long-standing and somewhat hidden underpinnings of the Zionist state burst out into the open.

The result has been the overt expression of ethnonationalism in such a way that Israel has become an inspiration to white nationalists in the United States, like Richard Spencer, and far-right ethno-fascist leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and India’s Narendra Modi. The inspiration has been mutual, according to reports and testimonials published by Jewish newspaper The Forward.

For years, through its military occupation of Palestine, Israel’s government and military have sought to paint all Palestinians, including children, as “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers.” Take, for example, current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who wrote in 2014, “This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people …”

A more recent example came from former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who asserted just last year that “no innocent people” live in the Gaza Strip and that every inhabitant in the enclave is somehow connected to Hamas, even though nearly half of Gaza’s population are children and teenagers. Such rhetoric has become par for the course and numerous examples show that Shaked and Lieberman’s views are increasingly accepted and “normal” in today’s Israel.

Yet, the clearest indication of anti-Muslim terror’s normalization in Israel is the recent rise of Otzma Yehudit, or the “Jewish Power” Party. This party, founded by devotees of radical American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has now merged — at Netanyahu’s urging — with the Jewish Home Party and stands to become part of Israel’s ruling coalition if Netanyahu manages to win in the country’s upcoming elections.

In the office of Itamar Ben Gvir, one of Otzma Yehudit’s leaders, is a framed picture of Baruch Goldstein. In an act that bears a striking similarity to the events in Christchurch, Goldstein — a long-time devotee of Kahane — entered a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and opened fire, killing 29 and injuring more than 125 worshippers. After the act, Kahane’s Kach party — the predecessor of Otzma Yehudit — was labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

Despite official condemnation, Goldstein’s atrocious act has been the subject of praise and inspiration for subsequent extremists who, under Netanyahu’s government, have become increasingly normalized. Goldstein’s gravestone reads “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land” and continues to be used as a site of pilgrimage and homage by the very extremists that Netanyahu is openly courting for political gain.

While the followers of Kahane are making a comeback in Israel, several notable Arab political parties have been banned from participating Israel’s upcoming elections, with some being accused of “supporting terrorism” owing to their opposition to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestine. Yet, by elevating clear terror supporters among the ranks of the Jewish Power Party, it has become increasingly clear that openly supporting and advocating anti-Muslim terrorism is no bar to legitimacy and political power in today’s Israel.

No ‘clash of civilizations,’ only manipulation and exploitation of differences

The tragic and barbaric shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand is yet another horrific and glaring reminder that the “divide and conquer” war propaganda that has sought to promote the so-called “clash of civilizations” between Christianity and Islam, West and East, has not only been monstrously effective but continues to be monstrously destructive to people on both sides.

However, the media’s manufacture of Islamophobia, in seeking to Wite-out Muslim suffering and reduce Western empathy for innocent Muslim civilians, has increasingly placed targets on the back of Muslims everywhere — in the West and the East — making it increasingly difficult for practitioners of the Islamic faith to feel safe regardless of where they live.

With most Muslim-majority countries now killing fields in Western-backed wars, ruled by oppressive, Western-backed dictatorships, or under threat of Western-backed regime change, even those Muslims who have sought a safer, quieter life in the “civilized” West have now found themselves targets thanks to the very war propaganda used to justify the destruction of their home countries.

While the murderer Tarrant had stated that he hoped his horrific crime would help stoke “civil war” in Western countries, this tragedy should and must serve as a wake up call for people everywhere that the real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos. These oligarchs loot from the people of the West just as they do from the people of the East and it is time to recognize that they are the real threats to a more peaceful world — not regular people praying, whether it be in a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

mintpressnews.com

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

folder_openVoices access_time5 hours ago

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By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – A day after the hideous massacre at two Christchurch mosques that left 49 people dead, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday morning that “our gun laws will change”.

This effort by the authorities in New Zealand will certainly lead to the enforcement of a stricter gun control law, making it more difficult for individuals to acquire firearms.

However, this would not have prevented this particular crime. The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosques massacre, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, had already obtained a “Category A” gun license in November 2017 and began purchasing guns legally in December 2017.

According to PM Ardern, the gunman had two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

Tarrant left behind a lengthy document that outlined his motivations. In 74-page document titled “The Great Replacement”, he boasted of being a white nationalist who hates immigrants, espouses Islamophobic ideology and was set off by attacks in Europe that were executed by Takfiri extremists. He even mentioned US President Donald Trump – in a single reference – as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”.

Furthermore, at least one of the weapons used by the gunman appeared to have the names of previous mass-murderers, including Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed more than 70 people in 2011.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

As Tarrant appeared in Christchurch District Court, he stood smirking when media photographed him in the dock where he was flanked by two police officers. He appeared to be making a gesture with his hands which has been interpreted by as a white supremacist sign – “White Power”.

Beginning in 2017, the gesture was at the center of an online prank in meme culture related to alt-right and white supremacy. The supposed association of the gesture with white supremacy derives from the assertion that the three upheld fingers resemble a ‘W’ and the circle made with the thumb and forefinger resemble the head of a ‘P’, together standing for “white power”.

In the light of this, it is clear that Tarrant premeditated and plotted to carry out the mass shooting. Hence, no gun control law would – no matter how strict or effective – prevent him from perpetrating his crime.

The thing is, what Tarrant did is directly related to his self-discipline; how he came to be what he is now. To be filled with such hatred and animosity, to have the will to cold-bloodedly murder peaceful worshipers in a mosque, takes a whole lot of indoctrination.

And to kill those people in a videogame-style attack is another thing! As if this heartless attacker is relishing in it. He even lived streamed the massacre on Facebook. The disturbing video ran for 17 minutes and showed the gunman walking in the mosque and opening fire to the sound of music.

Media outlets were quick to report the incident. Worldwide leaders condemned the attack and condoled the families of the victims. Though, some outlets justified his behavior, saying he was radicalized in some way on his travels after his athlete father died of cancer.

Messages of popular support and solidarity for the victims were delivered in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, America, Canada and other countries.

New Zealanders around the country have shown up at mosques en masse to show their support. People left piles of flowers and cards as close to the mosque as they were allowed to go. Supporters also drew messages of support on the mosque footpath in chalk. Similar scenes spread outside mosques in various cities in New Zealand. Some messages read: “We love you”, “We are one” and “Forever changed”. Vigils around New Zealand are being held to honor the victims of the attack.

In Australia, the response to the massacre was similarly heartfelt, with tributes pouring into mosques across the country. The outpouring of support continued in America where people also left candles outside mosques. Muslim places of worship in Canada also saw tributes, as well as in Britain.

Likewise, social media platforms were flooded with solidary and posts. Social media users took to Twitter and other platforms and shared posters and photos showing sympathy for Muslims and the Muslim community.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

“Hello Brother” were the last words by a 71-year-old Muslim man at the mosque’s door; the reply was: 5 bullets in the chest! Why? What was he guilty of? He was guilty of being a Muslim and an Afghan refugee who escaped death in his country.

When will Islamophobia cease to exist? When will labeling others based on the sins of a few cease to exist? When will condemning a whole class of people based on the actions of some cease to exist?

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40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/shooter-situation-zealand-mosque-attack-190315015927391.html

Two Muslim places of worship hit by automatic weapon fire with ‘a number of fatalities’ as police arrest four suspects.

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Forty people have been killed and several others injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand‘s city of Christchurch in an unprecedented attack in the quiet country in the Pacific.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that 20 people were in a serious condition after the “terrorist” attack.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four suspects, including a woman, were in custody.

Sam Clarke, a reporter with TVNZ, spoke with several people inside the Masjid Al Noor mosque when the shooting began. He told Al Jazeera a man entered with an automatic weapon and began firing.

“A gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque and started firing into the people praying there,” said Clarke.

Police confirmed a second shooting occurred at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers in the South Island city, but no details were immediately available.

Ardern said: “This is, and will be, one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Authorities have not described the scale of Friday’s shootings but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. New Zealand media reported between nine and 27 people were killed, but the death toll could not be confirmed.

Police warned worshippers not to visit mosques “anywhere in New Zealand”. A lockdown imposed throughout Christchurch was called off at about 05:00 GMT.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the suspects was an Australian national, calling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

Police patrol outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch [Mark Baker/AP]

Dressed in black

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

He said he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.

Peneha – who lives next to the mosque – said he went into the building to try and help. “I saw dead people everywhere.”

One man in the mosque, with blood stains all over his clothes, said he hid under a bench as the shooting took place. He said about 50 people were inside the building.

Clarke said some worshippers managed to escape through windows and doors but “many people had been hit, some as young as 16”.

About 10 to 15 people were seen outside the mosque, “some alive, some dead”, he said.

“It was unbelievable. I saw about 20 people, some dead, some screaming,” one eyewitness told local television.

“I saw on the floor so many bullet shells, hundreds. I saw one guy trying to run out and he was shot dead.”

A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

One of the gunmen shared a livestream of the attack on Facebook and posted content on Instagram. Facebook said it has taken down the video and was removing praise for the gunman.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” a police statement said. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

There were reports racist literature was left behind at the scene denouncing “invaders”.

Commissioner Bush said local police officers apprehended the four suspects. “There’s been some absolute acts of bravery,” he said without elaborating.

“I won’t assume there aren’t others but I don’t have any information to that effect,” Bush told a press conference.

 

He said a number of bombs were detected and neutralised on the attackers’ automobiles.

“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles which we were able to secure,” he said, referring to improved explosive devices.

Asked by reporters whether police considered Friday’s carnage a “terrorist attack”, Bush said an investigation was under way.

Bangladesh team

ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammed Isam said members of the Bangladesh cricket team, who are set to play a test match in Christchurch on Saturday, escaped from the mosque.

Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying the team was close to where the shooting occurred, but was safe.

“The players are shaken up but fine,” Villavarayen was quoted as saying.

Peneha described the scene at Masjid Al Noor as ” unbelievable”.

“I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous. I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly. I just don’t understand it,” he said.

Muslims account for just one percent of New Zealand’s population, a 2013 census showed.

“Many of those who would have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand,” Ardern said.

“They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home … they are us. The persons who perpetuated this violence against us … have no place in New Zealand.”

Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in modern history occurred in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

A survivor rests on the ground outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity

July 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In my latest book, Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I explored different tactics used by the New Left – a loose collective of Frankfurt School graduates — to destroy political diversity and intellectual exchange.  I concluded that the ‘new order’ is maintained by ensuring that so-called ‘correctness’ dominates our vocabulary.  We are drowning in jargon, slogans and sound bites designed to suppress authentic thinking and more important, to suppress humane intellectual exchange. As I finished writing the book, I understood that this new language is a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Pakistani Journalist Tazeen Hasan. She was interested in my take on Islamophobia.  Hasan, I guess, expected me to denounce Islamophobia.  Since I am opposed to any form of bigotry*, hatred of Muslims is no exception. Though I am obviously troubled and strongly disagree with the views that are voiced with the so-called ‘Islamophbes,’  I am also troubled by the notion of ‘Islamophobia’. As opposed to the Identitarian Left, I contend that we humans should seek what unites us as humans. We should refuse to be shoved into biologically oriented (like gender, skin colour, sexual orientation etc.) boxes. I was probably expected to criticise Islamophobia by recycling a few tired slogans, but that was not my approach to the question. Instead of dealing with ‘Islamophobia,’ I decided that we should first dissect the notion of ‘phobia.’ I asked why some activists attribute ‘phobic’ inclinations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) to those with whom they disagree.

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam. It suggests that ‘fear of Islam’ is an irrational hatred. This turns Islamophobia into a crazy fear of Islam that doesn’t deserve intellectual scrutiny, let alone an intellectual debate.

But fear of Musilms might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century. We plunder their resources, we invade their lands, and we even gave some of their land to the so called ‘people of the book,’ and when those people committed a brutal ethnic cleansing, consistent with their ‘book,’ the West turned a blind eye. For the last three decades this genocidal war against Muslims and Arabs has intensified and become an official Western policy. This transition is the achievement of the Neocon school, who have attempted to redefine Zionism as the struggle for a promised planet instead of just a promised land. 

 Within the context of the global war we have declared on Muslims and Arabs on behalf of Zion, in the name of Coca Cola and Gay Rights, it is rational to expect that at some point Muslims may retaliate. So those who fear Muslims are not necessarily crazy or mad, they may even be more ethically aware or even guilt ridden than the progressives who castigate them for having ‘phobias’.’ If we are looking to dismantle ‘Islamic danger’  then we should find a rational and peaceful solution to the war we declared on Muslims. It will be probably more effective not to drop bombs on Arabs than to label fear of Muslims as irrational. Obliterating Israel’s nuclear facilities could also be a reasonable path to peace. A total embargo on Israel would probably be  the most effective way to calm the Middle East. That would certainly induce some deep thinking in the Jewish State that has been the catalyst in this developing global war.

It seems the term ‘phobia’ is routinely attached to anyone who disagrees with the new order. Are all those who oppose gay rights driven by ‘phobia’? Is it really ‘irrational’ for pious people (Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc.) to detect that gay culture may interfere with their churches or family values? Instead of addressing these conservative concerns, the New Left prefers to employ tyrannical abusive language designed to delegitimise the opposition. Similarly, those who look into organised Jewry and its political lobbying are reduced to ‘Judeophobes.’  But given the growing number of studies of the domineering effect of the Jewish Lobby in the USA, Britain and France, is it really ‘irrational’ or an act of ‘madness’ to scrutinise this lobby’s activity and the culture that fuels it?

However, in spite of these Orwellian ‘phobic’ tactics, awareness of its effects has grown. Increasingly, people see that the New Left corrosive agenda is driving these divisive Identitarian tactics. The tyrannical regime of correctness is a Machiavellian operation that in the name of ‘diversity,’ attempts to eliminate diversity all together. It dismisses the concerns of the so called ‘enemy’ by labelling them as irrational fears.

My message here is simple. The war against us is facilitated by cultural means. We are constantly subjected to terminological manipulations. To win this war we must first spot the terminological shifts as they appear. Then we have to identify those who put such manipulative tactics into play.

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