In 2003, the Church ran 656 centers to care for lepers, down from 678 a year earlier, a sign of the disease's recession. There are 327 centers in Asia, 254 in Africa, 69 in the Americas, four in Europe and two in Oceania. Ending Leprosy Means Ending Prejudice, Says Holy SeeSo I googled leprosy 'cause I thought it was a thing of the past. How can leprosy still exist? Is there no cure for it? According to the World Health Organization, it's completely curable. Well, it's a third-world disease, that's probably why I thought it didn't exist anymore; and it doesn't hit the news like those other freaky third-world viruses...Global Leprosy Situation in 2004
Sanitariums of horrorSo anyway, I read all this stuff and I thought I'd share. I'll go wash my hands now.
Government investigators reported Thursday that national leprosariums were still displaying in bottles 114 human remains, including newborn babies possibly murdered shortly after being born to mothers with Hansen's disease and 98 fetuses believed to have been illegally aborted from Hansen's disease patients between the 1920s and 1950s at the six institutions.
Sometimes, the contempt is unmistakable, like the day a shopkeeper blocked Marioara Tranca from entering her store and shouted, "Get out of here, Gypsy!"
Other times, it's more discreet. Why, for example, were certain top-scoring sixth-graders rewarded with a crown of flowers, but not Tranca's daughter, Madalina, who had the highest grades of all?
Like many other bloggers, I have received the “canned" reply from CNN, attempting to clarify Mr. Jordan’s statements:If you can help, please do. I'm proud to say CNN was never on our news resources list in the first place, because we don't really go to them for news.Eason was attempting to speak out on an issue that is important to news organizations all over the world. Unfortunately, he was not clear enough in explaining his assertion. He was responding to an assertion that all 63 journalists killed in Iraq were "collateral damage." While the majority of the 63 journalists killed in Iraq have been killed by insurgents, the Pentagon has acknowledged that the U.S. military on occasion has killed people who turned out to be journalists. Mr. Jordan emphatically does not believe that the U.S. Military intended to kill journalists and believes these accidents to be cases of "mistaken identity."
I have sent the following reply, which I copied to several bloggers:Hello CNNia Administrator,I typically shy away from activism as it is not in my constitution, however Eason Jordan’s statements at Davos accusing American soldiers of intentionally targeting journalists cannot stand. I am requesting the following assistance from readers and fellow bloggers:
Release the videotape and a transcript of Mr. Jordan's comments at Davos, and I will be convinced. Until then your apologetic is unconvincing and insulting. Several bloggers in attendance heard otherwise, and based on Mr. Jordan's history, I am inclined to agree with them.
Mr. Jordan has a long history of demeaning the US military and accusing them of targeting journalists. As a former soldier I am personally insulted. Perhaps CNN should launch an investigation into his statements. Your association with Mr. Jordan can be very damaging to your credibility and reputation.
I have suspended citing CNN as a source of material in my weblog, which is viewed by over 1,500 people a day, until I am convinced CNN is honest in getting to the bottom of this story. My readers typically follow the links through on my posts to read my sources. I have copied other bloggers in an attempt to convince them to do the same. Hopefully this will create a noticeable impact on your site hits and give your advertisers pause.
Also, I have begun to compile a list of CNN advertisers and will put together a letter to make them aware of this situation unless I see results.
We demand the transcript of Davos and nothing less.
- Anyone who would like to assist with compiling a list of CNN’s advertisers, please email me or place a comment in the comments section. We can work as a team on compiling a list. Also, if anyone has experience in contacting advertisers to make them aware of situations such as this, I would appreciate your assistance in organizing this effort.
- I am requesting all bloggers who are unhappy with Mr. Jordan’s statements and CNN’s reply to remove CNN from your news source links and halt citing CNN as a source of news. If you wish, please link to this post to let your readers be aware of the effort to convince CNN of making Mr. Jordan’s statements public. This would also help me organize the effort as no doubt there are readers out there experienced in conducting these activities.
If it turns out I have misinterpreted Mr. Jordan’s statements upon a review of the transcript, I will post a public apology, as is only fair. If I have not taken Mr. Jordan’s statements out of context, then we must demand CNN act to rectify this situation, and organize a public boycott if they will not.
The only way we will get at the truth of this issue is if CNN releases the videotape and transcript of the Davos conference. Our military men and women serving this great nation deserve no less.
Arab religious leaders also frequently espouse Holocaust denial. Saudi Sheikh 'Adel Bin Ahmad Bana'ma said at a mosque in Jeddah on October 22, 2000: "Today, they [the Jews] disseminate everywhere the lie of the Holocaust and claim that Hitler killed six million Jews in gas chambers… This is pure falsehood." A cleric from Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar University, Mahmoud Muhammad Khadhr, published an article titled "In Defense of Hitler" on May 27, 2001: "It is hard to believe that the Europeans and Americans … cannot address … the false Holocaust, whose numbers and scope they have exaggerated until it has reached the level of the merciless destruction of six million Jews..."So what's to be done? Here's a sane voice:
Palestinian religious leaders also frequently deny the Holocaust. A sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mahdi on September 21, 2001, stated: "One of the Jews' evil deeds is what has come to be called 'the Holocaust'... However, revisionist [historians] have proven that this crime, carried out against some of the Jews, was planned by the Jews' leaders..." The Mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrima Sabri, is Imam of the Al-Asqa mosque and the highest religious authority in Palestinian Islam. Sabri gave an interview to the Italian newspaper La Republica on March 24, 2000, and stated: "Six million Jews dead? No way… Let's stop with this fairytale."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' 1982 doctoral dissertation was based on Holocaust denial and discussed "the secret ties between the Nazis and the Zionist movement leadership." In the introduction to its first Arabic publishing, well-known Holocaust deniers were referenced, the total number of Jews murdered was formulated to be probably "less than a million," and doubts were raised that gas chambers really existed.
In an article on an unofficial Iranian news Web site, Dr. Kaveh L. Afrasiabi says it is "the moral imperative in the enlightened Muslim countries to rise above their intense anti-Zionist feelings and emotions and find the hidden reservoir of sympathy and solidarity with an entire religious group which was persecuted and exterminated en masse barely over a half century ago."Does he have much hope of being heard? I don't think so.
Afrasiabi, who holds a PhD from Boston University and has completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and UC Berkeley, believes that public education about the Holocaust is a necessary ingredient for regional peace.
"If the future of peace in the Middle East depends in part on better Muslim-Jewish dialogue," Afrasiabi wrote two years ago, "then there is no doubt that this should entail what is clearly lacking in Iran and other Middle East countries, namely, the minutest public education about the Holocaust."
He gives his colleagues a job: "The task of Muslim intellectuals today consists of deepening the interreligious dialogue and understanding [that] this means the courage and determination to educate the Muslim masses about the horror of the Holocaust."
Feeling the love
Thank all of you for your kind words of support. I've tried to answer a few of the best ones.Why didnt you save the President some time and simplify your question like this.
Mr. Bush, you kick major ass. Why do you rock so hard? Before you answer let me just say your so awesome, not to mention dreamy.
That was my second question...You are a sorry excuse for a journalist, I hope your children get drafted.
There is no draft and my children would proudly volunteer to serve their country.Well, you really proved yourself to be a right wing conservative, but not much of a reporter. How much bias are you going to continue to show? Your behavior reminds me of the Soviet Union's Pravda newspaper." All good in the Soviet Union, and all bad in the United States", that is how they reported the news to support their government. Pure and simple propaganda. You do the same for the Republicans."
And what is your opinion about CBS using phony documents or CNN covering up for Saddam's atrocities in order to keep its Baghdad office open?Reporters should "play it straight," not go in with a plan to deceive the public.
And the deceptive part was what?Which do you prefer, Media Whore or White House ShillBitch?
Hmmm....I may have a shot at Major Network News Anchor - I hear there's an opening.Are you on the White House payroll like Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher?
If only. Please make checks payable to: J-E-F-F G-A-N-N-O-NWe know what Armsrong Williams and Maggie Gallgher have received. What's your fee?
I'm a bargain, but I don't discount.Do you think you could get just a weeeee bit more partisan?
OK, I'll try harder...You are not a journalist. You are a propagandist. As a propagandist posing as a journalist, you are hurting the greatest system ever devised by man. It's amazing to me that people like you are so self-righteous about what you are doing. You've had a hand in one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in the history of our country and you are dripping with the blood of decent Americans who believed what you were selling.
I am a veteran of foreign wars and I am ashamed that in my country, people like you are allowed to pose as journalists while you press an un-American agenda. I hope there is a special place in hell for you and people like you.
You obviously have me confused with Michael Moore.So how much does the White House pay you? And when you take the money, do you find there is a problem with being able to think critically about what the administration does and say?
I am not compensated by any government entity, but I must say I am fond of the blessings of liberty, especially the First Amendment that says I can ask any question I like...
I noticed you are pro-life. Can you explain how you can be for saving every American fetus, when you don't seem concerned with protecting every American serviceman and service woman? What war would Jesus want? As I recall, some of Jesus' followers wanted to strike the Romans. Jesus counciled his disciples agains that. The worst thing you can be is a hypocrite.
Don't even try quoting scripture to me, you're way out of your league. If you knew the Word, you'd know the answer.Armstong Williams and you must be solid running buddies.
Please stop selling out to the right-wing and regain some journalistic ethics I assume you must at one time possessed.
The USA needs all the help it can get right now due to the policies of this administration.
There is nothing wrong with being a republican or a conservative, but this President and his cabal are destroying us.
I beg you, as an American citizen, stop being a shill and hurting ALL of us.
Sorry, I just can't help myself!Dr Joseph Goebbels would be proud...
That's a Hitler thing right? Have you been channeling Ted Turner again?It seems that you have divorced yourself from journalism when you can throw in a clearly biased opinion like that in your questioning. You are an embarrassment to journalism.
I guess you've never seen a presidential press conference before.I was considering sending you a new set of knee pads to make your job a little bit more comfortable but I sent them to Bill Kristol instead.
Too bad, there haven't been knee pads in the White House since Monica left...
ISLAMIC PLURALISM is not a new idea dreamed up in the West and offered as a helpful cure for Muslim rage. It is a longstanding reality. The Muslim world comprises a spectrum of religious interpretations. If, at one end of the continuum, we find the fanatical creed of Wahhabism, cruel and arbitrary, more an Arab-supremacist state ideology than a religious sect, at the other end we find the enlightened traditions of Sufism. These stress not only intra-Islamic dialogue, separation of spiritual from clerical authority, and teaching in the vernacular, but also respect for all believers, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or other. Sufis emphasize, above all, their commitment to mutual civility, interaction, and cooperation among believers, regardless of sect.I haven't seen an oppositional culture emerging from SA yet, so I don't know where Schwartz is getting that from. But I agree with him, the Islam I've seen in the Balkans is different. The Balkan Wars have been nationalistic wars-Greeks against Turks or Bulgarians-not religious ones. In Greek children's literature, the Bulgarians are the bad guys, in alliance with the Turks. Religion was never mentioned and I grew up thinking Bulgarians were Muslim since they were allies with the Turks. They're not, of course, they're Orthodox, just like Serbians and Greeks.
The history of Sufism is filled with examples of interfaith fusion, in contrast with the rigid separatism of the Islamic fundamentalists. Balkan and Turkish Sufis share holy sites with Christians. Central Asian Sufis preserve traditions inherited from shamans and Buddhists. Sufis in French-speaking West Africa adapt local customs, and those in Eastern Turkestan borrow from Chinese traditions such as Confucianism and Taoism, as well as martial arts. In the Balkans, Turkey, and Central Asia, Sufis have accepted secularism as a bulwark against religious intolerance and the monopolization of religious opinion by clerics.
At the same time, on human rights grounds, the United States must speak up for Sufis against those who repress them, often violently, especially in Saudi Arabia. To repeat, in the Wahhabi-dominated kingdom, an independent, spiritual Sufi oppositional culture is emerging, with special attraction for young people. Against the backdrop of Saudi fanaticism, including the open support for radical Islam coming from some of Riyadh's richest and most powerful personalities, Sufism exemplifies the Islamic pluralism that, if restored to Saudi Arabia, could shut off the money flow to al Qaeda and its allies worldwide.