A worldwide campaign begun in 1988 to eradicate polio was on the verge of success when, early in 2003, a conspiracy theory took hold of the Muslim population in northern Nigeria. That conspiracy theory has singlehandedly returned polio to epidemic proportions.
The theory's source seems to be one Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, 68, a physician and president of Nigeria's Supreme Council for Shari'a Law. Ahmed, an Islamist, accuses Americans of lacing the polio vaccine with an anti-fertility agent that sterilizes children (or, in an alternate theory, infects them with AIDS) and considers them, according to John Murphy of The Baltimore Sun, "the worst criminals on Earth... Even Hitler was not as evil as that."
"We will be committed until al-Aqsa is liberated", Najaar added. "Not only al-Aqsa, but the entire occupied land."S Africans decry al-Aqsa desecration
Washington DC - The Saudi government burns and desecrates hundreds of bibles its security forces confiscate after raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately or at border crossings.Respect for me, but not for thee, eh, Saudis?
As a matter of official policy, the government either incinerates or dumps bibles, crosses and other Christian paraphernalia.
Hundreds of Christian worshipers are arrested every year by Saudi police in raids on their private gatherings. Bibles, crosses and printed materials are confiscated and later burnt or dumped into trash. Bibles and other Christian paraphernalia found with travelers into the country are confiscated and destroyed.
Although considered as holy in Islam and mentioned in the Koran dozens of times, the Bible is banned in Saudi Arabia, and is confiscated and destroyed by government officials.
Recently, there has been a crackdown on symbols of Christianity in Saudi Arabia. On April 21st Saudi authorities raided a make-shift church in Riyadh and arrested 40 Christians. Many Christian religious symbols, such as crucifixes and bibles were later destroyed by Saudi security forces.
When it was revealed last week that a copy of the Koran had allegedly been desecrated by American military personnel at Guantanomo Bay, the Saudi government voiced its strenuous disapproval of such activities. More specifically, the Saudi Embassy in Washington articulated “great concern and urged Washington to conduct a quick investigation". The Saudi government has also recommended to the American government to install “deterring measures" so that an incident such as this would not be repeated. The Saudi government would not comment on their policy of desecrating bibles that had been seized from foreign nationals.
Interestingly though, desecration of religious texts and symbols and intolerance of varying religious viewpoints and beliefs has been the official policy inside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ruled by a Wahhabi theocracy for some time now, the ruling elite of Saudi Arabia have made it difficult for many Western religions, as well as dissenting sects of Islam, to visibly coexist inside of the kingdom.
Another way in which religious and cultural issues are becoming more divisive is the Saudi treatment of Americans who are living in their country. As of today there around 30,000 Americans living and working in various parts of Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to visibly celebrate their religious and even secular holidays if they are not of the Wahhabi faith. This includes holidays such as Christmas and Easter but also such secular holidays as Thanksgiving. All surrounding Gulf States allow non-Islamic holidays to be celebrated with the exception of Saudi Arabia.
The American State Department had no comment on this issue.
In the stereotype busting film "Crash," two young blacks come out of a restaurant steaming mad. In the course of their stroll down the sidewalk one of them claims that a waitress ignored them, then gave them lousy service, that the whites in the restaurant gave them hostile stares, and that when a couple passed them on the street the wife locked arms with her husband for fear they'd mug them. In his angry tirade, he covered the wide gamut of myths, stereotypes and negative perceptions that whites supposedly have about blacks.Crash Course on Black Stereotypes of Whites
While "Crash" pierces and pokes fun at racial stereotypes, it's the black perceptions about those stereotypes that make the film especially compelling. Many blacks take it as an article of faith that that most whites are hopelessly racist. A comprehensive Harvard University opinion poll in 2002 found that the racial attitudes of many whites about blacks are tightly enshrouded in stereotypes. The poll reinforced the fervent belief of many blacks that white racially disdain them. But it's hardly that simple.
WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- A federal court is scheduled next week to hear the first case in which the Bush administration is using controversial provisions of the newly minted REAL ID Act that limit the right of appeal against deportation.No more habeas corpus for non-Americans?
Asylum-seeker Ablavi Malm, 51, was ordered deported to Togo in 1998 because her application for refugee status was denied after she failed to turn up for the hearing, according to court documents. Her subsequent appeal invoking the protection of anti-torture statutes was filed 20 days too late to be considered, according to her lawyer, Morton Sklar of the World Organization for Human Rights USA.
Sklar says Togolese security forces are notorious for their poor human-rights record and that Malm and members of her family there have been tortured.
The REAL ID Act, signed into law last week, mainly deals with the integrity of the nation's drivers' licensing systems -- setting minimum standards and effectively denying licenses to undocumented migrants and other illegal aliens. But it also includes a series of provisions designed to counter what its authors say is abuse of the immigration system, including by terrorists.
The Malm case is likely to become a flashpoint for arguments about the immigration provisions of the new law.
"I'm amazed that the government would use the legislation in this way," Sklar told United Press International. "It is even harsher than Congress intended.
"This 51-year-old rape survivor is about as far from a terrorist threat as it is possible to get."
The immigration provisions in the new law, say its authors, were designed to prevent those ordered deported from getting around time limits for filing court papers, dragging out their cases with repeated appeals and using the appellate courts to second guess judges' views about their credibility.
To do this, the law removes the right of deportees to file petitions under habeas corpus -- a doctrine dating back to English common law that allows courts to decide whether a person is being held legally or not.
The Department of Justice, in papers filed Tuesday, said the law means the courts cannot hear Malm's appeal.