If there's one thing that really bugs me, besides the random freeway hallucinations, it's the thing where some blogger announces "blogging will be light." As in, "blogging will be light, as I am quilting Romulan throw pillows for StarTrek CraftCon," or "light blogging this week, I have to kill my mom." Hey, we're all saddened that your multifaceted go-go lifestyle keeps you from the keyboard, but believe me -- we'll get over it. Telling us "blogging will be light" is sort of like calling up the neighbors to announce you won't be nude sunbathing in the back yard for a while. Even if you're Lindsay Lohan, it comes off as more creepy than disappointing.
Egyptian women, denied equal access to divorce, often are trapped in unwanted marriages or left begging for a divorce that can take years to secure and leave them destitute, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday in a report urging an overhaul of procedures rooted in Islamic law and tradition.
In Egypt, like many Arab countries, family matters are governed by Islamic law, meaning marriage and divorce are guided by religious rulings, traditions and social norms in the male-dominated society. As a result, a man can unilaterally end his marriage by stating his intent; women largely are left to appeal to notoriously slow-moving courts.
Egyptian women are left with "two equally distressing options," Human Rights Watch said.
"Many Egyptian women ... either remain in an unwanted marriage and possibly endure physical and psychological abuse, or beg their husbands to divorce them, giving up everything they own and cherish in return," the report said.
Let me start this little essay with an idea. A very simple idea. An idea that strikes at the very heart of the drug war and its moralistic foundation. The very idea that those who use unapproved drugs are the lawful subjects of religiously motivated government persecution.
If this widespread corruption had occurred in any legitimate organization around the world, its CEO would have been ousted long ago, in disgrace. Why is the U.N. different?
Having become a concubine to an Afghan man at the age of 12, Leila was forced into prostitution by him until the age of 14 when she gave birth to twin daughters. Leila was then given to a 55 year old married man who continued her history of abuse until her arrest at the age of 18, when she was found guilty of prostitution. Prostitution carries the death penalty under the Islamic laws of Iran.Worldwide Appeal, Please Help to Save "Leila" from Execution in Iran
Britain has strongly condemned a UK-based Iranian exile TV presenter for his inflammatory anti-Islamic broadcasts.Britain acts over anti-Islamic show
But in a case with echoes of the Iranian fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie, the British government hinted on Tuesday that police were considering special protection for Manouchehr Fouladvand in view of an increasing number of death threats.
Clerics in Iran have not issued a religious edict, or fatwa, calling for Fouladvand to be killed, as Iran's late Supreme Leader Ayat Allah Ruh Allah Khomeini did in Rushdie's case in 1989.
But his broadcasts on the US-based Farsi-language Ma-TV, in which he frequently mocks the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's holy book the Quran, have upset many Iranians and spurred hardline commentators to call for his death.
"The firing of a bullet into his damned and blasphemous head is an incontestable necessity, and how cherished is the emissary of that bullet," Husain Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the official Kayhan daily, said in an editorial.
Shariatmadari and other Iranians have accused Britain's intelligence services of funding Ma-TV, something London denies.
"The British government does not share Mr Fouladvand's views," said Matthew Gould, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tehran. "We deplore any attacks on Islam. We condemn those who stir up division."
"However, because of the threats to kill Mr Fouladvand, the British police need to consider his security," Gould said.
"This does not imply any support for his views ... This sort of approach is essential if we are to have a society based on the rule of law."
Santiago El Mercurio on 27 November reports that Chilean investigations and Carabineros sources reported that they have carried out consultations about the alleged telephone calls made by Al-Qa'ida leader Abu Musab al Zarkawi to supporters of his movement in Chile. The calls were allegedly made before the Iraq War. The sources said they have not taken concrete actions but simply carried out consultation with the Interpol and analyzed old clues of possible Middle East terrorist activity in Chile. Abu Musab al Zarkawi made several phone calls through the use of an "Easy Roaming" card to supporters in Chile, as reported by Swiss intelligence. Chilean intelligence sources said that maybe the report was referring to Cypruss not Chile.Um, yeah. Because Cyprus sounds just like Chile.
The Chilean government has offered lifelong pensions to more than 28,000 people tortured by agents of Gen Augusto Pinochet's military government.I'm happy to hear it.
President Ricardo Lagos made the offer as an official report was published on the internet detailing abuses committed between 1973 and 1990.
Mr Lagos said the report, based on survivors' testimonies, proved that torture had been state policy.
The document says the victims included some 3,400 women and even children.
It lists 18 major types of torture, including suffocation, electric shocks and repeated beatings.
Many of the crimes were carried out by the Chilean army and police.
Excerpt from report by Sutarto and Khairunnisa, carried by Indonesian Koran Tempo web site on 29 NovemberIf that's true about getting the parents' and wife's permission to go off and jihad (first I've heard of the practice) then the story about our troops using mujahedeen fighters' wives as leverage that I blogged officially now disturbs me not at all. Throw away the key!
Jakarta: The Defenders of Islam Front [FPI] would soon deploy its members to Fallujah in Iraq. According to the chief of FPI Operational Staff, Machsuni Kaloko, FPI had opened a registration post for anyone with a calling to engage in holy war. "By this afternoon (Sunday, 28 November) we had registered 200 people who were prepared to be deployed for battle in Iraq," he said.
Machsuni explained that every mujahidin [defender of Islam] who had registered would undergo a selection process. After that, they would undergo [military] training in Indonesia, "because the situation in Iraq is vastly different to here," he said. Before being deployed to the holy war battlefield in Iraq, every volunteer must obtain prior permission from his parents and wife. "Because our objective there is to fight and die a martyr's death," he said.
While the United Nations was established with the noble goal of defending international peace and security, it actually has undermined international security and established safe havens for terrorism, said Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit had an excellent suggestion: creating a sort of UN of democratic nations for the purpose of combating terrorism and punishing states that propagate it.
Three weeks ago, for example, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a letter to President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi asking them to call off the anticipated attack against insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq because it would undermine the Iraqi election process.
"What the Secretary-General is essentially saying...was that maintaining the huge terrorist presence in Fallujah was better for the future of Iraqi democracy than having it eliminated," said Gold. Gold is the author of a recently released book entitled Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos.
"In essence, what the Secretary-General was doing by his intervention was to provide protective diplomatic cover to the likes of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and the mujahadeen that were fighting against the United States and the coalition forces in Iraq," he said.
But such "diplomatic cover" for terrorist activities is not new. According to Gold, it began decades ago with "one of the worst" General Assembly resolutions ever adopted - number 2708.
"That resolution reaffirmed the recognition of the legitimacy of the struggle against alien domination...by all necessary means. That resolution became the basis, in my judgment, for the growth of terrorism...as something the U.N. could even legitimize," Gold said.
"If that resolution was adopted in December 1970, it's not surprising that by 1974 Yasser Arafat was in fact invited to the United Nations General Assembly to address it, without having to transform himself in any way," he said.