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Pakistan blocks YouTube website February 24, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in Islam, News Commentry.
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The BBC reports that Pakistan has blocked access to YouTube:

Pakistan has blocked access to the popular YouTube website because of content deemed offensive to Islam.

Its telecommunications authority ordered internet service providers to block the site until further notice.

Although YouTube does have a lot of offensive content, it’s not only Islam on the receiving end of such things. There’s also a lot of excellent videos on YouTube, like the excellent 14 part series by Ahmad Deedat on how Salman Rushdie fooled the west.

More interesting in the BBC article:

Other countries that have temporarily blocked access to YouTube include Turkey and Thailand.

I’m amazed that Turkey has blocked access to YouTube, considering as a country, they have a ban in place stopping Muslim women from wearing the hijab in universities, and when there were talks of removing the ban, thousands of Turks protested to stop the government allowing this.


Police feared ‘airport stand-off’ February 19, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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The BBC reports:

An Israeli general wanted for alleged war crimes escaped arrest in the UK because British police feared an armed confrontation at Heathrow airport.

What is it about Israel that allows it to take such liberties?

He stayed on board for two hours after a tip-off that he was facing detention.

Police were concerned about a potential clash with Israeli air marshals or armed personal security on the plane.

Maj Gen Almog had flown to the UK for social and charitable visits to Jewish communities in Solihull, in the West Midlands, and Manchester.

If this was anyone else, from any other country on the planet, the police would be on that plane doing their job.

Even more insulting:

When Maj Gen Almog arrived back in Israel, the planned arrest caused a minor diplomatic storm, with Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom describing the incident as an “outrage”.

In turn, the then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologised to his counterpart for any embarrassment caused.

Despite Almog having an outstanding arrest warrant, Jack Straw rolls over and apologises to the Israeli foreign minister.

Absolutely ridiculous.

Voting for Barack Obama? February 8, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
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Came across this post from a fellow voting in California, where he quoted a phrase from Barack as one of his reasons for voting:

When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.

He also quoted Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

I’m for Obama knowing perfectly well that, as Bill Clinton suggested, it’s a “roll of the dice”. A roll of the dice for Democrats, for progressives, for those of us who’ve fought so hard against the right-wing frames that Obama sometimes (sometimes craftily, sometimes naively) deploys. Because I think a Hillary Clinton candidacy will be another game of inches, yielding—at best—another four or eight years of knifework in the dark. Because I think an Obama candidacy might actually shake up the whole gameboard, energize good people, create room and space for real change.

Because he seems to know something extraordinarily important, something so frequently missing from progressive politics in this country, in this time: how to hearten people. Because when I watch him speak, I see fearful people becoming brave.

The phrase “knifework in the dark” is a perfect summary of the Clinton years. Bill Clinton was doing the same things as George Bush, except it wasn’t emphasized in the public as much. Being first lady, there’s no doubt Hillary was aware of such on-goings, and there’s no reason to believe she’s going to do anything drastically different to pave the way for a better future if she does become president.

I’m all for Barack and hope he does win. After 8 years with the Bush administration, it’s time for changes. Big changes and new faces.

Turks protest over headscarf ban February 2, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in General Islam, Islam, News Commentry.
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The BBC reports:

Thousands of Turks have rallied in Ankara to protest against a government plan to allow women to wear the Islamic headscarf in Turkish universities.

Such behaviour from a supposedly Muslim country puzzles me. I’ve blogged about this in the past, when talks to remove the ban first began.

Whatever happened to free choice? If a woman wants to wear the hijab, she should be allowed to do so.  Forcing her to go one way or the other is just ridiculous, and if people have a problem with someone who wears hijab, then that’s their problem.

The government argues the ban deprives thousands of women of a higher education.

But Turkey’s powerful, secular establishment sees the headscarf as a symbol of political Islam – a threat to their secular way of life, and to the political system here.

Those opposed to the reform include the military, Turkey’s judges and university rectors.

They fear it is just the first step to allowing religious symbols into all aspects of public life.

It seems like Turkey’s biggest worry is that it will bring Islam into the open, though if they are so scared of this, one must question why they are called a Muslim country (if they do not want to follow the rules of Islam).