The Rohingya “Palestinians Asia”

by filistina

Officially designated by the UN as one of the most persecuted communities in the world and referred to as Palestinians Asia, but few know their name.

The Rohingya have been subject to a program of ethnic cleansing supported by the Government of Burma (Burma). Despite their existence in Burma, dating from the 8th century, the Rohingya are condemned as “non-citizens” and “illegal immigrants”. Aimed as a result of religion and race, the Rohingya are suffering from oppression and discrimination they encounter in face of the Buddhist majority of Racine. The confiscation of land, forced labor and denial of the very basic human rights-including education, healthcare and marriage-are typical of the daily reality of Rohingya.

The injustice against the people of the Rohingya is deeply rooted in institutions and in the government system of Burma. Can be seen at 1982 Law on Nationality introduced the Burmese junta, which recognizes 135 ethnic tribes in Burma, and explicitly excludes the Rohingya. This legislation has received widespread condemnation for the biased nature and its incompatibility with international standards of human rights, including the right to citizenship.

This systematic denial of human rights, based on the refusal of the government of Burma to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, leaving them stateless in their own country. The denial of citizenship has been used as a tool to deprive Rohingya of their identity and their right to exist.

This severe marginalization and restriction of basic rights and fundamental freedoms, has forced the Rohingya to flee their homes in search of viable conditions. Therefore, between 1978 and 1992, some 200,000 Rohingya fled to save themselves from the tyranny of the Burmese army. Most fled to Bangladesh, where they remain as refugees. Life in Bangladesh proved not much improved since Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world in which prevailing discrimination against ethnic minorities. Like Rohingya living in Burma, so the Rohingya refugees are restricted to traffic, often are exploited and their main resources are greatly limited. Also Rohingya women have often been victims of sexual violence in refugee camps. The hostility in Bangladesh has led epmenos Rohingya to seek refuge in other countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, where they met but similar treatment. Continue reading

Los Angeles: FBI Sting Lawsuit Blocked by “State Secrets” Doctrine

Behind this plaque are the “state secrets” of Islamophobic and racially profiled sting operations–endorsed as unchallengable and unquestionable by the courts

It was like a James O’Keefe hidden camera operation gone wrong: In 2006, despite no evidence of wrongdoing, the FBI sent informant Craig Monteilh to spy on a California mosque, only to have Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, the guy Monteilh was trying to convince to launch a fake terrorist operation, report the informant to the authorities. (Naturally, in 2009 the FBI then unsuccessfully tried to prosecute Niazi anyway).

The Monteilh-Niazi incident was part of “Operation Flex,” an FBI counterterrorism program that involved surveillance of the Muslim community in Southern California. Three local Muslims, Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, Ali Uddin Malik, and Yasser AbdelRahim, sued the FBI in February 2011 arguing that the FBI violated their constitutional rights. The Obama administration responded by invoking the state secrets doctrine, which often serves as a sort of get-out-of-court-free card for the government, and asking Judge Cormac J. Carney to dismiss the case because it would force disclosure of materials that could jeopardize national security. Carney did just that on Wednesday, accepting the government’s argument that the case would endanger state secrets. In doing so, Carney dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument that embracing the state secrets doctrine in the Monteilh case would lead to a state of affairs where “any practice, no matter how abusive, may be immunized from legal challenge by being labeled as ‘counterterrorism’ and ‘state secrets.'”

“Such a claim assumes that courts simply rubber stamp the Executive’s assertion of the state secrets privilege. That is not the case here,” Carney wrote. “The Court has engaged in rigorous judicial scrutiny of the Government’s assertion of privilege and thoroughly reviewed the public and classified filings with a skeptical eye.”

The case involves two key elements of the Obama administration’s approach to national security: The use of FBI informants and fake terror plots and the aggressive use of the state secrets doctrine to keep its counterterrorism operations secret. As Trevor Aaronson reported in his award-winning story for the September/October 2011 issue of Mother Jones, “With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.” Continue reading

What will it take to remove anti-Palestinian slanders from public transportation?

ABC: “Pro-Israel ads on Muni buses spark criticism”

Zionist Hate Propaganda Promoted On A Bus !

by James Ashburn, Friday, August 10, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a policy against political ads on its buses, but an ad being displayed now comes pretty close. The ad says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”

James Ashburn was surprised when he saw his bus roll up with the ad on the side. “It really struck me as an inappropriate ad to be on a city bus,” he said. Ashburn took a picture of the ad and sent it to ABC7 News via uReport. He thought the ad crossed a line. “No matter what side you’re on, you should not describe your opponent as a savage,” he said.

The pro-Israel ad was purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative run by Pamela Geller. “The reason I wanted to run these ads was to counter the anti-Israel ads that were running in various cities across the country in New York, in D.C., on San Francisco BART,” she said. If you don’t remember any anti-Israel ads on BART, that’s understandable. It has been a year since an ad ran calling on the U.S. to cut military aid to Israel. “It was a fallacious and dangerous message and it had to be countered with the truth,” Geller said.

The truth being in the eye of the beholder, ABC7 News showed the ad to Muslim’s going into Friday prayers at a San Francisco mosque. Adam Kennard called it propaganda. Ted Oriqat pointed out that the ad distorts the meaning of jihad. “Jihad, it doesn’t mean killing people or anything like that,” he said. And Oriqat is correct. Jihad means “struggle” and is frequently used as in “striving towards the way of God.” Continue reading

Statement by DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) on Wisconsin Gurudwara Shootings‏

Unity and Accountability in the Wake of the Wisconsin Gurudwara Shootings

The members of DRUM-Desis Rising Up & Moving express our deepest sympathy and solidarity with our sisters and brothers of the Sikh community after Sunday’s shootings in the Oak Creek Gurudwara in Wisconsin. The shootings have been followed closely by an arson that burned down a mosque in Joplin, Missouri.

While the shootings have shocked us all, it is unfortunately part of a history of targeting of communities of color that all too often goes unchecked and remains rooted in a national climate bolstered by state policies. This climate of racism and intolerance targeting Sikhs, South Asians, Muslims, Arabs, and Middle Easterners, particularly since 9/11, has been fueled by frequent media distortions, governmental policies of racial and religious profiling, and the rise in hate groups. Yet, the media and public discourse mistakenly puts the Sikh and other religions on the hot seat rather than the vast network of organized hate groups whose impacts have been severe-from attacks on Sikhs and Muslims to crafting of anti-people of color and anti-immigrant legislation like SB1070 in Arizona.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has stated that it had been monitoring the alleged gunman, Wade Michael Page, for over 10 years for his ties to white supremacist groups, attempts to purchase weapons from them, and use of violent lyrics about murdering Jews, black people, gay people, and other communities of color, through his membership in racist skinhead bands. Since the use of racial and religious profiling by law enforcement agencies focuses on identity as a marker of threat, rather than actual acts, (leading to the broad profiling of communities of color, religious minorities, and activist groups), organized white supremacist and hate groups remain largely unchecked. In 2009, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out a report on the dangers of right-wing extremism in the US, it received severe backlash from many conservative policy makers. As a result of the criticism, the DHS dismantled and cut funding for the intelligence team that monitored such threats. Continue reading

On caste atrocities that are taking place across India

Resolution of the All India Executive Committee, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) — (approved at meeting in Delhi, 1-2 August 2012)

Several incidents of caste atrocities on Dalits have been committed by the dominant caste forces in different parts of the country – spanning from Bolangir of Odisha to Lakshimpeta of Andhra Pradesh and recently in Bhagana in Haryana, in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and in other places. While the massacre of five Dalit peasants in a gruesome manner in Lakshimpeta village by dominant caste landowners and rich peasants have shaken the country, other incidents of casteist attacks like the burning of houses and assault on 60 dalit families in Bolangir or the social boycott and banishing of 128 Dalit families in Bhagana have not attracted much attention from the progressive and democratic sections of the country. In Lakhsimpeta, the landed section of the Backward Caste Kapus have adopted the brahmanical ideology as a result of their acquisition of private property – most importantly, land, and became perpetrators of caste violence on the ‘untouchable’ Mala people. Lakshimpeta massacre also involves the questions of dam and displacement, since the people of the village are evictees of a dam constructed by the government. While other evictees got compensation and land from the government, Dalits could get nothing and lost everything due to this forced displacement. Continue reading

The US hand in which Egyptian glove? — Military, or Muslim Brotherhood, or both?

[When the people rose up against the Mubarak compradarchy, some said the US-Mubarak relationship would not be broken.  But soon, the US imperial hegemonists decided to unhinge their prospects from Mubarak, and focus efforts on sidelining the popular revolt by encouraging the Egyptian military to declare “support” for the uprising.  Some said the US now had the new, effective puppet relationship with the military, to further stem popular revolt and prevent Muslim Brotherhood seizure of the the process.  But ongoing struggle discredited the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood took advantage and jockeyed for position, and power.  The Obama administration then maneuvered toward rebranding the Muslim Brotherhood “democratic” and finding suitable enticements for the hegemonist’s new Egyptian alliance–and overtly took sides with MB primacy over the military. Yet the people, whose historic Tahrir Square revolt unhinged all the old imperial arrangements, are not satisfied with any of this shell game in the halls of power.  Democratic pretense only works on the gullible, and the people have learned far too much to be taken in.  The wheels will continue to revolve. — Frontlines ed.]

————————————————–

Egypt: US for Strong Mursi Presidency

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, BBC, 16 July 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged the new President to fully assert his authority.

The new Egyptian leader, Mohamed Mursi on Sunday July 15, received a much-needed backing in his standoff with the country’s military when the visiting United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton urged him to assert the full authority of his office.

Clinton on the other hand told the country’s military officers to return to what she described as a purely national security role, after they stepped aside last month, promising to retain wide-ranging legislative and political powers.

Shortly after meeting with the US official for about an hour, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in a rare public rebuke apparently directed at the powerful Moslem Brotherhood to which Mursi belongs, declared that the Armed Forces would not allow people he described as pushed from outside to dominate the country. Al Jazeera Television reported that Tantawi’s comments that were delivered to reporters after a military ceremony in the city of Ismailia, sounded a discordant note after Clinton’s urgings.

Clinton’s discussions with President Mursi on Saturday July 14 focused on the domestic political deadlock and economic development. She pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment and job creation funds – money the US administration had earlier promised. Clinton said her country’s shared strategic interests far outnumbered differences with Egypt. At a joint news conference with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Amr, the US Secretary of State said her visit to Cairo was to re-affirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition.

However, on Saturday evening, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Clinton’s Cairo hotel, chanting anti-Islamist and anti-US slogans in protest at her visit. Another protest outside the US Embassy was organised by Coptic Christian youth activists who chanted that Americans and the Moslem Brotherhood could not be trusted, the BBC said.

Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Military: A New Deal?

Jul 05 2012 by Salma Shukrallah, http://www.jadaliyya.com

The Egyptian Republican Guard was responsible for president-elect Mohamed Mursi’s safety during his speech in Tahrir Square. Image originally posted to Flickr by Johnathan Rashad

Speculation is rife that the Muslim Brotherhood are again reaching a deal with the ruling military council after weeks of what seemed to be escalating tensions between the two. The long awaited government Morsi is expected to appoint soon may reveal what the two parties will finally agree upon.

While sources at the office of President Mohamed Morsi have revealed that Egypt’s newly-inaugurated head of state has not yet contacted anyone specific for the post of prime minister, analysts hint ongoing negotiations may be the source of this delay.

“There’s broad consensus between the Brotherhood and military leaders on the need to accommodate the military’s longstanding political and economic interests,” political analyst Hesham Sallam told Ahram Online.

“But the devil’s in the details; I don’t think the two sides have reached agreement on specifics,” Sallam added. “Control over cabinet appointments is probably one source of these disagreements.”

On 30 June, Morsi was sworn into office before Egypt’s High Constitutional Court (HCC), bringing an end to an ongoing conflict with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The Brotherhood had earlier rejected a constitutional addendum giving the SCAF legislative powers at the expense of Egypt’s dissolved parliament and keeping the Armed Forces independent of the president. Morsi’s oath before the HCC, however, appeared to signal a retreat from the Brotherhood’s stated position. Continue reading