Articles of Interest, December 7th, 2007

Rice fights to sway Russians on Iran sanctions

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Armed with the full support of NATO allies, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will try to convince a skeptical Russia that it should back U.S. plans to step up pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear activities.

Having won NATO endorsement to stay the course despite a new U.S. intelligence assessment that concludes Iran stopped its atomic weapons development program in 2003, Rice was to meet Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who has become the public face of opposition to new U.N. sanctions.

Why are we still pushing this? I am convinced the Bush administration is trying to win the worst in foreign policy award.

Keeping a Young Marriage Alive

Once the guests are gone, the imam thanked, and wedding gifts collected, you set off for your new home. That’s when the marriage has truly begun. You’re with the person you love, and you embark on a wonderful journey into the future together. Those first few weeks may seem all that you’ve longed for. Everything seems rosy, especially if the marriage has begun with a holiday and you’re completely away from all the cares and concerns of everyday life. Even if you don’t go away, that first week seems like bliss! Nothing and no one can ever come between you and your spouse.

What do you do, though, to stop your marriage going the way of many other marriages? What is the secret of keeping a young marriage alive?

I’m still trying to figure all this out. Let me be the first to tell you, marriage is more difficult than Marine Corps Recruit Training! At times I would rather go back to Parris Island. Make no mistake unless your willing give much of yourself, don’t expect marriage to be a cakewalk! But it pays off in many ways…… 🙂

New Converts: Easy Prey for Easy Marriage?

Fatimah is one of many Canadians who chose to convert to Islam in search of peace for their souls. She has learned about Islam from the Qur’an and several Islamic books, and she believes that Islam is the most suitable way of life. She asked Allah to bless her and make her live and practice Islam, not just believe in Islam.

Fatimah looks forward to the day when she starts living with Muslims and learning from them how to live Islam as a way of life. With her white skin, blue eyes, and blond hair, she is the typical dream of many Arab, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern men, even if she is 55 years old.

“Indeed, I love Ibrahim. He loves me, too. He’s an Egyptian working in the US, and he proposed to me,” said Fatimah

Look at the bold……..Tell me their isn’t a problem with race even in the Muslim community…….I know it’s not “normal” to talk about it, but there is much dirty laundry we have to deal with Muslims…..

Rape Covered in Darfur

Sexual violence against Darfur’s women continues in the camps where they are meant to be protected from those involved in the conflict and not enough is being done to assist them, says Sudanese aid worker Lemia Elhag.

Elhag spent a year working with the women of Darfur’s camps around Geneina, the capital of West Darfur. During this period she compiled research for her thesis interrogating the effect of sexual and gender-based violence against women in Darfur. Elhag completed her thesis last year as part of a master’s degree course on peace and development studies at Khartoum ‘s Juba University . She believes that minimal participation of the Sudanese government in halting rape, cultural entrenchment and an unforgiving society keep mouths shut about rape and sexual violence against women in Darfur. She also reiterates that violence against women “happens across communities” in Darfur.

“It’s not about being Arab or African. The people of Darfur are all black. They have the same skin colour,” she says especially in response to international media and aid agency messages that Darfur is about Arabs raping black Africans.

Now that “Teddy” gate is over, let’s not forget that while the world was focused on Ms. Gibbons, the women in Sudan’s Darfur region were still being raped. Guess what religion the majority happen to say they belong too? I really don’t get what is with us. We say we are Muslims, yet while we fight about Palestine, Iraq, etc. no one seems to care about the Ummah in Sudan.

A Hanukkah of Light vs. A Hanukkah of Darkness

Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday of light that recounts the Talmudic story of the Maccabees’ victory over the armies of King Antiochus IV. The story symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

This year, the celebration of Hanukkah coincides with a slow-motion genocide the legions of Zionism are carrying out against nearly 1.5 million helpless human beings in the Gaza Strip.

According to human rights organizations, Gazans are dying in significant numbers as Israel continues to bar them from accessing food and work. Scores of patients have also succumbed to their illnesses thanks to Israel’s refusal to allow these unfortunate people to travel abroad or reach the West Bank to seek proper medical care.

This week, the Israeli Supreme Court, a mere rubber stamp in the hands of the occupation army, authorized further cuts of fuel supplies and electricity to Gaza.

This, coupled with the sinister policy of denying Gazans access to fresh food, vaccines, and clean water, is already having a disastrous impact on innocent people whose only crime is that 23 months ago, they elected a government that Israel didn’t like.

Seriously, what could I possibly add?

Ka`bah Matchmaking

CAIRO — The scene of women in the traditional black abaya approaching young Muslim women as they pray or perform rituals in Al-Masjid Al-Haram in the holy city of Makkah is becoming more common.

“These days, practicing Muslim men are having a hard time finding practicing Muslim women,” Um Mohammad, a professional matchmaker, told the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, December 5.

She has been asked by many families to help find “chaste” wives for their sons.

“Devoted Muslims come here, so there is a better chance of finding a good match.”

She always carries a small blue notebook to write down all the information about those she approaches.

Um Mohammad says she is rewarded by grateful mothers with no less than 1,000 riyals ($268) plus gifts.

“Matchmakers are everywhere in Saudi,” notes Saudi historian Omar Tayeb.

“They find brides in supermarkets, malls, and mosques. Why not near the Kaaba?”

Aayesh Masri, 22, was approached by another “Um Mohammad” while in Makkah.

The young Saudi says she isn’t troubled by the new trend.

“Why not?” she told the American paper.

“It is done under sincere intentions and it is no different than when potential suitors come to your home to meet your family.”

Millions of Muslims visit Makkah every years to perform the annual hajj or `Umrah, a minor pilgrimage that can be performed anytime.

Hey, you must admit in theory it’s a great idea! However, you have to admire the humor in it. A sister is praying and another taps her on the shoulder……moments later their exchanging phone numbers for a possible match! Match.com needs to get in on this!

Teen videotapes passenger assault in Brooklyn subway car

DECEMBER 5–A group of teenage girls menaced a male subway rider before attacking him as their train pulled into a Brooklyn station, a violent assault videotaped last month by a high school student who, of course, immediately uploaded the clip to YouTube. The 4:18 video, which you’ll find below, was shot on the A train as it traveled in Bedford-Stuyvesant (subway ads and the train’s stops indicate that the footage was shot late at night several weeks ago). The video was uploaded to YouTube on November 7 by Kadejra Holmes, a high school student and aspiring Harlem filmmaker. In a brief online chat, Holmes denied being part of the girl gang that attacked the male rider, who appeared to be about 30. Minutes after being asked by TSG about the train video, Holmes, 17, deleted the footage (and her entire page) from YouTube.

Absolutely disgusting and outright cowardice. These “females” took advantage of the fact that most men (with sense and morals) would not strike a woman. So these “women” are very fortunate because it would have been wonderful if he was an undercover cop and arrested them on the spot! They should pray because he could have had a gun…..It makes no sense and it shows how bestial many have become.

Catholic coloring book warns US kids of pedophile priests

New York’s Roman Catholic Church is trying a novel approach to alert children to the danger of being sexually assaulted by a priest, with an abuse-themed coloring book, officials said Tuesday. “Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic,” was distributed earlier this year to several hundred schools in the New York area as part of the church’s Safe Environment Program, a spokeswoman from the city’s Archdiocese said.

One image in the book features a guardian angel hovering over an altar boy with a priest lurking in the background.

“For safety’s sake, a child and an adult shouldn’t be alone in a closed room together,” the angel counsels. In another, the angel warns of a sexual predator attempting to chat with a child over the Internet.

You can’t blame the church for trying, however it’s a sad state of affairs when those whom you rely on to lead the people cannot be trusted. There are serious issues within the Catholic church’s ranks, and they need to be as proactive as possible. One idea could be to allow priests to marry….maybe that would help?

Sufism may be powerful antidote to Islamic extremismmages of Islam have pervaded the news media in recent years, but one aspect of the faith has gotten little attention – Islamic spirituality. Yet thousands in America and millions in the Muslim world have embarked on the spiritual path called Sufism, or the Sufi way. Some see its appeal as the most promising hope for countering the rise of extremism in Islam.

In recent weeks, celebrations in cities on several continents have marked the “International Year of Rumi.” Sept. 30 was the 800th anniversary of the birth of Muslim mystic Jelaluddin Rumi, who is a towering figure in Sufi literature and, paradoxically, the bestselling poet in the United States over the past decade.

In the West, Sufism has appealed to seekers attracted by its disciplined spiritual practices as well as its respect for all faiths and emphasis on universal love.

“I was searching, and the writings struck me – particularly the poetry,” says Llew Smith, a TV producer in Boston who has joined a Sufi order. “It’s direct and consistent about turning you away from the self, but also being connected deeply to the Divine and to other people.”

Across the Muslim world, Sufism has been an influential force throughout Islamic history, though it has frequently come under attack by more orthodox Muslims. Some consider it an Islamic heresy because Sufis go beyond the faith’s basic tenets and pursue a direct union with God.

Many Muslims today, however, see the spiritual tradition as the potential answer to the extremism that has hijacked the faith and misrepresented it to the world.

Interesting article. I believe there is a lot to be learned in Sufism that can be applied to Muslim practice, however I don’t agree with the premise of the article that Sufism can somehow save Islam. The best way to antidote “Islamic” extremism, is quite simply: Islam. But, it’s going to take a lot of courage from Muslims to actually stand up and teach Islam correctly and defend, deter, and destroy against false doctrines and radical ideologies that run rampant unchecked.

Baby starts new role for teenage mom

She sits clad in pink Eeyore pajamas, flipping through channels from her hospital bed.

The room is dark and quiet, just right for sleeping. But Celia Magee is wide-awake. She can’t stop looking down at the tiny boy cradled in her left arm.

“I don’t know even what color his eyes are yet,” she says. “He never opens his eyes.”

Russell Eugene is 1 day old.

His mother is 15.

She fidgets with a bottle of milk as she talks.

She can’t wait to get back into her old clothes. When will the baby weight go away?

And shopping. She loves to shop. She can’t believe her son already has more new clothes than she does.

Then, sitting up straighter in bed, she asks, “When do you think I can play basketball again? I want to go out for the team at school.”

She can’t yet imagine the sleepless nights, the responsibility.

– Get mad with me all you want, but Bill Cosby is right. While I may take issue with some of his methods, he is right nonetheless. I don’t want to beat up on the young woman or her 29 year old MOTHER who is now a GRANDMOTHER, but they represent part of the problem in black communities. And guess who’s to blame fundamentally…….no not the “white man” but the black man. Black men, stop making excuses and get off your butts and be men. Get jobs, stay out of trouble, and stop making babies. If you already have them: support them, work 2, 3, 4, jobs if you have to. But I have to admit many of my people are dead. Anyone who has no aim and no purpose is dead. Let’s get to work and do what needs to be done!

IDF to show US nuclear data on Iran

Disappointed after failing to make their case on Iran and influence the outcome of the United States’s National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released this week, Military Intelligence will present its hard core evidence on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program on Sunday to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during a rare visit he will be making to Israel.

Admiral Michael Mullen will land in Israel Sunday morning for a 24-hour visit that will include a one-on-one meeting with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

According to a Time magazine article published Wednesday, Mullen is a member of the Pentagon’s “anti-war [with Iran] group” that includes Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral William Fallon, current commander of the US Central Command.

In a recent press briefing in Washington, however, Mullen took a hard-line approach, refusing to rule out the possibility that military force will be used to stop Iran’s race towards nuclear power.

Is the US intelligence right or wrong? That should be the only question. Apparently, Israel must believe it is wrong because they want to continue pressing forward toward Iran. I’m convinced that many people involved in this whole “Iran” thing, really don’t minda world war, because everyone has a bomb Iran strategy….but no one seems to be talking about the “then what?” strategy. Everything seems eerily familiar to the lead up to Iraq…..

 

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