Showing posts with label Dissent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dissent. Show all posts

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Anti-Genocide student protests go global

    Saturday, May 04, 2024   No comments

By mid-April, students attending wealthy private universities that have tens of billions of dollars in endowments invested in all forms of economic activities wanted their universities to be selective in their investments and divest from companies that produce anything tied to the Gaza Genocide. This happened after the International Court of Justice found that Israel is committing a plausible genocide and ordered it to take specificactions to stop the genocide. Since then protests spread to almost all Western countries, and there are signs that it will spread to poor countries though universities in such countries have no large investments in weapon manufacturing enterprises.

 Universities in France, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Mexico are witnessing sit-ins and movements demanding an end to the war that broke out seven months ago on the besieged Gaza Strip. In America, the police, who attended in large numbers, broke up the camps set up by pro-Palestinian students at various universities, the most recent of which was the University of California - Los Angeles, where dozens were arrested.

 As the uprising of American university students continues to escalate in intensity, student mobilization is expanding in a number of countries in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, the day after US President Joe Biden called for order to prevail in American universities, while the French police evacuated the building of the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris of unarmed demonstrators. accidents.


On April 18, students who rejected the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip began a sit-in on the campus of Columbia University in New York, demanding that its administration stop its academic cooperation with Israeli universities and withdraw its investments in companies that support the occupation of Palestinian territories.

 With the intervention of police forces and the arrest of dozens of students, the state of anger expanded, and the demonstrations extended to dozens of American universities, including leading universities such as Harvard, George Washington, New York, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and North Carolina.

 Later, the unprecedented student movement in support of Palestine in the United States expanded to universities in countries such as France, Britain, Germany, Canada and India, all of which witnessed demonstrations in support of their American counterparts and demands to stop the war on Gaza and boycott the companies that supply weapons to Israel.

 CNN reported that the administration of the University of California, Riverside reached an agreement with its students to ensure the end of their sit-in camp, after the university pledged transparency and disclosure of investments and academic cooperation programs with external institutions.

 CNN reported that the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at Emory University in Georgia will vote in favor of no confidence in the university president, against the backdrop of his calling the police against the protesting students.

 The administration of the University of Chicago in the United States said that there was information “about the presence of physical altercations” on campus, indicating in a statement that in the absence of an agreement with the protesters, the time had come to disperse the crowd.

Students seem to know the consequences of their actions but act, why?

A report in the Times newspaper reviewed the story of Jewish student Iris Hsiang, who was among more than 100 people arrested, in television scenes that credited her with inspiring similar acts of protests on college campuses across the United States.

Hsiang was arrested along with dozens of students at Columbia University for refusing to leave the campus during protests in support of the Palestinians and rejecting the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The student who was suspended from her studies and did not know whether the university would allow her to continue her studies - explained to the newspaper, in a report written by Josie Ensor - the reason for her participation in the pro-Palestinian demonstrations and what prompted her to do so. She said that she was arrested, her hands were tied with ties, and she was placed in a detention cell at the police headquarters all night. .

Hsiang - according to the British newspaper - is now standing outside the gates of the Columbia University campus during the afternoon, because she was prevented from attending classes and accessing the library, dining halls and any other buildings on campus, and was only allowed to remain in her residence as part of the terms of her suspension.

Hsiang has been charged by Columbia University, based on a police indictment, with trespassing, vandalism and “disruptive behavior.” The climate science and human rights student has been suspended from her studies, but she asks indignantly, “How can I trespass on my property at my university?”

Hsiang, who wears a black-and-white keffiyeh as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, faces a court hearing later this month and is awaiting the university's decision on whether she will be allowed to continue her studies.

She says that her parents (the mother is Jewish and the father is Asian) are worried about her like all parents, and they support her. She adds, “I grew up in a house where we stood up to injustice, so I formulated the matter to them as follows: What do we want people to do if we were in Gaza and this happened?” Happening to us?

However, the threat of a criminal record and permanent expulsion worries the outstanding student, especially since tuition fees at Columbia University cost $66,000 annually, and she will have to pay another year’s fees if she is forced to repeat her studies after missing crucial classes and exams during the demonstration.

Although a number of professors have reached out to students to offer their support, particularly criticizing the university's handling of the demonstrations, and at least 10 faculty members wearing orange jackets standing hugging each other in Central Park on Monday when the evacuation order was issued, Hsiang is disappointed. “I can't believe it has come to this.”

The newspaper reported that New York City officials ran out of patience due to the protests, and its Mayor Eric Adams called on the parents of the students who entered Hamilton Hall to “come pick up their children” and said that the campus must be a safe place for all students.

But Hsiang rejected the idea that Columbia had become an unsafe place for Jewish students. “I am Jewish and I am afraid to enter campus, but for a different reason. I was arrested for my peaceful protest,” she said. “There is a history of using Jewish identity as a weapon. Because I am Jewish, I support the Palestinians against persecution.” .

The newspaper concluded that Hsiang, even if she was not expelled, would have to repeat the academic year because she missed most of her final exams, although it is up to the individual professor to accept or reject the course work of the arrested protesting students, according to the university.

Hsiang concluded her interview with the newspaper by saying, “I am thinking about my future, but at the same time I am thinking about the students of Gaza, as there are no longer established universities. This will definitely change the course of my life, but I went into it knowing that it was a possibility. If Columbia University continues in this situation "There's not much this university can teach me."

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Journalism: The protests in solidarity with Palestine revealed the flaw in Washington’s policy

    Sunday, April 28, 2024   No comments

The American magazine Foreign Policy published an article by Howard French, the magazine’s main writer and professor of journalism at the Graduate School of Columbia University, in which he says: “The revolution of universities in solidarity with Palestine revealed that the flaw is not in the students, but in the foreign policy of the United States of America towards Israel and the Middle East.” 

The writer in "Foreign Policy" describes the protests in Columbia and other universities as "extremely important," adding: "They in turn inspired a growing series of reactions by university administrators, politicians, and American law enforcement officials, respectively, who sought to reduce the student demonstrations." Or prevent, condemn or, in many cases, violently suppress it.” He added, "What this moment revealed most clearly to me is not the crisis of student culture or higher education in the United States, as some have claimed, but rather a crisis in US foreign policy, and specifically its long-term relationship with Israel." 

"What I have seen inside the university’s gates has generally been a picture of exemplary civility. For nine days now, there has been an orderly encampment of students, most of them chatting relaxedly, some of them with tents, occupying an expanse of lawn in front of Butler Library, the biggest of Columbia’s libraries." Howard French, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University.

Protesting students teach American society and the world about democracy and citizenship. The writer says that through peaceful protest, students at Columbia University and in an increasing number of other universities are teaching American society, and indeed the entire world, about true democracy and citizenship. This came to mind in conversations I had with students from China and other countries, who marveled at the ability of Columbia students to respond through protest. In the midst of atrocities, they say enough is enough, and they always do so peacefully. 

They say that confronting terror requires more urgency than letter-writing campaigns to members of Congress or waiting patiently to vote in the next election. He adds that Gaza is not the only horror in the world at all, and we can all benefit from the moral urgency and civility of these students. They put pressure where they can on the institutions they belong to, and as students, they are the bedrock of communities. If they cannot convince the US government to do something to stop the war in Gaza and in the West Bank, which is largely ignored, they can at least convince their universities to stop supporting it. 

This is what the divestment demand means: stopping institutional support and investments in the Israeli war effort. Many critics object that this demand is unrealistic and can never succeed. But what is the appropriate response for a citizen? Sitting and folding your hands, for example? 

The writer concludes that the threat facing Zionism in the world today does not come from the students demonstrating in American universities and elsewhere. Rather, he claims that the greatest threat to Zionism does not even come from Hamas. The greatest threat stems from the blurring of any dividing line between Zionism and the crushing of Palestinian lives and hope for the future, says the American writer and academic.


Media Review: A college professor who protested the Vietnam War in 1968 compares her experiences with the anti-genocide protests currently happening at Columbia University

    Sunday, April 28, 2024   No comments


Demonstrations are still going on at more than a dozen universities across the country where students are calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, and they say they want their schools to divest in companies that do business with Israel. The epicenter of these demonstrations is Columbia University, where images of police arresting students brought back powerful memories of another protest there.

MARTIN: In 1968, Eleanor Raskin was a student at Columbia and took part in demonstrations against the Vietnam War there. Raskin, now Eleanor Stein, now teaches law and human rights at the State University of New York, and she's with us now to talk about whether she sees parallels between then and now. Good morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

ELEANOR STEIN: It's a pleasure.

MARTIN: If you would just remind us, for people who weren't there or don't remember, about the demonstrations in 1968 - what started it, and what happened?

STEIN: It's hard to conjure up what that moment was for our country. It was a moment of real crisis. But the issues at Colombia, there were two, really, that were critical, basically a war research body. The Institute for Defense Analysis had a contract with Colombia, which could have meant participation in military research for the war. The second issue was that Colombia was in the process of building a new gym. And they were building it in Morningside Park, one of the few green spaces in Harlem. And we felt that it couldn't be business as usual, that the university itself was engaging in an indefensible takeover of Harlem land and an indefensible participation and complicity with the Vietnam War effort. And students felt so strongly about this. We felt that whatever the risks, whatever the outcomes, we should demand that the university take action.

MARTIN: So what did you do?

STEIN: Well, first, I went to the rally. And then, at the rally, people decided to go into a classroom building, Hamilton Hall, and kind of have a sit-in. And then we decided to stay and to kind of barricade the doors. I ended up going into another classroom building, Fayerweather Hall, where I lived for five days, and I was arrested there. So actually, we were much more disruptive in terms of the functioning of the university. We were blocking access to classroom buildings. Whereas today, there's - none of that has been going on.

listen/read full interview


Friday, March 01, 2024

Media review: How can one suicide incident be a heroic act, while another is considered an act of madness?

    Friday, March 01, 2024   No comments

A member of the editorial board of the Washington Post and its columnist, Shadi Hamed, writes that some of the reactions to US Air Force soldier Aaron Bushnell recently burning himself in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington while shouting “Free Palestine” were not limited to rejection, but also included anger at what he did.

The writer commented on these reactions by saying that some people's quickness to explain Bushnell's behavior as resulting from a psychological illness suggests double standards.

He cited as evidence Michael Starr's description in his article in the Jerusalem Post newspaper of the suicide incident in protest against the Gaza war, as "a state of hysteria," while journalist Mark Joseph Stern labeled those who commit this act as "suffering from mental disorder."

When it came to the suicide of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi by setting himself on fire on December 17, 2010, in protest against the police confiscation of his small cart - an incident that sparked the Arab Spring revolutions - no one questioned whether he was suffering from a mental illness, and even President Barack Obama He praised him at the time as a “hero,” according to the Washington Post article.

Western media rarely described Bouazizi's death as a suicide, and in the face of this double standard, writer Shadi wonders: How can one suicide incident be a heroic act, while another is considered an act of madness? Psychopathy?

The article compares Bushnell's suicide with Bouazizi's suicide, noting that the American soldier apparently thought carefully and alerted the media to it hours before carrying out his act, unlike the Tunisian street vendor whose action was in response to the authorities confiscating his goods and the police's mistreatment of him.

One critic noted that while Bouazizi was protesting against his government, Bushnell was preoccupied with a “distant ethnic and religious conflict.” In his article, the writer believes that the American soldier has no “kinship ties” to the region, “so why does he have an overwhelming feeling about other people’s problems?”

Monday, January 29, 2024

US government employees to stage one-day hunger strike on Thursday to denounce Joe Biden’s policy on Gaza

    Monday, January 29, 2024   No comments

The British daily, The Guardian reported that Feds United for Peace, group of workers from more than two dozen agencies, to stage one-day hunger strike on Thursday

US government employees are planning a “day of fasting for Gaza” this week to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in the territory and to denounce Joe Biden’s policy toward Israel.

Representatives for Feds United for Peace, a group of several dozen government employees frustrated with the Gaza crisis who organized an office walkout earlier in the month, told the Guardian that on Thursday its members will stage a one-day hunger strike. Participating federal employees are expected to show up to their offices dressed in black or wearing keffiyeh scarves or other symbols of Palestinian solidarity.

A federal employee speaking on behalf of the group said the Day of Fasting is a response to Israel’s use of “starvation as a weapon of war by intentionally withholding food from entering Gaza”, citing UN reporting that up 2 million people in the territory are at risk of famine.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Mexican actress Melissa Barrera continues to support Gaza despite her exclusion from “Scream 7”

    Tuesday, December 26, 2023   No comments

 Despite being excluded from starring in the movie “Scream 7” due to her posts in support of Palestine, Mexican actress Melissa Barrera continues to express her positions rejecting the Israeli war of annihilation in the Gaza Strip.

On Christmas Eve, the actress took to her Instagram Stories and used the date of Christmas to draw the world's attention to the problems facing Palestine, writing: "I hope this Christmas is...weird."

She added: "I hope you do not ignore the fact that you are celebrating the birth of a child (Jesus Christ) who was persecuted and targeted and whose family was forced to flee to Egypt, while millions of Palestinians from the specific part of the world are now being persecuted and targeted and forced to flee their homes under random and relentless bombing."

Melissa’s position in support of Palestine and her sharing of supportive posts for Gaza on social media platforms led to her exclusion from starring in the “Scream 7” film series, which was acknowledged by “Spyglass”, the company that produced the film, saying in a statement, “Barrera was expelled for showing her support for the Palestinian cause.” .

The company quickly severed its ties with the heroine of the movie “In the Heights,” who was preparing for the starring role in the new part of the “Scream” series after starring in the fifth and sixth parts during the past two years.

Three days ago, the film's director, Christopher Landon, announced his withdrawal from the film, saying: "I think now is the right time to officially announce my departure from (Scream 7), and this will disappoint some and delight others. It was a dream job that turned into a nightmare. And my heart breaks for everyone." "But it's time to move on. I don't have anything."

Although Landon did not directly link his departure from the film to the Gaza issue, critics linked his withdrawal to the gap created by Barrera's exclusion from the film, as Landon considered it a gap that could not be filled and was determined to make Barrera the heroine of the film.

On October 27, 2023, Barrera wrote on Instagram, saying: “We come together as artists and advocates, but more importantly as human beings witnessing the terrible loss of life and horrors unfolding in Palestine and Israel.”

She added: “Please join us in calling on Congress, the President of the United States, and other world leaders to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost. We must end the bombing of Gaza, ensure the safe release of all hostages, and demand access.” Sufficient amount of humanitarian aid to the people who need it most.”

Melissa Barrera was born on July 4, 1990. She grew up in Monterrey, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico, and studied musical theater at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

She attended the American School of Monterrey, where her love for music and singing emerged, and she made her first television appearance on the “Mexican Reality” program in 2011.

In 2013, she was part of the duo Melissa E. Sebastian, with whom she recorded her debut album and her first top 10 radio hit came with her debut single "Mama Maria".

In 2014, she got her first starring role in the movie “Soap Opera”, “Always Yours Acapulco” in 2015, and in the same year she recorded the theme song “To Fall Again” alongside the Mexican singer Kalimba, for her TV series “Too Much Of love."

Barrera is best known for her roles in television series such as “Judas’ Wife,” “The Other Side of the Soul,” “Too Much Love,” and the Netflix series Crew Club.

Outside of Mexico, she is best known for her role in the “Scream” films and her starring role in the “Stars Live” series and the musical films “In the Heights” and “Keep Breathing.”

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Senegal: dead in protests after the prison sentence of the opposition leader

    Sunday, June 04, 2023   No comments

After Senegalese opposition figure Osman Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for "corrupting the youth", the Senegalese capital, Dakar, and a number of regions are witnessing violence.

On Thursday, the capital of Senegal, Dakar, and a number of regions witnessed violence after a criminal court sentenced opposition leader Osman Sonko, a candidate for the 2024 presidential elections, to two years in prison on charges of “corrupting the youth” and acquitted him of rape charges against him.

Two police officials told "Agence France Presse" that 3 people were killed during demonstrations in Ziguinchor (south), noting that a policeman was stoned to death by young men on the outskirts of Dakar, and no official confirmed this information publicly.

In the evening, it was noted that there were restrictions that greatly impeded access to social networking sites.

"This situation is similar" to what Senegal witnessed in 2021 of bloody violence, "and it is likely to greatly limit people's ability to communicate," NetBlocks, an internet monitoring organization, told AFP.

Attorney Ousmane Thiam, who attended the hearing, explained that “corrupting the youth,” which includes hiring or encouraging the employment of a person under the age of 21, is a misdemeanor under Senegalese law, not a crime like rape.

Sonko would have been stripped of his electoral rights if he had been convicted in absentia of a crime such as rape.

However, the reclassification of the facts as a misdemeanor still under the electoral law appears to threaten Sonko's eligibility and ability to run for president in 2024.

Sonko came third in the 2019 elections.

Sonko, who did not attend the trial and took refuge in the south of the country, confirms that this case is a conspiracy orchestrated by the president, who denies this.

Since February 2021, when the alleged rape case hit the headlines, Sonko has been fighting a battle in the judiciary and the political arena to ensure his survival against President Macky Sall.

About 20 civilians have been killed since 2021 in disturbances largely related to his status, and the authority and his camp exchange accusations in this regard.

Senegal, which is considered a relatively stable country in a turbulent region despite some political problems, witnessed new clashes between Sonko's supporters and the security forces linked to his trial and then his return from the south of the country to Dakar on Friday.

He was able to mobilize the youth, but he was arrested on Sunday and forcibly returned to his home in the capital, where he was kept in the midst of a heavy police presence. Since then, the police have responded with tear gas or even arrest for any attempt to approach him.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Sonko announced that he was "detained" and called on Senegalese to demonstrate "in abundance".

Young men attacked and looted the homes of members of the republican camp. The response came with reprisals against the property of members of the opposition and Sonko's party.

President Sall promised, on Wednesday, firmness in the face of violence and decided to start a "national dialogue" that is supposed to reduce tension.

It is noteworthy that Sonko (48 years) is the head of the "Bastef" party and the leader of the opposition in Senegal, and he condemns the exploitation of the judiciary and making it a tool to achieve political ends. He also gives speeches stressing politics and belonging to Africa, and attacks elites and corruption.

He also criticizes the economic and political domination exercised by France and multinational corporations, and defends religious and traditional values, knowing that he is very popular among young people in Senegal.

Friday, May 12, 2023

The release of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on bail

    Friday, May 12, 2023   No comments

Today, Friday, a court in Islamabad released former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, 70, after the Supreme Court overturned his arrest warrant, which caused riots across the country.

"The court granted Imran Khan two weeks' bail, and ordered the authorities not to arrest him again during this period, as part of a corruption case," Khawaja Harris, one of his lawyers, told reporters before the court.

Khan was granted conditional release in a number of other cases.

The court decided that he should not be arrested again, before Monday, in any of the other ten cases he is being prosecuted for, or in the case of acts of violence committed by his supporters this week.

Khan was arrested last Tuesday while a court in Islamabad was hearing his testimony in a corruption case, and then placed in pre-trial detention the next day for eight days.

However, the Supreme Court confirmed that his arrest was "invalid and illegal," and considered that "this arrest came at the initiative of the Anti-Corruption Office, and violated his rights to resort to the judiciary," because "it should not have happened in a court." The court decided that today, Friday, he would appear again before the court, where he was arrested.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced that "Khan will be arrested sooner or later."

For his part, Khan says that he is "subject to judicial harassment at the push of the government and the army to prevent his return to power."

Rights activists say Pakistani courts are often used to stifle political dissent.

It is noteworthy that Khan was ousted from power after a vote of no confidence in Parliament last April, and since then more than 100 lawsuits have been filed against the 70-year-old opposition leader, including charges of “terrorism, incitement to violence and graft.”

Since his overthrow, Khan faces several legal measures, knowing that he is still very popular, and hopes to return to power in the legislative elections scheduled for next October.

It is noteworthy that at least 8 people were killed, and as many as 290 were injured, in clashes across Pakistan, over Khan's arrest.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Police arrest former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

    Tuesday, May 09, 2023   No comments

Pakistani police on Tuesday arrested former Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on the background of his corruption trial, police said.

A large number of policemen appeared surrounding Imran Khan during his arrest, in an atmosphere of screams and chaos in a dramatic scene, where he was taken and placed in a military vehicle, under a great security alert.

His lawyer said in a video posted on Twitter that he was detained outside the Islamabad High Court, and was "severely injured" in the process.

In turn, the deputy head of the "Tehreek-e-Insaf" party, Fouad Chaudhry, announced that Khan had been kidnapped, and Chaudhry wrote in a tweet on "Twitter": "Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was kidnapped from the court building, and dozens of lawyers and ordinary people were tortured, and transferred Imran Khan to an unknown direction.

At the end of last month, a Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant against Khan on the grounds of the "threat" case against a female judge in a criminal court.

And the media reported that "the court issued its decision due to the repeated absence of Imran Khan from attending the trial session," noting that the decision came after the rejection of a petition submitted by Imran Khan's lawyer to exclude him from attending the trial, due to what he described as "threats on his life."

Khan's supporters confronted the police with stones and petrol bombs, after attempts to arrest him, last week, and 100 police officers were injured.

In March, the Islamabad High Court ruled that former Prime Minister Imran Khan would be granted protection from arrest as lawsuits against him increased.

The court's decision stipulated that Khan could not be detained for at least another week in seven separate cases related to clashes that erupted on March 18 between his supporters and police outside a court in Islamabad, where Khan was due to appear on corruption charges.

Khan was ousted by a no-confidence vote in parliament last April, and more than 100 lawsuits have since been filed against the 70-year-old opposition leader, including charges of terrorism, incitement to violence and graft.

Since his overthrow, Khan faces several legal measures, knowing that he is still very popular, and hopes to return to power in the legislative elections, which are scheduled to be held next October.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

France: Millions of people demonstrate against Macron's pension amendments... and strikes continue

    Wednesday, March 29, 2023   No comments

The French CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union said today, Tuesday, that two million French people participated in the demonstrations in various French regions.

Meanwhile, the French Ministry of the Interior reported that about 740,000 participated in France's protests today.

According to the Al-Mayadeen delegate to Paris, the demonstrations today included 240 cities, and some of them were crowded in major cities, such as Marseille and Lyon, while the French police spoke of about 100,000 demonstrators in Paris.

Our envoy pointed to the outbreak of confrontations with police officers during the Paris demonstrations, in light of the police's use of tear gas, pointing out that the French unions called for the eleventh day of "strike and demonstration", next Thursday.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Comparing Scenes from the Protests in the Garden of Prosperity and the Celebration of Nowruz in "Women-Oppressor" Iran

    Thursday, March 23, 2023   No comments

In this week’s media review report, we would like to highlight the disparity in media coverage of social events when they happen in the West versus when the happen in Muslim-majority countries. We propose this media review because the constant and consistent negative coverage of protests in Muslim-majority countries and radio-silence when violent protests and brutal police handling of protesters in the Garden of Prosperity must be challenged as a matter of equity and as a matter of freeing the human rights discourse from political manipulation.

When protests in Iran were instrumentalized to portray yet another government in yet another Muslim-majority country as authoritarian regime ruling over an Islamic society still in need of the paternal protection of the civilized world, the progressives and liberals in the West jumped on the bandwagon. How could they be wrong if someone from somewhere stated in some social media platform that Iran executed 14,000 protesters? Reflexively, even politicians joined in. The Canada’s prime minister amplified the post and condemned Iran for not respecting the rights of peaceful protests.

Here we are weeks deep into the many “peaceful” protests across Europe, and in France, especially, with scenes of heavily armed police violently clashing with unarmed protesters. Yet, not a single Western government called for an end to the violence and the use of force against peaceful protesters.

This is not about using one case of protesters and counter-protesters’ measures to legitimize police brutality against civilians in any country or in all country. It is about the incessant, constant, consistent, and overwhelming media stream portraying violence happening in a Muslim-majority country as a normal event suggesting that Muslims are of violent nature, and the total blackout and abysmal coverage of protests in the West and the violent handling of protests in the West. It is the overwhelming negative coverage of Muslim-majority countries, the absence of any images or stories that depict positive aspects in Muslim-majority countries, and the lack of coverage of the violence that happens in the West that provide a bigoted narrative, and it is this negative narrative that produce a draft of history that is deeply flawed and cruel to people of the Global South.

Here is a glimpse of the deliberate selective coverage: during the same time when Iranian men and women, yes women, were celebrating the new Persian; the streets of Paris and other major French cities were literally on fire. The police were beating, dragging, and arresting protesters. No word of concern for the use of excessive force was uttered by any Western leaders.

When Iranians protested the death of an Iranian woman, all Western leaders reacted; they introduced resolution of condemnation in world organizations, and they imposed sanctions on Iranian individuals and institutions. The world was told that Iran is no place for women to walk the streets without head coverings, and those who do risk arrest and death at the hand of the police. That is a damning narrative not just for Iran, but for Muslims in general.

But when there is evidence of Muslim women in Iran and elsewhere in Muslim-majority countries walking the streets, and celebrating holidays in public spaces wearing or not wearing a range of head coverings, such scenes are suppressed, because they provide a counter narrative to the one that has been portraying Muslims as "woman-oppressing" peoples.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Garden of Prosperity Today

    Thursday, March 16, 2023   No comments

Scenes not from the jungle; from the garden of prosperity; Paris today:

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Jordan: popular protests are escalating, civil disobedience is approaching, and security forces are mobilizing and arresting 44 people

    Saturday, December 17, 2022   No comments

Security authorities in Jordan have arrested 44 people who participated in the riots that erupted during protests over the rise in fuel prices in the kingdom, Jordan's Public Security Directorate announced in a statement published Saturday.

The Directorate said in its statement that it “dealt with riots in a number of regions of the Kingdom, and 44 people who participated in these acts were arrested in various regions,” explaining that “they will be referred to the competent authorities in addition to those who were arrested in the previous days,” without adding anything. details.

The Security Directorate added that it had "intensified its security deployment in the kingdom's governorates to ensure the enforcement of the rule of law and the preservation of citizens' security." At the same time, however, it indicated "a significant decline in the number and unity of riots from Thursday, especially in the southern governorates."

Since the beginning of this month, governorates in southern Jordan have witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, starting with truck drivers who were sometimes joined by taxi and public bus drivers.

Markets and shops were closed on Wednesday in Maan and Karak (about 114 km south of Amman) and Madaba Governorate (35 km south of Amman) in solidarity with this movement.

On Friday, the Public Security Directorate announced the death of Colonel Abdul Razzaq al-Dalabeh in southern Jordan, with a gunshot wound to the head while he was dealing with “riots,” during which an officer and a non-commissioned officer were wounded by gunshots, according to the directorate.

In its statement on Saturday, the Public Security Directorate indicated that the riots “were carried out by a group of vandals and outlaws in the Husseiniya area in Ma’an Governorate” (about 218 km south of Amman).

And she emphasized that “the investigations into the martyrdom of Colonel Al-Dalabeh are continuing, and will not stop until the perpetrator is arrested and handed over to the hands of justice so that he receives deterrent punishment, and we will not hesitate to protect lives, honor and property.”

On Friday, Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned the killing of the colonel, stressing that "we will not rest until the criminal receives his punishment before justice for his heinous crime."

In a statement on Friday, the notables and sons of Ma’an mourned Colonel Al-Dalabeh, stressing their “rejection and denunciation of any act outside the law.”

In its statement on Saturday, the Directorate called on "everyone to adhere to and stay away from riot sites and not to participate in them," expressing "thanks to all the citizens who cooperated with the Directorate and gathered around its men in rejection of the attacks and out of concern for the homeland."

Jordan is witnessing difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by foreign debts that exceeded fifty billion dollars and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governorates in southern Jordan have recently witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, which started with truck drivers a few days ago, leading to the closure of markets and shops, last Wednesday, in Ma’an, Karak and Madaba governorate, in solidarity with the protests.

Likewise, some other areas witnessed road closures with burning tires, in addition to quarrels between security forces and protesters, but they ended peacefully.

Currently, fuel prices in Jordan are nearly double what they were last year, especially diesel, which is the main fuel for trucks and buses, and kerosene, which is the main heating fuel for the poor.

A liter of "90 octane" gasoline is sold for 920 fils (about one and a half dollars), and "95 octane" for 1170 fils (1.6 dollars). As for a liter of diesel or diesel, it costs 895 fils (1.3 dollars), and kerosene costs 860 fils (1.2 dollars).

Jordan suffers from difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by the Corona pandemic, so the unemployment rate rose in 2021 to about 25%, according to official figures, while it rose among the youth category to 50%.

The poverty rate rose to 24%, and the public debt exceeded $47 billion, or more than 106% of the GDP.

The Jordanian government offered some solutions, including increasing shipping fees and distributing sums of money to the most affected families, but it seems that they were not sufficiently satisfactory to the protesters.

Gulf rulers signal their fears of similar protests in their countries by signaling to thier people to support the rulers of Jordan

Unlike their unconditional support to the violent protests in Iran, the Saudi rulers and their media platforms are expressing solidarity with the rulers of Jordan instead of supporting the legitimate demands of the protesters.

Gulf platforms interacted with the rapid events in Jordan, and street strikes and protests against the rise in fuel prices. Gulf activists wished Jordan safety, saying: Cool and peace, Jordan.

Saudi tweeters interacted with the incident of the killing of Jordanian Colonel Abd al-Razzaq al-Dalabeh in Ma'an Governorate at the hands of outlaws, and expressed their grief, and called on Jordanians to preserve their country and their monarchy, and to stand up to what they described as saboteurs, the same description used by the official Jordanian public security statement.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Demonstrations in Bangladesh calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the dissolution of Parliament

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022   No comments

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, demanding the dissolution of parliament in order to make room for new elections, and also the resignation of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid.

The mass protest in the capital on Saturday was organized by the opposition Bangladesh National Party, which accuses Hasina of failing to tackle soaring fuel prices and the cost of living.

The demonstration comes amid a wave of protests calling for Hasina to step down and calling for new elections.

Hasina responded by calling the opposition leaders "terrorists" and warning people not to allow the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, to return to power.

Several people were arrested in the run-up to Saturday's protest.

Police arrested two senior BNP leaders, including the party's general secretary, Mirza Alamgir, last Friday.

Authorities said Alamgir faces charges, without giving further information. At least one man was killed during clashes between protesters and police last Wednesday, when security forces fired tear gas to disperse people gathered in front of the National Party office in the capital.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Germany: We agree with America to shift focus with Iran from the nuclear file to issues of rights and to exert pressure on Tehran to stop repression

    Monday, November 21, 2022   No comments

Germany agrees with the United States in shifting its focus away from reviving the nuclear deal with Iran to supporting the Iranian people in the face of the country's violent crackdown on mass protests, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"We are indeed moving along the same tracks," the spokesman said at a routine government briefing.

"Currently, our focus is on supporting the Iranian people and putting pressure on the Iranian ruling regime to stop suppressing the rights of its people," he added.

This coordianted action seems to be in line with the US shift from reviving the nuclear deal it abondoned in 2018 to freeing Iran.

Germany, the state whose policy during the first half of the 20th century was the full extermination of the German Jews is now concerned for human rights in Muslim-majority countries.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Biden: "We Will Free Iran"; Raisi: "Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined to never become a milk cow."

    Friday, November 04, 2022   No comments

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden vowed to "liberate" Iran.

On Friday, a White House spokesman flet the need to clarify: President Joe Biden was expressing his solidarity with protesters in Iran by telling a crowd of his supporters, "We will liberate Iran."

White House national security spokesman John Kirby made the remarks to reporters a day after Biden made his comment at a rally in California.

On Friday, too, Iran's president said that the country had been freed by the 1979 Islamic revolution in response to a vow by US president Joe Biden to "free Iran". Ebrahim Raisi said: “Maybe he said this because of a lack of concentration...He said we aim to liberate Iran," 

“Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined not to become your captive again. We will never become a milk cow.”


Monday, August 22, 2022

Pakistan: Charges of terrorism against Imran Khan and prevents broadcasting of his speeches

    Monday, August 22, 2022   No comments

Pakistani authorities deploy the "terrorism" label to address political dissent, risking instability and further uncertainty.

On Monday, Pakistani police charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan with terrorism charges, who is leading popular demonstrations calling for early elections.

The former prime minister of Pakistan accused the government of briefly blocking YouTube in the country to prevent Pakistanis from listening live to his speech at a political rally on Sunday evening.

"The importing government blocked YouTube in the middle of my speech," Khan said in a tweet.

Demonstration in Pakistan against the continued detention of a leader in the "Insaf" party

Supporters of the Pakistan "Insaf" party led by Imran Khan demonstrated against the authority's continued detention of the party's leader, Shahbaz Gul, 10 days ago.

The demonstrators demanded the release of Shahbaz Gul, who is the deputy head of the party. Simultaneously, the local government in Punjab - led by allied with Imran Khan - issued an arrest warrant for 12 officials in the ruling party.

Saturday night's protest gathering was followed by the arrest of a prominent leader of the "Insaf Movement", who was accused by the authorities of making statements against the army on a TV channel whose broadcast was later suspended.

Criticism of the military establishment that has ruled Pakistan for nearly half of its 75-year history is a red line.

Asad Omar, a senior official in the "Insaf Movement", denounced the move by the media regulator to ban Khan's speeches. "Banning Imran Khan's speeches is another attempt to find an administrative solution to a political problem," he told AFP. He added that his party would file an appeal against the decision before the court.

Simultaneously, a decree was issued banning TV channels from broadcasting live speeches by former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The media regulator issued this decision against the background of a speech in which Khan criticized police and judicial officials after the arrest of one of his party leaders.

The authority said that Khan "is making baseless accusations and spreading hate speech," adding that "his provocative statements against state institutions and officers will cause disturbances - most likely - to public peace and tranquility."

Pakistan opposition warns Khan's arrest would cross 'red line' after being reported under anti-terror law

Pakistani opposition leaders warned Monday that the authorities would cross a "red line" if they arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan, after he was reported under the Anti-Terrorism Act over comments he made about the judiciary.

Since being ousted in a no-confidence vote in April, Khan has organized rallies across the country, warning state institutions including the military not to back the coalition government led by his longtime political rival Shahbaz Sharif.

Hundreds gathered outside Khan's home on Monday, apparently with the aim of preventing police access, but Khan has been facing a raft of charges for several months, and he has yet to be arrested.

For his part, former Information Minister Fouad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter, "Wherever you are, go to Bani Gala today and show solidarity with Imran Khan," referring to Khan's home. "Imran Khan is our red line," he added.

An initial police report was filed on Sunday as the first step in a process that could lead to formal charges and an arrest.

A light police presence was observed outside Khan's residence Monday, as about 500 supporters of his party gathered in the affluent suburb.

Muhammad Ayub said he traveled overnight from Peshawar in the northwest to be on site to show support for Khan.

"We will protest and block the roads if Khan is arrested," he told AFP.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said in a statement that the latest accusations against him were "frivolous".

"We have serious reservations about this politically motivated step, which leads to more instability in the country," he added.

Khan on Saturday criticized a judge responsible for keeping a party official in police custody, after party leaders said he was tortured in custody.

Khan's main goal is to hold an early general election before the expected date before October 2023, but the government has shown no indication that it is willing to go to the polls at a time when it is facing significant economic problems.

Since he was ousted from power by a vote of no-confidence last April, Imran Khan has organized a series of popular anti-government demonstrations.

The ban came into effect immediately on Saturday night, the same day Khan held a rally in the capital where he criticized police and judiciary officials over the arrest of one of his party leaders.

Khan remains popular among young people, with his speeches attracting the highest viewership ratings on television channels, while his highlights are widely shared on social media.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saudi youth agitate protesting lack of jobs and corruption; government restores perks to state employees to fend off unrest

    Thursday, April 27, 2017   No comments
Calls have been growing on social media for Saudi Arabia's jobless to protest on Sunday, after a similar appeal before the government

Demonstrations are banned in the conservative kingdom, and the previous calls for civic action led police to flood Riyadh on April 21.

Media access is also controlled, though Saudis are very active on social media including on Twitter, where many post anonymously with fabricated usernames.

Under the hashtag "Unemployed rally April 30", several Saudi Twitter users posted calls for demonstrations outside government employment offices on Sunday.

"Because of the April 21st movement, the benefits were returned, my brother citizen do not deprive yourself and come out on April 30, may God assist you to overcome your troubles," wrote one Twitter user under the name @Hussain_Khalid.

Another using the hashtag wrote "we are only looking for jobs," while another posted: "We're not Daesh, we're not with Iran, all we want is to be employed, nothing else."

The comment referred to Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran and the jihadist Islamic State group, known by the Arabic acronym Daesh.

A post from another user accused the government of spending money on projects abroad while it is "in deficit to the people" at home.

The new campaign appeared modelled on a similar movement on social media that had called for demonstrations last Friday over a range of political and economic issues.

There were no signs of major demonstrations on Friday and the Sabq online newspaper, which is close to authorities, reported that the day had passed quietly with no protests.

But on Saturday King Salman announced an end to austerity measures that Saudi authorities had imposed in September -- including a freeze on salaries and limited benefits for civil servants -- as part of austerity measures following a collapse in global oil prices since 2014.
restored benefits to civil servants last weekend.

Government agents and government supporters, too, took to social media to talk up the ruling family leadership and connection to the public.

Sample of the pro- and anti-government posts on social media:


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