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Syria – Features

Cartoons of the prophet muhammed pbuh

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By Aayesha J Soni

The situation concerning the drawing and publishing of cartoons of the prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H) refer. It is an extremely emotional issue which seems to be coming up too frequently in recent times. However, whenever it does come up I am always left feeling a little more confused about our world and human nature.

These cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H) are published in the name of freedom of expression. They are published with the view by many that circulating them is a great victory for democracy and the epitome of freedom in all aspects of our lives. By doing this act we are led to believe that we can now say that we truly exist in a world where we have the right to live as we please, do as we will and say what we think. But why, I still cannot understand? How is it that an act which intentionally aims to hurt another person’s feeling and personal beliefs can be considered a triumph?

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After the Isaraeli flotilla incidentTurkey is the new palestinian champion

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By Alastair Crooke

(source: Afflicts Forum)

“This is language that we have not heard since the time of Gamal Abdul Nasser.” Thus wrote the influential chief editor of Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fiery response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza flotilla – adding that such “manly” positions and rhetoric had “disappeared from the dictionaries of our Arab leaders (since the demise of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser).” He lamented that “Arab regimes now represent the only friends left to Israel.”

There is no doubt that it is President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Nasser’s successor, to whom Abdel Bari Atwan principally refers; and there is no doubt, too, that the “flotilla affair” marks a watershed moment for Egypt – and to a lesser extent for Saudi Arabia.

Even the notoriously tin ear of President Mubarak to his own people’s sympathy for the Palestinian cause in Gaza could not fail to hear the grinding of the tectonic plates of Middle East change. Even Mubarak has felt obliged to respond to the Israeli assault. He ordered the immediate opening of the Egyptian crossing into Gaza.

What we are witnessing is another step – perhaps crucial – in the shifting strategic balance of power in the Middle East. The cause of the Palestinians is gradually passing out of the hands of Mubarak and King Abdullah bin Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. It is the leaders of Iran and Turkey, together with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who recognize the winds of change. Mubarak appears increasingly isolated and is cast as Israel’s most assiduous collaborator. Here in the region, it is often as not the Egyptian embassies that are the butt of popular demonstrations.

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Fighting talk the new propaganda

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By Robert Fisk

(source: The Wisdom Fund)

Following the latest in semantics on the news? Journalism and the Israeli government are in love again. It’s Islamic terror, Turkish terror, Hamas terror, Islamic Jihad terror, Hezbollah terror, activist terror, war on terror, Palestinian terror, Muslim terror, Iranian terror, Syrian terror, anti-Semitic terror…

But I am doing the Israelis an injustice. Their lexicon, and that of the White House most of the time and our reporters’ lexicon, is the same. Yes, let’s be fair to the Israelis. Their lexicon goes like this: Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror.

How many times did I just use the word "terror"? Twenty. But it might as well be 60, or 100, or 1,000, or a million. We are in love with the word, seduced by it, fixated by it, attacked by it, assaulted by it, raped by it, committed to it. It is love and sadism and death in one double syllable, the prime time-theme song, the opening of every television symphony, the headline of every page, a punctuation mark in our journalism, a semicolon, a comma, our most powerful full stop. "Terror, terror, terror, terror". Each repetition justifies its predecessor.

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Us fear factory kills free speech

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Intimidating Supporters of Palestine

By Yvonne Ridley

(source: Information Clearing)

America is still embarrassed by the infamous McCarthy Hearings which ruined the lives of thousands of innocents during the ifties. Anyone then, suspected of being linked to communism was arrested, interrogated and either imprisoned or forced to give names of others suspected of communist tendencies.

And so the fear and intimidation spread like a great plague across the USA. Names were blacklisted, careers and lives ruined as the authorities ruthlessly traded on peoples’ fears, paranoia and weaknesses.With little or no evidence people were found guilty and anyone daring to question any of the actions and the wild accusations also had suspicion cast upon them. But hey folks, that was back in the Fifties and various administrations resolved the same insane hysteria, hatred and fears would never again cast a dark shadow across the Land of the Free.

Sadly, the Salem-style witch hunts have returned, but the new villains are no longer communists. The Red Scare has been replaced by those who shout Viva Palestina!

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