A devastatingly important question posed, interestingly enough, by Ian Black, the Guardian’s Middle East editor:
‘Mummy, why did everyone forget about Syria when Gaza started?’
It’s a truism that news organisations and audiences alike struggle to cope with more than one major international crisis at a time: if the war in Gaza wasn’t a big enough story, then the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine was almost unbearable overload. But what about Syria, where 1,700 people are reported to have died in the last 10 days alone?
Lets have a look at the facts:
In May, the death toll in Syria was counted at 160,000 in two years of fighting. Although this figure has most certainly increased since then.
The death toll in Syria’s three-year conflict has climbed past 160,000, an activist group said Monday, a harrowing figure that reflects the relentless bloodletting in a civil war that appears no closer to being resolved.
Israeli Settlers in the West Bank and the rise of Settler Terrorism remains one the worst incontestable human rights violations against the Palestinians.
But the Land-grabbing by Muslim Settlers of the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh remains unrecognised by Muslim Britons, let alone protested. Bengali settlement of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is nothing but government sponsored ethnic cleansing of traditional indigenous lands. Unless and until it is stopped, Bangladeshi Muslims can’t protest same sort of racist policy in Israel and then watch silently as the Bangladeshi government commits the same crime.
THE government is preparing a list of Bengali settlers for rehabilitation in Babuchara and Sajek, where its decision to build two Battalions Headquarters for Border Guard Bangladesh sparked public protests.
Reliable sources have said a total of 30 thousand Bengali settler families will be rehabilitated in Babuchara under Khagrachari district and in Sajek of Rangamati district under a government-sponsored scheme.
Karima Bennoune shares four powerful stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities — refusing to allow the faith they love to become a tool for crime, attacks and murder. These personal stories humanize one of the most overlooked human-rights struggles in the world.
This kind of thing would probably go unnoticed, unreported and unchecked in Qatar when perpetrated by Qataris but here in the UK it goes to an Employment Tribunal. Thankfully, in civilised countries, the perps are tried for wrongful dismissal and racist behaviour.
A British receptionist was allegedly called a “black slave” and hit by a senior official at the Qatari Embassy in London in a sustained campaign of racial bullying.
Mohamoud Ahmed, 73, was employed at the gas-rich Gulf state’s embassy in Mayfair for almost 20 years and also acted as a security guard.
Somali-born Mr Ahmed, who has lived in the UK for more than 40 years and is a British citizen, claims he was referred to in Arabic as a “donkey” and a “dog” by the head of the embassy’s medical department Abdullah Al-Ansari.
Tell MAMA UK, the public service for measuring and monitoring anti-Muslim bigotry has published a clarification statement which proves what an excellent organisation it is. I’m taking the liberty to reproduce it here:
It goes without saying that we at TELL MAMA think anti-Muslim prejudice is a very serious issue. We have seen the impacts on victims of anti-Muslim prejudice first hand and particularly on women and young people. We therefore take all reports of anti-Muslim prejudice very seriously. We also do our very best on the limited resources that we have, to offer the right kind of support for those who have suffered from discrimination on the basis of their faith. However, our work is currently not being helped by those who seek to abuse this social issue for their own political or egotistical ends.
Sectarianism happens to be all the rage in the Arab world at the moment. Today and as it has been for the last 1,400 years.
Now we have British Muslim kids, radicalised on a diet of on-line and in-mosque hate speakers, flocking to Syria in their hundreds to join forces with ISIS to kill Syrian and Iraqi Muslims in their own lands as part of a Jihad to establish an exclusively Sunni caliphate.
And here in the video is an Iraqi politician exposing the deep-set cracks in so-called Pan-Arab unity and the future of peaceful coexistence of Sunni and Shia in Iraq.
We can coexist and resolve disagreements peacefully With the Shiites on the other hand I cannot resolve matters peacefully The past eleven years have provided sufficient proof of that.
Personally I care about Mosul more than I care about Palestine, Saudi Arabia or Egypt. This is only natural. I love my son more than I love yours. I love myself more than I love you
Banned in 7 countries for being a Muslim!
The Bangladesh authorities’ have expelled the Qatar-based, Jamaican-born “Salafi revert”, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. Held up as a “Sheikh”, Philips has a huge on-line following and has already been banned from the US, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Kenya.
On June 24, Dr Philips was scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Allah” at the United International University Auditorium at Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi.
“Bilal Philips cannot deliver such lectures as he came on tourist visa”, said a senior police officer of special branch who wished to remain anonymous.
The officer who is responsible for giving arrival clearance to the foreign visitors did not comment on how or why Dr Philips got a visa in the first place.
By Leesa Gazi
Writer, Actor & Founder Member of Komola Collective
It is claimed that nearly 200,000 — 400,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured by the Pakistani Army as a war strategy in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
In 2010, I filmed 21 of these Birangona women’s first-hand accounts at a centre near Dhaka. Birangona means ‘Brave Woman’.
After the interview one woman said, ” what’s the point of telling these stories? Nothing happens.’ And it is true nothing has happened because no one wants to tell their stories.
Post-war Bangladeshi society and successive governments haven’t been able to figure out what to do with them. Although the first leader of Bangladesh tried to rehabilitate these women by giving them the name ‘Birangona’ as a mark of respect and recognition, society rejected them anyway and denied their existence. They were forgotten and so were their stories.
Ex-Muslims and progressive Muslim secularists face the double-bind of being attacked by right-wing Islamists and other Islamic supremacists, who will refer them to as traitors to their religious identity and dangle the crime and punishment of apostasy over their heads. While at the same time they are attacked by dead-ender bigots for being “cultural Muslims” and face the risk of having their positions appropriated by the right wing and anti-Muslim bigots.
A superb interview (in VICE magazine) of Hiba Kisht aka Marwa Berro addresses this question.
VICE: As with many endeavours that progressive Muslims or ex-Muslims might engage in, there is always the possibility that it might be used to advance a right-wing agenda or even promote outright anti-Muslim bigotry in the US and abroad. What are your thoughts on this?
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict which took place at ExCel London has just ended this afternoon. A silent protest at the Summit, jointly organised by Komola Collective and the ICSF, highlighted the plight of the silenced birangona women, whose stories could not be shared in the official programme of the “Summit” on sexual violence in London. They posed this single question as the fulcrum of their silent protest:
Where Are Bangladesh’s Rape Survivors At This Summit?
Silent demand for an answer to an obvious question
In the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, more than 200,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured by the Pakistani Army and their local collaborators as part of the Pakistani Army’s war strategy. They are the Birangona Women. These women were then ignored by a society where rape is considered to be a source of shame for the victims. So the plight of these women goes untold.