Posting on the fly during a slow period. Home at 4am. Yay!
Posting on the fly during a slow period. Home at 4am. Yay!
Asif Mohiuddin (left) is one of Bangladesh's most famous bloggers. As an open atheist in a mainly Islamic country, he has been attacked and thrown in jail for his beliefs. DW caught up with him after his recent move to Germany.
In addition to being an active blogger, Asif Mohiuddin co-founded the Shahbag movement in Bangladesh, which has been arguing for the strict division of state and religion in the country, as well as justice for victims of Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.
Mohiuddin recently arrived in Germany on a one-year scholarship. He says that living in Germany now means he can walk the streets safely. But still, he says, he has to keep his location secret.
DW: What did you write on your blog that was so offensive? Can you give us examples of what it might be that Islamists found so blasphemous?
Asif Mohiuddin: I wrote a blog entry about women's rights which caused problems. In the Koran, Chapter 4, Verse 34, it says that a man can beat his wife, if she doesn't obey her husband. I criticized that because in modern civilization there is no place for hitting anybody. Also, according to Sharia law, if someone leaves Islam, then that person has to be killed. I don't think that is a good thing, so I criticized that. And that is why people got angry.
I also criticized leaders of Islamic political parties, and one of them even asked that my name be put on a list. He mentioned my name a few times and said that I should be killed, because I criticized his ideology. I also criticized the Bible and Hindu religious books, the parts that were not compatible with modern society...
The Swiss Federal Council decided last September to take in around 500 refugees within three years. The refugees are selected from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Those most vulnerable - especially children, single women, the elderly and the sick will benefit from the so-called resettlement program.
At the UN donor conference earlier, Switzerland also promised to provide humanitarian aid worth 30 million Swiss francs ($34 million US).
But this is not enough for the Caritas Agency. In an open letter published on Tuesday to President Didier Burkhalter it wants increased funding for Syrians displaced by the war. Switzerland needs to provide 100 million francs ($113m).
This increase was necessary in view of the misery of the refugees, writes Caritas. Switzerland must stand with their “humanitarian tradition” in this responsibility. Diplomatic efforts such as the Geneva conference on Syria, where Switzerland acted as the hostess of mediation talks are not enough.
As a UN member, the country must “insist with determination that the killing of civilians cease and aid agencies have access to the needy.”
Finally Caritas is firmly of the opinion that the officials in Switzerland so far have shown little generosity when it comes to the intake of Syrian refugees. The planned intake of 500 refugees should therefore be increased to 2016 to 5,000 people.
Switzerland has taken a much higher number of Hungarian, Czech and Indochinese refugees without any major problems, the Agency claims.
As the Swiss NGO points out in its open letter, the plight of refugees in the scarred by civil war is huge. During the period of three years, 2.6 million people have fled from Syria into neighboring countries. More than 6.5 million people are displaced inside the country. Overall, half of the Syrian population is dependent on humanitarian aid.
Since the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in March 2011, the federal humanitarian aid for those displaced by war has been a total of 55 million francs ($55m). Caritas emergency relief projects in favor of the Syrian refugees in the amount of 7.9 million Swiss francs ($8.8m) have spent in the past two years.
The Swiss people have shown interest in increased funding in recent years. According to Caritas Swiss NGOs have received private donations worth some 16.5 million francs ($18.5m). (in German)
* * *
(1 Swiss franc = $1.13 US) Just keep those Muslims from Syria coming in. They will integrate easily, just as well as Hungarians or Czechs!
Having spent a fortune building a prestigious and highly-acclaimed Islamic wing to the Louvre museum, the French ministry of Culture has now cancelled plans to build a much-needed wing dedicated to Eastern Christianity, in particular the Byzantine Empire.
This story has not received the full media coverage it deserves...
...He tried to pee in a chow mein and is chatting to himself."
(Language warning, you pansies.)
The proportion of Turkey’s child population was almost 30% in 2013, with more than 1 million new babies born in one year, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUİK) on April 22.
When the proportion of children in the total population is compared with the proportions of European Union member countries, Turkey’s child population rate - at 29.7% in 2013 - is the highest of all. Children make up just 16% of the aging German population, 22.2% of the French population, 21.2% of the British population, and 20.2% of the Swedish...
...a propaganda film disguised as a documentary by Ken (Civil War) Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon. This has attained instant classic status and is routinely shown to impressionable school children, the latter-day, non-fiction equivalent of To Kill a Mockingbird.
In the course of my research, I came across this remarkable discussion of the Central Park 5 case by legendary New York City prosecutor, defense attorney, crime fiction and true crime author Robert K. Tanenbaum, posted on his website in April 2013, but as far as I know unreported.
I strongly recommend it to VDARE.com readers.
Few divides are as impossible to bridge as those of religion. You either believe or you don’t.
When it comes to Islam, non-Muslims are expected to take its goodwill on faith. If you believe your eyes and ears, Islam and violence go together like peanut butter and jelly. But if you believe Muslims and their spin doctors with academic degrees, Muslims are the victims of other religions...
The Supreme Court has issued its ruling today in the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The ruling could signal that the days of race-based affirmative action preferences in college admissions are numbered.
It was a 6-2 ruling, with the majority upholding a state-wide ban on racial preferences passed by Michigan voters in 2006. That ban was narrowly overturned by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012. The ruling today represents yet another reversal.
Barack Obama waited nine months before replacing the last U.S. ambassador to Canada. The post was empty, and Obama just didn’t care.
He doesn’t much like Stephen Harper – compare Obama’s icy body language towards Harper, to Obama’s deep bow when he met the Saudi king, or his high fives with the Hugo Chavez, the late ruler of Venezuela.
Don’t feel singled out. That’s how Obama treats many of America’s traditional allies. He spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. The White House's bust of Winston Churchill was returned to the United Kingdom when Obama became president.
A British woman has been arrested and is facing deportation in Sri Lanka over a Buddha tattoo on her arm.
Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was taken into custody at the airport in Colombo, after she arrived from India.
Ms Coleman, who has a tattoo of a Buddha seated on a lotus flower on her right arm, was arrested for ‘hurting others' religious feelings,’ a police spokesman said.
The Holocaust, as you’ll probably know, produced some of history’s worst human beings. The thing is, though, besides those who made it into your textbooks—the Hitlers, Görings and Himmlers—many escaped unscathed, free to live out the rest of their days pretending to be mild-mannered expats who’d moved to Argentina simply because they preferred empanadas and polo to bratwurst and car manufacturing.
One SS member to ultimately escape prosecution was an Austrian concentration camp doctor called Aribert Heim, who later became known as “Doctor Death.” The atrocities committed in the Nazi camps have their very own scale of horror, and Heim sits somewhere near the top (his trademark was injecting gasoline into healthy people’s hearts and keeping their skulls as trophies). Despite his horrific crimes, he managed to mostly evade the authorities, and when they did finally catch up with him, in the early 60s, he had already fled Germany.
CHIBOK, Nigeria — Some 234 girls are missing from the northeast Nigerian school attacked last week by Islamic extremists, significantly more than the 85 reported by education officials, parents told the state governor Monday.
A family is suing a New Jersey school district, contending that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is discriminatory toward atheist children.
The lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District was filed in state court last month and announced Monday by the American Humanist Association.
The group says the phrase, added in 1954, “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.”
The anonymous plaintiffs say those two words violate the state constitution.
According to the suit, the humanist group complained to school officials in February, but the district would not change the pledge...
You can’t talk about the possibility that black people did anything to deserve these stereotypes. Actually, you can’t even talk about black people. So, we’ll do what they do in Texas and the military. We’ll call them “Canadians.” It’s a lot easier this way.
If you’re "Canadian" and you’re being looked at suspiciously, how about you get mad at the Canadians who created this real life possibility? If a woman grabs her purse on the elevator because you’re Canadian, get mad at the disproportionate number of Canadians who steal purses.
Did you get stopped in your fancy car because you’re Canadian? How about you take it up with the Canadian drug dealers who taught the cops it’s a good bet to pull them over.
Jay Z bitches about cops pulling him over but he also brags about his life as a crack dealer. I guess his beef is that the cops pulled him over too late? (...)
As Patton Oswalt was recently attacked for saying, “Political correctness is a war on noticing.”
The obscenity of roughing up a retiree in the sacred search for lost arrowheads reminded me very much of a similar atrocity that was committed in Kentucky during the early 1990s.
Descendants of naturalist painter John James Audubon owned several heirlooms which had been leased for a nominal amount to a museum in his name, one being an original oil rendition of the American Bald Eagle.
Yet rather than being assessed the pennies’ cost of paint and cloth which might be justifiably totaled, Audubon’s great-great-great granddaughters faced a tax bill of over $750,000.
Needless to say, for ordinary people of middle-class means this sum was outrageous, and the collection and canvas were forfeited to the state. In frontier vernacular, some say the granddaughters’ birthright was simply stolen.
Kathy, I just read your hilarious and insightful e-book. Brilliantly funny! And informative! (Who knew about "dino-porn"?)
I loved its laugh-a-minute pace and punch.
I see now that you are a kind of "otherkin" yourself -- Mark Steyn's lost twin trapped inside a short woman's body. Seriously, it's no secret why we're all fans of Mark; now I see why Mark is such a devoted fan of yours. I am too.
You're a treasure. xx Barb
Hilarious catch by Twitchy:
WASHINGTON—A splintered Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 6-2 that states may end racial preferences without violating the U.S. Constitution.
The case came from Michigan, which in 2006 passed a voter initiative ending racial preferences. A federal appeals court had struck down the measure, finding that it served to disadvantage minorities in the political process.
That decision was widely expected to fall, and it did on Tuesday without a single rationale from the Supreme Court.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a plurality including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, said the case wasn't about resolving the debate over affirmative action, but rather "who may resolve it." He wrote the Constitution doesn't forbid voters from ending the practice, which was instituted by officials at the University of Michigan and other state agencies.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, filed a 58-page dissent. Justice Elena Kagan was recused from the case.
The University of Michigan has been a frequent battleground over affirmative action. In 2003, a narrowly divided court upheld the practice at the flagship university's law school but struck down the method it employed for undergraduate admissions for making race too dominant a factor.
kidnapped from the Tunisian embassy in Libya was seen sobbing in a video released on Monday by a jihadist group claiming his capture.
The hostage, Mohammad ben Sheikh, is seen calling on Tunisia’s president to help rescue him from his plight as he cries the five minute video posted to social networking sites. Sheikh is being held by a largely unknown group calling themselves Shabab al-Tawhid, according to Agence France-Presse.
“Mr. President, why do you want to deprive me of life?.. There are no negotiations, they will not release me,” he says.
“Mr. President, negotiate with them. I want to return to Tunisia. They can kill me at any time.”
At the end of the video, the captors, in a message to the Tunisian government, claim: “As you imprison ours, we imprison yours. As you kill ours, we kill yours.”
Authorities in Tunis are demanding the release of Libyans sentenced for their role in a 2011 “terrorist operation” in which two police officers died...
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April 22nd is the day when President Obama and the rest of the gang demonstrate their commitment to saving the planet by flying in to plant a tree somewhere.
And say what you like but, when you're looking for fellows who know how to dig a huge hole, Obama and Harry Reid are pretty much at the top of the list.
My township in New Hampshire is 90 per cent forested, but you can never have too many trees, so on Earth Day I always like to plant a couple more, get the tree cover in my town up to 97, 98 per cent, whatever it takes to send climate change into reverse.
Of course, it's always a big pain in the neck the morning after Earth Day, when the holiday's over, and it's time to take down the trees. So these days I generally just plant artificial trees with the nice silvery tinselly branches, and then you can just take them down and put 'em in the attic till next year's Earth Day.
Even when merely striding cockily down a sidewalk (then dodging machine gun fire), Cagney’s background as a professional dancer was evident in almost every film he made, not just in Yankee Doodle Dandy. His sharp, frugal gestures and bits of business also live up to Cabane’s bonsai tree ideal.
(When you learn that Malcolm McDowell based his performance as “Alex” on Cagney’s screen persona, you never watch A Clockwork Orange the same way.)
We are often surprised to discover how short certain charismatic performers really are, or were. (I still refuse to accept that Freddy Mercury was anything less than 6’ 1”.) The bantamweight Cagney, on the other hand, always seemed short—but it didn’t matter. That alone places him in an even higher stratum of cool, one occupied by a very few, including Cagney’s rival, Humphrey Bogart.
Other than being shortish, Bogart’s persona overlaps little with Cagney’s. Contra Cabane, Bogart’s characters, however tough they are (or think they are) have more tics than a lice-infested kindergarten nerd.
Bogart rarely stops scratching his head, readjusting some article of clothing, shifting in his chair, or doing those weird things with his mouth.
Yet, were you to ask a random selection of fairly cultured individuals which of these two men was the “coolest,” Bogart would certainly win.
No one would describe it as subtle. One UKIP poster appearing on billboards ahead of next month’s EU elections shows a workman sitting on a street begging. The caption: “EU policy at work. British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour.”
UKIP predicted a storm from the “chattering classes” and it duly came. “A disgrace” and “disgusting” were two of the more printable words bandied about on Twitter. Representatives of the main parties joined in the attacks. Yet there, in the campaign and the response, the opening and attempted shutting of the debate, we see a truth ducked and the serious questions avoided.
When it comes to immigration there is one undeniable fact: a chasm has grown between what the public want and what our politicians promise, let alone do. A British Social Attitudes Survey in January found that 77% of the public would like immigration to be reduced. The days in which this could be portrayed as barely sublimated bigotry are past. A majority of first and second- generation migrants (60%) agree that migration into the UK is too high. While the public are not opposed to immigration, all polls show that they are angry about the scale of immigration that has occurred in recent years and especially the low-skill immigration that has soared thanks to the EU’s control of our border policy.
Ordinarily the mainstream parties would plug this divide but Labour oversaw the fastest and largest wave of immigration in this country’s history. The coalition, meanwhile, has talked tough but largely failed. Is it any wonder that so many disillusioned Labour, Conservative and first-time voters are willing to try the untested UKIP rather than the provenly failed main parties?
If the political class don’t like the UKIP posters then there is a way to deal with it. It is not to critique the posters but rather to address the facts they speak to. There is an urgent need to take back control of our borders from the EU and bring immigration down to sustainable levels. If the mainstream parties do not do so, then mass migration may prove as damaging to the political class as it has been to the lowest-paid members of the labour force.
Some people’s GLEN CAMPBELL (born 1938) is the one who sang “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Mine is the one who sang anonymous lead on the Sagittarius single “My World Fell Down”; who made Gentle on My Mind, a flawless construction of rural humor and Orbisonian agony that is also a concept album on the theme of manhood; and who at his 1966–70 best was a vocalist of genius.NEXT: One of the great modern recordings -- of one of the least promising song concepts ever. (Although the schmaltzy strings seem like they were stuck in to make the recording more radio-friendly.)
“What I was really trying to say was, you can see someone working in construction or working in a field, a migrant worker or a truck driver, and you may think you know what’s going on inside him, but you don’t. You can’t assume that just because someone’s in a menial job that they don’t have dreams … or extraordinary concepts going around in their head, like ‘I need you more than want you; and I want you for all time.’ You can’t assume that a man isn’t a poet. And that’s really what the song is about.”From the comments:
The lineman loves the girl with a wholehearted and gentlemanly love, but she has married someone else. The giant landscape he works in is outdone by the immense emptiness inside him. There is a cruel irony in his job being to keep everyone else connected when he himself is utterly cut off, isolated and alone in the world. You can sense the defeat in all this. A strong, honorable man doing his best to keep going when his life is basically gone. He is somewhere between a man and a ghost. Small wonder that people should see a tragic weirdness in the story.
It is one thing to say that speech comes with consequences, but I’m not sure anyone signed up for the idea that a single ill-judged tweet or private remark could cost them their job.
...was actually taken in 1952, not 1969...
By the 1969 river fire, the image was far more threatening than the actual event. (…) the dependence upon visual imagery is a kind of nostalgia masquerading as political strategy.
Al Qaeda's chief bombmaker is believed to have been killed in an ambush by U.S- backed special forces in Yemen.
A 4x4 vehicle, believed to be carrying Ibrahim al-Asiri, 32, mastermind of the 'underwear bomb plot', was engaged in a gun battle with special forces, dropped in by helicopter.
Witnesses have described seeing soldiers take up position in the road, waiting for the vehicle to pass before opening fire.
Labour MP said determined group is trying to change schools 'by stealth'
Caught on camera: Moment Roma gipsy cashpoint thieves swarm around tourist couple in Paris and take their money
TORONTO - A “progress report” issued by the Liberals says middle and lower income Ontarians are better off after 11 years of their government.
The international edition of today's New York Times is entertaining if you examine pages eight and nine together...