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Archive for July 4th, 2008

Ahmadiyah Menodai Islam Melanggar Undang-undang

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem


In the Name of God, the
Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Ahmadiyah Menodai Islam Melanggar Undang-undang

Oleh Hartono Ahmad Jaiz dan M Amin Djamaluddin

1. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908M) mengaku diutus Allah (sesudah Nabi Muhammad saw):

Sesungguhnya
Kami mengutus Ahmad kepada kaumnya, akan tetapi mereka berpaling dan
mereka berkata: seorang yang amat pendusta lagi sombong

اِنَّا اَرْسَلْنَا اَحْمَدَ اِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَاَعْرَضُوْا وَقَالُوْا كَذَّابٌ اَشِرٌ

(Tadzkirah, halaman 385).

Bandingkan dengan ayat Al-Qur’an:

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنْذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ(1)

Sesungguhnya
Kami telah mengutus Nuh kepada kaumnya (dengan memerintahkan): “Berilah
kaummu peringatan sebelum datang kepadanya azab yang pedih”. (QS Nuh:
1).

Dalam
Tadzkirah itu, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah berdusta, mengatas namakan
Allah telah mengutus Ahmad (yaitu Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) kepada kaumnya.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah berdusta, mengangkat dirinya sebagai Rasul
utusan Allah, disejajarkan dengan Nabi Nuh as yang telah Allah utus.
Hingga di ayat-ayat bikinan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad dibuat juga seruan dusta
atas nama Allah agar Mirza Ghulam Ahmad membuat perahu.

2. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mengaku diutus Allah untuk seluruh manusia (sesuadah Nabi Muhammad saw):

قُلْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّوْنَ اللهَ فَاتَّبِعُوْ نِىْ يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللهُ – وَقُلْ يَآاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اِنِّى رَسُوْلُ اللهِ اِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيْعًا (352)

Artinya:”

“Katakanlah
(wahai Ahmad): Jika kamu (benar-benar) mencintai Allah, ikutilah aku,
niscaya Allah akan mengasihimu – dan katakanlah: “Hai manusia
sesungguhnya aku adalah utusan Allah kepadamu semua”. (Tadzkirah hal :
352)

Catatan dari LPPI (lembaga Penelitian dan Pengkajian Islam) Jakarta :

Ayat-ayat ini adalah rangkaian dari beberapa ayat suci Al-Qur’an, yaitu :

Surat Ali Imran ayat 31

Surat Al-A’raf ayat 158

Semua
ayat ini dibajak dengan perubahan, penambahan, dan pengurangan, lalu
dirangkaikan menjadi ayat-ayat dalam Kitab Suci Ahmadiyah “TADZKIRAH”.

3. Ghulam Ahmad membajak ayat-ayat Al-Qur’an tentang Nabi Isa as namun dimaksudkan untuk diri Mirza.

وَ
لِنَجْعَلَهُ اَيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَكَانَ
اَمْرًامَقْضِيًّا – يَاعِيْسَى اِنِّى مُتَوَفِّيْكَ وَرَافِعُكَ اِلَىَّ
وَ مُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِيْنَ
اتَّبَعُوْكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِيُنَ كَفَرُوْا اِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ –
ثُلَّةٌ مِنَ اْلاَوَّ لِيْنَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِنَ اْلآَخِرِيْنَ (396)

Artinya:

“Dan
agar Kami dapat menjadikannya suatu tanda bagi manusia dan sebagai
rahmat dari Kami, dan hal itu adalah suatu perkara yang sudah
diputuskan – Wahai Isa, sesungguhnya Aku akan menyampaikan kamu kepada
akhir ajalmu dan mengangkat kamu kepada-Ku dan mensucikanmu dari
orang-orang yang kafir dan menjadikan orang-orang yang mengikuti kamu
diatas orang-orang yang kafir hingga hari kiamat

Yaitu Segolongan besar dari orang-orang yang terdahulu, dan segolongan
besar (pula) dari orang yang kemudian”. (Tadzkirah hal : 396)

Catatan dari LPPI :

Ayat-ayat ini adalah rangkaian dari beberapa ayat suci Al-Qur’an, yaitu :

Surat Maryam ayat 21

Surat Ali Imran ayat 55

Surat Al-Waqi’ah ayat 39-40

Semua
ayat ini dibajak dengan perubahan, penambahan, dan pengurangan, lalu
dirangkaikan menjadi ayat-ayat dalam Kitab Suci Ahmadiyah “TADZKIRAH”.

4.
Ahmadiyah Memiliki Kitab Suci sendiri namanya Tadzkirah, yaitu kumpulan
wahyu suci (wahyu muqoddas). Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mengaku diberi wahyu
Allah
:

اِنَّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالاَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا قُلْ اِنَّمَا اَناَ بَشَرٌ يُّوْحَى اِلَيَّ َانَّمَآ اِلَهُكُمْ اِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ (245)

Artinya:

“Bahwasannya
langit dan bumi itu keduanya adalah sesuatu yang padu,kemudian Kami
pisahkan antara keduanya – katakanlah sesungguhnya aku (Ahmad) ini
manusia, yang diwahyukan kepadaku bahwasannya Tuhan kalian adalah Tuhan yang Maha Esa”.
(Tadzkirah halaman : 245)

Ayat-ayat
bikinan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad itu dicomot dari sana-sini dengan mengadakan
pengurangan dari ayat-ayat suci Al-Qur’an, dan penyambungan yang
semau-maunya yaitu :

Surat Al-Anbiya’ ayat 30

Surat Al-Kahfi ayat 110

{أَوَلَمْ يَرَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْآ أَنَّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالاَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا}

Artinya:

“Dan
apakah orang-orang yang kafir tidak mengetahui bahwasannya langit dan
bumi itu keduanya adalah suatu yang padu, kemudian Kami pisahkan antara
keduanya”. (Q.S. Al-Anbiya : 30)

{قُلْ اِنَّمَآ اَناَ بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوْحَى اِلَيَّ أَ نَّمَآ اِلَهُكُمْ اِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ}

Artinya:

“Katakanlah:
“Sesungguhnya aku ini hanyalah seorang manusia seperti kamu, yang
diwahyukan kepadaku: Bahwa sesungguhnya Tuhan kamu itu adalah Tuhan
Yang Esa”. (Q.S. Al-Kahfi : 110)

Semua
ayat ini dibajak dengan perubahan maksud, pengurangan, lalu
dirangkaikan menjadi ayat-ayat dalam Kitab Suci Ahmadiyah “TADZKIRAH”.
Ketika ayat Al-Qur’an bicara qul (katakanlah)
di situ maksudnya adalam Nabi Muhammad saw. Sehingga manusia yang
diberi wahyu dalam ayat Al-Qur’an itu adalah Nabi Muhammad saw. Namun
secara licik, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah memlintir maksud ayat Al-Qur’an
itu ketika dia masukkan ke dalam apa yang dia klaim sebagai wahyu untuk
dirinya, maka manusia yang diberi wahyu itu adalah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Ini jelas-jelas Mirza Ghulam Ahmad telah berdusta atas nama Allah swt,
sekaligus menyelewengkan dan menodai kitab suci umat Islam, Al-Qur’anul
Karim, dengan cara keji.

5. Merusak Aqidah/ keyakinan Islam:


a. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mengaku bahwa Allah itu berasal dari Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

اَنْتَ مِنِّىْ وَاَناَ مِنْكَ

Kamu berasal dari-Ku dan Aku darimu. (Tadzkirah, halaman 436).


b. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, mengaku berkedudukan sebagai anak Allah. Ini Allah dianggap punya anak:

اَ نْتَ مِنِّى بِمَنْزِلَةِ وَلَدِىْ

Kamu di di sisi-Ku pada ke-dudukan anak-Ku. (Tadzkirah halaman 636).



6. Menganggap semua orang Islam yang tidak mempercayai Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sebagai Rasul adalah musuh. Kitab Tadzkirah halaman 402:

سَيَقُوْلُ الْعَدُوُّ لَسْتَ مُرْسَلاً

Musuh akan berkata: kamu (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) bukanlah orang yang diutus (Rasul). (Tadzkirah halaman 402)


7. Selain golongannya maka dianggap kafir dan dilaknat.


Tadzkirah, halaman 748-749:

Laknat Allah ditimpakan atas orang yang kufur

لَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلَى الَّذِىْ كَفَرَ

Kamu adalah Imam yang di-berkahi, Laknat Allah ditimpa-kan atas orang yang kufur

َانْتَ اِمَامٌ مُّبَارَكٌ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلَى مَنْ كَفَرَ

Kamu adalah Imam yang di-berkahi, Laknat Allah ditimpa-kan atas orang yang kufur

َانْتَ اِمَامٌ مُّبَارَكٌ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلَى مَنْ كَفَرَ

Kamu adalah Imam yang di-berkahi, Laknat Allah ditimpa-kan atas orang yang kufur

َانْتَ اِمَامٌ مُّبَارَكٌ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلَى مَنْ كَفَرَ

Orang yang bersamamu dan orang yang disekitarmu di-berkahi.

بُوْرِكَ مَنْ مَّعَكَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَكَ.

8. Memutar balikkan ayat-ayat Al-Qur’an. Contohnya:

Binasalah
kedua tangan Abu Lahab dan sesungguhnya dia akan binasa – Dia itu tidak
masuk ke dalamnya (neraka), kecuali dengan rasa takut.

تَبَّتْ يَدَآ اَبِيْ لَهَبٍ وَّتَبَّ مَاكَانَ لَهُ اَنْ يَّدْخُلَ فِيْهَا اِلاَّ خَائِفًا

Di dalam Al-Qur’an, bunyi ayatnya:

تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ(1) مَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ(2)

Binasalah kedua tangan Abu Lahab dan sesungguhnya dia akan binasa.

Tidaklah berfaedah kepadanya harta bendanya dan apa yang ia usahakan. (QS Al-Masad: 1, 2).

Ahmadiyah menodai Islam dan melanggar Undang-undang

Penodaan
terhadap Islam oleh Ahmadiyah dengan ayat-ayat palsu dari nabi palsu
tersebut jelas menodai Islam. Bahkan menjadikan pengikut Ahmadiyah itu
murtad. Sedang secara undang-undang jelas bertentangan dengan
undang-undang, di antaranya:

Undang-undang No.5 Th.1969 tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan dan/atau Penodaan Agama menyebutkan;

1.Pasal
1: Setiap orang dilarang dengan sengaja di muka umum menceriterakan,
menganjurkaan atau mengusahakan dukungan umum, untuk melakukan
penafsiran tentang sesuatu agama yang dianut di Indonesia
atau melakukan kegiatan keagamaan yang menyerupai kegiatan-kegiatan
keagamaan dari agama itu: penafsiran dan kegiatan mana menyimpang dari
pokok-pokok ajaran agama itu.

2.Pasal
4: Pada Kitab Undang–Undang Hukum Pidana diadakan pasal baru yang
berbunyi sbb.: PASAL 56 a: Dipidana dengan Pidana penjara
selama–lamanya lima
tahun barang siapa dengan sengaja di muka umum mengeluarkan perasaan
atau melakukan perbuatan: a. yang pokoknya bersifat permusuhan.
Penyalahgunaan atau penodaan terhadap suatu agama di Indonesia. (hlm. 87-88)

===

-muslim voice-

______________________________

________

BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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10-year-old subjected to torture by Israeli soldiers

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

2008/07/02

10-year-old subjected to torture by Israeli soldiers

Name: Ezzat H
Age at incident: 10
Date of incident: 11 June 2008
Location: Sanniriya, Qalqiliya
Accusation: None


A 10-year-old boy was subjected to physical abuse amounting to torture for 2.5 hours by Israeli soldiers who stormed his family’s shop on 11 June, seeking information on the location of a handgun. The boy was repeatedly beaten, slapped and punched in the head and stomach, forced to hold a stress position for half and hour, and threatened. He was deeply shocked and lost two molar teeth as a result of the assault.

On Wednesday 11 June 2008, at around 10:30am, 10-year-old Ezzat, his brother Makkawi (7) and sister Lara (8) were in their father’s shop selling animal feed and eggs in the village of Sanniriya, near the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. The children were suddenly startled to see two Israeli soldiers storm in to the shop.

Interrogation and abuse in the shop

One soldier wearing a black T-shirt started shouting in a loud, menacing voice in Arabic, “your father sent us to you to collect his gun”. A terrified Ezzat responded, “My father does not own a gun”. The soldier responded by slapping Ezzat hard across the right cheek and his brother Makawi across his face. The soldier then ordered Makkawi and Lara to leave the shop. Once the younger children had left the soldier demanded once again that Ezzat hand over his father’s gun. Although Ezzat repeated that his father did not own a gun the soldier ordered him to search for it in the sacks containing the animal feed. Ezzat kept insisting that there was no gun in the shop so the soldier slapped him once again, this time across his left cheek.

One of Ezzat’s friends, realising that something was wrong, tried to enter the shop but was kicked by the soldier standing at the door and prevented from entering. Soon a group of local people had gathered outside the shop. Some of the people in the group also tried to enter the shop but were prevented from doing so by the soldier at the door.

The soldier in the black T-shirt asked him once again to produce the gun. Ezzat answered, “We do not have anything”. The soldier responded by punching him hard in the stomach causing Ezzat to fall over on to empty egg boxes. Ezzat started screaming and crying out from pain and fear. The soldier in the black T-shirt started making fun of Ezzat and imitated him crying. Ezzat remained in the shop alone with the soldiers for a further 15 minutes when the soldier in black abruptly grabbed him by his T-shirt and dragged him out of the shop. Ezzat asked the soldier if he could lock up his father’s shop but the soldier said he wanted it to remain open so that it could be robbed. The soldier also threatened to put Ezzat in his jeep and take him away.

Once they were out of the shop, Ezzat was ordered to walk in front of the soldiers to his house, whilst a gun was pointed at his back. The soldiers hit him several times on the nape along the way. On approaching his house Ezzat saw many Israeli military officials surrounding the house and a number of green military vehicles parked outside. One of the olive coloured jeeps had the word “police” written on it.

Interrogation and abuse in the home

After arriving at the family’s home the soldier in the black T-shirt stood Ezzat in the yard and ordered him to search the flower basin for the gun. Before Ezzat had a chance to respond the soldier slapped him so violently that Ezzat fell down face first into the basin. Without giving him the chance to stand up the soldier grabbed him by his T-shirt and lifted him up roughly. He was then instructed in Arabic by another soldier to head to the guestroom.

On approaching the guestroom Ezzat could see his father standing by the door. The soldier slapped him on the neck and Ezzat fell to the ground. As Ezzat stood up the soldier slapped him a second time making him fall to the ground once again. All this happened in front of his father. He then grabbed Ezzat by his T-shirt and lifted him in to the air. The soldier told Ezzat’s father that he was going to take his son to prison. He also threatened to take Ezzat’s 19-year-old sister to prison. Ezzat was then pushed forcibly in to the guest room where his mother and four of his other siblings including his sisters Diana (19), Raghda (18), (Aya) 15 and brother Jihad (3), were being held. His mother was crying. Ezzat was also crying and when asked by his mother why he was crying, he said it was because he had been hit by the soldiers. His mother asked the soldiers to stop beating her son and to beat her instead.

After several minutes Ezzat was taken out of the guestroom and slapped several times by the soldier in black, once so hard that he fell to the ground. After being moved to several locations in the house Ezzat was told to stay in the boys’ bedroom. The same soldier then left the room but would return every five minutes to slap Ezzat and also to punch him several times in the stomach. Each time this took place Ezzat would shout and scream out in pain and burst in to tears. The soldier would then imitate him and make fun of him. The soldier hit him around six times.

Destruction of property and use of stress positions

A short time later, five soldiers entered the room and proceeded to destroy the family’s property using hammers. In all, the soldiers destroyed wooden ventilation panels in the attic, a small refrigerator in the bedroom and it contents, damage to the kitchen, a fan and the fireplace.

Ezzat spent one hour in the bedroom alone with the soldiers. In that hour he was ordered by the same soldier to stand on one foot for half an hour, with his back against the wall and with both his hands lifted up in the air (see picture). Ezzat was exhausted by this but was too scared to put his foot down on the ground. Eventually he was told by one of the other soldiers that he could put his foot down. He was then asked to sit down in a squat position. He managed to remain in this position for two minutes and then had to stand up. A female soldier then walked in to the room and asked him to sit on the refrigerator box.

Shortly after the soldier in the black T-shirt returned accompanied by Ezzat’s older sister Diana. He proceeded to ask Ezzat whether he cared for his sister to which Ezzat responded, “Yes I do”. The soldier then asked him to tell him where the gun was hidden and that if he told him where it was hidden that he would not tell Ezzat’s father. The soldier left the room with Ezzat’s sister. He then returned to the room on his own and hit Ezzat all over his body. He left the room once again and after a while came back offering Ezzat 10 Shekels in return for telling him where the gun was. Ezzat responded that he did not care about money. This made the soldier extremely angry and he took off his helmet and started throwing it at Ezzat from two metres away. Ezzat was in extreme pain. The soldier continued to hit him with the helmet and then left the room once again returning to slap him across his face and on his stomach. This continued for some time with the soldier leaving the room and returning to hit Ezzat and to question him over the gun.

Interrogation of family

Ezzat then witnessed the soldier in the black T-shirt and the female soldier leading his sisters and mother to one of the rooms close to the boys’ bedroom. They closed the door of the room but Ezzat could hear the soldiers shouting at them. He overheard the soldier telling the female soldier to hit his mother because she was refusing to take her clothes off to be searched. After the incident was over Ezzat’s sister informed him that they were all strip searched by the female soldier, while the male soldier waited outside.

Meanwhile, a soldier wearing black sunglasses entered the bedroom in which Ezzat was being held. He walked in pointing a rifle, a few centimetres away from Ezzat’s head. Ezzat was so terrified that he began to shiver. The soldier laughed and made fun of him. He asked Ezzat to tell him where the gun was and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t. Ezzat continued to maintain that there was no weapon hidden away. The soldier, getting agitated shouted at Ezzat, “for the last time, tell me where the gun is before I shoot you”. Ezzat repeated that he did not have a gun. Hearing this, the soldier lowered his rifle and left the room. After about five minutes the soldier in the black T-shirt entered the room along with four other soldiers and said that they were leaving but would return.

The soldiers spent two and half hours in the house in total. After the incident Ezzat spent the night at his uncle’s house because he was too scared to sleep in his home. As a result of the physical assault Ezzat lost two of his molar teeth and is deeply shocked by the incident.

DCI/PS Statement

DCI/PS is appalled that Israeli authorities would subject a 10-year-old child to beatings, position abuse and threats over the course of several hours. The treatment of Ezzat falls within the definition of torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as defined in the UN Convention Against Torture, to which Israel is a State Party. The treatment of Ezzat also infringes numerous other international conventions to which Israel is bound1, as well as Israeli military and domestic law2.

DCI/PS again calls on Israel to immediately ensure its compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture and to thoroughly and impartially investigate the allegations of torture and abuse of Ezzat and bring those found responsible for such abuse to justice.

DCI/PS also calls on the EU to make the upgrade of EU-Israel bilateral relations conditional upon measurable and confirmed progress by Israel to uphold the EU human rights standards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

————-

1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) – article 5; Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) – articles 27 and 31 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) – article 7; and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) – articles 2(2), 3, 16 and 37(a).

2. Israeli military law establishes the specific offence of “ill treatment” which prohibits the beating or other abuse of any person in a soldier’s custody: see Military Adjudication Law, 5715-1955, Article 65. See also articles 378-382 of the Israeli penal code.

** Take Action **

Please send appeals in English, Arabic, Hebrew or your own language to Israel and/or the EU:

Israel

  • Urging Israeli authorities to comply with the UN Convention Against Torture and thoroughly investigate the allegations of torture and abuse of Ezzat and other Palestinian detainees and bring those responsible for such abuse to justice.

Appeals to:

President of the State of Israel
Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel
Office of the President
3 Hanassi St., 92188
Jerusalem, Israel.
Tel: +972 2 6707211
Fax: +972 2 5610033
Email: president@president.gov.il
Salutation: Dear President

Prime Minister of the State of Israel
Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister
Telephone: +972 2 6753277
Telephone2: +972 2 6753547
Email: eulmert@knesset.gov.il
Saluation: Dear Prime Minister

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Tzipi Livni, MK
9 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd., Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem 91035
Fax: + 972 2 5303367
Email: sar@mfa.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Foreign Affairs Minister

European Union

  • Urging the EU to pressure Israel to immediately ensure its compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture and thoroughly investigate the allegations of torture and abuse of Ezzat and other Palestinian detainees and bring those responsible for such abuse to justice.
  • Urging the EU to make the upgrade of EU-Israel bilateral relations conditional upon measurable and confirmed progress by Israel to uphold EU human rights standards in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • Making the EU aware of the recent inclusion of Palestine/Israel as a priority conflict for the implementation of the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict, and of the subsequent reporting tasks on child rights violations incumbent upon EU diplomatic missions and EU institutions in the field.

Appeals to:

Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Ministère des Affaires Etrangères français
37, quai d’Orsay, 75 007 Paris, France
Email: bernard.kouchner@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Personal Representative for Human Rights (CFSP) of the EU Secretary General/
High Representative Javier Solana
Ms. Riina Kionka
175 Rue de la Loi BE 1048 Brussels, Belgium
Fax. : +32 2 281 61 90
Email : riina.kionka@consilium.europa.eu

The Commissioner for External Affairs and European Neighbourhood Policy
HE Ms. Benita Ferrero- Waldner
Email: relax-enpinfo@ec.europa.eu

Copyright © 2008 DCI/PS.


www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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“Salute to Israel” Parade in the UK ends up in the fountain of blood which Israel truly reflects!!

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

“Salute to Israel” Parade in the UK ends up in the fountain of blood which Israel truly reflects!!

“Salute to Israel” Parade gets the true Welcome it deserves in the UK! When will the same happen in the US??

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/402208.html

Activists Disrupt Salute to Israel’ Parade

C.Huffed | 30.06.2008 00:36

Autonomous actions for Palestine challenge Zionist parade.
Today, a series of non-violent protest actions disrupted the ‘Salute to Israel’ parade. The parade celebrated 60 years since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Activists wished to remind the public that since its inception, Israel has been maintained through the constant oppression of the Palestinian people, in particular through ethnic cleansing.

The ‘Salute to Israel’ parade was a shameful show of support to a government engaged in war crimes. Sponsors included the Jewish National Fund, an organisation deeply involved in the colonisation of Palestinian land as well in anti-Palestinian discrimination within Israel. Activists wish to stress that the British government’s authorisation, protection and support of this event is entirely unacceptable.

En route, the parade was greeted by activists with red dye on their hands to symbolise the blood of Palestinians killed by the Israeli government. In Tafalgar Square, both fountains turned red and a Palestinian flag was unfurled at the entrance of the National Gallery. An activist climbed up a big screen which had to be turned off for most of the event. Also, another group attempted to get onto the roof of the National Gallery in order to unfurl a banner but were arrested in the process.

Deir Yassin and Tantura are but two of the most (in)famous massacres perpetrated by Zionist forces against Palestinians in 1948. Over 530 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, and nearly two-thirds of the native Palestinian people, around 750 000 people, were forced to flee.

Ethnic cleansing continued beyond 1948, taking various forms from all-out massacres and military attacks to house demolitions and the unceasing oppression of Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. The Apartheid Wall, mostly built on Palestinian land, is one of the means through which the Israeli government attempts to annex Palestinian land without its people. In Israel, politicians, the media and a section of public opinion openly evoke the ‘transfer’ of Palestinians whom they describe as a ‘demographic threat’.

Ethnic cleansing is simultaneously a war crime and a crime against humanity under international law.

Autonomous actions for Palestine challenge Zionist parade
Fountain dyed red to represent blood of Palestinians who died during occupation
Fountain dyed red to represent blood of Palestinians who died during occupation

The food colouring spreads...
Only children notice...

The greatest measure of the event’s failure to impress was how bored the actual supporters seemed to be. Lucky the protesters brought some colour to Trafalgar Square!

PSC bus

Palestinian blood on Israeli hands - Naomi on release from Charing X police stn

Palestinian blood on Israeli hands – Naomi on release from Charing X police stn

The participants having such a great time at the blood-tainted rally

The participants having such a great time at the blood-tainted rally

This was a truly very successful day!! Congratulations to all those who took part! The “poor little Israel” and the “poor little island of democracy” reputation which Israel so cleverly and fraudulently marketed for the past 60 years seems to have finally faded away.

Israel is going to have to hire its ‘supporters’ from casting agencies from now on… not that it hasn’t already done so in the past!!

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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One Quarter of American Teen Girls Have STDs

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

One Quarter of American Teen Girls Have STDs

A new federal study reveals that one in four teenage American girls has a sexually transmitted disease. Brenda Wilson, NPR science correspondent, and Dr. Charles Wibbelsman, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on adolescence, answer questions about the startling findings and offer suggestions for helping teens with prevention and treatment.


LISTEN AT: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88144955


www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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FBI may get OK to investigate any American without evidence of crime

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

FBI may get OK to investigate any American without evidence of crime

FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 2, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on their race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger a national security investigation.

Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons — like evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated — to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.

Among the factors that could make someone subject of an investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training, along with the person’s race or ethnicity.

More than a half-dozen senior FBI, Justice Department and other U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the new policy agreed to discuss it only on condition of anonymity, either because they were not allowed to speak publicly or because the change is not yet final.

The change, which is expected later this summer, is part of an update of Justice Department policies known as the attorney general guidelines. They are being overhauled amid the FBI’s transition from a traditional crime-fighting agency to one whose top mission is to protect America from terrorist attacks.

”We don’t know what we don’t know. And the object is to cut down on that,” said one FBI official who defended the plans.

Another official, while also defending the proposed guidelines, raised concerns about criticism during the presidential election year over what he called ”the P word” — profiling.

If adopted, the guidelines would be put in place in the final months of a presidential administration that has been dogged by criticism that its counterterror programs trample privacy rights and civil liberties.

Critics say the presumption of innocence is lost in the proposal. The FBI will be allowed to begin investigations simply ”by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey acknowledged the overhaul was under way in early June, saying the guidelines sought to ensure regulations for FBI terror investigations don’t conflict with ones governing criminal probes. He would not give any details.

”It’s necessary to put in place regulations that will allow the FBI to transform itself … into an intelligence gathering organization in addition to just a crime solving organization,” Mukasey told reporters.

The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

FBI agents would not be allowed to eavesdrop on phone calls or dig deeply into personal data — such as the content of phone or e-mail records or bank statements — until a full investigation was opened.

The guidelines focus on the FBI’s domestic operations and run about 40 pages long, several officials said. They do not specifically spell out what traits the FBI should use in building profiles.

One senior Justice Department official said agents have been allowed since 2003 to build ”threat assessments” of Americans based on public records and information from informants. Such assessments could be used to open a preliminary investigation, the official said.

However, another official said the 2003 authorities are limited, tightly monitored by FBI headquarters in Washington and, overall, confusing to agents about how or when they can be used.

Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the guidelines are part of a ”harmonizing” process that will not give the FBI any more authority than it already has. He and two other senior Justice officials would not deny the changes as they were described to AP by others familiar with the guidelines.

”Since we are still in the process of drafting the guidelines, we are unable to comment any further about timing or the specific outcome of the review,” Roehrkasse said in a statement. ”It is important to note, however, that nothing in the attorney general’s guidelines can authorize what is prohibited by any statute or by the Constitution.”

Although the guidelines do not require congressional approval, House members recently sought to limit such profiling by rejecting an $11 million request for the FBI’s security assessment center.

Lawmakers wrote it that was unclear how the FBI could compile suspect profiles ”in such a way as to avoid needless intrusions into the privacy of innocent citizens” and without wasting time and money chasing down false leads.

The denial of funding could limit the FBI’s use of profiles, or ”predictive models and patterns of behavior” as the government prefers to describe the data-mining results, but would not change the guidelines authorizing them. The guidelines would remain in effect until a new attorney general decided to change them.

Courts across the country have overturned criminal convictions when defendants showed they were targeted based on race. Racial profiling generally is considered a civil rights violation, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft condemned it in March 2001 as an ”unconstitutional deprivation of equal protection under our Constitution.”

President Bush also has condemned racial profiling as ”wrong in America” and in a December 2001 interview had harsh words for an airline that refused to let one of his Secret Service agents board a commercial flight. The agent was Arab-American. ”If he was treated that way because of his ethnicity, that will make me madder than heck,” Bush said.

Immediately after 9/11, hundreds of Muslims and Arabs were detained, deported and monitored as the government urgently sought information that could prevent another attack. Despite efforts to repair and nurture relationships with those groups, Muslim- and Arab-Americans still complain of being singled out by federal security practices.

Martin Redish, a constitutional and civil rights scholar at Northwestern University School of Law, said courts are likely to give the FBI a lot of leeway in deciding how to open national security investigations.

”But it’s a very fine line to be drawn when the basis of the investigation is dominated by the ethnic background of the subject,” Redish said. ”And when the investigation results in harassment, you have a serious constitutional concern.” Citing Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski and Oklahoma City bomber

Timothy McVeigh — two white Americans — the ACLU’s Fredrickson said: ”Profiling has sent us in the wrong direction. … I thought we learned our lesson in that regard.”

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===


Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?


By Rick Shenkman, Tomdispatch.com
Posted on July 2, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/90161/

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson

Just how stupid are we? Pretty stupid, it would seem, when we come across headlines like this: “Homer Simpson, Yes — 1st Amendment ‘Doh,’ Survey Finds” (Associated Press 3/1/06).

“About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the fictional cartoon family, according to a survey.

“The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.”

But what does it mean exactly to say that American voters are stupid? About this there is unfortunately no consensus. Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who confessed not knowing how to define pornography, we are apt simply to throw up our hands in frustration and say: We know it when we see it. But unless we attempt a definition of some sort, we risk incoherence, dooming our investigation of stupidity from the outset. Stupidity cannot mean, as Humpty Dumpty would have it, whatever we say it means.

Five defining characteristics of stupidity, it seems to me, are readily apparent. First, is sheer ignorance: Ignorance of critical facts about important events in the news, and ignorance of how our government functions and who’s in charge. Second, is negligence: The disinclination to seek reliable sources of information about important news events. Third, is wooden-headedness, as the historian Barbara Tuchman defined it: The inclination to believe what we want to believe regardless of the facts. Fourth, is shortsightedness: The support of public policies that are mutually contradictory, or contrary to the country’s long-term interests. Fifth, and finally, is a broad category I call bone-headedness, for want of a better name: The susceptibility to meaningless phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases, and simplistic diagnoses and solutions that play on our hopes and fears.

American Ignorance

Taking up the first of our definitions of stupidity, how ignorant are we? Ask the political scientists and you will be told that there is damning, hard evidence pointing incontrovertibly to the conclusion that millions are embarrassingly ill-informed and that they do not care that they are. There is enough evidence that one could almost conclude — though admittedly this is a stretch — that we are living in an Age of Ignorance.

Surprised? My guess is most people would be. The general impression seems to be that we are living in an age in which people are particularly knowledgeable. Many students tell me that they are the most well-informed generation in history.

Why are we so deluded? The error can be traced to our mistaking unprecedented access to information with the actual consumption of it. Our access is indeed phenomenal. George Washington had to wait two weeks to discover that he had been elected president of the United States. That’s how long it took for the news to travel from New York, where the Electoral College votes were counted, to reach him at home in Mount Vernon, Virginia. Americans living in the interior regions had to wait even longer, some up to two months. Now we can watch developments as they occur halfway around the world in real time. It is little wonder then that students boast of their knowledge. Unlike their parents, who were forced to rely mainly on newspapers and the network news shows to find out what was happening in the world, they can flip on CNN and Fox or consult the Internet.

But in fact only a small percentage of people take advantage of the great new resources at hand. In 2005, the Pew Research Center surveyed the news habits of some 3,000 Americans age 18 and older. The researchers found that 59% on a regular basis get at least some news from local TV, 47% from national TV news shows, and just 23% from the Internet.

Anecdotal evidence suggested for years that Americans were not particularly well-informed. As foreign visitors long ago observed, Americans are vastly inferior in their knowledge of world geography compared with Europeans. (The old joke is that “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.”) But it was never clear until the postwar period how ignorant Americans are. For it was only then that social scientists began measuring in a systematic manner what Americans actually know. The results were devastating.

The most comprehensive surveys, the National Election Studies (NES), were carried out by the University of Michigan beginning in the late 1940s. What these studies showed was that Americans fall into three categories with regard to their political knowledge. A tiny percentage know a lot about politics, up to 50%-60% know enough to answer very simple questions, and the rest know next to nothing.

Contrary to expectations, by many measures the surveys showed the level of ignorance remaining constant over time. In the 1990s, political scientists Michael X. Delli Carpini and Scott Keeter concluded that there was statistically little difference between the knowledge of the parents of the Silent Generation of the 1950s, the parents of the Baby Boomers of the 1960s, and American parents today. (By some measures, Americans are dumber today than their parents of a generation ago.)

Some of the numbers are hard to fathom in a country in which for at least a century all children have been required by law to attend grade school or be home-schooled. Even if people do not closely follow the news, one would expect them to be able to answer basic civics questions, but only a small minority can.

In 1986, only 30% knew that Roe v. Wade was the Supreme Court decision that ruled abortion legal more than a decade earlier. In 1991, Americans were asked how long the term of a United States senator is. Just 25% correctly answered six years. How many senators are there? A poll a few years ago found that only 20% know that there are 100 senators, though the number has remained constant for the last half century (and is easy to remember). Encouragingly, today the number of Americans who can correctly identify and name the three branches of government is up to 40%.

Polls over the past three decades measuring Americans’ knowledge of history show similarly dismal results. What happened in 1066? Just 10% know it is the date of the Norman Conquest. Who said the “world must be made safe for democracy”? Just 14% know it was Woodrow Wilson. Which country dropped the nuclear bomb? Only 49% know it was their own country. Who was America’s greatest president? According to a Gallup poll in 2005, a majority answer that it was a president from the last half century: 20% said Reagan, 15% Bill Clinton, 12% John Kennedy, 5% George W. Bush. Only 14% picked Lincoln and only 5%, Washington.

And the worst president? For years Americans would include in the list Herbert Hoover. But no more. Most today do not know who Herbert Hoover was, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey in 2004. Just 43% could correctly identify him.

The only history questions a majority of Americans can answer correctly are the most basic ones. What happened at Pearl Harbor? A great majority know: 84%. What was the Holocaust? Nearly 70% know. (Thirty percent don’t?) But it comes as something of a shock that, in 1983, just 81% knew who Lee Harvey Oswald was and that, in 1985, only 81% could identify Martin Luther King, Jr.

What Voters Don’t Know

Who these poor souls were who didn’t know who Martin Luther King was we cannot be sure. Research suggests that they were probably impoverished (the poor tend to know less on the whole about politics and history than others) or simply unschooled, categories which usually overlap. But even Americans in the middle class who attend college exhibit profound ignorance. A report in 2007 published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute found that on average 14,000 randomly selected college students at 50 schools around the country scored under 55 (out of 100) on a test that measured their knowledge of basic American civics. Less than half knew that Yorktown was the last battle of the American Revolution. Surprisingly, seniors often tested lower than freshmen. (The explanation was apparently that many students by their senior year had forgotten what they learned in high school.)

The optimists point to surveys indicating that about half the country can describe some differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties. But if they do not know the difference between liberals and conservatives, as surveys indicate, how can they possibly say in any meaningful way how the parties differ? And if they do not know this, what else do they not know?

Plenty, it turns out. Even though they are awash in news, Americans generally do not seem to absorb what it is that they are reading and hearing and watching. Americans cannot even name the leaders of their own government. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Fewer than half of Americans could tell you her name during the length of her entire tenure. William Rehnquist was chief justice of the Supreme Court. Just 40% of Americans ever knew his name (and only 30% could tell you that he was a conservative). Going into the First Gulf War, just 15% could identify Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense. In 2007, in the fifth year of the Iraq War, only 21% could name the secretary of defense, Robert Gates. Most Americans cannot name their own member of Congress or their senators.

If the problem were simply that Americans are bad at names, one would not have to worry too much. But they do not understand the mechanics of government either. Only 34% know that it is the Congress that declares war (which may explain why they are not alarmed when presidents take us into wars without explicit declarations of war from the legislature). Only 35% know that Congress can override a presidential veto. Some 49% think the president can suspend the Constitution. Some 60% believe that he can appoint judges to the federal courts without the approval of the Senate. Some 45% believe that revolutionary speech is punishable under the Constitution.

On the basis of their comprehensive approach, Delli Carpini and Keeter concluded that only 5% of Americans could correctly answer three-fourths of the questions asked about economics, only 11% of the questions about domestic issues, 14% of the questions about foreign affairs, and 10% of the questions about geography. The highest score? More Americans knew the correct answers to history questions than any other (which will come as a surprise to many history teachers). Still, only 25% knew the correct answers to three-quarters of the history questions, which were rudimentary.

In 2003, the Strategic Task Force on Education Abroad investigated Americans’ knowledge of world affairs. The task force concluded: “America’s ignorance of the outside world” is so great as to constitute a threat to national security.

Young and Ignorant — and Voting

At least, you may think to yourself, we are not getting any dumber. But by some measures we are. Young people by many measures know less today than young people forty years ago. And their news habits are worse. Newspaper reading went out in the sixties along with the Hula Hoop. Just 20% of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 read a daily paper. And that isn’t saying much. There’s no way of knowing what part of the paper they’re reading. It is likelier to encompass the comics and a quick glance at the front page than dense stories about Somalia or the budget.

They aren’t watching the cable news shows either. The average age of CNN’s audience is sixty. And they surely are not watching the network news shows, which attract mainly the Depends generation. Nor are they using the Internet in large numbers to surf for news. Only 11% say that they regularly click on news web pages. (Yes, many young people watch Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. A survey in 2007 by the Pew Research Center found that 54% of the viewers of The Daily Show score in the “high knowledge” news category — about the same as the viewers of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News.)

Compared with Americans generally — and this isn’t saying much, given their low level of interest in the news — young people are the least informed of any age cohort save possibly for those confined to nursing homes. In fact, the young are so indifferent to newspapers that they single-handedly are responsible for the dismally low newspaper readership rates that are bandied about.

In earlier generations — in the 1950s, for example — young people read newspapers and digested the news at rates similar to those of the general population. Nothing indicates that the current generation of young people will suddenly begin following the news when they turn 35 or 40. Indeed, half a century of studies suggest that most people who do not pick up the news habit in their twenties probably never will.

Young people today find the news irrelevant. Bored by politics, students shun the rituals of civic life, voting in lower numbers than other Americans (though a small up-tick in civic participation showed up in recent surveys). U.S. Census data indicate that voters aged 18 to 24 turn out in low numbers. In 1972, when 18 year olds got the vote, 52% cast a ballot. In subsequent years, far fewer voted: in 1988, 40%; in 1992, 50%; in 1996, 35%; in 2000, 36%. In 2004, despite the most intense get-out-the-vote effort ever focused on young people, just 47% took the time to cast a ballot.

Since young people on the whole scarcely follow politics, one may want to consider whether we even want them to vote. Asked in 2000 to identify the presidential candidate who was the chief sponsor of Campaign Finance Reform — Sen. John McCain — just 4% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 could do so. As the primary season began in February, fewer than half in the same age group knew that George W. Bush was even a candidate. Only 12% knew that McCain was also a candidate even though he was said to be especially appealing to young people.

One news subject in recent history, 9/11, did attract the interest of the young. A poll by Pew at the end of 2001 found that 61% of adult Americans under age 30 said that they were following the story closely. But few found any other subjects in the news that year compelling. Anthrax attacks? Just 32% indicated it was important enough to follow. The economy? Again, just 32%. The capture of Kabul? Just 20%.

It would appear that young people today are doing very little reading of any kind. In 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts, consulting a vast array of surveys, including the United States Census, found that just 43% of young people ages 18 to 24 read literature. In 1982, the number was 60%. A majority do not read either newspapers, fiction, poetry, or drama. Save for the possibility that they are reading the Bible or works of non-fiction, for which solid statistics are unavailable, it would appear that this generation is less well read than any other since statistics began to be kept.

The studies demonstrating that young people know less today than young people a generation ago do not get much publicity. What one hears about are the pioneer steps the young are taking politically. Headlines from the 2004 presidential election featured numerous stories about young people who were following the campaign on blogs, then a new phenomenon. Other stories focused on the help young Deaniacs gave Howard Dean by arranging to raise funds through innovative Internet appeals. Still other stories reported that the Deaniacs were networking all over the country through the Internet website meetup.com. One did not hear that we have raised another Silent Generation. But have we not? The statistics about young people today are fairly clear: As a group they do not vote in large numbers, most do not read newspapers, and most do not follow the news. (Barack Obama has recently inspired greater participation, but at this stage it is too early to tell if the effect will be lasting.)

The Issues? Who knows?

Millions every year are now spent on the effort to answer the question: What do the voters want? The honest answer would be that often they themselves do not really know because they do not know enough to say. Few, however, admit this.

In the election of 2004, one of the hot issues was gay marriage. But gauging public opinion on the subject was difficult. Asked in one national poll whether they supported a constitutional amendment allowing only marriages between a man and a woman, a majority said yes. But three questions later a majority also agreed that “defining marriage was not an important enough issue to be worth changing the Constitution.” The New York Times wryly summed up the results: Americans clearly favor amending the Constitution but not changing it.

Does it matter if people are ignorant? There are many subjects about which the ordinary voter need know nothing. The conscientious citizen has no obligation to plow through the federal budget, for example. One suspects there are not many politicians themselves who have bothered to do so. Nor do voters have an obligation to read the laws passed in their name. We do expect members of Congress to read the bills they are asked to vote on, but we know from experience that often they do not, having failed either to take the time to do so or having been denied the opportunity to do so by their leaders, who for one reason or another often rush bills through.

Reading the text of laws in any case is often unhelpful. The chairpersons in charge of drafting them often include provisions only a detective could untangle. The tax code is rife with clauses like this: The Congress hereby appropriates X dollars for the purchase of 500 widgets that measure 3 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches from any company incorporated on October 20, 1965 in Any City USA situated in block 10 of district 3.

Of course, only one company fits the description. Upon investigation it turns out to be owned by the chairperson’s biggest contributor. That is more than any citizens acting on their own could possibly divine. It is not essential that the voter know every which way in which the tax code is manipulated to benefit special interests. All that is required is that the voter know that rigging of the tax code in favor of certain interests is probably common. The media are perfectly capable of communicating this message. Voters are perfectly capable of absorbing it. Armed with this knowledge, the voter knows to be wary of claims that the tax code treats one and all alike with fairness.

There are however innumerable subjects about which a general knowledge is insufficient. In these cases ignorance of the details is more than a minor problem. An appalling ignorance of Social Security, to take one example, has left Americans unable to see how their money has been spent, whether the system is viable, and what measures are needed to shore it up.

How many know that the system is running a surplus? And that this surplus — some $150 billion a year — is actually quite substantial, even by Washington standards? And how many know that the system has been in surplus since 1983?

Few, of course. Ignorance of the facts has led to a fundamentally dishonest debate about Social Security.

During all the years the surpluses were building, the Democrats in Congress pretended the money was theirs to be spent, as if it were the same as all the other tax dollars collected by the government. And spend it they did, whenever they had the chance, with no hint that they were perhaps disbursing funds that actually should be held in reserve for later use. (Social Security taxes had been expressly raised in 1983 in order to build up the system’s funds when bankruptcy had loomed.) Not until the rest of the budget was in surplus (in 1999) did it suddenly occur to them that the money should be saved. And it appears that the only reason they felt compelled at this point to acknowledge that the money was needed for Social Security was because they wanted to blunt the Republicans’ call for tax cuts. The Social Security surplus could not both be used to pay for the large tax cuts Republicans wanted and for the future retirement benefits of aging Boomers.

The Republicans have been equally unctuous. While they have claimed that they are terribly worried about Social Security, they have been busy irresponsibly spending the system’s surplus on tax cuts, one cut after another. First Reagan used the surplus to hide the impact of his tax cuts and then George W. Bush used it to hide the impact of his cuts. Neither ever acknowledged that it was only the surplus in Social Security’s accounts that made it even plausible for them to cut taxes.

Take those Bush tax cuts. Bush claimed the cuts were made possible by several years of past surpluses and the prospect of even more years of surpluses. But subtracting from the federal budget the overflow funds generated by Social Security, the government ran a surplus in just two years during the period the national debt was declining, 1999 and 2000.

In the other years when the government ran a surplus, 1998 and 2001, it was because of Social Security and only because of Social Security. That is, the putative surpluses of 1998 and 2001, which President Bush cited in defense of his tax cuts, were in reality pure fiction. Without Social Security the government would have been in debt those two years. And yet in 2001 President Bush told the country tax cuts were not only needed, they were affordable because of our splendid surplus.

Today, conservatives argue that the Social Security Trust Fund is a fiction. They are correct. The money was spent. They helped spend it.

To this debate about Social Security — which, once one understands what has been happening, is actually quite absorbing — the public has largely been an indifferent spectator. A surprising 2001 Pew study found that just 19% of Americans understand that the United States ever ran a surplus at all, however defined, in the 1990s or 2000’s. And only 50% of Americans, according to an Annenberg study in 2004, understand that President Bush favors privatizing Social Security. Polls indicate that people are scared that the system is going bust, no doubt thanks in part to Bush’s gloom-and-doom prognostications. But they haven’t the faintest idea what going bust means. And in fact, the system can be kept going without fundamental change simply by raising the cap on taxed income and pushing back the retirement age a few years.

How much ignorance can a country stand? There have to be terrible consequences when it reaches a certain level. But what level? And with what consequences, exactly? The answers to these questions are unknowable. But can we doubt that if we persist on the path we are on that we shall, one day, perhaps not too far into the distant future, find out the answers?

Excerpted from Just How Stupid Are We?, by Rick Shenkman, by arrangement with Basic Books.

Copyright 2008 Rick Shenkman

Rick Shenkman, Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, New York Times bestselling author, and associate professor of history at George Mason University, is the founder and editor of History News Network, a website that features articles by historians on current events. This essay is adapted from chapter two of his new book, Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter (Basic Books, 2008). His observations about the 2008 election can be followed on his blog, “How Stupid?” His recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” can be viewed by clicking here.


===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Barbarism

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 4, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Barbarism

Dr. June C. Terpstra and Professor Husayn Al-Kurdi

29-1203693504.jpg

July 3, 2008

U.S. President George W. Bush recently stated that he would be remembered for liberating 50 million people from the clutches of barbaric regimes. Bush represents a lineage of liars whose expert propaganda turns truth on its hinder for the sake of promoting the power interests which they serve.

It is time that these lies be exposed and translated for the people of the US who do not seem to understand what is being said. We hereby present this guide to understanding a few of the propaganda slogans and terms used by US politicians, puppets, pundits, and propagandists.

“Barbarians” are by definition people who destroy others with utter ruthlessness, mutilating, murdering and enslaving them. This, of course, describes the barbaric, brutal and savage regimes of the US, Britain, the Jewish settler state and Europe grabbing for control of the world.

“Civilization” means people who profess conscientious control of themselves and a reduction in violent impulses while at the same time torturing, mutilating, executing and enslaving those whose lands and resources they loot.

The “savages” are the rapacious bankers, weapons manufacturers and global corporate plunderers of the West, the very same Judaeo-Christian Crusaders who profess to be civilized and democratic.

“Liberation” means no rights or legal status for those conquered, no matter what their nationality, religion, race, or ethnic background.

“Democracy” means not rule “of, by and for the people” but the rule of the moneyed elites over the people.

“Freedom” means enslavement.

“Peace officers” are war makers.

“Rule of law” means locking up the poor.

“Pre-emptive war” means invasion, occupation, and expropriation.

The “terrorists” are the corporatocracy- sponsored military industrial complex using every tactic possible to obtain control over all coveted resources.

The real “terrorist training camps” are U.S. military boot camps.

“Homicide bombers” and “suicide bombers” are infantry men.

“Support the troops” means sacrificing your children to become trained terrorists, torturers and killers for the profit and power of bankers and industrialists.

“Interrogation” means torture.

Police “serve and protect” …the rich.

“Law enforcement” means locking up and lynching the poor and those who won’t shut up.

“Gangsters” include bankers, judges, CEO’s, legislators and lobbyists.

“Globalization” means imperialism.

“Free market” means plunder and exploitation.

“Freedom of speech” means shut up or else.

“Fair and accurate” means with extreme malice and bias.

“Liberals” are fascists. “Fascists” are liberals.

“Conservatives” are for state control of everything except the rampagings of the rich.

“Neo-cons” are royalists and Zionists.

“Left” is right.

“Right” is wrong.

“Democrats and “Republicans” are Imperialists.

“We’re not racist” means we are racist.

The “axis of evil” is actually the US , UK , the Zionist entity, the UN and the “International Community”.

Politicians, lawyers, teachers, social workers, consultants, facilitators, advisers, bank tellers, your children, your parents, your families and just about everybody in America are being intensively pressured to turn into informers and agents. Over 2 ½ million persons are in jail, almost all of them from the lowest classes and a preponderance of them Black. Millions of paid informers, police and prison-related personnel and private- contracting gun thugs roam the country seeking their prey, while fatuous priests of all officially recognized religious denominations pray for their success and safety.

While there has been much barbarism throughout the world, the USA has emerged as the worst of all in the annals of history, presenting itself as “liberator” and harbinger of “democracy” while torturing, killing and plundering the world and exploiting and befuddling the hapless folks at home.

source : http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m45405&hd=&size=1&l=e

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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