Rwanda: 7 April 2017. Never Again!

Four words:

Duhore Tuzilikana Kirazira Kwibagirwa!

We Must Never Forget!

Today, 7 April 2017 is the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi. 

by Alan Simons

In a few weeks time, on 23 April at sundown, Jews throughout the world observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. It is the day where we pay tribute to all the victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings. Inaugurated 64 years ago we like you, have no intention of forgetting our loved ones. Therefore, as a Jew, my message to you is not from a stranger, but from a brother and partner. For in commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, your loss, is also my loss.

However, I ask myself what right do I have to speak of such experiences of genocide?

Who am I to speak of such unthinkable acts of violence and cruelty, unequaled in modern history?

I never witnessed killings, or had my life threatened. I never lost immediate family members, nor witnessed rape or sexual mutilation, or had to hide under corpses.

Rwanda April 7 2017 bSo, what authority gives me the right to speak about Rwanda’s genocide, to talk about your families and friends who perhaps survived these 23 years, and hopefully, I repeat hopefully, have been able to overcome their traumatic experiences and find optimism in the future, as well as speak of those who were murdered?

Well, a few years ago President Kagame of Rwanda, photographed above, said: “The world chose to watch as one million were being slaughtered. Victims were turned into perpetrators and justice was turned into a political tool. The world has shown us that we cannot afford not to fight. Do not be afraid to stand up for truth, justice and for who we are. The only way to live in this world is to stand up for ourselves, stay true to who we are and define our own destiny.”

Perhaps, more than anything, it is in these words that binds Jews and Rwandans together in a mutual understanding of what intolerance and hate is all about in our society today. And, we have only to look at the past few weeks of what happened in London, a few hours ago in Stockholm, as well as the gassing earlier this week of children and adults in Syria, to appreciate the scope and threat of the world we continue to live in.

Hate is hate, irrespective of one’s religion, colour or nationality.

Even now in Canada there are deniers of both the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust who continue to thrust their sick fermented ideas into the international arena. As Hitler remains centre stage to many antisemites, it was only a couple of months ago that Rwanda’s deniers actually competed to question who was to blame for the 1994 killings. 

It’s been said that sadness is but a wall between two gardens. May all of those who perished in the genocide be remembered for their beauty and fragrance that grace our gardens.

My dear Rwandan brothers and sisters, finding an appropriate way of honouring and remembering the dead is one of the goals of the mourning process. For, as Elie Wiesel the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor said, “To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

(Photo credits: From Paul Kagame’s Post, in Timeline Photos)

 

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Belgium. We Are One!

Wij zijn een!  Nous sommes un!

Editorial Comment from the Publisher

BELGIUM – Yet again the scumbags of this world have today in Belgium shown their lack of interest in humanity. The dregs of society have shown us once more the sickness that pervades their inherent character to commit unconditional mass murder, irrespective of who they kill, be it adults or children, without consideration of one’s religion, race or nationality.

Enough is enough! No civil society, government or business can claim they are immune to the perverse heathen hordes now permeating our society.

This is not about Muslim vs. Christian or Jew. This is not about the rich vs. the poor. This is not about the political left vs the right. This is about a heinous and insane collective who have one unilateral mission: the destruction of our way of life.

I quite understand what Pope Francis meant when he said: “Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.”

JIN March 22 2016However, these devils are not our brothers. They suffer from a pestilent disease that must be eradicated before we vanish. It’s time we all became active in their demise.

(Photo credit: barenakedislam)

 * * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER -

OVER SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

Weekend News Round-up

What They Are Saying

UAE publishes list of terrorist organisations

Gulf News, UAE reports: The UAE Cabinet on Saturday announced the names of dozens of extremist groups that have been put on its list of terrorist organisations.  The list, which is in line with the anti-terror law issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in August, includes major terror groups such as Al Qaida, Daesh and the Muslim Brotherhood, and its regional and local affiliates, as well as smaller regional and international groups…  Among the terror groups on the UAE list are Al Qaida and its affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, Daesh (the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), the International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian-based Jabhat Al Nusra and its Ahrar Al Sham allies, the Nigerian-based Boko Haram, Al Houthis group in Yemen, Hezbollah’s affiliates in the Gulf, Iraqi militias such as Badr, Asaaeb Al Haq, Abul Fadhl Al Abbas, Pakistan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. 

ISIS now threatens to behead female hostage

IsraelNews reports: To increase shock and awe. The Islamic State claims its next victim is a 26 year-old American woman, the only woman captivated by the organization. The American woman was captivated by IS in August 2013, after travelling to Syria to aid children who had been separated from their families in the civil war. The rest of the humanitarian aid workers who had been with her were reportedly released by IS.

ISIS will not find reservoir of recruits in Lebanon: expert

The Daily Star, Lebanon reports: Although a number of Lebanese have joined the ranks of ISIS, the terrorist group will not find a deep reservoir of recruits in Lebanon, according to leading security expert Ali Soufan. Soufan, a Lebanese-American who was previously a special agent with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, says Lebanon does not provide a “nurturing environment” for those seeking to wage violent jihad with groups like ISIS or Al-Qaeda. The majority of the foreign fighters in Syria hail from predominantly Sunni countries with relative religious homogeneity, Soufan explained. Lebanon, however, is more of a confessional patchwork where an appreciable percent of the population supports dialogue and peaceful coexistence.

Infighting mars memorial

Al-Ahram Weekly, Egypt reports: Mutual recriminations and threats between Fatah and Hamas following the explosions that targeted the homes of several Fatah leaders in Gaza and led to the cancellation of ceremonies to commemorate President Yasser Arafat have revived fears of a return to factional violence in Gaza.  A renewed security breakdown would jeopardise many crucial issues, including Palestinian reconciliation, the reconstruction of Gaza and the resumption of Egyptian-brokered ceasefire negotiations with the Israeli occupation authorities. The bombings, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility, targeted the stage for the ceremonies commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Arafat as well as the properties of some Fatah leaders. Fatah officially cancelled the ceremonies on Sunday and blamed Hamas for the bombings and for sending threatening letters to a number of Fatah leaders. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused Hamas of carrying out the bombings.

Afghan MP survives assassination bid

Gulf Daily News, Bahrain reports: A suicide bomber attacked an armoured car carrying a prominent Afghan women’s rights leader and MP in Kabul yesterday, killing three people and wounding 32 others, Afghan officials said. The MP who was apparently the target of the attack, Shukria Barakzai, survived the blast, which occurred several hundred feet away from the parliament building, her destination at the time. Barakzai, 42, had once helped run underground schools for girls during the Taliban era. She quickly emerged as a public figure in Afghanistan not long after the American-led coalition toppled the Taliban government. A member of the assembly that approved Afghanistan’s Constitution in early 2004, she was elected to parliament the following year and re-elected in 2010.

Tehran’s former prosecutor disbarred over protest deaths

Arab News, Saudi Arabia reports: Iran’s supreme court has permanently disbarred Tehran’s ex-chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, upholding a previous ruling, over the deaths of three jailed anti-government protesters, media said Sunday. Mortazavi was also suspended from public office for five years, the pro-government newspaper Iran said. The notorious former prosecutor was suspended in August 2010 over the deaths of Mohammad Kamrani, Amir Javadifar and Mohsen Ruholamini in Kahrizak jail the previous summer. The men had been jailed in connection with anti-government protests that swept Iran following the disputed June 2009 re-election of hard-line president Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Their deaths, from injuries inflicted in custody, were denounced by lawmakers at the time as a “crime.”

 Turkish police chief found dead in hotel room

Today’s Zaman, Turkey reports:  A police chief in eastern Turkish province of Bayburt was found dead in an hotel room on Friday, with cuts on his arms and stomach. Turkish security services immediately launched an investigation to figure out how and why the police chief, Ömer Lütfi Evci, 42, was murdered or if he committed a suicide. The body of Evci was found in the hotel room in Zahit neighbourhood, when police broke into the room after the police chief didn’t respond to calls by his colleagues for a long time. The police chief was on duty at Bayburt Police Academy.

 Greece’s Neo-Nazis Were Scarier Than Anyone Imagined

Foreign Policy, USA reports:  In the prosecutors’ 697-page case file, he is known only as Witness E — a Golden Dawn ex-member turned state informant. And what he has to share about the neo-Nazi political party — its ideology, its training methods, and its plans for the future — is terrifying.  Golden Dawn recruited a butcher to train its members in the art of using a knife effectively, in order to “neutralize opponents,” Witness E told prosecutors. Party members participated in the mass slaughter of sheep in various farms around the Attica region, which encompasses Athens and its suburbs, to learn the best technique for “striking directly at the jugular.” He’d heard, Witness E said, that the same butcher supplied guns to Golden Dawn members, as well. Other evidence prosecutors uncovered seems to back up his claim: The case file is littered with photos of members in military clothing carrying knives, swords, handguns, rifles, and, in one case, even a bazooka.  All this training was “in preparation to overthrow the Greek government,” Witness E suggested to prosecutors — a jarring reminder of how little the Greek public truly understood the operational capabilities of Golden Dawn, or what the party even aimed to be.

 Erdoğan says America was discovered by Muslims, not Columbus

The Hürriyet Daily News,Turkey reports: America was discovered by Muslims, not by Christopher Columbus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed, vowing to build a mosque “on that hill” in Cuba if the authorities of the Caribbean nation grant the permit.  Speaking at the closing ceremony of the first Latin American Muslim leaders summit in Istanbul on Nov. 15, Erdoğan slammed colonialism before referring to a controversial claim about the discovery of the Americas. “Muslim sailors had arrived in the shores of America in 1178. In his diaries, Christopher Columbus referred to the presence of a mosque on top of a mountain in Cuba,” Erdoğan said, claiming the diary is a proof that “the religion of Islam was widespread” when the first European explorer discovered the New World in 1492.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard showcases ballistic capabilities to “attack and destroy” Israel

Asharq Al-Awsat, London reports: Iranian websites close to the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have run special feature reports and interviews relating to Iran’s capability to “attack and destroy” Israel using ballistic missiles, the semi-state-run Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on Saturday.  A special feature report published by Fars on three missiles—named Israel-hitter—stated the missiles could be launched quickly from Iranian territory to reach targets in Israel, and explained the extensive infrastructure that has been built underground to house them. A Tehran-based analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that publishing such “provocative” reports just two weeks before the November 24 deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement with Western powers on Iran’s nuclear program was an intentional move by more conservative elements in the Iranian leadership, and designed to derail President’s Hassan Rouhani’s reconciliatory foreign policy approach to close the nuclear dossier.

Saudi school ‘teaching anti-Semitism’

The Local, Austria reports: Vienna’s Saudi School – a private school for Islamic immigrants from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East – is under review by the city council after allegations that it is teaching conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism. A reporter from News magazine got hold of a copy of a school history textbook which is said to contain “a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories and incitement against Jews, Israelis and divergent trends in Islam”. News commissioned a translation of the book from Arabic – which has sentences like “the Freemasons were a secret, subversive Jewish organization, which aimed to secure Jewish control of the world”.  The school has now been asked to provide certified German translations of all its teaching materials by the end of the year. The Saudi School is run by the Saudi government and is not a religious institution. All lessons are taught in Arabic and follow the Saudi curriculum. However, the school must still comply with statutes set by the Austrian Education Ministry, and anti-Semitism and incitement is against Austrian law. The ministry could withdraw the school’s educational status if it identifies serious teaching problems or a lack of responsible leadership – meaning the students would have to be home schooled or attend another school.

Orthodox Jew stabbed in Antwerp

Flanders News, Belgium reports: A 31-year-old Jew from Antwerp was attacked on Saturday. His assailant stabbed him with a knife, apparently out of the blue. The victim was taken to hospital, but was able to return home later on Saturday. The aggressor is still on the run. The attack took place around 9.15am under the rail bridge in the Kievitstraat, near Antwerp’s Central Station. The victim was walking on the pavement when he was suddenly attacked by another pedestrian. The assailant managed to escape. Police arrested a suspect using a description made by witnesses, but it turned out they had the wrong man. The assailant is still on the run. Investigators do not exclude any possible motive just yet. 

Indonesia. No Religion on ID Cards, no Public Services

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia reports: Residents of Pontianak in West Kalimantan who do not list their religion on identification cards will not be allowed to access public services, the city’s deputy mayor has said. In comments that are likely to inflame debate about religious freedom and the rights of minority groups, Sutarmidji said he would instruct the region’s population agency and sub-district offices not to serve people who fail to put their religion on ID cards, known as KTP. He said the religion column on the cards should not be omitted as it was required under current law. “If you want to add another religion or belief you should first amend the law that stipulates it,” he told detik.com. Indonesia formally recognizes only six religious designations: Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Confucian, Hindu and Muslim. Adherents are required to identify themselves on their KTP.

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

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