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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Terrorism: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. | The more things change, the more they stay the same.”


HuT Jin June 14 2016 

“Terrorist war is part of a total war, which sees the whole of society as the enemy and all the members of a society as appropriate objects for violent actions. It is absolute war because its goal is absolute destruction of society and it accepts annihilation of persons as an appropriate means. Terrorists are the shock troops in a war to the death against the values and institutions of a society, a Western society, and of the people who embody it.”
Jeane Kirkpatrick, Former United States Ambassador to The United Nations
by Alan Simons

For many Jews and non-Jews alike knowing the names of various terrorists groups can be counted on one hand. Daesh, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Boko Harem and the Muslim Brotherhood.

One group that is seemingly less interesting, with very little curiosity in the West, is the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, or Party of Liberation. I’ve written about them many times before. My message remains the same.

HuT for short, has significant following in many parts of the world. It is I quote, “a transnational Islamic religious-political organization which has presence nearly 50 countries across the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks ‘implementation of pure Islamic doctrine’ and the creation of an Islamic caliphate…  The group’s aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. The ultimate goal of this secretive sectarian group is to unite the entire ummah, or Islamic world community, into a single caliphate. The aim is to bring the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in ‘Dar al-Islam’ [the land where the rules of Islam are being implemented, as opposed to the non-Islamic world] and in an Islamic society such that all life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Sharia rules.'” (GlobalSecurity.org)

Get the picture?

The group claims to be a political party active in nearly 50 countries including the UK – its so-called international nerve centre – the USA, Australia and Canada. However, the group is outlawed in many Muslim countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan as well as in China, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands. It “vehemently opposes democracy claiming that it is inconsistent with Islamic principles of government and is a tool used by the West to further conquer Muslim lands.”

In Australia, Hizb ut-Tahrir “have accused the federal government of criminalising the Muslim community through its anti-terror laws and have cited singing the national anthem as forced assimilation.”

In a paper written by Sarah Swick  and published some years ago by the U.S. based Muslim libertarian think tank, Minaret of Freedom Institute, she writes, Hizb ut-Tahrir “is rapidly growing in notoriety and popularity among Muslim youth in the Muslim world and in the West… The Party also focuses its recruitment efforts on university campuses. In Indonesia, the Party spent fifteen years as an “underground movement on college campuses in Java,” and, today, it remains a campus-based movement. This is also the case across the European continent, where HT is known to have a following primarily among second-generation immigrant Muslims attending university.”

Unlike Daesh and Al-Qaeda, Hizb ut-Tahrir says it is a non-violent political party which restricts itself to intellectual and political work.

What it says and what it does is entirely another matter.

In 2012, in Bangladesh it was reported Hizb ut-Tahrir was behind a failed coup where
“some 16 Bangladesh military officers, who were members of HuT, were accused of planning to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government. After the security agencies cracked down on the coup plotters, HuT claimed to have organized public speeches outside mosques across Bangladesh calling upon people to “protest against the Hasina government’s plot to subjugate the Muslim Army of Bangladesh to US-India.”

And today, as reported in the Dhaka Tribune it continues: “Hizb ut-Tahrir’s last major activity was monitored on September 4, 2015, when around 10,000 of its supporters joined in on an online video conference. As the police force continues its week-long sweep to detain militants, members of Hizb ut-Tahrir are trying to come out from hiding and reorganise their banned outfit again. As part of their efforts to regroup, Hizb ut-Tahrir is circulating leaflets urging the people to rise against the  ‘tyrannical rule of Sheikh Hasina.'”

Hizb ut-Tahrir is as antisemitic in their rhetoric as it gets.

Swick states that in Germany, the group was spreading violence and hate and had called for the killing of Jews. “In an article that was previously posted on their website, HuT said, ‘The Jews are a people of slander. They are a treacherous people who violate oaths and covenants. They lie and change words from their right places. They take the rights of people unjustly, and kill the Prophets and the innocent. They are the most severe in their hatred for those who believe…This is how they are now, and this is how they will continue to be.'”

In addition, a Hizb ut-Tahrir speaker was quoted during a speech in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) saying,   “Let’s be open about this – the Qur’an does not mention Zionists, it mentions Jews. They are our enemy and Insha’Allah we will finish them.”

In Copenhagen much more of the same. “The Jews are a people of slander… a treacherous people… they fabricate lies and twist words from their right context,” the leaflets read, before justifying suicide bombings in Israel as ‘legitimate’ acts of ‘Martyrdom.'”

Some years ago in Tunisia, “Hizb ut-Tahrir Tunisia organized a demo in support of Gaza on the night of Eid al Fitr to call the Muslim armies to remove the Jewish entity. It was held on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in the capital.”

But of course, as they continually remind us, they are a non-violent political party which restricts itself to intellectual and political work. Right?

“HuT has the potential to become an even more dangerous terrorist group than IS [Daesh].”

Surinder Kumar Sharma of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses is quite forthright about them:

“Hizb ut-Tahrir is a slow and steady player; it has cleverly avoided any intense global scrutiny while spreading its ideology and support base in different parts of the world. HuT, therefore, has the potential to become an even more dangerous terrorist group than IS [Daesh].”

In Canada, where I am based, Hizb ut-Tahrir has also become both a source of recruitment and concern. Mazin Abdul-Adhim Mazin, a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent living in London, Ontario and the ‘perceived’ leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Canada in December 2015, was reported as saying:

“Helping Syrian refugees coming to Canada and building an Islamic caliphate are part of the same cause, according to a pro-Sharia speaker at an Islamic conference in Hamilton.… The refugee increases Muslims’ political and societal clout and strengthens these calls for “the full implementation of Islam.”

According to the Toronto Sun, Hizb ut-Tahrir Canada in a press release dated January 2016 stated: “Hizb ut-Tahrir considers it impermissible (sinful/Haram) to use violence as part of this work, as the Sharia (Islamic Law) forbids it. Furthermore Hizb ut-Tahrir does not promote hate speech, rather the efforts of the Hizb revolve entirely around creating awareness of the Islamic systems and how they correctly solve mankind’s problems and disagreements are respectfully addressed through discussion and sincere debates in an intellectual manner.”

“They also advocate that the end goal is the Islamization of Canada as part of this global caliphate Article 62 of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Constitution also calls for compulsory conscription in their sought after caliphate.  It states that every Muslim male who is “fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad.'”

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir is against gender equality, irrespective of one’s race or nationality. The West is its target. It is intolerant of any hint of social equality for all, or of a democratic society that is open and accepting of minorities. They believe our established institutions, laws and customs are repulsive.

Perhaps as individuals the time has come for us to take a more meaningful pro-active response to this vile antisemitic, anti-democratic, anti-West and dangerous organisation. Who was it said “lost time is never found again?”

Lead Photo credit: sekmestechnologya.it

* * *

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”

The Arab/Iranian English Language Press: What they are saying

News in brief from the media

Apology Worse Than The Crime

The Arab Times, Kuwait reports: The Iranian apology to the United Nations Security Council over the attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad is, to say the least, worse than the crime itself. This is because the apology insinuates how the regime of peacocks in Tehran belittles the issues concerning the sovereignty of other countries and its lack of recognition for this sovereignty — a clear testimony to years of aggression against Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries. Therefore, it is acceptable to fall for this ‘regret’ but the focus should be on the aggression itself. The attacks necessitate stern international position against the regime which does not respect and honor international agreements and pacts. The leaders of Tehran will definitely be hallucinating if they think they can pull the wool over the eyes through a statement which hides in its lines many evil intentions or stop the storm of condemnation and severing relations.

Jordan renews support for Saudi Arabia

The Jordan Times reports: His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday reviewed in separate telephone calls with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz regional developments, according to a Royal Court statement. In the two telephone calls, talks focused on Saturday’s assaults on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, which the statement described as “a blatant violation of international conventions”. His Majesty renewed Jordan’s full support for Saudi Arabia in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to protect its security and stability. His Majesty strongly condemned the attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, the statement said. For their part, the Saudi monarch and deputy crown prince thanked Jordan for its stand and support, the Royal Court added. 

Djibouti cuts ties with Iran after attacks on Saudi missions

The Daily Star, Lebanon reports: Djibouti cut diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday, its foreign minister said, in response to the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by Iranian protesters. The tiny Horn of Africa nation, which is home to the United States’ only military base on the African continent, joins Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan in entirely severing relations with Iran. “Djibouti cut its diplomatic ties with Iran out of solidarity with Saudi Arabia,” Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told Reuters in a text message.

Palestinian Authority adrift after a long unrest

The Oman Observer reports: Three months into a wave of violence some have likened to a new uprising, the Palestinian Authority has found itself adrift and increasingly out of touch with frustrated youths behind the unrest, analysts say. There is even speculation of an eventual collapse of the PA, the governing authority set up under the 1990s Oslo accords that were meant to lead to a final peace deal. “Young people see no political horizon and suffer from economic crisis and unemployment,” with nearly half jobless compared with more than 27 per cent of the overall population, said Ghassan Khatib, vice-president of Birzeit University near Ramallah and a former Palestinian cabinet minister. Young Palestinians see little hope of an independent state more than two decades after the Oslo accords — and many do not feel president Mahmoud Abbas represents their concerns. They have come of age as Israeli settlement building has continued and with their own political leadership deeply fractured. In a recent poll, two-thirds of Palestinians said they believed a new armed intifada would serve “national interests” better than negotiations. Security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel has at the same time been maintained, an arrangement some analysts say is vital for Abbas to keep hardliners who oppose him in check. Palestinian elections have not been held in a decade due to the bitter split between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Abbas’s Fatah, based in the occupied West Bank. Abbas’s mandate expired in 2009 but he remains in office because there have been no polls. The Palestinian parliament last met in 2007, following a general election the previous year won by Hamas. “The leaders are incapable of satisfying their (young Palestinians’) political and economic demands,” said Khatib.

Abbas denies concern of PA collapse

Gulf Times, Qatar reports: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas dismissed yesterday weeks of rumours that the Palestinian Authority could collapse, saying he would “never give up” on it.
Abbas, 80, was speaking publicly for the first time since rumours surfaced last week that he was in poor health, which the PA has categorically denied. He did not discuss the matter and appeared well. He also spoke as three months of violent attacks by frustrated Palestinian youths on Israeli targets have made the PA and its leadership appear increasingly out of touch. The PA, the governing authority set up under the 1993 Oslo peace accords with Israel, has faced funding shortages, and its ongoing security co-operation with the Jewish state has been heavily criticised. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing a contingency plan in the event of the PA’s collapse, according Israeli media reports. “I have heard a lot of talk in the past few days about the Authority, the destruction of the Authority, the collapse of the Authority,” Abbas said. “The Authority is an achievement of ours that we will never give up.” “Don’t dream of its collapsing, don’t even dream,” he told a press conference during a lunch during a lunch to mark Christmas, which some Orthodox churches celebrate today.

Egyptian ambassador returns to Israel after 3-year hiatus

Arab News, Saudi Arabia reports: Israel says Egypt has sent a new ambassador after a three-year hiatus. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the ambassador, Hazem Hairat, arrived on Friday. Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace accord in 1979, but relations have often been cool. Egypt withdrew its ambassador in November 2012 to protest an Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. At the time, Egypt was led by Islamist President Muhammad Mursi. Since Mursi was ousted by the military in 2013, relations have steadily improved. In September, Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo, four years after it was ransacked by a crowd protesting the deaths of five Egyptian policemen killed unintentionally by Israeli forces chasing a group of Gaza militants.

Turkey diversifies allies with first Mideast military base in Qatar

Al-Arabiya , UAE reports: In view of rising regional threats, Turkey seems to be diversifying its potential allies, especially on the military and energy fronts. According to a decision announced Wednesday by Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar, Ankara will have its first Middle East military base in Qatar, with 3,000 troops to be stationed in the country. The base will be supported by air and naval units, special forces and military trainers. Joint training exercises will be held at the base, and Qatar will be able to set up its own base in Turkey. Qatar is home to the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, where about 10,000 military personnel are placed. Currently, 100 Turkish troops are providing the Qatari army with military training. This move is in line with a bilateral defense agreement – signed in 2014 and ratified by the Turkish parliament in June – with the aim of confronting “common enemies.”… The regional policies of the two countries coincide with their support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, while they also support efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They oppose Iran’s growing regional influence, and Russia’s intervention in Syria.

Hezbollah proxy ties with Iran divulged

Bahrain News Agency reports: Lebanese parliamentary Future Bloc today deplored the recent statements by a number of Hezbollah officials, considering the remarks as flagrant unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It said that these statements clearly revealed the relationship of Hezbollah with Iran and Iranian regional policies based on domination and interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries.
This came in a statement after the bloc’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Turkey needs Israel: Erdogan

Egypt Independent reports: Turkey must accept that it needs Israel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday, as the two countries seek to thrash out a deal on normalizing ties. NATO member Turkey was a key regional ally of Israel until the two countries fell out over the deadly storming by Israeli commandos in 2010 of a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, bound for Gaza. Erdogan further raised hackles in Israel with his sometimes inflammatory rhetoric towards the Jewish State. But the atmosphere was transformed following the revelation last month the two sides were making progress in secret talks to seek a rapprochement. “Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters published in leading dailies Saturday. “And we too must accept that we need Israel. This is a reality in the region,” said Erdogan. “If mutual steps are implemented based on sincerity, then normalization will follow.”

Syrian Dissident: Execution of Saudi Cleric Plotted in Tel Aviv

Fars News Agency, Iran reports: A prominent Syrian dissident leader says Israel has persuaded the Riyadh government to kill prominent Saudi Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. “It is clear that the Saudis had taken order from their masters in Tel Aviv and the US to commit the crime of executing Sheikh Nimr; therefore, it is not surprising to say that the decision to execute Sheikh Nimr was taken in Tel Aviv and confirmed in Washington,” Secretary-General of al-Talia opposition party Noufal Noufal told FNA on Wednesday. He said that the al-Saud has always been a tool in the US hands to implement its plots in the region. Noting that the al-Saud and ISIL are two sides of the same coin which seek to foment sectarian strife in the region, Noufal said, “Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr to provoke Iran into sectarian tensions in the region but Iran sees no place for sectarian conflicts in its equations and assumes it to be an undignified move.”

747 children killed, 724 recruited in Yemen conflict, UN

Yemen Post reports: Some 747 children have been killed, 1.108 others injured and another 179 kidnapped since the conflict escalated in late March following the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, UNICEF said on Thursday.  Moreover, 724 children have been recruited by parties to the conflict in 2015, it said, pointing out that around 60 schools and 60 hospitals have been attacked, it said. In previous statement, lit revealed that ongoing bombing and increased ground fighting has forced 2 million children to stop going to school and 6 million children at risk of deadly diseases like diarrhea, measles and Polio. There is 1.3 million children at risk of pneumonia and 1.8 at risk of suffering from acute malnutrition, it added. Moreover, half of the internally displaced people, around 2.5 million, are below the age of 18, it said, pointing out that 10 million of the total of 21 million requiring humanitarian aid are children.  

And finally from the Arab News, Saudi Arabia.

Matrimonial 1: 

Indian Sunni Muslim parents invites alliance for their (Saudi born) son, 30 yrs, 5’11”, B.Tech, M.S.(USA), working in US(Green card); From religious minded fair , beautiful girl, age 22-27 yrs, height 5’3” and above, and professionally educated. Only seriously interested call at: 0565…

Matrimonial 2:

SM Urdu speaking parents from West Bengal presently residing at Jeddah invite alliance for their daughter, 26 yrs., 5’3”, beautiful, religious, brought up in KSA presently pursuing B.Sc (Psychology) from IOU. Groom should be smart, well settled and professionally qualified. Interested Indian parents please call at: 0501…

Matrimonial 3:

Sunni Muslim parents from HYD origin, Canadian Citizen, invite alliance for their son, 29 yrs., 5’10”, Diplomas in Avionics/Aircraft Maintenance, working at Toronto Pearson Intl. Airport in Canada as ramp agent. Girl to be above 24 yrs, 5’4”, fair. Kindly contact us at: hyd

(Photo credit: Freedom Messenger) 

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER -

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

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