The incarcerated Reformer: Free Islam Al Behery! | Hany Ghoraba

 

Among the few serious Muslim reformers in modern times, comes Islam Al Behery as one of the most talented, young analytical minds to surface in the Middle East region in many decades.  Unlike many …

Source: The incarcerated Reformer: Free Islam Al Behery! | Hany Ghoraba

 

The incarcerated Reformer: Free Islam Al Behery!

Among the few serious Muslim reformers in modern times, comes Islam Al Behery as one of the most talented, young analytical minds to surface in the Middle East region in many decades.  Unlike many other Islamic reformers, Al Behery simplistic and direct approach has distinguished him from his contemporary and more classical reformers such as the late Nasr Abu Zayd or Farrag Fouda. His eloquent and convincing method of TV lectures through the program “With Islam” has rallied millions of followers young and old all across the Arabic speaking world.

For many he seemed to be the key to unlocking the solution to a dilemma between preserving the faith and adopting modernity. But woe betide for those who dare to challenge the religious powers that be, represented in Al Azhar institutions, Ministry of Awqaf (Endowments) and Salafist groups in Egypt. Though the above entities may fight amongst each other for the bragging rights of being the most righteous representative of Islam, they all united against one man who dared to defy the norms and present the Islamic faith without the complications and adopted traditions that has negatively affected the core of the faith throughout centuries of practice.

The Smear Campaign preceding the court sentence:

 

Islam Al Behery despite his massive popularity was left to fend himself alone against a deluge of Al Azhar institute supporters and minions both in the form of  clerics, media anchors and journalists. False rumors were spread in his name which included that he questioned the validity ofProphet Mohamed saying, insults his disciples and he is an apostate. All of these fallacies  been spread like fire in a haystack by the same minions who are usually the guardians of backwardness in Egypt. For the first time since June2013 revolution, the entire Anti-Islamists media have joined forces with the very Islamist terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood supporters along with their allies the Salafists against Al Behery . They launched a vicious propaganda campaign against the reformer which resembled medieval witch-hunting and inquisition tactics. Throughout, the campaign was fueled by pro-government and anti-government media alike, they have questioned the reformer integrity , sanity, nationalism and of course his faith despite ironically him being called “Islam”!

The end result of the vicious smearing campaign, was a lawsuit against Al Behery followed by a bizarre sentence of 5 years in prison that was reduced to 1 year upon plea.The writer was convicted by Cairo Misdemeanor Court on December 2015 of defaming the Islamic faith. The sentence was given according to the controversial and unconstitutional law of Blasphemous Libel. The shocking verdict has tossed all the high hopes of change and reform in Egypt into an abyss of despair and oblivion. After the hope that filled Egyptians after June2013 revolution of ousting Islamists once and for all , again the Egyptian writers, journalists , reformers and general public are in fear of the consequences of writing or saying anything that could be interpreted by others are heresy, blasphemy and find themselves in courts of law.

Al Behery was not supported by any government, official or media entity short of few independent media anchors  who believed in his cause. Even his own TV network has nearly sold him out at one point in favor of not opening a front against the Al Azhar powerful propaganda machine. The media network Al Kahera Wal Nas who introduced the young reformer to the public through the program “With Islam”, distanced itself from the writer/reformer and started to issue apologies to appease the Azharinstitution .  Al Azhar institution administration witnessed a man being prosecuted by their clerics and their media minions and yet stood idle despite the façade of moderation that they always attempted to maintain. It is apparently a message sent by Al Azhar for others not to follow Al Beherypath or face similar consequences.

Al Behery chief  fault was believing in the system, the law and the constitution which on paper protect the freedoms of religion, speech and belief. The reality is a completely different story. The sentence could be part of the black comedy that Egypt lives on nowadays where a President calls upon Egyptians to adopt reforming the Islamic faith but the opposite happens. When Egyptians such as Al Behery answered the call by starting to provide a modern understanding towards religion, they get jailed for it under laughable pretexts.

Islam Al Behery is a victim of many things in the Egyptian society and on top of them the Blasphemous Libel law that resembles European medieval laws. According to this law , any person who is found criticizing one of the 3 Monotheistic Abarhamic faiths Islam, Christianity and Judaism would be fined and serve a jail sentence. The ironic part here is that Islam is as his name suggests is a Muslim who happens to be not just devout but also a profound researcher in all sections of the Islamic Theology. Not only Al Behery was defending the Islamic faith against the misinterpretations of many Islamic scholars, but also asking his audience to adopt a new method of adhering to the faith that doesn’t simply follow the footsteps of these scholars but newer understanding of the Holy Quran and the religion by means of utilizing the critical and creative thinking methods.

Ultimately, Al Behery efforts and growing popularity have angered powerful and influential Al Azhar Islamic Institution. As the official Islamic institution of Egypt since the 10th century A.D, Al Azhar clerics and Sheikhdom granted themselves  the right to be the sole speaker on Islamic matters by self proclaiming that they are the most knowledgeable in terms of Islamic theology. Al Azhar administration waged a ferocious media war using all its influence to tarnish and discredit Al Behery accompanies by an army of mercenary journalists and writers who portrayed Al Behery as the public enemy number one.

Al Azhar hardly spent a similar effort in combating actual extremism and violence except  the traditional clichéd’ press releases after every terrorist attack taking place in Egypt or any other country. They refrained for labeling Al Qaeda or ISIS as Kafirs or heretics as they claimed that it is unrighteous to question the belief of any other Muslim. However, they have no problems in questioning and publicly condemning the beliefs of peaceful and non violent writers such as Al Behery and many others. This type of behavior from the current administration of Al Azhar places the great institution in a questionable position especially after decades of being infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.

Admittedly,  the institution condemns every violent or terrorist act worldwide without hesitation  but when it comes to practically fix the Wahhabi Islamist theology that the terrorism is founded upon, they refrain from that. On the contrary they witch=hunt researchers, reformers, writers and journalists who do so. This duality has been the prevailing fact in Egypt for decades.

Al Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb is perceived by media and internationally as being one of the most moderate voices in the Islamic faith. That statement might be relatively  true but on the other hand, he opposes profound reformation  since he believes that Al Azhar is already a beacon of enlightenment and moderation. That refusal was shown publicly when Grand Imam Al Tayeb diplomatically shunned the President’s call for reformation in the presence of the of the President himself publicly claiming that Al Azhar is already teaching reformist Curricula and protects the faith from any form of extremism.

Later on the Grand Imam and after what is believed be some pressure from the Presidential  office, have conceded to the idea of reformation and claimed that Al Azhar will blaze the trail for the path of reformation. Almost a year and half later, nothing substantial has taken place and the victims such as Reformer Islam Al Behery and writer/poet Fatima Naout are increasing in number as Al Azhar affiliated and influenced media tarnishes their reputation and the judiciary system finishes them off with prison sentences.

The President’s neglected call:

Calling for a reformation within Islam and Muslims understanding of the holy scripture and faith, President Al Sisi shocked the world by his bold and direct call to all Muslim Clerics and intellectuals  to work on reforming the Islamic faith and what has been taken for granted as part of the faith within its own boundaries. The call was welcomed by all media, scholars and politicians of all faiths and nationalities. Almost a year and half later, the call seems to have fallen on deaf ears as nothing substantial has been attained till this moment in August 2016. Short of a few trivial changes of curricula in some school textbooks, the media, society and government are still as wary to any change or reform as they have ever been.

The once pillar of moderation and modernity within the Islamic world Al Azhar has been deeply infiltrated by Wahhabism and extremism that has tainted its long traditions of tolerance towards other religions These teachings were once deeply imbued in its scholars teachings generation after generation. Al Azhar scholars used to be filled to the brim with the spirit of the reformation and tolerance that has characterized them for centuries. It also characterized  Egypt more than any other predominantly Muslim country, as a place of interfaith tolerance and a country where faiths may exit in harmony. Alas, eight decades after the founding of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, traces of that tolerance is becoming rare to find as years pass.

Al Azhar infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi teachings are rampant within the texts and academic material provided by institution  to its own students.Al Behery during his long TV series have exposed the radical views that are being taught by Al Azhar scholars to younger students thus helping in creating more radicals instead of  moderate and tolerant scholars. Accordingly, entrusting Al Azhar at its current Sheikhdom of Wahabbi and Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated body to reform the Islamic beliefs is entrusting arsonists to protect a forest from fires.  French Statesman George Clemaenceau  (1841-1929) once said War is too important a matter to be left to the military and accordingly in today’s Egypt Religion is too important a matter to be left to the Clergymen.

Thanks to these Islamist clergymen of all types, Egypt has been witnessing decades of on and off violence by radicals who get inspired by so calledRighteous Salafists (Al Salaf Al Saleh) teachings which is an accumulation of mostly unverified texts and sayings unrelated to Prophet Mohamed message and mostly even contradicts the very holy texture of the Quran. Nevertheless, Al Azhar still believe that this legacy of conflicting theology should be preserved and even taught as part of the curriculum to new students and scholars.

Al Azhar administration seems to be so frightened to open the door for new interpretations of the Holy Quran (Ijtihad)  by anyone other than their own conservative and traditionalist scholars lest they would lose the power they held for over a millennium. Little do they know that through these actions , they are gravely harming the faith they vowed to protect and pave the way for radicals such as Wahhabis and terrorist such as ISIS who actually defy all Al Azhar moderation and teachings, to gain more ground at their expense.

President Al Sisi fight on terrorism has only been on the security level where the war is being successful on most fronts whether in Sinai or others across Egypt. On the other hand, the fight against terrorism is impeded on the cultural and theological level. The president’s strategy has been severely lacking and he is not showing the same boldness he initially displayed in countering extremism, sectarianism  and terrorist ideologies and still concedes to the will of Al Azhar who show little interest in reformation.

Thus far, the President has failed the Egyptian intellectuals who believed and acted upon his call for a reformation within the Islamic faith and depended on his protection on doing so.It is not too late for PresidentAbdel Fattah Al Sisi to take the initiative again and enforce the rule of law. He is urged to  initiate a true era of enlightenment, logic and reform within the Egyptian society that has been scarred by decades of backwardness, extremism and religious bigotry. Also he is deeply urged to issue a presidential pardon for Al Behery and all similar freedom of expression prisoners in Egypt. Also , he is urged to call upon the Egyptian parliament to end this sham called the Blasphemous Libel law once and for all.

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Just like any other religion, there are enemies of the Islamic faith spread across the four corners of the globe. They are usually fueled by the current waves of extremism depicted in the likes of Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists. These bigots or enemies of Islam will always find excuses to hate Muslims and Islam regardless of what moderate Muslims such as reformer Islam Al Behery do to present as the real face of Islam. That said, it is becoming more apparent even to the most delusional, that the real enemies of Islam lie within the faith itself. These enemies are the ones adopting the faith while committing atrocious crimes in its name and claim raising its banner.

These above mentioned enemies are the ones that Muslims must focus on targeting and eliminating first to save their own religion and their lives. These kind of harsh sentences by the Egyptian judiciary wastes the efforts the entire nation is doing to combat terrorism and extremism ideologies that are adopted by all the terrorists across the globe.  The thousands of Egyptian soldiers, policemen, judges, policemen, journalists, writers and regular citizens who paid their lives as a result of the endless terrorism waves since the inception of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 till today will be in vain because terrorism must be fought by security  and cultural means simultaneously.

Combating terrorism and ending a generation of terrorists will only serve as a prelude for another wave of terrorism if the same ideologies are  adopted by terrorists still prevail in the Egyptian society and unfortunately protected by the powers that be. Unfortunately, the reformer has paid the price of being a citizen in a nation that seems not ready for such reforms.Al Behery still spends his jail sentence now and pays for saying what he believes is true. His incarceration will never stop him or similar people from spreading their message of freedom of thought and reformation, as freedom and truth always find a way in prevailing in the end regardless of the odds against them.

For that and all the above Islam Al Behery must be set free and be given the right to express himself freely according to the new Egyptian constitution and the very call of the President for reformation. That call which should have rejuvenated the movement for Islamic reformation now seems completely derailed and lost its path. The winner in this case will always be terrorism and extremism.

Free Islam Al Behery !

(5) Horrible G4S mercenary’s homophobic bloodbath in Florida, USA ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

 

 

img_0244imageentartete013museumSource: (5) Horrible G4S mercenary’s homophobic bloodbath in Florida, USA ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

 

This video from the USA says about itself:

12 June 2016

Muslim Leaders Say Pulse Orlando Shooting A Hate Crime, Support LGBT Community

By John Haylett:

‘Nobody stood a chance’

Monday 13th June 2016

At least 50 killed in Florida gay nightclub – Suspect names as 29-year-old

Afghan American licensed private ‘security’ guard at G4S corporation who committed his terrible crime with legal firearms

Omar Mateen – Man arrested near LA Pride

AT LEAST 50 people were slaughtered in a gay nightclub inOrlando, Florida, yesterday morning at the hands of a man with an automatic rifle.

Local authorities said that they were investigating the massacre as an act of terrorism.

The gunman, named by authorities as Omar Mateen, was killed later in a shoot-out with armed officers who had exploded a small device to distract him.

“This is an incident, as I see it, that we certainly classify as a domestic terror incident,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

At least 53 other people were taken to hospital, most in a critical condition, and a surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Centre said that the death toll was likely to climb.

Although Mateen had another handgun and carried a device of some kind, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that all of the dead had been killed with the assault rifle.

“There’s blood everywhere,” he said of the horrific scene in the club known as Pulse.

The gunman had exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club at around 2am just as it was closing and more than 300 people remained in it.

He then went back inside and took hostages, said police chief John Mina said.

Authorities despatched a special weapons and tactics team three hours later to rescue the hostages.

Eyewitness Jackie Smith, who was in the club and saw two friends shot, said: “Some guy walked in and started shooting everybody. He had an automatic rifle, so nobody stood a chance.

“I just tried to get out of there,” she added. …

Police said that they had secured the suspect’s vehicle, a van, right outside the club.

“We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” said Rasha Mubarak, Orlando regional co-ordinator for Florida’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”

An Equality Florida spokesperson said: “We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.

“Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety.”

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

“… The condolences expressed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio are sickening hypocrisy. He has repeatedly opposed gay equality, including wanting to repeal same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination for LGBT employees. Hisanti-gay sentiments have fanned the flames of homophobichatred.”

Many people in Florida wanted to donate blood for people injured in the massacre. However, under homophobic Florida law, gay people could not do that.

And Santa Monica police arrested a man found with assault rifles and possible explosives in his car shortly before the Los Angeles Pride festival, the LA Times reported late yesterday.

The man reportedly mentioned the Pride event and told police he was waiting for a friend before his vehicle was searched and several weapons found. There was no known link to the Orlando shooting as the Star went to press.

The murderous rampage comes after singer Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot and killed by “obsessed fan” Kevin James Loibl on Friday night while signing autographs after her show in Orlando, Florida.

This 12 June 2016 video, about the Orlando perpetrator, is called “HE WANTED TO BE A POLICE OFFICER! HE TRAINED WITH HIS FRIENDS WHO WERE POLICE OFFICERS!” Ex-Wife.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Worst-ever US mass shooting

Gunman massacres 50 in Orlando nightclub

13 June 2016

In a monstrous and reactionary act, a heavily armed lone gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 more early Sunday morning at a LGBT nightclub, the Pulse, in Orlando, Florida. Many of the injured suffered grievous gunshot wounds inflicted by a military-style A-15 assault rifle, raising the strong possibility that the death toll will rise.

Within hours of the incident, the reaction of the media and leading US political figures, including the presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, made it clear that the mass killings will be fully exploited to promote war abroad and intensified state repression at home.

The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, 29, a Florida resident, US citizen and son of immigrants from Afghanistan, was himself killed in a firefight with an Orlando police SWAT unit.

At the time of the shooting, the nightclub, which describes itself as “Orlando’s Premier Gay Nightclub,” was packed with over 350 people who had turned out for a Latin music night. The initial list of victims released by police indicated that many of the victims were Hispanic.

According to reports Sunday, Mateen made a 911 call at the time of the attack declaring his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and mentioning the Boston Marathon bombers. Just hours after the attack, ISIS itself claimed responsibility, declaring that the massacre “was carried out by an Islamic State fighter.” Whatever the truth of this boast,ISIS’ celebration of the cold-blooded murder of 50 innocent people only underscored the thoroughly right-wing character of this organization.

The FBI acknowledged that its agents had interviewed Mateen three times, twice in 2013 in connection with alleged “inflammatory statements” he made to coworkers, and in 2014 in relation to possible ties to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who grew up in Florida and went to fight for an Islamist militia in the US-backed war for regime-change in Syria, where he detonated a suicide bomb. The FBI said that both investigations concluded that Mateen did not pose a threat and were ended.

US officials expressed skepticism that there existed any substantive links between Mateen and ISIS. The precise character of the killer’s motives remain unclear.

Mateen’s father told the media that his son had voiced strong anti-gay sentiments and had expressed anger at seeing two men kissing in Miami earlier this year. The father, Seddique Mir Mateen, said the family was “in shock, like the whole country,” adding that his son’s actions had “nothing to do with religion.”

Mateen worked for G4S, a private security contractor that serviced government agencies, including providing security personnel for the Department of Homeland Security. As a result, he had firearms and security officer licenses. He lived in Fort Pierce, a Florida city about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, where over one-third of the population subsists below the poverty line and the official unemployment rate is over 16 percent.

What was going on in the mind of Omar Mateen will likely never be known with any certainty. What is clear, however, is that the horrific tragedy in Orlando is only the latest in a series of bloody incidents. The immense social and political contradictions of American capitalist society are taking ever more malignant forms.

Sunday morning’s death toll in Orlando represented the worst mass shooting on US soil since the American Cavalry’s massacre of 150 Lakota at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1890. It took place, however, in the context of an endless procession of such homicidal outbursts, which have become virtually a daily fact of life in the United States. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been 175 such incidents. Last year there were there were 372 mass shootings in the US, leaving 475 dead and 1,870 wounded.

Murderous violence at home has developed in parallel with unending wars abroad, with the US military continuously engaged since 2001 in invasions, bombings, drone strikes and “targeted assassinations” that have claimed the lives of over a million people in predominantly Muslim countries. Within the US itself, the most reactionary ideologies have been whipped up to justify discrimination and violence against immigrants in general and Muslims in particular, and toencourage the most backward homophobic sentiments.

The precise confluence of influences that produced the Orlando nightclub massacre may not be known, but that it emerged within an environment shaped by increasing social dislocation, war and political reaction is undeniable.

Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state and the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, was even more explicit in exploiting the tragedy in Orlando to promote US militarism abroad and an escalation of attacks on democratic rights within the US itself. “For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad,” she said. “That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home.”

Her Republican rival, Donald Trump, pursued a slightly different tack, utilizing the Orlando massacre to bolster his promotion of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry. He initially tweeted that if Obama failed to attribute the killings to “radical Islamic terrorism” he “should immediately resign in disgrace,” and that if Clinton failed to use the same words she should withdraw from the election.

“Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen—and it is only going to get worse,” he said later in the day. “I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

These reactionary appeals are a warning of what is being prepared, no matter which party wins the 2016 presidential election. The aim of both the Democrats and Republicans is to intimidate, frighten and disorient the American people with the specter of terrorism in order to distract attention from the social crisis, shift the political debate to the right and prepare for both new wars and intensified attacks on the rights and conditions of the working class.

Fear of Speech in Germany – WSJ

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Merkel indulges Erdogan and it backfires on European rights, the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.

Source: Fear of Speech in Germany – WSJ

 

Merkel indulges Erdogan and it backfires on European rights

Germans have an undeserved reputation for humorlessness, but at least one court in Hamburg is guilty of not getting the joke. A panel of judges found this week that satirist Jan Böhmermann libeled Recep Tayyip Erdogan by reading a poem mocking the Turkish President’s anatomy and his alleged relations with farm animals. Mr. Böhmermann is now forbidden from repeating all but a few lines of the poem out of deference to Mr. Erdogan’s rights.

That’s a hoot. Mr. Erdogan’s government has made itself notorious in recent years by shutting down opposition newspapers, imprisoning journalists on flimsy pretexts and filing thousands of criminal charges against Turks he deems guilty of insulting him. He has also opined that Israel is “more barbaric than Hitler.” Earlier this year, his bodyguards assaulted people peacefully protesting his speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Now he’s trying to extend his misuse of the legal system to Europe. Erdogan filed his complaint against Mr. Böhmermann using an archaic German law forbidding insults against foreign leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had the legal authority to stop the suit but allowed it to go forward, largely out of fear that Mr. Erdogan might renege on his deal to curb the flow of refugees into Europe.

Mrs. Merkel may have thought no German court would restrict a citizen’s right to deliver patently satirical insults against a public figure, thereby allowing the courts to dispose of Mr. Erdogan’s complaint while dodging a diplomatic controversy. But the Hamburg court ruled that Mr. Böhmermann’s poem contained “prejudice of a racist nature” and was thus impermissible speech. (See David Feith nearby for the British response to Mr. Erdogan.)

The ruling is likely to embolden other authoritarians to pursue legal vendettas against Western critics. And it sends a chilling message about the limits of political speech in Europe, which seems to have greater tolerance for the intolerant likes of Mr. Erdogan than it does for gadflies like Mr. Böhmermann.
As for Mrs. Merkel, she sought to make a supposedly small concession of principle for the sake of a political victory. We’ll leave it to our German friends to decide whether that victory was worth its price.
William Burrows
A German friend, who teaches at Oxford, recently told me that, in his opinion, Merkel’s long game is to bring in Muslim immigrants from Syria and elsewhere to offset the preponderance of Turkish Muslims brought in as “guest workers” when Germany needed labor after World War II. She defers to Erdogan at one level in order not to upset Erdogan, upon whom she depends to accomplish the longer game. It seems plausible to me, although I also think the daughter of a Lutheran pastor has a large reservoir of compassion for refugees. The Germans once again face a labor shortage and shortage of people to pay the taxes that keep the social welfare programs working. I think that in the long run, though, unless they do better with assimilating the Syrians and Iraqis than they did with the Turks in the 1950’s thru the mid-70’s they have a demographic, cultural-conflict time bomb ticking.

Create a permanent underclass and then make certain they understand they will remain an underclass serving the convenience of “real,” citizens…yes, “time bomb,” is a good description.
Scott Rose
@DOROTHY DIMOCK @William Burrows Excuse me, but in the real world, Erdogan speaking in Germany told Turks there that to assimilate into German society would be a “crime against humanity.” This is very well-documented so you can shut up with your nonsense that the fault for lack of assimilation of certain types is German people’s fault.

Joel O’Bryan
a lot of Turks have emigrated to Germany withoutany assimilation of German language or culture.

Ms Merkle is a fool.
David Hedenberg
Who know that Erdogan was such a Snowflake? Will we ever know what were the trigger words that forced him to run to his safe place?

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Tenth Wall Defense 4 Human Rights

Mark Geoffrey Kirshner

Mark Geoffrey Kirshner

Kenya Ivory Burningimage21cfyoauwwgaeakb9111112211img_0106

Tenth Wall Defense 4 Human Rights, by Mark G Kirshner: @MarkGKirshner

Source: Tenth Wall Defense 4 Human Rights

Free Omid Kokabee

 

 

creoqzxwuaa-gvw1112511411diplomat-artist-logo2cfyoauwwgaeakb911111221For a brief moment on April 21, attention around the world shifted to 34-year-old Iranian physicist Omid Kokabee, who’s spent the past five years in prison for refusing to work on Iran’s military and nuclear research. Before the unexpected death of the American musician “Prince” Rogers Nelson, the #FreeOmid hashtag led Twitter’s worldwide trends.

file:///ICHRI/status/723168851760807937

 

For the historic record, the #freeOmid hashtag is in first place for worldwide Twitter trends

Kokabee’s supporters in Iran and around the world promoted his story, focusing on his health, which has deteriorated behind bars, where he says he has received inadequate medical care. Kokabee was arrested in 2011 while trying to board a flight back to the US, where he was finishing a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Texas at Austin. He was arrested and remains imprisoned for refusing to contribute to Iran’s military research.

While incarcerated, Kokabee has suffered from kidney stones and other serious illnesses. He says the lack of proper medical attention (which is common for political prisoners in Iran) is the reason his health is now in critical condition. On April 20, Kokabee underwent a surgery to remove his kidney, but advocates, friends, and family members believe Kokabee’s health will not recover if the conditions of his incarceration remain the same.

Many have tried to bring attention to Kokabee’s case, including 31 Nobel physics laureates and the Committee of Concerned Scientists, who published an open letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Others have urged US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who were responsible for negotiating the prisoners swaps and recent nuclear deal, to intervene in this case, which is tied to Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Sympathetic Iranians all over the world have shared the #FreeOmid hashtag, advocating his release.

#Helen4SG  Helen Clark Would Be a Transformative Leader of the United Nations – Here’s Why : #‎Helen4SG‬ The Selection of Helen Clark as ‪#‎UNSG‬ is well deserved after 9 years as Prime Minister of New Zealand & for the past 6 years Administrator of UNDP United Nations Development Programs the toughest UN job next to Secretary General. Please Join With Us in Creating the Consensus to help @HelenClarkUNDP revitalize the United Nations and Advance the Status of Women. She got the energy intelligence temperament and skills to bring transformative leadership to the most important job in the World as the first Woman UN Secretary General

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#‎Helen4SG‬ The Selection of Helen Clark as ‪#‎UNSG‬ is well deserved after 9 years as Prime Minister of New Zealand & for the past 6 years Administrator of UNDP United Nations Development Programs the toughest UN job next to Secretary General. Please Join With Us in Creating the Consensus to help @HelenClarkUNDP revitalize the United Nations and Advance the Status of Women. She got the energy intelligence temperament and skills to bring transformative leadership to the most important job in the World as the first Woman UN Secretary General88847865_its-a-baby-girl11111

Helen Clark
Biography of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.
Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 – 2008. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Under her leadership, New Zealand achieved significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, and high levels of investment in education and health, and in the well-being of families and older citizens. She and her government prioritized reconciliation and the settlement of historical grievances with New Zealand’s indigenous people and the development of an inclusive multicultural and multi-faith society.
Helen Clark advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive programme on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. Her objectives have been to establish New Zealand as being among the world’s leading nations in dealing with these challenges. Helen Clark was also an active leader of her country’s foreign relations and policies, engaging in a wide range of international issues. As Prime Minister, Helen Clark was a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
Helen Clark held ministerial responsibility during her nine years as Prime Minister for New Zealand’s intelligence agencies and for the portfolio of arts, culture and heritage. She has seen the promotion of this latter portfolio as important in expressing the unique identity of her nation in a positive way.
Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. First elected to Parliament in 1981, Helen Clark was re-elected to her multicultural Auckland constituency for the tenth time in November 2008. Earlier in her career, she chaired Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Between 1987 and 1990, she was a Minister responsible for first, the portfolios of Conservation and Housing, and then Health and Labour. She was Deputy Prime Minister between August 1989 and November 1990. From that date until December 1993 she served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and then as Leader of the Opposition until winning the election in November 1999.
Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland. She graduated with a BA in 1971 and an MA with First Class Honours in 1974. She is married to Peter Davis, a Professor at Auckland University.
Post of the UNDP Administrator
The UNDP Administrator is appointed by the Secretary-General and confirmed by the General Assembly for a term of four years. Paul G. Hoffman was appointed as the first Administrator of UNDP in 1966 and served until retirement in 1972. David Owen, who led UNDP’s predecessor organization, the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA), was appointed as Mr. Hoffman’s Co-Administrator. Rudolph A. Peterson was appointed Administrator in 1972 followed by Bradford Morse in 1976; William H. Draper lll, 1986; James Gustave Speth, 1993 to 30 June 1999; Mark Malloch Brown, 1999-2005; and Kemal Derviş, 2005-2009.