A Modern Day Gandhi – Asma Mahfouz

““Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” – Benjamin Franklin

Meet Asma Mahfouz, the 26 year old Egyptian woman who started a revolution.

Asma Mahfouz is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of Internet activists credited with a leading role in organizing the revolutionary protests calling for Mubarak’s departure. Her video blog helped spark the Egyptian Revolution. This is her call to the people of Egypt, this is the video blog she made on January 18, 2011 that started it all:

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The American Inquisition: Religious Intolerance at Ground Zero

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” – Thomas Jefferson (Author of the Declaration of Independence)

By now, almost everyone’s aware of the NYC mosque controversy has made its way to mainstream news media, Twitter, Facebook and talk radio. It is breeding a rising hysteria against Muslims. Many protests have gathered now against proposed mosques around the country – in other parts of NYC; Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and Midland Beach, Staten Island and in other states – California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin to name a few mosques that are being opposed.

The big issue in the news this time is a building of an Islamic community center aimed at multi-faith dialog called Cordoba House, open to all faiths in Lower Manhattan more than two blocks away from “Ground Zero” where the World Trade Center once stood. It will house an auditorium, spa, basketball court, swimming pool, classrooms, exhibition space, community meeting space, 9/11 memorial, and, yes, a prayer space for Muslims. That is what the bigots of America find objectionable.

I lived in NYC for 13 years. In this frenzy what people seem to miss is – there was actually a “mosque” (prayer hall) in the World Trade Center itself where people gathered for Friday prayers. Every year Ramadhan is still celebrated in the Pentagon where 184 people died on 9/11. Ramadhan is also observed in the White House every year when the President hosts Iftar dinner. But since this is an election year, politicians have tried to build up the extremist hysteria further – Sarah Palin (on Twitter), Newt Gingrich, Rick Lazio (campaigning to be the next Governor of New York) and others are joining the frenzy of Islamophobists and bigots. On the other hand, I applaud CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for his actions. He returned a medal and award he got in 2005 back to the Jewish Group ADL for their opposition to the community center.

The Cordoba House (the “mosque” as our biased media calls it) is named after the city of Cordoba, Spain – which was capital of Muslim Spain. Around the 10th century that was the most populated and coolest city in Europe.

The Muslim period in Spain (Here’s an article on the subject http://tinyurl.com/2eykgqt) is remembered as a “golden age” – where Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in peace built a vibrant and extraordinary civilization. It had universities and libraries, public baths, roads with street lamps. Literature, poetry and architecture flourished. They had built a flourishing culture and prosperous civilization during a period when London was still a mud hut village and most of Europe was still in the “Dark Ages”.

The Muslim period in Spain began in 711 AD and ended in 1492 AD with the Spanish Inquisition (religious persecution of Muslims, Jews, non-Catholic Christians by the Catholic Church which had banned all other religions). If anyone was found believing in Judaism or Islam, they would be called “heretics” and burnt at the stake.

The founders of America did not declare this a Christian nation but one for any believer or non-believer of religion. Read Thomas Jefferson’s Bill of Religious Freedoms. Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Bill of Religious Freedoms:

“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

The US Constitution guarantees that Muslims in this country have as much rights as do Jews, Christians, Hindus to live or worship freely as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same. Muslim heritage in this country goes back to Christopher Columbus and his famous voyage of 1492. Columbus’ pilots were Muslim.

What is today happening in America, where Muslims are being prevented from building a place of worship, is just plain hatred, bigotry and racism and nothing but the Spanish Inquisition all over again.

President Obama made a statement in his Ramadhan Iftar Dinner speech which I highly recommend reading – here’s an excerpt:

“But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”

Read President Obama’s full speech at:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/08/obama-ramadan-iftar-remarks-text.html

http://www.bendib.com - America's Most Wanted Cartoonist. The pen is funnier than the sword. Cartoons that speak truth to power.

Film Review: Green Zone

“Green zone” is an intelligent and gripping thriller. It is loosely based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s non-fiction book “Imperial Life In The Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone”.

The film stars Matt Damon and is directed by British director Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum). Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller whose job is to find the WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq after the invasion. That was the whole reason the US went to war with Iraq in the first place. Going from site to site and finding them empty, he can’t help asking why? Where is the intelligence coming from? Who is telling them that the WMDs are hidden in an abandoned toilet factory? He wants to do the right thing and so searches for the truth.

The film has so many true-to-life in Iraq moments – An Iraqi man approaches the US soldiers to tell them something and gets slammed to the dirt, Iraqis without water and electricity (even today electricity and water is not restored completely – our bombs destroyed the plants), the Bush speech “Mission Accomplished” (after that is really when the war began – over four thousand US soldiers have died since that speech). In the film, the US officials are seen lazing around the pool in Saddam’s palace after the invasion.

Miller finally discovers the truth about the WMDs -they are really lies which isn’t what anyone — the military, the administration, even the public — want to hear.

“Green Zone” is a brilliant film and much better than the “The Hurt Locker” (winner of 6 Oscars).“The Hurt Locker” is really a war propaganda film that does not examine the reasons for the war, or even the fact that the war was based on lies and therefore the soldiers are not fighting for the truth – they are only puppets of the military industrial complex.

“The Hurt Locker” shows how “brave” the US soldiers are (yup – very brave ….they have committed many war crimes – tortured people, raped 14 year old girls, shot innocent families in minivans, and incinerated women and children with white phosphorus violating the Geneva Conventions) and how difficult and valuable their lives are while completely dismissing the lives of the Iraqis whose land they invaded and occupy (British Journal “The Lancet” and America’s top research center John Hopkins estimate that 1.3 million Iraqi lives have been lost due to the US invasion of Iraq. – Source: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq).

Green Zone is more realistic, more hard-hitting, than the typical war movie and is both a slam-bang thriller and a remarkable assessment of the American government’s failures in Iraq, and I completely recommend it.

Watch the Trailer below:


www.bendib.com – America’s Most Wanted Cartoonist.
The pen is funnier than the sword. Cartoons that speak truth to power.

Obama Vows Sanctions against Iran

Our Nobel “Peace” Prize Winner is threatening Iran (Obamaspeak Translated by a friend of mine):

“Because you didn’t do as we commanded, I vow significant sanctions against you, which will starve your children and elderly people, deny them necessary medicines, and generally make life a living hell for your country. After all, the USA can have nuclear weapons even though it HAS used them. Israel can have nuclear weapons and demonstrate outrage at even being ASKED to undergo inspections. MANY other countries are permitted by us – the arbiters of behavior for the entire world – to have nuclear weapons. But not you.

In fact, you cannot even enrich to 20%, although 90% is required for nuclear weapons. Why? Because the USA does not like to be disobeyed and tends to react harshly to that IF the offender does not have nuclear weapons! Which is probably one of the reasons why you might be trying to develop them in the first place, eh?

Well, nothing doing. You play ball with the west, on the terms delineated BY the west, or we will destroy you. And we won’t face much in the way of public pressure over here either: we got that covered with the slickest promo package you can imagine, 24/7 in all media. Peace out.”

Here’s the link to the article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8507168.stm

Clip from “American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein”

Dr. Norman Finkelstein is one of my favorite heros. He’s one of the most bravest people living in America today. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to speak the truth when everyone is against you and not listening. He has not let anything discourage him from speaking the truth.

Here’s a clip from a new film “American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein”

Dr. Finkelstein was invited to give a speech at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, is posed a question from a Zionist. Unfortunately for her, she attempts to invoke the Holocaust to criticize Dr, Finkelstein, completely oblivious to Dr. Finkelstein’s own family history – both his mother and father were survivors of Nazi concentration camps and he lost more family members in the Holocaust than those shedding crocodile tears. In this clip, he first gets ambushed by her fellow Zionist supporters shouting Dr, Finkelstein down, but he quickly takes control of the situation and leaves her with no comeback.

Dr. Finkelstein is a Jewish American political scientist and author, whose primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust. A graduate of Binghamton University, he received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University. He has held faculty positions at Brooklyn College, Rutgers University, Hunter College, New York University, and, most recently, DePaul University, where he was an assistant professor from 2001 to 2007.

Choosing a Gravestone at the “Graveyard of Empires”

“The people of Afghanistan don’t want to be saved by us, they want to be saved from us.”
– US Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The cliché begs repeating because history has shown that no one has ever won in Afghanistan.

Almost everyone knows that the USSR was defeated there, resulting in the bankruptcy and collapse of the Soviet Union. We saw their troops leaving on the news in 1989. No, sorry – they didn’t leave because we sent John Rambo.

The British also failed to conquer Afghanistan – THREE separate times. The bloodiest massacre of British troops occured in Afghanistan. Other empires who tried include Alexander the Great, Mahmud of Ghazni, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the Seljuks, the Hotaki Dynasty, the Moghul Empire, and the Ilkhanate; all fell to the proud and unconquerable people of Afghanistan. That’s why it’s called “The Graveyard of Empires”. Seems yet another empire is picking out its gravestone there now.

“War is Peace” – the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive wars, occupation and bombing of nations that pose no threat to us continues.

Please watch this short video and if you think this war is wrong – call and write to your Congressperson and tell him or her to vote NO on any spending bill that would send more troops to Afghanistan. They have the power to stop this escalation.

The Nobel “Peace” Prize winner wants to use your taxes to bomb Afghanistan further to peace…or rather to pieces. Our country will not become safe if we bomb Afghanistan, or send more drones into Pakistan to kill people in mud huts with our $2 million dollar missiles. They will only create more suicide bombers, terrorists and resistance will esalate putting our troops at risk. Not to mention bankrupt our nation, the great empires of the past collapsed because they couldn’t pay for their wars and occupations. We can use that money to re-invest in our country wisely.

Think about it – would you want your country occupied and bombed by foreign troops? Afghans are a very proud people, why would they? We spend more money on “defense” and “peace” wars than the rest of the world combined. One has to be crazy to think that USA – the “world’s only superpower” surrounded by oceans on its East and West, and puppet states on the North and South needs a military budget that huge to defend the nation against people living in mud huts half way the world across.


www.bendib.com – America’s Most Wanted Cartoonist.
The pen is funnier than the sword. Cartoons that speak truth to power.

Support HR 1207 S 604 – Audit the Federal Reserve

Dear friends, Americans and countrymen,

Lend me your ears….your support is needed to save this country from economic collapse.

Congressman Ron Paul has introduced a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. A Rasmussen survey finds that 75 percent of Americans are in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve.

Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel (just like Federal Express, they only use the word Federal and that is misleading) to that creates the nation’s money. Instead of creating our own money, the United States of America borrows from this private banking system.

This makes the banks incredibly wealthy, as well as the corrupt politicians that are bought out by these bankers – and puts us, the people perpetually in debt. This is why the US government is spending trillions of dollars and sticking us taxpayers and future taxpayers with the bill. This means higher taxes for us, our children and grandchildren. Bailouts for Maserati driving bankers while many in the country are becoming homeless would not be possible if the Federal Reserve was being audited. They are to blame for the economic crisis we are in.

The Federal Reserve has never been audited. Please show your support for this monumental bill currently before Congress. This is a giant first step toward ending the bankers’ reign of terror.

With this link you can send an email to your representatives in a couple of minutes asking them to support the bill in Congress and the Senate.

http://www.votervoice.net/Core.aspx?AID=972&Screen=alert&IssueId=16611