Tag Archives: Muslims

Vatican Letter to Muslims Re: Violence and Terrorism

The Vatican has published a message to Muslims on the occasion of Ramadan: “There is no life that is more precious than another”


“Christians and Muslims: Together to counter violence perpetrated in the name of religion”: this is the title of the message the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims for the start of Ramadan. The wishes were sent by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council and the secretary, Fr. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, “with Pope Francis”.

The Vatican underlined the gravity of the crimes committed against some ethnic and religious communities: “For some of you and also for others from other religious communities, the joy of the feast is shadowed by the memory of the dear ones who lost their life or goods, or suffered physically, mentally and even spiritually because of violence. Ethnic and religious communities in a number of countries of the world went through various and enormous unjust sufferings: killing of some of their members, destruction of their religious and cultural heritages, forced emigration from their homes and cities, molestation and raping of their women, enslavement of some of their members, trafficking of persons, commerce of organs, and even selling of cadavers!” “However, what makes them even more heinous” in the Vatican’s eyes, “is the attempt to justify them in the name of religion.”

“Needless to say, those who have the responsibility of security and public order have also the duty to protect their people and their properties from the blind violence of the terrorists. Besides, there is also the responsibility of those who have the task of education: families, schools, curricula, religious leaders, religious discourse, media,” the message reads.

“Violence and terrorism,” the text explains, “are first conceived in the mind of the deviated persons, thereafter perpetrated on the ground. All those are involved in the education of the youth and in the various educational spaces should teach the sacred character of life and the derived dignity of every person, regardless of his or her ethnicity, religion, culture, social position and political choice. There is no life that is more precious than another one because it belongs to a specific race or religion. Therefore, no one can kill. No one can kill in the name of God; this would be a double crime: against God and the very person.”



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A Sad Day to Be Right

While those of us who write about Islamic terrorism are accused of all sorts of things, including being racists (laughable because Muslim is not a race) and, of course, Islamaphobic, those of us who are to the left on other issues, such as abortion or gay rights have an extra bit of hostility against us from others, who agree with us on those issues. Obviously, “How dare you agree with me on some issues but not all?” is an inane question, but they do not ask us this directly.

For those of us in touch with reality, thinking everyone has a right to marry who they love and opposing those who would kill people for their sexual orientation are consistent positions, as are believing every girl should have the right to grow up to do whatever she wants and being against what Muslim-led governments do to women for wanting an education or walking outside. There is no hypocrisy in being against what Westboro Baptist Church wanting to execute people due to their religious beliefs and Islamofascists actually executing people for theirs.

On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, left-wing icon and titular host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” outlines how those on the left have been wrong to censor and censure any criticism of Islam, in the face of the reality of Islamic terrorism.

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Gabourey Sidibe is My New Heroine! (Commentary on Diversity in Hollywood)

I do not think I have ever chosen anyone who is younger than I am as a hero(ine) in my life, but Gabourey Sidibe, best known for playing the title character in “Precious,” is my new heroine for how she responded to trolls who insulted her physical appearance because (to alter the text below to more show my POV) she has the nerve to be famous without looking like the skinny, blonde actresses she shares entertainment award stages with.

I do not find myself hideous, but I, also, do not think anyone has ever helped me with something because he/she liked my looks, given me a job because they want to have sex with me. Whatever I have accomplished in life or will accomplish, whatever traits I have that ascended me towards those accomplishments — talent, tenacity or whatever else, what I look like has never helped me with any of it.

And, as many of my readers know, I live in Los Angeles, which provides only a more opaque view to what all of the Anglosphere seems to use as a measure of attractiveness — that to be attractive means to look like Ken and Barbie Dolls. Of course, there are exceptions to  this rule, with people who do not look like them being allowed to feel attractive to a small demographic, those who have something about them that is fetishized. The fetishes people have come up with include everything from one’s ethnic heritage to playing a guitar to gang membership and urban crime sprees to an obese, unhealthy level of body fat. (There are chubby chasers out there, like gays were in the ’80s, hiding their true desires.)  Through fetishization, more people have a chance to feel attractive, specifically people who do not fit the mold of Mattel products.

Far too often, those in minority groups, including the physically-challenged, or just people who do not look like girls’ dolls, are not included in our films and TV show, as if the culture we see reflected back to us in scenes on screens, they have been erased. Or, perhaps, a better way of looking at it would be they have been marginalized so far from sight, they seem to not exist. 

I do not care how many Oscar-nominated films have female producers (about 2/3 of them) or the ratio of men to women in the writing room of “The Daily Show” or what goes on between Michael Bey and Megan Fox. I want to see more non-white people in my films and TV shows. And fat people. And people with wheelchairs. And dwarfs, who are just playing real people who happen to have dwarfism, not Hobbits or characters in surreal dreams. And Wiccans and Orthodox Jews and Satanists and Fundamentalist Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and Muslims, who do not want to destroy America or blow up buildings, but who take limousines to night clubs where they order expensive champagne and throw parties in their mansions and have sex with porn models and actresses, like the real Muslims you meet in L.A. 

WEDNESDAY, JAN 15, 2014 07:49 AM PST

Gabourey Sidibe shuts down the trolls

A flawless response to the haters wins Twitter


Gabourey Sidibe shuts down the trollsGabourey Sidibe (Credit: AP/Steffi Loos)

Take that, haters! Gabourey Sidibe would like you to know she’s doing just fine.

The 30-year-old costar of “American Horror Story: Coven” received a typical amount of crap on Twitter after her Sunday appearance at the Golden Globes, for committing the crime of appearing in public while not being thin. But after the brilliant wits of the Internet were done riffing on how she “looked like the GLOBE at the Golden Globes” and “ate the Golden Globes,”Sidibe got in a comment of her own. “To people making mean comments about my GG pics,”she tweeted, “I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK” And, nearly 27,000 retweets later, game point Sidibe.

Us magazine promptly called Sidibe’s response “amazing,” while CNN declared her the winner of the “best comeback” award. And she was. She fully acknowledged the utter meanness of the commenters’ body snarking on her appearance, but she didn’t turn it into a pity party. Instead, she simply got the last laugh. She later added on Twitter, “Yay! Everyone is so wonderful and supportive of my shade! This might be a problem down the line. Thank you! #notmyjetthough #imnotthatfancy”

Sidibe has had a long time to prepare for just such a cool reaction. She’s never been just a talented actress. She’s been an overweight, dark-skinned actress – exactly the sort of person, asthis year’s blond-tastic Golden Globes oh so conspicuously proved, who does not fit comfortably in the public perception of what a star looks like. More shockingly, as Kate Harding noted four years ago, when Sidibe’s stardom was on the ascent for her breakthrough role in “Precious,” she is a woman openly not struggling “with debilitating body-related shame and anxiety.” How infuriating for those who believe fat equals misery.

The world is chock-full of pathetic bullies whose chief pastime is picking apart people who are different. You can be Miss America – literally, one of the most conventionally beautiful women in the world – and they will tear you down because of the color of your skin. So Sidibe is a whole trifecta of opportunity for trolls – overweight, black and female.

Very few people who are mercilessly picked on the way Sidibe routinely is have her clout. Most people who are bullied, unfortunately, don’t have a snappy comeback about how awesome their lives are. I may be wrong, but the list of Oscar-nominated overweight African-American women who are on hit TV shows is, by my count, one. That’s why her comment went viral. That’s why it was perfection. Because while Sidibe’s happy circumstances are unique, she was making a statement for all the other picked on and put down out there. She was saying, “You are mean and hurtful and I am better than you.” And while it’s nice to have a private jet and a dream job to back that statement up, sometimes it’s enough for someone to call out the haters, to acknowledge their existence and to make them look as small and stupid as they truly are. Sidibe did just that, with wit and class. She told the world, that if you want to fat-shame a lady, don’t be surprised if she shames you right back, flawlessly.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of “Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream.” Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.MORE MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS.

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Persecution of Palestinian Christians by Palestinian Muslims

Persecution of Palestinian Christians by Palestinian Muslims

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December 12, 2013 · 8:55 pm

A Video Game Where Players Assassinate the Pope?!?!

I’m going to resist commenting on this yet to better ask for other people’s opinions, including those who are more familiar than I am about video games and Assassin’s Creed 2, in particular.
How is it possible that there is a widely popular video game where the player plays a Muslim assassin, who breaks into the Vatican, kills priests and assassinates the Pope?

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December 3, 2013 · 6:20 pm