Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interreligious dialogues in the Arab World

Marginalized Encounters

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh Badine

For the last decade, I attended more than a hundred interreligious encounters – institutional, spiritual, theological, social -in several cities: Montreal, Beirut, Cairo, Thessaloniki, Budapest, Istanbul, etc. Most of these encounters occurred between Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, religious and secular, scholars, politicians and social activists, gathered to share their respective visions on several crucial topics all related to the building of peace in the Arab world. Despite their relevance, these encounters could be identified as ‘marginalized’. Marginalization does not mean in this case the potential to result in severe material deprivation, but a certain form of exclusion from national, regional and international decision-making processes. Building peace through dialogue, especially interreligious dialogue, seems to be more and more a diluted-annihilated discourse and practice, or it is used for sectarian and geopolitical agendas.

Some will argue that my concern is postmodernist, being inclined to militate for marginalized voices. Others will say that it has something that is very biblical. Strikingly, when we read the Bible, the voice that often gets marginalized is the voice of God - instead of listening to this voice of grace, mercy, hope, and peace, the people go after their own particular interests. But my main concern is to find an alternative path to the ‘eternal victim’ – i.e. ‘We are being rejected and our voices do not count’ - and the ‘megalomaniac’ - i.e. ‘We know the Truth and others should listen to it so they can be saved’ - attitudes, which seem to undermine the building of a sustaibable culture of peace in the Arab World. Both of these attitudes lead many organizations, groups and individuals to constitute closed circles and ivory towers where criticism of all ‘isms’ loses ground, being replaced by a profusion of graven ideologies.

The result? The reinforcement of marginalization at all levels.

The solution? Starting to be critical of one’s own ‘isms’, without playing the role of ‘outraged prophets of peace’.

There is indeed a problem with humanity’s ability to listen to the marginalized voice, but the latter should understand this as a result of its own limits, especially when it lacks humility, self-criticism, openness and solidarity to-with others.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

About Gaza's Massacre- Holocaust

Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night's work in Gaza by the army that believes in "purity of arms". But why should we be surprised?

Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?

What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. "Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties," yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night's butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive.

What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I'm afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East – by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops – I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against "international terror". The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.

I've reported the excuses the Israeli army has served up in the past for these outrages. Since they may well be reheated in the coming hours, here are some of them: that the Palestinians killed their own refugees, that the Palestinians dug up bodies from cemeteries and planted them in the ruins, that ultimately the Palestinians are to blame because they supported an armed faction, or because armed Palestinians deliberately used the innocent refugees as cover.

The Sabra and Chatila massacre was committed by Israel's right-wing Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli troops, as Israel's own commission of inquiry revealed, watched for 48 hours and did nothing. When Israel was blamed, Menachem Begin's government accused the world of a blood libel. After Israeli artillery had fired shells into the UN base at Qana in 1996, the Israelis claimed that Hizbollah gunmen were also sheltering in the base. It was a lie. The more than 1,000 dead of 2006 – a war started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the border – were simply dismissed as the responsibility of the Hizbollah. Israel claimed the bodies of children killed in a second Qana massacre may have been taken from a graveyard. It was another lie. The Marwahin massacre was never excused. The people of the village were ordered to flee, obeyed Israeli orders and were then attacked by an Israeli gunship. The refugees took their children and stood them around the truck in which they were travelling so that Israeli pilots would see they were innocents. Then the Israeli helicopter mowed them down at close range. Only two survived, by playing dead. Israel didn't even apologise.

Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village – again after they were ordered to leave by Israel – and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.

And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we'll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We'll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we'll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn't. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.

Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer


Sur une autre note, un article de Aziz Enhaili que je vous recommande vivement:

Le ’11 septembre indien’ & la sécurité régionale du flanc sud de l’Asie centrale et de l’Asie du sud

Il y a sept ans, les attentats terroristes [1] qui ont ensanglanté le territoire américain, avaient été préparés dans les camps d’Al-Qaïda en Afghanistan, c’est-à-dire dans le maillon le plus faible du trio Inde-Pakistan-Afghanistan (IPA). Depuis, l’Occident a pris plusieurs mesures pour se prémunir par la suite de telles opérations terroristes de grande envergure. C’est ce qui a permis à un pays comme les États-Unis d’éviter d’autres attentats semblables à ceux du 11 septembre 2001. En revanche, d’autres pays dans le monde en ont fait les frais. Allant de l’Indonésie (Bali) à l’Extrême-Orient au Maroc (Casablanca) à l’Ouest, en passant notamment par la Tunisie (Jerba), l’Algérie (dont Alger), la Turquie (Istanbul), le Pakistan (dont Karachi), le Liban (Beyrouth), la Syrie (Damas), la Jordanie (Amman), l’Égypte (Charme el-Cheikh), l’Espagne (Madrid) et la Grande-Bretagne (Londres). L’Inde est à ce jour la dernière victime du déferlement de cette violence politique jihadiste.

Dans la nuit de mercredi 26 à jeudi 27 novembre, Mombay (ex-Bombay), capitale financière et métropole de l’Inde, est frappée d’un assaut jihadiste d’une ampleur sans précédent pour cette ville (dix attentats simultanés), avec plusieurs centaines de victimes.

Comme c’est de coutume chaque fois que l’Inde est frappée d’un nouvel attentat, Delhi a encore une fois pointé le doigt accusateur vers un pays voisin, c’est-à-dire le Pakistan. On a également pensé instinctivement au réseau d’Al-Qaïda. Il est fort probable que l’on aura dans un proche avenir une idée assez proche des motivations, des connexions et de l’identité des auteurs et du commanditaire de ces attaques terroristes.

Dans cet article, nous avons deux objectifs. Le premier consiste à décortiquer l’assaut terroriste de Mombay. Le second objectif est l’analyse de ses retombées sur l’avenir des relations indo-pakistanaises et donc sur la sécurité du flanc sud de l’Asie centrale et de l’Asie du sud, sans oublier son influence sur la nouvelle stratégie américaine dans cette région. Une telle analyse nous permettra donc de faire ressortir les objectifs politiques réels poursuivis par les « architectes » de ces attentats.

Pour la suite, cliquez ici...

ou http://www.europe2020.org/spip.php?article579&lang=fr

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cartoons - Gaza Massacre

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff creates artworks that call on the world to condemn Israeli holocaust of Gaza

Nepos Libertas's blog

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Que dire de plus que les innombrables articles publiés sur les massacres perpétrés depuis une dizaine de jours et nuits envers les Palestiniens de Gaza? Les mots me manquent... Horrifiée, indignée... 500 morts dont plus de 80 enfants, et des milliers de blessés... Cette répugnante 'mode' qui place les enfants au centre des folies des adultes inquiète. Cette mode qui bafoue la dignité humaine et en fait fi. Croyez-vous que le Hamas constitue la cible de ce génocide? Nullement. Il s'agit de tout le peuple palestinien, et de toute forme de résistance. Le message est clair, pour le Liban et pour tous les pays arabes. En tant qu'intellectuelle, je suis automatiquement engagée dans une forme de résistance qui est celle de l'écriture, la parole. Vivant dans un territoire empreint par les invasions-occupations successives durant des millénaires, je ne peux que dénoncer la folie meurtriere et oeuvrer pour la paix. J'ai envie de dire a propos des gouvernements, des leaders politiques et des faiseurs de guerre: mettons-les dans un ring, qu'ils se battent seuls puisqu'ils y tiennent, sans faire intervenir les innocents, sans gâcher nos vies et les vies de nos enfants. Mais je me ressaisis et me dis que nous sommes tous responsables de ce gâchis, que la faute ne revient pas uniquement aux gouverneurs mais en premier lieu aux gouvernés. Ces gouvernés certes manifestent, mais les manifestations ne suffisent pas. Et la violence n'arrange rien. Le soleil brille pour tout le monde ! Mais pour Gaza, pour le Liban il y a quelques temps et on ne sait quand par la suite, c'est la mort qui frappe à la porte.
Je lisais dans un t
émoignage la détresse d'une femme ayant perdu son enfant et conjurant le ciel pour que l'amour revienne dans les coeurs des hommes." Peut-être que Dieu lui-même cherche un abri pour échapper aux armes ? Pourquoi reste-t-il silencieux ? Que deviendrons-nous ? "
Ces questions, je me les pose continuellement. Le spectre de la guerre me colle a la peau. Des pensées confuses traversent mon esprit. Je ne sais pas ce que l'avenir réserve aux Palestiniens, aux Libanais, aux autres peuples de la région, au monde... Pour l’instant, j'ai trouvé refuge dans l'écriture, dans l'amour de la famille…