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February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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An Evening with Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish

Transcending Loss, Tragedy, and the Impasse of Self-righteous Hatred: An Evening with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, Author of “I Shall Not Hate, A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Rights”

Monday, March 2, 2015, at 7:30 pm
Interfaith Chapel Sanctuary, University of Rochester

Thoughout his life, Izzeldin Abuelaish. MD, has beaten the odds: as a child growing up in a Gazan refugee camp, as an impoverished student focused on becoming a doctor, as a Palestinian medical expert treating Israeli patients, and now as a father enduring the loss of three of his children. Today, with his trademark, hopeful determination, he continues his efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together as people, with the unshakable purpose that his daughters, and the many other innocents on both sides, shall not have died in vain. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and learn from someone whose life represents the best of our human ability to overcome adversity, especially that from within: our destructive desire to do unto others what has been done unto us.
Light refreshments to follow in Interfaith Chapel, River Level.

Sponsored by:

College Dean’s Office, College Diversity Roundtable, Gandhi Institute, Interfaith Chapel, Muslim Students’ Association

Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center,President’s Office, Roman Catholic Newman Community

Student Association for Interfaith Cooperation, Vice President & General Secretary’s Office

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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Pakistani movie on Saadat Hasan Manto chronicles the author’s final years in his adopted country

Saadat Hasan Manto, one of the subcontinent’s most beloved chroniclers of human follies and foibles, will be celebrated in two movies in the coming months. One is by Indian actor and director Nandita Das and is still being written. The other is ready. It’s a Pakistani production simply titled Manto, and it is scheduled to be released after the cricket World Cup sometime in April. Written by renowned Pakistani writer and theatre personality Shahid Nadeem and directed by and starring television actor and director Sarmad Khoosat, Manto maps the seven tumultuous years the author spent in Pakistan before he died in 1955. Nadeem’s Ajoka theatre group has staged several productions based on Manto’s writings, some of which were considered so scabrous as to invite official censure. These include Akhri Salute, Titwal ka Kutta, Naya Qanoon, Sahib-i-Karamat, and Toba Tek Singh. More here.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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oscar speeches

yes, patricia arquette’s speech was non-inclusive, non-intersectional in a bizarre sort of way. she probably meant well but she could have broadened the idea of equality. she was good in “boyhood” tho. there’s something direct and uncompromising about her which i like. i have a question about common’s speech. here’s the transcript:

First off, I’d like to thank God that lives in us all. Recently, John and I got to go to Selma and perform “Glory” on the same bridge that Dr. King and the people of the civil rights movement marched on 50 years ago. This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation, but now is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope. Welded with compassion. And elevated by love for all human beings.

when he talks about “those in france standing up for their freedom of expression” does he mean the “circus of hypocrisy ” led mostly by privileged white war criminals or does he mean those who were charged, arrested or detained right afterwards for “not being charlie”? the racist and imperial implications of the CH debacle don’t quite fit the parameters of the civil rights struggle. just saying.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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The Legacy Of Malcolm X

brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

The messages of civil rights leader Malcolm X still resonate 50 years after his assassination. Conversations about Islam in America, police shootings and freedom of the press are as relevant in 2015 as they were on the day of his death: February 21, 1965. Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill start a two-day conference to examine the legacy of Malcolm X today. Listen to the discussion here.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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Stop Letting Trans People Die

Mya Adriene Byrne: I call on all non-trans people: queer allies, straight activists, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, bandmates, soulmates, teens and elders, ministers, doctors and teachers — let the world know that you care about trans folk, no matter how they identify, and that you stand with us. That our treatment, the erasure of our affirmed identities, and the violence perpetrated against us, is unacceptable. Tell people our lives matter — that we are people. More here.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around an Oslo synagogue

i am always torn about celebrating gestures of solidarity with the victims of certain kinds of violence, accompanied by complete silence over larger-scale forms of imperial genocide. however, i have a rule. any expression of tolerance and mutual support towards any group which seems to be willfully targeted or dehumanized, by anyone, is a good thing. i know that because i appreciate small gestures of support and solidarity from jewish and christian activists whenever the victims happen to be muslim (which is often). i am not denying that context is important, i talk about that incessantly. altho acts of violence need to be understood within a comprehensive historical and political framework, their victims need not be politicized in how (or whether) we mourn for them. i know this is not always easy to do considering how propagandized and interconnected every act of brutality now seems to be, i wrote an entire post about it after the peshawar school killings, but i still hope to see the death of a human being for what it is: a tragedy. i appreciate any show of support in such dehumanized and morally relative times.

“We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,” 17-year-old event organizer Hajrad Arshad said in an interview with Norwegian television. “If someone wants to attack the synagogue, they need to step over us first,” posted another of the event’s organizers on Facebook. More here.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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80% of Anti-Muslim Attacks in France Against Women, Says Report

such irony. where are the european “feminists”?

On why [Fiyaz Mughal] believes Muslim women might face more abuse than their male counterparts, Mughal says: “All our data… shows that visible women are the ones that are targeted at a street level. This means that women who wear the hijab are the ones that are sometimes targeted for abuse and those who wear the niqab suffer more anti-Muslim hate incidents and more aggressive assaults.” He also believes that there is a gender imbalance in terms of anti-Muslim hate at a street level, saying that victim data shows that perpetrators are usually male and aged between 15-35, while their victims are mostly women and aged between 15-45. More here.

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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for real???

coverage of ISIS is so over the top, so ludicrous, so surreal. perhaps they are too, whatever they are, but i don’t hold western media (or intelligence) in v high esteem and that goes way beyond ISIS news.

luring women with kittens since 2015

luring women with kittens since 2015

February 24, 2015
by mara.ahmed
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Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by protesters

Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs (Kent), was occupied at 5am this morning to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people are on the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom is locked to the fence. A wide range of groups came together to make this happen, including: Brighton BDS, Brighton Palestine Action, Smash EDO, Stop NATO Cymru, Anarchist Action Network, East Kent CAAT, Swansea Action for Palestine (with a bit of support from us too). More here.