Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My dear friends reading this blog, I need some advice. Please tell me if I should post this to sometimes - 2. On one hand, I don't want to be accused of being antiSemitic and trashing Israel. On the other hand, this truth needs to be known. What should I do? This concerns research by a group called "If American Knew."

I am breaking my own rules and publishing this without pictures, as any appropriate pictures would get me arrested for child pornography.

From IHRO:

Strip-Searching Children

Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints


Israeli officials have been regularly strip-searching children for decades, some of them American citizens.

While organizations that focus on Israel-Palestine have long been aware that Israeli border officials regularly strip search men and women, If Americans Knew appears to be the first organization that has specifically investigated the policy of strip searching women. In the course of its investigation, If Americans Knew was astonished to learn that Israeli officials have also been strip searching young girls as young as seven and below.

According to interviews with women in the United States , Israel , the West Bank and Gaza , Israeli border officials periodically force Christian and Muslim females of all ages to remove their clothing and submit to searches.. In some cases the children are then "felt" by Israeli officials.

Sometimes mothers and children are strip-searched together, at other times little girls are taken from their parents and strip-searched alone. Women are required to remove sanitary napkins , sometimes with small daughters at their side. Sometimes women are strip searched in the presence of their young sons..

All report deep feelings of humiliation. Many describe weeping at the degradation they felt.

"I remember crying and pleading with my mother," Gaza journalist Laila El-Haddad recalls of an experience when she was 12-years-old, hoping that her mother could convince the Israeli official to allow her to keep her undershirt on. But parents are unable to shield their children, El-Haddad and others report.

"They had machine guns," El-Haddad explains. "We just had to submit." El-Haddad, who holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, believes that the intention of the strip searches is to humiliate Palestinians so that they won't return to Palestine

Oregon attorney Hala Gores remembers being strip-searched at the age of 10. Her family, Palestinian Christians from Nazareth , were leaving Israel because of Israeli discrimination against Christians. Gores has never returned to her family's ancestral home in Nazareth, she says, in part because she does not want to repeat the experience of having no control over what is done to her.

The Israeli policy appears to target only Christian and Muslim children, and is equally applied to those with Israeli citizenship and citizenship in other countries, including native-born Americans. There are no reports of Jewish children being strip-searched.

New Jersey stand-up comedian Maysoon Zayid describes being strip-searched at Ben Gurion Airport when she was "seven, eight, nine years old" on family trips to visit her parents' original home in Palestine . On her most recent trip in July 2006, Maysoon, an American citizen, had her sanitary pad taken by officials in Ben Gurion Airport . When the search was completed, she says, the Israeli official in charge, Inbal Sharon, then refused to return her pad or allow her to get another.

Zayid, who has cerebral palsy and was sitting in a wheelchair, was then forced to bleed publicly for hours while she waited for her flight.

Zayid, a former class president and yearbook editor at New Jersey 's Cliffside Park High School known for her irreverent comedy routines and strong personality, describes sobbing uncontrollably. "No one spoke up," she remembers. "There were several women, including the woman who was pushing my wheelchair, none of whom said a word."

When she boarded her flight, Zayid recalls, "The flight attendants looked at me in disgust." She told them what had happened, and the attendants then gave her some of their own clothing to use.

In addition to taking her sanitary napkin, Israeli officials also confiscated medication that Zayid is required to take when flying. As a result, she vomited repeatedly throughout the 12-hour flight.

Zayid, who founded a program for newly disabled Palestinian youths ­ many of them permanently disabled from attacks by Israeli forces ­ was so depressed by her treatment that she determined never to return. "But that's what they want," she says, "They want us to get to the point where we don't go back." She says that she is already planning to return to her volunteer work in the West Bank ..

Israeli practices vary and seem to be applied randomly, from elderly women to small children. In some instances women are taken into a room alone and are left sitting naked for hours. At other times they are strip-searched in groups, their clothes thrown in a pile. When they are finally allowed to get dressed, they describe having to rummage through the heap of clothing, naked and barefoot, to find their own garments.

Jewish Holocaust Survivor

While these policies largely target Palestinian and Palestinian- American women and children, some non-Palestinian Americans also report being subjected to strip searches by Israeli officials.

St. Louis resident Hedy Epstein, whose parents and extended family perished in Nazi camps, and whose story is featured in the Academy Award winning documentary "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport," reports being strip searched three years ago following her participation in nonviolent protests in the West Bank. Epstein, who was 79 at the time, describes being forced to bend over for an Israeli official to search her internally.

The strip searches appear to be illegal under numerous statutes. The Geneva Conventions, to which Israel is a signatory, prohibit: "Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment" and specifically emphasize: "Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour"

Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states: "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy"

In the US , such policies would appear to violate child abuse statutes. The state of Utah , for example, defines Child Abuse as: "Any form of cruelty to a child's physical, moral or mental well-being." The Encarta Encyclopedia defines child abuse as "Intentional acts that result in physical or emotional harm to children."

While the If Americans Knew investigation focused on practices concerning women, many interviewees reported frequent random strip-searching of males as well; including American citizens, children, and the elderly.

While the practice is widely applied, many people find it too humiliating to speak of. One 68-year-old Christian businessman, who had been stripped naked at Ben Gurion airport in 2006 before being allowed to board his flight to return home, had never revealed his experience to his family until he learned of the If Americans Knew investigation. He then explained to his daughter why he had previously told her that he might never return to his original home, now in the state of Israel ..

Christians, a thriving community that made up approximately 15 percent of Palestine 's population before Zionist immigration and the creation of Israel (Muslims were 80 percent and Jews 5 percent), have now dwindled under Israeli occupation to approximately two percent of the total population.

Israeli spokespeople and sympathizers have bristled in recent months at the title of a book by former President Jimmy Carter, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.." In reply, Carter has emphasized that the Israeli "apartheid" he is describing is limited to the West Bank and Gaza . Many analysts have disagreed with Carter, providing evidence of pervasive discrimination within Israel itself. The If Americans Knew finding that Israel has been routinely strip-searching non-Jewish citizens of Israel would also indicate a wider policy of Israeli discrimination.

Since American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day, the Council for the National Interest, a Washington DC-based lobbying organization, is organizing a campaign to call on Congress to demand that Israel end these policies.

"We are extremely upset to learn that Israel is using American tax money in ways that degrade and humiliate women and children," says CNI President Eugene Bird. "We call on all Americans to help us on this campaign."

The organization urges people to begin contacting their Congressional representatives immediately, and to disseminate the video report by If Americans Knew as widely as possible.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew.
She can be reached at:



Sunday, February 22, 2009


This is weirder, more outrageous, uglier and much more digusting - to me anyway - than painting Fluffy.

With thanks to S. S.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

USA/PAKISTAN - The Queen of Hearts Screams

The Loving Husband and His Wife

Muslim TV Channel's Pakistani Owner Held as Wife Beheaded

New York
A Pakistani American, who started a Muslim TV channel in the US to counter negative portrayal of Islam after the 9/11 terror attacks, has been arrested after his estranged wife was found beheaded.

Forty-four-year-old Muzzammil Hassan, who set up Bridges TV in Buffalo city in New York state, was charged at the weekend with the murder of his 37-year-old wife Aasiya Hassan.

The estranged wife, who had recently filed for divorce, was found beheaded at the offices of the television channel, reports quoted police as saying.

Just a week ago, she had obtained an order of protection, which barred her husband from their home in Orchard Park in Buffalo 's suburb.

Hassan was charged with second-degree murder at the Orchard Park police station. Police said they found no weapon at the scene.

The Pakistani American had told the media at the launch of his Muslim TV channel in 2004 that he was inspired to launch it after his wife's anguish over the post-9/11 portrayal of Muslims.

He said she was seven-month pregnant at the time of terror attacks and didn't want her children to grow in anti-Muslim atmosphere in the US .

The aim of Bridges TV, he said, was counter negative portrayal of Muslims and Islam after 9/11.

Hassan, who came to the US from Pakistan in 1979, was a successful banker before he and his wife launched the television channel.

IANS February 16, 2009

I have, more than once, been accused of being antiIsrael and thus proIslam. Untrue in both counts! I am anti-inhumane actions and anti-misogeny, if I must be classified as anti-Anything. I much prefer to be classified - if such classification is necessary - as pro-Humanitarianism and pro-Treating-Each-Other-With-Respect-And-Common-Decency. I am also proTrashing-Of-Obvious-Evil.

To show myself to be an equal opportunity trasher-of-evil, I give you this bit of bashing about the death of this woman:
From IHRO (no URL available):

Let's see. We have a Muslim couple founding and operating a Muslim TV
network out of New York with the ostensible purpose of promoting
understanding between Muslim and Western cultures.

The two were originally from Pakistan. The husband, in this country for 30
years, had a successful business career before beginning the TV venture. The
couple met on the Internet, was married 8 years and had two children, 4 and
6. It was his third marriage.

On Feb. 12, Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan, 44, walked into the police station in
Orchard Park, N.Y., and told officials his wife, 37-year-old Aasiya Hassan,
was dead.

And so she was.

Police found her body lying in a hallway of the TV station. She was
stone-cold dead. But it wasn't your usual dead body - not beaten to death,
knifed, hung, shot or even poisoned.

No, the woman had been decapitated. Murdered. It was no accident. Heads
don't just fall off.

News reports meticulously ignored details of the murder scene. All we've
been told is that the murder weapon hadn't yet been found or identified and
that her head was found near her body.

But, was there evidence of a struggle? Was the body dragged? Was there much
blood? Indications are that the husband wasn't distraught when he reported
the death, but was he bloody? Injured? Had he changed clothes?

Only "Mo" and the police know, and they're not talking. All officials say is
that it was "domestic violence."

Sure it was. Just a plain, ordinary, Western civilization domestic violence
case, like all the others that cross police blotters.

But finding bodies with separated heads is not a common event for Orchard
Park police. Indeed, it's not common for American police in any jurisdiction
- not so much because cutting someone's head off isn't a known way of
killing, but because that method of killing is not part of Western culture.

Even the French stopped using the guillotine for executions. It's so
primitive and messy.

Primitive? Where did that come from? Well, decapitation is a part of Islamic
culture going back centuries, and it exists today, ranging from a prescribed
method of execution for civil law violations to violations of precepts of
the Quran.

It's clearly part of what are called "honor killings" - the intentional
murder of a person of any age for any act deemed to bring shame to the
family. The victim most often is a woman or girl, and her transgression
usually involves some form of disobedience to parents or spouse. It can
range from clothing choice, to becoming "Westernized, " to refusing an
arranged marriage or wanting a divorce.

Unfortunately, Aasiya Hassan did want a divorce and filed papers just days
before her death. She also obtained a restraining order against her husband.
He clearly didn't want her to divorce and apparently did what, in his
culture and religion, is traditionally appropriate and accepted.

And now, she's dead.

The big problem is this isn't the Middle East. This isn't an Islamic nation,
and we do not practice Shariah law. But despite that, multicultural
political correctness has entered the picture. News media avoid calling it
an "honor killing." It's just "domestic violence."

Mentions of their Islamic faith and culture are virtually nil. This whole
situation is treated with kid gloves, with officials and media bending over
backward to avoid mentioning the obvious.

Adding insult to injury, "Mo" Hassan has only been charged with
second-degree murder.

Just what is first degree murder in New York?

"Mo" has an on-the-ball lawyer in his corner. Attorney James Harrington
quickly went on the defense over any suggestions of an honor killing, saying
flatly: "Culture, religion doesn't play a role. . It's not an issue in this

What rots the brains of criminal defense lawyers so they have no compunction
about raising defense claims that boggle the mind of any reasoned person?
Truth and justice are flexible; common sense is not a consideration.

It's unavoidable that Islamic culture and religion is part of who Hassan is
as a man and businessman. He had a good reputation among Muslim activists
and was given an award by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The focus of his television venture was to stress positive aspects of
Islamic culture and religion. Employees report that he wasn't overtly
religious but did favor Islamic tradition in terms of women's dress and
insisted his wife be present if a woman was in his office.

Until recently, the only way Americans knew about decapitation was from
movies or reading history.

But militant Islam and terrorism changed that with a vengeance by taking
Western prisoners and decapitating them on camera. Their "20th and 21st
century" war against the West involves 7th century tactics.

Recording decapitations on video is a cruel touch they relish. Remember
Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg and Jack Hensley and Paul Johnson and Eugene
Armstrong? They were all decapitated by terrorists. Just two weeks ago,
Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak was beheaded, and American U.N. worker John
Solecki faces the threat now. See them on tape.

But honor killings are the other side of the decapitation coin, and we tend
to ignore it because it's not acceptable to say or think anything untoward
of Muslims or Islam. We've been intimidated.

The result will be a gradual acceptance of such practices in this country
under the guise of religious freedom. It will become virtually untouchable
under our law because it's OK with Islam.

The gruesome death of Mrs. Hassan isn't the first honor killing in this
country, and it won't be the last. But media coverage is always low key and
virtually non-existent.

Octuplets and a rampaging chimpanzee get headlines; a beheading gets a media

Poor Aasiya.

"Anyone who clings to the historically untrue -- and -- thoroughly immoral
doctrine that violence never solves anything I would advise to conjure up
the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them
debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee. Violence, naked force, has
settled more issues in history than has any other factor; and the contrary
opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic
truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms."
--Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

INDIA 3 - Till Divorce Do Us Part

Does it seem that I pick on India? Well, I suppose I do. But so much really bizarre stuff happens there and I choose neither to ignore nor resist. So here is yet another wild and wooly tale from the Asian subcontinent.

Don't these two look annoyed? Read on and discover why.

From the BBC

The couple say their marriage is a question of honour (Photos: Devendra Uppal)

Couple's surprise over 'divorce'

An Indian couple who married 25 years ago have discovered they were divorced without their consent in 1998.

Meena and Virender Verma, who are in their 40s with two teenaged children, say they are shocked by the news.

Meena found out about the divorce when she went to the authorities to complain that her brother-in-law was violent.

She and her husband hope the courts will "restore their honour". The brother-in-law is reported denying having anything to do with the divorce.

'Shock of my life'

The couple, from the town of Hisar in the state of Haryana, told the BBC that they never sought the divorce which was granted by a local court.

They insist that their neighbours and relatives are prepared to vouch for their story.

Meena Verma said that she received the "shock of her life" when she filed a

case of violence against her brother-in-law only to be told that she had in fact also been divorced from her husband nearly a decade ago.

"I don't know why this has been done to me. We never filed for divorce anywhere.

"My husband has always been with me. I had kept quiet about my family matters and the violence for the sake of my family's reputation," she said.

"But I don't know how it is that we stand divorced now."

'Hope for justice'

A local district officer in the government-run women's welfare department who investigated Meena's case told the BBC they had not found any evidence that the couple had divorced.

"We asked people in the neighbourhood and some family and relatives of the couple and they all denied any knowledge about the couple's separation," Dr Poonam Raman, district protection officer, told the BBC.

Meena Verma's husband, Virender, said that he was solidly behind his wife and hoped for justice in court.

Virender alleged that his elder brother - a lawyer - cooked up the divorce theory around about the first time the couple sought to complain against his violent behaviour 10 years ago.

But The Times of India newspaper quoted the brother, Surinder Singh, denying the allegation.

Surinder and a number of other lawyers now face charges of misleading the court on the issue of divorce.

"Sheer injustice has been done to us and our reputation. We are hoping the court will help us restore our honour," Meena Verma said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/06/03 17:46:43 GMT

Perhaps the brother-in-law should marry - and divorce - a pooch, eh?