Middle East

Sharia law…seems legit.

Ever heard the Old Testament phrase of an eye for an eye?

Christianity

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
This saying of Jesus is generally interpreted as criticism of the Old Testament teaching, and often taken as implying that “an eye for an eye” encourages excessive vengeance rather than an attempt to limit it.

-wiki

 

Islam

The Qur’an mentions the “eye for an eye” concept as being ordained for the Children of Israel.The principle of Lex talionis in Islam is Qasas (Ù‚Ű”Ű§Ű”) “O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution (Qasas) for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.” Shi’ite countries that use Islamic Sharia law apply the “eye for an eye” rule literally.

-wiki

 

A court in Iran has ruled that a man who blinded a woman with acid after she spurned his marriage proposals will also be blinded with acid.

The ruling was reported in Iranian newspapers on Thursday.

The punishment is legal under the Islamic Sharia principle of qias, equivalence or analogy, which allows retribution for violent crimes.

The court also ordered the attacker, 27-year-old Majid Movahedi, to pay compensation to the victim.

The acid attack took place in 2004. The victim, Ameneh Bahrami, went to Spain for surgery to reconstruct her face but efforts to restore her sight failed.

The ruling was a response to her plea to the court in the Iranian capital Tehran for retribution.

-BBC News 28 November 2008

 

You may be interested to know that in the end the victim did not get her retribution.

 

Ameneh-Bahrami-holds-a-ph-007

Ameneh Bahrami holds a photo showing herself before she was blinded with acid by Majid Movahedi. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

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The Evolution of Marriage

mrge01

When Gay marriage was being debated marriage itself came under the spotlight. All of a sudden we were asking ourselves..

What is marriage?

Is marriage about children?

Is marriage a religious institution or a secular one?

I wondered about the origins of marriage, the purpose of marriage and how it has evolved from the past to what we recognise as marriage now.

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Faces of the day

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Media just making stuff up about SAS

Yesterday the Herald ran an article suggesting that NZSAS troops could be deployed to Iraq to battle ISIS.

The problem with that article was that John Key actually said it was his least preferred option for dealing with ISIS.

Today they follow it up with an outright denial, not once but twice from Jonathan Coleman, but not content with that they run off to a journalist and an academic for them to suggest, that just maybe, possibly, the NZSAS might already be overseas or getting ready to deploy overseas.

You can’t make this up…the Minister says no and they think maybe it might be something else.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has dismissed suggestions the elite SAS force is ready and waiting for the green light to go into combat against Isis (Islamic State) militants in Iraq.   Read more »

What is life like under the boot of ISIS?

VICE reports:

Earlier this week, a video aired on French television showed scenes of daily life in Raqqa, Syria, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State.

Filmed in secret and at a huge risk by a Syrian woman who hid a camera behind her niqab, the footage shows armed men patrolling the city, a woman carrying an AK-47 into a playground, and an internet café where foreign women who traveled to the caliphate phone their relatives back in France, saying they love it there.

The video, like VICE News’ The Islamic State before it, once again brought the attention of the world to Raqqa, a city where life under the Islamic State is as inscrutable to outsiders as it is terrifying — a reminder of the caliphate’s brutality as much as of its bureaucratic efficiency.

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An insiders guide to reporting on Israel/Gaza conflict

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot   Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Tablet has an essay about the media manipulations in reporting the Israel/Gaza conflict.

It is by  Matti Friedman who is a former AP correspondent who explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters. What she writes echoes what I saw in Israel.

The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.

While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.

She looks at the disproportionate staffing and reporting on Israel compared with other countries.

Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.

To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer. The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel. I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd. Staffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high. And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. Israel still trumps nearly everything else.

The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.

That is an indictment in itself right there. That is a massive news imbalance.    Read more »

Rocket fire resumes from Gaza

I was sitting at Blue Sky restaurant atop the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv having dinner with two Israeli bloggers talking about LGBTQ issues in Israel.

As we were eating dinner Hamas launched a rocket attack.

Iron Dome started firing and I have to say it was impressive.   Read more »

Jon Voight takes on F.A.G.

Jon Voight is standing up to the Hollywood luvvies who have signed an letter denouncing Israel.

He tells a few home truths…I wonder if his daughter, Angelina Jolie, will take pause to read what her father has written.

From Hollywood Reporter:

My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.

They are obviously ignorant of the whole story of Israel’s birth, when in 1948 the Jewish people were offered by the UN a portion of the land originally set aside for them in 1921, and the Arab Palestinians were offered the other half. The Arabs rejected the offer, and the Jews accepted, only to be attacked by five surrounding Arab countries committed to driving them into the sea. But the Israelis won. The Arabs tried it again in 1967, and again in 1973, launching a sneak attack on the holiest Jewish holiday. Each time the Jews prevailed but not without great loss of life.  And when Israel was not fighting a major war, it was defending itself against terrorist campaigns.   Read more »

Face of the day

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Obama wants to stop female genital mutilation.

After my Face of the day yesterday about the man who had his genitals allegedly removed by a hospital in a circumcision gone wrong, I can only cross my legs in horror at the thought of my special bits being removed. Ask yourself what kind of mind set, what kind of attitude towards women does Genital mutilation reveal about a religion or race? Women are chattels much as they were more than a hundred years ago in European culture. Thank fully we have evolved but we are still dealing with religions and cultures that have not evolved. They control women and they mutilate women.

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The Middle East problem explained

This is probably the most important video about Israel ever made.

The Middle East conflict is framed as one of the most complex problems in the world. But, in reality, it’s very simple. Israelis want to live in peace and are willing to accept a neighboring Palestinian state.

And most Palestinians do not want Israel to exist.

As Dennis Prager explains, this is really all you need to know.

In 5 minutes, understand how Israel was founded, and how, since that auspicious day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.

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