Taliban

Taliban step over the line and Pakistan fights back

In places like Pakistan they don’t do slacktivisim, when they get mad at people, like the Taliban cowards who killed innocent kids and teachers in a school, they get even.

And the Taliban, who once enjoyed safe havens in Pakistan are now being slaughtered…and run out of the country.

Pakistan has finally taken a stand against the terrorists.

The grief has given way to rage. Three days after Pakistan suffered its worst ever terrorist attack, with the massacre of 132 schoolchildren in Peshawar, the country has hit back.

In the tribal areas of North Waziristan and Khyber along the Afghan border, Pakistani jets strafed militant targets as troops combated militants on the ground. The military says that it has killed 77 as the assault presses on. For days, Pakistanis in major cities held candlelit vigils, placing flowers under portraits of the pupils who were killed in their school on Tuesday. Yesterday, they took to the streets to protest against pro-Taliban preachers and declare their resolve to end the threat that the militants pose.

Schools and colleges across the country have been closed until the new year. Major cities were on high alert yesterday amid fears that the Taliban will try and make good on its intention to slaughter more innocents. “We are bracing for another attack,” Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Pakistan’s Defence Minister, told The Independent.

“There are reports that Punjab and other provinces are also threatened by terrorists – particularly soft targets like schools, public places where there is low security.”    Read more »

Faces of the day

Today’s faces of the day are the nine teachers who were killed trying to protect their students in Peshawar. ( Photos taken from Daily Mail.co.uk )

Beenish Pervaiz

Tahira Kazi

Saeed Khan

Afsha Ahmed

Hifsa Khush and four other brave teachers whose names are unknown at this time.

I honour them for their bravery.

I will let their students’ words below, be their memorial.

 

Beenish Pervaiz (pictured back left with her family), a former student at the University of Greenwich, was reportedly one of the teachers who was slaughtered by gunmen as she tried to help her young pupils

Gunned down and blown up: A photograph reportedly showing five of the teachers (circled) who died in the Pakistan massacre when Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers killed 148 children and staff at the school

Gunned down and blown up: A photograph reportedly showing five of the teachers (circled) who died in the Pakistan massacre when Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers killed 148 children and staff at the school

Tahira Kazi, the principal of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, died after she was reportedly set on fire by Taliban militants in front of her pupils. She is pictured with a man believed to be her son

Tahira Kazi, the principal of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, died after she was reportedly set on fire by Taliban militants in front of her pupils. She is pictured with a man believed to be her son

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An enemy that targets children

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

-biblehub.com

School pupil Mohammad Baqair lost his mother, a teacher, in the attack  -BBC

School pupil Mohammad Baqair lost his mother, a teacher, in the attack
-BBC

Militants from the Pakistani Taliban have attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children, the military say.

Officials say the attack in the north-western city is over, with all the attackers killed. Seven militants took part in all, according to the army.

Seven militants was all it took to massacre 132 children. Seven. One militant with a suicide vest or a remote controlled bomb can kill even more. Next time you are told that the enemy are in the minority remember this massacre. Remember what a ruthless enemy that targets children can do with only tiny numbers. Remember.

Scores of survivors are being treated in hospitals as frantic parents search for news of their children.

The attack – the Taliban’s deadliest in Pakistan – has been widely condemned.

Describing the attack from his hospital bed to the BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil, Shahrukh Khan, 17, said a gunman had entered his classroom and opened fire at random.

As he hid under a desk, he saw his friends being shot, one in the head and one in the chest. Two teachers were also killed…

…A Taliban spokesman told BBC Urdu that the school, which is run by the army, had been targeted in response to military operations.

…US President Barack Obama said terrorists had “once again shown their depravity” while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was “an act of horror and rank cowardice”.

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Face of the day

 

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell is well qualified to have an informed opinion on the anti-terrorist legislation. If he is 100% behind it, then I feel confident that it was the right thing to do.

 

The MP who chaired the anti-terrorist legislation rushed through Parliament last week, Mark Mitchell, says the bill was “100 per cent” justified.

And he said he had had messages yesterday thanking him for the bill in light of the Sydney hostage crisis.

“It becomes a lot more real for people when it’s three hours across the ditch.”

…Mr Mitchell, a former security specialist who ran a company in the Middle East for 10 years, said New Zealand was not immune.”We don’t have some sort of magic inoculation that means we couldn’t be exposed to some sort of extremist actions here.”

…Mr Mitchell said one thing he had learned after dealing with terrorists’ acts for a decade was that they had become good at adapting and changing tactics to defeat measures taken by countries to mitigate risk.

“You do have to be quite flexible and be able to move quickly and take all the measures we need to prevent that from happening.”

Read more »

Faces of the day

We need systematic change in the Muslim world

-Nazie Eftekhari

 

Nazie Eftekhari was born in Iran, and is a board member of the Iranian-American Political Action Committee as well as founder and CEO of The Araz Group. Hear her unique perspective on growing up in Iran, how the 1978 revolution impacted women and what she’s doing to continue to fight for equal rights for any and all oppressed communities.

She is one of a number of human rights activists who joined together to make the Honor Diaries:

  1. Sixteen year old Education activist, Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban.
  2. Muslim-American human rights activist Raquel Saraswati
  3. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions
  4. Raheel Raza,  the author of “Their Jihad…Not My Jihad,” professional speaker, President of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and founder of Forum 4 Learning, which promotes learning in the fields of cultural and religious diversity and interfaith harmony.
  5. Manda Zand Ervin, Founder and President of the Alliance of Iranian Women, is an Iranian political refugee working to bring attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws.

You can listen to them all but if you only have time for one speaker, make it Malala Yousafzai the 16 year old who was shot in the head by the Taliban.

Listen you Taliban scum, don’t mess with decent people

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I wish I could give these women a hug.   And fresh ammo.

A grieving Afghan mother took bloody revenge on the Taliban militants who gunned down her son, killing 25 and injuring five of them during a seven hour gun battle.

Reza Gul watched helplessly as her son died while he manned a village checkpoint with his small team of police officers in the lawless Farah province.

But flanked by her daughter and daughter-in-law, she led a counter strike on his attackers killing 25 militants and wounding another five during a ferocious seven hour gun battle.

Seven hours.  And she made it 25 zip.   Read more »

Face of the day

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Afghanistan’s cosmopolitan new first lady, Rula Ghani (pictured), has backed France’s controversial ban on the niqab

Rula Ghani is one amazing lady. She is a Christian in a Muslim Country and she is standing up for women’s rights. She couldn’t do it without the support of her husband and fortunately for her she has it.

France’s niqab ban is PRAISED by Afghanistan’s new First Lady as she begins campaigning for women’s rights in the country
Rula Ghani said the niqab and burqa prevent women from moving freely

Afghanistan’s cosmopolitan new first lady has backed France’s controversial ban on the niqab, comparing the full veil to ‘blinders’ as she prepares to campaign for more respect for women in her conservative adopted homeland.

Rula Ghani shocked Afghan observers earlier this year when she appeared with her husband during the country’s presidential campaign, a rare example of a political wife sharing the spotlight.

Now the Lebanese-American of Christian heritage is set to carve out a role for herself as the patriarchal and deeply Muslim nation’s first high-profile first lady.

1414766735343_wps_22_FILES_Photo_taken_on_Marc

Wearing the full veil in public was banned by French law in 2011

In an interview with AFP at the presidential palace, Ghani, who speaks five languages, reminisced about her time as a student at the prestigious Sciences Po university in Paris which she attended during the late 1960s.
Wearing a vintage Hermes scarf over her hair, she recalled in fluent French that ‘all the young women at Sciences Po had their headscarves which they would wear as they stepped out of school’.

‘When issues began to arise around the veil and hijab in France, I was a little shocked, people seem to not have a very long memory.’

Wearing the full veil in public was banned by French law in 2011, igniting a fierce debate over the value of religious freedom against social cohesion.

Ghani said she supported the ban.

‘Regarding the French law against the niqab and burqa which prevent women from being able to move freely and see, because the niqab is a bit like blinders, I am in full agreement with the government of France,’ Ghani told AFP.
The banning of the rull veil in France ignited a fierce debate over the value of religious freedom against social cohesion

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Malala Yousafzai is a remarkable human being

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Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls’ right to education, … won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

With the prize, Yousafzai, 17, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize winner, eclipsing Australian-born British scientist Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 when he shared the Physics Prize with his father in 1915.

Satyarthi [was] picked for [the] struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

I doubt that decision will cause much, if any, controversy.

I first saw here in the following interview, and she’s a remarkable person – wise beyond her age.   I’m still not as mature as she is.  Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photograph by Robert Wilson "They were looking quite bedraggled," says Wilson."And while they were having a debrief, I noticed they had this thousand-yard stare".

Photograph by Robert Wilson
“They were looking quite bedraggled,” says Wilson.”And while they were having a debrief, I noticed they had this thousand-yard stare”.

Bringing The Front Line To UK Streets

Read more »

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 »