A letter written to France by Assad’s grandfather

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/09/01/bashir-assads-grandfathers-stunning-1936-letter-to-france/

http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/assads-grandfathers-1936-letter-predicts-muslim-slaughter-of-minorities-praises-zionists/2012/09/20/0/

Elder of Ziyon The letter reveals the reason that the Alawite (Assad) rulers of Syria are willing to fight to the last man to remain in power is because the alternative is that they would be exterminated – they understand the Muslim mentality of how they deal with minorities quite well.

 

Here’s the letter, written in 1936, with Kedar’s comments in brackets:

Dear Mr. Leon Blum, Prime Minister of France.

In light of the negotiations that are being conducted between France and Syria, we – the Alawite leaders in Syria- respectfully draw the following points to your attention and to that of your party (the Socialists):

1. The Alawite nation [sic] which has maintained its independence over the years by dint of much zeal and many casualties, is a nation which is different from the Muslim Sunni nation in its religious faith, in its customs and in its history. It has never happened that the Alawite nation [which lives in the mountains on the Western coast of Syria] was under the rule of the [Muslims]who rule the inland cities of the land.

2. The Alawite nation refuses to be annexed to Muslim Syria, because the Islamic religion is thought of as the official religion of the country, and the Alawite nation is thought of as heretical by the Islamic religion. Therefore we ask you to consider the dreadful and terrible fate that awaits the Alawites if they are forced to be annexed to Syria, when it will be free from the oversight of the Mandate, and it will be in their power to implement the laws that stem from its religion. [According to Islam, the idol-worshiping heretic has a choice to convert to Islam or be slaughtered.]

3. Awarding independence to Syria and cancelling the mandate would be a good example of socialist principles in Syria, but the meaning of full independence will be the control by a few Muslim families on the Alawite nation in Cilicia, in Askadron [the Alexandretta Strip that the French cut off from Syria and annexed to Turkey in 1939] and in the Ansariyya Mountains [the mountains in the western part of Syria, the topographical continuation of the Lebanon Mountains]. Even having a parliament and a constitutional government will not ensure personal freedom. This parliamentary control is only a facade, lacking any effective value, and the truth of the matter is that it will be controlled by religious fanaticism that will target the minorities. Do the leaders of France want the Muslims to control the Alawite nation and throw it into the bosom of misery?

4. The spirit of fanaticism and narrow-mindedness, whose roots are deep in the heart of the Arab Muslims toward all those who are not Muslim, is the spirit that continually feeds the Islamic religion, and therefore there is no hope that the situation will change. If the Mandate is cancelled, the danger of death and destruction will be a threat upon the minorities in Syria, even if the cancellation [of the Mandate] will decree freedom of thought and freedom of religion. Why, even today we see how the Muslim residents of Damascus force the Jews who live under their auspices to sign a document in which they are forbidden to send food to their Jewish brothers who are suffering from the disaster in Palestine [in the days of the great Arab rebellion], the situation of the Jews in Palestine being the strongest and most concrete proof of the importance of the religious problem among the Muslim Arabs toward anyone who does not belong to Islam. Those good Jews, who have brought to the Muslim Arabs civilization and peace, and have spread wealth and prosperity to the land of Palestine, have not hurt anyone and have not taken anything by force, and nevertheless the Muslims have declared holy war against them and have not hesitated to slaughter their children and their women despite the fact that England is in Palestine and France is in Syria. Therefore a black future awaits the Jews and the other minorities if the Mandate is cancelled and Muslim Syria is unified with Muslim Palestine. This union is the ultimate goal of the Muslim Arabs.

5. We appreciate your generosity of spirit in defending the Syrian people and your desire to realize their independence, but Syria at the present time is far from the lofty goal that you aspire for her, because she is still trapped in the spirit of religious feudalism. We do not think that the French government and the French socialist Party will agree to the Syrians’ independence, since its implementation will cause the subjugation of the Alawite nation, placing the Alawite minority in danger of death and destruction. It cannot be that you will agree to the (nationalist) Syrian request to annex the Alawite nation to Syria, because your lofty principles – if they support the idea of freedom – will not accept the situation in which one nation (the Muslims) try to stifle the freedom of another (the Alawite) by forcing its annexation.

6. You may see fit to assure the rights of the Alawites and other minorities in the wording of the treaty (The French-Syrian Treaty, which defines the relationships between the states), but we emphasize to you that contracts have no value in the Syrian Islamic mentality. We have seen this in the past, with the pact that England signed with Iraq, which forbade the Iraqis to slaughter the Assyrians and the Yazidis. The Alawite nation, which we, the undersigned, represent, cries out to the government of France and to the French Socialist Party, and requests them to ensure its freedom and independence within its small boundaries [an independent Alawite state]. The Alawite nation places its well-being in the hands of the French Socialist leaders, and is sure that it will find strong and dependable support for the nation which is a faithful friend, who has rendered to Francea great service, and now is under the threat of death and destruction.

[Signed by]:
Aziz Agha al-Hawash, Mahmud Agha Jadid, Mahmud Bek Jadid, Suleiman Asad [the grandfather of Hafez], Suleiman al-Murshid, Mahmud Suleiman al-Ahmad.

Sharia rule in North Sudan: Sudanese social life under siege by government-imposed restrictions

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47866

 

August 30, 2013 – (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese people are trying to break the wall of isolation imposed upon them by the government through the Public Order Law (POL) which prohibits women from wearing tight pants, or sometimes any pants, and bans public and private parties after midnight amid calls by liberals to repeal it.

 

The Sudanese, who are suffering from a deep and far reaching economic crisis, fear that the POL could turn into a tool for harassing girls and college students who wear new fashions designed specifically to fit the hot weather in Africa and the Middle East.

“We have become accustomed to rush to our homes early in the evening because Khartoum yawns early due to the government decision to stop private parties at 11:00 pm, an hour before midnight”, says Rasha Abdeen.

Abdeen, who lives in the prestigious Al-Riyadh neighborhood, added that she joined a private dancing club in order to work around “boredom” in the evening, but says that most of those clubs also close before midnight to avoid police harassment.

Last Sunday, police in Khartoum’s southern suburb of Jabal Al-Awliaa reportedly forced a girl named Suhair Ali to write a pledge not to appear in public places without wearing headdress.

She posted a picture in her facebook page of herself without a headscarf to protest the measure and wrote “I was abused by a policeman who dragged me to the police station to write a pledge not to uncover my head”.

In spite of the government’s ban on wearing tight pants, clothing market is full of readymade garments including expensive women pants which attract large numbers buyers.

Liberal activists say that the Islamic government in Sudan is deliberately harassing and abusing girls who hold opposing political views.

A liberal activist named Abd-Alqayoum said that women are facing daily harassment and insults beginning with the fee collector in the public transportation and ending with the college gatekeepers who rebukes her for wearing transparent headscarf and may send her back home thus missing a full school day.

The Sudanese authorities imposed the POL claiming that it will prevent the negative behaviors in the society but the law was denounced by politicians and activists who say that it violates citizen’s fundamental rights.

These government measures enjoy the support of the Islamists particularly the Salafi groups who usually hold religious lectures in the public squares which were frequented by youths and college students.

The controversial MP, Dafa-alla Hassab Al-Rasool, continued to issue statements mocking working women and criticizing groups which call for combating female circumcision.

Last June, he made a controversial statement demanding that Sudanese men practice polygamy in order to produce more children to join the army in the future and criticized the pro-government Islamic cleric, Abde-Galeel Al-Karuri, for joining an anti-female circumcision campaign, saying that he was being deceived by the secular groups.

Journalist and columnist, Faisal Mohamed Saleh, who is a recent winner of the Peter Mackler award for courageous and ethical Journalism has described the POL as “the worst law on earth”.

“The regime is insisting on enforcing the POL in order to harass ordinary people unduly”, said Salih.

In recent years, several Sudanese and foreign investors opened massage and slimming centers in prestigious neighborhoods in downtown Khartoum. However, the police continued to raid those centers claiming that they are used for lewd practices.

Aliaa, who is a client of one of those centers, said that the center was shut down by the police who claimed that it is being used for lewd acts, denying that such practices were taking place in the center.

An activist in cultural centers in downtown Khartoum said that the city was full of bars and beverage shops but they were shut down after the former president Jaafar Numeiri declared Sharia laws in the early 80’s.

A Sudanese citizen, who preferred to stay anonymous in order to avoid social stigma, said that they used to drink alcohol in the bars and return to their homes in the early hours of the morning but nowadays they have to go back before 10:00 pm.

He added that Khartoum has become a “big primitive village”, saying that private parties and weddings stop before midnight.

Sudan is currently working on a new constitution following the secession of the mostly Christian and animist south in July 2011.

President Omer Hassan al-Bashir said that since Sudan is overwhelmingly Muslim, the new constitution will be 100% Islamic.

Opposition parties claim that the constitution will be used to crush social and political dissidence.

feel good story: Saudi Arabia religious police centre attacked

Riyadh: Unknown attackers tried to set fire to a religious police centre in Riyadh in an “intentional” attack, causing no casualties, local media reported on Sunday.

The body, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is charged with ensuring compliance with the kingdom’s interpretation of Islam-based morality, but is often accused of abuses.

The attack late on Saturday night was “intentional and the assailants targeted the electricity meter outside the centre” to try to start a fire, deputy spokesman for the commission in Riyadh, Mohammad Al Shuraimi, said.

Officials said on Sunday that security cameras showed a fire being set to an electrical meter outside the office. There were no injuries or serious damage.

“None of the workers at the centre were hurt and no major damage was caused” by the attack, he said, adding that the security services had launched an investigation.

Criticism of the force has grown on social media sites, but violence against officers or facilities is unusual.

Saudi leaders, meanwhile, increasingly have opposed once widespread practices such as beating or humiliating alleged violators of the ultraconservative kingdom’s rules such as gender segregation and full coverings for women.

The kingdom this year set new limitations on the powers of members of the commission, such as interrogating suspects and pressing charges.

In March, a widely viewed Internet video showed a woman belittling an officer who tried to remove her from a mall because of her nail polish.

But religious police continue to prevent women from driving, enforce a ban on public entertainment and force all businesses, from supermarkets to petrol stations, to close for prayers five times a day.

http://m.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia-religious-police-centre-attacked-1.1226205

 

21 year old intern worked to death

 

A young student who died after working ‘crazy hours’ as an intern at a top investment bank was days from being offered a full-time job at the company, it was claimed today.

German student Moritz Erhardt collapsed in the shower of his student halls in east London just days before completing a gruelling internship at Bank of America Merrill Lynch International investment bank division.

Friends of the 21-year-old, who had recently completed a study abroad programme at the University of Michigan, claimed he had been forced to work through the night eight times in a two week period in an effort to secure long term work with the firm.

A source told The Sunday Times he was about to be offered a £45,000 analyst job at the bank starting after he graduated from university next year.

The source said: ‘He was one of the best interns. They hadn’t made him the offer yet because they didn’t get that far but it was going to happen.’

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Friday that it will be reviewing working conditions of its employees, particularly those of junior staffers, after the death of Erhardt.

His emails and swipe card will be analysed to discover what times he entered the company’s building near St Paul’s Cathedral in the City.

It is believed the student regularly left the office at 5am only to return to the flat to have a shower and change his clothes before returning to work.

CCTV evidence shows him returning to his flat just after 5am on the day he died.

When he did not show up for work, another intern who lived in the same flat, called the building managers who found Erhardt’s body in the shower at about 8.30pm on August 15.

It is believed he may have had an epileptic fit possible caused from exhaustion.

In an online portfolio Mr Erhadt told prospective employers that his upbringing taught him to always be driven to be good at everything.

He wrote: ‘I have grown up in family that expected me, in whatever respect, to excel in life.

‘Therefore I have become highly competitive and ambitious nature from early on.

‘Already during my times in elementary school I began playing soccer as well as tennis, I engaged in track and field athletics, and I started ski racing.

‘Sometimes I had a tendency to be over ambitious, which resulted in severe injuries.

‘With respect to my performance in school, I was striving for excellence and trying to be the best all the time.’

Reflecting on his intensive approach to his education he added: ‘Over the last year, I have learned that complacency implies stagnancy.’

The profile also shows that prior to his seven week internship at Merrill Lynch, he had also completed placements at KPMG Consulting, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank’s corporate finance division.

Mr Erhadt had studied business administration as an exchange student at the University of Michigan
before attending WHU Otto Beisheim School of Managment in Vallendar, Germany.

A representative for the Otto Beissheim School of Management business college where Mr
Ergardt studied and from where he was due to graduate next year, called him ‘a wonderful person.’

Head of PR Peter Augstin said: ‘We are all deeply shocked. He was a wonderful person and a
dedicated student. He will be sadly missed. We are still trying to come to terms with his death.’

Paid interns at the bank normally earn £45,000 ($70,550) a year pro rata – around £2,700 ($4,200)
a month.

Many banks are known to encourage their young students to work late into the night and in the past
there have been claims those keen to impress have put in long hours with very little sleep.

Mr Erhardt had been living in the Claredale House student accommodation flats in Bethnal Green, east London. The apartments are rented out to hundreds of interns during the summer months.

A friend from one of Mr Erhardt’s classes said that he was such a workaholic that he would turn in
assignments early because he ‘wanted to be the best.’

A statement from BAML said: ‘We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Moritz Erhardt’s
death.

‘He was popular amongst his peers and was a highly diligent intern at our company with a promising
future.

‘Our first thoughts are with his family and we send our condolences to them at this difficult time.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2401711/Moritz-Erhardt-Bank-America-Merrill-Lynch-intern-verge-45-000-year-job.html

How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood By Alyssa Bereznak

Monday, Apr 4, 2011 08:35 PM EDT

My parents split up when I was 4. My father, a lawyer, wrote the divorce papers himself and included one specific rule: My mother was forbidden to raise my brother and me religiously. She agreed, dissolving Sunday church and Bible study with one swift signature. Mom didn’t mind; she was agnostic and knew we didn’t need religion to be good people. But a disdain for faith wasn’t the only reason he wrote God out of my childhood. There was simply no room in our household for both Jesus Christ and my father’s one true love: Ayn Rand.

You might be familiar with Rand from a high school reading assignment. Perhaps a Tea Partyer acquaintance name-dropped her in a debate on individual rights. Or maybe you’ve heard the film adaptation of her magnum opus “Atlas Shrugged” is due out April 15. In short, she is a Russian-born American novelist who championed her self-taught philosophy of objectivism through her many works of fiction. Conservatives are known to praise her for her support of laissez-faire economics and meritocracy. Liberals tend to criticize her for being too simplistic. I know her more intimately as the woman whose philosophy dictates my father’s every decision.

What is objectivism? If you’d asked me that question as a child, I could have trotted to the foyer of my father’s home and referenced a framed quote by Rand that hung there like a cross. It read: “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” As a little kid I interpreted this to mean: Love yourself. Nowadays, Rand’s bit is best summed up by the rapper Drake, who sang: “Imma do me.”

Dad wasn’t always a Rand zealot. He was raised in a Catholic family and went to church every week. After he and my mother got married in 1982, they shopped around for a church. He was looking for something to live by, but he couldn’t find it in traditional organized religion.

Then he discovered objectivism. I don’t know exactly why he sparked to Rand. He claimed the philosophy appealed to him because it’s based solely on logic. It also conveniently quenched his lawyer’s thirst to always be right. It’s not uncommon for people to seek out belief systems, whether political or spiritual, that make them feel good about how they already live their lives. Ultimately, I suspect Dad was drawn to objectivism because, unlike so many altruistic faiths, it made him feel good about being selfish.

Needless to say, Dad’s newfound obsession with the individual didn’t pan out so well with the woman he married. He was always controlling, but he became even more so. In the end, my mother moved out, but objectivism stayed. My brother and I switched off living at each parent’s house once a week.

It was odd growing up, at least part-time, in an objectivist house. My father reserved long weekends to attend Ayn Rand Institute conferences held in Orange County, California. He would return with a tan and a pile of new reading material for my brother and me. While other kids my age were going to Bible study, I took evening classes from the institute via phone. (I half-listened while clicking through lolcat photos.)

Our objectivist education, however, was not confined to lectures and books. One time, at dinner, I complained that my brother was hogging all the food.

“He’s being selfish!” I whined to my father.

“Being selfish is a good thing,” he said. “To be selfless is to deny one’s self. To be selfish is to embrace the self, and accept your wants and needs.”

It was my dad’s classic response — a grandiose philosophical answer to a simple real-world problem. But who cared about logic? All I wanted was another serving of mashed potatoes.

Still, Rand’s philosophy was well-suited for the self-absorbed tween I was becoming. Her books were packed with riveting plot twists and sexy architects — easy reading as long as you skimmed over the occasional four-page, didactic rant. Around the time I began exploring Rand’s literature, my parents began an epic legal battle over child support. I felt isolated by the conflict and found solace in Rand’s message: You must rely on yourself for happiness.

Just as many use faith as a reason to continue during hard times, objectivism helped me stay strong throughout my parents’ legal battle. I got a part-time job, played field hockey, ran for student government and joined the yearbook staff. I argued with a Birkenstock-clad substitute teacher the day he showed Michael Moore’s classic underdog-bites-back documentary “Roger and Me” in government class. He looked at me in disbelief as I, a skinny blond girl with braces, insisted that General Motors CEO Roger Smith had every right to ruin the lives of Flint, Mich., citizens. On weekends I argued with my friends that global warming didn’t exist. I hoarded my accomplishments at school, convinced I’d earned them all on my own. Meanwhile, my mother quietly packed my lunch every day.

Soon, however, I began to question whether my father’s philosophical beliefs were simply a justification of his own needs. As soon as the legal drama erupted, he refused to pay for even the smallest things, declaring, “Your mother is suing me,” in defensive sound bites, as though it explained everything.

Can I buy new shoes? A couple bucks for the movies? Your mother is suing me.

Twenty dollars for a class field trip? Your mother is suing me.

From what I understood of his favorite capitalist champion, any form of altruism was evil. But how could that kind of blanket self-interest extend to his own children, the people he was legally and morally bound to take care of? What was I supposed to do, fend for myself?

The answer to my question came on an autumn weekend during my sophomore year in high school. I was hosting a Harry Potter-themed float party in our driveway, a normal ritual to prepare decorations for my high school quad the week of homecoming. As I was painting a cardboard owl, my father asked me to come inside the house. He and his new wife sat me down at the dinner table with grave faces.

“We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated,” he said in his lawyer voice.

“What does that mean?” I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure — something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats.

“You would need to become financially independent,” he said. “You could work for me at my law firm and pay rent to live here.”

This was my moment of truth as an objectivist. If I believed in the glory of the individual, I would’ve signed the petition papers then and there. But as much as Rand’s novels had taught me to believe in meritocracy, they had not prepared me to go it alone financially and emotionally. I began to cry and refused.

Hardcore objectivists often criticize liberals for basing decisions on emotion, rather than reason. My father saw our family politics no differently. In his mind, it was reasonable to ask that I emancipate myself and work for a living. To me, it felt like he was asking me to sacrifice my childhood so he didn’t have to pay child support. To me, it felt like abandonment.

Nearly a year after that conversation, my parents’ legal battle came to an end. In Santa Clara County’s record room, the typical family law case occupies the space of a small manila folder. My parents’ case filled several shelves. A judge decided my father would have to pay my mother both what he owed in child support and her attorney fees — an amount that totaled about $120,000.

Dad’s only choice was to sell our house. I moved to Mom’s and saw him for the occasional restaurant lunch or family holiday. The distance between us grew wider when I went off to college. He’d call me every other month to play 20-minute catch-up before he had to rush back to work. More consistent, however, were his e-mails. Forwarded from the daily objectivist newsletter he subscribed to, each one had a title like “George W. Bush, Genius” or “Obama the Pathetic.” They continue to pile up in my in box, mostly unread. Every once in a while, I’ll click on one, hoping to find a “How are you?” or “What’s new?” to no avail. It’s a hopeless exercise. I learned long ago that an objectivist like my father simply doesn’t care to know.

Alyssa Bereznak
Alyssa Bereznak is a grad student at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Follow her on Twitter @alyssabereznak.

http://www.salon.com/2011/04/05/my_father_the_objectivist/