‘No Muslims allowed’: how nationalism is rising in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar

At the entrance to Thaungtan village there’s a brand-new sign, bright yellow, that bears the message: “No Muslims allowed to stay overnight. No Muslims allowed to rent houses. No marriage with Muslims.”

The post was erected in late March by Buddhist residents of the village in Myanmar’s lush Irrawaddy delta region who signed, or were strong-armed into signing, a document asserting that they wanted to live separately.

Since then a couple of other villages across the country have followed suit. Small but viciously insular, these “Buddhist-only” outposts serve as microcosms of the festering religious tensions that threaten Myanmar’s nascent experiment with democracy.

After decades of military rule, Myanmar has entered a new era. As state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi is in charge, though key institutions remain under the army’s control.

Recent weeks, however, have brought a surge in nationalist activity. Scores rallied outside the US embassy in Yangon last month to demand diplomats stop using the word Rohingyato describe millions of Muslims confined to internal displacement camps and villages in western Myanmar. Nationalists insist the group are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.  Read the complete article at The Guardian

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The Unraveling of Zionism? by LAWRENCE DAVIDSON

Ideological movements, be they religious or secular, are demanding and Procrustean movements. By ideological movements I mean those that demand of their adherents resolute belief in some “deep set of truths” posited by a deity, by supposed immutable historical laws, or by some other equally unchallengeable source. Their followers, once initiated, or even just born into the fold, are expected to stay there and, as the saying goes, “keep the faith.”

However, in cultural, political and religious terms there are no eternal deep truths. History has an abrasive quality that erodes our beliefs in this god and that law. Though the process might take a longer or shorter time to manifest itself, yesterday’s faith will at some point start to ring less true. At some point followers start to fall away.
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A Panama Papers Hoax Claims The Saudi King Funded Benjamin Netanyahu’s Election Campaign

The fake story claimed the Saudis gave Bibi $80 million.

Several English-language websites in the Middle East and at least one big American blog fell for a fake story that claimed Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud financed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign to the tune of $80 million.

Several English-language websites in the Middle East and at least one big American blog fell for a fake story that claimed Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud financed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election campaign to the tune of $80 million.

Google News / Via news.google.com

The reports all used the same fake quote attributed to Isaac Herzog, a member of Israeli parliament and leader of the Zionist Union party, which sits in opposition to Netanyahu.

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A CHRISTIAN COULD NEVER BE ELECTED MAYOR IN A MUSLIM CITY!

“A CHRISTIAN COULD NEVER BE ELECTED MAYOR IN A MUSLIM CITY!”

Since Sadiq Khan’s election as the first Muslim Mayor of London, many people have suggested that no Muslim city would ever be open-minded enough to elect a Christian as mayor or to any other high office. Umm, really? What about the following:

* The Turkish city of Mardin recently elected its first female Christian mayor, Februniye Akyol. Turkey is 96.5% Muslim.

* The mayor of Ramallah, the capital of Palestine, is Janet Mikhail, a Roman Catholic.

* The capital of the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia, has a Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaya Purnama. Indonesia is 87.2% Muslim.

* In 2005 Alees Salman became the first Christian and first woman to chair Bahrain’s upper house of Parliament. Bahrain is 70% Muslim.

* Pakistan currently has a Christian minister of ports and shipping, Kamran Michael. Pakistan is 96.4% Muslim.

* Boutros Boutros Ghali, a coptic Christian and former head of the UN, was Egypt’s Foreign Minister for 14 years. Egypt is 90% Muslim.

* Senegal had a Catholic president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, for 20 years. Senegal is 92% Muslim.

* Lebanon had a Christian president, Michel Suleiman, from 2008-2014. Lebanon is 54% Muslim.

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Panama Papers: Saudi Arabia King Sponsored Netanyahu’s Campaign

Isaac Herzog, member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Israeli Labor party, revealed that Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz financed the election campaign of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“In March 2015, King Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali. The money was deposited to a company’s account in British Virgin Islands owned by Teddy Sagi, an Israeli billionaire and businessman, who has allocated the money to fund the campaign Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, Herzog cited a leaked Panama Paper. Saudi Arabia

Panama Papers: Saudi Arabia king sponsored Netanyahu’s campaign

Middle East Leaders Among Top Investors in “Panama Papers Case”

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London’s Muslim Mayor is nothing New: 1300 yrs of Muslims who Ran Major European Cities – Juan Cole

The press is declaring Sadiq Khan, victor in the electoral contest for mayor of London, the “first Muslim mayor of a major European city.”

They mean of course, something like ‘the first Muslim mayor of a really big Western European city in the modern period (say the past two centuries). [Although Sadiq Khan was elected and many — not all– of the figures I point to below were appointed , that’s the way it was in history. The then London County Council was first elected in 1889, and the mayor has only been directly elected since 2000; all urban leaders were appointed until fairly recently.]

It is worthwhile pointing out that the idea of Europe as “Christian” or perhaps “post-Christian” is a construct that can only be carried out by applying very large scissors to the history books.

Europe was largely uninhabited during the last maximal glaciation, roughly from 25,000 before present to 13,000 BP, what with three mile high piles of ice covering much of it. Since the ice receded, it has seen several waves of immigration, with people coming in from what is now Turkey and Syria (yes) and from Eurasia and from Africa. Continue reading

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Saudi Arabia and 9/11: the Kingdom May be in For a Nasty Shock by PATRICK COCKBURN

Foreign leaders visiting King Salman of Saudi Arabia have noticed that there is a large flower display positioned just in front of where the 80-year-old monarch sits. On closer investigation, the visitors realised that the purpose of the flowers is to conceal a computer which acts as a teleprompter, enabling the King to appear capable of carrying on a coherent conversation about important issues.

One visiting US delegation meeting with King Salman recently observed a different method of convincing visitors – or at least television viewers watching the encounter – that he can deal with the escalating crises facing Saudi Arabia. The king did not look at the group but at a giant television screen hanging from the ceiling of the room on which was appearing prompts. Simon Henderson, the Saudi expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who tells the story, writes that off to one side in the room was an aide who “furiously hammered talking points into a keyboard”. Continue reading

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