30/09: TSA plays the 'idiot' game

Astounding.... One is lead to wonder where the much vaunted American freedom has disappeared.

CNN has this to report over the incident (just the first few lines):

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Wisconsin man who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.

Ryan Bird, 31, said he wrote the comment about Hawley -- head of the Transportation Security Administration -- as a political statement. He said he feels the TSA is imposing unreasonable rules on passengers while ignoring bigger threats.

There is a long thread about this on flytalker forums. Right now, it is 65 pages long.

When I first read this, I just sat still in front of the computer wondering whether I should laugh hysterically or just cry... For all the trouble VOA (Voice of America) goes to, to spread propaganda about the superiority and harmony of the American way of life, this incident totally negates it.

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14/09: Pope Benedict attacks Islam

During a visit to his home country Germany, Pope Benedict XVI made some dangerous comments regarding Islam.

The Pope gave a speech at Regensburg University in Bavaria, where he lectured between 1969 and 1977, and said that Islam justified violence. The explanation of the Pope, who is expected to visit Turkey in November, left many Muslims disappointed as it hardened the existing prejudices in German society against Islam.
- Link

Pope Benedict

The Pope spoke of the relationship between faith, reason and Islam's holy war, jihad. The Pope said violence is incompatible with the nature of God and with the nature of the soul. - Link

The pope made his remarks on Islam in a speech in which he quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said.

"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,'" he quoted the emperor as saying.

Clearly aware of the delicacy of the issue, Benedict added, "I quote," twice before pronouncing the phrases on Islam and described them as "brusque," while neither explicitly agreeing with nor repudiating them.
- Link

How absurd can he really be? My opinion of Pope Benedict has taken a massive blow from his statements against Islam which lack any good reasoning to back them up.

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09/09: Holocaust cartoons and freedoms

I recently came across some cartoons of holocaust on the internet. These cartoons are from the holcaust cartoon exhibition being held in Iran. While there are many cartoons on the site, the two which particularly appealed to me are the ones below. They have little to do with the holocaust but much to do with the double standards displayed by the western media and many people, regarding how they treat Islam (and Muslims as a result) and Jews (and the holocaust as a result). It all comes back to freedom and where it should be curbed to prevent hurting any particular group of people.

cartoon 1

cartoon 2

These two cartoons are quite true, in my opinion. I haven't seen all the cartoon enteries yet since the collection is huge.

Personally, I like this initiative by the Iranian people to hold such an event. Participants from many countries sent in their enteries for the competition. The list of participants/countries can be seen here. 1193 cartoon enteries were recieved from 61 countires. The statement by the director of the Iranian House of Cartoons, Massoud Shojai Tabatabai, given to Guardian Unlimited poses a very important question. I will end my article with his question:

'Why is it acceptable in western countries to draw any caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, yet as soon as there are any questions or doubts raised about the Holocaust, fines and jail sentences are handed down?'

01/09: Post 9/11 Blues - Riz MC

Riz MC

Just saw the video by Riz MC (Rizwan Ahmed) at the link above. It is humorous, though admittedly controversial. The song pokes fun at the post 9/11 world and the way politics has invaded all of our everyday lives. This song has been banned from UK Radio. So much for freedom of speech and expression. dsigusted


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