Friday, September 30, 2005

Free flow of information linchpin

This little item will revolutionize the totalitarian world.

MIT to launch $100 laptop prototype in November

The MIT Media Laboratory expects to launch a prototype of its US$100 laptop in November, according to Nicholas Negroponte, the lab's chairman and co-founder. The facility has been working with industry partners to develop a notebook computer for use by children in primary and secondary education around the world, particularly in developing countries. The laptops should start appearing in volume in late 2006.

"In emerging nations, the issue isn't connectivity," Negroponte said at the Emerging Technologies Conference on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Cambridge campus Wednesday. "That's not solved, but lots of people are working on it in Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, etc. For education, the roadblock is laptops." He and his colleagues believe that equipping all children in the world with their own laptop will greatly improve the level of education and help stimulate children to learn outside of school as well as in the classroom.

The lab expects to unveil a prototype of the $100 laptop at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on Nov. 17, according to Negroponte. The WSIS is due to be held in Tunis, Tunisia, from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18. He showed slides of the prototype at the MIT event.

The 500MHz laptop will run a "skinny version" of the open-source Linux operating system. It will have a two-mode screen, so it can be viewed in color and then by pushing a button or activating software switch to a black-and-white display, which can be viewed in bright sunlight at four times normal resolution, according to Negroponte. He estimates the display will cost around $35.

The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Negroponte. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone enabled and come with 1G byte of memory.

Each laptop will act as a node in a mesh peer-to-peer ad hoc network, Negroponte said, meaning that if one laptop is directly accessing the Internet, when other machines power on, they can share that single online connection.

The lab will initially target Brazil, China, Egypt, South Africa and Thailand, according to Negroponte, as well as the U.S. state of Massachusetts, which has just committed to equipping every schoolchild with a laptop. Negroponte hopes to start mass production of some 5 million to 15 million laptops for those markets towards the end of 2006. Come December 2007, he estimated production of the laptops at between 100 million and 150 million, three times the number of annual shipments of commercial laptops.

Negroponte launched a nonprofit spin-off from the lab to spearhead the development of the notebook at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. The nonprofit is called One Laptop Per Child, or OLPC. The lab and OLPC are working with a number of key partners including Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Google Inc., News Corp. and Red Hat Inc. on developing the laptop, according to Negroponte.

"I've told the governments that our price will float and go down over time," Negroponte said. "$100 is still too expensive." Each government will need to pay for one million laptops in advance to ensure the lab and its partners can achieve the necessary scale to persuade companies to mass produce the machines, he added. He didn't provide any further details on how exactly the vast number of machines will be produced and shipped to their final destinations.

The laptop can be used in a variety of ways as a computer, an electronic book, a television and a writing or drawing tablet, according to Negroponte.

One issue the lab is particularly sensitive to is the grey market for computers, Negroponte said. "It's a big deal for us whether laptops vanish in customs or are stolen," he said. "We want to have a machine that's so distinctive it'd be like stealing a post office truck." The lab is even thinking of having each child's name engraved on each laptop as an additional theft deterrent, he added.

Another obstacle is the online access schoolchildren in repressive regimes will gain. "I do tell governments we're selling you a Trojan horse," Negroponte said, adding it's really up to the children as to what they access from the Internet. The huge issue he sees with the technology is how education curricula around the globe will change in response to the introduction of the laptops and Web access. "It's something that will take decades to sort out properly," he said.

As to children accessing pornography, the lab is working on how best to block harmful online content, he said. However, Negroponte asks people not to blame the medium. "Pornography uses the printed page, but [Johannes] Gutenberg [the inventor of the printing press] isn't getting much flak," he quipped.

MIT Media Lab has been involved in a number of initiatives to provide schoolchildren with laptops in the past, in Senegal and in Costa Rica and Negroponte has his own projects in Cambodia, but this is the first global push for the lab with a mobile computer developed from scratch.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Young and vulnerable must not be brainwashed

Tough laws are necessary to keep the young and vulnerable from indoctrination into the politics of murder and hatred. The following article from the AP illustrates this.

Permit denied for controversial Islamic school in Stockton

Stockton -- San Joaquin County supervisors have blocked a plan to build an Islamic school south of Lodi that has been caught up in a federal terrorism investigation.

Federal authorities deported two Islamic religious leaders to Pakistan, alleging they planned to use the school as a terrorist recruiting center.

The religious leaders have not been charged with a crime, but a federal investigation in Lodi led to charges against Hamid Hayat, 23, of Lodi, who is accused of attending a terror training camp in Pakistan, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47, who is charged with lying to the FBI about his son's activities.

Supporters of the Farooqia Islamic Center denied any terrorist connections, and supervisors said their decision Tuesday was based on neighbors' concerns the center would create traffic congestion and damage the quality of life in the rural area.

The five supervisors voted unanimously to overturn the county Planning Commission's July approval for construction of an elementary school for 50 students, a worship hall and a community center on 18 acres.

Federal authorities deported two Islamic religious leaders to Pakistan, alleging they planned to use the school as a terrorist recruiting center.

The religious leaders have not been charged with a crime, but a federal investigation in Lodi led to charges against Hamid Hayat, 23, of Lodi, who is accused of attending a terror training camp in Pakistan, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47, who is charged with lying to the FBI about his son's activities.

Supporters of the Farooqia Islamic Center denied any terrorist connections, and supervisors said their decision Tuesday was based on neighbors' concerns the center would create traffic congestion and damage the quality of life in the rural area.

The five supervisors voted unanimously to overturn the county Planning Commission's July approval for construction of an elementary school for 50 students, a worship hall and a community center on 18 acres.

Polygamy linchpin

The following article from The Brussels Journal by Paul Belien illustrates the necessity to protect society from polygamy.

First Trio "Married" in The Netherlands
The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

“I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,” Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry.

Victor: “A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.”

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. “But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult.” Victor stressed, however, that he is “a one hundred per cent heterosexual” and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the “marriage.” They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: “to be honest and open with each other and not philander.”

Sharia law linchpin

The following article from the UK Telegraph by Isambard Wilkinson details the necessity of protecting and educating the young and vulnerable.

'How To Beat Your Wife' Imam Must Study Equality

An imam who wrote a book on how to beat your wife without leaving marks on her body has been ordered by a judge in Spain to study the country's constitution.

The judge told Mohamed Kamal Mustafa, imam of a mosque in the southern resort of Fuengirola, to spend six months studying three articles of the constitution and the universal declaration of human rights.

Mr Kamal was sentenced to 15 months in jail and fined £1,500 last year after being found guilty of inciting violence against women. However, despite objections from Spain's socialist government, a judge released him after 22 days in jail on condition that he undertake a re-education course.

A commission recommends that imams should speak Spanish and have a basic knowledge of human rights and Spanish law.

In his book Women in Islam, published four years ago, Kamal wrote that according to Islamic law, a disobedient wife could be beaten.

"The blows should be concentrated on the hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body,'' he wrote.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bloodless paradigm shift

A bloodless paradigm shift in Islam would be welcomed by all moderates muslims.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Little girls must be protected from forced marriage.

Little girls must be protected from forced marriages and Sharia law. The following article from IMRA demonstrates the importance of protecting the young and innocent:

US okays Hamas in elections. Forced young girl marriages
IMRA
"Saudi Arabia has no legal age for marriage making it legal for a girl of any age to get married to a man of any age. There is lttle the authorities can do to protect a young girl from being married off by her family unless they are directly asked to intervene" "Forced marriage is against Islamic law" ' 'When men get to a certain age, they want to use that money and power. For many that means showing off a young, beautiful bride' "

EXCERPTS:

JEDDAH, 21 September 2005 - It's not uncommon to find old men marrying young girls. Despite age gaps of 30 or 40 years or more between the two spouses, some men expect it in their old age. One extreme case of such a marriage involved a 15-year-old girl being married off to a man more than 100 in Jizan. For honeymoon they came to Jeddah. In another case, a man above 60 married an 11-year-old girl. Saudi Arabia has no legal age for marriage, making it legal for a girl of any age to get married to man of any age. There is little the authorities can do to protect a young girl from being married off by her family unless they are directly asked to intervene.

...only a Shariah court judge can overrule a marriage with a big age gap.

... .In most cases, these young girls are forced to get married. They are young and unprepared to go against their parents' wishes.

"Forced marriage is against Islamic law," said Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, "and those responsible for it should be jailed." ... .

Girls may protest such marriages on grounds of kafa'ah (compatibility) ... .

A husband and wife must be compatible in age, education, social upbringing and wealth. When spouses feel they are not compatible then they have the right to protest the marriage. ... .

IIt's often a matter of money. The family of a young bride needs money and is willing to bail themselves out by marrying a girl child to a rich man in exchange for a big dowry. "Money is the main factor that pushes older men to marry young girls," said Salwa Hussein Badawi, vice president of the Women's Supervising Office of Social Affairs in the Makkah region. "When men get to a certain age, they want to use that money and power. For many that means showing off a young beautiful bride."

The problem ... lies in traditional practices. Parents who have been raised in that tradition assume their forefathers must have been right. Social position is another reason that men choose to marry younger women. Men feel that their social status will change if they have a young wife to flaunt ...

But the custom of marrying children off remains despite its questionable legality and conflicts with the tenets of Islam, prompting some to wonder if in this modern age it's a tradition that should be relegated to the history books.

The family of a young bride needs money and is willing to bail themselves out by marrying a girl child to a rich man in exchange for a big dowry. "Money is the main factor that pushes older men to marry young girls," said Salwa Hussein Badawi, vice president of the Women's Supervising Office of Social Affairs in the Makkah region. "When men get to a certain age, they want to use that money and power. For many that means showing off a young beautiful bride."

The problem ... lies in traditional practices. Parents who have been raised in that tradition assume their forefathers must have been right. Social position is another reason that men choose to marry younger women. Men feel that their social status will change if they have a young wife to flaunt ...

But the custom of marrying children off remains despite its questionable legality and conflicts with the tenets of Islam, prompting some to wonder if in this modern age it's a tradition that should be relegated to the history books.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Why cultural linchpins would be so effective

Minor cultural happenings that wouldn't be taken seriously in the West, send the radicals into a seething murderous rage. Little Green Footballs details such an event:

Burger King recalls ‘sacrilegious’ desserts.

THE fast-food chain, Burger King, is withdrawing its ice-cream cones after the lid of the dessert offended a Muslim.

The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a “jihad”.

The chain is being forced to spend thousands of pounds redesigning the lid with backing from The Muslim Council of Britain. It apologised and said: “The design simply represents a spinning ice-cream cone.”

The offending lid was spotted in a branch in Park Royal last week by business development manager Rashad Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe.

He was not satisfied by the decision to withdraw the cones and has called on Muslims to boycott Burger King. He said: “This is my jihad. How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way to the right you are offending Muslims.”

A Muslim Council spokesman said: “We commend the sensitive and prompt action that Burger King has taken.”

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The enemy within

The enemy within is far more lethal and far more dangerous than the enemy in far away places.

The enemy within : Our image of terrorists is not accurate
Ottowa Sun by Jeremy Loome

In the years since 9/11, almost every major terrorist act involving extremist Islam has been committed by a person raised in the West. While the image of the bearded, robed Arab wearing a suicide vest comes to mind when the public thinks of terrorists, it is not reality.

As a country with open-door refugee and social safety net policies, Canada is an ideal breeding ground for extremism, say researchers.

“It is a ‘born-again’ process,” says French researcher Olivier Roy. The author of Globalized Islam: The Search for A New Ummah, Roy spent years researching the mujahidin in Afghanistan. “They make a comeback to Islam but not to the traditional Islam of their country of origin or of their parents.

“Many of them marry western girls and go to western schools. And when they convert to Islam, it’s not to traditional Islam but to a kind of neo-Salafism.”

Salafism is an ancient term meaning to follow the way of the Salaf, or religious messenger — the Prophet Muhammad. It has been co-opted over, the last century to represent a blend of orthodoxies, and is sometimes called Wahabism although some Salafists consider it a derogatory term and prefer to think of themselves as unitarian.

Its followers support the views of political theorists such as the Indian philosopher Sayyid Maududi and the Egyptian philosophers Hasan Al-Bana and Sayyid Qutb, who believed western culture had so corrupted Islam and its political leadership that a world-wide Islamic homeland is required. Its largest exponent is a social movement called the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928. They also proposed it can be accomplished through aggressive measures.

“Salafism is not necessarily politically radical,” says Roy. “Every Salafi is not a terrorist, but all of the terrorists are born-again Muslim Salafists. The problem with the (Salafist Islamic leadership) is that they condemn the terrorists actions but can’t condemn the religious ideas behind them, because they agree with them.’’

The term “jihad” means “struggle.” Whether it is an armed struggle or not often depends on the individual. Some clerics believe it can be aggressive, some believe the Qur’an dictates that it can only be in defence of a homeland. And some believe that homeland is the entire world.

But the effect is that orthodox imams and sheikhs across the West preach a message terrorists want to hear: Islam should be the only law, the West is corrupt and Muslims have a moral responsibility to jihad. One moderate American Muslim leader has suggested as many as 80% of the mosques in North America are run by Salafists spreading that message. It is popular with a disaffected, angry audience surrounded by people living better lives. They’re disconnected from traditional Muslim life, have even less of a role in their new society, and seek glory.

“Young guys, rebels without a cause who are looking for something bigger than themselves, will be fascinated by the message and try to emulate it in how they behave,” says Roy.

The new generation of terrorists is being created in our own backyards, through a combination of social factors familiar to anyone who has studied the roots of violence: social disconnection, cultural disillusionment and the need to improve their social standing.

In Canada, the pattern seems intact: • The As-Sunnah An-Nabawyah and Masjid as-Salam Mosques in Montreal preached a Salafi message to members of the GIA, an Algerian terrorist outfit that included Ahmed Ressam and supporters as a Canadian terrorist ‘cell’. • The Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Ont. was spiritual home to the Khadr family and at least two Canadians missing while fighting the U.S. in Iraq. • In Wetaskiwin, Alta., the local mosque was used as a front by Kassem Daher, an al-Qaida affiliate with the terrorist organization Ansar al-Islam. • In British Columbia, a sheikh at the Dar al-Madinah Islamic Society mosque has been criticized for preaching in favour of violent jihad, and one of the mosque’s members has gone missing while fighting with rebels in Chechnya.

Using mosques to spread violent ideology – or even just as a gathering place for extremists – has become so common attendees across Canada complain of being harassed by CSIS intelligence officers.

There have further been ties between various university student associations and Salafist mosques and suggestions that the next generation of young muslims are being co-opted into a violent Salafist message even their own parents don’t always agree with.

“Most of the parents, they don’t notice that their children are becoming radicals,” says Roy, who notes that attempted shoe-bomber Richard Reid was a good example of how even children raised outside Muslim homes can be co-opted.

“The London bombing story is interesting. The mother of one of the suicide bombers called the police because she assumed her son was a victim. When she realized and was told he was a bomber, she was devastated.”

Closer to home, Mahboob Khawaja may be going through similar turmoil, although given his years of writing about the evils of western culture and its destruction of Islam, the public might be forgiven for doubting his sincerity. The professor, a Pakistan national who teaches in Saudi Arabia, insists his son Mohammed could never have taken part as authorities claim in a plan to blow up parts of London, England.

Eight British nationals face trial on the charges there this fall, while Khawaja, a former computer programmer for the federal government who was recently denied bail, remains the only person charged so far under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act for aiding a terrorist plot.

“Who else would know my son better than myself?” says Khawaja. “He’s brought up well and I do not even think for a second that he could do something like this.”

Heard it before

Canadians have heard that before. Until he was killed in a firefight on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the family of Ahmed Said Khadr insisted he was just an aid worker. Once he became a “shahid”, a martyr to Islam, the tune changed.

Ahmed Khadr taught his children those values. For 30 years, Khawaja has followed a similar political perspective as many Salafists.

He says he does not support violence. “Whatever happened in London, no civilized society can accept this way of life.”

Is he sincere? In his writings, Khawaja makes no attempt to hide his disgust for western values and the expediency of relationships between Islamic leaders, Israeli leaders and the U.S. He’s said as much in a series of books as well.

Some of his contentions: • “America will impose its dictates to utilize (Pakistani Gen. Pervez) Musharaf and his collaborators to eradicate Islamic values and influence from this region. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban are readily available myths and stunts which are being used by the western world, and America in particular, to check and stop the popular Islamic evolution for a future state.” • “India and America believe that ‘Islam Breeds Terrorism’ and freedom fighters in Kashmir, the Middle East and elsewhere are seen as terrorists.” • “The nation will mourn the loss of time and opportunities for change only after General Musharaf is either replaced, killed or exiled.” • “American Zionists planned the war against Iraq, made the Arab leadership fearful more of Commander Bush than All-Powerful God. Educated Arabs begged their leaders to speak out, challenging the western nuance of “Islamic Terrorism” and its linkage to the occupied Arab heartland, Iraq.”

Those are familiar extremist views. But familiarity can breed contempt, and many muslims believe that if they complain about America, they are automatically labelled.

Religion is in charge

To Khawaja, there is no conflict between supporting a theocratic government and free elections — he supports democratic reform in another article and rails against the use of military power to run a country. You can, he proposes, have your faith and voting, too. It’s just that ultimately, it’s religion that is in charge.

“I do not believe that terrorists represent Muslims or Islam when they commit these acts, and none of them claim to be representing Islam,” says Khawaja.

Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi says Khawaja’s perspective is common. A former professor of Sharia law at King Faud University in Saudi Arabia, where Salafism is the state religion, Nadvi is imam of a mosque in Oakville, Ont.

“I can explain in my own way that these are two different things we are talking about,’’ he says. “One is that some Muslim countries are actively doing resistance against people in their own lands. This is one issue.

But to expand this resistance outside those lands is a different thing.

This kind of action, this feeling, does not exist properly within jihad.

“If I see what the majority of intellectuals think about this issue, they feel the efforts are now going into creating divisions between the Christian and Muslim worlds and there are many factors contributing to that division.”

The rich irony, notes Internet terror expert Evan Kohlmann, is that the people who flock to support jihad as an offensive tactic are looking for easy answers, as were Germans who flocked to support national socialism during the 1920s and 1930s — even though Maududi and Qutb both preached against nationalism, fascism, feminism and capitalism.

But both advocated all-or-nothing dogma, attracting the kind of supporters who’ll kill innocent civilians just to make a point, like any good Nazi might’ve done.

Social disconnection also helps to explain why small terrorist cells began appearing in Europe 40 years ago, but are only just now becoming known in North America.

Social dimension

“The patterns of immigration are different,” says Roy. “In Europe, we have an overlap between immigration and social exclusion. In America, immigrants are part of a bigger picture and are not lower class and underclass. So there is a social dimension in the radicalization.”

That social dimension is rearing its head in Canada due to two factors: public divisions between Muslims and the rest of society and, far more importantly, the disparity between the standard of living of long-time residents and recent refugees who, unlike legal immigrants, have plenty of trouble finding work and putting violent pasts behind them.

Appeasing and always blame others is wrong way to go

Appeasing and "blaming Britain" is exactly the wrong move. While containing some really good ideas, the following article from The Guardian will just encourage the radicals and make them think they are winning.

Radical plan to stop Muslim extremism
The Guardian ^ | Saturday September 17, 2005 | Vikram Dodd


Posted on 09/17/2005 5:29:14 AM CDT by F14 Pilot


A royal commission to investigate how and why the London bombings happened and a media unit to rebut negative stories about Muslims and counter propaganda from Islamist extremists should be set up, according to proposals to be sent to Tony Blair by government-appointed taskforces on tackling Islamist extremism. The Guardian has obtained details of the plans drawn up by the taskforces, set up after the July bombings. They were asked to come up with ideas to help prevent British Muslims turning to terrorism, and which would also counter a sense of alienation some Muslims feel from British society and institutions. Their proposals will go to the prime minister and home secretary next week.

Coverage of Islam in the media has long irritated many British Muslims. The proposed media unit would counter press articles considered to be inaccurate or malicious attacks on Islam, and rebut statements by extremist groups. The taskforces consist of seven groups of Muslim MPs, peers, academics and community leaders. One of their proposals is the setting up of a royal commission. Senior Home Office officials discussed the proposal with Muslim groups on Wednesday and are expected to give a formal answer in a week. If agreed, the royal commission would be held in two parts: an initial examination of the bombings, followed by an exploration of wider issues, such as the role of foreign policy in radicalising the terrorists, and whether victims of the bombings received speedy and adequate financial compensation and support. The government has so far resisted the idea.

This schizophrenic approach is nothing more than appeasement warmed over. On the one hand, try to convince Muslims not to become radicals and on the other hand blame our own actions in Iraq for why they are becoming radicals.

How about trying to convince the islamic world that as long as they continue to support terrorism against the west they will continue to suffer from the inevitable retaliation from the victims of their attacks. If we learned anything from the 90s it should be that talk is cheap and accomplishes nothing except to convince radical muslims we are weak and unwilling to fight back. Right now, the radical muslim world is having to come to terms with the fact that we are going to fight back and fight back hard.


The groups all feel that British foreign policy, especially Mr Blair's support for the Iraq war, has fuelled resentment. One proposal is that Islamic schools, or madrasas should teach "citizenship" in an attempt to tackle the conflict some youngsters feel between being British and Muslim.

Under the plans, suspected extremists would be tracked by a monitoring centre. A website would be created to allow young Muslims to discover mainstream Islamic views on issues. Public forums for debating issues such as foreign policy and politics would also be set up.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A priority in keeping our country safe

The good governor has the right idea in the following article from the Boston Globe. An idea whose time has come.

Wiretap mosques, Romney suggests
Pushes gathering of intelligence
By Scott Helman, Globe Staff September 15, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Governor Mitt Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering.

Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts In remarks that caused alarm among civil libertarians and advocates for immigrants rights, Romney said in a speech to the Heritage Foundation that the United States needs to radically rethink how it guards itself against terrorism.

''How many individuals are coming to our state and going to those institutions who have come from terrorist-sponsored states?" he said, referring to foreign students who attend universities in Massachusetts. ''Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them?"

''How about people who are in settings -- mosques, for instance -- that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror," Romney continued. ''Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what's going on?"

-snip-

His latest message is that the United States needs to shift its focus from response to prevention: Instead of spending billions on training and equipment to react to an attack, he argues, the country ought to work on stopping one.

''It is virtually impossible to have a homeland security system based upon the principles only of protecting key assets and response," he told an audience of about 100. ''The key to a multilayered strategy begins with effective prevention, and, for me, prevention begins with intelligence and counterterror activity."

But that activity is deeply troubling to civil rights groups. Ali Noorani, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, called the methods Romney suggested misguided and ineffective. Tracking people based on their ethnicity, he said, will only sow resentment among immigrant communities and prevent their cooperation with authorities.

''Blanket eavesdropping and blanket profiling only erodes the safety and security of our country," Noorani said. ''People who really know what national security is and what intelligence is realize that we need to build trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities."

Elyes Yaich, president of the Islamic Society of Northeastern University, said that foreign students, especially those from Islamic countries, already face unfair scrutiny coming to the United States and that subjecting them to specialized monitoring would further invade their right to privacy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Competent in the country's language linchpin

The following article from the Herald Sun says it all.

New citizens 'must speak English'

14sep05

NEW Australians should have a proper command of English before they can become citizens, a government backbencher has said.

The call by finance parliamentary secretary Sharman Stone comes as the government moves away from plans to strip citizenship from people breaking counter-terror laws.
Dr Stone is calling for a re-examination of how people applying for citizenship are tested and the eligibility requirements to become a citizen.

As an MP, she said she had often witnessed new citizens being coached so they could recite the pledge of allegiance in adequate English.

"The candidate has little capacity to speak or understand English and there has been no testing of their understanding of the rights and liberties or laws of the country which they have just pledged to respect, uphold and obey," Dr Stone said in a statement.

She wants a review of current regulations under which new citizens over 50 don't have to have basic English.

"I don't believe these exemptions or the failure to test anyone comprehensively serves either the new Australian citizen or the Australian society well," she said.

"Having to be competent in the nation's key language is a prerequisite for citizenship in most countries."


The problem is NEVER money linchpin

While Bush's speech to the UN is commendable, the problem is never a lack of money. The basic underpinnings of terrorism are social and political failure, rather than a lack of money. Billions of our taxpayer dollars are thrown at the Palestinians every year, and they just make more and more terrorist attacks.


Bush to UN: War alone won't defeat terrorism
By Steve Holland


U.S. President George W. Bush told the United Nations on Wednesday that war alone will not win the fight against terrorism and world leaders must tackle conditions that lead the oppressed to take up arms.

"We must defeat the terrorists on the battlefield and we must also defeat them in the battle of ideas," Bush told the U.N. World Summit........

-snip-

A CHANGE OF TONE

Bush's speech was notable for a shift in tone away from tough talk on terrorism and an emphasis on tackling the conditions that lead to militancy by spreading democracy, easing poverty and lifting the debt burden on poor countries.

"Confronting our enemies is essential, and so civilized nations will continue to take the fight to the terrorists. Yet we know that this war will not be won by force of arms alone," Bush said.

It will take a collective effort, he said, citing many countries that have suffered attacks.

"The lesson is clear. There can be no safety in looking away or seeking the quiet life by ignoring the hardship and oppression of others.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Why the emancipation of Islam's women in the West is so vital

Women cause half of traffic accidents in Saudi, says report
Khaleej Times by Habib Sahikh



JEDDAH — It is common knowledge that women in Saudi Arabia do not and cannot drive, yet it seems that they are seen as responsible for half the country’s traffic accidents, according to a report published in the Arabic daily Asharq Al Awsat recently. It said that half the traffic accidents in the kingdom were caused by women.
But this is disputed by a senior police officer. “There is no way that women could be responsible for 50 per cent of traffic accidents even if they are at the scene,” said Col. Mohammad Al Qahtani of the Jeddah Traffic Administration.

He pointed out that women could certainly be involved in accidents — as being hit by cars or being a passenger in a car involved in an accident but that to hold women responsible for half the kingdom’s traffic accidents was “a great exaggeration.”

According to the Asharq Al Awsat report, which based its information on studies, said to be conducted by Saudi universities and the traffic administration, some of the reasons were women’s being unaware of how to cross the streets safely, opening car doors into traffic as well as fights between husbands and wives.

It did not name the universities or specify which traffic department in the country was enagaged in the study.

The writer of the article said he had relied upon a study carried out by the ‘Gulf Traffic Research Centre’ in Kuwait. He added that he had relied upon King Saud University for the number of traffic accidents caused by women. He explained that he had not meant to include all kinds of accidents. Though not clearly mentioned in the article, the writer said that he was talking only about car accidents where women were found at the scene.

Col. Al Qahtani said that the General Traffic Administration in Jeddah had not cooperated with any institute outside the kingdom and that he had never heard of anything called the 'Gulf Traffic Research Centre' in Kuwait.

When asked whether a husband and wife fighting played any role in causing traffic accidents, he said that if it did, it would not be mentioned in the police report.

Al Qahtani cited a problem the police face regularly. He said a number of accidents involving people being hit by cars took place among students at the Education College located on King Fahd (Sitteen) Street. It turned out, he said, that many parents and drivers drop the girls on the opposite side of the street from the college and force them to cross the road during peak traffic hours.

“Who is to blame for this? Women’s lack of awareness or male drivers too lazy to drop women in the college parking lot?” he asked.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Ban sharia law linchpin

A giant baby step in the right direction:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty rejects Shariah law
Canadian Press via Sun Media by Keith Leslie


Posted on 09/11/2005 5:13:50 PM CDT by Clive


TORONTO (CP) - Ontario will not become the first Western jurisdiction to allow the use of a set of centuries' old religious rules called Shariah law to settle Muslim family disputes, and will ban all religious arbitrations in the province, Premier Dalton McGuinty told The Canadian Press on Sunday.

In a telephone interview with the national news agency, McGuinty announced his government would move quickly to outlaw existing religious tribunals used for years by Christians and Jews under Ontario's Arbitration Act.

"I've come to the conclusion that the debate has gone on long enough," he said.

"There will be no Shariah law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians."

McGuinty said religious arbitrations "threaten our common ground," and promised his Liberal government would introduce legislation "as soon as possible" to outlaw them in Ontario.

"Ontarians will always have the right to seek advice from anyone in matters of family law, including religious advice," he said. "But no longer will religious arbitration be deciding matters of family law."

Last December, a report from former NDP attorney general Marion Boyd recommended the province allow and regulate Shariah religious arbitrations in much the same way it does existing Christian and Jewish tribunals, setting off a firestorm of protests.

Currently, the Arbitration Act allows civil disputes ranging from custody and support to divorce and inheritance to be resolved through an independent arbitrator, if both parties agree.

Catholics, Mennonites, Jews, aboriginals and Jehovah's Witnesses, among others, have used the act to settle family law questions without resorting to the courts.

But those who oppose permitting Shariah family arbitration argued that the reforms would give legitimacy and an unenforceable appearance of oversight to a legal code they say is - at its heart - unfair to women.

McGuinty said the debate around Shariah gave his government time to "step back a little bit" and look at the original decision to allow religious arbitrations in Ontario.

"It became pretty clear that was not in keeping with the desire of Ontarians to build on common ground . . .of one law for all Ontarians," he said.

The premier said his wife had not raised the Shariah law issue with him, but noted the 17 women in his Liberal caucus had urged him to reject the idea.

Just hours before McGuinty's announcement, a group including author Margaret Atwood, activist Maude Barlow, writer June Callwood and actresses Shirley Douglas and Sonja Smits issued an open letter to the premier on behalf of the No Religious Arbitration Coalition.

On Thursday, angry demonstrators outside the Ontario legislature likened McGuinty to the former leaders of Afghanistan, extremist Taliban members, in one of 11 protests held across Canada and Europe urging him to dismiss the idea of allowing Shariah law.

Speakers in Toronto called McGuinty naive for saying women's rights would not be trampled if Ontario allowed the Shariah principles to be used to settle Muslim family disputes.

In Montreal, about 100 people turned out in the rain to protest against the use of Shariah law in Ontario. Quebec has passed a law against the use of Muslim tribunals in the province.

Similar rallies were held in Ottawa and Victoria, while smaller protests were held in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dusseldorf, Germany.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The importance of freeing young women

The following article from the UK Telegraph shows the importance of freeing young women from apartheid:

Fatwa for tennis star who wears short skirts
By Peter Foster in New Delhi


India's leading female tennis player has been subjected to a fatwa by a Muslim cleric for wearing short skirts and revealing tops on the international tennis circuit.
Sania Mirza comes from a devout Muslim family


Sania Mirza, 18, who became the first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam at the US Open last week, is hugely popular in India.

The fatwa - in effect, a demand that she cover up - was issued by a senior cleric of the Sunni Ulema Board, a little-known group. Similar fatwas have been issued against Mirza, who comes from a devout Muslim family, but none has ever gained popular support among India's 130 million Muslims.

"The dress she wears on the tennis courts…leaves nothing to the imagination," Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui told The Hindustan Times. "She will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence."

He said she should follow the example of Iranian women who wore long tunics and headscarves to play in the Asian Badminton Championships.




Headscarf ban linchpin

The following article from IndiaTimes discusses both sides of a headscarf ban. If a headscarf ban starts a domino effect that will undercut the power and control from the Islamists, it is essential to not make politically correct excuses.

Dress Police on patrol! (Article from India)


Facing a fatwa for wearing skirts. Expelled for wearing sleeveless tops. Dismissed for wearing a hijab - stuffy anecdotes from the prude annals? Hardly. This is the harsh reality that Indians are facing globally.



The self-appointed Dress Police - mostly government outfits, have taken away your freedom to choose what you wear.

The fatwa issued against Sania Mirza by a ‘religious scholar’ for wearing ‘revealing clothes’ comes days after Orissa’s controversial decision to enforce its “uniform dress code’’ in all colleges of the state.

The rule has made Orissa the first state in the country to bar girls from wearing sleeveless tops, tight jeans and skimpy designer skirts in colleges.


Anger & Outrage

Indians are expressing their outrage at such rulings which they say are ‘ridiculous’ and an infringement of their fundamental rights. Speaking on the decision taken by the state of Orissa, Mona Kapoor, a kindergarten teacher said: “We have conquered the Moon but we can’t see a girl show her knees!”



In Sania’s case, the ‘scholar’ has said, "(The) Veil can be dropped on certain occasions but not the way the girl is going about and playing in all those countries.” The remark has left many young women flummoxed. “Does he expect her to play in a sari? Or maybe in an abaya?” questioned college student, Deepak Singhal.

As amusing as they might sound to some, such strict orders have been manipulating the way we dress for a long time. And they are not restricted to students or youngsters only. The rules usually apply to women, homosexuals, religious followers and just about anyone who doesn’t fit into their definition of ‘appropriate.


Religious intolerance

Religion has been the most common target of these rules. The Indian army has instructed its personnel not to sport bracelets, birthstone rings, vermillion streaks or sacred threads in an effort to maintain a strict dress code and a secular image.

The most visible form of this discrimination came to light last year when France banned Muslim students from wearing headscarves and turbans in school.

Islamic institutions lashed out against the French government when they adopted a law in 2004 that bans hijab and religious insignia in state-run schools. Muslims see Hijab as an obligatory dress code and not just a religious symbol like the cross.

Even non-Muslim supporters of the Hijab say that the UN Declaration on Human Rights affords each of us the global right to practice our religions freely. They argue and if that religious practice dictates the wearing of special clothing, then should schools not allow for a special uniform - whether that uniform alteration be the addition of hijab, cross, yamoulke, turban, or other symbolism.



Victims of ignorance



Three Sikh students in France who refused to remove their turbans under the country's new law banning religious signs and apparel in schools even took it to the Court.

But why just france? The US is notorious for banning the turban at the workplace. Mukesh Advani, a Hindu from India working in San Francisco, has represented Sikhs claiming discrimination because they are not allowed to wear turbans or carry a kirpan, a 7-inch ceremonial dagger. He said employers just need to be educated.

He was quoted as saying that ``Sikhs have real problems in certain jobs, especially those involving dealing with people, like in hotels or sales,'' Advani said. ``If you go to a Sikh temple in the Bay Area, half the people there will be clean-shaven because they say they have to be for their jobs. Employers don't know it's a symbol of their faith.''


Vulnerable sufferers


However, dress codes are not just a religious issue. There is a tendency to target those don’t follow the ‘norm’ and usually can’t even fight back.

A few years back, a high school student in Germany was suspended for proclaiming his homosexuality through his clothing. Scot Hiscoff’s black dress and red lipstick became a huge controversial issue for the school administration. Peters' cross-dressing, along with some gay buttons and T-shirts were banned. This created ripples of debate and controversy at the 1,800-student high school.

In a similar incident, a top-ranking student of a highschool was made to retake her high-school picture for the yearbook. Why? Because she chose to wear the tuxedo meant for boys as opposed to the draped gown for women.

A schoolboy in Germany with eczema was not allowed to wear 100% cotton trousers simply because they were not a part of the regular uniform. Even after repeated meetings between the boy’s mother and the school faculty, nothing came out the whole thing. Finally, the boy had to shift to another school where they accommodated his disability.


Irrational logic

In most cases, the reasoning behind the rules just don’t make sense to many. “Skirts and tees are the outfits that most tennis players play in. The game has been around forever and it is a tried and tested uniform - how can you suddenly start questioning it just because the best tennis player in the country happens to be a Muslim woman?” Kapoor argues.

In Orissa, the government feels the uniform rule will bring in “more discipline and a sense of unity” among the students. The unanimous response of the students has been that ‘we are not children anymore so don’t treat us like kids’. The students’ wings of Opposition parties have gone a step beyond and have described the move as “Talibanisation” of college campuses.

A deaf golfer who entered the US Deaf Golf Championships was told she could not wear hearing aids during the tournament because the authoritative body felt it would provide users with an unfair advantage. She counter-argues that if a person has been used to a hearing aid all their life and has learnt the sport in that time, wouldn’t the person who learnt without a hearing aid have an unfair advantage over the first?

She might be right, but whose listening. Brushing off protests as ‘occupational hazards’, the Dress Police go about patrolling the streets of civilisation; using their weapons to enforce what they feel is right.

Bloodless linchpin

the following article from GulfNews.com demonstrates the need for ensuring that mosques not be preaching murder and hatred.

German conservative wants every mosque checked

Agencies

Berlin: A Germany politician on Friday urged security officials to keep close surveillance of “every mosque” in a bid to root out militant extremists.
"I say we must know what's happening in every mosque," said Guenther Beckstein, who is aiming to become the country’s next Interior Minister. An estimated three million Muslims are living and working in Germany.

"Let me say clearly this is not a breach of religious freedom, it's a necessity that one knows what kind of Islam is being preached in a mosque," he said.

"Where it's liberal and tolerant, there will be no limit on religious freedom. But where there's fanaticism, and above all where there are people ready to use violence, domestic intelligence and sometimes police must be present...I have reason to say that [surveillance] must be strengthened," he said.

Germany has been vigilant against Islamist militants after three of the suicide pilots in the September 11 attacks on the United States were found to be Arabs who had lived in Hamburg.

Beckstein stressed most Muslims in Germany were "decent, tolerant and hard-working" and said a key priority of a conservative government would be integrate them more closely into society..........

Just what the West must never do

Just what the West must never do: A fatally terrible idea:

Feminists call for abolition of marriage


As Sweden's Feminist Initiative meets in Örebro on Friday for its annual general meeting, one of the group's more radical proposals has been revealed: the abolition of marriage.
Instead the group, which is expected to become a fully-fledged political party following the meeting, wants a 'cohabitation law' which ignores gender - and allows for more than two people to be included.

The proposal is one of the group's 'prioritised political demands' which the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet got hold of before the meeting.

FI founder and board member, Tiina Rosenberg, told the paper that the group wants to create "a modern concept which does not favour and promote couples and heterosexual norms".
"The history of marriage is not about love and living together, it's about ownership," she added.

One example of people who would benefit from such a proposal, according to FI, is a divorced couple who have new partners and everybody wants to take financial responsibility for the children.

But Rosenberg, a professor in gender studies at Stockholm University, also suggested that the notion of couples is, as far as the Feminist Initiative is concerned, outdated.

"In a free country you can't stick your nose into who people choose to have sex with," she told SvD.

However, Tiina Rosenberg made it clear that that does not mean that anything goes in FI's Brave New World:

"A man who lives with eight women in a patriarchal structure, where the man decides and the women obey - that's not what we're aiming for," said Rosenberg.

FI's other demands are no less controversial. The group wants to introduce a six hour work day and completely individualised parental benefits to force men to take off as much time as women to care for their children.

The all-female board also says it wants to introduce gender quotas on company boards.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Stockholm Syndrome linchpin

More about the Stockholm Syndrome and how it applies to the subjegation of the young women of Islamic fascism:

The Stockholm Syndrome comes into play when a captive cannot escape and is isolated and threatened with death, but is shown token acts of kindness by the captor. It typically takes about three or four days for the psychological shift to take hold.

A strategy of trying to keep your captor happy in order to stay alive becomes an obsessive identification with the likes and dislikes of the captor which has the result of warping your own psyche in such a way that you come to sympathize with your tormenter!

The syndrome explains what happens in hostage-taking situations, but can also be used to understand the behavior of battered spouses, members of religious cults, Holocaust victims, household pets,

The Stockholm Syndrome linchpin

The Stockholm Syndrome is an effect from severely abused dependents as well as adults in order to survive. It is very appropriate in the effort to free up very young, vulnerable women of Islamic fascism:

Stockholm syndrome
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the band, see Stockholm Syndrome (band).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome etc) where the individual's life a) depends on the good will of the more powerful person (captor, partner, child molester), b) who has the power to put the individual's life in danger or at least the power to worsen the individual's prospects for the future life, and c) occasionally exercises this power in order to show that he or she is able to use it, if the victim will not conform to the more powerful person's will.

The main symptom of the syndrome is the seemingly paradoxical loyalty to the more powerful person in spite of the danger (or at least risk) that this loyalty puts the individual in. See: syndrome.......


[edit]
Origin of the Name
The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term was coined by the criminologist and psychologist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.

[edit]
Famous cases of the hostages with the syndrome
Patty Hearst, who after having been a hostage of the Symbionese Liberation Army in the mid-1970s, joined the group in a bank robbery. Hearst did not recover for several months after she was arrested with some of her captors. She was convicted and imprisoned for her actions in the robbery, though her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and she received a Presidential pardon from Bill Clinton in January 2001.
Elizabeth Smart, a girl kidnapped and sexually abused by a mentally ill man who threatened her as his wife in 2002-2003; Smart spent many months living on the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah, physically unrestrained.
Japanese abducted to North Korea during the late 1970's and early 1980's. After five of them were allowed to return to Japan in October 2002, they exhibited behavior of submission to the North Korean regime and, given that the regime would not allow their North Korean-born children to join them in Japan right away, attempted to go back there to join them; however, their Japanese families, seeing this as symptoms of brainwashing, restrained them, and eventually the former abductees shed their North Korean identities symbolically by shedding the pins with pictures of previous dictator Kim Il Sung on them during a press conference and denouncing the North Korean regime as a "criminal state" in subsequent interviews, which eventually led to the release of their children in 2004.
According to the FBI's Hostage/Barricade System database, 92 percent (PDF) of the victims of such incidents reportedly showed no aspect of the Stockholm syndrome.

Other famous cases of the hostages with the syndrome include various airplane hostages and kidnapped people.

[edit]
The syndrome depicted in the popular culture
Buffalo '66
Die Hard
Matlock: The Kidnapping
The World Is Not Enough (a James Bond spy film)
Stockholm Syndrome Song by Muse
[edit]
The Other Cases
The loyalty to the more powerful abuser - in spite of the danger that this loyalty puts the victim in - is common in the dependent children and battered wives - victims of domestic abuse and child abuse - who choose to remain loyal to the more powerful abuser and choose not to leave him or her, even when they are offered a safe placement in foster homes or safe house, and was described by psychoanalysts of the object relations theory school (see Fairbarn) as the phenomenon of psychological identification with the more powerful abuser

However, the tendency might as well be the result of employing the strategy evolved by the population of the newborn babies to form the emotional attachment to the most close powerful adult in order to maximize the probability that this adult will enable - at least - the survival of the child, if not prove to be a good-enough parental figure also.

Freedom of young women linchpin

The following article from MEMRI details why it is a critical domino to reach very young girls before they are brainwashed into the ideology of hatred and murder


Special Dispatch Series - No. 983
September 9, 2005 No.983

Commander of Hamas Military Wing Women's Unit: ‘Our Members Yearn for Martyrdom’

The Hamas movement has recently established women's units as part of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, its armed wing. In an interview with the Hamas weekly Al-Risala, the commander of the first of the units said that the women were training with light weapons and "yearned for martyrdom."

The following are excerpts from the interview with the commander of the women's unit of Hamas's military wing, and photos of members in full Islamic dress training with light and heavy arms. [1]




"There Is Only One Goal: Jihad and Resistance until the Lands Are Liberated"
Q: "To begin with, we would like to know who you are."

A: "We are a women's unit of Hamas' armed wing, the Martyr Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades."

Q: "Why did you join the Al-Qassam Brigades and not one of the other armed groups?"

A: "Because the Al-Qassam Brigades are considered the standard-bearers and the pioneers of jihad. We have abandoned all paths save that of Hamas and its armed wing – the Al-Qassam Brigades."

Q: "Did someone ask you to operate as part of the Brigades, or was it your request?"

A: "Nobody asked us to operate as part of the Brigades. We simply love jihad and its path…"

Q: "What was your aim in joining the military organization?"

A: "There was only one single aim: jihad and resistance until the lands are liberated."

Q: "Wouldn't it be better for you to deal with educating and developing the [next] generation..."

A: "It's all one path. We raise our children and perform our domestic duties, the duty of encouraging devotion to religion, as well as the other everyday duties, and the epitome of them is jihad for the sake of Allah. Jihad is a duty that every Muslim is required to fulfill if he can. Our joining the military organization is one of the essential everyday tasks."

"The Members of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Women's Units are Training with Light Weapons"

Q: "We understand that you are competing with the men in the battlefield."

A: "It is an honor for us to compete with the men, even if their role is more advanced. They are the men in the [battle]field, courageous, and men of sacrifice, but we are trying to relieve [them] of some of the burden. Behind every man is a woman who strengthens his hands."

Q: "How do you manage to combine membership in a military unit, educating [your] children, and taking care of [your] husbands and your households?"

A: "That's something completely normal. We manage our time and know our duties, like every working woman..."

Q: "Do you do weapons training and activities?"

A: "We do a moderate level of light weapons training."

Q: "Do your husbands know that you are members of military units, and do they encourage you, or is it the opposite?"

A: "Yes, our husbands know. They encourage us, and we [women] encourage one another."


The Units' Members Yearn for Martyrdom
Q: "What do you think about women who carried out martyrdom operations, like the martyr Reem Al-Riyashi, who belonged to the Al-Qassam Brigades?" [2]

A: "The martyr Reem Al-Riyashi is like a crown on our heads and a pioneer of the resistance. Nobody can fathom the magnitude of her sacrifice."

Q: "Do you hope to be like Reem Al-Riyashi?"

A: "By the name of Allah, we hope to become like her at once."

Q: "What do women like you tell your children?"

A: "Our message is to educate them to jihad, which is a sacred duty which cannot be neglected..."


Q: "What do you think about Palestinian women's role in the Al-Aqsa Intifada?"

A: "Their role is very important and is no less important than that of the man. The woman is the fighter's wife and sister. She carried the difficult burden of making a living and educating the children to jihad."

Q: "Are your activities limited to intelligence and support? We've seen Hamas women prisoners who guided the martyrs, like Tamam Al-Tamimi. [3] Is that your only field of activity?"

A: "The armed activities are not [limited to] guiding [bombers] or shooting. There are many kinds of jihad and resistance."


Israel's Fleeing from the Settlements is a Result of the Resistance
Q: "What do you have to say to Arab and Muslim women in the wake of the defeat of the Zionist enemy in Gaza?"

A: "Today we are reaping the fruits of the resistance in the hope that there will be further steps, leading to the liberation of all Palestine… [The Palestinian] victory and [Israel's] fleeing the settlements are a result of the painful blows [they suffered] from the resistance."

Q: "What message would you, as women [serving] in military units, like to send to the occupation and to the wives of soldiers who have killed our people?"

A: "The Zionist rulers who talked about the Greater Land of Israel need to learn the lesson that the resistance and its heroic men taught them. Today they are progressively losing their resources. We don't have any desire to kill them so long as they leave the lands that they stole from us. These are our rights and we want to obtain them. If they don't want to go of their own will, they will be defeated and [all that will be left of them] will be the remains of corpses."

Q: "What is your final message?"

A: "Oh sons of the resisting Palestinian people, who defeated the Zionist enemy and humiliated them and made their heads bowed, keep the faith and preserve the victory so that it won't go to waste. This is a victory that we achieved through sacrifice."

Q: "Are you the mother of a martyr or a prisoner? If so, what do you [think when you] see the occupation getting out of there now, with your son having carried out an action against one of the settlements which the occupation is leaving?"

A: "Yes, I have sons who are martyrs, a son who's a prisoner, and sons who were wounded, but all that is of little account [when it is] for the sake of Allah. Thank God, I don't have any regrets and I can take the suffering of these losses. I am very happy that I offered up [a sacrifice] and reaped the fruits. My son's blood was not spilled in vain, and my [other] son's imprisonment is not for naught. The resistance yielded a ripe fruit. This historic turning point is a prologue to the great victory and the re-conquest of the rest of the lands."



Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Re: headscarf linchpin

A baby step in the right direction. From the News Journal:

Court upholds ruling on license photo

By JAY STAPLETON
Staff Writer

Last update: September 07, 2005

DAYTONA BEACH -- A local appeals court says the constitutional rights of a Muslim woman who wanted to wear a veil in her driver's license photo were not violated and she must follow the state law requiring full face photos.
The opinion reached Friday by the 5th District Court of Appeal affirmed a 2003 order from a trial court in Orlando, which shot down the civil lawsuit filed by Sultaana Freeman of Winter Park, denying her the right to have her license picture taken with her face covered in a veil.

"We recognized the tension created as a result of choosing between following the dictates of one's religion and the mandates of secular law," wrote Appellate Judge Emerson R. Thompson Jr. in the 15 page opinion. "However, as long as the laws are neutral and generally applicable to the citizenry, they must be obeyed."

The court found that enforcing the full face photo requirement did not violate the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because forcing Freeman's compliance of the law did not place a substantial burden on her free exercise of religion.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles originally issued Freeman a license showing her wearing a veil in 2001, but later suspended it. According to court records, Freeman had a photo license in Illinois which showed her wearing a veil before she moved to Florida about eight years ago.

Born Sandra Michele Keller, Freeman, 38, was raised in a Christian household but converted to the Islamic religion in 1997. She is a married mother of two young children.

Freeman claims the suspension of her license was an infringement upon her constitutional rights. Freeman's attorney, Howard Marks, argued that his client should not be punished for wanting to practice her religion.

Freeman lost her civil lawsuit when Circuit Judge Janet C. Thorpe agreed with authorities that letting people conceal their faces on a driver's license was a terrorist risk.

The state "has a compelling interest in protecting the public from criminal activities and security threats," and that photo identification "is essential to promote that interest," the trial judge said.

In considering the trial court's conclusion, the appeals court found enforcement of the law "did not compel Freeman to engage in conduct that her religion forbids -- her religion does not forbid all photographs."

In July 2003, Gov. Jeb Bush signed legislation requiring that driver's licenses must include a picture of the driver's full face.

Ban on forced marriages linchpin

The following article from Web India reinforces the need for the entire West to ban forced marriages.
Britain considers ban on forced marriage:-
LONDON | September 07, 2005 7:12:10 AM IST


The British government has announced plans to ban forced marriages.

Under the proposal, clerics who perform a marriage when the bride has not consented could be prosecuted, along with relatives or friends who witness the ceremony. The Home and Foreign offices issued a joint paper detailing the proposal, The Mirror reported.

Arranged marriages would remain legal as long as both parties consent.

Forced marriage cannot be justified on religious or cultural grounds, said Baroness Patricia Scotland of the Home Office. By making it an offence we give it a voice in a form it doesn't have. It's a clarion call that this is unlawful.

But Scotland said that the government would not create a new offense until officials are sure they are on the right track.

Last week, a pregnant woman unhappy in a marriage she had been forced into killed herself and her two young children by leaping in front of an express train at a London station.

(UPI)

Headscarf linchpin

The following article from Iran Focus demonstrates the vital need for the West to ban religious headdress in all government offices, schools, and public transportation:

Iran to speed up flogging of women for “bad” veil

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 06 – Women who violate Iran’s strict Islamic dress code will be flogged immediately, prosecutor’s offices in provincial centres announced on Tuesday.

In the central Iranian city of Shahin-Shahr, the prosecutor’s office posted huge notices on billboards and shop windows warning women that dress code violators will appear before an Islamic judge immediately after arrest to receive a sentence, usually 100 lashes in public. The prosecutor will be demanding maximum penalties, the notice warned.

“Individuals whose state of attire and make-up is against religious laws in public will be prosecuted without having to first wait in a queue and will be sentenced to flogging and fines”, the statement said.

“Scarves which do not cover the hair and neck”, “tight overcoats or coats that which finish above the knees and whose sleeves cover to a point higher than the wrist”, “tight trousers which do not cover the calf of the leg”, and “women’s make-up” are all forbidden, according to the statement, which added that failure to adhere to the dress code would be dealt with accordingly.

Women whose scarves do not properly cover up their hair will face between 10 days to 10 months in prison, the statement added.

The Madrassa factor

Sooner or later the West will be forced to deal with the madrassa factor. Countless psychologically and socially unstable youth are being fed a steady diet of hatred and murder from babyhood on up. Exerpts from the following article from FrontPageMagazine demonstrates the dire need to socially integrate the youth of Islam throughout the West before it's too late and they are indoctrinated into the politics of hatred, suicide, and murder.

Encounter with an Angry Muslim Academic
By Richard L. Rubenstein

In the aftermath of the ritualistic near-decapitation of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, as well as the death threats and frivolous “hate-crime” lawsuits directed against honest scholars writing about Islamic extremism, some Muslims and their western sympathizers appear determined to control, by fair means or foul, what is said and written about Islam in the West.

A first-hand example of this trend can be seen in the response to the keynote address I delivered on June 9, 2005 in Krakow, Poland at the Annual Meeting of the Public Administration Theory Network (PAT-Net), an international academic organization, in which I discussed the problems raised by the rapidly increasing number of Muslims in Europe. Some of the immigrants and their European-born descendants have made no secret of the fact that they regard their religion and culture as destined by divine ordinance to transform Europe into a Muslim-dominated imperial realm. Although many have chosen the path of integration, an unknown number have repeatedly stated that they seek to replace the western secular order with a new sacred, absolutist Islamic order.

This problem is aggravated by known demographic trends. According to the U.S. Department of State's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 2003, more than 23 million Muslims reside in Europe, excluding Turkey. That is almost 5 percent of the population. With indigenous Europe’s declining birthrate and the increasing immigrant birthrate, many observers, including Princeton’s Bernard Lewis, anticipate a Muslim majority in Western Europe before the end of this century.

-snip-


As noted above, there are Muslims who seek to control what is publicly written and said about Islam. At times, they are abetted by western sympathizers acting either out of ignorance or alienation from their own culture. In addition, many public officials and much of the press are more comfortable talking about the “war against terrorism” than radical Islam’s war against the West. There is risk in openly identifying, as I did, a religious war for what it is. There may be greater risk in failing to do so.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Re: Ban Sharia law linchpin

The following article from Opinion Journal demonstrates the importance of a ban on Sharia law throughout the West:

Unfree Under Islam
Shariah endangers women's rights, from Iraq to Canada.

BY AYAAN HIRSI ALI
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

In every society where family affairs are regulated according to instructions derived from the Shariah or Islamic law, women are disadvantaged. The injustices these women are exposed to in the name of Islam vary from extreme cruelty (forced marriages; imprisonment or death after rape) to grossly unfair treatment in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Muslim women across the world are caught in a terrible predicament. They aspire to live by their faith as best they can, but their faith robs them of their rights. Some women have found a way out of this dilemma in the principle of separation of organized religion and state affairs. They fight an uphill battle to achieve and hold on to their basic rights. Two cases demonstrate just how difficult that struggle can be, in the context of new as well as established democracies.......

......It seems strange to associate the context of Canada with that of Iraq, but a closer look at the arguments used to reassure the demonstrating women in both countries reveals the similar ordeals that Muslim women in both countries must go through to secure their rights. It shows how their legitimate and serious worries are trivialized, and how vulnerable and alone they are. It shows how the Free World led by the U.S. went to war in Iraq, allegedly to bring liberty to Iraqis, and is compromising the basic rights of women in order to meet a random date. It shows how the theory of multiculturalism in Western liberal democracies is working against women in ethnic and religious minorities with misogynist practices. It shows the tenacity of many imams, mullahs and self-made Muslim radicals to subjugate women in the name of God. Most of all, it shows how many of those who consider themselves liberal or left-wing see their energy levels rise when it comes to Bush-bashing, but lose their voice when women's rights are threatened by religious obscurantism.
Hamam Hamoudi, the head of Iraq's constitution committee, refuses to discuss the article that worries the Muslim women. He also refused to put in the draft constitution that men and women have equal rights, creating a bizarre situation whereby the women had more rights under Saddam Hussein's regime than in post-Saddam Iraq. Mr. Hamoudi insists that women will have full economic and political rights, but the overwhelming evidence shows that when Shariah--which gives a husband complete control over his wife--is in place, women have little chance to exercise any political rights. Does Mr. Hamoudi realize that it took the removal of Saddam and the establishment of a multiparty democracy for men to vote, while if his draft constitution is ratified, women will need the permission of their husbands to step out of the house in order to mark their ballot? I thought that President Bush and all the allies who supported the Iraq war aspired to bring democracy and liberty to all Iraqis. Aren't Iraqi girls and women human enough to share in that dream?

Under Shariah, a girl becomes eligible for marriage from the moment she starts to menstruate. In countries where Islamic law is practiced, child-brides (to old men who have older wives) are common. Do the drafters of the constitution grasp what this will mean for the school curriculum of girls or the risks of miscarriages, maternal fatalities and infant deaths? These and other hazards that affect subjugated women are common phenomena in the 22 Arab-Islamic countries investigated in the Arab Human Development Report. An early marriage also means many children in an area of the world that is already overpopulated and poor.

The draft Iraqi bill of rights favors men in other respects, such as the right to marry up to four wives, and the right to an easy divorce, without the interference of a court, simply by repeating "I divorce you" in the presence of two male witnesses. A wife divorced in such a fashion will receive an allowance for a period of three months to one year, and after that period nothing. On the other hand, if a wife wants a divorce, she must go to court and prove that her husband does not meet her material needs, that he is infertile and that he is impotent. Once a divorce is finalized, if there are children, the custody of the children will automatically go to the father (for boys at age 7 and for girls from the start of menstruation). Inheritance based on the Shariah means that wives will get only a small portion of the property of their husbands and a sister will get half what her brother gets.
Canadian women are told that the Arbitration Act of 1992 was passed in order to provide citizens with the opportunity to resolve minor conflicts through mediation and thereby save valuable court time. They are reassured that Muslim women in Canada have nothing to fear because parties must enter into arbitration out of their free choice, and that there are enough limits to safeguard the rights of women. The Muslim women's arguments that "free choice" is relative when you are psychologically, financially and socially dependent on your family, clan or religious group seem to fall on deaf ears. The populations of battered Muslim women in "tolerant" Canada's women's shelters seem to be ignored. In Canada, battered Muslim women say that their husbands told them that it is a God-given right to hit them. If the current Iraqi constitution goes through, Iraqi wife-abusers will be able to add "It is my constitutional right to beat you."

An Iraqi constitution is necessary, and the need for urgency is apparent, but urgency is a bad argument for passing a bill that strips half the nation of its rights. In Ontario, minorities come first and individual women within minorities last, living as second-class citizens and suffering in silence.

The proverbial "cry for help". ...

The proverbial cry for help from troubled youth has relevance to what may be Islam's collective "cry for help".

Could the anti social acting out of Islamic terrorists be a desperate cry for help from those who recognize how terrible their behavior is, but are helpless to take any action by themselves?

Decisions for today’s youth


The tough choices that youngsters make during a critical five year period can set the mould for their lives. But while the decisions may be their own, the options open to them have largely been chosen by previous generations. The New Internationalist looks at how today’s young people are coming to terms with the world they inherit.


A screech of brakes; black weals of burnt rubber on tarmac: the sickening crunch of metal against metal. Then an uncanny silence as bystanders gather and someone steps forward to open the car door. ‘Stolen,’ says the policeman. ‘Serves him right,’ says someone in the crowd, ‘crazy young hooligan’.

In the crowd a young man shakes his head over the tangle of metal, winces as the broken body is eased out of the car, then continues on his way to the bank. He dare not let himself be distracted. This is his big chance to make it. If he can persuade the bank manager to give him a loan he has decided to set up his own repair business. It’s a risk, it will be hard starting out on his own, getting known, finding new customers. But that’s the choice he has made.

Two young men: two risks, two choices, One risking his life; the other his livelihood. One deciding on speed, the other entrepreneurial initiative. Risk-taking is a natural and necessary part of growing up, making choices. But there is an alarming increase in self-destructive risk -taking among young people.

The world’s healthiest age group - people aged 10-24 - are being threatened with two new epidemics. They have survived the vulnerable years of early childhood, but are now being maimed and killed in their thousands by accidents and suicide.

As fast as public health services gain ground against diseases like polio, smallpox and tuberculosis, that advantage is wiped out by the increasing numbers of young people being rushed into the emergency rooms of hospitals and health centres the world: over dead on arrival - from drunken driving, from motor-cycle and car crashes, from drug and alcohol overdoses.

In rich countries like the US and Japan accidents cause one-third of deaths among 10 to 24 year-olds. In poorer countries, with their fast-growing cities and their land increasingly criss-crossed with tarmac, accidents are beginning to rival infectious and parasitic diseases in the toll they take of young lives. In Venezuela, for example, 45 per cent of deaths among 10 to 24 year-olds are from accidents. And with few ambulances and even fewer emergency rooms, someone involved in an accident in Kenya is nine times more likely to die as someone in the US. An accident victim in India is up to 15 times more likely to die than one in the UK. That’s not all. The World Health Organization estimates that for every accidental death three people will be permanently disabled.

But it is pointless to throw up our hands in despair at such horror stories. Young people involved in accidents and suicide attempts are the unnecessary victims of a necessary process; learning to be adult. The challenge is to make that process less painful.

In the years between 10 and 24 human beings have to transform themselves: from children to parents, from dependence to independence, from protected to protective. And that takes a lot of doing: a lot of learning and experimenting, of trying and succeeding, of failing - and trying again.

Jean Piaget, the famous Swiss psychologist, maintained that adolescence was the age at which human beings first develop ‘an awareness of how things might be’. For many young people that awareness gives them faith in the future and courage to tackle the problems which face them.

But for others the problems can seem - insoluble - and awareness for them leads to despair. As WHO points out: ‘those countries with an increasing unemployment rate among adolescents also appear to have an increase in the adolescent suicide rate.’ In Japan, for instance, there are two suicide ‘peaks: one at school-leaving age when the competition for jobs begins and a second around age 54, when many people are compulsorily retired but with too small a pension and the competition for jobs begins once more.

Time for the world of Islam to forgive, forget and move on

It is time for the entire world of Islam to forgive, forget, and move on into the future. Hanging onto old grudges is a pathway to nowhere. Hanging onto old grudges is like driving across the country backwards, in reverse gear.

A Survivor of Palestinian Tyranny Defends Israel from
FrontPageMagazine.com October 15, 2004 Brigitte Gabriel

(Below is Brigitte Gabriel's speech delivered at the Duke University Counter Terrorism Speak-Out, held Thursday, October 14, 2004. The video of Brigitte's much longer speech may be viewed at Phyllis Chesler's website www.phyllis-chesler.com -- The Editors)


I’m proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel -- the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world.


I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.


When the Muslims and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.


It was Israel that came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Muslim’s shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Muslims, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion. They didn’t see political affiliation. They saw people in need and they helped.


For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would never have shown to its enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis -- who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I listen to the media. I realized that I had been sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew for a fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.


I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers, one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.


One day I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded Rina’s son’s bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: “It is not your fault”. We just stood there crying holding each other’s hands.


What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old only child, and still able to love me -- the enemy, and between a Muslim mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.


The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It’s barbarism versus civilization. It’s dictatorship versus democracy. It’s evil versus goodness.


Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian “armed struggle”. However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of God.


Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan , a plague of terror which has been authored and perfected by the Palestinians for the last half century .


They blame suicide bombing on "desperation from occupation." But let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel’s independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed and hundreds were wounded. It is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the “desperation from occupation”, but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.


So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time for all of us to stand up and support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.

Co-Dependency lynchpin

More writings about the Co-Dependency relationship and how this relates to the struggle against terrorism, the ultimate antisocial behavior


Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.



Who Does Co-Dependency Affect?
Co-dependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence. Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family.
What is a Dysfunctional Family and How Does it Lead to Co-Dependency?
A dysfunctional family is one in which members suffer from fear, anger, pain, or shame that is ignored or denied.
Underlying problems may include any of the following:

An addiction by a family member to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex, or gambling.
The existence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
The presence of a family member suffering from a chronic mental or physical illness.
Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don’t talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become “survivors.” They develop behaviors that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don’t talk. They don’t touch. They don’t confront. They don’t feel. They don’t trust. The identity and emotional development of the members of a dysfunctional family are often inhibited.

Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people’s health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self.

How Do Co-Dependent People Behave?
Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviors like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity.

They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may “pull some strings” to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behavior.

The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in the love and friendship relationships.

Characteristics of Co-Dependent People Are:

An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others.
A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue.
A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time.
A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts.
An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment.

An extreme need for approval and recognition.
A sense of guilt when asserting themselves.
A compelling need to control others.
Lack of trust in self and/or others.
Fear of being abandoned or alone.
Difficulty identifying feelings.
Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change.
Problems with intimacy/boundaries.
Chronic anger.
Lying/dishonesty.
Poor communications
Difficulty making decisions.

Questionnaire To Identify Signs Of Co-Dependency
This condition appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms are on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale. Please note that only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of co-dependency; not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from co-dependency.

1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?
3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?
4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?
5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
10. Have you ever felt inadequate?
11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?
12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?
17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?
19. Do you have trouble asking for help?
20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?

If you identify with several of these symptoms; are dissatisfied with yourself or your relationships; you should consider seeking professional help. Arrange for a diagnostic evaluation with a licensed physician or psychologist experienced in treating co-dependency.

How is Co-Dependency Treated?
Because co-dependency is usually rooted in a person’s childhood, treatment often involves exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behavior patterns. Treatment includes education, experiential groups, and individual and group therapy through which co-dependents rediscover themselves and identify self-defeating behavior patterns. Treatment also focuses on helping patients getting in touch with feelings that have been buried during childhood and on reconstructing family dynamics. The goal is to allow them to experience their full range of feelings again.

When Co-Dependency Hits Home
The first step in changing unhealthy behavior is understanding it. It is important for co-dependents and their family members to educate themselves about the course and cycle of addiction and how it extends into their relationships. Libraries, drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers and mental health centers often offer educational materials and programs to the public.

A lot of change and growth is necessary for the co-dependent and his or her family. Any caretaking behavior that allows or enables abuse to continue in the family needs to be recognized and stopped. The co-dependent must identify and embrace his or her feelings and needs. This may include learning to say “no,” to be loving yet tough, and learning to be self-reliant. People find freedom, love, and serenity in their recovery.

Hope lies in learning more. The more you understand co-dependency the better you can cope with its effects. Reaching out for information and assistance can help someone live a healthier, more fulfilling life.



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