Monday, May 24, 2010

URGENT Action: Help Prevent Torture

Pakistan's Displaced Pashtuns Face Choice Between Home, Security - Pakistanis displaced from South Waziristan wait to get relief at a camp in Dera Ismail Khan. Photo credit goes to RFE/RL and article April 28, 2010 By Abubakar Siddique While the photo is not directly connected to the ICRC/RC, what photo speaks more clearly to the need for protection?

One Heart blogger asks: How can we help? An ACTION below may provide one possible means.

If you are an American Citizen Plz CLICK on simple actions below. Or if you know or are on a list with US citizens plz make sure they know about this OPPORTUNITY to make a large difference in terms of human rights.


Dear Friends,

We have just learned that later this week the House of Representatives is very likely to vote on an amendment to the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act that would require government agencies to provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with access to ALL detainees. As you know, this will be an important step toward codifying a crucial piece of the President's executive order on interrogations. The ICRC plays a critical role in monitoring the treatment of detainees and thereby helps to prevent torture.

While we are optimistic, a positive vote on this amendment is not guaranteed. Please contact your Representative immediately to ask him or her to vote for the ICRC amendment. We have prepared a model email for your use which is available on our website here

Please feel free to personalize the email.

Thank you so much for your help!


Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director
NRCAT - National Religious Campaign Against Torture.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

a Lifetime of Solitary Confinement on a Spurious Terror Conviction

My Brother Faces a Lifetime of Solitary Confinement on a Spurious Terror Conviction
By Mariam Abu-Ali, AlterNet
Posted on May 12, 2010, Posted here on May 23, 2010

A version of this piece first appeared in The Hoya, Georgetown University's newspaper.

My brother, Ahmed Abu Ali, has spent the past five years in solitary confinement, under 23-hour lockdown, in a 7x12 cell. He has one recreational hour in which he must get strip-searched if he wishes to leave his cell. He gets one unscheduled telephone call a month to his family, and receives the newspaper by the time news becomes history. If I send him a letter wishing him a happy birthday, he gets it 60 days later. When I visit him, once a year, I speak to him from behind a glass window. He is literally in a dungeon, over 20 meters beneath the ground.

Ahmed is not in a foreign prison, nor is he in Guantánamo; he is in a super maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.

Ahmed was not convicted of an act of violence nor was he charged with one. In 2003, Ahmed, a sociable 22-year-old, was studying abroad when he was detained in Medina, Saudi Arabia at the behest of the U.S government. My family, in tandem with several human rights organizations, filed a habeas petition demanding his return to the U.S., and the judge ruled in our favor.

After being held for nearly two years in Saudi Arabia without any charges or access to an attorney, Ahmed was transferred to U.S. custody. The U.S. government sought to avoid public embarrassment by charging him with nine counts of terrorism related conspiracy. The only evidence presented was a confession tape obtained under torture in Saudi Arabia, a country with documented prisoner abuse, as reported by the State Department. Additionally, the judge suppressed the defense's evidence of torture during the trial. During a pretrial hearing, Ahmed offered to show the scars on his back in the U.S. courtroom. The judge refused his request, but assured him he would not be mistreated in the United States.

Mistreatment would be an understatement, given the draconian conditions under which he is held. Ahmed was initially sentenced to 30 years, but the prosecution was not satisfied. They appealed to increase his sentence. Despite the fact that the so-called conspiracies, according to the judge, "did not result in a single actual victim," he is now serving a life sentence in solitary confinement under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs).

Created in 1996, SAMs were imposed for a maximum of four months when a prisoner was deemed violent. Now, SAMs can be designated by the Attorney General for up to a year, and renewed continually thereafter resulting in perpetual isolation, a form of torture under international law. The SAMs limit certain "privileges," including, but not limited to, correspondence, visits, media interviews and telephone use. SAMs also restrict conversations between inmates and their lawyers by allowing them to be monitored by prison officials, violating attorney-client privilege and depriving inmates of their right to effective counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Ahmed was under SAMs even before his trial began. Imposing SAMs pre-trial cast a shadow of suspicion on a defendant, rendering him guilty until proven innocent.

Unfortunately, my brother's case is not an anomaly. Civil rights violations are an integral part of the "war on terror" and have become entrenched in the U.S. court system and in prison policy.

Fahad Hashmi is a young student from New York, who received his B.A from Brooklyn College and his master's from London Metropolitan University. In 2006, he was arrested at an airport in the United Kingdom and held in England's notorious Belmarsh prison for 11 months. Like Ahmed, Fahad was charged with conspiracy on the basis of flimsy evidence. While in the UK, he allowed an acquaintance to stay at his apartment for two weeks. The government alleges that this acquaintance had socks, raincoats and ponchos in his luggage during his stay that would later get delivered to Al-Qaeda. The government's case rested on secret evidence and on the testimony of an acquaintance who then became an informant to get a reduction on his own prison sentence.

Fahad was extradited back to New York, where was held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center without a trial under SAMs for the past three years. Under 24-hour electronic surveillance, he is required to shower and relieve himself in view of a camera. Furthermore, his limited family visits have been suspended for the past five months.

Extreme sensory deprivation often leads to hunger strikes and results in the deterioration of prisoners' physical and mental health. Medical and scholarly research has shown that such sensory deprivation results in depression, lethargy and psychosis in otherwise healthy prisoners. After studying inmates in solitary confinement, Craig Haney, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, noted that they "begin to lose the ability to initiate behavior of any kind -- to organize their own lives around activity and purpose … In extreme cases, prisoners may literally stop behaving," lapsing into catatonic states.

Senator John McCain, who spent more than two years in isolation while detained in Vietnam, has said that solitary confinement "crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment." Last year, Ahmed's conditions were so unbearable, he went on a hunger strike for two months, losing 50 pounds.

Fahad's health has degraded immensely, a fact that would have compromised his ability to participate in his defense during his trial, which was scheduled to begin on April 28. Instead, Fahad reached a plea bargain on the eve of his trial. In addition to facing the prospect of a 70-year prison sentence, the court granted the government's request for an anonymous jury with extra protection. The Center for Constitutional Rights called it "a clear attempt to influence the jury by creating a sense of fear for their safety and to paint Mr. Hashmi as already guilty." Fahad's plea should not be presumed as an admission of guilt; the biased circumstances led him to accept a chance for a lesser charge.

Ahmed's or Fahad's innocence is not the point, although I believe both are guilt-free. Rather, I write because regardless of their innocence or guilt, it is their right to be treated humanely. If we believe in the inherent dignity of each human being, then we should be outraged by these abuses. Unfortunately, abuse here in the United States rarely receives media attention. President Obama promised to close down Guantánamo; let us demand that he closes down the Guantánamo-style prisons on U.S. soil, too. Anyone with a true understanding of American values ought to demand an immediate end to these cruel and unusual punishments.

Mariam Abu-Ali is a senior at Georgetown University.
© 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online here

COMMENTS at Alternet dot org CLICK here and plz add your courteous comment here on this site with at least a first name.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dedicated Civil Rights Lawyer Discusses Guantanamo

Credit for this photo goes to War Crimes Times (see link below for another interview online with Mr. Frank Goldsmith)

NOTE: More and more many rights groups such as ACLU, The Center for Constitutional Rights, No More Gitmos, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, WNC Stop Torture Now are calling for a return to the rule of law. There has not been a clear shift from or end to arresting minus rights, kidnapping, rendition and intimidating treatment (if not torture in Afghanistan) of US detainees/prisoners. Again, the time has come to bring remember the experience and dedication of Attorney Frank Goldsmith:

Civil rights attorney discusses Guantanamo Bay issues
Many prisoners not linked with al-Qaida, none convicted of a crime
By Chris Fish / Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shawn Hiatt / Staff Photographer

Guantanamo Bay only links 8 percent of its detainees with al-Qaida, and holds no convicted criminals, according to government records.

“Only 8 percent have been shown to be al-Qaida fighters. These figures are from the government’s own records. None of this is classified,” said Frank Goldsmith, a civil rights attorney and representative of one of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Goldsmith spoke to crowd of roughly 50 people at UNC Asheville last week.

“Fifty-five percent were shown by government records not to have committed any hostile act against the United States. The law says to be detained, you have to have committed a hostile act. Of these numbers of detainees at the prison, none have been convicted of a crime. Again, these are government records.”

Guantanamo Bay is a U.S. detainment facility located in Cuba.

Since Oct. 7, 2001, when the United States invaded Afghanistan, 775 detainees were brought to Guantanamo. Of these, approximately 420 were released without charge. In January 2009, approximately 245 detainees remained. This number further decreased to 215 by last November, according to government statistics.

UNC Asheville students said statistics about the prison clarified the issue, and showed them how the United States treats international laws. The numbers made them feel more aware of how the government views itself in relation to the rest of the world.

“It really does help put things into perspective, being able to see numbers,” said Dylan Duffey, a UNCA student. “And seeing how you have politicians who are saying they are going to fix the problems and everything, and getting to see numbers that show how transfers have dropped since Obama has taken office is good.”

While President Obama continues to send detainees to the prison, he has not sent nearly as many as the Bush administration did.

Many consider Guantanamo Bay a place where the worst of the worst terrorists are kept, according to Goldsmith. However, he said the prison is holding non-violent individuals without evidence.

“One of the early releases was described as being a shriveled old African man who was partially deaf. Another was a 90-year-old who walked around with a cane and would say, ‘No more questions,’ and would then stare out of the window. That is all the information you would get out of him,” Goldsmith said. “There were boys between the ages of 13 to 15 years old who were sold to the Americans, and were kicked and beaten by U.S. soldiers.”

Torture, according to the United Nations Against Torture, is an act that causes mental or physical pain to gain information, or inflicting punishment for a committed act or punishment based on discrimination.

The Army Field Manual, a set of rules established for war, prohibits the use of torture toward prisoners captured in battle.

Despite this, torture has been an issue with the prison.

The Bush administration was scrutinized for the use of torture to gain information. According to Goldsmith, guards have been known to pepper spray prisoners while they are sleeping, and commit other violent and humiliating acts toward them. The Bush administration wrote a loophole that created definitions of torture in order to protect itself.

“By signing these international conventions, we obligated ourselves to enact just such legislation,” Goldsmith said. “Even though the field manual says it could not be unpleasant, they say what they were doing is not considered torture because the original objective was not to do so.”

According to Goldsmith, the Bush administration said inflicting pain to get information is necessary for public safety.

“They say if you want to get information from people, and you know that pain and suffering are going to be a by-product to get what you need, than that is OK,” he said. “Your specific intent is not to inflict torture. Your specific intent is to get information from the detainee. What’s tortured is their reason.”

The administration also said what they were doing was not torture because the pain they inflicted on the prisoners was not severe enough to constitute long-lasting damage, according to Goldsmith.

“They said for it to be torture, they had to inflict pain that is difficult to endure. It’s torture only if it is pain that can accompany organ failure, the impairment of bodily functions or death,” he said. “Mental pain has to result in significant psychological harm lasting for months or even years. If it does not match those standards, according to the administration, then it is not torture.”

James Price, a UNCA student, said thinking of the prisoners as people, not terrorists, puts the whole Guantanamo prison system into a new perspective.

“To politicians, these are not people but are terrorists,” he said. “Just because a guy speaks passionately does not mean he is a terrorist by default. He is a person just like you and me, and just because they live in Afghanistan does not mean he does not deserve the same rights as we do.”


For another interview online with Attorney Frank Goldsmith) plz go here

Friday, May 21, 2010

Honour The Prophet Muhammad Campaign

New videos keep coming in and much more. Let others know about this beautiful, gentle yet strong and peaceful campaign set-up by a peacemaker-mentor for us all. Mr. Rabab Khan has invited whosoever to respond and/or join this campaign whether or not of the Muslim faith.

The new honoring facebook page: here

Here find the email in case you have chosen to stay off fb, are not able to get there or for another positive reason: (yet with so MANY responses, don't expect a personal answer at least right away. This Mr. Rabab Khan has definitely covered a lot of bases and my take is that he's rather a techno whiz atop his deep spirituality. Worth following for ALL would be peacemakers looking for more creative and positive responses to injustices.

(Even an atheist posted and joined!)

Rabab Khan says:

"Don't go back to sleep on May 21st, this is just the start! A potentially great movement has started, and is simply made up of normal Muslims, not some major corporate company or any of that, but normal Muslims! (and others as well) Keep spreading this page around, keep spreading the truth, this project is just the first of many many many many to come. May 21st is not the end, it's only the start!"

Except for the items in parenthesis, the words are those of the visionary of this new and positive campaign.

Hear the lead-up to this new campaign here

Here's an earlier link to this campaign: here

Here's more:

"A facebook page/event (was) set up for May the 20th, and this event has been called draw Muhammad day. So as a response, (another) page has been created, for Muslims to come and defend the honour of Muhammad peace be upon him. (and the video says that others are welcome as well if positive and respectful of Muhammad) The way we shall respond is not by violence, or threats, or insults. No, we shall respond back with wisdom, and with the most important tool we have, the truth.

'The prophet Muhammad himself stated that the strong Muslim was the one who could control his anger, and control his emotions, therefore all Muslims should follow this example.

'Responding with threats does not defend the prophet, rather it simply feeds the propaganda, and makes them say 'look! You see , we are right, the Muslims are violent!' Therefore as Muslims we should be better.

'On May 20th we (released) our own video, a video which shall compile some of the greatest examples of the prophet Muhammad. You to can take part, by posting several Islamic narrations that showed the kindness, mercy, humbleness, generosity, and sincerity of the prophet Muhammad. If you choose to do more, and want to make your own video, then do so!

'Let us show everyone what a great man Muhammad (S.A.W) was, and rather than mocking him, he should be praised and given the utmost respect. So join up, and forward this group to your friends, so they join as well.

'So come, let us defend the honour of Muhammad peace be upon him, and let us do this with dignity, respect, and wisdom"

END the words of Rabab Khan who also commended letting fb know you are not happy with their allowing of such a page of disrespec

Mr. Khan evidently was (or will soon be) in a 1-1 DEBATE WITH ANDY (THE MAIN GUY OF DAMD CAMPAIGN) ON BBC WORLD RADIO...

Also there may eventually be more at

How Do Gov'ts Treat their Foreign Terrorism SUSPECTS and Families?

Nancy Talanian, founder and director of No More Guantánamos, spoke at an event of North Carolina Stop Torture Now USA in November 2009.

Published on Friday, May 21, 2010 by
Mothers of Iran's Detainees Fare Better Than Parents of US Detainees

by Nancy Talanian

Yesterday the mothers of three American hikers, ages 27 to 31, visited their children whom the Iranian government has held for ten months as suspected spies. Press were present at the reunion, and they interviewed both the mothers and the captives, who said they have been treated very well and are able to spend time together every day. Read Los Angeles Times article here [1]. Their mothers hope to take their children home, and I personally hope the mothers get their wish.

But I also want other mothers and family members to get their wishes, too. I'm thinking of nearly 200 men whom the US is currently imprisoning at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, most for more than 8 years. The US is also holding more than 600 men and women in Bagram prison, Afghanistan, with even fewer rights and privileges than their Guantánamo counterparts, and an unknown number held in secret prisons around the world. No family members, friends, or journalists have ever been allowed to visit or interview any of these men and women in US custody, and their detentions have been devastating for their families in other ways. For example, Tina Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network [2], who has filed cases on behalf of some of the Bagram prisoners without being permitted to meet any of them, reports that many of the Bagram prisoners' children have literally been starving to death while their families' only breadwinners, their fathers, have been in US military custody.

Back to Guantánamo. Its inmates have been as young as 12 and as old as 93. Many of the men have lost parents and other family members while in captivity, and like their Bagram counterparts, sometimes the absence of the family's breadwinner was the cause of death. For example, the youngest child of Guantánamo captive Adel Hamad, born while her father was imprisoned, died because her family could not pay for the medical care she needed. Ironically, her father was working as a hospital administrator at the time of his capture.

Some parents lost loved ones who died in the prison by suicide or other cause. Still other parents hold on to hope that they will see their loved ones held at Guantánamo before they die. Many of the prisoners' families had to wait months or years just to receive any news of their loved ones--whether they were dead or alive and, if alive, where they were.

Unlike the three American hikers who wandered into Iran and are held in that country according to its laws, the men held at Guantánamo never wandered into the US and were sent to Guantánamo, Bagram or secret prisons with a goal of skirting US and international laws--working on the "dark side," as former Vice President Dick Cheney called it. Most Guantánamo detainees have been cleared for transfer, some for many years, and only a handful have ever been charged for any crime, let alone international terrorism. Their wrongful capture and lengthy imprisonment were the result of a series of blunders. For example,

* The vast majority were sold to the US military for promised bounties of about $5,000 per head--a fortune to poor villagers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who sold charity workers, visiting doctors, travelers, refugees, and even neighbors and relatives against whom they held grudges, to collect the bounties.
* The competent battlefield tribunals that the Geneva Conventions require, which are meant to distinguish combatants from innocent bystanders, never took place.
* When interrogators weren't getting useful intelligence from detainees, most often because the people they were interrogating had no terrorism connections, they adopted so called "enhanced interrogation" methods, labelled "tantamount to torture" by a Red Cross official, which produced false confessions and false accusations that were then used to justify continuing to hold many of the detainees.
* The Bush administration and Congress prevented the prisoners' challenges under the writ of habeas corpus for more than six years, until the Supreme Court upheld that right in 2008.

The habeas petitions of prisoners already held for more than eight years are finally working their way through the US District Court in Washington, DC. So far, the judges have ordered the government to release 35 of the 48 men whose cases they have reviewed, ruling that the government hasn't enough evidence to meet the low evidentiary hurdle required to justify their continued detention. More than 10 of the 35 men ordered released are still at Guantánamo.

The majority of Americans is certain that everyone the US government has ever held as a terrorist at Guantánamo, Bagram or elsewhere is in fact a terrorist, no questions asked, and wants them held indefinitely--far away from them. Many of them hide their fear with bravado, labeling anyone who supplies information that conflicts with their understanding as fools and denying the prisoners any right to be charged and tried or released.

I ask them to consider, if for no other reason than the safety of Americans, whether they will judge the Iranian government on how they treat three American hikers and their families. Surely the world judges the US government on how it treats its foreign terrorism suspects and their families.

Nancy Talanian is founder and director of No More Guantánamos [3], a grassroots initiative to build Americans' support for justice and human rights for U.S. prisoners held at all offshore facilities.

Article printed from
URL to article: here

Finding the Pearl and Deciding What to Do: Part TWO

Pattern from The Enneagram Institute Find link to source in Part ONE. GO here and if that doesn't work, scroll down in May archive and look for same Title as this one, May 9.

Here is the continuation:

ONE: Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' no longer makes sense.

THREE: A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe. What nine months of attention does for an embryo, forty early mornings will do for you in gradually growing wholeness.

FOUR: Since I was cut from the reed bed I have made this crying sound. Anyone separated from what I say: Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back. At any gathering, I am there, mingling in the laughing and the grieving, a friend to each. But few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of Spirit. Spirit flowing from body.

...This reed is a friend to all who want the fabric drawn and torn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender and a fine love, together.

FIVE: Don't worry about saving these songs, and if one of our instruments breaks, it doesn't matter. We have fallen into the place where everything is music. The strumming and the flute notes rise into the atmosphere. And even if the whole world's harp should burn up, there will still be hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out. We have a piece of flint and a spark. This singing art is sea foam. The graceful movements come from a pearl on the ocean floor. Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting! They derive from a slow and powerful root that we can't see. Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.

SEVEN: The mystery does not get clearer by repeating the question, Nor is it bought going to amazing places. Until you've kept your eyes and your wanting still for fifty years, You don't begin to cross over from confusion.

END of the NINE

What inspired me to come back to complete Part TWO was finding the complete set of poems at this time and feeling it was the right timing. One prayer-wish was to encourage my friends to be empowered and to make each their own decision as to whether or not to quit FB. Of course the choice should be respected maybe even private if some wish it so - which is just fine. There is quite a bit of understandable sadness, regret, confusion and grieving over the plan for friends to be leaving Facebook (FB) given for some it's been a lovely collective world of sharing easily, innocently. Unfortunately, there were some events and exposures which "upset the fruit basket" for some. Let's save that whole topic for another day and post.

Besides FB, there are other choices each must make and losses each must suffer..So, I really sense that these poems will help. Rather than worry at all about what type you may be if you don't know, simply look for your reflection in one or more of these? Somehow I sense that one of these will help you make up your mind about something and/or help you deal with change like they have me, by giving you a good look at your truest self.

These poems provide other directions to take to help us find our way.
Have faith that some "letting go" hurts LOTS yet in the long-run may actually open up vantage points :)

While I made this post, I listened to Yily Nelson (a NICE fit) while doing this. Mr. Yily (pronounced "JeeLee") is a musician who plays at Penn Station, NYC - I heard him there last January. Listening to him brings together some issues and cases we hold in common around the world. Everyone who stopped to listen was spellbound with Mr. Yily's music. Here's a little taste GO here Someday, I've got lots to tell you about being in Penn Station for Five Days! Remind me if I forget. :)

Oh, I'm going to save that discussion of Steinbeck's "The Pearl" for another day.

Plz be easy on yourself and one another. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where Love and Need are One

Painting "Arctic Dreams" by Robin Eschner - see Robin Eschner dot com

Such work of art reflects our own speechless memories.
How do we hold onto such an experience? Or can we ever?

Only where love and need are one,

And the work is play for mortal stakes,

Is the deed ever really done

For Heaven and the Future's sakes.

(from Robert Frost "Two Tramps in Mud Time")

The following massive chasm cut into the limestone by the sea was photographed by Richard Webb [Some rights may still be reserved]© Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License The place is in Southwest Wales Coamarthan Bay and is called by some "The Huntsman's Leap"
How is it that we feel the longing for love and need together and know the mortal stakes even within an immense landscape often with seldom a nearby soul?

Do you feel the inner need as more tangible - more "real" than the "solid" places around you? Do you see the "actual universe" of unfathomable sea and rock mostly as "metaphor" of inner longing? Is this just for the contemplative, the artist, the scholar? Or do we all in some way? If so, how does this happen?

What when the Need and the Love shifts from our infinite yet small places into the world at large?

"We cannot, of course, save the world, because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone’s calling, to lead a life that helps." -- Barry Lopez

And what of a Life that Leaps?

When a Leader Does the Right Thing

Photo credit goes to Haveeru dot com online

Don’t ask me about Gitmo resettlement, President Nasheed tells journalists

MALE, May 18, 2010 (HNS) – President Mohamed Nasheed has said he “does not want to listen to” comments on his plans to take Guantanamo Bay inmates telling journalists not to ask him questions about it.

Responding to Haveeru on Monday at a press conference after ratifying the Decentralisation Act, President Nasheed said the proposed Guantanamo Bay resettlement “will be within legal boundaries and the general principles of Maldives.”

Maldives being one of the few 100 percent Muslim countries will set a “questionable” example for the international community and people of scriptures if it does not help inmates held at Guantanamo Bay detainment facility in Cuba, he added.

President Nasheed stressed that the detainees resettling in Maldives are not terrorists and said the government had collected proof from United States government as well as other sources.

“I absolutely will not listen to the rumours that would follow once we help one of them when we can. I absolutely will not listen [to them],” he said.

“I believe we can only uphold Islam, Islamic values and Islamic culture if we lend them a generous helping hand. If we do not, we do not have the right to claim that we are such and such people.

Find article at Haveeru dot com online here


Apologies to Nadeem whose comment may have been mistakenly deleted. Would you plz repost the comment?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Loving One's Enemy & True Sincerity: #65 -66 The Mesnevi by Rumi

photo from Persian Heritage dot net
One of the greatest teachers of Qonya was one day giving a lecture on a terraced roof, when suddenly he heard the sound of a lute. He exclaimed: "These lutes are an innovation on the prophetic usages. They must be interdicted."

Forth with, the form of Jelal appeared before him, and answered: "That must not be." On this the teacher fainted away.

When he regained his consciousness, he sought to make his peace with Jelal, by sending an apology and a recantation to him, through the medium of Jelal's son, Sultan Veled; but Jelal would not accept them. He answered: "It would be easier to convert seventy Roman bishops to Islam, than to clear away from the mind of that teacher the stains of hate, and so set him on the right road. His soul is as foul as the paper on which children practise their writing exercises."

At length, however, he allowed himself to be appeased by his son; so that he permitted the teacher, with his pupils, to constitute themselves his disciples.

Jelal one day addressed his son, saying: "Baha'u-'d-Din, dost thou wish to love thy enemy, and to be loved of him? Speak well of him, and extol his virtues. He will then be thy friend; and for this reason: In like manner as there is a road open between the heart and the tongue, so also is there a way from the tongue to the heart. The love of God may be found by bearing His comely names. God hath said: 'O My servants, take ye heed that ye often commemorate Me, so that sincerity may abound.'

The more that sincerity prevails, the more do the rays of the light of truth shine into the heart. The hotter a baker's oven is, the more bread will it bake; if cool, it will not bake at all."

The Mesnevi was "translated" in 1881 by Sir James W. Redhouse (who along with his many linguistic and inter-cultural interests and skills, negotiated a number of peace efforts)


Love Your Enemy World Scriptures unification dot net

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maher Arar: Current US Admin stands with Bush officials! Plz take action...

Public Action Needed Worldwide!

Following is from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

Please see our case page for more legal information and to watch CCR
Senior Staff Attorney and Mr. Arar's lawyer Maria LaHood explain the
background of the case and what is at stake with our petition to the
Supreme Court. here

Register your dismay with President Obama and demand that his
administration take five specifics steps towards justice for Maher
Arar. here

Please stay tuned for more developments in this critical case. Thank
you for taking action.

Yours truly,

Annette Dickerson
Director of Education and Outreach
Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway 7th floor NY, NY 10012

The nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com is usually my Rights & History Site now which I've kept small for some time but am making the One Heart for Peace blog much more inter-cultural, inter-ethics/faith and positive/youth friendly...but this action needs WIDE attention!

Also go there to the nomorecrusades site to see what I'm putting out on the SPAIN prosecutors case against US agents (this time connected to my state, NC) and more on torture in

Monday, May 10, 2010

More on Ibn-e SAFI from Rashid


The following information was just submitted as a comment to this blog-site under the following post - here OR if you have difficulty finding it, simply go to April 2010 for archived "Ibn-e Safi Reviewed upon Occasion of first English Publication" I have deleted the links which have evidently changed and not working yet look for more to come.

Thanx, Mr. Rashid for letting us know...

From RASHID Sahib:
Some more facts…..Here, you have mentioned three soft links of info on House of Fear i.e of flipcart, rediff books... There are a few other links which may be referred here -- this article is written on Feb 05, 2010 by Aasheesh Sherma Amrita Talwar for Hindustan Times.

Following the directives of Ahmad Safi Sahab and on the request of Mr.Aasheesh, I have forwarded him a few high resolution images of Ibne Safi...

...Beside busy with a private TV channel of Karachi for a 01 hour documentary on Ibne Safi, I am preparing a comprehensive list of English/Urdu articles written on Ibne Safi along with web sites, blogs, Audio Clips of Ibne Safi , Video Clips of friends of Ibne Safi, M.Phil/PHd done or being done on Ibne Safi, Books written on Ibne Safi, Books/magazines in which Ibne Safi is mentioned etc.

I have also mentioned your two blogs in the list. My Goodness! ...surprising for me and all Ibne Safi lovers that as yet, there are 144 Urdu and 12 English articles written on Ibne Safi. This is unbelievable. All these articles are written with a great affection by different writers/literary personalities/poets/literary critics/university professors etc., etc.

I will soon include the list at wadi-e-urdu as well as at as I always like to share my work for my MURABBI Hanif Sahab.

I also like to inform Ibne Safi lovers that after 40 years, I have traced and contacted Maulana Hippy (Muhammad Hussain Talpur) who was the producer of film Dhamaka written by Ibne Safi. It was released on December 29 , 1974... Maulana Hippy went back to SINDH province where from he came to Karachi in 1970s to start his film career. Now, if we will be able to meet him, it would be a big deal.

The quest is on.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Updated: Finding "the pearl" (within and without) and understanding motives better Part One

Updating on The Enneagram as one of many tools for self-discovery - Here are a few sources which may help with background if you have the time (remember if you are new that lots of short dips over much time work pretty well for most people with whom I've spoken. Keep in mind there are many variants within this system: here and here

Find here some nuggests to help three types with more yet coming....

Here is a little reflection about finding the pearl within ourselves and our cultures once in awhile as we go about making personal decisions:

To help us out - here are three sources for starters among our inherited wisdom - tried and true over many generations from many places. Two of these "wisdom threads" are certainly Rumi and the Enneagram and a third "thread" might be the vast body of our treasured literature as well as what is archived from our print media.

Jeanine Siler Jones, a teacher of the Enneagram, has put the first two together in a lovely manner and then there are a few items from literature and the printed page for a third type of "mirror". These are selected and placed here without planning or intentions yet as perhaps some small places to go and from which to depart.

This source is new to me and I am trying to find the exact link so I will try to give that or offer the little sampler of "solutions" for the other five "types in Part Two. While this source is new, I am hardly new to the Enneagram system and find it fun and revealing as a family pastime. You may have or find "translations" of both this system and of Rumi you like better. If so, please share these.

(Two) There is a force within that gives you life - seek that. In your body there lies A PRICELESS JEWEL - seek that. Oh, wandering Sufi, if you are in search of the greatest treasure, don't look outside, look within, and SEE That.

(Six) Keep walking, though there's no place to get to. Don't try to see through distances. That's not for human beings. Move within, but DON'T MOVE the way FEAR MAKES YOU MOVE.

(Nine) The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you...DON'T GO BACK TO SLEEP. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doors where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.

(Eight) Be helpless, BE DUMBFOUNDED, unable to say yes or no - then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up.

The remaining NINE coming in one or several more parts soon...

Perhaps these few samples from hundreds if not thousands of Rumi and Enneagram sources today might cause Rumi and his scholars to writhe in agony? Yet for our purposes these may suffice as conversation starters with each ourselves and with one another? And do keep the conversation going...

The nine Enneagram personality types are divided into three centers of knowing: heart, head, and body. Every type resources all three centers but tends to rely on one of the centers more than the other two. For instance, if your Enneagram type is 2, 3, or 4, the heart center, you will rely more on your emotional intelligence, processing reality through this lens more often than through mental faculties used most by types 5, 6, and 7, or the body’s instinctual knowing relied upon most by types 8, 9, and 1. Developing all three centers gives us greater resources to broaden our perspectives and allows us to have more equilibrium when that is what may be needed - at least as a respite.

A few items perhaps "evocative" of memories or "wishes" to some with which to wrestle when there is plenty of space, comfort and equilibrium to be had...and then to say hello to your dark shadows (perhaps over much time) and see them slip away little by little (at least those certain ones?) Oh the healing to recognize the unhealed places and address them before the shadows grow...A tortured soul - perhaps the soul of many women worldwide? What could she have one differently or might there have been no other way? What could society have done differently? How might our passions be directed, redirected, transformed and when fully embraced to our betterment and that of the whole world's - not to forget the priceless children of us all? here

New York Times - Early 1900's here

And here are a few remarks about The Pearl by John Steinbeck (for me this is a favorite little story and an admired author for many years). This is a small tale with a universal impact and seems to fit well with this little reflection:

Patrick Shepherd:
Most people born and raised in America cannot even imagine the depths of poverty that most of the rest of the world are forced to live with. This story illuminates this fact, as we enter the world of Kino, a pearl diver and occasional fisherman, his wife Juana, and their baby son, Coyotito...

But Kino and his family, far from being depressed or unhappy (about their poverty) have a great treasure, the love they have for each other and their satisfaction with life as it is, with few disturbing dreams of greater things. But their quiet, routine life is turned upside down the day that Kino finds a Great Pearl..

...As a parable...the characters are exquisitely is very hard not to get drawn into their lives, where their dreams and their pains very readily become your own.

From another top reviewer called "Taking Rest":
"...often when you feel something good is about to happen, a positive change for his characters that have struggled, and fought to survive, he slams you face down on bedrock's reality.

This book is very brief, but it communicates as much as a novel 10 times its length. The ending is brilliant, tragic, and redemptive. It is a story that few could write, and even fewer could make work. The emotional scenes he brings the reader to are at times almost violent...And then with a turn of phrase he can change the mood time and time again.

A wonderful novella from an Author known for sweeping sagas

End two reviews..

Let me add...this work has most universal implications like so much of John Steinbeck's writings...I read him all the way through high school and into married/family life...films made of us work are stellar even when stylized like -East of Eden- try to dip in a little bit...The Pearl is a great place to start and you will find many ways to do so for free Online...

Please keep the Conversation going here and with one another and thanx for this community of Peace and Kindness!

Dancing in Broken Urdu

This is about two young men on a mission to film their hero. Both the hero and the youthful perspective, humor and goodwill are both interesting and moving to me. I hope some readers here will also have a few comments and information about this topic and hero? The world is so in need of such today!

So many years later there were many who still complained and questioned, “Why must you pick up Christians and Hindus in your ambulance?” And I was still saying, “Because the ambulance is more Muslim than you.” p.359 Mirror To The Blind

The Edhi Production Blog is a journal maintained by (the disarming and talented} Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq, two filmmakers who have set out to document the life of Abdul Sattar Edhi. This blog hopes to chronicle their journey following the elusive humanitarian and his foundation.

How about getting started? GO here

and here

These two filmakers are new to me yet I see that they suit well this blog-site and share so many of the values that are so suitable here at nomorecrusades and also at oneheartforpeace dot blogspot dot com. They and the man they have chosen -- all three demonstrate the merciful, honest depth, good humor and faith we may be joyfully surprised if we find to this degree. Yet we may find this kind of light more often than expected if we PAY ATTENTION which I am sorely in need of doing much more often! Connie

Edhi Documentary GO here VISIT and SUPPORT!

See More here

Terms for you and I to learn. (from Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq of this Edhi Documentary site! NOT from me :) )

ghoomshuda – گم شدہ
someone who ran away or went missing

lawaaris – “ ﻻوارس
one who has no family; completely alone

Cartoon – کارٹون
the name a lawaaris ghoomshuda gave himself because he didn’t know his own

bat-ball - بيٹ بال
not really baseball, not really cricket. played in the large field at the Edhi Village by Cartoon and his friends

ithwar – اِتوار
Sunday; day of the week when Edhi-sahib and his family visit the Edhi Village

abba – ابّا
what Cartoon and other lawaaris boys at the Edhi Village call Abdul Sattar Edhi; father

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Everything is Waiting for You

Photo by Captivating Woman here I found this amazing photo here by this big-hearted mother with a large-measure of faith and positive-thinking. She sounds like a great mom! (I found her because of Akhtar Wasim Dar Sahib's My Page on Web site profile) Here's what her daughter posted under her self-portrait from a wise writer: "the first step is that we really should want to unearth God in our midst...[to] let the mundane become the edge of glory, and find the extraordinary in the ordinary." By Esther de Waal

I attended a poet's workshop and poetry reciting Saturday and found the encouragement to do just what this Esther is one of the poems which Mr. Whyte recited - his own. How can we make this title true - or rather LET this deep truth become more true - not only for ourselves yet for others too?

By the Irish-internationally famous poet, David Whyte

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline or familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

And here are some lines from the one with which he ended the session which was especially meaningful to me in terms of letting go and letting the faith of ages and the Creator behind all that is genuine and of love help us in our journeys to build those interfaith bridges and cut through not only the rigidness of so much of our boundaries - so many of our dogmas but also to know there is the witnessing of the "silent ones" to our plight and sustenance through the LOVE which holds us all:

So here then are the excerpted lines which struck me from Whyte's from his poem, "The Faces at Braga":

"the old shrine room waits in silence...

above the door, the terrible figure
fierce eyes demanding, "Will you step through?"

We...see the faces in meditation,
a hundred faces carved above...

Such love in solid wood...
they have the vibrant stillness of those who made them...

Carved in devotion
their eyes have softened throgh age
and their mouths curve through delight of the carver's hand.

If only our own faces would allow the invisible carver's hand
to bring the deep grain of love to the surface.

If only we knew as the carver knew, how the flaws
in the wood led his searching chisel to the very core,

We would smile too
and not need faces immobilized
by fear and the weight of things undone...

If only we could give ourselves
to the blows of the carver's hands,
the lines in our faces would be the trace lines of rivers

feeding the sea
where voices meet, praising the features
of the mountain, and the cloud, and he sky...

until we, growing younger toward death
every day, would gather all our flaws in celebration...

full of silence from the carver's hands.


(Another photo from top of the Captivating Woman site mentioned above)

INLETS into the Self

Peace at the Inlet

"Tell me about exhaustion," I said.

He looked at me with an acute, searching, compassionate ferocity for the briefest of moments, as if trying to sum up the entirety of the situation and without missing a beat, as if he had been waiting all along, to say a life-changing thing to me. He said, in the form both of a question and an assertion:

"You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest?"

"The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest," I repeated woodenly, as if I might exhaust myself completely before I reached the end of the sentence. "What is it, then?"

"The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness...You are only half here, and half here will kill you after a while. You need something to which you can give your full powers...You are like Rilke's Swan in his awkward waddling across the ground; the swan doesn't cure his awkwardness by beating himself on the back, by moving faster, or by trying to organize himself better. He does it by moving toward the elemental water where he belongs...touch the elemental waters in your own life, and it will transform everything. But you have to let yourself down into those waters from the ground on which you stand...

And to die, which is the letting go
Of the ground we stand on and cling to every day..."

('from that moment on. I realized I had nowhere else to go.')

This above is an excerpt form a conversation between Brother David and Poet David Whyte...

Brother David here

Following Your Path is in Effect a Kind of Going Off the Path

Everything is Waiting for You

When "my path" is finding You: Say I Am You

The luminous point whose name is the Self
Is the life-spark beneath our dust.
By Love it is made more lasting,
More living, more burning, more glowing.
From Love proceeds the radiance of its being
And the development of its unknown possibilities.
It's nature gathers fire from Love,
Love instructs it to illumine the world.
From the section 'Showing that the Self is strengthened by Love' from the little gem of a book: "The Secrets of the Self" by Allama Muhammad Iqbal

"Golden Dawn" by Neil Boucher -- find both photos on this page at "Ocean Inlet Wall (and card) Art"


Also go to the most recent post on the top to see what a man with self-proclaimed "tired eyes" is saying to the world...