Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Prayer by Karl Anthony



“Roses and Thorns” (acrylic)
Setsuko Yoshida

If I had one prayer, I'd pray for people who hate
Maybe I'm out of my mind ...or deep in my faith
A man grows old ...when his souls in pain
Only love can loosen that chain

But if I offer you grace, will it cause any change
And do I appear weak, if I calm my rage
I think of revenge, but will I become
The thing I despise, when a heart goes numb

I'll say a prayer, hoping it finds ...people who hate
I send it now, to heal the hearts ...of people who hate

If only one song ...could silence hate
And end all the war ...before its too late
If a cold mind ...could begin to feel

Then the fear in our world ...has a chance to heal

I'll say a prayer, knowing it finds ...people who hate
I send it now, to heal the hearts ...of people who hate
......pray for people who hate

All of our thoughts ...can set the stage
For the power of love ...is larger than rage
When we take revenge ...we will become
The hate we despise ...as our soul goes numb

I have One Prayer ...for the world to hear
It's a cry for mercy ...the last of our tears
Let hate dissolve ... let the past reveal
That love has shown us what is real

Angels above, quiet the pain ...in people who hate
I'm sending One Prayer, to heal the hearts ...in people who hate

One prayer.....Pray!

(May all be loved, may all be blessed, may all feel peace....pray for people who hate)

I'm sending love to people who hate

I must be out of my mind ...or deep in my faith

To Listen go here

This video is sung by Karl and Jeanne Anthony, Jeanne is singing in ASL.

====================
In the realm of the Unseen there exists a sandal wood, burning...love is the smoke of that incense.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CHOOSE LIFE

GO here for a Jewish High Holiday Reflection on Peace.

Bereaved Palestinians and Israelis for Peace (Parents Circle)

To read more GO here See the newest effort - "Blood Relations"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wangari Muta Maathai (1940-2011) "When I celebrate, I plant a tree!"


Find this photo and portrait of same various places--

The irrepressible woman who once signed a police report in her own blood left the world a much greener, kindlier place.

Wangari Muta Maathai (1940-2011)

Her story is that of A Person of Firsts in many areas...GO here

The day she heard that her movement won the Nobel Laureate here

The Cracked Mirror: Cultural liberation will only come when the minds of the people are set free and they can protect themselves from colonialism of the mind. Only that type of freedom will allow them to reclaim their identity, self-respect and destiny. Only when communities recapture the positive aspects of their culture will people relearn how to love themselves and what is theirs. Only then will they really appreciate their country and the need to protect its natural beauty and wealth. And only then will they have an understanding of the future and of generations to come...
Read the Rest here

NPR.org audio with the picturesque stories mentioned above - and NOTE HOW MANY trees Maathai planted! here

Watch and listen to "I Will Be A Hummingbird" from Dirt, the Movie - here Here "The Tree Lady" narrates a tale of always trying to do the best you can, no matter how small you are.

Tributes to Maathai are filling the pages of Greenbelt.org.

NPR.org's colleague Ofeibea Quist-Arcton will have more about Maathai on their site soon.

Words and Wisdom from History for Week of 26 September


Arundhati-Roy
"If you are religious, then remember that this bomb is Man's challenge to God. It's worded quite simply: We have the power to destroy everything that You have created.
If you're not religious, then look at it this way. This world of ours is
4,600,000,000 years old. It could end in an afternoon." - Arundhati Roy, 1998

Find a FULL Week of Peace History here


Chief Deganawidah
“In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” - Deganawida - Peacemaker and a founder of the Iroquois League

September 27, 1990

The last U.S. Pershing II tactical nuclear missiles were removed from Germany, fewer than ten years after their installation provoked a massive anti-nuclear movement across Europe.

The range and accuracy of the Pershing II pushed the Soviet Union to negotiate the Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) which completely eliminated all nuclear-armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3400 miles) and their infrastructure. The INF Treaty is the first nuclear arms control agreement to actually reduce nuclear arms, and the signatories destroyed almost 2700 nuclear weapons (including 234 Pershing II) by May of 1991.

German Anti Pershing missile demonstration poster, 1983.


There are many ways to seek peace. Even for those of us who seek to find peaceful manners and to BE PEACE we can find plenty of verifications for Peace-Making even among the most conventional of wisdom-sayers:

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically—to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside.” — Stephen Covey

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aafia Gets Family Visit; Aafia Day Commemorated



SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
The Date Judge Richard Berman Sentenced Aafia to 86 Years

September 23, 2011
Vol 4, Issue 4

Aafia Allowed Visit From Family Member After 2-1/2 Years!

A message from Aafia's family after Aafia is allowed to visit with her brother for the first time in almost 2-1/2 years:

Last April we were both honored and stunned when a hundred Americans gave up part of their Saturday to stand outside Carswell Prison for several hours in the hot Texas sun to support our family's effort to contact Aafia. The actions of those courageous people responding to a call by The Peace Thru Justice Foundation paid off almost immediately. Five days later Aafia was allowed to call her family and she got to hear her children's voices for the first time in eight years.

This demonstration also set off an unexpected chain of events. Within days the Pakistani Consulate responsible for the affairs of its citizens in Texas visited Carswell and began communication with prison officials.

On the weekend of September 10, 2011, Aafia's brother was finally allowed to visit her.

This was their first visit in almost two and a half years.

The last time they saw each other was at her sentencing hearing almost a year ago. Throughout the trial and sentencing proceedings they were not allowed to speak to each other and one of the court officers made a point of sitting directly between them so they couldn't see each other.

We believe this visit is the direct result of the willingness of American citizens to exercise their First Amendment right "of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Our family would also like to thank the International Justice Network for their advice and support.

Credit must also be given to Pakistan's Consulate in Houston for their assistance and contributions in this effort.

Requests have been made for future visits in October and November.

We are troubled because this visit required so much effort and persistence by so many. The system says that as long as Aafia obeys prison rules she is entitled to have visitors. We have not been told that Aafia has violated the rules. We have been told that "our normal rules don't seem to apply to your sister."

We are not asking for special conditions or priveleges for Aafia. We are asking that the rules that apply to all the other prisoners be applied to her too.

Thank you for your support and God bless all of you.

Aafia's Family

TV Report on Aafia Day (English) and other reports in URDU at freeaafia.org or CLICK here

Aafia Day was commemorated across Pakistan on Sep 16, 2011

Tens of Thousands Come out On Aafia Day Across Pakistan on Sep 16

NATION, Sep 17, 2011

LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami observed Dr Aafia Siddiqui Day across the country including the City on Friday. Rallis were held in the federal and the provincial capitals besides major cities denouncing the US court verdict of 86 years jail term for Dr Aafia Siddiqui ...and demanding her immediate release.

In the Punjab capital, women and children held a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club to draw the world attention to the injustice done to Pakistan's daughter by the US court and demanding her release. JI deputy Secretary General Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, while addressing the gathering, said that Dr Aafia was a daughter of Islam but the military dictator Pervez Musharraf, in a show of utter shamelessness, handed her over to the US for dollars. He deplored that the present rulers too were devoid of any sense of shame and honour and had taken no solid steps for Dr Aafia's release. However, he said, the Pakistani nation was fully awake and would continue its struggle for Dr Aafia's release.

In Islamabad, a seminar was held at Al-Flah Hall. Addressing the seminar, JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said that the JI would continue its struggle till Dr Aafia's release. He said that the US, India and Israel were trying to destabilize Pakistan. In Multan, a rally was held from Chowk Ghanta Ghar to Husain Agahi. The JI Punjab chief, Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar, led the rally. Rallies were also held in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Quetta.

In Karachi, a big rally was held from Empress Road to Regal Chowk. The JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, and JI Karachi chief, Muhammad Husain Mehnati, led the rally. Addressing the rally, Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Pakistani rulers had sold out Dr Aafia Siddiqui to the US for dollars. He said according to reports, the US court kept waiting for a contact from Islamabad for Dr Aafia's release but it was in vain.

Syed Munawar Hasan ... (asked) why the Pakistani rulers and army had released Raymond Davis, the killer of three innocent citizens. He said the Pakistani nation could have secured Dr Aafia's release long ago but for the shameless rulers who had shown total lack of courage...

DAWN

Sep 17, 2011

PESHAWAR, Sept 16: Activists of Shabab-i-Milli on Friday held a protest demonstration at Sher Shah Suri Road against the imprisonment of Dr Aafia and asked the Muslim Ummah to raise voice against the US.

The people were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the arrest of the Pakistani woman and termed the verdict against her as based on mala fide intentions. Murder and Torture, the Lasting Legacy of America

Salem-News, Sep 21, 2011

by Gordon Duff

... Every person "missing" has to be accounted for. When were they taken, where did they go, where are they now. If they are alive, their testimony must be taken. If they cannot be found, we can assume they were murdered at one of our "rendition centers" around the world, their bodies disposed of....

We have to recognize everyone involved in this process, not just the Americans, the thousands of Pakistanis, Egyptians, Libyans, people from so many countries that sold their neighbors for a few pieces of silver.

Aafia Siddiqui was one of those, a victim sold by a Pakistani gang to a group of American torturers and rapists. To cover the crime, an American court has jailed her for 87 [86] years.

That process, everyone involved, judges and prosecutors too, should face an international trubunal.

Tribunals must enter every nation, investigate every crime, even if the cost is billions and we fill prisons around the world. Failing to do this, none of us will ever be safe, not being ruled by war criminals, not having our military commanded by psychotics, our intelligence services run by the delusional, the fabricators and fictionalizers.

=============================

Report: Aafia Siddiqui Just the Facts

International Justice Network (IJN) released its initial report on an investigation into Dr.Aafia's case. March 2003 kidnap confirmed. Many more shocking details about the return of Mariam, Dr. Aafia's daughter and routine fabrication of evidence.

IJN's preliminary investigation has revealed shocking new evidence that contradicts the repeated claims of the U.S. and Pakistani government that Dr. Siddiqui was not detained in their custody prior to July 2008. IJN has obtained witness testimony and a secret audio recording of statements made by the Superintendant of Police of Sindh Province about his own personal involvement with the apprehension of Dr. Siddiqui and her three children from Karachi, Pakistan in March 2003.

To View the Report, see freeaafia.org

Monday, September 19, 2011

DC USA Event: The Palestinian UN Vote

From: Foundation for Middle East Peace
REMINDER: FMEP Event 9/21 with Jessica Montell: Palestinian UN Vote: Human Rights Implications

Foundation for Middle East Peace, B’tselem U.S.A,
Americans for Peace Now, and Churches for Middle East Peace

-- invite you to a discussion with

Jessica Montell
Executive Director, B’Tselem, Israel

The UN Palestinian Statehood Vote: Human Rights Implications

Wednesday, September 21, 12:00-1:30
Choate Room, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue

The expected vote in the United Nations on Palestinian statehood and membership status potentially holds serious consequences for the situation on the ground in the Occupied Territories. B’Tselem’s Executive Director, Jessica Montell, who is visiting from Jerusalem, will speak about the human rights implications of the various scenarios and the projected Israeli response, according to recent B’Tselem studies.

Sandwiches will be served

To RSVP email info@fmep.org or call 202 835 3650

1761 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Attend the Trial of Ziyad Yaghi Monday, September 19 - New Bern, NC


Ziyad Yaghi

From Project Salam dot org or GO here

Trial: Monday, September 19 - New Bern, North Carolina

Innocent Muslims are being targeted and convicted for crimes they have not committed. On September 19, 2011, a trial is scheduled to take place in New Bern, North Carolina––that accuses a number of individuals of terrorism, including twenty-one-year-old Ziyad Yaghi.

We believe that only by observing these trials can fair-minded people decide whether the trials are just and the defendants guilty or innocent.

Please send this letter from Project SALAM to anyone you think would be interested in attending the trial.

Read the Letter:

Dear Concerned Community Member,

We write to you as representatives of Project SALAM, a nationwide group of people who have witnessed various “terrorism” trials in different parts of the country and who have concluded that innocent Muslims are being targeted and convicted for crimes they have not committed. Project SALAM is devoted to researching and documenting the likelihood that the United States Justice Department’s post-9/11 prosecutions of “terrorists” have included a significant number of Muslims who are, in fact, innocent of any crime. We believe other cases have been severely overcharged and/or over-sentenced. On our website, www.projectsalam.org, we present summaries of many of these cases and explain why we think these trials are unfair. Several independent journalists agree with us, as shown in these recent articles in major magazines:

- “Little Gitmo” by Christopher Stewart in New York Magazine, http://nymag.com/news/features/yassin-aref-2011-7/
- “To Catch a Terrorist” by Petra Bartosiewicz in Harper’s Magazine, http://www.projectsalam.org/downloads/HarpersMagazine-terrorism-Bartosiewicz.pdf
- “The Informants” by Trevor Aaronson in Mother Jones, http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/fbi-terrorist-informants

On September 19, 2011, a trial is scheduled to take place in your area––in New Bern, North Carolina––that accuses a number of individuals of terrorism, including twenty-one-year-old Ziyad Yaghi. The trial is expected to last about seven weeks. Project SALAM has been following this case because we believe it may be another example of an unfair prosecution. For this reason, we are writing to urge you or a representative to attend the trial. You can read about Yaghi’s situation at http://www.helptheprisoners.org/index.php?alertid=70&cat=alerts

We believe that only by observing these trials can fair-minded people decide whether the trials are just and the defendants guilty or innocent. The prosecution typically has had many months to leak one-sided information and present its case in the media, which in turn has cooperated and painted a biased picture of what the evidence will show. But courtroom observers are frequently surprised at the insufficiency of the government’s evidence and the unfair tricks the government uses to win convictions. We have found that when the public shows interest in a trial, the media reporting is more accurate, the government is less likely to play on prejudice, and all communities are better served.

Defendants in “terrorism” trials face daunting obstacles that other defendants do not usually encounter. The government may deploy wholly unwarranted security precautions as a way to prejudice the jury. The accused are often held without bail in solitary confinement for years before coming to trial. The media labels them “supporters of terrorism” and thus they are vilified and pronounced guilty long before they come anywhere near a court of law. At trial, they may be confronted with secret or classified evidence. They are not given a jury of their peers, rather a jury that may well start with a bias against Muslims. Some defendants, knowing they have no chance of a fair trial in the current climate, accept plea deals for a guaranteed sentence of perhaps fifteen years, rather than gambling with their lives in an unjust trial and receiving a sentence of perhaps seventy years. “Terrorism” trials often lead to condemnation of the Muslim community as a whole and to the impoverishment of the families and children of the accused. Thus it is important for the non-Muslim community to become involved in these trials to ensure that the Muslim community, as well as the defendants and their families, receives support and compassion in this difficult time.

We hope that you will attend the trial of Ziyad Yaghi and his co-defendants in New Bern, North Carolina on September 19. Please write to either of us (our e-mail addresses are listed on this letterhead) to confirm the trial’s start date, since court calendars are often changed at the last minute. You can also contact Laila Yaghi, Ziyad’s mother, who can answer any questions you might have; her e-mail address is laila_lois@yahoo.com. If you are unable to attend the trial but would still like to help, please consider giving hospitality to people who are coming from out of town to attend the trial, or helping the families of the defendants. In many communities, both Muslims and non-Muslims have formed groups to support the families of Muslim defendants, and have found in their common work ways to build bridges between both religious and secular communities.

At this time of growing Islamophobia, it is especially important to ensure that Muslim defendants receive a fair trial. If the government can bring false charges against Muslims, it can bring false charges against any of us. An attack on one religion can lead to attacks on others. The words of Pastor Martin Niem├Âller in 1946 are as true today as they were for the 1930s Germany that he spoke of––except here in the United States it is Muslims who are now being persecuted:

“First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Sincerely,

Steve Downs, Esq.
Kathy Manley, Esq. Attorneys for Project SALAM

From Project Salam:
http://projectsalam.org/events/09-19-11.html

Or Click here

Project Salam Index:
http://projectsalam.org/index.html
Or Click here

To read more about Preemptive Prosecution GO here

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Afghanistan News & Worldwide CALL: the Center for Creative Non-Violence

Arab Spring, European Summer, United States Autumn? September 21st seems a good day to ring in a season of change. It's the International Day of Peace, and the date not only of the UN's planned vote on Palestinian statehood (see below), but the latest "Global Day of Listening."

We're hosting this international call along with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, Afghans For Peace, and the Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project. Find out below how to join in the discussion! Looking ahead to the start of the Washington D.C. Freedom Square occupation, and the tenth anniversary of the start of our Afghan war, the time is right for bringing in our harvest of peace and doing what we can now to get ourselves and our neighbors through the winters to come. Read the rest of this article and other items in original posting here

Here's a sampler

Our First Week in Kabul
by Jody Mackey
September 13, 2011 Clean Water Project Diary blog entry

Do I begin with stories of hope or hardship? Let's talk of the harder realities first and save the sweetness for last... we walk down the hill overlooking the infamous Olympic stadium known for public executions that is now a field of green before the dusty expanse of Kabul.

Read the rest of the blog on link above

Stop the Machine: Create a New World!

October 2011 will mark the start of the 11th year of the invasion of Afghanistan and the onset of the 2012 US federal budget, which provides unlimited funds for war and corporate welfare, yet withholds essential funds for services that meet human needs.

Starting on October 6, 2011, thousands of concerned Americans will assemble in Freedom Plaza, in Washington DC to take control of our country and our lives. We will occupy the plaza and hold a People's Assembly where we come up with just and sustainable solutions to the crises we face and demand that these solutions be presented and that the people's needs be addressed. We will plan and engage in creative acts of civil resistance and demand that our inherent rights and freedoms be protected, and that our children have a chance to live in peace,to breathe clean air, and to grow edible natural food.

Will you stand with us and denounce the systems and institutions that support endless war and unrestrained corporate greed ?

Connect with a U.S. "Tahrir Square" demonstration at October2011.org

=========
Be sure to Read the posts below and Act to help the suffering victims of two terrific years of flooding in the Sindh area of Pakistan!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Updated: Pakistan Devasted Flood Victims: CONTACT EDHI FOUNDAITON (To help support flood victims)

PAKISTAN: Children worst hit by new flooding disaster - AlertNet
Published 16 Sep 2011 16:14. Source: Muhammad Khalid, a volunteer with the charitable Edhi Foundation GO here

Edhi Foundation | The Flood Relief Blog
A platform to support the Flood affected people of Pakistan ... PESHAWAR: Fears grew Monday about outbreaks of disease among 1.5 million people affected by Pakistan’s worst - CLICK here

Another UPDATES (a few days ago) on PAKISTAN residents/displaced due to the flooding in Sindh area:

Dear Friends,

Obviously, the rain has stopped. The flood water flowing from breaches
has panicked the residents of Sanghar, Shahdadpur, Tando Allahyar,
Kunri in Umerkot districts and adjoining areas. The flood water
entered the Sanghar city, where people were feeling unsafe, because
there is no safe way to shift their families out. Similar is the
situation of people in Tando Allahyar,Badin, Thatta and worst affected
Kunri, where hundreds of families are still marooned, calling for the
help. There are fears all around that besides Sanghar, the two
district headquarters, Tando Allahyar and Mirpurkhas might be
inundated by the flood water.

Sanghar

Water has entered the Sanghar city, flowing to low-lying areas.
Residents cannot move to safer places. There is no water for drinking,
hence crowds can be seen at hand pumps and such water facilities in
the city neighborhoods. Uncertainty is everywhere. There is acute food
shortage and prices of all items have increased.

The affected people were critic against the district government
Sanghar, saying it has received trucks loaded with relief goods for
the flood victims. But irony is that instead of distributing these
goods, the same are being dumped in warehouses, benefitting the well
wishers of political influential people and legislators. The
government is depriving real victims, they said. Hundreds of families
are living along road sides everywhere, demanding food, shelter and
potable water. it was observed that there is lack of coordination
within the government departments, whose officials are reluctant to
share updates of losses.

Badin

People displaced form different areas of Badin district are traveling
to Thatta mountainous areas, specially pouring in to Makli graveyard.
More than 2000 affected people have come to Makli graveyard, living in
relief camps established there. During evacuation and Rescue, . Mostly
they are demanding potable water and food at urgent level.


Thatta

A tent city has been established into the under construction building
of district jail by district government Thatta for flood-affected
families travelling from Badin. Presently, More than 2000 affected
people have come to Makli graveyard,40 families are staying there.
Government has extended support to accommodate them, providing food
and water to them there.


Use of latrines

The flood water has created problems for women. The latrines should be
constructed . Women used the latrines. It solved their protection
issue in good way.

Livestock

. Due to lack of fodder and drinking contaminated drain water,
livestock, got sick.

Regards
Shoaib Habib Memon
Thatta-Sindh
Cell.0314 2090252

==================

Please feel free to contact us at edhikarachi@hotmail.com

Note to Donors: We highly recommend that you call the number given in the respective international country and confirm mailing addresses for any checks/money orders that are going to be sent out to Bilquis Edhi Foundation. You should also ask for an official reciept for your donation from the volunteer who answers your phone call and confirm how you will get the reciept.

We also recommend that once you are given a reciept, please confirm with Edhi's head office in Karachi that your donation has been received at their respective international office. These precautions are recommended for the most critical international donors who want ensure a 110% that their donations are used only for the welfare services that Edhi foundation provides to the people of the world.

Here are the HQ and zonal office addresses and Phone numbers in Pakistan and Overseas.

USA - Edhi Center USA Edhi international Foundation.
42-07 National street
Corona, New York, 11368 USA
Tel: (718) 639-5120
Fax: (718) 335-1978
Toll Free# 1-888-899-EDHI (3344)

United Kingdom - Edhi International Foundation,
316 Edgware Road,
London W2 1DY,
United Kingdom
Tel: 02077232050 and Fax: 02072249774

Canada Canada
Bilquis Edhi Charitable Shop
1801-1805 Danforth Ave
Toronto-M4C-1J2 Canada
Phone/Fax: +1 (416) 699-1388
Also include the following - international addresses:

Japan Japan Edhi International Foundation,
RM 101 COPO Nikkei, 1-25 4-Chome,
Minami-ohi Shinagawa -KU-Tokyo 140 Japan.

Australia Australia Abdul Sattar Edhi International Foundation,
Level 20, Picadly tower,
133, Castle Reagh Street, Sydney 2000

Austrailia.
Tel: 02-2646499, 03-3767-7282
Fax: 03-3764-4395, 02-264-7337

Bangladesh Bangladesh Edhi International Foundation Inc,
2/2 Purana palton, 3 rd Floor,
Dhaka - 1000, Bangladesh

Please feel free to contact us at edhikarachi@hotmail.com

Your suggestions, proposals and queries are welcomed.

EDHI HEAD OFFICE
Sarafa Bazar, Boulton Market, Mithadar, Karachi.
Ph: +92 (21) 2413232
Fax: +92 (21) 2413232

ZONAL OFFICE KARACHI
Near Merewether Tower, Kharadar, Karachi.
Phone: +92 (21) 2201261-62
Fax: +92 (21) 2313434
Email: edhikarachi@hotmail.com

ZONAL OFFICE LAHORE
17-A Muslim Block, Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore.
Ph: +92 (42) 5414211

ZONAL OFFICE ISLAMABAD
Near Masjide-e-Shohada, Aabpara, Islamabad.
Ph: +92 (51) 2827844

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Updating: Rain Compounding Misery for Pakistan Flood Victims - By Mohammad Farooq, AP

No Let Up - GO here and here

See The Edhi Foundation for one option to offer contributions for relief. Find a number of sites online. US donors plz send your's to the New York Office. The founder is a practical saint with much respect and support all over the world - including among Pakistanis.

AFP
as found on San Francisco Gate news
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

(09-13) 06:48 PDT BADIN, Pakistan (AP) --

Stranded by floodwaters, army soldier Mohammed Hameed was unable to get to the graveyard to bury his 5-year-old daughter when she succumbed to diarrhea. He laid her to rest in his courtyard — one of the latest victims of floods that have returned to Pakistan this year, leaving some 200,000 homeless and triggering another international aid effort.

The scale of the disaster and the aid response is much less than last year, but the misery for those effected is just as real. The floods began early last month, but heavy rains have compounded them recently and hampered relief efforts.

On Tuesday, thousands of men, women and children lined the main road in Badin, the worst hit district around 200 kilometers from Karachi, the country's largest city. Some were sitting under plastic sheets held up by the branches of trees.

"There was heavy rain overnight and when we came out of our home we found ourselves stranded in high waters," said Sham Lal. He was with his seven children and a few household possessions by the side of the road, the highest ground around.

"There is nobody to rescue us and I am worried where to go," he said.

The affected area is southern Sindh province, which was also badly hit in the 2010 floods.

The United Nations is rushing food and tents there after Islamabad formally asked for foreign assistance this weekend. Japan and China have also pledged relief goods or money, according to the Pakistan government. The United States said it had paid for food packages for 23,000 families, and that its local partners would soon begin handing out tents, clean water and other supplies.

The return of the floods is testament to the heaviness of the monsoon rains that lash much of South Asia from June to September...

"The situation is extremely bad," said Provincial Minister Muzaffar Shajra Tuesday. "We cannot carry out relief operations because of continuos rains."

More than 200 people have been killed, 200,000 made homeless and 4.2 million acres of agricultural land have been inundated, authorities say. Most of the displaced are staying in camps, under whatever shelter they can find or in the open.

The town of Tando Bago, where Hameed lives, has been flooded with several feet of water in places, making it impossible for residents to bury their loved ones at a local graveyard, which is also flooded.

"We are stranded and we need to get out immediately to somewhere safer so we can survive," Hameed said by telephone. He buried his daughter in the courtyard of his house on Friday.

In 2010, the floods followed the course of the River Indus and its tributaries from the foothills of the Himalayas to the flatlands of Sindh, where the river empties out into the Arabian Sea.

As much as one-fifth of the country's landmass and 20 million people were affected at the peak, making it one of the largest natural disasters in recent history. The U.S. army deployed helicopters to ferry victims and aid around the country, and the U.N. and other international aid groups also helped.

Across the border in India, monsoon raids have also been causing havoc, killing at least 16 people and leaving nearly 100,000 others homeless in Orrissa state. The region has seen incessant rains for 10 days, a government minister there said.

___

Associated Press writer Ashraf Khan contributed to this report from Karachi, Pakistan.




Also see UNICEF article here and these articles here and here and here ...See UK article here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Emptiness and Illumination




Soul Receives From Soul

Soul receives from soul that knowledge,
therefore not by book nor from tongue.

If knowledge of mysteries come after
emptiness of mind -- that is illumination of heart.

Attributed to Rumi

Poet Seers

Thursday, September 8, 2011

STOP US ARMY from misuse of MONKEYS (non-violent action)


UPDATE: Less than One Week to Stop the Army's Cruel Use of Monkeys

The U.S. Army is gearing up to poison monkeys in a chemical warfare training course in Maryland next week, and we need your help to stop this cruel exercise before it is too late. Last week, we asked you to contact Congress, but now we are taking our efforts directly to the U.S. Army and telling its leaders to stop this cruel and unnecessary training today.

In the chemical casualty training session, vervet monkeys are injected with a toxic overdose of physostigmine that produces symptoms of a nerve agent attack. Monkeys stop breathing, vomit, defecate, and seize violently while trainees watch.



Under anesthesia that can worsen the effects of the attack, monkeys are unable to make alarm calls or otherwise indicate that they are in pain. But medical records and a video obtained by PCRM through the Freedom of Information Act show that these monkeys suffer both during and after the exercise.

The use of monkeys for this training is cruel and clinically irrelevant, but the Army refuses to replace animals with available, effective human-based training methods. Even worse, the Army has ordered more monkeys for this course—20 monkeys will be delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland by the end of the month. This is an ideal time to urge the Army to re-evaluate the utility of this protocol.

Please call Army medical leaders today and tell them to halt the use of monkeys in this exercise before next week:

URGENT: Ask the Army to Stop Poisoning Monkeys...take a minute to let Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Army Surgeon General, know that you want the U.S. Army to immediately halt the use of vervet monkeys in chemical casualty management training.

...Here are some talking points:

The use of monkeys in chemical casualty management training is cruel and should be stopped before the training course the week of Sept. 12. Monkeys’ anatomical differences from humans make it hard for trainees to recognize the signs of nerve agent attack. Modern, superior human-based training methods are already available and are being used in civilian medical training courses. A transition to only human-based methods would provide a better educational experience for military medical trainees.

Please halt the upcoming shipment of monkeys to be used for this training.
CONTACT INFORMATION

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground
Phone: 410-278-0833

Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Army Surgeon General
Phone: 703-681-3008

============

Thank you for your support on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Kucinich
Director of Government Affairs

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400
Washington, DC 20016 Phone: 202-686-2210
E-mail: info@pcrm.org

Sunday, September 4, 2011

'A Public Faith' for the Common Good (Miroslav Volf's work)

Go to Amazon.com among many other places to see inside cover and get details

Also go to nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com or click here to find three reviews on the book "ALLAH: a Christian Response by Miroslav Volf

Review of the book: 'A Public Faith' by Miroslav Volf from 18 August 2011

|In his latest volume, Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf puts his finger on one of the most relevant and hotly contested subjects in our world today—the role of faith in public life. In particular, he seeks to chart a course between what he sees as two equally unhelpful extremes—"totalitarian saturation of public life with a single religion" and "secular exclusion of all religion from public life" (xiv).

What guides Volf's approach is the conviction that the main contribution Christianity brings to the public arena is a vision of the common good, or human flourishing, as he puts it. The primary way that Christians are called to work toward this objective is not by imposing its vision on the world but by bearing witness to Christ who first shapes our lives.

One of the most compelling and original contributions of this book is found in the opening chapter, where Volf details the two primary malfunctions of faith as it seeks to engage with the world: idleness and coercion. While coercive faith is a bit easier to identify as a malfunction, idleness seems like virtue in today's world. Having reduced faith to the private realm, modernity has no room for the public embrace of religion at all. A publicly idle faith seems ideal according to our spirit of the age.

The problem with an idle faith, or a merely private faith that has no bearing on how people live in the world, says Volf, is that it serves to energize a way of life untouched by the values of the faith itself. It is all power and no direction. Instead, he argues that "prophetic faiths should be a way of life, not just a 'religious' resource for a way of life whose content is shaped by factors outside of that faith itself (such as national security, economic prosperity, or our thirst for pleasure, power and glory)" (29). Evidence of this kind of "thin" faith is evident all around us, on the right and the left. In this way, religion can be an extremely destructive force. Even so, it is still jarring to read the author's suggestion that what we need in a world torn by religious violence is not less faith, but more faith.

Volf writes,

A central challenge for all religions in a pluralistic world is to help people grow out of their petty hopes so as to live meaningful lives, and to help them resolve their grand conflicts and life in communion with others [emphasis in original] (100).

This is easier said than done. When people start taking their faith commitments and living them publicly in a pluralistic world they are bound to encounter others who, equally convicted, are living out their faith. This is at the root of so much violence in our world. For Christians however, Volf is adamant that our role is not accommodation to the culture (idle faith) or the total transformation of the culture (coercive faith), but creative engagement with the world.

For the author's vision to be a reality, faith must, of course, be understood thoughtfully and practiced with integrity, in community. That is the purpose of his book—to commend this particular public faith. This will be difficult work. There is no shortage of religious hucksters and opportunistic pundits and politicians wanting to exploit religious fervor for objectives completely outside the Christian vision. This book will be an invaluable resource to Christian communities who are working out for themselves what this creative engagement with the world looks like in their context.

—Ryan Bell is the pastor of the Hollywood Adventist Church. This review originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, by Miroslav Volf (BrazosPress; $14), 192 pages.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

An Eid Message from the family of Aafia Siddiqui


"She (Aafia) has repeatedly said she does not want people committing violence in her name."

This (was) Aafia's 18th Eid away from her family and children

Eid al-Fitr, 2011/1432

Today we are waiting. We have had a lot of days like this since Aafia and her children disappeared in 2003. There might be some good news. There might be some bad news. There might be no news at all. That is just the way it is some days.

We have to take the time this Eid al-Fitr to acknowledge some special groups of people.

Aafia's supporters in Pakistan and around the world who marched in peaceful demonstrations in the brutal heat and humidity of August, while fasting, to remind everyone that neither Aafia nor her missing son Suleman have been forgotten. Faith, resolve, and courage will always make powerful people nervous. Especially this year.

Aafia probably does not know about your efforts yet, but you have made her proud. She has repeatedly said she does not want people committing violence in her name. By marching peacefully you have helped her maintain her dignity, the one thing her captors cannot take from her.

And those of you from all over the world who responded to our request to send Aafia a Ramadan postcard. Many of you went beyond that simple action and Tweeted, posted, and blogged our request: A postcard, a stamp, and a couple of computer clicks that didn't take you more than a few seconds. An act so simple that it was something you could have easily done while breaking your fast.

We do not know if Aafia was allowed to receive any of these postcards. Her mail is restricted in an unpredictable manner. If she was allowed to receive your cards you gave her great joy. If not, you reminded those holding her that they are being judged for their actions.

The prophet Issa (Jesus) is quoted in the Holy Bible:

"I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me."*
*(Matthew, 25:45 New Living Translation, 2007)

For your acts of kindness and support we cannot begin to express our gratitude.

Eid Mubarak from Aafia's family.