Sunday, February 19, 2006

This one is for Tina, Hubby and their little one from Fuzzy and Blue

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Since I recently put up a few pics from Highgate Cemetery, including one of a stone angel, I thought I stay with these heavenly creatures for a while. Here is one of my favourite songs.

Angel by Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance,
for a break that would make it okay.

There's always some reason
to feel not good enough,
and it's hard, at the end of the day.

I need some distraction,
Oh, beautiful release.
Memories seep from my veins.

Let me be empty,
Oh, and weightless,
And maybe I'll find some peace tonight.

CHORUS:
In the arms of the angel,
fly away from here,
from this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you feel.

You are pulled from the wreckage,
Of your silent reverie.
You're in the arms of the angel,
may you find some comfort here.

So tired of the straight line,
and everywhere you turn,
there's vultures and thieves at your back.

The storm keeps on twisting.
Keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack.

Don't make no difference,
escape one last time.
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness,
Oh, this glorious sadness,
that brings me to my knees.

REPEAT CHORUS

You're in the arms of the angel,
may you find some comfort here.

This picture was not taken by me. I have no idea who holds the copyright.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Some Impressions from Highgate Cemetery in London





Sunday, February 05, 2006


Regarding Freedom of Speech

What Would Jesus Do?

Over the last two days I have been thinking a lot about the publicaion of the provocative and offensive cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, the outrage among many Muslims, the Western reply in the name of free speech and civil liberties, the unacceptable attack on several scandinavian embassies, the outrageious demand to behaed the editor and others and the escalating dynamics dominating the discurs between people of different cultural backgrounds. While I am still trying to figure out while it is so often the extremists on both sides that run the show, I would like to share the following article with you. I found it on Information Clearing House and think it gives some food for thought.

What Would Jesus Do?

By Remi Kanazi

02/04/06 "ICH" -- -- Picture this: A cartoon of Jesus, with his pants down, smiling, raping a little boy. The caption above it reads “Got Catholicism?” Or how about a picture of a Rabbi with blood dripping from his mouth after bludgeoning a small Palestinian boy with a knife shaped like the Star of David—the caption reads “The Devil’s Chosen Ones.”

I wonder if people around the world would just consider this free speech? Of course, some would condone or agree with one, two or all three, while others would say “it’s free speech,” although they “find it offensive and in poor taste.” But do you honestly think media outlets such as the BBC, Le Monde, or any media outlet in Copenhagen would pick up these cartoons? The outrage would begin instantly and advertisers would pullout. Yet, those in Denmark and their supporters around Europe call it freedom of speech to have a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed—who is not supposed be depicted to prevent idolatry according to clerical interpretation of the Koran—with a turban shaped like a bomb on his head.

The double standard the West has set for the rest of the world is disgusting. We live in a foolish bubble where we think we are free to say or do whatever we want without consequence. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope. The furor was enormous, which led to NBC receiving a 2.5 million dollar fine by the Federal Communications Commission. Imagine if it was a picture of Jesus—the US Congress would have made the Teri Schiavo intervention look like a joke.

Where are the pictures of the dead soldiers, the dead women and children in the Western media? Some governments won’t allow it and other media outlets just fear the backlash. When I need journalistic honesty, I have to turn to Al Jazeera, why is that? One cannot even deny the Holocaust in Europe, question 9/11 in America (unless you want the Ward Churchill treatment), but the West claims they’re all about free speech.

It is no coincidence the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is grossly pro-Israeli. It is no coincidence that you never heard the full quotes of Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s comments on Israel and the Holocaust—no matter the basis. And it is no coincidence that Arab analysts who are against the war in Iraq, the occupation of Palestine, and America’s “war on terror” are insufficiently represented in the European press.

So what are Muslims to do? Violence is out of the question—that would be “an overreaction.” So why not boycott? That would be a mistake as well, according to the European Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini who stated, “Calls for boycotts or for restraints on the freedom of the press are completely unacceptable.” What Frattini meant to say is that Muslims should choose capitalism over faith. Maybe the European Union will clarify through a cartoon—Mohammed selling the Koran for ten bucks in a Danish pawn shop. But boycotting is a friend of the West. However, they more conveniently title it “sanctions.” I’m sure we all remember the 500,000 Iraqi women and children that died because of the UN boycotts on Iraq after the first Gulf War.

Is Europe is willing to continue this new trend against boycotts? Will the European community call on Israel to show Paradise Now in non-independent theatres? It’s the only way to stop the boycott of Palestinian freedom of speech. Will the European Union resume aide to the Hamas-led Palestinian government tomorrow? Since Hamas’ call for the destruction of Israel is protected under the clause of freedom of speech and the group stopped suicide attacks 18 months ago, it only seems logical.

If Denmark, Norway, France, Germany and the rest of Europe believe in the freedom of speech, it should include all instances and all religions. These nations are carelessly defending their hypocrisy and reinforcing the double standard that alienates Muslims and desecrates the Muslim faith, under the guise of free speech. I guess only one question remains for small Norwegian Christian newspapers like Magazinet that reprinted the cartoons: What would Jesus do?

*** Remi Kanazi is the primary writer for the political website www.PoeticInjustice.net. He lives in New York City as a Palestinian American freelance writer and can reached via email at remroum@gmail.com

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