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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pervez Masih, The two sides

Honouring Pervez Masih, the janitor at the International Islamic University who was killed when he stopped a suicide attacker (reportedly in women's clothes) from entering the cafeteria for female students on Nov 16th. His heroic stand saved the lives of more than 300 students leading many to remember him as a hero -- but as his mother told a CNN reporter, `My hero is dead' - According to the CNN report which predictably focused on the religious aspect - `Christian janitor died saving Muslim students' - his family had to borrow money for his funeral and were behind on paying their rent. Islamabad based activist and artist Fauzia Minallah says the IIU administration helped the family with Rs. 10.000 for the burial costs, employed his widow Shaheen as a sanitory worker and promised to help with his three-year-old daughter Diya's education. Maham Ali, a student of Behria University, collected Rs. 52,500 for Pervez Masih's family, and bought toys and clothes for Diya. 'Diya - a hero's daughter' - note with photos on Fauzia Minallah's blog (according to which, despite publically announcing compensation for the bereaved family no one from the Interior Ministry has contacted the family so far) - [thanks BS] Honour and take forward the legacies: M.B. Naqvi, Prof. Nauman, Pervez Masih

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned that Israel Defense Forces soldiers who refused service or orders would contribute to the collapse of the State of Israel. "The IDF was established on the basis of hierarchy in the ranks," said Netanyahu. "If you want to get rid of the IDF, then support refusal - it will bring about the collapse of the state." IDF refusal will bring about Israel's collapse, warns Netanyahu

From Wafa Sultan and the nature of Islam:

On one side are those who believe that Islam is a moderate, mainstream religion, little different from Judaism and Christianity, one that can live in peace with, and thrive within, modern Western society. Key adherents of this view include Irshad Manji, who lives as an openly gay and feminist Muslim in Canada, lectures and writes widely, runs the Moral Courage Project at New York University and is author of the provocative book, What’s Wrong with Islam Today; M. Zuhdi Jasser, a physician who earned his medical degree on a Navy scholarship and is founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; and Zainab Al-Suwaij, a women’s rights advocate who is co-founder and executive director of the American Islamic Congress.

On the other side are those who believe that Islam is inherently aggressive and anti-Western, that it demands anti-Jewish and anti-Christian violence and that it’s not really a religion at all but a political ideology. Along with Sultan, leading subscribers to this view include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali native who fled to the West, served in the Dutch Parliament, now serves as a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, requires round-the-clock protection, and is the author of two heartrending books about her life, The Caged Virgin and Infidel; and Brigitte Gabriel, the Lebanese-American journalist, founder and president of the American Congress for Truth and author of two books that urge the West to confront Islam, Why They Hate and They Must be Stopped.


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