The habit does not make the sport!

Just like a hologram that changes as one ever so slightly turns the angle by which she is looking, I saw a different side of these Saudi Arabian women than the oppressed females who are constantly being portrayed in the media.

These women are incredibly intelligent. While their education might be segregated after a certain age, most of the girls will not only complete high school, but many will go on to partake in the largest scholarship program in the world and study abroad at various universities. One of the most fascinating lunches we had was with a roundtable of women ranging from the first female lawyer to entrepreneurs, and from a filmmaker to a coach. The ladies we met were incredibly inspiring not only because of their intelligence, but also their determination, resourcefulness and resolve.

They recognize that the road to progress is paved with passion as well as patience, and they are relentless in their pursuit to push forward.Courtesy Ruth RileyThe Saudi players’ eagerness to learn more about basketball left a lasting impression on Ruth Riley.Besides the incredible hospitality that was shown to us everywhere we went, there was another common theme at all of our clinics. Regardless of age, we found that all the players were extremely excited to absorb anything we could teach them.

It would be unrealistic for us to have an expectation of a high talent level in a society that does not openly accept — let alone promote — female sports.


Ruth Riley Sees Complex Picture

For Saudi Arabian Women.

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The habit does not make the monk, they say. For the good and the bad.

That is… an abaya and a veil won’t make anyone a worst person… nor a better one. 

And same as this… not wearing covers won’t make you free. 

Same as wearing them won’t liberate you. 

Syria… anymore? (Because of us… because of them)

But it isn’t only the international community and Assad who are to blame. The Syrians themselves have failed as well, at least their leaders and representatives. They all have pushed themselves deeper into a bloody conflict, which, thanks to goings on in Iraq and meddling on the part of Gulf states, Ankara and Tehran, has now become so very sectarian that it’s no longer imaginable that Syrians will ever again work together as a united people.

Up until four years ago, Syria was a fascinating country with a diverse culture, governed by a brutal dictatorship. But this country no longer exists. Syrians themselves have, with the help of foreign allies, destroyed it and allowed the creation of an atmosphere of hate, death and violence in which their children will have to grow up for years to come. As the rest of the world looks on.


Opinion: Everyone has failed Syria




As the old Spanish saying states…

“Entre todos la mataron y ella sola se murió”*. 

(*) They killed her all together and then she died all alone.

Well… Thanks Israel for showing the world your deeply real face at last!

“I want a sustainable, peaceful two state solution.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, in English, to Andrea Mitchell, March 19, 2015

“I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel.”
—Benjamin Netanyahu, in Hebrew, to Sheldon Adelson-owned, pro-settler website NRG, March 16, 2015

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, in Hebrew, at a press conference, July 13, 2014

“There was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution.” —Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, to The Times of Israel,June 6, 2013

“Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon [of Netanyahu’s Likud party] ruled out the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel in a speech at a cultural event on Saturday afternoon in the South Sharon Regional Council.”
—Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2013

“Likud’s platform to date has not recognized the establishment of a Palestinian state.” —Likud official to Haaretz, December 25, 2012

“This government is not interested in solving anything with the Palestinians, and I say this [with] certainty.” —Yuval Diskin, director of the Israeli Internal Security Service (Shabak) under Benjamin Netanyahu from 2009 to 2011, April 28, 2012

“He doesn’t support [a Palestinian State]. He supports [proposing] the sorts of conditions that they [the Arabs] will never accept.” —Benzion Netanyahu, father of Benjamin Netanyahu, in Hebrew, July 9, 2009

“We are ready to agree to a real peace agreement, a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, in Hebrew, Bar Ilan University, June 14, 2009

“Two states for two peoples is a stupid and childish solution to a very complex problem.” —Ron Dermer, senior aide to Benjamin Netanyahu,May 21, 2009

“His [Netanyahu’s] opposition to a Palestinian state is also a matter of principle, one he has held for many years.” —Aluf Benn, editor, Haaretz,March 1, 2009

“All of us saw Bibi as a kind of speed bump that would have to be negotiated along the way until a new Israeli prime minister came along who was more serious about peace.” —Aaron David Miller, Clinton administration deputy special Mideast coordinator, The Much Too Promised Land, 2008

“Neither President Clinton nor Secretary Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace.” —Dennis Ross, Clinton administration special Mideast coordinator, The Missing Peace, 2004

“He could open his mouth and you could have no confidence that anything that came out of it was the truth.”—Former Clinton administration press secretary Joe Lockhart to Clayton Swisher, The Truth About Camp David, 2004

“I do not believe such a [Palestinian] state is a historic imperative, any more than the triumph of socialism—which leftist parties once touted as inexorable—was such an imperative. Nor do I think Israel can achieve peace only by establishing a Palestinian state. On the contrary, I am convinced that such a state will endanger Israel and cause war.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, The Jerusalem Report, May 24, 1999

“You cannot believe a word he [Benjamin Netanyahu] says.” —Likud politician Limor Livnat, as quoted in Ben Caspit and Ilan Kfir, Netanyahu: The Road to Power, 1998

“the armor-plated bullshitter” —British Foreign Office nickname for Benjamin Netanyahu, as reported by former Tony Blair aide Alistair Campbell, 1998

“Not only do members of the Clinton administration, Arab heads of state, some of Israel’s security chiefs, President Weizman, Knesset members across the spectrum and even cabinet ministers consider him [Benjamin Netanyahu], to put it mildly, disingenuous, but so too does much of the Israeli public” —David Horowitz, The Jerusalem Report, August 17, 1998

“To subdivide this land into two unstable, insecure nations, to try to defend what is indefensible, is to invite disaster. Carving Judea and Samaria out of Israel means carving up Israel.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, A Place Among the Nations, 1993

“The stumbling block to the road for peace is this demand for a PLO state. … When this demand is abandoned we can have real and genuine peace.”
—Benjamin Netanyahu (then known as Benjamin Nitay), in English, 1978


Can Netanyahu be trusted?

Opinion – Israel News



The day before the elections, Netanyahu was not going to win, according to all opinion polls.

That day he asserted that while he is prime minister, there will be no two state option. There will be no Palestine. All of Jerusalem will be theirs and they will expand settlements everywhere (ultimately annexing West Bank but not its population, this was not said but it’s too obvious).ç

The same day of the elections he called Israelis (many were not voting him because of economical situation) to go voting, because “arabs are voting en masse, with buses from leftist parties taking them to poll stations” as if that was the real risk, that is, the voice of Israeli Arabs being listened in a democracy.

So, at the end, and surprisingly, Netanyahu won the elections because Israelis have decided to support this man and his Apartheid ideology.

They chose race, ethnic supremacism over democracy and convivience. They identify survival with ruling alone.

It’s the same speech that others had before them. They say “we have no other place, and that means they must go against the world. I say that’s a big lie served warm by many who will NEVER live in Israel, even when they will be eventually buried in an exclusive graveyard with views to their exclusive Temple Mount.

So Israelis chose to get back into their own moral Ghetto, “we against the world”, ready for a new Massada.

And that didnt work before for them… Same as it won’t work in the future. Except if they want to be tje new North Korea.

Well… We have listened, oh, Israel. You want it all and only for you. Time to end up the charade, once masks are off. Let it be the beginning of the end.

Once again… thanks, Israel. 

See, quite a rare bird: a Muslim Critic

It is my thesis that most of the problems of the Muslim world boil down to lack of criticism, self-criticism, which also means lack of imagination and creativity. And if we are to change things for the better, first of all we have to critically engage with the world. Even before we do that, we have to appreciate that we live in a diverse and pluralistic world, with different notions of truth. That means we have to learn to appreciate other notions of truth and look at them with respect and dignity, and realise that our claim — that we have the monopoly over sole truth — looks quite absurd to others.

At the same time, we have to look critically at ourselves, our worldview. A great deal of what we believe in is manufactured dogma. A lot of this was manufactured in history but sometimes in front of our eyes and justified with all sorts of Ahadees which have no basis in authenticity or our history. So criticism is essential. Critical Muslim is essentially about looking at Islam, Muslims and the world critically. We critique everything — the West, the Muslim societies, culture, science and technology. We believe that without thorough criticism, we cannot reach a true understanding of life and do something positive to change our societies.


“Much of what we believe in is manufactured dogma”

 TNS – The News on Sunday.

CM cover1 Jan-Mar2012.indd

“We Will Arm And Train Syrian Rebels”

I’d arm Kurds in Rojava. Only them have proved to be minimally reliable.

But of course they would not be maleable afterwards, and that’s the main obstacle for McCains and strategists alike…

Ah… And they are secular, socialist libertarians. That is also taboo for US still nowadays.

Biji Rojava! Biji Kurdistan!

In Saner Thought

Just a thought here…..which group would that be?

I have said many times what a moronic statement that is about the arming……..which rebel group?  Keep in mind that AQ was born out of a rebel group fighting in Afghanistan…..a fact the people like McCain seem to not remember…..

I got this ‘toon in my reader on WordPress…….which would you arm?

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Daesh Caliphate: The irresistible attraction to the abyss…

Adèle, the fifteen-year-old daughter of a professional couple in Paris who joins Jabhat al-Nusra after an online conversion by her handler “Brother Mustafa.” In a farewell note to her mother she leaves behind, Adèle writes:

My own darling Mamaman (Mamaman à moi)

…Its because I love you that that I have gone.

When you read these lines I’ll be far away.

I will be in the Promised Land, the Sham, in safe hands.

Because its there that I have to die to go to Paradise.

… I have been chosen and I have been guided.

And I know what you do not know: we’re all going to die,

punished by the wrath of God.

It’s the end of the world, Mamaman.

There is too much misery, too much injustice…

And everyone will end up in hell.

Except for those who have fought with the last Imam in the Sham,

Except for us.

Adèle’s family does not know exactly how she first became drawn to Islam. But as with so many other young recruits from Europe, the Internet seems to have played a crucial part. On Adèle’s computer, they discover pictures of her in a black niqab, as well as a record of her online conversion and rapid indoctrination by Brother Mustapha, in a hidden Facebook account in which she calls herself Oum Hawwa (“Mother of Eve”).

Her conversion appears to have been influenced by the sudden death of Cathy, her much-loved aunt, from an aneurysm at the age of forty. In the Facebook dialogue, Mustapha consoles her about her loss and asks: “Have you reflected on what I explained?”

“Yes, thanks be to God, my spirit is clearer. God called aunt Cathy back to bring me closer to Him. He did this so I would see the Signs that the ignorant don’t hear.”

“This is how He tests us,” says Mustapha. “ Everything is written—there is always an underlying meaning. Allah wanted you to learn. But He must send you a trigger so you can leave the ignorance in which you have been kept up till now. Your reasoning is merely human. Allah reasons as Master of the Universe.…”

As Adèle’s engagement strengthens, Mustapha becomes more strident, moving into grooming mode:

When I tell you to call me you must call me. I want you pious and submissive to Allah and to me. I can’t wait to see your two little eyes beneath the niqab.

The story ends tragically: in Syria, the girl is briefly married to Omar, a jihadi chosen by the Emir of her group. Then one day Adèle’s parents receive a text from Adèle’s cellphone: “Oum Hawwa died today. She was not chosen by God. She didn’t die a martyr: just a stray bullet. May you hope she doesn’t go to hell.”

In the hope of retrieving her daughter, Adèle’s mother, Sophie, receives help from Samy, a practicing French Muslim. He has just come back from Syria after failing to rescue his own fourteen-year-old younger brother, Hocine, who also joined al-Nusra. Samy explains the all-embracing ideology that drives the jihadists. After being kidnapped in Northern Syria, Samy had been brought before a leader of the French division of al-Nusra. “There were young French boys everywhere. An entire town of French recruits,” Samy recalls. He is told that the Syrian jihad and the restoration of the caliphate is a prelude to the final battle at the End of Time. He is warned not to listen to the Salafists (orthodox believers) who claim that waging jihad is subject to certain limitations. “God has chosen us! We have the Truth! You’re either with us or you’re a traitor,” he is told, in a phrase that echoes George W. Bush. “Only those who fight with the Mahdi”—the Muslim messiah, who will restore the caliphate—“will enter paradise.”


Lure of the Caliphate by Malise Ruthven

| NYRblog |

The New York Review of Books.