cer. He reveled in his job. You only have to glance at his official photograph to get a sense of the character of the man: always cheerful, always enthusiastic, always professional. Like those more high profile ambassadors – Ryan Crocker (U.S. ambassador in Baghdad and Kabul) and Robert Ford (U.S. ambassador in Damascus) – Chris Stevens loved to be on the front lines of American diplomacy.
I remember when I was President Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs and Chris was my Iran desk officer how he came to me to ask permission to start learning Farsi. We were just in the opening stages of an initiative to normalize relations with the newly-elected reformist President Khatemi, an effort which benefited greatly from Chris’s input and management. Chris told me that he wanted to be the first person on the ground in Tehran when we established diplomatic relations.
That effort didn’t work out so well, but I was not at all surprised to hear that Chris was the first American diplomat on the ground in Tripoli when the George W. Bush administration established diplomatic relations with the Qaddafi regime. Nor was it surprising that Chris became the liaison to the Libyan opposition and moved back to Benghazi to be the lead U.S. official on the ground during the effort to overthrow Qaddafi. It was therefore only fitting that he should become the first U.S. ambassador to the free republic of Libya.
The courage and determination that he demonstrated in Libya was typical of the man. He lived on the frontlines of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East, and now he has died there on the frontlines in the pursuit of liberty – a great American has given up his life for a great American cause. May his memory be blessed.
’s Journal of Contemporary Arts and Culture has been pulped after it published a series of paintings of suggestive scenes featuring Islamic clerics and undressed young men
29 December 2012 | By Andrew Potts
Pakistan’s National College of Arts has closed its own academic journal following threats from Islamists after it published a series of paintings featuring homoerotic scenes of Islamic clerics and young men.
The Lahore based college pulled all copies of the journal from shelves and dissolved its editorial board following a backlash against the paintings, which may yet result in blasphemy charges being brought against college staff, the artist and others involved in the publication of the journal.
The college’s Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture had published series of paintings by Pakistani artist Muhammad Ali.
One titled ‘Call for Prayer’ depicts a cleric sitting on a bed next to a shirtless young man who he gazes at while fingering rosary beads.
Another shows the same cleric reclining in front of a Muslim shrine while he lights the cigarette of a young man, while another young man sits naked at his feet.
An accompanying essay in the journal by Islamabad art critic Aasim Akhtar described Ali’s work as ‘deliberately, violently profane’ and aimed at challenging homophobic views in Pakistani society.
‘Ali redefines the divine through a critique of authority and the hypocrisy of the cleric,’ Akhtar wrote.
Akhtar could also find himself up on blasphemy charges.
Following the journal’s publication, staff began receiving threats via text message and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamist group publicly demanded that the journal be pulped and that the college issue an official apology.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa are the political wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist terror group which is active in Pakistan and Kashmir.
Saleema Hashmi, a former head of the college, told the Associated Press that it was dangerous for artists to express themselves in Pakistan.
‘You have gun-toting people out there on the streets,’ Hashmi said.
‘You don’t know who will kill you. You know no one is there to protect you.’
Pakistan has among the strictest blasphemy laws in the world and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he has no plans to amend them.
re. Everyone knows Mohammed was a homo. From the London Times: THE Dutch were debating the limits of freedom of expression last week after an artist who photographed gay men wearing masks of the prophet Muhammad was forced into hiding and her work removed from a museum exhibit. Speaking on the telephone from an unspecified location in the Netherlands last week, the artist, an Iranian exile who goes by the pseudonym of Sooreh Hera, said she had been threatened with “execution”. She accused the director of the municipal museum in The Hague of cowardice for caving in to Muslim extremists. Her story is a reminder of the tensions that have put the Netherlands and other European countries on the front line, sending dozens of people threatened by extremists into hiding since 2004, when a Dutch film-maker was murdered on the street and his collaborator driven into exile. This leaves Hera, 34, in no doubt that she is in real danger. “They said to me, ‘We’re going to burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth’,” she said, referring to menacing e-mails. “They say, ‘Now you are locked in your home and you cannot go out any more’.” She said that by photographing gay Iranian exiles in masks of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and Ali, his son-in-law, she had wanted to expose a “hypocritical” attitude towards homosexuality in countries such as Iran, where men can be hanged for homosexual conduct. “They condemn homosexuality but in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia it is common for married men to maintain relations with other men,” said Hera. “Works of art can be provocative. It is not an artist’s job just to paint flowers. Art should shine a light on social issues.” The photographs were part of an extensive collection of images by Hera of mostly Dutch gay men. Another part of her exhibit was a video featuring hard rock music and images of Iranian clerics interspersed with pictures of naked men. Wim van Krimpen, director of the museum, initially praised Hera’s collection of photographs as “exceptional”. Last month, however, he announced that the masked men could not be included in the forthcoming exhibition because “certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive”. This was no understatement. When a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Muhammad in 2005 it unleashed what the prime minister referred to as the country’s biggest international crisis since the second world war as Muslims staged violent protests. “The museum director was very afraid,” said Hera. “He gave in to pressure from the Islamists. It is censorship.” In protest, she withdrew the rest of her photographs from the exhibition and Ranti Tjan, director of a museum in Gouda, agreed to put them on show. He received threats from extremists and was under police protection last week. Hera declined to discuss her own security arrangements. She said she would like to attend the opening of the show in Gouda if it went ahead, but that it might be too dangerous. “There are times when I am very afraid,” she admitted, “times when I feel like a prisoner.” She may not get much support from the politicians, who seem determined to avoid confrontation even if some might accuse them of turning a blind eye to the erosion of artistic freedom. When Hera wrote to Ronald Plasterk, the culture minister, asking for his support he agreed to meet her but would not help to reinstate her photographs in the exhibition. Wouter Bos, the deputy prime minister, seemed to take a stand for freedom of speech, saying: “In a democracy, we do not recognise the right not to be insulted.” The left wing de Volkskrant newspaper, by contrast, praised the museum for its “great professionalism” in excising the images. For her part, Hera, who fled Iran seven years ago, says she has “no regrets”, particularly when she thinks about the young men and women being hanged there for offending the country’s code of sexuality. “I do it for them,” she said, “for the boys and girls with no freedom in Iran.”…
gay-hating, jew-hating islamic countries.
Mawdudi, the most influential muslim of the 20th century, told the world that the islamic state is a fascist state. But the anti-fascists, with their racism of low expectations, decided that he couldn't possibly mean that, because Mawdudi had brown skin. And for the euro-centric anti-fascists, it is not possible for brown people to be fascists. The antifa must think that brown people are too thick to grasp the possibilities for social control inherent in fascism.
Libya Tells UN Rights Council: “Gays threaten continuation of human race”
February 13, 2012
Libya’s post-suspension return marked by Islamist policy on gays
GENEVA, Feb. 13 – Gays threaten the continuation of the human race, Libya’s delegate told a planning meeting of the UN Human Rights Council today, reported the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group. It was the first appearance in the 47-nation body by the post-Gaddafi government, whose membership was restored in November following Libya’s suspension in March.
Protesting the council’s first panel discussion on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, scheduled for March 7th, Libya’s representative told the gathering of ambassadors today that LGBT topics “affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race.” He added that, were it not for their suspension, Libya would have opposed the council’s June 2011 resolution on the topic.
In response, council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre said that “the Human Rights Council is here to defend human rights and prevent discrimination.”
The Libyan outburst prompted questions by human rights activists about Libya’s reinstatement on the council.
“We were happy to see the Gaddafi regime finally suspended last year,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which in 2010 led a campaign of 70 human rights groups to expel the Libyan dictator.
“Yet today’s shocking homophobic outburst by the new Libyan government, together with the routine abuse of prisoners, underscores the serious questionswe have about whether the new regime is genuinely committed to improving on the dark record of its predecessor, or to pandering to some of the hardline Islamists amidst its ranks,” said Neuer.
In November, when the UN General Assembly reinstated Libya on the council, deputy UN envoy Ibrahim Dabbashi said “the new Libya deserves to return to the Human Rights Council to contribute with other members to the promotion of values of human rights.”
“No violations of human rights will take place on Libyan territory in the future and if it happens the perpetrator will never get away with it,” he vowed.
Despite the pledges, however, Neuer said “the restoration of the new Libyan regime to the council, supported by 123 states including all of the Western democracies, was carried out precipitously and without any record of its commitment to human rights domestically and abroad. The new rulers’ pledges are being broken.”
“Gays are now paying the price, with their right to be free from violent attacks now being undermined at the UN by a country that democratic countries fought to liberate, and by a goverment that our leaders helped install. It’s all very disconcerting.”
Of course, what the foolish libtards have been ignoring for over 20 years, is that with the Cairo Declaration, the islamic world was saying "we don't accept your definition of human rights". Once more, the libtards are blinded by their euro-centrism.
When muslims talk about "human rights" they mean "sharia law". They will use our laws on human rights against us, in order to bring about their version of human rights.
Do you think the gay media will pick up on this? Or will they be too busy reporting on communist homos claiming that Israel is involved in "pinkwashing"?…
st kids who are dressed in 'emo' style. This subculture is widely perceived in Iraq as both gay and an expression of Satanism, say the reports. According to Reuters, militants in Shi'ite neighbourhoods where these kids were attacked, had circulated pamphlets on Saturday morning naming at least 24 more youths who will be targeted for death if they do not change the way they dress. "We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen," this pamphlet reads. Different reports are coming out about these attacks. The majority of the youths who have been attacked have died from severe skull fractures after being beaten with rocks and bricks, although I have also read they are using concrete blocks. Others, including two girls, were wounded in assaults, these were warnings… There are others being targeted and this is a part of a larger trend in the area, where as many as 58 Iraqis believed to be gay have been bludgeoned to death with rocks in the past six weeks. There were previous attacks in 2009 on those believed to be or known to be gay in Iraq. Iraq's leading Shi'ite clerics are half-heartedly condemning the attacks. Abdul-Raheem al-Rikabi, the representative for Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, dismissed the killings as "terrorist attacks." I will be curious to see if any of these domestic terrorists are apprehended and held to account. Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shi'ite cleric who has described the emos as a "plague on Muslim society," has insisted that the youths be dealt with through the law. He has demanded that a community police force end the trend for good. So it appears that ending the trend for good means disposing of these kids who don’t ‘fit in’ to this society…. It is important to note here that these killings have taken place since Iraq's interior ministry drew attention to the "emo" subculture last month by labelling it Satanism. The interior ministry has ordered the community police force to stamp it out. If this is the case, then are they calling their community police force terrorists? In response to the orders given to destroy this trend.. militants have issued leaflets with the names of emo kids who are in danger of being killed, or are these kill lists? Another leaflet in Sadr City bore 20 names and warned, "We are the Brigades of Anger. We warn you, if you do not get back to sanity and the right path, you will be killed," it said. So far reports say 14 youths have been brought to the hospital with fatal injuries from rocks and bricks, while 6 others were wounded as a ‘warning.’ Of course there is no official confirmation being supplied to the public that the deaths are indeed being linked to the victim's emo style. Hospital sources say they are "not authorized to speak to the media." Of course not, you might find yourself on a kill list next…. The interior ministry denies any connection and have released statements condemning the media for allegations: Many media have reported fabricated news reports about the so-called ‘emo’ phenomenon — stories about tens of young people killed in various ways, including stoning. No murder case has been recorded with the interior ministry on so-called ‘emo’ grounds. All cases of murder recorded were for revenge, social and common criminal reasons. Of course they were….. Reports from Reuters say that 14 bodies were brought to three hospitals in eastern Baghdad. Security sources also have stated that six youth including two girls were wounded in beatings intended as warnings. 14 reported deaths but Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal has said the current figure is much higher than that being reported to the public. They put the figures around 100 Iraqi teenagers being stoned or beaten to death for embracing Western Culture. (This was reported in an Arabic newspaper I March 2012) “At least 90 Iraqi teenagers with emo appearances have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory interior ministry statement dubbed it ‘devil worshiping’, activists have said.” Iraq's Moral Police released a chilling statement on the interior ministry's website declaring its intent to "eliminate" the trend as soon as possible.” They have said it is detrimental to society and is regarded as a ‘danger’. Religious extremists reading these statements have been harassing and killing teenagers with ‘strange’ appearances. Armed men dressed as civilians have led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas where they are being stoned to death, their bodies then thrown into dumpsters. These men are said to belong to “one of the most extremist religious groups” in Iraq. One person who managed to escape told al-akbar that first they throw concrete blocks at the legs and arms of the kids, then a final blow to their face. If this doesn’t finish them, they will start over again. Another 26-year old man from Mosul said that unknown assailants killed two members of his heavy metal band on March 8. "We don’t know who is behind this now, but for a long time, people have been accusing us of being Satanists. So this is not new, but now it has become murderous," he said. What is even more disturbing is that Iraq’s ‘moral’ police were granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter schools in Baghdad and point out students who have emo-type appearances. This is according to a statement by the interior ministry. It has been indicated by human rights groups that there is complicity with the Ministry of Interior in the killings. Some young people have been arrested solely for wearing American jeans or having western haircuts. While the Ministry is warning extremists, "not to step on public freedom of Iraqis", they are talking out of the other side of their mouth by issuing statements such as the one below: The Director of the Moral Police of the Interior Ministry released a statement, saying "The 'Emo phenomenon' or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it's detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger." And this one: Colonel Mushtaq Taleb al-Mahemdawi said: "The Emo Phenomenon was discovered a while back by members of our force in Baghdad. A report has been made and given to the Ministry of Interior to receive an approval to carry on with the investigation and to know how to eliminate the phenomenon." He added: "The Ministry of Interior took this situation very seriously and received an approval from the Ministry of Education to set a plan under my full supervision and to allow us to enter schools in the capital." "There are some cases of the spread of this phenomenon specifically among schools in Baghdad, but we are facing great difficulty in the lack of women on the force who would allow us to carry the investigation more accurately since the phenomenon is more popular among girls between the ages of 14 and 18."
I personally find this trend disturbing and am seeing reports of this type of activity or moral re-education of similar sub culture youth in other countries as well.. I welcome any comments, updates or clarification on this topic.. …
ost naive political mistake.
New arrivals on the most contested of hills, the Clintons swept into Washington as the great reformers, the vanguard of the youthful 60s generation grown up, ready to instil their progressive vision into American politics and society.
Clinton made a campaign pledge to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the US Military, and when pressed on the issue following his election by an errant journalist, he stubbornly insisted that he and his administration would make the issue a policy priority in his first term.
The resulting fallout from a divided Congress, Senate, and Military was profound, and Clinton was faced with a rebellion from all sides, in and out of politics, that threatened to completely overturn his attempt to maintain the crucial laser focus of government on economic recovery. Clinton had overestimated his charm and ability to unite and garner the support of nation, and underestimated the strength of feeling among a predominantly socially conservative country over issues relating to homosexuality and society.
Despite the political capitol he lost in the process, and the resultant hounding he faced from social conservatives for the rest of his career, Clinton managed to use his considerable political skill to find his way out of the mire, and present a solution that both the homosexual community and American conservatives could accept.
For many “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” represented the worst of Clinton’s disingenuity -- a populist politician trying to keep everyone happy while truly satisfying no one, and this assessment is perhaps accurate in pure policy terms. From the perspective of the Clinton administration in the middle of the “gays in the military crisis” however, that he was able to find his way to a compromise and return the support he needed on economic reform to bring focus back to the most pressing and important issues was remarkably fortunate.
For David Cameron, clearly there are parallels to learn from Clinton. In Parliamentary terms Cameron’s problems are far less severe than those that were faced by Clinton in the US Capitol. Even if relations with the Liberal Democrats decline to a confidence and supply arrangement, Cameron has the votes to pass gay marriage with all major Party leaders, and the Mayor of London, being supportive.
In real terms however, his position is far more critical. It has been a surprise to all parties in the debate, just how evocative the issue of gay marriage has become; it has been a greater motivator, or de-motivator, among conservatives than even the perennial issue of Europe.
“Gays in the military” could have severely hampered Clinton’s ability to govern in his first term and achieve what he wanted to do with the economy, but despite its acute severity, it was never going to threaten to unseat him from office in the immediate term; his party remained largely supportive.
The Democratic Party is not, however, predominantly made up of conservatives. If Cameron passes gay marriage he faces dissent from within his own party that he may not have the political capitol to survive; and survive or not, though they may forgive the party, the grassroots membership would never forgive him for gay marriage.
Far more severe is that both the Catholic Church and the Church of England have made their strong protests against state legislation for gay marriage abundantly clear. For the Church, if they don’t stand up on issues of this moral and religious significance, they realise that they may as well fade away from all relevance in society. The Church of England’s pledge to secede from the United Kingdom in the event of the passing of gay marriage into law should terrify any Prime Minister, especially one of Conservative, Christian, and Monarchist doctrine.
Such has been the strength of his pledge to pass gay marriage, Cameron is therefore caught between the prospect of another humiliating u-turn, or a vitriolic mutiny boiling up from within the grassroots of the Conservative Party and the succession of the Church of England from the British State, triggering perhaps the most significant constitutional crisis for a century. Anything faintly resembling “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” would seem to be a gift for Cameron at this point; only compromise can allow him move past the issue relatively unscathed.
Many have argued that gay marriage is an unnecessary policy in light of the 2004 Civil Partnership Act, but if equality is the aim Civil Partnership offers nothing other than further segregation. Civil Partnership is only open to same sex couples, other couples, if wishing to form a union before the state and community, have no other option but to marry. 2010 saw the first legal challenge to this ruling when a straight couple appealed for the right to unionise in civil partnership; it gave rise to the “Equal Love Campaign”, led by Peter Tatchell, to lobby for civil partnership to be extended to all.
Marriage has always been a religious institution, whereas love and union of two people is of an entirely human foundation. Many atheists, and also those who wish to unionise in a purely platonic relationship, believe that they should have the same rights as same sex couples to join before the state alone, and enjoy the resultant legal and tax privileges without having to enter into the formal traditional institution of marriage.
Opening Civil Partnership to all citizens would present a clear choice between religious marriage and civil partnership with equal legal rights bestowed by the state for each union. It is a compromise that, in light of the alternative extended vitriolic social and political battle, would be unlikely to face significant opposition in or out of Parliament. It might also just be enough for David Cameron to get the chance of going down in history alongside Bill Clinton as his party’s “comeback kid”.
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman
Read the full article at the Commentator.com
Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them.
At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.
Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.
We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.
The 4 Freedoms
These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 1. SP Freedom of Speech Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms 2. SP Freedom of Election Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms 3. SP Freedom of Movement The government can import new voters - except where that changes the political demographics (i.e. electoral fraud by means of immigration) 4. SP Freedom from Over-spending
People should not be charged for government systems which they reject, and which give them no benefit. For example, the government cannot pass a debt burden across generations (25 years).
An additional Freedom from Religion is be deducible by equal application of law: "Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight - except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"