Category Archives: USA

“This was a day when truth overran tweets, when facts overwhelmed bald assertions.” – Dan Balz

Upon the breaking news of Micheal Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s guilty conviction, many declared it to be Trump’s darkest hour of his presidency. The quote that stood out to me upon reading this morning’s Wake Up to Politics newsletter was that of the chief correspondent of the Washington Post, Dan Balz. The truth always prevails and we need to support our press in relaying the truth to the people every single day.

Their Names are Deah, Yusor and Razan

Three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina were heard being killed in their home. They were killed execution style, bullets to the head, by their angry neighbor. I learned of their death from different individuals on Twitter. My heart sank as I have family in North Carolina. I didn’t know them personally but my heart sank deeper, their names are Deah, Yusor and Razan.

They were sisters. They were daughers and sons. They were newly weds. They were aspiring dentists and architects. They were kind and generous. They were the activists many of us aspire to be. They had just taken part in contributing to homeless community with food and dental supplies. They had just traveled were to travel to Turkey to provide Syrian refugees with medical assistance.

As I read of their short lived lives and brutal death through my Twitter feed, none of the tweets came from American mainstream news media. They came from individuals. Sometimes we Americans forget that our mainstream news media is no longer the stations with varying letters of the alphabet. You and I are the mainstream and we need to continue to raise our voices. We need to support our local organizations and communities that strive to defend our rights to do so.

You can not convince me that their death was not an act of hate crime by a terrorist, for lack of a better word. You can not convince me that they were killed over a parking dispute. You can not convince me that they were “at the wrong time and place” when they were in their home. You can not convince me that there is ever an excuse to take another person’s life. There is not.

Lest we forget in our anger to mourn, honor and cherish the devotion these young people had for helping others. Let us keep their legacy alive. Let us not forget that their names are Deah, Yusor and Razan.

Photograph of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Barakat, and Razan Mohammad via @JFXM of Twitter.

May the souls of Deah, Yusor and Razan rest in God’s eternal peace and light… Ameen.

Picture of the Day

Basim Elkarra at DNC 2012

“This picture was taken during Representative Wexler’s (pro) Israel, anti-Iran speech, I stood up & waived a peace sign & yelled we want peace now. Received lots of love from fellow Democrats” -My friend and community member, Basim Elkarra

OBL Dead… Justice Served?

Last night it was announced by President Obama that Osama bin Laden (OBL) was killed via a secret CIA mission. He got a bullet to the head, washed up and buried at sea. As I watched the people gather at the White House to rejoice over the news, I was a bit disturb.

Was justice served?

The president in his statement reminded us of the 3,000 plus lives lost on September 11, 2001 which was supposedly masterminded by OBL. He forgot to mention that many of them were not just Americans but individuals from around the world. I remind you that the majority of casualties died at the World Trade Center where several organizations from around the world were located.

He also reminded us that in response to this attack, we’ve lost many young men and women in uniform while many more are now learning to live with their injuries. May I remind you that many in the military now, including those who’ve lost their lives in the battle, may have been too young to remember this attack.

While our president mentioned that OBL was a mass murder who killed many citizens including Muslims. He forgot to mention that in response to this mass murderer, without the support of many in the world, the US went has been in longest running double war in Afghanistan and Iraq. This response murdered more citizens then OBL did in his lifetime. Theses wars has made several million people refugees who may or may not be able to one day return to their homes.

And since a person’s life may not be as valuable to all of us, the US has spent over $1.5 trillion dollars in this nine year long game of hide and seek.

May I remind you that the only beneficiary of these wars continue to be the oil companies that keep raising prices and companies with US military contracts such as Halliburton? You know, that one fat company owned by our previous fat VP?! Yea, that one!

Personally, I would have rather OBL be caught alive and tried for crimes against humanity… at least then, maybe this whole thing would be a bit more believable. I know many of us welcome the news but also wonder it came at a time when the people of the Middle East have risen loud and proud against their oppressors… Just saying!

Violence always begets violence, so let’s pray this news does not bring forth any OBL wanna-be’s. Let’s also pray this doesn’t bring forth any violent or hate responses as we’ve already got word of such thing happening against a mosque in Portland, Maine.

In the meantime, I’ll believe that justice was served when the president’s next statement is that we are FINALLY going to get out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq… I’m pushing it, right?

Why This News Junkie is Boycotting CNN

I’ve been deemed a news junkie by family and friends for many years. In one seating, I’ll switch between CNN and Aljazeera while reading local news and news blogs online while getting alerts on my Blackberry for specific stories I’m following. Almost every day, another news media has showed its biased ways. This time around belonged to CNN.

Octavia Nasr has been with CNN for 20 years as the Middle Eastern Affairs Senior Editor. She was the reason behind CNN’s ability to report on Iran’s elections last year. She has always been the primary go to person for Rick Sanchez, Anderson Cooper and others on CNN whenever reporting on anything Middle East arose. The importance of her work and friendly demeanor has granted her a mass following on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Last weekend, Nasr tweeted:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon

That tweet has since been removed and replaced with:

Regret tweet about Fadlallah death bc I didn’t explain specific respect for standing up for Muslim women. http://bit.ly/adrp95

The link takes you to her CNN blog where Nasr not only explains why she had some “respect” for Fadlallah but also apologizes for her “error in judgement” when it came to her former tweet. However, that blog came in response to the anti-anything-pro-Arab-and/or-Muslim-without-any-form-of-understanding right winged fanatics who immediately bashed CNN over her “biased” tweet. They seem to have forgotten her work and contributions to the American and international media on the issues involving the Middle East. They also seem to have either forgotten or cared less to remember that Fadlallah was not part of Hezbollah. He was pushed out by the group for his “moderate” views and disagreement on many of their ideologies. Nasr’s feelings was simply in relation to the things they did agree on, especially when it came to women’s rights.

Of course, that doesn’t matter. Just like it doesn’t matter that the Lebanese people voted for Hezbollah in their parliament; the Palestinian people voted for Hamas to govern Gaza and are now suffering the consequences of acting upon their right to vote.

Personally, I don’t agree with either group or most of their ideologies. However, who am I to tell a people how to vote, how to believe, what to speak or what to think? The line between speaking your mind (with respect of course) and being politically correct has some how vanished.

The fact is, if we don’t like them, we deem them as terrorists and forbid anyone to think of them as otherwise. Yet if we like them, we deem them as friends and forbid anyone to think of them as otherwise. Now that’s what I call, “freedom of speech!”

According to CNN’s internal memo posted by Mediaite yesterday, it was agreed that Nasr is “to leave the company”. For CNN to advertise that they are a network that showcases all points of views, firing Nasr contradicts just that. To basically do to Nasr what Hearst did to Helen Thomas is absurd and simply stupid. Just like the Hearst lost me as a reader, CNN has lost me as a long time viewer.

Other Sources:

Octavia Nasr’s Twitter Page

Salon – 8 July 2010

MEDIAite – 7 July 2010

NY Times – 7 July 2010

NY Times – 8 July 2010