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Monday, May 28, 2012

1,000 Indians voice support for Pakatan

Dutch teacher suspended over anti-Muslim tweets

The Dutch press reports that Fioritti College in Lisse has suspended a teacher named Anand Soekhoe and will not be renewing his contract, after he posted anti-Muslim comments on Twitter.

Dutch teacher suspended over anti-Muslim tweets(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Dutch press reports that Fioritti College in Lisse has suspended a teacher named Anand Soekhoe and will not be renewing his contract, after he posted anti-Muslim comments on Twitter.

In a series of Islamophobic tweets Soekhoe declared his support for Geert Wilders and the PVV, warned that anyone considering voting for leftists, liberals or Christian Democrats should think of their grandchildren ("Otherwise future generations will speak Arabic! And Islam will be the state religion), quoted the Hindu-supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party as saying "never trust Muslims", adding that the BJP was increasingly shown to be right, and concluded with the observation that "Islam is not a religion but barbaric backwardness".

Not unreasonably, the school board ruled that such public statements made it impossible for Soekhoe to continue teaching Muslim pupils.

The "counterjihadist" movement will no doubt adopt Soekhoe as another hero of free speech. Already PVV MP Harm Beertema has denounced the school board's decision on the grounds that "You can't sack him just because you think his opinion may be offensive to students".

Hagia Sofia: Thousands Pray For Istanbul Landmark To Become Mosque

Hagia Sofia
* Hagia Sofia was church, then mosque

* Some religious Turks want ban on worship lifted

* Crowd estimated at more than 3,000

By Ayla Jean Yackley

ISTANBUL, May 26 (Reuters) - Thousands of devout Muslims prayed outside Turkey's historic Hagia Sophia museum on Saturday to protest a 1934 law that bars religious services at the former church and mosque.

Worshippers shouted, "Break the chains, let Hagia Sophia Mosque open," and "God is great" before kneeling in prayer as tourists looked on.

Turkey's secular laws prevent Muslims and Christians from formal worship within the 6th-century monument, the world's greatest cathedral for almost a millennium before invading Ottomans converted it into a mosque in the 15th century.

"Keeping Hagia Sophia Mosque closed is an insult to our mostly Muslim population of 75 million. It symbolises our ill-treatment by the West," Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association, which organised the event, told the crowd, whose male and female worshippers prayed separately according to Islamic custom.

The government has rejected requests from both Christians and Muslims to hold formal prayers at the site, historically and spiritually significant to adherents of both religions.

The rally's size and location signals more tolerance for religious expression under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose party traces its roots to a banned Islamist movement.

His government has also allowed Christian worship at sites that were off-limits for decades, as it seeks to bring human rights in line with the European Union, which it aims to join.

Turhan told Reuters his group staged the prayers ahead of celebrations next week marking the 559th anniversary of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet's conquest of Byzantine Constantinople.

"As the grandchildren of Mehmet the Conqueror, seeking the re-opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque is our legitimate right," Turhan said in an interview.

Worshippers refrained from entering the museum, one of Turkey's most-visited tourist destinations and whose famous dome is considered a triumph of Byzantine architecture.

Most Turks appear satisfied with it remaining a museum as a kind of compromise between its conflicting historic roles.


However, some devout Turks believe that barring worship at Hagia Sophia is an affront against Sultan Mehmet, who designated it as a mosque and who, like other Ottoman leaders, served as caliph to the Islamic world.

Under Erdogan, many Turks have come to embrace their imperial Ottoman past and question the more austere, Western-oriented reforms that followed the last sultan's overthrow in 1923.

The shift coincides with a stalled EU bid and declining expectations Turkey will ever join the mostly Christian bloc.

The government's active diplomatic engagement in the Middle East with lands that once belonged to the Ottoman empire has also prompted Turks to reexamine the NATO member's Western tilt.

Meanwhile, some Orthodox argue Hagia Sophia should be returned to its original state as a Christian basilica.

In 2010, 200 or so Greek American Orthodox aborted plans to pray at Hagia Sophia after the Turkish government threatened to block their entry into the country on security grounds.

The Ecumenical Patriarch, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox, does not support efforts to revert its former dominion into a church.

"We want it to remain a museum in line with the Republic of Turkey's principles," said Father Dositheos Anagnostopulos, the patriarch's spokesman.

"If it were to become a mosque, Christians wouldn't be able to pray there, and if it became a church it would be chaos."

Only a few thousand Greek Orthodox faithful are left in Turkey, but the patriarch's seat remains in Istanbul, a vestige of the Byzantine Empire. (Editing by Jon Hemming)

Will Dr M & Co appear as witnesses?

Is Mahathir telling the world that his daughter Marina is naïve to be a pawn of Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat to topple the Najib government by violence?

By Lim Kit Siang

Malaysians must thank former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir for furnishing the fifth evidence of the highest-level campaign to vilify and demonise Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat and why the Hanif Omar “independent advisory panel” to investigate into Bersih 3.0 violence is totally unacceptable and should be scrapped altogether.

The four evidence were earlier provided by the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and two former Inspector-General of Police, viz:

  • The wild and baseless allegation by the Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak that Bersih 3.0 rally was coup attempt by the opposition to topple the government;

  • The instant public support for Najib’s coup allegation by former Inspector-General of Police, Hanif Omar who said he identified pro-communist individuals at Bersih 3.0 from demonstrations in the 1970s with futher allegation on the use of provocateurs and children in the Bersih 3.0 rally as tactics of the communists!

  • The equally instant public support for Najib’s coup allegation by another former Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor who went on to allege that Bersih 3.0 had used “Marxist” tactics as well as accusing the Opposition of wanting blood shed as it was not confident of taking over Putrajaya.

  • The allegation by Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein in an interview with Sunday Star on May 20 that “democracy was hijacked” on April 28.

Mahathir’s blog two days ago that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan for violent demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election should the opposition fail to win it is the fifth evidence of the highest-level campaign of vilification and demonization of Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat.

However none of them have furnished one iota of evidence to substantiate their serious allegations in the past month.

Appear as witnesses at panel

What they have done is to collectively stack grounds to justify the case why the Hanif “independent advisory panel” should be scrapped altogether as nobody expects the Hanif panel to be able to independent, impartial and objective when there is the highest-level involvement in the campaign of vilification and demonisation of Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat.

In fact, Hanif, together with Najib, Mahathir, Hishammuddin and Rahim Noor should be required to appear as star witnesses to substantiate their preposterous allegations before a truly independent and credible inquiry into what went wrong at Bersih 3.0 on April 28 as to cause the deplorable incidents of violence and brutality, regardless of whether the victims are police personnel, media representative or peaceful protesters.

If the five – Najib, Mahathir, Hishammuddin, Hanif and Rahim Noor – are unable to produce any evidence to substantiate their allegations against Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat, then these five VVIPs should have the decency to publicly retract their preposterous allegations and tender public apologies.

In this connection, is Mahathir telling the world that his daughter Marina is naïve to be a pawn of Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan to topple the Najib government by violence?

Is he using the same brush to tar the 200,000 to 300,000 Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age who had performed a supreme act of patriotism and national service in coming out peacefully on April 28 in support of a common national cause – a clean election and a clean Malaysia?

Mahathir should be commending Marina for her commendable public-spiritedness and patriotism in participating in both Bersih 3.0 on April 28 and Bersih 2.0 on July 9, 2011 instead of throwing brickbats as her and Malaysians who had rallied to the Bersih cause.

The writer is the Ipoh Timur MP and DAP senior leader.

PM condoning violence through silence, says Anwar

(Malaysiakini) Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has indirectly condoned the series of violent acts against Pakatan Rakyat ceramahs by failling to condemn these actions.

anwar car damaged by stone throwing umno supporters in sembrong front“My car (when it was attacked in Sembrong in February), were there any statements to say stop this or we will not tolerate this sort of violence? No. This means that they are actually condoning it.

“Is this being tolerated by Umno? Yes. Which means Najib as prime minister has abdicated his responsibility,” he said when asked by Malaysiakini after a Pakatan programme to register red IC holders in Klang this afternoon.

Since then, a series of violent acts targeting Pakatan ceramahs have followed, namely Gambang (Pahang), Merlimau (Malacca) and most recently in Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur where two Pakatan supporters and an Umno supporter were allegedly injured.

Asked to comment about Umno’s accusation that he had provoked the fracas in Lembah Pantai during a dual ceramah on Thursday, Anwar quipped: “When my car (windscreen) was broken, I broke it myself, it could be that the elderly man who was injured knocked his own head, too.”
Yesterday, Lembah Pantai Umno Youth chief Mohamad Sazali Kamilan accused Anwar of causing the fracas when he described Umno as sial (damned) and celaka (cursed) despite an observation by Malaysiakini that he had only made the remarks after spotting Raja Ismail Raja Din bleeding from his head after being hit by a projectile.

‘Bottles already flying when I arrived’

“When I entered the ceramah, bottles were already being thrown (from the other side), it was already flying when (Lembah Pantai MP) Nurul Izzah was speaking, you could hear the sound (of the bottles) landing on the roof (of the stage).

nurul balqis wrist hurt by flying brick lembah pantai pkr ceramah“So when I saw what had happened to the pakcik, of course I was angry, and a little girl was crying at the back after that after she was injured in her arm... I was very angry, celaka (cursed) politics,” said Anwar, who is also PKR supremo.

The situation was reportedly tense as the two rival ceramahs were set up within metres of each other.

Anwar added that the incident was regrettable because despite the heavy police presence that night they did not move in quickly to stop the throwing of projectiles when it first began.

“If they see 10 to 15 police officers, they would not dare do that. So what’s wrong? Why aren’t they being professional when it comes to Umno hooligans?,” he said.

‘Police should investigate violence’

Asked to comment on Umno’s claim that one of its supporters, too, was injured, Anwar called on the police to investigate.

“If Pakatan supporters hurt others, we will not defend... Police should investigate, I will not defend, it depends on the outcome of the police investigation,” he said.

He added that Pakatan had submitted a notice to the police for the ceramah to be held.

“Who gave the notice to the police? We gave. I was in Pengerang (on Friday) and it was the same thing, we got the permit and they allowed another session just 50 metres away without a permit,” he said.

Despite Anwar’s Friday trip in Johor being dogged by harassment, the PKR adviser insisted that the party will continue with the party’s political activities in the state.

“This is the culture that they are breeding. I am still committed. I will go to Johor again in the next fortnight,” he said.