Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quick Questions for Americans

This video reminded me of some years ago when I was among friends watching a documentary on TV about sects and religious movements in the United States. After the show we had some discussion about the influence like the KKK has on society in the US, and I was curious to know how Americans think or feel about them, so I asked an American girl sitting with us. Her answer was! "They are Muslims, right?? and they have some kind of a mosque, or something like a temple!!"

Yet, it is not fair to say that all Americans are the same.

One of the things brought my attention in this video is the easy way they talk about "the next invasion"of another country after Iraq and Afghanistan!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

Iraq The Lasting Love

History tells the world about Iraq and the determination of its people, these beautiful souls, which kept on living and sharing harmony among each other despite everything they faced. People who built and rebuilt, set example of strength, intelligence, inspiration and love. However, they kept their lasting love, Iraq, alive and beautiful all around the years... The pictures and stories here is a living proof...

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Yezidis

I read about the Yezidis and did a small research out of interest about them some time ago, but the reason that motivated me to write about the Yezidis on my blog was caeser’s post on his blog, which was a sort, his own insight and comments to another blogger’s post.

The general view of the Yezidis by many people is identifying them as “the worshippers of Satan” - I will come to that later – I laugh when I hear this, because I can’t imagine Yezidis do head-banging and doing the corna sign while listening to Dimmu Borgir or Venom or any other death/Black metal bands during some satanic rituals where people doing ritual performances such as big fire or preparing to sacrifice another human soul for the sake of Satan! There is a very nice article I found on the internet talking about the relationship between Satanism and Heavy Metal music! Satanism itself in its broader context doesn't regard Satan as THE sacred entity, rather than it is considered as the means to controls human's attitude and behavior. In addition, Satanism as a word and practice, according to Wikipedia give great evidence that the Yezidis is far from being considered Satanists, especially when making comparisons related to the roots and origins for each – not to forget how human unlimited imagination and psychological nature can use myth, religion, and social influences to create an all new variety of concepts and rules, such as the involvement of cannibalism, vandalism, the use of Hebrew language, and even the way to dress.

Generally speaking, most historians identify Yezidism as a reglious group where its customs and rituals were derived from other religions, such as Islam, Christianity, and more recently to Zoroastrianism, because of its similarities with Yezidism, especially regarding the belief in the universal spirit concept.

The main language used by the Yezidis (or Yazidis) is Kurdish. This was one of the reasons some historians differed in pinpointing the origins of Yezidism. Some historians referred to Yezidism as one of the three branches derived from Yazdânism, the religion that Kurds used to believe in before converting to Islam - The other two branches from Yazdânism are: the Alawite (or Al Alavit or Alevism), followed by people in northwest the Iraqi Kurdish area, in some parts of Turkey and the Syrian coast; and the second branch of Yazdânism is the Yarsanism, where mostly followed by people in south of the Kurdish areas and west Iran. All three share the belief in incarnation and the existence of seven guardian angels!

Some historians believed that the roots and origins of the Yezidis go further back into the depth of history and relate them to ancient civilizations in Iraq, such as the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Acadians. According to scholars, the word “Yezidi” comes from Sumerian language, which means “the person who is on true path”!

However, despite objections, there are many among historians who believe that Sheikh Uday (or Adi or Adii) bin Mustafa, a descendent from the Umayyad dynasty (661-750), is the man regarded as the founder of the Yezidis!! He settled in the mountains northern of the Iraqi city of Mosul in the early 12th century, and he was regraded by almost all historians as the one who did all writings regrading their rituals and practices. After his death in 1162, the Yezidis rituals and customs derived around the years from their original practices, they became influenced by Sufi Islam, and took new forms influenced by other religions and sects, such as, Manichaean, Christianity, Nestorian, Zoroastrian among others.

The Yezidis believe that God created the universe and appointed seven angels to guard and rule the universe. The leader of these seven angels is called Malek Taus, or the Peacock Angle. Thus, for the Yezidis, God is only the creator, he is the supreme who created everything, and Malek Taus is the acting force on earth and the universe on behalf of God. Historians and scholars identified Malek Taus as Satan, as known in Islam and Christianity. The Yezidis belief in the incarnation, and they believe that the seven angels come in the form of human beings, and that Shaikh uday himself and his companion Shaikh Hasan are among those seven angels. The other four angels are known as the four Mysteries, Shamsadin, Fakhradin, Sajadin and Naserdin, in addition, of course, to their leader, Malak Taus. The story goes on when God created Adam; God called for the seven angels, he ordered them to bring dust from earth. They obeyed him and from that dust God created Adam and give him soul from his own breath. God, then, ordered them to bow to Adam, and obey him. All Angels bowed except for Satan, who thought to be made of God’s illumination, which makes him more superior than bowing or obeying to a being made of dust (or mud). God pardoned Satan and praised him, according to the Yezidis. Further more, God made Malek Taus (or Satan) the leader of the angels and he became his representative on earth. The Yezidis refer to God’s decision by saying that God’s supremacy would make Malek Taus obey him easily and bow for Adam, but God did not do that, because this is part of what they call “God’s majestic and sublime nature”. As a conclusion, the concept of good and evil does not exist in Yezidi faith, and they reject the idea that Satan is the symbol of evil, as in other religions such as Islam and Christianity. They believe that a human spirit goes through a process of purification from such things like evil or sins, and that the concept of good and evil originated from humans i.e. exists in the minds and souls of humans, nothing more, and nothing less. In addition, every human being is free to choose between good and evil in their lives, and to choose good, submission to Malek Taus is the most important of all, because he was given the same choice by God.

Interestingly, according to the Yezidis, Malek Taus has seven jars, he fill them with his tears for 10000 years, and these tears will be used to extinguish the fire in hell.

There are two holy books for the Yezidis; the first is called the Book of Revelation, and the second is called the Black Book, but sources argue that both books were written in Arabic, and other say in Kurdish! It is not known how many prayers the Yezidis do; some say they do five daily prayers: dawn, sunrise, noon, afternoon and sunset. Some say there are only two prayers, and other say there are only three, but all agree that the Yezidis prayers must be in the direction of the sun. The Yezidis also have their own annual six days pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Uday north of the city of Mosul every August. Most of the rituals and pilgrimage’s practices are very secretive so information on this is based on speculations and the imagination of scholars and historians. The Yezidis regard themselves as separate (and superior) race; they believe that they were created from Adam and the rest of human race is created from Eve, that’s why is impossible for someone to marry from the Yezidis! Further more, their obstain from other cultures and religions as means of protecting their own prohibited them from even using other non-Yezidi’s belongings, such as clothes, houses, furniture…etc In addition, each Yizidi believe that he must have a mentor, this is one very strong obligation the Yezidis believe in.

It is estimated that the number of the Yezidis population between 40 thousand and one million, spread in areas around Shikhan, Sanjar, Tilkeef, Ba’shiqa, Bahzani north the city of Mosul. In addition, they live further north of Iraq, such in Duhok and Zakho. Yezidis can be found with small numbers in countries other than Iraq, such as Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Iran the Caucasus, and Yemen.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bushra Al Khalil Disclose New Information

Some identified her as the only feminine member of the defense team for the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussain. She is mostly known for being kicked-out twice (the second time having guards escorting her by force out) from the court room during the trial of Saddam and his aides on the Dujail case. At that time she accused the judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman of “having complex issues towards women”, but then she concluded and kept on saying to the media then that the real reason for removing her from court is the fact that she is a Shiite who was defending a man who is most hated by Iraqi Shiite!

Bushra Al Khalil was born in the south of Lebanon. Her uncle, Mohammed Taqi al-Faqih, was a student of Iraqi Shiite figure Sheikh Mohsen al-Hakeem in Najaf. She was graduated from Beirut University in 1979 with a Degree in Law.

After the execution of Saddam Hussain, many Iraqis thought that old and new faces they became familiar with seeing on TV during the trial from Arab and non-Arab lawyers defending the former dictator would be vanishing forever. However, there are people like Bushra Al Khalil who found profitable attempt to gain fame by poping up her head from time to time and play the same tune of bringing up Saddam and his regime. In an interview recently by Al Arabiya Satellite Channel, Bushra Al Khalil told her host that the former Iraqi regime is innocent from the killing of Ayatoallah Mohammed Mohammed Sadiq Al Sadr, the prominent religious Shiite leader and the father of Muqtada Al Sadr in 1999 by Saddam’s Secret Intelligence Services, and the truth is that a Shiite Iraqi group (referring to Al Hakeem) has close ties with Iran is the real responsible for committing that crime.

Before he died, Mohammed Mohammed Sadiq Al Sadr was put by Saddam’s regime under house-arrest for many years in his home town of Najaf, because he refused to praise for the life and achievements of Saddam during his weekly Friday prayers. In addition, Al Sadr’s Friday prayers attracted hundreds of people, which by any means can be considered grave danger to Saddam and his iron grip on the Iraqi population as the sole leader. The official story of the Ayatollah’s death says that he and two of his sons had a car accident and he died on the way before arriving to hospital. However, other sources say that he was assassinated while he was on his way back home from his office in Najaf.

From her point of view, Al Khalil said that “one of my friends from the former Iraqi regime used to be responsible for the “Shiite population” told me that Saddam and Al Sadr used to have a good relationship! Saddam allowed Al Sadr to have Friday prayers in front of masses of people!!” She also added that Saddam liked Al Sadr and wanted to make him more influential within Iraq due to his Arab origins. Bushra Al Khalil also mentioned that Saddam sent a condolence letter to Al Sadr’s son, Muqtada, in 1999, and all the media announced or published that letter to the public, in order to show how much the Iraqi president had sympathy. She also supports the claim that Al Sadr has been assassinated, however, she points the finger to Baqir Al Hakeem, another distinguished religious Shiite figure (and the brother of Abdel Aziz Al Hakeem)!

Bushra Al Khalil align herself with the Arab nationalists who believe that a conspiracy exist to divide the Middle East into small nations based on sectarian and ethnic bases. This can be clearly seen with her analysis on the assassination of Rafiq Al Hariri by saying: "If we look at the way the assassination has been conducted, it is very sophisticated, I knew al-Hariri's security measures - no local system could have breached them”… "The question is, who stands to benefit from his death? Syria's enemies. I think al-Hariri's death is part of the plan to divide the region into tiny helpless sectarian states. This plan has started in Iraq and it will continue to hit all other Arab countries."

The Lebanese lawyer is like millions of ordinary Arabs; They are looking and praying for day when another leader will come and unify them, defend them against any aggressor, free their occupied cities, stop corruption, spread justice, and provide them with good and comfortable life, for them and for their children. This became stronger after the US invasion of Iraq, and the US biased-stand towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The result? chaos in people opinions; mixed feelings towards current political, religious and social events, and even more chaotaic nature regarding the relationships among Arab regimes. The Arabs reached a level where concept of right and wrong has been disregarded and redefined.

Bushra Al Khalil said on a number of occasions that defending Saddam is a national duty of an Arab opposed to American hegemony duty of an Arab opposed to American hegemony on the whole political system in the Middle East. I wonder, how come 26 years of experience Al Khalil gained from practicing law did not teach her how to recognize a murderer from an innocent! There are two options here: It is either that Bushra Al Khalil has another definition for Arab nationalism, by defending any tyrant used to rule the Arab countries, and, defending Saddam is just a matter of big bucks and fame, or her Arab nationalism is just a fake, and the whole thing again is a matter of big bucks and fame. In fact, she shares the same crime of causing damage and division by defending the man who caused great disasters of death and destruction to the Arab nation.

Will be better if Bushra Al Khalil worked for the rights and just of the Iraqi people instead! It would honorable to her if she raised her hand against the occupier without indulging herself into the adventure of defending the butcher of Iraq! Really! If her heart is really torn apart for Iraq and the Iraqis, why do I keep on hearing her praising the man who was the only reason Baghdad burnt to the ground? Anyway, Baghdad will be alive and will shine again; there is no doubt about that! People and history books will tell stories on how this glorious and beautiful city kept on rising up against forces from east and west, from strangers who tried to wipe it and its people out but kept on failing. Among the stories, the story of Bushra Al Khalil will remain a shameful one for being one of those who wanted to reverse justice by defending one of history’s most tyrants and mass-murderers mankind had ever witnessed?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Plan is Ready

Prime Minister Al Maliki gave a speech on Iraqi army day on 7th of January that the security plan is ready and that "The Baghdad security plan will not offer a safe shelter for outlaws regardless of their ethnic and political affiliations, and we will punish anyone who hesitates to implement orders because of his ethnic and political background". To promote his plan, the Iraqi Prime Minister gave another speech in front of the parliament on 25th of January. The speech was resulted in a mayhem when confrontation, threats and shouting among members took place

On 28 of January, Iraq the Model latest blog came out with a title: “Sources: Operation Baghdad starts on February 5.” Humm… So the anticipated plan for securing Baghdad and bringing back safety for the Baghdadis will finally begin! But didn’t the prime minister just said that it is ready??!!

The shameful and disastrous thing about this is the way it has been dealt with so far. The talking about this security plan is so lame, as if the whole thing is about putting the finishing touches on a sort of a campaign for the start of a big festival!!!!!!!!!!! According to Reuters “the data from an Interior Ministry official, widely viewed as an indicative but only partial record of violent deaths, showed 1,971 people died from attacks in Iraq in January, slightly up from the previous high of 1,930 deaths in December.” It adds that “The Interior Ministry toll, provided to Reuters by a ministry source, refers to people killed in terrorism -- a category that may not include many of the dozens of unidentified bodies found daily in Baghdad, many the victims of sectarian death squads.”

Any secondary school boy or girl knows that any plan for spreading security in the Iraq is needed NOW more than any time!! And the same boy or girl knows that when announcing for such plan action MUST be taken immediately! What kind of preparations are these and what kind of secret plans both the Iraqi and US government having for implementation? It is more than a month since the news came out about “how a joint effort by the US and Iraqi troops to start purging Baghdad and the rest of the country from all bad boys” Everyone from South America to Japan already knew that! More than a month since the very first announcement! In the meantime all thugs, criminals, corrupted politician (oh no, they are not included in the list, I think) have already booked their flights and packed their cars and hop-ala, there we goooo!!

Is there someone who feel a little optimistic about this plan? Is it the fifth or sixth security plan which did not succeed?? However, anyone, including myself still have hope. Hope is the only method for survival these days; it was useful in the past and should always work!