Give Voice to the Voiceless


Shamim Masih (Mahmood) is a Christian Human Rights activist and journalist from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In case you are unaware, Pakistan has some of the most stringent Islamic Blasphemy Laws enforced globally among Muslims. Blasphemy Laws are often used as a financial by greedy or vengeful Muslims that trump-up false charges for one kind of gain or another.

 

That is the environment that Christian-Pakistani Shamim has dealt with his whole life. You can imagine Shamim’s life and livelihood might be held by a thin thread that American Christians would consider incredulous in understanding.

 

I am asking you to be an advocate for Shamim Masih on a financial basis whether it is a one-time gift or an ongoing monetary support. Support for Shamim just could be a glimpse of hope for impoverished Christian-Pakistanis who live constantly under the thumb of Islamic Supremacism.

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

JRH 5/15/17

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Give Voice to the Voiceless

 

By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

Sent 5/14/2017 9:58 PM

 

Respected Sir,

 

Based on my personal experience while covering the incidents of religious discrimination and persecution of Pakistan’s minorities’ communities in the recent years. I have observed that main stream media in Pakistan do not cover the persecution and religious discrimination. So I have planned to become the voice of the voiceless people of Pakistan. Thus starting “thecovenant.tv” with the aim not only to cover the routine events, but especially to become the voice of the voiceless people in Pakistan. Some work has been done on it and much to do. I am writing this letter to you seeking the support in this regard in any sense you can either financially or morally. Please Google me as “Shamim Masih” Below is the concept note please go through it and give your input.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Shamim

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SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

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Give Voice to the Voiceless

 

During the recent decade, it is observed that the national main stream media does play down incidents of religious discrimination and persecution of Pakistan’s minorities communities. This is partially due to government’s ‘requests (read orders)’ to newspapers editors and TV channel heads not to highlight or give extensive coverage to such issue as “they bring a bad to the country.” The other factors of lack of coverage of minorities’ communities is the fact that main stream channels are not very keen on giving a voice to the voiceless. There are only a handful of journalists belonging to minorities’ communities working in the mainstream media but they too are unable to project the plight of their people effectively as they have little or no say at all in editorial matters.

 

There is a dire need to produce more journalists from such communities’ train them professionally and provide them with a platform in the national media from where they can bring forth the issues facing their people as well reports persecution and discrimination meted out by the majority.

 

+++

[Blog Editor: Below is the text of an attachment sent along with the Shamim email. The attachment text is similar to the text of the Covenant Communication Shamim-profile page. Since there are some differences, I’ll stick with the attachment text which is a bit more detailed.]

 

SHAMIM MASIH, CHIEF EDITOR

Short Profile

 

Shamim Masih, a professional journalist with diverse work experience from humanitarian to journalism.  He has bilingual work experience at print and electronic media outlets; starting from Independent News Pakistan (INP) English desk to columnist at “Daily Times”. Shamim worked as a diplomatic correspondent with the leading Urdu paper, “Daily Khabrain & Channel 5”, Daily Mail, Daily Sama, Pakistan Today and presently working as Diplomatic Correspondent for Online International News Network, and lead reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association”. As stringer he worked with BBC world service and other international media outlets.

 

He has vast experience of highlighting political and social issues. He has been covering the legislations at Parliament house to sectarian violence, covering from the UN Secretary General press conference to bombing at worship places and burning the Christians’ colonies accusing blasphemy. He has also interviewed the Federal Ministers and the Ambassadors in Pakistan. He was the first one to write for the Christian minor girl, Rimsha, falsely accused of blasphemy, who later got international attention.

 

He is ambassador of “Parliament of the World’s Religions” in Pakistan (https://parliamentofreligions.org/content/list-parliament-ambassadors). As a social reformer/peace maker, he has been arranging different seminars/conferences to promote peace and harmony between people from different faith, culture and background. He is a blogger and can be reached at http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

 

Now days; I’m also working on new areas/proposals to promote peace and harmony at the media house, www.thecovenant.tv.

 

+++ 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Some links by the Editor. Text enclosed by bracket is by the Editor. The Western Union contact support data is by the Editor.

 

Covenant Communications About Page

 

The Covenant Communications’ inspires to be Pakistan’s leading independent web-based TV channel, and magazine by using the dynamics of media, diplomacy and peace to provide neutral and objective analysis of domestic, regional and international issues.

 

This especially focuses on issues like interfaith harmony, dialogue among communities, cultural diplomacy, religions, peace, extremism, dynamics of various conflicts and domestic politics. Our special emphasis remains on safeguarding the rights of sidelined community in Pakistan like children, women and non-Muslim communities in Pakistan by highlighting their issues effectively in the mainstream media.

 

‘The Covenant Communications’ team welcomes contributions in any form ranging from opinion pieces, reports highlighting various events connected to inter-faith harmony, domestic abuse, domestic politics, development issues and issues related to Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policy, development project descriptions and advertisements.

 

Our team comprises dedicated individuals who believe in creating space for dialogue and multicultural and inter-religious exchanges to know each other better. You are welcome to add fuel to ‘The Covenant Communications’!

I Beg to Differ


hypocrit-defined

Shamim writes of the Islamic moral hypocrisy in its application to Pakistan religious minorities, especially Pakistani Christians.

 

JRH 3/1/17

Please Support NCCR

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I Beg to Differ

 

By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

Sent 3/1/2017 8:53 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Various cities in the upper parts of Pakistan were jolted by earthquake tremors on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I heard one of my friend saying that God is angry with us and thus there are earthquakes and other natural disasters etc.  It is common practice in Pakistani society; especially Muslim prayer leader decry in Friday prayer sermon counting the possible reasons why God is angry and reasons of natural disasters. The major reasons quoted are: selling alcohol, committing adultery especially during Ramanza [aka Ramadan], Women going out for shopping in the markets, co-education system and youth using mobile phones and latest technology. These are botched up priorities and it is very painful to see the priority list of do’s and don’ts of the Moulanas.***

 

[***Blog Editor: As an American blogger, I was not certain what a “Moulana” was. Google-America was not cooperative. That search suggested alternative spellings. In the context of Shamim’s paragraph I am going to guess two Google alternatives: Maulana and Mawlānā.

 

Maulana (The Free Dictionary):

 

     n. Islam

 

  1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.

  2. Used as a courtesy title for sucha leader or scholar.

 

Mawlānā (Wikipedia):

 

Mawlānā (/mɔːˈlɑːnə/; from Arabic مولانا, literally “our lord/master”)[1] is a title, mostly in Central Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, preceding the name of respected Muslim religious leaders, in particular graduates of religious institutions, e.g. a madrassa or a darul uloom, or scholars who have studied under other Islamic scholars. ***]

 

Looking analytically, what is agonizing is when mentioning sins, the sin of telling a lie, cheating, hypocrisy, bribery, killing poor and innocent people, injustice from bottom to top, child abuse even in Madrisas (seminaries), the religious leadership and elders of the society conveniently overlook adulteration of foodstuff and medicines. I am not a supporter to those mentioned above but we can realize that selling wine would be one or few persons, the rest are teetotalers. Fornication would be an individual act. So how comes so grave a sin in the whole society? These could be sins but major sins are overlooked and moulana sahib [Islamic titular veneration] straight away jumps to mention drinking, dancing, modern dressing and using cell phones etc. etc.

 

For those who believe, God is actually unhappy because of our botched-up priorities. Bribery is now accepted as norm, people give false testimony in sensitive legal cases like blasphemy and then proudly mention it to others. (It is pertinent to mention that in giving testimony usually an oath is taken on Religious books) Telling lies has become a regular affair and being truthful and righteous is considered a weakness. Discrimination and inequality are against a special segment of the society. And thus, God is unhappy and keeps warning us to sort out our priorities.

 

A Superiority complex and forced imposition have made this world hell. There is no peace, stability, security and equality in the society. Freedom of speech is merely seen in papers but claimed all over. The poor are becoming poorer and rich are more rich. Thus, poor especially religious minorities are at risk. Hundreds of individuals have been falsely accused because of property disputes or personal vengeance. Blasphemy laws put Christians and other religious minorities at risk. Discriminatory laws have restricted minorities’ representatives to grow in all avenues of life. Touching the Quran or any other book of Islam, expressing or publishing atheistic opinions and preaching of other religions are consider as crime in Pakistan. Christians are often falsely accused of participating in these activities, but in and of themselves these laws are unjust constraints on religious freedom.

 

Christians and other religious minorities should be free to exercise their religion without fear of unjust persecution. This has to end, we must not rest until there is peace, security and equality for Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This creates a stigma which condemns religious minorities to live under the permanent threat of death. The lives of the poor hang on a very thin thread.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

shamim-masih-pakistani-christian-journalist

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text embraced brackets and source links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS


At least for a moment Shamim Mahmood sees hope at the end of the tunnel in Pakistan’s celebration of the United Nations’ International Human Rights Day. Shamim’s observations are below.

 

kamran-michael-2

Kamran Michael

 

JRH 2/3/17

Please Support NCCR

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ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS

 

By Shamim Mahmood

Sent 1/31/2017 5:11 PM

 

Islamabad (Shamim Masih): Since assuming his office as Minister for Human Rights in May 2016, Senator Kamran Michael has taken historic measures to ensure protection of basic human rights of common citizens, with a specific focus on the delivery of rights for children, women, marginalized groups and religious and ethnic minority groups in across country.

 

Earlier, when this government took rule in 2013, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had appointed Kamran Michael as Minister for Ports and Shipping. However, the responsibilities of Senator Kamran were switched to Human Rights keeping in view his tremendous performance as Minister for Human Rights Punjab. Following taking charge of his new assignment, Kamran Michael has worked day and night to ensure immediate redressal of rights to all minority groups in Pakistan. In this regard, the minister visited various areas of the country to ensure rights to children, women and minorities including prisoners across the country.

 

The biggest contribution of the federal minister is various laws enacted or tabled in the Parliament to protect minorities’ rights, including Anti-Rape, Honor Killing, Criminal Bill Amendment Act 2016, Hindu Marriage Act, Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill, Child and Women Protection Bill, etc. Serious attention has been given by the honorable minister for implementation of Action Plan on Human Rights approved by the Prime Minister during 2016. A task force under the chairmanship of Senator Kamran Michael has been established to expedite the implementation by federal and provincial functions.

 

In this regard, the minister visited Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Center for Women, and ordered the improvement of basic needs to the victim children, women and groups arriving to seek assistance at the center. He also directed immediate financial and legal support to the victims of domestic violence and provision of immediate security, shelter, food, advocacy and counseling to the victims.

 

Under the objective of protection and promotion of human rights coupled with attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [Blog Editor: “SDGs” are a part of the UN Agenda 2030 globalist paradigm. I am not a big fan of anything coming from the UN and this especially the case of Agenda 2030. It is my opinion this UN Agenda threatens the sovereignty and Constitution of the USA. ON THE OTHER HAND, at least portions of Agenda 2030 can actually be productive for a nation such as Pakistan in providing hope toward upward mobility for downtrodden minorities.], the minister directed to improve the Toll Free Helpline 1099 through which the victims could seek all sorts of assistance free of cost.

 

In compliance of the minister’s directive, now the victims from across the country can register their complaints and seek assistance on the toll free helpline 1099. This will be available 24/7 very soon. Moreover, other than shelter and food, the complainants can also get legal advice from experts on human rights violations and quick relief is provided to them, their families and other vulnerable segments of the society. The Helpline received 41,510 complaints during the year 2016 while 4969 calls were received for general information and 3,073 victims were provided legal advice and 33,089 were irrelevant/unnecessary calls.

 

To protect the human rights at grass roots level, the federal minister has directed to establish Human Rights Committees at the district levels. The district level committees would be working in collaboration with the local government under the supervision of Federal Ministry for Human Rights to take immediate action on receiving complaints of violation of human rights.

 

In appreciation of the human rights activists, the ministry of the human rights organized a Human Rights Award ceremony on the occasion of Human Rights Day December 10, 2016 at Awan-e-Saddar where forty activists were given awards for their contributions for human rights by the President of Pakistan.

 

Promoting the basic rights and interfaith harmony, Ministry of Human Rights in collaboration of Ministry of Railway also launched a Christmas Peace Train. The Ministry of Human Rights also organized Sports Festival for Minorities. The Christmas Peace Train successfully completed its journey from Peshawar to Karachi starting from December 22, 2016 to January 05, 2017. The train was warmly welcomed by people at large at different stations of the country. The World and European Union has appreciated this idea.

 

Human Rights Ministry has also launched the Human Rights Song, “Rooti Ankh K Anso Ponchein” to promote the humanity. Famous classical singer Shafaqat Salamat and the Federal Minister for Human Rights, Senator Kamran Michael has sung this song.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Mahmood

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

shamim-masih-pakistani-christian-journalist Shamim Mahmood (Masih)

________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links are by the Editor.

 

Email: shamimpakistan@gmail.com 

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer 
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

 

Disputing Muslim Persecution of Christians


 

London 1940

John R. Houk

© January 19, 2017

 

On January 8th, I posted a Shamim Mahmood submission. Shamim’s submission was a slim rundown on his advocacy as a journalist and Rights activist for his fellow Christians in Pakistan. The rundown is to demonstrate Shamim is a worthy cause to support. Pakistanis don’t make a lot of cash and Pakistani-Christians by the majority earn even less.

 

By the way, Shamim is still worthy of Western aid that is best sent via Western Union.

dresden-1945

First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

A well-meaning Muslim gal left a comment to that Shamim submission politely claiming the persecution of Christians and other non-Sunni Muslims was a myth used to get money of donors under false pretenses.

 

Below is that discussion back and forth between me and Aisha. Then follows a query by me to Shamim about Aisha’s perception. Which is followed by Shamim’s email response.

 

Aisha Khan

1/8/17

 

this is a blatant lie just to raise money, in fact there are Christians in my area and they are very safe and happy with their families. We have good relations with each other, we share our happy and sad moments with each other, we eat together and celebrate together.
This is a failed try to snatch money from people.

John Houk

1/15/17 (1/9/17 @ 9:10 AM & 9:58 AM on SlantRight 2.0)

 

+Aisha Khan Aisha I am guessing you are a Muslim. If my guess is correct, I can make a couple of assumptions from your comment:

1) You are a deluded Muslim with your head in the sand.

2) You are a Muslim Propagandist spreading deceit about the actual brutality of Sunni Muslims against all Pakistani minorities not just Christians (Ironically Pakistani Sunnis also are brutal toward Pakistani Shias & Ahmadiyyas – both of which consider themselves Muslims).

 

Aisha, this blog is full of reports about Muslim brutality against Christians not only in Pakistan but also in other Muslim dominated nations. To allude anything else is the actual lie.

Indeed Aisha, here is a link of the most recent use of the Pakistan Blasphemy Law that is obviously a FALSE allegation against a Christian man:

 

http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/2524-pakistan-illiterate-christian-man-from-lahore-accused-of-blasphemy.

Using the Blasphemy Law as a vendetta is legalized terrorism, because the accused is imprisoned under horrendous conditions awaiting a death sentence or is suspiciously and mysteriously murdered awaiting the execution of a death sentence.

Aisha Khan

1/16/17

 

+John Houk Absolutely I’m a Muslimah and I’m telling you the truth, there are many Christian families in my area and they are quite safe and happy with their families. They are doing Jobs in various Govt. institutions and also their private jobs. What you are telling me is a different situation and can happen in any country. For example we all know about the wave of terrorism in Pakistan. A large number of Muslims were killed, injured in various bomb blasts and other terrorist attacks. But we can’t blame other sects for this act.

 
We also know that America a Christian country is killing thousands of innocent people including women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. In the name of peace they are waging war on Muslims but we are not blaming Christians for this act of terror.

 
I also know there are black sheep in every community, there may be some misguided Muslims who are involved in such wrong acts but we can’t blame the whole Sunni Muslims for personal act of any individual or a group of people.

 
Also, we have to respect each other’s faith. No one has the right to insult or humiliate other people’s faith. We must avoid such provoking acts which leads to an anarchy and crises like situation.

 
I think this is much worse to use a few events and get emotional sympathies of people to snatch some money.

 
I think this more worse than the act committed by some ignorant individuals.

 
I condemn both of them.

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Dear Shamim

 

I have been having a G+ discussion with one Aisha Khan about the last submission you sent to me entitled “Keep Shamim Reporting”. The conversation has been quite polite, but she (I assume “she” in case I am mistaken)  claims your position of Sunni-Muslims persecuting religious minorities in Pakistan is a lie. And quote:

 

this is a blatant lie just to raise money, in fact there are Christians in my area and they very safe and happy with their families.”

 

I read reports from other sources other than just yours; hence, I conclude there is a huge persecution problem in Pakistan. Nonetheless, she seems quite sincere in her belief. Below is the entire discussion between me and her to date on the G+ Community Anti-Islam:

 

 

My knee-jerk reaction is that Aisha is calling you and me a liar. An American colloquialism describes my emotion to being called a liar; viz., “That chaps my hide.” So, I am going to cool off about a day and blog this interaction with some further thoughts from myself. If you have any thoughts between now and the time I begin to construct an edited post, you are more than welcome to provide your perspective

 

+++

Shamim Mahmood

RE: Aisha Khan – Pakistani Muslim

1/16/2017 8:14 PM

 

Dear Brother John

 

I think the World is witness to it that how much Christians and other religious minorities are safe [tongue-in-cheek sarcasm] in Pakistan. The level of persecution is clearly reported and it’s not only me, others have reported as well.

 

Seven members of [one] family in Gojra and a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan were burnt alive on false blasphemy accusations.

 

Joseph Colony Lahore where more than 70 houses, including two Churches, were set ablaze.

 

Even today, Christians are treated as second-class citizens and in the [Pakistan] Constitution discrimination is clearly seen.

 

John, she is right that in many areas Christians and Muslims are living together and share their happiness and sorrows, but when it comes to a matter of religion these – Muslims – do not hesitate for a second to kill or persecute minorities.  And especially this kind of (Aisha) people become more aggressive and hit first.

 

Yes, there are broad minded and liberal Muslims but they are very few.

 

I’ve visited her G+ that clearly gives a message of her openness. Secondly brother, you know how much money I have raised, but issues Christians are facing [result in] day by day persecution.

 

Thanks now I’m going to take tea.

 

God bless you,

 

Shamim

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A Few Thoughts to Aisha’s 1/16/17

January 19, 2017

John R. Houk

 

Aisha wrote:

 

We also know that America a Christian country is killing thousands of innocent people including women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. In the name of peace they are waging war on Muslims but we are not blaming Christians for this act of terror.

 

Aisha consider the facts behind these quotes:

 

Thirty civilians have been killed in northern Afghanistan during an Afghan special forces mission supported by Nato, an Afghan spokesman says.

 

Provincial officials say many of the deaths were caused by Nato air strikes.

 

The air support was called in after troops were surrounded by Taliban militants, who took shelter in civilian homes, the spokesman said.

 

 

“US forces conducted strikes in Kunduz to defend friendly forces. All civilian casualty claims will be investigated,” the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said.

 

 

A further 25 civilians were wounded in the operation in Kunduz, Mr Danish said, and 26 Taliban fighters were killed, including two commanders. The Taliban say only three of their fighters were killed.

 

US soldiers killed

 

The US military said its soldiers died after coming under fire during a mission to clear a Taliban position.

 

Two other US soldiers were wounded, it said. General John Nicholson said the soldiers’ loss was “heartbreaking”.

 

Taliban fighters came close to overrunning Kunduz city last month and the security situation in the area remains febrile. The insurgents control large areas of the province around the city.

 

US combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014 but special forces have continued to provide support to Afghan troops.

 

Afghan forces have suffered thousands of casualties, with more than 5,500 killed in the first eight months of 2016. READ ENTIRETY (Afghanistan Nato: ’30 civilians killed’ during Taliban fighting; By Reuters; BBC; 11/3/16)

 

And more …

 

The war in Afghanistan continues destroying lives, due to the direct consequences of violence and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. Civilians have been killed by crossfire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinations, bombings, and night raids into houses of suspected insurgents. Even in the absence of fighting, unexploded ordnance from previous wars and United States cluster bombs continue to kill.

 

 

About 104,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 31,000 of those killed have been civilians. An additional 41,000 civilians have been injured since 2001. READ ENTIRETY (AFGHAN CIVILIANS; WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS)

 

And more …

 

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — A joint military operation in northern Afghanistan in early November killed 33 Afghan civilians and wounded 27, the U.S. military said Thursday in releasing details of its investigation into the incident.

 

The attack in Boz village in restive Kunduz province flattened dozens of houses, residents and Taliban insurgents said. The joint operation was conducted to capture Taliban leaders who were plotting to seize the provincial capital of Kunduz, Afghan and U.S. military officials said.

 

“To defend themselves and Afghan forces, U.S. forces returned fire in self-defense at Taliban who were using civilian houses as firing positions,” U.S. military officials said.

 

 

Afghan special forces had planned the raid against the Taliban hideout in Kunduz with the help of a small group of American military advisers. But the insurgents swiftly engaged them, opening fire from multiple civilian buildings, the U.S. military said in its investigation. [Blog Editor: Emphasis Mine]

 

“U.S. and Afghan forces were forced to request aerial fire support from U.S. platforms in self-defense. Aerial fires were also used to suppress Taliban who were firing on U.S. medical evacuation assets as the dead and wounded were evacuated,” it said. READ ENTIRETY (US Confirms Airstrike Killed 33 Afghan Civilians in Kunduz; By Ayaz Gul; VOA; Last Updated 1/12/17 7:29 PM)

 

In Iraq …

 

Another person said: “Before blaming Muslims for Isis, remember that Isis terrorist attacks is targeting more Muslims than any other groups.”

 

Many people were sharing an image bearing the slogan: “Isis is bombing Muslims in Muslim countries in the holy month of Ramadan. And you still say Isis represents Islam?”

 

 

Like in other recent attacks, Isis’ initial propaganda claim said it targeted a “gathering of the Popular Mobilisation” Committees – predominantly Shia armed groups fighting its militants alongside Iraqi security forces.

 

But authorities say there were many women and children among the civilian victims, and a later statement from the organisation made it clear religion was the target, saying: “The raids of the mujahedeen [holy warriors] against the Rafidha [Shia] apostates will not stop.”

 

 

Shias were also the main victims of Isis’ deadliest ever attack in Iraq, when militants massacred 670 prisoners in a raid in Badush in June 2014.

 

A handful of survivors recounted jihadists separating Shias and other religious minorities, driving them into the desert and lining them up on the edge of a ravine before opening fire with machine guns.

 

There are no definitive figures on the number of Muslims or other religious denominations killed by Isis but the huge number of Iraqi victims, where 99 per cent of the population is Muslim, suggests that the religion makes up by far the largest proportion of the dead. READ ENTIRETY (Baghdad bombing: Iraqis remind world that most of Isis’ victims are Muslims after more than 160 killed; By Lizzie Dearden; Independent; 7/5/16)

 

American involvement in Iraq …

 

 

The rate of Iraqi civilian deaths caused by US-led coalition forces has declined steadily from 2009, while the rate caused by Iraqi state forces has increased, with deaths resulting directly from actions involving US-led coalition forces falling to their smallest number ever, at a total of 19 reported by year end (down from 32 in 2010), and deaths involving Iraqi forces rising from 98 in 2010 to 147 in 2011.

 

 

Total deaths with combatants, combining IBC and official records:

 

Combining IBC civilian data with official Iraqi and US combatant death figures and data from the Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks, we estimate the documented death toll across all categories since March 2003 to be 162,000, of whom 79% were civilians.

 

Most deadly period of violence:

 

Iraq’s violence peaked in late 2006 but was sustained at high levels until the second half of 2008 – nearly 90% of the deaths occurred by 2009.

 

Weapons claiming the most victims:

graph-weapons-claiming-the-most-victims

 

Civilians killed by Gunfire Explosives Air attacks 2003 – 2011 by quarter Download data

 

64,575 of the civilian dead were reported killed by small arms gunfire; 39,273 by explosive weapons (such as IEDs, suicide attacks, and aerial bombardment); and 5,820by airstrikes (including cannon-fire, bombs and missiles).

 

Children killed:

 

Of the 45,779 victims for whom IBC was able to obtain age data, 3,911 (8.54%) were children under age 18.

 

Most-targeted group:

 

Police forces have been a major target, with 9,609 deaths reported – by far the largest toll of any professional group.

 

 

Civilians killed by US-led coalition

 

US forces killed far more Iraqi civilians than any other members of the US-led coalition, including various Iraqi military forces acting with or independently of them.3 The data on US forces killings show:

 

Total deaths from coalition forces:

 

15,141 (13%) of all documented civilian deaths were reported as being directly caused by the US-led coalition.

 

Children killed by coalition forces:

 

Of the 4,040 civilian victims of US-led coalition forces for whom age data was available, 1,201 (29%) were children.

 

 

  • Iraq Body Count 2003-2011 — 114,212

 

  • Iraq War Logs new ‘Civilian’ and comparable ‘Host Nation’ remaining – central estimate — 13,750

 

  • Iraq War Logs ‘Host Nation’ combatant – central estimate — 5,575

 

  • Iraq War Logs ‘Enemy’ (minus IBC overlaps) – central estimate — 20,499

 

  • Insurgents killed June-December 2003 — 597

 

  • Insurgents killed May 2004 — 652

 

  • Insurgents & Iraqi soldiers killed March 2009 — 59

 

  • Insurgents & Iraqi soldiers killed 2010–2011 – 2,187

 

  • TOTAL IRAQI — 157,531

 

  • US & Coalition military killed 2003–2011 — 4,802

 

  • TOTAL — 162,333

 

Official statistics

 

Official figures released monthly by Iraqi ministries continue to be lower than IBC’s, as in previous years, and this year more so than last. 7 However, longer-term official figures released in 2009 by the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights show somewhat higher totals than IBC for 2004-6. This indicates, as does the WikiLeaks-published US military database, that a full accounting for the entire period from 2003 will be above, not below, IBC’s present count. Unfortunately official Iraqi data is presented in aggregate form, whereas IBC’s numbers are obtained from incidents individually listed on its website. This not only makes them open to public scrutiny for verification or amendment, but would allow item-by-item cross-referencing against other, similarly detailed sources.

 

READ ENTIRETY (Iraqi deaths from violence 2003–2011; Iraq Body Count; First published 1/2/12)

 

Aisha the reality about war is this: WAR IS HELL.

 

The history of war demonstrates civilians – innocent and not so innocent sympathizers to the enemy – is an inevitable reality. When you say Americans kill civilian men, women and children, it is a true statement. BUT it is also true that not only have Muslims killed Christians and other religious minorities in in Muslim dominated populations, they have killed themselves.

 

One thing to consider in Aisha’s concerns about civilian deaths by American hands IS THIS: The United States of America would not have invaded Afghanistan if the Taliban government had not stood by Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda after about 3,000 (plus) civilians on American soil with hijacked jet airliners on September 11, 2001 (WE call that cowardly infamous day “911”). If that attack had never occurred on American soil, our military would never have invaded Afghanistan. And if we never invaded Afghanistan, it is unlikely the U.S. would have invaded Iraq based on rumors of Weapons of Mass Destruction being manufactured by Saddam Hussein.

 

Aisha on a personal note I have to ask: What makes you think Christians and Jews can live continuously in peace side by side? Are you not aware that your prophet Muhammad’s last words in the Quran was to kill Christians and Jews? According Islamic theology, Muhammad’s last words abrogate any previous words of peace toward those he called the People of the Book.

 

Do you hear without cringing the Church bells ringing calling Christians to assemble and worship God openly and with loud reverence? How many Jewish Synagogues operate openly in Pakistan or any Muslim dominated society? What happens in Pakistan if a Christian publicly announces Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only path to Salvation from a Satan dominated world? You have to realize a Christian not brainwashed by centuries of Islamic Supremicism would tell a Muslim that Muhammad was a false prophet for claiming Jesus was not the Son of God?

 

If you want more trust from Americans that consider themselves Christians and/or Jews, Muslim must reform their theology to not condemn others for blaspheming Islam. Just as Christians in America not knowing just how intolerant Islam is, are more than willing to accept a Mosque, Synagogue, Buddhist Temple or even a brainwashing religious cult to be on the same street as a Church. Christians may not like the idea and perhaps protest such a building that denies Christ as the Son of God, but Christians would not riot en masse over the situation resulting assault, property damage or murder.

 

Something to think about Aisha next time your news tells your peaceful Muslim/Christian community that Christians were slaughtered because they may have offended the Quran, Islam, Allah or Muhammad.

 

JRH 1/19/17

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Keep Shamim Reporting


Shamim Mahmood – Christian-Pakistani Journalist

 

Shamim has been the primary source in Pakistan demonstrating how Islamic Supremacism has been a devastating tragedy of persecution for Christians by the Sunni Muslim majority. Please take some prayerful consideration to support his oft times dangerous work as a Christian and Journalist in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

 

The best method to send funds to Shamim in Pakistan is Western Union (Name: Shamim Mahmood. City: Islamabad. Phone: +92-300-642-4560). For some reason my favorite money distribution method of Paypal is disallowed in Pakistan.

 

JRH 1/8/16

***************

Keep Shamim Reporting

 

By Shamim Mahmood [Masih]

Sent 1/8/16 12:28 AM

 

Hello Dear [Friend],

 

Greetings, I hope this email will find you in a good heath. I wish you a very Happy New Year, 2017. I report news that others dismiss and ignore. Please read and learn about my history and let me know how you can help me.

 

I’m an offbeat human rights reporter with a great deal of experience and a proven track record. I have an off and on perception of Islamic largesse in Pakistan. When terrorism strikes, I note the hypocrisy of a Constitution that stipulates equal rights for all Pakistani citizens regardless of religious faith. A Constitution that also stipulates Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Pakistan that follows Sharia Law and enforces Blasphemy Laws that literally can lead to awaiting death sentences in jail, unless an observant Muslim mob kills the accused violator of the Muslim Blasphemy Law first. Due to the unacceptable and prompt reaction attitude prevailing in Pakistan, I have been facing many hurdles but kept on reporting on minorities issues parallel to my official responsibilities.

 

At the dawn of 2017, I conclude that there is no standard place for me in the mainstream work force.  The most good I can do for people is to keep writing and publicizing news, this is where I ask my friends and supporters to contribute a very small monthly amount to keep me out there.

I have supported religious minorities as well as the many victims of discrimination, police brutality, racism, sex abuse and other endemic problems through journalism for many years.  I see the human race as a single entity and I write on behalf of people countrywide.  I used to be a mainstream reporter but found this type of journalism restricting and frankly, over controlled by corporate interests.

Over the past years, I have devoted my time and energy almost exclusively to a number of subjects that most media ignored or reported with great bias.  An outline of my recent efforts includes …. The Gojra incident [Dawn & Express Tribune] that left the killing of seven Christian family members. The breaking story of Rimsha Masih who was a minor Christian girl accused of blasphemy. The twin blasts in Peshawar Church. A Christian couple burnt alive in Kot Radha Kishan. Zafar Bhatti blasphemy accused and still suffering in jail. Others accused under Pakistani Blasphemy include Asia Bibi, Sawan Masih and Nabeel Masih [Christians in Pakistan & BPCA]. And the Youhanabad Church blasts and many more.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. I like you to use Western Union sending money with the destination of Islamabad. Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/ 

+92-300-642-4560

 

 

___________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Reference links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

Kristallnacht, 2016


kristallnacht

Intro to Kristallnacht, 2016

Edited by John R. Houk

By Ari Bussel

Posted November 13, 2016

 

Have you heard of the Kristallnacht? My guess is if you are younger than a Baby Boomer (and probably a significant amount of Boomers too), you have no clue what the word Kristallnacht represents.

 

Kristallnacht is German for “NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS”. That horrendous night came on November 9, 1938 aimed at Jews:

 

… violence against Jews broke out across the Reich. It appeared to be unplanned, set off by Germans’ anger over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a Jewish teenager. In fact, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis carefully organized the pogroms. In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by. The pogroms became known as Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” for the shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets.

 

READ THE REST (THE “NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS”; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

 

Now that those of you who were unaware are updated this submission by Ari Bussel should have more meaning. Ari is a descendant of Holocaust Survivors. He attended his first remembrance event at annual conference held in California on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

 

Ari writes of how few Holocaust survivors were at this annual event largely because of age. He notices that some of the other attendees were quite inconsiderate to the few survivors in attendance as if they forgot the significance of the reasons to remember that around SIX MILLION Jews were slaughtered by Nazi Germans.

 

Ari also spends a little time pointing out there is NO moral equivalence between Jews fleeing the Nazis and Syrian Muslims fleeing ISIS/Assad. The Syrian refugees are primarily Sunni. They may be fleeing the effects of war, but they are fleeing from a regime that hates their existence as the Jews did fleeing Nazis. Leftist err in vainly trying to make that moral equivalence.

kristallnacht-explained-2

JRH 11/13/16

Please Support NCCR

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Kristallnacht, 2016

 

By Ari Bussel

Sent 11/9/2016 5:10 PM

 

And you will be mad of the sight of your eyes which you will see” (Deuteronomy 28:34)

 

And your life shall hang before you, and you will fear night and day and will have no assurances of your life.  In the morning you will wish it be evening, and in the evening you will say may it be morning, for the fear of your heart which you will fear and the sight of your eyes which you will see.”  (ibid:66-67)

 

It was a November night in 1938, a night that would be remembered ever after as the Night of Broken Glass.  Jews were no longer safe in Europe.

 

The 1939 Club – Members Now Extinct

 

Some years ago, Jews and Christians working together in defense of their shared values had an event at the exclusive Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.

kristallnacht-event-ca-11-9-16

The event was held by the Israel Christian Nexus and sponsored by the 1939 Club (today the 1939 Society).  I remember entering the room designated for our event, alongside Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel.

 

Our hosts, members of the Los Angeles based 1939 Club, were seated at tables.  What I clearly remember are not the individual faces, just the fact they were all very old, very frail and dressed up so elegantly as if they came from a different world.  I do not remember canes or walkers, but the image of people hardly able to stand or walk has been etched deeply in my mind.

 

Small people.  People who, if one dares touch them most gently, might turn to dust or fog and disappear.  Appearing as a figment of imagination, or perhaps a prop?  Clearly, they did not seem real, making the entire event both surreal and holy.

 

The 1939 Club was supporting many causes at that time and doing so most generously.  Their money had to be put to good use, and they were there observing, stewards and guardians.
They were not checking, micromanaging or overseeing and gave most generously, no questions asked.  Rather they were a living testament to an awful era, and their task, with plentiful means was:  Do whatever is necessary to ensure such evil happens “Never Again!”

 

I saw small, little, frail individuals from whom intense will and determination emanated.  Powered by the means to do good, educate, influence, teach, instill courage, fight and ensure continuity, they focused on the task at hand, for it was apparent to everyone that time was of the essence.  Time was running out, yet the obligation was as formidable as always.

 

These were the survivors, and I am told not one of them is here with us today.  How is it possible?  Simple:  My parents were young children during the Holocaust.  The members of the 1939 Club were at least 20 years older, thus, they would be nearing 100 today.

 

Like them, other survivors are all disappearing.  On October 28th, Sol Berger z”l, would have turned 97.  He passed away on Rosh Hashana, three and a half weeks earlier.  His younger friend, Joe Davis celebrated his 96th birthday on November 7th and his wife turned 92 on the very same day.

 

Sol z”l, a member of the Partisans, and Joe and his wife are three of several Holocaust survivors I know and dare to call my friends.  Julius with a number tattooed on his hand and Leslie, saved by Raul Wallenberg, are two other survivors.  They all reside at the same “retirement home,” and I am privileged and most blessed to be with them every Shabbat.

 

Remembering the Holocaust – Annual Events

 

Year after year, my friend Lily Steiner invites me to the annual Kristallnacht Commemoration event at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Year after year I promise to go, but something always comes up, and I never had; until this year.  Lily came back from Australia especially for me to join her, and I am so grateful I did.

 

The 10th annual event now joins Dr. Joel Geiderman’s annual event at Cedar Sinai Medical Center as a “must attend” event on my calendar.

 

Dr. Geiderman is the co-chair of the Emergency Department at Cedar Sinai and for some three decades has brought thousands of doctors, nurses and staff, alongside community members and Holocaust survivors for the annual lunch-and-lecture.

 

At Loyola I discovered some of the same elements:  faculty and staff, community members and students.  Students, young, oh so young and impressionable, yet eager to hear and learn.

 

While at Cedar Sinai the number of survivors dwindles down every year, there are still some.

 

Sol z”l, Joe and his wife, Leslie and Julius, as well as Irene (“I am 94, I survived the Holocaust and I am blind!”) all reside two blocks away from the hospital, yet there has been no effort to send someone and bring them and other Holocaust survivors who are alive and live nearby to the event.  Apparently this extra effort is beyond necessity.  It will be a “feel good” and fulfilling event anyway, so why bother.

 

At Loyola I found no more survivors.  The Director of Jewish Studies responsible for the ten annual commemoration events explained that the date was set a very long time in advance and happened to clash with a long weekend for Holocaust survivors, who were too exhausted to attend.

 

There was, though, one elderly woman with a walker who fit the age.  The intensity of her look convinced me she was a survivor, but I did not ask.  When the film screening started, she was unable to see from the place she was seated.  It was too far away.

 

I brought two chairs for her and her companion, likely her daughter.  A lady from the back came toward us, shouting, “you cannot sit here we will not be able to see!”

 
Not only was she very far back, the elderly lady could not have blocked her line of sight.  To be at a Holocaust memorial event and show not the tiniest iota of kindness begs the question, why does one even bother to show up?

 
The lady without compassion could have moved her chair two inches to the right or the left, as there was so much space.  But she decided to be confrontational toward a person much older and so much more fragile than she.

 
And we ask ourselves, how could a nation so intelligent, so cultured and advanced as Germany in the early 1930s become so evil?  We wonder if it can happen again, if we could have partaken in the same madness.

 

The answer apparently is yes.  As human beings we do not find in our hearts to be kind, to try, to overcome the urge to “go and make a scene,” “complain!” and insist “she must not sit in front.”  Instead, we behave in such an inconsiderate and loathsome manner.

 

Such untoward behavior at a Kristallnacht Commemoration event is tragic.  Oh, the person must be so proud!  She disappeared quickly before the last credits were shown, skipping the reception.  I was actually looking for her, to take her picture.  How people who look “normal” and “cultured” can turn so ugly and evil.

 

Refugees

 

Following the screening of “Jan Karski & the Lords of Humanity” about the Polish Karski who was assigned to inform the world of the Nazis exterminating the Jews, a panel response with the director allowed Q&A.

 

In a most vivid discussion about refugees, the survivors and the world’s reaction to them were compared to the modern-day Syrian refugees crisis.

 

Remember, my friend Lily and I were seated among some 120 people we did not know.  I am among the very few children of Holocaust survivors who were in the audience, and my friend Lily is a fierce fighter for Israel and the West.

slawomir-grunberg-and-lily-steiner-visiting-from-australia

I am thinking about the students, those young, impressionable minds, who experienced no war or real threat in their lifetimes, hearing from two prominent and very respected individuals (a professor and a film director) that Holocaust survivors, like my mother who managed to arrive illegally to Palestine then under British Mandate, or my father who managed to arrive to Israel after the formation of the modern state, are very like today’s Syrian refugees in Europe or those being admitted to the USA by the Obama administration.

 

I am livid.  I am ready to explode.  I boil.  Just moments earlier we all watched footage from the Warsaw Ghetto.  My father was there until his escape.  And now, I am told that he is very much the same as those purportedly escaping their brethren in Syria?

 

Those who are dressed nicer than I am?  Who demand where they prefer to live?  Many among whom rape and grope German women?  Or perpetrate horrific terrorist attacks against their new home countries?  Who have fake passports and ulterior motives to infiltrate and overtake Western civilization?

 

Or maybe the “similarities” can be found in the fact that the Arab world, other than Jordan, does nothing to aid the Syrians?  Indeed, the Jews of America during WWII behaved in much the same way.  But how can anyone compare the Muslims to Holocaust survivors?

 

Lily raised her hand, was given a microphone and very politely but powerfully contested the corrupt “moral equivalency” presented.

 

The same fake equivalency was shown in Spielberg’s movie “Munich.”

 

And the same has happened time after time when the world compares Israel and Gaza’s Hamas.  “So many dead among the Gazans; so few among the Israelis – Israel is at fault!  Israel is the evil-doer, not Hamas and the non-stop, non-discriminating barrage of rockets it unleashes against the Israeli population!”

 

Celebrating the Holocaust, Appeasing Our Senses

 

It seems that seven decades after the end of WWII, as Holocaust survivors are disappearing and their voices become too frail and hard to hear, we are creating our own notions of the Holocaust.

 

We have annual commemorations where we forget the most basic decency.

 

We bring politics and similar baggage to higher education institutions, and professors utilize the classrooms and their students as breeding grounds for indoctrination.
We allow anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments, so prevalent nowadays, to pervade every fabric of our being.  Many of the detractors are Jewish.  Some even are Israelis.  And we do not really need any enemies.  The Arabs understood it all long ago, a simple lesson:  Leave the Jews to their own bidding, and they will destroy themselves.

 

Apparently, we will continue to “celebrate” the Holocaust, with more movies and stories, now done by members of the second generation who were not there but only witnessed the Holocaust via their parents or grandparents, the living remnants of the Holocaust.

 

We do not do the simplest deed that requires effort, like going out of our way to bring a Holocaust survivor, since we live in a different day and age.

 

Today the Holocaust does not really matter, except when we see a movie that manages to touch us, and we leave convinced “we remember,” and even that “we did something good by simply watching a movie.”

 

Can the same evil happen again?  Undoubtedly.

 

So what was Kristallnacht in 1938?  What happened in Europe from 1933—1945?  What started on September 1st, 1933?

 

Judging by the behavior of too many…a whole lot of nothing.

 

___________________

This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.

 

Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related.  Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.

© Israel Monitor, November, 2016

 

First Published November 8, 2016

Contact:  bussel@me.com

 

There’s No Denying ‘Denial’ is a Must See


Here is a trailer to the movie ‘Denial,’ based on the true story of a Holocaust denier’s civil suit against Deborah E. Lipstadt portrayed by the actress Rachel Weisz:

 

VIDEO: Denial Official Trailer #1 (2016) – Rachel Weisz Movie HD

 

 

Posted by Movieclips Trailers

Published on Jun 15, 2016

 

 

Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.

The Fandango MOVIECLIPS Trailers channel is READ THE REST

 

 rachel-weisz-and-prof-deborah-lipstadt

Rachel Weisz (LEFT) – Deborah Lipstadt (Right)

 

JRH 9/28/16

Please Support NCCR

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There’s No Denying ‘Denial’ is a Must See

 

By Norma Zager

Sent Sep 24, 2016 at 11:00 PM

 

Deuteronomy 4:9 reads:

 

9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children;

In the dedication to me, some ten years ago, Prof. Lipstadt quoted Deuteronomy 32:7:

7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee, thine elders, and they will tell thee.

You are invited to read Norma Zager’s “There’s No Denying Denial is a Must See.”  Denial, in theaters this coming Friday. –Ari Bussel

+++

 

Sometimes amidst the grandeur and sequel addiction of Hollywood movie making an important movie is created. Denial is such a film.

The story is based on a lawsuit brought in British courts by Holocaust denier and Hitler advocate David Irving against Professor Deborah Lipstadt.

 

A pivotal point of the movie for me was contained in a question asked by the British judge following the summations: If someone is an anti-Semite, but they truly believe what they are saying, can you prove intent to subvert the truth?

 

An interesting conundrum indeed; can evil be justified if one is a true believer, however wrong they may be? It is a compelling question that good people can easily discern. Were the Nazis guilty of murderous acts if they truly believed the Jews deserved to die? If Muslim extremists believe all other religions are Infidels, is that a justification for their murderous ways?

 

In this time of rampant anti-Semitism perhaps I am taking a risk in posing that question, but it is a fact that so much anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sentiment exists today, that question must be asked. Its implications are universal and timeless.

 

Watching the scenes shot at Auschwitz, I felt the cold chill of death hovering and creeping down my back. The inescapable evil and atrocities committed timothy-spall-as-david-irving-in-denial-at-auschwitzby the Germans are second only to those who would deny their existence.

 

But this is not just about the Holocaust; except as it exists as a lesson that evil has lived amongst us forever and continues to do so.

Wars, bombs and trials will not eradicate the dark side of human beings from this planet. Just as cockroaches may be bombed in an entire neighborhood and still thrive in another area of the city.

 

What is dangerous however and what Denial pointed out was that denying or justifying evil only allows it to thrive and grow.

 

Would anyone in their right mind say it is permissible for ISIS to burn a human being alive, to commit the most heinous of evil acts under the guise of true conviction? Because one totally believes Infidels must die, does that mean it is so?

 

As Dr. Lipstadt points out, some things just are:  The earth is round, there was a Black Plague and Elvis is not alive. There was a Holocaust. Some things we just know. Is not any discussion of these issues giving validity to alternate theories and allowing for a contrary and wrong-minded point of view?

 

Because there are some who wish to dispute these facts and offer fictitious proof of their corrupted ideas, does that change the truth?

 

People should know two things:  The Holocaust existed, and the soul of the world ceased to exist in the gas chambers.

 

As I watched Rachel Weisz, who so brilliantly portrays Lipstadt, standing in Auschwitz reciting a Hebrew prayer, in my mind’s eye I saw the ghosts of my family who perished there. Of all the families who lost loved ones, friends and neighbors.

 

Attempting to create a new truth through the use of lies and denial does not alter reality for any except those who choose to believe that which will support their evil intentions.

 

This is not just a movie; it is a look into the future.

 

As radical Islamists destroy religious icons and traces of Christianity and Judaism as they march across the Middle East and the west, I am worried that when the witnesses to their evil are gone and their task complete, no one will remember and testify to what once was.

 

Denial is a rich and intriguing reminder of how much haters can achieve under the auspices of free speech and political correctness.

The movie is brilliantly acted and the story could not be presented at a better time in human history.

 

As evil challenges the world, we are once again faced with the unpleasant task of stopping its march.

 

In sixty years will another professor be taken on for writing and speaking the truth? Will the effort to stop them be successful, or will good overcome?

 

The power of Denial lies in its truth and passion and in the reality that fighting evil is like a Whack-a-Mole game. Hit one and another pops up.

 

Dr. Lipstadt’s courage is admirable and inspiring; the reality of what she faced, frightening and haunting. Her courage and determination was moving and the brilliance of her legal team inspiring. I cannot escape the fact the story, as compelling as it is, is enhanced by incredible performances.

history-in-triak-bk-jk

Today evil does not exist solely in concentration camps, on one continent or in any single area. It spread like the Black Plague, airborne and deadly.

 

How we shall combat its escalation remains to be seen, but attributing any justification or denying its existence is the ultimate recipe for disaster.

 

The very nature of evil’s existence lies in its conviction good men are reactive and will only strike when pushed far enough. One must wonder after this movie how far is far enough?

 

Altering the facts will never change them, and understanding we must reawaken our passion to protect the moral high ground is paramount to our continuation as a species.

 

Denial is a movie that must be seen, not just because it so eloquently portrays one event in human history, but because it is the reminder the past can never be rewritten and – no matter how ugly – can never be denied.

 

history-on-trial-autographed-title-page

Deborah Lipstadt Autographed Title Page

_______________

This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.

 

Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related.  Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.

 

© Israel Monitor, September, 2016

 

First Published September 23, 2016

Contact:  bussel@me.com