Tel Aviv….

is the capital of the rogue state of Israel.

 

Nuff Said.

 

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If it walks like a duck, and squaks like a duck… it must be terrorism

Let me preface this post by stating that my heart is broken for all those affected by the heinous act of terrorism that took place this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost friends and loved ones, all those injured and all those traumatized by this event.  May God bless each and every one of you…

It seems to me that the world has been going crazy.  Every time I turn around, there is another violent, gruesome attack of some sort.  And every time I turn around, Muslims are being blamed.  A whole group of people, being blamed for the barbaric actions of a few.  I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong that is.

But what really concerns me is this:  when a “dark-skinned follower of ‘Islam’ perpetrates a hate crime, he/she is a terrorist.”  However, when a Caucasian commits a barbaric act, he is a “gunman.”  This DOUBLE STANDARD is a hate crime in and of itself.  It is a targeted, deliberate act of prejudice.  Western Media outlets have their own agenda and will only refer to Muslims as terrorists.

How many people have to be slaughtered before the person(s) committing the crime can be called a terrorist?  The challenge with how terrorism is defined in the West is that the term itself is directly correlated to a “religious” ideology rather than the very personal nature of the crimes themselves.  All we have to do is look at what Israel is doing to Palestine and one can see deliberate, political, religious acts of hatred being perpetrated in the name of “self-defense.”  The other challenge with defining terrorism is that it is tied in to a “political” ideology.   So if the ‘gunman’ in Las Vegas was settling a personal score, where does that fit in to the above definitions?

It doesn’t.   The definitions themselves have to be redefined.  Stop blaming an entire segment of the world’s population for the actions of a few.  Do your own research; don’t let the biased, bigoted news you see portrayed by Western media outlets be your entire basis of evidence.  Seek knowledge for yourself.

This man in Las Vegas doesn’t fit the “criminal profile,” of a terrorist.  However, he committed a brutal, terrifying act of violence which struck fear into the hearts of everyone in a given location.  Why is that not called “terrorism?”

Earlier this year, when Muslims in London coming out of a mosque after prayers, were rode down by a Caucasian male in a white van, it still wasn’t called terrorism, even though that ‘man’ was shouting hateful words towards the Muslim group.  Even though he said he wanted to “kill all Muslims,” he was still referred to as a “deranged lunatic.”  He committed an act of terrorism, shouted political ideology as he was dragged away by police and it took three whole days before British broadcasters began quietly using the term “terrorist.”  An off duty reporter with the BBC, who was speaking with a group of young Muslim Youtubers, turned off his camera and his microphone and said to the group, “look guys, I’m going to be honest with you.  The media outlets have their own agenda and won’t say what you want them to say.”

At least he was honest.  So here’s what I say to the Western Media outlets:
“Sac up. Grab yourself by the parts that matter and stop being biased by what your producers are telling you is truth.”  YOU KNOW BETTER.

To all the people who are so quick to blame Muslims when something goes wrong in the world, stop.  If you want to know Islam, speak to a Muslim.  If you want to know the truth about how Muslims are treated, look at the Rohingya.  As of 2015, 61% of hate crimes in Canada were against Muslims.   (as per the Canadian Human Rights commission.)   If you really want to know what prejudice feels like, speak to a member of the First Nations.

What the world needs to do is love.  Love is the key to all things.  Love is stronger than hatred.  Love is stronger than bias.  Love is stronger and more powerful than darkness.  We are one human race.  We share one planet.  And the same God made us all.

We must be louder than those who make headlines by their acts of hatred. We must call out acts of intolerance no matter how small, because even small acts can embolden the hatred and anger that lead to devastating consequences. Our diversity is our greatest strength.”
~ Marie-Claude Landry

 

 

 

 

 

I truly wanted to wait until I had heard all the facts established in a fair trial, in a court of law, until speaking my piece. However, I simply cannot stay silent because staying silent is no longer a choice.

 

It speaks volumes about a nation when women are afraid to come forward for fear of retribution.

It speaks volumes when people in positions of authority behave inappropriately. They know no one will come forward because they are “protected” by that silent wall of closed-eye/closed-mind complicity– the statement “s/he will never change.”

If never called to account, how could that person possibly change?  Repeating the same behaviour will always yield the same results.  Whether observer or aggressor.

It speaks volumes that such behaviour is tolerated because we don’t want to face the consequences of passive – aggressive – retaliation – bullying manifested in homes and workplaces all over this nation.

It speaks volumes when women have that heart-wrenching debate about whether or not to come forward because they know irrespective of what happened, they will be questioned as to demeanour and appearance. Moreover, to be hunted and “trolled” online for reporting abusive behaviour is atrocious and cowardly at its very core; the trolls and commentators hide behind yet another silent wall– one that George Strombolopolous aptly called “a silent wall of aggression.”

I am sickened by trolls and social media pariahs who think they have the right to attack just because they are fans.  A celebrity does not necessarily a moral person make.  To call someone a hero because he/she has won a few awards and is invited to all the best parties and restaurants is insulting to the real heroes/heroines who everyday risk their lives.

It sickens me that society has reached such a point of dissolution of absolute intellect, that we prosecute in the court of public opinion, the victims and accusers and make celebrities out of the accused. (Case in point: OJ Simpson)

It sickens me that trolls are getting away with social bullying and harassment because Canadian law can’t seem to keep up with social media.

I am sickened by the number of women, married to members of law enforcement, surviving through the worst abuse imaginable, who feel the only freedom they will have is when their partners actually kill them.  And many do.

It speaks volumes that sexually confident women are shamed when they are the victims of violence.  Yet when men are sexually confident, their behaviours, ethical or not, are lauded.

It speaks volumes when men will shoot an unarmed young girl in the head because she speaks of every child having the right to education in even the worst of circumstances.

It speaks volumes when women and girls are kidnapped and sold into slavery and forced into inconvenient marriages. Let’s call this what it is: unjustified endorsed rape.

I’m sickened that people living rough on the streets are the targets for violent commentary and behaviours.  Instead of hurling insults when people are genuinely seeking food, remember this: people don’t go hungry because they are homeless – they go hungry because we let them.

I am sickened that it took hundreds of people being killed by stalkers for law enforcement to actually see stalking as the psychological and physical torment that it is.

It sickens me that a woman was blinded because her husband did not want her to be educated. It sickens me that he was not held to account for his actions until the international outcry was so loud that his government “simply had to do something.”

It sickens me that women are gang raped just because they are in the wrong place at the right time. I hate that rape is a weapon of war. It sickens me that young women in India are raped because they do not have access to indoor toilets.

It sickens me that people who think educating women is sinful are heavily armed and in positions of shocking and threatening power.

I am sickened by women who tell their sons and grandsons it’s okay to treat other women like nonentities.  I am sickened by sex-selective abortions, female infanticide, female genital mutilation and the killings and disappearance of millions of women all over the world. I am sickened by “son preference.”  I am sickened that we’ve been having this conversation for decades and decades and decades and the progress we have to show for it is maintaining the status quo??

It sickens me that teenagers are taking their own lives because of hostile and heinous bullying via social media. it sickens me that the “silent wall of aggression” has become so powerful that we easily let people hide behind it.  I miss the days of accountability.

Conversely, it sickens me that what goes on consensually in the privacy of bedrooms becomes fodder for international news outlets. It is none of our business what people do in their bedrooms unless people are being physically hurt, threatened or abused.

I am sickened that we have to have a debate about who should be allowed to visit loved ones in a hospital because s/he doesn’t fit the “traditional heterosexual” marriage/family paradigm.

It sickens me that battered wife syndrome, even though proven in courts of law, is still only defended at face value.

It sickens me that we live in a culture of fear which precludes change and enables collusion.

It sickens me that media organisations stop at nothing to find “as much dirt,” as possible about both accused and accuser. What the HELL happened to journalistic integrity? What makes national news these days is disparagingly distressing. Quite frankly I don’t care about Justin Bieber’s new hairstyle or where Miley Cyrus has put her tongue.

What I care about are people dying because they have the audacity to disagree with their governments. What I care about is victims having to think twice about naming their accusers because we make them relive their abuse over and over and over again. And we do it all at lightning speed thanks to Twitter.

It sickens me that it has taken a scandal involving a public figure such as Jian Ghomeshi to break open the conversation surrounding sexual violence and harassment both in public and private.

It should not have taken this long for the conversation to become this significant. Violence against anyone is violence against all of us.  Complicity surrounding inappropriate behaviour is enabling behaviour. The conversation needs to shift towards non-complicity.  Indeed, towards respect and consideration overall.

We are in the midst of an incredibly rapid de-evolution of respect and decency.  This has to change, especially when the message has consistently been “you will not be believed because you are woman.”

Women have so much power in North America that if all of us stopped working for even four days, stopped driving and paying outrageous amounts for petrol, stopped grocery shopping, it would cripple the economy.  Think about that the next time your employer says to you “be more malleable.”
My name is Woman. Hear me Roar.

 

No Hate, Presidential Affirmations and More….

At the beginning of this month, I had the privilege of attending a NOH8 function with a dear friend of mine.  It was a photo shoot in beautiful downtown Vancouver.  I was so impressed with the work of the NOH8 campaign and with President Obama’s recent affirmation of the rights of gay people to marry, that I just had to blog about it.

I loved the idea of people sporting a duct-taped face with the NOH8 logo on one cheek, photographed by none other than Adam Bouska in a variety of poses.  I loved that many non LGBT family and friends were there to support their loved ones.  I loved that the day after the event, I received a text from the same friend letting me know that President Obama had  affirmed his belief that gay people ought to have the right to marry.  How fortuitous that an African-American president, running for reelection, had the temerity to historically state, “…it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”  This is of course, after stating this:  “…I’ve stood on the side of broader equality for the LGBT community….”   Would civil unions, enacted into law, been enough?  What if the proverbial tables were turned and male-female marriages were not recognised? At least a modern, sitting president was willing to accept that change is taking place whether “federalized” or not.

Whatever is happening, we have to remember two very important things here:  First, historic though it may be, a presidential affirmation does not legislation make.  Second, that the presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is in favour of a “federal constitutional amendment” banning same-sex marriage. And let’s not forget that 30 American states have passed laws banning same-sex marriage, so where does that leave President Obama’s affirmation?  Well, legally, it doesn’t have much on which to stand.  Morally, and perhaps most importantly, it has made the personal political and the political personal.
Even the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is rather vague on this issue; it has no specific dialogue on the rights of members of the LGBT community marrying, however, given when it was drafted, its language is somewhat inclusive:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 16:

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the   intending spouses.

  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

This leaves the presidential affirmation in a state of social acceptability but not of legal acceptability.  It may yet take another twenty years for the United States to pass a law that legalizes same-sex marriage in every state and allow for same-sex divorces in much the same manner of heterosexual marriage and divorce.  Here’s what would make the most succinct difference: a constitutional amendment that does not allow for a same-sex marriage law to be repealed under any circumstance. I always question what happened in the legal process that allowed for same-sex marriages to take place and then have the courts declare that the same law was repealed, thus voiding the marriages of many a couple who thought that finally, the law had been updated to reflect ‘modern’ society.
How did we become a society that allows for people to get married and then the next day, tell them their marriage isn’t valid because some people disagree with their rights to be married?

I realise that I am a little behind in my blog this time, but I wanted to collect my thoughts because many people I love are affected by this issue.  Moreover, I wanted to encourage those of you who broke out the champagne and celebrated President Obama’s affirmation to continue keeping the hope alive, but bring out the bubbly when same-sex marriage becomes federal law in the United States.

In the meantime, wishing you all good things!  And cheers to the NOH8 Campaign!