Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Monday, December 28, 2009

seek a new way forward" with the Muslim world.

Dear Friends,

In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama declared his intention to "seek a new way forward" with the Muslim world. The president then went to Cairo to give a remarkable speech to the people of the Middle East and Muslim communities everywhere. Many of us were pleased to see that in that speech, the president focused not only on issues of state security -- countering radicalism, solving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, stopping nuclear proliferation -- but also on issues of individual human dignity: democracy, religious freedom, the rights of women, and development. The president articulated what many of us have come to believe: that the U.S. has a vital interest in encouraging human development in the Middle East; that, in President Obama's words, "we have a stake in one another."
However, while Obama's election and his words garnered surprising praise in key Middle Eastern countries, his administration has failed to follow up the inspiring words of the Cairo Address with substantive actions. This has contributed to rising disappointment among individuals who hoped that Obama's election would signal a more enlightened approach to U.S. policy in the region, including youth, a crucially important demographic. In October and November, POMED hosted dialogue conferences in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, together with our partners at USIP and Georgetown University, to gather feedback and recommendations for the Obama administration. Over the weekend, I published a piece on Foreign Policy's website based on some of what we heard from participants in those conferences. It's pasted below.
Let me know what you think of this piece -- and tell us what ideas you have for the Obama Administration as it seeks to follow up on the inspiring words of the Cairo speech. And please watch for our final conference report, which we will release the week of January 18th in a pair of events with representatives from each of the conferences.
Best,
Andrew
Losing Cairo?
Since Barack Obama's speech six months ago, the Muslim world has begun to lose hope in the United States. But it's not too late ... yet.
BY ANDREW ALBERTSON DECEMBER 24, 2009
Six months after U.S. President Barack Obama's
widely heralded speech in Cairo, young people in the Middle East are beginning to lose patience with his administration. That's bad news for the hope that the United States might mark a new beginning with Muslim communities. From Marrakesh to Tehran, two out of every three people in the Middle East are under the age of 30. To a very large degree, the future of U.S. relations with the Muslim world rests in their hands.
Last month, I traveled to Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt to speak with some of the region's top young civic leaders about U.S. policies and their recommendations for the Obama administration. I arrived well aware of how important their opinions are; wherever young people's hopes are overwhelmed by frustrations -- whether the inability to land a job or the visceral sense that theirs is a world of repression and injustice -- the United States and its allies will be less secure. And here's what I heard: While the president's election and speech in Cairo were surprisingly well-received, the administration's glaring lack of follow-up has led to mounting disappointment.
Across the Middle East, Obama elicited
surprisingly positive responses in public opinion surveys early in his administration, and Middle Eastern youth were particularly receptive. They saw in his identity as much as in his words the hope of change.
By now, however, disappointment is beginning to set in. The president's inability to rein in Israeli settlements in the months since the Cairo speech is one chief complaint. But there's more. In that message, pointedly directed at the region's people and not just their governments, Obama also raised four key "human dignity" issues: democracy, religious freedom, women's rights, and development. Since then, the administration has done almost nothing to back those words up with actions, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.
To be fair, the United States faces an uphill battle. Authoritarian leaders from Morocco to Tunisia to Jordan, each bent on staying in power indefinitely, have worked diligently to close down rallies, civic organizations, and any hint of political space in recent years. The situation worsened after Washington downgraded its diplomatic support for democratization in the region in mid-2006 after Hamas narrowly won elections in the Palestinian territories. Three years later, Washington finds itself with fewer civil society partners than it might have otherwise had.
Unfortunately, rather than standing up to such authoritarians to try to reverse the tides, Obama seems to be caving to pressure. Strongman leaders such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bet that, because of their importance to U.S. diplomatic goals in the region, they could pressure the White House to reduce its support for civil society groups in their respective countries.
The administration complied. In its budget proposal for fiscal year 2010, passed Dec. 13 by Congress, the administration requested significant cuts in democracy and governance aid for civic groups working for change in both countries. And in Egypt, the administration appears now to have agreed that aid programs
will fund only groups the Egyptian government has officially approved. Those moves come in stark contrast to the Cairo speech, which paired concern for human dignity with a rejection of the idea that democracy can be promoted by force. Unfortunately, in all but words, the administration is coming up woefully short.
Consider the
follow-up speech U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made last month at a regional summit in Morocco. Clinton explained to her audience that though the Cairo speech was intended to launch a comprehensive new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities, the administration had decided, upon further reflection, that it would focus on only three areas of development: entrepreneurship, science and technology, and education. Democracy, religious freedom, and women's rights did not appear as part of the Cairo follow-up plans.
If one takes the charitable view, we might commend the administration for finding "shovel-ready" projects. By focusing on entrepreneurship, science, science and technology, and education, the administration found initiatives that got Arab government support. But there's a problem here that the region's young people quickly point out: The easy targets aren't necessarily the important ones. While Clinton correctly highlights jobs as a key issue in the Middle East -- particularly
jobs for unemployed youth -- Washington does the region no favors by offering an entrepreneurship summit, one of its new initiatives, while avoiding the root problems hindering business such as political decay and corruption. The United States will need to do far more if it hopes to demonstrate a sincere commitment to encouraging broad-based development of the sort that actually affects people's lives.
My conversations with young activists in the region continue to give me hope that the Obama administration has a unique opportunity to shift perceptions of the United States among youth in the Middle East. But doing so will require effective new initiatives on the goals the president raised in his Cairo speech, including democracy, religious freedom, women's rights, and development. And it will require sustained efforts to listen and respond to the region's people -- not just their governments.

Andrew Albertson is executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). In October and November, POMED and its partners convened dialogues in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, which generated 56 recommendations for Barack Obama's administration.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brian Cowen, T.D.Taoiseach

This week's Budget is a crucial step on Ireland's road to recovery. We have to show the international markets that we are capable of getting our economy back on track. Confidence is the gold standard in today's global economy. Our actions are already improving international perceptions of Ireland, and will help us to continue to attract the investment on which we depend. Read some international reactions to the Budget here:http://www.fiannafail.ie/reactionsHowever, the Budget involves decisions which will, for obvious reasons, be unwelcome to many people around the country. Reducing our deficit, curtailing expenditure, and restoring balance to the public finances will not be easy. This Budget is difficult for everyone. These steps must be taken, and taken now. It would certainly not be fair to saddle future generations - our children - with more debt.I'm acutely aware of the difficulty and the pain these cuts will cause people. We had to take these difficult decisions so we can move forward again. We do this, not because we want to, but because we must for the good of the country.It is a priority for this Party to protect existing jobs and create new ones. The introduction of a new employer PRSI exemption for new employees, which will reduce the cost of creating new jobs, will help to get the economy moving again.We are also prioritising projects with the most immediate positive impact on jobs and growth. This Budget is the start of a new phase - where we begin to create sustainable jobs as the global economy begins to pick up.You can find out more about how the Budget will affect you and your family and the steps we are taking to get Ireland back on the road to economic recovery here:http://www.fiannafail.ie/budget2010Ireland can come through these testing times. We will be strengthened for the future, having learned the lessons of the unexpected full-scale crisis, both domestic and global, that we have had to face. Realism and solidarity will help us through the difficult times, and renew our confidence for the future.
Yours sincerely,Brian Cowen, T.D.Taoiseach

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, TD and the budget

Next week, I will deliver Budget 2010 to the Dáil. The Government has to make some very difficult choices. Some of the measures we will have to introduce will be unpopular. I am mailing you to tell you why these measures are necessary.

The economic future of this country is on the line. As a small open economy, we are highly dependent on trade and on foreign investment. We need to show the world that we are capable of getting our economy back on track. Our tax revenues are now back at 2003 levels. But since then, our spending on day-to-day services has risen by 70%.

This is unsustainable.

The experience of the 1980s shows us that if we delay in tackling this problem, we will quickly get into a spiral of mounting debt and ever-increasing interest costs. If we live in denial and continue to borrow to try to sustain boom-era lifestyles, we will surely condemn our children to a life less prosperous than ours.

We must not allow this to happen.

We must restore confidence in order to begin the process of economic recovery. The best way to inspire confidence in consumers, in investors, and in the international markets who lend us money, is to show that we can take the necessary steps to get ourselves in order. That is why the Government has committed to reducing the deficit by €4 billion next year.

Next week's Budget will be difficult for everyone. It will be a test of our ability to rise above our current difficulties, to get beyond sectional interests, and to return to the road of economic recovery.

For our party, it will be a test of our ability to put aside short term political considerations and to act, as we have done many times in our history, in the interests of the common good.

I hope you will support us in the difficult decisions we must take to get Ireland back on the road to economic prosperity.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Lenihan, TD
Minister for Finance

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Eid Mubarak to all the members and readers عيد مبارك وكل عام وانتم بخير



MCL wishes all a very prosperous Eid and many happy returns
كل عام وانتم بخير اعاده الله على الجميع باليمن والبركة




لبيك اللهم
I come to you my Lord
لبيك
I came answering your call
لبيك لا شريك لك
I bear witness there is no partner to you
لبيك
I came answering your call
ان الحمد والنعمة لك والملك
Thanks and praises belong to you
لا شريك لك
No partner to you
لبيك
I came anwering your call
----------------------------------
Have a nice time be happy don't forget the poor

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PLEASE VOTE IN FAVOUR OF HIJAB IN SPAIN

PLEASE VOTE IN FAVOUR OF HIJAB IN SPAIN. THE QUESTION IS: SHOULD WE ACCEPT THE HIJAB IN THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS???
PLEASE VOTE "SI"

JAZAKUM ALLAH KHAIR


Salamu aleikum,

El diario elpais.com publica una encuestra, que incorpora a un reportaje, sobre el uso del hiyab en los ambitos publicos, el resultado es negativo, mandarlo a todos vuestros contactos.

enlace:
http://www.elpais.com/encuestas/encuesta.html?id=13679

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fort Hood Tragedy, Islam, and America

First I must say that as a Muslim, as an American, as a human being - I cannot understand how anyone can commit such an act. The "fact" that Maj. Hasan was a Muslim and so am I does not give me any understanding of his action - the fact that we are both Americans does not give me any understanding of his action - the fact that we are both human beings does not give me any understanding of his action. The shooting at Fort Hood was a criminal act. A person who could do such a thing is either mentally unbalanced, a sociopath, or a psycopath. With the information we have so far there is no way to tell what category Maj. Hasan falls under.

If he was harassed because of his religion, if he had an unhappy family life, if he wanted out of the military, if he had had a change of heart and did not want to serve in Afghanistan or Iraq - none of this changes the fact that what he did was criminal. He could have asked for conscientious objector status. Even if the Army was not following their own protocol and refused to let him resign his commission, he could have gone to jail rather than go overseas, or he could have gone AWOL and taken his chances - at least that would not have hurt so many others. Maj. Hasan betrayed his country, he betrayed his military oath, he betrayed his medical oath, he betrayed his religion.

My brother Ray Hanania, an American Arab Christian who served in the military has some cogent observations from experience: "The reality is that thousands of Arabs and Muslims have served in the military, including myself. I served during the Vietnam War and have both an honorable discharge and a Vietnam Era Service ribbon, among other recognitions. Bigotry and racism existed in the U.S. Air Force even when I served in it in the early 1970s. My colleagues called me such names as "sand nigger" and "camel jockey." Officers and enlisted personnel challenged me: "Who's side will you be on if we have to go fight in the (1973) Arab-Israeli war?" they would ask. Among my best friends in the military were two Muslim brothers who suffered similar taunts. Yet, those incidents did not discourage me from continuing my service in the Illinois Air National guard for 10 more years."

Added to my disgust with the actions of Maj. Hasan for the crime of taking so many lives, and the terrible anguish he has brought to the families of his victims, is anger for the anguish he has brought to all American Arabs and Muslims, and to his fellow Arab and Muslim military members. And, I am angry that so many people seem to believe that if any Muslim commits a crime, or even acts badly in any way, then every Muslim must apologize for their actions. Why is that?

There have been many tragic shooting sprees over the years. For example:

Similar civilian incidents:

•1966 - Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother and then went up to a tower at the University of Texas in Austin and killed 14 people and wounded 32 others before the police killed him.
•1970 - 29 members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students protesting the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia on the Kent State University college campus, killing 4 and wounding 9 others.
•1984 - James Oliver Huberty went into a McDonald's in San Ysidro, CA and killed 21 people and injured 19 others before being killed himself.
•1991 - George Hennard drove into Luby's diner in Killeen, TX and killed 23 people and wounded more than 20 before committing suicide.
•1999 - Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold went into their Columbine H.S. and killed 13 people and injured wounded 24 before commitng suicide.
•2002 - John Allen Muhammad & Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and wounded 3 people in D.C., MD, and VA.
•2005 - Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend on the Red Lake, MN Chippewa reservation, then went to Red Lake H.S. where he killed 7 people and wounded 5 others before committing suicide.
•2006 - Charles Carl Roberts IV went into an Amish school in Lancaster County, PA and killed 5 girls before committing suicide.
•2007 - Seung-Hui Cho went on a rampage at Virginia Tech and killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide.
•2007 - Sulejman Talovic went on a rampage in a Utah mall and killed 5 people and wounded 4 before being shot.


Similar military incidents


•1995 - Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, Jr. killed one officer and wounded 17 other soldiers when he opened fire on a formation at Fort Bragg, NC.
•2003 - Army sergeant Hasan Karim Akbar killed two officers of the 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Iraq (He was a Muslim convert)
•2005 - Two officers were killed at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq by a deliberately placed mine. Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez was charged in the killing but was acquitted in a court martial trial at Fort Bragg, NC.
•2006 - Pvt. Steven Green raped a 14-year-old girl, and killed her and 3 other members of her family in Iraq
•2007 - Master Sgt. John Hatley convicted of the execution-style killings of 4 bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees near Baghdad.
•2007 - Olin Ferrier, a Fort Carson, CO soldier killed a taxi driver in Pueblo, CO
•2008 - Staff Sgt. Brandon Norris killed Spc. Kamisha Block and then committed suicide in Iraq. The military first reported this as a death by "friendly fire".
•2008 - Spc. Jody Michael Wirawan killed 1st Lt. Robert Bartlett Fletcher at Fort Hood and then committed suicide
•2008 - Dustin Thorson, an Air Force technical sergeant killed his son and daughter on Tinker Air Base, OK. (He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq.)
•2008 - Edgar Patino, a soldier at Fort Bragg, NC killed another soldier Spc. Megan Touma who was pregnant.
•2009 - Jomar Falu Vives a Fort Carson, CO soldier and Iraq war veteran accused of killing 2 people and wounding another in drive-by shootings.




by Sheila Musaji The American Muslim

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fianna Fáil Ógra National Youth Conference

We've produced the latest copy of The Nation magazine for you to round up the last few months of activity, let you know what our Government has planned for the coming months and give you a preview of next year's budget.

Take a look at our Lisbon campaign round-up and our article on Budget 2010 here:

http://www.fiannafail.ie/thenation

Also, the Ógra National Youth Conference takes place between the 13th and 15th of November in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. You can still purchase tickets for the weekend. Click here to find out more:

http://www.fiannafail.ie/ogra

As always, your support is critical, as we must make the right choices that will see Ireland through the world economic crisis and onto the path of economic recovery.

Thanks for everything you do,

Fianna Fáil

Friday, November 13, 2009

Muslims in military seek a bridge between worlds

U.S. Muslim service members say they stand out in both their worlds.

Among fellow troops, that can mean facing ethnic taunts, awkward questions about spiritual practices and a structure that is not set up to accommodate their worship. Among Muslims, the questions can be more profound: How can a Muslim participate in killing other Muslims in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan?

Just 3,557 members of the 1.4 million-member U.S. armed forces describe themselves as Muslim, and followers of Islam said the military is just starting to accommodate them by recruiting Muslim chaplains, creating Muslim prayer spaces and educating other troops about Islam.

Active and retired Muslim service members recalled difficulties concerning their religion but said they cannot relate to the extreme isolation and harassment described by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the suspect in last week's Fort Hood slayings. They also said they hope the killings do not roll back the progress they have seen.

Joshua Salaam, 36, said superiors told him when he joined the Air Force that he could not take time for regular prayer. He remembered being warned at a briefing for a posting in Qatar not to go to mosques because of potential violence. Once he arrived, other service members told him that Muslims there wore baggy clothes because Islam calls for them to avoid public bathrooms.

"They are the enemy," is how Muslims were sometimes characterized, he said.

But Salaam said he received many awards in the Air Force. He wore his "kufi" -- a rounded cap popular with some African American Muslims--on base and came to like being a "cultural translator" for both sides.


"As a Muslim growing up in America, we've been doing that our whole lives anyway," he said.

Interviews with Muslims revealed a range of experiences. Some choose to keep their faith private; others seek out superiors and chaplains who can help them worship even on duty. Some blamed other Muslims for not working to fit into military culture.

Sgt. Fahad Kamal, 26, attended the same Texas mosque as Hasan, the Islamic Center of Killeen, and reenlisted at Fort Hood after serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan. He said he experienced the rare insult from other soldiers about his religion and described one occasion during basic training when someone called him a "terrorist."

"I knew he was just kidding, but the drill sergeant overheard him. He made him apologize in front of the entire company" and do push-ups. "I felt guilty, because I knew he was just joking. But I was also happy to see how seriously they took it."

Kamal, whose family left Pakistan for Texas when he was a boy, said he didn't find the Army anti-Muslim. "We've got a president whose middle name is Hussein. He comes from a Muslim background. Our soldiers are from every race and culture," he said.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said this weekend that he was worried about a possible backlash against enlisted Muslims. "It would be a shame, as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well," he told CNN.

In a broadcast Monday night, Virginia Beach religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said the military overlooked Hasan's troubles because of a politically correct refusal to see Islam for what it is. "Islam is a violent -- I was going to say religion -- but it's not a religion. It's a political system. It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of governments of the world and world domination."

One of the best-known allegations of anti-Muslim harassment in the military involved James Yee, a former Muslim Army chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was accused of spying and held in solitary confinement in 2003. The charges were dropped, and Yee wrote a book contending that they were a result of anti-Muslim sentiment among intelligence officials at the military prison.

An Army spokesman said complaints of religious discrimination are rare: 50 across the entire Defense Department in the past three years. But the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which works for religious pluralism in the military, said it had received 16 complaints since Thursday from enlisted Muslims.

Saleem Abdul-Mateen, a Washington native who was in aviation electronics in the Navy from 1975 to 1995 and is a national leader of a veterans group, said he straddles two worlds. "Today, a [Muslim] brother said to me, 'You know, if we're about peace, why are we fighting another country?' And that's valid. But you have to support the country when it's right and when it's wrong," Abdul-Mateen said.

Doug Burpee, who took the call name "hajji" as a helicopter pilot, said he "never had a problem in 26 years." Although he loves to engage in academic discussions about religion, he said, he kept his prayer invisible and thinks that Muslim service members, like others, have to compromise to fit into military life.

"There are Muslims who stop in their footprints to pray, and those people might have a problem," he said. "But if you're going to join -- join. If Muslims don't fit in, it's their fault."

Shareda Hosein, who is a Muslim chaplain at Tufts University and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, said being a Muslim is easier in the military in some ways than in general society because of the rules governing behavior. That said, she described a double existence of a sort.

"When I'm in uniform, I feel totally relaxed. I look like every other person. I get thank-yous at the supermarket, the gas station. But when I'm in civilian clothes, my hijab, I get scrutiny. Sometimes looks and stares speak loudly. Little do they know who I am."

One Year After Cairo


U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World:

One Year After Cairo




CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY

Call for Paper Proposals

Deadline for submitting paper proposals:
Dec. 10, 2009





U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World:

One Year After Cairo


CSID's 11th Annual Conference

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Washington DC



In a much-anticipated speech in June 2009, President Barack Obama, speaking from the Egyptian capital, sought a "new beginning" in U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Promising to move beyond terrorism and security to focus on issues of mutual interest, the President laid out an ambitious agenda for overhauling ties between his country and the world's 1.57 billion Muslims. Since the speech there has been considerable debate over its meaning and significance: were Obama's words to be accompanied by new programs and concrete initiatives, or were they merely intended to signal a new diplomatic posture towards the Muslim world? Muslim audiences tended to welcome the speech, but indicated that they would reserve judgment until it was translated into action. Months after the speech-with the U.S. administration bogged down by healthcare reform, economic recovery, and ongoing challenges in Afghanistan-the path towards improved relations with the Islamic world remains unclear.

CSID's most recent conference invited reflections on what might be possible for the U.S. and the Islamic world under a new U.S. administration. Following naturally from this previous theme, its 11th annual conference will assess the state of U.S.-Muslim world relations a year after the Cairo speech. What, if anything, has changed in terms of how the United States approaches its major policy challenges in the Muslim world? Do we see signs that governments and other actors in the Muslim world regard the U.S. differently since the new administration came into office?

Paper proposals are invited from prospective participants on the following four broad topics related to the main conference theme. Prospective presenters are also welcome to submit papers that fall outside these topics, but must establish their relevance to the broader conference theme:

A. The Cairo Speech Agenda: Fulfilled or Deferred?


How have U.S.-Islamic world relations fared in the year following President Obama's Cairo speech? Has the new U.S. administration delivered on its commitment to a "new beginning" with the Muslim world? Can we detect significant differences in how the United States is viewed by the Muslim world?


B. Democracy Development in the Muslim World: New Approaches or No Longer a Priority?


The previous U.S. administration placed a premium on democratization in the Middle East and Muslim world, but received mixed reviews on its implementation. Some argue that so far the Obama administration has largely abandoned the democracy agenda in favor of regional security interests. How does the current administration view democratization in the context of other challenges it faces in the Muslim world, and to what extent can we detect any policy shifts?


C. The Role of American Muslims in U.S.-Islamic World Relations


President Obama made special mention of Muslim Americans in his Cairo speech. What role have Muslims in the United States played in promoting ties with the wider Muslim world and to what extent do they serve to promote economic development, political reform, and new thinking? Will the appointment of a Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the State Department have significant consequences for outreach to American Muslims and beyond?


D. The U.S. and Conflict in the Muslim World


From Afghanistan to the Israel/Palestine conflict, much of the U.S. relationship with the Muslim world continues to be defined by ongoing conflicts. How has the Obama administration dealt with these situations and have we seen any signs of new thinking?



Paper proposals (no more than 400 words) are Due by December 10, 2009 and should be sent to:


Prof. Peter Mandaville
Chair, Conference Program Committee
E-mail: conference2010@islam-democracy.org



Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 22, 2010 and final papers must be submitted by March 15, 2010.

Selected panelists and speakers must cover their own travel and accommodations to participate in the conference, and pay the conference registration fee by March 15, 2010. Speakers and panelists coming from overseas will receive a contribution of $300 from CSID to defray travel expenses.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Painful Stories Take a Toll on Military Therapists

Many of the patients who fill the day are bereft, angry, broken. Their experiences are gruesome, their distress lasting and the process of recovery exhausting. The repeated stories of battle and loss can leave the most professional therapist numb or angry.
And hanging over it all, for
psychiatrists and psychologists in today’s military, is the prospect of their own deployment — of working under fire in Iraq or Afghanistan, where the Pentagon has assigned more therapists to combat units than in previous wars.
That was the world that Maj.
Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, inhabited until Thursday, when he was accused of one of the worst mass shootings ever on a military base in the United States, an attack that killed 13 and left dozens wounded. Five of the dead were fellow therapists, the Army said. Major Hasan’s motives are still being investigated. But those who work day in and day out treating the psychological wounds of the country’s warriors say Thursday’s rampage has put a spotlight on the strains of their profession and of the patients they treat.
Major Hasan was one of a thin line of military therapists trying to hold off a rising tide of need.
So far this year, 117 soldiers on active duty were reported to have committed suicide. The Army has only 408 psychiatrists — military, civilian and contractors — serving about 553,000 active-duty troops around the world. As a result, some soldiers home from war, suffering from nightmares and panic attacks, say they have waited almost a year to see a psychiatrist.
Many military professionals, meanwhile, describe crushing schedules with 10 or more patients a day, most struggling with devastating trauma or mutilated bodies that are the product of war and the highly advanced care that kept them alive.
Some of those hired to heal others end up needing help themselves. Some go home at night too depressed to talk to their children. Others, like Bret A. Moore, a former Army psychologist at
Fort Hood, ultimately quit. “I planned for a career in the military, but I burned out” after about five years, he said.
The biggest problem, Dr. Moore said, was “compassion fatigue.”
“I thought that was a bogus phenomenon, but it’s true,” he said. “You become detached, you start to feel like you can’t connect with your patients, you run out of empathy. And the last thing you want to do is talk about it with someone else. It really puts a wedge between you and loved ones.”
Whatever the facts in Major Hasan’s case, some therapists who work with the military agree that the tragedy is likely to have a “lasting impact on how we look at
mental health providers,” said Dr. Martin Paulus, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.
The Army has added to their ranks in recent years, as the number of soldiers with the diagnosis of
post-traumatic stress disorder has climbed to 34,000. But the shooting has raised a pressing question: Who counsels the counselors? Dr. Moore and other therapists who have worked in the military or for Veterans Affairs said that mental health evaluations of therapists themselves were virtually nonexistent.
“I have worked with the Army, the Navy, the V.A., and I’m not aware of any formal, systematic process to evaluate professionals,” said Dr. Andy Morgan, a psychiatrist at the National Center for P.T.S.D.
At Walter Reed, where Major Hasan was in training until recently, Lt. Col. Brett Schneider, a psychiatrist, described a complicated system of checks and balances, including a training committee with superiors and civilians who evaluate residents and mental health staff members.
“There is a lot more built into the processes to keep tabs on each other,” said Colonel Schneider, who spoke on the condition that he not be asked any questions about Major Hasan. “If somebody is starting to get to the point where these things are a problem, there are a number of ways we can intervene.”
Generally, though, the military, like many large civilian employers, relies on self-evaluation and voluntary employee-assistance programs.
“Once training is over, you’re basically on your own,” Dr. Paulus said.
At Fort Hood, the nation’s largest military base, Major Hasan, like other therapists, would have had to manage many patients with severe combat
stress. At his relatively high rank, he would have been expected to seek help on his own if he thought he needed it, experts said.
The base sees continual traffic in and out of war zones, and the work conditions are especially stressful, according to at least one report provided to the Army.
Dr. Stephen M. Stahl, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, who worked on the report, said the base’s program for soldiers returning from war simply lacked the staff it needed. He said there were about 15 psychiatrists on staff, treating hundreds of inpatients and outpatients. Generally, the psychiatrists did not do therapy but prescribed medication.
“They’re so under-resourced that people just don’t end up getting enough care,” Dr. Stahl said.
He added: “It’s a pretty damn stressful place to be. I think it’s a horrible place to practice
psychiatry.”

Soldiers described similar situations at many other installations. Jason Yorty, 34, an Arabic linguist with the Army who deployed to Iraq four times and Afghanistan once, said that when he returned to Fort Gordon in Georgia two years ago, the system appeared to be overwhelmed and resistant to diagnosing problems that would require multiple visits.
First, he said, he saw a physician’s assistant at the base, then a clinical social worker, neither of whom agreed that his nightmares and panic attacks amounted to post-traumatic stress disorder. “It took me eight months just to get an appointment to see a psychiatrist,” he said. “When I got there, he blew me off.”
A few weeks later, after he refused the Army psychiatrist’s prescription for a sleep aid, a nonmilitary mental health provider gave him a diagnosis of P.T.S.D.
Experts say that the military has made big strides in taking mental health issues seriously, but that military therapists are sometimes pressured to place the needs of the force above the needs of the patient. Indeed, they can be overruled by commanders who need soldiers in the field.
Since 2001, the military has deployed many soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder or other ailments. “The focus in the military is readiness,” said Charles Figley, a psychologist at
Tulane University. “There is an inherent conflict.”
And in war zones, the relationships between soldiers and mental health providers can be especially fraught. Therapists in Iraq said that they could often do little more than provide a few coping tips to soldiers, just enough to keep them functioning. There were simply too many people and not enough time, as Army officials have acknowledged.
Providing care has its own risks. In studies of therapists working to soothe mental distress in victims of violence, whether criminal, sexual or combat-related, researchers have documented what is called secondary trauma: contact distress, of a kind. In one 2004 study of social workers on cases stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks, researchers found that the more deeply therapists were involved with victims, the more likely they were to experience such trauma. The same associations have been found in doctors working with survivors in war zones.
Dr. Hasan was reportedly facing his first deployment — a prospect that scares even trained fighters, many of whom become increasingly frantic before going to war, according to surveys.
The workload itself is enough to give psychiatrists and psychologists pause. In Iraq, with sectarian violence at its peak in 2007, officials say there were 200 such specialists serving more than 130,000 troops, driving between bases on bomb-rigged roads.
The experience of Lt. Col. Reagon P. Carr was common. In six months with the Second Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division in 2007, he said he saw more than 700 soldiers. In one typical week, he visited three locations, meeting with 36 soldiers who came in for immediate help: 3 were contemplating suicide, a dozen were unable to sleep, 5 said they were apprehensive about returning to a dysfunctional marriage and 16 said they were disgruntled with their leadership.
Few who are deployed feel prepared for this punishing task.
Dr. Peter Linnerooth, a former Army psychologist who treated soldiers in Germany and Iraq and at Fort Hood, said that in Schweinfurt, Germany, he was the sole psychologist for a community of 10,000 people in 2005.
At Fort Hood, he treated a burly man whose job in Iraq was to recover the bodies of soldiers. His patient was devastated by one particular loss, Dr. Linnerooth said.
“He had picked up this corpse that was so badly burned, it weighed about 20 pounds,” he said. “He was this big, tough, awesome guy. For him, it was like picking up his daughter. That was an extreme case. But you get those at least once or twice a week.”
If it turns out that Major Hasan did in fact break partly under the stress of the job and impending deployment, many veterans would not be surprised.
“If this guy can go over the edge, imagine what it is like for the actual combat troops who have been through four or five deployments,” said Bryan Hannah, 22, a disabled Iraq war veteran from San Marcos, Tex., who was stationed at Fort Hood until he was discharged a year ago because of post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.
He added, “There are a lot of others who are worse off than him.”



Source Irish Times
Article is by Benedict Carey, Damien Cave and Lizette Alvarez.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The European Union

The European Union has now got its new constitution. Most Europeans are not interested, neither amused nor not amused. However, most observers, not least proponents of the Lisbon Treaty, have assumed that a referendum among Europeans would have resulted in a clear majority voting No. So therefore a referendum was avoided.
You are one of 1 500 subscribers to this Newsletter. Free Europe's referendline has now come to an end.
What is the next step?
1. This site
www.FreeEurope.info with its name and technology is for sale. Possible to use for other vote online issues. Welcome to mail cjw@FreeEurope.info.
2. Or do you have any other suggestion? Welcome also to mail
cjw@FreeEurope.info.
Thank you for this time, and for your engagement.
Carl-Johan Westholm
www.FreeEurope.info is a private, positive initiative. It is a contribution to a widening public agenda in Europe. It is independent from parties and organizations. It is the first possibility for all Europeans and their friends worldwide to have a common say about the future path of European affairs. Astonishing, fascinating, and promising.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Salam to the best of nations

As an Irish muslim now for 2 years I have learned a lot about myself, my religion and my faith. but one thing that still hurts me is the problem of the Jewish zionists in Palestine. their so-called state is the number one violator of UN Human Rights. And yet they have never once been convicted of anything. What is favouritism about? Why do innocent Palestinian muslims and christians have to suffer because of a certian religious group? Only when the zionists began moving into Palestine did the problems and the fighting begin. I rge and demand every self-respecting person and decent muslim to watch the film titled 'Occupation 101' even if you are neutral, the facts and figures of just how badly the arabs are treated at the hands of the Jewish zionists. Even as a man, it will break your heart to see the truth. Please watch this film and understand the situation of our brothers and sisters if not in Islam then in humanity. Please help them because the zionists have made it impossible for them to help themselves.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kidnapped Aid workers released





Kidnapped aid workers released in Darfur

Two women who had been held hostage for three months by kidnappers in Darfur were released Sunday morning in good health, according to BBC News.

Sharon Commins, an Irish woman, and Hilda Kawuki, a Ugandan, had both been working with the Irish charity Goal when they were taken by armed kidnappers.

The kidnappers apparently made a $2 million ransom demand earlier in the year, but Sudan’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs said that “no ransom was paid.” Instead, it was pressure put on the captors by local tribal leaders that led to the women’s release.

Despite the risk, humanitarian organizations working in the Darfur region do so without any government or security intervention. This was the third abduction of aid workers since the International Criminal Court served the country’s president an arrest warrant in March.

Suicide bombing in Iran targets military leaders

According to Iranian state television, 29 people were killed and 28 wounded in a blast in the country’s southeast region last Sunday. Among the dead were at least five commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an Ayatollah-faithful branch of Iran’s military.

“Very soon we will catch the perpetrators of this terrorist action and punish them,” read a statement by Iran’s interior ministry posted on their Web site shortly after the attack.

A group called Jundallah took responsibility for the attack, the state-owned news reported. Jundallah is a group comprised of Baluchis, an ethnic minority that stretches into Pakistan.

The strike – the action of two suicide bombers – hit when the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard were meeting tribal leaders in the Sistan-Baluchistan region. Tribal leaders, as well as some innocent bystanders, were also killed in the attack.

According to analysts, the attack was meant to harm Iran’s image and spread rumors of instability.

Leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party boycotts cabinet

After eight months of wary cooperation between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s transitional government, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party has vowed to boycott all cabinet meetings, according to BBC News.

The radical move was in response to a laundry list of grievances Tsvangirai aired at a news conference on Friday, but chief among them was the imprisonment of his deputy agricultural minister Roy Bennett on terrorism charges.

Tsvangirai has called Mugabe and his political party, the Zimbabwe African National Union, “unreliable” partners.

“Until confidence has been restored, we can’t continue to pretend that everything is well,” Tsvangirai said.

Bennett was recently re-jailed after spending seven months on bail, which catalyzed Tsvangirai to essentially pull out of the government. Bennett was charged with terrorism, insurgency, sabotage and banditry, and he stands to serve a life sentence if he is convicted.

Reach columnist Morgan Gard at news@dailyuw.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free Europe

"This will be the last big EU Treaty for a long time. Indeed it is, but" - Yes, but, but why?
See the often neglected observation at
http://www.freeeurope.info/
http://www.freeeurope.info/ is a private, positive initiative. It is a contribution to a widening public agenda in Europe. It is independent from parties and organizations. It is the first possibility for all Europeans and their friends worldwide to have a common say about the future path of European affairs. Astonishing, fascinating, and promising.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Radio Muzzin Play in Dublin in Arabic مسرحية مؤذن الراديو تلعب في دبلن باللغة العربية


مسرحية مؤذن الراديو, تلعب في دبلن باللغة العربية, مع ترجمة كتابية. وكل الحاضرون كانوا من الايرلنديين ماعدا انا. وقد حرصت على التحدث للممثليين الذين يصرون على ان المسرحية انما هي مسرحية وثائقية وليست مسرحية عادية. وقد ابدع المخرج والذين قاموا على هذه المسرحية بطريقة ممتازة ومستساغة لغير الناطقين باللغة العربية. وقد اعجبت بهذا الاخراج الجميل الذي لم يخرم من العادات الاسلامية والقرآنية وطريقة اداء الاذان اي شئ . انه شئ جميل يؤدى باللغة العربية على شعب لا يسمع كلمة الله اكبر الا عندما يراها في التلفزيون لقتل الاعداء او قتل اسير اوووووووووووو.. واني اذ اشكر الذين قاموا على هذه التمثيلية اقول باننا في حاجة الى اعطاء نموذجا مثل هذا في الغرب كي نطفي نار الحقد الدفين .
بشير

A freed slave became the first muezzin because he had a honey-sweet voice. Later muezzins used to climb the minaret to make the call to prayer, the Adhan. Now their voices resonate via loudspeakers - while they stand in the mosque with a microphone in their hand.In Cairo most muezzins are government employees who often sleep in the mosques and rarely visit their families living in remote villages. Besides being responsible for the call to prayer, they are also often caretakers of the place of worship, they clean the mosque and close the doors in the evening. Their calls mingle above Cairo, the city of a thousand mosques (there are actually about 30,000), forming a multifaceted soundscape. This is however about to change: The Minister of Religious Foundations wants to introduce a centralized muezzin next year. The government will broadcast a single muezzins voice live on a radio channel simultaneously to all government mosques. This will abolish the cacophony, but also the diversity of prayer cultures. Will thousands of Egyptian muezzins fall silent?“Radio Muezzin” focuses on four muezzins: a blind Qu'ran teacher who travels to the mosque in a minibus for two hours every day; a farmers' son and former tank driver from Upper Egypt, who vacuums the carpet in his mosque; an electrician, who began to learn the Qu'ran by heart after a serious accident, and a bodybuilder and runner-up world champion in Qu'ran recitation.“Radio Muezzin” has them meet an engineer who learned to encode radio signals at the Aswan dam. In a mosque made of carpets and fans, they become the protagonists reconstructing their own lives. Between their words and the video images of their daily lives emerge new voices that describe the transformation of the call to prayer in the age of its technical reproduction. After a preview in Cairo last december, "Radio Muezzin" premieres in Berlin.
A production by HAU Berlin and Goethe-Institute Egypt.In Co-production with Athens Festival, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Festival d’Avignon, steirischer herbst festival (Graz) and Zürcher Theater Spektakel.
Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council and the Department of the Mayor of Berlin - Senate Chancellery - Cultural Affairs. In cooperation with El Sawy Culture wheel, Cairo.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

The second referendum in Ireland on Friday gave a strong result - 2 of 3


The second referendum in Ireland on Friday gave a strong result - 2 of 3 participating voters of the 55 percent of the electorate, said Yes to the rewritten Lisbon Treaty.
What will happen next?
First: The German Constitutional Court added a few weeks ago some remarkable limits to how much the Lisbon Treaty should be allowed to infringe on the Constitution of the German Federal Republic.
If the Constitutional Guardians in this central land in Europe made these exceptional reservations - why should not the different national parliaments ask for the same constitutional rights in their respective states? Or is it only Germany who has the privilege to interpret the Lisbon Treaty as a Lessbind Treaty?
Second: The Czech Republic is undertaking a new reading of the potential constitutional conflicts between its own national constitution and the Lisbon Treaty. This will take some time.
Third: Seldom in history has a new constitution, who has been presented as a gift to its people, had so many democratic proponents eager not to let the people vote directly welcoming the gift.
We Europeans deserve something better.
This referendline,
www.Freeurope.info will continue for some time, still. Any idea of its future long time activity will be appreciated.
This News Letter has more than 1500 subscribers.
www.FreeEurope.info is a private, positive initiative. It is a contribution to a widening public agenda in Europe. It is independent from parties and organizations. It is the first possibility for all Europeans and their friends worldwide to have a common say about the future path of European affairs. Astonishing, fascinating, and promising.

Micheál Martin, TD Thanking voters


you from Dublin, where officials just finished counting the votes on the Lisbon Treaty referendum. It's because of your hard work and dedication that I'm able to tell you: we did it! This was a tough campaign. Together, we fought back against the fear-mongering and worked hard to get the right result for Ireland. Now that this campaign is over, let's get back to working to return the country to growth and playing a substantive role in Europe. Thanks again.

Sincerely,
Micheál Martin, TD Minister for Foreign AffairsCampaign Director - Fianna Fáil


OR
Perhapse whith the downfall of the economy the public thought joining the treaty is the only way through.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Still lobbying for no vot on Oconnell st saying rigged vote risk

On the polling day still some people lobbying for NO vot on Oconnell st while Micheal Martin sending e mails urging people to vote YES.
في يوم التصويت لا زال بعض الناس يحاولون ان يحثوا الناس بان يصوتوا ب لآ في حين ان مايكل مارتن يبعث الايميلات يحث الناس بان يصوتوا ب نعم

























Dear Supporter,I've just voted. Have you?
I just placed my "Yes" vote in favour of the Lisbon Treaty at St Anthony's School in Ballinlough, Co. Cork - my local polling station.
Every vote is important today. Yours alone could be the difference between "Yes" for Ireland and a disastrous "No" that will set us back.
Polls close at 10:00pm tonight, so there is still time to vote - and please make sure you do. Voting is quick and easy, and nothing is more important. Let's all work together so there's a strong endorsement of the Treaty.
After you've voted, send a note to your friends and neighbours reminding them to cast their "Yes" vote today:
http://www.strongerwitheurope.ie/decisionday
Thanks for all you've done so far. This is our last day to make a difference, so please make sure to vote.
Sincerely,
Micheál Martin, TD

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Patrick and Abdulhaseeb Debating Lisbon treaty ندوة عن وثيقة لزبن بمشاركة بهاترك وعبد الحسيب




Patrick and Abdulhaseeb Debating Lisbon treaty ندوة عن وثيقة لزبن بمشاركة بهاترك وعبد الحسيب



بهاترك مافوسو مهاجر من جنوب افريقيا وقد رشح لانتخابات البلدية 2009 ولم يحالفه الحظ بان ينجح في الانتخابات



وعبد الحسيب من الجالية الاسلامية وله ساعة اسبوعية في اذاعة اسلام إن فوكس نير اف ام

Patrick Maphoso is debating for the Lisbon Treaty and he is an immigrant from South Africa and he ran for the local election 2009



Abdul haseeb is debating against the Lisbon Treaty and he is a member of the Muslim community in Ireland and a broadcaster.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Filming By Ibrahim and Abdullah