Nobel Or Not: ‘ Celebrating Courage of Anti Drone Activist Nabila Rehman ‘

Pakistan a country that is reported most often in western media and quite effectively in negative light – after all gory Pakistan sells. Now a days, international attention is going ga ga on “only one positive thing” that comes out of this insane land and that is Nobel Prize winner-Pakistani child-icon Malala Yousafzai whose getting  feted by westerners in their civilized media, for simply being the single most courageous and brave little girl to have thwarted the big bad enemy – Taliban.

53f32db394a75Pakistan a country that is reported most often in western media and quite effectively in negative light – after all gory Pakistan sells. Now a days, international attention is going ga ga on “only one positive thing” that comes out of this insane land and that is Nobel Prize winner-Pakistani child-icon Malala Yousafzai whose getting  feted by westerners in their civilized media, for simply being the single most courageous and brave little girl to have thwarted the big bad enemy – Taliban.

Honestly there is much more to Malala and Pakistan. But. There is no shortage of strange ideas that west has about Pakistan.  A terrorist country where poor Muslim women are subservient to their men, that drive their camels through its deserts committing suicides in name of Allah. The rest of Pakistanis cum jihadists are busy plotting the strategy for going to war with the whole world, after all they are lunatics with nukes. ………………… Need I go on?

Basically, Pakistan is HELL on earth. After all there is nothing peaceful about this useless country in their opinions.

Hey. Wait a second. I ask, “Do you know there are so many peace activists in my country, Pakistan. There are many even children as little as 10 years of age?”

Really, that’s not possible, comes back the disgruntled response.

I say, but does not media in your country ever speak of that little girl called Nabila Rehman?

Err…. Nabila who? ‘

The who part did it for me. Off course 10-year old Nabila Rehman, survivor of drone strike in North Waziristan wouldn’t be really noticed in the west.

She’s just spoils of war.

Nabila Rehman didn’t sought to become anti-drone strike activist because it took her fancy. The 10-year-old girl survived a drone attack in 2012 (she was eight then). Exactly on October 24, 2012 a Predator drone flying over North Waziristan came upon eight-year-old Nabila Rehman, her siblings, and their grandmother while they were in their village fields learning to pick ocra from grandma Momina Bibi. The approaching Eid festival preparations were in swing.

Thanks to the American Predator Drone, that Eid was submerged into funeral of her grand-mother Momina Bibi and injured Nabila and her siblings. At that same moment, many American children were playing netball, surfing on their Kindles books, but child of a lesser God and nation, Pakistan’s Nabila was writhing in pain and terror for the unmanned aircraft protecting the future of the American children released its deadly payload onto Nabila Rehman’s family, changing their lives in a mere second.

I don’t know what drone approving authorities told their public back home about this incident. But. In this strike, seven children were wounded and Nabila’s grandmother was killed before her very eyes. Till date we see no official apology, explanation or justification.

But western people and media are constantly asking 1.6 Muslims to become accountable and apologize for the bad events, we are repeatedly “told” to say SORRY AND APOLOGIZE  for the Boko Harams, ISISes, Al-Qaedas, LeTs etc and etc.

I am interested to know if there will be an apology made by the Drone Strikes approving establishments, its supporters and western media to anti-drone child activist Nabila Rehman?

The answer comes back like this: Well, you know Pakistanis support militants therefore such collateral damages are taking place. A Pakistani yourself knows how you people support these bad guys and give them heavens.

Really? I or this traumatized nation will support the total destruction of our homeland and its people. Would any sane person want that?

Err.. but you know better Islam is backward and it treats women badly.

I see myself being attacked by a Non-Muslim right now, like countless other times. And excuse me. What of the treatment meted to little Nabila, plus thousands others killed in the so called war on terror?

Laughs out Loud and tells me, “Oh please, don’t be such a drone-a-phobic.”

This takes me back five years ago, during a work trip somewhere in Europe; some colleagues laughing their heads off with words  “ALLAHHUAKBAR” these ass holes are dead while watching a television news clip of a drone strike in Pakistan, during work hours. In a way this was quite an enlightening incident and I was not sorry to have overheard this while working in the room next door.

OK. Lets get real, my country is partly responsible for fighting a war that had been initiated with international partners and thanks to this folly, this war is in my backyard and you tell me to stop being paranoid or drone-phobic?

The building up of false narratives in the coverage of western wars and their agendas of women’s rights is nothing new. Western media, especially American media, has had a race problem for centuries when it comes to covering issues related to women of colour and the Saving Muslim Women Syndrome continues.

In any-case, this annoying conversation comes to an end. Thanks God. I am not sorry to say this, but to me both child activists; Malala Yousafzai and Nabila Rehman are really important persons as both have serious messages that will have long term consequences on millions of children in this world. In their divserse ways, they both speak of PEACE.

Little Nabila’s testimony at last year’s US Congress was largely ignored, dismissed and gulps-deemed unnecessary. Why so? Because it casts the heroic western champion into a dark and bitter light. The unfortunate reality is that we will see thousands more of Nabilas who might not live to see the day, in this quest of being at war with Islam. A living Nabila (Thanks God, Allah All-Mighty) is a testament that we are being duped into some one else’s version of democracy and justice.

No Nobel fiasco for Nabila, no Hollywood endorsements, no big dollar funds, no sympathy and no acknowledgement for this little girl that travelled all the way to the other part of the world to share her drone strike experience and message of peace. So much for the hypocritical child rights claims, seriously we are not impressed.

Yet. For today.

I celebrate both Naliba Rehman and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Two Pakistanis.

  • Two voices representing courage and resilience.
  • Two victories against terrorism.
  • Two survivors. Two little girls.

Posted in: Emergencies and Conflict

South East Asia News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #anti-drone-activist, #anti-pakistani-sentiment, #conflict-zones, #drones, #extra-judicial-killings, #malala-yousafzai, #nabila-rehman, #saving-muslim-women-syndrome, #war-on-terror, #white-supremacy

UK’s Forced Marriages, will Legislation help?

“Forced marriage is abhorrent and little more than slavery. To force anyone into marriage against their will is simply wrong and that is why we have taken decisive action to make it illegal,” said David Cameron, UK’s premier.

Adhering to the gravity of the situation, UK government is adamant to criminalize the controversial practice. Under the proposed legislation, expected to be put before Parliament after 2013, forced marriage will become a criminal offence and parents who coerce their children into marrying would be facing the prospect of a prison sentence.

UK is home to a large migrant community hailing from South-Asian including Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. This problem is brought  by them into the UK through the existing culture of these countries, where parents by and large control the decision of marriage and spouses. But local research shows that “forced marriages” also happens in the Irish traveling community, Chinese, North African and Somali communities.

UK believes that proper legislation might be the right cure. But campaigners like Sameen Ali and others are already raising the red flag about possible adverse effects of the government plans to criminalize forced marriage in England and Wales.

Opinion: Sameen Ali is a forced marriage victim and campaigner of Pakistani descent. She was forced to marry in Pakistan at the age of 13 to a man she did not know, and gave birth to a boy aged just 14. Her ordeal of humiliation and abuse continued even after her return to the UK. She shares her story in her memoir “Belonging”, which has become an inspiration for many victims. Her courage and determination to fight for her rights is helping others in constructive ways.

She raises plausible concerns related to the up-coming legislation. She says that “Criminalizing the practice would only drive this practice underground, in more secretive manner. The numbers may go down because the victims will probably not come forward any more, because no young person really wants to say ‘arrest mummy and daddy’ because it is mummy and daddy who force the young person into marriage in the first place.”

She also argues that the new law will also create confusion in the minds of young people and cause rifts not only within families but within the different communities living in the UK.  The proposed law is already causing stirrings into the migrant community hailing from S.Asia and others, probably because it’s perceived to have offended their culture. Soon the practising communities might take dire steps leading towards more negative repercussions  for women, at large.

Sameen has a point when she says young people need to be educated about the good and bad elements of their culture. They do not need to be told that their culture is all bad, so therefore they should disrespect it and be given a mechanism such as this law.

She is struggling to advocate that forced marriages may be part of culture, but have more to do with patriarchal control over children.

Her own life serves as a role model for people because she upped and left that marriage with her young child. After her escape, it took years of struggle to put her life together. She states that a victim’s life does not end at a forced marriage; it’s about finding a method of how to get out of the abuse and try to start over. She agrees that it’s not as easy as it sounds, but that’s where institutional and government’s support comes in.

It’s important to provide opportunities to the victims to get out of the abuse and resume their lives again. For instance; resuming the education and vocational training can be practical in helping abused girls to stabilize socio-economically.

The government is resolute at trying to solve the problem through drawing a strict legislation without acknowledging these cultural diversities.

A most ridiculous aspect of this law is that first victims will be forced into marriage they did not want, and then they will be forced to come into court and give evidence against their parents. Are they on auto-pilot? Not one inch of consideration about the trauma that the victim would already be coping with.

For all her critique, Sameen has raised valid points and also suggested ways for tackling the problem. She says that the power for negotiation lies within young people who need to be equipped how to be a catalyst in all this.

The power lies within the young people. And they need to be empowered to stand up against this abuse and educate their parents about forced marriage. 

The practice of forced marriage is deeply rooted and change has to come from within. Awareness needs to come at the root of this cause and young people can create that change, and they can educate their parents against the pitfalls of such marriages.

It is not about criminalizing their parents. And it is not about scoring points either.

Ironically, the rising numbers is an indication that countless youngsters are starting to feel safe and confident, and are speaking out against this abuse. These numbers also provide significant evidence that the young generations are integrating better as compared to the earlier immigrants.

This journey from isolation and parallel reality towards a healthier assimilation requires continued institutional-back-up so young generations can take forward the process in a constructive manner. The forced marriage issue will not vanish over-night from the UK or elsewhere.

But UK government should try intelligent lobbying with community leaders before introducing a law that might not really work.

Posted in Gender and Women Issues

South East Asia News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #child-rights, #cultural-diversity, #england-and-wales, #forced-marriages, #gender-based-violence, #integration, #migrant-rights, #patriarchy, #slavery, #under-age-marriages, #youth

Israel: ‘ Back On It’s Heels ‘

Opinion from the desk of Chuq: Israel has had a special warm spot in the hearts of those in the West……basically because the West has been feeding their guilt for looking the other way in the days of World war 2….that the Jews had to suffer so much at the hands of the Nazis.

The rest of the ‘civilized’ world has looked the other way just about every time Israel has decided to obliterate  its neighbours in the name of self-defence.  Several wars and several excursions into different neighbouring countries..  But in their last attempt to kill off the opposition they destroyed Gaza in the name of self-defence.

If that statement about self-defence was true then why did Israel wait about 3 weeks into the destruction to take out the command and control for Hamas?  A good battlefield general will tell you that is the first targets in any operation….but yet Israel waited to attack them…..why?

That is easy……the point was to destroy as much of Gaza as possible before public opinion caught with them.

Since the end of the latest conflict Israel has run around trying to find anyone that will support them in the criticism they are facing because of that destruction…….and their efforts are not going very well…..of course the lap dog of theirs….the US….will do as they are told so they have a friend there….a strong ally that will do whatever they need to prevent Israel from being harmed too much.

The world wants the Palestinians to compromise but lets Israel continue the steal land, vandalize crops and unwarranted detentions……there will be a peaceful negotiations when Israel is forced to do some compromise until then this cycle of violence will continue.

The Palestinians have a bright hope…….Israel is losing it……..their cool his waning…..why?  Palestine has taken to social media to demand recognition and Israel is livid……

“Sweden’s new left-leaning government today recognized a Palestinian state—a move that comes during increased tensions between Arabs and Jews over Israel’s plans to build about 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem. As expected, the EU member became the third Western European nation, after Malta and Cyprus, to do so, reflecting growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom says Sweden made the move because Palestine had fulfilled the international law criteria required for such recognition. “There is a territory, a people, and government,” she says.””

“Israel was quick to condemn Sweden’s announcement, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman describing it as “a miserable decision that strengthens the extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism.” Israel says Palestinians can gain independence only through peace negotiations, and that recognition of Palestine at the UN or by individual countries undermines the negotiating process. Palestinians counter that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t serious about the peace negotiations. The latest round of US-brokered talks collapsed in April. Meanwhile, British lawmakers earlier this month voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state, a symbolic move that didn’t change London’s official diplomatic stance.”

Even the UK has voted in favour of recognition……but nothing official as of yet………Israel is losing all its influence over the civilized world.  At this rate the only ‘friend’ Israel will have left is the good old US….see what money can buy?

Israel will ALWAYS have the USA in their pocket…..for there is NO one person in DC that has the cajones to go against the wishes of Israel……no matter what the rest of the world does.

To me it looks like the rest of the world is coming to their right mind…….and any debt owed Israel for mistakes of the past have been paid and now Israel must face the music of their actions…..even if it has the protection of the US.  Soon there will no place for them to hide and they will be made to answer for their crimes….and yes many of their actions are just that….CRIMES!

As long as they, the Palestinians, can temper their passions they will win this debate………the children of Palestine will have their day.

Chuq’s News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #conflict-zones, #east