Francis Wheen - A penniless asylum seeker in London was vilified across two pages of the Daily Mail last week. No surprises there, perhaps - except that the villain in question has been dead since 1883. ‘Marx the Monster’ was the Mail’s furious reaction to the news that thousands of Radio 4 listeners had chosen Karl Marx as their favourite thinker. ‘His genocidal disciples include Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - and even Mugabe. So why has Karl Marx just been voted the greatest philosopher ever?’ The puzzlement is understandable. Fifteen years ago, after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, there appeared to be a general assumption that Marx was now [to quote Monty Python] an ex-parrot. He had kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil and been buried forever under the rubble of the Berlin Wall.
Jerry Mazza - Is the “Rapture” of Evangelical Christianity really a rupture from biblical truth? For thousands of years certain Christians have been predicting the end times. Armageddon and the Second Coming were just around the corner - but not before the rise of the Antichrist and seven years of battle. These Christians also believe the “Rapture” the Bible supposedly spoke of would allow certain true believers to be swept up to heaven to watch the end times, like the War in Iraq from their living room TVs. Yet scholars say the word “"Rapture"” is not anywhere in the Bible. So the first rupture is from the reality of the good book. The “Rapture” ruptures itself from law in the name of absolute religious truth, which is neither absolute, really religious nor the truth, but a belief system designed for and by a certain sect of people to gain specific ends.
Yamin Zakaria - Almost everyday I get email responses to my essays, usually containing lots of two word expletives, almost all from within the USA. Since stereotyping is wrong, I did ask myself the question, are those Americans, exceptional or typical. Anyway, I began to think about those two word responses, and thought of the possibility of my being both, wrong and a “sand nigger”. Thereafter, I renounced all my previous writings, written whilst I was clearly misguided and brainwashed by the Arabs and Muslim terrorists. Listed below is my new view of history and the world. So, let us proceed with the issues, fasten your seat belts, sit tight and I will show you the world according to the neo-cons, Zionists, right-wing Republicans, fundamentalist Christians and the KKK.
Stefan Christoff - The distance between Montreal and Lebanon stretches thousands of kilometers over oceans and continents, but is only a short distance in Ahmed’s eyes and living memory of an existence shaped by the daily struggle of statelessness. Ahmed’s deportation, and continuing struggle against statelessness in Lebanon is now etched into Palestinian history. Human stories of those who struggle for justice in the most difficult circumstances, like Ahmed’s, are inspiration for those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people throughout the world. From the refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon to the streets of Montreal, Palestinian refugees are a living example of a people who carry an identity defined by a will to resist oppression.
Waleed Aly - Do not let the injustice of others lead you into an injustice, says the Koran. With every terrorist attack attributed to Muslims over the past four years, I have witnessed a community shifting more and more into outrage at the barbarism done in its name. Reason and coherence are products of distinction and discernment rather than crude generalization. But terrorism is about the most sinister of generalizations, where a whole nation, a people, a planet is essentialised and deemed indiscriminately unfit for human existence. There are no people any more. There are only causes. In this way, terrorism is itself what it begets: the suspension of reason, the annihilation of coherence. And without reason, we become like cattle.
Guest Editorial - What is the difference between a bombing campaign launched by America or Britain and a terrorist attack? The answer to this question is very pertinent in the wake of the recent London bombings and is also very simple. Whenever America and Britain attack and bomb, killing tens of thousands of civilians around the world, it is a justified “war” in “self-defence” against often exaggerated or phantom enemies. Whenever others in response give them a taste of what they readily dish out to many others, it is a different story. The most horrific aspect of the London bombings from the West’s point of view is not so much the carnage itself. It is the fact that Britain, the great imperialistic warmonger, has been attacked at all, despite being immune for centuries from the hatred they have generated among the people they have attacked and oppressed.
John Pilger - In all the coverage of last week’s bombing of London, a basic truth struggled to be heard. It has been said quietly, politely, guardedly, as if it might somehow dishonour the dead, instead of speaking truth to the cause. While not doubting the atrocious inhumanity of those who planted the bombs (as if anyone could), no one should doubt that these were “Blair’s bombs”; and he ought not be allowed to evade culpability with yet another unctuous Bush-inspired speech about “our way of life”. The bombers struck because he and Bush attacked Iraq, having been warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that the “by far the greatest terrorist threat” to this country would be “heightened by military action against Iraq”. Indeed, this was the one reliable warning from British intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
Immanuel Wallerstein - We know now that George W. Bush confided to one of his friends before he was president that he wanted a war with Iraq and that, unlike his father, he would get rid of Saddam Hussein. And so he has. But as the U.S. polls turn seriously against him and a majority of Americans today say that the war wasn’t worth the loss of lives, it is time to take a reckoning of what Mr. Bush has accomplished. He wanted a quick war, and he didn’t get that. Mr. Bush also wanted a regime in power that would be a strong, long-term ally, capable of running the country. So far he hasn’t got that either. And finally, like the narrow-minded provincial that he is, George W. Bush expected that the U.S. would flourish at home. Instead, the United States is living through a national culture war that is massive and threatens to turn violent in the next decade.
Frederick Douglas - Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.
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