Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kicked out of villawood

 This is what I tweeted today at about 3pm

I rock up there, I'd let my assylum seeker activist compatriots know that I'm coming, over facebook it looks like I'm going to be the last person in but in reality somehow I was the first to arrive.

I filled out the paperwork and went up the the front desk and gave it in to the friendly staff, then proceeded to get my diver's license out of my wallet...

only it wasn't there.

For a second a pause in surprise and try to remember where I could have left it. The lady officer processing my paperwork tells me "don't tell me you forgot your license!"

Oh $hit, I think I have. Though I can't remember where I could have left it, I always have it in the same place in my wallet behind the picture of my wife at Max Brenner at Melbourne Central, but this time the bloody card wasn't there !

I go back outside and look inside the car thinking I may have left it somehow, Abdullah (Abs) rocks up and I still hadn't found it. So we decided that he'd go inside for 20 minutes and then we'd go and have dinner somewhere.

I tried to talk to the asylum seeker guys through the fence but all of a sudden had two officers telling to "get away from the fence it's trip wired"

Alena rocks up and sees me in my sad state watching youtube videos and tweeting while sitting at my car feeling sheepish. She stays for a bit and then, having brought her license with her, goes in.

Moral of the story ? remember to bring your license when you're visiting asylum seekers in Villawood.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview With Omar Bargouti


"The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005. BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice."

The Palestinian resistance is becoming more sophisticated, they are coming out with different ideas and ideologies, different methods and weapons. Where before it was mostly violent militaristic resistance it's not political, strategic and peaceful as well.

Omar Bargouti is one such peaceful resistance fighter. He co founded a number of initiatives such as PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israe) and now BDS. He states clearly and succinctly the forms of oppression and criminality practiced by Israel. His method is peaceful, logical and so far fool proof. Which is why you find most of the attacks against him and the BDS so to be hogwashy. Yes. hogwashy.

I was able to speak to Omar Yesterday via skype. The interview was between Sydney Australia and Al Qurds (Jerusalem) Palestine.

The interview is in Arabic:

Interview with Fiona Byrne (In English with arabic interpretation)

Courtesty qkRadio Fairfield.

The BDS adventure in Merrikville is really quite indicative of the changing tide of the pro Palestine movement gaining momentum across the world. More and more people are recognizing the oppression and criminal brutality practiced by Israel every day against the Palestinians for over 60 years now.

It's also clear that Zionism is alive and well in Australia. The initial vote in Merrikville was 10 in favor and 2 against for the implementation of BDS. However when it became better known that this was happening. A formidable campaign carried out by newspapers, media, and politicians of all parties started spreading lies, obfuscations and insinuations of antisemitism, character assassination and over the line exaggeration. The attack was so severe that Fiona Byrne lost her bid to run as a Greens candidate in the state elections. The vote was eventually completely turned and the BDS policy was not implemented under its  name. Instead a watered down list of demands for the rights of the Palestinians was presented instead.

After weeks of missed calls and voice mail messages, I was finally lucky in getting Fiona Byrne into the studio for a 20 minute interview. The interview is in English, with an Arabic intro and a ten minute interpretation session after the interview for Arabic speakers.


I tried to record the interview on video but I didn't have my tripod so the angle was really weird. Also it turns out my bloody Canon 7D only records 12 minutes of HD video at a time.

The song after the English interview is Onadekom ( إناديكم ) by DARG Team, you can listen to it here.

Also at the end of this episode I also poster a timeless classic, Ahmad Bukhatir's nasheed Al Quds Tunadeena (Al Quds calls to us).

If you speak Arabic, You can also listen to my interview with Omar Bargouti, the man behind the BDS movement. That interview was done over skype between Sydney Australia and Al Quds (Jerusalem), Palestine.

I would like to thank Fiona Byrne and qkRadio for this opportunity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's that time of year again

Every couple of months (or every other year). Australian politicians and media turn their full attention towards the muslim community in Australia.

The issues they tackle aren't usually related to relevant or even a real issue. It just coincides conveniently with another  local or international issue such as a terrorist act somewhere or a media issue somewhere in Europe or the US that makes its way to Australian politics, or a criminal act in Australia.

Most of the initial issue of course are condemned by the majority of Muslims and Muslim leaders in Australia. However due to (manufactured or natural) xenophobia in Australia from Muslims and other brown skinned people. It's very easy for politicians and gather support by fighting the good fight over something trivial or for media sources such as newspapers, television shows etc... to jump on that band wagon and cover fringe elements, practices and "scholars" and present to the unassuming Australian television watchers as representative of all Muslims.

The 60 minutes report a few months ago discussed the failure of multiculturalism and again tried to scare us with the muslim boogie man. Even though most muslims on the grape vine were frustrated at this misrepresentation of muslims (and even though there are organizations such as JMA trying to stem this tide by holding people accountable for bad journalism) the damage is still done. Looking at comments at newspaper websites, facebook groups, people calling in on 2UE and 2GB radio stations all take those lies and obfuscations to be completely true. The general population is scared, angry and increasingly aggressive.
I remember a few years ago hearing about the EDL , I (and many others in Australia) thought this could never happen in Australia. Now though it has traveled down here under the manifestation of ADL (brilliant branding btw).

So... Osama is finally allegedly killed (there is a lot of controversy about whether he really was killed or not but I'm not going into that now). Suddenly this seems to have picked up a lot of steam media and politicians needed for fresh votes in upcoming elections and on readership and television numbers.

There was a brilliant Q&A program that discussed the killing of Bin Laden, brilliant because it had a variety of voices, including thankfully the Muslim voice, in Nazeem Hussien, Melbourne based, lawyer, comedian and muslim activist, who presented in my opinion a very good image of muslims as well as a more balanced view of the bin ladin assassination.

Since then things have started hearing up. Over the past week there has been this article by Chris Kenny that fiercely attacked a responsible logical opinion of Nazeem's by blasting them

"disturbing and dangerous"

and goes on in classic zionist character assassination style to reduce Nazeem's views to extremist, terrorist sympathizing and radical. going all crazy with "In what amounted to an apologia for terrorism" and throwing out numbers of australians, britishers, americans and pakistanis killed by terrorism and trying to convince the reader that Nazeem was pro that because he didn't acknowledge the black and white cowboy world that Mr Kenny wants us to believe in.
The fact us, nothing in this world happens in a vacuum, everything is connected to everything else, and to deny the effects of western imperialism in all its forms in the middle east and the general third world is to bury your head in the sand, you can do that mr Kenny, but you can't attack others for looking up and seeing what the $@#% is going on.

I would also like to mention that I commented on that article, without being rude or saying anything that can be seen as insulting, my comment has not been posted.

Since yesterday more opinion pieces and coverage has been given to the issue of shariah that basically vilify anything muslims say in some reactionary fear of this creeping sharia business. There is very little logic and a lot of empty scared rhetoric about democracy vs sharia, an attempt to change Australia's way of life, and the ever present "if you don't like it, leave the country" gibe that seems to be a favorite with bigots.

A news piece has actually gone the extra step to speak to Siddique Conlon, better known from the 60 minutes piece. This time though he was shown as an authority on islamic matters.

The fact is and continues to be that Mr Conlon's views are fringe views, he and his group have virtually no support in the Muslim community in south eastern sydney, let alone Australia. And yet because he says inflammatory things, he's going to be the new hilali, or the new abu ayman. A man who looks different, speaks hate, and revels in his bad man image.

What's next ? the closer the elections loom, the more controversy seems to find its way to our television screens, the more hate, panic and aggression takes place online and the on the streets.

I wish I could end of a positive note...

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Ten Years Hate (linked article)

I would copy and paste the whole article here, but the photos are just as important as the text.

 The Ten Years Hate

One Australian Muslim's feedback on the death of OBL

In relation to the death of OBL. Abdulah Zaiyed, from FAMSY, Australian Muslim Students and Youth. Spoke to WSFM radio in Sydney.

Here is the interview.

I love Abdulah, he is a very good friend of mine, but I find that I disagree with the way he handled this interview. I think he could have gone a different way to highlight the plight of the Muslims world wide under the overbearing colonialist weight of the US foreign policies. I guess though he only had so much time and in a casual interview spot he coudln't have gotten more serious than this.

thoughts ?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The irrelevant death of Emmanuel Goldstein

A couple of days ago a friend of mine (A muslim) was asked what he thought of Osama bin Laden, he answered that Osama bin Laden was never a danger in himself. What was more important was the constructed idea of a personified evil. A tokenistic sort of evil that can always be referred to when the masses are angry about bad governance or corrupt policy. A man could feel good about passionately hating this antichrist in hate orgies or by himself. Someone who conventiently popped his head out every couple of months (or years) to denounce the West (Capital W). Particulalry when public sentiment is negative towards government. Then suddenly the puplic is again in LOVE with all aspects of Western govenrment, and democracy, and freedom, and other such rhetoric. Because you might not have a job, and coporations might be working you like a slave, and politicians might be spin doctors who spend all their efforts and money to last as long as possible in their seats of power, but at least you're safe from the boogy man, Osama Bin Laden.

I'm not going to delve into the whole 9/11 event and whether or not it was an inside job or not, I'll leave that to you. Suffice to say that it was a terrorist attack and that alot of innocent civilans died.

Because of his boogie man, the US has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. It has killed wholesale hundreds of thousands of innocent civilans in those and other countries (1,455,590 in Iraq alone). The initial justification for the Iraq invasion was a phantom connection the AlQaeda.

Now that OBL is dead. What is going to change ? Obama's speech celebrates his death and hails a new era of safety and a win for Good. It's not. Anti Americanism is still very much alive and being fed every day by terrorists from both camps.

In the process of getting this mad rabid form of justice, hundreds of thousands had to die, whole countries fell apart, the geopolitical global atmosphere became so tense that it's led to world wide revolutions and uprisings like corn kernels on a hot stove.

The anger and hate of all those wronged as collatoral damage has not withered, and the US's kangaroo courts in Gitmo and their laughable attempts to give lollies to Muslim around the world has not and will not deter from the fact that alot of injustice is being perpetrated by the US directly and indirectly to 3rd world peoples all over the world including Muslims.

And Obama of course is happy to find such a lovely wrapped gift waiting for him. The world's modern Emmanuel Goldstein, dead, confirmed and waiting for Mr Obama to stand over it victorious and score his next term as president.

Oh, also, how can they kill him... if.... He WAS ALREADY DEAD ! ! !

But that's a topic for anther day.

This is not a day for celebrating his death nor mourning it. We should however remember all those innocent people who died as a result of this useless war on terror. including of course those who died on 911.