Archive | July 17, 2016

‘The Helping Lunchbox’ has helped feed over 200 homeless citizens in the New Orleans

‘The Helping Lunchbox’ has helped feed over 200 homeless citizens in the New Orleans

Plenty of young activists and their charitable deeds have made the news lately, and a project launched by two brothers is just as deserving of attention.

Insider News reports that Derrel and Kyllon Martin are very aware of the homelessness issue in their home city of New Orleans, therefore, launched a project to help. ‘The Helping Lunchbox’ brings community members together to pack and delivers free lunches to homeless people in the area.

With the help of volunteers, the two brothers hand deliver the lunch bags which are filled with sandwiches, a snack, and water. Words of encouragement are also written on each bag to inspire those who are living life on the streets.

Kristy Lewis Martin, the boys’ mother, couldn’t be more proud of what her sons are doing. It was after the family noticed the grand number of people living under a bridge they often passed by that the boys decided to help remedy the conundrum. To date, the activists have helped feed over 200 people.

According to 2015 statistics, more than 564,708 people are living on the streets in the United States. 15% of that demographic considered to be “chronically homeless,” which means they struggle – and rarely succeed – to raise themselves from poverty.  The boys’ actions are not only helping to ease the struggle many homeless people in New Orleans face, they’re helping draw attention to the issue.


Related Topics:

Homeless Are Being Abducted and Put into FEMA Camps*

Homeless People Plant a Rooftop Organic Garden and Feed an Entire Shelter*

Last $5 and Homeless Man Gave it to a Girl So She Could Get Home Safely*

The Homeless of Kuala Lumpur*

My Experience as a non-Muslim going Undercover with Britain’s Sufi Muslims*

My Experience as a non-Muslim going Undercover with Britain’s Sufi Muslims*

By Alex Klaushofer

In the years since 9/11 and 7/7, Britain’s Muslims have tended to be categorised into one of two groups – either as dangerous religious extremists, or ordinary British citizens much like the predominantly secular population. But when I went undercover to explore the world of the British Sufis, I found a diverse people whose relation to mainstream Islam was more complex than I’d anticipated.

Sufis belong to an ancient mystical tradition which has always had an ambiguous relationship to orthodox Islam and, consequently, have often been treated as dangerous subversives by the authorities. According to legend, one of the earliest Sufi masters went into an Iraqi marketplace and made an exuberant public statement about the internal unity he’d achieved with the divine: “Ana Al Haqq – I am the truth!” Al Hallaj’s identification with one of the ninety-nine names of Allah was considered blasphemy; he was imprisoned and eventually executed. Today, in the parts of the world such as Pakistan where Islamic extremism is on the rise, Sufi gatherings and shrines are still under attack.

The religiously tolerant atmosphere of Britain enables a variety of Sufi groups to flourish quietly, both in their westernised form and among the British Asian population. So, as part of my research for a book on Britain’s evolving faithscape, it struck me that the Sufis, with their reputation for gentleness and moderation, might be the kind of open kind of faith, rooted in experience rather than doctrine and institution that I was finding elsewhere. Sufis meet in gatherings called circles, practising rituals designed to foster the ‘remembrance of God’; I went, first, to one run by the U.K. Sufi Order founded by Inayat Khan, a key figure in bringing universal Sufism to the west.

This branch of British Sufism turned out to be predominantly white and middle-class, and I felt uncomfortable within my comfort zone. I wanted to get a sense of how Britain’s Muslims – the country’s second largest faith group – practised Sufism. So I sought out the Naqshabandis-Haqqanis, devout Muslims who combine Sufism with the observance of Islamic law and who were part of the wave of immigrants who came to Britain from the Indian sub-continent in the fifties and sixties. I decided not to mention the book and, on advice, wore a headscarf. I wanted to fit in, and was happy to be seen as a westerner contemplating conversion, a common enough figure in 21st century Britain. Like a mystery shopper, I wanted to test the warmth of my welcome.

In the course of so doing, I came to appreciate something about these groups that you would never know from the outside: their diversity. The first circle I attended was ultra-traditional: led by men, us women participated, as far as we could, on the other side of a curtain. Not surprisingly, I soon moved on to a circle that, in modern British parlance, was much more inclusive. This group was warm and welcoming and, for months, I returned to its weekly meetings many times.

I had heard, in the course of my research, that some Sufi groups tended to be politically conservative – even, one insider told me, to the point of supporting authoritarian regimes. But as I listened to the references to politics and world events in Sufi prayers, I never found this to be the case.

What else did I find? Rituals that recognised the important role that sound can play in spiritual experience. An informality and intimacy generated by life at floor-level. (No awkward ignoring of your neighbour in a wooden pew!) And, as I watched practising Muslims go through the preparatory prayers and then shared the common meal with them afterwards, I became aware of a religious practice that fully involved the body. Like a traveller who had visited a lot of places that were interesting but not for me, I had found a place which was so comfortable that I wondered, briefly, whether I could stay…

But to do Sufism properly, you really have to become one, to find a teacher – a murshid – and commit fully to that particular spiritual path. As a pluralist studying different forms of religious life and, in my personal spiritual biography, a cultural Christian with pagan tendencies, this wasn’t something I could do. But I remain grateful to the Sufis of Britain, who taught me so much about the spiritual life of the body, and about a side of British Islam about which we hear little.


Related Topics:

Sufism Healing the Soul in Gaza*

Freeing the Butterfly Within (Lec #3)

Who was Jalaluddin Rumi, and Whose Rumi Is He?*

City Council Meeting in Pensacola Opens With Satanic Invocation*

Sweden in Satanic Death Grip*

Atheism and Rediscovering God*

U.K. Free School to Close for Allowing God into the Curriculum*

U.K. Scientists Use Brain Stimulation to ‘Make You Stop Believing In God’*

Mathematics – God’s Language for Nature*

Netanyahu Expected to Be Questioned as a Criminal Suspect*

Netanyahu Expected to Be Questioned as a Criminal Suspect*

Other members of the prime minister’s family may also be called in for questioning, Channel 2 reports, following 15-hour interrogation of his former chief of staff.

Following the questioning by law enforcement officials for 15 hours on Thursday of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Ari Harow, Channel 2 has reported that the interrogation of Harow focused on the conduct of the prime minister himself and that Netanyahu and perhaps other members of his family are expected to be questioned under caution, meaning as criminal suspects. The report by Channel 2 journalist Amnon Abramovich aired on Friday.

The potential investigation of the prime minister follows information provided to law enforcement by a source close to Netanyahu, Abramovich said. The current investigation would reportedly apparently be carried out not only in Israel, but also in the United States and France.

Earlier this month, Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu is being investigated in connection with a massive money-laundering scheme.

If the reported focus of the questioning on Thursday of Harow is accurate, it would be in contrast to his interrogation last December, which centred on Harow’s sale of a consulting firm that he owned. Law enforcement officials are thought to be making use in the new case of information obtained from Harow’s personal computer from his prior questioning.

On Thursday another associate of Netanyahu’s was questioned by police in connection with the prime minister. Two senior officials who have worked in the Prime Minister’s Office since Netanyahu resumed serving as prime minister in 2009, following an earlier stint in the 1990s, are also expected to be summoned for questioning shortly.

This month, Haaretz reported that the police suspect that Harow was involved in a fictitious transaction for the sale for $3 million of a H3 Global, the private consulting firm that he owned. Harow resigned as chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office in January 2015, but the suspicions regarding the consulting firm only arose in recent months. Although Harow reported selling the firm for $3 million, not all of the sum was paid to him, prompting the police to suspect that the transaction was fictitious. As a result, an investigation was launched in December and Harow spent five days under house arrest.

The American-born Harow is a former head of American Friends of Likud, Netanyahu’s party. The American Friends group financed several trips abroad by Netanyahu and his family. Harow was involved in fundraising for Netanyahu, who in February 2009, appointed him as the director of the Prime Minister’s Office.

It was after he left the Prime Minister’s Office for the first time in March 2010 that Harow founded Global H3. In September 2013, when Netanyahu tapped him as chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office, Harow signed a conflict of interest agreement in which he committed not to have any involvement in managing the company, which was to be left to his business partners and his two brothers.


Related Topics:

Spanish Court Issues Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Senior Israeli Officials*

Lawmakers Boycott Netanyahu Speech*

Israel: 30,000 in Anti-Netanyahu Rally*

Israelis want Netanyahu to Leave*

Israeli-Zionist Investigative Journalist Ties Netanyahu to Charlie Hebdo Massacre*

Desperate Netanyahu Launches Twitter Account for Iranians*

Netanyahu Arrest up for Debate as U.K. Petition Hits Target*

Hack of Netanyahu Chief of Staff Shows Israeli Control of ISIS*

A Strange Kind of Coup*

A Strange Kind of Coup*

By Ulson Gunnar

A bloody and destructive military coup attempt swept Turkey from Ankara to Istanbul today with reports of limited ground and air combat. The parliament building was reportedly bombed, news stations overtaken by troops including CNN’s Turkish studio, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordering “rebel” aircraft shot from the sky and the coup-plotters brought to “justice.”

Events are still developing, and regardless of the outcome, Turkey’s political landscape has descended one step further still into chaos and instability with the prospect of a united and stable Turkey emerging anytime soon very unlikely.

Turkey hosts a myriad of competing factions, including Turkey’s ruling party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), Kemalist nationalists that functions as a military “deep state,” a large Kurdish minority and a tangled web of street and even armed fronts supporting each respective faction.

President Erdogan himself laid the blame for the coup attempt on Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based opposition figure who has long sought political power in his native Turkey.

President Erdogan immediately seized upon the violence to declare his intentions to “cleanse” the military of dissents, however, this is likely to only further divide the country and force his political enemies to take even more drastic measures to ensure self-preservation.

Turkey Brought to the Brink

Beyond merely vying for political power, there may be other reasons for increasingly violent infighting across Turkey’s political landscape.

Turkey’s involvement in recent years in neighbouring Syria and the ongoing war there has manifested itself within Turkey as a self-destructive policy of cultivating regional terrorism, pitting the nation against its neighbours and powerful economic partners like Russia and even has brought Turkey on multiple occasions toward the brink of wider regional war.

Evidence suggests that terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) are harboured within Turkish territory as well as resupplied, rearmed and reinforced in Syria via Turkey. Russian air operations along the border, stemming this torrent of supplies have been credited with the subsequent collapse of terrorist operations within Syria, further lending credence to accusations of Turkey’s direct involvement in sponsoring regional terrorism.

Turkey’s continued participation in U.S.-led attempts at regime change in Syria has cost Turkey politically, economically and with several major terrorist attacks within Turkey carried out allegedly by the very groups Turkey’s government is supporting in Syria, the nation is clearly suffering in terms of security and stability.

For factions within Turkey’s military itself, charged with the defence and self-preservation of the Turkish state, it must be tempting to intervene in order to reverse this disastrous course.

It must also be tempting for the government of President Erdogan to pre-empt any such intervention. For the US, who has benefited immensely from Turkey’s cooperation in Syria, it must be tempting for Washington to ensure Turkey remains on its current course, or even accelerate and expand its efforts.

The Coup’s Execution

The lack of any significant leading figure coming forward to lead the coup has led to speculation regarding several possibilities.

First is that whichever faction launched the coup, did so as a means of testing its viability and garnering wider support if possible based on its perceived success. At the same time, they attempted to maintain plausible deniability by not openly leading it. However, by doing so, they may have undermined their chances of success.

The second possibility is that the coup attempt itself was a ruse not intended to succeed, but like many of the other terrorist attacks carried out within Turkey itself, was intended as a means of justifying a further consolidation of power by President Erdogan.

A third possibility is that the coup was indeed organized by Gulen from abroad, as a means of pressuring and coercing President Erdogan further down the destructive path he has brought Turkey down. It should be noted that in the lead up to the coup, President Erdogan uncharacteristically began attempting to mend relations with both Russia and Syria after bringing Turkey to the brink of war with both nations.

Making Sense of the Fallout 

There is the possibility that military factions involved in the coup will continue to undermine, resist and otherwise attempt to overthrow the current Turkish government, even if the current coup itself is fully put down.

It should be remembered that Turkey’s Kurdish minority has waged a low-intensity conflict against Turkey for years with the fighting seeing renewed vigour during the recent 5 year conflict in neighbouring Syria.

If the coup was truly led by disenfranchised military leaders, they could end up as a long-term and increasingly potent factor in an already complex regional political and military struggle.

Should President Erdogan double-down on Turkey’s role in U.S.-led regime change operations in Syria, while consolidating power and further diminishing the military’s political role within Turkey itself, the apparently poorly executed coup may indeed have been nothing more than a ploy to redirect Turkey back onto the destructive course President Erdogan has sent it down since 2011.

While the Western media is attempting to portray the apparent failure of the coup as a “victory for democracy,” it is clear that Turkey’s unravelling over recent years will benefit no one and no political institution or principle, including democracy itself.


Related Topics:

Washington Planning a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the Oil Fields*

Turkey Caught on Camera Protecting and Aiding Al-Nusra Rebels*

Turkey Shells Syrian Government Forces*

Corporate Media Silent on M.E. on Israel and Turkey Strike on Syrian Oil Deal*

Thirty Syrian Boys Raped in Turkish Refugee Camp*

London Sees Mass post-Brexit anti-Tory, anti-Austerity, anti-Racism Protest*

London Sees Mass post-Brexit anti-Tory, anti-Austerity, anti-Racism Protest*

Several thousand protesters demonstrated in London on Saturday against austerity, racism and the new Tory government. The opposition rally was the biggest major protest since the June 23 Brexit referendum.

Central London saw more than 10,000 anti-Tory campaigners on the streets and Black Lives Matter activists.

Protesters made their way down Piccadilly Circus, Marble Arch and Hyde Park.

Crowds of people were demanding that new Prime Minister Theresa May resign.

Organizers said it was an “emergency demonstration” against austerity, racism and the Conservative Party. It was first arranged following the Brexit vote.

Protesters carried placards that said: “Refugees welcome,”“Defy Tory rule,” and “Cut war not welfare.”

The march, titled: “No More Austerity, No To Racism, Tories Must Go” was organized by various protest groups including the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

“The message is very clear, that people are rejecting the Tories’ austerity policies. Communities are suffering as a result of them and the one way to end that is to get rid of the Tories,” one of the organizers, Steve Sweeney, told the Evening Standard.

The protest was joined by Black Lives Matter campaigners.

Meanwhile, a small anti-migrant demonstration of some 70 people, organized by the far-right English Defence League (EDL), was also held in central London.

Members of the far-right group wore English flags and masks, chanted “No surrender” referring to Islamist terrorist groups and at a rally in Hyde Park speakers railed against Islam and immigration.

The anti-austerity demonstration comes three weeks after the U.K. voted in a referendum and chose to leave the E.U. Following former Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation, Theresa May took over the post on Wednesday.

May immediately began with a cull of Cameron allies in her new Cabinet, although she gave three key roles for known Eurosceptics.

One of her most controversial choices May was appointing former London Mayor and Leave campaigner Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.


Related Topics:

U.K’s New PM a Very Jewish Coup*

Leaked E.U. Document Reveals Plans for Superstate after Brexit*

U.K.’s Poverty, Food and Flood Victims*

U.K. Ground Foot Soldiers, the Social Services to Run the NHS*

U.K. Cuts to Social Services has Caused the ‘biggest rise in death rates’ since WWII*

Unfair Health Contract Sparks Exodus of U.K. Medical Professionals*

U.K. Secretively Scraps Free Meal Grants for Poorest Primary School Children*

U.K. GPs to Gather Info on Sick Patients for the State*

Bank Bail-outs Behind Behind U.K.’s Collapsing Public Services*

U.K. Gov to Invest an Extra £1.2bn in Syria*

U.S. and U.K. Flagrant Abuse of Int’l Law*

U.K. to Ban ‘Boycott Israel’*

U.K. Illegally at War in Yemen*

Cover-up of U.K.’s Role in Iraq Atrocities*

New Colonial Carve-up of Africa? British firms vying for £1trn Natural Resources*

Slavs and Oriental are “niggers, brutes and beasts”, in the eyes of Western Empire*

The Delusion ‘I Am Not Responsible’*