The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
I'm an Italian Confusionist and I want to bring peace to Iraq. Confused yet? Confusionism. Not confusionism. More confusionists who are fond of sports. And, the originator of it all. first link is LiveLeak, last link is MySpace; proceed, therefore, at your own risk.
A teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy. Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year old Yezidi girl who lived in Northern Iraq, fell in love with a Sunni Muslim boy, and possibly converted to Islam. For this she was stoned to death in a public "honour killing" which was recorded on video and spread on the internet (warning: graphic and disturbing. YouTube took theirs down.) 23 Yezidis have been killed in retaliation. [Via Disinformation.]
A disturbing chess set uses the US war in the Middle East as inspiration for its pieces. This is only one modern take of many variations of sets which play off of religious/cultural conflict. to The game itself generally has had a turbulent relationship with religion. In the 13th Century, Pope Innocent III excused post-chess homicide as an involuntary act. Some modern Muslims don't approve of chess, despite Islam having probably introduced it to Europe. Judaism also has a long, if disputed engagement with the game, including enduring anti-semitic attacks about "Jewish" gameplay. The Taliban banned chess in Afghanistan, and the game has returned after their fall (though it now sounds like the Afghan women's team has been withdrawn).
If America were Iraq, what would it be like? Private armies totaling 275,000 men; platoons of Christian Soldiers Militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery; the grounds of the White House constantly under mortar fire; the Secretary of State, President, and Attorney General all assassinated in the past year; and the Air Force routinely bombing Billings, Flint, Philadelphia, and parts of LA and DC to destroy "safe houses" of "criminal gangs."
Devil Worship: The Sacred Books and Traditions of the Yezidiz, by Isya Joseph, 1919. 'This is one of the only public domain sources of information on the religious beliefs of the Yezidi, a small group originally from the northern region of Iraq. Although they speak Kurdish, they are a distinct population from the Kurds. The Yezidi are notable because they have been described as devil-worshippers, which has naturally led to constant persecution by the dominant Islamic culture of the region ... They have many unique beliefs, such as that the first Yezidi were created by Adam by parthenogenesis separately from Eve ... ' New on sacred-texts.com.
Pat Tillman's memorial ceremony was going as planned: John McCain spoke, American flags waved, the Army and the NFL stood together, all mourning their lost colleague. It was going as planned until Pat's brother spoke: "Pat isn't with God,'' he said. "He's f -- ing dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's f -- ing dead.''
Some said it could'nt be done, but the U.S. seems to have suceeded in uniting Iraq's different ethnic and religious groups. Now perhaps its time for the Vulcan's to begin to reign in their dreams of empire.
Ready for a new religion? Or maybe not so new. But it may explain a few things.
Meet the People of the Peacock Angel, the Yezidi. Theirs is a religion and culture centered near Mosul, Iraq, as well as Syria, the Caucasus, the via the diaspora in Germany. Seclusive and secretive, the Yezidi have often been maligned by outsiders due to misinterpretations of the nature of their primary Deity, Malak Taus (once a rebel angel who recreated the world and doused the fires of hell with his tears). Gurdjieff (pt. I, pt. II) may have been heavily influenced by them. Unlike other middle-eastern religions, the Yezidi have rejected dualism and, therefore, the ideas of sin and evil. Various versions float around of the Black Book of the Yezidi and other works that form their sacred literature. Wars, political pogroms and proselytizing have placed this beautiful, complex and misunderstood tradition in jeopardy.
"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did..." does this kind of talk coming from our president and the most powerful man in concern you? - or reassure you?
"It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized," he said. [via anil]
Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy. "Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population." (from Buzzflash) God please save me from your followers!
"God's boys on both sides of the Atlantic" It began back in February. Now, 6 letters, 350+ intellectuals later, the great debate rages on, though apparently and regrettably now censored in Saudi Arabia. Pity.