Woman

The soft whisper of  morning was broken by her first cry.   And in the adventus hour of wakefulness which follows birth she directed her gaze toward the voice which she had come to recognize as that of her mother.  The womb had revealed her treasure and now one woman looked up, while another, fixed her gaze  downward.  Their eyes met and comfort flowed between them.
Beloved by her father, part of a large family, the woman was allowed to experience a measure of free will.  Entering young adulthood she chose to teach in a village school.  When a marriage proposal was forthcoming she lived up to her family  name:  Sadaqat.  The truth is that she sincerely was not ready for marriage. So the response from her father was a firm “no”.  Months passed and one season beckoned to the next. Generation continued to call out to generation. Life seemed calm and full of promise.
The shadows tangled along the road when the men came for her.  Toting the petrol along with their fists tightly clenched  they set out to teach the woman a lesson.  Brute force with the cunning of a lynx approached the home.  The men knew she was alone, caring for a much younger sister whilst her family attended a funeral.  Faces more prideful than  Nanga Parbut, a deep sense of dishonor by the father of the jilted suitor had built into  glacial acetic acid.
The woman could not put up much of a fight because she was outnumbered. Bullies always run in packs. But as she doubled over in pain she instinctively reached to protect that area where future treasure awaited her own life. Woman.  Thy name is called Woman.
Her nostrils picked up the scent of the petrol. And as the patterns of fire cast shadows upon the wall her fingers fanned out like a moth beating against the flame.    The excruciating pain finally gave way to welcome darkness.  She found herself drifting, drifting, moving away from the voices; away from the torture toward obsidian blackness.
Thy name is Woman: vulnerable, dependent upon Mercy for the seasons of thy life and travail.
She found herself seated on a chair and being carried along a rutted path when a familiar sound brought her back into consciousness.  It was the sound which she had heard as her mother labored to bring her to birth. The woman listened as her mother cried.  It was a mighty heaving torn from the breast and catapulted into the sky.  At first she was unsure regarding the immense outpouring of grief.  And then she remembered.  She blocked the images scattered around the edges of her emerging consciousness. They cut, like shattered glass.
Woman. The tears on her own face were now wet with the memories of her life.  She was woman:   unique, beloved by God, but cursed by a land called Pakistan. She was woman. And she knew that she was dying. Hands already gnarled like the branches of a dead tree – she was unable to wipe the tears from her own eyes.
Sadaqat was laid into the soil from which springs a curse.  In Pakistan, it remains a curse to be born a woman.  Let’s take a moment and view a few statistics:
Violence Against Women (Islamic Republic of Pakistan)
2015:  Pakistan formally investigated the cases of 76 women set on fire and 1,100 women killed in honor killings.   It must be remembered that  reported events do not accurately reflect the actual statistical forensic for violence against women.
Ninety percent  of Pakistani women endure domestic violence.   One in three women suffer extreme acts of violence: rape, acid attacks, honor killing, heaped-upon psychological verbal abuse.  Many women do not report out regarding their circumstances for fear of greater reprisals. Those tasked with investigation retain a strong gender bias against women.
Pakistan consistently ranks in the top five – for the most dangerous countries for women.
What are the policy solutions needed to remove a curse from the soil of Pakistan?  It seems the initial emphases needs to be on a concerted and sustained effort to educate the men.  In the West, a man is deemed a gentleman based on his treatment of the woman. A man who hits a woman, denigrates a woman in public, or seeks to bully into submission is labeled a bastard. We have our bastards too. But the difference is that we do not tolerate them. We remove these men from society.  They spend their days languishing in jails across the U.S.
The sociometric within Pakistani society  remains an unhealthy choice which places the needs of the man above the needs of his counterpart.  The fluid generational transfer of a corrosive pattern of thought must be contained. Pakistan has lacked containment policies.  There are times within my own home where my husband and I have stood united and said, “This unhealthy family pattern which has been passed down through our generations stops with us. We will not allow this to continue. Our future generations will perform better than our past.”
Policies which lack enforcement are like an old lion without the teeth.  Policies must be crafted which marry good governance with practical enforcement.  Law becomes Grace when true justice is achieved.  When law functions as it should, grace is extended to the aggrieved supplicant.   Law without an endpoint of justice is malpractice.  It seems the choke point within Pakistani society is  the guardians of the public good: your own local police departments. Rapid professional investigations, warrants for arrest, and judicial intervention remain weak.
Blood money for crimes against women must be disavowed. What price can be placed on a woman and her generations?  I like to think that we are pretty near darn priceless.  We can cost a man all that he possesses and more. But what we give in return cannot be purchased with all of the money in the world.  What price, for the love of a woman?
How many more women?  I am a woman too.  Answer me like a man. Look me in the eye…. for the sake of a woman with the family name of Sadaqat.
* The above thoughts will be on the page of Turkey Tribune soon.
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Commentary on AQ Inspire Magazine

You will find the published commentary below:

 

Death Spiral Magazine

This morning I awakened to the news of a young lady set ablaze for refusing a marriage proposal.

Ahhh, Pakistan!  We can scarcely bear up under the barbarity of your treatment of women.

Is God capricious?  Did he create fifty percent of the population for  amusement and oppression by the fifty percent with a Y chromosome?

God is kind, loving, and merciful. He created us equal.  Equal and in full measure we remain the greatest of His works.

I lift my eyes when I am troubled….

And who is this god named Allah?

He is not the god of the Christians.

Our God has a first name.  It is love.

 

 

 

Al-Qaeda Magazine: “Inspire” Spring edition

The Egyptian writer, Naguib Mafooz,  was born to a humble family in the Fatimid quarter of Cairo.  He was bequeathed with the name of the Coptic physician who assisted in his birth. The youngest of seven children,  raised within a Muslim family with strict orthodoxy he once commented, “You would have never thought that an artist would emerge from that family.”  But buried deep within his genome map were the gifts of an artist.  What is known as the Cairo Trilogy, is perhaps his best remembered work. In 1988 Naguib Mafooz received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His literature elevates the human soul. And his trilogy remains in the category of favorites, in my home library.
The Nobel Prize for Literature will not be awarded to the editor of the Spring edition of the al-Qaeda magazine “Inspire”.  There is literature, and then there is the work of disturbed minds.
Having recently received a copy it seems good to remind the readership to choose legitimate media organizations to assist in the opinion-making process.  “Inspire” is not journalism.  It is a niche industry run by hot-headed jihadi seeking out cohorts with reptilian brains.
The magazine has certainly evolved over the years. Oriented more toward a Western audience, the cover shows a man with a ball cap and hoodie looking toward a well-lit multi-story residence.
The cover feature is a real attention grabber: “Home Assassinations: Making explosives for home Assassinations – parcel bomb, magnetic car bomb and door trap bomb”. I am reminded that the very word “assassination” is a spelling reminder that we are not meant to act like twin donkeys. It is not good for greater society.
After viewing this exciting cover I had a moment of illumination.  All praise be to Abu Hamza!  Quickly picking up the telephone I called my stockbroker.  There is a bright future for the prosthetics industry!  Who is the best in the industry for glass eyes and prosthetic hands?
Of course there is the usual “put the bomb in a book” scenario.  I once viewed a video where a man was blown to smithereens with a bomb placed in an old VHS video case.  Very effective.  But then again…. the prosthetics industry awaits the lone wolf of the inspired variety.
The magazine has definite formatting issues. Cover articles are usually situated near the front of a magazine and not at the end. I guess the editor wanted to end it all with a big bang. No pun intended.
The magazine seeks legitimacy by devoting two pages to comments from professional journalists and includes a blurb from Michael Hayden (former CIA and NSA director). It is the kind of name-dropping which I find detestable because the reporters are merely doing their job. They are reporting the news. They would not spit on the editor were he on fire. It is a waste of spittle.
Ahmed Mohamed (the Clock Boy) receives a small shout-out, with the iconic image of him with President Obama.  As I am a personal friend of the parents and children, I am aware of how this news has affected the nuclear and extended family.
There is one interesting image which makes me wonder if the artist was thinking of the Day of Requittal.  An obscure Hadith comes to mind. His fate is already written.
A page is devoted to “Words of Wisdom” from al-Qaeda leadership, both living and now deceased.  This is followed by a section on Palestine.  Usama bin Ladin merits a few pages, and Anwar al-Awlaki is on full display on the back cover.  The images of both men have been airbrushed and photo-shopped to ridiculous levels.  Perhaps it is to achieve the valued look of serenity which is the trademark for jihad warriors.
One of the articles is deeply disturbing. As a humanist who looks at all people without my first thought being, “Gosh! Is this person a Jew… a Bangladeshi… a German?’, there is zero tolerance for the line of fire laid down by the author.   The article boasts of a “knife revolution” coming to America. “How many Jews are in America, Europe and other kufr countries?”  Let me merely note the obvious.  How many Muslims are in America?  Should I begin to take an interest in that little fact?
Pick up a knife if you will. We also have a will which is greater than your own. It is the collective will of the American people. We strive hard to live in peace. This peace, includes protection for Muslims, Jews, and all who choose proudly call themselves Americans. Pick up a knife, and you are done. Period.
The current issue of Inspire is 89 pages in length.  Eighty-nine pages of hatred, angst, paranoia and bigotry.  Yet across much of the world most of us go about our daily business.  We are busy learning how to construct temporary housing with 3-D printers. Medicines are being brought to the marketplace which will improve quality of life. Farmers are tending their soil and bringing their produce to market. Shepherds are herding their sheep.  Educators in the classroom and assuring that the next generation of children will be ready to take our places when the time comes.
Al-Qaeda?  Alpha males are seeking out their fellow wolves. We don’t live in al-Qaeda’s world.  Nor do we want a world which resembles it.

The Cult of the Unicorn

Prologue:


To understand the Cult of the Unicorn the journalist asks the reader to join her in the eagle’s nest.  My aerie is five feet in diameter with a weight of nearly a ton.  Because it is necessary to soar to the greater heights required for writing with clarity, this nest is situated high upon a mountain and secured within the craggy face of a rock.  You are safe within my nest. I am your host.   But now I am asking you to trust me.  Join me on this flight. Let’s soar into the world of imagination. It is time to ponder the cult of the unicorn.

The Hills:

It happened in an instant of time.   The man stepped out of his bed one morning and had his final moment of illumination.  Hastily moving into his walk-in closet he stood in front of a shrine of sorts, a full length mirror which he vigorously cleaned several times a day. It was true! The creature was there, no longer hiding from his view, but on full display.  He was a unicorn!  He could sense it in the rhythm of his body and the beat of his heart. There was no denial of what the soothsayer (otherwise known as his psyche) was telling him.  He was a unicorn!

During the following year the man did all he could to locate other unicorns.  He found a few who sported the cloven hooves of the goat. By networking with his fellow mystical creatures he was able to find the necessary two sets  at a costly price.  Donning his hooves, he worked in the privacy of his home to walk on all fours. Over time he learned to prance, maintain a gait, and even gallop along on his hooves.

Networking a bit more he was able to find a lovely lion’s tail.  The tail root was golden in color and it changed to a lovely burnt orange until reaching the claw of the tail which was a rich bronze.

The man actually spent the following decade working to acquire the piece de resistance, the tusk of a narwhal, which a craftsman transformed into a beautiful horn of a cubit and half in length. Locating a physician who was willing to embed the thing into his forehead, the man spared no expense to complete his transformation.  Returning home he stood in front of his shrine and admired himself.  Ahh, yes!  It was good to be a unicorn!

The Plains:

Over the years, more and more unicorns made their appearance in polite society. I say polite society, because we must not state the obvious. We are looking at a man with a long horn sticking out of his forehead. Secretly we think, “What sorrow is this which is brought forth from the soul of man?”  In whispers, we ask our closest friends, “Should we not be vexed by that which needs to be healed?”  But our polite president has supported the unicorns throughout his presidency. He has made himself the law-giver: We must accommodate bathrooms, dressing rooms, and school locker rooms for the unicorns. The unicorns must be allowed to be what they imagine themselves to be at the shrine to the self.

The Valley:

So it was that one day a man and a woman now fully exposed to the cult of the unicorn gave birth to a son.  Looking at his small, naked frame, and lightly touching his forehead they both smiled as they looked at each other.  “We have given birth to a unicorn!”
The Depths:

Those who worship within the cult of the unicorn have been with us since the beginning of time.  They have been on the edges of society throughout history.  Yet now through the knavery and insensibilities of our American president, lifestyles are elevated and enshrined to the point that our very children are endangered.  It is one thing for an individual to worship at the shrine of their choice. But it is unconscionable that Americans are being coerced to also worship at a shrine which many of us consider harmful to the greater good of healthy society. It is oppressive, that the executive branch seeks to legally persecute those who refuse to worship at the unicorn’s shrine.

And what about the children?  What of the small children who are convinced by a polluted cult that it is o.k. to seek to fundamentally transform the very nature bestowed by the Creator?  At what point do we submit that the image of truth projected by President Obama is not really truth, but a carefully nurtured deceit?
 
At what point do we call it child abuse?  Is it not child abuse to seek the mutilation of the genitals of a child, the introduction of hormone therapy, the multiple surgical procedures required for a transgender transformation?

Should there not be pity? And should such pity not seek out the emotional and psychological healing for those who believe they are unicorns?

Thank you for taking flight with me today. We have viewed the hills, the plains, the valleys and depths.  We are safely back in the nest.  As you return to your home nest take that look in your own mirror. Be grateful for God’s design for your life.

Increased Operational Tempo for Acts of Jihad

October 31st:

Russia-bound Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 individuals on board. The crash was attributed to an act of terrorism.

November 13th  brought us the horrific Paris attack and close on it’s heels the San Bernardino attack on December 2nd.

Today another flight has disappeared.  This aircraft traveling from Paris to Cairo.

There are those who opine that we are erasing the jihadist footprint.

We must be using a fairly small eraser.

Terrorism and Commonality of Weaponry

Faisal Shahzad

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez

Syed Rizwan Farook

Tashfeen Malik

Mohammad Youssef Abdulaziz

Some came to the U.S. as infants or small children. Others came to the U.S. as adults.

All of the above completed acts of jihad.

I say completed, because jihad begins with the gallop of the horse.

Jihad begins with intent. Mission success is based on intent not completion.

Every single one of them used the same weapon to embark on jihad.

That weapon, is a visa.

Because we do not understand Hajj, we do not understand jihad.

Let’s take away the first weapon which is wielded against the West.

We issued the weapon.  American’s have lost their lives.

Enough.

 

General Patton: War Diary Recovery Sends Shockwaves Across America

The recovery of a private war diary of General George S. Patton is sending shock waves throughout both the veteran and civilian communities.

Written in the months preceding the invasion of Normandy, the words penned by the man who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European theaters of operation in World War II remain inexplicable and difficult to comprehend.

General Patton takes off the uniform which served him well and delves into the domestic front and the effects of the war on the average citizen.  He worries about the inflammatory political discourse against the Nazi ideology, including what he calls “proposals from various quarters” for blanket discrimination against the Germans. He ponders that the ramifications of such rhetoric “could be very harmful – and lasting”. He considers that such discussions against the Nazi threat do not make us safer, rather compound a greater danger to the citizens of the United States.

While pegging these discussions as “toxic, and indeed, non-biodegradable – a kind of poison”  the warrior seems incapable of grasping the toxicology of an ideology  for which he has sent men to their very deaths.

General Patton fears that demonizing and denigrating Nazi ideology will strengthen Nazism grip and radicalization of our own youth; that we must be careful to realize that what we are fighting is NOT Nazi Germany, but a twisted version of Nazi Germany.

Finally, General Patton shoulders the distinct fear that the continued national conversation regarding the effects of Germany’s ideology will prove “corrosive to our vital national security issues, and ultimately, to the United States success in this war.”

History has already judged General Patton regarding his contribution to the war. He served with honor.  But then again, there is the journal.

Private Journal Entries