How did Saudi King Abdullah become a world hero? – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Did Burmese maid Layla Bint Abdul Mutaleb Bassim share the “modern” vision of the king as she was dragged through the streets and then beheaded in public while being held by four soldiers on January 18 of this year? She plead for her life and declared her innocence. It is tradition in Saudi Arabia’s injustice system that executioners ask those they kill for forgiveness prior to beheading them. But the young Bassim shouted in the street, blindfolded and with her arms tied behind her back: “haram [forbidden], haram, haram, I did not kill, I do not forgive you, this is an injustice.” And then the sword of modernity, of progress, of “warm and genuine friendship,” fell on her neck – three times, as the executioner could not kill her in one stroke. The man who filmed the gruesome legal murder of Bassim was arrested.

via How did Saudi King Abdullah become a world hero? – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

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Are humans alone in the Universe?

We are, according to this report, Dissolving the Fermi Paradox, published earlier this month.

It’s not surprising that we haven’t found anyone who is like us. Life on the surface of a planet is precarious – the constantly changing atmosphere has to stay within certain boundaries for us to survive. The magnetism that deflects most of the solar wind,which would otherwise strip away the ozone layer that protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation is always fluctuating. Then there’s the ever-constant threat of asteroids.

Anything that survives on the surface has to be adaptable and somewhat vicious. This suited humanity in the short run (the past 200,000 years, an eye-blink in universal time), but when our adaptability gives us the power to destroy the planet, it puts us at a tipping point; expand to other planets or die here.

Other surface dwellers may have reached this point, and may not have survived. Or, they could have evolved into something that’s so advanced, we can’t even comprehend their existence.

Like these guys –

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Sketching – Portrait 2

Portrait 2

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Sketching – Woman facing away

woman facing away

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Sketching at the Art Student’s League, in a class taught by the amazing Costa Vavagiakis

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Life Drawing


Woman, Life Drawing

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Qatar sponsoring Extremist Preachers

According to the State Department, Qatar’s government provides preachers with guidance for Friday sermons, reviews content, and reserves the right to take judicial action against clerics who fail to adhere to such guidelines. Yet far from punishing or at least disavowing Muraikhi’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, Qatar’s government promoted his sermon both before and afterward, and broadcast it on official media.

Qatar’s government did the same when a preacher named Abdullah al-Naama delivered an extremist sermon at the Grand Mosque on July 21st, 2017.  In fact, Naama and Muraikhi have been the only preachers selected to deliver weekly Friday sermons at the Grand Mosque since that date. And Qatar should already have known such incitement was a distinct possibility, since both men have engaged in it before.

In Naama’s July 21st sermon, he warned Muslims that their “most dangerous enemies” are Muslim hypocrites, who he says are even “more dangerous to Islam than the Jews and the Christians.” Naama declared that Muslim hypocrites resort “to the Jews and the polytheists as a refuge” and that they “are among the ranks of the adversary, for where are they during [literally “from”] the defiling of the Holy Sanctuary?”, accusing Israel of desecrating the Temple Mount. 

Naama went on about such Muslim hypocrites, imploring “where are they during the siege of Gaza?  Where are they during the Holocausts of Muslims in several places?” He argues that “the great betrayal” by Muslim hypocrites is over Palestine, apparently suggesting that treating Israel with anything but overt hostility is a betrayal of Islam.  Naama, who has previously praised what he called Gaza’s “mujahideen,” concluded his sermon by beseeching all Muslims to accept it as their “great duty… to aid our brothers there, with one’s self, and money, and prayer, and extending the hand of support and aid with all of one’s strength and means.”

Qatar has also continued to host extremist preachers at the mosque that services the learning institutions on Qatar’s Education City campus, including satellite campuses for Cornell, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, and Georgetown Universities. In 2015 and 2016, several guest preachers propagated egregious incitement against non-Muslims during their sermons at the Education City Mosque.  And in June 2017, the Education City Mosque hosted a series of lectures by Mohammed Rateb al-Nabulsi, a preacher who has previously labeled all Jews as combatants and who advocates executing gay men.

via Qatari Backing for Extremist Preachers and Anti-Semitic Incitement | Anti-Defamation League

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