ourafrica:

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven… No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to hell… I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

-Desmond Tutu

CAPE TOWN - As South Africa heads for nail-biting 2014 general elections Archbishop Desmond Tutu has pulled up a surprise by announcing the formation of a Gay political party called Democratic Religious Alliance Against Minority Antagonism (DRAAMA)

South African general election will be held on a date in April–July 2014 to elect a new National Assembly, as well as new provincial legislatures in each province. It will be the fifth quinquennial election held under conditions of universal adult suffrage since the end of the apartheid era in 1994.

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven… No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to hell… I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

This is a statement from Nobel Peace Prize laureate and South African archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, who added that he does not believe religion provides justification for homophobia. His passion on the issue has led him to form the world’s first gay political party affectionately named ‘DRAAMA’, an acronym for Democratic Religious Alliance Against Minority Antagonism [D.R.A.A.M.A].

Tutu, who is one of the Western World’s most respected men and Christians, says the formation of his new political party was to redress the issue which he feels president Jacob Zuma ‘tiptoes’ around.

“The first and last time we ever heard president Jacob Zuma addressing issues around anti-homophobia was when he had to make a public apology regarding a damaging statement he made about this minority group,” Desmond Tutu told reporters.

In a media statement released this morning, DRAAMA is set to be at the forefront of minority human-rights issues the current ruling party has dragged its feet in addressing. True to its name, this is certainly not going to be your ordinary political party famous for making false promises. With gay socialite and choreographer Somizi Mhlongo being poached as the party’s spin doctor, South Africans should brace themselves for a lot of DRAAMA!!!

“I was pleasantly surprised upon receiving a call from the honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu informing me of his intentions and his request for my involvement thereof… I was expecting the party to approach the likes of Aunty Eusebius McKaizer…” explained Somizi Mhlongo.

Read the entire article here: http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/world/20291-tutu-launches-new-south-african-gay-political-party.html

6 months ago on 18 January 2014 @ 1:10am 440 notes

androphilia:

The “Boat People” Deserve to Live: Rohingya | OnIslam.net

Humanitarian Issues

By Ramzy Baroud
Columnist and Editor of Palestine Chronicle

March 4, 2013

One fails to understand the unperturbed attitude with which regional and international leaders and organizations are treating the unrelenting onslaught against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, formally known as Burma.

Numbers speak of atrocities where every violent act is prelude to greater violence and ethnic cleansing. Yet, western governments’ normalization with the Myanmar regime continues unabated, regional leaders are as gutless as ever and even human rights organizations seem compelled by habitual urges to issue statements lacking meaningful, decisive and coordinated calls for action.

Meanwhile the ‘boat people’ remain on their own.

On February 26, fishermen discovered a rickety wooden boat floating randomly at sea, nearly 25 kilometers (16 miles) off the coast of Indonesia’s Northern Province of Aceh. The Associated Press and other media reported there were 121 people on board including children who were extremely weak, dehydrated and nearly starved.

They were Rohingya refugees who preferred to take their chances at sea rather than stay in Myanmar. To understand the decision of a parent to risk his child’s life in a tumultuous sea would require understanding the greater risks awaiting them at home.

Endless Pains…

Reporting for Voice of America from Jakarta, Kate Lamb cited a moderate estimate of the outcome of communal violence in the Arakan state, which left hundreds of Rohingya Muslims dead, thousands of homes burnt and nearly 115,000 displaced.

The number is likely to be higher at all fronts. Many fleeing Rohingya perished at sea or disappeared to never be seen again. Harrowing stories are told and reported of families separating and boats sunk. There are documented events in which various regional navies and border police sent back refugees after they successfully braved the deadly journey to other countries - Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and elsewhere.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported that nearly 13,000 Rohingya refugees attempted to leave Myanmar on smugglers’ boats in the Bay of Bengal in 2012. At least five hundred drowned.

But who are the Rohingya people?

Myanmar officials and media wish to simply see the Rohingyas as ‘illegal Bengali immigrants’, a credulous reading of history at best.

The intentions of this inaccurate classification, however, are truly sinister for it is meant to provide a legal clearance to forcefully deport the Rohingya population. Myanmar President Then Sein had in fact made an ‘offer’ to the UN last year that he was willing to send the Rohingya people “to any other country willing to accept them.” The UN declined.

Rohingya Muslims, however, are native to the state of “Rohang”, officially known as Rakhine or Arakan. If one is to seek historical accuracy, not only are the Rohingya people native to Myanmar, it was in fact Burma that occupied Rakhine in the 1700’s. Over the years, especially in the first half of the 20th century, the original inhabitants of Arakan were joined by cheap or forced labor from Bengal and India, who permanently settled there.

For decades, tension brewed between Buddhists and Muslims in the region. Naturally, a majority backed by a military junta is likely to prevail over a minority without any serious regional or international backers. Without much balance of power to be mentioned, the Rohingya population of Arakan, estimated at nearly 800,000, subsisted between the nightmare of having no legal status (as they are still denied citizenship), little or no rights and the occasional ethnic purges carried out by their Buddhist neighbors with the support of their government, army and police.

The worst of such violence in recent years took place between June and October of last year. Buddhists also paid a heavy price for the clashes, but the stateless Rohingyas, being isolated and defenseless, were the ones to carry the heaviest death toll and destruction.

And just when ‘calm’ is reported – as in returning to the status quo of utter discrimination and political alienation of the Rohingyas – violence erupts once more, and every time the diameters of the conflict grow bigger. In late February, an angry Buddhist mob attacked non-Rohingya Muslim schools, shops and homes in the capital Rangoon, regional and international media reported. The cause of the violence was a rumor that the Muslim community is planning to build a mosque.

Spreading Danger

What is taking place in Arakan is most dangerous, not only because of the magnitude of the atrocities and the perpetual suffering of the Rohingya people, which are often described as the world’s most persecuted people.

Other layers of danger also exist that threatens to widen the parameters of the conflict throughout the Southeast Asia region, bringing instability to already unstable border areas, and, of course, as was the case recently, take the conflict from an ethnic one to a purely religious one.

In a region of a unique mix of ethnicities and religions, the plight of the Rohingyas could become the trigger that would set already fractious parts of the region ablaze.

Although the plight of the Rohingya people have in recent months crossed the line from the terrible, but hidden tragedy into a recurring media topic, it is still facing many hurdles that must be overcome in order for some action to be taken.

While the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been making major economic leaps forward, it remains politically ineffective, with little interest in issues pertaining to human rights.

Under the guise of its commitment to ‘non-interference’ and disproportionate attention to the festering territorial disputes in the South China Sea, ASEAN seems unaware that the Rohingya people even exist.

Worst, ASEAN leaders were reportedly in agreement that Myanmar should chair their 2014 summit, as a reward for superficial reforms undertaken by Rangoon to ease its political isolation and open up its market beyond China and few other countries.

Meanwhile, western countries, led by the United States are clamoring to divide the large Myanmar economic cake amongst themselves, and are saying next to nothing about the current human rights records of Rangoon. The minor democratic reforms in Myanmar seem, after all, a pretext to allow the country back to western arms. And the race to Rangoon has indeed begun, unhindered by the continued persecution of the Rohingya people.

On February 26, Myanmar’s President Sein met in Oslo with Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in a ‘landmark’ visit. They spoke economy, of course, for Myanmar has plenty to offer. And regarding the conflict in Arakan, Jens Stoltenberg unambiguously declared it to be an internal Burmese affair, reducing it to most belittling statements. In regards to ‘disagreements’ over citizenship, he said, “we have encouraged dialogue, but we will not demand that Burma’s government give citizenship to the Rohingyas.”

Moreover, to reward Sein for his supposedly bold democratic reforms, Norway took the lead by waving off nearly have of its debt and other countries followed suit, including Japan which dropped $3 billion last year.

While one is used to official hypocrisy, whether by ASEAN or western governments, many are still scratching their heads over the unforgivable silence of democracy advocate and Noble Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi.

Luckily, others are speaking out. Bangladesh’s Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, along with former Timor-Leste president Ramos-Horta had both recently spoke with decisive terms in support of the persecuted Rohingya people.

“The minority Muslim Rohingya continue to suffer unspeakable persecution, with more than 1,000 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes just in recent months, apparently with the complicity and protection of security forces,” the Nobel laureates wrote in the Huffington Post on February 20.

They criticized the prejudicial Citizenship Law of 1982 and called for granting the Rohingya people full citizenship.

The perpetual suffering of the Rohingya people must end. They are deserving of rights and dignity. They are weary of crossing unforgiving seas and walking harsh terrains seeking mere survival.

More voices must join those who are speaking out in support of their rights. ASEAN must break away from its silence and tediously guarded policies and western countries must be confronted by their own civil societies: no normalization with Rangoon when innocent men, women and children are being burned alive in their own homes.

This injustice needs to be known to the world and serious, organized and determined efforts must follow to bring the persecution of the Rohingya people to an end.

Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), now available on Amazon.com. Baroud’s website can be visited here: www.ramzybaroud.net.

See also:

Rohingya Muslims…An Open Wound
Suu Kyi and the Rohingya: a Heroine No More
Petition to Support Rohingya Muslims
Burma’s Rohingya Muslims: We Want Peace

Copyright © 2013 OnIslam.net.

1 year ago on 4 March 2013 @ 10:05pm 242 notes
1 year ago on 8 September 2012 @ 12:30am 472 notes
No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding hands with the person they love.
~ President Barack Obama (via darren-criss)
1 year ago on 7 September 2012 @ 11:20pm 24,854 notes

blazethenation:

THIS

We don’t really have to wait. They look pretty stupid today.

2 years ago on 13 May 2012 @ 9:00pm 1,261 notes

rabbitpeter:

THIS is the change we are seeking in the world. 

2 years ago on 10 May 2012 @ 1:36am 27 notes

wereallequal:

Jon Stewart reveals the secret to the gay rights movement
June 6, 2006

After Elton recently released a second collection of the best gay moments on the Daily Show.  In the following clip, Jon Stewart and Bill Bennett discuss gay marriage.  Bill, a social conservative and supporter of traditional marriage, inadvertently admits the most important part of gaining traction in the gay rights movement - that the human connection between two people (in this case Dick Cheney and his daughter) beats whatever preconceived notions you may have about denying rights to those in the LGBT community.  Ultimately the most impactful way to make a difference and change someone’s mind about any issue is to get to know them.  

Jon Stewart:  If you look at [Dick Cheney’s] voting pattern, he’s a social conservative.  But he’s not against gay Marriage.  Why is that?

…pause

Bill Bennett:  Because of his experience with his daughter

Jon Stewart:  Exactly.  

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-6-2006/bill-bennett-pt—2)

Link to the entire series on AfterElton

http://www.afterelton.com/tv/2007/10/thedailyshow

http://www.afterelton.com/tv/2011/12/the-daily-show-jon-stewart-greatest-gay-hits-2?page=0%2C0

This assclown (Bill Bennett) was just on the Today Show and I had to stop myself from curbstomping my television with his bloated, doughy face on it.

2 years ago on 16 December 2011 @ 9:18am 4 notes