Communities, Us vs Them … where do you draw the line?

We have all been part of this “phenomena”, and we continue to do so on a daily basis without realizing what our position is within the bigger organisim; and picture.

South Africa is a very diverse country, different folks and they all have their different strokes, and we can all recognise this regardless of our own position in life which forms part of a bigger picture.

I call it a phenomena because it just happens, with or without your concent when you as an individual or you as part of a family unit decide to take up habitation with other people in an established group or community.

This is also true for Valhalla

No, not the Nordic dwelling of the gods, but the Valhalla much closer to the heart of “Die Republiek van Suid Afrika”

The issue at hand is regarding the construction of a mosque in a very Afrikaans-Christian orientated neighborhood.

On the one side, you have 3000 residents of Valhalla saying that a mosque should not be errected because of various issues.  Some of the issues one might descibe as issues with a racist undertone.

Other issues are issues which clearly show the ignorance of people when it comes to other people, their culture and their believes.

On the other side you have 250 Muslim families who make up part of the Valhalla community as they are staying there who want a place for worship.

Clearly, if one works on the motto of Commander Spock which some of you might know is truly a logical approach, then one should accept the fact that “The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one

As much as I cherish the logic of Spock one has to make exceptions, and this has been true in many of the Star Trek episodes and movies where the Prime Directive was overlooked to ensure the well being of all, and for me, this is where we should meet each other as a group inside of a bigger group.

So, the question needs to be asked, when does it become an “Us vs Them” issue when both parties are staying within the same community?

As for me person opinion on the matter.

For me there is only an “us”, smaller communities which make up little bigger communities, which eventually falls under the community of mankind.

Compassion is Colourless

By Jacob L Bane

I’ve spent the better part of this and last week trawling through masses of messages, emails, websites, news articles, historical videos and petitions about Palestine and Israel. I’ve been aware of the crisis for many years but what’s happening now seems frighteningly final.

You’d have to be living under a rock on the dark side of the moon not to be aware of it, even if the facts or details escape you; from the initial ‘retaliation’ on Tuesday 8th July after falsified assassinations of three Israeli youths, supposedly carried out by Hamas ‘terrorists’, to the horror of the four Bakr boys killed indiscriminately on a beach on July 16th and cast as ‘human shields’ by the IDF.

We’ve probably all seen the images of those twisted, lifeless bodies in the summer sand, seen videos of the bombing raids by IDF jets as well as the pictures of some Israelis pulling up deckchairs and cheering as explosions rocked Gaza, because one thing the internet does extremely efficiently is bring the atrocities to our eyeballs – even if we don’t want it to.

Now, compared to a lot of people on Facebook I have a modest number of friends, somewhere around 150. I can be quite a demanding FB friend too, I’m always posting something which needs attention and I generally push lots of people to respond. Often the response is good but with the Palestine situation I’ve noticed an increasing number of people turning a blind eye.

Yes, okay, you’ve had a bad day and you just want a laugh, I get that, but here’s my problem: While innocent people in Palestine are dying because our so-called political leaders are either too involved with Israel or are too busy procrastinating, I can’t rest. I can’t sit by and do nothing, I cannot turn a blind eye like so many people seem to be doing.

I’m becoming angry about this.

I log on at the moment and immediately ask, “Why the fuck is my wall not glowing red hot with Palestine/Israel posts?”

And this got me thinking.

I don’t want to turn this into a racial or religious argument, but I have to ask this solitary question: If it wasn’t Muslims being killed by the IDF and the UN/USA’s inaction, would the world be more sympathetic?

Since 9/11 the world’s view of Muslims has been tainted by a media steered by an elitist group with a political agenda as nefarious as Hitler’s (and Benjamin Netenyahu’s). The average man in the street will tell you he has no time for them or thinks they are dangerous and can’t be trusted. I hear this all the time, especially from the western hemisphere. Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, both vituperated in the media, are forever cast in stone as demons and figureheads of Muslim nations that bred terrorist organisations – all highly questionable, yet widely accepted.

This vilification has damaged, even destroyed the reputation of Muslims all over the world and mistrust is often the first response from many people.

I wonder, if we were seeing blonde haired, pale skinned children dying on a beach, how would the western world respond? Would we see trade sanctions in place already? Would we see UN jets flying in and dropping nukes?

The UN/USA is playing a double standards game because Israel has contravened more UN laws than Iraq, yet America hasn’t charged in there to stomp all over them. We know the USA has been bankrolling Israel, we know it has sold them weapons and if we think about it, we can see that Gaza (and what little remains of the true Palestine) presents a wonderful opportunity to move oil easily from the Middle East to the Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic.

Perhaps what we’re witnessing here is a two-fold endgame: Israel’s final solution for Palestine and America’s continuing quest to control all the oil and the ensuing economy with it.

Compassion doesn’t come in any particular colour – one size fits all and I urge you to ignore the prejudice being spread in the media and listen to your heart, see in the faces of those broken children the faces of your own brothers, sisters or children. Loss, pain, grief and tragedy are indiscriminate too.

What we need to do is hit Israel where it hurts and force them into submission by denying them trade and privileges, so, if you feel so compelled you can take action by signing the following petitions or even email Benjamin Netenyahu and the White House directly with your thoughts.

Together, we have all the power in the world.

Avaaz trade sanctions petiton trade sanctions petiton

Email The White House

Email Benjamin Netenyahu

It has been sitting heavy on my chest for the last two weeks or so, and I haven’t been really in the mood to sit down and mull all my ideas into a single cohesive strand, although I am confronted by it every single day for the last two weeks.

I’ve been following the international news as normal, and I was plagued by the barbarism of humankind all over the globe. Saddened that things can go so far, and that we, the normal average person who go about our daily lives can allow things like this to happen.

Now, looking back on the last two week I feel that I have to do my part, or else, I will be just as guilty as those who perform these savage acts of violence against their fellow human beings.  As Albert Einstein said

“The World will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”

The catalyst for the piece is without a doubt the conflict which escalated so drastically in Israel between the Zionist Israeli Government and Hamas, but, this piece is not only about that conflict, but about the injustice happening all over the globe, and we sit by without decrying it because of man made ideological differences between us.

In Nigeria Boko Haram is running amok, killing civilians indiscriminately and all under the guise of religion.  Seleka, who are predominately Muslim rebels in CAR are waging a terror campaign on civilians and in turn, the Anti-Balaka, who are predominately Christians, have sprung up to defend themselves, in turn, also indiscriminately killing civilians on the Muslim side.

In Iraq and Syria the ISIS which is aspiring to create a caliphate in the region has suddenly appeared on the map and are brutally slaying everyone who does not side with them, including fellow Muslims.

But, this is not much different from the Spanish Inquisition, or the Crusades to the Holy Land in which the Church was the main culprit of all these atrocities.  The only difference is that this is happening now, during our lifetime on Earth, and, we can either choose to stop it, or allow it to go on.

Many people would think that this is about religion, but, religion is only the guise for the these atrocities.  It is a means to an end, and it works.

Following comments posted on News24, and actively engaging with people who commented on the forums I realized something.

“Divide and Conquer” Sun-Tzu, Art of War

We are allowing ourselves to be divided because of pity differences in our believes, our outlook on life, our political parties and by our perceptions on what we get fed by the mainstream media.

In an article on News24 which was about a woman who had a post up on her Facebook page, where Hitler says ” I could have killed all of the Jews, but I left a few so that you will see then for what they really are” one could see the divide growing bigger and bigger, pro-Palestinian pitted against pro-Isreali, with a good mix of racism thrown into the mix and dash of hate speech to get things boiling over.

This, is where our humanity starts fading, where we as a people start disappointing ourselves and severely diminish our chances to survive the onslaught of our Governments and the powers behind those Governments. Where we as humanity are failing the generations to come after us.

I’ve seen Muslim people wishing for all Jews to be wiped from the Earth, not only in Isreal.

I’ve seen Jewish people wishing the same fate upon their Muslim counterparts, celebrating each bomb strike into the open air concentration camp from atop a hill overlooking the Gaza strip.

I’ve seen Christian people getting into the fray who are supporting a Jewish led Government bombing of innocent Palestinian civilians, who seemingly forget the words of the Jesus of Nazareth, who was by blood a Jew, but by birth a Palestinian.

This man, this Jesus of Nazareth, who was a good example for people of any faith of how a decent human being can be like said the following:

“30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31

That is what sets us apart from the beasts who live besides us on the Earth.  Our humanity.  The quality of state of being kind to other people and/or animals.

How can we still call ourselves human if we have lost what it means to be human, that which sets us apart from the animals which roam the Earth with us?  Surely, when we condone acts of violence from one group upon another group of our same kind, then we are no better than the animals who live beside us?

The same stands true when we say nothing about crimes against humanity in general, against us.  The normal man on the street.

We all must try and remember, that fanatics are everywhere, fanatics who are being fueled by hidden agendas from World powers to keep us as a race, as a people from achieving unity at all costs, because, there is no money to be made from peace.

So, decided for yourself today, are you going to give up your humanity or are you part of the solution who are willing to look past the differences in color, culture, language and religion to catapult the human race into the future.