AIPAC Conference: The Film You Won’t See.

By Jerry Alatalo

Book4Alphabet The Real News covered an event recently where men and women discussed America’s relationship with Israel, and trying to answer a proposed question of whether it was good or bad for the American people. During one of the presentations the following documentary film, “Valentino’s Ghost”, became the focus and several short clips were shown to the audience. The film in its entirety was available for viewing on YouTube with a length of 1-hour 48-minutes, and it’s a guaranteed good bet the film won’t “premier” during the upcoming AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference.

The film has received praise and awards in European countries and other regions of the world, but film festivals in the United States have been cautious or fearful of retaliation from powerful Zionist organizations, therefore refusing to show “Valentino’s Ghost”. Even the Sundance Film Festival has buckled and declined including the documentary, suggesting to its producers that the film “is too political”.

The film will cause those who’ve received their news of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East affairs from the corporate media to reconsider all they’ve come to know and take for granted. Documentary films, in particular those made with high quality production standards like “Valentino’s Ghost”, are perceived by many as a powerful tool for communicating information about the world’s complex and difficult to understand issues and phenomenon.

Films of this quality and power have the potential to make a real and significant difference when it comes to widely distributed increase of understanding on issues like Israel and Palestine, terrorism, Islamophobia, and wars in the Middle East.

Every remaining presidential candidate will speak at the AIPAC conference but for Senator Bernie Sanders. The Sanders campaign told conference organizers he wished to speak via video conference to accommodate his busy Western states campaign schedule, but were given the response that AIPAC has recently ended its practice of addressee remote participation.

It’s appreciated that readers have time constraints, often trying to keep up on reading followed blog posts, so posting nearly 2-hour videos is something we try to refrain from. Making note of the film’s title “Valentino’s Ghost” and watching it later when time becomes available is a worthwhile option, especially for those concerned and frustrated about highly manipulated, extremely biased, historic media reporting on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.

The men, women and children of the Middle East have experienced far too much sadness and pain for decades, and the basis or foundation for beginning to turn the tragic situations in the war-ravaged region around is the total truth – told without spin, slant or reservation. “Valentino’s Ghost” goes a long way toward establishing that long-awaited, much-needed, truthful foundation.

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The full documentary had been posted on YouTube violating copyright and is no longer available there. To view, visit www.valentinosghost.com for details. Here is The Real News post which provides clips from the film plus an excellent and thoughtful discussion about Israel’s influence.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

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‘God War’ At Wheaton College In America.

By Jerry Alatalo

Book11Alphabet Dr. Larycia Hawkins is a political science professor at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Her decision to wear the hijab as an expression of solidarity with Muslim women facing discrimination, in particular the lecturer’s statement that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God”, led Wheaton College officials to start legal actions and move toward Dr. Hawkins’ termination.

Professor Hawkins shares with many others a sense of bewilderment and dismay on Wheaton College administrators’ severe over-reaction to a simple act of benevolent compassion for women facing the fruits of a growing hysteria of Islamophobia in America. When a college professor faces termination for stating Christians and Muslims worship the same God, people will understand such an extreme development in the world of academia as symptomatic of a deadly disease affecting societies: often intentionally created high levels of division, distrust and misunderstanding between groups of people.

On the positive side of this situation, it’s fortunate that the participants are educators engaged in a war of ideas, and not real war which includes physical violence. One could view Wheaton College administrators’ harsh judgment of Dr. Hawkins’ benevolent act as a form of academic terrorism reminiscent of McCarthyism during the 1950’s, only different in that “godless” communism is replaced with interrogation of personal perceptions about the nature of God, Allah, Creator, etc. itself.

One gets the feeling that Wheaton College officials have already recognized their disciplinary actions toward Professor Hawkins were a profound mistake, will reverse course and stop, and then issue a public apology to her. At the same time, continuance of an irrational, misguided legal effort to persecute Ms. Hawkins provides an opportunity for exposing the true roots of Islamophobia as directly related to historic and current ongoing tragic events in the Middle East.

Dr. Larycia Hawkins never thought her simple action would result in her unwanted push into the media spotlight and a legal battle to determine her professional academic future – stating in her press conference that she was just as surprised as everyone else at what eventually transpired.

Most likely Wheaton College will drop any actions against Dr. Hawkins, and, if she chooses to remain with the school, she will return to her teaching position and routine. While her experience has been unfortunate and the result of very poor judgment on the part of Wheaton College officials, the situation has raised the issue of Islamophobia to a much-needed higher level of honest, serious debate and analysis, so from that perspective what has occurred has been beneficial.

Whatever eventually develops in the days ahead for Professor Hawkins and her relationship with Wheaton College, her principled moral stand is remarkable, inspiring and worthy of appreciation and respect. Perhaps without intention, she has provided a profound spiritual lesson of unity between all people to her students, academic colleagues and – in a most timely, relevant way considering the violent state of Middle East affairs – the world.

(Thank you to The Video Catalyst Project at YouTube)

Nigerian Lives Matter.

By Jerry Alatalo

mountain3Alphabet Why are the world’s leaders and corporate media remaining silent about the brutal massacre of 1,000 unarmed Nigerians by the Nigerian Army on December 12? One must put some effort into answering the question because that question is perhaps much more important than people might initially assess. Global terrorism in this horrific instance shows a very disturbing evolutionary step from covertly sponsored Daesh/ISIS to blatant state-sponsored terror in the form of the Nigerian military and/or government.

Serious men and women – including highly respected academics/Ph.D.s the world over – have invested large amounts of time on researching into terror events such as 9/11, ISIS’ rise, the 7/7 bombing, Charlie Hebdo, Paris, the Boston bombing, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, etc. and raised hard-to-ignore questions which point to the possibility that one or more of them are so-called “false flags”, or staged politically motivated events.

In the case of the December 12 event in Zaria, Nigeria, where nobody doubts 1,000 or more men, women and children perished from gunfire wounds inflicted by the Nigerian forces, everyone agrees the massacre was all-too-real. While the false flag events received the serious, impassioned attention of world leaders, and citizens everywhere through high levels of reporting by corporate media, the all-too-real state-sponsored massacre in Nigeria has become completely ignored by those same world leaders and media outlets.

Could this ignorance have for explanation that Nigerian people haven’t reached the needed level up on the hierarchy of victims of terror attained by people in France, New York, London, etc. have, therefore Nigerians are somehow invisible and outside the vision of political leaders and media? Upon consideration, this could be one factor which helps explain the deafening silence.

Yet, when one considers the extreme magnitude, loss of life and rarity of the Nigerian atrocity, as well as recognizing the nation’s great oil, natural gas and mineral wealth, there seems much more than a hierarchical victims of terror explanation for the silence. Equally disturbing are the circumstances surrounding the aftermath of the massacre. Here in the United States a person who becomes arrested like Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky has been has, at the very least, the right to make one phone call to family or legal counsel.

Nobody concerned about the health and well-being of Sheikh Zakzaky has been able to see or talk to him since December 12. The same applies to those concerned about others taken into custody at the same time, and this after hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have daily walked the streets of Nigeria’s cities demanding he be freed. Similar protests demanding Sheikh Zakzaky’s freedom have occurred around the Earth.

What produces the greatest level of sadness, frustration and righteous indignation over this truly horrific atrocity in Nigeria is the state of affairs existent in today’s civilization, where so few seem to perceive the profound moral deficits revealed in the international non-response. By remaining silent about the Nigeria massacre, in a sense world leaders and media add to the already inflicted, immense harm which occurred during the atrocity itself.

They fail morally by refusing to loudly and absolutely condemn such obvious, unjust and historic state-sponsored terror, actions certainly meeting the criteria of the crime of mass-murder; they fail as well by intentionally refusing the opportunity to explain to their respective constituents, audiences and humanity the real causes of the atrocity, and in the process diminish the chances for such a horror to recur in that region of Africa, or elsewhere on Earth.

Such failure – such refusal to take right action – by world leaders and the media to respond in a moral/spiritual manner commensurate with what could be described as a massively important event and series of ongoing, disturbing circumstance is near criminal itself. It seems clear the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has committed no crime, and become respected because all along it has renounced violence and advocated peace, unity of religions and justice for all. So, for 1,000 or more of the organization’s followers to unjustly perish represents one of 2015’s most brutal war crimes.

World leaders, the media (both corporate and independent) and all peace-and-justice focused concerned people around the Earth cannot allow the perpetrators of the Nigerian massacre impunity for their criminal actions. All human beings are sacred.

Free Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.

Nigerian lives matter.

(Thank you to Press TV News Videos)

Iran Leader’s Message To European, North American Youth.

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-32Alphabet In an effort to discourage and prevent the young men and women of Europe and North America from becoming involved with ISIS, al Qaeda and/or other terrorist groups falsely claiming adherence to the principles of Islam, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei wrote a letter directed to those young people.

In the letter he asks the young people (all people should read the Quran before forming any opinions about Islam) if they have ever read Islam’s sacred text the Quran, and suggests they do so before even thinking about joining any terrorist group. Some reading this may have read the text in the past and understand where Iran’s leader is coming from and why he felt it necessary to communicate with vulnerable young people.

Having read the Quran within the last few weeks, there is absolutely nothing in the writings which gives ISIS or other terrorist groups any Islamic justification for the heinous, barbaric crimes committed since the summer of 2014 in Iraq, or since 2011 in Syria. Let it be said in another way. For ISIS to assert that it follows the sacred teachings of the Quran and Muhammad would be the same thing as if it said it was following the teachings of the Bible and Jesus Christ. ISIS does not equate with Islam.

The Quran corresponds to every essential sacred text of all major Earth spiritual traditions, in that it teaches right, Godly conduct in all one’s affairs, and penalty to pay first here and in the afterlife for failure to live in such a manner. True devoted adherents of all the Earth’s spiritual traditions, be it Hindu, Islam, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Tao, Indigenous or any other could never in a million years condone murderous actions or inflicting great harm upon – especially – innocent human beings.

Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khamenei is doing the right thing in correcting the great – but absolutely false – misperception that ISIS has some relation whatsoever to true Islam. Perhaps the time has come for leaders from every spiritual tradition on Earth to join in strong unity and publish a letter similar to the letter Iran’s leader has directed to the European and North American young people.

Such an all-tradition message could not only be directed to young people tempted in their ignorance to join criminal organizations like ISIS, but toward adults around the world who are also ignorant of Islamic core spiritual teachings, who unwittingly increase dissemination of erroneous and dangerous concepts based on profound misperception. It is both disappointing and puzzling to know that such a joining of the Earth’s spiritual tradition leaders, and publication of their unified message of peace in correcting dangerous and ignorant views, has not yet occurred.

Because if there’s one thing humanity is in desperate need of now is wisdom, understanding and action from those called, and who claim themselves as, the makers of peace.

In recent news regarding the insane and misguided phenomenon called “Islamophobia”, many are familiar of since discredited reports from FOX News about so-called “no-go” zones/cities in Europe, in particular Paris, France and Birmingham, England. “Terrorism experts'” appeared on FOX News talking about imaginary Muslim-controlled “no-go” zones where even police officers dare not enter. Those reports have been completely discredited as false, FOX News has had to publicly apologize for them, and the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has gone so far as to threaten legal action against FOX for the harm done to her city Paris’ reputation.

In her own way Anne Hidalgo has decided to powerfully clear up misperceptions. Perhaps the mayor of Birmingham, England will follow Mayor Hidalgo’s fine example and take legal action against the media corporation whose report seems to meet the criteria of criminal libel against the people of that British city. Perhaps this will start a good trend of governments initiating lawsuits against media companies for instances of reporting false information.

Most of the time libel occurs against one person or a small group of people. When entire cities become the victim of libel by media companies millions of people become harmed, so when the first multi-billion dollar judgment for a Paris or Birmingham comes around there could well be just a few less false reports and a lot more fact-checking by the mainstream media.

What follows is a transcript of Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter followed by a video about it with comments from an Islamic leader in Michigan in America.

In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful.

To the Youth in Europe and North America,

The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.

I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.

I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.

Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.

The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.

By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.

My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.

I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?

I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.

Although no one can individually fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
21st Jan. 2015

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(Thank you to PressTV News Videos at YouTube)