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Minneapolis Riots After The Murder Of George Floyd

Minneapolis Riots are a direct response to the murder of George Floyd. Stores have been set on fire and looted and State police were forced to intervene.

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I cannot breathe written on the back of shirt during a protest

On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin. He was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill and officers claim he resisted arrest. The events that followed will be known in history as Minneapolis Riots.

The Murder Of George Floyd

Around 8 PM on May 25, police responded to a “forgery in progress”. They found George Floyd in a nearby car and apprehended him. As he appeared to be suffering from medical distress, they called for an ambulance.

Shortly after, a video showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on top of Floyd went viral. In the video, Floyd appeared to be saying that he can’t breathe and several people gathered and yelled to the police that they were hurting him.

When the ambulance arrived, they noted that Floyd was unresponsive and took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

On May 28, a surveillance video surfaced showing that George Floyd did not resist arrest.

The next day, May 29, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who charged Chauvin, indicated that he anticipates three other officers being charged as well.

Minneapolis Protests Turn To Minneapolis Riots

Although initial protests started peacefully, things gradually took a darker turn.

Minneapolis Riots Timeline

May 26

On May 26, hundreds of citizens of Minneapolis marched in protest to the 3rd Precinct police station. Although initially a peaceful protest, police responded with force after their building was vandalized with graffiti. Police in riot gear released chemical agents into the crowd around 8 PM.

May 27

Protests continued into May 27 and police fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Several people were struck by these bullets and many were victims of a chemical irritant as well.

In the early evening, a man carrying a black umbrella and a gas mask is seen smashing the windows of a local Auto Zone. Although rumors on social media indicated that he was a Saint Paul police officer, Saint Paul PD denied those rumors.

Nonetheless, that same Auto Zone would later be set ablaze by the crowd and almost completely destroyed. A nearby Target was also heavily burglarized. Several videos on various social media platforms show people stealing television sets, and other electronics and violently breaking into Target’s safes. A small fire was also set inside the store.

As the violence and looting continued, one man was shot and killed by a store owner who claims he was being burglarized.

May 28

On May 28, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey issued a state of emergency, and 500 Minnesota National Guard troops were deployed to the Twin Cities area.

That morning it was reported that over 30 stores and businesses have been damaged in the Minneapolis Riots. A similar situation occurred in nearby Saint Paul where 170 businesses were reported to have been damaged as a result of riots.

On the evening of May 28, protesters near the 3rd District police station set adjacent buildings on fire and tore down the fencing surrounding the facility. Quickly the police station itself was overrun and set on fire despite police fighting back with tear gas.

May 29

CNN reported that there was no police presence in the area from 10 PM on May 28 to the early hours of May 29. Meanwhile, Mayor Jacob Frey held a press conference regarding the riots in which he strongly condemned the rioters. He declared their actions unacceptable and stated that they will face consequences.

Another controversial event occurred in the early morning of May 29 when a CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested while living on air. The police officers claim the crew did not follow instructions and were arrested because of it. However, as the event was broadcast live on television, it is evident that Jimenez and his crew were repeatedly showing their press identifications and asking the police for instructions.

CNN issued a statement in which they strongly condemned the arrest and call for their immediate release. They underline that the arrest violated the First Amendment rights of the reporters.

Both Jimenez and the reporting crew were later released following an intervention from the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz.

Events In Other Cities

Following several race-motivated incidents across the US, like the murder of Ahmed Arbury, the citizens did not take kindly to another.

On May 27, protesters in Los Angeles occupied the 101 Freeway for an hour before heading to the downtown area. One man was injured after clambering atop a California Highway Patrol cruiser, which sped off as protesters bashed in the rear windshield.

On May 28, in Louisville, Kentucky, citizens protested the murder of Breonna Taylor. Here, events took a grim turn when 7 people were shot. The shooter or shooters are still unknown.

Similar events took place across America in cities like Denver, New York, Phoenix, and Columbus.

President Responds

Even the President of the United States took to Twitter to express his feelings towards the event saying the following:

“….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

This statement was so controversial that Twitter censored it for glorifying violence to which Trump responded with threats to shut down the site.

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Crimes Against Humanity

Israel’s intense Practices to Uproot the Palestinians in Jerusalem

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Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian house in Jerusalem

Palestinians experienced the bloodiest and most brutal year of all time in 2022. They witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of settlers, settlement expansion, martyrs, and confiscation of lands, especially in Jerusalem. The occupation’s relentless endeavours aim at uprooting the Palestinians in Jerusalem by controlling more Palestinian lands. They try to impose facts on the ground by building and expanding settlements and legitimizing building settlements, especially in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is like no other city in Palestine. Israel’s ideology puts more greed in Jerusalem than any other city in Palestine. The focus on Jerusalem pictures a conflict between two histories, two geographies and two very different identities. It includes the Palestinian Arab native and the trespassing zionist. Accordingly, Israel’s ideology directs at eliminating the cultural landmarks of the capital or the Holy City. In addition, it aims to fake history aimed at reshaping the city with its exclusive Jewish output. They make it after erasing the Arab historical identity and its expression of Christian and Islamic diversity. Consequently, taking into consideration all intense practices to uproot the Palestinians in Jerusalem. 

Geographical and Demographical Judaization

Israel’s Jewdization ideology plan started its first steps in Jerusalem by initially cutting off Jerusalem from its perimeter. Their point was isolating Arab Jerusalemites from their civil, national and administrative institutions and from any activity that would maintain their interdependence. Their first planned step was initiating a vast campaign to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, politically, geographically, economically, socially and demographically. They also erected the apartheid wall around the Holy City as well as settlement belts around it entirely. Israel also constructed and strengthened settlements in the heart of Arab neighbourhoods and the Old Town in  Jerusalem.
Read more on this: Israel is Hiding Crucial Demographic Facts About Palestinians

Land Confiscation

Moreover, Since Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has begun confiscating lands inside Jerusalem, and other Palestinian cities until it expanded to the ghetto of the Old Town which Arabs inhabited and had no trace of Jews. Land confiscation expanded until it reached the Mughrabi neighbourhood, Beit Safafa village, Beit Jala, al-Nabi Ya ‘qub, and Sheikh Jarrah area lands. Land confiscation has been happening and still happening until this day under Israel’s false pretexts. Israel has also promulgated legislation and laws prohibiting construction in large areas covering various areas of the city. In addition, they have announced other areas as “green areas” for no building. 

To this day, The Israeli occupation exploits the classification of Palestinian lands according to the Oslo Accord (a, b and c) to tighten control over Palestinians, especially in areas classified as (c) under its full control over security, planning and construction. Israel’s occupation directly exploits 76% of the total area classified as (c); 63% of which regional colonial councils control. Equally important, the areas confiscated for military bases and military training sites represent about 18% of the West Bank area, as well as the apartheid wall and expansion that isolated more than 10% of the West Bank area. 

Shamelessly, Israel’s military forces forcibly expel Palestinian citizens from their homes, inhabit them by Jewish settlers arriving from abroad, and transfer Palestinian properties to the settlers. For example, Sheikh Jarrah’s neighbourhood has been suffering from this issue. In 2008, the occupation authorities forcibly expelled the first Palestinian families from the neighbourhood and were repatriated by Jews. They expelled the Al-Ghawi family by force of arms from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. To date, 28 Palestinian homes remain threatened with expulsion and transfer of their homes to settlers. 

Al Ghawi family's house after expelling them and moving its property to Israeli settlers
Al Ghawi family’s house after expelling them and moving its property to Israeli settlers

Demolishing “Unauthorized Construction”

In order to build homes in East Jerusalem and Area C, Palestinians must apply for a permit from the Israeli authorities, who control these areas. The vast majority of demolition orders are issued because a home or structure has been built without an Israeli permit. Every year Israel demolishes hundreds of Palestinian homes under the pretext of what Zionists call illegal construction in East Jerusalem (unauthorized construction).

Zionist authorities impose doubled penalties on Jerusalemites such as high financial fines reaching tens of thousands of shekels, actual imprisonment, and instructions requiring Jerusalemites to prove ownership of their land by highlighting the land registry. They would also oblige Palestinians to obtain the consent of their neighbours including the Mukhtar of the village or the village chief. Generally, demolition orders are based on false pretexts that Israel considers demolishing their homes itself or even making the situation harder by issuing self-demolition for the Palestinians.

Israel demolishes Palestinian houses for false pretexts

Residence, Mariage, and family reunion

In order to maintain its grip over Jerusalem, Israel took racist Judaizing uprooting practices for the Palestinians in Jerusalem. They included the withdrawal of Jerusalemites’ identities, based on a series of racist regulations, laws and judgments. This policy abolished the residence right of Palestinians living in Jerusalem, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and outside Palestine. In that case, when the families of the banned Palestinians from entering Jerusalem apply for permission to visit them, they grant them an exit permit without returning, nonetheless.

Israel has also applied a compulsory approach to students studying outside Jerusalem. It requires them to renew their identity cards in a manner that disrupts their studying. The right of residence is revoked for those who spend seven years outside Jerusalem for the sake of education. Israel can, under its laws, easily deprive any Palestinian of residence in the city. Internal staff shall apply these instructions automatically without referring to any other reference.

Apart from this, Israel prohibits Palestinians from marrying or reuniting with their spouses from the West Bank and Gaza. As racial discrimination reflects the demographic conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Consequently, all these tyrannical practices serve the interest of Israel to forcibly uproot the Palestinians in Jerusalem.
For more: Israel Has No Right to Exist if Palestine Has No Right to Exist

General view

Psychological warfare is Israel’s best-known ideology for uprooting Palestinians to clamp down on Palestinians compelling them to leave their lands.  Palestinians will never forget Israel’s true face. They will never forget the execution of the veteran journalist Shirin Abu Akleh. They will never forget the illegal assassinations, willful injuries, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, persecutions and collective punishments against Palestinians, including many children. violence has always been a key feature of Israel. Palestinians will never forget. And they will never forgive.

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Featured

Christian militia infiltrate Lebanon

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God's soldiers logo

Despite Lebanon’s economic and security problems, an extremist Christian group has emerged.

Many Lebanese people had questions about who these people were, who financed them, and what their agenda was, with supporters and opponents divided.

who are “Soldiers of God”?

A group of young men calling themselves “Soldiers of God” march out against the Lebanese with swords, sharpened crosses, uniform black clothing, and religious hymns and prayers in the Achrafieh district of Beirut.

Soldiers of God with a Church priest celebrating
Soldiers of God with a Church priest

As a result, there were many questions about their identity, tendencies, ideas, beliefs, goals, and supporters, with very few answers, which exacerbated the ambiguity and general suspicion.

In the Achrafieh region, on the tenth of December, a dispute took place in Sassine Square between a group of young men from outside the Christian-majority region, who arrived on motorcycles flying Moroccan, Palestinian, and Syrian flags to celebrate the victory of the Moroccan national team and its qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals.

Also Read: Death is chasing Lebanon: A new catastrophe took place!

Soon, the celebration turned into launching religious and sectarian slogans of an Islamic nature, which provoked some Christian youths in the region, leading to a major conflict and disagreement in which the “Soldiers of God” emerged after some of them intervened, before the military and security forces separated the combatants.

A Prelude to Civil War

A report by the Army Intelligence indicated that members of a group calling itself “Soldiers of God” rose that night in the “Tayouneh crime”, on October 15, 2021, when members of the Lebanese Forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing seven and wounding dozens.

clashes in Tayouneh between Hezbollah and Lebanese forces
clashes in Tayouneh

To ratchet up sectarian tensions, crosses and religious slogans were drawn and written in several eastern neighborhoods before the ambush. Social media incitement was there at the same time.

 According to the records, many of them deployed and “are on alert without visible weapons” at several points.

Also read: The Church in Lebanon defends normalization in the name of religion

The documents also listed the names of members of this gang who took part in the shooting and revealed their connections to and funding from Anton Sehnaoui, the chairman of the Societe Générale Bank’s board of directors.

Christian soldiers are closer than the security forces

A woman was robbed in Achrafieh, B according to a deputy in Parliament, who claimed that after she went to the Achrafieh police station to report the crime, the soldiers of God showed up at her house and, when she asked how they knew, said that the police station had informed them of the incident.

According to a statement,No contact was received in this regard from a woman with any of the Achrafieh, Gemmayzeh, and Al-Nahar factions.

Also, the last two factions have moved since 11-25-2022 to another building due to maintenance work in the old building as a result of the Beirut port explosion, and until this moment, work is underway to install landline phone numbers in these two factions.

Also Read: Lebanon’s ‘Deliberate depression’

The Beirut Police Operations Room after reviewing the recordings did not receive any communication from a woman in this regard.

The agenda of the Soldiers of God comes under the framework of self-protection aimed at renouncing any sect that is outside the Christian sect and does not follow the teachings of the Church, and this may be a precursor to a civil and bloody war in Lebanon, and it is indispensable for it.

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Europe

The World Cup in Qatar and Die-hard Western Racism

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The World Cup in Qatar and Die-hard European-Western Racism

The Western modernity project, which has undeniably accomplished enormous innovations for the entire world, is yet to get rid of major ailments and liabilities still blemishing the collective western mindset. The current World Cup in Qatar has revealed the depth of that morbidity, namely the deep-rooted European racism, and recalcitrant persistence of classical and novel Orientalism in the perceptions of many Westerners.

Likewise, conventional and social media have reinforced negative stereotypes about the East, both Muslims and non-Muslims, as the current World Cup event has revealed to us that Western racism against the others is still active and far from being dormant or historical.

‘I Do Not Respect This Country and I Will Not Go to It’

An interesting comment I came across recently on Twitter from a European woman stated the following:

I am a woman with special needs, and I learned that Qatar does not respect people with special needs, so I do not respect this country and I will not go to it.”

The Western Racism
Comment by a European lady claims that Qatar doesn’t respect human rights including people with special needs.

How did  this lady come to the utterly mendacious realization that Qatar or any other country,  (non-Western) does not respect people with special needs?

How can any country on earth not respect people with special needs and their requirements? This comment by that European lady belongs to a long catalogue of racist comments about Arabs and Muslims in general, backwardness, terrorism, etc.

FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022
FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022

In the final analysis,  the West would go as far as far as saying that Qatar effectively took advantage of the opportunity to organize the World Cup, only in order to vent its frustration and compensate for its utter insignificance! How dare they do this, embarking on such a gargantuan feat, which only Europeans and westerners should be tasked to do? Surely, the Arabs and Muslims have exceeded their proscribed boundaries!

Europe: Deep-Rooted Orientalist Racism

In the context of the explosion of this deep-rooted Orientalist racism, there are several quick points that deserve to be evoked and satisfactorily examined regarding the following question:

  • Are we really living in a world of multiculturalism, diverse traditions, societies and religions where coexistence and Mutual respect is the ultimate regulator of relations,
  •  Or do we live in a world that is centred around the West and Europe, directly or indirectly, and therefore must willy-nilly be guided and led by Western values ​​and standards?

This is part of a set of complex questions hovering around the limits of cultural particularism and the horizons of universal human values. But this is a discussion that needs broader spaces and wider contexts, perhaps.

The first note is related to the reported Qatari position of refusing to host gay banners during matches and festivals in the World Cup. This is in addition to preventing public demonstrations or gatherings for this specific category of spectators.

The authorities in the small Arabian Gulf state said that the public celebration demanded by homosexuals contradicts the culture, traditions and religion of the Qatari society, and while the Qataris wouldn’t ask arrivals about their sexual orientation, they prevent the expression of those orientations in the public space, whether those orientations are homosexual or non-homosexual.

Western Countries Are Not in a Position to Give “Moral Lessons” to Other Nations

The BBC declined to air the opening ceremony of the World Cup on television on Sunday but rather mentioned human rights and alleged accusations against Qatar.
The BBC declined to air the opening ceremony of the World Cup on television on Sunday but rather mentioned human rights and alleged accusations against Qatar.

Here, the Western media arrogance manifested itself by claiming or giving the impression that they represent the overall human discourse when in fact they represent no more than one-eighth of the world’s population (Europe and America) – in fact, many Westerners do not actually agree with much of what is published and adopted by that media.

Indeed, neither the Chinese nor the Indian media nor the rest of the world stirred up this “non-conformist” Qatari position, because the majority of countries and societies around the world recognize the diversity of cultures, traditions and orientations of societies and assume mutual respect.

A One-sided Moral Lesson is Just Hypocrisy!

Media exaggerations and insinuations have reached astonishing proportions: Backward Muslim countries are condemning homosexuals to death, and there is a real danger to the lives of those going to the World Cup, and so on.

An amazing thing that calls for an occasional reminder of a historical fact dating back a thousand years ago, when the societies of Muslim countries in Baghdad, Damascus, Andalusia, and India were publishing collections of poetry and literature about homosexuals and boys, Europe considered women a demonic being.

The important thing here is to pay ample attention to the fact that societies shift and change unceasingly and do not move in a unilateral linear direction, but oscillate and turn left and right, back and forth, and sometimes in a circular pattern, according to contemporary socio-economic challenges and pressures which are extremely complex and difficult to predict, and that its cultures and traditions are organized in a changing process, not static or fixed, and Europe is one of the most important examples. Therefore, a distinction must always be made between criticism that is always needed to stimulate new human paths, and another criticism that is part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

The second note relates to the prohibition of alcohol consumption in and around the stands while confining it to specific places as announced by the organizers.

Once again, the Western media is raging, as if there were a “holy book” for football that stipulates the presence of alcohol as part of the sport that has charmed millions. The host country determined the practice, again based on local culture, religion and traditions. Why do many Westerners not want to respect non-Western cultures, while demanding that non-Westerners conform to Western culture sensitivities when others visit or reside in Western countries?

What is worse is that we do not see this brazen bullying of Qatar even in other non-Western cases. Is it acceptable in the West for some Western tourists to congregate in the center of the Indian capital, Delhi, and slaughter a cow, for example? Of course not, but it is required of Westerners and non-Westerners not to prejudice the Indian tradition of respecting cows. No one is required to agree or believe what others believe, but what is required is mutual respect.

The third note is related to the rights of Asian workers in Qatar and the purported violations of their rights, committed by some firms and employers,  governmental or private.

Read also: The 2022 Qatar World Cup of Human Rights Abuses

Here, it has been made amply clear in many cases that violations have already taken place, especially in the first years of construction, and in every proven case, the media deserves a real appreciation for exposing these violations.

Needless to say, this has led to a significant improvement in the laws related to labor and workers, according to the reports of concerned international organizations. But at the same time, there has been a vitriolic black media campaign focusing on unproven data claiming that there have been as many as 6,500 deaths among these workers since 2010. Again, according to international statistics, the size of Asian labor in Qatar is around 2 million workers.

Assuming that the aforementioned death figure is correct, then, from a purely statistical point of view, it is not far from the natural and general death rate for a community of 2 million. On the other hand, the number that we do not hear much about in the black Western media (and this description does not apply to all Western media) is the 29,000 immigrants who have drowned on the shores of Europe since 2014, because the official authorities in more than one European country prevented them. And returning them to the sea, at a rate of more than 4,000 deaths annually, so far, according to statistics and reports of the International Organization for Migration.

Qatar spent more than $220 billion on this World Cup — more than twice the previous eight World Cups combined. They built stadiums and hotels and a brand-new airport

The fourth note is the tendentious Western media focus on the fact that Qatar spent 220 billion dollars on the World Cup, which is a huge figure compared to what was spent by all the countries that previously hosted the World Cup.

However, a quick search of this figure leads the researcher to the fact that this spending went away from direct spending on sports facilities, to building a modern infrastructure that includes whole cities, gathering facilities, streets, bridges, and so on, and that this spending extended between the years of 2010, which is the year  Qatar was designated as the would- be host for the World Cup, and until now, i.e. the year 2022, at a rate of 18 billion every year.

This is more or less a normal figure for a country quite rich in oil and gas.

But focusing on this number in the Western media seemed to insinuate that the Arabs do not deserve the wealth that is in their hands and that they squander it rather lavishly.

Indeed, between the lines of Western criticism of this figure,  an honest observer would detect a certain resentment that reflects a huge amount of envy.  Unseen, this envy consists of two parts:

  • The first is that the wealth of other countries is “misplaced” and should, therefore,  have gone to Europe and the West. How and why did these riches come to them, and why on earth we cannot access them?
  • The second: How does a “backward, Arab and Muslim” country that is the target of constant ridicule succeed in organizing a huge global event on the level of the World Cup? Organizing these events is exclusively our business.

 In the colonial past, Europe arrogated the wealth of others, and plundering it over the course of centuries from Latin America to Africa, to Asia. And now, to their chagrin,  the West does not reach all the wealth as easily as it used to do. Now, too, many countries and societies have acquired self-creating, organizing and innovation capabilities, and are no longer governed by the hegemony of control by European and Western centers.

Finally, there is a contemplative note: If we compare aerial photographs of European cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, with others such as Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Riyadh, then we can safely argue that the second group (and to which we can add numerous other cities around the world) was built thanks to  the wealth of the countries themselves, whereas  European cities were built historically thanks to the wealth arrogated by the colonial masters. The history of European colonial plundering of continents, which is still going on in the African continent and elsewhere, though indirectly but quite rapaciously, does not qualify Europeans and westerners in general,  to teach moral lessons to the world. 

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