Talking Points for 25th November

A US jury has convicted a prominent muslim charity of funding a terrorist organisation after the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation sent more than $12 million to Hamas. The US government is claiming the guilty verdicts for the ex-leaders of the charity are a victory in the war against terror, but supporters of the charity say the charity was only guilty of helping Palestinians in need.
The case has caused some controversy – this US blogger thinks the verdict is a victory against the spread of extremist ideology but these campaigners say the charity is being unfairly politicised. Should charities be free from political association? Should you have the freedom to give to any cause?

A report released today for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women claims that around a quarter of women in Cambodia will face domestic violence and the risk of rape is increasing. How can violence against women be stopped? Can attitudes be changed through education or is tougher sentencing the answer?


The humanitarian crisis and cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is far worse than previously thought according to a group of international statesman called the Elders including former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. He was recently denied a visa to the country. Whose responsibility is Zimbabwe? Is it time to send aid in by force?

18 Responses to “Talking Points for 25th November”

  1. November 25, 2008 at 12:31

    One Good Turn Deserves Another!
    TEHRAN – Siphoning a cool $12 million to Hamas on humanitarian grounds, saving a little package for Hezbollah and another for Taliban and another token gift for a-Qaeda, that’s how it begins.
    See where we are after thirty years, stretching from India and beyond in the East, Europe and US in the West, Iran has created one of the murkiest clandestine murder, extortion theft and torture rackets that ever existed, in the good name of Islam and charity.
    As much as 30 percent of national revenues are perennially drained this way. It’s the easy road to power and wealth. Set up a couple of loan sharking rackets in the name of Islamic banking. Before you know it, millions of subscribers flock to your counters for 20% interest premiums.
    This is the cleaner side of the bargain. At the other end of the spectrum, shady deals, bribes, buying favours and finally, everyone has a price. Nip it in the bud, yes. Start investigations, certainly. Put an end to anything that isn’t legit and risks dragging respectable banking practices and true charitoies into dirt.

  2. 2 Dan
    November 25, 2008 at 12:45

    I wonder why the Islamic nations are not giving any aid to Palestinians except to pay families when their child becomes a suicide bomber?
    Arab Islamic countries are flush with oil but Palestinians are claiming Israel is choking off the fuel supply that Israeli’s GIVE to Gaza.
    If any Islamic charity wants to help the Palestinians they should help them return to Jordan from whence they came.
    That would solve the Palestinian question ans put an end to the Middle East conflict.
    Otherwise it is obvious to the casual observer that these charities are funding Islamic terrorism.

  3. 3 Roberto
    November 25, 2008 at 13:34

    RE “” How can violence against women be stopped? “”

    ——– It will stop when violence against men and children is also stopped.

    Violence typically results when there is a vacuum of leadership. Traditionally cultures neutered intertribal violence by allowing it to be displayed in ritual manifestations.

    Human’s are born with a predisposition to violence because without it they would be defenseless against the rest of the animal kingdom. They are also born with a predisposition to socialization, and unfortunately these two natural impulses can get mixed together with tragic results.

    Going forward, as long as we have all these global wars and global piracy recessions, violence in the greater populace is guaranteed as people scrap over what little resources are available as traditional restraints crumble.

  4. November 25, 2008 at 14:18

    In a culture where there is not a distinct separation between “church and state” the charities are always going to be questionable. Those that feel the need to claim “victory against the war on terror” will easily be able to charge Islamic charities under the vague guidelines.

    Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is the source of most of the extreme ideologies. 15 of the highjackers as well as Osama himself hail from there. Yet every time we fill up our fuel tanks, there is a large percentage that ends up in the hands of radicals. Those that would influence and teach the ways of the extremist. Maybe everybody who buys a gallon of gas should be charged with contributing to extremist organizations.

  5. 5 steve
    November 25, 2008 at 14:51

    I don’t get it. Palestinians are apparently starving but they can still launch rockets as Israelis? Interesting priorities there are in Gaza.

  6. November 25, 2008 at 15:05

    Is it just me or does someone else out there feel there is an attempt by the Bush administration to present a positive PR image in the waning days of his tragic leadership? From the APEC conference posturing about free trade and now these convictions, I see an image of a lame duck president and his sidekicks desperate for world attention at a time when Obama is hogging all the media’s limelight.

    All forms of terrorism are unjustifiable. Hamas practices, justifies and condones terrorism. If someone is providing them with funds to carry out their maiming and killing, stop them but do it in a just manner. America’s double standards have given lifeblood to terrorism and insurrection in the middle east. With Barrack Obama in the White House finally, a new era beckons and America can rise to be the superpower it reckons itself to be. Not because of the might of it’s war machine, but through the rule of law, multilateralism and consensus building. I believe bush is using hindsight and when the world is a much better place; he can shout “Hey, it all began in my watch…”

  7. 7 selena in Canada
    November 25, 2008 at 15:15

    As long as the power paradigm remains the pillar upon which we build our institutions, violence of all kinds will continue. The society in which we live teaches, from birth, that moving ahead of others is a necessary condition for survival in human systems.

  8. 8 John in Salem
    November 25, 2008 at 16:04

    Every time we miss the opportunity to provide aid to those in need we allow others to fill that void with whatever message they want to spread. We could outspend any of these groups a thousand to one and promote our own ideals but we don’t.
    911 was a wake-up call and we responded by hitting the snooze button. Instead of reaching out we sent armed ambassadors and then acted shocked when they were seen as invaders.
    We declared a war on terror when we should have declared a war on complacency.

  9. November 25, 2008 at 16:10

    Hi Dwight from Cleveland
    Reyr November 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm posting
    The line between charities and welfare organizations is very thin. Then there are the trusts, endowments and foundations which are exempt from taxes and accountable to none. It goes on and on, dragging government agencies and money to all sorts of schemes.
    Scrupulous and regular checks must be implemented by all governments involved. Keep to reputable charities and trusts for the main part since they do practice transparency. You can see where the money is going and who are the beneficiaries.
    Saudi remains the outstanding culprit. Their agency for religious affairs disposes of billions of dollars in revenues from Haj which it dispenses as it deems fit, no questions asked!

  10. 10 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 16:41

    Re: How can violence against women be stopped? Can attitudes be changed through education or is tougher sentencing the answer?

    I don’t think violence against women can be stopped unless children grow up seeing women treated with the respect they deserve. That would involve changing stereotypes, the media, and etc to impact current attitudes.

  11. 11 steve
    November 25, 2008 at 17:45


    Violence isn’t just perpetrated by men, women relatively often abuse men, but men tend to do nothing about it. I have a friend in Canada, and he had an abusive wife, but he would never hit her back or anything like that, but onetime it got so bad that he called the cops. They arrested HIM because they presumed that if it’s domestic violence, the male is the abuser.

  12. 12 viola
    November 25, 2008 at 18:09

    The charity was found guilty of funding a terrorist group. The funds they raised evidently did not go straight to charities in Gaza. By sending funds to Hamas, that terrorist organization was able to reap great propaganda value by appearing to have the interests of Gazans at heart, if they actually did use the funds for helping, not buying guns and rockets.

  13. 13 archibald in oregon
    November 25, 2008 at 18:53

    Elimination of the overall gender definitions would help society quite a lot. The roles of men and women are taught from a young age, along with the stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination. Both men and women are pushed to become their “sex”. Society fits both with definitions, gender roles, and we are all expected to act accordingly, which in many cases includes discrimination, subjugation and violence. Male and female children are genderless human beings up until the time that they are fitted with a societal definition of their sex. This is where, I believe, the problem stems from.

  14. 14 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 19:29


    It is fair to say that men are abused too however women are much more often subjected to domestic violence than men so I see how a police officer could make a wrong assumption. A man should never hit a woman.

    It takes alot to leave an unhealthy situation but you did it! 🙂 You made the best choice for your well-being.
    Children are tucked into gender roles from birth as evidenced in little girls wearing pink, having pierced ears, playing with dolls and boys wearing blue, playing guns, etc….

  15. 15 archibald in oregon
    November 25, 2008 at 19:55

    My point is that someone has to “tuck” them into their roles and this is where things go wrong, because there is a lopsided education that perpetuates the stereotypes which lead to violence, potentially. If men understood women and their lives because they have been raised in a less gender defined environment, they are less likely to treat women badly.

  16. 16 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 21:57

    Re: If men understood women and their lives because they have been raised in a less gender defined environment, they are less likely to treat women badly.

    I think that is very true. I wonder if that would also have an effect on the number of women who grow up to abuse men. I am a little partial to seeing this issue with the woman being the person abused but it would be nice to know more information about men being abused.

    With regards to gender roles being assigned; it’s not just about what is conscientiously done to define a child as male or female. Studies show that parents hold, speak to, and play with male and female babies differently. Female babies are considered more fragile while male babies more strong.

  17. 17 ~Dennis Junior~
    January 14, 2009 at 05:24

    How can violence against women be stopped? Yes….

    Can attitudes be changed through education or is tougher sentencing the answer?
    That is one of the best things, to do is increasing the sentencing on the criminal who is convicted of assaulting women…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  18. 18 ~Dennis Junior~
    January 14, 2009 at 05:25

    Whose responsibility is Zimbabwe? i think that it should be someone…..

    Is it time to send aid in by force? yes, but, the international community does not want to do it. for fear of another somalia and other situations….

    ~Dennis Junior~

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