How Should You Answer المذهب (Sect) Question on Your Umra Application?

An acquaintance shared with me his umra visa application. On it, I noticed that the pilgrimage authorities ask for المذهب, which is translated as sect.

umra-visa - cropped
I wonder how the authorities would act if an applicant wrote:

ما ألفيت عليه آبائي

What I found my forefathers practicing

I’m so sick of sectarianism.


Domestic Opposition to USA Wars Was Not Unique to Vietnam, Contrary to the Impression #VietnamWarPBS Gives

9781440845185I know I supposedly summed up my thoughts on Ken Burns’s and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War, but I realized I had neglected to lodge one final complaint. While I don’t remember if the narrator (whom I took to be the voice of Burns & Novick) makes this claim, many interviewees act as if United States citizens had never opposed their government’s wars until Vietnam. The problem with this is that, in our moment of cultural backlash against the 1960s and 1970s, people may attribute opposition to today’s wars to be rooted in cultural developments of the 1960s and 1970s and hence dismiss it.

I’ve written several blog entries about the Burns & Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I’ve also tweeted about it.

Cigarettes Are Best Image of End of USA Trade Embargo with Vietnam

At minute 95:37 of Episode 10 of the PBS Vietnam War series, I captured this screenshot:

USA cigarettes E10-9537

The preceding narration was:

In 1994, after the Vietnamese met the Americans’ demand, the United States lifted its trade embargo. Full normalization came the following year.

I hope the Vietnamese got something more than USA cancer sticks.

I’ve written several blog entries about the Burns & Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I’ve also tweeted about it.


Final Thoughts on @KenBurns #VietnamWarPBS: Will We Wait 40 Years for #AfghanistanWarPBS?

I’ve blogged after watching Episode 1 and Episode 4 of Ken Burns‘s PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I’ve finished watching all 10 episodes, and I thought I’d share some general thoughts on the documentary.

  1. It’s technically extremely well-done and will please any fan of historical documentaries.
  2. Even when interviewees said things with which I disagreed, I felt I could respect or at least acknowledge their perspective. The exception to this is of course war criminal John Negroponte. Like other Burns documentaries, you are moved towards reconciliation.
  3. And of course Burns’s skill at #1 & #2 is the deadly flaw of this documentary: After 10 episodes, the documentary doesn’t editorially tell you how to react to contemporary USA wars. Like President Obama’s speeches, it gives viewers material with which they can arrive at conclusions suited to the preconceptions with which they began the film, although mellowed towards those who draw an opposite conclusion.

Continue reading


Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) Accuses Federal Judges of Terrorism for Refusing to Endorse Religious Displays in Public Buildings

As your constituents, we are saying to you that we are sick and tired of having our country and its religious heritage and its freedoms hijacked by a judicial terrorists. [sic]

Jody Hice delivered this speech November 22, 2003 in Atlanta. In the speech, he demanded that:

I call upon members of the Georgia Congressional Delegation to support legislation to limit The jurisdiction of federal judges. [sic]

He directed harsh words in particular to Judge William O’Kelley (died July 5, 2017), who ruled against the installation of The Ten Commandments in public buildings in Habersham County, Georgia.

At that time, he was the head of Ten Commandments – Georgia, which pushes municipalities and county governments to install plaques of The Ten Commandments and other documents in public buildings. He is currently the representative of Georgia’s Tenth Congressional District.

To read this terrifying speech from November 22, 2003, download it from Ten Commandments – Georgia. If that organization removes the document, I’ve stored it in


While USA Jails Palestinians for Charity, Variety Magazine Celebrates Celebrities’ Fundraising to Support Zionist Colonialism in Palestine

baba_and_omarPalestinians are serving time in federal prison communication management units for sending charitable aid to Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Variety celebrates tax-deductible donations to the state of Israel which ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of non-Jews from Palestine, prevents them and their descendants from returning to their homes, implements a military occupation over two million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and practices within the state of Israel discrimination based on religious affiliation.

Friends of the Israeli Occupation Forces is material support for terrorism.



Why Do People Call Gaza an “Enclave”?

Insomnia brought me to my PC & Twitter, where I saw a status update which linked to a wonderful article about artists in Gaza.

For some reason, the word “enclave” struck me, so I looked up its definition at Merriam-Webster: Continue reading