Good Job Abdella Ahmad Tounisi

In naming folks in the Middle East, often a country or city is used as a way of identification. Like Saddam Hussein was known as Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, with the Tikriti meaning from Tikrit or the city north of Baghdad, his hometown. Likewise, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi is probably from Tunisia:

An 18-year-old Chicago-area man accused of planning to join an al Qaeda-linked group fighting in Syria has been arrested by the FBI, the agency said on Saturday.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi of Aurora, Illinois, was taken into custody late on Friday as he prepared to board a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport bound for Turkey, the FBI said in a statement.

It added that Tounisi was a friend of Adel Daoud, an American accused of trying to stage a bombing outside a downtown Chicago bar last year. The agency said Tounisi had not been involved in that plot.

Too bad Abdella Ahmad Tounisi. Enjoy jail.

On Charity and the US Military

Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it. –George Sand

You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them. –St. Vincent de Paul

It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
–Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

The Stone Age Is a State of Mind

For a Reuters reporter with the name of Aisha Chowdhry, I would expect a little more insight into the Pakistani culture. Our girl reporter Aisha is writing about Rimsha, the fourteen year-old Christian Pakistani, framed for burning the Koran:

A Christian girl arrested in Pakistan for defaming Islam was granted bail on Friday, a judge said, days after police detained a Muslim cleric on suspicion of planting evidence to frame her in a case that caused an international outcry.

Masih, believed to be 14, may be in danger if she is set free and stays in Pakistan. Her arrest last month angered religious and secular groups worldwide but protests in Pakistan attracted only a handful of supporters.

Misah? Her name was written as Rimsha before. And Misah is the Arabic for Christian. So I imagine it is very close to the Urdu (the language of Pakistan.) And Aisha is just referring to Rimsha as some generic Christian? Or maybe RImsha has two names? (Ah, further searching reveals that the innocent girl’s name is Rimsha Misah!) Still, the piece seems awfully cold to just refer to her by her last name. Like she is not a person.

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Rimsha’s Lawyer

That is not the only thing hinky about the names in Aisha’s reporting. Guess who else turns up:

In Masih’s impoverished village on the edge of Islamabad, some said they were disappointed that she had not been sentenced.

“This is wrong. She burned the Koran,” said resident Ijaz Sarwar near the local mosque.

Nearby, Saddam Hussein, 18, expressed sympathies for the cleric accused of framing Masih. “If she is freed, the maulvi (cleric) should be freed as well,” he said.

There were conflicting accounts of how much bail would have to be paid but Masih’s lawyer said it was about the equivalent of $10,000.

Whoah, in comes Saddam, back from the dead. So an innocent girl, framed by a maulvi, is forced to pay $10K for what? To clear her name? Further proof that the stone ages were not a time period, but a state of mind. . .