Fletcher Harris, of Rockaway Park, warms himself by a flaming oil barrel on 118th Street, October 31st. Parts of New York City outside Manhattan, including Staten Island, Coney Island in Brooklyn and The Rockaways in Queens, were completely devastated by superstorm Sandy, destroying homes, businesses and knocking gas stations offline. “No one knows we’re here,” one Coney Island resident told a reporter from WCBS 880, a local news radio station. (Photo: Adrian Fussell / Reportage by Getty Images via The New Yorker)
A group of parents have lodged police reports against a teacher at SK Bihai in Pos Bihai, near Gua Musang in Kelantan, for slapping their children because they did not recite the doa (Islamic prayer) after having their lunch.
One of the parents, Atar Pedik, said his two 12-year-old girls were slapped about 1.30pm on Tuesday, after the children were made to recite the doa even though they are not Muslims.
“I was angry when I learnt what happened to my daughters,” Atar said when contacted.
Atar, along with two other fathers - Hassan Achoi and Along Pandak - whose 12-year-old daughters were also slapped in the incident, made the three-hour journey from Pos Bihai to lodge their reports at the Gua Musang police station.
Pos Bihai is located in the interior of Kelantan, near its border with Perak.
A check with the Gua Musang police station confirmed that the reports were lodged.
According to SK Bihai Parent-Teacher Association deputy chairperson Arom Asir, the children’s faces were bruised after they were slapped by the male teacher.
Arom said that the primary school has at least 100 children, all of whom are Orang Asli, and the children were eating lunch together after sports.
“They were made to recite prayers the Muslim way before and after meals but they didn’t know how, so they kept quiet.
“Then the teacher picked out the older children and slapped them for being quiet,” he said.
Arom added that the parents did not know their children were being taught Islamic studies at the school or being made to recite Islamic prayers until earlier this week.
“We then made a complaint on this to a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) representative who came to visit us on Oct 23. Later that day, we found out that the children were slapped,” he said.
Agencies in the dark
The phone number listed for SK Bihai connects directly to the Education Department and an officer there who answered our call referred Malaysiakini to the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa).
However, Jakoa when contacted said that it has received no report on the matter and that it was gathering information about it.
Arom said the parents would also lodge a complaint on the matter with Jakoa. The community is now arranging to hold a dialogue on the incident among the parents, the Education Department, Jakoa and Suhakam on Oct 30.
“We feel that parents should have been consulted if the children are to be imparted with Islamic teachings,” he said.
Meanwhile, Orang Asli rights NGO Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) in a press statement called on the relevant agencies to take stern action on the assault of the children.
“Stern action should be taken against the teacher involved if he is guilty.
“The relevant agencies should also investigate the claim that Orang Asli children are made to study a religion that is not their faith,” JKOASM said.
It also called on the government to put greater efforts to improve the quality of education provided at schools in the interior regions, such as SK Bihai.
“Our observations show that… teachers only teach two or three days in a week,” it said.
Entire Indian tribe threatens to commit mass suicide after Brazil court rules they must leave sacred burial land
A entire tribe of 170 Indians have vowed to commit mass suicide after a court in Brazil ruled they must leave what they believe is sacred land, it was reported today.
The community of 50 men, 50 women and 70 children from the Guarani-kaiowa tribe are camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The Indians claim the land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries, according to Brazil’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI).
A Guarani Indian family ride a horse-drawn cart in southern Brazil in 2004. The Indians claim the disputed land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries
But this week, Judge Henrique Bonachela upheld a petition made by the ranch’s owner to have the tribe evicted from the land.
He decreed a fine of £150 for every day the tribe remains on the land, on the banks of Brazil’s Joguico River.
A spokesman for the tribe today said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.
And in a letter the tribe called on the Brazilian government to respect their wishes to be buried there along with their ancestors.
It read: ‘Because of this historic fact, we would prefer to die and be buried together with our ancestors right here where we are now.
‘We ask, one time for all, for the government to decree our extinction as a tribe, and to send tractors to dig a big hole and there to throw our dead bodies.
‘We have all decided that we will not leave this place, neither alive nor dead.’
Battle: A spokesman for the tribe said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.
Remote: The tribe is camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul
A spokesman for CIMI described the development as of ‘exceptional seriousness’.
And Federal Deputy Sarney Filho warned of the ‘extremely worrying’ situation.
In a letter to Brazil’s Justice Minsitry, he wrote: ‘This tribe has had its culture and lands attacked for centuries. They could now go down in history as being the tribe which wiped themselves out by committing collective suicide.
‘We must take the necessary measures to avert the worst.’
Indian tribes in southern Brazil have for years been fighting for the country to recognise their traditional lands, many of which now belong to farmers and rich landowners.
The definitive clip on how the media should handle mass murderers.
At least it is in my opinion. Watch til the end for the payoff. (It’s only 2:48)
It’s true that these crimes have to be reported; we don’t want to be left in the dark. But it’s not true that they have to be pumped up into a big story or given wall-to-wall coverage on CNN. In Denver, it’s a huge story. But in the UK?
What bothers me most about the coverage of these things is the atmosphere of excitement that creeps in. The tone should be business-like, informational, the voice of someone resigned to the fact that crimes like this happen but determined to deny the killer any hint of glamour. An excess of sobriety to frustrate his craving for notoriety.
This is also true for print and digital media. My Twitter feed turned into an tragedy industrial complex, offering tidbits that are seemingly mundane, yet captivating. Red hair! Application for guns obtained legally! And I wonder if post-Columbine, post-Oklahoma City, post-9/11, media enthusiasts and Internet denizens and TV news watchers are both disgusted and enthralled by these types of tragedies, as they are news outside of the norm, a hot flash in the media pan. And one of the ways of dealing with a dialectic tension such as disgust and enthrall is to post, or air, endlessly about it. Then again, if we’re living in, as McLuhan says, a global village, then it does matter, doesn’t it? A village takes care of one another, especially in times of tragedy. Shouldn’t we want all the information that’s given to us by the media?
Yes, this, all of this. The media shouldn’t be fueling more crime.
The media gives us what we demand. If there was no payoff for them, coverage would change. If our media wasn’t all corporate-owned, it would look very different.
Coverage of these tragedies should focus on the victims, not the murderer. Also prevention. Nobody knows the “why” of these rampages, because they are not rational acts. Focus should be on preventing future violence.
Everyone watch this.