|Since Creation of Universe
Heaven has already appointed,
Faith Preaching Giant Saint,
From West Heâ€™s Born,
To receive Holy Scripture,
With thirty part Book,
To guide all creations,
King of all Kings,
Leader of Holy Ones,
With Support from Divine,
To Protect His Nation,
With five daily prayers,
Silently hope for peace,
With heart toward Allah,
Empower the poor ones,
Save them from calamity,
See through the Unseen,
Pulling souls and spirits,
Away from all wrongdoings,
Mercy to the World,
Walking ancient Crowned Path,
Evil vanquished to One,
Religion Pure and True,
The Noble High One.
By Kari Ansari
Villa Park, IL (USA)–â€œOn Being a Muslimâ€
Since becoming a Muslim many years ago, I have been compelled to strive for the potential I was born with, but up until that time did not use. My connection with God, through the teachings of Islam, has given me gifts of character and spirituality that I still find surprising.
Islam has made me smarter. God gave me a brain, but Islam gave me the reason to use it. For instance, being a Muslim woman has demanded that I grow intellectually. The Quran tells us over and over, â€œthese are words for those who think.â€ Islam is a religion of thinking, questioning, revising our opinions, and considering the world from different perspectives. Over the years, I have listened to Muslim thinkers, scholars, and teachers who have changed, moderated, and enhanced their understanding of Islam as they themselves changed, moderated, and grew older and wiser. Islam has room for this. The message in the Quran is so layered and rich with meaning that it begs the reader to dive into the words over and over, only to surface each time at different places in its sea, leaving us gasping for breath from the complexity and simplicity that coexist simultaneously.
Being a Muslim has broadened my worldview. Being a Muslim in America means that I am part of a faith group that encompasses people of wildly different cultures and ethnicities. I have made friends and have worked with people from virtually all corners of the world. Since becoming a Muslim, I no longer view people through the lens of a television or movie camera, edited for my sensibilities; instead, I get to learn about them firsthand. I have friends who have transported me to their native land with a simple cup of tea and a little conversation. As an American Muslim, I have learned that the world is full of warm people who would give you their last meal, simply because thatâ€™s the way they have always lived.
Islam has taught me true empathy. I grew up in Americaâ€™s safe neighborhoods, attending excellent public schools. With this advantage, I never experienced discrimination or disrespect from others until after I embraced Islam and wore the hijab, the Muslim headscarf. By taking on this visible identifier, I learned what it feels like to be the â€œother.â€ When someone spit on the street as I passed, just after the 9/11 tragedy, I experienced a little of what Catholics and Jews and other religious minorities in America went through in decades and centuries past. When my husband, a native of India, and I were swiftly refused a previously promised lease on a house after we faxed in our driverâ€™s license photos to the out-of-town owner, I understood the resentment and frustration felt by those who suffer insidious bigotry. When I was made to stand with my arms and legs spread like a criminal for a physical pat down in plain view of other air travelers, I understood the humiliation of being profiled simply because of my faith. However, I consider these experiences a privilege, as they have taught me empathy for those who have suffered simply for being.
Islam has made me a stronger feminist. Contrary to common perceptions, being a Muslim woman demands that I become educated, one who questions authority and the status quo. The women who lived during the time of the Blessed Prophet Muhammad were constantly questioning the meaning of the revelations; they wanted to know where their place in society lay, and they asserted their intelligence in defining themselves. They asked the Prophet questions about their lives. They did not ask by means of their husbands or fathers; they spoke directly to the Prophet. Islamic teachings elevate women to equal status with men â€” the only qualifier of merit is oneâ€™s conviction of faith and actions. Islam leaves room for women to assert themselves in all aspects of community life, and while Musli ms in America are struggling against the misogyny brought from overseas, Islam gives us the strength and framework to claim equal standing with men in the mosque and in the greater society.
Islam has taught me real humility. Muslims are taught to perform each prayer as if we are in the presence of God â€” whose magnificence is more than any of us can fathom. Muslims must pray in a prescribed manner, and the most intimate position of the prayer is called sajud, where one kneels down and places the forehead and nose on the floor. In the very beginning for me, an American raised with a large amount of pride, it was difficult to pray in this position. I thought to myself, â€œThis is humiliating,â€ but was told that this is the purpose of sajud. I performed the prayer as taught, but was disheartened when I did not find the solace promised. A wise Muslim woman told me to continue with the ritual, regardless of whether it felt hollow or not. So I persisted. Weeks passed, and I went through the motions of the daily prayers, until one day â€” all in an instant â€” I felt myself in the presence of God while in sajud. During those brief moments I gained everything I would ever need in this world â€” the eternal longing for that most intimate connection with my Creator.
My husband and I named our son Sajid, which means one who prostrates to God.
This article first appeared on American Public Mediaâ€™s Speaking of Faith feature, Expressions of Muslim Identity.
Iraqi Resistance Responds to President Obama
Press Release, The Political Committee / Baghdad / The Republic of Iraq, Official English Transcript
Editorâ€™s note: We are printing this March 2009 announcement because it is absolutely newsworthy and even essential to consider in order to understand Iraq, and absolutely not as an endorsement of the insurgency in Iraq. Also due to the length of the statement only part of it is here, for the rest please see our website.
Statement in Response to President Obamaâ€™s Remarks made on the 27th or February 2009 regarding the proclaimed ending to the occupation of The Republic of Iraq.
In Respect to the remarks of President Barak Hussain Obama, The president of the United States of America. The Political Committee of a number of factions in the Iraqi Resistance, mainly the factions present in our front, respond with our point of view on the contents of his speech.
Over the last four months, as the battle of our people continues to free Iraq of all foreign occupation. We have been studying the movements on the ground as well as analyzing the intelligence in order to assess the next strategy that the US administration will take under the leadership of the new presidency.
We had formulated our own plan of action based on the above mentioned, but have chosen to give the new president enough time to gather his thoughts and have a suitable amount of reports & briefings that would give him also a good picture of the daily developments on the ground.
President Obama, After listening to your speech on the 27th of February 2009, in which you declared your general and public understanding of the ongoing war against our people, and gave your military and the honorable people of the United States brief points on your intentions in our country, we felt the spirit of the speech that your predecessor President JFK gave on the 20th of January 1961, on his inaugural address. In this speech, he offered a turbulent world, a way out of tensions and paid with his own blood for challenging the interests of those in your consecutive governments who hold the true keys to power. Those who would do anything to preserve their interests, wealth, & power to create wars & conflict.
We mention this with great honesty in hope to spread awareness and remembrance that a new Caesar may be betrayed, by his own, if he chooses to follow a different path. We do believe, on the other hand, that the spirit of the speech was well chosen.
We have listened well to your economic plans for your country released before this speech as well, and as ambitious as it may seem, we believe that if intentions are genuine within your congress, a considerable number of what you seek will eventually be fulfilled, but in case of failure, the republicans will be looking for a scapegoat to relate all their failures to. In this case it would be your administration. This will guarantee them a fast comeback.
You have inherited a nation at war, a failed economy, and a desperate people who are bearing the full brunt of an economic crisis that was not of their making. As well as thousands of young men dead and handicapped.
We have inherited a foreign occupation, endless counts of innocent dead, injured, and handicapped, millions of refugees, in essence, Mr. President, the complete and planned disintegration of our nation and people.
We believe that the funds wasted in this war would have been more useful if it were spent on research to develop alternative energy, which no doubt would have reduced energy conflicts, cures for cancer, agricultural solutions to prevent worldwide poverty, advancements to develop Africa, where people still die of starvation and intentional neglect. Endless causes, all in need of immediate attention.
By the will of God almighty, the resilience of our men, and the patience of our humble people, we have so far managed to halt and render useless all imperialist agendas set for Iraq and the region in whole. Simply by choosing to resist occupation, a right guaranteed by God first and then by international conventions to all men. A right your countryâ€™s policies continue to disrespect and dishonor, in clear example to state sponsored Terrorism.
You have spoken to our people in part of your speech, and we thank you for these words, you have displayed a far better understanding our nation, than your predecessor, who preferred to dive deep into the oceans of illiteracy and ignorance. Despite the fact that you did not mention the Iraqi resistance in your speech, and chose to label us as terrorists along with those who arrived with your troops, we will set that aside for now, and mention a few facts for the record.
1- The people of Iraq whom you addressed, in all their sects colors and religions, refuse your occupation, and those who accept it, are those who benefit from it.
2- The Iraqis you addressed, as we truly hope, are not the ones who bathe in the riches of treason, behind your walls of the green zone, nor are they the likes of Ahmed Al Chalabi, whom your previous government conspired with and his likes from the dark alleys of 5 star hotels in the US and Europe prior to your occupation.
3- The Iraqi people you talked to, are those who never invited your occupation, and were trying their best to survive on what was possible, under the criminal sanctions that went on for 13 years only to be crowned with a foreign occupation, unmatched in criminal acts, in todayâ€™s modern world.
President Obama, The suffering, that our people had to go through is beyond comprehension. And the endless crimes of your troops as well as that of neighboring countries, cannot simply be undone or dismissed, nor can they be brushed under the carpet. Your troops still occupy the land and kill the innocent, that is why we can only address you as the president of an occupying nation.
The Iraqi People are disappointed in your plan. They expect your troops to leave our country in full and not in part. Our people, seek a complete end of occupation and not the fulfillment of a strategic treaty that was rushed against the will of our people, in the last few days of your predecessor.
Our people, as well as the majority of people around the world, and in your country, want to see the last president be presented to an international war crime tribunal for all the crimes he has committed in the name of your country, only to benefit those who brought him to power in the first place.
We have never invited your occupation, nor have we asked your country to steal our countryâ€™s resources to benefit your corporations and to those neighboring states which historically fall under your influence. We have never asked you for your precious blood or ours, to us, all blood is precious even that of the your soldiers sent by your government to die not knowing what they were truly fighting for. This has to be addressed to the man who started this war, and is hiding now in Texas, while you try to undo his damage.
We the Iraqi People and their resistance demand the following:
1- The fulfillment of all the conditions presented to your government through the mediators you sent in 2006.
2- The hand over of all the traitors & Collaborators in the green zone to the Iraqi people where they will be dealt with as any nation would do with in cases of high treason.
3- The full & just compensation for our people for the losses they have suffered.
4- The halting of all compensations paid to those who fall under your umbrella in the region from the resources of our people.
5- The return of all land stolen from our country.
6- The departure of all foreign corporations mainly in the sectors of energy, communication, & infrastructure rebuilding, specifically those linked to Neocon interests. Our people are more than qualified to rebuild and operate our institutions.
7- The hand over of all mercenaries accused of killing innocent civilians mainly security contractors in Black Water and their CEO to be tried for murder.
8- All foreign advisors are to leave Iraq with your troops.
9- The dismantling of all militias equipped by your country and Iran together to shift the nature of battle towards the sectarian nature in order to allow your troops to concentrate on the major resistance activities in the central region of Iraq.
10- The halting of all support to the sectarian government elected in the orchestrated elections in the green zone.
11- The reduction of the influence of your Persian allies in Iraq which your previous government worked with in close conjunction and who continue to fund Al Qaeda on behalf of your intelligence agencyâ€™s behalf.
12- The return to the old constitution of a unified Iraq. And the Upholding of new elections Within 6 months of the resistance taking power of the nation, this will be supervised, by must be conducted in the presence of a number of credible international monitors. Not the ones sponsored by the CIA.
13- Cities and provinces are to be handed over one by one starting with the four main cities and airports of Baghdad, Basra, then Mosul and Kirkuk in the same order. The rest will fall immediately in our hands. The borders will have other arrangements.
The list goes on, but the intention is to give you an idea of what we pledged our people to achieve. In return for our peopleâ€™s demands, we will cease to attack all occupation forces withdrawing to the south and beyond the border post of Safwan.
Without these straightforward moves on your part, we regret to inform you that the resistance of the people of Iraq will continue until that last boot of US/British/Persian occupation is thrown across the borders of our country.
If you choose change as you claim, then you must have reached the conclusion that to continue dealing with the same people your predecessor appointed to fulfill his dirty work, will fail to deliver positive results for both our people. It is not the thieves of the green zone who brought the defeat of your military.
You must search further for the honest Iraqis and from the ranks of our people and not those of your collaborators to achieve a just solution. You can also recognize the right for the Iraqi people to resist and publicly ask for our advice and representation. The Iraqi people intend to be masters of their own house as they always have, and by following the plan you have declared, you have not yet fully understood Iraq well.
There are those who will claim, that a quick withdrawal from Iraq will cause civil war, and that is a possibility, but we would also like to clarify that the forces of the puppet government which has been equipped to defeat the resistance will not stand ground, nor will they block our efforts to liberate our cities one by one if we had to, and all the efforts of your collaborators to move to the north and south of the country and create their own federal states have been studied well for their weaknesses and will be crushed within a short period. This is a more realistic scenario. True there will be still the Persian occupation which will offer itâ€™s militias support, but we know that the US cannot leave the oil rich south to be occupied by Iran, and they would rather see it fall in our hands instead. As it would be giving too much to a close yet not so trust worthy ally, and would deprive your military necessary funds that would support long-term military presence necessary in Iraq and throughout the region. Funds that some in your government think they can still rely on. Funds that your economy can no longer bear in the midst of the turmoil in the globalized economy of your nation, to control the world.
The Iraqi resistance understands well that the US could not continue to sell oil at a high price of 120 USD/Barrel to cover the costs of itâ€™s war, as this strengthens old adversaries. And it would be only a matter of time before this tactic backfires on the US foreign policy. But it also understands that the US cannot fund foreign occupation any more without depending on local resources and revenues to cover the expenses. This is the true cause of the change of â€œStrategyâ€ as you named it President Obama.
With oil prices falling to their true realistic market values, & the winter ending in the consuming economies, the oil prices should fall to 30 USD plus mark, which is also effecting the local economies of your allies in the region, as anything below 55 USD per barrel, is already becoming a burden on these economies, which in turn can no longer assist to their full potential in funding and supporting the costs of US aggression in the Region.
The Declining of oil revenues, which we truly thank you for mentioning in your speech, will make it more difficult to fund your militaryâ€™s operations in Iraq, and that is why the numbers of your troops is to be reduced. To match the income predicted from the oil projects sponsored by your corporations in the south and the oil theft operations run by your agent, Hamid Jaffar in the north of Iraq in collaboration with NGO oil of Norway, is what your strategists think is possible.
Yes President Obama, we do agree with you, that the US needs a smarter, more sustainable & comprehensive approach, but rest assured, that what your predecessor has failed to achieve with all the military might at his disposal, we will make sure that you will fail to achieve the same goals through the soft hand of the Democratic party.
In fact, it is more logical and practical to follow the alternative energy programs that you have set wisely, to ensure the non reliance of your economy on oil as well as the utilization of advancements and added fruits of R&D to employ the unemployed, and support a new and young market for the shift in energy dependence, and in turn end the monopolization of energy, practiced by the corporations that control it and control world political and social stability, than to merely dream of expecting the Iraqi People to hand you over their resources.
We on the other hand intend to nationalize and use our resources to build an alternative energy base our selves and offer our people a life of prosperity, & stability, as well as supporting the energy transition of other nations that are oil dependant, a task we truly believe is noble and worthwhile.
The Iraqi Resistance will not accept any short term or long term energy contracts with the US until we ensure that the rights of our people are properly addressed. And within the parameters of relations based on mutual respect first and mutual interests second.
President Obama, It is time that people in Washington understand that there are no shared interest between an occupying tyrant and an oppressed victim of occupation.
Your government would have stayed forever in Iraq if the traitors who conspired with your consecutive administrations had their way in starving the Iraqi people into submission and force them to welcome your occupying troops with flowers as Chalabi promised you. But after three wars and over a decade of sanctions, there were enough honest men to defeat the worldâ€™s most powerful army & play a major role in destroying the most imperialistic Globalized economy ever developed by expansionary capitalism.
These are the type of people you are speaking to Mr. Obama. And if you were not presented with this reality throughout the briefings that occurred, and understood the true scale of the economic disaster with all the social and geopolitical implications of your military defeat in Iraq, then please allow us to mention a few of the major achievements that the Iraqi Resistance have promised itâ€™s people and the free people of the world and has delivered:
1- We promised to pin down your troops in Iraq and drain your economy until you admit defeat and withdraw your troops. And this we fulfilled.
2- We promised to halt the US plan for Middle East in full, and prevent the loss of other innocent lives in other neighboring countries, and that we fulfilled.
3- We embraced the war and continue the fight on behalf of all the oppressed world, which not only stood still and watched the massacre of our people and the illegal occupation of our nation, but many of itâ€™s leaders participated and continue in harming our people inside and outside Iraq and assist in the theft of our resources. This, apart from the support of honest people all around the world,
4- including citizens of your country, who marched day and night to support the cause of Iraqâ€™s right to resist, marches that defied the weather, and weathered criminal defiance and ignorance of world politicians. Marches that we will ever be indebt to, and in gratitude & in appreciation for. May God bless those people wherever they are. And this we fulfilled and continue to do so.
5- We have understood the nature of international balances of power and most importantly predicted the primitive mind of the occupation and played a major role in forcing the US to increase oil prices in clear desperation for cash. And use that to allow other powers to recover. And the numbers never lied, this we also fulfilled.
6- The Iraqi People wrote a new chapter in Urban warfare, and invented the art of remote combat, and in turn gave the world lessons and set a new standard in how to defeat the worldâ€™s most powerful army. In this, the most dangerous achievement that threatens US global influence is that all the oppressed people who suffer from negative US influence, can use this experience to free themselves as well. This also has been delivered.
7- The Resistance has already drafted its 2, 5 and 10 year plan to engage Iraq in rebuilding programs that will set a new standard for development in the Region and restore Iraq to itâ€™s rightfully earned place in world politics and positive human development. This while maintaining Iraqâ€™s isolation from harmful neighboring countries at the same time, these plans was prepared and drafted in the early months of 2007 and are ready to implement once we see the end of your occupation.
8- The resistance created a new battle field and utilized every tool available to break free of the corporate media and tell, inform, and educate the world of the true nature of the struggle, and present every curious man and woman daily reports and videos of your militaryâ€™s defeat and in every language possible. People from all over the world, chose out of their own free will and time, people of different religions and backgrounds chose to be soldiers of the cyber wars and translated all what we had to tell, asking nothing in return but the truth. The true casualties of your war are yet to be declared. (We refer to the green card soldiers)
9- The resistance has sparked not only the collapse of the US economy, but also caused the domino effect and the destruction of your fine tuned and delicate Globalized economy, and forced the return to national economic protection, and the rights of local and regional economies to grow and ensure a decent life and practice their right to develop as well. All your efforts to restore the globalized economy will deliver nothing of value, and puppet governments that maintain your oversight of world resources will eventually fall, one after the other, as their faults will be more evident to their average citizens, and that is why you are now receiving daily reports, from the CIA about the world economy.
ALL THE ABOVE, AND YOU STILL CHOOSE TO IGNORE THE RESISTANCE OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND THE RESISTANCE OF THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF THE FREE, WHICH WE INTENT TO PROPOSE TO THE WORLD AS THE NEXT STAGE OF FREEING THE PLANET FROM YOUR DOMINENCE WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT.
ALL THIS SAID, AND THE GLOBAL MEDIA WHICH YOU STILL MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER STILL LABELS FREE PEOPLE AS TERRORISTS AND EQUALS THE RESISTANCE OF OCCUPATION WITH CRIMINAL ACTS OF STRIKING CIVILIANS IN BUILDING AND TERRORISING THE LIVES OF THE INNOCENT.
TRULY IRONIC !! Nevertheless represents the true state of shock you policy makers have reached. But all can be reversed if you truly believe in Change Mr. President.
The resistance along with the votes of the peace loving people in your country and choice of the world
Who brought you to power, are more than capable to pull you down and defeat your new strategy, if you choose to lie to them and follow the plans of your predecessor.
You must understand that the time when your foreign policy bullied and bribed people into submission is over and for a considerable time. And your politicians and strategists have to understand that to be accepted as a superpower you must first learn to speak to the world with modesty and respect that others in this planet, also have the right to provide for their families a decent life, the right to food and water, the right to education and knowledge, the right to industry and employment, and free from your corporate despotism.
We in the Iraqi resistance, renew our pledge to our people and to our brothers and sisters in the global family, to continue the fight and struggle to free Iraq and give our allies the chance to follow suite.
While you were preparing your new strategy in leaving the streets and highways of Iraq to your collaborators, and hiding your troops behind the walls of the castles and green zones you have prepared for your minimized long term presence, we have been preparing to address your new tactics and will deal with them in the proper manner.
Remember, that hiding behind and holding castles is no longer sustainable in modern warfare!
Your finest fighting force as you name it, is up against the most witty, resilient & innovative self-propelled resistance honorable humanity has ever presented. Rest assured that we are not impressed with your plan and will follow your movements on the ground and cross examine them to your declared intentions and daily economic reports. There is no such thing as friendly occupation, and we advise you to revise your plans to vacate Iraq at a time suitable for our people and not suitable for your agents in the green zone.
And if you need to talk to honest Iraqis, then you know very well, where to find them. John F Kennedy also said â€œLet us never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiateâ€
You choose to negotiate with all the parties that worked for your predecessor and have caused all this harm, yet you choose to ignore the only true party that can offer you a decent outcome.
Good Luck President Obama!
By Adil James, MMNS
Farmington–September 23–This upcoming Detroit city election is historic because of the candidacies of four Muslim candidates, including Imam El-Amin, Raphael B. Johson, Mohamed Okdie, and Reggie Reg Davis.
Despite the loss of Imam El-Amin in the primary, three of those candidates have soldiered on into the general election, and I had the chance to interview one of them, Raphael B. Johnson.
â€œI believe there is no god but Allah,â€ began Mr. Johnson. â€œOur odds are high–I believe faith without work is like a ship without water–we are putting in the necessary work to make sure victory is ours. We are knocking on doors, visiting churches, reacing out into all the neighborhoods not likely to vote. We are doing everything.â€
Asked if he has run for any office before, he shows his quick wit–joking, â€œIâ€™ve only run for my life.â€
Mr. Johnson worships at Muhammadâ€™s Mosque Number 1, a Nation of Islam mosque, in Detroit.
Asked why he is running, Mr. Johnson explains, â€œbecause I owe the city of Detroit, because as a young person I took an innocent life… in Detroit. Our leadership has failed us time and time again. Our leadership should be the example of the change to see in the people. If the leadership did not change in themselves, they canâ€™t change the city.
â€œI have nothing to hide–Islam is what changed me. Islam comes when all else has failed.â€
For Detroit, â€œnothing has worked, we have tried everythingâ€ — except Islam.
â€œEarlier this year the Young Democrats of America held their bi-annual convention in which nearly 2000 members across the nation and abroad convened in Chicago. Local student Sania Rahim was named the National Chair of the Young Democrats of America High School Caucus in the highly contested race for the High School Caucus Executive Board. Miss Rahim is the third National Chair to be elected and the first Muslim-American woman to serve on the Executive Committee of the organization.
â€œAs always, I am very impressed with your dedications to the Democratic Partyâ€ said Congressman Nick Joe Rahall of Rahimâ€™s campaign and recent election. â€œYour long list of accomplishments is a tribute to your excellent work ethic and determinationâ€.
â€œBecause of your involvement in the Young Democrats organization, you are an outstanding leader ready to build a brighter tomorrow for both our great nation and mountain stateâ€, says Governor Manchin of Rahim. â€œYou have certainly cast a positive light upon Woodrow Wilson High School and all of West Virginiaâ€.
The Young Democrats of America (YDA) is the largest youth-led, national, partisan political organization. The YDA has been the official youth arm of the Democratic Party since 1932. The Young Democrats of America High School Caucus (YDAHSC) is an organization within the YDA specifically geared towards high school students. Members of the YDAHSC represent high school students at all levels of the Democratic Party and claim a substantial percentage of YDAâ€™s membership with about 20,000 high school students nationwide.
Rahim is currently in her junior year at Woodrow Wilson High School. She is active in other organizations such as Key Club International, Conservation Club, Student Government, and of course, the Woodrow Wilson High School Young Democratsâ€
By Zbig Brzezinski
Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran
The national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gave an interview to The Daily Beast in which he suggested President Obama should make it clear to Israel that if they attempt to attack Iranâ€™s nuclear weapons sites the U.S. Air Force will stop them.
â€œWe are not exactly impotent little babies,â€ Brzezinski said. â€œThey have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? … We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you arenâ€™t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a â€˜Libertyâ€™ in reverse.â€
The USS Liberty was a U.S. Navy technical research ship that the Israeli Air Force mistakenly attacked during the Six Day War in 1967.
Brzezinski endorsed then-Sen. Obamaâ€™s presidential campaign in August 2007, which at the time was portrayed in the media as a boost to Obamaâ€™s foreign policy cred. The Washington Post reported: â€œBarack Obama, combating the perception that he is too young and inexperienced to handle a dangerous world, got a boost yesterday from a paragon of foreign policy eminence, Zbigniew Brzezinski.â€
Brzezinski was never an official campaign adviser, but Republicans jumped on the endorsement to push the meme that Obama wouldnâ€™t be a friend to Israel, as Brzezinskiâ€™s views of Israel attracted criticism from some quarters in the American Jewish community.
â€œBrzezinski is not an adviser to the campaign,â€ former Ambassador Dennis Ross, then a senior adviser on Middle East affairs to the Obama campaign, said at the time. â€œThere is a lot of disinformation that is being pushed, but he is not an adviser to the campaign. Brzezinski came out and supported Obama early because of the war in Iraq. A year or so ago they talked a couple of times. Thatâ€™s the extent of it, and Sen. Obama has made it clear that on other Middle Eastern issues, Brzezinski is not who he looks to. They donâ€™t have the same views.â€
Brzezinski plays no role in the Obama administration; the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brzezinskiâ€™s comments come within the same week that the White House distanced itself from comments made by former President Carter, who said he thinks â€œan overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.â€
By Sumayyah Meehan, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS) Middle East Correspondent
In one single gesture, Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi summed up the sentiments that had been swelling in the hearts of Iraqiâ€™s and Muslims from all over the world ever since former President George W. Bush indulged in his own â€˜Axis of Evilâ€™ and went to war with Iraq. With the throw of a pair of size 10 loafers, al-Zaidi unleashed a wave of discontent that Iraqiâ€™s had grappled with ever since their country was unlawfully invaded.
Many Muslims from all over the world cheered, as scenes of adults and children alike rejoicing in the streets of Baghdad waving their own shoes in the air played out on TV. Copycat shoe throwers also emerged in the days following the incident, most notably in India and China where at least two diplomats found themselves also dodging footwear.
However, news about the man behind the shoes was hard to come by. Following the incident, he was rushed away by Iraqi security personnel and imprisoned. Family members later revealed that al-Zaidi was severely beaten and tortured in prison. He was originally sentenced to spend three years in prison, but served only nine months of that sentence as he was recently released.
Finally, al-Zaidi is able to speak for himself and tell the world the reasons behind his actions. In a column recently appearing in the British-based â€˜The Guardianâ€™ newspaper, al-Zaidi writes, â€œWhen I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diasporas.â€
Further al-Zaidi denies that he is a hero and writes, â€œIt humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib, the massacres of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I traveled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.â€
After his release, al-Zaidi was reunited with his family in a tearful and long-awaited reunion. According to his employer Al-Baghdadia TV, al-Zaidi has left Iraq and will travel to Syria and later Greece to receive medical care. Al-Zaidi suffered greatly at the hands of Iraqi security personnel who beat him with melt bars, electrocuted him with live wires and engaged in â€˜water boardingâ€™ to make him feel like he was drowning. The state of al-Zaidiâ€™s health is unknown at the present time.
In a recent development, al-Zaidi also revealed his future plans in a TV interview conducted by TSR television. He hopes to rally Iraqis together to lodge a complaint against former President Bush and put him on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity. â€œI really want to go to Switzerland because it is a neutral country and because it is a country that did not support the occupation of Iraq,â€ al-Zaidi said, â€œSwitzerland hosts many international organizations, including some that fight for children, and Switzerland is a country that has a great democratic tradition. It is an example for the world,â€
While the man himself may resist being touted as a hero for his actions. At least one artist has forever immortalized the shoes that were â€˜thrownâ€™ around the world. Based in London, artist P Waniewski has created a pair of size 10 shoes identical to the ones al-Zaidi threw, since U.S. security personnel purportedly destroyed the original pair following the incident. So named, â€˜Proud Shoesâ€™ the tribute is made of 21 kilograms of bronze and dipped in 24 KT. gold. The artist recently revealed in an interview his reasons for creating the tribute to al-Zaidi, â€œWhen I heard this story I was moved by the passion and fearlessness of Mr al-Zaidiâ€™s actions. The shoe that he threw was destroyed by the US authorities, so I felt it was a fitting way of marking this emotive event.â€
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Report also censures Hamas but accuses Israelis of punishing entire population of the Palestinian Strip
Israel targeted â€œthe people of Gaza as a wholeâ€ in the three-week military operation which is estimated to have killed more than 1,300 Palestinians at the beginning of this year, according to a UN-commissioned report published yesterday.
A UN fact-finding mission led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone said Israel should face prosecution by the International Criminal Court unless it opened independent investigations of what the report said were repeated violations of international law, â€œpossible war crimes and crimes against humanityâ€ during the operation.
Using by far the strongest language of any of the numerous reports criticizing Operation Cast Lead, the UN mission, which interviewed victims, witnesses and others in Gaza and Geneva this summer, says that, while Israel had portrayed the war as self-defense in response to Hamas rocket attacks, it â€œconsiders the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.
â€œIn this respect the operations were in furtherance of an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas, and possibly with the intent of forcing a change in such support,â€ the report said.
The 575-page document presented to yesterdayâ€™s session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was swiftly denounced by Israel. The foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the UN mission had â€œdealt a huge blow to governments seeking to defend their citizens from terrorâ€, and that its conclusions were â€œso disconnected with realities on the ground that one cannot but wonder on which planet was the Gaza Strip they visitedâ€.
The Gaza war began on 27 December 2008 and ended on 18 January 2009.
The UN report found that the statements of military and political leaders in Israel before and during the operation indicated that they intended the use of â€œdisproportionate forceâ€, aimed not only at the enemy but also at the â€œsupporting infrastructureâ€. The mission adds: â€œIn practice this appears to have meant the civilian population.â€
The mission also had harsh conclusions about Hamas and other armed groups, acknowledging that rocket and mortar attacks have caused terror in southern Israel, and saying that, where such attacks were launched into civilians areas, they would â€œconstitute war crimesâ€ and â€œmay amount to crimes against humanityâ€.
It also condemned the extrajudicial killings, detention and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees by the Hamas regime in Gaza – as well as by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – and called for the release on humanitarian grounds of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli corporal abducted by Gaza militants in June 2006.
While the Israeli government refused to co-operate with the inquiry – or allow the UN team into Israel – on the ground that the team would beâ€one-sidedâ€, Corporal Shalitâ€™s father, Noam, was among those Israeli citizens who flew to Geneva to give evidence.
That said, the greater part of the report – and its strongest language – is reserved for Israelâ€™s conduct during the operation. Apart from the unprecedented death toll, the report says that â€œthe destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses was the result of a systematic policy by the Israeli armed forcesâ€. The purpose was not to avert a military threat, but â€œto make the daily process of living and dignified living more difficult for the civilian populationâ€.
The report also says that vandalism of houses by some soldiers and â€œthe graffiti on the walls, the obscenities and often racist slogans constituted an overall image of humiliation and dehumanization of the Palestinian populationâ€.
Amid a detailed examination of most of the major incidents of the war – albeit one carried out five months after it took place – it says that:
* The first bombing attack on Day One of the operation, when children were going home from school, â€œappears to have been calculated to cause the greatest disruption and widespread panicâ€.
* The firing of white phosphorus shells at the UN Relief and Works Agency compound was â€œcompounded by reckless regard of the consequencesâ€, and the use of high explosive artillery at the al-Quds hospitals were violations of Articles 18 and 19 of the Geneva Convention. It says that warnings issued by Israel to the civilian population â€œcannot be considered as sufficiently effectiveâ€ under the convention.
* On the attack in the vicinity of the al-Fakhoura school where at least 35 Palestinians were killed, Israeli forces launched an attack where a â€œreasonable commanderâ€ would have considered military advantage was outweighed by the risk to civilian life. Under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the civilians had their right to life forfeited. And while some of the 99 policemen killed in incidents surveyed by the team may have been members of armed groups, others who were not also had their right to life violated.
* The inquiry team also says that a number of Palestinians were used as human shields – itself a violation of the ICCPR – including Majdi Abed Rabbo, whose complaints about being so used were first aired in The Independent. The report asserts that the use of human shields constitutes a â€œwar crime under the Rome statute of the International Criminal Courtâ€.
They Seek to Harm Believers and to Create Divisions
When those who disbelieve were plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they were plotting and Allah was plotting, but Allah is the Best of Plotters.
Harboring a subconscious hatred for believers, hypocrites seek to incite strife and division among believers in order to do them harm. As weâ€™ve already made clear, their true aim is to divide believers, imagining that in this way, their community will be weakened and can be prevented from living by religious moral values.
Unity among believers of course constitutes a major support and strength for them. Yet believers draw their real strength from Allah. With the unity among them, believers fulfill the various responsibilities imposed on them, remember Allah, and wage a common struggle against deniers. The hypocritical mindset, which is unable to comprehend that believers draw their true strength from Allah, imagines that it can deal them a heavy blow by causing rifts between believers. Thus emerges one of the consequences of their perspective, in that they expend great energy on an endeavor that they regard as very important but which is actually fruitless and hollow. In their own view, this is the most effective way of weakening such a strong, unified community. After causing rifts among them, they continue their efforts to provoke strife against believers.
As already seen, hypocrites employ cunning methods to try to create such discord among believers. They never create strife by saying, â€œWe will cause rifts to emerge among you.â€ On the contrary, they maintain that they are trustworthy people who seek to spread truth on Earth. With this cunning behavior, they seek to inspire trust and to create strife without making it apparent. They see this as a major opportunity, but as always, their endeavors come to nothing:
They will not harm you except with abusive words. . . .
Ali â€˜Imran: 111
Their Beliefs Regarding the Hereafter, and Their Preference of This World Over It
For the believer, the goal of all his endeavors is the life of the Hereafter. Therefore, all the preparations in this world are in order to attain the life of the Hereafter in the best possible manner. When the subject is the Hereafter, having faith with a sure and certain knowledge becomes especially important. That is because people are reluctant to live for something in which they do not fully believe, which in their view seems illusory. In any case, the small number of believers and the presence of hypocrites is the result of this logic. Although what awaits them is a sure and certain fact, most people still live in constant doubt, despite the detailed accounts in the verses of the Qurâ€™an and the countless proofs that they themselves witness. The reason for their doubts is that because of their earthly desires, they are reluctant to reflect on the truth about the Hereafter that they read in the verses of the Qurâ€™an. Anyone who definitively believes in the Hereafter has understood that this world is of no great worth in comparison to the Hereafter, and will have turned his back on its deceptive baubles. For hypocrites, on the other hand, the world is their most valuable goal, and for that reason, they blind themselves to the Hereafter. Their situation is described in these terms in verses:
No, their knowledge stops short of the Hereafter. In fact they have doubts about it. In fact they are blind to it.
The main reason why they harbor doubts about the Hereafter is the weakness of their faith and their worldly desires. Since they are unwilling to think about the Hereafter, they are unable to comprehend how imminent it is. As is revealed in the Qurâ€™an in the verse, â€œThey did not expect to have a reckoningâ€ (Surat an-Nabaâ€™: 27), being called to account is something they never expect. The hypocrisy that dominates their desires manifests itself in this vitally important subject.
The reason, of course, is not unawareness of the Hereafter. They are merely unwilling to call to mind the Day of Judgment, the Hereafter and Hell. Not reflecting on these great truths, they are knowingly taken in by the deceptive nature of this world. By not thinking, they regard themselves as advantaged; and though they regard themselves as profiting from this, they are actually losing eternal Paradise.
They are Passionately Devoted to the Life of this World
The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion. The abode of the Hereafterâ€”that is truly Life, if they only knew.
According to what Allah reveals to mankind in the Qurâ€™an, the world has been created as only a temporary home. Our true home is that of the Hereafter, which is where our true lives will be lived. Moreover, those true lives will not be restricted to a mere 60 or 70 years, and people will remain there forever.
This is a great truth which everyone must bear in mind; and in this world, people must prepare for the true home to which they will go after death. Yet most people are unaware of this. To put it more accurately, they have no wish to think about it. They wish to live out their lives in this world, and avoid any ideas that might impinge on that. The existence of the Hereafter deals a heavy blow to their devotion to their worldly concerns. Since they are unwilling to accept this, they prefer to keep the idea as far away as possible. They disregard the information and spend their entire lives avoiding it. This is one way of not doing what they should.
The reason why they are so devoted to the life of this world is their failure to consider death. That is why, whenever the subject of death is brought up, they immediately try to change the subject: Because death will take away all they possessâ€”their bodies, their goods, their money, their beauty, rank and station.
The fact remains, though, that no matter how they may seek to avoid it, death is a great reality. Every human being is born because Allah so wishes it, lives a destiny determined by Him and dies after an allotted period of time, in line with the destiny He has set out. Every rational human being must consider this with an open mind and at that point, fulfill the responsibility befalling him. That responsibility consists of not devoting oneself to the short, transitory life of this world but of living according to the bounds Allah has set.
But to the hardened hearts of hypocrites, life seems very bright and exciting, because the life of this world has been adorned with many baubles, as a requirement of the testing of human beings. By this, the deniers are deceived. People of faith, on the other hand, understand that these adornments are deceptive and that the life of this world will be over and done with in the blink of an eye.
Hypocrites avoid this reality. So strong is their devotion to this world that they ignore the reality of the Hereafter, even though they are very well aware of it. These people read the Qurâ€™an, learn the true nature of events, and are of course familiar with the true nature of this world. Nonetheless, they never renounce it because, as revealed in the verse, they â€œprefer the life of this world to the Hereafter . . . .â€ (Surah Ibrahim: 3).
Love of the world has literally bewitched them and left them unable to accept the truth. Therefore, hypocrites engage in worldly calculations, as if they were never going to die. They make endless plans, and the cunning schemes they draw up against Muslims also lie within the framework of these worldly calculations. But being taken in by the adornments of the life of this world and forgetting about the Hereafter will in fact benefit them nothing. On the contrary, a worldly life full of difficulties, woes, humiliation and terrified suffering awaits them.
In their own minds, they have very good reasons for not reflecting on such exceedingly important matters as death, judgment, the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell. The main reason, however, is their hypocrisy. For them, life seems so long as never to come to an end, whereas they imagine that in the Hereafter, if they go there at all, they will merit the very best. The story of the vineyard owner in the Qurâ€™an is an excellent example of this:
He entered his garden and wronged himself by saying, â€œI do not think that this will ever end. I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return.â€
The main barriers that prevent one from living by religious moral values, turning to Allah alone and living in the light of His wishes in order to attain His Paradise are his earthly desiresâ€”in other words, his passions. However, the common feature of all passions is that they distance people from Allah and His path. The important point is that sooner or later, worldly passions will leave them high and dry. When death comes, none of the values they so overvalued will prove of any use. They will leave behind everything they valued in this world and go alone into the presence of Allah.
The President released the following statement to mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-ul-Fitr:
â€œAs Muslims in the United States and around the world complete the month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, Michelle and I would like to extend our personal greetings on this joyous occasion. Eid is a time to celebrate the completion of 30 days and nights of devotion. But even on this festive occasion, Muslims remember those less fortunate, including those impacted by poverty, hunger, conflict, and disease. Throughout the month, Muslim communities collect and distribute zakat-ul-fitr so that all Muslims are able to participate in this day of celebration. As I said in Cairo, my Administration is working to ensure that Muslims are able to fulfill their charitable obligations not just during Ramadan, but throughout the year. On behalf of the American people, we congratulate Muslims in the United States and around the world on this blessed day. Eid Mubarak.â€
Over the past month, the President and several government Agencies participated in events to mark Ramadan â€“ the President continued the tradition of hosting an Iftar here at the White House while the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted the first in their history. The Corporation for National and Community Service spearheaded â€œInterfaith Service Weekâ€ as part of the President and First Ladyâ€™s Summer of Service initiative and many other groups and individuals came together to make this month a time of giving and reaching out to our neighbors in need.
The President and the First Lady extend their personal greetings on this special day. May you be well throughout the year.
By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in chief
In Iraq and in Afghanistan, US, UK, and other western countries troops have allegedly used torture techniques in interrogations. But why do they use torture? Because they are concerned about the security and safety of the world? Because they are such morally upright people that they want to to eliminate the evil from the earth?
Or are there other reasons?
The fact is none of these troops belonged to Iraq and Afghanistan. They were not required there and they were not invited there. They are invading the two countries primarily to control their resources and their people. They invaded the countries because the power elite in the US and European countries wanted to control the resources and people. Iraqis never fired a bullet at the US or European forces before the invasion and the Afghans never targeted a European and American soldier or civilian before the invasion. Osama bin Laden was sent to Afghanistan by the US and European intelligence agencies to serve the political interests of western capitalist leaders by engineering popular war against the former Soviet Union.
Osama bin Laden played into the hands of his masters without realizing that his actions were contrary to the divine teachings. He was just a small tool in the hands of those who had hatched a well orchestrated strategy to ensure that the interests of the defense industry are secured. He used religious terminology without realizing what those terms meant. Much of his scripts were prepared by his masters. Much of what he says is for European and American audience.
If the European and Americans were exclusively devoted to capturing Osama bin Laden and his advisers, one would have given accepted their claim. But their forces are involved in torturing people whom they dub as their enemies. The simple explanation to the ongoing torture techniques can be found in the perception of most US and European soldiers of Islam and Muslims that is constantly propagated by many fanatic right wing Christians.
Many chaplains in the US army are allegedly openly anti-Islamic. They reportedly promote hatred against Muslims. Their teachings impact young soldiers who have hardly completed High school and who understanding of comparative religions is nominal. Many of them have been told that Islam and Muslims are antithetical to their religion, and or various other absurd slanders against Islamic faith.
In fact, for almost 1400 years Islam has been attacked by non-Muslims including pagans, Christians, and Jews.
Unfortunately, the history of anti-Islamic propaganda in Europe and America is very evident. And it is against this background that torture takes place. If these countries were really concerned about creating peace in the world and fighting the violence, they could have started helping people on their own streetsâ€”by preventing domestic violence, gun violence, and other kinds of violence.
In fact, the torture and their justifications for it are nothing but a screen to hide their anti-Muslim sentiment.
By Geoffrey Cook, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
Berkeley–September 10th–The â€œSeasonâ€ has begun and authors are trampling through Northern California â€“ Muslims and non-Muslims, knowledgeable about the Ummah and its people â€“ hawking their books. Jonathan Curriel, author of Alâ€™America: Travels Through Arab and Islamic America visited my city the week after Labor Day. Curiel is no scholar, but was trained as a journalist. Although employed by the San Francisco Chronicle, he was partially educated in and reported from the Middle East.
The book under discussion was published by The New Press in November of 2008, and details the historic influence of Arab and Muslim culture on America — from the time of Columbus to 9/11 — with the ramifications of the latter event. This is a book that concentrates on the historical and Pop Cultural aspects of Islamic influence upon America, but it does a great service by exposing the underpinning of Islam at the Grassroots of North American culture. The author too often degenerates into uncomfortable insensitivity to your reviewersâ€™ target audience.
Reading the press release composed for his tour, I notice a â€œslicknessâ€ that makes your reporter feel ill at ease. His publishers are not presenting J. Curriel humbly forcing his readers to concentrate on his credentials rather than his work! Still, that did not prevent the book from translation into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers, the Beirut print house that, also, has exposed several important European and American writers to an Arabic-speaking audience.
In 2005, his Newspaper was honored by Columbia University (the dominant) U.S. J-School (of Journalism) in New York City for Jonathan Curielâ€™s exceptional articles on race and ethnicity! Your Observer commentator — does not know about bragging rights — but he should be proud of this! This is something that he attempts to bring to this study, but he is honest enough to note where he fails.
For him â€“ even after September 11th 2001 â€“ denying Islamic civilization is not being part of the American fabric is wrong. â€œMuslims not only belongâ€¦but are part of [the American] culture in so many ways!â€
In fact, Christopher Columbus reached out to the Muslim â€œMoors.â€ The Admiral of the Ocean Seas was substantially influenced by the Arabs to the point he could not have reached the New World in 1492 without his North African designed sails. While Arab culture was waning in Southwestern Europe by the late 16th Century (CE), Columbusâ€™ voyages notably brought subtle Arab influences to the Spanish colonies and later the Portuguese colony in the Americas â€“ including those parts in the United States that Washington (D.C.) seized in the Mexican-American and the Spanish-American War plus the Louisiana Purchase!
Although Madrid prohibited Muslims from the Americas, the Alamo now in Texas is a classic example of Arabic Architecture! New Orleans was a city shunted back and forth between the Iberians and the French. Finally, President Thomas Jefferson bought it from the Emperor Napoleon. When the Spanish possessed that famous city, they imported Islamic ironwork for which the Metropolis near mouth of the Mississippi — plus the renowned Muslim-styled courtyards within the Big Easy — migrated from the Middle East via the Iberian Peninsula.
The date palm was brought to the Western Hemisphere — including the California of yours truly — from the Middle East, also, via Hispania.
In the United States, a Muslim slave actually wrote a book in Arabic while being held in South Carolina. Until the Twentieth Century most American Muslims came from West Africa (since they were victims of that ugly Slave Trade). Jonathan Curriel, as well as a few eminent musicologists, believe that the American â€œBluesâ€ musical sub-structure comes from Islamâ€™s call to prayer.
No less than the extremely important American thinker of the Nineteenth Century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was profoundly influenced by Muslim culture. Many important American intellectuals have been influenced by Islam, too, throughout the history of the American Republic (and even before –Thomas Jefferson, of course, comes to your reporterâ€™s mind most quickly) up into the contemporary period. There has been a long-standing cultural interaction between the Potomac and the Islamic nations according to Curriel.
Of course, some of this interaction was not fully comprehensible to the Americans; and, thereby, can be considered in bad taste. The Shriners and the Masons adopted pseudo-clothing accoutrement and symbols of the Muslims. At its most forgiving was mere mimicry, but at its worst was insulting and in bad taste. (Your scribe must point out that Jonathan Curriel did make these issues transparent, and did not cringe from describing it for what it was.) Yet, since the immigration reforms under the late President Lyndon Johnson, highly prominent Muslim immigrants have been attracted to, and have joined the aforementioned organizations. They have pressured these groups to give a form of Zakat and to make them even more service-oriented.
The iconic Los Angeles rock(-n-roll) band of the 1960s, the Doors, were highly influenced by Arab music while the ultimate Rock star (of the 1950s), Elvis Presley, was a great admirer of Khalil Gibran, a Christian Lebanese immigrant to America. His best known work was a sequence of inspirational essays, The Prophet. They were pitifully greeted by the critics when they were published in 1923. It definitely belongs to the opus of Arabic-language literature, but not Islamic literature. Having read the book as a young man, when it was still a best-selling â€œundergroundâ€ rage, your reviewer considered it to be overly simplistic. How much of it might be based on Mohammed (PUBH) is hard to say because of the elevated ambiguity of its poetic language.
Curriel maintained Presley somehow turned this book into his Bible. Also, along religious lines, the Christian Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II had instructed that his casket placed on a Persian Carpet to demonstrate the unity of all religions.
Back to Pop Culture, the movie cycle and â€œcultâ€ television series, Stars Wars borrowed motifs respectfully from the religion from Mecca. Jonathan Curriel concluded, â€œCultures go back and forth, and always borrow from each other,â€ continuing, â€œMuslims have contributed from the inception of the American nations,â€ and they are still highly visible and contributing members of our society. Their contributions are no longer seen as insignificant within North American society.
Adnan Zulfiqar hired as UPenn Interfaith fellow
The University of Pennsylvania has hired a Muslim scholar as its interfaith fellow.Adnan Zulfiqar – a 2008 graduate of Penn Law and a â€œbrilliant scholar,â€ according to University Chaplain Chaz Howard – will serve as an Interfaith Fellow and Campus Minister to the Muslim community.
â€œThe concept was that our office wanted to provide a fellowship where the campus religious groups who do not have full-time dedicated staff could have that,â€ Howard told the Daily Pennsylvanian.
So far, Zulfiqar has received a warm welcome.
â€œAdnan is fantastic not only because heâ€™s very knowledgeable about everything that has to do with Islam, but also because he has tried everything you would want to do after finishing your undergraduate degree,â€ said Muslim Student Association communications chairwoman and College junior Roxana Moussavian.
Originally from Alexandria, Va., Zulfiqar is currently completing a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Anthropology from Emory University and a Masters from Georgetown University.
His research focuses primarily on Islamic law and history, politics and governance in the Middle East and South Asia, and law in the developing world. He previously helped draft the Penal Code of the Maldives, serving as a Team Leader helping to synthesis multiplelegal systems into one comprehensive code. Zulfiqar also served as a legislative staffer and personal aide to U.S. Senator Max Cleland(D-GA) advising him on immigration, education and foreign policy matters. In addition, he has been an associate at the Legal Resources Center in Pretoria, South Africa, a visiting scholar at the Center for Excellence in Public Law and Human Rights in Tehran, Iran and a presidential fellow at the Salzburg Global Seminar.
Zulfiqar serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Arcadia University. He received his B.A. in Religion and Anthropology from Emory University, M.L.S. in International Affairs (thesispending) from Georgetown University and Juris Doctor (J.D.) from theUniversity of Pennsylvania Law School. Zulfiqar has spent over 11 years residing inthe Middle East, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and is proficient in 5 languages including Arabic, Urdu and Farsi.
Class, June 2009
MD Muslims celebrate â€˜Eid at Six Flags
ICNA organized a national Muslim day at amusement parks, participated in by several thousand Muslims at six different parks, with halal food, prayer tents, and naats broadcast over the PA speakers. Following is the account of one such event:
UPPER MARLBRO, MD–For the first time, Maryland Muslims were able to reserve the Six Flags in Upper Marlbro for exclusive use. To make the experience even more interesting the day coincided with Eid ul Fitr.
The day, designated Muslim Family Day 2009, featured a bazaar with local vendors and a prayer pavilion and halal food.
â€œThe purpose is to gather Muslims in one place for some good, clean, Islamic fun,â€ said volunteer organizer Salman Sheikh. â€œIt will bring communities together and you usually you donâ€™t get that chance, so itâ€™s great for the kids.â€
New York: Halal food vendor fight
NEW YORK–Halal food business is a lucrative one and the competition can be cut throat. The demand being not only limited to Muslim consumers but also to people of other faith. While the opportunities are vast so is the potential for the competition to get ugly.
The New York Post reported last week that a dispute over sharing territory between two halal hot dog vendors in New York resulted in a slashing of a arm. The story as reported by NBC goes like thisâ€
Walid Osman sold hot dogs out of his cart outside Kings County Hospital until sometime in August; then he thought it would be wise to add chicken to his offerings, reports The New York Post.
Mohamed Hanafi and Abdelrao Akl Hamdy, who had always sold poultry out of the cart on the same corner â€“ Clarkson and E. 37th Street â€“ were miffed that Osman, 32, was luring away their customers with the scent of succulent chicken.
So they did what any New Yorker would do â€“ they relocated their cart right next to Osmanâ€™s and slashed their prices in half, reports the Post.
The simmering food fight boiled over on Wednesday, when Hamdy and one of his workers, Farajat Yehiak, allegedly took a butcher knife to Osmanâ€™s arm, reports the Post.
The two foodies were charged with assault, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, and were released without bail after arraignment in Brooklyn court, according to the paper.
Osman, an Egyptian immigrant with two daughters, was treated at the scene for non life-threatening injuries, reports the Post. But that may not be the last he hears from Hanafi.
â€œHe said, â€˜If you donâ€™t move your cart to another area, I will kill you,â€™â€ Osman told the Post. â€œHe wants to kill my business. I have kids and a family.â€
The alleged menacing wonâ€™t keep Osman from doing what he has to do to provide for his family, however; he plans to be back at his cart today, reports the Post.
Hanafi argues that Osman is to blame for the feud. The vendor says Osman used to work for him and signed a non-compete agreement of sorts â€“ promising not to manage a chicken cart â€“ and alleged Osman slashed himself and he had nothing to do with it, reports the Post.
The above incident is unfortunate. There is enough room for all to grow in the Halal market. Instead of feuding over territories the halal vendors of New York should venture out for new areas. They should also honor their contracts and respect the rights of others.
Buffalo Muslim women to hold seminar on domestic violence
BUFFALO, NY–Muslim women leaders of Buffalo area are holding a seminar to provide a deeper understanding of the roles and rights of Muslim women.
The event to be held on Sunday September 27, will feature presentations by some of the most accomplished Muslim women in the United States.
The first annual seminar, â€œWives of the Prophet Muhammad (s),â€ will be held on Sunday, September 27, from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. Itâ€™s free, but reservations are requested. To register or for more information contact Tahmina Rehman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
NHK Labs, Inc. Recertified ISO 9001
NHK Laboratories, Inc. announced that it has been recertified ISO 9001:2008 by NSF International Strategic Registrations. The ISO 9001:2008 standard is an internationally recognized quality management system. The certification process required a multi-day independent audit of the companyâ€™s facilities, personnel, and procedures.
M. Amirul Karim, Chief Executive Officer of NHK Laboratories, Inc. said, â€œOur continued compliance with the ISO 9000 guidelines is a testament to our commitment to an internationally recognized quality management system.â€ Mr. Karim added, â€œOur private label clients can be rest assured that we have super-adequate procedures and protocols in place designed to manufacture quality into the product, instead of solely relying on post-production testing.â€
NHK Laboratories, Inc. is an NPA/NSF/FDA CGMP, ISO 9001:2008, CCOF & QAI Organic, and ISNA Halal certified custom formulator, contract manufacturer, and contract packager of private label dietary supplements, functional foods, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Established in 1987, the company operates two state-of-the-art facilities in Santa Fe Springs, California on more than 90,000 square-fee and also has an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Astounding â€˜Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations as ISGH Organized Eid Prayers at GRBCC
As per last weekâ€™s prediction by Pakistan Publications Inc., hundreds and thousands of Muslims thronged George R. Brown Convention Center (GRBCC). According to an estimate, more than 30,000 Muslims of all faces and facets of life responded this last Sunday, September 20, 2009, to the call of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) and attended â€˜Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the GRBCC. The prayer hall overflowed, and thousands had to stay outside due to fire-code regulationsâ€™ and were accommodated in a subsequent prayer.
Pakistan Publications Inc. extends Heartiest Congratulations and Kudos to the ISGH for organizing such a mammoth gathering in the most efficient and effective manner.
The Special Supplications and Presence Slogans (called the Takbeerats of Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers) by the attendees thundered in the hall since before 8:00am., while thousands of impressively dressed people in traditional dresses of almost the whole world, like the Far-East Australasia; South Asia India â€“ Bangladesh â€“ Sri Lanka â€“ Pakistan; Middle East; Africa; Europe; and the Americas; made their ways through every door and into the Hall.
The meaning of these is Takbeerats is as follows : â€œAllah is Great, Allah is Great: There is no one worthy of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah is Great, All praise be to Allah, It is He Who Guides.â€
These Takbeerats continued for about one-hour, when around 9:00am. Shaikh Omar Inshanally, Imam at the ISGH Main Center Masjid, stood up to lead the prayers, which includes Seven Extra Calls of Allah is Great (Allahu-Akbar in Arabic) during the First Phase (called Rakat) and Five Extra Calls of Allah is Great (Allahu-Akbar in Arabic) during the Second Phase (called Rakat) of the Prayers.
During these Two Phased Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers, Shaikh Omar Inshanally recited from the passages of Quran that convey Allahâ€™s unfathomable love for believers; remind believers of the inevitability of an end of everyoneâ€™s earthly life & the ultimate destination in front of Allah; and that Allah forgives all sins of those who sincerely repent and uplift their morality. Without exception, those interviewed after the prayer said that they felt deeply moved, and complimented the Imamâ€™s Recitation (called Qiraaâ€™at in Arabic) â€“ The choice of passages, fluency, voice control, and mellifluousness.
After the prayers, ISGH President Dr. Aziz Ahmad Siddiqi provided in a positive fashion the State of Affairs of ISGH and the Muslim Community in the Greater Houston Region. He cited several major developments that whoever will seek, will benefit many, regardless of ethnic background or country of origin. President also mentioned that this year the ISGH membership has experienced an unprecedented growth of more than 25 percent. It was nice that Dr. Siddiqiâ€™s presentation was not long and contained linguistic beauty.
Houston Mayor Bill White also addressed the audience, noting the size and importance of the local Muslim community. Mr. White is seeking higher state office, and a positive impression on him could be to the advantage of Muslims. The Chairman of the ISGH â€˜Ulema Committee, Shaikh Abdul â€˜Aziz of the Brand Lane Masjid also graced the occasion.
After the prayers and addresses the crowd filled the air with mutual bright smiles, cordial â€˜Eid greetings, and warm expressions of love and unity. This all made for a truly awe-inspiring â€˜Eid-ul-Fitr celebration organized by the ISGH. For more information, one can visit www.isgh.org.
Farouk Shami to Run For Texas Governor
He is the famous Houston hair-care millionaire Farouk Shami (originally from Palestine), seriously considering a run for Governor as a Democrat. He has already appointed a Treasurer, but has not yet filed papers.
At his Annual Ramadan Dinner at the Arab Cultural Center (ACC) Houston, the 66 year old Shami asked hundreds gathered if he should run or not and he got a tremendous â€œYes,â€ with everyone standing and clapping.
One may recall that Farouk Shami first got some attention in the political arena during 2006 governorâ€™s race, when as his business partner; he supported the independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.
Farouk Shami got much appreciation last month for his decision to move 5,000 jobs from Asian manufacturing plants in China to Texas over the next five years to manufacture his famous hair-care products of BioSilk and CHI brands. He invented ammonia-free hair color products, was the official hair care sponsor of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and has sales that top $1 billion a year.
Farouk Shami in an inspiring speech said that Texas needs a change and he through his entrepreneurial spirit will bring fresh ideas to increase the tax base, create new jobs of the future, brings dignified healthcare for all, and make Texas the best place to live in the USA.
By Bruce Loudon, The Australian
UNITED Nations investigators are preparing to question former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, amid mounting doubts over official versions of how she died and claims of a cover-up.
The Weekend Australian Magazine reveals today evidence that a bullet – probably sniper fire from a high-velocity rifle – killed the former prime minister.
The Musharraf regime said a â€œbump on the headâ€ resulting from a Taliban or al-Qaâ€™ida suicide bomber killed Bhutto on December 27, 2007, shortly before an election she was expected to win.
This evidence contradicts the regimeâ€™s claim that the murder was the work of the Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US unmanned drone attack.
There is no history of the militants using sniper fire – or even regular gunfire – in any of the hundreds of suicide attacks they have mounted in Pakistan.
Also revealed in The Weekend Australian Magazine is detail of the cover-up that followed Bhuttoâ€™s murder. The crime scene in Liaquat Bagh, a park in Rawalpindi, was washed with high-pressure hoses within 45 minutes of the blast, destroying almost all forensic evidence.
Naheed Khan, Bhuttoâ€™s political secretary for 23 years, who cradled her head as she died, told The Weekend Australian Magazine: â€œThere were bullets coming from different directions. There are lots of high buildings overlooking the area. This was a typical intelligence (agency) operation.â€
Ms Khanâ€™s husband, senator Safdar Abbasi, who is also a doctor, was in the Toyota Landcruiser when Bhutto was attacked. â€œThe way she died – her instant death – suggests very sharp sniper fire. A typical intelligence (agency) operation.â€
The Weekend Australian Magazine reveals that, despite the law in Pakistan mandating autopsies in all cases of murder, and doctors attending Bhutto telling police that one should be carried out, none was performed on her or others who died in Liaquat Bagh.
Within hours, her body had been flown to Sindh province for burial, without a full forensic examination.
There is no suggestion of any involvement by Mr Musharraf in her murder. But the UN investigators want to question the former general. Given the authority he wielded in Pakistan, including over the army and its agencies, Mr Musharraf, 66, is thought to be in a better position than most to cast light on events surrounding the assassination.
At his apartment off Londonâ€™s Edgeware Road, living under the protection of the British government, Mr Musharraf has appeared untroubled by demands to bring him back to Pakistan. He has played bridge with friends and eaten out during the holy month of Ramadan.
An internationally brokered secret deal allowed Mr Musharraf to step down and assured his future security.
After long delays in getting Security Council approval for its mission, the UN investigators started looking into Bhuttoâ€™s death in July and are expected to report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this year.
The investigators are reported to be preparing to talk to people in London and Washington, including CNN presenter Wolf Blitzer. On October 20, 2007, Bhutto sent Blitzer an email, through a friend, reading: â€œIf it is Godâ€™s will, nothing will happen to me. But if anything happened to me, I would hold Pervez Musharraf responsible.â€
Investigations into Bhuttoâ€™s killing are the subject of controversy in Pakistan.
Dr. Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi, who changed his name to Noah Mckay after a jail term, has reportedly died a suspicious death in the US.
A US-based Iranian doctor working to discover an antitoxin therapy of biological weapons has purportedly died a â€œsuspicious death.â€
One of the leading bioweapon researchers and a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, Dr. Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi died on Saturday in what his doctors described as a â€œsuspicious deathâ€.
Media reports have linked Dr. Talebzadeh Ordoubadiâ€™s mysterious death to his notable accomplishments in discovering an antitoxin treatment for bioweapons.
The use of biological and chemical weapons — which is considered illegal under The Hague convention on rules of warfare — is feared by many experts more than the use of nuclear weapons.
Biological weapons can kill, incapacitate, or seriously impede an individual as well as entire cities or places where they are used.
While there are antibiotic and penicillin treatments for different types of bioweapons, some of them such as Botulism and Ricin still remain without any antitoxin or vaccine to cure those subjected to the poisonous weapon.
According to Tabnak, Dr. Talebzadehâ€™s achievements in finding a cure to bioweapons had made him the target of various accusations from the government of the United States — one of the possessors of biological weapons — since 1992.
In 2000, the Iranian doctor was sentenced to 35 months in prison on charges of health care and mail fraud under the new HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).
His jail sentence, which prompted him to change his name to Noah McKay, came after years of government attempts to level various accusations against him.
The charges, which were never substantiated, proven or confirmed, included â€œmoney laundering, funding Middle Eastern terrorists, and connections to the Russian mafia in Seattleâ€.
While serving in the federal prison camp in Sheridan, Oregon, he told one of his lawyers â€œmy life is in danger and I should change my name and request transfer to another prison.â€
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has revealed that his predecessor Pervez Musharraf was given a â€œsafe exitâ€ due to a secret deal in place with foreign powers.
International and local powers were guarantors in Musharrafâ€™s resignation, Zardari said at an informal dinner meeting with journalists.
The president added that he was part of the discussions that eventually led to the former military rulerâ€™s resignation in August 2008.
â€œDuring those talks it was decided that after quitting power, Musharraf will play golf, but now he is doing other things,â€ Zardari said.
Musharraf, who left Pakistan in mid-April and has been living in London for more than four months, has delivered a series of lectures commenting on Pakistani politics over the past few months.
Although Zardari did not name any countries that guaranteed immunity deal, Pakistanâ€™s main opposition party Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has said the UK and the Saudi Arabia were guarantors in the deal, the BBC reported.