Muslim in Suffer

Bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem. Assalamu\’alaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarokatuh!

Archive for April 22nd, 2008

Dari Timur Munculnya Cahaya

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

*Dari Timur Munculnya Cahaya*

*(Laporan Roadshow Bedah Buku Insists)*

“Ex Oriente Lux. Dari Timur Munculnya Cahaya,”begitu Dr. Syamsuddin Arif memulai roadshow bedah bukunya di gedung Gema Insani Depok. Orientalis tertarik untuk mempelajari Timur, karena terpesona (*fascination*), ingin tahu (*curiosity*), motivasi agama (*missionary*) dan motivasi menjajah (menjajah *colonization*). “Atau bisa disimpulkan *God, Gold *dan* Glory*,” terang Syamsuddin.

Ia melanjutkan bahwa para orientalis ini dalam memandang Islam mempunyai framework tersendiri. Mereka memandang Islam dengan memaparkan teori pengaruh, teori pinjaman, teori perkembangan dan lain-lain. Reynold A Nicholson menyatakan: “*Muhammad picked up all his knowledge of this kind [i.e. al-Qur'an] by hearsay and makes a brave show with such borrowed trappings―largely consisting of legends from the Haggada and Apocrypha.*” Abraham I. Katsh menulis buku *Judaism in Islam, Biblical and Talmudic Backgrounds of the Koran and its Commentaries: Suras II and III.* (New York, 1954). MM Bravmann membuat karya *The Spiritual Background of Early Islam: Studies in Ancient Arab Concepts* (Leiden, 1972). Dan B. M. Wheeler menulis “The Jewish Origins of Qur’ân 18:65-82? Reexamining Arent Jan Wensinck’s Theory*” * di* Journal of the American Oriental Society* 118 (1998).

Teori pengaruh juga ada di buku *The Jewish Foundation of Islam *karya Prof. Charles Cutler Torrey, Pakar Bahasa Semit dari Yale University.

Sementara itu, Adnin Armas dan Adian Husaini yang membahas buku itu, mendorong para peserta diskusi agar mewaspadai gerakan orientalis dan jejak-jejaknya di Indonesia. “Mereka kini makin kreatif dan masuk ke pesantren-pesantren lewat program ICIP yang didanai The Asia Foundation dan Ford Foundation,”terang Adian. Kedua pembicara itu menyatakan bahwa tawaran-tawaran beasiswa kepada mahasiswa untuk studi Islam ke Barat ini memang menggiurkan dan banyak yang tidak tahan. “Tapi beda dengan Syamsuddin yang belajar di Barat memang sudah kokoh aqidahnya. Ia seperti Prof Mustafa Azami, Prof Rasjidi yang belajar ke Barat, tapi pulang justru menghantam Barat dan orientalis,”terangnya.

Beberapa peserta secara terus terang juga menyatakan rasa syukurnya dengan kehadiran Insists dalam blantika pemikiran Islam di Indonesia. “Saya bersyukur dapat mengenal Insists, lewat workshop pertama di Depok tahun 2004. Karena saya hampir terkena (virus) pemikiran liberal ketika mempelajari Islam,”kata Fajar, seorang mahasiswa UIN Ciputat.

Roadshow ceramah dan bedah buku “Orientalis dan Diabolisme Pemikiran” itu, esoknya kemudian berlanjut ke Bandung (19-20 April). Malam harinya dilaksanakan dialog intens dengan aktivis-aktivis pemuda organisasi Persis Bandung dan esok harinya kuliah subuh di Masjid Al Furqan Cimahi. Dalam kuliah subuh yang dihadiri para dai dan karyawan-karyawan PTDI dll itu, kedua Syamsuddin dan Adian mendorong para peserta agar lebih mendalami Islam. “Didiklah anak-anak kita agar mendalami Islam dan belajar Islam pada orang-orang yang benar-benar mengamalkannya. Kerusakan Islam terjadi –sebagaimana juga terjadi pada agama Kristen — adalah karena rusakk tokoh-tokohnya.”

Ahad pagi jam 10.00, bedah buku dilanjutkan di Masjid ITB, Salman Bandung. Selain Syamsuddin Arif dan Adian Husaini, hadir juga Ustadz Syamsu Bashori dari Yayasan Salman. Puluhan mahasiswa ITB (dan mahasiswa-mahasiswa kampus lain) hadir menelaah dengan seksama acara di masjid kebanggaan masyarakat Bandung itu.

Setelah memaparkan pemikiran-pemikiran orientalis dan bahayanya, Syamsuddin dan Adian mengharapkan agar dari kampus ITB ini dapat lahir saintis-saintis Islam. “Pakar Sains Islam di Indonesia kini belum ada. Dan saatnyalah anda mengisinya,”tegas para pembicara.

Setelah berdialog panjang, para dai, aktivis mahasiswa dan beberapa tokoh di Bandung, mengharapkan Insists sering datang ke Bandung untuk membuat program-program pengkajian Islam yang mendalam.

Dari Bandung perjalanan dilanjutkan ke Cirebon. Acara Ahad malam, di Masjid Raya Kota Cirebon dihadiri ratusan peserta. Meski suasana hujan, masyarakat mendengarkannya dengan antusias. Dari Cirebon, acara akan berlanjut ke Tegal, Semarang, Solo, Gontor, Malang dan Surabaya. *Semoga Allah Memberkahi.* * (nuim).

* *
From: “nuim hidayat” <nuimhidayat@gmail.com>
Subject: [INSISTS] Dari Timur Munculnya Cahaya


“berbuat adil lah, karena adil itu lebih dekat kepada takwa.”
“(ulil albab) yang mendengarkan perkataan, lalu mengikuti yang terbaik.”

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

AS Tindak Aliran Sesat – Kebebasan Beragama bukan Kebebasan Beraliran Sesat

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

AS Tindak Aliran Sesat – Kebebasan Beragama bukan Kebebasan Beraliran Sesat

Sepertinya sebagian “Pendekar HAM” di Indonesia seperti Imparsial dan Jaringan Islam Liberal tidak dapat membedakan mana kebebasan beragama dan mana kebebasan beraliran sesat.

Untuk kebebasan beragama seperti Kristen, Budha, Hindu, Islam itu sudah tidak dapat diganggu gugat. Masing2 bebas menjalankan agama menurut kepercayaannya masing-masing.

Tapi jika satu kelompok mengaku misalnya beragama Islam atau Kristen tapi dia pahamnya menyimpang dari itu, maka itu adalah aliran sesat. Pemerintah pernah menindak aliran sesat Sekte Hari Kiamat yang merusak ajaran Kristen.

Bahkan pemerintah AS yang dikatakan sebagai nenek moyang pendekar HAM pun terhadap aliran sesat bertindak tegas. Mereka menyerang aliran sesat seperti David Koresh dari sekte Daud sehingga menewaskan 53 orang dan 21 anak-anak.

Pemerintah AS saat ini pun menggrebek aliran sesat Sekte Poligami.

Jadi tidak ada istilah HAM bagi para aliran sesat.

Oleh karena itu hendaknya pemerintah bertindak tegas pada aliran sesat yang ada di Indonesia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Koresh
David Koresh (August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the leader of aa Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch. Koresh, 53 adults and 21 children died in the fire.

http://tribunbatam.co.id/Berita_Terkini_Internasional/Lokasi_Sekte_Poligami_Digerebek
Lokasi Sekte Poligami Digerebek Cetak halaman ini dalam bentuk PDF Cetak halaman ini Kirim halaman ini kepada rekan Anda via E-mail

Selasa, 08 April 2008

Laporan: Febby Mahendra,
ELDORADO, TRIBUN- Amerika Serikat (AS) kembali digemparkan sebuah sekte nyeleneh. Kali ini berada di Negara Bagian Tewas. Sekitar 400 anak, sebagian besar perempuan, ditangkap dalam sebuah penggerebekan di sebuah kompleks sekte poligami, yang oleh otoritas setempat disebut sebagai operasi penyelamatan anak terbesar dalam sejarah Negara Bagian Texas.

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ahmadiyah, Mengapa Kau Berkelit Kembali?

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Ahmadiyah, Mengapa Kau Berkelit Kembali?

Oleh: Aris Hardinanto

12 butir pernyataan Ahmadiyah

Tindakan Bakorpakem yang ingin membubarkan Ahmadiyah Qadiyan dan Lahore agaknya tepat namun terlembat. Mengapa terlambat?, saya katakan demikian karena fatwa dari berbagai negara-negara yang mayoritas Islam sudah sejak zaman dahulu kala mencap bahwa Ahamdiyah merupakan aliran di luar Islam. Dari berbagai buku-buku, website, maupaun selebaran yang diterbitkan Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia (Qadiyan) dan Gerakan Ahmadiyah Indonesia (Lahore) pada dasarnya memang sudah sangat melenceng dari kaidah Islam yang sebenarnya. Kita mungkin tak perlu repot-repot menguji keabsahan ajaran Ahmadiyah, jika memang Ahmadiyah bersedia mendirikan agama baru di luar Islam, karena jika sudah berbeda agama, bagaimana mungkin umat Islam akan mencampuri urusan agama lain? Kecuali agama Islam di campuri dan disakiti duluan.

Hari ini saya membaca sebuah surat kabar nasional. Ketika saya membaca perihal Ahmadiyah, saya terkejut membaca pembelaan Ahmadiyah mengenai kesesatan dirinya. Dengan mengancam akan melaporkannya ke PBB.

Ahmadiyah sembari mengadakan pembelaan terhadap statemen 12 butir tersebut. Salah satu pentolan Ahmadiyah di dalam harian tersebut mengatakan seperti yang di sarikan harian tersebut:

Ahmad Mubarik Jubir Ahmadiyah

*”Juru bicara JAI, Ahmad Mubarik, menyatakan keyakinannya dilecehkan dan diputarbalikkan secara sengaja. “Kami sedih dan malu dengan sikap pemerintah yang seperti ini”

“Ia membantah tuduhan JAI tidak mengakui Muhammad sebagai nabi terakhir. “Itu bohong. Dusta. Tidak pernah dalam keyakinan kami sejak 100 tahun lalu menyatakan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pengganti Nabi Muhammad SAW.”

“Menurut dia, JAI meyakinkan Muhammad sebagai Nabi terakhir dalam membawa syariat, tidak ada syariat baru lagi karena sudah sempurna.”*

Hebat, fantastis, menajubkan! Sebuah permainan kata-kata yang terlihat namun isinya keropos. Salah satu pentolan Ahmadiyah ini sengaja bermain kata-kata karet agar tampak seolah-olah Ahmadiyah mengakui bahwa nabi terakhir adalah Muhammad. Padahal dalam berbagai tempat sudah jelas sekali bahwa Ahmadiyah mengakui bahwa akan datang nabi yang tidak membawa syariat, yaitu Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, kita dapat lihat statemen Saleh A. Nahdi, pentolan Ahmadiyah kedua setelah Syafi R Batuah, berikut ini:

Imam Mahdi dan Almasih jang dijanjikan jang sudah bangkit itu orangnja adalah Hazrat Mirza Gulam Ahmad a.s. pendiri Ahmadiyah. Beliau tidak datang sebagai *Nabi baru dalam arti, bahwa beliau mengganti, merobah, menambah atau mengurangi adjaran Islam*. (Soal-Djawab Ahmadiyah oleh: Saleh A. Nahdi hal.100).

Berarti Mirza Ghulam Ahmad datang sebagai Nabi baru dalam arti dia tidak mengganti, tidak merobah, tidak menambah atau mengurangi ajaran Islam. Ungkapan yang tepat untuk statemen Ahmadiyah ini bahwasanya Muhammad SAW nabi terakhir pembawa syariat dan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad nabi setelah Muhammad yang non syariat.

Selain itu, Ahmadiyah juga mengklaim bahwasannya nama Ahmad pada surat Ash Shaff ayat 6 ditujukan kepada 2 orang, yaitu nabi Muhammad SAW dan Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Jadi versi Ahmadiyah, nabi Muhammad di dalam surat tersebut juga bisa mengenai dirinya, sekarang dari titik tolak Ahmadiyah ini berimplikasi pada 2 poin: Syahadat Ahmadiyah dan Klaim Ahmad=Muhammad=Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Ada baiknya kita lihat dahulu surat Ash Shaff ayat 6 tersebut:

*Dan ketika Isa putera Maryam berkata: “Hai keturunan Isarel, Sesungguhnya aku adalah Rasul Allah kepada kalian, membenarkan kitab sebelumku, Yaitu Taurat, dan memberi khabar gembira dengan seorang Rasul yang akan datang sesudahku, yang namanya Ahmad. Maka tatkala Rasul itu datang kepada mereka dengan membawa bukti-bukti yang nyata, mereka berkata: “Ini adalah sihir yang nyata.*”

Oleh Ahmadiyah, ayat ini ditafsirkan sebagai berikut:

*Nama Muhammad mencerminkan sifat jalali (kebesaran dan keagungan)…akan tetapi, nama Ahmad mempunyai sifat jamali (keindahan).Tetapi sebagai mana diramalkan di akhir zaman, akan ada lagi penjelmaan dari nama Ahmad*. (Gerakan Ahmadiyah hal. 25). Versi Ahmadiyah Lahore

*”Bahwa nama Hazrat Masih Maud a.s. sebenarnya adalah Ahmad, sekali pun nama lengkap beliau adalah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, ternyata dari suatu peristiwa sejarah. Ayahanda dari Masih Maud ialah Mirza Ghulam Murtadha. Ia mempunyai dua orang putera dan beliau memberikan nama Mirza Ghulam Qadir kepada yang besar dan nama Mirza Ghulam Ahmad kepada yang kecil. Mirza Ghulam Murtadha mendirikan dua daerah pedesaan yang dinamainya dengan nama kedua orang puteranya. Daerah yang satu dinamainya Qadirabad dan yang lain dinamainya Ahmadabad. Dari peristiwa ini nyatalah bahwa bagi Mirza Ghulam Murtadha nama asli dari kedua puteranya masing-masing ialah Qadir dan Ahmad.”* (Syafi R. Batuah, Tanggapan Atas Buku Ahmadiyah Telanjang Bulat di Panggung Sejarah)

*”Orang-orang ini bertanya berulang-ulang di mana dalam Al-Quran nama itu disebutkan. Tampaknya mereka tidak mengetahui bahwa Allah memanggilku dengan nama Ahmad. Janji baiat diambil dengan nama Ahmad. Bukankah nama ini terdapat dalam Al-Quran?* (Al-Hakam, 17 Oktober 1905, h. 10). (Syafi R. Batuah, Tanggapan Atas Buku Ahmadiyah Telanjang Bulat di Panggung Sejarah).

*Penjelasan yang mantap dan tegas mengenai hal ini diberikan oleh Hazrat Mirza Basyiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II r.a.: Dari kutipan-kutipan ini kita dapat melihat bahwa Masih Maud mengenakan nubuwatan ini pada diri beliau sendiri. Kini tinggallah persoalan kenapa beliau juga mengenakan itu pada diri Nabi Muhammad? Jawabannya ialah apa jua pun nubuwatan-nubuwatan yang terdapat mengenai kebangkitan dan kemajuan ummat beliau, pada tingkat pertama itu terutama sekali berlaku terhadap beliau. Kalau beliau bukan Ahmad yang disebutkan di sini mana mungkin Masih Maud dapat menjadi Ahmad tertentu itu? Pada hal apa pun yang sudah diterima Masih Maud semuanya datang kepada beliau dari Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. dan dengan perantaraan beliau*. (Syafi R. Batuah, Tanggapan Atas Buku Ahmadiyah
Telanjang Bulat di Panggung Sejarah).

*Dari keterangan-keterangan di atas dapatlah diambil kesim pulan bahwa menurut paham Ahmadiyah nama Ahmad yang terdapat Surah As-Shaf dapat dikenakan pada Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. dan pada Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sebagai Masih Maud dan Imam Mahdi pada Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. sebagai nama sifati dan pada Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s. sebagai nama dzati.* (Syafi R. Batuah, Tanggapan Atas Buku Ahmadiyah Telanjang Bulat di Panggung Sejarah).

Implikasi dari penafsiran diatas membawa dampak bahwasanya Muhammad dan Ahmad adalah sama-sama di nubuatkan dalam Ash Shaff ayat 6, dengan standar ganda ini, dapat kita lihat bahwasanya Ahmadiyah masih mengklaim bahwa utusan yang akan datang itu Mirza Ghulam Ahmad pula. Sekarang dimanakah poin kebenaran Ahmadiyah yang dimuat di dalam *12 butir pernyataan* itu setelah fakta-fakta berbicara?

Ahmadiyah juga mengklaim bahwasannya Tadzkirah hanyalah mimpi-mimpi Mirza Ghulam Ahmad yang di bukukan. Apakah sekedar mimpi? Ternyata tidak demikian, di dalam Tadzkirah sendiri dapat kita lihat bahwasanya Tadzkirah merupakan wahyu suci kepada Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Kita dapat simak pada kutipan Tadzkirah berikut ini:

Dari kutipan Tadzkirah di atas dapat kit abaca bahwasannya “Tadzkirah ya’ni Wahyi Muqoddas wa Ru’ya wa Kasyaf Hadhiroh Masih Maw’ud alaihi sholawat was salam”. Masihkah Ahmadiyah bermimipi bahwasanya Tadzkirah kumpulan mimpi biasa? Bukan wahyu suci?, akal pikiran yang sehat dan hati nurani yang bersih pasti mengetahui yang sebenarnya. Sebaiknya jika Ahmadiyah jujur dan mengakui kekhilafan ini dan bertaubat kepada Allah maka niscaya Allah akan memaafkan dan jika Ahmadiyah tetap bersikukuh dengan pendiriannya dan ingin berkelit dengan permainan kata-kata, sebaiknya Ahmadiyah menghapus seluruh data-data, membredel buku-buku Ahmadiyah, serta menarik seluruh tulisan yang di buat oleh tokoh-tokoh Ahmadiyah yang dapat memberatkan dan menelanjangi aqidah Ahmadiyah sendiri, ibarat senjata makan tuan. Wallahu ‘alam bi showab

Aris Hardinanto, pemerhati masalah keagamaan di Indonesia dan Pengamat Perbandingan Agama Semitik

Link nya bisa lihat disini :
http://swaramuslim.com/more.php?id=5931_0_15_0_M

From: “abdul rahman” <Inspiring.Rahman@gmail.com>
Subject: [INSISTS] Ahmadiyah, Mengapa Kau Berkelit Kembali?

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Reinkarnasi Semua Nabi

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Republika: Selasa, 15 April 2008

Reinkarnasi Semua Nabi

Buku itu berjudul Tiga Masalah Penting. Pengarangnya H Mahmud Ahmad Cheema HA. Buku yang diterbitkan Pengurus Besar Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia (PB JAI) tahun 1994, itu, berisi metode menjalankan misi untuk misionaris Ahmadiyah.

Cheema memulai bukunya dengan menyatakan bahwa kepercayaan tentang masih hidupnya Nabi Isa as dengan jasad kasarnya di langit, merupakan sebuah bahaya besar bagi agama Islam. Kaum Muslimin yang percaya dinilainya mendukung dan membantu kelangsungan agama Kristen.

”Sehubungan dengan masalah wafatnya Nabi Isa as ini, Hadhrat Imam Mahdi, Masih Mau’ud, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad bersabda bahwa maju dan hidupnya agama Islam banyak bergantung kepada wafatnya Nabi Isa as,” demikian Cheema menulis.

Selanjutnya, Cheema memaparkan ayat-ayat Alquran dan Hadis, juga Alkitab. Dia memberi catatan agar anggota jemaat Ahmadiyah menghafalkan dalil-dalil itu untuk menegaskan bahwa Nabi Isa telah wafat lebih dari 2.000 tahun silam.

Masalah kedua, tentang ada-tidaknya wahyu dan nabi sesudah Muhammad. Untuk ini, lagi-lagi dia mengutip ayat-ayat Alquran dan Hadis. Salah satu yang menonjol adalah penafsirannya soal khataman nabiyyin di surah Al Ahzab ayat 40.

Cheema yang keliru menulisnya menjadi ayat 41, menyatakan khataman nabiyyin memiliki tiga arti. Jika dirangkai dengan kata jamak menjadi afdol, sempurna, paling baik. ”Khataman nabiyyin artinya yang paling baik di antara nabi-nabi.”

Kedua, khatam dia artikan sebagai cincin. ”Sebagaimana cincin itu dipakai untuk perhiasan, begitu pula Nabi Muhammad SAW merupakan perhiasan bagi semua nabi.”

Ketiga, khatam berarti stempel atau cap. Mengutip ungkapan Arab ma yakhtamu bihi yang berarti yang distempel, dia menyimpulkan, ”Nabi Muhammad SAW adalah stempel bagi semua Nabi. Dengan stempel (pengesahan) Nabi Muhammad SAW kita mengetahui kebenaran semua nabi.”

Mengapa Nabi Isa harus ditegaskan telah mati? Mengapa khatam diartikan menjadi cincin dan lain sebagainya? Ini berkaitan dengan masalah ketiga, yang merupakan titik masuk pengakuan pada Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (MGA).

Dengan menyatakan Nabi Isa telah wafat, MGA bisa menyatakan dirinya sebagai Almasih. Dalam berbagai kitabnya, MGA menyebut Nabi Isa sebagai Isa Israili, sedangkan dia adalah Isa Muhammadi. Kaum Ahmadiyah pun kerap mengunjungi makam Nabi Isa di Srinagar.

Untuk menjadi Isa, MGA menulis dalam Ruhani Khazain hlm 50: ”Allah telah menjadikanku sebagai Maryam selama dua tahun… kemudian ditiupkan padaku ruh Isa seperti ditiupkan pada Maryam. Maka aku menjadi hamil dalam rupa kiasan. Dan setelah beberapa bulan, tidak lewat 10 bulan, maka aku berubah wujud dari Maryam menjadi Isa. Begitulah saya telah menjadi Isa putra Maryam.”

Sementara itu, dengan menyatakan makna kata khataman nabiyyin bukan bermakna penutup nabi-nabi, MGA bisa mengaku nabi sekaligus Muslim sekaligus nabi. Demikian pula dengan pengikut-pengikutnya yang tetap bisa mengakui MGA nabi tapi tetap Muslim.

Selain itu, semua nama Ahmad dalam Alquran juga mereka ambil alih untuk MGA, seperti yang dipaparkan Basuki Ahmad Mubalig, khatib Jumat di masjid milik Ahmadiyah, Masjid Al Mubarak, Jagakarsa. ”Berdasarkan Alquran surat As-Shaff ayat 6, ada nabi bernama Ahmad,” katanya.

Persoalan-persoalan ini sebenarnya perdebatan lama. HAMKA, dalam tulisannya Tidak Ada Nabi Sesudah Muhammad, menyatakan kalau khataman nabiyyin diartikan sebagai cincin permata segala nabi, maka, ”Yang mempunyai cincinlah yang nabi, bukan cincin itu sendiri.”

HAMKA menyatakan logika itu tidak dapat diterima. Dia menegaskan kenabian telah terputus. Tapi, mengutip Hadis, HAMKA mengatakan, ”Ulama-ulama umatku adalah sama derajatnya dengan nabi-nabi Bani Israil.”

Tapi, MGA yang dijunjung warga Ahmadiyah, bukan hanya menjadi Isa, Almahdi, pemilik nama Ahmad di dalam Alquran, tapi juga gelar-gelar lain. MGA juga mengaku sebagai Brahman Avatar, Krishna, Imam Jagad, dan bermacam-macam lagi.

MGA, seperti dikutip media kalangan Ahmadiyah, The Review of Religions edisi Maret 1966, menyatakan, ”Bukan saja aku ini dipanggil dengan nama Isa anak Maryam, bahkan semua nabi baik nama mereka maupun martabat mereka telah aku terima dari Allah. Itulah sebabnya sebagaimana yang dijanjikan Tuhan dalam Baraheen Ahmadiyya, aku ini adalah Adam, aku Nuh, aku Ibrahim, aku Ishaq, aku Ya’kub, aku Ismail, aku Musa, aku Daud, aku Isa anak Maryam, dan aku Muhammad dalam arti buruznya.”

Di bukunya yang berjudul Ahmadiyah Telanjang Bulat di Panggung Sejarah, Abdullah Hasan Alhadar, mengurutkan gelar-gelar yang ditulis sendiri oleh MGA itu. Dan, beralinea-alinea habis hanya untuk gelar-gelar itu.

Lalu, bagaimana sebenarnya cara menyikapi hal ini? Amin Djamaluddin, ketua Lembaga Penelitian dan Pengkajian Islam (LPPI), mengatakan tak perlu terpukau. Dia mengutipkan sebuah Hadis riwayat Ibnu Majah: ”Sesungguhnya tidak ada nabi yang Allah bangkitkan melainkan dia mengingatkan umatnya akan kedatangan Dajjal. Aku nabi yang akhir, dan kamu umat yang akhir. Dajjal akan keluar di antara kamu, tidak dapat tidak. Sesungguhnya dia akan mulai berkata: ‘aku nabi’. Padahal tidak ada nabi sesudahku.”

(c66/lis/osa/run )

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Review Buku Al-Qur’an Kitab Toleransi

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Review Buku Al-Qur’an Kitab Toleransi

Membincang Toleransi dalam Perspektif Al-Qur’an[1]

Oleh: Fahmi Salim, M.A.[2]
Fahmi Salim <opini258fhm@yahoo.com>

Ass.
Ikhwan sekalian, mohon maaf saya baru sempat memposting makalah saya dalam acara bedah buku al-quran kitab toleransi karya zuhairi misrawi pada hari kamis lalu 3 April di Aula Perguruan Tinggi Ilmu al-Qur’an. mudah-mudahan bermanfaat.
Wass.

Pendahuluan

Kebutuhan untuk menggali dan merumuskan petunjuk (hidayah) Al-Qur’an untuk kehidupan umat Islam di seluruh lini kehidupan semakin dirasa mendesak. Apalagi akhir-akhir ini, di tengah kegamangan dalam memilih sikap dan pandangan hidup, justru kaum muslim menunjukkan animo yang luar biasa besar dalam masalah keagamaan yang menjadi panduan segala hal yang terkait urusan dunia dan akhirat.

Kiranya hubungan intra dan antar umat beragama dalam konteks sosial menjadi tema yang sangat aktual untuk dibicarakan. Apalagi di Indonesia, sebagai negara demokrasi ketiga terbesar di dunia dan dihuni oleh mayoritas muslim, tentu saja wacana dan pedoman yang dianut oleh mayoritas penduduk muslim dalam menerapkan praktek demokrasi akan menjadi mainstream fokus hubungan antara Islam dan demokrasi di satu sisi dan peran Islam dalam membimbing hubungan antar umat beragama di sisi lain.

Buku “Al-Qur’an Kitab Toleransi” yang ditulis oleh Saudara Zuhairi Misrawi ini hendak mencari posisi yang layak dalam pandangan mainstream muslim dalam upaya merespon problem-problem sosial yang selalu muncul di tengah masyarakat muslim di mana saja, tak hanya di Indonesia. Sebagai sebuah karya tulis, sudah selayaknya diapresiasi terlepas dari apa pun tendensi, interest, dan ideologi yang diusung oleh penulis dalam bukunya itu. Bentuk apresiasi yang paling baik bagi sebuah karya dalam tradisi keilmuan muslim adalah di antaranya dengan mengajukan pembacaan dan pemaknaan dari perspektif berbeda dari yang diajukan sang penulis, agar suasana dialogis yang ilmiah dan santun menjadi budaya di tengah hiruk pikuknya arus pemikiran yang menyeruak di belantika pemikiran Islam di Indonesia.

Selaku pembaca, saya akan berupaya menyoroti karya Akhi Zuhairi Misrawi dari beberapa aspek berikut: 1) beberapa asumsi yang mendasari terbitnya karya ini, 2) metodologi yang ditawarkan penulis dalam karyanya, 3) produk penafsiran yang dihasilkan, dan terakhir 4) mendudukkan isu toleransi dalam perspektif visi al-Qur’an tentang pluralitas dan batasan toleransi.

Beberapa Asumsi Dasar dalam Buku

Asumsi awal dari buku ini adalah fakta bahwa penulis agaknya sangat gusar dengan fenomena menguatnya arus ideology kembali kepada Al-Qur’an dan Sunnah. Dalam amatannya, ideologi ini paling favorit dan paling laris di berbagai belahan dunia Islam. (h. 17) Lokus problematisnya dapat dilihat dari fungsionalisasi Al-Qur’an untuk tindakan intoleransi. Seperti: pemurtadan, penyerangan, terorisme dll. Kondisi tersebut telah menyebabkan umat Islam mengalami krisis iman di satu sisi dan krisis nalar di sisi lain. Krisis iman, karena terjebak pada ideologi kekerasan. Krisis nalar karena iman tidak dilandasi pada analisa dan metodologi yang kuat. Disamping, sebagian besar umat Islam terjebak dalam tafsir yang lebih berdimensi taklid daripada berdimensi hermeneutis (h. 18). Kegusaran ini bagi saya sebenarnya tak perlu. Yang diperlukan saat ini adalah usaha yang berkesinambungan untuk melakukan pencerahan tafsir keagamaan yang moderat, memahami dinamika zaman, tetapi juga tidak tercerabut dari akar-akar keimanan dan doktrin keIslaman.

Kedua, dengan karyanya penulis berharap dapat menyelamatkan Al-Qur’an dari ideologisasi dan fungsionalisasi ekstrimisme. Upaya ini perlu diutamakan sehingga Al-Qur’an menjadi kitab suci yang membawa pesan-pesan toleransi, kerukunan dan kedamaian. (h. 19). Bagi saya selaku pembaca, hal ini sama pentingnya dengan menyelamatkan Al-Qur’an dari tafsir sekularisasi dan ideologi humanisme sekuler. Karena kedua hal ini akan menjadi masalah besar bagi umat Islam dan kemanusiaan universal. Yang pertama, ingin menghancurkan peradaban atas nama agama. Dan yang kedua, ingin menghancurkan sendi agama atas nama keadaban dan peradaban.

Ketiga, karya itu juga ingin meletakkan fungsi Al-Qur’an dalam kehidupan manusia sebagai ‘cahaya’ dan ‘petunjuk’, merujuk pada surah an-Nur: 35 ditegaskan bahwa Allah adalah cahaya langit dan bumi. Penulis kemudian menafsiri kata ‘bumi’ dalam ayat itu sebagai salah satu perhatian yang besar terhadap masalah ‘antroposentrisme’. Sementara kata ‘langit’ dimaknai penulis sebgai dimensi ‘teosentrisme’ yang harus berkait kelindan dengan bumi yang menyimbolkan antroposentrisme (h. 92). Tetapi pada faktanya, penulis lebih berpihak pada klaim antroposentrisme. Hal ini bisa dilihat pada pilihan metodologis penulis yang menekankan arus orientasi penafsir teks (“pemahaman” subjektif) ketimbang orientasi teks itu sendiri (“penjelasan” objektif), seperti yang akan kita kupas dalam masalah metodologi buku (h. 115-116). Penulis kemudian melompat pada kesimpulan berikut: “Karena itu keterbukaan Al-Qur’an harus dimaknai secara komprehensif. Artinya tidak semata-mata untuk keselamatan agama itu sendiri (salvation of religion) akan tetapi yang terpenting juga adalah keselamatan manusia (salvation of human) dan seluruh makhluk yang berada di muka bumi.” (h. 92). Barangkali penulis melupakan substansi ayat 153 surah al-An’am yang menyatakan dengan tegas bahwa: “Dan bahwa (yang kami perintahkan ini) adalah jalan-Ku yang lurus, Maka ikutilah Dia, dan janganlah kamu mengikuti jalan-jalan (yang lain), Karena jalan-jalan itu mencerai beraikan kamu dari jalan-Nya. yang demikian itu diperintahkan Allah agar kamu bertakwa.”

Dalam kurun waktu yang lama, menurut penulis, “Al-Qur’an sebagai alat justifikasi politik lebih dominan daripada sebagai cahaya. Akibatnya, Al-Qur’an digunakan untuk memvonis sesat pihak lain yang berbeda. Padahal dalam Al-Qur’an disebutkan bahwa tuhan lebih tahu tentang siapa dari hamba-Nya yang sesat dan dia pula yang akan menentukan siapa yang sesat di hari akhir nanti.” (h. 93). Sepertinya ia sedang mengutip ayat 125 surah al-Nahl dalam hal ini. Namun jika diperhatikan ayat itu lengkap dari awalnya, maka ada perintah berdakwah ke jalan Allah dengan cara hikmah, maw’izah dan dialog argumentatif. Logika perintah dakwah tentu meniscayakan adanya dua pihak: pertama, yang telah tertunjuki dan yakin berada di posisi yang benar, dan pihak kedua sebagai objek dakwah adalah orang yang belum tertunjuki dan diyakini berada dalam kesesatan sehingga pihak pertama merasa sangat perlu untuk mendakwahi pihak kedua. Lagi pula vonis sesat (fa qad dlalla dlalalan ba’idan) telah dinyatakan Al-Qur’an dengan sangat lugas kepada orang musyrik (an-Nisa’: 116), orang yang mengingkari (kufur) kepada rukun iman (an-Nisa’: 136), orang kafir yang menghalang-halangi orang lain mendapatkan hidayah (an-Nisa”: 168), dan orang-orang yang zalim (Nuh: 24). Jadi bagi saya, vonis sesat itu sah-sah saja jika berlandaskan bukti-bukti yang qath’i, karena Al-Qur’an pun telah memberi contoh “penyesatan” suatu kelompok. Namun yang harus digarisbawahi, yang tak perlu terjadi adalah anarkisme di lapangan dan amuk massa.

Metodologi yang Ditawarkan

Tampak sekali, sang penulis sangat mengidolakan metode Hermeneutika yang diimpor dari tradisi interpretasi Bible dan filsafat Barat. Sepertinya ia cenderung kepada pemikiran sosok hermeneut, Paul Riccoeur (1913-2005 M). Mengutip pandangan Paul Riccoeur, bahwa dalam penafsiran akan muncul dua titik yang berbeda, yaitu penjelasan (explanation) dan pemahaman (understanding). Sebagai “penjelasan”, tafsir tidak mempunyai kapasitas untuk mengembangkan makna yang sesuai dengan subjek penafsir. Makna harus mengikuti objek, teks Al-Qur’an. Apa yang dikatakan Al-Qur’an harus diterima mutlak. Tafsir tak boleh melampaui isi dari teks. (h. 115) Sebagai “pemahaman”, tafsir memiliki kesempatan luas untuk menghasilkan sebuah tafsiran yang mensinergikan kehendak penafsir dan kehendak pengarang dan teks. (h. 116) Tafsir sebagai penjelasan melahirkan arus “teosentrisme”, sedangkan tafsir sebagai pemahaman melahirkan arus “antroposentrisme”. Yaitu tafsir yang memberi perhatian terhadap posisi manusia sebagai penafsir yang tujuan utama penafsirannya adalah menjunjung tinggi nilai-nilai kemanusiaan. (h. 116)

Oleh sebab itu penting kiranya jika kita mengurai lebih dalam benang kusut metodologi tafsir baru yang bernama hermeneutika ini.

Studi Komparatif antara Tafsir/Ta’wil dan Hermeneutika

Sudah banyak ilmuan yang terkecoh dengan istilah takwil sebagai terjemah Arab untuk istilah hermeneutika. Di artikel saya yang pernah diturunkan di HU Republika, 31 Desember 2007 lalu, telah dijelaskan perbedaan keduanya dari sudut sejarah dan orientasi pembahasannya. Namun ada baiknya diuraikan panjang lebar dalam makalah ini.

Dalam membandingkan terminologi takwil sebagai teori penafsiran khas peradaban Islam dan hermeneutika yang lahir dari rahim dan khas miliu peradaban Barat- Kristen, kita akan bertolak dari pernyataan Mustafa Kaylani yang menerangkan proses transformasi dalam sejarah perjalanan takwil sebagai berikut:

“Dahulu takwil pada awalnya sangat kental bernuansa gramatikal sebatas penjelasan lafal dan susunan kalimat yang telah termakan zaman dengan lafal dan susunan kalimat baru sambil tetap menjaga maknanya yang cocok untuk setiap zaman. Sedangkan jenis takwil kedua (dalam peradaban Barat modern), telah merasuk jauh ke dalam dunia metafor (majaz); hermeneutika adalah takwil semiotis atas tanda-tanda (signs) yang telah terasa asing pada era terkini untuk mendapatkan makna semantik baru yang akan merujuk secara langsung kepada idea pengarang teks”.[3]

Dari kutipan di atas, kita dapat mencandra dua aliran yang memperebutkan hakikat makna teks. Aliran pertama (tradisionalistik), berupaya membakukan makna dalam petenjuk semantik tertentu dengan cara menjadikan makna itu muhkam yang tidak bisa serampangan ditarik ke dalam wacana metaforis. Tentu saja aliran ini berupaya mempertahankan makna asli suatu teks. Sehingga takwil dalam tradisi aliran pertama difungsikan untuk mengalihkan pemahaman lahir suatu lafal dari makna aslinya kepada makna lain dengan indikasi tertentu yang menyebabkan makna aslinya ditinggalkan. Posisi dasar pemahaman teks adalah lahiriahnya, ia hanya dapat ditinggalkan jika ada indikasi kuat untuk keserasian makna itu dengan tujuan syariah. Dari situ, maka konsep takwil menurut para ahli ushul fiqh berjalin kelindan dengan pembagian tingkatan lafal teks agama:

1) Setiap bentuk lafal yang hanya menerima satu makna tertentu, ia disebut sebagai Nash; teks. (dari sana kita dapat menyimpulkan bahwa kosakata bahasa Arab mengidentikkan teks dengan pembakuan dan penunggalan makna suatu teks)
2) Jika bentuk lafal teks dapat menerima lebih dari satu makna/pemahaman yang sama-sama kuat, maka ia disebut sebagai Mujmal; teks global (yang memerlukan perincian)
3) Jika bentuk lafal teks menerima lebih dari satu makna/pemahaman yang salah satunya lebih kuat dari makna lain, maka makna yang kuat itu disebut Zhahir (teks yang asli) dan makna yang lemah itu disebut Mu’awwal (teks yang dialihkan maknanya). Perubahan dari makna zhahir kepada makna mu’awwal itu mensyaratkan adanya dalil; indikator yang kuat dan memperkuat satu makna atas makna lainnya.

Sedangkan aliran kedua (modernistik) dalam teori pentakwilan telah mengalami lompatan kualitatif dalam tradisi filsafat Jerman, terutama di tangan F.D.E. Schleirmacher (1768-1834 M) yang mengadakan reorientasi paradigma dari “makna” teks kepada “pemahaman” teks. Rasionalitas modern seperti dianut oleh mazhab protestantisme telah mengubah makna literal Bible yang selama ini dianggap oleh mazhab resmi gereja sebagai “makna historis” menjadi “pemahaman historis” yang segala sesuatunya merujuk kepada masa silam. Afiliasi suatu teks kepada masa silam itu menyebabkan kehadirannya di masa kini menjadi sebentuk kecurigaan; mengapa teks yang merespon kejadian masa lalu harus menjadi jawaban problem kekinian?! Tidak kah lebih baik jika teks masa silam itu dienyahkan karena realitas yang terus berubah dari waktu ke waktu?

Rasionalitas protestantisme itu telah menantang otoritas gereja yang selalu mengklaim arti Bible yang sah, serta meneguhkan semangat liberalisasi simbol-simbol otoritas agama yang eksklusif dan tertutup. Akibatnya, metodologi tafsir tradisionalis telah tergantikan dan disaingi metodologi yang lebih humanis dan memberi ruang kesadaran kritis atas keseluruhan sumber teks-teks agama. Semangat liberalisasi dan humanisasi inilah yang ikut andil merobohkan tembok sakralisasi teks sehingga teks agama tak lagi sakral dan bahkan mengalami proses humanisasi.[4]

Schleirmacher telah menubuhkan asas seni pemahaman teks; pemahaman yang selalu terkait mengikuti perkembangan dari setiap orang dan dari satu zaman ke zaman yang lain. Jarak pemisah antara zaman produksi teks dengan zaman pemahaman kekinian sedemikian meluas dan membentang, sehingga diperlukan ilmu yang mencegah kekeliruan pemahaman. Atas dasar itu, Schleirmacher meletakkan kaidah pemahaman teks yang terbatas pada dua aspek utama yaitu: aspek kebahasaan (tata bahasa yang dipakai pengarang) dan aspek kemampuan menembus karakter psikis pengarang. Kedua aspek itu saling melengkapi satu dengan lainnya.[5] Tugas kaedah hermeneutik Schleirmacher-ian itu adalah untuk sejauh mungkin memahami teks seperti yang dipahami pengarangnya dan bahkan lebih baik dari apa yang dipahami oleh si pengarang. Tugas itulah yang kemudian dikenal dengan “Hermeneutical Circle”.

Lingkar hermeneutik itu akan mengubah yang konstan menjadi dinamis dan terus bergerak, dikarenakan teori “makna” dan “penjelasan” dalam teori penafsiran klasik diubah menjadi “pemahaman” yang terkait dengan akal manusia yang terus berkembang dan berubah. Oleh karena itu, pemahaman teks adalah apa yang diinginkan oleh pembaca teks, bukan yang dimaksudkan oleh pengarang teks. Dikarenakan masa kelahiran teks telah menjadi bagian masa lalu, maka tidak ada makna yang tetap seperti sediakala. Lingkar hermeneutik meniscayakan produksi makna-makna baru yang tidak pernah final. Orientasi heremeneutik inilah yang kemudian dikembangkan oleh para filosof aliran eksistensialisme pasca-Schleirmacher.

Adalah Martin Heidegger (1889-1976 M) yang mencoba memahami teks dengan metode eksistensialis. Ia menganggap teks sebagai suatu “ketegangan” dan “tarik-menarik” antara kejelasan dan ketertutupan, antara ada dan tidak ada. Eksistensi, menurut Heidegger, bukanlah eksistensi yang terbagi antara wujud transendent dan horisontal. Sejak abad pencerahan dan humanisme Barat dimulai, eksistensi bersifat tunggal; eksistensi humanisme! Semakin dalam kesadaran manusia terhadap eksistensinya, maka sedalam itu pula lah pemahamannya atas teks; karena itu, teks tidak lagi mengungkapkan pengalaman historis yang terkait dengan suatu peristiwa. Dengan pengalaman eksistensialnya itulah manusia bisa meresapi wujudnya dan cara dia bereksistensi sebagai unsur penegas dalam proses memahami suatu teks.

Pemahaman eksistensialis model Heidegger teraplikasikan secara penuh terhadap semua jenis teks. Amat wajar jika kekhasan teks agama dari sudut pentakwilan menjadi terabaikan. Jika hermeneutika dahulu berarti pentakwilan teks suci yang terpasung oleh makna yang ditentukan pihak otoritas gereja, maka ia kini telah bebas dari belenggu sakralitas dan memungkinkan pentakwilan semua jenis teks, karena bagi hermeneut modern semua teks sama secara hirarkis. Sakralitas teks agama tidak lagi mendapatkan tempat dalam rasionalitas modern.

Resepsi dan pembacaan manusia adalah dasar bagi kebangkitan dan transformasi teks dari sesuatu yang diwarisi antar generasi menjadi warisan masa silam. Ketika kita membaca suatu teks kuno maka teks itu kembali dihidupkan dan berubah dari sesuatu yang tadinya mati dan asing kepada keadaan sesuatu yang hidup saat ini. Dengan demikian, pembacaan dan pemahaman adalah asas bagi transformasi teks dari ketiadaan kepada keefektifan.

Hermeneutika Heidegger kemudian dilanjutkan oleh Hans George Gadamer (1900-2002 M) yang menolak segala bentuk kepastian dan meneruskan eksistensialisme Heidegger dengan titik tekan logika dialektik antara aku (pembaca) dan teks/karya. Dialektika itu mesti difahami secara eksistensialis, karena hakikatnya memahami teks itu sama dengan pemahaman kita atas diri dan wujud kita sendiri. Pada saat kita membaca suatu karya agung, ketika itu kita lantas menghadirkan pengalaman-pengalaman hidup kita di masa silam, sehingga melahirkan keseimbangan pemahaman atas diri kita sendiri. Proses dialektika memahami karya seni berdiri atas asas pertanyaan yang diajukan karya itu kepada kita; pertanyaan yang menjadi sebab karya itu ada.[6]

Filsafat hermeneutika Gadamer meniscayakan wujud kita berpijak pada asas hermeneutis, dan hermeneutika berpijak pada asas eksistensial manusia. Eksistensi yang dibangun Heidegger dan Gadamer terasa idealis yang dipengaruhi logika dialektik Hegellian, yang menyatakan historisitas yang tidak dipersyaratkan wujud materil yang dikendalikan oleh faktor sosial ekonomi. Untuk menautkan proses pemahaman dengan wujud materil, maka telah menjadi keharusan untuk keluar dari metafisika transendent yang khusus dalam konsep eksistensial. Penubuhan asas konsep wujud itu akan mengubah proses pemahaman. Selain itu ia akan disyaratkan dengan prasyarat materil yang akan mengendalikan wujud ini.[7]

Menghadapi dialektika Heidegger dan Gadamer, tokoh-tokoh filsafat hermeneutika seperti: Paul Ricoer (1913-2005 M), Eric D. Hirsch (1928-….), dan Emillio Betti (1890-1968 M) mengajukan teori objektifitas dalam aliran hermeneutika. Mereka berusaha mendirikan hermeneutika sebagai ilmu penafsiran teks yang menekankan metode objektif, sehingga melampaui subjektifitas hermeneutika Gadamer. Hermeneutika, bagi mereka, tidak berdiri atas asas filsafat. Sederhananya, hermeneutika adalah ilmu penafsiran teks atau teori tafsir.[8]

Jika kita kaitkan dengan Dr. Nasr Hamid AbuZayd (1943-…) yang terkenal lewat pendekatan hermeneutiknya dalam membaca teks-teks Islam, maka kita akan menemukan penekanan Nasr Hamid atas prinsip simbol teks yang berafiliasi kepada kondisi sosial dan realitas ketika teks itu diciptakan. Artinya teks adalah produk lingkungan tertentu yang dilingkupi oleh faktor ekonomi-sosial yang menjadi pra-kondisi kelahiran dan kemunculan suatu teks. Oleh sebab itu, realitas yang berdialektik dengan teks mendapat apresiasi dan perhatian serius Nasr Hamid. Untuk menuju arah tafsir yang objektif dan ilmiah atas teks agama, ia berangkat dari simbol sosial dengan penekanan melampaui makna lahiriah teks kepada makna batinnya.

Bagaimana Nasr Hamid meresepsi teks dan cara dia memperlakukannya? Pertama sekali dia mendukung orientasi Gadamer yang berangkat dari posisi penafsir saat ini karena setiap asas epistemologi pemahaman apa saja berawal dari posisi eksistensial.[9] Kedua, dia mengajukan upaya modifikasi terhadap orientasi hermeneutika Gadamer dengan perspektif materialisme; dua tahap yang saling mendukung itulah, dalam persepsi Nasr Hamid, titik tolak asli bagi upaya pembacaan ulang seluruh dasar agama Islam dan upaya menyingkap kepalsuan pembacaan-pembacaan masa silam atas teks Islam.[10]

Perbedaan Esensial antara Ta’wil dengan Hermeneutika

1) Takwil dalam tradisi keilmuan Islam mengakui dan tunduk kepada kesucian teks dan keilahian sumbernya, terlebih khusus dalam masalah teks-teks agama. Sedangkan hermeneutika di Barat memperlakukan teks sebagai murni fenomena bahasa, dan tidak mengakui kesucian teks yang menuntut perlakuan khusus.
2) Takwil dalam tradisi keilmuan Islam mengakui jenis tingkatan lafal, dalam pengertian bahwa di antara jenis-jenis teks itu ada yang bisa menerima takwil seperti lafal “zhahir”, dan ada pula yang hanya menunjukkan satu makna dan tidak dapat ditakwil seperti lafal “nash”. Sedangkan hermeneutika Barat memukul rata semua jenis teks dengan memisahkan mana yang menjadi makna tanda (signifier) dan tujuan dasar teks (significance).
3) Takwil dalam tradisi keilmuan Islam menekankan makna yang tetap tidak berubah kecuali jika ada dalil lain yang mengharuskan takwil. Dan makna takwil yang baru itu masih dapat diterima oleh lafal zhahirnya dan juga sesuai dengan sirkulasi penggunaan bahasa dan adat kebisaaan yang lazim dalam syariah. Sedangkan hermeneutika di Barat berarti perpindahan orientasi dari “makna” kepada “pemahaman” yang dapat berubah setiap saat sesuai dengan perkembangan pembaca teks. Pemahaman adalah apa yang diinginkan oleh pembaca, bukan yang dimaksudkan oleh pengarang. Pemahaman tidak pernah final, karena selalu memperhatikan dimensi realitas kemanusiaan. Bahkan dalam bentuk ekstrim, hermeneutika menganggap Sunnah (yang berfungsi sebagai penjelas Al-Qur’an) sebatas ijtihad manusia dan terbatas pada skup budaya tertentu.
4) Takwil dalam tradisi keilmuan Islam adalah suatu cara untuk mempertahankan norma keimanan terhadap dasar-dasar keyakinan agama. Ia juga metode yang baik untuk menghilangkan keragu-raguan dan semakin menambah mantap keimanan. Jelasnya, takwil bukanlah alat untuk membatalkan keimanan atau untuk mengosongkan teks agama dari ruh agama seperti yang dipraktekkan dalam filsafat hermeneutika di Barat.[11]

Lalu apakah pengaruh hermeneutika dalam pembacaan teks-teks agama?

Perlu ditekankan di sini bahwa perspektif hermeneutika filosofis atas pemahaman eksistensial secara umum dan pemahaman teks secara khusus merupakan terobosan mutakhir dan tidak pernah dikenal sebelumnya. Diskusi dan perdebatan seputar sah tidaknya aplikasi hermeneutika juga betul-betul tidak ada presedennya dalam benak para ulama muslim yang masih meyakini keampuhan terminologi tafsir dan takwil klasik dalam memecahkan isu-isu kontemporer. Dengan demikian, tidak memungkinkan kita mencari berbagai perspektif hermeneutika dalam cabang-cabang Islamic Studies yang telah mapan. Sebaliknya, jika kita telusuri dan dalami filsafat pemahaman teks-teks Islam yang telah dikonstruk dan diaplikasikan selama berabad-abad oleh ulama muslim, kita dapatkan kesimpulan yang kontraproduktif dengan perspektif filsafat “pemahaman” Barat.

Pemikiran agama mutakhir saat ini menyaksikan kajian-kajian dan pertanyaan-pertanyaan baru yang memiliki akar dalam filsafat hermeneutika. Di antaranya adalah:
1) Kemungkinan mengajukan bacaan-bacaan yang berbeda dan tak terbatas bagi teks agama.
2) Historisitas pemahaman dan keajegan perubahan pemahaman itu sendiri.
3) Batasan legalitas terlibatnya subjektifitas penafsir dalam proses penafsiran teks.
4) Pengaruh pra-konsepsi, kecenderungan, dan harapan penafsir teks kepada pemahaman agama.[12]

Sejatinya hermeneutika selalu berpusat pada fungsi penafsiran teks. Meski terjadi perubahan dan modifikasi radikal terhadap teori-teori hermeneutika, tetap saja berintikan seni memahami teks. Pada kenyataannya, hermeneutika pra-Heidegger (sebelum abad 20) tidak membentuk suatu tantangan pemikiran yang berarti bagi pemikiran agama, sekalipun telah terjadi evaluasi radikal dalam aliran-aliran filsafat hermeneutika. Sementara itu, hermeneutika filosofis dan turunannya dalam teori-teori kritik sastra dan semantik telah merintis jalan bagi tantangan serius yang membentur metode klasik dan pengetahuan agama.

Sebelum kita menyinggung tantangan pemikiran yang disebabkan hermeneutika filsafat kontemporer, ada baiknya kita menyimak secara global metode umum dalam pemahaman teks yang selama ini kita kenal:

1- Tugas mufassir adalah menangkap makna teks. Makna teks adalah apa yang dikehendaki oleh pembicara atau pengarang teks. Maksud atau makna yang pasti adalah tujuan utama pengarang teks. Makna yang final itu adalah suatu hal yang objektif dan ril, mufasir berusaha untuk sampai dan menangkap makna itu.
2- Untuk mencapai tujuan di atas, sewajarnya penafsir teks menempuh alur metode yang umum dalam menangkap teks. Hal ini diformulasikan dalam bentuk bahasa teks sebagai jembatan memahami tujuan hakiki atau makna yang diinginkan. Karena pengarang teks menjadikan bahasa sebagai sarana mengungkapkan kehendaknya, maka penafsir teks harus menguasai bahasa serta tata bahasa yang lazim dipakai oleh pengarang. Tanpanya, maka tindakan penafsir yang semena-mena akan mencederai proses pemahaman teks.
3- Kondisi penafsir yang diidealkan adalah sampai kepada pemahaman yang valid dan meyakinkan terhadap kehendak pengarang teks. Meskipun pemahaman yang valid hanya dapat ditangkap melalui bentuk “nash” yang berindikasi pemahaman objektif yang sesuai dengan fakta, dalam bentuk “zhahir”nya pun redaksi teks tetap tidak tercerabut dari objektifitas dan norma asli pemahaman.
4- Jarak waktu yang memisahkan masa penafsir dengan masa saat teks diproduksi tidak akan menghalangi penafsir untuk menangkap makna hakiki yang dimaksud oleh teks agama. Karena dalam sinaran metode klasik, amat dimungkinkan pemahaman objektif atas teks meski terdapat jarak waktu dan tempat antara pengarang dengan penafsir teks.
5- Perhatian penafsir harus terpusat kepada kesadaran memahami misi teks. Seperti dimaklumi, proses pemahaman teks berporos kepada dua aspek: teks dan pengarang, sehingga tugas penafsir adalah untuk menangkap maksud pengarang melalui fungsi semantik teks. Dalam teori tafsir semacam ini, tidak diperkenankan munculnya pra-konsepsi dan pra-asumsi penafsir, karena hal itu akan mengotori upaya penafsiran, sehingga dikategorikan sebagai tafsir dengan pandangan akal semata yang dicela agama (bil ra’yi al-madzmum).
6- Teori tafsir klasik sangat menentang teori relativitas tafsir. Metode tafsir klasik menolak setiap upaya penafsiran yang merelatifkan dan menyamakan setiap pemahaman sebagai upaya subjektif penafsir. Sebab, teks agama, -menurut teori tafsir klasik- tidak akan menerima segala bentuk penafsiran yang sembarangan. Dengan kata lain, ketika terjadi perbedaan penafsiran sebuah teks, maka otoritas pemahaman tetap berada pada aspek teks dan pengarang teks itu sendiri, alias kewenangan mufasir terabaikan sama sekali.[13]

Metode umum yang dipraktekkan para pakar tafsir Al-Qur’an, sebagaimana terangkum dalam 6 poin di atas, memang cocok dengan karakter dasariah nushush Al-Qur’an yang menjadi objek penafsiran dari masa ke masa. Karena, seperti diyakini kaum muslim, Al-Qur’an merupakan kitab ‘hidayah’, petunjuk bagi manusia dalam membedakan yang haq dengan yang batil. Dalam berbagai versinya, Al-Qur’an sendiri menegaskan beberapa sifat dan ciri yang melekat dalam dirinya, di antaranya bersifat transformatif. Yaitu membawa misi perubahan untuk mengeluarkan manusia (Ikhraju al-Nas)dari kegelapan-kegelapan, Zhulumât (di bidang akidah, hukum, politik, ekonomi, sosial budaya dll) kepada sebuah cahaya, Nûr petunjuk ilahi untuk menciptakan kebahagiaan dan kesentosaan hidup manusia, dunia-akhirat. Dari prinsip yang diyakini kaum muslim inilah usaha-usaha manusia muslim dikerahkan untuk menggali format-format petunjuk yang dijanjikan bakal mendatangkan kebahagiaan bagi manusia. Nah dalam upaya penggalian prinsip dan nilai-nilai Qur’ani yang berdimensi keilahian dan kemanusiaan itulah penafsiran dihasilkan.

Demikianlah, dari paparan sekilas di atas, dapat dikatakan bahwa teori penafsiran klasik sebagaimana dalam pembahasan metode takwil dalam cabang ilmu ushul fiqh dan ulumul quran, mulai digugat dan ditantang oleh aliran-aliran hermeneutika filsafat pada abad ke 20. Problem isu hermeneutika filsafat kontemporer telah melontarkan berbagai diktum yang mengkritisi dan berambisi menjadi alternatif pintas bagi kebuntuan dan kebekuan penafsiran teks agama yang rigid, kaku dan kehilangan elan vital “maqashid syariah”. Berikut ini akan kita saksikan bagaimana teori tafsir model hermeneutika mulai merangsek dan menawarkan dahaga intelektual bagi kaum muslim modernis:

1- Pemahaman teks adalah hasil perpaduan antara cakrawala pemahaman penafsir dengan cakrawala makna dalam teks. Intuisi dan cakrawala berfikir setiap penafsir dalam proses pamahaman tidak dicela, karena ia merupakan prasyarat eksistensial bagi tercapainya suatu pemahaman.
2- Upaya pemahaman teks adalah proses tiada henti; seperti halnya pluralitas pemahaman teks tidak mengenal batas-batas. Karena pemahaman adalah: upaya kreatif dan perpaduan antara cakrawala penafsir dengan wawasan teks. Dengan demikian setiap terjadi perubahan dalam diri penafsir berikut cakrawala pikirannya, maka dimungkinkan lahirnya pemahaman baru.
3- Suatu pemahaman objektif atas teks dalam arti pemahaman yang benar-benar sesuai dengan fakta ril, tidak dimungkinkan oleh karena pra konsepsi penafsir adalah syarat tercapainya suatu pemahaman.
4- Tidak ada pemahaman yang tetap dan tidak berubah; tidak dibenarkan pula suatu pembatasan dan finalisasi pemahaman yang tidak bisa berubah-ubah.
5- Tujuan penafsiran teks pada saat ini, bukan untuk menangkap maksud pengarang teks. Sebab, penafsir saat ini menghadapi sebuah teks, dan bukannya pengarang teks. Dalam teori filsafat hermeneutika, posisi pengarang tak lebih sebagai salah satu pembaca teks yang tidak berbeda dari penafsir-pembaca teks yang lain. Teks sebagai entitas mandiri dan berdaulat, berdialog dengan penafsir sehingga melahirkan suatu pemahaman, dengan demikian setiap penafsir tidak diharuskan mencari dan menangkap maksud dan tujuan yang ingin diungkapkan si pengarang teks.
6- Tidak ada patokan dan standarisasi dalam menilai salah atau benar suatu penafsiran. Karena sejatinya tidak ada tafsir yang benar dan tunggal. Antitesa dari teori klasik yang mengandaikan maksud pengarang sebagai tujuan penafsiran, hermeneutika filsafat mengakui otoritas penafsir dan mengabaikan tujuan pengarang sama sekali. Karena setiap penafsir di setiap zaman memiliki cakrawala yang khas zamannya, maka terbuka kemungkinan pemahaman-pemahaman baru, yang tidak bisa dikatakan salah satunya lebih baik dan benar dari yang lain.
7- Hermeneutika filsafat sesuai dengan teori relatifitas penafsiran, dan membuka ruang yang sangat luas bagi penafsiran-penafsiran yang radikal sekalipun.

Dari ke-7 metode umum “pemahaman” teks dalam filsafat hermeneutika yang telah dipaparkan, terkuak dengan jelas ketidakcocokan teori filsafat pemahaman ini dengan sifat dan karakter dasariah Al-Qur’an seperti yang telah dijelaskan. Memang diakui luas oleh para pakar Al-Qur’an bahwa teks-teks kitab suci mengandung pelbagai kemungkinan makna dan pemahaman sesuai kecenderungan bidang ilmu yang dikuasai setiap mufasir. Dalam sejarah tafsir, telah lahir berbagai produk karya ulama yang mencoba menguraikan kandungan Al-Qur’an dari berbagai perspektif dan corak penafsiran. Ada jenis tafsir ‘bil riwayah’ dan juga ‘bil dirayah’. Metode penulisan tafsir bil dirayah ini juga telah melahirkan berbagai corak, di antaranya tafsir analitik yang memiliki orientasi bermacam-macam sesuai dengan keahlian dan kepakaran masing-masing penafsir. Ada yang berorientasi: hukum fiqih (tafsir ahkam, fiqhi), bahasa dan susastera (tafsir lughawi, balaghi), tasauf dan tazkiyah (tafsir isyari), saintifik (tafsir ‘ilmiy), bahkan yang sarat dengan muatan-muatan sosial dan reformasi keumatan (tafsir adabi-ijtima’i), dan lain sebagainya. Kesemua corak dan orientasi penafsiran itu tetap saja berporos pada spirit yang sama bahwa Al-Qur’an dapat ditinjau dari pelbagai spektrum kemanusiaan dengan penekanan khusus sebagai kitab hidayah, petunjuk untuk kebaikan manusia, yang datang dari Zat Yang Maha Transenden (Tanzil min Rabbi al-’Alamin).

Produk Tafsir Ayat Toleransi; “Selamat Natal” Versi Surah Maryam: 33

Saya akan mengambil satu contoh produk tafsir mazhab toleransi yang diusung oleh Ustadz Zuhairi Misrawi; tentang anjuran mengucapkan selamat natal kepada kaum kristiani. Dikatakan bahwa Al-Qur’an telah memberikan contoh ucapan selamat natal sebagaimana tersurat dalam ayat 33 surah Maryam. (h. 350-357). Dua alasan dikemukakan terkait tidak sepantasnya kita mengharamkan ucapan selamat natal itu.

Pertama: selamat natal adalah tradisi keagamaan yang sudah berkembang lama sekali. Kedua: selamat natal adalah ucapan simbolik atas hari bahagia umat Kristen. Sebagai ungkapan bahagia, maka tak ada alasan untuk melarangnya karena hal tersebut justeru salah satu pesan yang dimuliakan dalam Islam. (h. 350)

Saya akan melihatnya berbeda dari perspektif yang dipakai penulis buku. Pertama: redaksi ‘wassalamu’ yang dinisbahkan kepada nabi Isa ‘Alayhi wa ‘ala Nabiyyina Afdlalu al-Salam ini diucapkan beliau sendiri ketika ibunda Maryam bint ‘Imran dipojokkan dan dituduh kelompok Yahudi bahwa Isa yang baru saja dilahirkan adalah hasil perzinahan. Membantah tuduhan itu, Maryam kemudian menunjuk Isa yang merupakan mukjizat dari Allah swt untuk menepis tuduhan murahan itu (ayat 28-33). Perlu dicatat juga bahwa sebelumnya redaksi seperti ini ditujukan pula kepada nabi Yahya ‘Alayhi wa ‘ala Nabiyyina Afdlalu al-Salam dengan redaksi ‘wasalamun’ (ayat 13). Para ulama tafsir dan bahasa menyatakan bahwa jenis redaksi seperti ini sering diungkapkan pada saat dan situasi seorang hamba Allah dalam kondisi sangat lemah, tidak kuasa atas makar dan sangat membutuhkan pertolongan dan bantuan-Nya.[14]

Karena keduanya, baik Yahya maupun Isa sama-sama dikejar dan ditindas Bani Israil. Nabi Yahya berhasil mereka bunuh, sementara Isa diselamatkan Allah dan diangkat ke langit. Ini belum lagi peristiwa kelahirannya yang menakjubkan dan mengundang kecurigaan luar biasa. Sehingga wajar keduanya menggunakan redaksi Salaam.

Kedua: secara literal dan sepintas redaksi wassalamu diartikan dengan ucapan selamat. Lalu disimpulkan bahwa ucapan selamat natal sudah dicontohkan sendiri oleh nabi Isa as (tentu saja dengan asumsi ketika mengucapkannya kita berkeyakinan bahwa beliau adalah seorang nabi dan hamba Allah). Namun jika kita telusuri beberapa kitab tafsir yang memiliki otoritas ternyata bukan seperti itu yang dimaksudkan rangkaian ayat ini. Justeru dengan pengakuan tersebut, Isa as telah menetapkan bahwa dirinya hanya sebagai hamba yang menyembah Allah swt semata, dia juga sebagaimana makhluk Allah lainnya dilahirkan (hidup), mengalami kematian dan dibangkitkan kembali pada hari pembalasan. Hanya saja beliau akan memperoleh keselamatan sebagaimana para nabi dan rasul lainnya pada hari pembalasan yang keseluruhan manusia sangat sulit untuk memperoleh keselamatan hisab pada hari itu.[15]

Ketiga: sesuai konteks rangkaian ayat di atas dan korelasinya dengan rangkaian ayat selanjutnya (ayat 34-37) yang terjemahannya sebagai berikut: 34. Itulah Isa putera Maryam, yang mengatakan perkataan yang benar, yang mereka berbantah-bantahan tentang kebenarannya. 35. Tidak layak bagi Allah mempunyai anak, Maha Suci Dia. Apabila Dia telah menetapkan sesuatu, maka Dia hanya berkata kepadanya: “Jadilah”, maka jadilah ia 36. Sesungguhnya Allah adalah Tuhanku dan Tuhanmu, maka sembahIah Dia oleh kamu sekalian. Ini adalah jalan yang lurus.37. Maka berselisihlah golongan-golongan (yang ada) di antara mereka. Maka kecelakaanlah bagi orang-orang kafir pada waktu menyaksikan hari yang besar. Rangkaian ayat ini justru menepis kebolehan mengucapkan selamat natal, seperti diyakini orang-orang Nasrani. Karena rangkaian ayat yang sebelum ini menjelaskan secara gamblang peristiwa kelahiran Isa dari rahim Maryam ibunya yang dirasa sangat tidak mungkin ia kemudian dinobatkan menjadi anak Tuhan; Isa sesungguhnya adalah anak manusia biasa yang dilahirkan melalui “proses yang diluar kebiasaan”. Isyarat itu terungkap dari ayat 35.[16]

Keempat: sesuai analisa bahasa dan sastra Arab, fungsi definitif dari “al” pada kata assalamu adalah untuk “semua jenis keselamatan” (al lil jinsi) jika digabungkan dengan konteks rangkaian ayat ini yang merupakan pengingkaran dan penolakan akidah Nasrani, maka ia lebih merupakan sindiran (ta’ridl) untuk melaknat kaum Yahudi atas tuduhan zina kepada Maryam, dan juga bagi kaum Nasrani yang menjadikannya juru selamat. Seakan ayat ini memberi pesan bahwa Isa menyatakan semua keselamatan hanya untuk dirinya dan azab lah yang akan ditimpakan kepada para penentangnya dari umat Yahudi ataupun para pemujanya dari umat Kristiani. Fungsi kebahasaan seperti ini sudah berlaku umum dan menjadi ‘urf pemakaian Al-Qur’an. Surah Thaha ayat 48 misalnya menyatakan wassalamu ‘ala man ittaba’alhuda, selain makna aslinya ia juga mengandung pesan yang tidak diungkapkan bahwa azab lah yang akan didapat bagi orang yang mendustakan dan berpaling dari petunjuk itu.[17]

Saya hanya ingin mengatakan bahwa berat sekali tugas menganalisa dan mencermati kandungan Al-Qur’an, ia tidak bisa difahami dengan baik hanya secara literal atau mengikuti petunjuk terjemahan lahirnya saja. sehingga wajar jumhur/ulama berpendapat mustahil seorang bisa menterjemahkan Al-Qur’an secara harfiyah, karena kualitas bahasa arab yang sangat tinggi untuk Al-Qur’an. nah tugas ini akan lebih berat lagi kalau sudah menyangkut ayat-ayat akidah yang fondasional. Paparan saya itu bukan berarti saya sudah menafsiri Al-Qur’an tapi yang saya lakukan adalah mengutip tafsir para ulama yang diakui otoritasnya di bidang tafsir, sebagai amanah ilmiah yang harus disampaikan. Kita tidak perlu berapologi untuk sekedar menampakkan toleransi semu dan munafik, apalagi dengan menggadaikan akidah kita.

Visi Al-Qur’an tentang Pluralitas dan Toleransi

Akhirnya, sebagai etape akhir pembacaan saya atas pembacaan (Qira’ah ‘ala Qira’ah) sdr. Zuhairi, disini perlu ditegaskan bahwa mengakui eksistensi praktis agama-agama lain yang beragam dan saling berseberangan ini dalam pandangan Islam tidak secara otomatis mengakui legalitas dan kebenarannya seperti yang diajarkan oleh kaum pluralis. Bagi saya sikap yang tepat adalah menerima kehendak Allah SWT dalam menciptakan agama-agama ini sebagai berbeda-beda dan beragam. Karena Allah swt Yang Maha Bijak telah menghendaki untuk menciptakan jagad raya dan segala isinya ini dengan bentuk dan kondisi yang demikian sistematis dan seimbang; ada baik dan buruk, haq dan bathil, cahaya dan gelap, bahagia dan sengsara. Tapi kehendak Ilahiah ini ada dua macam, merujuk kepada istilah yang dipopulerkan Syekh Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849-1903 M), yaitu: 1) kehendak ontologis (iradah kawniyyah) dan 2) kehendak legalistis (iradah syar’iyyah). Di satu sisi, Allah SWT menciptakan sesuatu dan memang menghendakinya secara ontologis dan legalistis, seperti: kebaikan, kebenaran, iman, malaikat, dan segala sesuatu yang Dia cintai dan ridhai. Tapi di sisi lain, Allah SWT menciptakan sesuatu dan menghendakinya secara ontologis tapi tidak secara legalistis, seperti: kejahatan, kebatilan, setan, kekufuran dan segala sesuatu yang Dia benci.

Dr. Syekh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi[18] menyebutkan empat faktor yang melahirkan sikap toleransi yang unik selalu mendominasi perilaku umat Islam terhadap non-muslim: i) keyakinan terhadap kemuliaan manusia, apapun agamanya, kebangsaan dan kesukuannya. Kemuliaan ini mengimplikasikan hak untuk dihormati. ii) kayakinan bahwa perbedaan manusia dalam agama dan keyakinan merupakan realitas (ontologis) yang dikehendaki Allah SWT yang telah memberi mereka kebebasan untuk memilih iman atau kufur. Oleh karenanya tidak dibenarkan memaksa mereka untuk Islam. iii) seorang muslim tidak dituntut untuk mengadili kekafiran orang kafir atau menghukum kesesatan orang sesat. Allah SWT lah yang akan mengadili mereka di hari perhitungan kelak. (al-Hajj: 69, al-Syura: 15) Dengan demikian hati seorang muslim menjadi tenang, tidak perlu terjadi konflik batin antara kewajiban berbuat baik dan adil kepada mereka (al-Mumtahanah: 8), dan dalam waktu yang sama harus berpegang teguh pada kebenaran keyakinannya sendiri. iv) keyakinan bahwa Allah SWT memerintahkan untuk berbuat Adil dan mengajak kepada budi pekerti mulia meskipun kepada orang musyrik (at-Tawbah: 6). Begitu juga Allah SWT mencela perbuatan zalim meskipun terhadap orang kafir (al-Maidah: 8).

Wallahu A’lam bil Shawab.

———————————
[1] Makalah disampaikan dalam acara seminar dan bedah buku “Al-Qur’an Kitab Toleransi”, karya sdr. Zuhairi Misrawi, Lc. Penerbit: Fitrah, 2007. yang diselenggarakan oleh Program Pasca-Sarjana Kelas Internasional PTIQ-Jakarta pada hari Kamis, 3 April 2008.
[2] Penulis adalah Ketua I LP3MI Nurul Hikmah, Staff Peneliti di INSIST dan PP Ikatan Da’i Indonesia, dan Dosen Tafsir pada STIU DI al-Hikmah, Jakarta Selatan.
[3] Mustafa al-Kaylani, Wujud al-Nash wa Nash al-Wujud (Dar al-Tunisiyah li al-Nasyr, 1992), hlm. 34
[4] Lihat Ilyas Quwaisim, Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah fi al-Fikr al-’Araby al-Mu’ashir (Univ. Al-Zaitunah, Tunis: 1998), hlm. 88
[5] Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid, Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil (Beirut: al-Markaz al-Tsaqafi al-’Araby, 1992), hlm. 21
[6] Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil, hlm. 40
[7] Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil, hlm. 44
[8] Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil, hlm. 49
[9] Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil, hlm. 49
[10] Isykaliyyat al-Qira’ah wa Aaliyyat al-Ta’wil, hlm. 49
[11] Muhammad ‘Imarah, Qira’at al-Nash al-Diniy bayn al-Ta’wil al-Gharbi wa al-Ta’wil al-Islami (Kairo: Maktabah Syuruq, 2006) hlm. 55
[12] Ahmad Wa’izhi: Mahiyyat al-Hermeneutiqa, Jurnal al-Mahajja vol.6, hlm.52
[13] Mahiyyat al-Hermeneutiqa, hlm.54-58
[14] lihat Tafsir al-Muharrar al-Wajiz; Ibnu ‘Athiyyah seperti dikutip oleh Imam al-Alusi dalam Kitab Ruh al-Ma’ani vol. 9 juz. 16 h. 107
[15] lihat Tafsir Ibnu Katsir; juz 3 h. 117-118
[16] lihat Tafsir Fi Zhilal al-Qur’an; juz 4 h. 2308
[17] lihat Tafsir al-Alusi dalam Ruh al-Ma’ani; Opcit. h. 131
[18] Ghairu al-Muslimin fi al-Mujatama’ al-Islami: 53-55

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Inilah ICIP

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Inilah ICIP

Simaklah: http://www.icipglobal.org,

Board of Directors

National Board

• Abdul A’la, PhD – Lecturer of Religious Studies, Sunan Ampel State Islamic Institute, Surabaya
• Bachtiar Effendi, PhD – Lecturer Post Graduate Program, Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University, Jakarta
• Farid Wadjdi, MA – LKiS, Yogyakarta
• Hussein Muhammad, KH – Board of Director, Rahima, Jakarta
• Lies Marcoes Natsir, MA – The Asia Foundation
• Lily Munir, MA – Director, Centre for Pesantren and Democracy Studies
• Moeslim Abdurrahman, PhD – Director, Syafii Maarif Institute
• Musdah Mulia, Prof. Dr. – Prof. of Islamic Studies, Post-Graduate of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University
• Rizal Sukma PhD – Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia
• Robin Bush, PhD – the Asia Foundation
• Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, MA – Coordinator, Center for Women Studies, the State Institute for Islamic Studies, Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta
• Ulil Abshar Abdalla – Coordinator, Islam Liberal Network
• Yuniyanti Huzaifah, MA – Consultant of Gender, CIDA Jakarta.

International Board

• Dr. Ashgar Ali Engineer (India) – Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai (Bombay)
• Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra (Indonesia) – Rector, State Islamic University, Syarief Hidyatullah, Jakarta
• Dr. Carmen Abubakar (Philippines) – University of the Philippines, Institute of Islamic Studies
• Dr. Chandra Muzafar (Malaysia) – President, International Movement for a Just World
• Dr. Datu Michael O. Mastura (Philippines) – President, Sultan Kudarat Islamic Academy Foundation
• Dr. Farish Noor (Malaysia) – Associate Fellow, Institute for Malaysian and International Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
• Dr. Patricia Martinez (Malaysia) – Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya
• Dr. Surin Pitsuwan (Thailand) – Member of Parliament, Thailand Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Mr. Syed Ashraf Ali (Bangladesh) – Director General Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka
• Zainah Anwar (Malaysia) – Director, Sisters in Islam

Executive Board

• M. Syafi’i Anwar (Director)
• Syafiq Hasyim (Vice Director)
• Farinia Fianto (Program Officer)
• R. L. Kartika Sari (Staff)
• Elfira D. Siregar (Staff)
• Jordan Newton (Staff)
• Udin Saepudin (Staff)
• Rahmat Kurniawan and Dede Sundevi (Staff)

Contact Us
International Centre for Islam and Pluralism
Jl. Metro Alam V, Blok TC 50, No 11
Pondok Indah
Jakarta Selatan
Indonesia
info@icipglobal.org This email address is being protected from spam
bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
+62-21-75907469
+62-21-7659604

Vision & Mission

Vision
The making of a harmonious relationship among various cultural and religious groups, transgressing all civilisations, based on principles of pluralism and multiculturalism.

Mission
ICIP’s main mission is to disseminate the ideas of Indonesia’s moderate and progressive Muslims to audiences in both Indonesia and around the world. It will also disseminate the ideas of international moderate and progressive Muslim thinkers to the Indonesian people.

ICIP adalah pendukung pemikiran Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd. Buku Abu Zayd juga ada yang diterbitkan oleh ICIP.

Kebebasan Berfikir di Dunia Islam:
Sebuah Refleksi

Seminar ICIP kali ini menghadirkan Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, seorang pemikir Muslim terkemuka dan professor dari Mesir namun tinggal di Belanda. Berdasarkan pengalaman akademiknya yang sulit, dia akan berbicara tentang kebebasan berfikir di dunia Islam, sesuatu yang belakangan ini mendapat tantangan keras dari kelompok Islamist. Pada tahun 1993, sebuah tim dari Universitas Kairo menolak ke-profesorannya. Menurut tim ini, Abu Zayd adalah seorang penghianat dan murtad. Penolakan, keputusan pengadilan dan pengasingan ke Eropa yang menakutkan hidupnya, menurut sebuah jurnal Inggris, ‘merupakan bukti bahwa pengaruh kelompok Islamist tidak sekedar dalam dakwah tetapi masuk juga ke dalam dunia Akademik dan Pengadilan yang merugikan penelitian ilmiah, kebebasan berfikir dan berekspresi, serta kemajuan ekonomi dan sosial’.

Sejauh mana kebebasan berfikir di dunia Islam telah terancam? Bagaimana kelanjutan pemikiran Islam? Apa perlunya melanjutkan pembaharuan metode tafsir? Semuanya adalah isu menarik yang akan didiskusikan pada seminar ini. Ini merupakan kunjungan Prof Abu Zayd pertama ke Indonesia, salah satu negara yang menarik baginya dan negara yang sejauh ini dia ketahui dari mahasiswa-mahasiswanya di Belanda. Ini merupakan kesempatan yang baik baginya untuk mengetahui kebebasakan berfikir di Indonesia dan tentu saja bagi kita untuk mengetahui lebih lanjut pengalaman Prof. Zayd sendiri tentang kebebasan befikir itu sendiri. Seminar ini juga merupakan sambutan dari ICIP bagi kunjungan dua minggu Prof. Zayd di Indonesia.

Seminar akan dilaksanakan pada:

Hari/tanggal : Friday, 27 August 2004.
Waktu : 15.00-17.00 WIB (3.00-5.00 pm)
Topik : ‘Freedom of Thought in Contemporary Muslim World: A Personal Reflection’
Pembicara Utama : Prof. Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd
Pembanding :
Tempat : ICIP Meeting Room, Jl. Hang Lekiu I/9 Kebayoran Baru
Contact Person : Putri – 021 7223034.

Sampai jumpa dengan Anda di seminar.

Jakarta, 25 Agustus 2004
Salam kami,

M. Syafii Anwar
Executive Director

From: “nuim hidayat” <nuimhidayat@gmail.com>
Subject: [INSISTS] GERAKAN LIBERALISASI PESANTREN (VIA ICIP)

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

GERAKAN LIBERALISASI PESANTREN (VIA ICIP)

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

GERAKAN LIBERALISASI PESANTREN (VIA ICIP)

GERAKAN LIBERALISASI PESANTREN MAKIN KREATIF DAN INTENSIF, melalui salah satu agen The Asia Foundation dan Ford Foundation di Indonesia, yaitu International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP).

Simaklah: http://www.icipglobal.org

ICIP Launches program on Open, Distance and e-Learning

On April 7-8, 2008, the program on Open, Distance and e-Learning for Islamic Transformation through Pesantren was officially launched by the International Center for Islam and Pluralism in cooperation with the Ford Foundation Jakarta. Those who took part in this launching included representatives from ICIP, the Ford Foundation, pesantren who are participating in the pilot project, foreign dignitaries, members of related NGOs and the press and featured keynote speeches by the Minister for Information and Communications Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nuh and the Minister for National Education Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo. Opening the program launch, Dr. M. Syafi’i Anwar explained the details of the ODeL program including making special note of the numbers of pesantren students who have begun using the internet facilities provided by ICIP and the Ford Foundation have already exceeded both ICIP and the Ford Foundations initial expectations.

Dr. Meiwita Budiharsana from the Ford Foundation Jakarta said that this program was not academic in nature but instead focused on providing real benefit for people at the grassroots level. She also said that she believed this program would be an important turning point towards making society more knowledgeable and creating space for open debate. She also expressed the hope that other parties would be interested enough in the program to support it further.

Following this Dr. Budiharsana officially launched the pesantrenglobal.orgwebsite, which will serve as an information and learning center for the program. A brief explanation of the websites features followed including the fact that each pesantren participating in the program has its own blog and it is hoped that they will be able to use this to keep the wider world informed on their progress and activities in their respective communities.

After a short break, the Minister for Information and Communications Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nuh delivered a keynote address, focusing on the theme of transformation. He argued that Indonesian society must transform itself from being a ‘ignorant society’ to being an ‘aware’ or even a ‘wise’ society. The main tool in attempting to bring about this transformation at the moment is technology and e-transformation. Pesantren too must also play a role in this transformation process, and as a result must no longer dismiss the internet and technology as ‘forbidden’ or haram. Instead they must treat it as being something suitable for the contemporary world, no different than eating a particular meal (for example breakfast) in accordance with its appropriate time (that is to say, breakfast time).

In the first seminar session on “The Issue of Equivalent Education through Information and Communications Technology in Indonesia: From Policy to Practice” Drs. Bahruddin from pesantren Qaryah Thayyibah spoke about his’ pesantren’s experience in placing an emphasis on developing life skills education for students. As part of this he showed several short documentary pieces on the pesantren and later showcased some of the works from students including a large number of books as well as several films.

Following this Prof. Dr. Komaruddin Hidayat discussed the state of education in Indonesia. He said that in the post-World War II era, countries have attempted to pass through certain phases in development. Indonesia is no exception in this regard, having passed through a period of political formation (the Soekarno period) and a market building period (the Soeharto period), however it now needs to move to the next stage: education building. He believed that pesantren will become the future of education in Indonesia, but to live up to this role pesantren leaders, kiai in particular, need to not only develop a culture of knowledge within pesantren, but also balance this by providing life skills rather than relying just on providing formal educational qualifications for students.

After the lunch break, the Minister for National Education Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo provided the second keynote speech for the day. He began by admitting it seemed to be somewhat of an anomaly, having people from the pesantren community studying about and from the internet. However this ultimately relates to the obligation for all Muslims to study and learn in life, no matter what social or economic situation they face. In this regard he commended ICIP and the Ford Foundation’s efforts to bring ODeL education to pesantren and said that any initiatives taken by society to improve education would be strongly supported by the government.

In the following session on Pesantren as ODeL Practitioners, Undang Sumantri representing the Director of Pesantren and Diniyah education discussed pesantren reactions to ODeL programs and the challenges they face. He said that pesantren traditionally have had a central role in Indonesian society as besides being the oldest educational institutions in the archipelago they have also produced many national leaders and figures. Some pesantren are ready and willing to take on ODeL programs, seeing them as a window to the contemporary world which they need to be a part of, while other pesantren remain resistant to such media as they consider their current teaching methods sufficient or are otherwise concerned with the negative effects of internet usage. The differing conditions of pesantren throughout the archipelago have a great bearing on the success of each ODeL program.

Elih Sudiapermana, representing the Director of Equivalent and Non-Formal Education discussed the basics of the equivalent education programs offered by the Department of National Education. She said that one of the main advantages of the Equivalent Education packages offered by the government was that they can be applied anywhere, whether this is in public schools or alternative schools such as pesantren.

On the second day of the launching, a mini-workshop was held which in particular discussed the human rights and life skills elements of the ODeL program. Discussing human rights content in the ODeL curriculum, Yanti Mukhtar argued that universalistic themes must play a role if the still predominantly Muslim community is to truly achieve the transformation desired in this program. Similarly Moeslim Abdurrahman said that respect for pluralism must be at the forefront of the program as well as the development of a critical attitude to all aspects of life. The internet itself was just a facility, but the actual content itself is what will effect real transformation amongst Muslims.

On the topic of life skills in general and entrepreneurship in particular, KH Fuad Affandi discussed the experience of his pesantren, Al-Ittifaq, in Bandung which operates a agribusiness. His pesantren involves the students in agribusiness activities providing them with business and agricultural skills while also seeing that their work goes towards paying for their education. In addition Ahmad Juwaeni from Republika’s Dompet Duhafa discussed some of the necessary steps for establishing an entrepreneurial venture including proper selection of participants and facilitators, preparation of infrastructure and follow up activities.

In the concluding session representatives from the pesantren participating in this program took the time to report on how the program has been running in their respective areas as well as what they felt needed to be done in the future. The pesantren found that the program had been very enthusiastically received by their local communities, and that the program was well worth continuing into the future. However some also felt that further development needs to be made in infrastructure, and in terms of curriculum that each pesantren was different in what it and the local community surrounding it needs.

//DALAM BERITA INI, kok disebut-sebut ADA KETERLIBATAN Dompet Dhuafa Republika? Apa benar? Siapa yang bisa klarifikasi?/////

From: “nuim hidayat” <nuimhidayat@gmail.com>
Subject: [INSISTS] GERAKAN LIBERALISASI PESANTREN (VIA ICIP)

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group’s plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group’s plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 21 April 2008

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9474.shtml

(EI illustration)

A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.

A series of emails by members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), provided to The Electronic Intifada (EI), indicate the group is engaged in what one activist termed a “war” on Wikipedia.

A 13 March action alert signed by Gilead Ini, a “Senior Research Analyst” at CAMERA, calls for “volunteers who can work as ‘editors’ to ensure” that Israel-related articles on Wikipedia are “free of bias and error, and include necessary facts and context.” However, subsequent communications indicate that the group not only wanted to keep the effort secret from the media, the public, and Wikipedia administrators, but that the material they intended to introduce included discredited claims that could smear Palestinians and Muslims and conceal Israel’s true history.

With over two million articles in English on every topic imaginable, Wikipedia has become a primary reference source for Internet users around the world and a model for collaboratively produced projects. Openness and good faith are among Wikipedia’s core principles. Any person in the world can write or edit articles, but Wikipedia has strict guidelines and procedures for accountability intended to ensure quality control and prevent vandalism, plagiarism or distortion. It is because of these safeguards that articles on key elements of the Palestine-Israel conflict have generally remained well-referenced, useful and objective. The CAMERA plan detailed in the e-mails obtained by EI appears intended to circumvent these controls.

In the past, CAMERA has gained notoriety for its tactic of accusing virtually anyone who does not toe a right-wing pro-Israel line of bias. The group has even accused editors and reporters of the Israeli daily Haaretz of being “extreme” and participating in “radical anti-Israel activity.” Jeffrey Dvorkin, the former ombudsman of National Public Radio (NPR), frequently criticized by CAMERA for an alleged pro-Palestinian bias, wrote on the web publication Salon in February 2008 that “as a consequence of its campaign against NPR, CAMERA acted as the enabler for some seriously disturbed people,” citing persistent telephone threats he received in the wake of CAMERA campaigns.

Need for stealth and secrecy

Download CAMERA’s emails [PDF - 2.7 MB]

Throughout the documents EI obtained, CAMERA operatives stress the need for stealth and secrecy. In his initial action alert, Ini requests that recipients “not forward it to members of the news media.” In a 17 March follow-up email sent to volunteers, Ini explains that he wants to make the orchestrated effort appear to be the work of unaffiliated individuals. Thus he advises that “There is no need to advertise the fact that we have these group discussions.”

Anticipating possible objections to CAMERA’s scheme, Ini conjectures that “Anti-Israel editors will seize on anything to try to discredit people who attempt to challenge their problematic assertions, and will be all too happy to pretend, and announce, that a ‘Zionist’ cabal (the same one that controls the banks and Hollywood?) is trying to hijack Wikipedia.”

But stealth and misrepresentation are presented as the keys to success. Ini suggests that after volunteers sign up as editors for Wikipedia they should “avoid editing Israel-related articles for a short period of time.” This strategy is intended to “avoid the appearance of being one-topic editors,” thus attracting unwanted attention.

Ini counsels that volunteers “might also want to avoid, for obvious reasons, picking a user name that marks you as pro-Israel, or that lets people know your real name.” To further conceal the identity of CAMERA-organized editors, Ini warns, “don’t forget to always log in before making [edits]. If you make changes while not logged in, Wikipedia will record your computer’s IP address” — a number that allows identification of the location of a computer connected to the Internet.

A veteran Wikipedia editor, known as “Zeq,” who according to the emails is colluding with CAMERA, also provided advice to CAMERA volunteers on how they could disguise their agenda. In a 20 March email often in misspelled English, Zeq writes, “You don’t want to be precived [sic] as a ‘CAMERA’ defender’ on wikipedia [sic] that is for sure.” One strategy to avoid that is to “edit articles at random, make friends not enemies — we will need them later on. This is a marathon not a sprint.”

Zeq also identifies, in a 25 March email, another Wikipedia editor, “Jayjg,” whom he views as an effective and independent pro-Israel advocate. Zeq instructs CAMERA operatives to work with and learn from Jayjg, but not to reveal the existence of their group even to him fearing “it would place him in a bind” since “[h]e is very loyal to the wikipedia [sic] system” and might object to CAMERA’s underhanded tactics.

“Uninvolved administrators”

The emphasis on secrecy is apparently not only to aid the undetected editing of articles, but also to facilitate CAMERA’s takeover of key administrator positions in Wikipedia.

For Zeq a key goal is to have CAMERA operatives elected as administrators — senior editors who can override the decisions of others when controversies arise. When disputes arise about hotly contested topics, such as Israel and Palestine, often only an “uninvolved administrator” — one who is considered neutral because he or she has not edited or written articles on the topic — can arbitrate.

Hence, Zeq advises in a 21 March email that “One or more of you who want to take this route should stay away from any Israel realted [sic] articles for one month until they [sic] interact in a positive way with 100 wikipedia [sic] editors who would be used later to vote you as an administrator.”

Once these CAMERA operatives have successfully infiltrated as “neutral” editors, they could then exercise their privileges to assert their own political agenda.

In addition, Zeq suggests making deliberately provocative edits to Palestine-related articles. He hopes that editors he assumes are Palestinian will delete these changes, and then CAMERA operatives could report them to administrators so they could be sanctioned and have their editing privileges suspended.

Passing propaganda as fact

Gilead Ini’s 17 March email provides specific advice on how to pass off pro-Israel propaganda or opinion as fact meeting Wikipedia’s strict guidelines:

“So, for example, imagine that you get rid of or modify a problematic sentence in an article alleging that ‘Palestinian [sic] become suicide bombers to respond to Israel’s oppressive policies.’ You should, in parallel leave a comment on that article’s discussion page (either after or before making the change). Avoid defending the edit by arguing that ‘Israel’s policies aren’t ‘oppression,’ they are defensive. And anyway Palestinians obviously become suicide bombers for other reasons for example hate education!’ Instead, describe how this sentence violates Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines. One of the core principles is that assertions should adhere to a Neutral Point of View, usually abbreviated NPOV. (The opposite of NPOV is POV, or Point of View, which is basically another way of saying subjective statement, or opinion.) So it would be best to note on the discussion page that ‘This sentence violates Wikipedia’s NPOV policy, since the description of Israel’s policies as ‘oppressive’ is an opinion. In addition, it is often noted by Middle East experts that one of the reasons Palestinians decide to become suicide bombers is hate education and glorification of martyrdom in Palestinian society …’”

In fact, there have been numerous studies debunking claims about Palestinian “hate education,” or “glorification of martyrdom” causing suicide bombings (such as Dying to Win by University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape) though this claim remains a favorite canard of pro-Israel activists seeking to distract attention from the effects of Israel’s occupation and other well-documented and systematic human rights abuses in fueling violence.

Zeq specifically names articles targeted for this kind of treatment including those on the 1948 Palestinian Exodus, Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, Hamas, Hizballah, Arab citizens of Israel, anti-Zionism, al-Nakba, the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian right of return.

Interestingly the CAMERA editors also target the article on the early Islamic period concept of Dhimmi, a protected status for non-Muslims which historically allowed Jews to thrive in Muslim-ruled lands while other Jews were being persecuted in Christian Europe. Pro-Israel activists have often tried to portray the concept of Dhimmi as akin to the Nuremberg laws in order to denigrate Muslim culture and justify ahistorical Zionist claims that Jews could never live safely in majority Muslim countries.

Also among the emails is a discussion about how to alter the article on the massacre of Palestinian civilians in the village of Deir Yassin by Zionist militiamen on 9 April 1948. Unable to debunk the facts of the massacre outright, the CAMERA activists hunt for quotes from “reputable historians” who can cast doubt on it. Their strategy is not dissimilar from those who attempt to present evolution, or global climate change as “controversial” regardless of the weight of the scientific evidence, simply because the facts do not accord with their belief system.

Zeq has already made extensive edits to the Wikipedia article on Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist murdered by an Israeli soldier in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003. As a result of these and other edits Zeq has himself been a controversial figure among Wikipedia editors, suggesting his own stealth tactics may not be working.

“We will go to war”

Zeq, however, counsels CAMERA operatives to be patient and lie low until they build up their strength. “We will go to war after we have build our army, equiped it trained [sic],” he wrote on 9 April. “So please if you want to win this war help us build ou[r] army. let’s not just rush in and achieve nothing, or abit more than nothing [sic].”


www.montrealmuslimnews.net

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Holocaust of the American Indian Peoples

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Holocaust of the American Indian Peoples

“I did not know how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream…”

— Black Elk
Oglala Holy Man
on the aftermath of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota
December, 1890
where the United States Army Seventh Cavalry used gattling guns
to slaughter 300 helpless Lakota children, men and women

The Anglo-American genocide of Indian peoples is actually part of the 500-year tradition of Spanish genocide begun by the sadistic “conquistadors” — which continues to this day. The first section of this well-written and researched article describes the horrific sadism of Christopher Columbus and his men. The second section describes the English-American tradition of genocide.

Excerpted from Rachel’s Environment & Health Weekly newsletter, #671, with added notes where indicated.

The Beginnings of the Spanish Genocide

Columbus made four voyages to the New World. [1] The initial voyage reveals several important things about the man. First, he had genuine courage because few ship’s captains had ever pointed their prow toward the open ocean, the complete unknown. Secondly, from numerous of his letters and reports we learn that his overarching goal was to seize wealth that belonged to others, even his own men, by whatever means necessary.

Columbus’s Spanish royal sponsors (Ferdinand and Isabella) had promised a lifetime pension to the first man who sighted land. A few hours after midnight on October 12, 1492, Juan Rodriguez Bermeo, a lookout on the Pinta, cried out — in the bright moonlight, he had spied land ahead. Most likely Bermeo was seeing the white beaches of Watling Island in the Bahamas.

As they waited impatiently for dawn, Columbus let it be known that he had spotted land several hours before Bermeo. According to Columbus’s journal of that voyage, his ships were, at the time, traveling 10 miles per hour. To have spotted land several hours before Bermeo, Columbus would have had to see more than 30 miles over the horizon, a physical impossibility. Nevertheless Columbus took the lifetime pension for himself. [1,2]

Columbus installed himself as Governor of the Caribbean islands, with headquarters on Hispaniola (the large island now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic). He described the people, the Arawaks (called by some the Tainos) this way:

“The people of this island and of all the other islands which I have found and seen, or have not seen, all go naked, men and women, as their mothers bore them, except that some women cover one place only with the leaf of a plant or with a net of cotton which they make for that purpose.”They have no iron or steel or weapons, nor are they capable of using them, although they are well-built people of handsome stature, because they are wondrous timid…. [T]hey are so artless and free with all they possess, that no one would believe it without having seen it.

“Of anything they have, if you ask them for it, they never say no; rather they invite the person to share it, and show as much love as if they were giving their hearts; and whether the thing be of value or of small price, at once they are content with whatever little thing of whatever kind may be given to them.” [3, pg.63; 1, pg.118]

Added note:
In an ominous foreshadowing of the horrors to come, Columbus also wrote in his journal:

“I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased.”

After Columbus had surveyed the Caribbean region, he returned to Spain to prepare his invasion of the Americas. From accounts of his second voyage, we can begin to understand what the New World represented to Columbus and his men — it offered them life without limits, unbridled freedom.

Columbus took the title “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” and proceeded to unleash a reign of terror unlike anything seen before or since. When he was finished, eight million Arawaks — virtually the entire native population of Hispaniola — had been exterminated by torture, murder, forced labor, starvation, disease and despair. [3, pg.x]
A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described first-hand how the Spaniards terrorized the natives. [4] Las Casas gives numerous eye-witness accounts of repeated mass murder and routine sadistic torture.

As Barry Lopez has accurately summarized it,

“One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people.‘Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,’ he says, ‘as no age can parallel….’

“The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that ‘devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.’ They used nursing infants for dog food.” [2, pg.4]

This was not occasional violence — it was a systematic, prolonged campaign of brutality and sadism, a policy of torture, mass murder, slavery and forced labor that continued for CENTURIES.

“The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world,” writes historian David E. Stannard. [3, pg.x]

Eventually more than 100 million natives fell under European rule. Their extermination would follow. As the natives died out, they were replaced by slaves brought from Africa.

To make a long story short, Columbus established a pattern that held for five centuries — a “ruthless, angry search for wealth,” as Barry Lopez describes it.

“It set a tone in the Americas. The quest for personal possessions was to be, from the outset, a series of raids, irresponsible and criminal, a spree, in which an end to it — the slaves, the timber, the pearls, the fur, the precious ores, and, later, arable land, coal, oil, and iron ore — was never visible, in which an end to it had no meaning.”

Indeed, there WAS no end to it, no limit. As Hans Koning has observed,

“There was no real ending to the conquest of Latin America. It continued in remote forests and on far mountainsides. It is still going on in our day when miners and ranchers invade land belonging to the Amazon Indians and armed thugs occupy Indian villages in the backwoods of Central America.” [6, pg.46]

In the 1980s, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, the U.S. government knowingly gave direct aid to genocidal campaigns that murdered tens of thousands Mayan Indian people in Guatemala and elsewhere. [7]

The pattern holds.

Added note:
And still, in 2001, the genocide continues in Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala.Continuing the gruesome tradition of the 1980s, which also terrorized the people of Nicaragua, U.S. government-funded fascist paramilitaries mass-murder Indians in Central and South America to this day. The bestial carnage committed by Uncle Sham’s proxy armies includes countless disappearances, epidemic rape and torture. The Colombian paramilitaries have even made their own gruesome addition to the usual list of horrors: public beheadings.

This latest stage of the American Indian holocaust is enthusiastically supported by the cocaine-smuggling CIA, the Pentagon and all the rest of the United States Corporate Mafia Government.

See:
Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy
by Javier Giraldo

The English-American Genocide

Unfortunately, Columbus and the Spaniards were not unique. They conquered Mexico and what is now the Southwestern U.S., with forays into Florida, the Carolinas, even into Virginia. From Virginia northward, the land had been taken by the English who, if anything, had even less tolerance for the indigenous people.

As Hans Koning says,

“From the beginning, the Spaniards saw the native Americans as natural slaves, beasts of burden, part of the loot. When working them to death was more economical than treating them somewhat humanely, they worked them to death.”The English, on the other hand, had no use for the native peoples. They saw them as devil worshippers, savages who were beyond salvation by the church, and exterminating them increasingly became accepted policy.” [6, pg.14]

The British arrived in Jamestown in 1607. By 1610 the intentional extermination of the native population was well along. As David E. Stannard has written,

“Hundreds of Indians were killed in skirmish after skirmish. Other hundreds were killed in successful plots of mass poisoning. They were hunted down by dogs, ‘blood-Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives [mastiffs] to seize them.’”Their canoes and fishing weirs were smashed, their villages and agricultural fields burned to the ground. Indian peace offers were accepted by the English only until their prisoners were returned; then, having lulled the natives into false security, the colonists returned to the attack.

“It was the colonists’ expressed desire that the Indians be exterminated, rooted ‘out from being longer a people upon the face of the Earth’s In a single raid the settlers destroyed corn sufficient to feed four thousand people for a year.

“Starvation and the massacre of non-combatants was becoming the preferred British approach to dealing with the natives.” [3, pg.106]

In Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey extermination was officially promoted by a “scalp bounty” on dead Indians.

“Indeed, in many areas it [murdering Indians] became an outright business,” writes historian Ward Churchill. [5, pg.182]

Indians were defined as subhumans, lower than animals. George Washington compared them to wolves, “beasts of prey” and called for their total destruction. [3, pgs.119-120]

Andrew Jackson (whose innocent-looking portrait appears on the U.S. $20 bill today) in 1814

“supervised the mutilation of 800 or more Creek Indian corpses — the bodies of men, women and children that [his troops] had massacred — cutting off their noses to count and preserve a record of the dead, slicing long strips of flesh from their bodies to tan and turn into bridle reins.” [5, pg.186]

The English policy of extermination — another name for genocide — grew more insistent as settlers pushed westward:

  • In 1851 the Governor of California officially called for the extermination of the Indians in his state. [3, pg.144]
  • On March 24, 1863, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver ran an editorial titled, “Exterminate Them.”
  • On April 2, 1863, the Santa Fe New Mexican advocated “extermination of the Indians.” [5, pg.228]
  • In 1867, General William Tecumseh Sherman said:

“We must act with vindictive earnestness against the [Lakotas, known to whites as the Sioux] even to their extermination, men, women and children.” [5, pg.240]

In 1891, Frank L. Baum (gentle author of “The Wizard Of Oz”) wrote in the Aberdeen (Kansas) Saturday Pioneer that the army should “finish the job” by the “total annihilation” of the few remaining Indians.

The U.S. did not follow through on Baum’s macabre demand for there really was no need. By then the native population had been reduced to 2.5% of its original numbers and 97.5% of the aboriginal land base had been expropriated and renamed “The land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Hundreds upon hundreds of native tribes with unique languages, learning, customs, and cultures had simply been erased from the face of the earth, most often without even the pretense of justice or law.
Today we can see the remnant cultural arrogance of Christopher Columbus and Captain John Smith shadowed in the cult of the “global free market” which aims to eradicate indigenous cultures and traditions world-wide, to force all peoples to adopt the ways of the U.S.

Today’s globalist “Free Trade” is merely yesterday’s “Manifest Destiny” writ large.

But as Barry Lopez says,

“This violent corruption needn’t define us…. We can say, yes, this happened, and we are ashamed. We repudiate the greed. We recognize and condemn the evil. And we see how the harm has been perpetuated. But, five hundred years later, we intend to mean something else in the world.”

If we chose, we could set limits on ourselves for once. We could declare enough is enough.

Notes
1. J.M. Cohen, editor, The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus
London: Penguin Books, 1969; ISBN 0-14-044217-0
2. Barry Lopez, The Rediscovery of North America
Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1990; ISBN 0-8131-1742-9
3. David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World
New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; ISBN 0-19-507581-1
4. Bartolome de las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account
translated by Herma Briffault
Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992; ISBN 0-8018-4430-4
5. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997; ISBN 0-87286-323-9
6. Hans Koning, The Conquest of America: How The Indian Nations Lost Their Continent
New York: Monthly Review Press, 1993, pg. 46.; ISBN 0-85345-876-6
7. For example, see Mireya Navarro, “Guatemalan Army Waged ‘Genocide,’ New Report Finds,”
NEW YORK TIMES, February 26, 1999, pg. unknown.
The NY Times described “torture, kidnapping and execution of thousands of civilians” — most of them Mayan Indians — a campaign to which the U.S. government contributed “money and training.”

Bibliography

The Journals of Christopher Columbus
(available at any larger library)
Lies My Teacher Told Me:
Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James Loewen
Colombia:
The Genocidal Democracy
by Javier Giraldo
A People’s History of the United States:
1492 — Present
by Howard Zinn
War At Home:
Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It
by Brian Glick
The American Presidency
by Gore Vidal
See also:

Experiences of the American Indian Peoples

This bibliography has all the above titles and more, including Leonard Peltier’s book, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance.

Related sites

Ishgooda Homepage
http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/
Debunking the Myths: Christopher Columbus, Thanksgiving
http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/racial/holid1.htm
Myth Making: Columbus
http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/racial/holid3.htm
Columbus on Trial
http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/racial/holid4.htm
Examining the reputation of Christopher Columbus
by Jack Weatherford
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/taino/docs/columbus.html
Paul Pureau’s American Indian Movement email list
Wiyot Tribe Sacred Site Fund
http://www.wiyot.com/fund.htm

source: http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/IndianGenocide.html

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

12 Answers to Questions No One Is Asking About Iraq

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

12 Answers to Questions No One Is Asking About Iraq

by Tom Engelhardt
TomDispatch

April 21, 2008

Can there be any question that, since the invasion of 2003, Iraq has been unraveling? And here’s the curious thing: Despite a lack of decent information and analysis on crucial aspects of the Iraqi catastrophe, despite the way much of the Iraq story fell off newspaper front pages and out of the TV news in the last year, despite so many reports on the “success” of the president’s surge strategy, Americans sense this perfectly well. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 56 percent of Americans “say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties” and this has, as the Post notes, been a majority position since January 2007, the month that the surge was first announced. Imagine what might happen if the American public knew more about the actual state of affairs in Iraq – and of thinking in Washington. So, here, in an attempt to unravel the situation in ever-unraveling Iraq are 12 answers to questions which should be asked far more often in this country:

1. Yes, the war has morphed into the U.S. military’s worst Iraq nightmare: Few now remember, but before George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, top administration and Pentagon officials had a single overriding nightmare – not chemical, but urban, warfare. Saddam Hussein, they feared, would lure American forces into “Fortress Baghdad,” as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld labeled it. There, they would find themselves fighting block by block, especially in the warren of streets that make up the Iraqi capital’s poorest districts.

When American forces actually entered Baghdad in early April 2003, however, even Saddam’s vaunted Republican Guard units had put away their weapons and gone home. It took five years but, as of now, American troops are indeed fighting in the warren of streets in Sadr City, the Shi’ite slum of two and a half million in eastern Baghdad largely controlled by Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia. The U.S. military, in fact, recently experienced its worst week of 2008 in terms of casualties, mainly in and around Baghdad. So, mission accomplished – the worst fear of 2003 has now been realized.

2. No, there was never an exit strategy from Iraq because the Bush administration never intended to leave – and still doesn’t: Critics of the war have regularly gone after the Bush administration for its lack of planning, including its lack of an “exit strategy.” In this, they miss the point. The Bush administration arrived in Iraq with four mega-bases on the drawing boards. These were meant to undergird a future American garrisoning of that country and were to house at least 30,000 American troops, as well as U.S. air power, for the indefinite future. The term used for such places wasn’t “permanent base,” but the more charming and euphemistic “enduring camp.” (In fact, as we learned recently, the Bush administration refuses to define any American base on foreign soil anywhere on the planet, including ones in Japan for over 60 years, as permanent.) Those four monster bases in Iraq (and many others) were soon being built at the cost of multibillions and are, even today, being significantly upgraded. In October 2007, for instance, National Public Radio’s defense correspondent Guy Raz visited Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, which houses about 40,000 American troops, contractors, and Defense Department civilian employees, and described it as “one giant construction project, with new roads, sidewalks, and structures going up across this 16-square-mile fortress in the center of Iraq, all with an eye toward the next few decades.”

These mega-bases, like “Camp Cupcake” (al-Asad Air Base), nicknamed for its amenities, are small town-sized with massive facilities, including PXs, fast-food outlets, and the latest in communications. They have largely been ignored by the American media and so have played no part in the debate about Iraq in this country, but they are the most striking on-the-ground evidence of the plans of an administration that simply never expected to leave. To this day, despite the endless talk about drawdowns and withdrawals, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the latest news about secret negotiations for a future Status of Forces Agreement on the American presence in that country indicates that U.S. officials are calling for “an open-ended military presence” and “no limits on numbers of U.S. forces, the weapons they are able to deploy, their legal status or powers over Iraqi citizens, going far beyond long-term U.S. security agreements with other countries.”

3. Yes, the United States is still occupying Iraq (just not particularly effectively): In June 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), then ruling the country, officially turned over “sovereignty” to an Iraqi government largely housed in the American-controlled Green Zone in Baghdad and the occupation officially ended. However, the day before the head of the CPA, L. Paul Bremer III, slipped out of the country without fanfare, he signed, among other degrees, Order 17, which became (and, remarkably enough, remains) the law of the land. It is still a document worth reading as it essentially granted to all occupying forces and allied private companies what, in the era of colonialism, used to be called “extraterritoriality” – the freedom not to be in any way subject to Iraqi law or jurisdiction, ever. And so the occupation ended without ever actually ending. With 160,000 troops still in Iraq, not to speak of an unknown number of hired guns and private security contractors, the U.S. continues to occupy the country, whatever the legalities might be (including a UN mandate and the claim that we are part of a “coalition”). The only catch is this: As of now, the U.S. is simply the most technologically sophisticated and potentially destructive of Iraq’s proliferating militias – and outside the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, it is capable of controlling only the ground that its troops actually occupy at any moment.

4. Yes, the war was about oil: Oil was hardly mentioned in the mainstream media or by the administration before the invasion was launched. The president, when he spoke of Iraq’s vast petroleum reserves at all, piously referred to them as the sacred “patrimony of the people of Iraq.” But an administration of former energy execs – with a national security adviser who once sat on the board of Chevron and had a double-hulled oil tanker, the Condoleezza Rice, named after her (until she took office), and a vice president who was especially aware of the globe’s potentially limited energy supplies – certainly had oil reserves and energy flows on the brain. They knew, in Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz’s apt phrase, that Iraq was afloat on “a sea of oil” and that it sat strategically in the midst of the oil heartlands of the planet.

It wasn’t a mistake that, in 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney’s semi-secret Energy Task Force set itself the “task” of opening up the energy sectors of various Middle Eastern countries to “foreign investment”; or that it scrutinized “a detailed map of Iraq’s oil fields, together with the (non-American) oil companies scheduled to develop them”; or that, according to the New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer, the National Security Council directed its staff “to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the ‘melding’ of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: ‘the review of operational policies towards rogue states,’ such as Iraq, and ‘actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields’”; or that the only American troops ordered to guard buildings in Iraq, after Baghdad fell, were sent to the Oil Ministry (and the Interior Ministry, which housed Saddam Hussein’s dreaded secret police); or that the first “reconstruction” contract was issued to Cheney’s former firm, Halliburton, for “emergency repairs” to those patrimonial oil fields. Once in charge in Baghdad, as sociologist Michael Schwartz has made clear, the administration immediately began guiding recalcitrant Iraqis toward denationalizing and opening up their oil industry, as well as bringing in the big boys.

Though rampant insecurity has kept the Western oil giants on the sidelines, the American-shaped “Iraqi” oil law quickly became a “benchmark” of “progress” in Washington and remains a constant source of prodding and advice from American officials in Baghdad. Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan put the oil matter simply and straightforwardly in his memoir in 2007: “I am saddened,” he wrote, “that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” In other words, in a variation on the old Bill Clinton campaign mantra: It’s the oil, stupid. Greenspan was, unsurprisingly, roundly assaulted for the obvious naiveté of his statement, from which, when it proved inconvenient, he quickly retreated. But if this administration hadn’t had oil on the brain in 2002-2003, given the importance of Iraq’s reserves, Congress should have impeached the president and vice president for that.

5. No, our new embassy in Baghdad is not an “embassy”: When, for more than three-quarters of a billion dollars, you construct a complex – regularly described as “Vatican-sized” – of at least 20 “blast-resistant” buildings on 104 acres of prime Baghdad real estate, with “fortified working space” and a staff of at least 1,000 (plus several thousand guards, cooks, and general factotums), when you deeply embunker it, equip it with its own electricity and water systems, its own anti-missile defense system, its own PX, and its own indoor and outdoor basketball courts, volleyball court, and indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, among other things, you haven’t built an “embassy” at all. What you’ve constructed in the heart of the heart of another country is more than a citadel, even if it falls short of a city-state. It is, at a minimum, a monument to Bush administration dreams of domination in Iraq and in what its adherents once liked to call “the Greater Middle East.”

Just about ready to open, after the normal construction mishaps in Iraq, it will constitute the living definition of diplomatic overkill. It will, according to a Senate estimate, now cost Americans $1.2 billion a year just to be “represented” in Iraq. The “embassy” is, in fact, the largest headquarters on the planet for the running of an occupation. Functionally, it is also another well-fortified enduring camp with the amenities of home. Tell that to the Shi’ite militiamen now mortaring the Green Zone as if it were… enemy-occupied territory.

6. No, the Iraqi government is not a government: The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has next to no presence in Iraq beyond the Green Zone; it delivers next to no services; it has next to no ability to spend its own oil money, reconstruct the country, or do much of anything else, and it most certainly does not hold a monopoly on the instruments of violence. It has no control over the provinces of northern Iraq which operate as a near-independent Kurdish state. Non-Kurdish Iraqi troops are not even allowed on its territory. Maliki’s government cannot control the largely Sunni provinces of the country, where its officials are regularly termed “the Iranians” (a reference to the heavily Shi’ite government’s closeness to neighboring Iran) and are considered the equivalent of representatives of a foreign occupying power; and it does not control the Shi’ite south, where power is fragmented among the militias of ISCI (the Badr Organization), Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, and the armed adherents of the Fadhila Party, a Sadrist offshoot, among others.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has been derisively nicknamed “the mayor of Kabul” for his government’s lack of control over much territory outside the national capital. It would be a step forward for Maliki if he were nicknamed “the mayor of Baghdad.” Right now, his troops, heavily backed by American forces, are fighting for some modest control over Shi’ite cities (or parts of cities) from Basra to Baghdad.

7. No, the surge is not over: Two weeks ago, amid much hoopla, Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker spent two days before Congress discussing the president’s surge strategy in Iraq and whether it has been a “success.” But that surge – the ground one in which an extra 30,000-plus American troops were siphoned into Baghdad and, to a lesser extent, adjoining provinces, was by then already so over. In fact, all but about 10,000 of those troops will be home by the end of July, not because the president has had any urge for a drawdown, but, as Fred Kaplan of Slate.com wrote recently, “because of simple math. The five extra combat brigades, which were deployed to Iraq with the surge, each have 15-month tours of duty; the 15 months will be up in July… and the U.S. Army and Marines have no combat brigades ready to replace them.”

On the other hand, in all those days of yak, neither the general with so much more “martial bling” on his chest than any victorious World War II commander, nor the white-haired ambassador uttered a word about the surge that is ongoing – the air surge that began in mid-2007 and has yet to end. Explain it as you will, but, with rare exceptions, American reporters in Iraq generally don’t look up or more of them would have noticed that the extra air units surged into that country and the region in the last year are now being brought to bear over Iraq’s cities. Today, as fighting goes on in Sadr City, American helicopters and Hellfire-missile armed Predator drones reportedly circle overhead almost constantly and air strikes of various kinds on city neighborhoods are on the rise. Yet the air surge in Iraq remains unacknowledged here and so is not a subject for discussion, debate, or consideration when it comes to our future in Iraq.

8. No, the Iraqi army will never “stand up”: It can’t. It’s not a national army. It’s not that Iraqis can’t fight – or fight bravely. Ask the Sunni insurgents. Ask the Mahdi Army militia of Moqtada al-Sadr. It’s not that Iraqis are incapable of functioning in a national army. In the bitter Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, Iraqi Shi’ite as well as Sunni conscripts, led by a largely Sunni officer corps, fought Iranian troops fiercely in battle after pitched battle. But from Fallujah in 2004 to today, Iraqi army (and police) units, wheeled into battle (often at the behest of the Americans), have regularly broken and run, or abandoned their posts, or gone over to the other side, or, at the very least, fought poorly. In the recent offensive launched by the Maliki government in Basra, military and police units up against a single resistant militia, the Mahdi Army, deserted in sizable numbers, while other units, when not backed by the Americans, gave poor showings. At least 1,300 troops and police (including 37 senior police officers) were recently “fired” by Maliki for dereliction of duty, while two top commanders were removed as well.

Though American training began in 2004 and, by 2005, the president was regularly talking about us “standing down” as soon as the Iraqi army “stood up,” as Charles Hanley of the Associated Press points out, “Year by year, the goal of deploying a capable, freestanding Iraqi army has seemed to always slip further into the future.” He adds, “In the latest shift, the Pentagon’s new quarterly status report quietly drops any prediction of when local units will take over security responsibility for Iraq. Last year’s reports had forecast a transition in 2008.” According to Hanley, the chief American trainer of Iraqi forces, Lt. Gen. James Dubik, now estimates that the military will not be able to guard the country’s borders effectively until 2018.

No wonder. The “Iraqi military” is not in any real sense a national military at all. Its troops generally lack heavy weaponry, and it has neither a real air force nor a real navy. Its command structures are integrated into the command structure of the U.S. military, while the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy are the real Iraqi air force and navy. It is reliant on the U.S. military for much of its logistics and resupply, even after an investment of $22 billion by the American taxpayer. It represents a non-government, is riddled with recruits from Shi’ite militias (especially the Badr brigades), and is riven about who its enemy is (or enemies are) and why. It cannot be a “national” army because it has, in essence, nothing to stand up for.

You can count on one thing, as long as we are “training” and “advising” the Iraqi military, however many years down the line, you will read comments like this one from an American platoon sergeant, after an Iraqi front-line unit abandoned its positions in the ongoing battle for control of parts of Sadr City: “It bugs the hell out of me. We don’t see any progress being made at all. We hear these guys in firefights. We know if we are not up there helping these guys out we are making very little progress.”

9. No, the U.S. military does not stand between Iraq and fragmentation: The U.S. invasion and the Bush administration’s initial occupation policies decisively smashed Iraq’s fragile “national” sense of self. Since then, the Bush administration, a motor for chaos and fragmentation, has destroyed the national (if dictatorial) government, allowed the capital and much of the country (as well as its true patrimony of ancient historical objects and sites) to be looted, disbanded the Iraqi military, and deconstructed the national economy. Ever since, whatever the administration rhetoric, the U.S. has only presided over the further fragmentation of the country. Its military, in fact, employs a specific policy of urban fragmentation in which it regularly builds enormous concrete walls around neighborhoods, supposedly for “security” and “reconstruction,” that actually cut them off from their social and economic surroundings. And, of course, Iraq has in these years been fragmented in other staggering ways with an estimated four-plus million Iraqis driven into exile abroad or turned into internal refugees.

According to Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times, there are now at least 28 different militias in the country. The longer the U.S. remains even somewhat in control, the greater the possibility of further fragmentation. Initially, the fragmentation was sectarian – into Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia regions, but each of those regions has its own potentially hostile parts and so its points of future conflict and further fragmentation. If the U.S. military spent the early years of its occupation fighting a Sunni insurgency in the name of a largely Shi’ite (and Kurdish) government, it is now fighting a Shi’ite militia, while paying and arming former Sunni insurgents, relabeled “Sons of Iraq.” Iran is also clearly sending arms into a country that is, in any case, awash in weaponry. Without a real national government, Iraq has descended into a welter of militia-controlled neighborhoods, city states, and provincial or regional semi-governments. Despite all the talk of American-supported “reconciliation,” Juan Cole described the present situation well at his Informed Comment blog: “Maybe the U.S. in Iraq is not the little boy with his finger in the dike. Maybe we are workers with jackhammers instructed to make the hole in the dike much more huge.”

10. No, the U.S. military does not stand between Iraq and civil war: As with fragmentation, the U.S. military’s presence has, in fact, been a motor for civil war in that country. The invasion and subsequent chaos, as well as punitive acts against the Sunni minority, allowed Sunni extremists, some of whom took the name “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” to establish themselves as a force in the country for the first time. Later, U.S. military operations in both Sunni and Shi’ite areas regularly repressed local militias – almost the only forces capable of bringing some semblance of security to urban neighborhoods – opening the way for the most extreme members of the other community (Sunni suicide or car bombers and Shi’ite death squads) to attack. It’s worth remembering that it was in the surge months of 2007, when all those extra American troops hit Baghdad neighborhoods, that many of the city’s mixed or Sunni neighborhoods were most definitively “cleansed” by death squads, producing a 75-80 percent Shi’ite capital. Iraq is now embroiled in what Juan Cole has termed “three civil wars,” two of which (in the south and the north) are largely beyond the reach of limited American ground forces and all of which could become far worse. The still low-level struggle between Kurds and Arabs (with the Turks hovering nearby) for the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north may be the true explosion point to come. The U.S. military sits precariously atop this mess, at best putting off to the future aspects of the present civil-war landscape, but more likely intensifying it.

11. No, al-Qaeda will not control Iraq if we leave (and neither will Iran): The latest figures tell the story. Of 658 suicide bombings globally in 2007 (more than double those of any year in the last quarter century), 542, according to the Washington Post‘s Robin Wright, took place in occupied Iraq or Afghanistan, mainly Iraq. In other words, the American occupation of that land has been a motor for acts of terrorism (as occupations will be). There was no al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia before the invasion and Iraq was no Afghanistan. The occupation under whatever name will continue to create “terrorists,” no matter how many times the administration claims that “al-Qaeda” is on the run. With the departure of U.S. troops, it’s clear that homegrown Sunni extremists (and the small number of foreign jihadists who work with them), already a minority of a minority, will more than meet their match in facing the Sunni mainstream. The Sunni Awakening Movement came into existence, in part, to deal with such self-destructive extremism (and its fantasies of a Taliban-style society) before the Americans even noticed that it was happening. When the Americans leave, “al-Qaeda” (and whatever other groups the Bush administration subsumes under that catchall title) will undoubtedly lose much of their raison d’être or simply be crushed.

As for Iran, the moment the Bush administration finally agreed to a popular democratic vote in occupied Iraq, it ensured one thing – that the Shi’ite majority would take control, which in practice meant religio-political parties that, throughout the Saddam Hussein years, had generally been close to, or in exile in, Iran. Everything the Bush administration has done since has only ensured the growth of Iranian influence among Shi’ite groups. This is surely meant by the Iranians as, in part, a threat/trump card, should the Bush administration launch an attack on that country. After all, crucial U.S. resupply lines from Kuwait run through areas near Iran and would assumedly be relatively easy to disrupt.

Without the U.S. military in Iraq, there can be no question that the Iranians would have real influence over the Shi’ite (and probably Kurdish) parts of the country. But that influence would have its distinct limits. If Iran overplayed its hand even in a rump Shi’ite Iraq, it would soon enough find itself facing some version of the situation that now confronts the Americans. As Robert Dreyfuss wrote in the Nation recently, “[D]espite Iran’s enormous influence in Iraq, most Iraqis – even most Iraqi Shi’ites – are not pro-Iran. On the contrary, underneath the ruling alliance in Baghdad, there is a fierce undercurrent of Arab nationalism in Iraq that opposes both the U.S. occupation and Iran’s support for religious parties in Iraq.” The al-Qaedan and Iranian “threats” are, at one and the same time, bogeymen, used by the Bush administration to scare Americans who might favor withdrawal and, paradoxically, realities that a continued military presence only encourages.

12. Yes, some Americans were right about Iraq from the beginning (and not the pundits, either): One of the strangest aspects of the recent fifth anniversary (as of every other anniversary) of the invasion of Iraq was the newspaper print space reserved for those Bush administration officials and other war supporters who were dead wrong in 2002-2003 on an endless host of Iraq-related topics. Many of them were given ample opportunity to offer their views on past failures, the “success” of the surge, future withdrawals or drawdowns, and the responsibilities of a future U.S. president in Iraq.

Noticeably missing were representatives of the group of Americans who happened to have been right from the get-go. In our country, of course, it often doesn’t pay to be right. (It’s seen as a sign of weakness or plain dumb luck.) I’m speaking, in this case, of the millions of people who poured into the streets to demonstrate against the coming invasion with an efflorescence of placards that said things too simpleminded (as endless pundits assured American news readers at the time) to take seriously – like “No Blood for Oil,” “Don’t Trade Lives for Oil,” or “”How did USA’s oil get under Iraq’s sand?” At the time, it seemed clear to most reporters, commentators, and op-ed writers that these sign-carriers represented a crew of well-meaning know-nothings and the fact that their collective fears proved all too prescient still can’t save them from that conclusion. So, in their very rightness, they were largely forgotten.

Now, as has been true for some time, a majority of Americans, another obvious bunch of know-nothings, are deluded enough to favor bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq at a reasonable pace and relatively soon. (More than 60 percent of them also believe “that the conflict is not integral to the success of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.”) If, on the other hand, a poll were taken of pundits and the inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia (not to speak of the officials of the Bush administration), the number of them who would want a total withdrawal from Iraq (or even see that as a reasonable goal) would undoubtedly descend near the vanishing point. When it comes to American imperial interests, most of them know better, just as so many of them did before the war began. Even advisers to candidates who theoretically want out of Iraq are hinting that a full-scale withdrawal is hardly the proper way to go.

So let me ask you a question (and you answer it): Given all of the above, given the record thus far, who is likely to be right?

source: http://www.antiwar.com/engelhardt/?articleid=12720

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

What About the War, Benedict?

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

What About the War, Benedict?

Ray McGovern

April 21, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United States last week against a macabre backdrop featuring reports of torture, execution and war. He chose not to notice.

Torture: Fresh reporting by ABC from inside sources depicted George W. Bush’s most senior aides (Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rice and Tenet) meeting dozens of times in the White House during 2002/03 to sort out the most efficient mix of torture techniques for captured “terrorists.”

When initially ABC attempted to insulate the president from this sordid activity, Bush abruptly bragged that he knew all about it and approved. That comment and the action memorandum Bush signed on Feb. 7, 2002, dispelled any lingering doubt regarding his personal responsibility for authorizing torture.

Execution: Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court, with a majority of judges calling themselves Catholic, was openly deliberating on whether one gram, or two, or perhaps three of this or that chemical would be the preferred way to execute people.

Always colorful prominent Catholic layman Antonin Scalia complained impatiently, “Where does it say in the Constitution that executions have to be painless?”

Scalia did not seem at all concerned that the pope might remind him and his Catholic colleagues about the Church’s teaching on capital punishment, i.e., the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” (Evangelium Vitae 56).

It was enough to bring this student of German history (and five-year resident there) vivid memories of frequenting those places where precisely these kinds of torture and execution policy reviews were conducted at similarly high levels by Hitler’s inner circle – yes, including judges.

War: Can the pope possibly be so suffused with his peculiar brand of theology that he is oblivious to what happened when he was a young man during the Third Reich.

Is it possible that papal advisers forgot to tell him that the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal described an unprovoked war of aggression, of the kind that the Third Reich and George W. Bush launched, as the “supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains the accumulated evil of the whole?”

Could they have failed to tell the pope he would be hobnobbing with war criminals, torturers and the enabling cowards in Congress who refuse to remove them from office?

For this Catholic, it was a profoundly sad spectacle – profoundly sad.

Not since WWII, when the Reich’s bishops swore personal oaths of allegiance to Hitler (as did the German Supreme Court and army generals) have the papacy and bishops acted in such a fawning, un-Christ-like way.

With very few exceptions, the bishops (Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran) collaborated with the Nazis. Meanwhile, Hamlet-like Pius XII kept trying to make up his mind as to whether he should put the Catholic Church at some risk, while Jews were being murdered by the thousands.

Albert Camus

In 1948, in the shadow of that monstrous world war, the French author/philosopher Albert Camus accepted an invitation from the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg.

To their credit, the Dominicans wanted to know what an “unbeliever” thought about Christians in the light of their behavior during the Thirties and Forties. Camus’ words seem so terribly relevant today that it is difficult to trim them:

“For a long time during those frightful years I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome. I, an unbeliever? Precisely. For I knew that the spirit would be lost if it did not utter a cry of condemnation…

“It has been explained to me since, that the condemnation was indeed voiced. But that it was in the style of the encyclicals, which is not all that clear. The condemnation was voiced and it was not understood. Who could fail to feel where the true condemnation lies in this case?

“What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man.

“That they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today.

“It may be … that Christianity will insist on maintaining a compromise, or else on giving its condemnations the obscure form of the encyclical. Possibly it will insist on losing once and for all the virtue of revolt and indignation that belonged to it long ago.

“What I know – and what sometimes creates a deep longing in me – is that if Christians made up their mind to it, millions of voices – millions, I say – throughout the world would be added to the appeal of a handful of isolated individuals, who, without any sort of affiliation, today intercede almost everywhere and ceaselessly for children and other people.”
(Excerpted from Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays)

Sixty years ago!

Perhaps the Dominican monks took Camus seriously; monks tend to listen. Vatican functionaries, on the other hand, tend to know it all, and to urge the pope to be “discrete.”

You saw that this past week with the pope in Washington and New York, as he forfeited the opportunity to follow the biblical injunction to speak truth to power – to speak out clearly, as Camus suggested, with moral authority.

Catholics All Around

Think back to last week and all the prominent Catholics who flocked to see the pope – many of them officials with considerable influence in the Judiciary and Legislature, with some important players in the Executive Branch as well.

There they were, with their families, the five Catholic Supreme Court justices, fresh from detailed deliberations on how best to implement state-sponsored killings, executions that are banned by virtually every civilized country.

Justice Scalia audibly salivated over how much noxious chemical should be shot into the veins of a “condemned,” and how quickly. (For those with strong stomachs, C-SPAN captured the proceedings.)

I am embarrassed to acknowledge that, like me, Scalia is the product of a Jesuit education (Xavier H.S. in Manhattan and Georgetown College). Despite his advocacy of “soft” torture techniques like driving nails under fingernails, Scalia continues to be lionized by many Jesuits and bishops alike.

In the House? Speaker Nancy Pelosi, erstwhile doyenne of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and now San Francisco, and minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio – Catholics both – are about to allocate another hundred billion dollars to death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan for the most reprehensibly crass of political purposes – the coming election.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, last week tried to guild the lily, noting that Pelosi now insists that, in McGovern’s words, “We’re an equal branch of government; we’re no longer a cheap date.” Right.

Sadly, it appears that Pelosi’s key functionaries on House Appropriations (both of them Catholics) will cave in once again.

It is not as though they do not know the right thing to do. Just six months ago, Appropriations chair Dave Obey, D-Wisconsin, declared, “I have no intention of reporting out of committee anytime in this session of Congress any such [funding] request that simply serves to continue the status quo.”

Subcommittee chair John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, put it even more strongly a year before Obey did, and came close to calling the occupation of Iraq a lost cause – which, of course, it is. But it is not politic to say that before the election. Never mind the troops on the front lines.

Obey and Murtha caved last time. I will find it particularly devastating if Obey caves again now, for I have always considered him among the best legislators in Congress.

And since he is from Wisconsin, Obey recognizes better than others the McCarthy-ite demagoguery coming from the likes of Texas Republican Michael Burgess, to the effect that anything short of giving the president all the war funding he demands is “basically giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Pelosi also has been unusually candid in admitting that it is electoral politics, pure and simple, that explain her resistance to holding President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors via the orderly procedure given us by the Founders for precisely this purpose – impeachment in the House; trial in the Senate.

If, as widely expected, the war funding goes through, several hundred more American troops are likely to die before some common sense can be injected into U.S. policy next year – not to mention how many Iraqis.

Iraq is a shambles. Two million Iraqis have fled abroad; another two million are internal refugees. Am I the only one who finds macabre the raging debate as to whether the attack and occupation of Iraq has resulted in a million or “only 300,000″ Iraqis dead?

Apparently, the pope did not have any opinion on the Iraq War.

But Torture?

Surely the pope would speak out against the kind of torture for which our country has become famous: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA “black sites” – the more so, since Jesus of Nazareth was tortured to death.

The pope chose silence, which presumably came as welcome relief to four-star torturer’s apprentice, Gen. Michael Hayden, now head of the CIA.

The White House has made clear that Hayden is ready to instruct his torturers to waterboard again, upon Caesar’s approval.

Hayden proved his mettle when he was head of the National Security Agency. He saluted smartly when the president and vice president told him to disregard the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act and his oath to defend the Constitution.

One of Hayden’s predecessors as NSA director asserted that Hayden should have been court-martialed. Pelosi was briefed both on the illegal surveillance and the torture, but did nothing.

Having demonstrated his allegiance to the president, Hayden was picked to head the CIA. The general likes to brag about his moral training and Catholic credentials. At his nomination hearing, he noted that he was the beneficiary of 18 years of Catholic education.

All the while it was quite clear he was positively lusting to be in charge of waterboarding and other torture techniques – whatever you say, boss.

I was somewhat crestfallen after adding up my own years of Catholic education – only 17. Clearly I missed “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques 301.”

Keep It General; Focus on Others’ Sins

Saturday at the UN, the pontiff pontificated on “God-given human rights” and “massive human rights abuses,” but pretty much left it at that. The Washington Post reported that the pope was “short on specifics and long on broad themes.”

But there was one specific. Here in the U.S., the pope seemed to prefer to dwell on the pedophilia scandal – to the exclusion of much else. He is to be applauded for meeting with victims of clergy sexual abuse and expressing deep shame, but he got a free pass from the media in disguising his own role in trying to cover the whole thing up.

While still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the Vatican office that once ran the Inquisition. In that capacity he sent a letter in May 2001 to all Catholic bishops throwing a curtain of secrecy over the widespread sexual abuse by clergy, warning the bishops of severe penalties, including excommunication for breaching “pontifical secrets.”

Lawyers acting for the sexually abused accused Ratzinger of “clear obstruction of justice.”

Very few American bishops have been disciplined. And when Bernard Cardinal Law was run out of Boston for failing to protect children from predator priests, he was given a cushy sinecure in Rome; many believe he should be behind bars.

In an interview with the Catholic News Service in 2002, Ratzinger branded media coverage of the pedophilia scandal “a planned campaign … intentional, manipulated, a desire to discredit the Church.”

It is nice that the pope has now changed his tune. Nicer still for him, he found himself mostly in the congenial atmosphere of Washington, where very few powerful miscreants are held accountable.

So What Did You Expect?

I do wish my friends would stop asking me that.

While it was good that the pope addressed the pedophilia issue head on, it seemed as though he made a decision to devote time and energy to the issue.

The side-benefit, of course, was being able to speak in glorious generality on other major issues – war, torture, capital punishment – in all of which, as we have seen, many of “the faithful” are deeply engaged – embarrassingly engaged.

I had hoped – naively, it turned out – that the pope might encourage his brother bishops to find the courage to state plainly what 88 bishops of the Methodist faith, George W. Bush’s tradition, declared on Nov. 8, 2005:

“We repent of our complicity in what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States Administration’s rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent.

“We confess our preoccupation with institutional enhancement and limited agendas while American men and women are sent to Iraq to kill and be killed, while thousands of Iraqi people needlessly suffer and die.”

I thought that perhaps the U.S. Catholic bishops could adopt the kind of resolution that 125 Methodist bishops signed on Nov. 9, 2007. It called for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the reversal of any plans to establish permanent military bases there.

The Methodist bishops’ resolution noted: “Every day that the war continues, more soldiers and innocent civilians are killed with no end in sight to the violence, bloodshed, and carnage.” And Bishop Jack Meadors summed up the situation nicely:

“The Iraq War is not just a political issue or a military issue. It is a moral issue.”

Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem

Visiting Yad VaShem, the Holocaust museum in West Jerusalem last summer, I experienced painful reminders of what happens when the church allows itself to be captured by Empire. An acquiescent church, it is clear, loses whatever residual moral authority it may have had.

At the entrance to the museum, a quotation by German essayist Kurt Tucholsky set a universally applicable tone:

“A country is not just what it does – it is also what it tolerates.”

Still more compelling words came from Imre Bathory, a Hungarian who put his own life at grave risk by helping to save Jews from the concentration camps:

“I know that when I stand before God on Judgment Day, I shall not be asked the question posed to Cain: ‘Where were you when your brother’s blood was crying out to God?’”

According to former President George H. W. Bush, George W. has “read the Bible straight through – twice.” Perhaps he skipped by that passage too quickly; or maybe he is highly selective as to whom he considers his brothers.

No excuse for Benedict, though; he knows better. And yet he opted to squander his glorious chance to speak out and make a difference.

Methodist Bishop Meadors is right; the war is a moral issue. But President Bush has refused, time and time again, to meet with his Methodist bishops. And now he has the imprimatur of the pope.

The bottom line is challenging: to the degree that right and wrong, moral and immoral considerations are to be injected into discussions about war, executions, torture – well, let’s face it. There is only us.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, DC. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

source: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m43285&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mass grave found north of Baghdad-Iraqi military

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Mass grave found north of Baghdad-Iraqi military

REUTERS

Reuters North American News Service

Apr 20, 2008 03:47 EST
BAGHDAD, April 20 (Reuters) – Iraqi army and policemen discovered 30 decomposed bodies on Sunday in a mass grave north of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said.

The bodies were found near the town of Muqdadiya, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, in the restive province of Diyala where al Qaeda Sunni Arab militants have regrouped after being driven out of other areas.

“The bodies were decomposed and dumped in a mass grave,” Abdul-Kareem al-Rubaie, the head of military operations in Diyala told Reuters. “Some were in police and army uniforms, others in civilian clothes.”

Mass graves are found often in Iraq, many a result of sectarian violence that peaked in 2006 and the first half of 2007 and killed tens of thousands.

The bodies of 16 decapitated and decomposed men were found in the desert near Diwaniya in southern Iraq on Saturday.

(Writing by Aseel Kami; Editing by Ibon Villelabeitia)

Source: Reuters North American News Service

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Terrorism Begins At Home: Police Brutality in America

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Terrorism Begins At Home:
Police Brutality in America

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”

— Tacitus
Roman historian
c. 55-117 A.D.

robo-pig Pigs, in their simple-minded, childish view of reality, always imagine themselves to be “the good guys” fighting an endless war against “the bad guys.”

But the truth is something quite different from what their twisted little brainwashed minds imagine. Far too often pigs are the bad guys, and most of them will never dare to face that fact. Even those who don’t beat up and torture their victims (out of view of the news cameras) cover up the crime for those who do. And they are all the violent enforcers of unjust laws. They are all the loyal servants of the criminal rulers of this crooked country.

Like all bullies, pigs are inclined to be self-righteous and arrogant. But of course their arrogance is a cover for their fear. Pigs are afraid of a lot of things, but what they fear most (besides justice) is to face the fact that they are not “the good guys,” that they are basically just another species of gang members. Far too many of them are truly evil, sadistic thugs. And those that aren’t thugs are almost always silent about the crimes of their fellow pigs.

Silence is complicity. If such coverups were done by anyone else, pigs would call it “being an accessory to crime.” But when they themselves are the accessories to crime they call it “loyalty.” All gangs are basically the same.

Pigs can delude themselves all they want, but the experiences of literally millions of people in America prove that too many cops are criminals, nothing more than criminals in uniform. They are essentially the hired guns of their ultimate masters — the corporate capitalist plutocracy.

This is not unique to America, of course. Pigs are the strutting prison guards of all defeated and suppressed societies. And it’s nothing new. Police brutality has a long and ugly history in the United States.

But it’s not getting any better. All across the urban U.S. the pigs are becoming increasingly militarized, inhuman and brutal. And for one reason: these arrogant, violent, sadistic goons are carrying out the orders of their masters.

The ruling capitalist plutocracy is not evolving. It is in fact devolving, mutating very steadily backwards into an increasingly fascist aristocracy. And these political dinosaurs will drag all of America back down into a political paleolithic age — if the majority of people let them.

That would be tragic, but even if most Americans wimp out and allow the fascists to take over you can be sure of one thing. Sooner or later, all dinosaurs have an appointment to keep with their Asteroid.

Following are sources of information on a few of the more recent examples of what the criminal cops are up to — murder, torture, beatings, sexual abuse, drug dealing, frame-ups and “hunting” — looking for people to ambush for sport.

America — The Brutal Society
http://www.wsws.org/sections/category/news/crime-us.shtml

This page has a long list of links to articles detailing police brutality in New York City, Detroit, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Texas, California, New Jersey and other places. Includes many articles on executions, the systematic torture, rape and murder of prisoners and the growing prison industry in the United States.

Amnesty International condemns US for violations of UN Convention Against Torture
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/may2000/tort-m12.shtml

Testimony before United Nations Human Rights Commission:
Amnesty International condemns US for executions and police brutality

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/mar1999/amn-m31.shtml

The stun belt: Torture at the push of a button
http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jun1999/stun-j19.shtml

California judge orders man electronically stunned in courtroom
http://www.wsws.org/news/1998/july1998/shoc-j18.shtml

New York City

Jury hears tale of torture, brutality by New York City police
http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/may1999/loui-m06.shtml

Perverted pigs beat Abner Louima in the back seat of their car until it was covered in his blood. Then they dragged him into the 70th precinct police station with his pants pulled down, dragged him into a bathroom and violently sodomized him with a wooden stick. The pig perverts then shoved the stick into the crying man’s mouth. Their sadistic torture ruptured the man’s rectum and bladder and he required surgery in a hospital to survive.Afterwards, Officer Volpe, the lead police pervert, warned Louima:

“If you ever tell anyone, if you ever utter a word, I’ll kill you and your entire family.”

Louima had the courage to tell people anyway, and the filthy pigs ended up in court. But this was just one rare case where they got caught.

Thousands protest police violence in New York City, April, 2000
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr2000/nyc-a08.shtml

The killing of Patrick Dorismond:
New York police violence escalates in wake of Diallo verdict

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/mar2000/nyc-m22.shtml

New York plainclothes cop kills unarmed Bronx man
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/mar2000/nypd-m03.shtml

The Amadou Diallo case:
The social and political roots of police violence

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/feb2000/dia2-f28.shtml

Guards, police charged with abuse of prisoners at New York area jails
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/feb2000/west-f05.shtml

New York: Nassau County jail guards stomp man to death
http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jan1999/ny-j26.shtml

source: http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/PoliceBrutality.html

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Arrogance of the USA : Iraqis Pay?

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraqis Pay?

The Arrogance of the USA

By Enver Masud

21/04/08 — – The war ended with the toppling of Saddam’s statue, the Iraqis want them out, and now the occupiers, having destroyed much of Iraq, have the arrogance to ask Iraqis to pay for the occupation and reconstruction.

The Iraq war began with lies – weapons of mass destruction, mushroom cloud, Al Qaeda, and it ended with more lies.

Robert Fisk, veteran Middle East correspondent for the Independent, wrote: “a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in the most staged photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima.”

David Zucchino, writing in the Los Angeles Times on July 3, 2003, added:

“As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, Marines converged on Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam Hussein. It was a Marine colonel – not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was widely assumed from the TV images – who decided to topple the statue, the Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army psychological operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking.”

The war ended on April 9, 2003. What followed is a brutal occupation fiercely resisted by Sunnis and Shias alike – as they struggle amongst themselves because of the power vacuum created by the disbanding of the Iraqi army, and the decapitation of Iraq’s government by elimination of its Baath party members.

And Iraqis want the U.S. out of Iraq.

Ibrahim Khalil, who took part in the toppling of Saddam’s statue five years ago, told reporters this Wednesday: “If history can take me back, I will kiss the statue of Saddam Hussein which I helped pull down.”

Polls by the State Department and independent researchers show that Iraqis favor an immediate U.S. pullout.

ABC News reported on September 27, 2006 that according to a poll released by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, “Six in 10 Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, . . . Nearly eight in 10 say the U.S. presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it’s preventing”.

Karen DeYoung, writing for the Washington Post on December 19, 2007, stated:

“Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of “occupying forces” as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month.”

But the U.S. refuses to leave or even provide a timeline for leaving, and it keeps changing the goal posts.

Following testimony by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, the Bush administration is convinced that “actions by Iran, and not al-Qaeda, are the primary threat inside Iraq” from which Iraq must be protected.

Americans are fed up with this war that has cost the lives of 4000 plus U.S. military men and women, maimed and wounded many more, the final bill for which is estimated to be over $3 trillion (that’s about $10,000 for each U.S. citizen), but the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Senator John McCain, says the U.S. could be in Iraq for a 100 years.

Now after the illegal U.S. invasion – the “supreme international crime,” Senator Carl Levin, during the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on the Situation in Iraq with Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus, said Iraqis should pay for the U.S. occupation and reconstruction.

Anne Penketh, diplomatic editor for the Independent, wrote on October 27, 2006, that the Kuwaitis were still getting payouts for the deaths and destruction caused by the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

“The latest payments, totalling $417.8m (£220m), were made yesterday to governments and oil companies for losses and damages stemming from the Kuwaiti occupation, bringing the total paid out to more than $21bn (£11bn). The total claims that have been approved run to $52bn (£27.5bn) and will take many more years to complete.”

Aren’t Iraqis, like the Kuwaitis, owed reparations by the aggressor?

The U.S. should be paying compensation for the 1.2 million Iraqis killed, countless others wounded and maimed, for the 1.6 million who have fled or been made refugees within their own country, and for the destruction it has caused.

And these numbers do not include the “500,000 children and old people killed by the US-UN anti-civilian sanctions in the 10 previous years.”

Nor does it include the Iraqis killed during the first Gulf War in which the U.S. enticed Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, and lied to the American public and the UN to sanction the war.

John R. MacArthur, then publisher of Harper’s magazine, describes the role played in the deception by Representatives Tom Lantos and John Edward Porter.

Retired General William E. Odom, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 2, 2008, said:

“The surge is prolonging instability, . . . nay sayers insist that our withdrawal will create regional instability. This confuses cause with effect. Our forces in Iraq and our threat to change Iran’s regime are making the region unstable. Those who link instability with a US withdrawal have it exactly backwards.”

Iraqis are owed reparations by the U.S. It is the height of arrogance to ask them to pay for the continuing U.S. occupation which most Iraqi’s understand is for the purpose of controlling their energy resources, and forestalling a move from dollars to Euros for oil payments.

The U.S. should just get out.

source: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19779.htm

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40 other followers