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Archive for January 12th, 2008

Ahmadiyah dan Religious Freedom

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

From: Syamsi Ali <pengajian_ny@yahoo.com
Subject: [syiar-islam] Ahmadiyah dan Religious Freedom

Ahmadiyah dan Religious Freedom

M. Syamsi Ali

Hari Senin, 7 Januari kemarin, saya menerima kunjungan rombongan pengurus Ahmadiyah USA yang tergabung dalam sebuah organisasi Ahmadiyah Movement in Islam, Inc. Saya menerima mereka dalam kapasitas saya mendampingi staf PTRI New York, mewakili pemerintah, untuk mendengarkan keluhan dan uneg-uneg mereka.

Pada intinya kunjungan mereka tidak membawa sesuatu yang istimewa. Semuanya adalah menyampaikan apa yang sudah pernah dimuat oleh berbagai media massa tentang (isu) kekerasan-kekerasan yang dialami oleh warga Ahmadiyah di beberapa daerah di Indonesia seperti Parung, Bogor, Padang, dll. Pada intinya, mereka mengutuk peristiwa-persitiwa tersebut dan mendesak pemerintah RI untuk membawa pelakunya ke meja hijau.

Rupanya beberapa anggota pengurus Ahmadiyah, tanpa saya sadari, sudah mengenal saya. Mereka mengenal saya dari acara Pre- Ramadan Conference di kepolisian New York setiap menjelang Ramadan. Saya kebetulan memang seringkali menjadi salah seorang pembicara pada acara tersebut, yang juga dihadiri oleh perwakilan Ahmadiyah yang juga dianggap Muslim oleh kepolisian New York.

Setelah basa basi ala diplomat, pembicaraan menjurus kemudian kepada (isu) kekerasan-kekerasan yang dialami oleh warga Ahmadiyah di Pakistan. Perlu diketahui, Ahmadiyah adalah pergerakan yang secara institusi terlarang di Pakistan dan pengikutnya tidak dianggap bagian dari masyarakat Muslim. Tegasnya, mereka dengan keyakinannya yang keluar dari Al Qur’an dan As Sunnah dianggap keluar dari agama Islam dan karenanya dianggap non Muslim minoritas.

Penetapan warga Ahmadiyah di Pakistan sebagai non Muslim justeru dilakukan oleh pemerintahan yang tidak berafiliasi ke Islam ketika itu, yaitu pemerintahan Perdana Menteri Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, ayah mendiang Benazir Bhutto, pada tahun 1974. Keputusan tegas dan besar ini terjadi hanya setahun setelah Zulfikar Ali Bhutto menduduki jabatannya sebagai PM Pakistan. Sejak itu pula Ahmadiyah di Pakistan merupakan organisasi terlarang, tapi pengikutnya tetap bebas menjalankan keyakinannya secara pribadi-pribadi.

Sebenarnya, sejak awal mendengarkan mereka, hati saya sudah hampir memberontak. Pasalnya, sejak semula mereka secara tidak langsung menuduh ulama-ulama Indonesia sebagai radikal (dengan istilah mullah) dan melanggar HAM. Lebih dari itu, dengan membandingkan antara kejadian-kejadian di Pakistan dan Indonesia, mereka seolah menuduh bahwa pemerintah Indonesia mengabaikan HAM dan bahkan ikut mendukung kekerasan-kekerasan yang dilakukan oleh apa yang disebutnya sebagai anggota radikal dari komunitas Muslim Indonesia.

Puncaknya ketika mereka menuduh ulama-ulama Pakistan, termasuk Abu A’la Maududi, sebagai ulama-ulama pembunuh dan menganjurkan pengikutnya untuk membunuh orang-orang Islam lainnya yang tidak sejalan dengan idiologi mereka. Ternyata mereka sudah memiliki cuplikan-cuplikan yang diambil dari berbagai sumber mengenai mereka. Setelah saya perhatikan seraya beradu argumentasi, saya temukan bahwa cuplikan-cuplikan yang mereka pegangi untuk menyerang para ulama sunni itu diambil sepotong-sepotong dan ditafsirkan secara salah untuk membenarkan argumentasi mereka.

Pada akhirnya, pertemuan itu tidak lagi bercirikan diplomasi tapi cukup memanas dengan argumentasi keagamaan dan rasionalitas. Dari semua argumentasi yang mereka berikan, hanya satu hal dapat diterima. Yaitu bukankah semua manusia memiliki hak untuk mengikuti keyakinan masing-masing? Dengan kata lain, kata kunci “religious freedom” menjadi satu-satunya alasan yang dipakai untuk membela eksistensi mereka.

Isu kebebasan beragama

Akhir-akhir ini memang cukup banyak tokoh Muslim yang tiba-tiba tampil menjadi “champion of religious freedom”. Mungkin mereka ikhlas membela apa yang dipersepsikan oleh umum, khususnya barat, sebagai masyarakat lemah (marginalized), atau boleh jadi juga karena membela masyarakat yang dipersepsikan termarjinalkan itu memang “rewarding”. Tentu maksud saya adalah cepat mendapatkan apresiasi, dukungan oleh yang kuat, dan yang lebih khusus cepat menemukan pahala duniawinya (beasiswa, dukungan dana, media suppot, dll).

Kebebasan beragama bukanlah sesuatu yang baru dalam Islam. Jauh sebelum dunia barat berkoar untuk jaminan kebebasan beragama, Islam sejak 15 abad silam sudah menjamin dengan ayat Al Qur’an, hadits maupun praktek-praktek Rasulullah dan sahabat-sahabatnya. Sehingga pemberian kebebasan beragama dalam tatanan masyarakat Muslim adalah “religiously is obligatory” (secara agama adalah wajib). Bahkan Rasulullah mengancam untuk menjadi musuh bagi mereka yang menyakiti “dzimmi” (non Muslim minoritas dalam tatanan masyarakat Muslim.

Dan Indonesia, sebagai negara berpenduduk Muslim terbesar di dunia telah membuktikan ini. Tidak ada negara di dunia ini yang memberikan posisi terpenting kepada warga “non majority” kecuali Indonesia. Bahkan ada masa-masa di mana kaum minoritas jauh lebih “teranak maniskan” ketimbang kaum mayoritas. Berapa jumlah menteri non Muslim di Indonesia? Berapa sekjen/dirjen (eselon I) di berbagai departemen pemerintahan dan swasta di negara kita? Silahkan jumlah dubes/diplomat tingkat tinggi non Muslim di kementrian luar negeri Indonesia.

Semua ini menunjukkan bahwa secara negara (state) dan pemerintahan (governance) Indonesia tidak membeda-bedakan warganya. Semua memiliki hak dan kesempatan yang sama serta memiliki hak pembelaan berdasarkan konstitusi negara Indonesia yang disetujui bersama. Maka, Kristen, Katolik, Hindu, Budha, Islam dan Kong Hu chu, dan bahkan agama-agama lainnya yang secara formal tidak terakui, bebas menjalankan keyakinan dan ibadahnya masing-masing dan dijamin secara konstitusi.

Isu Ahmadiyah

Ahmadiyah oleh pengikutnya diyakini sebagai agama Islam dan bukan agama baru. Tapi pada saat yang sama, Islam yang mereka sampaikan adalah Islam yang secara prinsip menyimpang dari dasar-dasar ajaran Islam yang baku. Dan karena perbedaan mendasar yang diakui oleh mereka inilah, warga Ahmadiyah tidak mungkin mau menjadi makmum di belakang Imam Muslim selain Ahmadiyah. Pada prinsipnya, mereka menganggap Muslim yang tidak satu kepercayaan/iman dengan mereka sebagai kafir.

Ada beberapa hal yang paling prinsipil dari kesesatan Ahmadiyah adalah:

Pertama, bahwa meyakini bahwa Mirza Gulam Ahmad adalah nabi atau rasul yang menerima wahyu. Oleh karenanya, Muhammad S.A.W. bukanlah nabi dan rasul Allah yang terakhir (khaatam an anbiyyin).

Kedua, bahwa kitab suci terakhir bukan Al Qur’an tapi al Kitab yang diterima oleh Mirza Gulam Ahmad dengan nama Tadzkirah. Kitab ini memuat ayat-ayat Al Qur’an yang diputar balik dan dicampur dengan berbagai seruan-seruan Mirza Gulam Ahmad.

Ketiga, bahwa melaksanakan ibadah haji ke Mekah tanpa melakukannya ke kota suci mereka, yaitu Rabwah dan Qadiyan di India adalah haji yang kering dan tidak diterima. Kenyataannya, Gulam Mirza Ahmad juga tidak pernah menjalankan ibadah haji selama hidupnya.

Keempat, bahwa bangkit melawan penjajah (Inggris) ketika itu bukan jihad tapi pemberontakan. Mirza Gulam juga menuliskan buku panduan jihad yang pada intinya mengutuk para pejuang India yang melakukan perlawanan terhadap penjajahan Inggris ketika itu.

Kelima, Orang Ahmadiyah mempunyai perhitungan tanggal, bulan dan tahun sendiri. Nama bulan Ahmadiyah adalah: 1. Suluh 2. Tabligh 3. Aman 4. Syahadah 5. Hijrah 6. Ihsan 7. Wafa 8. Zuhur 9. Tabuk 10. Ikha’ 11. Nubuwah 12. Fatah. Sedang tahunnya adalah Hijri Syamsi yang biasa mereka singkat dengan H.S.

Dari lima perbedaan prinsipil di atas, jelas orang-orang Ahmadiyah memiliki keyakinan dan sistim yang berbeda dengan kaum Muslimin. Maka, ketika mereka mengkafirkan orang Islam (dalam pandangan mereka) adalah sangat wajar. Sebab memang, orang-orang Islam sejati tidak mengimani/meyakini ajaran mereka, sehingga wajar kalau mereka memang kafir kepada ajaran Ahmadiyah Qadiyaniah.

Inti permasalahan

Maka, isu Ahmadiyah bukan pada “religious freedom” atau isu kebebasan beragama. Melainkan isu “penodaan” agama Islam yang dianut secara luas oleh masyarakat setempat. Kalaulah seandainya Ahmadiyah diakui sebagai agama, sekte, keyakinan baru yang sama sekali tidak dikaitkan dengan ajaran Islam yang murni, tentu tidak akan menimbulkan permasalahan. Kejawen dan praktek-praktek keyakinan lokal juga kan tidak pernah selama ini dipermasalahkan.

Maka, ketika Majelis Ulama Indonesia menfatwakan bahwa Ahmadiyah sesat dan melaporkan ke Kejaksaan Agung sebagai bukan ajaran Islam, mereka telah melakukan fungsinya sebagai pembenteng akidah umat. Yang aneh adalah jika ada pemutar balikan yang terjadi dalam ajaran Islam, lantas ulama diam atau malah mendukung. Bagi saya, ini adalah ulama yang memiliki pemikiran terjungkir.

Namun demikian, dengan segala hak umat Islam membela akidah dan kemurnian ajaran agamanya, adalah tidak sama sekali dibenarkan untuk melakukan kekerasan-kekerasan dan pengrusakan. Prilaku kekerasan dan pengrusakan adalah prilaku yang bertentangan dengan ajaran Islam dan tauladan Rasulullah SAW. Sebaliknya, justeru akan menampakkan Islam pada posisi yang semakin tidak menguntungkan.

Akhirnya, sebagaimana saya sampaikan kepada delegasi Ahmadiyah Amerika, ada dua alternatif bagi mereka:

Pertama, deklarasikan sendiri bahwa Ahmadiyah adalah agama baru dan bukan Islam, atau kedua, tetap mengaku Muslim dengan kesesatan-kesesatan tapi dipandang sebagai “pengacau” dan “penoda” agama orang lain.

Jika alternatif kedua yang dipilih, akan sangat wajar jika nantinya timbul berbagai reaksi dari masyarakat yang merasa dirugikan (victimized). Kalau tetap ingin tegar menghadapi reaksi-reaksi tersebut, silahkan maju tak gentar. Hadapi reaksi umat Islam melalui prosedur hukum dan politik yang ada. Toh pada akhirnya dalam dunia (what so called) demokratik saat ini, semua ditentukan oleh kekuatan dan kelihaian argumentasi yang dimiliki oleh masing-masing pihak.

Yang pasti, umat Islam yang sadar akan tetap melihat “kesesatan” (baca kekufuran) itu selama mereka masih bertahan dengan keyakinan mereka. Semoga saja keputusan pemerintah melihat secara jelas permasalahan ini, sehingga tidak terjadi opresi kepada mayoritas atas nama membela minoritas. Lebih tragis lagi jika pembelaan itu hanya karena sebuah tekanan dari orang lain atas nama “kebebasan beragama”, yang dalam konteks Ahmadiyah di Indonesia adalah out of context!

New York, 8 Januari 2008

===

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

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Antara Islam dan Ahmadiyah

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Antara Islam dan Ahmadiyah

Oleh :
KH A Cholil Ridwan
Ketua Majelis Ulama Indonesia

Senin, 07 Januari 2008

Akhir-akhir ini, masalah Ahmadiyah terus menjadi pembicaraan. Masalah ini sudah sangat lama menjadi duri dalam daging dalam tubuh umat Islam. Kasus demi kasus yang menimpa jemaat Ahmadiyah terus terjadi. Sering ada pertanyaan, mengapakah umat Islam sangat keras resistensinya terhadap Ahmadiyah? Mengapakah MUI menetapkan Ahmadiyah adalah aliran sesat. Hal-hal inilah yang seringkali tidak dipahami oleh banyak orang, sehingga ada yang salah paham, bahkan meminta MUI dibubarkan segala macam.

Karena banyaknya pertanyaan semacam itu dari kalangan masyarakat kepada saya, maka semoga tulisan singkat berikut ini dapat menjelaskannya. Salah satu kriteria aliran sesat yang ditetapkan MUI dalam Rakernas bulan November 2007 yang lalu ialah, ”Mengingkari Nabi Muhammad SAW sebagai nabi dan rasul terakhir”. Dengan kriteria ini, maka Ahmadiyah secara otomatis masuk kategori aliran sesat, sebab mengimani Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sebagai nabi. Ahmadiyah juga mempunyai Kitab Suci sendiri, di samping Alquran, yaitu Tadzkirah, yang isinya banyak berupa “pelintiran” dari ayat-ayat Alquran. MUI sudah meneliti “kitab suci” kaum Ahmadiyah ini dengan cermat.

Pokok masalah

Masalah utama yang menjadi perbedaan antara umat Islam dan kaum Ahmadiyah adalah keyakinan tentang status kenabian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Bagi Ahmadiyah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad diyakini sebagai nabi dan menerima wahyu dari Allah, sehingga mereka menambahkan sebutan ‘alaihis salam’ (as) pada namanya. Dia pun diyakini sebagai Isa dan Imam Mahdi sekaligus. Baru-baru ini, seorang tokoh Ahmadiyah menerbitkan buku dengan judul Syarif Ahmad Saitama Lubis, Dari Ahmadiyah untuk Bangsa (2007).

Dijelaskannya di dalam buku ini tentang kepercayaan kaum Ahmadi, yaitu, ”’Imam Mahdi dan Isa yang dijanjikan adalah seorang nabi yang merupakan seorang nabi pengikut atau nabi ikutan dengan ketaatannya kepada YM Rasulullah SAW yang akan datang dan mengubah masa kegelapan ini menjadi masa yang terang benderang. Dan apabila Imam Mahdi itu sudah datang, maka diperintahkanlah umat Islam untuk menjumpainya, walaupun harus merangkak di atas gunung salju.” (halaman 69).

Kenabian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad merupakan ajaran pokok dalam aliran Ahmadiyah. Ditulis di dalam buku tokoh Ahmadiyah tersebut, ”Dalam perkembangan sejarah, pada tahun 1879 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s. menulis buku Braheen Ahmadiyya. Pada saat itu Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s. belum menyampaikan pendakwaan. Namun ketika menulis kitab itu, sebenarnya sudah menerima wahyu. ‘Kamu itu nabi, kamu itu nabi!’ dan diperintahkan mengambil baiat, tapi masih belum bersedia.” (halaman 70).
Ahmadiyah memandang orang yang tidak mengimani kenabian Ghulam Ahmad sebagai orang yang sesat. Berkata Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, ”Maka barangsiapa yang tidak percaya pada wahyu yang diterima imam yang dijanjikan (Ghulam Ahmad), maka sungguh ia telah sesat, sesesat-sesatnya, dan ia akan mati dalam kematian jahiliyah, dan ia mengutamakan keraguan atas keyakinan.” (Mawahib al-Rahman).

Oleh sebab itulah, di dalam shalat, orang Ahmadiyah tidak boleh bermakmum kepada orang-orang Muslim, karena mereka dipandang ”belum beriman” kepada Imam Zaman, yaitu Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Dalam shalat jamaah, orang Ahmadiyah-lah yang diharuskan menjadi imam. Tentang masalah shalat ini dijelaskan di dalam buku Syarif Ahmad Saitama Lubis, Dari Ahmadiyah untuk Bangsa tadi, ”Dasar pemikiran mengapa kalangan mereka harus yang menjadi imam, yaitu bagaimana mungkin berma’mum pada orang yang belum percaya kepada Imam Zaman, utusan Allah.” (halaman 79-80).

Bahkan, menurut kepercayaan Ahmadiyah, musibah demi musibah, bencana demi bencana yang menimpa umat ini, juga disebabkan karena mereka menolak kenabian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Dikatakan, ”Dalam keyakinan Ahmadi, berbagai bencana alam yang terjadi merupakan peringatan dari Tuhan. Satu-satunya cara menghindari bencana menurut mereka adalah dengan mengenal Tuhan lebih dekat dengan cara mengenal seseorang yang sudah diangkat oleh Allah SWT. sebagai Imam Zaman.” (halaman 73).

Perbedaan keimanan

Dengan keyakinan bahwa Mirza Ghulam Ahmad adalah nabi, maka kaum Ahmadiyah kemudian menafsirkan ayat-ayat Alquran dan hadits-hadits Rasulullah SAW sesuai dengan keyakinan mereka. Inilah perbedaan yang mendasar dalam masalah keimanan antara Islam dan Ahmadiyah. Muslim tidak boleh menjadi imam shalat bagi orang Ahmadiyah. Padahal semua Muslim memahami bahwa mazhab apa pun dalam Islam, boleh saling menjadi imam satu sama lain.

Bagi umat Islam, sudah jelas kedudukan kenabian Muhammad SAW sebagai nabi terakhir. Sepeninggal beliau sudah tidak ada lagi nabi. Meskipun banyak sekali yang mengaku sebagai nabi, tetap saja, mereka tidak diakui oleh umat Islam, bahkan mereka jelas-jelas sebagai pendusta. Dalam keputusan tahun 1937, Majelis Tarjih Muhammadiyah mengutip hadits Rasulullah SAW, ”Di antara umatku akan ada pendusta-pendusta, semua mengaku dirinya nabi, padahal aku ini penutup sekalian nabi.” (HR Ibn Mardawaihi, dari Tsauban).

Sikap tegas umat Islam dalam soal ”nabi palsu” ini selalu dilakukan sejak dulu, demi menjaga kemurnian Islam. Para ulama dan pemimpin negara tidak berkompromi dalam masalah ini. Sayyidina Abu Bakar As-Shidiq RA yang dikenal sangat lemah lembut, berani bersikap tegas terhadap nabi palsu bernama Musailamah Al-Kadzzaab. Sebab, apabila dibiarkan, akan menimbulkan kekacauan dalam agama dan masyarakat. Apabila Mirza Ghulam Ahmad dibenarkan, maka juga harus dibenarkan pula ”pengakuan kenabian” Lia Eden, Ahmad Mushaddeq, dan lain lain. Padahal Ahmad Mushaddeq dengan Al-Qiyadah Al-Islamiyah-nya telah dinyatakan sesat dan melakukan pidana penodaan agama.

Dalam menghadapi kelompok seperti Ahmadiyah dan Lia Eden, sikap umat Islam dan dunia Islam sudah jelas, yaitu bahwa semua itu adalah aliran sesat. Seluruh dunia Islam juga tidak berbeda. MUI dan berbagai lembaga Islam internasional sudah menyatakan hal yang sama bahwa Ahmadiyah adalah aliran sesat yang berada di luar Islam. Fatwa MUI tentang Ahmadiyah tahun 2005, menjadikan keputusan Majma’ al-Fiqih al-Islami Organisasi Konferensi Islam (OKI), yang diputuskan tahun 1985. Oleh sebab itu, Menteri Agama Maftuh Basyuni pernah menyarankan agar Ahmadiyah membuat agama baru, di luar Islam.

Umat Islam Indonesia sudah lama dibuat resah dengan statemen Kholifah Ahmadiyah yang ke-4, yang datang ke Indonesia, pada bulan Juli 2000, yang membuat pernyataan bahwa, ”Indonesia pada akhir abad baru ini akan menjadi negara Ahmadiyah terbesar di dunia.” Kalau MUI memfatwakan sesat terhadap Ahmadiyah, sebenarnya MUI sekadar menjalankan tugas dalam melindungi umat dari ajaran luar Islam yang akan merusak Islam.

Tidak ada hubungannya dengan hak asasi manusia (HAM), MUI sama sekali tidak memasung siapapun untuk memeluk agama apapun, kebebasan beragama adalah hak asasi setiap manusia. ”’Laa ikrooha fiddin,” tidak ada paksaan dalam urusan agama. ”Lakum diinukum waliyadin,” bagimu agamamu dan bagiku agamaku. Jangan menanam alang-alang di kebun keluarga, tanamlah di lahan kosong yang masih sangat luas. Kebebasan memeluk agama bukan kebebasan merusak agama orang lain.

Ikhtisar
-Masalah utama penunjuk kesesatan Ahmadiyah adalah keyakinan akan kenabian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
-Ahmadiyah menafsirkan Alquran dan hadits sesuai keyakinan mereka.
-Ahmadiyah menganggap sesat orang yang tak mengimani Mirza dan tak mengizinkannya sebagai imam shalat.
-Umat Islam dan dunia Islam dari dulu bersikap tegas terhadap kesesatan semacam ini.
-Pemerintah harus bertindak tegas terhadap kelompok yang merusak agama orang lain.

Sumber:
http://republika.co.id/kolom_detail.asp?id=319032&kat_id=16

===

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

9/11 : US court rebuts torture claim by Britons

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

9/11 : US court rebuts torture claim by Britons

So let me get this straight: torture is just fine now as long as it is defined as part of one’s job?

So when does that trickle down to the cop on the beat, attempting to “extract” some info from a suspected perp?

What about the questioning of suspected criminals in jails and courts?

We are headed down a very slippery slope with this decision, and it is reminicient of the Nuremberg trials where consistently, the Germans told the prosecutors that they were “just following orders”.

AFP

Published: Friday January 11, 2008

A US court Friday turned down a claim by four British former detainees that they were tortured at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, saying accused officials acted as part of their jobs.

“The alleged tortious (wrongful) conduct was incidental to the defendants’ legitimate employment duties” to interrogate the suspects, Judge Karen Henderson wrote in the ruling.

The four Britons were among hundreds of suspected extremists detained at the prison, many without trial, since it opened exactly six years ago to house prisoners seized abroad in the US “war on terror.”

Friday’s ruling coincided with protests in cities around the world to mark the sixth anniversary of the prison’s opening, with demonstrators calling for it to be closed and for detainees there to be tried in regular courts.

The four Britons, released from Guantanamo without charge in 2004, pressed a 10-million-dollar civil suit for damages against Donald Rumsfeld — defense secretary at the time of their detention — and officials at Guantanamo.

“In addition to Rumsfeld’s approval of these interrogation techniques, the detainees assert that the other defendants implemented, supervised and condoned their torture and detention,” the court decision said.

Without addressing the details of the alleged treatment, the judge said the officials could not be made individually responsible for it under the terms of the suit brought against them, since they were doing their jobs.

“While the plaintiffs challenge the methods the defendants used to perform their duties, the plaintiffs do not allege that the defendants acted as rogue officials or employees who implemented a policy of torture for reasons unrelated to the gathering of intelligence,” the ruling said.

The men said that in their two years of detention they were beaten, threatened with dogs, shackled in painful positions, deprived of sleep, food and care and subjected to extreme temperatures.

They also said guards harassed them in their religious practices by playing loud rock music at prayer time, confiscating prayer mats, shaving the Muslims’ beards and insulting the Koran by putting the holy book in a toilet bucket.

The rejection of this suit does not rule out possible criminal proceedings in future, and the men can also take the case to the US Supreme Court.

The full story in
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_court_rebuts_torture_claim_by_Br_01112008.html

===

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

When did you realize 911 was a fraud?

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

When did you realize 911 was a fraud?

Jan 8, 2008 | 7:46 PM PST

It was about 4 months after the events of September 911 that I had a minor emotional breakdown regarding the events in New York that year. After watching the abcfoxnbc corporate owned media video and sound bites over and over ad infniitem I finally broke down crying. I am sure that right about then a good majority of Americans and Canadians felt the same way. We had all seen the constant footage of airplanes flying into buildings. We saw the buildings collapse into their own foot prints. We saw that hole in the middle of the Pentagon.

Within hours of this series of events – we were told that it was those “Terrible Arabs” and Al Quida who were responsible. All the talking heads were instantly pointing the blame at our new nemesis “OSAMA”

Further conditioning provided by a series of Anthrax mail at liberal legislators.

I did not know it – but at that point I had been psychologically defeated. And so had the majority of Americans and Canadians. In that moment lay the success of any psy-op campaign to condition a population. Such psyop campaigns are standard technique use by lettered orgs throughout the Western hemisphere on other populations. This time they had been used on the population of North America.

It was not until about two years later that I had my epiphany. That moment when I know I had been played for a sucker on 911 and that the entire event was a false flag operation – an inside job.It was upon seeing a video of Word Trade Center building 7 collapsing into its own foot prints late in the afternoon long after the collapse of the first two towers. Building 7 is the 47 story tower that came down in its own foot prints in under 7 seconds – but was not hit by anything. Then I saw pictures of that building shortly before its demolition. There were a few fires in a few offices. Certainly not enough to cause a steel and concrete building to collapse into its own foot print in seconds.

I ran the whole thing over in my mind a few times. Building collapses in its own footprints in seconds – but was not hit by anything. That was it. I now knew we had been had. I had to do more research.

The more I looked – the more evidence of a fraud.

The hole in the Pentagon after it was hit was not big enough to drive a train through – let a alone a 747. And no release of photos thereof by the Pentagon. A kid with a camera in a box could keep better security records than the Pentagon.

Now I know that black smoke – like the kind that resulted from the planes hitting the buildings WTC 1 and 2 indicates low temperatures and that airplane fuel can not rise to high enough temperatures to melt steel. Especially in two building in about an hour and another building that was not hit by anything.

I also know that the anthrax sent to American legislators could only have come from an American government lab.

BACK TO THE PSYOP CAMPAIGN

While in that broken down state Americans had their constitution torn to shreds.The Patriot Act was passed and American lost most of their constitutional rights.
The stage is now set in the US for a military take over. Its only one more step

WHY DOES IT MATTER TO CANADIANS?

– Canada has oil. Countries with oil need to watch it. Our neighbors to the South tend to invade countries with oil.
– Due to 911 concepts like North American integration are being implemented and our sovereignty is being dealt its death knell.
– You can bet the federal Canadian politicians may at some point look with envy upon the results of such a psyops campaign.
They must be prevented from doing so.

The fact is folks that the story fed by the US government regarding 911 is a dog that just don’t hunt and all you need to do is watch a few of the videos in my video blog and you will agree. You can’t trust the government and you can/t trust the mainstream media.

The full story in
http://www.cbnews.tv/blog/2008/01/08/When_did_you_realize_911_was_a_fraud2

===

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Bush Peace Hallucinations Continue

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Bush Peace Hallucinations Continue

Sam Bahour, Desert Peace
palesines-right-to-exist.jpg

January 10, 2008


U.S. President George Bush landed in Israel yesterday on his first Presidential trip to the country. He participated in a press conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in what both men termed a “historic” and “monumental” occasion. After listening to both so-called leaders make their opening comments and fielding questions from journalists, the only groundbreaking revelation I could register was that the naiveté of President Bush, either real or a charade, only served the agenda of one party in the region – Hamas. The radical Islamists at Hamas could not have recruited a better cheerleader for their movement if they tried.

My opinion may be extreme, but then again, I live in an extremely violent limbo under Israeli military occupation, shaped by a policy both men continuously refuse to call by its true name – state terror.

Again, my opinion is certainly subjective – but then again, I started my day by reading a communique from the real world: a report issued from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs titled, Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report: Power Shortages In The Gaza Strip (8 January 2008). The report states the background of the issue; on 28 June 2006 the Israeli Air Force bombed the power plant in the Gaza Strip destroying all six transformers and cutting 43% of Gaza’s total power capacity. The report says “households in the Gaza Strip are now experiencing regular power cuts” and goes on to note that “the irregular [electricity] supply causes additional problems. Running water in Gaza is only available in most households for around eight hours per day. If there is no power when water is available, it cannot be pumped above ground level, reducing the availability of running water to between four and six hours per day.” The result of this single punitive measure, as stated in this report, is that if Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility “cannot provide its own emergency power supply because of its own fuel shortages, it has to pump raw sewage into the sea which damages the coastline in Gaza, southern Israel and Egypt.”

In another report, released the same day, the World Food Program spokesperson Kirstie Campbell says 70 percent of the population of Gaza has to choose between putting food on the table or a roof over their heads.

For President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert, the fallout expected from the information in these disturbing reports, released one day before President Bush arrived in Israel, was not even worthy of worry. As a matter of fact, the reality that Israel has successfully placed 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, over 50% of them children, in the dark and under the most draconian siege in recent history did not even make it to the footnotes of either leader’s comments.

Instead, much more important issues were on Bush’s agenda. The need to realize and work on a “vision” for the future was in the forefront of President Bush’s mind. According to President Bush, “the parties” should now sit down and “negotiate a vision” – the parties being Israel, the 4th strongest military might in the world and a 40+ year occupier, and the Palestinians, the yet-to-be state of an occupied and displaced people who have been dispossessed by the State of Israel for 60 years and while on the receiving end of a brutal Israeli military occupation for over four decades.

Both Bush and Olmert did send one united message to the world. The two-state solution was still the aim of the negotiations. Reading between the lines, we can infer that the specter of a single state, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, is the most frightening vision of all. The terrifying notion of Palestinians (Muslims and Christians) and Israelis (Jews, Muslims, and Christians) living side by side with equal national and civil rights, has never been so apparent since the struggle in South Africa to end racist white supremacy under Apartheid. To ensure that a one-state solution does not materialize in historic Palestine, the U.S. and Israel talk about a two-state solution, but meantime, the U.S. bankrolls Israel as it continues to create facts on the ground that make any viable Palestinian state impossible.

Prime Minister Olmert was clear beyond a doubt: President Bush has been very, very good for Israel. Olmert was nearly jumping for joy as he praised President Bush for increasing the comprehensive U.S. aid package to Israel to a whopping $30 billion.

The issue of Israeli settlement-building in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, was raised repeatedly by journalists asking questions. Again, Israel’s Olmert made no excuses; Jerusalem is different, he said, and no one should expect settlements to stop there. As for the other settlements, he said it was complicated and began elucidating the lexicon of “outposts,” “population centers,” etc. If only this entire settlement enterprise were not threatening Israel’s very own citizens and future, Olmert’s blather would have made excellent comedy material – not to mention President Bush’s weird facial expressions as he sought to evade the barrage of questions asking if the U.S. was ready to apply pressure on Israel to make good on its talk of freezing settlements. The best President Bush was able to come up with impromptu was to remind us all that Israel has been promising for over four years to stop settlements but has yet to do so. Even that came with a chuckle, as if the human tragedy these settlements are causing was a side show. Rarely has Mr. Bush given so persuasive an impression of being detached not just from the facts but from any sort of empathy for the victims of this appalling situation.

All in all, it looks like President Bush came to Israel to speak about Iran. Not only did Mr. Bush seem much more enthused about threatening Iran from Israel; his glaring inability to articulate a basic understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli issue left seasoned Israeli journalists chuckling in disbelief at the President’s replies. The local press corps noted every opportunity seized by Olmert to hitch a ride on each one of President Bush’s superficial comments, lauding the importance of the Bush visit, the Bush commitment to peace, and the Bush courage in confronting the region’s difficulties.

Well, next President Bush arrives in my Israeli-occupied city of Al-Bireh/Ramallah. He plans to land two blocks away from my home, in a sports field where I happen to be developing as a commercial project for the Friends (Quaker) School. We were notified today that our street will be one of the many that will be under 100% lockdown. We were advised we would be risking our lives if we went to our rooftop to watch the charade unfold. Public notices from the Palestinian police chief warned that absolutely no protests would be tolerated. In short, we were told to stay indoors. Even our local newspaper advised a civil society campaign I work with that an ad we submitted to be published in today’s newspaper, conveying a message to Bush via a cartoon, would require special approval from the newspaper’s management, given the special circumstance that Bush is in town. (As I write, I’m being advised that our ad**, as is, was refused!) So much for running a business, economic development, and freedom of the press. So much for Palestinian democracy too.

As an American and a Palestinian, if I could advise Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on how to greet President Bush today, I would ask him to declare the end of the Palestinian Authority, which Israel has consciously and systematically destroyed. I would ask him to announce that the Palestinians will not accept Rambo-style diplomacy and will revert to international law as the only reference point for resolving the conflict. I would ask President Abbas to request America’s support for non-violent resistance against 60 years of dispossession and 40 years of military occupation by calling for a strategy of boycotting, divestment and sanctions*** on Israel until Israel joins the community of law-abiding nations.

But that’s not all. If I were President Abbas I would tell the world that the Palestinian people will remain committed to the two-state solution until the end of 2008, and after that, if the international community fails yet again to end this nightmare of occupation, the Palestinian people will return to their original strategy of calling for one democratic secular state, where Palestinians and Israelis of all religions can live in dignity and mutual respect as equals – one person, one vote, with appropriate arrangements for cultural autonomy for all.

President Abbas could lead now, or we could all sit and wait amid the increasing numbers of funerals, until the climax of the reality forced upon us by Israeli policy engenders a violent path to the same one-state solution that so many fear.

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m39984&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

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

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CIA Reveals: We Said In 1974 That Israel Had Nuclear Weapons

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

CIA Reveals: We Said In 1974 That Israel Had Nuclear Weapons

By Amir Oren


11/01/08 “
Haaretz” — — The Central Intelligence Agency, backed by bodies including the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Defense Intelligence Agency, determined in August 1974 that Israel had nuclear “weapons in being,” a “small number” of which it “produced and stockpiled.”

Israel was also suspected of providing nuclear materials, equipment or technology to Iran, South Africa and other then-friendly countries.

This top secret document, consigned to the CIA’s vaults for almost 32 years, was suddenly released to the public this week, during U.S. President George W. Bush’s visit to Israel and on the eve of his trip to the Persian Gulf.

A small part of the document was released in early 2006 under a Freedom of Information Request placed by scholars Avner Cohen and William Burr, but only as an attachment to a 1975 State Department paper ostensibly disputing the the portrayal of Israel’s nuclear weapons as a fact.

This served the Department of State’s effort to avoid addressing Israel’s nuclear status in response to a query by Congressman Alan Steelman.

The Department of State, led in this exercise by officials Joseph Sisco, Alfred (Roy) Atherton and Harold Saunders, tried to depict the 1974 Special National Intelligence Assesment, “Prospects for further proliferation of nuclear weapons,” as a CIA project, while in fact it was an agency-wide effort that included its own intelligence chief, William Hyland, as a senior member of the board that agreed to the conclusions.

The CIA was asked yesterday via e-mail about the strange coincidence of the document’s release a mere month after the publication of its awkwardly worded NIE on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It did not respond by deadline.

The issue of an American double standard regarding the nuclear activities of Israel and Iran often comes up when senior American officials visit the Gulf, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did last month.

In both the original 1974 document and the 1975 State Department paper (in which it was retyped), the entire intelligence community determined, “Israel already has produced nuclear weapons.” This analysis was based on “Israeli acquisition of large quantities of uranium,” in part covertly; on Israel’s ambiguous efforts to enrich uranium; and on the huge investment in the “Jericho” surface-to-surface missile “designed to accommodate nuclear warheads.” Short of a grave threat to the nation’s existence, Israel was not expected to confirm its suspected capability “by nuclear testing or by threats of use.”

While Israel’s nuclear weapons “cannot be proven beyond a shadow of doubt,” several bodies of information point strongly toward a program stretching back over a number of years, the document states.

The 1974 document describes the Jericho project, from its inception in France through its migration to Israel to the replacement of the original inertial guidance system by an Israeli design “based on components produced in Israel under licenses from U.S. companies.”

Israel Aircraft Industries is responsible for the development of the missile and has constructed a number of facilities for production and testing north of Tel Aviv, near Haifa, at Ramle and nearby it “a missile assembly and checkout plant.”

On Iran, the 1974 NIE said, “there is no doubt of the Shah’s ambition to make Iran a power to reckon with. If he is alive in the mid-80’s, if Iran has a full-fledged nuclear power industry and all the facilities necessary for nuclear weapons, and if other countries have proceeded with weapons development, we have no doubt that Iran will follow suit.”

The Shah’s ouster in 1979 (and death a year later) apparently slowed down Iran’s nuclear project.

The full story in
http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/943729.html

===

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

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The Heartless Zionists

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

The Heartless Zionists

Sabbah / Haaretz Editorial


© Carlos Latuff

Sabbah / Haaretz

These Zionist who claim to be humans are nothing but monster. Is there anything more inhuman than forcing children to leave their parent, especially at times like these?

What if the children passed a hard time during or after the operation? Can you imagine the heart of their mothers, fathers and family?

How in hell can I be asked to ‘talk peace’ with monster like the Zionist who lack any degree of mercy or humanity?

The evil decree

Haaretz Editorial

The scene shown Tuesday night on television was one of the most harsh and shameful seen here in recent times: a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, Ahmed Samut from Khan Yunis, and a nine-and-a-half-year-old girl, Sausan Jaafari, of Rafah, as they entered the Erez crossing alone, after being torn from the arms of their weeping parents.

The two children have heart conditions and need urgent surgery to save their lives. Wolfson Medical Center in Holon agreed to care for them, as part of their Save a Child’s Heart program that saves the lives of children around the world.

The hospital is to be praised for the project. The editors at Channel 10 News and reporter Shlomi Eldar are also to be praised. Israel and its security establishment, however, deserve a mark of disgrace.

The parents of the two children, both fathers and mothers, were not permitted by the Israel Defense Forces’ coordination and liaison administration to accompany their children to the fateful surgery. They are “denied entry” to Israel. The fact that Sausan’s parents had accompanied her to previous operations at Wolfson did not change the evil decree. It is indeed a decree of unparalleled evil. Only the elderly uncle of one of the children was allowed to go with them.

The images of children walking alone on their way to the frightening surgery should have reverberated from one end of the country to the other. They should have disturbed all Israelis, no matter what their political outlook. All parents in Israel should have put themselves in the place of those unfortunate parents.

Israel must not take inordinate pride in the very fact that it provides medical care for two sick children. In the state of siege it has imposed on Gaza, Israel bears heavy moral responsibility for the welfare and health of the besieged. It should also be noted that the siege is preventing Gaza’s Shifa Hospital from expanding its departments as planned, due to lack of building materials in Gaza. But the decision not to allow parents to accompany their children, which is also made in many other cases in which patients are denied entry to Israel for life-saving treatments, is insufferable.

Israel is taking the name of security in vain. No security consideration can excuse closing the crossing to the sick children’s parents, who are under no suspicion and who are not allowed in only because of their young age.

The security establishment has enough tools to make exceptions to the accepted practices that it has put in place arbitrarily, and to know how to filter out the humanitarian cases that must be allowed to cross. Sausan’s and Ahmed’s parents have the basic human right to nurse their children through their most difficult hours.

It is not too late. The security establishment should immediately allow the parents to enter Israel and ease its decrees in similar humanitarian cases. This is not about security, and it is not only about the fate of these families; it is about Israel’s moral image. The image that came through on television Tuesday night raises some very doleful thoughts.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

© 2007 Sabbah / Haaretz Editorial

SOURCE: http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2008/01/10/the-heartless-zionists/

===

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

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What is the lesson to be learned from the Holocaust?

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

“What is the lesson to be learned from the Holocaust?”

An interview with Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor

“I would like to dedicate this interview to the children of Gaza, whose parents cannot protect them or send them away to safety as my parents did when they sent me to England in May 1939 on a Kindertransport”

By Silvia Cattori

11/01/08 “ICH ” — – Hedy Epstein, is a German Jewish Holocaust survivor, born in 1924, whose parents were sent to Auschwitz in 1942, where they perished. In 1948, Hedy Epstein went to live in United States. In 2003, she decided to make a trip to Palestine. Shocked by the oppression that the Israeli government is imposing on the Palestinians, she is, since then, devoting herself to make it known to the world. In the interview she gave to the Swiss journalist Silvia Cattori, Hedy Epstein speaks, with her gentle and mild voice, about her last travel to Palestine after a moving visit to one of several concentration camps to which her parents were deported. And she said: “I would like to dedicate this interview to the children of Gaza, whose parents cannot protect them or send them away to safety as my parents did when they sent me to England in May 1939 on a Kindertransport” (1)

Silvia Cattori: In 2004, after the humiliating and dehumanizing abuse you had to undergo at Tel Aviv airport, where you had to get undressed and were internally searched as you explained it to me in our first conversation (2), you were very upset and you declared: “I will never return to Israel”. But since then you have been back four more times. Last summer you were there again. How was it possible?

Hedy Epstein: I have never felt such anger after what happened to me and the friend travelling with me at the Ben Gurion airport in January 2004.

While on the plane, still full of rage, I wrote on every page in the magazines provided by the airline “I am a Holocaust survivor and I will ‘never again’ return to Israel.” I sometimes pressed so hard on the paper with my pen, that I tore the page. It was one small way to vent some of my anger.

After I returned home, still very angry, traumatized, I decided to get some counselling, which helped me to work through my anger and allowed me to plan my next trip back to the West Bank just a few months later, in the summer of 2004. I have been back every year since then, a total of five times since 2003. I have gone back because it is the right thing for me to do; to witness and to let the Palestinians know there are some people who care enough to come back and stand with them in their struggle against Israel’s occupation. Palestinians have asked me upon my return home, to tell the American people what I have seen and experienced, because the American people don’t know what is happening, because the media does not inform them. I made a commitment to do so and have taken every opportunity to honour this commitment.

Silvia Cattori: What was your interpretation of the fact that the Israeli officers treated you in such a brutal way?

Hedy Epstein: They tried to intimidate me, to silence me, hoping I would never come back. Though momentarily they may have succeeded, ultimately they did not. To quote General McArthur, an American army general, who said “I shall return”, I have returned four times since the January 2004, event at the Tel Aviv airport, on my way back from Israeli occupied territory, and will continue to return. They will not be able to stop me. And, so, I plan to aboard ship to Gaza in a few months.

Silvia Cattori: Was it not too traumatic for a sensitive person like you to go back to the West Bank and see the Isreali soldiers humiliating, threatening, killing, and destroying Palestinians lives and properties?

Hedy Epstein: As an American I am a privileged person. I am very much aware of this and feel uncomfortable wearing this cloak, especially when I am in Palestine, conscious of the fact that I can come and go any time I want to, a privilege denied the Palestinians, who have great difficulty in moving from one place to another, restricted by road blocks, check points, the imprisoning 25 foot high wall, by young Israeli soldiers who can decide who can pass and who cannot, who can go to school, to the hospital, to work, to visit family and friends.

I have seen the long lines of Palestinians at the Bethlehem checkpoint. I spoke to a 41 year old man, who told me he works three days a week; in order to get to work on time, he gets up at 2:30 A.M. and arrives at the checkpoint at 3:15 A.M. to wait in line, a long line, with others, for the checkpoint to open around 5:30 A.M. He has to come this early because many people line up. Sometimes the Israeli soldiers allow no one to go through. He would like to work full time, but there are no jobs in Bethlehem.

During each of my five visits I have spent some time in Jerusalem. I have been painfully aware how increasingly its current size and boundaries share very little with the city’s historic parameters, Israeli only settlements, such as Har Homa and Gilo are referred to as Jerusalem neighbourhoods. East Jerusalem is dotted with Israeli flags flying from homes from which Palestinians were “removed,” thus judaizing the area more and more.

During my last visit, in August 2007, I only had time for a brief visit with my dear Palestinian friend, and her husband in Ramallah. During prior visits, I and some of my American travel companions were their houseguests for several days, basking in their hospitality, typical Palestinian hospitality, which is unlike any other I have ever experienced anywhere. The wife, ever cheerful in the past, seemed downcast, though she did not complain, simply stating “Life is more difficult since my husband is no longer working.” In a conversation later, alone with her husband, he stated that he left his job in order to go to school and study. There is truth in both statements, but the husband’s comments reflect an effort to salvage and maintain some of his dignity.

I also visited and stayed overnight with my Palestinians friends and their children in Bethlehem. The TV, which is always on, at one point caught our attention. There was a story about Jews from all over the world, immigrating to Israel. There were many small Israeli flags waving and welcoming the new citizens of Israel arriving at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. A big banner in the background spelled out in English and Hebrew “Welcome Home”.

As the story continued, we all stared at the TV, silently. Then one of us, I don’t remember who, broke the heavy silence, asking no one in particular “What about the return of the Palestinians?”

At the regular weekly non-violent demonstration in Bi’lin, as the teargas tossed at us by young Israeli soldiers, choking us, as we all ran to get away from it, I overheard a conversation between two Palestinian boys, one saying to the other “I don’t want to die” “Nor do I” said the other. Their fear has stayed with me. What will happen to them? What is their future?
And yet, despite the almost hopelessness of the situation that might never change, Palestinian people are amazingly strong. Even though the Israeli oppression goes on, and gets worse, with new types of military oppression, the Palestinians have not given up; they are going on living there.

They are an amazing, resilient people. They will never give up. The Israeli may kill many of them, destroy their homes, destroy their lives, but they will never be able to destroy their hope for a different way of existence, for a better way of living together.

No matter what the Israelis do, they cannot take away the hope and the dignity of the Palestinian people. The Israelis have the power, the Palestinian people have dignity and despite all odds, still have hope. The Israelis have the airplanes from which they drop bombs in Gaza, they have bulldozers made here in the United States, not far from my home, they can do all those things, but despite this imbalance of power, the Israelis will never be able to destroy Palestinians’ hope and dignity.

Silvia Cattori: For the Palestinians in Hebron or Nablus, to see a Holocaust survivor travelling in such precarious conditions to express to them her love and solidarity, is it not something very unusual and touching?

Hedy Epstein: I feel it is important for the Palestinians who are not allowed to leave Palestine, who are living under the Israelis military occupation, in such horrendous conditions, to know that there are people in other parts of the world who condemn the Israeli oppression, who care enough to come there, and to share their difficulties and sufferings, even if it is for a very short time.

I am impressed again and again to discover that Palestinians know so much more about what is going on in the world. They are better informed than the American people.

Most Palestinians I have met have asked me to tell the American people what I have seen and experienced, because the American people do not know, because the media does not inform them. I have made a commitment to do that. I have given talks at high schools, universities, churches, community groups, in the United States, as well as in Germany (in German). I urge people to go to Palestine to see and experience life there. It is a life changing experience. They will come back a different person, more aware, more sensitive and hopefully challenged to make a difference.

Though I am not a religious Jew (I consider myself a secular humanist), I know a little bit about Jewish tradition, which teaches that: “We’re permitted neither to give up hope, nor to abandon the work we’ve started, even if we cannot complete the task ourselves”.

And so, the situation, especially in Gaza, is so awful, I feel I must continue to be a moral voice, must continue to have the courage to take a public stand against Israel’s crimes against humanity and the misinterpretations provided by the media. Israel would not be able to carry out its crimes against humanity without the United States, the world, permitting it to do so and the mass media, which, with few exceptions, dehumanizes Palestinians and instills fear, ignorance and loathing of them and their culture.

Having met Palestinians, experienced their hospitality, warmth, dignity and even humor, it is incumbent upon me to bring their voices, their experiences to anyone who will listen to me, to bear witness about the Wall, the land confiscations, the demolished homes, the violation of water rights, the restrictions of freedom of movement. The future of peace cannot be awaited passively, but rather from commitments and struggles for justice. There is no peace without justice.

Nadav Tamir, the Israeli Consul General in Boston, wrote in the Boston Globe newspaper in November 2007 “This is no longer an issue of being pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli, but rather a confrontation between those who prefer peace and those who prefer bloodshed. It is time to choose sides.”

Silvia Cattori: You said that you plan to be aboard ship to Gaza in a few months (3)?

Hedy Epstein: Oh yes, definitely. There is nothing which can stop me. I am determined to go and I am going to take swimming lessons, just in case. The “Free Gaza” boat could not go last summer for different reasons. I think it is important for all of the people who are invited on the boat, to take that chance to show to the world what Israel is really doing in Gaza and to express their intention to break the illegal siege.

The Media is so controlled – probably by Israel as well – that, whatever the power that be in United State or in Europe, they never convey what is really happening every day on the ground; how much suffering is caused by the extreme oppression, what is happening to the people, not only in Gaza, but to a lesser extent maybe to the people in the West Bank. The world needs to know, and if we can be that medium, to let the world finally know what is happening, then it is important for us to play that role.

Silvia Cattori: While most countries are isolating the Hamas authorities in the Gaza strip, and cutting them off from the most essential humanitarian aid, the Hamas takeover in Gaza does it not represent an obstacle for you to go there?

Hedy Epstein: No. Hamas was elected in a democratic way, there were neutral observers there and they did not find anything wrong with these elections. They have been democratically elected. As you know, Israel and the United States wanted this election but they where hoping for a different outcome. They did not like the fact that Hamas won the election. For that reason, they are attacking Hamas and do not want to recognize it and they are carrying out a sort of collective punishment against the 1.5 million people in Gaza. There is a huge humanitarian crisis. The Israeli army controls all the exit points from Gaza to Israel, to Jordan, to Egypt. In fact they control the air, the sea and the land.

Almost nothing is allowed to come in, and nothing is allowed to go out. Gaza is essentially an agricultural community. Farmers in Gaza, who grow flowers, strawberries and tomatoes for instance, spend a lot of time and energy and money to grow these products and cannot sell them! And so the flowers wilt and the strawberries and tomatoes spoil.

The Israeli government pretends that it no longer occupies Gaza. But that is not true.

Silvia Cattori: For those people who do not know, or do not want to know, what the Israeli government is really doing, your voice is of utmost importance. Indeed, a person like you, who can give testimony about the Nazi oppression and about the present Zionist oppression, able to look at the facts with a very honest spirit, is very rare!

Hedy Epstein: I do not make comparisons between Nazi oppression and Zionist oppression; though, I have been accused of doing that. Instead I speak of the lessons learned from the Holocaust. I credit my experiences as a Holocaust survivor as the leading influence behind my efforts to promote human rights and social justice. For me “remembering is not enough”, which is the title of my autobiography, published in German, in Germany in 1999, under the title “Erinnern ist nicht genug.” (4) Remembering also has to have a present and a future perspective.

What is the lesson to be learned from the Holocaust? I know what it is to be oppressed. Nobody can do everything, but I feel that it is incombent upon me to do as much as I can, to do the right thing, to, in this case, stand with the Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli oppression, under which they exist and suffer every day and night.

Why did I survive? To just sit here and say: yes, the situation is bad, somebody shsould do something about it. I firmly believe that each and every one of us, including me, has to be that someone, who tries to improve the situation.

And this is not to say that the sufferings of the Palestinians are more or less important than the sufferings of the people in some other places. But I have only so much energy and so much time each day. Rather than dispersing my energy here and there, I decided just to concentrate it on the Israeli and Palestinian issue.

Silvia Cattori: On your way to Palestine, you went first to France to visit one of the concentration camps to wich your parents were deported? Was it your first visit?

Hedy Epstein: Let my clarify. In 1940, on 22 October, all the Jews from the area of South West Germany, where I come from, were deported to the concentration camp, Camp de Gurs, located in the foothills of the Pyrenaen Mountains, in what was then Vichy France, which collaborated with the Germans. Men and women were separated by barbed wire. In late March 1941, my father was transferred to Camp les Milles, near Marseille. In July 1942, my mother was transferred to Camp de Rivesaltes, near Perpignan.

In September 1980, I visited Camp de Gurs, the Dachau concentration camp (my father was there for four weeks after Crystal Night or the Night of the Broken Glass in 1938) and Auschwitz. In 1990, I visited Camp les Milles, where my father was until his deportation to Auschwitz via Drancy (a transit camp near Paris).

Until August 2007, I was not able to visit Camp de Rivesaltes, where my mother was, for about two months in 1942, until her deportation, via Drancy, to Auschwitz. And, last summer, with friends, I went to visit Camp de Rivesaltes for the first time.

In a letter, dated August 9, 1942, my father told me: “Tomorrow I am being deported to an unknown destination. It may be a long time before you hear from me again…” In a letter, dated September 1, 1942, my mother told me exactly the same. And, then, I received another postcard from my mother, dated September 4, 1942, in which she writes: “I am travelling to the East and sending you a final goodbye…” These were the last communications from my parents.

When, in 1956, I learned that my parents were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, in Poland, I could only assume that, after they had spent almost two years in the concentration camps in France, they were physically in a very bad condition, and that they were probably sent straight to the gas chamber upon their arrival there.

Silvia Cattori: What was your feeling?

Hedy Epstein: I was amazed at the immense size of the camp, which could house 30,000 people, and its deplorable condition. Some of the barracks no longer exist; others are falling apart, roofs missing, walls falling down, and wild vegetation everywhere. Desolation everywhere. Wind turbines nearby stood like sentinels, watching over the demise of what was once home to a hapless people, to my mother.

From correspondence with my mother at the time she was there, I knew in wich two barracks she was housed. One barrack I never found; it probably does not exist anymore. The other one, barrack number 21, I found it.

The entrance to the barracks is elevated, making entry difficult. But, as though to invite me to enter barrack Nr, 21, a wooden board was leaning up to the entry. With the help of my friends I was able to maintain my balance as I tip-toed, like a ballet dancer, into the barrack. I touched the walls, maybe where my mother might have touched it, I picked up some of the debris to take home with me, tried to imagine what it must have been like for my mother. Later, I left the barrack at the opposite end, jumping out and into an overgrown area, stopped by thorny growth, holding me in place. One of my friends poignantly remarked “The building doesn’t want you to go away”.

Silvia Cattori: Was the visit of Camp de Rivesaltes beneficial to you, since it made you closer to the soul of your beloved mother?

Hedy Epstein: I felt very close to my mother when I was there; I imagined how she moved around in the camp, what it was like for her. She was there from July to September 1942, a time when it is very hot. I remembered that my mother suffered from the summer heat when we were still living together in Kippenheim. It was very hot when I visited this camp. As so often in my life, I was reminded of the “unearned privileged” life I lead. Thanks to my parents’ great unselfish love, I escaped what they had to endure. By sending me to England on a Kindertransport in May 1939, my parents literally gave me life a second time.

Silvia Cattori: It was a very moving visit for you, wasn’t it? A come back to a very sad period of your life, away from your parents!

Hedy Epstein: Before I left Germany on a Kindertransport to England, my parents gave me many admonitions, to be good, to be honest, always ending with “We will see each other again soon.” I believed that we would see each other again soon, whether my parents believed that, I will never know. My parents and I corresponded directly with each other until England declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. Then it was no longer possible to correspond directly with each other. Instead we exchanged 25 word messages through the Red Cross.

After my parents were sent to the camps in Vichy France, we could correspond directly with each other again. However, my parents were allowed only to write one page, per person, per week. I could write as much and as often as I wanted to. My parents never wrote about the horrible conditions under which they were forced to “exist,” I learned about that only after the war was over.

Thinking back on that time in England, I was a very sad little girl, not allowing myself to really get in touch with my feelings and fears. As I told you, each of my parents in their last letters to me before their final deportation (to Auschwitz), each of them wrote: “It will probably be a long time before you hear from me again”

How long is a long time? A week, a month, a year, ten years! Since I wanted so very much to be reunited with my parents again, I kept on telling myself: “A long time is not over yet, I have to wait some more”. I was in denial. I was not able to accept the inevitable, my parents’ demise. That was really a psychological game I played with myself, it was a way for me to survive, a self-preservation mechanism.

It was not until September 1980, when I visited Auschwitz and stood on the place, called “Die Rampe” (The ramp), where the cattle cars arrived in the 1940s, the people were forced to get out and Dr. Mengele and his cohorts made a selection as to who will live and who will die (in the gas chambers), that I was able to accept the fact that my parents and other family members did not survive. That is a very long time to be in denial. Perhaps the denial was in lieu of the usual mourning process.

Silvia Cattori: Thanks for this moving interview.

1) http://www.kindertransport.org/history.html
2) About Hedy Epstein’s abuse by Israeli security officers:

http://www.jkcook.net/Articles2/0165.htm http://www.counterpunch.org/cattori06072007.html
3) http://www.counterpunch.org/cattori06072007.html
http://www.voltairenet.org/article150755.html
4) http://www.unrast-verlag.de/unrast,2,18,5.html

The full story in
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19044.htm

===

-muslim voice-
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Germany, Afghanistan ISAF used Afghan children to detect land mines: ex-German soldier

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Germany, Afghanistan ISAF used Afghan children to detect land mines: ex-German soldier

Mathaba

January 11, 2008

Soldiers of the NATO led International Security Assistance Force ”ISAF” have repeatedly used Afghan children to detect land mines in war ravaged country, said a former German ISAF officer in Berlin on Thursday.

Unveiling his new book titled ‘Final Station’, Achim Wohlgetan pointed out that children were misused by ISAF forces to find land- mines in the Kabul region in 2002.

ISAF soldiers threw apples on an area and then waited to see what would happen. If the children were to run to pick up the apples, and there was no explosion, the area was declared safe, according to Wohlgetan.

A German Defense Ministry spokesperson voiced serious questions over some of the claims which Wohlgetan made in his book.

He alleged that German soldiers had operated outside the mandated area of ISAF in Afghanistan in 2002.

Speaking at a routine government press briefing in Berlin on Wednesday, Christian Dienst expressed strong doubts over claims made by Wohlgetan who said that several troops had knowingly violated the ISAF zone.

The 41-year-old ex-German soldier quit military service in 2006 as a lower ranking officer.

According to Dienst, Wohlgetan lacked an overview of all aspects of the security structure.

Some 3,500 German troops are deployed in mainly northern Afghanistan.

Germany has faced intense pressure in recent months from its Nato allies, notably the US, Britain and Canada, to widen its military presence into southern Afghanistan where NATO troops are battling a revitalized Taliban insurgency.

A spate of kidnappings of German nationals in Afghanistan has also negatively influenced public opinion about the western military campaign in the war-ravaged country.

According to the latest opinion polls, most Germans oppose the western war in Afghanistan. –IRNA

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m40027&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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151,000 deaths in Iraq?

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

151,000 deaths in Iraq?

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
morti2289.jpg

January10, 2008

The World Health Organization has now published an article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine new study on deaths in Iraq, and the study has gotten the official stamp of approval from the Washington Post. Here’s their lead:

A new survey estimates that 151,000 Iraqis died of violence in the three years following the U.S.-led invasion of the country. Roughly nine of 10 of those deaths were a consequence of U.S. military operations, insurgent attacks and sectarian warfare.

The survey, conducted by the Iraqi government and the World Health Organization, also found a 60 percent increase in nonviolent deaths — everything from childhood infections to kidney failure — during the period.

I haven’t had time to do a complete analysis, but right off the bat you can see some problems. First, note that both the news articles and the report itself quantify only the 151,000 deaths from “violence.” This does make it clear how inaccurate the methodology of Iraq Body Count (its much lower numbers relying on published media reports, and counting “civilians” only) is, but it’s very misleading with respect to the earlier Johns Hopkins studies. Why? Because the Johns Hopkins study was a study of “excess deaths,” not deaths by violence only. Unfortunately, although the WHO study says they “found a 60 percent increase in nonviolent deaths,” they don’t quantify how many that amounts to, so comparing its 151,000 total to the Johns Hopkins study is difficult indeed.
Also, note the March June 2006 end date. Nothing wrong with that, the study had to end sometime, but there’s no attempt, either in the press or in the study itself, to project from that number or even to mention it. 21 18 months have passed since March June 2006, and a lot more Iraqis have died (indeed, official numbers have said that last year saw an even higher Iraqi death toll than the ones that preceded it). Clearly, then, the “151,000” number, which is now going to assume the role of gospel, is starting out incorrect, even if it was correct as of March June 2006.

But the biggest problem is the non-violent death problem. There seems to be an idea that only violent deaths “count,” as if people dying from poor public health conditions, poor nutrition, or poor health care are somehow less dead, or as if the increase in their numbers is any less attributable to the invasion. Consider Table 3 from the study. For all ages, subtracting out the violent component gives 3.07 deaths per 1000 person-years from disease and other non-violent causes before the invasion, and 4.92 after, a 60% increase. Violent deaths went from 0.1 to 1.09. I’m no statistician, but even though that’s a 10-fold increase, the absolute increase of 1.85 deaths per 1000 person-years from non-violent causes would seem to be 70% larger. So if there were 151,000 additional violent deaths by March 2006, my crude calculation (which I am very willing to have corrected by a real statistician) gives 256,000 deaths from non-violent causes, for a total of 407,000 Iraqis dead as a result of the invasion by March June 2006. That’s three years of data, which means it’s 11,300/month. Add an another 21 18 months and that’s another 238,000 203,400 people, for a grand total of 645,000 610,000, more than four times higher than the number you’re now going to be hearing bandied about in the corporate media.

One hell of a lot of people. Or, to be blunt about it, former people. They’re dead now.

P.S.: Shall we start a poll as to when the first time a reporter will ask George Bush about these numbers? I’ll place my bet on “never.”

Update: First misinterpretation: Democracy Now! this morning reports that “a new study shows that 151,000 Iraqis have died.” No, the new study shows that 151,000 Iraqis have been killed by violent means through June 2006.

Second misinterpretation, from The New York Times: “W.H.O. Says Iraq Civilian Death Toll Higher Than Cited.” No, the WHO study has nothing to do with “civilians,” it has to do with “Iraqis.” The only appearance of the word “civilians” in the NEJM paper is in conjunction with mentions of Iraq Body Count, which does count only “civilians.” The Times further confuses deaths with violent deaths, reporting that “The World Health Organization said its study…indicated with a 95 percent degree of statistical certainty that between 104,000 and 223,000 civilians had died.” It did no such thing. It indicated that many Iraqis had died from violence. Quite a different thing.

Small correction: Just caught myself in one math error. Somehow I thought that the study ended in March, 2006; it actually ended in June, 2006. That means I added in three too many more months of deaths. I should have added in 18 months, for a total of 610,000 deaths, not 645,000.

Another update: I just checked the Democracy Now website, and it’s worse than I wrote above. Like the NY Times, they report (inaccurately on three counts!): “A new study of the civilian death toll since the U.S. invasion of Iraq has put the number of Iraqi deaths at 151,000.” Not “civilians,” not the “death toll,” and not “since the invasion”. This from the most progressive news organization with reasonably mass distribution in the entire country.

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m39997&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

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

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EXPORTING RAPE

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

EXPORTING RAPE

Malcom Lagauche
rapevictim.jpg
Jamie Leigh Jones, former KBR employee, testifies before U.S. Congress
January 10, 2008

In my last column, I ran a picture of the cover of a propaganda comic book concocted by the CIA that had the line “Rescued from Rape and Slavery” at the bottom. Tens of thousands of these were dropped from airplanes on the island of Grenada just after the U.S. invasion of the tiny island in 1983. During the buildup to the illegal March 2003 invasion of Iraq, George Bush regularly mentioned the “Iraqi rape rooms” and how the Iraqi public would be freed of these horrible institutions by U.S. liberation.

In fact, on October 8, 2003, George Bush told the Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, “Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers.”

On September 2, 2003, Paul Bremer, the bible-toting, combat boot-wearing viceroy of Iraq made his own statement about ridding Iraq of rape:

The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don’t have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over.

Bremer and Bush must be commended for their public stance against rape, but their words were utter fantasy. They get a 100% score for lying. There were no rape rooms in Iraq and the actions Bremer stated are more in tune with what the U.S. brought to Iraq, not what was there before March 2003.

The facts show that instead of halting rape epidemics in countries the U.S. invades, the occupiers introduce rape to these nations; nations in which rape was virtually non-existent.

Let’s take a look at statistics supplied by the Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Crimininal Justice Systems that covered the years 1998 to 2000. The United States led the world by a huge margin in the number of rapes: 89,100. There were 65 countries listed, Monserrat being #65 with seven rapes. Iraq did not even appear on the list. Here are some more interesting facts supplied by the report:

  • The U.S. puts 0.7% of its population in prison, a vastly higher percentage than any other nation.
  • Russia has almost twice as many judges and magistrates as the U.S. Meanwhile, the U.S. has eight times as much crime.
  • Total crimes committed in the two-year in the U.S.: 23,677,800; number one in the world.
  • Total assaults: 2,238,480; number one in the world.

The U.S. leads the world in areas of crime, violence and rape, but it considers itself the moral police of the planet. A similar scenario would be to have Al Capone lead the FBI in its war against the mob. Or, having Ted Bundy supervise a task force aimed at apprehending mass murderers. The only problem with this hypocrisy consists of the U.S. public believing Reagan when he said the U.S. rid Grenada of rape or believing Bush when he said the U.S. had eradicated rape in Iraq. Rape was not prevalent in either country, but the assertions are so dramatic that the U.S. is considered a humanitarian savior.

In the case of Iraq, rape, much like Starbuck’s, was brought into the country by U.S. military personnel and civilian contractors. The first inklings of Iraqis being raped by U.S. troops came from the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. Then, accusations began flowing in of U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi females (and a few males). At first, the denials were immediate and meant to put an end to the subject. But, so many allegations came forth that it was impossible to deny them. The U.S. strategy changed from denial to ignoring the issue.

On December 20, 2007, the Australian newspaper The Age ran a story titled “Woman Testifies She Was Raped by U.S. Contractors in Iraq.” Here are a few features:

A US woman who said she was raped by US contractors in Iraq testified in Congress today, telling legislators that she was kept under armed guard in her trailer after reporting the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 23, said that she was gang raped inside the Baghdad Green Zone in July 2005 while she was working for the Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc, which has support contracts with the US military.

The US Department of Justice failed to send an attorney to the House of Representatives sub-committee hearing, which Democrat John Conyers blasted as “outrageous” and “unacceptable”.

Jones told committee members that on her fourth day in Baghdad some co-workers, who she described as Halliburton-KBR firefighters, invited her for a drink. “I took two sips from the drink and don’t remember anything after that,” she said.

The next morning Jones woke up groggy and confused, and with a sore chest and blood between her legs. She reported the incident to KBR and was examined by an army doctor, who confirmed she had been repeatedly raped vaginally and anally …

… The rape was so brutal she is still undergoing reconstructive surgery, Jones said.

Jones tried to get her case resolved first through KBR channels, then through the US Department of Justice. When neither course seemed to work, she gave an interview with ABC television news.

KBR has been silent on the matter, though according to ABC News the company circulated a memo among employees signed by company president and CEO Bill Utt saying that it “disputes portions of Ms. (Jamie Leigh) Jones’ version and facts.”

Jones said that she knows of at least 11 other women who were raped by US contractors in Iraq.

KBR used identical methods as those employed by the U.S. government: denial. Plus, KBR said that Jones lied.

Rape is now commonplace in much of Iraq. U.S. soldiers and civilians are equal opportunity participants; they have raped U.S. and Iraqi women. Unfortunately, it is not only U.S. citizens who are the aggressors. Some members of Shia “death squads” have taken lessons from the occupiers and are now using rape as a security tool. Whether it be an Iraqi or an American, virtually no offenders have been brought to justice. In one case last year, a woman accused several Iraqi policemen of raping her. The evidence showed that she was violated. Within a day, Maliki not only refuted the woman’s accusations, he gave medals of commendation to the rapists. After all, he was following the lead of his U.S. puppeteers.

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m39981&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

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

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Hermeneutika dan Fundamentalisme

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 12, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

“Hermeneutika dan Fundamentalisme”

Dosen IAIN mengatakan, ciri fundamentalis adalah orang-orang yang menolak ‘hermeneutika’. Kok bisa?. Baca Catatan Akhir Pekan [CAP] Adian Husaini ke-216

Oleh: Adian Husaini

Senin, 17 Desember 2007

Ahad (9/12/2007) lalu, di Solo, seorang mahasiswa pasca sarjana Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta memberi saya sebuah buku berjudul “Is Religion Killing Us? (Membongkar Akar Kekerasan dalam Bibel dan al-Qur’an)”. Sudah cukup lama saya memiliki edisi bahasa Inggris buku karya Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer tersebut. Banyak hal bisa dikritisi dari isi buku ini, karena penulisnya sudah menggugat kesucian teks Al-Quran. Misalnya, penulis berkesimpulan, bahwa ”Masalah Islam yang identik dengan kekerasan tidak hanya sebatas adanya ketidaksesuaian teks-teks, tetapi berakar pada banyaknya ayat-ayat dalam Qur’an yang melegitimasi kekerasan, peperangan dan intoleransi.” (hal. 165).

Penulis buku ini juga dengan semena-mena membuat kesimpulan, bahwa ”Kekerasan religius yang lazim diantara tradisi kepercayaan penganut monoteisme tidak semata-mata sebagai masalah distorsi penafsiran kaum beriman terhadap teks-teks suci mereka. Hal itu lebih pada masalah yang berakar dalam tradisi kekerasan Tuhan yang terletak pada inti teks-teks suci tersebut.” (hal. 180).

Tapi, Nelson-Pallmeyer menulis buku tersebut, berangkat dari pengalaman dan pemahamannya sebagai seorang Kristen di Barat. Pemahamannya terhadap Al-Quran dan Islam tampak dangkal. Maka, yang lebih menarik, adalah membaca kata pengantar edisi bahasa Indonesia buku ini yang ditulis oleh tokoh Katolik Dr. Haryatmoko S.J. dan khususnya oleh Dr. Hamim Ilyas, seorang dosen UIN Yogya yang juga anggota Majelis Tarjih Muhammadiyah.

Karena cukup menarik, kita perlu menyimak kata pengantar Dr. Hamim Ilyas yang berjudul ”Akar Fundamentalisme Dalam Perspektif Al-Qur’an”. Berikut ini paparan Hamim Ilyas tentang fundamentalisme:

”Fundamentalisme adalah satu tradisi interpretasi sosio-religius (mazhab) yang menjadikan Islam sebagai agama dan ideologi, sehingga yang dikembangkan di dalamnya tidak hanya doktrin teologis, taoi juga doktrin-doktrin ideologis. Doktrin-doktrin itu dikembangkan oleh tokoh-tokoh pendiri fundamentalisme modern, yakni Hasan al-Banna, Abu A’la al-Maududi, Sayyid Quthb, Ruhullah Khumaini, Muhammad Baqir al-Shadr, Abd as-Salam Faraq, Sa’id Hawa dan Juhaiman al-Utaibi.”

Menurut Hamim Ilyas, ”Karakteristik fundamentalisme adalah skripturalisme, yakni keyakinan harfiah terhadap kitab suci yang merupakan firman Tuhan yang dianggap tanpa kesalahan. Dengan keyakinan itu dikembangkan gagasan dasar bahwa suatu agama tertentu dipegang kokoh dalam bentuk literal dan bulat, tanpa kompromi, pelunakan, reinterpretasi dan pengurangan.”

Lalu, Hamim melanjutkan tulisannya tentang fundamentalisme dengan mengutip pendapat Azyumardi Azra dan Martin E. Marty, dengan menjelaskan sebagai berikut:

Pertama, oposionalisme. Fundamentalisme dalam agama mana pun mengambil bentuk perlawanan – yang bukannya tak sering bersifat radikal – terhadap ancaman yang dipandang akan membahayakan eksistensi agama, baik yang berbentuk modernitas, sekularisasi maupun tata nilai Barat. Acuan atau tolok ukur untuk menilai tingkat ancaman itu tentu saja adalah kitab suci, yang dalam fundamentalisme Islam adalah Al-Quran dan pada batas-batas tertentu juga hadits Nabi.
Kedua, penolakan terhadap hermeneutika. Kaum fundamentalis menolak sikap kritis terhadap teks. Teks al-Qur’an harus dipahami secara literal sebagaimana bunyinya, karena nalar dipandang tidak mampu memberikan interpretasi yang tepat terhadap teks. Meski bagian-bagian tertentu dari teks kitab suci boleh jadi kelihatan bertentangan satu sama lain, nalar tidak dibenarkan melakukan semacam ”kompromi” dan menginterpretasikan ayat-ayat tersebut.

Ketiga, penolakan terhadap pluralisme dan relativisme. Bagi kaum fundamentalis, pluralisme merupakan pemahaman yang keliru terhadap teks kitab suci.

Keempat, penolakan terhadap perkembangan historis dan sosiologis. Kaum fundamentalis berpandangan bahwa perkembangan historis dan sosiologis telah membawa manusia semakin jauh dari doktrin literal kitab suci… Karena itulah, kaum fundamentalis bersifat a-historis dan a-sosiologis; dan tanpa peduli bertujuan kembali kepada bentuk masyarakat ”ideal” – seperti pada zaman kaum salaf – yang dipandang mengejawantahkan kitab suci secara sempurna.
”Karakteristik fundamentalisme yang telah mengakar membawa konskuensi logis munculnya doktrin-doktrin yang justru mengekang, menyiksa diri dan membatasi ruang gerak, bukannya membebaskan. Doktrin sentral fundamentalisme adalah Islam kaffah. Dalam doktrin ini Islam tidak hanya diajarkan sebagai sistem agama, tetapi sebagai sistem yang secara total mencakup seluruh aspek kehidupan manusia, baik dalam kehidupan pribadi maupun sosial,” tulis sang dosen tafsir UIN Yogya ini.

Ditambahkan lagi, bahwa ”Akar fundamentalisme yang berasal dari kesalahan menafsirkan teks suci al-Qur’an ternyata benar-benar mencoreng nama Tuhan (Allah Swt) dan al-Qur’an itu sendiri. Menjadikan Islam sebagai idoelogi yang mendorong timbulnya ekstrimisme dan radikalisme dapat diyakini sebagai perilaku berlebih-lebihan dalam beragama yang jelas-jelas dilarang.”

Demikianlah kutipan paparan Dr. Hamim Ilyas tentang fundamentalisme.

Ringkasnya, menurut Hamim Ilyas, fundamentalis adalah orang-orang yang skripturalis atau literalis dalam memahami Al-Quran, menolak hermeneutika, menolak pluralisme, menolak relativisme dan sebagainya. Paparan dosen tafsir UIN Yogya tentang ”fundamentalisme Islam” ini – sebagaimana banyak cendekiawan lainnya – masih sebatas membeo definisi fundamentalisme yang aplikasikan oleh para ilmuwan Barat yang merujuk kepada pengalaman sosial-keagamaan kaum Yahudi dan Kristen. Jika dicermati, tulisan ini sebenarnya serampangan dan asal-asalan.

Kita tentu sudah maklum, bahwa istilah dan wacana fundamentalisme keagamaan dikembangkan oleh Barat menyusul berakhirnya Perang Dingin. Seperti ditulis Huntington dalam bukunya, The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order, bahwa adalah manusiawi untuk membenci karena untuk penentuan jati diri dan membangun motivasi, masyarakat perlu musuh. (It is human to hate. For self definition and motivation people need enemies: competitors in business, rivals in achievement, opponents in politics).

Sejak itu, wacana ”fundamentalisme keagamaan”, khususnya ”fundamentalis Islam” dikembangkan. Banyak sarjana dibayar untuk meneliti dan menulis tentang masalah ini. Seminar-seminar tentang fundamentalisme digelar. Media massa memainkan peran yang dominan dalam pembentukan opini negatif tentang kaum yang dicap sebagai fundamentalis.

Istilah-istilah “Islam fundamentalis”, “Islam eksklusif”, “Islam militan”, Islam radikal”, “Islam konservatif”, dan sejenisnya memang sering digunakan untuk memberikan stigma negatif terhadap kelompok-kelompok Islam yang pemikirannya tidak sejalan dan tidak disukai oleh Barat. Ilmuwan Yahudi, Prof. Bernard Lewis, dalam bukunya The Crisis of Islam menyatakan, bahwa fundamentalis Islam adalah jahat dan berbahaya, dan menyebutkan bahwa fundamentalis adalah anti-Barat. (Fundamentalists are anti-Western in the sense that they regard the West as the source of the evil that is corroding Muslim society).

Dalam “Catatan Pinggirnya” di Majalah Tempo, 27 Januari 2002, Gunawan Muhammad menutup tulisannya dengan kalimat: “Fundamentalisme memang aneh dan keras dan menakutkan: ia mendasarkan diri pada perbedaan, tetapi pada gilirannya membunuh perbedaan.” Lalu, pada pidatonya di Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta, 21 Oktober 1992, Nurcholish Madjid mengatakan: “Kultus dan fundamentalisme adalah sama berbahayanya dengan narkotika.”

Genderang perang yang ditabuh oleh Barat dan sekutu-sekutunya dalam melawan fundamentalisme agama tentu saja dibuat dalam perspektif Barat dan untuk kepentingan Barat. Karena itulah, proyek ini mendapatkan kucuran dana yang sangat besar. Salah satu yang menonjol adalah proyek liberalisasi Islam. Karena itu, kita tentu maklum dengan munculnya orang-orang seperti Hamim Ilyas ini, yang entah karena ketidaktahuannya atau karena hawa nafsunya membuat opini-opini yang menyudutkan kaum Muslim dan cendekiawan Muslim tertentu seperti al-Maududi, dengan memberi stigma negatif semacam “fundamentalis” dan sebagainya.

Kita bisa saja tidak setuju dengan sebagian pemikiran Hasan al-Banna atau Abul A’la al-Maududi. Tetapi, untuk apa memberi cap bahwa mereka adalah fundamentalis, literalis, anti-pluralis, dan sebagainya? Tuduhan-tuduhan seperti ini sebenarnya sangat naif dan bodoh, apalagi dilakukan oleh seorang doktor dan dosen tafsir. Abul A’la al-Maududi, misalnya, adalah pemikir besar yang karya-karyanya telah memberi inspirasi dan manfaat bagi jutaan kaum Muslim di seluruh dunia.

Lalu, dikatakan oleh Hamim Ilyas, bahwa salah satu ciri fundamentalis adalah menolak hermeneutika. Pada muktamarnya di Boyolali tahun 2004, NU juga menolak penggunaan hermeneutika untuk Al-Quran. Apa NU juga fundamentalis? Di Muhammadiyah sendiri, banyak tokohnya yang telah menulis secara kritis bahaya penggunaan hermeneutika untuk Al-Quran. Apa mereka semua itu adalah kaum fundamentalis?

Jika dikatakan Hamim Ilyas, bahwa “doktrin sentral fundamentalisme adalah Islam kaffah” maka, pada Muktamar Muhammadiyah ke-45 di Malang, juga telah ditetapkan tujuan jangka panjang Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah, yakni “tumbuhnya kondisi dan faktor-faktor pendukung bagi terwujudnya masyarakat Islam yang sebenar-benarnya.” Bukankah masyarakat Islam yang sebenar-benarnya yang mau diwujudkan oleh Muhammadiyah juga sesuai dengan konsep “Islam kaffah”? Apa Muhammadiyah juga dicap fundamentalis karena mencita-citakan terbentuknya masyarakat Islam yang kaffah?

Kita pun patut bertanya kepada doktor tafsir UIN Yogya ini, apa salahnya jika kaum Muslim ingin menerapkan Islam secara kaffah dalam seluruh aspek kehidupannya? Apa salahnya jika kaum Muslim menolak paham Pluralisme Agama, sebagaimana telah difatwakan oleh MUI dan banyak ulama lainnya? Sebelum MUI menolak paham ini tahun 2005, pada tahun 2000, Vatikan juga telah terlebih dahulu menolak paham tersebut. Juga, apa salahnya jika kaum Muslim menolak paham relativisme, yang memang merupakan paham yang merusak pikiran dan keimanan?

Sebenarnya, jika dicermati, sang dosen UIN Yogya ini pun tidak konsisten dengan paham relativisme yang diagungkannya sendiri. Lihat saja, gaya tulisannya yang menghujat dan menyalah-nyalahkan apa yang disebutnya paham fundamentalisme! Artinya, dalam hal ini, dia juga telah menjadi fundamentalis, karena merasa sok benar sendiri, dan tidak menerima pandangan lain, selain pandangannya sendiri.

Di akhir tulisannya, Dr. Hamim Ilyas mengkaitkan aksi terorisme dengan tafsir fundamentalis. Katanya: “Akhirnya, terorisme yang dilakukan oleh sebagian umat Islam, dalam kenyataannya merupakan fakta yang direkayasa, mungkin oleh Barat dan mungkin juga oleh Al-Qaidah pimpinan Usama bin Ladin. Perbuatan mereka yang merusak itu sedikit banyak berhubungan dengan tafsir fundamentalisme ini sebagai basis ideologis.”

Kesimpulan yang mengaitkan terorisme dengan tafsir keagamaan sebenarnya terlalu jauh. Ada yang menarik kesimpulan sederhana, karena pelaku aksi pengeboman membaca buku-buku Ibn Taimiyah, kemudian dikatakan, bahwa buku Ibn Taimiyah adalah sumber terorisme. Padahal, ratusan juta orang telah membaca karya-karya Ibn Taimiyah, dan mereka tidak melakukan pengeboman. Karena itulah, ada sebagian politisi Barat yang meminta agar Al-Quran dilarang, hanya karena dia melihat para pelaku pengeboman juga membaca Al-Quran.

Dengan menggunakan sedikit saja kecerdasan, kita bisa membuktikan, bahwa aksi-aksi terorisme yang terjadi di berbagai penjuru dunia bukanlah dipicu oleh paham keagamaan, tetapi lebih banyak dipicu oleh faktor eksternal, terutama faktor ketidakadilan. Para pengikut Hasan al-Banna di Palestina melakukan aksi jihad – yang oleh Zionis Israel dikatakan sebagai “terorisme” — karena mereka terjajah dan terzalimi di negerinya. Di zaman penjajahan Belanda, kita juga membanggakan pahlawan-pahlawan kita yang berani mempertaruhkan nyawanya untuk meraih kemerdekaan, meskipun oleh penjajah dilabeli dengan kaum ekstrimis, dan sebagainya. Di Indonesia, para pengkit Hasan al-Banna atau pengagum Abul A’la al-Maududi tidak melakukan aksi-aksi pengeboman.

Karena itulah, sangatlah tidak tepat jika masalah fundamentalisme dan terorisme dikaitkan dengan penolakan terhadap hermeneutika dan relativisme. Ini sudah sangat berlebihan dan keterlaluan dalam membebek dan membeo saja pada pendapat ilmuwan Barat. Orang yang menolak penggunaan metode hermeneutika dan menggunakan ilmu Tafsir untuk memahami Al-Quran sudah dimasukkan “kotak maut” bernama fundamentalis. Bahkan, kaum Muslim yang meyakini kebenaran agamanya sendiri, yang berjuang untuk menjadi Muslim yang kaffah juga divonis sebagai “fundamentalis”, yang dikonotasikan sudah dekat dengan “teroris”.

Di era reformasi dan penjajahan modern ini, sudah begitu banyak aset-aset umat dan bangsa yang sudah hilang. BUMN sudah banyak yang dijual. Kekayasan alam telah punah. Ekonomi, politik, teknologi, budaya, dan sebagainya juga telah “dikuasai”. Yang masih tersisa dalam diri kita saat ini adalah kemerdekaan iman dan pemikiran; kemerdekaan untuk meyakini kebenaran agama kita sendiri, kemerdekaan untuk memahami Al-Quran dengan cara kita sendiri, bukan dengan cara agama atau budaya lain.

Kini, sisa-sisa milik kita yang paling pribadi dan vital itu pun mau dirampas pula. Kita tidak boleh meyakini agama kita sendiri yang benar, dan harus memeluk paham pluralisme dan relativisme. Kita tidak boleh lagi menggunakan Ilmu Tafsir kita sendiri dalam memahami Al-Quran, karena sudah ada ilmu baru yang disodorkan Barat yang bernama hermeneutika. Intinya, kita disuruh beragama, sebagaimana orang-orang Barat beragama.

Sayang sekali, saat ini, kemerdekaan iman dan pikiran kita itulah yang hendak mereka rampas, baik dengan cara halus maupun kasar. Kita bisa paham, jika yang berniat merampas kemerdekaan iman dan pikiran kita adalah orang-orang sejenis Snouck Hurgronje dan kawan-kawannya. Tapi, alangkah sedih dan prihatinnya kita, jika yang melakukan perampasan iman dan pikiran kita itu adalah oknum-oknum bergelar doktor dalam bidang agama, yang sedang berkuasa di lembaga-lembaga agama. Mudah-mudahan Allah SWT memberi kekuatan kepada kita untuk mempertahankan iman dan pemikiran keislaman kita di tengah zaman yang penuh dengan fitnah ini. Amin. [Depok, 14 Desember 2007/www.hidayatullah.com]

Catatan Akhir Pekan [CAP] Adian Husaini adalah hasil kerjasama antara Radio Dakta 107 FM dan www.hidayatullah.com

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-muslim voice-
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