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Archive for February 28th, 2008

Thank ABC for Highlighting Islamophobia, Support for Muslims

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Action: Thank ABC for Highlighting Islamophobia, Support for Muslims

CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to thank ABC “Primetime” for a segment that highlighted both the Islamophobic attitudes present in our society and the support ordinary citizens of all faiths will offer to those targeted by bias.

To test Islamophobic attitudes, ABC outfitted a Texas bakery with hidden cameras and had actors play a female customer wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, and a sales clerk who refused to serve her. The actor playing the clerk also used anti-Muslim slurs. [Primetime’s “What Would You Do?” segments seek to find out how ordinary people react when faced with sticky situations.]

SEE A CLIP: Encountering Prejudice (ABC)

ACTION REQUESTED: CONTACT ABC “PRIMETIME” to thank the producers for highlighting both Islamophobia and the kindness of those who will not tolerate anti-Muslim hatred. Click here to post a message on the “Primetime” message board. Send a copy of your message to: info@cair.com

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Major Survey Challenges Western Perceptions of Islam

A huge survey of the world’s Muslims released Tuesday challenges Western notions that equate Islam with radicalism and violence.

The survey, conducted by the Gallup polling agency over six years and three continents, seeks to dispel the belief held by some in the West that Islam itself is the driving force of radicalism.

It shows that the overwhelming majority of Muslims condemned the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 and other subsequent terrorist attacks, the authors of the study said in Washington.

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MI: Imam Translates Quran Into African Language

Born into a devout Muslim family in west Africa, Imam Momodou Ceesay studied Arabic and the Quran at an early age. . .

But it concerned him that millions of African Muslims were unable to understand the Quran because it was written in Arabic, a language foreign to many of them. So Ceesay, now a Southfield resident, undertook what is believed to be the first complete translation of Islam’s holy book into Mandinka, a west African language.

Completed in 2006, the translation was approved by Islamic scholars last year.

Read More

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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Afghanistan: The Brutal and Unnecessary War the Media Aren’t Telling You About

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Afghanistan: The Brutal and Unnecessary War the Media Aren’t Telling You About

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet

Posted on February 26, 2008, Printed on February 28, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/77500/

They say journalists provide the first draft of history. With the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, that draft led to an almost universal consensus, at least among Americans, that the attack was a justifiable act of self-defense. The Afghanistan action is commonly viewed as a “clean” conflict as well — a war prosecuted with minimal loss of life, and one that didn’t bring the kind of international opprobrium onto the United States that the invasion of Iraq would lead to a year later.

Those views are also held by many Americans who are critical of the excesses of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.” But there’s a disconnect there. Everything that followed — secret detentions, torture, the invasion of Iraq, the assault on domestic dissent — flowed inevitably from the failure to challenge Bush’s claim that an act of terror required a military response. The United States has a rich history of abandoning its purported liberal values during times of war, and it was our acceptance of Bush’s war narrative that led to the abuses that have shattered America’s moral standing before the world.

In his book, The Guantánamo Files, historian and journalist Andy Worthington offers a much-needed corrective to the draft of the Afghanistan conflict that most Americans saw on their nightly newscasts. Worthington is the first to detail the histories of all 774 prisoners who have passed through the Bush administration’s “legal black hole” at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But his history starts in Afghanistan, and makes it abundantly clear that the road to Guantánamo — not to mention Abu Ghraib — began in places like Kandahar.

AlterNet recently asked Worthington what that road looked like at its point of origin.

Joshua Holland: I think most Americans believe that we went into Afghanistan to rout anti-American or anti-Western “jihadi,” but your book captures the fact that the U.S. entered on one side of a long-standing civil war that had nothing to do with any sort of “clash of civilizations” between East and West. Can you give us some sense of what that conflict was about?

Andy Worthington: Sure, it’s a very good question, actually. Briefly, the roots of the conflict lie in the Afghan resistance to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s, when the United States, via Pakistani intermediaries, and the Saudis vied to fund the mujahideen — Afghan warlords and their soldiers, backed up by a rather smaller number of Arab recruits.

At the end of the 1980s, when the Soviet Union withdrew, the country was plunged into a civil war, as the various warlords, pumped up with billions of dollars of U.S. and Saudi aid, fought each other to gain control of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians died, and crime and human rights abuses were rife.

Largely in response to this lawlessness, the Taliban — initially a group of ultraorthodox religious students from the south of the country — rose up to cleanse the country by creating a pure Islamic state. Their project, too, was soon derailed by brutality and by a religious fundamentalism that shocked the West, but it was the struggle between the Taliban and the warlords of the Northern Alliance that attracted thousands of foreign foot soldiers to Afghanistan in the 1990s, summoned by fatwas issued by radical sheikhs in their homelands, which required them to help the Taliban in their struggle against the Northern Alliance.

Osama Bin Laden, who had been living in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the post-Soviet period, returned to Afghanistan in 1996 and became involved in funding military training camps and building up his plans for a global, anti-American jihad, but — although there was some overlap between Al Qaeda and parts of the Taliban leadership — the vast majority of the recruits, as I’ve indicated, were involved not in a grand “clash of civilizations” but in a provincial inter-Muslim civil war.

Holland: That’s an important point. There’s a common belief that a seamless integration existed between the Taliban and Bin Laden’s group, and that integration justified our attacking Afghanistan, a nation-state, in “self-defense.” But in reality, the Taliban was busy fighting this inter-Muslim civil war and had little or no role in Al Qaeda. Let’s go a bit further: just how much overlap was there?

Worthington: According to a senior intelligence official interviewed by the journalist David Rose in 2004, the overlap was very small. Rose was told, “In 1996 it was nonexistent, and by 2001, no more than 50 people.” Now this official was referring to an overlap of fairly high-level people in both organizations, and certain commentators have pointed out that Al Qaeda’s “Arab Brigade” of around 500 soldiers contributed to the Taliban’s military strength, but, to return to what we discussed before, this was in the context of an inter-Muslim civil war, and not a war against the United States.

There were certainly major divisions within the Taliban leadership regarding Bin Laden, and even Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was apparently unimpressed by Bin Laden in the years after his return to Afghanistan. In 1998, Omar had even been planning to betray Bin Laden to the Saudis, but when Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the U.S. retaliated by launching cruise missile attacks on training camps in Afghanistan, Omar drew closer to Bin laden. Even so, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin laden after 9/11 if proof was offered of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Holland: They were so close in 1998 — the deal had been done, and two jets carrying Saudi Prince Turki and a group of Saudi commandos had actually landed in Afghanistan and were waiting to pick up Bin Laden when the deal soured.

Worthington: That’s right. And another clear sign of the lies involved in the “seamless integration” you refer to happened on Oct. 7, 2001, the first night of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” when the U.S. military announced that it had bombed 23 Al Qaeda training camps. As I mention in the book, of the dozens of training camps established in Afghanistan from the 1980s onwards, most were funded by Pakistan and wealthy donors in the Gulf countries. Some were run by Afghan warlords, others by Pakistani groups and others by militant groups from other countries. Although bin Laden had a few camps of his own, it was inappropriate to describe all the training camps in Afghanistan as “Al Qaeda camps.”

Holland: OK, let me go back briefly to an earlier point. Supporters of Bush’s global network of “black” prisons say that those who ended up in them were “unlawful combatants.” And you said that a lot of people from around the Muslim world were drawn to serve as foot soldiers in Afghanistan’s civil war, but in the book, you also make it clear that many were not even foot soldiers — not combatants at all — but religious students, aid workers and other adventurous young people, and many of them would later get caught up in the chaos that followed the invasion and ended up at Gitmo.

Worthington: Yes, that’s right. I’d say that between 70 and 100 of the foreign — non-Afghan — detainees had traveled to Afghanistan to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, to teach or study the Koran, as economic migrants, or even because they were curious about the “pure Islamic state” that, in some quarters, the Taliban was alleged to have established. A similar number were captured in Pakistan. Charity workers were captured near the border, where they had traveled to provide assistance at refugee camps, and others — including missionaries, entrepreneurs, economic migrants, refugees and students — were actually captured elsewhere in Pakistan, in towns and cities far from the “battlefields” of Afghanistan.

And then, of course, there are the Afghan detainees, who made up over a quarter of Guantánamo’s total population. Many of these were unwilling conscripts, who were forced to serve the Taliban, and most of the rest were picked up either on the basis of false intelligence — because the U.S. forces did not know who to trust — or were handed over by their rivals, in business or in politics, who told false stories to the Americans.

Holland: And what was the process by which the U.S. military sorted out one from the other — how did they distinguish between “enemy combatants” and the poor suckers that were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Worthington: There was no process. In all previous wars, the U.S. military has followed the Geneva Conventions, and, in accordance with Article 5 of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, has held battlefield tribunals to separate the wheat from the chaff — or the fighters from the farmers. In the first Gulf War, for example, the military held 1,196 battlefield tribunals, and nearly three-quarters of the prisoners were subsequently released.

In Afghanistan, however, not only were there no battlefield tribunals, but Chris Mackey, who worked as a senior interrogator in the prisons at the airbases in Kandahar and Bagram, where the Guantánamo prisoners were processed, noted in his book The Interrogators that every single Arab who ended up in U.S. custody was sent to Guantánamo on the orders of senior figures in the military and the intelligence services, who received the lists of prisoners at their base in Kuwait.

Although only Afghans with “considerable intelligence value” were supposed to be sent to Guantánamo, Mackey also made it clear that it was not until June 2002, when around 600 detainees were already in Guantánamo, that those in charge on the ground in Afghanistan came up with a category of temporary prisoner — “persons under U.S. control” — who could be held for 14 days without being assigned a number that entered the system overseen by military officials in Kuwait. It was the only way that they could deal with at least some of the many innocent Afghans who ended up in their custody.

Holland: A few of the stories you tell in the book really drive these points home, so I’d like to just ask you to briefly tell us the stories of a couple of detainees. According to the U.S. military, there were three juveniles under 16 years of age who were held at Guantánamo. Choose any of the three, and tell us how he ended up at Gitmo.

Worthington: Well, first of all, there were actually far more than three detainees who were under 16 years of age, and all of these detainees should have counted as juveniles — and been treated accordingly — in any civilized society.

The three you’re talking about, however, are three Afghan boys who were aged 12, 13 and 14 at the time of their capture. Two were captured in a raid on the compound of a minor Afghan warlord named Samoud, whose many enemies seem to have included the Taliban, and the other — 14-year-old Mohammed Ismael Agha — was actually delivered to U.S. forces by the Taliban. He’d been looking for work with a friend and had been obliged to spend the night at a Taliban outpost. In the morning, the Taliban soldiers asked them to join them, and when they refused, they were delivered to the nearest U.S. base.

Holland: The military says that efforts were made to provide “for their special physical and emotional care,” that they were housed “in a separate detention facility modified to meet the special needs of juveniles” and “were not restricted in the same manner as adult detainees.” Is that what you found?

Worthington: Up to a point, yes. These three were, at some point, housed separately in a block called Camp Iguana, and they were released in January 2004, although they should have been released much earlier. They were the lucky ones, however. To give just one example, Agha’s companion, Abdul Qudus, who was also 14 years old, was not released until 2005 or 2006, and there is no evidence that he — or any of the other juveniles — was held separately from the rest of the adult population, or, for that matter, treated any differently.

The most notorious case of a juvenile in Guantánamo is, of course, the Canadian Omar Khadr, who was 15 years old when he was captured after a firefight in July 2002, in which he allegedly killed a U.S. soldier. Khadr was treated appallingly in Afghanistan and Guantánamo, and is currently on trial in one of the administration’s contentious military commissions, in which it has recently been revealed that he might not even have been responsible for the death of the U.S. soldier in the first place.

Holland: Who is Mohammed Sadiq?

Worthington: Mohammed Sadiq was Guantánamo’s oldest prisoner. 88 years old at the time of his capture, Sadiq was apparently seized because his nephew had worked for the Taliban. U.S. forces bombed his house, took all his belongings and delivered him to the prison at Kandahar airbase. He was one of the first detainees to be released, in October 2002, but the fact that he was sent to Guantánamo at all was a disgrace, and it was reported, after his release, that he was unable to come to terms with what had happened to him.

Holland: And, finally, tell me who Abdul Razeq was?

Worthington: Abdul Razeq was a severely disturbed schizophrenic who was kept isolated in Kandahar, because, amongst other things, he had a tendency to eat his own excrement. In a dehumanizing touch, the soldiers referred to all the detainees as “Bob,” and Razeq was known as “Crazy Bob.” He too was sent to Guantánamo, but was flown back to Afghanistan in May 2002. Chris Mackey noted that he arrived “strapped down in the center of the plane like Hannibal Lecter.” He was then placed in a maximum-security cell in a hospital, where a journalist interviewed him. He was so disturbed that he described the prison at Kandahar as a “hotel” and said that the Americans had taken him to Guantánamo “to treat my mental problems.”

Holland: And the U.S. thought these people were …

Worthington: “Enemy combatants.” That’s how it worked. Everyone who ended up in U.S. custody was an “enemy combatant.” Essentially, when you look at the lack of screening in Afghanistan and the failures of the tribunal process that took place in Guantánamo from 2004 onwards — which Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, who worked on them, described in an explosive statement last year as reliant upon generalized and often generic “evidence” that had nothing to do with the detainees in question, and was designed merely to rubber-stamp their designation as “enemy combatants” — you realize that, in connection with the “War on Terror,” the presumption of innocence has been done away with completely.

For the first four and a half years after 9/11, every prisoner was effectively regarded as guilty until proved guilty. After the tribunals, 38 detainees were cleared for release — although the administration, denying the concepts of innocence and wrongful arrest, referred to them as “no longer enemy combatants” — and many more have been cleared in the review boards that have taken place every year since then, but for the 281 detainees who remain, it’s apparent that the “evidence” against them has never really been tested at all.

Holland: As I was reading the book, it struck me that not only did the American public — not to mention the military and intelligence establishments — have a totally false view of who the “enemy” was, but also that there was a widespread belief that the Northern Alliance were the “good guys.” I didn’t really sense any “good guys” in your book — who were we allying ourselves with?

Worthington: The short answer is that, in an attempt not to get bogged down like the Soviet Union did, the U.S. invasion involved just a few hundred Special Forces operatives who hooked up with various Northern Alliance leaders in northern Afghanistan and supported them with money, arms and air power.

There were some principled military commanders in the Northern Alliance — not least Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Alliance’s charismatic leader, who was killed by Al Qaeda assassins just two days before 9/11 — but even Massoud’s men had been accused of atrocities over the years, and what we should perhaps consider is that, at the base of everything, Afghanistan is a disproportionately well-armed country that has been psychologically brutalized by what is now nearly 30 years of war.

Nevertheless, the invasion led to some horrific events, in which the U.S. military was at least partly complicit. In November 2001, after the surrender of the city of Kunduz, Gen. Rashid Dostum, one of the Alliance leaders, slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of native and foreign Taliban fighters by suffocating them in container trucks en route to his prison at Sheberghan (death by container being a fairly recent innovation that was practiced by both sides). There appears to be evidence that U.S. forces were not unduly put out by this turn of events, and that, moreover, they were involved in the particularly brutal treatment of some of the survivors at Dostum’s prison.

In one sense, of course, all of this could be regarded as part and parcel of the horrific reality of warfare, but the U.S. record is no better in the south of the country, where, in an attempt to foster support in the Taliban’s Pashtun heartlands, U.S. forces entered into numerous dubious deals with various untrustworthy warlords, which, in turn, led to many innocent Afghans being sent to Guantánamo.

Holland: Now, in the book you describe a scene of total chaos in the aftermath of the invasion, and one of the common claims among so many of the detainees who would end up at Gitmo was that they had been sold to U.S. troops by these same allies — or tribal leaders or Taliban units or whoever encountered them — for as much as $5,000 per head. Essentially, there were real financial incentives for claiming that some unlucky foot soldier or Koranic student was a high-level Al Qaeda operative.

Worthington: Oh, absolutely. The military’s psyops teams came up with over a hundred different leaflets and dropped millions of them all over Afghanistan. Most of them fruitlessly offered rewards of $25 million for the capture of Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri and Mullah Omar, but one in particular featured the following message: “You can receive millions of dollars for helping the anti-Taliban force catch Al Qaeda and Taliban murderers. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life — pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people.”

And in Pakistan, the situation was arguably even more corrupt. In his 2006 autobiography, In the Line of Fire, President Musharraf boasted that, in return for handing over 369 terror suspects (including many transferred to Guantánamo), “We have earned bounty payments totaling millions of dollars.”

Holland: And those that were turned over to the U.S. by various factions weren’t lucky. I think most people would be shocked at how abusive and violent U.S. troops were towards the prisoners they held in Afghanistan.

Worthington: I think you’re right to raise that point, because Kandahar and Bagram were really the front line in the “War on Terror,” where conditions were, I think it would be fair to say, primitive, brutal and terrifying. In the early months, prisoners were beaten, humiliated and prevented from speaking to one another. The worst abuses, however, happened in Bagram from July 2002 onwards. That was when at least two prisoners were murdered — including one, an innocent taxi driver named Dilawar, who is featured in my book and is also the focus of Alex Gibney’s excellent documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.

And there were even worse prisons in Afghanistan — a number of secret, CIA-run prisons (to this day no one knows exactly how many), including two near Kabul. The “Dark Prison” was like a medieval torture dungeon, but with 24-hour music and noise, and the other was the “Salt Pit.” Dozens of Guantánamo detainees passed through these facilities, as well as other “ghost prisoners” who have subsequently disappeared.

Holland: And that was a model that was then taken to Abu Ghraib, as well as Gitmo?

Worthington: Sadly, yes. The team responsible for the worst violence at Bagram — at the time of the murders — was actually transferred to Abu Ghraib, and much of the institutionalized violence at Guantánamo was inspired by the Afghan prisons. It’s also worth noting, however, what happened at Guantánamo in the fall of 2002. The administration was disappointed by the quality of the intelligence obtained from the detainees and decided that it was because they had been trained by Al Qaeda to resist interrogation, whereas in fact they were mostly innocent men or foot soldiers and had no worthwhile intelligence to give. In an attempt to “break” the detainees, the Pentagon authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including prolonged solitary confinement, forced nudity, the use of extreme heat and cold, sexual humiliation and the prolonged use of painful stress positions. The commander at the time was Geoffrey Miller, and he was later sent to Abu Ghraib to “Gitmo-ize” the Iraqi operations, with the results that horrified the world when the scandal broke in April 2004.

Holland: Let me shift gears here for a moment. Bush’s apologists often excuse the kinds of abuses you describe by claiming that the prisoners held in Gitmo were “captured on the field of battle.” Was that always the case?

Worthington: No, not at all. The overwhelming majority were not captured on any kind of battlefield at all and, as an analysis of Pentagon documents by the Seton Hall Law School showed, were not even captured by U.S. forces. Eighty-six percent were captured by the Americans’ allies, who then handed them over, or sold them, as discussed above. It’s also worth noting that several dozen detainees were captured in 17 other countries, including Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Egypt, the Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iran, Mauritania, Thailand and Zambia.

After 9/11, many countries were willing to cooperate with the U.S. in an attempt to track down potential terrorists, but it’s also important to understand that the administration put enormous pressure on these countries. For example, this is what happened to the six Algerian-born Bosnians who are still in Guantánamo. The U.S. government accused them of planning to blow up the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. The Bosnians then imprisoned them and investigated them for three months but found no incriminating evidence whatsoever. As soon as they were released, however, they were seized by U.S. agents and taken to Guantánamo. The Bosnians were powerless to prevent it.

Holland: I think we’ve come to the heart of your book. The administration says that those housed in Gitmo are “the worst of the worst.” But you claim that of the nearly 800 human beings who the U.S. captured or purchased, held incognito without any legal rights, regularly beat and on a few occasions allegedly murdered, only about 40 were die-hard anti-U.S. terrorists. How do you arrive at that? Wouldn’t real terrorists claim that they were just innocents caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Worthington: My claim is based firstly on statements made by dozens of high-level military and intelligence sources cited by the New York Times in June 2004, when 749 detainees had been held at Guantánamo. These officials said that none of the prisoners “ranked as leaders or senior operatives of Al Qaeda,” and “only a relative handful — some put the number at about a dozen, others more than two dozen — were sworn Qaeda members or other militants able to elucidate the organization’s inner workings.”

Ten more detainees were transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2004 — although I have no doubt that they were not all terrorists — and another 14 “high-value” detainees — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of the other men charged recently in connection with the 9/11 attacks — were transferred in September 2006.

Forty might therefore be too low a figure, but I’m confident that it’s no more than 50. As a percentage of Guantánamo’s total population, that’s just 6 percent, which, as a success rate, is both disappointing and disgraceful.

Holland: Finally, you argue that all of these policies were dictated at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Can you explain briefly what makes you think that?

Worthington: Sure. Dick Cheney and his advisors — especially David Addington, his legal counsel (and now chief of staff) — came up with the military order in November 2001 that authorized the president to capture anyone he regarded as a terrorist anywhere in the world, declare them an “enemy combatant” and hold them without charge or trial. That same document also established the military commissions. Then Cheney and his cabal persuaded the president to accept that the prisoners were not protected by the Geneva Conventions and in August 2002’s “Torture Memo” sought to establish that interrogations constituted torture only if the pain endured was “of an intensity akin to that which accompanies serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” This in turn encouraged the widespread use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which, at Guantánamo, were explicitly approved by Donald Rumsfeld.

There are many fine, principled Americans who attempted to resist these innovations, or spoke out against them, but the most insightful quote I found about the implications of these policies came from Milton Bearden, a former CIA bureau chief, who told David Rose, “It doesn’t matter what distribution that memo had or how tightly it was controlled. That kind of thinking will permeate the system by word of mouth. Anyone who suggests that this and other official memos on this subject didn’t have an impact doesn’t know how these things work on the ground.”

source: http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/77500

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

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‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit Targeting FL Mosque, CAIR Dismissed

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit Targeting FL Mosque, CAIR Dismissed
CAIR: Suit a failed attempt to harass and intimidate Muslims

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/27/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that a “frivolous” lawsuit that sought to block the construction of a Florida mosque has been dismissed.

CAIR said the voluntarily-dismissed lawsuit was a failed attempt to harass and intimidate the Islamic Center of South Florida and the entire Florida Muslim community. The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said that any lawsuit seeking to misuse the courts to suppress constitutional rights is destined to fail.

SEE: Lawsuit to Block Construction of Mosque is Dismissed (AP)

The lawsuit, filed last year, claimed the new mosque would constitute a public nuisance and falsely linked mosque officials, CAIR and CAIR-Florida to terrorism. CAIR and the mosque offered a strong legal challenge to the suit.

“This frivolous lawsuit was clearly designed to prevent Florida Muslims from exercising their First Amendment right to worship freely,” said Altaf Ali, executive director of CAIR’s South Florida office. “It was based on bigotry and used guilt by association to smear CAIR and ordinary Muslims.”

“The plaintiff’s defeat in this case demonstrates that defamation and Islamophobic smears will not succeed in American courts,” said CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili. “The rule of law, not hatred and intolerance, prevailed.”

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214, E-Mail: aali@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: arehab@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

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

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UN expert: Palestinian terror ‘inevitable’ result of occupation

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

UN expert: Palestinian terror ‘inevitable’ result of occupation

By The Associated Press

In it, Dugard, a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s, says “common sense … dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation.”

“While Palestinian terrorist acts are to be deplored, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation,” writes Dugard, whose 25-page report accuses the Israel of acts and policies consistent with all three.

He cited checkpoints and roadblocks restricting Palestinian movement to house demolitions and what he terms the Judaization of Jerusalem.

“As long as there is occupation, there will be terrorism,” he argues.

“Acts of terror against military occupation must be seen in historical context,” Dugard says. “This is why every effort should be made to bring the occupation to a speedy end. Until this is done, peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue.”

Israel’s UN ambassador in Geneva slammed Dugard’s analysis.

“The common link between Al-Qaida and the Palestinian terrorists is that both intentionally target civilians with the mere purpose to kill,” Itzhak Levanon said. “The fact that Professor Dugard is ignoring this essential fact, demonstrates his inability to use objectivity in his assessment.”

“Professor Dugard will better serve the cause of peace by ceasing to enflame the hatred between Israelis and Palestinians, who have embarked on serious talks to solve this contentious situation.”

Dugard was appointed in 2001 as an unpaid expert by the now-defunct UN Human Rights Commission to investigate only violations by the Israeli side, prompting Israel and the U.S. to dismiss his reports as one-sided. Israel refused to allow him to conduct a UN-mandated fact-finding mission on its Gaza offensive in 2006.

The report will be presented next month at the 47-nation rights council’s first regular session of the year. The new body has been widely criticized – even by its founder, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – for spending most of its time criticizing one government, Israel’s, over alleged abuses.

source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/958358.html

Related articles:

  • UN: Israel, PA, Egypt must find new strategy to end Gaza crisis
  • UN rights council slams Israel’s ‘grave violations’ in Gaza Strip
  • Jimmy Carter: Israel’s ‘apartheid’ policies worse than South Africa’s
  • ===

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

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    US Intel Chief: 70% Of Afghanistan Outside Government Control

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    US Intel Chief: 70% Of Afghanistan Outside Government Control

    WASHINGTON (AP)–The top U.S. intelligence official says the Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai controls just 30% of the country.

    Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the resurgent Taliban controls 10% to 11% of the country, while Karzai’s government controls 30% to 31%.

    But more than six years after the U.S. invasion to oust the Taliban and establish a stable central government, the majority of Afghanistan’s population remains under local tribal control.

    source: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080227\ACQDJON200802271214DOWJONESDJONLINE000874.htm&selected=9999&selecteddisplaysymbol=9999&StoryTargetFrame=_top&mkt=WORLD&chk=unchecked〈=&link=&headlinereturnpage=http://www.international.na

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    -muslim voice-
    ______________________________________
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    The modern concept of the hospital was introduced by Muslims

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    The modern concept of the hospital was introduced by Muslims.

    The medicine of the medieval Islamic civilization was built primarily on Greek medicine, in particular the writings of Hippocrates and Galen. The most significant contribution of the Islamic civilization to medicine was the establishment of the hospital for the treatment of patients and for training of physicians. Hospices for the sick, poor, travelers, and orphans had existed in Byzantium and were the model for the Umayyad caliph Walid’s (reigned 705-715) charitable institution for the care of lepers, the blind, and the inform.

    The first hospital however, was built in Baghdad by Harun al-Rashid (reigned 786-809). This was soon followed by several other hospitals all over the Islamic world including the Adudi hospital in Baghdad, which was founded in 982. Another great hospital, the Nasiri hospital of Cairo, was completed in 1284. It had separate wards for fever, opthalmia, surgical cases, and dysentery, and also housed a pharmacy, a mosque, and a library. It had a large administrative staff, lecture halls and attendants of both genders.

    Source: Dr. Alnoor Dhanani, “Muslim Philosophy and the Sciences,”

    See: http://www.iis.ac.uk/view_article.asp?ContentID=106391

    ===

    -muslim voice-
    ______________________________________
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    UN Nuclear Chief: US, Russia Must Disarm

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    UN Nuclear Chief: US, Russia Must Disarm

    OSLO, Norway (AP) — Russia and the United States should reduce their nuclear arsenals and lead the way toward a world free of atomic weapons, the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said Tuesday.

    “Their continued reliance on nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of their security sends the wrong message,” Mohamed ElBaradei said at a nuclear disarmament conference in the Norwegian capital, Olso.

    ElBaradei, who leads the International Atomic Energy Agency, also urged the former Cold War foes to take their nuclear weapons off high alert and resume disarmament talks.

    “The risk of accident or miscalculation would be dramatically lowered if weapons were taken off the Cold War hair-trigger alert,” he said.

    The U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee called in November for all nuclear weapons to be taken off high alert, over objections from the United States, Britain and France.

    source: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h0bT75tv_-eRiKTlYMWarpVtFJIAD8V2D5IO0

    ===

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    THE JIHAD OF THE WOMB: American conservatives worried that world will be overrun by growing Islamic families

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    Is the U.S. the last hope for western civilization?

    Falling birthrates in Europe and Canada have American conservatives worried that world will be overrun by growing Islamic families

    Dan Gardner
    Ottawa Citizen

    NOTE: The womb of a Muslim woman is considered a weapon of mass destruction by Islamophobes everywhere.
    ****************************************

    >Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    Spend any time listening to conservatives and you will soon realize they are obsessed with babies. Or rather, they are obsessed with statistics about babies.

    “Europe is facing a demographic disaster,” Mitt Romney warned in the final speech of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Europeans aren’t having enough babies, Romney said.

    All European countries have fertility rates below the 2.1 babies per woman — the “replacement rate” — needed to keep the population stable. In some countries, the rate is as low as 1.2. “That’s the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life, and eroded morality.”

    Romney also railed against the soul-sucking damage done by tax-funded social programs and warned that if the U.S. strayed it could end up “the France of the 21st century.”

    It was a bravura performance. Romney squeezed the entire conservative worldview into one short speech. Only one thing was missing: Muslims.

    THE CONSERVATIVE EXPLANATION

    In the conservative telling, Europe’s “demographic disaster” has two components. One is the unwillingness of Europeans to raise the next generation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. For that, godless socialism is to blame. The second component is the fecund Muhammadan woman who keeps pushing out little jihadists at a terrifying rate.

    Childless social democrats plus big Islamic broods equals Eurabia.

    This makes the U.S. the last, best hope of western civilization. The American fertility rate is 2.1, so virile America can continue to stand strong against the minions of Muhammad. Or at least it can if Americans reject the secularism and social democracy that have doomed Europe. Put a Democrat in the White House and all bets are off.

    Readers who think I exaggerate should have a look at America Alone by Mark Steyn, a leading conservative columnist and renowned authority on musical theatre. Ahem. America Alone was a New York Times bestseller and its message is now gospel in conservative circles. Romney’s speech was essentially America Alone minus the Muslims and musical theatre jokes.

    I think it unlikely that Islam will conquer Europe with diapers and sippy cups. But the gap in fertility between Europe and the U.S. is real. And it is very important. Because of it, Europe will undergo far more rapid and pronounced population aging and, eventually, decline. The stresses this will inflict on European societies are likely to be severe, although we can’t be certain because no country has ever experienced permanent sub-replacement fertility.

    So “Eurabia” aside, it matters a great deal whether conservatives are right about the fertility gap’s causes. And it matters not only to Europeans. The Canadian fertility rate hovers around 1.5 babies per woman. That’s the European average. So we, too, need to know why the American fertility rate is so much higher.

    To find out, I called John Bongaarts, an esteemed demographer and vice president of the Population Council, an non-government organization headquartered in New York City.

    FIVE FACTORS IN EQUATION

    There are five basic factors at work, Bongaarts told me, and how much each contributes to the gap varies from country to country. “The problem is it’s always complicated,” he sighed. “I say there are five factors and by the time I get to the second one people have lost interest.”

    For those who prefer their reality complicated, I present the five factors without editorial comment.

    1. Hispanics

    “First, we have a large Hispanic population in this country and they have much higher fertility than average and they pull the average up,” Bongaarts said. “France and other (European) countries also have immigrant groups but they are somewhat smaller. So if you eliminate that then you already start to close the gap.” When the fertility rate of non-Hispanic white American women is compared to fertility in France, England and Scandinavia, Bongaarts added, they are “roughly comparable.”

    2. Unwanted pregnancy

    “The second component is unwanted pregnancy. The U.S. has higher unwanted, unintended childbearing than Europe has.” That’s true of all age categories but it’s particularly pronounced among teenagers: The American teen birthrate is four times higher than the Western average.

    3. Religion

    “A third reason is religious,” Bongaarts said. “We have conservative religious groups which are very pro-family, and that tends to encourage more children. Europe is more individualistic.”

    4. Older moms

    “A fourth reason is a technical one. The fact that women are delaying child-bearing in Europe while they’re not to the same extent in the U.S. means that fertility looks lower than it actually is. In Italy, the numbers say women are having 1.2 children per woman. In fact, they’re having 1.6 children, but they’re delaying child-bearing to higher ages and that makes it look temporarily as if there are fewer births. So it’s a distortion in the numbers.”

    5. Working women

    The fifth factor is the involvement of women in the work force. Traditionally, more female participation in the workforce meant lower fertility.

    That’s understandable. But things have changed.

    To understand how, we have to bear in mind that within Europe “there are massive variations” in fertility rates, Bongaarts said. The lowest rates are in the south. The highest are in France and northern Europe. In the Nordic countries, the fertility rate is “around 1.7 or 1.8, so it’s not too far from what we have here in the U.S.”

    So what’s the relationship between women in the work force and fertility rates? “The countries with the highest female labour force employment, which is the United States and northern Europe, also have the highest fertility,” Bongaarts said. “In Spain and Italy, women stay at home more, labour force participation is less than half in some cases, and yet they have the lowest fertility.”

    And how does social welfare fit in? “There is a large variation in the amount of money spent on social and family programs,” Bongaarts said. “In southern European countries, the government basically pays little attention to families. There’s only a small portion of the government budget that goes to family matters, support for leave, child care, etcetera. It’s more conservative. The family’s supposed to take care of children. The government doesn’t. But in Nordic countries, partly to support gender equality, there are policies that support women in combining child care and work.”

    And France? “It spends the most and it has the highest fertility (at 1.9 babies per woman). The state wants more French men and women. It has invested heavily in it and it’s working, to some extent.”

    Now if I may resume editorializing. …

    This stuff is complicated. Ideology is simple. The former cannot be shoved into the latter. Those who try will inevitably mangle the facts and distort the truth.

    And that is a shame, because this is a vital issue. It needs to be more widely understood and discussed. About that, at least, conservatives are absolutely right.

    source:
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/ideas/story.html?id=71222c07-71e1-4ccf-bdb0-1a0779ef9a7d

    ===

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

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    The Hippocratic Oath Dies in Gitmo

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    The Hippocratic Oath Dies in Gitmo

    By H. Candace Gorman

    The dungeon masters at Guantanamo moved Al-Ghizzawi to Camp 6, a supermax facility where prisoners are kept in isolation.

    I have been representing Abdul Al-Ghizzawi, one of my Guantánamo clients, for two and a half years. The day I took on his case, I knew little about him other than he was seriously ill. My goal from that day forward has been to ascertain what is wrong with Al-Ghizzawi and get him the medical care he needs.

    In the fall of 2006, Dr. Jürg Reichen, a respected liver specialist at the University of Bern in Switzerland, filed an affidavit in which he testified that, based on the symptoms described by Al-Ghizzawi and based on my own observations of Al-Ghizzawi, it seemed likely that he was suffering from hepatitis B and perhaps liver cancer. Reichen would have been able to make a more conclusive diagnosis with my client’s medical records, but the government has refused to turn them over.

    In response to Reichen’s affidavit, the government provided an affidavit from its medical director at the base, one Dr. Ronald Sollock. Sollock signed a sworn statement claiming that Al-Ghizzawi received a full medical screening upon his arrival in 2002 and had indeed tested positive for hepatitis. Moreover, he appeared to have contracted tuberculosis at some point in 2004. Despite these alarming diagnoses, Sollock insisted that my client was “just fine” (as if TB and hepatitis indicated good health).

    Although Al-Ghizzawi signed a release allowing me to receive his medical records, Judge John D. Bates, a George W. Bush appointee in the U.S. District Court for D.C., refused to order the government to provide Al-Ghizzawi medical treatment, or me his medical records.

    Bates found that I had not demonstrated that “irreparable harm” would befall Al-Ghizzawi if the government did not provide the medical care or records. How Bates could expect me to demonstrate that my client would suffer irreparable harm without my first having access to those very records is beyond me. I queried whether I would have to wait for my client to die before the necessary “irreparable harm” could be shown, but Bates refused to reconsider his Kafkaesque decision and I filed an appeal with the D.C. Circuit Court. Unfortunately for my client, that court has been too busy unraveling our Constitution and the appeal has sat untouched since late 2006.

    At about the same time I filed the appeal, the dungeon masters at Guantánamo moved Al-Ghizzawi to the notorious Camp 6, a supermax facility where all of the prisoners are kept in severe isolation. The authorities had never considered my client to be a “problem prisoner” so I could not understand this punitive move. When I questioned military officials, they told me they had placed him in Camp 6 because that was the facility now being used for the general population. The cruelty of putting this seriously ill man in solitary confinement seemed beyond the pale, even for this bunch.

    But now I wonder. I wonder about those tests that supposedly weren’t ready when Sollock signed his affidavit. Did those tests show something that the military did not want to acknowledge? And is that the real reason Al-Ghizzawi was moved to Camp 6?

    On Jan. 14, 2008, I received a letter Al-Ghizzawi wrote on Dec. 25, 2007 (a week after my last visit). In his letter, Al-Ghizzawi stated:

    One American doctor in the same Camp where I am detained has confirmed that I have AIDS, and that’s after my last visit to him during this current month (December) and has promised me he will do the necessary regarding these facts. Therefore, this will be my last witness on my infection with the sickness. Based on this, I would like you to ask the American government to provide some information on this case, and the reason they hid this truth all the time I am detained, and to also provide the necessary treatment.

    So there you have it. We know from Sollock’s affidavit that Al-Ghizzawi arrived at Guantánamo HIV-free in June 2002 and we know from Al-Ghizzawi that his health started to deteriorate in 2004. Upon learning of this AIDS diagnosis, I sent an e-mail to the government attorney asking if he would confirm or deny that Al-Ghizzawi has AIDS. Instead of answering my simple question, the attorney sent this unresponsive statement:

    We are not privy to the particulars of what your client may have been told by his doctor, if anything, but Guantánamo provides high-quality medical care to all detainees.

    I have a long list of individuals that should be tried as war criminals. Sollock has now leapfrogged to the top of that list, followed closely by certain attorneys.

    source: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3540/the_hippocratic_oath_dies_in_gitmo/

    ===

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

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    A poll that disproves Western myths about Muslims

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    A poll that disproves Western myths about Muslims

    By Rami G. Khouri

    Daily Star staff

    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    Every few years a book is published that has the potential to change perceptions of millions of people, and, by doing so, perhaps to change policies of governments for the better. I believe that just such a book is the one that will be published in a few weeks titled: “Who Speaks for Islam,” by John L. Esposito of Georgetown University and Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

    The book analyzes the results of a global survey of 1 billion Muslims carried out in recent years, representing more than 90 percent of all Muslims in the world. It is published by Gallup Press and comes out at a time when there is urgent need for more accuracy and breadth in dealing with the tensions, conflicts, and misperceptions plaguing relations between many in the United States and Muslim-majority societies.

    The reasons for my enthusiastic advance praise for this volume are not only the depth of its contents, the clarity of its conclusions, and the fact that it is a fast and absorbing read. The book’s primary strength is the sharp insights it offers into the thinking of Muslims around the world, painting a very different view of Muslims and Islam than the one projected in popular culture or public politics in the US.

    It has been a painful experience to read this book, chat with the authors, and simultaneously follow political coverage on American television during my current trip to America. President George W. Bush may have cooled down his wild rhetoric about “Islamofascists,” but the Republican presidential contender John McCain and others have filled the vacuum with their constant references to Islamic extremism as being the threat of the century and the defining issue of our times. Mainstream cable television, local newspapers and public affairs radio make things even worse by referring to Islam and Muslims primarily in the context of violence, warfare, fanaticism, or anti-Americanism.

    So it is refreshing and useful for more sensible American relations with Muslims and their cultures that this book provides a clear, emphatic antidote to the fear, racism and anger that still drive many Americans’ attitudes to Muslims and Islam. The need to redress the situation of imbalanced and tense US-Islamic relations was most poignantly reflected in a point the authors made to me: that when Americans were polled and asked what they admired about Islam, 57 percent said “nothing” or “I don’t know;” while a majority of Muslims around the world easily named several specific things they admired about the US, including its democracy, technology and liberty, the same things that Americans say they admire about democracy. Muslims listed the key elements of the democracy they desired as freedom of speech, religion and assembly.

    The survey and book offer a number of important insights based on intensive field research, not preconceptions distorted by political violence and politicians who deliberately play on people’s fears and ignorance. What was the single most important conclusion the authors drew from their work? “The conflict between the Muslim and Western communities is far from inevitable. It is more about policy than principles.”

    But they added a critical thought: “However, until and unless decision-makers listen directly to the people and gain an accurate understanding of this conflict, extremists on all sides will continue to gain ground.”

    The book is rich in detailed findings and analyses. Here are some of its key conclusions, as summarized by the authors: Muslims differentiate between different Western countries, criticizing or celebrating them on the basis of their politics, not their religion or culture. The vast majority of Muslims asked about their future dreams usually speak of getting a good job, not engaging in jihad. Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustified. Those who condone acts of terrorism are a minority and are no more likely to be religious than the rest of the population. What Muslims say they least admire about the West is its perceived moral decay and breakdown of traditional values – the same responses given by Americans. Muslim women want equal rights and religion in their societies. Muslims are most offended by Western disrespect for Islam and for Muslims. Majorities of Muslims want religion to be a source of law, but they do not want religious leaders to play a direct role in governance or crafting constitutions.

    This kind of polling and analysis should be tremendously important for political leaders in both Muslim and Western societies. It sketches the personal values and political sentiments of a vast majority of Muslim men and women who can be mobilized on the basis of their real sentiments anchored in justice, democracy and respect for religious and social norms, not their imagined adherence to violence and extremism.

    Rami G. Khouri is published twice-weekly by THE DAILY STAR.

    source:
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=89315

    ===

    -muslim voice-
    ______________________________________
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    Dutch MP‘s Provocation Working, a report by John Berlin

    Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

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

    === News Update ===

    Dutch MP‘s Provocation Working, a report by John Berlin

    2008-02-27 | Ed. Note. We have just received a new report on more religious hatred being instigated by Dutch extremists.While the vast majority of Dutch citizens and residents of The Netherlands firmly believe in Human Rights, there are a very vocal few who do not. One remembers the same mentality rose to prominence, during the Second World War when the target group was Jews. Now, it’s Muslims.

    Although it is difficult, those who incite religious hatred should simply be ignored and left to wallow in their own ignorant bigotry.

    Nevertheless, we must be aware of these madmen and constant in our refusal to heed their venomous vitriol. Threats give them the attention they crave and reactions merely strengthen their position

    Please read a report from John Berlin.
    PVR

    John Berlin: Dutch MP “condemned to death”

    THE HAGUE – Islamist extremists have issued a death sentence against Dutch right-wing parliamentarian Geert Wilders, and are calling upon “believers” to kill him as well as to “terrorise” the Netherlands to prevent the soon-to-be-expected publication of Wilders’ anti-Islam film.

    Wilders is producing a short film about the Koran. Sources say the film will show images of decapitations emanating from the Koran, as well as an image of the prophet Mohammed to which something “unfavourable” happens. The film is expected to be published in March.

    On al-ekhlaas.net, an “al-Qa’ida”-related website, a message was posted saying “In the name of Allah, we ask you to bring us the throat of this infidel who insults the prophet and Islam.” The posting also refers to murdered filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, and contains suggestions about the Dutch “not wanting Islam to exist in their country”.
    Intelligence sources say the internet posting is viewed as a “real, credible threat” against Wilders, but they declined to comment on the specifics of the credibility.

    Recently, it was leaked that the Dutch government put police, intelligence services and army special forces on the highest alert, citing expectations of “severe public disorder” in connection to the publication of Wilders’ film.

    Wilders, who is the leader of a small right-wing party in the Dutch parliament, is well-known for suggesting that generally Muslims are a threat to civil, Democratic society, and for making these suggestions in a way that is considered insulting and condescending by many. Wilders lives in a safe-house and has received full-scale protection from the Dutch government. He received many death-threats before, but his film appears to make things much more serious. Behind the scenes, high-level government employees have strongly urged Wilders to tone down his inflammatory speeches.

    Wilders has in recent years advocated the abolishment of the Koran, named Islam a “retarded” religion and has called for changes to the principles of religious freedom and of equality as embedded in the Dutch constitution.

    John Berlin
    U.N. OBSERVER & International Report

    source: http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout5.php&id=4478&blz=1

    Please also see:

    John M. Berlin: The Netherlands; Film Leads to Code Red Preparations http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout5.php&id=4347&blz=1

    ===

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

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