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Archive for March 22nd, 2008

I Am Become Death – The Destroyer Of The Worlds

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

I Am Become Death – The Destroyer Of The Worlds

Anwaar Hussain


March 20, 2008

TS Admin : On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, George Bush said, “Because we acted, the world is better and the United States of America is safer.” With a million dead Iraqis, more than 30,000 dead and wounded American soldiers, the world now teeming with a new breed of America haters and more than 3 trillion dollars blown to achieve all that, the US president sits atop an economically crumbling America and happily crows his mantra. George W. Bush indeed seems far removed from reality.

The essay below was written in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Iraqi city of Fallujah. At the time, the article ricocheted across the cyber space and refused to die down. Every word of what was written has now been proven true. Here it is once again lest we forget.

Known as the “city of mosques” for its more than 200 mosques, Fallujah is also known for refusing to add Saddam’s name to the call for prayers from its ancient minarets. It is located on the banks of river Euphrates, the largest river in Southwest Asia. The 1700 miles long Euphrates is linked with some of the most important events in olden history.The city of Ur, found at its mouth, was the birthplace of Abraham. On its banks stood the city of Babylon. In the past, the army of Necho was defeated on its banks by Nebuchadnezzar. Cyrus the Younger and Crassus perished after crossing it. Alexander traversed it and continued his journey eastward. Presently, George Bush’s forces are crossing and re-crossing it making its waters redder each time with the blood of Fallujah’s citizens.

Fallujah has been laid waste. It has been bombed, re-bombed, its citizens gunned down, its structures devastated by powerful weapons. It is a hell on earth of crushed bodies, shattered buildings and the reek of death. In addition to the artillery and the warplanes dropping 500, 1000, and 2000-pound bombs, 70-ton Abrams Tanks and the murderous AC-130 Spectre gunship that can demolish a whole city block in less than a minute, the Marines had snipers crisscrossing the entire town firing at will at whatever moved outside the buildings. For those inside, the US troops were equipped with thermal sights capable of detecting body heat. Any such detection was eagerly assumed to indicate the presence of “insurgents” inviting a deadly salvo.

No body has an accurate idea of how many Iraqis, combatants and noncombatants, have been killed by the thousands of tons of explosives and bullets let loose upon the city. Mortuary teams collecting the dead rotting in the city streets are fighting the wandering dogs that are busy devouring their former masters. The hundreds buried beneath the rubble and debris will be dug out later. A US marine spokesman, Colonel Mike Regner, estimated 1,000 and 2,000 Iraqis dead. The world is awaiting the toll from more reliable sources with a wincing anticipation.

Eyewitnesses report human corpses littering the city’s streets, nibbled at by starving canines. Parents have been forced to watch their wounded children die and then bury their bodies in their gardens. An Iraqi journalist, reporting in the city for the BBC and Reuters, said: “I have seen some strange things recently, such as stray dogs snatching bites out of bodies lying on the streets. Meanwhile, people forage in their gardens looking for something to eat. Those that have survived this far are looking gaunt. The opposite is happening to the dead, left where they fell, they are now bloated and rotting…”

Some images that did manage to filter through the layers of American censorship include scenes of the devastated landscape of the city; the bloodied and fly-covered corpses of young Iraqi men lying in the streets or heaped in rows amidst the debris; a headless body; women and children escaping with the few possessions they have left; mortuary teams collecting the dead; and Fallujah infants being treated for horrific injuries in Baghdad hospitals. US general John Sattler declared: “We have liberated the city of Fallujah.”

The assault on Fallujah is a pure and simple Nazi-style collective punishment, not liberation. The city has been razed to the ground because its political, spiritual and tribal leaders, motivated by Iraqi patriotism and opposition to the presence of foreign troops in their country, organized a guerilla resistance to the US invasion.The aim of the US assault is to make Fallujah a model to the rest of Iraq of what will happen to those thinking on similar lines. It is the leading thrust of an orgy of killing intended to crush and drive underground every voice of dissent and ensure that elections this coming January will throw up a weak-willed, pro-US toady regime. The American military is rumored to be planning similar attacks on scores of other Iraqi cities and towns.

Not a single major voice has been raised in the American media against the ongoing destruction of Fallujah. While much of the world recognizes something dreadful has occurred, the US press does not even bat an eyelash over the organized leveling of a city of 300,000 people. In none of the US media commentaries is there a single phrase of unease about the moral, or legal, questions involved in the attack on Fallujah. None have dared say it in as many words that the American military operation in the city is an unlawful act of aggression in an equally illegal, criminal, aggressive war.

The opposite is true in fact. Ralph Peters, the author of “Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace.” a rabid Neocon mouthpiece, revered by the ruling Neocons, in his prominently placed November 4 New York Post article wrote: “We need to demonstrate that the US military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price. Most of Fallujah’s residents, those who wish to live in peace, have already fled. Those who remain have made their choice. We need to pursue the terrorists remorselessly…

…That means killing. While we strive to obey the internationally recognized laws of war (though our enemies do not), our goal should be to target the terrorists and insurgents so forcefully that few survive to raise their hands in surrender. We don’t need more complaints about our treatment of prisoners from the global forces of appeasement. We need terrorists dead in the dust. And the world needs to see their corpses…

…Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate our strength of will to the world, to show that there is only one possible result when madmen take on America.”

Though the carnage carried out by Hitler’s regime was on a different scale than that now being committed by the Bush administration, there are striking parallels. For the first time since the Wehrmacht swept through Europe, the world is witnessing a major imperialist power launching an unjustifiable war, placing an entire people under military occupation and carrying out acts of collective and visible punishment against civilian populace. The US media’s wretched connivance in this deception is incredible, as incredible as the fact that this war, based on undeniable lies as it was, was sold to the American people as the gospel truth ordained by God.

To be honest, George Bush is not the first US president ordering the states machinery to pulverize nations and peoples abroad. Even a hurried analysis of the American government’s conduct in the last century makes for a most damning indictment. Out of the US’s past foreign policy woodwork, crawl out numerous invasions, bombings, overthrowing governments, suppressing movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing “news”, selling blatant lies, death squads, torture, biological warfare, depleted uranium, drug trafficking, mercenaries … you name it.

This terrorizing of nations and individuals by various US governments has been going on full bore since at least the late 1890s, when Americans obliterated a million Filipinos to keep them safe from the Spanish. Likewise, millions of Native Americans, the children of a lesser God, were exterminated by the orders of earlier administrations throughout the 19th century. The difference with past is that George Bush does it in the name of his God, a God far superior to any other and sanctioned fully by his coterie. Ironically, both George Bush and his nemesis, Osama Bin Laden, refer to God almost equal number of times in their public pronouncements.

The United States went into Afghanistan to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden. They killed 10,000 innocent Afghans but could not find their man. They went into Iraq to discover and eliminate Saddam’s WMDs. They killed tens of thousands of Iraqis but found no WMD. They laid siege to the city of Fallujah to kill or capture Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The city and its inhabitants have been blown to smithereens but there is no Zarqawi. Is it not only too convenient? Next when they want to attack Pakistan, or Iran, they simply have to say that Bin Laden is taking refuge there. Just like the next Iraqi city awaiting the fate of Fallujah will be the latest refuge of Zarqawi; the WMDs too could next fly to Syria or may be even Saudi Arabia. Is one imagining things here? Or is it that the US imperialism is indeed now riding full time on the back of gargantuan lies?

After granting George Bush a carte blanche to do what he likes the American citizens, of course, continue their daily lives oblivious to what is being done in their name. Between their work places and the nearest fast food joints, they just do not have enough time to check back on the activities of the man who is playing ‘The Terminator’ in the name of God and in their name.

Those who do get to know a little are in a constant state of denial. One thing is sure though. Just like in post-war Germany where some even denied the holocaust, “We didn’t know what was happening” is bound to become a cliché that will one day be used to ridicule Americans who claim ignorance of the atrocities committed by their administration in their name. Ironically, Khomeini died trying to get people to see America as “the great Satan”. It took George W. Bush and his cohorts only four years to do exactly that, and not just in the eyes of the Muslim world.

As America sinks deeper into the heart of darkness, its thinking citizens need to jolt each other out of their apathy. With each passing day their beloved America is scaling ever greater heights of hideous glories. The man in charge, George W. Bush, is actually living the throes of his apocalyptic dream of “I am become death-the destroyer of the worlds”. He codenamed his destruction of Fallujah as “Operation Phantom Fury”. But as the falsehood dies and gives way to truth, as all lies must one day, it will be the Iraqi dead that will form a legion of phantoms and would throng around Americans in a macabre dance to haunt them for decades. The fury of those phantoms will be hair raising.

Fallujah will enter history as the place where US imperialism carried out an offense of heinous proportions this November, a monstrous crime far beyond any possible forgiveness. The crimson waters of the Euphrates are now emptying into the Persian Gulf the hopes and aspirations of innocent people whose lives were snuffed out on the orders of a man rewarded for his monumental crimes by his great nation.

The Euphrates flows on.



-muslim voice-

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Who’s the criminal here?

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Who’s the criminal here?

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

March 20, 2008

Today’s headline, which will undoubtedly get at least some attention, says “Canadian says U.S. interrogators threatened rape,” and the “Canadian” in question was a teenage prisoner at Guantanamo. Shocking? I guess it depends on how easily you’re shocked. Certainly not surprising, given everything else we know about what has happened at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram, and elsewhere at the hands of Americans.

But what catches my eye is the underlying “crime” for which this young man was imprisoned and apparently now, years later, even charged:

Omar Khadr, 21, …is charged in the Guantanamo war court with murdering a U.S. soldier with a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan when Khadr was 15.

OK, let’s back up for a minute. Omar Khadr was in Afghanistan legally. U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Speer, who Khadr allegedly killed, was in Afghanistan illegally, part of an illegal invasion of that country. But instead of Speer’s cohorts, and their masters, being charged with a war crime, it’s Khadr, who was doing nothing more than defending a country (whether his native country or not) against an illegal foreign invasion, and killing someone who would have killed him first had events run a different course.



-muslim voice-

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This is the war that started with lies, and continues with lie after lie after lie

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

This is the war that started with lies, and continues with lie after lie after lie

By: Patrick Cockburn on: 19.03.2008

Article image

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

It has been a war of lies from the start. All governments lie in wartime but American and British propaganda in Iraq over the past five years has been more untruthful than in any conflict since the First World War.

The outcome has been an official picture of Iraq akin to fantasy and an inability to learn from mistakes because of a refusal to admit that any occurred. Yet the war began with just such a mistake. Five years ago, on the evening of 19 March 2003, President George Bush appeared on American television to say that military action had started against Iraq.

This was a veiled reference to an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein by dropping four 2,000lb bombs and firing 40 cruise missiles at a place called al-Dura farm in south Baghdad, where the Iraqi leader was supposedly hiding in a bunker. There was no bunker. The only casualties were one civilian killed and 14 wounded, including nine women and a child.

On 7 April, the US Ai r Force dropped four more massive bombs on a house where Saddam was said to have been sighted in Baghdad. “I think we did get Saddam Hussein,” said the US Vice President, Dick Cheney. “He was seen being dug out of the rubble and wasn’t able to breathe.”

Saddam was unharmed, probably because he had never been there, but 18 Iraqi civilians were dead. One US military leader defended the attacks, claiming they showed “US resolve and capabilities”.

Mr Cheney was back in Baghdad this week, five years later almost to the day, to announce that there has been “phenomenal” improvements in Iraqi security. Within hours, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up in the Shia holy city of Kerbala, killing at least 40 and wounding 50 people. Often it is difficult to know where the self-deception ends and the deliberate mendacity begins.

The most notorious lie of all was that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. But critics of the war may have focused too much on WMD and not enough on later distortions.

The event which has done most to shape the present Iraqi political landscape was the savage civil war between Sunni and Shia in Baghdad and central Iraq in 2006-07 when 3,000 civilians a month were being butchered and which was won by the Shia.

The White House and Downing Street blithely denied a civil war was happening – and forced Iraq politicians who said so to recant – to pretend the crisis was less serious than it was.

More often, the lies have been small, designed to make a propaganda point for a day even if they are exposed as untrue a few weeks later. One example of this to shows in detail how propaganda distorts day-to-day reporting in Iraq, but, if the propagandist knows his job, is very difficult to disprove.

On 1 February this year, two suicide bombers, said to be female, blew themselves up in two pet markets in predominantly Shia areas of Baghdad, al Ghazil and al-Jadida, and killed 99 people. Iraqi government officials immediately said the bombers had the chromosonal disorder Down’s syndrome, which they could tell this from looking at the severed heads of the bombers. Sadly, horrific bombings in Iraq are so common that they no longer generate much media interest abroad. It was the Down’s syndrome angle which made the story front-page news. It showed al-Qa’ida in Iraq was even more inhumanly evil than one had supposed (if that were possible) and it meant, so Iraqi officials said, that al-Qa’ida was running out of volunteers.

The Times splashed on it under the headline, “Down’s syndrome bombers kill 91”. The story stated firmly that “explosives strapped to two women with Down’s syndrome were detonated by remote control in crowded pet markets”. Other papers, including The Independent, felt the story had a highly suspicious smell to it. How much could really be told about the mental condition of a woman from a human head shattered by a powerful bomb? Reliable eyewitnesses in suicide bombings are difficult to find because anybody standing close to the bomber is likely to be dead or in hospital.

The US military later supported the Iraqi claim that the bombers had Down’s syndrome. On 10 February, they arrested Dr Sahi Aboub, the acting director of the al Rashad mental hospital in east Baghdad, alleging that he had provided mental patients for use by al-Qa’ida. The Iraqi Interior Ministry started rounding up beggars and mentally disturbed people on the grounds that they might be potential bombers.

But on 21 February, an American military spokes-man said there was no evidence the bombers had Down’s. Adel Mohsin, a senior official at the Health Ministry in Baghdad, poured scorn on the idea that Dr Aboub could have done business with the Sunni fanatics of al-Qa’ida because he was a Shia and had only been in the job a few weeks.

A second doctor, who did not want to give his name, pointed out that al Rashad hospital is run by the fundamentalist Shia Mehdi Army and asked: “How would it be possible for al-Qa’ida to get in there?”

Few people in Baghdad now care about the exact circumstances of the bird market bombings apart from Dr Aboub, who is still in jail, and the mentally disturbed beggars who were incarcerated. Unfortunately, it is all too clear that al-Qa’ida is not running out of suicide bombers. But it is pieces of propaganda such as this small example, often swallowed whole by the media and a thousand times repeated, which cumulatively mask the terrible reality of Iraq.



-muslim voice-

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Brutal war on Iraq enters sixth year

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Brutal war on Iraq enters sixth year

By: on: 20.03.2008

Article image

Baghdadis say US invasion brought Iraq types of killings, terrorism country never knew before.

BAGHDAD – The US-led war on Iraq that toppled president Saddam Hussein entered its sixth year on Thursday with millions of Iraqis still battling daily chaos and rampant bloodshed.

On March 20, 2003, US warplanes dropped the first bombs on Baghdad to announce an invasion that would within three weeks topple Saddam’s regime and leave US forces in charge of a people resentful and rebellious against their occupation.

Five years on, Iraqis are in a state of civil war and US forces face daily attacks from insurgents.

The war has killed more than 4,000 US and allied soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians — between 104,000 and 223,000 died between March 2003 and June 2006 alone, according to the World Health Organisation.

“The war has been an unlimited disaster in terms of US foreign policy, in terms of stability in Iraq and in the Middle East,” said Joost Hiltermann, Iraq expert with the International Crisis Group.

“I can only hope the US finds a way to navigate itself out of the mess without allowing Iraq to fall apart.”

As the conflict entered its sixth year, US President George W. Bush once again defended his decisions that have already cost the administration more than 400 billion dollars in Iraq.

Bush acknowledged that the war has “come at a high cost in lives and treasure,” but defended both the decision to invade and to boost the number of US troops in Iraq last year.

“The answers are clear to me: removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision — and this is a fight America can and must win,” he said in a speech at the Pentagon, US military headquarters.

Hours after his speech, Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, in a video message, expressed determination to fight US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said the “savage acts” of the US-led military coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan “haven’t ended the war, but rather (have) increased our determination to cling to our right, avenge our people and expel the invaders from our country.”Baghdadis too are not convinced of a possible victory in Iraq.Abu Fares al-Daraji, a tobacco shop owner in Baghdad said Americans “brought our way things we never knew (before) like terrorism and the killings we see on the streets.”

Anti-war activists are also not impressed and launched sit-ins and marches across the United States demanding an immediate withdrawal of US soldiers.

“This war needs to end and it needs to end now,” said Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice.

Bush has taken heart from signs that the bloodshed in Iraq has fallen, but even the commander of US troops, General David Petraeus, admits that Baghdad has made insuffienct progress towards national reconciliation.

“Scoring a military victory is easy, but a political victory is more difficult to achieve,” said Mustapha Alani, director of security studies at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre.

He said Washington had dismantled Saddam’s regime and was now “unable to put it back together”.

The day-to-day reality on the ground is grim.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in its latest report, said the plight of millions of Iraqis who still have little or no access to clean water, sanitation or health care was the “most critical in the world”.

Insurgents continue to carry out spectacular attacks.

On Tuesday, at a national unity conference — undermined by a boycott from two key parliamentary blocs — Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki boasted that Iraq’s sectarian civil war was over.

On Wednesday he visited, for the first time since becoming premier, Baghdad’s Sunni bastion of Adhamiyah. There he promised the Sunni Arabs jobs as a reward for their fight against Al-Qaeda.

Later Wednesday, Iraq’s presidency council approved a law to hold provincial elections, a key demand of Washington to boost national unity.

The economy, the main concern of Iraqis after security, is also a wreck. Unemployment is running at between 25 and 50 percent of the workforce, according to government figures.

Oil exports are the country’s main money-earner. Iraqi officials say production is at 2.9 million barrels a day, but oil analysts believe it is really around 2.2 million.

Public services like water and electricity have yet to be fully restored, despite billions of dollars having been spent on often badly managed reconstruction projects.

Iraq’s parliament has been paralysed by competition between parties driven by sectarian conflicts, as the US-designed parliament was divided according to sectarian lines.

Last year the US embassy in Baghdad documented a high level of corruption at all levels of government, and questioned the Maliki administration’s willingness to crack down on crooked practices.

An unusual charge from Washington which critics say is deeply involved – if not in control – of the corruption in Iraq.

The war is estimated to have already cost Washington more than 400 billion dollars — making it the most expensive conflict in history.

And what have American taxpayer got for their money?

Critics say that while the American taxpayer carried the burden of the Iraq war cost, US oil companies (and the American politicians affiliated with them) were the greatest beneficiaries of the invasion (if we exclude the US arms industry).



-muslim voice-

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Iraq WMD Lies: The Words of Mass Deception

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraq WMD Lies:
The Words of Mass Deception
The Lie of the Century

December 1983 – details

Colin Powell, February 2001: “[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq.” Condoleeza Rice, July 2001: “We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” [Video of comments]

5 trillion reasons why Iraq was of no threat to the USA

George W Bush, March 2002: “F___ Saddam. we’re taking him out.” [CNN]

The Downing Street Memo, July 2002:There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.[The Downing Street Memo for dummies] [Blair acknowledges memo is authentic]

How the leaked documents questioning war emerged

Ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-
led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal. [Times]

The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war … By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive. [Times]

They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein’s major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon’s goal was clear: Destroy Iraq’s ability to resist. This was war. … This was September 2002–a month before Congress had voted to give President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before “shock and awe” officially began. [Democracy Now]

A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 – nearly two months before the invasion – reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme. [Guardian]

Memo extracts

President Bush to Tony Blair: “The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach”

Bush: “It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam’s WMD, and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated.”

Blair: “A second Security Council Resolution resolution would provide an insurance policy against the unexpected and international cover, including with the Arabs.”

Bush: “The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would ‘twist arms’ and ‘even threaten’. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.”

Blair responds that he is: “solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam.”

Bush told Blair he: “thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.” [Channel 4 News]

How the Iraq war was sold to the US public
[1MB WMA download]

“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

George W Bush, 5/24/05 [wma download]

Also, the media can legally lie to “catapult the propaganda” – example.

Click for full sized image
Click for details

Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
George W. Bush
Speech to UN General Assembly
September 12, 2002Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
December 2, 2002If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
January 9, 2003We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
February 5, 2003We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
George W. Bush
Radio Address
February 8, 2003We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
Colin Powell
Interview with Radio France International
February 28, 2003If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.
Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
March 7, 2003So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
George W. Bush
Address to the Nation
March 17, 2003Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.


GEORGE Bush’s top security adviser … admitted the US would attack Iraq even if UN inspectors fail to find weapons.

Dr Richard Perle stunned MPs by insisting a “clean bill of health” from UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix would not halt America’s war machine. [Mirror]

Ari Fleisher
Press Briefing
March 21, 2003Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
Gen. Tommy Franks
Press Conference
March 22, 2003There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman
Washington Post, p. A27
March 23, 2003I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark
Press Briefing
March 22, 2003 One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Donald Rumsfeld
ABC Interview
March 30, 2003We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
Neocon scholar Robert Kagan
Washington Post op-ed
April 9, 2003Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find — and there will be plenty.
Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
April 10, 2003But make no mistake — as I said earlier — we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.

George W. Bush
NBC Interview
April 24, 2003We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
Donald Rumsfeld
Press Briefing
April 25, 2003There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 3, 2003We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.
Colin Powell
Remarks to Reporters
May 4, 2003I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it just now.
Donald Rumsfeld
Fox News Interview
May 4, 2003We never believed that we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 6, 2003I’m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein — because he had a weapons program.
Condoleeza Rice
Reuters Interview
May 12, 2003U.S. officials never expected that “we were going to open garages and find” weapons of mass destruction.
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne
Press Briefing
May 13, 2003I just don’t know whether it was all destroyed years ago — I mean, there’s no question that there were chemical weapons years ago — whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they’re still hidden.
Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Interview with Reporters
May 21, 2003Before the war, there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
NBC Today Show interview
May 26, 2003 Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.
Donald Rumsfeld
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
May 27, 2003They may have had time to destroy them, and I don’t know the answer.
Paul Wolfowitz
Vanity Fair interview
May 28, 2003For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Press Interview
May 30, 2003It was a surprise to me then  it remains a surprise to me now  that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. We’ve been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they’re simply not there.
Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Defense Intelligence Agency
Press Conference
May 30, 2003Do I think we’re going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do, because I think there’s a lot of information out there.”

Based on extensive interviews with both US investigators and Iraqi scientists, the Washington Post, which pursued an editorial policy in clear support of the war, found that Iraq not only did not possess any of the claimed weapons, but also lacked the material conditions to even create them. Its scientific institutions and factories had been thoroughly beaten down by 12 years of conflict, arms embargo and strangling economic sanctions, the Post found.[I]nvestigators said they have discovered no work on former germ-warfare agents…that led US scientists on a highly classified hunt for several months… And they found the former nuclear weapons program, described as a grave and gathering danger by President Bush and a mortal threat by Vice President Cheney, in much the same shattered state left by UN inspectors in the 1990s, the Post reported. [WSWS]

286kB PDF Download

The Waxman Report on 237 lies that sent your loved ones off to be killed and crippled in Iraq.

Bush seeking humor from lies at the 2004 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“Those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be somewhere.”

1.6 MB wmv video download

US presidential commission:
US relied on ‘drunken liar’ to justify war

“We didn’t lie. We were all fooled by this drunken bum!”

Straight Talk from
George Galloway

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.”

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, [Paul Wolfowitz] said: “Let’s look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.” [Guardian 4/6/2003]

The Story That Didnt Run

In its rush to air its now discredited story about President George W. Bushs National Guard service, CBS bumped another sensitive piece slated for the same 60 Minutes broadcast: a half-hour segment about how the U.S. government was snookered by forged documents purporting to show Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium from Niger. [MSNBC]

The Forged Niger Documents

These are the documents which prove that the claims made about Iraq’s WMDs were intentional lies, and not “mistakes”.


See also:

A Newspaper Front Page You WON’T See
The Real Reason We Are At War
Iraq Index of What Really Happened


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How Americans Have Been Misled about World War II

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

How Americans Have Been Misled about World War II

By Robert Higgs

19/03/08 “Lewrockwell” — Whereas historians obsessively trace every event’s causal lineage further and further into the past, nonhistorians tend toward the opposite extreme: they assume in effect that the world began immediately before the event they have in mind. I call this unfortunate tendency “truncating the antecedents.” Among the general public, it has given rise to mistaken interpretations of historical causation in cases too numerous to mention, and mistakes of this sort continue to occur frequently, in part because politicians and other conniving parties have an interest in propagating them.

I was recently struck by this tendency while reading comments at a group blog associated with the History News Network. A commentator there had mentioned that the blame for World War II is not as cut and dried as Americans typically assume it to be, and hence some revisionism is long overdue. In response, another discussant, whose previous contributions to the blog show that he is an intelligent man, expressed bafflement: “Yes, obviously some revisionism regarding the ‘great allied leaders’ of WWII is called for. But an attempt to be revisionist about the justness of a war where U.S. territory is attacked by one opponent and war is declared on the U.S. by the other opponent is sort of like justifying the War on Iraq on the basis of mythical WMD.”

Like Americans in general, this man takes the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the German declaration of war on December 11, 1941, as dispositive evidence that Japan and Germany started the war that ensued between these nations and the United States, and therefore he concludes that they should be held responsible for it. In a later post, he persists in this interpretation by saying: “Nation X attacks Nation Y. One or the other is right. Either Nation Y is a victim or the attack was a ‘justified pre-emptive attack.’ Yes, the response may be disproportionate, etc., but those really aren’t reasons to declare Nation Y ‘wrong.’ Or the two ‘equally wrong.'” This view represents a classic case of truncating the antecedents.

Many people are misled by formalities. They assume, for example, that the United States went to war against Germany and Japan only after its declarations of war against these nations in December 1941. In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its warmaking took a variety of forms. For example, the U.S. navy conducted “shoot [Germans] on sight” convoys, which might include British ships, in the North Atlantic along the greater part the shipping route from the United States to Great Britain, even though German U-boats had orders to refrain (and did refrain) from initiating attacks on American shipping. The United States and Great Britain entered into arrangements to pool intelligence, combine weapons development, test military equipment jointly, and undertake other forms of war-related cooperation. The U.S. military actively cooperated with the British military in combat operations against the Germans, for example, by alerting the British navy of aerial or marine sightings of German submarines, which the British then attacked. The U.S. government undertook in countless ways to provide military and other supplies and assistance to the British, the French, and the Soviets, who were fighting the Germans. The U.S. government provided military and other supplies and assistance, including warplanes and pilots, to the Chinese, who were at war with Japan. The U.S. military actively engaged in planning with the British, the British Commonwealth countries, and the Dutch East Indies for future combined combat operations against Japan. Most important, the U.S. government engaged in a series of increasingly stringent economic warfare measures that pushed the Japanese into a predicament that U.S. authorities well understood would probably provoke them to attack U.S. territories and forces in the Pacific region in a quest to secure essential raw materials that the Americans, British, and Dutch (government in exile) had embargoed.

Consider these summary statements by George Victor, by no means a Roosevelt basher, in his recently published, well-documented book The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Dulles, Va.: Potomac Books, 2007).

Roosevelt had already led the United States into war with Germany in the spring of 1941 – into a shooting war on a small scale. From then on, he gradually increased U.S. military participation. Japan’s attack on December 7 enabled him to increase it further and to obtain a war declaration. Pearl Harbor is more fully accounted for as the end of a long chain of events, with the U.S. contribution reflecting a strategy formulated after France fell. . . . In the eyes of Roosevelt and his advisers, the measures taken early in 1941 justified a German declaration of war on the United State – a declaration that did not come, to their disappointment. . . . Roosevelt told his ambassador to France, William Bullitt, that U.S. entry into war against Germany was certain but must wait for an “incident,” which he was “confident that the Germans would give us.” . . . Establishing a record in which the enemy fired the first shot was a theme that ran through Roosevelt’s tactics. . . . He seems [eventually] to have concluded – correctly as it turned out – that Japan would be easier to provoke into a major attack on the Unites States than Germany would be. (pp. 179–80, 184, 185, emphasis added)

The claim that Japan attacked the United States without provocation was . . . typical rhetoric. It worked because the public did not know that the administration had expected Japan to respond with war to anti-Japanese measures it had taken in July 1941. . . . Expecting to lose a war with the United States – and lose it disastrously – Japan’s leaders had tried with growing desperation to negotiate. On this point, most historians have long agreed. Meanwhile, evidence has come out that Roosevelt and Hull persistently refused to negotiate. . . . Japan . . . offered compromises and concessions, which the United States countered with increasing demands. . . . It was after learning of Japan’s decision to go to war with the United States if the talks “break down” that Roosevelt decided to break them off. . . . According to Attorney General Francis Biddle, Roosevelt said he hoped for an “incident” in the Pacific to bring the United States into the European war. (pp. 15, 202, 240)

These facts and numerous others that point in the same direction are for the most part anything but new; many of them have been available to the public since the 1940s. As early as 1953, anyone might have read a collection of heavily documented essays on various aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1930s and early 1940s that showed the various ways in which the U.S. government bore responsibility for the country’s eventual engagement in World War II – showed, in short, that the Roosevelt administration wanted to get the country into the war and worked craftily along various avenues to ensure that, sooner or later, it would get in, preferably in a way that would unite public opinion behind the war by making the United States appear to have been the victim of an aggressor’s unprovoked attack. (See Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath, edited by Harry Elmer Barnes [Caldwell, Id.: Caxton Printers, 1953].) As Secretary of War Henry Stimson testified after the war, “we needed the Japanese to commit the first overt act” (qtd. in Victor, Pearl Harbor Myth, p. 105).

At present, however, sixty-seven or more years after these events, probably not one American in 1,000 – nay, not one in 10,000 – has an inkling of any of this history. So effective has been the pro-Roosevelt, pro-American, pro-World War II faction that in this country it has utterly dominated teaching and popular writing about U.S. engagement in the “Good War.” Only a few years ago, when an essay of mine was included in a collection being considered for publication by the University of Chicago Press, the press’s expert outside reader expressed shock that I had mentioned in passing Roosevelt’s pre-Pearl Harbor maneuvers to bring the country into the war, and he declared that crackpot statements of this sort would discredit the entire volume. (In deference to the editor and to discourage the volume’s rejection by the press, I removed the single obnoxious sentence, which was not central to my purposes in the essay in any event, and eventually the book was published, notwithstanding this “expert’s” negative appraisal of my own contributions to it.)

Observations such the foregoing ones tend to elicit angry accusations of “Holocaust denial” and “moral equivalence,” among many others. For the record, then, let me avow that I do not deny the Holocaust, nor do I regard the Roosevelt administration as morally equivalent to Hitler’s regime. While I am making my innocence plain, let me also avow that I do not regard the Roosevelt administration as morally equivalent to Stalin’s regime. This latter comparison comes up surprisingly seldom, however, given that the two regimes were close allies in the war, and, most important, that the major outcome of the war was to leave Stalin and his puppet regimes astride the greater part of the European continent in an area that stretches from the Urals to Bohemia and from Estonia to Azerbaijan. In short, if anyone deserves to be recognized as the war’s “winner,” that person is Stalin. Somehow this fact has never seemed to me to fit comfortably into a characterization of this horrible conflict as the “Good War.” Perhaps I’m just unduly squeamish.

The fate of the European Jews also requires mention, inasmuch as after the war many people professed to believe that saving the Jews was the war’s prime justification. Aside from the fact that none of the Allied leaders held that view – Roosevelt himself was a genteel anti-Semite of the sort typical in his time, place, and class – the undeniable truth is that the Jews were not saved: approximately 80 percent of them had perished by the end of the war. Little wonder, too, because U.S. and British war plans did not give high priority to saving them; as a rule, those plans completely disregarded the urgent need to rescue the surviving Jews.

Few Americans have ever entertained the idea that their country ought not to have entered World War II. They persist in believing that they – the ordinary people of the country, as distinct from its political leaders and their foreign legionnaires – were genuinely threatened by the Japanese and the Germans and therefore that the war “had to be fought.” Even George Victor, from whose honest and useful book The Pearl Harbor Myth I quoted earlier, has brought himself to believe that Roosevelt had excellent motives for his persistent provocation of Germany and Japan. Thus, he writes: “As Germany began to prepare for conquest, genocide, and destruction of civilization, the leader of only one major nation saw what was coming and made plans to stop it. As a result of Roosevelt’s leadership, a planned sequence of events carried out in the Atlantic and more decisively in the Pacific brought the United States into one of the world’s greatest cataclysms. The American contribution helped turn the war’s tide and saved the world from a destructive tyranny unparalleled in modern history” (p. 16).

Unparalleled? What about Stalin’s tyranny or Mao’s? Regardless of one’s answer to this question, however, another question remains – whether Nazi Germany, as evil as it certainly was, had the ability to defeat the United States, much less to “destroy civilization.” Americans love to speculate about German acquisition of atomic weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and other military capabilities the Nazis, in fact, never came close to acquiring. As things actually stood, Germany lacked the capability to invade and conquer even Great Britain. Conquering the United States, thousands of miles across the Atlantic, was realistically inconceivable. Whatever else one may take U.S. leaders’ motives for war to have been in the early 1940’s, national self-preservation could not have been among them, unless they were shockingly ill-advised as to the economic, logistical, and technological constraints on the German war machine. In reality, that machine had its hands more than full in dealing with the Soviets on the eastern front, not to mention the British and others who were pestering it on other fronts.

Thirty-six years ago, Bruce M. Russett’s little book No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) was published. Russett noted at the outset that “[p]articipation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology” (p. 12). In this regard, nothing has changed since 1972. Yet Russett argued forcefully, with logic and evidence, that this orthodoxy rests on shaky grounds. He concluded that World War II “may well have been an unnecessary war that did little for us and that we need not have fought” (p. 20). Nor did he concede that although the war may have been imprudent on instrumental grounds, it was well justified on moral grounds: “it is precisely moral considerations that demand a reexamination of our World War II myths,” he insisted (p. 21). Although much has been added to the corpus of World War II scholarship since the publication of Russett’s book, this little volume remains unjustly neglected, and its argument deserves serious consideration even now.

Of course, many other great events in American history might be examined as I have suggested U.S. participation in World War II ought to be examined – by taking the relevant antecedents fully into account. For historians, this advice should be unnecessary; if they know anything, they know that history did not begin yesterday. The American people at large, however, remain extremely vulnerable to misleading descriptions of the government’s actions, especially its plunges into foreign wars – accounts of which generally disregard many relevant antecedents, particularly those that cast blame on the United States for stirring up enmities abroad. Yet, any honest account of U.S. foreign policy reveals that this country’s government has engaged again and again in foreign interventions whose official justifications cannot withstand critical scrutiny. Many of these interventions amounted to little more than armed errand-running for privileged American business interests seeking to beat foreigners into line and, not coincidentally, to line their own pockets. This aspect of U.S. foreign policy famously led General Smedley Butler to declare that war is a racket.

Time, some wit has said, is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. Taking this idea to heart, we may remind ourselves and others that whenever the U.S. government launches a new war abroad, we would be well advised to look into what happened in that part of the world previously, perhaps over the course of several decades. We may well discover that the locals have legitimate grievances against our government or some of its corporate cronies. Or we may simply discover that the situation is more complicated than it has been made out to be. We know one thing for certain at the outset, however: we cannot rely on the government to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Unvarnished truth is to our rulers as holy water is to vampires.

Robert Higgs [send him mail] is senior fellow in political economy at the Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. His most recent book is Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government. He is also the author of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy, Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11 and Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society.



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Five Years of Genocide

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Five Years of Genocide

Zuheir Kseibati Al-Hayat – 20/03/08//

Five years ago to the day, it was the dawn of the American invasion that carried Iraq to the endless darkness of the occupation. The fall of Baghdad, the Arab capital which they almost dubbed Saddam Hussein’s capital, was nothing but the onset of a massive volcanic eruption in the region; its fires still consume the Arabs’ stability and security and rewrite maps from the Ocean to the Gulf.

The captain of the invasion, George Bush, celebrates the “first large-scale Arab uprising against Usama bin Laden.” He reassures Americans that the costs of the invasion and war against and in Iraq, now touching $500 billion, are petty when bearing the “gains” in mind…notably ending “Saddam’s tyranny” and lighting the candles of hope towards “democracy.”

As he celebrates the fifth anniversary of the invasion, Bush forgets the big misleading lie about the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The battle has turned into a front against al-Qaeda and terrorism, and its strategic goal is to prevent shifting the battlefield to the US. Let it then be the 100-year war fought with Iraqi blood!

Those were five years of tears and blood. They are good enough a price for the Baghdad government to prevent a quick American withdrawal, which would sweep away the “achievements” realized so far, including the reduction of death tolls and rates. The suicide bombers, however, continue to come in waves, while hundreds of thousands have been left dead since the invasion and occupation began. Millions are now refugees all over Mesopotamia and neighboring countries, announcing the worst humanitarian “crisis” in a country that holds the world’s third largest oil reserves. Perhaps it is certainly much worse than a crisis.

Despite all this, Bush is still celebrating the liberation of Iraqis from tyranny, and also from their blood, wealth, sovereignty, security, stability, and unity. By all moral standards, neither he nor his Vice President Dick Cheney feel embarrassed when they present on their list of victories the face of a new Iraq in which al-Qaeda is weakened and the resources of terrorism are dried up. They conveniently overlook al-Qaeda’s students and women, the swamps of corruption drowning ministers and officials, the impoverishment of the homeless and the insanity of those who have been plagued by massacres and bombings that have turned Iraq into the home of the forgotten genocide.

The president, the captain of occupation, and his vice president who has bestowed upon his wife an adventurous and challenging trip to the secret base, are not ashamed of revealing the “logical” conclusion of the extremely costly war: that no other generation of Americans will have to be sent here to deter a potential confrontation on American soil. And if the cost is the blood, wealth, and unity of Iraqis, that would be their problem.

When Mesopotamia becomes the nation of unified plagues falling upon the necks of a nation, the American president finds no reason to apologize for his lies about weapons of mass destruction. Only a handful of the original war architects remain with him but mostly in hiding, while Cheney promises the Iraqis that he would not tire. The battle still has chapters to come, and if the Americans were to be bored by any slackness on al-Qaeda’s side, there would still be the Iranian “influence.” It is as if the vice president is taking the risk to address the victim of murder and warn him against the murderer!

Five years of tears and blood. The deafening bombs are still louder than the wailing of the mothers who lost their children and the weeping of men every time they lost children and fathers. But does any of this happen in Iraq? Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is commending the “healing of the nation,” for Iraqis are no longer killed on the basis of their sectarian identity! Genocide has become “fair,” as it no longer discriminates between Sunni and Shiite. To become indiscriminate, the genocide has had to last as long as the occupation itself. Everything that has been since the dawn of March 20th, 2003 is a “success” according to Cheney’s testimony.

According to al-Maliki’s account, life goes on in Iraq. The only obstacle that hinders “reconciliation” between the ruling forces and the disgruntled parties is a final resolution over the oil law to divide the inheritance of the murdered victim.

The “Iraqis were liberated” five years ago. All they need to do is to believe the American when he offers them a medal for defeating tyranny so they can prepare themselves for another decade or two of war on terror, while he promises them “strategic” military bases to guard oil facilities …and the dead.

Cheney wonders about the Arabs and why they are so shy in front of Iran and al-Qaeda. In the century-long war, everyone has a role to play.

In the long night and the epic of forgotten genocide, only Bush hallucinates about victory….All the politicians of Iraq hallucinate about democracy-deception. It is the long night of genocide.



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Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===


Islam, followed by more than a billion people today, is the world’s fastest growing religion and will soon be the world’s largest. The 1.2 billion Muslims make up approximately one quarter of the world’s population. The most populous Muslim countries are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.The number of Muslims in Indonesia alone (175 million) exceeds the combined total in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, the traditional heartlands of Islam. There are also substantial Muslim populations in Europe and North America, whether converts or immigrants who began arriving in large numbers in the 1950s and 1960s.……Read more


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Meliberalkan Islam Pasti Akan Gagal

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Meliberalkan Islam Pasti Akan Gagal

March 15th, 2008

Namanya sudah dikenal dalam blantika pemikiran Islam Indonesia. Ia disegani oleh kawan sekaligus lawan pendapatnya. Argumentasinya yang logis dan penuturannya yang lugas menjadi ciri khas dari tokoh yang satu ini. Produktifitasnya dalam tulisan merupakan hal lain yang menjadikan identitasnya dikenal luas masyarakat. Adian Husaini, yang sekarang sedang merampungkan disertasi doktoralnya di ISTAC-IIU Malaysia, menyempatkan diri untuk diwawancarai oleh RISALAH seputar perkembangan terakhir pemikiran Islam. Melakukan liberalisasi terhadap Islam, menurutnya, pasti gagal. Karena Islam bukan agama seperti yang berlaku di Barat. Islam adalah agama wahyu, demikian ia menegaskan. Dan berikut uraian lebih lengkapnya.

Apa pengertian Islam Liberal itu? tc “Apa pengertian Islam Liberal itu? ”

Menurut mereka, Islam Liberal adalah Islam yang dinamis, progresif, mengikuti dinamika zaman, Islam yang tidak beku. Dengan kata lain, Islam yang mengikuti dinamika sejarah. Karena itu, kita akan mendapati definisi Islam Liberal yang bermacam-macam, karena batasannya pun tidak jelas, dan bisa berubah-ubah mengikuti zaman dan tempat.

Berasal dari manakah istilah tersebut? tc “Berasal dari manakah istilah tersebut? ”

Yang pertama kali menggunakan istilah liberal ditempelkan pada agama, setahu saya, Yahudi Liberal (Liberal Judaism), kemudian diikuti oleh Kristen Liberal, Islam Liberal, dan sebagainya.

Apakah istilah Islam Liberal adalah sebuah istilah yang tepat? tc “Apakah istilah Islam Liberal adalah sebuah istilah yang tepat? ”

Menurut saya, tidak tepat. Karena Islam adalah agama wahyu yang sudah sempurna sejak awal (QS. 5 : 3). Islam tidak tunduk oleh dinamika sejarah. Islam bukan agama sejarah (historical religion) dan bukan agama budaya (cultural religion). Karena itu, mereka yang ingin meliberalkan Islam pasti akan gagal, meskipun berhasil memengaruhi sebagian kaum muslim.

Apa inti dari pemikiran Islam Liberal? tc “Apa inti dari pemikiran Islam Liberal? ”

Intinya, mengubah ajaran Islam agar sesuai dengan zaman. Aqidahnya diubah, syariatnya diubah, dan sebagainya.

Apakah pemikiran tersebut berasal dari Islam? tc “Apakah pemikiran tersebut berasal dari Islam? ”

Sebenarnya tidak. Jika kita tela’ah, banyak sekali ide-ide jiplakan dari kaum Yahudi dan Kristen, baik dalam soal pluralisme agama, dekonstruksi syari’at, penggunaan hermeneutika untuk menafsirkan kitab suci, dan sebagainya.

Sudah seberapa jauh dampak dari gerakan Islam Liberal di Indonesia? tc “Sudah seberapa jauh dampak dari gerakan Islam Liberal di Indonesia? ”

Sudah parah. Jangan salah, kalau melihat Islam Liberal ini pada JIL saja. JIL ini baru “kemarin sore” dan statusnya hanyalah pengecer ide-ide liberal, dari sekian ratus pengecer lainnya. Tapi lihat pengaruh liberalisasi Islam pada kurikulum dan buku-buku studi Islam di Perguruan Tinggi. Sehingga sekarang, banyak sekali dosen, sarjana agama, bahkan profesor yang tidak sadar bahwa mereka sudah terkena virus liberal.

Dalam beberapa tulisan, Ustadz menjelaskan bahwa hampir semua studi Islam di Perguruan Tinggi sudah terkena virus liberal. Apa indikasinya dan bagaimana cara mengatasinya? tc “Dalam beberapa tulisan, Ustadz menjelaskan bahwa hampir semua studi Islam di Perguruan Tinggi sudah terkena virus liberal. Apa indikasinya dan bagaimana cara mengatasinya? ”

Saya sudah meneliti puluhan buku-buku Metodologi Studi Islam dari berbagai kampus. Salah satu indikasinya, memisahkan antara Islam normatif dengan Islam historis/aktual. Ini membuat Islam menjadi tidak satu. Juga, menempatkan studi Islam pada posisi netral terhadap kebenaran, memisahkan antara ilmu dengan akhlaq. Jangan heran, jika banyak skripsi, tesis, dan disertasi yang menyerang al-Qur`an, tetapi diluluskan dengan alasan ilmiah. Seharusnya, konsep ilmu dalam Islam tidak memisahkan antara ilmu dan akhlaq.

Kalau ada mahasiswa yang tidak shalat lima waktu, maka itu tidak layak diluluskan menjadi sarjana syari’ah. Kalau ada dosen yang kerjaannya mengawinkan pasangan beda agama, maka itu harus ada tindakan.

Adalah aneh, jika banyak yang belajar syari’at Islam, justru menjadi anti-syari’at. Banyak yang belajar ushuluddin, tetapi malah menyerang Islam. Inilah liberalisasi.

Apakah gerakan liberalisasi Islam termasuk dalam gerakan westernisasi Barat? tc “Apakah gerakan liberalisasi Islam termasuk dalam gerakan westernisasi Barat? ”

Ya memang intinya, liberalisasi itu ya westernisasi, karena liberalisasi agama merupakan respons terhadap tantangan hegemoni peradaban Barat dalam berbagai bidang, agar agama itu bisa diterima dan sesuai dengan nilai-nilai Barat. Yahudi Liberal itu adalah upaya untuk menjadikan agama Yahudi agar bisa kompatibel dengan peradaban Barat. Begitu juga Kristen Liberal, juga Islam Liberal.

Selama ini Ustadz dikenal sebagai penggiat gerakan counter Islam Liberal, apa yang melatarbelakangi hal itu? tc “Selama ini Ustadz dikenal sebagai penggiat gerakan counter Islam Liberal, apa yang melatarbelakangi hal itu? ”

Itu kewajiban setiap muslim untuk amar ma’ruf nahi munkar.

Bagaimana respons umat Islam Indonesia sampai saat ini terhadap gerakan Islam Liberal? tc “Bagaimana respons umat Islam Indonesia sampai saat ini terhadap gerakan Islam Liberal? ”

Karena sifatnya halus dan berupa serangan pemikiran, memang tidak mudah meyakinkan, bahwa ini masalah yang sangat serius. Alhamdulillah, sekarang sudah mulai terlihat, karena liberalisasi Islam di Indonesia sudah sampai pada tahap matang dan melampauai batas, misalnya sampai menyerang al-Qur`an dengan terbuka, menolak syari’at Islam dengan terbuka; membela aliran-aliran sesat, dan sebagainya. Banyak yang sekarang mulai sadar, bahwa liberalisasi Islam merupakan masalah yang sangat serius.

Apa yang seharusnya dilakukan oleh umat Islam Indonesia dalam menghadapi tantangan terebut? tc “Apa yang seharusnya dilakukan oleh umat Islam Indonesia dalam menghadapi tantangan terebut? ”

Mengerahkan segenap potensi untuk menghadapinya. Karena ini masalah pemikiran, maka yang harus disiapkan dalam hal ini adalah mengerahkan segenap potensi keilmuan dan pemikiran.

Bagaimana peta pertarungan umat Islam versus orang-orang liberal ke depan? tc “Bagaimana peta pertarungan umat Islam versus orang-orang liberal ke depan? ”

Akan semakin seru. Karena ke depan, akan semakin banyak kader-kder intelektual liberal didikan Amerika dan lain-lain yang pulang ke Indonesia. Mereka pintar-pintar, menguasai bahasa Arab, Inggris, dan juga menulisnya sangat bagus. Sebagian sangat piawai dalam bicara. Jadi, ini tantangan besar bagi umat Islam. Sekarang saja, sudah semakin banyak doktor dan profesor bidang al-Qur‘an yang aktif menyerang al-Qur‘an.

Apa harapan Ustadz kepada pemerintah, MUI, orpol dan ormas Islam mengenai isu ini?tc “Apa harapan Ustadz kepada pemerintah, MUI, orpol dan ormas Islam mengenai isu ini?”

Karena ini masalah besar, maka seluruh potensi umat harus bekerjasama. (Dwi)


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Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===


Oleh: KH.Drs. Shiddiq Amien, MBA

March 15th, 2008

Liberalisme berasal dari bahasa latin Liber, yang artinya bebas atau merdeka. Dari sini muncul istilah liberal arts yang berarti ilmu yang sepatutnya dipelajari oleh orang merdeka, yaitu: aritmetika, geometri, astronomi, musik, gramatika, logika dan retorika. Sebagai ajektif, kata liberal dipakai untuk menunjukkan sikap anti-feodal, anti kemapanan, rasional, bebas merdeka (independent), berpikiran luas dan terbuka (open-minded) dan oleh karena itu merasa hebat (magnanimous). Dalam politik, liberalisme dimaknai sebagai sebuah sistem yang menentang mati-matian sentralisasi dan absolutisme kekuasaan. Munculnya republik-republik dengan sistem demokrasi menggantikan kerajaan atau kesultanan tidak lepas dari liberalisme ini.

Dalam bidang ekonomi, liberalisme menunjuk pada sistem pasar bebas, di mana peran dan intervensi pemerintah sangat dibatasi. Kini liberalisme ekonomi menjadi identik dengan kapitalisme. Negara-negara miskin cenderung menjadi wilayah pinggiran bagi perekonomian negara-negara kaya. Peran pemerintah yang mestinya melayani dan melindungi kepentingan rakyatnya, bergeser menjadi melayani dan melindungi kepentingan para pemodal internasional yang telah menginvestasikan modalnya di negara tersebut. Bahkan tidak jarang kebijakan ekonomi negara-negara miskin secara terang-terangan mengambil posisi berlawanan dengan aspirasi rakyat mereka sendiri.

Agama Kristen mulai bersinar di Eropa ketika pada tahun 313 Kaisar Konstantin mengeluarkan surat perintah (edik) yang isinya memberi kebebasan kepada warga Romawi untuk memeluk Kristen. Bahkan pada tahun 380 Kristen dijadikan sebagai agama negara oleh Kaisar Theodosius. Menurut edik Theodosius semua warga negara Romawi diwajibkan menjadi anggota gereja Katolik. Agama-agama kafir dilarang. Bahkan sekte-sekte Kristen di luar “gereja resmi” pun dilarang. Dengan berbagai keistimewaan ini, Kristen kemudian menyebar ke berbagai penjuru dan dunia, bahkan menjadi sebuah imperium yang otoriter dengan selalu mengatasnamakan kehendak Tuhan.

Liberalisme muncul di Eropa sebagai reaksi dan perlawanan atas otoriteritas gereja yang dengan mengatasnamakan Tuhan telah melakukan penindasan. Konon tidak kurang dari 32.000 orang dibakar hidup-hidup atas alasan menentang kehendak Tuhan. Galileo, Bruno dan Copernicus termasuk di antara saintis-saintis yang bernasib malang karena melontarkan ide yang bertentangan dengan ide Gereja. Untuk mengokohkan dan melestarikan otoriteritas itu, Gereja membentuk institusi pengadilan yang dikenal paling brutal di dunia sampai akhir abad 15, yaitu Mahkamah Inquisisi. Karen Amstrong dalam bukunya Holy War: The Crusade and Their Impact on Today’s World (1991 : 456) menyatakan, “Most of us would agree that one of the most evil of all Christian institutions was the Inquisition, which was an instrument of terror in the Chatholic Chuch until the end of seventeenth century.”

Despotisme Gereja ini telah mengakibatkan pemberontakan terhadap kekuasaan Gereja. Kaum liberal menuntut kebebasan individu yang seluas-luasnya, menolak klaim pemegang otoritas Tuhan, menuntut penghapusan hak-hak istimewa gereja maupun raja. Liberalisme membolehkan setiap orang melakukan apa saja sesuai dengan kehendaknya. Manusia tidak lagi harus memegang kuat ajaran agamanya, bahkan kalau ajaran agama tidak sesuai dengan kehendak manusia, maka yang dilakukan adalah melakukan penafsiran ulang ayat-ayat Tuhan agar tidak bertabrakan dengan prinsip-prinsip dasar liberalisme. Wajar jika kemudian berbagai tindakan amoral pun seperti homoseksual, seks bebas, aborsi, dan juga berbagai aliran sesat dan menyesatkan dalam agama dianggap legal, karena telah mendapatkan justifikasi ayat-ayat Tuhan yang telah ditafsir ulang secara serampangan dan kacau.

Di antara sejumlah tokoh yang berani menentang otoritas Gereja adalah Nicolaus Copernicus (1543 M) dengan teori Heliosentris-nya yang menyatakan bahwa Matahari sebagai pusat Tata Surya. Sebuah teori yang menentang ajaran Gereja yang sekian lama memegang filsafat Ptolomaeus yang menyatakan bahwa Bumilah sebagai pusat (Geo-centris). Perjuangannya diikuti Gardano Bruno (1594M), fisikawan Jerman Johannes Kapler (1571 M), Galileo Galilei (1564 M) dan Isaac Newton (1642 M).

John Lock (1704 M) kemudian mengusung liberalisme bidang politik dengan menyodorkan ideologi yang mendorong masyarakat untuk membebaskan diri dari kekangan Gereja waktu itu. Adam Smith (1790M) mengusung liberalisme di bidang ekonomi yang memberi kebebasan kepada masyarakat untuk menjalankan kegiatan ekonominya tanpa intervensi dari pemerintahan gereja atau pemerintahan raja yang didukung gereja.

Ketika otoritas Gereja runtuh, bangsa Eropa terpecah menjadi dua aliran besar dalam menyikapi agama. Pertama, Aliran Deisme, yaitu mereka yang masih mempercayai adanya Tuhan, tapi tidak memercayai ayat-ayat Tuhan. Tokoh-tokohnya antara lain, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Isaac Newton, John Lock, Immanuel Kant, dsb. Dan kedua, Aliran Materialisme atau Atheisme. Aliran ini menganggap bahwa agama merupakan gejala masyarakat yang sakit. Agama dinilai sebagai candu atau racun bagi masyarakat. Di antara tokohnya, Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, dan Karl Marx. Ketidakpercayaan kepada Tuhan diusung pula oleh Charles Darwin (1809-1882 M) melalui bukunya The Origin of Species by Means Natural Selection (1859M). Melalui teori evolusinya, Darwin mencoba memisahkan intervensi Tuhan dalam penciptaan alam dan makhluk hidup di muka bumi ini. Dengan demikian bisa disimpulkan bahwa liberalisme merupakan upaya keluar dari kekangan ajaran Kristen yang bermasalah. Liberalisme telah mengantarkan masyarakat Barat menjadi orang atheis atau paling tidak deis.

Di bidang sosial kaum liberalis telah melegalkan homoseksual. Dignity, sebuah organisasi gay Katolik internasional pada tahun 1976 saja sudah memiliki cabang di 22 negara bagian AS. Di Australia ada organisasi serupa Acceptance, di Inggris ada Quest, di Swedia ada Veritas. Fakta yang fenomenal terjadi ketika Nopember 2003 seorang pendeta bernama Gene Robinson yang notabene seorang homoseks, dilantik menjadi Uskup Gereja Anglikan di New Hampshire.

Liberalisme mengajarkan bahwa seks bebas dan aborsi sebagai privasi individu yang tidak boleh dicampuri oleh aturan agama atau nilai-nilai yang berlaku di masyarakat, selama individu tersebut senang, sukarela, suka sama suka. Masyarakat dan agama tidak boleh menghakimi mereka. Padahal dampak terkejam dari perilaku seks bebas adalah kecenderungan manusia untuk lari dari tanggung jawab. Ketika terjadi kehamilan, jalan yang ditempuh adalah aborsi. Dengan demikian esensi dari free-sex itu adalah pembunuhan terhadap manusia.

Kaum liberalis menuntut emansipasi wanita, kesetaraan gender dengan mengabaikan nilai-nilai agama. Dengan jargon kebebasan (liberty) dan persamaan (egality), kaum feminis secara ekstrem telah memunculkan semangat melawan dominasi laki-laki sebagai pemimpin dalam keluarga. Banyak pria atau wanita yang lebih memilih hidup sendiri. Kebutuhan seksual dipenuhi dengan zina (free-sex), kebutuhan akan anak dipenuhi dengan adopsi dan bertindak sebagai single parent. Jika tidak mau direpotkan dengan anak, maka aborsi jadi solusi. Sejumlah negara Barat telah melakukan “Revolusi Jingga” dengan mengesahkan undang-undang yang melegalkan perkawinan sejenis.

Liberalisasi di bidang agama juga sudah merasuk kaum muslimin di Indonesia. Liberalisasi Islam dilakukan melalui tiga bidang penting dalam Islam, yaitu: (1) Liberalisasi bidang aqidah dengan penyebaran paham pluralisme agama. Paham ini menyatakan bahwa semua agama adalah jalan yang sama-sama sah menuju Tuhan yang sama. Maka setiap pemeluk agama tidak boleh mengklaim atau meyakini bahwa hanya agamanya saja yang benar. Menurut mereka, salah satu ciri agama jahat adalah agama yang memiliki klaim kebenaran mutlak (absolute truth claim) atas agamanya sendiri. (2) Liberalisasi konsep wahyu dengan melakukan dekontruksi terhadap Al-Qur’an. Para liberalis Islam telah memosisikan diri sebagai epigon terhadap Yahudi dan Kristen yang melakukan kajian “Biblical Criticism”. Kajian kritis terhadap Bible yang memang bermasalah. Menurut liberalis “All scriptures are miracles; semua kitab suci adalah mukjizat. Jadi Al-Qur`an sejajar dengan Perjanjian Lama, Perjanjian Baru, Weda, Bagawad Ghita, Tripitaka, Darmogandul dan Gatoloco (?). (3) Liberalisasi syari’at Islam. Hukum-hukum Islam yang sudah qath’i dan pasti dibongkar dan dibuat hukum baru yang sesuai dengan perkembangan zaman. Sementara yang jadi barometernya bukan lagi Al-Qur’an dan As-Sunnah tapi demokrasi, HAM, gender equality (kesetaraan gender) dan pluralisme. Kalau orang menyakini bahwa semua agama benar, bahwa Tuhan semua agama itu sama, hanya berbeda dalam memanggil, bahwa semua kitab suci itu sama mukjizat, masih patutkah dikategorikan sebagai seorang muslim dan mukmin? Wallahu a’lam.


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Banyak intelektual dengan gagahnya memaki-maki Imam Syafii, ujungnya pemuja Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid

Posted by musliminsuffer on March 22, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Banyak intelektual dengan gagahnya memaki-maki Imam Syafii, ujungnya pemuja Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid

Catatan Akhir Pekan [CAP] Adian Husaini ke-226

Oleh: Adian Husaini

Acara Muktamar Pemikiran Islam di Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) yang berlangsung 11-13 Februari 2008 akhirnya diganti namanya menjadi ”Kolokium Nasional Pemikiran Islam”. Sejumlah pembicara tidak bisa hadir. Salah satu pemakalah baru yang dimasukkan namanya adalah Dr. Phil. Nur Kholish Setiawan, dosen mata kuliah Kajian Al-Quran dan Pemikiran Hukum Islam di Pasca Sarjana UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. Murid kesayangan Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd ini menggantikan posisi Prof. Dr. Amin Abdullah, rektor UIN Yogya, dalam sesi pembahasan ”Manhaj Baru Muhammadiyah: Mengembangkan Metode Tafsir”.

Pada sesi ini tampil juga pembicara Ust. Muammal Hamidy, Lc. dan Dr. Saad Ibrahim. Muammal Hamidy yang juga pimpinan Ma’had Aly Persis Bangil, dalam makalahnya, mengungkap peringatan Rasulullah saw, bahwa ”Siapa yang menafsiri Al-Quran dengan ra’yunya, maka siap-siaplah untuk menempati tempat duduknya di neraka.” Tokoh Muhammadiyah Jawa Timur ini pun menyitir hadits lain: ”Akan datang suatu masa menimpa umatku, yaitu banyak orang yang ahli baca Al-Quran tetapi sedikit sekali yang memahami hukum, dicabutnya ilmu dan banyak kekacauan. Menyusul akan datang suatu masa, ada sejumlah orang yang membaca Al-Quran tetapi Al-Quran itu tidak melampaui tenggorokannya. Kemudian menyusul satu masa ada orang musyrik membantah orang mukmin tentang Allah (untuk mempertahankan kesyirikannya) dengan bahasa yang sama (HR Thabrani).

Ustadz Muammal Hamidy kemudian menyimpulkan:
(1) Al-Quran jangan ditafsiri sesuai selera,
(2) Pemahaman terhadap Al-Quran hendaknya didasari dengan ilmu,
(3) Ilmu untuk memahami hukum-hukum Al-Quran harus dikuasai dengan baik,
(4) Membaca Al-Quran minimal hendaknya disertai dengan pengertiannya, dan
(5) Ummat Islam harus mewaspadai orang-orang yang mempergunakan dalil Al-Quran dan Sunnah untuk kepentingan yang tidak Islami.

Peringatan tokoh senior di Muhammadiyah Jawa Timur ini kiranya perlu kita perhatikan. Sebab, umat Islam di Indonesia saat ini banyak dijejali dengan beragam model penafsiran yang ditawarkan oleh sebagian kalangan cendekiawan yang isinya justru mengacak-acak Al-Quran, seperti penafsiran yang menghalalkan perkawinan homoseksual dan perkawinan muslimah dengan laki-laki non-Muslim. Beberapa waktu lalu, kita
membahas disertasi doktor Tafsir Al-Quran dari UIN Jakarta yang secara terang-terangan merombak dasar-dasar keimanan Islam dan menafsirkan Al-Quran sesuai seleranya sendiri.

Dengan mengutip ayat-ayat tertentu dalam Al-Quran, doktor Tafsir lulusan UIN Jakarta itu menyimpulkan:

“Dengan demikian, bagi umat Islam sendiri, merayakan natal sesungguhnya merayakan hari kelahiran seorang utusan Tuhan yang harus diimani, Isa al-Masih, yang diduga jatuh pada tanggal 25 Desember. Sebagai
implikasi dari keberimanan itu, semestinya umat Islam juga diperbolehkan untuk merayakan hari kelahiran Isa dan kelahiran para nabi lain sebelum Muhammad SAW.” (hal. 209).

Pada bagian lain, dia membuat definisi tentang “Ahli Kitab”, yaitu: “Intinya siapa saja yang berpegangan kepada sebuah kitab suci yang mengandung nilai-nilai ketuhanan dan prinsip-prinsip kemanusiaan yang luhur yang dibawa oleh para nabi, maka mereka itu adalah Ahli Kitab.” (hal. 216). Sementara, pada bagian lain dia tulis: “Dilihat dari sisi ini, maka ahl kitab merupakan kelompok yang memang menganut monoteisme (tawhid).” (hal. 219-220).

Dengan definisi “Ahlul Kitab” versi Doktor Tafsir tersebut, maka disimpulkan, bahwa semua agama yang mempunyai kitab suci adalah agama tauhid. Inilah salah satu contoh tafsir aliran “ngawuriyah” – alias tafsir
asal-asalan — yang dibangga-banggakan sebagian orang sebagai tafsir yang “toleran”, “progresif”, “modern”, dan “maju”. Padahal, sudah banyak kitab Tafsir, Fikih, dan disertasi doktor yang dengan sangat serius dan komprehensif membahas masalah Ahlul Kitab ini. Tetapi, semua ini tidak dirujuk oleh penulis disertasi tersebut. Ia lebih suka membuat definisi sendiri berdasarkan hawa nafsunya. Allah SWT sudah mengingatkan dalam Al-Quran:

“Maka pernahkah kamu melihat orang yang menjadikan hawa nafsunya sebagai tuhannya dan Allah membiarkannya sesat berdasarkan ilmu-Nya dan Allah telah mengunci mati pendengaran dan hatinya dan meletakkan tutupan atas penglihatannya? “ (QS 45:23).

Masalah penafsiran Al-Quran adalah masalah yang sangat mendasar dalam Islam. Sebab, melalui ilmu inilah, umat Islam memahami firman Allah SWT. Karena itu, dalam Mukaddimah Tafsirnya, Ibn Katsir memaparkan, bagaimana hati-hatinya para sahabat Nabi saw dalam menafsirkan ayat-ayat Al-Quran. Jika mereka tidak paham terhadap makna suatu ayat, maka mereka bertanya kepada sahabat lain yang dipandang lebih ahli dalam masalah tersebut. Ibn Katsir menasehatkan, jika tidak ditemukan penafsiran Al-Quran dalam Al-Quran, as-Sunnah, dan pendapat sahabat, maka carilah penafsiran itu dalam pendapat para tabi’in.

Abu Bakar ash-Shiddiq r.a. dengan tawadhu’nya pernah menyatakan: “Bumi manakah yang akan menyanggaku dan langit manakah yang akan menaungiku jika aku mengatakan sesuatu yang tidak aku ketahui tentang Kitabullah?” Ibn Katsir juga mengutip hadits Rasulullah saw: “Barangsiapa yang mengucapkan (sesuatu) tentang Al-Quran berdasarkan ra’yunya atau berdasarkan apa yang tidak dipahaminya, maka bersiap-siaplah untuk menempati neraka.” (HR Tirmidzi, Abu Daud, Nasa’i). Abu Ubaid pernah juga memperingatkan: “Hati-hatilah dalam penafsiran, sebab ia merupakan pemaparan tentang Allah.”

Sikap hati-hati inilah yang mendorong lahirnya para ulama Tafsir yang serius. Para mufassir Al-Quran harus sangat berhati-hati, sebab tanggung jawab mereka di hadapan Allah SWT sangatlah berat. Bagi yang bukan mufassir pun wajib memperhatikan masalah ini, dan berhati-hati dalam memilih tafsir. Jangan sampai memilih tafsir Al-Quran yang dibuat sesuai dengan selera dan hawa nafsu.

Sebagai satu organisasi Islam yang besar, tentu Muhammadiyah wajib memiliki banyak Ahli Tafsir Al-Quran. Kita menyambut baik setiap upaya ijtihad yang dilakukan oleh para ulama atau pemikir Muslim mana pun. Namun, kita juga perlu berhati-hati dalam soal penafsiran. Tidak setiap ”kilasan pemikiran” bisa dikatakan ijtihad. Setiap lontaran pemikiran yang baru tentang Tafsir Al-Quran, sebaiknya dikaji dengan seksama terlebih dahulu secara terbatas di kalangan pakar Tafsir.

Di dalam Kolokium Nasional Pemikiran Islam di Unmuh Malang tersebut umat Islam disuguhi ide Tafsir Baru oleh Dr. Nur Kholish Setiawan. Ia membawakan makalah berjudul ”Tafsir Sebagai Resepsi Al-Qur’an: Ke Arah Pemahaman Kitab Suci dalam Konteks Keindonesiaan”. Dalam makalahnya, Nur Kholish mengkritik dominasi nalar Arab dalam bangunan tafsir sebagai metode memahami Al-Quran. Tafsir Al-Quran, menurutnya, masih terbuka untuk dikembangkan dengan memanfaatkan khazanah keilmuan kemanusiaan (humaniora) yang bersifat teritorial. Dalam beberapa karya kesarjanaan Nusantara, pemikir Indonesia telah banyak melakukan enkulturasi budaya lokal dalam memahami Al-Quran. Tafsir al-Huda, misalnya, sebuah karya tafsir berbahasa Jawa menunjukkan kentalnya warna budaya Jawa dalam proses pemahaman ayat-ayat Al-Quran.

Contoh lain yang dipaparkan Nur Kholish adalah penolakan Mangkunegara IV dari Kasunanan Surakarta terhadap Arabisasi fikih. Baginya, fikih (pekih) tidak seharusnya dipraktikkan secara utuh seperti yang tertulis dalam literatur Arab, melainkan disesuaikan dengan tingkat kelayakan Jawa. ”Dengan kata lain, ada nilai-nilai luhur Jawa yang tidak boleh begitu saja ditinggalkan.”

Sayangnya, kita tidak mendapat penjelasan, bagaimana contoh budaya Jawa yang luhur dan tidak boleh ditinggalkan, sehingga harus menjadi dasar pertimbangan dalam menafsirkan ayat-ayat Al-Quran. Kita tunggu saja upaya dosen Al-Quran dari UIN Yogya itu untuk menerbitkan Kitab Tafsir atau Fikih yang mengakomodasi nilai-nilai luhur budaya Jawa. Setelah terbit, baru kita bisa menilainya.

Sebenarnya, selama ini umat Islam sudah paham, bahwa Muslim Jawa boleh shalat dengan kain saung dan blangkon, tetapi tidak boleh shalat dengan menggunakan bahasa Jawa. Tidak ada orang Muslim Jawa berpikir, bahwa azan bisa dilantunkan dalam bahasa Jawa. Kita paham, mana yang termasuk ajaran ad-Dinul Islam, dan mana aspek budaya yang boleh diambil.

Para penyebar Islam di Jawa dulu pun berusaha mengubah tradisi yang tidak sesuai dengan Islam dengan tradisi yang sesuai dengan ajaran Islam. Misalnya, diubahnya tradisi ”sesajen” menjadi ”selametan”. Proses perubahan tradisi tentu memakan waktu yang panjang, sehingga kadang-kadang ada yang masih belum berjalan dengan sempurna. Islam tidak menolak adat pakaian suatu daerah yang memang sudah menutup aurat. Tetapi, Islam tentu akan berusaha mengubah tradisi ”koteka” atau ”telanjang” yang ada di suatu daerah tertentu. Kaum Muslim yang ”normal” tentu akan menyatakan, bahwa budaya makan babi adalah tidak sesuai dengan Islam.

Jadi, bukan tradisi suatu daerah yang jadi pedoman. Tapi, Islamlah yang harusnya menjadi pedoman dalam menilai sesuatu. Kaum Liberal harusnya membuka wawasannya, bahwa Islam juga hadir di tanah Arab untuk mengubah sejumlah tradisi jahiliyah. Misalnya, tradisi perkawinan jahiliyah, tradisi penindasan wanita, tradisi telanjang, tradisi mabuk-mabukan, dan sebagainya. Meskipun diturunkan di negeri yang tandus, syariat Islam justru mengandung banyak ajaran yang mewajibkan umatnya menggunakan air untuk bersuci. Sebab, Islam memang diturunkan untuk seluruh umat manusia tanpa memandang budaya. Karena itu, tidak ada istilah ”Islam Jawa”, ”Islam Arab”, ”Islam Cina”, dan sebagainya.

Dalam upaya untuk menghadirkan hukum Islam bercorak Indonesia, Nur Kholish Setiawan mengajak untuk mengkritisi sejumlah metode istinbath hukum dalam konsep ushul fikih klasik. Misalnya, konsep ijma’. Katanya, ”Ketetapan hukum yang dilahirkan melalui proses istintabh tidak mungkin memiliki corak keindonesiaan, apabila tidak dibarengi dengan rumusan kritis metodologisnya.”

Di sejumlah IAIN/UIN, metode penafsiran Al-Quran “berbasis budaya” ini tampaknya mulai digencarkan. Misalnya, dalam soal mahar dalam perkawinan. Seorang dosen Fakultas Syariah IAIN Semarang, Rokhmadi, M.Ag., ditanya tentang kasus perkawinan seorang laki-laki dengan wanita Minang, yang menurut si penanya, maharnya justru diberikan oleh pihak wanita, bukan pihak laki-laki. Inilah jawabab dosen itu:

“Wajarlah mahar menjadi kewajiban pihak perempuan karena posisinya di atas laki-laki dalam bersikap dan martabat keluarga. Maka saudara MH Tidak perlu risau, susah, dan gelisah. Justru saudara beruntung tidak dibebani Mahar. Terimalah, sebab ketentuan al-Quran (al-Nisa ayat 4) tidak bersifat mutlak karena semata-mata dipengaruhi budaya di mana Islam diturunkan. (Lihat, Jurnal Justisia Fakultas Syariah IAIN Semarang, Edisi 28 Th.XIII/2005).

Kita bisa bayangkan, apa yang terjadi dengan Islam, jika setiap suku bangsa di Indonesia membuat Tafsir Al-Quran model dosen syariat seperti ini? Nanti ada tafsir berbasis budaya Jawa, Tafsir Betawi, Tafsir Sunda, Tafsir Minang, Tafsir Batak, dan sebagainya.

Dalam soal hukum pidana ala Indonesia, misalnya, Nur Kholish mengajukan proposal dari Mohammad Syahrur tentang ”Teori Batas”. Dalam kasus pencurian, ketentuan hukum potong tangan dalam QS 5:38, dipandang sebagai ”batas maksimal” (al-had al-a’la). Menurut Syahrur, hukum potong tangan bagi pencuri adalah ”hukuman maksimal”. Jadi, tidak setiap pencurian harus dikenai hukum potong tangan. Dan menurut Nur Kholish, masih ada ruang untuk berijtihad menentukan jenis hukuman bagi pencuri yang di bawah hukum potong tangan.

Teori batas lain dari Syahrur yang diajukan Nur Kholish adalah batas dalam soal waris. Pola 2:1 bagi laki-laki dan wanita, menurut Syahrur, adalah formula batas atas dan batas bawah. Jadi, menurut formula itu, batas atas bagi laki-laki adalah 66,6 persen dan batas bawah bagi wanita adalah 33,33 persen. Jadi, bisa dilakukan ijtihad baru, seorang laki-laki mendapatkan warisan 60 persen dan seorang wanita mendapatkan 40 persen. Aspek lokalitas turut memberikan warna dalam pergeseran 66,6 banding 33,3 persen.

Itulah yang dikatakan sebagai tawaran ijtihad atau tafsir baru yang lebih menghargai unsur lokalitas atau budaya lokal. Pendapat Syahrur soal ”Teori Batas” itu sudah sangat banyak menuai kritik di negerinya sendiri, Suria. Teori ini memang ”aneh”. Coba bayangkan, bolehkah seorang berijtihad, bahwa yang termasuk hukuman yang berada di bawah derajat hukum ”potong tangan” adalah, misalnya, ”potong rambut” atau ”potong jari” atau ”potong telinga?”

Kekacauan Teori Batas ini bisa dilihat dalam kasus pakaian laki-laki. Syahrur berpendapat bahwa batas bawah (batas minimal) aurat laki-laki yang harus ditutup hanyalah kemaluannya. ”Karena keadaan cuaca berbeda-beda pada tiap penduduk bumi dari panas yang terik sampai dingin yang menggigit. Maka batas minimal pakaian yang diberikan bagi laki-laki adalah menutup kemaluan.” Karena itu, kata Syahrur, laki-laki boleh berenang hanya dengan mengenakan celana renang saja. Yang dilarang adalah melihat laki-laki dalam keadaan telanjang bulat. (Lihat, Muhammad Syahrur, Islam dan Iman: Aturan-sturan Pokok, (Terj.) (Yogya: Jendela, 2002), hal. 71.

Kita bisa bayangkan, bagaimana jika dosen tafsir di UIN Yogya menerapkan teori Syahrur dalam soal pakaian laki-laki ini?

Pada 6 September 2004, situs JIL pernah menurunkan sebuah artikel yang membahas tentang Teori Batas Syahrur, ditulis oleh seorang dosen di Jurusan Tafsir-Hadis UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. Ditulis di situ, bahwa dalam soal pakaian wanita (libâs al-mar’ah), Syahrur berpendapat bahwa batas minimum pakaian perempuan adalah satr al-juyûb (Q.S al-Nur: 31) atau menutup bagian dada (payudara), kemaluan, dan tidak bertelanjang bulat. Batas maksimumnya adalah menutup sekujur anggota tubuh, kecuali dua telapak tangan dan wajah.

Kita bisa melihat, betapa absurdnya teori semacam ini. Dengan ”Teori Batas” ala Syahrur ini, maka boleh saja wanita mengenakan bikini di depan umum, yang penting dia sudah menutupi batas minimal, yakni kemaluan, payudara, dan tidak telanjang bulat.

Dengan model penafsiran yang sangat ”fleksibel” seperti itu, kita paham, mengapa sebagian kalangan sangat menyukai metode tafsir al-Quran yang disebut ”Teori Batas” ala Syahrur ini. Meskipun model tafsir al-Quran semacam ini yang ditawarkan dalam acara Kolokium Nasional Pemikiran Islam di Unmuh Malang, kita berharap, Majelis Tarjih Muhammadiyah, tidak tergoda untuk memungutnya.

Kita tidak bosan-bosannya mengimbau para intelektual, meskipun sudah bergelar doktor atau profesor, untuk bersikap tawadhu’ dan tahu diri. Jika maqamnya memang ”muqallid” jadilah ”muqallid” yang baik. Tidak patut memposisikan diri sebagai mujtahid, yang dengan gagahnya memaki-maki Imam Syafii, tetapi ujung-ujungnya menjadi pemuja Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid. [Depok, 22 Februari 2008/]

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