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Archive for April 13th, 2008

Top Bush aides directed torture from the White House

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Top Bush aides directed torture from the White House

By Joe Kay

12 April 2008Senior Bush administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, participated in White House meetings to discuss and approve specific methods of torture of detainees in the custody of US security forces, according to media reports.

These reports are a further confirmation that those at the highest levels of the US government bear direct responsibility for war crimes committed over the past several years under the cover of Washington’s “global war on terror.”

Citing unnamed sources, ABC News reported on Wednesday that the National Security Council’s Principals Committee met in 2002 and 2003 to review the interrogation of several alleged Al Qaeda members held by the CIA.

ABC reported, “The high-level discussions about these ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were so detailed, these sources said, some of these interrogation sessions were almost choreographed­down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.” Among the “enhanced interrogation techniques”­a euphemism for torture­was waterboarding, a notorious method that involves the near drowning of the prisoner.

The Principals Committee at that time was chaired by then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. It included Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

According to ABC, the discussions began after the capture of Abu Zubaydah in the spring of 2002. Earlier this year, the Bush administration officially acknowledged that the CIA had used waterboarding on Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

In December 2007, the administration also acknowledged that the CIA had destroyed videotapes depicting the interrogation of Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. It is quite possible that the Principals Committee or President Bush viewed these tapes in the course of supervising and approving the torture of these prisoners.

In any case, the officials were involved in planning torture down to the intricate details, indicating an almost sadistic interest. According to an AP article published Friday, “At times, CIA officers would demonstrate some of the tactics, or at least detail how they worked, to make sure the small group of ‘principals’ fully understood what the al-Qaida detainees would undergo.”

ABC News reported that the CIA asked repeatedly for approval of specific interrogation plans. “Sources said that at each discussion, all the Principals present approved.”

Several measures taken by administration officials make it apparent that they were acutely aware that what they were approving violated international and domestic law. All of those participating could be subject to war crimes prosecution, in the US or in other countries.

The AP reports, “The officials also took care to insulate President Bush” from the meetings. That is, there was an attempt to give the president plausible deniability in the event that the discussions were made public.

Nonetheless, Bush defended the meetings and the torture decisions in an interview with ABC News Friday. “Well, we started to connect the dots, in order to protect the American people,” he told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. “And, yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

The meetings coincided with the drafting of at least two memoranda designed to give a legal fig leaf for torture, one dated August 2002 and another March 2003. The memos argued for unconstrained power of the president to authorize torture and commit other illegal acts, citing the “war on terror” as justification.

A former senior US intelligence official familiar with the meetings told the AP, “If you looked at the timing of the meetings and the memos you’d see a correlation.” Those attending the meetings wanted “a legal opinion on the legality of these tactics” before proceeding. That is, the Bush administration decided it wanted to use torture, and commissioned the drafting of a pseudo-legal justification for this decision, one designed to protect both the administration officials and the CIA agents who carried out the torture.

In 2004, the Justice Department formally withdrew the memoranda on torture, but the administration never repudiated the legal arguments contained in them. Indeed, a future memo on interrogation upheld the content of the previous memos.

Those involved in drafting the memos included John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department; David Addington, Cheney’s legal counsel; and Alberto Gonzales, then-White House Counsel.

The hands-on involvement of the White House in organizing torture also made some of the principals nervous, including Ashcroft. According to an official cited by ABC News, Ashcroft asked at one meeting, “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.” ABC said that Ashcroft supported the general interrogation program by the CIA, but thought it unseemly for the White House to micromanage the techniques employed.

There is no doubt that the use of torture has continued to this day. ABC reported that after the CIA captured another suspect in the summer of 2004, the agency went back to the administration for approval of the torture techniques. “Then-National Security Advisor Rice, sources said, was decisive. Despite growing policy concerns­shared by Powell­that the program was harming the image of the United States abroad, sources say she did not back down, telling the CIA, ‘This is your baby. Go do it!’”

These revelations are further confirmation that the crimes at Abu Ghraib and other instances of torture were not the actions of rogue individuals, but were planned and ordered by the White House.

Speaking to the WSWS, Francis Boyle, a professor of international law and human rights at the University of Illinois, said, “Clearly this was criminal activity at the time they committed it. At the very least, it violated the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, the War Crimes Act, and the federal anti-torture statutes. Clearly these would be impeachable offenses.”

Boyle, who has campaigned for the impeachment and prosecution of administration officials, said that with the recent revelations, Rice should be added to the list of top officials guilty of war crimes.

Asked why there have been no moves for impeachment, Boyle noted, “The Democrats have been complicit in pretty much everything the administration has done since September 11. They have continued to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since they assumed control of Congress in January 2007. It doesn’t surprise me that they don’t oppose torture.”

The fact that the leading figures of the United States government were involved in detailed discussions of torture methods is an indictment not only of the Bush administration, but of the entire political system in the US. From the beginning, the Democrats have given the White House a green light to carry out such policies without constraint.

Top Congressional Democrats, including the current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, were briefed as early as 2002 on the CIA’s program and were given a presentation on the methods the agency was using. Others were aware of the existence and destruction of the videotapes depicting torture.

There can be no doubt that the Democratic Party leadership was fully aware that the CIA has been using torture techniques and that the administration approved it. Nothing has been done to halt these practices, however, or to inform the American people of the actions of the government. In 2006, Democrats helped pass the Military Commissions Act, which amended the War Crimes Act so as to provide greater cover for administration officials.

The question of torture has not been made an issue in the current presidential elections. Neither of the Democratic Party candidates, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, has made statements on the recent revelations or the release last week of one of the memos justifying torture.

Far from being opposed within the political establishment, torture goes unpunished, the media presents the use of torture as a legitimate policy choice, and lawyers who argue for torture get leading positions at major universities. Such is the decay of democracy in the United States.

source: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/apr2008/tort-a12.shtml

See Also:
2003 Justice Department memo justifies torture, presidential dictatorship
[4 April 2008]
Bush defends torture
[16 February 2008]
US attorney general rejects investigation into use of waterboarding
[9 February 2008]
Bush administration acknowledges and defends use of torture technique
[7 February 2008]
Washington Post publishes memo implicating White House in torture of prisoners
[17 June 2004]

===

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

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Iraqi Blogger: Baghdad After Saddam

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Iraqi Blogger: Baghdad After Saddam

By Salam Pax

Al Jazeera

April 11, 2008

As Baghdad fell, looting spread from the capital to other provinces. Basra University, above, is looted on April 9, 2003 [GALLO/GETTY]

Iraq’s first blogger, Salam Pax, was in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. He watched cautiously as the US military entered the capital and took down Saddam Hussein’s government.

But hopes for a better future were soon replaced with fears of looters taking the city apart brick by brick.

Five years later, he recounts the trials and tribulations experienced by Iraqis who woke up for the first time in 24 years without a government led by Saddam Hussein.

The collected weblog has been published by Guardian Books under the title The Baghdad Blog. He also made 19 short documentaries about life in Iraq after the war and was awarded Royal Television Society’s award for innovation in 2003.

The events in Baghdad in early April five years ago were so overwhelming that it took three days and a succession of four-hour TV news snippets for the predicament to sink in.

Electricity had been cut off for a couple of days and we had been using a small power generator for four hours during the day and night mainly to check the news.

My uncles and aunts were all staying at our house … we thought that if we were going to be shocked and awed into democracy, we really ought to go through the experience together.

On April 7, my father woke up everyone because he had heard on the radio that the US army had entered Baghdad.

The 15 members of my extended family sat silently in front of the television set and watched a live feed from a US network showing American tanks rolling towards a presidential palace in central Baghdad.

It almost felt like watching an implausible scene in a science fiction film. This was followed two days later by footage of the Saddam statue in Firdous square being pulled down.

No more Saddam

Could Saddam really be gone now? We stayed home with our doors locked and waited for the retaliation of the Iraqi army, but there was nothing.

Days later we would see Iraqi military uniforms tossed in ditches as if the army just disappeared into thin air.

Then the images of the looting started appearing on all the news channels. This time we watched with anger and my uncles returned to their own homes to make sure their belongings did not get ‘liberated’ as well.

In rapid succession, we moved within three days from fear of being bombed to hope for a better future and back to fear of the chaos on the street.

We could tell from the events unfolding in the street three days after the coalition forces moved into Baghdad how this invasion would likely conclude.

Iraqis have never really recovered from the chaos of those early days.

But the truth is I chose not to dwell on what was happening in the streets and held on instead to a hope for a better future.

And with every little step forward we would look at each other and say ‘it’s happening’. But these forward steps were usually just blips of good news in what felt like an endless stream of bad news.

Corpses

But it has become increasingly difficult today to remember what good I had once been hoping would come out of the war and regime change.

I am left with a lot of bad memories.

There were days when the Red Crescent was begging for volunteers to assist in retrieving the corpses from the streets and giving them proper burial.

The local hospital’s garden had to be converted into a makeshift cemetery after the electricity went out; there was no way the bodies could be stored in refrigerated morgues until they were identified by next of kin.

My mother, after going out only once after Baghdad was taken by coalition forces, decided she we would never venture outside her front yard again.

Not until I promised her that stability had returned to the streets.

That never really happened.

Painful memories

Going out in the city became an exercise in blocking out painful images and scenes; in some cases there were areas of the city you plainly avoided.

Have you seen what has happened to Baghdad’s book market? I would rather have the image of that street as I remember it in my mind than the reality of what is left of it today.

Eventually, we had to leave our home when my neighbourhood was taken over by Sunni militias – all my Shia uncles and aunts also left their homes with all their belongings. Then came the walls which transformed an ethnically mixed and vibrant city into a series of sectarian ghettos.

And can one ever forget the neverending Iraqi civilian casualties.

To be honest, I still have no idea how to refer to April 9, 2003. For a while, one of our shortlived early governments called it “Baghdad Liberation Day” but that feels like a contradiction in terms as foreign forces stormed the city and that usually is described as an invasion.

On the other hand, I never really could bring myself to describing it as the “Fall of Baghdad”.

I thought we were never going to let that happen although after five years of mostly death and bloodshed my beloved city is certainly not what it used to be.

I don’t want to say fallen. But Baghdad is unquestionably and deeply hurt.

Salam Pax is and Iraqi documentary film-maker and the author of The Baghdad Blog. He graduated as an architect from Baghdad university but turned to blogging in 2002.

source:
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0D89AE02-216D-4E4B-A6F9-4ED46D5C68BF.htm

===

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

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Confronting Israeli Apartheid in Montreal : Activists disrupt Israeli Ambassador to Canada

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

Confronting Israeli Apartheid in Montreal
Activists disrupt Israeli Ambassador to Canada

Montreal, Wednesday, April 9th, 2008: Israel's Ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, was humiliated by demonstrators at the posh Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal.

Protestors successfully disrupted a lunch-in sponsored by the Quebec-Israel Committee, marking "60 years of relationship" between Canada and Israel. After effectively evading hotel security and the Montreal police, social justice activists burst into the appointed conference room, abruptly bringing to a halt the pro-apartheid discourse of Israel's ambassador to Canada.

Visibly stunned by the protests, Israel's Ambassador stood silent as protests chanted "fight the power, turn the tide; End Israeli Apartheid!" Throughout the disruption, over twelve thousand pieces of brightly colored protest-confetti were showered across the conference room and throughout the hallways of the Queen Elizabeth hotel, carrying a simple message: "60 years of Israeli Apartheid, 60 years of Palestinian dispossession; Boycott Israel!"

Thursday's action marked the 60th anniversary of the massacre at Deir Yassin. In 1948, the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin came under military siege; over two hundred Palestinian men, women and children were butchered by pro-Israeli forces. This crime took place just one month prior to Israel's unilateral declaration of independence at the expense of the Palestinian people.

In cynical disregard for Palestinian history, Israel's Ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, planned to celebrate Israel on the very anniversary of a horrific massacre.

This is the same Alan Baker who, at the height of Israel's attack on Lebanon in 2006, described "civilian establishments and civilian areas" in Lebanon as "legitimate targets." The military campaign eventually took the lives of over one thousand Lebanese civilians, and massively destroyed the country's infrastructure.

Social justice activists in Montreal from Block the Empire and Tadamon! successfully disrupted Baker's speech in support of a growing international campaign to impose boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel.

Israel is maintaining a military occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Syria's Golan Heights. Within Israel's unilaterally declared borders of 1948, the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship live as second-class citizens, under an apartheid-like system that accords them lesser economic, social and political rights.

Israel is in the process of constructing a massive separation wall, an eight meter high concrete barrier stretching over seven hundred kilometers of Palestinian erritory, annexing significant parts of the West Bank and encircling Palestinian villages, towns and cities. Apartheid is an Israeli-enforced reality for the alestinian people, a reality that has inspired a global movement for Palestinian liberation, with Nelson Mandela declaring; "our freedom [in South Africa] is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

source: http://tadamon.resist.ca/index.php/post/1316

===

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

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For Muslim poor, a shameful admission TheStar.com – GTA – For Muslim poor, a shameful admission

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

For Muslim poor, a shameful admission TheStar.com – GTA – For Muslim poor, a shameful admission

Noor Javed – Staff Reporter

April 12, 2008

On the corner of Dundas and Chestnut Sts., Ahmed dumps a handful of pennies and quarters on the sidewalk, and begins counting his day’s earnings.

“Asalamu alakum, can you spare some change?” he shyly asks two men as they rush past him and into Masjid Toronto, a downtown mosque.

A former teacher, Ahmed left war-torn Iraq five years ago for Canada. “I came here but couldn’t find a job, couldn’t make money,” he said. “Now I am homeless. I live in a shelter.”

The exact number of Muslims in Toronto who live below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off, the country’s unofficial poverty line, is difficult to determine, as socio-economic data is rarely gathered through the lens of religion.

But among those on the front lines in the Muslim community, those who work in mosques, community centres and the few charitable organizations, there is growing concern about the magnitude of poverty in the community, the lack of resources available to deal with the problem, and the reluctance – among all social classes – to admit the problem even exists.

For the Muslim poor, an admission of poverty is shameful. To the rich, the problem is invisible, or at least not so obvious when compared to the stark conditions of poverty they have seen back home.

“It is a cause for concern,” said Uzma Shakir, former executive director of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, and member of the Colour of Poverty campaign. “The repercussions of poverty and systemic poverty are not just economic but have serious social impacts as well,” she said.

“Already we can see the formation of ghettos in some parts of the city,” said Shakir, referring to neighbourhoods where overt race-based poverty is glaringly obvious, and where halal meat stores are in abundance.

The scant data available paints a troubling picture of a growing community of nearly 300,000 Muslims, which includes a mix of refugees, recent immigrants, and those who settled in Canada decades ago.

The four poorest of all ethno-racial groups, with more than 50 per cent of their members living below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off, were Somalis, Afghans, Ethiopians and Bangladeshi populations – all from predominately Muslim countries. At least 30 per cent of Pakistanis and West Asians also qualified as poor, according to a study done by the Institute for Social Research at York University in 2006, which looked at the demographic and social profiles of ethno-racial groups in the city.

According to the low-income cut-offs, a family of four in Toronto with an annual income of $33,221 after taxes would be considered poor. Bangladeshi women earned the lowest median income of any group at just more than $15,000.

In 13 neighbourhoods deemed “at-risk” in Toronto by United Way, more than half have significant Muslim populations, including Flemingdon Park, Regent Park, Etobicoke North and Jane-Finch.”Every year, we see more and more poor people coming to the mosque for help,” said Omar Farouk, president of the International Muslims Organization, based in Etobicoke, which has opened a food bank and distributes food to shelters once a month. More than 200 people regularly access the food bank.

“People will work two or three jobs, and still not have enough money to make ends meet at the end of the month,” said Atulya Sharman, a community legal worker with the South Asian legal clinic. “But nobody wants to admit they are poor, partly because of the stigma, and because they think it’s just part of the settlement process.”

That is where they are mistaken, said Mohamed Boudjenane, director of the Canadian Arab Federation, which is part of the Colour of Poverty campaign.

“The Muslim community is faced with tremendous barriers, like the issue of foreign credential recognition, and the issue of racism and stigmatization of simply being Muslim post 9-11,” he said.

“It’s not about settlement; it’s about systemic barriers in the system. We are receiving well-educated people. They are … engineers and doctors, but they are still doing dishes, or driving cabs.”

But many don’t even get those menial jobs. In a 2005 Canadian Labour Congress study on Racial Status and Employment Incomes, Arab and West-Asian visible minorities had the highest overall unemployment rate at 14 per cent.There are internal barriers within the community too. There is an obvious divide between the haves and have-nots, the second-generation Muslims and the new arrivals who have little interaction with each other outside of “Friday prayers at the mosque.”

While charity is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith, many established Muslims in the GTA are ignorant of the growing need within their own communities and instead see poverty in their countries of origin as a more worthy cause.

“The image that comes to mind when you think poverty is that beggar on the street in Pakistan. You don’t think of a family in Scarborough,” said Sadaf Parvaiz, a chartered accountant and second-generation Pakistani-Canadian.

Attitudes are slowly changing among some second-generation Muslims, who feel little connection to their parents’ homeland. Parvaiz is organizing a walk for poverty in the summer with proceeds going to a local food bank.

The Muslim Welfare Centre, one of the few organizations addressing poverty, runs a halal food bank and emergency women’s shelter, funded by donations from the community, said CEO Qaiser Naqvi.

In most neighbourhoods, mosques have become places of service as well as worship.

It is a concept that Waris Malik put to use three years ago, when he launched a weekly Hot Soup Day at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, a mosque in Scarborough – the first to launch a project of this kind in the city. The initiative now serves and distributes 750 meals each week. Masjid Toronto will be starting a similar soup kitchen at downtown’s Scadding Court at the end of this month.

“The mosque can’t play all roles,” said Boudjenane, of the Canadian Arab Federation, who believes Muslims need to shift their focus from building mosques to creating civic structures and social agencies.

“We have the foundations, what we need now is to start building the community.”

source: http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/413881

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

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What a billion Muslims think?

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

What a billion Muslims think?

BY AIJAZ ZAKA SYED (View from Dubai )

12 April 2008

Opinion polls fascinate me. They are, if honestly conducted, perhaps the best possible way to gauge public opinion. At a time when spin is the norm and global media is controlled, manipulated and dictated by powerful cliques, corporate interests and governments, it’s not easy to get a clear picture on any given issue.

This is especially true when the story involves marginalised minorities and dispossessed groups. And of late the Muslims, currently the world’s favourite punching bag, have been at the receiving end.

After the spectacular assassination of Marxism and disintegration of Soviet Union , the West found itself a new enemy in Islam.

The 9/11 attacks in the US and 7/7 strikes in the UK were only excuses, not the causes, to hasten this process. They might have contributed to the current hysteria against everything Islamic but they never were the Original Sin as we’ve been given to believe.

Myths like this have been demolished in a most interesting survey conducted by Gallup . What makes this opinion poll like no other is that it has been conducted over a period of six years, beginning after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Gallup conducted research in 35 Muslim countries, interviewing more than 50,000 people, to come up with what it calls the first comprehensive survey of Muslim world opinion.

And the results have also given birth to a book called, Who Speaks for Islam? What a billion Muslims really think by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed.

The poll and the book offer a much-needed reality check on the relations between the West and Muslim world. Some of the findings are genuinely surprising and revealing even for someone like me who has been obsessed with the issue.

Many conclusions of the poll only go to confirm what we in the Middle East and Muslim world have always known but couldn’t succeed in putting them across to our friends in the West.

For instance, the fact that it’s not Islamic teachings that drive some individuals to violence but historical injustices inflicted and perpetuated by some Western powers.

Which is why one so hopes that the urgent message this poll seeks to convey reaches the Western audience ­ and the wider world. It would be such a shame if it doesn’t.

Because, as Dalia Mogahed argues in the book, Who Speaks for Islam…, this ostensible conflict between Islam and West is far from inevitable.

Many concerned commentators including this humble hack have repeatedly argued that what is fuelling the so-called clash of civilisations is not some absurd hatred of the Christian West sanctioned by Islam but Western ignorance about Muslims. The poll backs this argument.

A huge majority of Muslims regardless of where they live, whether in Sunni Saudi Arabia or Shia Iran , they are surprisingly well informed about the West, its values and ideals.

In fact, most of them admire the West for its scientific achievements, economic progress and celebration of knowledge and excellence. The West is admired by the Muslims for the political freedom, democracy and rights it offers its people.

There are other findings that are equally interesting. Contrary to common perceptions in the West, the majority of respondents think men and women have equal rights.

A whopping 94 pc of Indonesians, the world’s largest Muslim nation, share this view. In Islamist Iran, the figure is 89 per cent. And in the much-reviled Saudi Arabia , it’s 73 percent.

A great majority of Muslims also believe a woman can work outside her home in any job for which she is qualified (88 pc in Indonesia , 72 pc in Egypt and even 78 pc in Saudi Arabia ). And they also believe
women should be able to vote without interference (87 pc in Indonesia , 91 pc in Egypt , 98 pc in Lebanon ).

What about the legendary Muslim sympathy for terrorism? While 6 pc of the Americans think attacks involving civilians are ‘completely justified,’ in Saudi Arabia , this figure is 4 pc. In Lebanon and Iran , it’s 2 percent.

And mark this, it’s important. The majority of Muslims absolutely rejects violence and terrorism. In fact, many of the respondents quoted Quranic verses to point out that extremism goes against Islamic teachings.

Going by these findings, would any reasonable person in his right mind blame Islam of championing extremism and violence? And remember, this survey was not sponsored by Al Jazeera, Bin Laden’s favourite
channel, but by Gallup , the biggest name in the business.

So what is it then that drives the West and Muslim world apart? The answer lies in Western indifference, nay casual contempt, for a billion believers and all that they believe in. I am not saying this; Gallup poll does.

Again this shouldn’t come as a surprise. While admiring Western values such as democracy and freedom, Muslims feel these values are conveniently cast aside when it comes to applying them to Muslim world.

More than 65 pc of Egyptians, Jordanians and Iranians believe the US will never allow people in the Middle East to run their own affairs and chart their own course.

When the Gallup pollsters asked Muslims around the world what the West could do to improve relations with the Muslim world, the most frequent responses were for the West to demonstrate more respect for Islam and to regard Muslims as equals, not as inferior.

The Western contempt for Islam, especially the ignorance of Americans, is not something that is imagined by us. The poll findings speak for themselves.

The majority of Americans (66 pc) admit to having “some” prejudice against Muslims; one in five say they have ‘a great deal’ of prejudice. Almost half do not believe US Muslims are ‘loyal’ to their country; and one in four doesn’t want a Muslim as a neighbour!

Given these views, is it any surprising that Muslims are invariably portrayed in the US media, including that big propaganda machine called Hollywood , as terrorists?

If the Muslims harbour some degree of anti-US sentiment, it’s not because of what the Americans are; it’s because of what they do or have been doing in the Muslim world. But how would you explain the
deep-seated paranoia and Islamophobia in the US and West?

Whatever its causes, this divide is most unfortunate and unnatural. Because there is a great deal lot that unites the Muslims and the Americans. In an increasingly materialistic world, they continue to hold on to their belief in God.

Unlike in Europe and much of the world, religion plays a healthy and positive role in the day-to-day life of the Americans as well as Muslims. They both cherish universal values like honesty, truthfulness, hard work, accountability and being always loyal to your family.

Just look around. What we have in common is much more than what we do not ­ notwithstanding what the Bushes and Bin Ladens of this world would have you believe. Which is why this divide is such a tragedy. We Muslims want to bridge this gulf. Is the other side equally willing?

—–
Aijaz Zaka Syed is a senior editor and columnist of Khaleej Times.
Write to him at aijazsyed@khaleejtimes.com

===

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

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Penjajahan Barat vs Futuhat (Pembebasan) Islam Seputar Khilafah

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

From: “Shofhi Amhar” <shofhi.amhar@gmail.com>
Subject: [syiar-islam] Penjajahan Barat vs Futuhat (Pembebasan) Islam

Penjajahan Barat vs Futuhat (Pembebasan) Islam Seputar Khilafah

April 9th, 2008

Penjajahan Barat dibawah kolonialisme

Khalid Nisaif Jassim yang mengantarkan saudara perempuannya yang hamil ke rumah sakit akibat ditembak oleh serdadu AS menyimpulkan penjajahan Barat dalam kata-kata berikut.” ALLAH akan membalas tindakan Amerika… Mereka tidak peduli terhadap hidup kami.”

Total korban Iraq. 650,000 Muslims meninggal di Iraq sejak invasi Amerika Serikat Pembantaian Haditha. 24 orang Iraq laki-laki, wanita, dan anak-anak dibantai marinir Amerika Serikat.

Pembantaian Ishaqi
Serdadu Amerika Serikat mengeksekusi 11 orang Iraq: 5 anak-anak dan 4 wanita di rumah yang sama.

Pembantaian Majat-al-Kabir.
Tentara Inggris menyiksa, memutilasi, dan mengeksekusi 20 tawanan perang Iraq.

Perkosaan Kenya.
Tentara Inggris yang bertugas di Kenya diduga keras memperkosa 650 wanita Kenya dalam kurun waktu 20 tahun.

Perkosaan Okinawa.
Jam malam diberlakukan pada serdadu Amerika Serikat setelah seorang marinir AS memperkosa remaja perempuan Jepang berumur 14 tahun. Di tahun 1995, bocah perempuan berumur 12 tahun diperkosa ramai-ramai oleh tentara AS yang bertugas di Okinawa.

Somalia.
Tentara PBB dari Belgia mengambil foto diri mereka sendiri ketika sedang memanggang seorang bocah Somalia hidup-hidup.

Pembantaian Srebrenica.
Tentara PBB asal Belanda menyerahkan kota Sebrenica kepada pasukan Serbia sehingga mereka bisa membantai 8,000 umat muslim.

Pembantaian Jenin.
Pasukan Israel membantai tidak kurang dari 500 pengungsi Palestina di Jenin.

Pembebasan Islam dibawah Negara Khilafah

Abu Yusuf (ra) dalam karya klasik beliau ‘Kitab Al-Kharaj’ menulis tentang peristiwa ekspansi daerah kekuasaan (pembebasan) Khilafah Islam yang telah mencapai Syria sebagai berikut.

“Setelah mencapai kata sepakat untuk berdamai dengan rakyat Syria dan menarik jizyah dan kharaj dari mereka, Abu Ubeida mendengar kabar bahwa Imperium Byzantium telah memobilisir pasukan untuk penyerangan besar-besaran. Berita ini memberikan efek cukup mengkhawatirkan bagi Abu ‘Ubeida dan pasukan Muslim. Abu Ubeida lalu menginstruksikan kepada seluruh aparat Khilafah yang bertanggungjawab terhadap kota-kota Syria yang dikuasai untuk mengembalikan Jizya dan Kharaj kepada para penduduk kota tersebut dengan pernyataan sebagai berikut:”

Dengan ini kami kembalikan uang (jizya dan kharaj) yang telah kalian bayarkan kepada kami. Telah terdengar berita bahwa pasukan musuh kami bersiap untuk menyerbu. Tetapi kalau ALLAH memberikan kemenangan atas musuh kami, kami akan memenuhi janji kami kepada kalian.” Ketika instruksi Abu Ubeida ini dibacakan kepada ahli dhimma rakyat Syria, mereka justru berkata kepada pasukan Muslim,”Mudah-mudahan Tuhan mempertemukan kalian dengan kami lagi dan memberikan kemenangan atas musuh-musuh kalian.”

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

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Kejayaan Khilafah (2): Pengakuan Jujur

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2008

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

=== News Update ===

From: “abdul rahman” <Inspiring.Rahman@gmail.com>
Subject: [INSISTS] Kejayaan Khilafah (2): Pengakuan Jujur

*Surat Raja Inggris Goerge II kepada Kholifah Hisyam III* :

Keunggulan pendidikan di masa Khilafah , membuat banyak pihak mempercayai
keluarganya untuk dididik dalam sistem pendidikan Khilafah. Termasuk Raja di
Eropa yang mengirim keluarganya untuk belajar di Daulah Khilafah, seperti
yang tampak dalam surat dari George II, Raja Inggeris, Swedia dan Norwegia,
kepada Khalifah Hisyam III di Andalusia Spanyol. Kutipan surat tersebut antara
lain : ” *Setelah salam hormat dan takdzim, kami beritahukan kepada yang
Mulia, bahwa kami telah mendengar tentang kemajuan yang luar biasa, dimana
berbagai sekolah sains dan industri bisa menikmatinya di negeri yang Mulia,
yang metropolit itu. Kami mengharapkan anak-anak kami bisa menimba keagungan
yang ideal ini agar kelak menjadi cikal bakal kebaikan untuk mewarisi
peninggalan yang Mulia guna menebar cahaya ilmu di negeri kami, yang masih
diliputi kebodohan dari berbagai penjuru*.”

*Will Durant ­ The Story of Civilization>
” Para Kholifah telah memberikan keamanan kepada manusia hingga batas yang
luar biasa besarnya bagi kehidupan dan usaha keras mereka. Para Kholifah
telah mempersiapkan berbagai kesempatan bagi saiapun yang memerlukannya dan
meratakan kesejahteraan selama berabad-abad dalam luasan wilayah yang belum
pernah tercatatkan lagi fenomena seperti itu setalah masa mereka ”

*T.W. Arnold – The Preaching of Islam *
” Ketika Konstantinopel kemudian dibuka oleh keadilan Islam pada 1453,
Sultan Muhammad II menyatakan dirinya sebagai pelindung Gereja Yunani.
Penindasan pada kaum Kristen dilarang keras dan untuk itu dikeluarkan sebuah
dekrit yang memerintahkan penjagaan keamanan pada Uskup Agung yang baru
terpilih, Gennadios, beserta seluruh uskup dan penerusnya. Hal yang tak
pernah didapatkan dari penguasa sebelumnya. Gennadios diberi staf keuskupan
oleh Sultan sendiri. Sang Uskup juga berhak meminta perhatian pemerintah dan
keputusan Sultan untuk menyikapi para gubernur yang tidak adil,”.

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

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