Financial barons are taking advantage of the troubled global market and low share prices.
By Mubeen Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Carlos Slim Helu, known as Latin America’s richest man, is moving in on falling stock prices by purchasing extra shares in a few troubled, yet major, companies.
An analyst informed about one of the financial baron’s transactions made with Citigroup, told AFP that the investment firm owned by the Mexican billionaire now owns a one percent stake in the financial corporation, which was recently rescued by the United States’ government. The stake –amounting to nearly 26 million shares and worth almost $150 million– is “a portfolio investment of Grupo Financiero Inbursa,” said the analyst, who requested anonymity. Reuters reported Citigroup’s shares to have sunk to lows not seen since 1992.
“He’s taking advantage of prices,” Rogelio Gallegos, a portfolio manager at Actinver in Mexico City, told Reuters. Carlos Slim has been noted to have a “Midas touch” history of acquiring struggling businesses at low costs and turning them into profitable cash-cows. “It’s the best moment in the last five years to take stock market positions,” said Mr. Galegos.
Mr. Slim also increased his stake in the U.S. luxury retailer, Saks, to 18 percent, making him the company’s biggest investor, the news agency reported.
The new deals occurred only months after Mr. Slim Helu declared the current financial crisis to be a “very difficult situation,” the worst he had ever seen. He anticipated it would effect all economies and “impact everybody.” Slim also suggested in September that bank shareholders and executives should shoulder at least some responsibility for failing financial institutions.
Whether Carlos Slim’s new investments can be seen in this light or not, other billionaires are also embarking on new ventures, including Carl Icahn (1.8 billion invested in a floundering Yahoo!), Warren Buffett (proposed takeover of Constellation Energy Group, Inc.), and Chalva Tchigirinski, a Russian majority owner of Sibir Energy, which allowed his $340 million personal real estate buyout by the company).
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Despite the new law, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), continues to urge the United States to sign the United Nations’ International Treaty for the rights of migrants. To date, none of the countries comprising the G8 –which group represents the largest economies in the Northern Hemisphere, including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, Russia and the United States—are signatories to the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (Resolution 45/158) since its inception in 1990.
At the same time, the flight of refugees and immigrants to G8 nations has increased (with the exception of Russia) since that time. The United States and Canada, especially, see regular influxes of foreign nationals seeking work within their borders and a preservation of their human rights.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) applauded the December 23 signing into law of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. The bill became law just after International Migrants Day (December 18), and enhances measures to combat human trafficking. ICE routinely arrests and prosecutes American and foreign nationals engaged in modern day slavery. ICE also deports the victims of human trafficking.
Although the Wilberforce Trafficking Protection Act should go far to assist those arriving at the shores of America against human trafficking, the problem remains one of global proportions. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sought to bring to light the deplorable condition of female migrants in particular, who make up 48% of the total immigrant population. Selene Kaye, of the ACLU, reiterated on International Migrants Day that “an estimated 100 million women, mostly from the world’s lesser-developed countries, leave their homes each year and migrate abroad in the hopes of finding a better life.”
Women tend to “turn to domestic work as a means of supporting themselves and their families back home,” making them one of the most susceptible categories of migrants (after children). Ms. Kaye continued, “Unfortunately, language barriers, immigration status, isolation in the home, lack of education, and gender make these women extremely vulnerable … a serious pattern of exploitation and abuse of migrant domestic workers exists around the world.”
“From Southeast Asia to the Middle East, South America to the United States, female domestic workers are routinely trafficked and subjected to conditions of forced labor and servitude,” concluded the ACLU representative.
United Nations Special Reporter on the rights of migrants, Jorge Bustamante, who conducts investigative missions to various countries on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, gave his opinion in a March 2008, 27-page report about his mission to the United States the previous year, stating that the U.S. “failed to adhere to its international obligations to make the human rights of the 37.5 million migrants living in the country (according to Government census data from 2006) a national priority.” The Special Reporter also highlighted the fact that “cases of indefinite detention – even of migrants fleeing adverse conditions in their home countries – were not uncommon,” according to testimonies he received.
Mr. Bustamante’s report addresses not only the issue of human trafficking, but the plight of migrants in general, who are defined in the report as all non-citizens, those undocumented and those who have legal permission to remain in the country: such as legal permanent residents, work visa holders, and persons with refugee status. The issue of migrant workers, whether there is forced labor involved or not, and including those who are legal or illegal, has been a contentious issue in the past few years. However, Mr. Bustamante emphasized: “Contrary to popular belief, [the] United States immigration policy did not become more severe after the terrorist attacks of September 11. Drastic changes made in 1996 have been at work for more than a decade, affecting communities across the nation and recent policy changes simply exacerbate what was put in motion then. Also, contrary to popular belief, these policies do not target only undocumented migrants – they apply to citizens born in the United States of undocumented parents and long-term lawful permanent residents (or green card holders) as well.”
The Special Reporter did, however, note with “dismay” that “xenophobia and racism” in American society “towards migrants in the United States has worsened since 9/11. The current xenophobic climate adversely affects many sections of the migrant population, and has a particularly discriminatory and devastating impact on many of the most vulnerable groups, in the migrant population, including children, unaccompanied minors, Haitian and other Afro-Caribbean migrants, and migrants who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent.”
Shuya Ohno of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) told Open Media Boston, “Hate crimes, hate radio, hate speech and hate groups are driving our national conversation about immigrants, and dividing our nation. In this time of uncertainty and fear, we are in desperate need of those …whose courage allows them, and whose conscience compels them to speak up against that which is wrong.” Shuya Ohno was speaking at a rally outside Boston’s city hall, where 30 religious and community organizations, gathered in October to make their opinions known about the breakups of families during immigration raids, and also the common perception that immigrants take American jobs. MIRA instead blames “unscrupulous employers” for bypassing wage laws in their employment of illegal migrant workers, as well as those who are documented but lack an understanding of their rights. According to MIRA, this process allows unfair bottom-line business competition and hurts all workers by driving down wages.
The UN representative concluded in his report that, despite national perceptions of the issue, “The primary task of such a national [immigration] policy should be to recognize that, with the exception of certain rights relating to political participation, migrants should enjoy nearly all the same human rights’ protections as citizens, including an emphasis on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable groups.” -Aisha Spencer contributed to this report.
By Sabeerah A. Majied
Islamic Post Staff Writer
While much of the industrialized world enjoys the benefits of protective labor policies, other countries are not as fortunate. Colombia is the second largest exporter of fresh flowers in the world. Every day 747s and DC-8s leave Bogota airport loaded with boxes of flowers. It’s a multi- million dollar industry that involves the growth and sales of roses, carnations, daisies and chrysanthemums to Canada, the United States and Europe. Colombia’s neighbor, Ecuador, also benefits from the export of flowers.
However, there is an ugly side to the beautiful flowers. Cultivation is harsh on the environment and even harder on the tens of thousands of employees that work the farms. In Colombia, it was estimated that 70 percent of the employees are women who work up to 60 hours per week at peak times –like just before Mothers’ Day or Valentine’s Day. Their wages are low and they do not get full overtime benefits as workers are often not represented by unions.
There are also many accounts of the health problems linked to exposure to pesticide cocktails used daily to ensure perfect blossoms. Workers who lack proper training and protective equipment are often forced to enter greenhouses one or two hours after spraying. A documentary made by Colombian filmmaker Marta Rodriguez and her husband Jorge Silva over 20 years ago is still relevant according to a Colombian lawyer trying to improve working conditions and environmental standards in the industry. It exposes health problems experienced by workers. They include chronic respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. Workers also suffer from seizures, headaches, vomiting, weight loss, and leukemia. Then there are skin problems and long- term toxicity issues.
Child labour is yet another problem of the industry according to reports such as one by Jocasta Shakespeare (1995) in “Colombia: Gardens of Shame,” which was produced by Stanley Foundation. The report says that children provide growers with cheap labour. Although Colombia’s Ministry of Labor vehemently denies that children work in the flower industry, the report stated that there was ample evidence that children are collected daily by bus and taken to farms.
A 2006 report by International Labor Rights Fund on Latin American flower farms also referred to practices of child labor on flower farms. “El Comercio,” a daily newspaper in Ecuador, referred to a study that found child labor practiced on a variety of farms including flower farms. Of the 595 farms studied, 10% were found to be using child labor. Yet again, children are at the foundation of an industry’s competitive strategy.
There is hope, however, that florists and consumers would actively seek to purchase only flowers certified for good farming practices. “Fairtrade” and “VeriFlora” are two labels that represent flowers grown on farms with improved labour conditions. Maybe soon more labour- friendly bouquets of flowers will be purchased by informed consumers who want to make a difference.
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Touring, travel | Tags: France, Pyranees
By Razia A. Muqit
Islamic Post Contributing Writer
France. Most people, when they think of this country, have visions of city life with bright lights and big tall towers. But that is not what I saw in the French Pyrenees, when I arrived from the small Spanish village in which I had been staying the previous week. What I saw was peace. The mountainous area exuded a feeling of calm serenity. People moved here and there in the markets, but the countryside called me home.
“Wow. Is this where we are stopping?” I asked Abuela (or grandmother –for me she wasn’t blood, but that is a title used for the local older women). “Not here, but a little ways further up we will. I want to buy some fresh baked bread and I know a good stall about 10 kilometers from here where it tastes the best.”
“Okay,” I replied, looking off at different pictures displayed on the post cards that covered a stall directly outside my window.
“Allah’s majesty is ever present throughout the entire world,” I thought to myself. Just look at these flower and mountains, vibrant colors bursting from them the way light bounces off a shiny surface and gleams on everything. Allah Almighty’s grandeur was also very noticeable in the streams we passed, their crystal clear water running quickly over the smooth surface of various rocks that sparkled, reflecting His might and majesty. “France and I are getting along well so far,” I mused in my mind, as the car came to a screeching halt.
Abuela decided since the pedestrians in front of us didn’t have the slightest idea of how to NOT walk in front of the car; we would all just walk from here on. So we walked. We walked past brightly painted portraits of lilacs that sat perched upright on the vendor’s tables. We walked past the murmur of a few smiling people who were all staring at me, my religious clothing separating me from the rest. We walked past twirling children and the smell of roses; past goat cheese that had a faint odor and shoppers all babbling on in French about what to buy and where to buy it; we walked through a picturesque scene that made me realize how blessed I was.
Finally we bought the bread and some fresh cheese, along with some other food purchases that I couldn’t eat, such as a spread made from duck meat. After that, we all trekked back to the car and continued our drive through France, to an ancient French monastery. While driving, my little cousin began asking me about being Muslim.
She said, “Is it like being a nun? If it’s not, then why do you dress like nuns do? Do you believe what mommy believes? Or what Abuela believes?”
And the questions continued on until Allah Almighty allowed us to arrive at the little village where the monastery was located.
Walking around the monastery, although strange to me at first, soon began to seem like a trip through history. Islamic influences were visible everywhere. The structure of the monastery, the archways of some of the entrances, and most of all: the way many of the people dressed in the various portraits on the walls. But where do long robes and covered heads come from? Not Rome or Greece, where the fashions tend to bare. Not England, nor Germany, nor even France. Religious people dressed the same in the time of Mary, mother of Jesus, as they do today.
The Pyrenees, which are located between both Spain and France, have much, if not the same, Islamic influence that the Spanish side received during the Muslim rule. The influence didn’t just stop at the border and say, “Oh, well. This is the end of Spain so…I guess that’s it.” No. It spilled through that little French village with defiance and pride, boasting of itself.
The walk took us through more than just the monastery. It took us around the village, through beautiful lush gardens, and to a park; where we had lunch. It was approaching Asr time now, the time for late afternoon prayers, and my mind began to think of places where I would be able to pray. Nothing came up. I decided I would make my decision when the time for prayer actually arrived and, for the time being, I would just savor my crisp French bread and delicious Spanish cheese. For a while we stood around that park under the shade of an old wooden gazebo. Next to me, a fountain trickled and I saw more influences from Muslims.
“The Muslims who came here came from the desert, and they believed water was a relic to be persevered and respected as a gift from God.” My tour guide at Al Hambra had told us, when a fellow tourist asked why there was water running constantly everywhere we went. Even now in the middle of a small village there was a fountain of water. Near here I prayed. The unique design of these fountains was that there was no outlet for the water to escape, the water was simply kept flowing at a rhythmic pace in a complete circle of fountains so that the water was always fresh and never stale or settled.
After completing lunch, we headed back through the town to the car. On the way to the car, a group of people were passing us. They were definitely French because they were chatting together in their own native languge. Before they made it past us, I said in a booming, excited voice, “Bon Jour!” and, that quickly, France was gone, in a whirl of bread, monasteries, fountains and flowers.
Filed under: Education, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture | Tags: Embracing Islam
By Talib Deen Abdush Shakoor
Islamic Post Contributing Writer
A newly born family emerged, in Middle Tennessee, from confusion into a path of clarity and enlightenment in December, 2008, when they embraced Islam.
Preliminary discussions began at work, where plans of a Christmas party were underway. Although almost all employees were Christians, only some were willing to participate. Others opposed the idea of celebrating what they called a holiday with pagan rites. Some of the questions brought to light were: “What does Santa Claus have to do with Christ?” “Is it really Jesus’ birthday?” “Why the Christmas tree?” The Christians engaged in debate after debate on the subject of Jesus (peace be upon him).
Being the only Muslim, I felt an invitation, at this point, to convey the views, according to Islam, of the Second to Last Messenger of Allah, who was Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them). To the best of my ability, I spoke about the many similarities of the two faiths, and compared and contrasted the two books in attempt to portray the unchanging message sent to Muslims, Christians and Jews.
By the Grace of Allah, the Most High, this discourse sparked the interest of several people, one of which was a man by the name of Maurice Benford, who was very enthusiastic about getting together outside of work to talk more. Throughout the night, questions were asked and ideas were exchanged about the matter at hand. Maurice shared his beautiful point of views about what he felt life should be like. He talked about humility in one’s lifestyle, devotion in worship, and sincerity in good deeds. Little did he know, he was describing Islam.
The following night, Muslim brothers got together in Murfreesboro at Muhammad Anwar’s house; and Maurice brought his wife, Annette, and their children, along with another co-worker. They were hungry for knowledge and searching for truth. Yahya Khan, with his knowledge of the Bible, was able to point out inconsistencies within the text, making the point that the Bible has suffered change over time. At the same time, he lectured on the Holy Qur’an still being in its original state, as the last remaining text which is completely the Word of God.
For five hours, the eight of us sat and talked about the beauty of the Islamic way of life with emphasis on the Oneness of Allah, the oneness of the message, and the oneness of the path. Each person had input into the discussion. Questions got complete answers and gaps were filled. Hearts opened and light entered. However, the couple decided to go home to discuss it between themselves. They related having talked until almost sunrise.
The next afternoon, the two called back and stated how impressed they were, not only with the Quranic scriptures as compared to the Biblical ones, but moreso their love of the lifestyle, etiquettes and mannerisms of a Muslim. They’ve decided to meet up again with the intention of taking the next step.
Allah be praised, Ahmad Qadri, who has shown countless people the way to Islam, arrived that day, and was able to take part in this monumental event. “You don’t have to be Muslim to love Allah,” he told the couple, “But you do have to be Muslim to express your love to Allah.”
His words gave the two an abundance of confidence that this was the right decision. “I am absolutely sure that this is it,” said Annette. Then they embraced Islam and then we embraced them as family, along with their six children. Glory be to Allah, the Most High Creator of All.
Today, Maurice is Mahmood, and Annette, Amina. As a family, they all feel very confident and have a lot of peace of mind. As the learning continues, new discoveries add to the construction of their iman. which is the Islamic concept of faith put into practice in everyday life. Their excitement increased to be a part of our blessed community and to meet the rest of the brothers and sisters.
Allah, Exalted is He, has promised the domination of Islam. To be a part of that number is to be showered with His Mercy. But to witness it happen before your very eyes is a rewarding experience in itself. May Allah continue to increase the people, or followers, of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), and continue to allow us the honor of being used as His tools to manifest His decree. Ameen.
Filed under: From the Desk of El Sheikh Sultan Muhyuddin Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Magazine/ Culture, Interfaith, Education, January Volume I- 2009 | Tags: Christmas, Jesus in Islam
From the Desk of the Sultan: El Sheikh Muhyuddin Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani
Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus, the son of Mary, who is the Second to Last Messenger of Islam, in a befitting manner. Let us pay him befitting tribute by following the law, by virtue of which he was called savior.
Greetings, oh lovers of Jesus! On this happy occasion, when his so-called followers commemorate by committing adultery, perversion, drinking and gambling in such a manner as if these heinous sins were associated with the teachings of Jesus Christ, let us join hands in upholding the law. Jesus, the son of Mary, came to uphold the Ten Commandments, and exhorted mankind to practice them so that they may be saved. Today, priests and devils have legalized what Jesus forbade, but they cannot save mankind from the evil consequences of sins, some of which are mental diseases, murders, earthquakes, and tornados.
We Muslims want our Christian brothers to know about our book, the Holy Qur’an, (which was revealed to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the messengers of God). The Holy Qur’an is the only evidence in the world which confirms the existence of Jesus, the son of Mary.
Lies and Reason.
The priests during the time of this Holy Messenger were not different from the likes of Jimmy Swaggert and James Baker. They invented lies and incorporated heathen mythology and paganism into the Gospel, held Jesus up as the son of God, and invented the fable of dying on the cross for mankind.
To refute this lack of logic, I quote Thomas Paine, a great thinker and moralist, who arrived at the following conclusion when he used reason to understand the Bible: “The Bible and Old Testament are impositions upon the world,” wrote Thomas Paine in the Age of Reason (p. 202), “The opinions I have advanced… that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is…the belief of one God.” –Age of Reason, p. 202)
I also quote Saint Barnabas, one of the disciples of Jesus, son of Mary, who was deputed by the Holy Messenger, Jesus, to record the Gospels. These were known as the Gospel of Barnabas, and remained in circulation until the 4th century of the Christian era. Later, this Gospel was banned by a papal decree as not being canonical. In the Gospel according to Saint Barnabas, Jesus is quoted by him as saying:
“I therefore say unto you that the Messenger of God is a splendor that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance, he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given all creatures. Oh blessed time when he shall come to the world!
“Believe me that I have seen him, and have done him reverence even as every prophet hath seen him, seeing that, of his spirit, God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him, my soul has filled with consolation, saying: ‘Oh Muhammad, God be with thee, and may He make me worthy to untie thy shoe latchet for, obtaining this, I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.”
It is ironic to observe that, despite the fact the Jews tried to murder Jesus, the son of Mary, the so-called church raised in his name has no authentic evidence that he ever existed. Our Holy Qur’an is the only evidence of the existence of Jesus, of his mission, and of his raising up alive to the Almighty [as it proven, by God and man, to not have been tampered with]. I now quote from the Holy Qur’an, which also contains the Gospel:
“Behold! The angel said: ‘Oh Mary, God giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and of those nearest to God. He shall speak to all the people, from the cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the company of the righteous.’
“She said: ‘Oh my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?’
“He said: ‘Even so, God creates what He willeth. When He decrees a plan, He but saith to it, Be, and it is!
“‘And God will teach him the Book and wisdom, the law and Gospel, and (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with the message): I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you, out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal those born blind and lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s leave. And I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely there is a sign for you, if ye did believe.
“‘(I have come to you) to attest the law, which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was before forbidden to you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God who is my Lord and your Lord. Then worship Him. This is a way that is straight.’” –House of Imran, Holy Qur’an
In conclusion, I hope this greeting, which contains an invitation for all who identify with Jesus, son of Mary, to join us in upholding the laws of the Almighty and the Ten Commandments, in order to save mankind from the most horrible disasters, incurable diseases, and all kinds of social and moral ills.
Please contact us for further discussion in regards to our mission of bringing Muslims and Christians together on common terms, based on the Unity of God, which will enable us to combat priesthood ignorance, and the exploitation of man by man.
*This document was originally published twenty years ago. Christians and Muslims have since united across the world. The United Muslim Christian Forum was henceforth established by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani to accommodate the ever-growing unity based upon the Ten Commandments, and an effort to save mankind therewith. To join, contact us:
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Muharram
Hazrat Ibn Abbas reports that the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura (the tenth day of the month of Muharram)… They said: “It is the day of great [significance] when Allah delivered Moses and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Moses observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Last Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Moses than you have;” so Allah’s Messenger [may peace be upon him, and upon all of the Holy Messengers] observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah, the Most High, accepted the repentance of Adam after his exile from Paradise; Allah, the Most High, saved Noah and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire into which Abraham was thrown by Nimrod; And He spoke directly to Moses and gave him the 10 Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Job was restored to health (from leprosy); Joseph was reunited with his father, Jacob; Jonah was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the Children of Israel were delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Solomon (Suleiman) was restored; and Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, was raised to Jannah (Paradise).
‘Ashura is also known as the day on which was martyred the grandson of the Holy Last Messenger, Imam Hussein son of Hazrat Ali, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Holy Last Messenger and his family. Muslims all over the world deplore the actions of those who took the head of Imam Hussein. The descendants of these unhallowed people, supposed Muslims, daily seek to belittle the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), his most honored family, and Islam in general. This unforgivable sin on the part of the perpetrators, who had always been at jealous odds with the holy family and sought to consolidate their own power by any means, was made more heinous by the holiness of the actual day itself.
In addition to commemorating the Chief of Martyrs (Imam Hussein) on ‘Ashura, one should worship Allah, the Most High, as much as possible. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah, the Most High, will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah, the Most High, will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person, or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah Almighty will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And who ever takes a ghusl (ceremonious bath) on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah, the Most High, will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies kuhl (collyrium) to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, if Allah wills.
O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain the reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for humanity around the world. Ameen. -Compiled by Jamaal A. Waahid.
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Uncategorized | Tags: Dr. Jemille
By Dr. Jemille A. Wasi
Islamic Post Staff Writer
A few months ago I was on call one night in the hospital, and I received a page from the Emergency Department (ED) regarding the admission of a young woman. The ED record showed that she was a 36 year-old female with Diabetes Mellitus. As I stepped into the examination room I was surprised to see a bed-ridden, balding somewhat plump African American lady. She had dry, chaffed skin with a mixture of old scars and fresh, gaping wounds that covered a considerable amount of her body. I began with the usual interview questions asking what brought her to the hospital and how long had this issue been a concern. As the questioning progressed, she told me of her symptoms, her family history of diabetes, and her extensive list of medical problems including high blood pressure, hardened arteries, and her weekly trips to hemodialysis for end-stage kidney disease. She was very non-compliant with her medications, and allowed her blood sugar levels to get out of control. This inevitably led to the development of the hypertension (high blood pressure) and kidney failure. This woman was a year older than I, and already had the health status of someone more than twice her age. The thought that this once vibrant person now had all these health issues and needed dialysis three times a week was very disheartening.
Unfortunately, this is a common issue in the U.S., and many people—especially African Americans—suffer the same fate. This is made worse by the fact that the age of affected individuals is getting younger and younger every year, with increasing numbers of children presenting to doctors’ offices all over America with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. I have come to the conclusion that a major reason for this growing trend is that the majority of people are generally not educated on these conditions, or their potential outcomes; so much so, that when they develop these maladies, they usually don’t seek medical intervention until something has gone drastically wrong, and/or an emergency situation has been created. This becomes evident by the fact that most newly diagnosed diabetics—especially the children and African American population—usually find out they have disease after they develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and have to go to the emergency department. Excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, weakness, or fatigue usually marks DKA. High blood pressure patients usually come in complaining of severe headaches, visual changes (i.e. blurring or double vision), and sometimes nonspecific complaints like nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. Even worse hypertensives often present to the ED with strokes, heart attacks, and heart or kidney failure. The gist of it is that many of these conditions are diagnosed in the emergency department or other acute care settings.
I was always told that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so the key to reversing this growing trend is to institute measures involved in prevention of these diseases. When this is not always possible, in the least, measures should be initiated to prevent the horrendous outcomes of these ailments. The most constructive instrument to accomplish this task is effective education. The U.S. healthcare industry has recognized the importance of education, but really only in regards to decreasing the cost of medical care. Current initiatives have done little to reduce the disease load in America. Many of the proposed methods involve the patient reading something when they leave the hospital or office, as opposed to learning the information from a knowledgeable staff person. Most of the time, that reading material never makes it home to the patient. In order for the education to be most effective, a more direct, active approach is necessary. This may successfully be accomplished by having a formal setting, with a competent teacher to discuss pertinent issues. Additionally, forums in which healthcare providers and general public meet have the additional effect of providing an opportunity for people to get screened for the aforementioned diseases.
In medical school we would hold yearly health seminars as part of our community service for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Here we had class-like sessions, and gave a series of handouts to all patrons. The class aspect was very informative and useful for all involved. Recently—as I was discussing a homework project of the Head RN of AMMRT—I remembered these forums from medical school, and thought we could take the class-like features, and hold a health forum in this mold. As the American Muslim Medical Relief Team (AMMRT) is always committed to improving the health of the world community at large, this seemed like a task that would be perfectly fitted for us. Discussions with multiple members thus yielded the idea of holding a set of subject driven health seminars designed to be interactive and informative. They will be multi-disciplined, combining the skills of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and traditional Islamic natural care physicians (hakeems and hakeemahs). The first seminar will be held in late spring/early summer, and will cover the topics of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In addition to our interactive classes, we will be providing screenings for blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. We will also be offering classes on nutrition, for the right dietary choices are important to consider in any disease process. Future sessions in this model will be held for subjects pertaining to Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Aid (including CPR instruction), Sickle Cell and other anemias, and Pediatric issues. Although no final date has been determined, continue to look for updates in subsequent issues of the Islamic Post. As always, only from Allah, the Most High, can we be healed.
The following passage is the introduction of M.A. Gillani’s historical accounts called, “Some Mystifying and Enigmatic Events,” originally published in Defence Journal. Therein are narrated unexplained events that Mr. Gillani,encountered during his army career:
Sometimes in our lives we experience strange and, at times, baffling events which often keep on haunting us. In this article, some such events, experienced during my army career are being listed below for the interest of the readers. All these events are based on facts but, as they say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
First night in Abargarh Fort- Bhimber Sector, Dream or Illusion?
During January 1949, I was commanding a company which was deployed in defence of the fort situated on a commanding feature. The fort was a few centuries old, built by the Mughals, but later occupied by the rulers of Kashmir. The outposts of the fort had decayed with the passage of time. The fort itself was in good shape and looked majestic from a distance. It commanded the Dadabad valley, facing the enemy-held heights called Mandak and Reech. An old sarai (resting place for caravans), also built by the Mughals, existed short of the Sadabad Gala, and below the famous feature, Shaheen (pt. 3350).
The ceasefire in Kashmir was effective on the first of January in 1949, and there was no exchange of fire but troops remained alert in battle locations. I had two platoons deployed on the forward slope of the effort. My company headquarters was in the upper tier of the fort. An artillery observation post and intelligence detachment were also located there for keeping constant watch over enemy movements. On the left of the fort was a dominating height facing the valley, occupied by a volunteer force called the Furqan Battalion. On its left, the hill was defended by the Lashkar of Kashmira Khan.
The Mughal commander’s room, located in one corner of the top tier of the fort, was selected by the senior JCO as my residence. A look inside disclosed that it had not been used for a long time. The room was then cleaned and the floor and walls washed. It was a small room with a canopy type roof, having an opening to the courtyard. There were two slits in the wall facing the valley, and the whole area was visible through the slits.
Before my company shifted to the fort, there used to be only an observation post, defended by a regular section and a detachment of Kashmira Khan’s Lashkar. The enemy often shelled, but the damage was negligible.
The weather was cold, the night was dark, and it was drizzling. The bed had been neatly arranged on the floor. The dim light of the hurricane lamp was my only companion in the room. The cold breeze often entered the room with a whirring sound. I suddenly had the thought that many Mughal commanders must have resided in this room during their stay in the fort.
At times, I felt as if someone was present in the room. I tried to shake off the feeling, but an unknown fear gripped me, and I started reciting the kalima, and Ayatul Kursi (blessed words from Holy Qur’an by which are sought the protection and refuge of the Almighty), and tried to sleep. Suddenly, I heard the clashes of swords and cries of some wounded person. At the same time, I felt as if someone was sitting on my chest. With a loud yell, I managed to shake off the weight. I opened my eyes, and in the dim light of the lamp, I saw someone’s shadow. As I got up, someone hurriedly left the room – I distinctly heard the swish of heavy clothes.
The nearest guard was about 15 yards away, but I did not call anyone. In order to hide my fear, I went out in the wet night to check the sentries, whom I found alert. I remained awake for the rest of the night, and the next day I shifted to a place closer to the men’s quarters. I did not disclose my experience to anyone, and to this day, I often wonder whether that was only a dream, or an illusion? This experience remains unexplained and mysterious in my memory box.
-Editor’s note: Out of the creation of Allah Almighty, there are human beings, angels, and also jinn beings. Jinns are mischievous by nature, frequent uninhabited spaces, and enjoy playing tricks on human beings.
Filed under: Education, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Ghadeer Khumm, Hazrat Ali
According to a sermon given by the Holy Last Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family, at the Spring of Khumm (Ghadeer e Khumm) on the 18th of Zhul Hijj:
“All Praises are for Allah and we seek His help and we believe in Him and rely upon Him in all matters. We seek His protection from the evil of self and deeds. His protection is such that if He causes someone to go astray there will be no-one to guide him, and anyone He guides, no-one can mislead.
I bear witness there is none worthy of worship other than Allah and Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] is the servant and Messenger of Allah.
O People! All knowing and All Seeing Mighty Rabb [Lord] has informed me that I will be called back and I will accept His call. And I shall be questioned and you as well will be questioned; what answer will you have?” The people said, “We will bear witness that you propagated Islam, guided us and may Allah, the Most High, give you immense reward for that.”
Then, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Do you not bear witness that there is none worthy of worship than Allah and that Muhammad [peace be upon him] is His servant and Messenger; that Jennah (paradise) is haqq (universal truth) and Jehannam (hell) is haqq and maut (death) is haqq and Qiyaamah (the Final Day) will come and there is no doubt in that. And that Allah, the Most High, will give life to the dead?” The people of the congregation said, “Of course, we bear witness!”
The Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Oh my Allah, be witness. O People, are you listening?” They said, “Yes we are listening.” Then he (peace be upon him) said, “I shall be reaching The Lake (Kauthar) [in Jennah] for preparation, and you should come to my Lake for quenching your thirst. It is as wide as from Basra to Sana (Yemen). In this there are silver goblets shining like the stars of the sky; therefore, listen. Pay attention to how you will treat saqlain (two heavy trusts) when I leave you.” Then somebody said, “Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you), what is saqlain?” He (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The greater of the heavy trusts is the Book of Allah -Holy Qur’an. (He compared it to the likeness of a rope where-by one side is held by Allah, the Most High, and the other side should be held by you.) Hold it firmly. If you hold it firmly you will never go astray. And saqlain asghar (lesser heavy trust) is my itrat (family descendants). My All-Knowing, All-Seeing Allah has informed me that these two will never separate from each other till they reach Lake Kauthar. I have confirmed this from Allah. Do not try to bypass them nor ignore them because this can bring destruction.” Then he held the hand of Ameeril Mo’mineen Hazrat* Ali (the Commander of the Faithful, may Allah ennoble his countenance), raised it till people could see the whiteness of his armpits, all recognized this and he (peace be upon him) said, “Oh People! Which mo’min (s. faithful) is near to the lives of all the mo’mineen?” The people said, “Allah and His Messenger [peace be upon him] know better.” He (peace be upon him) said, “Indeed Allah is my Maula (Master) and I am the maula of the mo’mineen (p. faithful) and I am nearer to them than their lives; however, whosoever’s maula I am, Ali is also maula of that person.” He repeated this thrice. (Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal said, he said it four times.) Then the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) continued, saying: “Oh My Allah! You befriend those who befriend Ali and You treat those as Your enemy who treat Ali as their enemy. And You love those who love Ali and show Your anger to those who make Ali angry and You help those who help him and debase those who debase him. Oh Allah, make haqq his companion wherever he may be. Oh People! Be warned. Let this be transmitted to those who are absent, by those who are present.” It was there and then, when they had not even moved that Gabriel [the Archangel, peace be upon him] brought the following wahee (divine revelation), “Today I have perfected your deen (way of life) and have completed My ni’mah (favour) upon you and chosen Islam as your deen.” (Holy Qur’an; 3:19)
The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: “Allahu Akbar [sometimes translated: Allah is the Greatest], for the completion of deen and on completion of Allah’s favour and my Messengerhood being appreciated and wilayah (friendship) of Ali, after me.” Then people started giving congratulations to Amir ul Mo’mineen, Hazrat Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance), and a group of Holy Companions came forward.
Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omar and all were saying, “O son of Abi Talib [meaning Hazrat Ali], Mubarik! Mubarik! [congratulations being sent] That you have spent your mornings and evenings in such a way that you have become our master and the master of every mo’min and mo’mina [f. faithful]!” Hazrat Ibn Abbas said, “By Allah Almighty, this is obligatory upon the necks of the people.” Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit said, “Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you), allow me to say a few verses in honour of Hazrat Ali so you may hear them.” The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “May Allah’s blessings be upon you.” Then he (Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit) stood up and said:
“On the day of Ghadeer their Messenger is declaring at Khumm, therefore listen to what the Messenger of Allah [peace be upon him] has said…”
Explanation and elaboration of the incident called Ghadeer e Khumm
All the scholars of Ahle Sunnah, and even the Shia’, agree that in the year of the Hajja tul Widaa’(Farewell Pilgrimage) after declaring the last sermon, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and upon his family) while returning from Makka tul Mukarramah (known in Western language as Mecca), on his way back to Medina, on the 18th of Zhul Hijj, he gathered all his companions in a place called Ghadeer e Khumm, which was a spring. Those people who had gone ahead were called back and those following were waited on till all had joined.
The Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) gave a lot of advice and elaborated many things and recited some ayah of Sura Maida (from Holy Qur‘an) about completion of Deen ul Islam. He made it very clear that his time had come to go back and he will be leaving two very profound things behind. From his blessed tongue the following words were uttered:
“Wa ma yantqu anil hawa”
“He says nothing of his own, but that he says is wahee.” (Holy Qur‘an; 53:3-4)
“kuntu maulahu fa Aliyi maulahee”
“Whose master I am, Ali is also his master.”
Then he made the dua (supplication) to Allah about Hazrat Ali.
Authenticity of Hadeeth Ghadeer e Khumm
In Mishkaat Shareef this hadeeth has been quoted referring to Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (Volume 3 page 241). The following is the translation:
Hazrat Bara Bin Azab (the companion who confronted Yazid with the words “I saw the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his family) kissing those blessed lips…(in reference to Hazrat Imam Hussein)”) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stopped at Ghadeer e Khumm, he held the hand of Hazrat Ali and said, “Don’t you know I am nearer to the lives of the mo’mineen.” And the Holy Companions said, “Yes, oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon you).” Then the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Oh Allah! Whom I befriend, Ali is their friend. Oh Allah, treat such persons as Your friends who consider Ali his friend. Treat the enemies of Ali as your enemies.” Hazrat Omar met Hazrat Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance), saying: “O Son of Abi Talib! Great happiness for you that you have spent your mornings and evenings in such condition that you have become the friend of every mo’min and mo’mina.”
*Hazrat is a term of respect for someone near to Almighty Allah.
–This introduction was graciously provided by the Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. Any mistakes are the responsibility of the editors, may Allah forgive them their faults.
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags: Eid Adha
By Abu Rashid Qadri
Islamic Post Staff Writer
On a quiet, winter morning in the rural Muslim village of Holy Islamberg in upstate Hancock, New York, residents and visitors from throughout the United States and Canada gingerly navigated the icy paths to the village’s mosque. By the time most arrived, the once chilly air was noticeably warm and mild sunshine shone through overcast skies.
On this morning in December, 2008, Muslims throughout the world gathered to commemorate Eidul Adha, the festivities marking the end of the Hajj season, the Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The serene village, headquarters of the International Qur’anic Open University (IQOU) and the United Muslim Christian Forum was founded in November 1984 by His Eminence, Imam El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani as a settlement, an environment better suited for raising a God-fearing family than was the inner cities from where a number of the residents had migrated.
The commemoration began with a message of world peace delivered by Naib Imam Muhammad Ibrahim Qadri, which was followed by congregational prayer. Following the prayer, men hurried to perform their qurbani, the sacrifice of cattle, whose meat is then distributed to the poor. This sacrifice was done by the Father of the Muslims, Christians, and Jews- the Holy Messenger, Abraham. Others proceeded to breakfast, which was served before the commencement of the coming festive events.
Eids are known for scrumptious Islamic cuisine and these lived up to their billing. Not only was the Qurbani cooked, but each house opened its doors with additional delicacies. Adding to the numerous exotic dishes were the meals from two walimahs (wedding feasts), to which all were invited.
The day’s activities included a concert and talent show featuring Mrs. Shamailah Ismail, the internationally renowned vocalist and Queen of Islamic Melodies, as well as the exhilarating, popular Islamic song group, Ansaaruddeen, among a number of aspiring talents.
Residents and visitors alike seized the opportunity to visit the Holy Khanqah Awliah Qadria Gilaniya, located upon the village hilltop. It is there that Allah, the One Almighty Creator, chose to manifest His Personal Name in luminous, white pulsating Arabic letters- as well as the name of His Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) and vibrant rainbows on the ceilings and walls of the small structure. All who visit and worship will benefit in every sense from the Divine Karamah that Allah manifested there.
Some chose to spend the night with family and friends, looking forward to partaking in worship at the sacred site. An Islamic wedding with all its tradition was scheduled for the afternoon of the next day. The gaiety would serve as a joyful and rewarding conclusion to the season’s festivities.
Filed under: Business/Economy, January Volume I- 2009, National | Tags: Bailout
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Barry Ritholtz, author of the forthcoming book, Bailout Nation, gave an estimate of United States bailout costs so far: $4.6165 trillion. While Mr. Ritholtz calls the figure conservative, he did not hesitate to note, “The current Credit Crisis bailout is now the largest outlay in American history.”
The financial historian says the only single expenditure which came close to four trillion dollars was World War II, whose original cost was $288 billion, but when adjusted for inflation would have cost $3.6 trillion today.
With regards to the current war spending, Ritholtz’s estimate about the cost of the Iraq invasion was considerably lower than the figure given by former vice president of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz. According to the world-renowned economist, the cost of the Iraq war came up to 3.3 trillion U.S. dollars in February of 2008. This would mean that dollars spent Iraq war alone come close to those needed to rescue the financial services of United States.
Mr. Ritholtz also calculated other major expenditures in American history, adding them together with adjusted inflation rates. Yet, he says, they still do not add up to the 2008 bailouts.
The Colorado Independent reports that, according to Ritholtz, “Fixing the credit crisis will cost more than buying half the country, fighting three costly wars, saving the country from the last depression, fixing the last home loan crisis, building the middle class, exploring space and putting a man on the moon,” even by current fiscal standards.
Here are Ritholtz’s estimated figures:
“•Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
•Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
•Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
•S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
•Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
•The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion ,
•Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion*
•Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
•NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion
TOTAL: $3.92 trillion”
“It is wasteful, very wasteful,” retiree William Dwyer told Reuters about Citigroup’s $300 billion bailout during random interviews in New York City on the subject. After the U.S. Treasury bailout of Citigroup, taxpayers lament the 20-year recently sealed contract in which the financial institution pays $400 million to the New York Mets for the rights to name its new stadium Citi Field. Market analysts claim, however, that the company still must advertise if it wishes to come out of the slumps and help restart the economy.
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Texas judge Manuel Banales recently threw out a grand jury indictment that charged Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez with engaging in organized criminal activity. The indictments against other government officials was also dismissed.
The case surrounds the alleged maltreatment of Americans in private-run prisons within the United States, an allegation which brought to light the beating to death of a man named Gregorio de la Rosa by other prisoners. Finding negligence on the part of the Willacy County facility management in a civil judgment in 2006, a jury ordered owner, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, to pay the murdered man’s family $47.5 million.
The current cases were built upon this conviction. Nueces County retired state District Judge Michael J. Westergren, who practiced law for nearly 40 years, told The Brownsville Herald that Guerra is the only one who has had the “gumption” to investigate privately owned and managed prisons and their lack of oversight. “I certainly think it is a serious matter. It’s not frivolous by any means,” Westergren said, referring to Guerra’s case. He said there is “substantial support” to the allegations.
But there are others in the county who feel the district attorney cast his net too wide, making charges based on assumed intentions in which blame lay indirectly. Cited in his indictment was the estimated $85 million stake of the Vice President in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies that run various detention centers across the United States. Dick Cheney was accused of a conflict of interest and “at least misdemeanor assaults” on detainees, but only through his ownership interest. The former attorney general, however, was accused of using his position during his tenure to block investigations into abuses at detention centers located in south Texas. Five other government officials: Gilbert Lozano, Gustavo Garza, Mervyn Mosbacker, Jr., Janet Leal, and Migdalia Lopez, were charged with “abuse of official capacity” and “official oppression.” GEO Group, Inc., another corrections corporation, was charged with murder and manslaughter, and Texas Senator Edie Lucio, Jr. was charged with the “acceptance of honorarium.” The reason for Judge Banales dismissing this particular indictment was it failed to address whether Lucio knew he was only being hired by private prison companies as a consultant because he was a state senator.
After the proceedings, D.A. Guerra claimed the judge was creating technicalities where none existed. Regardless of the opinions of those who say he is taking the case too personally, Juan Angel Guerra promised to persist in his struggle to bring justice to the American prison system. D.A. Guerra had dedicated a great deal of time on the investigations, which he called Operation Goliath, working in off hours and behind closed doors with few trusted aids.
He also spent monies out of his personal finances. The D.A.’s home is now being foreclosed. “I had to finance Operation Goliath because no one else wanted to,” Guerra told the Valley Morning Star. “My point was to stop the killing at any cost. At whatever cost to me, I was going to stop the killing.”
Some people in Willacy County think the District Attorney’s sanity has taken a hit. Senator Lucio’s attorney called Guerra a “one-man circus.”
While defense attorneys referred to District Attorney Guerra’s work as “bizarre,” Guerra could have at least been correct regarding his assertion of the indictments being dismissed due to technicalities. American Law Daily reported one of the reasons given by Judge Banales was that on the day the indictments were handed up, two alternates were part of the 10-member grand jury. Those alternates not been properly substituted.
The judge also found it inappropriate and unlawful for Guerra to present those cases to the grand jury in which he was the alleged victim, witness and also prosecutor. In general, Judge Banales said he found no probable cause to support the indictments.
Since the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to the present date, the U.S. Treasury Department [henceforth known as “Treasury”] has used its authority under the Act to provide 87 banks with $165 billion in exchange for preferred stock and warrants. Treasury further used its authority to provide AIG with $40 billion in exchange for preferred stock and warrants, and to provide Citigroup with a further $20 billion in preferred stock and warrants. As part of a program to guarantee approximately $306 billion in Citigroup’s troubled assets, Treasury receives $4 billion of Citigroup preferred stock and warrants. Together, these disbursements constitute approximately $1,900 per American family, or almost 3% of the typical family’s pre-tax income.
The following are excerpts from the first report of the Congressional Oversight Panel:
“We are here to investigate, to analyze and to review the expenditure of taxpayer funds. But most importantly, we are here to ask the questions that we believe all Americans have a right to ask: who got the money, what have they done with it, how has it helped the country, and how has it helped ordinary people?
[The panel presented ten questions, which have been abbreviated as follows:]
1. What is Treasury’s Strategy? What does Treasury think the central causes of the financial crisis are and how does its overall strategy for using its authority and taxpayer funds address those causes?
2. Is the strategy working to Stabilize Markets? What specific metrics can Treasury cite to show the effects of the $250B spent thus far on the financial markets, on credit availability, or mostimportantly, on the economy?
3. Is the strategy helping to reduce foreclosures? What steps have Treasury taken to reduce foreclosures and have those steps been effective?
4. What have financial institutions done with the taxpayers’ money received so far?
5. Is the public receiving a fair deal? What is the value of the preferred stock Treasury has received in exchange for cash infusions to financial institutions?
6. What is Treasury doing to help the American family? Does Treasury believe American families need to borrow more money? Have Treasury’s actions preserved access to consumer credit, including student loans and auto loans at reasonable rates?
7. Is Treasury imposing reforms on financial institutions that are taking taxpayer money? Congress has told the auto industry to reform its current practices before it could be considered for taxpayer aid and the British are requiring reforms on their banks as a precondition for capital infusions. Has Treasury required banks receiving aid to:
Present a viable business plan;
Replace failed executives and/or directors;
Undertake internal reforms to prevent future crises, to increase
oversight, and to ensure better accounting and transparency;
Undertake any other operational reforms?
8. How is Treasury deciding which institutions receive the money? What factors is Treasury using to determine which institutions receive equity infusions, purchase of portfolio assets, or insurance of portfolio assets? Is Treasury seeking to use TARP money to shape the future of the American financial system, and if so, how?
9. What is the scope of Treasury’s statutory authority? What is Treasury’s understanding of the statutory limits on its use of funds? How does Treasury justify its decisions under the Act in relation to its view of these limits? How is Treasury carrying out its statutory
mandate regarding credit insurance?
10. Is Treasury looking ahead? What are the likely challenges the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act will face in the weeks and months ahead? Can Treasury offer some assurance that it has worked out contingency plans if the economy suffers further disruptions?
The above questions, in greater detail, formed the heart of the report, which was issued two weeks after the Oversight Panel’s first meeting. The report did not attempt to answer the questions Congress and the American people have about the use of the powers granted to Treasury under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Rather, it sought to pose those questions clearly in the context of the events that have occurred since the adoption of the Act in October. It was the intent of the authors to set the agenda for our future work and to advise the Congress as to the issues that it will need to address in the next Administration.
-This report was compiled by Aisha Spencer
Islamic Post announcement:
Congratulations are in order for Husain Abdul Azim, now a police officer for the State of Texas. The result of his diligence, resolve, and hard work, Husain completed his studies and training in May with honors, and was officially sworn in at a special ceremony in October during which he received his officer’s badge. He was also pleasantly surprised to have been selected to receive the award of “Best All Around” cadet from among all in attendance at the police academy. Husain, son of Abu Bakr Abdul Azim, and Lailah Abdur Rashid, commented that the regimen of the Texas State Police training was rigorous, taxing him both mentally and physically, as he and his fellow cadets were prepared to serve the citizens of their state in a very important capacity. His mother, Lailah, remarked that she was very happy for her son because he put his trust in Allah, had patience, and put much hard work into this. “He knew that if Allah willed this for him, it would happen. I make du’a to Allah, the Most High, that He will keep him safe.”
On December 15, 2008 Specialist April Gallop, a former administrative specialist for the United States Army with top secret clearance, filed suit in a New York district court against former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney, and unknown culpable parties. In the first lawsuit of its kind, a 9/11 survivor and Pentagon official is seeking damages for injuries sustained on the fatal day of the terrorist attacks for herself and her son, who was 2 months old at the time. California attorney William Veale, a member of Lawyers For 9- 11 Truth, represents Spc. Gallop in the demand-for-trial document which, in general, laments the thousands of American lives lost on 9/11. In particular, it seeks answers for the 125 killed at the most secure building in the United States and headquarters for the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, almost one hour after the initial plane struck the Twin Towers in Manhattan. The majority of the complaint rests with the allegation that “no alarms, no hints, no warnings, nothing” indicated that Pentagon officials should evacuate the building or take any precautions for their safety.
The lawsuit also alleges there to have been a widespread conspiracy that allowed 9/11 to happen in the first place, and that the real terrorists in the case were government and military officials. The main purpose of the lawsuit is to force telling documents to be submitted to public record. “With a lawsuit and with legal action you can get those documents (by subpoena) and then you can put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Spc. Gallop told Alex Jones of Info wars in an interview.
The following account from Gallop, a first hand witness at the scene, is compiled from the actual text of the lawsuit:
April Gallop’s desk was roughly 40 feet from the point where the plane allegedly hit the outside wall. As she sat down to work, just when she turned on her computer, a huge explosion occurred, and at least one more that she heard and felt. There was an explosion and then another. Walls collapsed and the ceiling fell in. April Gallop and her baby both suffered substantial head and brain injuries, which seriously affect them still today. She alleges to have been directed by her supervisor to rush and begin work, as soon as she arrived that day, without dropping her baby off at child care until she was finished. Hit in the head, she was able to grab the baby and make her way, along with other survivors caught in the area, towards the daylight showing through a blasted opening in the outside wall.
According to her account, there was no airplane wreckage and no burning airplane fuel anywhere; only rubble and dust. A number of those present inside the building and out have attested to this fact in published reports.
April Gallop asserts that injuries to herself and her son (and the injuries and innocent deaths of other civilian and military officials at the Pentagon that day) could have been avoided had an alarm been sounded. However, despite the undoubted knowledge of the defendant commanders and operators in the system that an unknown aircraft was headed towards Washington, possibly as part of the apparent terrorist suicide attack begun earlier in New York — and in spite of well-established Pentagon emergency evacuation procedures and training — there was no alarm. The lawsuit questions why, when an unauthorized non-military plane was headed towards the Pentagon on a day when two apparently hijacked planes had hit the Twin Towers, wasn’t she evacuated with her baby? Why weren’t alarms going off and all the people in the building rushing to safety? Due to the conspiracy and defendants’ actions and flagrant failures to act, in furtherance of it, one hundred and twenty-five members of the Military and civilian employees died in the bombing. Many more, including Spc. Gallop and her child, were seriously hurt.
April Gallop insists that the deaths and injuries were needless as the government and military were well-aware of the threat of Al Qaeda. At the time the Clinton Administration was succeeded by that of George W. Bush and defendant Dick Cheney, an extensive, complex U.S. counter-terrorism effort against Al Qaeda was in progress, involving personnel and resources from a number of government agencies in January 2001. This included the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the U.S. Military, and others, requiring coordination between these agencies at the highest levels. The Chief of Counterterrorism under President Clinton, Richard Clarke, was retained by Bush, but later strongly criticized the Bush Administration for ignoring the Al Qaeda threat, allowing the effort begun under Clinton to lapse, to the point where he felt constrained to apologize to the families of those who died, for the failure he said led directly to the devastation of September 11th.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of the allegations set forth by Spc. Gallop., some of which mentioned testimony from the 9/11 Commissions, which the lawsuit claims were not followed up on, as well as various technical expert opinions used to cast serious doubt upon the 9/11 official story. “We’ve got the law on our side,” said Gallop’s attorney, Mr. Veale, to Stephen C. Webster of RawStory.com, where the complete text of the lawsuit can be found.
By Abu Rashid Qadri
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Iranian traditional chants in the streets of “Death to America and Death to Israel,” following the Friday (Jumma) congregational prayer in Tehran University, did not mirror the sermon that was delivered behind the mosque walls. Who would have thought that words of optimism would come from the mouth of the University’s imam, Ayatollah Mohammed Emami Kashani. Reports said he actually celebrated the election of Barack Obama and the defeat of the Republican Party. He said it would change history and perhaps America’s policy towards Iran. Ali Larijani, Iran’s former nuclear negotiator and now the speaker of the Majlis, or parliament, listened attentively to the address.
Despite all the opposition to Iran, its hatred of Israel and its insistence of continuing its nuclear program, the President-Elect took an unpopular stance and announced he would sit with and negotiate, without pre-conditions, with those seen as a threat to world peace. Barack Hussein Obama will be confronted by conservatives in particular who have taken a hard line stance, citing security issues and serious disagreements with Iranian politics and military policies.
Most know that Iranian society is saturated with skepticism from the religious leaders and other factions. Nevertheless, If there is one unifying theme among Iranians, it is this: It’s up to Obama to make the first move.
“The ball’s in your court now,” said Kazem Jalali, an independent member of parliament who serves as a spokesman on national security matters. President Ahmadinejad took the unusual step of congratulating Obama on his election, Jalali pointed out.
Obama’s response: “We will need to decline comment, as there is one president at a time and we intend to respect that,” said the transition’s chief national-security spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson. A recent study by The Brookings Institution, a centrist research center in Washington, recommended that Obama shift the focal point of U.S. Middle East policy from Iraq to Iran and open direct talks without preconditions.
The United States, along with Israel, consider Shiite Iran one of its primary security challenges. Washington accuses Iran of funding militias in Iraq and sponsoring terrorist groups from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip. However, Iran asserts the little known fact that, after quietly helping the United States in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, they were stung when President George W. Bush named their country part of an “axis of evil.” Yet if Obama follows up with an outreach to Iran, it could prove just as frightening to Iran’s leadership as Bush’s hostility. Anti-Americanism is an unchanging cornerstone of public rhetoric there.
Obama is “more dangerous for Tehran, especially for the radicals,” or conservatives, said Saeed Laylaz, a reform-minded economist who is close to former President Mohammad Khatami, and who is considered to be a moderate. Laylaz said that Bush’s aggressive posture boosted the position of Ahmadinejad, who is otherwise unpopular in many sectors of Iranian society. Because of the President-Elect’s rhetoric of peace, “I think Obama will be a bigger threat,” he said.
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, World | Tags: Bosnia, Holbrooke, ICTY, Karadzic, Kosovo
By Mubeen Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz expressed his confidence over a conviction for accused war criminal, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, who is being prosecuted at the International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia (ICTY). When asked about the possibility of immunity due to an alleged deal made with a representative of the United Nations’ Security Council, the chief prosecutor told the Russian news service, Blic, “That issue is irrelevant as far as my office is concerned. At the same time, there is no evidence of the existence of this agreement.”
Others remain divided as to whether the ICTY should pursue a submission to the court, in which the Bosnian Serb leader –who had been in hiding for over a decade– claims he was granted immunity from being tried. Dr. Karadzic is being accused at the ICTY of having played a major role in the mass murder of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, and is also being held responsible for a 44 month siege, on Sarajevo that left 10,000 dead.
Radovan Karadzic, who holds a psychology doctorate, was apprehended last summer in Belgrade where he had been practicing what is known as quantum energy healing. While in hiding Dr. Karadzic allegedly received financial support from organized crime boss, Zeljko Radovanovic, who was arrested last December for drug related activities. A year ago Belgrade police found other members of the mafia group to have 46.7 kilos of heroine, 4.2 kilos of cocaine and EUR 200,000 in their possession, claiming it was meant for assisting Radovan Karadzic while he was underground.
While the necessity of such an agreement could be construed, in itself, as an admission of guilt on the part of Radovan Karadzic, the allegation is mainly seen as a diversion away from the focus of the trial and, as such, therefore considered by some to be inadmissible. “None of the factual allegations made in the submission, even if proved, could provide a basis for a legal remedy,” prosecutors in the case told the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR).
While the allegation of offered immunity in and of itself could be seen to admit a certain amount of guilt on Dr. Karadzic’s part, delays would more than likely be the result, which could prove embarrassing to the ICTY. The former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, who was also being tried for war crimes, died in 2006 of heart failure before the case concluded. It took two years to gather evidence for his case.
In what is seen by some as a ploy to delay the trial, the Bosnian Serb nationalist claimed, in an official submission to the pre-trial chamber, that agreements made by then United States ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, “endanger the very essence of the proceedings and rule out the possibility of their lawful conduct.”
Dr. Karadzic said the deal, allegedly made in 1996, stipulated that he “must withdraw not only from public, but also from party offices, and completely disappear from the public arena… [To] become invisible long enough for the Dayton Agreement to be implemented in full.” In exchange, Karadzic was to be granted immunity from arrest and subsequent prosecution at The Hague.
Dr. Karadzic has therefore been demanding an investigation into the legality of his detainment, as well as the tribunal proceedings themselves.
Former Bosnian ambassador to the United Nations, Mohamed Sacirbey, who actively pursued the case for genocide against the Serbs during the 1990s, and still supports the trials, confirmed Karadzic’s claim this past August. However, Mr. Sacirbey had pointed out some ten years ago that he had received the same information about a deal between Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Holbrooke from Robert Frowick, head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) diplomatic mission, in Bosnia, in 1996.
John Jones, a Hague tribunal defense lawyer, told the IWPR that an investigation of the claims would be “important for the historical record. But unless it emerges that the tribunal was somehow a party to the deal, they should dispose of it, and make clear that no-one but the tribunal has any business promising immunity to anyone.”
Apparently the ICTY agreed when it ruled, last month, that any such immunity deal “would be invalid under international law.” This is in spite of the fact that the Security Council, from which Mr. Holbrooke’s promise allegedly stemmed, is the U.N. body which established the ICTY in 1991, to try breaches of the Geneva Convention committed within the borders of what used to be Yugoslavia.
Mr. Holbrooke, in an interview with Dr. Spiegel, said, “I believe it was a big mistake not to arrest him right after Dayton when everyone knew where he was.”
When asked about the allegations, Richard Holbrooke replied, “Those are lies that I do not comment on any longer.”
“He is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. I think he was worse than even Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Mladic in the sense that he was the true believer in the racist theories. He believed in racial superiority even though Muslims and Serbs were really basically the same ethnicity,” Mr. Holbrooke told Dr. Spiegel.
Filed under: Business/Economy, January Volume I- 2009, World | Tags: Islamic Finance
Positive Economic Benefit May Outweigh Opinions of Opponents
By Raheemah Atif
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Western financial analysts are leaving no stone unturned in the quest for a cure for their potentially terminal banking/investment leviathan, including close examination of the Islamic system of finance. ArabNews reported that representatives of the U.S. Treasury Department, along with a goodwill ambassador, attended a press conference late last year, where they expressed keen interest of the United States to learn how Muslims operate banking and financial commerce within the confines of Sharia, the Islamic legal codes. American economists are admitting that there are salient features of Islamic finance structures that are indeed worthy of inclusion within a new cache of concepts with which to build a less vulnerable financial system for western capitalists, and their international financial associates.
Robert M. Kimmitt, U.S. Deputy Treasury Department Secretary and U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker met in an official capacity with finance officers, various investors and bankers, in preparation for the G-20 summit, which includes member nations Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey. Kimmitt noted at that time, “Islamic banking…is a subject that is often dwelt in the public and private sectors.”
American stock-trading firms, such as Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, are offering Shariah-compliant investments in U.S ventures like Western Digital, Southwest Electric, and Apple Computer; so are investment companies like Azzad Ethical Midcap Fund, and Amana Mutual Funds Trust. And Visa International, the largest payment solutions company in the world, is offering Muslim customers of Al Hilal Islamic Bank an array of Shariah-compliant credit and debit products in a new partnership with Al-Hilal.
Not all Americans, however, understand the benefit that Islamic financial strategies could bring to western finance – as voiced on Foxnews.com, by critic Frank Gaffney, who mistakenly equates gleaning some viable economic ideas with the influence of Islam in the American way of life.
Nevertheless, Fox News pointed out that, whatever the case may be, the government of the United States is interested in the Islamic commercial and financial structure.
An “Islamic Finance: 101” course was held in Washington, D.C., in early November to enlighten government officials regarding the rudiments of Islam’s financial system. The no-interest finance method, with its additional moral investment parameters, boasts worldwide participants and products –as witnessed by Nicholas Kaiser of the Amana Mutual Funds Trust of Washington state. Mr. Kaiser’s financial products reportedly meet Shariah requirements. “Our shareholders are American,” claims Kaiser. We don’t take money from non-Americans because of money-laundering laws. We check and screen and verify every shareholder,” he remarked. Mr. Kaiser, who disagrees with Mr. Gaffney’s assertion of a threat to the American way of life, continued: “We simply take people’s money, invest it and give it back to them when they want it. We don’t try and convert the country. We don’t have any religious position. We aren’t evangelical. We aren’t zealots. We’re money managers.” “I happen to be Episcopalian,” he added.
Finance experts estimate the Islamic banking industry is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world economy – a small percentage of the total global commerce, but possessing great potential with growth of more than 30% in 2007.
By Muhammad Hasib
Islamic Post Staff Writer
African Union head, Jean Ping, has expressed his opposition to African Union peacekeepers being withdrawn from what is widely seen as an uncontrollable Somalia. Ping emphasized that this was “something unacceptable.”
At a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, Ping was optimistic that the AU could find time from its strained schedule to address and avoid the seemingly unpopular suggestion that the 3,400 Burundian and Ugandan peacekeepers would be leaving the country this month.
African Union members and numerous governments worldwide did not expect the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s statement to parliament, which cited the desire of both countries to quickly withdraw their troops.
According to Ping, the African Union was focusing on making serious diplomatic efforts to increase forces so as to offset the planned pullout of Ethiopian forces this month. “We have asked the African countries to increase their participation in Somalia, asked the UNSC (UN Security Council) to join us there, and to the AU partners to help us financing this force… A withdrawal from Somalia is something we cannot accept, not only the AU, but also the rest of the world,” he said. The withdrawal this month will leave the ill-equipped and under-staffed peacekeeping force on its own to face a growing opposition from rebel forces.
Ping remarked that certain conditions must be met before a withdrawal because of the absence of a political agreement between Somalia’s warring factions, and the continued absence of reinforcements for the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM)peacekeeping force. The force was to originally have a full operational strength of 8,000.
Ethiopia has said it is prepared to delay its pullout by a “few days” in January so as not to expose the AU forces to an onslaught by the Shebab –the insurgents who control large parts of Somalia and have been closing in on Mogadishu. The AU has meanwhile been scrambling to avoid a “security vacuum” in Somalia, which has been without a well-functioning government since 1991. Ping has called on the UN Security Council to authorize the deployment of UN forces instead.
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
A report issued last month lamented continued injuries caused by landmines that remain in the countryside of Bosnia. Since the Daytona Agreement signaled the end of the Yugoslav Wars in Bosnia in 1995, four hundred eighty-seven people have lost their lives to the explosives, which are benign until triggered by outside pressure.
Be that as it may, since the complete cessation of the wars in the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, some of the foreign soldiers remained and have been attempting to bury landmines of their own. The outsiders, who came to the Balkan region during the war, promote explosive ideologies and infiltrate the local population with what most Bosnians consider unorthodox ideas and practices. Some of these outsiders fought alongside the Bosnian soldiers in war time, although critics say they were not part of any decisive victories.
Whether real or symbolic, landmines are rooted into the soil by enemy forces. These extremist elements have sought to take root in Bosnian society in the form of funding from countries where the official clergy belong to the Wahhabi, or Salafi, sectarian group. The money has allegedly been filtered through charities operating in the region with the express purpose of helping ‘repair or rebuild,’ the ancient mosques built by the Ottoman Empire that were destroyed during the wars.
The donations are accompanied by Saudi translations of the Holy Qur’an –which are known to contain spurious commentary and mistranslated text. The refurbished place of worship must then distribute these to the masses. Mosques whose courtyards contain centuries-old graveyards and tombs do not qualify and, in these cases, the demolition began by the Serbian army is sometimes carried a stage further, with the destruction of these historical relics. The acceptance of such funds could create conditions that bury their way into society for the destruction of traditional life in Bosnia. The structures which are rebuilt, are stark bare, and uninviting. Oddly enough, according to author and Balkan historian, Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, “It was characteristic that the greater part of Saudi aid was spent on Wahhabi propagators and mosque-building, as opposed to broader humanitarian needs.”
At times the aid was rejected. While Mr. Schwartz states that Kosovo, like Bosnia-Herzegovina, was deluged with Saudi-funded Wahhabi propaganda and preachers, as soon as the 1999 intervention ended, the historian also quoted Kosovo grand mufti Rexhep Boja as saying: “There are people who come here and want to tell us how we ought to do things. We have been Muslims for more than 600 years and we do not need to be told what Islam is. We have our own history and tradition here, our own Islamic culture and architecture. We would like to rebuild our community and to rebuild our mosques, but we want to do it our way.”
The landmines of yesterday have remained, in a different form, than the landmines of today. “The Serbs killed us physically, but these fanatics want to kill our cultural heritage,” Gazmend Naka, an expert with the Institution for Protection of Kosova, told Mr. Schwartz in 2000.
Stephen Schwartz is the director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D.C., and an avid critic of Wahhabism, the misguided sect originally started by British intelligence to subvert the Ottoman empire. It is Wahhabi-type factions that many traditional Muslims living in the Balkan region have come to resent, some say more than the Christian extremist Serbian aggressors who “ethnically cleansed” thousands of Muslims during the wars.
It is perhaps because Balkan Muslims view the outsiders as undermining their own culture, that Wahhabism is unable to find favor with the people. A 2006 survey conducted by a polling agency in Sarajevo, Prizma, reported 69% of Bosnian Muslims oppose Wahhabism, while 13% support the sect, and only 3% follow it. The cultural undermining never-the-less, gives way to the rubble of desecrated Muslim graveyards and tombs of heroes which were attached to area mosques upon construction.
Wahhabis regard tombstones as a form of idol-worship and according to Mr. Schwartz, were less interested in rebuilding mosques that had tombstones in their yards, a common feature of the traditional Balkan mosque. In the city of Peja, in Albania, angry residents chased out of town, the fanatics who had gone about smashing the gravestones which had stood for three centuries, with beautiful floral motifs and Qur’anic calligraphy, in the courtyard of the Defterdar mosque. Mr. Schwartz cites aid groups with Wahhabi backing as having “promised residents of the Kosovo town of Vushtrri that they would build them new mosques that would be bigger, better, and ‘more Islamic’—provided they first demolished the Ottoman-era gravestones of their Muslim Albanian ancestors. The Saudis seemed intent on completing the cultural vandalism the Serbs had initiated, this time in the name of Islam.” Herein lies the benign booby trap of rebuilding –more explosives of destruction.
It remains ironic that in the name of the most benevolent religion, which teaches Muslims to prefer the wants of others even above their own desires, the impoverished and traumatized survivors of the Yugoslav Wars were hardly given any money to rebuild infrastructure, businesses and homes. Instead, “Mosque Wars,” as they are known in the area, have ensued at the hands of a few fanatics creating cultural upheavals. These injuries remain to break down the fabric of society. In another irony, the local government officials lack funds to remove the physical landmines which, for 1,178 victims living in the terrain, have caused a loss of limb or sight, while money is being funded for another kind of destruction.
The physical landmines that remain from the Yugoslav Wars stand as a symbol of destructive elements within the society and as a reminder of the Trojan horse that came from well wishers bearing gifts.
The minister for minorities and human rights in the Serbian government, Rasim Ljajic, told reporters in Belgrade in 2007: “Wahhabism can be neutralized not through repressive measures, but through the good organization of the Islamic community that will reject such an interpretation of Al Islam.” The local Islamic clergymen maintain a mild stance: Education is preferable to condemnation. This includes a solid education in Islam, especially for the youth who, out of a rebellious nature, may incline towards destructive elements in society.
Eliminating the threat of landmines “is not the impossible task we once thought it would be,” said Sylvie Brigot, executive director of the Geneva-based International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, World | Tags: Afghanistan, Drug Trafficking
By Safiya A. Khafidh
Islamic Post Staff Writer
“Killing of civilians under any name or reason is unforgivable,” said President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan late last month. “Winning people’s support is the key to defeating terrorism in Afghanistan,” he said. President Karzai recently made a last minute decision to join nearly 100 countries in signing the historic international treaty banning cluster bombs in Norway. According to the Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC), during the period of 2001-2002, 1,228 cluster bombs, containing 248,056 bomblets, were dropped on Afghanistan.
Mr. Karzai hearkened to the pleas of human rights organizations and cluster bomb victims, particularly 17 year old Soraj Ghulam Habib of Heart, Afghanistan, who had lost both legs at the age of ten due to a cluster remnant. The Afghan ambassador to Norway, Jawed Ludin, met with Habib at the 2-day Oslo conference. “I explained to the ambassador my situation and that the people of Afghanistan wanted a ban,” said Habib. Mr. Ludin said his country’s reversal was due to a provision in the treaty allowing signatory nations to engage militarily with non-signatory nations. Many nations refused to sign.
The treaty, entitled “The Convention on Cluster Munitions,” hailed by the CMC as the “most significant and humanitarian treaty of the decade,” prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions, as well as holding states accountable for assisting victims and clearing contaminated land. “What we’ve adopted today is going to create profound change,” said Norway’s foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere. “If you use or stockpile cluster weapons today, you will be breaking a new international norm.” The treaty must be ratified by 30 countries.
For over 40 years cluster bombs have terrorized, killed, and injured countless civilians. Handicap International says 98% of the victims of cluster bombs are civilians, of which 27% are children. Initially developed by the US, Russia and Italy, the bombs were first used in World War II by the Germans and Soviets. They have found their rightful place in the company of some of the most horrific, horrendous mechanisms of murder and torture ever conceived by mankind.
There are many different kinds of cluster bombs, but all are composed of large canisters containing small bomblets. The cluster bomb unit 26 holds 670 tennis ball sized fragments, each of which contains 300 metal fragments. When they strike flesh, pressure waves flutter through the body causing damage to soft tissues and organs throughout. Eyewitnesses have related seeing people literally nailed to the ground after being attacked by the WDU-4, which contained over 6,000 barbed metal darts that are released in the air upon detonation. However, many cluster bombs fail to detonate upon landing and can lie dormant for years until disturbed. The bombs are designed in bright colors, attractive to children who may mistake the bomblets for toys. “You cannot describe their sickly consequences,” said one survivor. “They look like sweets scattered from the sky. You don’t realize what they are until they touch you. You know it when they make you bleed. They massacre people in minutes.”
In recent months President Karzai has publicly criticized the killing and maiming of Afghan civilians, with or without cluster bombs. The Afghan president recently told a visiting U.N. Security Council delegation that the international community should set a date to end the war in Afghanistan. “If there is no deadline, we have the right to find another solution for peace and security,” the Afghani president noted. It is uncertain what outcome any prospective negotiations with the Taliban would bring about. The group reportedly rejected the proposal outright in November, as did U.S. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack.
By Raheemah Atif
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Along with other organizations and peace ministries, Muslims of the Americas and the International Quranic Open University decry the murderous attacks which took place in Mumbai, and petition the governments of India and Pakistan to continue exercising diplomacy and a demeanor of forbearance and dignity in refraining from inflammatory accusations or taking premature or misdirected reprisals, and to remain firm in the pursuit of all facts. The role of the media must also be underscored in its crucial obligation to provide truthful and objective information to the public. In the instance of the Mumbai attacks, inflammatory press reports flared, citing unconfirmed, unproven accounts and statements that could easily be taken as indictments of individuals who have not yet been officially connected to the crimes.
The Islamic Post endeavours instead to present an accurate depiction of the extremism adopted by criminals, highlighting those who adopt and cloak the name of Muslims. It will be emphasized as much as it needs to be in order to clarify beyond any doubt: Islam is a religion, civilization, and culture of peace, justice, understanding and broad-mindedness. Nowhere in Islamic tenets are its adherents, Muslims, taught to bomb, kill and maim innocents to make some obscure political or social point. Although Muslims are allowed to defend themselves, we are a civilization of tolerant peoples, with no need for revolutionaries, rebels or bandits within our midst.
Yet current affairs seem to disagree. It was all too recent that Mumbai, India suffered the shock of bloodshed. Not much time has passed since yet another group of extremists, ignorant of their religion and culture, engaged in three day “battle” with authorities, inside a hundred-year old landmark, built in honor of an Islamic shrine, the Taj Mahal.
Although the purpose of the killing of innocents remains outside the grasp of understanding of truly religious peoples, one thing was clearly achieved: Besides launching the families of the victims into unending grief and every day Muslims behind a bulls-eye of blame, the peace talks between India and Pakistan were also disrupted.
More than sixty representatives and officials of Indian and Pakistani organizations and peace ministries came to the same conclusion in a joint statement released to the press on December 2. While expressing horror and shock at the maniacal violence and bloodshed, along with sincere condolences to the families, the coalition wondered at the timing of the attacks as more than simple coincidence. The massacre occurred just as the home secretaries of Pakistan and India concluded very productive peace talks, which included inroads to ease trade and travel restrictions as well as positive dialog on other important issues. But the fatal hand struck. “The enemies of peace and friendship between (our) two countries, whatever be the label under which they operate, are unnerved by these healthy developments and are hell bent on torpedoing them,” the statement declared. In short, the Mumbai violence superimposed the ugliness of criminal acts upon an international landscape colored with new intentions for peace.
But peace is not a consideration for those who employ terror to ‘shake up the consciousness’ of others. It is a faulty argument, indeed, and found nowhere in Islam. It is the duty of Muslims worldwide to make this fact well known.
One person who does this consistently is Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, the prominent Muslim historian on Wahhabism, author of Two Faces of Islam and founder of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D.C. Mr. Schwartz, a Muslim convert with both Christian and Jewish ancestry, has written extensively on the origins of Wahhabis and their goals to “reform” a peaceful religion into an intolerant one, the pursuit of which has resulted in the murder and oppression of hundreds of thousands of mainstream Muslims, true scholars, and descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, who are the guides of this ummah –or worldwide Islamic community, peace be upon them. A quote from Mr. Schwartz in a Middle East Forum briefing called “Saudi Arabia and the Rise of the Wahhabi Threat,” published in February 2003, reads:
“Contrary to prevalent Western beliefs, Wahhabism is not an old Islamic tradition and the House of Saud does not enjoy a credible historic claim to rule over Arabia. Indeed, Wahhabism emerged only 250 years ago under the guidance of an obscure fanatic known as Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab who later formed an alliance with a group of desert bandits, the Sauds. From the time they established their covenant to the creation of the modern Saudi state, the Saudi-Wahhabi movement spread across the peninsula brutally defeating and enslaving non-Wahhabi elements. [...]
“The theological and political pact between the Saud clan and the Wahhabists resulted in the fall of Mecca [out of Ottoman rule] for the second and last time in 1924, solidifying their grip on power. After the conquest of Mecca, the vast oil wealth of the kingdom would be used to export a radical Wahhabist ideology across the globe.”
Clearly the aims of this ideology do not cease with the murder of Muslims. These extremists, as with all fanatics, are mere pawns in a Satanic plot. The objective in this case is to create between the adherents to truly pluralistic and strongly religious populations, particularly between Muslims and Christians, which have much in common, and hold the largest religious populations in the world. .
People who have been misled by Wahhabist indoctrination should reflect on what Ibn Abbas, the honorable cousin of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and his family), said regarding that which is found in Surah Maidah in Holy Qur’an regarding murder: “Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden killing, is just like he who kills all mankind.”
Filed under: Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009, National | Tags: Peace, Religious Discrimination
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Hostility is from ignorance; we can do so much to change it.
Linda Valentine, an American of African descent, was found in contempt of court when she refused to abandon the khimar, the Islamic headscarf worn by Muslim ladies. Her December arrest and jailing came after entering a Georgian courthouse, for the traffic violation of a family member. The incident brought national outrage to the surface and justified lamentations of civil libertarians in these, our United States.
The Douglasville Police Department and also the judge who sentenced Mrs. Valentine to 10 days in jail are scheduled to undergo “sensitivity and cultural diversity training.” “We never want this to happen again,” said Police Chief Joe Whisenant, at a news conference. “It’s not our intent to embarrass anybody.” Nevertheless, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) continues to denounce the incident, citing at least three other cases, including one in which another Muslim woman was asked to remove her their headscarf at the same county courthouse. The group insists the judge’s actions have “violated the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct, Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to freedom of religion and equal protection under the law.”
Incidents of this nature are not restricted to Georgia. In 2005, a Ph.D. candidate named Jameelah Medina, also an American Muslim was arrested in Los Angeles county for having an invalid train pass; charges were later dismissed. She is now suing the county, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, with the aim of waiving the normal detainment procedure of removing headgear (waived for Muslim ladies).
Muslims should continue to resort to legal measures when their rights are violated.
Although many profile people who have Islamic names or dress and perceive them as threatening, to retaliate with the use of expletives such as verbal, facial or body expressions is unbecoming and counterproductive. At times, the aggressor walks away feeling that such suspicions about Muslims have been confirmed (i.e., they’re full of hatred, have hidden agendas, unpatriotic and uncooperative). In other situations, such behavior has landed covered ladies into more demeaning situations than the original confrontation: confined and stripped of their rights (and clothing).
Before getting ‘verbal’ with a xenophobic person, it may help to remember the example of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over forty years ago: Discrimination was not predicated on something a group of African Americans had actually done wrong.
The prejudiced tendencies are similar to the deeds of those who oppose Muslims living in the United States and other Western countries; however, we all have to live with the violent legacy of minority extremists within our midst as well as abroad. While ignorance and fear fuel the arrogant person to lump all Islamic co-religionists together as ‘us against them,’ still it is up to the Muslims, to diplomatically act upon the understanding that, to some, a khimar, or beard, and long clothes do represent a threat.
Diffusing Prejudice with the practice of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him.)
The situation of American Muslims can also be compared to the companions of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, while living in the holy city of Makkah (Mecca, in Saudi Arabia) 1400 years ago. The racists of that time accused the Muslim converts of being traitors to the dominant culture and religion of the people, of that time: paganism. In a similar manner, after 9/11, the loyalty of American Muslims is being questioned.
Muslims should not allow this situation to weaken their love and loyalty to their country. The life of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) was colored with such unquestionable loyalty and trustworthiness, as to earn him the title Al-Amin, the Trustworthy, amongst the non-Muslims who, although refusing to accept Islam right away, regularly deposited their money with him for safekeeping.
It should not be forgotten that the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, his family and many companions, bore an extreme amount of violent persecution and every imaginable abuse, but never lost hope that the hearts of the people would change. Towards this end, he preached day and night. Ultimately, through the patience, love, honor, confidence, broad-mindedness and compassion of the character of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), coupled with extreme love for humanity and a willingness to teach, many accepted Islam, and many bridges of understanding were built.
Filed under: Education, International, January Volume I- 2009, Uncategorized, World | Tags: Darussalam Publications, Wahhabi
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Do you own the book Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar, Biography of the Noble Prophet –peace be upon him) by Saifur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri? How about a particular edition of Riyad us Saliheen, the famous An Nawawi compilation of holy traditions with commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf? If so, you are hosting texts on your bookshelf by Darussalam Publications which has been known not only to inject false text into the English translations of sayings related from the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and shown utmost disrespect to the Beloved of Allah, but also to have distorted Islamic history –specifically with regards to the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger who are known as Ahli Bait. They demonstrate a complete rejection of the authentic scholars of Islam and even advocate for the killing of pious Muslims, based on scholarly claims proven to be erroneous.
El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, himself a descendant of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), advises the Muslims at large: “Keep away from all of their works, including their books, history, even hadiths –traditional sayings of the Holy Last Messenger, everything. They have distorted things, disrespected and dishonored the Holy Last Messenger and his family (peace be upon them all).”
Darussalam Publications promote themselves as a multilingual international Islamic publishing house based in Riyadh, with outlets on all continents. The publisher claims to present “books free from sectarianism and in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the way of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him).” However, it cannot be imagined how much division is created when the works presented by Darussalam claim the majority of Muslims have abandoned Islam, and that their blood is lawful to shed.
Darussalam Publications uphold distortions of Islam and mistranslate the holy traditions. The resulting works are used to accuse the community of polytheism. In one such instance, it is found that the publishers mistranslated a hadith wherein a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, narrated to the Beloved of Allah his experience setting up a tent in a place not knowing there was a grave underneath, and hearing Surah Mulk from Holy Qur’an being recited from it. The Darussalam translators instead write that it is the visitor who recited Surah Mulk. This was done presumably because to acknowledge pious people to be alive in their graves contradicts the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi (or some say Salafi) movement in 1713. The publishing house’s website refers to Ibn Abdul Wahhab “Imam,” or leader. According to Ibn Abdul Wahhab, who is believed by historians to have been in collusion with a British spy known only as Hempher, declared that Muslims who visit the graves of the pious people with the intention of gaining benefit from them, have abandoned monotheism and deserve death. It was on this premise that thousands of Muslims were massacred in the Najd uprisings against the Ottoman Empire, which established the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The works of Abdullah bin ‘Abdul- ‘Azeez bin Baz, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1992-1999, also confirm the teachings of his imam, Ibn Abdul Wahhab, in his various books and in erroneous commentary on the books of others, many of which are widely distributed by Darussalam. In just one example, Bin Baz slanders a companion of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), Bilal ibn al-Harth in his remarks on the text Fath al-Bari. Bin Baz claims the visit of Bilal ibn al-Harth to the grave of the Mercy to all of the Worlds, Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his asking the Almighty for the sake of the Holy Last Messenger to bestow rain was “aberrant” and “an avenue to polytheism.”
By these things, the publishing house misleads the Muslims with interpolations. However, similar aims are equally achieved by their omissions. While volumes upon volumes have been written by authentic scholars on Islamic history, Darussalam works and books –comparatively short texts– intentionally delete the history of the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and upon his family). This effort to negate the contributions and legacy of the Ahli Bait is in direct rejection of the well-established tradition passed down from the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, which commands the Muslims to cling to his family and descendents after him, peace be upon them.* For example we find in one text called Commanders of the Muslim Army, by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, chapters are dedicated to different personages, yet no mention is made of the greatest commander and cousin of the Holy Last Messenger, Ali ibn Abi Talib, nor of his son, the king of martyrs, Hussein ibn Ali. This could be due to the fact that Wahhabis and Salafis, who produce the majority of the works at Darussalam, bear allegiance to the Umayyad clan.
The Umayyads during the time of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), swore vengeance upon the family of the Beloved of Allah for the Meccan pagan chiefs who were killed during the first battle of Islam, the Battle of Badr, in which the fledgling Muslim state in Madinah defended themselves against the torture and aggression of the Umayyads. Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Lion of Allah, killed 70 of those chiefs. The Umayyads, via Yazid son of Muawiyah son of Abu Sufyan, the main enemy of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his family), carried out a most bloody and brutal massacre in which Hussein the son of Ali, and the majority of the descendents of the Holy Last Messenger, were martyred. Needless to say, although Imam Hussein continued to fight valiantly, even after suffering extreme hunger, thirst, and witnessing atrocities against his beloved children, his blessed name is not included in Commanders of the Muslim Army.
It seems being free from sectarianism demands the murder of all those who do not agree with the Umayyad, or Wahhabi, philosophy.
Muslims are hereby warned to guard their imaan –the faith foundation which allows the upholding of true Islamic principles—by rejecting all works published and products sold by Darussalam Publications. Thereby, Muslims can hope to not only safeguard themselves and their families from false ideologies, but also take a firm stand against the divisive spread of such teachings in the Muslim community at large. Muslims should be aware that every cent which goes into the coffers of this Saudi-based publishing group is used to distort Islam around the world, in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims, for which the entire Muslim world pays.
By Muhammad Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Rights activists are angered by President-Elect Barack Obama’s choice of Dr. Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, in California, to deliver the formal invocation at his inauguration. Reverend Warren discourages his congregation from straying from Biblical teachings.
While the reverend does not ban homosexuals and adulterers from his congregation, he does preach a moral restraint from desires that are counterproductive to society. Saddleback Church also has a program called, “Celebrate Recovery,” which offers counseling similar to the 12-step format that the addiction recovery program, ‘Alcoholics Anonymous‘, uses. ‘Celebrate Recovery’ is for alcoholics and those who struggle with addiction to drugs, but is also geared to helping others “overcome their hurts, habits and hang-ups.” This includes those who are victims, or perpetrators, of abusive behavior, as well as those who have sexual preferences condemned in sacred texts. The recovery program claims to use the “words of Jesus rather than psychological theory” to assist people to “grow toward full Christ-like maturity,” and claims tens of thousands of participants to have benefited from the program.
Pope Benedict XVI has also seen fit to reason with the homosexual community. Last month, in an address to senior Vatican officials he said: “What is often expressed and signified with the word ‘gender’ leads to the human auto-emancipation from creation and from the Creator. The human being wants to make himself on his own and to decide always and exclusively by himself about what concerns him.”
“But, in so doing, the human being lives against the truth and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being – as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom, but is the condition of his freedom – does not deserve it less.”
Muslims believe that by pondering creation, humans can arrive at a conclusion about the Almighty Creator’s plan for mankind. Religious people of all stripes find it amazing that as scientists quote Newton’s third law of chemistry, “For every action, there is a reaction,” few apply the same law to all aspects of their lives. For every good deed, there is recompense; for every sin, likewise, there is repercussion. In a way it can be said, that mankind is punishing itself by its deeds. The evil of amassed sins returns in the form of earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, fires, war, bloodshed, and sweeping pandemics like AIDS. Reverend Warren would not address such grim issues, on such a joyous occasion as the inauguration.
President-Elect Barack Obama defended his selection by reminding the media that everyone in America has a right to differ from the next person and also voice their opinion.
Update: Rev. Warren spoke at Muslim Public Affairs Council in late December, noting his love for Muslims and his desire to work together with the Muslim community to solve some of the moral and medical problems that surround the world today. “If just the two of us could get together to start working on some of these problems, that would be half the world!… We have differences. So what. Does it mean we cannot work with one another? Does it mean we cannot love each other?”
Filed under: Front Page News, January Volume I- 2009, World | Tags: AIDS, HIV
In this special editorial edition of the Islamic Post, editor of Ultimate Fraud of Freudists (Zavia Books, 1997), explains how El Gilani Methodology has been used since 1976 to cure patients with ‘incurable’ diseases, adn is available to permanently cure the innocent victims of HIV/AIDS.
By Lorna Swaine-Abdallah
Islamic Post Staff Writer, IQOU Editor (Ultimate Fraud of Freudists)
While World AIDS Day was marked around the globe by somber religious services and boisterous demonstrations, there were also emphatic pleas for more treatment and prevention of AIDS, which has killed 25 million people since the frst case was reported in 1981. There are forty million people estimated to be currently infected with HIV, or what is termed as the Human Immune Defciency Virus that causes AIDS. AIDS, or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a global pandemic which has sped through almost all nations, resisted the best of modern medical science; and gained the hands-down, worldwide consensus of diligent researchers in the feld as being
This scenario has persisted due to an inherent nature of today’s scientific community which tends to discredit alternative venues of treatment, particularly when they are non-traditional to modern western
Through decades of intense scientifc research, Dr. Syed Mubarik Gilani has broken through medical obstacles to declare what were previously thought
to be non-curable diseases such as AIDS, as well as others, to be completely curable. While numerous demonstrators raged, on World AIDS Day, at the lack of success that the general medical community has had in curing the disease, researchers and students of the El Gilani Methodology prepare for the world to reap the benefts of this breakthrough to western science.
Real Cause Defines the Cure.
Medical researchers have abundant knowledge but, unlike Qur’anic scientists, the majority are without hikma, and therefore lack an understanding of the reasons and root causes of events which take place in this world. A cure acts upon the core of the ailment. If the root is unknown, so will be the cure. Without admitting to having missed essential elements of the equation, modern scientists have no choice but to continue to tread the same unscientific path, raising numerous “potential cures,” with none on the horizon of being proven.
Healing Power of Holy Qur’an.
In 1976, for the first time in the history of medical sciences, the healing power of Holy Qur’an was demonstrated in a controlled environment at the Research Institute in Taif. In a statement printed in the Saudi Arabian daily, Al Nadwa (shown below), headlines, translated from the Arabic original, read, “Unprecedented in Medical History! Establishment of the First Institute of Qur’anic Therapy!”
The declaration continued: “Healing through the Holy Qur’an has begun under scientifically controlled conditions for the first time in the world. A complete wing has been established in the Shahar Mental Hospital, Taif, where this type of therapy is being practiced. This project commenced last month under the supervision of a group of qualified doctors, headed by Dr. Osama Radi.
“They heal various conditions through selected verses of the Holy Qur’an. Dr. Mubarik Gilani is the physician who has formulated Qur’anic Therapy… removed successfully all the doubts which were raised by some people about this therapy…” (The full translation of this article is available in the unique, seminal work, Ultimate Fraud of Freudists Exposed, available from Zavia Books, NY.)
In Taif, El Sheikh Gilani healed 39 patients suffering from so called incurable diseases. In 1976-77 this demonstration of the healing powers of Holy Qur’an was witnessed by doctors from California; also, Dr. Dennis Leigh, Hon. Secretary General of the International Psychiatrists’ Association of London, Dr. Ahmad Okasha of Ainush Shams, Dr. Rasheed Chaudry of Pakistan, and 30 other psychiatrists from around the world. They witnessed classical cases for which they had no cure. It is a bitter fact: Western-trained psychiatrists do not know the causes of ailments nor do they have any remedy for them. This explains why there are more mental patients in New York than there are police, and why the entire state of California is an open mental hospital. Like AIDS patients, victims of psychological ailments are labeled incurable, and patients suffering from these incurable diseases were left to die without hope.
We cite one case endorsed in the scientific report of Dr. Munir Jaber, at the Institute of Qur’anic Psychiatry at the Psychiatric Hospital at Taif, S. Arabia. It is of one 27 year old soldier, Ahmad Salmee, who suffered from a peculiar problem; from the moment he closed his eyes, he would see a horrifying snake. He would try to run away from it, but was frightened. Due to this, he did not sleep and was going crazy.
To quote from Quranic Psychiatry by El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Gilani Qadri: “The only remedy the followers of Freud could offer him [Ahmad Salmee], was that the snake represented the reproductive organ, and so he was allowed and encouraged to freely commit adultery. Along with this, he was given electric shock treatment, and tranquilizers for two years. Eventually, they passed on this case to me, hoping I would fail at treating him, which would discredit me and make a quick exit of EGM. (This is the same attitude with which EGM has been met in medical hospitals, as well, even after doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have witnessed first hand the healing power of Holy Qur’an.)
“In EGM, no medication is involved. The patient was put on zikr, (verbal and reflective remembrance of Almighty God), and visualization of the personal name of God Almighty (Allah)for one month. When he could visualize clearly the name of God, while closing his eyes, he was told to project that Name on the snake. When he did this, the snake virtually exploded, and he was healed. The patient was made to seek forgiveness.”
AIDS is also a spiritual malady that has a prescribed cure which is a remedy for the diseased spirit. In the medicine of the Orient, cure of a complaint is sought in elements possessing opposite properties. Likewise, the gist of correction of ailments and disorders which are the result of diseases of the heart relate to the purification of the heart of what has corrupted it. The sin of polytheism, is the greatest disease. Polytheism is the worship of created things other than Almighty Creator (Allah in Arabic). Examples of other sins which bring darkness to the heart are: immorality, perversion and lewdness, dishonesty, greed, jealousy, and hatred. The resultant darkness can be mitigated by the sublime, Holy Light and Grace within the words of the Holy Qur’an, and further reversed and transformed by a person’s purging of those negative qualities and behaviors. The cure uses the Words of the Almighty and is accomplished by the Will of the Most Beneficent Creator.
Method and Means are Available.
At this time, the Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University (IQOU), Dr. Mubarik Shah Gilani is offering the services of the university, direct and free of charge, to Muslims, Christians, and all patients who have become infected with HIV by tainted blood or instruments, or infected parents or spouses. This is an open invitation, extended to all nations of the world, whether in Africa or elsewhere, to partake of the immense Mercy of Almighty God via the healing of innocent patients who have contracted AIDS in a blameless manner (which IQOU scholars indicate as behavior not contradicting that enjoined in the Holy Qur’an, New and Old Testaments.) The IQOU staff would like for it to be known that, while preventable and also curable, AIDS is a curse. A curse is the result of societies harming themselves by their own misdeeds, or by enjoying the evil deeds of others. An immediate halt to both will stop the spread of AIDS as, indeed, abstinence (from error) is the best prevention. Mankind should, in effect, stop harming itself, and turn, as one, back to the Almighty Creator, Who is Loving, Merciful and, Alone, is the Forgiver of Sins. -M.Ahmad & A.Hameed contributed to this editorial.
Filed under: Front Page News, Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009 | Tags: obama
Presidential Appointments: Turning the Corner in American Politics
The appointment of former First Lady
Senator Hillary Clinton as the incoming
U.S. Secretary of State gave a signal that
former rivalries will not be an issue for the
There are further indications that
the unity and change promised during the
campaign may be fulflled. The frst sign
in evidence is mass popular support by the
American people. Three hundred thousand
people have applied for the 8,000 job open-
ings under the Obama administration, and
it seems the president-elect will appreciate
the fresh faces. Unlike the outgoing admin-
istration, which saw no shortage of resigna-
tions due to scandal and court cases with
missing documentation, President-Elect
Barack Obama has expressed determina-
tion that if whistle-blowers decide some-
thing is not right under the new president’s
watch, they will be welcomed to come
“Often the best source of information
about waste, fraud, and abuse in govern-
ment is an existing government employee
committed to public integrity and willing
to speak out,” says the offcial transition
website Change.gov. “Such acts of cour-
age and patriotism, which can sometimes
save lives and often save taxpayer dollars,
should be encouraged rather than stifed.
We need to empower federal employees
as watchdogs of wrongdoing and part-
ners in performance. Barack Obama will
strengthen whistleblower laws to protect
federal workers who expose waste, fraud,
and abuse of authority in government.
Obama will ensure that federal agencies
expedite the process for reviewing whistle-
blower claims and whistleblowers have full
access to cour ts and due process.”
The positive resolve of the incoming
administration has injected new confdence
into the legislative bodies. The majority of
appointees are already active administra-
tors, and the former senator presumably
has a desire to turn around the low approval
ratings accumulated by the Democratic
“As president, Barack Obama will
restore the American people’s trust in their
government by making government more
open and transparent,” reports Change.
gov. “Obama will work to reform congres-
sional rules to require all legislative ses-
sions, including committee mark-ups and
conference committees, to be conducted in
public. By making these practices public,
the American people will be able to hold
their leaders accountable for wasteful
spending, and lawmakers won’t be able to
slip favors for lobbyists into bills at the last
“Too often bills are rushed through
Congress and to the president before the
public has the opportunity to review them.
As president, Obama will not sign any
non-emergency bill without giving the
American public an opportunity to review
and comment on the White House website
for fve days,” Change.gov informs.