June Vol. 1 2009
By Yasmin A. Atheem
Islamic Post Staff Writer
The recent appointment of an Egyptian-American Muslim, Dalia Mogahed, to US President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, brought to the forefront a study created through a collaboration between the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Coexist Foundation. The partnership produced The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations, which found that, contrary to widespread assumptions, Muslims greatly value democracy, freedom of speech, technology and equal rights for women.
In the foreword of the study, Mogadeh, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, describes the purpose of the endeavor: “This study is part of the Center’s effort to provide non-partisan, data-driven research and advice on the diversity and complexity of Muslim views around the world.”
Collected through the Gallup World Poll, the study spans the world, over 140 countries, and represents the views of 95% of the world’s population. The researchers performed a more focused probe in three countries. Mogadeh explains why in the report: “Because the discussion about the relationship among faith groups is lively in Europe, especially with respect to religious and ethnic minorities, Gallup conducted deeper studies in three European nations — the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. This research helps inform the conversation on issues such as integration, identity, values, and radicalization.”
Some survey results for Muslim Americans were:
The majority, thirty-five percent, of Muslim Americans are African-American.
Forty percent of Muslim Americans have a college degree.
But when asked if they see themselves as “thriving”, only 40% of Muslim Americans replied in the affirmative. Jews (56% and Mormons 51% scored in the top two). (Gallup)
Muslim American men and women report surprisingly similar monthly household incomes, men only dominating when making over $5,000 a month.
Muslim Americans (at 80%) find religion to be an important part of their daily lives as compared to 65% of the general population. (Gallup)
Mogadeh tells BBC News, “This research shows that many of the assumptions about Muslims and integration are wide of the mark.” Revealing why this research is important, Mogadeh explains to AFP newswire, “A billion Muslims should be the ones that we look to, to understand what they believe, rather than a vocal minority.
June Vol. 1 2009
By Subhana B. Yahya Abdur Rahim
Islamic Post Staff Writer
United Muslim Christian Forum Attends Peace Conference at the United Nations
NEW YORK— (IP) Several members of the United Muslim Christian Forum —an auxiliary of the Muslims of the Americas, whose goal is to promote world peace and the end of human suffering through interfaith and interreligious efforts— attended a symposium at the United Nations earlier this month. The conference, cosponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, was entitled Creating a World of Peace: One Family at a Time and focused primarily on the traditional family unit being used as a springboard for dialogue between various religions and cultures. The UN conference also focused on the reestablishment of respect for women and their roles as mother, caregiver and, in many cases, breadwinner. Guest speakers included world renowned physician and author Dr. Deepak Chopra; Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr. Taj Hamad; ambassadors representing the Missions of Iraq, Qatar, Nigeria, Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr. Taj Hamad; ambassadors representing the Missions of Iraq, Qatar, Nigeria,
The United Nations established the International Day of Families over a decade ago with the intention of focusing on familial relationships in the quest for resolution of conflict and the abolition of war. This year’s theme highlighted the need for improved maternal health care —especially in underdeveloped countries, the prevention of violence against women and an increased need for secular education for women worldwide. A recent statement issued by UPF Secretary General, Dr. Thomas Walsh, laid the groundwork for the conference: “Mothers play a critical role in the family, which is a powerful force for social cohesion and integration.”
The orators of the event sent an emphatic call to action to the audience of over 400 to bring the purity of the family unit back to the international focal point. Chairperson H.E. Mrs. U. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s ambassador to the United Nations, eloquently stated that “the family is the fulcrum” for worldwide peace and that the family unit makes the community stronger by strengthening bonds. H.E. Ogwu’s overall message was that once we heal our families we can begin to heal the world.
The radical departure in the past half century from traditional values and a two parent family structure was also touted as a major reason for the collapse of so many family units. Chairwoman of Women for Peace, Mrs. Lynn Walsh of UPF, made the point that children who hail from two parent families are emotionally, physically and spiritually “better off” than children who come from broken homes. She also stated that cohabiting couples are twice as likely to dissolve their union than those families in which the couple share a marital bond.
At the conclusion of the conference, many of the attendees expressed their appreciation for having been part of such an eye opening event. All were encouraged to put all their efforts towards peace under the banner of Almighty God and support of the family unit. When asked, Universal Peace Federation Representative, Gale Alves, expressed her gratitude by saying: “I was inspired to see such a diverse group of people at a high-level symposium, all expressing the theme of unity and oneness centered on God in common, and for uplifting the importance of the family unit, especially giving women the respect they deserve for the vital role they play in taking care of the family, as well as working outside the home.” United Muslim Christian Forum Board Member, Maryam Rahim, shared Ms. Alves’ sentiments: “This forum put a face on the issues of world peace and humanitarianism and gave an overall better understanding that the beginning of the resolution to the problems of the world is right at home. The way that we raise our families can surely have positive reverberating effects that can spread world wide, I agree, ‘one family at a time.’”
Members of the United Muslim Christian Forum found it vital to have attended the symposium, as the goals stated by the UN representatives reflect many of the same principles and ideals regarding world peace and the eradication of war that UMCF is striving for. Many of the programs that UMCF has sponsored in the past bring people from various faiths and cultures together with a common goal of peace. The most recent program was the Milad-un-Nabi Parade and Festival in Binghamton, NY, which took place in March of this year. This second annual event celebrated the glory and majesty of the Holy Messenger, Jesus, son of the Blessed and Chaste Mary, and the Divine Miracle of the Holy Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of the Almighty Creator be upon them). Please visit http://www.UnitedMuslimChristianForum.org for more details regarding events in which UMCF is actively participating, and/or sponsoring.
June Vol. 1 2009
By Abu Rashid Qadri
Islamic Post Staff Writer
On May 19, Mr. Atiq Shahid, Senior Southeast Asia Correspondent for the Islamic Post, visited the Pakistan Consulate on East 65th Street, in New York City, to apply for a Pakistan visa. Mr. Shahid was traveling on the May 28 PIA flight to Islamabad. What should have been an easy accomplishment became a complex affair when Mr. Shahid was faced with one obstacle after another.
Mr. Shahid is no stranger to Pakistan as over the last quarter century he has traveled there numerous times as a correspondent, on assignment and as a Good Will Ambassador, coordinating and participating in a number of humanitarian relief efforts, including assisting Kashmiri refugees. Most recently, Mr. Shahid managed and led the American Muslim Medical Relief Team (AMMRT), a contingent of medical professionals, to the quake-ravished region of Pakistan where they were stationed at the Ayyub Medical Center in Abbottabad.
When AMMRT arrived at the medical facility, they witnessed the substandard treatment of patients, dirty linen, drugs and medical supplies being stored in the basement, and other deplorable conditions. Patients did not even have clean bed sheets on which to be treated. The team worked 24/7 to improve conditions and extended their stay at great cost to themselves. AMMRT also sent for additional personnel, as well as medical and relief supplies. All these efforts were coordinated by Mr. Shahid, who greatly encouraged the team’s efforts.
“One thing for sure, we virtually killed ourselves working with only 2 or 3 hours rest a day for the months we were there,” recalled Mr. Shahid. “Even at the Kashmiri refugee camps, our ladies stayed there distributing food, clothes, medicines and other items that were needed. We suffered a lot and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars; no appreciation or thanks was ever extended by the Pakistan government.”
This team, without hesitation or fanfare, had answered the request of the Honorable President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, when he called for immediate assistance and help from all quarters. At great sacrifice to themselves and their families and without outside assistance they financed their own flights, raised monies for medical and relief supplies, and received absolutely no assistance or even a word of appreciation or encouragement from Pakistan government officials here or abroad.
Perhaps it was too much to believe that Mr. Shahid would be treated in some way other than the cold, callous and belligerent manner that American Muslims had grown accustomed to receiving in the past. Mr. Shahid was simply requesting a three month stay, multiple entrance, one year visa that would facilitate his reporting on current events, as well as revisiting the region stricken by the earthquake to re-evaluate the needs of those still suffering, and possibly interviewing the Honorable Secretary Minister of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Mian Iftikar Hussain.
Mr. Tanweer Khalique, the expressionless Consular Attaché in the New York Office, examined the application and a copy of the letter addressed to the Secretary Minister which was to be carried and delivered. These items detailed Mr. Shahid’s itinerary and request. Mr. Shahid briefed Mr. Khalique of his and his colleagues’ past efforts in helping the government and people of Pakistan; but without even a sigh or sign of gratitude, he denied Mr. Shahid his request for a visa to continue his medical and relief work by arranging another tour for AMMRT. Mr. Khalique remained adamant and would not budge from his frigid stance.
The Honorable Khalifa, M. Hussein Abu Bakr, reflected, “The repetitive ill treatment meted out to American Muslims by Pakistan’s government representatives here in America, makes us sure that Pakistan does not like American Muslims and intentionally treats us with disdain by making the most simplest of tasks difficult.”
“We have always helped in humanitarian efforts whether or not the victims were Muslim, Christian or any other group. We were there for the victims of 9/11, Katrina, Rita and the tsunami; we will never stop helping victims of tragedy,” he concluded.
June Vol. 1 2009
The United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF), including its board members: Ambassador For Peace, Mr. Hussein Adams and Dr. Diane O’Heron, Board Advisor, urgently call upon the government of Pakistan to immediately lift the curfew in all areas of the northwest of the country, not just the town of Mingora. The lifting of the imposed curfew would alleviate the critical humanitarian emergency that threatens the millions of internal refugees forced to flee for their lives, due to the violence there, in recent weeks. The “shoot to kill” curfew has only served to further victimize civilian refugees who risk breaking it, in order to obtain any food and medical attention that they can find.
This is in keeping with the recent symposium at the United Nations — Creating a World of Peace: One Family at a Time. Several board members of the UMCF had just returned from that symposium at which crimes against humanity and human rights violations were specifically condemned, only to be informed of the recent developments, of the ongoing crisis, in Pakistan.
The United Muslim Christian Forum strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms, and particularly that form which cloaks itself in religion, to justify oppression and the harming of innocents.
However, the Pakistan Army must re-evaluate its role in the war torn region of the Northwest Frontier Province and make the immediate determination that the disastrous consequences of their actions to pursue 4,000 Taliban is at the risk of displacing over 4 million innocent civilians- a severe human rights violation. It should be emphasized that while military action is necessary in fulfilling the protective duties of the state, such an extreme operation resulting in the displacement of millions of civilians is well beyond the bounds of necessity. The operation is also unprecedented in Pakistan’s history.
The Taliban have their own agenda and only use Islam as a shield, while remaining firmly under the Wahhabi influence, which was vehemently rejected at its origin, by the authentic Muslim scholars and remains condemned by the scholars of Islam to this day. However, if left unchecked to continue its reckless extremist influence and actions, this movement could well lead to major global disorder.
The Ambassador For Peace further appeals to all people of faith and goodwill to come forward and lend whatever assistance they can, for the suffering people, in the Pakistan refugee camps. A relief fund has been established by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, for the above purpose, and the UMCF encourages all to give generously – any donations are welcome, however small. All help is appreciated and desperately needed to relieve the close to four million internally displaced men, women, and children who are facing starvation and disease.
It is in times like these that we must all be reminded that the road to true and lasting peace in the world closely lies in the mutual understanding that can be cemented between Muslims and Christians everywhere. Security and prosperity lie in the Unity of Muslims and Christians, in the U.S. and around the world. This is the key to success. The concerted efforts of this alliance are now needed most in this latest humanitarian crisis in Swat Valley, Pakistan.
Once again, the innocent victims of this latest humanitarian crisis await the urgent response of the world community.
June Vol. 1, 2009
By Lorna Swaine-Abdallah
& Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq
Islamic Post Staff Writers
The government of Pakistan should continue lifting the curfews imposed in the northwest of the country, in order to diminish the overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe there. The military offensive has created millions of internal refugees who now face famine and disease. While the curfew was lifted in Mingora after recapturing the town held by the Taliban since May, the military curfew in general, far from its intended aim of ferreting out the Taliban insurgents in the area, has only served to target the civilian refugees and force them into dangerous situations in which they break the curfew to obtain food and medical assistance.
The beautiful Swat Valley lies in utter ruin. After being subject to arbitrary beheadings and suicide bombing at the hands of the local Taliban, the region is now thoroughly desolate. Close to four million have been internally displaced with a good majority being sent to Peshawar, to already overburdened refugee camps there. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, has set up a fund to assist the refugees. However, outside of this undertaking, Mr. Gilani has not been able to exercise any real control of the situation, despite his sincere efforts.
In the meantime, the local Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, has called upon his followers to stop fighting so that the displaced residents can be encouraged to return to their homes. The Pakistani army is reported to view this move as a mere ruse to elude capture. In fact, the Taliban have not said that they are leaving the area, but rather that they will continue to fight to establish “sharia law” to the last drop of their blood, and with their last breath.
What the world media is failing to report is that this so-called effort to establish “sharia law” is rather a fraudulent doctrine masquerading as religion, for the purposes of grabbing power. The Taliban organization is actually the latest cover used by this unscrupulous gang of Wahhabi thugs in their most recent efforts to destabilize Pakistan, along with the rest of the region. The public is now becoming fully aware that the Taliban was originally founded by the CIA, and presently has the full support of India. They have their own agenda. Unfortunately, the ripple effect of their insidious beliefs is not confined to Pakistan, but is affecting the whole world.
One impostor, Sufi Muhammad, the main culprit instigating the bloodbath in Swat, uses this traditional name and claims to favor enforcing Shariah Law when in fact, he himself has little understanding of Islam. This is one of many men causing destruction due to their ignorance. Islam is a religion of peace, and we condemn suicide bombers. This is against our teachings as Islam forbids suicide and the innocent killing of men, women, and children.
This menace to humanity, Sufi Muhammad, is a member of the deviate Wahhabi sect. For those still uninformed about Wahhabism, a reading of Confessions of a British Spy by Hempher will provide ample background information on this subject, to place the matter into the proper perspective. I.Q.O.U. is striving to expose these deviants, as well as to assist America on focusing its actions on locating and exposing Wahhabi influence in our midst before their inhumane, completely unislamic agenda reaches this soil in the form of horrific acts against us, our neighbors and brethren, thereby confusing such actions as admissible in Islam.
These despicable conspirators need no particular target. They are the enemies of all humanity and peoples of true faith throughout the world; they must be stopped at all cost.
One can go far as to say that Sufi Muhammad is not a Muslim but rather a pagan; although his beard (hence outward appearance) is widely recognised as a symbol of one practising Islam, any Muslim who rejects the tenets of Islam for any reason, is no longer within the fold of Islam.
He does not just pose a threat to Pakistan, but with monies collected from numerous sources, has accumulated enough capital to have developed into a real threat to America and England as well.
On May 28, Mr. Atiq Shahid, Senior Foreign Correspondent for the Islamic Post embarked on assignment via a Pakistan International Airline flight to Islamabad. His assignment calls for him to report from the frontline of Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where reports estimate that somewhere around 4,000 Taliban have infiltrated the valley and the bloody unrest has claimed the lives of numerous innocent men, women, and children, and caused over 4 million to flee their homes. These numbers should be enough for the Pakistan Army to re-evaluate its role in the war torn region, and determine if their pursuit of the Taliban has been worth the consequences. While Islam openly forbids acts of injustice against innocent people, both the Taliban and the Pakistani Army are guilty of either suicide attacks or the slaughter of innocent people.
The residents of Swat should now be encouraged to return to their homes and take a stand against the Taliban, in defense of their patrimony. It is precisely at this juncture that the world community should lend its assistance to the displaced residents of the valley.
Muslims, Christians and Jews, indeed all people of good conscience should join hands, and put forth a concerted effort to end the misery caused by these ruthless gangsters.
Filed under: Front Page News, International, May Volume I - 2009, World | Tags: Human Rights Council
(IP) –“The US is seeking election to the [United Nations Human Rights] Council because we believe that, working from within, we can make the council a more effective forum to promote and protect human rights,” said US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, in a recent statement. “We hope to work in partnership with many countries to achieve a more effective Council,” Ms Rice concluded.
The Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was created in 2006, but Bush Administration officials chose to steer wide of involvement with the body. In another break from past legacies, prior to Ambassador Rice’s announcement, the Obama Administration sent a message to Pentagon senior staff to cease using the terms “Long War or Global War On Terror” in keeping with the more diplomatic overtures coming out of Washington since the January inauguration. The Defense Department email was obtained by the Washington Post.
Furthermore, in a formal filing with the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew the term “enemy combatant” and submitted a new standard for holding detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The DOJ insisted the current definition does not rely on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief independent of Congress’s specific authorization but “draws on the international laws of war.”
Furthermore, the filing submits that “individuals who supported al Qaeda or the Taliban are detainable only if the support was substantial.”
The brief was filed in habeas litigation brought by numerous detainees at Guantanamo who are challenging their detention under the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in Boumediene v. Bush.
The Department of Justice also submitted a declaration by Attorney General, Eric Holder stating that, under executive orders issued by President Obama, the government is undertaking an interagency review of detention policy for individuals captured in armed conflicts or counterterrorism operations as well as a review of the status of each detainee held at Guantanamo. The outcome of those reviews may lead to further refinements of the government’s position as it develops a comprehensive policy.
“As we work towards developing a new policy to govern detainees, it is essential that we operate in a manner that strengthens our national security, is consistent with our values, and is governed by law,” said Attorney General Holder. “The change we’ve made today meets each of those standards and will make our nation stronger.”
Shortly after the DOJ filing, UN human rights investigators announced the launching of a year-long global investigation into secret places of detention. They note the use of such facilities has increased since the Global War on Terror was declared after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States. The investigators say their probe will look at so-called rendition flights used by the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, in the United States to secretly transfer suspects to third world countries for interrogation. The UN probe also will examine the policies of secret detention as practiced by other nations around the world.
The probe comes on the heels of a February report on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism, Martin Scheinin, whose investigation was perceived as broadly critical of rendition activities. Speaking to reporters after presenting the report, Mr Scheinin said that UN human rights investigators will be looking into possible human rights violations committed by the US during the “War on Terror” and that the investigation will not be relaxed because of a change in administrations, as reported by Reuters.
Mr Scheinin said regarding the investigation: “The increased powers of intelligence services to conduct measures that seriously interfere with individuals’ rights, as well as the increasing relevance of intelligence for legal and administrative actions, make it essential that adequate accountability mechanisms are put in place to prevent human rights abuses. Under international human rights law, states are under a positive legal obligation to conduct independent investigations into alleged violations of the right to life, freedom from torture or other inhumane treatment, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention, to bring to justice those responsible for such acts, and to provide reparations where they have participated in such violations. States retain this positive obligation to protect human rights where they grant privileges within their national territory to another State, including to intelligence services.”
Last year, the Jurist news agency reported Mr Scheinin to have urged the UN to restructure or eliminate the existing terrorist “blacklisting” system. The United States House of Representatives recently passed a bill to address these issues as well.
“With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system to advance the vision of the UN Declaration on Human Rights,” Secretary Hillary Rodham-Clinton related in a statement regarding the upcoming vote for the UNHRC seat. The Declaration states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security and that all –regardless of race, gender, colour, sex, language, religion or political opinion –are equal before the law. Renewed commitment of the United States to the Declaration and the UNHRC has been welcomed worldwide. Members are currently elected to a three-year term, but the Council is scheduled to undergo a formal review of its structure and procedures in 2011 “which will offer a significant opportunity for Council reform” noted the State Department in a press release.
President Barack Hussein Obama signed the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at a Washington DC elementary school, joined by Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Members of Congress, former President Clinton, former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, and an audience of nonprofit leaders and national service volunteers.
“The broad bipartisan support for this legislation, and its remarkably swift journey through Congress, reflect the growing national consensus that service is a powerful response to the economic and social challenges facing America today,” said Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Board Chair, Alan Solomont.
The Serve America Act reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the CNCS, a federal agency created in 1993. The Corporation engages four million Americans in result-driven service each year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members, which the new bill plans to increase to 250,000 positions over the next eight years.
The legislation comes at a time of growing social need caused by the economic downturn and a corresponding “compassion surge” of Americans wanting to help those left vulnerable by its impact. The Corporation reported that AmeriCorps received 17,038 online applications this spring, nearly triple the 6,770 received last year this time. In the past five months, the agency received 48,520 online applications. Many volunteer centers and nonprofit groups are also reporting a recent increase in volunteers.
Filed under: Front Page News, Interfaith, May Volume I - 2009, National, Uncategorized
Last month, President Barack Obama announced additional members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, including Dalia Mogahed, the executive director for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington, DC. The President’s advisory council is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds.
While Mrs Moghahed is the first American Muslim appointed to the task, it is expected that others will follow. The advisory council currently has 17 members.
“This is wonderful. The Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships represent a great deal of compassion, understanding and tolerance for the American people,” says Muhammad Ahmad, a Latin American Muslim and Sufi. “Hopefully this will open the door to understand Islam more here.” While Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West, the majority of Muslims in America are converts (and their descendents) of indigenous roots – mixed Native American and African American ancestry. Whereas according to Arab American historian Nabeel Abraham, the majority of Arabs in the United States are Christian.
Sources: The Development of Arab-American Identity (Univ. Mich. Press 1994), WhiteHouse.gov
The G8 recently held its first ever Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting in Treviso, Italy, which emphasized that investment in smallholder agriculture must head industrialized countries’ agendas “to grow the world economy out of recession,” according to the UN News Centre.
David Nabarro, Assistant Secretary-General and Coordinator of the UN System High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, outlined elements of a two-track response that includes investing in food assistance and social safety nets for those most in need, as well as scaling up investment in agriculture.
Source: UN News Centre
Filed under: Business/Economy, Front Page News, Interfaith, International, May Volume I - 2009, World | Tags: Islamic Finance
The Vatican recently claimed banks should look at the ethical rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients during this time of global economic crisis.
“The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said.
Author Loretta Napoleoni and Abaxbank Spa fixed income strategist, Claudia Segre, say in the article that “Western banks could use tools such as the Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, as collateral.” Sukuk may be used to fund the “car industry or the next Olympic Games in London,” they said. They also said that profit share, gained from sukuk, may be an alternative to interest. They underlined that sukuk system could help automotive sector and support investments in the area of infrastructure. The Islamic sukuk system is similar to bonds of the western system; however, money is invested in concrete projects and profit share is distributed to clients instead of interest earned.
L’Osservatore Romano’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said that “the great religions have always had a common attention to the human dimension of the economy,” Corriere della Sera reported.
Source: Brussels Journal.
Staff Writer Jamaal A. Waahid contributed to this report.
By Nafisah Begum
Islamic Post Staff Writer
As people of the Binghamton, NY, area move forward out of unexpected and engulfing grief, the result of the April 3 massacre of 14 victims with numerous injured, the Islamic Post recalls how the wider community has been brought closer together, sharing triumph then tragedy.
BINGHAMTON —On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, days before tragic shooting at the American Civic Center brought the community together in mourning, Muslims and Christians came together at the West Presbyterian Church for the Second Annual Milad-un-Nabi Parade and Festival, celebrating the auspicious births of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad son of Abdullah and the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Pure (God’s peace be upon them). Hosting the event was the United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF), an organization founded by His Eminence, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, to remind the children of Abraham of their duties to each other and to all of mankind.
UMCF representatives returned to light candles with pastors from the Broome County Council of Churches, Muslims of the Americas, local government officials, University professors, and devotees of peace to support each other in grief, as only days before the community had celebrated, in joy, the auspicious births of two sons of Abraham.
The UMCF message was, and is, that the religions of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad and the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Chaste (May God’s peace be upon them) are two faces of a single reality: worship of One God combined with the love of one’s neighbor. There was much to share on both occasions. (See, “Candlelight Vigil,” on A3)
The United Muslim Christian Forum, sponsored by the Muslims of the Americas, was a successful event, as evidenced by standing room only attendance. The church was packed with hundreds of the faithful hoping to bridge the gap between the children of Abraham by not focusing on what makes them different, but the commonality of each and the mutual love for the Almighty Creator, His Prophets, and the messages they brought, such as – ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Historically, Muslims and Christians have been incited to violent clashes that have left each side reeling from the effects, eventually falling under the foot of persecution for exercising their beliefs. But even this has not stopped the children of Abraham from uniting in God’s Will as One.
The children of Abraham continue to celebrate their love and devotion for the Creator, trying their best to secure entrance into the Almighty’s Heaven. This quest of love makes them the enemy of him (Satan), whose final home will be everlasting darkness.
The event began with a program at the West Presbyterian Church, as approved by its board, in order to “foster inter- religious dialogue, understanding and tolerance,” said Pastor Andrew Stehlik, who stated later in his opening acknowledgements: “It is marvelous to see this sanctuary so full with the Children of God.” He then proceeded to read several verses from the Bible depicting the Oneness, Mercy and Forgiveness of the Almighty.
Even before the program began, one participant described the charge of excitement, “Though I couldn’t see them, I felt the eyes of the world on this moment,” said Aisha Muqit who drove over seven hundred miles to attend the event. An unidentified Christian attendee gasped with excitement stating, “To God be the Glory!” as he took in the pews packed with Muslims observing the utmost of etiquette in the church and exhibiting an overflowing love for The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him).
The program commenced with benedictions by the Mistress of Ceremonies, Mrs. Laila Rashid, who recited Surah Al Fatihah (“The Opening”), from Holy Qu’ran, in which mankind implores the Almighty to ‘show us the straight way, the path of which Thou has favored, not the path of those who have been led astray.’
The National Anthem, passionately performed by the young Muslim lady’s group, Daughters of Peace, nearly brought tears to onlookers. UMCF Public Relations Representative, Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq, welcomed attendees, speakers and special guests..
Program speakers included the aforementioned Pastor Andrew Stehlik of West Presbyterian Church, to whom the UMCF remains grateful for the hosting of the event; Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, Chairman Muslims of the Americas; Father Tim Taugher of St. Catherine of Siena; the Honorable Khadijah Smith, Deputy Chairperson of the Muslims of the Americas; Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud of the American Muslim Medical Relief Team; Dr. Diane O’Heron of Broome Community College, a second year attendee and speaker; Dr. Jawairiyya Abdallah-Shahid of the Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences; and special guest, the Mayor of Binghamton, Matthew T. Ryan.
Matthew T. Ryan, Mayor of Binghamton
Special guest, Mayor Matthew T. Ryan of Binghamton, NY, stated how happy he was to attend such an august gathering where the focus was love of the Almighty Creator. He acknowledged that this time last year he received many “hate-filled emails” about the event, and that this year was no exception, recalling how he decided to personally speak to a gentleman calling all the way from Oklahoma, questioning his reasons for being involved in such an occasion. The Mayor explained to him the honor to live in a place where all its citizens can live in harmony and not be separated by the prejudices that exist around the world. Unfortunately, this harmony would be disrupted days later when a lone gunman killed thirteen people in Binghamton’s American Civic Association center, promptly returning many of the parade’s attendees to show support to families in grief and help to console a city of many faiths. Later in the program, Mayor Ryan would do the honor of unveiling the new sign to grace the future office of the United Muslim Christian Forum.
Other excerpts from the program’s speakers below attest to the theme of finding common ground and uniting under the banner of One Almighty God in peace.
The Honorable Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, Chairman of Muslims of the Americas
The Honorable Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, began with benedictions and a special thanks to Pastor Andrew and his congregation for allowing this gathering to be held at their church: “I bear witness that there is no God, but One God who created Adam with His own Hands and blew in him His spirit as He did Jesus son of Mary; and placed upon his head the crown of viceroy-hood and created man to serve Him.” He further stated, “We have no doubt that Almighty God is watching us, Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) is watching us, and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is watching us. We declare that we love Jesus Son of Mary (peace be upon him) and we follow his way. We must come to one common ground…we were one, and must become one again.”
Before the Honorable Khalifah concluded, he conveyed a declaration before those present in the church and to all Christians and Muslims at large: “I must convey to you a declaration and clarification, which must for all times remove prejudices and misunderstandings amongst both communities. Which is, we love and adore Jesus Son of Mary! Even those at the helm of affairs in Christianity may not realize that the fact of the Trinity is that Jesus is a manifestation of God’s attribute “Kun Faya Kun” (“Be and it is Done!”). The Holy Ghost is a manifestation of God’s glory –meaning, thereby, they are two beings who merge in One and only One God. Jesus is the Spirit of God and that is why he could revive the dead and Gabriel, the Holy Ghost, is a manifestation of God’s will. These both are manifestations of One God. We don’t wish to make controversy. We are your Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Father Tim Taugher, St. Catherine of Siena
Father Tim Taugher expounded on the theme of unity saying, “Common ground has been woven in the words already spoken by those who have come up before me; we must continue to establish dialogue.” He reiterated the commonality between Muslims, Christians, and Jews and stressed love, solidarity, and compassion for all of the children of Abraham. He continued, “There is a book that I recommend that when given the time you read, it is called The History of God, by K. Armstrong, which looks through different religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism; and creates a sense of compassion, that we are rooted together from the same foundation.”
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid, Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid, founding member of the Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences, said, “In the realm of Sufis, Jesus stands as a role model of a great Sufi master. The Sufi doctrine demands that all those who wish to attain proximity to the Almighty Creator and annihilation and subsistence in Him must not pay any attention to the temptation of the world and worldly pursuits, nor be lured by the promise of bliss and gardens of paradise. Above all, the Sufi master teaches, as Jesus taught, that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless he is born again. This is what we are taught by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), mentioned as the ‘Comforter’- and ‘Ahmad’ (one worthy to be praised) in the Torah. To separate Jesus from Islam is a gross misunderstanding due to lack of knowledge.” She further confirmed, “Testimony regarding the authenticity and truthfulness of his (Jesus’) mission was professed by Muhammad (peace be upon him). In conjunction with Holy Qur’an, he teaches that Jesus and his blessed mother Mary were free from all of the slanderous and false accusations brought against them.”
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid continued: “At this time, I would like to bring to your attention another of the worlds’ greatest Sufi masters, Sheikh Akbar, Ibn Arabi. It was Sheikh Ibn Arabi who introduced the philosophy that man is not all he appears to be and that the real man lies hidden within the human like a tree in the stage of a seed or the bird in the form of an egg. His emphasis was on the true potential of human beings and the path one should tread to become a perfect human being.
Fusus al-Hikam was Sheikh Ibn Arabi’s last major opus and is considered his most famous work. It was translated with commentary and many professors including some from Binghamton University commented on this book. This demonstrates that the quest for knowledge is present. The desire to identify the self with God is there. Sufis are leading the way. All those who love Muhammad (peace be upon him) also love Jesus Son of Mary.
“The Vice Chancellor was at our Sufic Research Institute in Pakistan when contacted the him about difficulties I was having. I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to my son. After medical inducement and several hours of labor, he had not been born. The Vice Chancellor recited over the phone into my ear. After recitation, my son was immediately born. The verse has been translated from Hebrew to Arabic and from Arabic to English: ‘Hannah gave birth to Mary, and Mary gave birth to Jesus! Oh baby, come out by the command of Allah, the Commanding God.’ I myself am a witness to the mercy of the Sufic Sciences and, in addition, there are many others in the audience who can testify to this being the case. Sufis are the saviors of mankind.”
Dr. Diane O’Heron, Professor, Broome Community College
As a repeat attendee, Dr. Diane O’Heron, professor at Broome Community College, expressed how last year’s event sparked her desire to know more about The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace and blessings be upon him). Dr. O’Heron began her speech with the greeting shared by over a billion Muslims worldwide: “Asalaamu Alaikum.”
She continued, “I hope, as a Christian, to denounce the fear, hate, and ignorance that would have me to deny who you are to me. My faith and love of God empowers me to call you family, people for whose well-being I am responsible, and to whose faith my faith is tied. As Muslims you have always known me as your sister. The Holy Qur’an makes that relationship clear. I, on the other hand, have just begun to understand the profound possibilities and responsibilities of sharing my spiritual destiny with you. Today, I ask all Christians to learn about these possibilities with me. To start by learning what beliefs and experiences bind Christians and Muslims together. In doing so, I believe that we will come to a deeper understanding of the love of God, The Almighty, the One who erases all differences by calling each of us His sons and daughters. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet whose life has brought us together today. And thanks be to God for making it possible for me to see you for who you truly are in God’s eyes, my teachers, my family, my loved ones.”
Dr. O’Heron also told the story of how, in history, the Muslims suffered persecution at the hands of the Qur’aish polytheists and how refuge was taken in Abyssinia under the rule of the Christian King Negus, who was known for his fairness and respect to all people and who ultimately protected the Muslims against persecution. She concluded: “Our differences are real. No one here denies them. But what we are called to do as believers is to honor the example of the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, and men like the Negus by recognizing one another as brothers and sisters in faith. God commands us to try and see one another with His eyes, to see that all of us share a connection to Him, the Almighty, the One who erases all differences by claiming each of us as His own.”
A roar of pleasure, then a hush, fell over the crowd as the magnitude of the event became evident.
Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud, American Muslim Medical Relief Team
Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud of the American Muslim Medical Relief Team confirmed that the United Muslim Christian Forum would coordinate commemoration of the birth of Jesus Son of Mary on the calendar date of his birth and expressed the need to open an office to cultivate further dialogue between Muslims and Christians.
Concluding the program portion of the event, the Honorable Khadijah Smith, Deputy Chairman of Muslims of the Americas, presented gifts to speakers and special guests, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the Muslims of the Americas, His Eminence, El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. Daughters of Peace performed an awe-inspiring hymn, “Quest for Peace,” followed by the parade procession where participants walked from West Presbyterian Church to the Binghamton Courthouse, Muslims and Christians side by side.
By Zahidah Faruq
Islamic Post Staff Writer
At the American Leadership Conference held at the State University of Binghamton, NY, on April 25, Chairman of the Muslims of the Americas (MOA), the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams, was recognized for humanitarian disaster relief efforts and coordination of medical and other MOA responder teams which had been dispatched to national and international locations that experienced catastrophic destruction and devastation over the past eight years.
Due to these heroic contributions of selfless sacrifice and aid to the people of the world, the Honorable Khalifah was appointed as the new Ambassador For Peace for the Universal Peace Foundation (UPF).
In 2001, after hearing the horrific events of September 11, the Honorable Khalifah consulted his spiritual guide, a Sufi Master, El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Qadri, and a team of 100 members of the Muslim Scouts of America were immediately sent to ground zero to assist with first responder efforts. The Scouts made their way through the devastating scene bearing medical supplies and food.
When severe flooding hit several counties in upstate NY, the MOA Chairman coordinated teams of relief workers to aid the struggling families. Some of the work again included post-disaster cleanup, and also providing food, clothing and assistance to the medical staff.
When Hurricanes Katrina and Ike demolished and destroyed homes, lives and properties, relief workers were sent again to help in any and every way that was needed. Pakistan was hit in 2005 by a severe hurricane, and the American Muslim Medical Relief Team was promptly dispatched overseas where they provided emergency medical help to those wounded and displaced by the impact of the hurricane.
This year, the sponsors of the American Leadership Conference, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) and UPF –a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations— invited the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams and other members of the United Muslim Christian Forum to attend the conference in Binghamton.
Some of topics of the conference were: American Leadership and the World, the American Dream and the First Principles, and Putting a Real Face on Slavery. A tribute to the victims of the tragedy at the American Civic Center was also held at the conference. (See “Candlelight Vigil,” on A3 for more information.) UPF drafted a letter of condolence to the families of the victims, which was signed by dignitaries of the Federation worldwide. Mrs. Gale Alves, the program director from Binghamton University; Rev. Bruce Grodner the UPF USA District II Chairman; and the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams were all asked to accept the letter on behalf of the families of the victims.
Roundtable discussions took place after the presentations, which highlighted salient points of interest.
A highly-praised lunch was provided by Abu’s House of Halal, a local Islamic restaurant. Other vendors also provided food and snacks.
When the Honorable Khalifah Hussein stood up to accept his appointment as Ambassador For Peace, attendees noticed a strong fragrance of rose permeating the air. His statement to the audience was brief and profound. He first gave thanks to Almighty Allah, then proceeded to thank all of the people and MOA staff who work tirelessly and endlessly, who respond at any time of the day or night, who go any where in the world when they are called. The MOA chairman stated that this service to mankind is the way of the Sufi and was unknown to the Muslims of the Americas before being taught by Perfect Sufi Master and Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi.
The program ended with performances by the esteemed Sufi Islamic song group, Ansarudeen, who sang melodiously in reverence to the Prophets of God. The Nur-ul-Ishq group performed a few couplets from the classical text which is often sung, the Kalam of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (Allah’s mercy be upon him). Mrs. Brenda Cave-James also sung a spiritual song One Morning Soon; and, prior to the benediction given by Mr. Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq, Spokesman of the United Muslim Christian Forum, she led everyone in a beautiful rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing.
In the benediction he stated that today was just a beginning and that a lot of work still has to be done. He gave thanks to El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani who taught us the creed of the Sufi’s: “Mankind is one family, the family of God”. Mr A. Haqq also stated: “We cannot do this by ourselves even if we all unite. The Almighty Creator has to lead this effort. Therefore, we must purify our hearts that the Lord may direct us as nothing in creation can contain God, except the hearts of man, and our Lord does not enter a heart that is full of impurities like greed, power and love of the world. Once our Lord resides within us than we will see His presence reflected in one another.”
For more information about the United Muslim Christian Forum, please call 1-866-532-0777.
Filed under: Front Page News, March Volume 2009, National | Tags: Afghanistan, Clinton, Sharia
Since the beginning of the new administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met with fourteen prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The women came to Washington to participate in a training program arranged by the State Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.
In Washington, the Afghan women participated in intensive legal seminars and consultations with senior officials, and explored current topics in Afghan and American legal systems: legal decision-making and mediation, domestic violence, family and mental health, and narcotics law.
President Obama, in his first foreign policy announcement, made clear to Afghan citizens, “We are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country.” Most agree the Afghan justice system needs improvement through education in jurisprudence and professional development. As it stands now, the State Department alleges Afghan judges and lawyers to base their work mainly on tribal codes.
Since the inception of Islam, women have been encouraged to pursue legal careers, a highly respected field. One of the first jurists in Islam was Syeda Aisha, the wife of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be upon him and his family. People came regularly to seek her legal advice. Today’s Muslims owe one third of Islamic law, known as Sharia, to this most intelligent and blessed lady. Sharia is a highly developed legal system in which modern democracy found much of its roots. During the Islamic caliphate, the main centers of secular learning and debate were in Muslim countries where people of the three major religions lived cohesively prior to the Crusades.
Filed under: Front Page News, March Volume 2009, National, World | Tags: Geert Wilders
By Bashirah A. Malik
Islamic Post Staff Writer
“I am a strong an advocate of First Amendment free speech. However, this is not about free speech, but rather an issue of propriety, timing and venue,” Common Dreams quoted Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) as saying regarding the viewing of the film Fitna on Capitol Hill.
Fitna is a controversial film about the Holy Qur’an by Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders. The film made headlines and prompted angry protest across the Muslim World last March. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said at the time that the film wrongly equated Islam with violence and served “no purpose other than to offend.”
Mr Wilders’ visit to Washington to host the screening of the film came just after a Dutch court ordered prosecutors to put the right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. Common Dreams reports Mr. Wilders was denied entry by the British government in his attempts to promote the film there. Only 40 members of Congress came to the viewing on Capitol Hill. The Dutch government disavowed Mr. Wilders visit to the US and believes the release of the film “serves no purpose other than to cause offense.”
In 2007, Wilders apparently sought to incite Muslims by ranting against Holy Quran as a “fascist book,” calling for the sacred Islamic text to be banned, and comparing the Holy Quran to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.
In a statement, the Amsterdam appeals court “ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs.” The three judges in the case stated that they had weighed Wilders’ anti-Islamic rhetoric against his right to free speech, and ruled he had even gone beyond normal leeway given to politicians.
After the ruling, Wilder stated, ‘I had not expected it [this ruling].’ Gerard Spong, a prominent lawyer who joined Islamic groups in pushing for Wilders’ prosecution told reporters, “This is a happy day for all followers of Islam who do not want to be tossed on the garbage dump of Nazism.”
The court’s ruling reverses a decision made last year by the public prosecutor’s office, which said Mr. Wilder’s comments had been made outside parliament as a contribution to the debate on Islam in Dutch society and that no criminal offense had been committed. Because Wilders has not yet been charged, it is not clear what maximum penalty he could face if convicted.
Filed under: Front Page News, March Volume 2009, World | Tags: israel, Palestine
N. Begum Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
It doesn’t appear as if Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu will back down from the expansionist Likud party stance, despite opposing views from the US State Department. Just before visiting Israel on her tour of the Middle East early this month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized to Egyptian Television her commitment to “a two-state solution, a comprehensive peace,” for Israel and the occupied territories.
However, upon arrival, Secretary Clinton and accompanying US delegates found themselves seated across from Mr Netanyahu and his choice of advisors for the meeting which included Uzi Arad, the former director of intelligence for the Mossad, who was banned from visiting the US due to suspicion of espionage activities inside the country. Mr Arad’s presence at the meeting has been interpreted by political analysts as mildly antagonistic.
The Israeli Ambassador to the US, Sallai Meridor, resigned the following day after being asked by Netanyahu to leave the meeting while Arad remained.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardliner Likud party won the right to form the next Israeli government after a close battle with Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party. One vote shy of beating Ms Livni, Netanyahu was nevertheless appointed to rule Israel. However, the main differentiating factor between the two parties, that regarding the Palestinian question, had been abandoned before the race was over.
In the latter part of January, Foreign Minister Livni told 60 Minutes she agreed with the proposal of a two-state solution that would contain Israel and give Palestine borders: “[CBS reporter Bob] Simon: Can you really imagine evacuating the tens of thousands of settlers who say they will not leave? Livni: It’s not going to be easy, but this is the only solution. Simon: But you know that there are settlers who say, ‘We will fight. We will not leave. We will fight.’ Livni: So this is the responsibility of the government, of the police to stop them, as simple as that. Israel is a state of law and order.” However, Think Progress noted from a Haaretz report that after Mr Netanyahu made it clear that he would not be bound by the current government’s “commitments to withdraw” from the West Bank, Livni’s stance changed abrubtly: “I will advance only an agreement that represents our interests. Maintaining maximum settlers and places that we hold dear such as Jerusalem — not a single refugee will enter.”
Indeed, the occupied territories carried a great deal of weight in this year’s elections. As the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) reported, the outgoing Israeli government was “getting high marks from the Israeli public for its pounding offensive in Gaza.” But, apparently the pounding was insufficient. “Polls show that the conservative opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party have opened up a bigger lead, based on a public concern that the offensive left the Hamas regime intact while failing to free an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit,” continued CSM.
But Prime Minister- designate Netanyahu did not close that big of a gap in the end, as the final vote tallied Likud (Netanyahu) at 27 and Kadima (Livni) a point higher at 28. Despite claims of being the only Middle East democracy, votes do not always make the final decision in Israel’s parliamentary system. President Shimon Peres made the final decision that the winner would be Mr Netanyahu, who must now be able to form a coalition government. Parliamentary democracies have been widely debated over time. Some schools attest that the system is used by third world countries and former British colonies making the transition to a full democracy.
The fledgling Zionist democracy is another matter entirely. Having been founded on the pretense of expansion, it seemed relatively important that a party win this year which would not waver on that stance. Given the current climate, and no end in sight to the continued shelling of the Gaza Strip, Likud gaining the upper hand was nothing short of predictable. The party platform of Likud states: “The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state.”
It remains to be seen how President Barack Obama’s support of a two-state solution will gain ground, especially when negotiations will be held with one who openly stated the American tragedy of 9/11 was of great benefit. “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv quoted Mr Netanyahu as telling a Bar Ilan university audience last April. The prime minister designate reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”
Uzi Arad, who served as a foreign policy advisor during Netanyahu’s previous term (1996-1999), is expected to be named head of the Israeli National Security Council once the government is formed. Uzi Arad was linked in 2005 to Lawrence Franklin, a former U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel who pled guilty to passing information about U.S. policy towards Iran to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the U.S, while he was working for the Defense Department. Israel denies allegations of the link.
Filed under: Front Page News, International, March Volume 2009, National | Tags: Lincoln
The bicentennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln last month saw a change in the White House. The bronze bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which had stood in George Bush’s Oval Office for eight years, was replaced by that of Lincoln. The Times Online reports: “Recent photographs show that a bust of Abraham Lincoln, one of the new President’s heroes, has been moved to take the position once occupied by Churchill.”
The bronze figure of the famous British statesman was lent to the former president by Tony Blair, as a “symbol of the enduring special relationship with America.” Yet, “Mr Obama shows little evidence of the Anglophilia that led his predecessors to pepper speeches with quotations from Churchill,” the London Times observes. President Obama’s grandfather was reportedly one of the many Kenyans detained without a trial when Churchill ordered a state of emergency in that country.
During current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first visit to the White House this month, the press in England noted he was treated with a good deal less pomp than prime ministers had been given by previous administration. Commenting on the visit, Washington Post columnist Dana Milibank mentioned the gift that was meant to replace the Churchill bust in the Oval Office as being “a pen holder carved from the timbers of the [anti-slave] HMS Gannet, sister ship of the HMS Resolute, the wood of which was used to make the Oval Office desk.” Milibank further noted the video made by reporters of the session which she said was “plagued by audio gaps.” British historian Tristram Hunt has suggested that perhaps Britain should have honored the President with a work to commemorate another bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of Thomas Paine’s death, since he was British born, and one of the “fathers of the American Revolution.” Paine was quoted in President Obama’s inaugural address and is the author of the time honored classic, Age of Reason.
President Obama has also mentioned Abraham Lincoln’s command in his struggles with a bipartisan Congress. In commenting on Abraham Lincoln’s standard after the Civil War was won, President Obama was quoted as saying before Congress during the Bicentennial commemoration for Lincoln’s birth: “In the war’s final weeks… President Lincoln was asked what was to be done with the rebel armies once General Lee surrendered. With victory at hand, Lincoln could have sought revenge. He could have forced the South to pay a steep price for their rebellion. But despite all the bloodshed and all the misery that each side had exacted upon the other, and despite his absolute certainty in the rightness of the cause of ending slavery, no Confederate soldier was to be punished, Lincoln ordered. They were to be treated, as he put it, ‘liberally all round.’ [...] That was the only way, Lincoln knew, to repair the rifts that had torn this country apart.”
Source: LPAC, Whitehouse.gov
(IP)– The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, President of Sudan, for war crimes and crimes against humanity earlier this month, according to an ICC press release. The Sudanese head of state is “suspected of being criminally responsible, as an indirect (co-)perpetrator, for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property.” This is the first warrant of arrest ever issued for a sitting Head of State by the ICC.
The warrant was issued shortly after the head of one Darfur’s rebel groups, Abdel Wahid Al Nur of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), visited Israel last month to request an increase in support in its fight against the Sudanese government, as reported by Haaretz. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), an SLA rival, was also reported last month by Sudan’s state media as receiving considerable military equipment from Israel.
Although the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed during or after July 2002, other heads of state (former) are also eligible to be prosecuted. The New Zealand Herald reports David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University and former prosecutor in the special tribunal that indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor, commented: “The principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror suspects… which mostly amounted to torture.” Global Research reported United Nations General Assembly chief Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann to have likewise stated: “All pretended justifications notwithstanding, the aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in international relations,” Brockmann told the Human Rights Council. The general tally of deaths in Iraq exceed one million. “The illegality of the use of force against Iraq cannot be doubted as it runs contrary to the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter,” continued Mr Brockmann. “It sets a number of precedents that we cannot allow to stand.”
Yet, it is more likely that the ICC will allow such atrocities to stand without prosecution and, in the case of the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, to continue. Genocide is defined in the Rome Statute as the following acts committed “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:” (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
However, the UN Security Council (which referred the Darfur situation to the ICC) in its 2004 report on the subject conceded that there is no genocide in Darfur as “the various tribes that have been the object of attacks and killings do not appear to make up ethnic groups distinct from the ethnic group to which persons or militias that attack them belong. They speak the same language (Arabic) and embrace the same religion (Islam). In addition, also due to the high measure of intermarriage, they can hardly be distinguished in their outward physical appearance from the members of tribes that allegedly attacked them. Furthermore, inter-marriage and coexistence in both social and economic terms, have over the years tended to blur the distinction between the groups.” Therefore, while groups like “Save Darfur” and “Genocide in Darfur” accuse President Bashir of genocide, the ICC warrant stops short, accusing him of war crimes, a more general charge.
As Arab News notes, the ICC “has held only Africans to account. Currently, the court is holding investigations into ‘the situations’ in Uganda, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Therefore, it would seem, that whether war crimes/genocide are punishable or not is subject to interpretation of an international body. Certainly, the opinions of Americans have not been taken into consideration. A February poll in the US revealed that 62 percent of Americans favor a criminal investigation or an independent panel to look into the use of torture, illegal wiretapping, and other alleged abuses of power by the Bush administration. The warrant against Mr Bashir, a sitting head of state, opens new doors that could not only infringe upon national sovereignty, but apparently would be done so by a body which, having only prosecuted war crimes in Africa, currently seems to lack impartiality.
The Associated Press reported March 12 that UN Chief Ban Ki Moon announced President Omar al-Bashir could still “order his country’s courts to prosecute war crimes in Darfur and possibly avert his own war crimes trial by the International Criminal Court.” Egypt and the African Union had been calling on the ICC to delay the proceedings in the interests of promoting peace talks that could put an end to the Darfur War and to keep the continuing peace with southern Sudan, instead of completely destabilizing the region.
Filed under: Business/Economy, Front Page News, March Volume 2009, National, Politics
(IP)– Many Republicans are ready for war over President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget, interpreting it as a plan to interject the government into corporate affairs. Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says enactment of the Obama budget plan would lead to the largest expansion of government since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. At the same time Republican statesmen are expressing their concern over the projected record-high deficit of $1.75 trillion for the next fiscal year, more than 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. “It is terrifying in the policy implications as well as mind-boggling in the numbers,” Senate Finance Committee member Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) told Fox News.
But political analysts have found ways to explain away both of the main arguments regarding an escalated deficit and government intervention. Lyndon LaRouche, chief economist of Executive Intelligence Review says the deficit argument is overplayed. A “diversion,” Mr LaRouche said, adding that the deficit before the new budget already has “no solution.” Matt Dallek, political historian at the University of California’s Washington Center takes a milder stance on government intervention: “Now on some level, we accept that the federal government for the most part, not everyone does, obviously, but we accept that the federal government has a role to play in a time of economic crisis.”
Mr Dallek’s logic is not acceptable to everyone, however. Many Republicans resent the scope of the new budget, even after a weeks long struggle of the Obama administration to pass the stimulus bill, the other part of the package to deal with the economic crisis.
However, White House officials point out that President Obama inherited the crisis, along with the federal deficit, from the previous administration. Director Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, reiterated: “The economic crisis we’ve inherited raises the deficit by roughly $2 trillion (for this year and next year combined).” According to Mr Orszag, the crisis has raised the deficit, and the Obama administration has been left to deal with that in a way which is “fiscally responsible and not ‘big spending.’” “Irresponsible budgets and inexcusable practices are now in the past,” President Obama said during his weekly address March 7. The President also emphasized that, while the deficit will increase in the short run, reduction of the same amount is calculated for the next years.
In Peter Orszag’s notes to the public, he states the deficit reduction will partially come from “responsibly redeploying our military forces engaged in overseas contingency operations, as well as reforms that would allow us to get more for the money spent on defending the nation.” “The President is committed to responsibly winding the war,” wrote Orszag, “I don’t do foreign policy, but I can tell you this: ending wars saves money – and so the Administration’s budget includes savings from ramping down overseas military operations over time.” President Obama also signed a presidential memorandum earlier this month “to end unnecessary no-bid contracts and dramatically reform the way contracts are awarded — reforms that will save the American people up to $40 billion each year.” While defending massive short-term deficits as necessary during a severe economic recession, President Obama says his budget will shrink the revenue gap in subsequent years by eliminating unnecessary spending and raising income taxes on the wealthy.
Other methods of deficit reduction, according to Mr Orszag, include “returning fairness to the tax system by closing tax loopholes, eliminating subsidies for special interests, and returning to the pre-2001 tax rates for high-income families making more than $250,000 per year (over the next ten years, these revenue enhancements would reduce deficits by roughly $1 trillion).” The budget includes a tax cut for all but the wealthiest of workers and as White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, told CBS’ Face the Nation program: “Ninety-five percent of Americans will have a tax cut. Nobody will see a tax increase for two years.”
Orszag also states the budget will make government “more efficient – for example, by eliminating unwarranted subsidies to middlemen on educational loans and reducing erroneous payments (these two steps would reduce deficits by almost $100 billion over the next ten years).” On ABC’s This Week program, the budget director enjoined: “Let us also count the benefits that families get through Pell [education] grants, the benefits that they will receive through constraining health care costs, the benefits they get from weatherizing their homes, and so on. This budget makes the vast majority of American families much better off.”
But still, “a weak economy reduces revenue and increases spending on automatic stabilizers like unemployment insurance,” Orszag stated. This also requires billions to stabilize financial markets, including the need for the $787 billion Recovery Act to “jumpstart” the economy.
But not everyone agrees that the economy can be jumpstarted. Mr LaRouche contends that what is needed is a restart: “What’s running the world today [is] a usury-ridden financier system, which is now breaking down. Putting the entire world system through bankruptcy reorganization will, in effect, eliminate the present Anglo-Dutch-Saudi empire, that is, the banker, the financier empire.”
“The fact of the matter is, that the United States is [already] bankrupt. The U.S. system is bankrupt. The U.S. government is bankrupt. And every part of the world is also bankrupt,” LaRouche writes. The solution to what he calls an impending New Dark Age is “to create [a] system of cooperation among nation-states, of the type envisaged by Franklin Roosevelt in 1944, end all traces of imperialism, end all globalization, and go back to the sovereign nation-state and its people.” Locally, LaRouche proposes that, after declaring bankruptcy and cancelling claims against the economy, “A new flow of credit [be created], under our Constitution, to ensure that the local chartered and local national banks are able to perform their traditional function, in cooperation with government, for creating a system of long-term credit, to generate the rebuilding of our economy: agriculture, industry, infrastructure.”
LaRouche emphasizes that, like the President’s high speed rail program, infrastructure is of the greatest importance to reviving jobs and the economy. The economist also points out: “We need to go back to more distribution of production away from a few large centers of mass industry, into regional development; smaller industries, more emphasis on closely-held corporations. We need to rebuild the idea of a community, where you can walk to work in a quarter-hour or half an hour each way, at most.”
While, the ideas of the EIR director suggest a restructuring of society, the President’s budget, as it stands, is a definite far leap for those who prefer the status quo of the last eight years. Because the US dollar is linked to, and financially supported by, so many of the world’s economies, “Whether this president succeeds or fails, he’s going to do it in historic proportions.” says Larry Sabato, who directs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “It seems to me that in a sense, it is another New Deal or Great Society. You may support it. You may oppose it. But it is big.” -Sources: Treasury Dept. VOA, Whitehouse.gov, EIR
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, Front Page News, National, Uncategorized | Tags: Lobby, Revolving Door
By Mubeen Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
One of the first executive orders signed by President Barack Obama commits every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20 to sign an ethics pledge disallowing them from receiving gifts from lobbyists or engaging in lobbying activities for two years after their employment. While the order stops unethical lobbying in its tracks this point forward, it does not pertain to government officials of former administrations from becoming lobbyists for corporate interests related to their former field of work.
The U.S. Senate defines lobbying as the practice of trying to persuade legislators to propose, pass, or defeat legislation or to change existing laws. A lobbyist may work for a group, organization, or industry, and presents information on legislative proposals to support his or her clients’ interests.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) recently published a report titled “Revolving Door” which details the lobbying opportunities that have been availed by 24 former cabinet members. Although the Obama Administration has stopped the rotation in its tracks from its inception, CREW reports on those who have already passed through the highly unethical process and perhaps still retain a good deal of power in Washington:
“After leaving their government positions, many of these top officials joined the ranks of the companies they once regulated where they are highly compensated. In several instances, they have helped their new employers obtain lucrative government grants and contracts.
“The report names the companies these former officials have joined and the private interests for which they have advocated. Perhaps more importantly, it also reveals the power they continue to wield within the halls of government.
“To compile this information CREW staff reviewed news articles, press releases, websites, lobbying disclosure forms, and other public records. While aiming to be exhaustive, because information is not always readily available, CREW may not have uncovered every position held by these former officials.
“Similarly, CREW relied on the Senate Open Public Records website for information on lobbying activities. Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act [of 1995], however, a number of threshold requirements must be met before registration is required. Therefore, it is possible that an organization or individual lobbied, but was not required to file a registration form and, accordingly, was not included here.”
The key findings of the CREW were as follows:
Seventeen former cabinet officials hold positions with a total of 119 companies.
Seventeen former officials hold positions with 65 companies that lobby the federal government.
Fifteen former officials hold positions with 40 companies that lobby those officials’ former agencies.
Nine former cabinet members hold positions with 15 companies that began or resumed lobbying the former officials’ agencies after those officials joined the companies.
The most prodigious corporate advisor appears to be former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, who has worked for 42 different companies since leaving the Bush administration.
Five former officials founded lobbying firms. Combined, these firms have represented at least 48 clients.
Ten former cabinet officials work with 39 different non-profit organizations.
President Obama has issued waivers to some lobbyists, notably to Bill Lynn, who was nominated as deputy defense secretary after having been listed as a lobbyist in the defense industry for the defense contractor, Raytheon Company. Testifying before a Senate panel in support of Mr. Lynn, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said stringent ethics rules are a major reason it is difficult to fill top posts at the Pentagon.
Capitol News reported the focus on Mr. Lynn is misplaced, according to John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Hamre asserts Lynn registered as a lobbyist out of an abundance of caution, and while he did oversee Raytheon’s government affairs operations, “he didn’t roam the Capitol or the Pentagon,” according to Hamre., who himself held the position of deputy defense secretary between 1997 and 2000.
Critics like Senator John McCain, however, disagree with the waiver. “It’s a bit disingenuous to announce strict rules and then nominate someone with a waiver from the rules that you just announced,” he told Fox News. But Hamre feels Lynn’s experience is more important. What Mr. Bill Lynn did was work “with people like me in think tanks,” he said. “That’s not lobbying.”
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, Front Page News, National, World | Tags: Inauguration, IQOU statement
By El Sheikh, Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Hashmi, Hassani wal Husseini
IQOU Vice Chancellor, Islamic Post Chief Editor
We have been asked by many people the position or view of the International Quranic Open University and the Muslims of the Americas Inc. with regard to the recent changes in the direction of American politics.
Very few could have foreseen how the Almighty Creator, who is the Ruler of rulers, has chosen to exercise His decisions. However, as true believers we are not overwhelmed nor are we shocked by the manifestation of His will and decision.
In light of the closet racism and religious bias that is still very much a live current running through the fabric of American society, even the most optimistic of Americans would not have realistically imagined that Senator Barack Hussein Obama, whose father was African and a Muslim, had any chance of becoming the Democratic candidate for the Presidency let alone win the election. The fact that this unlikely scenario did unfold before our very eyes gives strong credence to the old adage, “What is meant to be will be” for it is easy for the Almighty to display His Will –despite what mankind believes to be difficult or even impossible.
Somebody asked Hazrat Ali (may Allah ennoble his blessed countenance) about perfection of faith, and he replied to the effect that if he witnessed the skies opening up, and the throne of the Almighty Creator being carried down, it wouldn’t increase his faith. Whatever Almighty Allah allows to come to pass, that is the reality. With this calmness of faith, we are not shocked. Any Muslim that believes in Isa Bin Maryam (Jesus, son of the chaste Mary), Musa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon them all), all the way to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)–indeed all of the prophets, and he does not also believe that the Almighty is the ruler of the rulers he has not perfected his deen, religion/professed way of life.
One must always remember that the One Almighty Allah had already taken this decision before hand, and He revealed it to us at a time He chose as appropriate.
It is He, the One Almighty Creator that brings about all of the kings, governors, chiefs and when He disposes, He does send His wrath on the cruel rulers, be they of the East or the West. Similarly it is written that He holds all rulers by their forelocks and keeps hold of the geopolitical balance of power. We are all citizens of His Divine Kingdom. Not a seed is thrown nor can it grow, (trees) without His knowledge and permission. In the darkness of night He knows ALL and wherever we are He is there.
If there can be said to be a glimmer of hope for a society of justice, mercy and peace, it would reside in the fact that it is a Divine rule that a people receive the leaders that they deserve. The deeds of a people rise up to the heavens and are returned to them in the form of the leaders decreed for them. It remains to be seen what has been decreed for the American people with this new President.
Therefore, whether Republican, Democrat, Independent or other,, Allah’s Will was and is done and these people (elected officials etc.) He uses to carry out His command; be it Divine Justice or Divine Wrath. There is no escaping Divine Law and Decree: Whatever you sow this you shall reap. Even in the Christian Bible, it states, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Hence for true believers there is no room to feel any sense of exhilaration or euphoria about the recent turn of events. Rather, we maintain an even keel. All rulers function through His Will and His Will is always carried out.
Nobody can give you honor nor debase you nor give provisions to you, save Him! Therefore each cell in your body must remain steadfast, He has no son, no partners and there is none like unto Him. Glorify, praise, and love Him so He in turn will love you, and everybody around you will love you. Remember everything in creation glorifies Him, birds etc. only man forgets. Look at the fate of the Titanic when some arrogant person said: even God could not sink it- it never returned from its maiden journey. They forgot He has power over all things.
For the rulers, do they think that by committing acts of genocide they shall prevail? He is aware of all what they do. As history reveals, He is Ruler of rulers, very swift in punishing arrogant, haughty oppressors; in many cases within days His wrath fell. He never spares the oppressors. His law is unchangeable. He has categorically declared that His wrath and curse is upon oppressors. He has declared: I have made it compulsory upon Myself to be merciful.
Therefore We again repeat, for a true believer, the change of rulers, government etc. should not bring any worry, hope or hopelessness because every ruler is in the all controlling grasp of Almighty Allah. Almighty Allah is a living, loving and all seeing all hearing Creator. May He be glorified.
Therefore, don’t worry about anything, do not fear them, fear Him. Only then will a nation prosper.
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, Front Page News, National, World | Tags: Executive Orders
Bush Administration Permissions for ‘Enhanced Interrogations’ Rolled Back
By Subhana A. Rahim
Islamic Post Staff Writer
After only two days in office, President Syed Barack Obama signed an executive order that demands the closure of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within one year. The order also prohibits enhanced interrogation techniques that were purportedly used during the Bush Administration on ‘high level’ detainees in order to acquire information. “…any interrogations taking place are going have to abide by the Army Field Manual.” President Obama said.
While many human rights advocates applaud President Obama’s swift action in this regard, others remain skeptical as the interrogation techniques have not been totally abrogated and there are some loopholes present, as his total plan has not yet been set forth. Still there remains a high anticipation that the detainees that are there will receive better treatment.
In a statement from Navi Pillay, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, “The fact that President Obama has placed such a high priority on closing Guantanamo and set in motion a system to safeguard the fundamental rights of the detainees there is extremely encouraging.”
Top C.I.A. officials “disagree in some respect,” White House counsel Greg Craig told the New Yorker. “While the President has clearly put an end to cruel tactics, Craig said that Obama ‘is somewhat sympathetic to the spies’ argument that their mission and circumstances are different,’” they concluded.
Ret. Adm. Dennis Blair, Obama’s nominee to lead the 16-agency intelligence community, repeatedly stated his opposition to torture before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “Torture is not moral, it’s not legal and it’s not effective,” Blair stated. “There will be no waterboarding on my watch, there will be no torture on my watch,” he told the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
The chief of communications and public information for the United Nations today called on the Israeli Government to ensure immediate access for international media into Gaza, stressing the need for “full and independent” coverage of events unfolding in the territory which has been the target of an Israeli offensive launched nearly two weeks ago.
“Access to objective and factual information is of vital importance at all times, and plays a particularly important role in emergency situations,” Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, writes in a letter to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev.
Citing reports, including from the Foreign Press Association of Israel, that international media are not being allowed access to Gaza, Mr. Akasaka reminds the Israeli Government of the right to information enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
He also recalls Security Council resolution 1738, in which the 15-member body urged all parties involved in situations of armed conflict to respect the professional independence and rights of journalists.
Member States have expressed a keen interest in what is taking place in Gaza, he states, adding that it is “of great importance to all concerned that international reporting be allowed to take place so that accurate information about the situation can inform global responses.”
A chorus of UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, have repeatedly called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Gaza and stressed the need to ensure humanitarian access to assist the 1.5 million civilians struggling amid rapidly deteriorating conditions.
The humanitarian news and analysis service, IRIN, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported the following:
“As the Israeli operation in Gaza entered its 13th day, human rights NGOs in Israel began collecting testimonies over the phone from Gazans.
“Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for Israeli NGO Betselem, told IRIN on 7 January: ‘We collect testimonies over the phone; [but] it is becoming increasingly hard to reach Gazans by phone. Our staff keep going at it.’
“[As of 8 January], casualties in Gaza are now estimated at at least 683 killed, according to the Gaza ministry of health; some 3,085 have been wounded.
“On 6 January, the Israeli authorities allowed a brief testimony of an Israeli army officer in Gaza to be aired on public radio: ‘The situation in Gaza is grim; we see women and children carrying white flags looking for food,’ he said.
“Dan Magen from Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights asked the defence minister to open a humanitarian corridor and allow wounded Gazans into hospitals in Israel. But he told IRIN: “This is too little.”
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.
Filed under: Business/Economy, December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, International | Tags: Brad Sherman, G20, Havel, Kucinich, Paul Craig Roberts
By Muhammad Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
President-elect Barack Obama made a rare pre-inaugural call in November for the support of Congress, when it reconvenes January 6, for a two-year economic stimulus program. The announcement reflects the seriousness of the situation, an “economic crisis of historic proportions,” in the words of the president-elect, and worse than previously believed. President-elect Obama has emphasized that aides, like New York Federal Reserve President, Timothy Geithner, who is now the treasury secretary designate, are to seek the consultation of congress for the passing of the bill so that, following the January 20 inauguration, his team can “hit the ground running” on the long road to repair the economy.
Although the team has been working closely with President Bush to ease the transition, the president-elect opted out of the November 15th G20 summit in Washington, D.C. The summit was expected to “discuss cooperative measures for responding to the global economic meltdown and ways to prevent future crises,” as stated by the AFP. The agenda was set primarily by leaders in the European Union.
Some believe the G20 summit, which included names like Brazil, South Korea and Indonesia, along with the United States and the usual European players, was in a rush to pile on more of the same fiscal policies that lay at the root of the current problem. In an interview with The Associated Press, Vaclav Havel, the former President of Czechoslovakia, emphasized leaders should pay more attention to the lessons of the current crisis before moving forward. “It’s a warning against the idea that we understand the world, that we know how everything works,” said Mr. Havel. “It’s a warning against the pride of economists who think they understand everything and have the whole world… mapped out.”
In the opinion of the former democratic leader of the eastern European nation, who was instrumental in toppling communism, in that country, in the late 1980’s, “the major problem is where modern civilization is going.”
He could be correct.
Western European leaders, headed by France and the United Kingdom, heralded a new world financial and monetary order just before the summit, one which would give more regulatory powers to the International Monetary Fund.
While the EU Observer reported the final conclusions of the Washington summit “came well short of delivering any construction of a new global financial architecture,” the summit did, however, agree to grant more powers to the International Monetary Fund, the global symbol of financial lending bound by “conditionalities,” or preconditional performance targets.
Before the summit, British prime minister, Gordon Brown, spoke of “very large and very radical changes.” According to Mr. Brown, the summit was set to address plans in which the bailouts of financial institutions –$2.3 trillion dollars in the case of the European Union– would simply be preliminary moves to “global action as sweeping as that which gave birth to the United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF in the 1940s.”
Yet, critics state that the bailouts, even as a first step, hardly address the problem. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Treasury, said, “All it [the bailout] does is take troubled financial assets off the books of the banks and puts them on the books of the United States Treasury, that is [to say], puts them on the taxpayers’ books.”
While governments in Latin America have been criticized severely for nationalizing natural resource industries, that had been primarily in the hands of foreign investors, the European Union now owns majority shares of European banks, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s purchase of $125 billion in banking assets means that it now owns 55% of the country’s banking assets.
Two of the most well known nationalizations of private entities are the buyout of primary lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the country’s largest insurance company, American International Group (AIG).
Anthony Perez of the Epoch Times reported, “Despite growing criticism, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson defended the U.S. bailout plan as ‘necessary.’”
“Government owning a stake in any private U.S. company is objectionable to most Americans—me included,” Secretary Paulson recently said. “Yet, the alternative of leaving businesses and consumers without access to financing is totally unacceptable.”
The EU has also faced an overwhelming amount of backlash from their efforts towards a new order, with EU leaders reportedly risking their political standing for the European bailouts.
Apparently the same goes for U.S. congressmen, whose approval rating was only 18% before the economic crisis, and by some estimates has now fallen to 10%.
“From a capitalistic standpoint,” Representative Dennis Kucinich told Fox News from Capitol Hill, “[the bailout] actually destroys the idea of a free market economy.”
A more palpable solution, said former Assistant Treasury Secretary Roberts, lies with mortgage defaults. “The only way to address the problem is to address it at the homeowner level,” the former assistant secretary to the Treasury said, “What they should have done is what they did in the 1930s during the Great Depression. They created a homeowners loan corporation. They refinanced all the mortgages and they saved the housing sector.”
Part of President-elect Obama’s stimulus package includes help for the millions of Americans who remain in jeopardy of losing their homes.
“We will review the implementation of this Administration’s financial program to ensure that our government’s efforts are achieving their central goal of stabilizing financial markets, while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance,” stated the president-elect in his first press conference after winning, by a landslide, on the premise of change.
–Shahida Rasheed and Abdul Hamid A. Aziz contributed to this report.
SPEAKING ON THE ECONOMY, What the critics said about the first bailout, as other rescue attempts ensue:
CONGRESSMAN DENNIS KUCINICH OF OHIO: “We are now facing the perfect financial storm. The elements are the deficit spending for the war … the lack of serious investment in our country and now $700 billion to Wall Street. We are being hollowed out.”
CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMAN, BRAD SHERMAN: “A few members [of Congress]were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. That’s what I call fear mongering, unjustified, proven wrong.”
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY TO THE U.S. TREASURY: “All it [the bailout] does is take troubled financial assets off the books of the banks and puts them on the books of the United States Treasury, that is [to say], puts them on the taxpayers books.”
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, Interfaith, National | Tags: Blessings from Hardship
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
For a two week period this autumn, severe gasoline shortages gripped the Southeastern United States, leaving residents in some areas of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee struggling to get to work, and go about their daily tasks. The worst cases had drivers, who were close enough, pushing their cars up to gas pumps, while others left their cars abandoned on the side of the road.
With no major gasoline storage facility or refinery in the Southeastern region, Gulf Coast pipelines are depended upon to carry gas eastward where tankers can transport it to retailers. Those pipelines were not working to capacity due to damage from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
“The shortage was terrible,” said Hanifah Mustafa, of Charlotte, North Carolina, “People were unable to get to work, school, or appointments. There were numerous fights at gas stations, and lots of cars left on the side of the road. The lines for gas were two hours long.”
Yet, according to Mrs. Mustafa, the shortage also did a lot to bring Muslims and Christians closer together. “This gas shortage and the economic crisis has opened the eyes of the people, allowing them to see that Muslims are their friends, family, and neighbors, who are in the same boat,” said the mother of three.
Mrs. Mustafa’s older children, ages 12 and 7, did not experience fear in Charlotte as nerves frayed and tempers flared, but only wanted to “get to the Holy Khanqah” to pray for things to get better for all. The twelve year old referred to a place for prayer, where people of all faiths may beseech the Almighty with high expectations. The Holy Khanqah in South Carolina was built by the local Muslim community. “My kids only feel sorry for the people and want to know how we can help,” stated the young mother and author of a children’s book published by Zavia Books entitled Moral Stories For Muslim Children.
Some months later, gas availability is back to normal, but Charlotte is not. Many people have suffered a loss in income because they were unable to afford or obtain gas to get to work. Gas prices went up to $4.49 a gallon during the two week period of the crisis, but have since dropped down almost two dollars in some places.
Some companies offered little leniency to employees unable to find fuel, only encouraging their workers to carpool. “There has been so much firing lately it’s hard to tell if it has to do with the gas shortage,” added Mrs. Mustafa, full time homemaker who is also pursuing her second bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“I spoke to my neighbor, a 65 year old, who was attacked while just going to the gas station store, not even getting gas. She and many of the people I came in contact with blame the current economic policies for the malaise of difficulties,” commented Mrs. Mustafa, although the message from the mainstream media has long painted overseas difficulties to be the culprit.
“It’s amazing to see the change in attitude of the people. They are reaching out to me wherever I go: the library, supermarket, post office, you name it. I smile, and here they come!” she added. “Some say the (blame rests with the) Zionists; it depends on who you talk to. But the blame is never on the Muslims.”
When asked what local people are doing to remain calm amidst these trying economic difficulties, Mrs. Mustafa replied that the community is joining hands to assist those in need, and improve their daunting situation in whatever way they can.
“I recently met a few ladies who were out campaigning for the elections, and I had the opportunity to speak with them. It was wonderful. It seems that the people are waking up. They are out there trying to help one another, and make everyone aware that it’s not the Muslims who are responsible for all this. One of the ladies had a newborn that she named Barack Hussein, and I shared with her that my son’s name was Mubarik Hasan. They said so many people are taking on Muslim names and standing together for the good of our children and our future,” Hanifah Mustafa continued.
“One of the [campaigning] ladies who were speaking pointed to my oldest and said, “He is our future.”
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, International, World | Tags: Opinion Polling
By Yasmin A. Atheem
Islamic Post Staff Writer
The American polling systems were vindicated in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, showing that pre-election estimates were accurate in not only predicting a win for President-elect Barack Obama, but also what the election could mean for America and the world.
The previously coined term ‘Bradley effect’ was not to be found –where European American voters provide data to pollsters indicating they will vote for an African American candidate, but neglect to lend their support in the voting booth. The term was coined after very strong poll results among European American voters turned into a loss at the voting booth for former mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, CA, an African American.
Not surprisingly, pollsters from more than half the world concurred with the choice of the American people, when they chimed in on the presidential race before the elections, offering a diverse population sample and proving certain sentiments are felt globally.
Research from GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, has shown that the world keenly followed the U.S. presidential elections with attention similar to American citizens. In fact, so closely were the candidates examined that an international consensus showed people as near as Mexico and Canada, and as far away as China and Russia agreeing with America’s next presidential choice.
The BBC World Service published the results of the poll on WorldPublicOpinion.org saying all 22 countries polled preferred President-elect Barack Obama to be elected instead of Republican rival John McCain. People around the world felt “if Barack Obama is elected president, America’s relations with the rest of the world are likely to get better. If John McCain is elected, the most common view in 19 countries is that relations will stay about the same as they are now,” according to the poll.
There are those who feel polls are of little value, like Harvard Crimson journalist, Christopher W. Snyder, who wrote in 2004 that what “polls give us is a way of feeling like we’re not alone in our opinions.”
However, since 1946 with the inception of the UN Security Council, the United States has wielded a great deal of international power as one of five permanent members on the Council who retain the right to vote and also to veto. This exclusivity makes the label “leader of the free world” more than a figurative term. With only five nations: China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States determining a great deal in the realm of global affairs, people of other countries are concerned about just how much the foreign policies of the new president will effect their lives.
The BBC poll gathered opinions from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and also the United States, with questions on the two major candidates. One of the questions posed asked: “For each of the following possible candidates, if they were elected President, do you think America’s relations with the rest of the world would become a lot better, somewhat better, stay about the same, become somewhat worse, or a lot worse?”
Results indicated: “Americans tend to share the predominant view expressed in other countries that an Obama presidency would improve US relations with the world, with 46 per cent taking that position, 19 per cent saying that relations would stay the same and 27 per cent saying they would get worse. Also similar to the rest of the world, the most common view (held by 41% of Americans) is that relations would remain the same under a McCain presidency, while 30 per cent of Americans think they would get better and 22 percent that they would get worse.
“In fifteen countries the dominant position was that, because Obama is an African-American, if he were to be elected it would fundamentally change their perception of the United States. Not surprisingly it would have the biggest impact on Kenyans (85%) and Nigerians (69%), but large numbers also say they would be impressed in Egypt (65%) and America’s neighbors/allies Mexico (60%), Australia(59%), and Canada (54%). In only two countries do majorities say that it would not fundamentally affect their view of America—Poland (59%) and Lebanon (51%), while a plurality take this position in Turkey (40%) and Russia (26%). In three others, views are divided on this question –Italy, Singapore, and Brazil.”
The polls of this presidential campaign have provided a sounding board where Americans and other citizens of the world have shown they are willing to stand behind a leader that supports peace and unity amongst European and African Americans, Christians and Muslims, the United States and the rest of the world. President-elect Obama’s win signals that the majority of Americans are ready to move towards reconciliation and away from compartmentalization and segregation, which aspirations appear, for now, to be global.
-Researcher Dalya A. Wadud contributed to this report.
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, International, World | Tags: Mossad, Yemen
A terrorist cell was apprehended in Yemen after a suicide attack on the U.S. embassy there. The Yemeni state-run news agency, Saba, reported the cell to have links with an Israeli intelligence agency. The report, quoting an unnamed source, said investigations and data retrieved from a computer seized from the cell, showed there was correspondence between the Islamic Jihad group’s deputy leader Bassam Abdullah Fadhel Al-Haidari and an Israeli intelligence agency. Saba quoted the source as saying that the correspondence between the two sides included a request from the Israeli side to implement terrorist attacks inside Yemen.
“Islamic Jihad” pointedly mentioned its affiliation with Al Qaeda after claiming responsibility for the September 17 U.S. embassy bombing:
“We, the Organization of Islamic Jihad, belonging to the Al-Qaeda network, repeat our demand of (Yemeni President) Ali Abdullah Saleh to free our detained brothers within 48 hours,” said a statement signed by self-proclaimed leader Abu Ghaith al-Yamani.
The cell included six members led by Emad Ali Saeed al-Rwoni, known as “Abu al-Gaith al-Miqdad al-Yamani.” It has sent several threatening letters targeting Arab and foreign embassies in Yemen such as embassies of Britain, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
From BBC News: “A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services,” President Saleh told a gathering at Al-Mukalla University, in Hadramawt province.
“Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings,” he added.
An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said the Yemeni president’s statement was without foundation.
According to the Yemen Observer, the network was comprised of 40 people from different Arab nationalities spying for the Mossad (Israeli international intelligence), said sources from National and Political Security Units. The members of the espionage network entered Yemen on the premise of conducting business, tourism, and even for preaching in mosques. Saleh said that the suspected spies form an undercover terrorism cell hiding under a fake religious cloak. Members were arrested individually and found to be in possession of detailed maps for sensitive security sites, intelligence telecommunication units and advanced tracking devices.
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, National | Tags: Ahli Bait, obama, Syed
The Pakistani newspaper Nawai-e Waqt recently reported, as a result of extensive research, that President-elect Barack Hussein Obama, though a Christian, enjoys the highest rank in Islam, one not attainable even through his extensive community activism and multiculturalism. The daily publication established Kenyan Syed Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., the now deceased father of the President-elect of the United States, to be, by birthright, in the ranks of the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad –may Allah’s peace be upon him and his family for eternal times.
The title Syed, also spelled Sayyid, is generally used before the name of a descendant of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and denotes the honor in which the family of the Holy Last Messenger, is held.
Being the son of a Syed, the President-elect himself is Syed. Syed Barack Hussein Obama, will do well to remember this, as his greatest honor in order to continue to make his mark in the tradition of those who, whether they are following Islam as good Muslims, or even adhering to the Ten Commandments as good Christians, are known by the characteristics of generosity, chivalry, and patience.
To illustrate the high regard for Syeds and Syedas (f.) amongst all true Muslims, a famous tradition of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, follows, in which the Beloved of the Most High (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said: “I am leaving for you two precious and weighty symbols that if you adhere to both of them you shall not go astray after me. They are, the Book of Allah (Holy Qur’an), and my progeny. The Rahman (All Merciful Creator) has informed me that these two shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise).”*
The fact that President-elect Syed Obama is Christian does not, however, remove the spirit of mercy which descends from the Most High Almighty Creator to the lineage of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), due to the love of the Almighty for His Messenger. Nor does it stop the spiritual inheritance from spreading through the family of a Syed, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. Even the mother of the President-elect, Syeda Stanley Ann Dunham, attained to this honor upon marriage with a Syed, regardless of either of their religious, or non-religious, affiliations; after her divorce, she lived for some years in Lahore, Pakistan, called the City of the Saints, and passed away in the United States shortly thereafter.
About his own faith, President-elect Syed Obama says: “When I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works, with that newfound faith, that [it] fortified my commitment to the work I was doing in the community, because it taught me that [although] I can sit in church and pray all I want, I won’t be fulfilling the Lord’s will unless I am doing the Lord’s work.”
As a correlation, it is an Islamic principle that imaan is something to be found within a person’s good actions and deeds, and that what lies at the core of a person’s belief system cannot be translated into English as mere “faith.”
According to the Islamic belief system, there is a tree of generosity in Paradise, the branches of which hang down into this world. Those who grab hold of that tree, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, will eventually be pulled up into that mercy.
It is therefore hoped that the President-elect, Syed Barack Obama, will utilize the mercy that has been extended to him. The recollection of how much he himself has been discriminated against by various elements throughout his honorable lifetime, should facilitate the continued use of his worldwide popular support in a way befitting the character of his birthright, and his own character, by administering justice to his fellow American citizens, without allowing racial or religious tensions to overshadow the essence of a Syed, for whom tolerance and mercy prevails.
*This famous and sound tradition was recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Tafsir ibn Kathir, and many other sources. A similar tradition regarding the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), has appeared in Sahih Muslim.