(IQOU PRESS RELEASE) –American Muslims are filing a $50 million lawsuit against the Fox Broadcasting Corporation for slander and defamation of character. Fox News has committed media terrorism: increasing the spread of hate crimes against American Muslims. This hate campaign of Fox News has been unending, its most recent attack, once again, accusing the Muslims of the Americas (MOA) of crimes and association with criminals about which they have no knowledge or connection. Fox News, subsidiaries, and associated news agencies, continue to attempt to link MOA members with the likes of “Shoe-Bomber” Richard Reid, “DC Sniper” John Allen Muhammad, and even with such infamous events as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Their news reporting amounts to nothing more, or less, than a deliberate smear campaign. With consistency, the Fox network keeps repeating the same misinformation and slander in order to leave a lingering impression of misgiving in the minds of uninformed citizens whom may be dependent on Fox for honest reporting.
“This is an act of media terrorism and generates hate and lies against US citizens,” says MOA Spokesman Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq. “It’s a real shame to know that these people [Fox News] consider Muslims their enemies and aim to bring about a clash between Muslims and Christians, by any means necessary, even lies. It’s cruel instigation.”
Hasib A. Haqq elaborated that the most recent slander brought about by Fox News has already resulted in attacks on the persons and property of Muslims in the United States. “But this lawsuit is not just for us,” Mr A. Haqq says. “It is being initiated for all peace-loving Americans. Stop the hate campaigns. Stop inciting people to override the authorities. Stop pushing people to violence against their Muslim neighbors.”
MOA has insisted that if the so-called “links” alleged are credible, then the broadcasting corporation should submit the proof of their claims to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for review. In particular, Fox News should provide the authorities with the backing for their statement made regarding Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic University and Imam of the Muslims of the Americas, His Eminence, El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, in which they wrongfully asserted: “Gilani is the man American reporter Daniel Pearl was trying to interview in Pakistan when he was kidnapped and beheaded. The Sheikh was taken into custody and later released by Pakistani authorities; he denies any involvement in Pearl’s murder.” This one statement contains cleverly threaded misinformation that boldly omits assertions of the Vice Chancellor’s innocence which have been made publicly available through the US State Department and the FBI. Instead of presenting accurate information, Fox News leaves the reader to wrongfully presume links between the IQOU Vice Chancellor and Chief Editor of the Islamic Post, El Sheikh Mubarik Gilani, and the heinous kidnapping of a fellow journalist.
MOA is grateful to the two above mentioned federal agencies who, on multiple occasions, have confirmed the innocence of the Vice Chancellor in the face of these baseless accusations. It has been well-documented by the State Department that El Sheikh Gilani’s name was being used in a setup by an individual named Omar Sheikh to lure Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl into a trap. US State Department Regional Security Officer Randall Bennett, in a June 2007 statement, said that when Daniel Pearl made him aware of his assignment, “The fact that his [the IQOU Vice Chancellor’s] name had not come up, and his organization had not come across my desk in any reporting, led me to be concerned that he [Daniel Pearl] was being drawn into something that was inappropriate.” Mr Bennett continued: “[Omar Sheikh] had very carefully plotted and planned this kidnapping of Danny [Daniel Pearl]. He had set it up where he had given Danny information and promised this interview with Sheikh Gilani, which Sheikh Gilani, as it turned out, had no idea his name was even being used.” FBI Special Agent Kathy Diskin, who was also assigned to the 2002 Pearl kidnapping case, stated: “I had the opportunity to sit down and interview with Sheikh Gilani. And when 15 minutes went into the interview, our feelings were that Sheikh Gilani was not involved in this.”
If Fox News cared about accuracy and non-biased reporting, their story would have at least been supplemented with the relevant information from the above US officials involved in the case. Instead, bringing shame to the name of honorable journalism, Fox News disregarded the innocence of El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, who had never seen Daniel Pearl or been involved with the likes of terrorists. The news network chose instead to lead its audience toward flawed conclusions based upon their empty inflammatory accusations and fabricated evidence.
Since 2002, Fox News has even tried repeatedly to link the Vice Chancellor of International Quranic Open University with crimes in the US, despite the fact that the Imam of the Muslims of the Americas has focused his efforts on coordinating relief teams to lead the response to natural disasters over the last few decades, and founded a number of organizations for MOA members to assist their fellow American citizens. El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani is the leading voice in the Islamic world against extremist and fanatic ideologies which cause violence and dissention between people, and he has never had any connections with terrorist organizations.
“Their [Fox’s] campaigns defeat the vitriol of Lord Haw-Haw, who broadcast propaganda in English for Nazi Germany during World War II,” says MOA Spokesman Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq, referring to the broadcasts of William Joyce (nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw) which were well known for their jeering, sarcastic and menacing tone. “The Fox News Broadcasting network is becoming the most notorious for generating and spreading hate. There seems to be no end to it,” Mr A. Haqq says.
Day and night, Fox News is fast losing its journalistic credibility. This network went opposite to the industry standard to accelerate its adoption by cable companies, paying up to $11 per subscriber to increase their availability; whereas, most networks are paid by cable companies to sign on. Before the second Iraq war, their campaign of accusing Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction –which assertion the whole world now knows was false- did not come to an end until they pushed American forces against Iraq.
The Muslims of the Americas has proved to be of the most peace loving communities in the United States. In order to lead lives free from drug and crime infested cities, members of the MOA established their own serene villages in suburban areas of the US. Many of the senior members of their community are Vietnam veterans who have been recognized as heroes, a number of whom have received the Purple Heart Medal and medals of valor along with other awards in the defense of their country. Yet, these same individuals and charitable community members are being constantly maligned.
A notice of litigation to Fox News has been served.
By Samia Abdul-Haqq
Islamic Post Senior Correspondent
For Pakistan & Afghanistan
(IP)– May 6, 2009– Once again, the United States Army is being pushed into a war as a result of false propaganda. The last example of this was the war in Iraq where false enemies were created. Again and again the US government claimed that there were weapons of mass destruction. Despite the fact that Iraq did not pose any threat to the security of the United States, and there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found, this false propaganda resulted in bloody war between the United States and Iraq, in which the United States came out a loser and thousands of soldiers left Iraq suffering from mysterious diseases.
The same perpetrators of world terrorism are weaving the thread of discord, in order to interfere once again, into Pak/Afghan politics. They now allege that a handful of Taliban are about to take over Pakistan’s nuclear assets and Islamabad’s as well.
The correspondents of the Islamic Post and writers of this article are making a documentary proving that the Taliban are a creation of the CIA. The writers will be visiting the Northern Areas of Pakistan, with camera crews, once clearance is obtained.
It is a matter of fact that the services of three Pakistanis were used by the CIA in the creation of the Taliban. Those three Pakistanis were sent loaded with millions of dollars to Kandahar, Afghanistan. These individuals were Asif Ahmad Ali (former Foreign Minister in Bhutto’s government), Mullah Fazl Rehman and Retired General Nasirallah Babar. They founded the Taliban on behalf of the CIA. The purpose of creating the Taliban was to divide Afghanistan between Pashto and Persian speaking people: The old rule of divide and conquer.
Many in Pakistan say the Taliban only want Islamic law in their respective areas. They have no desire to take over Islamabad or nuclear devices. They are not even capable of doing so, for they are only a few thousand people who don’t want colonialism in their area.
On interviewing El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, the leading sufi of the Qadri Order and founder of Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences, he commented, “Of course they’re creating a lot of problems in their tribal regions but they’re not so organized and armed to take over Pakistan, or its nuclear facilities or Islamabad. It seems ridiculous on the part of anybody to say that Pakistan’s nuclear assets are in danger. This is only raised by those afraid of Pakistan having nuclear assets.”
The Pakistani Government is hopeful that through dialogue they will achieve peace.
El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, further commented about the tribal leader Sufi Muhammad and his followers, in Swat, North Pakistan:
“They neither represent Islam nor the Sufi Ideology. Though they want Islamic Shariah in their tribal region, they forget that the Holy Last Messenger (sas) took 23 years to enforce Islamic Law. As a Sufi should know, the first lesson is that Mankind is the Family of God. Sufi Muhammad should answer – under what law does he allow suicide bombings, and against whom – against his own Muslim brethren? He denounces Pakistan and its constitution. In addition to suicide bombings, they are destroying shrines of Holy Sufic Saints – a favorite activity of Wahhabis- followers of Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab.” As documented in his book, The Two Faces of Islam, author Stephen Shwartz recounts the regularized attack of the Wahhabis, on the holy city of Karbala and the tomb of Hussain, grandson of the prophet (sas) and the destruction of holy tombs and burial grounds.
One must be aware that the elements in Swat, North Pakistan appear to be fighting for Wahhabism on a global level. Unfortunately they are very well established with safe havens in the United States and England under the guise of Salafis. They are associated with Darus Salaam Publishers who are distributors of Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s doctrine. The Salafis command a large number of Students belonging to the extreme form of Wahhabism, and if their activities are not checked, they will cause a lot of problems for the American Muslims.
Sheikh Gilani stated that it is his directive that “American Muslims defend their homeland against the extremist Wahhabi onslaught which may not come from outside. I thank Almighty Allah that at least USA is a country in which Muslims can freely practice their religion and organize rallies and processions to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) along with their Christian brethren and live freely; these would not be allowed in either Saudi Arabia or in Pakistan.
The American People have come to realize that the key to world peace lies in Christian/Muslim unity, and the process has started under the auspices of the United Muslim Christian Forum. Some of the events, news and pictures can be seen in this issue of the Islamic Post.
This correspondent worries about the government and the threat of going to war. Both governments should be warned not to repeatedly fall prey to false propaganda. The world is fully aware that such propaganda is only meant to push the United States into a full-scale war against Pakistan, of which the only loser will be the United States, in loss of life, finances and integrity.
By Jameelah Kareem
Islamic Post Staff Writer
News agencies are reporting U.S. lawmakers will continue sending some Guantanamo Bay detainees to a rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia. General Mansoor al Turki, interior ministry spokesman for the Saudi government, told CNN, “Such a re-education program will help the police to make sure these people get rid of the ideology that penetrated their brains [and to] make sure, when they leave prison, [they] can lead [a] normal life.”
There are approximately 240-250 detainees left at Guantanamo, most with little to no evidence of terrorist involvement. Nevertheless, a reform program is still seen as appropriate and the Care Rehabilitation Center in Riyadh, which focuses solely on ‘religious education,’ claims a 95% success rate. While the two Saudis who were said to have gone back to Al Qaeda, Said Al-Shihri and another man, bring that rate down by only about one percent (218 processed with 9 rearrests), there are more pressing questions regarding whether ‘religious education’ of the Saudi Arabian government is rehabilitating, or debilitating, for their Islamic morality.
The first thing which weakens Islamic principles of men is the common teaching of Wahhabism, which originates in Saudi Arabia, that it is not necessary to follow the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him. Although there is a general outward appearance of flowing robes, the code which is largely followed is tribal custom. There is no harm in local customs as long as they do not transcend the laws of decency and human brotherhood. When these laws are bypassed, as is happening in many so-called Islamic countries, the result is an extremist stance that results in violent acts and the oppression of women justified with false interpretations of Islamic texts.
One of the publishing houses which caters to the raising of an intolerant mindset is Darussalam Publications which uphold distortions of Islam, even mistranslating the traditions of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, to suit their ends (See Darussalam Publications: Enjoining Wrong, Forbidding Right, Islamic Post January Volume I.)
Another primary source of misinformation is the translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Yusuf Ali, which is the main Qur’anic text available in the West, in particular, as millions of copies are donated freely to mosques, Islamic centers, campuses and libraries. Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom cites no less than $75 billion dollars leaving the Saudi monarchy in donations to locations abroad. These monies are used for mosque-building assistance and salaries for those who agree to preach Wahhabism in their locales. For those who accept this assistance, the Yusuf Ali translation, Wahhabi books and literature are all mandatory to be placed therein and the teachers are given them as textbooks.
Majlis Ulema of South Africa published a book in the 1980s titled Errors of Yusuf Ali in which was listed 16 major mistakes in translation and commentary. Majlis Ulema asserts that in his erroneous commentary, Yusuf Ali promoted that following the Holy Messengers of Islam is unneccessary. If following the broad minded tolerance of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his interpretation of Qur’an (which is, in fact, his lifestyle) is not mandatory, but optional, it surely leaves room for a different, fallacious interpretation. This is the interpretation which originates from the Saudi Arabian government and religious bodies. Sending people who have already been accused of extremism to Saudi Arabia for reformation may not be the correct route to take.
A reformer is a scholar, not one who rejects the scholars for his own vain interpretation of Islam. It is also imperative that scholars know the entire text of Holy Qur’an, and above all, possess thorough understanding of the occasions for which various sections and lines of Holy Qur’an were revealed, including the abrogated verses, and those that replaced them. This can only be done by someone who has spent his life studying the science of the traditions of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and knows them by memory, as well as the Holy Qur’an itself. Also he should be well versed in the historical events that precipitated revelations.
He must also be well acquainted with the character of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and his Holy Companions and also the enemies and allies of the believers. Foes and friends existed outside the Islamic community and also within. As is today, there were many hypocrites who had apparently followed the religion, but only with a view to riding on the power of Islam. Needless to say, being fluent in classical Arabic and the shades of meaning used by Hijazi Arabs of the time is absolutely essential. Finally, the scholar to be must be infused with knowledge of God, awareness of Him, and a profound dislike to commit errors or do what the Almighty dislikes. To embrace all these qualities and profound knowledge can prove very challenging. Because of their love of and spiritual connection to the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), his descendants have, throughout history, become the finest and most prolific scholars of Islam.
Therefore, not every Tom or Abdullah can pick up Holy Qur’an offhand, and begin to explain the text therein according to his own opinion. Muslims and non-Muslims alike are impressed upon to seek knowledge of Islam, its Messenger (peace be upon him), history, language and culture to enhance his or her understanding of Islam’s Divine text, which was sent for the entire human race. This can be done by sitting for lessons with a scholar of Islam or, failing this, reading his books and discourses. In Islam, it is only the deviates and arrogant people who say they will only follow Holy Qur’an or Hadith (authenticated, recorded traditions of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him) while dismissing the work of scholars who spent their lifetimes studying and writing on the same in detail.
All this being said, there are very specific circumstances which occasion jihad, or defensive warfare, in the Holy Qur’an and Islam, just as there are injunctions for the same in the Bible. It is not befitting for those who are not scholars of the Word of God, whether they be Muslim or non-Muslim, to misinterpret such injunctions for any reason, least of all to advocate wanton bloodshed. On numerous occasions Wahhabi teachings have been found to be lacking in this regard.
However, for some, extremism provides opportunities. According to Newsweek: “There have also been concerns that Bush administration holdovers were deliberately playing up the [recidivism] cases in recent weeks in an effort to undercut Obama. One former senior U. S. counter-terrorism official noted to Newsweek that the Pentagon waited until the day after Obama signed his executive order mandating the closure of Guantanamo to confirm Mr Al-Shihri’s renewed Al Qaeda ties.”
The International Quranic Open University (IQOU) staff and students express their profound appreciation and thanks to Dr. Tariq Ali Shah, of the American Dental Professionals, for the rendering of services, free of charge, to the American Muslim ladies now visiting Pakistan. It is the heritage of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and his family), which imparts such an Islamic spirit of selflessness and helping one’s brethren that has been so graciously displayed by Dr. Tariq Ali Shah to the American guests of his country.
As IQOU has observed, people worldwide are fleeing from imaan, that faith which is put into practice. This has therefore been a refreshing experience for the university, which sends its members to study abroad and learn the true culture of Islam.
Pakistan, which has hosted the descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) for well over a thousand years, has been the choice destination of IQOU students for decades because of the love of the Holy Last Messenger in this part of the world who, along with his distinguished and most blessed family members (descendants, in this case), has ennobled the world with the true spirit of brotherhood, which leaves behind all other considerations. (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the King of Creation and upon all of his family.)
For this reason, the gratitude of the University cannot be fully expressed, even when counting the many people who have benefitted from the extended services of Dr. Tariq Ali Shah. May the doctor continue in his current noble example.
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, International, World | Tags: Editorial, Muslim Victims, Suicide Bomber, Tafkir, Terrorism, Wahhabism
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), has said:
“Verily, I fear about a man from you who will read the Qur’an so much that his face will become enlightened and will come to personify Islam.
“This will continue until Allah wishes, when these things will be taken away from him; as he will disregard them by putting them all behind him and attack his neighbor with the sword accusing him of polytheism (shirk).
The Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, was asked, ‘Which of the two was the mushrik (the one committing shirk), the attacker or the attacked?’ The Holy Last Messenger (may the peace of Allah be upon him) replied, ‘The attacker (the one accusing the other of shirk).’” *
An article appeared recently in the Oxford Journals entitled, “The Role of Religion in the Generation of Suicide Bombers,” in which author Dr. Sadik H. Kassim asserted, after thorough research, that although terrorist acts “suggest an inter-civilizational conflict between Islam and the West, the primary casualties of which are non-Muslim civilians,” Muslims have become the disproportionate victims of terrorism.
Between 1993 and 2003, according to a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism, most of the victims of terrorist attacks over the last decade have been Muslims. They were killed by those who –having a dubious interpretation of Islam– accused their victims of being mushrik.
Over 2000 Muslims have died in the last year in attacks perpetrated by the misguided who believe that it is meritorious to kill their Muslim brethren.
Journalist, Mustafa Qadri, in his article, “The Taliban’s War Against Muslims,” interviewed a Taliban supporter. The man, a common rickshaw driver, claimed the people killed or injured by the Taliban “deserved their fate,” and that, “According to our faith, those who do not obey Islam are no longer Muslim; and it is lawful to kill them.”
History of an ideology.
A man named Ibn Abdul Wahhab, who lived in the mid 1700s in Saudi Arabia, was the first in modern times to proclaim the lives and property of mainstream Muslims lawful to take, and to condemn large groups of Muslims as polytheists. In the wake of the tyranny he propagated, which had no basis in the religion of Islam, the Ottoman empire was destroyed.
Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s ideology was not quite new, however. He was preceded in his thought by the Khawarijis (eng. Kharjites), 7th century rebel mutineers who believed, and behaved, much the same as their current day counterparts.
While the rickshaw driver refers to the Taliban as “holy warriors,” and “true Muslims,” authors Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey, in a research article published in The Washington Quarterly in 2006 entitled, “The Madrasa Scapegoat,” found that, out of the worst anti-Western terrorist acts committed between 1993 and 2004, only 11% of those found responsible had completed any sort of Islamic schooling required to embark upon the path of becoming an Islamic scholar.
Despite this fact, the image of such mutineers has been greatly enhanced via the large media houses who casually refer to Wahhabis, in particular, as: “puritanical,” “strict,” “ultra-orthodox,” “fundamentalist,” and “Sunni.”
Yet, it is well known that Ibn Abdul Wahhab, for whom this group is named, openly shunned the work of authentic Sunni scholars.
However, it is an unfortunate understatement to say that political movements often hide behind the cloak of religion.
Robert Pape in his book, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Bombing, cataloged and analyzed every suicide attack committed between the years 1980 and 2003 and found that out of 315 attacks, religion was not the root cause of a single one. On the contrary, while the top three groups who instigated suicide bombings during the 23 year period followed a religion: the Tamil Tigers (Hindu- 69 attacks); Hezbollah (Shiite and Christian, also Atheist/Communist- 36); Al Qaeda (Wahhabi- 21); all of the suicide bombings were found to be politically, not religiously, motivated.
If there is a civilization clash, it is not between Islam and the West, but the friction between trying to make political extremism conform to religious teachings.
* Hafiz Imam Abu Yala (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) narrated this saying from the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him), in his Musnad, with the chain going back to the companion of Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), Sayyedina Huzaifa (may Allah be pleased with him). The classification of this Hadith is Jayyid (having strong authenticity).