The Islamic Post Blog


Photo Essay: Boys’ Summer Camp 2008 by Khalida
July 26, 2008, 1:52 am
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture

Month-long from July 5
Sponsored by the International Qur’anic Open University, Holy Islamberg Campus, NY, [To view as a pdf file click here]

Correction: The name of the winner of the race to the top of the hill is Ali Caba, not Mansur Ali.



Poetry Corner: Rabbee, I Have No Complaint. by Khalida
July 26, 2008, 1:45 am
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, Poetry | Tags:

*Rabbee/Cherisher and Sustainer, refers to the Almighty Creator

By Rasheeda Ameera Amatullah, Islamic Post Contributing Writer

In a world where they seek entertainment,
instead of the pleasure of their Lord;
where money is the priority,
Amidst chaos and disdain for accord:

This place is the proving ground
for those who truly believe,
to stay away from temptation
and the worlds deadly taint.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

With so much to be thankful for:
each day of life,
the many opportunities to please you
in the midst of struggle and strife.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

The bounty of your blessings:
infinite mercy, abounding grace,
the privilege of living on
Your beautiful earth, so full of space.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

You provide for us everyday,
whether or not we see the way.
You gave us prayer to repent our sin, show patience with us again and again.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

Through test and trial and adversity, from anger, show restraint.
We bear this for a little while.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

With the gift of Kalima Shahada: the privilege to be your slave.
You guide us through the sea of truth;
from darkness, us You saved.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

On the wave of certainty
we ride, in awe and hope,
holding fast with conviction
to Islam’s sturdy rope.
Rabbee, I have no complaint.

Thank you, Rabbee, for everything:
Your loving kindness, mercy and grace.
Without you we would be nothing,
lost and desolate in this place.
Rabbee, Rabbee, Rabbee,
You grant us so many things.
I truly have no complaint.



Mathnawi of Maulana Jami by Khalida
July 26, 2008, 1:39 am
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags:

In the book by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Virtues of Salaat ‘Ala-n- Nabi (peace be upon him), which has all but disappeared from the shelves of Islamic book stores,  the Mathnawi of Maulana Jaami r.a. is quoted, a display of affection and love for the Holy Rasool, peace be upon him. An excerpt is displayed here on the most honorable occasion of Lailatul Mi’raj, the Night of Ascension.
Bestow your generous attention, oh Seal of the Messengers, for greatly bereaved is the world since your demise, oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

You who are indeed the Last of the Messengers and their Seal, sal Allahu alayhe wa sallam, how can you ignore us when drowned in wretchedness and ill of fortune we are?

Through your evergreen freshness, oh dearest one, grace now this world, and from your restful sleep awake, to fill us with guiding light.

Lift now your countenance from within your Yemeni shroud, for your blessed face is the very life and light of day.

Turn for us the darkness of our sorrowful night into blessed light of day, and crown for us our day with successful accomplishments.

And now do don your fragrant smelling garments, and on your head the white turban do place.

Let your dark and precious locks of hair hang down, that their shade fall upon your blessed feet.

Wrap your feet in your shoes from mountainous Ta’if, and make their straps bind our souls to you.

This entire universe desires to be spread out for your feet, and sincerely wishes for the honor that you tread upon her.

Come forth from your sepulchre into the Nabawi Mosque, that we may kiss and lay our heads on the dust under your feet where you do tread.

Oh Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu alayhe wa aalihe wa sallam, grant refuge and help for the needy, and console the hearts of those filled with love for you.

Sinners are we, drowned in the sea of our iniquity. Yet great is the thirst of our endeavor to follow your way.

You are the rain cloud of mercy, and your generosity demands that succor be granted to the thirsty seeker in search of you.



Reflections On The Sacred Month Of Rajab by Khalida
July 26, 2008, 1:34 am
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, Religion | Tags:

“Glory be to the One who travelled at night with His slave from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, whose precincts We have blessed that We might show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 17: Ayat 1. (Masjid al Aqsa, Jerusalem, is shown below.)

In the book Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth, by Hadrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, the manner in which to honor the 27th of Rajab, and the peculiarities of Rajab, Sha’baan, and Ramadaan, are all mentioned:
“Al Hasan al Basri, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, said: ‘When the 27th of Rajab came around, Abdullah ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, would start the day as a mutakif (i.e., as someone who follows the practice called i’tikaaf, meaning withdrawal into a state of seclusion in order to concentrate on religious devotions, especially while fasting). He would devote the whole morning to prayer, up to and including the obligatory ritual prayer at noon. After performing the noon prayer, he would stroll about for a little while to stretch his legs.’”
Peculiarites of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadaan.
From the same text, the following are some of the many traditional sayings in which Rajab is mentioned along with Sha’baan and Ramadaan:
“‘Rajab is for giving up crude behaviour (jafaa’), Sha’baan is for good work and redemption (wafaa’), and Ramadaan is for honesty and candor (safaa).’
“‘Rajab is the month of repentance (tawba), Sha’baan is the month of loving affection (mahabba), and Ramadaan is the month of nearness (qurba).’
“‘Rajab is the month of sanctity (hurma), Sha’baan is the month of service (khidma), and Ramadaan is the month of blessed grace (ni’ma).’
“‘Rajab is the month of worship (‘ibaada), Sha’baan is the month of abstinence (zahaada), and Ramadaan is the month of enhancement (ziyaada).’
“‘Rajab is the month in which Allah multiplies good deeds (hasanaat), Sha’baan is the month in which atonement is made for bad deeds (sayyi’aat), and Ramadaan is the month in which gifts of grace (karaamaat) [miraculous manifestations] can be expected.’
“‘Rajab is the month of those who race ahead (saabiqeen), Sha’baan is the month of those who practice moderation (muqtasideen), and Ramadaan is the month of disobedient sinners (‘aaseen).’
“It was Dhun Nun al Misri (the Egyptian, may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) who said: ‘Rajab is for giving up things that cause harm (aafaat), Sha’baan is for the active practice of worshipful obedience (taa’aat), and Ramadaan is for the expectation of gifts of grace (karaamaat). So, if a person fails to abstain from things that are harmful; if he does not engage in the active practice of worshipful obedience; and if he does not wait expectantly for the gifts of grace; he must be one of those folk who are only interested in trivial pursuits (ahl at turrahaat).’
“He also said (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him): ‘Rajab is the month of sowing, Sha’baan is the month of watering, and Ramadaan is the month of the harvest. Everyone reaps what he sows, and everyone is recompensed for what he does.’
“If a person wastes the time he should devote to cultivation, he will regret it on his day of harvesting. He will realize in retrospect that he was sowing nothing but a bleak future for himself.”
Night of Ascension a Physical Occurrence.
Ash Shifaa, the Book of Healing, by Qadi ‘Iyad, was written on the premise that by coming to know and understand the most blessed qualities of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, a person’s worldly and next-worldly life is healed of all affliction, due to the love that the Almighty holds for our Master Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Qadi ‘Iyad writes: “Most of the early scholars agree, and the Muslims also believe, that the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, went on the Night Journey in his physical body while he was awake. This is the truth, and has been stated by (the holy personages of) Ibn ‘Abbas, Jabir, Anas, Hudhayfa, Abu Hurayra [and many more]…
“The true, sound position in this, Allah willing, is that the Night Journey was both in spirit and in body throughout the entire event. The ayaat (pl.), or signs contained in Holy Qur’an, the sound traditions and considered opinion all indicate this. One does not abandon the truth of the literal meaning [in Holy Quran] for interpretation [by analogy] except when nothing else is possible.
“That the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, went on the Night Journey in body, while awake, is not impossible. If it had been a dream, Allah the Most High would have said, ‘with the spirit of His slave,’ instead of (here we quote the full ayat) ‘Glory be to the One who travelled at night with His slave from the Masjid al-Haram to the Further Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed that We might show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearing, the Seeing.’ (Surah 17: Ayat 1) Allah ta’ala also says, ‘The eye did not swerve, nor did it sweep away.’ (Surah 53:Ayat16)
“If it had only been a dream, then it would not have involved either a sign or a miracle. The unbelievers would not have thought it impossible and rejected it, and the weak Muslims would not have been doubtful about it and found it a test, since things like this are not unknown in dreams. This doubt only arose because they knew that the report of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, indicated it being his physical body, while awake…  Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘It was a direct vision which he saw with his own eyes. It was not a dream.’”



Invitation: The Banaatun Noor International 2008 Ladies’ Summer Camp by Khalida
July 26, 2008, 1:23 am
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, National, Religion, travel | Tags:

Under the auspices of His Eminence, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, an invitation is extended for you to please join us at the Banaatun Noor International, Incorporated,
2008 Ladies’ Summer Camp,

From August 2nd through August 30th, 2008 in Holy Islamberg, New York.

As Salaamu Alaykum
Here lies an opportunity to strengthen Iman, culti­vate the spiritual self, and in so doing effect change within and without.
The 22nd Annual 2008 Ba­naatun Noor Ladies Summer Camp [Invitation] has been, and contin­ues to serve as, a retreat through which ladies can discover, then be­queath, an enriched Islamic identity with confidence and without reserve.
Come partici­pate in strengthening the bonds of love and unity that can only be found in coming together for Allah’s pleasure, and learning His Deen and the sunnah of the Holy Last Messenger, Our Master, Syedina Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.
Strength is Iman; and Iman is the foundation of life. We, the Banaatun Noor Staff, anticipate pro­viding a service that, Allah willing, will bring every participant success. Please take special care in preparing for this camp. Purify the inten­tions; open the heart and mind; and prepare to receive all that Allah, the Most High, has in store.
Make intentions clear to travel, study, and absorb the knowledge that will be made available to all for the pleasure of Allah, who is Glorified and the Most High. By seeking knowledge, one may then adhere to the commands of the Holy Quran, and sunnah of our Holy Master, Syedina Mu­hammad, peace be upon him and his family.
The BNI Camp Staff  sends its warmest regards, and is looking forward to your response.

For more information please contact Khadijah Smith or Tahirah Khaliq.



Touring: The Sisters of Naumaan by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:52 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, Touring, travel | Tags:

By Asma Younus, Special to the Islamic Post

To view the pdf of the print pversion of this paper, click here
The Shaqaiq al Naumaan (sisters of Naumaan) are waving at me. I stop to stare at them. In this wilderness of ruins of a powerful castle, I feel they want to tell me the story of Sultan Salahuddin.
This is what brings me here.
Salahuddin’s castle is on top of a mountain, flanked by two ravines.  You enter through the south gate by ascending 144 steps. It is approached by traveling up the mountain on hairpin bends, and looking down at the possibility of sure death with the slightest miscalculation of the road edge.
I think of Salahuddin and his family, emigrating on the night of his birth from Mosul to Aleppo.  He spends his first sixteen years being educated in Islam by the Sufis, those masters of the science whose objective is the reparation of the heart, and turning it away from all else but God.
Suddenly all the stories that I have heard about him come to life for me; that he possessed Ehsaan, a high level of Awareness of the Almighty and resulting good behavior, which is an integral part of Islam.  It is a virtue that is contained in the Holy Last Messenger, and Mercy to Mankind, Muhammad, (may the Peace of the Almighty and His blessings be upon him).
Ehsaan is a quality so difficult to imbue into one’s actions as a victor with the power to hurt or desecrate.
I see Salahuddin as a young boy, learning to forgive, to give more than is being asked, to take only what is needed, and to give away the rest for the pleasure of Allah. I can see the little boy who grows up to be a powerful strong soldier, and the Sultan that spares the Crusaders when he conquers Jerusalem. Those very Crusaders, whom, on conquering Jerusalem, had massacred so many, that it is recorded in history books that their horses waded in blood up to their knees. And yet when he (Salahuddin) enters Jerusalem as a conqueror, and has those very Crusaders at his mercy, he lets them go.
Extreme faith had entered his very being. He was the epitome of a true Muslim, one who surrenders his will to the Almighty, sincere faith exuding from every cell of his heart.
Why was he a soldier then? The thought occurs to me as I walk the paths in Salahuddin’s castle. Every Shaqaiq e Naumaan, as the red poppies of the desert are affectionately called, waves to me gently in the breeze, reminding me of their frailty and their temporary stay this spring, in this stronghold.
I look around; the scene is breathtaking. The breeze blows, laden with memories of the past glory of the Muslims.
There is an underlying assurance of the impermanence of life, power, and even, for some, sincere belief.
All things must end, good or bad, with the final judgment:  punishment and reward meted out by Allah, Glory be to Him, on The Day – the final Day of Judgment whence everything and every part of us will give witness to our past actions, and there will be no shade for the sinner.
Nowhere else am I more acutely aware of this than in Salahuddin’s powerful castle, now in ruins.
Something turned him into what he became: The knight for the defense of the defenseless.
As we roll back the pages of history, we realize that power changed hands when one king decided that he could attack Makkah and Madinah, the holiest of places for Muslims, and massacre a ship full of pilgrims.
Anyone with as strong an ego as most rulers and leaders possess would have punished Balian and the Franjs of Jerusalem with a vengeance, but not Salahuddin.  His earlier training of reining in the lower desires with prayer and fasting stood him in good faith.
Perhaps his leniency sprouted from the knowledge that there was outside incitement by the globalists of the day, who urged the Crusaders on, in an effort to annihilate both Christian and Muslim. Some things don’t change.
From The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf:
“He entered Jerusalem on Friday October 2, 1187 or Rajab 27, 583 by the Muslim calendar, the very day on which Muslims celebrate the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad’s( may the Peace of The Almighty and His blessing be upon him) nocturnal Journey to Jerusalem (Isra wal mi’raaj- when the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, traveled during a part of one night to the ‘Aqsa Mosque, where he ascended into the heavens and was called into the Divine Presence).  The Sultan’s emirs and soldiers had strict orders: No Christian, whether Frankish or Oriental, was to be touched. And indeed there was neither massacre nor plunder.”
The fact that the Christian shrines and churches still stand today in Jerusalem bear witness to Salahuddin’s level of faith when entering as the Conqueror of Jerusalem.
“Most of the Franj (Frankish Crusaders) remained in the city after Salahuddin conquered it. He (Salahuddin), surrounded by a mass of companions, went from sanctuary to sanctuary weeping, praying, and prostrating himself. He allowed the rich to sell their property to Orthodox Christians and Jews who planned to continue to stay on.”
His extreme level of faith, and fulfilling his pact with the vanquished patriarch of Jerusalem, was demonstrated when the patriarch of Jerusalem drove out of the city accompanied by numerous chariots filled with gold, carpets and all sorts of precious goods. Imad al Din Asfahani was scandalized, and the treasurers of the Muslim state became angry:
I said to the Sultan (Salahuddin): “The patriarch is carrying off riches worth at least two hundred thousand dinars! We gave them permission to take their personal property with them but not the treasures of the churches and convents. You must not let them do it!” But Salahuddin answered, “We must apply the letter of the accords we have signed, so that no one will be able to accuse the believers of having violated their treaties. On the contrary, Christians everywhere will remember the kindness we have bestowed upon them.”
The red poppies swaying in the wind smile at me, baring their chests to show me the black covering on their hearts. Is the black cover on their hearts waiting to be polished by the Believers of the Muslim world? Their petals are deep red with the blood of Muslims soaking the earth all over.
I detect no sadness in their demeanor, as they sway with the breeze, their delicate petals red with the central black covering on their hearts.
They seem to say, as they gently wave to me, “Powers greater than those who are now bent on the destruction of Muslim homes and countries have perished in the past, by the power of the Almighty, without even one human being taking part.  Do not grieve, this too shall pass!”
-Always Ether

Always Ether

An Adaptation of “How Sing the Andalusian Poets,”
By Juan José Ceba

The subject of poetry is always ether to us.
It spells love, solitude, time, death or destruction.
It is known to inherit gorgeous richness in form, with the refinement and aesthetics of overflowing purification: metaphors, comparisons, hyperboles, personifications and an inexhaustible technical show.
Thus, our poetry sings on  a current of the light, the air, the aroma and the essence of beauty, thinking of Paradise, a garden that burns at night, the flowering of love; nature in its totality. These live on in the ardor of the soul of the poet, until oneness and aroma of the earth forms within him.
They urged on the free, wittingly powerful critic, with a fine humor that touched the core. They were loving in the end of an improvisation. It is from them, as it observed Garcia Gomez, that “everything can be turned into the matter of art.”
They go deep, and they find the route mystical. Into  fusion with the Loved one,  go these Sufis. They were the poets.



Late Summer Gardening by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Magazine/ Culture, Science | Tags: ,

By Saudah Umm Nur, Islamic Post Contributing Writer

In gardening, planning is everything.  Here in Canada, where we consider ourselves lucky when we have 90 days of warm weather in the summer, gardeners must be especially strategic. But, even here, we can get 2 or 3 crops from a garden bed if we plan well.
For vegetables that have a short shelf life, such as lettuce, we have to focus on growing just what we know we will use.  In my early days of gardening, when I had 114 acres to work with, I grew a lot of plants just because I could.  But a lot of work goes into preparing and nurturing the soil, so prepare ahead of time to can your vegetables and store your grains and seeds properly. I soon found that a lot of veggies ended up on the compost pile and became a waste of energy and space. Growing what your family will eat and, more importantly, planning when your family will eat it, is the best policy. While preserving is a separate topic, we will start by talking about how to hold on to your seeds.
If you grew too many peas in the spring, or beans in the summer, don’t compost them just yet.  Let them continue to grow until the pods are dry. When they are completely dry, put the pods in a paper bag.  Put the paper bag in the freezer for a day or two to kill any bugs which will more than likely be on the plants since you grow chemical-free. Take the bag out of the freezer and store it in a cool, dry place. Use the dried peas in the winter for soup or grind them up to a powder and add it to your chicken feed to boost the protein and flavor of your eggs and meat.
Similarly, let one of each of your squash, melons, cucumbers and tomatoes and heads of corn grow to full maturity and harvest the seeds.  This should be no problem because you started off your sustainable gardening venture with non-hybrid, open-pollinated, organic seeds—right?
Late summer is a good time to assess the health of your soil. Every thing you grow takes something out of the soil, so it’s important to put nutrients and organic matter back into the soil late in the season because in high temperatures, with low moisture or with too much moisture, it is harder for plants to use the nutrients in the soil.
Look around and take notice of those spring-sown plants that didn’t thrive.  If they wilted quickly, were frequently attacked by bugs – as bugs crave the least healthy plants– or gave a low yield, it is probably time to amend the soil with compost and/ or manure.  Grow a cover crop in that area like clover or, better yet, oats.  Oats are easily dried and stored for the winter for your family and clover flowers can be harvested for tea. What you don’t use of the cover crop can be easily turned over into the soil so that next spring you can just till it in. Extra oats are also good for chicken or dog food; oats are the only grain dogs can digest raw.
I get the most enjoyment from my garden in the winter.  When the rest of the country is eating stale, irradiated, imported vegetables, I love to go in my garden and dig up fresh, healthy, delicious produce.  To have a winter harvest, you have to start in late summer.  Carrots, beets, parsnips, broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale and most of the Asian vegetables, like bok choi, all can be sown now in late summer and harvested in the dead of winter. Plant them now, and you will reap the benefits after the first frost –or the first snow fall in milder climates. Cover the plants with at least a foot of shredded paper, straw, or heap the soil up until just the very tip of the plant is visible.  Plant a tall stick or some other marker so you can find them in the winter.  Around December or January (or earlier) go out and dig up what you like, when you like.  The cold temperatures will have brought out the maximum sweetness in the vegetables.  Even the kids will like them! If you want to have enough onions or garlic through the winter, you should have started the seed last January or February, but if you can get onion or garlic sets this time of year, plant as many as you can now and leave them in the soil over the winter. You probably will be able to harvest some during the winter if you use mulch. They’ll continue to grow through the winter and they’ll be huge by the beginning of next summer, if Allah so wills.



From the Desk of the Sultan, July Vol 2 by Khalida

By El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Hashmi Hasani, wal Hussaini, Islamic Post Chief Editor, Vice Chancellor IQOU

Staff Writer Introduction:

The following narration, from the desk of El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, affords you the opportunity to examine your  salaah –or five-times prayers– and its performance from the time of its initiation to its standing before Him for acceptance:
Know and Understand Your Salaah
Allah the Most High, ta’ala, has said in the Holy Quran Majeed in the very beginning, in Surah Baqara, “And they establish salaah and spend from what We give them.”  (Surah 2: Ayat 3)
Here Allah Ta’ala means those who completely establish the salaah phenomenon. Meaning thereby, to strive for perfection in salaah.  Therefore, just by going to the masjid and offering salaah five times a day, one cannot be sure of his or her salaah being accepted by Allah Ta’Ala.  Therefore before offering salaah, we must know how a perfect salaah is made.
Wudhu
A perfect salaah begins with a perfect wudu (wudu kamil), and is made in the following way:
Declare your intention for performing wudhu; use pure and clean water in a vessel not exceeding one kilogram.
Sit on a raised place, a settee or stool, facing Qibla, if possible.
Then wash each and every limb thrice, or the prescribed amount, along with the du’a, or prescribed supplication, for every limb in Arabic, English, or Urdu.
Wudhu will not be proper if nails are dirty or long, unnecessary hair has not been removed, or nail polish is still on the fingers.
A wudhu performed in a bathroom is acceptable provided the toilet area and wudhu portion are separate, or separated by a plastic curtain or glass partition.
Salaah
The Holy Last Messenger, Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon him, has defined perfect salaah in a very famous hadith called Hadith-i-Jibrail, upon him be peace, the second hadith in Arbaeen Nawawi.
Being asked by the angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, “What is Ihsan?” the Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said, “You should worship your Rabb  (Cherisher and Sustainer) in such a manner that you should be able to behold Him, and if not, then you must believe that He beholds you.”  This is a very challenging position. In Holy Qur’anic terminology, only Muhsineen, (or those who possess the quality or virtue ‘ihsaan’, who live and conduct themselves fully aware of the Presence of The Almighty), can achieve this distinction. Also, the Sufia are those blessed with this virtuous quality of ihsaan.
In performing perfect salaah, one has to struggle a lot to change one’s habits and outlook.  The Holy Last Messenger, Allah’s peace, blessing, and mercy be upon him, has said, “Indeed perfect salaah is the Mir’aj of Mumineen, and the key to paradise (Jennah).” (Mi’raj is spiritual ascension which enables that blessed person entrance into the spiritual realm, by His Grace.)
Next, Allah Ta’Ala has said in Holy Quran that those who offer their salaah with Khashi’a indeed are successful.  Khashi’a means driving away every ungodly thought.  Remaining in a state where one is completely absorbed in Him is the manner in which one should stand before Him.
Other than that, salaah must be made on time, in congregation wherever it is applicable, and wearing proper dress.
Dress Code
Clothes should be clean, hair combed, with nice cap (scarf or chaddar for ladies), and everything about the Musalee, the male or female worshipper, should reflect his or her eagerness, zeal, and longing to stand before the Almighty in inward purity, and outward purity of dress.
I am presenting before you the most important topic of  Deen ul Islam (our way of life in Islam); and if we ignore that topic we do not remain Muslim.  That is Salaah, or as it is called in Urdu, Namaz.  This is the only prayer in Islam; words by which Allah Himself invites, gives an extensive invitation Himself, -five times a day.  By calling people to offer Salaah, He has made it compulsory for us, for the Ulema, for other people, and assures people by saying ‘Haya ala-s Salaah, Haya alal Falah,’ come to salaah, come to success.  It is so important! You must pay attention!
Allah says come to success; if you offer Salaah you are given success, falah.  Haya al Falah.  What is meant by success?  The first ten ayaat of Sura Al Muminoon start with salaah, and draw to a close in the ninth aya with salaah. Allah Subhana wa Ta’Ala says, “Indeed, verily of course, those Mumineen found success who observed, or found, Khashi’a in their salaah.”
In Holy Quran Allah has commanded salaah seven hundred times.  Here in Sura Al Muminoon, Allah says, “Those mumineen found success who observed Khashi’a.
What is Khashi’a?  One must know there are preconditions of salaah.  If these conditions are not fulfilled, you might be making salaah all of your life and it will not be accepted, and it will be thrown back like a dirty piece of cloth on your face.  It happens every day, Allah does not accept the salaah of many people. We should know what are those conditions which render our salaah null and void.
Allah, Subhana wa Ta’Ala, says to those people who observe Khashia, “Had We sent down this Holy Quran on a mountain, you would have seen it falling apart, out of Khashi’a of Allah, Fear of Allah. The word taqwa also has its levels, with the highest degree being that you do everything out of respect and love of Him.
So, when you stand before Allah, your heart should be full of awe.  Fearing Allah means not wanting to displease Him.  You must be very aware of this; that you are offering proper salaah in a proper manner, and with all the conditions fulfilled.  You must be very careful!
The first condition is this. Khashi’a is that you must cut yourself away from everything, and stand before Allah Ta’ala, only knowing that you are standing before Allah for salaah, and you should be able to behold Him!  If not, then you should know that He is watching you.  When you develop this ‘Allah- awareness’, then Khashi’a will enter your heart.
So, we know that Khashi’a is essential.  Safeguard your salaah.  This is in Surat-ul- Baqara, ayaat 1-5: who safeguards salaah. This person, who safeguards salaah, offers salaah on time and observes all the conditions; the clothes not too loose or too tight; there is  no haraam food in the stomach; and the person does not watch dirty movies or filthy videos.



Organized Criminals Do Not Use Leon Torture Methods by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:37 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags: ,

By Mubeen Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer

John Kirby, a former federal prosecutor who helped indict the Arellano Felix cartel, cast doubt on the official explanation of the torture classes in Mexico when he told NBC  organized criminals in Mexico usually don’t use psychological torture methods which, by nature, focus on the humiliation and defilement of an individual.  “They’re [just] going to cut off their fingers and take out their teeth,” said Kirby.
Local officials claim that the extreme debasement being carried out on officers will somehow help them survive violent interrogations.  This was also the official line for officers who trained in similar programs in the U.S. and found themselves torturing victims in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Mosul and Bagram.
Although the fight is against organized crime and not terrorism, according to Leon’s Mayor Vicente Guerrero Reynoso and Police Chief Carlos Tornero, it is not clear who actually initiated the torture training in Mexico.
Against the wishes of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy and Witness for Peace, the U.S. Congress recently approved without fanfare a $1.6 billion Plan Mexico, also known as the Merida Initiative, in support of President Felipe Calderón’s battle against organized crime.
The groups argue that no human rights safeguards will be adequate to justify U.S. funding for Mexican military and police under the current circumstances.



Food Cooperatives: A Means to Combat Escalating Prices by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:33 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Latino/Caribe

By Safiya A. Khafidh, Islamic Post Staff Writer

There is a traditional saying:
“A word to the wise is sufficient.”

Food co-ops are not a new idea, and are examples of the good people can do when they work together. Revisiting the efficiency and practicality of sharing food and resources in these difficult days is worth a bit of reflection.
Two years ago, when consumer goods rose 26 percent, a group of ladies in the poor neighborhood of Asuncion, Paraguay created a practical and sensible option to the traditional way of shopping: the simple food co-op. Today, with basic commodities having risen 40 percent in their country, the fees co-op members pay “no longer stretch far enough,” says Ramona Perez, president of Mujeres Unidas (Women United), a cooperative of over fifty ladies.
The way it works is that each person pays a monthly fee of about 110,000 guaranis, which is about 25 U.S. dollars. Once a month food is purchased in bulk and then it is equally distributed amongst all the ladies. They cannot afford to buy beef or dairy products, and restrict themselves to the basics like sugar, flour, rice, cooking oil, eggs, and beans.  Ramona explained that “the prices are sky high. The only way to ease the impact on our pocketbooks is buying in bulk. That’s the only way we can survive.” The ladies are also planning to bake their own breads and baked goods, as well as buying their fruits and vegetables directly from the growers.
Operating on a larger scale, though similar in principle, is another kind of food co-op; the 803 hectares farm co-op of Brisas del Masparro in Barinas, Venezuela. They are comprised of 56 families.
Cows are milked twice a day, and the co-op donates 20 liters of milk every day to 2 small neighboring schools. Expenses are shared. They plan to build homes this year for the 56 families. According to one member, “We will build them together in the style of a little town in order to facilitate and reduce costs of services like water, electricity and gas, with a sports field, a town square and a community centre and perhaps even a pool.”
“All around the world there is a food crisis. They want to take food and make it into fuel. We don’t agree with that and we pay back the government’s support by producing more food,” said José Tapia Coiran, president of the Brisas del Masparro co-operative.



Paraguay’s Duarte Fails to Get Ahead of the Game by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:30 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags:

By Noora Ahmad, Islamic Post Staff Writer

The end of June found outgoing Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte Frutos offering to resign early in order to take a seat in the Paraguayan Senate when the newly elected legislators were sworn in.
CNN reported that while Duarte was barred from running for a second five-year presidential term, he instead ran for and won a seat in Paraguay’s Senate in April. Duarte’s dilemma centered on the fact that new senators were due to be sworn in on July 1, six weeks before his term of office as Paraguay’s President was over.
Although ultimately the president’s request was rejected, his move speaks to the reactionary trend that legislators in left-leaning Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have taken. In those countries, opposition members, who have usually hailed from wealthy provinces sympathetic to outgoing regimes, have firmly established themselves in the legislative bodies, and are violently resisting change.  President-elect Fernando Lugo is seen by most as being part of the new leftist turn in Latin American politics.
However, in the case of Paraguay, even some of Duarte’s own Colorado Party members, in addition to the opposition, opposed his bid, arguing the constitution does not allow the president to hold another position. In a decisive move, the Paraguayan Senate illustrated their majority opinion by not showing up to vote on the issue, effectively denying Duarte the quorum needed to approve his resignation.
This is the first time an outgoing president has been so openly hasty to secure his influence in the next administration while yet in office; the reason for doing so remains unclear.  Duarte’s maneuvering appears to have further shaken the fragile alliance between political parties that President-elect Fernando Lugo has been attempting to patch together.  Lugo’s success is contingent upon the durability of the Alianza Patriótica para el Cambio (APC), the center-left coalition formed under the Partido Liberal Radical Autentico (PLRA)’s leadership involving ten smaller parties. Prominent Senator Alfredo Luis Jaeggli’s resignation from the PLRA signals the deteriorating health of the coalition.
The discord that Duarte’s actions have precipitated will not help the new Paraguayan president and his coalition in his bid for strong reforms for his country.  In a report by  the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Research Associate Jessica Bryant summarizes the fragile state of  the present situation: “ Lugo’s election was historic. By defeating the Partido Colorado, the country’s firmly entrenched hegemonic power, he became Paraguay’s first opposition leader to be elected in more than sixty years. His reform agenda seeks to combat the country’s crippling poverty, a situation contributed to by Paraguay’s institutionalized mechanism of corruption based on drugs and contraband. Even in the best of circumstances, these objectives would be difficult to achieve.”



Dr. Jemille: El Gilani Methodology, Part 2 by Khalida

By Dr. Jemille Wasi, Islamic Post Contributing Writer

In the last issue of the Islamic Post, I introduced the second in a series of articles whose objective was to provide a more detailed introduction into El-Gilani Methodology.  The first article [an introduction] highlighted the historical aspects of EGM.  In the second article, I described the method itself and some of the requirements involved in its practice.  The purpose of this current editorial is to expand on the idea of psychiatric diagnosis being the primary area of focus for this treatment system.
A central theme of Sufi psychiatric science, and the basis of EGM, is that the body is a product of the soul. Man is a spiritual being with a physical form.
This differs from the prevailing mainstream dogma that the soul is a product of the body.  In modern psychiatry, man is divine and our consciousness, mind, and souls are derived from our physical self.  In essence, this means that we are physical bodies with a spiritual soul.
Some modern psychiatrists go as far as to exclude the notion of a “soul” altogether; so much so, that inquiries into the non-corporeal facets of human existence negate the current laws of medical and physical sciences. These conventional, modern beliefs comprise the core obstacle that is hindering the curative treatment of psychiatric ailments.  Moreover, these principles led to the error of attributing mental disease to physical phenomena, which in turn, has led to the employment of physical means, i.e., regimens of drug and other therapies, to cure mental disease.  These measures do not provide a cure, and have yielded minimal results in even controlling the symptoms of mental disorders. This symptom control is not identical in all cases treated with the same modality, and the effectiveness varies on a case-by-case basis.
Because EGM is based on Sufi scientific codes, and because Sufi science revolves around the reality of the soul, EGM has been used primarily for psychiatric ailments.  In fact, the effectiveness of EGM in curing psychiatric maladies is due in part to the truth of the first-mentioned idea: we are spiritual beings with physical forms.
All aspects of Sufi psychiatry revolve around the purification of the soul from characteristics such as lust, greed, anger, jealousy, and other inner pollutants.  Possession of these traits spiritually, manifests physically in various forms. The only way to remove these inner pollutants is from the inside out.  Another facet of this is that a person’s negative actions or deeds can serve to  strengthen these characteristics spiritually; so care also needs to be taken in performing good deeds, as part of the inner cleansing. This cleansing process is essential to curing mental disorders.
For the last 40 years, El-Gilani Methodology has enjoyed  tremendous  international success in curing mental diseases, as well as other diseases that are based on one’s deeds, and the condition of one’s soul, such as AIDS.  There are many scientifically proven cases of the effectiveness of this method documented in the book, Quranic Psychiatry by His Eminence, Sheikh Syed Mubarik  El Gilani.  Not surprisingly, the only entities that decrease the effectiveness of EGM are the ineffective physical means currently used to treat mental disorders.  These modalities work similar to how negative actions and bad deeds work in obstructing the cleansing process.
Because EGM focuses on the root of the problem with mental disease, it can effectively stand alone as a treatment option.  One can see that eliminating the concept of the soul as the primary form with an associated physical vehicle, destroys the true essence of the etiology of mental disease at its very root. In order to progress in this field, one has to first acknowledge the above-mentioned Sufi principle, in order to truly understand the mystery of mental disease, its causes, signs, symptoms, and  remedies.
As always, only from Allah, Glorified is He and the Most High, can we be healed!

Dr. Jemille graduated in 1998 with honors from Longwood University, with a Bachelors in Chemistry. In June 2006, he received a Medical Degree from International Quranic Open University (I.Q.O.U.). In September 2006, he received his M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical school. Dr. Jemille is scheduled, this year, to participate fully as a physician at St. Francis Family Residency Program.

For any comments or concerns send an email to Dr. Jemille:
Jemille23@gmail.com

Dr. Jemille Series: The Introduction to El Gilani Methodology Intro| Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3



Thomas Lubanga on Trial by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 7:18 pm
Filed under: International, July Volume II - 2008, World | Tags: ,

By Nafisa Begum, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Congolese Militia leader, Thomas Lubanga, is on trial in the first case to be heard since the International Criminal Court (ICC) was set up in 2002.
The ICC was established under the terms of the 1998 Rome Statute and is independent of the United Nations. To date, more than 100 countries have ratified the relevant treaty, however certain key countries have not: the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan. Three of whom are part of the Group of  Eight (G 8) countries and the other two, China and India part of the G 8’s “Outreach Five.”
Lubanga went to trial in 2006, with two other detainees, former Congolese warlords Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo, after arrest warrants were issued in 2005 on charges of murder, human trafficking and the use of child soldiers.
French judge Claude Jorda said: “There are reasons to believe that Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is legally responsible (for) … the enrollment of children under 15. As a result, the court confirms the charges and rules that [he] should appear before a court for trial.” He stands accused of abducting children and forcing their participation in attacks headed by his group, the Union of Congolese Patriots (UCP) and its military wing, the Patriotic Front for the Liberation of the Congo (FLPC), during 2002 and 2003. Over 30,000 children were associated with forced combat militias when the conflict was at its height.
Lubanga’s defense team is requesting his release due to delays in the proceeding.  Accusations have been directed at prosecutors for withholding over two hundred documents vital to helping prepare Lubanga’s defense.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a state built on the  human rights violations of  King Leopold II of Belgium, who privately owned the territory. It was called the Congo Free State, and was established in 1885 by means of deception for the sole purposes of economic exploitation.
The Congo has seen millions of its people displaced. An estimated 6 million have died due to violence, hunger and disease. The conflicts between Hema, Lendu, and militia groups, have killed millions in the fight for  the control of gold mines and taxation.
The Congo Region, like most of Africa, has been the victim of one corrupt government after another. All have committed unthinkable acts in the name of greed.
Human rights groups, which represent the victims, have stated that Lubanga’s charges should also include the atrocities of rape, torture and killings as related to Uganda,  and the Central African Republic. Both of which have been the sight of  continued human rights abuses.



Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s Call for Presidential Impeachment by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 6:12 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, National, Politics | Tags: ,

By Mubeen Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has been presenting  articles of impeachment for U.S. President George W. Bush, left off his presidential bid in January to run for re-election to Congress. He is shown here (center with wife, Elizabeth) on an interfaith mission to Syria.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) stated in an official press release last month, after presenting 35 articles of impeachment to Congress, “Now it is incumbent for the Judiciary Committee to review the evidence. If it fails to hold any hearings on the resolution within the next thirty days, given the gravity of the charges and the moment, I will once again bring a similar privileged resolution of Impeachment to the House. We must not only create a historical record of the misconduct of the Bush Administration but we must make sure that, any future Administration is forewarned about the Constitutionally prescribed limits of executive authority and exercise of power contravening the Constitution,” he concluded.
Fulfilling his promise, Kucinich brought a single impeachment article entitled, “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraqi WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq,” earlier this month.
In the July 10 presentation, Kucinich listed 10 direct quotes by President George W. Bush to Congress to substantiate the war effort. The congressman alleged that while contradictory information was in the possession of the White House, various cabinet members also made similar claims a total of 34 times.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich then quoted from a variety of government agencies and fact-finding committees who had presented facts demonstrating that Iraq was not a threat.

“In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.” –Senator Jay Rockefeller

Kucinich’s efforts were scaled down by Congress, however, with the House voting 238-180 to send  the matter back to the House Judiciary Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sees an impeachment proceeding as divisive to congressional Democrats who are seeking re-election, hence it was ruled that the Committee may discuss abuse of power by the president or the White House, but they may not actually vote to impeach.
Congressman Kucinich recently warned his colleagues about becoming a debating club.
Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, however, views the hearings –which were set for July 25– as an important step. “Over the last seven plus years, there have been numerous credible allegations of serious misconduct by officials in the Bush administration,” Conyers said, “At the same time, the administration has adopted what many would describe as a radical view of its own powers and authorities. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I believe it is imperative that we pursue a comprehensive review commensurate to this constitutionally dangerous combination of circumstances. Next Friday’s hearings [those of July 25]will be an important part of that ongoing effort.”
After the June 9 four- hour introduction to the congressional body of a reeling 35 Articles of Impeachment, Ohio Congressman approved the referral of 35 Articles of Impeachment to committee, “The sheer volume of the Articles required a referral to provide Members with an opportunity for review,” Dennis Kucinich said.
He presented his next impeachment article after the 30-day period expired. He promises to continue pursuing the matter until the issue is taken seriously.
Kucinich’s government website quoted the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller, as having commented sometime after the introduction: “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”
The index of the impeachment article titles are as follows:
(1) Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq, (2) Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression, (3) Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War, (4) Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States, (5) Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression, (6) Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114, (7) Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War, (8) Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter, (9) Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor, (10) Falsifying Accounts of U.S. Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes, (11)  Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq, (12) Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources, (13) Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries, (14) Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, (15) Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq, (16) Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and U.S. Contractors, (17) Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives, (18) Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy, (19) Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture, (20) Imprisoning Children, (21) Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government, (22) Creating Secret Laws, (23) Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, (24) Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment, (25) Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens, (26) Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements, (27) Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply, (28)   Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice, (29) Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, (30) Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare, (31) Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency, (32) Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change, (33) Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the U.S., Prior to 911, (34) Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001, and (35) Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.



Operation: Mountaintop Removal by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:54 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, National, Science

By Aisha Faruq, Islamic Post Staff Writer

It is taught from Holy Qur’an and the authentic traditions: “The first thing He [[the Almighty] created was water; and from what was provided in the water, the earth rose up from beneath [the water], and it was shaking. Thus He made mountains like pegs to serve as an anchor does for ships. The earth became still…” – An Outline of World History from Islamic Point of View

High in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, there is a crime against the environment being perpetrated by the mining industry, where an ongoing search is being conducted to discover a lucrative way to extract coal from within the mountains recesses.
The road cutting its way through the thickly forested hills of eastern Kentucky used to be called the Daniel Boone Parkway. It was named for the controversial American folk hero who fought his way across Indian country to settle a state where many of his descendants still live.
That was before the coal industry began blowing up the Appalachian Mountains as a cheap way of getting at the black stuff below. A group for the protection and preservation of the environment calls these actions “one of the greatest human rights and environmental tragedies in America’s recent history.”
Daniel Boone’s road is now the Hal Rogers Parkway, named after one of the Kentucky coal industry’s closest friends in Washington, a Republican Congressman of 34 years. It passes through a historic mountain range, and is covered by broadleaf forests rivaled only by the Amazon basin in its biodiversity.
But the canopy of trees which lines the parkway gives way to scraggly trees along the ridge-line, and behind those trees is evidence of intentional ecological violence. In a process known as mountaintop removal, an upland moonscape is being created, which is incapable of regenerating trees. As far as the eye can see, the land is grey and pockmarked, with huge black lakes filled with a toxic mixture of water and an insoluble solid material consequent to this coal extraction process.
The act of destroying a mountain that is thousands of years old has several distinct stages. First, it is earmarked for removal, and the hardwood forest cover, containing over 500 species of trees per acre in this region, is bulldozed away. The trees are typically burnt rather than logged, because mining companies are not in the lumber business. Then topsoil is scraped away, and high explosives laid in the sandstone. Thousands of blasts go off across the region every day, blowing up what the mining industry calls “overburden.”
U.S. businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to kill a proposed law that would introduce European-style “cap-and-trade” rules on carbon emissions even before the bill hit the floor of the Senate for discussion last month.
Despite publicly supporting emissions reductions, the coal industry and electricity firms that use coal-fired plants, which stand to be most affected by new restrictions, have been among those funding a lobbying effort to derail the current proposals.
“We’re committed to supporting legislation to enact a mandatory federal program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says America’s Power, the lobby group funded by the coal industry. “However, we can’t jump on the first train that comes by.”
At issue is whether emissions permits would be handed out at no cost to current polluters like the coal industry, or whether they should all be auctioned. An additional issue would be how to evaluate the number of permits to be distributed in this manner.  At best, allocation of the permits will cause some unseemly bargaining; at worst, disagreements could paralyze the whole scheme.
Yet there is another more significantly dynamic force underway; that of the earth’s stabilizing pegs having been altered.  A cause and effect is already in the making.



Did the Christian Action Network Hire Waitresses to Trick Local Muslims? by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:50 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, National | Tags: , ,

By Mark Beardsley, Special to the Islamic Post

It would be an unusual coalition. Two members of a local Muslim community say a “Christian” group out to discredit them recruited two Hooters restaurant waitresses last month to aid in that effort.
The Christian Action Network (CAN) was in Commerce, GA, hoping to film in the Franklin County 80-resident Muslim community in support of their contention that Muslims of the Americas (MOA), the parent organization, should be classified as a terrorist organization.
According to Ahmad Qadri and Mohammed Isa Abdurrauf, members of MOA, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office refused the request of Jason Campbell and Mark Fisher to go onto the MOA Franklin County site.  The two showed up at Qadri’s Rainmaker Studio on Cherry Street.
CAN is making what it calls a documentary that alleges that Muslims of the Americas communities across the country support terrorism.  The group that came to Commerce handed out pamphlets and tried to incite locals to watch a video about Soldiers of Allah to prove its point. They also entered the pottery studio.
“A guy and two girls came in under the guise that one of the girls was interested in having a pottery class, taking a class from me in pottery, and they wanted to buy some pottery,” said Qadri, whose work has won numerous awards in art shows.
Qadri, who was on the phone working out details of teaching a pottery class at the Commerce Public Library, said he asked the three if they were with CAN, to which the man replied in the negative.  The three wandered around the studio, spent $15 on a goblet, left and came back in a few minutes.
“They asked if we were with a terrorist organization,” Qadri said, “I asked them where they were from. He said “Virginia,” and I said, “You’re one of them.”
CAN is headquartered in Virginia.
Qadri said he told the three he had nothing to say to them, then presented them with a copy of the poem, “Anyway,” by Mother Teresa.
Ten minutes later the young waitresses came back to apologize. They also agreed to let Qadri video their apology, he said.
The waitresses told Qadri and Abdurrauf that the two men had approached them at a South Carolina Hooters, “so he could ask you questions about your religion and terrorism,” one of the girls says on the video.
One of the girls identified herself only as “Allie.”  The other’s name was not clear on the video.
“They came to us last night at work and told us they would pay us $75,” said Allie.
“The only reason we did it was for the beach money,” added her companion. “Then we did it and now we realize we did it for a wrong reason. And now we feel bad.”
Abdurrauf, who owns a house CAN has claimed has an underground garage that gets a lot of traffic, said the attempt is vintage CAN.
“Their literature is basically very harassing, agitating,” he said, “Anyone who stands in front of your property and shops and says you’re a terrorist, they are provoking and inciting. They have people’s homes and businesses on their web sites and they say ‘these are terrorists.’”
Qadri, who points out that his father had a 27-year career in the Army, including two tours of duty in Vietnam, calls the group’s activity “stressful and distracting, especially for our wives and families.”
“It provokes people to fear, violence and paranoia,” he added.  “We’ve had incidents where people have responded to that information.”
According to Abdurrauf, the Commerce Muslim community has about 80 residents, living in family homes.  They have a mosque, built by the residents.  Abdurrauf lives in a southwest style house on an adjacent property.
CAN refers to all of the Muslims of the America’s communities as “compounds.”
CAN did not respond to an e-mail inquiry about its Commerce visit.

Editorial View

Hatred and prejudice know no bounds. They are not limited to any ethnic groups, income bracket or religion.  So, it is nothing new that the so-called Christian Action Network would come to Commerce to push its agenda against local Muslims.
Their tactics are juvenile.  They, in essence, try to provoke Muslims to anger so they can report on their web page that they were attacked by terrorists.  In an earlier era, they would have made good Nazis, but this isn’t pre-World War II Germany and few Commerce area residents are attracted to such obvious tactics.
The idea is to brand all Muslims extremists; yet, a look at the Christian Action Network would identify its members as the extremists, though hardly as Christians.  Commerce residents can remember another group that tried unsuccessfully to divide the community.  Instead, the 1986 activity by the Ku Klux Klan brought blacks and whites closer together, and relations remain good today.
Commerce is a rural community, but we recognize prejudice when we see it. We also know the difference between Christian activists and hate-mongers.
-Mark Beardsley, Editor of the Commerce News



Opinion: The Quest for an Intelligence Quotient Illusion by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:43 pm
Filed under: July Volume II - 2008, National, Science | Tags: , , ,

By Noora Ahmad, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Caption: Twisted? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes notoriously endorsed state sterilization in a 1927 Supreme Court decision with the slogan, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough,” using an IQ score as his justification.

In a study slated for the journal Intelligence, Ulster University professor of psychology, Dr. Richard Lynn, will offer up his proof that the higher one’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ), the less likely the person is to acknowledge their Almighty Creator.
Lynn found that a large percentage of people with high IQs considered themselves to be atheists.
The study also mentions that during the 20th century, as IQ rose, religious belief in 137 developed nations declined.
The Eugenics movement has long been using IQ tests  to separate what they think are the better religion and race categories; as well as professional and social statuses.
Doug Daniels, of the University of Regina’s Department of Sociology in Canada, says that although many believe the IQ scale is just “pure math” with no social or racial bias, research proves differently. In 1905, Alfred Binet developed one of the first tests to measure intelligence –the Binet Simon Test– where, according to Daniels, he “perfected his test amongst the middle and upper class children of Paris and, lo and behold, found that working class kids didn’t do so well at it.”
Convincing the general population of the veracity of  the IQ test –a series of questions designed for a certain group of people to master, thereby rendering a second group less intelligent– required a great deal of effort from Binet and his peers. The sequence and nature of the questions themselves have a quality that seems to lead the train of thought, while twisting the thought pattern in a manner akin to mind control.
Indeed, it does seem that those most susceptible to such deceptions – those whose real intelligence is inferior to animals, as even beasts do not deny their Creator – would score very high on such tests.
The point of intelligence exams is to make large groups of people submit to an imposed mental and spiritual inferiority. IQ testing is closely linked to the facist eugenics movement.
Ethnic cleansing.
In 1999, Nicolas Lemann wrote for Time Magazine, “The beginning of the IQ-testing movement overlapped with the eugenics movement — hugely popular in America and Europe among the ‘better sort’ before Hitler gave it a bad name.” Eugenics, or selective breeding based on various prejudices, is often used as rationale for destroying masses of people who are classed as disposable in an Illuminati program.
Peter Quinn in his study “Race Cleansing in America,” mentioned that “eugenics—the theory as well as the word [from eugene which means “wellborn”]—originated with Francis Galton [a key player in the development Intelligence Quotient examinations in America and] a cousin of Charles Darwin. Inspired by Darwin’s theory of natural selection, Galton’s study of the family backgrounds of prominent members of British society led him to the conclusion that achievement and heredity were clearly linked;” leaving room for him and others to promote mass sterilization.
The highest members of British society whom Galton studied and promoted as those most worthy of survival by natural selection –the royal family– have a long history of links to Satanism and mind control.
Although worldly achievement is not discouraged, it is not an indication of a person’s real worth.
The rat race.
Intelligence testing (eugenics) is a tool for the training of aspirations, gearing mankind to be engaged in a constant quest to carve out individual places in a Darwinian system of backward intelligence standards. In the ever changing rat race, few view a connection to their Creator as important. These views, combined with a constant feeding of falsehoods in respect of the Almighty, result in large numbers of atheists.
All people, regardless of race, social standing, or religion should be aware of this attempt to rob them of a relationship with their Almighty Creator, who has designed a system to which all the universes submit since the very beginning of time, a system geared to grant everlasting success.



Abu Ghraib Prisoners Sue Private Firms by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:24 pm
Filed under: International, July Volume II - 2008, World | Tags: , , ,

By Durdana Begum Qadria, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Caption: United States private contractors are not the only ones operating in Abu Ghraib. It was previously alleged that former Israeli Shin Bet interrogators were hired by the Pentagon for Abu Ghraib.

Released without being charged, former Abu Ghraib prisoners have brought separate lawsuits in four U.S. courts against two U.S. companies and three individual contractors that worked in Iraq.
CACI International, one of the defendants named in the lawsuits, claims the accusations are “baseless.” The company stated, “These generic allegations of abuse, coupled with imaginary claims of conspiracy, remain unconnected to any CACI personnel.”
On July 16, the US House of Representatives approved a ban prohibiting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from allowing private contractors to interrogate detainees, Reuters reported. While the ban is part of a bill authorizing intelligence expenditures for the 2009 fiscal year, President  Bush is expected to veto the legislation.
United States civilian firms have been contracted to do work for the U.S. military in Iraq, with many of them having been given the task of managing highly sensitive duties such as gathering intelligence and engaging in combat.
Abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison were exposed when photographs of U.S. soldiers surfaced. These pictures were proof of the mistreatment prisoners suffered in 2003, which continues up to today. Some prisoners have chosen to speak out against the atrocities they suffered.  When looking at the big picture, one might think hiring civilian contractors is warranted; however, questions have been raised as to whose laws they should obey, and to whom should they be accountable when crimes are committed at their hands.
The four plaintiffs who brought suit against the private companies were prisoners at  Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004. Waseem al-Quraishi, one of the plaintiffs, said he was electrocuted, hung from a pole, and beaten for seven days.
Military personnel have been tried and convicted on criminal charges for the atrocities they committed at Abu Ghraib. If convicted, this would be the first time civilians face a similar fate for same crimes committed.



Rescue of Ingrid Betancourt Baffles Many by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Front Page News, July Volume II - 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags: ,

Ingrid Betancourt (above), said the FARC were not pleased to be told by Hugo Chavez that the armed struggle was over. Analysts wonder whether the rebels have secretly followed that advice.

By Farhana Jamal, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Although immense happiness is expressed at the release of more FARC-held hostages, among them former presidential candidate for Colombia, Ingrid Betancourt, Columbian Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, unofficially referred  to the operation as “something out of a movie.”
Betancourt was captured by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) while campaigning in hostile territory in 2002.
According to Santos, who acted as spokesperson for the Colombian government after the release of Betancourt, the operation involved infiltrating the hostages’ guards. The official story regarding the rescue operation, although internationally questioned, was related as follows:
“The hostages were divided into three groups, so the guerrillas were persuaded to bring them all together at a point where they would supposedly be transported to the south of the country to be under the direct orders of Alfonso Cano,” Santos said.
Cano serves as the rebels’ top leader.
“It was arranged that the hostages would be picked up at a predetermined site by helicopters belonging to a non-existent humanitarian organization, and for Cesar [a rebel cooperating with the government] himself and another member of his staff to travel with the captives to personally hand them over to Alfonso Cano,” he said.
“But the helicopters, which were really army aircraft, picked up the hostages and took them to San José, the capital of Guaviare,” Santos said.
According to Al Jazeera, “The idea that an organization …was, in the end, tricked into giving up its most prized assets, does require some suspension of disbelief.”
Internationally, the rescue has sparked a great deal of debate; yet, in addition to a “suspension of disbelief,” as Al Jazeera wrote,  acceptance of the tale, as its told, also requires a suspension of memory. Oddly enough, most news outlets have not referenced the story the Associated Press carried last month in which a FARC member made a call to the Colombian government offering to release Betancourt and other hostages if those rebels performing the task of delivering her safely were allowed to go free.
On June 13 , Colombian president Alvaro Uribe made a public announcement that he had accepted the FARC offer and conditions, in order to release Betancourt and three FBI agents.
“Just now, the director of the DAS [Administrative Department of Security] told me she received a call from FARC, in which a FARC individual told her: ‘If the president promises, through DAS, not to extradite a FARC member, then they would go ahead with the immediate release of hostages,'” said Uribe in a statement.
“I made the pledge. I told them yes, we promise not to extradite this person [who delivers Betancourt and the others], but that they should release their hostages,” Uribe said.
No mention of this pledge has been made in recent news reports.
Colombian Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo received a similar proposal last month, in which a FARC contact asked for guarantees that rebels involved in any hand-over could go into exile to other countries such as France, in order to avoid extradition to the United States.
It was recently learned that the rebel, Gerardo Antonio Aguilar, and his companion, Alexander Farfan Suarez, despite promises to the contrary, are being extradited to the U.S.
A reportedly happy, joking Aguilar entered the helicopter. In new photographs, the man appears to have been beaten without any attempts at disguise.

Caption: Cesar (above) to be extradited. “I made the pledge. I told them yes, we promise not to extradite this person [who delivers Betancourt],” said President Uribe.

The reason for sensationalizing the hand-over of Ingrid Betancourt remains unclear; it is, therefore,  unknown how the rescue will influence regional politics.
However, one thing is for sure; someone is not telling the truth. According to VHeadlines, Aguilar, in comments communicated by his attorney, has said he and his comrade were deceived into delivering between 15 and 40 captives that day as a result of messages that appeared to come from the FARC secretariat. The FARC, in turn, insists the two were turncoats; the Uribe administration touts a espioge master plan; and no one at all is mentioning that everything seems to have gone according to plan from the outset of last month’s talks.

Update: July 25, BBC News reports Farc releases more hostages, this time to the real Red Cross



National Security Presidential Directive 59: This is Not a Conspiracy Theory by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Front Page News, July Volume II - 2008, National | Tags: ,

By Khalida Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Caption: The new presidential directives cover “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security.” The directives are aimed to gather personal information not only on “foreign terrorists,” but also on “domestic radical groups,” “state sponsored adversaries,” and “disgruntled employees.”

Michael Chertoff, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, addressed staff and students of  Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy recently with a lecture entitled “Addressing 21st Century Threats: The U.S. Prevention Strategy.”
While Chertoff was being applauded, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, or HSPD 24, and National Security Presidential Directive 59, or NSPD 59, were being issued by President George W. Bush.
Collectively the directives are entitled:  “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security.”
Biometric data in this instance refers to the statistical analysis of all personal data such as medical records, job and education history, buying habits and personal preferences, legal and court documentation, in addition to the actual. Then there the is physical (biological) information being collected, such as: fingerprints, hair/eye/skin color, and  the gaging of personal appearance with the use of body scans, x-rays, and outward facial features. In other words, the directive will collect any information available or at the disposal of the bureaucracy, and this will be “accomplished within the  law.”

The Homeland and National Security Presidential Directives do not require disclosure to the American people or Congress the criteria for identifying targeted individuals, nor even their data collection procedures, reported World Net Daily. According to the Rice News staff, Chertoff said to the students during his speech, “There are a lot of different ways to serve homeland security. What’s important is that we do not lose our dedication to the mission, our faith in our ideals and determination to prevail.”

Chertoff, who comes from a line of chief Rabbis and Talmudic scholars, holds dual citizenship with the state of Israel.
It is doubtful whether the audience imagined that “faith in our ideals” could mean completely signing away privacy, allowing government agencies to combine all documented and obtainable information on any U.S. citizen who has been categorized as posing a threat to national security.
Global Research pointed out that the threats – as listed in a 2004 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report – are not only “foreign terrorists” but “domestic radical groups,” “state sponsored adversaries,” and “disgruntled employees.” The same DHS report claimed its focus is “capabilities and needs, not threat-based prevention activities;” in other words it is more offensive than defensive and is in fact characterized by “determination to prevail” as Chertoff mentioned to his university audience.
According to Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research, “The stated intent of NSPD 59 is to protect America from terrorists, but in fact the terms of reference include any person who [instead] is deemed to pose a threat to the Homeland.” Chossudovsky also pointed out how Senator Dennis Kucinich declared the use of “military espionage equipment to collect intelligence information for law enforcement use on civilians within the United States” and spying on American citizens without a court-ordered warrant to be impeachable offenses in violation of the U.S. constitution and the Fourth Amendment. It does not appear as if the Institute for Public Policy at Rice University is debating this last issue, nor does their news website reflect any discussion of the matter.



Women Detainees in Mosul, Iraq and Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: International, July Volume II - 2008, World | Tags: , , , ,

By Muhammad Ahmad, Islamic Post Staff Writer

It has recently been revealed that a woman known only as Prisoner 650 is being held at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. While the identity of the woman is unknown, CagePrisoners.com and also Tehrik-e-Insaf say the woman could be Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who was picked up at an airport in 2003.
Former prisoners at Bagram, have attested to hearing the wrenching screams of a woman. Moazzam Begg, who was released without charges in January of 2005, said the woman he heard was next door to him.
Another man reported to have seen her.
Pakistani politician Imran Khan pledged his full support behind the Cageprisoners’ campaign to release Prisoner 650.
Begg, now back with his family, wife and children in Birmingham, revealed in his book Enemy Combatant: The Terrifying True Story of a British Muslim (Link gives Moazzam Begg’s story) in Guantanamo, how the male prisoners in Bagram had gone on  a hunger strike for six days in an effort to improve the conditions of the unidentified woman, whom they claim was treated to the same regiment of brutality and torture as themselves.
The family of Dr. Siddiqui fears the worst. It has been almost 5 years and the only word they received was a few days after the abduction when a helmeted motorcyclist appeared at their door saying Dr. Siddiqui had been detained and not to speak of the incident.
While Siddiqui could be dead, the family dreads more that she is holed up in Bagram at the mercy of unnamed global terrorists who are working through the medium of secret intelligence agencies.
Siddiqui’s three children, who were traveling with her, are also missing. Of them, there has been no word at all.
Siddiqui is not the only woman, and her children are not the only children, who has disappeared since 2001 with the onset of the war of terror.
In July of 2006, Al Moharer and Uruknet listed these names as being held in Mosul, Iraq: Khadija Ahmad Abdi, 34, detained on May 24, 2005; Raghad Mohammed Ahmad, 17, detained on June 11, 2005; Fatima Dhahir Ibrahim, 53, detained June 6, 2005; Khatar Hassan Mahmmud, 32, detained June 11, 2005; Bushra Mohammed Ahmad, 21, detained on the same date; Mahasin Mohammad Ahmad, 23, also detained on the same date in June; Azhar Abdulrahman Ali, 25, detained with her brothers when their home was raided on July 12, 2005; and Hamda Mahmmud, who was detained on June 2, 2005.
Katherine Ozment of the Boston Magazine, in her investigative report, “Who’s Afraid of Aafia Siddiqui?,” drew a fair outline of the doctor. She asserts that Dr. Siddiqui, a neurobiologist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), made the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) terrorist list in 2004, a list that civil liberties groups say has reached a landmark of one million records, or 400,000 people. While U.S. President George W. Bush is most recently engaged in efforts to corroborate all U.S. information databases for use against those on the terrorist list (mostly non-U.S. residents), the family attorney for Aafia Siddiqui told the Boston Magazine that the information contained in Siddiqui’s file in particular must have been inaccurate. She believes that it has been a case of stolen identity for the 36 year old woman, as all of her previous colleagues who were interviewed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, sang Siddiqui’s praises.
Dr. Siddiqui was heavily involved in community outreach programs, and spent a good deal of her off time preaching, according to Ozment.
But the official record says something quite different. FBI documents allege that in the summer before September 11, 2001, Siddiqui was wheeling and dealing for al Qaeda in Libya.
Family attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp says that instead of “brokering diamond deals for Al Qaeda with murderous brutes from the killing fields of Africa,” Siddiqui was “hosting play groups [for neighborhood kids] in her apartment.”
“Aafia Siddiqui was here in June 2001, and I can prove it,” Sharp said.
But with no trial, jury, or courtroom, who will Sharp prove it to?



Egypt-Sponsored Peace Deal in Question After Bulldozer Incident by Khalida
July 25, 2008, 4:50 pm
Filed under: International, July Volume II - 2008, World | Tags: , ,

By Abu Aasim, Islamic Post Correspondent

The Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire between Israel and Gaza came under further strain on the morning of Wednesday July 2 when a man, reportedly a Palestinian working on a light rail line in occupied East Jerusalem, took his bulldozer on a rampage, plowing through a busy street, crushing cars, turning over a bus, and causing other destruction. The incident left, at latest count, four people dead, and 30 more wounded. The dead included the driver himself, who was fatally shot in his vehicle by police.
The Israeli security forces are treating the incident as a terrorist attack; although, according to Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, the man had “a criminal record,” but no known links to what the Israeli government considers “terrorist organizations.”
The truce, which officially went into effect on the 19th of last month, has been shaky from the start; as the Israeli military carried out last minute strikes on Palestinian targets within mere hours of the agreement’s commencement. Days later, an Israeli raid, which left a Palestinian youth dead in the West Bank, provoked rocket fire from Gaza, for which a resistance group claimed responsibility.
The friction has led to slow action on the part of the Israelis to deliver on many of the truce’s terms, which included a partial end to the closed borders around Gaza that has left Gaza impoverished. The friction has also led to a delay in the reopening of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. The crossing was brought down by force back in January by Hamas, the elected Palestinian government which now only controls Gaza, seeking to loosen the chokehold placed on its people by the months-long Israeli blockade that has restricted everything from fuel to food to the movements of citizens within the war-ravaged territory.

The chief architect of the truce, Egyptian Head of General Intelligence Omar Suleiman, who spent months bringing the two sides to the table for the agreement, has expressed deep concern over the recent events that have threatened the stability of the deal, according to the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram, which quoted unnamed government sources. Suleiman is remaining in “direct contact with both sides to [ensure] that the situation does not escalate,” the paper reported.
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has also been holding direct talks with both Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and deposed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah to work out the details of a prisoner exchange that would see the release of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, captured in 2006 by Palestinian anti-occupation fighters, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by the Israelis. The prisoner exchange is arguably the most vital tenet of the truce.
Since the bulldozer incident occurred, the truce hasn’t broken down; but Israeli aggression has not ceased. At the first meeting of the newly-formed “Mediterranean Union” in Paris Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, who is currently under intense pressure from Israeli hardliners displeased with his apparent openness to a peace deal with Syria and prisoner exchanges with Hezbollah and Hamas, stated that a peace settlement is “closer than ever.”
These lofty words will most likely have an effect on the minds of the Palestinian people only when Israeli actions begin to change with the rhetoric.
Meanwhile the region waits to see how the events of the coming days will unfold.



The Spectre of Intrigue in Malaysia by Khalida

By Raheemah Atif, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad (above) has reportedly asked Prime Minister Badawi to step down. (Shutterspeak photo)

“I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as a means to subvert the people’s will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia,” said ex-deputy Premier Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia when describing the volatile state of affairs in his country from the Malaysian Embassy of Turkey, where he recently sought refuge. Mr. Ibrahim heads the coalition of opposition parties that charted unprecedented gains in the general elections held this past spring.  In contrast, the United Malays National Organization, party of incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, suffered heavy losses, conceding key political ground previously held firmly by the UMNO, the party of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad.

Mr. Mahathir Muhammad, recognized by many as the impetus of the newly transformed and industrialized nation, held the office of Prime Minister of Malaysia for an unprecedented and critical 22 years.  Under his leadership and with the cooperation and support of his nation and government, Malaysia evolved from a primarily agricultural and mining economy, to an independent, progressive manufacturing nation, fully competitive in the world market. A crucial stratagem by the Malaysian government after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 was to strictly refuse the aid of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund;  financial webs that were not permitted to entangle, and systematically prevent healthy financial development.  The result: a booming electronics trade fostered by the panic-stoked Y2K fear in the United States, and its insatiable demand for new electronic products and components, accompanied by unprecedented growth via a unique outlook in relation to government, politics, and economics. The creation of a banking system basically immune to external financial shock added essential stability, along with effective provisioning for meeting the needs of the citizenry, i.e., a burgeoning infrastructure to cement the society’s foundation, and finally, a legal system: an amalgam of Islamic Law with other democratic facets.

Ex-deputy Premier Anwar Ibrahim (right) advocated for cooperation with the World Bank in 2006 towards good governance, at the behest of then Bank chief, Paul Wolfowitz, who ultimately resigned during a corruption scandal.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir has reportedly asked Prime Minister Badawi to step down.  Although, Mr. Badawi was Mr. Mahathir’s choice to succeed him at the helm of the Malaysian government, he commented to news sources that Mr. Badawi should accept total responsibility for not only the heavy political losses of their party, but the administrative maneuvering and legislative changes that have affronted and damaged Malaysia and its economy, and threaten to loosen the bolts of solid government that Mahathir’s administrations  set firmly in place.
At press time, Mr. Ibrahim lodged an official complaint to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency that allegations against his personal character were contrived by the same individuals in the government who initiated similar accusations a decade ago. Mr. Ibrahim was ordered to voluntarily appear before a police investigative committee for questioning regarding the allegations.  The former deputy premier was issued an arrest warrant by the Malaysian police. Then, in a dramatic move, masked members of a special police unit apprehended Mr. Ibrahim, detaining him overnight in a jail cell. He was released the next morning after posting bail without being formally charged.
“I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress.  These actions are being repeated today to undermine the forces of reform and renewal which were unleashed in the March 2008 elections,” Mr. Ibrahim said, dismissing the new charge as complete fabrication. Reuters reported Mr. Ibrahim to have been acquitted of similar sexual misconduct charges that were lodged in 1998. Mr. Ibrahim endured incarceration until 2004, when he was officially exonerated.
Ex-Premier Ibrahim has rebounded, taking on an active political role, despite awareness of the ensuing conflict with former political adversaries, in order to further the perspective and expectations of the Malaysian people who have cast behind him their votes of confidence. Mr. Ibrahim advised via the press: “I urge the Malaysian people to stand against the repressive forces that will be unleashed by the government in the coming days and weeks.”
The political upheaval occurring in Malaysia today casts a dismal shadow upon a landscape of positive growth and productivity in a sovereign nation that has overcome its most daunting economic and political challenges.  Observers note the good fortune of Malaysians to live in a nation whose GDP has grown by 7% consistently, whose currency is steadily appreciating in value against the U.S. dollar, and whose merchandise trade surplus will increase to $38 billion U.S. in 2008, according to the international forecasts.
Malaysia has emerged through more than a half century of foreign manipulation and imperialism and, despite serious racial disturbances in 1969, as a monolith of sorts.  Although it is multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and a nation of many states and languages, the people of Malaysia have unified in their support for the wisdom of their leadership, and are supportive of the strategies that have forged much more than solid economic policies and vital infrastructure.
An aspect of the Malaysian narrative, and perhaps the most important implication in the current turmoil, is the most sought after commodity – oil.  In 2004, Malaysia’s interior department revealed that the country’s oil reserves stood at 4.84 billion barrels, while its natural gas reserves increased to 89 trillion cubic feet.  The government  predicts that at current status quo production rates, Malaysia will be able to produce oil for up to 18 years and natural gas for 35 years. The country ranks 23rd in the world for oil production and 13th for natural gas.