The Islamic Post Blog


Pakistani Prime Minister Receives a Warm Welcome by Khalida
June 22, 2008, 4:55 am
Filed under: International, July Volume I- 2008, Politics, World | Tags: , , ,

By Abu Rashid Qadri, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani (right) accompanied by President Pervez Musharraf (left). For the first time in sixty years, a member of such noble ancestry is holding a pivotal governmental position, in a country established as a place of refuge for Muslims the world over.
MURREE, Pakistan-Worshippers gathered at the Holy Khanqah Qadriyah Awliyyah, in the village of Holy Islamville, York, South Carolina, USA, to extend, on behalf of His Eminence, El Sheikh, Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gillani, El Hashmi of Mian Mir Sharif, the warmest of congratulations to the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Honorable Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani.
Worshippers, including those Muslim lady participants in the “Annual Banaatun Noor Reunion,” also celebrated the election of the Honourable Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani is a direct descendent of the blessed, noble and purified family, the Ahli Bayt, of the Holy Last Messenger, Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him).  Notably, he is also a descendent of the esteemed family of Ghausul Azam, Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani (Allah’s mercy upon him).
This is the first time in some sixty years that a member of such noble ancestry has held such a pivotal governmental position in a country  established on the blood of hundreds of thousands, to be a refuge for Muslims the world over.
Unfortunately, this Islamic Republic is better known for the disrespect, ill treatment and violence meted out to Ahli Bayt (peace be upon them)  and their dedicated followers and supporters; perpetrated against them by extremists and puppets of both domestic and foreign special interest groups.
Hence, we extend a caution to the new Prime Minister for him not  to become anyone’s agent, but rather he remains only the agent of his ancestor, Ghausul Azam, Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, of Baghdad (Allah’s mercy upon him). He must keep in mind that his success lies in his ability to be steadfast in upholding the principles, values and heritage of his noble family.
Throughout America members of our Sufi Lodges are making Du’a (Prayer) of support, hoping the Prime Minister will uphold the honour of the Ahli Bayt in every decision making instance.

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UPDATE FOR: Despite Attacks of Conscience, Guantanamo Arraignment, Tribunals Continue (full article posted on June 17) by Khalida
June 19, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: July Volume I- 2008, Latino/Caribe, Politics, World | Tags: ,

Sen. Jack Reed Castigates William Haynes (clip from Cspan, additional information on the Detainee Interrogation Techniques Hearing here).

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, former Pentagon counsel William Haynes who (as posted on June 17) came up with a legal framework that would allow the military to ignore a law prohibiting American soldiers from engaging in torture, was rebuked by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) told Haynes that his advice “did a disservice to the soldiers of this nation. You empowered them to violate basic conditions which every soldier respects — the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, the Geneva Convention. … Don’t go around with this attitude of you’re protecting the integrity of the military. You degraded the integrity of the United States military.”  Watch it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Solidarity and Unity: American Muslims and Christians Celebrate the Birth of the Holy Last Messenger by Khalida
June 19, 2008, 11:17 am
Filed under: Interfaith, May Volume 2008, National | Tags: , , , , ,

By Islamic Post Staff Writer

Solidarity and Unity: American Muslims and Christians Celebrate the Birth of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to view more pictures in pdf form, click here.

solidarity_pic.jpg In a show of solidarity, Muslims and Christians joined hands to send a strong message by celebrating together the blessed birth of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) at the 1st Annual Milad Un Nabi Parade and Festival hosted by the International Quranic Open University and held in scenic upstate New York, Binghamton.

BINGHAMTON- Early last month, Muslims and Christians stood on the courthouse lawn at City Hall in Binghamton, New York to celebrate the Blessed birth of the Holy Last Messenger (Peace be upon him). The 1st Annual Milad un Nabi Parade and Festival was hosted by city officials and sponsored by the International Quranic Open University (IQOU), a group well known for their own humanitarian efforts and joint support of other charitable organizations. “This is a celebration of unity and common ground,” stated Mr. Hasib Abdul-Haqq, the Assistant Senior Public Relations officer for IQOU. “Both of these themes are values that were strongly upheld by the Holy Last Messenger (Peace be upon him) and all the other noble Prophets such as Abraham, Noah, and Jesus Son of Mary (May they all be blessed).” The Program heralded well known figures such as the Honorable Khalifa Hussein who gave the welcome address, the guest speaker, mayor of the city of Binghamton the Honorable Mr. Mathew Ryan, Reverend Douglas Taylor, Pastor Sue Shields and Diane Heron of Broome Community College. Each of the speakers discussed the significance of the gathering.

mayor_and_khalifah_sahib.jpgThe Mayor Mr. Mathew Ryan stated, “Thank you for inviting me here today and welcome to our community. Today I applaud your efforts to create a dialog, a dialog that celebrates diversity, tolerance, and understanding and unity, and I applaud the efforts of The International Quranic Open University.

I especially point to a letter from 138 Muslim scholars to the Christian community presented at the end of Ramadhan in 2007. It reads: ‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful a common word between us and you. Muslims and Christians together make up well over half the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.’
The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principals of both faiths, love of one God and love of our neighbor. The principals are found over and over again, in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbor is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.
Of the necessity of the love of the neighbor, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him ) said: ‘None of you has faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself.’ In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said: “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment, and the second like it is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, there is no other commandment greater than this.’
So today, let us celebrate these two great commandments that are the basis of both religions; we must all make a commitment to fight against those who try to make religion a vehicle for violence. At the same time we must understand that without justice there can be no peace, so let’s go forward to fight for justice in this world and peace among us all. Thank you for coming.”

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NY Judge Orders Media Seal on Trinidad Terror Case by Khalida
June 17, 2008, 3:43 pm
Filed under: July Volume I- 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags: , , ,

By Islamic Post Staff Writer

New York judge Dora Irizarry, appointed by former mayor Rudy Giuliani to the criminal bench in 1996, ruled of late that none of the information released to the defense in Russell Defreitas’ case, including all transcripts, notes and other documents determined to be evidence by the prosecution, may be shared with the media.
The Guyanese-born man was accused along with three others, of plotting to blow up John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, after an alleged sting operation involving a U.S. informant. Defreitas, who has been held in a Brooklyn jail since June last year, is now accused of being the mastermind behind the plan. The judge said anyone who breached that order would be in contempt of court, according to Caribbean360.
Prosecutors said Defreitas, a 63-year-old former J.F.K. airport worker, conducted surveillance of the airport using photographs, a video camera and satellite images. The prosecution also claimed that the men used their connections to present a terrorist plot to radical groups in South America and the Caribbean, also according to Caribbean360.
Defreitas’ co-accused, former Guyanese parliamentarian, Abdul Kadir, his countryman Abdel Nur and Trinidadian, Kareem Ibrahim, were in custody  in Trinidad and Tobago until late last month, fighting extradition to the U.S..
Reuters reported back in December that Kareem Ibrahim was undergoing a psychiatric test to see if he could be sent to the United States for trial. Local reporters confirm that he was being held at St. Anne’s hospital, otherwise known as “The Mad-House.” The extradition took place on June 23.

(…article continues below)

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Huda Ibrahim (right), 21, claims that her

father was entrapped by Steve Francis Taveras (left) 36, now publicly known by his background as a twice convicted drug felon working under cooperation deals with U.S. federal authorities

(Terry DeSouza AKA Steve Francis Taveras, Trinidad Daily Express photo; Huda Ibrahim, AFP/Getty Images)

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More “aspirational” than operational.
During the appellate hearing in Trinidad, defense attorney Fyard Hosein said the U.S. government had not presented any evidence to show the men were involved in a terrorist plot. He said the men lacked the funds and capacity to organize such a thing, claimed the men had been entrapped by an informant who was working with U.S. law enforcement in order to reduce his own sentence for drug trafficking. “From the evidence, none of the claimants are originators of this plot,” Hosein said.
CaribWorldNews reported that the informant, Steve Francis Taveras (AKA Terry DeSouza, AKA Anas Knaddert), while working with law enforcement agents, began monitoring the plot at its early stages and made numerous recorded conversations with the defendants.

Huda Ibrahim, daughter of Kareem Ibrahim, issued a statement to the media last year claiming U.S. justice officials had engaged in entrapment: “Unfortunately, innocent persons with no connection whatsoever to the political and military disputes between the United States and the Middle East …have been used as pawns in an international game of subterfuge.”
Authorities have acknowledged the plot was more “aspirational” than operational.
Prior to the media seal on the case, investigators [full story] were able to access information about the informant, releasing facts about his prior drug convictions. Francis was arrested by detectives assigned to an NYPD Tactical Narcotics Team. He was nabbed carrying a Gap bag containing five kilogram packages of cocaine. A subsequent search of a Kingsbridge apartment connected to Francis turned up 44 more kilo-sized packages. When asked about his cocaine-filled satchel, Francis told one officer that he “just found the bag.” At the time of his bust, a kilo of cocaine wholesaled for about $25,000. Since the street value was double that amount, the coke seized from Francis was worth around $2 million. Indicted on four felony charges, Francis was jailed and his bail was set at $1 million.
Francis remained in custody, records show, for nearly a year, until mid-December 2003. It was then that Francis cut his second cooperation deal. The first took place in 1994 after Francis was arrested by federal agents and charged with distributing “large quantities” of cocaine in West Harlem, Brooklyn, and Queens. Though federal guidelines called for an “imprisonment range” of between 27 and 34 years, Francis was only given a seven-year sentence.
While the nature and extent of his 1990’s government cooperation remains confidential, and the 2003 agreement and guilty plea are not part of the public record, the criminal complaint in the JFK terror case notes that, “The Source was…convicted on drug trafficking charges in the New York Supreme Court in 2003. His sentence in that case is pending as part of his cooperation agreement with the government.”
Francis’ bail was slashed from $1 million to $50,000. He was released after his older brother deposited $5000 with the court.
As for what Francis was doing for the State Department in 2004, 2005, and early-2006, and the extent of the “financial assistance” that officials said they provided to him, it was originally thought that the details may have surfaced at the trial, but now it seems the world may never know.

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Despite Attacks of Conscience, Guantanamo Arraignment, Tribunals Continue (Updated June 19) by Khalida
June 17, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: July Volume I- 2008, Latino/Caribe | Tags: , ,

<<Doubts. Yosri Fouda (bottom left), claimed in 2002 that although Khalid Shaikh Mohammed tries to appear the  “religious leader, or the leader of a political party…his shallow knowledge of both religion and politics” paints a different story; Top Pentagon lawyer William Haynes (middle left), who came up with a legal framework that would allow the military to ignore a law prohibiting American soldiers from engaging in torture, was initially rewarded a nomination for a life term as a federal judge, then fired upon pressure from Congress; the fourth chief prosecutor at Guantanamo to quit, Col. Morris Davis (bottom right), claims he was pressured by Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann (top) to rush the military tribunals before the presidential elections. Hartmann was disqualified from the trial recently after his impartiality came into serious question.

By Khalida Khaleel

Even without additional legislation to justify the proceedings, the tribunals are forging ahead as if the Supreme Court had not spoken at all.
The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) made their own decision in May in regards to Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr. Their ruling was based on the original decision in 2004 by the U.S. Supreme Court, which said  the Guantanamo Bay process “violates international law,” as reported by CTV. “The process in place at Guantanamo Bay at the time Canadian officials interviewed K(hadr) and passed on the fruits of the interviews to U.S. officials, has been found by the U.S. Supreme Court … to violate U.S. domestic law and international human rights obligations to which Canada subscribes,’’ the ruling said.
Jurist reported the U.S. Department of Defense as having dismissed Col. Peter Brownback, the judge presiding over the military commission trial of Khadr. No explanation was given for the dismissal, but Khadr’s defense lawyers speculated that it was  related to Brownback’s threat last month to suspend the military commission proceedings against Khadr until and unless the U.S. government submits daily records of Khadr’s detention. Khadr’s military lawyers had requested the records to corroborate allegations of abusive treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Reuters reported that at a pre-trial hearing in the Khadr case, Brownback said that the Pentagon was unhappy with his decisions in the case, and that he had “taken a lot of heat” for dismissing charges against Khadr in June 2007. Those charges were later reinstated.
Most recently, the BBC reported that defense attorney in the case Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler alleged that Guantanamo Bay interrogators were told to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify on detainee treatment during the trials. He was, however, able to obtain a procedures manual which reportedly contained the torture instructions.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has “strongly” objected to a resolution passed by the Icelandic parliament on human rights abuse in the Guantanamo prison. The resolution “condemns the inhumane treatment of prisoners at the U.S. detention camp” and “urges that the camp be closed,” according to an English translation of the text, AFP reported.
“I strongly object to the notion that there are human rights violations at Guantanamo, as is suggested in the resolution,” Secretary Rice said Friday during a press conference with her Icelandic counterpart Ingibjoerg Solrun Gisladottir.
A bit of hope.Sami Al Hajj
Recently, a celebration was held in Sudan, with hundreds of well-wishers in attendance, after the release of Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman, from Guantanamo Bay.

(…article continues below)

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>>Sami Al-Hajj (center) with his son (left) and Wadah Khanfar (right), Al Jazeera’s director general, at al Hajj’s welcome home gathering. Officials told ABC news that al-Hajj’s claims of torture are false, calling him “manipulator” and “propagandist”. Al Jazeera photo.>>

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Civil society groups and the Al Jazeera television network organised the gathering in the capital, Khartoum, to mark al-Hajj’s freedom. He addressed the attendees and said that his U.S. captors had hoped to turn him into a spy. “I was subjugated to more than 130 interrogations, 95 of them were about my work and Al Jazeera,” he told the crowd, which included Wadah Khanfar, the network’s director general. “They wanted me to betray the principles of my job and to turn me into a spy. Al-Hajj had been held for nearly six and a half years without charge or trial. He was subjected to harsh psychological and physiological torture.

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Top Oil Execs Twist the Congressional Arm by Khalida
June 17, 2008, 11:43 am
Filed under: July Volume I- 2008, National, Politics | Tags: , ,

Deborah Tate from VOA News reported that Peter Robertson, vice chairman of the board of Chevron Corporation, criticized proposed legislation that would revoke tax breaks to major oil companies. “Punitive measures that will weaken us in the face of international competition are the wrong solution at this critical point in our history.”

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$36 billion in oil profits have been made in only the first three months of this year.

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Top US oil executives appeared before Congress recently to answer a claim, by Democrats, like Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, as to why there have been profits of $36 billion in only the first three months of this year.
Combined, the major oil companies: Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell, BP PLC, Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips, made $123 billion last year alone, and are already slated to make billions more this year. This is at a time when US motorists are paying record prices at the pump – now averaging $3.29 a gallon amid talk of $4 a gallon this summer and one out of 8 Americans are on food stamps.
“It just doesn’t seem fair,” said Kohl.
Stephen Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil, answered that their firms’ profits are invested back into the company and claimed that the oil conglomerate’s huge profits are in line with other industries.
The oil company officials also blamed soaring crude prices on rising global demand, urging lawmakers to end restrictions on exploration and production of oil in the United States by lowering the taxes involved.
Deborah Tate, from VOA News, reported that Peter Robertson, vice chairman of the board of Chevron Corporation, criticized proposed legislation that would revoke tax breaks to major oil companies.
“Punitive measures that will weaken us in the face of international competition are the wrong solution at this critical point in our history,” he said. “Such measures will only increase our dependence on foreign supplies of energy while resources at home are untapped.”
The oil company officials took issue with another bill, passed by the House in May, but awaiting Senate action, that would allow the United States to sue the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on antitrust and price fixing grounds.
Critics say the measure could prompt a backlash from oil producers, and President Bush has vowed to veto the measure.

…read more from VOA NEWS

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Arizona Legislator Asks McCain to Meet on 9/11 by Khalida
June 17, 2008, 8:47 am
Filed under: July Volume I- 2008, National, Politics | Tags: , ,

Arizona state senator Karen Johnson (R) delivered a letter to the office of U.S. Senator John McCain asking him to meet with a group of professionals to discuss the events of –9/11 when terrorists hijacked four airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“Even the chairman of the commission has announced his dissatisfaction with the [official] report,” said Johnson in her support of a new, independent investigation. “Anyone who reads the report can see that much was left out and that there are many discrepancies,” she said.

(…article continues below)

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Architect Richard Gage (above), using a steel beam exhibit, alleges that thermite could have been used to collapse the Twin Towers. A number of researchers, Gage among them, have made the connection between the buildings’ collapses and a controlled demolition often used in the construction industry that would have required carefully placed explosives planted at a critical number of locations within the buildings.

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Johnson’s letter requests that McCain meet with Scottsdale professor, Blair Gadsby, who has been on a hunger strike outside McCain’s office on 16th Street for nine days. Gadsby has arranged for architect Richard Gage and physicist Steven Jones to meet with McCain, at his convenience to present evidence of controlled demolition gathered from the ruins of Ground Zero. Gage is the founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – a group consisting of hundreds of building professionals who want Congress to open up a new investigation of 9/11. Dr. Jones is a physicist who has done laboratory analysis of residue from the rubble of the World Trade Center and found evidence of explosives. Both Gage and Jones believe that the Twin Towers and Building 7 collapsed from explosives planted in the buildings before September 11.
The researchers allege there to be a connection between the buildings’ collapses and a controlled demolition used often in the construction industry which requires explosives to be placed in critical locations throughout the buildings.
“Their evidence is very significant,” said Johnson, “because it wasn’t presented to the 9/11 Commission when they did their original investigation, and it completely changes the conclusions of the Commission. There’s nothing wrong with going back and having another look. If the Commission didn’t have all the facts, then so be it, but we need to know what happened on 9/11. Nearly 3,000 Americans died that day, and we deserve to know the truth about what happened. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.”
“Senator McCain wants to be elected to the highest office in this country,” said Senator Johnson, “and he needs to know the truth about 9/11. Finding answers to 9/11 should be a significant part of this presidential campaign. The events of 9/11 led to this war with Iraq, to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, to the loss of habeas corpus, the use of wiretaps, the push for a national ID and other legislation that deprives us of freedom. This is a very significant issue, and no one is discussing it. Our presidential candidates need to talk about this.”

…read Senator Karen S. Johnson’s full article

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