Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?

An editorial from Slate Magazine
By Christopher Hitchens

During the greater part of last week, Slate's sister site On Faith (it is jointly produced by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, both owned by the Washington Post Co., which also owns Slate) gave itself over to a discussion about the religion of Islam. As usual in such cases, the search for "moderate" versions of this faith was under way before the true argument had even begun. If I were a Muslim myself, I think that this search would be the most "offensive" part of the business. Why must I prove that my deepest belief is compatible with moderation?

Unless I am wrong, a sincere Muslim need only affirm that there is one god, and only one, and that the Prophet Mohammed was his messenger, bringing thereby the final words of God to humanity. Certain practices are supposed to follow this affirmation, including a commitment to pray five times a day, a promise to pay a visit to Mecca if such a trip should be possible, fasting during Ramadan, and a pious vow to give alms to the needy. The existence of djinns, or devils, is hard to disavow because it was affirmed by the prophet. An obligation of jihad is sometimes mentioned, and some quite intelligent people argue about whether "holy war" is meant to mean a personal struggle or a political one. No real Islamic authority exists to decide this question, and those for whom the personal is highly political have recently become rather notorious.

Thus, Islamic belief, however simply or modestly it may be stated, is an extreme position to begin with. No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other gods to be repudiated. And when these ontological claims have collided, as they must, with their logical limits, it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia. Those who utter such fantastic braggings, however many times a day they do so, can by definition have no idea what they are talking about. (I hasten to add that those who boast of knowing about Moses parting the Red Sea, or about a virgin with a huge tummy, are in exactly the same position.) Finally, it turns out to be impossible to determine whether jihad means more alms-giving or yet more zealous massacre of, say, Shiite Muslims.

Why, then, should we be commanded to "respect" those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape? As one who has occasionally challenged Islamic propaganda in public and been told that I have thereby "insulted 1.5 billion Muslims," I can say what I suspect—which is that there is an unmistakable note of menace behind that claim. No, I do not think for a moment that Mohammed took a "night journey" to Jerusalem on a winged horse. And I do not care if 10 billion people intone the contrary. Nor should I have to. But the plain fact is that the believable threat of violence undergirds the Muslim demand for "respect."

Before me is a recent report that a student at Pace University in New York City has been arrested for a hate crime in consequence of an alleged dumping of the Quran. Nothing repels me more than the burning or desecration of books, and if, for example, this was a volume from a public or university library, I would hope that its mistreatment would constitute a misdemeanor at the very least. But if I choose to spit on a copy of the writings of Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or James Joyce, that is entirely my business. When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter. Why do we not make this distinction in the case of the Quran? We do so simply out of fear, and because the fanatical believers in that particular holy book have proved time and again that they mean business when it comes to intimidation. Surely that should be to their discredit rather than their credit. Should not the "moderate" imams of On Faith have been asked in direct terms whether they are, or are not, negotiating with a gun on the table?

The Pace University incident becomes even more ludicrous and sinister when it is recalled that Islamists are the current leaders in the global book-burning competition. After the rumor of a Quran down the toilet in Guantanamo was irresponsibly spread, a mob in Afghanistan burned down an ancient library that (as President Hamid Karzai pointed out dryly) contained several ancient copies of the same book. Not content with igniting copies of The Satanic Verses, Islamist lynch parties demanded the burning of its author as well. Many distinguished authors, Muslim and non-Muslim, are dead or in hiding because of the words they have put on pages concerning the unbelievable claims of Islam. And it is to appease such a spirit of persecution and intolerance that a student in New York City has been arrested for an expression, however vulgar, of an opinion.

This has to stop, and it has to stop right now. There can be no concession to sharia in the United States. When will we see someone detained, or even cautioned, for advocating the burning of books in the name of God? If the police are honestly interested in this sort of "hate crime," I can help them identify those who spent much of last year uttering physical threats against the republication in this country of some Danish cartoons. In default of impartial prosecution, we have to insist that Muslims take their chance of being upset, just as we who do not subscribe to their arrogant certainties are revolted every day by the hideous behavior of the parties of God.

It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy.

I agree with Mr. Hitchens whole heartedly.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

al-Qaeda reportedly sourcing agents for new attacks

Washington, 17 July(AKI)

Al-Qaeda was attempting to use its resurgence in Iraq to sneak agents into the US in a bid to mount fresh terrorist attacks, according to a high-level intelligence report released on Tuesday.

"We assess that its association with [al-Qaeda in Iraq] helps al-Qaeda to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for homeland attacks," the National Intelligence Estimate said.

The report was prepared by the NIE - which includes 16 US intelligence agencies - for President Bush and the US Congress.

It said the US faced a "heightened threat environment" and that al-Qaeda's operating capabilities were at their strongest level since the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Government officials have expressed concern in the past that the Iraq war was providing a theatre for al-Qaeda to train insurgents and extend the terror network's capabilities.

The report also warned that al-Qaeda was becoming "innovative in creating new capabilities and overcoming security obstacles" while strengthening efforts to sneak operatives into the United States.

"Although we have discovered only a handful of individuals in the United States with ties to al-Qaeda senior leadership since 9/11, we judge that al-Qaeda will intensify its efforts to put operatives here," the NIE said.

"As a result, we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment."

The report said al-Qaeda was seeking to perpetrate a sensational attack that produced "visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks and/or fear among the U.S. population".

The report also said al-Qaeda was looking to source chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Declassified portions of the completed NIE report were released Tuesday after the classified version was presented to congress.

Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, gave President Bush a special briefing on the report.

In addition to concerns about al-Qaeda in Iraq and the threat of an attack on the United States, the report also said that al- Qaeda had set up a safe haven along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan from where the terror network's leaders operated.

While the US considers President Pervez Musharraf a key ally in the struggle against al-Qaeda, he is under increased pressure to curb terrorism.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pity The Poor Palestinians

by David Kupelian

They could have lived side by side with the Israelis. But a cruel, conniving, terroristic people have conspired to deny them their birthright, to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors.

The villain, however, is not Israel, whose only crime has been to defend its very right to exist. Rather, it is the heartless and hopelessly corrupt regimes throughout the Middle East, including that of Yasser Arafat.

The Palestinians have been the pawns of totalitarian Arab potentates and powers who have wanted since the day Israel became a nation in 1948 to annihilate it. The Palestinians have served as a bloody battering ram, a bludgeon, a dagger in the hands of unseen Arab leaders who couldn't destroy Israel through successive wars of aggression, and therefore resorted to Plan B -- to destroy Israel a piece at a time through a "Palestine liberation" movement.

Most Arab leaders don't truly care a bit about the Palestinians. As former President Jimmy Carter confessed at a 1979 press conference: "I have never met an Arab leader that in private professed a desire for an independent Palestinian state. Publicly, they all espouse an independent Palestinian state ..."

The truth is, this conflict has never been about land-for-peace. Remember what happened when former Prime Minister Barak, after much arm-twisting by then-President Clinton, agreed in 1999 to give on a silver platter 95 percent of Arafat's negotiating demands?

"The much-vaunted political solution to end the conflict was in fact attempted two years ago at Camp David, and it utterly failed," former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu observed recently. "Arafat rejected a scandalously far-reaching Israeli offer of a sovereign Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, which included half of Jerusalem, and instead chose to unleash this war of terror against Israel."

Before 1948, there was no clamoring among Muslims to possess Jerusalem. Even after the establishment of Israel, after Jordan annexed the West Bank and up until the time it lost it to Israel in an Arab war of aggression against the Jewish state in 1967, there was no international outcry from the Palestinians, or from any other Arabs, for their own state, or for a sacred Jerusalem.

But what about the religious fervor for the Al-Aksa Mosque, the third holiest place for Muslims? Isn't that what drives Palestinians to want Jerusalem as the capital of their hoped-for nation? Mecca, the holiest place to Muslims, and Medina, the second holiest, are mentioned many times in the Koran. But Jerusalem?

There's not even one reference in the entire Koran, nor is there any historical evidence that Muhammad ever went there. The latter-day Palestinian hunger for the Temple Mount -- the holiest site for Judaism -- is like the sudden desire a child has for a toy with which his brother is playing. The first child never particularly paid much attention to that toy before, but now that his brother, whom he has always envied, is happily playing with it, the first boy feels compelled to take it away. The only "happiness" he would obtain by getting the toy, however, is the satisfaction of having deprived his brother of it.

Is it possible that what makes the Al-Aksa Mosque so attractive to the Palestinians is the fact that it is built on the ruins of the holiest site of the Jews, whom they detest?

Here is a bitter truth that none dare speak, but that many know deep down in their hearts. This current generation of Palestinians, so deeply corrupted, so absolutely and profoundly brainwashed from birth, will never -- can never -- live in peace, side by side with Israelis.

It's a strange thing about corruption: It's easy to brainwash and traumatize people -- but it's extremely difficult to undo the damage.

Since the beginning of this current intifada in late 2000 -- which today has escalated well-nigh into all-out war -- I have been writing about the Palestinian love of breeding suicide bombers.

When these stories first appeared, many were incredulous over the notion that high religious and political leaders were encouraging toddlers to become suicidal terrorists. We reported how a popular Sesame Street-like television program called the "Children's Club," complete with puppet shows, songs and a Mickey Mouse character, celebrated violence and terror, teaching Palestinian children songs like, "When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber."

Then came Sept. 11, and the rest of the world learned more than it ever wanted to know about suicide bombers and the insane religious interpretation that justifies such wanton terror and mass murder in the name of Allah.

A generation of Palestinian children has been carefully and heartlessly groomed to look forward to the day they can blow up their precious, God-given bodies in order to destroy innocent Israeli men, women and children.

The Palestinian leadership, comprising Arafat and his political apparatus working in concert with certain Islamic leaders, has brainwashed a generation of beautiful children to become instruments of death, and to believe they are going to heaven as their reward for murdering their innocent brothers and sisters.

Do you have any idea at all just how profoundly and deeply you have to screw up someone's brain to get them to do that?

Sadly, in all likelihood, this damage cannot be undone.

Not only would the current generation of Palestinians be unable to live side-by-side with Israelis in peace. They would not even be able to live side-by-side with themselves.

What do you suppose would happen if Yasser Arafat got his wish and Israel disappeared from the face of the Earth today? That's right, just imagine that all the Jews in Israel simply disappeared overnight -- vanished into thin air.

The Palestinians -- yes, they would march triumphantly into Jerusalem and raise their flag above the city, and so on, acting out their fantasy of liberation. They would celebrate in the streets for days, firing guns into the air. A few overly enthusiastic would-be martyrs probably would blow themselves up with their new explosive belts to mark the occasion.

But before long, the fury, the traumatic hatred that's been injected into them since birth, would again have to express itself. They would turn on each other, or go to war with their Arab neighbors.

"No," you might say, "these people are oppressed. Once the oppressor was gone, so would the reason for their anger."

Wrong. When you continually inculcate such intense hatred, such unquenchable fury, virtually from birth, it literally becomes what you are. It forms your very identity. You can't live without hatred and violence. Do you understand this?

Sure, the anger would likely transmute into some other form, and the sales of suicide explosive belts would certainly fall off sharply. But the insane, warlike culture -- with no enemy to hate and attack any more -- would turn first inward on itself and later on its neighbors.

Nations and tribes are always going to war to redirect the anger of their oppressed and rage-laden people away from each other and onto an outside enemy. The Palestinians would be unable to live without their hatred -- they would have to have something to hate. After all, it's their righteousness, the only kind many of them have ever known since birth.

The Israelis, who took a tiny bit of barren desert wasteland the size of New Jersey and turned it into a blooming oasis of civilization and freedom in the Mideast, have a right to defend themselves against this unrelenting campaign to destroy them -- whatever it takes. And I do mean, whatever it takes.

Courtesy of WorldNetDaily


Teenaged Girl Sheduled for Decapitation

Father of the convicted Muslim teenage girl to appeal to parents of the dead baby to save her from being beheaded
By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 16 July (Asiantribune.com): Mohamed Sultan Nafeek the father of the 19 year old Sri Lankan girl, who is sentenced to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia said in Colombo that he was scheduled to fly on June 16 to the desert kingdom to appeal to the parents of the baby boy who died while the convicted teenager was bottle feeding him.

"I will ask them to pardon my daughter for the sake of Allah, it was not her intention to kill," Sultan Nafeek said.

Under Saudi Arabian law the victim’s family is entitled to pardon an accused of a crime and spare the Life from being beheaded.

But when the case was taken up in Dawadimi, about 250 miles West of Riyadh the Saudi employers of Rizana Nafeek refused to pardon the poor Sri Lankan Muslim girl and she was sentenced to be beheaded under Saudi Arabian law.

When the alleged crime occurred, Rizana was only a minor of 17 years old and a crooked Sri Lankan job agent had sent her to Saudi Arabia by distorting her age as minors cannot be sent to foreign countries for employment under Sri Lanka law.

She did not get any opportunity to tell the courts what her real age is and under international law a minor cannot be put to death under any kind of circumstances.

Sources close to Nafeek’s family said a Sri lankan Muslim Minister also will be flying with Rizana’s father carrying a special letter from Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed to the King of Saudi Arabia to intervene in the matter in granting clemency for the girl.

Until the last moment the girl’s father had not received a visa to enter Saudi Arabia but he was with high hopes he would be granted one.

Mohamed Sultan Nafeek, a poor wood cutter from the impoverished Eastern town of Muttur in Sri Lanka, allowed her to go and work in Saudi Arabia as he was unable to build a decent house for his family and they still live in a mud hut without any basic amenities. "We live in abject poverty, we only live in a mud hut which has no proper toilet or a well to draw water. This is what made Rizana to go to Saudi," he said while waiting for his visa in Colombo.

Rizana was employed as a house maid. But in addition to her household chores, babysitting, for which she has had no instructions or training , was also added to her list of duties.

The unfortunate incident occurred while she was bottle feeding the baby.

The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission said the death was an accident of choking milk because the 17 year old girl’s inexperience. She had also faced a trial without any legal representation being provided.

She had been asked to sign a confession by the Saudi Police, written in Arabic, a language she could not read, admitting to the death of the infant.

Now she has recanted her confession, and the Sri Lanka Embassy said it had been obtained under duress.

Her siblings 15, 12, and 10 naturally terrified by the news their loving sister will be beheaded are praying to Allah that she be saved and having high hopes she would accompany home with their father, Muslim sources said.

Millions of people in Sri Lanka are crossing their fingers thinking the poor family’s prayers will be answered.

If everything fails, like any other common criminal she will be taken to a market square and beheaded as it had happened before umpteenth number of times at least during many hundreds of years in the desert kingdom

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ISLAMBERG (Upstate N.Y.)

Springtime in Islamberg
Radical Muslim paramilitary compound flourishes in upper New York state
by Paul L. Williams Friday, May 11, 2007

"Situated within a dense forest at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains on the outskirts of Hancock, New York, Islamberg is not an ideal place for a summer vacation unless, of course, you are an exponent of the Jihad or a fan of Osama bin Laden.

The 70 acre complex is surrounded with "No trespassing" signs; the rocky terrain is infested with rattlesnakes; and the woods are home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats.

The entrance to the community is at the bottom of a very steep hill that is difficult to navigate even on a bright sunny day in May. The road, dubbed Muslim Lane, is unpaved and marred by deep crevices that have been created by torrential downpours. On a wintry day, few, save those with all terrain vehicles, could venture forth from the remote encampment.

A sentry post has been established at the base of the hill.
The sentry, at the time of this visit, is an African American dressed in Islamic garb - - a skull cap, a prayer shawl, and a loose fitting shalwat kameez. He instructs us to turn around and leave. "Our community is not open to visitors," he says.

Behind the sentry and across a small stream stand dozens of inhabitants of the compound - - the men wearing skull caps and loose fitting tunics, the women in full burqa. They appear ready to deal with any unauthorized intruders.

The hillside is blighted by rusty trailers that appear to be without power or running water and a number of outhouses. The scent of raw sewage is in the air.

The place is even off limits to the local undertaker who says that he has delivered bodies to the complex but has never been granted entrance. "They come and take the bodies from my hearse. They won't allow me to get past the sentry post. They say that they want to prepare the bodies for burial. But I never get the bodies back. I don't know what's going on there but I don't think it's legal."

On the other side of the hill where few dare to go is a tiny village replete with a make-shift learning center (dubbed the "International Quranic Open University"); a trailer converted into a Laundromat; a small, green community center; a small and rather squalid grocery store; a newly constructed majid; over forty clapboard homes; and scores of additional trailers.

It is home to hundreds - - all in Islamic attire, and all African-Americans. Most drive late model SUVs with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The locals say that some work as tollbooth operators for the New York State Thruway, while others are employed at a credit card processing center that maintains confidential financial records.

While buzzing with activity during the week, the place becomes a virtual hive on weekends. The guest includes arrivals from the inner cities of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, white-robed dignitaries in Ray-Bans from the Middle East.

Venturing into the complex last summer, Douglas Hagmann, an intrepid investigator and director of the Northeast Intelligence Service, came upon a military training area at the eastern perimeter of the property. The area was equipped with ropes hanging from tall trees, wooden fences for scaling, a make-shift obstacle course, and a firing range. Hagmann said that the range appeared to have been in regular use.

Islamberg is not as benign as a Buddhist monastery or a Carmelite convent. Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives. None of the neighbors wished to be identified for fear of "retaliation." "We don't even dare to slow down when we drive by," one resident said. "They own the mountain and they know it and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can't even do that. Who wants to buy a property near that?"

The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. "If you go there, you better wear body armor," a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. "They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body."

At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn't wish to be identified, said: "The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can't understand why the FBI won't shut it down."

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system.

Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority.

Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulare Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington.

Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.

Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits - - primarily inner city black men who became converts in prison - - are compelled to sign an oath that reads: "I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah's sake."

In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing boot-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.

Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers' compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

The criminal charges against the group and the criminal convictions are not things of the past. In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling' and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.

By 2004

federal investigators


evidence that

linked both the

DC "sniper killer"

John Allen


and "Shoe Bomber"

Richard Reid

to the group

and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.

Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity."

Update on story: June 4, 2007
Suspected terrorists in JFK Airport plot tried to forge connection with Jamaat al-Muslimeen

Update on story: May 22, 2007
"Islamberg" founder Sheikh Gilani blames Doug Hagmann for CFP story

Update on story: May 21, 2007
Islamberg not the only radical Muslim compound flourishing in North America

Update on story:
Blogger who posted CFP Islamberg story had life threatened

More Here: CFP

And Here: Fox Video - Islamberg

And Here: NIN - Video

And Here: worldnetdaily

And Here: Atlas Shrugs

And Here: MosqueWatch

And Here: Jihad Watch

And Here: Citizen Times

And Here: Sayanythingblog

And Here: Daily Comedy

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pakistan Extends Mosque Deadline; Students Surrender

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan extended a deadline at Islamabad's Red Mosque after at least 16 people were killed in gun battles between police and students supporting the chief cleric's call for Islamic law to be imposed in the city. About 710 students at the mosque surrendered, the government said.

Police charged chief cleric Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz and his deputy Abdul Rashid Ghazi with murder and terrorism, police spokesman Muhammad Amaar said by telephone. Other charges include damaging state property and interfering in state matters. Aziz was arrested while trying to escape dressed as a woman wearing a burqa, or veil, state-run Pakistan Television said. The government earlier set a deadline of 11 a.m. Islamabad time for the students to give themselves up and has extended it without setting a specific time, Tariq Azeem, the deputy information minister, said.

Ghazi told Aaj TV earlier the students won't surrender, potentially deepening a standoff with the government that started after the chief cleric set up an Islamic court on the premises on April 6.

The two clerics ``remain defiant but they don't have a choice,'' Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema told reporters in Islamabad. ``Still, we are getting signals from inside the mosque seeking more time as more students want to surrender.''

There may be more people dead inside the mosque following the two days of clashes between students and police, Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood said at a news conference in Islamabad.

More Surrenders Seen

The government has extended the deadline because ``the response has been more than our expectation,'' Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said at the news conference. ``Our strategy is that we vacate the mosque with minimum losses.''

``There is still time to surrender,'' Azeem told a news conference in the Pakistani capital earlier today. ``We are showing maximum restraint because we believe the issue can be resolved peacefully.''

The government is offering to pay 5,000 rupees ($82.82) to each student who surrenders, Azeem said. Action will be taken against those students who took up arms against the security forces yesterday, Azeem said.

Between 2,000 and 2,500 people were inside the mosque before the latest surrender, according to Azeem. Ten people, including four security officials, were killed in the clashes overnight and 94 were injured, he said.

Negotiated Settlement

Religious scholars are trying to negotiate a settlement with the authorities, Ghazi told Aaj TV, which put the death toll from the gun battles at 21.

Pakistan imposed a curfew around the mosque site early today and Deputy Interior Minister Zafar Iqbal Warraich said anyone violating the restriction would be shot.

``We have shown enough patience by not taking action against the students because of the presence of women inside the mosque,'' Warraich said. ``It is time to establish the writ of the government.''

President Pervez Musharraf's government has been trying to resolve the standoff at the Red Mosque, or Lal Masjid, since Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz, the chief cleric, set up the court.

Illegal Occupation

``We don't want more bloodshed,'' Azeem said. ``We want the illegal occupation of the mosque and the seminary to end.''

When asked if the government would enter discussions with the clerics he said, ``there can be no talks with criminals.''

The standoff between police and the students began in April when Aziz, the mosque's chief cleric said he wanted to bring Islamabad under Islamic law. President Pervez Musharraf has stressed that Pakistan must follow a path of moderation to defeat extremism in the country.

Pakistan deployed rangers and police outside the mosque last week to stop the students from raiding shops and houses following last week's kidnapping and release of seven Chinese people.

Pakistan's government also negotiated the release of four policemen taken hostage by the students at the mosque in May.

The students have raided shops in the nearby Aabpara market on grounds they were selling obscene films and wanted the owners to close their businesses. The government delayed an operation against the cleric because there were female students on the premises, Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said last month.

Clerics also announced a decree calling for former Tourism Minister Nilofar Bahktiar to be punished for wearing an ``objectionable'' dress. Aziz threatened suicide attacks if police tried to shut the court or raid the premises and demanded the government close businesses selling videos and CDs and alleged brothels.

Editorial note: This coward tried to slip away wearing a Burqa, leaving the student inside the Mosque to fend for themselves.

I was a fanatic...I know their thinking, says former radical Islamist

Here is a refreshing and truthful article. Something we see more and more of now. People like Walid Shoebat, and Hassan Butt who once swore to kill in the name of Islam, after renouncing Terrorism translate the thoughts and aspiration of the Jihadists for all who will listen. Read along for a better understanding of the inside of a terrorists mind.
Taken from the daily Mail

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.

More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

The attempts to cause mass destruction in London and Glasgow are so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that they are likely to have been carried out by my former peers.

And as with previous terror attacks, people are again saying that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy.

For example, on Saturday on Radio 4's Today programme, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: "What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq."

I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I realised that its members had simply become mindless killers. But if I were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again.

Mohammed Sidique Khan met with the author on two separate occasions

Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 bombings, and I were both part of the network - I met him on two occasions.

And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state that would dispense Islamic justice.

If we were interested in justice, you may ask, how did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting such a (flawed) Utopian goal?

How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion?

There isn't enough room to outline everything here, but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a model of the world in which you are either a believer or an infidel.

Formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion: they are considered to be one and the same.

For centuries, the reasoning of Islamic jurists has set down rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.

But what radicals and extremists do is to take this two steps further. Their first step has been to argue that, since there is no pure Islamic state, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr (The Land of Unbelief).

Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world.

Along with many of my former peers, I was taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief.

In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.

The notion of a global battlefield has been a source of friction for Muslims living in Britain.

For decades, radicals have been exploiting the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern secular state - typically by starting debate with the question: "Are you British or Muslim?"

But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Muslim institutions in Britain just don't want to talk about theology.

They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex truth that Islam can be interpreted as condoning violence against the unbeliever - and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace and hope that all of this debate will go away.

This has left the territory open for radicals to claim as their own. I should know because, as a former extremist recruiter, I repeatedly came across those who had tried to raise these issues with mosque authorities only to be banned from their grounds.

Every time this happened it felt like a moral and religious victory for us because it served as a recruiting sergeant for extremism.

Outside Britain, there are those who try to reverse this two-step revisionism.

A handful of scholars from the Middle East have tried to put radicalism back in the box by saying that the rules of war devised so long ago by Islamic jurists were always conceived with the existence of an Islamic state in mind, a state which would supposedly regulate jihad in a responsible Islamic fashion.

In other words, individual Muslims don't have the authority to go around declaring global war in the name of Islam.

But there is a more fundamental reasoning that has struck me as a far more potent argument because it involves recognising the reality of the world: Muslims don't actually live in the bipolar world of the Middle Ages any more.

The fact is that Muslims in Britain are citizens of this country. We are no longer migrants in a Land of Unbelief.

For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we'll stay here.

But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale, Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of cemeteries and equal rights in law.

However, it isn't enough for responsible Muslims to say that, because they feel at home in Britain, they can simply ignore those passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers.

Because so many in the Muslim community refuse to challenge centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern world grow larger every day.

I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism.

Crucially, the Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from its state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.

If our country is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence.

And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.