Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Muslim charity trial may shed new light on terror aid
Evidence against Dallas group may link other U.S. organizations to financing for Hamas
By DAVID KOENIG
DALLAS — Prosecutors have produced scores of documents, audio and videotapes, and intercepted phone calls in their attempt to prove that a Muslim charity based in a suburban Dallas office park was actually a fundraising arm of Middle Eastern terrorists.
Much of the evidence has surfaced before in books, newspaper articles and previous trials. But those who track terror-financing say the document haul from the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development has also produced new information.
They say the documents shed light on a web of related organizations of militant Palestinian supporters in the United States, some of whom saw their goal as destroying Western civilization.
The 1991 bylaws of a group called the Palestine Committee say it was created to be the highest authority on "work for the Palestinian cause on the American front." The committee was led by Mousa Abu Marzook, later deported to Jordan and labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government.
The committee oversaw a number of former and current Muslim organizations in the United States.
One was Holy Land, which was shut down in December 2001 and is accused of being a fundraising front for Hamas. Five of its former leaders are on trial in Dallas, charged with sending more than $12 million in illegal aid to Hamas.
Another was the Islamic Association for Palestine, which closed in 2004 after a federal judge found it and then-defunct Holy Land liable in the killing of an American teenager in Israel by Hamas gunmen.
And a third was the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which has emerged as a leading advocacy group for American Muslims.
For the first time, evidence in the case put CAIR's founder, Nihad Awad, at a Philadelphia meeting of alleged Hamas supporters that was secretly watched and recorded by the FBI.
The groups had overlapping rosters of leaders. Documents introduced by prosecutors in the Holy Land trial list several of the charity's leaders as officials in the Islamic Association for Palestine.
Bank records show financial transactions between both organizations and Marzook, which prosecutors contend shows that Hamas invested seed money in the U.S. groups so they could then raise more funds for Hamas from American Muslims.Douglas Farah, author of Blood from Stones, a book on terrorists' financial networks, said the document trail reveals something he and others had surmised but didn't know for sure — that the groups were part of a coordinated strategy for raising money and support in the United States for radical Islamic groups, including Hamas.
"It's clear these groups grew out of an effort to carry out a specific strategy in the United States," Farah said. "It's in their own words, it's a political infiltration that worked for 40 years."
Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, denied that his group or its current or former leaders had any ties to Hamas.
"That's one of those urban legends about CAIR," he said. "It's fed by the right-wing, pro-Israeli blogosphere."
Ahmed said the Philadelphia gathering attended by CAIR's founder "was an open meeting of Palestinian activists who came together to discuss the Olso peace accords and their struggle to gain a homeland."
Some of the evidence in the case came from wiretaps, including an FBI recording of the Philadelphia meeting at which participants referred to helping Hamas or Samah — Hamas spelled backward. Much of that material had surfaced in earlier trials of other men accused — and acquitted — of aiding terrorists.
Other information came from Israeli military operations, and some came from a 2004 raid at the Virginia home of a former Marzook aide.
Other evidence was literally unearthed — dug up from the backyard of a home where an unindicted co-conspirator of the Holy Land defendants once lived.
One of the documents is a memo about the goals for the U.S. organization of the U.S. faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members included some of the Holy Land leaders now on trial.
The memo's writer, Mohamed Akram, wrote that members of the Brotherhood "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within."
But will the inflammatory comments of associates matter in the trial of five leaders of Holy Land Foundation? They are accused of aiding terrorists, conspiracy, money laundering and tax charges.
Joshua Dratel, the attorney for one of the Holy Land defendants, said his client didn't help Hamas and didn't want to see Palestinians or Israelis killed. Defense lawyers said Holy Land raised money for schools and hospitals, not terrorists.
The mountain of documents, including records of dozens of financial transactions between Holy Land and Palestinian charities allegedly controlled by Hamas, won't necessarily translate into convictions against the Holy Land defendants, said Dennis Lormel, who worked on terrorist-financing issues at the FBI and is now a consultant.
"It's difficult to follow," said Lormel, who like Farah has blogged about the trial. "If you're the government, you want to simplify as much as you can."
Two other high-profile cases of men charged with helping terrorists ended in acquittals on the major charges. If that happens in Holy Land, the government will have to rethink its strategy of building cases on mountains of documents, Lormel said.
"The government will have to see if you can get informants and undercover agents, but that's a very difficult thing to do," he said. "Penetrating those groups would be a tremendous challenge."
As with any long running conspiracy, the unraveling of CAIR's web of lies will take time, and patience...We have that.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Islam first came into India as a Military force in the year 715 C.E., in the Province of Sindh, but it made inroads into the country proper between 1020 and 1194 after which Mohammedan power became dominant in north India.
The people of Kerala had their violent introduction to Islam in the 18th century, when Tipu Sultan, the usurper of the Mysore Principality marched into Kerala attacking the Zamorin Raja of Calicut and began 'converting' people to Islam.
Tipu went about with a Koran in one hand and a sword in the other giving the subject people of Kerala a choice of accepting Islam or death. Doing this, he marched from Calicut up to Alwaye where he was forced to retreat because of stiff resistance. In 1669 Aurangzeb issued a general order for the destruction of Hindu temples, and it is estimated that about 3000 temples were destroyed and converted into Mosques in the 750 years of Muslim rule in India.
During the sultanate and later under Aurangzeb, many hundreds of thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. The sentences of criminals and prisoners of war were ruthlessly executed with mercy and allowances only available to individuals embracing Islam. The Jaziya tax was both a heavy financial burden and a badge of inferiority borne by the Hindu, which also stimulated conversions to Islam.
In the 1860s a Muslim cleric in the Punjab region of India launched a murderous jihad initially against Sikhs, and then against all non-Muslim groups. In South India in 1921, jihadists carried out massacres, the forced conversion of Hindus, and the desecration of Hindu temples.
The number of casualties over the centuries are at least and order of magnitude greater than suffered by the Jews in the holocaust, and the ongoing conflicts have been key to the economic and social disadvantages of Indian society. Although Indians are an industrious and educated people, the social, political, and economic costs of the ongoing conflicts are the cause of its poor economic performance compared to other industrialized nations.
Courtesy of IslamUndressed.com
Hat Tip: Aura of Arc
The official said an official announcement would be made later in the day.
They failed to mention that there was a Bright RED BANNER HEADLINE, and that THE LIBERAL MEDIA IS SO EXCITED THAT THEY MUST BE GETTING READY TO EJACULATE.
Gimmie a break...
Sunday, August 26, 2007
India suffers from yet another coordinated terror bombing, and officials in Hyderabad can only guess who is responsible. Tensions between Hindus and Muslims are such that either side might have done this.
Indian officials are still trying to sort this out. Other recent bombings in India have been blamed on Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, (Army of the Pure) one of more than a dozen Islamic insurgent groups fighting to oust India from Muslim-majority Kashmir. Pakistan has denied charges of training and supporting the militants.
Indian media reports, quoting unnamed security officials, named the Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad Al-Islami organization. Harkatul, which is banned in Bangladesh, wants to establish strict Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority nation governed by secular laws. Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry said Dhaka had not been informed of the allegations.
Meanwhile, though only two bombs actually detonated, killing at least 42 and wounding another 60 or so, authorities also found explosives at 16 other locations in and near Hyderabad, said Y.S.R. Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state. Was this only a part of what was to be a much larger attack? Last year Lashkar-e-Tayyaba attacked 7 commuter trains in Mumbai, India, so to speculate that they might be involved is a pretty short putt.
With all that has transpired over the last decade, with all we have witnessed from "The Religion of Peace", how can we give them the benefit of the doubt? How do intelligent people look beyond prior attacks that establish a pattern and the fact that Islamic Jihad has stayed true to it, and wait for evidence that provides proof of Islam's guilt or innocence in this attack.
It is a case of "Cry Wolf", and too late for reconciliation in the case of Islam. No other ideology that embraced such extreme violence has ever been so universally accepted in history...Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Thuggism, all extremist doctrines, and None with the traction that Islam has. But now, a growing minority of people are educating themselves, and then others to the threat the ideology poses. Also, a increasingly globalized media has made it more and more difficult to conceal atrocities, so now when we see a restaurant bombing, or a school massacre...A shooting spree at a mall, or a suicide bombing, the reaction is automatic. We don't know who did this yet, but which is the likely answer to this mystery? Will you be shocked to find that Muslims did this?
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
What nice looking young men right? No way those were PIPE BOMBS in their possession as they were apprehended speeding towards a Naval Base in SC...(Actually, They Were)
What is your plan, to make it a crime to report a suspicious character, or (God Forbid) stop a Muslim from committing a terrorist act? (Which in all likelihood is what just happened in South Carolina.) We understand that the vast majority of Muslims aren't terrorists, but that isn't stopping the ones who Are from killing innocents, and it's time you directed your outrage, and connivance at Them, and not the country to which as a citizen, you have pledged allegiance to. We wont allow our congress to change our laws to afford Muslims special privileges. You misjudge America if you believe that. Just as Americans blocked the passage of the "Amnesty Bill", we will block passage of any bill that makes it a crime to ridicule those who deserve it, and report, arrest, and prosecute those who would attack us on our soil.
I hope those two men you sent on your errand are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and are imprisoned for a very long time. Then, you may hold them up as "martyrs", and let their suffering eat at your conscience for the rest of your life. These men were in this country as guests of America, why were they approaching a U.S. Naval Base with explosives? Everyone must assimilate into American culture or be condemned to live here in exile. You, by your action, condemn Muslims to that fate Bedier. By separating Muslims from the fabric and culture that made us great, you exile them in their own country. You doom Islam in America by your actions, and the sooner your CAIR is marginalized, the better for all.(Especially American Muslims)
Two college students from Tampa — Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahed — were caught speeding toward the Goose Creek naval weapons station. Police found lead pipe bombs in their trunk. They've been charged with possession of explosives, and the FBI is investigating them as possible "terrorists," say neighbors interviewed by agents.
These cases seem to pop up every few months. For those paying attention, it spells a trend. But you'd never know it from the spotty news coverage they receive. If they are covered, the media plays them almost as random crime stories.
Terror plots and arrests on the other side of the pond, however, get major play. To hear pundits, Europe has the Islamic terror problem, not us. The Christian Science Monitor says "European-style homegrown terror cells" are just not seen here.
In fact, we've had more homegrown terror. You just don't hear about it as much because we've already had our 9/11.
In addition to the Muslim snipers who terrorized the Washington area for weeks on the first anniversary of 9/11, the U.S. has been plagued by dozens of terror attacks or disrupted plots over the past several years, including:
• The "Lackawanna Six" from upstate New York who were caught training for terror with al-Qaida overseas.
• The Columbus, Ohio, trucker who helped al-Qaida case the Brooklyn Bridge for attack.
• The Los Angeles man who fatally shot two and wounded three at an Israeli airline ticket counter at LAX.
• The New Yorker found guilty of plotting to blow up a Manhattan subway station.
• The Lodi, Calif., native who trained with al-Qaida in Pakistan to blow up fellow Americans at supermarkets.
• The three black Muslim converts from Torrance, Calif., jailed for plotting to attack Army recruiting stations and synagogues.
• The Virginia jihadists busted for training to kill U.S. soldiers overseas.
• The San Francisco Muslim who took his SUV on a hit-and-run killing spree.
• The black Muslim cell in Miami which plotted to attack the Sears Tower.
• The jihadist who went on a shooting rampage at a Jewish community center in Seattle, announcing "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel."
• The Fort Dix Six who planned to penetrate the New Jersey base as pizza delivery men, then open fire on troops.
• The black Muslim converts who recently plotted to blow up JFK airport.
• The honors student-turned-jihadist who rented an SUV and rammed it into a crowd at the University of North Carolina.
• The pro-Taliban operatives caught training for jihad in the Oregon woods.
• The shotgun-toting 18-year-old Muslim who murdered five shoppers inside a Salt Lake City mall.
• The black convert recently busted for plotting to blow up Illinois shopping malls with grenades.
And on and on.
Some argue that these cases, as many as there are, are isolated and don't add up to the kind of intense radicalism seen in Britain. They say our Muslims are moderate by comparison. A recent Pew poll, however, reveals that more than one in four young Muslim Americans favors suicide bombing as a way to even scores.
Some pundits also claim our mosques don't preach hatred. It's fairly common for imams to preach assimilation, claims pro-Arab lobbyist James Zogby. That's not as true in Europe, where sermons can be laced with extremism, he says.
"The success of Saudi-inspired religious zealotry in Europe was in large part because the Saudis put up the money to build mosques and pay for imams," says Ian Cuthbertson, a counterterrorism expert at the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research. "The American Muslim community was rich enough not to require Saudi money to build its mosques."
In fact, eight in 10 mosques in America are funded and controlled by the Saudis.
The notion that America doesn't have a radical Muslim problem unfortunately is a myth. Pundits need to quit fooling people. That is the mission of this blog. It is our hope here to stimulate discussion, in the hope that understanding Militant Islam; It's Origins, History, and Motivation, can lead to defeating it.
Examines the various conspiracy theories espoused on the Internet, in articles and in public forums that attempt to explain the 9/11 attacks. It includes theories that the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition; that a missile, not a commercial airliner, hit the Pentagon; and that members of the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks in hopes of creating a war in the Middle East. Each conspiracy argument is countered by a variety of experts in the fields of engineering, intelligence and the military. The program also delves into the anatomy of such conspiracies and how they grow on the Internet.
Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up To The Facts by David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, both editors at Popular Mechanics, is the must-read book on the subject.
See the Screw Loose Change blog for the latest information about leaders of the "truth" movement and the conspiracy film "Loose Change." They also have links to other debunking sites."
The following day, 19 people from the Black Muslims' "Your Black Muslim Bakery" were arrested. Those arrested included Yusuf Bey IV, the 21-year old heir to the Black Muslim's business rackets. An update from NBC11 News and an article from the Tri Valley Herald confirm that Chauncery Bailey had been writing an article about the Black Muslims, who own the "Your Black Muslim Bakery".
An employee of Your Black Muslim Bakery confessed to police that he had shot Chauncery Bailey. 19-year old handyman Devaughndre Broussard said he had been angered by stories Chauncery had written about the Black Muslims, the bakery, and its employees.
According to authorities, Mr Bailey had been working on a story about the finances of the group.
Courtesy of Aura of Arc
- 2 dozen grape leaves, fresh or jarred
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 6 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 generous pinch salt
- 6 cups water
Place the stuffed leaves in a circular pattern on the bottom of a large 6-8 quart pot. Leave enough room between them to expand a bit as the rice cooks. Layer them until they are all in the pot, then add 1 cup of lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Water should be even with the top of the leaves. Place a flat plate over the leaves to weigh them down and keep them in place. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are tender and rice is cooked. Serve hot or cold.
*Addt'l ingredients: raisins, ground beef or diced chicken.
Courtesy of Aura of Arc
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Afghan police freed a female German hostage from a Kabul neighborhood and arrested a group of kidnappers early Monday, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
The 31-year-old aid worker was freed during a raid in the western part of the capital not far from the restaurant where she was seized Saturday while dining with her husband, Zemary Bashari said. The woman's husband was not abducted.
"A group of kidnappers were arrested," Bashari said.
Amrullah Saleh, the head of the Afghan intelligence service, said the men were part of a criminal gang whose leader was freed from a northern Afghan prison two months earlier.
In Berlin, a spokeswoman for Germany's Foreign Ministry confirmed the woman was "in safety at the German Embassy" in Kabul.
On Sunday, Afghan television broadcast what it said was video of the woman calling for the release of unspecified prisoners while being prompted by a man on what to say.
The woman on the tape identifies herself as Christina Meier and holds up what appeared to be a German identification card with her name on it. Officials have not confirmed the woman's identity.
Police have said Taliban militants were not behind her brazen daytime abduction even though the group has been linked to the recent kidnappings of 23 South Koreans and two German men.
In the video, the woman was shown sitting on the floor inside a room, her head covered with a white scarf. She said "I am OK" and then read a letter in the Afghan language, Dari, calling for the release of unknown prisoners.
She was prompted to make remarks in English and in Dari by a man speaking in broken English.
The private Tolo TV, which broadcast the video, did not say how it obtained the material.
"I am fine. There are not threats against me. I want from my country to do what it can for my release," she said in Dari, reading from a piece of paper while seated, occasionally looking up toward the camera.
A male voice off-camera prompted her to say, "to help" and he told her to use the word "urgent."
"Please help for my release, and help me," she said.
A man, his head covered with a scarf and wearing sunglasses inside a room, appeared afterward in the video and demanded the Afghan government release a number of unknown prisoners. He said a member of the group would provide the government with the list.
"We are not bad people. We are a special network," the man said at the end of the video. He did not identify the group or say whether it is linked to the Taliban or other insurgents operating in Afghanistan.
In recent weeks, the Taliban have offered media interviews with their foreign hostages, apparently hoping to appeal to public sentiment and thereby pressure the Afghan government to release Taliban prisoners. In such cases, the hostage's comments and message are controlled by the captors and the statements are made in that context.
Germany's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the video.
Ali Shah Paktiawal, head of police criminal investigations in Kabul, ruled out involvement of the Taliban in the abduction, but would not say who was responsible.
In Saturday's kidnapping, four men pulled up to a restaurant in a gray Toyota Corolla, and one went inside and asked to order a pizza, intelligence officials investigating the incident said.
They said two other men waited outside, while another remained in the car.
The man in the restaurant pulled out a pistol, walked up to a table where the couple was sitting and took her from the restaurant, the officials said on condition of anonymity due to agency policy.
Police spotted the speeding car and opened fire, but hit a nearby taxi and killed its driver.
The woman and her husband, also a German, have worked for the Christian organization Ora International in Kabul since September 2006, said Ulf Baumann, a spokesman for the group.
Baumann did not disclose the woman's name or her husband's. He said she was fluent in Dari.
Abduction fears have risen after 23 South Koreans and two Germans were taken hostage in separate incidents last month in central Afghanistan.
One of the German men was shot to death. The other remains in captivity.
Two of the South Koreans were shot to death, and two were freed. A Taliban spokesman said Saturday that negotiations for their release had failed.
In southern Afghanistan, a NATO soldier was killed escorting a convoy in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, while four Afghan security guards died in a suicide attack.
Violence has risen sharply during the last two months in Afghanistan. This year more than 3,700 people — most of them militants — have died, according to an Associated Press tally of casualty figures provided by Western and Afghan officials.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Here’s a very interesting tool built by Caltech graduate student Virgil Griffith, which searches the list of edits at Wikipedia and correlates them with known IP addresses of groups and organizations—revealing edits made by The New York Times and Al Jazeera, among others: List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations.
The site is currently struggling under high traffic, so it may not be available; but you probably won’t be surprised to learn that someone at Al Jazeera has been adding blatantly anti-Israel statements to many Wikipedia pages, or that the New York Times has been sanitizing their own page.
Another interesting IP to look up is the Reuters Canary Wharf office, the origin of a death threat sent to LGF last year. Someone using that IP has been going around Wikipedia and editing entries related to Islam; before the site went down, I discovered several places in which that IP had inserted the word “Prophet” in front of “Muhammad,” for example. Here’s the Reuters IP search.
Here’s an article at Wired: See Who’s Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign.
Hat Tip: AGX-EIE
February 1997 -- Palestinian-born Ali Abu Kamal opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing a tourist and injuring six other people before committing suicide. His daughter, Linda Kamal, said in 2007 that the family is tired of lying and admitted that a letter had been found on her father's body explaining his Muslim hatred for Israel and America.
July 2002 -- Egyptian-born Hesham Mohammed Hadayet walked into the Israeli Airlines El Al terminal at the Los Angeles airport and began shooting Jews. He killed two and injured another four. He was known to sympathize with al Qaeda.
September 2002 -- Patrick Gott killed one and wounded another in the New Orleans airport. He had entered the terminal with a shotgun and his Koran.
October 2002 -- John Mohammed and Lee Malvo killed 13 people in the Washington, DC area. Both were converts to Islam and had attended a jihad training camp in southwestern Virginia.
August 2003 -- Mohammed Ali Alayed almost totally decapitated his erstwhile Jewish friend, Ariel Sellouk, following Alayed's getting serious about his Islamic faith. He went to a mosque after killing Sellouk.
October 2005 -- Joel Henry Hinrichs III, a convert to Islam, was an engineering student at Oklahoma University. His student career ended when a bomb he had strapped on himself went off prematurely outside a crowed stadium, killing only himself. Police subsequently cleared explosives from the apartment that Hinrichs had shared with Muslim students from Pakistan.
April 2006 -- Muslim Ayhan Surucu was so angry when his sister started to wear make-up and date men in Berlin, Germany, that he put a gun to her head at a bus stop and killed her. Boys at a nearby school, attended mainly by the children of immigrant Muslim families, cheered and applauded when news of the murder reached them.
May 2006 -- Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, rented an SUV and drove it through a crowded part of the campus -- intentionally trying to hit people and wounding nine. In a series of letters to the student newspaper, he explained that he acted in obedience to Koranic dictates.
June 2006 -- Michael Ford, a Muslim convert, walked into work at a Safeway warehouse in Denver and opened fire on his coworkers, killing one and injuring five. Relatives explained that he was being teased at work because he's a Muslim and he could not take it anymore.
July 2006 -- Naveed Alzal Haq, a Pakistani, walked into the Jewish Federation Center in downtown Seattle and shot six women -- killing one and wounding five (one of whom was pregnant). He stated matter-of-factly: "I am a Muslim American angry at Israel."
August 2006 -- Omeed Aziz Popal, a Muslim Afghan refugee, used his SUV as a weapon and ran down at least 14 people and a bicyclist in the San Francisco Bay area. He was targeting Jewish neighborhoods to terrorize.
January 2007 -- A 22-year-old Muslim, Ismail Yassin Mohamed, stole a car in Minneapolis and rammed it into other cars before stealing a van and doing the same, injuring several drivers and pedestrians before police finally caught up with him. Mohamed called himself a "terrorist."
February 2007 -- Ibrihim Ahmed, a Nashville cab driver and Muslim, was enraged that two passengers did not agree with him about Islam. When they got out of the cab, he tried to run them down, striking one in a parking lot.
February 2007 --Sulejman Talovic, a Bosnian Muslim immigrant, went to a Salt Lake City mosque on a Friday night. Then he went to one of only two malls in the state which prohibits civilian carrying of concealed weapons. He killed five before an off-duty cop (not subject to the ban) used a concealed firearm to stop his murder spree.
Larry Pratt / Reason For Carrying Firearms For Self Defense / More>>
Hat Tip: AGX-EIE
Monday, August 13, 2007
More Muslims need to realise that Islamist terrorists are not simply “misguided” individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam.
Judging from much of the Muslim reaction to the latest Islamist outrage — last month’s attempted bombings in London and Glasgow — the community seems to have talked itself into a default position in relation to violent Muslim extremism. The same old arguments are being flogged again betraying an unwillingness to acknowledge either the scale of the problem or its nature. The fear of making the community or Islam look bad has created a strange silence around issues that lie at the heart of the Islamism debate.
Broadly, the Muslim argument is that it is all down to a host of external factors. Top of the list is the western foreign policy, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue, compounded by the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. Then there are social and economic reasons such as lack of education and high rate of unemployment in the Muslim community — again attributed to external causes such as racial or religious discrimination.
In other words: don’t blame us; it is all other people’s doing. We are only the victims. As someone who feels the same pressures as other Muslims, I wish this was true. But it isn’t. It not all other people’s doing. We are not just the victims.
I used the term ‘default position’ as an euphemism. There is a more robustly appropriate term, which is being increasingly used to describe the Muslim position: denial. The view that Muslims are in denial of the extent of the problem and their own responsibility in dealing with it is no longer confined to right-wing Muslim-bashers. Even liberal opinion has started to shift.
Appearing on an NDTV panel discussion last week, I was struck by how closely my two distinguished co-panellists — one in New Delhi and the other in Bangalore — stuck to the ‘default’ position. They kept refer ring to “looming images” from Iraq and Palestine; and to the frustration and “anger” bred by American and British foreign policy. There were obligatory references to social deprivation etc., etc. And as for the three Indian doctors suspected to have been behind the London-Glasgow plot, they were simply “misguided” individuals acting alone.
There was much hand-wringing when the anchor underlined the fact that Muslims had been behind all recent acts of terrorism. Yes, it was worrying. Of course, the community condemned any violence committed in the name of Islam, a peaceful religion. And, indeed, there was need for introspection and discussion. But all this was hedged in with so many “ifs” and “buts” that the whole debate seemed like a huge exercise in denial. At least up to the point where I was cut off because the satellite time ran out.
It is the response of a community that sees itself under siege and is irritated that every time a Muslim does something silly it is expected to stand up and apologise. Add to this the prevailing Islamophobia (it is pretty widespread, make no mistake about it), and it is not difficult to understand why Muslims are in this defensive mood. But how long will they continue to shy away from facing the truth? And the truth is that many of their assumptions about the underlying causes of extremism are flawed. Every fresh terrorist attack chips away at the idea that foreign policy and socio-economic factors are the sole drivers of Islamist extremism, making the Muslim default position more untenable.
Hassan Butt, a reformed British extremist, recalls 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.” Writing in The Observer, he said if he was still stuck in his old ways, he would be “laughing once again” at suggestions that the June 29-30 failed attacks were motivated by anger over British foreign policy.
Mr. Butt criticised Muslims and liberal non-Muslim intellectuals and politicians for failing to recognise the “role of Islamist ideology in terrorism” — an ideology that, according to another lapsed extremist Shiraz Maher, preaches a “separatist message of Islamic supremacy” and seeks to establish a “puritanical caliphate.” Mr. Maher knew Kafeel Ahmed, the Indian who tried to blow up Glasgow airport and is now fighting for his life in a hospital in Scotland.
Both Mr. Butt and Mr. Maher were activists of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, one of Britain’s most controversial radical groups with a long and notorious history of recruiting potential jihadis in mosques and on university campuses. Mohammed Siddique Khan, who masterminded the 7/7 bombings, was a member of Hizb at the same time as Mr. Butt. The July 7 attacks were widely attributed to the invasion of Iraq and other west-inspired “atrocities” against Muslims. According to Mr. Butt, though many extremists were enraged by the deaths of fellow Muslims across the world “what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world.”
Arguably, defectors are not the most reliable of people and there is, inevitably, an element of exaggeration in what they say about the organisation they have left and of their own role in it. Yet, so long as we are careful to remember where they are coming from and don’t allow ourselves to be mesmerised by their insiders’ account, they remain our best guide to understanding the world they have left behind. It is only an ex-extremist who can help us get a glimpse of what goes on inside an extremist organisation and sometime that can change our perceptions of an issue in a fundamental way. So, when people like Mr. Butt and Mr. Maher debunk some of the most widely held assumptions about the nature of Muslim extremism it is important to pay heed. And they are not the only ones. Ed Husain, another ex-Islamist, has written a whole book (The Islamist) warning against complacency.
First and foremost, Muslims must acknowledge what Ziauddin Sardar, one of Europe’s most prominent Muslim scholars, calls the “Islamic nature of the problem.” Islamist extremism has not descended from another planet or been imposed on the community from outside. It breeds within the community and is the product of a certain kind of interpretation of Islam. And, in the words, of Mr. Sardar, terrorists are a “product of a specific mindset that has deep roots in Islamic history.”
In a seminal essay, “The Struggle for Islam’s Soul” (New Statesman, July 18, 2005), Mr. Sardar argued that Islamists were “nourished by an Islamic tradition that is intrinsically inhuman and violent in its rhetoric, thought and practice” and this placed a unique burden on Muslims as they tried to make sense of what their co-religionists were doing in the name of Islam. “To deny that they are a product of Islamic history and tradition is more than complacency. It is a denial of responsibility, a denial of what is happening in our communities. It is a refusal to live in the real world,” he wrote.
Mr. Sardar’s views are significant. He is a practising Muslim with deep grounding in Islamic theology. He was deeply upset by Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and is often involved in verbal duels with Islamophobic commentators. But as he points out because he is a Muslim and it is in the name of his religion that terrorists are acting, he believes it is his “responsibility critically to examine the tradition that sustains them.”
More Muslims need to realise that Islamist terrorists are not simply “misguided” individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam. However perverted their interpretation it remains an interpretation of Islam and it is not enough to condemn their actions or accuse them of hijacking Islam without doing anything about it.
Let’s face it; there are verses in the Koran that justify violence. The “hard truth that Islam does permit the use of violence,” as Mr. Butt points out, must be recognised by Muslims. When Islam was in its infancy and battling against non-believers violence was deemed legitimate to put them down. Today, when it is the world’s second largest religion with more than one billion followers around the world and still growing that context has lost its relevance. Yet, jihadi groups, pursuing their madcap scheme of establishing Dar-ul-Islam (the Land of Islam), are using these passages to incite impressionable Muslim youths. Yet there is no sign of a debate in the community beyond easy platitudes, and it remains in denial.
The supporters of the Hizbut Tahrir group filled up most of an 80,000-seat sports stadium in the capital Jakarta, waving flags as they heard speeches saying it was "time for the caliphate to reign".
The meeting was held as part of "civic education" for Indonesian Muslims, Hizbut Tahrir spokesman Muhammad Ismail Yusanto said.
The organisation advocates Islamic rule and is banned in several Middle Eastern countries.
Supporters travelled to the stadium in convoys of buses from other parts of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
Local and foreign speakers were invited to give speeches.
But Mr Yusanto said that two inivtees, Imran Waheed from England and Syeik Ismail Al Wahwah from Australia, had been denied entry and deported from Indonesia on Friday.
"The organising committee deplores the deportation because they came to Indonesia at the invitation of the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia to give their good advice for the progress of Islam, for the progress of this country," he said.
The hardline Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir declined to appear at the event, without giving a reason.
But Yusanto said that police had advised Bashir and another hardline cleric, Habieb Rizieq, not to attend the conference.
The senior Muslim figure Dien Syamsuddin was among the key speakers to address the crowd. He is the chairman of Indonesia's second largest Islamic movement, the Muhammadiyah.
"Islam's progress or regress depends entirely on Muslims themselves," he told the crowd.
He said that "the essence" of a caliphate was that Muslims be united and that therefore Indonesian Muslims should safeguard the unity of their country.
But popular Muslim preacher Abdullah Gymanstiar said Muslims in Indonesia were still divided over Sharia law.
"Why do some Muslims not agree with the Islamic Sharia, even though it is for the own good of Muslims?" he said.
Security did not appear tight for the conference, with police limiting their role to directing traffic.
The rally ended with a prayer and the participants left the venue peacefully, but caused massive traffic jams as they departed.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Security men for Gaza's Hamas rulers clubbed and slammed rifle butts into opponents staging a rare protest Monday, seizing the cameras of journalists covering the event and raiding media offices to prevent news footage from getting out.
The Islamic militant group claims it is willing to tolerate dissent, but the crackdown was the latest in a series of moves to squash opposing voices, including breaking up private parties Friday and Monday where people were singing songs of the rival Fatah movement.
After Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip routed forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah in five days of fighting in June, the group declared an amnesty for former Fatah fighters.
Yet when Fatah and allied groups announced plans for Monday's rally, Hamas banned "all demonstrations and public gatherings" that do not have official permission.
Buses carrying protesters were halted by Hamas guards who beat passengers, driving them away and confiscating Fatah flags. However, about 300 people got past the militia cordon and demonstrated for 20 minutes, shouting "We want freedom. We want to raise our voice!"
Security officers arrested several demonstrators and then confiscated equipment from news photographers and cameramen trying to cover the arrests, including an Associated Press still camera.
Hamas squads also raided the Gaza offices of media organizations, looking for material from the rally. Staffers at satellite broadcaster Al-Arabiyya said the militiamen seized a camera and videotape at their office.
The Palestinian journalists union urged its members to observe a three-day boycott of any events organized by the Hamas militia, known as the Executive Force, to protest its treatment of the media.
Saleh Nasser, a member of the small, leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was at the rally, condemned Hamas' actions.
"Treating people in this way when they came to raise their voice in a peaceful demonstration is something that is condemned, rejected and cannot be accepted," he said. "We are astonished by the decision to ban demonstrations."
The Gaza fighting in June, during which about 100 people were killed and 500 wounded, deepened the already bitter political rivalry between Hamas and Fatah.
Following the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Abbas expelled Hamas from the Palestinian coalition government and formed a West Bank-based administration of moderates in its place.
Undeterred, deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh pledged to impose law and order in the formerly anarchic Gaza Strip. But his Executive Force is gaining a reputation for heavy-handedness, particularly when dealing with Fatah supporters.
On Friday, rifle-toting militiamen roared up to a bachelor party where revelers were dancing to Fatah songs. Video showed the Hamas men firing in the air to break up the celebration, clubbing guests, hurling chairs around and leaving one man lying unconscious.
The images were repeatedly broadcast on Fatah-affiliated Palestine TV. The cameraman who took the footage, from the local Gaza Ramattan news agency, was detained and questioned by Hamas for several hours.
On Monday, the Executive Force was in action again, breaking up the wedding of a Fatah activist and holing five guests for several hours.
One of those detained, Zaid Salem, said wedding participants were singing Fatah songs but did not break a Hamas ban on celebratory gunfire and were not charged with any wrongdoing.
"We were celebrating the wedding and we were astonished by this act," he said. "We were released, but we have no explanation for what happened."
Hamas did not comment directly on Monday's incidents.
But in a statement, it said the Executive Force is a nonpartisan enforcer of public order regulations, which require that demonstrations be authorized 48 hours in advance and that social events be low key — without shooting, fireworks, excessive noise or disruption of public streets.
"Anyone violating these orders will be subject to punishment," the statement said. "Nobody is above the law."
MR. GINGRICH: I am really deeply worried. We have two grandchildren who are 6 and 8, and I believe they are in greater danger of dying from enemy activities than we were in the Cold War. There are thousands of people across this planet who get up every morning actively seeking to destroy the United States. They are spreading their poison by sermons, by the Internet, by a variety of recruiting devices.
Tony Blair said it very well. The people who did the London subway bombings spoke English, were British citizens, lived in British housing and had jobs, and had decided, because of their relationships, that they were engaged in a war against the very country which had given them prosperity and freedom and safety.
When you see the Taliban kidnap 22 Christian South Korean missionaries who are there to help the people of Afghanistan, and nobody gets up and says this is despicable. Where in the Muslim world has there been any battle cry saying they should be released? Where has anybody gotten up to condemn? When you see a 12-year-old boy in Pakistan saw off a man's head on videotape, where is the condemnation? When you know that the schools recruit suicide bombers. When you know that the Iranian government ran a cartoon last year, for children, aimed at recruiting 10-year-olds to be suicide bombers, on public television. At what point do you have to say enough? When you're lectured by the Saudis about being respectful, when they do not allow any Jew or any Christian to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia, and we tolerate it? When do you draw a line?
Nobody in this society has yet given a speech to outline the scale of this problem, in terms of senior leadership. And yet it's obvious. We haven't won in Afghanistan and we are not currently winning. If you're not winning a guerrilla war, you're gradually losing it. We have not won in Iraq. The Israelis, despite 30 years of work, have not won in either Gaza or the West Bank. And we're sleepwalking. And we've now focused on Baghdad as though somehow we can retreat from history and find an elegant way to get out of this and it won't have terrifying consequences.
I believe we are on the edge of a precipice. The Iranians are desperately trying to build nuclear weapons, and they will use them. This is a state -- look -- read what Ahmadinejad says. He writes poems about the joy of being a martyr nation. He gets to wipe out Tel Aviv; maybe the Israelis use nuclear weapons and wipe out Tehran. He would accept that in a minute because he believes everybody in Tehran goes to heaven and everybody in Tel Aviv doesn't.
We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.
I'm going to give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on September 10th describing the first six years, and it's driven by a simple model. I finished a novel recently called, "Pearl Harbor." You look at the Second World War, from December 7th, 1941 to August 14th 1945 is less than four years. In less than four years, we defeated Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. Today it takes 23 years to add a fifth runway to the Atlanta airport. We are simply not prepared today to be a serious country.
And my fear is just -- and I gave this speech earlier. I wrote about terrorism and nuclear weapons in a book called, "Window of Opportunity," in 1984. I gave speeches in the `90s on this. I helped create with President Clinton the Hart-Rudman Commission. We warned in March of 2001 about terrorist attacks in American cities. I've been at this a long time. I am genuinely afraid that this political system will not react until we lose a city, and nobody in this country's thought about the threat to our civil liberties the morning after we decide it's that dangerous and how rapidly we will impose ruthlessness on ourselves in that kind of a world.
I think those of you who care about civil liberties had better be thinking through how we win this war before the casualties get so great that the American people voluntarily give up a lot of those liberties. (Applause.)
Entire "Nine Nineties in Nine Speech"
HAT TIP: AGX-EIE
Friday, August 10, 2007
The press are in a frenzy because there are so many aspects to this story deemed irresistible to the media driven modern Britain in which we are so fortunate to live today. Mr Sarwar has the dubious honour of being both Britain’s first Muslim MP, and Britain’s first MP to be driven from office upon pain of death.
When he was elected, to a fanfare of media coverage, Mr Sarwar managed yet another first; he refused to swear allegiance to the Queen, preferring instead the ancient British tradition of swearing his oath upon the Koran, the copy of which, incidentally, was placed inside an envelope lest it “be touched by one not of the faith.” This, unsurprisingly, drew the ire of the racist Right and Mr Sarwar was subsequently threatened by an assortment of organisations, including Combat 18 and the National Front.
This of course is manna to heaven for the British media. The BBC have led the way, camping outside Mr Sarwar’s constituency home, interviewing local Pakistanis who feel “threatened and uncomfortable” and conducting an undercover infiltration of the BNP in order to track down the perpetrators behind the violent threats that have forced a standing British MP to go into hiding for the first time in our modern history.
If you possess a powerful telescope, and train it carefully upon Glasgow, you may well be able to view the events unfolding. Be sure though, to point it at Glasgow, Planet Fantasy, Milky Way 1. If you do not, you will see very little, because this story exists only in the Britain of a parallel universe. Back here on planet reality it is a non-story, indeed almost a non-event. A by-line here, a by-line there, but virtually unreported on television news stations.
The reason for this media blackout is very simple. It is not the National Front, Combat 18 or the BNP who have issued the recent death threats, it is local Muslims themselves, incensed by what they see as his treacherous behaviour in relation to the murder of Kriss Donald, a white Glaswegian, in 2004.
Those of you familiar with the case, or those of a sensitive disposition, need not read the next paragraph. I note the details only because they have a relevance which I will come to later.
Kriss Donald, a slightly built, 15-year-old schoolboy was abducted from the streets of Pollockshields, Glasgow, on March 14, 2004. His kidnappers were five British Muslims of Pakistani descent, intent on exacting retribution on a white male - any white male would do - following a fight in a night club the previous weekend. Kriss was driven around for several hours whilst he was held down and tortured in the back of the car. He was eventually taken to an area of waste ground where he was finished off. Before he died, it is alleged that he was castrated, burned with cigarettes; his eyes were gouged out and he was stabbed repeatedly. Once on the waste ground he was doused with gasoline and set alight whilst still alive. He crawled a few metres and then, mercifully, died. A walker who discovered his body the following morning was unaware that it was even human, remarking, that at first, he thought it was the carcass of an animal.
Two men were subsequently arrested, but the other three; aware the police knew their identities, fled to Pakistan. The Foreign Office at that time was involved in delicate negotiations with Pakistan over the extradition rights concerning full-blown terrorists, so an unimportant little murder such as Kriss Donald’s was simply a fly in the ointment they did not need. As a result, they did their best to frustrate attempts by the British police to retrieve their suspects.
Enter Mr Mohammad Sarwar, a man with a clearer sense of right and wrong, and a political position with which to do something about it. Mr Sarwar was instrumental in forcing the British government to press ahead with the extradition of the three men, and thus, in the eyes of some British Muslims, committed a crime of such magnitude that only his death could adequately compensate for his treachery.
I apologise for detailing the gory details of Kriss Donald’s torture and murder, but its relevance is shown in the following quotes from Mr Sarwar, printed in the Daily Telegraph:
“Life is not the same since I brought them back…I received threats to my life, to murder my sons, to murder my grandchildren…I was told they wanted to punish my family and make a horrible example of my son… they would do to him what they did to Kriss Donald.”
There were other firsts in the story that should have interested the media. Daamish Zahid, one of the five killers, was the first person in Scotland to be convicted of racially motivated murder, whilst the sheer brutality of the murder itself was unprecedented in Britain. (An issue all too predictably rectified a year later by six black British men who gang raped, tortured and murdered Mary Ann Leneghan.)
But I digress. To recap, Britain’s first Muslim MP is also Britain’s first ever politician to stand down in the face of death threats; threats uttered by followers of the Religion Of Peace who sympathise with the Islamic savages involved in the most horrific racial murder in Britain’s recent history, one of whom, to boot, was also the first “Scotsman” to be convicted of racially aggravated murder.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but surely there’s a story in there somewhere? I know it is now a tired old clich, but imagine if Mr Paul Boateng, Britain’s first black MP, had been driven from office by a bunch of white, right wing Christian fundamentalists, enraged that he had succeeded in bringing the white killers of the black Stephen Lawrence to justice?
A foolish hypothesis I admit, one could discard the telescope, whilst an investment in blinkers and earmuffs would be necessary to avoid the media hysteria. We are used to the double standards utilised by the media with regard to racial murder, but this time it is different. This is not any old murder, not any old death threats, and Mr Sarwar is not any old person.
When Britain, a first world country, loses a democratically elected politician because he fears for his life, we are entering a wholly new era. Britain is now an Iraq, a Zimbabwe, we are becoming, in political terms, a genuine third world country, and our BBC led media, showing a total disregard for impartiality, has veered from mere bias to dangerous censorship, with all the disturbing implications this portends for our democratic future.
Many political commentators believe that Britain is dead, Lawrence Auster in particular, but he also thinks it can be resurrected. If this is to happen it must happen soon. Our national heart has ceased to beat, our national soul is hovering indecisively above the operating table, the crash team have been called but the politically inclined hospital switchboard have told them there is no problem, that everything is under control. The life support boys have heard otherwise, they are hurrying to get there but other hospital staff members have switched the signage to the operating theatre and killed the lights. It is a big hospital, they only have minutes to get there, they are lost, confused, misinformed, and the clock is relentlessly ticking, and ticking, and ticking…..
Muslim lawmakers attack Taslima Nasreen
HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Muslim protesters assaulted the exiled Bangladeshi author and feminist Taslima Nasreen at a book launch in Hyderabad on Thursday, incensed by her repeated criticism of Islam and religion in general.
Some radical Muslims hate Nasreen for saying Islam and other religions oppress women.
On Thursday, lawmakers and members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party attacked her at the press club in Hyderabad at the launch of a Telugu translation of one of her novels.
An uneasy-looking Nasreen backed into a corner as several middle-aged men threw a leather case, bunches of flowers and other objects at her head and threatened her with a chair, according to a Reuters witness and television pictures.
Some of the mob shouted for her death.
Other men tried to shield her and catch the projectiles. She ended up with a bruised forehead, and described the attack as barbaric before being taken to safety by police.
Nasreen fled Bangladesh for the first time in 1994 when a court said she had "deliberately and maliciously" hurt Muslims' religious feelings with her Bengali-language novel "Lajja", or "Shame", which is about riots between Muslims and Hindus.
At the time, thousands of radical Muslims protested against her, demanding that she be killed for blasphemy, and some have continued to threaten her life ever since.
Police said they have arrested three state lawmakers from the political party along with 15 party workers.
Nasreen - sometimes spelled "Nasrin" - was born into a Muslim family in Bangladesh, a conservative, predominantly Islamic country.
The author, who lives in Kolkata, now describes herself as a secular humanist, and criticises religion as an oppressive force.
In 2004, a Muslim cleric offered a $440 reward to anyone who was able to successfully humiliate Nasreen by blackening her face with shoe polish or ink or by garlanding her with shoes.
She worked as a doctor before turning to writing, and several of her books have been banned in India and Bangladesh because they upset hardline Muslims.
The European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought in 1994.
The "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" (SIOE) group last month announced its intention to organise a protest in front of the European parliament building, six years after the suicide plane attacks in New York and Washington.
The group, which started in Denmark, considers Islam "a tool for introducing Islamic imperialistic politics."
On its website it argues: "Islam and democracy are incompatible due to teachings within the Koran itself."
The group hopes to bring thousands out onto the streets of the Belgian capital on 11 September. It is organising other protests to take place simultaneously around the world, notably in the United States, Canada and Australia.
But the mayor's spokesman Nicolas Dassonville said: "The danger to public order is too high," to allow the Brussels protest to go ahead.
"The sizeable foreign community living in the area could react to the action," he added.
The city of Brussels authorities receive between 500 and 600 requests to hold protests each year. In the last five years only six have been banned, said Dassonville.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
KABUL, Afghanistan - Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pulled out Wednesday from a council of hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders aimed at reining in militant violence.
Pakistan's Foreign Office said Musharraf was canceling his trip to Kabul because of "engagements" in Islamabad. Pakistani political analyst Talat Masood said, however, that Musharraf probably was responding to recent U.S. criticism of Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts, which has included suggestions that the U.S. could carry out unilateral military strikes against al-Qaida in Pakistan.
"He is trying to convey a strong message to the United States. There have been a lot of statements coming out of Washington about violating Pakistan's sovereignty and so on," Masood said.
A U.S. State Department official said the Bush administration was surprised and dismayed by Musharraf's snub, particularly after Karzai repeatedly expressed satisfaction about the meeting during a joint appearance with President Bush on Monday.
State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said it was unclear if Musharraf could be persuaded to reconsider.
"We'll see if President Musharraf is able to attend any portion of the meeting," McCormack said.
The four-day "peace jirga," due to start Thursday, already is being boycotted by delegates from Pakistan's restive South and North Waziristan regions amid fear of Taliban reprisals.
The absence of Musharraf, Pakistan's army chief and most powerful figure, could further undermine its effectiveness.
Pakistan's Foreign Office said that Musharraf had phoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to say he couldn't attend because of "engagements" in Islamabad, and that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz would take his place.
The idea of the jirga emerged from a September 2006 meeting in Washington of President Bush, Karzai and Musharraf that focused on ways to combat rising border violence.
The Taliban, ousted by U.S.-led forces in late 2001, have stepped up attacks in the past two years. The violence has killed thousands, raising fears for Afghanistan's fledgling democracy. U.S. military and Afghan officials say Taliban militants enjoy a safe haven in Pakistani border regions, particularly Waziristan, where Washington also fears al-Qaida is regrouping.
The 650 delegates — 350 from Afghanistan, and about 300 from Pakistan — will meet in an oversized tent in Kabul that was used for the 2004 loya jirga that created Afghanistan's post-Taliban constitution. The delegates' main focus will be security and terrorism, but they will also talk about economic development and fighting drugs.
Taliban representatives are not involved.
Mohammed Mohaqeq, the No. 2 official for Afghanistan at the jirga, was still optimistic about its prospects because it showed the two governments were cooperating.
"From the Afghanistan side, all the people who hold power are participating," he said.
Masood said, however, that Musharraf's cancellation revealed tensions between the neighbors.
"It shows that the chemistry between Karzai and him (Musharraf) is so poor that he wants to back out at the last minute," he said. "Why call him just hours before the jirga? I don't see why he could not go to Kabul for a few hours."
Critics also say those who have real control over the violence are Taliban and their supporters in the tribal belt and that talks that do not include them could prove to be futile.
"This is only a display, which cannot produce the true views of the Afghan people," Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, secretary-general of Pakistan's pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, which runs the government in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, and is also boycotting.
Afghanistan's delegates, including tribal leaders, lawmakers, businessmen and clerics, were decided on by a 20-member commission approved by Karzai. Pakistan's government selected its delegations, including senior officials, tribal leaders and journalists.
One Pakistani delegate, who will not be attending but requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it to media, said that in all about 100 of Pakistan's 350 delegates are boycotting, including all of the more than 60 Waziristan representatives.
One elder from South Waziristan, who didn't want to be identified, said he and others would not attend because of threats from Taliban and because of the turmoil on their own doorstep.
"Pakistan government wants us to go to Kabul, but local Taliban don't want us to do it," he said. "We cannot offend these Taliban because they will kill us if we don't obey them." ___
Associated Press writers Sadaqat Jan, Riaz Khan and Ishtiaq Mehsud in Pakistan and Amir Shah in Afghanistan contributed to this story.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
By Michelle Malkin
The blood of innocent Christian missionaries spills on Afghan sands. The world watches and yawns. The United Nations offers nothing more than a formal expression of “concern.” Where is the global uproar over the human-rights abuses unfolding before our eyes?
For two weeks, a group of South Korean Christians has been held hostage by Taliban thugs in Afghanistan. This is the largest group of foreign hostages taken in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001. What was their offense? Were they smuggling arms into the country? No. Inciting violence? No. They were peaceful believers in Christ on short-term medical and humanitarian missions. Seventeen of the 23 hostages are females. Most of them are nurses who provide social services and relief.
Over the past few days, the bloodthirsty jihadists have demanded that South Korea immediately withdraw troops from the Middle East, pay ransom and trade the civilian missionaries for imprisoned Taliban fighters. The Taliban leaders have made good on threats to kill the kidnapped Christians while Afghan officials plead fecklessly that their monstrous behavior is “un-Islamic.”
Two men, 29-year-old Shim Sung-min and 42-year-old Pastor Bae Hyeong-gyu, have already been shot to death and dumped in the name of Allah. Bae was a married father with a nine-year-old daughter. According to Korean media, he was from a devout Christian family from the island province of Jeju. He helped found the Saemmul Church south of Seoul, which sent the volunteers to Afghanistan.
Across Asia, media coverage is 24/7. Strangers have held nightly prayer vigils. But the human-rights crowd in America has been largely AWOL. And so has most of our mainstream media. Among some of the secular elite, no doubt, is a blame-the-victim apathy: The missionaries deserved what they got. What were they thinking bringing their message of faith to a war zone? Didn’t they know they were sitting ducks for Muslim head-choppers whose idea of evangelism is “convert or die”?
I noted the media shoulder-shrugging about jihadist targeting of Christian missionaries five years ago during the kidnapping and murder of American Christian missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham in the Philippines. The silence is rooted in viewing committed Christians as alien others. At best, there is a collective callousness. At worst, there is outright contempt — from Ted Turner’s reference to Catholics as “Jesus freaks” to CBS producer Roxanne Russell’s casual insult of former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer as “the little nut from the Christian group” to the mockery of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
Curiously, those who argue that we need to “understand” Islamic terrorists demonstrate little effort to “understand” the Christian evangelical missionaries who risk their lives to spread the gospel — not by sword, but through acts of compassion, healing and education. An estimated 16,000 Korean mission workers risk their lives across the globe — from Africa to the Middle East, China, and North Korea.
These are true practitioners of a religion of peace, not the hate-mongers with bombs and AK-47s strapped to their chests who slay instead of pray their way to martyrdom.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
The Muslim Brotherhood "Project"
By Patrick Poole FrontPageMagazine.com 5/11/2006
One might be led to think that if international law enforcement authorities and Western intelligence agencies had discovered a twenty-year old document revealing a top-secret plan developed by the oldest Islamist organization with one of the most extensive terror networks in the world to launch a program of “cultural invasion” and eventual conquest of the West that virtually mirrors the tactics used by Islamists for more than two decades, that such news would scream from headlines published on the front pages and above the fold of the New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Le Monde, Bild, and La Repubblica.
If that’s what you might think, you would be wrong.
In fact, such a document was recovered in a raid by Swiss authorities in November 2001, two months after the horror of 9/11. Since that time information about this document, known in counterterrorism circles as “The Project”, and discussion regarding its content has been limited to the top-secret world of Western intelligence communities. Only through the work of an intrepid Swiss journalist, Sylvain Besson of Le Temps, and his book published in October 2005 in France, La conquête de l'Occident: Le projet secret des Islamistes (The Conquest of the West: The Islamists' Secret Project), has information regarding The Project finally been made public. One Western official cited by Besson has described The Project as “a totalitarian ideology of infiltration which represents, in the end, the greatest danger for European societies . . . MORE>>
"What Western intelligence authorities know about The Project begins with the raid of a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland on November 7, 2001. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, director of the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years and who admitted to being one of the organization’s international leaders.
The Muslim Brotherhood, regarded as the oldest and one of the most important Islamist movements in the world, was founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928 and dedicated to the credo, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
The raid was conducted by Swiss law enforcement at the request of the White House in the initial crackdown on terrorist finances in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. US and Swiss investigators had been looking at Al-Taqwa’s involvement in money laundering and funding a wide range of Islamic terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, HAMAS (the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood), the Algerian GIA, and the Tunisian Ennahdah.
Included in the documents seized during the raid of Nada’s Swiss villa was a 14-page plan written in Arabic and dated December 1, 1982, which outlines a 12-point strategy to “establish an Islamic government on earth” – identified as The Project. According to testimony given to Swiss authorities by Nada, the unsigned document was prepared by “Islamic researchers” associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
What makes The Project so different from the standard “Death of America! Death to Israel!” and “Establish the global caliphate!” Islamist rhetoric is that it represents a flexible, multi-phased, long-term approach to the “cultural invasion” of the West. Calling for the utilization of various tactics, ranging from immigration, infiltration, surveillance, propaganda, protest, deception, political legitimacy and terrorism, The Project has served for more than two decades as the Muslim Brotherhood “master plan”. As can be seen in a number of examples throughout Europe – including the political recognition of parallel Islamist government organizations in Sweden, the recent “cartoon” jihad in Denmark, the Parisian car-burning intifada last November, and the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London – the plan outlined in The Project has been overwhelmingly successful.
Rather than focusing on terrorism as the sole method of group action, as is the case with Al-Qaeda, in perfect postmodern fashion the use of terror falls into a multiplicity of options available to progressively infiltrate, confront, and eventually establish Islamic domination over the West. The following tactics and techniques are among the many recommendations made in The Project:
Networking and coordinating actions between like minded Islamist
Avoiding open alliances with known terrorist organizations and individuals to maintain the appearance of “moderation”; Infiltrating and taking over existing Muslim organizations to realign them towards the Muslim Brotherhood’s collective goals; Using deception to mask the intended goals of Islamist actions, as long as it doesn’t conflict with shari’a law; Avoiding social conflicts with Westerners locally, nationally or globally, that might damage the long-term ability to expand the Islamist powerbase in the West or provoke a lash back against Muslims; Establishing financial networks to fund the work of conversion of the West, including the support of full-time administrators and workers; Conducting surveillance, obtaining data, and establishing collection and data storage capabilities; Putting into place a watchdog system for monitoring Western media to warn Muslims of “international plots fomented against them”; Cultivating an Islamist intellectual community, including the establishment of think-tanks and advocacy groups, and publishing “academic” studies, to legitimize Islamist positions and to chronicle the history of Islamist movements; Developing a comprehensive 100-year plan to advance Islamist ideology throughout the world; Balancing international objectives with local flexibility; Building extensive social networks of schools, hospitals and charitable organizations dedicated to Islamist ideals so that contact with the movement for Muslims in the West is constant; Involving ideologically committed Muslims in democratically-elected institutions on all levels in the West, including government, NGOs, private organizations and labor unions; Instrumentally using existing Western institutions until they can be converted and put into service of Islam; Drafting Islamic constitutions, laws and policies for eventual implementation; Avoiding conflict within the Islamist movements on all levels, including the development of processes for conflict resolution; Instituting alliances with Western “progressive” organizations that share similar goals; Creating autonomous “security forces” to protect Muslims in the West; Inflaming violence and keeping Muslims living in the West “in a jihad frame of mind”; Supporting jihad movements across the Muslim world through preaching, propaganda, personnel, funding, and technical and operational support; Making the Palestinian cause a global wedge issue for Muslims; Adopting the total liberation of Palestine from Israel and the creation of an Islamic state as a keystone in the plan for global Islamic domination; Instigating a constant campaign to incite hatred by Muslims against Jews and rejecting any discussions of conciliation or coexistence with them; Actively creating jihad terror cells within Palestine; Linking the terrorist activities in Palestine with the global terror
Collecting sufficient funds to indefinitely perpetuate and support jihad around the world;
In reading The Project, it should be kept in mind that it was drafted in 1982 when current tensions and terrorist activities in the Middle East were still very nascent. In many respects, The Project is extremely prescient for outlining the bulk of Islamist action, whether by “moderate” Islamist organizations or outright terror groups, over the past two decades . . ."
To read the English translation of The Project, click
Full Article at Front Page Magazine
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