India Forum Archives
Saturday, November 26, 2005
  Islamism - 3

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 18 2005, 06:59 PM

Earlier versions of this thread available at..

Posted by: acharya Jan 18 2005, 07:28 PM

COLUMN ONE Islam's Claim on Spain # In Granada, once the center of a rich Muslim culture, adherents are trying to reassert their historic role amid a climate of suspicion. By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer GRANADA, Spain — Across a valley of fragrant cedars and orange trees, worshipers at the pristine Great Mosque of Granada look out at the Alhambra, the 700-year-old citadel and monument to the heyday of Islamic glory. Granada's Muslims chose the hilltop location precisely with the view, and its unmistakable symbolism, in mind. It took them more than 20 years to build the mosque, the first erected here in half a millennium, after they conquered the objections of city leaders and agreed, ultimately, to keep the minaret shorter than the steeple on the Catholic Iglesia de San Nicolas next door. Cloistered nuns on the other side of the mosque added a few feet to the wall enclosing their convent, as if to say they wanted neither to be seen nor to see. Many of Spain's Muslims long for an Islamic revival to reclaim their legendary history, and inaugurating the Great Mosque last year was the most visible gesture. But horrific bombings by Muslim extremists that killed nearly 200 people in Madrid on March 11 have forced Spain's Muslims and non-Muslims to reassess their relationship, and turned historical assumptions on their head. "We are a people trying to return to our roots," said Anwar Gonzalez, 34, a Granada native who converted to Islam 17 years ago. "But it's a bad time to be a Muslim." Spain has a long, rich and complex history interwoven with the Muslim and Arab world, from its position as the center of Islamic Europe in the last millennium to today's confrontation with a vast influx of Muslim immigrants. For more than seven centuries of Moorish rule, "Al Andalus," or Andalusia, was governed by Muslim caliphs who oversaw a splendid flourishing of art, architecture and learning that ended when Granada fell to Christian monarchs Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in 1492. Muslims were expelled or exterminated in the Inquisition that followed, but the legacy of the Moors is seen throughout Andalusia, Spain's southern tier, in its language, palaces like the Alhambra, and food. Unfortunately for Spain's Muslims, the militants who swear loyalty to Osama bin Laden are history buffs too. In claiming responsibility for the March bombings, they cited the loss of "Al Andalus" as motivation. "We will continue our jihad until martyrdom in the land of Tarik Ben Ziyad," they said in a communique issued after the massacre, alluding to the Moorish warrior and original Islamic conqueror of the Iberian peninsula. Spain today, like most of Europe, is struggling with ways to accommodate its fast-growing Muslim community while keeping tabs on those who might turn to radical violence. Converts like Gonzalez are a small percentage of the nearly 1 million Muslims believed to be living in Spain — a number that has probably doubled in the last decade. The vast majority of the Muslims are immigrants — mostly from Morocco, frequently on the margins of society and often at odds with native-born Muslims. Most of the suspects arrested in the March attacks that tore apart commuter trains in the morning rush hour were Moroccan. A relatively homogenous society ever since the 15th century expulsions, Spain has far fewer Muslims than France or Germany. Yet only in Spain is the debate fraught with such mythology and deep-rooted cultural echoes. Spaniards sometimes refer to Arabs, derogatorily, as Moors. And it doesn't help that the late dictator Francisco Franco rose to power on the back of Moroccan troops whom he used to launch the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. In Granada, the old Moorish hamlet of Albaicin, now a gentrified neighborhood of red-tile roofs and white-washed villas, spills down the hill from the Great Mosque. It could almost pass for a town on the West Bank or in Morocco, if perhaps a little more picturesque. The narrow, winding streets are full of teashops, butchers and bakeries selling baklava and kenafa, a fresh soft cheese. Locals greet each other with "As-Salaam Alaikum," and, in October, signs in stores wished a "Feliz Ramadan" to passersby. At the University of Granada, it is not uncommon to see a woman in a hijab, the Muslim head scarf. In the pharmacology school, about 40% of the 2,100-member student body is from Arab or Muslim countries, according to the student association. Moroccan student Amal Benyaich, a 20-year-old sophomore, said she generally feels at home in Granada but has occasionally endured insults shouted in public, especially after the bombings. "How can your people do this?" someone demanded of her. "Am I a terrorist?" she responded. "I want them to understand what Islam is," said Benyaich, wearing a white hijab, long skirt and velvety red sweatshirt. "Terrorism is not a specific religion." Spain is confronting the fact that a growing number of Muslim immigrants, who once entered the country only to move on, or came to work and then returned to their home country, have now become a permanent fixture. Spain's low birth rate has widened the need for immigrant labor, and an underground network has made it easier for foreign workers to stay. "Before, Muslims were guests who would leave. Today Islam is among us," said Riay Tatari Bakri, the Syrian-born imam at Madrid's Abu Bakr mosque, one of the places of worship attended by the bombing suspects. For the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the challenge is how to integrate these residents. Elected three days after the bombings, the government has cast itself in the role of reconciling the West with Islam, and Zapatero, in a major speech to the United Nations, advocated an "alliance of civilizations" to prevent escalating conflict. The prime minister's government is negotiating with two major Spanish Islamic organizations in an attempt to integrate Muslims into mainstream society as a way to prevent radicalization and reduce the alienation that feeds extremism and violence. "Marginalization is a very dangerous thing," Luis Lopez Guerra, the senior Justice Ministry official in charge of religious affairs, said in an interview in Madrid. "If you have people poor and without work, you run the risk of them feeling alone and discriminated against, alienated from the values of the rest of society," Lopez Guerra said. "Police measures alone can't solve this." And so, in a country where the Roman Catholic Church wields enormous power, the government has established a $4-million fund for three "minority" religions — Islam, Judaism and Protestantism — and scrapped a previous administration's plans to make the Catholic curriculum mandatory in public schools. Among other, controversial recommendations, the government wants to require all mosques to register with the state. Also under discussion is a plan to license imams, supported by several Muslim groups who complain that too many clerics are foreigners who are unable to speak Spanish, and that Saudi Arabia wields excessive influence over Spain's mosques. The tension between Spain's non-Muslims and Muslims, both immigrant and native-born, remains raw. Although incidents of overt retaliation against Muslims are rare, many Muslims feel they are, in the words of Gonzalez, the convert, in the eye of the hurricane. Like the society around them, Muslims in Spain are torn over questions of assimilation versus cultural identity. The community is, moreover, fractured along generational and ideological lines. Then there are the differences between immigrants and native-born Muslims, most of whom are converts. In Granada, the onetime seat of Moorish rule, where many Muslims identify themselves as Andalusians first, then as Spaniards, a number of native-born Muslims say they feel a duty to present what they describe as the moderate face of their religion and to promote a form of "European Islam" that is tolerant and democratic. "That's our struggle: to achieve a moderate balance against those extremists who are incapable of living in this society as Muslims," said Abdelkarim Carrasco, a real estate broker and president of the Federation of Spanish Islamic Entities, one of two major Spanish Islamic organizations negotiating with the Zapatero government. Carrasco, 56, converted to Islam when he was 30 and moved to Granada from Seville two years later. The Andalusian cities of Granada, Seville and Cordoba saw a wave of Islamic conversions in the 1960s and '70s spearheaded by the Sufi Murabitun sect led by Ian Dallas, a controversial Scotsman, and joined by hippies in search of spiritual meaning. A later conversion movement evolved, independent of the influence of the Murabitun, which has been attacked as anti-Semitic. Carrasco, whose passport retains his given name of Antonio, not Abdelkarim, said Spain's Islamic past has made it more difficult, not easier, for contemporary Spain to accept Muslim citizens. "It is easier to be a Muslim in Munich than in Granada," he said. "In Germany it's still something colder, new and distant. Here it is too close. You scratch the surface of a Spaniard, and the other [identity] comes out." applies to Indians also At the Great Mosque, built with money from the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, exquisite cobalt blue and teal green tiles, patterned after those found in the Alhambra, frame the ablution fountains. Silk carpets and teak doors decorate the compact house of worship, which is already attracting tourists. Mosque member Mohammed Jairudin, 64, a silver-haired actor who converted to Islam 21 years ago, told of the legal hurdles and neighborhood resistance overcome to finally erect the mosque. Muslims, he said, have to live within the existing order because it is God's will. "You are part of the system, or you leave," he said, seated in the mosque's garden of rosebushes and jasmine, overlooking that breathtaking view that sweeps northward to the Sierra Nevada. "I pay my taxes. I go to the mosque. No one bothers me. I do things my way, but respecting where I am." It is not clear, however, that the group behind the mosque, followers of the Murabitun movement, shares that moderate sentiment. The president of the mosque foundation, Malik Ruiz, calls himself the Emir of Spain and has said Granada will return to its "natural origin" — Islam — after a 500-year interruption. Mosque supporters say they are not attempting to launch the reconquest of Al Andalus but want to show that Islam is not an alien faith. "This country," Jairudin said, "has a debt to its Muslims: to recognize history."

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 19 2005, 11:20 AM

As evening falls, the exhortations become louder and shriller. Three taped slogans are repeatedly played the whole night from mosques: 'Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-O-Akbar kehna hai' (If you want to stay in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-O-Akbar); 'Yahan kya chalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa' (What do we want here? Rule of Shariah); 'Asi gachchi Pakistan, Batao roas te Batanev san' (We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men).

Posted by: ramana Jan 19 2005, 12:31 PM

Posted by: acharya Jan 19 2005, 02:32 PM

The Life of the Prophet: c. 570 to 632 * c. 570: Birth of Muhammad * 622: The Hegira: Muhammad flees to Medina * 630: Muhammad captures Mecca * 632: Muhammad dies. Orthodox Caliphate (Mecca and Medina): 632-661 Omayyad Caliphate (Damascus): 661-750 o 680: Death of Mu'awiya, who is succeeded by his son, Yazid. o 685-687: Shi'ite revolt in Iraq. o 711: Conquest of Spain. o 717-718: Attempt to conquer Constantinople. o 732: Battle of Tours. Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad): 750-1258 * 751: Battle of Talas: Arabs learn papermaking from Chinese prisoners of war * 765: A school of medicine is established in Baghdad. * 750-850: The Four orthodox schools of law are established. * 850-875: The Tradition is formalized. * 1010: Firdawsi completes his Epic of Kings, the great epic poem of Persia. * 1055-1250: Expansion of Islam under the Seljuks and Christian responses. * 1258: Mongols sack Baghdad. Abbasid Caliphate ends. 756-1031: Omayyad emirate in Spain (Cordova) 910-1171: Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt (Cairo) 1379-1401: Tamerlane establishes an empire in Persia, Iraq and Syria 1501-1723: Safavid Empire in Persia The Ottoman Empire: 1350-1918. o ca. 1243: Turkish nomads settle in Asia Minor o 1299-1326: Osman I o 1402: Tamerlane defeats Ottomans at Ankara o 1453: Constantinople is conquered. o 1520-1566: Suleiman II the Magnificent o 1571: The Battle of Lepanto o 1703-1730: Cultural revival under Ahmed III o 1774: Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca o 1822-1830: Greek War of Independences o 1853-1856: The Crimean War o 1876: The Ottoman Constitution is promulgated o 1914: The Ottoman Empire enters World War I

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 19 2005, 05:56 PM

[India News]: Mumbai, Jan 17 : The All India Ulema Council has submitted a memorandum to the US government, demanding that a delegation of muslim Ulemas and intellectuals from India be allowed as observers in the forthcoming Iraq election. The memorandum was submitted through the Consul General's office in Mumbai, a release said here today. "Iraq has a great significance as a very sacred place because there are many shrines that Muslims consider holy and any bloodshed there will have far reaching consequence on the Islamic world" Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general secretary of the council said in a statement here today. "It is no big secret that the Islamic world views America with suspicion and the reason is the destruction it has brought to Iraq and its Middle-East policy as a whole". "America's foreign policy towards the Middle-East is unacceptable, the Council has therefore resolved to send a delegation to Iraq. The delegation will submit its report to the Organisation of Islamic conference and UN", he said. PTI

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 21 2005, 08:41 AM

Posted by: Viren Jan 21 2005, 09:06 AM By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Published: January 16, 2005 subscription site, posting in full..

In the wake of U.S. aid to help Muslim and other victims of the recent tsunami, Colin Powell suggested that maybe, now that the Muslim world had seen "American generosity" and "American values in action," it wouldn't be so hostile to America. Don't hold your breath waiting for a thank-you card. If the fact that American soldiers have risked their lives to save the Muslims of Bosnia, the Muslims of Kuwait, the Muslims of Somalia, the Muslims of Afghanistan and the Muslims of Iraq has earned the U.S. only the false accusation of being "anti-Muslim," trust me, U.S. troops passing out bottled water and Pop-Tarts in Indonesia are not going to erase that lie. It is not an exaggeration to say that, if you throw in the Oslo peace process, U.S. foreign policy for the last 15 years has been dominated by an effort to save Muslims - not from tsunamis, but from tyrannies, mostly their own theocratic or autocratic regimes. It clearly has not made much of an impression. So you will pardon me if I say that I don't care whether the state media in Saudi Arabia - whose government gave far less to the Muslim tsunami victims ($30 million) than the amount spent by King Fahd's entourage on his last two vacations in Marbella (reportedly $100 million) - say nice things about us. I believe the tensions between us and the Muslim world stem primarily from the conditions under which many Muslims live, not what we do. I believe free people, living under freely elected governments, with a free press and with economies and education systems that enable their young people to achieve their full potential, don't spend a lot of time thinking about who to hate, who to blame, and who to lash out at. Free countries don't have leaders who use their media and state-owned "intellectuals" to deflect all of their people's anger away from them and onto America. Ah, you say, but the Europeans live in free-market democracies and they have become very anti-American. Yes, some of them. But for Europeans, anti-Americanism is a hobby. For too many in the Muslim world it has become a career. I am sure that young Taiwanese, young Koreans, young Japanese, young Poles and young Indians have their views on America, but they are not an obsession. They want our jobs, not our lives. They live in societies that empower their young people to realize their full potential and to express any opinion - pro-American, anti-American or neutral. So I don't want young Muslims to like us. I want them to like and respect themselves, their own countries and their own governments. I want them to have the same luxury to ignore America as young Taiwanese have - because they are too busy focusing on improving their own lives and governance, running for office, studying anything they want or finding good jobs in their own countries. The Bush team is certainly not fostering all this when it mismanages a war it launched to liberate the people of Iraq. Its performance has been pathetic, and I understand anyone on the right or the left who wants to wash his hands of the whole thing. Speaking personally, though, I am still hoping that these Iraqi elections come off - out of respect for the Iraqis who have been ready to risk their lives for a chance to vote, out of contempt for the insurgents who want to prevent that and out of a deep conviction that something very important is at stake. No, these elections won't change Iraq or the region overnight, and Thomas Jefferson is not on the ballot. But they will at least kick off what the Iraq expert Yitzhak Nakash calls "a real, Iraqi political process run by and for Iraqis." That Iraqi political process "has to begin now to enable the U.S. to get out sooner rather than later," added Mr. Nakash, a Brandeis professor and currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. "The U.S. must go ahead with the elections in Iraq, accept the likelihood that Shiites and Kurds will do well, and leave the door open to Sunnis to join as partners in writing the Iraqi constitution. We want a system there that answers to the aspirations of Iraqis, not Americans. That is the key to a legitimate Iraqi government." Before the war, I said of Iraq, "We break it, we own it." Today, my motto is, "If they own it, they'll fix it." America's standing in the Muslim world will improve, not when we get a better message, but when they have more control. People with the responsibility and opportunity to run their own lives focus on their own lives - not on us. More of that would be a very good thing.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 21 2005, 09:08 AM

Allow Indian Muslim observers in Iraq, demand Ulema Council
Are they planning to repeat history? It reminds me of 1927 when Ibn Saud asked them to leave Arabia.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 21 2005, 10:44 AM

Posted by: ramana Jan 21 2005, 08:04 PM

Has anyone compared and contrasted Judaism and Islam with ancient Egyptian religion? And culture and customs? I think there would be insights to understanding Islamism from there.

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Jan 21 2005, 08:29 PM

Islam is raw judaism circa 10 AD The jews were like muslim fanatics and Gibbon writes of numerous jewish riots against pagans Finally the Romans exterminated about 25% of the jews and expelled the rest in a series of wars between 60AD and 130AD The first independent mention of xtians begins in 140 AD

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 22 2005, 11:46 PM,,2087-1452462,00.html

Posted by: Mudy Jan 23 2005, 10:30 PM

Denmark rejects headscarf plea Denmark's Supreme Court has ruled that a supermarket chain had the right to fire a young Muslim woman for wearing an Islamic headscarf to work. The woman, who worked as a cashier in the supermarket, claimed damages for discrimination and wrongful dismissal. But the court said Dansk Supermarked chain was allowed to fire the woman who had signed a contract which banned headgear in front of customers.... A supermarket spokesman said the company wanted the appearance of its employees to be in line with its political and religious neutrality. The court accepted that the company had a right to specify the appearance of its employees and that this outweighed their individual right to wear religious garments.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 24 2005, 12:09 AM I think this is a very important step. This step needs to be encouraged and highlighted. I have always wondered why IMs have behaved like a herd parroting the line spelled out by the sunni fundoos in AIMPLB. These are early days yet but still its a welcome step. This split needs to be given more publicity in lots of newspapers.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 24 2005, 10:52 AM

The Next Islamist Revolution? January 23, 2005 By ELIZA GRISWOLD Before dawn one morning this past November in Bagmara, a village in northwestern Bangladesh, six puffy-eyed men gathered beneath a cracked-mud stairwell to describe a man they consider their leader, a former schoolteacher called Bangla Bhai. The quiet was broken now and then by donkey carts clattering past, as village women, seated on the backs of the carts, were taken to the market. The women wore makeshift burkas -- black, white, canary yellow -- and kept their heads down, and this, the men explained, was Bangla Bhai's doing. Last spring, Bangla Bhai, whose followers probably number around 10,000, decided to try an Islamist revolution in several provinces of Bangladesh that border on India. His name means ''Bangladeshi brother.'' (At one point he said his real name was Azizur Rahman and more recently claimed it was Siddiqul Islam.) He has said that he acquired this nom de guerre while waging jihad in Afghanistan and that he was now going to bring about the Talibanization of his part of Bangladesh. Men were to grow beards, women to wear burkas. This was all rather new to the area, which was religiously diverse. But Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, as Bangla Bhai's group is called (the name means Awakened Muslim Masses of Bangladesh), was determined and violent and seemed to have enough lightly armed adherents to make its rule stick. Because he swore his main enemy was a somewhat derelict but still dangerous group of leftist marauders known as the Purbo Banglar Communist Party, Bangla Bhai gained the support of the local police -- until the central government, worried that Bangla Bhai's band might be getting out of control, ordered his arrest in late May. ''There used to be chaos and confusion here,'' Siddiq-ul-Rahman, one of Bangla Bhai's senior lieutenants, said through an interpreter that morning in Bagmara. The sun was coming up and a crowd was gathering. Siddiq-ul-Rahman boasted that police officers attend Bangla Bhai's meetings armed and in uniform. The Bangladeshi government's arrest warrant doesn't seem to have made much difference, although for now Bangla Bhai refrains from public appearances. The government is far away in Dhaka, and is in any case divided on precisely this question of how much Islam and politics should mix. Meanwhile, Bangla Bhai and the type of religious violence he practices are filling the power vacuum. Bangladeshi politics have never strayed far from violence. During the war for independence from Pakistan, in 1971, three million people died in nine months. Thuggery has been a consistent feature of political life since then and is increasingly so today. This has made it difficult to get an accurate picture of phenomena like Bangla Bhai. Under the current government, which has been in power since 2001 and includes two avowedly Islamist parties, journalists are frequently imprisoned. Last year, three were killed while reporting on corruption and the rise of militant Islam. Moreover, 80 percent of Bangladeshis live in villages that can be hard to reach and are under the tight control of local politicians. Foreign journalists in Bangladesh are followed by intelligence agents; people that reporters interview are questioned afterward. Nonetheless, it is possible to travel through Bangladesh and observe the increased political and religious repression in everyday life, and to verify the simple remark by one journalist there: ''We are losing our freedom.'' The global war on terror is aimed at making the rise of regimes like that of the Taliban impossible, but in Bangladesh, the trend could be going the other way. In Bangladesh, ''Islam is becoming the legitimizing political discourse,'' according to C. Christine Fair, a South Asia specialist at the United States Institute of Peace, a nonpartisan, federally financed policy group in Washington. ''Once you don that religious mantle, who can criticize you? We see this in Pakistan as well, where very few people are brave enough to take the Islamists on. Now this is happening in Bangladesh.'' The region, Fair added, has become a haven where jihadis can move easily and have access to a friendly infrastructure that allows them to regroup and train. Another close observer of Bangladeshi politics, Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch, told me recently: ''The practical effect of politics along religious lines is that you start to accept a religious identity and reject every other. It's absolutely crucial to understand that this is happening in Bangladesh right now.'' This was not supposed to be the fate of Bangladesh, which fought its way to independence 34 years ago. While its population of 141 million is 83 percent Muslim, the nation was founded on the principle of secularism, which in Bangladesh essentially means religious tolerance. After the guiding figure of independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was assassinated in 1975, military leaders, seeking legitimacy, allowed a return of Islam to politics. With the return of fair elections in 1991, power became precariously divided among four parties: the right-leaning Bangladesh National Party (B.N.P.), the mildly leftist Awami League, the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami and the conservative Jatiya. The two leading parties are led by women: the B.N.P. by the current prime minister, Khaleda Zia, widow of the party's murdered founder; the Awami League by Zia's predecessor as prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, herself the daughter of the assassinated founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Zia and Sheikh Hasina, as she is known, have a legendary antipathy toward each other. Each of their parties regularly accuses the other of illegal acts. When Sheikh Hasina very narrowly escaped assassination last August, B.N.P. activists all but accused her of staging the attack in order to acquire political advantage. Zia's government has been unable to identify the assassins -- who lobbed grenades into a party rally, killing at least 20 and wounding hundreds -- and Sheikh Hasina has refused even to discuss the investigation with the prime minister, saying: ''With whom should I meet? With the killers?'' The political breach between those two parties is being filled primarily by Jamaat-e-Islami, which agitated against independence in 1971 and remains close to Pakistan. The group was banned after independence for its role in the war but has slowly worked its way back to political legitimacy. The party itself has not changed much -- it was always socially conservative and unafraid of violence. The political context, however, has changed enough to give it greater power. Since 2001, Jamaat-e-Islami has been a crucial part of a governing coalition dominated by the B.N.P. The two parties have ties dating to the late 1970's, but it is only since 2001 that a politically aggressive form of Islam has found, for the first time since independence, a strong place at the top of Bangladeshi politics. It has found a corresponding position at the bottom of Bangladeshi politics as well, in the social scrum that produces figures like Bangla Bhai. (Opposition politicians have linked Bangla Bhai to Jamaat-e-Islami, a tie that Jamaat and Bangla Bhai have both denied.) The border provinces have, since independence, harbored a proliferation of armed groups that either Bangladesh, India, Myanmar or Pakistan, or some region or faction in one of those countries, has been willing to support for its own political reasons. By the early 1990's Islamist groups began appearing, mainly at the periphery of the jihad centered on Afghanistan. The most important of these has been the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji), which has been associated with Fazlul Rahman, who signed Osama bin Laden's famous declaration in 1998 endorsing international, coordinated jihad -- the document that introduced Al Qaeda to the larger world. But Bangla Bhai's group and others have since emerged and are making their bids for power. ''Bangladesh is becoming increasingly important to groups like Al Qaeda because it's been off everyone's radar screen,'' says Zachary Abuza, the author of ''Militant Islam in Southeast Asia'' and a professor of political science at Simmons College in Boston. ''Al Qaeda is going to have to figure out where they can regroup, where they have the physical capability to assemble and train, and Bangladesh is one of these key places.'' Six years ago, Huji chose its first prominent target: Shamsur Rahman, who is Bangladesh's leading poet. Recently, at his home in Dhaka, Rahman began telling me the story of the attack as he pulled a sheaf of papers from a pigeonhole in his writing desk, on which sat a bottle of black-currant soda and a copy of Dante's ''Inferno.'' Above the desk hung an ink sketch of the Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore, as well as a yellowing photograph of Rahman's father. Rahman, who is 75, is birdlike and wears his hair in a fluffy white pageboy. Most of his poems are love poems, but some address the rise of militant Islam in his country. ''I am not against religion,'' he said, smiling wryly. ''I am against fanaticism.'' He reached for his mug of hot water. It was the holy month of Ramadan, and Rahman's family had just broken the day's fast. Downstairs, four policemen were eating a meal prepared by Rahman's daughter-in-law Tia. Rahman has lived under police protection since Jan. 18, 1999, when three young men appeared at his house and asked for a poem. Tia refused to let them in. The poet was resting, she said. But the men begged for just a minute of his time, so Tia obliged. Immediately one of the men ran upstairs and tried to chop Rahman's neck with an ax. ''He tried to cut my head off, but my wife took me in her arms and my daughter-in-law too,'' Rahman recounted. The two women fended off the blows until the neighbors, hearing their screams, rushed into the house and caught the attackers. Rahman gestured toward the women standing in the doorway. Tia looked exhausted. The hair around her face was damp from cooking. Rahman's wife, Zahora, not more than four feet tall, held her diminutive hands in front of her and smiled. (She understands English but cannot speak it.) Rahman pointed out the shiny scar on her arm. Zahora patted her husband and took his empty mug to the kitchen. ''They wanted my head, not a poem,'' he said. The attack led to the arrest of 44 members of Huji. Two men, a Pakistani and a South African, claimed they had been sent to Bangladesh by Osama bin Laden with more than $300,000, which they distributed among 421 madrassas, or private religious schools. According to Gowher Rizvi, director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard and a lecturer in public policy, bin Laden's reputed donation is ''a pittance'' compared with the millions that Saudi charities have contributed to many of Bangladesh's estimated 64,000 madrassas, most of which serve only a single village or two. Money of this kind is especially important because Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. Out of 177 countries on the United Nations' Human Development Index, Bangladesh is ranked 138, just above Sudan. The recent tsunami that devastated its neighbors hardly touched it -- a rare bit of good luck for the country, as most catastrophes seem somehow to claim their victims in Bangladesh. In Bangla Bhai's patch of northwestern Bangladesh, poverty is so pervasive that, for many children in the region, privately subsidized madrassas are the only educational option. For the past several years especially, money from Persian Gulf states has strengthened them even more. Most follow a form of the Deobandi Islam taught in the 1950's by the intellectual and activist Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, who was born in India in 1903 and defined Muslim politics in opposition to Indian nationalism. While Maududi's original agenda was reformist, the Deobandi model is now better known from the madrassas of Pakistan, where it gave rise to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Whether Maududi intended it or not, his teachings have become synonymous with radical Islam. In November, in a shop in the Bagmara bazaar not far from where Bangla Bhai used to hold his meetings, two young men sat waiting to tell their stories about the cruelty and repression of Bangla Bhai's movement. Everyone here wanted to talk about this, they said, but were afraid of the consequences. Several days earlier, Bangla Bhai's cadres had beaten a university student caught smoking cigarettes, another banned act. ''We weren't allowed to sell these,'' said one of the men, a 20-year-old shopkeeper, holding up a pack of Player's Gold Leaf he kept on a low shelf. His friend, a thickset man in a white kurta -- a long-sleeved shirt extending below the waist -- sat on a carton next to the counter, with a blue mobile phone in his hand. He played with the phone distractedly as he described the announcements Bangla Bhai's men had made, beginning last summer, over the loudspeaker, demanding that people come watch public punishments. He told me that over the past months he himself had seen more than 50 men hanged upside down by their feet from bamboo scaffolding and beaten with hammers, iron rods and the field-hockey sticks that are commonly used in Bangladesh as weapons. He winced for a second recalling these tortures, and then his fleshy face lost all expression. ''In this place people live in fear,'' the shopkeeper said. ''They still punish people. If anyone is not keeping Ramadan, even if it's a sick man and he's eating in a restaurant, they treat them badly.'' The thickset man scanned the street over his shoulder and added, shaking his head, ''They wanted the regime of the Taliban here.'' Taskforce against Torture, a Bangladeshi human rights organization founded three years ago, has recorded more than 500 cases of people being intimidated and tortured by Bangla Bhai and his men. One of them is Abdul Quddus Rajon, a postmaster from Shafiqpur, a village near Bagmara. He is 42 and comes from a wealthy family of moderate Muslims. Rajon was abducted early last May when two men in green headbands showed up at the post office on a motorbike. They forced him onto the bike and demanded his brother's phone number. Abdul Kayyam Badshah, Rajon's brother and the leader of a banned Communist Party, was wanted by the government and being pursued by Bangla Bhai's men. Rajon refused to give them the number, so they took his mobile phone and drove him to one of Bangla Bhai's camps. Rajon told me when I met him that he was held with 15 other men in two rooms. ''For four days they tortured me,'' he recounted. Every morning, his captors, who Rajon said were not more than teenagers, took him to a cell and beat him. Bangla Bhai's men demanded 100,000 taka for his release, about $1,600. Rajon eventually agreed to pay. Before his release, he said, his captors tried to intimidate him into becoming more observant. ''They took me in front of a mosque and told me to promise I would keep my beard and pray five times a day, and to never tell anything about Bangla Bhai's camp,'' he said. ''They wore beards and long kurtas like religious men, but that was the only way in which they were religious.'' He pulled up the cuffs of his khakis to reveal deep black gashes in his shins. ''Eleven days later,'' he said, ''they caught my brother.'' At noon on May 19, Rajon was awakened by a loudspeaker. Bangla Bhai's men were announcing that his brother's trial would start the next day and he would be sentenced to death. ''I tried to contact the state minister and the superintendent of police by telephone,'' Rajon said. ''Because if Badshah was accused, he should be tried according to the laws of the land. But they wouldn't talk to me.'' (According to The Daily Star, Bangladesh's leading English-language newspaper, the local government has been accused of colluding with Bangla Bhai.) The next morning, Badshah was found hanged by his feet from a tree near a police station. He had been beaten to death. Rajon first heard about it through whispering in the village. ''A policeman was wandering around asking people if they were glad my brother was dead,'' he said. In the village and the surrounding districts, Bangla Bhai's spate of killings and torture continued for another month. One man was dismembered. Another, according to local journalists and villagers who told me they heard him, had a microphone held to his mouth while he was tortured so that the entire village could listen to his screams. Communists are just one target of Islamic militants in Bangladesh. Most attacks have been carried out against either members of religious minorities -- Hindus, Christians and Buddhists -- or moderate Muslims considered out of step with the doctrines espoused at the militant madrassas. International groups like Human Rights Watch cannot gather information freely enough to be certain of the scope of the problem. Yet anecdotal evidence is abundant. In Bangladesh, as part of the militant Islamists' agenda, religious minorities are coming under a new wave of attacks. One of the most vulnerable communities is that of the Ahmadiyya, a sect of some 100,000 Muslims who believe that Muhammad was not the last prophet. (The Ahmadiyya are the subject of a Human Rights Watch report to be published next month.) In Pakistan, the Ahmadiyya have been declared infidels and many have been killed. In Bangladesh, religious hardliners have burned mosques and books and pressured the government to declare the sect non-Muslim. Last year, the government agreed to ban Ahmadiyya literature; earlier this month, however, Bangladesh's high court stayed the ban pending further consideration by the court. But those who oppose the Ahmadiyya are not giving up. At a recent rally in Dhaka, 10,000 protesters gathered outside an Ahmadiyya mosque as one Islamic leader intoned from a parade float, ''Bangladesh's Muslims cast their vote to elect the current government, and the current government is not paying any heed.'' Police officers in riot gear tightened their formation protecting the mosque. ''Beware, we will throw you out of office if you do not meet our demands,'' he said. ''No one will be able to stop the forward march of the soldiers of Islam in Bangladesh.'' The Ahmadiyya are hardly the only group at risk. ''For the Hindus, the last couple of years have been disastrous,'' says Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch. ''There are substantial elements within the society and government itself that are advancing the idea that Hindus need to be expelled.'' On the ground, attacks against Hindus include beatings and rapes. ''Minority communities in the country are feeling less safe,'' said Govind Acharya, Amnesty International's country specialist for Bangladesh. ''The Hindus, the Ahmadiyya and the tribals in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are all leaving. This demographic shift is the most problematic for the identity and the future of the country.'' The permissiveness of at least some within the Bangladeshi government and the police in allowing violent groups like Bangla Bhai's to pursue their agendas has only increased the political legitimacy of such groups. Mohammad Selimullah, the leader of a militant Islamist group based across Bangladesh's eastern border in Myanmar, was arrested in Chittagong early in 2001, and he admitted in court that more than 500 jihadis had been training under him in Bangladesh. On his computer, intelligence sources found photographs to be sent to donors showing Islamic soldiers at rest and at attention, armed with AK-47's and wearing shiny new boots. Selimullah said that his group received weapons from supporters in Libya and Saudi Arabia, among others. Last spring in Chittagong, 10 truckloads of weapons -- the largest arms seizure in Bangladesh's history -- were captured by the police as they were being unloaded from trawlers. The tip-off most likely came from Indian intelligence, which monitors the arms being sent to Islamist separatist groups in India's northeast. Haroon Habib, a leading journalist in the region, has written that a leader of the government's local Islamist coalition was helping to hide the weapons. Several months later, under increased pressure from the European Union and the United States to crack down on terror, Bangladeshi security forces raided two camps in the Ukhia area belonging to Huji. Local journalists say that both camps, which were not far from Chittagong, have now been destroyed, but no one can get close enough to be sure. What is certain is that the attack didn't drive the militants out of the region. Four months ago, five more members of Huji were arrested in Chittagong. In this environment, Bangladesh's radical leaders have ratcheted up their ambitions. Responding to the American invasion of Afghanistan, supporters of the Islamic Oikya Jote (I.O.J.), the most radical party in the governing coalition and a junior partner to the Jamaat-e-Islami, chanted in the streets of Chittagong and Dhaka, ''Amra sobai hobo Taliban, Bangla hobe Afghanistan,'' which roughly translates to ''We will be the Taliban, and Bangladesh will be Afghanistan.'' The I.O.J. is considered a legitimate voice within Bangladeshi politics. The I.O.J.'s chairman, Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini, who has served as a member of Parliament for the past three years, says he believes that secular law has failed Bangladesh and that it's time to implement Sharia, the legal code of Islam. During our two hourlong meetings, the mufti -- a welcoming and relatively open man with a salt-and-pepper beard and teeth dyed red from chewing betel -- asked if he could take photographs and pass them along to the local press to show his constituents that he is so powerful the Western press now comes to him. The mufti presides over his father-in-law's mosque and madrassa, Jamiat-Qurania-Arabia, in Dhaka, where the traffic caused by 600,000 bicycle rickshaws, more than in any other city in the world, is so intense that it can take hours to travel fewer than 10 miles from Louis Kahn's ethereal Parliament -- a relic of a more hopeful period in Bangladesh's democracy -- to the warren of lanes in the old part of town where the mufti is based. At the mosque, he almost overfills the armchair in which he stations himself. He admits that as an Islamic state, Bangladesh still has far to go. ''As we are Muslim, naturally we want Bangladesh to be an Islamic state and under Islamic law,'' the mufti said. Amini is the author of books in Arabic, Bangla and Urdu. (He learned Urdu while completing graduate work in a madrassa in Karachi, Pakistan.) He recently completed a multivolume set of laws and edicts, or fatwas. The mufti is renowned for his fatwas, which, he said, he issues almost every day when people come to him with questions about the application of religious law. The mufti has also issued fatwas against the secular press when they investigate the rise of militant Islam in Bangladesh. When he advocates punishment for those who offend Islam, he said, he does not intend to preach violence. The young men of Huji who attacked the poet Shamsur Rahman were studying in one of his madrassas in Chittagong. The mufti said that the only reason he is not a government minister is that the current regime snubbed him out of fear as to how his appointment would look. The West would see both him and Bangladesh as too extremist. The mufti has been named in Indian intelligence documents as a member of the central committee of Huji (itself linked to Al Qaeda), an association he would, of course, deny. He is also rumored to have close friends among the Afghan Taliban, which he denies, while adding that it's better not to discuss the Afghan Taliban, as they are so frequently misunderstood. Besides, he says as the corner of his mouth twitches into a smile, the Taliban are running all over his madrassa, as the word ''talib'' means only student. Outside his office, the sound of boys' voices reciting the Koran rises and falls. Fifteen hundred students study at the madrassa, and the mufti's party, the I.O.J., sponsors madrassas all over the nation; how many, he claimed not to know. Financing, the mufti said, comes mostly from Bangladesh itself, but some money also arrives from friends throughout the Arab world. Of all his political influence, the mufti is most proud of his fatwas, which, he said, give him a means to speak out against those who violate Islam. ''Whoever speaks against Islam, I issue a fatwa against them to the government,'' he said. ''But the government says nothing.'' He shook his head, frustrated. That's next on his agenda: to pressure the government to recognize his religious injunctions. ''It's possible,'' he said, ''now more than ever.'' Eliza Griswold is a writer based in New York.\6baef4db59f22

Posted by: Mudy Jan 24 2005, 10:53 AM

Decks clear for Shia board
Great news!!!! biggrin.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 25 2005, 03:15 PM And Iran is hindu country blink.gif

By Vinay Krishna Rastogi in Lucknow Tuesday, 25 January , 2005, 17:56 The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and many Shia leaders on Tuesday decried the formation of the new All-India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board. They described the new board as part of the Sangh Parivar and the BJP. The AIMPLB is the highest law-making body of Muslims in the country. Board member Dr Naim described the formation of the new Shia board as "a tragic event that would badly affect the unity of 76 Muslim sects". The Shia board was formed two days ago by Shia leaders led by Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar. Many Shia leaders and clerics including Maulana Kalbe Sibtain and Kalbe Hussain both sons of renowned cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq blasted Athar for forming a new board. Maulana Sadiq is Vice-President of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and is currently in Iran. At an emergency meeting of Pasdaran-e-Islam, Maulana Saif Abbas and Maulana Azim Hussaion Zaidi, both Shia clerics, expressed concern. Maulana Kalbe Sibtain described the formation of new Shia board as the handiwork of anti-Islamic forces. These Shia ulemas had so far been supporting the BJP and the Sangh Parivar. Many Shia clerics recalled how during elections some leaders of their community would give an open call to vote for BJP. These leaders had, in the past, exhorted Shia women to tie rakhis for Atal Behari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders. But Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar challenged his critics to prove their charges which he described as "tissue of lies". Athar said that AIMPLB had been neglecting the Shias of the country, which is a minority whose population exceeds the population of Sikhs and Christians.

Posted by: ramana Jan 27 2005, 01:06 PM

QUOTE (ramana @ Jan 22 2005, 03:04 AM)
Has anyone compared and contrasted Judaism and Islam with ancient Egyptian religion? And culture and customs? I think there would be insights to understanding Islamism from there.
I think an understanding of ancient Egyptian religion is a must to understand the revealed religions. All of them are variations of the people perception of the struggle between Horus and Seth cast in a different light. The Islamic rules are again a take off on the Egyptian customs. Also this struggle between Horus and Seth is similar to the Zorasterian version of Light and Darkness.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 27 2005, 01:41 PM

ancient Egyptian religion
Please recommend book.

Posted by: k.ram Jan 27 2005, 05:47 PM

Arab leaders watch in fear as Shia emancipation draws near David Hirst Thursday January 27, 2005 The Guardian For the first time in centuries, Shias are about to come into their own as the rulers - or at least the politically dominant community in a key Arab country. In principle, the Iraqi elections will ratify and lend constitutional legitimacy to a transformation inexorably under way since the fall of Saddam Hussein. In the Arab world, except for Lebanon with its largely Christian population, the rulers of all 22 states have traditionally hailed from the orthodox Sunni majority. But until now that has included two countries, Iraq and Bahrain, where, against the broader trend, Shias compose the majority. The correction of this anomaly will be momentous, given Iraq's history and geopolitical weight, and the tumultuous conditions in which it is taking place. Iraq, after all, is where, in the bloody struggle over the prophet's succession, Islam's great schism first took root; where, for centuries, Shias under Sunni Ottoman rule bore the brunt of its conflicts with Shia Persian empires; where, in the 1920s, Shias led the rebellion against British mandatory rule, but ended up grossly underrepresented in the modern Iraqi state; where, under Ba'athism, Sunnis turned minority rule into despotism of the most chauvinistic and brutal kind. The idea of electorally established Shia dominance of Iraq deeply troubles Arab regimes, with or without Shias of their own. Jordan's King Abdullah has most publicly declared what others keep to themselves. For him the great peril is Iran, the world's only (apart from Azerbaijan) Shia-majority state that is also Shia-ruled - and clerically, militantly ruled to boot. Iran's "vested interest", he says, is "to have an Islamic republic of Iraq; if that happened, we've opened ourselves to a whole set of new problems that won't be limited to the borders of Iraq". He warned of a Shia "crescent" stretching from Iran into Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, destabilising Gulf countries and posing a challenge to the US. "This is the first time," said the Lebanese commentator Joseph Samaha, "an Arab official has used such crude, direct and dangerous language to publicly incite against a particular confession and warn that it may turn into a fifth column to be used against the majority." For other Arab commentators, what such remarks indicate, at bottom, is fear of democracy, and the prospect that Iraq will now demonstrate what Palestine already has - that in the Arab world people have more electoral choice if they are occupied rather than sovereign. "They are terrified," said Salama Ne'mat, "lest elections prove contagious and spread to Iraq's neighbouring states and peoples. "The danger to certain Arab governments is the democratic 'weapon of mass destruction' that could destroy the structure of tyranny and backwardness that weighs heavily upon the chests of their peoples." Any Iraqi democracy is bound, at first, to assume the "sectarian" character King Abdullah deplores. The ruthless, discriminatory exploitation of sectarianism that was the foundation of Saddam's rule has to give way to a system whose primary building block is the fair and representative stake which the country's various communities acquire in it, the Shias acquiring the largest. Inevitably, too, Iran, for which the emancipation of its Iraqi co-religionists is a great potential enhancement of its own regional influence, is Iraq's only neighbour to be happy about that. Ironically, it was much quicker than Arab friends of America to "recognise" the new American-installed Iraqi order and is the most ardent supporter of American-sponsored elections. Arab regimes with Shia citizens, especially in the Gulf, perhaps have most grounds for alarm, because, like Saddam, they have in varying degrees discriminated against them. The quest for equal rights has been common to Shias in every modern Arab state. The only one in which they have basically achieved them, through civil war as well as that country's unique, confessionally organised political system, is Lebanon. "Iraq could represent a democratic model for the Arab-Muslim world which has experienced futile and utopian conflicts for 14 centuries," said Sheikh Ali Salman, a Shia leader in Bahrain. Though Shias constitute 60% of Bahrain's population, they do not apparently aim for an Iraq-style change of regime, only for greater representation than they have achieved so far. But Iraqi Shia emancipation is also disturbing to a non-Shia country such as Jordan, because, small and fragile, it is deeply affected by any political upheavals in neighbours more powerful than itself, and its relatively benign autocracy does depend on discrimination of a kind, favouring Transjordanians over Palestinians. In multi-confessional Syria, minority Alawites dominate the regime; Shia triumph in Iraq might encourage the majority Sunnis to regain the ascendancy which - the opposite of their co-religionists in Iraq - they lost with the rise of Ba'athism. It is obvious that all these regimes, like the Iraq insurgents themselves, hanker after a restoration of the old Sunni- or Ba'athist-dominated order, or even some Saddam-like figure to preside over it - or, at least, as King Abdullah once put it, "somebody with a military background who has experience of being a tough guy". Equally obviously, however, the Shias, recalling what happened in the 20s, will not have it. So, like the Americans, the regimes have now calculated that, while holding elections, which a large part of the Sunni community might boycott, is a grave risk, not holding them would be a graver one. They are all - even Syria the US accuses of abetting the insurgency urging the Sunnis to lend their vital sanction to the kind of popular consultation they would never permit in their own countries. For what makes Arab regimes fear an Iraqi democracy makes them fear civil war more; and while quite possible with elections, that would be even more so without them. The Shias have so far been remarkably restrained in their response to the anti-Shia terror that seems to be a secondary part of the Sunni resistance to American occupation; their mainstream religious leaders clearly want to keep their distance from Iran, and, according to a recent opinion poll, Sunnis are twice as much in favour of a fully fledged "Islamic government" of some kind as they are. But, if they cannot come into their inheritance by constitutional means, they will be all too likely drawn into unconstitutional, violent means instead. And Iran would get deeply involved in that.

Posted by: ramana Jan 28 2005, 09:59 AM

Mudy, Am still gathering info and here is a link:

Posted by: k.ram Jan 29 2005, 05:05 PM

Posted by: acharya Jan 30 2005, 12:53 PM

Send this Article to a Friend Shia Personal Law Board seeks political representation By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan LUCKNOW, JAN. 29. The formation conference of the new Shia Muslim Personal Law Board held here today demanded that the Governments at the Centre and in the States ensure representation for the community in various political and legislative bodies. The Board said that though there were over five-crore Shia Muslims across the country, the community had no representation in Parliament or in the Ministries at the Centre or in the States. The inaugural conference of the SMPLB, attended by about a 100 Shia ulemas from different parts of the country, was held at the Saeedul Millat Hall of Shia post-graduate college here today. Briefing the media after the conference, the Chairman of the new Board, Maulana Mohammed Athar, said the community had been compelled to take this step on account of the injustice meted out to the Shias in political, social and government spheres. "The unfair acts have been not merely from Governments but also from sections of Muslims who have failed to address the concerns of Shias despite being in positions of power." Waqf Boards The SMPLB called for the creation of separate Shia Waqf Boards in all States on the pattern of the ones that already exist in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The demand challenges the domination of the Waqf Boards by the numerically larger Sunni Muslim community. The SMPLB also demanded proportional representation for the community in all government, quasi-government Muslim welfare institutions. The new Board consists of 69 members. Maulana Ghulam Hussain Raza Agha of Hyderabad was elected as the general secretary. Mr. Athar said that new members would be co-opted by May this year. The projected strength of the SMPLB is 200, same as the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board. Mixed reactions The formation of SMPLB has evoked mixed reactions from the Muslim community in Uttar Pradesh. A section of the Shias see it as the beginning of a churning process, which would have significant social and political impact, especially within the Muslim community. According to Mohsin Rizvi, advocate and one of the participants at the SMPLB conference, a section of Sunnis were also unhappy with the AIMPLB and this would also intensify the churning. Mr. Rizvi's reference was to the formation of a separate Personal Law Board by the Bareillvy sect of Sunni Muslims in December 2004. Significantly, the vice-chairman of the AIMPLB, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, is a Shia. Mr. Sadiq has not endorsed the SMPLB and was not available for comment. Zafaryab Jilani, legal adviser of the AIMPLB, told The Hindu that the very formation of the SMPLB was based on the misconception that the AIMPLB had not addressed the problems of the Shias. "On the contrary, the AIMPLB has worked for all Muslims in accordance with the Shariat Application Act." Mr. Jilani also pointed out that the law board was not authorised to secure job guarantee for Muslims or to resolve the Shia-Sunni dispute. According to him, the AIMPLB was formed in 1972 essentially to act as a watchdog against violation of Muslim personal laws.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 31 2005, 11:59 AM

Islam and nationalism KR Phanda It has become a habit with Muslim intellectuals to blame Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for propounding the two-nation theory and to denigrate the concept of Hindu rashtra. Sumaiya Salahuddin's article, "Empty sense of nation" (January 18), is latest in the series. She regards N Jamal Ansari as "a true spokesperson of Indianness", and advises "a decent burial to Hindu rashtravad". These assertions are baseless and are made for hiding the barbarities committed by Islamic rulers in India. Ms Salahuddin ignores the fact that the two-nation theory was first articulated by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan of the Aligarh University in his speeches delivered on December 28, 1887, and March 16, 1888, at Lucknow and Meerut respectively. In this context, Mohammad Neman of the Aligarh University wrote, "No Mussalman of note since then joined the Indian National Congress except one or two. Even Sayyid Ahmad Khan's co-religionists who differ from his views on religion, educational and social matters and opposed him violently followed him in politics and preserved their isolation from the Congress" (Rise and Growth of All India Muslim League). Thus, to claim that Savarkar, who was just six years old in 1888, as the author of two-nation theory is arrant nonsense. The creation of Pakistan on religious basis in 1947 was therefore the culmination of this theory of separatism advocated by Sayyid Ahmad Khan. As regards Ms Salahuddin's suggestion that Hindu rashtravad should be given a decent burial, it needs to be told that Hindu rashtra is not similar to the concept of an Islamic state that divides humanity into momins and kafirs; sanctifies the killing of kafirs; desecration of their religious places and imposition of jazia. Hindus experienced this face of the Islamic state during the 700 years of Muslim rule in India. In a similar context, British Prime Minister William Gladstone had once told the House of Commons, holding the Quran in his hand, "So long as there is this book, there will be no peace in this world" (Iqbal, Rafiq Zakaria). It is this concept of an Islamic state which preaches and practices hatred against non-Muslims that needs to be buried forever. In Professor Ziauddin Sardar's words: "Socialism, nationalism, capitalism and, by implication, much of modernism are all against the spirit of Islam. Terms such as Islamic nationalism and Islamic socialism are self-contradictory and absurd. Islam demands loyalty, submission and dedication to the one and only God, and recognises no other loyalty" (The Future of Muslim Civilisation). It is in keeping with this spirit of Islam that the Muslim League forced the British to create separate homeland for the Indian ummah. The same ideology forced the Pakistani rulers to ethnically cleanse the Hindus/Sikhs from Pakistan in 1947-48. It is for this reason that no Islamic country is a democracy and non-Muslims are still treated as dhimmis. Going back in history, this is what Maulana Mohammad Ali wrote in 1931 to British Prime Minister Ramsay McDonald: "A Muslim belonged to two cirlces of equal size which are not concentric - one is Indian and the other is the Muslim world. We are not nationalists, but supernationalist and I, as a Muslim, say that God made man and devil made the nation." (Gandhi, BR Nanda). Mohammad Ali was not in favour of "replacing the nation of shopkeepers by their Indian counterpart, the bania" (ibid).

Posted by: k.ram Feb 3 2005, 06:53 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 4 2005, 11:14 AM This guy is the most suave islamist of all.

Posted by: Sunder Feb 4 2005, 11:51 AM

QUOTE (rajesh_g @ Feb 4 2005, 11:44 PM) This guy is the most suave islamist of all.
In other religions, the name of the founder is invoked — for example, Hindus say ‘Ram Ram’ — when they greet. Muslims , instead, shower peace — ‘Assalamo Aliakum’, or peace be on you. The very meaning of Islam is to establish peace. One of the names of Allah is Salam. Peace is very central to Islam.
The name 'islam' may mean peace, but the idealogy definitely is just the opposite. Kill till no one remains to oppose your thoughts and hence there will be peace. If the name-value pair is justification for islam=peace hence is a peaceful religion, then ecstacy=joy and hence the Psychedelic drug is supposed to be good for ppl as it promotes joy (the side effects should be immaterial, as the name suggests unconditional joy.) This logic is getting old, and is repeated ad-nauseam by even those who know nothing of the koran.

Posted by: Sid Feb 5 2005, 10:29 AM Peaceful people(May peace be upon you greeting) going about their business peacefully. While the evil (Ram Ram greeting) judge wants to move to different city to pull down more loudspeakers.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 5 2005, 12:02 PM

Division within The strength of a community, particularly a minority, lies in its unity, so the three-way split in the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is indeed a matter of concern. The AIMPLB that played a crucial role in the Shah Bano case has been held in high esteem by the people and the politicians alike. A word from the Board, in most cases, has been command for most Muslims and politicians rooting for secular votes are known to bend backwards to curry favour with the Board. The first chinks in the Board’s armour were revealed about two months ago when the Barelvi sect set up their own AIMPLB — Jadeed. The explanation offered was that since the existing Board was dominated by Deobandis, the Barelvis were feeling slighted. The Shia community followed suit and last week, the All India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board came into being. Women followed close on the heels and on Wednesday, it was the turn of the All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board to come into existence. These splinter groups of the Board may serve the purpose of various sects within the community but the move is bound to affect the overall interests of the Muslim community whose strength now lies divided. If the parent Board had failed to guard the interests of various groups it would have been a better idea to revamp and refurbish the Board rather than form another one. Splitting into smaller Boards is apparently a decision that many will regret later. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has already lost its sheen and authority, to an extent, and it will no longer be easy for Muslims to argue their case on social, religious and political issues before the politicians of the day. The collective strength of the community has been disbanded and the biggest casualty in this could be the Ayodhya case that the Board has been relentlessly pursuing since 1992. If the newly formed Boards get carried away by political manipulations — chances are they will — the Muslim viewpoint in the Babri case may end up getting diluted.

Posted by: Sid Feb 7 2005, 11:18 AM

Countless people living in Bihar pack their bags every year, to escape economic backwardness or utter lawlessness. A Patna High Court judge now wants out, having been falsely painted a Hindu 'fanatic' by members of a minority group with enormous political clout in 'secular' Bihar. Justice RS Garg's justified reason for seeking a transfer is that Bihar is not a place for "honest work". The events that led him to this belief are revealing in themselves: They expose how votebank-politicking has spawned communal consciousness so much so that even judicial decrees are flouted by supposed keepers of the Islamic faith. As a custodian of the law of the land, the judge had sought to enforce an agreement on not using loudspeakers in a mosque near the High Court premises. The religious affiliations of those violating the law had nothing to do with his suo motu intervention. He was only concerned by the fact the agreement-effectualised by an earlier directive-was being defied, even though the mosque committee had agreed to abide by the decision. Justice Garg had asked the District Magistrate and the police to set matters right, since court proceedings were being disturbed. The police dismantled the loudspeaker and escorted a muezzin and three mosque authorities before the court, so that the issue could be resolved. This was cause enough for a mob of local Muslims to go berserk. They not only agitated against what they saw as an unwarranted "arrest", but also reinstalled the offending noisebox. The same evening, the loudspeaker was back in blaring use-in the presence of policemen intimidated into inaction. As for the judge, he found himself suddenly wearing the tag of 'RSS stooge'. That he had not issued any arrest order was lost on the raucous band of 'demonstrators', by then convinced he was out to 'insult' Muslim religious sensibilities. The episode shows how issues pertaining to civil society, when communalised, turn into combustible material for social conflagrations. At the root of the problem, certainly, is the repeatedly manifested phenomenon of Muslim intransigence. The Shah Bano case, its most infamous symbol, demonstrated the way Muslim bigots were politically emboldened into sabotaging judicially backed gender justice by using religion as their alibi. Too many members of the minority community seem given to muscle-flexing against imagined slights to their faith. The Quran, surely, does not say Islam will be degraded if masjids do without loudspeakers for the sake of public tranquillity. How proscription of a practice that is all too human can be termed an assault on the divine is not easily comprehensible. Themselves votaries of mindless aggression, self-recruited mouthpieces of the "qaum" are often politically instigated into spoiling for a fight. People may find grounds for believing that the mischief-makers in Patna mocked the law and flung mud at a judge at the behest of their political champions. Bihar is facing a crucial election. This may not be dismissed as mere coincidence. Whatever the 'provocation', ordinary Muslims do not normally run around sticking Sangh Parivar-bashing labels on impartial authorities. That the 'dharna'-stagers did precisely this raises suspicions of a political hand. The 'secular' brigade in the poll fray has tried to give a communal colour to the electoral battle, from misuse of the UC Banerjee Committee's Godhra report to the EC-rapped pasting of inflammatory posters on the Sabarmati Express fire. Justice Garg's demonisation as a Hindu 'fascist' fits in too nicely with the minority-appeasing ploys of 'secular' politicos for the connection not to be made, rightly or wrongly, in the public mind.

Posted by: k.ram Feb 9 2005, 06:32 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 12 2005, 06:11 PM

CIA and the Caliphate ABID MUSTAFA In December 2004, The National Intelligence Council of the CIA predicted that in the year 2020 a new Caliphate would emerge on the world stage. The findings were published in a 123-page report titled “Mapping the Global Future”. The aim of the report is to prepare the next Bush administration for challenges that lie ahead by projecting current trends that may pose a threat to US interest. The report is presented to the US President, members of Congress, cabinet members and key officials involved in policymaking. What is striking about the report is that it is full of references about political Islam and the various challenges it poses to US interests in the foreseeable future. There is even a fictional scenario depicting the emergence of Caliphate state in 2020 and its impact on the international situation. However, the report is predicated on assumptions which undermine the validity of the report in various parts, especially the section on the Caliphate. Below is a critique of some of the arguments postulated in the fictional scenario: The report asserts that the strength of the new Caliphate will be borne out of the efforts of a global Islamic movement taking power. While it may be true that a global Islamic movement may instigate civil disobedience or initiate a coup to bring about the Caliphate, its strength and longevity is dependent upon something entirely different. An accurate appraisal of the convictions of the Muslim masses for the resumption of the Islamic way of life through the re-establishment of the Caliphate is the single most important factor in determining whether the Caliphate will succeed or fail in the 21st century. This is more important than technology and resources. Both of which can be quickly gained as long as the Caliphate is able to defend itself and base its progress exclusively on the Islamic ideology. Whenever Islamic movements are taken as the sole gauge for estimating the extent of Islamic revival in Muslim countries a skewed picture will always emerge. The CIA is not alone in employing this false standard. The practice is widespread and has tainted the analysis of respected think tanks and the writings of some notable commentators such as Francis Fukuyama and Samuel P. Huntington. The attachment to individualism has led the West to grossly underestimate the penetration of Islamic thoughts and sentiments in the Muslim countries, and also to miscalculate the widespread support for the re-establishment of the Caliphate. Another point of contention in the report is the claim that the emergence of the Caliphate will not cause the regimes in Muslim countries to collapse one after the other. The conflict between maintaining the secular order and preventing political Islam from assuming power is a daily occurrence in much of the Muslim world. Today, the Islamic ummah stands on the cusp of a monumental change, just as the Warsaw Pact countries stood some 18 years ago. The iron curtain came down because people had changed their viewpoint from communism to capitalism. Likewise the Muslim ummah has abandoned both communism and capitalism, and is waiting for the emergence of the Caliphate, which will cause these regimes to collapse in spectacular fashion, only to be absorbed by the Caliphate. Finally the report claims that Muslims would find the temptations of western materialism too much to bear, causing them to flee the shores of the new Caliphate. This view is obviously founded on the prevalent western notion that the Caliphate is the antithesis to modernisation. Another factor that enhances this perception amongst westerners is the current exodus of Muslims from the Islamic world to the West. The mass migration of Muslims to the West is a consequence of western foreign policy ventures in Muslim world and not because of Muslim infatuation with western values. Even those Muslims, who have settled in the West, have yet to embrace secular values for fear of corrupting their Islam. The recent endeavour by Europe to coerce its Muslim population to adopt western values speaks volumes for Europe’s obsession with secularising Muslims and runs counter to the stereotyped image projected by the western media that Muslims are pleading to be westernised. To make matters worse, the desire amongst Muslims to own western goods are interpreted as a craving for the western way of life. Westerners often classify such Muslims into the moderate camp. To pigeonhole Muslims into the two camps based on such interpretations is wrong. This is because the anti-western rhetoric found amongst Muslims is a denunciation of western culture and not of western goods. Likewise, the expression for the admiration for western products is an acknowledgement of the superior quality of the goods and is not an affirmation for the wholesale acceptance of western culture. For the first time in many years, the Muslim world has undergone a radical transformation in reconciling which aspects of the western way of life can be accepted or rejected with Islam. Previously, the Muslim world was torn between two factions i.e. the modernists who wanted to adopt everything from the West and the traditionalists who were keen to rebuff all aspects of western civilisation. This mentality stifled progress and allowed the west to establish their hegemony over Muslim lands. Today, it is not Muslims who are holding themselves back from human advancement, but rather it is the West that chooses to suppress these developments and insists on imposing its values upon the Muslim masses in connivance with the regimes of the Muslim world. This attitude has not only contributed to the West’s misunderstanding of Islam, but has encouraged the West to define an inequitable relationship with the Muslim world. Furthermore, the mindset has prompted the west to shun everything to do with Islam. West’s occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has already highlighted the abuse of the Muslim people, the pillage of their land and denigration of Islam. If this attitude is not reversed then the West will find itself in a precarious position on two fronts. First, the Caliphate will be a strong, progressive state charting a new destiny for the Muslim people after liberating them from the political, military and economic hegemony of the West. Secondly, the Caliphate will swiftly harness the synergy between Islam and science, thereby surpassing the West in terms of inventions, technologies and new scientific discoveries.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 12 2005, 06:19 PM

How Can Arabs Influence Western Media? By Ramzy Baroud How can Arabs influence Western media, combat its inherent bias and grotesque misrepresentations of the Arab and Muslim world? Despite the perpetual need to address this issue time and again, the apathy of the object of ridicule is equally relentless. Nothing noteworthy has been achieved on this front, particularly since the attacks of September 11, with the awesome, intellectual, social and cultural backlash unleashed thereafter. Many of the attempts to bridge the gap between East and West have been crude at best. They facilitated the emergence of two groups of Arab intellectuals and media spokespeople. One group was ‘uncompromising’. It refused to acknowledge that a Western audience has an entirely difference frame of reference and thus cannot subscribe to an Arab or a Muslim’s argument that simply conforms to what is accepted and what not in an Arab society. The other group just wanted to ‘fit in’. Intellectuals of this type told the media what the media wanted to hear. They preferred to draw the audience’s applause, rather than risk its taunts and heckling. Needless to say, both groups have failed miserably. This is not to suggest that a common ground is far-fetched and that both an eloquent and courageous third voice is an impossibility. - Greenpeace For many years, Israeli and pro-Israeli officials, academics and the like have been swarming American news networks, talk radio programs and opinion pages of American newspapers, large and small. But if one is to discern their approach, he’ll find an almost complete deviation from the issue at hand. It is noteworthy to mention that in their rhetoric, they scarcely reveal that their ultimate allegiance is to the thriving preservation of Israel. They come across as very much American. Thus, they justify the killings of Palestinian in Rafah by contrasting America’s need to uproot terrorism in Afghanistan, and explain the suffocating closure of the occupied territories by cross-referencing the US army’s occasional move to seal Iraqi borders in the face of ‘infiltrators.’ If you take a moment to listen to an Israel media expert talking to Fox News about democracy, liberty, freedom and so on, for a moment, it might slip your mind that the tacit goal of this expert-impostor, ironically is to justify the denial of real democracy, liberty and freedom to someone else. I cannot think of better con men than Israeli and pro-Israeli ‘experts’ in the field of media packaging. There should be no surprises however, since the official Israeli institution invests colossal sums of money in media training, the construction and operation of media centers in Israel and the United States – and elsewhere. In short, Israel understands the impact of the media in the world, and takes this business very seriously. On the other hand, Arabs trail far behind. Most Arab countries are nowhere close to Israel’s impressive media triumphs. Part of this is the uninterrupted corruption that plagues most Arab institutions. In any given Arab country, chance are that those in charge of media and international relations are chosen based on anything but experience, wisdom and competence. Family affiliations play an important part, but also allegiances to the ruling party or close ties to men in charge. They lack fluency, persuasiveness and are “just too important” to submit to the notion of instruction or training of any sort. Give them a perfectly honorable cause and watch them run it into the ground. One must not mistake this critique with the absolving of much of the Western media’s deliberate bias. The reproachful tone used on CNN or Fox News to interrogate an Arab guest can hardly be discounted. It’s this precise approach - accusatory and indicting - that drove one of the most eloquent scholars, late Professor Edward Said to distance himself from mainstream media altogether. That said, one should also be wary of the overuse of the term ‘bias’. Acknowledging bias must not justify the almost intrinsic ineptitude, and naturally ineffectiveness of the Arab voice in Western media. It does not explain why Arab officials with broken English constantly try to take on convoluted and multifaceted issues before American audiences. The issue of bias and partiality must be raised continually, as a part of the ongoing debate on media ethics and fairness, not as a justification for faltering away from the media challenge. Sadly, the latter is the prevailing norm in the Arab world. It’s no surprise that Arab governments employ American PR firms, with total lack of knowledge regarding Arab affairs to revamp their image before Western audiences. One need not explain why such an approach is an utter failure. Standalone, most Arab countries lack the resources to engage in this important undertaking. Real potential resides in collective action. Countries such as Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia possess the financial and infrastructural resources to sponsor serious media initiatives, making use of the remarkable wealth of brilliant Arab minds brimming all over the world. The goal should not be individually self-serving. The approach must not be apologetic, nor should it deviate from the heart of the matter. This is not a matter of policy, far from it. It’s a cultural imperative, a response to the meddling media pundits, devout in their insistence to justify US government’ hardliner foreign policy by selling wars to the public as ‘moral’ and justifying torture chambers as essential for American freedom, security and democracy. So how can Arabs influence the Western media? They must fill the void created by their absence. They must speak the language and learn how to relate to their audiences. They must understand that one may succeed at getting away with corruption in any field, but the field of media, where one’s incompetence cannot be hidden. As for ‘bias’, maybe those who haven’t done their part should hold on evoking it for a while. It’s becoming far too redundant and self-deceiving. ************* -Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Arab-American journalist, editor in chief of He can be contacted at

Posted by: k.ram Feb 15 2005, 05:33 PM

Secular Farid Zakaria slips off the moderate mask Democratization in India, in Fareed Zakaria's view, proved disastrous for the nation, From: and especially for its large Muslim minority. Date: 15 Feb 2005 Comments The most potent new challenger to the Congress Party was the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In its years in opposition, Zakaria recounts, the BJP employed an antiMuslim and anti-Christian "rhetoric of hatred" to fire up its voters. Since coming to power, the BJP--although mellowed somewhat by the need for political compromise--has still been leading a Hindu nationalist revival. The consequences, Zakaria insists, have ranged from the horrific to the absurd. In Gujarat in 2002, the local BJP government was complicit in "India's first state-assisted pogrom," in which thousands of innocent Muslim men, women, and children were massacred. (For some reason, Zakaria does not mention the massacre of fifty-eight Hindus that preceded the anti-Muslim violence.) India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, dominated by the BJP and "two lower-caste parties," has become a sea of corruption, a "bandit democracy." The Indian justice system has become, according to Zakaria, "a co rrupt handmaiden of political power." Zakaria's hometown of Bombay, "a city built by its great minority communities," once "vibrant, meritocratic, and tolerant," has been destroyed by this officially sponsored Hindu revival in service to what Zakaria considers a ludicrous Hindu nationalist mythology. "The renaming of Bombay as Mumbai in 1996," he remarks, "illustrates the invented quality of much of Hindu nationalism." "This is the reality of democracy in India," Zakaria declares in the most intensely personal passage of his new book. And yet, he complains, "no one in the West wishes to look at it too closely. We prefer to speak romantically about the beauty of Indians voting and the joys of the world's largest democracy." "Thoughtful Indians," Zakaria explains, "do not quite see it this way."

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 17 2005, 10:31 AM Taslima seeks Indian citizenship

Posted by: acharya Feb 17 2005, 12:05 PM

Secular Farid Zakaria slips off the moderate mask Democratization in India, in Fareed Zakaria's view, proved disastrous for the nation, From: and especially for its large Muslim minority. Date: 15 Feb 2005 Comments The most potent new challenger to the Congress Party was the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In its years in opposition, Zakaria recounts, the BJP employed an antiMuslim and anti-Christian "rhetoric of hatred" to fire up its voters. Since coming to power, the BJP--although mellowed somewhat by the need for political compromise--has still been leading a Hindu nationalist revival. The consequences, Zakaria insists, have ranged from the horrific to the absurd. In Gujarat in 2002, the local BJP government was complicit in "India's first state-assisted pogrom," in which thousands of innocent Muslim men, women, and children were massacred. (For some reason, Zakaria does not mention the massacre of fifty-eight Hindus that preceded the anti-Muslim violence.) India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, dominated by the BJP and "two lower-caste parties," has become a sea of corruption, a "bandit democracy." The Indian justice system has become, according to Zakaria, "a co rrupt handmaiden of political power." Zakaria's hometown of Bombay, "a city built by its great minority communities," once "vibrant, meritocratic, and tolerant," has been destroyed by this officially sponsored Hindu revival in service to what Zakaria considers a ludicrous Hindu nationalist mythology. "The renaming of Bombay as Mumbai in 1996," he remarks, "illustrates the invented quality of much of Hindu nationalism." "This is the reality of democracy in India," Zakaria declares in the most intensely personal passage of his new book. And yet, he complains, "no one in the West wishes to look at it too closely. We prefer to speak romantically about the beauty of Indians voting and the joys of the world's largest democracy." "Thoughtful Indians," Zakaria explains, "do not quite see it this way." Any link to this THis is an important article since it show that there are people who do not like democracy based on mass based franchise. They want to create elite level control and do not beleive in consensus. "The renaming of Bombay as Mumbai in 1996," he remarks, "illustrates the invented quality of much of Hindu nationalism." The natural turn toward the cultural civilization memory is considered as wrong. The elite have become deracinated and consider any thing

Posted by: Mudy Feb 17 2005, 12:51 PM

acharya, Here is

Zakaria himself is not romantic about democracy and democratization. He holds democracy responsible for many of the modern world's evils, from ethnic violence to poverty, repression, and war, and even for international terrorism, which he calls the "democratization of violence." About one-third of his book derives from an essay that he published in Foreign Affairs in 1997, called "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy," in which he argued that democracy was not the necessary, appropriate, or even desirable form of government for many if not most countries around the world. In describing what he thinks is the new phenomenon of "illiberal democracy," Zakaria argued--and he repeats the argument in his book--that "democratically elected regimes" are now "routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their power and depriving their citizens of basic rights and freedoms." Citing examples from Russia and Belarus to the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and Argentina, Zakaria claims that "in many developing countries, the experience of democracy over the past few decades has been one in which majorities have--often quietly, sometimes noisily--eroded separations of power, undermined human rights, and corrupted long-standing traditions of tolerance and fairness." Curiously, Zakaria does not mention India, although it seems by his own description to be the quintessential example of a democracy gone "illiberal"--"less tolerant, less secular, less law-abiding, less liberal."

Posted by: acharya Feb 17 2005, 02:01 PM

I have read Fareed s book and also saw him on TV when he was promoting his book WHY DEMOCRACY MUST REMAIN AMERICA'S GOAL ABROAD The Ungreat Washed - A Refutation of Fareed Zakaria's "The Future of Freedom" by Robert Kagan Post date: 06.26.03 Issue date: 07.07.03 The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad by Fareed Zakaria (W.W. Norton, 286 pp., $24.95) I.Midway through Fareed Zakaria's attack on democracy, one realizes that his animus toward popular government is not only theoretical but also personal, and in some ways it is even quite understandable. The unique perils of democracy upon which Tocqueville long ago speculated--the "tyranny of the majority," the debasement of the culture, the tearing down of elites--are not abstractions for Zakaria, but phenomena that he experienced first-hand as an Indian Muslim growing up in Bombay in the 1960s and 1970s. The child of elites--his father was a leading Indian politician, his mother an editor of the Sunday Times of India--Zakaria remembers (in a recent profile in New York magazine) that his family "knew everybody," and "saw the best architects, government officials, and poets all the time. Nothing seemed out of your reach." But even during those happy, privileged years, what Zakaria remembers as the ordered, liberal secularism of Nehru's India was beginning to fray. In his book, Zakaria recalls that the dominant Congress Party "morphed from a vibrant grass roots organization into a fawning, imperial court" under the thumb of Indira Gandhi, whose "populist policies ... were often unconstitutional and certainly illiberal." Then the Congress Party itself declined as India's dominant political institution. While many outsiders viewed the passing of one-party rule and the emergence of genuine political competition in India as a promising democratic development, for Zakaria this democratic progress was no progress at all. Democratization and the opening of the Indian political system gave rise to new parties that vied for the allegiance of new voters--"almost all," Zakaria observes, "from poor, rural, and lower-caste backgrounds." The growth of political participation by these once-excluded groups "made India more democratic." And the consequence, Zakaria argues, was that it "also made it less liberal." Democratization in India, in Zakaria's view, proved disastrous for the nation, and especially for its large Muslim minority. The most potent new challenger to the Congress Party was the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In its years in opposition, Zakaria recounts, the BJP employed an antiMuslim and anti-Christian "rhetoric of hatred" to fire up its voters. Since coming to power, the BJP--although mellowed somewhat by the need for political compromise--has still been leading a Hindu nationalist revival. The consequences, Zakaria insists, have ranged from the horrific to the absurd. In Gujarat in 2002, the local BJP government was complicit in "India's first state-assisted pogrom," in which thousands of innocent Muslim men, women, and children were massacred. (For some reason, Zakaria does not mention the massacre of fifty-eight Hindus that preceded the anti-Muslim violence.) India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, dominated by the BJP and "two lower-caste parties," has become a sea of corruption, a "bandit democracy." The Indian justice system has become, according to Zakaria, "a corrupt handmaiden of political power." Zakaria's hometown of Bombay, "a city built by its great minority communities," once "vibrant, meritocratic, and tolerant," has been destroyed by this officially sponsored Hindu revival in service to what Zakaria considers a ludicrous Hindu nationalist mythology. "The renaming of Bombay as Mumbai in 1996," he remarks, "illustrates the invented quality of much of Hindu nationalism." "This is the reality of democracy in India," Zakaria declares in the most intensely personal passage of his new book. And yet, he complains, "no one in the West wishes to look at it too closely. We prefer to speak romantically about the beauty of Indians voting and the joys of the world's largest democracy." "Thoughtful Indians," Zakaria explains, "do not quite see it this way." Zakaria himself is not romantic about democracy and democratization. He holds democracy responsible for many of the modern world's evils, from ethnic violence to poverty, repression, and war, and even for international terrorism, which he calls the "democratization of violence." About one-third of his book derives from an essay that he published in Foreign Affairs in 1997, called "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy," in which he argued that democracy was not the necessary, appropriate, or even desirable form of government for many if not most countries around the world. In describing what he thinks is the new phenomenon of "illiberal democracy," Zakaria argued--and he repeats the argument in his book--that "democratically elected regimes" are now "routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their power and depriving their citizens of basic rights and freedoms." Citing examples from Russia and Belarus to the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and Argentina, Zakaria claims that "in many developing countries, the experience of democracy over the past few decades has been one in which majorities have--often quietly, sometimes noisily--eroded separations of power, undermined human rights, and corrupted long-standing traditions of tolerance and fairness." Curiously, Zakaria does not mention India, although it seems by his own description to be the quintessential example of a democracy gone "illiberal"--"less tolerant, less secular, less law-abiding, less liberal." The sins of democracy go beyond the trampling of rights to include economic malfeasance and the impoverishment of peoples (in Russia, for instance, and post-Suharto Indonesia), the unleashing of religious fanaticism (notably in the Muslim world), the stoking of ethnic hatreds (in the Balkans, Africa, Central Asia, and the subcontinent). Drawing on the work of the political scientists Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, Zakaria even asserts that, contrary to conventional wisdom about the "democratic peace," democracies are more prone to militarism and war. When political systems are "opened up," he claims, new groups of enfranchised voters make incompatible demands on leaders, who in turn try to "rally the masses" behind aggressive nationalist crusades. And what of the biggest and oldest democracy of them all? In his essay, Zakaria made a distinction between the "illiberal" democracies proliferating around the developing world and the liberal democracy enjoyed by the United States. But the subtitle of his new book is "Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad," and Zakaria devotes almost half the book to cataloguing the catastrophic effects of "illiberal" democracy in the United States. "The troubles of American democracy," he argues, "are similar to those being experienced by countries across the globe." Most Americans are disgusted with their democratic system; "they are repulsed by it." They "have lost faith in their democracy." They are experiencing a "crisis of faith" in democratic governance. And with good reason, Zakaria insists, because "something has gone seriously wrong with American democracy." The problem with democracy in America, Zakaria maintains, is that there is simply too much of it. The old powerful elites that used to dominate every segment of American society have been pulled down and replaced by "a simple-minded populism," with disastrous consequences. In the realm of politics, "the quality of political leadership has declined." Fifty years ago the nation had Dwight D. Eisenhower; today it has George W. Bush--thus Zakaria quotes an unnamed "scholar in his eighties." ("We were having lunch in the paneled dining room of one of New York City's grand clubs.") Meanwhile, direct democracy in the form of initiatives and referenda has taken governance out of the hands of political elites and placed it in the hands of an irresponsible and shortsighted citizenry. Proposition 13, the famous California tax-cutting measure of 1978 so celebrated by Reagan-era conservatives, was a terrible precedent, in Zakaria's view, because it led to an explosion of such citizen movements. As a result of this democratization, especially within the American party system, for three decades Americans have had "their leaders bow and scrape before them." And the unfortunate impact of democracy extends well beyond politics. It has also had pernicious effects on business, law, medicine, religion, journalism, and culture. There, too, the nation has suffered from "the eclipse of the class of elites who ran these institutions" and has been harmed by "the opening up of many American industries and professions to outsiders." Zakaria traces the undoing of the American financial system, for instance, in part to Chase Manhattan Bank's shift in the 1990s toward a strategy of "catering to the great unwashed." There was a time, Zakaria argues, when American bankers such as J.P. Morgan awarded credit to men with good "character"; but his successors failed in "a financial world dominated by mass rather than class." Today's stock market is "geared toward everyday investors ... everyone, king and commoner alike, has become a capitalist"--a partial fulfillment, Zakaria complains, of the Southern populist Huey Long's rallying cry, "Every man a king!" If the "symbol of the old order was a Wall Street club where a handful of power brokers lunched, the symbol of the new was CNBC, where CEOs vied for airtime to speak to a mass audience." The once elite legal profession has destroyed itself by permitting lawyers to advertise to the common man. And doctors, too, have "lost their privileged perch" in society and become like everybody else. Catering to the "great unwashed" has also destroyed the media. In television, Zakaria complains, the days are gone when Don Hewitt, producer of the "now-legendary" 60 Minutes, could be told by his network bosses simply to "make us proud." Yes, Zakaria concedes, there may still be some "serious news programs ... [that] were started decades ago and built their audience gradually over those years" (he may be referring to ABC's This Week, on which he appears), but ever since ABC and the two other "traditional networks" lost their monopoly, television news has been engaged in a "race to the bottom." And the same goes for print journalism. While there still remain, for Zakaria, a few serious publications whose owners "are willing to subsidize excellence," such as The New Yorker (where he also appears), and while there is at least one mass-circulation magazine that "still covers the news seriously and in depth," such as "Newsweek, where I work," these quality publications are becoming fewer and fewer. The problem extends even to think tanks. Venerable institutions such as the Council on Foreign Relations, where Zakaria also worked, are "worthy and dutiful" for having created a "foreign-policy discussion for the country that was civil and not permeated with partisanship." But Zakaria's own think tank and the equally venerable Brookings Institution (also "designed to serve the country beyond partisanship and party politics") are exceptional in this respect, for "almost every institute and think tank created in the past thirty years is deeply ideological." In Zakaria's view, this is principally because the new think tanks were founded by conservatives seeking to erect a "counter-establishment" to challenge the old elites. But instead of creating "independent institutions" for "free-thinking intellectuals," the conservative think tanks have blindly "pushed their own partisan line." The scholars at these conservative institutions, Zakaria writes, are "chosen for their views, not their expertise." As a result, they produce "lots of predictable polemics and little serious analysis." Finally, there is the debasement of the culture by its democratization. There was a time, Zakaria recalls, when the nation's tastes were set by men who "had a feel" for what Zakaria calls "cultural content"--men such as Harold Ross, the "legendary" editor of The New Yorker. But no longer. There was a time when Americans looked for guidance to Philippe de Montebello, the "legendary" director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but now museum directors pander to the masses. Zakaria's answer to this rampant excess of democracy in America is to "resurrect, in some form, the institutions and elites" that dominated America in the past, and to return to them the authority that they have lost. Specifically, he has in mind the sweeping delegation of economic, political, social, and cultural power away from average Americans to an elite corps of experts. Zakaria's model for American government is the American corporation. "Delegation is, after all, how modern business is run. Shareholders own companies but hand over their management to people who can devote time and energy to it and who have expertise in the field. Shareholders retain ultimate control but recognize that they cannot run the companies themselves." Zakaria argues that it is ridiculous to believe that "any amateur" should determine the policies of the nation. Americans somehow think that "although we cannot file our tax forms, write our wills, or configure our computers, we can pass laws ourselves." He insists that it is time for Americans to "admit that, without guidance or reference to authority, people can make bad choices." What the United States needs, in short, "is not more democracy but less." In making his case against American-style democracy, Zakaria points admiringly to the European Union as an example of how "undemocratic policy-making" can be preferable to democratic policy-making. While many in the United States and Great Britain complain about the EU's so-called "democracy deficit" and the bloated, imperious bureaucracy of Brussels, Zakaria finds much to admire in the EU bureaucracy. It is effective, he argues, "precisely because it is insulated from political pressures." Zakaria asserts that economic reforms made in Europe over the last decade were possible only because of the "pressure" and "power" of Brussels. The United States can learn from the example of the European Union, Zakaria believes. Above all, American policymakers must learn to ignore public opinion. Zakaria begins his book by recounting the story of Odysseus ordering his men to tie him to the ship's mast so that he would not follow the Sirens' call and wreck his vessel on the rocks toward which their sweet singing beckoned. In Zakaria's analogy, the Sirens are the American people--the "great unwashed"--who are destroying their nation because their political leaders cannot resist their alluring call. The power now held by the American masses must be transferred to the elites; and America's elites need to grasp that power. They must recover their nerve and recapture their old ethos of responsibility. Noblesse oblige: for Zakaria, this must be the American ideal. He sees it perfectly epitomized in the slogans of Groton Academy, whose motto, "to serve is to reign," aimed to produce "men who played hard but fair, followed a moral code, and believed in public service as a responsibility that came with power." II. The Future of Freedom offers, in the words of Niall Ferguson, a "classical defense of aristocratic rule" as a superior alternative to American democracy. And perhaps, as Ferguson suggests, it is a brave thing for Zakaria to make such a case for conservative counter-revolution. For Americans have traditionally looked askance at aristocracy and taken a dim view of the idea that non-elected elites, insulated from politics, should assume much greater authority to run the nation's affairs. To be sure, American elites have always been more enthusiastic about such ideas, and it is notable, if not surprising, to find The New Yorker's Nicholas Lemann, ABC's Peter Jennings, and would-be Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke among those adorning the dust jacket of Zakaria's book with praise of its anti-democratic thesis. But Zakaria, who remarked in that New York magazine piece that "my friends all say I am going to be secretary of state," has nonetheless taken the risk, as he puts it, of speaking out about the "dark sides" of democracy. Meanwhile others hide in the shadows, "silenced by fears of being branded 'anti-democratic'" and "out of sync with the times." Although Zakaria is courageous enough to cast his harsh spotlight on the evils of democracy, he claims oddly that he is not anti-democratic, that he wants only to protect democracy from its worst tendencies and thereby to strengthen it. But it is difficult to read his book, or the essay from which it derives, and conclude that Zakaria has much fondness for governance by the "great unwashed." The whole thrust of Zakaria's argument and analysis is, by any reasonable understanding of the word, anti-democratic. His critique of democracy "at home and abroad" is a sweeping, no-holds-barred indictment, clearly intended to be damning. That he very occasionally utters some praise of democracy--"overwhelmingly it has had wonderful consequences"--is not at all convincing, especially when each tidbit of praise is followed by the inevitable "but...." Nor is it clear why Zakaria should shy away from the "anti-democratic" label. Zakaria's prescriptions for government both "at home and abroad" are so overtly and objectively "antidemocratic" in intent that it belittles his argument for him to pretend otherwise. For Zakaria's "classical defense of aristocratic rule" for the United States is matched by an equally classical defense of authoritarian rule for most of the rest of the world. "The need for delegation" in the developing world, Zakaria argues delicately, "is even higher." Most countries, he believes, are unready for democratic government. They would be better off under some form of dictatorship, or what he calls "liberal autocracy." According to Zakaria, "almost every success story in the developing world has taken place under a liberal authoritarian regime." By "liberal," Zakaria means chiefly economic liberalization; and by "success" he means chiefly economic success. Citing Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and China, Zakaria argues that only autocratic governments "were able to make shrewd choices for the long term" that allowed the country to prosper and to modernize economically. Meanwhile, "it is difficult to think of a Third World democracy that has achieved sustained growth rates." Although many readers may be encountering this argument for the first time, the bulk of Zakaria's analysis of the developing world is a simplified recycling of what three decades ago used to be called "modernization theory." The central hypotheses of modernization theory were, first, that authoritarian governments are better than democracies at promoting economic growth and, second, that economic growth and industrialization are prerequisites for the emergence and success of democracy. In the late 1950s and 1960s, many leading political scientists concluded that democracies were an obstacle to economic growth because popular pressures forced governments away from the most efficient economic decisions. Popular government led to inflation, budget deficits, and chronic low growth. The obvious answer was less democracy and more dictatorship. As Samuel Huntington and Joan Nelson put it back then, "Political participation must be held down, at least temporarily, to promote economic development." Once a period of stable authoritarianism created sufficient national wealth, then a transition to democracy became possible, and perhaps even inevitable. As the political scientist Adam Przeworski describes the presumption of modernization theory, there was a "benign line" running from "economically successful dictatorships to democracy.... Dictatorships would generate development, and development would create democracy as a by-product." Of course, as Przeworski also points out, this assumption "justified supporting dictatorships and letting modernization do the rest." The effect of the Cold War on the thinking of that era is evident in retrospect, as it was to many at the time: the "modernization thesis" fit nicely with the occasional American propensity during the Cold War to support "friendly" dictators as a bulwark against possible Communist revolution. For Zakaria, not much has changed. The alleged correlation between economic success and democracy is a central pillar in his argument for dictatorship as the preferred mode of government for most of the developing world. More even than many of the modernization theorists upon whom his work relies, Zakaria's argument approaches economic determinism. As he puts it, "Karl Marx understood that when a country modernizes its economy, embraces capitalism, and creates a bourgeoisie, the political system will change to reflect that transformation. Changes in the 'base,' in Marxist lingo, always produce changes in the 'superstructure.'" National wealth, as measured by per capita gross domestic product, is the surest indicator of a nation's readiness to sustain democratic government. There is, Zakaria insists, a measurable "zone of transition" within which democratic governance can be expected to succeed. A country "that attempts a transition to democracy when it has a per capita GDP of between $3,000 and $6,000 will be successful." But a country that attempts the transition at a lower income level will probably fail. Nor is this "zone of transition" a reliable indicator only in the modern world. Zakaria claims that the correlation held for nineteenthcentury Europe as well. "The per capita GDPs of European countries in 1820, when most of them had taken the first steps toward widening the franchise, hovered around $1,700 ... growing to about $2,700 in 1870." These figures, which Zakaria admits are based on "heroic assumption and guesswork," would seem to place nineteenth-century Europe below Zakaria's "zone of transition," but he insists that they fall "somewhere within the zone of transition, albeit at the low end." To those who would ask about Saudi Arabia and other dictatorships with a per capita GDP at the high end or even above the "zone of transition," Zakaria's answer, borrowed from a study by two Harvard economists, is that countries whose wealth derives from oil or other natural resources are likely to fail both politically and economically: "Wealth in natural resources hinders both political modernization and economic growth." The other pillar of Zakaria's anti-democratic thesis draws on the argument, offered by Huntington in the 1960s, that in all developing countries "order" must precede "liberty." In "modernizing countries," Huntington wrote in 1968 in his influential treatise Political Order in Changing Societies, "the primary problem is not liberty but the creation of a legitimate public order." In this respect, in Huntington's view, the world was not divided between dictatorships and democracies, but between governments that could govern and governments that could not govern. In this sense, he asserted, the United States and the Soviet Union had much in common. In phrases that do not read as well today as they may have when he wrote them more than three decades ago, Huntington argued that both the United States and the Soviet Union were "political communities" with "an overwhelming consensus among the people on the legitimacy of the political system." In each country, "the citizens and their leaders share a vision of the public interest of the society and of the traditions and principles upon which the political community is based." Both the United States and the Soviet Union had "strong, adaptable, coherent political institutions: effective bureaucracies, well-organized political parties, [and] a high degree of popular participation in public affairs." Both the American and Soviet governments, Huntington argued, commanded "the loyalties of their citizens." This ability to govern was what developing countries needed most--the question of democracy or dictatorship was secondary. "The problem is not to hold elections," Huntington instructed, "but to create organizations." More than three decades later, Huntington's judgments about the coherence of the Soviet system do not hold up terribly well. But Zakaria applies Huntington's central idea to the present circumstances: "First, a government must be able to control the governed," he writes, "then it must be able to control itself. Order plus liberty." And then, perhaps, after many decades, order plus liberty plus democracy. Zakaria's "benign line" is more elongated than the one proposed by the modernization theorists of the 1960s. Nations must not only wait to enter the economic "zone of transition" before the people can be allowed to elect their leaders. According to Zakaria, before moving to democracy, they must first put in place all the attributes of an ordered, liberal society. As Zakaria put it in a recent interview, the aim of American policymakers should be not to build democracy but, echoing Huntington, to build the "institutions" that can make democracy possible: "the rule of law, all that stuff." When democracy is adopted in countries that are not ready for it,then democracy itself becomes pernicious, and not only for the people of the nation in which it is unwisely planted. The product of premature democratization is Zakaria's "illiberal democracy," repressive, intolerant, violent, prone to war. Indeed, the proliferation of these "illiberal democracies," Zakaria insists, is the greatest threat that the world faces today--greater even than the world's tyrannies. In a recent Newsweek column, Zakaria excoriated those who for many years "had a tendency to vastly exaggerate the threat posed by tyrannical regimes," specifically the Soviet Union during the Cold War and more recently Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Woodrow Wilson had once sought to make the world safe for democracy, but Zakaria insists that it is necessary to "make democracy safe for the world." This is to be accomplished by sharply limiting its spread to those very few places where its pernicious excesses can be contained. This neologism "illiberal democracy" gained Zakaria's Foreign Affairs article a great deal of attention. It is his principal contribution to the present discussion of political development. (The phenomenon was in fact first and most fully elaborated by the political scientist Larry Diamond, in 1996 and 1997, prior to the appearance of Zakaria's article. He distinguished between "liberal" democracies and "electoral" democracies whose governance was nevertheless "illiberal.") It is also central to Zakaria's purpose, for only by demonstrating the reality and significance of "illiberal democracy" as a phenomenon in the modern world can Zakaria make his case that the world suffers not from too little democracy but from too much. For there have indeed been setbacks in democracies, and perhaps permanent failures to promote democracy in many parts of the world. Political scientists such as Diamond and democracy experts such as Thomas Carothers have long catalogued and ruminated over these failures. But they, like almost everyone else, have asked why democracy has failed. Zakaria's perspective is different. In his view, the problem in many countries is not that democracy fails, but that it succeeds. The evils that we see in the world, he insists, represent the product of democratization, not the failure of democratization. This is not just a question of semantics. Declaring a democracy failed and declaring it an illiberal democracy lead to entirely different prescriptions. If a democracy fails, then democracy itself is not implicated in the disasters that follow, and the remedy might be more democracy. But if the disasters are the product of the success of democracy, then the remedy is, as Zakaria insists, more dictatorship.

Posted by: ramana Feb 17 2005, 02:23 PM

FZ is a Islamist in disguise. Only the Islamists despise democracy for it contradicts the Koran's message. To think he was considered a leading policy wonk if Kerry were elected.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 17 2005, 04:35 PM

His show different side or just a cover . Or he is shia, so want to see light in Iraq.

It's not just Al Qaeda and its allies who will delight if Iraq becomes a total mess, but antidemocratic forces will gleefully claim that elections lead to chaos
In international policy, Zakaria seems to advise more tolerance for mild dictators. Lee Kuan Yew is the ideal, Pinochet, Franco a few others are acceptable [...]. Being a former colony of the British Empire (North America, India, Kenya, the Antipodes . . .) is certainly helpful. The problem is that on one hand the sun has set on the British Empire, the UN is useless,and the US tax payer unwilling while on the other hand there is only one Lee Kuan Yew and the others typically carry the un palatable air of Fascism upon them. In sum there is no really palatable/practical foriegn policy approach presented. ............ Zakaria's prescription seems to embrace the idea of a technocrat elite

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 18 2005, 10:05 AM

Islam and gender Sir—Stung by the strong condemnation that their religion has received in the wake of jihad unleashed by fundamentalist Islamic forces, Muslims the world over have taken it upon themselves to project their religion in better light. Thus, the apologists of Islam never tire of eulogising their faith by advocating it stands for equality and social justice. To corroborate, they cite the example of gender equality, which, according to them, is unique to Islam. However, barring the laws of inheritance, the Islamic legal structure is far from gender neutral. In Islam, rather than being a sacrament, marriage is an unequal contract loaded heavily in favour of the male. Whereas a husband can divorce his wife with ease, a woman cannot break the marital bond with such comfort. Khula cited so often as a way of dissolving marriage is a route so tortuous that women began taking the expedient of apostasy to dissolve bad marriages. This practice became so common during the British rule that an alarmed clergy had to petition the Government to get the Muslim Marriages Dissolution Act passed. In the Islamic republics countless divorced women are leading miserable lives because the faith does not provide for alimony. If a divorced woman is indigent she has to scrounge for sustenance or live on doles made available by wakf. While the religious law sanctions four legally wedded wives to Muslim males, women have no such right. In temporal affairs as well Muslim women have to battle with handicaps like not enjoying the right to education or moving without mehram in Islamic republics. Finally, the regressive purdah system is the biggest negation of the claims of even-handedness by Islamists. Given the above restrictions, it can be safely concluded that the position of women in Islam is far inferior to that of their counterparts in other communities. BK Verma Rajendra Nagar, Lucknow

Posted by: Mudy Feb 20 2005, 09:12 AM

Ripple effect of Iraq and Pakistan’s sectarian violence. Reuters LUCKNOW, India, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Three men were killed and 13 others injured as Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims clashed in northern India during a religious procession on Sunday, pelting stones, stabbing and shooting at each other, authorities said. The violence was sparked by a dispute over the route of the procession by the minority Shi'ite sect in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. Several vehicles and some shops were set on fire before riot police could disperse the mobs, district administrator Aradhana Shukla told Reuters........... ... Lucknow had banned Muharram processions for 17 years due to a history of Shi'ite-Sunni clashes during the event. But the ban was lifted after a rapprochement between the two groups in 2000.

Posted by: Naresh Feb 22 2005, 04:04 AM

From : TIME – A Subscription Site : IN ANTWERP, THE FAR RIGHT IS FACING OFF AGAINST MUSLIMS. WHO'S WINNING? Along the windswept sidewalk of Hollandstraat in Antwerp North, the half-built shell of what was meant to be the neighborhood’s first official mosque is boarded up, with only the stumps of two unfinished minarets poking above the construction site’s walls. Work was shut down more than a year ago, thanks to a stop-the-mosque campaign orchestrated by Filip Dewinter, the leader of Belgium's far-right Vlaams Belang party; non-Muslim residents protested against it and lawyers acting for anti-immigrant groups sued its builders for fire-code violations. “Look at this,” says Dewinter now, waving a dismissive hand at the mosque's shell. “It's just a few doors from the church.” As he strolls through Antwerp North, a residential area on the edge of town, Dewinter, 42, is soon recognized; African men and Muslim women in head scarves yell "Racist!" at him as he passes. Africans began moving into Antwerp North about 10 years ago, and white residents were soon fleeing to the suburbs. Today, the streets are dotted with stores offering ethnic food and cut-rate telephone calls to Rwanda. But even here Dewinter has his supporters. Spotting him from the window of her apartment, one Belgian woman leans out and shouts: "You're doing great things, Dewinter. Keep it up!" The ferocious, polarized responses Dewinter evokes in Antwerp North mirror the immigration debate that's raging throughout Belgium — and across Europe. As anti-immigration parties grow in strength in countries like Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, mainstream conservatives are tacking right, arguing that immigrants must be compelled by law to assimilate by adopting Europe's secular values and even turning their backs on their own Islamic traditions. It is, the politicians argue, the only way to counter the frightening nexus of immigration and Islamic ”ISLAMIZATION IS EUROPE’S BIGGEST PROBLEM RIGHT NOW. IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING FAST, IT’LL BE TOO LATE” – FILIP DEWINTER, Vlaams Belang leader terrorism that hits the headlines virtually every week. Late last month Belgian police briefly arrested a Moroccan immigrant whom they suspect of involvement in the massive March 11 al-Qaeda bomb attacks in Madrid. Four other Moroccans were charged in Spain earlier this month with involvement in those attacks. And last November, after a Dutch-born Islamic radical was arrested for the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a vociferous critic of fundamentalist Muslims, many Europeans wondered whether their liberal attitudes had given immigrants too free a rein — and whether assimilation itself was even possible. In the wake of the Van Gogh killing, Geert Wilders, a right-wing Dutch M.P., called suspected terrorists "Islamo-fascist thugs" and proposed freezing all non-Western immigration for five years; he received death threats and now lives in a safe house and travels only with bodyguards. In Germany, where surveys suggest that voters worry more about immigration than about terrorism itself, opposition leader Angela Merkel declared late last year that "the idea of a multicultural society cannot succeed. It is prone to failure from the start. Multiculturalism is not integration." At issue is nothing less than what it means to be European. In the U.S., the ideal of the cultural "melting pot" has allowed ethnic communities to flourish without preventing immigrants from regarding themselves as true Americans. But the same sort of multiculturalism has been less successful in Europe, where small nations that have for centuries been defined by distinct languages, customs and cultures now feel besieged by fast-growing ethnic populations. Several countries find themselves with large immigrant ghettos for the first time. In Sweden, for example, about 15% of the country's 9 million people are immigrants, many of them concentrated in mainly Muslim areas inhabited by Kurds, Iranians, Iraqis and Somalis. What does it mean to be European when, say, a Swede may speak Kurdish at home, Arabic with friends and Swedish at work? "Traditionally, a European is just a citizen from a European state," says Carl Devos, a professor of political science at Belgium's Ghent University. "But there's a more philosophical discussion going on about European values. The fact that [second-generation Muslims] are still thought of as immigrants means we have a big, big problem. They're born here. They pay their taxes. They speak the languages. They are not guests in the European house; they're co-owners." You won't hear many mainstream political leaders talk that way. With an eye on majority opinion, governments are flying to the defense of their national identities. In the Netherlands earlier this month, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk announced that immigrants would from now on be compelled to pass an examination on Dutch language and culture — and attend 350 hours of classes — before becoming permanent residents. The French government will begin to teach Western history and law classes this year for all Muslim imams, while in Britain, the Labour Party and opposition Tories are both promising to cut numbers of immigrants and asylum seekers to favor the highly skilled and make it harder to settle permanently. Polls show that because of public disgust with the current system, this is one area where the Tories are beating Labour in the run-up to the general election expected in May Many Muslims see these moves as racist. They argue that only a tiny proportion among them supports extremist views, and that Europeans' fear of extremism is a pretext for discriminatory policies. They insist that Islamic ideals can coexist with European values. And they say that both sides should try to close the gaps in income and hiring through WE ARE BORN WITH STAMP ON OUR FOREHEAD “FOREIGNER” THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY – MOUSSA ABDULAZIZ, Antwerp accountant affirmative action and antidiscrimination programs, because second-generation immigrants — born and bred in Europe — are coming of age in large numbers, and continue to have trouble finding places for themselves. It's a fundamental argument — do the immigrants not want to assimilate, or do their hosts not want them to? — that's playing out every day in places like Antwerp North, where an estimated 9,000 Muslims coexist with about 18,000 non-Muslims. About 5% of Belgium's 10.3 million people are Muslim immigrants, largely from Morocco and Turkey. Some 50,000 of them live in northern and eastern Antwerp. Growing numbers of East Europeans and Asians have also come to Belgium in recent years, but these groups — and to a lesser extent, Africans from Belgium's former colonies — have remained largely irrelevant to the heated arguments about immigration, which Dewinter calls a "Trojan horse for importing Islamic fundamentalism." To fight this perceived threat, Dewinter wants to cap the number of mosques in Antwerp and freeze all new immigration. "Multiculturalism is an illusion," says the lanky politician, who was first elected to Belgium's federal Parliament at 25 on a campaign to declare the Flanders region an independent country. "Most immigrants are not integrating. They are sticking together in ghettos around the smell of their own food and their own way of life." He wants to prevent Muslim immigrants from marrying in their home countries and bringing their spouses back to Belgium. He wants to deport immigrants who break Belgian laws, and compel immigrants to learn Belgian language and culture. And, following France's lead last year, he wants to prevent Muslim girls from wearing head scarves in public schools. "They have to behave like we do," he says. "There has to be separation of church and state. Rivers of blood have been spilled in Europe to ensure that." The provocative rhetoric of Dewinter and his Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) party has helped attract the support of an estimated 24% of Belgians. In regional elections last June, Dewinter's party captured a third of the vote in Antwerp and nearly a quarter of the national total, making it the biggest single political party in Flanders. At the Vlaams Belang's local office in Antwerp North, just a few blocks from the unfinished mosque, Luisa vanden Bulck, 72, speaks for most party supporters when she says, "The streets are so full of Moroccans and Africans that we don't feel like we are in Antwerp." Muslim leaders are enraged by such sentiments. Belgian-Lebanese activist Dyab Abou Jahjah is trying to do something about it. At one recent appearance, Abou Jahjah told a packed hall in Antwerp that it was time to mobilize to fight right-wingers like Dewinter. "The problem is the ignorance and stupidity of the Belgian people," he stormed during a long, rabble-rousing speech to an audience of about 500. Four years ago, when he was 29, he founded the radical Arab European League and recently moved to Brussels from Antwerp to try to confront his right-wing foes in Parliament through the Muslim Democratic Party, the League's new political wing. Many children of Antwerp's Muslim immigrants, young people born and raised in Belgium, say they want to assimilate — but worry that they'll be treated as foreigners no matter what. "People are afraid of the unknown, but they don't want to know us," says Moussa Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Antwerp-born accountant standing at the back of the hall during Jahjah's speech. Abdulaziz's parents moved from Morocco to Belgium during the 1960s. His father worked as a silver smelter in an Antwerp factory for 30 years. He and his wife had 10 children, all of whom now have Belgian passports. Abdulaziz himself speaks Dutch as well as Arabic, French and Berber. "We are not foreigners," he says. "We were born here, yet we are born with this stamp on our forehead that says 'foreigner' that will never go away." Some members of Belgium's Muslim community agree with Dewinter that certain aspects of Islam — like insisting women are veiled in public or condoning the murder of women who commit adultery — are incompatible with European values. Indeed, some Muslims say they follow the teachings of their THE IDEA OF A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY CANNOT SUCCEED. IT IS PRONE TO FAILURE FROM THE START – ANGELA MERKEL, CDU Leader, Germany clerics as closely as they do Belgium's national laws; for a few of them, religious teachings remain more important. Hence some French Muslim girls have defied the law banning head scarves in public schools. In the small working-class town of Mechelen, halfway between Antwerp and Brussels, young men gather each morning at the Rzoezie immigrant advice center, which offers job-hunting advice to unemployed Muslims. Staff have already called several prospective employers, frequently noting in pencil on job advertisements, "Doesn't want Moroccans." Those stipulations are illegal, but Rzoezie employees don't have the resources to sue employers. Says Yassin El-Abdi, 23, who came to Rzoezie hoping to find a job: "It's hopeless. It's too late for Belgium to change." Yet many companies know they need immigrant labor. With European birth rates at historically low levels, immigrants have become the most dependable source of population growth for many countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. In Spain, which has one of the world's lowest birth rates, the government this month began offering permanent residence to some illegal immigrants who could prove they had jobs. The program could legalize as many as 800,000 immigrants. Dewinter fears plans like these will create an "explosive cocktail" of ethnic groups. "Islamization is Europe's biggest problem right now," he says, "and if we don't do something fast, it will be too late." Dewinter plans to run for mayor of Antwerp next year. His main rival is likely to be Ahmed Azzuz, a goateed 28-year-old son of Moroccan immigrant factory workers. Azzuz is the local head of Jahjah's Arab European League, and is seen as a test candidate in the new Muslim Democratic Party's strategy to win local races. "Dewinter can probably win in 2006," says Azzuz, sitting in a teahouse and wearing a sweatshirt that reads muslim by nature. "But in 2012, we can." Until the two sides learn to live together, nobody wins.

Posted by: Naresh Feb 22 2005, 05:46 AM

From : TIME - A Subscription Site IMMIGRATION WORKS FAR BETTER FOR BRITAIN THAN BRITONS REALIZE. A HARD LOOK AT THE FACTS Farhad Motazedian likes pizza, which is good because his shop makes as many as 80 pies a day. He arrived in Britain four years ago from Iran — claiming political asylum after getting caught up in antigovernment demonstrations — and ended up in Leicester, an industrial city 150 km north of London. For 15 months he shared a small room with two chain smokers in a run-down hotel that housed some 400 other asylum seekers. An experienced and energetic materials engineer, he wasn’t permitted to have a job while the authorities considered his case, so he volunteered to work for free food and pocket money at a suburban pizzeria called Roberto’s. "I had to do something. I just wanted to learn," says Motazedian, 35, who also took courses in computer-aided design. After two years the authorities rejected his asylum bid; he appealed, and when he finally won refugee status he received a government check for $6,700 in retroactive income support. He and a partner then stumped up $8,000 each and borrowed another $8,000 to buy Roberto's and a small apartment upstairs; Motazedian moved into it and kept making those pies. He also enrolled in a doctoral metallurgy program at Leicester University — and won a full scholarship. "This is a miracle for me," says Motazedian. He's so busy in the lab that he recently had to sell his share of the pizza joint to his partner, but still lends a hand. Ask most British voters what they think of immigrants, and you won't hear about the kind of drive and ambition Motazedian displays. Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in Britain, as it is elsewhere in Europe. In the U.K., the backlash is directed mainly at asylum seekers such as Motazedian — fueled by frequent tabloid headlines like a door we can't close (Daily Mail) and stop the asylum invasion (Express). In 1995, 65% of British citizens surveyed wanted to reduce the number of immigrants; by 2003 that number had increased to 74%. ”THE INCREASE IN HEALTH FOR THE HOST COMMUNITY FROM MASS IMMIGRATIONS IS VERY SMALL INDEED” – ANDREW GREEN, chairman, Migration Watch U. K. Some 39% of those surveyed link immigration to increased crime, and 64% think the government spends too much money helping immigrants. The popularity of the avowedly racist British National Party is stalled, but the U.K. Independence Party — which wants to cap immigration, pay existing immigrants to leave, and get Britain out of the E.U. — won 16.8% of the vote in the European parliamentary elections last June, and has more than 30 local council seats around the country. And no wonder: a quarter of British voters think controlling immigration is the U.K.'s most pressing problem, and the Labour and Conservative parties are competing to out-tough each other on the issue. Two weeks ago Labour announced its new five-year plan to control immigration, including a points system, modeled on Australia's, to favor the highly skilled; on-the-spot penalties for employers who hire illegals; and swifter deportation for asylum seekers whose appeals have failed. The Tories would go further, setting an annual cap on immigrants of all sorts and withdrawing from the 1951 refugee treaty that obliges countries to take in anyone who is genuinely fleeing persecution. Two-thirds of voters say they like the approach. Last week the Tories made headlines again with a plan to require long-term non-European visitors to pay for health exams at home in order to cut the number arriving with tuberculosis and aids. Prime Minister Tony Blair accused the Tories of using immigration to "seize power by the back door." But all that macho posturing doesn't square with the realities. Britain is becoming a nation of immigrants — 8% of its total population, and 26% of London's, was born outside the U.K. — but a much more successful one than the British people realize. That's a well-kept secret, partly because this politically explosive debate is being carried on in a knowledge vacuum. Research into why migrants come, what motivates and deters them, and what their effects are once they arrive has only recently become a serious field. No one really knows how many immigrants are in the country. New entrants from outside the E.U. are noted upon arrival, but there is no system to record who leaves, so rejected asylum seekers who go to ground and people who overstay their visas are lost to official figures. Illegals who sneak in are invisible, too. Even the academics who produce the figures agree that the best estimates of immigrants' costs and contributions to the economy are crude. In the absence of hard numbers, the political debate rests on perceptions — and the crucial one is that people feel immigrants are flooding in. A 2003 survey showed that British citizens pegged the foreign-born population at 24%, three times the actual figure — a misperception common throughout Europe. Other popular ideas about immigration are also false: for example, that asylum seekers get priority over citizens for government housing, or that most migrants are dark-skinned people from poor countries. In fact, about half of foreign workers in the U.K. come from Western Europe, with Ireland providing by far the most. While there are some communities where immigrants remain unsuccessful, resentful and resented, the more striking phenomenon is how well immigration has worked for Britain. The U.K.'s National Health Service would screech to a halt without foreign staff (in 2000, 27% of health professionals were foreign); the humming economy is sucking in migrants from all over the world, many of them highly skilled, with the government's active encouragement. Nearly two-thirds of immigrants arriving between 1994 and 2003 who were employed before coming to the U.K. had worked in professional and managerial jobs. In the late 1990s, non-British nationals made up 12.5% of the country's academic and research staff. This is not to say that Britain's immigration policies are perfect, or that all anti-immigration arguments are baseless myths. But cool-eyed analysis suggests that on balance, immigration is good for the U.K. — and, by extension, Europe. Here's a look at how some of the key arguments against immigration stack up. ASYLUM SEEKERS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DON'T WANT TO ASSIMILATE — and they're destabilizing Britain. First a bit of history. Since the 1960s, postcolonial Britain has tried to embrace multiculturalism with a sense of duty unmatched elsewhere in Europe. "Positive discrimination" laws were adopted to combat racism, contributing to some success in integrating immigrants from the Caribbean, and later Asia. But overall, the reality never matched the tolerant ideal, and from time to time the situation has exploded. In 2001, the northern textile manufacturing town of Bradford was convulsed by riots that pitted mostly British-born young Muslims against local police; a government commission put most of the blame on highly segregated neighborhoods and schools, plus poor job opportunities for young minorities. It's a common pattern across Europe: barriers of culture, education, wealth and prejudice prevent newcomers and their offspring from integrating — and young people in particular feel they will never be allowed to assimilate. THE WORK ETHICS [OF IMMIGRANTS] IS HIGH. THEY ARE VERY DISCIPLINED, ENTHUSIASTIC, RESPONSIBLE. – IOAN PAYNE, employment agent Increasingly worried about an archipelago of immigrant communities that feel disconnected from Britain, the government is moving away from multiculturalism toward a new approach stressing "community cohesion." Even Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, which has been multiculturalism's epicenter, declared last year that the word now "means the wrong things" and promotes "separateness." "We need to assert there is a core of Britishness," he said, based on values of tolerance and equality that people of any background can support. The government seems to agree; its new immigration plan will require anyone who wants to stay in Britain permanently to pass tests in English and knowledge of British life. Of course, embedding a major cultural shift will take time. But one sign that barriers to mixing are falling is the growing number of interracial marriages and long-term partnerships in Britain. Interviews in 1996 with more than 8,000 British-born black people of Caribbean origin revealed that half of the men and one-third of the women with partners had a white partner. This was about four times higher than the rate for those who had been born in the Caribbean and later immigrated to Britain. BRITAIN CAN'T ABSORB MORE IMMIGRANTS WITHOUT DESTROYING ITS NATIONAL IDENTITY — AND MAKING ITSELF POORER. Andrew Green, a former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia who heads Migration Watch U.K., an advocacy group that's skeptical about current policy, points out that official immigration projections have underestimated actual flows for a decade. Now the government's high-end projection predicts a net inflow to Britain of 190,000 people per year. At that rate, Green says, "our population will grow by 7.6 million by 2031, equivalent to seven times the population of Birmingham, of which nearly 90% will be due to immigration." In areas of concentrated immigration like London, Green argues, that will increase pressure on an already creaky public transport system and make affordable housing even harder to find. "London and the southeast are already almost twice as crowded as Holland," he says. While Green endorses controlled migration of skilled workers, "every major study shows the increase in wealth for the host community from mass immigration is very small indeed," he says. And the cost, he points out, is "more traffic jams, more runways, more infrastructure that must be built." The Home Office does not really disagree with Green's demographic projections, but no one is sure what it means for Britain. London may be crowded, but its population is less than it was 30 years ago. Houses for immigrants cost money, but constructing them means jobs and growth. The government in Scotland is actively seeking new migrants to counteract a long-term population sag and is dubious about the cuts that Tories and Labour in London want to implement. Steve Vertovec, director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at Oxford University, says that Green's analysis is flawed because "it's based on a zero-sum game: that all resources are finite, and immigrants use them up." But "jobs are created because there are new people here. Social services get restructured as demand changes. National identity isn't stagnant either." Yes, there's still 4.7% unemployment in Britain, but in November there were also 640,000 vacant jobs. "What are you going to do?" Vertovec asks. "Frog-march British people to make them take the jobs?" Supporting asylum seekers, according to the Home Office, cost the government an estimated $3.5 billion in 2003, and some communities face particular burdens, like London, where 21% of secondary school students are not fluent in English. Recently, some towns that used to accept asylum seekers have stopped because the financial benefits were outweighed by local tensions, including some racially motivated attacks. A study for the Home Office in 2003 estimated that in 1999-2000, migrants contributed about 10% more to the Treasury in taxes than they removed in benefits and services — about $4 billion. Mounting criticism and a desire to reduce immigration flows have prompted a crackdown of sorts from Blair's Labour government. Benefits for asylum seekers have been cut back several times since 1997. They're no longer allowed to work while their cases are adjudicated; they and any dependents can be indefinitely detained without trial if an immigration officer fears they'll abscond; applicants must now declare themselves to immigration officials as soon as they enter Britain or be denied benefits; the back payments of welfare that allowed Motazedian to buy his pizza parlor after winning refugee status have recently been replaced with a loan; and the numbers receiving government aid have dropped. All of that contributed to a slump in asylum applications of 41% between 2002 and 2003, to 49,405. But because asylum seekers have become the symbol for everything voters think is wrong with their system, the government's new five-year plan will reduce appeals and devote more effort to deporting those who fail. THE TYPICAL IMMIGRANT IS AN ASYLUM SEEKER WITHOUT SKILLS OR EDUCATION. In fact, asylum seekers make up only a small part of Britain's overall intake — and many of them are highly skilled. In 2003, for example, 20,980 asylum seekers were granted permission to stay, compared to 119,000 who came on work permits (mostly to supply skills employers say they can't find in Britain), 61,800 for short-term jobs and 319,000 as students. Beyond that, almost 91,000 workers from the E.U.'s new member states — more than half from Poland — registered as workers between May and September 2004; half are estimated to have been working illegally already. Britain and Ireland were the only E.U. countries that provided an open door to workers from the accession countries. Why does the U.K. want them? "Their work ethic is high, they are very disciplined, enthusiastic, responsible, and their attendance is fantastic," says Ian Payne, operations manager for Alban Recruitment Ltd., an employment agency in Inverness that now has an office in Lódz. So far it has recruited 250 Poles, as well as a few Slovaks and Latvians, predominantly for fish factories in the Scottish highlands. "Basically we are filling the positions the locals don't want," he says, "and the employers are a lot happier with them than with the locals." For Poles, the attraction is obvious: wages seven or eight times what they can get at home for the same job. Some are exploited by employers who pay less than the minimum wage, or nothing at all. All the same, the influx shows that the opportunities are real. Marek Czubek, from Czestochowa in southern central Poland, arrived in London on a Sunday last May speaking almost no English. By Monday, he had a job in a car wash and lived in a house with 10 other Poles. Now he's managed to land a job in his field, printing, working 12 to 14 hours a day. "I am very happy here," he says, in broken English. "I wanted to start a new life and it's better here." IMMIGRANTS DEPRESS WAGES AND TAKE JOBS FROM LOCALS. "It's still an open debate," says Christian Dustmann, director of the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College, London, "but the strong weight of the evidence is that if there's an effect on wages and jobs, it's very modest." By filling labor shortages and generating economic activity of their own, migrants add to as well as take from the economy. The construction industry, for example, estimates it could use another 24,000 workers — partly to help build houses that newcomers might eventually be able to buy. In 2000, there were 5% more university graduates among immigrants than among white British-born citizens, and their distribution of skills fits well with marketplace needs. Different groups perform differently. Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants, for example, are poorer than other groups because of relatively low education and a culture that prevents many women from working outside the home, while those from China outperform British-born whites on many measures, including self-employment, education and housing. But "in general, immigrants come to work," says Dustmann. "It's very difficult to leave everything behind and start over again. It's more motivated people who do that." And Europe will need a lot of motivated people to fill the hole caused by the 20 million drop in its working population projected by 2030. THE IMMIGRANTS NEVER GO HOME. "Half of global people flows are now made up of women, looking to support their children and families," says Vertovec. "They aren't looking to put down roots and tap into the welfare system." Cheap flights and phone calls "mean that staying and settling down aren't the model anymore." When Portugal and Greece joined the E.U. in the 1980s, fears were widely voiced about a horde of cheap workers going north, going on welfare and never going home. Instead, after an initial influx, more ended up leaving than staying, as people returned to retire or take advantage of economies juiced up by joining the E.U. Even in the face of the 91,000 people from the E.U.'s new member states who registered between May and September, Dustmann thinks the net inflow over the next 10 years from the accession countries will be just 13,000 per year. "Poland is a wonderful country: it's a member of the E.U., in seven years its people will be able to live anywhere in Europe, economic growth is good," he says. "We do expect high migration, but much of it will be temporary." BRITONS JUST DON'T LIKE FOREIGNERS. With headlines like get them out, it would be easy to forget that the U.K. has been multicultural for decades — and that most British people seem to like the immigrants they meet. "People who live with immigrants tend to get on fine. Anti-immigrant sentiment is usually general, not specific," says Richard Black, Director of the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Sussex. A place where integration is largely succeeding is Leicester, near where Motazedian runs his pizza parlor. I HAD TO DO SOMETHING. I JUST WANTED TO LEARN. THIS IS A MIRACLE FOR ME…I’M GRATEFUL FOR ALL MY OPPORTUNITIES – FARHAD MOTAZEDIAN, Iranian immigrant The city already has 50% ethnic minority and foreign students in its schools, and is set to become by 2011 the first city in Europe with a minority white population. But Leicester took no chances when it accepted the refugees the government in 2000 decided to disperse around the country. The only state housing available was fairly dilapidated — in solidly white working-class neighborhoods. The city started an outreach project, spoke with residents and schools, set up consultative committees, talked to the newspapers, and for a year before any asylum seekers showed up, "went out to bash myths," says Manny Akyigyina, who runs Leicester's asylum seekers' program. Then, when the refugees did come, they were encouraged to volunteer in schools and other community organizations. "The story spread quickly that they were O.K.," Akyigyina says. Helen Rhodes, a consultant nurse who runs a health center created specially to treat asylum seekers and refugees, says there's still a lot of prejudice toward her clients. "I don't tell people where I work," she says. "If I do I get a tirade." But Akyigyina, who came to Britain from Ghana in 1976 at age 15, notes a sea change. Now Somalis granted asylum elsewhere in Europe are moving to Leicester, where there are more than a dozen mosques, and where 42 Somali-owned businesses have been created in the last four years. "At school, my 7-year-old is learning about Hanukkah and Eid as well as Christmas," he says. "People come from all over Europe to study how we do it, because it's working well. The culture has changed." And not just in Leicester. The British Social Attitudes survey reports that 32% of people now think whether someone is "British" depends only on "civic" characteristics that can be acquired, such as speaking English, having U.K. citizenship and respecting the country's laws, as opposed to fixed characteristics like race and birthplace. That's up from 23% in 1995. Only 10% see a person's "Britishness" as depending only on ethnic factors. So the British are changing, too, being transformed by immigrants even as they impart some of their own characteristics to the new arrivals. That's a paradox perhaps best appreciated while watching an Iranian metallurgist make a tandoori chicken pizza at a restaurant in a predominantly white suburb of a resurgent old English mill town. "I'm grateful," says Motazedian," for all my opportunities."

Posted by: Mudy Feb 23 2005, 09:26 PM

Posted by: Sunder Feb 23 2005, 10:17 PM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Feb 24 2005, 09:56 AM)

Posted by: Mudy Feb 23 2005, 10:55 PM

Read The True Furqan
Chapter 56 ..... Paradise is great biggrin.gif

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Feb 24 2005, 06:02 PM View Details Name : Sadakat Ali , alias Sadakat, Imran Wanted In : Murder Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Khurram Khaiyam , alias Abdullah Wanted In : Murder Address : 29B, Mofidul Islam Lane, Kol-14 Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Mohammad Amir Reza Khan , alias Muttaqui, Rajesh Wanted In : Murder Address : 38D, Mofidul Islam Lane, Kol-14 Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Hassan Imam , alias Hasnu, Zubair Ahmed Wanted In : Murder Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Monoj Sharma , alias Wanted In : Murder Address : C.F-334, Salt Lake City,Kol-64 Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Mir Mohammad Omar , alias Omar Wanted In : Murder Address : 37, Phears Lane,Kol-12 Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Mehmood , alias kalia Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Receiver) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Ezaz , alias Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Hyder , alias Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : BAsudev Mahato , alias Basu Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Receiver) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Amir Nath , alias Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Md. Shakeel , alias Wanted In : Four Wheeler Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Masud Rana , alias Rana Hamid Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Ashraf Dafadar , alias Ashu Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sanjit Majumder , alias Sanjib Bhai Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Kajal Ghosh , alias Shyama Wanted In : Motor Cicle Theft (Lifter) Address : Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Md. Jhantu , alias Md. Hasan Wanted In : Highly wanted Dacoit. Address : Vill- Bazarpara, P.O+P.S- Uluberia, Dist- Howrah Indentification : Cut mark on right eyebrow ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Shah Alam , alias Wanted In : Highly wanted Bangladesi Daciet associated with Mutia Group of Burrabazar,Kolkata. Ganged with Rafique, Jhantu, Alamgir. Address : Rly. Dhar Jhupri(Strand Rd.)Phool Market, Dhobitala Bustand, Tangra. Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sabir Alam , alias Ullu Raju Wanted In : Theft & Murderer Address : 21 Wellesly 2nd lane,House of Ummar, Wellesly 2ndlane Indentification : Big Eyes & Cut mark on forehead ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Md. Ekramuddin , alias Jali Munna Wanted In : Attempt to Murder Address : 13. Taltala Bazar Street,Kolkata- 700013 Indentification : Left leg broken & cut mark on left Chick,limping gait ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Bapi Halder , alias Gopal Halder Wanted In : Drug Deler, Theft & Murder Address : 23 Panchanantola Road,Kol-29 Indentification : Cut mark on chin ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Shyamal Dey , alias Julie Wanted In : Extortionist & Murderer Address : Indentification : Cut mark on forehead ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Azarul Dalal , alias Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Vill- Hakimpur Uttarpara P.O- Hakimpur, P.S- Swarupnagar, Dist- 24 Pgs(N) Indentification : Cut mark on forehead ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Monirul Mistry , alias Pintu Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Vill- Bithari Pwankathi P.o- Bithari P.S- Swarupnagar Dist- 24 Pgs(N) Indentification : Mole on right chick & tatto mark on right hand ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Hafizul Mondal , alias Khokon Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Receiver) Address : Vill- Bitnari Pawankathi P.S- Swarupnagar Dist- 24 Pgs(N) Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Mohabbat Mollah , alias Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Lifter) Address : Vill- Raipur P.O- Dakshin Chatra P.S- Baduria Dist- 24 Pgs (N),Now taking shelter in Bangladesh Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Atiur Rahman , alias Ati Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft (Receiver) Address : Indentification : Cut mark on left chick ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Hazrat Ali Mollah , alias Wanted In : Motor Cycle Theft(Lifter) Address : Village-Swarupda Paschimpara,PO+PS-Swarupnagar,Dist-24pgs (N) Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Md. Akbar , alias Wanted In : Motor vehicle and pedestrian crimes Address : Vill.-Mallickpore, H/O Md.Sabir, P.S.-Baruipur, Dist- 24Parganas(S) Indentification : Cut mark on left eye brow ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Md. Sultan , alias Safdar Ali, Nana Wanted In : Various crimes including dacoity Address : Gobra Road, P.S+Dist= Howrah Indentification : Cut mark on left hand ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sk. Rafique , alias Wanted In : Bangladesi active Dacoit in Jorasanko, Posta, Burrabazar & Hare St. P.S area. Address : Birsheopore, Vill- Rathtala, P.S. Uluberia, Dist.-Howrah Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Tanqueer Khan , alias Wanted In : Highly wanted for Dacoity, Robbery in Port area. Now entering to South Division. Address : Qtr. No.661,Pakaria Talao, Akra Road, P.S. Metiabruj, Kolkata-700024 Indentification : Tatto mark on left hand ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Manoj Sharma , alias Wanted In : Murder Address : CF-334, Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700064 Indentification : ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sk. Manowar , alias Mannu Wanted In : Dacoity, Robbery and Car theft cases. Ex-convict escaped from Hospital. Address : Indentification : Cut mark on nose & Burn mark on right leg. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sanjay Prasad Singh , alias Subodh Kr. Biswakarma Wanted In : Highly wanted Bank Dacoit. After release jail he developed his base in Ranchi(Jharkhand) Address : Indentification : Cut mark on forehead & Scar mark on right leg. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Sk. Yunus , alias Yunus Sk. Wanted In : Highly wanted in Dacoity in Beniapukur, Karaya and Gariahat P.S. Areas Address : Indentification : Cut mark on left hand ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Gopal Tewari , alias Wanted In : Extortion and Kidnapping for ransom Address : 80/2, Pathuriaghat Street, Kolkata-700006 Indentification : Cut mark on cheek ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- View Details Name : Dipak , alias Dablu Singh Wanted In : Bihar based Dacoit, responsible for dacoity in offices at Burrabazar and Patna Address : Indentification :

Posted by: k.ram Feb 26 2005, 06:10 AM

Posted by: Naresh Feb 26 2005, 09:36 AM Will Islamic fundamentalism eventually fizzle out the way Marxism-Leninism did? While Western - especially US - military force played an important role in containing Marxism-Leninism, it did not defeat it. The downfall of Marxism-Leninism came about instead through its being discredited as a failed ideology among those who had ruled in its name. While (primarily US) military force has undoubtedly played an important role in containing Islamic fundamentalism after September 11, 2001, there is strong reason to believe that the use of force alone will not defeat Islamic fundamentalism. Indeed, even the successful use of US military force does not appear to discredit this ideology among its adherents, but to strengthen their belief in it. If the death or capture of Islamic militants leads to others - however misguided - willingly stepping forth to replace them, then the "war against terrorism" will be endless. But if Islamic fundamentalism cannot be defeated from without, can it be discredited from within the way Marxism-Leninism was? It is impossible to predict when, or even if, something like this might occur. There are signs, however, indicating is has begun to happen : · The Taliban, for all its internationalist revolutionary rhetoric, was a predominantly Pashtun movement that forcibly extended its domination over most of Afghanistan's non-Pashtuns. Part of the reason the US-led intervention in Afghanistan was able to succeed so quickly was that non-Pashtuns (and even some Pashtuns) were eager to collaborate with the United States to get rid of the Taliban. This is consistent with other cases where a transnational revolutionary ideology failed to overcome narrow ethnic or national differences. · The oldest Islamic revolutionary regime - Iran - has been undergoing a chronic crisis of legitimacy. Anti-American rhetoric cannot hide the regime's own failings. Young, educated Iranians have become increasingly cynical about the wisdom of the regime's self-appointed leadership. They want the country to be run by elected leaders instead. Whatever the appeal Islamic fundamentalism may have in countries where it has not yet come to power, Iran's experience suggests that popular support for it declines the longer it has been in power. · Some Muslims reportedly welcomed the attacks of September 11, 2001, as "blows against imperialism" that enhanced the legitimacy and prestige of those who launched them. But as al-Qaeda and its associates have increasingly launched attacks on fellow Muslims, doubts and fears arise about its ultimate intentions. A Muslim world free of Western influence may appeal to the emotions of many. But what would such a world be like for Muslims themselves? This question becomes more urgent as it becomes increasingly clear that al-Qaeda is not simply opposed to the West, but to Muslims whom it deems insufficiently religious. As Muslims come to fear what the implications for their own lives might be like afterward, optimistic assumptions about the benevolent nature of an Islamic fundamentalist revolution will erode. What can the United States and its allies do to increase the prospect that Islamic fundamentalism will become discredited within the Muslim world? One thing should be clear: military means alone will not accomplish this task. Other means, then, will be needed if Islamic fundamentalism is to be discredited within the Muslim world. What might these be? Transnational revolutionary ideologies such as Islamic fundamentalism link many localized conflicts (such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Kashmir and Chechnya) together into an overarching narrative that points to a common cause for their grievances, identifies common allies, and proposes a common solution. To the extent that specific Muslim-vs-non-Muslim conflicts can be resolved, the incentive to join a transnational revolutionary movement will be reduced for those to whom these conflicts are most salient. For example, if the Arab/Israeli, Kashmiri or Chechen conflicts could be resolved peacefully, Palestinians, Pakistanis and/or Chechens would presumably have far less incentive to join forces with Islamic fundamentalists in conflicts that are still being fought elsewhere. There are those who are attracted to the Islamic fundamentalist revolution because they see it as the only means available for overthrowing US-backed authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world. US and other Western support for democratization in the Muslim world might serve to undercut the desire for revolutionary change. And as Islamic fundamentalists participate in elections and government, many (if not all) of them might become more moderate. This already appears to be happening in Afghanistan as a result of the first presidential elections held there in late 2004 and in Iraq as a result of the National Assembly elections held on January 30. Resolving intractable Muslim-vs-non-Muslim conflicts and democratizing pro-Western regimes will, of course, be extraordinarily difficult. Failing to accomplish these tasks, however, may only serve to increase the likelihood that Islamic fundamentalist revolutions will occur in more countries. Like Marxist-Leninist regimes during the Cold War, these regimes may well become discredited internally over time, and enthusiasm for Islamic fundamentalism is likely to die out among those who have direct experience of life under it. There are important signs that this process has reached an advanced stage in Iran. But this is a time-consuming process that is highly costly in terms of human lives. Muslim nations - as well as the rest of the world - would be better off if they could avoid this process through a combination of conflict resolution and democratization. If we can help Muslim nations accomplish this, we will do much to discredit Islamic fundamentalism - something that will help both the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. Mark N Katz is a professor of government and politics at George Mason University. His writings on revolution include Revolutions and Revolutionary Waves (St Martin's Press, 1997), Reflections on Revolutions (St Martin's Press, 1999), and ed, Revolution: International Dimensions (CQ Press, 2001).

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Feb 26 2005, 06:38 PM

Khushwant calls Shourie unsecular for speaking the truth Sentinelassam Editorial by Khushwant Singh Aiyar chose to confront him on his views on Islam and Indians Muslims. Aiyar put in to Shourie as bluntly as he could: "Does being a Muslim make it more difficult to be an Indian than being a Hindu makes it to be an Indian?" Shourie replied: "Adhering to Islam in purity would make it impossible to live in a multicultural, multi-religious society and still abide by the tenets of Islam. But for a Hindu..." Aiyar pressed his point further: "If you're faithful to the edicts of Islam as enshrined in the Koran and the Shariat, you would have difficulty in being a good Indian?" Shourie answered in the affirmative and went further in defining a good Muslim: "If 'good Muslim' means brotherhood of man and so on, then there is no difficulty. But if it means, as 1000 verses in the Koran say, 'Spread Islam, have nothing to do with these Kafirs, kill them, they are untrustworthy, they are unclean,' then? The Hadith is full of this. There are rewards for killing the kafir. If this is a good Muslim, then a multi-religious society in India would become impossible." I leave it to the readers to decide which of these two men are really secular

Posted by: k.ram Feb 26 2005, 08:31 PM

The Religious Sources of Islamic Terrorism. by Shmuel Bar WHILE TERRORISM--even in the form of suicide attacks--is not an Islamic phenomenon by definition, it cannot be ignored that the lion's share of terrorist acts and the most devastating of them in recent years have been perpetrated in the name of Islam. This fact has sparked a fundamental debate both in the West and within the Muslim world regarding the link between these acts and the teachings of Islam. Most Western analysts are hesitant to identify such acts with the bona fide teachings of one of the world's great religions and prefer to view them as a perversion of a religion that is essentially peace-loving and tolerant. Western leaders such as George W. Bush and Tony Blair have reiterated time and again that the war against terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It is a war against evil. The non- Islamic etiologies of this phenomenon include political causes (the Israeli-Arab conflict); cultural causes (rebellion against Western cultural colonialism); and social causes (alienation, poverty). While no public figure in the West would deny the imperative of fighting the war against terrorism, it is equally politically correct to add the codicil that, for the war to be won, these (justified) grievances pertaining to the root causes of terrorism should be addressed. A skeptic may note that many societies can put claim to similar grievances but have not given birth to religious-based ideologies that justify no-holds-barred terrorism. Nevertheless an interpretation which places the blame for terrorism on religious and cultural traits runs the risk of being branded as bigoted and Islamophobic. The political motivation of the leaders of Islamist jihadist-type movements is not in doubt. A glance at the theatres where such movements flourished shows that most fed off their political--and usually military--encounter with the West. This was the case in India and in the Sudan in the nineteenth century and in Egypt and Palestine in the twentieth. The moral justification and levers of power for these movements, however, were for the most part not couched in political terms, but based on Islamic religious sources of authority and religious principles. By using these levers and appealing to deeply ingrained religious beliefs, the radical leaders succeed in motivating the Islamist terrorist, creating for him a social environment that provides approbation and a religious environment that provides moral and legal sanction for his actions. The success of radical Islamic organizations in the recruitment, posting, and ideological maintenance of sleeper activists (the 9-11 terrorists are a prime example) without their defecting or succumbing to the lure of Western civilization proves the deep ideological nature of the phenomenon. Therefore, to treat Islamic terrorism as the consequence of political and socioeconomic factors alone would not do justice to the significance of the religious culture in which this phenomenon is rooted and nurtured. In order to comprehend the motivation for these acts and to draw up an effective strategy for a war against terrorism, it is necessary to understand the religious-ideological factors--which are deeply embedded in Islam. The Weltanschauung of radical Islam MODERN INTERNATIONAL Islamist terrorism is a natural offshoot of twentieth-century Islamic fundamentalism. The "Islamic Movement" emerged in the Arab world and British-ruled India as a response to the dismal state of Muslim society in those countries: social injustice, rejection of traditional mores, acceptance of foreign domination and culture. It perceives the malaise of modern Muslim societies as having strayed from the "straight path" (as-sirat al-mustaqim) and the solution to all ills in a return to the original mores of Islam. The problems addressed may be social or political: inequality, corruption, and oppression. But in traditional Islam--and certainly in the worldview of the Islamic fundamentalist--there is no separation between the political and the religious. Islam is, in essence, both religion and regime (din wa-dawla) and no area of human activity is outside its remit. Be the nature of the problem as it may, "Islam is the solution." The underlying element in the radical Islamist worldview is ahistoric and dichotomist: Perfection lies in the ways of the Prophet and the events of his time; therefore, religious innovations, philosophical relativism, and intellectual or political pluralism are anathema. In such a worldview, there can exist only two camps--Dar al-Islam ("The House of Islam"--i.e., the Muslim countries) and Dar al-Harb ("The House of War"--i.e., countries ruled by any regime but Islam)--which are pitted against each other until the final victory of Islam. These concepts are carried to their extreme conclusion by the radicals; however, they have deep roots in mainstream Islam. While the trigger for "Islamic awakening" was frequently the meeting with the West, Islamic -motivated rebellions against colonial powers rarely involved individuals from other Muslim countries or broke out of the confines of the territories over which they were fighting. Until the 1980s, most fundamentalist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Muslimun) were inward-looking; Western superiority was viewed as the result of Muslims having forsaken the teachings of the Prophet. Therefore, the remedy was, first, "re-Islamization" of Muslim society and restoration of an Islamic government, based on Islamic law (shari'ah). In this context, jihad was aimed mainly against "apostate" Muslim governments and societies, while the historic offensive jihad of the Muslim world against the infidels was put in abeyance (at least until the restoration of the caliphate). Until the 1980s, attempts to mobilize Muslims all over the world for a jihad in one area of the world (Palestine, Kashmir) were unsuccessful. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a watershed event, as it revived the concept of participation in jihad to evict an "infidel" occupier from a Muslim country as a "personal duty" (fard'ein) for every capable Muslim. The basis of this duty derives from the "irreversibility" of Islamic identity both for individual Muslims (thus, capital punishment for "apostates"--e.g., Salman Rushdie) and for Muslim territories. Therefore, any land (Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Spain) that had once been under the sway of Islamic law may not revert to control by any other law. In such a case, it becomes the "personal duty" of all Muslims in the land to fight a jihad to liberate it. (1) If they do not succeed, it becomes incumbent on any Muslim in a certain perimeter from that land to join the jihad and so forth. Accordingly, given the number of Muslim lands under "infidel occupation" and the length of time of those occupations, it is argued that it has become a personal duty for all Muslims to join the jihad. This duty--if taken seriously--is no less a religious imperative than the other five pillars of Islam (the statement of belief or shahadah, prayer, fasting, charity, and haj). It becomes a de facto (and in the eyes of some a de jure) sixth pillar; a Muslim who does not perform it will inherit hell. Such a philosophy attributing centrality to the duty of jihad is not an innovation of modern radical Islam. The seventh-century Kharijite sect, infamous in Islamic history as a cause of Muslim civil war, took this position and implemented it. But the Kharijite doctrine was rejected as a heresy by medieval Islam. The novelty is the tacit acceptance by mainstream Islam of the basic building blocks of this "neo-Kharijite" school. The Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and the subsequent fall of the Soviet Union were perceived as an eschatological sign, adumbrating the renewal of the jihad against the infidel world at large and the apocalyptical war between Islam and heresy which will result in the rule of Islam in the world. Along with the renewal of the jihad, the Islamist Weltanschauung, which emerged from the Afghani crucible, developed a Thanatophile ideology (2) in which death is idealized as a desired goal and not a necessary evil in war. An offshoot of this philosophy poses a dilemma for theories of deterrence. The Islamic traditions of war allow the Muslim forces to retreat if their numerical strength is less than half that of the enemy. Other traditions go further and allow retreat only in the face of a tenfold superiority of the enemy. The reasoning is that the act of jihad is, by definition, an act of faith in Allah. By fighting a weaker or equal enemy, the Muslim is relying on his own strength and not on Allah; by entering the fray against all odds, the mujahed is proving his utter faith in Allah and will be rewarded accordingly. The politics of Islamist radicalism has also bred a mentality of bello ergo sum (I fight, therefore I exist)-- Islamic leaders are in constant need of popular jihads to boost their leadership status. Nothing succeeds like success: The attacks in the United States gave birth to a second wave of mujahidin who want to emulate their heroes. The perception of resolve on the part of the West is a critical factor in shaping the mood of the Muslim population toward radical ideas. Therefore, the manner by which the United States deals with the present crisis in Iraq is not unconnected to the future of the radical Islamic movement. In these circles, the American occupation of Iraq is likened to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; a sense of American failure would feed the apocalyptical ideology of jihad. The legality of jihad THESE BELIEFS ARE commonly viewed as typical of radical Islamic ideology, but few orthodox Islamic scholars would deny that they are deeply rooted in orthodox Islam or would dismiss the very ideology of jihad as a military struggle as foreign to the basic tenets of Islam. Hence, much of the debate between radicals and nonradicals is not over the religious principles themselves, but over their implication for actual behavior as based on the detailed legal interpretation of those principles. This legal interpretation is the soul of the debate. Even among moderate Islamic scholars who condemn acts of terrorism (albeit with reservation so as not to include acts perpetrated against Israel in such a category), there is no agreement on why they should be condemned: Many modernists acknowledge the existence of a duty of jihad in Islam but call for an "Islamic Protestantism" that would divest Islam of vestiges of anachronistic beliefs; conservative moderates find in traditional Islamic jurisprudence (shari'ah) legal justification to put the imperative of jihad in abeyance; others use linguistic analysis to point out that the etymology of the word jihad (jahada) actually means "to strive," does not mean "holy war," and does not necessarily have a military connotation. (3) The legalistic approach is not a barren preoccupation of scholars. The ideal Islamic regime is a nomocracy: The law is given and immutable, and it remains for the leaders of the ummah (the Islamic nation) to apply it on a day-to-day basis. Islam is not indifferent to any facet of human behavior; all possible acts potentially have a religious standing, ranging between "duty" (fard, pl. fara'id); "recommended" (mandub); "optional" (jaiz); "permitted" (mubah); "reprehensible" (makruh); and "forbidden" (haram). This taxonomy of human behavior has far-reaching importance for the believer: By performing all his religious duties, he will inherit paradise; by failing to do so ("sins of omission") or doing that which is forbidden ("sins of commission"), he will be condemned to hell. Therefore, such issues as the legitimacy of jihad--ostensibly deriving from the roots of Islam--cannot be decided by abstract morality (4) or by politics, but by meticulous legal analysis and ruling (fatwa) according to the shari'ah, performed by an authoritative Islamic scholar ('alem, pl. 'ulama). The use of fatwas to call for violent action first became known in the West as a result of Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against Salman Rushdie, and again after Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa against the United States and Israel. But as a genuine instrument of religious deliberation, it has not received the attention it deserves. Analysts have frequently interpreted fatwas as no more than the cynical use of religious terminology in political propaganda. This interpretation does not do justice to the painstaking process of legal reasoning invested in these documents and the importance that their authors and their target audience genuinely accord to the religious truthfulness of their rulings. The political strength of these fatwas has been time-tested in Muslim political society by rebels and insurgents from the Arabian peninsula to Sudan, India, and Indonesia. At the same time, they have been used by Muslim regimes to bolster their Islamic credentials against external and domestic enemies and to legitimize their policies. This was done by the Sudanese mahdi in his rebellion against the British (1881-85); by the Ottoman caliphate (December 1914) in World War 1; by the Syrian regime against the rebellion in northern Syria (1981); and, mutatis mutandis, by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to legitimize his peace policies toward Israel. The fatwas promulgated by sheikhs and 'ulama who stipulate that jihad is a "personal duty" play, therefore, a pivotal role in encouraging radicalism and in building the support infrastructure for radicals within the traditional Islamic community. While one may find many fatwas which advocate various manifestations of terrorism, fatwas which rule that those who perform these acts do not go to paradise but inherit hell are few and far between. The questions relating to jihad which are referred to the religious scholars (5) relate to a number of issues: The very definition, current existence, and area of application of the state of jihad. Is jihad one of the "pillars" (arkan) or "roots" (usul) of Islam? Does it necessarily imply military war, or can it be perceived as a duty to spread Islam through preaching or even the moral struggle between one's soul and Satan? (6) If the former, then what are the necessary conditions for jihad? Does a state of jihad currently exist between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb? And how can one define Dar al-Islam today, in the absence of a caliphate? Is the rest of the world automatically defined as Dar al-Harb with which a state of jihad exists, or do the treaties and diplomatic relations which exist between Muslim countries and "infidel" countries (including the charter of the United Nations) change this? (7) Who must participate in jihad, and how? Is jihad a personal duty (fard'ein) for each and every Muslim under all circumstances or a collective duty (fard kiffaya) that can be performed only under the leadership of a leader of all Muslims (imam, khalifa, amir al-mu' aminin)? Is it incumbent on women? On minors? (According to Islamic law, in the case of a defensive jihad for the liberation of Islamic territory from infidel occupation, "a woman need not ask permission of her husband nor a child of his parents nor a slave of his master.") May a Muslim refrain from supporting his attacked brethren or obey a non-Muslim secular law which prohibits him from supporting other Muslims in their struggle? How should the jihad be fought (just in bellum)? The questions in this area relate, inter alia, to: (A) Is jihad by definition an act of conflict against the actual "infidels" or can it be defined as a spiritual struggle against the "evil inclination"? If it is the former, must it take the form of war (jihad fisabil Allah) or can it be performed by way of preaching and proselytization (da'awah)? (B) Who is a legitimate target? Is it permissible to kill noncombatant civilians--women, children, elderly, and clerics; "protected" non-Muslims in Muslim countries--local non-Muslims or tourists whose visas may be interpreted as Islamic guarantees of passage (aman); Muslim bystanders? © The legitimacy of suicide attacks (istishhad) as a form of jihad in the light of the severe prohibition on a Muslim taking his own life, on one hand, and the promise of rewards in the afterlife for the shahid who falls in a jihad on the other hand. (8) (D) The weapons which may be used. For example, may a hijacked plane be used as a weapon as in the attacks of September 11 in the light of Islamic prohibitions on killing prisoners? (E) The status of a Muslim who aids the "infidels" against other Muslims. (F) The authority to implement capital punishment in the absence of a caliph. How should jihad be funded? "Pocketbook jihad" is deeply entrenched in Islamic tradition. It is based on the injunction that one must fight jihad with his soul or with his tongue (jihad al-lissan or da'awah) or with his money (jihad fi-mal). Therefore, financial support of jihad is politically correct and even good for business for the wealthy supporter. The transfer of zakat (almsgiving) raised in a community for jihad fi-sabil Allah (i.e., jihad on Allah's path or military jihad) has wide religious and social legitimacy. (9) The precepts of "war booty" (ghaneema or fay') call for a fifth (khoms) to be rendered to the mujahidin. Acts that would otherwise be considered religiously prohibited are thus legitimized by the payment of such a "tax" for the sake of jihad. While there have been attempts to bring Muslim clerics to denounce acts of terrorism, none, to date, have condemned the donation of money for jihad. The dilemma of the moderate Muslim IT CAN BE safely assumed that the great majority of Muslims in the world have no desire to join a jihad or to politicize their religion. However, it is also true that insofar as religious establishments in most of the Arabian peninsula, in Iran, and in much of Egypt and North Africa are concerned, the radical ideology does not represent a marginal and extremist perversion of Islam but rather a genuine and increasingly mainstream interpretation. Even after 9-11, the sermons broadcast from Mecca cannot be easily distinguished from those of al Qaeda. Facing the radical Weltanshauung, the moderate but orthodox Muslim has to grapple with two main dilemmas: the difficulty of refuting the legalreligious arguments of the radical interpretation and the aversion to--or even prohibition of --inciting an Islamic Kulturkampf which would split the ranks of the ummah. The first dilemma is not uniquely Islamic. It is characteristic of revelation-based religions that the less observant or less orthodox will hesitate to challenge fundamental dogmas out of fear of being branded slack or lapsed in their faith. They will prefer to pay their dues to the religious establishment, hoping that by doing so they are also buying their own freedom from coercion. On a deeper level, many believers who are not strict in observance may see their own lifestyle as a matter of convenience and not principle, while the extreme orthodox is the true believer to whom they defer. This phenomenon is compounded in Islam by the fact that "Arab" Sunni Islam never went though a reform. (10) Since the tenth century, Islam has lacked an accepted mechanism for relegating a tenet or text to ideological obsolescence. Until that time, such a mechanism--ijtihad--existed; ijtihad is the authorization of scholars to reach conclusions not only from existing interpretations and legal precedents, but from their own perusal of the texts. In the tenth century, the "gates of ijtihad" were closed for most of the Sunni world. It is still practiced in Shiite Islam and in Southeast Asia. Reformist traditions did appear in non-Arab Middle Eastern Muslim societies (Turkey, Iran) and in Southeast Asian Islam. Many Sufi (mystical) schools also have traditions of syncretism, reformism, and moderation. These traditions, however, have always suffered from a lack of wide legitimacy due to their non-Arab origins and have never been able to offer themselves as an acceptable alternative to ideologies born in the heartland of Islam and expressed in the tongue of the Prophet. In recent years, these societies have undergone a transformation and have adopted much of the Middle Eastern brand of Islamic orthodoxy and have become, therefore, more susceptible to radical ideologies under the influence of Wahhabi missionaries, Iranian export of Islam, and the cross-pollination resulting from the globalization of ideas in the information age. The second dilemma--the disinclination of moderates to confront the radicals--has frequently been attributed to violent intimidation (which, no doubt, exists), but it has an additional religious dimension. While the radicals are not averse to branding their adversaries as apostates, orthodox and moderate Muslims rarely resort to this weapon. Such an act (takfir--accusing another Muslim of heresy [kufr] by falsifying the roots of Islam, allowing that which is prohibited or forbidding that which is allowed) is not to be taken lightly; it contradicts the deep-rooted value that Islam places on unity among the believers and its aversion to fitna (communal discord). It is ironic that a religious mechanism which seems to have been created as a tool to preserve pluralism and prevent internal debates from deteriorating into civil war and mutual accusations of heresy (as occurred in Christian Europe) has become a tool in the hands of the radicals to drown out any criticism of them. Consequently, even when pressure is put on Muslim communities, there exists a political asymmetry in favor of the radicals. Moderates are reluctant to come forward and to risk being accused of apostasy. For this very reason, many Muslim regimes in the Middle East and Asia are reluctant to crack down on the religious aspects of radical Islam and satisfy themselves with dealing with the political violence alone. By way of appeasement politics, they trade tolerance of jihad elsewhere for local calm. Thus, they lose ground to radicals in their societies. The Western dilemma IT IS A TENDENCY in politically oriented Western society to assume that there is a rational pragmatic cause for acts of terrorism and that if the political grievance is addressed properly, the phenomenon will fade. However, when the roots are not political, it is native to expect political gestures to change the hearts of radicals. Attempts to deal with the terrorist threat as if it were divorced from its intellectual, cultural, and religious fountainheads are doomed to failure. Counterterrorism begins on the religious-ideological level and must adopt appropriate methods. The cultural and religious sources of radical Islamic ideology must be addressed in order to develop a long-range strategy for coping with the terrorist threat to which they give birth. However, in addressing this phenomenon, the West is at a severe disadvantage. Western concepts of civil rights along with legal, political, and cultural constraints preclude government intervention in the internal matters of organized religions; they make it difficult to prohibit or punish inflammatory sermons of imams in mosques (as Muslim regimes used to do on a regular basis) or to punish clerics for fatwas justifying terrorism. Furthermore, the legacy of colonialism deters Western governments from taking steps that may be construed as anti-Muslim or as signs of lingering colonialist ideology. This exposes the Western country combating the terrorist threat to criticism from within. Even most of the new and stringent terrorism prevention legislation that has been enacted in some countries leans mainly on investigatory powers (such as allowing for unlimited administrative arrests, etc.) and does not deal with prohibition of religion-based "ideological crimes" (as opposed to anti-Nazi and anti-racism laws, which are in force in many countries in Europe). The regimes of the Middle East have proven their mettle in coercing religious establishments and even radical sheikhs to rule in a way commensurate with their interests. However, most of them show no inclination to join a global (i.e., "infidel") war against radical Islamic ideology. Hence, the prospect of enlisting Middle Eastern allies in the struggle against Islamic radicialism is bleak. Under these conditions, it will be difficult to curb the conversion of young Muslims in the West to the ideas of radicalism emanating from the safe houses of the Middle East. Even those who are not in direct contact with Middle Eastern sources of inspiration may absorb the ideology secondhand through interaction of Muslims from various origins in schools and on the internet. Fighting hellfire with hellfire TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the above, is it possible--within the bounds of Western democratic values--to implement a comprehensive strategy to combat Islamic terrorism at its ideological roots? First, such a strategy must be based on an acceptance of the fact that for the first time since the Crusades, Western civilization finds itself involved in a religious war; the conflict has been defined by the attacking side as such with the eschatological goal of the destruction of Western civilization. The goal of the West cannot be defense alone or military offense or democratization of the Middle East as a panacea. It must include a religious-ideological dimension: active pressure for religious reform in the Muslim world and pressure on the orthodox Islamic establishment in the West and the Middle East not only to disengage itself clearly from any justification of violence, but also to pit itself against the radical camp in a clear demarcation of boundaries. Such disengagement cannot be accomplished by Western-style declarations of condemnation. It must include clear and binding legal rulings by religious authorities which contradict the axioms of the radical worldview and virtually "excommunicate" the radicals. In essence, the radical narrative, which promises paradise to those who perpetrate acts of terrorism, must be met by an equally legitimate religious force which guarantees hellfire for the same acts. Some elements of such rulings should be, inter alia: * A call for renewal of ijtihad as the basis to reform Islamic dogmas and to relegate old dogmas to historic contexts. * That there exists no state of jihad between Islam and the rest of the world (hence, jihad is not a personal duty). * That the violation of the physical safety of a non-Muslim in a Muslim country is prohibited (haram). * That suicide bombings are clear acts of suicide, and therefore, their perpetrators are condemned to eternal hellfire. * That moral or financial support of acts of terrorism is also haram. * That a legal ruling claiming jihad is a duty derived from the roots of Islam is a falsification of the roots of Islam, and therefore, those who make such statements have performed acts of heresy. Only by setting up a clear demarcation between orthodox and radical Islam can the radical elements be exorcized. The priority of solidarity within the Islamic world plays into the hands of the radicals. Only an Islamic Kulturkampf can redraw the boundaries between radical and moderate in favor of the latter. Such a struggle must be based on an in-depth understanding of the religious sources for justification of Islamist terrorism and a plan for the creation of a legitimate moderate counterbalance to the radical narrative in Islam. Such an alternative narrative should have a sound base in Islamic teachings, and its proponents should be Islamic scholars and leaders with wide legitimacy and accepted credentials. (11) The "Middle-Easternization" of Asian Muslim communities should also be checked. A strategy to cope with radical Islamic ideology cannot take shape without a reinterpretation of Western concepts of the boundaries of the freedoms of religion and speech, definitions of religious incitement, and criminal culpability of religious leaders for the acts of their flock as a result of their spiritual influence. Such a reinterpretation impinges on basic principles of Western civilization and law. Under the circumstances, it is the lesser evil. (1) "If the disbelievers occupy a territory belonging to the Muslims, it is incumbent upon the Muslims to drive them out, and to restore the land back to themselves; Spain had been a Muslim territory for more than eight hundred years, before it was captured by the Christians. They [i.e., the Christians] literally, and practically wiped out the whole Muslim population. And now, it is our duty to restore Muslim rule to this land of ours. The whole of India, including Kashmir, Hyderabad, Assam, Nepal, Burma, Behar, and Junagadh was once a Muslim territory. But we lost this vast territory, and it fell into the hands of the disbelievers simply because we abandoned Jihad. And Palestine, as is well-known, is currently under the occupation of the Jews. Even our First Qibla, Bait-ul-Muqaddas is under their illegal possession." --Jihaad ul-Kuffaari wal-Munaafiqeen. (2) This is characterized by the emphasis on verses in the Koran and stories extolling martyrdom ("Why do you cling to this world when the next world is better?") and praising the virtues of paradise as a real and even sensual existence. (3) This is a rather specious argument. In all occurrences of the concept in traditional Islamic texts--and more significantly in the accepted meaning for the great majority of modern Muslims--the term means a divinely ordained war. (4) A frequently quoted verse "proving" the inadequacy of human conscience in regard to matters of jihad is Koran 2:216: "Fighting is ordered for you even though you dislike it and it may be that you dislike a thing that is good for you and like a thing that is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." (5) The following list of questions has been gleaned from a large corpus of fatwas collected by the author over recent years. The fatwas represent the questions of lay Muslims and responses of scholars from different countries. Some of the fatwas were written and published in mosques, others in the open press, and others in dedicated sites on the internet. (6) This claim, a favorite of modernists and moderates, comes from a unique and unconfirmed hadith which states: "The Prophet returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, 'You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad--the striving of a servant [of Allah] against his desires." (7) Some Islamic judicial schools add to the Dar al-Islam/Dar al-Harb dichotomy a third category: Dar al-'Ahad, countries which have peace treaties with Muslims and therefore are not to be attacked. The basis for discerning whether or not a country belongs to Dar al-Islam is not agreed upon. Some scholars claim that as long as a Muslim can practice his faith openly, the country is not Dar al-Harb. (8) It should be noted that in the historic paradigms of "suicide" terror, which are used as authority for justification of such attacks, the martyr did not kill himself but rather placed himself in a situation in which he would most likely be killed. Technically, therefore, he did not violate the Koranic prohibition on a Muslim taking his own life. The targets of the suicide terrorist of ancient times were also quite different--officials of the ruling class and armed (Muslim) enemies. The modern paradigm of suicide bombing called for renewed consideration of this aspect. (9) The prominent fundamentalist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, gave a fatwa obliging Muslims to fund jihad out of money collected for charity (zakat). (Fatwa from April 11, 2002 in Islamonline.) (10) True, religions are naturally conservative and slow to change. Religious reforms are born and legitimized through the authority of a supreme spiritual leader (a pope or imam), an accepted mechanism of scholarly consensus (Talmud, the ijma' of the schools of jurisprudence in early Islam), internal revolution (Protestantism), or external force (the destruction of the Second Temple in Judaism). Islam canonized itself in the tenth century and therefore did not go through any of these "reforms." (11) Here the pessimist may inject that, today, all the leading Islamic scholars in the Middle East who enjoy such prestige are in the radical camp. But there have been cases of "repentant" radicals (in Egypt) who have retracted (albeit in jail and after due "convincing") their declarations of takfir against the regime. In Indonesia, the moderate Nahdlatul Ulama led by former President Abdurahman Wahid represents a genuine version of moderate Islam. Shmuel Bar is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel and a veteran of the Israeli intelligence community. ---------------------------------------------------- Publication Information: Article Title: The Religious Sources of Islamic Terrorism. Contributors: Shmuel Bar - author. Journal Title: Policy Review. Issue: 125. Publication Year: 2004. Page Number: 27+. COPYRIGHT 2004 Hoover Institution Press; COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

Posted by: Sunder Feb 27 2005, 02:12 AM

this is on my "to read" list.. I just ordered this book on amazon, and will soon pour thru the book. I read from a review that there is an entire chapter on Islam's barbaric genocide in India. Serge Trifkovic mentions "The massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger in sheer numbers than the Holocaust." The Review is

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 2 2005, 08:23 PM,,2-1507174,00.html

Muslims can expect the police to target them, minister says By Richard Ford and Stewart Tendler BRITAIN’S Counter-Terrorism Minister warned the Muslim community last night that it must face the reality of being targeted by the police because of the threat from an extreme form of Islam.

Posted by: Sunder Mar 2 2005, 10:09 PM

Two unconnected pieces of news on Islam in Germany:

Six Islamic groups, accounting for 70% of Germany's Muslims, plan to unite under one umbrella to push for having Islam taught in public schools. The groups want to ensure that Islam can be taught in German in public schools to better integrate children and prevent misinterpretations.,1518,344374,00.html
In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? Trying to break free and live Western lifestyles. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes for preserving their family dignity. How can such a horrific and shockingly archaic practice be flourishing in the heart of Europe? The deaths have sparked momentary outrage, but will they change the grim reality for Muslim women?

Posted by: Tulsidas Khan Mar 2 2005, 11:14 PM

I have read the Quran and it tells people to live peacefully. The Quran has been misinterpreted by Islamic Fundamentalists over the years and they have spread distorted views of Islam around the world. True Islam condemns the killing of innocent people and accepts other religions.

Posted by: Sunder Mar 2 2005, 11:51 PM

QUOTE (Tulsidas Khan @ Mar 3 2005, 11:44 AM)
I have read the Quran and it tells people to live peacefully. The Quran has been misinterpreted by Islamic Fundamentalists over the years and they have spread distorted views of Islam around the world. True Islam condemns the killing of innocent people and accepts other religions.
Please quote the Ayats or Suras that tell Muslimeens to accept other religions. Incite Violence and Disturb Public Tranquility 1. Surah 2: ayat 193. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme. 2. Surah 8: ayat 39. Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme. 3. Surah 2: ayat 216. Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. Allah knows, but you do not. 4. Surah 9: ayat 41. Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. This will be best for you, if you but knew it, 5. Surah 9: ayat 123. Believers! make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you. 6. Surah 66: ayat 9. O Prophet! make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate. 7. Surah 9: ayat 73. O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is Hell, a hapless journey’s end. 8. Surah 8: ayat 65. O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. 9. Surah 8: ayat 66. Now bath Allah lightened your burden, for He knoweth that there is weakness in you. So if there be of you a steadfast hundred they shall vanquish two hundred, and if there be of you a thousand steadfast they shall vanquish two thousand by permission of Allah. Allah is with the steadfast. 10. Surah 47: ayats 4-15. When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until war shall lay down her armour. Thus shall you do. Had Allah willed, He could Himself have punished them (without your help); but He has ordained it thus that He might test you, the one by the other. As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them. Believers! if you help Allah, Allah will help you and make you strong. But the unbelievers shall be consigned to perdition. He will bring their deeds to nothing. Because they have opposed His revelations, He will frustrate their works… Allah is the protector of the faithful; unbelievers have no protector. Allah will admit those who embrace the true faith to gardens watered by running streams. The unbelievers take their full of pleasure and eat as the beasts eat; but Hell shall be their home… They shall abide in Hell for ever and drink scalding water which will tear their bowels. 11.Surah 8: ayat 12. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb. 12.Surah 69: ayats 30-33. We shall say, ‘Lay hold of him and bind him. Bum him in the fire of Hell, then fasten him with a chain seventy cubits long. For he did not believe in Allah, the Most High. 13.Surah 8: ayats 15-18. Believers! when you encounter the armies of the infidels do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons, or to join another band, he shall incur the wrath of Allah and Hell shall be his home: an evil fate. It was not you, but Allah, who slew them. It was not you who smote them; Allah smote them so that He might richly reward the faithful. He hears all and knows all. He will surely thwart the designs of the unbelievers. 14.Surah 25: ayat 52. Do not yield to the unbelievers, but fight them strenuously with this Koran. 15.Surah 9: ayat 39. If you do not fight He will punish you sternly and replace you by other men… 16.Surah 9: ayat 111. Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, slay and be slain. Such is the true pledge which He has made them in the Torah, the Gospel and the Koran. And who is more true to His promise than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the supreme triumph. 17.Surah 3: ayats 169-171. You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with His gifts and rejoicing that those whom they left behind and who have not yet joined them have nothing to fear or to regret; rejoicing in Allah’s grace and bounty. Allah will not deny the faithful their reward. 18.Surah 4: ayat 100. He that flies his homeland for the cause of Allah shall find numerous places of refuge in the land and great abundance. He that leaves his dwelling to fight for Allah and His apostle and is then overtaken by death, shall be rewarded by Allah. Allah is forgiving and merciful. 19.Surah 48: ayat 29. Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another… Through them Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers. 20.Surah 49: ayat 15. The true believers are those that have faith in Allah and His apostle and never doubt; and who fight for His cause with their wealth and persons. Such are those whose faith is true. 21.Surah 2: ayat 154. Do not say that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead; they are alive, although you are not aware of them. 22.Surah 3: ayats 157-158. If you should die or be slain in the cause of Allah, His forgiveness and His mercy would surely be better than all the riches they amass. If you should die or be slain, before Him you shall all be gathered. 23.Surah 8: ayats 59-60. Let the unbelievers not think that they will escape Us. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your disposal, so that you may strike terror into the enemies of Allah and the faithful, and others besides them. All that you give for the cause of Allah shall be repaid you. You shall not be wronged. 24.Surah 9: ayats 2-3. …Allah will humble the unbelievers… Allah and His apostle are free from obligation to the idol-worshippers… Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. 25.Surah 9: ayat 29. Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued. 26.Surah 8: ayat 67. It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land… 27.Surah 4: ayat 84. So fight for the cause of Allah. You are accountable for none but yourself. Rouse the faithful; perchance Allah will defeat the unbelievers. He is mightier and more truculent than they. 28.Surah 29: ayat 6. He that fights for Allah’s cause fights for himself… 29.Surah 29: ayat 69. Those that fight for Our cause We will surely guide to our own paths. Allah is with the righteous. 30.Surah 61: ayats 9-13. It is He who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, so that He may make it the conqueror of all religions, much as the idol-worshippers may dislike it. Believers! Shall I point out to you a profitable course that will save you from a woeful scourge? Have faith in Allah and His apostle and fight for His cause with your wealth and your persons. That would be best for you, if you but knew it. He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams; He will lodge you in pleasant mansions in the gardens of Eden. That is the supreme triumph. 31.Surah 9: ayat 36. Allah ordained the months twelve in number when He created the Heavens and the earth. Of these four (Dhi-Qa’ada, Dhul-Hajja, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred according to the true faith. Therefore do not sin against yourselves by violating them. But you may fight against the idolaters in all these months since they themselves fight against you in all of them. Know that Allah is with the righteous. 32.Surah 9: ayat 5. When the sacred months are over slay the idol-worshippers wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and pay the alms-tax, let them go their way. Allah is forgiving and merciful. 33.Surah 9: ayat 14. Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers. 34.Surah 9: ayats 20-22. Those that have embraced the faith and fled their homes and fought for Allah’s cause with their wealth and their persons are held in higher regard by Allah. It is they who shall triumph. Their Lord has promised them joy and mercy, and gardens of eternal pleasures where they shall dwell for ever. Allah’s reward is great indeed. 35.Surah 4: ayats 95-96. The believers who stay at home - apart from those that suffer from a grave impediment - are not equal to those -who fight for the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home. He has promised all a good reward: but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him: rank of His own bestowal, forgiveness, and mercy. Allah is forgiving and merciful. 36. Surah 8: ayats 72-74. Those that have embraced the faith and fled their homes, fought for the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons; and those that sheltered them and helped them, shall be friends to each other… they are the true believers. They shall receive mercy and generous provision. 37. Surah 3: ayat 142. Did you suppose that you would enter Paradise before Allah has proved the men who fought for Him and endured with fortitude?

Posted by: Sunder Mar 3 2005, 12:14 AM

Dutch citizens are increasingly emigrating in the wake of a Muslim immigration that has made them more than 10 per cent of the population.

Posted by: Naresh Mar 3 2005, 01:57 AM We wish the Pope a long life. However as a sincere well wisher, I ask him to accept Islam as his religion before he dies. He knows perfectly well that Islam is the true message of the God almighty and it was the religion of Adam, Noah, Abrham, Ishameel, issac, Moses, David and Jesus (Peace be upon them). He also knows that the Zionists failed to kill Jesus and Zionists failed to delete and distort the message of Jesus as the Most Merciful God protected the message in Quran and Quran is the ultimate miracle. It is better for Pope to die Muslim rather than a Mushrik (One who makes partners to God) So dear Pope, please make a repentance and become a true Muslim -ANWAR UL HAQUE, Islamabad, via e-mail, February 25.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 3 2005, 12:14 PM


Cast of Islam MG Kapahy The effort of your editorial, "Not above board" (January 29), in discussing the deeply divided caste system in the Indian Muslim society, is commendable. The two examples of Sunnis and Shias mentioned by you are not merely Muslim castes, but their predominant sects. Further, Sunnis are subdivided into Barelvi and Nadwi sub-sects. Though Shias are more liberal and forward looking than Sunnis, it is often that both end up in violent clashes on the matter of Muharram. Even in an Islamic state like Pakistan, there are separate mosques for Shias and Sunnis, which have been attacked by each other. There were also Quadiyanis with their headquarters in Quadian (Gurdaspur), who migrated to Pakistan during Partition. Intellectually, they were ahead of others and one Zaffarullah Khan very effectively pursued the Pakistani case on Kashmir for some years. But this did not last long. The Quadiyanis were excommunicated from Islam and Khan was removed from his post. He spent the rest of his life in penury and infamy. After his death he was buried at an obscure place. Then there were Bahails, who built the famous Lotus temple in Delhi and are followers of Aga Khan, who have some presence in India. A quaint sect of Mews who were the most recent converts to Islam from Rajputs had Hindu names like Arjun, Bhim and Pratap. When Hindus, attacked them during Partition, the Mews offered to be reconverted to the Hindu faith, with the assurance that they will have marital relations only among themselves. This was a fair proposal for the Hindus. When Nehru got wind of this, he went to Mewastan and stood between the two mobs. He opened the buttons of his jacket and thundered that the Hindus will have to shoot him before they convert or kill the Mews. However, under the prevailing circumstances, the mob would have hardly given time to the leader to open his buttons. After this, the Mews became staunch Muslims. Coming to the caste-system in Indian Muslims (specially in the north), there are Arains who are powerful landowners, so much so that in Delhi they have an exclusive graveyard called Kabristan Arains Punjabiyans. President Musharraf is an Arain, who has ensured an invincible position for himself by large-scale recruitment of Arains in defence forces. Similarly, there are "Kamos", who have small land holdings and eke out their living by farming. Some other profession-based castes are: Naiyes, Hajjams (barbers); Khatis (carpenters), Kasais-Kassabbs-Qureshies (persons engaged in slaughtering of animals), Julahas-Ansars (cloth weavers). Syeds are very high caste Muslims like Brahmins. Like Hindus, inter-caste marriages are not common among Muslims. There is a well-established system of Watte da saak (reciprocal marriages) between relatives, except the progeny of real brothers; that is, you give one daughter to a relatives and get one from them. Such practice has enhanced the position of girls in Muslims, as couples with male children find it difficult to find matches. Inert-caste marriages have become common among Muslims as in the Hindus. Shariat lays importance on mehr, which is now reduced to being a symbol. More and more Muslims are being afflicted with the curse of dowry like the Hindus. Fortunately, no cases of bride burning are reported in Muslims

Posted by: Naresh Mar 3 2005, 02:55 PM

QUOTE (Mudy @ Mar 4 2005, 12:44 AM)
Pioneer- Castes of Islam MG Kapahy There is a well-established system of Watte da saak (reciprocal marriages) between relatives, except the progeny of real brothers;
Mudy, There is not much I can say about the Article except the fact that one of my “closest” Pakistani Acquaintance (yes there are a few of the kind) is MARRIED TO HIS CHACHA’S – Father’s younger Brother – Daughter. Such marriage between the “the progeny of real brothers” is quite common. I also know a few Parsis with such marriages. It is said that “step-sibblings” can marry as they have “DOODH KA FARAK” i.e. Milk of different mothers.

Posted by: k.ram Mar 3 2005, 03:26 PM

Modernizing Islam by Francis Fukuyama , Nadav Samin MARTIN KRAMER: What happens when a really big reality (like 9/11) collides head-on with a really big idea (like Francis Fukuyama's "end of history")? Inevitably, the idea crumples to absorb the shock. Let us survey the wreckage. In "Can Any Good Come of Radical Islam?" [September], Mr. Fukuyama and his co-author Nadav Samin concur that Islamism is a destructive force that warrants comparison with Communism and fascism. But, they write, it might also be a modernizing one--it might, despite itself, strip away the traditional constraints that have prevented Muslims from modernizing. And if Islamism, in turn, can be stripped of its ideology, then perhaps it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. If. And if only. In Francis Fukuyama, Hegel springs eternal, and it was Hegel who passed this judgment early in the 19th century: "Islam has long vanished from the stage of history, and has retreated into oriental ease and repose." The persistent refusal of Islam to do just that remains one of the principal flaws of "endism," from Hegel to this day--that is, for as long as the modern West has rubbed shoulders with Islam. After some two centuries, the evidence is compelling. Islam has been an inexhaustible power cell for scores of movements that have defied the values of modern liberalism. From Mahdism to bin Ladenism, from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Taliban, Islam continues to generate new and potent antidotes to the infection of the West. All of which suggests that the power of radical Islam (like Islam itself) is its ability to mutate--to adapt itself to ever-changing circumstances. Today it ingeniously exploits the very modernism that it seeks to thwart. Just when you think it is outmoded--as many analysts thought 30 years ago--it suddenly reappears in some completely new (and often more virulent) form. Radical Islam, Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin speculate, "may yet help pave the way for long-overdue reform. If so, this would certainly not be the first time that the cunning of history has produced so astounding a result." In theory, of course, Islam might be reformed into irrelevance. The late Ernest Gellner even opined that while Islam "did not engender the modern world, it may yet, of all the faiths, turn out to be the one best adapted to it." The problem is that in actual practice, real Muslims have treated their would-be reformers very shabbily; the space between Islamism and the authoritarian state remains a leaderless void, which neither side has an interest in filling. The reformers, who have always been a small minority, are today even worse off than they were a half-century ago: today, terrorists threaten to kill them. By all means, let us pray five times daily for an Islamic Reformation. But let us admit that there is no Luther in sight who could inspire one. The danger of the Fukuyama-Samin argument is that it could encourage complacency. They really do not come down very far from the starry-eyed Middle East experts. One recalls in particular the Georgetown political scientist Michael Hudson, who once told a congressional committee that "whatever the ultimate intent of Islamist movements, their current function is a liberalizing one." Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin would just switch the adjectives around: whatever the current intent of Islamist movements, their ultimate function is a liberalizing one. It is a short distance from this point to the argument that we should welcome Islamist seizures of power, so as to speed up the inevitable process of regeneration. As for the authors' idea that Islamist "independent action" might "lay the groundwork of a true civil society'," this sounds precisely like the argument of John Esposito and a raft of "experts" who tell us that we should weigh the good social deeds of groups like Hamas. Only in the absence of any other mediating institutions can this illusion be maintained. Islamism is a poor man's civil society, and a poor substitute for it, since it lacks a concept of tolerance. There is no evidence it can develop further, and ample evidence suggesting flint it cannot. In any case, the Fukuyama-Samin thesis cannot be proved or disproved in any near term, and it is pointless to debate it. Its policy implications are vague at best. And it does not change the fact that at this moment in time, it is not Islamism but "endism" that (to quote Hegel) has "vanished from the stage of history"--even if it has cropped up in the pages of COMMENTARY. Middle East Quarterly Philadelphia Pennsylvania WALID PHARES: Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin's stimulating article is an attempt to integrate Osama bin Laden's movement into the global current of modernization. If not a modernizing force itself, they suggest, Islamism is at least playing the role of a cultural bulldozer, clearing the way for liberalism by undermining the traditional institutions of Muslim society. It is an attractive interpretation, not least because it confines the Islamists within the narrative of liberalism's progress. But we should not be deceived by what we think Islamism "should" be. Islamists may be displacing post-Ottoman traditionalists to some degree, but they are not a modernist movement paving the way to liberal democracy. Islamism has indeed borrowed ideas and techniques from fascism and Communism, as the authors note, hut while the totalitarians of the West decimated their predecessors to establish what they believed to be a better modernity, the Islamists aim to establish an even more traditional society than the one they are removing. We may see mullahs online and al Qaeda pilots, but their sophistication is just a leap in technology, not a burst of modernization. They seek to bury modernity with its own weapons. As evidence that Islamism is directed against traditional Islam and can "accommodate Western norms," Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin cite the examples of women voting in Iron and the Islamist charities of Egypt, which, they write, "might yet help lay the groundwork of a true civil society." It is dangerous, however, to view the evolution of Islamism through this liberal lens. Yes, the Shiite fundamentalists granted voting power to Iranian women--but in exchange for withdrawing their social rights. As for Egypt's Islamist charities, far from being a Muslim version of the Lions Club or the PTA, they are tools for de-secularizing society and making it an extension of the Islamic state to come. Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin also overstate the extent of the Islamists' break with Islamic tradition and authority. The idea of sacrificing oneself for the umma (community) of believers is as old as conquering Islam itself. The concept of inghimas fil adu--throwing oneself into the midst of the enemy with the knowledge that one's own death will ensue--was born thirteen centuries ago. Today's suicide missions differ only in their technological means. As for Osama bin Laden supposedly arrogating religious authority to himself by issuing fatwas, Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin get their facts wrong. Bin Laden has been very careful in his theological behavior, and has clearly stated in interviews on al-Jazeera that he requested the decrees "from a number of sheiks and muftis." Had Islamism not appeared in the 19th and 20th centuries, Muslim communities worldwide might now be emulating the political and economic reforms of Latin America and South Asia. What really "went wrong" in the Muslim world was the sneak attack by the jihadists into the center of their own civilization. Muslim nationalists, constitutional monarchists, Marxists, and liberals moved the prospects for development slightly forward in the post-Ottoman world; radical Islam has caused these societies to take two steps backward. The Islamists are not moving from jihad to modernity, as Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin suggest; they are simply modernizing jihad. Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida STANLEY N. KURTZ: Although Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin begin their article by acknowledging that it would be foolish to downplay religious or cultural factors in analyzing Islamism, they proceed to do exactly that. They are right, no doubt, that Islamists have borrowed some of the language and techniques of European fascism, especially with respect to the role of" charismatic leadership. These ideas have succeeded, however, because they already had a certain force in Islam. Osama bin Laden may not be a traditional religious leader, hut his issuing of a fatwa is vastly different from their hypothetical example of "Hitler issuing a papal encyclical." Similarly, suicide bombing may bear some small resemblance, as Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin suggest, to the "aestheticization of death" that one finds in European totalitarianism, but it emerges from a distinctive Islamic context. It embodies an ethos of personal sacrifice that is characteristically cultivated in societies bound by complex networks of kinship and collective honor. Such networks were of limited importance to late-19th-century European peasants even before they were thrown into anomic urban slums. Muslim peasants, by contrast, are even now bound together tightly by such ties and, to a surprising degree, retain them after their arrival in big cities. The authors fail to see these key differences between the sociology of fascism and the sociology of Islamism. As for ideology, they are mistaken to compare the Nazis' supposed resuscitation of pro-Christian "Aryan" traditions--a completely imaginary exercise--with the profound continuity between traditional Islam and contemporary Islamism. Modernity has brought about real and significant changes in Islam, but this does not mean that Islamism is best understood as a modern totalitarian ideology. Indeed, Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin's conclusion is not only at odds with the facts but also undercuts their chief policy prescription. They want to give immediate encouragement to genuinely liberal, Western-oriented Muslims, but their analysis suggests that authentic modernization will only come to the Islamic world in the long term. This seeming resignation about the prospects for Islamic societies also points to a problem with Mr. Fukuyama's famous thesis, in "The End of History?" (1989), that the world is moving inexorably toward liberal democracy. By conceding that modernization among Muslims is far in the future, Mr. Fukuyama implies a measure of agreement with one of his key critics, Samuel Huntington, who argued--presciently, many believe--that the end of the cold war would bring about a "clash of civilizations" based on religion and culture. Huntington has advised restraint in America's efforts to spread democracy. Huntington was right about the sources of our current conflict, but he failed to take account of technological advance, especially with respect to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This has made it much more difficult for America to tolerate undemocratic regimes based on non- or anti-Western cultural assumptions. Mr. Fukuyama, for his part, did not foresee this particular turn of the wheel, but he has long argued that the "mechanism of modern natural science" would bring about global democracy. The question we face today, and which neither thinker has fully addressed, is what will happen when the irresistible force of Western conquest and democratization bangs up against the immovable object of Islamic social and cultural tradition. The Hoover Institution Washington, D. C. LARRY DIAMOND: Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin are right to question the conventional wisdom about radical Islam. It is a new "ism"--less a religious movement than a totalitarian ideology. As such, it bears an important kinship with fascism and Communism, and it risks being no less destructive. But Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin are only partly right to attribute the rise of radical Islamism--and its frequent embrace by intellectuals--to the "rapid social dislocation" that Muslim societies have experienced over the last several decades. The alienation felt by radical Islamists has also been powerfully fed by a diffuse sense of national and cultural humiliation. When these armchair-ideologues-turned-revolutionaries look at their own societies, they see failure--poverty, inequality, endemic corruption, political repression--especially as compared with the prosperity of Europe and America. Throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, decadent, self-interested ruling elites have delivered neither economic growth--unemployment is now high even in Saudi Arabia--nor legitimate mechanisms for electoral participation, thus depriving their people of the means to express their grievances peacefully. In these circumstances, it is not hard to understand the allure of all-encompassing ideologies that promise to lift Muslim societies out of their deep rut. Nationalism and socialism were tried, and both failed. Only two alternatives remain--radical Islam and liberal democracy. It is a powerful testimony to how greatly Muslim rulers fear the latter that they have preferred to toy with and use the former. But Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin are mistaken to suggest that radical Islamism itself contributes to political and economic development. It may leave a path of destruction and level the field for an eventual liberal alternative, but at what cost? The Islamic republic of Iran is no model of progress. The mullahs have robbed and oppressed Iranian society while failing to deal with any of the country's most pressing problems. Islamism can only foster progress if it is stripped of its radicalism, its impulse to hegemony and intolerance, and becomes a competitor for power within a pluralistic, democratic framework. This process may be under way already in Turkey, where the Islamist Justice and Development party--whose record is encouraging in certain respects--swept the November elections. Islamic radicalism may also perform a historical service if; like the Communist threat to Korea and Taiwan, it forces ruling elites to develop effective and accountable governance, and ultimately democracy, in order to save themselves from an existential threat. But if these regimes react with their usual myopia, simply repressing the radical dissidents, and if the U.S. makes the mistake, as it frequently did during the cold war, of backing the lesser of two evils, Islamic radicalism will prove to have done no good at all. Indeed, we will find ourselves facing more angry,, humiliated young men who, looking for an explanation of their own societies' failures, turn to terrorism against the West in a vain attempt at vengeance. The Hoover Institution Stanford, California JOAKIM FORARS: Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin argue that, like fascism and Communism, islamism has left a disastrous record wherever it has come to power. Hence, in the short run, a backlash in the Muslim world is quite possible, especially if the Islamists are discredited by an American military grand slam. In the long run, they suggest, liberal Islam may be able to fill the void. There are many problems with this analysis. As a military matter, it is perhaps sufficient to say that Israel has defeated the Arabs several times, but has reaped only more fanaticism and renewed efforts at revenge. An American counterattack against radical Islamic terrorism is no doubt the only constructive way of facing this threat, but it will hardly destroy a popular movement that permeates the Arab world. It is misleading to compare American warfare in the Middle East with the crushing of the Axis powers in World War II. Nor are we likely to find a solution to Islamism in the rise of civil society or even of full-fledged democracy in the Muslim world. The Arabs of israel were offered just this, and seemed to be pacified for a time. But now, awakened by their Palestinian brothers, they have turned into a fifth column in Israel, increasingly joining ranks with the enemy. Finally, and most seriously, Messrs. Fukuyama and Samin's preoccupation with sociological explanations makes them understate the genuine religious inspiration of radical Islamism. True, a quest for identity, awakened by modernization, has cultivated the religious impulse. But the simple fact is that Islamists find legitimacy for extremism in the words and deeds of the Prophet. The glorification of violence and heinous warfare against allegedly dangerous or dishonest infidels cannot be explained away by claiming that words from the Qur'an and the Hadith have been taken out of context. Abo Academy University Abo, Finland SCOTT RAVEDE: The historical premises of Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin's article are as invalid as their conclusions. It is absurd to suggest that Hitler made liberal democracy possible in Germany, when he was responsible for its destruction, or that the Bolsheviks industrialized and urbanized Russia, when they were responsible for 70 years of economic stagnation. Is this what they want radical Islam to accomplish for the Muslim world? DeBarry, Florida Francis Fukuyama & Nadav Samin Martin Kramer and Walid Phares are both correct to suggest that Islamism represents a profoundly illiberal impulse that has proved highly adaptable to modern circumstances and has constituted a significant barrier to political and economic development in the Muslim world. The deeper question, then, is whether this tendency arises ineluctably from within the heart of Islam itself, as Messrs. Kramer, Phares, Kurtz, and Forars suggest in different ways, or whether, as Larry Diamond argues, it has fed on more proximate causes like the lack of political opportunity in the Arab world. If it is the former, then no liberal future will ever be possible for the Muslim world. There is of course no way to answer this question definitively, though we obviously tend to agree with Mr. Diamond that the causes are more likely to be proximate. To view radical Islamism as the inevitable expression of the teachings of Islam is to accept the supremely unnuanced reality of its proponents. One then needs to explain, for instance, why there were long stretches of latitudinarianism under the Ottomans, or why early Muslim military leaders had to expend so much effort persuading people to sacrifice themselves, or how modern Turkey came to be. The inconsistencies do not end there. Within the 20th century alone, three great political trends have swept the Muslim world. First came the authoritarian, Westernizing modernism of Ataturk and Reza Shah, followed by the secular nationalism of Nasser and the Baathists, followed by the religious radicalism of Khomeini and bin Laden. Each represented a response to the failures of the preceding wave, and the burden should be on our critics to show why only the third and last trend is somehow the most genuine or durable expression of the aspirations of Muslims more generally. No one ever starts out being a liberal. Western liberalism was not an automatic byproduct of Western civilization or of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It emerged out of the violent sectarian warfare that engulfed Europe in the 150 years following the Reformation, and the general recognition that religiously based politics could not provide a minimum degree of security and order. It was also a necessary condition for the economic modernization of Europe. If the Muslim world wants civil peace and development, secular politics will be a functional necessity there as well. The question is whether this process can unfold in a more compressed time scale, and without simultaneously engulfing the rest of the world in its internal violence. In one way or another, Islamic liberalism, though abducted from the incubator, may well emerge in terms not so unfamiliar to us. No one knows whether this will in fact happen, but there is some reason to expect that the political wheel will turn again. While Islamism may be a highly effective tool of political mobilization, it has been a disaster as a governing ideology in the three countries where it has come to power: Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. None of our respondents save Larry Diamond has acknowledged the real prospects for liberalization present in a country like Iran that has had to endure Islamist theocracy--the backlash to the backlash, so to speak. Conversely, if Islamism feeds off of the political pathologies described by Mr. Diamond, there is reason to think that, even absent a Muslim Luther, a different kind of Arab politics will engender a different kind of opposition. Contrary to Joakim Forars, we do not think that this movement can be defeated by military means alone; it must be combated on all levels, ideologically and politically as well as militarily, and by addressing the background conditions under which it is bred. Walid Phares states that bin Laden has requested affirmation of his fatwa "from a number of sheiks and muftis." But surely Mr. Phares is aware that bin Laden was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and officially disowned by his family long before the September 11, 2001 strikes ever occurred. State-sanctioned Islamic orthodoxy, the dominant form throughout most of Islamic history, has never endorsed the sorts of interpretations put forth by bin Laden in support of his terrorism. It is not a coincidence that the principal ideological prop of the neo-Wahhabi movement is the theology of ibn Taymiya, the 14th-century Hanbali scholar who was considered a marginal thinker and a deviant by the majority of his contemporaries. Finally, we were of course careful not to suggest that any society would be better off taking a detour through fascism, Communism, or Islamism as a preferred route to modernity. But in point of fact the first two movements did have some modernizing effects. Pace Scott Ravede, a combination of Hider and the Communists succeeded in finishing off the German aristocracy that had been the traditional prop for authoritarianism in that country. Germany since the war has been in many ways less class-stratified than Britain, which did not undergo the same ruthless clearing of the decks. But it goes without saying that we would not wish the experience of 20th-century Germany on anyone.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 3 2005, 04:35 PM

Naresh, It like Satta Batta within family. WHy "Watte da saak" had no effect on genes?

Posted by: Naresh Mar 3 2005, 05:32 PM

Mudy, AFAIK it is “Watto Satta “ i.e. the Sister of the Bridegroom marries the Brother of the Bride. In many Hindus it is ensured that the Bride and Groom do not have a common “Male Ancestor” for Seven Generations – I believe in Kashmiri Pandits it is Three Generations. I have never come across “Watto Satta” in Punjabi Hindus, Sikhs or Jains – but it is known to happen in very few cases – however it is quite common in the Punjabi Muslims. I have seen a number of “in-breeding” effects in the Punjabi Muslims. I am merely stating facts I have noticed and am not being a Racist or Islamophobic or whatever you may call it.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 3 2005, 05:43 PM

I have seen a number of “in-breeding” effects in the Punjabi Muslims.
Once I have read in Paki papers, but it is difficult to find any stats on this. There is no global force against this practice as they are with arranged marriage.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 3 2005, 07:35 PM

In some gujju castes there is a version of this, IIRC. They are not blood relatives but there are reciprocal marriages. Bride's brother marries groom's sister. Its called sataa-petee. Avoids dowry, provides security to women folk and in a weird way also maintains sex-ratio ? Disadvantage is if you got no sister then tough luck getting married.. Same with women without brothers.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 3 2005, 08:20 PM

Posted by: Naresh Mar 4 2005, 01:42 AM

Mudy, Here is one of the 140,000 Items from a Google Search of “HUMAN+INBREEDING” :

Adam Eyre-Walker, a member of the research team at the University of Sussex, UK, says the phenomenon is comparable to the genetic problems experienced by severely endangered species, in which inbreeding can accelerate extinction.

Posted by: Gill Mar 6 2005, 08:23 AM

I have been away from this discussion forum for a year I believe, but never missed an oppurtunity to visit and read many articles and views posted. Congratulations to you all on having a new face to this site. I was busy in xxxxxxxx (edited) forum disceting Pakistani thought and reading Dr. Ali Sina's website called Many of you might have visited the site as well. I have come to a bold conclusion that Hindu converts to Islam have no clue what Islam is all about. They do not know what the Quran states. They do not know the evil and hatered that is written in it and the Hadiths. I am now strongly of the thought if truth is shown with reason and logic to Indians, Islam the evil manifestation and evil views of man called Muhammed will be defeated in India. Question is do we try to reach the uneducated class who convert to this religion or the educated and elite who have and who already and spreading lies such as Islam, a religion of peace. Also how do we start? I thought about it, can realized we are wasting our efforts at this new and powerfull tool called internet. We all our fighting as individuals, we need to concentrate our efforts and lead a new crusade, together. We cannot sit on our behinds hoping someone else will counter this menace, it has to be us. Why I target India? Vedantic thinking is so dominant that no matter what religious belief one adopts he cannot let go of his Vedantic thinking and logic, and thus is more than egar to prove his new affiliation, but to no avail, he/she still is influenced by Vedantic thought. I suggest we counter Aligarh University by writing to their professors. What exactly are they teaching there? How many Indians can fully comprehend Arabic thus know what Quran is saying? Dr. Ali SIna of FaithFreedom has given us permission to use his research for a common goal of saving our way of life for ourselves and our generations to come. Any thoughts? Gill unsure.gif

Posted by: acharya Mar 6 2005, 11:04 AM

Send this Article to a Friend IUML washes its hands of `fatwa' By Our Staff Reporter MALAPPURAM, MARCH 5. The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has distanced itself from a `fatwa' issued by the controversial Islamic cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, that was quoted in a pamphlet circulated by a local unit of the party in the district. That fatwa, against Communists, had been attributed to the IUML in a section of the media. The fatwa, highlighting the atheistic philosophy of Communism, had been an attempt to contrast Communism and Islam. If a Communist is an atheist, then he has no place in Islam. He should not be given a Muslim woman in marriage; his funeral should not be conducted as per Islamic rites; and he would have no right to his parents' property. That was the gist of the fatwa issued by the Qatari scholar more than two decades ago. K.P.A. Majeed, district secretary of the IUML, told The Hindu today that the party had nothing to do with the fatwa. "The League has no fatwas," said Mr. Majeed, emphasising that the party was a political entity, not a religious one. "We do not exhort the Muslim community either to follow that fatwa or to reject it," said Mr. Majeed, explaining the stand of the party. However, the IUML leader welcomed the controversy that the pamphlet has kicked up. He said it would give an opportunity for the party to engage in a debate with the practitioners of Communism about their stand on the fundamentals of Islam. The Islamic scholar and general secretary of the Sunni Yuvajana Sanghom (SYS), Alikutty Musliar, also dismissed the brouhaha over the matter. "It's not a matter of whether you belong to the Communist party or not. What matters is whether you are a believer in God or not," said Prof. Alikutty Musliar. Other Islamic scholars who came across the pamphlet too expressed dismay over the way an old fatwa was twisted by some people to kick up a row. Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi's fatwa on communism has been published in Malayalam. It appeared in the `Qaradawi's Fatwas', a book brought out by the Islamic Publishing House (IPH), a Kozhikode-based publisher, in 1987. Translated by V. Kamaluddin, it has a preface by E.N. Mohammed Moulavi, Professor of Islahiya College, Chendamangallur.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 6 2005, 11:20 AM

Gill, How about writing "open letters" to AMU professors ? We can host the letters on IF front page or any other forum of your choice ? My suggestion would be to prepare small letters that address only one issue and prepare a library of about 50-100 letters and then send one out every day ?

Posted by: Viren Mar 7 2005, 08:51 AM

Gill and Rajesh, Nobel thoughts, but pure waste of time. Has been done for over 100 years now. AMU founder Sir Sayed was Brit lackey. Wrote at a length about Indian Muslims how Indian muslims should support British. Personally declined invitation from INA when it was formed. The ulema which controls the religious, cultural aspects of Indian muslims has even hijacked Koran by imposing it's own bigoted views. A good book to read on this subject would be Arun Shourie's 'World of Fatwas'. Every muslim with some moderate leanings had to bend before the religious thought police be it Azad, Hussain, Ali brothers (before they went ballistic) till all those Muslim MPs in Rajiv's Parliament had to bow before the dikats of the ulema.

Posted by: Viren Mar 7 2005, 08:55 AM

The World of Fatwa's by: Arun Shourie

A fatwa, defines the author in his introductory note, "is a decree, a ruling". The sequence being that a Muslim puts an issue before an authority, and the latter rules on the matter. The authorities who can do so can be individuals as well as institutions. Dar al-Ulema at Deoband, for instance, has a special department for this very purpose. They have already come out with a 12-volume collection of fatwa. But that is not the end. Fatwas are eternal. They accumulate and go on from man to man and from time to time. Whenever a Muslim is in doubt at some point of conduct or when he is involved in a dispute with another person for any problem of life, he will turn to some authority to find what the authority has decreed in its fatwa on the matter. Issuing fatwas, therefore, is an art to solve all human problems. Obviously, the fatwa-issuing agencies (mufti, maulvi, maulana or ulema) are no ordinary human beings. They are luminaries gifted with an encyclopaedic vision plus celestial omniscience so as to pronounce verdict on infinite problems ranging from personal hygiene to marital relations, from sex with goat and mare to rape and adultery, from finer points to law on inheritance to all those confusions about the cosmic order, i.e., the interplenatary relations of the earth, the sun, the moon and the like. So far, so good. But as fatwas are the "Shariah in action", the question is - how many of these thousands of fatwas are known (or have been made known) to an average Muslim? If not, why? And if yes, how many of these fatawas are really cared for and put into practice; or they work only as interior decor of their sacred scriptures? To build up his thesis and comment upon several other associated aspects of fatwas, the author takes into account five collections of fatwas: Fatawa-i- Rizvia, Vol I to XII Kifayat-ul Mufti, Vol I to IX Fatawa-i-Ulema Dar al-Uluma, Deoband Vol I to XII Fatawa-i-Ahl-Hadis, Vol I to IV Fatawa-i-Rahimiyyah Vol I to III Elaborating upon each one of them, the author comes to the main corpus of the work. But - and that is the crux of the matter - with a caution and appeal, for he knows the Muslim psyche too well. "It is possible that the reader will feel embarrassed or angered by what is said in the fatawas, as well as in the primary sources. But he must remember that that is what the texts actually say, and that both the collections of fatwas which I have used and of course the Quaran and the collection of Hadis are available in bookshops throughout our country. Indeed they are the high literature of the community. They constitute the texts which students learn and memorize at the 'centers of Islamic learning' that we are forever being told are among the prides of India. Instead of being embarrassed or angered by what he reads now, he should ask himself why has he not encountered the material earlier? Why is he embarrassed at reading it? Is it because it punctures the image of Islam that he ahs been maintaining in his social circle? is it because it knocks out the premise - "Islam is the religion of tolerance" - on which he has rested his 'secularism'? (pp. 12-13). (All page numbers refer to the book reviewed.) I would therefore hope that instead of doing the usual thing, that is expending their energies in pasting motives, the ones who are angered or embarrassed at encountering this material in original, that they will read it, analyze it, and broadcast their findings. That way they will be devoting themselves to something useful, indeed to something lofty - they will be helping free Muslims from the thrall of the ulema, they will be helping in their liberation." To establish the hard core of Islam that "I'm a Muslim first and a Muslim last", the book starts off with Mahatma Gandhi - Ali Brothers' alliance (holy or unholy) during the Khilafat movement. These Ali Brothers (maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali) who, as politicians, readily bent down to kiss Bapu's feet and hailed him "the most Christ-like man of our times", has the cheek to say at Aligarh and Ajmer: "However pure Mr gandhi's character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion, inferior to any Mussalman though he be without character". (p.23) Even after this statement of Mohammed Ali "created a great stir" (wrote Ambedkar) the Maulana remained unruffled. Asked during another speech at Aminabad Park, Lucknow whether his sentiments were really true, he not only reconfirmed it but went a step further: "Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr Gandhi". (p. 24) Moral: A Muslim is a Muslim. And a maulana, being a bare mian, is Subhanallah. He is above law, nay, a law unto himself, unquestionable, unchallengeable. That is why, concludes the author: "Throughout, the fundamentalists have foreclosed all possibilities of any foundational critique of Islam by standard heads-I-win tails-you-lose accusations: if the critique has been from a Muslim, they dismiss it, maintaining: "But he is a murtaad, an apostate; there is no reason to listen to him." If it has been from a non-Muslim, they have ruled it out of court, maintaining: "But he is a kafir, why should he be listened to?" (p 69) So the buck is passed on to a kafir. Who then is a kafir? Well, collecting and counting all definitions and examples compiled in this book alone might exceed ten thousand, making the question boomerang at the quiz-master. If all of them are kafirs, can anybody single out just one who is not? If so, who shall fling the first stone? For example, Fatwa-i-Rizvia warns that dhoti is a mark of the Hindus, and therefore if a Muslim wears it with the intention of (but how to ascertain the intention?) becoming like the kafir, then he is gulty of kufr. That is, he is automatically out of Islam, and his wife is automatically out of nikah. To restore the status quo ante he must not only embrace Islam again, but go through the nikah again. Similarly, wearing trousers, hat, jacket, "ulta purdah" are prohibited. "Even to stitch such clothes is haraam for a Muslim." (p. 133) According to Barelvis, "proclaiming jai of a kafir like Mahatma Gandhi would ensnare a Muslim in kufr. (p. 134) To trim the beard to less than fist-length is forbidden (haraam) declares the Fatwa-e-Rahimiyyah (p.135) while to shave off the beard is abominable - a person who does so is a fasik. (p. 135) Are you listening? You the ashiks (Romeos) of Lucknow and all the Khans of Bollywood??? Full 43 pages of Vol VI of the fatawa Dar al-Ulum, Deoband are devoted to considering what breaks the roza fast and what does not. Mufti Kifayatullah gives a very qualified ruling on watching wrestling or kabaddi, "To see wrestling in such a way that private parts come to be seen is "na-jaiz". Maulana Ahmed Riza Khan's fulminations against doing anything which entails association with kafirs, Hindus in this case, extend over more than a hundred quarto-sized pages of closely packed text. These fatwas are grouped under the heading "Nafrat ke Ahkam" "The Ordinances of Hatred". (P.245) Chapter 6 entitled "Women and Shariah" is an exhaustive study of the man- woman or the husband and wife equation; and redundant to add that "the husband is always the master". A woman is wickedest thing. And "when excited, she is a hundred times more passionate than man... A woman is "mom ki naak" (white hot tip of the candle), "balki raal ki pudiya" (a tight little packet of resin), "balki barood ki dibiya" (in fact a packet of explosives). If she is brought near a spark (of temptation) it will explode. She is defective in reason as well as in faith. And by nature she is crooked. (p.289) Which is why the husband has the power the absolute, unconditional power to exercise talaq for which he is not accountable to anyone on earth - to throw the wife out by just uttering the word talaq. (p.292). The chapter is replete with hundreds of examples of talaq, and every time the husband stands victor and superior. Then there are fatwas on money (prohibition on interest, insurance, share business); on western medicine (as they contain alcohol), on listening to music or playing musical instruments or even getting photographed. The current rage of course is fatwas on literary writings (just Rushdie and Taslima) which is a big blow to literature and the freedom of expression. The apology by celebrated Urdu writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Mohammed Alvi of Ahmedabad for a poem he wrote 17 years ago is a shocking story. The lines in question were: "Agar tujh ko fursat nahin to na aa, Magar ek achcha nabi bhej de Qayamat ke din kho na jaye kahin Yes achchi ghadi hai abhi bhej de. (O God, if you are too busy to visit us, send some good angel to guide us; and senf him now instead of an the Day of Judgement). Now this fine piece of poetry was found to be "an attack on the Faith and derogatory to the Prophet". A fatwa was issued by Mufti Shabbir Siddiqi of Darool Ulum Shahe Alam, a religious school of Ahamdabad on April 4, 1995 and Alvi was declared a kafir. Fearing excommunication from the faith, Alvi tendered an apology. What remains to be seen is the fate of this book when it reaches to the common public, and is really read/studied in between the lines with a catholic generosity, i.e., with a head in the heart and a heart in the head. Al Hamdullillah.

Posted by: k.ram Mar 7 2005, 09:17 AM

Islamism Reconsidered. by GILLES KEPEL A Running Dialogue with Modernity The last quarter of the twentieth century saw the rise of an unexpected phenomenon: Islamism. Emerging in the Middle East in the early 1970s, it quickly propagated across the Muslim world and became the object of universal fascination--and widespread disquietude. Though undeniably one of the major social upheavals of our era, the Islamist movement has been difficult to interpret because the issues it raises defy categorization of the sort typically used to analyze contemporary societies. Islamism's vocabulary is religious, but the force with which it expresses political objectives and social tensions is felt by all. Islamism seems inscrutable because it juxtaposes confusing and contradictory issues. Is it a reactionary movement, or a progressive one? Those with the former view cite the status of women, application of shari's (religious law), and the proliferation of moral strictures associated with the movement's emergence in predicting a fantastic rollback of civilization should Islamists take power, a return to an obscure era before liberty and modern democracy were known. Supporters of the latter stance see in Islamism the expression par excellence of the claims of oppressed social groups and a reaction to westernization imposed on Islamic societies by colonialism and its aftermath. In rushing to pass judgment on Islamism, we condemn ourselves never to understand a phenomenon that is by nature full of contradictions. We become unable to analyze its true characteristics, the reasons for its emergence, its present objectives, and the strengths and the weaknesses that will cause it to grow still more or decline. The same type of questions were posed through the 20th century about two movements at least as controversial: communism and fascism. The majority of writings about these movements during the period of their greatest development were of a normative character. By galvanizing partisans and adversaries without necessarily promoting reasoned debate, they impeded useful interpretation. "Islamism" is in effect nothing but a name among others. The label remains contentious despite having gained broad acceptance in describing a movement. Where do the borders of Islamism lie in relation to Islam in general? How are its political, religious, cultural, and social dimensions articulated? How should order be brought to a confused public perception built on television images of Ayatollah Khomeini, veil-wearing in French schools, the Algerian civil war, and contentious Saudi control over pilgrimage to Mecca? A generation now separates us from Islamism's beginnings in the 1970s, and the utopian visions of that era have been replaced by concrete realities. Islamist political movements have come to power in a few countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, and Sudan. They have failed politically but proliferated socially in others like Algeria and Egypt. In still other places, the Islamist platform has been co-opted to varying degrees by nominally secular governments: witness Malaysia, Pakistan, Jordan, s Indonesia, and even Turkey. And all across the Muslim world, Islamism has deeply impacted cultural practice. A quarter-century after its birth, Islamism is in a position to be evaluated. Does it still have the capacity to galvanize the masses and to win over elites, or has it been the victim of its own internal contradictions? Has it been oversimplified as a system merely supported by those who gain from it and contested by those it excludes? Growing Pains In order to step outside the prevailing black-and-white characterizations of Islamism and develop a more nuanced approach, we must consider its history as a political movement. During its gestation phase in the 1970s, Islamism stood in opposition to various nationalisms around the Muslim world. It experienced state repression that encouraged the growth of religious networks onto which its nascent politics were grafted. The works of Sunni and Shi'i theoreticians that would become the ideological motivation of its militants were also composed. The 1970s were a critical decade: everywhere in the Muslim world an "avant-garde of the umma" (the community of believers) began to emerge. It gradually conquered the university campus, then swarmed into society through preaching, charitable activities, and investment in the religious and social fields. The movement came to articulate the ideology of Islamic theorists and social crises, which combined a sudden demographic explosion, a general exodus from rural areas, and the arrival to adulthood of a large, educated, restless generation. Left-leaning militant groups appeared everywhere--from Morocco to Indonesia, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Balkans--but they were hardly coordinated. At the same time, the October 1973 war in the Middle East, which gave Saudi Arabia and its allies considerable prestige and fabulous riches (because it was their oil that won victory) allowed a different Islamist sensibility to proliferate. Socially conservative, it nevertheless shared many aspects with the militants' ideologi es, to which it was tied by a discourse using the same religious vocabulary. The combination of these two tendencies allowed the Islamist movement to penetrate very different social milieus: the poor and disgruntled urban youth and the pious bourgeoisie frustrated by its distance from power. Their common cultural references made possible an alliance as fragile as it was explosive. This alliance spawned the period of great confrontations against the state that began in the late 1970s: the Iranian revolution in 1978-79, followed shortly afterward by the assassination of Anwar Sadat in October 1981. But in certain countries, like Malaysia and Pakistan, the Islamist movement was co-opted by the government, conforming to the established sociopolitical order in exchange for effecting an "Islamization" of mores and culture. The next phase was characterized by expansion, but also by the accentuation of internal contradictions. The Islamist movements arrival to considerable power became the major political question everywhere in the Muslim world. The Lebanese civil war, which began as a religious and social conflict, was taken hostage by Hezbollah. The Palestinian cause, which gave body to Arab nationalism, saw born at its breast, with the Intifada that began in 1987, the powerful Islamist movement Hamas. The immigration of North Africans, Pakistanis, and Turks to Europe, and subsequently the war in Bosnia, were increasingly viewed through this prism. Finally, with the electoral success of the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria in 1990-91, followed by a military coup d'etat and the initiation of civil war Islamism was put in paroxysms. The Islamist phenomenon, which certain journalists compared to a single irrepressible tidal wave, was in reality very contradictory. Inside the Muslim world itself, a tumultuous competition for hegemony over the meaning of Islam was taking place. Through the 1980s it opposed the Islamic Republic of Iran against Saudi Arabia and its allies, who armed Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Teheran. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, it was eager to portray itself as the champion of Islam against the petro-monarchies allied with the United States. Even the American stance reflected Islamism's contradictions: the "Great Satan," whose diplomats were taken hostage in Teheran in 1979 and whose GIs were massacred in Lebanon in 1984, armed and financed the jibad against communism in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union's defeat there was the prelude to its disintegration, with Washington's expectations on top of that, but it allowed anarchy favorable to the development of anti-American terrorism to foment at the same t ime the Taliban was coming to power in Kabul. Islamism's last historical phase, at the very end of the twentieth century, appears at first to be a gigantic confusion in which the founders' theories are no longer central, where principles combine with political compromises and the interests of diverse social groups once united in this movement dissociate themselves. Islamism's spread around the world is itself is as much a challenge to its coherence as it is a boon to its relevance and power. Born in defiance of totalitarian nationalisms in the 1960s and having benefited from the prestige attached to resistance against repression, contemporary Islamist doctrine will henceforth be exposed to free debate in newspapers, on the internet, and elsewhere in the public sphere. Political Winds Islamism must define itself in relation to democracy--the ideology that has given rise to such profound cleavages in the movement. The most radical Islamists, who relate to theories of the principal ideologues--the Egyptian Sayyid Qotb, the Pakistani Mawdudi, and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini-are still hostile to the notion of individual sovereignty, which they consider opposed to the will of Allah. Others see themselves as the spokespersons of democracy in a Muslim world where most governments ultimately rely on authoritarianism. Despite their popularity, the Islamist movements' quarter-century of existence has in no way been a dazzling success. Where they have been co-opted into power, they have generally served as backers of regimes in government. When they have clashed with the state, as in Algeria, they have emerged as riven by internecine conflict as by their fight against the state. Sudan and Afghanistan, two states in which Islamists have taken power, are both completely torn by civil war. In Iran, the current status of the Islamic republic was massively questioned by the voters who elected reformist Mohammad Khatami to the presidency in 1997. The bankruptcy of the Islamic Republic of Iran's political project has dealt the first blow to the general enthusiasm that galvanized the Islamist movement as a whole in the twilight of the twentieth century. The "victories" of Sunni Islamists in Afghanistan and Sudan, effectively paid for and armed by Saudi Arabia and the CIA in one case and borne out by a military-religious coup d'etat in the other, are hardly comparable to the true revolution that took place in Iran. There, in a Shi'i milieu, the vision of an Islamist utopia writ large came to fruition. But through the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, one social group--the merchants of the bazaar and those businessmen with connections to the military-religious establishment--appropriated the Islamic Republic. Their rise to power hurt not only the old social elites of the era of the Shah, but especial ly Iran's poor youth, sent first to demonstrate against the imperial army's bayonets and then, the revolution accomplished, martyred en masse in Iraqi minefields. Following "Thermidorian" logic, the sansculottes of the Iranian revolution were eliminated by the neural center of the power system, all while being preached moral philosophy and religious rigor. Upon returning from war, Iran's poor youth had no hope for social advancement despite their sacrifices for the state. The regime offered as scapegoats for their discontent Iran's middle-class women, compelled to wear the veil--whom the pasdarans, basij, and other wretches in battle dress were able to stop and harass if they walked in the streets "improperly veiled." Similarly designing state support for religious radicalism to buttress internal stability, Khomeini declared a fatwa condemning author Salman Rushdie to death in 1989. This was nothing but a macabre assurance given to radicalism to conceal that the revolution had failed to export itself--its avowed goal--in the face of Saudi containment. Their engineering revealed the clearest hopes of Iran's local actors, who have since sought to nourish their people with symbols in lieu of concrete improvements in their standard of living. Then all through the 1990s, demography itself--whose rapid swells had served the Islamist cause for 20 years by driving young people in cities and suburbs to discontent and revolt--reversed its effects. The population explosion was followed by a steady and rapid decline in birth rates. The new urban populations confronted insoluble housing problems; at the same time, women, now having access to the workplace, were obliged to regulate their birth rates. Despite the core ideology of militant Islamists, who see in population growth so many fighters for the jihads of tomorrow, the young couples who live in the metropolises of the Muslim world in the year 2000 have concrete aspirations for a better life that discourage them from having large families. Their generation has lived through a reduction in the birth rate: 20 years ago, families of seven children or more were the norm; today, it is two or three. Unlike their parents, who were largely born in the countryside and who went through the traumas and difficult ies of the rural exodus, this generation has grown up in the city. They share the same literary culture as their parents; but their parents, being of the first generation made literate en masse, were separated from their own rural and illiterate parents by a cultural gulf susceptible to social rupture and the penetration of radical Islamic ideology. The children of Islamism's "bearded generation" no longer have the same dreams that filled the imagination of the preceding generation in the 1970s. This phenomenon is the most resonant in Iran, two decades after Khomeini's victory in 1979. On the twentieth anniversary of the Iranian revolution, a generation that does not remember life under the Shah came of age. This generation chafes under massive unemployment, repressive moralism, and a stiff social order. The religious hierarchy, the bonyads (large charitable foundations with strong connections to the government) who control the economy in tandem with the merchants of the bazaar, and the ensemble of other groups who profit from the Islamic Republic are committed to maintaining the social order. They oppose any reforms that might undermine their power base. Change has proceeded gradually. President Khatami is himself a turbaned product of the clerical establishment, and his room to maneuver remains limited so long as the two other centers of power--Parliament and the position of Guide of the Revolution (Iran's supreme leader and "spiritual guide," currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)--remain in the hands of conservatives. Conservatives also control a large part of the judicial apparatus and the mechanisms of repressive state control. However, the reformist candidates' resounding victory in the February 2000 legislative elections showed without a doubt that much of society has turned against Khomeini's moral and social legacy. Curiously, the uncertainties about the modes of transition from the Islamist era to the "post-Islamist" are reminiscent of the debates about "post-communism" in former Soviet societies. In both cases, whatever the issue, the evidence suggests the ethical defeat of a historically dated and rejected model that posited a future utopia. Toward Post- Islamism A number of intellectuals in Iran and elsewhere are raising the possibility of a transition from the militant Islamism of yesterday and today to an "Islamic democracy" of tomorrow--to "post- Islamism." But can Islamism weather the disqualification of its ideology as a global vision and survive fragmentation into antagonistic tendencies that reflect today's social cleavages? Islamist movements and parties at the turn of the 21st century are striving to reinvent themselves as democratic movements, to denounce the repression they feel they have been victim to. They now invoke the universal rights of man instead of critiquing them with their own substitute visions, and they support the previously decried values of the impious West, like freedom of expression and women's liberties. Some view this cynically as posturing, and compare it to the strategies of communist parties that from time to time spoke in "democratic" language in order to enlarge their voter base and expand their networks, particularly among intellectuals. When the Soviet bloc was still in a position of relative force, this tactic garnered favorable results, attracting the many "sincere democrats" seduced by the messianism invested in the workers' movement itself. By contrast, when the crisis that was to carry off the Eastern bloc and its allies began to dawn, the currents of change befriended those formerly militant communists whose "democratic" credentials allowed them to recycle themselves in civil society, outside of party circles. Such a situation is one of the possible outcomes of the current dialogue between those Islamists now less sure of themselves and the secular democrats of the Islamic world. These secularists, after having been castigated for 20 years as "westernized"--as "sons of France" in North Africa and "brown sahibs" in Southwest Asia--still have at their command networks of contacts, a high level of education, and the confidence of international circles of political and economic power that hold the key to major investment decisions in this hour of globalization and privatization. Paradoxically, the Islamist movement may have generated the conditions for its own obsolescence. The concrete modes of political socialization that Islamism has engendered have helped invalidate the very ideological precepts on which it is founded. Thus the "veiled militants," women who demanded the application of shari'a, have been in many cases the first generation of women speaking out in the public sphere, outside the home. But in the process they have clashed with the "bearded militants," men who have been anxious to confine women to a supporting role in their political missions. Some of these women, particularly in Turkey and Iran, have begun to elaborate an "Islamist feminism" in place of the chauvinism prevalent in the movement. Such trends challenge stiff visions of Islam as an inherent obstacle to democratization in countries where it is the predominant religion--a vision as reductionist as the opposite view, which dresses Islam in a "democratic essence." Regardless of the debate on Islam's social credentials, it appears that we will find here the Islamic democracy of tomorrow. Islam and Modernity Aside from the internal factors in its decline, Islamism has also suffered from the modern misconception of Muslims as militant Islamists controlled by dogma and driven exclusively by religious imperatives. The decline of this misconception opens up a vast space for Muslims to chart their own course in history, emancipated from the yoke of stereotype. The current period of transition could renew the grand historical tradition of Islamic civilizations, which for centuries drove their own destinies yet showed great adaptability in the face of global change. Plasticity permitted Islam, in its era of grandeur, to draw a unique culture out of both Persian and Greco-Roman substrates. Today, passing out of the Islamist era, Muslim societies will build a future that gives a nod to the inevitable by opening to the world and introducing democracy. Young Iranians, young Algerians, and young people all over the Muslim world have relatives overseas with whom they speak on the telephone; they watch satellite television, a nd see the high-speed train of modernity zoom along as it does in Europe and the United States. The regime of the mullahs in Iran, the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, the National Islamic Front in Sudan, not to mention the Taliban in Afghanistan--all leave these young people "at the station." The march toward democracy must confront an obstacle that has nothing to do with religion: the state mechanisms and the elites in power in these countries must prove equally willing to democratize and to reform their modes of governance. We must not forget that Islamist utopianism, from as early as the 1960s, flourished in the repressive and authoritarian environments of most Muslim states of the day--in a climate of nationalism's moral failure and economic stagnation. In the first decades, it grew out of rejection of the democracy of the kofr (impious). It expanded in proportion to the brutality of state powers who exiled, imprisoned, tortured, and executed their opponents while hypocritically quoting slogans of liberty, socialism, or progress. The Islamist ideal was an attractive alternative because its followers believed that faith in God and the Qur'an guaranteed them fulfillment here on earth, far from the perversions and manipulations of despots, be they colonels, kings, or sultans. Islamism's moral credibility, however, hardly survived 30 years of violent and corrupt politics. Islamists are remembered for beating leftist students on university campuses, forcing women to wear the veil, scandals where "Islamic" investments were swindled, censure of literature and terror against its authors, and massacres of civil servants and tourists. Faced with this reputation, the erstwhile militants are advancing a positive-minded social contract and emphasizing their charity projects. They claim to grant access to an urban modernity that still allows traditional young women to wear the veil. They extol socially conscious aspects of the Islamic banking system, and advertise their support for humanitarian organizations. Sociologists and economists will inform the debate over Islamism's ability to transform itself into a democratically viable movement. As we await their appraisal, we look back and see that the moral and political count after three decades of militant Islamism has not borne out the aspirations of its inception. In the near future, the ball is in the court of the governments that have emerged victorious from their confrontation with Islamism. Most have been bruised by the shock of conflict with militant Islamists at some point in their history, or else have been snared into coopting Islamists into the corridors of power. At the turn of the millennium, their task is to reintegrate the social groups pushed aside since independence and to support the birth of a new Islamic democracy--an admixture of culture, religion, and political and economic modernity. GILLES KEPEL is Director of the Doctoral Program on the Muslim World at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. His new book, Jihad: Expansion et declin de l'islamisme (Editions Gallimard, Paris), was published in April 2000.

Posted by: Sunder Mar 7 2005, 04:34 PM

I was reading from site and found the hadith for today as follows:

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. Section from the Prophet Muhammad's (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) last sermon given during the Hajj.
Does this mean Guru Nanak is considered a False Prophet by Muslims.. and if so, what do Sikhs tell them in return. ?

Posted by: Mudy Mar 7 2005, 05:04 PM

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born
Or it means he was absolutely wrong and can't see future.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 7 2005, 05:32 PM

Posted by: Gargi Mar 9 2005, 10:20 AM

MUZAFFARNAGAR: The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board on Wednesday claimed that Taj Mahal was a religious place of Muslims and demanded it be taken out of control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and declared a wakf property.
Excellent, now it deserve Babri treatment, Taj is a reminder of 25000 lost life or chopped hands of Hindus. It is a symbol of atrocities against Hindus.

Posted by: Sunder Mar 9 2005, 02:19 PM

Answering Ajay from xpost:

I have not lived in Hyderabad old city but visited on several occassions. The best rabdi and fantastic paans, very nicely lighted up Charminar, choice pearls, a feeling of being in some city in Arabia, Iraq, or Iran. Nothing wrong with this part of the old city. The hindu-muslim riots are a thing of the past (of 1980s) as far as I know. This is due to people wising up to the fact that all the new businesses set up shop in Bangalore dragging Hydearbad from the 5th city to the 6th.
That's quite a lot of myths in one single post. I am from the Suburbs of Bhagya-Nagaram (aka Hyder-abad.) I have lived there ever since I was 3, on till I *was* 27 before I came to canada. Old City is one of the dirtiest places and least hygienic ones I have seen. Not so much the air pollution, but the restaurants are unfit to eat in, and the layout of the ghettos are a labyrinth maze. The "fantastic paan" that you just mentioned has an ingredient called 'gul-gandh' a sweet gooey thingy containing rose petals and other fragrant material. Well, we KNOW for a fact that the rose petals for the gulgandh comes from discarded garlands after meetings, wedding parties, funeral processions etc. If you are lucky enough you can still see the strand of silver "Jigina" (don’t know the english name.) Talking of riots, you cant see much "large scale" riots for quite a few reasons. 1) After Ram Janam bhoomi movement, the riots are lower on a sheer number scale. 2) Hyderabad is infested with ISI, and is almost a safe heaven for them. A major riot and subsequent inquiries is not in their interest. There however are definite signs that all is not back to normal. I can't find the news articles, but here are the incidents I remember: 1) Two years ago, there was a small squabble at a tea stall in hyderabad, when a customer did not pay for his tea. The shopkeeper and him got into a quarrel and it soon escalated into a small 'hindu-muslim' stonning/stabbing incident with *only* 12 people dead. Not a riot, but a small scale friendly reharsal. 2) When the Gujarat Police came in search of "Maulana something" the murderer of Haren Pandya, the local moslems went on a riot and 2 person died in police firing. This was before Diwali last year.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 9 2005, 03:14 PM

Whats more - I think there was talk about arresting the gujju cops who had to shoot in self defense. I think YSR backtracked but not sure. Plus its one of the first places that started talking about muslim reservations.. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 10 2005, 02:24 PM

Letters to editor..

Appeasement all the way Sir—Kudos to KR Phanda for his article, “Learn from example” (March 5). He has correctly stated how, until after World War I, Christian Europe prevented Muslims from participating in European politics. On the other hand, it always seemed that both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, even though they were Hindus, found Muslims indispensable to the country. With the British on their side, the Muslims fulfilled their long cherished dream of carving out a homeland for themselves; Pakistan, in 1947. In 1947 the stage was set for Hindus and Muslims to finally settle in two separate states. But, the so-called secularists retained the majority of Muslims in India. In his article, “In search of Lebensraum” (February 1), Prakash Singh has listed 11 indicators which reflect that Hindu India is slowly turning Islamic. He has left the solution of this crisis to the self-appointed guardians of Hindu faith. However, so engrossed are they in their own world, that they are still groping in the dark for a solution. Spain had been under Muslim rule for more than 700 years. The Spaniards continued their battle against the Arabs till they won back their last city, Granada, in 1502 AD. Their King Ferdinand gave three options to Muslims—migrate to Africa, convert to Christianity, or embrace death. Some migrated, a few fought and were killed, and the rest reconverted to Christianity. The Spanish removed all traces of Arab rule. Hindus in India too fought against Turkish, Afghan and Mughal rule till the 18th century. However, during the reign of the British, they began chanting slogans of Hindu-Muslim unity. As time passed, the British adopted the policy of Muslim appeasement. Meanwhile, the Muslims readied themselves for a war to re-establish Muslim rule no sooner than the British left. In this endeavour they were fully backed by the Muslim clergy. The result of this well-planned strategy was Pakistan. Thus, while Hindu leaders, whether political, social or religious, have since been fighting among themselves, Islamic forces, due to their inherent tendency to coalesce, are taking long strides as outlined by Mr Singh. Ram Gopal Paschim Vihar, New Delhi

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 16 2005, 10:40 AM

`No party untouchable for Muslims' By Our Staff Reporter MALAPPURAM, MARCH 15. The Samastha Kerala Sunni Yuvajana Sanghom (SYS), the youth wing of the Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobaker Musaliar, has said that there is no political party that could not be voted by the country's Muslims. Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Wandoor Abdurahman Faizi and Koottampara Abdurahman Darimi, State secretary and district president respectively of the SYS, said no political party, including the Indian Union Muslim League, was following the ideals of Islam in their entirety. Lashing out at the leadership of the E.K. Sunni faction led by Cherussery Zainuddin Musaliar, the SYS leaders said the Sunnis could never justify or support anti-Islamic ideologies. Religious leaders who work for the promotion of any political party cannot be respected, they said. Pinarayi's visit Asked about the CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan's visit to Markazu Ssaqafathi Ssunniyya, the headquarters of the Sunni faction, during its anniversary celebrations recently, the SYS leaders said it was not Mr. Vijayan alone who visited Markaz. Several political leaders, including those of the BJP, had visited Markaz in the past. Mr. Vijayan's visit, they said, was not part of any scheduled programme. He had come on his own. They criticised the Muslim League for taking recourse to the controversial Islamic cleric Yousuf El-Qardawi's fatwa on communism. Mr. Qardawi's is a solitary view, they said. Will the Muslim League subscribe to Mr. Qardawi's views on jihad that glorify terrorists as `shuhada' or martyrs, they asked. Conferences They said the SYS would organise a series of conferences at the zonal level spreading the message of the `invincible Ahlu-Ssunnath' in April and May. The campaign will begin with a two-day conference at Kottakkal on April 14 and 15. Meetings will be held at Pulikkal, Wandoor, Edakkara, Tirurangadi, Tanur, Nilambur, Melattur, Kolathur, Areekode, Tenhipalam, Kuttipuram, Tirur, Edappal, Perinthalmanna, Manjeri, Kondotty, Ponnani and Malappuram, they said.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 16 2005, 05:35 PM

xposting.. ________________________________ This is an interesting change. I suppose if hindus cannot get everybody to stop proselytising they might as well accept the battle and defeat the enemy once and for all. The line should still be -> stop proselytising or face some hindu response.

Proselytising Hinduism? Priyadarsi Dutta A debate on whether Hinduism is (or was) a proselytising religion or not, is currently being pursued in these columns. Common knowledge is that it is not. To die a Hindu, one will have to be born so, but being born as Hindu is no guarantee that one will also die so. Babasaheb Ambedkar provides an interesting insight: "It is not that the Hindu religion was never a missionary religion, indeed could not but have been a missionary religion. On the contrary, it was once a missionary religion, otherwise it would have been difficult to explain how it spread over an area so vast as the Indian subcontinent. But once a missionary religion, Hinduism perforce ceased to be a missionary religion after the time the Hindu society developed its system of castes. For caste is incompatible with conversion... According to the Hindus, for a person to belong to a caste, he must be born in it... So long as the Hindu society is fragmented in autonomous and autogenic castes, Hindu religion cannot be a missionary religion" (Ambedkar Writing and Speeches, Vol 8, p 30-31). Caste can be an obstacle when Hindus are proselytising. But they are not. Hindus, unlike Christians or Muslims, have no scriptural obligation and hence no motivation to try converting others to Sanatan Dharma. Hindus believe that salvation is dependent on the individual's Karma and not his religion. Yet we speak about conversion only after perceiving a demographic threat. Actually, the remarks of Ambedkar quoted above were in response to such a concern. The great revolutionary Lala Hardayal had once suggested that Afghanistan, which was once Hindu and then Buddhist, should be reconverted to Hinduism, failing which there would be no security for Hindus in India. It was not a spiritual or moral mission to redeem Muslims from Islam, but essentially to ensure security for Hindus. Therefore, it was not a reactive but proactive step. Besides, is there no truth in the notion that much of Southeast Asia had become a home away from home for Hindus and Buddhists? It was a proactive rather than a reactive policy between the fourth and 10th century AD-Krimbantu Vishwa Aryam (we shall indoctrinate the world into Aryan faith). Similarly proactive was Emperor Asoka's Buddhist mission to different countries, he sent his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra to Ceylon to spread Buddhism. Buddhism found converts in Central Asia, China, South Asia and Southeast Asia. In modern times, missions such as ISKCON have been successful in attracting converts to Hinduism. Here I must acknowledge the power of unitary divinity over a polytheistic pantheon in attracting converts. Buddha or Krishna could attract more people than ten Hindu gods put together. Therefore, the question that should be asked is whether caste poses certain practical problems? We approve of an Indian girl marrying a European or vice-versa because, inherently, we consider Europeans as a superior race. So if we have no problem when a French or German is Christian and out of the caste system, then why should it be a problem when he is? A European could be put at par or even above a Brahmin. Again, whether we admit it or not, we are indifferent towards Negroes. The only thing we can do about them is to pray that they accept Christianity.

Posted by: rajesh_g Mar 17 2005, 11:39 AM

Again, intolerance This refers to N Jamal Ansari’s letter, “Touchstone for secularism” (March 14), and Priyadarsi Dutta’s response to it, “Past and the future” (March 15). Mr Dutta has effectively repudiated the regressive stance of Mr Ansari and his ilk. These Islamic zealots deride Ms Nasreen because she has reservations about some aspects of Islam, particularly those in regard to women. This has prompted them to demand Ms Nasreen’s immediate deportation from West Bengal, where she is currently residing. Ironically, while Mr Ansari strongly opposes Ms Nasreen’s request for Indian citizenship, he also asserts that a positive decision on the matter will lift the morale of the “fascist forces” in the country. He arrogates to himself the power of setting a benchmark of secularism as it is practiced by the Government. Thus, if the Government grants Ms Nasreen Indian citizenship, it will be dubbed fascist or communal. This is truly effrontery. Let us examine the other argument Mr Ansari has put forward against granting the author Indian citizenship. According to him, there is no guarantee that she will respect Indian laws when “she has failed to comply with the laws” of her homeland. But what legality is Mr Ansari talking about? It is common knowledge that Ms Nasreen was opposed to the repressive, anti-minority policies of the Bangladeshi regime and the Islamic zealots in that country. As a liberal democrat, is it not her fundamental right to question these policies which, according to her, were wrong and unjust? Has Mr Ansari ever chided his community members for hounding Ms Nasreen, even when they were all out to persecute and kill her because she was not a burqa-clad faithful? She was forced to run away from the country of her birth to save her life. Has it ever occurred to the likes of Mr Ansari that such intolerance shown by bigots is increasingly becoming a cause of embarrassment to the new generation of Muslims? Today’s Muslim youth is enlightened and sensitive. Therefore, one has reasons to believe that they would not be averse to reforms in Islam that are in tune with contemporary social and political values. M Ratan Karol Bagh, New Delhi

Posted by: acharya Mar 19 2005, 05:16 PM

Subject: Re: Future of Kashmir !!!! I am not sure why Amit says that Muslims trust India. What act of benevolence has the Hindu community (and the government run by them) shown towards the Muslims that they would feel so? >>>THAT MUSLIMS ONLY IN INDIA HAVE BEEN CATING VOTES FOR THE LAST 60 YEARS, THAT MUSLIMS ARE EXCELLING IN VERY FIELD BE IT TECHONOLOGY OR SPORTS, THAT MUSLIMS HAVE THEIR OWN LAWS TO FOLLOW, WHAT OTHER PROOF YOU NEED...CAN YOU PROVIDE A SIMILAR EXAMPLES FROM A MUSLIM OR A WESTERN COUNTRY. The way the Hindu dominated GOI has treated Muslims, Christians and other minorities in India (not to mention Kashmiris) I would say that they actually feel trapped. Given half a chance they would opt for independence. >>>CAN YOU PLEASE ALOBRATE ON THAT, AZIM PREMJEE DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, SHAH RUKH KHAN DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, APJ ABDUL KALAM DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, GHULAM NABI AZAD DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, IRFAN PATHAN DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, SANIA MRIZA DOESN’T FEEL TRAPPED, SONIA GANDHI, MICHAEL PREARRA, GEORGE FERNANDES DON’T FEEL TRAPPED AND THE LIST IS ENDLESS We should not forget the number of secessionist movements that India has seen so far: Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Khalistan, and Kashmir. All of them have been armed and sustained over prolonged periods. Take my word on it, once Tamils get their Elam in Sri Lanka they will turn on India as well. It is a ticking bomb waiting to explode, having already claimed its first victim in the form of Rajiv Gandhi. >>>ALL SPONSORED BY EITHER SAUDI/PAKISTANI MADRASAAS OR WESTERN CHURCHES, WHY BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SEE A GREAT COUNTRY LIKE INDIA SURVIVE WITH MULTI RELIGIOUS, MULTI CULTURAL BACKGROUND, BECAUSE FOR THEIR OWN SURVIVAL, TO COLLECT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN DONATIONS, TO FOOL THEIR OWN PEOPLE, TO PURSUE THEIR HIDDEN AGENDAS THEY NEED TO CREATE CONFLICTS IN PEACE LOVING COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA. REMEMBER FOR A HERO TO SURVIVE HE NEEDS A VILLIAN OTHERWISE HE HAS NO VALUE, SO WHAT DOES HE DO IF THERE ISN’T A VILLIAN, IT WILL CREATE ONE FOR ITS OWN SURVIVAL The Unity of India is such a joke. One of the big reasons being put out by the Indians against giving independence to Kashmir is that it would trigger the disintegration of the entire nation, with every other state wanting to break away as well. I guess Bharat Mata is not so sacred after all. Usually those that are happy and treated well don't contemplate secession. >>>QUITE RIGHT, BUT BHARAT MATA HAS SONS LIKE YOU WHO ARE TRAITORS, WHO LIVING HERE PLOT SCHEMES TO MAKE IT BLEED. BUT SONS LIKE YOU FORGET THAT HATRED BREEDS HATRED, VIOLENCE BREEDS VIOLENCE AND GUN CULTURE BREEDS GUN CULTURE. SO IF TRAITORS LIKE YOU THINK THAT BY MAKING BHARAT MATA BLEED ONE DAY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK IT OR ESTABLISH AN ISLAMIC LAW, THEN ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS GET REAL. THERE ARE STILL ENOUGH SONS OF SOIL ALIVE WHO WILL NOT LET MALICIOUS PEOPLE LIKE YOU SUCCEED IN THEIR WICKED PLANS. Perhaps this could be confirmed by holding the plebiscite in Kashmir. Come to think of it this option should be given to all the north-eastern states and to the Muslims of India as well, especially in Gujrat. >>>THERE IS ANOTHER NAME FOR IT CALLED GENERAL ELECTIONS. NO ONE KEEPS A GUN ON THE HEADS OF THESE PEOPLE TO MAKE THEM VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS SO WHY DO THESE MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, ETC. TURNOUT IN SUCH HUGE NUMBERS. BY NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE ELECTIONS THEY CAN SHOW THE WHOLE WORLD THAT THEY ARE NOT PART OF INDIA BUT THAT DOENS’T HAPPEN. IN KASHMIR ITSELF WHY DID PEOPLE TURNOUT IN HUGE NUMBERS IN THE RECENT ELECTIONS THERE, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE GUN CULTURE WILL ONLY BRING THEM MORE DEATHS AND NOTHING ELSE. Gauhar

Posted by: acharya Mar 19 2005, 05:25 PM

Posted by: Mudy Mar 20 2005, 05:31 PM

Pioneer Ed

Islam and family planning Prafull Goradia Recently, the Ministry of Health filed an affidavit before the Delhi High Court in reply to a public interest litigation. The message of the Government submission was that it disowns its longstanding two-child norm popularised over decades as "Hum do, Humare do" (refer to press reports including the Hindustan Times of February 21). The family planning programme has been declared as voluntary and couples are free to decide the size of their families. In the nature of things, normally the wife is disinclined to have children beyond the fulfillment of her motherhood. Most often it is the husband who insists on more children, especially males. In the case of Muslims, there is a religious exhortation to have more children. It all started with Prophet Mohammad ordaining his followers "to marry women who will love their husbands and be very prolific, for I wish you to be more numerous than any other people" (Mishkatu 7 Masabih). With the help of this one profound statement, the Prophet enunciated the policy of Muslims outnumbering the kafirs or non-believers across the globe. The Shariat, which is based on the tenets of the Holy Quran, is logical as it permits the man to have as many wives as necessary subject to a maximum of four at any given point of time. Adoption is not allowed. Celibacy is frowned upon. Even saints are exhorted to marry and enjoy life to the fullest. On one occasion, Mohammad asked a man if he was married, and being answered in the negative, he said, "Art thou sound and healthy?" Upon the man replying that he was, the Prophet said, "Then thou art one of the brothers of the devil." (Dictionary of Islam by Thomas Patrick Hughes, Rupa & Co, page 313). My Urdu teacher, late Agha Iqbal Mirza, once confided to me that he was a failed man. Since he was an ordinary person, he could neither convert people to Islam nor could he persuade them as a dervish might. Nor could he allure them by offering employment. He could serve the cause of God only by multiplying his breed. Unfortunately, he had not been able to earn enough to maintain a family. True, it was Mohammad who gave the woman the right to property for the first time in human history. However, it was made sure that she got a distinctly smaller share of inheritance than the man. Also there is a rule which says that one male witness was equivalent to two female witnesses in any dispute. It was a clear message to the woman that hers was an inferior gender and she was half of man. Consistent with this equation, the husband was given the privilege to divorce his wife at any time without assigning any reason. Whereas, the woman cannot unilaterally divorce her husband. She has to go through a long and complicated process called khul to be free from her spouse. The sum total of the Prophet's ordainment and the Shariat was that woman existed for the pleasure of man and for the production of children, so that the momins can outnumber the kafirs by qayamat or dooms day. No doubt, the recognition of the woman's rights by Islam was the ultimate in modernity. Remember that in those times all civilisations considered woman to be merely a chattel. However, what was modern 1400 years ago is today in the 21st century outmoded. Herein lies the challenge for Muslim women to stand up for their rights consistent with the Prophet's insistence on modernity. The recent formation in Lucknow of a Women's Personal Law Board is a welcome augury. I have no doubt that Mohammad was extraordinarily dynamic and did not believe in civilisation remaining static. biggrin.gif It is his followers, especially those of the recent centuries, who are letting the Prophet down by blocking the process of reform merely with the intent of holding on to their grip over the community. It is not widely known whether the Prophet had the vision to permit contraception or birth control. Fourteen centuries ago, no artificial means of contraception were known. He, therefore, recommended al azi or coitus interrupts (Hadith 3371, Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim). Evidently, he recognised that life would change with time. The logic today is that as death rates go down, longevity increases. Birth rate has to come down pari passu. The message of the 21st century medical science is that it is difficult to die. A century ago, it was conventional to be ready for death after the age of 50. Today even 70 may be looked upon as a little too young to die. It is common sense that the national wealth divided by the number of citizens is equal to either poverty or prosperity. China, the world's most populous country, realised this decades ago and introduced a policy of one child, as distinct from India's two-child norm. This Chinese policy was introduced at a time when Marxism in that country was on its death bed and Deng Xiaoping's nationalism was taking over. Indian communists, however, would not take a cue from China because they are internationalists. They wish the poor to produce more children so that they remain in poverty and continue to be mere vote-banks. With the advent of prosperity, a peasant or a worker begins to forget communism and moves towards becoming petit bourgeois. Furthermore, the communists are allies of supranationalist Muslims who have a vested interest in expanding the momin population. Between these two sets of non-nationalists - communists and pan-Islamists - India's socio-economic sector would be under threat.

Posted by: keshto patel Mar 20 2005, 10:48 PM

Fatwa Empire Leaving Muslim stock, there were not very many earthlings who knew the exact meaning of a Fatwa or a religious edict under Islam, till the famous (or infamous for that matter) Salman Rushdie episode kicked in on the international scale. This time the Fatwa had a made in Iran stamp and the proud manufacturer of this product was no one but one Islamic fundamentalist fanatic of international repute by the name of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini whose literature still causes many decibels of noise pollution in today's Iran through the mosque loudspeakers. Fatwas can be termed as a two sides of a coin, or better said, a slice of bread with butter on one side and nothing on the other. Fatwas are genuine religious edicts of their Imams who try to convey adherents of Islam what is wrong or right as per Islam. Under Islamic jurisprudence every Muslim must follow the Fatwa or religious edict for the great cause of Islam in their ritual life. But Fatwas are benign and malign based on who it is directed at, basically there are harmful and harmless Fatwas depending on who is a target of such religious edict. In case of Rushdie Salman, who on default became an apostate by engaging in an act of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in his international best seller book satanic verses which shot him to a celebrity fame but also took a toll on him by forcing him to forego his normal way of life by confining himself within four walls most of the time – thanks only to one malign Fatwa that was issued against him to have him decimated at contact. On the other hand there are million of Muslims who receive benign Fatwas day in day out and seek the Islamic tenets as laid down by their warrior prophet Muhammad to live a life as per those guidelines as lived by Prophet as described in Kuran and Hadeeths (Sunna) and as interpreted by Grand Muftis of Islam who are the Professors of allegedly true Islam who oversee Madarsas and Umma in connivance with political big wigs of Jeddah and or Islamabad. Imams issue Fatwas, as for example, that Muslims must eat with their right hand, they should not mingle with Kafars because it would dilute Islam, that they should encourage Dawa to bring forth Kafars under Islam's big roof and try to convert them, that they should not eat Mayonnaise because it contains tallow which is of swine origin. All these Fatwas are harmless for Muslim Brothers - a slice of bread with no butter. Here comes a kicker, a slice of bread with butter that is only reserved against kafars, This is a side of slice which attracts Fedayeens with malign Fatwas who in their dedicated life to Islam, want to achieve the last of the paradise, the ultimate, Houris and rivers of wine as promised by Kuran which induces them to kill or get killed under the name of all merciful Allah and meet with him in Jannat (paradise) by way of doing Jehad, by killing kafars of this beautiful earth - Exclusive property of Allah. Remember Rushdie was declared apostate, a non Muslim, hence the Fatwa fell on him, it did not fall on better deserving candidates of allegedly peaceful Islam like Osama bin Laden or Ommar mian simply because they are the best Muslims who are only doing what is required of them to do by Allah – decimate the infidels, should they not submit to him. Ladies and gentleman, Please don't get deceived by a phony mini Fatwa of unknown character that originated from Spain, it was a tool just to fool white man as to think that those Muslims were with them and not Jehadis to save their own selves with lesser backlash from Spanish society. It is called Tiqiyyah or deception to fool gullible Kafars. I say this is Phony Fatwa because you know as well I, including high Priests of Islam at Riyadh or Jeddah that this Fatwa cannot be carried out, who in his right mind would believe that Osama would be killed by a Muslim? Who would bell the cat like scenario pops up with above situation. The chances of such ridiculous Fatwas to kill Osama is minus zero. Malign Fatwas are reserved for kafars stupid! That's the law of the Islamic lands as lived by Hazrat Muhammad and as prescribed by Mullahs of today in the ears of Muslims at every Friday sermon. Those laymen must note one interesting trend that there are 57 Muslim nations (source OIC) from where the Fatwas may be manufactured, but they can be carried out anywhere internationally a la van gouh or on any other potential Kafar Keshtos of the world. As I write this article, luckily look at what has come forward as a news to bolster my views on this kind of Islamic menace of coercive nature: A Yoga Guru threatened by Muslim hoodlums; and believe me these things are routine in India where meek Hindus are overpowered by Muslim Mafia either from India or from Islamabad a la Dawood. Also read here: India is, for all practical purpose, a democracy with soft belly which has been ripped open by Islamic sword that is bleeding it at every sunshine, and the bizarre thing is that our politicians are constantly trying to preserve the status quo on this sordid saga of national in-security matter which can make or break Hindus of India. Country like India is besieged with Islamic Mafia who rule the roost with the help of rented Hindus who have no principles or conscious. Islam has Mafia like vice on its followers with monopoly on jehad and code of silence, hence I would recommend the local authorities to do various sting operations on all the mosques and find out the unmasked face of it to their surprise. Determination phase must start now before its too late, For it is Kafars who are at stake, not Mir Jafars of Islam. Stop Fatwa regime, before it stops you. Think 3D Keshto Patel.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 22 2005, 11:42 PM

The office of Egypt's chief interpreter of Islamic law announced its position in a statement in response to the actions of Amina Wadud, who led men and women in an Islamic prayer service in New York on Friday, officials told Reuters. "As for the call to prayer by a woman, giving the Friday sermon or leading the Friday prayer ... it is not allowed," the office of Ali Gomaa, The Grand Mufti of Egypt, said in the statement. It is mandatory for Muslim men to attend communal Friday prayers whereas attendance for women is optional. "As for women leading men in other communal prayers, the vast majority of scholars say it is forbidden," said the mufti's office, also known as Dar al-Ifta. Wadud's service was covered in front-page reports in several Egyptian newspapers, some of which said the service challenged Islamic principles. "As for men and women praying in one row mixed together, this is not permissible in any situation," the Gomaa's office said. Typically, Muslim women sit behind men in worship services, or pray in another part of the mosque. In some cases, they enter a mosque through a back or side door. However, men and women are not separated while worshipping at the Kaaba in Mecca but carry out communal prayers in different areas during the rites of the Islamic annual Haj pilgrimage. Orthodox Jews also segregate men from women during religious services and Roman Catholics do not allow women to hold important leadership roles.
Now mullahs are trying to control Mosque in US. This is from Egyptian cleric.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 23 2005, 12:54 PM

Islam and humanism Mr M Yusuf Khan, in his article, "Threat of identity?" (December 24), did not address the main issue raised by Mr Prafull Goradia in his article on Muslim separatism. It is well known that Muslim League's demand for a separate homeland for Indian ummah was fulfilled when the country was partitioned in 1947. There are similar demands for separation from Muslims in the Kashmir valley, Russia, Thailand, Philippines, and various parts of Africa. In fact, this is perhaps the greatest threat that non-Muslim nations face today. Mr Khan tries to trivialise the issue of separatism by pointing to the fact Hindus and Muslims in various parts of the country more or less follow a similar dress code. The commonality in dressing patterns was true of the pre-Independence times as well, but that did not prevent the creation of Pakistan on religious ground. Also, if it was similarity in apparel that bound Muslims with their non-Muslim counterparts, the Sikhs living in Afghanistan would never have been driven out during the Taliban regime. Does Mr Khan know that Sikhs in that country were actually asked to wear patches of yellow cloth that would indicate their status of zimmis and thus separate them from the momins? In this context I would like to quote MRA Baig who wrote the following 30 years ago. He said, "In the final analysis, neither the Quran nor Mohammad advocated humanism or even coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims, and that Islam with all its apparatus, was conceived and devised as the religion to end all religions. This is scarcely calculated to make its adherents popular in India or in any country in which Muslims are in a minority. This also explains why no country in which Muslims are in a majority can have a secular constitution and why no practising Muslim can be humanist." (page 11, The Muslim Dilemma in India by MRA Baig, Vikas Publishing House. Delhi, 1974). KR Phanda Janakpuri, New Delhi

Posted by: k.ram Mar 23 2005, 06:06 PM

The Badr Al-Riyadh Tape: A Well Organized Al-Qaida's Media Strategy Revealed Mar 23, 2005 By Louis Atiyyatullah, Global Islamic Media Centre; English Translation © Jihad Unspun 2005 With the issuing of the tape Badr Al-Riyadh, or the "Riyadh Martyrs", Al-Qaida shows a clear media strategy as described in this in-depth analysis by Louis Atiyyatullah of Global Islamic Media Centre, giving us insight into how the group works. We remind our viewers that the statements, opinions and points of view expressed in this article are those of the author and shall not be deemed to mean that they are necessarily those of Jihad Unspun, the publisher, editor, writers, contributors or staff and is provided for informational purposes only. First, I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for that excellent group who produced the tape, Badr al-Riyadh (1), meaning the As-Sahab Foundation and the Mujahideen affliated to them because this tape came at the very relevant time and washed away a lot of the lies and fabrications spun by the Salul Media (2) trying to convince people with them. The tape is relevant for several reasons, including the fact that it stuck a great blow to those in the Salul Media who tried to philosophically explain away the issues surrounding the operation and all those fools who spoke presented conspiracy theories or suggested that others waged the attack or used the Mujahideen in executing the operation. Also, despite the delay in releasing the presentation, the delay was a deliberate strategy developed by the media experts in Al-Qaida, and was part of an overall strategy stated by Sheikh Yusuf al-Obeiry, may Allah have mercy upon him, after the first Riyadh attack. At that time I asked him "don't you have media steps to support your operation in the media and to repel all lies being spread against you by Al-Salul? He said "You must understand that there is a specific media strategy with the Mujahideen, and in a nutshell it is this. Any operation is planned and supported in three stages. The first stage is in providing support before an attack is carried out and during preparation by preparing investigating its permissibility from the Islamic viewpoint and its soundness according to Shariah. Once this is established, the media strategy is prepared including all the media materials including photographing what can be photographed. Finally an analysis of the expected reaction is carried out, and this itself will affect the media support decision after execution. So, from studying the effects of the operation and the reactions to it, the production engineers in the media will be able to arrive at a decision on how and what material will be released, when it should be released and when they should hold back from publishing till the blowback that may result from the operation has calmed down." From my personal studies of the actions of Al-Qaida, I have observed that they are actually following these strategies for the most part in their multimedia productions. Perhaps, the most obvious example of these is the attack in September 11th itself. It appears that Al-Qaida undertook research from the religious point of view, one of the most prominent being the book "The Reality of the Crusades (war)" that was authored by Sheikh Yusuf himself. Secondly, a tape by Bin Laden was prepared in which he warned America that was subsequently released on the first day of America's invasion of Afghanistan, peaking its media impact in the oath sworn by Bin Laden. Then, after about two years, Al-Qaida released the rest of the 911 explaination publicized by Yousri Fouda in Top Secret - The Road To 911 (3) because they saw that the time had arrived to release the remainder of the story. All these things clearly indicate that there are huge media minds working within Al-Qaida and these minds have been blessed by Allah with great qualities, which can rarely be found in the lean Arab media. Some of the most obvious of these qualities are that these are brains have been able to free themselves from stereotyping and the blind following that burdens the shoulders of most of those who think they are media experts in the Muslim world. To the contrary, these minds are creative and innovative, tackling the realities of the situation with great intelligence; dumbfounding even the westerners, though the West is a master of the media industry. Among the most prominent of their innovations is the recording of the operation in East Riyadh by voice during the execution of the operation using a mobile phone, to the extent that an American spy agent confessed that there was innovation in this idea and said that those are `people distinctly intelligent and creative..' Al-Qaida has become, as a result of their substantial media strategy, the pacesetters for new media standards, and present solutions for overcoming the problems they face in the course of their action. This means that they are an expert group that studies and analyses in order to identify the problems that are confronting them and then develop innovative new technological or tactical approaches. This in turn results in improving their experience in an ever-increasing pattern. Covering the Easter Riyadh operation by voice provided a basis for improved coverage of the al-Muhayya operation with sound and visuals. As the setters of new standards in media practices, this means that the result may not be perfect in the first instance, but certainly whoever is moving along the path of innovation will attain perfection after repeated efforts. The creative media minds of al-Qaida obviously have self confidence and strive for excellence despite their weakness in resources. This commitment to excellence is being expressed by their actions and abilities to challenge the world's media that is working against them in its entirety, and in a manner that is stupefying. It is nothing short of amazing, as despite their meager resources, they have succeeded in directing their messages to their destinations with precision. Considering they do not own a single satellite channel, for example, nor do they spend millions on the popular channels as done by some channels but rather use tape that costs them next to nothing and in a manner that results in a strong production, they succeed in sending their messages where they want to. Naturally this success cannot be divorced from the foundation of the issue they are working towards; the root cause for their success in the media is that they are fighting the American crusaders. It appears that the Al-Qaida media minds are acting in accordance to a certain pre-determined strategy, already studied and analyzed well, and they appear not to be affected by the present bad situation or particular consequences or lies. Rather, they carry on carefully, according to their plans, so that they may be the primary force of that strategy that then affects others. This can clearly be seen in the delay in releasing the Badr Al-Riyadh tape despite the strong attacks launched by the Salul media against them, and the negative attacks launched by people such as Muhsin al-Awajiy and other unofficial speakers on behalf of the Salul Media. Al-Qaida did not bother with all of this nonsense but rather when they believed it was time to release the tape, they released it, calmly, leaving the enemies of Jihad speechless afterwards and putting Muhsin al-Awajiy and the rest to shame. Probably the secret behind the media success of this tape is that it goes back to a collective effort based on a clear and specific strategy, laid down by the best Muslim minds in Jihad, excellent in intelligence and innovation, free of the usual stereotyping and working as a collective effort that comes together and was carefully built. With all of its building blocks complete, it produced a building whose sight pleases the beholders after its completion. Also, you will find this fact clearly in front of you in most of the works of Al-Qaida, be they media works, military matters or ideas. This fact also leads to another reality, which is that collective organized work is not affected by the loss of individuals, because individuals are easily replaced with others. The organization exists not on any individual; rather it operates as number of distributed responsibilities where the loss of individuals is redundant. This is one of the secrets of the effectiveness of Al-Qaida and their success in group operations; based on core strategies; by each person who joins the group learns this to the extent that the absence of an individual or group will not have any effect. Rather, the organization goes on with its work because the absence will be covered later on. One very good example of this is the fact the absence of a mountain such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Obeiry, may Allah have mercy upon him, did not affect the existence of the Centre for Research and the Centre continues to play a vital role with strength and several publications have been spun off, including a new magazine. May Allah bless those taking care of it. This particular issue was also mentioned by Sheikh Yusuf, may Allah have mercy upon him, when he talked about the media strategies of Al-Qaida and said "An organizational work remains irrespective of the absence of individuals. This also leads us to another result I wish to give as a free gift to the security of Al-Salul and the CIA, which is that these organizations, in addition to the fact that they are not affected by the absence of individuals, are also not affected by attacks because the responsibilities are distributed in an astonishing pattern based on a productive and creative media theory innovated by Sheikh Yusuf al-Obeiry and some highly intellectual personalities inside Al-Qaida. I will call this the "Satellite Channels Theory", and the theory in essence is that any organization such as As-Sahab Foundation, for example, cannot be hit or stop from its activities easily, no matter how much the unbelievers and infidels will spend of their efforts, because they are organizations working according to the theory of Al-Qaida, the mother, in an international work, and if Americans do not understand this statement, they should go to hell and take Al-Salul with them." What I mean by "collective organized work" is that it is a work that many different organizations may participate in, each undertaking a specific part, without necessarily understanding the entire picture through its doing that particular job. For example, the spying unit may be directed to observe and photograph a particular place in order to ascertain the existence of Americans so they will only be charged with observing and photographing it. Here, the security wing may not be able to understand the complete picture, rather, it will undertake its responsibility of photographing, submit the photos to the section that requires it and its role will end. But, here, even some of the members of this unit may fall (into the hands of the enemy) however the complete picture of the operation will not be understood so it doesn't matter what strength of investigations are undertaken by the hypocrites on those detained. When they have finished the duty of taking photos, they will submit the material to the unit that requested it and that unit may play a role or it may pass it on to other units until it reaches the final destination which will produce the final production of a tape that will please the viewers, or an operation that will humiliate the unbelievers. This calls for nobleness and, all praise due to Allah, there are people who are sincerely spending the most valuable things in life in order to uplift the Ummah. It also requires humility in replying to those demoralized people that try to present the work of Al-Qaida as a chaotic unorganized action, devoid of planning. All these reasons are indicated in the fact that in all instances, sincere people who have sold their lives for the sake of Allah do not look down upon their work at all, even if it is just to upload a file on the internet, but rather they look to Allah to bless their actions and produce fruit that will astonish the enemy. They are men who understand fully what they are doing and are going about it in accordance with specific and carefully pre-planned strategies step by step. In this point there is something which explains the statement of Dr. Sa'ad al-Faqih (commenting on the Badr al-Riyadh tape) when he said "Certainly the "Reformers" have failed in trying to hide and send pictures of their protest marches to the media because whenever a photo was taken, the material fell into the hands of the Salul security forces. The organized collective work of al-Qaida and the distribution of responsibilities gave it the ability to succeed in taking pictures of the residential area with accuracy and establishing the existence of tight security and high protection for the area before the attack and this is this that al-Qaida wanted to confirm through the Badr al-Riyadh tape." Also, the tape exposes the fact that the media experts in al-Qaida, in addition to their innovativeness, their creativity and the fact that they use collective group work, have a strong ability to psychologically read their audience and listeners. This is why the tape consisted of a number of psychological and logical discourses which is considered to be among the most recent scientific approaches in the field of affecting mental decisions on issues in such a way that it takes away the essence of the viewer and forces him to accept and believe what is mentioned in it. This is first of all because of the truth of the productions, the excellence of its presentation and organization leads one to believe that these media experts posses the latest theories in the fields of media practice and public speaking. If you were to carefully analyze their methods in production, you will see the truth of my statement but I will cite this example in reaffirmation. Do you recall the oath of Bin Laden? Try to remember the scene very well, and if you can't, I will remind you. The camera was facing him directly at the time the Sheikh was speaking, so that the Sheikh was completely visible while speaking. Then the camera zoomed in gradually towards the Sheikh until the point when the Sheikh was about to take the popular oath and then the camera was completely focused on the upper parts of the Sheikh, so that the only thing visible on the screen was the face of the Sheikh with his raised hand declaring the oath. This simultaneous timing between the statement and the motion can only be produced by great media intellects who understand the art of television production and how to influence others. For, you, the Muslim in this situation, when you listen to these words, you will be at the height of confusion because at that very moment, Taysir al-Ulwaniy was reporting the beginning of American military operations and everybody is waiting for Bin Laden to know his views on what is happening. Suddenly, al-Jazeera announced that the Bin Laden tape had just arrived and that it would be aired immediately and the channel continued broadcasting information about this and presented speakers in advance of the tape running. With that, the moment of great mastery came, the moment of highest influence, when the scene is centered on Bin Laden as he takes that popular oath, taking full effect on the viewer at that moment irrespective of the fact that the viewer knows Arabic or not. At the height of influence, one who does not understand the Arabic language will understood that Sheikh Osama bin Laden had made a very important and dangerous statement, definitely in the form of a threat. Do you think that the work is chaotic, unorganized? Or that the photographer does not know what he is doing at that moment? If you still think that way then you should be sure that you don't understand what al-Qaida is! Let me to prove my claims to. An old scene of Bin Laden taking the oath reappeared in the Badr al-Riyadh tape, but the method of presenting and airing it after 9/11 is different completely because there are great intellectual media brains behind the job. Once again, we cannot divorce this issue from the original issue, the foundation and most important issue, that is the genuineness of the Jihad of the Mujahideen against America, and that this is the central issue that has encouraged people to support the Mujahideen. Therefore, excellent production and innovation in the field of media art is only secondary and complements the most beneficial issue, with God's permission. All these clear indicate the great comprehensive Islamic minds who believe that `Verily, Allah loves that when one of you does anything, he should perfect it. Also, I was informed by one of the Mujahideen that Sheikh Osama requested him at a certain time to write a report on a particular issue. He adds: `So I wrote the report on roses and printed it, but did not format it properly.' He says, then the Sheikh advised me that whenever I do anything, I should perfect it, and that part of perfecting the report is to format it properly and to produce it in good form so that it will be easy to read, and the benefits from it can be maximized, without the mental exhaustion that would have resulted if the words are not properly organized and the report not well formatted. Of course the genuineness of an issue and its truth is the first and fundamental thing; all the approaches and methods mentioned only support this issue. Media approaches and methods alone can never succeed if the case is a lie or wrong as it would have helped Bush. This stupid man is been coached on public speaking and body motion by 600,00 advisers and media practitioners but in the end, when he speaks, he becomes the laughing stock of all, with his followers laughing at him first even before his enemies. In conclusion, I say that among the most dangerous message successfully passed by the Badr Al-Riyadh tape in an unmatchable manner is in the fact that Al-Qaida was able to use an astounding method in (refuting) the bad stereotyping which the Salul Media (in particular) and the Western media in general are trying to spread among the Mujahideen. Therefore, the tape was not presented using the model of most media houses and the Salul media currently. These media houses always try to portray the Mujahideen as retrogressive cowards, fearful, always on the run, void of feelings for humanity or mercy that do not know how to laugh or smile and that do not have conviction about their operations but rather have been pushed to their path, brainwashed and deceived! Then came the tape that gives a completely different picture, giving the correct and shining picture of them, bringing to light the beautiful human side of the Mujahideen,for they are great personalities carrying the worries of the entire Muslims in their minds. Their personalities are serious, friendly, are those who can crack jokes and anecdotes even at a time they are getting ready for martyrdom for the sake Allah. The Badr al-Riyadh tape has certainly succeeded, in an astonishing manner, to present the social and psychological situation of the Mujahideen. Their faces open up souls and their calm personalities show full tranquility and satisfaction about what they are about to do. Also, you can see light in their faces and will wish that you were with them when you see them in these happy moments. This tape gives you a psychological picture which they inherited from the noble Companions of the Prophet SAW when they were singing their poem: We it is that who have given allegiance to Muhammad (SAW) On Jihad, so long we live, fore ever… So you will feel as if it were the companions in this picture and that they are celebrating and happy as they were digging the trench (which was used to protect Medina from the coalition forces)! This tape came to give a picture of the Mujahideen as they were celebrating with their friends who will go to paradise before them, with the leave of Allah. Look at them and tell me, what great souls do you see in front of your eyes? Do you find among the Muslims of today one who can do a fraction of a tenth of what these blessed great souls did? This shining picture of the Mujahideen is what I consider personally one of the most important innovations that was brought by this tape, and it is a true picture that no one can understand except one who lived the life of Mujahideen because it is a life of greatness and nobility. The beauty of this tape lies in the fact that it has brought back the true picture of the Mujahideen; a picture which the Salul media tried to disfigure and distort, using whatever means possible. But, this tape came and painted the true and correct picture, the picture of an excellent group of Muslims who work for the sake of Allah, doing Jihad in order to remove shame from the Muslims and to remove all forms of hypocrisy and filth that has accumulated in the hands of the Al-Salul and other hypocrites ruling the Muslims. It brings us a true picture of a battalion that is creating the path for the Ummah to free itself from the bonds of the American occupation of the land of the two holy shrines and the rest of the Muslim countries. Certainly those who innovated this production are great creative media intellectuals, a production which is truly a word of truth which came and destroyed all falsehood of the Al- Salul! May Allah bless al-Qaida and the members of al-Qaida. May Allah shower His bounties upon Abu Abdullah and his brave Mujahideen. And, by the grace of Allah, al-Qaida will remain great, because of its Jihad for the sake of Allah, and its brave men who put their trust in Allah and depend on Him in all their things. Footnotes: (1) Badr al-Riyadh is available on the JUS store under the English name "Riyadh Martyrs" (2) Sulul is a nick name for the House of Saud and their security forces. Sulul refers to Abdullah Bin Sulul who stirred up a revolt and created apostasy in Yemen and Iraq and who refused to pay Zakat after the Prophet (pbuh) died. Such action prompt Abu Bakr to fight those calling themselves Muslims who only take what they like from Islam and leave out what they do not like. Sulul are Saudi forces trying to protect and advance their form of diluted Islam. (3) Top Secret, The Road to September 11 is also available at the JUS store at English Translation © Jihad Unspun 2005. All Rights Are Reserved.

Posted by: k.ram Mar 24 2005, 05:42 AM

Inside Islam's ''terror schools'' Cover story William Dalrymple Monday 28th March 2005 Madrasas are Islamic colleges accused by the US of incubating terrorism and the attacks of 9/11. From Pakistan, William Dalrymple investigates the threat Halfway along the dangerous road to Kohat - deep in the lawless tribal belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and where Osama Bin Laden is widely believed to be sheltering - we passed a small whitewashed shrine that had recently been erected by the side of the road: "That is where the army ambushed and killed two al-Qaeda men escaping from Afghanistan," said Javed Paracha. "Local people soon began to see the two martyrs in their dreams. Now we believe that they are saints. Already many cures and miracles have been reported. If any of our women want to ask anything special from God, they first come here." He added: "They say that each shahid [martyr] emitted a perfume like that of roses. For many days a beautiful scent was coming from the place of their martyrdom." Javed Paracha is a huge, burly tribal leader with a granite outcrop of nose jutting from a great fan of grey beard. In many ways he is the embodiment of everything that US policy-makers most fear and dislike about this part of the Muslim world. For Paracha is a dedicated Islamist, as well as a wily lawyer who has successfully defended al-Qaeda suspects in the Peshawar High Court. In his fortress-like stronghouse in Kohat he sheltered wounded Taliban fighters - and their frost-bitten women and children - fleeing across the mountains from the American Daisy Cutters at Tora Bora, and he was twice imprisoned by General Musharraf in the notorious prison at Dera Ismail Khan. There he was kept in solitary confinement while being questioned - and he alleges tortured - by CIA interrogators. On his release, he found his prestige among his neighbours had been immensely enhanced by his ordeal. His proudest boast, however, is building the two enormous madrasas he founded and financed, the first of which he says produced many of the younger leaders of the Taliban. "They are the biggest madrasas in the [North-West] Frontier," he told me proudly after stopping to say a prayer at the al-Qaeda shrine. "The books are free. The food is free. The education is free. We give them free accommodation. In a poor and backward area like this, our madrasas are the only form of education. The government system is simply not here. " Paracha got back in the car - the vehicle sinking to the left as he lowered himself into the back beside his two armed bodyguards - and added: "There are 200,000 jobless degree holders in this country. Mark my words, a more extreme form of the Taliban is coming to Pakistan. The conditions are so bad. The people are so desperate. They are waiting for a solution that will rid them of this feudal-army elite. The people want radical change. We teach them in the madrasas that only Islam can provide the justice they seek." For better or worse, the sort of madrasa-driven change in political attitudes that Javed Paracha is bringing about in Kohat is being reproduced across Pakistan. An Interior Ministry report revealed recently that there are now 27 times as many madrasas in the country as there were in 1947: from 245 at the time of independence the number has shot up to 6,870 in 2001. The religious tenor of Pakistan has been correspondingly radicalised: the tolerant Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now deeply out of fashion, overtaken by the sudden rise of the more hardline reformist Deobandi, Wahhabi and Salafi strains of the faith that are increasingly dominant over swaths of the country. The sharp acceleration in the number of these madrasas first began under General Zia, and was financed mainly by Saudi donors (though ironically the US also played a role in this as part of the anti-Soviet Afghan jihad). Since the oil boom of the early 1970s a policy of exporting not just petroleum, but also hardline Wahhabism, became a fundamental tenet of Saudi foreign policy, partly a result of a competition for influence with Shia Iran. Although some of the madrasas were little more than single rooms attached to village mosques, others are now very substantial institutions: the Darul Uloom in Baluchistan is now annually enrolling some 1,500 boarders and a further 1,000 day-boys. Altogether, there are now an estimated 800,000 to one million students enrolled in Pakistan's madrasas: an entire, free Islamic education system existing parallel to the increasingly moribund state sector, in which a mere 1.8 per cent of Pakistan's GDP is spent on government schools. The statistics are dire: 15 per cent of these schools are without a proper building; 52 per cent without a boundary wall; 40 per cent without water; 71 per cent without electricity. There is frequent absenteeism of teachers; indeed, many of these schools exist only on paper. This education gap is the most striking way in which Pakistan is lagging behind India, a country in which 65 per cent of the population is literate, and the number rises every year. Only this year, the Indian education system received a substantial boost of state funds in the government Budget; but in Pakistan the literacy figure is well under half (it is currently 42 per cent), and falling. The collapse of government schooling has meant that many of the country's poorest people who want their children's advancement have no option but to place the children in the madrasa system where they are guaranteed a conservative and outdated, but nonetheless free education. Madrasas are now more dominant in Pakistan's educational system than they are anywhere else; but the general trend is common across the Islamic world. In Egypt the number of teaching institutes dependent on the Islamic Al-Azhar University increased from 1,855 in 1986 to 4,314 ten years later. The Saudis have also stepped up funding in Africa: in Tanzania alone they have been spending $1m a year building new madrasas. In Mali, madrasas now account for around a quarter of children in primary schools. Seen in this wider context, Paracha and his educational endeavours in Kohat raise a number of important questions: how far are these madrasas the source of the problems that culminated in the Islamist attacks of 9/11? Are madrasas simply terrorist factories? Should the west be pressing US client states such as Pakistan and Egypt simply to close the whole lot down? In the panic-striken aftermath of the Islamist attacks on America, the answers to these questions seemed obvious. Donald Rumsfeld, among a number of US politicians, fingered madrasas as terror-incubators and centres of hatred, responsible - so he said - for propagating anti-Americanism across the Islamic world. There were many good reasons for people jumping to this assumption. The terrifyingly ultra-conservative Taliban regime was unquestionably the product of Pakistan's madrasas. Much of the Taliban leadership was trained at just one madrasa: the Haqqaniya at Akora Khattak, between Islamabad and Peshawar. The director, Sami ul-Haq, still proudly boasts that whenever the Taliban put out a call for fighters, he would simply close down the madrasa and send his students off to fight. But as we now know, in the aftermath of 9/11, a great many of the assumptions that people made about Islamist terrorism have proved with hindsight to be quite spectacularly ill-founded, the result of inadequate and partial understanding of the complexities of the contemporary Islamic world. There was, first of all, widespread misunderstanding about the nature of al-Qaeda. Bin Laden's organisation has turned out not to be some structured multinational organisation; still less was it the state-sponsored puppet - with Osama moving to the tug of Saddam's Ba'athist string-pulling - that was depicted by the neo-cons and their media mouthpieces (in this country, Conrad Black's Daily Telegraph and the equally credulous Murdoch Times) as they attempted to justify attacking Iraq. Instead, as Giles Kepel, the leading French authority on Islamists, puts it in his important study, The War For Muslim Minds: "al-Qaeda was [and is] less a military base of operations than a database that connected jihadists around the world via the internet . . . this organisation did not consist of buildings and tanks and borders but of websites, clandestine financial transfers and a proliferation of activists ranging from Jersey City to the paddies of Indonesia". This central failure to understand the nature of al-Qaeda was the reason that the US attempted to counter it with such unsuitable policies: by targeting nations it considered sponsors of terrorism, so inadvertently turning itself into al-Qaeda's most effective recruiting agency. In the same way, it was maintained that al-Qaeda's grievances were unconnected to America's Middle Eastern policies. This also proved to be quite wrong. From al-Qaeda's "Declaration of War Against the Americans", issued in 1996, Bin Laden had announced that his grievance was not cultural or religious, but very specifically political: he was fighting to oppose US support for the House of Saud and Israel. As he told the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir: "America and its allies are massacring us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and Iraq. The Muslims have a right to attack America in reprisal . . . The targets were icons of America's military and economic power." In retrospect, the idea that madrasas are one of the principal engines of this global Islamic terrorism appears to be another American assumption that begins to wobble when subjected to serious analysis. It is certainly true that many madrasas are fundamentalist in their approach to the scriptures and that many subscribe to the least pluralistic and most hardline strains of Islamic thought. It is also true that some madrasas can be directly linked to Islamic radicalism and occasionally to outright civil violence: just as there are some yeshivas [religious schools] in settlements on the West Bank that have a reputation for violence against Palestinians, and Serbian monasteries that sheltered some of the worst of that country's war criminals, so it is estimated that as many as 15 per cent of Pakistan's madrasas preach violent jihad, while a few have even been known to provide covert military training. Some have done their best to bring about a Talibanisation of Pakistan: madrasa graduates in Karachi have been behind acts of violence against the city's Shia minority, while in 1998, madrasa students in Baluchistan began organising bonfires of TVs and attacked video shops. In this, however, they have so far had limited success. Indeed, the bestselling video in Baluchistan last year was a pirate tape that showed a senior Pakistani MP in flagrante with his girlfriend. The tape, which had been made by the MP himself, had been stolen by his political enemies and circulated around the province, with the expectation that it would destroy his career. However, so impressive was the MP's performance in the video that he was re-elected with a record majority; I recently met him looking very pleased with himself in Islamabad, where he says the tape has transformed his political fortunes. It is now becoming clear, however, that producing cannon-fodder for the Taliban and graduating local sectarian thugs is not at all the same as producing the kind of technically literate al-Qaeda terrorist who carried out the horrifyingly sophisticated attacks on the USS Cole, the US embassies in East Africa, and the World Trade Center. A number of recent studies have emphasised that there is an important and fundamental distinction to be made between most mad- rasa graduates - who tend to be pious villagers from economically impoverished backgrounds, possessing very little technical sophistication - and the sort of middle-class politically literate global salafi jihadis who plan al-Qaeda operations around the world. Most of these turn out to have secular, scientific or technical backgrounds and very few actually turn out to be madrasa graduates. The men who planned and carried out the Islamist attacks on America - all but four of them were Saudi citizens - have often been depicted in the press as being "medieval fanatics". In fact, it would be more accurate to describe them as confused but highly educated middle-class professionals: Mohammed Atta was an architect and a town-planning expert; Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's chief of staff, was a paediatric surgeon; Ziad Jarrah, one of the founders of the Hamburg cell, was a dental student who later turned to aircraft engineering; while Omar Sheikh, the kidnapper of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, had studied at the LSE and was the product of the same British public school that produced the film-maker Peter Greenaway. Such figures represent a clash of civilisations occurring not so much between civilisations, as the author Samuel Huntingdon would maintain, but rather within individuals, products of the sort of cultural dislocation and disorientation that accompanies accelerating economic change and globalisation. As Kepel puts it, the new breed of global jihadis are not the urban poor of the developing world, so much as "the privileged children of an unlikely marriage between Wahhabism and Silicon Valley". This is also the conclusion drawn by the most sophisticated analysis of global jihadis to be published in recent years: Marc Sageman's Understanding Terror Networks. Sageman is a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA man who worked in Pakistan during the 1980s. In his study, he closely examined the lives of 172 al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, and his conclusions have demolished much of the conventional wisdom about who joins jihadi groups: two-thirds of his sample were middle class and university-educated; they are generally technically minded professionals and several have PhDs. Nor are they young hotheads: their average age is 26, most of them are married, and many have children. Only two appear to be obviously psychotic. It seems that Islamic terrorism, like its Christian predecessor, remains a largely bourgeois endeavour: "These are truly global citizens," writes Sageman, "familiar with many countries - the west as well as the Middle East - and able to speak several languages with equal facility . . . Even their ideologues are not trained clerics: [Sayyid] Qutb [for example] was a journalist." It is true that there are exceptions, and the line between these two different worlds is certainly porous. There are several examples of radical madrasa graduates who have become involved with al-Qaeda. By and large, however, madrasa students simply do not have the technical expertise or conceptual imagination necessary to carry out the sort of attacks we have seen al-Qaeda pull off in the past few years. Instead, the concerns of most madrasa graduates remain far more traditional - what the French Islamist expert Olivier Roy calls "neo-fundamentalism": the correct fulfilment of rituals, how to wash correctly before prayers, the proper length to grow a beard and how high above the ankles you should wear your salwar kameez. As the laws of the Taliban regime revealed, they are obsessed with the public covering of women, which they regard as essential to a morally ordered society. Their focus, in other words, is not on opposing non-Muslims or the west - the central concern of the salafi jihadis - so much as on fostering what they see as proper Islamic behaviour at home and attempting to return to - as they see it - the pristine purity of the time of the Prophet. That there are huge variations in the tone and quality of madrasa education should not be surprising. Throughout much of Islamic history, madrasas were the major source of religious and scientific learning, just as the church schools and the universities were in Europe. The quality and tone of their education is determined by the nature of their curricula, which have always varied widely. Between the seventh and 11th centuries, madrasas produced free-thinking luminaries such as Alberuni, Ibn Sina and al-Khwarizmi. The oldest and greatest madrasa of them all, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, has good claim to being the most sophisticated institution of learning in the entire Mediterranean world during the early Middle Ages. The very idea of a university in the modern sense - a place of learning where students congregate to study a variety of subjects under a number of teachers - is generally regarded as an innovation first developed at Al-Azhar. When the Mongol invasions destroyed the major institutions of learning in the central Islamic heartlands, many learned refugees fled to Delhi, turning northern India for the first time into a major centre of scholarship. By the time of Akbar, the third Mughal emperor of India, the curriculum in Indian madrasas blended the learning of the Islamic Middle East with that of the indigenous teaching of Hindu India, which resulted in the incredibly broad-minded and pluralistic high civilisation of the Mughal period. However, following the collapse of Indo-Islamic self-confidence that accompanied the deposition and exile of the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, in 1858, disillusioned scholars founded an influential but depressingly narrow-minded Wahhabi-like madrasa at Deoband, 100 miles north of the former Mughal capital. Reacting against what the founders saw as the degenerate ways of the old elite, which had allowed the British to defeat Muslim power in such a catastrophic manner, the Deoband madrasa went back to Koranic basics, rigorously stripping out anything Hindu or European from the curriculum of the college. It was, unfortunately, these puritanical Deoband-type madrasas that spread throughout northern India and Pakistan in the course of the 20th century, and which particularly benefited from the patronage of Zia and his Saudi allies in the 1980s. It is certainly true that many madrasas in Pakistan have outdated curricula: some still teach Euclidian geometry and medicine from the Roman physician Galen of Pergamum. Emphasis is put on the rote learning - rather than critical study - of the Koran. Jessica Stern of Harvard recently testified before a US Senate House committee that "in a school that purportedly offered a broad curriculum, a teacher I questioned could not multiply seven times eight". This is, however, by no means the case with all madrasas, some of which are surprisingly sophisticated places. In Karachi, the largest madrasa is the Darul Uloom. To get there, you pass from the rich middle-class areas of the city centre, with their low, white bungalows and sprawling gardens, going through progressively more run-down suburbs until you find yourself in a depressing industrial wasteland of factories and warehouses, punctuated by the belching smokestacks of brickworks. Out of this Pakistani apocalypse rises the almost surreal spectacle of Darul Uloom. Its green lawns resemble a cross between a five-star hotel and a rather upmarket, modern university campus. After what happened to Daniel Pearl, I had been warned about the dangers of visiting madrasas, and had gone to the elaborate lengths of informing the British Consulate about my movements; but in reality there was nothing remotely threatening about Darul Uloom. The students were almost all eager, smart, friendly and intelligent, if somewhat intense and puritanical. When, on a visit to the dormitory block, I asked one bearded student what music he listened to on his shining new ghetto-blaster, he looked at me as if I had just asked him about his favourite porn video. The machine, he informed me, was only for listening to tapes of sermons. All music was banned. Puritanical it may be, but it is clear that the Darul Uloom performs, as do many Pakistani madrasas, an important service - especially in a country where 58 per cent of the vast population, and 72 per cent of women, are illiterate and half the population never see the inside of a school at all. Madrasas may not be cutting-edge in their educational philosophy, but they do provide the poor with a way of gaining literacy and a real hope of advancing themselves. In certain traditional subjects - such as rhetoric, logic, jurisprudence and Arabic grammar - the teaching can be outstanding. Although they tend to be ultra-conservative, it has been repeatedly shown that only a small proportion are obviously militant. To close them down without attempting to build up the state sector would simply relegate large chunks of the population to illiteracy and ignorance. It would also be tantamount to instructing Muslims to stop educating themselves about their religion - hardly the best strategy for winning hearts and minds. You don't have to go far from Pakistan to find a madrasa system that has effectively tackled both the problems of militancy and of educational backwardness. Although India was originally the home of the Deobandi madrasas, such colleges in India have no track record of producing violent Islamists, and are strictly apolitical and quietist. Their degree of success can be measured from the fact that Jamia Milia University in New Delhi, at least 50 per cent of whose intake comes from a madrasa background, is generally reckoned to be one of India's most prestigious and successful centres of higher education. According to Seema Alavi, one of India's brightest young historians, who now teaches at Jamia, there is little difference between her students educated at secular schools and those educated in madrasas - except perhaps that those from madrasas are better able to memorise coursework, but are less practised at analysing and processing information: years of rote-learning has both its pros and its cons. But there is no sense that those students from Indian madrasas are more politically radical or less able to cope with a modern urban environment than their contemporaries from secular institutions. Several of India's greatest scholars - such as the celebrated Mughal historian Muzaffar Alam of Chicago University - are madrasa graduates. If this is right, it would seem to confirm what other researchers have observed, that it is not madrasas per se that are the problem, so much as the militant atmosphere and indoctrination taking place in a handful of notorious centres of ultra-radicalism such as Binori Town or Akora Khattak. The question remains, however, whether General Musharraf's government has the strength and the willpower to see through the necessary reforms and replicate the success of madrasas across the border in India. So far, attempts at taming Pakistan's more militant madrasas have proved half-hearted. There have been some attempts to curb the attendance of foreign Islamic students at Pakistani madrasas, and noises were made about standardising the syllabus and encouraging some modern subjects. Nevertheless, the more extreme have been able to resist the enforcement of even these mild measures: only 1 per cent of the country's madrasas complied when asked to register with the government. In Islamabad, I went to see Pervez Hoodbhoy, an expert on education and the author of an important study of the madrasas. Hoodbhoy teaches at Quaid-e-Azam University, the Pakistani Oxbridge, and as we sat in the spacious campus, he described the depressing changes he had witnessed since joining the staff in the 1970s. Not only had there been a general decline in educational standards, he said, but beards, burkas and hijabs, unknown in the early 1980s, were now the norm. He estimated that only one-third of his students now resist showing some visible sign of their Islamic propriety. "And this," he added, "is by far the most liberal university in Pakistan. "There is definitely a change in the temper of this society," he said. "The students are much less interested in the world and show much less curiosity - instead we have this mad, unthinking rush towards religiosity, and the steady erosion of the liberal elite." I asked Hoodbhoy about his prognosis for the future. "I am very anxious," he said. "The state educational system has reached the point of collapse. The only long-term solution has to be improved secular government schools: at the moment they are so bad that even where they exist, no one will willingly go to them. "But the biggest problem we have," he continued, "is the US. Their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have hugely strengthened the hands of the extremists and depleted the strength of those who want to see a modern, non-fundamentalist future for this country. Before the invasion of Iraq, I called the US ambassador and warned her: if you attack Saddam, you may gain Iraq, but you'll lose Pakistan. I hope I was wrong - but I fear that I may yet be proved right." William Dalrymple's most recent book, White Mughals (Harper Perennial), won the Wolfson Prize for History. A stage version by Christopher Hampton has just been commissioned by the National Theatre This article first appeared in the New Statesman. For the latest in current and cultural affairs subscribe to the New Statesman print edition.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 25 2005, 10:15 AM

What the Islamists fear ? Balbir K Punj Two recent incidents point towards spiralling Islamic aggressiveness in the country. The first is Uttar Pradesh Sunni Wakf board's claiming proprietorship of Taj Mahal. The other is SIMI threat e-mail to iconic Yoga-Guru Swami Ramdev. However, the best thing about these is that they expose the public face of "secularism". In the first incident, two rival sects of Muslims have staked ownership of the Taj Mahal. The UP Sunni Wakf board has demanded that the ownership of Taj Mahal be transferred to it by Archaeological Survey of India by April 9. The claim is based on the premise that the Taj, being a grave, is Wakf property. Muslims also tender Friday namaz at the Taj Mahal. A section of Shias led by Khursi Agha of Lucknow is prodding the Shia Wafk board to stake a similar claim on Taj Mahal since Mumtaz Mahal herself was a Shia and so was the principle architect Isha Khan Shirazi from Iran. Let us see how a communal or sectarian claim of Taj Mahal can really upset India's "secular" facade. The Taj is a poster site for Indian tourism like the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in France, and Statue of Liberty in the US. Noted Indo-Anglian writer Amit Chaudhuri wrote: "Social scientist Partha Chatterjee is puzzled and engrossed by what has happened to these 'national images' - for instance, the Taj Mahal; Shah Jahan's Red Fort - as they have been represented in our textbooks in the last 40 or 50 years: That is, in our relatively brief, but palpably long, history as a republic. Prof Chatterjee discovers that early photographs and engravings found in textbooks dating back, say, to the Twenties, are gradually replaced in textbooks after 1947 by a certain kind of line drawing. He finds no economic raison d'etre for this change: 'Are they cheaper to print? Not really; both are printed from zinc blocks made by the same photographic process.' "But the more telling change occurs in the nature of the representations themselves, as the pictures of certain monuments are transformed into 'national icons'. As these monuments are turned into 'national icons' in post-Independence history textbooks, the pictures are emptied of signs of randomness, emptied, indeed, of all but the monument itself, and a new credo and economy of representation comes into existence" (The Casual Moment-The mysterious indefinable quality of poetry, The Telegraph, Calcutta, February 13). Taj Mahal is a mausoleum. As far as I am aware, Islam forbids erecting mausoleums over graves. Yet Muslim kings built mausoleums for their loved ones and sometimes for themselves in advance. But most Muslim kings in India also enjoyed wine, took more than four wives, patronised musicians and painters. They sometimes opened their purse strings to dargah (shrine) or mazaar (grave) of Sufi saints. But actually, all these are un-Islamic practices, howsoever humane they might appear to non-Muslims. Non-Muslim often romanticise Islam though these essentially un-Islamic customs. But Sunni clerics, who drive Islam, abhor them. We idolise, no doubt mistakenly, Emperor Akbar for his religious syncretism of Deen-e-Ilahi (which was nothing but promoting Islam through the backdoor). But when Akbar died in 1605, the ulema refused to recite the kalima on his body, declaring him an apostate equivalent. Even Muslim scholars of our era like late Ali Mian (Syed Abu-ul-Hasan Ali Nadwi) held similar opinion about Akbar. Muslim scholars clearly feel that the Sunni empire established by Babar, got strayed in Akbar's gesture of tolerance, Jahangir's indulgences in wine and women, Shahjahan's romanticisations - and it was not until a puritan Aurangzeb that the original pursuit could be revived - albeit unsuccessfully. Though mausoleums violate Islamic principles, Sunni scholars tolerate them, and don't prescribe their destruction. After all, it will be no good to demolish these souvenirs of Islamic era. However, they don't compromise on Islam by idolising them. So why are these learned clerics asking for the Taj so passionately? Taking over the Taj would signify a great symbolic victory for Islamists. It would undermine the authority of the Central Government. With Taj taken, the next target would be the Red Fort in Delhi and then the one in Agra. For, these were once the seats of the Mughal empire - atop which fluttered the green banner of Islam. The Mughal empire was the standard bearer of Islam in India. Shah Abdul Aziz (1746-1823), son of the architect of the Wahabi movement in India, Shah Wali Ullah, on perceiving the decline of the Mughal empire, proclaimed in 1810 that India had ceased to be Dar-ul-Islam (House of Islam) and had become, instead, Dar-ul-Harb (House of War). If the Sunni Wakf Board is successful in taking over the Taj, its moral claim on Delhi's Red Fort and the Agra Fort will be emboldened. As a prelude to the take over, Muslims would start congregating in Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid) inside Delhi's Red Fort as they did at Taj Mahal. The Wakf claim can be theoretically extrapolated. If the seat of erstwhile Mughal power should come under Wakf's jurisdiction, why not entire India, most of which was Dar-ul-Islam for six centuries? Remember how Hamas justified its call for "destruction of Israel" by saying that the entire land of Palestine was Wakf property belonging to Allah? In the second incident Swami Ramdev, the iconic yoga-guru of Aastha channel, has received a threat from banned SIMI (Students Islamic Militia of India) through an e-mail. He has been forbidden to teach yoga to Muslims. He has been warned of major "collateral damages" in his dream-project, Patanjali Yoga Kendra in Hardwar. Now, Swami Ramdev, of modern gurus, teaches religion the least. He gives no pravachan from the Gita, Upanishad, Puranas or Ramayana. He teaches breathing techniques and some asanas (physical postures) that eliminate physical, mental and moral maladies and promote general well-being. These, according to him, can provide almost miracle-cures to many diseases pronounced incurable. And many practitioners have actually experienced such "healing miracles" after pursuing his simple techniques. They have gladly come forward with their medical records in support of their claim. Aastha channel claims a viewership of over 20 million people. Most of those who had taken advantage of Swami Ramdev's yoga had done so over the television rather than in his yoga camp. SIMI can prevent Aastha channel from reaching Muslim viewers only by preventing cable TV from reaching them. All of us, regardless of our religion, breathe the same oxygen. Will Muslims cease to be Muslims if they breathe it correctly through Pranayam? I will not become a Muslim by sitting in the posture of namaz, nor a Christian by doing the Alexander method of posture correction, or start speaking Chinese by doing Falun Gong exercises? So isn't there something suspicious about SIMI's fear? Homeopathy was developed in Germany by Samuel Heinemann. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was perhaps the first Indian to be treated in this method by German doctors who visited him. But he lived and died as a "Hindoo King". No one ever became a Christian after being treated with his wonderful system of homeopathy medicine. Muslims of Pakistan have no hitch in coming to India for delicate surgeries and transplants performed by "kafir" doctors of India. But SIMI sees a problem if a Muslim is healed of his diabetes, heart disease, obesity, skin diseases, and tension through pranayam and asana. What SIMI actually fears is Hindu resurgence through yoga, which is likely to cure the hypocrisy called "secularism" in the Indian mind. The Hindu civilisation might suddenly come across "self-realisation", something Islamists don't want. But their design of Islamisation of India will be foiled again. (The writer, a Rajya Sabha MP and Convenor of BJP's Think Tank, can be contacted at

Posted by: k.ram Mar 25 2005, 07:42 PM

INDONESIA: Professionals mastermind Maluku communal terror campaign

Police Unable to Stop Ambon's Ongoing Misery March 24, 2005 11:41 PM, Laksamana.Net - Police have detained three men on suspicion of involvement in an explosion that injured five people in Ambon, the religiously divided capital of Maluku province, but they appear no closer to unmasking the masterminds of the ongoing violence in the former Spice Islands. Ambon Police chief Leonidas Braksan on Thursday (24/3/05) told Agence France-Presse the three men had confessed to working as "assassins" prior to their arrest on Tuesday. "We are investigating whether they were involved in the explosion case," he said. Two men riding a motorcycle on late Monday threw a grenade that exploded near a public bus in the predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Batumerah. Muslims responded to the bombing by attacking a minivan carrying Christians in the nearby Kapaha neighborhood, destroying the back of the vehicle and clubbing its passengers. They also attacked ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers, injuring a total of 14 people. Monday's grenade attack was the second explosion in Ambon this month. On April 5, two unidentified men riding a motorbike threw a grenade at an ojek stand, injuring three people, in the predominantly Christian district of Lateri. Last month, two people were killed when gunmen in speedboats opened fire at a beachside karaoke club in the city. In the same month, two people were injured when the Lai-Lai 7 ship sailing off of Buru island was sprayed with gunfire by assailants traveling in a speedboat. Maluku Police chief Brigadier General Adityawarman said Thursday he was certain the perpetrators of all four attacks had received professional training. "The perpetrators were really trained and professional. I'm convinced of that," he was quoted as saying by detikcom online news portal. Although Braksan said two possible suspects had been arrested, Adityawarman said police were still searching for the perpetrators. He said the explosions in Batumerah and Lateri were presumably carried out by the same people and aimed at inciting communal violence. He urged the public not be provoked by the attacks and to be on alert against further acts of provocation. The perpetrators were "playing a game of cat and mouse with the security forces" by first targeting the Christian neighborhood and then the Muslim neighborhood, he added. Adityawarman said both explosions were from `pineapple grenades', although the one used in Batumerah was relatively new, whereas the one used in Lateri was very old. "I was astonished that it could have exploded, as research from the scene of the crime revealed it was a very old grenade." He said that after questioning 15 witnesses, police had put together descriptions of the attackers and concluded that one of them was not Ambonese. Commenting on the attacks on the karaoke bar and the Lai-Lai 7, he said the gunmen were obviously professionals as they had fired the shots from long range while in rough waters. He said police recovered 30 bullets that had been fired at the Lai-Lai, comprising 23 fired from SS1 assault rifles and 7 fired from an AK47 assault rifle. Both types of ammunition are manufactured by state munitions company PT Pindad and are supposed to be sold only to the security forces. Pindad also manufactures grenades, as well as debarking machines used by the logging industry. Bloody Background Ambon and other parts of the Maluku islands were the scene of fierce Muslim-Christian clashes that erupted in January 1999 and left about 7,000 people dead until a peace agreement was reached in February 2000. But sporadic violence has continued and communal tensions have remained high. Sectarian riots erupted in Ambon on April 25, 2004, after members of a banned separatist group, the Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM), rallied to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the outlawed South Maluku Republic (RMS). The march turned violent when Muslim nationalists hurled abuse and stones at the Christian separatists, sparking clashes between the two communities. As the violence intensified over the following days, hundreds of buildings were torched and bombs detonated, while unidentified snipers shot civilians and police. At least 41 people were killed during the unrest. A team of elite police snipers was sent to Ambon last month due to fears of further violence ahead of the upcoming RMS anniversary. Braksan on Wednesday said National Police headquarters would send a special team to Ambon to supervise the investigation this month's explosions, once he had sent them a report on the incidents. He said local police had questioned 32 witnesses over the karaoke club shooting and arrived at a clear conclusion, but he was afraid to publicly reveal the result of the investigation. "From the witnesses' information, we have reached a clear result… But we are still having difficulties. The problem is that there are still hindrances that are very secret. I cannot reveal them," he was quoted as saying by detikcom. Members of the armed forces were accused of involvement in the 1999-2002 sectarian strife in the Malukus, often taking sides with the opposing groups. Analysts speculated that much of the violence had been engineered to further strengthen the military's power and to discredit the government. Weak Intelligence Retired Major General Suhaidi Marasabessy, who in 1999 led a special team of 19 Ambonese armed forces officers to investigate the Maluku carnage and find solutions to the conflict, on Thursday said the ongoing violence in Ambon was due to the weakness of local intelligence authorities. "The intelligence unit in Maluku must put itself in order. I will notify intelligence chiefs in Jakarta of this matter," he was quoted as saying by detikcom. The formation of Marasabessy's Team 19 in March 1999 was followed by a decline in violence over the next four months, although the respite was attributed to preparations for the June 1999 general election. Widespread savage fighting resumed with a new intensity in July 1999 after the arrival of thousands of members of Java-based Islamic militia group Laskar Jihad. Conflict researcher George Aditjondro has accused Marasabessy of doing little to stop the mayhem. He notes that Moluccan sociologist Tamrin Amal Tomagola has named Marasabessy and former armed forces chief Wiranto as being among a group of officers "who worked hard to provoke Muslims and Christians to fight each other". Wiranto has always denied fanning the conflict in the Malukus. In his autobiography Witness in The Storm, he writes that the violence was due to "a misunderstanding blown out of proportion by third party adventurists to incite war among people from different religions". He claims "it was not easy to find hard evidence with which to identify the masterminds of these incidents". Wiranto said Marasabessy's team only managed to bring peace to the Malukus for a few months because "central government support for rehabilitation of Ambon was no longer a priority" due to preparations for the October 1999 presidential election. Old Pattern Kutni Tuhepaly, a member of the Maluku provincial legislative assembly, on Thursday said the latest Ambon violence was part of a long pattern of organized conflict. Intelligence authorities should therefore be able to recognize the pattern and apprehend the perpetrators, he said. He pointed out intelligence authorities have been able to quickly arrest perpetrators of bombings in Java, which is geographically smaller than Ambon, where no bombers have been arrested. "Ambon is only a small island. Why is so difficult for them to be caught?" he was quoted as saying by detikcom. Adityawarman responded to the criticism by saying he had a relatively small number of intelligence personnel, although he stressed that they always worked in coordination with other intelligence agencies. "So don't think we are not serious about handling these cases," he said. Brigadier General Syarifuddin Summah, chief of the Pattimura Military Command responsible for security in Maluku, admitted his side was finding it difficult to catch the perpetrators of the terrorist acts. "The perpetrators are very shrewd and apparently well practiced in operations, which makes finding them like looking for a needle in a haystack," he said. back to top

Posted by: keshto patel Mar 25 2005, 11:42 PM

Posted by: k.ram Mar 26 2005, 05:05 PM

Makeshift Hindu temple razed; worshippers deported Saturday, March 26 2005 19:57 Hrs (IST) - World Time - Riyadh: Saudi religious police have destroyed a clandestine makeshift Hindu temple in an old district of Riyadh and deported three worshippers found there, a newspaper reported today (March 26, 2005). Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, stumbled across a room converted into a temple while raiding a number of flats suspected of being used to manufacture alcohol and distribute pornographic videos, argue.gif pan-Arab Al-Hayat said. "They were surprised to find that one room had been converted into a Hindu temple," it said. A caretaker who was found in the worshipping area ignored the religious police orders to stop performing his religious rituals, the paper added. He was deported along with two other men who arrived on the scene to worship. All forms of non-Muslim worship are banned in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's holiest shrines. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an advisory panel, last month urged the US Government to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia, as well as Vietnam and Eritrea, for violating religious rights. Last year, the US State Department for the first time named ally Saudi Arabia, as well as Eritrea and Vietnam, "countries of particular concern" in its annual report on religious freedom. A list previously included China, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Sudan.

Posted by: Mudy Mar 26 2005, 10:52 PM

A caretaker who was found in the worshipping area ignored the religious police orders to stop performing his religious rituals, the paper added.

Posted by: krishna_kss Mar 30 2005, 07:21 PM The West Bengal Minority Council today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to extend the visa of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen and immediately expel her from India. The Council said in a press release that it had written to the Prime Minister, Union Home minister Shivraj Patil, Foreign minister Natwar Singh as well as Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking Taslima's expulsion. It said xerox copies from various books, including "Dwikhondito" on which a ban has been imposed by West Bengal government, had been sent to them "to expose" Taslima's "true intentions and malicious propaganda against Islam and Muslims". Taslima, whose visa expired last month, has applied for Indian citizenship on February 14 or a permanent residential visa in India. The writer has been in self-exile since 1994 after religious fundamentalists in Bangladesh charged her with blasphemy and issued death threats against her.

Posted by: Sunder Mar 30 2005, 07:42 PM

QUOTE (krishna_kss @ Mar 31 2005, 07:51 AM)
I thought Minority commission was for protection of the so-called minorities. Tasleema is a minority amongst the so-called minorities, and these two-timing Islamic minorities want to take away protection from a hapless woman? Shame on them for treating a hapless woman - Tasleema - in accordance Islamic antipathy towards Women.

Posted by: Viren Mar 30 2005, 08:59 PM

Where's all those secularwadi Arjun Singh, Laloo, Pranab, Manmohan et al? Even the 'Fundamentalist Secular' Mani is awfully quiet on Taslima's banishment issue! If Taslima's last name only was Gandhi, these guy would have jumped through hoops for her visa and citizenship - been done before you know. For a nation that has been a refuge for oppressed minorites for centuries, it's a shame that they are not standing behind one lady who had a spine to stand up. Congress did it with Shah Bano, now this. mad.gif

Posted by: SSridhar Mar 31 2005, 02:13 AM

Guys, you are all missing a point. Both the "Minority Commission" and the "secular politicians of the genre of Arjun Singh and Manishankar Ayyar" are there for "protecting" the minorities from the tyranny of the militant majorities onlee. They will not, shall not and cannot do anything when a minority is killing, harassing or ex-communicating another minority onlee.

Posted by: k.ram Mar 31 2005, 09:43 AM

Title: Indian 'Kayada' (Law) or Al Qaeda Author: Vijaykumar Bandal Publication: Vivek Weekly (Marathi) - Free translation Date: April 3, 2005 (From advance copy) "I have read the manual of Al Qaeda and that night I could not sleep up 3 a.m. It is terrible is spreading hate among castes and religions". It is great misfortune of our country that a Mumbai Judge had to state this firmly in the Court. By this hard slap, now at lease our rulers must get up fully awake. Police again arrested Senior Superintendent of CID Prafulla Bhosale and his 4 colleagues on the charge of murdering Sayyad Khwaja Yunus, an accused in the Ghatkopar Bomb explosions. There is a suspicion that this is being done on the changing depositions of another accused in the explosion Dr Abdul Mateen. In this questionable action, the brave Police have accused the investigating officers of acting as per the Al Qaeda manual. While arguing before the Mahanagar Magistrate A. V. Kulkarni, Adv. Satish Maneshinde claimed that the CID Police are following Al Qaeda manual. He pointed out that a very widespread conspiracy of ending the morale of Police force has been hatched by the Accused in the Explosion case and as it is being well responded by the Police, the objective of Al Qaeda is being achieved. He handed over the manual itself to the Judge. The Judge not only was unhappy by reading the manual but he was terribly worried. While approving the bail for Bhosale and others, the serious opinion expressed by him cannot be neglected. "Oh Muslims, this is not Arabstan, but this is Hindusthan. Live here peacefully and let also live," said Justice Kulkarni loud and clear. The Muslims all over the world feel that this is a safe land for them. Because, here they get the protection by the selfish rulers. Hence, the terrorist organizations and their stooges can perpetrate anything they want to do and this is an often recurring experience. The selfish political people are more worried about the people who have done the explosion than about the victims. Indira Gandhi, who disgusted, had said that Muslims also must learn to live neatly with their neighbours. But it is not heeded. On the contrary, the accused in the Bomb explosion makes a cruel joke of democracy by contesting election against a person who had adorned the chair of PM. The judge feels that even after freedom also, the 'Divide and Rule' policy is in vogue in India. Events supporting this are taking place regularly. Jihadi terrorist organization distributes statements, CDs etc. to nurture the communal hatred. The organizations like SIMI which were started for students, are also used in this connection. There are a number of incidents in which Muslim youths and poor people are systematically turned into terrorists. But action against them is Zero! The system of action used by Al Qaeda to keep the people committing terrorist acts safe is detrimental to the country in all respects. For that purpose, Police, Advocates, Journalists and politicians who have come up from its teachings are employed. A mountain of a mole of an action against minorities is made out. After watching the sabotaging activities of the terrorist, some Police Officers took action against the terrorists. To make that action useless, Al Qaeda has hatched this conspiracy. If somebody is arrested for any bomb explosion or any other terrorist activity, his relatives cry out foul from their navel, make a loud noise in the world. Then the leaders, journalists, advocates and police run to their assistance. Afterwards, with the help of these, hit at the Police machinery itself. For that purpose, if required, take the support of Human Rights activists. This is the technique adopted by terrorists. Now it is accused that this is a move of by changing the deposition again and again, involve the police officers and drag them to the custody. Under the leadership of such people who are drawn knowingly or unknowingly in such vicious circle a dais is prepared to get sympathy to the accused in cases like bomb explosions. Instead of investigating against the accused, charges are framed against the investigating officers. As the Police Officers dedicated to the duty are forced to stand in the cage of the accused, their morale is destroyed. According to the opinion of Justice Kulkarni, therefore, the people concerned should make cognizance of this side. The possibility of terrorist organizations and their supports in case of need, attacking the judiciary system also cannot be denied. The demands like 'change the judge' or 'change their jurisdiction' are not new to them. Mohammed Afroz against whom action was taken under POTA on the suspicion that he had connections with terrorist organizations, had to be released by the Police to their extreme regret. Now he is ready to take action on the ex-Police Commissioner. The stand of police against terrorists must be clear. They should be suppressed by any such charges. It is not expected that they should make a mountain of court directive and act wrongly. It should be minutely observed if anybody is taking revenge on his colleague on the basis of such court's directive. All the people concerned should have complete details of the ways of working of the advocates and their background. If actions are taken dancing on the tunes of the accused, his relatives, advocates and leaders, it should not be a surprise to anybody is tomorrow Home Minister himself or even Chief Minister goes in the cage of accused. Because, in case of any terrorist activity taking, they are the persons who pass orders to take strict action. It is extremely necessary to take notice of the distress and sentiments of the judge who tells in the court courageously and fearlessly, "I am a small judge. Today I do not have any protection. But I am a true citizen and nationalist of this country and hence only I am speaking". This brave talk of this judge was printed only by "Saamanaa" (mouthpiece of Shiv Sena). With the fear of Jihadis, no other 'secular' daily showed even the courage to publish it. (The writer is senior crime reporter.)

Posted by: k.ram Apr 1 2005, 03:29 AM

A Guide to Jihad on the Web By Stephen Ulph The role of the internet in providing a communications medium for the statements of high profile mujahideen figures such as Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi is well known. Many will be aware of the existence of jihadi chat forums as well — Terrorism Focus itself makes ample use of this medium for gathering primary source material — but the sheer wealth of materials now made available on the web may perhaps not be generally appreciated. For in addition to the publication of ‘official' jihadi statements, or the ad hoc ruminations on the discussion forums, the internet now holds a constantly expanding library of military and technical monographs along with ideological treatises underpinning the culture of jihad. Most of this literature, in terms of quantity, detail and spectrum, is in the Arabic language and therefore remains unknown to the western media. The literature can be distributed in several ways. For instance, via sites belonging to specific jihadist groups or at non-specific jihadist-oriented websites. These may be sites belonging to individual radical ideologues and sheikhs or doctrinally focused sites carrying literature and opinion concerned with internal ideological conflict — anti-Shia or anti-Wahhabist sites in the main. Some of the most productive of locations, both from the point of view of the delivery to publication of jihadist works, or originating material, are the jihadist-oriented websites, news magazines and chat forums. Broadly speaking the jihadist web literature falls into three categories: military and technical training (periodical publications; individual essays; manuals and encyclopedias); operational communications (single declarations and notices; news updates) and propaganda and morale (periodical publications; individual treatises and essays). A ‘Virtual Afghanistan' While the literature of jihad, as such, has been flying around the web almost as long as the web has been a mass communication medium, the post-9/11 period saw its conversion into a major distribution system for jihad-related material to a mass readership. In a sense, it has compensated for the loss of Afghanistan as a major training arena in both the ideological and tactical senses. The best illustration of this is perhaps the Peninsular Arab productions from the Sawt al-Jihad (The Voice of Jihad) stable, primarily the Sawt al-Jihad magazine itself, which deals primarily with doctrinal matters and the Mu'askar al-Battar (Al-Battar Training Camp), a publication specializing in the more practical aspects of the jihad. Though both web magazines ceased publication since late 2004, they remain the model, in terms of both production quality and format, for subsequent publications. Their complementary doctrinal-military role, for instance, has been imitated in Iraq with the new publications Majallat al-Fath (Conquest Magazine) and Dhurwat al-Sanam (The Pinnacle). The Mu'askar featured heavily the work of Shaykh Yusuf al-Ayyiri (killed in June 2003) on physical training, the former Egyptian military officer Sayf al-Adel on security and communications, and the one-time head of the Peninsular Al-Qaeda organization, Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin (killed in June 2004) on military tactics and guerrilla warfare. Over its 22-volume history it has published a full sample of military and ideological preparation, much of which must have formed part of the curriculum in Afghanistan. Issues of tactical application covered by the magazine include: the planning of special and covert operations, maneuvering skills in towns and urban warfare, communications security and the use of codes, surveillance and covert reconnaissance techniques, intelligence gathering, camouflage and concealment techniques, the use of safe houses, the tactical employment of propaganda and counter-propaganda. Issue 6 of the Mu'askar is particularly of interest, in that it contains a ! detailed description of how to form a secure operational cell, with separate teams designated for command and control, reconnaissance, preparation and execution. The Military Arts Much of the material in these publications was drawn not only from published works in print, but also from monographs still circulated on the net. These range from monographs on tactical training, often translated from western originals, such as the Al-Baqaa fi al-Zuruf al-Sa'ba (Survival in Difficult Circumstances), a translation of an U.S. army manual, to more original productions, such as Abu Miqdad al-Falastini's Harb al-Ightiyalat, specializing in war through assassination and dedicated to Bin Laden and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. Chapters of this work cover all methods of assassination — letter bombs, point blank range and the use of poisons and also include topical materials on assassination through explosives-laden cars, detonated either through suicide drivers or through remote control. The technical side of military training is understandably more amply catered for. Individual monographs, along with extracted chapters from longer works, are circulated on the internet forums in subjects ranging from detailed instructions on artillery and range-finding, to the manufacture and use of poisons, suicide explosive belts, anti-amour shells, rockets and chem-bio weaponry. The breadth of military technology finds its reflection in the provision of reference works for the mujahideen in the field. In May 2000 the discovery of an extensive manual, the ‘Military Studies in the Jihad against the Tyrants,' at the home of an al-Qaeda suspect in the United Kingdom caused a stir, not least for the details given on recipes for the manufacture of poisons. But the publications now available on the net dwarf that work. The contents list of Mawsu'at al-Aqsa al-Jihadiyya (The Al-Aqsa Jihad Encyclopedia) contains a detailed library of instructions for the preparation of explosives.! A more comprehensive manual still, indeed one phenomenal for its exhaustiveness, is the Mawsu'at al-I'dad, (Encyclopedia of Preparation). This is unique in its form, since the contents list on weaponry, guerrilla warfare, training and tactics — which is itself extensive — is a construction of myriad URLs leading to further pages — with further URLs leading the researcher to ever more precise information. Constantly updated, it is now available, according to a recent posting on the Al-Ma'sada jihadi forum, as a CD. Propaganda and Operational Morale In the Sawt al-Jihad productions, attention was paid to maintaining the morale of the mujahideen via post-operation debriefings, the justification for activities and excuses for failures. The ‘culture of jihad' was also maintained by interviews with mujahideen famous for successful operations, eulogies of martyred mujahideen and the correction or denial of news reports from the regional and international media. This function was particularly put to the test in Saudi Arabia where for the first time the issue of Muslim victims in the violence came to dominate media discussion. This caused the Peninsular mujahideen much vexation. The online web magazines countered the negative propaganda as far as they could, but the Sawt al-Jihad publishers eventually felt the need to put out two treatises to extinguish the flames of dissent; a first bullish response entitled "Myths and Idle Talk", followed by a more considered 82-page treatise, entitled "Doubts and Questions Concerning the Ji!had in the Arabian Peninsula". The above documents marshaled a hefty complement of Islamic law citations to make the case. But the mujahideen have long been serviced by radical shaykhs to help negotiate the doctrinal terrain, all of which are available to the web surfer at times of need. The case of Shaykh Hamid bin al-Fahd and his treatise in defense of employing weapons of mass destruction against the infidel is famous. But the ideological underpinning is responsive at the detailed level, and impacts on the operational procedures of Islamist militants. A good example of this is Shaykh Ayyiri's Hidayat al-Hayara fi Jawaz Qatl al-Asara (The Gift for the Perplexed on the Permissibility of Killing Prisoners), where the practical considerations of the militant captors are embedded in doctrinal precedents to assuage potential doubts. Up to now the information war has been waged by the mujahideen in a largely inward focusing way — countering what it holds to be tainted media coverage, and interpreting events through the lenses of jihad ideology. But the formation early in March of the new Katibat al-Jihad al-I'lami (Information Jihad Brigade) in Iraq has taken the militants' propaganda war onto the offensive. Here, interestingly, the value of the jihadi forums as an active vehicle of the new warfare, enlisting the participation of a diaspora of armchair mujahideen across the globe in a collective effort to translate, design and distribute the material, is well illustrated. The Jihadi Internet Forums But it is perhaps the web forums themselves that encapsulate this new warfare best. In a typical jihadist forum, the sections divide themselves equally between elements of information, and pro-active reader communication and contribution. The list of information sub-sections include da'wa (Islamic preaching), news from the front lines, official declarations from jihadist groups, audio-visual productions and photo essays on jihad, and a general text distribution section. All forums include general discussion sub-categories where highly detailed experiences mingle with material often of a banal nature. But the most interesting categories are the ‘Jihadi cells' and ‘electronic jihad' sections. In the first of these are found the detailed exchanges of participants requesting or providing specific information on military technology, requests for supplies or funding, or enquiries on how to join a cell on the front line. The ‘electronic jihad' section hosts the cyber war and gives ! up to the minute instructions or warnings of website penetration, suggestions for targets or timing of attacks, with detailed advice on method. But aside from the ‘virtual warfare' which both the counter-propaganda unit and the electronic jihad units illustrate, no less vital an ingredient is the ‘virtual culture' of education and doctrine which the internet manages to sustain among the mujahideen. Taken as a whole, this element fully complements the military resources and, as reflected in its heavy representation online, forms a fundamental part of the jihad warfare. Stephen Ulph is editor of Terrorism Focus and Senior Fellow of The Jamestown Foundation Jihadi Terms and Terminology Al-Rawafidh: The rejectionists, renegades An opprobrious term used by Salafists to refer to the Shi'ites. Al-Sham or Bilad al-Sham: The historical name for Greater Syria, which generally includes modern-day Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and some areas of Turkey. A group calling itself Tanzim Jund al-Sham (Organization of the Army of Greater Syria) has appeared on Islamist forums (see "The Qatar theater bombing" in this issue of Focus). The use of this term, like Bilad al-Haramayn, Bilad al-Rafidayn and Bilad al-Berber, indicates the mujahideen's disregard for what they consider to be ‘Crusader/Zionist' borders. Al-Riyadhah al-Badaniyyah: Physical Exercises, Fitness Training Mu'askar al-Battar features a regular section by this name in which the magazine lays out a regiment of exercises including cardiovascular/endurance and strength training for the mujahideen. Al-Battar states, "There is no doubt physical strength is of the greatest importance in the mujahid's preparation... fitness training is the first step in any military training." It goes on to provide Qur'an and Hadith supporting their view of the importance of physical training. Al-Khafeefah (Refers to Aslihat al-Khafeefah): Light Weaponry Mu'askar al-Battar has featured detailed articles on the use of light weaponry in combat, which is among the easiest of manufactured weaponry to acquire. They provide a history of the weapons, a breakdown of their component parts, maintenance and safety procedures, and comparative charts of ammunition, range, and accuracy. They also provide the benefits of a given weapon; the Kalashnikov, for example, is "considered the best weapon for storming and invading from the standpoint of strength and durability".

Posted by: k.ram Apr 3 2005, 05:43 AM

QUOTE Fear and hatred of Muslims on increase in young generation By Maxine Frith 02 April 2005 Children as young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found. Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom. The study of 1,500 students aged 13 to 24 was presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Manchester yesterday. Researchers asked students from 14 secondary schools and one further education college in York for their views on Islam since 11 September 2001. Three of the schools were from the independent sector and the others came from a wide geographical and socio-economic area. Nathalie Noret, the lead researcher, from York St John's College, said: "The younger pupils were more likely to exhibit extreme views and Islamophobia than older students, and there were no differences between schools." She added that Islamophobia was a "double whammy" as it discriminated against people not just on the basis of religion but also the colour of their skin. Overall, 43 per cent of the participants said their attitudes towards Muslims had got worse or much worse since the attacks. A quarter said they had worsened still further since the invasion of Iraq. Ten per cent of girls and 23 per cent of the boys said they would object to female Muslim school pupils wearing a hijab in the classroom. When asked about the British National Party, almost 10 per cent said they either agreed or agreed strongly with the views of its far-right politicians, with 15 per cent saying they were neutral. Boys were more likely to adopt extreme views and Islamophobic attitudes than girls, with 4.5 per cent of the male participants strongly agreeing with the BNP, against 1.2 per cent of girls. Similarly, 23 per cent of the boys said their attitudes to Muslims had become much worse since 2001, against 14 per cent of the girls. More than 10 per cent of non-Muslim students said they had seen or heard verbal or physical victimisation of Muslim pupils inside or outside school. One example involves a 14-year-old schoolboy and two other teenagers, 16 and 17, who desecrated dozens of Muslim graves last year in Charlton, south-east London. At Inner London Crown Court yesterday they received community rehabilitation orders. Judge Lindsay Burn told them: "The jury were convinced, and I am satisfied, that at least one of your motivations was hostility to the religious beliefs of those buried in that section of the cemetery, namely those of the Muslim faith." Anas Altikriti, of the Muslim Association of Britain, said: "It is extremely saddening when children are already adopting attitudes like this towards Muslims. Children get these views from television and the media and the conversations they hear from adults. It is incredibly distressing that when they should be at an age where they rise above race and colour and creed, children are already having these negative emotions."

Posted by: Sunder Apr 3 2005, 04:13 PM Pakistani police have clashed with demonstrators protesting against the participation of women in a 10km road race in eastern Pakistan. 'Undress the nation' The clashes erupted after supporters of the Islamic religious parties alliance (MMA) attacked the men and women contesting the race with batons and stones, police said. ... "They want to undress the entire nation," Riaz Durrani said. "It is indecent for women to run in the streets. They want the sisters and sisters-in-law of the nation to wear knickers and T-shirts." Two months ago Islamic groups strongly criticised a race in Lahore, saying the female participants had violated Muslim dress code.

Posted by: Bhootnath Apr 12 2005, 05:48 AM Hi Folks , Howdy .. again after a long time , above is a link to an HT edit by "Humra Quraishi" last time a poor soul and well meaning one said something abt the way she presented some facts..... I request somebody who has a login on and paste this article for everybodies viewing. ... so folks somebody do the honours ofpasting the above mentioned article ... well there is another fart by "Amulya Ganguly" too ) ... Regards Bhoot...

Posted by: Mudy Apr 13 2005, 03:38 PM The NRI Hindu who embraced Islam, is also said to have steered a few terrorist operations in Kashmir.

Posted by: Viren Apr 13 2005, 07:39 PM


The NRI Hindu who embraced Islam, is also said to have steered a few terrorist operations in Kashmir
How common is the last name '“Al-Hindi” in India? Recently read somewhere (think it was the M J Akbar's 'Shades of Sword')that grandfather of Ruholla (Ayatollah) Kohemini (who led the Iranian revolution of late 70s) was Shia Indian named 'Al-Hindi' and he was from Lucknow. He went to Najaf, Iraq for theological studies/pligramage in mid 1800s before settling in Iran.

Posted by: G.Subramaniam Apr 13 2005, 07:50 PM

Al-Hindi means from Hindustan Al-Farsi means from Persia Al-Tikriti means from Tikrit

Posted by: Naresh Apr 23 2005, 03:39 PM RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has detained 40 Pakistani Christians for holding prayers at a house in the Muslim kingdom, where practicing any religion other than Islam is illegal, newspapers said on Saturday. A group of men, women and children were attending the service in Riyadh when police raided the house, Al Jazirah newspaper said. It said authorities also found Christian tapes and books. Another Saudi daily, Al Yaum, said the raid took place on Friday while a Pakistani preacher was delivering a sermon. Reuters Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Mudy Apr 24 2005, 12:38 PM

The protesters had gathered to hear their neighbours denounced as heretics and infidels. Ahmadiyyas must be declared non-Muslim, protesters say "Kaffir, kaffir," the mullah shouted into his microphone again and again, looking over the crowd from the makeshift stage set up on the back of a truck. "Infidel, infidel." And he led the demonstrators in a chant: "Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims." For four hours, the leaders of the International Khatme Nabuwat Andolon exhorted their followers in the main square of Bangladesh's northern town of Bogra. The crowd swelled to far more than 5,000, most wearing skull caps. At times the voices of the speakers cracked with emotion and they sobbed into the microphone. There were tears among their audience too, and shouts of rage. ...........

Posted by: acharya Apr 24 2005, 10:08 PM

Name of the Book: Sacred Spaces: Exploring Traditions of Shared Faith in India Author: Yoginder Sikand Pages: 273 Publisher: Penguin Books, New Delhi Year:2003 ISBN: 0143029312 Reviewed by Mohammed Ayub Khan India has a long and rich tradition of syncretism or the fusion of different forms of beliefs and practices. Religions liberally borrowed each others rituals, customs and to some extent beliefs. Even Christianity and Islam with their strict monotheism were not immune to this trend. Hence, today we have Christian priests in the states of Kerala and Goa who practice a Hinduised form of Christianity, complete with pujas, hawans and recitation of Sanskrit shlokas. And there are the Muslim dargahs (shrines) of Sufi saints where Hindus and Muslims pray together. These shared traditions are now being challenged as believers move towards more orthodox and puritan interpretations. Complicating the situation are the politicians and communalists who use religion as a tool to further their political ends. Dr.Yoginder Sikand in Sacred Spaces documents twenty five religious places where a syncretic form of worship is practiced. With the notable exception of Our Lady of Health of Vailankanni in Kerala the rest are primarily Hindu, Muslim, shared or of late increasingly contested pilgrim centers. Sikand begins with his own experiences as a person with antinomian beliefs. ‘Resisting the tyranny of labels is a constant battle. No sooner does a child come into the world than it is branded, for no fault of his or hers, with a label that generally stays until the grave, that boxes it into a specific caste or religion.” He claims that, “For millions of others in India, religion is a free-flowing river that meanders wherever it pleases, in search of peace and solace, or, more often, in a desperate quest for divine intervention to solve worldly woes.’ It is with this mindset that he embarked on his exploration. The syncretic spaces he visits are centered on myths and legends about the supposed super-natural powers of their patron saints. The Shrine of Ayappa in the Sabari Mala mountains of Kerala attracts thirty million devotees each year. According to one popular legend he was the offspring of Vishnu and Shiva. Another theory claims him to be a local prince. He reportedly had a Muslim disciple called Wavar who led an army of warriors and defeated Ayappa’s enemies. There still exists a mosque called Wavar Masjid at the foot of the hill where pilgrims seek the blessings from a “maulvi” before embarking on the uphill trek. Citing various historical narratives Sikand writes that Ayappa and Wavar seem to represent urban ‘upper’ caste Hindus and Muslims who joined forces to enslave the forest-dwelling tribals and capture their land. Despite attempts to completely Bramanize the Ayappan cult, the Muslim influences continue to flourish. Arguably, the most popular cult in India is that of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. His portraits and popular saying, Sab Ka Malik Aik (Everyone’s lord is one), are ubiquitous in India gracing everything from plush offices to auto-rickshaws. Due to the efforts of his modern day namesake Puttapurthi Sai Baba this cult is also popular in the West. Sai Baba’s origins are also shrouded in mystery. His clothing, actions and many popular sayings and actions definitely point that he was a Muslim. He wore the dress of Muslim fakir, held ‘fatiha’ ceremony every Thursday and lived and died in a mosque in Shirdi.’ According to Sikand, ‘the Baba’s understanding of religion was expansive enough to recognize the presence of the light of God in all beings irrespective of religion.’ During his life he was simply known as a Muslim fakir. As further proof Sikand cites the existence of an Urdu manuscript consisting of the Baba’s under his supervision by his disciple Abdul. The legacy of the Baba has not escaped the rising tide of right-wing Hindutva resurgence. The priests who control his shrine have erased all Islamic links and have converted him into a demi-god, one of the many in the Hindu pantheon. Warren, an expert on Sai Baba’s thought, points out: “While Sai Baba was claimed by both Muslims and Hindus, his core approach to God-Realization had a distinct Islamic stance, and he never taught specifically Hindu doctrines and rituals …Sai Baba has, however, been almost completely assimilated and reinterpreted by the Hindu community.” On of the most intriguing figures in the book is that of the Haji Baba Ratan of Bhatinda in Punjab. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs all claim him to be their own despite his strong Muslim connections. According to one legend he was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and lived for over 700 years. The first references to Haji Ratan in Islamic literature date back to twelfth century. Several Hadith collectors traveled from as far as Andalusia and Central Asia to collect the supposed traditions from him. Abu Marwan Andalusi, a Spanish Muslim chronicler, visited Haji Ratan and penned an interesting sketch of him. ‘When he arrived at the Baba’s monastery, he was taken aback to see an ancient, wrinkled man, his cheeks covered with hair ‘as white as cotton’. The Baba addressed him in a language he could not understand, claiming, as was later translated for him, that he was present in Medina during the famed Battle of the Trench…At that time, he said, he was just fourteen years old. When the Prophet saw him laboring at the trenches, he blessed him with a long life.’ Obviously, most medieval scholars including Allama Shamsuddin declared Haji Ratan to be a fraud and liar for making preposterous claims but his cult continues to prosper with hundreds of devotees of all faiths beseeching him for help. The author should be commended for compiling historical information on obscure cults surrounding the personalities of Baba Budha, Imam Mehdi of Panna, Sarmad, Siddiq Deendar, and the Sufis of Jammu and Karnataka. Notable absences are the more well known shrines of Sufis like Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (Ajmer) , Nizamuddin Auliya (Delhi) and Haji Ali (Mumbai) Also missing are non-Muslim and non-Hindu figures like the French soldier Monsieur Raymond whose grave in Hyderabad has been turned into a shrine by the local populace. The author seems to be unaware that the Dargahs are not the only shared sacred spaces. Even today, with communalism on the rise, Hindu ladies still line up at the doors of several Mosques in India and ask the Muslim men leaving after the prayers to blow on their children. Sikand laments the fact that the shared traditions are being rapidly eroded. This does not necessarily mean the end of the road for inter-communal harmony. There are various other alternatives where the communities can come together like labor and other social justice platforms. It might even be a good thing that people are turning away from these syncretic shrines as many of them have become money making enterprises for godmen who dupe the naïve devotees. What is disturbing, however, is the saffronizing of these shrines by the Hindutva forces which are always in wait to spark another controversy over contested spaces.

Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 25 2005, 04:42 PM

S R Krishnan recently posted this link on IC..

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Sayeed Rahamtullah Hashmi was reported saying that the destruction of the Buddha statues was in retaliation for the December 1992 demolition of the medieval Babri mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya by Hindu fanatics.
IOW hindu-buddhist bhai-bhai ..

Posted by: rajesh_g Apr 26 2005, 06:29 PM

Muslim countries plan to use satellite technology to aid in moon sightings, used to determine Islamic holidays. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the world's largest Muslim body, said Sunday it plans to launch an $8 million satellite within two years to take pictures of the moon to find lunar calendar dates. The 57-nation group said religious scholars would have access to accurate pictures of the shape of the moon instead of having to rely on naked-eye sightings, which have in the past created discrepancies between Muslim countries or led to mistakes. "Hopefully the satellite will stop the problems associated with lunar sightings," spokesman Ahmed Imigene said. A moon sighting committee in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, frustrated millions of worshippers when it said it got the date wrong by a day for the peak of this year's haj pilgrimage in January. The OIC will fund the project, which was conceived by Cairo University's Space Science Center. "The satellite will have a fixed camera on board that will take highly detailed pictures of the moon and beam them back to earth," said Professor Mervat Awad, the center's director. The satellite, which is being built by an Italian firm, will also be used to research asteroids, Awad added. It was not immediately clear how many countries will use the technology to determine religious dates. There is already some criticism from religious officials in Saudi Arabia, which uses the lunar calendar. "The shape of the moon has to be seen from the ground," said Osama al-Bar, dean of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj Research in Saudi Arabia. blink.gif

Posted by: k.ram Apr 30 2005, 06:45 AM

It's what they used to call an Encore Presentation: the courageous and pioneering scholar of dhimmitude, Bat Ye'or, will appear again on C-Span today: from C-Span: On Saturday, April 30 at 12:00 pm EDT Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis Bat Ye'or Description: Bat Ye'or talks about her new book, "Eurabia," at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. She looks at the relationship between European and Arab countries since the mid-20th century and argues that Muslims living in Western Europe have significantly influenced their governments' attitudes toward Israel and other countries in the Middle East. During the talk, she also discusses why Turkey should not be allowed into the European Union and addresses the question of European anti-Semitism. Bat Ye'or answers questions from the audience following her remarks.

Posted by: Viren May 2 2005, 07:48 AM

Muslim Group in France Is Fertile Soil for Militancy By CRAIG S. SMITH Published: April 28, 2005

ST.-DENIS, France - Raouf Ben Halima, 39, sleeps on his side, never on his stomach. He enters the bathroom leading with his left foot but puts his pants on leading with his right. Instead of using a fork when he eats, he uses his index finger, middle finger and thumb. Mr. Halima is a member of the Tablighi Jamaat, or Preaching Party, a global army of Muslim missionaries helping to expand their religion and reinforce their faith. They believe that emulating the habits of the Prophet Muhammad is the surest way to restore Islam to its intended path. So Mr. Halima and his associates shave their upper lips but let their beards grow. They wear their pants or robes above the ankle because the prophet said letting clothes drag on the ground is a sign of arrogance. "Halfway between the knee and the ankle is best," Mr. Halima explains, sitting amid stacks of religious tracts in his small home. His comments, made recently to a reporter during conversations about the growth of militant Islam, offered a rare window on the beliefs of a group that is unsettling to many here. The Tablighi are one of the primary forces spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Europe today, and many young Muslim men pass through the group on the way toward an extreme, militant interpretation of the religion. Beyond that, little about the group is known. The window Mr. Halima offered was open only briefly: he spoke only about his own experience and refused to accompany a reporter to France's main Tablighi mosque for fear of being seen breaching the sect's strict rules of secrecy. European terrorism officials who follow Tablighi closely say they know many cases in which terrorists have emerged from the movement, but they say they have never been able to penetrate the group sufficiently to prove that it plays any direct role. "It is definitely fertile ground for breeding terrorism," said a French intelligence official who has traced many militants' religious awakening to their membership in the movement. Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person to be charged in the United States in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, was once a Tablighi adherent in France. Hervé Djamel Loiseau, a young Frenchman who died fleeing the 2001 American bombardment of Tora Bora in Afghanistan was, too. Djamel Beghal, an Algerian-born Frenchman and confessed Qaeda member recently convicted in Paris for plotting to blow up the American Embassy, was a Tablighi follower in the French town of Corbeil a decade ago. The movement got its start in the mid-1920's when a man named Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas, disturbed by distortions of Islam in the face of India's predominant Hinduism, began preaching in the poor neighborhoods of Delhi. It is now considered the largest Muslim missionary movement in the world. Its yearly November gathering in Raiwind, Pakistan, may be second only to the hajj in drawing Muslims. On the Continent, the group's main base is in France, where most of its adherents are North Africans, according to experts watching it. Introduced here in the early 1960's, it grew quickly during the 70's and 80's, one the country's few Islamic organizations at a time when Europe's economic slump had left many Muslim immigrants unemployed. "They were the first Islamic movement in France and the rest of Europe to target young people who were destabilized," said Gilles Kepel, author of "The War for Muslim Minds." "They targeted young people who were lost in their identity, were involved in delinquency, drinking, petty crime, and proposed reorganizing their life." Mr. Halima, a senior Tablighi activist who once spent a week with the movement's governing council in Pakistan, estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 people had passed through the Tablighi movement in France and that there were about 5,000 active members. But there is no way to confirm these figures. Shortly after Islam's twilight prayer here, bearded and robed men stream out of the Tablighi's central mosque in France, a small two-story house freshly painted eggshell white not far from Mr. Halima's home. Their approach to idle young men in this working-class town on the northern outskirts of Paris is usually the same: they offer a handshake, touch their hand to their heart, and ask, "Do you go to the mosque?" Only occasionally do the missionaries return to the mosque with someone in tow. Mr. Halima was once such a person. Now a cheerful proselytizer who publishes pamphlets promoting the Tablighi Jamaat and other aspects of fundamentalist Islam, he took a path to the Tablighi that may well be typical of European recruits. He said he was born to a Tunisian father and an American mother who divorced and moved to Britain when he was a child and brought up with no particular religious training. He began to seek spiritual sustenance by the time he left adolescence. At 16, he met a Tablighi member in southwest London and soon attended a three-day mosque retreat. Before long, he was joining outings to visit other mosques across Britain as a missionary. The Tablighi's obligation includes proselytizing 3 days every month and 40 days once a year. Every devoted Tablighi is also expected to make one four-month trip to Pakistan to study at the organization's central mosque. "The Tablighi only care about bringing people back to Islam," Mr. Halima insisted. "We are not political." But he said Tablighi-sponsored trips to Pakistan put young men in contact with fundamentalists of many stripes, including adherents of Salafism, a fundamentalist school of Islam whose radical fringe advocates war against non-Muslims. Abandoning the Tablighi during such trips is discouraged, he said, but there is no stigma for those who wished to leave for more radical groups later. He acknowledged that young men wishing to migrate from the Tablighi to more militant forms of Islam had no trouble finding their way. "Everyone knows which mosques attract Salafists, and if you go and ask, it's easy to get into the jihadi network," he said. He said most people touched by the Tablighi eventually moved on to practice a more moderate form of Islam, but of the hundreds that remain engaged in fundamentalism, he estimated, half are recruited by Salafists. "The Salafists are very aggressive," Mr. Halima said, adding that they are growing faster than the Tablighi. In the Tablighi's central mosque here, across a park from the 12th-century basilica where many of France's kings are interred, a young man with a long beard and a long stick watches over the tiled front room where visitors remove their shoes and those coming for prayer perform ablutions in communal sinks. In the small, carpeted worship room, the only decoration is a lone shelf of religious books and a row of clock faces showing the times of Islam's five daily prayers. A group of bearded men sit on the floor, talking quietly beside a low wooden box that serves as a desk. Seeing a visitor, one of them gets up and introduces himself, whispering so as not to disturb another man praying in a corner. "Happiness is inside us all, you only need the right glasses to find it," he begins. "Those glasses are faith."

Posted by: utepian May 2 2005, 08:36 AM

I will repeat this a million times. THERE IS SIMPLY NO EQUAL FOR THE AMOUNT OF ***MILITANT*** FUNDAMENTALISM THAT COMES FROM PAKISTAN. --There's absolutely NO statistically relevant evidence to indicate that it is only a handful of Pakistanis that are involved in terrorism . The entire society of men, women and childran walk the path of Jihad! --Going by a report prepared by the Washington-based PEW Research Centre, Six in ten Pakistanis support suicide attacks against "enemies" of Islam. --47 percent of the Pakistanis say Palestinian bombings against the Israelis is justifiable. --65% of Pakistanis have a favorable view of Osama Bin Laden when the numbers for measuring the same attitude in other Islamic nations is far lower. --Every Eid Rs 200 Crore is raised for the purpose of Jihad. If you do the simple math and assume that people donate individually Rs 40-50 worth of money/cow-skins - it turns into a huge number of donations, numbering tens of millions - or in other words statistically significant numbers of Pakistanis directly support terrorism. --Pakistan has eliminated its entire minority population - from 22% down to 2% - a clear indication that ethnic cleansing is a mass movement supported by every segment of society. --Pakistan and Pakistanis are connected to every single international terrorist act, that takes place in the world - this includes US/UK/France/Phillipines/Somalia/Kenya. Pakistani terrorits include western educated terrorists - a clear indication that terrorism and ethnic cleansing is a societal feature --Pakistan commits a genocide every decade and half - first it was the complete elimination of all minorities in Pakistan, then Bangladesh, then Afghanistan and Punjab and now Kashmir - no other country can claim this. --Complete lack of national remorse over killing 10,000 people a day for "267 days stright" - this was reflected by the bestowing of national honors to Tikka Khan and womens groups within Pakistan supporting the rape of 300,000 BDeshi women (according to Pakistani sources themselves). --The Pakistani state has no established strategic goals other than to merely survive. Only method employed to reach this goal is opportunistic tactics of Jihad. --In Lahore 99 percent of parents thought that war stories and war heroes should be part of the course for schools; 90 percent students too supported this. --The imprints of every major act of international Islamist terrorism invariably passes through Pakistan, right from September 11 where virtually all the participants had trained, resided or met in, coordinated with, or received funding from or through Pakistan, to major acts of terrorism across all of South Asia including India and Southeast Asia, as well as major networks of terror that have been discovered in Europe. The terror machinery is just too impressive to even be a topic of comparison.

Posted by: acharya May 5 2005, 08:37 PM

Muslim Personal Law Board responds The Hinduis the most respected daily of India for its fair reporting, objective remarks, and balanced views. It is sad to note that all these norms have been trampled upon in the editorial of May 5, 2005, titled "Three Words Still Means Divorce." The nikahnamaprescribes mutual efforts for amicable settlement of any vital difference arising between the couple, then involvement of the elders of their families and elders of their society or locality. If still vital differences remain, the couple has been advised to consult Darul Qaza or Shariah Panchayat or a local Islamic scholar to know the Shariah method of separation. This process does not leave any room for triple divorce. The declaration in the nikahnamaalso makes it incumbent on the couple to refer their dispute to Darul Qaza or Shariah Panchayat for arbitration. The comment in the editorial, "Arbitration by a cleric tends to put women at a built-in disadvantage" is unfortunate and unfounded. If one studies the verdicts of various Darul Qazas functioning in the country, one will certainly come to the conclusion that these institutions are the proper fora for women to have their grievances redressed and their disputes settled in a just manner. It is unfortunate that the editorial cites the opinion of Awaz-e-Niswan, thus revealing a tilt towards those groups that desire abolition of the Shariah. The cartoon on the editorial page is in bad taste. Mohd. Abdul Rahim Quraishi, Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Hyderabad.

Posted by: acharya May 5 2005, 08:59 PM

Send this Article to a Friend Incest: victim exploited since five years Staff Reporter HYDERABAD: A day after the 17-year-old girl of Khajipura in Shahalibanda alleged that she was sexually assaulted by her father, even more shocking "revelations" tumbled out of the incest case. The accused, Syed Sadiq Hussain, reportedly used to tell the girl that incest was common in every family, the Falaknuma ACP, R. Gopala Raju, said on Thursday. The girl told the police that she mustered courage to approach the police after learning about a similar sordid story of a girl in Kanchanbagh through the media. She said that the sexual assault had been going on for the past four to five years. Hussain, a welder, had eight children through his first wife and the victim was the eldest. Whenever his wife went to her parents' house, Hussain allegedly used to sexually exploit the girl. When she resisted, he would threaten to kill her and other family members as well if she revealed the matter to anyone. Finally, it was the girl's teacher who persuaded her to seek police assistance. Incidentally, Syed Sadiq Hussain, who was rounded up today, denied the charges saying his daughter was trying to take revenge on him. However, Hussain kept mum when asked as to what drove his daughter to implicate him in false case, the ACP said.

Posted by: ramana May 6 2005, 07:24 AM

Those fading shared traditions that Sikhand laments are really dhimmi acts. It is the Hindu response to see some merit in the faith of the conquerors. Now that Islamic rule is in the past especially after teh Mughal collapse and the subequent decline of the Nawabs these acts of dhimmitude are gradually fading away. Syncretism was a dhimmi response to cope with the intolerant faith of the conquerors. The interaction over centuries especially since 1000 AD under the Muslim Turks has caused this response.

Posted by: Mudy May 6 2005, 09:06 AM

ramana, Today’s editorial by Punj is very interesting to read and same old story of so called peaceful Islamist.

Take them out of seventh century Balbir K Punj The Malegaon 'scandal' involving a lady Muslim lawyer and a Hindu Magistrate that made six-column front page news in a national daily (The Indian Express, May 5, 2005) is a presage of doom, should Islam prevail over other parts of India. Such an incident occurring in an otherwise predominantly Hindu State like Maharashtra makes one apprehensive about the state of affairs in Muslim-dominated parts of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, etc. On March 7, a 24-year-old lady Muslim lawyer Noorjehan Ansari and Class I Judicial Magistrate Balasaheb Hiralal Bharaskar-who were then recently posted at Malegaon-were dragged out of a State rest house by four Muslim youth who had allegedly "caught them in a compromising position". They took them not to the Police but to the mufti (Muslim jurist or counsel, popularly known as Qazi), Mohammed Ismail of the local madarsa for 'justice'. Noorjehan had initially accused Magistrate Bharaskar of rape, which led to his imprisonment and termination of service. But now the truth has come out as the accused, driven by scruples of conscience (one assumes), has decided to spill the beans. She now says that she had accused the Magistrate, a complete stranger to her, under duress by the police and the mufti. The Magistrate, far from harming her was actually trying to help her. On that fateful day, when she was taking a walk, some young men chased her and tried to outrage her modesty. She took shelter in the rest house for safety. But soon four of those men barged into the rest house and took the woman along with the Magistrate to the mufti with an ulterior motive. She also informed that the mufti had told Bharaskar to convert to Islam and marry her, and only then he could be spared. The Qazi now denies the allegation of coercion for conversion. But those familiar with Islamic history have reason to feel otherwise. All through the Islamic era, Kings and Qazis offered Hindu subjects guilty of offending Muslims, absolution from offence on condition of accepting Islam. Such torment was meted out to Guru Teg Bahadur, Bhai Mati Das, Vir Hakikat Rai before they preferred Martyrdom. So after all tall claims of post-modernism and progressiveness, are we moving towards a medieval India, bedevilled by increasing aggressions of Islam? The model nikahnamah (marriage code) released by All India Personal Law Board was recently in news. I am not going into the nitty-gritty of the nikahnamah which might be one and a half step forward for those who lag by hundreds of miles. But it underlines the prominent role of Qazis in Muslim divorce cases. In 'secular' India, none except a Muslim can practice polygamy. A marriage can be solemnised by a priest but can be annulled by a court of law, in a process that is often protracted, acrimonious and expensive. But for Muslims, not even a cleric is necessary to dissolve a marriage. Mere utterance of the word talaq thrice would do. The model nikahnamah has chosen to retain triple talaq as an integral part of the sharia, though simultaneous utterance is now counselled against. In matters of criminal law, Indian Muslims have conveniently parted ways with the sharia and accepted being governed by the law of the land. Otherwise, a Muslim might lose his right arm for stealing, or be publicly stoned to death for committing a rape. Such medieval barbaric penalties are still prevalent in some Arab countries. But they have kept personal laws out of the purview of the state's law. When Allahabad High Court in 1994 denounced the power of a Muslim husband to throw his wife out by uttering talaq-talaq-talaq as contrary in spirit to the Indian Constitution, the highly agitated ulema said that no attempt to interfere with the sharia would be allowed. Independent India has tolerated all these under the name of 'secularism'. The Shah Bano Case (1985) exemplified the extent to which 'secular' India could buckle under pressure of the ulemas. The Rajiv Gandhi Government that enjoyed three-fourth majority in the Parliament got the Supreme Court's order abrogated through Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. The Supreme Court had held that a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to get maintenance from her husband under 125 CPC. Shah Bano's husband Mohammed Ahmed Khan had argued that marriage under the sharia being a contract, he was not liable to give her maintenance. I shall not dwell on the legal merit and inadequacy of the MW (PRD) Act, 1986. But it is a fact that Congress buckled under the ulema who deemed Supreme Court's verdict an attack on Islam. The fundamentalists' muscle flexing was evident -there would be some direct action if the law were to prevail in place of the sharia. In days of the British rule, a counsel of the Muslim offender who killed a Hindu (Kafir) used to argue that the accused had done no wrong according to the precepts of the sharia. Lawyers as eminent as Asif Ali had reasoned so. The British judges who had established the modern legal system in India, of course rejected such arguments. Today we hear of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind openly raising the demand for establishment of sharia courts throughout the country. While there is dishonesty in the Indian establishment's approach, the AIMPLB modus operandi smells of conspiracy. Population control, for the umpteenth time now, has been repudiated as counter-Islamic. Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi, Chairman, AIMPLB had categorically declared so after Census 2001 became public. How is it that several self-assured Muslim countries in the world have long done away with polygamy, Wakf, whilst also implementing family planning? Family planning seems Islamic when a Muslim is the absolute master and Islam prevails. But it seems blasphemous in a Dar-ul-Harb (enemy territory or non-Islamic land) which is yet to be converted into a Dar-ul-Islam (land of Islam). In a democracy where each individual has just one vote, the most effective strategy to gain back India as Dar-ul-Islam is to procreate more. It is naive of 'secularists' to argue that the desire for reform must come from within the society. Sadly, they display no interest to understand Islam, the only religion that has defied any change for the last 1400 years. There can be no reformer in Islam since Allah says in the Qur'an, "This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (sura-5 ayat-3). So there can be innovation in religion. Its latest craze is to take the world back to seventh century Arabia. Indeed there are some moderate and progressive Muslim countries that were influenced by the West in the 19th and 20th century. But things are regressing now. The Indian 'welfare state', in the name of 'secularism', has allowed two sets of laws, education system and women's rights to exist. This has kept mullah-bound Muslims poor, unhygienic, uneducated and unemancipated. Mullahs only concern is to spread the sway of Islam, without really improving the daily lives of its folks. This 'secularism' has now become a nuisance widening the chasms between Muslims and the remaining society. A society bereft of reforms becomes ntolerant and aggressive. India will paradoxically do the biggest disservice to its pluralist ethos if it allows such orthodoxy to flourish and impinge upon others' lives. We cannot prove our love for Muslims by feigning a predilection for its orthodoxy. To love the patient is not to love his disease. (The writer, a Rajya Sabha MP and Convener of BJP's Think Tank can be contacted at

Posted by: Mudy May 8 2005, 04:32 PM

Kerala darses shed educational blinkers KA Antony / Thiruvananthapuram Include Maths, English in curriculum---Alarmed by the steady fall in the number of youths attending the dars-religious night classes conducted on roof tops of mosques in Kerala-Smastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulema, the education board of the orthodox Sunni faction that supports the Indian Union Muslim League, has decided to make teaching of Mathematics and English part of dars education. Samastha sources told The Pioneer that a fatwa in this regard would be issued immediately after Ramzan. ohmy.gif Samastha is a 40-member body of the EK Abubacker Musliyar faction of the Sunnis, who constitute more than 60 per cent of the Sunni population in the State. The rival faction is led by AP Abubacker Musliyar, better known as AP. Sunnis have a separate panel on education called the Sunni Education Board. Samstha secretary Cherusseri Sainuddin Musliyar said there was a move to revamp dars education. "But I don't want to say anything more about it at this stage," he said. The proposed move, he clarified, had nothing to do with the Madrasa Modernisation Project instituted by the former NDA government. "Dars and madrasa are totally different. While dars is for the youth, madrasa is for the children. You can find darses only in Kerala,'' said a Samastha member, who preferred anonymity. Samastha was prompted to revamp dars education owing to the heavy fall in the number of youths now attending the dars, he said. "In the past we used to get 40 to 50 youths in almost all darses. But the number in recent times has come down to five to ten. Samastha was worried since closing down of darses caused financial loss to the Mahal committees." Dars education, he said, was funded besides others by benevolent Arabs. Kerala Education Minister ET Muhammed Basheer said that he was not aware of the Samstha plan to introduce in the Dars Mathematics and English. "I am unaware of it. And even if there is a move, it cannot be part of the proposed Madrasa Modernisation Project, which is meant for Madrasas alone. Darses do not come under the project." As many as 95 madrasas of the state have submitted applications for inclusion under the scheme, the minister said.

Posted by: k.ram May 9 2005, 06:13 AM

(And Counting......)

Pre 9-11 Islamic Attacks (the early years) ======================== February 10, 1970 Three terrorist attack EL AL passengers in a bus at the Munich Airport. One passenger dies and eleven are injured. All three terrorists are arrested. February 21, 1970 On SwissAir flight 330, 38 passengers and 9 crew members die when a bomb explodes at the back of the plane near Zurich, Switzerland. May 8, 1970 Nine children and three adults are killed on a school bus in Avivim, Israel. The PLO claims responsibility. September 5, 1972 Black September terrorists kidnap Israeli athletes in Munich during the Summer Olympics. All athletes are killed during a botched rescue attempt. December 17, 1973 Five terrorists attack the Rome International Airport, killing 32 at the airport and one later as they dump the body of a hostage on the tarmac in Athens. April 11, 1974 A terrorist attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a Kiryat Shmona apartment in Israel results in 18 dead. May 15, 1974 The PFLP attacks a high school in Ma'alot, Israel leaving 26 dead and 66 wounded. September 8, 1974 TWA flight 841 explodes after takeoff killing 88. Air authorities later determine a bomb exploded on the plane. Suspicion for the attack lies with Abu Nidal. June 27, 1975 Air France flight 139 is hijacked by 8 PLO terrorists and flies to Uganda where they hold 103 passengers hostage. The Israeli's counter with what is now know as Operation Entebbe, where Israel's special forces conduct a raid of the Entebbe airport, rescuing 100 of the passengers. Three hostages and one Israeli soldier die in the rescue. 1978 Fatah terrorists kill 34 at various points along the Tel Aviv Haifa highway. November 4, 1979 Iranian radicals seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take 66 Americans hostage. Thirteen are initially released but the other 53 remain hostage until their release on January 20, 1981. November 20, 1979 200 Islamic terrorists take control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French forces retake the shrine after a deadly battle which results in more than 250 dead and 600 wounded. August 2, 1980 A bomb kills 80 and wounds 291 at a Bologna, Italy train station. No one has claimed responsibility. October 6, 1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated by members of the Takfir Wal-Hajira sect while reviewing troops. September 14, 1982 Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel is assassinated in a car bomb that kills 25 others. September 17, 1982 In refugee camps in Shabra and Shatila hundreds of Palestinians are killed in an effort by the Israeli's to ferret out members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). April 18, 1983 A suicide bomb attack by the Islamic Jihad on the United States Embassy in Beirut kills 63 and wounds another 120. September 23, 1983 Gulf Air flight 771 from Abu Dhabi, Saudia Arabia to Karachi, Pakistan crashes into the desert after a bomb in the baggage compartment explodes, killing 117. October 23, 1983 The Islamic Jihad sends two suicide truck bombers into the Marine Barracks and French Barracks in Beirut. The truck bomb crashing into the Marine barracks kills 241 while the French lose 58 in their attack. March 16, 1984 The Islamic Jihad kidnaps and kills U.S. Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut. June 14, 1985 TWA flight 847 from Athens to Rome is hijacked by Hezbollah terrorists. 153 are held hostage for seventeen days. One passenger, a United States Navy sailor is killed by the terrorists. September 30, 1985 Soviet diplomats in Beirut are kidnapped by Sunni terrorists. One diplomat is killed, the other three are released. October 7, 1985 The Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking by four Palestine Liberation Front terrorists kills one U.S. citizen as his wheelchair bound body is dumped into the sea. November 23, 1985 Egypt Air flight 648 bound for Cairo from Athens is hijacked by the terrorist group Abu Nidal. Forced to land in Malta, Egyptian commandos storm the airplane and take control, leaving 60 dead. December 27, 1985 Two airport attacks on the same day by Abu Nidal terrorists leaves sixteen dead. 13 die in an attack at the Rome airport and three more die in the attack at the Vienna airport. April 2, 1986 Palestinian terrorists calling themselves the Arab Revolutionary Cells detonates a bomb on TWA flight 840 as it approaches the Athens airport, opening up a hole in the cabin and sucking out four United States citizens, including one infant. April 5, 1986 Libyan terrorists bomb a discotheque in Berlin, killing 3 U.S. servicemen and injuring 230 others. In response to this, the United States bombs Tripoli and Benghazi, attempting to kill the Libyan dictator Moammar al-Qadhafi. September 5, 1986 Pan Am flight 73 is hijacked by four Abu Nidal terrorists, 22 die in Karachi, Pakistan when the hijackers open fire on the passengers. December 26, 1987 A Barcelona bar known as a U.S. military hang out is bombed, killing one U.S. citizen. February 17, 1988 A U.S. Marine is kidnapped and killed by Hezbollah terrorists in Southern Lebanon. April 14, 1988 The Organization of Jihad Brigades explodes a car bomb at a USO club in Naples, Italy killing one U.S. sailor. December 21, 1988 Pan Am flight 103 is bombed by Libyan terrorists and crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland killing 259 people. September 19, 1989 UTA flight 772 blows up over the Sahara desert killing 170 people. Libya in 2003 acknowledges responsibility for the attack. March 17, 1992 The Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina is bombed by the terrorist group Hezbollah killing 29 and injuring 242. February 26, 1993 A bomb explodes in the basement of the World Trade Center in New York, killing 6 and wounding more than a thousand. March 12, 1993 A series of car bombings in Mumbai, India kills 257 and wounds more than 1,400. July 18, 1994 A Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina is bombed by Hezbollah terrorists, killing 86 and wounding 300. July 19, 1994 An Alas Chiricanas flight is bombed, killing 21. December 24, 1994 An Air France flight is hijacked by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) enroute to Algeria. All four terrorists were killed in the rescue attempt. March 8, 1995 Two U.S. diplomats are killed by unknown gunmen in Karachi, Pakistan. June 1995 Chechen rebels seize hundreds of hostages in a hospital in southern Russian town of Budennovsk. More than 100 die as Russian commandos launch botched raid. Rebels allowed to leave for Chechnya after five days in return for freeing captives. July 25, 1995 The GIA explodes a gas bottle in a train near Paris, killing 8 and wounding 200. August 21, 1995 A bomb planted by HAMAS detonates on board a bus in Jerusalem, killing 6 and wounding 100. October 6, 1995 The GIA explodes another bomb, this time on the Paris metro rail, wounding 16. October 17, 1995 Another GIA bomb explodes at the Orsay station in France, injuring 30. November 13, 1995 A bomb planted by the Islamic Movement of Change explodes in a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia military compound, killing more than 40. November 19, 1995 A suicide bomber drives a truck into the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan killing 16 and injuring 60. January 1996 350 Chechen militants seized a hospital in Kizlyar, eastern Chechnya, and took more than 3,000 people hostage. In military operation to free them, 65 civilians and soldiers were killed. February 16, 1996 HAMAS uses a suicide bomber to blow up a bus in Jerusalem, killing 26 people and wounding 80. March 4, 1996 HAMAS claims responsibility for a bomb that explodes near a busy shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel. The bomb kills 20 and injures 75. June 9, 1996 A gunmen suspected to be a member of the PFLP opens fire on a car near Zekharya, killing two. June 25, 1996 A fuel truck explodes outside the United States military's Khobar Towers building, killing 19 military personnel and wounding 515. August 1, 1996 The GIA explodes a bomb in a car, killing the French Archbishop of Oran and his chauffeur. February 23, 1997 A Palestinian gunman opens fire on tourists on an observation deck at the Empire State Building, killing one and wounding others. September 4, 1997 Three HAMAS suicide bombers detonate three bombs at the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem, killing 5 and wounding 200. November 12, 1997 Four U.S. businessmen are killed in Karachi, Pakistan by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Council. November 17, 1997 Al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (IG) terrorists open fire at the Hatshepsut Temple in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt. 58 tourists are killed and 26 others are injured. August 7, 1998 In near simultaneous explosions at U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, Al Qaeda terrorists kill 291 and wound 5,000 in Kenya and kill 10 and wound 77 in Tanzania. August 31, 1999 A bomb explodes in an underground shopping center near the Kremlin, injuring 20 people. September 1999 Bombs destroy apartment blocks in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk, killing 200 The government blames Chechen rebels, who in turn accuse Russia's secret services. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin responds by sending troops into Chechnya for the first time since 1997 December 24, 1999 Militants hijack an Indian Airlines plane bound for New Delhi with 189 people aboard. The passengers are released seven days later. June 7, 2000 In the first attack of its kind in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, two Russian special police are killed in a suicide car-bombing near the regional capital Grozny. July 2-3, 2000 Chechen guerrillas launch five suicide bomb attacks on bases of Russian forces within 24 hours. In the deadliest, at least 54 people are killed at a police base near Grozny. August 8, 2000 A bomb in a busy Moscow underpass kills eight people. October 1, 2000 A Christian church is bombed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan killing seven and injuring 70. October 12, 2000 The U.S.S. Cole, a destroyer in the United States Navy, is rammed by a boat full of explosives in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. 17 sailors are killed and 39 more are injured. Al Qaeda is suspected. December 30, 2000 Across the street from the United States Embassy in Manila, a plaza is bombed injuring 9. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is blamed. March 4, 2001 A suicide bomber attacks in Netanya, Israel killing 3 and wounding 65. HAMAS claims responsibility. March 15, 2001 A Russian airliner is hijacked by three Chechens during a flight from Istanbul to Moscow. The plane is forced to land in Medina, Saudi Arabia where it remains for 22 hours. Saudi security personnel storm the plane, killing a hijacker, a passenger and a flight attendant. April 22, 2001 A suicide bomber from HAMAS detonates his bomb near a bus stop in Kfar Siva, Israel killing one and injuring 60. May 27, 2001 Terrorists from the Abu Sayyaf Group capture 13 tourists and three employees at a resort on Palawan Island and take their captives to Basilan Island. Philippine troops, in a rescue attempts from June 1st through the 3rd, kill two hostages. Nine escape during the fights. Guellermo Sobero, a United States citizen is beheaded and his body is found in October. Two more United States citizens remained in captivity. June 1, 2001 HAMAS uses a suicide bomber to blow up an Israeli nightclub, injuring 140. August 9, 2001 HAMAS detonates a bomb in an Israeli pizza restaurant, killing 15 and wounding 90. The Israeli's respond by seizing the Orient House, where the PLO houses its Political Headquarters. September 9, 2001 HAMAS uses an Israeli Arab as a suicide bomber to kill three people in Nahariya. =============================== From 9-11 on...... =============================== September 11, 2001 Three hijacked airliners are used as bombs and ram into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner crashes in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempt to retake the plane. The attacks kill more than 3,000 people. Commonly referred to now as 9/11. October 2001 Several attacks using anthrax are reported in the United States. Five people die and others are injured. October 17, 2001 The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestin (PFLP) sends a gunmen to Jerusalem and assassinates the Israeli Minister of Tourism. December 1, 2001 Two suicide bombers attack a Jerusalem mall, killing 10 and wounding 170. December 2, 2001 A suicide bomber boards a bus and blows it up in Haifa, Israel killing 15 and wounding 40. HAMAS claims responsibility. January 17, 2002 The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claims responsibility for a Palestinian gunman who kills 6 and injures 25 in Hadera, Israel. January 22, 2002 Armed terrorists on motorcycles fire on the United States Consulate in Calcutta, India killing 5 Indian security guards and wounding 13. January 23, 2002 Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journalist, is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan by Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Islamic separatist group opposed to U.S. control of Pakistan. On February 20th, a videotape shows Mr. Pearl's death. January 27, 2002 A Palestinian woman blows herself up in Jerusalem, killing one and wounding 100. February 16, 2002 The PFLP claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in the West Bank that kills 4 and wounds 27. March 7, 2002 A suicide bombing in a supermarket by the PFLP in the West Bank wounds 10. March 9, 2002 The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in Jerusalem that kills 11 and wounds 52. March 17, 2002 A grenade is thrown into a Protestant Church in Islamablad, Pakistan killing 5 and wounding 46. March 21, 2002 A suicide bomber blows himself up in Jerusalem, killing 3 and wounding 86. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. March 24, 2002 Three bombs explode in Russian towns near the Chechnya border killing 20 and wounding 93. March 27, 2002 A HAMAS suicide bomber blows himself up in a restaurant in Netanya, Israel killing 22 and wounding 140. March 30, 2002 A bomb explodes at a Hindu temple in Jammu, Kashmir killing 10. The Islamic Front claims responsibility. April 11, 2002 A suicide bomber detonates a truck bomb outside a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. 16 are dead and 26 are injured, mostly German tourists. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claims responsibility. April 12, 2002 A female suicide bomber blows herself up in Jerusalem, killing 6 and wounding 90. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claims responsibility. May 8, 2002 A car bomb explodes near a bus in Karachi, Pakistan killing 12 and wounding 19. Al Qaeda is suspected. May 9, 2002 A remote-controlled bomb is detonated at a May Day parade in Kaspiisk, Dagestan killing 42 and wounding 150. Al Qaeda is suspected. May 14, 2002 Terrorists open fire on a passenger bus in Kaluchak, Jammu killing 7. They then enter a military housing complex and kill 3 soldiers and 7 dependents before the terrorists are killed. Jamiat ul-Mujahedin and al-Mansooran claim responsibility. June 7, 2002 A rescue attempt by the Philippine army of U.S. citizens being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group for more than a year is semi-successful as they do rescue Gracia Burnham, but her husband, Martin is killed in the rescue along with four terrorists. 7 soldiers are wounded. June 14, 2002 A car bomb explodes near the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan killing 11 and wounding 51. Al Qaeda is suspected. June 19, 2002 A suicide bomber attacks a bus stop in Jerusalem, killing 6 and wounding 43. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claims responsibility. July 17, 2002 Two suicide bombers blow up a bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel killing 5 and wounding 38. The Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. July 31, 2002 A bomb explodes in Jerusalem's Hebrew University killing 9 and wounding 87. HAMAS claims responsibility. August 4, 2002 A bomb blows up a bus in Safed, Israel killing 9 and wounding 50. HAMAS claims responsibility. August 5, 2002 Gunmen from al-Intigami al-Pakistani open fire in a Christian school for children of missionaries killing 6 and wounding 1. No children were killed in the incident. August 6, 2002 Lashkar-e-Tayyiba gunmen attack a group of Hindu pilgrims in Pahalgam, Kashmir killing 9 and wounding 32. September 19, 2002 A suicide bomber blows up a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel killing 6 and wounding 52. Hamas claims responsibility. October 6, 2002 A boat filled with explosives is rammed into the French oil tanker Limburg in al-Dhabbah, Yemen killing 1 and wounding 4. Al Qaeda is suspected. October 12, 2002 A car bomb explodes outside a discotheque in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia killing 202 and wounding 300. Al Qaeda claims responsibility. October 23, 2002 Fifty Chechen rebels seize the Palace of Culture Theater in Moscow, Russia and hold 800 hostages. They demand an end to the war in Chechnya. Three days later, Russian Special Forces pump an anesthetic gas through the ventilation system and then storm the theater. All the terrorists are killed, but 94 hostages die also, mostly from the effects of the gas. October 28, 2002 Gunmen from the Honest People of Jordan assassinate Laurence Foley, who is the Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Jordan. November 21, 2002 A suicide bomber blows up a bus in Jerusalem killing 11 and wounding 50. HAMAS claims responsibility. November 24, 2002 Lashkare-e-Tayyiba gunmen open fire on the Reghunath and Shiv temples in Jammu, Kashmir killing 13 and wounding 50. November 28, 2002 Three suicide bombers in a car attack the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya killing 15 and wounding 40. On the same day and in the same city, two shoulder fired missiles are shot at a commercial airliner as it takes off. Both missiles miss. Al Qaeda among others claim responsibility for the attacks. December 26, 2002 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) gunmen attack a bus in Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines killing 13 and wounding 10. December 27, 2002 Two suicide truckers blow up a government office building in Grozny, Chechnya killing 80 and wounding 210. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claims responsibility. January 5, 2003 Two suicide bombers attack Israeli's in Tel Aviv, killing 22 and wounding more than a hundred. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claims responsibility. March 5, 2003 A suicide bomber aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel kills 15 and wounds 40. March 30, 2003 A suicide attack on a cafe in Netanya, Israel wounds 38. Only the bomber dies in the attack. The Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. May 12, 2003 Suicide bombers attack three compounds housing foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing 34. 11 Al Qaeda suspects are arrested on May 28. May 12, 2003 A truck bomb blows up a government compound in Znameskoye, Chechnya killing 54. Al Qaeda is suspected. May 14, 2003 At least 16 people are killed in a suicide bomb attack during a religious festival in the town of Iliskhan-Yurt, east of Grozny. 145 are wounded. May 16, 2003 12 suicide bombers attack 5 targets in Casablanca, Morocco killing 43 and wounding more than a hundred. Al-Assirat al-Moustaquim and Al Qaeda are suspected. May 18, 2003 A suicide bomber riding on a bus in Jerusalem kills 7 and wounds 20. HAMAS claims responsibility. May 19, 2003 A female Palestinian student blows herself up at a shopping mall in Afula, Israel killing 3 and wounding 52. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility. June 5, 2003 A woman bomber ambushes a bus carrying Russian air force pilots near Chechnya, blowing it up and killing herself and 18 other people. June 11, 2003 A suicide bomber on board a bus in Jerusalem kills 16 and wounds more than 70. HAMAS claims responsibility. July 5, 2003 Two women suicide bombers kill 15 other people when they blow themselves apart at an open-air rock festival at Moscow's Tushino airfield. 60 are injured. (Full story) August 1, 2003 A truck bomb destroys a Russian military hospital in Mozdok, North Ossetia killing 50. Chechen leader Shamil Basayev is suspected. August 5, 2003 A car bomb explodes outside the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta,Indonesia killing 10 and wounding 150. The Jemaah Islamiah, who were responsible for the Bali nightclub bombing in 2002, is suspected. August 7, 2003 A car bomb explodes outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq killing 19 and wounding 65. August 19, 2003 A truck loaded with Iraqi ordinance is exploded outside the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq killing 23 and wounding more than a hundred. An Al Qaeda branch calling themselves the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claims responsibility. August 19, 2003 A suicide bomber aboard a bus in Jerusalem kills 20 and injures more than a hundred. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad claim responsibility. August 29, 2003 A car bomb explodes outside the Shrine of the Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq killing 81 and wounding more than 140. The attack kills Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, who was one of the four leading Shi'ite leaders in Iraq. September 3, 2003 Six people are killed in an explosion on board a commuter train near the Northern Caucasus spa town of Pyatigorsk, but police say it is not the work of Chechen rebels. September 9, 2003 Two suicide bombers at different locations, one in Tel Aviv, Israel and the other in Jerusalem, cause the deaths of 13 and injuries more than fifty. HAMAS claims responsibility. September 20, 2003 Gunmen shoot and seriously wound Akila Hashimi, a female member of the Iraqi Governing Council. She dies five days later. September 22, 2003 A suicide car bombing at the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq kills one and wounds 19. October 4, 2003 An Islamic Jihad female blows herself up in a restaurant in Haifa, Israel killing 19 and wounding more than 55. October 9, 2003 In two separate attacks a gunmen kills a Spanish military attache in Baghdad, while a car bomb explodes outside an Iraqi police station killing 8 and wounding 40. October 12, 2003 Two car bombs explode outside the Baghdad Hotel killing 6 and wounding 32. October 26, 2003 A rocket is launched into the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq killing one U.S. Army officer and wounding 17 others. October 26, 2003 Baath Party loyalist gunmen assassinate the Deputy Mayor of Baghdad, Faris Abdul Razaq al-Assam. October 27, 2003 Six car bomb attacks result in 35 deaths and 230 injuries in Baghdad, Iraq including an attack against the Red Cross. November 8, 2003 A car bomb explodes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in a residential compound killing 17 and wounding 122. Al Qaeda is suspected. November 12, 2003 A truck bomb destroys the headquarters of the Italian military police in Nasiriyah, Iraq killing 29 and wounding more than a hundred. November 15, 2003 Two truck bombs explode outside the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey killing 25 and wounding more than 300. A branch of Al Qaeda, the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claims responsibility. November 20, 2003 Two truck bombs explode outside the British HSBC Bank and the British Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey killing 27 and wounding more than 450. Al Qaeda is suspected. November 20, 2003 A car bomb kills 5 in Kirkuk. Ansar al-Islam is suspected. December 5, 2003 A suicide bomber on board a commuter train in Yessentuki, Russia kills 42 and wounds 150. Chechen rebels are suspected. December 9, 2003 A female suicide bomber kills 5 and wounds 14 outside Moscow's National Hotel in Russia. December 15, 2003 Two suicide car bombs kill 8 and wound 27 in Iraq two days after Saddam Hussein is captured. December 24, 2003 A car bomb explodes at the Kurdish Interior Ministry in Irbil, Iraq killing 5 and wounding 101. December 25, 2003 Two truck bombs explode as President Musharraf of Pakistan's motorcade drives through Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The explosion kills 14. Jaish-e-Muhammad is held responsible. December 25, 2003 A suicide bomber kills 4 at a bus stop in Petah Tikva, Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claims responsibility. December 31, 2003 A suicide car bomb explodes outside of Baghdad's Nabil restaurant killing 8 and wounding 35. January 3, 2004 Brig. Gen. Hadi Mabjer Al-Sahli, chairman of the military council at the border guards command in the Jizan region was found shot dead in front of his house. January 22, 2004 US Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told a Washington news conference, The United States and Saudi Arabia share a deep commitment to fighting the spread of terrorism in all its forms....Like the United States, the Saudis have been victims of al-Qaida. They are an important partner in the war on terrorist financing,and have taken important and welcome steps to fight terrorist financing. February 6, 2004 A rush-hour blast kills at least 30 people and injures 70 on a metro train in Moscow. (Full story) February 13, 2004 The Interior Ministry warns residents in the capital against a possible terrorist attack. It says that a car laden with explosives registered to a wanted suspect could be used in the attack. February 14, 2004 Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry offers SR7 million reward for information leading to the recovery of a GMC Suburban loaded with explosives. February 16, 2004 British Airways has canceled [Feb 16] flight from London to Riyadh, for 'security reasons.' February 28, 2004 Royal decree to establish the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work abroad to ensure that terrorist organizations do not misuse Saudi donations for humanitarian projects worldwide. March 11, 2004 series of coordinated terrorist bombings against the commuter train system of Madrid, Spain on the morning of 11 March 2004, which killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800.00 March 15, 2004 Two of Saudi Arabia's most wanted terror suspects were shot dead in a shootout with police forces. March 19, 2004 U.S. Secretary of State Powell meets Saudi officials in Riyadh, tells press US and Saudi Arabia are united in war on terror. March 24, 2004 J. Cofer Black, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. State Department, testified to Congress, The Saudis are a key ally in the Global War On Terror. Their performance has not been flawless, and they have a large task before them, but we see clear evidence of the seriousness of purpose and the commitment of the leadership of the Kingdom to this fight.. March 24, 2004 Juan C. Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Executive Office for Terrorist Financing & Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury, testified to Congress, the targeting actions and systemic reforms undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia clearly demonstratei ts commitment to work with us and the international community to comb at the global threat of terrorist financing.. March 24, 2004 Thomas J. Harrington, Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, testified to Congress, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important partner in this international effort and has taken significant steps to deter global terrorism.. April 5, 2004 Saudi security forces shot dead a suspected militant and wounded another during a car chase in eastern Riyadh neighborhood. April 8, 2004 Al-Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia vows to eject U.S. from Arabian Peninsula. April 12, 2004 A member of the security forces is killed and a terrorist gunned down during a clash in eastern Riyadh April 13, 2004 Four policemen are killed by machine-gun fire in two attacks on the road linking Riyadh and Qasim. The first of two explosive-laden cars is discovered. Gunmen open fire at officers at a checkpoint on the road to Qasim. Police defuse two car bombs and seize a third car loaded with arms. April 15, 2004 Evacuation is ordered for most U.S. diplomats in Saudi Arabia - TheUnitedStates[Apr.15]ordered the evacuation of most U.S. diplomats and all dependents from Saudi Arabia, and strongly urged all American citizens to leave because of credible and specific intelligence about terrorist attacks planned against U.S. and other Western targets, the State Department announced. April 18, 2004 Eight terror suspects linked to violent clashes with security forces in the capital are arrested. Three large vehicle bombs ? each with over a ton of explosives on board ? are defused. April 19, 2004 Saudi security forces seized two vehicles loaded with explosives north of Riyadh. Three other explosive laden vehicles were seized in the last two days, one of which has been sought since February. April 21, 2004 Terrorists launched a suicide car bomb attack April 21, 2004 against Saudi Arabian government buildings in Riyadh. Five people were killed and over 150 were wounded in the attack. April 22, 2004 Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik, the kingdom's highest religious authority, condemned the attack asoneofthegreatestsins and said the attackers will be burnedinhell. April 22, 2004 Saudi Security forces killed five terror suspects, including two of the country's most wanted men, during raids. April 22, 2004 The Al Haramin (the holy sites) Brigades claimed responsibility on web sites for the April 21 Riyadh suicide bombing. April 24, 2004 King Fahd characterized the April 21 attack as the work of a deviant few who wanted to undermine the country, terrorize peaceful people and kill Muslims. April 29, 2004 U.S. State Department's annual report, Patterns of Global Terrorism-2003, praised Saudi Arabia's commitment to the war against global terrorism, I would cite Saudi Arabia as an excellent example of a nation increasingly focusing its political will to fight terrorism. Saudi Arabia has launched an aggressive, comprehensive, and unprecedented campaign to hunt down terrorists, uncover their plots,and cut off their sources of funding.. May 1, 2004 Gunmen killed at least six people in an attack on a Western oil company office in the Red Sea city of Yanbu. May 20, 2004 Saudi security forces today killed four terrorist suspects and injured another in a gunfight in Qasim Province. The security forces came under heavy fire from machineguns after locating five terrorist suspects in a rest house in Khudairah, a village in the area of Buraidah. One security officer was killed and two were injured in the incident. Weapons and ammunition were confiscated. May 27, 2004 A top Al Qaida leader [Abdulaziz Al Muqrin] in Saudi Arabia issued a battle plan for an urban guerrilla war in the kingdom. Al Muqrin, gave a detailed list of steps militants should take to succeed in their violent campaign against the Saudi government. May 29, 2004 Attack in Khobar - Four gunmen attacked compounds housing oil workers in Khobar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia at about 07:30 a.m. (0430 GMT). Hostages were being held at one compound. Saudi officials said 16 people have been killed in the attacks. Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility. June 2004 Saudi Arabia and the United States Take Joint Action Against Terror Financing [PDF] June 2, 2004 In a bid to crack down on financing of terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia in a joint press conference with US officials announced it was dissolving the Al-Haramain Charitable Foundation and other private groups and creating a commission to manage private charitable work abroad. June 2, 2004 Saudi security forces gunned down two terror suspects in a gunbattle at Hada near Taif. The pair were linked to the recent attacks in Alkhobar. June 4, 2004 Saudi Arabia's top religious authority, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheik, issued an edict urging citizens and residents to inform authorities about suspected militants planning terror activities. June 5, 2004 The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner was critically injured and his cameraman Simon Cumbers was killed when they came under fire in a Riyadh neighborhood notorious for militants. June 8, 2004 Terrorists gunned down Robert Jacob, an American working for Vinnell Corp., a U.S. defense contractor in Riyadh. June 13, 2004 Al-Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia kidnapped American engineer Paul Marshal Johnson, an employee of Lockheed Martin. A statement purporting to be from Al-Qaeda threatened to treat the abducted American as U.S. troops treated Iraqi prisoners -- a reference to sexual and other abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Another American, Kenneth Scroggs, was gunned down by the same group. June 18, 2004 The man wears a black hood on the videotape as he grips an AK-47 and threatens to execute an American hostage. In spite of the disguise, a subtitle gives a name for the speaker, Abdulaziz Muqrin, who Saudi authorities say is the chief organizer of the recent attacks on Westerners in Saudi Arabia. June 18, 2004 U.S. hostage Paul Johnson was beheaded by his captors. Hours later Saudi security forces gunned down the suspected leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin. June 22, 2004 Rebels seize an interior ministry building in Ingushetia, near Chechnya, killing at least 92 people, including the acting head of the Ingush Interior. (Full story) June 23, 2004 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd offers terrorists a limited amnesty, calling on them to turn themselves in or face the full might of the state. In a televised address read on his behalf by Crown Prince Abdullah, King Fahd said those who willingly surrender within 30 days will be secure and warned all those who don't will be subjected to a fierce crackdown. June 25, 2004 Saudi Arabia could allow foreigners who feel threatened by the wave of terrorist violence in the Kingdom to carry guns for their protection. June 28, 2004 One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted terrorists surrenders, thesecond suspect to turn himself in under a one-month government amnesty announced in mid-June. The terrorist, Othman Hadi Al-Maqbul Al-Amri, 37, gave himself up after two years on the run. July 3, 2004 The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry identified the terrorist killed in a gunbattle on July 1 as Awad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Awad and the one wounded as Abdul Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Abdul Wahab. July 4, 2004 Saudi security investigations uncovered the deaths of two senior terrorists who died from untreated wounds after clashes with security forces in April 2004 Rakan ibn Mohsen Al-Seikhan and Nasser ibn Rashid Al-Rashid -- both on a list of 26 most wanted suspects -- were wounded during the April 12 clashes in Riyadh. July 14, 2004 A disabled Saudi terror suspect, Khaled ibn Odeh ibn Mohammed Al-Harbi, handed himself in to Saudi authorities, the third to do so under a month-long partial amnesty announced in June. The man is suspected of being a top Al-Qaeda figure close to Osama Bin Laden and had been hiding along the Iran-Afghan border. July 21, 2004 Saudi Arabian security forces killed two terrorist suspects, including one on a most-wanted list, and captured six others in a gun battle late yesterday in the capital, Riyadh .. Authorities also found the head of slain U.S. hostage Paul Johnson in a refrigerator in the suspects' hideout. July 26, 2004 A message purportedly from an al-Qaida cell in Saudi Arabia surfaced Monday July 26 with the acknowledgment that three of its militants were killed in a shootout last week with security forces. August 5, 2004 Saudi security forces arrested Faris Ahmed Jamaan Al-Zahrani, the No. 11 on a list of most wanted 26 terrorists published by the Interior Ministry last December. August 16, 2004 Asaresult, since September 11th, 2001,more than two-thirds o fal-Qaidas top leadership have been killed or captured. More than 3,000 al-qaida criminals have been detained in over 100countries. Terrorist cells have been wrapped up in Singapore, in Italy, right here in the UnitedStates .The Saudis are going after them with vigor and aremore successful with each passing day. -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell August 17, 2004 Saudi Arabia's major battle with terrorism is over, and the kingdom is chasing the last remaining militants, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz said in an interview. August 24, 2004 Two Russian passenger planes are blown up almost simultaneously, killing 89 Federal Security Service focusing on whether acts of terrorism brought down the jets after traces of explosives found in wreckage of planes. (Full story) August 29, 2004 Saudi police, battling al Qaeda militant attacks to destabilize the pro-U.S. kingdom, have arrested two wanted militants in the central city of Buraida, security sources said. August 31, 2004 A female suicide bomber kills nine people and herself, and wounds 51 others when she detonates a bomb outside a subway station in northeastern Moscow. (Full story) September 1, 2004 armed multinational islamic terrorists took hundreds of schoolchildren and adults hostage at School Number One in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. The crisis ended after shooting broke out on September 3, 2004 that resulted in the deaths of hundreds. Chechen terrorist leader Samil Basayev has claimed responsibility September 14, 2004 Testimony regarding the US State Department's views on the terrorist finance elements of the 09-Nov Commission's report addresses US-Saudi cooperation September 27, 2004 Security forces exchanged fire with suspected terrorists in the capital Riyadh yesterday, less than 24 hours after a French engineer was gunned down in Jeddah. October 3, 2004 An attacker armed with a machine gun fired at an expatriate housing compound in eastern Riyadh on Friday night [October 1] but caused no injuries or damage, a Saudi security official said Sunday [October 3]. October 14, 2004 One of the three militants killed in Tuesday's [October 12] shootout in Riyadh was on the list of the 26 most wanted terrorists, the Interior Ministry announced yesterday. The ministry identified the man as Abdul Majeed ibn Muhammad Abdullah Al-Munie. October 17, 2004 Two militants wanted by security authorities were arrested after an exchange of fire at dawn today, during which one off the two was slightly wounded, said Brig. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Interior Ministry. November 9, 2004 Saudi police killed a suspected terrorist and captured three others Tuesday in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, west of Saudi Arabia, official sources said. November 11, 2004 Saudi Arabia has made remarkable headway in its war on terrorism as it has succeeded in stripping terrorists of their capabilities to carry out major attacks, Interior Minister Prince Naif said. November 14, 2004 Saudi Arabia has detained five people suspected of spreading Islamic militant ideology in the kingdom. November 21, 2004 Saudi Arabia has announced the arrest of an Islamist suspected of plotting an attack on a neighboring country. November 22, 2004 Saudi security forces seized arms and ammunition at a suspected terrorist hideout north of Riyadh, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. November 28, 2004 Saudi security forces shot dead a suspected terrorist and captured another following a gunbattle here yesterday. November 29, 2004 The Interior Ministry yesterday identified the slain terror suspect in Saturday?s gunbattle in Jeddah as a wanted terrorist who was one of the plotters of the Muhaya housing compound attack in Riyadh in November 2003, which killed 17 people and wounded more than 120, the Saudi Press Agency reported. November 30, 2004 Saudi security forces have seized a suspected terrorist north of Riyadh, but it was not immediately known if he figured on a list of most wanted suspects. December 2, 2004 Saudi security forces have arrested four suspects following raids in various parts of the Kingdom, press reports said, adding that seven officers were injured when their vehicle overturned during a chase. December 4, 2004 Saudi Arabian security forces have arrested the brother of a slain terrorist on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities, officials said Saturday. December 6, 2004 U.S. Consulate in Jeddah attacked. Three gunmen with suspected Al Qaeda links attacked the U.S. consulate in Jeddah today.. December 8, 2004 Saudi authorities yesterday named the slain gunmen who stormed the US Consulate here on Monday.. December 28, 2004 Three suspected terrorists were killed and another was injured in a gunbattle with security forces in the capital last night, security sources told Arab News. The encounter took place near Al-Salam Park, close to the Higher Court in Riyadh?s Al-Deera district. December 29, 2004 Militants launched coordinated car bombings and battled security forces in the Saudi capital last night (Dec. 29) in attacks that killed 10 people, caused oil prices to jump and signaled that Islamic extremists are keeping up their fight despite the kingdom's crackdown on al-Qaida. A car bomb detonated near the Interior Ministry in central Riyadh -- killing a bystander, according to Saudi TV -- was followed soon after by an explosion when suicide attackers tried to bomb a troop recruitment center. December 29, 2004 Saudi police killed a suspected militant in a shootout in Riyadh.. ..the man had tossed a hand grenade from his car at security forces who had been combing a residential area in the capital following a clash with militants on [Dec. 28]. Police later surrounded the car and killed the man in the shootout. January 29, 2005 U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah reopened for business on Saturday, January29, following its temporary closure to the public after the tragic events of last December. March 8, 2005 U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah announced an elevated threat level in the area of the Sierra Village compound.

Posted by: Mudy May 9 2005, 10:09 AM

Look at the verses Sir—Apropos the letter, “Explaining Islam” (May 2), Mr Obaidur Rahman Nadwi presents Islam as the religion of peace and non-violence. Every Quranic verse quoted in support of his argument actually points towards the opposite. For instance, Mr Nadwi quotes verse 5.33 to say that the punishment to those who wage war against Allah and his apostle is execution. Clearly, the need to reveal this verse was only to say that those who reject Islam are to be seen as opposing Allah and his apostle, and so must be slain. He quotes verse 4.92 to say that if a person kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is hell. This means that a Muslim should not kill another Muslim, but there is no such restriction on the killing of a non-believer. Mr Nadwi says that Prophet Mohammad’s main purpose was to establish a set-up in which people may live in peace. This implies that the Prophet imposed war on non-Muslim communities, unless they adopted Islam in order to buy peace. He further says that there is no coercion in Islam in the matter of faith (2:256). This means if a Muslim compels a non-Muslim to adopt Islam, it should not be seen as coercion because it is done for the convert’s benefit. Finally, he says that Mohammad never asked Jews and Christians to accept Islam. Mr Nadwi needs to identify the people whom Mohammad asked to adopt Islam. He should look at numerous verses (2.120-140) which repeatedly tell Jews and Christians to adopt Islam. Mr Nadwi must resist the temptation of misquoting and misrepresenting. Ram Hari Sharma

Posted by: Mudy May 9 2005, 10:34 AM

No reform, please Sir—Apropos the news report, “Model nikahnamah seeks to safeguard women’s rights” (May 2), the issue of nikahnamah and the recommendation of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board is a sad event in the history of Islam in India. In fact, there was no pressure for the ‘reform’ from the Muslim women; only a few westernised ones were pressing for it. This amounts to ijtihad, which is highly undesirable in a Dar-ul Harb. What an Islamic state can afford, the Indian Muslim cannot. The recommendation to avoid triple talaq only shows that the Muslim community’s leadership is ready to compromise. Would this not open a Pandora’s box? Parvez Ghiasuddin
Here so called educated Muslim is against of any reform. Again taking cover of Dar-ul-harb. Those who want reform are name as "westernised". Average Indian Muslim atitude is no different than Taliban of Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Posted by: keshto patel May 9 2005, 05:43 PM Must read, I have lived in sweden for two years. People must understand that Mohammed himself told his followers that the rape of non-believers was not rape. This justified the raping of the many women taken as slaves in their conquests. Non-Muslim women are not women to many Muslims, they are just whores. For Muslims, doing everything in God’s name is at the core of Islam. Any sin is justified if it is done in the name of God. Killing can’t be a sin if it is God’s will. Rape is accepted as long as the woman raped is a non-believer. Mohammed said as much.

Posted by: prem May 9 2005, 05:55 PM

K. Ram... Year 1011- 1797 Approximately 300 million hindus killed.

Posted by: k.ram May 9 2005, 06:19 PM

QUOTE (prem @ May 10 2005, 06:25 AM)
K. Ram... Year 1011- 1797 Approximately 300 million hindus killed.
Prem, Thanks.

Posted by: k.ram May 9 2005, 06:24 PM

A Matter of Opinion; The Conquest of 'Eurabia'; Author paints dark tale of a cowardly continent on the run Jewish Exponent; 2/17/2005; Tobin, Jonathan S. A quarter-century ago, author Bat Ye'or set out to debunk the myth that Jews and other non-Muslim minorities enjoyed a golden age of freedom while living in countries under the sway of Islam. Her ground-breaking book, Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, shined a spotlight on the plight of those who found themselves under Muslim rule. But after several other works that also focused on the concept of the dhimmi -- the word used by Muslims to describe those who lived as their legal inferiors -- the author has expanded her focus. For Ye'or (a pen name), the question is no longer one of correcting the historical record about supposed golden ages of interfaith relations. Writing at a time of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism that embraces the concept of jihad, she sees the dhimmis as no longer just the marginalized non-Muslims living in Arab countries. Her main concern today is how contemporary Europe is itself being transformed into a dhimmi nation. The future of 'old Europe' The result of her work on this question is a new book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, and those who wonder about the future of what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is fond of calling "old Europe" would do well to consult this dense, scholarly work. A Jew who was born in Egypt and a subsequent immigrant to Britain, the author ultimately settled in Switzerland. From that vantage point, she has observed a sea change in European culture and politics, where anti-Semitism has gone mainstream and acquiescence to Islamic extremism is a given in foreign policy. Spend an hour talking about the situation with her, as I did this week, and you walk away with a grim vision of the future. How did an Islamic world that was prostrate only a generation ago come to threaten the citadels of European culture? Bat Ye'or starts her answer by pointing to the massive immigration from Asia and Africa that has created new demographic facts on the ground in Europe where, outside of the rapidly growing Muslim population, birth rates have declined precipitately. But the crisis for Europe isn't just about the number of Muslim babies born there. For the historian, the trouble also lies in the way European elites have acquiesced to their nations' adoption of anti-American and anti-Israeli foreign policies. "The intensity of Judeophobia in Europe reflects Islamic influence," she says, an accusation that is backed up by evidence she compiles about the massive influx of anti-Jewish hate literature into the West along with the immigrants. In her view, this has led to a process that is bringing about nothing less than the creation of a "new civilization" she calls Eurabia, a new entity built upon a platform of advocacy for the Palestinians, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism, where the values of democracy and individual rights are under threat. The creation of Eurabia is the coming together of a number of diverse factors. Combine the persistence of hatred for Jews on the far right, the animus of the left for Israel and America, and a general refusal to see the rise of Islamism as a threat -- and what you get is a political and cultural snowball that is overwhelming the ability of the West to defend itself. Not an accident The key point is that anti-Israel and anti-American strategies are not an accidental byproduct of the coming together of European and Arab elites. Since the 1960s, the sacrifice of Israel has been a key to understanding the European Union's attitude toward the Arab world. Add to the mix traditional European resentment of the United States, and you have a recipe for appeasement of Arab demands not only on Israel, but on the fight against Islamic fundamentalism. "The Arab-Israeli conflict itself has been kept alive by a European strategy as a tool against America and to advance their influence in the Arab world," asserts the author. Wrongly viewing Israel as the product of Europe's original sin of colonialism, rather than as the national liberation movement of the long-oppressed Jewish people, the continent's elites have "projected onto Israel all the evils of Europe." Digging even deeper into the European psyche, Bat Ye'or sees a growing willingness to view European Christianity as more compatible with Islam than Judaism. "This post Judeo-Christian Europe," she explains, is practicing an intellectual version of unilateral disarmament, pointing out that this has been promoted by official E.U. dialogue forums with Islamic thinkers. As is the case here, academic institutions in Europe devoted to the study of Islam are soft-pedaling the threat. European intellectuals who are unwilling to stand up for Western values -- and who sneer at America's mission of bringing democracy to the Arab world -- are "abandoning resistance to jihad and dhimmitude," according to the author. The inevitable result is a Europe that will, over the course of the next few decades, gradually fall more and more under the control of the Islamic world. For Bat Ye'or, the only good news comes from the United States. She writes in her book's conclusion that America's policy toward the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and its war on Islamic terrorism has "crystallized within European societies an awareness and resistance of a policy of dhimmitude." An assertive America, undaunted by the siren song of European appeasement, has the chance to turn the tide of history. Is she right? It is possible to argue that the book pulls together a number of trends that are not necessarily related to one another. You could also point to the fact that European Muslims have a long way to go before they are kingmakers in Brussels, Paris, Berlin or London. But in light of the astounding growth of anti-Semitism and the feeble response of European governments to Islamic violence and threats directed at critics of Islam; the insistence of European governments on a policy of appeasement rather than confrontation of Iran's nuclear weapons programs; as well as their attempts to undermine American efforts in Iraq; and the author's alarmism seems not only well founded, but long overdue. The battle to reverse the conquest of Eurabia will not be easy, but it must begin with an acknowledgement of the problem. Let's hope that Bat Ye'or's book is the first step on the road to victory. Article copyright Jewish Exponent.

Posted by: k.ram May 11 2005, 02:34 PM

Daughters of France, Daughters of Allah by Marie Brenner

Posted by: Bhootnath May 12 2005, 04:27 AM

How come this wasn't posted ? Intellectual is esteemed poster of br too.... Beyond stereotypes Humra Quraishi, Journalist & author I wonder why there is such a hue and cry over the "model nikahnamah". For, women's rights already abound in Islam, eg., a definite provision for a woman to seek divorce (khula, i.e., release from marriage being a contract in Islam, if either of the two partners want to dissolve the contract if it is beyond repair), sanction to retain her father's surname or family name or using names like Fatima or Khatoon so that there is little dependence on the husband's name, the provision of mehr and rights in property, examples of women in early Islamic era playing an active role in the battlefield, hospices, manning business, etc.. To start with, Prophet Mohammad's first wife Hazrat Bibi Khadija was a successful businesswoman. Polygamy was a necessity for the Muslim society then as the crusaders had ================================================ massacred so many of our men that men's population had become one-fourth ================================================= that of women. ========== Polygamy ensured social security of thousands of widows. Above all, a polygamy must stand the test of neeyat (intention) and insaaf (justice). More than one wife is permitted in Islam provided the man has justifiable needs that his existing wife cannot fulfil and whether he is capable of treating all his wives equally. Ironically, few even among Muslims know of this history. Though the census shows that polygamy is not necessarily a Muslim custom, the mischievous notion-every Muslim man has two or more wives-is a popular one! In the census graph of the highest and lowest cases of polygamy, Muslims are in the middle of the rung. It is, in fact, the uneducated of any community who consider women a commodity and want to have as many of them as wives as possible. Before accusing Muslims, one must notice that among the citizens with Western education, non-Muslims practise polygamy more than Muslims with similar upbringing. WOW! >>> Prominent names of 'brave' men having more than one wife each are Mahesh ================================================= Bhatt, Dharmendra and Raja Reddy! ======================= Though I stretched my memory to its limits, no famous Muslim polygamous man's name struck me. In Wajid Ali Shah's era, men of all religions married many times. Today, Muslim men marrying a second time is an aberration, not the norm. Such a blame is as unfounded as others like Muslims do not bathe, eat flesh like popcorn, reproduce like rats, etc.. Sadly, nobody is challenging these damaging notions. Instead, triple talaq incidents are being highlighted by the media although Muslim men rarely divorce their wives in this bizarre manner. In recent AIR and DD News programmes (producers are hunting zealously for this topic alone), Akhtar-ul Wasey heading Jamia Millia Islamia's Department of Islamic Studies put the divorce norms in perspective and then a young Muslim gentleman asked the panel and audience, "Where indeed are incidents of triple talaq and polygamy happening?" The audience and the panel-involved till then in arguments-dismissed immediately the blanket notion. Stray incidents, as and when they happen, are blown out of proportion to support hypotheses that Muslim men are barbaric and women mere herds of cattle and that Islam imposed outdated codes on its followers! After all, you listen only to what you want to listen. And pampering stereotypes boosts a medium's popularity. A few Indian Muslims have not followed Islam with its inherent safeguards. Their fiddling with the religion gave the whole community a bad name. Data of National Council for Applied Economic Research show disparities in economic condition of Muslims vis-à-vis that of others. Poor Muslims lack courage to contradict what the religion's 'guardians' say. Further, a political climate of our precarious survival bolsters an illusive idea (not practice) of security through polygamy. Then, the customs of certain regions influence religious practices. In the Mewat belt, even the so called practising Musalmaans are found following Rajput traditions. In Kashmir, women visit mosques, pray there (though in a section separated from men), are seen in professions like book selling, medicine and nursing. Academic Dr Hasina Hashia explains, "Education makes all the difference. The credit goes to Sheikh Abdullah for ensuring that Kashmiri women got equal opportunities for education." In Islam, though divorce and remarriage are permitted, doing so stigmatises an individual in his circles in India. Finally, no legal recourse or religious sanction can bring Muslims at par with other communities unless the former feels secure. In the Godhra aftermath, everybody detained under the POTA happened to be Muslims! Domestic conduct is often a reaction to what a person faces outside. The "model nikahnamah" is definitely a step forward but many more steps need to be taken by the community members as well as the so-called leaders. --------------------------

Posted by: Mudy May 12 2005, 01:17 PM

Though I stretched my memory to its limits, no famous Muslim polygamous man's name struck me
Javed Akthar (Azmi husband), Mohm Azarudin, Mehmood, Meena Kumari's husband (Kamal Amrohi), ................. never ending list. I think this guy lives in Mars.
Polygamy was a necessity for the Muslim society then as the crusaders had ================================================ massacred so many of our men that men's population had become one-fourth ================================================= that of women.
Oh yes, that is why Mohammad was busy marrying babies or his own daughter-in-law. And his followers are still behaving in same manner. If I am not wrong OBL are over 60 brothers and sisters from 14 different women, which is common trend in rich Muslim nation.

Posted by: rajesh_g May 12 2005, 01:21 PM

Mahesh Bhatt dropped all pretensions and became a muslim to get married to Razdan.

Posted by: k.ram May 14 2005, 05:32 PM

The Clash of Fascisms By Wolfgang Bruno Historian Bat Ye'or fears that it may already be too late to save Europe from Islam, and that the continent will be transformed into Eurabia. Should this come to pass, Eurabia will either slowly decline into just another overpopulated Islamic failure, or it will be used as a staging ground for Islamic aggression against the rest of the infidel world. With Europe’s nuclear weapons and accumulated resources at disposal, Eurabia would be so dangerous that the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Russians and maybe even the Chinese would be forced to crush it. According to this scenario, Islam will fall, but it will drag Europe down with it. This is not, however, the only possibility. Some Americans have a stereotypical view of Europeans as being appeasers. There is definitely an appeasement instinct in Europe, but it is first and foremost a continent of extremes, sometimes changing in rapid succession. The nations that only a few generations ago tried to impose their culture on large parts of the planet are now afraid of enforcing their cultural values even in their own lands. The ruthless nationalism of the past has been subdued and replaced with anemic multiculturalism and naïve pacifism. It won’t last. The pendulum will swing back. If it appears as if the mainstream authorities are incapable of taking action to stop the ongoing Islamic invasion of the continent, faith in the entire democratic system could break down. Europe right now has all the ingredients needed for the rise of something akin to a new Nazi movement. It is an extremely dangerous mix of suppressed nationalism, high unemployment and failed economies, democratic detachment and a widespread sense of being betrayed by the ruling elites. Tens of millions of immigrants pour into Europe, changing the face of the continent forever without any real debate about the issue. People feel like strangers in their own cities, but are being silenced as "racists" if they object to this. There is a widespread feeling that Europe is descending into chaos, and that the governments are unwilling or incapable of stopping this. If this situation continues, some people will cry out for a Strong Man to “cleanse Europe of foreigners" and restore its honour and wounded pride. And He will step forward. There is never any shortage of self-proclaimed Strong Men once you call for them. By then, you won’t have a “Clash of Civilizations” in Europe, but rather a Clash of Fascisms: Euro-Fascism vs. Islamo-Fascism. Ayaan Hirsi Ali fears that if we don't take effective measures, now, ''the Netherlands could be torn between two extreme rights'': an Islamic one and a non-Islamic one.” She’s right. MP Geert Wilders in Holland has proposed a moratorium on all non-Western immigration to the Netherlands for some years. Perhaps that is an approach that should be adopted by other European nations, too. Major cities across the continent are now powder kegs of ethnic and religious tensions, built up after decades of failed immigration policies and an absence of a genuine debate. Common sense says that when you have a powder keg waiting to explode, adding even more powder is not the smartest thing to do. How will the other Europeans and the Americans react if or when the first EU nation breaks down in civil war because of Muslim immigration? Will they sacrifice the non-Muslims out of fear of a widening conflict, bomb the infidels into submission and establish a de facto Muslim state in a vain attempt to save themselves? Some would argue that is what happened in the Balkans in the 1990s. The answer probably depends upon which nation breaks down first. If it turns out to be nuclear armed France, the reactions may be different from what it would be with Holland, Belgium or Sweden. If Jihadis get their hands on French nukes, they will then use these weapons as a nuclear umbrella with which to establish sharia in different parts of Europe. This cannot be allowed to happen. Some would argue that this bleaker picture does not fit my prediction that Islam will not survive this century as a force of any significance. That’s not necessarily true. We should remain confident that in the battle of Islam against Humanity, civilization will eventually triumph. I will again postulate that Islam will have faded off the world stage by the end of this century, and that the process should be apparent by mid-century, or even before. Seen in a historical perspective, this is a fast demise for a religion that has existed for 1400 years. But it still means that the Islamic world will remain extremely volatile and unstable for decades or even generations to come. It is highly unlikely that there will be an Islamic Reformation. Islam does not have a natural separation between the temporal and the spiritual as Christianity does, nor the non-violent personal example of Jesus, nor the ethical teachings of the Bible. In the unlikely event that somebody should manage to reform Islam, this process will take time and probably be quite bloody. The Christian Reformation was hardly peaceful while it was going on. There is no reason to expect an Islamic Reformation to be, either. The good news is that Islam is not capable of achieving the world dominance it desires. The bad news is that it may well be capable of achieving a world war. Perhaps Islam will not “go quietly into the night”, but push for a final, decisive confrontation. Islam has lived by the sword, and may die by it. We need to brace ourselves for decades of turbulence ahead. This is unavoidable by now, as the Islamic world will struggle, and probably fail, to come to terms with the modern world. We have to concentrate on trying to avoid that the new “Cold War” turns into a hot, cataclysmic world war. We can perhaps speed up the process, by translating a selection of the best Islam-critical literature available to major languages, spread them across the Internet and encourage downloading and free reprinting of the books to reach those without Internet connection. Other spending on Muslims should be avoided as much as possible. We cannot buy Muslim goodwill, even if we try. Economic aid to Muslims will be viewed as Jizya, the tributary tax non-Muslim dhimmis should pay as a sign of submission to Islamic rule. Continued Muslim immigration will eventually lead to the demise of European democracy, either by the establishment of a Muslim-lead totalitarian entity, Eurabia, or disintegration of Europe, with different fascist groups competing for the spoils. The only way we can avoid this is by separation, by ending and reversing Muslim immigration. Muslim immigration is equivalent to playing Russian roulette with your own children. The worst case scenario is that the current trends continue unabated, triggering civil wars in several nations as the Muslim population reaches critical mass for an armed Jihad. A Balkanization of the continent would ensue. It may already be too late for the worst hit areas of Europe, but still not for the continent as whole. If we get an Islamic nuclear attack against an American city on top of this, events could spiral out of control. We still have a window of opportunity to prevent this from happening, but swift action needs to be taken as soon as possible. It is unclear whether our politicians have the foresight and the courage to do what is necessary to avoid the impending disaster. Time is sadly not on our side.

Posted by: Bhootnath May 15 2005, 02:58 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ May 13 2005, 02:47 AM)
Though I stretched my memory to its limits, no famous Muslim polygamous man's name struck me
Javed Akthar (Azmi husband), Mohm Azarudin, Mehmood, Meena Kumari's husband (Kamal Amrohi), ................. never ending list. I think this guy lives in Mars.
Polygamy was a necessity for the Muslim society then as the crusaders had ================================================ massacred so many of our men that men's population had become one-fourth ================================================= that of women.
Oh yes, that is why Mohammad was busy marrying babies or his own daughter-in-law. And his followers are still behaving in same manner. If I am not wrong OBL are over 60 brothers and sisters from 14 different women, which is common trend in rich Muslim nation.
Though I stretched my memory to its limits, no famous Muslim polygamous man's name struck me
Javed Akthar (Azmi husband), Mohm Azarudin, Mehmood, Meena Kumari's husband (Kamal Amrohi), ................. never ending list. Mudy ? I think this guy lives in Mars. Ahh ... Humara Q.. ain't no "He" , but a Mohtarma .. that is SHE! , that's is why I pasted the article ... if it had been a AIMPLB Pig I would at best post the link... Humara Q ... whose "men were massacred" often writes for secualr english media like Times of India etc ..... My point is why the SECUAR HINDU ELITE even on this forum is quiet smile.gif)).... Where are those ashamed to be Hindu types ? That is all ...

Posted by: Mudy May 15 2005, 07:22 AM


My point is why the SECUAR HINDU ELITE even on this forum is quiet )).... Where are those ashamed to be Hindu types ? That is all ...
For some it takes time to come out of shell especially "secular" Hindus. But "secular" Indian Muslim never hesitate to come out as soon as they see Hindus surfing in any form of forum, it’s my personal experience. Why Muslim are aggressive and Hindus are submissive. Is it "secular education" in India or Hindu community or Hindu family are not awakening them? How mosques are able to make them aggressive and Muslim home are able to keep fire on? It’s true both communities behave differently.

Posted by: Mudy May 15 2005, 07:46 AM

Via email

In 1969, a Ramayana discourse was going on in Raipur Gate area of Ahmedabad. The time was nearing 12 midnight and the discourse was almost at the end. Meanwhile a Muslim Police Inspector came with some constables and abused the holy man to stop the discourse immediately as it was 12 midnight. When told that he needed only 5 minutes to complete the story, the Inspector climbed the stage with his boots on, beat up the holy saint and kicked the Ramayana book that fell away among the people. No Muslim leader condemned this act. He also resorted to beating up of people to disperse the crowd. When the Jews entered Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem near wailing wall and there was disturbances there, Ahmedabad Muslims took out a procession in the busy Gandhi Road and Relief Road, shouting " Anyone discrediting Islam would be reduced to dust by us" The Communal riots started in 1969 after the third incident when the Muslims entered the Jagannath temple and broke the glasses and furniture/ fittings and beat up the Chief Priest of the temple. This was during Congress rukle under Hitendra Desai and the riots lasted a week of uncontrolled violence. No Muslim leader or organisation condemned the action of Muslims then and everybody was blaming Hindu-s for the killings!! GPK
Bhootnath, Why Hindus reaction is slow or defensive only? Why Muslims whenever get a chance resort in violence, it’s not only restricted to Indian or Pakis but rest of world. Like yesterday I was watching discussion on TV with reference to "Unites states of Islam", one can see there game plan in West.

Posted by: Mudy May 16 2005, 06:08 PM Saudi Arabia, leader of muslim world every day insults other religion, why Pakis and other Muslims are making such a big issue.

Posted by: Mudy May 17 2005, 05:21 PM

Holy’ massacre Sir—Apropos Mr Obaidur Rahman Nadwi’s letter, “Explaining Islam” (March 2), it must be known that every Muslim draws inspiration from the holy Quran and the Hadith. The two are not mutually exclusive. Just one example from the life of Prophet Mohammad is sufficient to understand Islam. “...a seige of 14 days compelled them to surrender unconditionally. The men were driven in chains to the house of Osama B Zaid, whence on the following morning Mohammad caused them to be brought one by one to the market place of Medina, and there, executed. This continued till late in the evening. They were six or seven hundred in number and among them was the Nadirite and Hoyay B Akhtar—the author of the war of the Fosse, who had left the Meccans to join his fortunes with those of the Koraiza. By accepting Islam these men could have saved their lives, but they preferred death...” “...No more magnificent martyrdom is known to history. The women and children were sold into slavery, one young woman suffered the penalty of death for having broken the head of a Muslim with a millstone during the siege. With a joyous heart and smiling face she met her death never forgotten by Aisha, with whom she was when her name was called. The Prophet selected for himself the fair Raihana, and married her, after having caused her to become a convert to Islam...” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Ninth Edition, volume XVI, MDCCCLXXIII, Attack on the Karaiza, pp 556-57). The Banu Karaiza, a Jewish tribe, were keepers of the Holy Book. All men of this tribe were put to the sword in AD 627. Sir William Muir has vividly described this “holy” massacre in his book, The Life of Mahomet. Harsh Vardhan Singh Tyagi

Posted by: Mudy May 21 2005, 05:56 PM As the Kerala government investigates links between local militant groups and the ISI, Anil Nair reports on a hard Islamic identity that is beginning to take root in the state. And is inspiring religious violence that spills across Kerala’s borders

Posted by: Bhootnath May 22 2005, 06:30 AM

QUOTE (Mudy @ May 15 2005, 09:16 PM)
Via email
In 1969, a Ramayana discourse was going on in Raipur Gate area of Ahmedabad. The time was nearing 12 midnight and the discourse was almost at the end. Meanwhile a Muslim Police Inspector came with some constables and abused the holy man to stop the discourse immediately as it was 12 midnight. When told that he needed only 5 minutes to complete the story, the Inspector climbed the stage with his boots on, beat up the holy saint and kicked the Ramayana book that fell away among the people. No Muslim leader condemned this act. He also resorted to beating up of people to disperse the crowd. When the Jews entered Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem near wailing wall and there was disturbances there, Ahmedabad Muslims took out a procession in the busy Gandhi Road and Relief Road, shouting " Anyone discrediting Islam would be reduced to dust by us" The Communal riots started in 1969 after the third incident when the Muslims entered the Jagannath temple and broke the glasses and furniture/ fittings and beat up the Chief Priest of the temple. This was during Congress rukle under Hitendra Desai and the riots lasted a week of uncontrolled violence. No Muslim leader or organisation condemned the action of Muslims then and everybody was blaming Hindu-s for the killings!! GPK
Bhootnath, Why Hindus reaction is slow or defensive only? Why Muslims whenever get a chance resort in violence, it’s not only restricted to Indian or Pakis but rest of world. Like yesterday I was watching discussion on TV with reference to "Unites states of Islam", one can see there game plan in West.
> Bhootnath, > Why Hindus reaction is slow or defensive only? Mudy Ji. 1. I had specificaly posted HUMARA QUERAISHI article , because as early as last year [EDITED] 2. As for your question , part of problem lies with defunct temple/priest class, which has hidden their face under the garb that , priest/temple ppl shld stick to "Adhyatman" that is "study", therefore hindu which has been politically broken apart in to thinking in terms of caste / class / region etc .. and thereby "react only when their own individual butts" are in danger. Simply look at Assam's Hindu and their folly ond you will understand , for them Assam pride is more improtant and therefore they will suffer just has Hindu elsewhere. Gujrati Hindu has been demonised so much .. and Hindus of other state sang songs of Secularism. If you are old enough to and knew abt Khalistan decades .. did you hear media daemonise averege Sikh ? ... SGPC wld have wooped the media butts.. poor editors of Punjab Kesari then ... though they never said anything agaisnt average sikh ... So I see a lot of importance wrt to centralised erver scenario of other religion as per "distributed server" scenario of Hindus .... So the religio/politco support system being non existant , each is upto his resources.... slow, defensive, tentative like ABV smile.gif A tentative/un-sure , though professionaly successful Hindu will scorn and abuse Bajrang Dal, VHP, RSS... How many simliar Muslims or Christian or even Sikhs do the same ? Why ? See Bhindrawalae is a Martyar ( spell ) and so will be Ossama .. But Modi is already a worse that Hitler and as per "Prabhu Chawla" of TV Today / Aaaj -Tak "a symbol of internataional hatred" ..... Tell me why smile.gif Will check post on next Sunday ... [EDITED] Please use BR forum to settle issues with BR.

Posted by: keshto patel May 22 2005, 05:53 PM

[EDITED] Please settle all BR issues at BR. -Admin

Posted by: acharya May 23 2005, 09:23 AM

No to saffron JERUSALEM: BJP members of an Indian delegation were not allowed to enter the Knesset with their saffron scarves, as the colour is linked to those opposing plans to evacuate the Gaza Strip. — PTI

Posted by: acharya May 23 2005, 06:05 PM

AMU admission policy The Aligarh Muslim University's decision to reserve 50 per cent of the seats for Muslims in courses to which admission is through entrance tests is welcome. This will help empower Muslims by giving the poor among them more access to higher education. The academic and executive councils of the AMU took this policy decision in furtherance of Section 5 C of the AMU (amendment) Act 1981 that seeks to "promote especially the educational and cultural advancement of Muslims in India." M. Sajid, New Delhi Muslims are both socially and economically backward and there is nothing wrong in giving them reservation in educational institutions. The secular character of AMU is in no way threatened because the new policy does not prohibit students of other communities from seeking admission to the university. Shadaan Alam, Aligarh, U.P. The new policy is necessary to end what historian Rajni Palme Dutt described in his book India Today as the "social and cultural backwardness of Indian Muslims which in turn is a by-product of economic deprivation and political subjection since 1947." It is only natural for an uncompromising communal party like the BJP to oppose the move. Jasim Mohammad, Aligarh, U.P. It is time Muslim leaders and academics realised that the community will not grow by reserving seats in a university. The real change should be brought not at the university level but in the madrasa education system. A major chunk of the Muslim population, particularly the poor, studies in madrasas and is still deprived of modern education. Reforms at that level will be more useful. Syed Ahmer Zia, Aligarh, U.P.

Posted by: Naresh May 25 2005, 03:58 PM user posted image This sign posted in front of Danieltown Baptist Church has sparked debate in Rutherford County about religious tolerance. WASHINGTON: A North Carolina priest outside whose church stands a derisive sign about the Quran has refused to either apologise or take it down. The Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) issued a statement on Tuesday, condemning what it said was an act of sacrilege. The sign says “The Koran needs to be flushed.” Flush.gif The Danieltown Baptist church is located on one of the most travelled highways in the county and it has stirred controversy over religious tolerance and first amendment rights. According to Digital Courier, a North Carolina newspaper, the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the church, is not apologising for the display. “I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong. I knew that whenever we decided to put that sign up that there would be people who wouldn’t agree with it, and there would be some that would, and so we just have to stand up for what’s right.” Seema Riley, a Pakistani-born Muslim, who grew up in New York, but moved to Rutherford County for the “small town friendly” atmosphere, is angry at the sign. “We need a certain degree of tolerance,” she said. “That sign doesn’t really reflect what I think this county is about.” She said that according to Islamic faith, a follower does not even touch the Koran without going through a ritual cleansing. For someone to put that sign up - the person just didn’t understand - didn’t take into consideration what putting up that sign means. I don’t think it should be posted on a sign in public viewing on the highway to create a hostile environment for me.” Digital Courier reports that the appearance of the sign follows the appearance of the infamous Newsweek story about the desecration of the Quran in Guantanamo. Rev. Lovelace, however, is unrepentant. He told the newspaper, “Our creed as a Christian, or a Protestant, or a Baptist church - of course we don’t have a creed but the Bible - but we do have the Baptist faith and message that says that we should cling to the 66 books of the Holy Bible and any other book outside of that claiming to know the way of God or claiming to be God’s word is automatically written off and is trying to defeat people from the way of true righteousness inside of our viewpoint in how we view the word of God.” Not everyone agrees with him. According to Prof. Donald Searing of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Putting such a sign in a public place is an un-American example of intolerance, of aggressive disrespect for other citizens’ deeply held views. This is the sort of attitude and action that seriously endangers the liberty which lies at the heart of our democracy. It is also a good reminder that just because one may have the legal right to say something, doing so may not be morally, socially or politically desirable.” When Lovelace was asked whether he considered before he put the sign up that there may be some consequences or that some people may be angered, he said he was aware of the likelihood of angering some people. “Well, I thought about it and I said there may be people who are offended by it but the way I look at it, Jesus told his followers that if the world hates you, don’t feel bad because they hated me first. We stand for what is right and for God’s word and for Christianity then the world is going to condemn us and so right away when I got a complaint I said, ‘Well somebody’s mad, somebody’s offended, so we must be doing something right.’” The offending North Caroline church has a membership of 55, none of whom has so far complained about the sign, Lovelace has said. However, the sign is going to come off at the weekend. The new sign will read, “Where are your treasures? Are they at the flea market or are they in heaven?” Lovelace said he does not have anything against the flea market that recently opened up down the street from the church. “I enjoy a good flea market, but if people can be down there at eight o’clock why can’t they be at church at 11?” he asked. Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Mudy May 25 2005, 06:57 PM

xpost more on Koran issue from same Chruch. Enjoy it. biggrin.gif

LOVELACE: Well, that‘s—they claim that they trace their lineage back to the Holy Scripture. But yet if one would merely look at the Koran and look and see the stories that are taken from God‘s word, for example, they state that Esau, or Jesus, was born by the Virgin Mary under a palm tree. Now, Luke chapter two, verse seven, says Jesus, our Lord and our Savior, was born inside of a stable. And so as far as I can see, the Koran is merely another tool used by Satan to deceive people around the world. We don‘t hate Muslims. We don‘t hate Islamic people. I merely am commanded by God‘s word, the Holy Bible, to tell my people what is truth and what is not, and to hopefully, by our statements and standing firm on God‘s word, that people will hopefully look and see, Well, what is—is the Koran right? Is the Bible right? Hopefully they will—people will begin to look at this issue for themselves. OLBERMANN: What if they look at it in the same way that the “Newsweek” story was looked at? I mean, we all know about this supposed connection between the story about the Korans in the toilet, and the rioting in the Middle East, and the way news travels around the world today on the Internet and other ways. If people in the Middle East see or read about your sign, and there‘s a riot, and some of those people are killed, how will you feel? LOVELACE: Well, I, of course, I would be very sad that these people have lost their life. But yet again, the Bible teaches that we have free will. And if someone riots and takes up a weapon to attempt to murder someone because of just, of this story, they are the ones that have chosen to do this. And the Koran teaches the Islamic people, jihad, or a holy war. And the Bible stresses that we are—Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. OLBERMANN: Last question, reverend, if he saw your sign, if he saw that message, “The Koran needs to be flushed!” what would Jesus do? LOVELACE: I believe Jesus would commend us, because Jesus spoke against those who had a form of godliness but they denied the power thereof, as the Apostle Paul said, and that we, as believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to take a stand inside of our world, inside of our society, and tell people what we believe.

Posted by: bgravi May 25 2005, 08:24 PM

I would be a bit careful about applauding guys like lovelace etc. They are as fundamentalist as the islamic ones. They wouldnt hesitate to put up a sign denigrating any non-christian relegion.

Posted by: Mudy May 25 2005, 08:33 PM

They wouldnt hesitate to put up a sign denigrating any non-christian relegion
I know, they call everyone Satan other than themselves. It's interesting to see them live in small well.

Posted by: Mudy May 27 2005, 05:36 PM

QUOTE\2-adaa-1fb780adad29 Quebec bans sharia Blow to proponents of using Islamic law in Canadian society Kevin Dougherty, with files from Mike de Souza, ElizabethThompson and Lee Greenberg CanWest News Service Friday, May 27, 2005

Posted by: keshto patel May 28 2005, 07:49 PM

Muslim acid attack on hindus An angry crowd set two mosques in the town on fire this evening after a man threw a bottle of acid at passengers of a private bus, seriously injuring at least 11 people, including a five-year-old. Doctors attending to the injured said four persons with more than 50 per cent burns may even lose their eyesight due to the attack. Police later arrested the culprit, Mohammad Mahboob, from Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. He has reportedly confessed to the crime. According to the Mandi police, the incident occurred outside a bus stand around 3 pm, when Mohammad threw a bottle of acid at 22-year-old Mamta from Drubal village. Mamta was sitting inside the bus which was leaving for Koon. As news of the acid attack spread, crowds began pour onto the streets. They collected in city squares and marched to the two mosques — Moti Masjid in Ramnagar Mandi and Janta Masjid on Jail Road. Police sources said some of them raised slogans and incited the mob to set fire to the shrines in retaliation to the acid attack. Those injured in the acid attack were identified as Mushan (5), his mother Sheela, Shalu (all from Koon village), Mamta (Drubal village), Champa, Puran Chand (Kataula), Bhoop Singh (Banau), Manohar Lal (Badoh), Yog Raj, Shankar and Roop Singh. The condition of Mamta, Shalu, Muskan and Champa is stated to be serious

Posted by: keshto patel May 29 2005, 05:49 PM

History of Urdu A couple of weeks ago, there was a very interesting article in the Economic Times that gave the break up of languages spoken by the people of Pakistan. Interestingly 48 % of the population speaks Punjabi while Urdu is spoken by only 8 %. I always thought that Urdu was the language of sub continent Muslims. A few weeks later there was a letter in the Outlook by Khushwant Singh where he complained that the Punjabis had killed Urdu in Punjab. An earlier essay titled Aligarh Movement read "Another development during this period was the emergence of Urdu as a literary language during the period 1818 to 1905". Where did Urdu spring from? The objective of this article is to trace the origins of Urdu and its development in Bharat starting with advent of Mughal rule (Persian-Arabic-Turkish were used by earlier rulers) and ending in 1947. I have also tried to find an answer to Khushwant Singh's remarks and tell you how Urdu got caught in the Hindu Muslim pre 1947 crossfire. Incidental to the objective of this article was my realizing that Urdu has become another example of the Pan Islamic Muslim mind. The article is based on inputs of volumes 7 to 11 of the History and Culture of Indian People published by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. The article has three chapters. 1526 to 1707 A.D. 1707 to 1947 A.D. Analysis. 1526 to 1707 Proto-Urdu Just to give you a perspective Mughal rule began with Babar in 1526 but started moving Southwards after the death of Islamic zealot, puritan Aurangzeb in 1707. The word Urdu is derived from the Turki word Ordu, which meant "a military camp". The language as we now know it had not come into existence during this period. Instead it was a product of the dialect used by the Muslims who ruled over Deccan and South India from the 14th century awards. The literary speech arising out of it, known as Dakhni or the Southern Speech may be traced back to the 15th century. It's use was limited to the Deccan and South India and was used in literature by the Muslims of these regions who were less influenced by the local Hindu spirit of the dialects and languages of North India than the other Muslims living in North India. This difference becomes clearly manifest from the fact that the Perso-Arabian script was used in the Deccan, in writing from almost the beginning. Gradually the literature increasingly came under foreign influence in the sense that it became more and more Muslim and Persian in its attitude. However, it continued to retain till the end of the 17th century, a good deal of Indian vocabulary. The chief centers of Dakhni literature were Gujarat, Golconda, Bidar, Bijapur and Aurangabad. It was patronized by amongst others Qutb Shahi Sultans of Golcondo, one of whom, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah was a gifted poet. One of his courtiers wrote a romantic poem whose theme was the love of this king, than a prince, for a Telegu Hindu girl named Bhagwati whom he later married, named the city built in her honor as Bhag-nagar and subsequently renamed with her Islamic name Haider-Begum. This became the city of Hyderabad. Various other poems were written by many rulers. Dakhni literature flourished up to the end of the 17th century, but declined after the conquest of the Deccan and South India by Aurangzeb. By the first half of the 18th century, the mantle of Dakhni fell to the newly rising Urdu speech of Delhi into which this colonial form of a North India speech virtually merged and Urdu became well established with its present name by 1750. The Persian literature produced during the heyday of the Mughal rule in India exercised a tremendous influence on the formation and shaping of regional literatures, especially those cultivated by the Muslims. One of the results was the evolution of literary Urdu. Other sister languages modeled on the Persian tradition are Punjabi, Pushtu, Sindhi, Baluchi and Kashmiri, all of which use the Persian script The chapter is presented in three parts. Part one is a summary of the above, part 2 attempts to answer Khuswant Singh's statement and part 3 tells you how Urdu became a tool by which the Muslims wanted to establish parity with Hindi and Hindus. Part One - Summary The word Urdu is derived from the Turki word Ordu, which meant "a military camp". During the period 1526 to 1707 it was called Dakhina and used in the Deccan and South India. As the religio-ethical and socio-economic health of the Muslim community came to be adversely affected by the weakening of the imperial authority, the intelligentsia felt the need to revitalize the Muslim morale by means of religious reforms. And Arabic became the natural medium for fulfilling the requirements of religious rethinking among the Muslims in the early part of the 18th century. This could also explain the influence of Arabic on Urdu. Urdu is Hindi Khari boli (Delhi Hindi) with Persian and Arabic throw in. Although the language came into existence after 1730 it is only after 1818 did it become a language of expressing thoughts. Its main centers of influence were Delhi and Lucknow. Sir Syed Ahmed and Muhammad Iqbal did a lot to promote the language and make it the lingua franca of the Indian Muslims. With the establishment of British rule over Punjab, Urdu became a dominant language of education and administration there. Starting the 20th century Urdu became a bone of contention between Hindus and Muslims. Part Two - K Singh's, How did the Punjabis kill Urdu? Before I answer the question it would be useful to know the state of Hindi, Punjabi in Punjab around 1700-1720. Guru Govind Singh (1666-1708) kept in his employ 52 poets who composed in the prevalent mode of neo-classical Hindi poetry works whose themes were heroic and philosophical. All the writings of these poets were also written down in the Gurumukhi script and recited at sessions convened by the Guru. Most of these poems have been lost. Bhai Mani Singh, priest of the Hari Mandir or the Golden Temple. At some time during the 18th century got together whatever remained of these poems and compiled them into the Granth of the 10th master or the Dasham Granth. This work contains three versions of the epic of the goddess Chandi based on the story of her fight with Mahisasur, the Buffalo-Demon. Two of these are in Hindi while the third is in Punjabi. The third is believed to be the Guru's own composition while the other two by some poets. The Guru got a great deal of literature written based on the tales of heroism whereby he sought to arouse the people to crusade for higher values which he gave the name Dharma. He also composed some important works in Apabhramsa style of Hindi, including the autobiographical poem, the Bichitra Natak (the wonderful Drama). So both Punjabi and Hindi were prevalent. Urdu, which later became the dominant language of education and administration, came only with the establishment of British rule over Punjab. Since the British captured Punjab only in 1849 (Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839) Urdu became dominant after that. Another perspective. Till 1857 the Muslims hated the new rulers, Christians, for snatching away the throne from them. It was only after 1857 that Sir Syed Ahmad made the Muslims realize that it was in their interest to support the Christians read Brits. The British too realized the importance of having the Muslims on their side and using them as a counter to Hindus. Hence they decided to support the Muslims by making Urdu the official language of Punjab. Undivided Punjab had more Muslims than Hindus but Hindus were in large numbers thus if the Brits were not bent on enhancing the Hindu Muslim divide they could have made both Urdu and Hindi languages of education / administration. Also note that undivided Punjab consisted of modern day Punjab on both sides of the border, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. It is the Arya Samaj that led the movement for revival of Hindi. The founder of the Arya Samaj Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1875) used to communicate in Sanskrit till he met a leader of the Brahmo Samaj Shri Keshub Chandra Sen who stressed the importance of carrying on his propaganda in a popular language. So Dayanand decided to propagate his teachings in Hindi. Since the Arya Samaji movement had strong roots in Punjab, Hindi became Arya Bhasa there. Subsequent Samaj leaders carried on the movement for usage of Hindi. The eighth of the ten principles of the Arya Samaj points out to the Arya that he should endeavor to diffuse knowledge and dispel ignorance. In Punjab and the United Provinces the Samaj have done excellent work ahead of the missionary effort. No single organization could claim to have as many schools for boys and girls as the Samaj. For the boy's education there were two types of colleges, one affiliated with the Government University and other independent of official control. The Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College was started at Lahore in 1886. A number of educational institutions were opened in Punjab and modern day Uttar Pradesh. By 1914, the Samaj had the largest number of institutions in Northern India and probably the second largest in the country. For the girls the Samaj maintained a large number of schools and colleges. One of them is the Kanyamahavidyala at Jullundar where my mother studied. The impact of the Arya Samaj is also to be seen in the adoption of Hindi as a language of administration in Rajputana and U.P. Dayanand wrote all his works in Hindi or Sanskrit. Under the persuasion of Sir Pratap Singh, several states of Rajputana were convinced to adopt Hindi script for official work. It came to be adopted as an alternative medium of administration in U.P. early in the 20th century. Therefore, the emergence of the Arya Samaji movement in North India led to the resurgence of Hindi. Since the Arya Samajis (mainly Punjabi) opened a number of schools, colleges in North India these institutions were used to promote Hindi. Also the Arya Samaj movement made Hindus pride of their past, led to a revival of their confidence levels. It made them shun foreign influence understood as Urdu, the language of the Muslims. Digressing a bit, this single decision of using Hindi enabled the Arya Samaj movement to grow beyond Punjab unlike the Punjabi sect Sikhism that restricted itself to using Gurumukhi as a medium of communication limiting its acceptability in the process. I spoke to two seventy plus Uncles in my building who had grown up in undivided Punjab. They told me that during their childhood 1930-47, Urdu was indeed the language of the courts and administration. In schools too Urdu was taught. However, only boys learnt Urdu since they had to work thereafter while girls learnt Hindi since they did not normally work. However with the growth of the Arya Samaj a greater number of Hindus began to learn Hindi only. Urdu vs Hindi Part 3 1. Excerpts from the essay on the Aligarh Movement "What complicated matters further was the Hindi Urdu controversy originating from a movement by the Hindus of Kashi in 1867 to replace Urdu by Hindi and the Arabic script by Nagari. It must be mentioned that a similar movement for the use of Hindi was started in Punjab by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. These movements convinced Syed Ahmed Khan that Hindus and Muslims could never join whole-heartedly together and the differences would only increase in the future. Nawab Mulk said "Although we do not have the power of the pen, our hands are still strong enough to wield the might of the sword". Muslim league pg 25. 2. Another Hindi Urdu controversy erupted in 1900. It was the practice in Uttar Pradesh that all petitions to the court must be written in Urdu. The Hindus protested against it forcing the govt to pass an order on 8/4/1900 that Government offices and law-courts should also entertain petitions written in Hindi and Devanagari scripts and that court summons and official announcements would be henceforth be issued in both Hindi and Urdu. The Muslims protested that it was lowering the prestige of Urdu, the matter got politicized, led to a worsening of Hindu Muslim relations. This decision and the reversal of the partition of Bengal in 1905 by the British made the Muslims realize the need to counteract the political organization of the Hindus, read Congress. And so on 30/12/1906 was formed the All India Muslim League at Dacca. And so Urdu became one more reason for the increasing Hindu Muslim divide. 3. Urdu got caught in the Hindu Muslim crossfire that got accentuated after Khilfat movement. When the Hindus insisted on use of Hindi, the League denounced it as a sign of Hindu domination and could not think of co-operating with the Congress unless Urdu was made the national language in place of Hindi. That too when Urdu was nothing but a Persianized dialect of Hindi. Its script is Persian and the grammar is of Hindi. The Congress could not face the League onslaught and effected a compromise. A new hybrid language half Hindi half Urdu named Hindustani was sought to be created, which the Congress accepted in place of Hindi. 4. Like many others, Vande Mataram, national flag Urdu became a rallying point for Muslims. Unfortunately searching for this mirage of Hindu Muslim unity, the Congress capitulated before the Muslims every time that was to result in Partition later and a permanent source of violence in the Indian sub-continent. Urdu became one more symbol of their Persian / Arabic identity, to the Hindus it is one more reminder of Muslim rule over India. Hindi movies have both Hindi and Urdu words so do news channels like Zee News. 5. The bottom-line that Indian Muslims derive strength, a sense of identity with Islam by the use of Urdu. When a child is in pain he always looks for his mother. So also when the Indian Muslim lost political power, condition began to detiorate he looked for ways to rejuvenate himself, one of them was having a language that though derived from an Indian language borrowed heavily from Persian and Arabic. Today a 250-year-old language has become a symbol of his Islamic identity. 6. It has become one more stick that is used to browbeat Hindus with. Hindi movies producers are forced either subtly or otherwise to increase the use of Urdu in movies. Why even Television serials have not been spared. Channels like Zee News that derives virtually all their revenues from India use Urdu words more often than not. 7. Is it not ironical that Urdu is more widely spoken in India than in Pakistan, a country that was created to satisfy the separatist needs of the Indian Muslims? The Pakistani Muslim lives in an Islamic state thus does not need to reinforce his Muslim identity, is comfortable speaking Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashtuni. On the other hand the Indian Muslim is living in Hindu India, needs to reemphasize his Muslim ness, Urdu is just one more tool. Urdu like Persian, Arabic reminds the Hindu of Muslim domination that is why he is averse to it. Muslims see Hindi as a symbol of Hindu domination. Where Islam is in a dominant majority, Dar-ul-Islam must be created meaning "Muslim sovereignty pure and simple." To the Indian Muslim it means increase usage of Urdu. Rationalists might ask, which language is older? Look at any conflict in the world involving Islam, does one associate rationalism with it?

Posted by: Mudy May 30 2005, 09:52 AM

keshto patel, Please provide source or link.

Posted by: Mudy May 30 2005, 09:59 AM

At its recently-held eighteenth national conference in Bhopal, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) reiterated its long-standing demand that Muslims, particularly the ‘ulama and heads of various Muslim community organizations, must work towards establishing a ‘vast network’ of dar ul qazas or shariah courts covering the entire length and breadth of the country. Such courts, it insisted, were ‘an Islamic necessity’ and a principle means to combat what it saw as a ‘conspiracy’ to destroy the separate religious identity of the country’s Muslims.
The booklet describes the need for such courts as an Islamic imperative, arguing that Muslims are bound to govern their lives in accordance with the laws of the shariah if they are to remain true to the dictates of their faith. True justice can be had only by following God’s laws, which the booklet equates with the traditional understanding of the shariah upheld by the ‘ulama. Not to follow these laws is described as a ‘great crime’, which the Qur’an is said to condemn as ‘infidelity’ (kufr) and ‘oppression’ (zulm).
The amir ul-hind or the ‘amir of India ’ should be a pious Muslim male well-versed in the intricacies of the shariah. One of his principal tasks would be to nominate qazis or judges and muftis at the provincial and local level to dispense Islamic justice through a network of dar ul qazas. Appointing an amir, Tayyeb says, is an Islamic command, and he quotes ‘Umar, the second Sunni Caliph, as saying, ‘Without the community there is no Islam; there is no community without an amir, and there is no amir without obedience’. Muslims, Tayyeb says, whether they live in the ‘abode of Islam’ (dar ul islam) or the ‘abode of war’ (dar ul harb) must always have an amir in order for them to live in accordance with the shariah. He backs his case with quotations from various Hanafi fiqh texts and the writings of several fellow Deobandis. However, recognizing the obvious difficulties in selecting a single amir, he also allows for the possibility of Muslim leaders forming a board that would function like an amir, and which would appoint qazis to judge disputes among Muslims
Given his reliance on medieval fiqh and his ignorance of the complexities of the modern world, he simply cannot envisage a system where Muslims are neither rulers nor the ruled but, at least in theory, co-rulers, or, simply, fellow citizens. Hence, he appears to see India as a country where Muslims are the ‘ruled’ and non-Muslims the ‘rulers’, equating it with Spain after the fall of Muslim rule. A text that he quotes from describes such a state as one where ‘kafirs [disbelievers] establish themselves over Muslims’.
Tayyeb insists on the need for Muslims to have their personal disputes judged by Muslim qazis in separate dar ul qazas, not in secular courts even if the latter recognize and apply Muslim Personal Law, as is the case in India . In part, this possibly represents a veiled distaste and suspicion of non-Muslims, who are generally seen by many traditionalist ‘ulama in stereotypically negative terms and who are regarded as unsuitable, on account of their religion, in judging over Muslims’ affairs. This might also reflect a deep-rooted aversion to non-Muslim judges interpreting Muslim Personal Law in a manner that conflicts with the understanding of the traditional ‘ulama, such as is reflected in some recent Indian court decisions by non-Muslim judges in favour of Muslim women, which the ‘ulama have opposed.

Posted by: keshto patel May 30 2005, 06:53 PM

Islamophobia’ / Turkey Out Now That France Negates EU Constitution? In the last several days, the EU Council of 46 concluded to establish a law that made criticizing Islam a crime throughout Europe . The Council referred to "Islamophobia" as being criminal activity. All this was initiated by Turkey . Turkey prides itself on being a totally secular nation, though it is in fact very much a Muslim nation. Yet it downplays its Muslim religion because of the bad press Islam is getting? Therefore, Turkey tries to have the world conclude that it is not really a rabid Islamic country; instead it is a secular country to the core. However, obviously it is very much a Muslim power seeking to infiltrate the European Union. Already it has convinced the EU Council that to state anything critical about Islam could land one in jail or worse. Does that make Turkey a totally secular nation? Or does not that make Turkey an Islamic state seeking to overcome the world for Allah? But now that the French have negated the EU constitution, Turkey may be in limbo. According to The Washington Times report, "Analysts and voters said yesterday that the treaty's defeat in France had to do more with (the) potential membership for Turkey . . ." That in itself is revealing. The defeat of the EU constitution by French voters had to do with "potential membership for Turkey "? How very, very interesting. Then there is an awareness that Turkey in the EU is a bad thing. Then there is a fear that Turkey being a part of the EU would bring havoc to the continent? Then there is a grassroots knowledge that Turkey is in fact a prop for worldwide Muslim takeover and not just a benign nation with totally secular intentions? Could the French negative be God’s positive in saving Europe — irreligious as it is — from the Islamic blood bath planned for all infidels? Could God be protecting the Christian community from the global rule of Muslim might? Could genuine believers’ prayers be answered by this French NO to the EU constitution? It is all a most intriguing event that occurred within the last hours. The French may be more of a divine tool that they ever envisioned

Posted by: keshto patel May 30 2005, 07:03 PM By R.M. Oskui This is a topic which had always baffled me when I was a Muslim. As all Muslims know that Quran tells us that Satan is made of fire, like all jinns are. So it is a fact that Allah created Satan as jinn. But when I studied the Quran I found that Allah seemed to have forgotten this fact. In the Quran it is stated that when Allah created Adam He ordered all the angels to bow down in front of Adam verse [7:11]. Satan refused citing that he was made of fire verse [15:27] and would not bow in front of a creature made of dust verse[7:12],[2:34] Now the question is, if Allah had ordered the angels to bow down in front of Adam then why did he expect Satan; a jinn, to prostate before Adam? I had put this question before two great mujtahids of the Muslims and their stupid answer was that Satan was once a very pious and god loving jinn and had been worshipping Allah for a long, long time so much so that the heavenly creatures started considering him an angel. But this lame reasoning does not change the fact that Satan was a jinn and not an angel and Allah was amazingly crazy to expect a jinn to follow the order which Allah had given to angels in the first place. Now, if Allah can forget that he created Satan a jinn and not an angel then how can Muslims expect him to remember all their good and bad deeds and then punish or reward them accordingly on the day of judgement? What if Allah forgets everything just like he forgot in Satan's case? Who will these poor Muslims go to? Who will give them justice? Muslims might say that we have angels on our shoulders which record everything we do. But then again jinns also have these angels which record their good and bad deeds because jinns like humans also have free will and can do whatever they want, good or bad. If these angels did not come forth to tell Allah that Satan was a jinn and not an angel how can they expect them to do the same in their case? I must say that this is a very scary, forgetful and crazy god and it is so funny to see how these Muslims try to bend the rules for their creator and their prophet to legitimize their evil doings. It’s about time these Muslims open their eyes and read their book to see the absurdities in it and realize that it is nothing but lies and stupidities. I guess this is just wishful thinking. If they see these lies they will ask their stupid mullahs and mujtahids who will either give them some lame explanation or tell them not to doubt because doubt will weaken their faith and land them straight into Hell; and then they get scared and stop thinking objectively and act like zombies. No wonder Muslims haven't accomplished anything except violating basic human rights in these fourteen hundred years because they are all zombies who are willing to kill and maim any one for their religion of hate and universal terrorism. A question and addendum from me: As is the common muslim stereotype ranting, saying all human beings are created by allah, that he is the sole creator, that he he all knower, all mercifull, infallible. AGREED. So, muslims by changing the anatomy of the human body from its original form/creation ( by circumscising each muslim, saying status qou would be unheigenic ) puts the dent in their own arguments that Allah made an imperfect body/human How is this possible muslims if allah is infallible as YOU people claim?

Posted by: keshto patel May 30 2005, 07:40 PM

QUOTE (Mudy @ May 30 2005, 10:22 PM)
keshto patel, Please provide source or link.
Dont know from where I lifted n shifted here. Also sometimes I rcv e mails too, sometimes there are several subscription sites. Next time I would be mindful of that.

Posted by: keshto patel May 30 2005, 07:43 PM

QUOTE (keshto patel @ May 31 2005, 08:10 AM)
QUOTE (Mudy @ May 30 2005, 10:22 PM)
keshto patel, Please provide source or link.
Dont know from where I lifted n shifted here. Also sometimes I rcv e mails too, sometimes there are several subscription sites. Next time I would be mindful of that.
Added later: Bingo

Posted by: keshto patel May 30 2005, 08:16 PM MUMBAI: The Special POTA court would pronounce on June 6 the judgement in the bomb blast in a BEST bus at suburban Ghatkopar on December 2, 2002. The court had said earlier that the judgement would be pronounced on May 20. However, it has been adjourned to June six as the court is in the process of dictating the judgement. Two persons were killed and 49 injured when a bomb went off inside a BEST bus parked outside its Ghatkopar depot. Eight persons, including forensic expert Abdul Mateen and software engineer from Parbhani town in Marathwada Khwaja Younus were accused of the crime. Younus allegedly died in police custody, while police claimed that he escaped from its custody. Other accused are Toufiq alias Chittu, Imran Rehman Khan, Mohammad Altaf Abu Hasan, Muzammil, Arif Hussain alias Panwalla, Haroon Rashid Lohar and Rashid Ahmed Ansari. In all, 11 witnesses, including the conductor of the bus in which the blast took place turned hostile. Last year, nine accused - Saquib Nachan, Haseeb Zuber Mullah, Aatif Mullah, Ghulam Sattar, Farhan Khot, Mohammed Kamil, Noor Mohammed Ansari, Anwar Ali and Nadeem Paloba -were discharged by the prosecution for lack of evidence. Most of the accused discharged in this case are also accused of engineering subsequent blasts at suburban Mulund and Vile Parle. Wah rey bumbayia!

Posted by: Viren May 31 2005, 08:58 AM By Daniel Pipes | May 31, 2005

In his just-released, absorbing, and excellent book, Understanding Jihad (University of California Press), David Cook of Rice University dismisses the low-grade debate that has raged since 9/11 over the nature of jihad – whether it is a form of offensive warfare or (more pleasantly) a type of moral self-improvement. Cook dismisses as “pathetic and laughable” John Esposito’s contention that jihad refers to “the effort to lead a good life.” Throughout history and at present, Cook definitively establishes, the term primarily means “warfare with spiritual significance.” His achievement lies in tracing the evolution of jihad from Muhammad to Osama, following how the concept has changed through fourteen centuries. This summary does not do justice to Cook’s extensive research, prolific examples, and thoughtful analysis, but even a thumbnail sketch suggests jihad’s evolution. The Koran invites Muslims to give their lives in exchange for assurances of paradise. The Hadith (accounts of Muhammad’s actions and personal statements) elaborate on the Koran, providing specific injunctions about treaties, pay, booty, prisoners, tactics, and much else. Muslim jurisprudents then wove these precepts into a body of law. Muhammad’s conquests: During his years in power, the prophet engaged in an average of nine military campaigns a year, or one every 5-6 weeks; thus did jihad help define Islam from its very dawn. Conquering and humiliating non-Muslims was a main feature of the prophet’s jihad. The Arab conquests and after: During the first several centuries of Islam, “the interpretation of jihad was unabashedly aggressive and expansive.” After the conquests subsided, non-Muslims hardly threatened and Sufi notions of jihad as self-improvement developed in complement to the martial meaning. The Crusades, the centuries-long European effort to control the Holy Land, gave jihad a new urgency and prompted what Cook calls the “classical” theory of jihad. Finding themselves on the defensive led to a hardening of Muslim attitudes. The Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century subjugated much of the Muslim world, a catastrophe only partially mitigated by the Mongols’ nominal conversion to Islam. Some thinkers, Ibn Taymiya (d. 1328) in particular, came to distinguish between true and false Muslims; and to give jihad new prominence by judging the validity of a person’s faith according to his willingness to wage jihad. Nineteenth century “purification jihads” took place in several regions against fellow Muslims. The most radical and consequential of these was the Wahhabis' jihad in Arabia. Drawing on Ibn Taymiya, they condemned most non-Wahhabi Muslims as infidels (kafirs) and waged jihad against them. European imperialism inspired jihadi resistance efforts, notably in India, the Caucasus, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria, and Morocco, but all in the end failed. This disaster meant new thinking was needed. Islamist new thinking began in Egypt and India in the 1920s but jihad acquired its contemporary quality of radical offensive warfare only with the Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966). Qutb developed Ibn Taymiya’s distinction between true and false Muslims to deem non-Islamists to be non-Muslims and then declare jihad on them. The group that assassinated Anwar El-Sadat in 1981 then added the idea of jihad as the path to world domination. The anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan led to the final step (so far) in this evolution. In Afghanistan, for the first time, jihadis assembled from around the world to fight on behalf of Islam. Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian, became the theorist of global jihad in the 1980s, giving it an unheard-of central role, judging each Muslim exclusively by his contribution to jihad, and making jihad the salvation of Muslims and Islam. Out of this quickly came suicide terrorism and bin Laden. Cook’s erudite and timely study has many implications, including these: - The current understanding of jihad is more extreme than at any prior time in Islamic history. - This extremism suggests that the Muslim world is going through a phase, one that must be endured and overcome, comparable to analogously horrid periods in Germany, Russia, and China. - Jihad having evolved steadily until now, doubtless will continue to do so in the future. - The excessive form of jihad currently practiced by al-Qaeda and others could, Cook semi-predicts, lead to its “decisive rejection” by a majority of Muslims. Jihad then could turn into a non-violent concept. The great challenge for moderate Muslims (and their non-Muslim allies) is to make that rejection come about, and with due haste.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh May 31 2005, 02:16 PM

Jamiat seeks reservation for minorities in Parliament New Delhi, May 30 (PTI): The Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind on Sunday demanded reservation for Muslims in Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and Government jobs and extended support to the 'model nikahnama' prepared by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. At the end of its 28th All India General Session held here, the Jamiat adopted a series of resolutions, which included demand for removal of restrictions on reservations based on religion, passing a Riot Prevention Act and immediate release of those arrested under POTA. Claiming that minority people are being harassed in Assam, the meeting, chaired by the Jamiat president Maulana Asaad Madani, termed the backlash against illegal migrants in the State as "plan to turn the State into another Gujarat." During the two-day General Session of the Jamiat, Ulamas from all parts of the country held talks on various matters concerning the community, which included protection of women's rights, constitutional status to Minority Educational Commission, compensation to the victims of communal riots, sacrilege of holy Koran by the US forces.

Posted by: Mudy May 31 2005, 04:38 PM

Sonia Gandhi was there in meeting. Ahmed Patel and Muslim league is behind. Hindus will be labeled communal if they demand same.

The demand made by the JuH in a rally in Delhi’s Ram Lila Grounds yesterday acquired salience because it was attended by the Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi. Since Sonia Gandhi will not understand the full implication of this demand, which no national party can accept, presumably her stalwart advisors will nudge her away from a commitment, which would be suicidal

Posted by: keshto patel Jun 4 2005, 06:31 PM,

Posted by: keshto patel Jun 8 2005, 03:35 PM MUST READ

Posted by: Shambhu Jun 8 2005, 04:32 PM

From keshto's article above: What an unbearable existence for us to live and survive among co-wives! Innumerable children, unhealthy surroundings, poverty and lack of education have made a mockery of our social lives. Even goats and cows live better than us. The frequent fights among the co-wives, the pulling at one another’s hair are so degrading! And then, God forbicl, if the miyan or husband gets into the fray, then we get beaten like a beast until we cannot take it anymore. And after the beating, to make it even more degrading, the miyan takes his other wife into the bedroom and shuts the door into our face. omg.gif

Posted by: acharya Jun 12 2005, 08:00 PM

Dear fellow human, Today humanity is being challenged. Unthinkable atrocities take place on daily basis. There is an evil force at work that aims to destroy us. The agents of this evil respect nothing; not even the lives of children. Every day there are bombings, every day innocent people are targeted and murdered. It seems as if we are helpless. But we are not! The ancient Chinese sage Sun Zi said, "Know your enemy and you won't be defeated". Do we know our enemy? If we don't, then we are doomed. Terrorism is not an ideology, it is a tool; but the terrorists kill for an ideology. They call that ideology Islam. The entire world, both Muslims and non-Muslims claim that the terrorists have hijacked "the religion of peace" and Islam does not condone violence. Who is right? Do the terrorists understand Islam better, or do those who decry them? The answer to this question is the key to our victory, and failure to find that key will result in our loss and death will be upon us. The key is in the Quran and the history of Islam. Those of us, who know Islam, know that the understanding of the terrorists of Islam is correct. They are doing nothing that their prophet did not do and did not encourage his followers to do. Murder, rape, assassination, beheading, massacre and sacrilege of the dead "to delight the hearts of the believers" were all practiced by Muhammad, were taught by him and were observed by Muslims throughout their history. If truth has ever mattered, it matters most now! This is the time that we have to call a spade a spade. This is the time that we have to find the root of the problem and eradicate it. The root of Islamic terrorism is Islam. The proof of that is the Quran. We are a group of ex-Muslims who have seen the face of the evil and have risen to warn the world. No matter how painful the truth may be, only truth can set us free. Why this much denial? Why so much obstinacy? How many more innocent lives should be lost before YOU open your eyes? A nuclear disaster is upon us. This will happen. It is not a question of "if" but "when". Oblivious of that, the world is digging its head deeper in the sand. We urge the Muslims to leave Islam. Stop with excuses, justifications and rationalizations. Stop dividing mankind into "us" vs. "them" and Muslims vs. Kafirs. We are One people, One mankind! Muhammad was not a messenger of God. It is time that we end this insanity and face the truth. The terrorists take their moral support and the validation for their actions from you. Your very adherence to their cult of death is a nod of approval for their crimes against humanity. We also urge the non-Muslims to stop being politically correct lest they hurt the sensitivities of the Muslims. To Hell with their sensitivities! Let us save their lives, and the lives of millions of innocent people. Millions, if not billions of lives will be lost if we do nothing. Time is running out! "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." Do something! Send this message to everyone in your address book and ask them to do the same. Defeat Islam and stop terrorism. This is your world, save it. The ex-Muslim Movement

Posted by: acharya Jun 12 2005, 08:55 PM

Islam’s Victim – India By, Serge Trifkovic Serge Trifkovic received his PhD from the University of Southampton in England and pursued postdoctoral research at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. His past journalistic outlets have included the BBC World Service, the Voice of America, CNN International, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times of London, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is foreign affairs editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture The fundamental leftist and anti-American claim about our ongoing conflict with political Islam is this: whatever has happened or does happen, it’s our fault. We provoked them into it by being dirty Yankee imperialists and by unkindly refusing to allow them to destroy Israel. But two things make crystal clear that this is not so: 1. The political arm of Islam has been waging holy war on the rest of the world for centuries. 2. It has waged this war against civilizations that have nothing to do with the West, let alone America. This is why the case of Moslem aggression against India proves so much. Let’s look at the historical record. India prior to the Moslem invasions was one of the world’s great civilizations. Tenth century Hindustan matched its contemporaries in the East and the West in the realms of philosophy, mathematics, and natural science. Indian mathematicians discovered the number zero (not to mention other things, like algebra, that were later transmitted to a Moslem world which mistaken has received credit for them.) Medieval India, before the Moslem invasion, was a richly imaginative culture, one of the half-dozen most advanced civilizations of all time. Its sculptures were vigorous and sensual, its architecture ornate and spellbinding. And these were indigenous achievements and not, as in the case of many of the more celebrated high-points of Moslem culture, relics of pre-Moslem civilizations that Moslems had overrun. Moslem invaders began entering India in the early 8th century, on the orders of Hajjaj, the governor of what is now Iraq. (Sound familiar?) Starting in 712 the raiders, commanded by Muhammad Qasim, demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces, killed vast numbers of men — it took three whole days to slaughter the inhabitants of the city of Debal — and carried off their women and children to slavery, some of it sexual. After the initial wave of violence, however, Qasim tried to establish law and order in the newly-conquered lands, and to that end he even allowed a degree of religious tolerance. but upon hearing of such humane practices, his superior Hajjaj, objected: "It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great God says in the Koran [47.4]: "0 True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads." The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man." In a subsequent communication, Hajjaj reiterated that all able-bodied men were to be killed, and that their underage sons and daughters were to be imprisoned and retained as hostages. Qasim obeyed, and on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad massacred between 6,000 and 16,000 men. The significance of these events lies not just in the horrible numbers involved, but in the fact that the perpetrators of these massacres were not military thugs disobeying the ethical teachings of their religion, as the European crusaders in the Holy Land were, but were actually doing precisely what their religion taught. (And one may note that Christianity has grown up and no longer preaches crusades. Islam has not. As has been well-documented, jihad has been preached from the official centers of Islam, not just the lunatic fringe.) Qasim’s early exploits were continued in the early eleventh century, when Mahmud of Ghazni, "passed through India like a whirlwind, destroying, pillaging, and massacring," zealously following the Koranic injunction to kill idolaters, whom he had vowed to chastise every year of his life. In the course of seventeen invasions, in the words of Alberuni, the scholar brought by Mahmud to India, "Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion toward all Moslems." Does one wonder why? To this day, the citizens of Bombay and New Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore, live in fear of a politically-unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan that unlike India (but like every other Moslem country) has not managed to maintain democracy since independence. Mathura, holy city of the god Krishna, was the next victim: "In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and finer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted." The Sultan [Mahmud] was of the opinion that 200 years would have been required to build it. The idols included "five of red gold, each five yards high," with eyes formed of priceless jewels. "The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naphtha and fire, and leveled with the ground." In the aftermath of the invasion, in the ancient cities of Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwarka, not one temple survived whole and intact. This is the equivalent of an army marching into Paris and Rome, Florence and Oxford, and razing their architectural treasures to the ground. It is an act beyond nihilism; it is outright negativism, a hatred of what is cultured and civilized. In his book The Story of Civilization, famous historian Will Durant lamented the results of what he termed "probably the bloodiest story in history." He called it "a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within." Moslem invaders "broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan," displaying, as an Indian commentator put it, the resentment of the less developed warriors who felt intimidated in the encounter with "a more refined culture." The Moslem Sultans built mosques at the sites of torn down temples, and many Hindus were sold into slavery. As far as they were concerned, Hindus were kafirs, heathens, par excellence. They, and to a lesser extent the peaceful Buddhists, were, unlike Christians and Jews, not "of the book" but at the receiving end of Muhammad’s injunction against pagans: "Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them." (Not that being "of the book" has much helped Jewish and Christian victims of other Moslem aggressions, but that’s another article.) The mountainous northwestern approaches to India are to this day called the Hindu Kush, "the Slaughter of the Hindu," a reminder of the days when Hindu slaves from Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia. The slaughter in Somnath, the site of a celebrated Hindu temple, where 50,000 Hindus were slain on Mahmud’s orders, set the tone for centuries. The gentle Buddhists were the next to be subjected to mass slaughter in 1193, when Muhammad Khilji also burned their famous library. By the end of the 12th century, following the Moslem conquest of their stronghold in Bihar, they were no longer a significant presence in India. The survivors retreated into Nepal and Tibet, or escaped to the south of the Subcontinent. The remnants of their culture lingered on even as far west as Turkestan. Left to the tender mercies of Moslem conquerors and their heirs they were systematically destroyed, sometimes—as was the case with the four giant statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in March 2001—up to the present day. That cultivated disposition and developed sensibility can go hand in hand with bigotry and cruelty is evidenced by the example of Firuz Shah, who became the ruler of northern India in 1351. This educated yet tyrannical Moslem ruler of northern India once surprised a village where a Hindu religious festival was celebrated, and ordered all present to be slain. He proudly related that, upon completing the slaughter, he destroyed the temples and in their place built mosques. The Mogul emperor Akbar is remembered as tolerant, at least by the standards of Moslems in India: only one major massacre was recorded during his long reign (1542-1605), when he ordered that about 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus be slain on February 24, 1568, after the battle for Chitod. But Akbar’s acceptance of other religions and toleration of their public worship, his abolition of poll-tax on non-Moslems, and his interest in other faiths were not a reflection of his Moslem spirit of tolerance. Quite the contrary, they indicated a propensity for free-thinking in the realm of religion that finally led him to complete apostasy. Its high points were the formal declaration of his own infallibility in all matters of religious doctrine, his promulgation of a new creed, and his adoption of Hindu and Zoroastrian festivals and practices. This is a pattern one sees again and again in Moslem history, down to the present day: whenever one finds a reasonable, enlightened, tolerant Moslem, upon closer examination this turns out to be someone who started out as a Moslem but then progressively wandered away from the orthodox faith. That is to say: the best Moslems are generally the least Moslem (a pattern which does not seem to be the case with other religions.) Things were back to normal under Shah Jahan (1593-1666), the fifth Mogul Emperor and a grandson of Akbar the Great. Most Westerners remember him as the builder of the Taj Mahal and have no idea that he was a cruel warmonger who initiated forty-eight military campaigns against non-Moslems in less than thirty years. Taking his cue from his Ottoman co-religionists, on coming to the throne in 1628 he killed all his male relations except one who escaped to Persia. Shah Jahan had 5,000 concubines in his harem, but nevertheless indulged in incestuous sex with his daughters Chamani and Jahanara. During his reign in Benares alone 76 Hindu temples were destroyed, as well as Christian churches at Agra and Lahore. At the end of the siege of Hugh, a Portuguese enclave near Calcutta, that lasted three months, he had ten thousand inhabitants "blown up with powder, drowned in water or burnt by fire." Four thousand were taken captive to Agra where they were offered Islam or death. Most refused and were killed, except for the younger women, who went into harems. These massacres perpetrated by Moslems in India are unparalleled in history. In sheer numbers, they are bigger than the Jewish Holocaust, the Soviet Terror, the Japanese massacres of the Chinese during WWII, Mao’s devastations of the Chinese peasantry, the massacres of the Armenians by the Turks, or any of the other famous crimes against humanity of the 20th Century. But sadly, they are almost unknown outside India. There are several reasons for this. In the days when they ruled India, the British, pursuing a policy of divide-and-rule, whitewashed the record of the Moslems so that they could set them up as a counterbalance to the more numerous Hindus. During the struggle for independence, Gandhi and Nehru downplayed historic Moslem atrocities so that they could pretend a facade of Hindu-Moslem unity against the British. (Naturally, this façade dissolved immediately after independence and several million people were killed in the religious violence attendant on splitting British India into India and Pakistan.) After independence, Marxist Indian writers, blinkered by ideology, suppressed the truth about the Moslem record because it did not fit into the Marxist theory of history. Nowadays, the Indian equivalent of political correctness downplays Moslem misdeeds because Moslems are an "oppressed minority" in majority-Hindu India. And Indian leftist intellectuals always blame India first and hate their own Hindu civilization, just their equivalents at Berkeley blame America and the West. Unlike Germany, which has apologized to its Jewish and Eastern European victims, and Japan, which has at least behaved itself since WWII, and even America, which has gone into paroxysms of guilt over what it did to the infinitely smaller numbers of Red Indians, the Moslem aggressors against India and their successors have not even stopped trying to finish the job they started. To this day, militant Islam sees India as "unfinished business" and it remains high on the agenda of oil-rich Moslem countries such as Saudi Arabia, which are spending millions every year trying to convert Hindus to Islam. One may take some small satisfaction in the fact that they find it rather slow going. .

Posted by: Viren Jun 15 2005, 07:55 AM

Where is police and Indian court?
Police: Sh1t scared of being branded communal for interfering into affairs of a community that takes offense to anyone meddling "their" affairs Court: Won't move unless police act. Not sure judges/judiciary plays an activist role in India Human Rights: Rent-a-cause activists and the liberals used to limousines don't see future in fighting for rights of a rickshawala's wife.

Posted by: Mudy Jun 15 2005, 11:59 AM

Could you please give a link to your Article Posted: Jun 15 2005, 12:01 AM – Thanks
It was in Pioneer and they don't keep archive. But this news came in other news media also.

Posted by: Viren Jun 15 2005, 12:08 PM

Mudy/Naresh, Last night ZeeNews had this story on Immran, they had some old fool with a beard from the Panchayat and his was justifying crap with statments like- you can't clap with one hand; it's in doubt as to how a old man could over power a young lady etc... The parallels with the Mukthanran Bibi case in TSP is amazing, atleast in terms of panchayat using medivial outdated laws mad.gif

Posted by: Naresh Jun 15 2005, 02:01 PM The police arrested Ali Mohammad, who allegedly raped his daughters-in-law, from the Narwana More area under the Charthawal police station late on Wednesday evening. According to SSP, Muzaffarnagar, RV Singh, Ali Mohammad was arrested at 8 pm and was being interrogated. The SSP told The Pioneer that the police swung into action as soon as the episode was brought to their notice. Earlier, women's organisations, including the National Commission for Women and the All India Women Personal Law Board, demanded strict action against the father-in-law, who allegedly raped his daughters-in-law. Investigations by The Pioneer into the case revealed that Imrana, the last victim, shared her plight with the other women in the family: her two sisters-in-law who were also subjected to sexual harassment by Ali repeatedly over a period of time. Ali allegedly tried to lure them by offering property he possessed. When that did not work, he forced them into intercourse. The women, unable to bear the torture, left the house and now live separately. Things came to a head when the third daughter-in-law, Imrana, was subjected to a similar act 16 days back. Amid all this, the sons, including Imrana's husband Noor Elahi, preferred to be silent spectators. Mother of five children, Imrana shifted to her brothers' house in the Kukra village following the decision of the Ansari panchayat. It ruled that the relationship with her husband stood annulled and she could no longer stay with him after being raped by the father-in-law. She is deemed by the panchayt to be the mother of her husband. "The decision taken by the maulvis and qazis of the Ansari community are totally wrong and against the premises of Quran-e-Sherif. She still continues to be the wife of her husband as the real culprit is her father-in-law who is absconding and no one can take away this right from her," said Shahista Amber, chairperson, All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board. Imrana maintained that though she had full faith in the Sharia (Islamic Law). Neither she nor her family members were too keen to take the help of the police. The woman had also refused to undergo any medical examination initially, but agreed when she was persuaded by the police. "We are going to write a letter to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Ali Mohammad should be subjected to 60 lashes and he should also be stoned for the heinous crime he committed," said Shahista. Meanwhile, the case has been referred to Dar-ul-Uloom of Deoband by one of her brothers and its decision is awaited. The next Dar-ul-Uloom meeting is scheduled for July 8. Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Jun 22 2005, 08:01 AM

Hindu Makkal Katchi leader murdered Wednesday June 22 2005 MADURAI: In a cold-blooded murder, A R Kalidass, vice-president of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, was hacked to death by two unidentified persons at Ismailpuram here on Tuesday morning. Kalidas (50), who is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter, was chased by the duo for some distance before he was mercilessly hacked to death. Police said Kalidas hailing from Bibikulam area was riding his bicycle at Ismailpuram 8th Street when the two men armed with a sharp-edged knife and sickle accosted him. On seeing the miscreants, Kalidas put down his bicycle and started to run for life. But when he entered into an iron scrap shop for safety, he was hacked mercillesly by the duo with a sickle. Madurai Police Commissioner Vijayakumar, Deputy Commissioner Rajendran, and Assistant Commissioner Manivannan rushed to the spot and conducted enquiries. A sniffer dog and fingerprint experts were pressed into service to track down the accused. Police also enquired with the employees at the iron scrap shop, who claimed to have seen the accused fleeing the incident spot. Sources said that Kalidas quit Hindu Munnani Katchi and joined Hindu Makkal Katchi some 10 years ago. He also, of late, led a protest condemning the murder of Arasamaram Vinayaga Temple priest Gangadaran. You can look at his body at this link:

Posted by: keshto patel Jun 27 2005, 02:58 PM

Muslims mushroom in 3 Bengal districts NIRMALYA BANERJEE TIMES NEWS NETWORK JUNE 24, 2005 KOLKATA: Many call it the `Bangla bomb' and West Bengal chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, like his counterparts in Tripura, Assam and the entire North-East, is clearly concerned. He may not have quoted statistics when he said on Thursday that the demography in certain parts of the country was changing due to infiltration from Bangladesh. Now he can: Figures for religion-wise distribution of population released by the director of census operations, West Bengal, reveal that over the past 50 years the share of Hindu population has declined steadily while that of Muslims has increased. In three districts - Murshidabad, Malda and North Dinajpur - Muslims either outnumber Hindus or are equal in number. Analysing these census figures together with those available from Bangladesh, demography watchers like Bimal Pramanik, director, Centre for Research in Indo-Bangladesh Relations, conclude that unabated illegal immigration from the neighbouring country is the main reason for the steady change in demographic patterns. In Malda, Muslims stood at about 50 percent of the total population in 2001, Hindus at 49. In North Dinajpur, Muslims constituted 47 percent and Hindus 52 percent. Murshidabad has Muslims at 64 percent far outnumbering Hindus at 36 percent . Though Murshidabad has always been a Muslim-dominated state since Independence, the share of Muslim population has grown: in the 1951 census they were 55 percent and Hindus 45 percent . In Malda, too, the share of Muslim population has risen over the years from 37 percent in 1951. For the state as a whole, the percentage of Muslim population grew from 20 to 25 percent between 1951 and 2001. That of Hindus dropped from 78 to 72 percent . Among the districts, Birbhum has 35 percent Muslim population and South 24 Parganas 33 percent , both higher than the state average. Pramanik argues that the increase cannot be explained by their natural growth rate. While the growth of Muslim population between 1981 and 1991 in West Bengal works out to nearly 35 percent, the Bangladesh census shows that in that country the growth of Muslims during the same period has been 25 percent. "How can there be such a wide difference in growth rates between the two countries, particularly when awareness about family planning is even less in Bangladesh," Pramanik asks. "This can only be explained by the illegal immigration from across our border." Interestingly, the growth rate of both Hindus and Muslims was high in the years between 1951 and 1961. However, the Hindu rate dropped significantly after that, for Muslims it didn't. Analysing the district-wise census figures, Pramanik says illegal immigrants first infiltrate into the border districts and then enter interior areas like Birbhum, Howrah and Kolkata. He added, "Illegal infiltration has continued because of political patronage and the CPM too has encouraged it. But now the party is anxious because the Congress is doing well in elections, especially in districts like Malda, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur."

Posted by: Mudy Jun 30 2005, 12:31 PM

Imrana related discussion now moved to Indian Politics thread

Posted by: Mudy Jul 1 2005, 01:06 PM

On Birth Control -

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What the Muslims should do is to have as many children as they can, because this is the command issued by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said, “Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers.” Because increasing the number of children increases the size of the ummah, and being of great numbers is a source of pride, as Allaah said, reminding the Children of Israel of that (interpretation of the meaning): “And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in man‑power” [al-Israa’ 17:6] And Shu’ayb said to his people: “ ‘And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you’” [al-A’raaf 7:86 – interpretation of the meaning] No one would deny that if the ummah is great in number this will lend it pride and strength. This is contrary to what is imagined by those who think evil thoughts, that the large numbers of the ummah is the cause of its poverty and hunger. If the ummah increases in number and relies on Allaah, and believes in His promise, in the aayah “And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah” [Hood 11:6 – interpretation of the meaning], then Allaah will make things easy for them and will grant them sufficient means from His Bounty. On this basis, the answer to the question is as follows: A woman should not use birth control pills unless the following two conditions are met: (1) She should have a reason for that such as being sick and unable to bear a pregnancy every year, or being physically weak, or having other reasons why getting pregnant every year would be harmful for her. (2) Her husband should give his permission, because the husband has the right to have children. This must also be done in consultation with a doctor, to find out whether taking these pills will be harmful to her or not. If these two conditions are met, then it is OK for her to use these pills, but that should not be on a permanent basis, i.e., she should not use the type of birth control pills that prevent pregnancy permanently, because this is preventing progeny. (Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 2/657, 658) AND ALLAH KNOWS BEST

Posted by: Mudy Jul 2 2005, 10:49 PM

July 2nd, 2005 The phenomenon of modern Islamic terrorism has forged an inchoate strategic alliance between the Israeli and Indian governments, while heightening the awareness of a common threat—the institution of jihad—among the civilian populations of these nations. Rarely understood, let alone acknowledged, however, is the history of brutal jihad conquest, Muslim colonization, and the imposition of dhimmitude shared by the Jews of historical Palestine, and the Hindus of the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, both peoples and nations also have in common, a subsequent, albeit much briefer British colonial legacy, which despite its own abuses, abrogated the system of dhimmitude (permanently for Israel and India, if not, sadly, for their contemporary Muslim neighboring states), and created the nascent institutions upon which thriving democratic societies have been constructed. Sir Jadunath Sarkar (d. 1958), the preeminent historian of Mughal India, wrote with admiration in 1950 of what the Jews of Palestine had accomplished once liberated from the yoke of dhimmitude. The implication was clear that he harbored similar hopes for his own people. Palestine, the holy land of the Jews, Christians and Islamites, had been turned into a desert haunted by ignorant poor diseased vermin rather than by human beings, as the result of six centuries of Muslim rule. (See Kinglake's graphic description). Today Jewish rule has made this desert bloom into a garden, miles of sandy waste have been turned into smiling orchards of orange and citron, the chemical resources of the Dead Sea are being extracted and sold, and all the amenities of the modern civilised life have been made available in this little Oriental country. Wise Arabs are eager to go there from the countries ruled by the Shariat. This is the lesson for the living history. [1] Earlier, I reviewed at length the legacy of Muslim jihad conquest and imposition of the Shari’a in historical Palestine. The current essay provides a schematic overview of the same phenomena in India, focusing on the major periods of Muslim conquest, colonization, and rule. A Millennium of Jihad and Dhimmitude on the Indian Subcontinent The 570 year period between the initial Arab Muslim razzias (ordered by Caliph Umar) to pillage Thana (on the West Indian coast near Maharashtra) in 636-637 C.E., and the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (under Qutub-ud-din Aibak, a Turkish slave soldier), can be divided into four major epochs: (I) the conflict between the Arab invaders and the (primarily) Hindu resisters on the Western coast of India from 636-713 C.E.; (II) the Arab and Turkish Muslim onslaughts against the kingdom of Hindu Afghanistan during 636-870 C.E.; (III) repeated Turkish efforts to subdue the Punjab from 870 C.E. to 1030 C.E. C.E. highlighted by the devastating campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni (from 1000- 1030 C.E.); and finally (IV) Muhammad Ghauri’s conquest of northwestern India and the Gangetic valley between 1175 and 1206 C.E. [2] .........

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Jul 5 2005, 12:40 PM

Kalidas murder case: Six held Tuesday July 5 2005 MADURAI: The police arrested six men, here, on Monday in connection with the recent murder of Hindu Makkal Katchi State vice-president R Kalidas. Police said that a special team nabbed the six––Ibrahim Shah (25), Mohammed Ali (19), Bilal (19), Mohideen Peer (29), Shiek alias Allaudin (20) and Hakim (27)–– and produced them before Judicial Magistrate-I Subhadra, who remanded them in judicial custody. Kalidas was hacked to death by a two-member gang in Ismailpuram on June 21. Three days after Kalidas’ murder, one of the prime suspects, Mannar, surrendered before a court in Tiruchy. Interrogations revealed the involvement of two Imam Ali loyalists––Ibrahim Shah and Mohideen Peer––in the murder.

Posted by: Reggie Jul 8 2005, 10:06 PM What Muslims, multiculturalists, and the media hope you never find out about Islam The Sword of the Prophet by Trifkovic, Serge When Muslims are a minority community, the Koran permits them to adopt a peaceful attitude to deceive their neighbors, until they feel strong enough to dispense with the pretense The massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger in sheer numbers than the Holocaust

Posted by: Mudy Jul 9 2005, 12:13 PM

Deccan Chronicle --------------------- Man kills sister for family's honour Betamcherla (Kurnool), July 8: Eighteen-year-old Gilani Bi was murdered by her elder brother, Nagur Vali, in the early hours of Thursday upon suspicion that the unmarried girl was involved in a love affair with her neighbour in Betamcherla village. According to belated information, Nagur Vali, a petty trader dealing in slabs, resorted to the 'honour killing' by slitting the throat of his sister while she was fast asleep. Nagur Vali gagged the victim and slit her throat with a knife, sub-inspector P.T. Keshava Reddy told this correspondent. Nagur Vali was suspicious by nature and never even allowed his wife to talk to other men. Ms Ashrafun, the culprit's wife, was severely tortured if she dared to do so. However Nagur Vali was particularly livid over his sister's insistence on talking to a youth from the neighbourhood. "A strong suspicion developed in the mind of Nagur Vali that his sister was involved in an affair with the youth. He warned her saying that she would bring disgrace and dishonour to the family if she continued to talk to the youth. There was an altercation on Wednesday night. Nagur Vali decided to kill his sister to keep the honour of the family," a police official, dealing with the case, said. After perpetrating the crime, Nagur Vali left home along with his wife to Jammalamadugu of Kadapa district where his parents-in-law reside. However, police caught him while he was attempting to leave the place. During interrogation, Nagur Vali has allegedly confessed that he resorted to the act to protect the honour of the family. Sources in Betamcherla said that Nagur Vali was sore over his sister's independent ways. The boy with whom the girl was involved also belonged to her community. "Nagur Vali did not like his sister's independence. He objected to her freely mingling with the neighbourhood boys," a police official said

Posted by: Mudy Jul 10 2005, 08:41 PM Winn

Posted by: Mudy Jul 17 2005, 08:25 PM THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Neither we nor the Muslim world can run away from this question any longer. This is especially true when it comes to people like Muhammad Bouyeri - a Dutch citizen of Moroccan origin who last year tracked down the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a critic of Islamic intolerance, on an Amsterdam street, shot him 15 times and slit his throat with a butcher knife. He told a Dutch court on the final day of his trial on Tuesday: "I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion." Clearly, several things are at work. One is that Europe is not a melting pot and has never adequately integrated its Muslim minorities, who, as The Financial Times put it, often find themselves "cut off from their country, language and culture of origin" without being assimilated into Europe, making them easy prey for peddlers of a new jihadist identity. Also at work is Sunni Islam's struggle with modernity. Islam has a long tradition of tolerating other religions, but only on the basis of the supremacy of Islam, not equality with Islam. Islam's self-identity is that it is the authentic and ideal expression of monotheism. Muslims are raised with the view that Islam is God 3.0, Christianity is God 2.0, Judaism is God 1.0, and Hinduism is God 0.0. Part of what seems to be going on with these young Muslim males is that they are, on the one hand, tempted by Western society, and ashamed of being tempted. On the other hand, they are humiliated by Western society because while Sunni Islamic civilization is supposed to be superior, its decision to ban the reform and reinterpretation of Islam since the 12th century has choked the spirit of innovation out of Muslim lands, and left the Islamic world less powerful, less economically developed, less technically advanced than God 2.0, 1.0 and 0.0. "Some of these young Muslim men are tempted by a civilization they consider morally inferior, and they are humiliated by the fact that, while having been taught their faith is supreme, other civilizations seem to be doing much better," said Raymond Stock, the Cairo-based biographer and translator of Naguib Mahfouz. "When the inner conflict becomes too great, some are turned by recruiters to seek the sick prestige of 'martyrdom' by fighting the allegedly unjust occupation of Muslim lands and the 'decadence' in our own." This is not about the poverty of money. This is about the poverty of dignity and the rage it can trigger. One of the London bombers was married, with a young child and another on the way. I can understand, but never accept, suicide bombing in Iraq or Israel as part of a nationalist struggle. But when a British Muslim citizen, nurtured by that society, just indiscriminately blows up his neighbors and leaves behind a baby and pregnant wife, to me he has to be in the grip of a dangerous cult or preacher - dangerous to his faith community and to the world. How does that happen? Britain's Independent newspaper described one of the bombers, Hasib Hussain, as having recently undergone a sudden conversion "from a British Asian who dressed in Western clothes to a religious teenager who wore Islamic garb and only stopped to say salaam to fellow Muslims." The secret of this story is in that conversion - and so is the crisis in Islam. The people and ideas that brought about that sudden conversion of Hasib Hussain and his pals - if not stopped by other Muslims - will end up converting every Muslim into a suspect and one of the world's great religions into a cult of death.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 20 2005, 08:39 AM

via email

Rape of non believers in Islam Mindset of Pakistanis favouring 1971 Genocide By Abul Kasem This re-count starts when I was in Thailand in 1973 to do my post graduate studies in Engineering. The Institution was AIT and being an international institution for post graduate study there were students from many parts of the world, though the majority were from the Asian countries. There was sizable number of Bangladeshi as well as Pakistani and Indian students. Bangladesh was just liberated and most of us still had the fresh memories of the holocaust and never expected the Pakistanis to be friendly with us. But to our surprise, we found that most Pakistanis were quite nice a bunch of friendly helpful people. They were extremely curious about what had happened in Bangladesh during that turbulent nine-month period. Many a time we used to have lengthy chat sessions with them. These Pakistanis were extremely religious. And they used to preach on us on all aspects of the last revelations of God, that is Islam. They used to think that our knowledge of Islam was incomplete, erroneous and filled with Hindu practices. They used to preach on us like a priest gives sermons on the followers. Their devotion to Islam was so strong that they forced the canteen manager to open counter for Muslim students so that they (the Muslims) can eat the food sanctioned by Islam. Naturally, many Bangalees who are religious minded were greatly impressed by their words and practices. But a sinner like me was very skeptical about their words and actions right from the very beginning. Then came the topic of creation of Bangladesh. Naturally, they sided with the Pak army although they expressed sorrow for the lives lost. When they heard that 3 million people were massacred and that the action of Pak army cannot be dismissed simply as an act of restoration of peace and order they simply laughed. The reason was that they did not believe what had happened to our people in occupied Bangladesh. When we asked them how many Bangalees were killed, they quoted a figure of 3,000 or to that order. They also insisted that those killed were mostly Hindus so we should not bother too much about the massacre. That was to say that the killing of Hindus was all right. We pointed out that the figure of 3 million was not invented by the Government of Bangladesh but the figure was from reliable foreign sources such as AFP, Reuters, Time magazine, etc. We also told them that a Pakistani journalist by the name of Anthony Mascarenhas has written a book titled ‘The Rape of Bangladesh’ where he had quoted a similar figure. The Pakistanis simply dismissed those facts and said that the foreign journalists were bribed by India to write these figures. When we asked them how did they get the figure of 3,000, they said that that figure was released by the military authorities. And how about the 200, 000 rape cases? They were adamant that not a single woman was raped. Such is the power of Pak oligarchy and Pak military to condition peoples’ mind. Now, the interesting point was that whenever the atrocities of the Pak army were mentioned to them, they were all adamant that we (the Bangalees) are to blame for that. Why? Simply because we were not good Muslims. How? If we were good Muslims, we should not have voted for the Awami League. They told us that the right parties to vote were Pakistan Muslim League or Jamat-i-Islami. It was no secret to guess that most Pakistanis considered us (Bangalees) as non Muslims as almost all of us voted for Awami League. Therefore they opined that the genocide was not really a genocide! It was getting rid of the non-Muslims. After all, they (the non-Muslims) were not really human beings. Everyone knows that Thailand and especially Bangkok has plenty of seedy joints to have fun and frolic with young women. I shall admit that I went to one of those joints along with a couple of friends of mine. Being a sinner I did not have serious problem with those things. However, one day we got the shock of our lives when we found these Pakistani Islamists sitting comfortably and blithely at the massage parlour and ogling at the scantily dressed amorous Thai sex kittens. Then they saw us. To our surprise, they expressed no shame or they even did not try to hide their faces. They openly welcomed us and shook hands with us as per Islamic style. We were simply stunned and lost for any word. The Pakistanis even told us which girls were good and sexually attractive, etc. etc. They were not ashamed or afraid to admit that they visited those joints quite frequently. Most of them had their favourite girls with whom they had plenty of erotic fun. Those things were unbelievable to me and I thought that I must have been in Mars or another planet or that God has changed his mind on sins and virtues. After a few weeks, an opportunity came for me to ask one of these Islamists as to what would happen to them since they have committed the sin of zina. They were very surprised at me for this impertinence. He told me that they have committed no sin. What? No sin! My brain must have failed to work! I simply could not hold my breath any longer to listen to what they had to say. He told me that Thais were not Muslims; so having fun with their girls were all right. In fact, he told me that that had been the practice in Islam for centuries. Whenever the Muslims defeated the non-Muslims, they could do whatever they (the Muslims) wanted with the non-Muslims. The Muslims can use the non-Muslim women as sex slaves and please themselves as they wished. A Muslim even had the right to kill the women if he wished. In simple language the non-Muslims were not really human beings. They (the non-Muslims) were inferior even to cattle and animals. Moreover, the Pakistani told me that the Prophet had allowed to have sex if a man is living overseas. I could not believe of what I was hearing! He then quoted me from his memory many verses from Koran and Hadith to support his views. Then I reminded my Pakistani friend that there was quite a small minority of Muslims in Thailand. So, if by accident he had sex with one of the Thai Muslim prostitutes what will befall him. He answered glibly, “No problem.” When I return to Pakistan I shall have a Milad Mehfil and ask for forgiveness. Finally, the Hajj is there for him to receive the forgiveness. But he said that that might not be necessary because he was very sure that none of the girls he had sex with were Muslims. If a Pakistani reads this re-count he/she may be greatly offended, no doubt about it. Many Pakistanis will defend that the view by one person does not mean any thing. No apology will be sought. Any Pakistani can form whatever opinion he thinks is suitable. It is up to him/her. Let us look at the wider implications of what my Pakistani Islamists had said. Was it an individual’s wrong interpretations of the holy books of Islam? Was it the mindset of a mentally sick person? Do not be fooled by these thoughts. For when we look back, we see that that was the mindset of Pakistani army recruits who unleashed a reign of terror leading into massacring millions of Bangalees. Pakistanis may differ on many matters but when the question of Islamic superiority comes, they are unanimous. This was the work of the Oligarchy, the army and the clerics of Pakistan. These groups have rigidly programmed the vast majority of Pakistanis with the thought that they (the Pakistanis) have the absolute superiority in Islamic matters. And this thinking got a further boost with the detonation of Islamic bomb in 1998. We Bangalees have no problem with their superior thinking. The only trouble is that these dangerous thoughts have cost 3 million dear lives of Bangalees. So, to put everything in a simple language, the Pakistani army did not kill any human being in Bangladesh. They only cleared the field from pest; just like a farmer spreads insecticide to free his crops from devastation. So, is the case of the Pak army. They simply eliminated the non-Muslims and the not so good Muslims to protect the good Muslims those who would follow them. The question of remorse or guilt feeling does not arise at all. You see, the Pak army did not rape any women. They simply enjoyed the flesh of non-Muslims. Even if there were some excessive force being applied, there is no need to feel guilty about that. The ubiquitous Milad is there; the Hajj is there too to remove even the slightest trace of culpability. A serial killer is a psychologically sick person. He gets pleasure in seeing the suffering of a dying person in his hands. But deep down, the serial killer knows that what he is doing is wrong. He is surely aware of the eventual punishment if he is caught. That is why, most serial killers readily admit their crime and on many occasions regret of their actions when he recovers from his sickness. How about the perpetrators of a genocide? They are perfectly normal. Most of them are really very nice, polite, and soft spoken (like the Islamic Circle of North America’s leader Ashrafuzzaman Khan). But there is one trait that separates them from the rest of us and that is, the uncompromising faith in the supremacy of what they belief and their inability to accept the existence of others if they do not follow them. Any means is justified to advance their belief even if that means the annihilation of an entire race. That is why no Pakistani has ever condemned the genocide of the Bangalees. That is why they will do that again if an opportunity lends itself. Since no crime has been committed, the question of trial of the perpetrators of genocide does not arise at all. Isn’t it so? This is the mindset of the planners and executioners of Bangladesh genocide. This is the mindset of Yahya Khan, Tikka Khan, Golam Azam, Ayatollah, Ashrafuzzaman -------. This why we have Auswitcz, Kosovo, Bosnia, Palestine, East Timor -----. Is Islam the only religion responsible for the genocide? Surely not. Every organised religion on earth has sanctioned murder, rape loot, plunder ---etc. as long as that is directed towards the non-believers. Religion has a cousin to go with it. That is racism. Religion and racism go hand in hand. That is why we have Hitler, Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Ratko Mladic and so on. Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opium of the masses.” In today’s world that is a very understatement. If people take opium they become addicted and ruin their health. There should not be any problem for humanity on that. Today, religion has become a vermin (read pest) for humanity. This cancerous virus has spread in every human being on this planet. I am not sure if we will find an antidote for this disease in our life time or not. Why did I write this essay after all these years? It can be summed up by a quotation from Shakespeare. The famous bard wrote, “A little fire is quickly trodden out; Which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench. ( Shakespeare, ‘Henry VI, Part Three,’ IV, viii,7. (A fire ‘suffered’ is one permitted to burn.). The fire is still burning inside me although the events of 1971 may be more like some specks of dust in the minds of Bangalees who till this day would not admit that Pakistanis have done excess all in the name of religion.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 26 2005, 09:41 AM

QUOTE Tavleen Singh Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 at 1738 hours IST ‘‘the teenagers I spoke to were unable to do simple calculations and had never heard of dinosaurs. They laughed uproariously at the idea that man could walk on the moon. When I asked what they wanted to be when they graduated, they talked of becoming mullahs. One or two spoke of embracing shahadat, martyrdom, and of going to Paradise with its 72 virgins, almost as though this world was just a grade to get through.’’ ................... It is my humble submission that given an education system of the madrasa kind you could turn Pravin Togadia and Ashok Singhal into Islamic suicide bombers (Allah be praised) and Bal Thackeray into a mullah. .................. Moderate Muslims rarely speak out against the Islamists and the handful that do nearly always add a ‘‘but’’. Terrible what is happening in London but America is to blame. Terrible that small children should be killed by suicide bombers but what about the children dying in Iraq and Palestine. Indian Muslims do not add Kashmir, foreign Muslims do. As soon as a ‘‘but’’ gets added you get justification for evil deeds and an evil ideology of hatred and violence.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 26 2005, 05:04 PM Megan Fox

Posted by: k.ram Jul 28 2005, 06:57 PM

Spectator The myth of moderate Islam Patrick Sookhdeo The funeral of British suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer was held in absentia in his family's ancestral village, near Lahore, Pakistan. Thousands of people attended, as they did again the following day when a qul ceremony was held for Tanweer. During qul, the Koran is recited to speed the deceased's journey to paradise, though in Tanweer's case this was hardly necessary. Being a shahid (martyr), he is deemed to have gone straight to paradise. The 22-year-old from Leeds, whose bomb at Aldgate station killed seven people, was hailed by the crowd as 'a hero of Islam'. Some in Britain cannot conceive that a suicide bomber could be a hero of Islam. Since 7/7 many have made statements to attempt to explain what seems to them a contradiction in terms. Since the violence cannot be denied, their only course is to argue that the connection with Islam is invalid. The deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick, said that 'Islam and terrorists are two words that do not go together.' His boss, the Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, asserted that there is nothing wrong with being a fundamentalist Muslim. But surely we should give enough respect to those who voluntarily lay down their lives to accept what they themselves say about their motives. If they say they do it in the name of Islam, we must believe them. Is it not the height of illiberalism and arrogance to deny them the right to define themselves? On 8 July the London-based Muslim Weekly unblushingly published a lengthy opinion article by Abid Ullah Jan entitled 'Islam, Faith and Power'. The gist of the article is that Muslims should strive to gain political and military power over non-Muslims, that warfare is obligatory for all Muslims, and that the Islamic state, Islam and Sharia (Islamic law) should be established throughout the world. All is supported with quotations from the Koran. It concludes with a veiled threat to Britain. The bombings the previous day were a perfect illustration of what Jan was advocating, and the editor evidently felt no need to withdraw the article or to apologise for it. His newspaper is widely read and distributed across the UK. By far the majority of Muslims today live their lives without recourse to violence, for the Koran is like a pick-and-mix selection. If you want peace, you can find peaceable verses. If you want war, you can find bellicose verses. You can find verses which permit only defensive jihad, or you can find verses to justify offensive jihad. You can even find texts which specifically command terrorism, the classic one being Q8:59-60, which urges Muslims to prepare themselves to fight non-Muslims, 'Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies' (A. Yusuf Ali's translation). Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik's book The Quranic Concept of War is widely used by the military of various Muslim countries. Malik explains Koranic teaching on strategy: 'In war our main objective is the opponent's heart or soul, our main weapon of offence against this objective is the strength of our own souls, and to launch such an attack, we have to keep terror away from our own hearts.... Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent's heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision on the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose on him.' If you permit yourself a little judicious cutting, the range of choice in Koranic teaching is even wider. A verse one often hears quoted as part of the 'Islam is peace' litany allegedly runs along the lines: 'If you kill one soul it is as if you have killed all mankind.' But the full and unexpurgated version of Q5:32 states: 'If anyone slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people.' The very next verse lists a selection of savage punishments for those who fight the Muslims and create 'mischief' (or in some English translations 'corruption') in the land, punishments which include execution, crucifixion or amputation. What kind of 'mischief in the land' could merit such a reaction? Could it be interpreted as secularism, democracy and other non-Islamic values in a land? Could the 'murder' be the killing of Muslims in Iraq? Just as importantly, do the Muslims who keep quoting this verse realise what a deception they are imposing on their listeners? It is probably true that in every faith ordinary people will pick the parts they like best and practise those, while the scholars will work out an official version. In Islam the scholars had a particularly challenging task, given the mass of contradictory texts within the Koran. To meet this challenge they developed the rule of abrogation, which states that wherever contradictions are found, the later-dated text abrogates the earlier one. To elucidate further the original intention of Mohammed, they referred to traditions (hadith) recording what he himself had said and done. Sadly for the rest of the world, both these methods led Islam away from peace and towards war. For the peaceable verses of the Koran are almost all earlier, dating from Mohammed's time in Mecca, while those which advocate war and violence are almost all later, dating from after his flight to Medina. Though jihad has a variety of meanings, including a spiritual struggle against sin, Mohammed's own example shows clearly that he frequently interpreted jihad as literal warfare and himself ordered massacre, assassination and torture. From these sources the Islamic scholars developed a detailed theology dividing the world into two parts, Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam, with Muslims required to change Dar al-Harb into Dar al-Islam either through warfare or da'wa (mission). So the mantra 'Islam is peace' is almost 1,400 years out of date. It was only for about 13 years that Islam was peace and nothing but peace. From 622 onwards it became increasingly aggressive, albeit with periods of peaceful co-existence, particularly in the colonial period, when the theology of war was not dominant. For today's radical Muslims - just as for the mediaeval jurists who developed classical Islam - it would be truer to say 'Islam is war'. One of the most radical Islamic groups in Britain, al-Ghurabaa, stated in the wake of the two London bombings, 'Any Muslim that denies that terror is a part of Islam is kafir.' A kafir is an unbeliever (i.e., a non-Muslim), a term of gross insult. In the words of Mundir Badr Haloum, a liberal Muslim who lectures at a Syrian university, 'Ignominious terrorism exists, and one cannot but acknowledge its being Islamic.' While many individual Muslims choose to live their personal lives only by the (now abrogated) peaceable verses of the Koran, it is vain to deny the pro-war and pro-terrorism doctrines within their religion. Could it be that the young men who committed suicide were neither on the fringes of Muslim society in Britain, nor following an eccentric and extremist interpretation of their faith, but rather that they came from the very core of the Muslim community and were motivated by a mainstream interpretation of Islam? Muslims who migrated to the UK came initially for economic reasons, seeking employment. But over the last 50 years their communities have evolved away from assimilation with the British majority towards the creation of separate and distinct entities, mimicking the communalism of the British Raj. As a Pakistani friend of mine who lives in London said recently, 'The British gave us all we ever asked for; why should we complain?' British Muslims now have Sharia in areas of finance and mortgages; halal food in schools, hospitals and prisons; faith schools funded by the state; prayer rooms in every police station in London; and much more. This process has been assisted by the British government through its philosophy of multiculturalism, which has allowed some Muslims to consolidate and create a parallel society in the UK. The Muslim community now inhabits principally the urban centres of England as well as some parts of Scotland and Wales. It forms a spine running down the centre of England from Bradford to London, with ribs extending east and west. It is said that within 10 to 15 years most British cities in these areas will have Muslim-majority populations, and will be under local Islamic political control, with the Muslim community living under Sharia. What happens after this stage depends on which of the two main religious traditions among Pakistani-background British Muslims gains the ascendancy. The Barelwi majority believe in a slow evolution, gradually consolidating their Muslim societies, and finally achieving an Islamic state. The Deobandi minority argue for a quicker process using politics and violence to achieve the same result. Ultimately, both believe in the goal of an Islamic state in Britain where Muslims will govern their own affairs and, as the finishing touch, everyone else's affairs as well. Islamism is now the dominant voice in contemporary Islam, and has become the seedbed of the radical movements. It is this that Sir Ian Blair has not grasped. For some time now the British government has been quoting a figure of 1.6 million for the Muslim population. Muslims themselves claim around 3 million, and this is likely to be far nearer to the truth. The growth of the Muslim community comes from their high birth-rate, primary immigration, and asylum-seekers both official and unofficial. There are also conversions to Islam. The violence which is endemic in Muslim societies such as Pakistan is increasingly present in Britain's Muslim community. Already we have violence by Pakistani Muslims against Kurdish Muslims, by Muslims against non-Muslims living among them (Caribbean people in the West Midlands, for example), a rapid growth in honour killings, and now suicide bombings. It is worth noting that many conflicts around the world are not internal to the Muslim community but external, as Muslims seek to gain territorial control, for example, in south Thailand, the southern Philippines, Kashmir, Chechnya and Palestine. Is it possible that a conflict of this nature could occur in Britain? Muslims must stop this self-deception. They must with honesty recognise the violence that has existed in their history in the same way that Christians have had to do, for Christianity has a very dark past. Some Muslims have, with great courage, begun to do this. Secondly, they must look at the reinterpretation of their texts, the Koran, hadith and Sharia, and the reformation of their faith. Mundir Badr Haloum has described this as 'exorcising' the terrorism from Islam. Mahmud Muhammad Taha argued for a distinction to be drawn between the Meccan and the Medinan sections of the Koran. He advocated a return to peaceable Meccan Islam, which he argued is applicable to today, whereas the bellicose Medinan teachings should be consigned to history. For taking this position he was tried for apostasy, found guilty and executed by the Sudanese government in 1985. Another modernist reformer was the Pakistani Fazlur Rahman, who advocated the 'double movement'; i.e., understanding Koranic verses in their context, their ratio legis, and then using the philosophy of the Koran to interpret that in a modern, social and moral sense. Nasr Hamid Abu-Zayd, an Egyptian professor who argued similarly that the Koran and hadith should be interpreted according to the context in which they originated, was charged with apostasy, found guilty in June 1995 and ordered to separate from his wife. The US-based Free Muslims Coalition, which was set up after 9/11 to promote a modern and secular version of Islam, has proposed the following: 1. A re-interpretation of Islam for the 21st century, where terrorism is not justified under any circumstances. 2. Separation of religion and state. 3. Democracy as the best form of government. 4. Secularism in all forms of political activity. 5. Equality for women. 6. Religion to be a personal relationship between the individual and his or her God, not to be forced on anyone. This tempting vision of an Islam reformed along such lines is unlikely to be achieved except by a long and painful process of small steps. What might these be and how can we make a start? One step would be, as urged by the Prince of Wales, that every Muslim should 'condemn these atrocities [the London bombings] and root out those among them who preach and practise such hatred and bitterness'. Universal condemnation of suicide bombers instead of acclamation as heroes would indeed be an excellent start. Mansoor Ijaz has suggested a practical three-point action plan: 1. Forbid radical hate-filled preaching in British mosques. Deport imams who fail to comply. 2. Scrutinise British Islamic charities to identify those that fund terrorism. Prevent them receiving more than 10 per cent of their income from overseas. 3. Form community-watch groups comprising Muslim citizens to contribute useful information on fanatical Muslims to the authorities. To this could be added Muslim acceptance of a secular society as the basis for their religious existence, an oath of allegiance to the Crown which would override their allegiance to their co-religionists overseas, and deliberate steps to move out of their ghetto-style existence both physically and psychologically. For the government, the time has come to accept Trevor Phillips's statement that multiculturalism is dead. We need to rediscover and affirm a common British identity. This would impinge heavily on the future development of faith schools, which should now be stopped. Given the fate of some earlier would-be reformers, perhaps King Abdullah of Jordan or a leader of his stature might have the best chance of initiating a process of modernist reform. The day before the bombings he was presiding over a conference of senior scholars from eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and, amazingly, they issued a statement endorsing fatwas forbidding any Muslim from those eight schools to be declared an apostate. So reform is possible. The only problem with this particular action is that it may have protected Muslim leaders from being killed by dissident Muslims, but it negated a very helpful fatwa which had been issued in March by the Spanish Islamic scholars declaring Osama bin Laden an apostate. Could not the King re-convene his conference and ask them to issue a fatwa banning violence against non-Muslims also? This would extend the self-preservation of the Muslim community to the whole non-Muslim world. Such reform - the changing of certain fairly central theological principles - will not be easy to achieve. It will be a long, hard road for Islam to get its house in order so that it can co-exist peacefully with the rest of society in the 21st century. Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 29 2005, 11:56 AM

Islamophobia springs from myths Sheikh Mohd.Iqbal It is disheartening that the bias of Islam's treatment of non-Muslims has generally been misconstrued as a result of careless study. The bias of the writers has contributed to an unsympathetic attitude towards Islam. These writers and non-Muslim people have ignored the authentic history of the conduct of the early Islamic State. Another factor has been the wide gulf between the life actually lived by a Muslim today and the life which the tenets of his faith require him to live by. The antipathy of non-Muslims is, therefore, partly due to the fact that a large number of Muslims fail to reflect what Islam stands for. It is possible that only after Muslim leaders reform their respective communities, will other religious fraternities appreciate Islam. As for those who do not correct their views about the role of Islam, they may be enlightened in their attitude by the following two observations of Sarojini Naidu. She wrote that the "sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Quran, I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world". In his book, Islam at the Crossroads (London,1923), De Lacy O'Leary read the pasts of Islam and Muslims differently. He wrote: "History makes it clear that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated." The general policy of Islam has always been to guarantee the rights of non-Muslim populations. Those subscribing to other religions received the appellation of Ahl al-Zimmah. The term implied those non-Muslims with whom Muslims were in agreement, or the responsibility of whose persons and property was undertaken by the Islamic state. The right of the zimmis to a peaceful, prosperous and secure life was never denied until Muslims or their governments defied the path of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, or until the zimmis or other religious minorities bore good behaviour. The system of granting civic rights to non-Muslims began with Prophet Mohammad. At Madinah, where he successfully established a city-state, he ensured that the government secured minority interests by pledges, documents or mutual agreements. He created a healthy atmosphere for the spiritual and material development of the religious groups living under his rule. In order that the clans might benefit from peace, Mohammad issued what is known as the Prophet's Charter. This historic document resulted in the prevention of crimes and blood feuds among the tribes of Arabia composed of all creeds. "Equal rights were granted to Jews who lived in large numbers in the suburbs of Madinah, whilst they on their own side bound themselves to help Muslims in defending the city." The contents of this Charter reveal Mohammad as both a magistrate and statesman, unable to tolerate any of God's creatures suffering without valid reason. The Prophet conferred upon the other religious groups sufficient "judicial autonomy" - a characteristic which is basic to the legal system of Islam. The pacts he made reveal his magnanimity and his insight into human character. The Charter with Christians was scrupulously enforced and the upholding of the Peace of Hudaibiyah and the Treaty of Taif may serve as examples to those working to prevent war among nations. But his treatment of non-Muslims was not merely a bait for winning new converts, but to set an example to show that man's dealings with others should be fair. By eradicating injustice and intolerance, Mohammad seemed to have opened a new chapter in world history. By making the judiciary independent of external influences, he succeeded in protecting the interests of all citizens irrespective of their creed. By commanding the believers to strictly observe the terms of the alliances, he laid the foundations of an effective system of international law. This should satisfy the inquisitive mind seeking light on the attitude of early Islam towards Jews and Christians in particular. Essentially, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are akin to one another because they emerged from one and the same supreme source. James Kritzeck, a famous authority on Islam, believes that the "grouping is indeed ineluctable, for these three faiths do most clearly share a common heritage and many common elements which distinguish them more or less sharply from others." Why is there, then, so much antipathy and separation? The responsibility lies not only in current international politics, but also with the ancient and medieval propagandists. According to Kritzeck, the Byzantines and even their historians from Theophanes onwards gave a badly distorted picture of Mohammad and Islam. While the Crusades were being fought "preposterous tracts against Islam were widely circulated in the West". ED Soper, another scholar, writes: "For one reason or another, Mohammad took aggressive action against Jews; their tragic fate is one of the darkest blots on the reputation of the Prophet." Replying to the argument of some Christians that Islam is a "stepping stone" towards Christianity, Soper says: "The proud and overbearing attitude which is always assumed in the presence of the followers of any other religion - and this is particularly true of Christians - would make Islam appear to be the greatest barrier to the progress of Christianity in the world today." We should say it without fear of being contradicted that it is not only sinful but also criminal that individuals and families in a community, expecting to be called Muslims or practicing Islam, should stand in the way of the functioning of Islamic institutions and promoting Islamic values of life. Should they enjoy the privilege of harvesting benefits in the name of religion and at the same time withhold cooperation in serving the cause of religion? Let no one be surprised that we have to admit the fact that we have among us robbers, murderers, hypocrites, sycophants, usurers, exploiters, oppressors, time-servers and turn-coats who are ever active in a population of 110 crore divided between 57 independent Muslim states and dependent Muslim communities ruled by non-Muslim governments. Such a large population could have commanded weight and voice in international affairs. Alas, until now this expectation has not been fulfilled. The reason? Our Prophet is reported to have repeatedly predicted in front of the Companions that a time will come when Muslims would have no weight like the foam on rushing flood water. The Companions ventured to ask whether the Muslims would be so small in number. To this the Apostle replied that they would innumerable. The real cause of this irrelevance would be the distance kept by many Muslim states from the pure pattern of Islamic government and society. The spoilt ruling families and their misguided youth have wreaked havoc with the chances of peoples' wish to return to the system as it worked wholly in the blessed time of the Apostle and the rightly guided caliphs and partly under later caliphs and sultans. Misguided by modern democracy and dictatorships, those who feel shy of reintroducing Islamic institutions and principles of governance are actually afraid of the effects of the supremacy of Shar'iah. The term "Muslim fundamentalist" is a misnomer. However there are some fundamentals in Islam as propagated by the Biblical apostles. We cannot imagine a Muslim who would intentionally refuse to carry out any of the fundamental commands of the Quran, such as the pronouncing of the Kalimah Shahadah, performing obligatory prayers, keeping the fasts in the month of Ramadhan, particularly in the Haj and paying of the zakat. Further, a Muslim should not be maligned if he happens to yearn for the days when social justice, human welfare, personal piety and public peace formed the essential objectives of Islamic government in consonance with Quranic injunctions. Islam preaches Al Tawhid (Allah is one and omnipotent) which implies total surrender of man to Allah. That way a Muslim cannot and must not encourage disorder and anarchy. The supremacy of this theory or principle guarantees order and amity in the world. It undoes the unwarranted ambitions of the pseudo-democrats and socio-materialistic liberties. What is called "fundamentalism" is as harmless as the act of the US President placing his unsoiled hand on the Bible on the day he assumes office. (The author is a globally acknowledged scholar on Islamic History and Arab-Islamic issues. He has written 30 books and the above is excerpted from his latest (and timely) work, Islamic Toleration and Justice: Non-Muslims under Muslim rule (Adam Publishers, New Delhi, Rs 300)

Posted by: Mudy Jul 29 2005, 01:29 PM

Nothing fictitious about Islamic fanaticism RNP Singh, Director Research India First Foundation The escalated manifestation of Islamic fundamentalism is a matter of deep concern for the entire world today. It existed in the past too. But the powerful countries did not pay heed to it as it was not having any bothering impact on them, hence they let others bear with it. It was only after September 11, 2001 when the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were torpedoed by Islamic fanatics, the US realised the gravity of the situation and it, along with other countries, waged a war against Islamic terrorism. However, series of bomb blasts in London and Egypt in July 2005 is an open challenge by the Islamic terrorists to all those who have stood up to contain Islamic fanatics. India had been the worst victim of Islamic fundamentalism, in the form of cross-border terrorism, since last two decades. Till 2004, it had claimed thousands of innocent lives in India and lakhs of people were forced to leave their homes due to intimidation by Islamic terrorists. Threats to the democratic polity were clearly visible in the attacks on Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, killing of a large number of political activists, representatives of the media and intellectuals. The root of Islamic jihad is contained in the Holy Quran, which is the primary source of its inspiration. Islam is derived from the Arabic word salam and depending on time and place of presentation, it means "peace" or "surrender". In the nation where and at a time when believers are not in power, salam signifies peace. But as soon as they become dominant, it means surrender and that too at the point of a sword. As per the tenets of Islam, surrender is supposed to be made to Allah and the Prophet, the sole spokesperson for Allah. In effect, it means surrender to mullahs who are the real interpreters of the Quran and Hadith. Those who believed Mohammad and his words won acclaim by Him as momins, while those who rejected his mission were denounced as kafirs. Momins were exhorted to unite into millat, completely armed, ready to use force or deceit as per the demand of the situation. This provision of the Quran inspired millat's swordsman to slaughter and share kafir's property amongst themselves. The Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that Allah had assigned the whole earth to millat, without leaving a single inch for kafir to live. He divided the whole world into two contending spheres - Dar-ul Islam (zone of peace) and Dar-ul Harb (zone of war). The believers of Dar-ul Islam were commanded to wage a relenting war upon Dar-ul Harb till the latter was converted into Dar-ul Islam. Quran is the only source of Islamic ideology governing the Muslim mind all over the world. Its verses have been exhorting the believers against non-Muslims (kafirs). That is why the global phenomenon of communal conflicts and terrorist activities are taken in the same breath as Islam. The systematic brain washing which Muslims are subjected to since childhood has a great bearing on their global outlook. Their mind is repetitively indoctrinated by the Quranic Suras in madarsas. The Quranic Suras which portray every non-Muslim in such a way that the latter can never share a mutual trust with them, a pre-requisite to peaceful co-existence. Intolerance, hatred, violence, fundamentalism and ignorance become central to Islamic existence even before the child is able to take decisions. There are a number of verses that condition the Muslim mind and incite violence. For example: "When the forbidden months are over, fight and slay the pagans, wherever you find them, arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them" (9:5). In such cases, how can a Muslim schooled on the Quran and Hadis not applaud someone like Osama bin Laden? In view of the order of Allah, jihad is not restricted to kill or to be killed. The politics of fundamentalists and their role in international relations depend on jihad. The Quran directs believers to establish the writ of Allah in the world. For them, any concession to find remedy would be pseudo-remedy. Their anger is not triggered by issues of any other kind. It is the result of indoctrination. Its root does not lie in Jammu and Kashmir, Palestine or Chechnya, but in the lines contained in the Quran. However, in view of the looming cloud of grave dangers on human lives and social order, debates on this issue have also started among Muslim intellectuals over the escalated manifestation of Islamic fanaticism. They claim that there is no such inflammatory call in the Quran which incite violence. They interpret inflammatory verses in a manner that call for peace and welfare of the human beings. The effort is appreciated by one and all, but the million-dollar question is whether they are acceptable to Islamic clerics and jihadis? In the past too, such efforts were made by Sufis but could it bring about any change in the jihadi mindset? Did they agree to accept that jihad is the inner direction to struggle to purify one's self?

Posted by: Mudy Jul 30 2005, 06:26 PM

Govt blind to madarsas breeding terror Pioneer Kanchan Gupta / New Delhi General Pervez Musharraf may have ordered all foreign students of madarsas to leave Pakistan following the London and Sharm-el Sheikh bombings but, ironically, the Government of India continues to ignore a reality that Pakistan has finally come to accept - that many of these theological schools of Islamic learning are nurseries that breed Islamic extremism. This, despite reams of documentary evidence that Indian madarsas, too, have been preaching exclusivism and fundamentalism. Foreign students from countries witnessing a spurt in Islamist extremism, including Bangladesh and Sudan, are being routinely admitted for theological studies in leading Islamic studies centres like Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband and Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow. The official website of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, for instance, offers admission-related information to foreign students. Aspirants from Bangladesh are advised to "submit the testimonies of Maulana Qari Abdul Khaliq, Jamia Hussainiya, Arzabad, Mirpur, Dhaka and Maulana Hafiz Abdul Karim, Chowki Deghi, Silhat, Bangladesh". In effect, the choice is entirely that of the Bangladeshi maulanas, and not Indian authorities, as to which Bangladeshi student should enrol at this seminary. While there is no official ban on foreign students studying in Islamic seminaries in India, consular officers in Indian missions across the world are extra cautious while issuing student visas to such aspirants. Generally, consular officers discourage foreigners seeking a student visa to study in an Islamic seminary in India. However, often they have to issue a student visa under pressure from Union Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament who wave "no objection certificates" issued by the theological schools. These NOCs, in some cases, have been found to clash with the findings of consular officers who are drawn from the Cabinet Secretariat, euphemism for Research and Analysis Wing. Similarly, the Union and State Governments exercise little or no care in monitoring the funding of madarsas and larger Islamic seminaries or the foreign travel of the ulema and the madaris. Nor are visits to seminaries by foreign clerics monitored. Clerics, posing as qaaris, from Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal routinely visit seminaries in India. The ISI has made ample use of these visits and funding routed through third countries and sham charities to set up an elaborate network of "friendly" seminaries in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. The ISI has penetrated deep into Kerala by targeting seminaries in Malappuram. An Intelligence report says that "the ISI has staffed mosques and madarsas in these States with its agents disguised as mullahs." The report refers to the construction of 450 new madarsas and mosques along Nepal's border with UP, 675 madarsas and mosques in Bihar, nearly 800 of them in Rajasthan and Gujarat along the Pakistan border, and 50 in West Bengal along the State's border with Bangladesh in the past couple of years. According to another Intelligence report, Maulana Abdul Rauf Rahmani of Nepal controls a large number of madarsas in UP and Bihar. Rauf is believed to be an active member of the Mecca-based Rabita-al-Alam-ul-Islami, a Wahabi organisation that propagates virulent Islamism. The input suggests that some madarsas in UP receive funds routed through the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah. Funds from "Arab charities", many of which have been black-listed across the world, continue to flow into madarsas in Bihar along the India-Nepal border. In Bihar's Kishanganj district, swamped by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, madarsas receive funds from Saudi and Gulf-based charities. With funds aplenty, madarsas continue to mushroom at an average rate of 20 seminaries being set up each year. Intelligence reports also indicate that the Pir Pagaro seminary in Pakistan wields considerable influence on madarsas in Rajasthan and Gujarat which receive funds routed through charities, some of which exist only on paper, in Arab countries. As many as 800 new seminaries have come up in these two States bordering Pakistan. None of these details are unknown to the Union Government. But irrespective of the ruling alliance of the day, there continues to be great reluctance to strike at the root cause of Islamist extremism: Islamic theological seminaries.
Pir Pagaro seminary is involved in lot of anti-india activites and is known for ISI influence.

Posted by: Aryawan Jul 30 2005, 07:52 PM

Most of these students might come to INDIA since it is unsecular to censure these theocratic madarsa schools in India. Our secular government should invite them with red carpet to prove their secularism to this world and shoot themselves in their foot.

Posted by: Mudy Jul 30 2005, 10:25 PM

Indian Govt funds these anti-India Madarsa by giving them subsidy and funds collected from temples are distributed to these Madarsa. God knows when these communal moron will learn some lesson.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 2 2005, 09:12 AM

Lucknow, August 2: Claiming that terrorism in India and other countries of the world had ruined Muslims, the All India Shia Personal Law Board on Tuesday appealed to the community, especially the Shias, to rise against the menace. “Terrorism in India and other countries is taking the Muslims to a situation where their prospects for higher education and business have almost ended,” Board president Mirza Mohammad Athar said after a meeting of the Board members. “Al-Qaeda, taliban, Laskar-e-Toiba and other such outfits have posed new problems for Islam and brought it a bad name,” the Board said in a resolution condemning terrorism. “Islam is a peace loving religion, which is opposed to atrocity and injustice and strongly condemns those fomenting trouble,” it said.
US deported few Shia mullah in last 3 months and suddenly some sane music coming out. Well, don't believe them, its just for US visa. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Mudy Aug 2 2005, 10:08 PM

The decision to radicalise madrasas that had previously shunned Western values without fighting against them was also taken by the Saudis and Pakistan’s rulers. Saudi Arabia sought to assert itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic world in competition with Shia revolutionary Iran. Pakistan planned on using the Jihadists as a tool for establishing a client regime in Afghanistan and to wrest disputed Kashmir from India. The US did not directly train, fund or equip the global Jihadists during the Afghan war even though it channelled approximately $2 billion to the mujahideen through Pakistan’s intelligence. It erred in trusting the judgment of its allies during the Afghan war, while these allies failed to recognise the potential consequences of the Jihadist ideological or strategic agendas. US’s intelligence apparatus and intellectual community, focused on fighting communism, did not identify the potential of radical Islamists to emerge as a major global security threat. That error must now be rectified by sharing the responsibility and blame

Posted by: k.ram Aug 4 2005, 02:39 AM

And he embarked on a partnership with General Zia to Islamicise Pakistan, gathering large numbers of young Muslims from different countries to become "ambassadors of faith" for the wider world. The king's ambition was to spread Wahabi Islam - a sect that now has followers in both Pakistan and Afghanistan - around the world. He was among the first to help fund religious schools or "madrassas" in Pakistan, some of which are now accused of links with militant groups blamed for carrying out or inspiring terror attacks in a number of countries.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 5 2005, 08:55 PM

Italy bans Islamic burqas Natasha Bita, Florence August 01, 2005 ITALY has banned Islamic burqas under tough terrorism laws that provide two-year jail terms and E2000 ($3200) fines for anyone caught covering their face in a public place. The counter-terrorism package, passed by Italy's parliament yesterday, doubles the existing penalty for wearing a burqa or chador -- traditional robes worn by Muslim women to cover their faces -- or full-faced helmets or balaclavas in public. Police can extract DNA samples without a suspect's consent, detain them for 24 hours without a lawyer present, and deport foreigners suspected of terrorism under the new legislation. Soldiers involved in counter-terrorism have been given the same stop-and-search powers. The changes, approved in a rare show of bipartisanship, came as Italian police arrested a fugitive hunted by British police over the bungled bombing attempt in London on July 21. "In the course of the investigation, it has been possible to identify a dense network of individuals from the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in Italy, believed to have helped the fugitive cover his tracks," Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu told the Senate. "We have before us a grave threat that has to be confronted with all the means of prevention and contrast that we have." Italian media yesterday reported that the suspected terrorist, named by British police as Somali-born Hussain Osman, was Hamdi Adus Issac, 27, born in Ethiopia and allegedly granted British citizenship using false Somali documents. Osman, who reportedly lived in Rome for several years and speaks fluent Italian, is fighting Britain's extradition request via a European arrest warrant. He slipped through Britain's security dragnet last week by catching a train from London's Waterloo station to Paris. He then moved to Milan and Rome, where Italian police arrested him during a raid on a relative's apartment. They had been tracking him by monitoring his mobile phone. Italy's biggest newspapers reported that Osman had admitted to his Italian police interrogator that he had carried a bomb on to a train in his backpack. Italy's opposition leader, former European Commission president Romano Prodi, yesterday pledged to withdraw Italy's 3000 troops from Iraq if his centre-left coalition wins elections due by June next year. "We will withdraw them as a occupying force because our job will be to aid in the reconstruction of Iraq," he said. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi -- who has said Italy will progressively withdraw its troops starting in September -- accused his rival of putting Italian soldiers' lives at risk by defining them as "occupying". "He's breaking Western solidarity, justifying and enticing attacks against our troops," Mr Berlusconi said. Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini accused Mr Prodi of exposing Italy to a terrorist attack.,5744,16110721%5E2703,00.html Imagine what will happen if India bans the burqa in public, all our secular morons will go on a tirade against Hindus while US will produce another phoney annual report on religious freedom around the world where it will damn Hindus as usual, but notice how the West is calm when Italy did this, just shows how biased the Western countries are when it comes to Hindus. As for our secular morons, they will even personally participate in jihad and suicide bombing missions to help their Muslim brethen if India passes such a law.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 5 2005, 09:38 PM

Our secular moron will stand in front of US Congress and will beat there chest, and will ask US to impose sanctions on India. Some will put blame on Hindutava force or Gujarat. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 7 2005, 07:12 AM

Dispelling the myth about madrasas DR ZAFARUL-ISLAM KHAN Posted online: Sunday, August 07, 2005 at 0057 hours IST Islam or Muslim-bashing is a favourite pastime for Tavleen Singh. About 15 years back, I had replied on these pages (The Indian Express) to her high-pitched claims that my area in Delhi was overflowing with ‘‘Bangladeshis’’. I had challenged her to come and show me a single Bangladeshi here. She never did. Once again, she makes high-pitched claims that ‘‘madrasas can only breed fanatics’’ and that madrasa graduates are ‘‘unemployable except as mullahs or suicide bombers’’. To start with, ‘‘suicide bombers’’ are not a Muslim innovation. This practice was first adopted by the Hindu Tamils of Sri Lanka, and we lost a prime minister to this terrorist tactic. It is clear that Tavleen has not visited a single madrasa and somehow her efforts to interview Darul Uloom Deoband students, which is an open institution, did not succeed. But it is not clear why and how she failed. There is no evidence that she knows Arabic, Persian or Urdu to be able to judge what is taught in the madrasas. Tavleen’s tirade was published only three days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said publicly that ‘‘not a single Indian Muslim had joined the Al Qaida or Taliban’’. I assume the PM is privy to more secret and official information than Tavleen. I do not deny that there are some misguided Muslim youths, not more than a hundred in my assessment, in India who have committed acts of violence, but these have nothing to do with international terrorism, Al-Qaeda or Taliban. They were desperate responses to crimes like Babri Masjid demolition and pogroms in Mumbai and Gujarat, to mention only a few. I am yet to discover any single madrasa graduate among them. All of them are products of our secular colleges and universities, just as all Al Qaeda elements are products of similar colleges and universities in their countries. None of the culprits of Madrid or London bombings was a madrasa graduate. Tavleen is also unable to understand the difference between madrasas in Pakistan and India. The genesis of madrasas is the same in the sub-continent. The first private madrasa was established at Deoband in 1866 in order to evolve a system of education free from British influence. Ever since, madrasas in India continued their non-political existence. On the other hand, madrasas in Pakistan were politicised because their managers and teachers took part in politics. True, students in madrasas are taught that Islam is the true and final religion, but they are also taught that other religions, their believers and texts should be respected. This is ordered both in the Quran and in the sayings of the Prophet, and this is why old minorities exist in all Muslim countries today while centuries-old Muslim minorities in European countries like Spain, Portugal, South Italy, Sicily, Malta etc were baptised, killed or expelled. Why go far, Tavleen’s very own Punjab was wiped clean of Muslims as recently as 57 years ago. Punjab’s 9,000 abandoned mosques tell mute stories of how a whole community was uprooted. Tavleen even stoops to consider her readers as ‘‘us’’ and Muslims as ‘‘them’’. She rhetorically asks, ‘‘What can us infidels do to protect our heathen temples and heathen way of life from the jehad brewing next door?’’ She goes on to say that there is an urgency for a ‘‘White Paper on madrasas’’. Why did L K Advani, in his tenure as home minister, fail to bring to light such a promised report? Simply because there was no truth in his ilk’s oft-repeated rhetoric about madrasas. Tavleen goes on to accuse ‘‘moderate Muslims’’ of ‘‘rarely speaking out against the Islamists and the handful that do nearly always add a ‘but’.’’ Yes, there is a reason for this ‘‘but’’ and if people who are more qualified, like Justice Ahmadi or Professor Tahir Mahmood, use it, there must be some reason behind it. Tavleen is fond of speaking about things she knows nothing about. This is clear from her shooting in the dark about Pakistani NWFP’s Hisba Act, the purpose of which, she claims, will ‘‘be the protection of Islamic values and traditions according to the rules laid down by the Prophet 1400 years ago.’’ No doubt, one of the purposes of the said Act is to see that Islamic values are respected in an ‘‘Islamic’’ republic, but had Tavleen read the Act in question, she would have discovered that NWFP is in fact creating an anti-corruption commissioner, much like our own vigilance commissioner, whose job will be to ensure a healthy society. It is in fact a revival of the old office of ‘‘Muhtasib’’ in the Islamic State whose responsibility was to prevent corruption in public life. If she had taken a little trouble she would have found the text available on the Net. Karachi’s Dawn newspaper has published the text of this Act. A cursory look at the Act shows that, first of all a maulvi will not be the sole in-charge of this office. Rather, there will be two maulvis at each level — State, district, tehsil — in each committee, which will also have two lawyers from the bar and two government officers. Hence the maulvis will always be in a minority in these committees at all levels. They will not have any special police force, rather they will be helped by personnel loaned to them from the regular police force. Coming to their duties, we find that the Muhtasib will act: • (to ensure accountability of) ‘‘government’s administration and offices in order to have a check upon injustices, abuse of powers and other similar excesses’’; • (to prevent) ‘‘maladministration, corrupt or improper motives, such as bribery, jobbery, favouritism, nepotism and administrative excesses, negligence, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency and inaptitude in the administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities’’. There is more surprise in store for Tavleen. The Act even includes the following: ‘‘To protect the rights of minorities, particularly to regard the sanctity of their religious places and sites where they perform their religious ceremonies’’. The minorities in Pakistan are Hindus and Sikhs, and the Muhtasib is required to protect them. So much for Tavleen’s research and objectivity. Through this column, I again invite her to spare a day or two to take an unannounced tour of any madrasa in India at my expense to see if any of her allegations is true. The writer, editor of The Milli Gazette, studied in madrasas and went on to obtain his Ph.D. from Manchester University. He can be contacted at,~Hindus~adopted~it~first
The guy is worse than any paki, his paper milli gazette (largest indian muslim english newspaper) is worse than paki newspapers, its full of Hindu hatred. He says Hindu tamils adopted suicide bombing, the moron doesn't seem to know that they don't quote Hindu scriptures before they blow themselves up, the womam who killed rajiv gandhi herself was a tamil christian which this b*stard doesnt mention. Next he says Muslims do riots because of Gujarat and Babri, then i wonder why they ethnic cleansed Hindu kashmiris before either Babri or Gujarat happened, next he says Muslim countries have very old non muslim minorities, he must be joking, every1 knows how non muslims are treated there, only this moron doesn't seem to know, next he says Muslims were ethnic cleansed out of east punjab without mentioning what Muslims did in west punjab and whole pakistan, the east punjab muslims were traitors also, they tried to take over amritsar also, so they deserved what they got.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 7 2005, 09:00 AM

The Right Time for An Islamic Reformation By Salman Rushdie Sunday, August 7, 2005; Page B07 When Sir Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, admitted that "our own children" had perpetrated the July 7 London bombings, it was the first time in my memory that a British Muslim had accepted his community's responsibility for outrages committed by its members. Instead of blaming U.S. foreign policy or "Islamophobia," Sacranie described the bombings as a "profound challenge" for the Muslim community. However, this is the same Sacranie who, in 1989, said that "Death is perhaps too easy" for the author of "The Satanic Verses." Tony Blair's decision to knight him and treat him as the acceptable face of "moderate," "traditional" Islam is either a sign of his government's penchant for religious appeasement or a demonstration of how limited Blair's options really are. Sacranie is a strong advocate of Blair's much-criticized new religious-hatred bill, which will make it harder to criticize religion, and he actually expects the new law to outlaw references to Islamic terrorism. He said as recently as Jan. 13, "There is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist. This is deeply offensive. Saying Muslims are terrorists would be covered [i.e., banned] by this provision." Two weeks later his organization boycotted a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in London commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz 60 years ago. If Sir Iqbal Sacranie is the best Blair can offer in the way of a good Muslim, we have a problem. The Sacranie case illustrates the weakness of the Blair government's strategy of relying on traditional, essentially orthodox Muslims to help eradicate Islamist radicalism. Traditional Islam is a broad church that certainly includes millions of tolerant, civilized men and women but also encompasses many whose views on women's rights are antediluvian, who think of homosexuality as ungodly, who have little time for real freedom of expression, who routinely express anti-Semitic views and who, in the case of the Muslim diaspora, are -- it has to be said -- in many ways at odds with the Christian, Hindu, non-believing or Jewish cultures among which they live. In Leeds, from which several of the London bombers came, many traditional Muslims lead inward-turned lives of near-segregation from the wider population. From such defensive, separated worlds some youngsters have indefensibly stepped across a moral line and taken up their lethal rucksacks. The deeper alienations that lead to terrorism may have their roots in these young men's objections to events in Iraq or elsewhere, but the closed communities of some traditional Western Muslims are places in which young men's alienations can easily deepen. What is needed is a move beyond tradition -- nothing less than a reform movement to bring the core concepts of Islam into the modern age, a Muslim Reformation to combat not only the jihadist ideologues but also the dusty, stifling seminaries of the traditionalists, throwing open the windows to let in much-needed fresh air. It would be good to see governments and community leaders inside the Muslim world as well as outside it throwing their weight behind this idea, because creating and sustaining such a reform movement will require above all a new educational impetus whose results may take a generation to be felt, a new scholarship to replace the literalist diktats and narrow dogmatisms that plague present-day Muslim thinking. It is high time, for starters, that Muslims were able to study the revelation of their religion as an event inside history, not supernaturally above it. It should be a matter of intense interest to all Muslims that Islam is the only religion whose origins were recorded historically and thus are grounded not in legend but in fact. The Koran was revealed at a time of great change in the Arab world, the seventh-century shift from a matriarchal nomadic culture to an urban patriarchal system. Muhammad, as an orphan, personally suffered the difficulties of this transformation, and it is possible to read the Koran as a plea for the old matriarchal values in the new patriarchal world, a conservative plea that became revolutionary because of its appeal to all those whom the new system disenfranchised, the poor, the powerless and, yes, the orphans. Muhammad was also a successful merchant and heard, on his travels, the Nestorian Christians' desert versions of Bible stories that the Koran mirrors closely (Christ, in the Koran, is born in an oasis, under a palm tree). It ought to be fascinating to Muslims everywhere to see how deeply their beloved book is a product of its place and time, and in how many ways it reflects the Prophet's own experiences. However, few Muslims have been permitted to study their religious book in this way. The insistence that the Koranic text is the infallible, uncreated word of God renders analytical, scholarly discourse all but impossible. Why would God be influenced by the socioeconomics of seventh-century Arabia, after all? Why would the Messenger's personal circumstances have anything to do with the Message? The traditionalists' refusal of history plays right into the hands of the literalist Islamofascists, allowing them to imprison Islam in their iron certainties and unchanging absolutes. If, however, the Koran were seen as a historical document, then it would be legitimate to reinterpret it to suit the new conditions of successive new ages. Laws made in the seventh century could finally give way to the needs of the 21st. The Islamic Reformation has to begin here, with an acceptance of the concept that all ideas, even sacred ones, must adapt to altered realities. Broad-mindedness is related to tolerance; open-mindedness is the sibling of peace. This is how to take up the "profound challenge" of the bombers. Will Sir Iqbal Sacranie and his ilk agree that Islam must be modernized? That would make them part of the solution. Otherwise, they're just the "traditional" part of the problem.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 7 2005, 04:21 PM

To Save The Sisters It looks like another first. The state fire services department plans to recruit 50-odd women as firefighters who’ll be tasked to rescue women trapped in fires. The move has been prompted by the death of a Muslim woman in a recent blaze at Kolutala in the city. Locals in the crowded locality refused to allow male firefighters to enter a blazing house to rescue her. Earlier too, such incidents have occurred. Fire services minister Pratim Chatterjee said the "physical contact necessitated" during a rescue had been the bone of contention. Chatterjee has already sent a draft proposal to the CM’s secretariat for approval. "Once I get the green signal, I’ll ensure some women are posted in fire stations, especially in Muslim localities," the minister said. There are 90-odd fire stations in the state, including 18 in Calcutta. All these are the fruits of the great secularism.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 8 2005, 09:53 AM

On British Madrasas: Ilm By Rote "Most madrassas have a mix of Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Somalis and others. The madrassas follow the philosophy of the Khilafa movement that sought to present a single Muslim Ummah (community) around the world, with no national barriers. And that is how Islamic history is taught, with a clearly strong 'hate India' syllabus. The madrassa directory is laced with pictures only from Kashmir; one shows the Dal lake whose "serene surroundings are occupied by 6,00,000 Indian troops!"; another shows an "Indian soldier, weapon ready and watching high street shops!", the next a funeral—"another 'number' added to the genocide!". Yet another frames a soldier apparently searching somebody, with the caption: "Palestine? Chechnya? Burma? Algeria? Tunisia? Iraq?... No, Kashmir—Indian soldiers harassing the civilian population. Muslims the world over are being subjected to occupation, oppression and torture." And that's just the directory, which is produced with support from the Muslim Council of Britain, the main contact point for government dealings with Muslims here."

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 9 2005, 06:37 PM

Fitzgerald: Why don’t Muslims integrate into Western societies? Islam itself is entirely responsible for the failure of Muslims in Infidel lands to integrate. And here is why: 1) Islam itself teaches Muslims to be suspicious of, to hate, to refuse to trust, to offer only feigned friendship to, all non-Muslims. There are passages all over the Qur'an and Hadith about this. "Take not the Christians and Jews for friends, for they are friends only with each other." "Smite the Unbelievers wherever you find them." Not much room for nuance there. The stories in the Hadith about the triumph over, and the killing of, and the seizure of women and property from, non-Muslims whom Muhammad believed he and his men were entitled to attack (even if those in question had done nothing to them) further encourages such an attitude. Then there are all the stories about Muhammad himself. What does it mean to someone to learn that Muhammad watched with satisfaction as 600-800 members of the Banu Qurayza, bound and helpless, were decapitated one by one? Does that encourage peaceful co-existence, or that famous "convivencia" that supposedly was such a heart-warming feature of Islamic Spain -- which for some has become the model of what they apparently see as an inevitably-islamized Europe? If so, they should read a little more deeply into the history of Islamic Spain (hint: do not believe a word from that sentimentalist Maria Rosa Menocal, "Director of the Whitney Center for the Humanities" at Yale University -- ca en dit long about the state of American education). It may be quite hard to work for Infidel employers, or to get along well with Infidel fellow-workers, if one is constantly offering only ill-concealed -- or at times well-concealed -- hostility. Nor does the Muslim sense of Muslim entitlement make it easy for Muslims to endure, or to endure with good grace, such an arrangement: Islam by right should dominate, Muslims should rule, it is contra naturam, against all that is right and just, for Muslims to have to accommodate themselves to non-Muslim customs and laws and ways of behaving. If they must, they should only do so temporarily -- until Muslims are sufficiently powerful, which can happen long before they are an absolute majority. Just look at all the demands made constantly, so that Infidels begin to behave, even when they need not, as dhimmis: willing to placate, to make excuses for, to bend over backwards for, Muslim outrages in deed or in word or in attitude – outrages that may be obvious to all those who have kept their wits about them. 2) Inshallah-fatalism. The deep belief in the will of Allah, of Allah ta'ala (Allah Knows Best), of references in every greeting, paragraph, sentence, 3) The habit of submission -- of mental submission -- does not encourage skepticism, liveliness, "thinking outside the silly box" and so on. The habit of mental submission encourages -- the habit of mental submission. This can limit entrepreneurial activity, just as the sullen dislike of one's status, of the status of Muslims who do not lord it over non-Muslims but must adjust, can help to explain the difficulty of employing Muslims in a non-Muslim workplace. 4) Why should Infidels wish to employ Muslims? Why should they wish to create an unpleasant work environment for themselves? Fetish-worshippers of diversity may wish to do so: a newspaper, say, that thinks the "best way" to cover Muslims is to hire a Muslim (which is, in fact, probably the worst way, if it amounts to the usual apologetics and misinformation). Sometimes, of course, one is dealing with those who either hide very well, or may in fact not feel -- as "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslims -- the hostility toward non-Muslims that Islam inculcates. But even those who never go to a mosque may at times engage in a sudden flaring-up, a sudden note of hysteria, when the subject of Islam is even tangentially raised -- as if it is simply a subject completely off-limits for Infidels. And nowadays, how can one discuss anything in the world's news without discussing Islam? One sees this reaction even in some of the seemingly most Westernized, most sophisticated, and suavest of Muslims -- a sudden rage, a sudden rush of furious defensiveness that overcomes the truth, that makes even someone who a minute ago was so calm, so rational, so seemingly part of the smae moral and intellectual universe -- and who a minute before might have been attacking aspects of Islam himself -- will, if an Infidel agrees with the attack, or dares to add his own two-cents' worth to the discussion, will withdraw into a circling-the-wagons mode. 5) Muslims through time and space lived in the lands they conquered through the loot acquired from non-Muslims, and they continued to exploit those non-Muslims thorugh the jizyah, and in other ways. As historians of India well know, the Hindus were initially subject to mass execution and mass enslavement. Some of those enslaved converted. Others did not wait to be enslaved, but converted after witnessing the realities of life under Muslim rule. But the Mughal -- and even the earliest Muslim rulers from the initial conquests -- realized that if the only possible choices open to Hindus -- as non-People of the Book (ahl al-kitab), they were not permitted to live and practice openly their religion -- were death or conversion, then there would ultimately be no non-Muslims left to be exploited economically for the purposes of the Muslim state. This could end the fabled Mughal luxury, the famed Mughal magnificence that so entrances certain writers (as the upscale, and more scholarly, Barbara Cartland of Mughal India, William Dalrymple). Hindus were accorded "honorary" status as dhimmis, not because of Muslim mercy, but because by so doing, the ruling Muslims could economically exploit them through the jizyah (which the tolerant, syncretistic Akbar managed to temporarily suspend -- one more reason why Akbar is remembered fondly by Hindus, and despised by Muslims). Another way of finding loot, or slaves to exploit, were the constant series of slaving raids. Islam created slave societies -- slaves on horseback, slaves in the harem, slaves to build the palace of Moulay Hasan or the Taj Mahal. Everywhere, slaves from non-Muslim lands -- from black Africa by the tens of millions, slaves from the Slavic lands and Georgia and Circassia, by the many millions, and slaves taken over centuries by raiding parties that landed, destroyed villages, and seized villagers up and down the coasts of Western Europe. This too was a source of wealth, and in fact the corsairs that left ports in North Africa, especially Algiers, continued to raid Christian shipping until two things -- the American military response to the Barbary Pirates, and then the seizure, by the exasperated French, of Algiers in 1830, which put an end to the corsairs and their officially-sanctioned raids on Christian cargoes and enslavement of Infidel sailors. The corsair-piracy has stopped, or found new means of expression, but the jizyah, in disguised forms, has continued. Arab and Muslim states have economies that depend heavily on one of two things: 1. The oil and gas-rich Muslim states depend on this manna from Allah -- which is exactly how they see it. They do not regard this accident of geology as an accident of geology, but as a sign of Allah's favor -- why else should so much of the oil lie under the lands of dar al-Islam? 2. The Arab and Muslim states that do not possess oil wealth, instead of having the oil-rich Muslim states share that wealth, have managed to get on the Infidel list of countries deserving of foreign aid. Suddenly that supposed loyalty of the umma al-islamiyya seems to disappear when it comes to oil money, save for the sums given to reward suicide bombers among the "Palestinians," and of course for any significant arms projects. No matter how corrupt, how full of anti-Americanism and antisemitism these societies may be, Western money keeps pouring in: to Egypt ($60 billion from America alone), to Pakistan, to Jordan, and to the shock troops of the Jihad against Israel, the local Arabs who after 1967 were carefully renamed as the "Palestinian people" so as to disguise the essential nature, and ultimate aims (not exactly concealed, by the way) of the Arab war on Israel, an Infidel sovereign state in the midst of dar al-Islam that must, in Arab and Muslim eyes, go -- sooner or later. It is a matter of pride. It is a matter of self-esteem. It is a matter of how the Arabs and the Muslims see themselves. What else could possibly matter? The $9 billion pledged by the G-8 at Gleneagles to keep afloat a non-viable state, or a state that will only be viable at the expense of tiny Israel, because for some reason everyone has ignored the real history of that area, the demographics, the nature of land ownership, and as well has decided to apply rules about territory either captured from an aggressor, or if not captured directly, assigned to one of the winning members in a coalition -- rules that have been applied after every war. For how else did Italy acquire the Alto Adige, which when it was handed over had a population that was 97% German-speaking and ethnically part of Deutschtum? Yet who among us thinks Italy was not entitled to, and should return to Austria, the Sudtirol it possesses? And what of all the changes in borders after World War II, and the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia (3 million Sudeteners), from Poland, and elsewhere, not to mention land taken (Kaliningrad was once Kant's Koenigsberg)? Yet the Americans and Europeans pay the jizyah to the "Palestinians" and are fearful of stopping, just as they continue to pay Pakistan, the supporter and promoter of the Taliban, the supporter and promoter of Dr. A. Q. Khan (without whom North Korea would not be the problem it is today). We continue to engage in bribery instead of reading Pakistan the riot-act, threatening to destroy not only its military (withholding all parts, all future deliveries) but also its economy (no one has to buy the child-labor textiles and rugs of Pakistan, and while that economy -- that is, while its zamindars -- are prospering, that can be ended in a minute). Within Europe, the Muslims have the same attitude. The property and women of the Infidels belongs to them. There is nothing wrong with taking Infidel property. There is nothing wrong with raping Infidel women. It is not an accident that 70% of the prison population in France is Muslim; that 70% of the rapes of women in Scandinavia are by Muslims; that the drug traffickers in Holland, and the spacciatori di droga in Italy, are Muslims -- no, this should not surprise. What does surprise is the failure of the non-Musli world to understand that this all fits into, and can be explained by, a coherent ideology that makes it virtually impossible for Muslims -- to the extent that they remain full believers, or turn into full believers -- to ever comfortably fit into, or ever accept, Western or other non-Muslim societies, mores, manners, laws, or ever to accept the idea of living in a society where the Infidel ways, the Infidel understandings, are to be permanent. This rankles Muslims. This is not right. The world belongs in the end to Allah, and to his people. It is to them that the property and women of others belongs. Not every Believer feels this, but in the canonical texts, and the tenets logically derived from them, and in the attitudes and atmospherics to which those tenets and the whole system of Islam gives rise, these views are not strange but natural and familiar. And then there is another problem: the problem of the "moderate" Muslim -- which is to say, the relaxed, or unobservant Muslim, the Muslim who may not act according to the tenets of Islam today, but may suddenly acquire a deep psychic need to return to Islam, for whatever reasons. When one is in mental disarray, and happens to be a Muslim, provided with a Total Explanation of the Universe, and a Complete Regulation of existence, one can quite easily come to view the universe through the prism of islam. And it need be nothing political -- nothing in the newspapers -- that sets one off. A death in the family, the loss of a job, the failure to get into a certain school, the perception that others do not share one's worldview and see no reason to accommodate themselves, and of course the depression that can come upon so many of us, Muslim and non-Muslim, at any time -- are all cause for alarm. But non-Muslims provide their own answers, their own home remedies, as they can, and those answers, and their affixing of blame for their problems, can be as various as their parents, their spouses, their children, their siblings, their employer, The System, the stars, Fate, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level, even -- at times -- themselves. Muslims have only to look to the one thing that always presents itself to be blamed: the Infidels. Their wiles, their whisperings of Shaytan, their decadence, their indifference, their whateveritis of which Infidels are guilty. And once a non-Muslim Muslim, a "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslim, begins to redsicover Islam, to return to Islam, he can turn into that other thing -- a Muslim Muslim. And that is the problem, the permanent problem for Infidels, who have done nothing to deserve this ever-ready, this omnipresent blame. There is no solution. Reducing Muslim numbers, and Muslim power, and ensuring that the Infidel lands do not engage in some kind of attempt to win Muslims by changing their own laws and customs, but remain implacably themselves, or perhaps deliberately Islam-hostile rather than Islam-friendly, so that those who now claim that they are "thinking of leaving" really do leave -- would anyone wish to stop them -- should be the goal of Infidels, engaged only in defending themselves against the carriers of Jihad, all over the world.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 9 2005, 07:13 PM

The New York Times Tuesday, August 9, 2005 WHY TOLERATE THE HATE? By Irshad Manji FOR a European leader, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain has done something daring. He has given notice not just to the theocrats of Islam, but also to the theocracy of tolerance. "Staying here carries with it a duty," Mr. Blair said in referring to foreign-born Muslim clerics who glorify terror on British soil. "That duty is to share and support the values that sustain the British way of life. Those who break that duty and try to incite hatred or engage in violence against our country and its people have no place here." With that, his government proposed new laws to deport extremist religious leaders, to shut down the mosques that house them and to ban groups with a history of supporting terrorism. The reaction was swift: a prominent human rights advocate described Mr. Blair's measures as "neo-McCarthyite hectoring," warning that they would make the British "less distinguishable from the violent, hateful and unforgiving theocrats, our democracy undermined from within in ways that the suicide bombers could only have dreamed of." But if these anti-terror measures feel like an overreaction to the London bombings, that's only because Britons, like so many in the West, have been avoiding a vigorous debate about what values are most worth defending in our societies. As Westerners bow down before multiculturalism, we anesthetize ourselves into believing that anything goes. We see our readiness to accommodate as a strength - even a form of cultural superiority (though few will admit that). Radical Muslims, on the other hand, see our inclusive instincts as a form of corruption that makes us soft and rudderless. They believe the weak deserve to be vanquished. Paradoxically, then, the more we accommodate to placate, the more their contempt for our "weakness" grows. And ultimate paradox may be that in order to defend our diversity, we'll need to be less tolerant. Or, at the very least, more vigilant. And this vigilance demands more than new antiterror laws. It requires asking: What guiding values can most of us live with? Given the panoply of ideologies and faiths out there, what filter will distill almost everybody's right to free expression? Neither the watery word "tolerance" nor the slippery phrase "mutual respect" will cut it as a guiding value. Why tolerate violent bigotry? Where's the "mutual" in that version of mutual respect? Amin Maalouf, a French-Arab novelist, nailed this point when he wrote that "traditions deserve respect only insofar as they are respectable - that is, exactly insofar as they themselves respect the fundamental rights of men and women." Allow me to invoke a real-life example of what can't be tolerated if we're going to maintain freedom of expression for as many people as possible. In 1999, an uproar surrounded the play "Corpus Christi" by Terrence McNally, in which Jesus was depicted as a gay man. Christians protested the show and picketed its European debut in Edinburgh, a reasonable exercise in free expression. But Omar Bakri Muhammad, a Muslim preacher and a judge on the self-appointed Sharia Court of the United Kingdom, went further: he signed a fatwa calling for Mr. McNally to be killed, on the grounds that Jesus is considered a prophet by Muslims. (Compassion overflowed in the clause that stated Mr. McNally "could be buried in a Muslim graveyard" if he repented.) Mr. Bakri then had the fatwa distributed throughout London. Since then, Mr. Bakri has promoted violent struggle from various London meeting halls. He has even lionized the July 7 bombers as the "fantastic four." He is a counselor of death, and should not have been allowed to remain in Britain. And thanks to Mr. Blair's newfound fortitude, he has reportedly fled England for Lebanon. The Muslim Council of Britain, a mainstream lobbying group that assailed Mr. Blair's proposed measures, has long claimed that men like Mr. Bakri represent only a slim fraction of the country's nearly two million Muslims. Assuming that's true, British Muslims - indeed, Muslims throughout the West - should rejoice at their departures or deportations, because all forms of Islam that respect the freedom to disbelieve, to go one's own way, will be strengthened. Which brings me to my vote for a value that could guide Western societies: individuality. When we celebrate individuality, we let people choose who they are, be they members of a religion, free spirits, or something else entirely. I realize that for many Europeans, "individuality" might sound too much like the American ideal of individualism. It doesn't have to. Individualism - "I'm out for myself" - differs from individuality - "I'm myself, and my society benefits from my uniqueness." Of course, there may be better values than individuality for Muslims and non-Muslims to embrace. Let's have that debate - without fear of being deemed self-haters or racists by those who twist multiculturalism into an orthodoxy. We know the dangers of taking Islam literally. By now we should understand the peril of taking tolerance literally. Irshad Manji is the author of "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith."

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 12 2005, 12:45 PM

Media glare too hot for seminary RASHEED KIDWAI Bhopal, Aug. 11: Shoot the messenger. The Darul Uloom of Deoband, irked by the adverse publicity that its controversial fatwa in the Imrana rape case invited, has decided to do just that by shutting down its media cell. The Darul Uloom’s Majlis-e-Shura (advisory council) met last week and unanimously agreed that the row over the Imrana fatwa had brought disrepute to the country’s oldest Islamic seminary. But instead of opting for Glasnost from within, the clergy reiterated that it would not re-assess its stand. After Imrana accused her father-in-law of raping her, the Darul Uloom had issued a fatwa directing her to remain separated from her husband as the rape had altered their relation. The decree sparked furore across the country. Maulana Usman, the vice-principal of the Darul Uloom, has reportedly blamed the media for its “gross ignorance”. He pointed out that the seminary’s charter was not to issue fatwa but to be a mere “copier” of old fatwas. Other scholars, too, brushed aside the possibility of ijtihad (reforms), saying conditions were not conducive to adopting them. At the Majlis-e-Shura, some wondered why the media was not highlighting similar issues concerning other communities. Others toed Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan’s line that in the guise of Imrana controversy, the media was targeting Islam to malign the faith and its followers. The council then mooted the idea of closing down its media cell, saying it was not serving its purpose. The members were then directed not to talk to the media. Several prominent Muslim schools of thought — Shafi’is, Malikis, Ja’fari Shia and Ahl-e Hadith — and religious organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had rejected the Darul Uloom’s view that illegitimate sexual contact, including rape, could be a cause for annulling marriage. Along with former chief justice of the Supreme Court A.M. Ahmadi, the groups had pointed out that rape could not be a reason for divorce. A Muslim marriage is a contract but it is not so weak that it can be broken so easily, Ahmadi had said. Shia scholars, too, took a similar stand as did the influential Barelvi sect, which said that since Imrana’s husband still believed in the honour of his wife, he could continue living with her. Darul Uloom authorities confirmed that the media cell had been shut down but declined to give a reason for the move. The cell’s in-charge, Adil Siddiqui, and his deputy Ejaz Ashraf said they would continue to offer their services to Darul Uloom in “whichever capacity”. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, some Deoband scholars hoped that the move would not disturb the other reforms initiated in recent years. In 2002, Darul Uloom had taken a long overdue decision to set up a department of English language and literature, in addition to its 31 other departments that mainly focus on the Quran’s articulation and phonetics, its memorisation, Islamic fiqh (jurisprudence) and khush khati (calligraphy).

Posted by: Aryawan Aug 12 2005, 07:08 PM

The Overlooked Case Of Mohammed Afroze Al Qaeda's terrorism isn't really motivated by the Iraq War and Israel. by Edward Morrissey AFTER A STRING OF BOMBINGS in London, the British media began peppering Tony Blair and John Howard with questions about the effects of Britain's presence in Iraq on suicide-bomber recruitment. During the hastily-arranged press conference the day of the second series of attempted bombings, journalist Paul Bongiorno noted that one Australian injured in the July 7 blasts had blamed the Iraq War for the attacks, prompting a tough response from the Australian prime minister. The unnamed victim is not alone; an ICM poll for the Guardian showed that two-thirds of Brits believe that the bombings have some linkage to military action in Iraq. Today the political situation remains unchanged for Blair and the British. George Galloway, the Scots MP who recently declared his sympathy with the Iraqi "insurgents," told Syrians on July 31 that the British, Americans, and the West needed a cure for their imperialism, not the Arabs for their radicalism and oppression. In fact, Galloway told Syrians that the Arabs appeared to be doing nothing but standing by while the West raped their "daughters". Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners--Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters. Why? Because they are too weak and too corrupt to do anything about it. Galloway this week referred to Iraqi terrorists conducting suicide attacks as "martyrs" and told the BBC that Tony Blair and George Bush were the real terrorists. Even though pundits consider Galloway a voice from the fringe, when he says that Islamist terror arose from the first Iraq War and the occupation of Jerusalem, he speaks for a not-insignificant number of Brits, and Yanks as well. All of which makes the forgotten case of Mohammed Afroze all the more significant. On the day after the failed July 21 bombings in London, an Indian court in Delhi sentenced Mohammed Afroze to seven years in prison for his participation in a wider plot which had been planned for September 11, 2001. Afroze led another al Qaeda cell which planned to use commercial airlines as missiles to destroy several international targets. The Islamist terrorists intended to send a global message through coordination with the attacks on America. Their plan failed when the terrorists lost their nerve and fled Heathrow. Afroze and his compatriots from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan had planned on flying their Manchester-bound flights into the House of Commons and the Tower Bridge in London. Attacking Parliament would have sent a message to the British government about the continued sanctions on Iraq. Blowing up the Tower Bridge would kill a slew of British civilians, with the intent of terrorizing them into demanding a withdrawal of British troops from the Middle East and a halt to support of American actions in the region. But Afroze had other targets as part of his plan--and these reveal something much deeper and broader than Galloway and the media wish to contemplate. AFROZE HAS ALSO ADMITTED to targeting the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, Australia. Australia has a long history of courageous alliance with Britain and the United States, of course, but Australia never set foot in Iraq before the 2003 invasion. They had provided a naval support contingent of three ships with 600 sailors and their own air defense squad. Their mission consisted of interdiction on shipping in the Persian Gulf to ensure no arms made their way into Saddam Hussein's hands during the blockade that preceded the war. Australia had helped free East Timor from a military occupation by Indonesian paramilitary forces two years earlier. The Portuguese pulled out of Timor in 1976, and the Indonesian military invaded the island nine days later, annexing the territory and imposing an increasingly brutal regime on the Catholic Timorese. In 1999, Indonesia president B.J. Habibie unexpectedly offered a referendum to East Timor, and an overwhelming majority backed independence. This touched off a revolting nightmare of murder and terror by Indonesian paramilitary forces which only ended when an Australian-led U.N. force took control of East Timor and effectively liberated it from the Indonesians. Clearly the notion that an attack on Melbourne would send a message about Iraq and Jerusalem, therefore, hinges on shaky ground. It seems much more likely that al Qaeda harbored a grudge against the Aussies for their efforts to free East Timor (now Timor Leste) from primarily Muslim Indonesia. However, that doesn't square with the critics who insist that Western policies about Iraq and Jerusalem lie at the heart of Islamofascist terror, especially when some of those same critics--such as Noam Chomsky, Mother Jones, and organizations like Common Dreams--insisted on Western nations intervening in East Timor to free the Timorese from Indonesian tyranny. In fact, Chomsky sounded themes in his essay demanding military action remarkably similar to those George W. Bush would use five years later while demanding action to free the Iraqi people from the grip of Saddam Hussein: Not long before, the Clinton administration welcomed Suharto as "our kind of guy," following the precedent established in 1965 when the general took power, presiding over army-led massacres that wiped out the country's only mass-based political party (the PKI, a popularly supported communist party) and devastated its popular base in "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century." According to a CIA report, these massacres were comparable to those of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao; hundreds of thousands were killed, most of them landless peasants. The achievement was greeted with unrestrained euphoria in the West. The "staggering mass slaughter" was "a gleam of light in Asia," according to two commentaries in the New York Times, both typical of the general western media reaction. Corporations flocked to what many called Suharto's "paradise for investors," impeded only by the rapacity of the ruling family. For more than 20 years, Suharto was hailed in the media as a "moderate" who is "at heart benign," even as he compiled a record of murder, terror, and corruption that has few counterparts in postwar history. . . . The picture in the past few months is particularly ugly against the background of the self-righteous posturing in the "enlightened states." But it simply illustrates, once again, what should be obvious: Nothing substantial has changed, either in the actions of the powerful or the performance of their flatterers. The Timorese are "unworthy victims." No power interest is served by attending to their suffering or taking even simple steps to end it. Without a significant popular reaction, the long-familiar story will continue, in East Timor and throughout the world. Somehow Chomsky's--and much of the left's--concern for "unworthy victims" would disappear when the Iraqis, afflicted with a similarly genocidal tyrant, received the same round--or more accurately, sixteen rounds--of indifference from the United Nations. BUT AFROZE HAD ONE MORE TARGET in mind for his suicide attacks: the Indian Parliament. Again, anyone with a sense of history understands the long antagonism between Muslims and Hindus on the Asian subcontinent. The division of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh after the British withdrawal in 1947 touched off a religious and political conflict that persists to this day. Any aggression against India by al Qaeda would hardly seem surprising given this well-known dynamic. What would seem surprising is the notion that an al Qaeda attack on India's Parliament would have anything to do with Iraq or Jerusalem. India followed its historical precedents in the month before the March 2003 invasion, in a letter to the United Nations. India argued that they wanted more time before the Security Council authorized military action and that they opposed the invasion of Iraq. More to the point, India had a long history of trade with Saddam's Iraq, right up to the first Gulf War. The Indian government restarted trade with Iraq in June 1991 (almost immediately after the war), working within the sanctions but clearly supportive of trade with Saddam Hussein. Nor has India expressed any solidarity with Israel. India joined the Non-Aligned Movement, which has repeatedly and publicly sided with the Palestinians. India's U.N. voting record shows that it remains essentially sympathetic to the Palestinian claims over the occupied territories, and its rhetoric shows that it considers the plight of the Palestinians analogous to the struggle of India against the British Empire. THE CASE OF MOHAMMED AFROZE puts all claims that Western opposition to reasonable goals of Muslims caused September 11, the London bombings, or any of al Qaeda's other attacks going back into the early 1990s. The goal all along has been for Osama bin Laden and his Islamofascist terrorists to seize control of the region that produces the world's energy in order to bring the infidels under their heel--and to be sure we stay there, regardless of our previous sympathies.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 13 2005, 09:12 AM

The Overlooked Case Of Mohammed Afroze Al Qaeda's terrorism isn't really motivated by the Iraq War and Israel. by Edward Morrissey AFTER A STRING OF BOMBINGS in London, the British media began peppering Tony Blair and John Howard with questions about the effects of Britain's presence in Iraq on suicide-bomber recruitment. During the hastily-arranged press conference the day of the second series of attempted bombings, journalist Paul Bongiorno noted that one Australian injured in the July 7 blasts had blamed the Iraq War for the attacks, prompting a tough response from the Australian prime minister. The unnamed victim is not alone; an ICM poll for the Guardian showed that two-thirds of Brits believe that the bombings have some linkage to military action in Iraq. Today the political situation remains unchanged for Blair and the British. George Galloway, the Scots MP who recently declared his sympathy with the Iraqi "insurgents," told Syrians on July 31 that the British, Americans, and the West needed a cure for their imperialism, not the Arabs for their radicalism and oppression. In fact, Galloway told Syrians that the Arabs appeared to be doing nothing but standing by while the West raped their "daughters": Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners--Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters. Why? Because they are too weak and too corrupt to do anything about it. Galloway this week referred to Iraqi terrorists conducting suicide attacks as "martyrs" and told the BBC that Tony Blair and George Bush were the real terrorists. Even though pundits consider Galloway a voice from the fringe, when he says that Islamist terror arose from the first Iraq War and the occupation of Jerusalem, he speaks for a not-insignificant number of Brits, and Yanks as well. All of which makes the forgotten case of Mohammed Afroze all the more significant. On the day after the failed July 21 bombings in London, an Indian court in Delhi sentenced Mohammed Afroze to seven years in prison for his participation in a wider plot which had been planned for September 11, 2001. Afroze led another al Qaeda cell which planned to use commercial airlines as missiles to destroy several international targets. The Islamist terrorists intended to send a global message through coordination with the attacks on America. Their plan failed when the terrorists lost their nerve and fled Heathrow. Afroze and his compatriots from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan had planned on flying their Manchester-bound flights into the House of Commons and the Tower Bridge in London. Attacking Parliament would have sent a message to the British government about the continued sanctions on Iraq. Blowing up the Tower Bridge would kill a slew of British civilians, with the intent of terrorizing them into demanding a withdrawal of British troops from the Middle East and a halt to support of American actions in the region. But Afroze had other targets as part of his plan--and these reveal something much deeper and broader than Galloway and the media wish to contemplate. AFROZE HAS ALSO ADMITTED to targeting the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, Australia. Australia has a long history of courageous alliance with Britain and the United States, of course, but Australia never set foot in Iraq before the 2003 invasion. They had provided a naval support contingent of three ships with 600 sailors and their own air defense squad. Their mission consisted of interdiction on shipping in the Persian Gulf to ensure no arms made their way into Saddam Hussein's hands during the blockade that preceded the war. Australia had helped free East Timor from a military occupation by Indonesian paramilitary forces two years earlier. The Portuguese pulled out of Timor in 1976, and the Indonesian military invaded the island nine days later, annexing the territory and imposing an increasingly brutal regime on the Catholic Timorese. In 1999, Indonesia president B.J. Habibie unexpectedly offered a referendum to East Timor, and an overwhelming majority backed independence. This touched off a revolting nightmare of murder and terror by Indonesian paramilitary forces which only ended when an Australian-led U.N. force took control of East Timor and effectively liberated it from the Indonesians. Clearly the notion that an attack on Melbourne would send a message about Iraq and Jerusalem, therefore, hinges on shaky ground. It seems much more likely that al Qaeda harbored a grudge against the Aussies for their efforts to free East Timor (now Timor Leste) from primarily Muslim Indonesia. However, that doesn't square with the critics who insist that Western policies about Iraq and Jerusalem lie at the heart of Islamofascist terror, especially when some of those same critics--such as Noam Chomsky, Mother Jones, and organizations like Common Dreams--insisted on Western nations intervening in East Timor to free the Timorese from Indonesian tyranny. In fact, Chomsky sounded themes in his essay demanding military action remarkably similar to those George W. Bush would use five years later while demanding action to free the Iraqi people from the grip of Saddam Hussein: Not long before, the Clinton administration welcomed Suharto as "our kind of guy," following the precedent established in 1965 when the general took power, presiding over army-led massacres that wiped out the country's only mass-based political party (the PKI, a popularly supported communist party) and devastated its popular base in "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century." According to a CIA report, these massacres were comparable to those of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao; hundreds of thousands were killed, most of them landless peasants. The achievement was greeted with unrestrained euphoria in the West. The "staggering mass slaughter" was "a gleam of light in Asia," according to two commentaries in the New York Times, both typical of the general western media reaction. Corporations flocked to what many called Suharto's "paradise for investors," impeded only by the rapacity of the ruling family. For more than 20 years, Suharto was hailed in the media as a "moderate" who is "at heart benign," even as he compiled a record of murder, terror, and corruption that has few counterparts in postwar history. . . . The picture in the past few months is particularly ugly against the background of the self-righteous posturing in the "enlightened states." But it simply illustrates, once again, what should be obvious: Nothing substantial has changed, either in the actions of the powerful or the performance of their flatterers. The Timorese are "unworthy victims." No power interest is served by attending to their suffering or taking even simple steps to end it. Without a significant popular reaction, the long-familiar story will continue, in East Timor and throughout the world. Somehow Chomsky's--and much of the left's--concern for "unworthy victims" would disappear when the Iraqis, afflicted with a similarly genocidal tyrant, received the same round--or more accurately, sixteen rounds--of indifference from the United Nations. BUT AFROZE HAD ONE MORE TARGET in mind for his suicide attacks: the Indian Parliament. Again, anyone with a sense of history understands the long antagonism between Muslims and Hindus on the Asian subcontinent. The division of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh after the British withdrawal in 1947 touched off a religious and political conflict that persists to this day. Any aggression against India by al Qaeda would hardly seem surprising given this well-known dynamic. What would seem surprising is the notion that an al Qaeda attack on India's Parliament would have anything to do with Iraq or Jerusalem. India followed its historical precedents in the month before the March 2003 invasion, in a letter to the United Nations. India argued that they wanted more time before the Security Council authorized military action and that they opposed the invasion of Iraq. More to the point, India had a long history of trade with Saddam's Iraq, right up to the first Gulf War. The Indian government restarted trade with Iraq in June 1991 (almost immediately after the war), working within the sanctions but clearly supportive of trade with Saddam Hussein. Nor has India expressed any solidarity with Israel. India joined the Non-Aligned Movement, which has repeatedly and publicly sided with the Palestinians. India's U.N. voting record shows that it remains essentially sympathetic to the Palestinian claims over the occupied territories, and its rhetoric shows that it considers the plight of the Palestinians analogous to the struggle of India against the British Empire. THE CASE OF MOHAMMED AFROZE puts all claims that Western opposition to reasonable goals of Muslims caused September 11, the London bombings, or any of al Qaeda's other attacks going back into the early 1990s. The goal all along has been for Osama bin Laden and his Islamofascist terrorists to seize control of the region that produces the world's energy in order to bring the infidels under their heel--and to be sure we stay there, regardless of our previous sympathies.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 13 2005, 09:15 AM

Fundamentalist, and proud of it Canada's most controversial Muslim cleric spent his professional life working around vulnerable nuclear facilities in Canada and the U.S., designing ways to protect them from explosions, tornadoes and plane crashes.

Mr. Hindy left Egypt for Canada 30 years ago and went on to enjoy a successful career here as an engineer. Only late in life did he re-make himself into a spiritual leader or imam -- an imam who says that the 9/11 attacks could not have been carried out without the collaboration of U.S. security services; who refused to join 120 other Canadian imams in condemning the London transit bombings; and who denies that Muslims carried out the London bombings or that the attack was committed in the name of Islam. "After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West had to have a new enemy. And Islam became the enemy," he said. Incendiary, yes, but Mr. Hindy's life is a story of contradictions. When he lived in Egypt, a country of committed Muslims, Mr. Hindy was not overly religious; only when he came to Canada, a secularized western country, did he embrace fundamentalism. He never received the kind of formal religious training in the Muslim tradition that many other imams receive, yet he sees himself a defender of traditional Islam.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 13 2005, 09:29 AM

Main problem is Koran.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 14 2005, 10:38 AM

What al-Qaida Really Wants By Yassin Musharbash

# The First Phase Known as "the awakening" -- this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby "awakening" Muslims. "The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful," writes Hussein. "The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target." The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard "everywhere." # The Second Phase "Opening Eyes" is, according to Hussein's definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the "Islamic community." Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an "army" set up there and bases established in other Arabic states. # The Third Phase This is described as "Arising and Standing Up" and should last from 2007 to 2010. "There will be a focus on Syria," prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and -- even more explosive -- in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida's masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger. # The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that "the creeping loss of the regimes' power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida." At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism. # The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order. # The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of "total confrontation." As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic army" it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden. # The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as "definitive victory." Hussein writes that in the terrorists' eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "one-and-a-half million Muslims," the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn't last longer than two years.,1518,369448,00.html

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 15 2005, 01:57 PM

Sheikh weds three in a row OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT Hyderabad, Aug. 14: In 10 minutes of one another, Afreen, Farheen and Sultana were married. To a stinking rich 60-year-old sheikh from the Emirates. Mohammed Baquer Khan had gifted the girls’ poor parents — all staying in the Kalapathat slum in the old city of Hyderabad — Rs 10,000 each and promised another Rs 10,000 each plus visas for their families to move to the UAE. If there was money to be got as well as a husband for their daughters, what difference did it make if the girls were only 17, 20 and 19? The wedding was held sometime at July-end. Last Thursday, the girls filed a complaint with police that the sheikh had disappeared, promises and all. The trio had been among 10 girls paraded in front of the sheikh in the house of one Mumtaz Begum, who, along with accomplices Toufiq and Mansoor, had convinced them they would never go hungry again if they agreed to the marriage. The sheikh tied the knot the same day in a simple no-frills ceremony, presided over by one Mansoor Ali. There were no witnesses at the wedding. “The Arab married all three of us within 10 minutes of one another. All three of us spent several days with him at a city lodge,” Afreen said. Last Monday, the sheikh told the girls to go home and come back after two days. When the girls went back on Wednesday, he was gone. Panicky, they went to Mumtaz’s house. It was locked. So they decided to go to the police. A police raid the same day on Mumtaz’s house came a cropper. Yesterday, however, the police managed to track the touts at the fake moulvi Mansoor Ali’s house. All four were arrested. Deputy police commissioner (west zone) Shandilya said the marriage modus operandi was so “stereotyped” that it was amazing how people could fall into the trap over and over again. “It has become so common we don’t know how people in the old city fall prey to it again and again,” he said.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 15 2005, 05:34 PM

Mohammed Baquer Khan had gifted the girls’ poor parents — all staying in the Kalapathat slum in the old city of Hyderabad — Rs 10,000 each and promised another Rs 10,000 each plus visas for their families to move to the UAE. If there was money to be got as well as a husband for their daughters, what difference did it make if the girls were only 17, 20 and 19?
Why they have not arrested girls’ father? One girl is minor. Father must be regretting why he had only 3 girls. wink.gif Why girls didn’t protest?

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 16 2005, 01:35 PM

Supreme Court notice to Centre, AIMPLB on Islamic courts New Delhi, Aug 16.(PTI): Alarmed by a petition pointing out a parallel Islamic judiciary handling "Imrana" type cases, the Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Islamic seminary Darul Uloom. A Bench comprising Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice C K Thakker also issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Delhi, where, according to the petition, Islamic courts have been formed posing a challenge to the judicial system of the country. Petitioner Vishwa Lochan Madan, seeking immediate dissolution of all Islamic and Shariat courts in India, said the AIMPLB claimed to have established Darul Qaza (Muslim Courts) in Thane (Maharashtra), Akola Dholiya (Rajasthan), Indore (M.P.), South and East Delhi, Asansol and Purulia (W.B.), Lucknow and Sitapur (U.P.). Citing the fatwa issued by the Deoband-based seminary Darul-Uloom in Imrana rape case and the stand of AIMPLB, the petitioner said the criminal law was not allowed to have its natural run as the entire issue was hijacked by the clerics. He cited the example of the case of Asoobi in Gurgaon, Haryana, resembling the case of Imrana, where the Darul Uloom issued fatwas deciding the course of action in the incidents. The petitioner sought a ban on establishment of such Islamic courts, a declaration that these fatwas have no legal sanctity and requested the Court to direct the Centre and the States to take effective steps to dissolve all Darul Qazas and Shariat Courts. The petitioner sought a direction from the Court to the AIMPLB and Darul Uloom, Deoband, other seminaries and Muslim organisations asking them to refrain from establishing a parallel Muslim Judicial System (Nizam-e-Qaza). It also sought a direction from the Court to restrain these organisations from interfering with the marital status of Indian Muslim citizens and passing any judgement, remarks or fatwas (decress) as well as deciding matrimonial disputes amongst Mulsims. It sought a direction from the Court to AIMPLB and Darul Ulooms in the country "not to train or appoint qazis, naib-qazis or muftis for rendering any judicial service of any kind." Raising a question, the petitioner said whether the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under the Constitution could be extended to establishment of a parallel judicial system. Citing three incidents of daughters-in-law allegedly raped by their fathers-in-law, the petitioner said "the defiant attitude" of the functionaries of Darul Ulooms and AIMPLB was an "open affront" to the judicial system set up under the Indian Constitution.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 17 2005, 06:15 AM

Only veiled women can contest elections: Fatwa August 17, 2005 17:33 IST In yet another controversial fatwa, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom has ruled that Muslim women should not contest elections and if they have to do they must do it under veil, evoking sharp reactions from political parties. "Muslim women are not allowed to appear before men without a veil and under the Islamic law pardanashin (veiled) women are only allowed to contest elections," the Darool Uloom of Deoband said in the edict issued Tuesday. It said those contesting panchayat elections must cover their faces. Various political parties have reacted sharply to the edict with Union Law Minister H R Bharadwaj saying edicts from religious groups have no significance under the Constitution and it is up to the people whether they want to abide by them or not. Congress MP Rashid Alvi said if Muslim women do not contest elections, the entire community will lag behind. Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury condemned it by saying the Constitution has given women equal rights and this right should not be infringed. [And what exactly are progressives like himself doing to prevent this from happening instead of chatting sh*t] Calling the edict wrong, Bharatiya Janata Party Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said women should get equal rights in every sphere. The fatwa has come at a time when hundreds of Muslim women are contesting panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh, where 33 per cent seats have been reserved for women.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 17 2005, 01:29 PM

Unfree Under Islam Shariah endangers women's rights, from Iraq to Canada. BY AYAAN HIRSI ALI Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT In every society where family affairs are regulated according to instructions derived from the Shariah or Islamic law, women are disadvantaged. The injustices these women are exposed to in the name of Islam vary from extreme cruelty (forced marriages; imprisonment or death after rape) to grossly unfair treatment in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance. Muslim women across the world are caught in a terrible predicament. They aspire to live by their faith as best they can, but their faith robs them of their rights. Some women have found a way out of this dilemma in the principle of separation of organized religion and state affairs. They fight an uphill battle to achieve and hold on to their basic rights. Two cases demonstrate just how difficult that struggle can be, in the context of new as well as established democracies. The first is the draft constitution of Iraq, now due next week. Iraqi women like Naghem Khadim, demonstrating on the streets of Najaf, are fighting to prevent an article from being put in the constitution that would establish that the legislature may make no laws that contradict Shariah edicts. The second case is the province of Ontario, in Canada. There, Muslim women led by Homa Arjomand, an activist of Iranian origin, are fighting--using the Canadian Charter of Rights--to keep Shariah from being applied as family law through a so-called Arbitration Act passed as law in Ontario in 1992. It seems strange to associate the context of Canada with that of Iraq, but a closer look at the arguments used to reassure the demonstrating women in both countries reveals the similar ordeals that Muslim women in both countries must go through to secure their rights. It shows how their legitimate and serious worries are trivialized, and how vulnerable and alone they are. It shows how the Free World led by the U.S. went to war in Iraq, allegedly to bring liberty to Iraqis, and is compromising the basic rights of women in order to meet a random date. It shows how the theory of multiculturalism in Western liberal democracies is working against women in ethnic and religious minorities with misogynist practices. It shows the tenacity of many imams, mullahs and self-made Muslim radicals to subjugate women in the name of God. Most of all, it shows how many of those who consider themselves liberal or left-wing see their energy levels rise when it comes to Bush-bashing, but lose their voice when women's rights are threatened by religious obscurantism. Hamam Hamoudi, the head of Iraq's constitution committee, refuses to discuss the article that worries the Muslim women. He also refused to put in the draft constitution that men and women have equal rights, creating a bizarre situation whereby the women had more rights under Saddam Hussein's regime than in post-Saddam Iraq. Mr. Hamoudi insists that women will have full economic and political rights, but the overwhelming evidence shows that when Shariah--which gives a husband complete control over his wife--is in place, women have little chance to exercise any political rights. Does Mr. Hamoudi realize that it took the removal of Saddam and the establishment of a multiparty democracy for men to vote, while if his draft constitution is ratified, women will need the permission of their husbands to step out of the house in order to mark their ballot? I thought that President Bush and all the allies who supported the Iraq war aspired to bring democracy and liberty to all Iraqis. Aren't Iraqi girls and women human enough to share in that dream? Under Shariah, a girl becomes eligible for marriage from the moment she starts to menstruate. In countries where Islamic law is practiced, child-brides are common. Do the drafters of the constitution grasp what this will mean for the school curriculum of girls or the risks of miscarriages, maternal fatalities and infant deaths? These and other hazards that affect subjugated women are common phenomena in the 22 Arab-Islamic countries investigated in the Arab Human Development Report. An early marriage also means many children in an area of the world that is already overpopulated and poor. The draft Iraqi bill of rights favors men in other respects, such as the right to marry up to four wives, and the right to an easy divorce, without the interference of a court, simply by repeating "I divorce you" in the presence of two male witnesses. A wife divorced in such a fashion will receive an allowance for a period of three months to one year, and after that period nothing. On the other hand, if a wife wants a divorce, she must go to court and prove that her husband does not meet her material needs, that he is infertile and that he is impotent. Once a divorce is finalized, if there are children, the custody of the children will automatically go to the father (for boys at age 7 and for girls from the start of menstruation). Inheritance based on the Shariah means that wives will get only a small portion of the property of their husbands and a sister will get half what her brother gets. Canadian women are told that the Arbitration Act of 1992 was passed in order to provide citizens with the opportunity to resolve minor conflicts through mediation and thereby save valuable court time. They are reassured that Muslim women in Canada have nothing to fear because parties must enter into arbitration out of their free choice, and that there are enough limits to safeguard the rights of women. The Muslim women's arguments that "free choice" is relative when you are psychologically, financially and socially dependent on your family, clan or religious group seem to fall on deaf ears. The populations of battered Muslim women in "tolerant" Canada's women's shelters seem to be ignored. In Canada, battered Muslim women say that their husbands told them that it is a God-given right to hit them. If the current Iraqi constitution goes through, Iraqi wife-abusers will be able to add "It is my constitutional right to beat you." An Iraqi constitution is necessary, and the need for urgency is apparent, but urgency is a bad argument for passing a bill that strips half the nation of its rights. In Ontario, minorities come first and individual women within minorities last, living as second-class citizens and suffering in silence. Ms. Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament for the Liberal Party, was born in Somalia. She took refuge in the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage, and has had armed bodyguards after receiving death threats from Muslim extremists. She writes at

Posted by: Manu Aug 17 2005, 02:35 PM

QUOTE (Bharatvarsh @ Aug 17 2005, 06:45 PM)
Only veiled women can contest elections: Fatwa August 17, 2005 17:33 IST In yet another controversial fatwa, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom has ruled that Muslim women should not contest elections and if they have to do they must do it under veil, evoking sharp reactions from political parties. "Muslim women are not allowed to appear before men without a veil and under the Islamic law pardanashin (veiled) women are only allowed to contest elections," the Darool Uloom of Deoband said in the edict issued Tuesday. It said those contesting panchayat elections must cover their faces. Various political parties have reacted sharply to the edict with Union Law Minister H R Bharadwaj saying edicts from religious groups have no significance under the Constitution and it is up to the people whether they want to abide by them or not. Congress MP Rashid Alvi said if Muslim women do not contest elections, the entire community will lag behind. Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury condemned it by saying the Constitution has given women equal rights and this right should not be infringed. [And what exactly are progressives like himself doing to prevent this from happening instead of chatting sh*t] Calling the edict wrong, Bharatiya Janata Party Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said women should get equal rights in every sphere. The fatwa has come at a time when hundreds of Muslim women are contesting panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh, where 33 per cent seats have been reserved for women.
This can happen only in the Land of Dhimmis. Meanwhile,
ITALY has banned Islamic burqas under tough terrorism laws that provide two-year jail terms and E2000 ($3200) fines for anyone caught covering their face in a public place. The counter-terrorism package, passed by Italy's parliament yesterday, doubles the existing penalty for wearing a burqa or chador -- traditional robes worn by Muslim women to cover their faces -- or full-faced helmets or balaclavas in public.
From:,5744,16110721%255E2703,00.html Where are Amnesty International and other "Human Rights" watchdogs now?

Posted by: ramana Aug 17 2005, 02:35 PM

I have been thinking about the origins of Islam after reviewing the DaVinci Code. HuH? Well it is like this. Obviously Jesus came earlier than Mohammed. It is clear from the DaVinci code that there are people who are not ready to accept the divinity of Jesus. They do accept him as a prophet and but not the son of God. Researching further I found that there were sects in Egypt for example led by one Anthony which was prominent in the early days before the conversion of Constantine. I think this and similar groups had interaction with the Arabian peninsula due to the trade routes. Mohammed probably belonged and/or was infleunced by these sects. He wanted to bring the Arabian peninisula which had an alternate theogony(Allah and his daughters) to his monotheistic dogma. Being a trader he understood that he had to control the economy of the area. To do this he needed a new politico-religious order. His model was the Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinopole. He took the kinder passages of the Judeo-Christian doctrines and added the tenets of pre-Islamic Arabia- feudalism, patrilinealism and misogyny to create his new order. The people were familiar with some of the concepts of angels and other Judeo-Christian theogony. They also had their own theogyny of Djinns, houris and promise of heaven for daeth in battle-field etc which he incorporated. He understood the difficulties of a new religion from dissent and hence closed further options by declaring himself to be the Last Prophet. To make it easy for them to adopt his new religion which calls for clean break with the past, he called the past era as ignorant or jahillya. To ensure the new converts do not revert he made it a crime of apostasy punishable by death. His religion is mainly for politcal and social control the people who enter it. He kept invoking communicatiosn with angels to give credence to his new dictats or expediences. As his maruding converst pounced on decaying social order in the near by regions which were already under some form of Christian dispensation due to the Greek and Roman influence, he was able to win his easy victories and get more powerful.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 18 2005, 05:52 AM

Muslim bodies defend Shariat Lucknow, Aug. 17: With the Supreme Court questioning the legality of Shariat courts, Muslim clerics are now clearly on the defensive, while progressive leaders in the community are in an upbeat mood. The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the union government, seven state governments and three Muslim bodies — All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, Darul-Uloom and Muslims for Secular Democracy — on a PIL filed by advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan that questions the legality and validity of Shariat courts and fatwas issued by them. The PIL mentions the Imrana case, in particular, to plead its case before the court. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board was clearly defensive on the issue and its spokesman said that the board was likely to convene a meeting soon to discuss the reply to the Supreme Court notice. However, senior high court advocate and member of the AIMPLB, Mr Zafaryab Jilani, told reporters: “Much of the misconception arises because of misinterpretation of facts. Darul Qaza which means ‘house of the Qazi’ merely gives its opinion on religious matters and should not be termed as Shariat court. The Darul Qaza does not run a parallel judicial system, but merely deals with family disputes and affairs of Muslims. In fact, this helps in reducing the burden on courts.” Mr Jilani further explained that Article 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution confers the freedom to profess, practice and propagate a religion of one’s choice and the Shariat Application Act 1937 also came into existence because Muslims are governed by Shariat laws in matters related to family, inheritance, marriage, among others. Maulana Burhannuddin, head of the Shariat court in Lucknow, meanwhile, clarified that there was no clash between Shariat court and the law of the land. “We do not take up issues that may clash with the law of the land. Besides, it is not mandatory for applicants to abide by the ruling of the Shariat court. The PIL on this issue obviously does not represent facts clearly, but once the concerned parties file their replies, the confusion will be cleared,” he said. Another senior cleric, Maulana Khalid Rashid of Naib Imam of Aishbagh Idgah, also explained that there was no clash between Darul Qaza and the law of the land. “Take the case of Imrana. If the Shariat laws had prevailed, then the rapist father-in-law would have been stoned to death, but his case is being heard under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. It is only in personal religious matters that Shariat laws prevail and this is perfectly in order with the law of the land,” he said. Meanwhile, “progressive” Muslim leaders feel that the notice will have the desired impact and prevent wrong interpretation of Shariat laws in future. Ms Shaista Amber, president of the All-India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board, told this newspaper a section of the Muslim clergy had been distorting facts to retain their supremacy.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 18 2005, 06:09 AM

Now an Islamic Bank? To what extent secular absurdity can go is best illustrated by the UPA announcement of setting up Islamic banks in India. Already the Centre has provision for separate welfare schemes for minorities. The madrasa education, though purely religious in nature is being funded by the Union and State governments. It is also well known that these institutions are becoming the recruiting ground for jehadi terrorists in the country. Reports say that the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has directed the Reserve Bank of India to study the feasibility of setting up an Islamic bank. India has a large and yet shrinking banking system. The trend today is to link banking with their profitability. Even the nationalised banks are now becoming increasingly profit conscious. There is no service including simple savings bank account transactions that is not charged. The very idea of bank nationalisation was to take banking to villages and remote areas and help rural, agricultural financing. Now these banks are closing their loss making rural branches, while proliferating them in commercial centres. This background is necessary to understand the total irrationality of the Finance Minister’s directive. If one is to go by Islamic approach, interest taking and giving is prohibited. Then how can an Islamic banking system exist in a free market economy? And should the government do everything possible not to allow Muslims to integrate with the rest of the society? There are states like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala which give reservation to Muslims. Minority reservation and privileges in education and jobs is another divisive idea. Promotion of languages on religious lines is yet another move patronised by the Government to foister separateness. Now there are demands for reservation to State Assemblies and the Parliament by Muslim organisations. Thank God! They have not yet demanded separate electoral rolls as was the case before Partition. A few months ago the Human Resources Development Ministry announced 50 per cent reservation of seats in postgraduate and degree level in Aligarh Muslim University over and above the already existing reservation in that University. It is not clear as to what is preventing Muslims from going to the PSU, private and cooperative banks in the country. Does that mean that Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists should also ask for Reserve Bank permission for religion based banking? One also can further expend on caste lines. If this nonsense is allowed what will happen to our financial system and the economy in general? It is not clear in what way a religion-based bank can enhance the welfare of a particular community other than segregating and ghettoizing it further. If the idea is to facilitate the flow of petro dollar or channelise the hawala money that has already created a parallel economy, such banks can only become a tool for subversive activities. If the Government is really interested in the upliftment of the Muslims in the country, it should educate the Muslims on the need to integrate themselves with the rest of the society. The community should come out of the shariat constraints and work towards a common civil code, as normal citizens. There is no indication that Muslim saving, investment or enterprise is hampered in the absence of Islamic bank. And financial institutions in the country have a record, which is above caste, religious considerations. In the name of “Vote Bank” politics, the UPA should not destroy this functional autonomy of our financial institutions.

Posted by: Mudy Aug 18 2005, 08:21 AM

Another senior cleric, Maulana Khalid Rashid of Naib Imam of Aishbagh Idgah, also explained that there was no clash between Darul Qaza and the law of the land. “Take the case of Imrana. If the Shariat laws had prevailed, then the rapist father-in-law would have been stoned to death, but his case is being heard under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. It is only in personal religious matters that Shariat laws prevail and this is perfectly in order with the law of the land,” he said.
To punish a muslim woman use Shariat and to punish muslim man use Indian penal code. What a joke?

Posted by: acharya Aug 18 2005, 05:39 PM

Send this Article to a Friend Muslim intelligentsia divided over `fatwa' on use of veil LUCKNOW: Muslim intelligentsia in Uttar Pradesh appeared divided over the recent `fatwa' issued by Islamic seminary Darul Uloom making wearing of veils mandatory for Muslim women entering politics. While a member of Muslim Personal Law Board and Naib Imam of Firangi Mahal, Khalid Rasheed, asked the ulemas not to interfere in political matters, another member of the Board and senior counsel Zafaryab Jilani said wearing a naqab (veil) should not be linked only with contesting elections as has been stated by the Islamic seminary. ``Such fatwas unnecessarily expose the community to criticism by communal forces thereby harming the interest of Muslims,'' Rasheed said advising the ulemas to confine themselves to shariat matters. Quoting the Quran, Rasheed said Islam preaches equality between men and women and women are in the forefront even in Islamic countries. Mr. Jilani on the other hand said the views of the Islamic seminary in this regard were suggestions coming in response to a specific question and not a fatwa. There is no uniform concept of `naqab' as different people interpret and observe it differently, Mr. Jilani said, adding the Darul Uloom edict has, however, created confusion among Muslims because of its timing as panchayat elections are currently in progress. -- PTI

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 19 2005, 06:48 AM

Muslim scholar embraces Hinduism THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, April 6 (UNI) — Amid tight security and chanting of mantras, young Muslim scholar Hassan Palakkode and two others, including a woman, today embraced Hinduism at a ceremony held here according to vedic rites. After the "Ganapati havan" and purification ceremony, the trio, Hassan Palakkode, Akbar and Jama, were formally converted to Hinduism and adopted new names Kamala Hassan, Raju and Uma respectively. The ceremony, organised by the state unit of the Shiv Sena, was held under the leadership of Acharya Yogananda Swami. It was attended by sanyasis from several ashrams. A large posse of policemen stood guard outside the venue, near the famous Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, as Hassan, who completed a course to be eligible to become a maulvi, had attracted the wrath of Muslim fundamentalists for writing "secular" articles and questioning polygamy. He is reportedly facing threats to his life after he announced his decision to embrace Hinduism. While the woman, Jama, is a Christian married to a Hindu, Akbar is Hindu-converted Muslim. Thirty-year-old Hassan is the first Muslim intellectual in the state to change faith. His adoption of a new name Kamala Hassan evokes memories of a recent high profile conversion in the state-that of noted writer Kamala Das into Surayya. Mr Hassan said though he had embraced Hinduism, he would never force his parents, wife, children or brothers to change faith. He would try his best to cooperate with them.
In Islam the penalty for apostacy is death, the Muslims who want to kill him are no fundamentalists, they are the true Muslims.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Aug 19 2005, 07:24 AM

Veiled campaign for votes after fatwa OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT Lucknow, Aug. 18: The veils have come on after the not-so-veiled order.

Muslim women candidates slipped on their burqas before hitting the campaign trail for the village polls in Uttar Pradesh, a day after the Dar-ul Uloom seminary ruled they should not contest elections and if they do, must do it under veil.

Posted by: Naresh Aug 21 2005, 05:21 AM,,176-1744226,00.html A MUSLIM leader based in Scotland has claimed that a terrorist attack on members of the government would be justified. Dr Yaqub Zaki, 60, the deputy leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain (MPGB), said that he would be “happy” if bombers were to target Downing Street. Zaki, a white Muslim convert, also voiced doubts that Islamic extremists were behind the suicide attacks in London and pledged to defy proposed legislation that would make it an offence to condone or glorify terrorism. Tony Blair has promised to tighten existing laws to crack down on those who preach religious hatred such as Omar Bakri Mohammed, the radical Muslim cleric. The MPGB promotes itself as the moderate voice of Britain’s Islamic community. Last month Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, its leader, told a conference in Birmingham that Muslims must confront extremism if they wished to live in peace in Britain. “Islam is about social justice, tolerance and equality,” he said. “We must challenge this evil theology, which motivates and inspires young people to become suicide bombers.” However, in an interview with The Sunday Times, Zaki, a member of the Regent’s Park mosque in London, said: “I am not even convinced that Muslims were responsible [for the London bombings] or that they were responsible for 9/11. “I cannot exclude the hypothesis that the London bombings were the work of agents provocateurs working for British intelligence to create a case for war against the Muslims.” He said he could not condone the death of innocent people in the London bombings but claimed he would not object if there was to be an attack on Downing Street with Blair in residence. “I say go ahead, I would be very happy. The IRA did it. They had rockets that were ready to rain down on No 10. “It would be a shame because it’s a beautiful Georgian property, I wouldn’t like to see it destroyed but as for its inmates, well, I don’t care much for what happens to them.” Pressed on whether he was really saying that he would not be upset by a bombing of Downing Street, he said: “No, I wouldn’t be upset, no. But I’m not calling for his execution.” Zaki said he believed Muslims had a duty to speak out against the actions of the West such as the war in Iraq and its role in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. “[Blair] has gone beyond the score in saying we are not allowed to glorify terrorism in another country,” he said. “That means if I praise the sacrifice of somebody who blows themselves up on a bus in Tel Aviv I could be prosecuted under British law. I personally intend to ignore any legislation but a lot of people will feel inhibited by it. If I want to praise somebody in Palestine who blows themselves up, I will. I totally disassociate myself with these views and I am very sorry he has said what he has said,” he said. Mohammad Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central and Govan, accused Zaki of being “ignorant” and jeopardising the safety of law-abiding Muslims in Britain. “These are outrageous remarks and in any democracy and civilised world these are unacceptable,” he said. “People like him are not helping the Muslim cause in this country, his comments are totally ignorant. “What he is saying could have a serious impact on British Muslims and there will be a very strong reaction in the Muslim community. I have spoken to many people and none of them represent the same views as him.” Ashref Anjum, the president of the Glasgow central mosque, of which Zaki is also a member, said: “Some people have hardline views but they are not representative of Scotland’s Muslim community. We are strictly against any form of terrorism and we do not condone Dr Zaki’s comments.” ]Last night Rev David Lacy, the moderator of the Church of Scotland, described extremist Muslims as “enemies”. He accused them of “hypocrisy” for accepting the benefits of western welfare and urged them to leave Britain. “They have been welcomed as brothers and have treated us as enemies. They should leave. If we are their enemies they should have nothing to do with us but they don’t.” Peter Wilson, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: “The vast majority of Muslim communities in Scotland abhor the London bombings and recognise the dangerous consequences to good relations these events have prompted. “Clearly, if any individual sought to provoke further unease in our communities then the police would have to look at the matter closely and decide if action is appropriate.” The Greenock-born Zaki, who converted to Islam aged 14, has taught at Harvard and Lancaster universities. He is writing a book on the history of Islam in Britain. Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Mudy Aug 30 2005, 10:56 AM

QUOTE 30th Aug 2005 Hyderabad, Aug. 29: Police arrested the Imam of a mosque at Hari Bowli in Moghalpura for trying to rape a 25-year-old woman after promising to give her refuge. The woman cried out after Sohail Akhtar Imam, 30, of the Gulam Murtuza Masjid, tried to force himself on her at midnight on Sunday. People standing outside the mosque rushed in on hearing her cries and rescued her from his clutches.....
Any chance of fatwa or quazi involvement here? May be they can ask imam to marry this woman.

Posted by: Mudy Sep 8 2005, 08:34 AM'Fatwa'~against~Sania,~she~says~no~comments

Hyderabad, September 8: Sania Mirza on Thursday refused to be drawn into a controversy over her professional dress code and denied she faced any racial discrimination on the circuit. A religious scholar reportedly issued a ‘fatwa’ about her dress code saying that Islam does not permit a woman to wear skirts, shorts and sleeveless tops. “Veil can be dropped on certain occasions but not the way the girl is going about and playing in all those countries,” the scholar told a private news channel on Wednesday
Mullah's can't disappoint me. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Viren Sep 12 2005, 03:11 PM

A welcome change

Respecting Supreme Court guidelines on use of loudspeakers, Imams and Moulavis, here have taken an unanimous decision to stop use of loudspeaker for the 'azaan' an invitation to prayer. This was decided at meeting held yesterday, by senior police officers and Muslim leaders of different mosques.

Posted by: Mudy Sep 13 2005, 08:59 PM

[URL= gives ‘talaq’ to wife on phone?headline=Man~gives~‘talaq’~to~wife~on~phone]Man gives ‘talaq’ to wife on phone[/URL]

Two years ago Istikar migrated to Saudi Arabia, leaving his young wife in his parents’ house. Istikar’s brother gradually started making advances towards Tarannum, which she resisted, but the advances grew bolder. Finally, when Tarannum could not bear it any longer, she telephoned Istikar and narrated the entire story to him. She also pleaded with her husband to call her to Saudi Arabia since she could not continue living in her in-laws’ home. Istikar refused to believe that his brothers could do any such thing, but when Tarannum persisted with her complaints, he pronounced “talaq” thrice on the telephone and ordered Tarannum to return to her parents’ house.
Another police official said on condition of anonymity that since the case involved religious laws too, the police was treading cautiously because it did not want another controversy on its hand.

Posted by: Viren Sep 15 2005, 11:14 AM

In one corner we have Sania Mirza - highest ranking tennis star from India but her attire ain't 'Isalmic friendly' in public. In another we have who always wear burkha (when not performing at the Deepa Bar) Guess on whom does the Maulavis come down heavily upon? No prizes for guessing. on the Sania's dress code.

Posted by: Aryawan Sep 17 2005, 11:13 AM

'Fatwa' issued against Sania's dress!

Posted by: acharya Sep 17 2005, 07:31 PM

Seminar angers Muslims Special Correspondent An image-building bid by U.S.: Jamat-e-Islami JAIPUR: A two-day seminar on multicultural democracies organised here over the weekend by the Urdu edition of Span magazine — published by the U.S. State Department — discussed the scope for promoting shared values and extending dialogue amid opposition by the Muslim groups which took exception to the American orientation of the event. The participants in the seminar included two American scholars from Georgetown University, Washington, and the University of Chicago, who threw light on the experiences of the Muslim minority in the U.S. with the political, social and community work, especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The seminar, titled "Civil society, multicultural democracies and the media", also highlighted the status of minorities in the pluralistic society in both the U.S. and Indian perspectives as well as the role of media in strengthening civil society. Motive questioned However, Muslim organisations -- including the Rajasthan unit of Jamat-e-Islami Hind -- termed the seminar as a U.S. image-building exercise in the wake of the American policies offending Muslims all over the world. The programme was seen as an attempt to placate Muslims by "confusing them about the blatant anti-Muslim conduct" of the U.S. through intellectual jugglery. The Jamat-e-Islami Hind State president, Mohammed Salim, said the seminar, which was the fourth in a series after similar events organised in Patna, Lucknow and Hyderabad, was aimed at winning Muslims' support by creating a false impression about the U.S. protecting democratic values, freedom and justice."It depicts the American strategy to hoodwink public opinion," he said. The speakers in the sessions devoted to the experiences of minorities in the U.S. society defended the American social structure, but agreed that the world superpower was full of contradictions.

Posted by: LSrini Sep 19 2005, 09:37 AM

QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 15 2005, 02:14 PM)
In one corner we have Sania Mirza - highest ranking tennis star from India but her attire ain't 'Isalmic friendly' in public. In another we have who always wear burkha (when not performing at the Deepa Bar) Guess on whom does the Maulavis come down heavily upon? No prizes for guessing. on the Sania's dress code.
It would be unfair to blame only the mullas for issuing the fatwa. Sure the mullas tried to impose their will on india's latest teen sensation, but it was sania who provided the oppurtunity. She was the one who said "I am a devout muslim and I pray 5 times a day. I know the dress I am wearing is not islamic, but allah is compassionate and mercyful and I am sure he would forgive me". After this, it was easy for mullas to say that lowering the veil slightly is permitted, but the way she has been playing in that miniskirt is not. I think the problem might be with whoever advised sania in this matter, like a family member or friend. I think that person has something to lose if sania does not say she is a devout muslim. I am guessing that sania's father or close relative is on the Muslim personal law board and it would harm their interest if sania breaks rank. How sania reacts would be a pointer to this. I think she is better off concentrating on her serve. She does not have enough consistancy on her first serve and her second serve does not have enough speed and variety.

Posted by: acharya Sep 19 2005, 04:34 PM

grand father RAM and grand son Raheem 1) Let us not forget that all the people in pakistan were hindu's once. 2) Question will arise why mighty people in punjab privince got converted into islam. The reason is Muslim invaders used very intelligent ways for people to convert them to islam. They asked non-muslims to pay more tax. Either become muslim or have death penalty. people were helpless. 3) It is important to note that hindu religion has been in existance for more than 10,000 years. islam is in existance for just 10-1200 years and is already in problems. 4) We request You all TO PLEASE COME BACK TO UR ORIGINAL RELIGION NOW. Lets us all become brothers again and forget this hate crime. 5) Let us QUIT THIS FOREIGN RELIGION which we practiced because of cruel ppl from arab land. let us not fight with our own brothers on that side of border. Arabs hv separated us from our brothers.

Posted by: acharya Sep 19 2005, 04:35 PM The History of Jihad site is brought to you by a panel of contributors. This site is co-ordinated by Robin MacArthur with Mahomet Mostapha and Naim al Khoury, New Jersey. How the Jihadis mercilessly vandalized Hindus of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and wiped out Hinduism from some parts of India viz., Pakistan and Bangladesh Fierce and persistent Hindu resistance to the Islamic Jihad prevented the complete Islamization of India Unlike the complete Islamization of Persia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Turkey, North Africa, the Islamization of India was not complete. At the end of one millennium of Muslim Tyranny from 715 up to 1761, more than 70 percent of the population of India remained Hindu. This was NOT due to any Muslim charity or benevolence, since they have none of these characteristics. The Muslim tyranny was as blood-thirsty and savage as it was in all parts of the globe that were unfortunate to be trampled by the Jihadis. The Hindus suffered initial setbacks due to the belief amongst them, as amongst all other no-Muslims, that the Muslim too wee normal human beings, who would after a victory, settle down to govern the defeated population. But once the nightmare of Muslim tyranny began, the Hindus grew wiser faster than the other unfortunate victims of the Jihad. The Hindus never surrendered to the Muslim tyrants. They waged a relentless and violent struggle against the Muslims. And when fortunate favored them, they returned with almost equal measure, the barbarism of the Muslim. We use the qualifier “almost” since the Hindus slaughtered the Muslims on the battlefield, but did not go to the extent of slaughtering Muslim civilians and giving them the choice of Hinduism or death, molesting Muslim women, destroying en masse all Mosques, and building Hindus temples on them (the Babri Masjid-Ramjanabhomi struggle being a one off case) and imposing a penal tax like the jaziya on all Muslims. It was this valiant Hindu resistance that put paid all the savagery of the Muslims to convert al the Hindus to Islam at the pain of death. But otherwise the sordid tale of Muslim savagery was no less brutal from that in other parts of the world overrun by the Islamic Jihad.

Posted by: acharya Sep 19 2005, 04:41 PM

The Jihad against the Human Race launched by the sub-human mindset of Mohammed-ibn-abadallah the accursed founder of Islam (yimach Shmo ve-zichro - may his name and memory be obliterated), in the year 622, is now entering its most bloodied phase. A phase that will see not the towers of severed non-Muslim heads rendered by the blades of Muslim swords, but the vaporization of Muslims by the millions with a single series of strikes by non-Muslim nuclear and neutron bombs. Islam will soon undergo a trail-by-fire. The 21st century is payback time for the Muslims. The crimes against humanity committed by Muslims in the last 14 centries, will be paid back with due premium and without any compassion. The last chapter in the history of Islam will be written with blood and death, the only difference now will be that it will be the blood and death of millions of Muslims, till the human race is finally cured of this scourge of Islam, and can then collect itself once again to continue its march on the path of progress, unhindered by mental prisons like Islam, or by any other form of religious fanaticism, or for that matter by any religion whatsoever. How Vijaynagar survived for two hundred years all through battling the Muslim Aggression from 1331 up to 1565 Vijaynagar, was the first Hindu kingdom which gave up the Hindu practice of not molesting non-combatants. Thus they started paying the Muslims in the same token. When the armies of Vijaynagar overran any Bahamani town or village they torched it. With this they put the fear of death into Muslim minds and soon, the Adilshahi and Nizamshahi sultans sued for a treaty that would proscribe the killing of civilians. Thus from then on till Vijaynagar was finally defeated at the battle of Talikotai, was this treaty adhered to by both the Hindus and Muslims. But with the final defeat of the Hindus at Talikotai, the Muslims repudiated this treaty, as their founder had repudiated the treaty of Hudaibiya, and indulged in a gory slaughter of all the inhabitants of Vijaynagar, they could lay their hands on. Not a single person was allowed to live in that beleaguered city. The city itself was reduced to rubble, after six months of pillage and wanton destruction. This teaches us two lessons. One that only when you pay back the Muslims in the same barbaric token, that they can come temporarily to their senses. But never ever trust the Muslims for their word, since it s given only as matter of expediency. Whenever fortune favors them, they would go back on their word. Likewise, when all non-Muslims should enter into any agreement with Muslims only if the Muslims cannot be beaten militarily, and when the fortune favors the non-Muslims, they should repudiate any treaty with the Muslims and resume hostilities with the one single aim of destroying Islam. There is no other way of salvation for humankind, from this vile creed of the Muslims.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Sep 19 2005, 07:05 PM

let us not fight with our own brothers on that side of border. Arabs hv separated us from our brothers.
When our own brothers want to kill us it is our duty to fight them, afterall Arjun killed many of his relatives in Kurukshetra. It does not matter whether they were converted by force or not, according to Islam all pre islamic period is jahiliya (period of darkness) and Muslims believe this and most of them would not voluntarily leave Islam so either Hindus must prepare for the war that will come inevitably or go extinct and those who can't fight deserve extinction (afterall its the law of nature).

Posted by: acharya Sep 28 2005, 05:28 PM

Marriage matters The most disturbing question I asked a Muslim cleric in Washington was whether it was right for Indian Muslim girls to marry Hindu boys. The answer, from Dr Abdullah Muhammad Khouj, was No. I then asked if it was okay if the girl retained her religion while the boy retained his. The answer was "Al Haram, Al Haram (It's a sin)." Dr Khouj added that Islam did not permit Muslim girls to marry non-Muslims. The marriage was possible only if the boys converted to Islam. He did say, however, that Muslim boys could marry 'people of the book' like Christians or Jews, and that the girls could retain their own religion. Marrying Hindu girls was impossible unless they first converted to Islam. My question was based on the fact that, as Muslim girls get educated and become economically independent, it is difficult for Muslim families to tell them not to marry non-Muslims. There are many cases in India -- including one in my family -- but the cleric said they were un-Islamic. He added that one ought to explain to one's sisters and daughters that there was life after death. It is a question Indian Muslims will have to ask themselves and find solutions to. What will they do when such a situation crops up in their families? Will they be loyal to their religion or give in to demands of female family members?
What Indian Muslims feel While in America, I was often asked what Indian Muslims thought of their identity and what their attitude towards the US was. I always replied with a small poem by Akbar Allahbadi (1846-1921) composed on the plight of Indian Muslims 100 years ago: 'The master is turned slave, such is the will of fate. The owner of the palace is now keeper of the gate. The Englishman is happy, he owns the aeroplane, The Hindu's gratified that he controls all trade. While Muslims slave for food as clerks Our hearts bleed for Persians and Turks. Imitators of Western music will reign supreme, Their songs will be out of tune, a cacophonous burst. Past glories will find a mention nowhere on earth, Glorious tales of name and fame inside the books will rust. But why are you perturbed, Akbar, about the changing times? You and I will cease to be, and mingle with the dust.' There are two important questions relevant not just to the downfall of the Mughal empire 150 years ago, but also the era we live in: What policy should Indian Muslims follow in the existing political situation where America dominates the world? And how should they maintain their cultural and religious identities amidst forces of globalisation let loose by the West? Indian Muslims have begun a period of self-introspection, realiSing that narrow-mindedness will lead them nowhere. They will have to find solutions to their own problems, just like their brothers around the world now do.

Posted by: Mudy Sep 28 2005, 05:44 PM

My version of poem. Enjoy it!!!!

'The invaders are turned slave, such is the will of fate. The occupier of the palace is now keeper of the gate. The Englishman is happy, he owns the aeroplane, The Hindu's enjoying that he controls all trade. While Muslims slave for food as clerks Our hearts bleed for Wahhabies and Turks. Imitators of Western music will reign supreme, Their songs will be out of tune, a cacophonous burst. Past barbaric atrocities will find a mention everywhere on earth, Barbaric tales of name and shame inside the books will spread. But why are you perturbed, Akbar, about the changing times? You and I will cry, and die on the sand dunes'

Posted by: Viren Sep 29 2005, 10:42 AM

I thought someone around had started a Sufism thread. In absense of which, I'll post it here:

In the chapter "Sufis and Militance," Frawley observes the "gullibility" of Hindus to Sufism, "even if it hides the same old fundamentalism and militance Hindus oppose. They will bow down at the grave of a Sufi saint without inquiring about what made the particular person holy. In a number of instances it was his slaughter of the infidels that was responsible for his sanctity, including the ancestors of these self-same Hindus." This chapter is replete with citations to Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi's "A History of Sufism in India," a compendious 2-volume work of scholarship. Sample citation: A prominent sufi of the Suhrawardi order, Saiyid Nuruddin Mubarak of the thirteenth century exhortation of Muslim rulers to "make every effort to disgrace and humiliate Hindus. They should not tolerate the sight of Hindus, and in particular they should exterminate the Brahmans, who are the leaders of heretics and the disseminators of heresy." About the supposed tolerance of the Sufis, Frawley notes: ". . .even great Sufi poets like Attar and Sanai wrote in praise of Sultan Mahmud's destruction of Somnath as a great victory of Islam over idolatory. ... Some earlier teachers, like the great Persian poet Rumi, were used by Sufi orders as a mystical support for their more militant agendas, just as St. Francis of Assisi, a gentle and saintly figure, was used by the more militant Catholic Church to improve its image." Frawley warns: "One should not think Sufi militance was an affair of the Middle ages and has been given up in modern times. Today there is an effort by Sufis to appear more liberal, not only in India but in the West, but if we look deeply this is often a public relations ploy. Ask such Sufis to criticize traditional Islamic militance. Ask them to honor the use of images in religious worship. Ask them to criticize traditional Islamic law with its cruel anti-blasphemy and anti-apostasy rules. Let their answer be your guide."

Posted by: k.ram Oct 2 2005, 06:04 AM Sufi Jihad? May 15th, 2005 The Sufi branch of Islam has enjoyed spectacularly good press in the West. Hailed as peaceful mystics who believe jihad is a spiritual quest, nothing violent or unpleasant, Sufism has attracted favorable attention and converts from all sorts of Westerners, from new agers in Marin County, California, to East Coast intellectuals. But Sufis are not necessarily all peace-loving meditative seekers of the divine. The formation of the "The Sufi Jihadi Squadrons of Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani" in Iraq was recently announced at the jihadist website, "Jihad Unspun". The Al-Gilani (d.1166) after whom they are named was in fact a Hanbali Sufi. Sufi jihadists"(?)-a "Hanbali Sufi"(??)-haven't we been lectured at great length about the singular evils of "Wahhabism" -rooted in the Hanbali school of Muslim jurisprudence, epitomized by Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328)-versus its Islamic "antithesis", the ecumenical tradition of mystical Sufism??? Notwithstanding the musings of a Muslim journalist and neo-convert from Bolshevism to Sufi Islam (see his bizarre and treacly "profession of faith" here, and a clinical description of what this newly described syndrome represents), Sufism has been linked integrally to the Muslim institution of jihad war since the 11th century C.E. Consistent with this nexus between Sufism and orthodox Islam, Sufis have supported (fervently) the corollary institution of dhimmitude, replete with all its oppressive and humiliating regulations for non-Muslims. It is also important to highlight, in contrast, the very flimsy theological foundation of the much ballyhooed Sufi notion of the so-called "greater" spiritual jihad. Even the Islamophilic scholar Reuven Firestone has acknowledged the dubious nature of the hadith ostensibly outlining this potential interpretation of jihad: [1] Its source is not usually given, and it is in fact nowhere to be found in the canonical collections [of hadith] Of course devout Muslims, and influential 20th century scholars of Islam like the Shi'ite leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (d. 1989), or the brilliant Sunni ideologue Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), always recognized the marginal Islamic foundations of this putative Sufi construction in their seminal writings and lectures, and dismissed it outright. [2] But what have the most important Sufi theologians and jurists written on the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad war, and its corollary institution, dhimmitude, from the Medieval era, through the present? Also, what has been the role of prominent Sufis or Sufi movements vis a vis jihad war, and the implementation of dhimmitude? Al-Ghazali, Medieval Sufism, Jihad and Dhimmitude Let us begin with a towering figure in Muslim intellectual history, Al-Ghazali (1058-1111), who was born at Tus in Khurasan, near modern Meshed, Iran, and became a renowned theologian, jurist, and mystic. Al-Ghazali's early training was as a jurist, and he continued to have an interest in jurisprudence throughout his career, writing a work the Wadjiz, dated 1101, i.e., in the last decade of his life. The eminent Islamic scholar W.M. Watt stresses Al-Ghazali's Muslim orthodoxy. Watt maintains that Al-Ghazali was [3] .acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad, and he is by no means unworthy of that dignity.He brought orthodoxy and mysticism into closer contact.the theologians became more ready to accept the mystics as respectable, while the mystics were more careful to remain within the bounds of orthodoxy. Al-Ghazali, a Sufi orthodox Muslim, and follower of the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence, wrote this about jihad war and the treatment of the vanquished non-Muslim dhimmi peoples, in the Wadjiz: [4] [O]ne must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them...If a person of the Ahl al-Kitab [People of The Book - primarily Jews and Christians] is enslaved, his marriage is [automatically] revoked.One may cut down their trees...One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide...they may steal as much food as they need... [T]he dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle.Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims].on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]. They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells.their houses may not be higher than the Muslim's, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle [-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths.[dhimmis] must hold their tongue.. Compare Al-Ghazali's writings, above, to the statements below by two later, prominent Hanbali jurists, Ibn Qudama (d. 1223), and the much demonized Ibn Taymiyya (d.1328). First Ibn Qudama: [5] Legal war (jihad) is an obligatory social duty (fard-kifaya); when one group of Moslems guarantees that it is being carried out in a satisfactory manner, the others are exempted. The jihad becomes a strictly binding personal duty (fard-'ain) for all Moslems who are enlisted or whose country has been [invaded] by the enemy. It is obligatory only for free men who have reached puberty, are endowed with reason and capable of fighting. Jihad is the best of the works of supererogation. Abu Huraira relates that "The Prophet, when asked what was the best of all works, replied: Belief in God [and in His Prophet].- And then? someone asked him. - War for God's cause, then a pious pilgrimage." Abu Sa'id reports also that the Prophet, when asked who was the best of all men, replied, "He who fights for God's cause, personally and with his goods.". It is permitted to surprise the infidels under cover of night, to bombard them with mangonels [an engine that hurls missiles] and to attack them without declaring battle (du'a'). The Prophet attacked the Banu Mustaliq unexpectedly, while their animals were still at the watering-place; he killed the men who had fou! ght against him and carried off the children into captivity. It is forbidden to kill children, madmen, women, priests, impotent old men, the infirm, the blind, the weak-minded, unless they have taken part in the combat. The chief of State decides on the fate of the men who are taken as prisoners; he can have them put to death, reduce them to slavery, free them in return for a ransom or grant them their freedom as a gift. He must choose the solution most in keeping with the common good of the Moslems. The jizya can be demanded only from the Peoples of the Book (Ahl-al-Kitab) and from Zoroastrians (Magus), who pledge to pay it and submit to the laws of the community. The Peoples of the Book are understood to mean the Jews and those who follow the religion of the Torah, as well as the Christians and those who follow the religion of the Gospel. When People of the Book or Zoroastrians ask to pay the jizya and to submit to the laws of the community, one must grant their request, and it is forbidden to fight them. The jizya is collected at the beginning of each year. It is set at 48 dirhems for a rich man, at 24 dirhems for a man of moderate means, and at 12 dirhems for a man of lowly estate. It cannot be demanded from children who have not reached the age of puberty, from women, helpless old men, the sick, the blind, or slaves, nor from poor people who are unable to pay it. An infidel subject to the jizya who converts to Islam is free of this obligation. When an infidel d! ies, his heirs are responsible for the jizya. Ibn Taymiyya: [6] Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God's entirely and God's word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words (e.g. by propaganda) and acts (e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare). As for the People of the Book and the Zoroastrians (Majus), they are to be fought until they become Muslims or pay the tribute (jizya) out of hand and have been humbled. Any fair, objective comparison must conclude that relative to the Hanbali jurists Ibn Qudama and Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Ghazali is at least as bellicose in his pronouncements on jihad war, and more bigoted and oppressive in his stated guidelines for the treatment of the vanquished non-Muslim dhimmis. Furthermore, Al Ghazali's views regarding non-Muslim dhimmis-which were typical of the prevailing written opinions of Muslim theologians and jurists during the Abbasid-Baghdadian Caliphate-resulted in tangible acts of dhimmi persecution, as recorded, for example, in this contemporary chronicle from Baghdad by Obadyah the Proselyte, in 1100 C.E.: [7] .the Caliph of Baghdad, al-Muqtadi [1075-1094], had given power to his vizier, Abu Shuja. [who] imposed that each male Jew should wear a yellow badge on his headgear. This was one distinctive sign on the head and the other was on the neck- a piece of lead of the weight of a silver dinar hanging round the neck of every Jew and inscribed with the word dhimmi to signify that the Jew had to pay poll-tax. Jews also had to wear girdles round their wastes. Abu Shuja further imposed two signs on Jewish women. They had to wear a black and a red shoe, and each woman had to have a small brass bell on her neck or shoe, which would tinkle and thus announce the separation of Jewish from Gentile [Muslim] women. He assigned cruel Muslim men to spy upon Jewish women, in order to oppress them with all kinds of curses, humiliation, and spite. The Gentile population used to mock all the Jews, and the mob and their children used to beat up the Jews in all the streets of Baghdad.When a Jew died, ! who had not paid up the poll-tax [jizya] to the full and was in debt for a small or large amount, the Gentiles did not permit burial until the poll-tax was paid. If the deceased left nothing of value, the Gentiles demanded that other Jews should, with their own money, meet the debt owed by the deceased in poll-tax; otherwise they [threatened] they would burn the body. Finally, in the spirit of Al Ghazali's teachings on jihad war, the Seljuk and Ottoman jihad campaigns which ravaged neighboring Asia Minor from the 11th through 15th centuries, were spearheaded by "Ghazi" (from the word ghazwa or "razzia") movements, "Warriors of the Faith", brought together under the banner of Islam to fight infidels, and obtain booty. Incited by pious Muslim theologians-most prominently, Sufi dervishes-these ghazis were at the vanguard of both the Seljuk and Ottoman jihad conquests. A.E. Vacalopoulos highlights the role of these dervishes during the Ottoman campaigns: [8] .fanatical dervishes and other devout Muslim leaders.constantly toiled for the dissemination of Islam. They had done so from the very beginning of the Ottoman state and had played an important part in the consolidation and extension of Islam. These dervishes were particularly active in the uninhabited frontier regions of the east. Here they settled down with their families, attracted other settlers, and thus became the virtual founders of whole new villages, whose inhabitants invariably exhibited the same qualities of deep religious fervor. From places such as these, the dervishes or their agents would emerge to take part in new military enterprises for the extension of the Islamic state. In return, the state granted them land and privileges under a generous prescription which required only that the land be cultivated and communications secured. Sufi Ideologues in Pre-Modern India The Sufism practiced on the Indian subcontinent was quite intolerant of Hinduism, during both the late Delhi Sultanate and early Mughal periods, as documented by K. S. Lal, a pre-eminent 20th century Indian scholar of Islam. Lal [9] focuses on the writings of the influential Sufi cleric Abdul Quddus Gangoh (~1456-1537): The Muslim Mushaikh [Sufi spiritual leaders] were as keen on conversions as the Ulama, and contrary to general belief, in place of being kind to the Hindus as saints would, they too wished the Hindus to be accorded a second class citizenship if they were not converted. Only one instance, that of Shaikh Abdul Quddus Gangoh, need be cited because he belonged to the Chishtia Silsila considered to be the most tolerant of all Sufi groups. He wrote letters to the Sultan Sikandar Lodi, Babur, and Humayun to re-invigorate the Shariat [Sharia] and reduce the Hindus to payers of land tax and jizya. To Babur he wrote, "Extend utmost patronage and protection to theologians and mystics... that they should be maintained and subsidized by the state... No non-Muslim should be given any office or employment in the Diwan of Islam... Furthermore, in conformity with the principles of the Shariat they should be subjected to all types of indignities and humiliations. They should be made to pay th! e jizya...They should be disallowed from donning the dress of the Muslims and should be forced to keep their Kufr [infidelity] concealed and not to perform the ceremonies of their Kufr openly and freely. They should not be allowed to consider themselves the equal to the Muslims." Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624) was an eminent Sufi mystic, connected with several Sufi orders (including the Naqshbandi order), who contributed greatly toward the revival of orthodox Islam, following the heterodox experiments of Akbar's reign (1556-1605). Sirhindi published a number of tracts and letters promoting his views, which condemned the ecumenism Akbar had promulgated towards Hindus, in particular. As opposed to his bigoted views of the Hindus, Sirhindi's ad hominem attack on Jews must reflect a theological (i.e., Muslim) Judenhass [Jew-hatred], as it is unlikely he would have had any direct contact with the minute and remote Jewish communities in pre-modern India. Shariat can be fostered through the sword..Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existence between these two contradictory faiths is unthinkable..The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects kafirs, dishonors the Muslims. To respect them does not merely mean honoring them and assigning them a seat of honor in any assembly, but it also implies keeping company with them or showing considerations to them. They should be kept at an arm's length like dogs..If some worldly business cannot be performed without them, in that case only a minimum of contact should be established with them but without taking them into confidence. The highest Islamic sentiment asserts that it is better to forego that worldly business and that no relationship should be established with the kafirs.The real purpose in levying jizya on them [the non-Muslims] is to humiliate then to such an extent that! , on account of fear of jizya , they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It in intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam.Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs may probably agree to pay jizya but they shall never concede to cow-sacrifice.The execution of the accursed kafir of Gobindwal [a Sikh who lead an uprising against the oppressive Muslim rule of his community] is an important achievement and is the cause of great defeat of the accursed Hindus.Whatever might have been the motive behind the execution, the dishonor of the kafirs is an act of highest grace for the Muslims. Before the execution of the kafirs I had seen in a vision that the Emperor had destroyed the crown of the head of Shirk. Verily he was the chief of the Mushriks and the leader of the kafirs.Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam. [10] Yohanan Friedmann offers this summary assessment of Sirhindi's attitudes towards the Hindus: [11] Sirhindi follows up his utter rejection of the beliefs and practices of Hinduism with an equally outspoken statement of his attitude regarding the position of the Hindus in the Mughul empire. The honour of Islam demands the humiliation of the infidels and their false religion. To achieve this objective, jizyah should be mercilessly levied upon them, and they should be treated like dogs. Cows should be slaughtered to demonstrate the supremacy of Islam. The performance of this rite is, in India, the most important symbol of Islamic domination. One should refrain from dealing with the infidels unless absolutely necessary, and even then treat then with contempt. Islam and infidelity are two irreconcilable opposites. One thrives upon the degradation of the other. Sirhindi's deep-seated hatred of the non-Muslims can be best illustrated by his rejoicing at the execution in 1606 of Arjun, the fifth guru of the Sikhs. Shah Aladihlawi Wali-Allah (1703-1762), was a theologian, pioneering Persian translator of the Qur'an, Sufi traditionalist, and political activist. Shah Wali-Allah's letters to Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani), as well as prominent local Muslim leaders urging them to cooperate with Durrani in undertaking a jihad against the (Hindu) Marathas and Jats, reveal his persistent efforts to establish a (foreign, if necessary) and more militant Muslim dynasty within India. Shah Wali-Allah was thus not only an inspiration for Durrani's invasions of 1756-57 and 1760-61, he was also responsible for helping to organize a confederacy of Muslim powers against the (Hindu) Marathas in Northern India. It has become clear to my mind that the kingdom of heaven has predestined that kafirs should be reduced to a state of humiliation and treated with utter contempt. Should that repository of majesty and dauntless courage [Nizam al-Maluk] gird his loins and direct his attention to such a task he can conquer the world. Thus the faith will become more popular and his own power strengthened; a little effort would be profoundly rewarded. Should he make no effort, they [the Marathas] would inevitably be weakened and annihilated through celestial calamities and in such an event he would gain no credit.As I have learnt this unequivocally [from the divine] I spontaneously write to draw your attention to the great opportunity laid before you. You should therefore not be negligent in fighting jihad.Oh Kings! Mala a'la urges you to draw your swords and not put them back in their sheaths again until Allah has separated the Muslims from the polytheists and the rebellious kafirs and the! sinners are made absolutely feeble and helpless." In his testament to [subsequent Caliph] Umar, [then Caliph] Abu Bakr had informed him that if he feared God, the entire world would be frightened of him ['Umar]. Sages and declared that the world resembled a shadow. If a man ran after his shadow it would pursue him, and if he took flight from the shadow it would still pursue him. God has chosen you as the protector of the Sunnis as there is no-one else to perform this duty, and it is crucial that at all times you consider your role as obligatory. By taking up the sword to make Islam supreme and by subordinating your own persona needs to this cause, you will reap vast benefits. We beseech you [Durrani, a Muslim ruler] in the name of the Prophet to fight a jihad against the infidels of this region. This would entitle you to great rewards before God the Most High and your name would be included in the list of those who fought jihad for His sake. As far as worldly gains are concerned, incalculable booty would fall into the hands of the Islamic ghazis and the Muslims would be liberated from their bonds. The invasion of Nadir Shah who destroyed the Muslims left the Marathas and Jats secure and prosperous. This resulted in the infidels regaining their strength and in the reduction of the Muslim leaders of Delhi to mere puppets. When the conquering army arrives in an area with a mixed Muslim-Hindu population, the imperial guards should transfer the Muslims from their villages to the towns and at the same time care for their property. Financial assistance should be given by governments to the deprived and the poor as well as to Sayyids and the 'ulama. Their generosity would then become famous with prompt prayers for their victories. Each town would eagerly await the arrival of the Islamic army ('that paragon of bounty'). Moreover, wherever there was even the slightest fear of a Muslim defeat, the Islamic army should be there to disperse infidels to all corners of the earth. Jihad should be their first priority, thereby ensuring the security of every Muslim. [12] S.A.A. Rizvi's detailed analysis of Shah Wali-Allah doctrine of jihad concludes: [13] According to Shah Wali-Allah the mark of the perfect implementation of the Shari'a was the performance of jihad. He compared the duties of Muslims in relation to the law to those of a favourite slave who administered bitter medicine to other slaves in a household. If this was done forcefully it was quite legitimate but if someone mixed it with kindness it was even better. However, there were people, said the Shah who indulged in their lower natures by following their ancestral religion, ignoring the advice and commands of the Prophet Muhammad. If one chose to explain Islam to such people like this it was to do then a disservice. Force, said the Shah, was the much better course - Islam should be forced down their throats like bitter medicine to a child. This, however, was only possible if the leaders of the non-Muslim communities who failed to accept Islam were killed; the strength of the community was reduced, their property confiscated and a situation was created whic! h led to their followers and descendants willingly accepting Islam. The Shah pleaded that the universal domination of Islam was not possible without jihad and by holding on to the tails of cows. Shi'ite Sufism and Dhimmitude in Contemporary Iran Sultanhussein Tabandeh, a modern Shi'ite Sufi leader, wrote an entire treatise in 1966 decrying various elements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that are incompatible with Islamic law: an "Islamic perspective" on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [14] According to Professor Eliz Sanasarian of the University of Southern California, who has analyzed the plight of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic, Tabandeh's tract became "the core ideological work upon which the Iranian government.based its non-Muslim policy." His views on non-Muslims, says Sanasarian, were implemented "almost verbatim in the Islamic Republic of Iran." [15] Tabandeh begins his discussion by lauding Shah Ismail I (1502-1524), the repressive and bigoted founder of the Safavid dynasty, [16] as a champion "of the oppressed." He then reaffirms the traditional inferiority of non-Muslims to Muslims, as sacralized by the Shari'a: [17] Thus if [a] Muslim commits adultery his punishment is 100 lashes, the shaving of his head, and one year of banishment. But if the man is not a Muslim and commits adultery with a Muslim woman his penalty is execution.Similarly if a Muslim deliberately murders another Muslim he falls under the law of retaliation and must by law be put to death by the next of kin. But if a non-Muslim who dies at the hand of a Muslim has by lifelong habit been a non-Muslim, the penalty of death is not valid. Instead the Muslim murderer must pay a fine and be punished with the lash. Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim.then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain.Again, the penalties of a non-Muslim guilty of fornication with a Muslim woman are augmented because, in addition to the crime against morality, social duty and religion, he h! as committed sacrilege, in that he has disgraced a Muslim and thereby cast scorn upon the Muslims in general, and so must be executed. Islam and its peoples must be above the infidels, and never permit non-Muslims to acquire lordship over them. Since the marriage of a Muslim woman to an infidel husband (in accordance with the verse quoted: 'Men are guardians form women') means her subordination to an infidel, that fact makes the marriage void, because it does not obey the conditions laid down to make a contract valid. As the Sura ('The Woman to be Examined', LX v. 10) says: 'Turn them not back to infidels: for they are not lawful unto infidels nor are infidels lawful unto them (i.e., in wedlock). Sufi Jihad in the Pre-Modern and Modern Northern Caucasus Daghestan was originally Islamized during the 7th and 8th centuries by the Arab Muslim jihad conquests of the Umayyads and Abassids. Several centuries later, a wave of invasions by nomadic Turco-Mongol tribes from the east, and their imposition of (or mass conversion to) Islam extended the Muslim population in the northern Caucasus. [18] By the mid-16th century, Russian Cossacks began to settle the sparsely populated Chechen lowlands (the slopes of the Terek Range, and the Terek Valley). These Russian settlers became subjects of Ivan the Terrible in order to gain protection from ongoing razzias launched by the Crimean Tatars and Turks. [19] Imperial Russia advanced actively into the Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasus in 1781, precipitating the anti-Russian jihad of the Naqshbandi Sufi Sheikh Mansur Ushurma. [20] Following his destruction of an entire Russian brigade during the battle of the Sunzha River in 1785, Sheikh Mansur, [21] .called the mountaineers to holy war against the encroaching infidels and for some years unified practically the whole of North Caucasus, from the Chechen territory in the west to the Kumyk steppes in the east. His appeal-at least what we know of it-sounds very much like the appeals to jihad by Naqshbandi murshids [masters; leaders of Sufi Brotherhoods] of later date. From this watershed late 18th century jihad, through the present era, the Naqshbandi tariqat [Brotherhood] has played a critical role defending and expanding Muslim dominion, in the face of encroachments by both Czarist and Soviet Russia. Transforming "half pagan mountaineers into strict orthodox Muslims", the Naqshbandiya extended Islam into the animist regions of upper Chechnya and the western Caucasus. [22]. Moreover, iron-disciplined and dedicated Naqshbandi followers provided such prolonged, heroic resistance to Czarist Russian conquest, that Bennigsen and Wimbush argue, quite plausibly, It can said that the nearly fifty-year-long [19th century] Caucasian wars made an important contribution to the material and moral ruin of the Tsarist empire and hastened the downfall of the Romanov monarchy. [23] During the tragic violence of the revolutionary years of 1917-1921, which were particularly sanguinary in the northeastern Caucasus, the Sufi brotherhoods, especially the Naqshbandiya, once again played a pivotal role. Their ultimate goals in resisting the Communists were consistent with precepts of jihad, as both a defensive and expansionist ideology: [24] .to restore a theocratic monarchy governed by the Shari'yat law, the expulsion of Russians, and the liquidation of 'bad Muslims" who had committed themselves to the infidel rulers. The following was one of the sayings of the Naqshbandi Sheikh, Uzun Haji, one of the leaders of the brotherhood: 'If so God wills, we shall construct a Shari'yat monarchy, for in a Muslim land there can be no republic. Were we to accept a republic, we would thereby renounce the Calife, which would be paramount of [sic] renouncing the Prophet and finally God himself'. And somewhat more to the point: 'I am weaving a rope to hang engineers, students and in general all those who write from left to right' Despite relentless persecution throughout the Soviet era, which included a massive, brutal deportation of over a million North Caucasian Muslims to Siberia and Kazakhstan in February, 1944, Soviet specialists in anti-Islamic propaganda conceded that they had failed to contain the expansion of Sufi organizations, which emerged even after World War II, [25] .more powerful and influential than before the War, probably even than before 1917. V.G. Pivovarov, a leading Soviet sociologist, wrote in 1975: "More than half of the Muslim believers of the Checheno-Ingush Autonomous Republic are members of a murid [disciple] brotherhood" Presently, a Sufi Naqshbandi leader , Shamil Basayev, who envisions himself to be in the mold of legendary 19th century Naqshbandi North Caucasus jihadists, such as his namesake Imam Shamil, plays a key role in the ongoing Chechen jihad against the post-Soviet Russian government. Basayev, it should be noted, not only appears to have Caliphate dreams , he orchestrated the brutal Beslan massacre of at least 331 schoolchildren in North Ossetia, September 3, 2004. Conclusion Sufism is not an ideological penicillin (let alone a modern, efficacious therapy given evolving drug resistance!) for what a neo-convert Sufi Muslim journalist terms the "syphilis" of Wahhabism , nor is the much maligned Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyya the "index case" of Wahhabism, which itself is deeply and broadly rooted in orthodox Islam. In a very sympathetic, but informed analysis of Sufism in the former Soviet Union, Benningsen and Wimbush provided these valid assessments: [26] Sufism is not a sect, nor is it a heretical or schismatic movement; it is an integral part of orthodox Islam. [emphasis added] Western analysts in particular are prone to lose sight of this fact, frequently alluding to Sufism instead as something foreign to Islam, indeed something aberrant.the heritage of Sufism [includes] not only in its cultural, intellectual and mystical aspects, but also.its militant holy war [i.e., jihad] tradition, symbolized by the Caucasian Naqshbandiya.[emphasis added] Benningsen and Wimbush further warned, with distressingly ignored prescience (i.e., circa 1985)-seen now in light of the brutal actions of the Sufi jihadist Shamil Basayev-of the crucial need, .to begin to understand the Sufi phenomena in the Soviet Union before events leave us groping for explanations. [27] Throughout the 20th century, and at present, Sufi ideologues and mass movements (especially the Naqshbandiya) have been engaged in defensive-offensive jihad campaigns designed not only to expel real (or perceived) "colonial powers", but also to create supra-national (regional) shari'a states, or even a frank Caliphate (i.e., a single unified global shari'a state). The restored Shi'ite theocracy in Iran, whose contemporary shari'a-based system of dhimmitude was drafted by a leading Sufi-Sultanhussein Tabandeh-provides a sobering example of what "Sufi ecumenism" towards non-Muslims means in practice. In his hagiography of "the enlightened traditions of Sufism," which, he claims "stress . respect for all believers, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or other," as well as a "commitment to mutual civility, interaction, and cooperation among believers, regardless of sect," an aforementioned Muslim journalist simply ignores all of the data presented here on the living legacy of Sufi jihad and dhimmitude. Regardless of whether his misleading characterizations are deliberately disingenuous, or just grossly uninformed, their effect is corrosive at a time when global jihad movements, and the sacralized, manichean bigotry which motivates them, remain the most profound existential threat to free and open societies. Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine and author of the forthcoming The Legacy of Jihad on Prometheus Books. Notes [1] Reuven Firestone. Jihad-The Origin of Holy War in Islam, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 139-140, note 19. [2] Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "Islam is not a Religion of Pacifists (1942)", "Speech at Feyziyeh Theological School (August 24, 1979)", and "On the Nature of the Islamic State (September 8, 1979)", English translations in Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin, Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 29, 32-36.; Sayyid Qutb. Chapter 4, "Jihaad in the cause of God", in Milestones, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Mother Mosque Foundation, 1993, pp. 53-76. [3]W.M. Watt. [Translator]. The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, Oxford, England, 1953, p. 13. [4]Al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi'i, Beirut, 1979, pp. 186, 190-91; 199-200; 202-203. [English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.] [5] Ibn Qudama. Le précis de droit d'Ibn Qudama, jurisconsulte musulman d'école hanbalite né à Jérusalem en 541/1146, mort à Damas en 620/1223, (Livre XX- "La Guerre Legale"), translated from Arabic into French by Henri Laoust, Beyrouth (Beirut), 1950, pp.273-276, 281. ["Legal War", chapter 20, The Summary of Law by Ibn Qudama]. English translation by Michael J. Miller. [6] Ibn Taymiyya, from al-Siyasa al-shariyya, translated by Rudolph Peters in Jihad in classical and modern Islam, Princeton, NJ, Markus Wiener, 1996, pp. 44-54. [7] A. Scheiber. "The Origins of Obadyah, the Norman Proselyte" Journal of Jewish Studies (Oxford), Vol. 5, 1954, p. 37. Obadyah the Proselyte was born in Oppido (Lucano, southern Italy). He became a priest, and later converted to Judaism around 1102 A.D., living in Constantinople, Baghdad, Aleppo, and Egypt. [8] A.E. Vacalopoulos. Origins of the Greek Nation- 1204-1461 The Byzantine Period, Rutgers University Press, 1970, p. 66. [9] K.S. Lal. The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi, Aditya Prakashan, 1992, p. 237 [10] Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim revivalist movements in northern India in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co, 1965, pp. 247-50; Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: an outline of his thought and a study of his image in the eyes of posterity. Montreal, McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971, p.74. [11] Friedmann. Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: an outline of his thought. [12] Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi. Shah Wali-Allah and his times. Canberra, Australia, Ma'rifat Publishing House, 1980, pp. 294-296, 299, 301, 305. [13] Rizvi. Shah Wali-Allah and his times, pp. 285-286. [14] Sultanhussein Tabandeh. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, English translation by F. J. Goulding, London, 1970. [15] Eliz Sanasarian Religious Minorities in Iran, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 25, 173, footnote [16] Tome Pires, Suma Oriental (1512-1515) Haklyut Society Publications, Vol. I (London, 1944), p. 27.; Raphael du Mans, Estat de la Perse, 1660, ed. Schefer (Paris, 1890), pp. 193-194; cited in, W.J. Fischel, "The Jews in Medieval Iran from the 16th to the 18th centuries: Political, Economic, and Communal aspects", Irano-Judaica, Jerusalem, 1982, p. 266; C.N. Seddon (translator), A Chronicle of the Early Safawis [Being the Ahsanu't-Tawarikh of Hasan-i-Rumlu], 1934, Vol. II, p. xiv. [17] Tabandeh, A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, pp. 4, 17-19,37 [18] Atlas of Islamic history, compiled by Harry W. Hazard; maps executed by H. Lester Cooke, Jr., and J. McA. Smiley. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1951, pp. 6,8,10,18,22,24. [19] Y.V. Nikolaev. The Chechen Tragedy. Mineola, NY, Nova Science Publishers, 1996, p. 7. [20] Nikolaev. The Chechen Tragedy, p. 7; A. Bennigsen, S.E. Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars. Sufism in the Soviet Union. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985, p. 18. [21] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p. 18. [22] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p. 19. [23] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p.19. [24] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p.24. [25] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p. 31. [26] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, pp. 4,159. [27] Bennigsen and Wimbush. Mystics and Commisars, p. 164. [===========================================================

Posted by: Mudy Oct 13 2005, 09:18 AM,00430005.htm

The Muslim women's body veil Burqa is likely to be soon banned in the Netherlands. It will be the first European country to legislate toughest curbs on Muslim clothing. The country's hardliner Integration minister Rita Verdonk, called the Iron Lady for her series of anti-immigration measures, announced that she was going to investigate where and when the Burqa should be banned. Sources said the ban would be applicable in shops, public buildings, cinemas, trains, bus stops and airlines, which means almost everywhere except the streets. Verdonk appears very determined despite realising the angry backlash of the Muslim community. She said the "time of cosy tea-drinking" with Muslim group has passed and immigrants should have the courage to criticise each other

Posted by: acharya Oct 17 2005, 03:54 PM

Prime TV (September 16, 2005) Dr Israr Ahmad explained that according to Sura Baqara in the Quran the Muslims are called Ummat Wassata (the middle people) because Allah had placed the Ummah in the world as a link between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the world. Since the Prophet was not made eternal, his message had to be relayed to the world through his followers. In this sense wassata is an explanation of the role of daawa in Islam. He said three regions in history had highly developed knowledge of philosophy and logic: India, Iran and Greece. He said he had read Radhakrishna’s History of Indian Philosophy and was greatly impressed with it. He said the Arabs were not of the philosophical mind; they believed in action. He said philosophers simply remained inactive and kept on thinking. He gave the example of Allama Iqbal who is often shown in the thinking pose. He said Allama Iqbal himself had written that the inactive had their heads bowed into their tunic while those who held their head in the cup of their hand (ready for sacrifice) achieved the ends of Providence. Dr Israr thinks that we are the ‘middle’ nation because of the duty of daawa (preaching in order to convert) placed on us. Given the fact that we are aggressive in daawa and base it on the falsification of other scriptures, the world seems to be turning against us. Now we do daawa only on ourselves. Dr Israr, at the end of his daawa, plans a bloody revolution, which might kill most of us (Statement during a GEO interview). But in the rest of the world, Muslims still think that wassata means moderation. In Egypt, extremist Ikhwan received a popular backlash at the hands of the wassatiyya movement, headed by late Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazzali and Yusuf al Qaradawi, the former considered the greatest scholar of Islam in the 20th century, and the latter the most influential living Islamic scholar in the world. The wassatiyya have a journal called Daawa and their creed is based on the kind of modernism that Dr Israr is negating.

Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 19 2005, 02:32 PM

In the article posted on the home page, a faithful momin spake thusly..

Our Prophet Muhammadour book Quran and our religion Islam is a gift of Allah only to be denied by fools like you. The pathetic way in which you have shown Hindus as mere sufferers at the mercy of us Muslims is indeed pointing to just one simple fact : that you are very illiterate when it comes to the injustices of Hindus India in Kashmir and throughout the history of existence. I count you among those reporters of the TIME magazine who took so much pain to show how lost the residents of the Gazaa strip were when they were asked to vacate their homes of THREE DECADES THREE DECADES of living there and they think its THEIR home wat about the Palestiniansthey had been living there for GENERATIONS at stretch!! CAN SOMEONE EVEN IMAGINE THE MISERY THEY SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF THESE OPPRESSORS and as regards the fact the Muhammad peace be upon him invaded Khybar and married Saffiyah after making her a widow smile.gif you have to read AUTHENTIC books of Islamic History to know how obviously wrong you are. Our Prophet was very kind-hearted and that is wat he taught to us..... it is a shame that the world can cry when TWO towers are struck by planes and is DEAF to the cry of millions of Muslims around the world!! you religion about which you are gloating is very much like the jews have meddled your religion.i have many hindu friends and had come to admire them as good human beings and VICE VERSA! it is indeed very much possible to co-exist in peace smile.gif bbut it is not for ppl like you to understand this PEACE. where you quote the kashmiris shouting anit-hindu slogans... its YOU HINDUS who had during pre-partition made band-e-mataram a must at all school levels as an anthem and to bow to your gods... your gods are nothing but stones!! your book talks of our Prophet ALL YOUR books do so... it is indeed said in the Quran that Allah has given knowledge ONLY for those who seek it. terrorism is NOT a part of Islam.had it been so Muslims would have been the conquerors of the world unlike the present situation. TERRORISM IS NOT ISLAM AND ISLAM IS NOT TERRORISM. Osama Bin LAden has NEVER accepted or even preached terrorism... infact nobody ever has. it is just a WORD you oppressors use to fight us Muslims.they are FREEDOM_FIGHTERS!!but ofcourse if you use this word you will make yourself look ugly to the world wouldnt that be smile.gif how hypocrite you are to announce all wrongs on your part as justice!! and to cry foul when we muslims unite and backlash!! AND YES I SUPPORT EVERY MUSALMAN WHO FIGHTS AGAINST YOU KAAFIRS YOU INFEDILS.V WILL SUCCEED!! BECAUSE V WERE A PEACEFUL TOLERANT UMMAH UNTIL YOU AND THE WORLD TURNED US INTO A BEAST.IT IS THE REULST OF YOUR OWN SINS! FOR EVERY MUSLIM THAT SUFFERS AT YOUR HANDS I SAY JUSTIICE BE GIVEN TO US PLEASE ALLAH. AMIN

Posted by: Sudhir Oct 19 2005, 03:06 PM

Admins!! Where is the stupid Paki smile??????

Posted by: Mudy Oct 20 2005, 07:24 PM Cartoon included in link.

Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten is facing accusations that it deliberately provoked and insulted Muslims by publishing twelve cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed. The newspaper urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet, after an author complained that nobody dared to illustrate his book on Mohammed. The author claimed that illustrators feared that extremist Muslims would find it sacrilegious to break the Islamic ban on depicting Mohammed. Twelve illustrators heeded the newspaper's call, and sent in cartoons of the prophet, which were published in the newspaper one week ago. Daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad said one Muslim, at least, had taken offence. 'This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims,' Imam Raed Hlayhel wrote in a statement. 'Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world. We demand an apology!' Jyllands-Posten described the cartoons as a defence for 'secular democracy and right to expression'. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Mudy Oct 20 2005, 07:46 PM, excellent blog

Posted by: Mudy Oct 22 2005, 07:40 PM

Posted by: Mudy Oct 23 2005, 08:56 AM

Siddiqui explains that this is in gross violation of the teachings of Islam, but it is now a rampant practice as qazis connive with brokers fixing such marriages. No strict action has been taken against them yet. The police say it is a "religious matter and not a social evil".

Posted by: Naresh Oct 23 2005, 03:25 PM

Link to all Twelve Cartoons from The Jyllands-Posten: user posted image A Pakistani brother executing his little sister a few weeks back in broad daylight on the streets of Denmark. Honour indeed. Cheers

Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 26 2005, 01:29 PM

For now, just forget ‘secular’ madrasas Poornima Swaminathan Wednesday, October 26, 2005 00:21 IST The revolutionary proposal to introduce a ‘secular syllabus’ in over 2,600 madrasas (Muslim gurukuls) across the state, has been shelved — at least for now — following stiff resistance by influential members of the community.
wonder why she calls them muslim gurukuls.. unsure.gif

Posted by: Mudy Oct 27 2005, 10:20 AM

A Pakistani brother executing his little sister a few weeks back in broad daylight on the streets of Denmark. Honour indeed.
Very distrubing image.

Posted by: Mudy Oct 27 2005, 10:36 AM

LETTER TO MINISTER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY ON HALAL PRODUCTS, 25.10.2005 25 October, 2005 My dear Kamal Nathji, All over the world, there is a rising demand for ‘Halal’ products as Muslims become more aware of their religious mandate and more sensitive to non-Halal products and have increasing product choices. Even non-prasticising Muslims, as you know, are averse to taking non-Halal foods or using any product, even medicine, which has a non-Halal component. In the West, there is a growing Halal Meat industry. Also some States of USA and Canada have adopted legislation for ‘Halal’ marking on edible products. But the concept of Halal goes beyond eatable products, even shoes, tooth paste, beauty products, floor cleaner, paint brushes, gelatine capsules and innumerable products are being advertised and sold as ‘Halal’. Malaysia has taken the initiative to build up an export industry for Halal products. It organized International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in 2004 and again in 2005. It has launched a bimonthly magazine, the Halal Journal, in February, 2005 as its first trade and business publication to serve the global Halal market and covers all aspects of the industry from food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology to banking. It is estimated that Malaysia’s halal food industry alone is currently worth US $ 150 billion and it could expand fourfold. Malaysia is building a halal distribution hub in a duty-free transshipment zone in Southern Johor on the Malacca Strait. It has a non-stop Centre for Halal Certification for export to Muslim markets overseas. India has the biggest or the second biggest Muslim population in the world. Why can’t we develop a Halal Products industry, not only for internal consumption but for export, covering not only edible items but all consumer products which may have a Halal aspect. The preliminary requirement is introduction of a Scheme of Halal Certification. I suggest your Ministry should study, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Processing and Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Consumer Affairs, the Malaysian experiment as well as the certification procedures installed in the USA/Canada. With kind regards, Yours sincerely, (SYED SHAHABUDDIN) Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, New Delhi – 110 011.

Posted by: k.ram Oct 28 2005, 01:41 PM

Posted by: Mudy Oct 30 2005, 07:55 PM

Three Indonesian girls beheaded by Islamics By Tim Johnston BBC News, Jakarta Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia. They were walking through a cocoa plantation near the city of Poso in central Sulawesi province when they were attacked. This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians. A government-brokered truce has only partially succeeded in reducing the number of incidents in recent years. Police say the heads were found some distance from the bodies. It is unclear what was behind the attack, but the girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 1 2005, 10:24 AM

Muslims must come out openly against terrorists By Firoz Bakht Ahmed

Posted by: Mudy Nov 2 2005, 11:18 AM

Result of Islamization of France and support of socialist

On Tuesday night, the sixth straight night of unrest, some 150 fires were reported in cars, buildings and garbage bins in the suburbs across the Seine-Saint-Denis region on the north and northeast of Paris, France-Info radio said. The area is home mainly to families of immigrant origin, often from Muslim North Africa, AP said. It is marked by soaring unemployment, delinquency and other urban ills. Police detained 34 people in the overnight violence, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy told Europe-1 radio. The mounting unrest also was causing strains within France's conservative government. Sarkozy was criticized by government minister Azouz Begag for calling the protesting youths "scum," and the opposition Socialists have denounced Sarkozy's policies. But the interior minister defended his approach. "I speak with real words," Sarkozy told Wednesday's Le Parisien newspaper. "When you fire real bullets at police, you're not a 'youth,' you're a thug." Sarkozy described the social aid provided to the suburbs over the years as a failure. "We often accepted the unacceptable," he told Le Parisien. "The reigning order is too often the order of gangs, drugs, traffickers. The neighborhoods are waiting for firmness but also justice" and jobs. ................. Villepin delayed for several hours his planned departure for for a visit to Canada on Wednesday, Reuters reported officials as saying, and French media said President Jacques Chirac was expected to make a statement about the unrest at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sarkozy canceled a visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan that had been planned for November 6-9, his office announced. On Monday night, 13 people were jailed after scored of cars were reported burned in Clichy-sous-Bois and two rooms of a primary school were set on fire along with several cars in Sevran, officials said. On Sunday night, a tear gas grenade landed in the Clichy-sous-Bois mosque, feeding local anger. It was unclear who fired the tear gas. The Clichy unrest was the latest in a series of incidents in the Paris suburbs

Posted by: Mudy Nov 4 2005, 09:42 AM;_ylt=A86.I12fP2tDpdMAixX9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA--

................. .... It is now clear that a good portion of France's Muslims not only refuse to assimilate into "the superior French culture," but firmly believe that Islam offers the highest forms of life to which all mankind should aspire. So what is the solution? One solution, offered by Gilles Kepel, an adviser to Chirac on Islamic affairs, is the creation of "a new Andalusia" in which Christians and Muslims would live side by side and cooperate to create a new cultural synthesis. The problem with Kepel's vision, however, is that it does not address the important issue of political power. Who will rule this new Andalusia: Muslims or the largely secularist Frenchmen? Suddenly, French politics has become worth watching again, even though for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: k.ram Nov 4 2005, 10:05 AM

Either the jihadists really are crazy or they apparently think that they have a shot at destabilizing, or at least winning concessions from, the United States, Europe, India, and Russia all at once.

Posted by: Naresh Nov 5 2005, 02:38 AM

Further Manifestation of the Peaceful Religion : furious.gif French police have arrested more than 200 people following fresh riots in and around Paris and other parts of France. More than 750 cars were burnt on the ninth consecutive night of unrest in immigrant-dominated areas near Paris, despite a heavy police presence. Nurseries and a school were burnt overnight and unrest spread to Nice, Lille, Marseille and Toulouse. Religious leaders hope to calm tensions with a march in the area where unrest began last week after two deaths. The violence began when Bouna Traore, aged 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station in Clichy-sous-Bois, near Paris. Local people say they were fleeing police - a claim the authorities deny. Inquiries are under way. During Friday night's unrest rioters tended to avoid direct clashes with police but arson attacks were widespread : *Two nurseries, one in Yvelines and another in Bretigny-sur-Orgeand, were set on fire along with a school in Seine-et-Marne, the French news agency AFP reports *A blaze in an underground car park in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, left at least 36 vehicles destroyed *An emergency services vehicle was attacked and burnt out in Meaux, Seine-et-Marne *Several car torchings were reported in the cities of Dijon, Marseille and Rouen as well as violent attacks in Nice, Lille and Rennes. Copycat violence On Friday, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin met youths from urban areas hit by the unrest to discuss the crisis. Mr de Villepin is trying to launch an action plan for the affected Paris suburbs, which are poor, largely immigrant communities with high levels of unemployment. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has said solving the problems behind the rioting would take time. Mr Sarkozy had earlier sparked some criticism with hardline comments describing the rioting youths as "hoodlums". Some 1,300 police were deployed in the Seine-Saint-Denis area alone on Friday. In the nearby area of Clichy-sous-Bois, several Muslim groups intervened and helped to calm the trouble, the BBC's Alasdair Sandford in Paris reports. However, many residents say repressive policing has heightened a sense of injustice, with officers systematically stopping and searching young blacks and North Africans in particular, our correspondent says. Some foreign governments - including the US - have advised their citizens to steer clear of the suburbs. 'We have been heard' After Mr de Villepin's mini-conference, several participants praised his initiative. "We get the impression that we have been heard," Anyss, a student from Bondy, told AFP, adding that Mr de Villepin "was genuinely seeking to deal with the problems". Mr de Villepin has pledged to restore order following criticism of the government's failure to end violence. But he came under fire from a group of around 30 mayors and other elected officials from the affected areas, who said this was no time for a plan. "All we need is one death and things will get out of control," said Jean-Christophe Lagarde, mayor of Drancy. Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Nov 5 2005, 07:29 AM

Look at pious community in action in France: Watch them shout allahu akbar and go on a rampage, I wonder why pious community is doing this when there no evil brahminical Hindus to persecute them in France.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 5 2005, 02:47 PM

QUOTE id=13977579&headline=US~asks~Muslims~to~register~air~travel Muslim to register Air Travel Saturday, 05 November , 2005, 11:07 Washington: The head of civil rights for the US Department of Homeland Security is urging Muslim air travellers to register with the federal government before flying to reduce the chances they might be stopped at an airport because their name is on or similar to names on an anti-terrorism watch list. Registering by completing a form and providing copies of documents will not completely eliminate the chance that a Muslim traveller will be singled out for closer scrutiny before or after flying, but the department wants to improve its relations with Muslims and Arab- Americans, said Daniel Sutherland. "We need to listen to their concerns," he said at the seminar on Homeland Security sponsored by the Knight Centre for Specialised Journalism. "We need to build a level of commitment and trust that's unprecedented in our nation's history, not the 'us-versus-them' perception in the community." One way to do that is by having Muslim and Arab-American travellers complete the form on the Web page of the Transportation Security Administration, a division of Homeland Security responsible for protecting mass transit systems including airports. The two-page `Passenger Identity Verification Form' asks for personal information including name, address, birth date, height, weight, eye and hair colour, and requires copies of three of the following documents用assport, visa, birth certificate, naturalisation certificate, voter registration card, government identity card or military identity card.

Posted by: Naresh Nov 6 2005, 11:31 AM LONDON/PARIS : In the first disturbing assertion that a European country and its capital can be brought to a halt by the massed forces of Islamist militants both within and outside its borders, French police warned there was evidence they had played a role in inciting vandals, albeit "not on the front lines." With the tough-talking interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy warning of stiff jail sentences for the rioters, there were signs the French capital was a city under siege. With night buses in and to some of the more remote suburbs cancelled to prevent rioters using them as soft targets, police helicopters patrolled the skies over the capital. Sikh community leaders, who make up a small but newly-vocal and highly-visible religious minority in France, told TOI they had so far stayed away from the ongoing troubles. But they admitted the authorities' red alert on potentially troublesome immigrant youths might bring the focus closer to South Asian communities as well. Meanwhile, Yves Bot, Paris chief prosecutor, said the hit-and-run arson attacks were an insidious "form of action that is organised. It responds to a strategy. It's done by mobile units of youths or older guys because they are masked who arrive on scooters, throw a burning bottle at a vehicle and leave." He said it was "irrefutable" that these "are organised gangs because it's done in a way that gives every sign of coordination. In fact, one can read blogs on certain websites inciting other cities to join the movement of the Parisian region." In what many commentators believe is the deadly downside of the 'information revolution', Paris police intelligence sources said they feared the Internet was triggering a domino effect across the country. Well Europe is now getting the Full Tender Love Caring Treatment from the Peaceful Religion! Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Mudy Nov 6 2005, 01:04 PM

Same can happen in UK. Last week a riot in Birmingham was a trailer and 3-4 years back in Bradford. Govt should study how Islamist starts riots every year in India. GS had done excellent study with statistical information. 15% muslim population triggers riots where ever they are.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 6 2005, 02:40 PM;jsessionid=RBPMCDMA4XB4XQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2005/11/06/ufran.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/11/06/ixportaltop.html

So far more than 800 people have been arrested and 3,500 vehicles torched, mainly in the working-class, high-immigration outer suburbs of Paris where unemployment is as high as 20 percent. But Saturday night's rioting was the most destructive so far as 1,300 vehicles were set alight and 349 people arrested.

Posted by: Sunder Nov 6 2005, 08:03 PM As Muslim riots spread across France, Denmark is also beginning to see its own Islamic Intifada. In Arhus, Denmark, young Muslims were heard chanting, “This land belongs to us!” A masked spokesman for the rioters told Danish reporters that Muslims were tired of being oppressed and harassed and warned the police to stay away. "This is our area. We rule this place,” he said. The riots have increased following a cartoon in Danish paper The Jyllands Pos involving Mohammed. Rocks and firebombs have become commonplace in many neighborhoods and firefighters are afraid to enter them to put out the fires.

Posted by: Bhootnath Nov 7 2005, 09:45 AM

A MUST READ for a non-dhimmi (unlike BBC) perspective. If Admin feels its good one, might as well post full article. Show Them Who Is the Boss in France..

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 10:12 AM

Show Them Who Is the Boss in France From the desk of Paul Belien on Sun, 2005-11-06 19:19 Here are today’s headlines in Belgium’s (only) Sunday newspaper De Zondag. Page One: “No Sign of Revolt in Belgium Yet.” Page Five: “Violence Moves Towards Belgium.” It almost sounds like a weather forecast, anticipating the onslaught of a hurricane that is inevitably coming. What is happening in France has been brewing in Old Europe for years. The BBC speaks of “youths” venting their “anger.” The BBC is wrong. It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The “youths” do not blame the French, they despise them. Most observers in the mainstream media (MSM) provide an occidentocentric analysis of the facts. They depict the “youths” as outsiders who want to be brought into Western society and have the same rights as the natives of Old Europe. The MSM believe that the “youths” are being treated unjustly because they are not a functioning part of Western society. They claim that, in spite of positive discrimination, subsidies, public services, schools, and all the provisions that have been made for immigrants over the years, access has been denied them. This is the marxist rhetoric of the West that has been predominant in the media and the chattering classes since the 1960s. But it does not fit the facts of the situation in Europe today. To understand what is going on one cannot look at today’s events from a Western perspective. One has to think like the “youths” in order to understand them. Not imagine oneself in their shoes, but imagine their minds in one’s own head. The important question is: how do these insurgents perceive their relationship with society in France? Unlike their fathers, who came to France from Muslim countries, accepting that, whilst remaining Muslims themselves, they had come to live in a non-Muslim country, the rioters see France as their country. They were born here. This land is their land. And since they are Muslims, this land, or at least a part of it, is Muslim as well. The society they live in is a homogeneous Islamic one. For them that is society, there is no other. Consequently there is also no question of their “leaving” that society to become part of another society, the putative Western one. “Society” is the society they live in and from which they view and interpret what goes on around them. To understand their language we must understand how they see us, where we fit in in their society. Multiculturalism does not exist: it is always a matter of several cultures living side by side in defined territories, and the laws of one culture not applying in the territories of the others. West Europeans cannot blame the Muslim “youths” for looking at the world the way they do. Europe willingly opened the door to the Muslims, not just by allowing large-scale immigration on an unprecedented level, but also by encouraging the newcomers to retain their culture. Several million Muslim immigrants allowed in at a speed and scale that was unique in history. As Bat Ye’or wrote, “even in the course of the European colonization, the emigration of Europeans to the colonies took place at an infinitely slower pace. The number of European colonists, including their descendants, even after a maximum of one or two centuries, was incomparably lower than that of present-day Muslim immigrants in each of the countries of Europe after only three decades.” In the “Resolution of Strasbourg,” passed unanimously by the general assembly of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation on June 7-8, 1975, more than 200 Members of Parliament from Western European countries, representing all shades of the political spectrum (except the far right), unanimously agreed to allow Arab immigrants to bring their culture and religion to Europe, to promote it and spread it. The parliamentarians stressed “the contribution that the European countries can still expect from Arab culture, notably in the area of human values” and asked the European governments “to accord the greatest priority to spreading Arab culture in Europe.” Today the forests of satellite dishes on the apartment blocks in the suburbs of Western European cities link the immigrants to the culture of their countries of origin, whose television programmes they watch day after day. Dyab Abou Jahjah, the young and charismatic Brussels-based leader of the Arab European League, rejects assimilation and demands segregated schools and self-governing, Arab-speaking ghettos. “We reject integration when it leads to assimilation,” Jahjah says: “I don’t believe in a host country. We are at home here and whatever we consider our culture to be also belongs to our chosen country. I’m in my country, not the country of the [Westerners].” The Western authorities quietly accepted this when they abandoned the suburbs to the immigrants a decade ago. The attempt by the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a second-generation immigrant himself (though not from a Muslim country), to assert the authority of the French Republic over its lost territory has triggered the current civil warfare in France. For the “youths” this is a declaration of war. They are not in Sarkozy’s country but in their own country, where the West promised they could retain their own cultural values and spread them. Those media that tell us that the rioting “youths” want to be a part of our society and feel left out of it, are misrepresenting the facts. As the insurgents see it, they are not a part of our society and they want us to keep out of theirs. The violence in France is in no way comparable with that of the blacks in the U.S. in the 1960s. The Paris correspondent of The New York Times who writes that this a “variant of the same problem” is either lying or does not know what he is talking about. The violence in France is of the type one finds when one group wants to assert its authority and drive the others out of its territory. American MSM who imply that there is a direct line from Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to stand up for a white man on an American bus in 1955, to the rabble that are now throwing molotov cocktails into French buses containing passengers, are misrepresenting the facts. (The only comparison between America and France is that many of the bus drivers in the Parisian suburbs, like those in New Orleans, seem to be white women whose vulnerability attracts rioters and looters). The French government is failing completely in the basic task of government: maintaining law and order so that each citizen can live and work in safety. What is more, the government has abdicated. The ministers are either pandering to the rioters (Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin – despite the first name, he is a man, though clearly without balls) or bluffing (Interior Minister Sarkozy) rather than using the instruments they have. Perhaps they have a good excuse. Maybe government is aware that in an outright urban war it would be outarmed and outnumbered. Perhaps the rumour that the French authorities cannot rely on the army because fifteen percent of the soldiers are Muslims is true. Perhaps the allegation of Maurice Dantec on Quebec television that large arsenals of sophisticated heavy weaponry are stacked away in the French suburbs is also true. As a result, however, the insurgents are viewing the politicians and the pundits with contempt and amusement. If there is “anger” of a kind, it is no more than infuriation at the, from their point of view, arrogant presumption of the French politicians that Muslims would even consider adopting, let alone abiding by rules that the French have set. The Muslims resent the outsiders paternalizing them and interfering with their way of life in the suburbs of all Western Europe’s major cities. Their message is: get out of our way, get out of our territory, and: you act like you think you’re the boss but we’ll show you who really is. It is imperative that Americans realise that Western Europe has ceased to be a continent of more or less likeminded cousins at the other side of the Atlantic. Immigrants in Europe cannot be compared with immigrants in the U.S. It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion. The demographic data clearly show who is likely to win the impending European civil war. As in the Netherlands, where more people are currently moving out of the country than into it, one can expect a French exodus in the near future. Those who will be leaving France are those who fear that their future is looking bleak, and they are not the Muslims in the suburbs.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 10:23 AM france_rioting_118;_ylt=ArJYdHCv48QipiOnP3nAeWPgelIB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYw MlJVRPUCUl

As urban unrest spread to neighboring Belgium and possibly Germany, the French government faced growing criticism for its inability to stop the violence, despite massive police deployment and continued calls for calm. Meanwhile, governments worldwide urged their citizens to be careful in France.
India should send fact finding mission. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 11:03 AM user posted image

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 11:04 AM

user posted image user posted image user posted image

Posted by: k.ram Nov 7 2005, 11:29 AM

Posted by: jayshastri Nov 7 2005, 11:40 AM

Why Hindus could not win the 'cultural war against' Muslims and Christians? Because most of us believe the way to win this war is by becoming best in 'their games'. We are trying to fight 'their war'. We sould invite them to fight our war. Both these cultures will not last if they fought in our battel field. Anyone know what I am talking about?

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 01:44 PM

Both these cultures will not last
I don't care about stone age culture of Arabia. Hindus/Indic Civilization are still here because they know how to fight their own battle.

Posted by: Bhootnath Nov 7 2005, 02:17 PM

Well some pseudo-liberals France riots might be due to Chirac smile.gif Its like saying ABV had set Goddhra train on fire so that he could win next election ... Amazing , how ppl can go to this length .. See the post of one mr Arun Gupta.. incidentaly he post in Heathen group on yahoogroups ...

Well, it could be the French Prez. is trying to wipe out the Interior Minister as competition for the next elections.

Posted by: jayshastri Nov 7 2005, 02:59 PM

QUOTE(Mudy @ Nov 8 2005, 02:14 AM)
Both these cultures will not last
I don't care about stone age culture of Arabia. Hindus/Indic Civilization are still here because they know how to fight their own battle.
Well you better CARE Bro, unless, you like your future generation to be working under these "Stone age cultures of Arabia" like we are doing now in US,UK, Saudi etc. Hindu Civilization is still here not because we fought these influx of barbaric cultures, but because we agreed to bend then to be broken. Hindus could not have fought with the Europeans or the Moghals matching their cruelty and barbarism, so they became flexible. Prevented total annihilation of Hindu culture by being 'accommodating'. Cruelty of Moghals and shamelessness of Europeans was a surprise to Hindus at that time. Now we know. Now is the time that Hindus need to attack. Not by death and destruction but in a gradual sensible way.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 03:52 PM

"We believe ... we've disrupted a large-scale operation which, had it been allowed to go through to fruition, we certainly believe would have been catastrophic," New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney told Australian television. The Australian Federal Police said 23 house searches were carried out under warrants in suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne early on Tuesday as part of a joint counter-terrorism operation with New South Wales and Victoria state police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. Several searches were still under way, a Federal Police spokesman told Reuters. "Nine men have been arrested and charged in Melbourne with terrorism related offences, some of which include intentionally being a member of a terrorist organization ... and intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organization," he said. Six men had been arrested in Sydney, but had not yet been charged, the spokesman said. Australia's parliament rushed through urgent amendments to anti-terrorism laws last Thursday to allow police to charge people in the early stages of planning an attack.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 7 2005, 07:39 PM

user posted image Europe future.

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 7 2005, 07:57 PM

Greater Chechnya, North Bakistan, Euro Indonesia, Belgistan.. ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif

Posted by: Mudy Nov 8 2005, 11:13 AM

France declares Emergency Paris: President Jacques Chirac declared a state of Emergency onTuesday,paving the way for curfews to be imposed on riot-hit cities and townsinan extraordinary measure to halt France's worst civil unrest in decadsafter12nights of violence.

Posted by: Naresh Nov 9 2005, 08:10 AM - BEIJING, Nov 9 (AFP) – Chinese police have warned that Islamic extremists could be planning an attack on luxury hotels in China next week, the US embassy in Beijing said Wednesday. "The embassy has learned that Chinese police advised hotels that Islamic extremist elements could be planning to attack four- and five-star hotels in China sometime over the course of the next week," said a statement on the embassy's website. The warning came ahead of US President George W. Bush's visit to China on November 19. (Posted @ 15:15 PST) Cheers cheers.gif

Posted by: Mudy Nov 9 2005, 10:19 AM

Muslims question power of Indian judiciary Press Trust of India Indore, November 9: Questioning the power of judiciary in the affairs of Muslim community, the religious body Darul-Uloom of Khargone district has issued a ‘fatwa' recently annulling the divorce decree by a court in Sendhwa town of Madhya Pradesh in the Arjumand Bano case on the ground that the judge was a non-Muslim. The fatwa was issued by the Darul-Uloom, Khargone's Mufti Mohammad Rafiq Qasmi following an appeal against the divorce decree by Anwar Khan, who, according to Islamic Shariat, was still the husband of Arjumand. It states, "the order of magistrate (judge), non-Muslim, is not acceptable in Islamic shariat and therefore, the woman can not enter into wedlock second time and if she has already gone for the second marriage, then it amounts to 'haramkari' (illegal)." Arjumand married Khan of Khargone in the year 1996 and after spending sometime with her husband, she went back to her parent's place in Sendhwa town. Later, she filed a divorce suit in the local court following which the court has given decision in her favour. After the divorce, Arjumand's parents married her to a schoolteacher of Barwani district. However, Anwar Khan, who has opposed granting of divorce in the court, later filed an appeal with the mufti of Darul-Uloom, Khargone, who annulled the court order on the ground that the magistrate was a non-Muslim and therefore, the order was not acceptable under the Islamic shariat. ohmy.gif URL:

Posted by: Manu Nov 10 2005, 04:53 AM

Last month Bradford saw the worst riots to hit it in six years. Our Social Affairs Reporter, Barnie Choudhury, went to the city for the Today programme. Now a month on, he has returned to Bradford where he has heard disturbing allegations that Hindu families are being systematically driven out of their homes by young Muslims. Hasmukh Shah tours what is left of his fire-bombed pharmacy. There is still the smell of burning, a month on. All that remains is a shell of the building. Mr. Shah believes it will cost around three quarters of a million pounds to get back to where the business was before the attack. He is one of twelve international trustees of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. His critics denounce the VHP as an organisation for Hindu fundamentalists, something it denies. Mr. Shah claims that over the last ten years he’s seen the Hindu community in Lidget Green and Great Horton shrink from five thousand to five hundred: “This is a clear warning to the Home Secretary and the police that if they do not want the streets of Britain to be like the Taleban controlled Afghanistan, then they have to take immediate action. This is really a demographic, systematic ethnic cleansing.” Mr. Shah says that ninety-nine percent of Muslims are law abiding but the rest, a minority of young people, are out of control and intent on causing trouble. People are frightened and some Hindus are leaving the area. One woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “We are very scared because when ever we come to the centre, the Muslim youth in particular look upon us as if we are aliens or strangers. Our cars are not safe, the contents of this centre are not safe, our life is also threatened. There’s intimidation on the streets everyday.” Assistant Chief Constable Greg Wilkinson from West Yorkshire police has told the Today programme he knows there are tensions between some Hindus and Muslims: “We are talking all the time to the people within both those groups and are trying to work with them to ensure they can live harmoniously. I’m also aware that some of the Hindu families are moving out of the area.” Muslims in Bradford vehemently deny there is any form of ethnic cleansing. Ishtiaq Ahmed is the General Secretary for the Bradford Council of Mosques said it just would not be tolerated: “Anything of that nature would not be tolerated and not accepted. Violence and intimidation no matter where it comes from, if it comes from the Muslims or Hindus is condemned.” (Wah! Wah! what a display of equal-equal!) Racial, and now religious, tensions appear to be apparent in Bradford. Either way the police look likely to be blamed. After all, too little action will lead to accusations of their ignoring a problem, while too much could lead to yet another confrontation.
As always the Paki loving BBC has called it "Race" tension, it is clearly Islamic ethnic cleansing, nothing to do with racism. Nice bit of Psy-Ops on VHP too.

Posted by: Viren Nov 10 2005, 11:41 AM

Posted by: Viren Nov 10 2005, 11:52 AM

Mufti of Khargone Darul Uloom, issued a fatwa anulling divorce decree by a court on the ground that the judge was a "non-Muslim".
Qasmi, following an appeal by one Anwar Khan against a divorce decree obtained by his wife Arjumand Bano from Sendhwa court, had reportedly issued the fatwa stating that only the husband had the right to pronounce talaq as per Islamic shariat and non-Muslim judge has no right to decide on divorce of Muslim couples. Hope they don't send a "non-muslim" sub-inspector to arrest this mufti.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 10 2005, 12:32 PM

What excuse do they have for Jordan blast; here they killed only Arab Muslims? Is it last effort to change Jordan ruler who is descendant of Mohammad and take Islamic world into fanatic movement.

Posted by: Viren Nov 10 2005, 12:36 PM

Certain leaders like current King of Jordan, President of Egypt etc have always been on the crosshair for these terrorists and wahabis who exert tremendous power. I remember about a year or so ago when the current king of Jordan was trying to bring some reforms with regards to honor killings in Jordan, he was railroaded by the exteremists.

Posted by: PC Guleria Nov 12 2005, 11:24 AM A police post and a Gypsy were damaged while about a dozen persons including some cops were injured as some youths turned violent in Kargil town during a bandh call given by Islamia School. Violence, however, subsided following an appeal by Ulemmas after Friday prayers and police intervention. Situation in Leh, however, remained calm today after two days bandh. Bandh was observed in Leh during last two days in protest against kidnapping of two Ladakhi girls by two Kargil youths including a Sub Inspector. SP Kargil Danish Rana told the Excelsior on telephone that a group of youths came out on streets in Kargil at 10.30 am during the bandh and stopped some vehicles including cars reportedly looking for the people of other community. However, they could find none and beat up drivers of the vehicles. Police, which had geared itself up to meet with any eventuality during the bandh, swung into action and chased away the youths. Some of them were detained and brought to Kargil police post. They, however, re-grouped and pelted stones on Kargil Bazaar police post, causing it some damage. A police Gypsy, parked in the post, was also damaged. Police resorted to stoning to disperse the protesters but it failed to have any impact on them. Later, the cops lobbed several teargas shells after which the mob disappeared. Police had to fire some shots in air. About a dozen persons including some cops sustained minor injuries in the stoning and teargassing. Mr Rana said after Friday prayers, the local people led by the Ulemmas took out a procession in Kargil town. The Ulemmas denounced violence by the youths and appealed for communal harmony and amity. They also condemned kidnappings of two Leh girls. The procession dispersed peacefully in the afternoon. Situation in Kargil town remained tense till this evening though it was well under control, the SP Kargil said, adding additional deployment has been made in the town to ward off any untoward incident. Shops and business concerns remained closed in Kargil today in response to the bandh call given by Islamia School. He said a case has been registered against the youths for causing damage to police property. Deputy Commissioner, Kargil Kachu Asfandyar Khan has also appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony. Situation in Leh was normal today, SSP Leh Alok Kumar said. A Ladakhi girl Tsering Dolma, hailing from village Dhumkar and Kargil youth Mohd Sale R/o Kanor had gone missing from Tahira Khanam Polytechnic Institute in Srinagar. A report of their missing had been lodged at Bagyas police post in Srinagar. Family of the girl has, however, alleged that she had been kidnapped. Another Ladakhi girl Yang-chang Dolma R/o village Sabu had allegedly been kidnapped by a police Sub Inspector Yusuf, posted in District Police Lines (DPL), Kargil. The SI has already been placed under suspension. Mr Rana said police parties of Kargil, Leh and Srinagar have launched massive search operations in different areas to trace the kidnapped girls and boys.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Nov 12 2005, 06:42 PM

A Mutual Suspicion Grows in Denmark By Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer COPENHAGEN — Right-wing politicians consider Omar Marzouk a menace. Muslims accuse him of blasphemy for pasting Osama bin Laden's image onto women's underwear. The "only ethnic comedian" in Denmark, as he likes to call himself, Marzouk provokes all sides but senses that audiences are increasingly touchy these days. "Society is more radical," he says, sitting in a cafe in an autumn dusk. "You have the Al Qaeda movement preaching that Muslims can't exist in Western culture. And in this country you have the Danish People's Party telling Muslims, 'You're different and we can only accept you if you're a Dane.' These voices are actually pulling the same way: toward radicalism." Hate screeds are rattling against this Scandinavian nation's aura of serenity. A Muslim publisher with suspected ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist network was recently jailed for allegedly inciting jihad and distributing videotapes of beheadings. A right-wing radio host reacted by saying that Muslims should be expelled from Western Europe, "or you exterminate the fanatical Muslims, which would mean killing a substantial population of Muslim immigrants." Such incendiary cases, although exceptional in Denmark, raise fears that if Muslim integration can't succeed in the most liberal of Western nations, it might not be able to flourish in more conservative ones. With cars burning across France and Islamic radicals going underground in Britain, Europe is reeling from the anger of Muslim communities that for decades have existed as parallel universes. Terrorist bombings and riots have sparked fears on the continent and raised questions about its hallowed ideal of cultural tolerance. Muslims complain that tensions over terrorism have turned them into convenient symbols for conservative politicians pushing anti-immigration policies. From the Danish Parliament to the immigrant neighborhoods in Norrebro, this city of nut bread and sea winds echoes with suspicion. Liberal freedom-of-speech laws are being challenged by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist Islamic organization recruiting Muslims to battle coalition forces in Iraq that include 530 Danish troops. In a society that prides itself on racial parity, voters have elevated the xenophobic Danish People's Party from the fringes to the country's third most powerful political bloc. "I believe integrating a large number of Muslims can't be done. It's an illusion," said Martin Henriksen, a 25-year-old legislator for the People's Party. "They don't have the desire to blend in with other people. We've been a Christian country for 1,000 years and we are the oldest monarchy in the world. I want to get married and have a lot of kids who can walk around in a society not influenced by Muslims." This attitude mirrors growing cultural strains, anxiety over possible terrorist attacks and the Danish People's Party's frequent criticisms of the 200,000 Muslims among the nation's 5.4 million people. The tilt to the right is starkly seen in the number of asylum applications the government has approved: 53% in 2001 and 10% last year. Across town in a neighborhood of fast-food shawarma stands and veiled women, Fadi Abdul Latif, the spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Denmark, accused conservatives of changing the meaning of integration. Whereas it once meant attending Danish schools and speaking the national language, he charged, now it forces Muslims into accepting European values on issues including sexuality and religion. "This is the Europe of the Middle Ages," said Abdul Latif, a Palestinian born in a Lebanese refugee camp who moved here years ago. "When others want to force their values on Muslims, we must reject this. We neither want to assimilate nor isolate. We want to keep our identity and carry our message of Islam to others. But Europe is using the climate of war and terrorism to force assimilation." Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate and expel Western influences from Muslim nations. Outlawed in Sweden and Germany, the group faces a possible ban in Britain after the London transit bombings in July. In 2002, Abdul Latif was charged with distributing hate literature that revered suicide bombers as martyrs and quoted a verse from the Koran: "And kill them from wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out." He received a 60-day suspended sentence. He also circulated a flier in 2004 urging Muslims to "go help your brothers in Fallouja and exterminate your rulers if they block your way." Abdul Latif said in an interview that Hizb ut-Tahrir was rallying fighters in the Middle East, not Europe. The Danish government, whose support of the Bush administration in Iraq has drawn threats from Al Qaeda affiliates, has reopened an investigation into Tahrir. Abdul Latif is not the only voice testing Denmark's free speech boundaries. Said Mansour, a Moroccan-born Danish publisher who has been under intelligence surveillance for years, was charged in September with instigating terrorism after police raided his home and confiscated allegedly "inflammatory jihadist" videos and speeches. On the other side of the political spectrum, radio host Kaj Wilhelmsen had his broadcasting license revoked for three months for advocating violence against Muslims. Cultural relations were further strained later in September when Jyllands-Posten, the nation's leading newspaper, printed 12 caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, including one suggesting he had a bomb in his turban. The newspaper said the illustrations were an exercise in free speech, but Muslims viewed them as a provocation. Two newspaper cartoonists were reportedly driven into hiding. Terrorism and immigration have propelled right and center-right political parties not only in Denmark but also across the continent. A breakdown of the four largest parties in the European Parliament shows that rightist parties hold 355 seats, compared with 243 held by liberal ones. Thirty-five percent of Copenhagen residents listed integration as the most important issue in the upcoming elections Tuesday, according to a poll published by Jyllands-Posten. In a similar survey last year, only 13% considered integration a significant problem. "Twenty-five percent of all children in Copenhagen and more than 10% of all children in Denmark are being born to non-Danish mothers. What is happening is a gradual scooping out of the Danish population," Mogens Camre, a member of the Danish People's Party and the European Parliament, said last year. "Islam is threatening our future…. That faith belongs to a dark past, and its political aims are as destructive as Nazism was." Ahmed abu Laban, an Islamic leader in Copenhagen, said Christian and Muslim extremists are "manipulating the sense of insecurity. If we remove the element, Denmark is an excellent country. We need reconciliation and contrition. There's no time to wait…. I tell many Muslims, 'Europe is sensitive today.' It won't tolerate any act of terror. It is fed up." Marzouk believes that the delicate space between humor and angst is narrowing. The son of Egyptians, Marzouk was born in Denmark and has lived with its contradictions, its racial stings and its often profound sense of human rights. He sat on a recent day in a cafe, riffing one-liners and political insights, across the river from neighborhoods of Somali flower vendors and Lebanese butchers. He enjoys pricking hypocrisy. "The Danish government's idea of better integration is, 'Let's have Turkish night and watch a belly dancer,' " he said. His tongue is just as sharp toward Muslims. In the early 1990s, the blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who would later be convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, sought refuge in Denmark as an Egyptian political dissident. "He was attacking the West and I asked him, 'How can you kill the same infidels who are now protecting you?' " Marzouk said. Since Sept. 11 and the Iraq war, Marzouk said, animosity between Muslims and non-Muslims has deepened. Muslims fear their traditions are threatened by Europe, and native Europeans believe radical Islam has taken root in the continent's permissive societies, he said. "It's a fragile time," he said. Henriksen, a fresh-faced carpenter who was elected as a lawmaker in February, supports tougher anti-immigration measures and attributes his party's popularity to being a "place Danes came come with all their frustration and anger." He says his political philosophy hardened in part over his experiences in poor immigrant neighborhoods. He said he once dated a black African Catholic and was spat at by young Muslim men who, he surmised, believed the woman to be a Muslim who should not have been in a relationship with a white Dane. "I attended a mosque to listen to what Muslims had to say," he said. "They talked about women wearing head scarves and that Muslims should only be treated by Muslim doctors. I found it an affront to Danish society. I also went to a Muslim wedding. It was grotesque. They were talking about jihad and following holy war. It made me think about what's out there.",1,38244.story?coll=la-headlines-world

Posted by: Mudy Nov 12 2005, 11:53 PM,001301780003.htm

Posted by: Mudy Nov 13 2005, 11:29 AM,00050003.htm

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled against a Turkish woman's challenge to the country's ban on wearing Islamic head scarves at the country's universities. A panel of 17 European judges ruled that the ban does not violate the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion guaranteed by an international human rights treaty. The court ruled that the head scarf ban was based on the principles of secularism and equality which, according to the Turkish Constitution, guarantee democratic values and prevents the state from manifesting a preference for a particular religion or belief. ...... A ban on head scarves in campuses has been enforced vigorously since 1986 under the auspices of the military, which considers itself the guarantor of the secular constitution
Welcome to European Union.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 14 2005, 02:27 PM

Must read

Rectify religious distortions KPS Gill In Europe today, Muslim youth are rioting in the wake of an incident in Paris in which the police could hardly be faulted for their conduct: Three youth, asked to show their identity papers by the police, fled and jumped a wall surrounding a high voltage electric transformer, and were electrocuted - two died and the third was seriously injured. Protests began in Paris shortly thereafter, with hundreds of young Muslims, overwhelmingly drawn from immigrant communities from France's erstwhile colonies in North Africa, taking to the streets, destroying public and private property, and engaging in violent confrontations with the Police. The rioting and arson spread rapidly to other French cities, and then, to towns in Germany and Belgium. Immediately, the Islamist apologetics commenced, vigorously supported by liberal sympathisers. The riots were unhesitatingly attributed to discrimination against the Muslim minorities in France (and more generally in Europe), and the failure of French (European) society to adequately 'integrate' this particular minority within the larger community. It is useful to recall, however, that several European communities have spoken of integration in the past, but their proposals were attacked by precisely these constituencies - the Islamists and their liberal sympathisers - on the grounds that this was an assault on the unique identities of the minorities and a violation of their 'rights'. Recollect, in France itself, the shrill protests when the display of any prominent religious symbols was banned in educational and other public institutions. The regulation was interpreted as a particular attack on the hijab, the wearing of veils by Muslim women and girls, but actually imposed non-discriminatory restrictions on people of all Faiths, including the majority Christian community, and did cause offense to certain other minorities as well, including the minuscule population of Sikhs. The truth is whenever assimilation is advocated in times of peace, there is a virulent backlash against such advocacy on the grounds that this constitutes an assault on the identity and practices of other Faiths, particularly Islam; but whenever there is violence by minorities, this is blamed on the failure to assimilate these communities. It is important, now, to determine whether assimilation is, in fact, a good thing; or are we to divide our world into religious ghettoes? The question and crisis is not unique to France or contemporary Europe. The same pattern of arguments, the same muddle-headedness, afflicts the 'intellectuals', 'liberals' and 'secularists' of India as well - which is quite unsurprising, since there is little original thinking in this country today, and most of their ideas are picked up out of some foreign newspaper, magazine or tome. Thus, over a decade and a half of Islamist terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir - explicitly engineered and supported by Pakistan - is blamed on the failure to 'assimilate' the Kashmiri Muslim into the 'national mainstream', and to discriminatory policies that resulted in 'poverty' and 'unemployment' in the State - and the fact that Jammu and Kashmir was far from the poorest region in the country has had no bearing on these arguments. Nor did the fact that much of the failure of assimilation was the result of special constitutional, political and administrative provisions that were intended to protect the 'unique identity and status' of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The same pattern of discourse applied to Punjab through the 1980s and early 1990s, when the Khalistani terrorism - again backed by Pakistan - was attributed to supposed 'discrimination' against a community that was unique in the extraordinary honour and prominence that had been conferred upon it, in its exceptional achievements, and in its comparative wealth within the Indian context. None of this, however, deterred extremists of the Faith from claiming discrimination and 'injustice'; nor did it ever cause their liberal and 'secular' apologists to review the manifest absurdity of their positions. What has secularism really come to stand for today? Throughout a long career with the Indian Police and thereafter, I have always considered the protection of minorities, no matter who or where they happen to be, the prime concern of law enforcement agencies. But it is my equally firm conviction that you cannot tailor policies and development to suit the needs of any one caste or community. It is all or nothing, and attempts to selectively target particular communities for benefits or concessions have not only failed - and will continue to fail - but have consistently proven counter-productive. Further, it is now imperative that we clearly recognise the enormous harm that organised religions have inflicted on humanity through history, and abandon the enterprise of looking for justifications or refutations for the excesses of extremists and zealots in the religious texts of these various Faiths. It matters little what the 'real teachings' of a particular Faith are - these will always be subject to conflicting interpretations and can lend themselves to any ideological position. Recall that, for centuries, the Christian world engaged in cruel wars of aggression - the crusades - and in the most extraordinary tortures and excesses - the inquisition - in the name of a man who spoke of non-violence and exhorted his followers to 'turn the other cheek'. There can be no reasoning with the extremist mindset. It is, moreover, a fact that some religious texts and doctrines have more of 'hatred content' than others, and their followers unabashedly proclaim and propagate such content, feeding the fires of communal violence and terror. That is why it becomes so necessary for each community to directly confront and challenge its lunatic fringe. Every institution, however large or small, however tightly or loosely organised, must accept responsibility for its aberrant members - and organised Faiths cannot evade or deny this responsibility. If we see ourselves as members of a community, we accept responsibility for the actions of other members - and where these actions are odious and unacceptable, it is incumbent upon us to explicitly distance these actions and their perpetrators from the larger community. As a police officer, it was my duty to fight the terrorists in Punjab; but prior to that, as a Sikh, it was my greater duty to repudiate and speak out against the gross distortion of the Faith that had spawned the terror. And yet, there were large numbers of 'moderate Sikhs' who certainly chose silence in the wake of some of the worst terrorist atrocities, and at least some of whom vicariously celebrated these pitiless 'victories' of terrorism. And this is true of large sections of the Muslim community across the world today, as it reserves its condemnation of terrorist actions, or qualifies criticism with elaborate apologetics about 'root causes' and conspiracy theories that discover in everything the alleged and unique targeting of members of their Faith. Crucially, so much of this apologia, and the critique of the injustices of liberal democracies, comes from countries and communities that deny any right whatsoever to their own minorities - if any have, in fact, survived - and even to the larger mass of their own citizens. It is time that the apologists for those engaged in these hideous crimes were unconditionally rejected. Of course, there is discrimination and injustice in the liberal democracies of the world - but these offer greater scope for redress and opportunities for advancement to their citizens, including their minorities, than any other societies, and, indeed, than has been available at any other point in history. It should be possible for communities within liberal democratic societies to settle their grievances and dissensions without recourse to arms, murder, terrorism and communal rioting. It is crucial, if we are to overcome the widening sphere of communal polarisation, extremism, violence and terror, to recognise and correct the distortions and abuses that increasingly masquerade under the garb of 'religious freedom', 'minority rights' and 'secularism'.

Posted by: Sushmita Nov 15 2005, 03:42 AM

QUOTE(Tulsidas Khan @ Feb 22 2005, 06:46 AM)
This is a bit irrelevant to the rest of the thread: I saw something that subramaniam posted earlier which called Mohammed a terrorist. We live with over 200 million Muslims in India right now and it is our patriotic duty to respect all the good citizens of India. I think we should show respect to our Muslim brothers and sisters and we should not blame terrorism on all Muslims. We should always forgive and forget.
Tulsidas, Don't worry. I don't think anyone here wants to hurt a hair on our Muslims. Although I'll admit I'm no big fan of Islam and I can't think well of Mohammed anymore (having read large parts of the Koran). However, Muslims are another matter entirely. "We should always forgive and forget." Anyone who hasn't personally suffered will easily do that, and others may do too. Most of us realise that sometimes an ideology that teaches it is the only right one causes people to do insane things they'd never do on their own accord. No one is forgetting that Indian Muslims are our own people. As for our 200 million Muslims (and the ones all over the rest of the Indian subcontinent), though no one is planning to convert them, I do hope they themselves do a reform on Islam and try to get only peace and positivity out of it. Failing that, I'm hoping they might see the Koran from a peaceful Sufi angle. Or maybe they might consider Buddhism, Jainism as alternatives (it's probably too much too wish that they might consider Hinduism). Concerning the non-Indian Muslims ethnic groups (Iranians, Arabians, Africans, Indonesians, Malaysians, Maroccans, Turkish, Albanians, etc), I hope they likewise reconsider the good aspects of their ancestral religions. Zoroastrianism is very positive, and I've been reading a lot of good things of the pre-Islamic Arabians too. Turkish Shamanism, if it's anything like the related Finno-Ugric Saami religion, would also be an excellent addition of the ancient pluralistic beliefs of the our world. They should all do a come back. It would be so wonderful if everyone in the world would return to their original ethnic religions and take only the good and peaceful things out of them. Just like quite a few Greeks, Native Americans and Norse/Germanic people are going back to their ancestral religions. The diverse cultures of every people would be restored, and there can be positive interactions between everyone.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 15 2005, 01:19 PM

There's no fatwa against terrorism There has been a tendency among people to ignore the role of religion in terrorism perpetrated by Islamists, says Prafull Goradia The evening after the bomb blasts took up to a hundred lives in Delhi (October 29), I happened to meet Mr Michael Ismail - a compromise name as a simultaneous tribute to his Christian mother and Muslim father. He is an Englishman and a graduate of Edinburgh University who is on a brief visit to India. My question to him was: Why do not moderate Muslims condemn terrorism, which butchers innocent people? With the combination of his educated English upbringing and his part Muslim parentage, I felt I would evoke an objective explanation. Mr Ismail's answer was that there can be no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Either one is a momin (a faithful Muslim) or a murtad (an apostate). If one cherishes faith in Islam, humanity is divided between Muslims and kafirs (non-believers). No matter how much one has been exposed to Western or secular thought, in his heart of hearts his instinctive first priority is: On which side of the religious divide a person is? This statement immediately reminded me of Maulana Muhammad Ali's declaration made in 1924 in Lucknow: "According to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Musalman to be better than Mr Gandhi." (Indian Muslims by Ram Gopal, Asia Publishing House, New York, 1959). If Mahatma Gandhi can be on the wrong side of Allah the Merciful and a fallen Muslim on the right side, where is the scope for moderation? A fallen believer has a chance of redeeming himself with the help of good deeds and finding a place for himself in jannat, heaven. But a non-believer has no such opportunity. "Where then is the question of looking upon him as preferable to a Muslim no matter how degenerate the latter may be?" asked Mr Ismail. Moderate and extremist are European distinctions that came to light with the evolution of ideologies - like nationalism, socialism - which were not based on religion. Prior to the 16th century, in Europe, there were either Christians or infidels, no moderates and extremists, claimed the English visitor. To this day, in the Marxist lexicon, there are Communists, revisionists, deviationists, adventurists, etc., but no moderates or extremists. If in the cause of religion, innocents are killed (as they were in Delhi on October 29), those who set off the blasts became ghazis, the conquerors of kafirs. The innocents were fodder; they were legitimate or rightful in the eyes of Allah the Beneficent. They were, therefore, dispensable. If there were Muslims among the killed, they became shaheeds (martyrs) for they died in the cause of religion. Assuming the blasts were in protest against the expected court judgements on the attackers of the Red Fort, they were bombs as part of jihad for converting Hindustan into a dar-ul Islam. Theologically, no crime was committed on that evening which seemed barbaric to Christians and Hindus. If Islamabad endorsed this view, it was canonically wrong, explained Ismail. Hardly any Muslim in the world blames Osama bin Laden for provoking the US, and all the lives lost as a result - whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere. The reason given is that the casualties are all a part of jihad. The dead became shaheed and went straight to heaven without having to wait for qayamat, doomsday. Which explains why Messrs Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Prasad Yadav have pursued the look alike of bin Laden for their electioneering in Bihar. Evidently, the hero to many Muslims, although the rest of the world looks upon him as a villain. Osama's followers have perpetrated their crimes across five continents, all except South America. Australians were killed in Bali and Jakarta. The Philippines have their continual share of secessionist attacks, especially on the island of Minaldo. Thailand is having to fight for its national integrity because Muslims in its southern province of Pattani undertake frequent killings to secede from the country. The long Indian experience needs no reiteration. Russia has had its share of terrorism in Moscow, Beslan and Nalchik. Spain has its share of mass killings in Madrid. London on 7/7 was widely publicised. New York and Washington on 9/11 hardly need mention. It is uncanny that not a single mullah has issued fatwa disapproving any of these heinous crimes against innocent people. The all pervasive silence of the world's ulema proves a universal consensus behind the widespread terrorism. Many a scholar would not find this surprising as a Muslim's declared first loyalty is to the world's ummah. The non-Muslim sector of humanity does not figure in the catalogue of Islamic priorities. Most acts of terrorism have been followed by the perpetrating organisations claiming responsibility. In fact, the quickly made claims reflect a degree of pride in their success in the pursuit of jihad. Such claims are made openly for the sake of religion. President George Bush calls the terrorists Islamist radicals. But hardly anyone else mentions Islam as responsible for the crime. The Indian media is also shy of referring to religion. Is this the way to approach an enemy? Is there a chance of even winning with the help of such a defeatist attitude?

Posted by: Mudy Nov 16 2005, 02:40 PM

Islam's new European capital The Paris riots send a message to the world that radical Islam knows no borders, says Priyadarsi Dutta The Paris riots not only strained the fashion capital of the world for ten days but also spread to other French cities like Rouen, Lille, Nice, Marseilles and Toulouse. The rioters are 'North African immigrants,' a thinly veiled word for Arab and Berber Muslims, an amazingly productive community when it comes to demography. Their uneasy presence in France, veering on aggressiveness, has been a subject of discussion for the last two decades. Whether it is a 1994 plot to blow up a hijacked Air France plane over the Eiffel Tower, oblique remarks on Arab from right winger Jean Marie Le-Pen, vandalisation of Jewish synagogues by Arab immigrants or demanding to rescind the ban on headscarves, France's encounters with radical Islam are growing. That the rioters torched nearly 1300 automobiles and fired upon Police personnel demonstrate the planned nature of the violence. In Ervy, south of Paris, a Molotov cocktail factory was unearthed by the French Police. Schools, town halls and, suggestively, a synagogue (France's Post-WWII anti-Semitism is a North African import) were attacked. Reporting on Paris riots has underscored the fact that there exist certain 'no-go areas' in Paris suburbs where even police dare not enter. [same in India ] Prime Minister Dominique De Villepine has said the presence of such inaccessible areas is unacceptable. These, one could say, are mini-Isalmistans in Paris. While disturbance snowballs in France uprisings broke out in Arhus, Denmark, where young oppressed Muslims were heard chanting 'This land belongs to us' and 'This is our area, we rule this place'. The North African, primarily, Algerian immigration in France is a legacy from when France ruled Algeria (1830-1964). Phillip C Naylor in his book France and Algeria: A History of Decolonisation and Transformation (University Press, Florida) informs:"Emigration began in late 19th century. During WWI, 119,000 workers arrived in France to labour in factories. By 1948 there were 180,000 emigrant workers in metropole, number rose to 280,000 four years later." But yesterday's asset has become today's headache. Today there are around five million Muslims in France, mostly from North Africa. After World War II - a demographic catastrophe for Europe, where 40 million white Europeans perished - there was a need to import cheaper labour from North Africa. It was also a message that racism in Europe, after having touched monstrous proportions in Hitler's time, was on its way out. But the catch is that the French presence in Algeria disappeared with its liberation. FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale), the group that spearheaded Algerian independence, had given a choice between 'briefcase and coffin' to one million Francophone Europeans who knew Algeria as their only homeland. Today in Corsica, the Mediterranean island where Napoleon Bonaparte was born in the year it was annexed to France (1769), one hears the echo of Algeria. With the Arab population reaching 10 per cent, and comparatively younger, one hears slogans of 'Arabs chose between Coffin and Suitcase' from Corsican Frenchmen. The North African problem in France is not merely a racial, or economic issue, it is fit case of 'clash of civilisations'. Some 15 years ago well known futurologist Alvin Toffler in his bestselling book Power Shift informed: "Some Muslim fundamentalists actually dream of Islamicising Europe. Says the director of the Institute of Islamic Culture in Paris: "In a few years Paris will be another capital of Islam, just as Baghdad and Cairo were in other eras" (p.452). Defending the French rule in Algeria is defending the indefensible. But French occupation of Algeria in 1830 did destroy the last bastion of Barbary Corsairs (as Arab pirates were called) in Algiers. Barbary Piracy, which emanated from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripoli, has been a scourge for European commerce on the Mediterranean Sea for the past 300 years. The European islands and coastal towns were also subject to repeated attacks by Corsairs who enslaved men and women. Recently, Robert C Davis' book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean (Pan Macmillan) offers valuable insight into this subject. The First Crusade convened by Pope Urban II, a Frenchman, at council of Clermont in France, was largely a French affair. Hence till today, participants in the First Crusade are summarily called Franks. From the First Crusade to the French Revolution, from Napoleon to Charles de Gaul, the French worldview has progressed towards more secular ideals. The French have spearheaded liberal 'European' philosophy and pushed for introspection from government and citizenry alike. However, the threat posed by Islamist terrorism does appear to set the clock back to the times of the crusades when the French wrested their Holy Land from the Muslims. The question today is, can contemporary France resist Islam's resurgence in Paris?

Posted by: Viren Nov 16 2005, 03:32 PM’s~business~to~comment~on~my~skirt~-~6~ft~or~6~inch

day after her 19th birthday Sania Mirza showed she was in no mood for soft-peddling hard issues as she took a swipe at the moral police. ‘‘How does it matter if my skirt is six feet long or six inches long’’, she asked. ‘‘I wear what I am comfortable in and what suits the game, it’s nobody’s business to comment on it.’’

Posted by: acharya Nov 16 2005, 03:59 PM

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Anti-Islam Republican convention in Texas By Khalid Hasan WASHINGTON: A convention of a group of Republicans was due to take place in Texas on Tuesday that critics and concerned Muslims have denounced as anti-Islam. The group, which calls itself Cherry Tree Republicans, charges that Muslims are bombing Israel, Jordan, England, Spain, France, and that Al Qaeda has training camps “as close as Mexico and South America”. “Our borders,” the convention literature states, “are crossed by thousands illegally every week, including illegal aliens from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran and Syria.” According to Cherry Tree Republicans from President Bush’s home state and political base, “The key to understanding extremist Muslims is to understand their history. They do not think like we in the west. They are not afraid to die. The inevitability of war, lust for combat and exaltation in death is unlike our western way of thinking.” Muslims, the group claims, either want to “convert us or kill us”. It goes on to say that “Islam teaches that Muslims must wage war to impose Islamic law on non-Muslim states”. American Muslim groups are said to be engaged in a “huge cover-up of Islamic doctrine and history”, and “today’s jihadi terrorists have the same motives and goals as the Muslims who fought the Crusaders”. The group says that Muslim persecution of Christians has continued for 13 centuries and still goes on. It goes on to quote certain verses from the Quran by taking them out of context. The snippets chosen to mar the image of Islam and Muslims are: “Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of God and your enemies.” (Quran 8:60); “Fight (kill) them (non-Muslims), and God will punish (torment) them by your hands, cover them with shame.” (Quran 9:14); and “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them. It is not ye who slew them; it was God.” (Quran 8:13-17). Ashraf Abbasi, a leading figure in the Muslim community of Texas and a former president of the Pakistani-American Congress, has urged the community not to be provoked but to educate these “misled youth” about Islam. In a letter of advice circulated to the community, Abbasi writes: “This group of hate-mongers who claim to be Cherry Tree Republicans are brainwashed, which is not their fault but of those who trained them. In this convention, they will make an effort to create more hatred for Islam and Muslims. The verses of the Holy Quran they have quoted are taken out of context to prove their vicious propaganda,” Abbasi said. “President Bush has repeatedly told the nation and the world that ‘Islam is a religion of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood’ and that ‘Muslims are industrious, law abiding and peace loving people and the acts of a few radicals do not represent Islam’.” Abbasi has suggested that the Cherry Tree Republicans be presented with the same Quranic verses that they have used to malign Islam, but in the context in which those verses occur in the holy book. He points out that there are a large number of Muslim Americans in the Republican Party, some of them in very prominent positions. The Republican Party cannot afford to lose the support and effective participation of Muslim Americans. Republican Party leaders and Republican congressional leaders should be asked, he goes on to propose, to “stop this insanity and flush out such hate groups from the Republican Party”. He has called on Muslims to attend the convention, raise questions, have a dialogue with leaders and speakers of the group, and distribute literature about Islam for their education and to deal with this “poisonous propaganda” against “our great religion”.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 16 2005, 09:33 PM

Muslim families return to Hindu fold in Ajmer About 80 Muslim families in Ajmer district of Rajasthan recently returned to their original roots, i.e. Hinduism. Vishwa Hindu Parishad organised a function at the premises of Ashapura temple in Beawar, in which those Muslim couples, who returned to Hinduism, were provided with janeu and then they performed a yajna. They were granted the copies of Ramcharitmanas. All the families that returned to Hinduism resolved at the function that they would not be misguided by anybody in future and would continue to follow their original way of worship that some of the their forefathers, due to some compulsions, had abandoned. “We have now decided to correct the mistaks of our forefathers by returning to our original roots,” they said. RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sah-Sampark Pramukh Shri Indresh Kumar addressed the gathering.

Posted by: Mudy Nov 16 2005, 09:56 PM

Posted by: Mudy Nov 17 2005, 01:19 PM

Darul-uloom-mufti arrested Indore Police on Thursday arrested Khargone district Darul-uloom-mufti Mohammad Rafiq Qasim for allegedly issuing a fatwa in a divorce decree by a Sendhwa court on the ground that the judge was a 'non-muslim', therefore, the judgement was not acceptable under the Islamic Shariat.
State is MP ruled by BJP, we may see "Secular" dance soon. May be riots in other states by pious people.

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 17 2005, 01:47 PM

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 18 2005, 02:52 PM

Sania distances herself from Khushboo November 18, 2005 18:34 IST Distancing herself from her reported support to south Indian film star Khushboo on the issue of pre-marital sex, tennis star Sania Mirza Friday said her belief was otherwise. Maintaining that she was deeply pained at the maligning of her image and making a non-issue into a serious controversy by misquoting her on the pre-marital sex issue, she said in a statement that "they were totally false connotations about my justifying pre-marital sex". Sania, along with Miss Universe Natalie Glebanova and Formula One star Narain Karthikeyan, had reportedly voiced support to Khushboo at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit held in Delhi earlier this week. "I would like to clearly say on record that I could not possibly justify pre-marital sex as it is a very big sin in Islam and one which I believe will not be forgiven by Allah," Sania, a devout Muslim, said in the statement. "Attributing a view point that is totally contrary to what I believe in and what I stand for as a Muslim and as an Indian girl," Sania said was a creation of media to sensationalise a story and such sensitive issues needed to be confirmed before making such attempts. Khushboo's remarks on pre-marital sex had kicked up a major controversy and taken political twists with activists of PMK and Dalit Panthers of India voicing strong protests against the film star, who later apologised. An earlier episode involving Sania's dress code and a religious leader issuing a fatwa (religious edict) to "dress as a Muslim girl" had raked up controversy and Sania refused to speak on the issue. She had also denied that her remarks at the summit that whether her dress was six inches in length was not made in the context of fatwa issued on the subject. Muslim clerics had reportedly issued a 'fatwa' taking objection to Sania's apparel during tennis matches, which they said was 'un-Islamic'.

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 18 2005, 03:18 PM

Priyanka-Rahul Gandhi brigage ??? grenade.gif

HYDERABAD: Being a celebrity has its own downside. Ask Sania Mirza. On Friday the tennis star was busy off court defending statements about pre-marital sex attributed to her. Sections of the press had reported it, but Sania - in the manner of a politician - said that she was misquoted. The denial came in the wake of a wave of protests in her hometown. Distancing herself from her reported support to south Indian film star Khushboo, who had said pre-marital sex was OK, Sania clarified she was pained about a non-issue being made into a controversy. She was forced to give out a statement: "I would like to clearly say on record that I could not possibly justify pre-marital sex as it is a very big sin in Islam and one which I believe will not be forgiven by Allah." She said the reports had attributed to her a "viewpoint that is totally contrary to what I believe in and what I stand for as a Muslim and as an Indian girl". Her family was kept up through Thursday night by callers who demanded a clarification or an explanation. "Is this the treatment to a girl who brought laurels to the nation?" asked an exasperated Imran Mirza, her father. "We are being punished for a sin which we have not committed,"he said. "It was the issue of fatwa on skirt for some days and now it’s the pre-marital sex issue. What is this?" Protests erupted in Hyderabad over her purported statement at an event in Delhi. A group calling itself the Priyanka-Rahul Gandhi brigade burnt an effigy of the 19-year-old tennis star and paraded with posters. Dozens of students from Osmania University, including some women, protested.

Posted by: Viren Nov 18 2005, 03:43 PM

QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Nov 18 2005, 06:18 PM)
Priyanka-Rahul Gandhi brigage ??? grenade.gif
Protests erupted in Hyderabad over her purported statement at an event in Delhi. A group calling itself the Priyanka-Rahul Gandhi brigade burnt an effigy of the 19-year-old tennis star and paraded with posters. Dozens of students from Osmania University, including some women, protested.
What's up with these guys furious.gif When Rahul Gandhi frolicks around in Amethi with Columbians in skirts they don't have an issue. Hypocrites. 

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