Saturday, February 24, 2007


Branded as 'educational,' these trips offer Israeli propagandists an opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the story.

By Jim Abourezk
SIOUX FALL, S.D. - Democrats in Congress have moved quickly – and commendably – to strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented, in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one of its most critical functions: taking members of Congress on free "educational" trips to Israel.

The pro-Israel lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to quickly understand a basic lesson. Money needed to run for office can come with great ease from supporters of Israel, provided that the candidate makes certain promises, in writing, to vote favorably on issues considered important to Israel. What drives much of congressional support for Israel is fear – fear that the pro-Israel lobby will either withhold campaign contributions or give money to one's opponent.

In my own experience as a US senator in the 1970s, I saw how the lobby tries to humiliate or embarrass members who do not toe the line.

Pro-Israel groups worked vigorously to ensure that the new reforms would allow them to keep hosting members of Congress on trips to Israel. According to the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, congressional filings show Israel as the top foreign destination for privately sponsored trips. Nearly 10 percent of overseas congressional trips taken between 2000 and 2005 were to Israel. Most are paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a sister organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the major pro-Israel lobby group.

New rules require all trips to be pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee, but Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts says this setup will guarantee that tours of Israel continue. Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported consensus among Jewish groups that "the new legislation would be an inconvenience, but wouldn't seriously hamper the trips to Israel that are considered a critical component of congressional support for Israel."

These trips are defended as "educational." In reality, as I know from my many colleagues in the House and Senate who participated in them, they offer Israeli propagandists an opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the story. The Israeli narrative of how the nation was created, and Israeli justifications for its brutal policies omit important truths about the Israeli takeover and occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What the pro-Israel lobby reaps for its investment in these tours is congressional support for Israeli desires. For years, Israel has relied on billions of dollars in US taxpayer money. Shutting off this government funding would seriously impair Israel's harsh occupation.

One wonders what policies Congress might support toward Israel and the Palestinians absent the distorting influence of these Israel trips – or if more members toured Palestinian lands. America sent troops to Europe to prevent the killing of civilians in the former Yugoslavia. But when it comes to flagrant human rights violations committed by Israel, the US sends more money and shields Israel from criticism.

Congress regularly passes resolutions lauding Israel, even when its actions are deplorable, providing it political cover. Meanwhile, polls suggest most Americans want the Bush administration to steer a middle course in working for peace between Israelis and the Palestinians.

Consider, too, how the Israel lobby twists US foreign policy into a dangerous double standard regarding nuclear issues. The US rattles its sabers at Iran for its nuclear energy ambitions – and alleged pursuit of nuclear arms – while remaining silent about Israel's nuclear-weapons arsenal.
Members of Congress may not be aware just how damaging their automatic support for Israel is to America's interest. At a minimum, US policies toward Israel have cost it valuable allies in the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world.

If Congress is serious about ethics reform, it should not protect the Israel lobby from the consequences. A totally taxpayer-funded travel budget for members to take foreign fact-finding trips, with authorization to be made by committee heads, would be an important first step toward a foreign policy that genuinely serves America.

• Jim Abourezk is a former Democratic senator from South Dakota.

source: Christian Science Monitor:


UN envoy hits Israel 'apartheid'

A UN human rights envoy has compared Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to elements of apartheid.

The UN's Special Rapporteur, John Dugard, describes the regime as being designed to dominate and systematically oppress the occupied population.

Mr Dugard is a South African professor of international law assigned to monitor Israeli human rights abuses.

He has extensively studied apartheid in South Africa and has compared it to what he saw under Israeli rule.

Special rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the UN secretary general to present reports on human rights to the organisation.

Their findings do not represent UN policy.
In a new report, Mr Dugard says: "Israel's laws and practices certainly resemble aspects of apartheid".

He points to what he describes as "unashamed discrimination" against Palestinians in favour of Israeli settlers.

"It is difficult to resist the conclusion that many of Israel's laws and practices violate the 1966 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination," says the report.
"House demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are carried out in a manner that discriminates against Palestinians.

"Throughout the West Bank, and particularly in Hebron, settlers are given preferential treatment over Palestinians in terms of movement (major roads are reserved exclusively for settlers), building rights and army protection and laws governing family re-unification".

The report ranges widely over the events of the past year and focuses on the Israeli military assault on Gaza during the summer.

This came after Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier, who they are still holding.
The army also described its campaign as an effort to stop the firing of crudely-made rockets from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns and villages.

Militant groups like Islamic Jihad often describe these attacks as retaliation for army raids and killings.

During the reporting period, two Israelis died and 30 others were injured in these random Palestinian attacks on civilian targets, and Mr Dugard says that they clearly constitute war crimes.

'Controlled strangulation'
But his report also condemns the two Israeli offensives launched to counter the missile threat from Gaza.

Four hundred Palestinians died, and some 1,500 were injured - many of them civilians. Three Israeli soldiers were killed.

Mr Dugard says that this was a "grossly disproportionate and indiscriminate" response that led to the army committing "multiple war crimes".

He also criticises the very tight controls that Israel maintains over the flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza.

These add to the poverty-stricken territory's chronic economic problems - contributing to mounting levels of unemployment and desperation.

Mr Dugard says that Israel is imposing a policy of "controlled strangulation" that is helping to give rise to a failed state on its doorstep.

The Israelis argue that their border controls around Gaza are necessary for security reasons.
Militants have attacked crossing points in the past, and a suicide bomber recently emerged from Gaza and killed three civilians in the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

And more broadly, Israel has dismissed Mr Dugard's report as being one-sided.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said that it was a product of what he called "rank politicisation" of the UN's human rights apparatus.

"This is the promoting of partisan, one-sided political attitudes which frankly don't serve the interests of anyone who is seriously interested in human rights," Mr Regev said.

source: BBC:

Friday, January 19, 2007

Last Word: Jimmy Carter
Revisiting 'Apartheid'
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Newsweek International
Dec. 25, 2006 - Jan. 1, 2007 issue - Former president Jimmy Carter has long been regard-ed as an elder statesman, using his political muscle to address issues like democracy and human rights. But he's also been a prolific author. Since leaving office in January 1981, he has written 23 books, on subjects ranging from American moral values to his childhood on a Georgia farm. His latest—and perhaps most controversial—offering, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," reflects his long interest in the Middle East. (As president, he personally negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt.) But it has also drawn fire for its use of the word apartheid to describe the current circumstances of the Palestinian people. While the book has shot up the best-seller list, the former president has been denounced for his criticism of Israel. He's also come under fire from former Carter Center associate Kenneth Stein, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Emory University, who has raised questions about the book's accuracy. (Disclosure: NEWSWEEK's Christopher Dickey was one of the people asked to comment on an early draft of the book.) President Carter spoke to NEWSWEEK's Eleanor Clift. Excerpts:

Clift: You've created quite a stir. I suspect it was partly intentional. Carter: Well, it was. One of the purposes of the book was to provoke discussion, which is very rarely heard in this country, and to open up some possibility that we could rejuvenate or restart the peace talks in Israel that have been absent for six years—so that was the purpose of the book.
The word apartheid—did you agonize about that? Not really, I didn't agonize because I knew that's an accurate description of what's going on in Palestine. I would say that the plight of the Palestinians now—the confiscation of their land, that they're being suppressed completely against voicing their disapproval of what's happening, the building of the wall that intrudes deep within their territory, the complete separation of Israelis from the Palestinians—all of those things in many ways are worse than some of the aspects of apartheid in South Africa. There is no doubt about it, and no one can go there and visit the different cities in Palestine without agreeing with what I have said.
Why do you think you're under attack for the book and the title? You and I both know the powerful influence of AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], which is not designed to promote peace. I'm not criticizing them, they have a perfect right to lobby, but their purpose in life is to protect and defend the policies of the Israeli government and to make sure those policies are approved in the United States and in our Congress—and they're very effective at it. I have known a large number of Jewish organizations in this country [that] have expressed their approval for the book and are trying to promote peace. But their voices are divided and they're relatively reluctant to speak out publicly. And any member of Congress who's looking to be re-elected couldn't possibly say that they would take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians, or that they would insist on Israel withdrawing to international borders, or that they would dedicate themselves to protect human rights of Palestinians—it's very likely that they would not be re-elected.
In some of your interviews you've said that this is a debate that's out in the open in Israel, and it's only here that we feel inhibited. Oh yes—that's correct. Not only in Israel—all over Israel, the major news media, every day—[but] obviously in the Arab world, even in Europe. In this country, any sort of debate back and forth, any sort of incisive editorial comment in the major newspapers, is almost completely absent.
You're obviously aware of your main critic, Mr. Stein, who used to be with the Carter Center. Thirteen years ago! He hasn't been associated with the Carter Center for 13 years.
He says that he was a third party in some meetings and that his notes don't jibe with yours. He was a third party in some of the meetings, I can't deny that. And a lot of those meetings took place when I was still president and an exact transcription was kept and it's in the official files. So the reports that I gave in the book are completely accurate.
He also accuses you of plagiarism, saying you took from other sources. The only source that I took anything from that I know about was my own book, which I wrote earlier—it's called "The Blood of Abraham" ... Somebody told me [that Stein] was complaining about the maps in the book. Well, the maps are derived from an atlas that was published in 2004 in Jerusalem and it was basically produced under the aegis of officials in Sweden. And the Swedish former prime minister is the one who told me this was the best atlas available about the Middle East.

This Road is for Jews Only

This Road is for Jews Only
Yes, There is Apartheid in Israel
Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what's right in front of our eyes. It's simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practises its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.
The US Jewish Establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All this is done in order to keep an eye on the population's movements and to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians' land, celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades.
If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing "Jewish only" roads. Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night--all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.
On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. "Why?" I asked the soldier. "It's an order--this is a Jews-only road", he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. "It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?"
Indeed Apartheid does exist here. And our army is not "the most moral army in the world" as we are told by its commanders. Sufficient to mention that every town and every village has turned into a detention centre and that every entry and every exit has been closed, cutting it off from arterial traffic. If it were not enough that Palestinians are not allowed to travel on the roads paved 'for Jews only', on their land, the current GOC found it necessary to land an additional blow on the natives in their own land with an "ingenious proposal".
Humanitarian activists cannot transport Palestinians either.
Major-General Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a new order. Coming into affect on 19 January, it prohibits the conveyance of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one registered in Israel regardless of what kind of numberplate it carries) unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger. Of course none of this applies to those whose labour serves the settlers. They and their employers will naturally receive the required permits so they can continue to serve the lords of the land, the settlers.
Did man of peace President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is creating Apartheid? Did he exaggerate? Don't the US Jewish community leaders recognise the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a signatory? Are the US Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign against Carter for supposedly maligning Israel's character and its democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 30 November 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?
In the past, the US Jewish community leaders were quite familiar with the meaning of those conventions. For some reason, however, they are convinced that Israel is allowed to contravene them. It's OK to kill civilians, women and children, old people and parents with their children, deliberately or otherwise without accepting any responsibility. It's permissible to rob people of their lands, destroy their crops, and cage them up like animals in the zoo. From now on, Israelis and International humanitarian organisations' volunteers are prohibited from assisting a woman in labour by taking her to the hospital. [Israeli human rights group] Yesh Din volunteers cannot take a robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the settlements.) Is there anyone who believes that this is not Apartheid?
Jimmy Carter does not need me to defend his reputation that has been sullied by Israelophile community officials. The trouble is that their love of Israel distorts their judgment and blinds them from seeing what's in front of them. Israel is an occupying power that for 40 years has been oppressing an indigenous people, which is entitled to a sovereign and independent existence while living in peace with us. We should remember that we too used very violent terror against foreign rule because we wanted our own state. And the list of victims of terror is quite long and extensive.
We do limit ourselves to denying the [Palestinian] people human rights. We not only rob of them of their freedom, land and water. We apply collective punishment to millions of people and even, in revenge-driven frenzy, destroy the electricity supply for one and half million civilians. Let them "sit in the darkness" and "starve".
Employees cannot be paid their wages because Israel is holding 500 million shekels that belong to the Palestinians. And after all that we remain "pure as the driven snow". There are no moral blemishes on our actions. There is no racial separation. There is no Apartheid. It's an invention of the enemies of Israel. Hooray for our brothers and sisters in the US! Your devotion is very much appreciated. You have truly removed a nasty stain from us. Now there can be an extra spring in our step as we confidently abuse the Palestinian population, using the "most moral army in the world".
[Translated by Sol Salbe]
Shulamit Aloni is the former Education Minister of Israel. She has been awarded both the Israel Prize and the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

Thursday, October 26, 2006



Friday, October 06, 2006

Qur'an Recitation

1. [Basit abd Samad] Sura Qaf -english --

2. [Basit abd Samad] Audio - Best collection-

3. [Basit abd Samad] Sura: al-Balad-english--

4. [Child reciting Qur'an]

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bio Test


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Free Movies

1. [Free Hindi Movies]

2. [Free Legal Music]

Saturday, September 09, 2006

speech 2

Our religions does not allow killing any innocent person regardless of his or her religion. The life of all human beings is sacrosanct according to the teachings of the Qur'an and the guidance of our blessed Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him and upon all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah.
The Qur'an says about the prohibition of murder,
وَلاَ تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
"..Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that ye may learn wisdom." (al-An'am 6:151)
and Allah says in the Qur'an,
وَلاَ تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلاَ يُسْرِفْ فِي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنصُورًا
"Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law)" (al-Isra' 17:33)
According to the Qur'an, killing any person without a just cause is as big a sin as killing the whole humanity and saving the life of one person is as good deed as saving the whole humanity. (See al-Ma'idah 5:32)
However, your question is valid then how come the Qur'an says,
"kill them wherever you find them..." as it is mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah 2:191 and Surah al-Nisa' 4:89. The answer is simple and that is you should read these verses in their textual and historical context. You should read the whole verse and it is better that you read few verses before and few after. Read the full text and see what is said:
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنْ الْقَتْلِ وَلاَ تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِنْدَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّى يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِنْ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ فَإِنْ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنْ انتَهَوْا فَلاَ عُدْوَانَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَاتُ قِصَاصٌ فَمَنْ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors. And kill them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who reject faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves." (al-Baqarah 2:190-194)
For your second quotation also read the full text:
وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً فَلاَ تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ وَلِيًّا وَلاَ نَصِيرًا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ أَوْ جَاءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَنْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ أَوْ يُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَاتَلُوكُمْ فَإِنْ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمْ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلاً سَتَجِدُونَ آخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُوا قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوا إِلَى الْفِتْنَةِ أُرْكِسُوا فِيهَا فَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُوا إِلَيْكُمْ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأُوْلَئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانًا مُبِينًا
"They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks. Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (Of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them). Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto; if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them; in their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them. (Al-Nisa' 4:89-91)
Now tell me honestly, do these verses give a free permission to kill any one any where? These verses were revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allah Ta'ala Alaihi Wa Salam) at the time when Muslims were attacked by the non-Muslims of Makkah on a regular basis. They were frightening the Muslim community of Madinah. One may say using the contemporary jargon that there were constant terrorist attacks on Madinah and in this situation Muslims were given permission to fight back the "terrorist". These verses are not a permission for "terrorism" but they are a warning against the "terrorists." But even in these warnings you can see how much restraint and care is emphasized.
It is important that we study the religious texts in their proper context. When these texts are not read in their proper textual and historical contexts they are manipulated and distorted. It is true that some Muslims manipulate these verses for their own goals. But this is not only with Islamic texts, it is also true with the texts of other religions. I can quote dozens of verses from the Bible which seem very violent, if taken out from their historical context. These Biblical texts have been used by many violent Jewish and Christian groups. Crusaders used them against Muslims and Jews. Nazis used them against Jews. Recently Serbian Christians used them against Bosnian Muslims. Zionists are using them regularly against Palestinians.
Let me mention just a few verses from the Old Testament and New Testament and tell me what do you say about them:
"When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you. And when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. (Deutronomy 7:1-2)
"When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you... Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes (Deutronomy 20:10-17)
Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, sparefor yourselves. (Numbers 31:17-18)
Even in the New Testament we read the following statement attributed to Jesus saying to his disciples:
"I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence. (Luke 19:26-27)


Edward R Morrow; 1954; Journalist
He phrased a warning to our generation, When politician thought they and they alone knew everything and braded those that disagreed confused and immoral.
“We must not confuse descent with disloyalty, We must remember always that acusation is not proof. And that convection depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear one of another. We will not be driven by fear into the age of unreason. IF We dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who fear to write, to speak to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment unpopular.”
And so I say to you the same as our forefather said before us Freedom Freedom Freedom.
I saw American flag being waved in the land of the free and the homes of the braves.
America knows that the citizens must secure the freedom of their country. In 200 years nearly 200 million Americans have laid down their lives in defence of that freedom. How can we surrender that freedom for yours and mine. We will die some day be it today or next year. America is a symbol of hope for oppressed people everywhere. A land of free people with liberty and Justice for all. And in an instant the dream became a nightmare.
Brave heart: if you fight you will die but if you run you’ll live. But for how long will you live. You will die some day on your deathbed and won’t you trade that life to take that chance to tell our enemy that they may take our life but never our freedom.


The tragedy that struck New York and Washington five years ago, has now spread in almost every home specially those of Muslims in America and all over the world. The reprehensible act of terror committed by a few has been turned into a propaganda campaign against Muslims and Islam. Muslims have been put on defensive all over the world and new terms such as radical Islam, Islamo-fascism, violent Islam, are in vogue.
Needless to say that the Muslim community has become a scapegoat for the failed policies of our government. Every time an act of violence is committed or a conspiracy is discovered, Muslims are demanded to prove their patriotism, their loyalty and their commitment to civility. Despite the fact, that not a single Muslim American citizen has ever been involved in the 9/11 terrorism related action. The law enforcement agencies have not found any link between any of the alleged hijackers and the American Muslim community in any shape or form.
There are several questions that we must ask in order to understand the real motives of those who have constantly been accusing Muslims of being part of a religion that promotes violence. Three groups are visibly distinct in their outburst against Islam and Muslims. They are the ones who are controlling the airwaves, they are the ones who are spreading hatred and mistrust against Islam and Muslims and they are the ones who are reaping the benefit of the ongoing propaganda against Islam.
The right wing Christian leaders and their followers top the list of those who are heading the campaign against Islam and Muslims. They are no longer an insignificant minority. They have the support of the Bush administration and many in Pentagon, White House, Congress and other branches of the government share their perspectives on Islam and Muslims. During the last five years, leaders and individuals associated with these groups have appeared on more than 20,000 talk shows, written some 15,000 articles, delivered sermons in more than 200,000 churches reaching an audience of some 50 million people and organized several research studies and seminars on the subject of Islam and terrorism.
Their perspective on Islam and Muslims emerges from their own deep rooted religious convictions that convinces them that only those who are born again Christians and only those who accept Jesus as their only savior will be saved as rest will rot in hell. Many of their leaders believe that Muslims constitute the antichrist forces even though some such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are on record saying that the antichrist is a Jew.
They consider America a new promised land and believe that through the power of America, they can impose their ideals on the world. During the last 100 years, they saw the growth of Islam among African, Asian, Caucasian and Latin origin Americans. They view Islam as a challenge to their growth and ideology. They see the presence of a vibrant Islam a threat to their designs in America and they believe that Islam must be confronted. Hence, they are in the forefront of the campaign to malign Islam and Muslims. They are the ones who have called Islam a religion of 'terror' and Prophet Muhammad a 'terrorist'. They are the ones who believe that Islam must be wiped out if their version of Christianity has to prevail. Since 9/11, they are the ones who have used all possible channels to spread venomous hatred against Islam and Muslims.
The second group consists of extremist political Zionists who see the presence of Muslims a threat to their ultimate designs in the state of Israel. They are the leading voices in American Jewish Committee, American Israeli Public Affairs Council, the Jewish Federation and many other similar outfits. They have adopted a three prong approach to discredit Muslims and Islam. On the one hand, they have relied on the support they receive from a sympathetic media, and academicians and think tanks, while on the other, they have tried to ally themselves with the right wing Christian to add more fuel to the fire against Islam. While their third approach is to prepare and identify a few Muslims here and there who speak their language and champion their cause. During the last 5 years, these groups have invited in their gatherings several such Muslims to define Islam and attack Muslims. Needless to say that many of these Muslims rely on the ineffectual input of political Zionists for making an argument against Islam and Muslims. Seventy percent of the articles opposing Islam that appeared in major dailies in the country come from extreme political Zionists. On the television network they outnumber other vicious 100 to 2. They strongly believe that the creation of the state of Israel will ultimately lead to the coming of their Messiah who will enable Jews to establish a world government based on Talmudic laws. They find Muslims especially in America a hurdle in their way.
They don't want to share American democracy with anyone who is opposed to their world view. They want to stifle even a single voice of opposition to the state of Israel. They are the ones who have coined terms such as radical Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism.
The third group comprises greedy businesses and their zealot supporters in politics. They have found an enormous business opportunity in the terror related businesses. The most who have benefited from the terror related preventive actions are security agencies, public relations groups and defense contractors.
They have earned business worth billions of the past five years. They employ scientists, academicians, politicians and journalists to speak their language and mind. These His or Her master's voice speak like an expert and warn people of the dangers of Islamo-fascism and radical Islam or wahabism or similar groups. The more they spread the fear, the more they earn through businesses.
Of course there are two specific groups of Muslims who are playing in the hands of the three groups unconsciously and unknowingly. One comprises those who believe that Islam promotes violence to achieve its objective. The other includes those who are doing nothing but say everything. Ignorant and unaware of the true religious dimensions, they try to pick up verbal fight with anyone who appears to be appreciating anything western. For them democracy and human rights are facade as they view Islam totally incompatible with them. Even thought their number is not large, they make enough noise to attract the attention of the above three groups who use their statements to justify their politics and strategy to counter Islam.
The response of Muslims is very defensive. Muslim groups in general have tried to communicate with the three groups to win some favors. Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes still dominate the psychology of many Muslim groups and organizations. Some American Muslim groups even have gone further trying to develop stronger relations with FBI and State department without realizing that in democracies, it is the people that matter and not the bureaucracies that determine the nature of state. Not many Muslim groups in America are serious in developing any grass roots campaign to make Muslims an effective part of American pluralism. Muslims might weather the three antagonistic groups, but it would be hard to deal with their own apathy and indifference to their plight.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is Editor-in-Chief of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic society of Nevada, Las Vegas and acting president of the Muslim Council of America, a Washington-based newly formed groups of Muslim activists.
Twenty Gandhis needed after 911

As the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, many of the nation's values - tolerance, forgiveness, personal freedom, perhaps even courage itself - remain trapped in the wreckage.It may take another anniversary, another 9/11 - Sept. 11, 1906, to be precise - simply to remind us of what lies buried beneath the fear and cynicism, the ignorance and politics; and, even more importantly, to wake us up to the urgency of reclaiming those values and healing as a nation.Led by a president incapable of protecting us but eerily adept at exploiting tragedy, we went off on a howling revenge quest against "the axis of evil" and proceeded to compound the horrors of 9/11 worldwide - turning this day into an excuse for torture and wiretapping and the indiscriminate "shock and awe" bombing of a country that had nothing to do with what had happened.Around the country, and particularly in New York City, the wakeup call is about to be sounded, as grieving Americans - grieving as much for the future we're bequeathing our children as for the past - proclaim 9/11 a day of healing and peace, not revenge. The memory of Mahatma Gandhi will help drive the message home.The twist of historical fate juxtaposing the birth of "satyagraha," the world's first large-scale nonviolent resistance movement, with the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is downright chilling, like the sound of rhythmic tapping coming from beneath the rubble. Someone's still alive down there! Hope floods the heart.Liz Graydon, a former middle-school teacher who is now education coordinator for New Yorkers for a Department of Peace, saw mention in a newsletter from Nonviolent Peace Force, which does peace work in Sri Lanka, that this Sept. 11 would be the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's movement for social justice. Not surprisingly, "The date just jumped out at me," she told me. It immediately became the focal point of plans to commemorate 9/11, and the stunning aptness of it has lit up the national peace network.In August 1906, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a young Indian lawyer living in South Africa, was stunned almost to paralysis - "an impenetrable wall was before me," he later wrote - upon learning about the law the province of Transvaal had just passed, known as The Black Act, requiring Indian nationals to submit to a humiliating registration and fingerprinting process. Its intent was obviously racist, a first step by the white government to marginalize and eventually expel "coloreds" from South Africa."I clearly saw that this was a question of life and death," Gandhi wrote. "... the community must not sit with folded hands. Better die than submit to such a law."Gandhi called a meeting of the Indian community on Sept. 11, which about 3,000 people - Hindus, Muslims and others - attended. One angry speaker, according to Gandhi's account, declared: "If any one came forward to demand a certificate from my wife, I would shoot him on that spot and take the consequences."Gandhi had another idea: "It will not ... do to be hasty, impatient or angry," he said. "That cannot save us from this onslaught. But God will come to our help, if we calmly think out and carry out in time measures of resistance, presenting a united front and bearing the hardship, which such resistance brings in its train."Gandhi's vision, which he came to call satyagraha (a combination of Sanskrit words literally meaning "seize the truth"), held the day, indeed, kept the Indians of South Africa unified through eight years of intimidation, abuse and imprisonment. In 1914, the government agreed to end all anti-Indian discrimination. And of course, this movement continued in India itself until 1947, when British colonial rule finally ended.Graydon, who used the 1982 movie "Gandhi" in her middle school curriculum, said her students were invariably skeptical that nonviolence could accomplish anything. She recalled one boy who conceded, halfway through the film, that it was pretty convincing, "But c'mon, Miss Graydon, there are 6 billion people on the planet. You'll never get all of them to be nonviolent."She noted that the population of India at the time of Gandhi's movement was 300 million. "We don't need 6 billion Gandhis," she told him. "We need 20 Gandhis."New Yorkers for a Department of Peace, in conjunction with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has organized 32 screenings of "Gandhi" around the country on Sept. 11, including, in New York, at the Regal Theater, across the street from Ground Zero. As far as I can tell, many other events are being planned that day, both in conjunction with and independent of the New York event, that will draw inspiration from this mystical confluence of anniversaries."Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind," Gandhi said. "It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."Maybe the time has come to learn how to use it.

Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can reach him at or visit his Web site at
Victims of Overblown Terrorism Threats

Despite all the ominous warnings of wily terrorists and imminent attacks, there has been neither a successful strike nor a close call in the United States since 9/11. The reasonable - but rarely heard - explanation is that there are no terrorists within the United States, and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad." John Mueller, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006.Senior government officials, business executives - many of them specialists in security and terrorism, and mainstream media have been coming up with a stream of dire predictions all through the last five years that a terrorist attack is most likely to occur anytime.In the wake of 9/11 terrorists attacks, the United States created a huge and massively funded Department of Homeland Security. Its founding manifesto proclaims, "Today's terrorists can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon.""But if it is so easy to pull off an attack and if terrorists are so demonically competent, why they not done it?" questions John Mueller, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University, quoted above.Mueller then goes on to discount the explanations offered for the lack of terrorist incidents. We deal with some of these in this article. Such as the absence of terrorist strikes is due to the protective measures put in place after 9/11. But this argument does not hold waters since five years before 9/11, when the U.S. was much less protected, there were no terrorist incidents. It takes one or two persons with an explosive device to terrorize a vast number of people, and only an almost perfect system would thwart all such plans. This explanation also seems far-fetched in view of the government's inept response to Hurricane Katrina, and the debacle of its FBI security agencies to upgrade their systems.Another argument is that it is difficult for terrorists to get in now. But thousands of visitors and immigrants -legal and illegal - enter the U.S. making it almost impossible for this to work effectively. Moreover, for decades now, the relevant government agencies have been unable to intercept or even detect the large quantities of illicit substances in their "war on drugs." Terrorists do not require a large force for their work, and those determined could thus easily sneak into the country.An argument offered by President Bush in support of the war in Iraq is that the terrorists were being killed there, and thus America is saved. But terrorists with possible al Qaeda links managed attacks in other places, indicating that not every potential bomb thrower joined the insurgents in Iraq. Another popular explanation is that the invasion of Afghanistan disrupted Al Qaeda and its operations. But those involved in bombings in Madrid and London never went to Afghanistan or to any of the Al Qaeda training camps.Mueller concludes: "If al Qaeda operatives are as determined and inventive as assumed, they should be here by now. If they are not yet here, they must not be trying very hard or must be far less dedicated, diabolical, and competent than the common image would suggest." Obviously, a major reason, although not much acknowledged by the administration officials, is that Muslim community in the United States, unlike their European counterparts is well off, well educated, and well integrated into the American society. It is also very alert to all incidents of terrorism, and does not allow its manipulation by any jihadist group. It is important the media take note of this, and instead of succumbing to hate promoted by certain interest groups, develop an understanding and appreciation of American Muslims.The case of American Muslims is further vindicated by a 2005 secret FBI report noting that although they arrested a few here and there, but could not identify a single true al Qaeda sleeper cell anywhere in the United States. Furthermore, thousands of overseas communications have been monitored under a controversial surveillance system without any warrant. Despite this, fewer than ten U.S. citizens or residents per year aroused enough suspicion to induce the spying agencies to also seek warrants authorizing them surveillance of their domestic communications. However, none of these has led to indictment on a charge. Also every year, in response to some 30,000 "national security letters" issued without judicial review, businesses and other institutions provide confidential information about their customers without them knowing. It has led nowhere.In addition, some 80,000 Arab and Muslim immigrants have been fingerprinted and registered, another 8,000 called for interview with the FBI, and over 5,000 foreign national imprisoned all in the name of national security. Yet this encroachment of civil liberties has not resulted in a single conviction, notes David Cole, Law Professor at Georgetown University. In reality, only a small number of those picked up - always with a great official fanfare - have been convicted at all. And almost all of these are for other petty infractions, such as immigration visa violation.American Muslims deserve respect, and their constitutionally guaranteed rights must be protected like any other citizen. Rather than being subjected to further witch-hunt, as recently suggested profiling based on race or religion. Apparently, the administration officials and associated agencies use the oft-repeated rhetoric of fighting terrorist threat, to keep American public aligned with their hegemonic foreign agenda. And that obviously is also the underlying reason for anti-Americanism prevalent worldwide.
Siraj Islam Mufti, Ph.D. is a freelance journalist interested in world affairs.
Never ending tragedy of 911

When I got up for the dawn prayer on September 11, 2003, the supplication that was on my lips was "O God, let this day pass without any act of terrorism and may He help all the victims of 9/11 find peace." But then I say to myself, I should ask for this blessing of God every day for all the innocent victims who continue to die every day since 9/11 in a cycle of violence that has been unleashed all over the world.September 11 memories are painful, both as a victim of terror and as a victim of the reaction to the act of terror. On this day, not only 3,000 people lost their lives, but also over six million Muslim Americans were questioned for their loyalty to their country. Even though, Muslims and their organizations were in the forefront condemning the attacks. Several special interest groups have promoted the idea that Muslims have a soft corner for terrorists. Repeatedly, the Muslim community made it known to its neighbors, public officials and other opinion makers that it abhorred terrorism and stood shoulder to shoulder with all people of conscious who are fighting against terrorism, still people with twisted minds keep on raising questions about the integrity of the Muslim community.Acts of hatred and discrimination against Muslims are encouraged even in a multicultural city like Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a resolution that says:Whereas, in remembering the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved-ones, friends, and business associates, we also remember and acknowledge the truth as to who the perpetrators themselves claim to be, that is, Muslims, carrying out the will of the Deity of their religion known as Islam.To have such a divisive and very insensitive resolution is really shocking. Obviously, there is an attempt on the part of special interest groups to implicate Muslim Americans in the tragedy of 9/11.On September 11, several hundred Muslims were also a victim of this tragedy. M. Salman Hamdani, 23, was on his way from the family home in Queens to his job as a lab technician in Manhattan. According to the family, police believe that when Hamdani, a trained emergency medical technician, heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center, he rushed there to help. Like the approximately 3,000 other victims, Hamdani did not return to his family home that day. A commodities trader for Carr Futures, Taimour Khan, 29, was last seen on the 92nd-floor office at One World Trade Center the first of the 110-story twin towers hit by hijacked passenger planes. What has hurt and frightened the Hamdani and Khan families amid their personal grief is the growing number of reported cases of intimidation, harassment and violence against Muslims.Since September 11, 2001 all over the world the number of terror victims has been increasing day by day. During the last two years, approximately 30,000 innocent people have been killed in different parts of the world as a result of terror attacks or counter attacks. Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Philippines, Indonesia, Liberia, to name a few. We hear very little about these victims.War against terror is a global war. But there are a few groups who are trying to make this a selective war for reasons that suit their political, cultural, economic and social interests. This selectiveness on the part of a few powerful groups reinforce some of the ideas that terrorists have used to justify their actions.The fight against terrorism is a noble fight. It is in defense of human life, the most beautiful of the divine creation. It is a fight all humanity must join. But we must not allow special interest groups to use the fight against terrorism as an excuse to serve their political or economic agenda. At stake is human civilization itself and it should be defended with full force. Muslims, like all other people of conscious, are in the forefront of this fight and they will not rest until all forms of terror is tamed.

Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the Editor of the Minaret magazine which is a monthly publication from Los Angeles, California.

Muslims in America - Four Years After 911
Four years ago America's sense of invulnerability on its own soil was shattered when two hijacked planes crashed separately into the twin towers of the WTC causing each to collapse. Since that momentous event, 9/11 has become an important anniversary. Not this year though. It was totally overshadowed by the Katrina disaster. The anniversary also came at a time when President Bush's approval rating was at an all time low with everything from the war in Iraq to oil price seemingly going in the wrong direction. My friends and family members, living outside the United States, often ask me about how the aftermath has been for Muslims living in America. Answering the question is not as simple because one's personal experiences would vary depending on the location one lives in, the job one does, the interaction one maintains both within and outside the Muslim community, etc. While the full dimension of backlash against Muslim Americans may never be known, from the reports I have been able to read and hear, there is no doubt that the last four years have been anything but pleasant for most Muslim Americans. This is because of the alleged involvement of some young Muslims hijackers with the attack on America on that fateful day. As for me, I hardly now perform congregational prayers in Islamic centers and mosques. I also don't deliver as many lectures on Islam and Muslim issues that I used to do. I know of many Muslims who don't frequent Islamic centers as often as they used to. In July 2002, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) polled 945 Muslims to find how 9/11 has affected them. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said that their lives had changed for the worse since 9/11 while 57% reported experiencing an act of bias or discrimination, ranging from disparaging remarks to a hate crime.1 Many new Muslim immigrants have clustered in certain jobs, notably as small business owners, running gas stations, convenience stores, motels, and as cab drivers. This may account for the prevalence of backlash victims among persons with these occupations. Two of the three 9/11-related murders for which charges have been brought were of convenience store workers. The third murdered victim was a gas station owner. The taxi dispatch services in many major cities reported that after 9/11 they had received threatening calls saying that their Muslim and Arab taxi workers would be killed.2 According to a 2002 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report "The September 11 Backlash"3 (against Muslims and Arabs): "Mosques and places of worship perceived to be mosques appeared to be among the most likely places of September 11-related backlash violence. SAALT's (South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow) survey of bias incidents reported in major news media found 104 bias incidents against places of worship reported during the first week after September 11 4. ... Although September 11 backlash violence against individual Arabs and Muslims decreased markedly by November 2001, attacks continued against mosques or houses of worship perceived to be Arab or Muslim. On November 19, 2001, four teenagers burned down the Gobind Sadan, a multi-faith worship center in Oswego, New York, because they believed the worshippers were supporters of Osama Bin Laden. On March 25, 2002, a man who stated to police that he hated Muslims crashed his pickup truck into a mosque in Tallahassee, Florida thirty minutes after evening prayers.5 On June 11, 2002, in Milipitas, California, vandals broke into a mosque under construction, scrawled derogatory remarks such as, "F- Arabs" and damaged the interior of a construction trailer near the mosque. 6 On August 24, 2002, federal authorities announced they had discovered a plan by a doctor in Tampa Bay to bomb and destroy approximately 50 mosques and Islamic cultural centers in south Florida. The doctor's home contained rocket launchers, sniper rifles and twenty live bombs. 7" As to job-related discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 488 complaints as of May 2002. Of these, 301 involved persons who were fired from their jobs. A poll of Arab Americans conducted in May 2002 found that 20% had personally experienced job discrimination. 8In the pre-9/11 days, e.g., in 2000, the FBI received reports of 28 hate crimes (offenses motivated by race, religion, color, gender, etc.) against Muslims and Arabs in the U.S. In 2001, that number jumped to 481, most of these within weeks after 9/11. (The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, however, reported a higher figure; for instance, over 600 9/11-related hate crimes, committed against Arab Americans.9) What is important here is to realize that a U.S. Justice Department study found that a whopping 75% of hate crimes go unreported.10 That means actual hate crimes could be four times the reported numbers. Hate crimes against Muslim Americans increased by 121% to 1019 incidents in 2003, according to a report released on May 3, 2004 by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The report also showed that overall anti-Muslim incidents in the United States increased by almost 70% in 2003.11 In the last two years, while the sporadic violence against anyone resembling a Muslim or an Arab has subsided, the level of aggressive disrespect and intolerance of Islam, mistrust of and discrimination against Muslims at workplaces is showing no sign of receding. The root cause may lie elsewhere - in the spiteful and bigoted sermons emanating from the churches, synagogues, temples, radio talk show programs, TV shows (especially Fox and the evangelical ones), and public libraries. Quoting CAIR, the Human Rights Watch reports that the number of violent acts, discriminatory incidents and cases of harassment against Muslims rose 49% between 2003 and 2004 to 1522.12 The other more worrisome matter is: hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs remain disproportionately high compared to their proportion. For example, in Texas Arabs make up only about 0.3% of population, but they are victims in 4% of all hate crimes. About 0.5% percent of Texans are Muslims, but they are victims in 2.8% of the reported hate crimes.13 Some notable victims of witch-hunting include Jose Padilla and Capt. Yee. Jose Padilla, a convert to Islam, was declared an "enemy combatant" (indeed the only American declared as such) by Presidential order and ordered locked away in a military brig in South Carolina -where he has languished since May 2002 in a windowless, 5-by-7-foot cell that is always brightly lit -without an indictment, a trial or access to a lawyer. When a U.S. District Court ruled in early September of this year in favor of President Bush in the case of Jose Padilla -it struck a major blow at the Constitution, upholding actions by the administration that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has said have "created a unique and unprecedented threat to the freedom of every American citizen." 14In September of 2003, Capt. James J. Yee, a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., another convert to Islam, who served as an Army Islamic chaplain and counseled prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base, was charged with espionage, aiding the enemy and spying. A year later, all charges against him were dropped.15Few other Muslim members of the Armed forces were similarly harassed on cooked up charges of passing information to terrorists, only to be dropped later.16 Most Muslim places of worship are now monitored by the FBI and their informants to unearth Muslim radicalism. However, radical and hate sermons emanating from satellite channels and talk Radio shows, run by fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, are considered quite kosher and are routinely overlooked.As to the backlash against Muslims in 2005, I provide below some random cases.The Los Angeles Times in its June 4, 2005 issue reported that a suspicious fire gutted a 1500 square foot mosque in San Barnardino, California. The June 17, 2005 issue of the Washington Post reported that someone left a bag of burned Qur'ans in front of the Islamic Center of Blacksburg, Virginia.Just three months ago, at the height of controversy over abuse of the Muslim Holy Book by U.S. military guards at the Guantanamo Bay prison, a sign in front of a Baptist church on one of the most traveled highways in the USA (at 2361 U.S. 221 South) read, "The Koran needs to be flushed." To support the hateful message, its pastor Creighton Lovelace said, "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.17" He further said that it was the work of God to display the sign and that no one in the church had spoken against it. The U.S. Congress has yet to name an independent investigative commission similar to the one conducted by the Sept. 11 commission to examine how the Qur'an-abuse occurred in prisons across Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq, and to develop policies to prevent such offensive incidences.
As to witch-hunting, there seems to be no let down against Muslims and their organizations. Almost all of the money exchange and charitable organizations have been shut down, some facing criminal charges of abetting terrorist organizations in the Muslim world. Muslims are afraid to write donation checks for fear that they may be accused of funneling money to terrorists. Who can deny the influence of Saffron dollars to help poisonous ideologies like Hindutva in India, responsible for so much carnage in the largest democracy on earth? How about funds that are raised by sympathizers of the rogue state Israel, responsible for killing thousands of unarmed Palestinians? But no eyebrows are raised for such fund-raising that kills Muslims overseas.Just the last week, on Friday morning, September 24, federal agents raided a Muslim campground in Moodus, Connecticut, seizing specimens and seeds from datashak, a plant native to Bangladesh and India. Members of the FBI and U.S. Department of Agriculture said in documents that they also seized 19 computer discs and an assortment of documents from the 18-acre Town Street property, owned by Darul Uloom Shady Brook, Inc. The campground's caretaker is from Bangladesh, who had cooked meal containing datashak at a recent summer camp, attended by some two dozen Muslim youths.18 Soon after the Madrid bombing, Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield, a convert to Islam, was arrested in connection with the bombings after being linked by the FBI to a fingerprint found near the scene. After spending two weeks in jail, the FBI acknowledged its mistake and Mayfield was released. He has lately filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that the federal government targeted him in the wake of the March Madrid train bombings because of his Muslim faith. In his suit, Mayfield challenges the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and says that the government violated his civil rights by searching his home and office, seizing his family's belongings and holding him in jail.19 In December 2003, an Arizona newspaper published a very provocative letter from a Tucson resident that urged fellow Americans to kill Muslims to retaliate for the death of American soldiers in Iraq. It read, "Whenever there is an assassination or another atrocity, we should proceed to the closest mosque and execute five of the first Muslims we encounter." Two Tucson Muslims filed a lawsuit claiming that the letter constituted an assault and an intentional inflection of emotional distress. Interestingly, in July of this year the state Supreme Court in a 5-0 unanimous decision ruled that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protected the right of the resident and the paper for the provocative letter. Just imagine the kind of hullabaloo that would have generated if a Muslim had written a similar piece in any Muslim-majority country urging fellow Muslims to kill (just) one (and not five) Christian(s) for every Muslim killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Anglo-American forces. No, I am not surprised with the verdict of the Arizona Supreme Court, but genuinely concerned at how murky the distinction between right and wrong is becoming. Remember how the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came to protect the right of free speech of General Boykin? It is these kinds of actions, condoning what most Muslims find offensive, that help breed hate crimes against Muslims. Spiteful and bigoted people take such as a license to do their evil acts. No wonder that there is such a mushrooming of hate literature in public libraries!For every new post-9/11 book about Islam, available today in most public libraries, there are at least three that are written to vilify the faith and its adherents.20 The world has not seen the preponderance of such hate literatures since the days of Hitler's Germany. These hate books are used as arsenal in the contest to subjugate, strike down, compel and crush any Arab and Muslim resistance to western dominance.And what to make of poisonous sermons and bigoted remarks from spiteful evangelical Christian priests like Pat Robertson, Hagee, Graham and other perverted bishops?21 While one can find excuses for the demented and depraved Christian pastor and the Tucson citizen, and also for bigoted and racist priests, Ô9/11-overnight-scholars,' pen-pushing writers and their greedy publishers, how can one justify the remark of an elected member of the U.S. Congress - the Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo (Colorado) - who in July 2005 called for a nuclear attack on Islam's holiest sites if there were to be another terrorist attack on the USA?22 In the aftermath of the London bombing of July 7, the pressure on Muslim American leadership from the various segments of the American society has been so acutely felt that on July 28, '05, the Fiqh Council of North America had to issue a fatwa denouncing terrorism. Within a week, some 173 organizations, mosques and imams endorsed the fatwa. This is an interesting development given the fact that no other religious groups had been invoked to do such a thing for the alleged crimes committed by their fellow co-religionists. (Note: In terrorist activities, the Tamil Tigers, comprising Hindu rebels from Sri Lanka, are known to have committed more terrorist activities than any other group. I am not aware if the Vatican was ever swayed to condemning the past activities of the IRA. Interestingly, the United States remains the largest contributor to funding for the IRA.)However, all is not gloom and doom for Muslims. One major step in improving America's image in the Muslim world has been President Bush's decision appointing Karen Hughes. She recently attended the 42nd ISNA conference in Chicago. In her brief talk, Ambassador Hughes elucidated the four E's of her approach: Education, Empowerment, Engagement and Exchanges. She recognized the need to empower American Muslims so that they could become more effective ambassadors for Islam in America and the US in the Muslim World. She suggested that American Muslims and her department should work together to (1) advance a positive vision of hope and opportunity to the Muslim World, (2) isolate and marginalize forces of intolerance and violence, (3) foster a sense of common intent and common purpose and common values. Ambassador Hughes recognizes that there are American ideologues who are continually preaching hatred against Islam and Muslims. Her success in public diplomacy in achieving the four goals will largely depend on her ability to keep in check the Islamophobic messages that consistently come from evangelical leaders, conservative talk shows and neoconservative columnists.