By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
13 December 2008
Recent terror attack at Mumbai has reminded us once again that Pakistan Army, or one of its agencies Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at any rate, is determined to change the very character of Islam, turning it into the pre-Islamic religion of the Jahiliya (Arabia in the Dark Ages). It had indeed given us ample evidence of its anti-Islamic character during the Kargil war by reminding us of the Battle of Uhud where a woman of Jahiliya, Hinda, had mutilated the dead body of Prophet Mohammad’s uncle, Hazrat Hamza. The Prophet [peace be upon him] had not only forgiven her but had made it a point to forbid the practice in every Muslim gathering thereafter for fear that the Muslims, too, might do something similar in retaliation. Blood feud and vengeance was rampant in the Arab world of the Jahiliya. One couldn’t help being reminded of that when reports came that one of the terrorists mentioned vendetta for Gujarat and demolition of Babri masjid by Hindutva forces as the justification for the killing of innocents at Mumbai.
Pakistani “Islam” would indeed appear to be completely unrecognisable as Islam to a Muslim in any part of the world. Slowly but surely what appears to be a completely new religion seems to have caught the imagination of many people in Pakistan. Its followers don’t, of course, consider it a new religion. Indeed this religion insists that it is Islam; in fact it calls itself true Islam or real Islam. But it can best be described as Jihadism, as its central belief system is based on a wilful misinterpretation of the Islamic concept of Jihad. It can also be called Talibanism, as the Taliban of Afghanistan, who studied in Pakistani madrasas run by the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan are its most avid practitioners.
By and large, the western-educated liberal Pakistani intelligentsia, as I found out during several visits, hates this religion and is frightened of it. But as one by one all institutions of governance are succumbing to its growing power and its capacity for evil, they are getting scared to death. Some of them are simply planning to migrate to some non-Muslim majority country. No one is really fighting this malignant force, though some journalists and human rights activists still have the courage at least to express their horror and outrage at grave personal risk. The new democratically-elected government’s commitment or that of President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent plea in a New York Times article rings as hollow as did that of President General Musharraf before that despite their seeming cooperation in the US-led war on terror. The reason is that Pakistan’s moderate secular class has never had the guts to stand up to obscurantist Mullahs right from the beginning of the establishment of the country. Pakistan was carved out of a united India in 1947 by the secular Muslims – almost all religious parties were against the idea of Partition and Two-Nation Theory – but in independent Pakistan the latter were soon able to force the former, the real architects of Pakistan, to pass an Objectives Resolution declaring the country as an Islamic republic to be run by a narrow, sectarian interpretation of Islamic Sharia.
One only needs to read the report of the Justice Munir commission of enquiry into the anti-Ahmadiya riots of early 1950s to learn about the shenanigans of the secular, Westernised class of Muslim Pakistanis and how they surrendered before the then isolated Mullahs and conceded to them centre-stage in policy-making. If they could not do it then, it is very doubtful if they can do that now by arresting a few Jihadist Mullahs and putting them under comfortable house arrest.
It is Islamists, however, the true practitioners of Islam, if any in Pakistan, who should have been fighting this malignant growth. It was their primary duty to keep Islam from being maligned and turned into a religion of the Jahiliya. Some of them indeed are. (One prominent name is that of Maulana Haider Farooq Maudoodi, the son of Jamaat-e-Islami founder Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi.) But they don’t have the resources to counter the powerful Jihadist rhetoric backed by vast petrodollar resources. Muslim masses are by and large ignorant and poor. It is not difficult to either sway them emotionally using Jihadist rhetoric based on Islamic terminology or even to buy them with promises of goodies on earth and in Heaven. The terrorists and killers of around 200 innocent people in Mumbai are no doubt doomed to be consigned to Hell, as even Indian Islamic scholars have testified in their unanimous judgment, but they had clearly been brainwashed into thinking, as one of them is reported to have revealed that they were destined for Heaven.
What is Jihadism?
The basic belief of Jihadism is that all non-Jihadists are kafir and deserve to be killed. As a result, they have so far killed about a million Muslims in Afghanistan and at least 50,000 Muslims in the Kashmir valley. They have also killed non-Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. But their present and main long-term target is the Muslims of India. Beginning from the Bombay blasts in 1993, they have made several attempts to provoke massive anti-Muslim violence in the country. The recent Mumbai massacre is the latest in this series.
Indeed a prominent ex-militant Kashmiri leader told me just after Zuhr prayers in the Shah Faisal mosque in Islamabad that the first person to attack the Babri masjid on December 6, 1992, was a Jihadist from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) who had joined the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) some time ago and was part of Mr. L. K. Advani’s rally along with several of his co-religionists. My informant was also a Jihadist once, but perhaps not completely devoid of the milk of human kindness and thus not a true Jihadist. He retained affections for his wife and kids stranded in the valley and his Hindu and Muslim classmates in Delhi where he had studied up to graduation. He was clearly not happy with the visions of an impending holocaust in India and tried to warn me.
Another warning came to me from a Jihadist during the Kargil war (May-July 1999) on a brief visit to England. I met him outside London’s Finsbury Park mosque after the Friday prayers. Exultant after the Pakistani Jihadists had reportedly downed two Indian planes in Kargil, he was more direct: “You Muslims (Indian) are cowards. Rivers of blood will flow in India soon and you will have just two choices: either become a true Muslim (i.e. Jihadist) or perish.” Revealing future Jihadist plans, he said: “You are completely devoid of leadership. We will provide you leadership under which you will become true Muslims (i.e. Jihadists).”
It is not some anonymous Jihadists alone who have been giving me these warnings, though they were more forthright than the so-called responsible leaders of this group. Prof. Khursheed Ahmad, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan, for instance, told me in Islamabad in a recorded interview that Indian Muslims have been shirking their duty on Kashmir and they will have to answer before God on the Day of Judgement as to why they did not support the “Jihad” in Kashmir. Hurriyat Chairman and Kashmiri Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani has, of course, been taunting Indian Muslims regularly for their supposed cowardice on Kashmir.
I believe Providence would like me to convey these warnings to the nation. Muslims in particular must beware: they should take care not to allow any one to provoke them into any indiscretion, particularly at a time when the country is involved in a bloody fight with the enemy. It must be clearly understood that in the present case, the enemy is not only the enemy of our country but also the enemy of our religion. As realisation seems to be dawning among larger sections of people in Pakistan that Jihadism is their enemy as well, it is possible that we are able to fight it a little better.
Muslims must remember that they have to consult the Holy Quran for guidance in their day-to-day affairs. The model they have to follow is Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and not terrorists like Ajmal Amir Qasab or destroyers of mosques in Kashmir like Mast Gul. Islam did not allow its followers to pick up a weapon even in their defence for the first thirteen years even though they were facing the worst possible persecution in Mecca. They were “permitted” to defend themselves for the first time in Medina when they were facing aggression from Meccans. Had they not defended themselves even then they would have been surely wiped out from the face of the earth, thus sounding the death-knell for the religion of Islam as well. But only a few years later, when the Prophet had become powerful enough to wage a war with Meccans, he chose peace even on terms that were considered humiliating by most of his followers. He signed a peace agreement known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya. And then when he entered Mecca victorious, a year later, facing no resistance, he chose to grant a general amnesty for all, even for those who had mutilated the dead bodies of his close relatives like his beloved maternal uncle Hazrat Hamza.
Vendetta, vengeance, blood feud, mutilation of dead bodies, etc. are mediaeval pre-Islamic practices of the Jahiliya, practices Islam came to fight against. Those who perpetrate such acts in this day and age cannot claim to be Muslims. They must give some new name to their Faith. In any case Muslims cannot accept them as their co-religionists.
Note: This article is based on an earlier write-up published in the Times of India in 1999.
Mr Sultan Shahin's article RADICAL ISLAM AND JIHADISM questions the very basis on which the jihadist forces are fighting a war within Pakistan.The people whom they are fighting or killing are innocent Muslims.Exploding human bombs is not Islam.Islam has never exhorted people to take their won lives in the name of jihad.Islam has declared suicide in any form kufr that anti Islam.However,there is nothing like Pakistani Islam or Indian Islam or Islam in any other country.Islam is Islam in which ever part of the world it is.It is the followers of the Islam who present it in bad or good light with what ever they practice.Islam has always believed in moderate path and forgiveness.It has also iterated that for long term gains short term gains can be compromised as was shown in Sulhe Hudaibia.
Sohail Arshad from Kolkata,India.
To get hung over 9:29 is not the way to go. Those verses were in response to specific incidents 1400 years back when a budding Muslim community was being overtly and covertly attacked.
The rule of dealing with those who mean to harm to Muslims is found in 60:7 where they are told to deal with kindness and compassion and decency with those who don't mean any harm to them.
from Ayesha Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to Sultan Shahin <Editor@@newageislaml.com>
date 9 March 2009 13:37
subject Re: Mainstream Islam needs to condemn Jihadism more clearly , NewAgeIslam.Com - 23 Feb, 2009
u mother fucker................ jihad is in our nerves..................
tell me who r u? r u muslim..christian or hindu?
we cannot leave jihad as it is in our religion.............................. u understand u bitch
hindus are killing muslims..hindus have occupied kashmir..christians have occupied afghanistan...and iraq.........u non-muslims are grabbing everything from muslims and u still want us to leave jihad........ go to hell u mother fuckers
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:58:22 +0530 [11:58:22 AM IST]
From: ghulam muhammed
To: sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
Subject: A running thread of deep saffron - By Christophe Jafferlot - The Indian Express
A running thread of deep saffron
Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 1107 hrs IST
The people behind the Malegaon terrorist attack fell into three categories — Sangh parivar cadres, army men and old Savarkarites. The first person to be arrested by the police, Pragya Singh, was a sadhvi and former ABVP leader. A second group of the accused comprised army men, retired or not, related to the Bhonsle Military School (BMS). Major Ramesh Upadhyay, a former defence services officer was arrested first, but the key figure was Lt Col Prasad Purohit, who had approached Upadhyay when he was posted at Nasik as liaison officer. Purohit and Upadhyay imparted military training to young activists — including bomb making — and were instrumental in getting arms and explosives.
Most of the training camps took place in the BMS, which had been directed by Rtd Major P.B. Kulkarni between 1973 and 1988, andwho had been associated with the RSS since 1935. In fact, the Bajrang Dal organised training camps in the BMS (Nagpur) as early as 2001. The five accused mentioned above were all members of Abhinav Bharat, a Pune-based movement initiated by Purohit in June 2006, whose working president was Ramesh Upadhyaya but whose president was none other than Himani Savarkar, V.D. Savarkar's daughter in law, who also headed the Hindu Mahasabha.
The people, the places and the modus operandi are revealing of the continuity that underlines the Hindu tradition of terror, harking back to V.D. Savarkar. The young, revolutionary Savarkar had created the first Abhinav Bharat Society in 1905. The movement drew its name and its inspiration from Mazzini's 'Young Italy', but was also influenced by Frost Thomas's Secret Societies of the European Revolution, a book dealing mostly with the Russian nihilists. The movement was dissolved in 1952, but ten years back, just before finishing his term as Hindu Mahasabha president, Savarkar had created the Hindu Rashtra Dal, another militia whose mission was to impart military training to the Hindus in order to fight the Muslims, Gandhi's followers and the Mahatma himself. This movement cashed in on the work of the same institution — the Bhonsle Military School, started in 1935 by B.S. Moonje, another Nagpur-based Savarkarite, after a European tour which had exposed him to Mussolini's Balilla movement.
Like the Abhinav Bharat of today, the Hindu Rashtra Dal attracted Hindutva-minded Maharashtrian Brahmins — especially from Poona — who found the RSS insufficiently active. Some of them also had connections to the British Army.
Nathuram Godse and N.D. Apte, the two main architects of Gandhi's assassination, are cases in point. Godse thought that RSS strategy contented itself with "organisation for the sake of organisation". The Hindu Rashtra Dal, by contrast, organised training camps where volunteers learnt how to manufacture bombs and use guns from bicycles and cars. The key instructor was N.D. Apte who had served the army as Assistant Technical Recruiting Officer. In this capacity, he could use the War Service Exhibitions — which were intended to attract young Indians to the army — to initiate Hindu Rashtra Dal members into the art of modern arms.
The Hindu Rashtra Dal's terrorist agenda culminated in the assassination of Gandhi, who had already been a Savarkarite target before — in 1934, they threw a bomb in Poona Municipal Town Hall where Gandhi was making a speech against untouchability.
While today's Abhinav Bharat belongs to an old tradition harking back to Savarkar and even Tilak, the new element here lies in the implication of one serving officer of the Indian army. Certainly, any institution can have a black sheep. But was he that isolated? He has already named other officers who would have been his more or less passive accomplices and his colleague, Upadhyay, who once headed the <Mumbai unit of the BJP's ex-servicemen cell. The BJP, indeed, inducted ex-army men in large numbers since the 1990s. After the BJP came to power in 1998, two dozens ex-servicemen more joined the party. This inflow of ex-army men may reflect the increasingly communal atmosphere of the institution. In December 2003, a survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies for Tehelka, one of the first among army men — and probably the most comprehensive — showed that 19 per cent of the soldiers interviewed felt that the army practised some religious discrimination — and 24 per cent of the Muslims among them shared this view.
Instead of distancing itself from the Hindu terrorists, as it had done in the 1940s, this time the Sangh Parivar has decided to support the Malegaon accused. Bajrang Dal chief Prakash Sharma declared that "policy makers should be worried if the Hindus were taking to arms because of the government's skewed approach to war on terror" and admitted that the Bajrang Dal was running training camps too "to boost their morale [the Bajrang Dal's members]. The country wouldn't get its Abhinav Bindras if there were no armed training for the youth".
In a way, the RSS, with the Bajrang Dal, has created a buffer organisation to handle the dirty work that the Sangh was earlier obliged to do itself — work similar to that of the Savarkarite organisations, whether they are called Hindu Rashtra Dal or Abhinav Bharat.
The writer is a political scientist and South Asia specialist at CERI, Paris
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 02:49:45 -0600 [02:19:45 PM IST]
From: Manoj Padhi <email@example.com>
To: sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
Subject: Re: Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes By Matthew Rothschild - January 27, 2009
Since when Animal torture has become a crime?
Terrorists are considered Animals in India and when dogs get mad, we shoot them. Any amount of torture is permitted.
Must read and forward links
Hope, the following humorous letter written by Don Rumsfeld to a terrorist sympathizer will open your eyes..
I endorse this and if you do , please send a brief comment..
Taking Care of the Guantanamo Detainees
A person wrote a letter to the White House complaining about the treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Attached is a copy of a letter they received back:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20016
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
My administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington.
You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.
Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.
Ahmed's meal requirements are simple, but we strongly suggest serving meals that do not require utensils, particularly knives and forks. Also, these should be "one-handed" foods; Ahmed will not eat with his left hand since he uses that for personal matters.
He generally bathes quarterly with the change of seasons, assuming that it rains, and he washes his clothes simultaneously. This should help with your water bill. Also, your new friend has a really bad case of body lice that hasn't been completely remedied. Please heed the large orange notice attached to your detainee's cage: "Does not play well with others."
Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.
Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite you, given the chance, but his rabies test came back negative, so not to worry. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. However, he will be eager to assist with the education of your sons; have available for their use several copies of the Q'uran.
Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. We think this watching over each other's shoulder is such a good way for people to interact that we will be sending a team of federal officials with expertise in your line of work to your place of business soon, just to help you do your job better. Don't be concerned that they have the power to close your business, seize your property, and arrest you for any violation of the 4,850,206 laws, codes, regulations and rules that apply to your profession. They're really there just to make sure you're doing everything the proper way. That is what you wanted, right?
Well, thank you for this opportunity to interact with such a valued member of the citizenry. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching.
Cordially...Your Buddy, Don Rumsfeld
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On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 1:14 AM, ghulam.muhammed <<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes
By Matthew Rothschild, January 27, 2009
If I were Donald Rumsfeld, and what a horrible thought that is, I wouldn't be traveling abroad any time soon. And I might be out looking for a disguise here at home.
Because Rumsfeld stands before the world as an unindicted war criminal for ordering torture while he was Bush's Secretary of Defense.
No less a figure that the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture said on CNN Monday that "Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods." The Rapporteur, Manfred Nowak, said the United States has an "obligation" to investigate this, and he has passed his recommendation on to the United Nations.
The smoking gun is a December 2, 2002, directive Rumsfeld issued that ordered sensory deprivation, stress positions, isolation, and the use of dogs on prisoners.
He also admitted hiding at least one detainee from the Red Cross, which violates the Geneva Conventions.
And, according to Seymour Hersh, he set up a Secret Access Program "that was given blanket advance approval to kill or capture." Summary executions constitute a war crime.
Plus, he had "command responsibility" for those under him who were doing the torturing. If he knew about war crimes and did not try to stop them, he's also guilty of a war crime.
"Rumsfeld was intimately involved with the interrogation of a Saudi detainee, Mohamed al-Qahtani, at Guantánamo in late 2002. General Geoffrey Miller, who later transferred many of his harsh interrogation techniques to Abu Ghraib, supervised the interrogation and gave Rumsfeld weekly updates on his progress. During a six-week period, al-Qahtani was stripped naked, forced to wear women's underwear on his head, denied bathroom access, threatened with dogs, forced to perform tricks while tethered to a dog leash, and subjected to sleep deprivation," <Marjorie Cohn reported for Alternet.
The evidence against Rumsfeld has been on the table for years now.
Back in 2005, <Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said there was prima facie evidence that Rumsfeld was a war criminal.
And Amnesty International said that if the United States didn't prosecute Rumsfeld, then foreign governments should. "If anyone suspected of involvement in the U.S. torture scandal visits or transits through foreign territories, governments could take legal steps to ensure that such individuals are investigated and charged with applicable crimes," Amnesty International USA said.
More recently, the general who investigated Abu Ghraib concluded that the most senior Bush administration officials committed war crimes.
"There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba wrote, in the preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights last year. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Taguba believes that Bush himself could be brought up on war crimes. "The Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture," <he said, in the preface to "Broken Laws, Broken Lives."
Finally, the <Senate Armed Services Committee released a report late last year that implicated Rumsfeld in the abuse of detainees.
"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there," it said. He also "contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq."
So why is this man allowed to walk free?
To show that we're a country of laws, to show that we respect human rights, to show that we oppose torture, Barack Obama must instruct the Justice Department to prepare an indictment against Donald Rumsfeld.
And failing that, it'll be up to some courageous foreign government to nab this fugitive from justice.
From Ashok Chowgule
To: Sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
date 29 January 2009 15:26
Understanding the Muslim Mind
Author: Dr Omar Zia
Publication: Islam Watch
Date: January 29, 2009
29 Jan, 2009
Continuing with my last topic of evolution, or lack thereof, in a Muslim mind, let me give you three real-life examples of how I observed Islam’s toxic effect on the mind of Muslims and how, in my view, they will effect the world around us in the foreseeable future.
1. Mind of a Sri Lankan Muslim
Two years ago while travelling through Sri Lanka I befriended a taxi driver in Colombo.
He was a young devout Muslim from a family of ten: two aged parents and eight grown-up children. He was the youngest member of the family born and bred in Sri Lanka. From my chats with him during several excursions in the city, I pieced together a detailed picture of the conditions and aspirations of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
Muslims constituted only 7% of the population in Sri Lanka. This boy of 22 knew that. He told me in a meaningful way that non-Muslim Sri Lankans are too cautious when it comes to raising a family. They worry about the education and upbringing of their offspring too much; for that reason, birth-rate amongst non-Muslims is quite low. Muslims in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, believe that Allah will provide everything and do not care how many children they have. This boy was prophetic. Current Muslim population of Sri Lanka is listed as 9% according to many guide-books.
Upon my enquiry as to how he got along with his non-Muslim neighbours, he praised them for their placidity and then complained that he found it quite annoying that Muslims had to take their cowardly neighbour religious sensitivity into account and slaughter animals hidden from the public eye. He assured me that as soon as Muslims were in ascendancy in his country, which, he was sure, would happen in his lifetime, one of the first laws to be passed will be sanctioning of slaughtering of animals in the open, like in any Muslim country. While visiting Hindu temples with me, he proudly informed me that Muslims never allow non-Muslim Sri Lankans to enter mosques, as they were unclean. He was also quite sure that if allowed, Muslims being the worthy fighters and jihadis, can sort out the Tamils within a very short time.
In order to understand better the Muslim society in Sri Lanka, I even accepted his offer of a cuppa at his house towards the end of my stay. All that I had heard from this young ‘time bomb’ proved absolutely certain. Indeed, the visit proved even more shocking: the rest of his family members appeared even more radicalized and angrier at their majority countrymen. I felt absolutely horrified at the prospect of what is in store for the affable, but oblivious to danger, non-Muslim Sri Lankans.
2. Mind of my young, ambitious nephew
On my last visit to Pakistan, my 18 year nephew visited me and implored to arrange a visa for him to go to England. He was close to completing his schooling but was quite despondent of his future prospects in Pakistan. I explained to him that even though I will endeavour to help him all I can, the final word would rest with the British consulate and it would be his academic records, which, in the end, would decide his fate. My motive was to inspire him to study harder as he seemed quite lacking in knowledge for his age. I also told him that he would have to supplement his studies in England with menial jobs. He seemed absolutely comfortable with that news.
As I was once analyzing a disturbing verse from the Quran (9:29), he arrived. I decided to test him on his humanity and asked if he had ever read Quran. He proudly replied that he had, several times, but only in Arabic and therefore did not understand any of it. I explained the verse to him and asked for his thoughts on this fascist verse. Without any hesitation, he responded that he absolutely believes it is correct. Upon my flustered query as to how can he think of subjugating or killing his hosts in England, he replied to my astonishment that once Islam has overwhelmed England, this verse would become mandatory and Allah’s deed must be carried out. I couldn’t help but feel awed at the corrupting power of Islam.
3. Mind of my educated, progressive, and nonreligious Muslim brother
The third incident, which I wish to relate, came soon after the above incidence during a dinner chat with my progressive, highly educated and largely non-religious brother. I was lamenting to him at the Taliban’s tactics of usurping power in Pakistan. He coolly informed me that Taliban are good people except that they have interpreted Islam wrongly and all true Muslims harbour a Taliban within them. Much shocked at this statement, I asked him to show me what part Taliban had misinterpreted from the Quran. Noticing that he was attempting to change the subject, I persisted and asked him if he had read the Quran with the understanding of it meaning. Not surprisingly, the answer was a somewhat embarrassing "NO".
After the dinner, I asked him to bring out his translated copy of the Quran. He did not possess one. What he luckily did have though was a functioning computer in his son’s room. I persuaded him to sit with me and I got out the verses which were being used, with proof and through their own mouth by Osama, Naik, Israr and many other unabashed fascist nuts. I showed him ahadees, which corroborated those verses from the Bukhari and Muslim collection. I could almost hear his Islamic world collapsing inside him and heard his heartbeat rising. I knew that I was very near to my goal of making him see the truth. It was just seconds away when all of a sudden he almost toppled the monitor and got up in a rage screaming that it was all western propaganda. He started an incoherent, and increasingly alarming, tirade against the Jews, the West and America and eventually blamed me for being an instrument in the hands of some Western think-tank. Suffice it to say that I left his house with a heavy heart that there is little no hope for a peaceable future for our globe.
Dr. Omar Zia is a Pakistani-born ex-Muslim.
Dear Ms / Mr. Shagufta or ‘Shagoofa’ ( pun intended )
Repetition and loud behavior is the sign of the liar, please take time to Identify yourself, if your are really serious about getting answers to your rigmarole, then you should be more concerned with convincing answers and not with, Who is satiating your quest, whether it is a Maulvi or any ordinary Muslim. Also try to free yourself from shackles of the nasty habbit of copying and pasting from here and there, Instead, try to ask only that which your mind could not comprehend about Islam due to lack of information or low IQ.
Where are the Maulanas? Give a reply to this!
Sex In Paradise
By Ali Sina
When the popular CBS documentary program '60 Minutes' aired the interview with a Palestinian terrorist who claimed that those who blow themselves killing many Israelis will go to Paradise and receive 70 houris, Muslims were outraged and as Joyse M. David on August 23, 2001 reported they claimed that the story of 70 Houris promised to those who fight and die in the name of Allah for killing the infidels is ‘fabricated’.
Davis writes: “The documentary by reporter Bob Simon examined the militant Islamic organization Hamas, which has claimed responsibility for dozens of suicide bombings against Israel. Muslim leaders charge that the report presented false stereotypes of Muslims and defamed their religion.”
She quotes the Muslims “scholar” Dr. Maher Hathout a member if the Islamic Center of Southern California, who said, "There is nothing in the Koran or in Islamic teachings about 70 virgins or sex in paradise. This is ridiculous, and any true Muslim knows that,".
I agree with Dr. Hathout that this is ridiculous, but I disagree with him when he says that there is nothing in the Quran or in Islamic teachings about the 70 virgins or sex in Paradise. If Dr. Hathout is truly an Islamic scholar he should have at least read the Quran. There are several references to the houris in Quran with details. Because I know Muslims always say that their critics quote “out of the context” I am going to quote the verses of the Quran speaking of the houris with the preceding and succeeding verses.
In Surah 44, Muhammad first describes the hell quite vividly.
43 Surely the tree of the Zaqqum,
44 Is the food of the sinful
45 Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies,
46 Like the boiling of hot water.
47 Seize him, then drag him down into the middle of the hell;
48 Then pour above his head of the torment of the boiling water:
49 Taste; you forsooth are the mighty, the honorable:
50 Surely this is what you disputed about.
After giving this dreadful description of the hell and the tortures preferred by Allah the Prophet promises lots of goodies to those who became Muslims.
51 Surely those who guard (against evil) are in a secure place,
52 In gardens and springs;
53 They shall wear of fine and thick silk, (sitting) face to face;
54 Thus (shall it be), and We will wed them with Houris pure, beautiful ones.
In Surah 52 there is another description of the heaven and hell:
17 Surely those who guard (against evil) shall be in gardens and bliss
18 Rejoicing because of what their Lord gave them, and their Lord saved them from the punishment of the burning fire.
19 Eat and drink pleasantly for what you did,
20 Reclining on thrones set in lines, and We will unite them to large-eyed beautiful ones.
21 And (as for) those who believe and their offspring follow them in faith, We will unite with them their offspring and We will not diminish to them aught of their work; every man is responsible for what he shall have wrought.
22 And We will aid them with fruit and flesh such as they desire.
23 They shall pass therein from one to another a cup wherein there shall be nothing vain nor any sin.
Amazingly this paradise promised by the holy prophet satisfies even the paedophiles.
24 And round them shall go boys of theirs as if they were hidden pearls.
Also in Surah 76:19 Allah promises fresh youths to Muslim men.
And round about them shall go youths never altering in age; when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls.
Again in Surah 56 the Prophet gives the glad tidings of the paradise to his followers and says:
59 And besides these two are two (other) gardens:
60 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
61 Both inclining to blackness.
62 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
63 In both of them are two springs gushing forth.
64 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
65 In both are fruits and palms and pomegranates.
66 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
67 In them are goodly things, beautiful ones.
68 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
69 Pure ones confined to the pavilions.
70 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
71 Man has not touched them before them nor jinni.
72 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
73 Reclining on green cushions and beautiful carpets.
74 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
75 Blessed be the name of your Lord, the Lord of Glory and Honor!
In Surah 56 , there is promise of houris as well as youths that never age for the gratification of Muslim men.
11 These are they who are drawn nigh (to Allah),
12 In the gardens of bliss.
13 A numerous company from among the first,
14 And a few from among the latter.
15 On thrones decorated,
16 Reclining on them, facing one another.
17 Round about them shall go youths never altering in age,
18 With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink;
19 They shall not be affected with headache thereby, nor shall they get exhausted,
20 And fruits such as they choose,
21 And the flesh of fowl such as they desire.
22 And pure, beautiful ones,
23 The like of the hidden pearls:
24 A reward for what they used to do.
I believe this should suffice to prove that not only Allah promises "virgin houris" to the righteous Muslims but also “never-aging boys” as white as pearls.
There are also several hadith that confirm sex in paradise. Hadith are the sayings of the Prophet. The following are few of them
Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 402
Narrated Abdullah bin Qais:
Allah's Apostle said, "In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them. And there are two gardens, the utensils and contents of which are made of silver; and two other gardens, the utensils and contents of which are made of so-and-so (i.e. gold) and nothing will prevent the people staying in the Garden of Eden from seeing their Lord except the curtain of Majesty over His Face."
The modern Muslim apologists try to present Islam as a religion of peace yet it is not hard to find many hadiths that call for war and promise great rewards in the other world and in this one to the Mujahid who takes the arm and fights for Allah.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 46
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty."
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 48
The Prophet said, ... "Paradise has one-hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His Cause,
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 72
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, "Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah)."
Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba: Our Prophet told us about the message of our Lord that "Whoever amongst us is killed will go to Paradise." Umar asked the Prophet, "Is it not true that our men who are killed will go to Paradise and their's (i.e. those of the Pagan's) will go to the (Hell) fire?" The Prophet said, "Yes."
The Hadiths like these abound and there are also many verses of Quran the glorify Jihad (holy wars). As it is clear these wars were not defensive but were offensive wars. See how Muhammad prepared his followers to attack the lands that had nothing to do with Islam.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 48
Narrated Khalid bin Madan:
Um Haram informed us that she heard the Prophet saying, "Paradise is granted to the first batch of my followers who will undertake a naval expedition." Um Haram added, I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Will I be amongst them?' He replied, 'You are amongst them.' The Prophet then said, 'The first army amongst' my followers who will invade Caesar's City will be forgiven their sins.' I asked, 'Will I be one of them, O Allah's Apostle?' He replied in the negative."
Therefore it is safe to say that the essence of Islam is expressed in the following hadith.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 73
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abi Aufa:
Allah's Apostle said, "Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords."
More articles from Ali Sina can be found at www.golshan.com and http://free.freespeech.org/rationalthinking
World’s Greatest Showman
Ali Sina on Zakir Naik: A review of The Qur’an and the Bible in the Light of Science
By Ali Sina 2006/06/12
In 2000, a televised debate between Dr. William Campbell representing Christian view point and Dr. Zakir Naik representing Islamic view point took place.
Pakistan Daily Times wrote:
On December 7, 2005, a TV channel (QTV or Al-Noor) showed a debate between William Campbell and Zakir Naik, which showed the other side of the polemic. In the past it was Zakir Naik trying to prove other religions wrong; this time it was William Campbell rebutting his arguments.This was fair enough. If you don’t want your religion criticized don’t do it to other religions. When Dr. Campbell criticized Muslims for claiming scientific discovery in the Quran one had to listen.The TV channel took a fair decision, but when Dr. Campbell began cutting close to where it hurt, the program was suddenly taken off in favor of na’at. If this was done out of fear it was not a good decision and showed Dr Naik in a bad light. (Later news is that Dr Naik won the debate.)
Muslims are convinced that Dr. Naik won that debate. In fact once you watch the video, unless you know the Quran and Islam fairly well, this is the impression that you get. Dr. Naik was so confident and so boisterous throughout the debate that anyone watching would think the same.
Or did he? I went through this debate and have analyzed the talk of Dr. Naik paragraph by paragraph. In this paper I have shown that Dr. Naik misrepresented every statement he made on the Quran. There is not a single claim that Dr. Naik has made about the Quran being miraculous or scientifically accurate that is true.
I have entitled this paper, World’s Greatest Showman, because after watching his performance, in my opinion, it describes him best. Dr. Naik is a magician. Magicians make you believe they cut people in two, make objects disappear and reappear and make rabbits come out of an empty hat. But in reality none of that happens. The ability of the magician is to make you believe in things that do not happen. Dr. Naik uses a different kind of tools to perform his magic. He uses words. He can make his audience believe in things that are not true. In this paper, I am going to show his tricks and what he uses as setup to make things look differently. By the time you finish reading this paper, you'll be able to detect them too. But that is not all. Since all the Muslims use the same tricks, although not with the same proficiency of Dr. Naik, you'll be able to detect their tricks too.
A good magician is dexterous and his moves are swift - so swift that they are hard to detect. However, if you replay his acts and watch then in slow motion, or even frame by frame, you may be able to catch his tricks. This is what I have done with Dr. Naik's talk.
This paper will eventually be available for free download and also in a printer friendly format. It may even become available in a book format. I hope all those who have seen the debate between Dr. Campbell and Dr. Naik and were swayed by Dr. Naik's showmanship read this paper to see how he deceived everyone. Anyone who has seen or heard Dr. Naik owes it to himself to read this paper. He rehashes the same things in all his talks. Here, the tricks of a master magician are exposed. Read it and pass it on.
There is no doubt that Dr. Naik is great. One must acknowledge the merits of his opponent. His greatness is in his ability to twist the truth. He is dexterous with words and has an excellent memory for remembering the verses of the Quran. If he was a lawyer and I was a criminal, I would want him as my attorney.
You can watch the debate by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page while following the transcript in the following pages. When it comes to my responses, you can click on pause and read what I have written.
I say it with all certainty that this paper demarks the end of Dr. Naik's glory and will bring down his empire. Once his fans read this, it would be as if a balloon is punctured. They will see through his veneers of lies and chicanery and his tower of cards will crumble. The proof is overwhelming. Many of them may write to him asking him to respond. Dr. Naik will not because he cannot. Perhaps he would come with silly conditions like he did before, asking for a face to face debate or demanding that I organize a conference attended by 10,000 people, or raise the reward of $50,000 dollars that I am offering to anyone who can prove me wrong to one million dollars. Most likely someone else will respond saying Ali Sina is not important for Dr. Naik to waste his time on.
These are of course lame excuses. There is nothing one can say in a face to face debate that one cannot say in writing. The problem of a face to face debate is that one can play 'magic' and fool the audience, while this is not possible in a written debate.
17:81 Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."
When this verse was first proclaimed (when Muhammad conquered Mecca) it was anachronistic because then it was Falsehood that had taken over the Truth with force, treason and tricks. Finally, thanks to the Internet, this violent force has become helpless and Truth is reemerging. You can say that verse was false when uttered. But ironically, it was prophetic because it is very true today. Today Truth is back with vengeance and Falsehood is bound to perish.
If you want to contact Dr. Naik, here is his email: email@example.com
Taliban’s Swift Justice
By DR. GHAYUR AYUB
Friday, 23 January 2009.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—It was during a visit to Peshawar that I met a senior police officer. He narrated a story which was brow-raising. He told of a person from Bannu who lent Rs. 40,000 [approx. U.S. $500] to a man he knew, who promised that he would return it within a specified time. He told the borrower that he had saved up the said amount to help pay for his children's education. When the agreed time lapsed, he asked him to return the amount. The borrower started making excuses and after a few months he flatly refused and challenged the lender to do what ever he could. There is a Pukhtu word for it ‘Laas Da Azaad De’.
The man went from pillar to post to seek justice but with no result. The police proved incapable as the borrower was a powerful man with strong connections. When he tried to knock on the door of the court for justice he was dismayed to hear that it would take months for the case to come to a hearing and years to reach a final judgment. After all that, the chances were that the verdict would go against him as he was up against powerful people. To top it off, he was told he had to pay Rs 1000 upfront every time he wanted to put his case forward for a hearing. This amount did not include the amount he was going to pay the lawyers. When he calculated it, the approximate amount turned out to be more than the actual amount he was going to seek justice for.
At the end of every day, he would go back home heart broken; cursing his luck to be living in a country where there was no justice for the middle or poor classes. He tried to persuade the borrower by pleading with him, explaining how desperately he needed the money for his children’s education. He even offered a discount or to split the amount into installments, but all in vain. It was like hitting a brick wall. He felt dejected, helpless and powerless to see his children suffering just because he came from a stratum of a society pushed against the wall.
One evening, he heard a knock on the door. He opened it and saw two strangers with bushy beards standing outside. Thinking they were there to collect charity, he asked with irritation what they wanted. They told him that they saw him crying in the mosque and on enquiry they were told that someone was refusing to pay his money back. With a surprised look on his face, he asked them who they were.
“We are local Taliban,” they said. Then they asked if he would let them have his side of story. He saw a ray of hope and ushered them in. After listening to his story, the Taliban told him that the borrower had committed an un-Islamic act, and if he wanted they could persuade him to return the said money. “We want your permission”. His heart jumped with flickering optimism and immense joy and without any hesitation, he gave them his consent. Before they left the premises they asked for 72 hours.
According to the police officer, the Taliban went to the influential man and told him it was un-Islamic not to pay the amount he had borrowed from the man. They threatened that if he did not pay the debt back within 48 hours; he would bear the consequences. They also told him how Taliban had previously dealt with people like him. Shivers went through the spine of the ‘powerful’ man as he knew what their threat meant. With a dry mouth, frightened face and shaking body he nodded his head in agreement, promising he would return the amount. The next day, he went to the house of the lender and paid back the full amount he had refused up until then. He apologized for the delay and requested him to tell the Taliban not to harm him or his family and to let them know that he had returned the money. The Taliban never went back to ask whether he got the money back, but they must had been watching the development. From that day on, according to the police officer, that man became a strong supporter of Taliban. Could anyone blame him?
Another related story about quick and effective justice comes from the Bugti tribe of Balochistan. According to electronic media, a man named Nazim Ali was refused his share in a dispute. According to him, he spent a lot of money to get justice from the court but failed because of corrupt practices. So he went to the tribal chief who referred him to the Jirga. The Jirga decided that he should walk on fire and if he was telling the truth he will not be burned. Nazim Ali agreed to it and in front of onlookers he walked on red hot coal. After the walk, people saw that his soles were not burned. The chief decided in his favour and he was given his due share.
There are countless other stories of parallel justice systems running in Pakistan in the present day. These systems seem to be nippy and effective satisfying their poor clients. Some are Taliban style, others tribal style, sharing one commonality; they are swift, just and not stained with corruption.
In my discussions with different walks of people living in the troubled parts of FATA and NWFP the vast majority agreed that the justice provided by Taliban is fair and quick. They might not agree with other activities related to Talibanization such as discouraging western education, burning of schools, gender discrimination etc; but they do appreciate the provision of justice served at the doorsteps with efficiency, audacity and honesty. Swift justice is the major achievement which attracts the poor people of Pakistan to Taliban.
Dr. Ayub can be reached at turi555AThotmail.com
Zakir Naik: Promoting Terrorism
By Ali Sina
I found the following paragraph in irf.net, the official site of Dr. Zakir Naik. This is what he teaches to his students:
“5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist
Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.”
Dr. Naik claims that the anti-social elements that need to be terrorized by Muslims are the criminals, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. But isn't it the job of the police to go after the criminals? The police is trained and is paid to catch the criminals. His job is not to terrorize the criminal but to enforce the law. Those whom he catches are not criminals until proven as such in the court of law. As far as the police is concerned they are suspects. He must catch the suspect using minimum force and use force only if necessary. He must respect the human rights of the suspects. As long a the suspect is not convicted in a court of law, he remains innocent.
Who gave the authorization to Muslims to take the place of the police, the court, the executioner and terrorize people whom they accuse of crime? Don't we have a penal system to deal with these matters? Should citizens take the law in their own hands? This is in itself against the law. What this doctor is ostensibly proposing here is anarchy. We have a whole structure set in place to deal with criminals. Under what law average citizens can assume the role of the entire legal system? This is insanity!
Furthermore, in every non-Islamic country the rate of crime among Muslims is much higher than the average population. France has a high rate of crime confined mostly to it’s Muslim population. In Netherlands the rate of the crime has jumped 11% in just one year and it is exclusively because of Muslims. In an article published in Times, Lahor, April 2001, Khaled Ahmed reported that the crime rate among Pakistanis in UK "is higher than in any other community. Fully 2 percent of the prisoners rotting in British jails are Pakistanis, the highest for any one community." In Australia raping the white girls by Muslim youths has become a national problem. What are the excuses of these Muslim rapists? That "in Islamic countries girls don't dress like this!"
It would be naïf to take Dr. Naik's justification of terrorism by its face value. What this snake-oil salesman actually means by anti-social elements are the non-Muslims and those who resist conversion. According to him I would be an anti-social element that have to be killed. Have I committed rape, theft or any crime? I and people like me are considered anti social because we speak our minds and Muslims can't handle that. Are Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin anti-social elements? What about Theo Van Gogh? Was he an anti social element?
After glorifying and justifying terrorism and hyping his students to become terrorists, making them believe this is a divine mandate and a wonderful thing to do, Dr. Naik will then explain to his foolhardy alumni that "shirk is worse than killing" and the unbelievers are worse than thieves, dacoits, rapists and murderers. Therefore it is incumbent upon Muslims, to instill terror in the hearts of non-Muslims and kill them wherever they find them. To determine their innocence or guilt it is enough to ask them whether they want to convert to Islam or not.
Ironically, since according to the Quran, these non-Muslims by rejecting Islam have committed the worst crime imaginable, their property can be stolen and their wives and daughters can be raped. Thus Muslims who joined Dr. Naiks school to fight the dacoits, BECOME the dacoits, the criminals and the thugs.
See also The World's Greatest Showman
Obama and Kashmir
The man who will be inaugurated 44th President of the United States on January 20 has certain ideas on Kashmir that have raised concerns in India’s official and political establishment — and enthused separatist elements in Jammu & Kashmir. These ideas, which go back some way, were detailed in an October 2008 interview to Time magazine and touched upon during a December 5 interview to the same publication. Winning the war in Afghanistan, w hich increasingly looks like a pipe dream, is one of Barack Obama’s top priorities. Somewhat naively, he approaches Pakistan-India relations and the Kashmir dispute through the prism of “managing a more effective strategy in Afghanistan.” That, in his view, calls for a viable strategy with Pakistan’s civilian government, its military, and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to “root out militant terrorists.” And this brings Mr. Obama to the idea of “working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir crisis in a serious way.” Despite recognising Kashmir as “a potential tar pit diplomatically,” Mr. Obama has gone on record favouring mediatory intervention between India and Pakistan through a high-powered special envoy.
These ideas may be unwelcome in New Delhi but there is no cause for alarm, assuming of course that official India can work out a clear and resolute strategy of dealing with the Kashmir issue in its external and internal dimensions. In particular, there is no need to get hot under the collar over the prospect of any return to hyphenation. India must be clear and resolute that the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue in its external dimension along with other key issues is through comprehensive bilateral talks with Pakistan. It must act on the realisation that Mr. Obama’s principal focus for quite a while will be on the economy. But as soon as the opportunity arises, New Delhi must disabuse the new administration of any notion that the Kashmir issue can be approached in the way Mr. Obama has proposed. The U.S. cannot possibly mediate between Pakistan and India on Kashmir or other critical issues unless New Delhi allows it to do so. India-Pakistan relations are in crisis. But it must be hoped that sooner than later, a sustainable solution will be found through political and diplomatic means to the issue of cross-border terrorism so that the two countries can resume their composite dialogue and get back on the cooperative track. Mr. Obama is welcome to take on the political challenge of pressuring and encouraging Islamabad to deliver on its anti-terrorism commitments on the Afghan as well as Indian fronts. But internationalisation of the Kashmir issue through Washington’s intervention must be ruled out of court.
Date: 13 Jan 2009 15:26:24 -0000 [01/13/2009 08:56:24 PM IST]
From: jamsheed basha abumohammed
To: Sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
PAKISTAN BETTER COOPERATE WITH INDIA OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES
by jamsheed abumohammed on Jan 13, 2009 08:46 PM
It is in its own interest that Pak must cooperate with India in the investigation of the terror attack on 26/11 to find out the real culprits which witnessed one of the worst carnage in the history of the nation. The nation's prestige is at stake and the public anger is well known to Pak. India cannot afford to entertain Pak at any level as of now in the present circumstances. Pak and India came closure after years of isolation and the relationship was growing with more people to people contact, exchange of culture troops, cine actors, singers and musicians besides cricketers getting exposure in India. All these came to nought for just one act of terror which was totally unwarranted and destroyed the relationship that took years to develop. These terrorists knew that they cannot get away with it. But the saddistic elements directing the operation from across the borders were enjoying the killing and wanted the militants to cause maximum damage. No civilized govt worth its name would ever tolerate such a naked attack on the innocent people in which more than three hundred people were killed including the chief of elite ATS, Hemant Karkare. India was bleeding for three days from 26/11 but thanks to its peoples solidarity and unity, it did not witness any communal tension which was the avowed purpose of the attackers from Pak.
Pak's involvement in the carnage is no secret and it just cannot ignore the reality and the incontrovertible evidences produced both by India and FBI. It has to own up the responsibility in the same way it has owned up Kasab, that some Pak elements were involved and extradite them to face justice in India. It is also harbouring 40 fugitives enjoying the hospitality of Pak officials who are behind all unrest in India exporting terror, funding the sleeper cells giving logistic support to the would be assassins in India. What kind of nation is this Pakistan which thrives on such bad elements. If it does not mend within a few days from now on, it would soon the declared as rouge nation to be isolated from the rest of the world. Bad days are ahead for Pak. Better watch out. Jai Hind.
How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions
The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009
The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration’s complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.
I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.
Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.
Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.
In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.
The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.
Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.
Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.
America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.
As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.
Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.
It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.
The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.
The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.
As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".
To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.
Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.
The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.
A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.
No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.
This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.
• Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and of Lion of Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace.