What is Religious Fundamentalism?
By Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajedi
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com
Muslim maulvis and mullahs have been accused in general, for misleading and instigating the Muslims towards religious extremism and fanaticism or fundamentalism. According to critics, the present-day inhuman, immoral and barbaric activities are all due to this misguided fundamentalism.
One Professor Sahib has even characterized religious fundamentalism, rigidity and extremism as “the mother of all the evils.”
But the question arises: What is Religious Fundamentalism?
Is obedience of the teachings of Islam and submission to the Almighty Allah-e-Kareem’s commands and looking like a religious Muslim – internally and externally - religious fundamentalism?
Is this approach realistic that just by being a true follower of the Islamic religion, a person, transgressing all limits, starts performing inhuman activities?
The same scholar criticizes not only the Muslim preachers but also the scholars of other religions. He is very hostile to the verdict of the church which says that the lady who has performed “Karwa Chauth” according to the Hindu religious customs, has lost Christianity, hence she has no right to pray as a Christian, unless she seeks pardon. The scholar thinks that putting on a “Bindi” on the forehead, participating in the offering of “coconut”, touching the feet of a religious head and saying “Namaste” with folded hands are all the acts of human fraternity essential for communal harmony, and prohibiting from all these un-Islamic acts is religious fundamentalism, extremism and fanaticism.
In fact, the love of modernity has paralyzed their senses and intellect; if it were possible for them, these lovers of modernity would have invented a new religion where one would offer prayer (Salah) before an idol or perform circumambulation (Tawaf) of the Khana-e-Ka’bah with a “Qashqa” drawn on the forehead. They will be satisfied only when all the religions and faiths intermingle so much that no religious person is recognizable by his separate faith.
The teachings of the Muslim preachers such as to follow the rituals of religion, to abide by the decrees of the Almighty Allah Kareem, to follow the teachings of Islam are all false and fake ideas; rather the moderates think it is religious fundamentalism.
Such people must realize that the Muslim preachers are not to be blamed for all the above-mentioned rules; they should rather blame the “Quran” (Nauz-billah) which contains such verses (Ayats):
O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is to you a plain enemy. (Al-Surah, Al-Baqarah/208)
The Muslims only are being addressed in this “Ayat”, not the Kafirs (disbelievers) that they should have faith in the absolute Oneness of Allah Kareem (Islamic monotheism) and accept Islam, but who are already within Islam—they are being told; you have faith in Islam but simply believing is not enough, you should fully fathom the depths of Islam.
In other words, the Quran says to the Muslims to fully adopt and implement Islamic rituals in their lives. We can comprehend it in a better way, if we see this “Ayat” in the perspective of its manifestation.
An eminent scholar A'llama ibn Jareer Tabri Rahmat-ul-llah alaih has mentioned the following occasion of appearance for this A'yat from Hazrat Akrama Rahmat-ul-llah alaih. When Hazrat Abdullah ibn Salam, Talba bin Yameen, Asad, Aseed, Sa'eed ibn U'mar and Qais accepted Islam, they wanted to follow the dual rules of both Islam and Judaism.
According to the Jews, the camel meat was prohibited but in Islam, it is allowed (Halal), so they wished to have faith in its being Halal, but to avoid eating it. Saturday was respected among Jews but not in Islam - it was neither respected nor was there any prohibition to do so.
They thought that in this way, they would abide by the rules and regulations of both the religions – Deen-e-Islam and Deen -e- Musavee. So they would perform the dual obedience of Almighty Allah Kareem.
This A’yat was revealed on that occasion. By this A’yat the wrong concept of the Jewish scholars was rejected and it was affirmed that the continuance of the practices of the previous faith is not acceptable in Islam – this is not Islam.
Islam is the name of complete submission and obedience to the orders of Almighty Allah Kareem.
Apparently, the intention of the Jewish scholars was positive which seemed to have more obedience to the Allah Kareem Almighty but in fact, it was surrender before their own conscience, deviation from the real faith and error in the deliverance of the orders which was never desired.
The present moderates too, want to practice Islam in the same way.
How can it be acceptable?
-that a Muslim woman puts on “Bindi” on her fore-head, though it is the religious practice of the Hindus.
-that a Muslim offers “Namaste” with folded hands although he is taught to say “Assalam-o-Alaikum”.
-that any Muslim touches the feet of any Hindu or a Muslim scholar which is prohibited in Islam.
According to the Muslim scholars, the meaning of the absolute adoption or entrance in Islam is nothing except the complete submission and acceptance of the Islamic instructions. It means the faith should be accepted as a whole without any addition or deletion.
Islam is a perfect way of life and this system should rule over all the areas of life i.e. the belief, the faith, prayers, practices, dealings, social affairs, business, cultivation, invention or manufacturing, rule of government and the kingdom etc. All activities related to life should be performed in the light of the orders of the Allah Kareem Almighty in the Quran Kareem.
Until and unless Islam is immersed internally and exposed externally in our personalities, and all its commands are obeyed perfectly, we can’t enter in Islam, in the true sense.
The complete obedience to Islam is a must, to be considered an ideal Muslim, in spite of following its internal compulsions, A’rkans and fulfilling all the conditions, we should avoid such external practices which are against its very soul and spirit. It means that whatever is not ordained in Islam should not be practiced and that which is shouldn’t be rejected.
Beware! There is a warning for such people who consider Islam – a collection of some prayers and belief, in their opinion, dealings, rights, social behaviour and Islamic education find no place in religion.
They think Religion Islam is confined only to the mosques, it has no role to play in our homes, in the markets and they are totally out of control in their personal lives.
Likewise beware those people also, who keep on adding something in Islam, inserting un-Islamic thought and practices in Islam in the name of communal harmony and religious fraternity. Such people are doing no good to the religion rather they are polluting the pious face of Islam.
An eminent Islamic thinker Hazrat Maulana Abul-Hassan Ali Nadvee (Rahmat-ul-llah alaih) said, gratified with the reference of the following Ayat:
“This point is worthy enough here, one should adopt Islam 100%, the Muslims also must be 100% and the Islam also should be 100%, neither any intercession nor any reservation among the Muslims nor in Islam.”
“According to the Almighty Allah Kareem‘s demand and Quran Kareem’s clear A’yat, the 100% Muslims should accept 100% Islamic directives, unlike other religions that the beliefs are taken and the rest is left or the prayers are taken and the rest of rules and regulations, rights and duties are ignored.
“But here 100% Islam is demanded, not a single percent should be left, there is no liberty or concession.
“ This is the time for your introspection. Do you follow Islamic rules and orders 100%? Do you follow all the social norms, communal and personal practices and customs according to Islam?”
(Reference: Monthly, Rawa-e-Haram, Hyderabad, Issue Nov. 2006)
The critics of religious fundamentalism must also see this A'yat.
"Our colour is the colour of the Almighty Allah Kareem (Islam), which colour can be better than that of the Almighty Allah Kareem?" (As-Surah-Al-Baqarah 138)
he distinguished Islamic scholars have pointed out two important things:
According to the first point, it is the denial to the custom of Nasarah; they used to bathe their new-born babies in a particular colour and considered it the perfect colour of Nasarah. This A'yat points out that this colour is temporary, its effect will be diminished very soon, the real colour is the colour of Islam: that is a guarantee of the internal and external piety and is everlasting too.
In other way, by considering the faith and religion as a colour, it is also highlighted that as colour is seen with the eyes, a Muslim should also be noticeable through his apparel, dealings and association, relations and habit; a Muslim should not be recognized by a Muslim name only, but also, by his face and look, accomplishment and character in concurrence with the basic rituals of Islam.
Courtesy: Hamara Samaj Urdu daily, Delhi, 24 Dec 2008
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com
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.
from shama zaidi
to sultan shahin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date 12 January 2009 11:58
subject from vijayvaani
9/11: Revaluation of our beliefs
11 Jan 2009
I rarely watch TV. It was early evening, about 6 pm in Delhi, when a friend called and said, 'Have you seen it?' I asked, 'Seen what?' 'Switch on the TV and watch CNN or BBC', said my friend. One tower was smouldering. Perhaps this was on the channels many minutes before I switched on.
No one, it seemed, knew what had happened. One channel said an aircraft had hit, another a small plane, some speculated it was possibly a missile. My daughter walked in, was immediately glued to the TV. Most of us forgot any urgent work on hand.
Having read about the rock solid American air defence system, I wondered why not a single fighter jet was visible over New York City, at least to reassure the people they were there. Why was not a single helicopter flying over the tower to rescue those trapped above the burning floors, the way it was 'done' in the Hollywood blockbuster 'The Towering Inferno?' The media said fire-fighters were on the scene. Wouldn't it take longer to climb up than to be dropped by helicopter on the terrace and commence rescue work? A sense of urgency was missing.
We saw the second plane hit the North tower and explode into a ball of fire. As TV cameras stayed focused, we could see not one fighter anywhere. Nothing was flying over a city under attack - except hijacked airliners.
Then we were told another plane had hit the Pentagon and soon after we saw the South Tower collapse. As channels showed horrific scenes of the collapse from all angles, reports came of the fourth hijacked plane crashing near Shanksville. A little later the second tower collapsed. If this was war on the US of A, why were there no fighters over New York City?
Planes crashing in DC and not one fighter in sight? One whale of a white plane doing a slow turn up over the DC sky? A lone helicopter over NYC? We can't ever forget this.
Too many terrifying things were happening, in real time. Past midnight, we saw WTC-7 collapse, perhaps bombed by terrorists. Still no sign of any fighter over NYC. America was under attack and not one fighter screaming over America? People were waving from burning WTC and jumping to their deaths, but the world's mightiest military force remained grounded.
Over breakfast next morning we discussed what we had seen. Terrible guys, these hijackers. But much was worrisome about the events. As days passed I could pin down three things nagging me: (a) the collapse was too fast, too methodical and almost identical, (b) virtually no aircraft parts or bodies were shown near the Pentagon crash site and nothing at Shanksville, except a hole which was rather unusual, and (c) the response of the US air defense system. I also thought Americans are perfectly capable of answering these questions, so why should I worry.
Much was happening here as well. In December, our Parliament was attacked, reportedly by terrorists from across the border. Around May 2002, a New Zealander working in our firm told me her parents were asking her to return home as there was threat of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. I found it a bit unusual as we have friends in government; I knew tension was mounting, but nothing of the sort she described.
Slowly 9/11 faded in my memory. Nevertheless, inexplicably, I spent more time on the Internet learning about terrorism and the US government. A friend with a doctoral degree in Aviation Management and an engineering first degree in Avionics, who travels regularly to the US, told me how Americans are a 'transformed people'. 'They are afraid,' he said. This was confusing and I dismissed it as a bit of exaggeration. The people of America scared because four planes were hijacked?
Changed perception of US government
Looking back, it was the US occupation of Afghanistan, a South Asian country and neighbour, and the repeated statements coming out of DC that the world 'will have to choose' that actually changed my perception of the US Government. These were chilling statements. Choose what?
We knew Taliban had denounced the attacks on September 11 itself, and that they had nothing to do with the hijacking, so why was the US administration demonizing the Taliban? [The same Taliban was a creation of the CIA and Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence, and the ISI itself a creation of CIA. 'The Taliban government was set up in 1996 as an Anglo-American client state': Mahdi D. Nazemroaya; 17 October 2006, www.GlobalResearch.ca]
The attack on a poor wretched country without even a shard of evidence of its being an aggressor came as a shock. Oh yes, Al-Qaeda were bad people. The good guys were after the bad ones, but was there a need to 'smoke 'em out?' The good guys had also sponsored the bad guys. DC was using the language of ruffians.
I celebrated my 50th birthday that December. At this age, if I have to choose living under a ruffian and death, I'll choose the latter. I don't want to live under a corporatocracy of criminals. DC was using a language that changed me.
Then I found some friends in cyberspace. We discussed farming, gardening, food security, malnutrition in India, but would invariably end up discussing 9/11. By 2003, around the time of the attack on Iraq, we had enough information that showed a rather ugly side of the US Government and its allies. Not that we were not aware of America's destructive wars in Asia, starting with the nuking of Japan to interventions in Tibet, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. And India.
Soon we learnt neutrality was not an option they had left for any one on planet earth. And there was no hope of a better society if one cooperated. All peoples everywhere were being systematically enslaved and subjugated. When we learnt what depleted uranium was doing to the men and women fighting the private wars of corporations under the US flag and in the name of the US Constitution, we were shocked. The rulers were deliberately killing and maiming their own soldiers and profiting from it.
One thing led to another, and soon we were part of a global network of friends, sharing information, raising questions, seeking answers. But mostly, we were researching, reading, analyzing, and reappraising events in the light of better information and data. My concerns made me travel to Oz and meet some people who could tell me more and there I got another piece in the missing jigsaw as to why water was being fluoridated. And mind-control techniques.
As a graduate student of management in England, well meaning teachers had led us to believe that creative intelligence, core competency and lateral thinking gains market power, but sustaining it requires honesty. That was theory. In practice, just a handful of corporations and banks were running the world, regulating the regulators, buying off politicians, poisoning the world, poisoning people in hundred different ways, plundering consumers, pauperizing resource-rich societies, using US and NATO soldiers to blow up any opposition.
It was a lawless world of business, with laws written by paid managers and enforced by bullets. That's not the way we learnt to do business, but that's the way business had always been done, world-wide, since the so-called industrialized world was born. Colonialism had morphed into globalization of corruption and mindless loot.
The picture that emerged during these post-9/11 years was one of complicity and corruption at the highest levels of power, particularly in the US and EC countries, and of complete collapse of governance worldwide. Some of the brightest minds emerged as mass murderers and environmental terrorists. Historians tell us Fascism was defeated in 1945; we discovered that Fascism was globalized in 1945, that historians always lie.
Take an example from South Asia. The division of India was planned much before the last British Governor General landed in Delhi to supervise the transfer of power. Probably as early as 1942, when the strategic importance of oil in the European Elites' wars was recognized. Churchill recognized this much before as First Lord of the Admiralty, a post he held from 1911 to 1915.
Pakistan was carved out by the Western elite for an army to protect the eastern and southern flanks of oil-producing regions, just as Israel was carved out of Palestine on the western. The justification for a Jewish homeland - Israel - was presented as an honourable and humanitarian cause for holocaust victims, just as Pakistan for the Muslims. Hindus were demonized much earlier in South Asia to create a schism, just as Islam was demonized to justify an endless war. Strategic interests determine who is demonized, but spineless secularist historians in India and the West would have us believe that religion is a problem.
Seducing the world
The world has been seduced in many ways. Transparency International (TI) is projected as the watchdog of global corruption. It conducts annual surveys of countries based on the perception of businessmen how clean a country is in terms of doing business. Our government is corrupt; I believed TI correctly reflects our daily lives. We have to bribe at every level to get services that are our birthright and for which we pay taxes. Deep inside I felt the people of this beautiful country are in a vice-like grip of unending corruption of politicians and bureaucrats; Indians flourish when they go west.
According to TI, the least corrupt nations are the likes of Denmark, Sweden, Singapore; most corrupt, consistently, is Bangladesh. USA ranked 16th in 2001 and to 20th rank in 2007. Britain became less corrupt, moving from 13th rank in 2001 to 12 in 2007, which must count among the greater achievements of many recent Prime Ministers. Israel slid from 16th to 30th position, indicating that a little corruption is actually good when one controls the world's largest armada. A few citizens of this country were actually caught cheering the collapse of a nation from the top of a hot rod jalopy when bodies were falling from the towers.
Some of the most corrupt countries, TI would have us believe, are China, India, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2001, Afghanistan, not ranked by TI, 2001-04, slid almost to the nadir at 172. So did Iraq, from 129th to 178th. Physical occupation, the mother of all theft, apparently doesn't rank as a dishonest act in the analytical framework of TI. Neither does genocide.
Pakistan, the most dependable ally of the Western Union in the Global Honest War on Terror (GHWOT), slid from relative honesty at 79th in 2001 to a poor 138th in 2007; some achievement for being a trustworthy ally of honest nations! This country trains and provides logistic support to various acts of terrorism on behalf of the US and NATO forces.
China, the powerhouse economy, slid from an honesty rank of 57th in 2001 to 78th in 2007. The leader of the most honest nations had no problem selling municipal bonds to a relatively dishonest one. Ditto for Indians. They started with a relative dishonesty ranked 71st to slide to patent dishonesty in 2004, when all floodgates to US and European investments were opened, to rank 90, then recovered the previous position of honest-eminence ranked 72nd in 2007. That was a bad hiccup at the height of bonhomie with the 'honest west'.
Using TI data, if one draws three concentric circles, the 'most honest western countries' would cluster around the centre, nearly all 'peaceful client regimes' around the middle circle, and those 'targetted for resource plundering' on the periphery. The message being conveyed to billions around the world is that poverty, deprivation and poor governance are a consequence of corruption, whereas economic health of the western world that of honesty. Therefore, we are led to believe that the west is superior, to be emulated; the rest of the world corrupt, inhuman, bestial, to be civilized.
That civilizing mission is reinforced day-in and day-out by the mainstream media and Reader's Digest, particularly the electronic media, relentlessly justifying interventions of western powers. That mission was well articulated by Macaulay in 1835, by Huntington in 1993. The west told the world what to believe, the rest of the world believed what it was told. The non-believers were done in. But that was never a story, not on prime time.
No third world country has ever raised a finger at the US of A, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Holland; these great imperial powers plundered our society. All we want is to be left alone in peace, but that is not acceptable to the lone super power controlled by a few families from Europe.
Sitting with a friend in Tasmania some years ago, I thought aloud: what is development and what is the essence of the difference between a handful of western countries and the rest of the world?
I told my friend: your roads are properly paved, you don't have to bribe the transport authority to get a driving license, you can reach from point A to Z using A-Z and people know how to use A-Z, you don't queue up for hours in a hospital to get basic medicare, power supply is stable with fewer black-outs, your basic needs are well supplied and taken care of. With basics taken care of in a relatively honest fashion, common people do not have much to complain. When these common people compare their life with mass media projections about the rest of the world they find themselves right on the top of WTC1 or 2, or even WTC7, from where even a janitor can look down upon the rest of us. But that day the rest of the world was watching 1, 2 and 7, symbols of the technologically most advanced society, collapsing right in front of our eyes.
Why were there no fighters over New York City? The terrified Air Force One was kept flying from one place to another all day without fighter escort? There were no fighters over NYC because the powers that control the US armed forces, who nominated the mentally challenged PotUS, wanted the American people to see their power. They wanted every living room on planet earth to feel that power. The mission was actually accomplished during those nine odd hours when PotUS was close to stratosphere and terra firma was trembling, but he was perhaps told to announce it from USS Abraham Lincoln.
Global seducers like TI have allies: the BBC, CNN, Fox TV, and in India CNN-IBN, the Star TV network, etc. India has probably around seventy channels. The major news channels have chosen to remain intellectually challenged.
Michel Chossudovsky succinctly summarized this:
"The US and its allies, which uphold the practice of torture, political assassinations and the establishment of secret detention camps, continue to be presented to public opinion as a model of Western democracy to be emulated by developing countries, in contrast to Russia, Iran, North Korea and the People's Republic of China"
[13 April 2008, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8673]
Must we listen?
The US has UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada as key allies, a core group of seven. The ruling elite of the western powers has roots in Europe and many are related. Russia is also part of this gang, but let us keep Russia and Japan out of the most corrupt G-6, and the picture becomes less hazy.
The G-6 talks of eliminating poverty…we must listen. In the process, they have perhaps eliminated over 100 million poor, and that is a gross underestimation, because I believe the US alone has directly or indirectly killed that many. For each dollar of over-the-table western aid to developing countries, over ten is squeezed under the table with complicity of third world leaders. A report says corrupt Indian politicians hold US$ 1.5 trillion dollars in Swiss Banks, more than the sum total of all unaccounted money held by others.
The G-6 tells the world that 'Terrorism' is bad. 'Unimaginable resources have been expended on measuring and tackling terrorist finances, but little attention is paid to problems such as tax evasion by western trans-national corporations and rich individuals' (Ibid). When those who should be honestly paying their taxes don't pay up, the tax burden falls on small shopkeepers and individuals. But we must listen. And those unpaid taxes actually finance 'global terrorism' of the few led by the illegal government of the US of A.
The G-6 talks of climate change…we must listen. The poor world is burning too many trees…we must listen and keep silent when most fossil fuels are burnt by just a handful of western nations. The G-8 Plan for Climate Change actually looks like a plan to change the climate. Richard Heinberg says US alone will need fifty million small farmers in post-oil world; by the same equation India would need over 190 million, and would be short of farmers, yet farmers are committing suicide; more will die with HAARP engineered climate change.
The G-6 talks of worldwide scourge of HIV=AIDS=Death…a lie we all must accept. Should we question this illogical, baseless inference, we can be HIV-ed and AID-ed to a painful premature death. That is actually going on right now the world over. Drugs are introduced without proper testing everywhere and doctors taught to prescribe those drugs. Millions have died yet not once a doctor has been hanged for prescribing death. Legalized genocide…and deathly silence.
The G-6 talks of water wars…we must listen and privatize our rivers. The G-6 talks of food shortages…we must listen and buy poison-laced foods from the world's largest criminal corporations. Listen to this: "There is no way for anyone to choose to eat nano-free," says Miller, co-author of a report called Out Of The Laboratory And Onto Our Plate, Nanotechnology In Food And Agriculture.
The G-6 talks of energy crisis…we must listen and buy oil only in dollars, a piece of paper printed by 13 of the most corrupt banks that constitute the Federal Reserve. The whole world is led to believe this piece of paper is worth its weight in gold! Not even worth the paper on which it is printed, but the whole world must keep exporting physical goods against no promise to redeem its value in anything more than worthless paper; even toilet paper is more honourable, measured for size. And that seduces Americans as much as it seduces the rest of the world.
When G-6 talks of 'genetic engineering'…we must listen and ignore the deaths of American citizens who were illegally fed genetically-engineered food and died. We must ignore the deaths of American citizens because western leaders are 'honest.' When G-6 talks of vaccinations…we must listen, never mind if the 80+ deadly vaccines cause the immune system of members of their own armed forces to collapse and turn the world's immune systems deficient.
When the G-6 talks …we must listen and cooperate because the rest of the world has no option. The rest of the world has no option because any option is subject to ratification by G-6; Russia and Japan are merely baggage to reinforce world belief in the politics and economics of hope.
Prime-time statements of 'honest' leaders, full of wisdom, knowledge, trained in the art of governance, great men straddling the world like Colossus, solving problems. There were times I believed them. I am sure you all did too.
The collapse of a belief
9/11 reconfigured a belief system. I hope it trickles down faster than the trickle down theory of bored economists. 'We create problems, Western leaders solve the world's problems,' thus spake MSM. The denizens of the wilderness, the third, fourth or fifth worlds were forced to believe that western leaders are honest, therefore the western world is better than ours.
Western leaders would tell their citizens: 'look at these poor wretched souls; give us some money, and we shall make the world a better place!' And the rest of the world told, 'look we have created a most civilized society, the affluent society, and if you wanna be part of it, do as we say.' And that money, the stolen money from their own tax-payers was used to steal our resources like land, water, biodiversity, minerals and energy, all over the world, from the destitute that need them for survival. Now even the atmosphere is up for grabs; militarization of space will further ensure who grows corn or rice or millet.
Western citizens are plundered in our name. We are plundered for profiteering of the few. It took 9/11 to drive home that message. It exposed the true nature of the US of A as a country run by a small coterie of very rich sociopath humans who use its army to control global resources.
9/11 was perhaps the most spectacular crime ever committed; the whole world watched as the evidences were destroyed. But much remains right in front of our eyes. We look but don't see.
Sociopaths rule, OK!
"These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything… And they are waging a war that is making billionaires out of millionaires, and trillionaires out of billionaires, and they own television, and they bankroll George Bush, and not because he's against gay marriage… These are congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire," wrote late Kurt Vonnegut in 'Custodians of Chaos' in A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America. Today we call them 'sociopaths'; they kill entire societies, entire nations and endanger the planet.
2008 elections will decide whether the planet lives or dies. In that election, only a handful of mind-controlled, semi-literate, Americans will vote. These few millions will decide whether billions should live and how. The defective humans have an agenda; non-defective ones none.
The story of Afghanistan is what can happen when defective humans powered by cocaine capture political power and use the military might of the USA. The use of 'area deniability weapons' have ensured that life can't thrive there.
The story of Iraq is what can happen when defective humans powered by cocaine capture political power and use the military might of the USA.
"Iraq's population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million, and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead."
(Dahr Jamail, Global Research, December 2007)
Fascism was globalized in1945. Democracy was blown up into nano particles on 9/11. An excellent example was set in Afghanistan and Iraq for us to see the consequences if we don't crawl on our knees. The hundreds of solid internment camps across the world are gentle warnings to ensure the world crawls. It doesn't matter which country we belong to; democracy is as dead in the US of A as elsewhere.
There is no space for neutrality and no future in supporting the criminals. If we don't oppose the global terrorists, tomorrow we shall all wake up in a KBR sepulcher, erected through a no-bid contract, buried alive or semi-dead. Revolutions are born not with a hope of a better future; they are ignited when there is no hope.
The author is an accredited management consultant, writer, and researcher
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:29:12 +0530 [12:29:12 PM IST]
Subject: ‘YOUR’ ISLAM VERSUS ‘OUR’ ISLAM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
'YOUR' ISLAM VERSUS 'OUR' ISLAM - Hasan Kamal
"Taliban are fulfilling the role of liberators of their country, from the clutches of foreign hegemonists." -- Ghulam Muhammed
Mumbai's premier Urdu newspaper, Inquilab, Mumbai in its today/Sunday edition carries an article written by one of its more popular writers, Hasan Kamal, under the title: Your Islam and our Islam. The title itself is meant to create mischief. Hasan Kamal, with other Marxists like Javed Akhtar and Javed Anand, had formed a paper organisation called Muslim for Social Democracy, has been an editor of URDU BLITZ, for decades and had followed his Leftist mission with the approval of the owner of BLITZ, the late R. K. Karanjia, who in his heyday, moved in the circle of world socialist leadership, like Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, among others. Of the trio in MSD, both Javed Akhtar and Javed Anand are professed agnostics, if not atheist and the group has now taken up the noble mission of projecting their version of Islam as the true Islam. Can there be any more flagrant travesty of fact, that those, whose professed beliefs are against Islam, should now have the audacity to become the votaries of 'true' Islam of their own concoction. Naturally the headline to the article starts sowing differences from the very outset, among the Muslim community in India. In fact, they follow the world-wide trend to sow divisions in Islamic polity on behalf of the world's Zionist controlled US and are completely subservient to ideas put out by others and paddle them as their own.
The articles deals with the news, that Taliban have recently threatened girls to abide by Islamic strictures and abstain from going to 'schools'.
Three points have to be considered in this respect. US has turned against Taliban as their leader Mullah Umar had refused to allow US oil giant UNOCAL to lay pipeline across Afghanistan as they differed on various terms. US then decided to overthrow Taliban hold on Afghanistan and start world wide propaganda against them as belonging to conservative brand of Islam that was against women in particular. The war over territory now turned a war on the ideology and practice of Islam in full conformity with the world wide war on terror or effectively a war on Islam. Taliban overnight turned into villains. Those who oppose Taliban, should first clear their own bona fides, if they are not following the western propaganda against Islam and not trying to reform Islam while in fact, working against Islam.
Taliban are in bad books with the Left, as they were in the same league as other Islamic Jihadists, who had overthrown Soviet Union forces that had occupied Afghanistan. That hurt still lingers and that is the main reason why the leftist find it convenient to join US propaganda to make Taliban the common enemy of the Western imperialists and as well as the Fundamentalist Marxists still embedded in woodworks around the world and waiting for their day in the daylight once again.
The recent advances made by Taliban in its confrontation with the occupied forces of US and NATO, with India merely participating as a contractor, possibly like Halliburton and KBR, the two private contractors that reaped billions of dollars through fictitious account fabrications, that might now attract Justice department scrutiny, when Obama takes over, --- justifiably rang alarm bells in Indian security establishments. The Indian media without the intellect or the moral fiber to think on its own are sheepishly following US propaganda line against Taliban.
Leftist among the media are most vocal about Taliban treatment of women, as liberation of women has been their most potent instrument of change in society. They hardly bother to mention that the Soviet Union and its satellite states had rendered practically half of their womenfolk into legalized prostitution. Even today, a good decade and half after the breakup of Communist Soviet Union, the bulk of women trafficking in the world is centred on the devastated lands of the communist regimes. If Hasan Kamal wants his Islam to make that an ideal for Muslims to follow, he should at least not be economical with the full facts of the liberation of women according to Soviet model.
It is a fact that Taliban had been openly fighting to preserve the old customs within Islamic fold that were more cultural than religious.
However, it can be argued that Taliban had come out most vocally against the so-called women's liberation, as their main objective was to stop the subversion and disintegration of their society that had set in during the few years of Communist rule in Afghanistan.
Any new broom sweeps with new vigour. There is no reason to believe that over the time, Taliban would not have followed other Muslim nations and started educating their womenfolk, within the norms of the societal parameters that had kept Afghanistan identity alive. However, it would have been their free choice, not imposition from occupying forces, either of the Communist or Western kind.
Those who had visited Afghanistan during communist rule could not deny that in the name of liberation of girl-child, the urban areas under communist state's jurisdiction, widespread womanizing and prostitution had come to be regarded as the new dawn of civilisation.
Afghanistan economy had not (and still has not) expanded enough to give employment opportunities to the educated womenfolk and when they broke away from their family moorings, they had to support themselves through means fair or foul. So merely educating the masses, without any commitment for their absorption in new decent societal standards that fits Islamic traditions, was not a progressive but a very destructive 'revolution'. And the beauty of this 'modernization' was that it was supported by both sides fighting for paramountcy in Afghanistan, the Marxist and the capitalist imperialists.
In this context, Taliban are fulfilling the role of liberators of their country, from the clutches of foreign hegemonists.
Hasan Kamal wrote off his column, without even bothering to check if Taliban had ever issued any such statement and what is the worth of any such pronunciation. For him, it is frivolous to even think otherwise, as long as fits their agenda of sowing divisions in Muslim community and dividing 'their' Islam from 'our' Islam.. After all the US and its Jewish thank tanks have done a thorough brain wash of the whole world and it is preposterous to expect that some of our writers, would not fall prey to the imperialist line against Islam and Muslims. Samuel Huntington is dead, but not his ideas about the 'clash of civilisation'. It is for us to know, which side we belong and not to get distracted from minor and temporary set-backs.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai