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'There is no room for suicide in Islam': Al Qaeda's racist attack on Obama signals the death of jihad


London: 'There is no room for suicide in Islam': Lord Khalid Hameed

Al Qaeda's racist attack on Barack Obama signals the death of violent jihad

Jihad in Afghanistan Gets its Start

Many associate Islam with terror, Obama with Islam by Joesph Wojtkiewicz

Obama Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau




'There is no room for suicide in Islam' 


November 25, 2008,


 London: With both countries facing the common threat of suicide bombings, India-born inter-faith champion Lord Khalid Hameed says a recent British exercise in bringing Muslim and Jewish students together holds important lessons for India.

"There is absolutely no room for suicide in Islam," said Hameed who has been visiting top British universities along with a group of like-minded parliamentarians, addressing challenging religious issues.

Their visits follow reports of campus tensions between Muslim and Jewish students in Britain.

Lord Hameed is British Asian of the year 2007

"I'd say the same thing to Muslim youth audiences in Britain and in India," the Lucknow-born Hameed, who was honoured with a Padma Shri in 1992 for services in the field of medicine, said.

"You need to come out of the margins and participate in nation-building. Be non-violent, go in for education and put in hard work. At the end of the day, the solution is education, education and education.

"The problem is that Muslims lack credible, sincere and honest leadership. There are no leaders - the community is like a ship with no anchor and no captain, travelling in all directions in turbulent waters," he said.

New Pak CJ over-rules order on annulling emergency

Hameed, a successful medical entrepreneur who is chairman of the Alpha Hospital Group and CEO of the planned super-speciality London International Hospital, said he was frank in his exchanges with the youth he met.

"I told them all these young people (who support terrorism) are totally un-Islamic. There is a blanket prohibition of suicide under Islam. And just as the Upanishads (Hindu scriptures) talk about the world as a single family, so Islam says that noble people look after strangers as they would look after themselves," he said.

One problem, according to him, was that the Quran has been heavily edited by "various sides to their own advantage".

"Once you start editing a holy book, you risk losing the gist of the message, which includes, 'You shall not kill, you shall not take innocent life and you shall not take your own life'."

Hameed, who has so far visited the universities of Middlesex, Oxford and Birmingham with other peers and MPs belonging to the Co-Existence Trust, a cross-party NGO, said Muslim youths also suffered from a "phobia of strangers" among host cultures.

"Everything about them is seen as 'different' - their clothes, rituals, food, skin colour... Therefore, you have people saying 'They are taking over our jobs, hospital beds, education'," he explained.

Hameed said one question he has been asked repeatedly by students is how democracy protects citizens from what are seen as deliberate provocations, such as cartoons about Prophet Mohammed.

"My reply is that here you have the freedom to practice your own faith. In return, because you love democracy, you have to exercise your democratic rights and protest. The bomb is not the answer."

The tour, which takes in some of Britain's biggest universities, is aimed at addressing campus tensions flowing chiefly from the Middle East conflict.

The conflict has led to Jewish and Muslim students in Britain leaving hostile message on Internet sites, putting up inflammatory posters on campuses and Muslim youth joining extremist groups.

Hostilities are reported to have intensified during the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, when police were alerted.



Al Qaeda's racist attack on barrack Obama signals the death of violent jihad?

26th November 2008


A terrorism analyst and Middle East expert says Al Qaeda's racist attack on Barack Obama signals the death of violent jihad.


Desperation time? Gilles Kepel thinks al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri is becoming divorced from reality.

Last week, al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a provocative video commenting on the election of Barack Obama. "You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims," Zawahiri tells the U.S. president-elect. Referring to Obama as abid al-beit, the Arabic term for "house slave," the tape condemned Obama as a "typical" American politician in the pocket of the Zionist lobby.

To decode Zawahiri's words, Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell spoke with French scholar Gilles Kepel, chair of Middle East studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris.

Kepel has followed Zawahiri's statements closely for several years.

In his most recent book, Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East, Kepel identifies two sweeping but opposing narratives-the neoconservative war on terror and the jihadist myth of martyrdom. According to Kepel, both have failed miserably.

Do you think the tape Zawahiri released last week is significant?

Gilles Kepel: The tape is extremely important, because [al Qaeda believed] that 9/11 would be a means to mobilize the Muslim masses against the West and to topple the [Middle Eastern] regimes. But they were totally unable to do it.

I've monitored Zawahiri's statements between the fifth and the seventh anniversary of 9/11 to try to decipher his whole system of thought, to understand how it works. The more [strident] Zawahiri's discourse was, the less it was in tune with reality. Within the ranks of radical Islamism, Zawahiri has been very, very violently criticized.

There is a widespread feeling now that al Qaeda's strategy has failed, because [critics] say Zawahiri has spilled Muslim blood.

The Jews and Christians he may have killed were OK-halal-but the Muslim blood were not halal.

Do you think Zawahiri hoped that with this tape, he would tap into a kind of Arab antiblack racism?

In a way. But I think he tried not to look like a racist because he quoted Malcolm X, who was a good black man because he [converted to Islam and] became [al-Hajj] Malik al-Shabazz. But you could almost feel in his speech the aristocratic background of Zawahiri, who looks down on "niggers" with the utmost contempt.

Abid al-beit, [the name by which Zawahiri referred to Obama], is something much more [potent] than "house Negro." It is loaded with a very, very strong racist connotation, and I'm not sure that Zawahiri made himself very popular with this sort of discourse. In my view, this is a sign that al Qaeda is in dire straits.

Do you think Obama-with his ethnic identity and his rhetoric about regaining America's respect in the world-is going to help reverse widespread international cynicism toward the United States?


I think even outside the Beltway, everybody still believes that America is necessary. But no one is sure that it's sufficient anymore. And America needs allies, [because] what is a foreign-policy agenda for the United States in the Middle East is-to a large extent-a domestic policy for us and for people in what we call our "Near East."

Over the last eight years, you've been a frequent critic of the Bush administration. What would you say was the biggest analytical error that George W. Bush made?

The administration mistook the Middle East for the former Soviet Empire. They thought that from the Evil Empire to the Axis of Evil there was continuity, which was not the case.

The "war on terror" was supposed to mobilize public opinion behind the Bush administration. Everybody was with them after 9/11, but then the agenda was changed and the war on terror was a means to implement another plan-downing the Saddam regime and creating a U.S.-friendly Iraq.


Are you using "war on terror" in the past tense?

I think that now, with Obama, [the war on terror] is something that has been wiped away. He's [going] to pull out from Iraq.


The big game in 2009 will be how they deal with Iran. And from the Iranian point of view, they are having a presidential election in 2009. My belief is that the Ahmadinejad hard-liners will be defeated. They were in power because you had the neoconservative hard-liners in Washington, D.C.

You know what Hussein Obama means in Farsi? "Hussein is with us." I don't think this is just a joke; Ahmadinejad doesn't stand a chance even in terms of Shiite credentials in front of someone called "Hussein is with us," right?

[What] I mean more seriously is that engaging Iran doesn't mean going to Iran in a position of weakness. It means seeing to what extent there [will be] people in the post-Ahmadinejad Iran who consider it better to be part of the security system of the Gulf than to be the bad guys.


What would you tell Obama if you had a meeting with him?

[I would advise him on] the need to conceive of a Middle East policy that would be in close cooperation with allies. And [he needs] to understand that there is a new era being shaped in the Middle East. From the North Sea to the [Persian] Gulf, you find know-how, academic strength, and secure and legal space. Couple the strong European Union, the wealth and the energy of the Gulf, and [the United States, and you can] triangulate a relationship that will allow for growth in the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Without that growth, we will not find any solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Isn't that a lot like French President Nicolas Sarkozy's initiative of building a Union for the Mediterranean, which didn't really work politically?

They are in the same direction, but I think that the Union for the Mediterranean was mistaken in that it did not explicitly include the Gulf. We don't have to see the Gulf as a gas station with an ATM. Those people want to talk about politics. They have tremendous problems of security, and they want to be reassured. Until now, they benefited from the American military umbrella. But after the catastrophe in Iraq, this military umbrella is becoming questionable. It is still a necessity, but it is not sufficient.

Gilles Kepel is chair of Middle East studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and the author of Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008).



Jihad in Afghanistan Gets its Start

December 27, 2006

Twenty seven years ago, in the last days of December, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan. In response, self-styled mujahadin (holy warriors) took up arms in the name of both their country and Islam to fight off the foreign invaders.

At the time, the United States was concerned about its Cold War rival, the Soviet Union. In a December 26 memo to President Jimmy Carter, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wondered, hopefully, whether Afghanistan might prove to be the Soviets' "Vietnam":

    However, we should not be too sanguine about Afghanistan becoming a Soviet Vietnam:

    A. The guerrillas are badly organized and poorly led;

    B. They have no sanctuary, no organized army, and no central government -- all of which North Vietnam had;

    C. They have limited foreign support, in contrast to the enormous amount of arms that flowed to the Vietnamese from both the Soviet Union and China….

To shore up the Afghan resistance, Brzezinski suggested that "It is essential that Afghanistani resistance continues. This means more money as well as arms shipments to the rebels, and some technical advice."

The U.S. supported rebels did eventually drive out the Soviets, then descended briefly into a civil war among competing warlords and factions, out of which rose the Taliban. Twenty six years later, the Taliban are still going strong: "The non-Muslims came and occupied our country,” said a Taliban spokesman. "The jihad will be going on until we kick them out of Afghanistan." This time, of course, the invaders are the United States and its allies.

Notwithstanding the real threat of Soviet expansionism at the time, history's odd twists make it difficult to resist wondering where the U.S. might be now—in Iraq as well as Afghanistan--if it didn't so quickly turn to money and weapons as the cure to international ills.



Many associate Islam with terror, Obama with Islam

Joesph Wojtkiewicz

Nov 26, 08

 Thomas Jefferson once said, "I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." I have been thinking a lot about this quote recently. This past election, and most of the last decade, has been a test of tolerance in our nation. I am sad to say, from what I have seen, we have failed this test.

It was an issue during the election. Many of the 24-hour news sources were running "breaking stories" about how President-elect Obama went to school at a Muslim madrassa as a child. This then fed into the fear he was a closet Muslim. I don't know what disappointed me more; the fact they made such a big deal about it, or the fact a lot of people believed it and refused to vote for Sen. Obama because of it.

I am truly pained by what this says about a large portion of our society. We have become so filled with fear that we don't think twice about labeling every Muslim we see as a terrorist. In a survey conducted by Cornell University, 46 percent of Americans had a negative view of Muslims and supported limiting their rights. This same study showed people who watch a lot of television news are more likely to fear terrorist attacks and limit rights. As much as I hate to admit it, I have done it myself. So I feel it is my duty as a writer to do what I can to speak out against this intolerance.

I am a Christian. I wanted to say that first, because I am going to be speaking about a religion I know very little about. What I do know is based on my personal research and interaction with Muslims. What I have to say can be found at, The Wisdom Fund. This text has been reprinted in Foreign Affairs, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Teacher Magazine and The Washington Times. I found it to be an excellent representation of the faith and what it actually stands for.

Islam means "submission to the Will of God." Muslim is derived from the Arabic word for peace, and the common greeting in the Arab world means, "peace be unto you." If any of this sounds similar to the message that Christians proclaim, it’s because they are similar. Islam is basically a division of the Jewish faith, much like Christianity. They worship the same God that Christians and Jews do. They believe Jesus, Abraham and Moses are all prophets of God.

 The main teachings of Islam focus on living a life devoted to God. They pray five times a day to recognize that devotion. They believe strongly in charity and helping those that are being persecuted. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of contact with Muslims when I was deployed in Iraq at the beginning of the war. It was in those experiences I met some of the most generous and caring people I have ever met. They would bring us food and refuse any sort of compensation. I know a lot of Christians that could learn a few things about charity and giving from this faith. Their devotion to faith is something anyone who claims to praise God should strive to match.

Am I defending the actions of Muslim terrorists? No, and neither do the majority of Muslims. Anyone of any sort of intellect would condemn the acts committed by any terrorist. In fact intellect is one of the chief teachings of Islam, as a quote from the teachings of Islam, "One learned man is harder on the Devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers." This is one teaching I can get behind fully. And to anyone who wants to say all Muslims are terrorists. I know I can't change your mind if you don't want to change it. I only ask that you think about this quote from author Richard Bulliet, "Jim Jones, David Koresh and Meir Kahane do not typify Christianity and Judaism in the eyes of the civilized West, but those same eyes are prone to see Osama bin Laden and Mullah Muhammad Omar as typifying Islam." See the world for what it is, see people for who they are and don't judge an entire group based on the actions of a few individuals. Make up your own mind.



Obama Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy

5 Probable Homeland Security and Terrorism Policy Moves

Nov 25 2008

The Obama administration can be expected to execute homeland security and counterterrorism policy in a substantially different framework than the Bush Administration. Multilateralism rather than unilateralism and efforts to work within U.S. and international law, rather than rise above it, are likely to be priorities. Unlike Bush, Obama is not inclined to make a battle against global terrorism the focal point of his presidency or the primary measure of his success. At the same time, underlying trends that pre-existed the Bush administration will not be undercut, at least not in the short term. These trends include the growth of more substantial security architecture in the United States, and a greater focus on terrorist and other irregular threats in the defence arena. Below, find 5 areas where some change will likely be visible.

1. Setting the Tone: Less Martial, More Conciliatory

The role that terrorism plays as a symbolic and practical issue will be different. Terrorism, the 'war on terror' and the idea of a 'wartime president' provided the centripetal focus of the Bush presidency, from the September 11, 2001 attacks onward. Obama focused on the economy in the months leading up to the election, rather than on security. In this, he mirrored not only American, but global, concern about the plunging economic situation. Obama will not replicate Bush's sweeping, holistic approach to terrorism, nor use the rhetoric of a "global war on terror." In practice, his foreign policy approaches are unlikely to homogenize distinct regional conflicts as versions of the same "terrorism."

2. Homeland Security: Slow Changes in Emphasis over Time

Though it may roll off the American tongue with ease at this point, "homeland security" is a neologism coined by the Bush Administration. The symbolism of a "homeland," and its connotation of an ethnically exclusive territory, is likely here to stay. Whoever heads the Department of Homeland Security is less likely to institute dramatic changes than to seek to manage inherited issues, while refining the mandate of the youngest government department. These inherited issues will include developing systems to manage the department's huge acquisitions and contracting needs, which were critiqued in a November 2008 GAO report. Long term shifts in national priorities could include a reduction in the resources expended in the name of homeland security, or allocations could shift away from technological solutions to presumed problems toward more analysis, in the interest of understanding and assessing national security needs.

Obama's pick for the head of Department of Homeland Security is Arizona governor Janet Napolitano. Her experience with immigration issues, as the leader of a border state, is a signal to many observers that Obama intends to pursue Napolito's centrist approach. Immigration standards were tightened considerably in the name of terrorist threat under the Bush administration.

3. Treatment of Terrorism Suspects: Less Irrational, More Constitutional and Attentive to Due Process

Objections to the current treatment of terrorism suspects stem largely from the 2006 Military Commissions Act. This act legalized interrogation practices that amount to torture, stripped defendants of their right to challenge their accusers (habeas corpus), and established special military tribunals to try suspects. Obama opposed the bill at the time, and is consistently on record as opposed to torture. However, it is unclear at this juncture what steps he will take to refine these, with the exception of closing down Guantanamo Bay. He may move to repeal the Military Commissions Act, which has been urged from various quarters.

News reports citing Obama advisors suggest that there is almost no chance that Obama will seek to bring war crimes or other charges against those who authorized torture in the Bush Administration.

4. Civil Liberties in the United States: Trend toward Surveillance Will Continue with Better Governmental Oversight, Attention to Citizens' Rights

By all accounts, Americans' civil liberties were reduced in the name of terrorism during the Bush Administration --there are only differences of opinion on whether this was a good or bad occurrence. The PATRIOT Act, passed by Congress in October 2001, expanded the ability of the government to watch Private Americans' activities and collect information about them, and strengthened barriers against aliens' entry to the country, including through indefinite detentions.

The PATRIOT Act as a whole will remain in place. Obama has promised to review the constitutionality of such legislation as soon as he gets into office. Many find his selection of Eric Holder reassuring, since Holder has spoken out against such excesses. An Obama administration might reinstate or insert oversight requirements into legislation that has the capacity to threaten individual privacy. Bush routinely disregarded or circumvented requirements for Congressional oversight.

A certain degree of increased government and private sector cooperation on sharing information about private individuals, and increased government surveillance of its citizens, is here to stay, however. No government will roll back trends in surveillance technology, and government surveillance habits, which began well before 2001. The September 11, 2001 attacks helped make intrusions palatable that were not when, for example, they were proposed in counterterrorism legislation during the Clinton administration.

5. Bioterrorism and Nuclear Terrorism: Greater Focus

Nuclear, biological and cyber terrorism will receive priority attention under Obama. He made combating the potential of nuclear terrorism part of his campaign platform. A few months before the election, he charged the Bush administration with failing to adequately confront nuclear terrorism. A report issued immediately following by the election, by Harvard's Belfer Center and sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, urged the president in dramatic terms to take immediate steps to forestall the chances of a nuclear weapon falling into terrorist hands. Obama levelled similar charges against Bush regarding bioterrorism and nuclear terrorism. Source: