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Islamic Maldives' Ruler Vows Smooth Democratic Transition

African American Nation of Islam to expand membership to other ethnic groups

Washington: Elections not a good time to be an American Muslim

Geneva: Theologians Explore Further Possibilities for Interfaith Dialogue with Islam

Karachi: 17-year-old Pak girl's 'honour killing' prompts outcry

Guantanamo Bay: Al Qaeda media man vows to wage "jihad by pen"

Somali youth was killed 'in row over alcohol and Islam'

Washington: Foreign Group Linked to Anti-Muslim DVD Campaign, says CAIR

Ankara: Turkey, Pakistan vow to fight terrorism

Washington: Jihad and the Relativist Enemy within

Eyes Wide Shut: A review of Andrew McCarthy's Memoir of the Jihad

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau 


Islamic Maldives’ Ruler Vows Smooth Democratic Transition

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer

MALE, Maldives October 29, 2008 (AP) The Associated Press

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom promised Wednesday to ensure a smooth transition from his three decade rule after a bitter political rival vanquished him in the Maldives' first democratic election.

In a rare show of unity, Gayoom and President-elect Mohamed Nasheed jointly addressed the nation from the presidential office just hours after the results from Tuesday's runoff election were announced and agreed to work together for the good of the people.

"I wish to assure the public and the international community that the transition to democracy in the Maldives will be smooth and uninterrupted in governance," said Nasheed, who smiled, shook hands and joked with his former rival as they addressed the nation.

"A test of our democracy will be how we treat Maumoon," the 41-year-old former political prisoner said of Gayoom. Amnesty International named Nasheed a prisoner of conscience in 1996.

Nasheed won 54 percent of the votes cast in this Indian Ocean nation. Gayoom, who had won six previous elections as the only name on the ballot, received 46 percent of the vote.

The roots of democracy took hold in the Maldives after violent civil riots in 2003 and fierce international pressure pushed Gayoom to begin a reform campaign. He lifted a ban on opposition parties, supported a new constitution and committed to the nation's first multiparty presidential election.

His reforms eventually led to his ouster.

Defeat hurt, the 71-year-old Gayoom said, but "I have accepted the will of the people and concede the election."

"I want this transition to be a smooth one. I will do everything to work with him (Nasheed)," Gayoom said, calling on his followers to cooperate with the new regime.

Gayoom, Asia's longest serving ruler, oversaw the vast transformation of this collection of nearly 1,200 coral islands southwest of India into Asia's top luxury resort destination and shepherded decades of economic expansion. Opposition activists branded him a dictator who violently suppressed all dissent.

Nasheed will likely be sworn in Nov. 11, 30 years to the day after Gayoom took office in 1978.

"We've been waiting so long for this," said Aishath Abbas, a 28-year-old student, as hundreds of opposition supporters streamed into the streets of the capital, Male, honking car horns, cheering and dancing. "It feels like a new world."

Associated Press reporter Olivia Lang contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.


 Background story:

  Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's leadership is threatened by human rights activist Mohammed Nasheed

               Randeep Ramesh, south Asia correspondent


                 Wednesday October 08 2008

The first democratic presidential elections in the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives could see Asia's longest-serving leader ousted by a human rights activist whom he once imprisoned.
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been president for the past three decades, faces five rivals in the election, which is the culmination of a peaceful democracy movement that became irresistible after violent riots in 2005.

Despite some fears of rigging and threats against political figures earlier this week, the Maldives appeared calm today with a heavy police and military presence. The archipelago of 300,000 people on 1,196 islands is expected to get its new president on Thursday.
Gayoom, 71, who has served six terms under a one-candidate system, has pitched himself as the creator of modern-day Maldives. He built an economy on high-end tourism, with resorts overlooking white sand beaches and crystal clear waters where hotels charge thousands of pounds a night. He claims also to have preserved the island's unique brand of Islam.
The president faces a serious threat from the founder of the Maldivian Democratic party (MDP), Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed, a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.
Nasheed, a slight man who walks with a limp from the torture he endured, has been the president's most effective tormentor, attacking the widening gulf between rich and poor and an alarming rise in drug use. The perception, especially in the crowded capital, Male, is that a corrupt elite has profited from the Gayoom presidency.

"We have seen a real groundswell of public support in the last few weeks. The levels of poverty have become a real issue. There is vast wealth only in the top seven per cent of the population. Seventy per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and there is a social breakdown as the gap between rich and poor widens," said the MDP's Nasheen Mohammed.
There have been signs of a bubbling conflict on the islands. The Maldives suffered its first terror attack last year, with Islamic militants blamed for bombing a park in Male, wounding a dozen tourists.
The MDP considers Male its base: Anni Nasheed was elected to the Maldivian parliament in 2000. Gayoom's political constituency is among the 1,000 smaller islands located 800km (500 miles) off the tip of India. In these rural constituencies, Gayoom's message as protector of Islam plays well.
The winner will have to garner more than 50% of the votes to avoid a run-off. With no reliable opinion polls, the outcome is seen as impossible to predict. One local newspaper's internet poll put the MDP at 53% to Gayoom's 10%. This was considered a reflection only of web users' preferences.
Gayoom has promised to hand over power peacefully if he loses. Last month, the president signed into law a new constitution establishing an independent judiciary and electoral body. It ended the practice of the parliament approving a single candidate who was put forward in a referendum. On this basis, Gayoom was returned to power six times with what he said was more than 90% of the vote.
The new president will lose considerable power, with the new 74-member parliament having the right to block cabinet appointments and produce new laws. According to the new constitution, polls to the new parliament have to take place before next March.
"These elections are important but we need elections for the new parliament quickly. It is the body that will be supreme," said the MDP's Nasheen Mohammed.


African American Muslims to become more inclusive: Nation of Islam to expand membership to whites, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic groups

By Stephanie Gadlin

NNPA Special Correspondent


CHICAGO (NNPA)—As the message of “change” resonates throughout America, the African American Muslim community might be in line for a change of its own.

That’s when the Nation of Islam (NOI) will reportedly extend its membership to whites, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic groups under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan. The announcement took place on Oct. 19, when the NOI leader hosted a special dedication service at his South Side worship center.

The move comes six weeks after the Sept. 9 death of Imam Warith Deen Mohammad, who denounced the teachings of his famous father, Elijah Muhammad, when he took over the helm of the organization in 1975. The reforms, which included renaming it the World Community of Al Islam in the West (and later American Muslim Mission), relaxing its dress code, removing its paramilitary infrastructure and renouncing whites as “blue-eyed devils,” were replaced with efforts to move the faith toward orthodox Islam. The measures angered some converts of the man they called “The Messenger,” and according to a 1996 NOI press release “disoriented many of the followers and lead to the Nation’s financial ruin.”

In 1977, Farrakhan—the former national spokesman for Muhammad— reestablished the traditional NOI and begin reuniting disillusioned members. His passionate rhetoric of black self-help and resistance to white supremacy enamored him in the eyes of many African Americans, including many who were not members of his group

The Muslim leader’s rebuilding efforts flew under the radar of those who would become his staunchest critics—Jews and the American government —until he drew national media attention for comments made in reference to attacks against Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign.

Ironically, 20 years later, the corporate media took complementary remarks Farrakhan made about Illinois Senator Barack Obama at his international Savior’s Day in what some viewed as an effort by the media to sabotage the Democrat’s historic presidential run by linking him to the controversial Muslim.

Today, the man once known as “The Charmer,” will not talk about the race for the White House for fear his words will be distorted and used by Sen. John McCain as a disruptor. Using guarded language, he would only talk about his plans to expand the NOI’s vision, the loss of Mohammad and the legacy of his mentor. He did not indicate he would implement any other reforms or details about plans about wooing non-blacks to his faith community.

When asked why make the announcement now, the leader responded: “Everything is done in the right time,” Farrakhan told reporters from the conference room in his South Side home. “This is the right time. It represents a new beginning.”

The Muslim orator, wearing white garments and looking the picture of health, made known his intentions to a small group of black reporters inside the lavish confines of his sprawling estate on the city’s South Side. Located a block away from the Obama’s Hyde Park mansion, Farrakhan’s estate resembles a palace with its winding driveway, majestic fountain and expert landscaping including hedges sculpted to resemble gigantic, green marshmallows.

The exterior’s burnished, golden color was accented by the multihued leaves falling to the grounds as Hispanic workers painted a stone carving in the front yard.

“We have invited a broad-cross section of people to this rededication ceremony,” Farrakhan explained. “We expect a diverse representation from all three branches of the Abrahamic Faith (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). I hope people will see the growth of the Nation not as abandonment but as moving us toward our place as truly universal people.”


The organizer of the historic Million Man March, which drew nearly two million black men to the nation’s capitol, also expressed deep-rooted sadness as the death of Mohammad, who once took great lengths to distance himself from Farrakhan. In 2000, marking the 70th anniversary of the NOI’s founding, the two held a public reconciliation.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former NOI member told this reporter, “We don’t know what anyone’s intentions and what the true impact will be on the masses, if any. If this happens then what the Minister is doing is exactly with the Imam attempted in ’75,” he said referring to Mohammad, who drew tens of thousands of people to his funeral.

“I think the Imam worked hard to reverse the image of the Black Muslim in America. With what’s going on with Obama, and how he’s changing the face of how we look at race, it’s probably the right move—politically and otherwise.”

In addition to unveiling his plans to open the doors of the NOI to all races, Farrakhan is expected to highlight renovations to its flagship mosque on Stony Island Ave. In February 1988, the mosque was rededicated and re-established as the National Centre of the Nation of Islam and renamed Mosque Maryam in honour of Mary, the mother of Jesus.


Elections not a good time to be an American Muslim

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Muslims are facing tough times fearful about growing suspicions of Islam amid false rumours that Democratic nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim and could have links to terrorists.

The Illinois senator, who on November 4 could become the first black American elected to the White House, is Christian. But as a son of a Kenyan father and American mother, he spent his childhood in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation.

"Not since the election of John Kennedy (a Catholic) in 1960 has the religious faith of a US presidential candidate generated so much distortion as the false claims generated by extremist critics that Senator Barack Obama, the candidate of the Democratic Party, is a stealth Muslim," said a joint petition by some 100 Islamic scholars.

"This is part of an islamophobic hate campaign that fuels prejudice against Americans who practice their Islamic faith and Muslims worldwide," the group who themselves "concerned scholars" stressed.

In September, a controversial DVD on Islam was circulated in Florida, adding fuel to the fire of the US election campaign.

The video, titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" and released more than a year ago by a group called Clarion Fund, showed images of young children reciting appeals for jihad mixed with archival footage of Hitler Youths.

Already stigmatized in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Muslim community of the United States feels it has been ostracized during the current election campaign.

"The problem is there has been so many smears against Islam and Muslims that the candidates are very reluctant now to engage with Muslims for fear of coming under attack by their opponents," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights advocacy group.

"That's a very disturbing situation."

In June, Obama presented his apologies to two women wearing Islamic scarves who wanted to have their picture taken with the Democratic candidate but were hustled away by party activists.

And just a couple of weeks ago Republican nominee John McCain was forced to step in at a rally when a member of the audience suggested Obama was an Arab. McCain scoffed at the suggestion and referred to his opponent as the father of a "decent family."

"Fortunately, we have courageous individuals like Colin Powell who came up against that kind of thinking," said Hooper.

But "we are hoping that public officials and public leaders in our society would take up this call to reject islamophobia," he said. "We are still waiting for it to happen."

Powell, a Republican who was a member of the administration of President George W. Bush, came out recently in support of Obama's candidacy and also rejected islamophobic attacks.

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" Powell asked rhetorically. "The answer's no. Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated (with) terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America."

But the prejudices remain strong. A president of a Republican club in New Mexico, Macia Stirman, was forced to resign recently after declaring that she could not understand why people wanted to put a Muslim to the White House.

Such charges appear to have an effect at least on a small portion of the electorate.

A survey by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press released on October 19 showed that when asked about Obama's religious beliefs, a small but consistent minority of voters, 12 percent, continue to say that the Democratic nominee is a Muslim.

This percentage has changed little since September, when 13 percent said that about Obama, the survey showed. Hosted by Google Copyright © 2008 AFP. All righ



Theologians Explore Further Possibilities for Interfaith Dialogue with Islam

28 Oct 2008

GENEVA, 28 October 2008 (LWI) - A group of 50 theologians from a broad range of Christian traditions and scholars in Christian-Muslim relations met in Chavannes-de-Bogis near Geneva, to deliberate Christian self-understanding in relation to Islam and Christian-Muslim relations today. The 18-20 October consultation was a joint initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World

Communions (including the Lutheran World Federation) and the World Evangelical Alliance.

Trinitarian reflections were prominent throughout the consultation, with some of them focusing specifically on the implications of incarnation and the work of the Spirit. Papers on various Christian approaches to Islam were presented - Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican and Evangelical. Contextual experiences were shared through two panel discussions- Christians living in majority Muslim contexts, and Christian-Muslim relations in plural contexts. This allowed participants to connect theological reflection and lived experiences from their diverse contexts.

In his keynote address, Catholicos Aram I, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Cilicia), stressed, "I believe that for both Christians and Muslims, living-in-community must become the real objective of their dialogue." Against the Middle East background, he argued, "These two monotheistic faiths are not monolithic. Therefore, generalizations must be avoided; contextualization is the right way of assessing and organizing Christian-Muslim dialogue and relations."

Moderating the consultation's opening session, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko said the "conference is part of the new era of Muslim-Christian relations responding to initiatives like 'A Common Word'. It is important for us as secretaries of Christian world communions to work together with specialists in inter-religious dialogue." LWF President Bishop Mark S. Hanson was among Christian leaders who responded to the October 2007 letter "A Common Word between You and Us" written by 138 Muslim scholars to Christian leaders around the world.


Relational Dimensions

In her presentation, Rev. Simone Sinn, theological associate in the LWF Department for Theology and Studies, highlighted the relational dimension of Christian faith. Referring to a basic insight of Martin Luther, she pointed out that justification was not a substance or quality that Christians own, but a living relationship between God and the human being. "Christian-Muslim encounters have a rich potential not only for deepening our relations to one another, but also in deepening our understanding of God’s relation to us. Important theological and spiritual formation takes place in these encounters."

Reflecting on Christian-Muslim dialogue in his context and beyond, Rev. Dr Oddbjorn Leirvik, who teaches inter-religious studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway, stressed the importance of the "humanization of theological ethics." He cited Swiss Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan's call for a moratorium on the death penalty and corporal punishments as an example from a prominent European Muslim leader. He cited initiatives of the Contact Group between the Church of Norway and the Islamic Council in Norway, as a forum through which concern for the 'vulnerable other' had gradually become a shared religious commitment. The group's joint engagement includes the formulation of a joint declaration on an individual's inviolable right to adopt a religion of one's choice; addressing family violence and gender relations; and starting a dialogue about the highly controversial question of homosexuality.

Participants said they recognized dialogue as an aspect of spirituality, and acknowledged the virtue of patient listening in Christian-Muslim dialogue. They stressed the need for sensitivity when referring to key religious terms such as mission, witness and conversion. Identified as equally important was the diversity and wealth of attitudes among Christians and the need to pay attention to questions raised by people from different places, circumstances and generations, especially the youth. Christian-Muslim collaboration was recommended on issues such as social and economic justice, climate change, peace and healing of memories.

"This consultation demonstrated some of the distinctive possibilities of approaching interfaith questions with the resources of broad ecumenical collaboration," said Dr Kathryn Johnson, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs. "The range of Christian positions at the conference was very large-but at every point where there might have been an ‘either/or’ division into camps of opinion, the participants instead sought ways to balance complex realities," she said.

Johnson said the intense informal conversations between distinguished scholars of Islam and eminent church leaders at meal times expressed the need for more opportunities where both groups could share their experiences. "I hope that the WCC and the Christian world communions, including Evangelicals and Pentecostals, will find ways to continue this sort of collaboration," she concluded. (762 words)

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 141 member churches in 79 countries all over the world, with a total membership of over 68.3 million. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the LWF's information service. Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

LUTHERAN WORLD INFORMATION, P. O. Box 2100 CH-1211, Geneva 2 Switzerland Tel.: +41/22-791 63 69  Fax: +41/22-791 66 30



17-year-old Pak girl's 'honour killing' prompts outcry

28 Oct 2008

KARACHI: A Pakistani man says his 17-year-old daughter was mauled by dogs and shot to death in front of him over a land dispute disguised as a so-called ``honour killing.''

Female senators staged a walkout from the federal parliament Monday to press for action on better protections for women after a national newspaper published details of Tasleem Solangi's death.

``How long will women be buried alive and made to face hungry dogs? Women are not given their rights,'' opposition lawmaker Semi Siddiqui said.

Ibrahim Solangi, 28, has been in custody ever since Taslim's death in March and is awaiting trial on murder charges, said Pir Mohammad Shah, the police chief of the Khairpur Mirs district in southern Pakistan. Taslim's husband was also her first cousin.

Human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed by male relatives every year in Pakistan for alleged infidelity or other perceived slights to the family name, and activists say many more cases go unreported.

In August, a Pakistani lawmaker drew fierce criticism after describing a case in which five women were allegedly buried alive for trying to choose their husbands as the product of ``centuries-old traditions'' that he would defend.

As in that case, the allegations surrounding the death of Tasleem Solangi remain unproven.

Speaking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, Taslim's father said he was locked up in his home and forced to watch from a window as dogs chased her and then mauled her when she fell down exhausted. She then was shot, he said.

Gulsher Solangi said the killing was the culmination of a land dispute. He said his nephew had beaten Taslim throughout the five months of their marriage to pressure him to hand over his small farm.

Faced with more threats, Gulsher Solangi said he had fled with his wife and another daughter and abandoned his home.

Zameer Hussain Solangi, the girl's father-in-law, claimed Monday that his son confessed to the killing under police torture and that the allegation regarding the dogs was ``baseless.''

He said a tribal council later declared the dead woman an adulterer and compensated the husband with her jewelry.

The girl's father claimed that the tribal council, chaired by a local chieftain, declared his daughter an adulterer in May to mask the land-grab and the involvement of others.

Shah, the police chief, said he knew nothing of the alleged land-grab or the dogs and promised to investigate further.

Pakistan's government, now led by the liberal party of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has vowed to improve women's rights in Pakistan. Former President Pervez Musharraf made similar moves, notably watering down rape laws that had made it hard for victims to prove their case, despite opposition from hardline Islamic groups.



Al Qaeda media man vows to wage "jihad by pen"

Tue Oct 28, 2008

By Jane Sutton

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's alleged former media director wrote letters from Guantanamo acknowledging he typed the wills of two September 11 hijackers and pledging to continue "jihad by word and pen," according to evidence in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on Tuesday.

Yemeni captive Ali Hamza al Bahlul is on trial at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba, where a jury of nine U.S. military officers will have to decide whether creating propaganda is a war crime.

Prosecutors allege Bahlul was Osama bin Laden's media secretary and part of the al Qaeda leader's trusted inner circle. They accused him of scripting the videotaped wills of September 11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Ziad al Jarrah, who were his roommates in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1999.

Bahlul acknowledges in a 2005 letter to another Guantanamo captive that he arranged for the two hijackers to pledge loyalty to bin Laden, typed their wills on a computer and personally delivered them to the al Qaeda leader. He called them "courageous heroes."

Prosecutors introduced into evidence four letters Bahlul wrote to accused September 11 plotters and fellow Guantanamo detainees Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom he addressed as "my dear mentor."

In florid language, Bahlul predicts the death of democracy professes continued loyalty to bin Laden and refers to the U.S. president as "the idiot Bush." He says that if he and his fellow captives are killed, their blood will nurture upcoming generations and Allah will deliver victory over America "and its Jewish hypocrite master."

"So blood, blood, destruction, destruction and let's revenge for the Muslim," he writes in one.

"If I were incapable of jihad with my hands, soul or money, only jihad by word and pen is left," he writes in another.

Journalists were given English translations of the letters, which were written in Arabic and never delivered. Frequently used by al Qaeda itself, counter-terrorism specialists and the media to denote "holy war" against the West, the word jihad signifies for most Muslims a spiritual struggle.


Bahlul is not accused of direct involvement in any attacks but prosecutors say his work helped make al Qaeda's attacks possible.

He is charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to commit murderous attacks, soliciting to commit murder and providing material support for terrorism. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Bahlul is accused of creating al Qaeda recruiting materials, including a video glorifying the 2000 attack in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors on the warship USS Cole.

The prosecutor, Army Maj. Dan Cowhig, said in his opening statements that the video was shown at weapons training camps in Afghanistan to recruit new al Qaeda operatives and overcome their reluctance to commit suicide attacks by portraying the Cole bombers as martyrs for a righteous cause.

"The primary role of the accused was to grow the organization," Cowhig said.

The video was spliced together from television network images and is part of a longer video Bahlul made about the state of the Islamic world.

His military lawyer, Air Force Maj. David Frakt, is honouring Bahlul's request to present no defence and has been silent in the courtroom. Bahlul was refused permission to act as his own attorney and is refusing to participate in the trial because he does not feel the tribunal is legitimate.

He sat at the defence table in his tan prison jumpsuit, seeming rapt as the prosecutor read from his writings.

Outside the courtroom, Frakt told journalists, "Writing someone's will is not a war crime. If so, there'd be a lot of lawyers on the hook."

Bahlul's is only the second full trial in the Guantanamo court, which has been widely criticized because it allows hearsay evidence and evidence obtained through coercion, including methods many consider torture.

About 255 suspected members of al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated groups are now being kept at Guantanamo. A total of over 750 foreigners suspected of terrorism have been held without trial at the base in the seven years since President George W. Bush began a war against terrorism. (Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© Thomson Reuters 2008.



Somali youth was killed 'in row over alcohol and Islam'

A gang of five men beat a Somali teenager to death because of a row over Muslims drinking alcohol, a court heard today.

Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim, 17, was repeatedly hit across the head with a samurai sword, baseball bat, machete and metal pole after being chased in Sefton Park, Liverpool, in March this year.

The teenager became embroiled in the fight after accompanying his cousin, Ahmed Mahamoud Ahmed, 16, to a "straightener" – a one-on-one fight – with the alleged killer Ali Mohammed, 19.

Liverpool crown court heard how Mohammed is believed to have accused Ahmed of breaking Muslim rules by drinking alcohol and held him down while a friend hit his head with a bat.

The 16-year-old boy was chased home where his mother's car windows were smashed, said Tim Holroyde QC, prosecuting.

The next day, Ahmed was lured to the fight - where Mohammed, his two brothers Khadar, 23, Essa, 22, and two cousins lay in wait, it was claimed.

During this attack, part-time student Ibrahim of Ritson Street, Toxeth, was killed and another cousin Abdhullah Mohammed Ahmed, 17, was severely injured and lost a finger.

"One of the defendants was heard to shout 'He's still alive'," Holroyde said.

"All five defendants then joined in a continued attack with weapons on the deceased as he lay, obviously helpless, on the ground.

"The deceased was left lying in the road with obvious and severe injuries to his head which were bleeding profusely.

"A passing motorist stopped to assist, an ambulance was called and the deceased was taken to hospital, but nothing could be done to save his life and he died about two hours later, at 1.20am."

A pathologist confirmed that there was "extensive fracturing of the skull… and other damage to the brain within the skull".

The three brothers from Toxteth deny murder. As do their cousins Ibrahim Ahmed, 23, of, Toxteth and Ahmed Kayse Ahmed, 30, of Greenwich, London.

The three brothers deny wounding with intent - relating to the attack on Abdullah Mohammed Ahmed. All five also deny violent disorder the night before the murder.

The murder weapons were found hours after the killing in a bin bag outside a house Khadar Mohammed used, the seven men and five women of the jury heard.

The metal pipe was stained with the dead boy's blood and hair, said Holroyde, and his blood was on the sword handle and baseball bat.

The prosecutor told the jury that when the defendants were arrested, the victim's blood was found on clothing belonging to the three brothers and Ahmed Kayse Ahmed.

The trial is scheduled to last six weeks.



WASHINGTON: Foreign Group Again Linked to Anti-Muslim DVD Campaign, says CAIR

WASHINGTON, Oct 28, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today renewed its call for Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigations of an apparent attempt by a foreign-based group to influence the presidential election.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said another media report has linked the Israel-based group Aish HaTorah to the distribution of millions of anti-Muslim DVDs to voters in presidential election swing states and to key opinion leaders nationwide.

An article in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch described an interfaith response to an effort led by an anti-Islam pastor to send the DVD "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" to hundreds of thousands of Christian and Jewish clergy nationwide.

The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, Fla., refused to say who paid for the massive mailing, but admitted that the donor "had been in touch with officials from Aish HaTorah." Dozier also said, "I do believe that the religion of a very dangerous and evil cult." ("Obsession" interviewees include those who have said "Islam is the devil" and who claim no "practicing Muslim" can be a "loyal citizen to the United States of America.")

SEE: Interfaith Partnership Rallies behind Muslims Anxious about DVD (Post-Dispatch)

An earlier article in the St. Petersburg Times revealed ties between the film's distributor, the Clarion Fund, and Aish HaTorah. The newspaper's investigative report stated: "Clarion's address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah International are also connected to a group called HonestReporting, which produced Obsession. HonestAReporting's 2006 tax return uses the same address."

SEE: Senders of Islam Movie 'Obsession' Tied to Jewish Charity

SEE ALSO: Israel-Based Group behind Distribution of Anti-Muslim DVD (CNN Video)

A columnist for The Atlantic wrote that Aish HaTorah "operatives flourish in the radical belt of Jewish settlements just south of Nablus, in the northern West Bank."

SEE: The Jewish Extremists behind "Obsession"

CAIR has also learned that the "Obsession" DVD is being distributed to local public officials "throughout the country" by the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC). An EPPC letter accompanying the DVD tells the officials to "get informed...before it's too late."

Based on these revelations and on the DVD distributor's apparent attempt to use its non-profit status to impact the presidential election in favor of a particular candidate, CAIR filed complaints with both the FEC and IRS.

CAIR also noted that even those who once backed "Obsession" are withdrawing their support for the film that many commentators have called anti-Muslim "propaganda." For example, the pro-Israel think tank the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) pulled out of "The Obsession Project."

Howard Gordon, the executive producer of Fox's drama "24," withdrew his endorsement of the film because "the goal of co-existence and tolerance is not being served by films like Obsession."

Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, a Muslim interviewee for "Obsession," now calls the production a "vile piece of propaganda." In a statement sent to the website, Dr. Mohammed said: "Sadly, it would seem that I have allowed myself to be used."

The "Obsession with Hate" site was launched recently by the Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition (HHA), a group of religious and civic organizations seeking to challenge hate speech in our society.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved End of Story,



Turkey, Pakistan vow to fight terrorism

ANKARA (AFP) The prime ministers of Turkey and Pakistan on Tuesday pledged to strengthen their traditionally warm ties and underlined their commitment to fighting terrorism, the Anatolia news agency reported.

"We have no problems when it comes to the military, economic or cultural fields... We have a common will and determination to further advance our bilateral ties," Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey told a joint news conference with his visiting counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The Turkish leader said they had agreed to rapidly increase their bilateral trade volume to one billion dollars and recalled that Turkey had submitted a bid in a Pakistani tender to modernize the country's F-16 fighter jet fleet.

The two sides are also working on a defence agreement, Erdogan said without providing details.

Gilani, for his part, underlined both countries' determination to fight terrorism and said that his country was working with Afghanistan to resolve tensions over violence by Taliban militants over their porous border.

In April 2007, Ankara hosted fence-mending talks between then Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, in which the two leaders agreed to step up joint efforts against terrorism and boost confidence-building.

A second summit is being planned, but no firm date has yet been set, Erdogan said.

"We have sent alternative dates to the parties. We are expecting their response," he said.

Gilani, who arrived late Monday on a five-day visit, was scheduled to meet President Abdullah Gul and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan later in the day.

The Pakistani leader was also to attend a state ceremony Wednesday to mark Turkey's Republic Day, October 29, before travelling on to Istanbul for an international conference organised by the World Economic Forum.

Turkey has had traditionally warm ties with Pakistan since the South Asian nation's independence more than 60 years ago, with the countries often running cultural exchange programmes.



Jihad and the Relativist Enemy within America

October 28, 2008

Jeffrey Imm

In Washington D.C., when you go to the main city subway station (Metro Centre), you will be surrounded by numerous advertisements showing images of Washington D.C. destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. The source of these images is the same source as images promoted on Jihadist web sites in May 2008. On May 29, 2008, the Daily Mail and other media reported that "SITE also released a computer-generated image, showing Washington D.C. in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, which reportedly appeared on an Islamist forum."

In both the D.C. subway advertisements and the Jihadist web sites, the images come from a "game" being promoted by the D.C.-area based Bethesda Softworks entitled "Fallout 3." Bethesda Softworks is located in Rockville, Maryland, a mere 18 miles from the White House in Washington, D.C. Bethesda Softworks' new software "game" Fallout 3 portrays "the Capitol Wasteland in and around Washington, DC," which the government-funded Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has agreed to advertise in the DC subway system used by over 800,000 government workers and individuals every day. This is the same "game" that Jihadists have obtained an image from to post on their websites of a destroyed, crushed America.  (Note: while the D.C.'s Metro Centre ads are not the exact same Fallout 3 image referenced in reports about Jihad websites, they are very similar Fallout 3 images of a destroyed Capitol building and other D.C. landmarks.  The Fallout 3 image of the destroyed Capitol building on Jihad websites is promoted as free "computer wallpaper" on the Bethesda Softworks website.)

Jihadists don't have to go to their websites to see their dream images of a destroyed Washington D.C., Bethesda Softworks will sell them a game with loops of such images to inspire them. Or Jihadists only need to visit the Washington D.C. subway for such "inspirational" images. At a minimum, one would think that such horrific images assaulting national capital subway riders would at least have been viewed as in poor taste and judgment, even without knowledge of the promotion of "Fallout 3" images on Jihadist web sites. But such common sense, like our values, is now "relative." This disgusting spectacle in the D.C. subway system is just the latest warning flag of out-of-control relativism among some of our public and our leaders.

Such "relativism" is the real problem. Relativism takes nothing seriously, no enemy, no threats, no ideology, no values. After all, any such threat, any such enemy is merely "relative." There is no end to those reports that will earnestly claim that our threat of an automobile accident is greater than a Jihadist terrorist attack, which ends up in the logical pretzel that our efforts at preventing Jihad are an unnecessary overreaction. Nor is there any end to those questioning why we are "demonizing" Islamic supremacist groups like the Taliban.

The growing problem of relativism is that some American companies, some American leaders, and a portion of the American people don't care about the threats to our nation (or find such threats morbidly entertaining or amusing), don't care about the Jihadist enemy, don't care about our values, and aren't willing to defend those values. Ideological relativism in America, the world's bulwark of equality and liberty, is nothing less than national suicide.

Americans must confront the challenge we face of the growing shrug-shoulder relativism towards the survival of America and defence of its values. But is relativism even on the radar as a threat to America? This is the problem with the failure of American governmental leaders to identify an ideological enemy such as Islamic supremacism itself. In the absence of a defined ideological threat to America's natural values of equality and liberty, a pervasive moral and ideological relativism is growing in the American mainstream media, academia, and parts of the U.S. government and military.

"American Relativism" – Liberty without Awareness

The essential argument by American moral and political relativists comes down to the question "who are we to say that our beliefs in equality and liberty are correct compared to other values?"

Such "American relativism" has played an important part in ideological challenges in our history. Such relativism was seen in the efforts by Charles Lindbergh and his non-interventionist "America First Committee" that the real threat was not Adolf Hitler's Nazis, but his claims that it was the Jewish people and the media that were "pressing this country toward war." Regarding calls to confront the Nazis, Charles Lindbergh said in 1939 that "[t]olerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength." "American relativism" was also been seen in the efforts by Alabama governor George Wallace who called for defence of white supremacist segregation laws. Who were the American people to criticize white supremacism?

In today's America, we now have those who call for relativism regarding the ideology of Islamic supremacy and those organizations supporting Islamic supremacism. Such relativists ask: who are we to challenge other ideas and values? They ask: why should Americans confront such an ideology, instead of engaging with it? After all, as Charles Lindbergh urged in 1939 regarding the Nazis, such "tolerance is a virtue." Senior government officials encourage "reconciliation" negotiations with the Islamic supremacist Taliban. Others seek to work with Islamic supremacists in Pakistan to promote "free and fair elections." Leaders in counterterrorism and foreign policy call for engagement with the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood. America's mainstream media regularly gives high profile interviews to individuals with groups (such as CAIR and MPAC) associated with Islamic supremacism without providing context as to who they are.

But at the root problem of American relativism, we can find that relativists have a fundamental personal and national identity-crisis. Such relativists don't understand what it means to be an American. "American relativists" have lost their awareness that their democratic rights are dependent on upholding the natural human rights of equality and liberty.

Moreover, such "American relativists" don't understand America's Declaration of Independence that states that: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

America's founding fathers didn't claim equality and liberty as exclusively "American" rights or values. They asserted that equality and liberty are natural, "inalienable" rights of humanity. In the original version of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that these were "inherent inalienable rights," which provided more emphasis on the natural nature of these rights. As Thomas Jefferson also stated in 1774, "A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate."

In fact, the phrase " American relativist" is itself an oxymoron. Such relativism is simply un-American. Americans have liberties that are dependent on human natural rights of equality and liberty that they must defend for their democratic survival. But relativists don't recognize any such "natural rights" of humanity. They view moral and political values inimical to the natural rights of equality and liberty as relatively equal for other cultures. Relativists view those ideologies that fear and hate equality and liberty as merely "cultural diversities" in other nations. In doing so, influential relativists in America undermine both their own freedom and jeopardize the ability to extend such freedoms to other parts of the world. Such American relativists' identity-crisis is a crisis for free people around the world.  This identity-crisis is so deep and complete that relativists use their freedom (which they would not have in other parts of the world) to rationalize and legitimize anti-freedom ideologies that seek to destroy such freedom of thought, as well as speech, press, and choice.

Relativists and Jihad

We have seen the increasing influence of relativism in both the debate over the word "jihad" in America, and regarding Jihadist groups around the world. Without a defined enemy or acknowledgement of the ideological basis of Jihad in Islamic supremacism, relativists focus on a tactical discussion of jihad both in terms of lexicon and engagement.

Prior to the recent U.S. CENTCOM contractor and civilian red team report challenging efforts to ban the use of "jihad," we have seen efforts by the DHS, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the State Department, and others to end the use of "jihad" when discussing Islamic supremacist terrorism. Moreover, we have seen in recent comments by counterterror analysts arguing that some Jihadist groups can be negotiated with (or leveraged) based on a "jihadist revolt against Bin Laden" and that "jihadists can turn against Al-Qaeda in a meaningful way." From a relativist perspective, "engagement" with some Jihadist groups against other Jihadist groups offers a tactical value in "regionalized" areas of warfare. Even in the "war of ideas," James K. Glassman, the U.S. undersecretary of state for public diplomacy tells the Washington Times how he is using the Al-Qaeda renunciations by Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif (aka Dr. Fadl) in a fight against "extremists," when Al-Sharif continues to call for jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel, including the statement by Al-Sharif that "Jihad in Afghanistan will lead to the creation of an Islamic state with the triumph of the Taliban, God willing."

If there is no defined ideological threat, and political/moral relativism permits our leaders to refuse to acknowledge the ideological threat of Islamic supremacism, then we end up with those arguing that America could negotiate with some Jihadists against other Jihadists in "regionalized" areas of battle that they believe have no connection with each other. While they congratulate themselves on their "realistic" attitudes, in fact such amoral tactics legitimizing those who hate equality and liberty are nothing less than un-American, just as relativism itself is.

Ideological Relativism

The naive ideological relativists represent a national security threat by blindly offering legitimacy to Islamic supremacist groups through calls to "engage" with them, through calls for political "reconciliation" with them in theaters of battle, and through denial of the threat of their supremacist ideology. However, from an American perspective, relativism regarding an activist, transnational ideology such as Islamic supremacism (that is against equality and liberty) is against American national security interests.

Relativist counterterror and foreign policy analysts call for American engagement with Islamic supremacism, engagement with the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, and consideration of negotiations with the Islamic supremacist terrorist groups of Hamas and Hezbollah. The simple and factual American response to such calls should be "that would be un-American." It is un-American to legitimize and support supremacist groups, including but not limited to Islamic supremacism, for the simple fact that supremacists (by definition) are against equality. Equality is a bedrock natural right that defines American freedoms. Relativists defend their positions based on self-denial and self-deception of what American freedom represents. Relativists think that being "open minded" to those against equality and liberty is a freedom. But such relativist "tolerance" for those against equality and liberty undermines freedom.

Relativist military and foreign policy leaders call for Americans to support "political reconciliation" with Islamic supremacist groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Once again, the appropriate American response should be "that would be un-American." Perhaps such military leaders have forgotten the priority of their mission in fighting to defend the natural rights of equality and liberty. Relativism by our military leaders in the face of a transnational Islamic supremacist enemy is a very serious national security issue for our nation. But it is precisely such relativism in American military and foreign policy leadership that sees no problem with negotiating with the Islamic supremacist Taliban, or with "tolerance" of Islamic supremacism in our so-called military allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

The most insidious threat of ideological relativism is found in the denial of the existence of Islamic supremacism itself in parts of the American government and throughout much of the American mainstream media and academia. Through an informed democracy, Americans could replace government leaders, policy advisers, and military leaders who hold a relativist view on Islamic supremacism. But while our nation's values are disgraced by relativist nonsense from such leaders, our media and academia force feed the American public with a steady stream of propaganda of denial on Islamic supremacism, keeping the American public in a full nelson grip to keep them from fighting back in the war of ideas. Those who challenge Islamic supremacism are attacked as "Islamophobes," while CNN, AP, and others promote members of organizations with links to Islamic supremacism as "representative" of grass-roots Muslim opinion.

Such relativists are the "useful idiots" that Islamic supremacist leaders and organizations manipulate as part of their efforts to influence and infiltrate the American government. They have manipulated members of the American legislature, executive branch, judiciary, and our military, law enforcement, and counterterrorism communities. The passkey in every case has been the cancer of relativism. Without defenders of the values of equality and liberty in charge of America, our democratic nation is a wide open target for those who seek to subvert our government, our laws, our media, and our values.

Relativist "Democracy"

In addition to the destructive problem of ideological relativists, America faces the problem of governmental leaders who seek "relativist democracy." Those who promote "relativist democracy" view any group that has the right to "vote" on an issue is automatically a "democracy," and is therefore a good thing for the world. They ignore the 1932 and 1933 elections in Germany that gave Hitler's National Socialists the ability to ultimately negotiate a majority combined with the German Nationalists. They ignore the election by the terrorist group Hamas by Palestinians. "Relativist democracies" that do not respect the natural rights of equality and liberty are not democracies at all, but merely organized mob societies hiding behind the name "democracy" to promote ideologies based on hate and fear.

Government leaders who support efforts to develop "relativist democracies" claim that those who support equality and liberty need to "understand" that all democracies don't look the same. It is not whether or not all democracies look the same; it is whether they share a commitment towards the natural rights of equality and liberty. While that commitment may be uneven and incomplete, as with the United States itself before the Civil War, the commitment to such natural rights must be there for the existence of a meaningful "democracy." Tacticians labeling people voting as a "democracy" does not make them a "democratic nation." A wild-eyed, hate-filled mob voting to lynch someone doesn't make them "democratic organization." They are still nothing more than a mob. But the relativists would have us ignore the importance of equality and liberty in democracy to legitimize those Islamic supremacists who have a commitment to hatred and inequality.

Therefore, in the investment by American tax dollars in developing "democracies" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, the relativists consciously ignore and fail to address Islamic supremacist influences in the governments, politics, and people of these nations. A few months after then Pakistan President Musharraf called for the Islamic supremacist Taliban to join the Afghanistan government as a "mainstreamed" political party, U.S. President Bush praised Musharraf as "somebody who believes in democracy." In October 2008, multiple U.S. military leaders have praised "reconciliation" efforts between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, while the "democratic" Islamic Republic of Afghanistan government has recently commuted a death sentence for a "blasphemer" to "only"20 years in prison for offending Islamic supremacists by questioning Islam's commitment to women's rights. Our other so-called "ally", the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, continues to poll with 75% of their people calling for implementation of "strict Sharia law," while the Taliban seeks to implement such Sharia law in Pakistan themselves. In Iraq, Islamic supremacist militias intended to watch for Al-Qaeda attacks have been used to watch the public to identify Islamic supremacist deemed infractions. Furthermore, our so-called allies in fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq make it clear their concern is more about foreign fighters rather than ideology.  A recent "convert" in Iraq against Al-Qaeda has stated that he "never feel[s] sorry" for his past support for the Islamic supremacist Al-Qaeda group.  So what ideological values can America expect of such "allies"?  The tactical efforts to promote "democracies" in these nations have not made it a priority to address either the natural rights of equality and liberty or the ongoing problem of Islamic supremacism.

In the glaringly obvious Islamic Republic of Pakistan, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson recently reiterated America's desire for "democracy" in Pakistan, while the "democratic" Pakistan Parliament is calling for negotiations with the Islamic supremacist Taliban. This is the same Ambassador Patterson who a year ago was meeting with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a long-time supporter of the Islamic supremacist Taliban, as part of her efforts in promoting "free and fair elections." Who are America's leaders kidding about Pakistan, the same nation whose government calls for an international death penalty for "blasphemy" against Islam? If relativist American leaders think U.S. influence and tax dollars are building a "democracy" in Pakistan, what do they believe the values of a democracy are?

The Sum of All Relativism

Relativists focus on materialism, "prosperity," "progress," and creature comforts. Such relativists play to the Islamic supremacist view of Americans as spineless fools who will do whatever you want them to do as long as they have their television, their jobs, their automobiles, and their creature comforts. Islamic supremacists see such relativists and believe that this is all that America is about. This is precisely why Osama Bin Laden thought that the 9/11 attacks would break America. Now, the recent financial crisis has Islamic supremacists excited once again due to their ongoing misconception of America's identity. Too many years of relativists in charge of our executive government, our legislature, and our military has convinced them that Bin Laden was right, and all that the Islamic supremacists need to do is be patient to see the ultimate destruction of their "Great Satan," America.

Without leadership that clearly defines the ideological threat of Islamic supremacism, such relativists are increasingly becoming the most visible voice of American leadership to the world. This includes leadership that would "engage" with Islamic supremacists, leadership that would seek "reconciliation" with Islamic supremacists, leadership that is not willing to defend the natural rights of equality and liberty that are fundamental to our identities as Americans. This includes American mainstream media that whitewashes Islamic supremacist groups as "victims." Such growing relativism is the exact opposite of what America needs in the long war against "Islamic supremacism." To Islamic supremacists, such relativists represent the surrender of America.

Let's come back to the initial example of the images of a Washington D.C. destroyed by a nuclear weapons plastered all over the Washington D.C. subway system -- by a government-funded transit authority.

A crushed Capitol dome doesn't mean anything to those who displayed this. It is just a picture, just a game. Just like the Capitol building itself and our nation's capital means nothing to them. Like life itself, everything is just a game.

The pathway of relativism is that America, its symbols of democracy, its symbols of freedom, its natural values of equality and liberty – mean nothing to the cancer of relativism in America. Relativism towards America's values goes from the decadence that such values aren't worth fighting over and ultimately leads to the nihilistic view that our very existence is not worth fighting over. Nihilism leads to a "burn, baby, burn" suicidal decadence towards our nation and what it represents. Public promotion of a destroyed Washington DC by our national capital's transit authority is yet another warning flag in the ideological, moral, and existential decay in our nation. It illustrates how un-American that relativism truly is. Islamic supremacists know this, of course, and they view "American relativists" as their allies in undermining America and the West.

The relativist path of least resistance, of "engagement," of "reconciliation," is the path of defeat and surrender. It is a direction that no American leader, no American patriot should tread, no matter how difficult and how long the war becomes. While "American relativists" may have the world's attention for now, it is our responsibility and our obligation as Americans to ensure that those who would defend equality and liberty return to power and leadership in our country.

We must never forget that the true sum of all relativism is cowardice. Relativism is all about fear.

It takes no courage to be a relativist that believes that any ideology, any set of values, no matter how corrupted, no matter how decadent, no matter how evil, can be acceptable. It takes no courage to believe in no absolutes of right or wrong. It takes no courage to fear fighting those who oppose equality and liberty.

That is why patriotic Americans will ultimately defeat the relativists, even if the Jihadist dreams of a destroyed Washington D.C. someday come true.

America is more than our capital, more than a city, more than individual souls. America is an idea that no Jihadist attack, no weapon of mass destruction can ever destroy.  America is and always will be – morally, ideologically, and individually – the "home of the brave."

Fear No Evil.

[Postscript - see also Sources documents for additional reading and background information.] Contributing Editor Jeffrey Imm, formerly of the FBI, has his own counterterrorism research web site at and is a part of the Anti-Jihad League of America.



Eyes Wide Shut: A review of Andrew McCarthy's Wilful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad              

By Steven Emerson

Claremont Review of Books |October 28, 2008

September 11, 2001, will live in infamy, but February 26, 1993, should also cause Americans to shudder. On that day 15 years ago, Islamic militants tried to topple the World Trade Centre; six people in the building were killed, over a thousand injured. It was the first time the world network of Islamic terrorists had struck on American soil. Most Americans missed the message.

Andrew McCarthy's Wilful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad is a comprehensive, meticulous, and impassioned reminder of that message. As lead prosecutor in one of the most notorious terrorism cases in U.S. history, no one is better equipped than McCarthy to recount the details of the ensuing trial that condemned Islamist kingpin Omar Abdel Rahman to a lifetime in a supermax prison. Equal parts historian, storyteller, and prophet, McCarthy relates the case's background magnificently. He begins with a penetrating history of the jihad movement: its origins in the Afghan-Soviet war, the CIA's involvement in fostering an environment that in turn spawned al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, and the policy failures and institutional incompetence of our government, which eventually allowed a terrorist cell led by Rahman, the Egyptian "blind sheik," to conduct the recruitment, planning, and training for a major attack right here on our shores. More than shadowy plotting occurred within our borders. McCarthy recalls a 1998 speech by Osama bin Laden's mentor Abdullah Azzam, delivered not in Pakistan, but in Oklahoma City, where a crowd of American-based Muslims was instructed that "the jihad, the fighting, is obligatory on you whenever you can perform it. And just as when you are in America you must, too, must you wage jihad. The word jihad means fighting only, fighting with the sword." It was a conference in the same city, on Christmas Day, 1992, sponsored by the Muslim American Youth Association (MAYA), that sparked my own interest in tracking radical Islam. The conclave featured speakers like Khaled Meshaal, Hamas's supreme leader. Speeches were punctuated by frenzied shouts of "kill the Jews" and "destroy the West." Books like How to Kill the Infidel were sold.

These events exposed a violent domestic strain of Islam whose menace was completely underestimated by federal authorities at the time-and, unfortunately, all too often still. Wilful Blindness levels a stinging critique not only of the self-defeating relationship between America's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but of our inability to rethink a counterterrorism policy that relied on the legal system rather than on more aggressive and effective military techniques. "In the war against radical Islam," writes McCarthy, "the great calling of our generation, what was true when the enemy declared war fifteen years ago remains true today. If we are too obsessed with law, and liability, we are shrinking from our highest duty: to protect our lives." In his recent writings for National Review and other journals, he argues that history will deplore the Supreme Court's decision in June 2008 to grant constitutional rights to illegal enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo. Justice Scalia wrote in his dissent that the ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." "The nation," he declared, "will live to regret what the Court has done today."

In quiet times Americans are liable to become their own worst enemies; we lower our guard. Al-Qaeda's failure to strike our homeland during the last seven years suggests that our policies are working. Why, then, are policymakers, legislators, and Supreme Court Justices scaling back many of the safeguards now in place? McCarthy explains the dire consequences of the impatience, political expediency, and the narrow-minded partisanship that so often greet the Bush Administration's counterterrorism policies.

Nor does he neglect the dangerous chorus of professional grievance-mongers, often directed by home-grown Islamists tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which feeds the American public a steady diet of propaganda by means of a complaisant media. These groups argue that "Islamophobia," not radical Islam, is the problem. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which claims to be a civil rights and "advocacy" group but was in fact founded in 1994 by operatives linked to Hamas, works to silence those who stand up to Islamic fanaticism by tarring its opponents as bigots and racists.

For all these reasons Wilful Blindness could not appear at a more important time. America owes McCarthy a debt for his work first as a brilliant prosecutor, and now as an accomplished author. During the investigation into the 1993 attack, he reports, federal agents discovered on the computer of Nidal Ayyad, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian plotter, the following statement:

    Unfortunately, our calculations were not very accurate this time. However, we promise you that next time it will be very precise and World Trade Centre will continue to be one [of] our targets unless our demands have been met.

The lapse of eight years between attacks in New York never meant the war was over. Andrew McCarthy, along with a team of dedicated prosecutors, locked up as many of the terrorists as he could and sounded the tocsin that radical Islam was not done with the U.S. or its largest city. By the time we got the message, however, it was too late. Readers of Willful Blindness will know how crucial it is to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

Steven Emerson is the author of Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US.