Friday, 30 May 2008

BRITISH POLICE CHIEF CALLS FOR TALKS WITH AL-QAEDA

Time to talk to al-Qaida, senior police chief urges

Britain should negotiate with leaders of al-Qaida as part of a new strategy to
end its violent campaign, one of the country's most senior police officers has
said.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern
Ireland, said the experiences of his force tackling the IRA had convinced him
that policing alone - detecting plots and arresting people - would not defeat
al-Qaida inspired terrorism.

Orde, the frontrunner to be the next commissioner of the Metropolitan police,
said he could not think of a single terrorism campaign in history that ended
without negotiation.

Asked whether Britain should attempt to talk to al-Qaida, he said: "If you want
my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking
and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.

"Is that a naive statement? I don't think it is ... It is the reality of what
we face.

"If somebody can show me any terrorism campaign where it has been policed out,
I'd be happy to read about it, because I can't think of one."

In the interview Orde gave his personal blueprint for policing in which he:

· Branded as "barking mad" the idea that people from the private sector could
be parachuted into senior policing roles;

· Called for the number of police forces to be slashed from 43 to nine to
better fight terrorism;

· Said police chiefs who took the media "personally" would be finished;

· Warned that the threat from dissident republicans in Ulster was at its
greatest in five years.

It is Orde's remarks on talking to al-Qaida that stand out.

In Ulster, more than 30 years of fighting terrorism by the British army and
Royal Ulster Constabulary could not bring an end to the violence.

A peace process brought an end to the Troubles, seeing life-long enemies such
as Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley talk to each other, and now Catholics and
Protestants serve in government together.

Orde said: "If you look at some of the biggest risks my people have taken it is
talking to people who historically they would not have dreamed of talking to.
Were we going to actually police our way out of the Troubles? No. Are we
actually going to police our way out of the current threat? No."

He added: "It means thinking the unthinkable."

Orde became the first head of the police force in Ulster to meet Gerry Adams,
the leader of Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA. He cited this as an
example of how one-time enemies can become partners in peace.

"Did I think in 1977 when I joined the Met ... I would end up talking to Gerry
Adams in 2004 - and bear in mind the campaign was in London? Absolutely
unthinkable."

Orde's comments are at odds with the stance of the British government and
senior counter terrorism officials who dismiss talk of negotiating with
al-Qaida.

Asked if he was saying "we should talk to al-Qaida", Orde replied: "Well that's
the logic of ... I don't think that's unthinkable, the question will be one of
timing."

He said there was a need to maintain tough law enforcement against the
terrorists and that would help bring them to the negotiating table.

He gave this assessment of why the IRA put down its weapons: "It got to a point
where those combatants realised ... certainly on the republican side, it wasn't
ever going to work. So there's a certain pragmatism in there. The question,
does Bin Laden see it that way, probably not. If you don't ask, you don't
know."

Orde also warned that dissident republicans opposed to peace were at their most
active for five years and posed a threat to his officers, who were now being
urged to check under their cars.

He said the peace process was at its "endgame", with control of policing about
to be handed to local politicians. Orde said: "A cornered animal lashes out,
and these people are cornered. They are not wanted by their community, they've
got nowhere to go."

On Tuesday terrorists attempted to fire-bomb a Belfast sports good store, but
failed. Orde said Irish terrorists still wanted to bomb the UK mainland, but
lacked the capability. They were still attempting to buy weapons but were
disorganised, "psychopathic" and probably numbering no more than 200 people.

Orde would not answer whether he wanted the job of Met police commissioner to
succeed Sir Ian Blair who is due to stand down by February 2010, but said the
role of being a chief constable was demanding. He said: "If you don't like the
heat, don't get in the kitchen," before adding: "I quite like cooking."

Orde said the constant criticism of Blair did not leave him ruling out being
commissioner: "I think that people that put themselves up, have sufficient
confidence in their ability and sufficient confidence in their vision for
policing, not to be too intimidated by the more ridiculous assertions of some
of the press. If you take the press personally, you're dead."

Orde is also in charge of choosing future police leaders and described as
"barking mad" the idea that people from business could be parachuted into the
force to be senior officers. "Do the public seriously want amateurs playing in
this world?"

NASRALLAH SPEAKS TO IRAQI RESISTANCE

Nasrullah to Iraqis: Now is your testing time

Monday, May 26, 2008
Arablinks

Hasan Nasrullah, following the swearing-in of the new
Lebanese president, congratulated Lebanese on the
agreements reached at Doha last week, reaffirmed the role
of Hizbullah as an armed group in defense of the nation,
and he also talked in his speech about armed resistance and
politics elsewhere in the region. Here is what he said on
the subject of Iraq:

To summarize very briefly about Iraq, where the American
occupation controls the land and its assets, they have been
playing in recent years the game of occupation and
democracy, and today we are starting to see what are the
aims of the American democracy in Iraq, and what are they?
To go back to the period right after the occupation, the
Iraqi people, who had been one entire people before that,
split into two parts, those that believe in the political
process, and those who believe in resistance, especially
armed resistance. We in Hizbullah naturally lean in favor
of the resistance, from the point of view of our beliefs
and our convictions, and from the point of view of our
political and real experience also. At a certain point they
provisionally supported the political process, but now they
have arrived at the difficult and decisive testing-point,
namely the stance vis-a-vis the treaties and agreements
that America wants to impose on Iraq and its people, and
America is demanding that the government and the parliament
sign them.

The aim of the American game of democracy now stands
exposed. They have opened up the case in front of everyone,
Islamists and nationalists, so that they now know who are
their friends, and who are their allies. They have shown
what the game is, setting up a "parliament" and deriving
from that an "elected government" so that everyone says
"parliament" and "elected government", and now the day
comes when they demand of this government and of this
parliament that they legalize the occupation, by agreements
that will give America sovereign authority over Iraq,
putting security, political decisions, oil, and all the
assets of Iraq at the disposal of the Americans--this is
the Americans, and this is where the believers in the
political process, whether Shiite Islamists, or Sunni
Islamists, or nationalists of any kind, will face their
test: You say you participated in the political process to
minimize damage; and you say you participated in the
political process to deter the occupation. But now comes
the test: Will you hand over Iraq to the Americans forever
and forever? Or will you take up the position that is
demanded of you by your religion and your Islam, and your
Arab nature and your morality, and your humanity?

Today in the name of all those that are assembled here, and
in the name of all free people in the Arab and Islamic
world, I call on all Iraqis, and all their religious and
political leaders, to take up the strong and historic
position and prevent the ultimate fall of Iraq into the
hands of the occupation. Like the Lebanese resistance, and
the Palestinian resistance also, the Iraqi resistance in
its many factions has been able to inflict loss after loss
on the American army, and now it is time to adopt the
strategy of liberation by resistance, just as the Lebanon
and Palestine have done. This strategy is the only means
available for the recovery of the wounded Iraq, wealthy and
strong in its people and its ummah.

Friday, 23 May 2008

CRITIQUE OF THE QUILLIAM FOUNDATION

Strangers in our Midst
Friday, 16 May 2008

Muhammad Nizami

Image It seems quite ridiculous that the Quilliam Foundation, an organisation calling for secularism, the westernisation of Islam, the end to notions such as Jihad, and extremely opposed to the notion of a global ummah and khilafah would have chosen the Shaykh’s name...



Abdullah Quilliam titled ‘Shaykh-ul-Islam of the British Isles’ by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, was a 19th century convert of English descent, and was also the Turkish Consul and Persian Vice- Consul to Liverpool by the Shah. A solicitor by trade, he had travelled across the Muslim world learning about Islam and striving to call people to the truth while seeking unity between the ummah. During the British Empire’s attempt to colonialise the entire Muslim world, Quilliam stood up in defence of Jihad, the Khilafah and opposition to Western colonialism, to the extent that he wrote (in a letter):

Know ye, O Muslims, that the British Government has decided to commence military and warlike operations against the Muslims of the Soudan, who have taken up arms to defend their country and their faith. And it is in contemplation to employ Muslim soldiers to fight against these Muslims of the Soudan. For any True Believer to take up arms and fight against another Muslim is contrary to the Shariat, and against the law of God and his holy prophet. I warn every True-Believer that if he gives the slightest assistance in this projected expedition against the Muslims of the Soudan, even to the extent of carrying a parcel, or giving a bite of bread to eat or a drink of water to any person taking part in the expedition against these Muslims that he thereby helps the Giaour against the Muslim, and his name will be unworthy to be continued upon the roll of the faithful.1

Additionally, he wrote on the ummah and khilafah,

Among Muslims none should be known as Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Ajem, Afghans, Indians or English. They are all Muslims, and verily the True-Believers are brethren. Islam is erected on the Unity of God, the unity of His religion, and the unity of the Muslims. History demonstrates that the True-Believers were never defeated while they remained united, but only when disunion crept into their ranks. At the present time, union is more than ever necessary among Muslims. The Christian powers are preparing a new crusade in order to shatter the Muslim powers, under the pretext that they desire to civilise the world.
This is nothing but hypocrisy, but armed as they are with the resources of Western civilisation it will be impossible to resist them unless the Muslims stand united in one solid phalanx.
O Muslims, do not be deceived by this hypocrisy. Unite yourselves as one man. Let us no longer be separated. The rendevous of Islam is under the shadow of the Khalifate. The Khebla of the True-Believer who desires happiness for himself and prosperity to Islam is the holy seat of the Khalifate. It is with the deepest regret that we see some persons seeking to disseminate disunion among Muslims by publications issued in Egypt, Paris and London. “Verily, they are in a manifest error.”
If their object – as they allege it – be the welfare of Islam, then let them reconsider their action and they will perceive that instead of bringing a blessing to Islam their actions will have a contrary effect, and only further disseminate disunion where it is – alas that it should be said – only too apparent. We fraternally invite these brethren to return their allegiance, and call them to the sacred name of Islam to re-unite with the Faithful.
Muslims all! Arsh is under the standard of the Khalifate. Let us unite there, one and all, and at once!2


Quite interestingly, his tract on the ummah and khilafah holds a certain resonance with contemporary Britain and through his writing, it is clearly evident that the sheikh-ul-Islam not only rejected sectarian nationalism, but also affirmed the unity of the ummah and allegiance to Muslims. Thus, it seems quite ridiculous that the Quilliam Foundation, an organisation calling for secularism, the westernisation of Islam, the end to notions such as Jihad, and extremely opposed to the notion of a global ummah and khilafah would have chosen the Shaykh’s name as the title of their foundation. The foundation was formed to ‘tackle extremism’, ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘radicalism’ in the Muslim community, and they have assumed that this goal can be achieved by claiming that Islam is non-political. In actuality, they are openly attempting to promote a form of Sufism, claiming that it is the ‘mainstream understanding’ of the deen. Members of the foundation frequently quote their notions of ‘mainstream Islam’ making extraordinary large claims about the way Islam is, and should be practised in the UK, while all the time maintaining a call for a radical secularist outlook.

I make no qualms about it, they disgust me. Not only because of their contrived views, which stem either from baseless opinions or constructed notions of Islamic law, but also due to the fact that every nuance from their mouths is steeped in ignorance (though they claim to have a mujhtahid amongst them!), while they foolishly manage to contradict themselves at every turn. The lack of true scholarship is clearly manifest in every argument they present, as well as the lack of Islam in their actions. However, the good news is that they have been exposed for all their depraved attempts (possibly unintentionally) to corrupt the deen of Allah the Most Sublime Preserver and those who believe in Him. The truth of the matter is that they are insignificant, with most of their pasts and intentions extremely questionable. But then again, ‘these are good times to be in the "moderate Muslim" business. If you press the right buttons on integration and "radicalisation" and hold your tongue on western foreign policy, there are rich pickings to be had - from both private and government coffers.3

Ed Hussain, an unknown individual until recently, when his book ‘The Islamist’ was published, is co-director (along with Majid Nawaz) of this fraudulent front for the government. Many individuals who went to college with him question the events he relates in his novel (though more styled like a biography). Even if the contents are true, his period in Hizb ut Tahrir (HuT) didn’t last very long and sounded more like a ‘phase’ he went through while a teenager. As a result, he has become an ‘Islamaphobic Muslim’ who has in public criticised the Shari’ah, ‘I don't want Camilla's (Ed’s daughter) generation to suffer the indignities of scripturally justified attitudes of domestic violence, or her testimony to be worth half that of a Muslim man in court, or her legal inheritance in a Muslim country to be one-third of a man's.4 Additionally, he mocks the Qur’an, ‘Just as in Leviticus we find references to stoning sinners, in Muslim scripture there are some unpalatable references5. Ed, as he likes to call himself (shortened from Mohammed), has made it his mission to denounce every aspect of Islam that does not fall in accordance with governmental agenda’s and is not ‘palatable’ for non-Muslims, forgetting the fact that they’re non-Muslims for exactly that reason: they don’t agree with fundamental aspects of Islam!

Quotation Ed, as he likes to call himself (shortened from Mohammed), has made it his mission to denounce every aspect of Islam that does not fall in accordance with governmental agenda’s and is not ‘palatable’ for non-Muslims, forgetting the fact that they’re non-Muslims for exactly that reason: they don’t agree with fundamental aspects of Islam! Quotation


However, Ed is not the only shameful facet within the foundation of deceit; Majid has also been caught being up to no good indulging in abysmal unIslamic activities. Not exactly the best way to encourage people away from extremism now is it? The irony is that the pictures informing of such conduct were not displayed by his critics, but by himself, on Facebook! This is the workings of an individual who claims to be ‘specialised in the Arabic language’, ‘Islamic jurisprudence’ as well as ‘Hadith historiography’. Apparently it seems that his studies led him to the following comments in his talk on the City Circle Forum, 'Islamism is an ideology that believes sovereignty belongs to God, that legislation belongs to God...Those notions are alien to Islam’ and ‘I don’t think that in the realm of politics, we should be defining our political policies using scripture, because it is unhelpful.6 It seems Majid can’t make up his mind, either the notions are alien to him or unhelpful. If he truly believes they are alien, I suggest he read the Qur’an again, especially,

To you We have sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to you. To each among you we have prescribed a law (shir’ah) and an open way (minhaj). If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute; And this (He commands): Judge you (Muhammad) between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile you from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah's purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious.7

This is one verse of many which establishes the precedent for the implementation of Islamic law whether in public or private life.

It is lamentable that we have come to a time where sciences such as the ‘Aims of Shari’ah’ are misused and given more priority and preference than the Qur’an and Sunnah. As a point of clarification, for a British Muslim to show preference for Shari’ah and opt for it when he is able to do so does not in any way imply that he strives to overthrow the British government, blow up parts of the UK or even replace British law with Shari’ah. It does however mean that as an article of faith, the believer acknowledges that he/she has no right to contradict that which Allah the Most High has legislated, just as the Orthodox Jews recognise the superiority (according to him/her) of Judaic law over the British one. This is one of the greatest falsifications of the Quilliam Foundation, in that they have espoused to the British public that Muslims who believe in the establishment and application of Shari’ah are ‘extremists’. However, what they fail to consider is that there has never been a scholar in the British Isles that has called for the complete establishment of Shari’ah in the UK and demolition of British law. These agitators have resorted to scaremongering among non-Muslims in order to gain approval from the government and the neocon’s in particular.

Additionally, the Quilliam Foundation has sought to baffle the laity by confusing them with Arabic terminology and Western philosophy. Through rhetoric they make abstract references to Shari’ah and divine legislation, using examples such as traffic laws, the education system, safety regulations etc. in an attempt to argue that Allah has not legislated any divine rules for modern systems, and thus legislation, according to them, cannot be for Allah alone. However, this has only sought to expose their weakness in the field of Shari’ah; its aims, principles and application. For example, in terms of traffic laws, namely driving through a red light (indicating stop)8, many scholars have expressed its impermissibility due to the hadith related by Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, where the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, 'There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm’.9 Thus, driving through a red traffic light puts one’s life as well as others in danger, which effectively harms one’s self and others. Although Allah has not directly legislated traffic laws in the Qur’an, he has legislated obedience to the Prophet: ‘Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.’10 And ‘You should accept whatever the Messenger gives you and abandon whatever he tells you to abandon11. Is the prohibition of driving through a red traffic light able to be rooted in and substantiated by divine law? Yes, as Allah the Most High inspired the Prophet to inform man about the general prohibition of causing harm, and thus by implementing and obeying this command we are in actual fact obeying the command of Allah and his Messenger. There are many principles from both the Qur’an and Sunnah that are drawn upon in Islamic law, and to contradict these principles is to go against the spirit of Islamic law, the way of the earliest generations and general consensus of Islamic scholars. Another principle from the Qur’an and Sunnah which has warranted the consensus of the Islamic scholars past and present has been that of Khilafah.

Allah the Most High states,

Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors (caliph’s) in the earth, as He made Successors (caliph’s) from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.12

Additionally, the Prophet stated, ‘Prophethood will remain among you as long as Allah wills. Then Khilafah on the lines of Prophethood shall commence, and remain as long as Allah wills. Then corrupt (or erosive) monarchies will take place, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. After that, despotic kingships shall emerge, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. Then, Khilafah shall come once again based on the precept of Prophethood.13 As is clearly displayed by the verse of the Holy Qur’an, not only is khilafah legitimised, but also discussed as the method by which corruption is dissolved, justice realised, and the religion of God established (the right to worship Allah alone with no partners and obey His laws). Furthermore, the hadith not only clearly distinguishes between khilafah, monarchies and dictatorships, but legitimises the khilafah on religious grounds (on the lines of prophethood), but maintains the corruption of monarchies and kingships. Based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, the scholars of Islam have concluded that the establishment of the khilafah is an obligation upon Muslims, and that the caliph can only be one. As-Shatibi stated, ‘...in the absence of the khilafah, a state of anarchy and lawlessness would prevail and this would usher in a great corruption and disorder. And it is evident, that the establishment of the Din is quite impossible in a state of anarchy and disorder14. Ibn Taymiyyah wrote, ‘It is obligatory to know that the office in charge of commanding over the people (ie: the post of the Khaleefah) is one of the greatest obligations of the Deen. In fact, there is no establishment of the Deen except by it....this is the opinion of the salaf, such as al-Fadl ibn 'Iyaad, Ahmed ibn Hanbal and others15. The principle of khilafah is so established in Islamic law and legal understanding that scholars referred to by the Quilliam gang are also in agreement.

Quotation The principle of khilafah is so established in Islamic law and legal understanding that scholars referred to by the Quilliam gang are also in agreement. Quotation

The great scholar An-Nawawi stated, ‘The scholars agreed that it is an obligation upon the Muslims to select a caliph...16 and commenting on the potential loss of the khilafah, Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali said, ‘The judges will be suspended, the Wilayat (provinces) will be nullified, ... the decrees of those in authority will not be executed and all the people will be on the verge of Haraam...17. Even Ibn Khaldun, a scholar fondly referred to by a Quillam Foundation advisor, using him as a source to establish his false view of ‘Islamic secularism’, affirms the establishment of Shari’ah and khilafah, to the extent he states, ‘The best kind of state is the Khilafah, which is a system based on the Shari’ah. This is the only system based on the Shari’ah. This is the only system which guarantees the fulfillment of all natural and genuine human needs both in this world and in the hereafter. It also guarantees full equality between the ruler and the ruled. The Khilafah is the divine method of politics. Initially it is established by the Prophets and Apostles of God and then run by their successors - the Khulafaa. This is the system which has been laid down by God the Almighty Himself, and, hence, no other system can be at par with it.18 Majid Nawaz has attempted to bring more of an Islamic spin to his arguments claiming that the view of the necessity of khilafah is a matter of ijhtihad, and thus, to deny it (the necessity of khilafah) is another point of ijhtihad over which takfeer or repudiation cannot be made. However, if it is a matter of ijhtihad, why has Majid and co. formed a think tank to repudiate the notion of the establishment of a caliph branding it as an un-Islamic notion causing ‘extremism’? It has seemed from most of their discourse that their main aim is to refute HuT and ‘Wahhabism’, but so far they have only managed to contradict themselves at every turn. Majid tried to refute the established consensus with regards to khilafah by attempting to put forward the arguements of unknown ‘scholars’, despite the fact that scholarly consensus is not brought into disrepute due to a few irregular opinions.19

Although I have attempted to provide the reader with an extremely basic overview, the main point here is not to argue the legitimacy of the notion of khilafah or Shari’ah (although I do believe it is evidently clear), but to show that although the foundation claims ‘mainstream Islam’, they outrightly reject and contradict the ‘mainstream’ scholars who they refer to at times of convenience. In reality, the Quilliam foundation has neither standing in the community or in Islamic scholarship (as is evident) and inevitably will cause many more problems than actually solving them. Already, as has been discussed, the foundation has created a false sense of ‘moderation’ and ‘mainstream-ism’ within Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, which has resulted in the vilification of any individual who accepts the authority of Islamic law, believes in the revival of the khilafah, or maintains a belief in the notion of jihad.

Another false claim made by Ed is that excommunication (takfeer) is the foundation of ‘radicalism’ and ‘extremism’, yet he contradicts his own claims when making reference to ‘extremists’ by himself excommunicating them when stating, ‘Call them jihadists, Islamists, but I wouldn't call them Muslim20. The foundation regularly chants its contrived creed of making Islam liberal and British, stating, ‘Just as Muslims across the globe have adopted from and adapted to local cultures and traditions, while remaining true to the essence of their faith, Western Muslims should pioneer new thinking for our new times. Here, Muslim scholastic giants, such as the noble Abdullah bin Bayyah and Shaikh Ali Goma (Mufti of Egypt), have provided ample guidance.21 They state they want new thinking for Western Muslims yet refer to Eastern scholars, an action (referring to scholars from the East) they censure others for. Additionally, Ed stated about the Egyptian scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, ‘He is a man who speaks two languages. There should be no exceptions in condemning the deaths of innocent people. When it comes to Jews, he thinks it is favourable to kill.22 However, his inconsistency again manifests itself by referring to Ali Goma, a strong supporter of a pro-Western dictatorship, as a ‘Muslim scholastic giant’ that should be sought as a reference point. Ali Goma himself has said when asked about the rule of an Egyptian man illegally entering Palestine and carrying out a ‘martyrdom’ operation without the express permission of the head of state, he replied that, ‘he is a Shahid [martyr], because Palestine is a special case and not the ordinary case existing in the world… This is because in Palestine there is an enemy that rules the land. This rule is considered a crime by international conventions and resolutions… The world has let the Jews spread corruption throughout the land and they have succeeded in obtaining international legitimacy to territories that were conquered after 1967…Israel is a special case that does not exist [anywhere else] on the face of the earth. We are facing a criminal occupation that is the source of terror.23 In the same interview he also said, ‘The Zionists themselves do not differentiate between civilian and military personnel. They have set the entire people to military service. The civilian settler who occupies land in a state of war is a Harbi [that is, a non-Muslim living in an area regarded as 'Dar Al-harb,' the 'domain of war,' in which Islam does not dominate]. Besides, everyone in Israel, civilians and military personnel, bear arms. That is, they are 'Ahl Al-Qital'[that is, those who deserve to be fought]’. When the Mufti was asked as to whether it is permitted to kill an Israeli travelling outside the borders of his land, Goma replied, ‘Yes, it is permitted to kill him, because he is a Harbi and the Harbi spreads corruption throughout the face of the earth.’ Individuals such as Hamza Yusuf and Abdullah bin Bayyah have not voiced their support for the foundation, and on the contrary, Hamza Yusuf has purportedly been recorded in lectures as speaking (positively) about Shari’ah and khilafah.

Belief in the superiority of secularism over Shari’ah according to the consensus of scholars is tantamount to heresy, and the notion of ‘Islamic secularism’ is very much a misnomer. Contrary to liberalistic views about ‘Islamism’ (a term generally understood as those who accept and encourage the application of Shari’ah), preferring the law’s of God does not lead to suicide bombers on trains and buses. What actually does lead to suicide bombers are a few Muslims who are ignorant of Islamic law and espouse an extreme hate for disbelievers due to images of murdered Muslim women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and other Muslim countries all over the world. What incites them even more is the contradictory nonsense spewed by British and American politicians. There is no shadow of a doubt that the media has been involved in a full scale attack on Islam and Muslims which only serves to stoke the flames among young Muslim men.

Quotation There is no shadow of a doubt that the media has been involved in a full scale attack on Islam and Muslims which only serves to stoke the flames among young Muslim men. Quotation


The core matter of the fact is that there are problems that the Muslim community is facing, such as incorrect understandings and interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah in reference to jihad and the implementation of Shari’ah. However, there are other problems which exist such as forced marriages, the usurped rights of women, racism, imported Imams and ‘scholars’ not understanding issues facing young British Muslims nor the finer complexities of Islam practiced in a Western society, leaders not being able to cater to intellectual enquiring minds, etc. These are not problems that are either found in Islam or a cause of belief in its principles, but are rooted in either backward cultural practices that people have conflated with Islam. Thus, what is the solution? Liberalising and westernising the faith or returning to its core fundamentals which were revealed to free men and women from the shackles of oppression and ignorance (backward cultural practices)?

Members of the Quilliam Foundation have fallen into the perennial problem of jumping from one quagmire into another. For example, Majid shows his loathing for ‘political Islam’ through politicising his current stance, while creating a political arena in which to draw in disillusioned laymen to his rhetoric, and then going on to using politically loaded terms such as ‘extremists’, ‘radicalists’ and ‘jihadists’. As Saleem Chagtai correctly stated24, Majid has made the same mistake all over again, in that he has only moved from one political position to the another, the former being Hizb ut-Tahreer and the latter being that of a pro-government anti-shari’ah group. The other director of the foundation, Ed, has argued through the medium of his book, radio broadcasts, and TV interviews that his former life (with HuT) lacked spirituality and detracted from a spiritual understanding of God. Thus, he went through a so called process of spiritual reformation and change, until he came to advocate Sufism25, although many Sufi’s themselves have rejected most if not all of his claims and ideas.'

As many before him, Ed traversed the path of ignorance, only to move on to another form of ignorance (although he believes he was guided). The first path of ignorance was political in which he had no relationship with Allah the Most High, neither loved Him nor turn to Him in servitude and obedience yet called for the establishment of His most perfect laws. As a result of this lack of spiritual awareness of God, he found contradictions in his path and wondered lost, until he found himself at the door of Sufism. In his practice of mysticism, he rejected all that he had formerly believed and strived against it due to his conviction that it was ‘political belief’ that led him astray. However, crucially it was his own ignorance that fooled him then, and is also fooling him now as he has returned to the political scene, but this time on the other side.

Unfortunately many members of Muslim groups tend to get extremely entangled with the aims of their respective group, or constantly attempt to debate others on scholarly matters to the extent that they seemingly lose focus on the most fundamental issues such as their departure from this worldly life, the deeds that they send before them to the Hereafter, and their relationship with Allah the most High. Frequently Muslims get caught up in debates about khilafah and jihad, yet have not established the Shari’ah in their hearts; argue about religious points based on the authenticity of ahaadith yet have no idea as how to strengthen one’s relationship with God; or are caught up in deep discussion about loving God yet forget to actualise that love in their hearts and in their actions.. However, does this mean that in and of itself khilafah, jihad, the authentification of ahaadith or understanding the ways by which to realise love of the divine is wrong and should be rejected. Of course not, but it does inform us that as Muslims we must be holistic in our view and be able to prioritise.

The Shari’ah of Allah the Most High is divine legislation and guidance sent to man for the purpose of rectification, peace, and to create an environment of righteousness which facilitates the belief and good works of the believer. To this end, Shaikh-al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah stated, ‘The aim and objective of politics is to seek nearness to Allah. A Muslim adopts politics only to establish the deen which guarantees such a nearness by providing a suitable psychological and spiritual climate in which man achieves a spiritual perfection and, hence, the Divine Nearness. That is why a political activity divorced from the guidance of the deen is a curse for humanity and entails all sorts of evils and immoralities.26

Islam is a complete religion perfected in every way, and owing to its perfection the believer is commanded by Allah the Most High,

O you who believe! Enter into submission (Islam) completely, and do not follow the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is a manifest enemy for you.27

An inherent part of the culture of the deen is the conception that ‘life is test’, and by this it is meant that all people will one day face their Creator and be accountable for their actions during their lives. This essential part of the Islamic creed is common to many religions; however an interesting exceptional element within Islam is that the method for success in this endeavour is given within the name of the religion, in that those who will be successful are those who have submitted to the will of God. In reference to Shari’ah, Allah the Most High states,

So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to you. To each among you we have prescribed a law (shir’ah) and an open way (minhaj). If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you...28

Among the things that we are given is the Shari’ah and minhaj, and thus to reject that which Allah has manifestly honoured man with, in essence, is to fail the test. In order to attain paradise, one must accept all facets of the faith regardless of whether it is palatable or not. The reality of Islamic law is that the path to ultimate success in heaven is also the path to social peace between all people, and the path to personal peace or contentment. This path is the path leading to the Most Merciful, the moderate path which is middle-way, in which we surrender to Allah’s timeless commands and ardently abstain from his prohibitions.

Quotation This path is the path leading to the Most Merciful, the moderate path which is middle-way, in which we surrender to Allah’s timeless commands and ardently abstain from his prohibitions. Quotation


Thus, if that is the middle-way, we may argue that extremism does exist among Muslims, but on both sides of the scale. The indiscriminate mass killing of every disbeliever is extremism, just as also is the negation of jihad and Shari’ah. Jihad, divine legislation and khilafah are all established concepts in Islam found in the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus of Sahabah, the salaf and scholars that proceeded after them. Furthermore, it is extremely ridiculous and naive to assume that the underlying causes for ‘extremism’ are a belief in the superiority and application of Shari’ah, or the desire for a caliph and Islamic state to protect and establish Islam, or an acceptance of jihad as a commandment.

The Muslim community must be left to deal with beliefs and ideologies through their own scholars, who must make it a priority to impress upon Muslims the importance of security, making the UK a safe place to live. Such change comes through real scholars who seek change, justice and righteousness for the sake of Allah alone, not because the British government is pushing for it. Although misguided individuals generally lack any type of scholarship, they can sniff out sincerity and easily tell the difference between and governmental neo-con agent and a true scholar. Thus, does the Quilliam foundation truly believe that ‘extremists’ will be willing to dialogue with a group viewed as a government agency built to destroy Islamic principles? In truth the Muslim community as a whole must discuss issues of jihad, wala’ wal bara’ (allegiance and enmity), Shari’ah and secularism openly in order to overcome fraudulent beliefs with authentic one’s based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. Sincere debates with real scholars, not those promoted by the government and the Quilliam Foundation as they will never be accepted among mainstream Muslims29. However, if independent scholars who strive for the sake of Allah alone aim to make mistaken individuals with erroneous ideas re-address their views, the Muslim community will let down boundaries and address this crisis of ignorance, and thereafter ennoble knowledge of the religion, especially Shari’ah, which will consequently enable Muslims to effectively and positively contribute to wider society.

However, the government also has a major part to play; it is illogical to declare war on a man but not expect his brother to incline to him. American foreign policy is in no way favourable to Muslims, and time and again we see unjustified attacks on Muslim countries, where democracy is used as an excuse to establish pro-Western dictatorships. Britain has continually sought to enforce the USA’s oppressive policies which have reinforced opinions in Muslim minds that the West seeks to subjugate the Muslim East. There are some who claim that foreign policy is irrelevant to ‘extremists’ and that their sole intention is to destroy ‘our way of life’. This is not only the view of George W. Bush and his cronies, but also rhetoric being espoused by the Quilliam Foundation. However, we must sincerely ask ourselves, if the United Kingdom had remained neutral, refusing to illegally invade Afghanistan and occupy Iraq for the sake of the USA, would the bombings on the 7th of July have taken place? Seamus Milne, a journalist for the Guardian writes, ‘This is a perilous game. Those like Quilliam and its friends who claim that terror attacks are all about a rejection of our way of life rather than western war-making and support for dictatorships in the Muslim world may help get the government off the hook of its own responsibility. But if we want to stop such attacks in Britain, rather than indulge in shadow boxing with an elastically-defined extremism, there needs to be engagement with - not ostracism of - credible Islamist groups, as the former head of Scotland Yard Special Branch's Muslim contact unit has argued. Earlier this month, the chairman of the National Association of Muslim Police, Zaheer Ahmad, warned in Jane's Police Review Community that while Husain had "few supporters within the Muslim community", some senior officers had been "seduced" by his "celebrity status" and "taken in by the stereotypical image of Islam he portray". The dangers of trying to impose the voices you want to hear on the Muslim community should be obvious.30 Additionally, the media has continually reported extremely biased reports on Muslims, claiming them to be fanatics for preferring Islamic law and the like, although such nonsense would never be reiterated about Orthodox Jews who undoubtedly prefer Judaic law. This bias is continually perpetuated, often to the same degree to that of the Nazi propaganda machine which spewed out fabricated stories about the Jews in order to incite hatred towards them.

In conclusion, the noble religion of Islam is multifaceted, and unlike claims that the prophets of Allah only came to provide man with spiritual morals, we find many verses from the Qur’an, and ahaadith from the Sunnah, which discuss the role of Islam in public and private life. The Prophet of Allah was a messenger from his Lord who not only corrected the beliefs, morals and behaviour of the pagan Arabs, but also ruled over them by the law that Allah had prescribed for them. Contrary to the Quilliam lads this was not something new or invented, but the application of Shari’ah was enjoined on all of the prophets. The Quilliam gang are not only attempting to mislead the masses, but also forge a new ‘British Islam’. By this they do not mean the application of fiqh (jurisprudence) will be distinct, but that they will interpret as they see fit, accepting parts and rejecting others, as Allah has stated,

Do you believe in parts of the scripture and disbelieve in others?31

Their beliefs are false and so are their interpretations,

He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses which constitute the essence of the scripture, as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. As for those who have a disease in their hearts (harbour doubts) pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. But none knows the true meaning thereof except Allah and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in it, all of it comes from our Lord."Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.32


To claim that Quillam Foundation sincerely wants to benefit the community and protect the deen of Allah is not something I argue against as Allah alone has knowledge of what is apparent and what is hidden in the breasts of men and women, but one’s actions must be held to account (and to an extent a display of one’s intention). Every sincere individual believes what he/she is doing is correct, for if they knew that they were wrong and continued in their way they wouldn’t actually be sincere. However, sincerity does not lead to correct beliefs and opinions as in the saying, ‘the path to hell is paved with good intentions’. The Khawaarij were described by Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with) as a people who had renounced the worldly life with visible marks on their body due to their constant worship of God. However, this godly sight did not mean that if they were left to do as they pleased they would not have destroyed the religion of Allah. Quillam Foundation must look into their falsehood, and as Abdullah Quilliam quoted from the Qur’an in his tract on the khilafah, ‘Verily, they are in manifest error’.

Quotation Quillam Foundation must look into their falsehood, and as Abdullah Quilliam quoted from the Qur’an in his tract on the khilafah, ‘Verily, they are in manifest error’. Quotation


We call these individuals, who have chosen to estrange themselves from us, to return to the straight path, and as Abdullah Quilliam advised, ‘If their object – as they allege it – be the welfare of Islam, then let them reconsider their action and they will perceive that instead of bringing a blessing to Islam their actions will have a contrary effect, and only further disseminate disunion where it is – alas that it should be said – only too apparent. We fraternally invite these brethren to return their allegiance, and call them to the sacred name of Islam to re-unite with the Faithful.’33

O’ Allah the Guide, most Merciful, forgive us of our sins and guide us to the path that is straight. O’ Turner of Hearts, turn our hearts toward obeying you until our breath betakes us.

Friday, 9 May 2008

60 YEARS OF ISRAEL - 60 YEARS OF APARTHEID SETTLER COLONIALISM

The Terror that begot Israel

08/05/2008 - By Khalid Amayreh

“We committed Nazi acts.”
Aharon Zisling, Israel’s first Agriculture Minister

“There is no doubt that many sexual atrocities were
committed by the attacking Jews. Many young (Arab) girls
were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also
molested.” General Richard Catling, British Army Assistant
Inspector after interrogating several female survivors (The
Palestinian Catastrophe, Michael Palumbo, 1987)

As the evil state of Israel is celebrating sixty years of
ethnic cleansing and atrocities against the native
Palestinians, many people around the world, especially
young generations, will not be fully aware of the manner in
which Israel came into existence. Similarly, the younger
Zionist generations who don’t stop calling their
Palestinian victims “terrorists” should have a clearer idea
about Israel’s manifestly criminal past which Zionist
school textbooks shamelessly glamorize and glorify

Prior to “Jewish” statehood, three main Jewish terror
organizations operated in Palestine, primarily against
Palestinian civilians and British mandate targets. The
three were: The Haganah, the Zvei Leumi or Irgun and the
Stern Gang. The Haganah (Defence) had a field army of up to
160,000 well-trained and well-armed men and a unit called
the Palmach, with more than 6,000 terrorists. The Irgun
included as many as 5,000 terrorists, while the Stern Gang
included 200-300 dangerous terrorists.

The following are merely some examples of Zionist terrorism
prior to the creation of the Zionist state in 1948: The
list doesn’t include the bigger massacres such as Dir
Yasin, Dawaymeh, Tantura and others.

1937-1939

During this period, Zionist terrorists carried out a series
of terror attacks against Palestinian buses resulting in
the death of 24 persons and the wounding of 25 others.

1939

Haganah blew up the Iraqi oil pipeline near
Haifa/Palestine. Moshe Dayan was one of the participants in
this act. The technique was used in 1947 at least four
times.

1940

On 6 November, 1940 , Zionist terrorists of the Stern Gang
assassinated the British Minister resident in the Middle
East , Lord Moyne, in Cairo .

1940

On 25 November, S.S. Patria was blown up by Jewish
terrorists in Haifa harbour, killing 268 illegal Jewish
immigrants. The explosion, carried out by the Haganah
terrorist group, was only meant to prevent the ship from
sailing. However, it seemed that the terrorists had
miscalculated the amount of explosives needed to disable
the vessel. Other sources reported that this was no
miscalculation and was a deliberate mass murder of Jews by
Jews aimed at drawing sympathy and influencing British
immigration policy to Palestine .

1946

Zionist terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in
Jerusalem, which housed the civilian administration of the
government of Palestine, killing and injuring more than 200
persons. The Irgun gang claimed responsibility for this
criminal act, but subsequent evidence indicated that both
the Haganah and the Jewish Agency were involved.

1946

On 1 October, the British Embassy in Rome was badly damaged
by a bomb explosion for which Irgun claimed responsibility.

1947

In June 1947, a postal bomb addressed to the British war
office exploded in the post office sorting room in London,
injuring 2 persons. It was attributed to Irgun or Stern
Gangs (The Sunday Times, Sept. 24, 1972), p. 8.

1947

In December 1947, six Palestinians were killed and 30
wounded when bombs were thrown from Jewish trucks at Arab
houses in Haifa; 12 Palestinians were killed and another
injured in an attack by armed Zionists at an Arab coastal
village near Haifa.

1947

On 13 December 1947 , Zionist terrorists believed to be
members of Irgun Zevi Leumi murdered 18 Palestinian
civilians and wounded 60 others in Jerusalem , Jaffa and
Lud areas. In Jerusalem , bombs were thrown in an Arab
market-place near the Damascus Gate; in Jaffa bombs were
thrown into an Arab café; and in the Arab village near Lud,
12 Arabs were killed in an attack with mortars and
automatic weapons.

1947

On 9 December, Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village
near Safad, blowing up two houses, in the ruins of which
were found the bodies of 10 Arabs, including 5 children.
Haganah admitted responsibility for the attack.

1947

On 29 December, two British constables and 11 Palestinians
were killed and 32 others were injured at the Damascus Gate
in Jerusalem when Irgun terrorists threw a bomb from a
taxi.

1948

On 1 January, Haganah terrorists attacked a village on the
slope of Mount Carmel , killing 17 Palestinian civilians
and wounding 33 others.

1948

On 4 January, Haganah terrorists wearing British Army
uniforms penetrated into the centre of Jaffa and blew up
the Sarai, which was used as headquarters of the Arab
National Committee, killing more than 40 persons and
wounding 98 others.

1948

On 5 January, the Arab-owned Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem
was blown up, killing 20 civilians, among them Viscount De
Tapia, the Spanish Consul. Haganah admitted responsibility
for this outrage.

1948

On 7 January , seventeen Arab civilians were killed by a
bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem , 3 of them while
trying to escape. Further casualties, including the murder
of a British officer near Hebron, were reported from
different parts of the country. 1948

On 16 January, Jewish terrorists blew up three Arab
buildings, killing 8 children between the age of 18 months
and 12 years.

December 13, 1947- February 10, 1948

Seven bombing attacks by Jewish terrorists took place and
the targets were innocent Arab civilians in cafés and
markets, killing 138 and wounding 271 others. During this
period, there were 9 attacks on Arab buses. Moreover,
Jewish terrorists attacked passenger trains on at least
four occasions, killing 93 persons and wounding 161 others.

1948

On 15 February , Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab
village near Safad and blew up several houses, killing 11
civilians, including four children.

1948

On 3 March, heavy damage was done to the Arab-owned Salam
building in Haifa (a seven-story block of flats and shops)
by Jewish terrorists who drove an army truck to the
building and escaped before detonation of 400 pounds of
explosives, killing 11 Arab civilians and 3 Americans. The
Stern Gang claimed responsibility.

1948

On 22 March, Jewish terrorists from the Stern Gang blew up
a housing block in Iraq Street in Haifa , killing 17 and
injuring 100 others. Four members of the Stern Gang drove
two truckloads of explosives into the street and abandoned
the vehicles before the explosives went off.

1948

On 31 March, Jewish terrorists mined the Cairo-Haifa
Express, killing 40 people and wounding 60 others.

1948

On 16 April, Jewish terrorists attacked the former British
army camp at Tel Litvvinsky, killing 90 Palestinians.

1948

On 19 April, fourteen Palestinian civilians were killed in
a house in Tiberias, which was blown up by Zionist
terrorists.

1948

On 11 May, a letter bomb addressed to Evelyn Baker, former
commanding officer in Palestine , was detected in the nick
of time by his wife.

April 25, 1948- May 13, 1948

Wholesale looting of Jaffa was carried out following armed
attacks by Irgun and Haganah terrorists. They plundered and
carried away everything they could, destroying what they
could not take with them.

1948

On 17 September, Count Folke Berndadotte, UN Mediator in
Palestine was assassinated by members of the Stern Gang in
the Zionist-controlled sector of Jerusalem . Bernadotte’s
aide Col. Serot was also killed and murdered by Jewish
terrorists.

1948

In November, the Christian Arab villages of Igrit and Birim
were attacked and destroyed, killing and injuring many
unarmed civilians, including women and children. All the
Christian Arab inhabitants were forcibly expelled from
their homes. The State of Israel still refuses to allow
them to return to their villages despite several court
orders.

1948-1949

The greatest acts of Jewish terror took place when Jewish
terrorists, now called Israeli Defence Forces (IDF),
uprooted 700,000-800,000 Palestinians from their ancestral
homeland in Palestine . Since then the refugees have
consistently been denied the right to return home. After
the expulsion, the Zionist terrorist army razed to the
ground hundreds of Arab towns, villages and hamlets and
obliterated their remains. Eventually, Israeli villages,
Kibbutzim and towns were built on the remaining rubble.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

US TACTICS IN SOMALIA 'COUNTERPRODUCTIVE'

Springtime in Somalia
Jeff Huber, May 06, 2008
Military.com

It looks like we're still using U.S. Navy warships to assassinate
suspected terrorists in Somalia. The New York Times said, "at least
four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine
off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-
story buildings in Dusa Marreb."

The NYT's source for that information was an "American military
official in Washington, who requested anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the operation." Notice how operations these days
are "sensitive" as opposed to "classified" or "secret." One has to
wonder how they arrived at a world like "sensitive" to describe
things like cruise missile attacks that kill people. Then again, so
many of these missile strikes kill people other than the people they
were intended to kill that yeah, I guess American military officials
in Washington might get sensitive about that aspect. The NYT
reported that 10 to 30 people other than the intended target were
killed this time, and we can be pretty sure that part of the story
is mostly true because the NYT didn't get it from an anonymous
American military official.

The Associated Press actually got two of its sources to agree to be
identified. Captain Jamie Graybeal, a Central Command spokesman,
confirmed that there was, in fact, a U.S. airstrike on the Somali
town. I'm thinking Captain Graybeal must be a navy captain, which is
like an army bird colonel, which means an older guy with lots of
experience and credibility. If Graybeal is an army captain, that
makes him like a navy lieutenant, which means he's a guy in his
twenties who wouldn't have the experience of a navy captain or a
bird colonel, and not a whole lot of credibility either. It doesn't
seem like Central Command would have a spokesman who was just an
army captain, but you can't tell for sure.

AP identified the other "U.S. military spokesman" as a guy named Bob
Prucha, who said that the attack was against a "known al-Qaida
target and militia leader in Somalia." Interestingly enough, AP
didn't mention military spokesman Bob Prucha's rank, which makes me
think he either hasvery little of it or none at all. How much if any
rank Graybeal and Prucha actually have will probably remain a
mystery, but maybe that's not too important because "Both declined
to provide further details." How convenient.

Later in the article AP said that "another U.S. defense official"
confirmed that the strike targeted Aden Hashi Ayro, who later still
in the article AP identified as the leader of a militia called "al-
Shabab" which, as you probably noticed, is spelled differently
than "al-Qaeda." AP didn't explain how Ayro went from being part of
al-Qaeda toward the beginning of the story to being part of al-
Shabab toward the end, or if there is a connection between the two
that more or less makes them the same thing.

The BBC's version of the story stated "The U.S. says al-Shabab is
part of the al-Qaeda network, although correspondents say it is
impossible to accurately establish those links," and "Al-Shabab
leaders say it is a purely Somali movement and they deny any
involvement with al-Qaeda." The BBC didn't identify the
correspondents who say it's impossible to accurately establish links
between al-Shabab and al-Qaeda, so we're caught between the say so
of the U.S. on one hand and what al-Shabab leaders say on the other.
Like me at this point in our woebegone war on terror, you might be
inclined to grant "al-Shabab leaders" more credibility than "The
U.S." but for now, unfortunately, whatever relationship may or may
not exist between al-Shabab and al-Qaeda will remain as big a
mystery as what military ranks Captain Graybeal and Mr. Prucha may
or may not possess.

It may also be important to note that the aforementioned "another
U.S. defense official" who confirmed that Ayro was the strike's
target "sought anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on
the record" which is Rovewellian for "this source is authorized to
plant disinformation anonymously."

Who Are Those Guys?

The AP story said that U.S. missiles "destroyed" Ayro's
house, "killing him and 10 others." The NYT story said that the
strike "apparently killed" Ayro, and that the sensitive American
military official in Washington and "two American intelligence
officials" stated that "all indications were that Mr. Ayro was
killed" but that "the attack was still being assessed."

A Dusamareeb resident told AP that the "The bodies were beyond
recognition" and a local doctor said identifying the dead would
prove difficult as the al-Shabab villa and surrounding area were now
scorched earth, so unless Somalia's dental record keeping system is
a lot more advanced than I suspect it is, I don't see how those two
American intelligence officials are going to do any further
assessing of whether or not the strike killed Ayro.

I could find no further clarity on whether a "Navy ship or
submarine" fired the cruise missiles that maybe did and maybe didn't
kill Ayro. Actually, we know it was a ship because the Navy calls
its submarines "ships" these days. The real question is whether the
ship was one of three classes of active Navy submarines or a surface
combatant. Today's surface combatants cost less than submarines
because the surface combatants don't have nuclear power plants and
they don't operate underwater unless something goes real wrong. But
whichever kind of ship it was, it cost a ridiculous amount of money
to be doing something like assassinating a terrorist, especially if
it failed to kill the terrorist it was trying to assassinate, so you
can rest easy that you once again got maximum buck for the bang on
your defense dollar.

You can also be assured that whether the strike whacked Ayro or not,
it did more harm than good. Al-Shabab spokesman Mukhtar Robow
Adumansur (the Shababs apparently haven't learned about anonymous
sourcing yet) says his group will conduct revenge attacks,
and "analysts" say the air raid could put the kibosh on pending U.N.
sponsored peace talks.

What's more, be reasonably confident that whether the ship that shot
the cruise missiles was the kind of ship that sails underwater or
not, shooting those missiles into Somalia was as legal as a blue
dollar bill. As is the case with Pakistan, Mr. Bush has an agreement
with the puppet government of Somalia that allows him to run air
strikes in that country. The trouble is, the U.S. Constitution and
laws don't authorize foreign governments, puppet or otherwise, to
allow presidents to order troops into combat, and Mr. Bush still
doesn't have a declaration of war or Authorization for Use of
Military Force (AUMF) to be ordering air strikes in either Pakistan
or Somalia like he's supposed to according to the War Powers
Resolution of 1973. You'd think our elected officials in Congress
would be all het up about that, but the press isn't saying anything
about it, so they're not.

To sum up: we're executing counterterrorism tactics that are
exorbitant and counterproductive, Mr. Bush is behaving like a
dictator, Congress is letting him get away with it, and our
guarantors of freedom in the fourth estate are too busy courting
anonymous officials to do much of anything else.

In other words, don't panic. Everything is business as usual.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

AFTERMATH OF US ASSASINATION OF SHABAAB LEADER

Strategy of Somalia's Islamists Survives Death of Militant Leader

From: Terrorism Focus (The Jamestown Foundation, USA)
May 6, 2008 – Volume 5, Issue 18

Anti-terrorism officials in the Horn of Africa are on high alert
following the killing of Shaykh Aden Hashi Ayro, the military leader
of al-Shabaab, the youth wing of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in
Somalia, in a May 1 strike by U.S. ship-launched Tomahawk missiles
(SomaliNet, May 2; Daily Nation [Nairobi], May 2).

Shaykh Ayro, trained in terrorist and insurgency methods in
Afghanistan and believed to have been in his 30s, was killed in a
house together with another five insurgents in the small central
Somalia town of Dusamareb, 250 miles north of Mogadishu (al-Jazeera,
May 2). Those killed included Ayro's brother, another commander,
Muhiyadin Muhammad Umar, and several other insurgents. At least a
dozen civilians in neighboring houses were also killed by the
missiles. Soon after the attack, Shaykh Muqtar Robow Adumansur, the
group's spokesman, vowed the group would retaliate, setting off an
alert in the Horn of Africa: "This does not deter us from continuing
our holy war against Allah's enemy; we will be on the right way,
that is why we are targeted" (The Standard [Nairobi], May 2).
Thousands of people took to the streets of Dusamareb on May 4 to
protest the attack (AFP, May 4).

Anti-terrorism officials fear the insurgents in Somalia—who are
alleged by the United States to have close links to Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaeda network—could be planning to stage revenge attacks
on American interests, especially in Kenya. In mid-April, two
Kenyans and two British nationals were killed when the Islamists
carried out overnight attacks in a school in central Somalia (Sunday
Nation [Nairobi], May 4).

The United States classifies al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization.
Several months before the killing of Shaykh Ayro, its fighters
intensified their daily attacks on Somalia's Transitional Federal
Government (TFG), which is backed by Ethiopian army soldiers. These
attacks yielded the control of substantial territories in central
and southern Somalia.

There is a similarity in al-Shabaab's tactics of hit and run raids
on TFG-held towns with those of Iraq's militants. The fighters have
been attacking soldiers and policemen, and in some instances have
set free prisoners in the town they have captured. The fighters have
also been planting roadside bombs, hurling grenades and carrying out
assassinations at targeted persons.

Al-Shabaab has also advanced on towns, either in the cover of
darkness or very early in the morning when government soldiers are
still sleepy and captured them briefly to reinstate their earlier
leadership or choose a new one.

The following day, the Islamists typically hold a public rally in
which they defend their actions while promising better security and
services. Rallying around Quranic teaching and stressing that the
TFG and Ethiopian forces are infidels serving anti- Muslim masters,
the group has been winning support similar to what they had before
being disposed by Ethiopian forces in 2006 (Garowe Online, April 27).

With the Islamist insurgents capturing towns, TFG and Ethiopian
soldiers have been organizing counter attacks, but al-Shabaab
withdraws to safety with its battle wagons and weapons before the
forces arrive. The aim is to stretch the TFG forces to the breaking
point while avoiding a face to face encounter with the far better
equipped Ethiopian army (Geeska Magazine [Hargeisa, Somaliland],
April 16).

On April 27, al-Shabaab briefly took over the town of Jowhar for the
third time in a single month. The group's leaders told rallies that
the fighters had not come to impose their rule, but were responding
to the invitation of the local people. In 2006, the ICU preached a
similar message when they ran over town after town across southern
and central Somalia. The ICU leaders said they had been invited to
the villages, districts and regions and promised to deal with
criminals terrorizing the people of the areas. But instead of
occupying Jowhar this time, the forces withdrew before the arrival
of Ethiopian and TFG forces (Garowe Online, April 27).

Reports say eight towns in districts like Bu'ale, Qansax Dhere and
Ufurow Bay and Middle Juba have fallen into the hands of Islamists.
These are now under control of the radical young fighters after TFG
administrators abandoned their posts before al-Shabaab arrived
(Garowe Online, April 28). The Islamists say they are capable of
keeping the territories they have captured, but do not want battles
that will lead to loss of life. The Ethiopian retaliatory attacks
have killed thousands of Somalis and wounded thousands of innocent
civilians. "We are capable of holding the areas we capture. But we
always want fewer losses…. We want no harm to come to the civilian
population … Until people become independent, the fighting will not
stop," Muhammad Ibrahim Suley, a member of the ICU, was quoted as
saying (Hiiran.com, March 27).

Al-Shabaab's aim is to destabilize the Ethiopian forces by worsening
the chaos in central and southern Somalia, thus drawing off forces
from the capital. It will also increase insecurity to the point that
the population will call on the Islamists to save them. But with the
killing of Ayro, it is possible al-Shabaab may either stage quick
and violent revenge attacks or make a tactical withdrawal to plan
their next move.

Sunguta West is an independent journalist based in Nairobi.

Monday, 5 May 2008

AL-JAZEERA CAMERMAN DENOUNCES US AFTER RELEASE FROM CAMP X-RAY

Sami al-Hajj hits out at US captors

SATURDAY, MAY 03, 2008
Al-Jazeera

Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj has hit out at the treatment
of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison where he was held
for nearly six and a half years.

He said that "rats are treated with more humanity", than the inmates,
whose "human dignity was violated".

Al-Hajj, who arrived in Sudan early on Friday, was carried off a US air
force jet on a stretcher and immediately taken to hospital.

Later, he had an emotional reunion with his wife and son. His
brother, Asim al-Hajj, said that he did not recognise the cameraman
because he looked like a man in his 80s.

In video

Still, al-Hajj said: "I was lucky because God allowed that I be released."

But his attention soon turned to the 275 inmates he left behind in
the US military prison.

'Dignity violated'

"I'm very happy to be in Sudan, but I'm very sad because of the
situation of our brothers who remain in Guantanamo. Conditions in
Guantanamo are very, very bad and they get worse by the day," he said
from his hospital bed.

"Our human condition, our human dignity was violated, and the
American administration went beyond all human values, all moral
values, all religious values.

"In Guantanamo ... rats are treated with more humanity. But we have
people from more than 50 countries that are completely deprived of
all rights and privileges.

"And they will not give them the rights that they give animals," he
said.

Al-Hajj complained that "for more than seven years, [inmates] did not
get a chance to be brought before a civil court to defend their just
case".

Free man

The US embassy in Khartoum issued a brief statement confirming that a
"detainee transfer" to Sudan had taken place and saying it
appreciated Sudan's co-operation.

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, visited al-Hajj in hospital.

A senior US defence official in Washington speaking on condition of
anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that al-Hajj was "not being
released [but] being transferred to the Sudanese government".

But Sudan's justice minister told Al Jazeera that al-Hajj was a free
man and would not be arrested or face any charges.

Two other Sudanese inmates at Guantanamo, Amir Yacoub al-Amir and
Walid Ali, were freed along with al-Hajj.

The two said they were blindfolded, handcuffed and chained to their
seats during the flight home.

The Reprieve organisation that represents some Guantanamo inmates
said Moroccan detainee Said Boujaadia was also released and flown
home on the same aircraft as the three Sudanese.

According to a US defence department statement, five detainees were
"transferred" to Afghanistan as well. It said that all those
detainees, nine in total, had been "determined to be eligible for
transfer following a comprehensive series of review proccesses".

Al-Hajj was the only journalist from a major international news
organisation held at Guantanamo and many of his supporters saw his
detention as punishment for the network's broadcasts.

Seized in 2001

He was seized by Pakistani intelligence officers while travelling
near the Afghan border in December 2001.

Despite holding a legitimate visa to work for Al Jazeera's Arabic
channel in Afghanistan, he was handed to the US military in January
2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Hajj, who is originally from Sudan, was held as an "enemy
combatant" without ever facing trial or charges.

Al-Hajj was never prosecuted at Guantanamo so the US did not make
public its full allegations against him.

But in a hearing that determined that he was an enemy combatant, US
officials alleged that in the 1990s, al-Hajj was an executive
assistant at a Qatar-based beverage company that provided support to
Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Chechnya.

The US claimed he also travelled to Azerbaijan at least eight times
to carry money on behalf of his employer to the al-Haramain Islamic
Foundation, a now defunct charity that US authorities say funded
armed groups.

The US also clamed he met Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, allegedly a senior
lieutenant to Osama bin Laden who was arrested in Germany in 1998 and
extradited to the United States.

His lawyers have always denied the allegations.

'Element of racism'

Al-Hajj had been on hunger strike since January 7, 2007.

David Remes, a lawyer for 17 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, told Al
Jazeera that the treatment al-Hajj received "was more horrific than
most" and that there was "an element of racism" in the way he was
treated.

He said he had been in contact with the lawyer representing al-Hajj
and it appeared the cameraman had been "psychologically damaged".

"The Europeans would never receive this treatment," Remes said.

About 275 detainees remain at Guantanamo and the lawyer said European
detainees had all been returned to their country, leaving
nationalities such as Yemenis - who now constitute one third of the
inmate population.

Remes said al-Hajj had been released because the Bush administration
"wants to flush as many men out of Guantanamo as quickly as possible
… as Guantanamo has become such an international badge of shame".

"Once the Supreme Court said the men could have lawyers the pressure
increased [on the US] and condemnation isolated the US
administration. Guantanamo was a PR disaster," he said.

"Unfortunately Americans appreciate violations of rights but they
have no sympathy for men held at Guantanamo as the [Bush]
administration has done such a good job in portraying them as the
worst of the worst and as evil doers.

"I've met many prisoners, gotten to appreciate their suffering ... we
know them as humans not as worst of worst, we've met their families.

"I've been to Guantanamo and the human dimension of Guantanamo is a
story yet to be told," Remes said.

Al Jazeera concerns

Al Jazeera had been campaigning for al-Hajj's release since his
capture nearly six and a half years ago.

But he criticised the US military for urging al-Hajj to spy on his
employers.

"We are concerned about the way the Americans dealt with Sami, and we
are concerned about the way they could deal with others as well," he
said.

"Sami will continue with Al Jazeera, he will continue as a
professional person who has done great jobs during his work with Al
Jazeera.

"We congratulate his family and all those who knew Sami and loved
Sami and worked for this moment."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies