Muslim Organization Reactions to Death of Osama Bin Laden

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

TMO Editor’s Note:  In a raid conducted in Abbottabad Pakistan  early Monday morning, four helicopters carrying Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden.  This closes an important chapter in the post-9/11 world and many Muslim organizations put out press releases in response.  Below are several of the press releases.

2011-05-03T124852Z_2134480469_GM1E7531LXG01_RTRMADP_3_SAUDI-BINLADEN

ISNA

Islamic Society of North America Welcomes Justice For 9/11 Victims  

(Plainfield, IN: May 2, 2011) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) joins all Americans in thanking President Obama for fulfilling his promise to bring Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, and perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks, to justice.

We hope his death will bring some relief to all the families, of every faith and walk of life, who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in every other terrorist attack orchestrated at the hands of Osama Bin Laden. 

Over the past decade, ISNA has stood firm on our stance that ISNA and Muslims in America condemn the actions of Bin Laden on 9/11 and all acts of terror at the hands of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and all others who spread fear and hate through violence.  We have repeatedly condemned the calls of Bin Laden and others like him for mass bloodshed and the attacking of innocent lives across the world. 

As the President pointed out in his address to the nation, the ideology of Bin Laden is incompatible with Islam:  “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

President Obama marked his hope that today, Americans will “think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11” and remember that “on that day, no matter what God we prayed to, we were united as one American family.” 

osama-bin-laden32805N“ISNA joins President Obama and prays that as the nation continues to heal from the devastation inflicted upon them at the hands of Bin Laden, we will turn to each other today, united, and emerge tomorrow with an even stronger resolve to take every action necessary to protect the precious ideals of our nation that Bin Laden attempted to destroy on 9/11: peace, tolerance, respect, and freedom for all,” said ISNA President Imam Magid.

CAIR

CAIR: Bin Laden Death Leads to Maine Mosque Vandalism

‘Osama today, Islam tomorow (sic)’ painted on Muslim house of worship

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/2/2011) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Americans of all faiths to remain unified after the killing of Osama bin Laden apparently led to the bias-motivated vandalism of a mosque in Portland, Me.

CAIR also called on state and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

Portland police are investigating the anti-Islam graffiti, which included “Osama today, Islam tomorow (sic),” “Long live the West” and “Free Cyprus,” painted on the exterior of the Maine Muslims Community Center sometime between late Sunday night and this morning.

SEE: Graffiti on Portland Mosque Under Investigation

Portland Mosque Vandalized in Wake of bin Laden Death

“We ask Americans of all faiths to reject intolerance and to send a message of national unity to the rest of the world,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We urge state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate this incident as a hate crime.”

Earlier today at a news conference in Washington, D.C. CAIR and other national Muslim organizations welcomed the announcement of the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a threat to America and the world. CAIR chapters nationwide issued similar statements.

CIOGC

CIOGC welcomes the end of a dark era and bringing justice to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001

(Chicago, IL – 5/2/11) — The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) welcomes the end of a dark era and the bringing of justice to the victims of 9/11 with news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

“This is a historic moment not only to the families of the victims of 9/11 but for the whole world. A mass murderer who served as the face of global terrorism is gone,” said Kiran Ansari, Communication Director of CIOGC. “We pray that his death will bring a measure of relief to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and to everyone, from every faith and walk of life, who has suffered from Al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks.”

“His actions and those of Al-Qaeda violate the most fundamental teachings of Islam, the sanctity of human life, and his repeated acts of terror have been met with moral outrage by Muslims worldwide,” said CIOGC Chairperson Dr. Zaher Sahloul. “We thank President Obama for overseeing this operation and his reiterating that ‘the United States is not – and never will be – at war with Islam’”.

The operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden is one of the most important achievements of President Obama and his national security team. We are also hopeful that the “Arab Spring,” the widespread movements in the Middle East of peaceful protestors demanding democracy and freedom, has signified the death of Al-Qaeda’s ideology of violent extremism. However, as the President noted in his statement, we must continue to be vigilant in the fight against extremism. The Council will continue to play its part.

“We stand together with our fellow Americans, as part of one family, in remaining vigilant against any and all threats to our country and we will continue to work hand in hand with our friends and neighbors to protect the values upon which our nation was founded: peace, tolerance and freedom,” said Ahlam Jbara, the Associate Director of CIOGC.

PAKPAC

US Forces Capture and Kill Osama Bin Laden

Washington DC May 2nd 2011: PAKPAC congratulates the Obama administration and our men and women in uniform for successfully carrying out an operation against Osama Bin Laden.   Bin Laden’s attack on 9/11 defined the previous decade – and our entire approach to national security.   Bin Laden’s abhorrent and heinous acts of terrorism led to wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other covert operations around the world.   These wars cost the lives of countless American soldiers, and scores of civilians of all nationalities and faiths.   His death is a victory for the civilized world. 

We have not yet defeated terrorism and its ideology, but today marks a significant step forward.  Moreover, PAKPAC agrees with President Obama when he stated that the, “..US is not, and never will be, at war with Islam… bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, he was a mass-murderer of Muslims.” and that, “it is important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan led to his capture.”   PAKPAC hopes for continued cooperation between Pakistan and United States.

Now with the Arab awakening, and democracy taking hold in the Middle East, PAKPAC is confident that Al-Qaeda and its ideology will be relegated to the dust bin of history.

Today, we remember the 3000 men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.  Today, their souls have a measure of justice.  Today, no matter our political leanings, we are all Americans, united, as one nation.

For more information write to ed@pakpac.net or call 202 558 6404.

ACCESS

Jaber: Bin Laden’s death marks a turning point

Hassan Jaber Numerous news organizations including the Detroit Free Press and USA Today quoted ACCESS Executive Director Hassan Jaber this week regarding the death of Osama bin Laden and where our nation and our community go from here. Following is Jaber’s full statement to the media:

“For the past decade, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have been what defined our country, both at home and abroad. The death of Osama bin Laden thankfully closes out this long winter of political upheaval, social turmoil and economic disparity – so much of it precipitated by 9/11. We commend the Obama Administration and the U.S. security and intelligence agencies for their work in bringing this painful chapter to a decisive close, and in doing so, helping the families of the 9/11 victims and those of the first responders who also suffered and died, to find closure.

“This is, indeed, a new day in America. Osama bin Laden is dead. We must not allow his legacy to live on by continuing to divide us. Extremism of any type demands our ongoing vigilance and our attention as a nation. At ACCESS, we believe the best way to counteract it is to put our shoulders to the work of healing from within to build our strength as a nation – to stand together rather than separate. We can start this process first by learning to accept one another for all our differences, for the vibrancy which makes us stronger. This is the first step in helping to heal the rifts in our fragile economy and the paralysis of our tattered political system, to demand governance that supports the well-being of all Americans and stands as a model of democracy to the rest of the world.”

13-19

On Losing My Nana Jaan (Grandfather)

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Nadia B. Ahmad

Nana“He’s letting you beat him.”

“So what!? At least I’m learning something.”

My grandfather, a chess master, would allow us to beat him at chess every time much to the chagrin of our relative onlookers. I was and still am awful at chess.

And after succumbing to a sudden bout of pneumonia this past January, my family laid my maternal grandfather to rest in Ocoee, Fla. Alongside my maternal grandmother who had passed 12.5 years earlier.  Outwardly it appeared Mohammad Sadullah had lived an ordinary life, but he was a remarkable human being distinguished by his keen intellect and penetrating wisdom. My grandfather was the only one who read all my articles in their entirety and never criticized me. He only offered ideas about what to write in the future, which is precisely what grandfathers are meant to do.

From the partition of India and Pakistan which pitted brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor and to the recent geo-politics and back to collapse of the Ottoman Empire, my grandfather preserved his observations and shared them only sparingly. For better or worse I was the usually the one he would discuss these matters. My grandfather attended everything from my high school graduation to my attorney oath ceremony for my induction into the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida in Orlando’s federal courthouse, and my grandfather felt a sense of accomplishment that I was his granddaughter.

It was always the other way around, though—in that I admired that he was my grandfather.

You see, my grandfather worked intelligence for the Indian government.

He never discussed his work even after all that time passed. It was an on-going family joke. Incidentally, he took all those state secrets to his grave.

I miss my grandfather at the oddest of times. Just yesterday passing a road with the namesake of Gibraltar on the way to the Smokey Hill Library in Arapohoe County, Colorado, I thought back to when my grandfather first told me about that story. My grandfather, who has also been my SundaySchool teacher for some time, taught me about the history of Islam, a history of struggle and fortitude.

My grandfather lost his hearing and refused the use of hearing aids in his later years. It helped him be in his own world and so that he could continue to have a single minded determination without a tad of  concern for the world.

With the state of affairs as it is, I remember the battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad (s) that my grandfather would relate. From the Mount of Uhud to the Battle of the Trench, I hearken back to those lessons not for any sense of military strategy but for the lessons of self-sacrifice and the concept of working towards a greater good.

I am glad my grandfather is not alive today, though. I am glad he is not alive to see his brethren across the world celebrating the death of international justice, the loss of human rights, the unaccountability of lost lives, and the travesty and corruption of worldwide political systems.

My only regret was that my grandfather was not able to hold my newborn son, Senan, who was his fifth great-grandchild, prior to his death.

It is easy now to lose ourselves in this mad rush of geo-politics and consumer trending and hinge on the price of oil futures and the volatility of the world’s markets, but for me the world stands still because I lost my grandfather, but gained a son.

Is not that all life is? Everything between birth and death.

What we do between those two moments determines our eternities.

13-19

The Manhunt of Epic Proportions

February 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS Middle East Correspondent

spy The scene plays out like something you would see in a chilling Hollywood thriller or spy movie. A team of seasoned assassins, eleven altogether, plots and plans a ‘hit’ to be carried out against an unsuspecting victim. In this case, the target was a Hamas official named Mahmud Al-Mabhuh and his death is not fiction but rather a stone-cold reality. Last January in the tiny Gulf nation of Dubai, the corpse of  Al-Mabhuh was found in his luxury hotel suite. The apparent mode of death was suffocation, however a coroner’s official report regarding the exact cause of death is still pending.

According to the lead investigator, Dubai police chief Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the team of assassins were composed of both men and women from various European countries. This past week, the Dubai government released a series of photos of the eleven suspects and began creating a timeline up until the point where the assassins completed their mission and fled the tiny Gulf emirate. Composed of six Britains, three Irish, one French and one German national, authorities believe that the team entered the country around the same time that Al-Mabhuh did and followed him straight to his hotel room.

Once there, hotel video cameras corroborate the intricate plot of the assassins, which included several hotel rooms, disguises and the tools necessary to deprive Al-Mabhuh of his life. According to Tamim, at least 4 of the assassins broke into Al-Mabhuh’s hotel room while he was out. They waited for him to come back and then took less than 10 minutes to kill him. Once the deed was done, the assassins executed an almost perfect escape plan, exiting Dubai on separate commercial airplanes in under 20 hours.

The release of the eleven suspects passport information, by the Dubai government, should have provided more answers than it did questions. Unfortunately, it has left even more unanswered questions. By all accounts, the Irish assassins do not even exist according to the government of Ireland.  The passport number for the supposedly German assassin is wrong. And a few of the assassins named are actually Israeli citizens who have ironclad alibis and have never even traveled to Dubai. The Dubai police have not revealed exactly how they obtained the information about the assassins. However, many Hamas-friendly political analysts have speculated that the assassination was a poorly carried out murder plot designed by the long arm of Israel’s Mossad, or Secret Service.

It’s no mystery that there was no love lost between Al-Mabhuh and Israel. Al-Mabhuh was one of the original founders of Hamas. Israel also accused him, in recent years, of participating in a 1989 murder of two Israeli soldiers. And Israel has, for years, blamed Al-Mabhuh for orchestrating teams of smugglers to bring missiles into the Gaza Strip to help Hamas to continue to fight the Israeli occupation. But according to former Mossad officer Rami Igra, in an interview with the Israel Army Radio, the plan looks professional but really “…doesn’t look like an Israeli operation.” The primary reason being the assassin’s total lack of regard for the hundreds and hundreds of security cameras all over Dubai, almost as if they wanted to be filmed so as to lay blame elsewhere. And according to some speculators, the real culprits might be too close for Hamas’s comfort such as in the company of their rivals found in the late Yasser Arafat’s Fatah Movement.

The government of Dubai has reached out to the global community for assistance in solving the murder and this week launched an international manhunt to bring the assassins to justice. It’s not surprising that Dubai is eager to put the murderers behind bars, as it is fast becoming the site of several high profile murders.

Back in 2007, the famous Lebanese singer Susan Tamim was slain in her luxury high rise Dubai condo by none other than a hit man for her estranged boyfriend.

12-8

Harun Yahya – Unawareness—A Sly Threat

February 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Forgetting that death may come at any moment

People usually meet their death at unexpected times and places, for:

And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

Luqman: 34

The moment of a person’s death is determined by destiny even before he or she is born. Allah reveals in the Qur’an:

It is He Who created you from clay and then decreed a fixed term, and another fixed term is specified with Him.

Al-An‘am: 2

The fact that people do not know when they will die is one of the factors that draw them toward unawareness. If people who are aware of the Hereafter’s punishments knew when they would die, they would not remain heedless of Allah’s commands, be distracted by this world, or forget that they will be called to account in the Hereafter.

Not knowing the time of one’s death is a secret of the trials of this world. Believers who know this prepare for the Hereafter as if they expect to die at any moment. They obey all of Allah’s commands and prohibitions with complete sincerity for as long as they live.

Unaware people live according to the desires of their egos. They know they will die, but cannot grasp the fact that death is an awakening in the Hereafter either to eternal Paradise or endless Hell. They think of it as only an eternal separation from the things and people they loved. This is why they are so passionate about what and whom they love and so uncomfortable when the subject of death is mentioned or crosses their minds. Just thinking about it depresses them and makes them worry that their lives will change. Since they do not consider that death may be right around the corner and do not reflect on its reality, they ignore Allah’s commands and prohibitions, or at least postpone thinking about them, by telling themselves that they still have a lot of time to pray and will start doing so when they are older. But they really have no idea how much time they have left. They go merrily on their way, only to find that death comes suddenly, before they start living in compliance with Allah’s commandments. The moment the heedless people meet death, which they regard as remote and far off, is described in the Qur’an as follows:

If those who do not believe only knew of the time when they will not be able to keep the Fire away from their faces or their backs! And they will receive no help! No, it (death) will come upon them suddenly, confounding them, taking them completely by surprise, and they will not be able to ward it off. They will be granted no reprieve.

Al-Anbiya’: 39-40

From this verse, we can clearly see that death does not listen to excuses and that the appointed time approaches quickly. Nothing can prevent its coming. Allah tells this in the Qur’an:

Say: “Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, and He will inform you about what you did.”

Al-Jumu‘ah: 8

A person may die at any moment; forgetting this fact or trying to escape it is a sign that a person is unaware and that he is being sucked into the whirlpool of unawareness. It is a certain fact that unawareness may lead to eternal suffering.

Not thinking about the account one will give

People who are unaware also forget that they will be called to account in Allah’s sight in the Hereafter. No matter if they die alone or among many others, when the angel of death takes their souls, all of their relationships with the world and those around them are severed. When they are resurrected and go to give their accounts, each person is alone in the vast multitude, for no one will take any notice of anyone else. This solitude is not like any earthly isolation. The moment of reckoning will be the most difficult moment that an unaware person will ever face. The resulting solitude comes from the realization that it is now time to account for all that they have done, that they are completely isolated from other people, and that they are powerless in His presence. They are physically and emotionally exposed; bereft of their power, possessions, titles, position, and renown; and apart from all those to whom they were close. In other words, they are totally alone in Allah’s presence:

Each of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection all alone.

Maryam: 95

Unaware people who do not see any immediate consequences for what they do here think that the same applies in the Hereafter. Due to this error, they persuade their friends to ignore Allah’s commands and prohibitions or to put off their obedience until later, sayings things like “you only live once,” “don’t worry about it,” or “I’ll take full responsibility for it.” Such expressions clearly betray their lack of awareness, for just as a person comes into this world but once, he or she will also descend into Hell but once and suffer endless punishment there. Such people regard this punishment lightly and claim that they will take the sins of others upon themselves. This shows even more how far away they are from understanding His supreme knowledge and power:

No burden-bearer can bear another’s burden. If someone weighed down calls for help to bear his load, none of it will be borne for him, even by his next of kin. You can only warn those who fear (and respect) their Lord in the Unseen and perform prayer. Whoever is purified is purified for himself alone. Allah is your final destination.

Fatir: 18

(Has he not been informed) that no burden-bearer can bear another’s burden?

An-Najm: 38

In the Hereafter, all people will receive a just and perfect recompense for their deeds. There will be no friends or relatives to take responsibility for their errors or help them out, as there were while they were alive. Indeed, they now begin to hate all of the friends they once respected, blaming them for making them unaware of these truths:

On that Day the closest friends will be enemies to each other–except for those who guard against evil.

Az-Zukhruf: 67

… the Day when friends will be of no use at all to each other, and they will not be helped.

Ad-Dukhan: 41

The false friendships of this world cease and actually turn into hostility in the Hereafter, for they were formed for some advantage and without regard for Allah’s consent. While they were in the world, they made friends not with people who directed their hearts toward Allah and were loved by Him, but with insincere, unaware individuals who turned their backs on Him and denied His existence. Actually, it is quite common for the best of friends to become enemies when there is a conflict between that friendship and their own advantage. As we are told in the Qur’an, friendships that last a lifetime even though the parties harm one another by leading each other into unawareness will turn into hostility in Allah’s presence. This hostility begins once they gradually begin to become aware of suffering as their veil of unawareness is lifted from them. Allah reveals their sincere confessions:

(They will say:) “And now we have no one to intercede for us.” (The Companions of the Fire will say:) “We do not have a single loyal friend. If only we could have another chance, then we would be among the believers!”

Ash-Shu‘ara’: 100-102

When they are called to account, in deep sorrow, unbelievers express that they are all alone. The believers, with whom they made fun of while they were in the world are not around. When they come face to face with the truth they took so lightly, they long to return and be among the sincere believers:

It may be that those who are unbelievers will wish that they had been Muslims.

Al-Hijr: 2

But there is now no way back.

12-7

Martin Luther Kings’ Mountain Top

January 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS

Every year in the month of January I am reminded of the powerful persona and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was such a deep and prolific speaker that the gist of his speeches is still being felt today.  The “I Have a Dream” speech with its powerful message of hope, is so imbedded in our minds that for many of us, it the only speech we remember that he made.  Those of us who have faith and belief in ALLAH are constantly amazed at His revelations of His works.

On the eve of the assassination of Dr. King, he made a speech at a Baptist church in Memphis, Tennessee that many people believe foretold his eminent death.  He talked a lot about death that night.  He started with the story of the plane that bought him to Memphis and how the pilot delayed the flight because Dr. King was on it so it could be checked for bombs.

He also talked about a brush with death he had in New York when a crazed woman stabbed him with some sort of ice pick.  That assault brought the woman’s weapon dangerously close to Dr. King’s aorta (main blood vessel).  The doctor at the hospital told him the knife was so close that if Dr. King had sneezed he would have died because the pick would have pricked his aorta and he would have drowned in his own blood.  He used this incident to tell about a little white girl that wrote to him expressing her sorrow at his unfortunate incident.  She said she admired him so much and was so happy that he didn’t sneeze.   

Then he said he wasn’t afraid of death now because he had been to the mountain top.  He said God had allowed him to go up to the mountain top and he looked over, and saw the “Promised Land.”  He said he might not get there with us be he wanted us to know that we as a people would get to the Promised Land.  He said his eyes had seen the glory of the coming of the lord.

This became very personal to me in 1991 when I made the pilgrimage to Mecca.  I was on the plains of Mt. Arafat when I decided to climb the mountain.  When I reached the top, the only thing going through my mind was Dr. Martin Luther King and him telling us that he had been to the mountain top.

As I stood on my mountain top I look out over the plains of Arafat and saw the Promised Land. I say the Promised Land because Dr. King, in his most famous speech, said he dreamed of a land where his four little children would live in a land where they were judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.   That is the vision I saw on Arafat where people of every ethnicity, every culture, every color; men, women, and children, were gathered in unity to worship the One God of us all.

I believed then, and I believe now that the mountain top Martin Luther King saw was Mt Arafat.  Islam is the only religion that has more true brotherhood and sisterhood than any other group of people whether it is a religion, a fraternity, or whatever.

Sure, there is bigotry and racism among Muslims but there is less of it than any other religion.  If you travel to any part of the world and you see a Muslim, there is instant recognition and greeting.  No one else can make that claim.  This is something we must hold on to and nurture.  It is one of the things that make this religion the greatest religion in the world.

More of Dr. Kings philosophy needs to be adapted by Muslims the world over.  Muslims must take the bold step necessary to shift world sympathy to our side.  Currently, we are looked on as aggressive barbarians and we get no sympathy from anybody.  However, people will stand up with us and protect us if they don’t look like weak fools for doing so.

The legacy of Dr. King is so important to future generations, and especially important to future generations of Muslims.  We can, and must win the battle by mental and spiritual strength – not by physical means….because we can’t.

As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin

12-5

U.S. Drone Missile Kills Filipino Bomber in Pakistan

January 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Inquirer.net, News Report, Philippine Daily Inquirer

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — An alleged Abu Sayyaf demolition expert wanted by the United States for $1M is believed to have been killed in an American drone strike close to the Afghan border earlier this month, Pakistani intelligence officials said Thursday.

If confirmed, the death of Abdul Basit Usman would represent another success for the U.S. covert missile program on targets in Pakistan. There have been an unprecedented number of attacks this month following a deadly Dec. 30 bombing of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) base in Afghanistan.

There had been no previous indication that Usman, who was captured by Philippine authorities in 2002 but escaped months later, was in Pakistan.

If the reports of his death are true, it may indicate stronger ties between the worldwide terror group al-Qaida and Southeast Asian extremist groups than previously thought.

In Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it was verifying the report.

AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. told reporters military intelligence was still checking if indeed it was Usman who was killed in Pakistan.

Brawner said an intelligence report “sometime last year” indicated Usman was still in Mindanao. “We are still waiting for the report from our intelligence,” he said.

But if the report of Usman’s death was true, it would “to some extent” cripple the capability of the Abu Sayyaf, Brawner said.

MILF Welcomes Report

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) expressed relief at the report.

“We are happy and we welcome the report. We hope it is true,” Eid Kabalu, MILF civil-military affairs chief, said.

Kabalu said Usman’s death vindicated the MILF, which had been accused by the military of coddling the alleged bomber.

Usman was linked to a series of attacks in Mindanao, including the 2006 bombing in Makilala, North Cotabato, that killed half a dozen people.

In 2002, cohorts sprang him from the Sarangani provincial jail. He escaped along with Pentagon gang leader Alonto Tahir.

Maguindanao Tribe

Kabalu said Usman belonged to the Maguindanao tribe, having been born and raised in Ampatuan town.

There were also reports that Usman was involved in extortion activities of the Abu Sofia and the al-Khobar gangs, which have been linked to the Abu Sayyaf.

Kabalu said Usman had never been an MILF member but that his brother, Ustadz Mohiden, belonged to the MILF’s religious committee. Mohiden disappeared in 2004 after government agents seized him, Kabalu said.

“He (Usman) was not a member (of the MILF) but he trained many MILF members in bomb-making,” said Maj. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command.

On Most-Wanted List

Two military intelligence officers in northwestern Pakistan said Usman was believed killed on Jan. 14 on the border of Pakistan’s South and North Waziristan tribal regions. Another 11 militants were also killed in the strike on an extremist compound.

The US State Department’s list of most-wanted terrorists identifies Usman as a bomb-making expert with links to the Abu Sayyaf bandit group and the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah network.

The State Department has put a bounty of $1 million for information leading to Usman’s conviction, and says he is believed responsible for bombings in the southern Philippines in 2006 and 2007 that killed 15 people.

Home to Terrorists

Waziristan and other parts of Pakistan’s border region have long been home to militants from all over the world, primarily Arabs and central Asians.

Up to several hundred Filipino and other Southeast Asian militants traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and ’90s to fight the Soviets and attend al-Qaida-run camps, but they are no longer believed to be in the region in significant numbers.

The apparent presence of Usman in Waziristan may raise fresh questions as to links between al-Qaida in Pakistan and extremists in Southeast Asia, which has seen several bloody bombings and failed terror plots since 2000. Many were carried out by extremists who had returned from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Pakistani officials cited extremist informers as the source of the information on Usman’s death—which could not be independently confirmed. One of them said Usman had been in Waziristan for one year after arriving from Afghanistan.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media on the record.

Pakistani government officials rarely confirm the identities of those killed in US attacks.

Unmanned Planes

Islamabad publicly complains about the US missile strikes because admitting to cooperating with the United States would be politically damaging, but it is believed to provide intelligence for many of them.

US officials, also, do not often talk about the missile strikes or their targets, but they have in the past confirmed the deaths of several mid- and high-level al-Qaida and Taliban fighters.

Most of the missiles are fired from unmanned drone aircraft launched from Afghanistan.

Asked about the drone program during an interview with local Express TV, visiting US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: “I’m not going to discuss operations but I will say this: These unmanned aerial vehicles have been extremely useful to us, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.”

Shadow Aircraft

Gates said he was expanding the program by buying more of the aircraft. He also said the United States was considering ways to share intelligence with the Pakistani military, including possibly giving it US-made drones for intelligence and reconnaissance purposes.

U.S. officials said Gates was referring to a proposed deal for 12 unarmed Shadow aircraft.

With reports from AP; Jocelyn R. Uy, in Manila; and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao

12-5

Conservative Christians Pray for God to Kill President Obama

November 25, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By The Cleveland Leader (adapted by TMO)

prayforobabma t shirt That’s not very Christian-like, now is it? Nevertheless, a few religious zealots have taken their dislike of U.S. President Barack Obama to a new level – bumper stickers and t-shirts which command viewers to pray for the president’s death. Of course they don’t come right out and print “Pray for our President to die”. Instead, the perpetrators take a far more cowardly approach, utilizing the slogan “Pray for Obama – Psalm 109:8”.

If you take the time to look up Psalm 109:8, you’ll notice right off that it is not a happy and cheerful passage. Psalm 109 is better known as “A Cry for Vengeance”. Psalm 109:8 specifically reads:

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

While that verse does not specifically mention death or harm to the leader in question, read on and you will see that Psalm 109 has a far more sinister message.

6 Appoint [a] an evil man [b] to oppose him; let an accuser [c] stand at his right hand.

7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him.

8 May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.

9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

10 May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven [d] from their ruined homes.

11 May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

12 May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

13 May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

In other words, referencing this passage when speaking about President Obama is secret Christian code for “Kill the President.” As sad or as crazy as it may be, this veiled death wish is not the first to have arisen since Barack Obama took office in January. Other examples include the classified ad that was placed in a Pennsylvania newspaper hoping that Obama follows in “the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy” – all of whom were assassinated. Then there’s also the gun totating teabagger from New Hampshire who waved a sign saying that it is time to “water the tree of liberty”, making reference to Thomas Jefferson’s reminder that the tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the “blood of tyrants and patriots.”

If you too would like to be added to the Secret Service’s watchlist, have your phone calls tapped and emails read, by all means, buy one of the Psalm t-shirts or bumper stickers. It’s still a free country afterall. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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TMO Editor’s note:  This psalm is not directed at cruel leaders, but rather at cruel men who oppress pious men, and against people who curse others more than they bless them.  Therefore perhaps this psalm is more a friend to Obama than it is a friend to the extremists who attack him despite his overtures towards them.  Following are some later verses to illustrate this:

17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
       may it [e] come on him;
       he found no pleasure in blessing—
       may it be [f] far from him.

18 He wore cursing as his garment;
       it entered into his body like water,
       into his bones like oil.

19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
       like a belt tied forever around him.

20 May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers,
       to those who speak evil of me.

US-Iranian Bioweapon Researcher Dies Suspiciously

September 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

PressTV

Dr. Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi, who changed his name to Noah Mckay after a jail term, has reportedly died a suspicious death in the US.

A US-based Iranian doctor working to discover an antitoxin therapy of biological weapons has purportedly died a “suspicious death.”

One of the leading bioweapon researchers and a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, Dr. Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi died on Saturday in what his doctors described as a “suspicious death”.

Media reports have linked Dr. Talebzadeh Ordoubadi’s mysterious death to his notable accomplishments in discovering an antitoxin treatment for bioweapons.

The use of biological and chemical weapons — which is considered illegal under The Hague convention on rules of warfare — is feared by many experts more than the use of nuclear weapons.

Biological weapons can kill, incapacitate, or seriously impede an individual as well as entire cities or places where they are used.

While there are antibiotic and penicillin treatments for different types of bioweapons, some of them such as Botulism and Ricin still remain without any antitoxin or vaccine to cure those subjected to the poisonous weapon.

According to Tabnak, Dr. Talebzadeh’s achievements in finding a cure to bioweapons had made him the target of various accusations from the government of the United States — one of the possessors of biological weapons — since 1992.

In 2000, the Iranian doctor was sentenced to 35 months in prison on charges of health care and mail fraud under the new HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).

His jail sentence, which prompted him to change his name to Noah McKay, came after years of government attempts to level various accusations against him.

The charges, which were never substantiated, proven or confirmed, included “money laundering, funding Middle Eastern terrorists, and connections to the Russian mafia in Seattle”.

While serving in the federal prison camp in Sheridan, Oregon, he told one of his lawyers “my life is in danger and I should change my name and request transfer to another prison.”

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Two Murdered Women

July 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Walid El Hourican

* Neda and Marwa: One becomes an icon, the other is unmentioned

2009-07-17T180457Z_01_BER104_RTRMDNP_3_GERMANY

A girl holds a picture of murdered Marwa El-Sherbiny during a memorial in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin July 17, 2009.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

On June 20th 2009, Neda Agha Soltan was shot dead during the post-election protests in Iran. The protests occupied the largest news segments around the world, with analysts and commentators predicting the fall of the Iranian regime and the dawn of freedom breaking in “the axis of evil.”

Neda’s death became an icon of the Iranian opposition and a symbol for millions of people of the injustice of the Iranian regime and the defiance of the protesters. Neda’s death was put in context. It was taken from the personal realm of the death of an individual to the public realm of the just cause of a whole society.

On July 1st Marwa El Sherbini, an Egyptian researcher living in Germany, was stabbed to death 18 times inside a courtroom in the city of Dresden, in front of her 3-year-old son. She had won a verdict against a German man of Russian descent who had verbally assaulted her because of her veil. Her husband, who rushed in to save her when she was attacked in the courtroom, was shot by the police. Marwa’s death was not reported by any Western news media until protests in Egypt erupted after her burial. The reporting that followed focused on the protests; the murder was presented as the act of a “lone wolf,” thus depriving it of its context and its social meaning.

The fact that media are biased and choose what to report according to their own agenda is not the issue in this case. What the comparison of the two murders shows, is that European and Western societies have failed to grasp the significance and the importance of the second murder in its social, political, and historical context.

The “lone wolf” who stabbed Marwa 18 times inside the courtroom is the product of the society he lives in. If anything, the murder of Marwa should raise the discussion about the latent (perhaps not so latent anymore) racism against Muslims that has been growing in European societies in the last few decades, and noticeably so since the mid-90s.

It would be difficult to avoid relating the crime to the discussions about the banning of the Niqab, or the previous discussions about the wearing of the veil. These issues and others pertaining to the Muslim immigration in Europe have been occupying large parts of the public debates in several European countries. It would also be difficult not to notice the rapid rise of right wing populist parties to power in several European countries in the last decade, all of which have built their discourse on the fear of Islam and the “immigration problem.”

The absence of reporting, or adequate reporting of the murder, and the alarm bells that did not ring after this murder, reflect the denial in which European societies and public discourse are immersed.

While Europe preaches freedom of expression and the need to accept otherness, and while Europe preaches about the dangers of racism and sectarianism in third world countries, and while Europe warns about hate speech and anti-Semitism, we see race-driven crime, prejudice, and hate speech gaining both legitimacy and power in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Denmark and other democracies in the old continent. Race-driven crimes are constantly presented as exceptions within a tolerant society. However, the recurrence of exceptions puts in question their exceptional nature.

The absence of Marwa’s story from the mainstream media and the failure to start a debate about the immediate dangers of present European anti-Muslim racism shows the depth of the problem and draws us to expect a gl oomy future for Muslims in Europe. Muslims like Neda only get to the news if their story serves the dominant narrative that presents Islam as the primary threat to freedom, while Muslims like Marwa who expose the pervasive racism of the West and challenge the existing stereotypes fail to get their story told.

What is significant to note is that in Neda’s case the media accused the Iranian regime as the authority responsible for the context in which the crime was committed rather than looking for the person who actually shot her. The accused is the establishment or the institution rather than the individual shooter. However, in the case of Marwa’s murder the media were persistent in stressing on the individuality of the murderer, calling him a “lone wolf”, implying that he is a social outcast who holds no ties to the society he lives in. The murderer was given a name “Alex W.” and the institution, the society, and the establishment he lives in were taken away from the picture.

While Neda’s death enjoyed wide arrays of interpretations and readings in context, Marwa’s death was deprived of its context and was presented as a personal tragedy, featuring a madman and his victim. Meanwhile Europe keeps shifting to the right at an accelerating pace, and cultural stereotypes, failure to integrate (read: social and political alienation), miscommunication, and a growing financial crisis only nourish this trajectory and support the populist and chauvinistic discourse of various newborn and resurrected right wing parties.

In the 1930s, following the big economical crisis of the 1920s, a young populist right wing party suddenly rose to power in Germany and few predicted what was to follow. There is no realistic proof to say that Europe is a more tolerant society than any other, or to say that people necessarily learn from their history, or even that some societies are exempt from racist behavior. All the evidence points to the end of the European myth of post-war tolerance; and the media have yet to connect the dots before history repeats itself.

– Walid El Hourican be reached at: walid@menassat.com. This article appeared in CounterPunch.org.

Muslims Count Michael Jackson as One of Our Own

July 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Iftekhar Hai, San Mateo County Times

THE UNTIMELY death of Michael Jackson became international news, and it has affected many people, including my children and grandchildren.

I dedicate this column to the philosophical and spiritual turmoil I felt when I heard Jackson died June 25 of an apparent cardiac arrest.

He had an extraordinary charisma, absolute innocence and a childlike charm that never left him.

As his music spread all over the world, bringing him wealth and recognition, he slowly transformed his God-given African texture and features into something else.

I could never explain this part of his life to my children.

He appeared to have a genuine concern for children and wanted to offer them a world that was denied to him as a child because of the abuses he claimed to have suffered.

I was very happy for him last year when he reportedly became a Muslim in Bahrain. He had apparently followed the footsteps of his brother Jermaine Jackson, who converted to Islam 20 years ago and found peace when he gave up drinking, drugs and womanizing. Michael Jackson admired this kind of change in him.

So in search of peace, he lived in Bahrain.

For some time, Jackson thought of making an album in Bahrain to promote spirituality and signed a contract. However, when he returned to America, he was too afraid of the consequences of aligning with the Islamic faith.

Islamophobia is a curse in America. He was advised by close associates and sincere friends not to go public with his new found spirituality.

He remained in his own closet of spirituality that few outside his close circle knew.

American pop culture is not about religion but about a world of fantasy — a flamboyant facade. And he sunk deeper and maintained a lifestyle that increased his dependency on drugs.

He lost all peace of mind and self-control to such an extent that his personal doctor said, “I had to wake him up with medication and had to put him to sleep with the help of medication.”

Michael Jackson is a trivial pursuit of American popular culture.

In my culture we say, “this was a bud that was cut before it could fully blossom.”

Practically, we have powerful people who worship money and power and who are constantly defeating any new ideas that challenge the status quo. Jackson — who was sweet, innocent and talented — fell victim.

I am obsessed with the question, “Why couldn’t Elvis and Michael Jackson remain famous, rich and on a musical pedestal and still live a drug-free and spiritual life?”

Ali Akbar Khan of Berkeley was such a musician, who gained great wealth, fame and popularity and left more than 1,000 students who are spiritually elevated musicians.

Michael Jackson’s death to all of us is one that is sobering. One can climb to fame, acquire great wealth and riches, but death comes knocking without much fanfare.

Nevertheless, Jackson’s very public death is a powerful reminder that no matter how famous, talented or wealthy one is, death comes sometimes sooner than later.

He has now entered a world of extraordinary perception, a world that makes his “Thriller” video seem mundane.

Given Michael’s r eported conversion to Islam last year, Muslims count him as one of our own, and we pray that he can finally find the peace he never found in this world and that he is in a place, God willing, of mercy, forgiveness and solace.

Iftekhar Hai is president of United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance and a resident of South San Francisco.

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At Peace at Last

July 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Hamza Yusuf

2009-06-29T055913Z_01_LOA191_RTRMDNP_3_MUSIC-BET
 

As a little boy, Michael Jackson had an extraordinary charisma — as well as an absolute innocence — that was disarmingly charming. It captivated millions of Americans and eventually people around the world.

As the years went by, his career took strange turns and he slowly turned white, transforming his face eerily into a pale and ghastly masque, perhaps to conceal the pain of alienation from his own self and family. He was also rumored to have unsavory predilections that would never have been suggested if one used the rigorous criteria of Islam before hurling an accusation. Despite the rumors, he appeared to have had a genuine concern for children, wanting to provide them with a world that was denied to him as a child due to the abuses he claimed to have suffered.

I was very happy for him last year when he reportedly became a Muslim. He had apparently followed the footsteps of his dignified and intelligent brother, Jermaine, who converted to Islam 20 years ago and found peace. It seemed befitting that Michael sought refuge from a society that thrives on putting people on pedestals and then knocking them down. He was accused of many terrible things, but was guilty of perhaps being far too sensitive for an extremely cruel world. Such is the fate of many artistic people in our culture of nihilistic art, where the dominant outlet for their talents is in singing hollow pop songs or dancing half-naked in front of ogling onlookers who often leave them as quickly as they clung to them for the next latest sensation.

In the manner of Elvis or the Beatles, Michael is unwittingly both a cause and a symptom of America’s national obsession with celebrity, currently on display in the American Idol mania. Celebrity trumps catastrophe every time. Far too few of us make any attempt to understand why jobs are drying up, why mortgages are collapsing, why we spend half-a-trillion dollars to service the interest on the national debt, why our government’s administration, despite being elected on an anti-war platform, is still committed to two unnecessary and unjust wars waged by the earlier administration, wars that continue to involve civilians casualties on an almost daily basis. Instead, we drown in trivia, especially trivia related to celebrity. And the response to Michael’s death is part of the trivial pursuits of American popular culture. The real news about death in America is that twenty Iraq and Afghan war veterans are committing suicide every day. But that does not make the front page nor is it discussed as seriously as the King of Pop’s cardiac arrest.

Nevertheless, Michael’s very public death notice is a powerful reminder that no matter how famous or talented or wealthy one is, death comes knocking, sometimes sooner than later. Michael has now entered a world of extraordinary perception, a world that makes his “Thriller” video seem mundane. It is a world of angels and demons, and questions in the grave, a world where fame is based upon piety and charity. Given Michael’s reported conversion to Islam last year, Muslims count him as one of our own, and we pray that he can finally find the peace he never found in this world and that he is in a place, God willing, of mercy, forgiveness, and solace.

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Neda

June 27, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

By Sumayyah Meehan MMNS

_32921_Neda
A screen grab captured from the popular social-networking site YouTube shows the final moments of Neda Agha-Soltan, as she lies dying from a bullet shot through her heart by Iranian government forces. 

She stepped out of the car for just a moment to catch her breath.  And in the blink of an eye she was shot dead by government forces in the middle of an Iranian street.  The lone bullet hit Neda Agha-Soltan right in the chest. The 26-year-old university student began bleeding from her nose and mouth as her eyes rolled back into her head and her body became still. The woman whom friends have described as a loving friend and engaging companion was buried the next day.  Her family was not even allowed to hold a memorial service or hang a black banner on the front  door  because the government feared it would only further incense protestors and cause more havoc on the Iranian streets.

Neda’s death was captured on a cell phone video camera and uploaded to the Internet before her body was even removed from the street. Millions of Internet users have viewed the footage of Neda’s final moments online and her death has served as a catalyst for the continuation of protests against perceived voting irregularities, which resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

For thousands of Iranians, Neda has become the symbol of the fight against the oppressive Iranian regime. She was an innocent victim who was targeted simply because she attended a public protest against the government.  There have been many innocent victims of the Iranian government’s crackdown on so-called unlawful protests. Both men and women alike have been beaten by merciless government forces, with many losing their lives in the battle.

Neda’s death has, specifically, reached out to the hearts and minds of Iranian women who have been emboldened to let their voices be heard. Some women walk down the streets adorned with the Islamic headscarf while holding placards skyward. Others throw stones and chant anti-government slogans. While others yet have used themselves as human shields to protect the injured from further atrocities or helped the wounded get off the streets and away from government forces.

The current protests in Iran have been likened to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, however there has been a drastic change that runs along gender lines. The revolution that took place 30 years ago was comprised almost exclusively of male protestors whereas today female protestors are clearly outnumbering the men on the Iranian streets. It has taken years for Iranian women to find their voices. Their coming of age can be seen in screen grabs from cable news program and in video footage uploaded to the Internet.

No matter what the outcome of the current protests turns out to be or how many innocents are beaten and battered. There is one thread of truth that runs through it all and makes Neda’s assassination anything but in vain. And that truth is that the Iranian women are the new pioneers for change in their country. With every step that they take or stone that they hurl, Iranian women are fighting the good fight for change, democracy and freedom in their country.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

June 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Continuation of the book by Harun Yahya, The Secrets of the Hypocrites.

They Do Not Think

Not thinking is the best-known aspect of the Religion of the Ignorant. They have brought themselves to believe that by not pondering too deeply, they will be happy and remain mentally healthy. They imagine that thinking will actually harm them! Sometimes they are even unaware that there are certain things they should be thinking about.

One of these subjects they fail to consider is death. They are unaware that they are face to face with death at all times, and that Allah can take their souls whenever He so wishes. They deceive themselves into imagining that they will live for thousands of years and can make use freely of all the blessings of this world.

They also fail to consider the Day of Reckoning after death and the Hereafter. None of them thinks—or rather, doesn’t wish to think—about how he will be resurrected after death and held to account for what they did in this world. Most of them refuse even to admit the possibility of eternal life, Paradise and Hell.

They have literally programmed themselves not to think. This characteristic prevents their being thinking entities; they become unable to grasp even the simplest matters. Thinking people, on the other hand, will always seek after the truth. They will reflect on where they came from, and how the universe they inhabit and their own bodies came into existence, and of course, where they themselves are headed. Clinging tightly to the Qur’an, they thus attain the attributes of thinking human being.

Like deniers, however, hypocrites also bring down a “curtain of heedlessness” in front of their eyes by not thinking. Since they imagine that they will live more comfortably by not thinking they spend their lives in this world in emptiness. Since they are far removed from consideration, they cannot see the squalor and darkness in which they live and, most important of all, that they are deceiving only themselves.

They Do Not Use Their Intellect

Simply being human in appearance and possessing certain human attributes is insufficient proof that someone is really a wise entity. Wisdom is a very different concept; it emerges as the result of a number of features. Allah has revealed the secrets of wisdom in the Qur’an, and encourages people to become aware of them. Some of these conditions include unconditional submission to Allah, completely trusting in and surrendering to Him, seeking no other deity or helpmate than Him, feeling an awe filled with respect for Him, and never forgetting Him, not even for a moment. Only believers grasp all this and attain true wisdom.

Hypocrites, on the other hand, seek to imitate wisdom, although with this state of theirs, they exhibit a most facile and superficial attitude. No matter how much they may seek to imitate it, they can never show any real signs of it. Indeed, true wisdom is to be found only in believers.

All deniers—hypocrites included—are referred to in the Qur’an as “people who do not use their intellect”

Al-Hashr: 14

Another indication that they are unreasoning is the fact that they are closed to all warnings. They behave as if they have heard believers’ warnings about the imminence of death and the suffering of Hell, but still go on displaying the same wrong behavior. Recalling Allah awakens no reaction in their hearts, and they remain insensitive to the reminders issued to them. This is why Allah describes them in the Qur’an as follows:

Deaf, dumb, blind. They will not return.

Al-Baqara: 18

They Cannot Comprehend

By failing to think, as already mentioned, hypocrites have closed their consciences to understanding the truth and have literally placed a lock on their hearts. Allah, in turn, has bolted that lock. This matter is referred to in the Qur’an, in these terms:

Allah has sealed up their hearts and hearing, and over their eyes is a blindfold. They will have a terrible punishment.

Al-Baqara: 7

. . . Their hearts have been stamped so they do not understand.

At-Tawba: 87

One of the worst losses a human being can suffer is the loss of his reason and his ability to think. Hypocrites have lost all their reason and powers of comprehension in proportion to their own inauthenticity. Since they expend their energies in wickedness and rebellion, they are unable to comprehend even matters of closest concern to them. One of the best examples is their failure to grasp the imminence of death. It is evident that human beings are mortal and will one day die. Yet these people still busy themselves chasing after their own advantages in this world—clear evidence of their inability to think and comprehend. Allah introduces them thus in one of His verses:

… Allah has turned their hearts away because they are people who do not understand.

At-Tawba: 127

They Can Be Recognized by Their Faces and Their Words

Hypocrites make great efforts not to be recognized for what they are. In one verse, however, Allah addresses His Messenger as follows:

If We wished, We would show them to you and you would know them by their mark and know them by their ambivalent speech …

Muhammad: 30

Evidently, if Allah so chooses, hypocrites can be recognized by His messenger. The characteristics that chiefly give them away are their lack of a balanced soul, the absence of the brightness to be seen in the faces of believers, and how their speech lacks a believer’s awareness and consistency. Their faces are shrouded in darkness, as we are told in verses, and their words reflect the doubt and darkness in their hearts:

Those who oppose Allah and His messenger, such people will be among the most abased.

Al-Mujadala: 20

In the faces of believers there is a light, honest and serene expression, which represents an external manifestation of their trustworthiness. Yet the hypocrite’s face reflects the rejection and denial in his heart:

When Our signs are recited to them—clear signs—you can detect denial in the faces of those who disbelieve. . . .

Al-Hajj: 72

They are Unhappy

No matter how strongly hypocrites may hope to secure an advantage from the wickedness they perpetrate, actually they achieve nothing but trouble and sorrow. They have rejected the greatest opportunity to come their way, for which reason they have earned the wrath of Allah. Even if they expect to be happy after committing evil, unhappiness, limitations, troubles and disappointment will follow them throughout their lives and, more importantly, in the Hereafter. Allah reveals His punishment for their deeds:

Let them laugh little and weep much, in repayment for what they have earned.

At-Tawba: 82

No matter how proud hypocrites may be, no matter how much they regard themselves as superior to other people and in a better position, they actually live troubled lives, as revealed in the verse. This is a kind of punishment inflicted by Allah so that they may be recognized. Since they take no pleasure from the beauties of this world and have lost hope of the Hereafter, they are unable to know happiness and have a constant desire to weep. This may be a grief that is reflected externally from time to time, or else such negative emotions as trouble, dissatisfaction, self-pity and despair will dominate their souls.

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Homosexuality in the Middle East

November 8, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS

And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)?

Al-A’raf:80

The last place one would expect to find homosexuals is in the Middle East. The majority of the countries in this region are Islamic States and, irrespective of whether they are Sunni or Shiite nations, homosexuality is universally condemned as being contrary to the Creation of Allah. The punishment for the offense of homosexuality in many nations in the Middle East, regardless of whether the Sharia Law is implemented in the country or not, is often the death penalty.

Despite the risk of death, homosexuals are flooding out of the ‘closet’ and into the streets. In Kuwait specifically, you can often see gangs of homosexuals walking together. They are easy to spot. The dress code for male homosexuals in Kuwait is tight clothing, shaped eyebrows, white foundation with powder and a little lipstick. For females, they dress up like males with short spiky hair, studs and chains. Islamic MPs in Kuwait have been calling for the formation of a special religious police unit to uphold morals in the country. But so far this request has fallen on deaf ears. Homosexuality is just one of the problems the MPs want to be tackled in Kuwait. Other problems include public lewdness and indecent behavior by young heterosexuals.

Kuwait is not the only country dealing with unprecedented homosexuality within its borders. Lebanon also reportedly is grappling with homosexuals exercising their perceived rights. However, in Lebanon homosexuals enjoy more freedom than anywhere else in the Middle East. Lebanon has gay bars and nightclubs as well as the first association for gay people in the Middle East, which is called the ‘Helem Foundation’. It was founded in 2004 and it’s mission, according to the director Georges Azzi, is to promote gay rights in Lebanon and to help the Ministry of Health support AIDS awareness in the country.

Perhaps the country where homosexuals are really most prominent is in Saudi Arabia, a country where homosexuality is punishable by flogging, life imprisonment or even beheading. Homosexuals in the region are continuously becoming bolder in promoting their lifestyle choices in public. While there are not specific venues for homosexuals to congregate in, there are specific places where homosexuals meet up. There are certain malls and grocery stores that gays utilize for meeting each other. And there is supposedly a street in Jeddah where prospective ‘customers’ can cruise and pick-up homosexual prostitutes. In ever-emboldened fearlessness, there have even been attempts at gay marriages. In 2004, the Saudi police raided a gay wedding party in which two Chadian men were about to marry in the city of Medina. And in 2005, 110 men were arrested at another gay wedding party in which 30 were later convicted.

Homosexuality is set to rise in the Middle East in the coming years and there seems to be nothing governments can do about it with homosexuals continuously exerting their presence in the community. The effect on society is sure to be felt with the family unit consisting of a mother, father and their offspring being challenged. The risk of homosexuality in society includes increased spread of sexually transmitted diseases and decreased growth of populations in that same-sexed couples cannot naturally bear children.

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