Bismillah [IslamCity] American Jewish groups must speak up over Gaza

2009-04-28 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Richard Silverstein: It is a sensitive subject, but the movement for Gaza 
accountability needs full Jewish participation
American Jewish groups must speak up over Gaza
Monday 20 April 2009 09.00 BST
When Israeli forces left Gaza in January, they left behind 1,400 Palestinian 
dead, 4,000 homes destroyed, universities and government buildings flattened, 
and tens of thousands homeless. The Israeli and world press documented IDF 
atrocities including the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus in densely 
populated urban areas, the assault on United Nations humanitarian facilities, 
the shelling of civilian homes, and the shooting in cold blood of unarmed 
Israeli human rights groups have called for war crimes investigations of IDF 
actions. In the last few weeks, on-the-ground reports supported by eyewitness 
testimony have become available. They paint an even more damning picture. The 
attacks on UN facilities spurred the Palestinian Authority to call for a 
security council investigation. Officials announced they are investigating 
whether the international body has jurisdiction, but it seems likely that US 
opposition will doom such an avenue of redress.
The UN human rights council has just appointed a distinguished jurist, Richard 
Goldstone, to head an investigation of both IDF and Palestinian actions in 
Gaza. The council made a wise choice in Goldstone, who served as chief 
prosecutor of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia 
and Rwanda: he has an impeccable record in his field and can be expected to 
issue a fair, balanced and thorough report.
Last week, Judge Balthazar Garzon announced the investigation of six Bush-era 
officials for devising a scheme that justified torture of terror suspects. With 
this development, it became clear there was a new method to hold violators 
accountable for their alleged crimes, and I am certain activists are already 
preparing dossiers for submission. Earlier this month, an international 
assemblage of individuals announced the formation of the Russell tribunal on 
Palestine. Modelled on the Russell tribunal on war crimes in Vietnam, and named 
after philosopher and peace campaigner Bertrand Russell, it aims to bring to 
bear international law as a force for adjudicating and resolving the 
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The tribunal will hear a legal case prepared by 
volunteer experts from around the world. A jury of respected individuals will 
hear evidence from both sides and announce its finding of guilt or innocence to 
the world.
There is one important consideration that should encourage Israel to 
participate. If it truly believes Palestinian rocket attacks constitute war 
crimes, then it should vigorously make this point. The tribunal has already 
taken pains to point out that this is a part of its mandate: Do the means of 
resistance used by the Palestinians violate international law? However, I 
would imagine that Israel will not participate.
While Israel's savage assault against Hezbollah in Lebanon during the 2006 war 
generated an uproar, one wonders whether the massacres that occurred in Gaza 
crossed a moral threshhold. Can an effort to end Israeli impunity have real 
impact, both in terms of influencing world opinion and of impacting on Israeli 
behaviour? Israel has become an expert at wearing down its opponents, honing 
such skills during 40 years of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The 
question is: what, if anything, can the peace community do differently this 
Each time the world witnesses another humanitarian tragedy resulting from 
Israeli military action, the outcry is louder. For example, the UN has never 
before entertained the possibility of investigating Israeli war crimes. The EU 
has informally made known that it intends to freeze a planned upgrade in 
relations with Israel and cancel of visit of Israel's prime minister as an 
indirect result. American universities such as Hampshire College and church 
denominations such as the Presbyterians contemplate ever more seriously the 
issue of divestment. Gaza crossed a red line. Now, new methods of protest and 
new means of ensuring accountability must be devised.
Horrors such as the Gaza war also breathe new life into movements like the 
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions initiative. Recently, Naomi Klein and Rabbi 
Arthur Waskow engaged in a provocative debate at In These Times about BDS. The 
Gaza war made Klein a believer. Recently, Rabbi Brant Rosen wrote words that 
many in the American Jewish community might find heretical, that BDS could be a 
legitimate expression of a weaker, dispossessed, disempowered people.
There can be no doubt that horrors such as Gaza serve as moral ice-breakers in 
the psyche of diaspora Jews. Ideas that hitherto might have been taboo or 
anti-Israel become suddenly legitimate. As Israel drifts farther to the 
right, American Jews are challenged to respond morally. In this context, the 
forbidden becomes 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk’s World: Now I've really lived. I've gone on a movie set and shouted 'Action!'

2009-04-12 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
* Robert Fisk’s World: Now I've really lived. I've gone on a movie set 
and shouted 'Action!'


Bismillah [IslamCity] Blears facing Muslim legal move

2009-04-12 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Blears facing Muslim legal movePress Assoc. - 1 hour 4 mins ago
A bitter dispute between the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the Government 
escalated when the group's deputy secretary-general launched legal action 
against Communities Secretary Hazel Blears. More »


Bismillah [IslamCity] New evidence of alleged Israeli's Gaza war crimes revealed!

2009-03-29 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
2. Watch the three Guardian video reports
3. Gaza war crimes investigation
4. Israeli war crimes allegations: what the law saysEditorial: A case 
to answerUK to Israel: War crimes law unchangeable now
*   * End this culture of Israeli impunity
2. 'IDF troops used 11-year-old boy as human shield in Gaza'*   
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   * Israel's Barak faces 
showdown over coalition deal *   *   *
2. Don't judge Israel's 'war crimes'
3. Will Israel be brought to book?
4. Why Israel went to war in Gaza
5. Israel-Palestine revisited
6. The options before Israel
7. White phosphorus in Gaza: the victimsRiots break out in Arab Israeli 
town during ultra-nationalist Jewish marchNetanyahu and Barak draft Israel 
coalition pactIsraeli right-wingers spark clashesDemo triggers clashes in 
Israeli Arab town Israelis told to fight 'holy war' in GazaIsraeli soldiers 
admit intentionally killing Palestinian civiliansIsraeli soldiers admit to 
deliberate killing of Gaza civiliansTroops tell Gaza tales on T-shirtsDead 
Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashionNew bill seeks to worsen 
conditions of incarceration for terroristsIsrael bows to U.S. pressure, lifts 
food restrictions on GazaEvidence of alleged Israeli war crimes


Bismillah [IslamCity] Why Lieberman is the worst thing that could happen to the Middle East

2009-03-23 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
1. Robert Fisk: Why Lieberman is the worst thing that could happen to 
the Middle East
2. Robert Fisk: As usual in the Middle East, only Arabs are terrorists
3. Avigdor Lieberman - branded Arab-hating racist - set to be Israeli 
foreign minister


Bismillah [IslamCity] The End of Israel's Impunity?

2009-03-20 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
* The End of Israel's Impunity?


Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel annexing East Jerusalem - EU : 'You don't have a house any more'

2009-03-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
1. Israel annexing East Jerusalem - EU
2. 'You don't have a house any more'


Bismillah [IslamCity] Must Jews always see themselves as victims? A Christian painter who could not see the light in Palestine

2009-03-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
1. Antony Lerman:Must Jews always see themselves as victims?
2. Robert Fisk: A Christian painter who could not see the light in 


Bismillah [IslamCity] Examine the Pope's words. There's only one conclusion

2009-03-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan

Examine the Pope's words. There's only one conclusion
Robert Fisk: Benedict will demean other religions to prove Christianity’s 


Bismillah [IslamCity] Pakistan imposes sharia law in Malakand : On the trail of Pakistan's Taliban

2009-02-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
1. Pakistan imposes sharia law in Malakand
2. On the trail of Pakistan's Taliban
3. Pakistan: Suspected US Drone Attack Kills 30
4. Sharia law in Pakistan


Bismillah [IslamCity] The writing is on the synagogue wall

2009-02-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The writing is on the synagogue wall


Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel is trapped, and the chance of peace is ever more remote

2009-02-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Bruce Anderson: Israel is trapped, and the chance of peace is ever more remote


Bismillah [IslamCity] 'Pashtunistan' holds key for Obama

2009-02-17 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
 'Pashtunistan' holds key to Obama mission



2009-02-17 Thread Arif Bhuiyan

(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, FEBRUARY 2 - The trade volume between Turkey and Israel has 
reached to 3.3 billion dollars in 2008 from 1.4 billion dollars in 2002 when 
the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development came to power, daily Hurriyet 
reports. The official data showed that Turkey's exports reached 1.9 billion 
dollars in 2008 from 1.6 billion dollars in 2007. Turkey's imports from Israel 
rose 36% in 2008 to 1.4 billion dollars. One of the main trade items between 
two countries is the defense industry. Turkey had auctioned the modernization 
of the M-60 tanks to the Israel Military Industries (IMI) for 668 million 
dollars. The IMI also won the modernization of the 300 military helicopters for 
57 million dollars. Turkey signed three other deals with Israel for the 
modernization of war jets. The financial amount of these agreements is 850 
million dollars. The tension rose between Turkey and Israel after Ankara 
harshly criticized the Israel's operations in the
 Gaza Strip which left more than 1,300 people killed. The Turkish Prime 
Minister Tayyip Erdogan's reaction to storm out of the Gaza session in Davos is 
unlikely to effect the mutual relations, experts say. (ANSAmed). 
2009-02-02 13:48



Bismillah [IslamCity] Re: The flying Dutchman

2009-02-17 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Comment from someone regarding this subject:
Labour bares its appeaser’s teeth to unbending Muslims

From: Arif
Sent: Saturday, 14 February, 2009 15:56:25
Subject: The flying Dutchman

Finally, a good job from our Govt.
Editorial: The flying Dutchman


Bismillah [IslamCity] Bashir Ahmad: The Scottish Parliament's first Asian member

2009-02-16 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Bashir Ahmad was a man of extraordinary grace, kindness and decency. The 
Scottish Parliament, in which he served all too briefly as its first Asian and 
first Muslim member, is much the poorer for his passing.
Bashir Ahmad: The Scottish Parliament's first Asian member


Bismillah [IslamCity] The flying Dutchman

2009-02-16 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Finally, a good job from our Govt.
Editorial: The flying Dutchman


Bismillah [IslamCity] Iran: A nation still haunted by its bloody past - Robert Fisk

2009-02-11 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Iran: A nation still haunted by its bloody past
Robert Fisk: 11 February 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini ushered in a regime that was 
at once brutal and naive, provocative and dangerous.
Please click on the above link to read the full article


Bismillah [IslamCity] Master of Arts and Scholarships at Qatar University

2009-02-11 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Master of Arts and Scholarships at Qatar University
Dear friends,

Are you interested in learning more about Islam? Have you been searching for a 
golden opportunity to do so? Well, I'd like to inform you of the following...

The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) is offering full-scholarships for 
the following programs:

1. Master of Arts in Islamic Studies with a specialization in Contemporary Fiqh
2. Master of Arts in Islamic Studies with a specialization in Religions and 
Contemporary thought
3. Master of Arts in Public Policy in Islam
4. Master of Science in Islamic Finance
5. Diploma in Islamic Finance
6. Diploma in Islamic Studies

Note: only the first two programs require a bachelors of religious studies as a 

Scholarships include tuition, housing etc. for international students

Deadline for applying: 31 March, 09
Deadline for submitting language results (TOEFL  Arabic test): 13 August, 09

Please visit the website for the admissions and scholarship forms and for 
further details.

Contact Information:

Admissions Office
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
P.O Box 34110
Doha, Qatar
Phone: +974 4546560 / +974 4546559
email: nalmerikhi @ qfis.
website: http://www.qfis.
If you are interested for more education info please email to arif1964uk @


Bismillah [IslamCity] Antisemitism : Language and history

2009-02-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Language and history
* Editorial
* The Guardian, Saturday 7 February 2009
Distinguishing between anti-Zionism and antisemitism has become a growth 
industry for every university department of cultural criticism. It is time the 
debate came out into the open, away from the classrooms and the academic 
journals. On average, there is an antisemitic attack of some kind every single 
day in the UK: graffiti, vandalism, arson and occasionally actual physical 
assault. Jewish schools have been granted extra protection. The Community 
Security Trust, which monitors incidents, issues frequent advice and warnings. 
According to the Trust the number of such incidents has risen again since 
Christmas, and the assault on Gaza. The government acknowledges that there is a 
growing problem. Responding to a two-year investigation by an all-party 
committee, it was decided that from this April, every police force will be 
required to keep a record of antisemitic offences.
This is not because - as some extremists on the right and possibly the left 
might claim - the government is in the pocket of a Jewish lobby. There is no 
Jewish lobby in the conspiratorial sense that the slur implies, and to assert 
that there is can only be the result of the kind of racism that has scarred 
Europe from tsarist Russia to the fascists and Stalinists of the 1930s through 
to the jihadists now. To present all Jewish people as conterminous with Israel 
and its supporters is a mistake with potentially terrible consequences. It 
aligns ethnicity with a political perspective, and it is simply racist.
The government has also recognised that there are specific indications that, 
unlike other forms of racism, antisemitism is being accepted within parts of 
society instead of being condemned. The left fought a long and honourable 
battle for racial equality, but some within its ranks now risk sloppily 
allowing their horror of Israeli actions to blind them to antisemitism. There 
is an ill-considered tendency to reach for the language of Nazism in order to 
excoriate Israel, regardless of its impact on the climate of tolerance. Last 
month, a rally in defence of the people of Gaza that included verbal attacks on 
the so-called Nazi tendencies of Israel was followed by actual attacks on 
Jewish targets in north London. That is not, of course, to say we should not 
criticise Israel and judge it by the same criteria as any other state.
It is chilling to see kill Arabs graffitied on homes in Gaza. But the style 
in which that is condemned must not create the climate that allows scrawling 
kill Jews on synagogues in Manchester. For that is what is at stake: what 
might merely be insensitivity can, cumulatively, erode the conditions that 
foster racial tolerance. For they depend not only on the laws, but on a respect 
for all people's sensitivities.


Bismillah [IslamCity] UK activists boycott Israel

2009-02-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
UK activists boycott Israel 
UK will import many of its Valentines flowers from Israel 
Saturday, 07, Feb 2009 12:03
By Laura Miller 
Demonstrators are planning nationwide protests today to boycott the sale of 
Israeli goods on UK high-streets. 
The national Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) campaign, led by a coalition of 
pro-Palestine and anti-war groups, aims to impact on Valentines Day sales of 
flowers, many of which Israel exports to the UK. 
David Wilson, spokesperson for Stop the War, one of the groups supporting the 
campaign, told Valentines Day is the perfect day for love to 
all, and for people to remember those suffering abroad. 
He compared the action to the boycott of South African goods during apartied. 
Apartied herded one people into a caged area of the country. What is Gaza if 
it's not comparable to that? he said. 
The largest protest is expected in Middlesex at Carmel-Agrexco, the Israeli 
national exporter of fruit and vegetables and importer of large quantities of 
flowers to the UK. 
All the large supermarket chains will be targeted, as well as Barlays bank and 
Marks and Spencers, which has incurred heavy criticism in the past from 
pro-Palestine campaigners over claims the company's owner, Phillip Green, 
supports Israel through business deals and investments. 
Speaking to spokesperson for M  S denied claims the chain has 
a political interest in importing goods from Israel. 
We don't have a special relationship with Israel, we have a relationship with 
individual farmers, she said. 
At the moment we don't even source very much from Israel, maybe ten out of 500 
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the main organisers of today's protests, 
is also backed in the BIG campaign by the Jewish Boycott Israeli Goods group. 
Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, an organisation that acts to 
prevent and record violence against British Jews, said that while Jewish 
participation in the BIG campaign helped represent the community's diversity, 
it also added to the negative affect such campaigns have on British Jews. 
British Jews have no control or influence over what's happening in the Middle 
East. Campaigns like this can have the best motives in the world but it doesn't 
change the negative impact of the Jewish community, he told 
The involvement of a small number of vocal Jews allows others to point the 
finger at the large silent, blameless majority. This affects Jewish morale, 
because it encourages people to regard Jews as moral reprobabtes. 
Outside No 10 Downing Street on Sunday a separate protest, Children for the 
Children of Gaza, has been organised to show solidarity with the children in 
Gaza and Palestine on the whole. 


Bismillah [IslamCity] Rise of the moderates

2009-02-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan

Rise of the moderates
Out of the rubble of Gaza, global Jewish dissent could be emerging as a more 
potent force

*   * Antony Lerman
* The Guardian, Friday 6 February 2009

Each and every Jew who protested as a Jew against the Gaza war had a personal 
Jewish imperative for doing so. Some simply
expressed dismay; most demanded action to end the carnage. To say that
we failed is neither an expression of despair nor a statement that
dissent wasn't worthwhile. Realism suggests that it was inevitable.
be clear: diaspora and Israeli Jewish support for the war was extensive
- and extremely dispiriting. It raises the question: critical Jewish
voices may have increased, but can we ever trigger decisive change in
mainstream Jewish opinion? An unsentimental look at developments may
give reason for hope.
First, there's been activity in many
countries and support for Jewish peace groups has increased. European
Jews for a Just Peace, a 10-country federation of such organisations,
reports numerous initiatives in Europe. Independent Jewish Voices, Jews
for Justice for Palestinians and other UK groups demonstrated, lobbied,
placed newspaper ads and joined demonstrations. IJV groups in Canada
and Australia issued statements. Jewish and Israeli protesters in
Toronto, Montreal and Boston occupied Israeli consulates. US peace
groups have been increasingly active. Together with activity by Israeli
groups, this amounts to an undercurrent of protest that is rattling
establishment Jewish leadership.
Second, some groups of Jews have
taken significant stands. On 11 January, the Observer made front-page
news of a letter from rabbis, academics and prominent community figures
at the centre of UK Jewish life, calling for a ceasefire. In Germany, a
letter from 35 supporters of the group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace,
demanding an end to the murder in Gaza, was published on 17 January
in the Süddeutsche Zeitung - a major newspaper in a country where
expressing public criticism of Israel is difficult for anyone, let alone a 
group of Jews.
most significant was the strong anti-war stand taken by J Street, the
new American liberal pro-peace, pro-Israel lobby, which is
effectively challenging the influential, rightwing Israel lobby Aipac.
Heavily criticised by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a prominent US peace camp
leader, for being profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment, J
Street stuck to its guns and attracted increased support. It then
warmly welcomed President Obama's appointment of George Mitchell as
Middle East envoy, positioning itself to have clout in Washington. The
positive consequences for further legitimising Jewish dissent in the US
and beyond could be crucial.
Third, there are signs of underlying
disquiet in the middle ground of normally solid pro-Israel Jewish
opinion. On 2 January, Anshel Pfeffer wrote in Ha'aretz: Extremely
disturbed and hurt by the level of civilian deaths and destruction ...
[these Jews] say, there must, there has to be another way of doing
this. And they live with those doubts, often unexpressed, even among
families and close friends, because the worst thing they find is that
others around them don't seem to discern between the different nuances,
and can't find in themselves compassion for the dead and wounded on the
other side. Pfeffer is not alone in sensing this mood, which suggests
Israel is perilously close to the line beyond which even some of its
strongest supporters cannot go.
Two encouraging conclusions can
be drawn. First, although it seems most Jews shrink from the truth and
embrace the Orwellian war is peace propaganda, doubts are growing.
For Jewish dissenters who seek an appropriate language to persuade
mainstream Jewish opinion that Israel is going in the wrong direction,
the effort may produce results.
Second, dissenting peace groups
can be stubbornly independent and make a virtue out of minor
differences. But effective coordination during the Gaza war proved
empowering. It's surely worthwhile attempting to create a critical
mass, united around key objectives, and expressed in language that can
connect with mainstream Jewish opinion.
Israel is heavily
dependent on what Jews think. Its leaders turn to their support
whenever they face an internal crisis or need cover for some new
military adventure. But it's now not too far-fetched to think Jewish
opinion could turn decisively against Israel's current path. This would
shake the government and help change Middle East realities. So, out of
the rubble of Gaza and the political failure it represents, Jewish
dissent may emerge a more potent force.
A final cautionary note:
Jewish opposition to the Gaza war was not qualitatively different from
anyone else's. And it's not more important than the horrendous
experience of the people of Gaza. But were that opposition to be
translated into a rolling tide of Jewish opinion, it may have a
moderating influence on Israel. This would benefit Palestinians, who
deserve an 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Barack Obama: The action we need

2009-02-09 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Last year Barack Obama wrote an article and was published in the same newspaper 
but that article was removed from the web site of this newspaper on the same 
day. Now here is another article from him and do not know if this newspaper 
removes this article from the web site very soon.Arif
The action we need
Barack Obama: America has a choice: to back my recovery plan, or return to the 
bad old ways that led to disaster

Barack Obama
The Guardian, Friday 6 February 2009
By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as 
deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs 
that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest 
eggs they worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried 
about what tomorrow will bring.
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the sense of 
urgency they feel in their daily lives - action that's swift, bold and wise 
enough for us to climb out of this crisis. If nothing is done, this recession 
might linger for years. The US economy will lose 5 million more jobs. 
Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a 
crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before 
Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the 
next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95% of American workers, ignite 
spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our 
country for years to come.
This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending - it's a strategy 
for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable 
energy, healthcare and education. And it's a strategy that will be implemented 
with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where 
their tax dollars are going and how they are spent.
In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the 
failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis - the notion that tax cuts 
alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with 
half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges 
such as energy independence and the high cost of healthcare and still expect 
our economy and our country to thrive.
I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the 
polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have 
tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our healthcare costs 
still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens 
our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them 
at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble 
and our levees fail.
Now is the time to protect health insurance for the more than 8 million 
Americans at risk of losing their coverage, and to computerise the healthcare 
records of every American within five years, saving billions of dollars and 
countless lives in the process.
Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75% of federal 
buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate 
alternative sources of energy within three years.
Now is the time to give our children every advantage they need to compete by 
upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; 
by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a 
college education within reach for millions of Americans.
And now is the time to create the jobs that remake America for the 21st century 
by rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges and levees; designing a smart electrical 
grid; and connecting every corner of the country to the information 
We have a choice to make. We can once again let Washington's bad habits stand 
in the way of progress. Or we can pull together and say that in America, our 
destiny isn't written for us but by us. We can place good ideas ahead of old 
ideological battles - and a sense of purpose above narrow partisanship.
© Washington Post


Bismillah [IslamCity] Sir David's hate mail battle

2009-02-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Certainly there is a God, a supreme power. It is OK for some who think there is 
no Gods, I am not with them and do not believe what they believe; let’s 
consider on behalf of them that they are right but what if there is a God? If 
the answer is yes, then what’d happen to those who do not believe in God and 
someday they will meet Him hereafter, and they cannot help themselves! In New 
and Old Testaments, and in Last Testament (Koran) God warned us to obey Him, 
therefore to believe Him or we will face punishments. Charles Darwin introduced 
a new form of Atheism, I do not know if Darwin has already met the God or not. 
We have a problem here, we cannot communicate with Darwin or cannot post an 
email to his new address, if there is any, to know his current position; 
otherwise we could pick a way of life to stick with! I am shocked to hear 
Attenborough said, evolution is not a theory; it is a fact. He is a good 
presenter and educated person but I cannot and
 do not respect him. Sending hate mails is reflection of someone’s action, good 
or bad. Attenborough can spread atheism but cannot prove it. BBC must stop him 
and such programmes. Because of so many problems among followers, priests, from 
different religions, atheists seized the situation as a good chance to spread 
this wrong idea to overturn many people’s paths and those atheists will never 
take the responsibilities of those they have spoiled, when they meet God and 
face punishments. Our society lost it respect for itself, because of this 
so-called wrong fact. Proper practise of any religion can bring peace and 
cohesion in communities, and a religious person cannot hate another religion, 
followers of another religion. All religious people must unite against these 
atheists. I do believe in God because no one can prove there is no Gods. Do you 
believe in God or can you prove there is no God? Please help.

Sir David's hate mail battle
Veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has revealed he receives hate mail 
from angry viewers.
Tue Jan 27 11:54AM by TV Editor
Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he gets hate mail from viewers for not 
crediting God in his documentaries.
The veteran broadcaster, who is presenting a new series on Charles Darwin, said 
that he has received letters telling him to burn in hell because of his views 
on evolution.
He told Radio Times that he is often asked why he does not credit God when 
talking about some of the creatures featured on his shows: They always mean 
beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a 
little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball.
The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I 
find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.
He also revealed that he doesn't think creationism should be taught alongside 
evolution in schools and added: It's like saying that two and two equals four, 
but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five.
Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical 
fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066.
Are you shocked to hear that Sir David receives hate mail? What do you think of 
his views?


Bismillah [IslamCity] All faiths must stand together against hatred

2009-02-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
All faiths must stand together against hatred
National Holocaust Memorial Day matters because it is not just about Jewish 
victims, but all those who are touched by atrocity
Jonathan Sacks
When the Archbishop of Canterbury and I led a mission of leaders of all the 
faiths in Britain to Auschwitz in November, we did so in the belief that the 
time has come to strengthen our sense of human solidarity. For the Holocaust 
was not just a Jewish tragedy but a human one. Nor did it happen in some remote 
corner of the globe. It happened in the heart of Europe, in the culture that 
had given the world Goethe and Beethoven, Kant and Hegel. And it can happen 
again. Not in the same place, not in the same way, but hate still stalks our 
Full Article 

No comments from me.


Bismillah [IslamCity] A decisive loss for Israel

2009-01-30 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
A decisive loss for Israel
Hamas has emerged from the war stronger. Now we look to Obama to repair the 
errors of silence
* Mousa Abu Marzook
* The Guardian, Thursday 22 January 2009
Full Article


Bismillah [IslamCity] BBC The Gaza Appeal: Right Wrong

2009-01-30 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The Gaza Appeal
The BBC's decision to refuse the charity request is mistaken
The death and suffering in Gaza is entirely the fault of Israel. That is a 
biased statement. The death and suffering in Gaza is entirely the fault of 
Hamas. That is a biased statement. There has been death and there is suffering 
in Gaza. That is a simple statement of fact. It is worrying that the the BBC is 
not able to make this distinction.
The BBC's decision not to screen the appeal for funds for humanitarian aid is 
an error. First, it elevates bizarre media preoccupations about the 
Corporation's image above the need to help people in an emergency. The BBC is 
choosing an odd moment to demonstrate concern that its Middle East coverage be 
seen as balanced.
Second, the fear expressed that footage of the conflict might confuse viewers 
is patronising. Viewers are easily able to tell the difference between a 
humanitarian appeal and a news report.
And, third, the BBC's market power is such that it needs to be very careful 
when using it in such circumstances. It has the ability to deny the consortium 
of charities access to a large part of their audience. It ought only to refuse 
such a request when it feels it entirely unreasonable. However, the most 
important reason why the decision is a mistake is not without irony. The BBC is 
evidently concerned that to show pictures of the suffering, and plead for 
assistance, is to take sides, presumably against Israel.
But this reveals that they believe that, once you have seen the suffering, you 
can only take one side. Naturally, this is not true. The point is that people 
are suffering, terribly. Giving aid to Gaza is something that can and should be 
done, whoever you think is to blame for the conflict.
Editorial, The Times

The charities are guilty, not the BBC
The Corporation is right not to run the Gaza appeal. Oxfam and others are 
clearly anti-Israel
Andrew Roberts
Full Article 

No comments from me.


Bismillah [IslamCity] Shoe-throwers give Bush the boot

2009-01-27 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Shoe-throwers give Bush the boot 
Video (1min 23sec), From the Middle East to Mexico, protesters say goodbye to 
former US president 

Watch here 


Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk: So, I asked the UN secretary general, isn't it time for a war crimes tribunal?

2009-01-26 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Robert Fisk: So, I asked the UN secretary general, isn't it time for a war 
crimes tribunal?
Monday, 19 January 2009
Mr Ban said it would not be up to him to launch a war crimes tribunal. It was 
It's a wrap, a doddle, an Israeli ceasefire just in time for Barack Obama to 
have a squeaky-clean inauguration with all the world looking at the streets of 
Washington rather than the rubble of Gaza. Condi and Ms Livni thought their new 
arms-monitoring agreement – reached without a single Arab being involved – 
would work. Ban Ki-moon welcomed the unilateral truce. The great and the good 
gathered for a Sharm el-Sheikh summit. Only Hamas itself was not consulted. 
Which led, of course, to a few wrinkles in the plan. First, before declaring 
its own ceasefire, Hamas fired off more rockets at Israel, proving that 
Israel's primary war aim – to stop the missiles – had failed. Then Cairo 
shrugged off the deal because no one was going to set up electronic 
surveillance equipment on Egyptian soil. And not one European leader travelling 
to the region suggested the survivors might be helped if Israel, the EU and the 
US ended the food and fuel siege of Gaza.
Please click here to read the full article


Bismillah [IslamCity] Gaza - Obama speaks out about white phosphorus weapons (photo NOT for the weak)

2009-01-22 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
See what is going on there in Gaza! Something you cannot find from controlled 
Media. I heard on trains people share jokes, saying, oh look to this picture, 
indicating a picture, how nice way Israel is backing the future terrorists! I 
was lost there! We may have problems and we may fight but we cannot enjoy 
killing or burning children, whoever it is! Did you notice, how cute a baby 
crocodile or a baby Cobra or a baby Tiger is, can you kill any them, the future 
killers? Sick! May Allah, the only God, destroy them!
Contains very disturbing pictures, weak people should not try for this.

Received from: Gerald Ali, with thanks
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Click below:
Gaza - Obama speaks out about white phosphorus weapons


Bismillah [IslamCity] Demonstrators in anti-Hamas protest

2009-01-17 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Yesterday, we were there, outside Israeli embassy and today the Zionists are in 
Trafalgar Square, London. It is normal, human for human and Zion for Zion! 
Yesterday, Police beaten demonstrators badly and I heard a rumour and many 
believed it that Police department selected Jews Police personals who 
overreacted, feeling their job was to support and protect their holy land and 
against their enemy.
Many known non-Zion anti-Zion Jews joined the demonstration yesterday; I liked 
While returning home, a man on a train asked us, why we were supporting 
Palestine, what was the point? Adding, they got a point to support Israel, 
Israel is a Jewish State and any non-Israeli Jew can support that country, 
considering Israel as their 2nd country, why we support Palestine as we are not 
Palestinian and Palestine is not an Islamic country?
When I replied that Jewish State is forbidden by Judaism and it is a sin 
supporting Israel being a Jew, they murmured, said nothing. They knew this and 
we were able to see guilty feelings among them. Then I added, if you all 
non-Israeli Jews can believe that Israel is your 2nd country then why we all 
non-Palestinian Muslims cannot consider Palestine as our 2nd country? At that 
time train was standstill and we heard no sounds, lips remained zipped, big 
silent we observed!
Also, if you are in Britain, please TEXT the word CEASEFIRE to 81819  from any 
phone. Guardian Newspaper are running a poll on Gaza. Forward to all. Its free 
to text.
Thank you.
Here I have added a news item:
Demonstrators in anti-Hamas protest
39 mins ago
* Thousands of pro-Israeli demonstrators gathered in London's Trafalgar 
Square to reclaim the public space from their political opponents.


Bismillah [IslamCity] Please sign the petition: To STOP the UK sending weapons to Israel.

2009-01-14 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Dear friends,Please click here to go to the main petition page.
I have just received a message from a friend of mine; regarding signing up the 
petition to ask the British Prime Minister to do everything in his power to 
impose an arms embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive. I 
wish to share this with you. This message is for everyone but you must be a 
British citizen or resident to sign the petition. Please ACT now!
– Deadline to sign up by: 27 January 2009 –
The petition was created by Yusuf Ibrahim and reads: 'We the undersigned 
petition the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to impose an arms 
embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip 
and to apply pressure on countries supplying Israel with arms that breach 
international agreements with the intention of restoring lasting peace to the 
region.'May God destroy Zion, Israel and their supporters!
Zion are the worse and common enemy of human race!
Jewish State is forbidden by Judaism.
Israelis are not Jews, atheist Zion!
All the best.
Thank you,


Bismillah [IslamCity] UNRWA requires: Senior External Relations Project Officer, P-4 for Palestine Refugees.

2009-01-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Yesterday I
watched a TV report where I learnt that most aid workers are fleeing from 
Palestine. UN needs support
from us to support innocents. Please check if you can help them.


UNRWA requires:
Senior External Relations  Project Officer, P-4

Nation Relief  Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

date: 18 Jan ‘09

check details from this website: Jobs at UNRWA  or UNRWA


Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk: Keeping out the cameras and reporters simply doesn't work

2009-01-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Robert Fisk: Keeping out the cameras and reporters simply doesn't work
Monday, 5 January 2009

What is Israel afraid of? Using the old enclosed military area excuse
to prevent coverage of its occupation of Palestinian land has been
going on for years. But the last time Israel played this game – in
Jenin in 2000 – it was a disaster. Prevented from seeing the truth with
their own eyes, reporters quoted Palestinians who claimed there had
been a massacre by Israeli soldiers – and Israel spent years denying
it. In fact, there was a massacre, but not on the scale that it was
originally reported.

Please click here to read the full article


Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk: The rotten state of Egypt is too powerless and corrupt to act

2009-01-07 Thread Arif Bhuiyan

It is now known that Gaza assault and killing
of one Hamas leaders boosts
Ehud Barak in polls. Oh! What a great achievement! A good reply to those
who argue knowing everything! This is what they were after, don't they? No
doubt Hamas did some mistakes but Israel could avoid this attack
finding other ways to solve this problem. Instead they used this chance to
boost their election. One Guardian columnist said it best: Israel
has plenty of tactics for war, but none for peace. This article is also a good 
reply to those who have attacked me (not form all groups). Please read this 
article to soothe you.

These all discussions are not Hamas , Israel or Fatah related but the
ordinary people from both sides. They are dying horribly, especially people in 
Gaza . Mr. Bush also gave
a green signal for this attack, what more! Now I am bit confused (and it is
possible) if Hamas was bribed by Israel for the purpose they were
heading for! Who knows!

Because of my previous
posting/s regarding Gaza and Israel , I
received many replies from members of groups where I posted these mails. Some to
groups and most to me personally. Thanks to you all. I am sorry I have no times
to reply to everyone separately.

Here is a common reply to
all: I am not against ordinary or Hebrew Jews. The so called Promised Land was
a part of conspiracy to control the Arab world and it wealth. It is against
Judaism. Whenever I say this no one makes a sound but argues for other topics. 
from around the world were lured to live and work in Israel, most of them are 
Rulers and supporters of the Israeli authority are Zion and they are not Jew. 
They are atheists
and using a religious cover to deceive everyone including themselves! They even
hijacked the symbol of Prophet David (PBUH). Israel
must back to the border allocated by donors countries (by saying this I do not 
an Israeli State). Also, if they really want to
live in a country why not they select a place somewhere in Europe or in America 
, Hawaii !
I am not supporting Hamas, Fatah or Israel, all I am saying is for the
innocent people and whoever and wherever they are. As part of Arab, Muslims and 
monotheist Jews I feel the heat as well and it is normal my postings burn the 
souls of them who suppport Zion or part of them.

No more.

Thanks for your time and
contacts. Please find few more articles below


Robert Fisk's World: What's in a name? Quite a lot, where the military is 
Churchill objected to names of a frivolous nature and banned Operation Bunnyhug
Saturday, 3 January 2009

Please click here to read the full article

Robert Fisk: The rotten state of Egypt is too powerless and corrupt to act
There was a day when we worried about the Arab masses – the millions of 
ordinary Arabs on the streets of Cairo, Kuwait, Amman, Beirut – and their 
reaction to the constant bloodbaths in the Middle East.

Please click here to read the full article

Adrian Hamilton: Pure politics is driving this war
The bombing happened because it was in the interests of all parties concerned
Thursday, 1 January 2009

Please click here to read the full article

Donald Macintyre: Lessons of Lebanon return to haunt Israel
Livni adopts hardline stance against truce as candidates seek votes in Israeli 
Thursday, 1 January 2009

Please click here to read the full article

Anne Penketh: Tehran's links with Hamas could spark retribution
How long will it take Iran to enrich enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon?
Saturday, 3 January 2009

click here to read the full article

Hamas accuses senior Palestinian aides of spying for Israelis
Thursday, 1 January 2009
Hamas has accused senior aides of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, of 
spying for Israel, underscoring an intensification of Palestinian infighting 
even in the face of Israel's bombardments in the Gaza Strip.

Please click here to read the full article

Gazans face ‘humanitarian crisis’ as raids intensify
Aid agencies warn of looming disaster with supply shortage inflicting more 
suffering on families.

Please click here to read the full article

Social networking sites enter Gaza conflict
Friday, 2 January 2009

Please click here to read the full article

Protesters demand Egypt opens Gaza border
By Robert Dex, PA
Friday, 2 January 2009

Please click here to read the full article


Bismillah [IslamCity] German Chancellor Merkel defends Israeli onslaught on Gaza

2009-01-06 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
How painful is this! She is a Zion. She is not alone and this is fact!
It is rather impossible to think that some people even supporting this 
manslaughter job by Israel!
Israel is killing people surrounded by fence!I wonder, how these people support 
this assault to find a solution.
What a weird world!
I have added some similar articles in this message regarding Gaza.

German Chancellor Merkel defends Israeli onslaught on Gaza
By Dietmar Henning
2 January 2009
Please click here to read the full article

The assault on Gaza offers the best hope of peace
There is no excuse for the loss of life, but Israel is right to seek the 
destruction of Hamas, says Con Coughlin.
By Con Coughlin
Last Updated: 9:46AM GMT 02 Jan 2009
Please click here to read the full article

Hamas is the obstacle to Middle East peace
31/12/2008 | By Ron Prosor | comment
Israel's critics have got it wrong - extremists in Gaza must be defeated before 
a better future can be built, writes Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador to the UK.
Please click here to read the full article

Hamas: the betrayal of the Palestinian cause
In contrast, Hamas has dislodged. the Palestinian cause from its foundations,
and turned ... betrayal of the Palestinian cause, but they would have ...
Please click here to read the full article


Bismillah [IslamCity] MSc Scholarships for Israel and Palestine Students, Study of Human Rights

2009-01-05 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
MSc Scholarships for Israel and Palestine Students, Study of Human Rights
MSc Human Rights Scholarship Programme 2009 for Israel and Palestine Students: 
New scholarship to promote human rights in Israel and Palestine/Occupied 
The Centre for the Study of Human Rights is delighted to announce the Sir 
Siegmund Warburg Scholarship available to students joining the MSc Human Rights 
programme in October 2009.
This new scholarship, which will be available every year from 2009, will offer 
Palestinian and Israeli students the opportunity to undertake full-time 
postgraduate human rights study at LSE.
The MSc Human Rights programme offers a concentrated, twelve-month engagement 
with human rights. The core course ‘Approaches to Human Rights’ provides 
students with an overview of the various philosophical, sociological and legal 
approaches to the subject. The core course is designed to give a strong 
intellectual underpinning to the MSc, which is then built on further through 
the choice of optional courses and dissertation subject which each student 
makes. More information about the MSc Human Rights is in the graduate 
The scholarship will cover the tuition fee (£13,992) and living expenses of 
£1000 per month (for up to 12 months). One scholarship will be awarded each 
Welcoming the scholarship, the Director of the Centre of theStudy of Human 
Rights at LSE Professor Conor Gearty, who also convenes the MSc programme, 
warmly thanked the anonymous funder whose generosity had made the scholarship 
‘The academic study of human rights is not only about ideas and intellect, it 
is also about practice, about making a difference, and nowhere is this a more 
important goal than in the Middle East. I am very optimistic that over time the 
holders of this scholarship will make a real difference for the better in that 
troubled region.’
How to apply
Applicants interested in the scholarship must first make a formal application 
to LSE to the MSc Human Rights via the online LSE application form.
Eligible students (those resident in Israel, Palestine/ Occupied Territories or 
Palestinian camps in Syria, Jordan or Lebanon) may then apply for the Sir 
Siegmund Warburg Scholarship via the Financial Support Office at LSE. 
Applicants are required to submit a personal statement in which they should 
explain how they meet the criteria set out for the Scholarship and how they 
envisage putting their study programme to practical use.
The criteria
Applicants must be resident in Israel, Palestine/ Occupied Territories or in 
Palestinian camps in Syria, Jordan or Lebanon. They must be able to demonstrate 
both financial need and the potential to engage in, promote and set high 
standards for human rights work in the region.
Applications must be submitted to the Financial Support Office by Friday 24 
April 2009. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 
Friday 22 May 2009.
As scholarship applications can only be accepted by those who have already been 
offered a place on the MSc Human Rights, candidates are urged to apply to the 
MSc Human Rights as early as possible.
The Sir Siegmund Warburg Scholarship has been made possible by the generosity 
of an anonymous donor.
Further Scholarship Information and Application


Bismillah [IslamCity] Happy New Year!

2008-12-31 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Happy New Year!
Revellers in New Zealand already enjoyed the New Year, perhaps Japanese as 
well. Click here to know moreclick here to read.
When people enjoy fire works I can clearly see the same fire works were enjoyed 
by our (British) and USA soldiers in Iraq and in Afghanistan and now the 
Israeli soldiers are enjoying in Gaza. The real fire works! I only can see the 
reflections of our bombardments in many countries. The differences: people 
enjoy fire works to perk them up, to cheer and the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, 
Gaza scream, the real fire works shatter their souls.
To support people in Gaza do not enjoy or join fire works.
It is hard to turn the TV or Computer on or grab a newspaper!
I wish someday these arrogant oppressors know that they are human being as well.
Please stop the attack now, this is unbearable!
Fortune-tellers predicted some good and bad things, 
Though it is not possible but wish no more wars.- Arif


Bismillah [IslamCity] Conference: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Agenda: The First Year

2008-12-15 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Conference: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Agenda: The First Year


Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Agenda: The First Year

By Robin WRIGHT, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Date / Time: November 26, 2008 Wednesday / 16.00–17.30
Venue: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, ANKARA

We are pleased to invite you to a conference entitled Barack Obama's Foreign 
Policy Agenda: The First Year” to be held in SETA Foundation on Wednesday, 
November 26, 2008. We very much hope you will be able to attend this special 
conference by Robin Wright.

Resit Galip Caddesi Hereke Sokak No: 10 GOP, Cankaya 06700 Ankara, Turkey
Tel: +90 312 405 61 51 Fax: +90 312 405 69 03
email: info @

Contact: Hilal Barýn, Tel: 405 61 51 * 210
P.S.: The language of the conference will be English. No translation services 
will be provided.

Robin Wright has reported from more than a 140 countries on six continents for 
The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Times of London, CBS 
News and The Christian Science Monitor. She has also written for The New 
Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York 
Times, The International Herald Tribune and others. Her foreign tours include 
the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and several years as a roving foreign 
correspondent. She has covered a dozen wars and several revolutions. She most 
recently covered U.S. foreign policy for The Washington Post. Among several 
awards, Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National 
Magazine Award for reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas 
Press Club Award for best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional 
courage and initiative for coverage of African wars. As an author, Ms. Wright 
has been a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, the Brookings Institution, Yale University, Duke University, Stanford 
University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Among her books, 
The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran was selected as 
one of the 25 most memorable books of the year 2000. She is also the author of 
Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of 
Militant Islam, Flashpoints: Promise and Peril in a New World, and In the Name 
of God: The Khomeini Decade. Currently she is writing a book on Turkey.



Bismillah [IslamCity] Baghdad deadline

2008-12-09 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Baghdad deadline
A deal on a US forces pullout must be matched by the region's embrace of Iraq


Bismillah [IslamCity] Zardari: An Accidental President

2008-12-09 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Man in the News: Asif Ali Zardari
By James Lamont and Farhan Bokhari
Published: December 5 2008 18:48 | Last updated: December 5 2008 18:48
When Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, arrived in Islamabad this week, 
Asif Ali Zardari’s daughter, Aseefa, was presented to her at the presidential 
palace. Your mother was an inspiration, Ms Rice told the 15-year-old in an 
aside from telling Pakistan to give no quarter to those responsible for last 
week’s terror attacks on Mumbai.


Bismillah [IslamCity] The Big Question: Should children be taught in single-sex classrooms?

2008-12-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The answer is: YES!

The Big Question: Should children be taught in single-sex classrooms? 
By Richard Garner, Education Editor
Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Bismillah [IslamCity] 'Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate government'

2008-12-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
'Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate government'Robert Fisk
As he leaves Afghanistan, our correspondent reflects on a failed state cursed 
by brutal fundamentalism and rampant corruptionThursday, 27 November 2008 
reflects on an Afghanistan cursed by brutal fundamentalism and rampant 


Bismillah [IslamCity] Muslims for America

2008-11-01 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Muslims for America
Colin Powell's declaration – 'So what if Obama is a Muslim?' – was an overdue 
repudiation of Republican smears

Wajahat Ali, Wednesday October 22 2008

Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. He is a writer and 
attorney, whose work, The Domestic Crusaders is the first major play about 
Muslims living in a post 9/11 America. He is the Associate Editor of




Bismillah [IslamCity] Family courts can accept sharia law

2008-11-01 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Family courts can accept sharia law
2 hours 1 min ago
Decisions reached according to Islamic law can be accepted by English family 
courts, it has emerged.
Although sharia law officially has no jurisdiction in England, a ruling passed 
on a separating couple by a sharia council can be submitted to a formal family 
There, the principles of the sharia judgment, embodied in a consent order, may 
be rubber-stamped by a judge.
The situation became clear when Justice minister Bridget Prentice told MPs: 
If, in a family dispute dealing with money or children, the parties to a 
judgment in a sharia council wish to have this recognised by English 
authorities, they are at liberty to draft a consent order embodying the terms 
of the agreement and submit it to an English court.
This allows English judges to scrutinise it to ensure that it complies with 
English legal tenets.
A consent order can deal with the division of money, property, savings and 
child maintenance, according to the website.
The court will rubber-stamp the order if it decides the agreement reached is 
fair, and the order will then act as a contract between the couple.
If the court is not happy with the consent order it may ask for more 
information or for the couple to attend a hearing.
In the written answer to MPs, Ms Prentice stressed: Any order in a family case 
is made or approved by a family judge applying English family law.
But Robert Whelan, of the Civitas think tank, told the Daily Mail: Women who 
live in some communities may have no option but to go to the sharia court. The 
case is then rubber-stamped by a family court without any of us knowing how the 
decision was reached.


Bismillah [IslamCity] The Washington insider who made Obama rich

2008-11-01 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The Washington insider who made Obama rich
By D.D. Guttenplan
Published: October 24 2008 22:53 | Last updated: October 24 2008 22:53
The Financial Times Limited 2008


Bismillah [IslamCity] New book : Islam in Inter-War Europe

2008-11-01 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
New book : Islam in Inter-War Europe

Islam in Inter-War Europe
Nathalie Clayer and Eric Germain (eds)
In the enormous literature on the Muslim world, one of the few gaps in our 
knowledge is the status of Islam in inter-war Europe, an imbalance this book 
aims to address.

The Muslim population of Europe in the period from 1918-1939 was not one of 
isolated islands of belief and practice. Rather, there was far more interaction 
between Muslim communities than had hitherto been imagined. For example, there 
was much correspondence and exchange of ideas between the Ahmadi-Lahori 
missions of Berlin and Woking, near London, and Albanian religious leaders.

Other topics discussed in this book include the earlier than imagined emergence 
of notions of a distinctly ‘European’ Islam, the fraught interplay of politics 
and Islam, especially the development by some governments of Muslim ‘agendas’, 
the richness and importance of debates within Europe’s Muslim community, the 
attempts by the Nazis to foment ‘jihad’ and the modus operandi of 
trans-national networks.
London, Hurst New York, Columbia University Press

*Introduction* ;
*i: Muslim networks in Christian lands;*
Making Transnational Connections: Muslim networks in early Twentieth-century 
Britain – Humayun Ansari;
Between National and Religious Solidarities: the Tatars in Germany and Poland 
in the Inter-War Period – Sebastian Cwiklinski;
The first Muslim Missions on a European Scale: Ahmadi-Lahori Networks in the 
Period – Eric Germain;
*ii: Towards the Building of a ‘European Islam’ Behind the Veil*; The Reform of 
Islam in Inter-War Albania or the Search for a ‘Modern and ‘European’ Islam – 
Nathalie Clayer;
Shakib Arslan’s Imagining of Europe: The Colonizer, the Inquisitor, the 
Islamic, the Virtuous, and the Friend – Raja Adal;
European Neo-Sufi Movements in the Inter-war Period – Marc Sedgwick;
*iii: From state control to Foreign Policy; *
Islam in the Service of Social Control: Arab Seamen in Britain – Richard
The Reform of Shari’a Courts and Islamic Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1918-1941 – Fikret Karcic;
Euro-Islam by ‘jihad Made in Germany – Wolfgang Schwanitz;
*iv: Minorities Between acculturation and identity Claim;*
Farewell to the Ottoman Legacy? Islamic Reformism and Revivalism in
Inter-war Bosnia-Herzegovina – Xavier Bougarel;
The Muslim Minority in Macedonia and its Educational Institutions during
the Inter-War Period – Muhammed Aruci;
The Episode of the Turkish Spelling Mistakes in Greek Thrace, 1929– Yannis Bonos

Nathalie Clayer
UMR 8032 Etudes turques et ottomanes
54 Bd Raspail
75006 Paris
tél. : 01 49 54 23 02

10 Avenue Paul Appell
75014 Paris
tél. : 01 43 20 23 90



Bismillah [IslamCity] Fw: Translators needed for poem

2008-10-21 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
FROM: Linda

Please contact
directly if you can translate this! 

I'm looking for translators -- Spanish, Arabic, French, German, etc.
(Italian's taken care of :)

The Revolution Will Not Be Organized

The revolution will not be organized,
the revolution will not be organized .com,
the revolution will not be Yahoo Grouped, Meetuped,
downloaded, uploaded, QWERTY'd, or blogged.

The revolution will not be handled by webmasters,
think-tankers, authors of policy position papers,
authors of anti-policy position papers,
secretaries, executives, executive assistants,
insiders, whistle-blowers, informants, counter-informants,
committees or sub-committees.

Your neighbor with excellent leadership qualities
will not lead you into, through, or out of the revolution.
The revolution will not be inspired, instigated, managed
or controlled by him, her, or them.
The revolution will not be organized.

No matter if you eat at McDonald's and can barely walk,
no matter if you drive an S.U.V. and rarely walk,
no matter if you were public school indoctrinated,
vaccinated, humiliated, ostracized, terrorized, minimized,
no matter if you live in a house owned by BofA,
no matter if you eat cat food, dog food,
Puppy Chow for your inner child,
no matter if you shop at Salvation Army, Saks, TJ Maxx,
when the Cold Hand of Power touches you,
it touches revolution.

They will come to chip you, rape you,
tell you you are theirs, imprison you in FEMA camps
because you spoke out,
because you doubted the official story,
because you looked with your own eyes,
spoke from your own heart.
They will come for you in black uniforms, black helmets,
swinging black batons, symbols of the New Authority,
and you will say,
No, my children and I will not come with you.

You will say no -- not because Charlie Sheen
inspired you one night on FOX News
to look more closely at falling towers.
You will say no -- not because Alex Jones
led you through the darkness with a bullhorn.
You will say no -- not because Howard Zinn
handed you the Book of Truth on a silver platter.
You will say no because you are your own
star of truth shining the way.

At your unique hour, in the dark,
beneath a burning paper currency moon,
the Cold Hand of Power will touch you and revolt you.

At your unique hour,
when they come for you because you asked questions,
because you did not lower your eyes,
because you did not bow down,
at your unique hour,
in your unique circumstance,
you will find yourself in the grip of a courage
you have not known but which you are.
You will stand in front of black helmets with invisible faces,
and you will say,
No, my children and I will not come with you.

Daughters and sons of revolutionaries,
blood burning for freedom,
eyes set toward tomorrow,
each of you alone in the darkness,
beneath tender constellations burning gold and silver,
each of you will remember the path to take
when the Cold Hand of Power comes for you,
each of you will make your way without direction or encouragement,
as those before you made their way without direction or encouragement,
forging history, embracing destiny.

You will not march in file.
You will not march.
The revolution will not be organized.

In your darkest hour,
beneath the burning moon,
you will pledge allegiance to the truth,
as those before you pledged allegiance to the truth.

The truth cannot be organized.

 *  *  *  *

The Revolution Will Not Be Organized
written by Jock Doubleday on September 24, 2008


Bismillah [IslamCity] Asian Youth Fellowship (AYF)

2008-09-07 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Asian Youth Fellowship (AYF)ayf @ 
More info
Asian Youth Fellowship (AYF) Program aims to nurture human networking among 
ASEAN countries, Bangladesh and Japan.
The AYF preparatory course before entering Japanese Graduate School as Japanese 
Government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship student is offered by The Japan 
Foundation. AYF program is open to university graduates in the region who wish 
to contribute to regional cooperation after obtaining a Master and/or Ph. D. 
Degree in Japanese Graduate Schools as follows: 
Features of the Asian Youth Fellowship ProgramAYF consists of the following 
Co-ordination of a host professor and research plan development during the 
preparatory course in Japan
Preparatory course (Japanese Language and cultural activities)
Follow ups after completing the preparatory course
The scholarship grantees shall receive a preparatory course in the Japanese 
language for approximately 7 months, at The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language 
Institute, Kansai, Japan. The preparatory course is developed for people who 
have never learned Japanese language before. Grantees are provided with 
dormitory. Accompanying family is NOT allowed during the preparatory course.
After completing the preparatory course, grantees will be proceeding to 
Japanese graduate schools as Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship 
students (principally Research Student) .  
Field of Study
Any of the fields in Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering and Natural 
Science is acceptable..
Students pursuing study areas that would contribute to his/her country or 
region will be given preference.
* Technical training course is excluded.
Nationality: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, 
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam.AgeAcademic BackgroundsOther 
a. Good proficiency in English is required.
b. Military men and military civilian employees registered on the personnel 
list are excluded.
c. Applicants should be in good health.
d. The applicant whose spouse has already won a Japanese Government scholarship 
will not be selected as a grantee, and likewise in the case of a couple 
applying at the same time.
e. The applicant who has been awarded a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) 
scholarship in the past will not be selected as a grantee unless he/she has had 
a few years' research or teaching experience after returning to his/her country.
Grant Coverage during the Preparatory CourseExpenses Meals Accommodation 
Overseas travel insurance
Round-trip, economy-class airline between the nearest international airport 
from the residence and Kansai International Airport (Osaka, Japan) on the most 
direct and economical route.Japanese visa as a trainee
*The above terms of the grant will be effective for the period of the 
preparatory course. After completing the AYF Program, grantees will proceed to 
Japanese universities as the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship 
students. Allowances, accommodations, and other status are subject to 
Monbukagakusho’s regulations. 
Japanese diplomatic missions concerned, in cooperation with the foreign 
governments concerned, will select preliminary candidates from among applicants 
by means of a review of the documents submitted.
Those who have been selected as the preliminary candidates will be recommended 
to Asian Youth Fellowship Committee, Tokyo, Japan. The Committee will select 
grantees from among the preliminary candidates by means of an interview made in 
their respective countries by a mission member assigned and dispatched by the 
Final announcement in writing will be provided by the Embassy of Japan after 
the AYF Committee. The grantees of the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) 
scholarship will be finally selected, on condition that they have completed the 
AYF preparatory course successfully, after the university placement has been 
Application Procedure
Applicants must submit the following documents according to the instruction 
given by the Embassy of Japan in their own country by the date appointed. The 
documents submitted will not be returned. 
Asia Science and Education for Economic Development Institute 
E-Mail :  (Asia SEED)Shanghai Building 6F, 1-24-12 Shinkawa, Chuo-kuTokyo 
104-0033, JapanTel: 81-3-5566-0072 Fax: 81-3-3552-7986: Embassy of 
JapanAmbassade du Japon, No.194 Norodom Road,P.O. Box 21, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 
Tel: 855-23-217161Fax: 855-23-216162for disease and injury for the duration of 
the program(a single room) at the Instituteduring the program (partly in the 
form of cash allowances) and a set amount of allowances to cover miscellaneous 
living expenses.necessary for participation in the official curriculum 
(transportation, teaching material, etc.): university or college graduates with 
a bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree (those who will graduate from 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk's World: A region boiling with tales of kings, gangs and war

2008-08-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Robert Fisk's World: A region boiling with tales of kings, gangs and 
warIndependent, Saturday, 16 August 2008
Two groups from Moscow fought it out with Kalashnikovs amid Dubai's 
architectural masterpieces
I call it the back of the book, the ream of reports and stories that pile up in 
my reporters' notes which cannot be used; because the sourcing isn't quite good 
enough for every detail or because there simply isn't enough information to 
make it long enough to get into the paper. It's an enraging situation since the 
back of the book often turns out to be true – usually bursting into the 
papers when I'm on holiday or flying back to Beirut from Los Angeles, or, most 
awful of all, when I'm marching into The Independent office in London for a 
rare visit.
This is one reason why journalists are often more interesting to talk to than 
to read. The other reason is that American reporters are so fearful of being 
criticised by Israel that their work is bland to the point of incomprehension; 
if you want to know what The New York Times or The Washington Post knows, 
you've got to talk to one of their correspondents. But I'm tired of these 
conventions. When I hear something in Dubai, then I hear it again in Qatar and 
then, a week later, over lunch in Beirut – and then on the phone from a friend 
who's just returned from a holiday in Casablanca – you, the reader, should hear 
the same.
So here goes. The Middle East is currently boiling with rumours about the state 
of the monarchy in Morocco. Where is King Mohammed V!? In Qatar, they say he 
has spent two months' holidays in the Far East (Thailand is the favourite) and 
this would account for his absence at President Sarkozy's Bastille Day bash 
last month. The King, it is said in Dubai, simply doesn't want to be king any 
more – I always thought kings liked being kings, but no matter – and that he 
wants his brother to take the throne. And I suppose we shall never prove that 
£4bn have left a Moroccan account for Europe...
Let's go to the Gulf for a while. Dubai is, as we all know, busy producing the 
largest, tallest, smallest, deepest buildings in the world. The highest one, 
however, appears to be a favourite haunt of the Russian mafia and, earlier this 
year – so Dubai's Indian expatriate community insists – two rival gangs from 
Moscow fought it out with pistols and Kalashnikovs amid the towering 
architectural masterpieces. The police had to storm this most famous of all the 
Gulf's pearls in order to end the battle. Or that's what they say.
Oh yes, and then there's the little matter of the new railway line from Dubai 
city centre, aimed to terminate – for now, at least – at the emirate's new 
international airport. There's a problem, however. Engineers in Dubai have 
apparently noticed that the carriages on the largely overhead track will be so 
narrow that passengers will not be able to carry baggage on them.
To Beirut now, and the almost totally unreported – and totally unexpected – 
arrival in the city of General David Petraeus, the US commander who has turned 
anarchic Iraq into a tourist paradise with just one surge and a lot of walls 
(or fences as we would have to call them if they were built in Israel). 
Petraeus saw Lebanon's new President, Michel Sleiman, and the acting commander 
of Lebanon's army, General Shawki el-Masri, with whom he discussed how to 
strengthen the army's defensive capabilities, training and logistics. 
Petraeus, the most popular general in American journalism, is to take charge of 
US central command, which will give him overall command of the Middle East, but 
you might have thought Lebanon was some way down his list of priorities.
Not so. For when you remember that the Lebanese army fought one of al-Qa'ida's 
satellite groups, Fatah al-Islam, for months last year – last week's bomb in 
Tripoli that killed nine Lebanese soldiers might have been the group's revenge 
– Petraeus has good reason to turn up in Beirut. Many of the suicide bombers 
who have assaulted Petraeus's men in Iraq started their journey from the 
Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon whose perimeters are guarded by Lebanese 
troops. Since 2006, the US has given about £170m in military assistance to 
Lebanon – Israel, of course, gets £1.5bn year – which includes Humvees, 
ammunition and lots of new blue police cars.
And there's just one more thing. Less than a week after Petraeus's visit, 
Sleiman was to pay his first presidential visit to Damascus, Did the American 
general perhaps have a few requests to make of President Bashar al-Assad via 
Sleiman? A word of thanks, perhaps, for improving security along Syria's border 
with Iraq? A plea for a little more help in restraining the insurgents, perhaps 
even paving the way for good relations with the next US president? It will, 
obviously, take a bit longer before President Petraeus arrives in the White 
Yet still the Middle East debates whether Israel or the US will bomb Iran. 
Personally, I 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Man in the News: Mikheil Saakashvili: The return of the great powers: Moscow warns it could strike Poland over US missile shield

2008-08-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Man in the News: Mikheil Saakashvili
By Quentin Peel
Published: August 15 2008 18:27 | Last updated: August 15 2008 18:27
The Financial Times Limited 2008
Rupert Cornwell: The return of the great powers
Russia lost the original Cold War, but the United States is now weaker than it 
was 20 years ago
Independent, Saturday, 16 August 2008
Moscow warns it could strike Poland over US missile shield
· US condemns 'bullying' of Georgia
· Russian general threatens nuclear attack
* Ian Traynor in Brussels, Luke Harding in Tbilisi and Helen Womack in 
* The Guardian,
* Saturday August 16 2008

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Bismillah [IslamCity] The face of 9/11

2008-08-18 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
No comments!
The face of 9/11
By Demetri Sevastopulo 
Published: August 15 2008 18:03 | Last updated: August 15 2008 18:03
The Financial Times Limited 2008,s01=1.html

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Mikhail Gorbachev: A Path to Peace in the Caucasus: We had no choice

2008-08-16 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
A Path to Peace in the Caucasus: We had no choice
By Mikhail Gorbachev
Washington Post
Tuesday, August 12, 2008; Page A13 
MOSCOW -- The past week's events in South Ossetia are bound to shock and pain 
anyone. Already, thousands of people have died, tens of thousands have been 
turned into refugees, and towns and villages lie in ruins. Nothing can justify 
this loss of life and destruction. It is a warning to all.
The roots of this tragedy lie in the decision of Georgia's separatist leaders 
in 1991 to abolish South Ossetian autonomy. This turned out to be a time bomb 
for Georgia's territorial integrity. Each time successive Georgian leaders 
tried to impose their will by force -- both in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia, 
where the issues of autonomy are similar -- it only made the situation worse. 
New wounds aggravated old injuries. 
Nevertheless, it was still possible to find a political solution. For some 
time, relative calm was maintained in South Ossetia. The peacekeeping force 
composed of Russians, Georgians and Ossetians fulfilled its mission, and 
ordinary Ossetians and Georgians, who live close to each other, found at least 
some common ground. 
Through all these years, Russia has continued to recognize Georgia's 
territorial integrity. Clearly, the only way to solve the South Ossetian 
problem on that basis is through peaceful means. Indeed, in a civilized world, 
there is no other way. 
The Georgian leadership flouted this key principle. 
What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension. The Georgian 
military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket 
launchers designed to devastate large areas. Russia had to respond. To accuse 
it of aggression against small, defenseless Georgia is not just hypocritical 
but shows a lack of humanity. 
Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision whose 
tragic consequences, for thousands of people of different nationalities, are 
now clear. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived 
support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces 
were trained by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military 
equipment was bought in a number of countries. This, coupled with the promise 
of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian leaders into thinking that they could 
get away with a blitzkrieg in South Ossetia. 
In other words, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was expecting 
unconditional support from the West, and the West had given him reason to think 
he would have it. Now that the Georgian military assault has been routed, both 
the Georgian government and its supporters should rethink their position. 
Hostilities must cease as soon as possible, and urgent steps must be taken to 
help the victims -- the humanitarian catastrophe, regretfully, received very 
little coverage in Western media this weekend -- and to rebuild the devastated 
towns and villages. It is equally important to start thinking about ways to 
solve the underlying problem, which is among the most painful and challenging 
issues in the Caucasus -- a region that should be approached with the greatest 
When the problems of South Ossetia and Abkhazia first flared up, I proposed 
that they be settled through a federation that would grant broad autonomy to 
the two republics. This idea was dismissed, particularly by the Georgians. 
Attitudes gradually shifted, but after last week, it will be much more 
difficult to strike a deal even on such a basis. 
Old grievances are a heavy burden. Healing is a long process that requires 
patience and dialogue, with non-use of force an indispensable precondition. It 
took decades to bring to an end similar conflicts in Europe and elsewhere, and 
other long-standing issues are still smoldering. In addition to patience, this 
situation requires wisdom. 
Small nations of the Caucasus do have a history of living together. It has been 
demonstrated that a lasting peace is possible, that tolerance and cooperation 
can create conditions for normal life and development. Nothing is more 
important than that. 
The region's political leaders need to realize this. Instead of flexing 
military muscle, they should devote their efforts to building the groundwork 
for durable peace. 
Over the past few days, some Western nations have taken positions, particularly 
in the U.N. Security Council, that have been far from balanced. As a result, 
the Security Council was not able to act effectively from the very start of 
this conflict. By declaring the Caucasus, a region that is thousands of miles 
from the American continent, a sphere of its national interest, the United 
States made a serious blunder. Of course, peace in the Caucasus is in 
everyone's interest. But it is simply common sense to recognize that Russia is 
rooted there by common geography and centuries of history. Russia is not 
seeking territorial expansion, but it has legitimate interests 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Greencard scheme in Denmark

2008-08-14 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Greencard scheme in Denmark:
Please click on the link:
Forward and share with your friends/contacts.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Palestinians capture violence of Israeli occupation on video

2008-08-01 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Palestinians capture violence of Israeli occupation on video
In a graphic and hard-hitting film Peter Beaumont speaks to Palestinians 
filming abuse from settlers and Israeli armed forces
* Peter Beaumont in Ni'ilin
* Wednesday July 30 2008
Link to this video

An Israeli child from a far-right settler group in the West Bank city of Hebron 
hurls a stone up the stairs of a Palestinian family close to their settlement 
and shouts: I will exterminate you. Another spits towards the same family.
Another settler woman pushes her face up to a window and snarls: Whore!
They are shocking images. There is footage of beatings, their aftermath, and 
the indifference of Israel's security forces to serious human rights abuses. 
There is footage too of those same security forces humiliating Palestinians – 
and most seriously – committing abuses themselves.
They are contained in a growing archive of material assembled by the Israeli 
human rights organisation B'Tselem in a remarkable project called Shooting Back.
The group has supplied almost 100 video cameras to vulnerable Palestinian 
communities in Hebron, the northern West Bank and elsewhere, to document and 
gather evidence of assaults and abusive behaviour – largely by settlers.
We gave the first video camera out in Hebron [in January 2007], says Diala 
Shamas a Jerusalem-based researcher with B'Tselem. But the project took off in 
earnest, however, in January this year.
The video is sometimes chaotic, jumpy. Sometimes only the audio is captured and 
a pair of soldiers' boots.
But what it documents in all its rough reality is the experience of occupation 
on a daily basis for the most vulnerable families and communities – giving a 
voice to those who have been voiceless for so long.
Right now we have about 100 video cameras, adds Shamas. The largest number 
are in the Hebron region where the most frequent complaints of settler attacks 
are. And recently in the northern area and the region next to the [building] of 
the [separation] wall where there are demonstrations.
She explains the reason for introducing the Shooting Back project.
The project started as response to the need to gather evidence. We were 
constantly filing complaints to no avail on the basis of lack of evidence, or … 
we don't know the name of the settler.
Now we are going back and forth with our video-cassettes to [Israeli] police 
station begging them to press rewind, freeze… it is the bulk of our work. The 
value of the footage is not only evidential. It also has had a remarkable value 
in terms of advocacy and campaigning.
'We quickly realised the media value of this footage. It is maybe an 
overstatement but we started bridging this gap between what was happening in 
the occupied Palestinian territories and what the Israeli public can see.
There was a conspiracy of silence surrounding settler violence in particular. 
This footage is shocking to Israelis.'
And in particular it has been two pieces of video, shot by Palestinians this 
year and released by B'Tselem, that have gained massive international attention 
by throwing the issue of human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian 
territories back into the spotlight.
The first was footage of a group of four hooded settlers from the settlement of 
Susya armed with what look like pickaxe handles brutally beating a group of 
Palestinian farmers.
The second – not taken as part of Shooting Back programme – but supplied to 
B'Tselem by a 17-year-old schoolgirl from the village of Ni'ilin earlier this 
month showed a protester against the building of the West Bank barrier on his 
village's land being shot in the foot by an Israeli soldier with a plastic 
bullet as he was held blindfold and bound.
The protester was Ashraf Abu Rahma, aged 27. The video was shot by Salam Kanaan 
aged 17. A constant presence at the demonstrations in the Palestinian villages 
in the rocky hills of the West Bank, Ashraf is employed by the villages as a 
watchman on land that is threatened with being taken from the Palestinian 
villages for the building of the West Bank barrier.
He says he was unaware of what was happening to him until almost the moment 
before he was shot and wounded in the foot.
It is only when he saw the video too that he was able to understand what 
happened to him.
Arrested during a demonstration against the West Bank barrier in Ni'ilin on 
July 7 he recalled last week being almost immediately blindfolded.
They had rounded up the foreigners [from the International Solidarity 
Movement] and arrested me and another guy separately.
They put me in a jeep and started cursing me, hitting me and using bad 
language in Hebrew and Arabic. It had never occurred to me that they would 
They held me in the sun for a long time. Later I heard them discussing what 
they were going to do with me.
I recall hearing a conversation about how to shoot me. What I recall is the 
words rubber bullet, rubber bullet... I was 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Iraq's unseen violence - The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war

2008-07-31 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Iraq's unseen violence
The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing 
photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war
*   * Dan Kennedy 
* Tuesday July 29 2008 
Even by the squeamish standards of the American media, the photographic record 
of the war in Iraq is remarkably antiseptic. The paradigmatic images are not of 
combat or of bodies in the street but, rather, the digital snapshots taken by 
US soldiers of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated at Abu Ghraib - that is, a 
consequence of war rather than the thing itself.
To an extent not appreciated by the public, the shortage of photographs 
depicting the dead and dying is not an accident. This past Saturday, the New 
York Times reported on the plight of Zoriah Miller, a freelance photographer 
who was banned from covering the Marines because he posted several photos of 
their dead bodies on his website. Miller, the Times added, is hardly alone in 
being pressured not to show the world anything too graphic.
Questions about war photos are as old as photography itself. More than a 
century ago, Mathew Brady and other photographers shocked a nation with their 
images of dead soldiers in the American civil war.
More recently, it has become an article of faith on the political right that 
grisly images of the Vietnam war - including the famous pictures of a 
street-side execution and of a naked young girl running from a napalm attack - 
undermined public support and led to the American defeat. Subsequent 
administrations have made it increasingly difficult for journalists to cover 
war in all its horror.
That effort has reached its nadir during the presidency of George Bush. And 
though its roots lay in the White House's desperate attempts to maintain some 
level of support for its failed policies, its censorious campaign is now being 
waged on behalf of Bush's preferred successor, John McCain. Unpopular as the 
war is, it would be more unpopular still if the public could truly see it.
Think back to the early, triumphant days of the Iraq war, leading up to the 
Mission Accomplished fiasco. War was reduced to a video game, with action 
figures racing through the desert and streaks of light aimed toward Baghdad. 
Once the insurgency began, the war became so dangerous for journalists to cover 
that they became dependent on the American military units with which they were 
embedded - a very different scenario from Vietnam, where reporters and 
photographers were able to operate with little interference.
More than 4,000 American troops have died to protect their country from Saddam 
Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, but you'd never know it 
from the nightly news. In a break with longstanding tradition, the White House 
even banned the media from observing the flag-draped coffins of dead soldiers 
when they arrive at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, bloody images of war do not necessarily 
undermine public support. I recently had an opportunity to view newsreel 
footage from the second world war, and a silent clip from the first world war, 
that were astonishingly graphic in their depiction of violence suffered by both 
the good guys and the bad guys.
The difference is that the second world war, especially, enjoyed near-universal 
popular support. Terrible images of troops felled in a war for survival only 
toughened the national resolve. Images of dead American troops in Iraq, by 
contrast, would - like those pictures from Vietnam - only serve to deepen 
public anger.

Just before I wrote this, I paged through a book of Iraq war photos by Ashley 
Gilbertson called Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Gilbertson, whose pictures have often 
appeared in the New York Times, is not one to indulge in violence for 
violence's sake. There is as much blood and death in the brief slide show of 
Zoriah Miller's work as there is in all 264 pages of Gilbertson's book.
Still, Gilbertson's images are difficult to look at because they are so real. 
His is not the Iraq of General David Petraeus, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki 
and the surge-emboldened Sunni Awakening. Rather, we see courageous American 
troops, terrified civilians and an oppressive, overwhelming sense that it's all 
going to end badly. Gilbertson closes with the 2005 Iraqi elections, itself a 
bittersweet victory. He, and we, know that some of the worst violence occurred 
later on.
As it occurs still. On Monday, at least 53 people were killed and another 240 
wounded in separate suicide attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk. McCain can repeat 
the surge is working as much as he likes. Iraq remains an incredibly 
dangerous and fragile country.
Interviewers frequently ask Barack Obama if he'll admit he was wrong about the 
surge, but they rarely ask McCain if he was wrong about the war. In large 
measure that is because the American public cannot see the full consequences of 
this tragic mistake - a mistake 

Bismillah [IslamCity] National insecurity - The Pakistani army must change its tactics against the militants if it is to halt a descent into chaos

2008-07-31 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
National insecurity
The Pakistani army must change its tactics against the militants if it is to 
halt a descent into chaos
*   * Martin Woollacott 
* The Guardian, 
* Wednesday July 30 2008 
From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, the armed forces of the states 
located in the world's most intense conflict zone are stacked together like a 
dangerous house of cards. They plan, plot and puzzle, as embattled military 
establishments always do. Yet the most important decisions are arguably those 
that face the army least often mentioned in discussion - that of Pakistan. 
For the Pakistani army has to decide how to save itself and the country it has 
dominated for so long. In the struggle across the region, it could even be said 
that decisions made in Rawalpindi, the army's headquarters, may turn out to be 
more important than those made in Washington, Baghdad, Tehran or Tel Aviv. And 
this army is highly autonomous. It has frequently been the government, and 
remains by far the most powerful institution in the country. 
The regional war on whose name nobody can agree - terror, occupation, invasion 
- has shifted its shape in recent years. In western eyes, anyway, it was in the 
beginning about Afghanistan, then Iraq was its epicentre, until the focus 
shifted to Iran and its nuclear ambitions, and then back to Afghanistan. 
Pakistan always figured when Afghanistan was in the spotlight because failure 
to deal effectively with the Taliban and al-Qaida in the border areas puts Nato 
forces at a disadvantage. Pakistan was seen as a dimension of the Afghan 
problem, and was again presented in those terms yesterday when the prime 
minister, Yousaf Raza Galani, assured George Bush in Washington that Pakistan 
would strive to secure the Afghan border. 
Now you could put it the other way round. As insurgents have moved from the 
border strip to some settled areas of Pakistan in recent months, it is at least 
an open question as to which country is the sideshow and which the main event. 
Without demonising these movements - which mix tribalism, jihadism, Pashtun 
national feeling and criminality, and are also the product of social breakdown 
resulting from decades of war - it cannot be right that parts of Pakistan are 
ruled by parallel governments, judged by parallel courts, and make war on their 
own terms whenever they wish. Militants are even now encroaching on the 
environs of Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province. In 
Mohmand, the Taliban controls economic enterprises. The number of foreign 
fighters entering Pakistan is said to be now much higher than those entering 
Iraq. And they are coming to Pakistan not only to fight in Afghanistan, but in 
Pakistan itself. 
The Pakistani army, however, is still following a strategy of negotiations and 
ceasefires, punctuated by well-signalled and often bloodless sweeps by the 
local Frontier Corps. True, this is also the policy of the new national 
government and of the Peshawar provincial government. It is also true that 
heavy-handed military operations are not the best counter to insurgency. But in 
the army's case, the softly, softly approach has been shaped by the defeats and 
setbacks it suffered in earlier efforts to deal with insurgents and by its own 
involvement in backing extremist movements. Such movements were useful tools in 
the confrontation with India in Kashmir, and in influencing events in 
It is less a question of the army's tactical choices than of whether it still 
cannot give up the idea of keeping the militant movements as a card in future 
conflicts. But the militants are out of control. They tried to kill Parvez 
Musharraf, they probably killed Benazir Bhutto, they have bombed army offices 
and even the headquarters of Inter-Services Intelligence. The attempt to outwit 
India, the rationale of the Pakistani armed forces since independence, is 
outdated. As Ahmed Rashid says in his book on the regional crisis, Descent into 
Chaos: The army's insecurity  has now come full circle, for Pakistan's 
very future is at stake as extremists threaten to undermine Pakistan itself. 
That threat comes at a time when Pakistan is otherwise in a process of renewal, 
as evidenced by the success of liberal and secular candidates in recent 
elections. An expanding urban middle class wants a new kind of country, and 
feudal and tribal dominance in rural areas is fading. Overprivileged and 
muddle-headed, the army needs to follow suit. If it does so, the moment of 
opportunity for extremism in Pakistan will be brief - and that could have a 
transforming effect on the rest of the region.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] 2009 Mexican Government Scholarship for Foreigners

2008-07-30 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
2009 Mexican Government Scholarship for Foreignerswww.anuies.mxScholarship 
This scholarship is offered to an unspecified number of people.Open for 
applications until August 7, 2008.

This award is to be used for research. This scholarship is paid unspecified.

Research Information
This scholarship is for any field of research.
Application Details
You can download a PDF with more information about the scholarship here.
Terms and conditions are subject to change.
Web Address: Payment Information
The value of this scholarship is unspecified (total may 
vary).http://becas.sre.gob.mxwww.edumexico.orgwww.conacyt.mxThe Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs of Mexico has officially opened its Call of Scholarships to 
receive applications from Non-Mexican citizens interested in applying for any 
of the following types of activities for the calendar year 2009: Masters 
Degree, Doctorate Degree, medical Specialisation; Research Fellowships; 
Post-doctoral Study; Visiting Professors; Specialisation; Artistic Fellowships; 
Expert Conferences; Research on Mexican Studies; Research on the Mexican 
Revolution; Research on the Mexican Independence. Please refer to PDF for 
further details. Other information websites about Mexican educational 
institutions are:

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Fw: Video: Israeli soldier arrested for shooting prisoner

2008-07-24 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Video: Israeli soldier arrested for shooting prisoner
Anne Barrowclough
An Israeli soldier has been arrested after being caught on camera shooting a 
bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner in the foot.
In the video, the Palestinian, Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, is seen being led, 
handcuffed and blindfolded, to a Jeep by a high ranking officer of the Israeli 
Defence Forces (IDF).
While the officer, a lieutenant-colonel, grips his arm, a second soldier aims 
his gun at Abu Rahma’s legs and fires a rubber bullet at him from about 1.5 
metres away.
The incident took place on July 7 in Ni’lin, a West Bank village which has been 
the scene of near daily demonstrations by stone-throwing protesters against the 
construction of the West Bank security fence, according to the Israeli Human 
Rights group B’Tselem, which has published the video. The demonstrator says 
that the bullet hit his left toe.
I closed my eyes and I don’t remember anything, he told the Palestinian 
television channel that screened the video on Sunday. It felt like my leg was 
gone. He said he had been held for about 30 minutes and had been beaten by 
soldiers before being shot. After the shooting he said he received treatment by 
an army doctor and was then released.
The video was shot by a 14 year old girl who filmed it from her house in the 
village, and sent it to B’Tselem. After the video was screened, The IDF 
launched an investigation into the conduct of the soldiers.
The Israel Defence Forcecs (IDF) said the soldier, who has not been identified, 
had been detained. The soldier has been detained for questioning. Once the 
investigation is complete measures will be taken, an army spokesman told the 
AFP news agency.
In a statement, the Army called the incident grave and in direct 
contradiction of IDF values and principles.
Military law forbids inflicting harm on detainees and obligates soldiers to 
show them respect and ensure their safety, it said.
Incidents when detainees are harmed are, in accordance with IDF policy, 
forwarded to the Military Police for investigation. As in this case, after 
reviewing the videotape, JAG Brig-Gen Avichai Mandelblit ordered the opening of 
a probe into the incident.
But an Israeli army spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, added that the film raised 
several questions. She said it was clear the images were not filmed in one 
go, adding: Where are the missing sequences? What did they contain?
Ms Leibovich said the man went home with an injured toe and did not file a 
complaint. The army says five border guards, three soldiers and two labourers 
working on the wall were injured during protests against the barrier in June.
Israel says the barrier is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating 
Israel and Jewish West Bank settlements, but Palestinians say it is a land grab 
aimed at undermining the viability of their promised state.
From Times Online, July 21, 2008
For Video please click below

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Bismillah [IslamCity] The concept of international justice will be on trial, too

2008-07-24 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The concept of international justice will be on trial, too
Serbs will now look to The Hague for a kind of closure, but it is always better 
for a nation to seek atonement within itself
* Simon Jenkins 
* The Guardian, 
* Wednesday July 23, 2008
The capture of Radovan Karadzic is unqualified good news. Despite yesterday's 
queue of Balkan pundits eager to destroy any hope of his getting an 
unadulterated trial, he was half the duumvirate that oversaw the worst 
atrocities committed on European soil in half a century. The other half, Ratko 
Mladic, is still on the run.
Quite what Karadzic's defence might be is obscure, unless it is that brutality, 
revenge and the fog of war have long been commonplace in the Balkans. It is not 
an argument that will appeal to the thousan ds of Muslim and Croat victims of 
his fraudulent Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Atrocities also 
committed against Serbs by Croats, notably in Krajina, in no way excuse the 
systematic Serb killings, especially in Sarajevo and Srebrenica.
That Karadzic and Mladic have roamed free for 13 years since their indictment 
by The Hague tribunal in 1995 has been a disgrace both to the international 
rulers of Bosnia, including Britain's Paddy Ashdown, and to Serbia itself. But 
now, with a newly elected government in power, a sort of closure is in sight.
Visitors to Belgrade during the 1990s were baffled by the contrast between the 
European civility of its Serb citizens and their blank refusal to see wrong in 
what was happening in their name in the federated states of Bosnia and Kosovo. 
It was like the dismissive attitude of many Britons to colonial peoples in 
Africa and Asia. After the fall of Tito's communism, the Yugoslav cosmopolis 
disintegrated into its former parts. The release of hatred was appalling.
All who care for peace in the Balkans must now hope that Serbia can put the 
past behind it. It has paid an awful price for voting for Milosevic in 1990, 
including the recent loss of Kosovo and Montenegro. It has had to watch 
regional neighbours such as Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria join the European 
Union while its European credentials remained beyond the pale.
This year the Serbs rejected, admittedly by a narrow margin, a return to 
introspective chauvinism, electing a president and government of pro-western 
inclinations. The early capture of Karadzic may well have been precipitated by 
the prospect of European enlargement coming to a halt after the Irish veto. 
Serbs may not desperately want the EU, but they desperately want to be loved.
Not only Karadzic and Serbia are now on trial. So is the concept of 
international justice at The Hague, reduced to bureaucratic farce by the 
handling of Slobodan Milosevic in 2002. That trial was supranational 
jurisdiction at its most flatulent and inert, a monument to the maxim that slow 
justice is no justice. The prosecution case took three years, and by the end in 
2006, both the judge and the defendant were dead.
What the court really achieved in the case of Milosevic and the 44 other Serbs 
brought to trial must be moot. He died in captivity, but the process did much 
to stir fury among the Serbs that Croats and Kosovans - who could be no less 
cruel in their ethnic cleansing - had got off lightly at The Hague.
The case for war crimes justice in its present internationalised form remains 
in question. A burgeoning army of jurists points out that international crime 
against humanity is a meaningful concept and that many countries lack the 
security or the competence to conduct criminal trials, which is true. They also 
claim that the prospect of a Hague indictment deters the worst of dictators 
from the worst of atrocities, though it is hard to see this deterrence in 
Defenders of the international criminal court in The Hague also protest its 
infancy. As the lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has written: It has been a long and 
difficult struggle, legal, political and diplomatic, to hold political and 
military leaders accountable for crimes against humanity. The concept of 
impunity for atrocities within sovereign states is now an acknowledged wrong 
but, says Robertson, it is one that will take time to establish. 
This defence is wearing thin. It may well be that the world needs a lofty 
tribunal to enforce agreed standards of behaviour in war, and to call dictators 
to account. But every murder is a crime against humanity. The glamour of 
Nuremburg still hovers over a process that has become bureaucratic and 
trespasses on conflicts that should be dealt with nationally. It is tempting to 
add that international lawyers who so conspicuously fail to put their 
professional house in order can hardly expect sceptical statesmen to give them 
free rein.
The existence of The Hague is said to have complicated peace negotiations in 
Zimbabwe, Congo, Uganda and Sudan. Leaders are reluctant to step down from 
power without a promise of immunity from 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Out of Iraq, into the White House?

2008-07-22 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Out of Iraq, into the White House?
The Iraqi prime minister's support of Barack Obama's troop exit plan is the 
biggest story of the election campaign so far
* Michael Tomasky
* Monday July 21, 2008
Boy would I have liked to have been tapping the phone lines between Washington 
and Baghdad on Saturday afternoon.
I would love to know exactly what people in the Bush White House were saying to 
one another, and more importantly what they were saying to Baghdad, after Der 
Spiegel published its now-famous interview with the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri 
al-Maliki, in which he in essence endorsed Barack Obama's withdrawal timetable. 
Bush officials acknowledged on Sunday that they did indeed call the Maliki 
government for, ah, clarification. I bet they did.
A Maliki spokesman walked the statement back that same day, but unpersuasively. 
The New York Times made it a point to get the tape from Der Spiegel and provide 
its own translation in today's editions. The Times says Maliki said: Obama's 
remarks that – if he takes office – in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, 
we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it 
could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq … Who wants to exit 
in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.
If that's not a functional endorsement of one candidate's position over the 
other, then there's no such thing. But don't take my word for it. Take Bush's. 
On Saturday morning, when Reuters first moved a story based on the Der Spiegel 
interview, the White House – which commonly sends emails to journalists 
flogging news stories that defend its positions or actions – mistakenly sent 
its press list an email based on the Reuters piece with the subject heading: 
Iraq PM backs Obama troop exit plan.
Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic had the right read on the importance of this over 
the weekend: This puts John McCain in an extremely precarious spot: what's 
left to argue? To argue against Maliki would be to predicate that Iraqi 
sovereignty at this point means nothing. Ambinder received an email from a 
prominent Republican strategist who occasionally provides advice to McCain who 
wrote, simply: We're fucked.
Not sure about the f-bomb, but precarious is certainly hard to argue with. 
The McCain campaign tried to spin Maliki's comments by saying that Obama is on 
the side of unconditional withdrawal while McCain and Maliki believe 
withdrawal must be based on facts on the ground. This is an argument, as 
MSNBC put it, that many independent analysts would find questionable – Obama 
is not for unconditional withdrawal.
That argument won't fly. Longer term, McCain's problem here is that whenever 
the question of withdrawal comes up – as it will, most notably in the fall 
debates – Obama can just say something like, The prime minister – George 
Bush's prime minister – supports my plan. President Bush and others, including 
you, have often said that when the Iraqis are ready to stand up, we'll stand 
down. Mr Maliki says they're ready. Now, John, who's more connected to the 
reality on the ground?
But there are potential pitfalls here for Obama, who must tread very cautiously 
for the remainder of this trip. He arrived in Baghdad this morning. He will 
meet with American commanders soon, including General David Petraeus, who has, 
it's safe to say, demonstrated through his past congressional testimony that 
he, like Maliki, is willing to drop political hints. Where Maliki seems to lean 
Democratic, though, Petraeus goes GOP. If anything can submarine Obama's trip, 
it's a leak from the military brass suggesting that they met Obama and were 
Second, Obama needs to be on his watch once he hits Israel. The administration 
and McCain have many friends there, and Obama does not. We've always known that 
the European part of Obama's tour should be the easy part – he'll be loved 
there, and it's hard to picture him tripping up in such a supportive 
environment. Israel will be a different matter, and I suspect GOP-friendly 
operatives in the country are thinking about how to lay a land mine or two 
right now (maybe with some encouragement from Washington).
Whatever happens over the course of this trip, Maliki's statement is the 
biggest story so far in this general-election campaign. It will resonate 
through the fall, and it started Obama's trip off on a more positive note that 
he could have dared to imagine, and that frankly he did little to deserve, 
aside from not being involved with the strategic mistakes made during this war. 
Apparently, to Maliki, that's enough.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Islam and the pluralist state

2008-07-22 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Islam and the pluralist state
Editorial, The Independent, Saturday July 19, 2008
It would be easy to criticise the Government's plan to fund a new independent 
board of Islamic theologians to advise the Muslim community about the tricky 
issues faith provokes in a modern pluralist society. Hardline secularists 
yesterday trotted out familiar arguments about the separation of church and 
state while, at the other extreme, Muslims such as Azzam Tamimi – who has 
sought to justify suicide bombings – were accusing ministers of trying to 
create state-sponsored Islam.
It is not, of course, for the Government to dictate on matters of religious 
teaching. But that is not what is being proposed. Ministers are merely 
responding to the call within Muslim communities for a forum in which stronger 
leadership can be demonstrated on what are often controversial issues. Islam is 
not like mainstream Christianity with its hierarchies or centres of authority. 
There is no Muslim pope, nor even the Islamic equivalent of the infamously 
dispersed authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. But it is not an 
interpretative free-for-all, as some suggest; it is a faith structure which 
makes clear appeals to authority.
If taxpayers' money is to be spent bringing together a diverse range of British 
Muslim voices to reflect authoritatively on Islam in a modern context – and in 
the process show young British Muslims that their faith is compatible with the 
shared values that go with being a British citizen – that is a powerful public 
The fact that this is to be done in a religious context is a plus rather than a 
minus. Secularist solutions will not hold much sway with the Muslim community. 
Indeed, many disenchanted young British Asians need more Islam, not less: 
unless they have a proper understanding of what Islam is really about, they can 
all too easily become easy prey for the distortions of jihadists later in life. 
That is what happened to Britain's 7 July suicide bombers, all of whom had been 
to secular schools.
Mosques are therefore an apposite place in which to hold the new citizenship 
classes. They will help young Muslims to break out of narrow ethnic or 
sectarian backgrounds. They will improve their ability to compete for jobs and 
influence in British society. And they will equip them to play a more active 
leadership role in their communities. The initiative is to be applauded.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Helping Pakistan: Pakistan’s troubles demand unity

2008-07-19 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Helping Pakistan: Pakistan’s troubles demand unity
Pakistan is rising rapidly up the global risk register. The hopes generated by 
the elections of February 18, when Pakistanis rejected religious extremists' 
parties, are evaporating. The country, a nuclear power, and its 165m people are 
beset by a deepening political and economic crisis, of which yesterday's riot 
at the stock exchange is but a small manifestation. Yet elected politicians 
seem unwilling or unable to do anything about it.
In some respects, the politicians have been unlucky. It is not their fault that 
they took over the reins of power just as global food and energy prices were 
exploding. Subsidies on fuel and food - increased by General Pervez Musharraf, 
the country's military ruler - made matters worse, forcing the government to 
choose between two unpalatable alternatives, letting prices rip or watching 
government finances spiral out of control. At the moment, they have the worst 
of all worlds: inflation of 12 per cent and accelerating, and a budget deficit 
already equal to 7 per cent of gross domestic product.
It would be serious enough if this were the only issue the government has to 
confront. But developments in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas bordering 
Afghanistan are heightening tensions with its neighbours, and preoccupying the 
US and its Nato partners. Pakistan's army appears to have resumed confrontation 
with religious militants in these areas, but the extremists have taken 
advantage of recent ceasefires to launch bolder incursions into Afghanistan. 
These have already led to hot pursuit missions over the border into Pakistan, 
which, if they continue and intensify, can only strengthen religious extremists 
inside the country.
The outside world can help Pakistan with finance for development. Yet, the 
solutions really lie at home. There has been a worrying vacuum at the centre, 
which has meant that the government has hardly moved to address these gathering 
problems. The reason has been that the heads of the main political parties, 
Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, have failed to set aside their personal 
rivalries and thirst for power to govern together to help manage the crisis.
Fortunately, so far, the head of the army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has 
shown no desire to step in to solve the gathering problems.
Indeed, military government provides no real answer, as recent history shows. 
But unless the party leaders come together for the sake of their country, 
Pakistan's elected party leaders may find that the crisis consumes them too.
Editorial: The Financial Times Limited 2008
Published: July 18 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 18 2008 03:00

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Drug Trade: Afghanistan-Iran-NATO: Consider the poppies

2008-07-12 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Drug Trade: Afghanistan-Iran-NATO: Consider the poppies
A joint Nato-Iran venture tackling the Afghan drug trade could deliver great 
political fruits for allRoger Howard
The Guardian, Friday July 11, 2008
Despite rising casualties and shattered dreams, Nato's Afghan mission need not 
turn out to be entirely futile. After all, events of recent years have proved 
Afghanistan to be a land full of surprises, and it might now have some 
dramatic, and wholly unexpected, political fruits to bear.
Although the architects of the campaign doubtlessly never dreamed it, Nato's 
intervention opens a window of diplomatic opportunity. For just as tensions 
have been fuelled so dramatically by Iran's test-firing and by talk of 
impending Israeli or US military action, Afghanistan offers a means by which 
the Tehran regime and the west can finally reach out to each other.
If Nato is to have any hope of curbing Afghanistan's poppy trade it will have 
to cooperate with Iran - more than half of the country's poppy production seeps 
through the long, porous Iranian border towards its international market 
places. But the drug runners would find life much tougher if Nato patrols 
worked with their Iranian counterparts, pooling their severely stretched 
At the moment cooperation is non-existent. Yet calls for very much closer 
dialogue with Nato would be warmly received by Iran, where drug addiction is an 
even more serious problem than in the west. And Tehran would recognise that 
closer patrolling of the Afghan frontier would also check the flow of the Sunni 
insurgents, weapons and refugees that it, like the west, regards as a threat.
The potential to establish such a joint venture emerged in the wake of 9/11 
when, in a series of secret meetings, Iranian officials met US counterparts. 
Colin Powell knew that Iranian help was vital, and President Khatami offered 
Washington its full cooperation - even the use of Iranian airbases. But it 
wasn't long before this ground-breaking dialogue was torpedoed by Washington 
hawks and Israeli allegations that Tehran had shipped a vast arsenal to the 
Palestinian Authority. By January 2002, Iran had been named as part of the 
Axis of Evil.
Six years on, the prospect of a Nato-Iranian joint venture could play a pivotal 
role in negotiations over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. At the very least it 
would help address Iran's security concerns. It would reduce the deep, 
lingering sense of mutual mistrust between Iran and the US, reinforcing the 
vital message that both countries have some complementary aims, and need each 
other's cooperation.
Above all, it would face up to the deeply held Iranian ambition to be treated 
as a key regional power, a role that Tehran sees not just as a way of 
maintaining its territorial security but, most importantly, of gaining a 
certain prestige in the eyes of the watching Arab world. It is this ambition 
that lies behind its drive to acquire nuclear weapons - or at least maintain 
its right to enrich uranium without discrimination.
A joint venture in Afghanistan might well bestow this status upon the Iranians, 
making them more willing to renounce their nuclear ambitions. Western 
governments have hitherto tried to dissuade Tehran with incentives based on 
aid and trade, but these reflect our own, highly materialistic, priorities 
rather than Iran's particular concerns.
The viability of Nato's mission in Afghanistan, and the organisation's wider 
credibility, are being called into question. At the same time, Israeli 
ministers and defence chiefs are talking about an unavoidable military 
campaign. So when he visits Tehran later this month, Javier Solana, the EU's 
high representative, will have nothing to lose, and no time to waste, in trying 
to coax Iran with promises of a joint Afghan venture.
· Roger Howard is the author of Iran in Crisis? and Through the Looking Glass: 
Foreign Policy and Political Correctness, to be published this month

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Iran and Israel build up their bluffing game

2008-07-12 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Iran and Israel build up their bluffing game
The warlike posturing would be more frightening if there were much likelihood 
of an Israeli attack - but there isn't
Gerard Baker
When governments undertake grand gestures in the full glare of public 
attention, the only thing you can be sure of is that they do not mean what they 
appear to mean. That's a useful rule of thumb to apply to any exercise in 
public diplomacy but it's especially helpful when trying to fathom the volatile 
politics of the Middle East.
There has been a certain choreographed quality to events in the skies over the 
eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf in the last month. This week Iran fired a 
volley of medium-range missiles into the skies over the Gulf, demonstrating its 
capacity to hit targets in Israel. A month ago, Israeli warplanes carried out 
large and fearsome warplane exercises over the Mediterranean that looked like a 
practice run for a bombing raid on Iranian nuclear facilities.
It's clear what we are supposed to think. Israel is sufficiently agitated now 
by the Iranian nuclear threat that it is in the military-strike-planning stage, 
flying sorties that match in range precisely the distance between Israeli air 
bases and Tehran. Iran in response makes clear it has the missile capability to 
take out Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
But appearances can be deceptive. In Iran's case at least part of the deception 
has already been exposed - to mildly comical effect. It turns out that the 
picture of the launch of four Iranian missiles that appeared on the front pages 
of newspapers around the world yesterday was itself a fake.
If you look carefully at the picture, you'll notice that the missile second 
from right has clearly been pasted in - its launch contrail is identical to 
that of the one to the left and the cloud of desert sand in its wake is 
identical to that on the right. Original copies of the photo have now 
established that the fourth missile failed to fire and so, to cover up the 
embarrassment, and presumably to protect the promotion prospects of some 
hapless officer in the Revolutionary Guards, a fairly crude construct was sent 
to foreign news agencies.
Bad news: clearly some of the most sophisticated and effective Western 
technology has fallen into Iranian hands after all. Good news: it's Photoshop.
But if the Iranian military's efforts to deceive are cruder, they may be no 
less opaque than the cloud of smoke around Israel's own superficially plausible 
warning shot.
The simple reality is that, for all its sabre-rattling, Israel cannot carry out 
an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities on its own. An Israeli strike would 
require the active co-operation of the US. Israeli F15 and F16 warplanes would 
not only have to fly and be refuelled in Iraqi airspace - controlled by the 
Americans - but the whole operation would require logistical support from US 
bases on the ground in Iraq. Support helicopters would need to be based in Iraq 
and rescue teams needed to evacuate any downed Israeli pilots would have to 
operate inside Iraq.
In short this would be in effect a joint US-Israeli mission. The catch is that 
Washington has no intention of joining in any attack any time soon.
The military leadership is opposed. Last week Admiral Michael Mullen, the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that an Israeli strike would open 
up a “third front” for the US - after Iraq and Afghanistan - and suggested it 
could break an already stretched military.
The political leadership at the Pentagon is opposed. Robert Gates, the Defence 
Secretary, rarely misses an opportunity to caution in private about the risk 
associated with an attack on Iran. His senior aides are focused hard on 
building on the improving stability in Iraq - something that has been achieved 
at least in part with some covert co-operation between the pro-US Iraqi 
Government and the Iranians.
The Treasury is opposed. Hank Paulson, the Treasury Secretary, not only fears 
the damage to the US economy and markets that a strike would have as the price 
of oil rose to at least $200 per barrel. There is also growing optimism at the 
Treasury that the financial sanctions that it is co-ordinating against the 
Iranian regime are starting to bear fruit. Though German companies 
unscrupulously continue to shop around for business in Tehran, officials say, 
other European companies are increasing co-operating. This week's decision by 
Total, the French oil giant, to pull out of a possible investment in Iran is 
seen as a signal victory.
And of course the State Department is opposed. Cynics might suppose this is 
because it's always opposed to anything that might involve someone getting 
hurt, but that would be unfair. Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues are 
genuinely confident that they have toughened European resolve and that their 
diplomacy is working.
It is, of course, possible that George Bush would defy his Secretary of State, 
Treasury Secretary, Defence 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Fw: Islamophobia: Swiss far right seeks vote on minarets ban

2008-07-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Islamophobia: Swiss far right seeks vote on minarets ban
* Ian Traynor, Europe editor 
* The Guardian, 
* Wednesday July 9, 2008 
The minaret of the Mahmud mosque is pictured close to a Christian church in 
Zurich, Switzerland. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Switzerland braced itself for a troubled campaign of Islamophobia yesterday 
after the far right drummed up enough support to force a national vote to ban 
In a country that is home to more than 300,000 Muslims but boasts only three 
minarets, a series of court cases and votes in regional parliaments has 
recently dismissed attempts to have minarets outlawed. 
But a campaign, led by the rightwing populists of the Swiss People's party, to 
enshrine a ban on minarets in the Swiss constitution yesterday mustered more 
than enough signatures to warrant a referendum on the sensitive issue.
Disputes over mosque and minaret-building are rife across Europe, with 
controversies in Germany, Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands. In Switzerland, 
Christoph Blocher's anti-immigrant Swiss People's party, which won the national 
elections last year after a campaign branded racist by UN monitors, has 
repeatedly used the building regulations and zoning laws to try to prevent 
minarets being built. It has failed, as in Zurich, last month. Last year a 
Turkish association won a supreme court case authorising it to put a minaret on 
a mosque in the village of Wangen..
By yesterday People's party activists had gathered 115,000 signatures, more 
than the 100,000 needed under Switzerland's direct democracy system.
The campaign demands a constitutional amendment, stating: The building of 
minarets in Switzerland is forbidden.
The government has already opposed the demand and may try to prevent the 
referendum, citing reasons of national security and the impact on the country's 
international relations and interests.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel's impasse

2008-07-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Analysis: Israel's impasse
By Tobias Buck
Published: July 9 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 9 2008 03:00
As the former head of Mossad, Israel's secret service, Danny Yatom is not a man 
easily ruffled.
Yet halfway through his second term in the Israeli parliament, where he served 
as a deputy for the Labour party, Mr Yatom found he could take no more. 
Dismayed by the latest backroom deal to preserve the life of the current 
government for another three months, he announced his decision to retire from 
politics last week. The leadership in Israel has made political survival its 
only goal. Moral and ethical codes that were once fundamental have been 
eroded, Mr Yatom declared.
While he placed the primary blame on Ehud Olmert, Israel's embattled prime 
minister, Mr Yatom also took aim at his own party, which forms part of the 
governing coalition: Olmert failed . . . but he is not alone. As a Knesset 
member in a coalition party, I feel as though I am a partner in the 
deterioration when I vote in favour of the government.
Israel's former top spy is far from alone in voicing dismay at the state of 
Israeli politics. According to polls, three out of five Israelis want Mr 
Olmert, who is the target of an embarrassing corruption probe, to resign 
immediately. Despite his personal travails and his chronically weak and 
fractious coalition, the prime minister has shown no intention of heeding such 
pleas: although he has agreed to hold primaries aimed at electing a new leader 
of his Kadima party by September, no one is counting out Mr Olmert as he 
continues his gravity-defying battle to stay in office.
Unpopular governments are hardly un-usual in Israel, where prime ministers have 
repeatedly been hounded out of office only to be voted back into power again a 
few years later. But a growing number of Israelis believe that the country 
faces not so much another coalition collapse but something larger: a full-blown 
crisis in the country's political system that is sapping the ability of 
political leaders to tackle crucial challenges - from reaching a peace deal 
with the Palestinians to facing down the threat of an increasingly hostile Iran.
The three symptoms of the country's political malaise are easy to spot: 
exceedingly low levels of trust in politicians and democratic institutions, the 
chronic instability of Israeli governments and the fragmentation of parliament 
and political life in general.
Mr Olmert's turbulent tenure is a case in point: his botched war in Lebanon two 
years ago and a string of corruption allegations have increased voter 
disillusionment; at the same time, the fragmented nature of Israeli politics 
forced him into an unwieldy coalition and left him exposed to constant 
political blackmail. The need to satisfy the narrow and often contradictory 
wishes of his coalition partners made it almost impossible for Mr Olmert to 
pursue coherent policies and deliver on promises such as reaching a peace deal 
with the Palestinians.
An example of the limitations placed on the prime minister is his inability to 
negotiate the status of Jerusalem - one of the keys to resolving the 
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shas, the biggest ultra-orthodox religious party 
and a member of Mr Olmert's coalition, has warned repeatedly that it will pull 
out of the government if he even discusses handing back occupied East Jerusalem 
to the Palestinians.
One factor hindering political cohesion in the country is its electoral system, 
which leads to a highly fragmented parliament. Unlike the winner-takes-all of 
some western democracies such as the UK or the percentage threshold required by 
others before a party can enter parliament, Israel elects its MPs through pure 
proportional representation. Seats in parliament are allocated according to the 
percentage that a party achieves. There are no direct run-offs in 
constituencies and districts and candidates are selected by political party 
Signs of voter disillusionment can be found everywhere, but a good starting 
point is the country's annual Democracy Index, a survey published by the Israel 
Democracy Institute. The most recent study found only 17 per cent of Israelis 
have trust in the prime minister, while the Knesset fared little better with 29 
per cent. Even the Supreme Court - hitherto seen by respondents as the body 
that best safeguards Israeli democracy - saw its rating plunge by 12 points 
to just 49 per cent.
Voter turnout at general elections has also fallen steadily, reaching a new low 
of 63 per cent two years ago. Opinion polls, meanwhile, make grim reading not 
just to Mr Olmert but to most of his political rivals as well - a reflection, 
perhaps, of the fact that nine in 10 Israelis believe the country is tainted 
with corruption, according to the same survey from the Israel Democracy 
Such ratings, says Ari Shavit, a political analyst and commentator for Haaretz 
newspaper, mean Mr Olmert has no chance of pulling off a 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Former head of MI5 says 42-day detention plan is 'unworkable'

2008-07-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Former head of MI5 says 42-day detention plan is 'unworkable'
By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent, Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller took the highly unusual step of using her 
maiden speech in the House of Lords to denounce the plans
Plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days are neither practical or 
principled, the former head of MI5 warned yesterday.
Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, who stood down as the director general of 
Britain's domestic intelligence agency last year, took the highly unusual step 
of using her maiden speech in the House of Lords to denounce the plans. It was 
the first time she had spoken on the subject.
I don't see on a practical basis, as well as a principled one, that these 
proposals are in any way workable, she told peers.
The comments by Lady Manningham-Buller, an anti-terrorism specialist who led 
MI5 during the London Tube bombings three years ago, represent a serious blow 
to Gordon Brown's anti-terror laws, which were forced through the Commons on 
the votes of Democratic Unionists (DUP) last month after a major rebellion by 
Labour MPs.
She told peers: I have weighed up the balance between the right to life – the 
most important civil liberty – the fact that there is no such thing as complete 
security, and the importance of our hard-won civil liberties. Therefore, on a 
matter of principle, I cannot support 42 days' pre-charge detention. I do 
understand different views and that there are judgements honestly reached by 
others, and I respect these views.
Peers are expected to vote overwhelmingly to defeat plans to extend detention 
without trial when the anti-terror Bill faces detailed scrutiny in the autumn, 
and will trigger a damaging new round of trench warfare for Mr Brown in the 
Yesterday, a string of eminent figures in the Lords vented their anger at the 
proposals, attacking them as an affront to civil liberties and a recruiting 
sergeant for extremists.
Lord Falconer, the former lord chancellor and one of Tony Blair's closest 
allies, said: I'm absolutely clear that there is no advantage to fighting 
terrorism that will be gained by extending pre-charge detention to 42 days.
He criticised the Government for relying on the DUP to get the Bill through the 
Commons, adding: We in this country determine whether people should be 
detained on the basis of a judge's view. I find it worrying that someone could 
be detained in prison on the basis of a deal done with another political party.
Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, also condemned the proposals, 
telling peers that you cannot keep somebody for as long as it takes. He 
added: I dealt with the plots which we believed were being uncovered in the 
summer of 2006.
I flew back from my holiday. I stayed with the prosecutors and got detailed 
briefings through that period. I was anxiously considering and wanting to know 
whether a longer time was necessary. It wasn't. I asked the prosecutors, 'If 
you had had longer than 28 days, would you have used it?' 'No', they said.
I cannot support this. I believe that detention without charge for a long 
period would undermine fundamental freedoms on which this country is based, of 
which this country should be proud, of which I will say my party ought to be 
proud. I will not undermine them in this way.
But Lord West of Spithead, the Security minister, insisted the new powers were 
needed. He said: The question we all have to face is whether there is a 
potential need for more than 28 days. I have looked at this in depth and I 
believe there is. It is better for us to legislate on a precautionary basis 
than find ourselves scrambling for emergency legislation in the heat of a 
serious operation.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Wife-beating? That's fine – unless you're a Muslim

2008-07-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Mark Steel: Wife-beating? That's fine – unless you're a Muslim
The Sun newspaper has come over a bit modest. Following a Channel 4 documentary 
about media reporting of Muslims, the paper accepts some of its stories were 
distorted. But they're not doing themselves justice. They weren't distorted – 
they were entirely made up. For example, a story about a Muslim bus driver who 
ordered his passengers off the bus so he could pray was pure fabrication.
But if reporters are allowed to make up what they like, that one should be 
disciplined for displaying a shocking lack of imagination. He could have 
continued, The driver has now won a case at the Court of Human Rights that his 
bus route should be altered so it only goes east. This means the 37A from 
Sutton Coldfield will no longer stop at Selly Oak library, but go the wrong way 
up a one-way street and carry on to Mecca. Local depot manager Stan Tubworth 
said, 'I suggested he only take it as far as Athens but he threatened a Jihad, 
and a holy war is just the sort of thing that could put a service like the 
Selly Oak Clipper out of business'.
Then there was a story about Muslim thugs in Windsor who attacked a house 
used by soldiers, except it was another invention. But with this tale the 
reporter still claims it's true, despite a complete absence of evidence, 
because, The police are too politically correct to admit it. This must be the 
solution to all unsolved crimes. With Jack the Ripper it's obvious – he was 
facing the East End of London, his victims were infidels and he'd have access 
to a burqua which would give him vital camouflage in the smog. But do the 
pro-Muslim police even bother to investigate? Of course not, because it's just 
Allah Allah Allah down at the stations these days.
Maybe Muslim newspapers should retaliate by publishing their own made-up 
stories. So it will be reported that Barmy PC teachers in Leicester have 
banned children from playing Noughts and Crosses, claiming the cross reminds 
Church of England kiddies of the suffering undertaken by Lord Jesus. A 
spokesman for the Board of Education said, 'We have to be sensitive. Which is 
why we've replaced the game with 'Noughts and Hexagons'. We did look into 
calling it 'Noughts and Crowns of Thorns' but decided Hexagons was more 
Or, Doctors have been told that patients are no longer to be referred to as 
'stable', as this is offensive to followers of Jesus, who was said to have been 
born in one. So medical staff have been informed they must use an alternative 
word, or if they can't think of one just let the patient die.
The most common justification for ridiculing Islam is that the religion is 
backward, particularly towards women, as a fundamental part of its beliefs. 
The Sun's old political editor suggests this as a defence of his newspaper's 
stance, saying that under Islam, women are treated as chattels. And it's true 
that religious scriptures can command this, such as the insistence that, a man 
may sell his daughter as a slave, but she will not be freed at the end of six 
years as men are. Except that comes from the Bible – Exodus, Chapter 21, verse 
The Bible is packed with justifications for slavery, including killing your 
slaves. So presumably the Sun, along with others who regard Islam as a threat 
to our civilisation, will soon be campaigning against Sunday Schools of Hate 
where children as young as seven are taught to read this grisly book. And next 
Easter they'll report how, I saw a small child smile with glee as he opened a 
Cadbury's egg filled with chocolate buttons. But behind his grin I couldn't 
help but wonder whether he wanted to turn me into a pillar of salt, then maybe 
sprinkle me on his menacing confectionary treat.
In his defence of making stuff up, the Sun's ex-political editor spoke about 
the amount of domestic violence suffered by Muslim women. But there's just as 
much chance of suffering domestic violence if you're not a Muslim, as one of 
the 10 million such incidents a year that take place in Britain. Presumably the 
anti-Islam lobby would say, Ah yes, but those other ones involve secular 
wife-beating, which is not founded on archaic religious customs, but rational 
reasoning such as not letting him watch the snooker.
And finally the Sun's man defends the line of his paper by saying that, after 
all, these Muslims are trying to bomb our country. So it's their civic duty 
to make stuff up – the same as keeping a look-out for spies during the Second 
World War.
So we should all do our bit, and every day send in something, until the press 
is full of stories like Muslims in Darlington have been raising money for 
semtex by organising panda fights. Or In Bradford all nurseries have been 
ordered to convert their dolls' houses into miniature mosques so that Muslim 
teddies have somewhere to pray.
Independent, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror

2008-07-03 Thread Arif Bhuiyan

Do you think Baker is right? - Moderator,
Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror
Al-Qaeda and the Taleban are in retreat, the surge has worked in Iraq and 
Islamism is discredited. Not a bad haul
Gerard Baker
Gerard Baker is United States Editor and an Assistant Editor of The Times. He 
joined in 2004 from the Financial Times, where he had spent over ten years as 
Tokyo correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief. His weekly oped column appears 
on Fridays
My centre is giving way. My right is in retreat. Situation excellent. I shall 
If only our political leaders and opinion-formers displayed even a hint of the 
defiant resilience that carried Marshal Foch to victory at the Battle of the 
Marne. But these days timorous defeatism is on the march. In Britain setbacks 
in the Afghan war are greeted as harbingers of inevitable defeat. In America, 
large swaths of the political class continues to insist Iraq is a lost cause. 
The consensus in much of the West is that the War on Terror is unwinnable.
And yet the evidence is now overwhelming that on all fronts, despite inevitable 
losses from time to time, it is we who are advancing and the enemy who is in 
retreat. The current mood on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, represents a 
kind of curious inversion of the great French soldier's dictum: Success 
against the Taleban. Enemy giving way in Iraq. Al-Qaeda on the run. Situation 
dire. Let's retreat!
Since it is remarkable how pervasive this pessimism is, it's worth recapping 
what has been achieved in the past few years.
Afghanistan has been a signal success. There has been much focus on the latest 
counter-offensive by the Taleban in the southeast of the country and it would 
be churlish to minimise the ferocity with which the terrorists are fighting, 
but it would be much more foolish to understate the scale of the continuing 
Nato achievement. Establishing a stable government for the whole nation is 
painstaking work, years in the making. It might never be completed. But that 
was not the principal objective of the war there.
Until the US-led invasion in 2001, Afghanistan was the cockpit of ascendant 
Islamist terrorism. Consider the bigger picture. Between 1998 and 2005 there 
were five big terrorist attacks against Western targets - the bombings of the 
US embassies in Africa in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, 9/11, and 
the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005. All owed their success either 
exclusively or largely to Afghanistan' s status as a training and planning base 
for al-Qaeda.
In the past three years there has been no attack on anything like that scale. 
Al-Qaeda has been driven into a state of permanent flight. Its ability to train 
jihadists has been severely compromised; its financial networks have been 
ripped apart. Thousands of its activists and enablers have been killed. It's 
true that Osama bin Laden's forces have been regrouping in the border areas of 
Pakistan but their ability to orchestrate mass terrorism there is severely 
attenuated. And there are encouraging signs that Pakistanis are starting to 
take to the offensive against them.
Next time you hear someone say that the war in Afghanistan is an exercise in 
futility ask them this: do they seriously think that if the US and its allies 
had not ousted the Taleban and sustained an offensive against them for six 
years that there would have been no more terrorist attacks in the West? What 
characterised Islamist terrorism before the Afghan war was increasing 
sophistication, boldness and terrifying efficiency. What has characterised the 
terrorist attacks in the past few years has been their crudeness, 
insignificance and a faintly comical ineptitude (remember Glasgow airport?)
The second great advance in the War on Terror has been in Iraq. There's no need 
to recapitulate the disasters of the US-led war from the fall of Saddam Hussein 
in April 2003 to his execution at the end of 2006. We may never fully make up 
for three and a half lost years of hubris and incompetence but in the last 18 
months the change has been startling.
The surge, despite all the doubts and derision at the time, has been a 
triumph of US military planning and execution. Political progress was slower in 
coming but is now evident too. The Iraqi leadership has shown great courage and 
dispatch in extirpating extremists and a growing willingness even to turn on 
Shia militias. Basra is more peaceful and safer than it has been since before 
the British moved in. Despite setbacks such as yesterday's bombings, the 
streets of Iraq's cities are calmer and safer than they have been in years. 
Seventy companies have bid for oil contracts from the Iraqi Government. There 
are signs of a real political reconciliation that may reach fruition in the 
election later this year.
The third and perhaps most significant advance of all in the War on Terror is 
the discrediting of the Islamist creed and its appeal.
This was first of all 

Bismillah [IslamCity] US removes its nuclear arms from Britain

2008-07-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
US removes its nuclear arms from Britain
· Exit of 110 gravity bombs ends 54-year presence
· Change happened secretly over years, say scientists
Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
The US has removed its nuclear weapons from Britain, ending a contentious 
presence spanning more than half a century, a report will say today. According 
to the study by the Federation of American Scientists, the last 110 American 
nuclear weapons on UK soil were withdrawn from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk on the 
orders of President George Bush.
The report's author, Hans Kristensen, one of the leading experts on 
Washington's nuclear arsenal, said the move had happened in the past few years, 
but had only come to light yesterday.
He described the withdrawal of the B-61 freefall, or gravity, bombs as part 
of a general strategic shift since the end of the cold war.
The northern front is not very relevant any more for these deployments. The US 
nuclear posture is almost entirely focused on the southern region, in Incirlik 
[in Turkey] and Aviano [in Italy].
Movements of the US arsenal are shrouded in secrecy. Kristensen said the first 
signs the bombs had left Lakenheath emerged in a US airforce document dated 
January 2007 on nuclear inspections.
The document lists inspections of US nuclear sites, but above an annexe listing 
emergency drills carried out at the sites, it notes not applicable to 
Kristensen's report is posted today at
He says the removal of bombs from Lakenheath follows the withdrawal of nuclear 
weapons from Greece in 2001, and that removal of such weapons from two Nato 
countries in less than a decade undercuts the argument for continuing 
deployment in other European countries.The removal from Britain would reduce 
the US arsenal in Europe to about 250.
Once officially declared, it could defuse current tensions with Moscow and 
possibly trigger matching cuts in the Russian stockpile.
Kristensen said last night: It's so puzzling why Nato goes about the reduction 
in total secrecy. Keeping this secret completely undercuts our foreign policy 
The FAS was founded in 1945 by former scientists on the Manhattan Project, 
which produced the first atomic bomb, as a means of spreading information about 
the dangers posed by the new weapons.
Paul Ingram, the executive director of the British American Security 
Information Council, said last night: This is a win-win situation for Nato and 
disarmament, and for rapprochement with Russia. Nato's future and the 
transatlantic alliance is tied up with operations in Afghanistan far more than 
with ageing freefall bombs that have no military relevance.
Greg Mello, the head of a nuclear watchdog the Los Alamos Study Group said: 
The nuclear weapons themselves don't serve any military purpose. They are 
mostly about cementing a political bond that ties Europe interests to US 
The FAS study is being published a few days after Kristensen published a leaked 
US air force internal report saying that most European bases where US nuclear 
weapons were stored had inadequate security. The report, which was ordered 
after the US air force lost track of six nuclear cruise missiles last August, 
found that support buildings, fencing, lighting and security systems were in 
need of repair.
In some cases, conscripts with less than nine months' experience were being 
used to guard the nuclear weapons. Elsewhere private security guards were used.
The report recommends that the US nuclear arsenal in Europe be consolidated to 
reduce vulnerabilities. That would involve the withdrawal of significant 
numbers of US nuclear weapons.
The Guardian, Thursday June 26, 2008

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Pak-US Relation: Pentagon treads softly as tensions rise - FT

2008-07-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Pak-US Relation:
Pentagon treads softly as tensions rise
By Daniel Dombey and Demetri Sevastopulo
US military commanders were quick to tout General Ashfaq Kiyani as his own 
man after he replaced Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, as the 
country's army chief of staff last November.
The Pentagon hoped Gen Kiyani would develop a counter-insurgency force to help 
tackle Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists operating along the border with 
Afghan-istan. But their relationship has run into trouble just as the US 
prepares to send a handful of trainers for the force to Pakistan this summer.
The biggest concern in the US is the Pakistani government's negotiations with 
tribal leaders in areas along the border, which Washington says act as safe 
havens for Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.
Those tensions heightened in the wake of a US airstrike this month which 
Islamabad says killed 11 Pakistani troops in an area bordering Afghanistan. The 
US has not confirmed if the strike killed the Pakistani soldiers, adding that 
its actions were directed against Taliban attacking Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The Pakistani government and military must negotiate the difficult fact that 
Pakistanis favour negotiations with both al-Qaeda and Pakistani extremists.
A recent poll by Terror Free Tomorrow, a Washington-based group, found that 50 
per cent of Pakistanis believed their government should negotiate with 
al-Qaeda, while 70 per cent opposed US military action against both al-Qaeda 
and the Taliban.
The alleged killing of Pakistani troops in the US airstrike has not made that 
situation any easier.
Gen Kiyani was already treading a difficult path. Much as the US military has 
struggled to adapt to a new counter-insurgency mission in Iraq, Gen Kiyani must 
accomplish the difficult task of weaning his military off its preoccupation 
with India.
Aware that too much overt support could lead to charges that Gen Kiyani is too 
pliant to US demands, American officers have toned down their praise. The 
Pentagon has also played down concerns about the tribal peace deals to avoid 
complicating life for Gen Kiyani, who must balance his relationship with the 
new civilian government.
My sense is if we tried to get in the middle of those politics we'd be 
wielding a sledgehammer inside of a surgery room, one senior US military 
official said.
Another reason the Pentagon has been less critical is that it is not clear who 
is pushing the peace deals. Some Pakistanis stress that the deals were in the 
works before the new government took office in February.
General Dan McNeill, who has just returned from commanding Nato forces in 
Afghanistan, says Gen Kiyani showed no interest in peace deals when they met 
shortly after he took over as Pakistan's army chief.
The suggestion from him was that they were looking for some help to get their 
force trained to be a good counter-insurgency force. I don't recall the term or 
the expression [peace deal] coming up, Gen McNeill said.
But others have suggested that Gen Kiyani has since realised that military 
action in itself will not be sufficient to clamp down on extremism in the 
lawless border regions.
Gen McNeill has also been less reluctant than other US military officers to 
criticise the peace deals and call on Pakistan to act more strongly against the 
extremists, who he says pose a domestic threat to Pakistan.
The tensions on the border were on show again recently when Hamid Karzai, the 
Afghan president, threatened to send troops into Pakistan to deal with the 
But Husain Haqqani, the new Pakistani ambassador to Washington, says Islamabad 
has made a political decision that we want to improve the co-ordination with 
Afghanistan, Pakistan and coalition forces in the border areas.
Additional reporting by Daniel Dombey
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
Published: June 26 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 26 2008 03:00

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Exposed: the arms lobbyist in British Parliament

2008-07-02 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Exposed: the arms lobbyist in British Parliament
'We'll ask the questions that you can't, without your fingerprints,' he tells 
By James Macintyre
A senior arms lobbyist is gaining access to ministers, MPs and peers inside 
Parliament using a research assistant pass allotted to a member of the House of 
Lords who benefits financially from one of his companies, The Independent has 
Robin Ashby, who is chairman of a defence consultancy firm that offers to ask 
questions of government on behalf of its clients without your fingerprint 
being evident, includes among his acquaintances the Defence Secretary, the 
Chancellor and the Chief Whip.
Mr Ashby's firm, Bergmans, lobbies on behalf of more than a dozen large defence 
and aerospace companies including BAE Systems, Northern Defence Industries, UK 
Defence Forum, Boeing and Rolls-Royce, which has been criticised for its past 
links to the Burmese regime.
Mr Ashby's name features on an official staff list that was published by the 
House of Lords for the first time last night following pressure from media 
outlets including The Independent.
As Bergmans' key lobbyist, Mr Ashby enjoys unfettered access to the Palace of 
Westminster. With his pass, he can bring several colleagues or members of the 
public into Parliament's numerous entertainment venues, including the Lords' 
terrace bar overlooking the Thames where he frequently meets Des Browne, the 
Defence Secretary, and other ministers.
Mr Ashby can also use the pass, which is allotted to Baroness Harris of 
Richmond, to access the House of Commons library, which offers valuable 
research facilities at no cost.
Lady Harris is a Liberal Democrat whip and spokesman on the police and Northern 
Ireland. She receives a regular income from a separate company run by Mr 
Ashby, Great North News Service, for which the peer acts as an adviser, 
according to her parliamentary declaration of financial interests. Meanwhile 
her researcher gains access to the Palace of Westminster's corridors of power 
and a string of top-level ministers.
As well as submitting Freedom of Information questions to government, Bergmans 
offers insider information about how the British Government works to a host of 
foreign countries including the Bahamas, Bahrain, the USA and Russia. On 
Bergmans' website, Mr Ashby is shown meeting, among others, Tony Blair, his 
former press secretary Alastair Campbell, the Chancellor Alistair Darling, the 
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, the Chief Whip Geoff Hoon and Mr Browne.
MPs have been required to supply full information about their staff since 1985, 
but members of the Lords were exempt from the rule until last night.
On his entry, Mr Ashby names Bergmans but describes it as a research and 
public affairs consultancy that campaigns to urge MPs and peers to keep 
manifesto promises to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty. 
He does not mention its host of defence and arms clients.
Mr Ashby told The Independent that he felt iffy about whether or not he 
should have a pass, because there is substantial potential for 
misunderstanding. It is quite possible for you to make me look bad, he said.
Mr Ashby said his primary reason for holding a pass was to provide security 
advice to Lady Harris. She told The Independent that Mr Ashby advises me from 
time to time but not that frequently. She added that if she wants advice, she 
can call on him. Lady Harris admitted that she occasionally contributed to 
the Great North News Service, run by Mr Ashby. She added that she takes an 
interest in defence matters.
Mr Ashby said he compartmentalises his roles while in Parliament. I am very 
clear with ministers – I informally declare my interests to senior ministers, 
he said. He added that he did not use his pass to bring clients into Parliament 
and photos taken of him with ministers were taken outside the Palace of 
Westminster. The lobbyist said he frequently met the Defence Secretary at 
events on the parliamentary terrace. I see Des Browne every time we have a 
welcome home for troops and he says nice things about me. He appreciates what 
I've done, Mr Ashby said.
The services offered by Bergmans – which has a specific defence subsidiary run 
by Mr Ashby – include: Opinion polling, focus groups, fundraising advice, 
governance, manifesto writing, socio-economic research, campaigning, visual 
images, and lobbying. But, the company's website adds, many organisations are 
concerned that by asking for information they may prejudice their relationship 
with government, especially where the departments in which they are interested 
are also their potential customers.
Bergmans Research therefore offers a confidential FoI [Freedom of Information] 
service – we'll ask the questions ... that you can't, without your 
'fingerprint' being evident. In the past few months we've asked and had answers 
to questions about planning studies, past purchasing decisions, advice to 
Ministers, future 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Review: The eternal present tense

2008-06-29 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
- Forwarded Message 
Sent: Saturday, 21 June, 2008 4:55:07 PM
Subject: Review: The eternal present tense

The eternal present tense

Tarif Khalidi's new English edition of Islam's sacred book offers valuable 
perspectives, says Ziauddin Sardar

Saturday June 21, 2008
The Guardian

Buy The Qur'an: A New Translation at the Guardian bookshop
The Qur'an: A New Translation
by Tarif Khalidi
530pp, Penguin Classics, £25
We look for two things in any new translation of the Qur'an. How close does it 
get to communicating the meaning of the original, that inimitable oral text, 
the very sounds of which move men and women to tears and ecstasy? And does it 
offer something more: a new perspective, perhaps; or an innovative rendering?
Tarif Khalidi, a professor of Islamic studies at the American University of 
Beirut, scores high on both these criteria. He manages to capture the 
allusiveness of the text, as well as something of its tone and texture. While 
being faithful to the original, he succeeds in conveying linguistic shifts, 
from narrative to mnemonic, sermons to parables. And there is an innovative 
component: it is the first translation that tries to capture both the rhythms 
and the structure of the Qur'an.
The best way to demonstrate its newness, and how close it is to the original 
text, is to compare it with an old translation. The translation I have in mind 
is Khalidi's predecessor in the Penguin Classics: The Koran, translated with 
notes by NJ Dawood. First published in 1956, Dawood's translation has been 
republished in numerous editions. It has been a great source of discomfort for 
Muslims, who see in it deliberate distortions that give the Qur'an violent and 
sexist overtones. It is the one most non-Muslims cite when they tell me with 
great conviction what the Qur'an says.
The change can be detected with the name of the sacred text itself: we move 
from Koran, the older anglicised form, to the new Qur'an, which is now 
accepted as the correct Arabic transliteration and pronunciation of the word. 
This is not just a trivial matter of linguistics; it signals a shift from the 
old Orientalist way of presenting the Qur'an in English to a new inclusive way 
that takes Muslims' appreciation of their sacred text into account.
Subtle differences in chapter headings signal significant change. The opening 
chapter of the Qur'an in Dawood is The Exordium. In Khalidi, and indeed 
universally among other translations, it is The Opening. Dawood translates 
Az-Zumar (chapter 39) as The Hordes, suggesting bands of barbarian mobs; 
Khalidi renders it as The Groups.
While Dawood's translation presents the Qur'an as a patriarchal, sexist text, 
Khalidi brings out the gender-neutral language of the original. A good example 
is provided by 2:21. In Dawood we read: Men, serve your Lord. In Khalidi, it 
becomes: O People! Worship your Lord. Dawood's translation of the famous 
verse 2:25, frequently quoted, is largely responsible for the current 
misconception that Muslim paradise is full of virgins - despite the fact that 
the Qur'an explicitly denies any carnal pleasures in paradise. This is because 
we find men in Dawood's translation in the garden of paradise who are wedded 
to chaste virgins. Khalidi renders it correctly: In these gardens they have 
immaculate spouses.
The old Penguin translation uses rather obscurantist images throughout to give 
the impression that the Qur'an is full of demons and witches. For example, in 
31:1, Dawood has God swearing by those who cast out demons. Khalidi 
translates the same verse as: Behold the revelations of the Wise Book.
So this translation is a quantum leap ahead of the old Penguin version. But it 
also has a rather special character. Khalidi is not interested in providing the 
context of the verses of the Qur'an. We therefore do not always know who the 
Qur'an is addressing at various junctures or who is speaking to whom in its 
internal dialogues. Here M Abdel-Haleem' s translation (OUP, £7.99), published 
in 2004, is more useful. Neither is Khalidi all that concerned with providing 
the reader with help. Footnotes, for example, would have been useful for 
occasional explanation of what is happening in a particular passage. Instead, 
he takes a rather unusual attitude to the Qur'an. It is a bearer of diverse 
interpretation , he says; and its ambiguities are deliberately designed to 
stimulate thinking. Let the reader be patient of interpretation and read at 
will. All that is needed is to approach the text with sympathy.
Khalidi wants the reader to enjoy the experience of reading the Qur'an. Of 
course, he wants to communicate the majesty of its language, the beauty of its 
style, and the eternal present tense of its grammar. But he also wants the 
reader to appreciate the Qur'an's unique structure, how the language changes 
with the subject matter, how it swirls around and makes rhythmic connections. 
He wishes to show how each of the seven tropes of the 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Fw: Author's Life: Sex and the Saudi girl

2008-06-29 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
- Forwarded Message 
Sent: Friday, 20 June, 2008 3:46:29 PM
Subject: B] Author's Life: Sex and the Saudi girl
Author's Life: Sex and the Saudi girl
The writer who brought chick-lit to Arabia tells about passion behind the veil

Lesley Thomas
Saudi Arabia has a new minister for women. She’s 25, likes designer labels, 
lipstick and cars. Rajaa Alsanea is, of course, not in government, for in her 
country it’s not really the done thing for females to air their opinions. They 
are not allowed to drive, let alone have employment or voting rights.
Alsanea, however, has captured a vast constituency. She is a bestselling 
author, the only chick-lit one from the Arab world, and as such she has become 
a sort of spokeswoman for 21st-century Saudi women. Her book, Girls of Riyadh, 
about to be published in Britain by Fig Tree, tells the stories of four 
middle-class young women searching for love and just a little bit of fun in a 
suffocating culture.
It’s hardly Jilly Cooper – the references to sex are coy with lots of talk of 
yearning and disappointment – but with tales of the girls drinking (very small 
sips of Dom Pérignon) and – gasp – sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, it 
caused a scandal. This is a country, remember, where a woman might be stoned 
for kissing a man in public.
Alsanea has received death threats by e-mail and many tried to suppress her 
book. At one point, black market versions of this Arabic version of Sex and the 
City changed hands for £300.
“I didn’t think about breaking any taboos or being a rebel. I wanted to 
describe how people find ways to get around some of the traditions. Young women 
I know want to be modern, hip, stylish and fall in love, the same as women 
everywhere. I was never trying to cause a scandal,” she tells me over tea at 
the Dorchester hotel in London.
Alsanea is modestly and fashionably turned out in expensive, loosely cut jeans, 
a white fitted jacket and a coordinating white, silken hijab. There are a 
couple of lightly Wagish touches – a diamond watch with a pink strap, a Gucci 
bag and a French manicure – but she is a class act.
In an American accent she speaks softly, in perfect English with impeccable 
sentences: “I started writing when I was 18 and I knew I wanted to be a 
published author. I have been blessed with a very supportive family and we were 
encouraged to express ourselves.” Her father, who worked for the information 
ministry in Kuwait, died when she was eight and Alsanea and her five older 
siblings were raised by her mother in Riyadh: “As I got older, I wanted to 
write something I would enjoy reading. I just wrote about what I saw around me 
– what the girls I knew were like.”
After her book was eventually published in 2005, young women began to see 
Alsanea as their mouthpiece: “At one point I was getting 1,000 e-mails a day. 
Women who were divorced, women who were married in an arranged way and didn’t 
like their husbands; those who were struggling with their families were 
reaching out. Girls came up and hugged me and wanted to take pictures with me. 
All of a sudden I felt it was my duty to take care of these people.
“I knew that no one had really written about modern life in Saudi but – perhaps 
because I was young – I didn’t think it would be sensational.”
It’s hard to imagine this smart and beautiful girl ever being naive. Last year 
she was voted the Arab world’s premier intellectual by Elaph, the online 
magazine. All her siblings are either physicians or dentists and she is a 
graduate student in dentistry, arguing that there is no money in being a Saudi 
writer (I suspect she is an exception to this rule). She was savvy enough not 
to send her manuscript to the Saudi information ministry, where all books must 
be vetted before publication. Instead, she got her brother to take it to 
publishers in more liberal Lebanon.
When she didn’t hear from them immediately, she boldly sent her book to her 
favourite writer, the poet Ghazi al-Gosaibi, a former UK ambassador and now a 
Saudi government minister: “He is an idol of mine and when he called me to say 
he liked the book I was, like: call me back in five minutes. I need to freak 
out.” It was his endorsement that prompted the buzz across the Middle East and 
the book deal. And it was only then that she let her family read her work.
“My brother was worried for me.
He asked whether I really wanted to publish it under my own name. He thought it 
might affect my chances of marriage, that there would be men who wouldn’t want 
to marry me.” She raises an eyebrow – precisely threaded to Hurleyish 
perfection – and shrugs: “I just thought, hey, I wouldn’t want to marry them, 
either. It’s a good way of weeding some out.”
Alsanea is no man hater: “A lot of men don’t really stop and think about what 
life is like for Saudi girls. My brothers were all raised to respect their 
sisters and their opinions but my book was still a revelation for them. Fathers 
have been influenced by it and 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Fw: Live Vote: Should Bush be impeached? - Politics-

2008-06-15 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
- Forwarded Message 
From: Mary Kaye
Live Vote: Should Bush be impeached? - Politics-


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are
not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lily Tomlin said it best. No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] We must talk to the enemy - Peter Hain

2008-06-09 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
We must talk to the enemy
By Peter Hain

[Peter Hain is MP for Neath and former secretary of state for Northern Ireland. 
A longer lecture on this subject, delivered today in New York, will be 
available at]

Northern Ireland offers a model for peace that can help other regions still 
locked in bitter conflict

Observing Northern Ireland today, it's hard to recognise what was, just a 
decade or so ago, the theatre for such horror, barbarity, hate and bigotry. For 
14 months now, old enemies have worked together - and even smiled at each other 
- when they had never exchanged a courtesy before.
Last year's historic agreement has so far stuck, and I believe will stick 
through ups and downs, precisely because it was brokered between the two most 
politically polarised positions - Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and 
Gerry Adams' Sinn Féin. But what are the lessons for international policy in 
other areas still locked in similarly bitter conflict and crippled by terrorism?
First, a need to create space and time, free from violence, in which political 
capacity can develop; second, identifying key individuals and constructive 
forces; third, the importance of inclusive dialogue at every level, wherever 
there is a negotiable objective; fourth, the taking of risks to sustain 
political progress, including by talking with enemies; fifth, the need to align 
national and international forces; sixth, avoiding or resolving preconditions 
to dialogue; seventh, gripping and micro-managing conflict resolution at a high 
political level, not intermittently but continuously, whatever breakdowns, 
crises and hostilities get in the way.
In the Middle East, the conflict has not been gripped at a sufficiently high 
level, over a sufficiently sustained period. Initiatives have come and gone, 
and violence has returned to fill the vacuum. International forces have not 
been aligned. Preconditions have been, and now are, a crippling bulwark against 
dialogue. However, despite the intensity of bitterness and hatred between Hamas 
and Israel, neither can militarily defeat the other - they will each have to be 
a party to a negotiated solution that satisfies Palestinian aspirations for a 
viable state and Israel's need for security.
Addressing Palestinian grievances - from security to jobs to housing - as we 
did in Northern Ireland, can create more fertile ground for a political process 
to complement engagement.
However, al-Qaida terrorism is fundamentally different. It is not rooted in 
political objectives capable of negotiation, but rather in a reactionary, 
totalitarian ideology completely opposed to democracy, freedom and human 
rights. Negotiation with al-Qaida and its foreign jihadists is, therefore, 
politically and morally out of the question.
Yet, offering individuals attracted to al-Qaida a non-violent, political avenue 
to address their concerns could conceivably help produce change in years to 
come. Northern Ireland's chief constable, Hugh Orde, only last week told the 
Guardian that discussions with al-Qaida wouldn't be unthinkable, the question 
will be one of timing.
When the IRA's bloody armed campaign was raging more than 30 years ago, nobody 
in the British government could stomach talking with republican leaders except 
in surrender terms, since they were regarded as beyond the pale. Yet, in the 
middle of all this bloodshed and mayhem, contact was initiated which much later 
came to fruition.
Similar issues arise in Afghanistan, although the situation there of warlords 
attached to the Taliban for tactical reasons on the one hand, and the presence 
of al-Qaida leaders on the other, make the whole process especially complex.
The west urgently needs to match its commitment to global security with a 
commitment to global justice and global conflict resolution. The Northern 
Ireland experience, horrendous as it was, points to a rebalancing of foreign 
policy that can overcome horror with hope.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Reasons to be cheerful, pt 1

2008-05-24 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Reasons to be cheerful, pt 1
The equipment is shoddy. Morale is low. The war is unwinnable. This is the 
received wisdom about Afghanistan, but is it fair? After a tour of Helmand, one 
writer thinks not
By Julian Glover 
Britain's war in Helmand is being fought in real time on six big plasma 
screens, which dominate a dark room at a base in the desert town of Lashkar Gah 
in southern Afghanistan. It is a digital response to a primitive insurgency, as 
if a city trading floor had landed to govern a medieval land. 
Soldiers, sent out among adobe-walled compounds and poppy fields, report by 
text to a military chatroom about the explosive devices that destroy limbs. 
Commanders watch the combat from the skies, filmed by unmanned drones and shown 
in black and white. The reality of war is disguised by the watch keeper's 
jargon; his talk of what happens if it ends up going kinetic. 
That means bullets are being fired and bombs are exploding and it is not what 
the army wants. Travelling with the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, and 
granted a level of access I would not have gained as a journalist, I hear an 
officer tell Clegg that his men and women intend non-kinetic activity. The 
intention often fails. When British troops were sent to Helmand in large 
numbers in 2006, on a mission never explained to the public or parliament, the 
defence secretary, John Reid, foolishly said he hoped not a single shot would 
be fired. Instead, in the first year of the operation, more than 4m bullets 
were used. The stretcher cases in the front cabin of our RAF TriStar flight 
home showed the results.
There is plenty of talk in Britain of Afghanistan being lost, and about Helmand 
being a noble failure at best and an imperial folly at worst, an attempt to 
wash away the bloodstains of Iraq by doing good where no good can succeed. 
Evidence to back up this view is not hard to find: not just the insecurity that 
makes even a short trip a matter of flak jackets and helicopters, and nearly 
killed the governor of Helmand province when his Chinook was hit by rocket fire 
last Saturday, but the total failure too to prevent opium poppies being grown 
and the strangulated efforts at redevelopment. 
If not wasted, the last two years have been a standstill, at huge cost to 
Afghan lives, foreign forces and British taxpayers. Politicians, the Lib Dem 
leader included, talk smoothly of the terrible consequences of defeat. But 
viewed from Britain, defeat looks close at hand.
It does not seem that way in Helmand. To see the operation on the ground is to 
encounter something far larger than the British government chooses to admit. 
This is no small peacekeeping mission turned nasty. The canvas is large, the 
sense of purpose captivating. 
In his office at Lashkar Gah, Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith commands the 
Helmand operation with the assurance of one born to rule. Class matters in the 
army, where the officers all seem well-spoken. An old Illy coffee tin full of 
dried opium poppy heads sits on Carleton-Smith's desk; there is an espresso pot 
on a Primus stove in the corner. The battle against one stimulant is being 
fuelled by another. 
The brigadier's office is dominated by a three-dimensional map of the province, 
which sweeps 300 miles from the desert on the border with Pakistan to a great, 
ungoverned mountain range in the north. Where the roads stop, the Taliban 
Yet much has changed, he says, since 2006 and the heavy hand-to-hand fighting 
last year, in a war that has so far cost 96 British lives. When Britain went to 
Helmand it was ill-prepared. Now Task Force Helmand, and the British forces who 
support it from an airbase in neighbouring Kandahar, claim to be advancing. 
Their fear is of a collapse in political support back home. In Kabul, there is 
confusion between aid efforts and distrust of President Hamid Karzai's 
government - the city's former mayor tells us that high officials are involved 
in drug trafficking. In Helmand, the overriding impression is of ordered 
determination in the face of a difficult, perhaps impossible, task.
British troops know that voters question their presence here. Televisions in 
every room at the base show Sky News when they are not showing football. It 
must be dispiriting to fight a war with rolling news in the background telling 
you that you are losing. But morale seems good. There are complaints about 
hours, and pay, and especially the fact that leave begins when soldiers go off 
duty, rather than when they reach Britain. But no one admits to thinking the 
mission pointless.
It is very difficult to measure progress in weeks and months, but I look back 
on where we were two years ago and it is better, says Colonel Neil Hutton, the 
deputy commander of Task Force Helmand. In a briefing room full of plans for 
aid efforts, he argues that we are beating the Taliban and are winning. It is 
a bold claim given that the streets of Lashkar Gah, a few yards beyond the 

Bismillah [IslamCity] News: UK poised to become first western country to issue Islamic bonds

2008-05-21 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
UK poised to become first western country to issue Islamic bonds
By David Oakley, Capital Markets Correspondent
Britain will announce today its determination to launch the first Islamic bonds 
by a western government, in the clearest sign yet that long-running doubts over 
costs and pricing have finally been put to rest.
Kitty Ussher, the UK's economic secretary to the Treasury, will say there is a 
powerful momentum behind the plans, which will cement London's position as 
the leading western centre for Islamic finance.
The government unveiled hopes to issue Sharia-compliant bond, or sukuk, to much 
fanfare in April 2007. Since then, the initiative has been hotly debated, with 
some civil servants raising concerns over the costs of issuing sukuk , which 
are far higher than for conventional bonds because of the complexity in the way 
they are structured to avoid paying interest in line with strict religious laws.
The government is convinced the political and financial benefits far outweigh 
worries about cost. It also believes the bonds can be priced competitively to 
attract buyers, another concern of some civil servants.
Ms Ussher spoke to the Financial Times ahead of a seminar on Islamic finance 
today, where she will outline the government's position. This is an important 
market for Britain, which we are committed to growing, she said. Although we 
don't see this as a competition between financial centres, London is now 
established as the most important western centre for Islamic finance. New York 
has missed the boat.
We are determined to issue Islamic bonds. It will bring money to London and 
send out a strong positive signal to the Muslim community.
Bankers say a sovereign UK Islamic bond would be a milestone for the $80bn 
sukuk market, one of the fastest-growing in the world, as it would boost 
liquidity and encourage other western governments and institutions to follow 
So far, the only western issuers of sukuk are a Texas-based oil group, a German 
state and the World Bank, collectively representing a tiny fraction of the 
market. The bulk of issues have come from the Middle East and Malaysia, making 
up about 90 per cent of the market.
Bankers predict the bond will be launched next year and be of benchmark size, 
which means about £500m. A bond of this size would help Islamic banks by giving 
them the ability to buy safe triple A rated paper, which will improve their 
balance sheets and provide them with collateral for other lending operations.
Published: The Financial Times, May 19 2008 03:00 | Last updated: May 19 2008 

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Re: Dutch Bishop: Christians should refer to God as 'Allah'

2008-05-20 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Salaam and thanks for this article. I knew this, in Bible, Torah, and in all 
religious books, including Hindooism and Booddaism, God was written as Allah. 
Later, some people changed it to God. It is true there is no God but Allah! 
Sadly, some Muslims translate this sentence as - there is no God but God, which 
does not make any sense! Christians and Jews living in Arabia speak Arabic. I 
met some of them in the UK who used to say Soobhanallah, Alhamdolillah, even 
some do use Bissmillah before they start anything! All of them agreed that 
these are not only Isslamic terms but also Arabic, related to Arabic language 
and culture. All of them agreed that Allah was the term used in their religious 
books at first!
The fact is whether we believe or not, there is no God but Allah! This is 
universal truth and denying this is just acting against the law of nature!
The funniest thing is, those who have deliberately misled their fellows are not 
able to stand for the responsibilities and mishaps have happened. Also, those 
who realised that they were misled and are not embracing the truth will remain 
responsible for their own acts!
- Arif Bhuiyan
From the UK

- Original Message 
From: Erooth Mohamed
Sent: Sunday, 18 May, 2008 10:21:12 AM
Subject: Dutch Bishop: Christians should refer to God as 'Allah'

Muskens believes that God knows His name in all languages

Dutch bishop: Call God 'Allah' 
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 20:25:52 
Source: Agencies
Dutch Bishop: 'Allah' is a very beautiful word to use instead of the word 'God'
A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths 
refer to God as Allah to foster understanding among religions. 

Amsterdam, Aug 15, 2007 / 09:15 am (CNA).- Bishop Martinus Muskens of Breda, 
Netherlands, suggested in an interview with Radio Netherlands that Christians 
should refer to God as Allah, which would promote better relations with 
The 71-year-old Bishop, Tiny Muskens, told Radio Netherlands that God did not 
mind what he was named and that in Indonesia, where he had spent eight years, 
priests used the word Allah while celebrating Mass.
Bishop Muskens
Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on 
we will name God Allah? 

The bishop, who had worked in Indonesia, noted that even Christians use the 
term Allah for God there. The Dutch should learn to get on spontaneously with 
different cultures, religions and behavior patterns:
Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight 
years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years. In the heart of the 
Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can't we start doing that 
together? he was quoted as saying.
Some Dutch Muslims welcomed his comments as a valuable gesture of support 
coming just days after a far-right Dutch politician insulted the Holy Quran. 
Geert Wilders called for the Quran to be banned in the country. 

Wilders, whose new party won nine seats out of the 150 in parliament in last 
November's elections, is well known for his negative remarks on Islam. 

Bishop Muskens admitted that he did not think his suggestion would be welcomed 
readily and that it would take about 100 years before Catholics would feel 
comfortable calling God Allah.
In an interview broadcast on Monday's edition of current affairs show 
Netwerk, Muskens said he had worked in Indonesia where God is referred to as 
Allah in Christian services.
But a spokesman for one of the capital's leading mosques said he was not happy 
with the statement.
We didn't ask for this, a spokesman for the Moroccan Mosque in Amsterdam told 
De Telegraaf. Now it is as if we have a problem between Muslims and 
Gerrit de Fijter, chairman of the General Synod of the Dutch Protestant Church, 
also rejected Muskens' suggestion. I applaud every attempt to encourage 
dialogue with Muslims, but I doubt the sense of this maneuver, De Fijter told 
De Telegraaf.
Neither De Fijter nor Muslim community leaders returned calls seeking comment 
Speaking to a local television network Wednesday, Muskens said he was pleased 
his comments had sparked debate. That they are interested in how to get along 
with God, that is a positive result, he told Omroep Brabant.
Muskens is known for controversial statements. In 1996, he declared that it was 
acceptable for the hungry to steal bread. He also advocated condom use to 
prevent the spread of AIDS and urged the abolition of celibacy for priests.
In June, Muskens requested Pope Benedict XVI to grant him retirement from the 
bishopry. Muskens, aged 71, was appointed Bishop of Breda in November 1994.

The word Allah is the perfect description of the One God of monotheism for 
Jews, Christians and Muslims!

Is Allah only for Islam and Muslims?
[No! It is for All Three Abrahamic Faiths

Bismillah [IslamCity] Childish superstition: Einstein's letter makes view of religion relatively clear

2008-05-15 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Article # 1
Childish superstition: Einstein's letter makes view of religion relatively clear
Scientist's reply to sell for up to £8,000, and stoke debate over his beliefs
James Randerson, science correspondent
The Guardian,
Tuesday May 13 2008

Albert Einstein, pictured in 1953. Photograph: Ruth Orkin/Hulton Archive/Getty 
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. So said 
Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate 
between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of 
the 20th century as their own.
A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument 
- or at least provoke further controversy about his views.
Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for 
more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist 
was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as childish 
Einstein penned the letter on January 3 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind 
who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. 
The letter went on public sale a year later and has remained in private hands 
ever since.
In the letter, he states: The word god is for me nothing more than the 
expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of 
honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. 
No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.
Einstein, who was Jewish and who declined an offer to be the state of Israel's 
second president, also rejected the idea that the Jews are God's favoured 
For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most 
childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with 
whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than 
all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other 
human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of 
power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.
The letter will go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair on Thursday and is 
expected to fetch up to £8,000. The handwritten piece, in German, is not listed 
in the source material of the most authoritative academic text on the subject, 
Max Jammer's book Einstein and Religion.
One of the country's leading experts on the scientist, John Brooke of Oxford 
University, admitted he had not heard of it.
Einstein is best known for his theories of relativity and for the famous E=mc2 
equation that describes the equivalence of mass and energy, but his thoughts on 
religion have long attracted conjecture.
His parents were not religious but he attended a Catholic primary school and at 
the same time received private tuition in Judaism. This prompted what he later 
called, his religious paradise of youth, during which he observed religious 
rules such as not eating pork. This did not last long though and by 12 he was 
questioning the truth of many biblical stories.
The consequence was a positively fanatic [orgy of] freethinking coupled with 
the impression that youth is being deceived by the state through lies; it was a 
crushing impression, he later wrote.
In his later years he referred to a cosmic religious feeling that permeated 
and sustained his scientific work. In 1954, a year before his death, he spoke 
of wishing to experience the universe as a single cosmic whole. He was also 
fond of using religious flourishes, in 1926 declaring that He [God] does not 
throw dice when referring to randomness thrown up by quantum theory.
His position on God has been widely misrepresented by people on both sides of 
the atheism/religion divide but he always resisted easy stereotyping on the 
Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular 
polemicists like to pigeonhole him, said Brooke. It is clear for example that 
he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian 
traditions ... but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle 
than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion.
Despite his categorical rejection of conventional religion, Brooke said that 
Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for 
atheism. He was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote. The eternal 
mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.

Article # 2
What he wrote
The Guardian,
Tuesday May 13 2008
An abridgement of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from 
Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh. It will be 
sold at Bloomsbury auctions on Thursday
... I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much 
for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard 
to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel's celebration remains a Palestinian catastrophe

2008-05-15 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Israel at 60
Israel's celebration remains a Palestinian catastrophe
Neither side will ever agree on the narrative of the conflict, and the 
prospects for peace in the Middle East are slim
Ahmad Samih Khalidi
Ahmad Samih Khalidi is a senior associate member of St Antony's College, 
Oxford, a former Palestinian negotiator and the co-author, with Hussein Agha, 
of A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine (Chatham House, 

The Guardian
Monday May 12 2008

As Israel celebrates the 60th anniversary of its establishment, an inescapable 
counter-reality lingers over the occasion that is inextricably twinned with it. 
It is the nakba or catastrophe, the 60th anniversary of the destruction of Arab 
Palestine in 1948.
Despite a public discourse that often claimed the opposite, the Zionist 
movement set out to build a Jewish state in Palestine with a Jewish majority. 
This could only come about at the expense of the local inhabitants, the vast 
majority of whom were Palestinian Arabs - both Muslim and Christian. From this 
perspective, neither the Zionists' intentions nor the reactions of the 
Palestinians are at issue: Israel could not have been built as a Jewish state 
except on the ruins of Arab Palestine.
In 1948, about 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forcibly driven out of their 
homeland, creating what still stands today as the world's largest and most 
longstanding refugee problem. The nakba created an entirely new 
politico-demographic reality. From a longstanding majority on their own soil, 
the Palestinians became a small, vulnerable minority and a tattered, broken 
nation living in exile or under foreign rule.
Nothing can convince the Palestinians that what happened to them 60 years ago 
was right and proper. They cannot be expected to hail the events that led to 
their own destruction and dispossession. They cannot be expected to extend 
their benediction to the establishment of Israel, or internalise its 
legitimacy. There can be no conceivable circumstances in which the Palestinians 
can concede their history in favour of the Zionist narrative, for to do so 
would be to deny their own.
But the conflict is not just over narratives. It is also about fundamental 
shifts in attitude and political perception. Almost all the major 
transformations have come in the wake of cataclysmic and usually unforeseen 
events. There is no need to welcome violence to understand its impact, neither 
does it follow that violence on its own necessarily leads to peace, but the 
history of the struggle over the land of Palestine stands in stark contrast to 
the adage that violence gets you nowhere.
The sad truth is that violent convulsions have always been part of the process 
of change in the political, psychological and material terms of the conflict. 
The 1948 war, including pre-state Jewish terrorism, established the state of 
Israel. The June 1967 war led to an Arab realisation that Israel was an 
irreversible reality. The 1973 war eventually brought peace with Egypt, and set 
the background for the Palestinian acceptance of a two-state solution. The 1982 
Lebanon war resulted in the first comprehensive Arab peace offer to Israel. The 
1987 Palestinian intifada drove Israel to talk to the PLO, culminating in the 
1993 Oslo agreement.
Furthermore, Israel's decision to withdraw from south Lebanon in 2000 was the 
result of a realisation that staying put was not worth the sacrifice. Israel's 
withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 was a direct consequence of the second 2000 
intifada. The current debate about the need to engage Hamas is more a 
reflection of the Islamic movement's military prowess than any real conviction 
that it is a potential partner in peace.
Today, the prospects of a final resolution of the conflict based on the 
two-state solution are fading as it comes up against settlement realties, 
Palestinian domestic divisions and the structural weaknesses of Israel's 
political system. But even if such an agreement were to be reached, it would 
have to be ratified, implemented and sustained, and there is precious little to 
suggest that either side can see this through.
The alternative is unlikely to be yet another stab at a final status 
settlement. There is no real safety net that will allow for the process to 
proceed after such a failure, nor any agreed guidelines for doing so. The 
Palestinain Authority (PA) and its Israeli partner have no plan B, neither has 
the US, the putative sponsor of the process, with the international community 
in tow. Yet stasis is ahistorical and unsustainable. The history of the 
conflict suggests other alternatives, most of which point to a slide towards 
further and more extensive violence as an eventual catalyst of change.
As things stand, and in a situation where the vast majority of Israelis are 
impervious to the horrors of the occupation and shielded from its consequences, 
and where Palestinian aspirations are being dissipated by the daily changes on 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Age of Terror

2008-05-15 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Age of Terror
Peter Taylor examines the start of Al-Qaeda’s Jihad on the West with a study of 
the events that fight brought Osama Bin Laden to the world’s attention.
Last in series.
Watch the Video from the link: (Available for 5 more days from today)

Also, check other programmes in the series from:
April 15: Terror International
April 22: 10 Days of Terror
April 29: The Paris Plot
May 6: War on the West

Age of Terror QA
Award-winning BBC journalist Peter Taylor has been reporting on global 
terrorism for over 35 years.
His recent series, Age of Terror, investigated notorious terror attacks over 
the last three decades and explored their repercussions.
Viewers were invited to put their questions to Peter about terrorism and a 
selection of the best and most representative comments are shown below.
Northern Ireland
UK response to terrorism
Western response to terrorism
Terrorism and the media
General questions

Journey through terror
Having covered everything from the IRA to al-Qaeda in four decades of 
journalism, few people in Britain have spent as much time as the BBC's Peter 
Taylor with the people behind political violence. Here he reflects on some of 
his experiences.

Ambassador's Embassy security worries
Prudence Bushnell was the US Ambassador to Kenya at the time of the Nairobi 
Embassy bombing in 1998. She was thrown across the room of a neighbouring high 
rise building when the bomb went off. She had previously made repeated requests 
to Washington to improve security.
Episode 4: War on the West was broadcast on 6 May, 9pm on BBC Two.


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Bismillah [IslamCity] Open PhD positions 2008: The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

2008-05-14 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and 
Cellular Biology

Open PhD positions 2008

Please click here:

Bismillah [IslamCity] As it turns 60, the fear is Israel has decided it can get by without peace

2008-05-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
As it turns 60, the fear is Israel has decided it can get by without peace
This nation was forged in refuge, not imperialism. But its people have grown 
cynical about hopes for a deal with Palestinians
By Jonathan Freedland
In the wee small hours on Israeli television, they show reruns of what was once 
a staple form of mass entertainment: kibbutz choirs - the men in pressed work 
shirts, the women in peasant skirts - singing Hebrew folk melodies exalting the 
Land of Israel, while a smiling audience joins in. The pictures were black and 
white, the sets cardboard, and the programmes interminable - a 
socialist-realist tableau of a simple farming nation engaged in wholesome, 
patriotic amusement.
Visiting Israel last month, I sat transfixed when I stumbled across the public 
service channel that replays those old shows. Tonight the national celebrations 
will be more up to date, as Israel marks its 60th anniversary with street 
parties this evening and beach barbecues tomorrow. Yet if the world is 
watching, trying to understand the place Israel was and what it has become, it 
could do worse than start with those cheesy TV specials.
For one thing, too many critics like to depict the establishment of Israel in 
May 1948 as little more than an act of western imperialism, inserting an alien, 
European enclave into the mainly Arab and Muslim Middle East. In this view, the 
Jewish Israelis of today, with their swimming pools and waterside restaurants, 
are no different from their counterparts in other settler societies - the 
whites of Australia or, more painfully, South Africa. A look at the faces of 
Jewish Israel is one easy rebuttal: the new nation that has formed by mixing 
Moroccan and Russian, Ethiopian and Kurd, is one of the most ethnically diverse 
in the world. But there is a more substantial counter-argument, one that can be 
picked up even on those old TV singalongs.
A favourite in the patriotic repertoire is Ein Li Eretz Acheret (I Have No 
Other Land). In a way, no other sentence conveys the tragedy of Israel and 
Palestine more concisely - because of course, and with good reason, the 
Palestinians feel exactly the same way. They too have nowhere else. Yet this 
Zionist anthem articulates something very deep in Israelis' sense of 
themselves: they are a nation formed by those who had no other place to live. 
The Holocaust, inevitably, looms large in this: the establishment of a Jewish 
state just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz was no coincidence. 
After 2,000 years, the world was finally persuaded that the Jews deserved what 
every other people regarded as a basic right: a place of their own.
A poignant reminder that Jews really had no other place - because the rest of 
the world did not want them - came with the death last month of Yossi Harel, 
captain of the Exodus, the leaking, rusting ship that carried 4,500 Holocaust 
survivors from Europe to Palestine in 1947, only to be sent back - by the 
British - first to France and then, incredibly, to Germany.
This, surely, gives the Israeli experience a different texture to the founding 
of, say, New Zealand, Argentina or the US. Those enterprises were fuelled 
chiefly by ambition and appetite for material resources. Even if those who 
landed on Plymouth Rock were fleeing religious intolerance, the circumstances 
of America's pioneers were not those of the Jews in the 1940s. The moral 
difference between the Jews and the white settlers of America, Africa and 
Australasia is the difference between a homeless man who needs a roof over his 
head and the landowner who fancies a second home. Those who lazily brand 
Zionism as imperialism should be able to tell the difference - and to remember 
that those who boarded those battered ships felt less like imperialists than 
refugees desperate for shelter.
The old TV shows provide another, related corrective. They are a reminder that 
in some ways early Israel was less Rhodesia than it was East Germany, a small 
country with socialism as the state religion. Back in the 1970s, all Israeli 
floors looked the same: the tiles were mass produced and there was only one 
style. Every toilet seat was made by a single kibbutz. Foreign investors were 
told they were welcome - so long as they were happy to sell a 51% stake in 
their company to the Histadrut, Israel's TUC.
That collectivism is all but gone. Most of the kibbutzim have privatised: 
individual members now own their own houses and earn different wages from each 
other. The kibbutz was never Israel, but it stands as a metaphor for what is 
happening in the wider society.
Israel itself is privatising, as its people withdraw from the collective sphere 
and retreat into their own, individual lives. Many speak of the bu'ah they 
construct for themselves, the bubble in which they can hide away from the fears 
and angst of Israel's situation. Polling reveals the dichotomy: while nearly 
40% believe the country faces a serious threat of destruction 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Jimmy carter: A human rights crime

2008-05-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
# 1
A human rights crime
The world must stop standing idle while the people of Gaza are treated with 
such cruelty
By Jimmy Carter

· Jimmy Carter, a former president of the United States, is founder of The 
Carter Center
The world is witnessing a terrible human rights crime in Gaza, where a million 
and a half human beings are being imprisoned with almost no access to the 
outside world. An entire population is being brutally punished.
This gross mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza was escalated dramatically 
by Israel, with United States backing, after political candidates representing 
Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006. 
The election was unanimously judged to be honest and fair by all international 
Israel and the US refused to accept the right of Palestinians to form a unity 
government with Hamas and Fatah and now, after internal strife, Hamas alone 
controls Gaza. Forty-one of the 43 victorious Hamas candidates who lived in the 
West Bank have been imprisoned by Israel, plus an additional 10 who assumed 
positions in the short-lived coalition cabinet.
Regardless of one's choice in the partisan struggle between Fatah and Hamas 
within occupied Palestine, we must remember that economic sanctions and 
restrictions on the supply of water, food, electricity and fuel are causing 
extreme hardship among the innocent people in Gaza, about one million of whom 
are refugees.
Israeli bombs and missiles periodically strike the area, causing high 
casualties among both militants and innocent women and children. Prior to the 
highly publicised killing of a woman and her four children last week, this 
pattern had been illustrated by a report from B'Tselem, the leading Israeli 
human rights organisation, which stated that 106 Palestinians were killed 
between February 27 and March 3. Fifty-four of them were civilians, and 25 were 
under 18 years of age.
On a recent trip through the Middle East, I attempted to gain a better 
understanding of the crisis. One of my visits was to Sderot, a community of 
about 20,000 in southern Israel that is frequently struck by rockets fired from 
nearby Gaza. I condemned these attacks as abominable acts of terrorism, since 
most of the 13 victims during the past seven years have been non-combatants.
Subsequently, I met with leaders of Hamas - a delegation from Gaza and the top 
officials in Damascus. I made the same condemnation to them, and urged that 
they declare a unilateral ceasefire or orchestrate with Israel a mutual 
agreement to terminate all military action in and around Gaza for an extended 
They responded that such action by them in the past had not been reciprocated, 
and they reminded me that Hamas had previously insisted on a ceasefire 
throughout Palestine, including Gaza and the West Bank, which Israel had 
refused. Hamas then made a public proposal of a mutual ceasefire restricted to 
Gaza, which the Israelis also rejected.
There are fervent arguments heard on both sides concerning blame for a lack of 
peace in the Holy Land. Israel has occupied and colonised the Palestinian West 
Bank, which is approximately a quarter the size of the nation of Israel as 
recognised by the international community. Some Israeli religious factions 
claim a right to the land on both sides of the Jordan river, others that their 
205 settlements of some 500,000 people are necessary for security.
All Arab nations have agreed to recognise Israel fully if it will comply with 
key United Nations resolutions. Hamas has agreed to accept any negotiated peace 
settlement between the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, 
and Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, provided it is approved in a 
referendum of the Palestinian people.
This holds promise of progress, but despite the brief fanfare and positive 
statements at the peace conference last November in Annapolis, the process has 
gone backwards. Nine thousand new Israeli housing units have been announced in 
Palestine; the number of roadblocks within the West Bank has increased; and the 
stranglehold on Gaza has been tightened.
It is one thing for other leaders to defer to the US in the crucial peace 
negotiations, but the world must not stand idle while innocent people are 
treated cruelly. It is time for strong voices in Europe, the US, Israel and 
elsewhere to speak out and condemn the human rights tragedy that has befallen 
the Palestinian people.
Published: Guardian, May 08, 2008

# 2
Israel: celebrating 60 years of what?
Facing the uncomfortable facts!
Is 60 years of this really something to celebrate?
Learn more:

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Bismillah [IslamCity] I wanted to report on where the silence was

2008-05-10 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
'I wanted to report on where the silence was'
Texas-born Dahr Jamail was outraged that the US media were swallowing the Bush 
administration's line on Iraq and so, with just $2,000 and no previous 
journalistic experience, he set off to find out what was really happening in 
the country. He talks to Stephen Moss
In the spring of 2003 Dahr Jamail, a fourth-generation Lebanese-American with a 
taste for adventure, was up a mountain in Alaska, climbing and earning a living 
by working as a guide. He was, though, following news of the invasion of Iraq, 
and what he read and heard made him so furious that he decided to leave the 
mountains - my church, as he calls them - and head for that newly subjugated 
land, armed only with a laptop and a digital recorder.
In a world of gung-ho, embedded, flak-jacketed US reporters telling the tale 
from the military angle, he had decided to try to find out what was happening 
to the Iraqis, who seemed absent from the story, which was odd considering 
there were 29 million of them in the country, dodging the bombs and the 
bullets. Or not.
I wanted to report on where the silence was, he says. There's this huge 
story going on and nobody's talking about it. How are Iraqis getting by, what's 
their daily life like?
Jamail, a spruce 39-year-old who is the author of a new book, Beyond the Green 
Zone, says the supine nature of the US media encouraged him to act. With a few 
exceptions, most of the US mainstream was just stenography for the state, he 
says. It wasn't journalism; it was writing down what the Bush administration 
was telling them. I was amazed and outraged. I felt that the lack of clear 
information was the biggest problem I could see in the US, so I decided I 
should go over and write about it.
It took him until November 2003 to get the money together - $2,000, everything 
he had - and make some contacts, via the internet, in Iraq. He flew to Amman in 
Jordan, found a driver and an interpreter - he spoke no Arabic - and took a car 
to Baghdad, accompanied by a young couple from the UK who intended to spend a 
few days there for the experience. The border was unguarded, US troops 
notable by their absence. The war had been fought at long range; now there was 
a vacuum.
Jamail visited hospitals and went to the town of Samarra, 50km north of 
Baghdad, to check out a firefight in which the US military said they had been 
attacked and had killed 54 Iraqi fighters. Jamail found the locals telling a 
different story: two Iraqi fighters had attacked a detachment of US troops 
guarding a delivery to a bank, and the soldiers had responded by firing 
indiscriminately, killing and wounding many civilians.
At first he had no intention of trying to compete with the mainstream media. 
For the first two weeks [of a nine-week stay] I was just sending emails back 
home, he says. I had a list of a little over a hundred friends, mostly in 
Alaska. I would go out in the day with an interpreter - I found someone to work 
with me who was really cheap because I didn't have much money - and interview 
people, take amateur photos, and then go back to the hotel and write it up. It 
was essentially blogging, but I didn't know what blogging was and I didn't have 
a blog, of course. I was just sending out two, three, four, five pages a night 
with a few photos attached to friends.
After about two weeks someone suggested, 'Hey, you should post on this website' They wanted posts from people on the ground. I did that for 
about a month and then towards the end of my trip, with about two weeks to go, 
I was contacted by the BBC to do a little bit of work with them. A start-up 
website in New York also contacted me to start doing some stories. I actually 
got paid to do some work, and that's when it became clear I could actually come 
back and work as a journalist.
I try to probe why Jamail should have made this extraordinary gesture: was 
there something in his make-up that led him to take this stand? Born and raised 
in Texas, the son of a grocery store owner, he says that there is a streak of 
unpredictability in his family. He is the youngest of three: his sister is a 
pilot, his brother is a police officer. My parents have always had their hands 
full and were broken in a bit, so I guess they weren't completely shocked when 
I started to do my thing, he says. He means climbing, but what about Iraq? How 
did they and others close to him react? Most people thought I was crazy. My 
closer friends supported it. They felt, 'If this is what you think, and you 
really want to do it, then all power to you.' I decided, wrong or right, not to 
worry my parents about it until I got in there, so I waited and wrote [to] them 
after I reached Baghdad. Fortunately they were open to it; they were shocked, 
but they were open to it.
Before he headed for Alaska in 1996, Jamail had worked as a chemical technician 
on Johnston Island, an atoll in the Pacific where the US military had dumped 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel: A state of uncertainty

2008-05-08 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Israel: A state of uncertainty
By Tobias Buck
Israel turns 60 tomorrow and the government is putting on a brave effort to 
make the anniversary a joyful affair. Streets are decked out in tens of 
thousands of blue-and-white national flags. A cheerful television spot shows a 
boy living through the - abundant - moments of drama that shaped the country's 
history. As part of the celebrations, Israelis are even able to pick a national 
bird, from a list that includes the graceful warbler and the Palestine sunbird.
As they plunge into the festivities, Israelis have many reasons to look back 
with satisfaction and look ahead with confidence. The country is more populous, 
more secure and wealthier than it has ever been. Through ties with Washington 
it enjoys a rock-solid alliance with the world's most powerful nation, while 
its own military prowess towers over that of neighbours and regional rivals. 
Israel's links with leading European countries are much improved.
Relations between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbours have recently soured 
again but remain infinitely better than during the war-torn early decades of 
Israel's existence. At home, Israel has built a robust democracy and welded a 
disparate collection of Jews from eastern Europe and north Africa, from the 
Soviet Union and Yemen, from France and the US into a squabbling but cohesive 
nation. Its universities produce world-class research and its technology 
companies are among the most innovative.
Israel today is in a vastly better strategic, military and economic situation 
than it has ever been in its 60 years of existence. We have peace treaties with 
two Arab rivals [Egypt and Jordan], we have excellent relations with Europe, 
China and India. Our economy is flourishing. It shows just how remarkably 
resilient Israel is: in 60 years there has not been one nanosecond of peace, 
says Michael Oren, an Israeli historian and senior fellow at the Shalem Center, 
a Jerusalem-based think tank.
Yet a distinct air of gloom and disillusionment hangs over the event. As Mr 
Oren notes, the mood here is not terrific. Shimon Peres, the country's 
president and the éminence grise of Israeli politics, puts it differently but 
comes to a similar conclusion. The situation, he says, is better than the 
The two men's impressions are confirmed by professional followers of Israel's 
collective psyche, such as Camil Fuchs, a professor at Tel Aviv University and 
a veteran opinion poll analyst. What is wrong, then? Prof Fuchs insists the 
apparent sourness is only half the story. The fact is that Israelis are today 
quite content with their lives. They feel their life is good, their standard of 
living is good, he says. But if you were to ask, as they do in the US, 
whether people believe the country is heading in the right direction, a large 
majority would say the country is on the wrong track. The general mood is bad.
Tom Segev, one of the country's best-known historians and a columnist for 
Haaretz newspaper, agrees: There is a feeling that 'I'm OK but the country is 
not OK'. There is a feeling that the country is going in the wrong direction.
This contradiction between how Israelis feel as individuals and how they feel 
about their country can be found in many places. While five years of rapid 
economic growth have made the majority better off, many are concerned at a 
widening social divide and growing inequality. According to one telling recent 
poll, Israelis regard the fight against poverty and inequality as even more 
important than reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Though most 
Israelis live lives far more comfortable than anything experienced by earlier 
generations, many bemoan the loss of the egalitarian spirit that marked 
Israel's pioneering years.
The ambivalence extends to the political sphere. True, Israelis of all ages 
show a remarkable readiness to serve their country, not least in its cherished 
armed forces. Although the number who try to evade military service is on the 
rise, when Israel was last forced to call up its reserves during the 2006 
Lebanon war the response was more than 100 per cent - even soldiers who were 
not on the call-up list showed up to fight. But this individual commitment is 
at odds with the dismay with which Israelis see their politicians and the 
country's democratic institutions.
Political polls are exercises in despair, as ministers and opposition leaders 
vie for the least bad ratings. Public perceptions of Ehud Olmert, the prime 
minister, are a case in point: according to Dahaf, a Tel Aviv-based polling 
institute, only 10 per cent of Israelis say he has succeeded in his job.
Prof Fuchs says citizens are enormously disillusioned with the political 
system and the country's leadership. Israelis have no confidence in the 
government and no confidence in the Knesset [parliament]. There is a belief 
that they are corrupt and that causes great despair.
The collapse of public trust in 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Israel's Pride and Prejudice at 60

2008-05-05 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Article # 1
Israel's Pride and Prejudice at 60
By Dominique Moïsi
The writer is a senior adviser at France's Institute for International Relations
If 60 is for an individual the age of maturity, it is a very young age for a 
state. Israel remains, for the lack of a better word, an adolescent state, the 
young incarnation of a very old dream. It is an adolescent torn between pride 
and resentment on one hand, and hope and fear on the other.
That combination of pride and resentment was most visible in Warsaw two weeks 
ago during the ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the 
insurrection of the Ghetto. Three years ago, on the occasion of the 60th 
anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Israeli military aircraft had flown 
over the site of the camp. This time, in the Royal Opera House of Warsaw, young 
Israeli soldiers in uniform were present in large numbers, strolling past walls 
adorned with hundreds of photographs of the faces of Polish Jews who had 
disappeared during the war. A vanished eastern European world had been replaced 
by a vibrant and defiant western presence in the Middle East. Poles, some of 
them in black tie, looked on baffled at this uniformed presence in the midst of 
a Beethoven concert designed to celebrate the reconciliation between Poland and 
(not its Jews, for they have mostly disappeared) the state of Israel. The 
message was clear. The spiritual heirs of the
 leaders of the Ghetto insurrection were back in Warsaw full of both pride for 
what they had been able to achieve - a state guaranteeing the security of its 
citizens - and continued resentment for what had taken place. If they had been 
there 65 years ago, millions of Jewish lives would have been saved. Are 
Palestinians today paying a price for the resentment still felt by Israelis 
towards Europe, in a transfer of ire of the most detrimental nature?
Yet the presence of these Israeli soldiers in the Warsaw Opera was a clear 
illustration that 60 years after its creation the very existence of the state 
of Israel remains nothing short of a miracle: a miracle of human will, 
determination and ultimately of hope. In less than three generations and in 
spite of extremely difficult conditions, Israelis have managed not only to 
survive but also to create a rich and original culture; to achieve spectacular 
results in science and medicine; and to create a technological hub in the 
But hope should not be confused with self-delusion. Israel cannot dream of ever 
becoming the democratic Singapore of the Middle East if it remains in an ethnic 
and religious war with its immediate neighbours, the Palestin-ians. More than 
30 years ago some of Israel's strategic thinkers dreamt of an alliance with the 
non-Arab countries of the Middle East, Iran and Turkey. In their eyes the 
triangle between Tehran, Ankara and Jerusalem held the key to creation of a new 
balance of power in the Middle East. Today, this diplomatic dream has evolved 
and is taking the shape of a new configuration of forces in the region. It 
consists of an alliance between moderate Sunni Arab regimes and Israel against 
the alliance of fundamentalist forces behind Iran. There is something in that 
logic but for the former alliance to emerge there needs to be real progress and 
at least a truce between the Israelis and all Palestinians, including Hamas. 
Strategically many Arab
 leaders fear the prospect of a nuclear Iran as much as, if not more than, 
Israel but emotionally their people would not ratify efforts to stop Iran 
without real progress in -Palestine.
Demographically, strategically, politically, ethically and even economically, 
Israelis cannot put the Palestinian problem to one side. They should not give 
in to resignation because all previous peace attempts have failed, or because 
Palestinians have not produced a leader of the quality of Mahatma Gandhi or 
Nelson Mandela. As long as Palestinians arein despair the Israeli miracle will 
remain, like Schubert's eighth symphony, unfinished.
Israelis and Palestinians could have provoked the best in each other. 
Unfortunately their interactions have led to the opposite result. David 
Ben-Gurion, the first and so far best leader of Israel, dreamt of an Israel 
that would act as a bridge between the developed north and the underdeveloped 
south. The African continent loomed large in his vision of the world. But the 
Israelis did not have to look that far afield for an economically undeveloped 
region to engage with. Their Africa was next door and after 1967 it became, 
through occupation, part of them.
It may be that the goal of peace with its most reluctant Arab neighbour is 
simply too tough for Israel to realise, at least in the foreseeable future. 
Separately, America's goal of democratisation for the regionhas also provedtoo 
ambitious. Instead, it would be better to set more realistic goals: for Israel, 
ensuring peace by truce with the Palestinians and for the US, seeking the rule 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Ireland is at peace?

2008-05-05 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Some News/Articles I believe you will find interesting!
Do you think that Ireland is in peace?

'Ireland is at peace'
IRELAND is at peace. With those four words, Bertie Ahern ended his political 
career on the highest stage and signalled the hour of his country's coming of 
'Drumcondra Mafia' turn out to support the Grandfather
The great day of hope has dawned
Plea is encouraging for the illegal Irish
Taoiseach's hotel suite is evacuated in fire alert
A remarkable delivery of what was probably the speech of his life
Washington visits reveal a history of the Troubles
The speech of his life
Civil service must be transformed to meet demands of modern State

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Anti-terror law is absurd, unfair and a breach of human rights

2008-04-29 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Judges V Ministers
Anti-terror law is absurd, unfair and a breach of human rights

#1. Freezing assets of terror suspects ruled unlawful by High Court
Asset-freezing orders imposed by the Treasury on terror suspects have been 
ruled unlawful
Sean O'Neill, Crime and Security Editor
Anti-terrorism legislation was condemned as poorly thought-out by a senior High 
Court judge yesterday as he declared that the Treasury’s powers to freeze 
suspects’ bank accounts were unlawful.
Mr Justice Collins said that terrorist financial orders — introduced by Gordon 
Brown when he was Chancellor — were absurd,unfair and a breach of fundamental 
The judge, who has lengthy experience of dealing with terrorism cases, said: 
“It was, frankly, another example of an immediate reaction without it being 
thought through properly — which is rather the pattern with the anti-terrorism 
The Times revealed this week that the judge was preparing to criticise the 
asset-freezing regime in the latest of a series of rulings that have 
exacerbated tensions between the judiciary and the Government.
There are now 59 people living in Britain on the Treasury sanctions list, 
including the radical clerics Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada, who are both 
in jail. The Bank of England has frozen 274 accounts, containing £656,000.
Abu Qatada had £180,000 cash in his home when it was raided in 2001 and, 
despite the sanctions, Abu Hamza made £120,000 on a property transaction while 
in prison.
Ruling on an appeal brought by five terrorist suspects — referred to in court 
as A, K, M, Q and G — the judge said that the sanctions had had “the most 
drastic effect” on them and their families.
People on the terrorist list have to apply to the Treasury for a licence to 
spend money on groceries and anyone who provides them with “an economic 
resource” is liable to a criminal conviction and a jail sentence.
The judge said the situation was “an absurdity” and recommended that two 
measures — the Terrorism Order and the al-Qaeda and Taleban Order — should be 
quashed. They will, however, remain in place pending an appeal that the 
ministers said the Government would pursue urgently.
The measures were adopted to give effect in British law to two United Nations 
Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on people alleged to be funding 
The judge was critical that they were introduced as Orders in Council rather 
than through an Act of Parliament and were therefore not subject to debate by 
MPs and peers. He also criticised the absence of a procedure for suspects who 
wanted to challenge their listing as terrorists.
The Government, he added, should consider introducing measures in the 
Counter-terrorism Bill to provide for a tribunal at which people on the 
Treasury’s list could challenge the financial sanctions. The judge told 
government lawyers: “You are going to have to legislate at some stage, 
otherwise the State will not be able to put before the court the incriminating 
or allegedly incriminating material.”
He said he had “real concerns” that the orders had introduced a criminal 
offence, of assisting a listed person, without consulting Parliament.
David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said that the High Court had left Mr 
Brown’s asset-freezing regime “in tatters”. He added: “When you make laws in a 
hurry that are unfocused and arbitrary, the result is neither firm nor fair — 
just fragile.”
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said that she was “very disappointed” with 
the ruling.
Jane Kennedy, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The Government 
continues to be fully committed to defending and maintaining our asset-freezing 
regime which makes an important contribution to our national security by 
helping to prevent funds being used for terrorist purposes and is central to 
our obligations under successive UN Security Council Resolutions to combat 
global terrorism.”
But Jules Carey, solicitor for G, said that the importance of the judgment 
could not be overstated. He said: “It is the sovereignty of Parliament that is 
at stake here, the foundation block of the British constitution. If Government 
can, without consulting Parliament, give itself powers to create criminal 
offences and take away fundamental rights then we are watching the sun set on 
From The Times, April 25, 2008

# 2. Judges will carry on holding ministers to account - because that’s their 
Frances Gibb: Analysis
Yesterday’s court rulings highlight the delicate relationship between the 
executive and the judiciary — one in which judges increasingly hold ministers 
to account, and find them wanting. The two cases are not isolated. In recent 
weeks, ministers have suffered a series of judicial hammer blows — from 
deporting terrorist suspects to powers to block the release of offenders on 
parole. So are our judges getting restive?
Tension between the judiciary 

Bismillah [IslamCity] The art of war

2008-04-28 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
The Art of war:
John Hoyland: Blood on the canvas, by a modern master
John Hoyland has been called Europe's answer to Mark Rothko. On a visit to his 
London studio, esther walker discovers why the celebrated painter has turned to 
Robert Fisk of The Independent for inspiration in his latest artworks
I borrow anything from anything, says the artist John Hoyland. I'll borrow 
from other people's work, nature, flowers – anything. In his latest 
exhibition, Greetings of Love, Hoyland borrows from a more unlikely source, 
perhaps: a photograph of blood-spatter on the floor of a hospital in Lebanon, 
accompanied by a piece, about the 33-day conflict in Lebanon and northern 
Israel in 2006, by The Independent's Robert Fisk.
I've always liked Robert Fisk's writing and I admire him. I thought the piece 
that he had written was rather moving, and I looked at the photograph that went 
with it and it looked just like one of my paintings. The piece, published in 
August 2007, was a reflection on the previous year's war in Lebanon and, in 
part, a review of the book Double Blind by the Italian photographer Paolo 
Pellegrin's picture, taken in Tyre's main hospital, shows a large splash of 
blood on the black-and-white tiled floor of a hospital; the victim had been 
badly injured in an Israeli rocket attack on 6 August, 2006.
I hate wars, reads Fisk's piece. I was thinking this over as I pawed through 
Double Blind, from which these photographs are taken. Its terrible, 
rage-filled, blood-spattered pages are an awful memory to me of last year's war 
in Lebanon. It began on my birthday – my 60th birthday – when a dear friend 
called me up and told me what a terrible birthday I was going to have, and I 
asked why, and she told me that two Israeli soldiers had been captured by the 
Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and I asked Abed, my driver, to head south, 
because I knew that the Israelis would bomb across Lebanon. And I was right.
The resulting work by Hoyland is a powerful, richly coloured image, with the 
artist's trademark layers of thick paint, rivers of colour running down the 
canvas, and his nerve-cell-like central focus. But Hoyland insists that the 
piece is not deliberately political.
I don't see Lebanon as a political piece, although the title would indicate 
that. I was simply struck by the constant threat to people living in the Middle 
East and the sheer horror of the things that happen. I suppose my sympathies 
would always be with the victims and the underdog, so I suppose in that way it 
is political.
Lebanon is part of a wider exhibition inspired by loss. Both Patrick Caulfield 
and Piero Dorazio, both artists and close friends of Hoyland's, died in 2005 
and Greetings of Love is, in part, a farewell. He has referred to the paintings 
for Dorazio, Poem for Piero, and Caulfield, Souvenir for Patrick, as letters 
to friends and elegies.
I spend a lot of time looking for structures and looking for things to hang a 
painting on, says Hoyland. You've got to have a structure otherwise you'll 
just paint chaos. But at the moment I'm in this thing where I'm not painting 
sexy or structured pictures, I'm just surprising myself with what comes out. 
And I've done a lot of paintings recently that, without thinking about it, turn 
out to be about loss.
Hoyland, now 73, is regarded as the leading abstract artist of his generation, 
and is sometimes referred to as Europe's answer to Mark Rothko. I don't think 
he would have liked that comparison, says Hoyland, laughing. I knew him a 
little bit and he didn't really like other people following him at all.
Hoyland is part of a band of post-war Mod Brit artists such Albert Irvin, 
Alan Davie and Bridget Riley who , after briefly falling out of fashion, have 
enjoyed a recent return to popularity. Last year Davie sold a work for 
£234,000, and Hoyland's bright creations have been selling for £50,000 each. 
. V
C War and conflict are a subject close to Hoyland's heart. National Service was 
scrapped the year that Hoyland was due to be called up. I was lucky that I 
never had to confront that. I would never have gone into the forces if I had 
been called up, even though some of my contemporaries seem to have enjoyed it. 
And the whole purpose of becoming an artist is to be an individual; the idea of 
going somewhere and being given a number and doing everything you're told 
doesn't appeal to me. I just don't go in for all this shooting people who you 
don't know; it sounds crazy to me.
The war in Iraq, Hoyland feels, was similarly inexplicable. I've always been 
150 per cent against the war, the folly of it and the lack of wisdom on behalf 
of our leaders. I mean, they might be smart people but they've got no wisdom. 
They're just like smart lawyers. But I'm older than them so maybe that makes a 
Hoyland was born in Sheffield in 1934 and attended the Sheffield School of Art 
and then came down to London to study at the Royal Academy school of 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Our reign of terror, by the Israeli army

2008-04-27 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
. It 
also said: The Military Advocate General has issued a number of indictments 
against soldiers due to allegations of criminal behaviour ... Soldiers found 
guilty were punished severely by the Military Court, in proportion to the 
committed offence. It had not by last night quantified such indictments.
In its introduction to the testimonies, Breaking the Silence says: The 
soldiers' determination to fulfil their mission yields tragic results: the 
proper-normative becomes despicable, the inconceivable becomes routine ... 
[The] testimonies are to illustrate the manner in which they are swept into the 
brutal reality reigning on the ground, a reality whereby the lives of many 
thousands of Palestinian families are at the questionable mercy of youths. 
Hebron turns a focused, flagrant lens at the reality to which Israel's young 
representatives are constantly sent.
A force for justice
Breaking the Silence was formed four years ago by a group of ex-soldiers, most 
of whom had served in Israel Defence Forces combat units in Hebron. Many of the 
soldiers do reserve duty in the military each year. It has collected some 500 
testimonies from former soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza. Its 
first public exposure was with an exhibition of photographs by soldiers serving 
in Hebron and the organisation also runs regular tours of Hebron for Israeli 
students and diplomats. It receives funding from groups as diverse as the 
Jewish philanthropic Moriah Fund, the New Israel Fund, the British embassy in 
Tel Aviv and the EU.
Published: The Independent, Saturday, 19 April 2008

[Jewish State is forbidden by Judaism but not by Zionism! Jewish State was 
formed to use innocent Jews as guinea pigs and to disturb the Muslims/Arabs and 
the main goal is to take control of Middle East from the unrest situations, 
therefore, to get control of the wealth of that area! Jews must united against 
this Propaganda State and for their better future. They must realise that their 
Govt. is against them and threw them in danger! The 2nd World War was a tool 
used against Jews to give birth of an illegitimate nation! Place your comments 
on the subject/article. Thank you. Arif Bhuiyan, from the UK]

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Bismillah [IslamCity] How Arabs have been driven out of Hebron

2008-04-26 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
How Arabs have been driven out of Hebron
By Mario Vargas Llosa.

Hebron is the image of desolation and pain. I'm talking of the H-2 sector, the 
oldest part of this ancient city, which is under Israeli military control and 
where some 500 colonos – settlers – live in four settlements. It is one of the 
holiest places of Judaism and Islam, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where in 
February 1994, the settler Baruch Goldstein machine-gunned Muslims at prayer, 
killing 29 and wounding dozens.
To protect these settlers, the zone bristles with barriers, camps and military 
posts, and is overrun by Israeli patrols. But such mobilisation will soon be 
unnecessary because this part of Hebron, subject to ethnic and religious 
cleansing, will soon have no Arab residents.
Its centuries-old market, which was once as multi-coloured, varied and bustling 
as that of Jerusalem, is now empty and the doors of all the shops are sealed. 
Travelling around, you feel in limbo. So too when you walk through the 
surrounding deserted streets, with shopfronts shuttered with metal sheets and 
on whose roofs you glimpse military posts. The walls of this entire semi-empty 
neighbourhood are filled with racist inscriptions: Death to the Arabs.
Some 25,000 residents have been cleared from their homes in H-2 zone in five 
years. In the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood alone, where there is a settlement of 
the same name, barely 50 out of 500 Arab families remain.
The extraordinary thing is that they haven't already gone, subjected as they 
are to systematic and ferocious harassment by settlers, who stone them, throw 
rubbish and excrement at their houses, invade and destroy their homes, and 
attack their children when they return from school, to the absolute 
indifference of Israeli soldiers who witness these atrocities.
No one told me this: I saw it with my own eyes and heard with my own ears from 
the victims themselves. I have a video of the hair-raising scene of children 
from Tel Rumeida settlement stoning and kicking Arab schoolchildren and their 
teachers who, to protect themselves, returned home in groups instead of 
individually. When I told Israeli friends this, some looked at me with 
incredulity and I saw they suspected I exaggerated or lied, as novelists often 
do. It turned out that none had ever set foot in Hebron.
Translated by Elizabeth Nash. This is an edited extract of an article that 
appeared in El Pais
Published: The Independent, Saturday, 19 April 2008

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Robert Fisk: Painters love martyrs and prophets

2008-04-26 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Painters love martyrs and prophets
Saint Sebastian's death – arrows puncturing skin – is straight out of Shia 
By Robert Fisk

Nothing annoys me more than a magnificent Renaissance painting which carries 
the deadly label school of. Why any of the great masters would let some 
junior copy or finish off his martyrdoms and crucifixions perplexes me, 
although – in an age when paintings were commissioned by popes and dukes – 
speed and commercial success were probably more important than artistic pride.
Indeed, it was only when I began to examine the provenance of Hizbollah 
martyr portraits in Lebanon that I discovered the same principle applied. The 
top painter of Hizbollah's dead – those young men invariably shot, blown up or 
bombed to death by Israel – is a man called Shelala.
But when I tracked his studio down in the Jnah suburb of south Beirut, I found 
that he would instruct a team of enthusiasts how to paint the martyr''s face – 
how big his beard should be, whether the tulips should be on the right or left 
of his head – and let them get on with the work. He would drop by later to 
touch up an eye or a pair of spectacles on the dead man's face before the 
finished product was carted off to be strung on an electric pylon or a cemetery 
wall in southern Lebanon. School of Shelala.
I have to say that Pinturicchio of Perugia – Bernardino di Betto di Biagio for 
Renaissance scholars – is a cut above Shelala. His 15th-century virgins and 
saints have that luminescent quality and perspective that most Renaissance 
painting exults, and the Umbrian city's exhibition of his work – along with the 
confusingly named Perugino of Castel della Pieve (Pietro di Cristoforo 
Vannucci) – is a claustrophobic but dutiful collection of religious pretension 
and obedience.
Yet I had forgotten the degree to which these two men – along with their 
schools and countless other minor artists across Italy – focused their 
attention on martyrs and anchorites, lonely old hermits who live out their days 
in grim contemplation of God's goodness and cruelty.
The martyrs are familiar enough. Christ's body and blood are set pieces, the 
red fountains always pouring from identical wounds, the feet bleeding into 
little piles of gore where miniature but obsessive monks can be seen staring at 
the stuff with unbecoming enthusiasm.
The violence of the age marries perfectly into the Shia martyrology of the 
imams Ali and Hussein, whose blood-boltered features dominate the posters 
beside the great mosques of Najaf and Kufa and Kerbala. Indeed, St Sebastian's 
death – all arrows puncturing white skin – is straight out of Shia martyrology.
One altarpiece I came across in Perugia this week showed a remarkably pristine 
version of the crucifixion, with scarcely a sign of holy wounds, until, at the 
bottom right-hand corner, I espied the head of St Peter with what looked like a 
meat cleaver in the top of his skull, from which rained the inevitable blood. 
His face, eyes squinting in pain, bore the expression of a man who, well, who 
has just been bashed over the head with a meat cleaver. A violent time, the 
But a time of contemplation. Repeatedly, old St Jerome turns up in 
Pinturicchio's work. Over and over again, the ancient hermit can be seen 
kneeling or stooping in front of a cave amid barren mountains, shaggy-bearded – 
sometimes ginger, sometimes pepper and salt – staring at some distant vision.
That this was painted at a time when Ferdinand and Isabella's Spanish 
cartoonists were obscenely portraying another holy man – Mohamed by name – who 
received another message from God, only marks the thin line between devotion 
and hatred. Yes, late 15th-century Spanish artists far outdid the puerile 
cartoons of 21st-century Denmark.
But it was not just the Prophet whom St Jerome reminded me of. Who else comes 
to mind? Well, I can think of another man, his long beard growing whiter with 
age, who lives in caves and believes in visions and messages. I've even met him 
beside just such a cave. A night on the bare mountain must be just as bleak in 
Pushtunistan as it was in Umbria although the effects, as we know, can be 
catastrophically different.
In an age when we are still supposed to believe in the clash of civilisations 
– how anyone was taken in by Huntingdon's preposterous book is still a mystery 
to me – and in faith foundations created by equally preposterous former prime 
ministers, it does no harm to look at the work of my old Palestinian friend 
Tarif Khalidi who lives just round the corner from me in Beirut.
When he first turned up to teach at Cambridge, I pointed out of the window of 
his apartment and asked him if he didn't feel a bit far from home with the 
towers of King's College opposite his home. But what do they remind you of, 
Fisky? he asked. I thought for a moment before the obvious dawned on me. 
Minarets, I asked? Exactly, Fisky! he roared.
And so I turn to his seminal book, The Muslim 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Commonwealth scholarships

2008-04-20 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Commonwealth scholarships
Each year around 500 Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships are awarded by 
the UK government.
These awards cover doctoral studies, masters degrees, and academic or short 
term professional fellowships; and there are also opportunities for distance 
learning courses and split-site schemes in which part of a doctoral degree is 
carried out in the UK. All awards are made strictly on the basis of academic 
Eligibility criteria
Commonwealth scholarships are open to Commonwealth citizens and British 
protected persons, permanently resident in any Commonwealth country other than 
the United Kingdom.
Find out more:

Bismillah [IslamCity] Postgraduate Research Degree or Master's by Research program, University of Sydney, Australia

2008-04-20 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Postgraduate Research Degree or Master's by Research program, University of 
Sydney, Australia

Scholarships for International Students.
If you are a local University of Sydney student interested in scholarships for 
postgraduate study overseas, see the University research and scholarships site 
for more information.

International students at the University of Sydney
The scholarships listed below have funded the study of international students 
at the University of Sydney in the past. However, this is not a list of every 
scholarship that may be available throughout the world.

Students are encouraged to look for funding from any source available to them. 
For example, you may be able to find further scholarship information from 
companies, universities in your home country, the Australian mission in your 
home country, by searching the internet, etc.

If you find a good source of scholarship information, please e-mail us at
infoschol @
so that this information can be made available to other students.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students
Australian Development Scholarships
Australian Leadership Awards
University of Sydney International Scholarship (USydIS)
University of Sydney – China Scholarship Council Research Schemes
Endeavour Australia Program
Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (Endeavour IPRS)
Endeavour Australia-Asia Postgraduate Student Awards
Endeavour Australia-Europe Postgraduate Student Awards
Endeavour Australia Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Program
The Asian Development Bank - Government of Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP)
Thai Government
Rotary International
US Federal Student Aid
Indian Scholarships
Northcote Graduate Scholarships
Commonwealth Scholarships
Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP)
The Toyota Foundation
Jason (Joint Academic Scholarships On-line Network)
Michael H. Rathgeber Scholarship (for residence at International House)
Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) Scholarship Program
Talentia Scholarships for Spanish or European Union Member State Nationals
Australian Development Scholarships
Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are a highly-valued form of 
development cooperation between Australia and partner countries with which 
Australia has a bilateral aid program. ADS provide partner countries with the 
opportunity to strengthen its human resource capacity through offering 
scholarships to individuals within key institutions, to undertake tertiary 
studies in Australia in areas relevant to the development needs of the country.

Scholarships are primarily for postgraduate study, however a limited number of 
undergraduate scholarships are available in specific countries. Applicants for 
ADS must satisfy both the general eligibility criteria and specific criteria 
established for each country. For further information regarding eligibility 
criteria and ADS scholarship benefits, please visit:

Those wishing to apply for the ADS program should contact the AusAID Post in 
their home country. Contact details can be found at

For more details, please email: ausaid @

Or download the Australian Government Sponsored Students brochure
Australian Leadership Awards
The Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) is a new Australian Government program 
which provides scholarships and fellowships for current and future leaders from 
the Asia-Pacific Region.

Australian Leadership Awards are awarded to people who are already leaders or 
have a potential to assume leadership roles that can influence social and 
economic policy reform and development outcomes, both in their own countries 
and in the Asia and Pacific region.

Awards are open to all fields of study, however, study programs that relate to 
the priority themes of international trade, pandemics, security and climate 
change, including clean energy are encouraged. (Extract from the ALA web site).
AusAID website
Postgraduate Coursework Application Form (180kb PDF)
Postgraduate Research Application Form (224kb PDF)
For more details, please email: ausaid @

University of Sydney International Scholarship (USydIS)
The University of Sydney invites candidates who are eligible to undertake a 
Postgraduate Research Degree or Master's by Research program at this University 
to apply for the University of Sydney International Research Scholarship 

The objective of the USydIS is to attract top quality international 
postgraduate students to undertake research projects which will enhance the 
University's research activities. The USydIS is open to all research 
disciplines, however participation in the USydIS program each semester is at 
the discretion of the Dean of each faculty. These scholarships will be awarded 
to eligible applicants twice a year – in 

Bismillah [IslamCity] Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel

2008-04-19 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Report: Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel

By Haaretz Service and Reuters

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin 
Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 
terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers 
and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq, Ma'ariv quoted the former 
prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events swung American 
public opinion in our favor.

Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan 
University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the 
Meanwhile, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubt over the veracity of 
the September 11 attacks Thursday, calling it a pretext to invade Afghanistan 
and Iraq.

Four or five years ago, a suspicious event occurred in New York. A building 
collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed but never published 
their names, Ahmadinejad told Iranians in the holy city of Qom.

Under this pretext, they [the U.S.] attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since 
then, a million people have been killed only in Iraq.

Speaking Wednesday at a news conference on the Iran threat, Netanyahu compared 
Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler and likened Tehran's nuclear program to the threat 
the Nazis posed to Europe in the late 1930s.

Netanyahu said Iran differed from the Nazis in one vital respect, explaining 
that where that [Nazi] regime embarked on a global conflict before it 
developed nuclear weapons, he said. This regime [Iran] is developing nuclear 
weapons before it embarks on a global conflict.
Haaretz, April 16, 08.

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Bismillah [IslamCity] The Taliban blowback

2008-04-17 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
 300 yards from his house in 
southern Punjab. The police linked the putative killer to the Red Mosque, the 
radical Islamabad mosque where over 100 people died in a confrontation with the 
army last summer. Haq had led unsuccessful attempts to find a peaceful solution.
There were other ominous echoes. The killer belonged to a militant group that 
had fought in Kashmir. He had also been to Afghanistan. And he came from a 
village close to the home of Qari Saifullah Akhtar.
This is a whole new phenomenon, said Haq. Even during Afghanistan and 
Kashmir, we never saw suicide attacks like this. He had raised the walls 
around his house and erected concrete barricades. Security men roamed the 
garden. But still he was worried.
Time is on their side, he said. They go slowly. It's very scary.
A bearded man wearing a tracksuit, who looked like an ex-soldier, came into the 
room. A gun appeared to bulge from one pocket. It was time for his employer's 
evening jog.
The American who funded jihad is also quietly contrite. After September 2001, 
Charlie Wilson told biographer George Crile that the 1980s fight was a 
glorious time. But the endgame, he admitted, had gone disastrously wrong.
Published: The Guardian, Wednesday April 16 2008

[This is neither propaganda nor comments, from me. By forwarding this I am not 
supporting or against anyone and I have no intention to upset anyone. My main 
intention is sharing this with you, as if - look what I have found or what they 
are saying, etc., and to hear neutral comments from you on this subject only. 
If you are interested please place your comments on the contents of this 
article or on the author / group/s or please just keep watching. Please no 
attack or cuss.
- Arif Bhuiyan
From the UK]

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Bismillah [IslamCity] Al-Maktoum Institute, Dundee, Scotland

2008-04-16 Thread Arif Bhuiyan
Al-Maktoum Institute, Dundee, Scotland
Validated by The University of Aberdeen
Postgraduate Opportunities:
MLitt taught Masters
PhD/MPhil research
Study of Islam  Muslims
Islamic Studies
Islamic Jerusalem Studies
Muslims, Globalisation  the West
Available full time or part time (by distance / online learning, subject to 
Competitive 1 year scholarships for MLitt programmes from Al-Moktoum Foundation
Research degrees (PhD or MPhil)
- in all of the above subject areas.
Email: pgadmin @

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