Archive for September 2006

A controlled media? See for yourself

September 27, 2006

These are the cover pages of the four distributed Newsweek magazines to different parts of the world. the difference in topic is hard to miss….newsweekcovers.jpg
This is where the original article is from. Although they may have exagerated a bit, the “controlled” media cannot go unnoticed

http://signs-of-the-times.org/signs/editorials/signs20060926_AControlledMediaSeeForYourself.php

the original advertisement:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14975282/site/newsweek/

A prison in Palestine

September 27, 2006

 A Prison in Palestine

By Asim Qureshi

Imagine being alone in a room.

Imagine four hard walls.

Imagine a metal door with the smallest of windows.

Imagine darkness that cannot be illuminated except by the will of those who hold you.

Finally. Imagine the slow ticking of time that just does not want to pass.

No matter how good your imagination may be, you will never be able to truly understand what it means to be imprisoned. That is, until you have been in one yourself.

It is in Occupied Palestine, that I was given my chance. One may question as to whether or not I have lost my sanity after having spent some time in a cell, especially by calling it a ‘chance’. Yet, those are my exact feelings on the matter……

Sitting alone in a dark Israeli prison gives you perspective. The knowledge that you are innocent and yet sitting in a place where your liberty and freedom has been taken away can cause the greatest distress.

However, as I said before, this was my chance. A chance given to me by Allah SWT to learn something before continuing my work. For now I know what it means to be incarcerated for nothing. In fact, what is even more amazing, is that it was the brothers that gave me strength during this moment. It was the thought of them that made me say to myself, “Who am I? What right do I have to feel sorry for myself in this predicament? There are people out there who are being tortured just because they are Muslim.”

The Israeli guards who put my companions and I into our separate cells were aloof, but still maintained some semblance of kindness (probably because we were British). Those who hold our brothers and sisters in the cages of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib have proven to have no such humanity. They beat and abuse those detainees to a sickening degree. If I allowed myself to feel bad for my situation, then that would be an injustice to those who are actually going through a severe test.
The words of my friend Babar Ahmed gave me solace in those lonely dark hours. He wrote to me saying that prison to him is time away from the world to spend with Allah. That in the real world he was never able to worship the Creator to the extent he is able now. Then I thought of the words of our beloved Shaykh Ali Timmimi whose understanding of the tests from Allah gave me nothing but further strength to remain happy with my situation.

The weight of the words that these people have given kept a smile on my face for the whole five hour period that I was locked away in. It is understood that what we are given in life comes solely from Allah as a test, whether it be something good, or something bad. Whatever people may do to you  is inconsequential, for Allah has already decreed what tests one will face. The only difference anything makes, is that when we face our Lord on the Day of Judgment, and He asks us how it was that we dealt with the trials He tested us with, we must be able to say that we dealt with them, with the greatest of patience.

While in the jail I thought of Shaykh Ali Timmimi, in a famous sermon quoting the words of one of the greatest scholars of Islam, Shaykh-ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah,

“What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise is in my heart, it goes with me wherever I go. To put me in prison, is to let me have a private devotion with Allah, to execute me is martyrdom, and to kick me out of my land is a journey in the path of Allah.”

This is just a reminder to all those who have forgotten what it is like for our imprisoned brothers and sisters. I went through nothing, and yet I felt violated. Never forget the injustice of what is happening around the world. They say that time is a healer, well time also makes people forgetful. We must keep on reiterating our disgust over the imprisonment of our innocents, otherwise they will become a distant memory. That, of all the injustices, would be by far the greatest, for it is us who would have let them down.

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 www.cageprisoner.com

www.visualdhikr.com

A Message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV

September 25, 2006

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This is a message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV to the Pope Benedict XVI. Its obvious he has a little more knowledge about the relations between Islam and Christianity. Maybe he should become the pope….

 

A Message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV
(Father Hazim of Lebanon)Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

To His Holiness Pope Benedict XV

No. 3/663

17th September, 2006-09-18

To Your Most Venerable Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Salutations and best wishes for your health:

We have followed with extreme anxiety your statements
and the angry reactions that accompanied them over the
course of the last days. In this regard, we would
like to clarify to Your Holiness some essential points
that Eastern Christians live by and believe in. More
than any others, they have knowledge, experience and
understanding of Christianity and Islam together, for
they have been in a state of coexistence, cooperation
and harmony fromthe beginning of the Islamic mission
until now.

We have established the best of relationships, built
on respect for religions and for everyone’s freedom to
practice rites as he wishes and according to his
belief in the teachings of his religion and the
principles of his divine law. This springs from the
fact that both the essential and preeminent
relationship between Christianity and Islam, and the
culture of individual coexistence, have sprung from
the East, from this land of sacred religions. Pope
John Paul II praised – as you know – this coexistence
and relationship, which he knew and read about, and
which he observed during his historical visit to
Syria. The accounts of this visit, what was written
and what was said about it have become part of Vatican
history and one of the stages of development that the
late Pope desired.

We do not wish to plunge into discussing the
relationship of Christianity to Islam and Islam to
Christianity – a relationship filled with standpoints
consecrating coexistence and mutual respect, which we
cannot pass by in these circumstances. Likewise, we do
not wish to recall that the longest Surah appearing in
the Noble Qur’an speaks with emphatic respect and
appreciation for Christianity.

We, however would like to point out that talking about
religion as an academic subject of research does not
rise to the truth that religion is a doctrine and a
faith practiced by believers. Everyone has the right,
the full right, to practice his religious rites as he
wishes. There is no room here to consider religion as
more of an intellectual topic than a matter of belief,
for discussing it in this way touches the
understanding and belief.

We are hoping that you may take part in raising the
essence of religions from the field of dialogues,
intellectual efforts and citations that have been
effaced by time, and that there may be a complete
rapprochement of these doctrinal fixed points of the
religions from a contemporary perspective, and not
from the perspective of the Middle Ages.

We assert that religion is not so much for the
practice of intellectual and philosophical refinement
as it is for living and coexisting in love, so far as
this harmonizes with beliefs, divine laws and rites.
This is what has specially marked the East, which we
have lived in from the beginning of the heavenly
messages until now.

We ask for your prayers and we extend to you our best
wishes.

Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

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www.zaytuna.org 

Eid without our dads

September 24, 2006

Another Eid Without Our Dads: The Children of the British Residents in Guantanamo in Their Own Words

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Eid is a time for family, enjoyment and being together. It is a time for exchanging gifts, visiting friends and spending time with family. More so than for adults, it is a special time for children: wearing new clothes, receiving gifts, eating delicious specialities and spending the day with their families. However, for over a dozen children in the UK, Eid lost its allure over three years ago when their fathers were detained and sent to American military camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

While the British government managed to secure the release of all British nationals held at the camp by early 2005, it transpired later in the year that there are at least up to ten British residents (non-UK passport holders who have been long-term residents in the UK) still being held in Guantanamo. Given that there are also ghost prisoners who are not registered at all on the system, it is quite possible that the actual number is higher and there may still be British citizens held there too.

During this time, they have had highly limited access to their families and the outside world in general. There are no phone calls and the families have no idea of what their loved ones look like now. Like most detainees in Guantanamo, all have lost considerable amounts of weight and many are suffering from health problems due to the conditions in which they are being detained. In the case of two of the detainees, their wives gave birth after they were detained and they have never seen their own last-born. Some of these children are now four years old. Letters and gifts sent by the families are not always received by the detainees and letters from the detainees sent to their families via the International Red Cross are always censored and delivered late. Over the last three years, the letters have been few and far between.

The last few years have been very hard for the families of all the detainees“ wives, children, parents and siblings “ just as they have been hard for the families of Guantanamo detainees and former detainees the world over. The mothers in particular, however, have done a wonderful job of keeping the memories of their fathers alive in their children. All of the children are aged under 10 and have few, if any, memories of their fathers, but the knowledge and the pain of how it is live without their fathers is very much alive in them. The loneliness and the silent suffering of seeing other children happily with their fathers or both their parents and the question mark looming over them of when their own dads will come home are highly familiar to them. The psychological consequences of this enforced separation is yet to be seen; as the children grow older, they become aware of what the orange jumpsuits and the images of Guantanamo that they see on TV and in newspapers symbolise and they are becoming aware of the humiliation and torture their fathers face.

In spite of their tender age, the detainees children have been active in trying to get their fathers released: Shaker Aamers daughter has written to Jack Straw asking for his help to secure her fathers release. Jamil Al-Bannas eldest son has written two letters to the Prime Minister, both of which have as yet gone unanswered, and to Prince Charles. He has, along with his brother, spoken at human rights conferences and at a parliamentary meeting about how he and his siblings feel about their fathers situation.

Help from the British government, however, has not been forthcoming. The British government maintains that it has no responsibility to these men as non-British nationals, in spite of the fact that several of them have recognised refugee status in the UK and that all have lived in the UK for long periods of time. The majority also have relatives who are British nationals.

www.cageprisoners.com (thank u Hannah for the site!)

Ramadan Mubarak!

September 22, 2006

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 Ramadan Mubarak to anyone who takes the time to see my blog.

May Allah bless everyone of you. May He have mercy upon us all, and increase our faith and Iman.

May Allah ease the pain of all the people suffering during this Ramadan. May He help those who are unjustly opressed.

May this Ramadan bring the end of wars, and bring peace onto my screen.

(Thank you Lina (http://thelostmoros0.wordpress.com/) and Sharifo (http://abulsharif.blogspot.com/ )for making this great picture)

the awful truth in iraq

September 22, 2006

this is a video of Micheal Moore’s “the awful truth” about oil prices, saddam hussein and dying iraqi civilians.

forgive me for simply giving plain links….i’ve a few exams to take, and InshAllah after i have more time on my hands, i can give more indepth posts.

blood & oil

September 21, 2006

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http://www.irancartoon.com