Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Police in India say they have detained three people in connection with Sunday's bomb attack aboard a train travelling from India to Pakistan.It further added,
The three people (two men and a woman) were detained by police in Bikaner, one of Rajasthan's four districts bordering Pakistan, says the BBC correspondent in the state.For the same incident covered at NDTV says:
IBNLive, another news channel from India, has provided a bit more insight to the story. It documented something that other Media skipped.
Also, six people have been held by the police in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Of the six people, two were picked up for questioning in western UP and four in Rajasthan.
Among the four people detained in Rajasthan is a married couple from the Naya Sahar locality of Bikaner.The couple provided the police with leads which led to two more people being held in Bikaner.
The police sketches were based on eyewitness descriptions of the men who left the train just before the bombs exploded.
We can take from this that the frame for the direction of the investigation is setting. The questions still always exist, Were the radical Hindus using a Muslim to blow Muslims? …Or, were they new converts to Islam radicalised by ‘peaceful Imams,’ due to ‘bad communication skills and misinterpretation of Koran?’ …Or were they Muslims fed with a radical mentality from birth?
The five were held from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Old Delhi. Among them were a Muslim man and his wife who were detained from Naya Sahar in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
The raids were conducted in Bikaner and other parts of Rajasthan, including Jaipur, based on intelligence inputs, Bikaner Superintendent of Police Ashok Rathore told PTI.
He added that no names were being revealed yet due to security reasons but stated that the raids were still on.
Seconds after he was loaded into the truck and the door closed, an Associated Press reporter heard the sound of a slap from inside the vehicle and a shriek of pain from Nabil.You know what that will mean for Kareem. He will be tortured in prison. He likely already is being tortured. If you would like to do something about this, I suggest writing to the Egyptian Embassy. The link is here. Maybe together, we can make a small difference.
*UPDATE** Please see updates to this story here.
*UPDATE 2** can be located here The date of this story was changed so it remains on the front page for a longer time.
***** 18th February, 2007: Yet another chapter has been added to the list of terrorist attacks committed on the Indian transportation system. While politicians now appear to have decided to comment with even greater caution as to the content of their own remarks on the atrocity, the MSM (Mainstream Media) has somehow tried to further their censorship of such comments by politicians, with the result that the real picture is increasingly mired in thick fog. Verbal tricks now commonly being deployed among the Western MSM, such as the remark that "a person of South Asian origin" was behind the terrorist attack, continues as ever to evade and obscure the real issues at hand. But still the question remains: what is really happening? This question will remain unanswered satisfactorily until vast sections of the media stop defending the real terrorists, and until politicians stop their continual hesitation in discussing global terrorism from behind a thick veil of political correctness. The following documentation will take you inside the untold story of the "blast in Samjhauta Express," and will address existing differences among media reports, and what they certainly forgot to tell. This is not the first time that Indian railways have come under attack from terrorist and radical elements. To begin with, we list a chronology of attacks provided by the MSM on this very issue:
July 11, 2006: 185 people were killed in seven bomb explosions at rail stations and on trains in Mumbai.
March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai killed 11 persons.
June 22, 1999: A powerful explosion rocked the New Jalpaiguri railway station killing at least nine passengers, including two Indian soldiers headed for
The above provided chronology, a chronology available on almost every media site, can easily be located at the following URLs: (Times of India; NDTV.com; Washington Post) Almost every Indian, including Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Sikhs, is openly condemning this terror attack. Moderate Muslims are also victims of terrorism, because if they disagree with the Jihadists, then such radical elements will attack them as well. However, the terrorism cited is taking place in Hindu-majority India. When the media focuses on radical Hindu groups, but pays less attention to the radical Islamic groups, this gives an extra reason for moderate Muslim groups not to speak out. As an individual from India, I will document the situation as I interpret it. I hope the following will enlighten you about an India that you may not have yet explored. If you were to ask me to explain the attack on Samjhauta express, then I will say not just that it is a terrorist atrocity like others, but also thus:
If you ignore one massacre, there will be another soon waiting to happen.
In line with this, this episode is unfortunately not something new happening on Indian trains. Just look at a few descriptive words from the horrific Samjhota Express tragedy: On the train, many feared to be dead, bodies were charred beyond reorganisation, disturbing their peace process, heinous crime, bottles of explosives, screaming, struggling to get out of fire stricken carriages… Put these floating words next to perhaps any Hindu, or a person well aware of Indian history, and he will give you an account of an incident that took place on 27th February, 2002. Unfortunately, this same incident has been missed out on altogether in the above chronologies. Perhaps the MSM saw that an attack on Hindus was not a terrorist attack, thus becoming the latest addition to the Indian brand of "Negationism"? However, the manner in which the recent Samjhota Express terror attack was reported is yet another example of why Hindu Indians are losing faith in their government. But the government will claim it is only "Hindu radicals" that are losing faith in the Indian National Congress-led government. Anger is not only growing towards the Indian government, but also towards the West. A typical Indian thinks that these kinds of cover-ups and endless submissive posturing to certain Islamic interest groups owes in large part to Western pressures, and wonders why India does not take action against terrorist organisations inside Pakistan-organised Kashmir. A recent NDTV poll shows that Indians thinks the West uses double standards in dealing with terror. While Indians have faced terrorist attacks continuously for decades, western commentators seem unwilling to sympathise with the pain of India, as in the case of documentaries like Obsession, where they just skipped any reference to the Indian experience. People have been murdered, and an unbearable pain exists in hearts of relatives and friends of those murdered victims. But the question arises: how do you begin to define this human pain? In the case of the "Samjhauta Express," the Indian government has accepted that there was a security loophole. In case of the Godhra train burning, we got thousands of conspiracy theories. Are moderate Muslims ready to accept the comment of Laloo Prasad Yadav that it was just a security loophole, or will they also think of the inter-religious hate that Muslims direct towards non-Muslims? If the Indian government even speaks from security loophole point, then why was there little or no discussion about the security of Indians after the Mumbai bomb blast? Why were fire-extinguishers not installed in Indian trains after the Godhra incident? Various other questions include ones such as whether Panipat was strategically chosen. If it was, then why is the media not speaking of it? Why did the blast occur in an ultra-sensitive security zone? How did the blast occur? Who was behind the attack? All of the answers are hidden inside Godhra train burning incident, the same incident that was brutally ripped off from terror attack chronologies. Perhaps Americans should learn from this that if they do not defend themselves against 9/11 conspiracy theories, they will also end up with similar fates, with no one to remember victims of 9/11, except all those who curse Americans for their war against terror. The media has chosen the option of sidelining 9/11. So to see what is really missing in media commentaries, and what politicians really want to hide, let us drill into Godhra.
The Godhra Train Burning Incident occurred in the town of Godhra in the Indian state of Gujarat at 0630 hrs on 27 February 2002. A train named the "Sabarmati Express" caught fire right after it left the train station. One of the coaches (Coach #S6) that was set on fire was occupied by Hindu religious pilgrims called Kar Sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya. 58 Hindu pilgrims including 15 women and 20 children were burnt alive in the train coach. It is said that intelligence agencies were aware of an impending disaster as the areas around the small town of Godhra were by then already called mini-Pakistan. Americans must equate this to those 9/11 conspiracies theories which place blame back on America. Coach S6 was completely gutted by the fire. The fire happened during an attack by a Muslim mob following an altercation between the Hindu pilgrims and local Muslims when the train was in platform. People, who are unaware of the background, should understand that term "mini Pakistan" was a term coined at a time when Islamabad had a stronghold of terrorists, and radical Islamic elements were openly taking roads in Karachi and Islamabad. These Islamists were contributing to worldwide demonstrations of calls of "death to America, death to Israel, death to India." The areas which were full of people sympathizing and contributing in those death call missions were known as mini-Pakistan. The Tribune reported:
As the train left Godhra station, one of the miscreants who had boarded it, pulled the chain alarm after some time to halt the train a km away. It was here that a large number of stone-pelting [Muslim] miscreants set the coach ablaze by throwing petrol bombs and dousing it with kerosene and petrol.
Setting Frame around Godhra train burning incident
Initial investigations led to the suspicion that a planned conspiracy was behind the train burning, rather than a spontaneous reaction. In 2003, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Gujarat Police moved the session's court in Godhra to invoke provisions of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) against all 123 accused in the case, including seven who were out on bail. On February 6, 2003, Maulana Hussein Umarji a Muslim leader of the Deobandi sect of Islamic Fundamentalism in Godhra, was arrested. The police alleged that he was the prime conspirator in the train burning. His arrest followed the confessional statement of Jabir Binyamin Behera, an accused who was arrested on January 22. For those who are unaware, Deobandi sect of Islam also represents the Talibani movement. Behera confessed that around 11.30 p.m. on the previous night he was present on the ground floor of a guest house when other suspects arrived on a scooter and initiated the first meeting. Allegedly, the strategy was to launch an attack at the slightest provocation from the Kar Sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya. The same night, the conspirators collected 140 litres of fuel from a local petrol pump and stored it at a guest house. They also had instructions from Umarji, who had advanced information on the position of the Kar Sevaks on the Sabarmati Express and specifically told them to target Coach S6 of the train. The confession further went that a second meeting was held around midnight after which a co-conspirator named Paanwala allegedly left for the railway station to check on the train's arrival time. After learning that the train was late, they scrapped their original plan of a pre-dawn attack. In his confession Behera says it was Umarji ( equivalent figure to the Mayor of London, who had supported Mega Mosque project) who advised him against surrendering to the police. The investigators considered Umarji(leader of the Deobandi-Tablighi Jamaat) a "big catch" since the mob that burnt bogie S6 was mainly composed of people from the Ghanchi community, a majority of whom were followers of the Deobandi sect. It was also suggested that foreign Islamic terrorists were involved in the act thus necessitating the invocation of POTA. In September, the investigations changed course with the naming of Razzak Kurkur, a hotelier from the Muslim-dominated Signal Falia area, as an accused. It was then claimed that though a huge mob was involved in the attack, the actual train burning was the handiwork of a core team of twenty. By the end, the findings of Godhra were suffering the conspiracies theories, like the vast conspiracies theories in case of 9/11. The defense lawyers of the accused argued against the theories of the SIT, alleging that the charge sheets did not mention that the accused were active participants in the burning, and that the confessions needed to be backed up by sufficient evidence. The SIT report has also been questioned for apparent inconsistencies, such as the speed at which the petrol fuel was delivered to the attack site, and the lack of witnesses. Frontline reports on Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Gujarat Police findings:
SIT called a press conference to reiterate its conspiracy theory. Rakesh Asthana, who heads the SIT. He maintains that the plan to torch the train was masterminded during meetings at the Aman Guest House, owned by Razak Kurkur, who allegedly heads a local criminal gang involved in railway crimes. ... the actual operation was conducted by six people, who cut open the vestibule and entered the coach, opened the doors of the compartment and poured 120 litres of petrol (each person supposedly carried a 20-litre jerry can) before jumping out. Then, burning rags were thrown into the compartments through the windows. The SIT's main evidence is a court confession by Zabir Bin Yameen Behra, one of those who allegedly entered coach S-6. Behra first gave details of how the plan was hatched. Later, he went back on the testimony, saying the police forced him to depose before the court.
The reaction from both governments suggests the prime suspects might be groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad - the main Islamic militant groups, who have been blamed for many high-profile bombings, says the BBC's Jill McGivering.They further added:
Recent attacks on Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi, for example, seemed designed to damage India's image abroad and stoke anti-Pakistan feeling inside India. But the fact that so many of the dead on the train were Pakistani Muslims may indicate that the devices were intended for a different target, or exploded prematurely, she says.For sure, I must appreciate the BBC's lead in this coverage, for accepting the truth of Islamic militancy, but is name-mangling a solution to Islam-o-phobia? Is it helping the world to fight global terrorism? Is it a crime if you openly blame Wahhabi or Salafi ideology instead of covering up things in tags like "South Asian"? Let's connect various news sources to understand why Panipat was chosen.
Dissecting Panipat Geographically
Panipat lies in Indian State Haryana, bordering another Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
This area is also famous for high crime rates; since criminals found it a haven in escaping to the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh (Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are divided by river Yamuna). The crime rate in that area soars even higher than that of Jammu and Kashmir. The 2003 records are available here from across the Yamuna region. From 2003 onwards, there were some new promotion policies under which a police officer is promoted if the crime rate goes down. This started a new trend, and if you go to police station in western UP (trans-Yamuna from Panipat) to report a crime, they will be reluctant to register your report. As soon as a criminal cross this river, he in a different state, served by different rules, observed by different police, and also a different kind of lawlessness. In short, if you do a crime one side of the river, just go to the other side and it becomes the rhetorical completion of a pilgrimage to Mecca; you are sin-free again. There are open borders, so there is no fear of border agents controlling militants crossing inside Haryana. The ability to return back to the other state is applicable; it may vary from a few months or sometimes a year. Indian police usually stores its data in registers (not electronic, but paper registers), and after few years these registers are dumped in some preservative room to store the data of crime for future use, perhaps for some statistical survey. Unlike western Islamofascists, Indian Islamofascists don't have to flee the country, but rather just have to cross the state borders to secure themselves. If you are in India, and break some rule, now you know the trick as to how to get off scot-free. In discussing Godhra riots, we came across the Deobandi sect of Islam. If one crosses the river Yamuna from Panipat, you are in a stronghold of Deobandis, the Indian district of Muzaffarnagar. This district also came to light last year with the Imrana rape case. Deoband, the origin of Deobandi sect of Islam, is one of the neighbouring cities to Muzaffarnagar. This district also came in light last year with Imrana Rape case. Deoband, the origin place of Deobandi sect of Islam, is one of neighbouring cities from Muzaffarnagar.
Historical significance of Panipat and neighbourhood
Panipat in itself is famous for various historical battles, but the historical significance here is with respect to Deobandi, which lies on the other side of Yamuna, and is a stronghold in the neighbouring areas of Panipat. These areas are Sonipat, Muzaffarnagar, Deoband, Meerut and so on. In recent years it has been observed that various Deobandi madrassas have popped up in this area, including in Panipat.
Note: You may have also observed Deobandi Madrassas popping up in your cities too. The Mega Mosque Project from London is also a Deobandi project, as Tablighi Jammat is an umbrella group from the Deobandi sect.
In fact, the Deobandi movement in itself started from among neighbouring areas of Panipat, like the Saharanpur district (holding Deoband city), or Muzaffarnagar (an active participant in the 1857 mutiny) or Meerut. The Deobandi movement was an outcome after failure of 1857 Mutiny to save the Mughal Caliphate, which also started from this localized zone. More about this can be found here. (BBC; Sepoy Mutiny)
Joining the data available from various news sources about the Samjhauta incident
Samjhauta Express, which the media has advertised as the "Friendship Express" has one more meaning. Samjhauta also means deal. But these differences are merely of words, like that of Islam's meaning: does it mean peace (or does it mean surrender?).
In any case, the necessary condition you must fulfil to board on "Deal Express" is to get a passport (valid or fake) with a visa stamped in it (i.e. visa of the country you are bound to travel).
These conditions can be easily fulfilled by general passengers, as well as terrorists. The terrorist is then welcome to board the train to enter the country of Kufirs, the gateway of Paradise.
Some ex-terrorists have previously revealed how they travelled across the border using valid passports through the Samjhauta Express. This news from 6th January 2006 is still available in archives here:
With the "war on terror" taking its hold over south Asia, Pakistan seems to be serious for the first time about holding a peace deal. We may never know: is it due to intense international pressure or because now Pakistanis slowly understanding that radical Muslims are enemies of whole human civilizations?
With this in mind, on 18 February 2007, some terrorist (we don't know the nationality, nor religion as yet), with all documents (valid or fake), joined the journey of Samjhata Express which was packed with a majority of Pakistani Muslims, a minority of Indian Muslims and six security personnel. The train was set bound towards Atari with one technical halt in between (it is not clear whether it was Ambala or Ludhiana).
The terrorist managed to enter the train with 4 or 5 suitcase-bombs (it is difficult to get exact figure from documentations, as some say five suitcases). Each suitcase-bomb includes an electronic timer encased in clear plastic and packed next to more than a dozen plastic bottles containing a cocktail of fuel oils and chemicals. Of these, two exploded.
Before the blast, two men (or perhaps even as many as five) managed to jump out of the train near Dewana (which falls under Panipat district) as the train slowed down near Dewana station. These two suspects engaged in a heated argument with the personnel of Railway Protection Force for about 20 minutes. This took place 15 minutes before the blast.
After going through Dewana station, the train speeds up the engines. The man controlling the signals at Dewana station noticed a fire in the back compartments of the train and ran to the control signals to stop the train.
AP wire quoted: "Alerted to the blast by a railway worker, assistant station manager Vinod Kumar Gupta emerged from his trackside house and said he "saw flames leaping out of the windows.""
The train was already in speed of around 80-100 kms/hr, and then the sudden breaking induced a loud noise. Due to this noise, villagers from near by area gathered and had tried to extinguish the fire. The train halted about 1 km away from when the noise first started.
Awakened by the screeching of brakes, villagers in Sewah, just up the tracks from Dewana, rushed to douse the fire and save whomever they could.
"I opened my shop and grabbed buckets," said Satish Sharma, a 33-year-old store owner who sprinted up the dirt road toward the tracks, past the small temple to the Hindu god Shiva.
"We threw bucket and bucket on the train but the flames grew higher - we could do nothing," he said. "I could smell the people being burned - I wanted to vomit."
The intense heat had sealed shut at least one door in the forward coach, and the windows were barred, trapping passengers inside. At least another dozen died in the rear coach, from whom authorities said 20 to 25 people managed to escape through an open door, some jumping out with their clothes on fire.
"Fire trucks arrived about 45 minutes later. Within two hours, the two damaged coaches - now little more than blackened hulls on wheels - were pushed off to a siding."
What was left behind was the death of many innocents, and for sure moderate Muslims. But the incident has raised many other questions too.
MOVING BACK TO GODHRA
By now we know that a suitcase packed with kerosene bottles can burn a train compartment.
A big suitcase can carry 10 to 15 bottles (1 litters Bottles as shown by police officials).
Thus the outcome is: two suitcases carrying less then 25 liters of kerosene (each) were enough to burn a whole train compartment.
The Fire brigade was also arrived after 45 minutes, and when the fire was extinguished.
The BBC further describes the scene by quote :
The BBC's Soutik Biswas, at the scene, said the heat of the flames had peeled the blue paint off the coaches, and oil and cinders covered the tracks.
But in case of Godhra, Mr. Laloo Parsad (Railway Minister) presented a enquiry report, says that the train coaches are designed as “fire-proof”. Tribune India
A Tribune archive from above quoted links says..
“The team, headed by Justice U.C. Bannerjee, held meetings with the General Manager, Mr Mohammad Sirajjudin. The team members were given details about the chemicals and procedures involved in making fire-proof coaches. The members discussed the factors that could have been responsible for the fast spread of fire in the coaches of Sabarmati Express.”
Further another archive information about Godhra (located here) says:
“With the elimination of the ‘petrol theory’, ‘miscreant activity theory’ as well as ruling out of any possibility of ‘electrical fire’, the fire in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express can at this stage be ascribed as an ‘accidental fire’,” the committee said in its interim report which was submitted by Justice Banerjee to the Railway Board Chairman R.K. Singh. The committee was appointed by the UPA Government in September last year at the instance of Railway Minister Laloo Prasad.”
Unfortunately, the description of the Samjhauta Express with regards to peeled-off blue paint, oil and cinders speak volumes about the fire-proof standards of Indian trains. Perhaps the Fraud section under this link describing fire-proofing explains it well.
Some more important points to notice are:
- The Godhra incident includes burning of one train compartment with 120 to 140 litres of petroleum. In the case of Samjhauta Express it took less than 25 litres of kerosene.
- There were attempts to extinguish the flames by villagers and they were joined by fire brigade after 45 minutes. In the case of Godhra, there was no fire brigade for a long time. The first thing security personnel were concerned with was with moving Muslim mobs back. By this time groups of Hindus had burnt to death in the Godhra train burning incident.
We do know that Laloo is giving a compensation of one million Indian rupees ($22,690) to each victim, which is perhaps the largest sum of money any terror victim has received from the Indian government. We also know that Laloo vote bank is Muslim. We don't say that he should not contribute this way in helping victims, or that he should not think of his vote bank; however, can't he provide a bit of respect to those who died in Godhra train burning incident also? Bloomberg
Although terrorists are trying their best to provoke Hindu Muslims into fighting, what is especially troubling is what Indian politicians are trying to prove by brutally cleaning history. When they speak cautiously, why not also take caution that victims of Godhra also don't get hurt due to their dirty politics?
Some questions that arise
Owing to the proximity of the Samjhauta bombing to the Kasuri Peace visit, it seems quite likely that someone really against this peace process undertook the Samjhauta bombing. The organizations most to lose from this peace process are the terrorist organisations from Kashmir. When the "war on terror" gets close and tight, the terrorist outlet finds it hard to sustain their activities.
And everything else roams around a region, which is close to the hub of Deobandis. Questions to ask: why do terrorist usually take shelter in mosques? In this case, why had terrorist choosen this specific location for escaping, a location which takes them only towards the hub of Deobandis?
Are the terrorists radical Hindus? If the government says it can't be ruled out, then who am I to say anything against it? But a logical question still remains: why would radical Hindus choose 18th Feburary 2007, when waiting a week would provide a reason in the form of the 5th anniversary of Godhra riots?
Some more data to be concerned with
The Tablighi Jammat is now expanding its work in the West. The Indian counterpart is given to SIMI. With the help of corrupted Indian politicians, SIMI don't need to feast at all. SIMI was believed to be linked to the Mumbai bomb blast last year. The terrorist organisation SIMI has had to face terrible shocks due to their linkage with that bombing, but ever since then, why have Indian politicians taken all charges back against radical organisations like SIMI (in Hindi only)?
We will never know really what the majority of politicians around South Asia are cooking up, but we do know that this will affect our lives, as well as lives of moderate Muslims.
This is a question for the sake of survival. After every Islamic terrorist attack, news channels broadcast a special series of article, which are typically entitled "Muslims feel the heat". Instead of condemning the terror openly, the media always tries to give a shelter to terrorists so they can hide behind words of ambiguity. Under the unknown truth about Samjhauta Express, questions still prevail:
Was it a Hindu radical who utilised the gateway, the same gateway Indian politicians had provided to terrorists via "Deal Express", so that he could check terrorist inflow inside India?
Or was it an Islamofascist, who was devastated with "war on terror" and the "peace process", and thus looked to attack the "Friendship Express"?
Whomever it was, I am sure that now Muslims feel the heat. I hope that Moderate Muslim world got a lesson, a lesson that our society is really polarized. The polarisation of society started from Islamic mosques and madrassas, which are making the world unsafe for all. If they really want to live in peace, then they should stop promoting radical mentalities inside their mosques, by speaking loudly against radical mullahs.
As for Indian politicians, please stop brutally cleaning the history of India. We do know what "Samjhauta" means in Islam. So before making any "Peace Deal", do read Koran SURA 9:5
So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
I hope that Pakistan's approach for peace is really meant for peace instead of "Samjhauta" (deal). But what they call peace, we call it surrender. The democratic world wants the Muslim world to throw away those Hate Suras, if they are really looking forward towards a peaceful world. But before signing the new peace pact book, you may need to actually stop teaching your children hate.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
- Pakistan blamed India for the recent attack, saying India did not employ adequate security. (source) Meanwhile, the BJP party in India blamed Pakistan, saying the attack was an attempt to stick a "made in India" label on Pakistan's homegrown terror. (source)
- Pakistan has called for a joint investigation into the attack, and India has turned down the request for this, but said they will share findings with Islamabad. (source)
- India and Pakistan just signed a nuclear pact with each other. (source)
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Friday, February 9, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Does the Koran say “Muslims, you are required to turn whatever state you are living in, even if it is a Kafir state, into an Islamic state”? Answer: No, of course not, and I would never said it does. The Koran was written at a time when Muhammad was preaching directly to a specific group of followers. It didn’t quite anticipate a worldwide ummah, where some Muslims would be living in Islamic states, and some would not. But what is considered a legitimate grounds for war under Islam? Answer: That is a very tough question, and one that could fill thousands of pages even attempting an answer. I do not think the Koran or any Islamic documents are clear on this. And this absolutely does leave room for Jihadists to claim there are grounds for a global jihad. It also leaves room for moderates to claim “No! The only jihad should be the jihad to be a better person! The West has NOT acted in aggression against Islam, and in fact, we should be working with the West!” And so yes, there is room for moderates in that respect. But there is also room for jihadists. And even the moderates have to contend with a religion that, if taken literally, is wrong in places, calls for a system of dhimmitude, treats women as second class citizens, does not exactly treat apostates kindly, and of course is not exactly friendly to gays, either. That’s literal Islam. This is not a ‘moderate’ faith. But it also is not necessarily a faith that necessarily calls for a global Jihad. So how can moderation happen? First, moderates have to call an end to global Jihad, which can be accomplished with and without Koranic literalism. Secondly, in order for modern and egalitarian Islamic states to exist, reformers must call an end to Koranic literalism.How many Muslims are doing this today? Answer: very, very, VERY few. I can think of Irshad Manji and the singer Deeyah. How many others are out there like her? Hardly any. This is a very real problem, and we in the West MUST acknowledge this. UPDATE: My debate with LouLou led me to make this conclusion:
The history of Islam is one of Islamic imperialism, followed by slow decline and defeat. That is the ultimate, broad-brush stroked history of Islam. At the height of the Caliphate, Europe was in the midst of its Middle Ages, and so from a comparative fashion, the Islamic Caliphate was the height of learning and knowledge. Of course, this was also because of the conquest of the Byzantine and Indian Empires, and the resultant scholars who were captured as dhimmis. That is not to say that Muslims did not make their own contributions, but it is important to note that pre-Islamic Arabia was not exactly known for its contributions to the world of science, art, and learning. The Koran, after all, did not magically give Arabian Muslims knowledge of math, science and art out of thin blue sky. Muslims are proud of this history, and they should be. However, they (and by they, I mean the majority, though not all) refuse to acknowledge the very real contributions to their culture from the dhimmis. In short, this history is also the source of the problems. What is the proof that Islam is right? The ultimate proof Muhammad gave was that he won battles. This was the ultimate proof of the “truth” of Islam. (angels supposedly helped Muhammad and the Muslims fight these battles) And so, when Muslims lose battles, and when their civilization declines and falls…one of three reasons must be attributed to it. a) Muslims lost because they are not “Islamic” enough, and not worthy of winning. (thus, more fundamentalism is the answer) b) Muslims lost because they were vanquished by supernatural forces. (aka, Jews and Christians really are “apes and pigs,” or subhuman, or superhuman, and the like) c) Muslims lost because they were not prepared in battle, didn’t have the right skills to win, the other side was more prepared, etc etc etc. (the last reason is rational) But the problem with accepting the LAST reason as a reason for defeat is that this also partially revokes the foundation of Islam, which was “proven” correct through Muhammad’s victory in battle. Thus, admitting defeat is not really an option. Of course, for some people, it is an option. Sandmonkey, or instance, is fine with accepting Israel and admitting the existence of reality. But please note that the rise of the forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” all sorts of blood libels, and Hitler-esque lies about the Jews started when Jews started becoming successful in what was then Palestine. Decades prior to the State of Israel becoming a reality, Jews were making the desert bloom. And Hajj Amin Al Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Arafat’s mentor) was not happy. So he worked with the Nazis in order to elliminate the Jews. Link about this. It should be noted that the PLO hence has its roots in not only Nazism, but also a mufti who was most certainly NOT secular. I also wanted to note that the Ba’ath party too has Nazi foundations. Actually, the “secular” pan-Arabist movements has very extensive ties to Nazism. I do not know if you are aware of this, but it is a historical fact. This is partly why I am probably one of the few Jews who prefers Hamas to Fatah, as Hamas is openly genocidal, while Fatah pretends to be “moderate,” but really is a (literally) Nazi organization with roots in the Third Reich. In short, the problem here is accepting defeat, more than anything. The problem is Arab pride. But Islam as a religion is one that reinforces Arab pride, as it is an Arabian religion that is steeped in the Bedouin culture. And of course, another huge problem is hypocrisy. Islamic expansionism and imperialism is totally cool…but when the West defeats Islam, it is seen as a sort of abomination…with no similar indictment for what Muslims had done in prior years throughout history and even today. (this is more of a leftist problem, but many Western Muslims use this as their excuse for their anger) And so, there is this yearning for a past that never quite was, and for the humiliation of the kafir and mushrikeen that ironically helped to create the very Islamic Caliphate that is being hailed as the height of world civilization. Does Islamism play into this all as part of the problem? Absolutely. Have ’secular’ Arabs also been causing problems? Yes, but you have to look at why they are espousing what they are espousing, and the roots of their discontent. These roots are in Arab Pride, and the roots of this are in Islamic history, the roots of THAT being in the Bedouin culture. And so what is necessary to change all this? Will changing a book be enough? I agree with you, LouLou, absolutely not. The roots of the problem here are much, much, greater. But it’s clear that that little book, the Koran, is also feeding into the problem. Of course, there could be two kinds of Muslims… One type of Muslim live his life by the sword and values tribalism and conquest. For such a Muslim, the “proof” of Islam being correct is seen in the conquests of Muhammad. For this type of Muslim, any sort of defeat cannot ever be accepted, and Islamic terrorism naturally will be the “cure” for what is plaguing his society. The Koran, if literally taken, does justify these thoughts, but the problem is not with the Koran, but that mentality to begin with. Another type of Muslim does not value violence as a normative matter (simply in the values such a person was raised with), and hence doesn’t see the “proof” of Islam being correct in Muhammad’s victory in battle. Rather, the “proof” would be from when Muhammad made extra dates appear for a little girl, and whatnot. These people will still go out of their way to find peaceful interpretations of Islam, because they are peaceful by nature. However, it is my contention that the religion of Islam is not peaceful by nature, and that it requires work to actually get to these interpretations. It is rather these people who are peaceful by nature. This explains why there actually are peaceful Muslims out there. (I don’t deny that and never did!) In short, LouLou, thinking about it, I think you have a point that the overall problem is Arab culture, not the religion of Islam. However, as I noted, Islam, being an Arabian religion, feeds into this culture. Why, however, are so many young Muslims turning to extremism? I think the answer is Arab oil money. Who is funding many of these mosques? Answer: Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is funding mosques and schools and imparting their harsh Bedouin culture upon generations of young Muslims, across the world. The ultimate way to de-radicalize Muslims is to take away the money supply for their radicalism. This means finding alternative energy sources and not relying on oil as we do.I hope you all enjoyed reading this long debate I have had with Craig and LouLou. Cheers, Red Tulips
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Friday, February 2, 2007
Publication Date for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published on Saturday 21st July 2007 at 00:01 BST in the UK and at 00:01 in the USA. It will also be released at 00:01 BST on Saturday 21st July in other English speaking countries around the world.