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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Musharraf on Kashmir settlement

Musharraf sees early Kashmir settlement

May God help the dream of a peaceful subcontinent come to fruition.

It can happen with one stroke of a pen. It is incredible how relations can normalize with one bold move.

People are fickle, China was a hated nation once, until Nixon signed the pact; Russia was an evil empire once, until the Berlin wall came down; Germany and France fought a 1000 years war until they realized the futility; Ireland and England hated each other until the pact was signed... It is time for India and Pakistan to do it; it is time for Israel and Palestine to do it.

Leadership in both India and Pakistan had been spineless, neither of them had the vision to put things behind and move on.

We cannot pass the buck to the next generation, we have done that for 3 generations, and we cannot dump our problems to the next generation any more. Leaders (were they really?) of both the nations were afraid to make the bold decision, as they were not sincere about peace.

The people of India and Pakistan want peace and they will accept a bold decision if the leaders have the guts, vision and capability to spell it out to the people.


"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy... Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.… Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." -- Goethe

"There is a clear distinction between doubts and problems. Doubts provoke obstruction, frustration and discouragement, where as problems inspire motivation, action and diligence. " -- Dr. Abdul Hamid Abusulayman

I do hope our nations come to terms, and get it over with.


Musharraf sees early Kashmir settlement
http://www.dawn.com/2007/04/26/top2.htm


MADRID, April 25: President Pervez Musharraf has said that the world may see the resolution of Kashmir dispute earlier than expected.

“A reasonable progress on this account has already been achieved,” President Musharraf said while addressing the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Spanish Congress on Wednesday.

He said military option was not the answer to the problem. The option of using force to settle bilateral disputes between Pakistan and India had never worked, he said.

He said people of both the countries wanted peace and harmony so that their resources and energies could be utilised in the socio-economic sector.

He said the two countries had taken several confidence-building measures, but the CBMs alone would not be enough to achieve the objective of peace and normalisation of their relations.

The two countries must move towards conflict resolution, the president emphasised.

He termed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a credible leader and a man of peace who supported Pakistan’s strong desire for the settlement of the Kashmir issue considering it a main cause of tension.

He emphasised the need for the world to deal with crucial issues like terrorism.

President Musharraf said elections would be held in the country this year on time.

He also spoke about Pakistan’s efforts towards peace in Afghanistan and acceptance of the offer by the Turkish prime minister to host talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Ankara later this week.

About Iran’s nuclear programme, the president said Pakistan was looking forward to a peaceful solution to the problem.

Addressing a gathering of overseas Pakistanis, the president said Pakistan had to eliminate extremism and terrorism, which were eating into the foundation of the society. He said the nation had to create harmony and balance in the society to ensure progress and prosperity of the people.

The president said the government was negotiating with Spain for opening a consulate in Barcelona and to starting direct flights between the two countries.

President Musharraf awarded state medals to six Spanish military personnel and eight civilians in recognition of their aid work after the October 20005 earthquake.—Agencies

President Bush, please resign

Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and Dr. Rice, Please resign in good faith, before you have to.


Mike Ghouse, April 25, 2007


Bill Moyer's documentary was perhaps shocking to the nation, but to many it wasn't. Most People knew the truth or suspected the deliberate wrongdoings of our Administration. I am ashamed of our journalists who had acted as though they were working for a tin pot dictator and reported what was dished out to them. I am ashamed of our President and his gang for betraying us. What is that they wanted to accomplish for the Americans, in the name of Americans? Can we trust them?


Is Mr. Bush is going to Veto the funding bill today? He should consider gracefully resigning and protecting the honor of presidency and bringing our boys and girls back home. We need to trust the Iraqi people to manage their own affairs, they will not beat the record of our President, killing a Million of them and 3000 of our sons and daughters.
It was good to see the honest remorse by the biggest in the industry. I may have missed Ted Koppel, but it was good to see Tim Russet, Phil Donahue and all those journalists from Knight -Ridder. I really wish they had resecued our nations four years ago, knowing what they knew.

On the SAJA forum, several times, I have charged American Journalists as gutless and shameless sycophants, who have no loyalty to the truth or no desire to find the truth but work for the masters. Phil Donahue was fired for being truthful and years ago, Ted Koppel had talked on C-Span that he could not report the truth from Jerusalem during Intifada; his bosses told him what to put out.

Dallas Morning News published my letter about Representative Murtha; I will dig in and search for my notes since 2001. Thanks God, I have started blogging and most of my comments are preserved now.

Should we put responsibility of 3300 American deaths and 1 Million Iraqi deaths and 3 Million dislocations on Mr. Bush? Let’s get the hell out of Iraq; they will not kill as many people as our leadership had them killed.

We need to let the world and the Iraqi people know that the only individuals to blame the mess in there is our President, vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State departments, and not the Americans. Just like the people in Iraq and other nations, we the Americans did not have a voice, those few who did, got muffled and were called unpatriotic. Our media ganged up with our administration to keep our voices subdued and we understand and empathise with you, when you say you do not have a voice. We owe an apology to you.
We got our freedom back after three years of suppression and fear, Tuesday, November 7, 2006. It was the day of true freedom for America and Americans. We got rid of the sycophants on that day and brought in people who would speak up for America. Every one got their voice back.

Mike Ghouse for America







Here are the four pieces preserved on the net;


Freedom at Midnight
November 7, 2006

http://mikeghouse.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/12/freedom-at-midnight.htm





On the night of Tuesday, November 7, upon the news that Democrats won the house, I took a deep breath and said to myself "Thank you God, freedom at last". The emotion I felt was very similar to the one when Nelson Mandela was released and given his God given freedom.

Our forefathers had designed one of the best systems of Governance in the world. With pure checks and balances to prevent individuals becoming fierce and frightening to the general public.
One may not agree with it, but I do know most of the free spirited Americans were choked. Hell, the 435 congress persons and 100 Senators dare not come of out the rat holes. They were as scared to speak out against that fiery man should they be labeled un-patriotic. Our man got every one by their balls, that's how scared America was.

Unilateralism is the stepping stone to Fascism. Our man Bush was about to step up from the first step to the next. I believe in God and I have full faith in the free spirited America, thanks to them and thank God, our nation was saved on the night of November 7, 2006. A historic re-start for America.

The essence of freedom is the ability to question every thing . American Media has never questioned our President's statements for the last several years, it is always like Government run or Business run press. No one dared asked him the questions. With the exception of Public Radio and Television, we do not have a free press when it comes to the international issues, we have businesses's that run news and are funded and influenced by advertisers. We have to accept that.

November 7th has changed it all. All those scared rats are out of the hole and are speaking up now. The Americans brought the freedom back to the defenders of the freedom, the Media. You can see the difference in what and how they talk on the television prior to November 7th and now.

The Free press Icon, Ted Koppel spoke up on Fox or CNN recently and I sighed deeply with gratitude, thanks to my fellow Americans, we are getting to the era of free press now. Now, I do not agree with David Duke, he is an opportunist and racist, but he was "allowed" to speak on CNN, that is the good thing, let us Americans get different points of view and then decide what is right or wrong. Let them boys be news disseminators and not tell us what to believe.

David is a hated guy and although he is wrong, he has brought freedom back to our Media.

The Exec, the Judiciary and the legislature should not be run by the same gang of rules. Let it be run by different parties so we do not make unilateral decisions and regret. The supreme court judges should be free from any party affiliations, and our media should be relabeled into Free Press and Paid for Press.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=808f230b49
http://www.corvuswire.com/wolf-duke.htm
CNN's Wolf Blitzer versus David Duke - video on YouTube.Com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v2f-WC4cjo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WPYpbVzVoQ
http://www.rense.com/general74/comabt.htm
ttp://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15896.htm


Freedom at last
Message #3385 - Thu Nov 9, 20068:22 am :
WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com

Thanks God, we can speak now and you can read now.

Freedom at last! Thanks God, democracy is re-stored in America today. The unilateralism and fascism was frightening. People were scared to talk. Even the Senators and Congressman from both Isles were scared to speak up. The Fascism was flushing the democratic values of our nation, and with the same mouth in our behalf we were hypocritically talking about imposing democracy else where. The Journalist rats did not have the guts to even ask a question.... shame on them. Except Keith Doberman, no journalist dare pursue the question, where are the facts? No, the world did not hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our unilateral impositions, they hated for our hawkish arrogance.

Representative Murtha was the only one who had the balls to speak up and ask questions. He must be honored for persevering to preserve the democracy in our nation. It takes guts, the 334 other congressmen and 100 Senators did not have that... they were scared of being labeled un-patriotic.

A few of us spoke, against the advise that I may be thrown in the jail, I was willing to go there and write a book, my mentors had done the same - Gandhi, Mandela, Nehru, MLK.

I have always trusted Americans to do the right thing.

God Bless America, Now we speak freely again.

Thank you God.

Mike Ghouse


Let's Get the Hell out of Iraq
Mike Ghouse - January 11, 2007
http://mikeghouse.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/01/let-s-get-the-hell-out-of-iraq.htm

Our People have given a mandate to the Democrats, and certainly have given a clear message to get the hell out of Iraq . Our President has been shielded from the Public far too long now; he just does not see the ratings, the votes and the survey. If he wants to go down in the history as a President who had his own mind, he needs to dump the yes men and women around him.

We have to honor the Iraqi people's right to self determination. Let them figure it out what needs to be done.

It is arrogance on our part to believe that they cannot handle their affairs. I am certain, they can't beat death records in excess of 3000 of our own sons and daughters and 600,000 Iraqis. We should not be responsible for any more deaths, let's get out of there.

Our absence will de-escalate the killings and much of the bloodshed will stop.

The Iraqi's are a very capable people, it is their nation, their society and their lives at stake, and they will take care of it themselves. We need to stop pretending to be the protectors, God is, not us.

ADDED: 1/12/07

Reaction to Presiden't Bush's speech -

Check out the YES MEN below, Cain, Juliani & Ramni, it is because of these men, we are accelrating our mistakes. I hope, our President dumps all the yes men's advice, and find men and women who have the guts to stand up to you to say "Sir, I am afraid, we are wrong". When will they learn to speak up? By the way, I am a Republican and will remain one. Our party is screwed up, but it will get fixed and I hope it would be before 2008. We just need more people to speak up without fear. - Mike Ghouse

Bush's Iraq Plan Meets Skepticism On Capitol Hill
Opposition to Troop Increase Is Bipartisan

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011100437.html?referrer=email

By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff WritersFriday, January 12, 2007; Page A01

President Bush's proposal to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq encountered strong bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill yesterday, and his top national security advisers, dispatched to defend the strategy, were greeted with a skepticism not seen from Congress over the past six years.

Lawmakers said they have little confidencethat the Iraqi government has the capacity to deliver on promises to take the lead in cracking down on violent militias and providing security in Baghdad, as the president's plan contemplates. Democrats and Republicans alike said they are concerned that Bush's plan, announced Wednesday night in a nationally televised prime-time address, is too little and too late and does not appear very different from previous efforts to secure the capital.

Buy This Photo

President Bush is facing opposition from lawmakers of both parties and from the public over his plan. (By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post)
Transcripts
Rice Delivers Remarks Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Rice Delivers Remarks Before House Armed Services Committee
Briefing on President's Iraq Strategy With Pace, Gates, Rice

The Reaction

Statements on President Bush's Iraq speech from potential 2008 presidential candidates:
"As our commanders have said repeatedly, Iraq requires a political solution, not a purely military one, and we did not hear such a proposed solution tonight."-- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)

"I have no doubt that the president is sincere in believing that his strategy is the right one. But escalation has already been tried and it has already failed, because no amount of American forces can solve the political differences that lie at the heart of somebody else's civil war."-- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)

"The new Congress must intercede to stop Bush from stubbornly sticking to the same failed course in Iraq and refuse to authorize funding for an escalation of troops."-- Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.

"I've been calling for the increases, but I believe that this can succeed.I really do. I believe that it's not just an increase in troops; it's a change in strategy."-- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Fox News

"I support the president's increase in troops. Even more importantly, I support the change in strategy - the focus on security and the emphasis on a political and economic solution as being even more important than a military solution."-- Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R)

"I agree with the president: Our strategy in Iraq must change. Our military mission, for the first time, must include securing the civilian population from violence and terror."-- Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R)

The Washington Post
U.S. Congress

Browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sought to assure lawmakers that the plan can work if given time. Gates said he detected a much greater determination from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to go after "all lawbreakers" with "no exceptions." He suggested that the prime minister will confront the militias fueling sectarian violence, including insurgents controlled by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Still, the ferocity of the congressional condemnation dismayed the White House, which had hoped to rebuild an element of bipartisan consensus around Bush's plan. It was further indication that the new Democratic Congress is headed toward a series of potentially epic clashes and floor votes over the conduct and funding of the nearly four-year-old war.

Congressional skepticism is being fueled by the public: A majority of Americans oppose Bush's decision to send more troops, and only one in three said the plan will probably make victory in Iraq more likely, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Rice appeared to be on the receiving end of the toughest grilling yesterday, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Not a single senator from either party expressed support for the president's plan, many posed hostile questions, and others expressed deep doubt about the Bush administration's premise of creating a viable democracy in the heart of the Middle East.
"I've gone along with the president on this, and I bought into his dream," Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) told Rice bluntly. "And at this stage of the game, I don't think it's going to happen."

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) offered a similar assessment. "I have supported you and the administration on the war, and I cannot continue to support the administration's position," he said. "I have not been told the truth over and over again by administration witnesses, and the American people have not been told the truth."

Rice maintained her composure throughout the hearing, which lasted more than three hours, conceding that doubts are warranted but pleading for patience. "I want you to understand that I, personally, too, understand and know the skepticism that is felt about Iraq and indeed the pessimism that some feel," Rice said.

Asked if she has confidence in the Maliki government, Rice said she did, adding: "I think he knows that his government is on borrowed time."

Appearing at Fort Benning, Ga., Bush told soldiers that daily life in Iraq will eventually improve but that his new strategy will not yield immediate results. "The American people have got to understand that suicide bombings won't stop immediately," Bush said. "The IED attacks won't stop immediately."

Administration officials said nothing to suggest that the troops will be coming home any time soon. At a morning news conference, Gates said the increase in troops is being viewed as a "temporary surge" but added: "No one has a really clear idea of how long that might be."

Mike Ghouse

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Musharraf's Legacy

What Legacy Will Musharraf Leave?
Michael Krepon April 19, 2007

Michael, Your column is posted below for our readers.

It is incredible that you and I expounded on similar ideas. Mr. Abdul Kundi, a member of Dallas Pakistanis group wrote an excellent piece about the need for institutions in Pakistan which he posted at DallasPakistanis@yahoogroups.com and as a moderator I wrote a commentary which is incredibly similar to yours. I wrote that on April 2, 2007. Kundi's article has published in Peshawar News and is on the website. http://www.democracyinPakistan.com. My comments were and Kundi's article was also posted at: http://mikeghouse.blogspot.com/search/label/Pakistan.


President Musharraf gave a lot of hope to the people of Pakistan when he took over, but that hope is getting decimated every day. He is not setting up institutions that would bring stability and consistency in governance.

These have to be developed and I do not see the signs of initiation either. They are developed with Ijtihad and consensus, neither of the ideas have seen the foundation laid to it. He can leave a great legacy for Pakistan, if he sets out now. Like all rulers in history, he is beginning to believe that he is immortal and that is betrayal to the future of Pakistan. All the things he has done are great and must be appreciated, but to complete the full circle of goodness, he needs to let the democratic institutions flourish, to his credit he had let the freedom of press survive, but happened with the Dawn was not good, neither the cracking down of the Internet. The two most important of pillars of democracy are; press, judiciary and now Internet.

Pakistan needs a strong leader, an unselfish one who is not hungering for power, but simply there to set up a system and establish institutions. There are many, it is time for them to step up.

I am please to invite more ideas, more thoughts on the idea of creating institutions. I would hope that the news papers, television and cable would expound on this idea. Once you have a good foundation, the occupants and the building will survive

http://mikeghouse.blogspot.com/search/label/Pakistan

Mike Ghouse
SPEAKER - THINKER - WRITER - MODERATOR
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C: (214) 325-1916 - O: (972) 919-4466 - eMail: MikeGhouse@Gmail.com
Office: 2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206, Dallas, TX. 75234

From: Michael Krepon mk@stimson.org



What Legacy Will Musharraf Leave?
by Michael Krepon and Alex Stolar




April 19, 2007
http://www.stimson.org/print.cfm?pub=1
&ID=429

The longer most leaders stay in power, the more their record is likely
to become tarnished. But it is extremely hard to walk away from power
when it is possible to stay longer, especially for generals who become
president. George Washington joined the pantheon of historic leaders
not just for his performance on the battlefield and his sound judgment
in office, but because he chose not to become president for life. By
stepping down voluntarily, Washington laid the basis for a political
system of checks and balances that has proven to be an essential
safeguard against the abuse of power in the United States.

Great leaders have amazing willpower, but willpower can not substitute
for honest self-appraisal and humility, which help leaders recognize
what course of action is truly in the best interest of their country.
General Pervez Musharraf has been in charge of Pakistan for eight
years--a longer period than any other leader except for Zia ul-Haq and
Ayub Khan. He has accomplished much during this time. Indeed, he may
well turn out to be a pivotal leader in the history of Pakistan. But
this depends heavily on what course of action Musharraf chooses in the
future. His choices are to maintain power by whatever means necessary,
to share power, or to relinquish power.

Pervez Musharraf is a man of supreme confidence who has accomplished
much. He has articulated a vision for Pakistan as a tolerant, moderate,
progressive state--the same vision as Pakistan's founding father,
Muhammed Ali Jinnah. If he can achieve progress toward this vision, he
will receive the grateful thanks of his nation. He has done more than
any other leader in Pakistan's history to normalize relations with
India--a precondition for a normal, economically vibrant Pakistan. He
has reversed disastrous national policies toward Kashmir, and in doing
so, has improved prospects for domestic tranquility, economic growth,
increased trade and foreign direct investment. Musharraf can be
justifiably proud of his stewardship of Pakistan's economy.

Musharraf has also shifted Pakistan's policies toward Afghanistan and
the Taliban, but this shift is still very much a work in progress. If
the border with Afghanistan can be secured and if Pakistan can improve
bilateral ties--two big "ifs" that could take many years or decades to
achieve--then Pakistan's national security will be greatly enhanced, and
trading routes to Central Asia will help Pakistan achieve domestic
tranquility and economic growth.

Yes, General Musharraf has made mistakes along the way. Which national
leader hasn't? But he has also demonstrated an ability to learn from his
mistakes, to adapt, and to grow.

Domestic problems tend to accumulate for leaders who linger. Pakistan
now faces much domestic unrest. This unrest is not due to poor economic
policies or unhappiness with President Musharraf's shift toward Kashmir
and India. Instead, much of the unrest relates to the circumstances of
the President's extended rule, and the expectation that another
irregular extension of his rule is in the offing. Most Pakistanis and
historians are unlikely to judge Musharraf kindly if he resorts to the
usual methods by which Pakistan's military leaders extend their stay in
power.

The essence of representative government and checks against abuse of
power are an independent judiciary, an independent media, and political
parties that chose their own leaders and that are held accountable by
the electorate for their shortcomings. Pakistan cannot become the
moderate, progressive, enlightened state that Musharraf and the
Qaid-i-Azam have envisioned unless these conditions are met.

Pakistani politics have been much maligned, but it is worth noting that
the two major political parties in the country do not define themselves
primarily in religious terms. The leaders of these parties have been
kept in exile. Barristers and judges are struggling to stop and reverse
the slide away from judicial independence. Despite pressures applied
against them, media outlets are faithfully reporting the news, and
political parties are calling for the free and fair elections that have
been repeatedly promised. It is becoming increasingly apparent that many
people and key institutions in Pakistan share President Musharraf's
vision of a moderate, enlightened, progressive state.

President Musharraf now faces an important choice. If he believes that
he is indispensable, then a familiar script will continue to play out
against the judiciary, the media, and the two main political parties. If
he follows this well-worn path, he will be remembered mostly for these
actions, and not for his earlier, historic accomplishments. Much harm
will be done to the vision of Pakistan that he has championed. And the
longer Pakistan's military runs the country, the more it alienates
itself from the people it has sworn to protect.

Alternatively, President Musharraf can do what no prior military leader
of Pakistan has done: He can help the basic institutions of a
representative government to flourish. In doing so, he can advance the
vision of a moderate, enlightened, progressive state that can be his
most important legacy. The Qaid-i-Azam did not have enough time to lay
these foundations. Musharraf can weaken these foundations by staying too
long. Jinnah was indispensable; no other Pakistani leader has been, or
is likely to be.

President Musharraf faces an immensely important choice. His legacy can
be great, or it can be badly tarnished. Which legacy does he want?

Michael Krepon is co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center and the
editor of Nuclear Risk Reduction in South Asia. Alex Stolar is a
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow and Research Assistant at the Stimson
Center.



Speak up, Silent no more!


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Friday, April 6, 2007

Fatwa Condemned - Taslima

Murderous Fatwa condemned
Not acceptable to Muslims
Mike Ghouse March 19, 2007

A shadow organization, sounding similar to All India Muslim Personal Law board has issued a decree against exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, who has been seeking Indian citizenship. A bounty of 5 Lakh Rupees has been offered to the one who murders her.

The government of India should prosecute Maulana Ashraf Khan for ordering Murder of another human being under IPC and punish him accordingly. The Qur'aan, the book that he believes in, does not authorize him to issue a death Fatwa against any one. The Qur'aan reminds in various ways: There is no compulsion in religion, to her is her faith and to him is his faith, and Killing a single life is like killing the whole humanity. “Qur’aan [6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.” Maulana is not the protector of Religion.

Maulana Ashraf Khan is committing three crimes; the first one is acting God to kill another individual; acting against the Indian Penal Code in a civil society to murder another being and finally ruining the name of his religion more than Taslima Nasreen can ever do. She is not the only one who does Islam-bashing, there are several like her. That is the case with all religions, there will always be bad-mouthers, let them. Islam simply does not vanish by these; it has been around for 14 centuries and has probably seen 14,000 Nasreen’s since.
As an individual she has the right to express her opinions whether we agree or not, as much as the Maulana has a right to condemn her statements. I do exercise that right and condemn her irresponsible statements.

Ms. Nasreen is a bellyacher and not a reformer. A reformer brings solutions to the issues and presents his or her research and asks the scholars to review and build consensus for a gradual acceptance of the proposed ideas. Instead, she agitates and builds resentment and does exactly opposite of what she claims to do; reform. Her approach is wrong and her statements may please the Islam-bashers and earn some circulation. However, her opinion does not affect the world or the religion of Islam.

Maulana's words do affect the perceptions of Islam; he is representative of an organization and was speaking in behalf of the organization which by name is representative of Muslims in India. He was claiming support of some 150 Imams and Scholars for his Fatwa, by implication all Muslims. We are making a statement to denounce this Fatwa, as it is not the will of Muslims, nor it is allowed in Qur’aan.

Issuing Fatwa is an act of deliberation, issued after painful investigations and not at some one's whims. That is arrogance and becoming God to judge and condemn people. It is simply not acceptable to the majority of Muslims of India and the world.

I urge Muslims to speak out against this Fatwa, and then I would ask all Muslims as individuals and groups to write to all the Newspapers in India to condemn the acts of this man and earnestly request the media to publish it.

To paraphrase a famous truth “It is not the evil committed by bad men that I worry; it is the silence of good men and women that worries me.”

-----Mike Ghouse is an activist based in Dallas. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress, organizations dedicated to peaceful coexistence. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com. © copyright 2007 by Mike Ghouse.

Youth - Reshaping Islam

How Young Muslims Are Reshaping Islam

AA,

The wall street journal has published the above title article, followed by my comments. It is a casual read, but worth imbibing its effects.

One of the most powerful statements in the piece is "That's what worries some in the field: that at some point we may become the mainstream." Through out the history of societies, a trend emerges, then sinks in, gets established becomes the mainstream. The ideas are like products and its market cycle. Most of the cultural traditions at once were a fad or a modern thing.

Growing up in Bangalore, a fairly liberal City, my Grand father did not like us to eat with fork or a spoon, he extolled the virtues of eating with fingers as Sunnah, any my Uncles told us the food taste remains intact by eating with fingers. No one talks about it now. It is a norm to eat with fork or spoon, especially those who can afford (I am talking about the traditional societies).

Those of you who have witnessed traditional conservative societies, as well as western societies where your children actively live and interact with the western cultural values, may find an opening in this story written in Wall Street Journal. I thank Mariam for writing and thank Hasni, our member for sharing it with us.

When the word reform is used, fear grips the traditionalists, as it paradoxically means turning things Topsy-turvy for them. There's got to be a word that takes one from familiar grounds to newer pastures without any fears, I have used the word "Review" but there is a better one out there. please share it if you know with your comments below

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse

How Young Muslims Are Reshaping Islam
Cairo Youths Merge Western Influences With a Religious Revival
By MARIAM FAM
March 20, 2007; Page A10

CAIRO, Egypt -- A play about an imaginary country grappling with foreign meddling recently opened on stage here. Combining comedy with serious words extolling the importance of faith and ethics, "The Code" was just the latest sign of a recent wave: Young, devout Muslims balancing a sense of fun and modernity with strict observance of the teachings of Islam.

NEW WAVE

• What's Happening: Affluent young Muslims in Cairo are mixing modern living with what they consider to be strict religious observance. • The Leaders: This Islamic revival was spawned by young preachers who wear Western-style suits and broadcast their messages on satellite TV. • The Struggle: Supporters say their way of life can counter extremism; critics worry that devout youth are promoting a more conservative society.
They're putting on plays, making sleek videos and even wearing bikinis at the beach -- but all with an Islamically correct twist. The plays have a religious moral, the videos are for songs praising the Prophet and the swimwear is limited to segregated settings.

The trend is fueled by an Islamic revival that has attracted youths -- many of them wealthy and exposed to Western cultures -- in some Muslim countries and among second-generation Muslims in the West. Instead of an outright shunning of all Western influences and worldly pleasures, the idea is to adopt the elements they can reconcile with their Islamic identity.

In rediscovering their faiths and striving to integrate Islam in their daily activities, some have become more religious than their parents were.

The trend also is a manifestation of how some of the young in different Middle Eastern countries are trying to reshape their societies in small ways that the older generations didn't know.

Playwright Ahmed Morsi, far left, in a Cairo performance of 'The Code.'

In Egypt -- the Arab world's most populous country, which has grown more observant and conservative over the years -- this Islamic revival was fueled by a group of young preachers who wear Western-style suits and communicate their religion in conversational language. Talking in mosques, homes and on satellite channels, these preachers -- some using techniques that some feel are similar to Christian evangelical preachers' -- are a far cry from the traditional clerics who dominated the airwaves for many years in flowing robes and turbans and a sterner language.

"We can lead a happy life without committing sins," says preacher Mostafa Hosni, summing up the approach. Mr. Hosni hosts a weekly religious program on the Iqraa satellite channel that tries to reinforce exactly this theme through conversations with young guests.

He says the old belief of some that being a good Muslim meant forsaking this world for the afterlife has unintentionally scared many of the young away from the religion for fear they would have to drastically change their lifestyles.

An athletic-looking 28-year-old who once worked for Swiss multinational Nestlé, Mr. Hosni attended a two-year preacher-training program and now teaches "character building" at a private school in Egypt to help students live a proper Muslim life while preparing for successful careers. "We already offer them a high-standard international curriculum, so why not have this and as well as have an Islamic and moral identity?" he says.

"In 20 years, the shape of the Muslim world will completely change," predicts Mr. Hosni. "The people are attracted to this form of moderate Islam."

While supporters of the revival say it preaches moderation and can counter extremism, critics argue that it is superficial and is promoting a more conservative society behind a facade of modernity and tolerance.
"What we need is a true vision of modern Islam. This means formulating positions on democracy, human rights and dealing with others," says Salah Eissa, a writer and self-described secular Muslim. "Modern Islam doesn't mean that I be a Muslim and talk on a cellphone."

The debate about Islam's role in society and public life has generated tensions in Egypt with many liberals -- especially in artistic circles feeling threatened. To offset the popularity of the Islamic opposition, the government has tried to project a more Islamic image of its own, allowing for the censoring or banning of some work deemed offensive to Islam, for instance.

"You see civil servants who spend a good part of their day praying in the mosque and another good part trying to put their hands on public money, for instance," Mr. Eissa says. "The Egyptian society is suffering from a case of split personality."

Many of Egypt's young Muslims are exposed to Western pop culture. While some embrace it, others feel uncomfortable with what they see as decadence or promiscuity.

Playwright Ahmed Morsi was dismayed with the state of the commercial theater in Egypt, with its plentiful jokes, music and women dancing in skimpy clothes. So the 37-year-old former television correspondent founded a production company, "Luster of the East," which adheres, he believes, with Islamic values.
"The Code," their latest comedy, tells the story of a country whose people are grappling with a foreign invasion. A main character urges the others -- and the audience -- to speak up against corruption and reconnect with their morals and faith.

Any woman participating in the troupe's plays has to wear the Islamic veil, and there's no dancing, Mr. Morsi says. He expects the actors to live up to his vision offstage, too. "They have to be people in good standing. They cannot have immoral relationships. They can't drink [alcohol]."

This sanitized theater has been criticized on the one hand by secular critics who complain that art shouldn't be subjected to self-censorship and religious standards and on the other by some conservatives objecting to the music in some plays.

Mr. Morsi, however, says his group is inspiring some amateurs. "That's what worries some in the field: that at some point we may become the mainstream."

At a performance of "The Code" on a recent night in a downtown Cairo theater, the audience appeared to be largely conservative. "The most important thing is that these plays observe the teachings of the religion and the morals of society," said Rehab Mohammed, a 31-year-old wearing a veil that covered all but her eyes. "Before, we didn't have such an outlet. We used to feel deprived."

Mrs. Mohammed said she also felt deprived of proper music until a recent surge of Islamic songs by singers like Sami Yusuf.

Mr. Yusuf, a Briton born to Azerbaijani parents, presents pop songs in slick videos with religious lyrics praising Prophet Muhammad. For some of his young fans, Mr. Yusuf's boyish good looks and stylish attire have made it not just right but also cool to be an observant Muslim.

More singers followed suit with religious clips airing on satellite channels alongside love songs featuring scantily clad singers.

Similarly, observant young Muslim women found a new outlet in private female-only beaches that opened in the upscale Marina resort on Egypt's northern coast. On secluded strips of sand where cameras are prohibited, the faithful and veiled replace Islamic attire with bikinis to tan, swim and dance -- away from men's eyes.

Write to Mariam Fam at mariam.fam@wsj.com

CAIR - No Law suit please

REQUEST TO CAIR - NO LAW SUIT PLEASE
Please do not file law suit against passengers
Mike Ghouse March 21, 2007

We request Mr. Omar Ahmed and Ibrahim Hooper, not to file the law suit against the passengers, along with the law suit against the airlines and the airport. Even if you were to win the case, the Muslims will have to pay a price for that and please don't it in our behalf.

As the Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and other communities have an organization to defend their religious and civil rights, we are pleased CAIR has successfully defended the legal rights of American Muslims.
It would be a mistake to sue the passengers, they are ordinary citizens concerned for their safety. Though their fear was baseless, we have not done our part either in providing information to the general public, how, we, the Muslims pray. Insha Allah, we will produce a video, in English language how our prayers are performed, so people can understand.

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress

Woman re-interprets Qur’aan

Woman re-interprets Qur’aan
Mike Ghouse March 24, 2007
AA,

Sometimes, our faithfulness to our understanding of anything in life makes us eager to reject any other expression, and prevents us from enlightening ourselves. We assume that seeing a different point of view is being disloyal, it is not. Islam is consistent in advising us to learn, whether from Romans or going as far away as China, we have to learn and we have to be open to learning.

First of all, we welcome this new additional translation of Qur'aan. In the spirit of learning, and learning well, the alternatives available to us will simply open up our up minds to understand the concept of Justness in God's word in every aspect of life.

There was a time when most of the non-Arabic speaking Muslims (>75%) relied on translation in English or other languages, what was given to us, was all we knew. We did not know how close the translations reflected the values of Qur'aan, but that was the only source available to us one time. We also had translations where due to the inadequate comprehension of the audience, certain words were injected into the translations to explain the meaning of the terms. People have taken that literally and some people have been hurt with these unintended wrong translations. (Apology and Qur'aan translations power point presentations at http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ )

Indeed, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made the knowledge available to every human through the Qur'aan, he meant for every one to read and understand it. It was common for the Prophet SAW to ask the Sahaba to think a bit before he told them the actual meaning of anything. He sometimes used to initiate a conversation by asking a question "Do you know what xyz means?" It was simply a means of encouraging the Sahaba to think.

Thanks to the variations in translations, it shows us the limitations of human understanding, and challenges us to strive to grasp the whole truth. What was hitherto cut and dry is no more. May be it is Allah's hint to us to get closer to understanding the truth. The monopolies would be gone and focus would be on the essence rather than literal meaning. Presently the 14 translations are available at http://www.islamawakened.com/ and Insha Allah it will be at http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ soon.

Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar offers another meaning to the translation of the Arabic word "Idrib," traditionally translated as "beat," which has been mis-understood and abused over the centuries by men who would be abusive any way, whether they are Muslim or not. "Why choose to interpret the word as 'to beat' when it can also mean 'to go away' - either one from the other, may be it meant separation as a process of re-evaluation.

Insha Allah, I am working on presenting a paper on the myth of "wife beating" to our scholars and Imams to review, and if it is consistent with the essence of Qur'aan and if they concur, it will be a relief to the Muslim women around the world consistent with God being a just God.

I am optimistic with this particular development and welcome this new translation, even if it has a few flaws, it would wash off by the 15 other translations, but will take us closer to the essence.

Jazak Allah Khair
Mike Ghouse
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Woman re-interprets Koran with feminist view

By Manuela Badawy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new English-language interpretation of the Muslim Holy book the Koran challenges the use of words that feminists say have been used to justify the abuse of Islamic women.

The new version, translated by an Iranian-American, will be published in April and comes after Muslim feminists from around the world gathered in New York last November and vowed to create the first women's council to interpret the Koran and make the religion more friendly toward women.

In the new book, Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, a former lecturer on Islam at the University of Chicago, challenges the translation of the Arab word "idrib," traditionally translated as "beat," which feminists say has been used to justify abuse of women.

"Why choose to interpret the word as 'to beat' when it can also mean 'to go away'," she writes in the introduction to the new book.

The passage is generally translated: "And as for those women whose ill will you have reason to fear, admonish them; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!"

Instead, Bakhtiar suggests "Husbands at that point should submit to God, let God handle it -- go away from them and let God work His Will instead of a human being inflicting pain and suffering on another human being in the Name of God."

Some Muslims said the new interpretation strayed from the original. Omar Abu-Namous, imam at the New York Islamic Cultural Center Mosque, questioned Bakhtiar's interpretation.

"There is nothing to stop a woman from translating the Holy Koran. The translator should have good command of the Arabic language in order to convey it and translate it into other languages. I don't know if Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar has good command of Arabic," Imam Abu-Namous said.

"Maybe she is depending on other translations, not on the original," he said.

BAKHTIAR DEFENDS HER WORK

Bakhtiar defended her work, telling Reuters she translated from the Arabic text and that she "reads and knows classical Arabic."

The New York imam also said the passage she is challenging speaks of when a woman wants a divorce, and only allows a man to "hit his wife, according to the Prophet, with a 'miswak,'" or a twig of a pencil's length, on her hand.

Arabic Language Professor at the American University in Cairo Siham Serry said her interpretation of the word "idrib," was "to push away," similar but slightly different from Bakhtiar's "to go away."

She said she agrees with the imam that 'miswak' means twig and that the Koran does not encourage the harm of women. But she also said that men can interpret that passage to justify their own behavior.

"How can you hurt someone by hitting her with a very small, short and weak thing?" she asked by telephone from Cairo. "But sometimes the interpretation of the Koran is according to men, and sometimes they try to humiliate the woman."

Bakhtiar writes in the book that she found a lack of internal consistency in previous English translations, and found little attention given to the woman's point of view.

In other changes to the text, she cites the most accurate translation of the word traditionally translated to mean "infidel" as "ungrateful."

And she uses "God" instead of "Allah," saying that God is the universal English term.

Bakhtiar has been schooled in Sufism which includes both the Shia and Sunni points of view. As an adult, she lived nine years in a Shia community in Iran and has lived in a Sunni community in Chicago for the past 15 years.

"While I understand the positions of each group, I do not represent any specific one as I find living in America makes it difficult enough to be a Muslim, much less to choose to follow one sect or another," she writes.

The new text is published by Islamic specialty bookseller Kazi Publications, which has a store in Chicago and online
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Wife Beating: Jamil/Ghouse

Wife Beating in Qur'aan
Wife Beating; in the Modern Context by Dr. Javed Jamil
Wife Beating; Discipline or abuse? by Mike Ghouse
March 25, 2007
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Wife Beating: Discipline or Abuse?
By Mike Ghouse

I encourage every one to do the ground work, when more of us can focus and subject the research to consensus among Muslims of all hues, most certainly Islamic Scholars and Imams, we can come to an understanding and set a benchmark resolution. The word of God is final, however, our understanding of the word isn’t. For this century, let’s start the work and finish it by the end of this Islamic year and develop the consensus, Insha Allah on the first day of Muharram Hijri 1429, we need to pass a resolution on the subject.

In the year 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Around the world, at least one in every three women hasbeen beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or knowing someone has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. – (Resources: www.endabuse.org, www.ncadv.org www.ndvh.org, www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/dv.htm www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/dv.htm and more)

Here is the title of my column in process “Wife Beating; Discipline or Abuse?” My contention is given the fact that no man, whether a Texan Cowboy, Brazilian Coffee picker, Tibetian Lama or an Arab Sheikh; Whether a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim or an Atheist , can watch his wife in bed with a strange man. (or a woman can stand her husband in bed with a strange woman) and not react violently. It is nothing to do with civility or even religion; it is the possessive animal instinct in men and women DNA'd into us.

Thousands of women in the United States were killed by their husbands/boy friend, this is how the animalistic man behaves, and probably men were no different 2000 years ago regardless of their religion, ethnicity or national origins. Given this, God admonishes men, Hey guys, when you find your wife in bed with another man (full research is warranted on the word referenced above before we draw the conclusions), don’t kill them, hold yourselves, let her go, reconcile or discipline her. (Beating a child as are release of anger is abuse, feather touching them to let them know that it is a not an allowable behavior is disciplining the kids – that is what they refer to, hit by a pencil thin stick).

Again, I welcome to see Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar’s break through work. She has propelled research on the subject and we acknowledge her leadership on the issue. (http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/woman-re-interprets-quraan.html.) It is going to reinvigorate research on the word. The word "Idribuhunna" is usually translated as "beat them" in Sura 4:34. This word with the root "Dharaba" has a very long list of meanings. The word is used in Qur’aan in 10 different ways – for example the meaning is used 2 times, is used 9 times and is used 17 times (check the comment section below for all the words) http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/wife-beating.html ).

I am glad to see your effort; I have highlighted one of your paragraphs and repeated it at the beginning of your article below. Some of the ground work from Mohammad Irtaza and Irfan are listed in the comments section with their names. We will re-open the comments section for the public after we post a few comments from our members, then we will open up for the public. The word of God is final, however, our understanding of the word isn’t. Two thousand years ago, if God ordered Moses to go to Sinai, he would have gone on the back of a camel or walked. Today, he would fly. Meaning is still the same, but modes of understanding are different.

Mike Ghouse
www.WorldMuslimCongress.com
_____________________________________________________

Wife Beating in Qur'aan -- the Modern Context
Dr. Javed Jamil

The recent translation of the Quran by a woman is in the news all over the world just because it suits the designs of the forces of economic fundamentalism and feminists spawned by the culture that they created. In particular, verse number 4:34 of the Quran has come into focus with an attempt to disseminate the message that the Quran is cruel to women and even allows wife beating. There are apologetic Muslims who have been arguing that the context of the verse was set in the old Arabic world, and it has to be reinterpreted according to the modern context. Before discussing the meaning of the verse in question, let us first try to understand what the modern contexts of feminism and domestic violence are.

The biggest and perhaps the most destructive impact of the on-going march of economic fundamentalism was systematic, steady and substantial erosion of family system. This was the result of both the orchestrated designs to undermine family as well as the unintended adverse effects of the socio-economic transformation that was being pushed by the big business with all the possible means at their disposal. Misogamy grew in intensity. Making early marriage illegal, (while promoting premarital sex) banning polygamy (while promoting promiscuity and prostitution), making both the marriage and divorce difficult so that marriages become unpopular (while promoting live-in) highlighting incidences of atrocities on women within families (while trying to normalise the ever rising incidence of rapes) have been the chief steps in destroying the family system. This was obviously aimed at dissociating sex from marriage.

Thus the social apparatus built by the economic fundamentalists has led not only to the destabilisation of family, but also to almost its total annihilation. This has resulted in a number of social problems: domestic violence including abuse of women and children, divorces and separations, single parenthood, etc. Free mixing of men and women, the rise in sexual aggressiveness among women and the decreasing financial dependence of women on men have all contributed to the development of affairs both before and after marriage. Due to an increasing intolerance towards each other and total absence of endeavours to adjust with the spouse, extramarital affairs, sooner than later, lead to the break-up of marriages.

It is almost a universal fact that couples do expect primariness in their relationships; in places like India and Islamic countries, men and women do not even tolerate past relationships of their spouses. A man is highly unlikely to accept a woman in marriage if he knows about her intimate relationship in the past. They do not feel like entering where others have entered. Even women do have an exaggerated sense of exclusiveness and the knowledge of any past relationships of their spouses does not go particularly well with them.

In West, previous relationships are almost always not much of a problem for a new relationship to commence. But once they are in a relationship, they too do not tolerate any body else in the lives of their spouses. But such is the freedom in air and the provocation all around, that extramarital liaisons have become routine affairs. The new "Sexual Revolution" has given rise to domestic violence, which is different but much more dangerous than the Domestic violence in the old style family system.

Note the following facts about the ever rising incidence of domestic violence:


  • Every fifteen seconds, a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1991)
  • National surveys indicate that at least 2 million women are assaulted by their male partners each year. (Straus and Gelles, 1990)
  • The American Medical Association estimates that almost 4 million women are the victims of severe assaults by boyfriends and husbands each year, and about one in four women is likely to be abused by a partner in her lifetime. (Sarah Glazer, "Violence Against Women," CQ Researcher, Congressional Quarterly Inc., February 1993
  • Approximately 97% of the victims of domestic violence are women. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
  • Violence by intimate partners is the leading cause of injury for women, "responsible for more injuries than car crashes, rapes, and muggings combined." (Centres for Disease Control)
  • In the United States, a women is more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant. (Browne, A. and K.R. Williams, 1989)
  • Females are victims of family violence at a rate of three times that of males. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993)
  • Abused women make up approximately 22-35% of women who seek medical attention at hospital emergency rooms. (Randall, 1988)
  • More than 50% of women are battered at some time in their lives; over one-third are battered repeatedly. (Peachey, 1988)
  • Approximately 70% of murdered women are killed by a husband, lover, or estranged husband or lover.
  • Approximately two-thirds of those murdered by intimate partners or ex-partners have been physically abused before they were killed. (Campbell, 1981, 1992; Wallace, 1986)
  • More than twice as many women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends as are murdered by strangers. (Kellerman, 1992)
  • Every day in this country approximately four women are killed by a male intimate partner. (Stout, 1991)
  • The nation's police spend approximately one-third of their time responding to domestic violence calls. (Domestic Violence: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, New Jersey Dept. of Community Affairs, 1990)
  • Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women who are battered run as high as 25%. (Flitcraft, 1990)
  • Abuse of pregnant women is the leading cause of birth defects and infant mortality. (March of Dimes study)
  • Most prevalence rate studies estimate that 28% of all adult women in a relationship are victims of domestic violence on an annual basis. (Anna Wilson, ed., Introduction to Homocide: The Victim/Offender, 1993)
  • Separated or divorced women were 14 times more likely than married women to report having been a victim of violence by a spouse or ex-spouse, accounting for 75% of all reports of battering. (Bureau of Justice, 1991)
  • As many as 50% of women killed by partners/husbands are murdered at or after separation. (Wilson and Daly, 1991; Barnard, 1981)
  • As much as 90% of the hostage-taking in this country is domestic. Domestic hostage-taking attempts to coerce a partner to return or remain in a marriage or relationship. 100% of these hostage-takers are men. (FBI, 1989)
  • 40 children are abducted by a parent each hour in the U.S. More than half occur in the context of domestic violence. More than 80% of abductions by parents occur after separation. Almost 40% of the abductions by fathers involve force or violence. (Finklehor et al, 1990; Grief and Hegar, 1992)
  • Domestic violence is increasing in Russia, with 14,000 women dying every year at the hands of their husbands or other relatives. (Amnesty Internatic)

Now, in this background, examine the verse that is supposed to support wife beating: " As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), next refuse to share beds with them (and last) beat them lightly. But if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance) for Allah is Most High, Most Great." (4: 34) It is clear from the verse that:

It is clear from the verse that:

The over-all aim of the directions is to save the family from breaking;

The strategy is not to let the issue going out of the house and giving it a chance to get resolved within the family;

The directions involve a situation where wife is arrogant or disloyal, and does not apply to women whose behaviour is within normal limits;

The steps to be taken are in an increasing order of harshness.

First, the husband is asked to use verbal tactics like lecturing, persuasion and admonition.

Second, if this fails, the husband is advised to isolate her within the house. Sexual separation is a very potent weapon for reform within the marriage.

Third, even if this fails, the husband is allowed to use physical measures.

Only when this fails, the husband must take the issue out of the family, either by seeking arbitration or by initiating the procedure of divorce or by seeking criminal action, in case she has engaged in any forbidden activity.

Whenever she reforms herself, the husband is warned against continuing mistreating her; he must return to her and live with her in love.

Though this verse is primarily addressed to men, its indirect application should also be there for situations where husbands are arrogant or disloyal to wives and are engaged in forbidden activities. There are various situations in the Quran where the instructions are either for men or women but they need to be applied in reverse cases too.

For example, the above verse talks of "disloyalty" by women. But there is no verse about what should be done if husbands prove disloyal and are engaged in extramarital relationships. Does this not mean that women too must first try to resolve the issue within their houses, first by admonishing them, second by refusing sex and last by seeking intervention of the other members in the family (like fathers and elder brothers) who can even use physical assault as means to reform them? This last one is necessary as women are normally not physically strong enough to beat their husbands and if they do so it may invite greater violence.

I have however heard cases where women actually beat their husbands (sometimes even by shoes) for their misdemeanours like drinking, gambling, etc. Similarly, the Quran talks of "80 lashes" for those men who label false allegations of disloyalty on their wives. (Surah Nur) But what if the wives label false allegations against men? As the underlying principle is that men and women committing equal crimes under similar circumstances must receive similar punishments, it applies that women must also be given 80 lashes if they make unsubstantiated allegations against their husbands or other men.

Wife beating allowed in the Quran is surely different from wife battering that is routinely seen in the world, more so in the Western societies. In the Quran, mild beating is allowed only in cases of disloyalty for the purpose of reforming women within the family and not let others know about their misbehaviours. In the modern world, wife battering is mostly the result of silencing them into submission, alcohol and other addictions and to continue their own extramarital affairs. It is almost always aimed at causing them pain or taking revenge rather than reforming them. Islam creates social conditions where women do not face problems of physical security on account of the drinking, gambling and other bad habits of their husbands. It is also to be stressed here that market forces have used the issues of wife beating and child beating for their own selfish ends.

It is clear that if women are battered for no fault of theirs or they are battered more than what is permissible, they can always seek revenge from the court. The Islamic court will have to use the principle of "punishment equal to the crime" in order to fulfil the demands of justice.

Dr. Javed Jamil is a Chairman of International Centre for Applied Islamics, India. His columns regularly appear at WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com and now it will appear at this blog and eventually he will have a blog of his own at the new upcoming website http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/

CAIR, MUSLIMS & AIFD

CAIR, MUSLIMS & AIFD
M. Zuhdi Jasser on record

Dear Zuhdi,

We appreciate Mr. Jusar Zuhdi for speaking up!

Thanks for the below listed video links from your interview with Arizona TV

  1. Islam is not a monolithic religion - Thanks for the assertion.

  2. Almost all Muslims & Organizations condemn terror, I wish you had emphasized that.

  3. Almost all Muslims want the separation of church and state, I wish you had mentioned that.

  4. I don't know any Mosques in the US and Canada that gives hate sermons now - wish you had stressed that point

  5. Only a few, just a handful of Muslims may support the move by CAIR, I do appreciate the civil rights work CAIR does, and take exception to this action of suing the passengers, it is indeed short-sighted. Let's all speak out strongly, so that it remains the voice of CAIR and not Muslims of America.
  6. We have to make it loud enough, and more of us need to do it. There will always be a handful of Muslims who will oppose it, and we need to respect their sentiments as a part of democratic process.

  7. I sincerely hope, the American Media expresses the Muslim sentiment on their air waves.

Mike Ghouse
Speak up, silent no more.
World Muslim Congress.
Good for Muslims and good for the world

In a message dated 3/31/2007 12:08:31 A.M. Central Daylight Time, xxx@aifdemocracy.org writes:
Fox10 KSAZ's weekly news program- Newsmaker Sunday appears on the local Phoenix Fox affiliate- KSAZ. The following video links contain the full interview.

John Hook interviews M. Zuhdi Jasser in this 26 minute in-depth interview on Muslim Extrremism and issues related to Islam and the local Phoenix Muslim community since 9-11.

Muslim Extremism'- Part I - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGeg5tS8cF8

Muslim Extremism' Part II - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECZ0sgaRnXA

Muslim Extremism' Part III - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0Exk1QZgc

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http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0330PassengersRemoved30-ON.html
Chilling effect feared over Muslims suing fellow passengers after removal


By Patrick Condon
Associated Press
Mar. 30, 2007 11:44 AM

MINNEAPOLIS - Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing not only the airline but the passengers who complained - a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual.

The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers free of charge. They say it is vital that the flying public be able to report suspicious behavior without fear of being dragged into court.

"When you drive up the road towards the airport, there's a big road sign that says, Report suspicious behavior,' " said Gerry Nolting, a Minneapolis lawyer. "There's no disclaimer that adds, But beware if you do that, you might get sued.' "

The six imams were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20 while returning home from a conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis.

Other passengers had gotten nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic as they waited to board. Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.

The plane was cleared for a security sweep, nothing was found, and the jet took off without the imams.

The Muslim clerics say they were humiliated, and are seeking unspecified damages from the airline, the Minneapolis airport and, potentially, the John Does.

Omar Mohammedi, the New York City attorney for the imams, said the intent is not to go after passengers who raise valid concerns about security. But he suggested some passengers may have acted in bad faith out of prejudice.

"As an attorney, I have seen a lot of abuse by the general public when it comes to members of the community creating stories that do not exist," Mohammedi said.

He denied the imams were talking about Saddam, and said that their seats were assigned and that they requested extenders because their seat belts didn't fit.

Some fear such lawsuits could weaken what has become the first line of defense against terrorism since Sept. 11 - an alert public. At airports and train and subway stations around the country, travelers are routinely warned to watch for unattended bags and suspicious activity and to notify authorities.

Ellen Howe, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees security at all U.S. airports, would not comment specifically on the imams' lawsuit. But she said the TSA counts on passengers to help the agency do its job.

" See something, say something' is certainly a common mantra in this day and age," Howe said. "We would always remind passengers to be both vigilant and thoughtful."

In reaction to the imams' lawsuit, Congress has taken steps to legally protect passengers who report suspicious activity. Earlier this week, the House approved an amendment to a rail transportation security bill that would make passengers immune from such lawsuits, unless they say something they know is false.

Mohammedi said he has not yet identified any of the complaining passengers. An airport police report listed a passenger and two US Airways employees as complaining about the imams. All three had their names blacked out before the lawsuit was filed by invoking a Minnesota law that allows it, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.

Nolting said he has been contacted by several potential John Does.

Passenger Pat Snelson, who lives in a Twin Cities suburb, said he and his wife were not among those who reported suspicious behavior. But he said his wife noticed the men praying, and he saw them moving around the cabin while others were boarding.

"These guys were up to no good," Snelson said. "We think the airport people did a real good job in taking care of it."

Bomb-sniffing dogs examined the men and their baggage. FBI agents and other federal law enforcement officers questioned the men for several hours before releasing them.

Billie Vincent, a former director of security for the Federal Aviation Administration, said he is troubled by the mere attempt to identify the passengers who raised concerns.

Airline passengers "are your eyes and your ears," said Vincent, who now owns an aviation security company. "If attorneys can get those names and sue them, you put a chilling effect on the whole system."

Trouble with Islam - Rebuttal

The letter below, and the commentary is followed by the article in Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, April 5, 2007
Letter to the Editor
Wall Street Journal.


Dear Editor,

Everything in the paper is not true. I don't know where Mr. Tawfiq Hamid goes to pray, I would like to go there and hear out the hate sermons myself. If some one or Wall Street Journal wants to take up the challenge and prove it by visiting at least 5 places of worship of all faiths randomly and bring an honest report about it, it would serve the truth, then I can say, everything I read in WSJ is true and the reporter's integrity is beyond reproach.

The mosques are open to all, any one can visit them, with a few exceptions, the sermons are always in English. I am working on a proposal that all sermons should be recorded and made available as a public record. Usually, they talk about building one's character, or story of one of the Prophets, and it is usually timed for 30 minutes, then the next 10 minutes goes reciting the verses from Qur’aan.

One should speak up if there are hate sermons and they are a rarity, at least in the United States, if the facts come out otherwise, we have to deal with it.

===============================================================================
Dr.Tawfik Hamid makes an interesting proposition in
trouble with Islam, his article follows my comments.

I have been visiting different Mosques to hear out what is going on, the mosques are open to all, any one can visit them, and the sermons are always in English. In fact, I have proposed that all sermons should be recorded and made available as a public record. The FBI has paid agents visiting Mosques regularly, and a few have known to fake information, just so they can get paid. They are also baiting individuals to say a few things.

Except a few places of worship, where the congregation is from a single language groups (Jamaat Khana's where Gujarati is spoken), or a few Mosques in Detroit where Arabic is spoken...usually it is mixed gathering. I have been asking members of my groups to let me know if any Mosque delivers any hateful sermons.... so I can see it for myself.

In the last four years I have been active, and going back to my growing up years, I'm yet to hear hateful sermons.

Usually, they talk about building one's character, or story of one of the Prophets, and it is usually timed for 30 minutes, then the next 10 minutes goes reciting the verses from Qur’aan.

This is the rule. There have been exceptions no doubt, but I am yet to witness, when I go, I listen to the sermon keenly. The only objection I had was about four years ago, where an Imam made a comment that women should control their children from being boisterous...(that again, has nothing to do with religion, men say that all the times) which was objected heavily and was told to him not to repeat, and he has not been invited since.

I don't know where Tawfiq goes to pray, I want to go there and hear it out myself and I am willing to do that. But on the other hand, you just have to ignore or challenge the WSJ, to prove it by visiting all the mosques, any time and randomly. I have sent over 50 letters and comments to WSJ in vain - they will publish it, if it is anti-Muslim, one of you may want to try it both ways and see the results.

The fact that politics is deep wherever humans are, it is a blessing. You find the groupizations in gurudwaras, temples and Mosques. There is a push and pull between Indian, Pakistani, Arab, Bangladeshi, Chinese ...and other Muslims, as to who is the boss. As a result sermons are limited to the texts, and are rarely political in nature due to differences.

One should speak up if there are hate sermons... Tawfiq joins the growing line up of people who are cashing by bashing Islam. It is a good money maker, if some one wants to make the money.

Reform has begun, several changes are happening, after I raised hell with the Secular Islam Summit, and for a change, there is a symposium going on with two hard core neo-cons and two moderate Muslims. They have agreed in principle and we have documented nearly 35 pages of straight talk thus far, and I will give them the benefit of doubt that they would publish, if they don't, I will post it to this group.

Mike Ghouse
www.WorldMuslimCongress.com
www.foundationforpluralism.com
www.MikeGhouse.net

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trouble with Islam

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117556869968257964.html

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE, APRIL 3, 2007
COMMENTARY

The Trouble With Islam

By TAWFIK HAMID

April 3, 2007; Page A15

Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world’s decline, entitled "What Went Wrong?" Astonishingly, there was, among many Western "progressives," a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis’s implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.

But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists’ defense.

These "progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name -- Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.

Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals -- who unceasingly claim to support human rights -- have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah’s inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.
Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria -- which happened in the last few decades -- or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.

The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine’s formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America’s enemies.

Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values. And they must not take for granted the respect for human rights and dignity that we experience in America, and indeed, the West, today.

Well-meaning interfaith dialogues with Muslims have largely been fruitless. Participants must demand -- but so far haven’t -- that Muslim organizations and scholars specifically and unambiguously denounce violent Salafi components in their mosques and in the media. Muslims who do not vocally oppose brutal Shariah decrees should not be considered "moderates."

All of this makes the efforts of Muslim reformers more difficult. When Westerners make politically-correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices.

Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.

Dr. Hamid, a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.

9/11 - Rosie O'Donnell

30 Million Viewers is a massive number of people! If that many have watched this talk by Rosie, may be they will want more questions answered. Rosie should get the professors to prove or disprove and be done with it. The terrorists have admitted doing it, but she wants the Harvard Professors to give answers. Let's see what happens.


Watch the Video:


http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march2007/290307odonnellrant.htm


O'Donnell 9/11 Rant Reaches 30 Million Viewers


Promises to feature physics professor on The View to discuss WTC collapse
Paul Joseph Watson

Prison Planet

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell is certainly not backing away from her public stance about 9/11, and this morning on The View went on a 9 minute rant about the many questions surrounding the attack, reaching around 30 million viewers in the process.

This is the largest single exposure 9/11 truth has enjoyed to date and it represents a watershed moment in the quest to bring the truth to the masses.

Rosie O'Donnell is certainly not backing away from her public stance about 9/11, and this morning on The View went on a rant about the many questions surrounding the collapse of Building 7, reaching around 30 million viewers in the process.

This is the largest single exposure 9/11 truth has enjoyed to date and it represents a watershed moment in the quest to bring the truth to the masses.

O'Donnell and her co-panelists debate the situation concerning Iran's seizure of the British marines before O'Donnell states, "Historically, have governments ever faked incidents or incited incidents in order to get them into wars?"

The discussion then moves on to the level of trust one can place in the Bush administration before O'Donnell asks, "What do you have to do to get an impeachment in this country?"
The debate moves on to the "propaganda of the war on terror," with O'Donnell stating, "In America we are fed propaganda and if you want to know what's happening in the world go outside of the U.S. media because it's owned by four corporations, one of them is this one (ABC)."
"Go outside of the country to find out what's going on in our own country because it's frightening."
"I think Democracy is threatened in a way it hasn't been in 200 years and if America doesn't stand up we're in big trouble," says O'Donnell.
Neo-Con panelist Elizabeth Hasselbeck tries to make an argument that thinking Iraq was involved in 9/11 was justifiable at the time, before asking O'Donnell if she believed the U.S. government had anything to do with 9/11.
"No, but I do believe it's the first time in history that fire has melted steel - I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved - World Trade Center 7."
"One and two got hit by planes, 7 miraculously the first time in history, steel was melted by fire - it is physically impossible," states O'Donnell.
"I don't know but to say we don't know and it was imploded in a demolition is beyond ignorant, look at the films get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard, pick the school, it defies reason."
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In a video blog posted on her website yesterday, O'Donnell promised to feature physics professors on The View to discuss the highly suspicious collapse of the WTC towers.

"The thing about World Trade Center 7 is that it was totally left out of the 9/11 Commission - that's weird," said O'Donnell."It's only the third time in history that fire has brought down a steel building, the other two times it happened was on the same day, World Trade Center One and World Trade Center Two - they both crumbled into dust and it was steel - very odd."

"I wanna have some physics professors on the show to explain if that is actually possible, that World Trade Center 7 could have imploded the way it did without being a controlled demolition - and if it was a controlled demolition why didn't they just tell people that in the 9/11 Commission Report?"
Come back soon to watch the video clip from this morning's The View.