, by Abul Kalam
The Muslims in the West are steadily blamed for not being faithful to their adopted nation states, for rejecting modernity, and clinging to their outdated values and backward cultures. The West always boasts of freedom (of religion, and expression), equality before law, justice, etc. Since 9/11 tragedy, the Muslims everywhere appear to have forfeited their human rights and nobody cares.
Bombing of civilian areas kills hundreds of Afghanis but the refrain is always: only Taliban attackers were targeted by precision bombs. When NATO or Karzai confirm indiscriminate killing the response is: We are looking into the incident. In Iraq, al-Qaeda is there to blame for every horrible act. For Haditha slaughter, some US Marines were put on trial but in the end acquitted.
When the Muslims protest a cartoon or an offensive article, they are stamped: Barbarians who do not believe in the absolute freedom of expression. When signing of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" John J. Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is cancelled under intense pressure, nobody dares to speak against AIPAC.
The Muslim reaction to the violation of their rights is of meek apology: Kareema Daoud is a U.S. State Department official. During an August 4 USINFO Webchat she advised the Muslims to talk to people from different religious backgrounds to achieve a better understanding of one another’s beliefs and cultural traditions. "I, for one, believe it is possible to successfully integrate my Muslim identity with my American identity, and I am part of a majority [of U.S. Muslims] who believe so," she said. "I thank God that we have the freedom to practice our religion freely in the United States. There is no prohibition against wearing the hijab – the head scarf favored by many, though not all,
Does she have a remedy for the incessant talk of sleeper cells and al-Qaeda operatives within the US boarders?
FBI’S Releases Photos of Ferry Passengers
NYPD’s recent report casting doubts on the Muslims was not an aberration. Every Muslim is suspected and any activity that someone thinks odd in the American culture like Muslims praying or talking in Arabic or with a foreign accent is immediately reported to the Homeland Security and FBI instantly rushes to take care of it. Two Muslims crossing the Puget Sound in Washington state area almost raised the nation’s threat level. FBI released the photographs of two men of unknown origin, who the agency says were observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Washington ferry routes in recent weeks. The FBI stressed that the men’s actions could be innocuous, but it needs to question them.
The photos were snapped by a ferry captain last month after crew members alerted him to suspicious activity. The men seemed inordinately interested in the operation of the vessel, took photographs of the interiors of the boats and went into areas tourists and commuters don’t normally go, the FBI has said. The agency has received many tips but has not yet found the men.
Many Muslims have complained that they have stopped offering obligatory prayers at the airports, bus stations and public parks for fear of being reported for suspicious activity.
AUSTRALIAN POLITICIAN WANTS TO HALT MUSLIM IMMIGRATION
Christian Democratic Party (CDP) Senate candidate Paul Green called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration while a study on its social impacts was carried out. He said it would be easier to carry out such a study with the country’s Muslim population at 300,000, rather than three million at a later date.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS MUSLIMS IN THE US AND EUROPE
A new Financial Times/Harris Poll in the five largest European countries and the United States looks at attitudes toward Muslims and finds differing opinions on Muslims as a threat to national security, prejudice towards Muslims and whether parents would object to a child marrying a Muslim.
When it comes to Muslims as a threat to national security, the British are the most wary as 38 per cent say the presence of Muslims in their country is a threat, followed by 30 per cent of Italians and 28 per cent of Germans who believe the same. Approximately one in five French (20%), American (21%) and Spanish (23%) adults also say the presence of Muslims in their respective countries is a threat to national security. A total of 6,398 adults aged 16 to 64 within France; Germany, G Britain, Spain, the US, and Italy were contacted between August 1 and 13, 2007.
ROME HALTS MOSQUE
Authorities in Rome have refused to allow a building next to a Catholic church to be converted into a mosque. The planned mosque, in a densely populated and multi-ethnic quarter in the centre of the Italian capital, was supposed to open in September. Municipal police said the community of Bengali Muslims who were carrying out the building works did not have the necessary permit. Local right-wing politicians have applauded the police action.
The mosque was scheduled to open in Esquiline hill, one of the seven hills of ancient Rome. The quarter houses people of widely different ethnic origins. They are already served by seven Catholic churches, a Buddhist temple, a synagogue, a Zain prayer centre and a Chinese Evangelical church.
THE CHICAGO COUNCIL ON GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANCELS FORUM
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs cancelled a forum on a book titled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," due out in September by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard University professor Stephen Walt. The book argues that the pro-Israel lobby has had a negative effect on U.S. foreign policy.
Critics say Chicago group yielded to pressure, and silenced discussion of a controversial topic. The decision shows the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.
JUSTICE AMERICAN STYLE
On August 16, 2007 a Hispanic convert to Islam, Jose Padilla, was found guilty on charges of "conspiracy" related to terrorism. His co-defendants Hassoun and al-Jayyousi were also convicted. Jose Padilla was held in isolation for three and a half years before he got the right to a proper trial. He underwent sophisticated forms of torture devised by the Bush administration. Specialists in the field say that torture which creates disorientation, hopelessness and dependence left Padilla broken and psychologically willing to please his oppressors.
No evidence or witnesses could be found against him. The government case depended on an application form which Padilla supposedly filled to be able to attend an al-Qaida camp. However there are no witnesses that he did fill the application form. His fingerprints are on the form but these could have been put on the form after he was arrested. He was not shown to have EVER been in Afghanistan.
The government wanted to prove the existence of a terrorist cell in the Miami area, so it used phone calls made by Adham Hassoun to Padilla. In turn Hassoun talked many times to Dr. Kifah al-Jayyousi. This according to the government shows that the there were a terrorist cell. Jayyousi and Hassoun sent charitable funds to Bosnians and Chechens in the 1990s. This "evidence" was used in the trial to show that they were helping terrorists.