The capture of Saddam Hussein has been heralded as a major success in the West's war against Terror. US and UK triumphalism at the capture of the Baathist dictator have been splashed across TV, news and media channels worldwide. But in the furore of celebration, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, which apparently were a great threat to world security and the primary reason why a large scale war was so urgent, have been conveniently forgotten ...
The magnitude of Hajj as the pinnacle of worship to Allah
Dhul-Qadah/Dhul-Hijjah 1424 - January 2004 Cover Issue 1 Volume 17
It is the time of year when many Muslims will be preparing for Hajj. They will be learning the duties of Hajj and memorising du'as and rituals before leaving for Makkah. Friends and relatives will come to visit before they set off and they will ask forgiveness from each other for past mistakes. The guests will be asking those travelling to remember them in their dua's and excitement and anticipation will start to build long before the departure date arrives.
Scarface: The face of the Muslim youth?
13 A picture gallery of the months events
1. A shoe in the face of Ahmed Maher 2. Dick Cheney "rips-off" US government 3. Soham Verdict 4. Libya serves the interests of its Western allies 5. A false victory for Pakistani women 6. Britain abuses 'human rights' 7. Elderly pensioners left to die in the cold
The mother of all surrenders - Bush and Blair claim Saddam capture legitimises pillaging of Iraq The scene was set for the grand finale; the writers of history were poised, waiting in anticipation to write the final chapter of Saddam's story. Would it be an ending fitting of a war hardened leader, a mighty dictator and warrior, a brave soldier who lead from the front and took his country through bloody wars with Iran, Kuwait, and twice with America and the West?
Is education a right or a commodity? Debate on tuition fees The recent Queen’s speech announced plans for an overhaul in the way higher education to £3000 per year. The tuition fees proposal has been labelled 'topup fees' by the media as they will be additional monies that students pay on top of the fees they currently pay towards their study.
15 France moves to ban headscarf - religious tolerance in Europe excludes Islam Recently, the extremism of secularism has become apparent in a venomous attack against Islam in general and Muslim women in particular. A new row has broken out in France after the decision to ban the wearing of the hijaab in schools and public buildings.
"They came in search of the American Dream. One of them found it on the sunwashed avenues of Miami… wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreams. He was Tony Montana. The world would remember him by another name… Scarface."
23 Afghanistan post war - no reconstruction, no security, no delivery on promised billions At the January 2002 State of the Union address, George Bush stated, "America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We'll be partners in rebuilding that country." The impression conveyed through the address was that security and stability had been brought to Afghanistan.
18 Bollywood exposed The Bollywood film industry is a multi billion dollar machine. India makes more films each year than any other country making Bollywood, not Hollywood, the largest film industry in the world. Over fourteen million Indian people go to the cinema everyday and Indians commonly go to see a movie ten to fifteen times a year.
27 Bush backs down on steel tariffs - analysis The European Union (EU) and the US represent the world's biggest economies; they each produce about a quarter of global economic output and are responsible for more than 40% of world trade. They are also the biggest investors in each other,
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
34 The child in Islam - a Muslim parent's handbook Muslim parents have high aspirations for their children; their greatest desire is for their child to enter paradise. The question parents need to ask themselves is how is this wish going to be realised When you gaze into your baby's eyes, you know that this little life will be looking to you for love and guidance and indeed this is no trivial matter. Bringing up your child in accordance with Islam is a responsibility that Allah has placed squarely on parents' shoulders and we will be accountable for it. As Muslim parents raising our kids in the midst of non-Muslims, our job is certainly not an easy one.
NEWS REVIEW 2003
35 News review 2003 The year 2003 will be remembered as being another significant year in the war on terror, the US and her allies made progressive gains, as well as making equally substantial miscalculations in their campaign against the Muslims and Islam. It is not surprising therefore that the News review of 2003 is dominated by international events, summarising the colonial plans and policies which unravelled for the world to see.
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Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu The capture of Saddam Hussein has been heralded as a major success in the West's war against terror. US and UK triumphalism at the capture of the Baathist dictator have been splashed across TV, news and media channels worldwide. But in the furore of celebration, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, which apparently were a great threat to world security, have been conveniently forgotten in the haze and fog surrounding the arrest of the ousted President. With the forthcoming 'show trial' to coincide with a so called transfer of authority to the Iraqi governing council, one can expect that the next few months are going to be filled with a new and intensified wave of propaganda and deceit. Great efforts are going to be made to divert our eyes from the brutal occupation of Iraq by Western forces. And again, as in the run up to the war, Muslims in the West will be tested as to present their position regarding the occupation, and will be goaded to demonstrate their acceptance of Western engineered solutions. In light of this, the feature article in this month's edition of Khilafah Magazine discusses the true nature of this occupation and presents a clear view of why Muslims must never become softened to the US and UK presence, despite their self-proclaimed 'great achievements' for the Iraqi people. 'We got 'im!' was just the first slogan in a new campaign of diversion propaganda from the US and UK. Amidst the lies and spin it is important that the eyes and efforts of the Muslims must never be removed from the real
facts surrounding the war and the occupation. Whilst the physical occupation of Iraq continues, the war to occupy our minds by attacking the tenets of Islam was demonstrated again by the French government's moves to ban the hijaab in schools and public places. In the discussions contained within this month's magazine, we have highlighted how Western claims of religious tolerance fall short when applied to Muslims and Islam. On a more local level, Khilafah magazine explores the growing trend for the 'gangster' lifestyle that passes for youth culture and affects many of the Muslim youth. Also, we discuss the global reach of the film and entertainment industry focusing on Asian films and exposing values propagated by Bollywood as being every bit as destructive as its Hollywood counterpart. On a final note, our thoughts will be with the millions of Hajji's who are preparing for the pilgrimage to Makkah. May Allah accept their Hajj, forgive their sins and answer their prayers to protect Muslims worldwide and to see His deen prevail.
Khilafah Magazine is a monthly magazine published in London with a wide distribution across the Muslim and non-Muslim world. The magazine is dedicated to articulating the case for Islam as an ideology that deals with all the human problems, whether individual or societal. Islam must be understood ideologically and has a defined political and ruling system the Khilafah System. We maintain that the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ is not only inevitable but imperative. As the Capitalist ideology dominates the world today, the only challenge to it must come from Islam. We write to inform, inspire and create a movement for true intellectual revival.
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Translation of the Qur’an It should be perfectly clear that the Qur’an is only authentic in its original language, Arabic. Since perfect translation of the Qur’an is impossible, the term ‘Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an (TMQ) has been used, as the result is only a crude meaning of the Arabic text.
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Khilafah Magazine January 2004
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf addresses a press conference calling on representatives to fight the impression that Pakistan isnâ€™t doing enough in the war against terrorism.
Relief workers pull a dead body from underneath the rubble after a large earthquake hit Iran on Saturday 27th December, 20,000 estimated dead.
Two men watch a TV monitor as Ian Huntley is sentenced to two life terms in prison for murdering 10-year-old school girls Holly Well and Jessica Chapman. [17 December, 2003 in London]
Iraqi civilians gather around a charred vehicle in front of a police station following an attack. [15 December 2003, north of Baghdad]
Libyaâ€™s Colonel Gadaffi announces that he will no longer pursue WMD programmes, a move welcomed warmly by the West.
Israeli soldiers scuffle with Palestinian women trying to stop a bulldozer (not in picture) from entering onto their land in the divided West Bank city of Hebron. [18 December 2003]
Picture taken 15 December 2003 shows a detail of the hole where toppled dictator Saddam Hussein was captured in Ad Dawr, near his home town of Tikrit, 180 kms (110 miles) north from Baghdad.
San Francisco police officers inspect vehicles entering San Francisco International Airport December 22, 2003 in San Francisco. U.S. authorities have intensified security procedures around the country after officials raised the terror alert to orange, the second highest level.
Members of Bangladesh Islamic Unity shout slogans against the trial of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Egypt's foreign minister Ahmed Maher shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Pakistani soldiers stand guard at the site of a roadside bomb blast scene in Rawalpindi which was targeted at President Musharraf who passed through just minutes earlier.
An injured Palestinian is evacuated into an ambulance during an Israeli army operation in the southern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Rafah 23 December 2003. At least seven Palestinians and two Israeli army officers were killed in the Gaza Strip.
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
NEWS A shoe in the face of Ahmed Maher Ahmed Maher, the Egyptian Foreign Minister was received by an angry group of Muslims when he arrived at Masjid Al-Aqsa on the 22nd of December. Previously the Egyptian ambassador to Moscow and then Washington, and director of the Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to African States at the Arab League, Maher came out of retirement in 2001 to become Foreign Minister. Described by many as a "quiet man", Maher had been to Israel this December to sit in a series of meetings with senior Israeli officials including Ariel Sharon and Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom. He was the first high-ranking Egyptian official to visit the country for more than two years. The topic of their discussion had been the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, after Sharon had announced his threat of "unilateral action" against the Muslims.
a method to legitimise the Israeli occupation and to keep the Palestinians under the control of the belligerent force. Egypt has been drafted into talks because of its substantial regional presence and with hope that it will unify the Palestinians under the banner of Arabism. However, Egypt's attitude towards the Palestinians' call for Islam is evident in its treatment of the 3 Muslims from Britain who had been arrested in April 2002, allegedly for speaking out against its government. Israel chooses its allies carefully and appoints those it knows will side with its cause. Hence their eagerness for talks involving Egyptian officials is also obvious. Kosser Mohammed
Dick Cheney government
Dick Cheney, the former head of the oil company, Halliburton, is currently under US investigation for allegedly exploiting US resources in Iraq.
Yasser Arafat repeated his impotent words of condemnation at another act by his people. Maher tried to play down the whole incident calling it "foolish behaviour" and reassured that this incident will have "no impact" on Egypt's mediation in future talks.
A recent Pentagon audit confirmed that a Halliburton subsidiary- Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) overcharged the US government for some of its deliveries estimated to figure around $61m; what was also mentioned by the Pentagon was that KBR was planning to repeat this overpricing in another contract supplying cafeteria services for a vague $67m. George W Bush reacted to this "rip off" by demanding Halliburton (once run by his vice-president) to return the money if it had in actuality swindled the US.
The reason for such angry sentiments by the Muslims of Palestine is obvious. These peace talks are simply 6
The accused Halliburton spokeswoman, Wendy Hall, told Reuters: "KBR has acted in full accordance with its fiduciary and contractual responsibilities under the contract." And the presidential hopeful of Iowa, Howard Dean, insisted in a statement regarding Halliburton's position that: "George W Bush is preventing entire nations from bidding on contracts in Iraq so his campaign contributors can continue to overcharge the American taxpayers."
Coincidently, this controversy befalls the Bush administration at a time when it is also under fire from those nations that supported the US-led war
Khilafah Magazine January 2004
nine million viewers. Statistics revealed a massive increase in newspaper circulation during the Soham trial. The questions that need to be asked are what were the motives of the press? Why the need to jazz up headlines and gossip over the 'supposed' past of Huntley and Carr? Despite the tragic death of two schoolgirls and the final uncovering of facts about their murder, it appears the media's real interest is not to inform the public but to make profit.
It is apparent that even at times like these, there is no honour amongst thieves, and it is ironic that those who are stealing from the Muslims are also stealing from themselves. The US government steals from Iraq. And the American corporations steal from their state. Mohammed Mahbub Rahman Soham Verdict On the 17th of December Ian Huntley was given two life sentences after being convicted by an Old Bailey jury of murdering Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. Huntley's co-accused and former girlfriend, Maxine Carr, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of conspiring with Huntley to pervert the course of justice.
Maher, seen as a traitor to the Muslims, received a hostile reception on arriving at Al-Aqsa. The Muslims there, enraged by his visit mobbed him and attacked him with their shoes. TV pictures caught the entire event as Maher, looking shocked and panicstricken was carried out by his escort of bodyguards and Israeli police. Instead of being taken to a Palestinian Hospital Maher chose to be treated at an Israeli Hospital, where he later received a phone call from Ariel Sharon. Sharon joked, "I understand that you will stay with us a while".
in Iraq, for the fact that the US limited the bids for contracts.
During the Soham murder trial, newspapers filled their front pages with attention grabbing headlines and images, and on the 2nd of December, every national newspaper made the trial its front page lead. 'The Star' reported that the couple had a "bizarre sex past" and claimed that Ian Huntley's mother had had a lesbian affair. Another headline read "Maxine's twisted sex shame". These types of headlines paved the way further for tabloids to print articles on the past of Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr despite repeated pleas for caution by the police and the attorney general. The immense press coverage and the assumed guilt from the newspapers had the British nation interested in following the trial and turned it into a national discussion point. The 10 minute ITV News programme at 8pm on the day of the verdict attracted over
Exaggeration of events, using unreliable sources or even fabricating stories is all to spice up newspaper headlines. Much of what is printed is tittle-tattle which benefits few, but instead teases those with a twisted imagination. The very serious and sombre affair of the murder of two innocent girls and the importance of a just verdict almost gets forgotten. Mohammed Ali Khan
Libya serves the interests of its Western allies. Speaking about Libya's announcement to end WMD programs, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said it is "an historic one and a courageous one and I applaud it". US President George Bush said "Colonel Gadaffi's commitment, once fulfilled, will make our country more safe and our world more peaceful." He also said, "Leaders who abandon the pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them will find an open path to better relations with the US and other nations". These words were in reply to Colonel
NEWS Gadaffi's admission that his country possessed weapons of mass destruction and would dismantle his development programme and the range of all Libya's missiles would be restricted to "no more then 300km". The proud claims of success in their "war on terror" by Blair and Bush led former labour MP Robin Cook to say, "I find it rich and comical that we should use an agreement with a country we did not invade, which did have weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading a country that doesn't have weapons of mass destruction." After years of isolation from the West, recent pressures have led to this declaration by Libya. After dismantling its weapons the increased attention will ensure that the foreign policy of the West will yet again be forced into the Muslim lands. The double standards lies in the attitude of the US and UK when it comes to the possession of weapons by Muslim countries, however, the blind eye is turned to states like Israel which retains its WMD in the name of self-protection. In what seems to be a world which is being 'made safer' by Western nations, America remains the world's most powerful nuclear power and continues to develop its missile technology to allow it to reach of all parts of the globe. Ghadaffi's cowardly move demonstrates his subservience to do whatever his Western masters desire.
Pakistan are oppressed due to the implementation of man made law over them, stemming from cultural attitudes, traditions and the opinions of humans. The natural consequence is that freedom and traditional values lead the parent to remove rights from the child. The father believes that he is free to control the choice of his daughter in marriage. Consequently when man is sovereign, there will be an inevitable clash in opinion, leading to misery, contradiction and instability. Clinging to feminist values or human rights is very dangerous, as both terms are vague and subject to the human beings' opinions. We just need to look at the absent tranquillity and harmony that Western women have, despite having embraced these values and having implemented them in their societies. Only Islam can decide what is best for the woman, because only her creator Allah ď ‰ can judge what her rights and choices should be. The Shari'ah has decreed that the father is the guardian and protector of the woman, and that his consent should be sought in marriage. However Allah ď ‰ most certainly gives the Muslim woman the right to choose her husband, and if the father refuses on reasons other than from Islam she may appoint another guardian who can fulfil this role for her. Nadia Khwaja
Amina Variava Britain abuses 'human rights' A false victory for Pakistani women The Pakistani Supreme court has overturned a 1997 High court decision that Muslim women need the permission of the Wali Amr (usually either their father or brother) to marry. Women can now marry whomever they choose without their Wali Amr's consent. It is claimed that over 250 women in Pakistan are currently imprisoned for marrying without their Wali's permission. Human Rights activist Asma Jehangir has applauded this as the start of a new era of Women's Rights in Pakistan. Indeed the situation of women in Pakistan has been far from perfect, however the irony is that this reality exists due to the very system that the activists are working for. Women in
terrorists can all have finances and property seized. Under the act of 2001 foreigners can also be detained in the UK. Since 9/11, so far in Britain 529 people, almost all of them Muslims, have been arrested under the terrorism act. But of this number only 77 have been charged under the Terrorism Act and only 7 have been convicted. The current laws have been described as a "fishing expedition" used to find "dirt" on these suspects once they are in custody; even of they are not linked to terror groups. Criticism has come from Muslim groups, MPs and human rights organisations. Amnesty International's UK director, Kate Allen, said that suspects "have been locked up on the basis of secret evidence which they haven't been able to see â€Ś this is very much like Guantanamo Bay." These laws were reviewed by a crossparty committee of Privy Councillors which produced a report this month specifically on the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. The report was presented to David Blunkett who said that although these laws were not perfect, "I believe that I would be failing in my duty of public protection if the Part 4 powers were removed from the armoury of measures available to protect the United Kingdom from specific terrorist threats." However, the committee said that even though it cannot justify removal of Section 4, which allows indefinite detention, it should be replaced with a measure that "does not require the UK to derogate from the right to liberty under the European Convention on Human Rights".
More than 2,500 people in England and Wales are likely to have died in the past week as a direct result of cold weather, health forecasters say. But Health Minister Stephen Ladyman said this was because "winter always takes us by surprise". The absurdity of this statement is a testimony to wider problems inherent in the capitalist system. Elderly people are left to the mercy of greedy utility companies, and are expected to pay increasing amounts of money to them, while relying on the state pension as their only means of income. For utility companies the profit margin is always their objective and they do not take humanitarian considerations into account in their pursuit to boost profits. For example, the Public Accounts Committee revealed this month that electricity companies are overcharging customers; the price supplier's pay for energy has fallen by 40% since 1998, but domestic customers have had their bills reduced by only 1% to 3%. The ruthlessness of such companies was highlighted recently by British Gas, which cut off the gas supplies to two elderly pensioners because they could not afford their bill, an action that contributed to the deaths of both pensioners. Although the government makes a token gesture by providing winter fuel allowances, this does nothing to address the exploitation of energy companies, nor the selfish individualism of people who leave their parents or elderly family members to suffer in the cold, on their own.
The values and rights which are supposed to be the tenets of Western society were again tossed out of the window when the need occurred. It is on these same charges of 'human rights violations' that Britain criticises and reprimands other nations and one of the reasons to justify the attack on Iraq.
In fact, the basic capitalist ethos is that people's rights will be looked after as long they make an economic contribution to the state. Once they are unable to do this, then their rights become second to the rights of those that can make an economic contribution, such as energy companies. This ethos permeates in every part of the system, from fuel bills to hospital care. For example, leading doctors revealed to BBC News in October 2003 that elderly women are being denied potentially life-saving surgery for breast cancer because of their age.
Dr Samiul Muquit
The conclusion after this report was that MPs would need to debate alterations in the New Year with aim to deal with the human rights issues.
Britain's controversial anti-terror laws have provoked outrage from the Muslim community and caused leading politicians to call for their removal. Under the "Terrorism Act 2002" and the "Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001", suspected international terrorists, those inciting religious hatred or violence, and
Elderly pensioners left to die in the cold
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
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THE MOTHER OF ALL SURRENDERS BUSH AND BLAIR CLAIM SADDAM CAPTURE LEGITIMISES PILLAGING OF IRAQ
he scene was set for the grand finale; the writers of history were poised, waiting in anticipation to write the final chapter of Saddam's story. Would it be an ending fitting of a war hardened leader, a mighty dictator and warrior, a brave soldier who lead from the front and took his country through bloody wars with Iran, Kuwait, and twice with America and the West? Would it describe the final glory of a survivor who weathered a decade of international isolation and boycott, a hero who urged his people not to turn their backs from the 'Mother of all Battles' and to fight the crusaders arriving to invade their land? Would it be the account of a deposed ruler in the midst of his countrymen, regrouping and reorganising them to launch a powerful resistance and him fighting heroically until the final gunfight or battle? Would the final honour for the self proclaimed 'Lion of Baghdad' be one of defiance and bravery, refusing to be taken alive but preferring to fight to the death to become a hero fabled in Arab folklore? 8
Khilafah Magazine January 2004
Alas, these are the fictitious endings that only the beast himself would have written for his closure. In fact, Saddam could not be further from being a loyal ruler committed to the cause of his people. On the contrary, he is an inhumane monster, a man possessed with an unrelenting quest for complete power, and a man who when in power was ruthless and cruel in his pursuit to maintain it. He is an individual who was haunted by the paranoia that any of his fellows could turn on him given the chance. He is a personality who was suspicious of his closest and nearest comrades and was merciless in his pre-emptive executions used to eliminate any who could threaten his grip on government. In his time he led by brutality and fear, establishing a deeply embedded network of spying, monitoring and intimidation. He would terrorise the common people through random arrests based on gut-feel justice, and imprison them in unimaginable chambers of horror where torture and punishment were the daily staple for thousands of mostly the innocent and weak.
So the ending when it came was not grand and dignified but humiliating and shameful. At the same time, it was riddled with incredible irony; the venue where Saddam would most visually expose to the world his true betrayal of his own people was the only venue where he himself felt safe from betrayal by his own. It was here that in his youth, after he had tried to assassinate the Iraqi president of the time, and with a bullet in his leg, he had hidden. It was in 1959 that he had hidden in this same Tikrit countryside not far from the place where almost half a century later the net closed in on him. As a wounded young guerrilla it was in this grassland, within eyesight of where the Americans found him 44 years later, that he dug a bullet out of his body and begged local tribesmen to help him escape, which they did. And last month he found himself back in this same place of refuge; Saddam had returned to his roots. His miserable hideout on the banks of the Tigris was in view of one of his grand palaces across the river in which he used to
News emerges of Saddam Husseins Capture
reside and would have enjoyed many an evening of pomp and entertainment. But now, like a pathetic tramp, with scraggy beard and few provisions, there was little comfort for the fallen dictator as he lay in what could only be described as a grave-like chamber, listening to the marching of US troops above him, on the verge of bringing his days of freedom to an end. And the misery that would have passed through his mind in that hole on that day when the Americans picked him out should be a reminder and a warning to all the other Muslim rulers that betrayal is only a phone call away, whether by their own people, or by their colonial masters. A lifetime of terrorising Muslims will not be rewarded by any loyalty and support from them, and a lifetime of doing the dirty work for the West will be rewarded only by humiliation and betrayal by those same allies of old. So the man who urged his people to fight to the death, himself surrendered like a coward although he was armed with a pistol. And there is no blame on the Muslims who celebrated the capture of the killer of their fathers and brothers. However, they must never lose sight that although the nightmare of Saddam is over, the nightmare of his evil masters rages on, and they now justify the darkness they have brought to Iraq by proclaiming that they are the ones who freed the people from the tyranny of Saddam.
damage major organs. - Clostridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness. - Clostridium tetani, a highly toxaemic substance. The LA weekly, on April 25th 2003, provided a long list of US companies which had dealings with Saddam. This list included AT&T, Bechtel, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. These dealings were all done with the express encouragement of the US government. Quoting from the LA weekly: "Throughout the 1980s, the US Commerce Department approved at least $1.5 billion in exports with possible military applications from US companies to Iraq, and the Agriculture Department administered a US government guaranteed loan program that provided billions to Iraq. Almost all of the transactions were legal under US and international law at the time, even when the transactions either had direct military or dual-use (civilian and military) applications. Over and over again, the deals were encouraged and even abetted by the US government, even after American officials had proof that Iraq was using chemical weapons to kill Iranian troops and subdue Kurdish uprisings. In fact, the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration even provided Hussein's regime with military intelligence during his bloody eight-year war with Iran."
SADDAM - A CREATION OF THE WEST According to a 1994 US Senate report, some of the materials supplied to Iraq by US companies were almost the finished product ready for use in WMDs. Some of the items listed in this report were: - Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax. - Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin. - Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart. - Brucella Melitensis, a bacterium that can
In addition to the US links with Iraq, the British relationship with Saddam is also widely documented as they were in fact closer to Saddam than anyone else. The Guardian newspaper issued a report on February 28th 2003 exposing the cosy relationship between Britain and Saddam. It revealed the secret funding by the Thatcher government of arms companies supplying Saddam in the 80s, more than ÂŁ33 million of which were authorised by Thatcher directly. Whitehall documents have detailed all the
arms contracts concerned and British firms such as Racal, Thorn-EMI and Marconi were all at the forefront of supplying Saddam with artillery control, anti-mortar radar and secure radio systems. The firms are all now subsidiaries of defence giants BAE and Thales. Military deals also included generators to start up military jets and helicopters from Houchin Ltd and Braby Auto Diesels; air force reconnaissance cameras from Vinten; and an electron microscope from Cambridge Instruments. The giant construction firm John Laing, and a smaller firm, Tripod Engineering, were given government insurance for a ÂŁ23m contract to build a training complex for Iraqi fighter pilots. The Guardian stated, "Whitehall files show that the government guarantees were given regardless of President Saddam's brutal record and regardless of his being a normally unacceptable credit risk." Therefore it is clear to see that the war on Iraq was a project engineered by America with her ally Britain for objectives other then to save the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein. This is because Saddam Hussein was a creation of their own and they were happy to silently watch his tyranny over the Iraqis for many years. He was a close ally and indeed a puppet of the West, and it was the West who armed him with WMDs and stood silently by as he used them. And when the West realised it could gain more from demonising Saddam and making him into a villain, they turned against him and suddenly he went from being best friend to evil dictator. The friendship between the West and Saddam when he actually did have, and was using, WMDs bears testimony to the hypocrisy and lies of the current war on Iraq, and proves that the true objective behind the war is not Saddam but something more sinister. January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
aggressive nature of Saddam's dictatorship. But they did reject the argument that it was urgent to strike in order to destroy his arsenal... In the Iraq affair, the truth is that Mr Bush and Mr Blair either deliberately lied to justify the war by exaggerating the menace, or they committed a monstrous error of judgment, based on partial, biased and totally erroneous information. In both cases, it is enough to make one shudder."
BUSH AND BLAIR DESPERATE FOR LEGITIMACY FOR WAR Bush and Blair were badly exposed both before and after launching the war on Iraq. All of their dreamt up justifications just didn't hold water. They attempted to link Saddam to AlQaeda and tried to suggest he had acquired materials from Africa for a nuclear weapon. They tried to prove to the world that he was a major threat to Arab neighbours or even to the West directly, but it was clear that long wars with Iran and the West and a decade of sanctions had left Iraq incapable of posing any serious military threat to anyone. The lie they settled on as the core justification for war was the claim that Iraq had secretly stored away weapons of mass destruction with chemical, biological and possibly even nuclear capability. But this reason was not believed by the international community, or even the majority of people in the West, and the much discredited dossiers about Iraqi weapons programs were dismissed as mere propaganda. And if the failure of their intelligence reports to convince the world was not damming enough, a huge UN weapons inspection operation was allowed back into Iraq within full view of the world's media and it proved that these weapons of mass destruction simply weren't there. Despite all of this, the US and UK tried to gain legitimacy for war by attempting to pass a final UN resolution to give them a military mandate but they couldn't see it through. In the end, they had to settle for the absurd 'Coalition of the willing', comprising of essentially the US, UK and Spain, going on a mission to rid Iraq of WMDs. The invasion came with more promises to 10
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discover WMDs now that Saddam was not there to hide them, but these claims were quickly rubbished as no WMDs were uncovered. Many leading Western papers were questioning the legitimacy of the war and putting added pressure on the US and UK as the occupation began to turn into a quagmire. The Western media and political opposition to Bush and Blair began to increase the pressure demanding answers to why they took their countries to war. David E Sanger stated, writing in the New York Times, October 3, "Several of Mr Bush's advisers... say the issue of what weapons Saddam possessed would have far less political relevance if the occupation were going smoothly. But it is not... Ex post facto explanations of war are difficult at any time. They are even more difficult in the midst of an unpopular occupation, more difficult and dangerous than the one the US led in Japan and Germany, and fraught with political dangers for Mr Bush in 2004." The Independent editorial, October 3, stated, "The [Iraq Survey Group] statement... is a litany of reasons why Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have not been found, why they may never be found, and why even supporting evidence for their existence has been hard to come by... The single most shameful truth to have emerged from post-war Iraq... is the failure of intelligence on a most remarkable scale and the failure of our political leaders, starting with Mr Blair, to exercise the judgment that was needed before they took us to war." Patrick Sabatier, from the French newspaper LibĂŠration, wrote on October 3 2003, "Apart from pacifists and hardened anti-Americans, those who opposed war in Iraq didn't doubt the
Bush and Blair were losing the argument as to why they went to war; the situation in Iraq was worsening by the day; elections were on the horizon for Bush and unrest at home was troubling Blair. The capture of Saddam couldn't have, as they say, come at a better time. MORE DECEPTION: THE PLAN TO MAKE SADDAM ARREST AND TRIAL A SMOKESCREEN FOR THE PILLAGING OF IRAQ On Friday 19th December, literally a few days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, the headlines on the front page of the Independent Newspaper read, "Is the search for weapons over?" This followed America's decision to almost completely call off the search for WMDs in Iraq and thereby admit the basis for their war was flawed. David Kay, the CIA advisor who headed the US-lead search for WMDs, declared he is to quit in February and of the 1,400 staff dedicated to the ISG (Iraq Survey Group) which was tasked to find WMDs in Iraq, only 40 are actually still in the field searching for weapons. Clearly, this shows the US was well aware that weapons were not going to be found in Iraq and therefore desperately needed a new line of justification for the devastation and instability they have caused. The capture of Saddam provided the perfect opportunity. When questioned on WMDs by ABC news, Mr Bush dismissed the issue by saying, "So what's the difference? If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger". The Independent commented on this by saying, "Mr Bush's public dismissal of the weapons issue is the latest move by Washington and London to change the justification for war. Weapons of mass destruction, and even weapons programmes, are no longer being put forward as the reason for the invasion. Senior US and British officials now dwell almost exclusively on the atrocities
perpetrated by Saddam against his people and the opportunity provided by his removal for a re-generation of the Middle East." With the US general election late next year, plans are being made to hold Saddam's trial in Iraq next summer as a perfect diversion from the main issues on the ground that the administration would otherwise have to deal with when the election battle hits full steam. It is hard to remember a time in recent political history when lies and deception were so transparent and the true colonial aspirations so badly exposed. Indeed there is no doubt that colonial campaigns such as the occupation of Iraq are not something new, and the lies and deceit to justify these campaigns are not new either. However, in the past the West was more successful in finding some kind of legitimacy for their evil aggression on Muslims, and many times they won the trust of the masses who gave their mandate to Western rulers to launch their wars on 'noble' grounds. Today, Bush and Blair have openly exposed the true nature of the foreign policy of capitalist states, a foreign policy that is the legacy of their predecessors and one that knows no limits in the destruction and misery it aims to inflict. The ideology of capitalism is one where material benefit is the criteria and no moral principle or ethic can ever restrict this. This is why we find Western powers committing horrific crimes all over the world in the pursuit of power and wealth, and in order to deceive the people from uncovering their plots they develop intricate and detailed lies with which to justify their atrocities. Muslims must be aware that the new wave of propaganda and lies that have been launched regarding the capture of Saddam are nothing more than a desperate attempt to achieve legitimacy for the blood being shed. Muslims must always be vocal in condemning the tyrants and
murderers Bush and Blair, and never accept the lie that by invading our lands and removing their own puppet they have done the Muslims a service. In the course of Saddam's trial and great speeches â€˜of achievementsâ€™ by Western leaders, Muslims must be sharply aware of some important points. Firstly, and most importantly, the removal of .a tyrant like Saddam is the duty of the Muslims alone. Western forces invading Muslim land to remove a tyrant is nothing more than an act of war and occupation, regardless of the fact that they have removed a vicious ruler. Secondly, the US and UK forces are the ugly face of a militant, ruthless and blood thirsty capitalist system which cares nothing for human life. The capitalists have come to steal the resources of the Muslims and to intensify their efforts to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic state. Anyone who thinks that they will be careful in how they treat the local people and work hard to restore basic utilities to improve their standard of life has been grossly misled. Even a quick glance at the military history of these two evil armies will expose that they are masters of murder and plunder, but in fact one doesn't even have to look further than what is happening in Iraq today to be convinced of this reality. US AND UK OCCUPATION IS WORSE THAN ANY TYRANNY WITNESSED BY IRAQIS At the opening of the war we saw the 'Shock and Awe' bombing campaign where huge bombs were dropped in the centre of all major Iraqi cities for nights on end. The Muslims of Iraq would have been unable to get a second's peace, hearing the enemy jets flying overhead, not knowing whether the next bomb was going to land on their house and kill all its inhabitants. The British have been equally brutal as the US and have been severely criticised for their indiscriminate dropping of cluster bombs into civilian areas. Then, once Saddam's regime had collapsed the Muslims went for months without light, water or petrol and had no security on the streets as chaos plagued the whole country; a situation which continues to this day. But worst of all the Iraqi Muslims have had to endure the trigger happy cowboys from the US and the UK patrolling the streets and imposing
their presence by firing at will. There have been countless night raids of entire neighbourhoods where troops have pulled women from their beds and held children at gun point while searching for resistance fighters and weapons. Recently in America, much publicity has been made of two websites hosted by a retired Colonel, David Hackworth, who still carries a bullet that he picked up while fighting in the Vietnam War. Wounded a total of eight times, he claims to be America's most highly decorated soldier, his chest weighed down by honours including eight Purple Hearts, nine Silver Stars and eight Bronze Stars. He acts as a publisher for the complaints and criticisms of US soldiers on the ground in Iraq. With the promise of anonymity, he listens to the stories of the lowly grunts and GIs whose comments would otherwise go largely unheard. Some reports give a painful insight into the bloodshed and suffering the Iraqis endure at the hands of the occupying forces. A soldier gave an account of a firefight in the city of Samarra in which US forces claimed to have killed 54 attackers, the soldier with the 4th Infantry Division wrote of the incident: "Hack, most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals as being reported." Colonel Hackworth said of the man who sent the email, "I have known this soldier for eight years, since he first came into the US Army and I have watched him develop and have full confidence in the validity of his report." An extract of his account is as follows: "The convoy which was attacked while driving January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
knowing that there are people inside these buildings or cars who may not be connected to the insurgents." "The belief in superior firepower as a counterinsurgency tactic is then extended down to the average Iraqi, with the hope that the Iraqis will not support the guerrillas and turn them in to coalition forces, knowing we will blow the hell out of their homes or towns if they don't." through Samarra was not a supply convoy as reported, but was carrying large amounts of new Iraqi currency to stock local Iraqi banks and US greenbacks used to pay for goods and services the US forces need to accomplish their missions in Iraq. This convoy was heavily guarded by Abrams Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It was akin to a huge Brinks Truck delivery. "The reports of 54 enemy killed will sound great on the home front, but the greater story is much more disturbing and needs to be told to the American public." "Hack, most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals ... During the ambushes the tanks, brads and armored Humvees hosed down houses, buildings, and cars while using reflexive fire against the attackers. One of the precepts of 'Iron Hammer' is to use an Iron Fist when dealing with the insurgents. As the division spokesman is telling the press, we are responding with overwhelming firepower and are taking the fight to the enemy. The response to these well coordinated ambushes was as one would expect. The convoy continued to move, shooting at ANY target that appeared to be a threat. RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] fire from a house, the tank destroys the house with main gun fire and hoses the area down with 7.62 and 50cal MG fire. Rifle fire from an alley, the brads fire up the alley and fire up the surrounding buildings with 7.62mm and 25mm HE rounds. This was actually a rolling firefight through the entire town." "The ROE [rules of engagement] under 'Iron Fist' is such that the US soldiers are to consider buildings, homes, cars to be hostile if enemy fire is received from them (regardless of who else is inside). It seems to many of us this is more an act of desperation ... We really don't know if we kill anyone, because we don't stick around to find out ... the logic is to respond to attacks using our superior firepower to kill the rebel insurgents. This is done in many cases 12
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This damming account along with many others reaching the public arena is merely the tip of the iceberg, the bloodshed being caused by the US and UK troops is a chastisement that the Iraqi Muslims are now having to endure at the hands of the so called 'Liberators' and 'Peace makers'.
"And when it is said to them "Make not mischief on the earth", they say: "We are only peacemakers" Verily they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not" [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 11-12] CONCLUSION No Muslim will cry tears for the downfall of Saddam, but Muslims must be aware of the nature of this evil occupation and the deception in the arguments raised by Bush and Blair. Over the coming months in the run up to Saddam's trial, they will try and convince the Muslims that they have done a great service by bringing a tyrant to justice. They will claim that the future for Iraq will be a bright one without Saddam and that they are only concerned with making peace. Muslims must be certain that the arrival of the crusading forces has only added to their problems, and a future with their presence is a miserable one with bloodshed and looting of their resources sure to continue. In the midst of peril and occupation, the Muslims must remember that certainly a day will come when a new dawn will break on the people of Iraq. The tyranny of the puppet regimes and the tyranny of the West have proven without doubt that the only relief from their suffering is through Islam.
“You will have the upper hand. Allah is with you, and will never decrease the reward of your good deeds" [TMQ Al-Muhammad: 35].
“Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.' [TMQ At-Talaq: 3]
“And on that Day, the believers (Muslims) will rejoice (at the victory of Allah)" [TMQ ArRum: 4]. The Muslim Ummah continues to power forward to her destiny which has been written for her, the Khilafah. And that day will be the turning point in the course of history. From that moment onwards, the Western aggression will be met with the full force of the great Islamic state. Other tyrants who currently rule the Muslims will know their days of evil are over, and the Muslims will rejoice because the authority that truly cares for them has finally arrived. With Allah's permission, the cries of the Muslims of Iraq will soon be answered at the hands of the Muslims, under their shield, the Khilafah.
“Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (ie Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear, (provided) they worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fasiqun rebellious, disobedient to Allah)" [TMQ An-Noor: 55]
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IS EDUCATION A RIGHT OR A COMMODITY? DEBATE ON TUITION FEES
he recent Queen’s speech announced plans for an increase in the fees for higher education to £3,000 per year. The tuition fees proposal has been labelled 'top-up fees' by the media as they will be additional monies that students pay on top of the fees they currently pay towards their study. The debate over tuition fees has raised a great deal of controversy amongst politicians, academics, parents, students and universities. Students have been largely opposed to the proposal, whilst many of the universities have welcomed the plans as a means of securing additional revenues. So far the debate has centred on the most cost effective method of higher education funding. The discussion has been limited to whether students or the general public fund the universities, and whether students should pay for their education whilst studying, or after they have graduated and begun their careers. However, higher education access and funding will continue to cause controversy within Western societies whilst they view the issue from an economic or financial perspective. The tuition fees proposal has demonstrated the maxim that the West knows the 'price' of everything, but the 'value' of nothing. The proposed legislation will give universities the right to charge students variable tuition fees up to a maximum of £3000 per year depending on the course and demand for the subject. However, in about two years it is expected that this upper limit will also be waived. Students will not pay any fees up front or during their education, but will be expected to repay the fees
once they graduate and are earning at least £15, 000 per year. Western governments are increasingly moving to such schemes as they claim the costs of higher education funding cannot be met by the state alone. Indeed, universities have argued that they have a collective shortfall of £8bn in funding accrued over many years. By introducing tuition fees the burden of financing is shifted upon the recipients of university study rather than the general populace. EDUCATION FOR THE WEALTHY Student groups have opposed the plans fearing that they will lead to graduates starting their careers with debts ranging from £10,000 to £30,000. Others have claimed that students will be deterred from applying to university due to the already harsh conditions students face as a result of the student loans they have to take to maintain themselves. With the added burden of paying tuition fees this will serve to discourage many from even contemplating going to university. By introducing the idea of tuition fees Western states have effectively put expensive higher education at an even 'higher price'. Naturally, students from well off families will be more at an advantage by being able to draw support from their parents during their studies, as well as in repaying the tuition fees upon graduation. By levying a price in the form of tuition fees, universities will be chosen on the basis of the cost of the course rather than a student's ability to excel in their preferred subject. For example, tuition fees for science and technology degrees
will inevitably be higher than arts based subjects due to their use of equipment and laboratory time for experiments. As a result this will deter students from enrolling on them due to added cost of repayment. The opportunity to charge tuition fees in higher education will enable universities to raise the cost of their degree courses. Some of the leading elite universities such as Imperial College and Cambridge have indicated that they intend to raise tuition fees to £11,000 once the maximum fees threshold is removed! These universities will have no problem in recruiting wealthy students from home and abroad, those who are willing to pay huge sums of money to ensure that they graduate from a prestigious institute. By contrast universities that are in areas where the cost of living is high and who do not rate highly in terms of prestige, such as the former polytechnics, will inevitably face financial hardship and possibly closure. This in turn will mean that there will be fewer university places for prospective students, and this will naturally drive the cost and competition even higher! The logical conclusion to the idea of tuition fees will be the formation of a small block of prestigious universities being able to command thousands of pounds for the degrees they provide to a tiny minority of wealthy students. EDUCATION CANNOT BE MEASURED IN MONETARY TERMS The focus on the most cost effective and financially viable method of higher education is driven by the Capitalist belief, which views everything from a financial or economic perspective. This is because Capitalism believes the individual is merely an economic unit, which is affected by purely monetary means. Therefore, Capitalists view things solely from a cost/benefit perspective. With regard to products and services, this means that the price is the best determinant of things a person may or January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
may not need. Those who can afford or are willing to pay are able to secure their interests whilst those who cannot, or don't want to, pay the price are left without. Thus, in the minds of the Capitalists tuition fees are the price of higher education. Using the market forces of 'supply and demand' and 'price' as the distributor of higher education is flawed, as it is impossible to put a price upon the importance and necessity of medicine, science or other specialised subjects, and the effect they have upon the national economy or well being of a country. The value that higher education can bring to a student in terms of the skills acquired and subsequent contribution to the wider society cannot be measured in economic terms alone. Services such as higher education may be given a price, but their real worth is undeterminable. A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE Islam views education as a right for all citizens and also as a key public service that should be provided and managed by the state for the interests of all people. Education services are considered a public property that no one can own or profit from, but that all citizens should have equitable access to. Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said.
'People are partners in three things; water, green pastures and fire' The understanding of this evidence is that all vital services that are essential to the people's need share the same rule of public property in addition to the described things in the hadith. Therefore, the rule can be extended to include commodities such as oil and gas as well hospitals, roads and universities. With regard to funding of higher education under Islam, this is done by the Khaleefah from the funds of the Bait ul Mal (State Treasury). Funding of public services such as schools and universities is considered a permanent expenditure upon the Bait ul Mal. It is also a duty to
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spend on the employees of such public services in the form of salaries for doctors, nurses and teachers. The provision of public services such as education is considered a duty upon the Ummah that is administered by the Khaleefah. Therefore, if there are insufficient funds in the Bait ul Mal to finance universities the Khaleefah has the right to impose taxes upon the people so that this vital service is provided. However, these taxes are not akin to the general and indiscriminate taxation of the West. Rather, they are for a specific purpose and are only collected from the wealthy male Muslims within the Khilafah. Moreover, in today's lifestyle university education is no longer considered a luxury but a basic necessity and right of the people. Within the Khilafah, all levels of education such as primary, secondary and tertiary will be free of charge and no costs would be levied on the students whilst studying or at a later stage, like the tuition fees idea. THE WIDER BENEFITS OF UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
education, is the vital role that education and knowledge plays in the development of any nation, society and economy. Islam obliges the pursuit and acquirement of knowledge; The Prophet said,
'Seeking the knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim’ and
‘Seek knowledge, even if you have to go to China' Islam encourages Muslims to not only pursue knowledge for their own sake but for the undoubted benefit this would have on the wider population. They should pursue subjects they have an aptitude for, regardless of their popularity. For example, if students neglected to study vital subjects such as medicine, nuclear technology or industrial engineering this could have grave consequences for the future well being of the Khilafah. ISLAMIC UNIVERSITIES
The Islamic education system is also not simply about educating citizens with the skills and requirements to partake in trade, industry and commerce. Education at school or university plays a pivotal role in building and shaping personalities who think, act and behave according to the superior thoughts and ideas of Islam. The importance of education in producing scientists, engineers, doctors and Islamic scholars who think according to the unique Islamic viewpoint, cannot be understated. The Islamic State secures peoples’ needs on the basis of solving human problems. Hence, the Khilafah would not view public services from a cost/benefit viewpoint, i.e. to arrive at a financially efficient manner of funding. Instead, the Khilafah would be willing to fund public services such as health and education regardless of the cost, and will explore all legitimate means of financing if necessary. At the heart of the issue of funding higher
The history of the Khilafah bears testimony to the value Islam put upon the study of many subjects and disciplines; this is most visible in the manifestation of various historical centres of excellence around the Muslim world. The cities of Baghdad, Damascus, Toledo, Al-Qayarawan, Samarqand and Hijaz were crowded with universities offering a variety of subjects. The Khaleefah Al Hakam ibn Abdul Rahman established the University of Cordoba, which was the foremost centre of learning of its time. Indeed, the kings and queens of Europe used to send their children to study within the Islamic lands, such as the Mustansiryya University in Baghdad. These universities provided the fertile ground in which many of the scientific discoveries and inventions that characterise Islamic rule were made. However, since the demise of the Islamic ruling system, and its replacement with Western appointed tyrants and dictators, these very universities no longer exist or are so inferior in their contribution to learning that they are unknown.
FRANCE MOVES TO BAN HEADSCARF -
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RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN EUROPE EXCLUDES ISLAM are today wearing the headscarf in school. All shades of political opinion within France have been united in viewing the headscarf as a symbol of both religious extremism and female subservience. Noting the increasing prevalence of "behaviour prejudicial to the secular principle", the committee said that the headscarf is "no longer a question of freedom of conscience but of public order". The issue of Muslim women wearing the headscarf was first brought out in public in 1995 during the Creil affair (the first case of the adornment of hijaab in schools) after which French government circulars left a muddled set of guidelines regarding the issue of the adornment of headscarves in public schools. The law as it currently stands attempts to define headscarves as 'ostentatious' or constituting 'an act of provocation, proselytism, or propaganda'. Therefore, schools would be compelled to expel pupils wearing the headscarf.
ecently, the extremism of secularism has become apparent in a venomous attack against Islam in general and Muslim women in particular. A new row has broken out in France after the decision to ban the wearing of the hijaab in schools and public buildings. The French establishment claims that the headscarf is not merely a religious symbol, but an overt form of politics that is unacceptable to secular society. In November, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced a proposal to ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves in public institutions. Raffarin told his governing UMP party that he planned to introduce a bill that would be aimed at "protecting women". A motion was approved by 90 per cent of delegates who called for a bill that would "explicitly ban the
ostentatious wearing of any political or religious symbol" in public schools. French President Jacques Chirac when visiting France's former colony Tunisia, expressed a similar view. Chirac commented that there was "something aggressive" in the wearing of Muslim headscarves by schoolgirls and he could not let pupils wear what he called, "ostentatious signs of religious proselytism" in his secular homeland. The twenty-member committee of French experts headed by former government minister Bernard Stasi presented its report to President Chirac who announced the go-ahead for the banning of the hijaab. The government estimates that several thousand teenage girls
In recent years many women from France's estimated five million Muslim population have begun to adorn the Islamic attire in the form of jilbaab and khimar (outer garment). In 1989 only ten children were registered as wearing the headscarf to school, but by 1994 the number had risen to 2,000 and the figures have increased sharply since then. WHAT HAPPENED TO RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE? Clearly, Western claims of religious tolerance have been shown to be untrue. It appears that religious tolerance is applied selectively. Moreover, many within Europe have supported the French ban on hijaab and have used the debate to assert Europe's underlying Christian January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Therefore, banning of the hijaab has nothing to do with protecting Muslim women as the French claim, but has everything to do with protecting secular values and the separation of religion from political affairs. In the eyes of the West, the increasing adornment of the hijaab represents a realisation of the failure of secular capitalist values to have any meaningful hold upon Muslims. What we are seeing with the banning of hijaab in France and Germany is the extreme lengths to which Western states will go to ensure their values and beliefs prevail.
ethos and identity. Key personalities such as the Pope have supported the ban, as have many of the European states. Even within France, there is a disparity in the way religion is viewed. When Muslims adhere to their deen (way of life), such as by wearing the hijaab, it is described as a political statement but when Christianity is celebrated in the form of Christmas tress, decorations, and nun's costumes it is tolerated by the French secular elite. Therefore, the promoters of 'religious tolerance' single out Islam as the exception to the rule. Recently, twenty-two prominent Europeans including former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Nobel laureates have made a joint statement urging the European Union not to ignore the continent's Christian roots in its draft constitution. The signatories of the statement declared that Christianity was at the core of Europe's common identity. Although France has staunchly opposed any reference to religion in the new constitution, the Pope and half a dozen EU countries, including Spain, Poland and Ireland, want to include an overt mention of religion. PROTECTING SECULARISM AT ALL COSTS The banning of the hijaab for Muslim women and the tolerance shown to Christianity and Christian festivals not only demonstrates the duplicity of the West, but it also reveals how secularism will always be protected and maintained by the Western establishment.
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Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail in an article entitled 'How the West was lost' illustrated this. She stated her views about the failure of the acceptance of secularism by Muslims in the West: "Muslims not only despise Western secular values as decadent, materialistic, corrupt and immoral. They do not accept the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal, the division that in Christian societies confines religion to the margins of everyday life. Instead, for Muslims, the whole of human life must represent a submission to God." DITCHING CHRISTIANITY ADOPTING SECULARISM
Secularism shaped the origins of Capitalism. It is not an exaggeration to describe it as its basis. It emerged as a result of the bitter conflict between those who believed that the church's influence on society via the state should be maintained and those intellectuals who propounded the view that rationality and reason must be accepted over religious dogma. The matter settled on a compromise; the view that neither should religion be wiped out from the lives of individuals nor should it be allowed to stop progress. Thereafter, the church's influence was diminished and human beings were placed in the positions of legislators and rulers, which once were the sole preserve of the church. Despite the fact that some societies adopted this through revolution, while for other societies it was a culmination of a more evolutionary series of events, nonetheless Western societies settled upon this idea. Although Britain, France, Germany and the USA determined the shape of their society via the origins of their history, they still adhere to the idea of secularism as the basis of their existence. Secularism is not about resolving the question of whether a Creator exists or not, rather this is
left to the individual to believe as he or she wishes. However, secularists believe in the absolute separation of religion from politics and in the supremacy of man to make rules and laws for others. Hence, any secular state would limit the role of religion and not allow it to interfere with public life. This will inevitably lead it to conflict with other beliefs and ideas that do have a view on how society, economics and politics should function. In other words, secularism can tolerate only religions that are restricted to the individual sphere. For Islam, which has a unique and comprehensive outlook on life, secularists have nothing but scorn and hatred. WESTERN HATRED OF ISLAM Since the 'War on Terror' began, the hatred for Islam and Muslims by the Kuffar has become obvious. Though the core values of secularism promote 'religious tolerance', it is clear that Islam does not even fit the description of 'religion' since it has its own belief and systems. Muslims have become intolerable in Western societies. This attack has come from many quarters including from the likes of Polly Toynbee and Cherie Blair who vilified the Islamic dress. Mrs Blair commented openly in a press conference on the Islamic dress code of the Muslim woman, saying, "Nothing more I think symbolizes the oppression of the woman than the Burka." and the French politician Jean-Marie Le-Pen said about the hijaab that, "It keeps us away from ugly looking women". New categories of Muslims have been defined by the West such as 'moderate', 'extremist' and 'fundamentalist'. As a consequence, amendments to the terrorism and asylum laws have been made in the UK that have resulted in the arrests of Muslims without proof, charge or trial. For example, Sajid Badat of Gloucester was arrested for being an 'Islamic terrorist' and for having links to al-Qaida. The treatment of 14 foreign terrorist suspects held without trial in British high-security jails has been so harsh as to produce signs of serious mental illness in the majority of the prisoners. Their lawyers say they have been pushed "beyond the limits of human endurance". Belmarsh prison, the new home of so-called Muslim terrorists in London, has been described as 'Britain's Guantanamo Bay' or 'Camp Delta UK'. It almost seems as though it is now an arrestable offence to not take up the values of the host nation. The moves to integrate Muslims within the host society by targeting
alleged 'radicals' is every bit as insidious as the overt hostility shown to Muslims in France by banning the hijaab. Though Britain has not banned the headscarf, it has introduced measures to combat the carrying of Islam in its purest form. THE REAL MOTIVES BEHIND THE ATTACK ON ISLAM IS INTEGRATION AND ASSIMILATION It is clearly emerging that Western attacks upon the Islamic dress and the targeting of Muslims and Islamic groups is part of a wider agenda to force Muslims to adopt secular values and to reject the values of Islam. David Blunkett commented that: "We have norms of acceptability and those who come into our home - for that is what it is - should accept those norms just as we would have to do if we went elsewhere." At the core of the issue of integration is the view that Muslims should restrict their reference to Islam to matters of personal and moral conduct alone. In the political and societal realm, however, Muslims are urged to refer to and adopt from the Western beliefs and value system. This aim was articulated in a statement in The Sunday Times editorial: "They must accept our political culture, not our religion. That is the best way for them to succeed in Britain and the best way to live happily alongside us." Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also expressed this sentiment in his comment: "Too many within the younger generation appear to show an unwillingness to integrate into mainstream British society. Together with Muslim leaders, we must do more to counter the influence of fundamentalists over disenchanted Muslim youth. Democrats can never accept that religious injunctions take precedence over temporal laws." [Islam in Europe-Prospect Magazine, October 2002]. So it becomes apparent that there is no concept of 'tolerance' for Islam in any secular state if Islam interacts in the societal sphere of one's life, as it should do for all Muslims. Hence, as Muslims, we should not be deluded into thinking that it will be easy to practice Islam in all aspects while the legislation implemented upon us is from the minds of human beings. Allah has warned us of carrying such a view:
"Never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: 'The Guidance of Allah; that is the (only) Guidance'. Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge has reached you, then you would find neither Protector nor Helper against Allah." [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 120].
"O you who believe! If you listen to a faction among the People of the Book who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would indeed render you disbelievers after you have believed." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 100].
THE ORIGINS OF WESTERN INTOLERANCE TOWARDS ISLAM
For Muslims living in the West, we must realise that Islam is being attacked. In light of such an attack, the astute Muslim must never fall into the trap of the integrationist by using the secular concept of 'personal freedom' to demand the right to wear the hijaab. Nor should she fall into the trap of demanding a choice based on the same premise. The correct response is to show solidarity and steadfastness in continuing to practise Islam in the West despite the trials and tribulations that await us.
Allah has warned the believers in the Qur'an of the hatred that is present within the Kuffar for Islam:
"Hatred has already appeared from their mouths but what their hearts conceal is far worse" [TMQ Ale-Imran: 118]. The malice and hatred towards Islam has existed ever since the days of the Christian crusades and is still perpetuated today. The origins of this hatred first appeared in Christian Europe, primarily due to a rude awakening from its slumber by the presence of the Islamic State at its doorstep. Thus, the Christian nations, joined by their hatred and contempt for Islam, came together to prevent the Muslims from taking over Europe. Just as the Christian hymns rang in the ears of the Crusaders and reignited the hatred and intolerance they carried for Islam and Muslims, the hatred for the Islamic State also ran through their veins. An example of this came in 1917 when the British General Allenby after entering Jerusalem stated, "The crusader war has ended." In the same year, the French General Gouraud, went to the grave of Salahudeen Al Ayubi and kicked it stating the words: "Wake up! Oh Salahudeen, we are here…" The Crusader hatred allowed the Christian states to conspire and conclude the fate of the Islamic State. This same Crusader hatred is being used to detach the Muslims from their adherence to Islamic practices. However, it should be clear for the Muslim what dangers befall the believer when he or she follows those who desire our ruin.
ADHERENCE TO AHKAM SHARIAH
Indeed, the only shelter for the Muslim from such intense pressure to integrate is the adherence to the ahkam shariah regardless of the law of the land or the animosity shown to the believers for practising Islam. Moreover, if the Muslim gives up her adherence to the Islamic dress code due to pressure and conformity, do we believe the Kuffar will be content with simply stripping us of the Islamic dress? We should be mindful of the words of our Creator in relation to such an action:
"They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you." [TMQ AlQalam: 9]. The banning of hijaab is being discussed today. It may well be the beard tomorrow. If we give up our Islamic values and principles then surely we will go far astray from the truth. We should be conscious of our duty to be ambassadors for our deen by carrying Islam by word and deed.
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
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he Bollywood film industry is a multi billion dollar machine. India makes more films each year than any other country making Bollywood, not Hollywood, the largest film industry in the world. Over fourteen million Indian people go to the cinema everyday and Indians commonly go to see a movie ten to fifteen times a year. Bollywood churns out 800 films a year, twice as many as Hollywood. Film production budgets have also soared in recent years. Devdas, the first Hindi film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival cost $13 million to make. Such lavish productions have ensured Bollywood's success globally. Outside of India, Bollywood's appeal reaches audiences in Russia, China, the Middle East, the Far East, parts of Africa and Europe. The actors and actresses have become household names the world over. In Mumbai (Bombay) - the capital of Bollywood - actresses such as Ashwariya Rai and Madhuri Dixit adorn billboards and posters. Their names are synonymous with success, wealth and beauty. They command salaries which the indigenous population can only dream of. They promote an image that is part Eastern and part Western and they appeal to boys and girls dreaming of a movie lifestyle. Bollywood stars endorse over 1000 products from Pepsi to Palmolive.
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Since its birth Indian cinema has developed its own set of conventions. Sticking to a tried and tested formula of boy meets girl, they fall in love, endure family opposition and in the end struggle through with their love intact. Bollywood films were careful to steer clear of nudity and explicit material. Films such as Mother India, Pakeeza and Sholay explored themes of honour, loyalty, sacrifice and family values. Critics have described these films as timeless classics and the stars still remain icons. For example, Amitabh Bachchan was voted the star of the millennium in a BBC online poll. Despite focusing on relationships the films of the past were careful not to offend. Actors were careful about their clothing and proximity to the opposite sex. Sensitive subjects or explicit scenes were never shown on film and the camera would pan out to images of lush fields and stunning waterfalls to convey risqué material. BOLLYWOOD FILMS NOW MIRROR WESTERN FILMS Nowadays this approach has been replaced by a more bold and daring stance. The actresses wear less and ever more revealing costumes, the scenes are far more graphic than before
leaving little to the imagination. Directors, in response to the demands of the audience have produced blockbusters that deal with subjects such as infidelity, rape and even homosexuality. Younger generations find the traditional storylines predictable and boring and so scriptwriters have tried to solve the problem by changing storylines to reflect real life. ‘Jism’, a film based on a Hollywood movie called ‘Body Heat’, has attracted controversy for its use of storylines based on fornication and the glamorisation of adultery as dangerous and exciting. Keen to follow in Western footsteps, Bollywood in recent times has produced films that both shock and woo audiences the world over. Tastes and norms have changed and what was considered immoral and perverse a few years ago is now regularly reflected on the big screen. Bollywood leading lady Priyanka Chopra was quoted as saying "In Indian films, kissing is becoming more acceptable and I wouldn't give it a second thought." This shift in film content is not surprising. It is argued that as times change, so do the demands of audiences and thus the explicit and graphic storylines are part of the attraction to viewers. Bollywood seeks to be seen as a credible player in the world of film production and aims to rival Hollywood. Gone are the days where
Sri Devi and Rekha would infer their feelings through song. Now an actress is expected to yield to pressures to strip, dance provocatively and go as far as the director demands. Ten years ago the career of any actress would have been ruined if she dared to bare all, now it is a prerequisite if she is to do well. Previous Bollywood films steered clear of open relationships between men and women and observed religious boundaries with their characters. This has also changed. Films such as Kuche Kuche Hota He and Devdas have attracted a huge fan base amongst the youth. They provide a world of glitz and glamour, where familiarity with the opposite sex is the key. The heroes and heroines speak Hindi and wear Shalwar Kameez but imitate Western storylines in all other respects. Religious boundaries are ignored, as Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims are shown to overcome differences by love alone. CHANGING VALUES An influx of MTV, Western icons and a fascination for all things Western has resulted in an injection of Western values into the Asian subcontinent that has affected millions of people, Muslims included. This has resulted in cinema-goers no longer being satisfied with big budget dance numbers and songs alone. Rather, audiences now crave graphic sex scenes, explicit language and all manners of depravity to keep up with their Western counterparts. Bollywood producers and filmmakers have seen the potential in these storylines and have been quick to make movies that reflect and accommodate these changing tastes and values. The changing nature of Bollywood and the society it represents has also been influenced by the Western obsession with all things Eastern. The recent trend for the adoration of anything Eastern from mehendi to Indian cuisine has aided the crossover from East to West and has further compounded the change in values and norms that Bollywood is now portraying. Selfridges, the department store, completed a 'Festival of Bollywood' selling some of the outfits worn by the stars. Bombay Dreams and Bend it like Beckham have received rave reviews from critics. The latest offering promises Bollywood star Ashwariya Rai, a former Miss World, as the leading lady in the new James Bond film. Western recognition is the proof that Bollywood is as good as Hollywood, if not better.
The result of all this is a new set of norms, tastes and values that are unrecognisable from the Indian film industry of a few years ago and are a million miles away from the beliefs of Muslims and Islam. In today's Bollywood modesty is outdated, family values are shunned, respect for parents is ignored and marriage is made a mockery of. The old values have been replaced by freedom, promiscuity and lewdness. THE ACTORS ARE A REFLECTION OF THE TIMES The movie stars are increasingly becoming a symbol of the new Bollywood culture that represents a shift in morals and attitudes. Their personal and professional lives indicate standards of behaviour that would not have been accepted or tolerated by the stars of yesteryear. A flick through any of the showbiz magazines reveals stories of Bollywood stars involved in shocking behaviour; public brawls and fights, affairs, infidelity, drug taking and divorce are now commonplace. For example, Aamir Khan hit the headlines for fathering an illegitimate child and Fardeen Khan, son of 70's actor Feroz Khan, was arrested for possession of cocaine. Furthermore, the once innocent image of the Bollywood film industry has been shattered with police investigations into scandals of money laundering and organised crime. Tax evasion hit the news last year when a huge police operation resulted in the raiding of homes and businesses belonging to a variety of Bollywood stars. Urmilla Matondkhar, Amrish Puri and Rajesh Khanna were all questioned in relation to their earnings and financial assets. WESTERN AND EASTERN VALUES ARE NOT PERMANENT The changing nature of the Bollywood film industry to portray a different set of norms, traditions and values is due to the nonpermanent and ever-changing nature of both Eastern and Western values. Within both East and West, there are no inherent truths, morals or acceptable standards of behaviour. Right and wrong and good and bad are not fixed but evolve with the change of times and with the differing beliefs and values held by the people. Thus, previous limits and boundaries have gradually become eroded over the years such that all manner of subjects and taboos have been removed.
This fickle and transient basis of values and beliefs results in a complete loss of any moral stability or decency within society. Where once it was understood that Eastern values represented conservatism, respect, obedience and modesty, this no longer stands true. This basis of accepting values, simply on the basis of people's tastes, whims and desires, will inevitably lead to the most despicable actions and behaviours being tolerated and then becoming the normal pattern of behaviour. Therefore, Bollywood is now very similar to Hollywood and it will only be a matter of time before new forms of depravity are depicted upon the cinema screen on the basis of entertainment and a changing of the times. ISLAM HAS PERMANENT VALUES THAT ARE DIFFERENT TO BOLLYWOOD AND HOLLYWOOD For the many Muslims who watch Bollywood movies, it is inevitable that they will become influenced by the more graphic and explicit content that the industry now shows. Islam rejects the idea that right and wrong, good and bad are merely subjective values that reflect a particular time and place. Morals, values and beliefs in Islam are determined by Allah ď ‰ and
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are not subject to the influences of human beings or their wishes and desires. What is haram (prohibited) one day does not become halal (permitted) the next simply because society deems it so. A Muslim never has to re-evaluate his values according to societal changes, so it doesn't matter that it is now the norm to commit adultery, take drugs and mix with the opposite sex. The Islamic viewpoint on these things and other matters has been fixed by Allah till the day of judgement. Islam came to cater for all realities and for all times. Allah tells us in the Quran;
"O you who believe! If you listen to a faction among the People of the Book who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would indeed render you disbelievers after you have believed." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 100] Islamic values do not need to be changed or compromised so as to fit the 'modern' image and values of Hollywood or Bollywood. Rather, the fact that they are permanent and from the creator of man leads to a feeling of stability, comfort and tranquillity for the Muslim. The duty upon the Muslims is to expose the false ideas and beliefs of the West and East and their disastrous consequences for society. When accountability and obedience to the wishes of the Creator becomes the yardstick, a person's actions are not governed by the practices of wider society. Halal and Haram replace the criteria of benefit and enjoyment.
"Whoever can guarantee what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs, I guarantee Paradise for him." [Sahih Bukhari] The Muslim applies the Islamic values and tastes in all aspects of his life from personal worship to how be buys, sells, marries, raises his children and so on. Secularism has no place in the Islamic personality. There is only one reference point; not a mish-mash that resembles the Sikh and Hindu cultures. The Quran Al-Karim contains all that a human being needs to function and a Muslim is 20
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careful to find the guidance on all issues that he faces.
“So do you believe in some part of the Book and disbelieve in some? The penalty awaiting those who do this is nothing but humiliation in this life and the severest punishment on the Day of Judgment." [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 85]. A believer has nothing in common with a mushrik simply because they speak the same language or eat the same food; these are not what define a person, rather it is the values that he carries. No matter what popular culture dictates, the Muslim does not succumb to current fads and passing trends especially when it comes to how he views his life. So even if the West seems to celebrate Asian culture, this is not a celebration of Islam but of kufr, so it holds no weight for us. It is clear that a Muslim should look to Bollywood with the same disgust as he would look at Hollywood; both are industries which promote values completely alien to Islam, promoting a lifestyle, which is based on falsehood. Such a way of life can only lead to misery in this life and the hereafter. Looking at Western and Eastern society, we can witness the effects of the corrupt way of life and degenerate morals and behaviours that are portrayed on film. While the Muslims are flooded with Western and Eastern films and programmes, we should be mindful that this is a deliberate attempt to distance us from Islam.
“It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, to have any option about their decision. If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path." [TMQ Al-Ahzab: 36] And for He says:
"But no by the Lord, they shall not be believers, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." [TMQ An-Nisa: 65] Whether we look to the East or the West, what we see is the overwhelming darkness of kufr. The Bollywood dream is in fact a myth, a myth that is beamed into our homes and used to further remove us from the truth. Just as the West has tried to influence Muslims worldwide, the East and the culture it represents is 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'. We do not need to turn to any culture other than the Islamic culture to solve our problems and to define who we are. Allah sets the parameters for our life and they are not subject to flux and change like the fickle values of the Western and Eastern way of life.
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SCARFACE: THE FACE OF THE MUSLIM YOUTH? "They came in search of the American Dream. One of them found it on the sun-washed avenues of Miami… wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreams. He was Tony Montana. The world would remember him by another name… Scarface". This is the blurb for the infamous feature film 'Scarface'. The 'they' refers to the Cuban immigrants in America in the 70's. The film evolves around one particular immigrant Tony Montana who works his way up the criminal hierarchy to become 'Scarface', one of the most vicious and ruthless gangsters in cinematic history. From cocaine to beautiful women, Scarface fulfils his every desire. In the process he amasses incredible wealth and then loses it all in a foolhardy blaze of glory. But his blasé attitude is not vilified rather it is the subject of adulation: he steals, murders and tortures his enemies and anyone who dares to oppose him. Scarface sums it up perfectly himself. "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women". His complete contempt for life is glorified in the film, and many of the modern rappers and gangster wannabes hail Tony Montana as their prime influence. Unfortunately, this admiration of the Scarface type gangster is not limited to the rap stars. The Muslim youth in inner city areas have begun to
adopt the Scarface mentality. From the 'Lisson Green posse' in Edgware Road to the 'Shadwell Massive' in East London, a worrying number of Muslim youth are being gripped by gangster culture. Youth associate themselves with gangs for respect and find solace and security in their fellow gangsters. The gang mentality extends to protecting their patch from rival gangs. Turf wars are conducted on estates and woe betide anyone who attempts to infringe on another gangs territory. Knives and bicycle chains are the weapons of choice yet more sophisticated gangs conduct their reign of terror with handguns. When one of the gangs is shown 'disrespect' the others rally around and make an example of the poor fool who dared to cross them. This is done to reinforce their credibility and ensure word does not get out that they have become soft. The gangs are formed along nationalistic lines, for example in Edgware Road the Moroccan youth have long lasting 'beef' with the Bengali youth. More often than not, the fighting revolves around girls and drugs. Violent crime is commonplace as they rival each other to be the ultimate 'hustler', 'player' and 'pimp'. Muslim parents are helpless spectators as the youth begin to formulate a lifestyle alien to the Islamic values that they attempted to instil within them. Instead, respect is granted to the likes of Jay-Z and Tupac Shakur, after all they live the 'thug life'. But the problem does not purely revolve around
gangs of Muslim youth who just beat each other up. These gangs need a source of income to support their lifestyle. And hence they will turn to whatever is easy and also compatible with the 'thug life', namely drugs. Tower Hamlets is an area of London reported to have the highest concentration of Muslims in the UK. The local MP Oona King has dubbed Tower Hamlets as the 'heroin capital' of the country. Up North the problem of Muslim youth in gangs is self-evident. Furious turf wars between rival drug gangs in Keighley on the outskirts of Bradford have left many dead in the space of a few months. Keighley is an area where the majority of the Asian community are Muslim of Pakistani origin. One of the victims was 24-year-old Qadir Ahmed, who was beaten and stabbed to death in the street after his killers' shunted his car off the road. The effect of the gangster mentality is all too evident in these youth. As one Muslim youth in Bradford interviewed by the Guardian stated with respect to a rival gang member who had a gleaming new Mercedes. 'He does the same thing as me. That's what I want. But you need to spend time out here in these streets. That man's taken it to the next level'. These words worryingly seem to echo those uttered by Tony Montana about power and money and betray a certain mentality. Then of course there is the curious phenomenon of the 'wannabe' amongst Muslim youth. The 'wannabe' is by no means a gangster in the true sense of the word. The 'wannabe' has probably never stepped foot outside the leafy suburbs of Surrey and has more in common with Ali G than Tony Montana. However he spends time and money attempting to convince his contemporaries that he is 'street'. This will involve having the latest Ja Rule CD, spitting the 'illest lyrics' and talking about who he 'sparked up'. The 'wannabe' sees the designer clothes and flash souped up Ford Fiestas as something to admire and emulate. Of course very few of January 2004 Khilafah Magazine 21
these youth will ever possess wealth and power to the same extent as Tony Montana, however the desire is there. Violent computer games like 'Grand Theft Auto' is probably the closest the 'wannabe' will ever get to being like a gangster. The youth will tell you 'it's all about respect', but in reality they are repeating the rhetoric heard in the rap music and seen on the screens. There is no respect in the life of a gangster. There is only selfishness and contempt for society. Forget the myth of the 'ethical gangster' such as Don Corleone from the Godfather. Dismiss from your mind the notion that these youth are like a modern day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Instead to achieve true gangster status you have to be willing to 'smoke anybody, anytime'. There is no place for morals or ethics. So if you're a gangster and your Muslim brother 'disrespects' you then there is no consideration paid to anything except the law of the street. And this law dictates that he should be made an example of, made to weep in front of others. It should become known that he is weak and you are strong. You should break his dignity and spread the word that you are not to be messed with. These gangsters are blessed with the bodies of men but behave like schoolchildren. The gangster will bully those weaker than him and where he cannot win a fight himself, he will recruit his mates.
Firstly there is the value of pride and the ego, which accompany the lifestyle of a gangster. No one should be able to put you down if you are a gangster. After all, you're the 'baddest' and the most ruthless. These values do not breed stability in society rather they create an atmosphere of fear. ISLAM, PAINTING A DIFFERENT PICTURE FOR THE YOUTH. Islam is undoubtedly a deen regulating all aspects of man’s life, including man’s relationship with others. Islam defines what makes a true man and the correct way to live life. And Islam has attracted people from all sorts of backgrounds instead of limiting itself to an area or a council estate like these petty gangs. If we look to how some of the Sahabah embraced Islam, one particular story catches the eye, that of Abu Dhar al-Ghifaary. One morning he went and found the Prophet sitting alone. He approached him and said,
"O my Arab brother, good morning". Thereupon the Prophet replied, "And may peace be upon you, my brother". Abu Dhar then said, "Sing to me some of what you are saying". The Prophet answered, "It isn't a poem to be sung, but a Holy Qur'an" Abu Dhar said, "Then recite for me".
WHY THIS MESS? It's no coincidence that the gangster mentality is endemic in inner city areas of the Western world. Many point to the 'violent' lyrics in rap music, especially in the light of the recent gang killings in Birmingham. However if we scratch beneath the surface it is evident that the gangster image emanates from Western Capitalism’s incorrect view about the way man should behave. The reality is that the idea of individualism and the 'me, myself and I' mentality is responsible for the behaviour of these Muslim youth. And it is undoubted that this concept stems from the Capitalist creed, which places sensual pleasure above all other values. But there are certain key ideas stemming from this concept of individualism that need to be understood in order to understand the mentality of the 'gangster'. 22
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The Prophet recited to him while he listened. It was not long until Abu Dhar shouted, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger". The Prophet asked him, "Where are you from, my Arab brother?" Abu Dhar answered, "From Ghifaar". A broad smile appeared on the Prophet's lips and his face was filled with wonder and astonishment. Abu Dhar was also smiling, for he knew well that the reason behind the Prophet's astonishment was because the man who had just embraced Islam in front of him was from Ghifaar. Ghifaar was a tribe with a notorious reputation for highway robbery. Its people were famous for theft and were known as allies of darkness and night. Narrating this account
himself, Abu Dhar said:
"The Prophet lifted his eyes out of astonishment, due to Ghifaar's reputation". Then he said, "Allah guides whom He wills, Indeed, Allah guides whom He wills". Hence Ghifaar were a tribe of 'gangsters' the equivalent of the modern day hustlers. Abu Dhar went back and convinced his entire tribe of Islam yet before he did this he displayed the courage to go and declare his Islam openly in front of the Quraish. It was the first public pronouncement declaring Islam and challenging the arrogance of the Quraish. What was even more amazing is that Abu Dhar was a man with no relative, reputation or protection in Makkah. As a result he was beaten severely by the polytheists. However not to be intimidated, Abu Dhar returned the next day and encountered two women circling around two idols (Usaaf and Naaliah) and calling upon them. He stood in front of them rudely disgracing their idols. The women shouted loudly, and men hastened to beat Abu Dhar senseless. Abu Dhar was a gangster, from a particular tribe of hoodlums. Yet Islam transformed his personality and he exhibited bravery that the modern day gangster cannot even begin to fathom. Imagine going into an area where you have no protection and challenging the local gang, with your ideas and thoughts to the extent that you are beaten senseless, yet you return the next day for more. This is the meaning of being a true man in Islam, the one who enjoins the good and forbids the evil and in the process fears the rebuke of no one. The Prophet said of Abu Dhar.
'The earth never carried above it, nor did the sky ever shade under it a more truthful tongue than Abu Dhar's'. Muslim youth should aspire to be like these great men who went before us. The men who demonstrated for Allah's sake what bravery and courage really is. They were men who did not fear anyone except Allah and men who had the most outstanding personality, such that the Ummah will remember them long after the memory of Scarface and his emulators fades.
AFGHANISTAN POST WAR NO RECONSTRUCTION, NO SECURITY, NO DELIVERY ON PROMISED BILLIONS
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donor community gathered in Tokyo and pledged nearly $5 billion over five years to rebuild the country. A sum of $1.8 billion in foreign aid was promised to Afghanistan by the international community in 2002 but by September, only $600 million had been delivered. The promises that were made gave the Afghan people the impression that the 'bad' old days of fighting, instability, poverty and destruction were about to be eradicated. However, these promises have turned out to be nothing more than hot air and the Muslims of Afghanistan face a future little better than their past. RECONSTRUCTION PROMISES
t the January 2002 State of the Union address, George Bush stated, "America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We'll be partners in rebuilding that country." The impression conveyed through the address was that security and stability had been brought to Afghanistan. Bush reiterated on October 11th 2002, at an event highlighting US humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, "we want to be a continuing part of the new era of hope in Afghanistan." In addition, he said, "we are helping the people to now recover from years of tyranny and oppression. We're helping Afghanistan to claim its democratic future, and we're helping that nation to establish public order and safety." Former US President Ronald Reagan had also vowed to support the Afghans. In his State of the Union Address of 1989 Reagan said, "So,
too, in Afghanistan, the freedom fighters are the key to peace. We support the Mujahidin. There can be no settlement unless all Soviet troops are removed and the Afghan people are allowed genuine self-determination." However, once Soviet forces were driven out of Afghanistan, US support to reconstruct war torn Afghanistan vanished, leaving the country in a state of internal turmoil and chaos. In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America, the Bush administration launched its so called 'war on terror'. Afghanistan was attacked, resulting in the Taliban, being forced out of power. Many promises were made by Bush and his coterie of neo-conservatives. In December 2001, a US sponsored conference in Bonn resulted in the formation of an interim government headed by veteran CIA 'asset' Hamid Karzai. A month later, the international
Kabul is said to be bustling with new U.N. offices and international aid groups loaded with funds. This has given the impression to the international community that the rebuilding of Afghanistan is underway but deeper scrutiny will indicate otherwise. Most of the funds are being siphoned off by NGOs employing expensive consultants who are driven around in air conditioned cars. Although various nations pledged, at a January 2002 conference in Tokyo, $4.5 billion in aid over five years, most of that money has not been received. Even the pledges of the major powers will not be handed over to the Afghans, but distributed directly from Washington, Tokyo and Brussels, ensuring the Afghan government will be limited in what it can spend money on. UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Lakhdar Brahimi was asked by Barry Bearak of the New York Times in April 2003 what he thought the biggest accomplishments of reconstruction were. He answered, "Probably not very much." International humanitarian agency CARE has stated that projects worth just $192 million were January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
completed in the 18 months after US-led forces ousted the Taliban regime. That constitutes "roughly 1 percent of Afghanistan's reconstruction needs" according to one of its reports. In a recent request for an additional $78 billion from Congress, Bush's administration set aside a paltry sum for Afghanistan. Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani, said Afghanistan needed at least $15 billion (£9.2 billion) over the next five years; much more than the $4.5 billion (£2.7 billion) pledged last year. The new 'free' Afghanistan is beginning where pre-Taliban Afghanistan left off - as a patchwork of territories controlled by competing strong men. In the meantime, there is an almost total lack of infrastructure leading the population to suffer terribly, for example, from the lack of water, hospitals and roads.
Afghan civilians. This has threatened the delivery of urgently needed aid. Any taxes raised in the area go to pay Dostum's troops. In the Western city of Herat, Ismail Khan exerts his control over five of the country's provinces. His troops control the border with Iran and revenue from the customs tax on cross border trade flows into his hands and not to the central government. In the south, tribal-based militias compete for the patronage of the US military in order to establish their own domains. It was only some months ago that the UN Security Council mandated the expansion of ISAF outside Kabul. However, so far no foreign government has sent its forces to any of the numerous troubled regions of Afghanistan, which is not surprising given the lack of security beyond the confinements of Kabul. APPEASING WARLORDS
THE MAYOR OF KABUL In Kabul, the Government under Hamid Karzai holds sway, but his rule extends only up to the city limits and even this is achieved largely due to the presence of the 5000 strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Karzai administration is practically non-existent outside Kabul; Hamid Karzai only dares trust American bodyguards with his life. Even within Kabul, ethnic rivalry is rife; the Interim Authority's transport minister and then the subsequent government's vice president were assassinated. Karzai is surrounded in key positions by the Tajik faction of the Northern Alliance such as Gen Fahim and Yunus Qanooni. Roads between cities are patrolled by armed groups who regularly extort money from farmers, traders and anyone not under the protection of a regional influential. In Mazar-e-Sharif, Uzbek warlord and Deputy defence minister Abdul Rashid Dostum holds sway. Earlier in the year his troops engaged in bloody clashes with Tajik militia loyal to Defence Minister Mohammad Fahim. This rivalry in northern Afghanistan has led to a rise in attacks on humanitarian aid workers and 24
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US forces strengthened the Uzbek-Tajik Northern Alliance after the September 11th attacks. Various other regional warlords were backed militarily and politically in the course of using them as proxy forces against the Taliban. At the same time the Pashtuns, who have historically held the balance of power in Afghanistan, perceive themselves to have become effectively disenfranchised. How this was done is well documented despite most Afghan commanders denying receiving payoffs. The Americans gave each warlord tens of thousands of dollars in cash and truckloads of weapons. "We were reaching out to every commander that we could," a CIA official told the Wall Street Journal during the war. Bribery was the name of the game to stop them fighting each other and fight the Taliban. An article titled, 'West pays warlords to stay in line' in the Observer on July 21st 2002 makes clear that much of the current chaos is being perpetuated by the US policy of financing a network of regional warlords. An article in the Observer explained, "that 'bin bags' full of US dollars have been flown to Afghanistan, sometimes on RAF planes, to be given to key regional power brokers." Buying over the 'hearts and minds' of brutal warlords by the Americans through payoffs exacerbates the distrust and disunity in Afghanistan. The local population is further exposed to this rivalry with men being shot and looted and in some cases even women raped by
opposing communities. To date, the warlords have dictated Afghan politics and they escalate the drug trade to finance and equip their militia while the US turns a blind eye. Human Rights Watch in early November 2002 released a report on torture and repression in Afghanistan blaming the US and UN. The report mentions: "When the United States-led coalition overthrew the Taliban in November 2001, Afghans were promised a new era of democracy and respect for human rights .... For many Afghans, the end of the Taliban's uniquely oppressive rule was indeed a liberation. Yet almost one year later, the human rights situation in most of the country remains grim .... This has happened not simply because of the inherent difficulties of rebuilding an impoverished, devastated country, but because of choices the United States and other international actors have made, and failed to make…..In most parts of the country, security and local governance has been entrusted to regional military commanders - warlords many of whom have human rights records rivalling the worst commanders under the Taliban .... American military forces have maintained relationships with local warlords that undercut efforts by US diplomats and aid agencies to strengthen central authority and the rule of law." AMERICA'S TRACK RECORD The United States has a long record of bombing nations post World War 2. It has left entire neighbourhoods and parts of cities in piles of rubble, wrecking the infrastructure and disrupting the lives of those who are not killed in the bombing. This has generally been followed by complete apathy towards repairing the damage. Taking Vietnam as an example, on 27 January 1973, the US signed the 'Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam'. Article 21 of this stated: "In pursuance of its traditional policy, the United States will contribute to healing the wounds of war and to post-war reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [North Vietnam] and throughout Indochina." Five days later, President Nixon sent a message to the Prime Minister of North Vietnam in which he stipulated the following two points: (1) The Government of the United States of
America will contribute to post-war reconstruction in North Vietnam without any political conditions. (2) The United States contribution to post-war reconstruction will fall in the range of $3.25 billion of grant aid over 5 years. However, despite the promises made, reconstruction aid never came but, bizarrely, Vietnam has in fact been compensating the United States. In 1997 it began to pay off about $145 million in debts left by the defeated South Vietnamese government for American food and infrastructure aid. In effect, the US is being paid back the cost of the war by its victims.
Afghanistan has shown that, apart from supplying emergency aid relief to a few of the starving population, America has not embroiled itself in any of the complexities of rebuilding Afghanistan. Many of the two million refugees who have returned are in a worse condition than those who have received the American aid in the capital. They have nothing on which to survive. The only aid they are given, however, is money for fares, a bag of flour and a survival package consisting of plastic sheeting, soap and a hygiene cloth. The American administration is only concerned with avoiding media images of millions of starving Afghans.
The 'shock and awe' tactics employed on Iraq have resulted in the destruction of power, water, sanitation systems and everything else that is required to run a state. The only part of Iraq the US has helped to rebuild since its occupation has been the infrastructure related to the oil fields. Electricity blackouts, food shortages, civil disobedience, looting and no access to basic amenities are the reality in Iraq today. Reconstruction is too heavy a burden for the Americans to get involved in. As has been the case in many other countries the US carries out with urgency and to great effect those actions which are beneficial to national interests. In the case of Afghanistan, this was regime change and hunting for Al-Qaeda after using September 11th as a pretext to initiate its bloody and terrorising campaign around the world. Quite conveniently, this War on 'terror' allowed the Americans to establish a foothold in Central Asia through bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as Afghanistan, which would have been unthinkable ten years ago. As we are seeing in Iraq, once the deed is done, America tends to drag its feet because ultimately it sees no benefit in engrossing its assets in reconstruction (apart from letting private firms win lucrative contracts).
As long as the client regime of Hamid Karzai continues to ally itself with the US and give its troops free access throughout the country, the Afghan people will remain of secondary importance. This brazen disregard for the population was demonstrated when Paul Wolfowitz visited Mazar-i-Sharif in July 2002 and gave backing to the local warlords whose forces are responsible for many of the abuses in the north. Human Rights Watch researchers spent four weeks visiting dozens of villages and communities affected by violence and looting. A Pashtun woman described to them how soldiers from the ethnic Hazara Hezb-iWahdat faction raped her tribeswomen. "They took all the women and girls to another room and started with my fourteen-year-old daughter." Another example came in the second week of December which saw the brutal slaying of fifteen children in Ghazni and Gardez at the hands of indiscriminate bombing by American A10 tank busters. THE PROPAGANDA WAR Western media churns out the same rosy stories the Soviets did about liberating Afghanistan, freeing women and educating children. The only real difference now is that the propaganda merchants are the Americans. The invaders have changed but the propaganda
remains the same. The fancy statements made by the Bush administration regarding helping the Afghans are purely for public consumption and electioneering purposes. A false vision of a peaceful Afghanistan with a stable society and a growing economy is being portrayed to the American people. Post September 11th all sorts of accusations were made by the British and Americans regarding the Taleban profiting from the opium trade, despite the fact the Taleban had banned growing poppies the year before. As was the case with Iraq, unsubstantiated claims were made that sounded good to the domestic audience and reduced the opposition to war. It should be noted that America's allies the Northern Alliance are taking full advantage of the drugs trade; in fact Afghanistan has once again become the top exporter of heroin. Much was made of the plight of women under the Taleban when it was useful to. Laura Bush said in November 2001, "The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women." Yet the US has been strangely quiet over the last two years. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), millions of Afghan women and children continue to face major health and nutrition problems with maternal and infant mortality among the worst in the world. A report by Human Rights Watch, issued in July 2003, warns that violence, political intimidation and attacks on women and girls are increasing; so much for the concerns of the Afghan women. The Bush administration has made many rhetorical promises for a "Marshall Plan". However, in reality it did not even request funds for humanitarian or reconstruction projects in Afghanistan in the latest budget. Congress has stepped in to find a meagre $300 million for a nation in tatters. (More than $5 billion in US economic and military aid is delivered to Israel each year). Washington's motivation for the invasion of Afghanistan was to satisfy geopolitical, commercial and strategic interests within the region. The US seized the opportunity to increase its military presence in Central Asia and has established a string of military bases throughout the region. The commercial benefits are clear as exemplified by the May 2002 deal for a $2 billion pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the subcontinent. The deal was officially signed on 27 December 2002, by January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Karzai, Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali and Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. Afghanistan will be a mere conduit for transporting the estimated $4 trillion worth of Central Asia's oil reserves out of the region. US based Unocal Corp, in particular, has long sought a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. MUSLIMS SHOULD PROPOGANDA
Noam Chomsky famously once stated that the first thing lost in war is the truth. The US and Britain clearly exaggerated and invented negative propaganda that was projected towards the Taliban regime and falsely accused Iraq of possessing WMD in order to discredit them in the eyes of the public and hence build a case for war. They then selectively presented facts post war to give a misleading impression of progress. This propaganda was aimed primarily at Western audience but also was used to convince Muslims that the actions they were undertaking were for the betterment of the Muslims of Afghanistan, Iraq and the wider Middle East.
him from entering Makkah. The Muslims took with them 70 camels with collars round their necks indicating that they were sacrificial animals and kept only a sword each in sheaths, which the pilgrims to the Kabah were allowed to carry according to the recognized custom of Arabia, but no other weapon. The caravan set out for the Kabah and after travelling six miles they stopped at a place called Dhul Hulaybah and there they prepared themselves with the call for umrah and the Muslims began to chant "labbaik, Allahuma labbaik".
This propaganda campaign by the kuffar is not a new phenomenon. When looking to the seerah of the Prophet we find many scenarios where the Quraish and her allies sought to undermine the Muslims thorough engaging in the spreading of lies in order to turn public opinion against the Muslims at that time.
The Quraish, aware of the advance of the Muslims, were frightened and began to prepare to resist the Muslims. They prepared an army and created the impression in Makkah that the Prophet had come to invade. The Prophet had received the news that the Quraish were preparing an army to resist them and that they would stop the Muslims from entering Makkah. With all normal routes blocked to Makkah by the Quraish, the Prophet embarked on a different route and settled at a place called Hudaybia. The Quraish were willing to fight to make the Muslims turn back to Medina but believed that they had a higher reputation than the Muslims and decided to see what the Muslims were up to. A delegation was sent to the Prophet and they saw the Muslims in a state of pilgrimage. They returned convinced that the Muslims were truthful in what they had been saying but the Quraish accused them of taking the Muslims' side. They sent delegation after delegation but they all came back with the same story.
In one incident Allah's Messenger was informed that the people of Khaybar and the Quraish of Makkah were conspiring to raid the Muslims. The Quraish had for some time been spreading propaganda and propagating lies that the Muslims had broken the sanctity of the sacred months and were spilling blood. In response to the propaganda being spread and the collusion between the Quraish and the tribe of Khaybar, Muhammad decided to respond by visiting Makkah for pilgrimage.
The Quraish's hatred was even stronger than before, given that all their delegations had nothing but good to say about the Muslims. As a result, they sent out youths to throw stones at the Muslims to instigate a reaction but the Prophet controlled the anger of his followers. The youths were captured and they were released. This action had a powerful effect in Makkah and was convincing proof that the Prophet was indeed telling the truth and the Muslims had no intention to fight.
A caravan with (1 400 of the companions) set off from Madinah at the beginning of Dhil Qa'dah, 6 A.H. At Dhul Hulaifah they donned pilgrim's robes with the intention of performing umrah. The Prophet wanted to share with the non-Muslim Arabs his pilgrimage even though they were not Muslims and had no allegiance to Islam. By doing this action, it would gain public opinion in favour of the Muslims in case the Quraish prevented
The negotiations between both sides continued, with the Prophet even sending a delegation to discuss with the Quraish. Negotiations continued until the Quraish sent Suhail Ibn Amr to negotiate with the Prophet and after discussions, the terms set forth were accepted by the Prophet . Through this treaty, the Prophet had achieved the aims which he had desired when he instigated his plan to visit Makkah. He had wanted to isolate the people
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of Khaybar from the Quraish and overcome the false propaganda that had been propagated by the Quraish. Public opinion in Makkah had been won over by the Prophet , which created a welcoming populace when the liberation of Makkah took place. The victors were the Muslims, as they had countered Quraishi accusations effectively leading to the eventual truce between the two. The West always resorts to clever spin to justify the unjustifiable, as the Quraish tried to do at the time of the Prophet . The most recent examples have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. They simply move on from one Muslim target to the next with impunity. It will not come as a surprise when a new target somewhere in the Islamic world will be chosen. This will again require the launch of a new propaganda war built up slowly over time. The Muslim Ummah needs to counteract this onslaught by the war mongering West by challenging the deceit, falsities and twisting of facts. We should note how our beloved Prophet and his sahabah did not sit idle and allow Quraish to ride roughshod over Islam. The Ummah needs to undertake such actions as using the media, taking advantage of the Internet, pressurising the illegitimate rulers in the Muslim countries, engaging in individual contact and other styles that will allow her to get the message across that exposes the plans of West in the Muslim world. This will aid the build up of a public opinion that will not be distorted by propaganda. However, the Ummah is disadvantaged by not having state machinery to convey political messages and shape public opinion. This is why it is so important to realise the goal of establishing the Khilafah State. It will be natural for an ideological state such as the Khilafah - and indeed it is its duty - to root out the claims of the West. A state that represents an alternative world view based on the aqeeda of Islam will seek to refute the very basis of Capitalist nations. The whole world arena is set to be transformed, a transformation that the West deems a nightmare scenario but one where the Ummah will rejoice.
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BUSH BACKS DOWN ON STEEL TARIFFS ANALYSIS
he European Union (EU) and the US represent the world's biggest economies; they each produce about a quarter of global economic output and are responsible for more than 40% of world trade. They are also the biggest investors in each other, with trade and investment flows worth hundreds of billions of dollars (or euros) each year. Despite the relative dependence upon each other, the relations between the two have often been marred by trade disputes. Longstanding trade disputes between the EU and US have occurred over a number of issues, including banana imports, hormone enhanced beef, genetically modified crops and aerospace subsidies. Power politics has been the name of the game, with the EU and US making direct economic threats to one another in order to influence the terms of trade agreements. For example, when the EU refused to import hormone treated beef, the Clinton administration called it, "a negative and unfortunate step in the wrong direction" and threatened to retaliate by introducing a new list of products
that would be subject to tariff rates of 100%. Thus, the decision by the Bush administration to impose steel tariffs in March 2002 can be seen as part of an ongoing policy that has become a characteristic of EU-US relations. BUSH IMPOSES STEEL TARIFFS On March 20th 2002, punishing tariffs ranging from 8% to 30% were placed on several types of imported steel in an effort to help the ailing US steel industry. A tariff is a tax placed on a targeted foreign product (steel) as it enters the domestic economy. The imposition of tariffs raises revenue as well as the price of imported steel. As a result, consumers move from imported to domestic steel, consequently harming foreign exporters of steel. In a statement issued by the White House, Bush said, "An integral part of our commitment to free trade is our commitment to enforcing trade laws to make sure that America's industries and workers compete on a level playing field." He urged US steel companies to take advantage of
these 'temporary safeguards' and restructure their industry. The tariff and quota plan was left open to be amended by Bush if the industry's financial crisis changed within three years. The action, while short of the 40% tariffs sought by US steel companies, was generally applauded by industry as well as the Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle, who viewed it as a good decision that balanced the concerns of competing interests. Bush promised to help the ailing steel industry in the US during his 2000 election campaign. Based on such promises, he won the states of Ohio and West Virginia, where the steel industry has a large presence. Robert S. Miller, chairman of Bethlehem Steel, said the industry was, "extremely grateful for standing up for steel" and, in this regard, Bush said, "I take this action to give our domestic steel industry an opportunity to adjust to surges in foreign imports, recognizing the harm from 50 years of foreign government intervention in the global steel market." There have been 30 bankruptcies in the sector in the last five years and thousands of US workers have lost their jobs as a result of numerous US steel firms going bust. They argue that, without the protectionist measures introduced, the whole US steel industry would become obsolete. Bush stated that, "This relief will help steelworkers, communities that depend upon steel, and the steel industry adjust without harming our economy". The list below indicates details of the tariffs imposed: 路 Tin mill steel, 30% 路 Flat steel products including cold-rolled, January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
plate-rolled and coated sheet steel, 30% · Hot-rolled bar and cold-finished bar, 30% · Carbon and alloy fitting and flanges, used in car production, 13% · Stainless rod, 15% · Rebar (product used largely in construction) 15% · Slab steel, 30%, but only after the first 5.4 million tons are imported. The Bush administration has defended the tariffs under Section 201, an 'escape clause' of the 1974 Fair Trade law, which allows countries to protect severely weakened industries. US trade representative Robert Zoellick told reporters, "The global steel industry has been rife with government intervention, subsidies and protection… These unfair practices have hurt the US steel industry because our market has been much more open than others." Bush said the safeguard measures he has imposed are sanctioned by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as temporary restraints designed to alleviate serious harm to domestic industries caused by surging imports from abroad.
US tariffs. Also, steel producers in China, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Russia all raised concerns, as they would suffer greatly from being denied access to the US consumer market.
he said. Tony Blair described the US decision to impose tariffs on steel imports as "unacceptable and wrong". Though leading European figures were critical of US steel tariffs, Britain, on the other hand, faced a dilemma.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said the decision would have a "negative impact on Russia's steel industry" and a senior Brazilian trade negotiator, also criticised the move saying, "We have been in discriminated and unfair victim of the United States." US commercial rivals were dismayed at the Bush administration's unilateral action which occurred without consultation with its trading partners. Jacques Chirac tore into what he called American "unilateralism". Mr Chirac said this decision to impose steel tariffs would harm the world's poorest nations and said that what the US was giving to developing countries in aid, it was now taking back in the form of tariffs. "These are very real issues and real answers have to be given to these problems, after intense consultation and dialogue," he said.
The measures enacted by Bush did not go unnoticed internationally and brought much criticism from commercial rivals, which were likely to be affected by the tariffs. TENSIONS RISE Within hours of the imposition of steel tariffs, many countries filed complaints with the WTO in Geneva. The Japanese Trade Minister warned his country may retaliate with measures to protect its own steel industry. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy declared that it would be "a question of days" before the EU issued quotas on steel imports to prevent its own industry being damaged by steel redirected from US markets. For the EU, this dispute was infuriating because it had enforced its own restructuring of the domestic steel industry after bitter battles with trade unions in the early 1980s. Leaders of the EU nations signed a joint declaration supporting both the complaint to the WTO as well as moves towards 'possible safeguard measures' of their own. The declaration said, "The European Council has taken note with great concern of the safeguard measures introduced by the US in the steel sector which are not in conformity with WTO rules." The EU stated that its steel makers would lose $2 billion a year as a result of the 28
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The German government also sharply criticised the tariffs. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder complained in writing to Bush, calling the tariffs the "wrong signal" for the liberalisation of trade. German Minister of Economics Werner Mueller was also critical of Bush's decision, calling it, "a significant weight on trade relations between Europe and America". "German steel exports were particularly hit,"
In the midst of the steel dispute and with tensions rising between the EU and the US, Britain faced a major dilemma. The Labour government since coming to power had failed to show sympathy for calls to aid the British steel industry. On the contrary, Blair has revelled in continuing Margaret Thatcher's policy of abandoning industrial 'lame ducks'. Also, Downing Street had been caught up in a scandal concerning the government's links with big business. Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian businessman, had made significant contributions to the Labour party. It had become apparent that Downing Street had written a letter of support for Mittal's steel ventures in Romania on the somewhat tenuous grounds that Mittal's operations were 'British'. Moreover, it emerged that Mittal had been campaigning in the US in favour of a US tariff on steel to protect his own interests there. The Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith responded to the Mittal findings, "We've got here a problem because the company you celebrated as British actually spent $600 000 lobbying the US government to impose tariffs on steel imports… It took you 30 seconds to write a letter supporting a nonBritish company producing anti-British policies, yet it takes you months to write a letter to the US president standing up for British interests." Although Downing Street has attacked the tariffs, it has also reaffirmed its belief in the 'special relationship' between the UK and the US. For example, the government stated, regarding the steel tariff debacle, "The strength of the relationship is not whether we agree on everything, but whether we can handle issues like this." This signifies that Britain was unhappy with the tariffs but simultaneously wanted to preserve its friendship with its crossAtlantic adversary. Indeed, this ambivalence and lack of conviction has characterised Britain in the post war era, with its continuing attempts to satisfy both partners. European neighbours such as France and Germany have been leading the call for a united Europe in order to provide a united political voice during disputes such as the steel tariff fiasco. The
trade dispute has enhanced the need for a super state entity, a vision which Britain has not adhered to completely as it fears alienating the US from Europe and damaging the so called 'special relationship'. Whereas France and Germany have been frank in criticising the US, Britain has kept away from the strong political stance and rhetoric adopted by her European counterparts and has instead contented herself with giving the US no more than a slap on the wrist. EU REJOICES US tariffs on steel imports are illegal, according to the WTO. The WTO's announcement is a victory for the EU and puts fresh pressure on Washington to withdraw import duties. In response to the decision by the WTO, the US said it, "disagrees with the ruling and would review the decision". Scott McClellan a White House spokesman said, "We disagree with the overall WTO report - we are going to study it, look at its implications and go from there." The EU, whose steel industry has undergone painful reorganisation in response to the steel tariffs, had joined forces with Brazil, Japan and other exporters to complain to the WTO about the tariffs imposed 21 months ago. Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme, British Trade Minister Mark O'Brien, said, "we hope the Americans will lift these tariffs, which the WTO have said are unlawful. If not, then we (the EU) will have to impose retaliatory measures. I hope the Americans will comply with the WTO." Further to this, the EU drew up a potential hit list of US imports worth around $2.2bn a year. The imports included Harley Davidson motorcycles, citrus fruits and textiles which would be targeted with retaliatory sanctions if the US continued with its steel tariffs. The hit list was drawn up to inflict maximum pain on states whose support will be crucial for Bush's reelection campaign next year. Pascal Lamy stated that the retaliatory import tariffs could be in place as soon as early December if the US did not back down from its position. After the decision, an EU statement said, "It should be noted that members affected by the US measures will be entitled to apply re-balancing measures and take any other appropriate action in accordance with WTO rules." In an indirect counter punch to the US, Arancha Gonzalez, EU trade spokesman, said, "There are rules and we all need to respect the rules," insinuating a
lack of compliance to trading rules by the US. The victory for the EU through the WTO decision has given it opportunity to become the rule maker on the international stage. Although the issue of steel was important to the EU, individuals such as Pascal Lamy foresee nothing less than wresting control of world economic regulations from the US. Frequent US violations of WTO rules could be used by the EU to promote itself as a more honest broker on the international arena. By playing the good global citizen and presenting its case to other states furious with US steel tariffs, the EU hopes to become the world pace-setter. Though each of the EU states would agree with such a goal, EU economic dominance would provide Britain with a dilemma when deciding who to support. BUSH DITCHES STEEL TARIFFS, WHY? On December 4th 2003, Bush ditched US tariffs on imported steel. Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman, said, "These safeguard measures have now achieved their purpose and as a result of changed economic circumstances, it is time to lift them…US steel jobs have been given another chance to compete." US trade representative Robert Zoellick said the tariff decision had been made independently of the EU retaliation threat. At no stage did the US administration admit it had acted illegally in breaching WTO rules. According to political analyst Stuart Rothenberg, "Politicians are always thinking about the next (election) race they have to run". From this statement it becomes clear that the upcoming presidential elections in 2004 had a key role in the US administration's decision to lift the steel tariffs. Though the decision is likely to hurt Bush politically in some key steel producing states, these losses will be compensated by the support he will gain from the steel consuming states that in fact suffered as a result of the steel tariffs. Political pressure to lift the tariffs was building in steel consuming states, such as Michigan that will a play strategic role in Bush's reelection bid in 2004. It was clear that Bush had not won the political support he had hoped for from the steel worker's union when he agreed to impose the tariffs; the union is backing one of Bush's Democratic opponents. Michigan Republican, Joe Knollenberg, whose district has thousands of employees in manufacturing industries that rely on steel, said, "I think it augurs well both politically and economically." Data compiled by the Centre for Responsive
Politics show that the vast majority of the union's early campaign contributions for the 2003-2004 election cycle as well as its contributions during the 1999-2000 election season went to Democratic candidates. Therefore, if Bush continued with the steel tariffs he could have lost more in terms of financial and political support, as domestic steel consumers contend that tariffs artificially inflate steel prices, driving up their business costs and hastening the exodus of American manufacturing jobs overseas. According to recent Federal Election Commission data, some of the nation's largest steel consumers, such as the so called 'Big Three Automakers' and producers of household appliances, including General Electric, have contributed considerably more in recent elections to Republicans than Democrats.
Herbert Asher, a professor at Ohio State University, said Bush was making the best of the situation. He said, "Probably you are really cutting your loses at this stage, and if you have to take a hit, so be it. And it may be less of a hit if the economy is in a recovery." He further explained that the issue's potency next year would depend on how the economy is doing as a whole, and whether the Democratic candidate is someone who can challenge Bush credibly on the issue. Donald Manzullo, an Illinois Republican who praised Bush's move, said the political results would be positive, as Bush's initial decision to impose tariffs did not seem to win him new supporters. He added, "The steelworkers endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate and US manufacturers want the ability to get steel as much as they can at as reasonable a price as possible and steel workers are outnumbered by employees in steel using industries." The US administration has said nationwide there are 150 000 steel workers and approximately 12 million employees in steel consuming industries. In addition he said, "There's no question Michigan benefits more than West Virginia, but even so, both states have a greater percentage of steel consumers than steel January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
producers." From the above, it becomes clear that the Bush administration weighed up the benefits and costs of maintaining steel tariffs and concluded that the costs were excessive politically. As a result, the steel tariffs were lifted which also scored political points amongst the steel consuming community.
Talks this September in Cancun, Mexico, failed to provide a solution and with the EU gaining a victory over the US, the gloves are coming off. The growing tensions between the two giant trading blocs could make it more difficult to restart talks aimed at further global trade liberalisation.
Political survival is important to Bush at this time and the EU, conscious of this fact, drew up a retaliatory list which included goods produced in major states that are expected to be key battlegrounds in the November 2004 presidential elections. The EU list included sanctions on orange juice and other citrus products from Florida and California. If the Bush administration continued with the steel tariffs, the sanctions would have hurt producers of such products in Florida and California. This would have ultimately cost Bush the support of the agricultural sector in these states, severely harming his chances of a second term in office. Hence, Bush's decision to remove the tariffs has avoided a potentially damaging trade war with the EU, which would have harmed the US economy and cost him important votes in the coming elections. Charles Grant, of the think tank Centre for European Reform, said, "I think it was a combination of internal domestic pressures plus the threat of sanctions, plus the fact that Bush is keen to win allies around the world."
Putting the trading disputes aside, tension between the EU and US has heated up over the last few weeks, with calls for an EU constitution, defence force and foreign policy; all prerequisites for a supranational European entity. The US have raised concerns over the creation of a European defence force as it would ultimately undermine NATO and reduce US influence within European affairs. NATO general Secretary General George Robertson has played down criticism that the new European defence force will undermine the role of NATO.
WHAT NOW FOR EU-US TRADING RELATIONS? With the dispute over steel tariffs settled, what will the future hold for the relationship between these two economic giants? A number of other trade disputes are pending between the two, which could quite easily be escalated. In particular, the EU is poised to introduce an additional $4 billion worth of sanctions on US companies if Congress does not pass legislation this year abolishing an illegal tax break. This tax break exempts foreign sales by US corporations from corporate taxation. The US has been pressing the EU to allow the import of genetically modified food and crops, despite the fact that EU public opinion is strongly opposed to such products. The US has launched a trade complaint at the WTO, while the EU has postponed a decision on whether to allow some GM crops to be imported. In the run up to the Iraq war, the US refrained from taking the GM trade complaint further and the EU postponed action on the tax breaks.
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"The Europeans are not seeking to rival (NATO) or to duplicate that, but they are saying that the Europeans should do more in their own backyardâ€Śthose who talk about some single European army with a European Union cap badge and some European uniform are simply turning the truth on its head." Despite these reassurances, the US cannot take anything for granted as their relationship with France and Germany, two central figures in the European project, has deteriorated as a result of differences over the war in Iraq. It becomes apparent that the future is likely to result in more contentious battles between the EU and the US, with France and Germany taking every opportunity to undermine and constrain the US. Britain will play a role in mediating and bridging the rifts that emerge between the two blocs in the future. CONCLUSION Bush, by lifting the steel tariffs, has avoided a potentially costly trade war and has also improved his chances of victory in the upcoming elections. Bush had nothing to lose from the steel producing states because they (and their unions) are traditionally Democrat supporters. Lifting steel tariffs has also gained him the support of the steel consuming states that had suffered as a result of their implementation. Not only has he created a favourable image amongst the steel consumers but he has also kept the crop growing producers in major states such as Florida and California happy as
well. Although Bush is likely to benefit from his decision in light of the 2004 elections, his decision can also be seen as a victory for the Europeans and international law. The EU in the past has been called an 'economic giant but a political dwarf'. The EU has not been viewed as a significant political power that could influence politics at the international level but the situation seems to be changing. Many commentators have hailed the decision by Bush to lift the steel tariffs as a victory for Europe that signals the emergence of a counter hegemonic force to US arrogance on the international stage. For the EU to continue to be effective in the future, political unity will be the key and with discussions over the European Constitution under way, a 'single Europe' is the direction in which Europe seems to be heading. This will inevitably provide the US with more problems in the future. Recently, the EU has again threatened to lodge a complaint with the WTO as a result of the US decision to ban states such as France and Germany from contracts in post war Iraq. The US claims that contracts should only go to those states that participated in the war, whereas the EU claims that this violates international law. It is clear that the EU is playing a shrewd political game by continuously highlighting US violations in order to promote itself as a bastion of international law. The lifting of tariffs can be seen as a victory for Europe but does it also signal a victory for international law? The US administration's actions have been hailed as a victory for free trade and for international law. In reality it is only a half victory. In March 2002 when the steel tariffs were first announced, Mark Lewis of Forbes News summarised the law and politics of the situation when he said, "Bush must be well aware that his new steel tariffs and quotas are likely to be struck down by the World Trade Organisation. But he also knows that it will take perhaps two years for the case to be filed, argued and decided." Based on this, it becomes clear that Bush had taken all matters into consideration and knew that when the verdict by the WTO was declared he could simply shrug his shoulders and say to his steel industry supporters, "hey, I tried". International law did, however, get a boost when the US decided eventually to comply but it is only a half victory because the very concept of law only has meaning if it is obeyed before acting and not only after getting caught.
THE MAGNITUDE OF HAJJ AS THE PINNACLE OF WORSHIP TO ALLAH
Watford email: firstname.lastname@example.org
narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
"Islam is built upon five (pillars): testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing regular prayer, paying Zakat, Hajj and fasting Ramadan." (al-Bukhari & Muslim). FALSE ATTITUDES.
t is the time of year when many Muslims will be preparing for Hajj. They will be learning the duties of Hajj and memorising du'as and rituals before leaving for Makkah. Friends and relatives will come to visit before they set off and they will ask forgiveness from each other for past mistakes. The guests will be asking those travelling to remember them in their dua's and excitement and anticipation will start to build long before the departure date arrives. Many will have waited all their lives for this moment, having saved for years to fulfil this great obligation. Many will travel great distances from far off lands for this opportunity to achieve the immeasurable reward that Hajj has to offer. Allah explains this in the Quran:
“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” [TMQ Al-Hajj: 27] For some, it has become a regular occurrence, going every few years. We all know many people who have performed Hajj, though some
have returned only to resume sinful lives. Unfortunately, some of what we see can devalue Hajj in the eyes of the Muslims. It is therefore important that we always maintain a clear understanding of why we perform the Hajj. With Allah's permission, this article hopes to clarify some misconceptions about Hajj and explain some of the attributes that should be present in those who have performed it.
Some people believe that they should wait until they are old before they go to Hajj. They think they can wait for the bad deeds to accrue and then, when they reach an old age and the likelihood of death coming soon is greater, they will then decide to go on Hajj. This mentality is dangerous and something which Allah condemns. In fact Allah alone is the one who takes life and gives it, without any influence from Man.
Hajj means in the Arabic language 'to set out for a place'. However, from the shar'i meaning it is 'Setting out to Al-Bait Al-Haraam in order to perform certain specific prescribed acts of worship in a particular prescribed period of time - for whoever is able to find a means to do it.'
'Wherever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high.' [TMQ An-Nisaa: 78]
The Prophet said,
Also, the Prophet encouraged all the people to use their youth before old age overtakes them. He said,
O people! Hajj has been enjoined on you, therefore, perform Hajj. It is one of the pillars of Islam; Ibn 'Umar (ra)
"The foot of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgment January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
until he is asked about five matters: about his life, how he spent it, about his youth, how he took care of it, about his wealth, how he earned it and how he spent it, and about what he had done with the knowledge that he acquired" (Haakim 4/306) This is an important point which is not just restricted to the obligation of Hajj. It is related to the performance all obligations and to the abstention from all prohibitions; whether it is working to re-establish the Khilafah Rashidah, or to giving up the haram interest bearing transactions. Allah also states this,
"Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah and did not have sexual relations (with his wife), and nor commit sin, he will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him" (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1449; Muslim, 1350) We need to understand very clearly that the Hajj is not a replacement for the neglect of other obligations and is not something to make up for shortfalls in other areas where Islamic duties are not being adhered to. It is in fact something which is the pinnacle of Islamic worships and an obligation like any other. Hajj completes the obligations and is not there to replace them.
is halal, your riding animal is halal, and your Hajj is accepted." And when he leaves with corrupt provisions and places his foot in the stirrup (of his mount) and says, "Labbayk", he is called from the heavens, "La Labbayka wa la sa`dayk [may your call not be responded to and happiness not be your reward], your provision is haram, your expenses are haram and your Hajj is not accepted." (Al Mu`jam al-Awsat by atTabarani 5224) SOME GUIDANCE FROM ALLAH Allah informs us regarding Hajj:
IT IS A PURE DEVOTION FOR ALLAH "…Before death comes to any of you and then he will say. Oh my Lord if only you would give me respite for a few more days then I will indeed give sadaqah and be of the righteous, but Allah will not delay a persons appointed time of death if its time has come. Allah is all aware of what you do." [TMQ Al-Munafiqun: 10-11] The view of performing Hajj in old age is nothing more than the Capitalist mentality where life needs to be enjoyed to the maximum during youth and concern for worshipping the creator is put on one side. There is no room in Islam for this mentality and, in fact, Islam has attacked this philosophy. This can be seen from the hadith below, which is related to the performance of Hajj before old age and at the earliest possible time available. Ibn Abbas (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah said,
Since Hajj is an issue of ibadaat (worship), the intention needs to be for the sake of Allah alone. If it is done to gain a reputation or status in the community and return with the title 'Hajji' or for any other reason, the Hajj will not be accepted. It has been narrated that Muhammad said,
"In later days, the people will go for Hajj but their object will be four: the rulers will go for holiday, the rich for trade and commerce, the poor for begging, and the learned for name and fame." (Imam Ghazali, Iyah ulum ad deen - Kitab al asrar al hajj) The money that one saves to perform the Hajj must be from the halal sources. Money which the Muslim has no right to earn, such as the money which is stolen or from interest bearing accounts or the selling of haram products cannot be used to perform the Hajj. It is related from At-Tabarani that the Prophet said,
"Whoever wants to go for Hajj, let him hasten to do it, because he may fall ill or lose his ride animal or some other problems may arise." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1732, without the phrase also narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2883 and Ahmad, 1836). REWARD OF HAJJ The reward for Hajj is great. If accepted by Allah , it is something by which one's sins can be forgiven. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that he heard the Prophet say, 32
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"When a person leaves for Hajj with good provisions, places his foot in the stirrup (of his mount) and calls, "Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk" Here I am at Your service, O Allah! Here I am at Your service], he is called from the heavens: "Labbayka wa Sa`dayk [may your call be replied and happiness be your reward], your sustenance
"The Hajj is (in) the well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein by assuming Ihram, then he should not have sexual relations, nor commit sin, nor quarrel during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows of it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!" [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 197] Some of the actions which Allah informs us about can be forgotten by Muslims. Some people arrive with high expectations and find that the accommodation is not as described in the glossy brochure, the food is not what was promised and other facilities are not up to their usual standard. With millions of other Hujaj present, intense congestion is everywhere and there is little room to move or relax. Even the coaches that are laid on for transport are usually overcrowded and gridlocked in traffic. All in all, one should not expect to find the finer luxuries of life when performing Hajj, as this is not the essence of the pilgrimage in Islam. All these inconveniences put a great deal of stress and strain on the Hujaj and sometimes cause flare to flare. However, Allah has made clear that this is part of the sacrifice and struggle we should expect. The Hajj is a time of patience, and He warns and guides the believers to take care of one another. It is a time to avoid arguments, a time to avoid the haram; it is a time for pure devotion to Allah . It is something which is not a selfish activity,
but a time to look after the wellbeing of others. It is a truly altruistic activity. Thus, the pilgrim tries to be considerate when entering the crowded doors of the Masjid al Haram and when he is in tawaaf he tries not to hinder the other Hujaj and is careful not to hurt them. He ignores the many shortcomings of others and keeps his temper at bay. He mingles with the other Hujaj, and shares his provisions. He does not rebuke those beggars who seem less than genuine but always remembers Allah , seeking his forgiveness, and His help. REMINDERS OF SOME RITUALS DURING HAJJ
The running between Safaa and Marwah When he does al-Saa'ee, running between alSafaa and al-Marwah, he is reminded of the trial endured by Haajir, the mother of Ismaeel (as) and the wife of Ibrahim (as) and how she ran back and forth between al-Safaa and alMarwah, searching for water to relieve the suffering of herself and, especially, her little son Ismaeel. Since this woman was patient in the face of adversity and turned to her Lord, this taught man that such behaviour is better and more appropriate. When a Muslim remembers the struggle and patience of this blessed woman it makes it easier for him to bear his own problems and the problems facing the Ummah. When waiting on top of mount alSafaa, one remembers the Prophet's blessed feet stood on them, calling the people to Islam, and accounting the rulers. Kissing the Black Stone, and Jamarah signs of complete devotion Hajj is unique in that it clarifies the mentality to produce sincere worship and obedience to the commands and prohibitions of Allah . The believer is ordered to do actions which are devoid of any reasoning, but are done for the sole purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure. Thus, for example, kissing the Black Stone, which a prized ritual, teaches the Hajji to obey the Sunnah and not to oppose the laws of Allah with his own reasoning. He knows that there is wisdom and khair behind the laws and rituals that Allah has prescribed for mankind, and he trains himself to submit totally to his Creator. Concerning this, 'Umar (ra) said, after he kissed the Black Stone,
'Umar (ra) said, after he kissed the Black Stone: "I know that you are only a stone and that you can neither benefit nor harm. If I had not seen the Prophet kiss you, I would not have kissed you." (Narrated by alBukhari, 1520; Muslim, 1720).
the negation of traces of material differences between them, such as language, nationality and wealth. When the pilgrim stands performing the rituals of Hajj, he is unaware of societal standing of the person next to him. The Prophet said during his farewell Hajj,
When he throws the pebbles at the Jamaraah, the Muslim trains himself to obey Allah unquestioningly. He fulfils the duty even if he does not understand the reason and wisdom behind this throwing (ramy), and cannot make the connection between rulings and their purpose. This is a manifestation of complete submission to Allah .
"O people! Verily, your Lord is one, and your father (Adam) is one, verily the Arab is not superior to the non-Arab, nor the nonArab to the Arab, nor the white to the black, nor the black to the white, except by taqwaa (piety, fearful awareness of Allah)."
The sacrifice - the reminder of patience
When he has finished performing all the rituals of Hajj as they were prescribed by Allah and in the manner that Allah loves, he has the hope that his Lord will forgive all his sins, as the Prophet promised in the hadith,
When he slaughters his sacrifice (hady), he is reminded of the great event when our father Ibraheem (as) submitted to the command of Allah to sacrifice his only son Ismaeel (as) after he had grown up and become an aid to him. He is also reminded that there is no room for emotions which go against the commands and prohibitions of Allah. This teaches him to respond wholeheartedly to what Allah commands, as Ismaeel said
" 'O my father! Do that which you are commanded. In shaa Allah (if Allah wills), you will find me of al-saabireen (the patient ones).'" [TMQ al-Saaffaat: 102]. This is a great lesson for us as Muslims with so many of us suffering from the war on Islam and with our Islamic concepts and criteria being attacked from every corner. Allah reminds us that the patient one is the one who follows the commands of Allah . Hajj reminds us that we do not do our actions for the pleasure of the Kuffar, regardless of worldly consequences; rather we act purely for His sake. It is a reminder that the Khair (good) is what Allah has commanded and the Sharr (evil) is what Allah has prohibited; not the false criteria such as human rights, benefit, or freedom. Listening to the sermon while on Arafah A sea of humanity is gathered, melted into one nation. This becomes evident in the unity between all Hujaj in rituals and feelings, and
"Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah and did not have sexual relations (with his wife), and nor commit sin, he will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1449; Muslim, 1350). When he comes out of his ihraam and things that had been forbidden to him once again become permissible, this reminds him of the patience and discipline he endured for Allah's sake. The one who responds to the call of Allah will have joy and happiness, and this joy cannot be known by anyone except those who have tasted the sweetness of obedience, such as the joy felt by the one who fasts when he breaks his fast. This is a reminder to all the believers that the extreme hardships that we are facing today, as an Islamic Ummah, require us to follow the commands of Allah , for this is patience, and with this Allah guarantees those who have been sincere in His obedience to His commands, ease will be achieved.
“Allah does not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent to which He has granted it; Allah brings about ease after difficulty.”[TMQ At-Talaq: 7]
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
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THE CHILD IN ISLAM A MUSLIM PARENT'S HANDBOOK The Child in Islam by Norma Tarazi
u s l i m parents have high aspirations for their children; their greatest desire is for their child to enter paradise. The question parents need to ask themselves is how is this wish going to be realised. When you gaze into your baby's eyes, you know that this little life will be looking to you for love and guidance and indeed this is no trivial matter. Bringing up your child in accordance with Islam is a responsibility that Allah ď ‰ has placed squarely on parents' shoulders and we will be accountable for it. As Muslim parents raising our kids in the midst of nonMuslims, our job is certainly not an easy one. To be a "good" Muslim parent is a skill that needs to be learnt. The ability to nurture a child is not dormant inside us. We don't magically transform into wonderful parents once our baby is placed in our arms. It is our duty to study and understand how to become a good Muslim parent. Naturally we reach for our Quran and hadith books. We ask advice from our parents, in-laws, siblings and friends. In addition there are many books now available on this subject. One such book is "The Child in Islam" by Norma Tarazi. From the onset you quickly realise that the author has put a lot of thought into this book and has researched it well. The love that she has for children is self evident. The first chapter discusses the newborn baby. The recommended actions relating to the birth of a child are explained with reference to the evidences. This is really helpful as there are many weird and down right bizarre rituals that 34
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have sprung up in our communities. Without knowledge it can be really difficult to explain to your grandmother that putting black dots on baby Aaisha's chin is not going to protect her from evil! The next chapter gives an insight into developing children's awareness of Islam. Thoughtful advice is offered regarding how to explain to kids the basics of belief. She tackles questions such as who is Allah ď ‰, what are angels, how should Shaytan be viewed and what happens when someone dies. These are all difficult subjects because everything is so visual in a child's world whereas these matters are all in the unseen. There is a nice point she makes in this chapter "When a parent sits with the child and talks about Allah and His glorious attributes, His creation, and how we all fit into it, that is about the Haqq, the ultimate reality. He or she is feeding his fitrah and building into him a correct world view .That world view will be part of him as long as he lives." The chapter on children and parents narrates numerous hadith about Islam's view on parents. An accurate observation is made about the disrespectful way kids in American (and therefore all other capitalist nations) view parents. "On television, the wise guy kid is portrayed as humorous and intelligent, while parents are frequently portrayed as stupid and bumbling. Even though it's all done for laughs, the message is not lost on children. American society today would wish us to require adults to respect children, even as it refuses to encourage children to respect adults." The reader is reminded of how their children are a blessing and a trust given to them by their creator. The harmonious yet differing roles of a mother and father are outlined i.e. the husband
financially providing for the family and the wife taking care of the home and kids. The trap that some Muslim women fall into is discussed "A woman who leaves her children to spend her time on a career in order to 'find herself' has probably misunderstood and undervalued the importance of her role in the home and her relationship with her children." The lack of interest that some fathers show in their kids lives is also illustrated "Whereas a woman is never said to 'baby sit' her own children, a father may use this term to express the time he spends taking care of his children, revealing the role he is playing , that of a substitute mum or not of a real dad." In the subsequent chapters methods for rearing children, instilling manners, discipline, and the relationships between siblings, are discussed at length. This book contains a wealth of knowledge for every Muslim parent. It's definitely worth the ten pounds I spent on it. I first read this book a few months after having my first child and I know I will be dipping into it for the rest of my parental life. It reminds the reader of the rewards and pleasures of bringing up a child which is easily forgotten. I shall end this review with the authors own conclusion "Parenting is not a minor, insignificant matter but a tremendously important, time consuming task for which there is justifiably the promise of great reward. Children are a trust from Allah ď ‰, both a test and a joy. We will be judged according to our intentions and efforts as parents and we pray that we may be able to make Allah Ta'ala pleased with us and with them."
News Review 2003
Dr Samiul Muquit
East London email: firstname.lastname@example.org
he year 2003 will be remembered as being another significant year in the war on terror, the US and her allies made progressive gains, as well as making equally substantial miscalculations in their campaign against the Muslims and Islam. It is not surprising therefore that the News review of 2003 is dominated by international events, summarising the colonial plans and policies which unravelled for the world to see. The main event of this year, without doubt, has to be the second Gulf war. This has been the main project for the year in America's war on Islam and the Muslims. Once the excuse of chasing Osama Bin Laden and Taleban ran out of mileage, the Americans needed a new villain to home in on and justify another war in Muslim lands. Though the fighting ended quickly there had been a heated build up of controversy and international disagreement across the world. And now that Saddam has been removed debate continues to rage over the war's motives and the country's future. With the fall of Saddam, GW Bush finally completed what his father had begun a decade ago and marked the end of another chapter in the history of Iraq. With each event that passed by, the Muslim Ummah has grown stronger in her feeling and opinion towards the Western powers and towards her own rulers. Her global awareness of a common struggle with a common enemy
has strengthened the brotherhood between all Muslims. The factor which has been vital for this feeling to mature into a single global vision for Muslims, has been the increase in pursuance of global and local events, and the monitoring of distinct trends in Western policy. This article summarises only some of the important events of the year. As the year has passed by quickly it is easy to forget what has passed, and with it forget the lessons learnt. It is important that one does not allow incidents to simply occur without understanding them. Ultimately we are all affected by global events and this is clear from a consideration of how the world has changed over the past twelve months. JANUARY In a speech to diplomats in London on Monday 6th of January 2003, Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, said al-Qaida, Iraq and North Korea were "part of the same picture." He also suggested that countries like Iraq provided the most likely potential source of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) for terror organisations such as al-Qaida. The foreign secretary cited 11 September as an example of what al-Qaida could do with WMD. "Rogue states" such as Iraq and North Korea are willing to sell and therefore for terrorists they would become "the most likely sources of technology and know-how." He
concluded, "This is why terrorism and rogue regimes are part of the same picture." Despite flimsy claims of Iraq possessing WMD's, which to this day remain to be discovered, the country was invaded and the regime was removed. Iraq, strangely enough chose not to use these WMDs in the war - this was probably because they don't exist! The US led invasion of Iraq took place despite reports by Hans Blix that his team of UN inspectors had found no trace of these weapons. As curious point to note, Baghdad, a city well protected with the masses of the so called elite soldiers from the National guard, seemed to collapse without a fight, when other towns, cities and ports withstood coalition forces for days, even with a handful of fighters. It seems Saddam was displaying the kind of bravery he would become famous for before the year was out. Anyway, the real fight for Baghdad began once Saddam had run off, and local Muslims are now bravely resisting the US troops. Also interesting to note was the US activity towards North Korea, which is known to have WMD's, admits owning WMDs and in fact puts them on display whenever it finds the smallest excuse to do so, has not experienced military aggression. North Korea is known to sell its technology, especially in the Middle East, which therefore, according to CIA logic, would have more likelihood to end up in the
January 2004 Khilafah Magazine
image. Indeed, if it did then the millions of children in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan, besides other parts of the world, would have been helped and not killed in ruthless bombings for colonial interests. MARCH
hands of "terrorists". But despite American pressure to disarm, only diplomacy has been resorted to. In fact this so called missile crisis seems to be well controlled even when deadlock seems unavoidable. A year on from Straw's statement and North Korea still remains a 'rogue' state, but not that 'rogue' that they warrant invasion, as they are not Muslims it seems that they are classed as 'semi-rogue'. FEBRUARY As the nuclear debate continued between the two rogue states, the US and North Korea, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell visited Japan, China and South Korea in an apparent move to drum up support and to hold discussions with senior officials in the three capitals on "global, regional, and bilateral matters of interest, including Iraq and North Korea". This standoff followed the discontinuation of American food aid into North Korea last December, due to 'lack of congressional support' and the subsequent North Korean resumption of its nuclear weapons programme and abandonment of the non-proliferation treaty signed in 1994.
Powell during his visit hinted that the US is a generous nation and assists others when in need. He proudly stated, "If we can help them, we will, but we have to make sure that the kids and people in need are getting the food". However, reality provides evidence that America is far from this self-drawn altruistic
Khilafah Magazine January 2004
Scores of demonstrations took taken place against the US led war on Iraq across the Muslim world in March 2003. Many Muslims vented their anger at their own governments' lack of action to stop the war and also their support for war by allowing the use of military bases. Mass demonstrations took place in Egypt, Syria, Qatar, Kuwait and Indonesia, with crowds shouting ant-American slogans. Despite such a display of public opinion by the Ummah, rulers in the Muslim lands did little to protect the innocent Muslims of Iraq. This easy change in the Iraqi regime had a wide effect across the Middle East not only with the Muslims but also with their rulers. Bush had once again shown what the consequences were for those "against" the US after his now infamous ultimatum to the world.
plane after 44 years of exile, Chalabi was clearly grateful to the Americans and jubilant in his return. "The US has a record of supporting the liberation of Iraq. President Bush very courageously took up the cause on September 12, 2002." The Iraqi people are understandably less jubilant as a cursory glance at Chalabi's curriculum vitae reveals a history of corruption and greed. In 1989, Chalabi was accused of fraud and embezzlement over his Petra Bank in Jordan. At the time, Jordan was facing a foreign exchange shortage and the head of the Central bank Said Nabulsi asked the country's banks to deposit 35% of their holdings into the central bank. All complied except Chalabi's Petra. Upon investigation by auditors Arthur Andersen, it emerged that some of the supposed foreign exchange assets were actually non-existent. Chalabi fled in the boot of a car to Damascus and was convicted, in absentia, of embezzling $60 million. Also another Chalabi bank in Geneva had its banking licence withdrawn by the Swiss federal banking commission and subsequently collapsed.
In the midst of these protests US corporations were fighting for Iraqi reconstruction contracts. The Iraq reconstruction plan was billed as the biggest reconstruction project since the Second World War, with the preliminary work alone estimated to be worth up to $900million according to the Wall Street Journal. The US Agency for International Development invited bids for contracts from five large US corporations: Halliburton, Bechtel Group, Fluor Corp, Parsons Corp, and the Louis Berger Group. Corporations like Halliburton were already profiting from war time contracts. Thousands of Halliburton employees were working alongside US troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. Not surprisingly, Vice President Dick Cheney, former chief executive of Halliburton, still draws "deferred compensation" of up to a million dollars a year from the company. "The Bush-Cheney team have turned the United States into a family business," says Harvey Wasserman, author of The Last Energy War. APRIL In April the US State Department approved Ahmed Chalabi as the successor to Saddam. Having flown to Nassiriya on a US military
Chalabi's record is ideal for the job America wishes to give him. His qualifications as a liar and fraudster are in line with those of his new bosses working in the area. Clearly not interested in choosing the best man for the job of ruling Iraq, the US has chosen their man, the sell-out, to do their will. The Iraqi people have now moved from the rule of a murdering tyrant to that of a lying American stooge. All they are given is now is an illusion of self-rule. Also in April the Muslims of Iraq, no longer silenced by Saddam held a rally to show their support for the establishment of an Islamic State. Demonstrators gathered in Aadhamiya in central Baghdad chanting anti-American slogans and calling for an Islamic State to
replace Saddam's toppled government. In his khutbah at Abu Hanifa Al-Numan mosque, Ahmed Al Kubaisi said that the US had invaded Iraq to defend Israel and reiterated that the American claims of Iraqi WMDs were fabricated. Banners at the ensuing rally read "No to America. No to Secular State. Yes to Islamic State", "No Bush. No Saddam. Yes, Yes to Islam." And "No Shi'ites. No Sunnis. Yes, Yes for United Islam". Organised under the Iraqi National United Movement, representatives from influential sections of society shouted, "We are Sunni and Shi'ite brothers, we will not sell this nation".
work on a $1.5 million home for himself, funded by 'unknown' sources. Being the representative of the poverty stricken Muslims of Palestine this act was hardly that of an altruistic leader. The idea of having a Palestinian Prime Minister in the current political situation is in itself ridiculous. Palestinians living in the occupied territories are under direct Israeli military rule and are not considered citizens of the state that rules them. In fact they are not considered to be citizens of any state, and hence one has to ask of which political entity is Abu Mazen a Prime Minister.
These sentiments were not limited to Baghdad but expressed throughout Iraq. Unfortunately the choice of the people will not matter because the system implemented in Iraq will be a forced Democracy. MAY Having branded the Palestinian Authority as irrelevant the Israeli Premier, Ariel Sharon, expressed optimism following the appointment of Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). This was a change in attitude from Sharon's government which over the previous months repeatedly refused to meet any Palestinian representative. The idea of having a Palestinian Prime Minister was in fact the brain child of Israel whose suggestion was quickly taken up by Washington. Having been handpicked for the role Abu Mazen's political views and repeated concessions to the Israelis were well known. Herein lies the Israeli approval of his appointment. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage told reporters that Abbas was America's choice, because, the United States would want to see a leader who could "speak authoritatively for the Palestinian people." A good prime minister, Armitage added," would be a great help to the Palestinian people and also allow them to talk to Israel." Yet Abu Mazen was widely hated throughout Palestine. Shortly after his ascension to power he began
such as the US, can dictate their affairs for them. The Americans plan a force of only 40,000 soldiers, which is a fraction of the Iraqi fighting force pre-occupation. Such a force clearly poses no threat to Iraq's neighbours, hence cannot be deemed capable of defending Iraq's interests. The Iraqi Army is therefore effectively neutered, not capable of harming the American interests. No doubt, its function will mirror that of many other military forces in the Muslim world, which have had their function reversed from defending their citizens from aggressors, to fighting the people on behalf of the aggressors. JULY
Abu Mazen has been known to have authored several of the proposed peace plans, having worked alongside Israeli generals. In those plans he openly called for the relinquishing of political rights. Hence the Israeli press was keen to celebrate his new role. Sharon was more than willing, when offered the opportunity, to meet with Abu Mazen. His job, not to serve the interests of the Muslims of Palestine, but to sign whatever he is told to by Israel and the US. Where Arafat had failed to gather the Muslims behind him in his attempts to secure Israeli interests, Sharon hoped that Abu Mazen will succeed. JUNE The American administration in Iraq announced plans to rebuild the Iraqi army. It had formally disbanded the previous army, leaving hundreds of thousands of soldiers without jobs or pay. This had led to many violent demonstrations, not only because the livelihoods of Iraq's ex-soldiers were at stake, but because the Muslims of Iraq rejected the notion that a belligerent occupying power,
In a desperate attempt to absolve itself of any blame for the death of Dr Kelly, the UK government launched an independent judicial enquiry. Kelly's appearance before the Select Committee should have been little more than a routine affair. Yet it ended in tragedy when police confirmed the news that Kelly had bled to death after slashing his wrist. He had told his wife that he was going for a walk, apparently leaving home with a knife and a packet of painkillers. Caught in the midst of a war of words between the government and the BBC, the pressure of being the subject of a ruthless examination by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee eventually proved to be too much. The entire fiasco surrounding BBC allegations that the government's dossier on Iraq had been 'sexed up' fuelled a ferocious debate. AUGUST Iraq's oil lines came back online for the first
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time after the beginning of the occupation by US forces. The news of new exports to Turkey led to a price drop in the price of oil on the world markets and defined a new era for the US corporations setting up shop in Iraq. This action marked the fulfilment of the American objective in Iraq. Finally with control over the pipelines the US had access to the oil fields of Northern Iraq. Production was estimated to be 500,000 barrels of oil a day just from northern Iraq. With this news there had been attempts to sabotage the pipeline by the Iraqis, who have realised that this land was being stripped of its resources and that profits would in reality never reach the Muslims of Iraq. SEPTEMBER In September, former President Bill Clinton attended the opening of a memorial for the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were butchered in the largest act of genocide of the 1992 - 1995 Bosnian war. This massacre had taken place during his presidency when Serbian forces bypassed the on-looking Dutch UN Peacekeepers who were placed in charge of protecting of the disarmed Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.
"We must pay tribute to the innocent lives, many of them children, snuffed out in what
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must be called genocidal madness," Mr Clinton told thousands of victims' relatives at the memorial. Despite the US's self proclaimed role as the global policeman, it was its inaction that allowed the mass murder to take place.
the Foreign Office, and was ceremonial in its appearance. It was the first official reception of a US President since Woodrow Wilson in 1918.
This was proof that America cares nothing for human life and was happy to watch the Serbs bulldoze their way through the Muslim population. The US intervened only when it suited her in order to humiliate Russia by attacking her closest ally in Europe. Therefore watching Clinton make a speech mourning the dead of Bosnia was almost as fake as watching his speech denying 'relations' with a White House intern. Both were nothing but lies and deceit. OCTOBER The Iraq Donor's Conference, which ended in Madrid on Friday 24th October, raised $33 billion. However, it was announced that twothirds of this money would have to be re-paid by Iraqis. The US estimated that there needed to be a total of $56 billion to rebuild Iraq, and at the conference it hoped that it would be able to get the $36 billion needed to make up the total, as the US herself had pledged $20 billion. However, what surprised the international community was the fact that this sum was nothing more than a loan, designed to trap the Iraqi people. The fact that this money would be a loan seems even more extortionate when one remembers that the most lucrative contracts for rebuilding Iraq had been given to US companies and so the money would return to America! Half of the $20bn pledged by the US was in the form of bilateral aid linked to contracts for US firms, many of which are linked to developing Iraq's huge oil reserves. Iraq currently has debts of over $130 billion and this conference simply worsened the situation. The reality is that the entire world can clearly see that this was part of a series of stunts designed to further cripple Iraq. Many countries face the same situation, enslaved by high interest loans which leave them in a state of subservience and open the channels for structural adjustment policies. NOVEMBER In November protests took place in London in response to George W. Bush's state visit to the UK. The visit was organised by Buckingham Palace in conjunction with Downing Street and
When President Bush had accepted the Queen's invitation at the time of the beginning of the Iraq war he presumed that this would have been an opportunity to boast about his successes after a conclusion to the war. However, the President received a less than warm welcome from the British public which was now convinced that the war had been based on lies and was simply an attempt to colonise this strategic region. DECEMBER This month saw the capture of Saddam Hussein near his home town of Tikrit. After spending several months moving from one hiding place to another, US troops said that he was found in a hole barely big enough for a man to crawl into. Hundreds of US troops swarmed around the farmyard after having been tipped off by a local informant. Saddam was found in a dugout with a pistol, but US soldiers reported that he gave himself up without a fight. Looking rather worn, Saddam had to undergo a medical examination which was beamed all around the world as the first pictures of the toppled dictator since he had gone into hiding. Following this public humiliation Saddam was interrogated, although US news networks announced that he had 'refused' to give them the location of the ever-illusive WMDs that he didn't possess! The question that still remained was what will be done to him. Despite calls for trials in Iraq or imprisonment in the USA, many Western officials called for the death sentence. This treatment is strangely different to that of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic is still the subject of a protracted trial in front of the war crimes tribunal. It would seem that American justice is as variable as its attitudes to dictators with blood on their hands.
Khilafah Magazine January 2004