Day: December 5, 2008
Muslim students representin’
I was glad to see this article on Muslim students preparing themselves to enter the fields of law and journalism. God knows, because of the last eight years of the Bush Administration, Muslims need to be concerned with the interpretation of the laws that criminal was able to push through Congress which in some ways threaten the very existence of freedom of religion and religious expression in our country. In the polarized atmosphere of a rabid chief executive officer, our country thought it was ok to entertain the notion that rights could be curtailed in the name of safety, and the first group to start with were people of the Islamic faith…or so the theory went. Fortunately young Muslims are seeing the need to prepare themselves for the eventuality such byzantine laws might bring.
“Our parents were focused on economic stability,” said Qureshi, a second-year law student at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“Our needs are not economic stability but social and political empowerment.”
“We’re trying to make sure every American is entitled to civil rights guarantees in the Constitution,” said Abbas Ravjani, president of the National Muslim Law Students Association and a student at Yale Law School. The organization was formed six years ago and now has 300 students on its electronic mailing list.
I am also happy to see their interest in journalism.
Young Muslims are also studying journalism. Yasmin Amer said she was tired of seeing Muslims misrepresented in the media. On Tuesday, Amer, a third-year journalism and Arabic double major at UNC-CH, organized a panel discussion of an inflammatory DVD called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.“
I personally can’t think of a better venue with which to start.
Disturbing video out of Palestine
I blogged some time ago about the idea of people being armed with cameras to film Israeli aggression. I didn’t think it was a good idea, or rather that it wouldn’t stop state sponsored terrorism against Palestinians. The following video makes that point, in my opinion.
For as long as many reading this blog have been alive, blood has been shed on the sacred ground of the three major religions of the world. We all know that; it’s not a pretty sight, and not something we need to see in order to convince the Israelis to stop their indiscriminate killing of Palestinians who’ve said time and time again they recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state and seek the same in return. It won’t be long before they turn their weapons on the film makers, or declare cameras illegal, weapons of mass destruction. Once again, the Israelis have shown they are impervious to the world’s eye.
Memory hole stuff about Mumbai
There’s been so much said about what happened in Mumbai, India and it’s constantly changing so I’m putting together a few, just a very few, links here to refer to in the future when the story has changed to fit the Islamist, jihadist theories which seem to predominate the news these days.
Let me begin by saying that some of the wildest conspiracy theories are those which have become accepted as fact, like OBL planning and directing 911 from Afghanistan or the lone gunman theory in the assassination of JFK, and so too, the Mumbai terrorist operation whereby 10 men are responsible for all the carnage that took place over a wide area of that city is highly implausible, especially when you look at what is reported to have happened. This is my attempt to highlight some things that will most likely be forgotten when the official narrative is in place.
It appears the police were not too enthusiastic about engaging the terrorists.
The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D’Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back.
But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”
The identity of the terrorists, even the one alive is at best unknown.
The Faridkot link is a key element in the evidence cited by Indian officials that the attackers of Mumbai came from Pakistan.
The captured terror suspect was said to come from Faridkot. He was said to be 21 and to speak fluent English. A photograph of him shows a modern-looking young man swaggering in Western clothing, with an AK-47 in hand.
In Faridkot, no one appeared to be able to speak much English, and most could converse only in a dialect of the provincial language, Punjabi. None of the villagers recognized the face in the photograph, nor could they think of anyone mysteriously missing from the village.
They said the intelligence agents wanted to know if there was any presence of the radical Deobandi or Alhe Hadith religious movements in the village, to which the answer was a flat “no.”
To add to the confusion, there are several other places called Faridkot in the Punjab, although this village seemed to be the most likely Faridkot, because it’s near Multan. There’s also a well-known Faridkot in India, just across the border in the Indian half of the Punjab province.
An exasperated local police chief, Kamran Khan, who sent his men twice to Faridkot (the one outside Kanewal), told McClatchy: “Whatever we’re doing to investigate, we’re doing off our own initiative. No definitive information has come to us from any official channel. We’re still not clear this is the right Faridkot.”
There have been conflicting eye witness accounts of what the gunman looked like which provide an interesting portal to conspiracy theories.
One police officer who encountered the gunmen as they entered the Jewish centre told the Guardian the attackers were “white”, although this could mean they were paler-skinned Indians from the country’s north.
“I went into the building late last night,” he said. “I got a shock because they were white. I was expecting them to look like us. They fired three shots. I fired 10 back.
Another account described two attackers thus:
Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, says he saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe.
He was returning to his hotel from the seaside with a friend when he saw two men carrying bags and brandishing AK-47s walking in front of them, shooting.
“They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed,” says Mr Amir.
It doesn’t help that several news reports are claiming that terrorists and many hostages’ remains were unrecognizable, some due to mutilation, thereby making identification even more difficult. How one can say that the identity of the attackers is a sure thing doesn’t seem to fit the news coming from India.
It’s clear the evil-doers want to make this a religious war, a clash of civilizations between Islam and the rest of the world. At one point the allegation was even made that Israelis were tortured and mutilated more than other victims of this brutal act, but that was quickly denied.
The Jewish victims from the Mumbai Chabad House siege showed no indications of torture, a Mumbai doctor said.
Dr. Ganjanan Chawan saw the bodies when they arrived at JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
His statements in Wednesday’s edition of the Jerusalem Post contradicted an interview with a morgue employee of the hospital printed the previous day by the newspaper. The morgue employee had said the Jewish victims had more injuries than the other victims in last week’s terrorist attacks on the Indian city. More than 180 people were killed.
A hospital doctor was quoted Sunday on the Rediff Indian news site as saying that the bodies of the Jewish victims bore torture marks.
There were suggestions that people were killed because of their religious persuasion, but judging by the indiscriminate firing of the terrorists most eye-witness accounts suggest they didn’t care who they were shooting, and a country with the largest Muslim population in the world is sure to have had Muslim victims of this rampage. An interesting sidebar to this aspect of the attacks is despite the claim certain faiths were singled out, it could be that the ineptness of the Indian military led to many of the fatalities.
A private rescue group from Israel has claimed that Indian commandos inadvertently killed some of the hostages in the terror attacks in Mumbai, and the claim has evidently embarrassed both governments, news reports said on Tuesday.
“Based on what I saw, (although) I can’t identify the type of bullets in the bodies (of the victims), I don’t think the terrorists killed all the hostages, to put it gently,” Mr Haim Weingarten, head of the six-member team of Zaka voluntary organisation dealing with rescue and recovery, told The Jerusalem Post.
Terrorism is used by states and groups to influence policy and the policy which some are hoping comes out of the Mumbai attacks is the expansion of the WOT into Pakistan, directly or indirectly with India as a surrogate partner. The “evil-doers” who want this expansion are the same ones who manufactured the manufactured the 911 inspired war on terrorism and Mumbai was their last dying act before the coming to power of the Obama Administration. It’ll be interesting to see if Obama takes the bait or calls the war party out for what it truly is.