Saturday, February 12, 2011
10 Reasons Americans Should Care About the Egyptian Revolution - By Stephen M. Walt | Foreign Policy
Friday, February 11, 2011
As Mubarak Resigns, Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Reminds the World that Omar Suleiman Personally Tortured Him in Egypt
Each rendition was authorised at the very top levels of both governments … The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top [CIA] officials. [Former US Ambassador to Egypt Edward] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as “very bright, very realistic,” adding that he was cognisant that there was a downside to “some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way.”Technically, US law required the CIA to seek “assurances” from Egypt that rendered suspects wouldn’t face torture. But under Suleiman’s reign at the EGIS [the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, or Mukhabarat el-Aama], such assurances were considered close to worthless. As Michael Scheuer, a former CIA officer [and head of the al-Qaeda desk], who helped set up the practise of rendition, later testified, even if such “assurances” were written in indelible ink, “they weren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.”
“I was sitting in a chair, hooded, with my hands handcuffed behind my back. He came up to me. His voice was deep and rough. He spoke to me in Egyptian and English,” Mr Habib writes. “He said, ‘Listen, you don’t know who I am, but I am the one who has your life in his hands’.”Mr Habib writes that Mr Suleiman had told him that he wanted him to die a slow death: “No, I don’t want you to die now. I want you to die slowly. I can’t stay with you; my time is too valuable to stay here. You only have me to save you. I’m your saviour. You have to tell me everything if you want to be saved. What do you say?”When Mr Habib said he had nothing to tell him, he says Mr Suleiman had said: “You think I can’t destroy you just like that?”They had taken Mr Habib to another room and then Mr Suleiman had said: “Now you are going to tell me that you planned a terrorist attack. I give you my word you will be a rich man if you tell me you have been planning attacks. Don’t you trust me?”Mr Habib had replied that he did not trust anyone.“Immediately he slapped me hard across the face and knocked off the blindfold; I clearly saw his face,” Mr Habib writes.Mr Habib alleges Mr Suleiman said: “That’s it. That’s it. I don’t want to see this man again until he co-operates and tells me he’s been planning a terrorist attack.”
Read original article by Andy Worthington HERE
Thursday, February 10, 2011
“Irhal!” so the text said, printed on the banner which stood out among the crowd of thousands of human beings who packed the Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. The meaning is “Go!” or “Depart!”. Yes, Mubarak is just one of the rulers who is unlucky because of having to end his regime in a not-so-good way, but through the insistence of hatred. In a hadith of Rasul, it was said that the worst leader is he who hates you and you also hate him.
The incidents of the past two weeks, dubbed by the media as the “Egypt Revolution”, put a question mark on our minds: How should the people and the rulers who are in dispute be positioned in the perspective of Islam? Should any unjust ruler be protested by the masses in their millions to urge him to resign? Is there a bridge between the people who are oppressed and the rulers who are tyrannical?
In the past, Egypt was actually a historical artefact which can answer it. Long after the era of Fir’aun, there was the popular story about a Sahabah of Rasul SAW, ‘Amr bin Ash who was appointed to serve as a waliyul amr (governor) in the country of Misr (the original name of Egypt, unlike the title now, which is rooted from the word Qibty, the name of a Christian sect in Misr). A Jew then complained to Khalifah Umar bin Khathab in the capital i.e. Madinah, about the unthoughtfulness of the wali when his cabin house was going to be flattened.
The Khalifah immediately responded to the complaint by sending bin Ash a bone which was streaked with the blade of a sword. A warning! Whereas, bin Ash is a great Sahabah, beside being a companion in arms of Umar. But that is justice. In a hadith which is the riwaayah of Abu Dawud, Rasulullah SAW said, “two parties that are in dispute must be seated before the judge.” Meaning, equality before the law.
Be it the rulers or the people, they must be seated together before the law without any favouritism on any one of them. Like what happened in the hearing of Ali bin Abi Thalib against a Jew who took his armor. The judge who was a Muslim rather pronounced the Jew a winner as Ali did not have any strong evidence that the battle outfit was his. Whereas, Ali at that time was a Khalifah, and everyone knew him as one of the closest Sahabahs of Rasulullah SAW.
Therefore, a disputes between the common people and the ruler, when the ruler is violating the people's rights, requires a judge or the judicature which lowers the position of the ruler down to the level of the common people. In the Islamic system of governance, the judicial institution that handles the disputes between the people and the rulers is called Mahkamah Madzalim. The judge is called Qadhi Madzalim.
The court is charged with the investigation if there is any violation of the Shari'ah law, violation of the rights of the people or tyranny against the people, committed by the rulers. It is entitled to prosecute the ruler, even to the extent of deposing the ruler. So there is no need to mobilize the masses in cornucopia to the streets, let alone turning to bloodshed among Muslims. The Mahkamah Madzalim is a bridge between the people who are oppressed and the rulers who are oppressive.
At the time of the sultans in Egypt, the Mahkamah Madzalim is named as Dar Al-‘Adl, which literally means “The House of Justice.” In it, sat the representatives of the sultan, as well as the qadhis (judges) and fuqahas (legal experts). Al-Muqrizi in the book “As-Suluk ila Ma’rifah Duwal Al-Muluk” mentioned that Sultan Malik as-Salih Ayyub appointed some representatives in the Dar Al-‘Adl to eradicate tyranny.
Today, the people have no place to complain of injustices. The Representative Institutions that should represent the people instead becomes a part of the injustices. There is no place for the unemployed to complain, and the children whose rights for education are neglected, the poor of the outskirts whose rights are retained and flowed into the coffers of the handful of aristocrats and “the likes of Gayus”. There is no House of Justice for them, a place where they can stand as tall as their rulers.
Therefore, the street is the only one that will listen to their complaints. Will the streets provide them justice? 
Balikpapan, 6 February 2011
Reza Ageung S. (Student of STIS Hidayatullah, Balikpapan
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Under American occupation Torture routine in Iraqi prisons: Amnesty Iraq under American occupation operates secret prisons and routinely tortures prisoners to extract confessions that are used to convict them, Amnesty International said in a report released on Tuesday. An estimated 30,000 men and women remain in custody in Iraq, some in secret facilities operated by the ministries of defence and interior, the London-based rights watchdog said in the report, titled "Broken Bodies, Broken Minds." "Iraqi security forces use torture and other ill-treatment to extract 'confessions' when detainees are held incommunicado, especially in detention facilities -- some secret -- controlled by the Ministries of Interior and Defence," the report said. Amnesty said that Iraq's Central Criminal Court often convicts defendants on the basis of "confessions" clearly obtained under torture.
Accounts of torture collected over the years include "rape and threat of rape, beatings with cables and hosepipes, electric shocks, suspension by the limbs, piercing the body with drills, asphyxiation with plastic bags, removal of toenails with pliers, and breaking of limbs," Amnesty said. Children, women and men have all suffered these abuses, it added. "Since 2004, suspects held in Iraqi custody have been systematically tortured and dozens of detainees have died as a result." Amnesty said that US invading forces had handed over tens of thousands of prisoners to their puppet Iraqi government custody between early 2009 and July 2010 without any guarantees that they will be protected.
Rabi-ul-Awwal 04, 1432 A.H, Tuesday, February 08, 2011
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful.
As with the previous presidential and parliamentary elections, by convening the farcical parliamentary elections three months ago on the 18th of September, the occupier wished to legitimize their tyrannical occupation of the country of Afghanistan and buttress the support for their lackey regime in Kabul. This farce became the laughingstock of the world because the vast majority of the people did not take part in them. They were also tainted by heavy vote-rigging, on the testimony of both members of parliament and their constituents, as well as in the opinion of local and international analysts. Not only that: the lackey regime itself admitted as much in the statements made by the lackey president Hamid Karzai and, more significantly, it was acknowledged by Fadl Ahmed al-Ma'nawi’; head of the Independent Elections Committee (! and where is their independence?) that a large number of the employees of his committee were involved in rigging (the elections).
The fact is that elections conducted under the protection of the occupation have no basic legitimacy. They are just another scheme of the enemy who on the one hand wish to extend their occupation and give a legal hue to it. On the other hand, they wish to rescue the collapsing Kabul regime and reach their shameful goals by killing innocents, regardless whether they are men, women or children. They seek their happiness in the misfortunes of others and see shedding the blood of oppressed and unfortunate people as a source of pride. There is no doubt that the occupier has for the past nine years made our people suffer in many ways. Look how today they have enabled the drug traffickers; the war criminals and those involved in human rights abuses to assume the reins of power over the people. They have brought back those whom the people yesterday expelled in shame and disgrace.
The importance of parliaments in the world’s democratic governments is not hidden from anyone. They play a fundamental role in the three powers (judicial power, legislative power and executive power). Parliaments are additionally considered a basic source in resolving internal and external crises and in development of commercial, educational and industrial ties for the country. It also plays the role of intermediary between the people and the government, cementing the ties between the two. One of their most important duties is to protect the laws and public interest.
As for the members of Afghanistan’s parliament, they have spent a golden era (!) during the past five years in (taking care of) their personal requirements, from an increase in their monthly salaries to their acquisition of grand private residences. They have no tangible accomplishment other than abusing and cursing each other; throwing water bottles at each other inside the parliament hall; and creating tribal, ethnic and linguistic divisions and struggles and fanning their flames among the people.
Former Member of Parliament Malali Joya was right when she described parliament as a barn and its members as livestock. She is correct in her description because she is of their kind and knows herself better than others. Indeed, she considered them lower than livestock. Livestock can at least be used for their milk or as beasts of burden. But parliament members do not benefit their country or their people in anything. Rather, they are a curse to their people: they eat and drink in their name, they fill their pockets and bellies with wealth gathered in the name of the people for the people. What reveals the accuracy of (Malali’s) description of them is that, after she had impugned their character, they immediately banded together against her to strip her of membership in the parliament; forgetting or pretending to forget all their ethnic, linguistic, religious and ideological differences, while at the same time, they daily witness with their own eyes the violations, degradation, humiliation and inhumane contempt to which the people are subjected by the tyrannical Crusader occupiers.
The Crusaders have spread depravity, immorality and harlotry among those believe; they Christianize and Judaize by building churches and distributing gospels, taking advantage of the economic weakness and poverty of the Afghans. They have made wedding and funeral gatherings targets for airstrikes. They have systematically and intentionally exterminated the people without distinguishing among the young and old, or women and children. The members of parliament witness all of this day and night, yet they remain silent and do nothing!
The reason for this is clear: their concern and their anxiety is entirely for themselves. It is not for Religion or the people or the country! They live in all kinds of comfort and they specialize in enjoying different varieties of food, drink and clothing while not far from - indeed in the proximity of - the headquarters of their parliament the people are selling their own children. This is the first time this has occurred in the history of Afghanistan, when the people are putting up for sale their children like any commodities, purchased for the cheap price of a few dirham, on the one hand to preserve them on the brink of life at the cost of their children and on the other hand to preserve their children by having them eat in homes that are not their homes and in the embrace of mothers and fathers who are not their mothers and fathers!
Yes, the members of parliament can enjoy trips and vacations to European countries to enjoy to their hearts’ content the diversions of Europe and America in their houses of debauchery. They spend millions on female toys and gambling, while their people choke on water and endure all kinds of suffering!
Does the unjust occupier not think of the situation of this people? Where are those who call for human rights and accuse others of violations? Today – in the 21st Century when the world is concerned with the rights of animals – there is the greatest violation of human dignity when (children) are sold in the marketplace like any commodity? Where then is the benefit of these elections and this farce when it leads to people selling their own children!!!
In truth the people understood this reality when they declined to participate in this farce. According to the reports of the lackey governments and its masters, only three million people out of thirty million residents took part in the elections! Or a tenth of the people took part. This is of course according to their claims. In reality not even one million participated!!
Even according to the subjective laws of those occupiers, is it logical to bestow legitimacy upon such elections in which not even 3% of the people took part?! Are they satisfied with such elections for themselves and their peoples? If the answer to these questions is negative, then why commit this barbarous attack on the rights of a proud and zealous people?
The issue is clear. The sin of this people is that they will not submit to the demands of the occupier! They wish to live free and honorably or die a glorious martyr. They prefer a death of glory to a life of shame.
Let the occupiers and their henchmen understand well that they will not be able to achieve their vile goals no matter how haughty or tyrannical they are.
Let them know that they will fail as have failed all their plots which they concocted to control the lion’s den. Indeed, these conspiracies will increase the suffering and tragedies of the people, but the fixed result is first and last: their own defeat and their expulsion; shamed and defeated.
Let their henchmen understand that what they are able to enjoy now under the shadow of the occupation is a flash in time. So let them eat like livestock. Hell-fire will be their abode. They will hang on the Rope of the Traitors. After the defeat of their masters, they will not find any shelter or refuge. History will bear witness to their clientage to the enemies. They undoubtedly will taste the bitterness of their crimes in this world before they taste it in the hereafter.
In the end, the unjust and arrogant enemy must bow to truth and reality, which will guarantee their welfare as it guarantees the welfare of others: give the people the right to live in a way that satisfies them and him in the shade of freedom, independence, honor, dignity and strength. If not, the tyrant will be the loser; first and last.
Translated From The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan: Al-Somood Magazine Issue #56
From the lawless confines of a dirt poor nation an accused terrorism mastermind sends out a rallying call for fanatical foot soldiers and they come running from near and far. We set off for Yemen on the trail of disaffected young Australians joining up for jihad.
Foreign Correspondent ABC
Monday, February 7, 2011
Driving Through the Gates of Hell and Other American Pastimes in the Greater Middle East (source)
As we've watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them. Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line to hear from their people. When it came to Egypt in particular, there was initially much polite (and hypocritical) discussion in the media about how our "interests" and our "values" were in conflict, about how far the U.S. should back off its support for the Mubarak regime, and about what a “tightrope” the Obama administration was walking. While the president and his officials flailed, the mildest of questions were raised about how much we should chide our erstwhile allies, or encourage the massed protestors, and about whether we should “take sides” (as though we hadn’t done so decisively over the last decades).
With popular cries for “democracy” and “freedom” sweeping through the Middle East, it’s curious to note that the Bush-era’s now-infamous “democracy agenda” has been nowhere in sight. In its brief and disastrous life, it was used as a battering ram for regimes Washington loathed and offered as a soft pillow of future possibility to those it loved.
Still, make no mistake, there’s a story in a Washington stunned and "blindsided," in an administration visibly toothless and in disarray as well as dismayed over the potential loss of its Egyptian ally, “the keystone of its Middle Eastern policy,” that’s so big it should knock your socks off. And make no mistake: part of the spectacle of the moment lies in watching that other great power of the Cold War era finally head ever so slowly and reluctantly for the exits. You know the one I’m talking about. In 1991, when the Soviet Union disappeared and the United States found itself the last superpower standing, Washington mistook that for a victory most rare. In the years that followed, in a paroxysm of self-satisfaction and amid clouds of self-congratulation, its leaders would attempt nothing less than to establish a global Pax Americana. Their breathtaking ambitions would leave hubris in the shade.
The results, it's now clear, were no less breathtaking, even if disastrously so. Almost 20 years after the lesser superpower of the Cold War left the world stage, the “victor” is now lurching down the declinist slope, this time as the other defeated power of the Cold War era.
Looking at the beginning of Surat al-Baqarat, you will notice that the very first characteristic of the muttaqin Allah lists is that they believe in al-Ghayb - the unseen world. Besides the obvious, there are a few practical implications of this concept in your life.
Firstly, you - O Muwahhid - believe what you believe not because it is popular, easy, cute & cuddly, or will get you more visits to your website. You do not draw your scale of truth/falsehood, right/wrong, acceptable/unacceptable from the reaction of the people around you. In fact, such factors mean absolutely nothing to you. If the six billion people on this Earth believed in something, this would not cause you to budge. Rather, in this world of changing trends, fashions, and flavors of the month, you believe what you believe based on the reaction of a world that never changes its scales - the world of the Unseen... a world of divine Pleasure and Anger, Heaven and Hell, Angels and devils, that has retained the same unchanging scale of good/ evil & truth/ falsehood since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so until the end of time. The record of this scale - the Qur'an - was sprung forth from that world. It sprung forth from that world whose scales pay no mind to what those around you think, pay no mind to what will/ won't make you a household name, pay no mind to the constantly changing fashions that beliefs have unfortunately become an example of. This is why, my brother and sister, your heart grabs onto this Qur'anic scale of Tawhid being the maslaha (benefit) over all other masalih, and it grabs onto this scale of wala' & bara' being the honor of honors to carry in this era, and it holds tight to the scale that measures compromising with or bowing to a taghut as being the humiliation of humiliations in this era - your heart holds to this and never asks what this will mean for your popularity or worldly comfort. Why not? Because your heart is holding onto a scale that comes from a world devoid of changing fashions and trends. To believe in the unseen world will keep your beliefs as firm and unchanging as the scales of that world. And in a world where overnight riddah is in style, this verse of al-Baqarah means all the more.
Because of your full conviction in the unseen world, you are not a coward. You are willing to take risks in life, especially for the sake of preserving truth. You think back to the du'a' make by the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) during the Battle of Badr: "O Allah! If this small group is defeated, You will never be worshipped on Earth!" You Think about how this shows that the odds were so much against the Muslims that day - the risk of failure and annihilation so high - that Islam itself was in danger of being wiped out for good, and yet, this only increased the resolve of the Muslims and they went forth anyway. You think to yourself what drove them to take such a risk? What instilled this courage in their hearts? What kept them firm? You then realize that they had an advanced understanding of the forces at work in the world. They knew that the unseen world could - and would - unleash powers that the human mind cannot comprehend. They didn't know when it would unleash these powers and forces, but they knew for a fact that it could and would. In her book 'Just Five Minutes' (p.48-49), Heba Dabbagh relates that when her mother was in prison, her interrogators asked about her son, to which she replied: "All I know is that I raised my son to go from our house to the mosque from the mosque to the university, and that's all." The officer then said to the interrogator: "Prepare her for some beatings." She replied: "God help you. I am your mother's age, and you want to beat me?" When she was put into solitary confinement, she complained to the warden, asking why she was in prison: "I want to write a letter of complaint to this whole division! Give me a pen and paper." He replied: "That is not allowed. It would never reach him. That is against the rules." So, she replied: "Then I will complain to God, the One and Only, the most Just of Judges, and God-willing, one day you will sit in my place, but you will not have the patience to bear it as I do." Sister Heba then related: "After a month or two, we heard about the warden's death. He died in a car crash. The steering wheel tore into his stomach."
So, you reflect over how the unseen world controls the seen world - not vice versa - and you are emboldened because of this. No worldly power can possibly stand in your way, because you are privy to powers even greater. This is a reality we have to be 100% certain in!
As a believer in the unseen world, you are also able to absorb losses and instead see them as victories. Your whole scale and perception of what loss is is completely beyond what they are for those around you. They deal with the currency of money and health, you deal with the currency of thabat and Allah's Pleasure. For you, there is no such thing as loss so long as you are true to your principles and have fulfilled the criteria for attaining Allah's Pleasure. Loss for you is defined as weakening in your principles and violating the Shari'ah. While the Battle of Uhud was, in a wordly sense a loss, Ibn al-Qayyim dedicates roughly eight pages of 'Zad ul-Ma'ad' to in essence illustrate how it was a victory. This writing of his should be dissected and pondered over deeply by any Muslim looking for clarity in our current circumstances. By making our success/failure based on the currency of the unseen world, we can never lose, no matter what "losses" befall us in this world. Our religion will be attacked, we will be thrown in prison, our lands will be invaded and pillaged, but we never lose because these are all transactions of this world, while the flurry of activity in the unseen world - reward being recorded, palaces in Paradise being prepared - tells a very different story as to who won & who lost.
The best example in my mind to illustrate this attitude is that of the mother of our sister Aafia Siddiqui - that poor, poor woman who was subjected to so many years of physical and mental torture at the hands of those who lecture us day and night on how to treat our women. The blatant injustice experienced by this woman who was kidnapped, held in a secret American prison, torn from her children, shot twice in the abdomen in hopes of having the truth of what was done to her die along with her, and finally convicted of utterly ridiculous and laughable charges in light of her physical frailty - what this woman has been subject to leaves no words that can adequately express the heart's feelings. However, the attitude of her heroic mother is one that perfectly manifests a true belief in the unseen world turning a loss into a victory. She reacted to her daughter's conviction by saying:
"Up until now, I've been so sick, I couldn't leave my bed. But after receiving the news of my daughter's guilty verdict, life has come back to me! If the judge thinks that today will be a dark day at Aafia's house, that her mother would faint from hearing the verdict, then let it be known to him that I couldn't have had a happier day! This day, Allah has replaced Aafia with a thousand sons for me who stand by my door everyday pledging their support!"
Finally, she said: "The sign of a believer is that he never bows to anyone except Allah. The day we bend to the Creation for mercy instead of Allah, we will be destroyed."
This is the true meaning of gain/loss - based on the scales of the Ghayb, not those of this tangible world that will one day melt away.
So, belief in the unseen world has very deep and powerful implications in our lives as Muslims in this world.
And may peace & blessings shower Muhammad.
Plymouth Correctional Facility
Isolation Unit - Cell #108
Written in the hours before Fajr
Friday 27th of Safar 1431/12th of February 2010
be paid a dollar to shoot your brother
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman's role in the rendition program:
Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments....The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as "very bright, very realistic," adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to "some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way" (pp. 113).
The participants in the national dialogue agreed on a number of political arrangements, and constitutional and legislative measures, which the participants agreed by consensus would be of a temporary nature until the election of new president at the end of the current presidential term, including:
1. No nomination for a new presidential term will take place;
2. A peaceful transition of authority within the constitutional framework;
3. The introduction of constitutional amendments to articles 76 & 77, and related constitutional amendments needed for the peaceful transition of authority;