Muslim World News | Libya

Muslim World News | Libya

The Imminent Fall of Libya?

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

Rebels are engaging Qadhafi forces in the Green Square of Tripoli, Libya‘s capital as we write this post. The major questions that this new push arouses are :

1. Is the Fall of the Qaddhafi regime imminent?

2. What type of of revolution is this? Islamic, “Islamist“, civil democratic”, or simply an Imperialist bait and switch[like Egypt], in which the despotic ruler is replaced but the regime color and Western/Imperialist friendly policies remain.

3. who will rule Libya if the rebels are ultimately successful? Is there one authoriative ruler that all the Libyan rulers can rally around?

Libyan rebels: Unit protecting Gadhafi surrenders

By BEN HUBBARD – Associated Press,KARIN LAUB – Associated Press | AP

  • Rebel fighters look towards the enemy as they hear the sound of bombardments in the …
  • People celebrate the recent news of uprising in Tripoli against Moammar Gadhafi‘s …

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A senior rebel official says the military unit in charge of protecting Moammar Gadhafi and the capital Tripoli has surrendered. Mahmoud Shammam, the rebel minister of information, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the unit commander “has joined the revolution and ordered his soldiers to drop their weapons.”

When the unit dropped its arms, it essentially opened the way for the rebels to enter the city with little resistance.

Rebels say Gaddafi son Saif Al-Islam captured

ReutersBy Tarek Amara | Reuters

  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, attends a news conference …

TUNIS (Reuters) – Libya’s rebels have captured Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam, the head of the rebel National Transitional Council told Al Jazeera television on Sunday.

“We have confirmed information that our guys have captured Saif Al-Islam,” Mustapha Abd El Jalil said. “We have given instructions to treat him well so that he can face trial.”

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Libyan rebels enter Tripoli, arrest Gadhafi’s son

RIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Euphoric Libyan rebels raced into the capital Tripoli on Sunday and moved close to center with little resistance as Moammar Gadhafi’s defenders melted away. Opposition leaders said Gadhafi’s son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, has been arrested.

Associated Press reporters with the rebels said the fighters moved easily from the western outskirts into the regime stronghold in a dramatic turning of the tides in the 6-month-old Libyan civil war.

“They will enter Green Square tonight, God willing,” said Mohammed al-Zawi, a 30-year-old rebel who entered Tripoli. Green Square has been the site of night rallies by Gadhafi supporters throughout the uprising.

Gadhafi’s rule of more than 40 years appeared to be rapidly crumbling.

Earlier in the day, the rebels overran a major military base defending the capital, carted away truckloads of weapons and raced to Tripoli with virtually no resistance.

Gadhafi’s whereabouts were unknown. But he delivered a series of angry and defiant audio messages broadcast on state television. He was not shown in the messages.

In the latest one, he acknowledged that the opposition forces were moving into Tripoli and warned the city would be turned into another Baghdad.

“How come you allow Tripoli the capital, to be under occupation once again?” he said. “The traitors are paving the way for the occupation forces to be deployed in Tripoli.”

He called on his supporters to march in the streets of the capital and “purify it” from “the rats.”

The rebels’ surprising and speedy leap forward, after six months of largely deadlocked civil war, was packed into just a few dramatic hours. By nightfall, they had advanced more than 20 miles to Tripoli.

Thousands of jubilant civilians rushed out of their homes to cheer the long convoys of pickup trucks packed with rebel fighters shooting in the air. Some of the fighters were hoarse, shouting: “We are coming for you, frizz-head,” a mocking nickname for Gadhafi. In villages along the way that fell to the rebels one after another, mosque loudspeakers blared “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great.”

“We are going to sacrifice our lives for freedom,” said Nabil al-Ghowail, a 30-year-old dentist holding a rifle in the streets of Janzour, a suburb just six miles west of Tripoli. Heavy gunfire erupted nearby.

As town after town fell and Gadhafi forces disappeared, the mood turned euphoric. Some shouted: “We are getting to Tripoli tonight.” Others were shooting in the air, honking horns and yelling “Allahu Akbar.”

Once they reached Tripoli, the rebels took control of one neighborhood, Ghot Shaal, on the western edge of the city. They set up checkpoints as a convoy of more than 10 trucks rolled in.

The rebels moved on to the neighborhood of Girgash, about a mile and a half from Green Square. They said they came under fire from a sniper on a rooftop in the neighborhood.

Sidiq al-Kibir, the rebel leadership council’s representative for the capital Tripoli, confirmed the arrest of Seif al-Islam to the AP but did not give any further details.

Inside Tripoli, widespread clashes erupted for a second day between rebel “sleeper cells” and Gadhafi loyalists. Rebels fighter who spoke to relatives in Tripoli by phone said hundreds rushed into the streets in anti-regime protests in several neighborhoods.

The day’s first breakthrough came when hundreds of rebels fought their way into a major symbol of the Gadhafi regime — the base of the elite 32nd Brigade commanded by Gadhafi’s son, Khamis. Fighters said they met with little resistance. They were 16 miles from the big prize, Tripoli.

Hundreds of rebels cheered wildly and danced as they took over the compound filled with eucalyptus trees, raising their tricolor from the front gate and tearing down a large billboard of Gadhafi.

Inside, they cracked open wooden crates labeled “Libyan Armed Forces” and loaded their trucks with huge quantities of munitions. One of the rebels carried off a tube of grenades, while another carted off two mortars.

“This is the wealth of the Libyan people that he was using against us,” said Ahmed al-Ajdal, 27, pointing to his haul. “Now we will use it against him and any other dictator who goes against the Libyan people.”

One group started up a tank, drove it out of the gate, crushing the median of the main highway and driving off toward Tripoli. Rebels celebrated the capture with deafening amounts of celebratory gunfire, filling the air with smoke.

Across the street, rebels raided a huge warehouse, making off with hundreds of crates of rockets, artillery shells and large-caliber ammunition. The warehouse had once been using to storage packaged foods, and in the back, cans of beans were still stacked toward the ceiling.

They freed several hundred prisoners from a regime lockup. The fighters and the prisoners — many looking weak and dazed and showing scars and bruises from beatings — embraced and wept with joy.

The prisoners had been held in the walled compound and when the rebels rushed in, they freed more than 300 of them.

“We were sitting in our cells when all of a sudden we heard lots of gunfire and people yelling ‘Allahu Akbar.’ We didn’t know what was happening, and then we saw rebels running in and saying ‘We’re on your side.’ And they let us out,” said 23-year-old Majid al-Hodeiri from Zawiya. He said he was captured four months ago by Gadhafi’s forces and taken to base. He said he was beaten and tortured while under detention.

Many of the prisoners looked disoriented as they stopped at a gathering place for fighters several miles away from the base. Some had signs of severe beatings. Others were dressed in tattered T-shirts or barefoot. Rebels fighters and prisoners embraced.

From the military base, the convoy sped toward the capital.

Mahmoud al-Ghwei, 20 and unarmed, said he had just came along with a friend for the ride .

“It’s a great feeling. For all these years, we wanted freedom and Gadhafi kept it from us. Now we’re going to get rid of Gadhafi and get our freedom,” he said.

At nightfall, the fighters reached Janzour, a Tripoli suburb. Along the way, they were greeted by civilians lining the streets and waving rebel flags. One man grabbed a rebel flag that had been draped over the hood of a slow-moving car and kissed it, overcome with emotion.

“We are not going back,” said Issam Wallani, another rebel. “God willing, this evening we will enter Tripoli.”

The uprising against Gadhafi broke out in mid-February, and anti-regime protests quickly spread across the vast desert nation with only 6 million people. A brutal regime crackdown quickly transformed the protests into an armed rebellion. Rebels seized Libya’s east, setting up an internationally recognized transitional government there, and two pockets in the west, the port city of Misrata and the Nafusa mountain range.

Gadhafi clung to the remaining territory, and his forces failed to subdue the rebellion in Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city, and in the Nafusa mountains. Since the start of August, thousands of rebel fighters, including many who fled Gadhafi-held cities, joined an offensive launched from the mountains toward the coast.

The fighters who had set out from the mountains three weeks ago rushed toward Tripoli on Sunday, start out at dawn from a village just east of the coastal city of Zawiya. Only a day earlier had the rebels claimed full control of Zawiya, an anti-regime stronghold with 200,000 people and Libya’s last functioning oil refinery.

Rebels said Saturday that they had launched their first attack on Tripoli in coordination with NATO and gunbattles and mortar rounds rocked the city. NATO aircraft also made heavier than usual bombing runs after nightfall, with loud explosions booming across the city.

On Sunday, more heavy machine gun fire and explosions rang out across the capital with more clashes and protests.

Government minders in a hotel where foreign journalists have been staying in Tripoli armed themselves on Sunday in anticipation of a rebel take over. The hotel manager said he had received calls from angry rebels threatening to charge the hotel to capture the government’s spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim.

Heavy gun fire was heard in the neighborhood around the Rixos hotel, and smoke was seen rising from a close by building.

“We are scared and staying in our houses, but the younger boys are going out to protect our homes,” said a woman who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the pro-rebel Tripoli neighborhood of Bin Ashour. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. She said a neighbor’s son was shot dead on Saturday night by Gadhafi troops as he tried to protect his street with a group of rebel youth.

Nuri al-Zawi, another resident of Bin Ashour, told the AP by phone that the rebels were using light arms to protect their streets, and in some cases were using only their bodies to fend off the Gadhafi troops riding in pickup trucks.

“We are used to this situation now. We are a city that is cut off from the world now,” he said.

The residents reported clashes in neighborhoods all over Tripoli as well as the city’s Mitiga military airport. They said they heard loud explosions and exchanges in of gunfire in the Fashloum, Tajoura and Bin Ashour neighborhoods.

Residents and opposition fighters also reported large anti-regime protests in those same neighborhoods. In some of them, thousands braved the bullets of snipers perched atop high buildings.

___

Laub and Hubbard reported from Janzour, Libya. Hadeel Al-Shalchi in Cairo contributed to this report.

By BEN HUBBARD – Associated Press,DARIO LOPEZ – Associated Press,KARIN LAUB – Associated Press | AP –

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan rebels have entered the capital Tripoli and are within two miles of the city center.

Associated Press reporters with the rebels said they met little resistance Sunday as Moammar Gadhafi’s defenders appeared to melt away.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The trappings of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime crumbled Sunday as hundreds of euphoric Libyan rebels overran a major military base defending the capital, carted away truckloads of weapons and raced to the outskirts of Tripoli with virtually no resistance.

The rebels’ surprising and speedy leap forward, after six months of largely deadlocked civil war, was packed into just a few dramatic hours. By nightfall, they had advanced more than 20 miles to the edge of Gadhafi’s last major bastion of support.

Along the way, they freed several hundred prisoners from a regime lockup. The fighters and the prisoners — many looking weak and dazed and showing scars and bruises from beatings — embraced and wept with joy.

Thousands of jubilant civilians rushed out of their homes to cheer the long convoys of pickup trucks packed with rebel fighters shooting in the air. Some were hoarse, shouting: “We are coming for you, frizz-head,” a mocking nickname for Gadhafi. In villages along the way that fell to the rebels one after another, mosque loudspeakers blared “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great.”

“We are going to sacrifice our lives for freedom,” said Nabil al-Ghowail, a 30-year-old dentist holding a rifle in the streets of Janzour, a suburb just six miles west of Tripoli. Heavy gunfire erupted nearby.

As town after town fell and Gadhafi forces melted away, the mood turned euphoric. Some shouted: “We are getting to Tripoli tonight.” Others were shooting in the air, honking horns and yelling “Allahu Akbar.”

Inside Tripoli, widespread clashes erupted for a second day between rebel “sleeper cells” and Gadhafi loyalists. Rebels fighter who spoke to relatives in Tripoli by phone said hundreds rushed into the streets in anti-regime protests in several neighborhoods.

Libyan state television aired an angry audio message from Gadhafi Sunday night, urging families in Tripoli to arm themselves and fight for the capital.

“The time is now to fight for your politics, your oil, your land,” he said. “I am with you in Tripoli — together until the ends of the earth,” Gadhafi shouted.

The day’s first breakthrough came when hundreds of rebels fought their way into a major symbol of the Gadhafi regime — the base of the elite 32nd Brigade commanded by Gadhafi’s son, Khamis. Fighters said they met with little resistance.

Hundreds of rebels cheered wildly and danced as they took over the compound filled with eucalyptus trees, raising their tricolor from the front gate and tearing down a large billboard of Gadhafi.

Inside, they cracked open wooden crates labeled “Libyan Armed Forces” and loaded their trucks with huge quantities of munitions. One of the rebels carried off a tube of grenades, while another carted off two mortars.

“This is the wealth of the Libyan people that he was using against us,” said Ahmed al-Ajdal, 27, pointing to his haul. “Now we will use it against him and any other dictator who goes against the Libyan people.”

One group started up a tank, drove it out of the gate, crushing the median of the main highway and driving off toward Tripoli. Rebels celebrated the capture with deafening amounts of celebratory gunfire, filling the air with smoke.

Across the street, rebels raided a huge warehouse, making off with hundreds of crates of rockets, artillery shells and large-caliber ammunition. The warehouse had once been using to storage packaged foods, and in the back, cans of beans were still stacked toward the ceiling.

The prisoners had been held in the walled compound and when the rebels rushed in, they freed more than 300 of them.

“We were sitting in our cells when all of a sudden we heard lots of gunfire and people yelling ‘Allahu Akbar.’ We didn’t know what was happening, and then we saw rebels running in and saying ‘We’re on your side.’ And they let us out,” said 23-year-old Majid al-Hodeiri from Zawiya. He said he was captured four months ago by Gadhafi’s forces and taken to base. He said he was beaten and tortured while under detention.

Many of the prisoners looked disoriented as they stopped at a gathering place for fighters several miles away from the base. Some had signs of severe beatings. Others were dressed in tattered T-shirts or barefoot. Rebels fighters and prisoners embraced.

From the military base, about 16 miles west of Tripoli, the convoy pushed on toward the capital.

Mahmoud al-Ghwei, 20 and unarmed, said he had just came along with a friend for the ride .

“It’s a great feeling. For all these years, we wanted freedom and Gadhafi kept it from us. Now we’re going to get rid of Gadhafi and get our freedom,” he said.

At nightfall, the fighters reached Janzour, a Tripoli suburb. Along the way, they were greeted by civilians lining the streets and waving rebel flags. One man grabbed a rebel flag that had been draped over the hood of a slow-moving car and kissed it, overcome with emotion.

“We are not going back,” said Issam Wallani, another rebel. “God willing, this evening we will enter Tripoli.”

The uprising against Gadhafi broke out in mid-February, and anti-regime protests quickly spread across the vast desert nation with only 6 million people. A brutal regime crackdown quickly transformed the protests into an armed rebellion. Rebels seized Libya’s east, setting up an internationally recognized transitional government there, and two pockets in the west, the port city of Misrata and the Nafusa mountain range.

Gadhafi clung to the remaining territory, and his forces failed to subdue the rebellion in Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city, and in the Nafusa mountains. Since the start of August, thousands of rebel fighters, including many who fled Gadhafi-held cities, joined an offensive launched from the mountains toward the coast.

The fighters who had set out from the mountains three weeks ago rushed toward Tripoli on Sunday, start out at dawn from a village just east of the coastal city of Zawiya. Only a day earlier had the rebels claimed full control of Zawiya, an anti-regime stronghold with 200,000 people and Libya’s last functioning oil refinery.

Rebels said Saturday that they had launched their first attack on Tripoli in coordination with NATO and gunbattles and mortar rounds rocked the city. NATO aircraft also made heavier than usual bombing runs after nightfall, with loud explosions booming across the city.

On Sunday, more heavy machine gun fire and explosions rang out across the capital with more clashes and protests.

Government minders in a hotel where foreign journalists have been staying in Tripoli armed themselves on Sunday in anticipation of a rebel take over. The hotel manager said he had received calls from angry rebels threatening to charge the hotel to capture the government’s spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim.

Heavy gun fire was heard in the neighborhood around the Rixos hotel, and smoke was seen rising from a close by building.

“We are scared and staying in our houses, but the younger boys are going out to protect our homes,” said a woman who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the pro-rebel Tripoli neighborhood of Bin Ashour. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. She said a neighbor’s son was shot dead on Saturday night by Gadhafi troops as he tried to protect his street with a group of rebel youth.

Nuri al-Zawi, another resident of Bin Ashour, told the AP by phone that the rebels were using light arms to protect their streets, and in some cases were using only their bodies to fend off the Gadhafi troops riding in pickup trucks.

“We are used to this situation now. We are a city that is cut off from the world now,” he said.

The residents reported clashes in neighborhoods all over Tripoli as well as the city’s Mitiga military airport. They said they heard loud explosions and exchanges in of gunfire in the Fashloum, Tajoura and Bin Ashour neighborhoods. Residents and opposition fighters also reported large anti-regime protests in those same neighborhoods. In some of them, thousands braved the bullets of snipers perched atop high buildings.

Mukhtar Lahab, a rebel commander closing in on Tripoli and a former captain in Gadhafi’s army, said his relatives inside the capital reported mass protests in four neighborhoods known as sympathetic to the opposition: Fashloum, Souk al-Jouma, Tajoura and Janzour. He said mosques there were rallying residents with chants of “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great,” broadcast on loudspeakers.

___

Laub and Hubbard reported from Janzour, Libya. Hadeel Al-Shalchi in Cairo and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

Rebels reach Tripoli, no sign of resistance

ReutersBy Ulf Laessing and Missy Ryan | Reuters

AL-MAYA/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Rebel fighters streamed into the outskirts of Tripoli on Sunday with little sign of resistance, despite a call by Muammar Gaddafi for citizens to take up arms and save his 41-year-old regime from annihilation.

A convoy of rebels entered a western neighborhood of the city firing their weapons into the air, a witness said. Sky television said some fighters were only 8 km (five miles) from the center and were being welcomed by civilians pouring into the streets.

Thousands of rebel fighters were seen earlier in the day 20 km (12 miles) west of the city center, aiming to join fighters inside who began an uprising late on Saturday, a Reuters correspondent said.

“I am afraid if we don’t act, they will burn Tripoli,” Gaddafi said in an audio address broadcast on state television. “There will be no more water, food, electricity or freedom.”

Bursts of gunfire and blasts from rocket-propelled grenades rang out near a hotel in Tripoli where foreign media are staying, a Reuters correspondent in the hotel said.

In a coordinated revolt that rebels have been secretly planning for months to end Gaddafi’s 41-year rule, shooting started on Saturday night across Tripoli moments after Muslim clerics, using the loudspeakers of mosque minarets, called people on to the streets.

The fighting inside Tripoli, combined with rebel advances into the outskirts of the city, appeared to signal the decisive phase in a six-month conflict that has become the bloodiest of the “Arab Spring” uprisings and embroiled NATO powers.

Gaddafi, in his second audio broadcast in 24 hours, dismissed the rebels as rats.

“I am giving the order to open the weapons stockpiles,” Gaddafi said. “I call on all Libyans to join this fight. Those who are afraid, give your weapons to your mothers or sisters.

“Go out, I am with you until the end. I am in Tripoli. We will … win.”

A Libyan government official told Reuters that 376 people on both sides of the conflict were killed in fighting overnight on Saturday in Tripoli, with about 1,000 others wounded.

“Gaddafi’s chances for a safe exit are diminishing by the hour,” said Ashour Shamis, a Libyan opposition activist and editor based in Britain.

But Gaddafi’s fall, after four decades in power, is far from certain. His security forces did not buckle, and the city is much bigger than anything the mostly amateur anti-Gaddafi fighters, with their scavenged weapons and mismatched uniforms, have ever tackled.

If the Libyan leader is forced from power, there are question marks over whether the opposition can restore stability in this oil exporting country. The rebels’ own ranks have been racked by disputes and rivalry.

RAPID ADVANCE

Rebels said after a night of heavy fighting they controlled a handful of city neighbourhoods. Whether they hold on could depend on the speed with which the other rebels reach Tripoli.

“The rebels may have risen too early in Tripoli and the result could be a lot of messy fighting,” said Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya. “The regime may not have collapsed in the city to quite the extent they think it has.”

But the rebel advance toward the city has been rapid. In the past 48 hours, the rebels west of Tripoli have advanced about 30 km, halving the distance between them and the capital.

Government forces put up a brief fight at the village of Al-Maya, leaving behind a burned-out tank and cars that had been torched. “I am very happy,” said one resident.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters streaming through paused long enough to daub graffiti on walls in the village. One read “We are here and we are fighting Gaddafi,” another “God is great.” They then moved on toward Tripoli.

In Benghazi, the eastern Libyan city where the anti-Gaddafi revolt started and where the rebels have their main stronghold, a senior official said everything was going according to plan.

“Our revolutionaries are controlling several neighbourhoods and others are coming in from outside the city to join their brothers at this time,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice-chairman of the rebel National Transition Council, told Reuters.

A spokesman for Gaddafi, in a briefing for foreign reporters, underlined the message of defiance.

The armed units defending Tripoli from the rebels “wholeheartedly believe that if this city is captured the blood will run everywhere so they may as well fight to the end,” said spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

“We hold Mr Obama, Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy morally responsible for every single unnecessary death that takes place in this country,” he said.

SNIPERS ON ROOFTOPS

A diplomatic source in Paris, where the government has closely backed the rebels, said underground rebel cells in the capital had been following detailed plans drawn up months ago and had been waiting for a signal to act.

That signal was “iftar” — the moment when Muslims observing the holy months of Ramadan break their daily fast. It was at this moment that imams started broadcasting their message from the mosques, residents said.

But the overnight fighting inside the city, while fierce, was not decisive. Rebels said they controlled all or parts of the Tajourah, Fashloom and Souk al-Jumaa neighourhoods, yet there was no city-wide rebellion.

In Tripoli on Sunday, the two sides appeared to be jockeying for control of roof terraces to use as firing positions, possibly in preparation for a new burst of fighting after dark.

A rebel activist in the city said pro-Gaddafi forces had put snipers on the rooftops of buildings around Bab al-Aziziyah, Gaddafi’s compound, and on the top of a nearby water tower.

As he spoke, single gunshots could be heard in the background, at intervals of a few seconds.

“Gaddafi’s forces are getting reinforcements to comb the capital,” said the activist, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter outside Libya.

“Residents are crying, seeking help. One resident was martyred, many were wounded,” he said. It was not immediately possible to verify his account independently. (Additional reporting by Missy Ryan in Tripoli, Robert Birsel in Benghazi, Libya, William Maclean in London, Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers; Writing by Christian Lowe and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Roche)

Who can unite Libya if Gaddafi falls?

ReutersBy Michael Georgy | Reuters

  • Irish-Libyan rebel fighter Husam Najjair speaks to reporters at a front line checkpoint …

NALUT, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebel Husam Najjair seems more concerned about the possibility of rebels turning on each other when they try to take control of the capital Tripoli than the threat posed by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

This is a very real concern as the only thing uniting these disparate rebel groups at the moment is the desire to remove Qadhafi from power.

“The first thing my brigade will do is set up checkpoints to disarm everyone, including other rebel groups, because otherwise it will be a bloodbath,” said Najjair. “All the rebel groups will want to control Tripoli. Order will be needed.”

Will there be one unifying figure to rally the rebels and create a coalition capable of forming a viable post-Qadhafi government?”Right now the resounding answer seems to be no.

“There isn’t one rebel leader who is respected by everyone. That’s the problem,” said Kamran Bokhari, Middle East Director at STRATFOR global intelligence firm.

Gaddafi ran the North African oil producing-country like a cult, without state institutions that would make any transition easier for the rebels, who have plenty of spirit but lack a proper chain of command.

They are also weighed down by factionalism and ethnic and tribal divisions.

The most prominent rebel leader is Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), a disparate group of Gaddafi opponents based in the eastern city of Benghazi.

It consists of former government ministers and longstanding opposition members who represent wide-ranging views including Arab nationalism, Islamists, secularists, socialists and businessmen.

The recipe for disaster exists as former government ministers, ardent liberal secularists try to form a coalition government with tribal factions, socialists, social elites and “Islamists”[read;Ikhwani/Qutubis].

A former justice minister, the soft-spoken Abdel Jalil was described as a “fair-minded technocrat” in a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

A mild-mannered consensus builder in his late 50s, he was praised by Human Rights Watch for his work on Libya’s criminal code reform. Abdel Jalil resigned as justice minister in February when violence was used against protestors.

But like other former members of Gaddafi’s inner circle, he will always be viewed with suspicion by some rebels who want completely new faces with no past links to the regime running the country.

The prime minister of the rebels’ shadow government, Mahmoud Jibril, a former top development official under Gaddafi, has extensive foreign contacts and has been the rebels’ roving envoy.

But his travels have frustrated some colleagues and foreign backers so his experience and contact building will have been wasted if he is not part of any new administration.

Another prominent rebel who may play a future leadership role is Ali Tarhouni. The U.S.-based academic and opposition figure in exile returned to Libya to take charge of economic, financial and oil matters for the rebels.

IRAQ LESSONS

Tensions between life-long opponents of Gaddafi and his supporters who recently defected to the rebel side may undermine efforts to choose an effective leadership.

If hardliners prevail, Libya could make the same mistake that analysts say was made in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

His Baath Party supporters and army officers were purged en masse, creating a power vacuum that led to instability for years as everyone from his secular backers to al Qaeda waged a violent campaign against Iraq’s new U.S.-backed rulers.

“You cannot make a rule that anyone who worked for Gaddafi cannot work with us. It’s not practical at all,” said Ashour Shamis, a United Kingdom-based Libyan opposition activist.

Such an approach would undermine efforts to bring back capable people to undertake perhaps the most critical task of all — revitalizing the oil industry.

Those who want to put aside animosities for the sake of rebuilding the country’s energy sector may want to turn to its former top official Shokri Ghanem for help.

The Western-educated Ghanem, who defected, has decades of experience in the oil sector and is a former prime minister credited with liberalizing the Libyan economy and accelerating the opening of the country to global petroleum investment.

Bringing people like Ghanem back will depend to a great extent on whether rebels will be willing to put aside their differences and take a practical view of Libya’s future.

FRACTIONALISM

Judging by realities on the ground, it won’t be easy.

Take the Western Mountains region, where rebels recently made the most dramatic gains in months.

The fighters showed far more discipline as they swept through towns and villages in the plains and eventually reached Zawiyah, about a 30 minute drive from Tripoli.

Beneath the surface, the rebels were torn apart by divisions and factionalism. Berber and Arab villages look at each other with disdain.

Rebels refer to themselves as the fighters from village x or village y, not the rebels of Libya. When journalists want to reach frontlines, they are told to get written permission from whichever rebel is in charge of a specific area.

Najjair, an Irish-Libyan who left behind his life as a building contractor to take up arms against Gaddafi, constantly went on about how his Tripoli Brigade was the best-suited to seize the capital because its members were all from Tripoli.

“We are the most organized. But we get the least help from the other rebel groups,” was his constant complaint.

As the rebels close in on Tripoli, the common cause of fighting Gaddafi could ease divisions.

A hint of what could be in store is the still unexplained July 28 killing of the rebels’ military commander, Abdel Fattah Younes, a former top Gaddafi security official, after he was taken into custody by his own side for questioning.

The killing has raised fears that the NTC is too weak and fractured to halt a slide into bloodshed as rival factions, including Islamists, bid for power.

An increasing number of fighters in the Western Mountains, for instance, are growing long, thick beards, the trademark of Islamists who are likely to reject close ties with the West in a new Libya, while others cry out for foreign investment.

They may also argue that the rebels from the Western Mountains and the city of Misrata should be given the most powerful positions in any new government since they did most of the fighting while the ones in Benghazi dealt with administration.

The bitterness was palpable on the frontlines along the desert plains in the West, even though different rebel groups took part in the advance.

The rebels from Benghazi were portrayed as outsiders who were often late in delivering weapons and other supplies to their counterparts.

Rebels in the leadership structure will have to figure out ways to defuse tensions among their ranks while trying to run Libya.

“Talking over Tripoli will be very complex and trying. Just organizing the feeding of the rebels and getting supplies in will be tough, especially since Gaddafi’s people have been busy digging trenches to prepare,” said Bokhari.

“But running the country will be much tougher for the rebels. Finding people who everyone accepts will be the challenge.”

(Additional reporting by William Maclean in London and Christian Lowe in Algiers; editing by Maria Golovnina)

(Reporting By Maria Golovnina)

Tune in as we analyze the entire “Arab Spring” and it’s relation to Islamophobia, in future posts. Insha’Allah.

Posted in Islam Around the World, Muslim World News, Ramadan Around the World, The Everyday Muslim | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ramadan Around the World

Ramadan Around the World | Message from a Great Shaykh

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

From Muslim Matters

Shaykh Dr Ibrahim Dremali would like to extend his appreciation for all the good comments he has received and for all your Duaa’s. This message is for all Muslims .

I reprint my own tribute from Muslim Matters here:

This brother, this dear Shaykh, Imam Dr. Ibrahim Dremali, he was the first Imam I ever met in my life. He was my first consistently positive contact with Muslims when I revert all those years ago. He made me love Islam more than I already did.

I can only say good things about this man and how he inspired me to want to become an Islamic scholar myself. We miss him so much, and as a grown man, I am not ashamed to admit that tears well up in my eyes just hearing his voice and knowing he is sick. He has had this problem for a long time, as I used to notice him sometimes grimacing in pain during jumu’ah khutbah, but I felt it was never my business to pry. And all those years ago when he lived in Florida and was the Imam of our masjid, we will never forget him!

May Allah reward him for all his efforts! may Allah preserve him! And may Allah heal him this Ramadan, Insha’Allah ta’ala Rabil alamin. Ameen.

Please read the Exclusive and the other comments here: http://muslimmatters.org/2011/08/12/sh-ibrahim-dremali-exclusive-ramadan-reminder-for-our-readers-health-update-appeal/

Posted in Anti-Islamophobes, Islam Around the World, Islamic Scholars, Ramadan Around the World, The Everyday Muslim | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Islamophobic Politics

Islamophobic Politics | An Introduction to Analyzing Islamophobinese

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

The audio is very hard to hear over the shouting and jeering and clapping of the West supporters. But believe me, I live here in Florida(we have a strong CAIR presence here), and Nezar Hamze certainly does not have a lack of Islamic knowledge. He was merely being shouted down by an arrogant demagogue in a hostile environment. When he tried to respond, did you hear the women say “We don’t wanna hear it!”?. Or Allen West shouting “put your mic down and go home!” at the end? Real classy.

Let me break it down if I can, and if you can bear reading info you may already be aware of.

Hamze won the “debate” from the beginning, when he asked, after pointing out that West blames certain violent attacks on American citizens on Islam by saying they were following Islam and the Qur’an.

Hamze: “You recently told a Marine that uh, the terrorists that attacked the United States and the people that are attacking America are following Islam, are following the instruction of the Qur’an. So, very simple question…Can you show me in this Qur’an where it says attack Americans, attack America, or kill innocent people?

Basically he was asking, “Show me in the Qur’an justification for killing innocents or killing people simply for not being Muslims”.

West: very sarcastically, to the delight of the crowd,

“Well of course it doesn’t say attack America or attack Americans, the book(the Qur’an) was written somewhere around the 8th or 9th century. America wasn’t even around..”

Besides the very simplistic reasoning,

Here is Factual error number ONE from West: The Qur’an was written down during the lifetime of the Prophet(alayhi salatu wasalam). It was compiled for the sake of accuracy and canonization, after the death of the Prophet, as his death ended the revelation of the Qur’an. Sounds like a Cook and Crone Orientalist revisionist history.

Then he goes on to list violent incidents involving Muslims, police blotter style.

West: “You do have the verse of the sword in there…and there is talk about killing infidels”.

Factual error number TWO: There is no “verse of the sword” as there is no mention of a sword anywhere in the verse. It is an appellation given to it by Western critics.

Factual error number THREE: There is no talk about killing infidels. “Infidels” is a word that comes from Catholicism whose meaning has broadened over the centuries, and which has no one-to-one correlation with the Arabic word mushrikeen. The verse is about mushrikeen, variously translated as “idolaters”, “those who associate partners with Allah”, polytheists, and/or “pagans”. And the quranic references are not to all mushrikeen. The word kafir may be translated as “infidels”, but this is not completely accurate, as kafir means “one who covers up(the truth)” or “one who rejects Faith after realizing its Truth”. Something is definitely lost in translation.

After a very hard to make out exchange because of people talking over each other,

West: “628, battle of the Trenches, 3,000 Jewish people slaughtered..”

Factual error number FOUR and FIVE: Now I have heard that anywhere from 400-900 Jews of the Banu Qurayza were executed. But based on the sources themselves we know how unreliable these numbers are. But, “3,000 Jewish people were slaughtered”? Perhaps Hamze couldn’t “blow sunshine up West’s butt” because he was blocked by the ridiculous figure West was pulling out of there? Also, the Battle of the Trench did not occur on 628 AD. In reality the battle took place a year before on 627 AD. It seems that the more “educated” Islamophobes rely on their distortions vis a vis Islam to go unchecked by the mass of Islamophobes who cannot be bothered to do their own research. Along with his recitation of the police blotter of violent events related to Muslims(not necessarily Islam) it is obvious that the usual Islamophobic talking points are mere regurgitation. West obviously could not be bothered to research the statistics that he blindly parrots.

After thunderous applause and cheers for West’s police blotter tirade listing of “events in Islamic history”,

West:After mentioning Khadijah(radhi Allahu anha)…., “But something happened after Muhammad enacted the hijra,…it(Qur’an) became violent”

Factual error number SIX: It is a common misconception that all of the “peace verses” of the Qur’an came/were revealed in the “Meccan period”, and all the “sword verses”, came after the hijra in the “Medinan period”. Chronological and historical analysis makes it impossible to make that blunder. People who bolster their hate of Islam by legitimizing the narrative of Extremists and talk about abrogation in the Qur’an without knowledge, make this ridiculous argument. Islamophobes and Muslim Extremists seem to be two sides of the same coin. Both delight in the idea of an abrogation that allows Muslims to allegedly be prescriptively violent and in the idea of murdering 3,000 Jews for no good reason other than their Jewishness.

Now that’s six factual errors in less than FIVE minutes of video, and that only because I could only hear six errors. There could be more. And there are Islamophobes all over the net “shouting” about how West “schooled” Hamze about Islam! Here is the video again, if you haven’t already seen it:

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/22/video-cair-confronts-allen-west/comment-page-2/#comments

In the comments section we can see how much people idolize this pompous demagogue. People want him to be President some day! The same type of people who want Palin in office! Scary stuff!Judge for yourself, but..

Posted in Allen West, Islamophobes, Islamophobia and the Use of Statistics, Islamophobia as a Social Phenomenon, Islamophobia in the U.S., Islamophobia in the West, Islamophobic Events, Islamophobic Politics, Islamophobic Tactics, Islamophobinese, The Hypocrisy of Islamophobia | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Islamophobic Politics

Islamophobic Politics | Allen West Continues Making Political Blunders

“NUTS!” Allen West’s One-Word Response to South Florida Muslim Group

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

Allen West

Our wonderful Florida Congressman and possible senator, whom many in the Extreme Right may want to run for President of the U.S.,  namely Allen West, in his recent response to a local Islamic group reveals his true colors as the Islamophobic politician extraordinaire.

In early August, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent a 679-word letter to West urging him to cut ties with “anti-Islamic extremists.. CAIR singled out Bridgette Gabriel, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Rev. Neil Dozier as Muslim-haters with whom West has shared stages.

“Muslims protect and serve our great country and are afforded equal protection under law,” the letter read. “We shouldn’t have to defend our rights to worship freely or participate in the governing of our society.”

Soon afterward, CAIR received the following letter, which was first reported by CBS4. The Muslim group sent us a copy, which we’ve embedded below. We believe it might be the dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery.

Executive director Nezar Hamze tells Riptide he’s befuddled: “Obviously, I was expecting a little more from an elected official. I don’t know if he was calling me nuts or calling my request nuts or what.”

[We should all be expecting a lot more from an elected official]

Hamze doesn’t think he’ll write West back. “How can I respond to this?”

Posted in Allen West, Anti-Islamophobes, Islamic Organizations, Islamophobes, Islamophobia as a Social Phenomenon, Islamophobia in the U.S., Islamophobia in the West, Islamophobic Events, Islamophobic Politics, Islamophobic Tactics, Missionaries and Neo-Orientalism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accepting Islam

Accepting Islam | Latino Muslims

Eliana Lopez: A Marine Discovers Islam in Iraq

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

This is the beginning of an extended series on the conversion stories of those who accept and enter into Islam from various religions, ideologies, worldviews, sociocultural demographics, and ethnic groups, not as a way of proselytizing but as a way to show what these reverts saw in Islam in order to counter the social phenomenon of Islamophobia. Eliana Lopez: A Marine Discovers Islam in Iraq. Notwithstanding my views on Muslims in Western militaries and politics, I will tie here two intersecting topics, namely the rise of Latinos accepting Islam and the relatively scarce incidence of western troops accepting Islam. The story of Ibrahim Abdel-Wahed Mohamed aka Anthony Grant Vance, a Marine who accepted Islam in Iraq, the son of American and Panamanian parents who had raised him as a Catholic, is a most interesting one.

Huffington Post 20 August 2011 Huffington Post One Comment Email This Post Email This Post
Marine Seal

Before Ibrahim Abdel-Wahed Mohamed left Sea Cliff for a tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq, he was Anthony Grant Vance, the son of American and Panamanian parents who had raised him as a Catholic.

Despite his Christian upbringing, though, he had been curious about Islam since his childhood in Kansas, where he had two Afghani friends. He thought about pursuing anthropology studies to further learn about religion and different cultures, but instead ended up joining the military.

Mohamed felt the pull toward the faith strengthen in Iraq — “the heart of the Islamic world,” as he says — and he reached out to the Muslim contractors on his base and started learning about the precepts of the Quran.

Convinced that he was being called to Islam, he officially became a Muslim while still serving in Iraq. There he underwent Shahada, a profession of faith where a person testifies in front of others that “there is no god but God and Mohammad is the messenger of God,” as the Sunni declaration reads.

His transformation may seem dramatic, but it’s not entirely unique. The number of Latinos in the U.S. converting to Islam is growing, and Long Island is no exception.

In 1997, the American Muslim Council counted approximately 40,000 Hispanic Muslims nationwide, but that number could nowadays be closer to 75,000, according to Latino American Dawah Association (LADO), an organization committed to promoting Islam among the Latino community within the United States.

Juan Galvan, a member of LADO, affirms that Latino converts to Islam are increasing. “Many Muslim organizations have stated that the Latino Muslim community tripled or quadrupled after 9/11,” he says.

He explains that after the attacks, people wanted to know more about the religion. “Many people came to learn about Islam for the first time. Some people came to hate Islam, and some people came to love Islam.”

Mohamed firmly stands with the latter, as one of a small percentage of soldiers who fought in Iraq and returned with a new faith.

In some ways, his roots may have predisposed him to theological experimentation.

Born in Panama to an American Marine father and Panamanian mother, he was baptized and raised as a Catholic. His parents divorced when he was an adolescent, and his father became a Jehovah’s Witness. The conversion led his father to retire from the military after 13 years of service, telling Mohamed that once you decide to follow God, “you don’t pledge allegiance to a country, but you pledge allegiance to God.”

Still, Mohamed followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Marine Corps after he finished high school. As a Marine, traveled around the country, living in California, Virginia, North Carolina and New York, where he finally settled down.

It was working at the military base in Garden City when Mohamed first saw the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, a place that always intrigued him. “We passed by the mosque a couple times and I had the curiosity” he recalls. After several years on Long Island, he was sent to Iraq in 2008.

Two years have passed since Mohamed converted to Islam. Now he lives in Westbury, attends theIslamic Center of Long Island and is pursuing a major in education at CW Post.

He still maintains an open mind when it comes to other religions.

“I’m not here to put anyone else down for their beliefs,” he says. “I still believe that there are many lessons to be learned from other faiths.”

This is the first part of a series looking at Latino Muslims on Long Island. It was originally published on Long Island Wins.

Latinos along with American-Americans may very well be the largest demographic of converts to Islam. Their acceptance of Islam is unique in my view because there is already a very large presence of African-Americans who are “born Muslims” in the U.S. and because of the tendentiousness of the race concept obscuring the fact that many African-Americans are Latinos as well and vice versa.

Here is the story of Daniel Hernandez and his journey to accepting Islam.

Posted in Accepting Islam, Anti-Islamophobes, Islam Around the World, The Everyday Muslim, Understanding Islam | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Murfreesboro Masjid Update

Murfreesboro Masjid Update |Tennessee: protestors oppose Wilders film

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

Dutch MP is notorious for his anti-Islam, anti-Muslim activism. Indeed he has been very active this past few years, with three events standing out the most, and with a few “films” under his belt. If you all remember, Wilders was deported back to the Netherlands back in 2009 after attempting to show his ridiculous film “Fitna” in Great Britain .

Dutch MP Geert Wilders deported after flying to Britain to show anti-Islamic film

A controversial Dutch politician has been sent back to Holland after trying to enter Britain to show his anti-Muslim film in the House of Lords.

Mr Wilders was told he could not come to Britain on public order grounds Photo: EPA

By Christopher Hope, John Bingham and Bruno Waterfield

4:25PM GMT 12 Feb 2009

 Geert Wilders had been invited to Westminster to show his 17-minute film Fitna, which criticises the Koran as a “fascist book”, by a member of the House of Lords.

But on Tuesday Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary refused Mr Wilders entry because his opinions “would threaten community security and therefore public security” in the UK.

Mr Wilders went ahead with his trip anyway, and flew from Amsterdam to London on a British Midland flight.

When he arrived at Heathrow airport he was met by two plain clothed officers from the UK Border Agency.

As he was being led away, Mr Wilders said: “I am not nervous but is this how Great Britain welcomes a democrat?”

[Just as we will be reviewing Islamophobic books, we will be reviewing and deconstructing Islamophobic films, so please send us any copies of books or films you may have, or links to free download of these materials, as we refuse to pay for anti-Muslim propaganda].

Earlier this year this Islamophobic politician was invited to the U.S. to speak at an Evangelical Megachurch. Read the article here.

Now, “A Warning to America,” another Islamophobic nonsense film by Geert Wilders, was shown in the county commission chambers, meaning that this “film” was shown in a government building in the United States. DVDs of the film were also available for purchase at the event.

Tennessee: protestors oppose Wilders film

DateSaturday, August 20, 2011

COOKEVILLE — A crowd of more than 100 peaceful protestors gathered outside the courthouse last night with signs saying “We love Muslims” and “All religions believe in justice,” among many others, showing their opposition to the Tennessee Freedom Coalition’s showing of what they call a highly controversial film about the Islamic religion.

“A Warning to America,” by Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who has spoken out against Islam, was shown in the county commission chambers last night. DVDs of the film were also available for purchase at the event.

“We’re here to voice another side,” Pat Handlson, minister of Cookeville First Presbyterian Church and event organizer said. “I think it’s sad there’s been such negativity surrounding the Murfreesboro mosque.”

Wilders, according to Rachel Welch, organizer of the film showing and vice-chair of the Putnam County Republican Party, has been under persecution in his country for hate speech and speaking out against Shariah law. “This is certainly not a hate film,” Welch said. “It’s about facts and Islam being a political ideology shrouded in a religion.”

Very few confrontations between the two sides were reported and both Welch and Handlson were pleased with how peaceful it was.

“I just wanted everyone here to be a witness to this event,” Handlson continued. “To be a witness to love your God and love your neighbor. We all can co-exist.” Handlson is concerned about this film being shown locally because Cookeville is home to a large group of Saudi Muslims.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Wilders

Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam, summing up his views by saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam”.  Although identifying Islamic extremists as 5–15% of Muslims,he argues that “there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’” and that the “Koran also states that Muslims who believe in only part of the Koran are in fact apostates“. He suggests that Muslims should “tear out half of the Koran if they wished to stay in the Netherlands” because it contains “terrible things” and that Muhammad would “… in these days be hunted down as a terrorist”.

Listen to the eerily Anders Breivik-like rhetoric of this so called defender of Judaeo-Christian, Secular Humanist Western Civilization

Posted in Geert Wilders, Islamophobes, Islamophobia and the Media, Islamophobia as a Social Phenomenon, Islamophobia in Europe, Islamophobia in the U.S., Islamophobia in the West, Islamophobic Events, Islamophobic Politics, Islamophobic Tactics, Missionaries and Neo-Orientalism, The Hypocrisy of Islamophobia | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas Armed Wing Ends Truce with Israel

Muslim World News | Hamas’ Armed Wing Ends Truce with Israel

posted by Muhammad Abd al-Haqq

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

Image via Wikipedia

This, from Al Jazeera English:

Hamas armed wing ends truce with Israel

The Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that they were no longer committed to its de facto ceasefire with Israel in effect since more than two years ago.

“There is no longer any truce with the enemy,” said the statement broadcast over a Hamas radio station early on Saturday.

Rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel and Israeli aircraft have struck targets in the Palestinian territory in the back-and-forth aftermath of deadly attacks a day before in southern Israel.

At least 14 Palestinians have been killed and 30 were injured in the past 24 hours by Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip which began on Thursday.  Four Israelis have been injured by rockets fired from Gaza.

The casualties are a result of exchanged attacks following a series of deadly assaults by gunmen who targeted two buses, a car and an army vehicle in the area north of Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday.

Eight Israelis, including six civilians and two soldiers, were killed that day alongside seven of the attackers, among which were two suicide bombers who detonated near a bus and during a confrontation with soldiers. Over 40 Israelis were also wounded, local media reported.

Israel vowed to “hunt down” the perpetrators who – it said -  had infiltrated from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials have blamed a Gaza-based militant group called the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) for Thursday’s attacks, although the faction has denied any involvement. The PRC is not affiliated with the Hamas movement that governs Gaza.

Three Palestinians including a 5-year-old boy were killed and 3 passersby were injured in an attack on a vehicle in central Gazas City. Al Jazeera’s Safwat Al Kahlout reported.

Previously, the latest air strike on the Gaza Strip hit Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza late Friday night, killing two men.

The Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the militant Islamic Jihad, confirmed that one of the men, Emad Abu Abda, was their member. The other man’s identity and possible affiliations were not immediately known.

This was the Israeli air forces’ sixth operation since beginning their raids in retaliation for Thursday’s incidents.

Hours earlier, the Israeli air force targeted rocket launchers, “two weapons manufacturing sites in central Gaza” and “terrorist activity in the north and the south” of the strip”, the Israeli military told Al Jazeera.

Five members of the PRC, including its leader, were killed in Thursday’s overnight air strike in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah and another killed on Friday, Al Kahlout reported from Gaza.

Abu Mujahid, a PRC spokesman, has said the group vows to take revenge “against everything and everyone” for its members’ deaths.

Medical sources said at least three civilians have also been killed, including two boys aged three and 13 who died early on Friday.

Rockets from Gaza

Over 24 rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel by Friday night, some reaching as far as the southern coastal city of Ashdod, the Israeli military confirmed.

Two rockets fired at Ashdod “caused damage and injuries at a synagogue and school”, according to a military statement. Four Israeli civilians were injured in Ashdod, the Israeli medical service Magen David Adom told Al Jazeera.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said on Thursday that his country “will exact a price, a very heavy price” for those who “attempt to escalate terrorist war against Israel” and “believe that they can attack our citizens and get away with it”.

While visiting the wounded at a medical center in the southern city of Beer Sheva on Friday, Netanyahu said Israel’s ongoing retaliatory measures against Gaza is not Israel’s “first reaction”. He also pledged to “speed up” the construction of a bolstered barrier along its southern border with Egypt to cover 100km of the stretch by the end of the year.

The barrier currently runs for 45km of the full 200km stretch. The Israeli defence ministry had planned several months ago to complete the project by 2012.

Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, said Israel does not seek to escalate the situation because it is “not the ones who chose to target civilian buses and vehicles”.

Leibovich said Israeli forces were targeting “not only specific terror organisations in Gaza, but rather anyone who has some influence … with terror”, including groups of people it suspects of launching rocket attacks.

According to Gaza residents, three Hamas-controlled compounds in Rafah were among the targets hit in Thursday’s late night air strikes.

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, denied any connection between Hamas or the people of Gaza with the attacks in southern Israel.

“From the first moment we are surprised that Israel started to target people. To target civilians, to target places, to target buildings before knowing who stands behind this operation. So, I think that Israel [always] considers Gaza a weak point that they can target them under any circumstances,” he said.

Hamad called the rocket attacks from Gaza,”a kind of natural reaction against the Israeli aggression against our people.”

He continued: “If they stop their aggression and attacks against Gaza, I think people here are interested in keeping Gaza calm and quiet.”

Hamad also said that Hamas was “surprised” that members of the international community had not condemned Israel for “killing civilians”.

Posted in Muslim World News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

In the Wake of the Birmingham Riots

In the Wake of the Birmingham Riots

posted by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

First Day of Riots

Exclusively Live Sangat Television Soho Road Broadcast happened on 8 August 2011. We would like to share this shocking footage with British people. Legendary Upinder was watching this Broadcast at home, he joined the team on the next day.Three Muslim males were killed during the riots that were occurring in Birmingham, it literally is a story of being at the wrong place at the wrong time were one of them is believe to have been run over by a hooligan part of the riot.

Tension is high in Birmingham following the death of three men struck by a car while protecting local businesses.
There is a real fear that the events of last night have stirred racial tensions in this city between some Asian and black communities. There is talk of retaliation and further violence.

When looters went on the rampage on Monday night, dozens of local businesses were attacked. Family businesses that had taken years to establish were ransacked in hours. Yesterday, many of the owners told me they weren’t going to allow it to happen again.
In areas like the Soho Road in Handsworth, they started closing early. “We don’t trust the police to be able to look after us,” one man said. “So we’re going to do it ourselves.”
Some resorted to extreme measures

When we drove to the area, we found an awful scene. A young black man was lying on the pavement with serious injuries. The police had cordoned off the area around him and were waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The police would not release details of what had happened, but that did not stop the rumours. Several people told me that a convoy of black men in cars had driven past one of the temples and taunted a group of Asian men. A small group had retaliated, dragging one out of his car and beating him up.

We drove to Birmingham’s City hospital in Winsom Green. Outside the hospital, we found riot police guarding the entrance.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” one nurse told me.

A group of Muslims had gathered. Some were crying. Others were praying. They were there to pay their respects. An hour earlier, three young men from their community had been guarding a restaurant nearby. It’s claimed that two cars approached them and deliberately ran them over. The police were treating the incident as murder.

“We were attacked and yet the police are here at the hospital as if we were the ones who did the violence. They’re only making the situation worse,” one relative told me.

“This situation is out of control now,” said another man.

“People here are angry. There’s going to be more violence, people were want revenge for this. They want somebody to pay.”

Birmingham father Tariq Jahan makes a MOVING PASSIONATE plea for calm after his son is one of 3 men MURDERED during UK RIOTS
It would have been so easy to demand ‘an eye for an eye’ and risk a race war on the riot-torn streets.

But with immense dignity, Tariq Jahan, whose 21-year-old son was mown down and killed in an apparently racist murder in Birmingham, appealed for calm yesterday.
Haroon Jahan was one of three young Men who died after they were thrown into the air ‘like tennis balls’ when they were hit by a car which mounted the pavement at 50mph while they were trying to protect local shops from looters on Tuesday night.
The shocking killings, the worst incident in four nights of rioting across Britain, left the city a tinderbox after it was confirmed that the man arrested on suspicion of murdering the Asians is a black caribbean.
Locals claimed that Afro-Caribbean gangs had been prowling the area, setting light to cars and shouting at Muslims ‘you will burn’ just before the alleged murders.
As racial tensions rose to boiling point with some Muslims calling for ‘retribution’, 45-year-old Mr Jahan — who desperately tried to revive his dying son — urged people NOT to seek revenge.
Standing on a wall in front of a crowd he said: ‘I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites — we all live in the same community.
‘Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this?

Thousands of mourners gathered for an open-air funeral service in honour of three Birmingham men killed as they tried to protect businesses from looters.

Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died after being deliberately hit by a car on Dudley Road, Winson Green.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Yacoobi delivered a speech to the crowd assembled at the city’s Summerfield Park.

“These three martyrs sacrificing themselves to defend their community, to defend their family members, to defend their homes,” he said.

“They made an example of how a Muslim should be and what Islam is.”

Thousands flooded Birmingham’s Summerfield Park for the prayers

Tariq Jahan, whose son Haroon was one of the victims, received flowers from people in the crowd.

Hours after losing his son he had appealed to a volatile group to show restraint – and many say his message has endured.

“We are witnessing the coming together of something quite unique,” said Councillor Ayoub Khan, who spoke on behalf of the victims’ families.

“Our communities of all faiths and non-faiths and of all ethnicities, we have rallied as one like possibly we have never seen before.”

Tariq Jahan is embraced by a mourner at the gathering
The traditional Muslim service was held in the park, nearby scene of the murders, with an open invitation for all to attend before private burials.

One man at the gathering told Sky News: “We wanted to show solidarity with our Muslim friends. We’re Christian of course.”

“I came here initially because I was representing the Jewish community at Sunday’s peace rally,” said another.

“But I’m also a shopkeeper and the way those men put their lives on the line for the community and tragically got murdered, and the way Tariq has dealt with the situation, it says so much.”

 

20,000 attend the Janaza (Funeral) to tribute the Birmingham riot martyrs

Aug 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm in Inspiring Photography, News by Mehedi Islam · Tags: , , ,

Prayers are held at Birmingham’s Summerfield Park ahead of the funeral for Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir, all British Pakistanis, who were killed in the early hours last Wednesday during a wave of disorder and looting

The crowd stretched as far as the eye could see. By the very strength of their numbers they provided a dramatic tribute to three men who died defending their community from rioters.

Around 20,000 turned out in Birmingham yesterday for the open-air funeral of 21-year-old Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

The trio suffered fatal injuries last week when they were hit by a car as they protected shops from looters in the early hours of August 10. Four have so far been charged with murder over the incident.

Yesterday’s hour-long service in Summerfield Park began with a highly charged speech by Sheikh Ali Mohammed Yaqoubi, an Islamic preacher from Syria.

Dressed in a black robe he stood on a small stage and said: ‘We have come here to honour the three men but we cannot give them a better honour than they have got already – the honour of martyrdom.

‘As Muslims we have proven to be more loyal to this country than even the natives. These three men sacrificed their blood and it should be a historical day. A day of national celebration for everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

‘I call upon the authorities to make this day a day not of mourning and sadness but a national day of bravery.’

Sheikh Yaqoubi praised Haroon Jahan’s father Tariq Jahan for his ‘brave words’ and for ‘stopping people from taking revenge’.

He stressed that no acts of retribution should be carried out in the names of the dead men, deeming such actions as ‘unethical and un-Islamic’.

The bodies were carried in three hearses. Inside Abdul Musavir’s, a garland of white flowers spelled out ‘shaheed’, meaning martyr.

His father sobbed uncontrollably at times and had to be supported by family as the coffins were taken out and laid on a table in a covered tent behind the stage.

A cousin of the dead brothers, who gave his name as Saqib, addressed the crowd. He said: ‘Our boys were precious gemstones of people. Loving, bubbly and family men.

‘Many of the youths are feeling deeply angered and I say we should channel that anger towards those at the top who didn’t do enough to protect our communities.’

Tariq Jahan also briefly addressed the crowd to thank them for their support. ‘This is for the three shaheeds. Please remember them,’ he said.

Female mourners in the crowd of mainly Asian and young black men were separated from the men by small metal barriers. An area had been cordoned off for immediate family and friends.

 

Local councillor Ayoub Khan read a statement from the families. He said: ‘The families would ask that everyone pray for them and their loved ones during this auspicious month of Ramadan. It is the support of all the community that has given them courage.

‘Birmingham witnessed upsetting scenes of mindless looting culminating in the tragic deaths of these three young men.

‘These three courageous souls were protecting the properties and sanctity of fellow community members be they black or white Muslim or non-Muslim … we salute their sacrifice.’

Following the public service, a private burial ceremony for relatives was held at Handsworth Cemetery.

Earlier, police lined the road leading to the Handsworth Muslim Centre, where the bodies of the three men lay overnight after being released by the coroner on Wednesday. Mourners visited to pay their final respects and women dressed in white wailed and sobbed openly as they left.

A police helicopter hovered overhead as large groups of young Pakistani men stood defiantly outside the centre.

One, in his 20s, who gave his name as Kash, said there had been rumours overnight that trouble could flare up because tensions were still running high.

He said: ‘There is still a lot of anger particular among the younger crowd and we have been warned to stay on guard.

Women dressed in white wailed and sobbed openly as they left the centre while the men wearing Muslim caps and traditional Pakistani clothing stood quietly outside in groups.

The funeral cortege was escorted by West Midlands Police as it made its way to Summerfield Park for the last rights, known as Janazah.

It was followed by a private burial ceremony for close relatives only at Handsworth Cemetery, where the three men were buried alongside each other.

A family friend, Sarjan Mahmood, 46, from Perry Barr, Birmingham, said: ‘We are here to give our support to the families of these three men who died protecting all of the local community.

‘We believe they should be honoured by everyone and their memories should help everybody unite.

‘For us Muslims these three guys died as martyrs and we want to ensure they didn’t die in vain. They should be an inspiration to all of us.’

Posted in Anti-Islamophobes, Muslim World News, The Everyday Muslim | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Border Patrol and Racial Profiling

Border Patrol and Racial Profiling

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

A rally is planned for Noon on Saturday, August 20, in Clark Park, Detroit Michigan, to protest the effect of racial profiling at the United States’ two borders. This profiling directly affects the Latino-American and  Muslim-American communities. Many an individual has been affect by the overzealous policing that directly targets minority communities in the U.S. on the basis of their perceived racial differences. The broken immigration system has initiated a so far relatively unnoticed crackdown on Latino-Americans at the southern border with Mexico and Muslim-Americans, a racialized ethno-religious group. Also, in states such a s Florida many Latinos are being profiled on the basis of race.

DETROIT (WWJ) – A rally will be held in Southwest Detroit this weekend to protest treatment of certain ethnic groups crossing borders into the United States.

Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council On American Islamic Relations, explained that the event will focus on racial profiling by border authorities.

“We want to show to the broader public how the rules and regulations, in terms of profiling, are being bent and that minority communities, people of color, are bing negatively effected in terms of the enforcement or mis-enforcement of certain governmental policies,” said Walid.

Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting, Walid said its necessary for the community to become involved in efforts like this to tell lawmakers the ethnic profiling of members of the Latinos and Muslim-Americans is not an effective way to protect communities.

“As a people we have power to speak out. We live in a democratic society and we have to exercise our right to speak out against injustice wherever we see it,” said Walid.

The rally is planned for Noon on Saturday, August 20, in Clark Park.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/08/19/rally-to-protest-racial-profiling-at-the-border/

 

Apparently there is a serious threat of “Islamic terrorism” from Canada such that it warrants an excuse for an increased militarization of the U.S.’s northern border with Canada and racial profiling of Mooslim-y looking individuals. There are quite a few reasons to be concerned with the implications of the increased miltarism which breeds isolationaism of  an already overly militarized U.S> military industrial complex. One of them being that this is one of the alarming signs of a nation moving towards fascism in the name of national security.

Posted in Anti-Islamophobes, Islamic Organizations, Islamophobia as a Social Phenomenon, Islamophobia in the U.S., Islamophobia in the West | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toronto Imam Charged with 13 Sexual Offenses

Toronto Imam charged with 13 sexual offenses

Mohammad Masroor, 48, taught the Qur’an at a local mosque

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq

In the Muslim community three major issues seem to always get buried: Domestic abuse, racism, and sexual abuse crimes. Of course there are many other issues that are also not openly discussed, however, as a direct result of Islamophobia, certain problems in our community are “buried”, partly because many Muslims have the attitude of being frustrated with the tendency of Islamophobes and the media to rashly vilify Muslims and present us in a negative light. Other reasons include the seriousness of these issues and how rigorously Muslims hide their sins.

Whosoever covers (the sins of) a Muslim, Allah covers (his sins) on the Day of Judgment. [Reported by Bukhari]

‘Abd Allah reported that the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said, “A believer is not a fault-finder and is not abusive, obscene, or course.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 313, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and Hakim]

… Ibn ‘Abbas said, “If you wish to mention the faults of your friend, mention your own faults first.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 329]

... Ibn ‘Abbas said on the following verse of the Qur’an, “Nor defame one another” (49:11), “Do not spend your time finding fault with one another.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners #330]

Jubayr ibn Nufayr reported that Mu’adh ibn Jabal said, “If you love someone, do not quarrel with him and do not annoy him. Do not ask others about him, for the one you ask might be his enemy and thus tell you things about him that are not true and thus break you apart.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 545]

‘Amr ibn al ‘As said, “…I am amazed at one who spots an impurity in the eye of another but is unable to detect it in his/her own eye, or who attempts to remove a grudge from another’s heart while making no attempt to remove grduges from his/her own heart. I have never blamed anyone for the confidences of mine that they have betrayed. How could I, when already they have given me reason for pause?”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners #889 and Ibn Hibban]

Bilal ibn Sa’d al Ash’ari reported that Mu’awiyah wrote to Abu Darda’ “Write to the wrongdoers of Damascus.” So he asked, “What do I have to do with the wrongdoers of Damascus? How will I know them?” Abu Darda’s son, Bilal said, “I will write to them,” which he did. Then Abu Darda’ said [to Bilal], “How did you know to whom to write? You could not have known they were wrongdoers unless you were one of them. Begin with yourself!” So he did not address the letter in anyone’s name.
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 1295]

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.

[Qur’an, 49:12]

Those who love (to see) scandal published (and) broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows and ye know not. 

[Qur’an 19-24]

These ahadith and ayat go towards showing the reticence of Muslims of reporting  or even acknowledging certain crimes[terrorism not being one of them, for all our Islamophobic readers]. The issue at hand here is sexual molestation by respected elders and leaders in the Islamic community, the Imam being one of the most important of these. This problem is not a Christian or Jewish problem, not a problem of the Catholic and Protestant Church, but is a human problem. This is something the Muslim community should be tackling head on. Before we make a definitive judgment however I remind readers of this ayah from the Qur’an:

O you who believe! If a Fâsiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.[Qur’an 49:6].

A Toronto imam has been charged with multiple sexual offenses against his students, the Toronto Sun reports. 48-year-old Mohammad Masroor was arrested August 10 on charges involving five people, both male and female. Masroor is the imam of the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society in Toronto’s east end. Police say he faces up to 13 charges, many of which involve sexual related acts and death threats. Masroor—who taught the Koran at the local mosque and privately in homes—has traveled extensively throughout the world, raising questions about potential cases outside the country as well. He has been in Canada since 2008.

Posted in Anti-Muslim Media, Islamophobia as a Social Phenomenon, The Hypocrisy of Islamophobia | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment